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Fred Hiatt at The Washington Post frames his usual criticisms with a question, Will Obama rethink his global strategy?, and supplies the usual answers while skipping boots on the ground in Ukraine for logistical reasons.

Paul Krugman at The New York Times gives a shout-out in column Wealth Over Work:

It seems safe to say that “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the magnum opus of the French economist Thomas Piketty, will be the most important economics book of the year — and maybe of the decade. Mr. Piketty, arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality, does more than document the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite. He also makes a powerful case that we’re on the way back to “patrimonial capitalism,” in which the commanding heights of the economy are dominated not just by wealth, but also by inherited wealth, in which birth matters more than effort and talent.

To be sure, Mr. Piketty concedes that we aren’t there yet. So far, the rise of America’s 1 percent has mainly been driven by executive salaries and bonuses rather than income from investments, let alone inherited wealth. But six of the 10 wealthiest Americans are already heirs rather than self-made entrepreneurs, and the children of today’s economic elite start from a position of immense privilege. As Mr. Piketty notes, “the risk of a drift toward oligarchy is real and gives little reason for optimism.”

Richard Eskow at the Campaign for America's Future writes Bernie Madoff Sounds a Lot Like These Angry Billionaires:
Bernie Madoff recently had some choice words about the politicians he thinks are spreading “socialism” and “wealth distribution,” while billionaires Tom Perkins and Ken Langone both likened critics of oligarchic wealth to Nazis. Perkins and Langone should take heed: It’s a bad sign when you sound like Madoff. It’s even worse when he sounds more reasonable than you. [...]

At least Madoff skipped the Hitler comparisons when he was interviewed recently for Politico. But in other ways he sounded strikingly like the others: opinionated, ill-informed, and yet accustomed to being listened to in a deferential way. That’s what comes when you’re tapped for campaign contributions by people who then feel obligated to ask your opinion.

More excerpts from pundits can be found below the fold.

Mike Konczal at The New Republic says The Tea Party and Wall Street Might Not Be Best Friends Forever, But they Are for Now:

There seems to be some confusion about the relationship between the Tea Party and Wall Street. New York magazine's Jonathan Chait says the two "are friends after all," while the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney insists that the Tea Party has loosened the business lobby's "grip on the GOP." So let’s make this clear: The Tea Party agenda is currently aligned with the Wall Street agenda.

The Tea Party's theory of the financial crisis has absolved Wall Street completely. Instead, the crisis is interpreted according to two pillars of reactionary thought: that the government is a fundamentally corrupt enterprise trying to give undeserving people free stuff, and that hard money should rule the day. This will have major consequences for the future of reform, should the GOP take the Senate this fall.

On the Hill, it’s hard to find where the Tea Party and Wall Street disagree. Tea Party senators like Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz, plus conservative senators like David Vitter, have rallied around a one-line bill repealing the entirety of Dodd-Frank and replacing it with nothing. In the House, Republicans are attacking new derivatives regulations, all the activities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the existence of the Volcker Rule, and the ability of the FDIC to wind down a major financial institution, while relentlessly attacking strong regulators and cutting regulatory funding. This is Wall Street’s wet dream of a policy agenda.

Doyle McManus at the Los Angeles Times looks at the three-way GOP split via a question—What would a Republican president do about Ukraine?:
The sniping is no surprise given the partisan divide in Washington. But would a Republican in the White House instead of Obama actually plot a different course?
That would depend entirely on which Republican we're talking about. The GOP has long been divided on foreign policy, and Ukraine has exposed fault lines that are likely to grow as the Republicans' 2016 nomination contest nears.

On foreign policy in general, and on Ukraine in particular, Republicans fall into three camps: hawks, realists and libertarians.

Dave Zirin at The Nation wrote :
The issue of the NCAA is a racial justice issue. If you don't frame it in that way, if you don’t challenge Mark Emmert on the fact that faux-amateurism saps black wealth in the United States, if you don’t point out why Taylor Branch, Dr. King’s biographer, said the NCAA “has the whiff of the plantation”, then you are not having a serious discussion. You are bullshitting. Meet the Press did not give us a serious discussion. Instead you had [NCAA President] Mark Emmert, a man on the hot-seat, sitting far too comfortably for our own good.
The Editorial Board of The Miami Herald says It’s looking like forever—President, Congress put Gitmo detainees in permanent limbo:
Candidate Barack Obama did promise, after all, to close the prison because it had become a symbol of America’s disregard for civil liberties in its zeal to pursue an unending war against a new type of foe who did not fit the traditional idea of an enemy soldier.

As president, Mr. Obama soon learned that it would be an impossible task. [...]

The young men and women who have been asked to perform their military duty here believe they are doing the right thing. They are safeguarding America by keeping those deemed the nation’s worst enemies confined. But considering that what started out as an improvised solution has now become permanent — no one can predict when, if ever, it will close — it’s fair to ask: Who is really confined and unable to leave?

Graham Allison at The Atlantic A Step We Still Haven't Taken to Create a Nuke-Free World:On Monday, President Obama will join Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and 40 other heads of state in the Netherlands for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. It will be the third in a series of summits initiated by Obama to address what he has called “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security”: nuclear terrorism.[...]
The significance of states and regions eliminating all nuclear-weapons material becomes more apparent if we imagine that the current crisis in Ukraine had happened five years ago. At the first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in 2010, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych pledged to remove 15 bombs’ worth of highly enriched uranium at several sites in Sevastopol, Kharkiv, and Kiev. Two years later, at the 2012 summit in Seoul, Yanukovych announced that Ukraine had finally eliminated all weapons-usable material in the country.

The most important takeaway from the Nuclear Security Summits in Washington and Seoul is that heads of state have the power to deny terrorists the means to achieve their deadliest ambitions. That’s why leaders at this week’s summit should recognize NWMFZ [nuclear-weapons-material-free zone] as another important step toward a world free from the threat of nuclear terror, and challenge holdouts in South America, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe to help their regions achieve this status.

Peter Z. Scheer at Truthdig writes Thank You, Fred Phelps, for Everything:
Now that the godfather of the hyper-homophobic Westboro Baptist Church is dead, it’s time to thank him for his years of service to the gay rights movement.

It’s not often one is handed an enemy so committed and tone-deaf that he makes all those even slightly inclined to his worldview squirm in their hate-by-association. [...]

Every time Phelps opened his mouth, and there was a recording device there to catch it, he made a convert. Just not the kind he was hoping for.

Barry Eisler at The Guardian writes If Dianne Feinstein is Michael Corleone in the CIA-Senate war, will she shoot?:
If you want to understand a fight, it's as important to understand what's not happening as what is. So, yes, Feinstein, Brennan and Reid are throwing punches, and cursing, and scratching and biting. But is anyone trying to gauge out an eye? Has anyone pulled a weapon? Are the combatants trying to kill – or merely to wound?

Why does Feinstein, whose oversight committee has reviewed a reported six million documents and produced a 6,300-page report on CIA practices Feinstein calls "brutal" and "horrible" and "un-American", insist on referring merely to a CIA "interrogation" program rather than calling it a torture program, which is what the program actually was? Why doesn't she declassify the report simply by introducing it into Senate proceedings pursuant to the Constitution's Speech or Debate clause?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Chrispies own investigation finds him innocent! (23+ / 0-)

    Yup his own lawyers who could not interview Kelly, Wildstein and Stepien have concluded the Gubernoir knew nuttin about the bridge closing scheme....so there you have it folks, the big fella is clean and we can elect him in 2016 and then that nasty chest shaving, bear wrestling commie Putin will get what's coming to him!

    Next up; Noah the blockbuster has been moved from the fantasy column to the documentary column and will be required viewing for all high scholl students taking Earth Science in Texas.

  •  Nukes (13+ / 0-)

    The fact that the nuclear budget in the US just keeps on growing is just repulsive. It shows a lack of good faith on behalf of politicians regarding nuclear disarmament. But, then again, there's very little good faith shown by our politicians on most issues.

  •  Watch out! Feinstein, Brennan and Reid (14+ / 0-)

    are on the verge of action.  Buckle up, a strongly worded letter is next.

    Any day now.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 04:52:02 AM PDT

  •  Long term unemployed is a feature not a bug (9+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 04:56:55 AM PDT

  •  So Politico gives a 3 hr interview to the perp- (19+ / 0-)

    etrator of the largest (prosecuted) Ponzi scheme in history to get his views on a whole range of financial and political issues...while also doing an "up close and personal" treatment so that we can get a feeling for his day to day tribulations.

    Wonder what that says about Politico?

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

    by nailbender on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 05:04:07 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, I was just going to ask, "So, Politico, (9+ / 0-)

      Madoff is your go-to guy to get support for GOP policies, the ones where oligarchs stick it to the working poors?"  

      Nice.  They have no shame at all.  

      "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

      by SottoVoce on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 05:48:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Was that Madoff or Paul Ryan ????? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish, DSC on the Plateau, LinSea

        the so-called Ryan Plan or "Road Map" is a heist way bigger than what The Berner did.

        Representative Paul Ryan’s “Road Map” — calls for the elimination of taxes on interest, dividends, capital gains and estates. Under this plan, someone living solely off inherited wealth would owe no federal taxes at all.
        The Berner's a piker. Ryan is looking to steal $400-billion a year. Instant Oligarchy !!

        ...And he's a SERIOUS presidential candidate.

        ...And he's a foreign policy wonk.

        ...And he's rumored to be scrxwing S. Palin on the side.  Or whatever C. Superman is up to these days.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Paul-Koch Ryan

        by waterstreet2013 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 07:19:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not joking. Here's the web site: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kfunk937, LinSea, SottoVoce
          This plan discards a needlessly complex and manipulative tax code, replacing it with a simplified mechanism that promotes work, saving, and investment.

          o Provides individual income tax payers a choice of how to pay their taxes – through existing law, or through a highly simplified code that fits on a postcard with just two rates and virtually no special tax deductions, credits, or exclusions (except the health care tax credit).
          o Simplifies tax rates to 10 percent on income up to $100,000 for joint filers, and $50,000 for single filers; and 25 percent on taxable income above these amounts. Also includes a generous standard deduction and personal exemption (totaling $39,000 for a family of four).
          o Eliminates the alternative minimum tax [AMT].
          o Promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends; also eliminates the death tax.
          o Replaces the corporate income tax – currently the second highest in the industrialized world – with a border-adjustable business consumption tax of 8.5 percent. This new rate is roughly half that of the rest of the industrialized world.

          --
          ROAD MAP TO OLIGARCHY

          They must believe that Middle Class America is IQ=60. All of it.

          "Promotes savings...."

          OMG... )(&^$%^$%^&%^&.........

          "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Paul-Koch Ryan

          by waterstreet2013 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 07:27:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Bernie Madoff is just so cute....... (3+ / 0-)

      A guy living in public housing wants to lecture about the dangers of creeping socialism...................

      What's his prescription for people such as himself, then?

      Put him on an Aleutian Island with a blanket, a packet of seeds, a hoe and a flint for the rest of his life?

    •  My sentiments exactly. Why... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gffish, chmood, LinSea

      is this crook and liar being given any attention by the media?  He's been sentenced to 100 years, for Chrissakes.  

  •  Thanks for APR today MB (8+ / 0-)

    My Sunday was not the same without it...
    On Dave Zirin & the NCAA, his mistake started with the expectation that David Gregory would actually have anything of substance or controversy discussed on MTP. Zirin started out on the right foot (David Gregory era of Meet the Press: the weekly program, with the tenacity of a twitter-troll, remains pugnaciously beltway-centric in its perspective) but then seems disappointed that the real issue wasn't put on the table.

  •  Anyone interested in long term fed IT problems (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emmasnacker, TerryDarc, LinSea

    should take a look at a Washington Post article from yesterday. Those experienced, from the systems engineering side, will probably get a sickening deja vu feel.

    Posed as a "bureaucratic fail" article the OMB Cave does reveal a problem of repeated government failure. The problem is not the bureaucracy so much as political will in Congress and the Executive to reform IT acquisition in ways that would offend Cabinet level political appointees and industry (and indeed might make IT jobs harder to find). While a bit unusual the following demonstrates:

    The first time, work began in 1987. Years passed. About $25 million was spent, according to the Government Accountability Office. But within the government, officials started to worry that it wasn’t working.

    “The reports [from the contractor] just asserted that they had written X lines of code. . . . For an executive, that’s just invisible; you don’t know what it means,” said Curtis Smith, who oversaw retirement processing from 1989 to 1994. He was a longtime federal employee with a PhD in English literature, supervising a massive technology project.

    “I had no idea [if] they were making progress from month to month. And I just sort of took it on faith that they could make it work,” Smith said. “And they never did.”

    PhD in English? Overseeing an IT project? Well, we have almost as bad with advanced degrees in scientific, technical and other fields. The problems leading to such failures costing hundreds of millions a year are neither new nor unknown. They often boil down to requirements that are poorly conceived, untestable and, worst, in constant flux due to lack of internal discipline.

    Though it can infect private enterprise, a particular problem infects government efforts. That is "end customer" ability to force breaking every sound rule of IT systems development and delivery. Sometimes it is intentional, "Don't want to change!," but more often just a tyranny of "the customer" over sanity. I know of several projects underway now in which the line "business" or "customer" bases are churning requirements and project goals toward certain failure—failure in a time honored pattern we cannot seem to break.

    The root problem, as in the healthcare .dot problem, is leaving the entire thing to the departments and agencies even when they are neither experienced nor disciplined enough to bring off the project without falling into well known pits. Perhaps the biggest, sharp stake filled pit, is the equivalent of letting fighter squadrons change major requirements even as the next generation fighters are coming onto production lines. Certainly the end user's input is necessary. What we see in federal IT is too often as if the line divisions, the end users, are being allowed to change architectural, aircraft or ship designs even as the things are built.

    Though the industry gets its tail twisted and sometimes new and gullible entries into the federal IT field will sign firm fixed price contracts without solid requirements (to their bitter costs) the experienced industry is perfectly happy to see a hundred million here and a hundred million there poured into failing systems. It is cash flow.

    It isn't the line worker or division at the root of the problem. They are doing what such people and organizations do. The problem is that those right at the top, Congress and the Executive for decades refuse to learn lessons and change the structure of such efforts, perhaps as the U.K. has done by taking the execution out of the departments and placed it in the hands of experts in a central organization.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 05:07:55 AM PDT

    •  LOC (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937, LinSea
      “The reports [from the contractor] just asserted that they had written X lines of code. . . . For an executive, that’s just invisible; you don’t know what it means,” said Curtis Smith.
      This is because it doesn't mean anything.
      I know of several projects underway now in which the line "business" or "customer" bases are churning requirements and project goals toward certain failure—failure in a time honored pattern we cannot seem to break.
      plus ça change What PhD's in English and other untutored souls do not realize is that if you design and build and automobile, e.g. under similar misguided engineering is that it will eventually wobble down the road.

      Large IT products done similarly remain steaming piles of offal that do absolutely nothing useful and never can.

      It is cash flow.
      Exactly.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 05:58:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I became convinced a real part of the problem, at (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LinSea, TerryDarc

        least in the constant hopping up and down in the "customer" groups demanding changes, was that "software" is seen as very different than "hardware." People, and their organizations, that wouldn't think of pulling the same stunts with a large office building, aircraft, ship or even auto design consider themselves experts in the "business process" and thus somehow expert software engineers. They may know the business, but few if any know how to refine those business processes and functions into testable software and some hardware requirements that can actually be built, tested and delivered.

        There is also too much tendency to over specify what should often be let to the contractors to solve—a confusion of what really must be specified precisely and what can be left to an "end result" test. Just as an example, I've seen requirements on the order of "shalls" that specify the field character string length based on some existing paper form. What are they thinking! Just because the paper form has 20 character boxes for some descriptor that is a minimum, not a specific size. So, somewhere in development there is a need to extend the string in the electronic version and there we go, change order because you specified 20 characters!

        Then there is that developer buy in and cash flow thing. The Acme system wins and actually gets delivered. It cannot then play well with the Zeus systems that other organizations use. Well why the hell would a developer build it that way? They have an interest in good proprietary lock in and then building bridges too far spanning the Acme and Zeus systems!  

        If the agency had experienced people thinking they would have required open systems, with an architecture allowing growth where possible and data interfaces of the same sort. One of the saddest things in the agencies is to see some executive, on the order of that English PhD, talking about the internet thingy, the one that is allowing me to type this on my Mac and someone else read it on a Windows machine or even phone, as an ideal while allowing his people to specify or allow when entirely unnecessary propriety software interfaces that would have made the internet impossible.

        As I said some time ago:

        The problems are pretty well known. The best practices and even solutions are not a mystery. What is usually missing is the systems development expertise at a position within management that can enforce discipline and the known solutions—and for SSA/VA that would be Obama himself and he is a bit busy doing other things to be tech boss in chief. Scientists, engineers and systems experts do not tend to be the kind of people that rise to become agency heads and cabinet members—the story of Hyman Rickover, the Navy's nuclear submarine program and the absolute hatred most of the Navy had for that abrasive, technical, "get it done" guy is illustrative—those are politicians and they tend to go along to get along.
        A big part of the problem, one recognized decades ago when the "Trail Boss" system was proposed and briefly tried, is that the IT expertise in the agencies does not have the clout to actually enforce development discipline on the "customer" which is seen as the line "business" divisions—and not the taxpayer at all. Those that try usually find their backs full of harpoons like Moby Dick and eventually dead.

        I used to be somewhat involved, but the stories (particularly after Bush II got his hands on procurement) became sort of like watching dogfights with little dogs thrown in for warm ups.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:07:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (0+ / 0-)
          Well why the hell would a developer build it that way? They have an interest in good proprietary lock in and then building bridges too far spanning the Acme and Zeus systems!
          I certainly never looked far enough ahead to think about follow-on contracts. Seemed like in Si Valley that there was just no end of work. There may have been management that leaned that way or just sorta-kinda made things happen so that Phase 2.0 Acme would work with Zeus. Most projects failed either abjectly or in a weak-tea kind of way that no one seemed to want to try for Phase 2.0.

          I never wanted for work - out of work one day in 20+ years. Being on salary for most of my career I never wanted to work any harder than I had to. Making stuff simple and bullet proof against attacks by my fellow developers kept my bug rate down even though mgrs. occasionally actually asked for LOC.

          We would explain to them that it was just so much BS and then they would turn and say "Yes, but what is the line count?" There was a Unix function to do that and get the morons off our backs.

          and briefly tried, is that the IT expertise in the agencies does not have the clout to actually enforce development discipline on the "customer" which is seen as the line "business" divisions—and not the taxpayer at all.
          Yeah, it's not like system development is a mystery. Give the developers clear requirements, stand back and let them do the job, then test the hell out of each piece, integrate and do it again.

          Then, after all that, you can screw around with changes but if you don't, well, the developers have still got jobs as you point out. The taxpayer/client gets completely screwed and maybe the development organization goes out of business. But, hey, it was fun while it lasted and it lasted as long as the money kept pouring in.

          Worked for me.

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

          by TerryDarc on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:49:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sad thing is that there would be plenty of new (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TerryDarc

            problems to tackle generating new work if these systems to solve old problems were not continual failures. The situation in the Boyers cave, particularly

            Now that all the retiree’s digital data have been turned into paperwork, these workers turn that paperwork into digital data again. They type all the pertinent information into a computer, by hand.
            is simply inexcusable. It was when I was getting such things solved twenty years ago.

            The trouble then, as I hear now, is that "senior" management, the political appointee and agency heads (a pretty "political" positions even if "career") too often reject experts in the field in favor of those "business" units and their people with other agendas. Those agendas range from preserving what they are comfortable with (Boyers residents dependent on jobs probably don't want to see all those wasteful transcription jobs go.) to "better ideas" (Throughout development we could always tell when line divisions had gone to "technical expositions" or "technology demos" had visited—"But, but, it would be better if we switched to Titan's product!"). That is life. It is normal. It is as if an army or production line workers got to constantly choose the equipment down at the small unit level. Nothing works together and no matter the smart planning to make things work from elsewhere confusion reigns forever.

            In these cases lack of discipline exercised by our political representatives cost us billions. That is why I'd strongly support stripping all agencies of the management and contracting of such developments, retaining the role of forming the basic need and requirements generation. The development and contracting entities would have the clout to say "No, your half baked, conflicting requirement must be refined and here is help" so that the constant meddling and churning can be minimized. Then our political levels are usually ignorant of these "technical details" or themselves profit from the churning and thus have no interest in fixing things. The public meanwhile just views stories such as the Boyers cave with horror demanding no effective change.

            And by the way, before anyone screams "See, government bad. Private good!," I know of a number of private enterprises that did not do it better due to precisely the same internal circuses—they just get to hide the failures and sometimes fire some top executives.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 04:37:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  PS: Same problem is at why Flight MH370 is a (0+ / 0-)

            mystery. We can GPS tag small critters, even sea critters linked by satellite, and teens and our cars but do not apply existing technology to aircraft carrying hundreds of people. Why? Not technical. Political. Corporate whim. Freedom to be stupid—even when it results in community expense and disaster.

            Pilots resist "invasion of cockpit 'privacy'" and companies do not want to spend the money, far less money than they spend on aircraft entertainment systems, to put burst flight information out. So, now "we" (taxpayers of various nations) will probably spend a billion on hunting for and recovering (maybe) some flight recorders from great depths.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 04:59:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, man! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pelagicray

              Don't get me started on all the stupid shit airlines do and, more importantly, fail to do. WTF would you ever want to be  able to turn of a tracking system for a flight in progress?!

              What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

              by TerryDarc on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 11:21:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Legitimately only in some military applications. (0+ / 0-)

                Remember the civilian airlines in a lot of countries were (may still be) part of the reserve military fleet and that might be the reason the design is there in all models. At the least I would think turning off the ID transponders should require a code from the home office or some other sort of external permission while in flight.

                Another question is the lack of EPIRB devices that deploy automatically. Ships have them and some countries require them on aircraft, models that are designed to deploy and activate on impact. The fact great expense is being undertaken internationally, not just by Malaysia, should be the basis for mandatory EPIRBs aboard commercial aircraft.

                Some country doesn't want that? Well you don't land in those that require them. No overflight or landing rights for those flouting the requirement to have "safety interlock" (i.e., cannot be deactivated by anyone on board without external authorization) transponders—a simple post 9/11 security requirement—and EPIRBs.

                As we see in all sorts of things, IT development above and airliners that can go silent here, that are absolutely ridiculous when can isn't a problem.  Will is the problem. We live with all sorts of complete, sometimes dangerous, nonsense because of lack of political will.

                The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                by pelagicray on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:52:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There are ways to keep tracking going (0+ / 0-)

                  w/o compromising security. Data squirts to satellites every 5 minutes, encrypted.  The radio beacon is, of course, really necessary but if you had the course and speed from the last few squirts you could narrow the search down to a manageable area.

                  Wonder if the passengers knew what was going on? Then opening up the com like one of the linked articles said, would be a good idea. If anyone had a working GPS, it'd make hijacking more difficult.

                  I also think the good quality pictures from more places would be a good idea. First, on the ground of everyone entering the plane or being anywhere near it.

                  Second, inside the cockpit. Without information fixing the problem is much tougher.

                  What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                  by TerryDarc on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:31:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Also, fly-by-wire? (0+ / 0-)

                    Should a) never be allowed to land in the ocean w/o some really serious interlocks. Second, flying into a known structure like 9/11 or into a mountain, also needs to be prevented. We know where the buildings and mountains are and we know where the plane is - don't let them intersect.

                    Maybe we should just get the pilot out of the cockpit except sometimes for takeoff and landing.

                    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                    by TerryDarc on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:34:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Re the Gitmo, who is winning the "war on terror"? (6+ / 0-)

    and how's the "war on drugs" working out?

    •  Win 1, lose 1. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937, GrindtheHills, LinSea

      The stats on protecting Americans from getting killed by terrorists are stark, overwhelming. These are non-combat zone American deaths:

      Reagan = 675
      Clinton = 444
      Bush43 = 3,206

      And what all Obama is doing:

      Obama = 3 at Boston, 3 at the Algerian gas plant, arguably 4 at Benghazi, and just barely plausibly possible there's 3 more on the Malaysian airliner.

      Try for 6, 10, or 13 max possible. That's after huge numbers earlier on. There's ways of doing international counts that claim the overall numbers have risen, but that requires changing the rules and counting war zone deaths.

      Obama < or = 13 for 5 years.

      Hate on Obama all you want. Echo the Murdoch Madness crap if you like. But this is a won war.

      War on Drugs ??? That's lost and it's been lost for the last 50 years.

      We have a big heroin flood underway. The countryside in Afghanistan is rolling out product by the ton. And basically Pakistan ISI is the central control for poppy/heroin in the region and they're not going away any time soon.

      What, $80-billion a year is going to disappear? The Taliban were the only ones able to mount a war that mattered. They killed everything in the way of eliminating the poppy/heroin trade.

      But then Bush43 changed sides and blamed them for bin Laden. The rest is history.

      Then we can talk about meth. Or not.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Paul-Koch Ryan

      by waterstreet2013 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 07:42:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow!!! This is a first (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rl en france

    For me, anyway. APR is on top of the front page. Living on the west coast, all the discussion is gone by the time we left coasters are dabbing egg yolk in our whole wheat bread.

    I have to go to central time zone and get up too f**king early to think - why there is no relevant comment here, I suppose.

    Well, good morning all and I'm off for my over easy eggs. Don't go way.

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

    by TerryDarc on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 05:11:52 AM PDT

    •  Holy Shit! Bernie Madoff? (7+ / 0-)
      Madoff's projected release date is November 14, 2139. The release date, described as "academic" in Madoff's case because he would have to live to the age of 201, reflects a reduction for good behavior.  

      On October 13, 2009, it was reported that Madoff experienced his first prison yard fight with another senior citizen inmate. When he began his sentence, Madoff's stress levels were so severe that he broke out in hives and other skin maladies soon after.[

      On December 18, 2009, Madoff was moved to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and was treated for several facial injuries. A former inmate later claimed that the injuries were received during an alleged altercation with another inmat

      If Politico starts interviewing every con in the United States for 5 minutes at a time, I figure they'll be done by the time Bernie gets out of the big house, pending monkey gland injections.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 05:23:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As usual, Krugman is spot-on. (9+ / 0-)

    The Koch brothers are buying the American political system. Local, State, House of Reps, now targeting more of the Senate. Even some of the Supremes are buddying up with them, hanging at their "getaways". But now that the light is shining on their antics and exposing this cancer, will the tide turn?

    "One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, sourpusses." ― Pope Francis

    by GoodGod on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 05:31:42 AM PDT

  •  Just heard Cokie on NPR this morning (8+ / 0-)

    The talk was about Ukraine and President Obama's handling.
    She is concerned...very, very concerned...he has critics in the Republican party, maybe even some in the Democratic party...Innskeep chimed in...even people along the Texas- Mexico border are concerned...this could all be Hillary's fault.
    Even when the expert on Russian-Ukraine relations chimed in to say that there is really not much more President Obama could do short of starting WWIII, he did not assuage their concerns.

    They were both very, very concerned.

  •  Maybe Cokie needs a vacation in Myrtle Beach (3+ / 0-)

    where real Americans go vacation, unlike some foreign
    place like ... Hawaii.

    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith

    by wintergreen8694 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 05:51:08 AM PDT

  •  three stooges (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea
    On foreign policy in general, and on Ukraine in particular, Republicans fall into three camps: hawks, realists and libertarians.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:43:51 AM PDT

  •  Now I get it. At first, I was thinking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    realist Republican was just an oxymoron. ;^)

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:40:07 PM PDT

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