ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [244] -- Droning On

[ Posted Friday, February 8th, 2013 – 18:03 PST ]

We begin with cats and birds this week. Iron-lovers across the land were dismayed by the news that the Monopoly folks were discontinuing their favorite token, but cat-lovers were enthused by the feline token which will take its place. Being America, this was done via online voting. In avian news, the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl. The bird is the word!

Almost as amusing (at least for Lefties) was the news that Karl Rove will be waging full-on civil war with the Tea Party, over in Republicanland. Popcorn supplies in blue states may run dangerously low, as Democrats look forward with glee to the spectacle of the Rove-vs.-Craziness cage match.

The irony is, quite simply, delicious. Rove, now representing the sane wing of the Republican Party, will be battling the intraparty forces of reactionary extremism and silliness that he -- more, perhaps, than any other individual -- helped create. This is of Biblical "reap what you sow" whirlwind proportions. Can Rove put down the forces he called up? Will this Republican-on-Republican violence leave casualties bleeding on the mat? Stay tuned, 2014 is looking like a real showdown!

Over on the Left, there was the spectacle of Senator Dianne Feinstein getting more and more annoyed as Code Pink did what it does so well during a hearing DiFi's committee was attempting to hold on President Obama's nominee for the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. After largely ignoring the drone issue for the last four years, the media has been on a heavy drone diet all week ("droning on" one might even say, if one were looking for a cheap laugh), and these hearings were the highest-profile event in the story yet.

Robot warfare is no longer science fiction. It is reality. Our laws have not caught up with this fact yet. Which has left the door wide open for the Justice Department to just create their own justifications for whatever the president orders. The folks on the Right have a good point -- what would the Left have had to say about such a state of affairs if President Romney were in the Oval Office? Or, for that matter (shudder), what do you think President McCain would have done with such sweeping power?

Up until now, President Obama has mostly gotten a pass for his extension of the drone warfare that began under President Bush. No matter where you stand on the issue, it's a discussion that is indeed long overdue.

In other monarchical news, so to speak, was the announcement of the discovery of the remains of King Richard III, under a parking lot. You just can't make this stuff up, folks. Somewhere, Joni Mitchell is laughing, I'm sure.

On a personal note, why did seemingly everyone ignore the best Super Bowl commercials in their "favorite" lists? The ads with Stevie Wonder which tied into New Orleans voodoo theme (as well as the whole "Superstition" ad campaign) were hilarious! Didn't make me run out and buy a certain brand of beer or anything, but I certainly thought the ads deserved more attention than they got.

Which brings us full circle, from silly news to serious and back to silly once again. The only thing to do, at this point, is just move on to our own awards.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week was Representative Jared Polis from the "Rocky Mountain High" state of Colorado. He and a Republican House member from Oregon introduced legislation this week in the House of Representatives in the hopes of interjecting some sanity into federal marijuana laws.

One bill would allow states such as Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana if their citizens saw fit to do so, without running afoul of contradictory (and outdated) federal law. Their second bill would impose a federal excise tax on marijuana sales in such states.

There are many ideas for revamping the Draconian federal laws on marijuana, and each individual idea can be debated on the merits. Details aside, though, the fact that Jared and a Republican co-sponsor are even introducing bills is a good sign. In previous Congresses, this sort of effort was usually headed by two men (Barney Frank and Ron Paul) who are no longer House members. So it is good to see this particular legislative baton being picked up in bipartisan fashion.

It is now over three months since the election. Colorado and Washington have signaled they are charting a new path. The Obama administration has yet to respond to the will of the voters in these two states in any meaningful fashion. This is a disgrace, and the longer it goes on the more disgraceful it gets.

More power to Polis and any other Democrats who get on board such efforts. If Democrats aren't careful, the whole marijuana issue could get championed by the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. Even such hard-core Tea Partiers as Virginia's attorney general are starting to show signs of rethinking their position on the issue. After cringing in fear of being painted as "soft on the Drug War" for the past few decades, Democrats need to realize that the times they are a-changing. If they're not careful, they'll be left on the "wrong side of history" on this one. In fact, I'd encourage everyone to call up their own House member and urge them to support Polis' legislation. At this point, it couldn't hurt.

For continuing in the footsteps of Barney Frank, Representative Jared Polis is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. Good luck to him, and his legislation!

[Congratulate Representative Jared Polis on his House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

I must admit, I haven't had time this week to read the leaked drone "white paper," which (from all accounts) redefines "imminent" as "something far less than normal people think when they use the word 'imminent,' to say nothing of what the dictionary defines it as." The upshot is that the White House, backed up by the Justice Department, seem to be laying down a policy of "we can kill whomever we wish whenever and wherever we wish, and we're not going to tell you about it, so there." The logic used brings to mind John Yoo, of the previous administration, from all accounts.

What to call such logic, our resident grammarian wonders: Yoo-vian? Yoo-esque? Yoo-like? Yoo-tastic? Well, maybe not. But if we're going to get into such territory, it seems like we're going to need some way of modifying "logic" or "reasoning" with John Yoo's name. Feel free to coin your own suggestions in the comments, as always.

But until we actually sit down and read the legalese, we feel we can't hand out more than (Dis-)Honorable Mentions to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, at this point.

Instead, we're turning to a state that has really been a contender in the "Most Corrupt Democrats Representing Us" category for quite a number of years, now (see: Blagojevich, Rod). I speak of Illinois, home of ex-House member Jesse Jackson Jr., who just admitted he was guilty of hanky-panky with the campaign funds. His plea bargain reportedly will include some jail time, which is enough right there to win this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

But we have a deeper grudge with Jackson. He knew he had been caught red-handed quite a while ago. He knew he was guilty, and he knew he was going down. The proper thing to do at that point would have been to either resign his seat and preserve some shred of dignity, or at the very least announce he wasn't running for re-election, to clear the 2012 field for a Democratic contender to hold onto his seat in Congress.

Instead, Jackson ran for re-election and won. Days afterward, the news broke of the federal investigation he was facing, and he announced his retirement. What this means is that the state of Illinois now has to run a special election in his district, which is going to cost a pile of money. If I was the judge sentencing Jackson, I would make part of his sentence paying the state back every penny of the costs of this special election. Because the only reason it is happening is because Jackson's ego was too large to admit that his political career was over.

His plea bargain today just confirms what we've believed all along. Jackson knew he was guilty, he knew he was about to be exposed, and he refused to do the right thing. For that, and for the crimes he committed with other people's money, Jesse Jackson Jr. is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week.

[You can try to contact Jesse Jackson Jr. on his old campaign webpage, to let him know what you think of his actions, or you can wait a bit and write to him in care of the federal prison he's headed towards.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 244 (2/8/13)

Next Tuesday, President Obama will give his State Of The Union speech to a joint session of Congress. Since he's already laid out the case for his political philosophy so well in his Inaugural Address, we can expect that Tuesday's speech will be a "laundry list" of what Obama wants to accomplish in his second term.

Second terms are when presidents make every attempt to cement their "legacy" in history. Second terms are for pushing whatever didn't get done from the first-term agenda. Obama did manage to get an impressive amount of things done during his first term, but there are obviously quite a few things left on the list of things to do.

So today, we're going to offer up our suggestions of what Obama should announce in his upcoming speech. These aren't the things I expect Obama to say (just to be clear), these are things I would really like Obama to say. At some point during the speech, after the high-falutin' language at the beginning of any such speech, we'll get to the laundry list of agenda items. Here's what I think should be on that list.

 

1
   Fix the foreclosure mess

This is possibly the biggest failure from Obama's first term. Accompanying this announcement should be news that Obama "accepting the resignations" of a few folks who are standing in the way of ever fixing the problem.

"When I took office, America was in the midst of economic crisis, due in part to a burst bubble in the housing market. Since then, we have bailed out the banks and we have bailed out Wall Street. If you look at the stock market, you'll see how successful these efforts have been. But we forgot about Main Street while doing so. We tried to implement programs to help families faced with foreclosure, but these programs have so far been badly run and have not helped anywhere near the number of people we thought they would. I am naming a new team to fix the failures of the past, and to finally address the foreclosure crisis with every tool at our disposal. We may come up with new ideas that require congressional action, and when that happens we'd like Congress to become involved. The American economy cannot fully recover until we fix this underlying problem. We will fix this problem, because American homeowners deserve it. If we can save Wall Street, we can certainly help fix Main Street as well."

 

2
   Right-to-Vote Amendment

Even though this subject has been addressed in more amendments to the Constitution than any other since the Bill of Rights was ratified, somehow the basic right was never guaranteed. Who could be against such a simple idea?

"This may shock some people, but nowhere in the United States Constitution does it address the basic right of every citizen to cast a vote for the candidates of their choice. The right to vote is never expressly laid out. I call on Congress and state legislatures across the land to fix this omission. We need a 'Right To Vote Amendment' to the Constitution. A guaranteed right of every citizen who has not run afoul of the law needs to be spelled out in plain language -- a few sentences is all it would take. Every voter across America should have this bedrock right confirmed and protected within the highest law of the land. This should not be a partisan issue -- no matter what political party you prefer, you should know that your right to have your voice heard in the selection of your official representatives in high offices and low will never be denied. I call on Congress to pass such an amendment and send it to the states for ratification. The voters of America deserve no less."

 

3
   Path to citizenship

Obama should use the opportunity of his big speech to draw some very hard lines in the sand on a few issues. He needs to spend political capital by threatening to veto bills that fall short of his goals. This is a good place to start.

"I am heartened that a bipartisan group of senators has started seriously working on a plan to reform our immigration laws, and to address the eleven million people who are now living in the shadows of American society. While there are many aspects of such legislation we can disagree upon or try to find some compromises to solve, I can only accept a bill that will truly solve the problem with fairness. Any comprehensive immigration law which arrives on my desk without a path to citizenship contained within it will be sent back. This is not negotiable. We cannot legally create some sort of second-class status of immigrant. People come to America for a new life, and all they are asking for is a chance to participate in the American dream. Offering them a status in which they are legally allowed to be here, but barred forever from expressing their voice at the ballot box is simply unacceptable. The biggest difference between a green card holder and a naturalized citizen is being able to vote. That is what this fight is about. And I intend to stand firm on the issue, and will veto any comprehensive immigration bill that falls short of this goal."

 

4
   Close the gun show loopholes

While Obama may express support for a number of different ideas on the gun control issue, there ought to be one where he similarly draws a line in the sand. This is the best one to choose.

"Congress is currently debating new gun control legislation for the first time in a long time. The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has provided urgency for tackling this important issue. While there are many proposals out there which have varying degrees of merit, there is one idea that everyone in this chamber should be able to get behind -- passing truly universal background checks for all gun sales. Close the loopholes. The American people demand it. What good is a background check at a gun store if a person can attend a gun show and buy the same gun without such a check? This is a basic issue we should all be able to agree upon. Close every loophole, pass a real universal background check bill, and I will sign it the same day. There are other legislative ideas worth passing, but this should be seen as a bare minimum. Congress needs to act, and they need to act swiftly. Close the loopholes -- all of them."

 

5
   Grand bargain

Use a term Republicans have been getting mileage out of right back at them. It's only fair.

"For the past few years, we've heard from one side of the aisle over and over again that the biggest problem in the business community is 'uncertainty' over the economy. What is holding the recovery back is this uncertainty for the future. Well, if that really is the problem, then Congress has been doing everything in its power to make things as uncertain as possible -- for quite a while now. We stumble along from one budget crisis to the next, and it seems like they're occurring every month or maybe even every couple of weeks. The business community looks at Washington and sees short-term panic-mode budget bills passed at the absolute last second -- or sometimes, even beyond that last second. This is no way to run a country, ladies and gentlemen. We cannot keep kicking the can down the road every few months. We have to get our house in order. We have to come together for an agreement where each side is going to have to give a little, and neither side is going to get everything they want. And when we reach such an agreement, it needs to go to the floor of both houses of Congress for a vote, without the usual parliamentary trickery. Not every Democrat will vote for such a grand bargain, and not every Republican will either. But if we can get an agreement that enough members of both parties can support, then it needs to get a clean vote. Let's put a stop to this endless uncertainty. The uncertainty is not some external thing that comes from elsewhere -- it comes as a direct result of short-term measure after short-term measure. We can -- and we must -- do better than this."

 

6
   Strengthen FEMA

This is probably the only shot Obama will have at getting anything even remotely related to climate change through Congress, sadly.

"We can argue what to do about climate change endlessly here in Congress, but there is one thing that is going to be imperative in the near future. We must expand greatly the ability of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to act after disasters strike. It is an absolute disgrace that it took three months -- a full ninety days -- for Congress to pass disaster relief aid after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. This is unacceptable. It needs to be fixed. I will be proposing adding 50 billion dollars to the budget to put in FEMA's disaster-readiness fund. This money will not be touched until another massive disaster hits America. Look back over the past decade, and you'll see that heading into the future this country simply has got to be better prepared for an increasing level of such enormous disasters to devastate parts of this country. We can argue until we're blue in the face over what to do about climate change, but one thing we should be able to do as a country is to adequately prepare for the consequences which are now all but inevitable. Ninety days to pass disaster relief is ninety days too many. If it takes that long, then each time Congress delays it will only be delaying replenishing this fund, and the victims of large disasters can be taken care of in the meantime. You all should be ashamed of yourselves that I even have to propose such a thing, but that's indeed where we are with today's politics getting in the way of helping people in need."

 

7
   Reform marijuana laws

And finally, one that I know Obama is not going to say, but have to include anyway, just because.

"I will soon be accepting Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation..."

OK, well, that's obviously not going to happen, so let's try again and make it more believable this time:

"I have listened to the voters of Colorado and Washington, and over one-third of the states of this Union who have expressed their wishes that the federal law regarding marijuana is outdated, harmful, and in dire need of reform. Rather than continue to bury our heads in the sand here in Washington, we simply must come up with a more workable legal framework. This does not mean getting rid of all federal drug laws regarding marijuana, but it does mean we've got to make them a lot more flexible to allow individual states to experiment with their own ideas on how marijuana should be regulated. I've had some experience experimenting with marijuana myself, in the past [pause for laughter]. I don't think my life would have been better had I been busted when I was a teenager -- in fact, I probably wouldn't be in front of you right now if that had happened. I was lucky, to put it another way. But not everyone is so lucky. We as a country have been fighting this battle for a very long time, but it can never be truly 'won.' Instead of destroying hundreds of thousands of young people's lives with very harsh penalties for something I did as a youngster, we need to change our tactics. This will begin with allowing any state who chooses to legalize marijuana for either medicinal or recreational use. We need to rewrite the Controlled Substances Act to allow for states to be true laboratories of democracy on the issue. If Congress will not act, then I will instruct my Attorney General to do what he can under the power federal drug laws already give him. And I'd like to thank my fellow former members of the 'Choom Gang' who made it to be with us here tonight [points to balcony, where several Hawai'ian ex-stoners sit]. Long time no see, guys!"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

48 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [244] -- Droning On”

  1. [1] 
    Hawk Owl wrote:

    Compliments on as deliciously sly a bit of punning as you've penned in some time, i,e, the ref. to Democrats gorging on salty popcorn while watching the spectacle of the "Rove vs. Republican craziness cage match" and then your even slyer grace note of Joni Mitchell's "Parking Lot" song re Richard III's disinterment.
    Delicious, just delicious.

  2. [2] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Wait—There's a sane wing in the Republican Party? (Who knew?!) And—they're represented by Karl Rove?! LOL

    Where can I get a program? How can we tell the crazies from the crazies without a program?!

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Robot warfare is no longer science fiction. It is reality. Our laws have not caught up with this fact yet. Which has left the door wide open for the Justice Department to just create their own justifications for whatever the president orders. The folks on the Right have a good point -- what would the Left have had to say about such a state of affairs if President Romney were in the Oval Office? Or, for that matter (shudder), what do you think President McCain would have done with such sweeping power?

    Be still my fetter'ed heart!!! :D

    I ask this question almost DAILY here in Weigantia..

    I have yet to hear a satisfactory answer, although Joshua's recent comment did come close.. :D

    Up until now, President Obama has mostly gotten a pass for his extension of the drone warfare that began under President Bush.

    Yes.. Why IS that??

    No matter where you stand on the issue, it's a discussion that is indeed long overdue.

    Amen to frak'in THAT!!! :D

    On a personal note, why did seemingly everyone ignore the best Super Bowl commercials in their "favorite" lists? The ads with Stevie Wonder which tied into New Orleans voodoo theme (as well as the whole "Superstition" ad campaign) were hilarious! Didn't make me run out and buy a certain brand of beer or anything, but I certainly thought the ads deserved more attention than they got.

    At the risk of invoking the DMCA gods (have had my fill of THEM, I can tell you!!) can anyone point me to a good torrent of the Super Bowl commercials?? All I can ever find is that lame Pre-Game special that lists the top 10 SB commercials ever. While I have always liked Alisha Taylor since Ghost Whisperer, that QB guy is a pain.. :D

    Anywho, any assistance would be most appreciated..

    I must admit, I haven't had time this week to read the leaked drone "white paper," which (from all accounts) redefines "imminent" as "something far less than normal people think when they use the word 'imminent,' to say nothing of what the dictionary defines it as." The upshot is that the White House, backed up by the Justice Department, seem to be laying down a policy of "we can kill whomever we wish whenever and wherever we wish, and we're not going to tell you about it, so there." The logic used brings to mind John Yoo, of the previous administration, from all accounts.

    What the hell, CW!!!???

    Is it my birthday!!!!??? :D

    "Congress is currently debating new gun control legislation for the first time in a long time. The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has provided urgency for tackling this important issue. While there are many proposals out there which have varying degrees of merit, there is one idea that everyone in this chamber should be able to get behind -- passing truly universal background checks for all gun sales. Close the loopholes. The American people demand it. What good is a background check at a gun store if a person can attend a gun show and buy the same gun without such a check? This is a basic issue we should all be able to agree upon. Close every loophole, pass a real universal background check bill, and I will sign it the same day. There are other legislative ideas worth passing, but this should be seen as a bare minimum. Congress needs to act, and they need to act swiftly. Close the loopholes -- all of them."

    As I mentioned previously, the problem with this is that there is absolutely NOTHING effective that can be used to CLOSE the loopholes...

    In effect, it's the cart before the horse..

    Fix the background check process. Nationalize it. Universalize it. Make it relevant. Expand it..

    THEN fix the loopholes...

    All in all, ANOTHER FTP that I can get behind...

    ONE of us is mellowing in our old age!! :D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    On another note...

    Looks like Hagel's nomination is sunk..

    And ya'all can't blame this one on the GOP.

    More Dems had a problem with Hagel than Republicans...

    Proof positive (as if I really NEED any more proof) that Obama is NOT perfect...

    That he CAN'T rule by fiat as Emperor Barack The First...

    Of course, there is the very real possibility that Obama will say to Congress, "Oh yea!??? Watch this!!" and put Hagel in at SecDef anyways...

    I would REALLY like to see Obama try....

    I really would! :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hawk & LD

    Really!???

    The non-FTP part of the commentary dealt nearly exclusively with Drones and Obama's overreach and all you can comment on is the one little blurb about Rove??

    Bias much??? ;D

    Didn't the words "discussion long overdue" mean anything?? :D

    LD,

    Where can I get a program? How can we tell the crazies from the crazies without a program?!

    Now, com' on! That's my line!! :D

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    On still ANOTHER note.. (it IS Friday, after all :D)

    Lew’s Cayman Islands Fund a Likely Issue at Confirmation Hearings
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/lews-cayman-islands-fund-a-likely-issue-at-confirmation-hearings/

    If the recent Presidential Election taught us ANYTHING, it taught us that Cayman Island accounts are bad, evil, bad..

    So, what's a Dem doing with a Cayman Island account??

    Something comes to mind.

    Can't quite place it..

    Something about hoisted and Captain Picard...

    Hmmmmmmm

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Okay, Michale, just for you...

    I've never commented on drones before because they are a non-issue. Drones are not robots. They are not autonomous. They are remote controlled, like missiles. Drones are merely remote controlled sniper platforms, and the military's been using snipers since the invention of war.

    Nothing about the technology changes what they do, when they do it, or how they do it. What's changed is their ability to get in close enough proximity to be able to do it. (Well, that and the fact that no American lives are risked now in attempting to do it.) So the only Americans who need tremble in terror before this "new threat" are those who live in fortified compounds. In urban America, for example, there's not a thing a drone can do that an Army Ranger couldn't have done for, at least, the last fifty years. In rural America its always been even easier. So I really don't get what people are wetting their shorts over.

    As for the "concern" over collateral damage, if a military target is hiding among non-combatants you've got two choices, pass on the target or risk collateral damage. Its always that way, no matter what weapon you might use, which is why military targets hide among non-combatants.

    And I guarantee you the collateral damage from drone attacks will be less than it was from B52 bombardments, even less than it was from Cobra attack helicopter strikes. So explain to me why decreasing the danger to American troops and non-combatants alike so terrifies people?!

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    HawkOwl [1] -

    Thanks for the kind words. There's a great book to read called "The Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey which tells the Richard III story from the point of view of a modern detective recovering in a hospital and bored out of his mind. He looks into the whole RIII myth as a criminal investigation ("who killed the two boys in the Tower?"), and finds out RIII was framed by Thomas More, with a lot of help from the Bard of Avon. Anyway, like I said, a short little detective book that's a really fun (and convincing) read....

    And if you liked the Joni Mitchell, click on the first link in this article. "Surfin' Bird" by the Trashmen, 1963. A classic, and fun to play if you're from Maryland these days... heh. The bird IS the word. Papa-mmm-ma-mau-mau...

    LewDan [2] -

    "PROgrams... getcher PROgrams rahtcheer... / POPcorn! Hot salty POPcorn, only a dollah..."

    Heh. You can already hear the crowds in the sunshine, can't you?

    :-)

    OK, I can see answering Michale is going to require some typing, so I'm going to do that in a separate comment. More in a bit...

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [3] -

    Yeah, well, there's that old saying about even a broken clock being right twice a day. Heh.

    Kidding aside, I must in all honesty admit you are right about this one. Not EVERY one, just this one. I would point out that some in the Lefty universe have indeed been raising a stink over this for a long time, but they have mostly been treated as voices crying in the wilderness. The media certainly didn't pay much attention. And you're even probably right that for the past year or so, many Lefties were more concerned with the election than dinging Obama. I'm guilty of that one, myself, but then the election turned out OK, so we're of a mind to move on at this point.

    I see the whole thing as technology outstripping justice. The legislative process is slow and ponderous for the most part, and also for the most part is conducted by people who are so old they (many of them) have problems realizing how fast the world changes these days. We are still struggling with legal issues over biology (such as in-vitro birth) tech that has been around for decades. Drones are such a fundamentally new concept (lethal drones, I should say) in warfare that the laws are woefully outdated.

    I also see it, as do you, as a separation of powers issue. The president shouldn't ever be "all-powerful" because that leads down a very dark road no matter who is leading us there. I even tossed in a joke, just for you (go back and find the word "monarchical"...).

    I haven't written about drones this week because I'm still pondering what to say, really. It's a very complex issue, and I'm not sure the remedies that have been proposed are any better (do we really need more "secret courts"??). I will address the issue soon, but haven't quite gotten there.

    But I will say, quite publicly, that your arguments have been excellent ones... this time. While usually hyperbole, this time around your "what would Lefties be saying if it was Bush" argument is indeed a sobering point.

    Two other things: nobody's got a "John Yoo" suggestion? "Yoo-ian" maybe?

    And what you need to do is search on "Stevie Wonder" and "super bowl ad" -- there are two of them, the one with the lucky chair is the second one (seeing them in order is probably better, the first one sets the whole thing up). Dunno about other ads, wasn't impressed by many of them although the Clydesdale one was good in a tear-jerky kind of way.

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Hawk & LD

    Really!???

    The non-FTP part of the commentary dealt nearly exclusively with Drones and Obama's overreach and all you can comment on is the one little blurb about Rove??

    Really!???

    All you can comment on is drones when the Ravens won the FREAKIN' SUPER BOWL?!?

    Heh. We all have our biases...

    -CW

  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LewDan [7] -

    I hear your point, but the next generation of drones can indeed act completely independently, up to and including lethal missions. So far the Pentagon swears every drone has an operator, but that hasn't stopped the technology from marching forward. Of course, as you argue, even a drone acting on its own with no human intervention isn't all that different than what a cruise missile does, at least on the legal or moral or military tactics point of view.

    Your comment, though, is indeed food for thought. Excellent breakdown of the functional realities of different military tactics and capabilities.

    -CW

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    I've never commented on drones before because they are a non-issue. Drones are not robots. They are not autonomous. They are remote controlled, like missiles. Drones are merely remote controlled sniper platforms, and the military's been using snipers since the invention of war.

    Once again, I am captivated by your knowledge of military hardware...

    I would love to know your background..

    Having said that, you missed my point.

    It's not the weapon that is being used.

    It's WHO the weapon is being used ON...

    As an avowed progressive, I would think you would have a problem with this Administration's policy as outlined in the DOJ White Paper vis a vis targeting and executing American civilians w/o the pretext of a trial or even DUE PROCESS as it is defined in the US Constitution..

    Further, I would think, as afore mentioned avowed Progressive, that this Administration's attempt to redefine "imminent" would give you pause..

    Please understand.. *I* don't have a problem with any of the afore..

    I guess I am just somewhat surprised (to put it mildly) that you and I are on the same page.. :D

    CW,

    I haven't written about drones this week because I'm still pondering what to say, really. It's a very complex issue, and I'm not sure the remedies that have been proposed are any better (do we really need more "secret courts"??). I will address the issue soon, but haven't quite gotten there.

    I wait with baited breath.. :D

    But you seem to be making the same mistake that LD did.. I don't much care about the technological issue.. And I readily agree with LD that drone strikes are much more surgical than say a cruise missile or a fully loaded BUFF..

    I even don't care that Obama is targeting American citizens without trial or even Due Process as it is commonly defined.

    I even EVEN don't care that the Obama Administration has redefined "imminent" to mean that someone just had an idea on how to kill innocent people and mentioned it to someone else.

    None of that bothers me on iota... I am all in for ALL of that and I sleep like a baby..

    What bothers me most about it all is that it doesn't appear to bother any of YOU at all...

    Like I said.. Obama is everything that Darth Cheney wanted to be and THEN some and the Left in General (and Weigantians in particular) doesn't seem to bother even mentioning it, let alone making a Bush-induced stink about it..

    I mean, if progressives can be more Bush/Cheney than Bush/Cheney, the whole world has just gone mad!! :D

    Your comment, though, is indeed food for thought. Excellent breakdown of the functional realities of different military tactics and capabilities.

    Iddn't it though??

    I have a feeling that LD might be a closet Michale.. :D

    Now that would just well and truly turn my world topsy turvy!!! :D

    All you can comment on is drones when the Ravens won the FREAKIN' SUPER BOWL?!?

    I quit watching football after 4 dismal seasons of cheering for the Jags.. I told one of my customers that I am not much of a football fan, but I do watch the Jags when they are winning. "So", he says, "You haven't watched them in 5 years, eh??"

    That says it all.. :D

    I also see it, as do you, as a separation of powers issue. The president shouldn't ever be "all-powerful" because that leads down a very dark road no matter who is leading us there. I even tossed in a joke, just for you (go back and find the word "monarchical"...).

    Ahh, that was indeed, subtle. :D

    Call it my overblown ego, but I have a feeling that Weigantians would condemn Obama a lot more if they could do it w/o appearing to be agreeing with me.. :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Regarding drones: Just for everyone's information, it happens that I had a conversation with a military "expert" on drones in 1972, which may, or may not, help provide some perspective, at least regarding the impetus for drone development.

    Drones became attractive to the military for four reasons. I'd say five now, but back then stealth wasn't seen as a major benefit. But, about 80% of a combat aircraft is devoted to maintaining the pilot. This includes a host of safety features from redundant instruments and computational units, oxygen, fire suppression, crush zones, armor, ejection capability, ect. Then there are the purely physical accommodations of the cabin, entry and egress, ect. that help dictate the minimum size of aircraft. And there are pilot dependent performance issues such as not exceeding the G-forces in maneuvers the human body can withstand, and producing sufficient power to move all of it and all the additional fuel the weight of the pilot and all that attendant support gear require.

    If the pilot could be physically separated from the aircraft, therefor you could build the same design at least 80% smaller and still have better performance, flying faster and farther. And second, such aircraft would also be 80% cheaper to produce and maintain.

    Third, it would obviously be safer for the pilots to remain outside of the combat zone. But it would also be cheaper and more efficient, as trained, experienced combat pilots are a rare and expensive commodity to produce and maintain. Drone pilots are not only much less subject to loss but, forth, they could, theoretically, pilot multiple drones simultaneously.

    As you see, drones weren't developed for nefarious covert operations, they're simply a logical and predictable response to inherent design constraints of combat aircraft; constraints which until recently, we simply haven't had the technology to overcome.

    IMHO the "concern" over drones is exactly the same as the sixties fear of "black helicopters," that, even today, is still fodder for conspiracy theorists; and is just as unfounded. (Or no more legitimate. Take your pick.)

  14. [14] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    After what Andy Jackson did to the indigenous native American Peoples, what successive Presidents, (of both parties,) did during my own Vietnam era, and more recently, what your own beloved Bush did to Iraq, I've no love at all for the potential abuse of power inherent in the position of Commander In Chief. But its always been there. And has always, from time to time, been abused. I simply see no reason for any sudden heightened concern. There has always been reason for great concern.

    And, let me add that legislative "solutions" like the War Powers Act and other Congressional restrictions on Presidential authority may make people feel better but they don't accomplish anything. For one thing nothing in the Constitution gives Congress the authority to legislate oversight of the Executive Branch. Congress is, of course, free to legislate anything they please. That, unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on your viewpoint,) doesn't mean its Constitutional or that the President either will or must obey. The Constitution assigns the role of Commander In Chief to the President. It is not subject to Congressional oversight or approval. Congressional regulations regarding the President's role as CIC Constitutionally are merely advisory. That doesn't mean Congress can't try to put some teeth into them through impeachment, but it does mean that the only Constitutional control over the CIC is impeachment.

    It behooves us, all of us, to elect Presidents who can be trusted with the power being CIC entails, because Congressional legislation can't protect us. Its up to us to protect ourselves. Seems fair to me. So, IMHO leading people to think Congress and the law protect them from abuses of the CIC does us all a disservice.

  15. [15] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LewDan -

    More good points. Especially on the separation of powers thing.

    Michale -

    Actually, I don't think it is "who" -- to me it's really "where". Drones are being used in places we're not at war with, and these places can be very far away from where the drone is launched (the newer ones stay up 30-40 hours). This is where the legal problems stem from, I believe. I could be wrong, but it hinges on the "act of war" question.

    Drone strikes within a country are, by definition, an act of war. The question is, how does the country's government react? In Yemen, for instance, we seem to have a green light for drone attacks, therefore it's not an issue. But as mentioned above, what would the US say if another country used a drone inside the US -- even if it only took out a "bad guy" from our point of view? I think we'd feel a bit differently if that shoe were on the other foot.

    But then, as I think about it, cruise missiles are much the same. When Clinton used a cruise missile to try to take out OBL, it was indeed an act of war, but it was smoothed over diplomatically. I don't see a drone strike as being all that much different, when looked at as a matter of international law.

    -CW

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, I don't think it is "who" -- to me it's really "where".

    From a legal standpoint, I completely agree...

    My personal belief (which should come as no shock to you :D) is that if a country is harboring terrorists, then the gloves come off..

    Either said country CAN'T or WON'T take action against them, so the US is perfectly within it's rights to do so..

    But from an emotional standpoint I would THINK that, for a progressive, the point WOULD be the WHO...

    It's increasingly hard for me to fathom the apathy I see all around about the fact that an American POTUS has decreed that he has the authority to kill an American citizen w/o a trial or even any semblance of Due Process...

    If it wasn't for the fact that I am so irrationally against terrorists and terrorism, *I* would be outraged at such action...

    But as mentioned above, what would the US say if another country used a drone inside the US -- even if it only took out a "bad guy" from our point of view? I think we'd feel a bit differently if that shoe were on the other foot.

    Say the US won't take action against a man living in BumFuq, Kentucky who planned and executed a terrorist attack that killed 1000 people in the UK.. The UK sends in a drone to kill the bastard.

    Assuming that his guilt is not in question, I have to honestly say that I probably would not have a problem with that. I might be pissed at collateral damage (if any) but I would recognize the UK's right to take action, even if it is on foreign soil.. If the US (for whatever reason) is protecting the terrorist, then we lose all right (maybe not legally, but certainly morally and ethically) to complain when the attacked country takes action on their own..

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    If it wasn't for the fact that I am so irrationally against terrorists and terrorism, *I* would be outraged at such action...

    After re-reading this, I have to say that I don't think my hatred of terrorists is irrational at all, considering..

    But I am not sure what better word would fit..

    If only we had a teacher here in Wegantia who could assist with grammar choices... :D

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:
  19. [19] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Unlike Bush, Obama isn't violating the constitution. The constitution defines federal government obligations to those arrested, those to be prosecuted, those accused of committing crimes, Bush ignored those constitutional obligations in violation of the law. There are no constitutional federal obligations or restrictions on the CIC's use of the military for national security.

    As for Iraq, it wasn't that invading was illegal, it was that we didn't do it for security reasons, it was that Bush lied to the people and Congress to justify it, it was that he got over 4,000 Americans killed and maimed over 600,000 Iraqis without just cause. Having the authority doesn't grant blanket immunity. Improperly using authority is what abuse of authority means. It was that Bush's actions constituted abuse of authority and illegal activities, therefor, "high crimes and misdemeanors" that I railed against.

    And we are days away from honoring two Presidents, one of whom used deadly military force against his fellow citizens collaborating with the British, on American soil, the other of whom used deadly military force against American citizens, also on American soil, in a war that killed more Americans than any other war in history.

    If you're surprised I'm not outraged by this President ordering the military assassination of an American citizen on foreign soil, I have to ask you, just why do you think I should be?

    Plenty of Progressives are "outraged," but I, personally, don't think they've a constitutional leg to stand on. And they can only pretend to be shocked and surprised if they are ignorant of American history and what the constitutional authority of Commander in Chief is.

  20. [20] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Didn't the words "discussion long overdue" mean anything?? :D

    Hey Michale. I just commented on this on the last thread as well but I'm with you. It's something which I'm glad has come up as an issue.

    It's still odd to me though that some of the more recent attacks on Obama from the Right are really liberal arguments. This is my other favorite recent one. Even if it weren't false, it just seems odd that the right would be arguing for universal healthcare: http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/network.asp

    -David

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's still odd to me though that some of the more recent attacks on Obama from the Right are really liberal arguments.

    So what??

    That just means you should completely agree with them..

    Do you??? :D

    LD,

    Unlike Bush, Obama isn't violating the constitution. The constitution defines federal government obligations to those arrested, those to be prosecuted, those accused of committing crimes, Bush ignored those constitutional obligations in violation of the law. There are no constitutional federal obligations or restrictions on the CIC's use of the military for national security.

    Bush and Obama are doing the EXACT same thing..

    Yet, Bush violated the Constitution and Obama does not..

    Can you explain that???

    Bush had COMPLETE Congressional Authorization for EVERY ACTION taken.

    This is fact.

    Obama has ignored Congress has acted (wait for it, David :D) unilaterally in violation of the law..

    This is also fact..

    So, explain the process whereas two Presidents perform the EXACT same action for the EXACT same reason, yet one is violating the Constitution and the other is not...

    Bonus points for stating the truth..

    One is Dem, the other is GOP.... :D

    And we are days away from honoring two Presidents, one of whom used deadly military force against his fellow citizens collaborating with the British, on American soil, the other of whom used deadly military force against American citizens, also on American soil, in a war that killed more Americans than any other war in history.

    Are you really going to go THAT far back in history???

    AND...

    Do you REALLY want to use THAT as your precedent??

    Because, when we DO get a GOP President (and we will, hopefully sooner rather than later) I shudder to think of the precedent that you are setting with that...

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you REALLY want to use THAT as your precedent??

    I mean, seriously... Think about it..

    Do we want ANY POTUS to be able to say, "We're at war! I can do ANYTHING I want to ANY American, no questions asked!!!"

    SERIOUSLY!!??

    I have, indeed, entered the Mirror Universe..

    Spock has a beard, right???

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    As for Iraq, it wasn't that invading was illegal, it was that we didn't do it for security reasons, it was that Bush lied to the people and Congress to justify it, it was that he got over 4,000 Americans killed and maimed over 600,000 Iraqis without just cause.

    It's been WELL established that Bush did not lie..

    Any more than Obama "lied" when he said he would close Gitmo..

    Bush followed faulty intelligence. That is the beginning and the end of the issue..

    The myth that Bush lied is one of the Left's favorites, right up there with Al Gore was elected President in 2000....

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    LewDan wrote:

    LOL—Bush and Obama are doing the EXACT same thing..?" Tell me, just what country is President Obama invading and overthrowing?!

    "Bush had COMPLETE Congressional Authorization for EVERY ACTION taken.

    This is fact.

    Obama has ignored Congress has acted (wait for it, David :D) unilaterally in violation of the law..

    This is also fact..

    So, explain the process whereas two Presidents perform the EXACT same action for the EXACT same reason, yet one is violating the Constitution and the other is not..."

    You got me on that one!LOL So, how is it you claim "two Presidents perform the EXACT same action for the EXACT same reason, yet one is violating the Constitution and the other is not...?" I already explained exactly how what Bush did was not the same as Obama's actions, and why it wasn't constitutional. But, typically, you simply make false accusations, equivalencies, generalizations, blatantly lie, and regurgitate absolute nonsense; as there are no facts to support your partisan fantasies.

    And, also typical of conservatives, you pretend laws and historical precedents that undermine your delusions magically don't apply, for, apparently, no other reason than they prove you are wrong!

    Please! The evidence proved Bush lied before we ever got to Iraq! First he obtains a bogus "authorization," when Congress has no constitutional role in "authorizing" military actions, to invade Iraq if U.N. inspections fail. Then he summarily ordered the U.N. inspectors out of Iraq, stating his intention to invade, in defiance of his own phony "authorization!"

    Bush did nothing but lie! It wasn't "faulty intelligence" that trumped up yellowcake and aluminum tubes, not to mention WMDs! It was Bush lies! Just how is the historical fact that you claimed things which were demonstrable untrue, "myths" about lies, rather than actual lies?!

    You cons are ridiculous! You actually seem to believe that reimagining reality into something that might support your prevarications invariably "proves" your point and negates any niggling little mere facts to the contrary! LOL!

  25. [25] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Any President who ejects U.N. inspectors because they couldn't find and decommission WMDs that didn't actually exist, uses the failure to find those nonexistent WMDs as a reason to invade a sovereign nation, maiming 600,000 of its citizens, and getting over 4,000 American soldiers killed, should have been impeached for sheer incompetence even if he had acted in good faith!

  26. [26] 
    LewDan wrote:

    ...But, then, of course Bush was a Republican. And Republicans believe "the buck stops anywhere but here!"

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    LOL—Bush and Obama are doing the EXACT same thing..?" Tell me, just what country is President Obama invading and overthrowing?!

    We're discussing Counter Terrorism operations..

    Any President who ejects U.N. inspectors because they couldn't find and decommission WMDs that didn't actually exist, uses the failure to find those nonexistent WMDs as a reason to invade a sovereign nation, maiming 600,000 of its citizens, and getting over 4,000 American soldiers killed, should have been impeached for sheer incompetence even if he had acted in good faith!

    If you actually believe this, then you must also believe that ALL THOSE DEMOCRATS who *GAVE* Bush the complete Blank Check should ALSO be thrown out..

    Are you SURE you want to go with that?? :D

    ...But, then, of course Bush was a Republican. And Republicans believe "the buck stops anywhere but here!"

    This, coming from a guy who blindly supports a POTUS that will throw ANYONE under the bus, push the buck to ANYWHERE but his own responsibility..

    Seriously!?? :D

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    The debate is not an exact parallel to those of the Bush era, and Mr. Obama can point to ways he has tried to exorcise what he sees as the excesses of the last administration. But in broad terms, the conversation generated by the confirmation hearing of John O. Brennan, his nominee for C.I.A. director, underscored the degree to which Mr. Obama has embraced some of Mr. Bush’s approach to counterterrorism, right down to a secret legal memo authorizing presidential action unfettered by outside forces.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/world/obamas-turn-in-bushs-bind-with-defense-policies.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

    When it comes to CT policies, Obama = Bush

    It's THAT simple...

    NO OTHER explanation fits the facts..

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that, in the Bush years, the Left's argument was that we are NOT at war....

    Whatta difference that little ole '-D' makes, eh?? :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a completely UNRELATED note....

    ithout resorting to GOOGLE can anyone tell me where the term "shit" came from???

    And no cracks about my brain, as in "shit fer...." :D

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    michty6 wrote:

    LD,

    It's hard to find them, but there are sane Republicans still out there - probably in the minority just now. And the tea party will probably keep them from the mainstream for the foreseeable future though (see Huntsman, John for example).

    Here is a good example. Chris Christie gave a partial veto to the bill being passed in NJ to legalise online gambling. His concerns? The tax rate wasn't high enough (he wanted 15%, not 10%). And he wanted some of the additional revenue to go towards helping gambling addictions.

    Imagine that! A Republican who understands how REVENUE works, doesn't want to just meaninglessly 'cut spending' AND he actually wanted to spend more money on HELPING PEOPLE. I almost fainted when I saw it. This is practically communism within the party according to the morons and nut-jobs who run the Republican party nowadays!

    Assuming he does run in 2016 he will be well positioned nationally. The biggest obstacle he will have will be winning the Republican primary as all the nut-jobs might don't like sensible politicians doing sensible things (also he had the AUDACITY to praise Obama and they all know that Obama is an evil socialist muslim usurper who must never be praised ever).

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/christie-vetoes-njs-internet-gambling-law-18431868.

  32. [32] 
    michty6 wrote:
  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    (also he had the AUDACITY to praise Obama and they all know that Obama is an evil socialist muslim usurper who must never be praised ever).

    So, does this mean that Christie is correct when he slams Obama??

    Just curious.. :D

    Michale.....

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay CW,

    I thought ya might appreciate this..

    As an early Valentines Day present my wife got me a schweet 60" LED Visio TV last week.

    The only caveat is that I had to help her re-decorate the living room.. I am STILL sore from that!!

    Anyways, she was gracious enough to allow me one shelf on the newly redecorated walls..

    This is the part I thought you would appreciate..

    http://sjfm.us/temp/ale.jpg

    :D

    Michale....

  35. [35] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "If you actually believe this, then you must also believe that ALL THOSE DEMOCRATS who *GAVE* Bush the complete Blank Check should ALSO be thrown out.."

    Actually, I believe everyone "who *GAVE* Bush the complete Blank Check should ALSO be thrown out.."

    "I am also constrained to point out that, in the Bush years, the Left's argument was that we are NOT at war....

    Whatta difference that little ole '-D' makes, eh?? :D"

    I'm a Vietnam Vet. That wasn't a "war" either. (Tell it to all the dead and maimed!) "that little ole '-D'" has nothing to do with it—and neither does whether or not congress ever got around to declaring "war." I'm not "the Left." I'm not responsible for, nor do I care, what, according to you, "the Left" may, or may not, have done.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm a Vietnam Vet. That wasn't a "war" either. (Tell it to all the dead and maimed!) "that little ole '-D'" has nothing to do with it—and neither does whether or not congress ever got around to declaring "war." I'm not "the Left." I'm not responsible for, nor do I care, what, according to you, "the Left" may, or may not, have done.

    Fair enough..

    At this point in time, I like you too much to argue the point. :D

    Michale.....

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    As I watched the Shooter navigate obstacles very different from the ones he faced so expertly in four war zones around the globe, I wondered: Is this how America treats its heroes? The ones President Obama called "the best of the best"? The ones Vice-President Biden called "the finest warriors in the history of the world"?

    http://www.esquire.com/features/man-who-shot-osama-bin-laden-0313

    What a sad story...

    Why does our government abandon it's heroes??

    Reminds me of the Star Trek TNG episode about a revolt on a planet. Soldiers were exiled and made to live on a penal colony on one of the planets' moons. They were genetically conditioned to be "perfect soldiers" and got sick and tired of being penned up like animals..

    One line stands out.

    "We can't reverse their condition and even if we could, why would we. We might need them again someday!!"

    As a combat veteran, that episode and that particular line filled me with sadness..

    Because it so aptly describes our government at many times in our history.

    Use up honorable men and women and then just toss them on the trash heap...

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/fort-hood-hero-obama-betrayed-victims/story?id=18465024

    The compassion of the Obama Administration on display....

    "Workplace Violence"??? Are you frakin' kidding me!!!!????

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Without resorting to GOOGLE can anyone tell me where the term "shit" came from???

    OK, no one wants to take a stab at it?? :D

    In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.

    It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas of course. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.

    Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

    Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening.

    After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction 'Stow high in transit' on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

    Thus evolved the term ' S.H.I.T ' , (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

    You probably did not know the true history of this word.

    Neither did I.

    I had always thought it was a golf term.

    :D

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    You probably did not know the true history of this word.

    Neither did I.

    And you still don't...

    From Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/shit.asp

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    And you still don't...

    Actually, Bashi, golf part at the end was part of the joke...

    I would have thought that the ' :D ' at the end would have firmly placed in the joke department..

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I would have thought that the ' :D ' at the end would have firmly placed in the joke department..

    Aren't jokes supposed to be funny? :D

    But, since you mention it, 16 out of 21 posts in this thread alone contains a :D ... That would mean most of your posts should be taken as a joke? Well that certainly clears up a lot...

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, since you mention it, 16 out of 21 posts in this thread alone contains a :D ... That would mean most of your posts should be taken as a joke? Well that certainly clears up a lot...

    Ouch! And the ref takes a point away!! :D

    As ya'all are constantly saying, context is important.. :D

    That's a joke... :D

    So is that.... :D

    ANd.... oh never mind... :D

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting thought about that DOJ White Paper. Something that hasn't occurred to anyone yet..

    CW, I would LOVE your take on it..

    The most glaring aspect of Obama's DOJ stance is the definition of "imminence"..

    Towhit, Obama's DOJ defines "imminent" as maybe, possibly, sometime in the future, could possibly maybe happen..

    Now, consider some state's STAND YOUR GROUND laws.. For a person to use deadly force against another person, the threat to life or seriously bodily injury must be "imminent"...

    Now, postulate a scenario where two men are having a very loud very hostile argument. One guy is armed, one guy is not. Guy A, in a fit of rage, screams, "I know where you live!!! I am going to go to your house and kill your entire family.!!!!"

    Guy B, who is armed and knows that Guy A *DOES*, in fact, know where Guy B lives, pulls out his gun and shoots Guy A dead.

    Now, according to the precedent (if it IS a precedent. Not sure about that) established by Obama's DOJ, the SYG laws apply because there was "imminent" threat of serious bodily harm or death.

    At least, as Obama's DOJ defines "imminent"...

    On the other hand, I hope I don't find myself in such a situation. I might have some 'splainin to do.. :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, in the "WOULDN'T IT BE COOL" department....

    Wouldn't it be cool to have a car that rolls up your windows automatically if it started to rain??

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in the REALLY COOL Department!!!

    https://store.makerbot.com/replicator2.html

    Science Fiction becomes science fact.

    Star Trek Replicators are here!!!!

  47. [47] 
    michty6 wrote:

    A present for you Michale from my favourite artist (I have sent you many of these before): http://www.rall.com/rallblog/comics/2013-02-13.jpg

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    A present for you Michale from my favourite artist (I have sent you many of these before): http://www.rall.com/rallblog/comics/2013-02-13.jpg

    Nice!! :D Thanx much.....

    "It's funny because it's true..."
    -Fat Tony, THE SIMPSONS

    Michale

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