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President Johnson unboxes a series of ceremonial pens to sign the Civil Rights Act
Leonard Pitts pays tribute to the Civil Rights Act at 50... Ross Douthat joins the chorus of conservatives opining on campus rape... Juan Cole calls timeout on those ready to declare the Arab Spring ended... but first...

Carl Hiaasen speaks for us all.

As Iraq ruptures into fragments, none other than Dick Cheney has shambled forth to blame Barack Obama.

“Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong so much at the expense of so many,” the former vice president huffed in a Wall Street Journal column, blind to the irony of his own toxic self-righteousness.

No American political figure in recent history has been dead wrong as consistently as Cheney, or as loathe to admit it.

It was he and George W. Bush who set in the motion the catastrophe now unspooling in Iraq. The decision to invade was peddled to Congress and the American people with a campaign of myth-making that Cheney still refuses to disown.

Long after Bush was forced to concede that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, and long after U.S. intelligence agencies affirmed that Saddam Hussein had no connection to al Qaida, Cheney continued to promote these discredited scenarios to justify his own hyperbolic cheerleading for the war.

Remember, this is the same arrogant boob who predicted that U.S. troops would be welcomed as “liberators.”

Seriously, there is no man in recent history who has earned the scorn of the world like Dick Cheney.
Now Cheney is pathetically trying to elevate his lowly place in history by attacking Obama for letting Iraq go to pieces.

In truth, the collapse began March 19, 2003, the day we started the “shock and awe” bombing.

For some reason people seem surprised that a nation we attacked expressly to weaken and destabilize, is weak and unstable. That we later invented a "spreading democracy" propaganda initiative after openly moving against Iraq with the declared intent of destroying its ability to defend and govern itself, did not unscramble Humpty Dumpty.

Maureen Dowd and Frank Bruni are snoozing this Sunday, but come in in. I think we can find something else to read.

The New York Times notes something in the Middle East that's actually gone as planned.

Less than a year ago, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and his forces were sporadically using chemical weapons on rebels and civilians in the civil war. Today, the stockpile that he grudgingly admitted to under international pressure is gone.

There are still questions about whether Syria retains hidden weapons and related technologies, but the deal brokered by the United States and Russia that eliminated the known arsenal — a 1,300-ton cache of chemical agents — has achieved an important result.

On Monday, Syria delivered the last of its known stocks to the Syrian port of Latakia where they were loaded aboard a Danish ship. Some of the arsenal is being destroyed in Finland, while other materials for weapons will be destroyed at sea on an American ship and at facilities in the United States, Britain and Germany.

Hmm, I believe there might have been a few negative reactions to this deal. I'm sure John McCain will be on our screens this morning to tell us how eliminating chemical weapons without bombing someone is a bad thing.

Ross Douthat joins the proud tradition of conservatives opining on campus rape... and acquits himself just as well as the rest.

In the debate over sexual violence on college campuses, two things are reasonably clear. First, campus rape is a grave, persistent problem, shadowing rowdy state schools and cozy liberal-arts campuses alike.

Second, nobody — neither anti-rape activists, nor their critics, nor the administrators caught in between — seems to have a clear and compelling idea of what to do about it.


The deeper problem, which applies for courts of law as well, is that even with a near-perfect justice system, sexual assault on campus often happens in a context that by its nature defies easy adjudication. Most campus assaults involve incapacitation, usually involving alcohol, rather than brute force; most involve friends and acquaintances and partners and exes; and most women assaulted while under the influence do not themselves use the word “rape” to describe what happened. As long as these patterns persist, it is difficult to see any disciplinary or legal change that would inspire substantially more formal accusations, let alone clear and airtight verdicts.

This is riding perilously close to George Will territory, though I suppose shrugging your shoulders over sexual assault is better than giving a tacit endorsement. Douthat has three moves he thinks would help. Surprisingly, I agree with the first one.
... our lawmakers could reduce the legal drinking age to 18 from 21. ... Undoing the federal government’s Reagan-era imposition of a higher drinking age is probably too counterintuitive for lawmakers to contemplate. And obviously it wouldn’t eliminate the lure of the keg stand or tame the recklessness of youth. But it would create an opportunity for a healthier approach to alcohol consumption — more social and relaxed, less frantic and performative — to take root in collegiate culture once again.
But, naturally, giving Douthat a few hundred words to talk about college is going to go... where it goes every time, and naturally he has suggestions about how to put more requirements for stopping rape on everyone except the rapists. He ends up proposing a poorly-defined chaperon system that might pass muster in the UAE.

By the way, George Will hasn't let the entirely justified outrage over his pro-rape column stop him from being a complete asshat again this week, but I'm not violating my Will-Free-Zone to link it.

Dana Milbank calls out McConnell.

When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went to the Senate floor Thursday afternoon to announce the death of Howard Baker, his words recalled not just his revered predecessor but an earlier, worthier cohort of American politicians.

“Senator Baker truly earned his nickname, the Great Conciliator,” McConnell said. “I know he will be remembered with fondness by members of both political parties.”

McConnell was right on both counts: Baker, the former Senate majority leader who died Thursday at age 88, was a master of compromise. ...

But eulogizing Baker as the Great Conciliator — an echo of Henry Clay’s sobriquet, the Great Compromiser — was a curious choice by McConnell, whose recent actions have given no indication that he views conciliation as a virtue. McConnell’s partisan screeds delivered on the Senate floor and his reluctance to negotiate — traits mirrored by his Democratic counterpart, Harry Reid — and his record quantity of filibusters have set the tone for the current era of dysfunction in U.S. politics.

Can no one write a column about a Republican being a dead obvious jerkwad without feeling compelled to insert a "of course, both sides do it" line?

Reid Wilson awards California a "best state" award.

The Affordable Care Act’s size and scope led to some incredible flops in states such as Maryland , Nevada, Hawaii and Oregon , where Web sites intended to help people gain health insurance coverage failed miserably. But other states fared better: Love or hate the ACA, California implemented the complex new law better than every other state. The software worked, red tape was cut, and sign-ups, for the most part, went smoothly.

In the Golden State, more than 2.5 million people signed up for coverage during the first six months of open enrollment. More than 42 percent of those eligible to sign up for care in California did so, a rate second only to Vermont’s. Medicaid enrollment in California jumped almost 16 percent, putting it in the top quartile of states. California was one of only six states to grow their private insurance rolls more than their Medicaid numbers, even after accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid.

Leonard Pitts recounts the tough journey of the Civil Rights Act.
Sen. Richard Russell called it a work of “manifold evils.”

Sen. Barry Goldwater called it a “threat to the very essence” of America.

Rep. Howard Smith called it a “monstrous instrument of oppression.”

It was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and its “oppression,” “threat” and “evil,” at least in the eyes of those conservative men, were that it outlawed racial discrimination in public places. The Act was signed into law 50 years ago Wednesday by President Lyndon Johnson and if it is not the single most consequential piece of legislation ever passed by Congress, it is certainly in the top tier. With the stroke of a pen — actually, the stroke of 72 ceremonial pens — Johnson exploded the old America and laid the cornerstone of the new.

Without the Act, Barack Obama is no president, Neil deGrasse Tyson is no celebrity astrophysicist, Shonda Rhimes is no hit TV producer, Juan Williams is no Fox pundit and, not to put too fine a point on it, yours truly is no Miami Herald columnist. More to the point, in a nation without the Act, somebody is legally required to enter McDonald’s through the back door today, somebody else must detour around a public park he is not allowed to walk through, somebody else has to decide if seeing 22 Jump Street is worth the indignity of having to watch it from the back row of the theater.

We have come a long way in the last half century. That is our triumph. And also our challenge.

Pitts does an admirable job of showing both how far we've come, and why that's not enough. Read it.

Juan Cole says it's way too soon to give up on the Arab Spring.

Three and a half years ago, the world was riveted by massive crowds of youths mobilizing in Cairo's Tahrir Square to demand an end to Egypt's dreary police state. We watched transfixed as a movement first ignited in Tunisia spread from one part of Egypt to another, and then from country to country across the region. Before it was over, four presidents-for-life had been toppled and the region's remaining dictators were unsettled.

Some 42 months later, in most of the Middle East and North Africa, the bright hopes for more personal liberties and an end to political and economic stagnation championed by those young people have been dashed. Instead, some Arab countries have seen counterrevolutions, while others are engulfed in internecine conflicts and civil wars, creating Mad Max-like scenes of postapocalyptic horror.

But keep one thing in mind: The rebellions of the last three years were led by Arab millennials, by young people who have decades left to come into their own. Don't count them out yet.

As Cole points out, past democratic revolutions -- including our own -- took much longer and had at least as many setbacks.
There are, of course, plenty of reasons for pessimism in the short- and perhaps even medium-term in the Middle East. But when it comes to youth revolutions, it's a pretty good bet that most of their truest accomplishments will come decades later.
Want to gain a new internet obsession and just possibly save the world, or find outer space gold, in the process?  Try Asteroid Zoo at citizen science site, Zooniverse, where you can scan photos to help locate near Earth asteroids.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Waiting for the next one to start. (10+ / 0-)
    As Cole points out, past democratic revolutions -- including our own -- took much longer and had at least as many setbacks.
    Looking at you Walmart, WellsFargo, Goldman Sacs, K Street, Congress . . . and others I can't properly name here.

    "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

    by Rikon Snow on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:09:32 AM PDT

  •  Want to see grizzly mass execution photos? (10+ / 0-)

    ISIS/ISIL photographed their executions of more than 100 prisoners at two sites in Tikrit, Iraq.

    ISIS/ISIL photographs its mass murders in Tikrit, Iraq. Human Rights Watch mirrors the evidence

    Human Right Watch has up a slideshow of ISIS/ISIL documentation of their crimes.

    Iraq: ISIS Execution Site Located

    Analysis of photographs and satellite imagery strongly indicates that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) conducted mass executions in Tikrit after seizing control of the city on June 11, 2014. The analysis suggests that ISIS killed between 160 and 190 men in at least two locations between June 11 and 14. The number of victims may well be much higher, but the difficulty of locating bodies and accessing the area has prevented a full investigation.

    -- HRW's intro for the slide show

    Put the prisoners in trucks, drive to execution location, have these men with their hands tied behind their baks lie down, and have multiple executioners kill them with machine guns.

    Maybe, if you do want to look at this, do it a half hour or so after you finish breakfast.

    And these are two sites. There's no reason to think that there's not dozens of execution sites.

    In Baghdad, yesterday, the temperature hit 115-degrees fahrenheit. So it's going to take a while to organize a counterattack. Thing is, the recruitment and organization effort for this effort indicates a plan with upwards of 750,000 soldiers in the field.

    Iran is running the recruitment/organization business processes. They are also supplying the hand-carry guns and ammunition. This is the "Defense of Baghdad" project headed by General Suleimani, similar to what he did fighting these Sunni bandits in Syria.

    Recruitment of Iraq-Iran War veterans is drawing in both Shi'ia and Sunni veterans. More Shi'ia, of course. But seeing these Sunnis volunteer in substantial numbers to support a majority Shi'ia army led by an Iranian general indicates that politics on the ground in Iraq has changed in unexpected ways.

    It seems possible that tribe and sect are now less important even for the older Sunnis than managerial competence and General Suleimani's reputation for incorruptibility.

    George Bush gave Iraq to Iran, long term, when he invaded Iraq in 2002. Now the paymasters for GWB and his father, the Saudis, have financed ISIS/ISIL which is yielding devastating consequences.

    America is out of it. Impotent. That is a good thing, though not quite a good thing for John McCain. Whose concept of the Moderate Syrian died with Steve Jobs.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:50:12 AM PDT

    •  Reports from Martin Chulov in Baghdad (4+ / 0-)

      have the Sunni tribal sheiks in for meetings with General Suleimani over the last couple of weeks.

      These sheiks were the guys who took $30,000,000 a month from David Petraeus. That's what made The Surge™ a success.

      Now these Sunni sheiks -- the key guys for Anbar and the straight line east-west road between Baghdad and Damascus --  have somebody they know they can deal with in Suleimani. Betcha the deal comes in way less than $30,000,000 a month.

      And the Iranians have a centuries long history of respecting established tribal relationships. Americans ??? "Tribes" were Apache and Comanche Indians and shoot-em-up John Wayne movies.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

      by waterstreet2013 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:59:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The drinking age in the UK is 18 (7+ / 0-)

    I think even 16-17 yr olds are allowed to drink in bars. They just cant buy the drinks((!?)
    The point is, extreme binge drinking by young people is even worse than here, if thats possible, and certainly not confined to college campuses. As anyone walking thru the entertainment district in London at night can tell you.

    •  When I grew up (11+ / 0-)

      most places in the USA had a drinking age of 18. We don't need laws that make the vast majority of 19 year olds into criminals.

      You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

      by mstep on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:25:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bad country to use as an example. (11+ / 0-)

      Better is the more southerly parts of the Continent. Sure, there is youth abuse of alcohol there too, but with considerable time there I've found a much different general atmosphere.

      I still remember a warm spring evening more than a decade ago in Rome when my wife and I strolled around after a late dinner and decided to climb the Spanish Steps for the view at top. Gangs of "youthful drinkers" with mostly beer but a few bottles of wine being shared covered large portions of the steps. Groups ranged from intent couples to twenty or more. Most were probably 18 plus or minus a couple of years. A bit of noise, a few evidently well oiled, a few couples getting quite romantic—and no really "bad behavior" at all. Old gray haired guy and his wife got smiles and zero hostility. Smiled and made way for us in one case where they took up too much space. My wife with a better understanding and language ability spoke briefly with some. Others spoke English and wished us good evening. We lingered. We were even offered a bottle or glass once. The thing I really noticed? Some were hiking to the nearest recycling bin with bottles. No big mess. No smashed glass. Not a cop in sight.

      When kids are responsibly exposed to drinking in a family setting, watered down wine, small beer and eventually small portions of the regular stuff they are much more likely to associate beer and wine with good sociability and even family settings in which bad behavior is corrected. As with all I remember from that night in Rome—and remember from other places and other times on the Continent (other than places like Iceland where there was a problem, but there was also a tradition of open a bottle of the really strong stuff you finish it)—the beer and wine drinking were a part of a social setting, not a get drunk objective as it seems to be here and in England.

      In my travels I've firmly concluded that family drinking in societies that accept alcohol as a part of life, recognizing there are developmental reasons not to give too much too early but to acclimate in a responsible setting, have fewer serious problems with drunken bad behavior than our or English prohibitionist, sanctimonious forbidden fruit culture.

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

      by pelagicray on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:48:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anglo Saxons are never going to adopt the ways (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish, pelagicray, laughingRabbit

        of their southern Mediterranean neighbors.
        I think your characterization is spot on, except for that implication.

        •  Britain and the United States (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          are two different countries. Binge drinking was a much smaller problem in the United States when you could buy 3.2 beer when you were 18.

          •  Yeah, I think that is definitely true. (0+ / 0-)

            My youth in the Deep South Bible Belt tended to be "dry" (with moonshiners heavy financiers of "keep x county dry!" movements). There was no lack of drunks. I even remember a small town when you knew the cop was running, the cop car was dragging tail.

            If I recall my first visits north as a young adult 3.2 was even available below 18. It seems, Cincinnati maybe, fifteen or sixteen was 3.2 country. I definitely recall being in neighborhood bar/restaurants and seeing high school age people drinking beer with their family out for a meal.

            Bootleggers, drug lords and such "vice" peddlers truly, truly just love the sanctimonious, moralistic dictating crowd. They generate huge profits and opportunities to corrupt!

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

            by pelagicray on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:01:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe one reason I'm not all that terrified by the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          immigrant, Catholic background, community? It was interesting in PBS's Prohibition how the prohibition movement was so driven by small town Protestants with an anti-Catholic, anti-German and anti-Semitic motives. While watching that, and I think it was Ken Burns' intention, I was struck by the similarity with today's rural/small town Tea Party, religious right movement.

          My heritage is very much in the British Isles, but there are aspects I'd like to see go the way of scurvy as a common ailment.

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

          by pelagicray on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:51:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I saw that too. Very informative (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Incl the part about rural and small town 'heartland Amurka' doing its best to stick it to those sinners in the beeg cities.

            •  Yep, Protestant rural/small town types with a real (0+ / 0-)

              dislike for those beer swilling Huns, some cause considering the then recent war, and those dark complexion Eyeties and their Papist wine swilling ways. One would think a centruy would be enough to get that narrow minded crap out of our national identity, but then the Irish and English were still fighting over events far beyond that scale quite recently.

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

              by pelagicray on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:53:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  binge drinking (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PrahaPartizan, gffish, BelgianBastard

      IMO it was caused by the limits when alcohol could be served. IIRC it was until 11pm that you could buy alcohol, after that it was banned.

      This leads to a drink lots and drink fast mentality - binge drinking.

      The law has been lifted but you can't change a established culture overnight. It will take a few years but I think the british will come around to a more responsible drinking culture.

      "How many years since you found yourself staring at an endless sky? " VNV Nation - Endless Skies

      by Kavalor on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:05:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And add to the fast drinking... (0+ / 0-)

        throwing a whole bunch of disgruntled drunk people (well, young men) out onto the street at the same time, and surprise, surprise, it often ends badly.

        In Belgium a cafe closes when it wants, i.e. when there aren't enough customers to make it worthwhile to stay open. People drift home in dribs and drabs, there's no rush, and very few of the ugly scenes British towns are famous for at the weekend.

        Oh, and the drinking age is 16 for beer and wine, 18 for spirits.

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:32:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Putin! No more chem's in Syria! (7+ / 0-)

    That, of course, is the commie hating, Russia bashing, but if-he-pokes-a-perceived-finger-in-President-Obama's-eye, he becomes the strongest man in the world to konservatives Vlad Putin!

    No really, guys.  Thanks Obama.  

    It has to be completely demoralizing to wake up one of those losers every morning.   Oh, my countrymen!  I weep for your purposeful ignorance.

    Someone once asked me why do you always insist on taking the hard road? and I replied why do you assume I see two roads?

    by funluvn1 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:51:10 AM PDT

  •  Calling Cheney a boob, even an arrogant one, (11+ / 0-)

    is letting him off far, far too easily.  I suppose most of the words that could be accurately applied to Cheney wouldn't be considered proper for a family newspaper.

    Hey GOP! You'll get my Obamacare when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. And thanks to Obamacare, that just may be awhile.

    by jazzmaniac on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:03:12 AM PDT

    •  Please don't use term boob as an insult. My boo... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, ditsylilg

      Please don't use term boob as an insult. My boobs are just fine, thank you. You are implying that comparing him to a woman is an insult, which is not your intention I think.

      •  Oddly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro, ditsylilg

        You made me think how the Hays Office was okay with using the term boob for an idiot, as in some Three Stooges or Laurel & Hardy movie titles. They'd probably recoil at using it as a term for breast. Do figure....

        "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

        by Stude Dude on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:21:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I thought "boob" or "booby" referred to the bird (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zinman, zozie, Mark Sumner

        which is well-known for it's naive, trusting, and rather dim-witted nature--named for the Spanish word bobo, meaning "stupid".:

        From Google:

        noun: boob; plural noun: boobs
        a foolish or stupid person.
        "why was that boob given a key investigation?"
        an embarrassing mistake.

        early 20th century: abbreviation of booby.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:36:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Boob," no. Psychopath, you betcha. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratcityreprobate, ditsylilg, gffish

      A sick piece of shxt who lives in a fantasy world that revolves around him and his many hatreds.

      And back in 2006 in New York City, Dick Cheney and Bibi Netanyahu were present in the same room at the same time without the opening of a Magic Portal to Hell.

      Surprise, surprise..... Or maybe we missed something.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

      by waterstreet2013 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:11:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  funny how all those American people and pundits (30+ / 0-)

    who enthusiastically cheered the Iraq and Afghanistan wars back when they started, and when they gave Dubya a record 90% approval rating for it, and when even the Democrats were griping not that the war was wrong but that Dubya was screwing it up and WE could do a better job of WINNING it--NOW have decided that it wasn't such a great idea after all.

    The US doesn't mind if we invade small countries that didn't do anything to us, or if we invade unilaterally without UN approval, or if we install a puppet regime that served us instead of serving its own people--the US has after all routinely done those things for half a century, all over the world. What the American people and pundits REALLY mind is that we LOST. We like our wars the same way we like our pizzas--cheap, done on demand, and finished in 15 minutes.

    As a nation, we haven't learned a thing from Iraq and Afghanistan--except "Don't lose".

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:18:10 AM PDT

  •  Leonard Pitts, Jr. is right (13+ / 0-)

    But I think he didn't include enough statistical evidence to make his case. All over the country there are black citizens who have no right to vote, can't even register to vote, because they've been convicted of felonies that a majority of Americans nowadays don't even think should even be crimes.

    You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

    by mstep on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:31:37 AM PDT

  •  Reince Preibus tweet (6+ / 0-)

    Please pick your favorite in the linked poll!

    A list of poll choices (if you don't feel like participating in an RNC poll). There's a lot of them:
    Kelly Ayotte
    Haley Barbour
    John Bolton (?!!?)
    Jeb Bush
    Herman Cain
    Ben Carson
    Chris Christie
    Ted Cruz
    Mitch Daniels
    Newt Gingrich
    Nicki Haley
    Mike Huckabee

    But wait, there's more!!

    Bobby Jindal
    John Kasich
    Peter King
    Susana Martinez
    Sarah Palin
    Rand Paul
    Ron Paul
    Tim Pawlenty
    Mike Pence
    Rick Perry
    Rob Portman
    Condi Rice
    Marco Rubio
    Paul Ryan
    Brian Sandoval
    Rick Santorum
    Tim Scott
    John Thune

    This is getting ridiculous...

    Scott Walker
    Allen West.

    If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

    by skohayes on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:54:47 AM PDT

  •  Juan Williams... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Debflyer, gffish

       ...if anything, is a counter-argument to the Civil Rights Act. What an absolute atrocity of a pundit.

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:55:43 AM PDT

  •  Crowdsourcing the search for near-earth asteroids: (7+ / 0-)


    I liked the idea of shared-computer analysis of SETI signals just for the fun of it, but NE asteroids are a lot more important. "Hello" from them could mean "goodbye."

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:06:41 AM PDT

  •  Hoo boy... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, ditsylilg
    At what was billed as the first annual international conference on men’s issues, feminists were ruining everything.

    “I call it the evil empire,” Erin Pizzey, the British founder of one of the first domestic violence shelters and a staunch anti-feminist, said Friday, borrowing Ronald Reagan’s description of the Soviet Union. “We need to go after them. We cannot allow this to continue. And if we don’t stop it, I don’t see a future for marriage, for love, or for anything.”

    “We need to name names,” Pizzey said, “and first on my list is Hillary Clinton.” One of the few overtly partisan moments at the conference, it drew loud cheers and applause from the attendees.

    If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

    by skohayes on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:20:32 AM PDT

  •  Result in Iraq easily predictable. (7+ / 0-)

    Looking back at my correspondence of the time I find March 19, 2003. After noting I've more often been characterized as "warmonger" (wrongly) than "peacenik" this thing was idiocy on the gallop. After noting that I was pissed at the old 100 hour war with people just shocked at the "Highway of Death"

    Perhaps I'm being unfair because when I heard of the "Hundred Hour War" while watching clips of the "Highway of Death" my reaction was shock. When I heard that those political types were horrified by that highway I wondered what they thought all this was about. It is about making Falaise Gaps! Go read your history about the gap or the Falaise pocket if the term is strange. It is about calling in massive artillery on retreating forces, even those containing refugees, to make sure they are not there and organized another day. Now we had General Powell, who'd made the speech about "cutting off and kill it" about the Iraq's army involved in what I can only imagine as the neat political ploy of the "Hundred Hour War" before that job is finished.
    I explained my objections to the venture that gang planned in detail with these extracts:
    In my considered view it is a plan based on hope, smoke and mirrors. That view is shared by real experts in the region. An equally likely result is increased instability of a nasty sort. When I saw Paul Wolfowitz, in repudiating an estimate from the Army's top general, testifying indicating that Iraq had no history of internal ethnic strife I could only shake my head. As for democracy in the region? It is probably more likely to bring about Islamic states that are hostile than anything we would like to see. But we see a particular arrogance in this bunch of civilians without military experience when dealing with people who've made military knowledge their lives.
    I hope we are lucky. I hope our people get home safely, but also know they are dreaming if they think it is going to be a quick trip. I feel for the troops I've heard hoping for a quick war and return home. They somehow forget or haven't quite realized the occupation that very likely will not be easy or short. We don't have an Army built for occupation. Our military is counter force. That is entirely different from occupation force—that takes lots of people on the ground exposed to attrition. I can now only wish our people well, but I never confuse support for our forces placed in harm's way with support for the politicians who unwisely do so.

    Just look at Belfast, West Bank, Malaya, Kenya for the sort of thing needed. Oh, but we did it in Germany and Japan! Consider those cultures a moment. Both became dangerous because they had populations that were highly disciplined with undue respect for authority, any authority. Our conquering troops in Germany were met with heel clicking mayors asking what was expected. In Japan there were bows and Imperial troops placed themselves under our command. Think that will happen in Iraq? Sweet dreams again. It could, if we hit boxcars toss after toss. I have considered the path against the real desirability of eliminating such filth as Saddam. At this time, with that country no clear and present danger (Korea, the ignored, may well be!) I find this obsession Quixotic. Nope, gamblers of this sort in high office can only lead to eventual disaster.

    The fucking gamblers in the White House had the good luck to have real military people that got the initial job done even as they worried about some idiocies imposed by their civilian chief, Rummy, on even that. The rest of their tosses were largely snake eyes and our people on the ground paid.

    It was pretty sucky to have to just sit there and watch this train wreck develop. Dick Cheney's shelf life had gone bad then and it is now just putrid.

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

    by pelagicray on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:21:58 AM PDT

    •  some of us were saying about Afghanistan, on day (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      on the cusp, ditsylilg, gffish, ybruti

      one, that we'd never win, and we'd be there for years until we ran with our tail between our legs.

      Not to mention that the Taliban didn't plan the 9-11 attacks, didn't finance them, and found out about them the same way we did--by watching it on TV.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:42:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Had A Chance in Afghanistan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish, pelagicray

        The Taliban was requested to either turn over the al Qaeda members who had planned the 9-11 attacks for trial or to allow the US the chance to seize them.  The Taliban refused on both counts, which made them accomplices to the al Qaeda outrages.

        We had a chance in Afghanistan to fix some of the things we had set in motion when we supported the mujahadeen against the old Soviet Union.  Yes, it was going to take years.  Yes, it was going to cost money.  At the end of the day, because of the support we had in 2001-2002 even from inside Afghanistan, we might have pulled it off.  But, we needed to focus on that effort because of its complexity.  Instead, Condi, Rummy, Dick and Dummy hied off to Iraq for their own reasons and yet again abandoned Afghanistan while leaving a minimal occupation force to tamp down any horrible uprisings.  We've paid for six years of inattention there, just as happened after 1989.  Our nation hates history so much that it refuses to pay any attention to even the history we generate ourselves.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:50:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  nope (3+ / 0-)

          The Taliban agreed to consider turning over Bin Laden and others, and even had a religious court rule that it could be done under Islamic law---Islamic law required a host to protect a guest, but the religious court ruled that Bin Laden had himself broken the Islamic law requiring a guest to bring no harm to his host. The Taliban told the US they would turn Bin Laden over for a trial if the US would give them some evidence that Bin Laden had done what the US was accusing him of doing (a standard request made in extradition courts every day all over the world). The US flatly refused.

          And our venture into Afghanistan was a preordained failure from day one. We backed a faction that was unable to win by itself because it lacked support, then installed our own puppet regime that also had no support. Our failure there was just as inevitable as that of the Soviets, and for much the same reasons. We wanted to think we were exceptional.  We're not.  (shrug)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:57:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, and I had no problem in principle with (0+ / 0-)

          doing something there. I had huge, massive problems with how. First of all, the whole approach to the terrorists was a terrorist's dream come true. Provoke your much stronger enemy into blundering fool actions that causes damage to itself and provokes massive objections among the previously neutral. If there were ever a perfect fool for terrorists it was the Bush administration.

          For a time after 9/11, particularly before Iraq idiocy drumming began, when we pretty much had the world's governing bodies on our side—even some that had been adversaries we did have a chance. It was blown in probably the most spectacularly self destructive scheme by a major military power since Hitler's gamble switching from invading Britain to invading the USSR and opening a two front war.

          Baring some information I can barely imagine a much better approach, one I'd certainly have insisted my staff give me some damn good reasons for not using, would have been act the too cautious in response while unleashing every possible covert force, ours, allies and opponents in the normal sense to quietly making those terrorist cells go eternally dark. Take the heat for "too little" of a few cruise missiles at those "training sites" that were found while leaving longer surviving cells wondering "whatever happened to . . ." those others.

          Instead we go in noisily, using untrustworthy Afghan factions and then anoint another "friendly" and "Westernized" puppet to then stir internal passions before turning on us. Idiocy. Well used recipe for the disasters we know today.

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

          by pelagicray on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:45:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Disney/ABC/ESPN could render... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CVDem, Samer, tobendaro, gffish

    ...a great public service by offering to underwrite a George Will multi-part retrospective of the early years of Baseball: the wonderful years between the actual genesis of "America's Pastime" and the end of Babe Ruth's career. Tell him he'll get 20 times the resources that Ken Burns had for his wonderful PBS series, but only if he devotes the "attention and effort appropriate to such an important task."

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:41:19 AM PDT

  •  Maybe we need a Milbank-free zone as well! (4+ / 0-)

    You should have warned us that the real idea for the column is that McConnell proves that Boomers ruined the country even though McConnell, Reid, Pelosi-everyone Dana complains about except Boehner-aren't Boomers, they are just "like Boomers".

    And Obama's a Gen-Xer even though he's a Boomer.

    Left unsaid is that Dana, technically a Gen-Xer, is actually an @$$hole.

    Dowd could have written this.

  •  Dick Cheney should have been tried for war crimes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ditsylilg, PrahaPartizan, buffie

    The we're looking forwards and not backwards deal (whistle-blowers need not apply) didn't work out so well.

    Obama and Holder should have followed their oaths and upheld the law.

  •  Collegen sexual assaults (0+ / 0-)

    When I first went to college, they gave everyone a gender-specific goodie box full of sample sized products college students could try and hopefully (from the marketers perspective) buy the full sized versions later.  This included, in the box for men, soap, shaving cream, razors, Tylenol, NyQuil and a few other things.  Included in that package was a card that said, "no means no" as a part of a sexual assault prevention campaign.  I know women received the same card in their box since they joked about it.  That was 25 years ago, before the Cleary Act and just before Wyoming became the last state to raise the drinking age to 21.  Unfortunately, not much has changed over the years.

  •  Be sure to read Trudy Rubin today (0+ / 0-)

    Her column in the Philadelphia Inquirer is a must-read. thing is certain: American bombs at this point can achieve little until there is more inclusive leadership in Baghdad that persuades Sunni tribesmen to stop supporting the jihadis. This won't happen without intense U.S. diplomacy. Right now, Kerry and Obama need to focus nonstop on Iraq.

    If Cheney wants to be useful, he should encourage such a White House focus while showing some humility. Or else he just should just shut up.

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