Open Forum, Dec. 26 - Jan. 1



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*Another big bad gun totin' conservative afraid of his own shadow and sticking his paranoia to the taxpayers...*

In the ensuing weeks, Perry would see his political fortunes plummet, falling to as low as 6 percent in public opinion polls from a high of 32 percent. But the bills for his omnipresent security detail continue, costing taxpayers as much as $400,000 a month.

Aside from President Obama, Perry — the only sitting governor in the 2012 race — has the largest security contingent, and apparently the only one on the Republican side financed by taxpayers.

Weeks before he officially announced his presidential bid, Perry said it was appropriate for the Texas Department of Public Safety to pay for his security and called any criticism of his government-provided protection a “diversion.” He also said that Texans would benefit from his travels.

nailingit — December 26, 2011 at 9:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal

...from same article. Why do Republicans have a reputation for being tough when it comes to national security, but hide/wet their pants?/immerse themselves in children's stories when faced with confrontation? No wonder Bush couldn't pull the trigger on Bin Laden at Tora Bora.

"Perry is not the only Texas governor to run up big bills — and receive criticism — for security provided on out-of-state trips. When former Gov. George W. Bush ran for president in 2000, the state spent at least $400,000 a month in the first quarter of that year — **more than four times the amount spent in all of 1999**, the public safety department revealed at the time."

**Sarasota, Florida Students With Bush On 9/11 Saw Change Sweep Over Him**

"All told, taxpayers were on the hook for $3.9 million in security costs for Bush and his family from January 1999 to March 2000, when the Secret Service took over the job, the public safety department said."


"One kid described his face as (like) he had to use the bathroom," Guerrero said. "That's how we saw it in second grade. He just looked like he got the worst news in the world."

nailingit — December 26, 2011 at 9:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

A reminder of how it's done.

“This is important news for us, and for the world,” said Gordon Felt, president of the group, Families of Flight 93. “It cannot ease our pain, or bring back our loved ones. It does bring a measure of comfort that the mastermind of the September 11th tragedy and the face of global terror can no longer spread his evil.”

nailingit — December 26, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit @9:30 am: When I hear people complain about President Obama (admittedly, there are valid complaints), I usually ask them to sit down and make a list, physical or mental, with two columns: Pro and Con or Plus and Minus, of his strengths and weaknesses.

I have done this and the positives outweigh the negatives on my list. Taking out Osama Bin Laden is at the top of the Pro list.

We all need to use this exercise when we get bogged down by negatives. Focusing on what is working in our lives has a self-fulfilling prophetic magic to it.

I like our President more than I dislike him or his decisions.

manthou — December 26, 2011 at 9:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I saw an interview with George H W Bush about Perry. He wouldn't say anything bad about him but he wouldn't say anything good either, only saying that "He is our Governor".

I get the feeling even Bush isn't a fan.

hawkeye — December 26, 2011 at 10:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou- Imo the positives for Obama out weigh the negatives also. Throw in the Republican alternatives and he looks like a God! It won't be long before our 5-4 conservative court strikes down the affordable health care act using the personal mandate as an excuse. Extremely disappointing the GOP has presented nothing except a voucher program to fix health care. We'll be thrown back to Bush health care policy. The kids/young adults working low paying jobs/attending school will be totally screwed if they find themselves in medical need. I think these new found "constitutionalists" forget the personal mandate was their idea and promoted it heavily back in the early nineties.

We do need to revise the Supreme Court lifetime tenures imo. As well as investigate the blatant disregard for ethics with regards to Scalia, & ethics/criminality problems with Thomas. These guys crap on us daily. Or at least when they are not campaigning/speaking for the Republican party.

hawk- Perry most likely scares Dubya. It's seeing your doppelganger before your time!

nailingit — December 26, 2011 at 11:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal

From the Aug 20 edition of the NY Times -
"The blue-blooded Bush clan’s dislike of the gun-slinging, coyote-shooting son of tenant farmers runs deep — from the first President George Bush on down to the family’s political Svengali, Karl Rove, to state-level operatives — and Mr. Perry further offended Bush-world when, in recent years, he publicly criticized President George W. Bush on a number of issues, and questioned his fiscal conservatism."

roger — December 26, 2011 at 1:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal

The health care act was watered down to being nearly worthless just to get it passed. National or one-payer system - gone. Across state lines competition - gone. Price controls - never even considered. What remained was no denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, no canceling coverage for high use, and keeping the kids on until age 26. And the insurance companies have been allowed to raise rates A LOT to compensate for this. (Any claim that this was a natural rate climb is bogus.) The latest is to allow states to determine the level of coverage from 2014 until 2016 - not only is this a political move looking ahead to the 2014 elections, but it gives the anti- crowd even more fuel for their argument to throw the whole thing out.

roger — December 26, 2011 at 1:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal

I agree with nailingit that we need to relook the Supreme Court. I'm not sure whether eliminating lifetime tenure is the right answer, though. Unfortunately, I don't see a foolproof way to properly select and screen candidates before they're appointed. Justice Kennedy, though a conservative, has proven extremely competent. Same for the liberal judge that looked like the mother in Psycho (I forget her name). Even Chief Justice Roberts, who had liberals predicting doomsday, has been a decent selection. But the two clowns mentioned - Thomas and Scalia - don't deserve to preside over traffic court, much less the highest in the land.

roger — December 26, 2011 at 1:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal

OK, so my question of this next year is this:

Do we have less than a year to live, or what?

hawkeye — December 26, 2011 at 5:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal


The rock star of physicists, Dr. Michio Kaku, was on CNN News this morning. He assured the audience we would be around in January 2013. He said the Mayan calendar is cyclical, and does not foretell the end of days, or any such thing.

I prefer to believe the good doctor.

HOWEVER, we are entering a solar flare cycle where predictions say we'll sustain one of the larger bombardments in recorded history. He wasn't quite as optimistic there. He noted that a few hundred millions could blanket and protect our computer and other networks that could be adversely affected - but Congress has denied this funding.

roger — December 27, 2011 at 6:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal

The Keystone XL pipeline controversy is going to escalate. The Obama administration is making noise that since the Repubs have insisted on adding the provision that he must make a yes/no decision in the next 60 days to the (bogus) "tax cut extension" bill, he'll most likely say no. The Repubs will counter that he is not serious about creating jobs, and is instead giving in to the environmental crowd.

There are numerous environmental issues that need to be resolved, and (quite frankly) the pipeline is only the surface. The expected increased oil production in Canada has climate change followers saying this will push us past a point of no return as concerns the raise in temperature.

There is also information that suggests the oil transported in the pipeline to Texas WILL NOT be sold here in the US (thus lowering prices). Instead, it will likely be sold and shipped overseas. There was a Repub member of Congress on one of the Sunday interview programs who answered this with a "So what? At least it creates jobs." response. Other info says that the ports in the Port Arthur area are tax exempt zones, which means we wouldn't benefit from that either.

And TransCanada has bought out Conoco's interests in the pipeline project. They (TransCanada) are now reported to be engaged in pre-eminent domain court battles in Texas. Interesting - a Canadian corporation claiming this on US soil?

roger — December 27, 2011 at 6:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye @ 5:17 PM: Some people believe that the date, Dec 12 2012, will usher in a new age of enlightenment and peace. They are preparing for a great Awakening to a dire situation (global warming?) that will unite the world together in one cause: saving humanity and the planet.

There are very educated people who are quietly preparing themselves for it through meditation and other methods of spiritual healing.

It is a more positive spin on the sudden destruction scenario. You can find lots of references to it on the web and in books.

Whatever it takes to get people to work together cooperatively and for the common good is A OK with me. At this stage in our spiritual evolution (if we can judge what is happening in our own governments), we seem way more than a year away from this utopian concept.

manthou — December 27, 2011 at 7:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Is this the America we send our kids off to die for?

**Medicaid Cuts By States Affect Patients And Providers**

For the **tens of millions** of poor and disabled who rely on the program – approaching nearly one in five Americans – the cuts translate into longer waits for doctors, restrictions on prescription drugs, a halt to vision and dental care, staff cuts at nursing homes and dwindling access to home health care.

Billions of dollars from the **federal stimulus program helped avoid deep Medicaid cuts**
through the worst of the recession, but the last of that money dried up this year.

"It's really scary," she said. "If they can't get their medicine, what's going to happen? They're going to die."

The Obama administration is concerned enough about the widespread Medicaid provider cuts that it has introduced a rule that would make it harder for states to slash the rates. The move is designed to ensure that those eligible for Medicaid are not denied access due to a shortage of health care resources.

nailingit — December 27, 2011 at 8:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal

"They are preparing for a great Awakening to a dire situation..."

Unless I'm misreading you, does this equate to preparing for death and destruction? A fall before the rise?

roger- Keystone will be a hard sell (as it should be) if we don't benefit from sales. The few jobs it will create for American workers doesn't seem like a good trade off. And part of the line runs through fault zones? I really think the republicans lost their voice when it comes to jobs/economy. as a matter of fact the louder the GOP screams in one direction, I think the general public will go the other way. We'll see if the polls bear this out.

What fraction of credibility Congress/repubs had, it was spent on wanting to raise taxes on the middle class. I believe everybody got it this time and the Dems need to hammer this home for the next two months.

nailingit — December 27, 2011 at 8:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit: Depends on what "expert" opinion you read. Many are giving a "close call" scenario or a threat of destruction in the near future that jolts humans out of their "me and mine only" worldview. Some, of course, believe there WILL be a destroyed Earth with few survivors who will be challenged to rebuild. :)

Whatever; it is all speculation, really.

My question is why wait? Why not start working together for the common good now? It ain't happening at the present on any grand scale, is it?

Who needs a threat of an apocalypse for motivation? Probably the majority of us resistant human beings.

manthou — December 27, 2011 at 10:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal


You said @ 10:45am this morning "The kids/young adults working low paying jobs/attending school will be totally screwed if they find themselves in medical need"

So how much will the new health care program if enacted and implemented cost our low income folks and the youth of today..Do you have any idea..What should someone lets say that is 21-25 pay if they make lets say 20K a year or are going to school?

I've asked you similar times in the past but you always send me the same link to the bill and not the actual costs, so I just wanted to know off the top of your head these costs as you typed off the top of your this snippett...

Then if you want to do some research: real research, see how much you'll be paying in extra taxes for this bill with the income you currently make> I wait for your concise and articulate answers as usual.

vanwadreamer — December 27, 2011 at 12:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal

We can't possibly use current tax revenues to insure everyone has access to good health care and higher education. There has to be a weapons system the Pentagon wants. And their buddy-buddy contractors need all the money, err work, they can get. And corporate subsidies (that increase profits-not reduce consumer prices) must be maintained. And don't forget Wall St, us taxpayers have to be ready to step in and bail them out and make sure the Fed has plenty of cheap money for those guys to invest in a totally unregulated manner.

Yea, health care and education aren't nearly important as propping up our job-creating corporate friends. They do create jobs, they say, they just don't say when. Honest oversight, I'm sure.

There were estimates the Keystone Project would create between 2,000 and a couple hundred thousand. With numbers like that being tossed around by the experts, who are you gonna believe about about the cost of health care reform?

mrd — December 27, 2011 at 3:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou- I don't know if the "me and mine" mindset would be lessened with the threat of world catastrophe, but I would hope so. Have you seen the movie Deep Impact? Morgan Freeman thought it best to leave us in the dark about the end of the world to prevent rioting, looting and crimes related. (I always defer to Morgan! :) Something to ask ourselves is what we would do if we knew to a certainty the world was going to end. Hard to say, but the austerity agenda the right is pushing wouldn't go over with too many people. :))

nailingit — December 27, 2011 at 5:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal

vanwa- Sorry I disappoint you with links that provide more info than I, but alas, it's the way it is. I don't know what your contention is about young people being screwed without coverage. A newborn with complications can run up a 100,000 dollar bill in a few days. Just one of countless scenarios. Back to bankruptcy and the emergency room doctors for those that lack healthcare.

It sounds as if you've done "real research". Please share. If you can't find anything credible it's most likely because extreme right wing websites have dominated the internet when searching.

You often present many questions without providing solutions. How would you fix health care? Do you have young adult children that will be affected? Do you think the Ryan/voucher system is a good one? What politicians have you heard that represent your views on healthcare? Do you think drug testing should be required when receiving unemployment benefits? And one last question vanwa, in all sincerity, (given some of your anti-Obama statements made in the past) do you believe Obama is a United States citizen?

nailingit — December 27, 2011 at 5:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**Ron Paul: Drug War In U.S. Has Racist Origins**

For the book This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America, I looked into the type of historical analysis Paul’s comment, which comes at roughly the 16-minute mark, represents, given that it is a fairly common interpretation of the origins of the drug war among its critics.

It holds up.

But the main distinction lies in this—that whereas wine disorders the mental faculties, opium, on the contrary (if taken in a proper manner), introduces amongst them the most exquisite order, legislation, and harmony."

This unintended consequence of the call for sobriety wasn't unique to the United States, the board found. "It is a significant fact ... that both in England and in this country, the total abstinence movement was almost immediately followed by an increased consumption of opium," it notes.;=politics

nailingit — December 27, 2011 at 9:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Interesting article, Nail.

Drift — December 28, 2011 at 5:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I've got a feeling if big oil wants the Keystone Pipeline enough to "lobby"-we all know what that means-for it's approval, it'll get approved. There's big money to be made here. The US is now a net exporter of gasoline and diesel so obviously we have a very abundant supply. The price at the pump doesn't reflect it, but the oversupply-domestically anyway-is there. If these reserves provided enough oil to meet US demand, the oil would fetch world market prices and not help US consumers in the least. As far as national interests go in the event of a Mid-East disruption, I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling some international oil giant is going to put US consumers ahead of the ability to rake in $$$$$$ as this oil would become more valuable in the event of such a disruption. And I really don't see the government being able to negotiate any way to provide any favored status for US consumers with these guys. Nothing that the oil companies can be held to anyway.

So it will all come about however the big money desires. If the outcome is politically unpopular, representatives, Senators, and even the Prez will spin themselves silly trying to sell their efforts. Some things never change.

mrd — December 28, 2011 at 7:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal

You bet Drift. One of these days I'll see you on your forum. Has anyone heard of a movement to popularize and bring back opium dens to the USA? If not, why not? A great way to reach across international waters and hone our relationship with the Chinese. A win win if you will. :)

nailingit — December 28, 2011 at 9:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

How would you fix health care? I wish I was that smart nail, but alas i don't think so..But when it comes to paying for social programsfor people who choose to not to par take just because they don't want too that should be there perogative.. Again you failed to answer a simple question. What do you think a young adult or low income person should pay, simple question, just want your thoughts.. I won't attack you...

Do you have young adult children that will be affected? Yes, do you...I Do......One just had surgery and the insurance took care of everything but a couple hundred dollars because he had already met his annual $1,000 out of pocket expense.

I do believe a "FARE TAX" is the best way to go without any exemptions to corporations. They won't leave, they Love the good ol USA.. I believe the budget could then be balanced in short time...

Do you think the Ryan/voucher system is a good one? I have mix thoughts about the program from my limited knowledge of it...Not sure about the nuts and bolts to be honest with you. Replacing part of medicare with vouchers.. Since I haven't used Vouchers I can't speak of it's worthiness yet.

What politicians have you heard that represent your views on healthcare? Wow great question...I don't think I've heard anyone in particular say something that said inside me wow now that sounds like a great idea. Let me put it this way.. I believe all americans should have access to "AFFORADABLE HEALTH CARE" but not forced upon us.. So people who choose not to have health care for whatever reason so beit.. they pay as they go....I'm not for providing health care to Illegal aliens either, and if it is done then after recovery we send them back to there country and bill the

Do you think drug testing should be required when receiving unemployment benefits? Yes.. and wealfare too. So the gal driving the lexus can afford the I Phone but not the food her kids need but can buy the gas for the lexus.. and the lettuce on the side..

And one last question vanwa, in all sincerity, (given some of your anti-Obama statements made in the past) do you believe Obama is a United States citizen... Thats an easy one nail Yes...I Do, don't you.. He did produce a birth certificate didn't he... Really if anyone in congress or the US that doesn't believe it well so be it..
That doesn't mean I think he has done even a fair job as president.. He is leading the millions of Lemmings down the wrong street IMHO.. Socialism at the very least...taking the US to the edge of despair seems more like it.. Like I've said before, I've not seen humility nor Respect from him since he took office.. many in our millitary would second those thoughts as well.. many in our millitary don't trust him either...just coming from a millitary family point of view.

vanwadreamer — December 28, 2011 at 10:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal

vanwa- Affordable healthcare for all Americans relegated to "a social program"? Failing to answer a "simple question". :)). Allrighty then. Sounds like your kid isn't affected as he has his own health care insurance being able to meet his premium. Not applicable.

The Ryan Care program has had Much discussion. You pay Much attention to the subject of healthcare. Most likely the most talked about subject of 2011 with GOP/Ryan health care in the national debate. Your failure to weigh in on Ryancare, and the reasons given, don't seem to add up! Please, feel free. One doesn't have to be hit by a Mac truck to understand pain, or understand the mechanics of a car to be able to drive one.

Are you including the family members of the thousands of would be American citizens earning their citizenship while defending our country in the Armed Forces?
You choose LOL when speaking of tearing apart families and uprooting many "illegal aliens" that have contributed to our country, in some cases for generations. The spirit you bring is less than admirable in my opinion.

There isn't a politician running that appeases you or that you are willing to publicly back. :)) Nothing I could ever say could make any difference. Whatever your reasoning is for dialogging with me on health care, re-think it.

So something we pay into all of our lives should require a drug test before using it? It amazes me how the right demonizes small government, except when it comes to pushing a social agenda. Now that's a LOL!

And please quit using our military to get across a partisan point when it comes to opinion. That door swings both ways.

nailingit — December 28, 2011 at noon ( | suggest removal

You asked me about what politician I like who I feel represent my views on healthcare... I said I don't think there is one really yet.
On the Vouchure plan you speak of.. I see that per a site from the dem side it said it will cost every senior citizen $12K a year..Wow if they can come up with that figure why can't you come up with a figure the Obamacare plan will cost lets say soemone making 50K a year and a family of 4.. That should be easy since you seem to have that info at your finger tips...

Tearing families apart. Well you seem think its ok then for illegals to come into our country, "squat" on our property then have a kid or 2 or 3 all free of course then have no reprecussions should they be caught.. Not wanting to sound NON PC but what did these folks think might happen ??? Any clues on your part to answer that question.. These are tough questions but having traveled abroad, I can't stay in many countries very long before they ask you to leave...And to say the spirit i bring is less than Admirable.. Well, i'm not alone.. I believe the majority in this country find this question and circumstances offensiove to say the least.. 30 mil illegals in california alone.. This is prob the single biggest factor for increased healthcare costs in our country..Thats one of the problems with our current president. He wants to amnesty them all...Free hall pass. have them come back thru the proper channels...

You asked me a long time ago who I voted for in 08, I told you then it was Mccain and today I like John Huntsman..I like the way he answers questions without a political diatribe of an answer.. he ain't no SLIK WILLY OBAMA thats for sure...

On the UE thing with drug testing.. If you are doing something illegal have arrest warrants out for yourself, drugs in your system, you don't get to collect because your "UNHIREABLE" in the first place. I wouldn't hire that person. If you would, more power to you... I'm not holding that against you..The right deonizes small government..Come on nail.. This is the largest government has been since the FDR days and you know it..I use the word Millitary because i know first hand and given the number of people "Generals and so on that have been dismissed because they don't agree with our commander in chief and say so.. that door swings both ways.. You have no clue...

We need true leadership, this current president doesn't lead in any way, shape or form and many in his ranks know it..he is not repected around the world and has help to demonize or country even more.

OBTW, what politician are you supporting this week?

vanwadreamer — December 28, 2011 at 12:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal

The redistricting of WA for congressional races just handed Jaime HB a belated Christmas gift, I think.

We lost the progressive-leaning Olympia crowd. :(

manthou — December 28, 2011 at 1:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal

van-demonizes small gov meant to say large, given context, obvious typo/mistake. You have your view and that's cool. Best of luck to you!

nailingit — December 28, 2011 at 1:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal

You forgot to answer who you are backing for prezzzz..Come on I'm not going to laugh or make fun, I told ya mine, so who do you like??

vanwadreamer — December 28, 2011 at 3:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**Victoria Jackson: Muslim Brotherhood Taking Over America, Six Hour FBI Meeting**

"Claiming that it was strongly hinted that President Obama was a Muslim -- his policies all favor Muslims and are against Israel, she claims to have been told -- Jackson says in the video that the ultimatum pushed by terrorist groups in America is "You have to convert or be killed."

"Michelle [sic] Bachmann and Rick Santorum are the only GOP candidates so far to acknowledge the above facts and warn against the present threat of Islamic Law replacing our Constitution," Jackson concluded in her blog post on the ex-FBI briefing. **In a Fox News appearance** early in December, she called Bachmann "my girl" and said, "Very few people in America are informed and educated as I am."

nailingit — December 28, 2011 at 5:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit: I watched the video you posted above. Victoria Jackson has a room temperature IQ and looks like the SNL spoof she once was. Only now, she is serious and spreading fear and hatred, rather than laughs.

These "chicks" are dangerous.

manthou — December 28, 2011 at 5:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**Republican Nonsense on Regulation** -----(most excellent article!)

The GOP's attack on regulation is part of a larger attempt to discredit the idea that government can play a positive role in people's lives.
The simple idea that private interests, left to their own devices, have the potential to hurt others and undermine the public good is denounced as "socialistic" thinking and un-American. Wealthy private interests are heroic job creators that could and would build a nearly perfect society, if only they were left alone to work their job-creating magic. In that world, only the lazy and undeserving would fail to prosper. Such fantasies ought to have been finally discredited by the disastrous role that deregulation played in the 2008 financial crisis. Instead, the anti-regulatory zealots have doubled down on this delusion and spun a particularly inventive -- and typically fact-free -- tale about how the financial crisis was itself caused by the evils of government regulation (and Barney Frank), a zombie lie that just won't die.

nailingit — December 28, 2011 at 5:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal

...sorry about the unintended huge print!

manthou- The hate and misinformation that is being spread by people like this seems to be at an all time high. Fox gives this nut bag and others credibility for the least/ill informed part of our populace, those that watch Fox as their main source for news. It's sad.

The comedy/tragedy thing can really get nuanced!

nailingit — December 28, 2011 at 5:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — December 28, 2011 at 5:13 p.m

OK, I'm still not sure it's not a "bit". There is a HUGE vacuum between her ears, I take anything she says with a POUND of salt.

hawkeye — December 28, 2011 at 6:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawk- I know what you mean. I'm still not sure the republican presidential hopefuls aren't collectively providing us with a SNL skit. Oh yeah. They are and have been.:)) Check this Vicky video out. She gives her "tea party conversion testimony". She's also very clued in to GBeck, who is no doubt doing a bit, just getting filthy rich doing it!

nailingit — December 28, 2011 at 7:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal

DOOCY: Now, he is not a Communist. But you just pointed out that you hold up signs and stuff like that and people make fun of you. What do you think about how some on the other political side have tried to diminish or, you know, or marginalize the Tea Party people?

JACKSON: Well, I guess they're afraid of the power of our passion and our numbers and, you know, you might not say Communist, but I watch Glenn Beck and he's taught me well. Progressive is the new word for Communist, but it's the same goal as government control of everything and it's very obvious that Obama is trying to do that. And I don't want to brag, but I sort of called it before he was elected and when I was on O'Reilly and I said he was a Communist and I got a lot of hate mail, but I got some that said I was a prescient which means "a prophet."


nailingit — December 28, 2011 at 7:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal


RE post December 28, 2011 at 5:48 p.m.

The article also stated:

"...She also has famously taken umbrage with gays and "Glee," including a highly publicized string of attacks last March..."

I wonder if she would agree with Sharia Law on punishment for gays "...sentenced more than 100 men to prison or flogging for "gay conduct..."

It looks like she has glanced at the other side of FOX (I mean Fox Entertainment besides just FOX News). I wonder how many know that they are parts of the same company?

Manthou...I watched the video also, for the first couple of minutes I thought it was a bad SNL sketch, then realized she was serious. You said IQ of Room Temperature. That would need to be a very cold room.

pdxtech91 — December 28, 2011 at 9:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal

*Man, there is nothing that compares to good ol' Iowa conservatism! They are eating their own and calling out for **Federal** investigations!*

Bob Vander Plaats’ Pay-For-Play Scandal: Charged A Million Bucks For Endorsement, Asked Candidates To Drop Out

“Clearly the endorsement was for sale — without a doubt,” one source told ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe and Michael Falcone, stressing that Vander Plaats had tried to receive money for his support in past election cycles:
Though Santorum did not specify the dollar amount he and Vander Plaats discussed, multiple sources said he was soliciting as much as $1 million from Santorum and other candidates.

ABC News has learned that Vander Plaats tried to solicit money for his endorsement during the last presidential cycle too. A former staffer for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential bid who is currently unaffiliated with a campaign said Vander Plaats came to them seeking money for his backing if he supported the former Massachusetts governor. “He wanted to be paid,” the former staffer said. “He was clearly looking for a paycheck. There was a conversation about him getting a title, but being a paid consultant was much more important.”

Progress Iowa has launched a petition calling on the Federal Elections Commission to investigate The FAMiLY LEADER for potential illegal campaign coordination. According to Erin Seidler, a spokesperson for the group: Bob Vander Plaats’ solicitation of funds to promote his endorsement of Rick Santorum raises serious questions about further coordination between a political campaign and an outside group. Considering the possibility of illegal activity so close to Caucus Day, you can take Bob’s word there is no coordination or **you can join us in telling the FEC to investigate if any illegal coordination is taking place.**

nailingit — December 29, 2011 at 8:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal

From today's The Columbian article on the WA initiative to have recreational marijuana legalized (up to 1 ounce).

"Initiative 502 would create a system of state-licensed growers, processors and stores, and impose a 25 percent excise tax at each stage."

Interesting. What will the starting cost be - what it actually costs the grower plus a slight mark-up, or a highly inflated price? (And I have no idea what the grower's cost might be, but I can envision the growers agreeing on a hefty profit, and the state OK'ing this because it means more money coming in. Isn't capitalism wonderful?)

Will this excise tax, levied 3 times (grower, processor and store), be imposed on the same base price or cumulative? If the latter, that turns into a nearly 100% mark-up.

Why wouldn't the grower and the processor be the same operation? If I grow, then processing would entail cutting, drying and transporting to the store - correct? Are we adding an unnecessary step just to raise more money?

And just will this tax money be used for? Someone on the facebook side says drug addiction treatment and counseling. This makes little sense (to me) as it implies marijuana is in fact an addictive or harmful substance - if true, then it shouldn't be legalized to begin with. And if not true, then put the taxes raised somewhere else - general fund, education, state health care system, unemployment - I'm thinking things like this are a bit more useful.

I'd like to see a few answers before I just blindly vote for this initiative. Hopefully they'll be coming our way.

roger — December 29, 2011 at 4:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Also from the Initiative 502 article (an AP article out of Oly, by the way) -

"It would be illegal for a motorist to have more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in their system."

Later in the article a medical marijuana group says they're opposed to this initiative because they feel it will result in increased scrutiny by law enforcement. And the article follows by citing a sheriff's association as saying they believe passing the initiative will result in increased drugged driving - meaning the medical marijuana group has a good reason to be concerned. (Though this ignores the implication is that people using it for medical reasons are driving under the influence - hmmm....)

I'm curious how the testing will be done. Urinalysis testing in the military is a highly controlled process - something the police would have a hard time duplicating from a patrol car. So, will suspects be apprehended and taken to a more controlled setting (Police station? Hospital?) Will they use urinalysis or blood testing? What's the turn-around time for results? And I suppose a few other questions.

And where does this 5 nanogram figure come from? How much would someone need to smoke to get to that level, and how long does it take to reduce below that level once reached? Meaning, just what is the correlation between this figure and being too impaired to drive?

What I see is the lawyers having a field day with this provision.

roger — December 29, 2011 at 5:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Santorum was on Morning Joe today. I find his position on Iran scary, but I'll have to give him one bit of praise. Rev Al Sharpton was quite confrontational, and Santorum handled the exchange quite well. Most of the others in the clown show would have blown up or walked away from the camera.

What also gets me is that the liberals are giving Ron Paul more credibility than the conservatives. Especially the Fox ones - they refuse to consider him a front runner, even though things like the Virginia ballot fiasco show his campaign is more organized and better funded than anyone else except for Romney. And meanwhile they tend to give Newt a pass - they note his problems with Fannie/Freddie, but say that this will blow over. I take it he's their candidate of choice.

And to close this out, one of the channels was suggesting that the neoCons who are playing "anyone but Romney" could push Newt (or whoever) way out in front if they'd just make their minds up and agree on the best of that pack. But that they won't - at least not soon enough to change the course of the Repub primary season.

roger — December 29, 2011 at 5:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- Some great questions concerning the Pot initiative. As for Cops checking for Pot sobriety, that's a tough one, I think the article said something about one lb of thc laced food products. Will a tuna herb and rye give our local vpd cause to further investigate the possibility that "the Devil's Lettuce" could be present? Sounds like a pickle I wouldn't relish. Lawmakers need to catchup on what's real and quit throwing us sliders. :)

A cop could dangle a ding-dong or a doughnut in front of the would be suspect and chart blood pressure rates. It's a tough one. Makes me hungry thinking about it!

nailingit — December 29, 2011 at 6:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal

New Approach Washington, the group who is sponsoring this marijuana legalization initiative, have some very heavy hitters in terms of respected lawyers and other professionals on board.
They tried to draft it to be more airtight legally so that it will survive the types of challenges roger describes.

It makes sense to me: let's get some tax money from it while we allow adults to decide whether it is right for them or not.

My spouse and I were approached by signature gatherers for this at the Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival and added our names to the list. I had previously spent a great deal of time on the website and this group was impressed with what I read:

manthou — December 29, 2011 at 6:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Michele Bachmann: Has anyone else here noticed how conspicuously absent her husband and children are?

All the other Republican candidates are starting to drag out their spouses now. Even Rick Perry has pushed his long-suffering wife into the limelight. The Romney children are all over the place. Even John Huntsman is drawing attention to his daughter's Tweets.

Where is Marcus Bachmann? Where are all their well-adjusted, handsome children?

I have a guess as to why she is keeping her husband in low profile, but the young adult children?

manthou — December 29, 2011 at 7:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Marcus Bachmann’s Agenda As ‘First Spouse’: Deny Marriage Rights To Gay People | Marcus Bachmann laid out his agenda as “first spouse” during a stop in Le Mars, Iowa, today, promising that he and Michele are “going to be the message-drivers” about how “Marriage is between one man and one woman.” “We are going to promote families,” he added. Earlier this summer, an undercover investigation by Truth Wins Out and a testimonial from one of the center’s patients confirmed long-standing rumors that Bachmann’s centers did practice so-called “ex-gay” or reparative therapy while receiving federal Medicaid funds.

hawkeye — December 29, 2011 at 8:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou- Conservative political pundits are asking the same. Great question that I haven't thought about. I guess I've been/mesmerized/hypnotized by Michele! Where's the clan?

nailingit — December 29, 2011 at 9:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye: So Marcus is on the road with his attractive wife in Iowa, at least, continuing to fight to preserve the sanctity of man/woman marriage. His "gay curing" reparative therapy has no basis in best practices clinical research, yet he billed Medicaid for it?

nailingit: Thanks for the US News link. Very interesting. She is being advised by someone to keep him in the background for the reasons hawkeye mentions, I'd guess. Also, his demeanor has fueled rumors that he, himself, is a product of "reparative therapy" success.

Yeah, right.

I could care less about any candidate's and their spouse's sexual orientation preferences. Or how they have chosen to live their marriage vows. It is the hypocrisy that is inherent in spewing forth such misinformation, fear and hatred about homosexuality that infuriates me.

manthou — December 30, 2011 at 5:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — December 29, 2011 at 6:26 p.m.

Well, I was tracking and had a good chuckle - then I got to para 2 with the doughnut. That won't work - police equipment is strictly accounted for, and we all know the doughnuts wouldn't make it past the first hour without being "misplaced."

And where did that stereotype come from? Back in my younger days - when I was trying to make sense of the mysteries of the world we live in - I always wondered about the police having the munchies....

roger — December 30, 2011 at 6:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou — December 29, 2011 at 6:56 p.m.

Thanks for the link - I'll check it out and see what they have to say.

I think what truly bothers me about this whole subject is having to resort to making money for The State to get marijuana legalized. The whole argument over how it became a Schedule 1 controlled substance and whether it deserves to be categorized as such is ignored - we don't want to get the Feds mad at us. But if it means extra money for the state gov't to spend - Uncle, get your nose out of state business.

Also, if approved, I'm curious about the state licensed stores - do they mean something along the lines of the state liquor stores that were just voted out of existence? That'll be interesting - how long before CostCo goes after this market? And then maybe McD and the other fast foods can get into the game - super size plus (add a joint) as a menu option - business will skyrocket. And the increased sales/profits ought to take care of complaints over raising the minimum wage too - win/win all around! The possibilities are endless!

roger — December 30, 2011 at 7:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Reference the Bachmann's clinic and gay reparative therapy. Is there proof they actually billed Medicare for this? I tried googling, and most of what came up was from back in July 2011. Per The Washington Blade ("America's Leading Gay News Source") there isn't any proof of this.

"Further, Bachmann & Associates has been shown to be the recipient of federal funds. According to NBC News, the clinic has been collecting annual Medicaid payments totaling more than $137,000 for the treatment of patients since 2005. These payments are in addition to $24,000 in federal and state funds that Bachmann & Associates received in recent years under a state grant to train its employees.

"It’s unclear whether these federal and state funds are compensating the clinic for reparative therapy or if this money is reimbursing Bachmann & Associates for other practices."

Sorry, but I can't buy the outrage from the Left over this "treatment." Like it or not - our society looks down on gay men as being something less than "real men." And all power to those who fight against this thought process. But if someone believes this "treatment" is right for their own life and mental well being, so be it - they should have this avenue to pursue without having to endure the backlash from the LGBT advocate groups.

And seeing as how this is a matter of choice - to pursue the therapy - can we draw a correlation to abortion and a woman's "right to choose?" My whole point being that we have a major problem with sociopolitical agendas influencing the medical world. And running head on into the religious ones, which are often on the opposite side, and who are also trying to do the same thing.

Time for another Rodney King moment.

roger — December 30, 2011 at 7:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- Good point about "misplaced" equipment. What if it was made mandatory to have a bakery attached to local PD's? A job creator and a 'renewable source of energy' (tax credit?) for the local first responders!

manthou @ 1:18 12/28 Looks as if Jaime got a break, but overall this might turn out well.

Washington redistricting plan a small win for Democrats

Democrats notched a small redistricting win Wednesday with a new Washington state map that positions the party to win the state’s newly created district.
The proposal, unveiled by the state’s independent redistricting committee, establishes a new, Olympia-based seat that will favor Democrats. Washington is gaining one congressional seat in the current round of reapportionment, increasing its delegation from nine members to 10.

Democrat Denny Heck, a former state House majority leader, immediately announced on Wednesday that he would run for the new seat, releasing a statement titled “Washington’s 10th Congressional District Ready to Give Congress Heck.” Heck, who has been preparing a bid for months in anticipation of the new map, has already secured a long line of endorsements, including from Reps. Norm Dicks, dean of the state’s delegation and a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, and Adam Smith.

Neither Herrera Beutler nor Reichert is entirely in the clear. Both are drawn into seats in which Democrats can still run competitively.

Read more:

nailingit — December 30, 2011 at 9:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger — December 30, 2011 at 6:47 a.m

It's just a guess here but I think the whole "donut" thing comes from back when there wasn't anything open in the middle of the night where cops could go to get a cup of coffee and something to eat at 3 am. I know that when I was driving towtruck years ago, there was Dunkin Donuts and Dennys. You could go to Dunkin Donuts and get full for $2 and leave in a hurry if you had to. Actually, I think it was more the coffee in the middle of the night more than the donuts.

BTW, where did all the Dunkin Donuts stores go?

hawkeye — December 30, 2011 at 9:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Over on the FB side (LTTE) Jim Kennedy really gets after Elwood Bonner's previous letter.

BTW, to answer the commenter, it is a misdemeanor for a med-head to administer cannabis in view of the general public.

I've mixed feelings about 502. On one hand I believe anything to break through the current prohibition a good thing. On the other that 5 ng thing *is* a fly in the ointment. For one, it isn't based upon science. It's a figure someone pulled from their nether region. For the other, for people that regularly ingest cannabis, it's a bust. Patients utilizing cannabis for relief 'prolly never get below that figure. Actually, they 'prolly maintain a higher level with no signs of impairement.

And what will constitute probable cause for a blood test? Just the presence of cannabis in the vehicle?

A blood test and a UA are two different animals. A UA detects a THC metabolite -- spent THC. -That- can be quite persistent. It can take several weeks for several joints worth of the metabolite to work it's way out of the fat in a human body.

The blood test detects active THC in the system. Not the metabolite. The problem with that is, what level indicates/creates impairement? Folks with severe maladies purposely attempt to keep that level waaay above 5 ng, continually.

It'll be interesting, should 502 become law, to see how law enforcement uses (manipulates?) the 5 ng cut-off.

Drift — December 30, 2011 at 9:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal

*'Twas the season when wealthy people unscrewed the vice clamps that had been on their wallets and decided to stimulate the economy. That's great news for retailers that cater to these customers.
Tiffany, Coach and Macy's were among the winners this holiday season, according to Jason Asaeda, retail analyst at S&P; Capital IQ.
For mid-tier retailers such as Sears Holdings and J.C.* *Penney, the season was less merry. Sears recently warned of weak holiday sales and announced plans to shutter as many as 120 locations. J.C. Penney has also struggled. In November, same-store sales fell 2%, which was worse than analysts expected.
"It was a tough retail season" for these chains, Asaeda said in an interview.* "**People were shopping on very tight budgets.**"

Most of us anyway. Oh well, maybe next year....

mrd — December 30, 2011 at 11:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal

NEW YORK (AP) -- For the first time in at least 21 years, the top export of the world's biggest gas guzzler, is — wait for it — fuel.

Measured in dollars, the United States is on pace this year to ship more gasoline, diesel and jet fuel than any other type of export, according to government records dating back to 1990.

Here are the top U.S. exports for the past six years, according to U.S. Census records.


2011 (Through October)

1 — Fuel: $73.4 billion;

2 — Aircraft: $70.8 billion;

3 — Motor Vehicles: $39.6 billion;

4 — Vacuum Tubes: $37.1 billion;

5 — Telecommunications Equipment: $33.2 billion.

***Makes you wonder why we STILL pay so much***

hawkeye — December 30, 2011 at 2:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Evidently our government wants to make sure the wealthy in Europe will be able to do quite well also.

CNN) -- *There is a major disconnect between what the Obama administration says and what it does about bailing out countries in the European periphery. For while the administration keeps insisting that Europe has the financial wherewithal to rescue those European countries in distress, it has allowed the International Monetary Fund to bail out Greece, Ireland and Portugal on an unprecedented scale. And it has done so in a manner that puts the U.S. taxpayer on the hook in a major way*.

So now, fellow American taxpayers, we're on the hook for $240B in IMF loans (the US, as in us, has 18% of the total) to Italy, Portugal, Greece, Spain and Ireland. Take a guess how much the IMF helped the US when we had to prop up the banksters that ran amok with poor investments? Zilch. Not even our own 18%.

So Merry Christmas to all you European bankers. It appears we're gonna guarantee you a prosperous New Year also. Meanwhile, demand these governments ram some more "austerity measures" down the little people's throats. You guys need that money, and besides, the little folks can do without. After all, you provide jobs, or will someday. If you need more, just call. We're unusually generous and very flush this year.

mrd — December 30, 2011 at 2:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hello, roger. How are you this evening? As usual, you give us so many good points to discuss and ponder! :)

Here is the problem with "reparative therapy." It is not an evidence-based treatment that research shows works. Dr. Marcus Bachmann is a clinical psychologist who is licensed by the state to "do no harm" to his clients. There are ethical guidelines that all licensed providers must follow to protect the public and one of those is to make sure the treatment is backed by solid, current research.

Now, if someone wants to get reparative therapy, they can find someone who will do it. But, if they are licensed, they risk violating their ethical guidelines and the law.

Imagine going to your doctor for cancer treatment and you ask him or her to give you coffee enemas because you believe they might work. An ethical doctor will send you elsewhere because he/she knows there is no good research to back that treatment up. You keep searching and find a provider in Mexico who will do it. That is up to you. But the Mexican doctor does not have to worry about the WA State Health Department licensing board.

It would be very interesting to see if any formal complaints have been filed against Dr. Bachmann. That would not be hard to do.

manthou — December 30, 2011 at 5:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal

roger: On a lighter note, I ran into the CAPTCHA from hell this week. I have never seen anything like it and I hope I never do.

I was trying to watch a video link that had a short ad as an appetizer. Most do, right? Well, this one played for 60 seconds and did not automatically segue into the video. A CAPTCHA appeared that asked me to type in a blurb from the ad! Something like: Toyotas are the best autos in the world.

What a clever way to etch an ad slogan into my feeble brain!

manthou — December 30, 2011 at 5:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal

***Seriously, what a maroon!***

Margaret Thatcher for US president?

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich mused Friday that the former British prime minister, a hero to US conservatives, might have been a dream candidate for the White House -- in a radically different world.

"If Margaret Thatcher were here today and 30 years younger, I would ask her to consider me as her running mate," the former House speaker told a crowd packed at a coffee shop to question him on his policies.

Gingrich, who seeks the Republican nomination to take on President Barack Obama in the November 2012 elections, had been asked by one of the audience members whether he would consider asking Thatcher to be his running mate if she were American and three decades younger.

He was slightly less sanguine about former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, saying "the only caution I'd have is that if you've never run for office, it's a very different business.

"But she is very smart," he added. "She's very, very smart and is certainly one of the people you'd look at in terms of sheer talent and sheer knowledge."

Thatcher has taken an oddly high profile in the Republican nominating fight: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has co-opted her famed campaign advertising slogan, "Labor Isn't Working," and applied it to Obama.

hawkeye — December 30, 2011 at 7:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Newt Gingrich weeps, Mitt Romney attacks Ron Paul

hawkeye — December 30, 2011 at 9:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal


I hope your evening is going well. And I'm enjoying the opportunity to discuss/debate something beside who should be the next Pres (though this did spring from one of those conversations).

I'll concede that reparative therapy has some problem areas - especially those that might be considered torture. However, what I see as the basic approach - aversion therapy - is a recognized form of behavior modification.

But I'm still thinking the main problem is that it's being used for a politically incorrect reason - to "cure" someone of homosexuality. Most of what I've scanned from the APA focuses on this, and not the effectiveness of the treatment itself. That organization appears to be highly opposed to any thought process that there might be something wrong with homosexuality which should be treated - they believe it should be embraced as a positive lifestyle. (Or something like that.)

The same arguments as used with religious cult deprogramming therapy should apply. If used on someone on an involuntary basis, it won't help and will most likely cause greater harm. But if the "patient" wants the help and knows what they're getting into - whatever works.

Which leads me to the point that I really doubt anyone received this reparative therapy at Bachmann's clinic unless they went there looking to be "cured" of their homosexuality. And that takes me back to thinking much of the problem is not the treatment approach itself, but the premise that homosexuality is something that needs to be cured.

roger — December 30, 2011 at 9:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Uh-oh. It looks like The Newt and I agree on something - respect for Condy Rice. Oh well - I guess he can't be wrong 100% of the time.

roger — December 30, 2011 at 9:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal

roger — December 30, 2011 at 9:26 p.m.

Hams and epoxy

(can be cured)

hawkeye — December 30, 2011 at 10:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Was he talking about Rice or Thatcher? It's really not that clear to me.

hawkeye — December 30, 2011 at 10:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**What Condi Rice Would Bring to the Republican Ticket**

nailingit — December 30, 2011 at 11:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal

On a local note: The Columbian's reporting of the recent suicide of a young woman who jumped off the I 205 bridge is ignoring ethical professional best practices for journalism, in my opinion.

They also have some FB commenters closely connected to the woman who died who are in serious pain, expressing it, and all staff can do is join in with a "The story has been updated" comment.

This seems callous to me and more than sensational and is professionally irresponsible.

At the very least, the very LEAST, Columbian staff should pair this story with a link to Clark County Crisis line and get on the FB side and acknowledge to the commenter there that they might want to seek professional support from a therapist or clergy. God knows where these FB comments will go.

Columbian: Please call your colleagues at the Oregonian and ask them how they handle this type of tragic story to best support community and family and current media guidelines. Their editorial board tackled the issue a couple of years ago in a thoughtful, professional process that included experts and staff reporters collaborating to produced informed policy.

I have been a print subscriber for years and want to sign off on this for good right now. I expect better from my hometown paper. Silly me.

Clark County Crisis: The Clark County Crisis Line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide phone triage for crisis calls from children and adults. Call (800) 626-8137 or (360) 696-9560. Professional counselors will answer your call.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

manthou — December 31, 2011 at 6:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

What does responsible reporting of suicide look like?

Here is what ethical media does:

manthou — December 31, 2011 at 6:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — December 30, 2011 at 11:04 p.m.

Strange article on Condoleezza Rice that you linked to. The young lady who wrote it is saying Condy is talented, etc, but that the main reason her name is being thrown around is due to race and gender - that the Repubs NEED a minority figure to replace Mr. 9-9-9. She gives kudos for her performance before the 9/11 Commission, but then jumps to the point that Rice, Rubio and other minority figures are players in the Repub world because they can counter the lunatic neoCon fringes and attract minority voters. You have to read to the end to get Michael Steele's take - that such a strategy is dumb, and as pertains to Condy Rice - “...a very talented, gifted woman and has brought so much to national leadership that her name being floated in any capacity now or in the future is a good thing.”

I personally liked Condy Rice's performance under Bush II - I saw her as one of the adult figures on the scene; one who did her best to be an "honest broker" rather than serve an agenda (as so many others apparently did). I'd really like to see a complete look at the workings of the Bush II administration - though that may never happen in our lifetime. We know that one side was Cheney, Rummy, the aides Rove and Libby, and probably Ashcroft and Bolton. They apparently worked together, for the most part. What we don't have such a clear picture of is the working relationships of the "moderates" - Rice and Powell, mainly, seeing as how Whitman and O'Neill left/were replaced early on. And who knows where Tenet fit in - he was quickly relegated to being a minor player, though his area was of such critical importance to the decisions made. Several of these people have written books - mostly their own perspective and not a lot of agreement on key events. Oh well.

But I'm not proposing she should run for Pres - her expertise is foreign affairs, and she doesn't have a track record that shows she can handle the current internal problems we have. If anything, she's just too damned nice. She has to show she can wade into the muck and start trading punches with the big boys. Like Hillary can.

roger — December 31, 2011 at 7:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- Many don't share your views of Condi. I think she was a dismal failure as head of NSA. I'm not trying to be a downer, but I think she was incompetent as hell, and her hands are covered with Iraqi/American blood.

nailingit — December 31, 2011 at 8:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal


You're certainly opening a can of worms this morning!

This may sound callous, but in my opinion the real issue is the family members and friends using The Columbian's public facebook medium to share information. Someone else has already said this quite well - a young lady named Amy B. says in response to the pissing contest between the reporter and another poster (over whether The Columbian should have even reported this suicide) - "I was on the bridge when it happened and almost got in a wreck because everyone slammed on their breaks. I completely understand your point, but there were so many witnesses I think it had to be reported; however, I feel uncomfortable with all the personal details people are commenting on regarding this article. It doesn't seem appropriate, bur maybe her loved ones just need to let out their feelings. I pray for her family and friends."

Personally, I don't where The Columbian's responsibility to report news ends. We don't know how many people had "eyes on" this article - it is a holiday weekend and (I presume) the staff was bare bones. And the other thing I noted is that most of the relevant posts seemed to hit about the same time (8-9 hours ago, per my look several minutes ago) - the reporter was busy responding to the criticism (attack) for posting the article, and for getting his update out to the readers. Should he have recognized that there was a greater concern? I don't know, and (having made more than a few dumb calls myself in my lifetime) I hesitate to come down on him. If anything, I'd say this just might be one of those "lessons learned" training events for the entire staff - but that's up to Editor Lou. As I started this paragraph with - I don't know.

roger — December 31, 2011 at 8:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Although I've been quite silent for the past several weeks (and will continue to remain silent...albeit...for a once-in-a-blue moon post such as today's), I felt compelled to respond to the comments regarding the lady who took her life in the location of the I-205 Bridge. It is an unfortunate epidemic plaguing society at this time and rather than arguing over whether or not the article should have been written with or without concerns for the stricken family members, it is my opinion that I believe the Columbian was absolutely right in publishing the information provided because of the fact that public awareness of the crises families are experiencing right now needs to be raised in order to work together as a community to find a solution to at least...reduce the numbers of unnecessary means of suicide by the one(s) suffering the deepest, darkest pressures of life OR at least to show community support FOR the families in crisis. Sometimes that feeling of isolation can be overcome by just being there for that person...and letting them know you are there for them, no matter what the problem may be. My heartfelt condolences reach out to the family of their loved one, lost.

goldenoldie — December 31, 2011 at 9 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Mister Lou B, your Press Talk Column was quite entertaining this morning. I'm just wondering how much steam is coming out of certain political leaders' ears, this morning! Thanks for the smiles, Lou!


"""*Should auld acquaintance be forgot???*"""

Not in my Book. Take care everyone and have a safe and Peaceful New Years!!!

goldenoldie — December 31, 2011 at 9:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Possibly. The conspiracy theory crowd has been saying for years that both the Clinton and the Bush admins had advanced knowledge that something like 9/11 was imminent, and they elected to do nothing.

We don't know how much GOOD intel Rice (and Pres Bush) had. The main reason for Homeland Security was because the different agencies had different info and weren't sharing it and facilitating the development of a "big picture."

Iraq is a different story. The issue of WMD was a critical factor, and as near as I can tell Condy was on the side of caution. If we're to believe George Tenet, he was briefing that there was no proof, and it was the Cheney faction that wanted to discount this info. And given that Scooter Libby outed the CIA operative that was providing the info that supported the "no proof" faction.... Personally, I think this was an area where Pres Bush heard what he wanted to hear.

I keep getting back to Dick Cheney. There was a lot going on that we don't know - and he seems to have been involved with most of it. I'm betting Scooter Libby outing Valerie Plame is just the tip of that iceberg. And Cheney and Rummy were the big dogs while Condy was NSA. It wasn't until sometime in 2004 that Pres Bush (apparently) recognized they were leading him down the wrong path. (Something we don't know is whether Powell's planned resignation as Sec'y State helped open his eyes.) Pres made a few critical changes, such as having Rummy "retire", elevating Condy to Sec'y State, and pushing Cheney off to a much less influential role. After that, things settled down.

So, I think calling Condy incompetent is wrong. She (and Colin Powell) weren't ready or willing to engage in the dirty side of the business. Perhaps this was due to loyalty to The Pres - if they'd have stooped to the level of Cheney's group, the infighting would probably have destroyed the Bush Presidency in his first term.

But - who knows? FOIA is a wonderful thing - long after the fact. I suppose somewhere around 2030 someone will have access to all the info and will be able to determine what really went on.

roger — December 31, 2011 at 9:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Welcome back, goldie. Hope you and your family had a relaxing Christmas together. Happy New Year!

About the suicide reporting: I have no problem with reporting it. It is not about whether it should be reported but HOW it is done and what sort of follow up and monitoring is done on the comments page.

We all will have opinions on this, but professionals know to base their choices on research, not emotion.

Best and current research should inform policy.

The Columbian and its staff dropped the ball on this one in so many areas. Some of them know it. I hope they all decide to learn from it and consult their colleagues and experts who know a heck of a lot more about this than I do.

To be perfectly clear: it is not an issue of whether it should be reported, but HOW.

manthou — December 31, 2011 at 9:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal


No one here is criticizing The Columbian for running the article - rather, the discussion is about their response to the grief and feelings of being a contributor to the suicide as expressed by a couple of posters on the facebook side.

I noted Lou's reference - twice - to a local contracting out to his own experts. I suppose this was directed at David Madore. I'm also amused by his comments about Mayor "no tolls" Leavitt and the "Gee - I've cleaned you out!" directed to Rep. Moeller. I'll have to go back and see what the responses are.

Happy New Year!

roger — December 31, 2011 at 9:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I just read Editor Lou's column, and see that he's updated it to ask for facebook reader input as to what they feel will be the top stories of 2012. I presume he wants the focus to be local, based on the article's content. In light of his recent visits here, I'm sure he'd like our input as well.

My prediction is that The Columbian will start digging into CRC records and other sources of info, and will have to question whether the project should in fact continue given that the primary billpayers will be Clark County residents commuting to their jobs in Portland. A main focus point will be light rail - is this expense worthwhile, given that its inability to move large numbers of people means it will have minimal impact on the traffic flow.

roger — December 31, 2011 at 9:50 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- You've conjured long repressed memories of Bush incompetency, at so many levels. I view Condi as being weak and misguided. One of the many Bushies that refuse to take accountability for the devastation we caused another country. Not only does America refuse to accept accountability for the death and destruction of 100's of thousands of innocent Human beings, invading, conquering and occupying a country under false pretenses, but the people that pushed the Iraqi agenda are still pushing it. Some of these people should be charged with war crimes in my humble opinion.

But I think it's cool she tickles the ivory, and likes Led Zeppelin.

**Rice on Bush Years: 'We Were Under a lot of Stress and Strain'**

"But, of course, I was doing what the president had asked me to do. I would say, "You know, Mr. President, it's really time you sit down with Colin," or, "I think maybe Don needs to come in alone," because I didn't want to interpose myself between those relationships.

GWEN IFILL: So, knowing now what you knew then, you would do it again?
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: **I would**, because Saddam Hussein was at the center of an unstable Middle East.

We wouldn't have an Arab spring in Iraq. The Arab spring in Iraq would have started at 9:00 and been done at 4:00, because this is -- was the world's -- the region's most brutal dictator. It would have made what we're looking at in Syria seem relatively mild in retrospect. And so I'm very glad that he's gone.

GWEN IFILL: How many times did you consider quitting? You write throughout the book about different moments, different setbacks, different oversights in which you said, I considered resigning.


nailingit — December 31, 2011 at 9:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal

What if America was the weaker of the two countries, and Iraq invaded us, our culture, our lives. Killed our loved ones and brought terrorism to our country. Untold death and destruction on all levels. Destabilized our region for decades to come, then decided to stay about 8 years knowing the reason they invaded us was wrong. America screwed up on a catastrophic scale with the Iraq war. The mother of all mistakes, and we are doomed to repeat it again.

We refuse to hold ourselves accountable.

nailingit — December 31, 2011 at 10:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Who knows - maybe we'll have the whole picture someday.

Other questions that could be answered include:

Did Pres Nixon direct Watergate, or did he just try to cover it up?

Did Pres Reagan know about Iran-Contra?

Did Pres Johnson really hit on Jackie, with Lady Bird's knowledge?

Did one or both of the Clintons have anything to do with Vince Foster's death?

But you note something of more immediate importance - that Condy says she likes Led Zeppelin. Sounds to me like something Larry Wilmore, the Senior Black Correspondent on the Daily Show, needs to address. I can't wait.

roger — December 31, 2011 at 10:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I'm highly disappointed with this year's college bowl games. So far, Boise State would have EASILY beaten anyone else that's played - to include Oklahoma and Baylor.

The BCS ranking and bowl selection process is broke.

roger — December 31, 2011 at 10:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit: The only person from the Bush years I would be interested in seeing in office is Colin Powell. I swear, though, the R's will go to their convention without a clear candidate at the rate they are going. I think it might be someone currently not out in the foray now. But Rice? Hope not.

roger: Lou B's column was fun today, for sure. I did notice one interesting detail: he added "entertainment" to "inform" on his list of what this paper does.

That is surely the case more and more. And that is perfectly fine. Remember when news used to be just news? Booooring. Some of us can waste an entire day on here now. News as interactive fun. News as a social outlet.

EBay and other online auctions tout themselves as "entertainment shopping." The lottery is for "entertainment" not investment.

Is this a disclaimer of sorts? Absolves us of being totally professional? Is Dr. Phil an entertainer or a psychologist? If he violates his professional ethics, can he simply say: I'm an entertainer and do not have to abide by those ethical principles. I think he has already used that excuse more than once.

Another question for discussion: Newspapers used to be the voice, eyes, and ears for the little folk and still are, I think. Who holds news media accountable? Its readers? Its professional organizations? Its staff?

Too many questions for a Saturday. :)

manthou — December 31, 2011 at 10:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger: God help me, but I only learned yesterday that Oregon was in the Rose Bowl. Sad, but true. Will hawkeye forgive me?

That was a wake up call that I have to pay more attention to true matters of consequence! :)

manthou — December 31, 2011 at 10:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Yep. And the next matter of consequence to focus on is how to break the news to nailingit that the Lakers will be also-rans this year. Portland has a better chance of getting to the NBA finals than the 2nd best team in LA does!!!

roger — December 31, 2011 at 10:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- I don't mean to sound all negative and stuff, but I would like to think we know enough to be a little more cautious when we play imperialism and invade countries. But given our current President is carrying out assassinations (to include at least one American citizen) within borders of countries we are not at war with, continues to kill more innocents than "terrorists", (and the Paki's have nukes!!), continues to carry out neo-conservative war policy, America has set itself up for a major attack/attacks within our borders. I think everyone pretty much agrees it's not if, it's when.

When/if it happens, we won't get empathy such as on the scale of 9/11 from the rest of the world. We took a bad situation, misallocated blame in order to pursue a war agenda, and bullied our way into a region that is not ours to belong to.

Whew! I feel all better now! :)) Again not to be negative. I'm still having nightmares from 04'!

Roger I wish you the very best for a new year. Thanks for your sound, reasonable and thoughtful comments, to include the personal. Much appreciated and at times lend me perspective.

manthou, hawk, k_nd, fro, go, Drift, vanwa, mrd and many others....

HAPPY NEW YEAR! "May the wind be always at your back." [Captain Kirk]

nailingit — December 31, 2011 at 10:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal

mantou- GOP going to convention without a clear candidate is a Dem's dream! :)

Barnum & Bailey 2.0!

nailingit — December 31, 2011 at 10:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal

^^^meant manthou^^^

nailingit — December 31, 2011 at 10:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal

**2011, The Year Washington Lost**

Just one year ago, Obama sparked a tremendous outcry from progressives for offering up a one-year payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits extension in exchange for two years of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

nailingit — December 31, 2011 at 12:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Mark Bowder: Thank you.

Troy W: Moving first-person story about your job. There are humans behind the camera, as well. :)

Have a safe and happy New Year Forum friends and Columbian staff.lomens

manthou — December 31, 2011 at 5:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal

"lomens" at the en of my statement above is part of the irritating CAPTCHA phrase. How it got there, I will never know.

manthou — December 31, 2011 at 5:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Glad I could help, mathou.

I don't pop my head up here very often anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy checking in on you guys. I hope you all have a wonderful - and wonderfully contentious - new year. :-)

Now, how do I work this #$@! Captcha thing???

Mark Bowder (Columbian Staff) — December 31, 2011 at 6:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal

roger — December 31, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.

BCS ***IS*** broken and always has been. It's time to replace it with something fair.

manthou, I'm truly disappointed in you (actually not, there are more important things) but really!!!!

hawkeye — December 31, 2011 at 7:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye: I am rooting for the Ducks. One of my sons is a proud Oregon graduate. Truly, the Rose Bowl is big news for a local NW team, is it not? Hope they are able to finish with a win this time!

How were the fireworks in everyone's neighborhoods last night? I am not a grinch about it, but we had a doozy in our neck of the woods that went on for nearly one hour. I am talking cannon booms and mortars that lit up the sky for miles. I could not get a bead on its precise location, but I hope they cleaned up after themselves. :)

What are the fireworks regs for New Years Eve in Vancouver now? I think there was an alteration last year, but I cannot be sure. This battle was up near Leverich Park and Kiggins Bowl, I think.

manthou — January 1, 2012 at 8:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal

***Now this sounds like fun!***

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — For thrill seekers, the Super Bowl won't be the only excitement in downtown Indianapolis.

Starting Jan. 27, thousands of brave souls are expected to climb a 95-foot tower, strap into a harness and go soaring 800 feet across the Super Bowl Village toward Lucas Oil Stadium.

Fans say chilly weather won't deter them from buying $10 tickets to ride the Super Bowl Village's signature attraction, The Indianapolis Star reports ( ).

"I don't care if it's 12 below zero and a snowstorm, I'm going to be there," said Constance Macy, of Fishers. "How often can you fly down a zip line in downtown Indy? And who knows if we'll ever get the Super Bowl here again?"

hawkeye — January 1, 2012 at 9:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal

This has been rumored for at least a year. I think it might have legs. I've never seen so many "comment flagged as offensive" removals before LOL!

**ROBERT REICH: Get Ready For A Obama-Clinton Presidential Ticket**

nailingit — January 1, 2012 at 11:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit: You just gave me my New Year's present! I think this is the best ticket ever and now that Robert Reich, a Clinton friend and insider, agrees, I am on Cloud 9!

Hillary is not too old in 2016 at all to take over the Presidency. She has been one of the best Secretaries of State and has earned world-wide respect.

In my lifetime, I hope to see a first female President, and I know of no other more deserving or capable than Hillary Clinton!

manthou — January 1, 2012 at 11:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Happy New Year everybody! I wish you all a prosperous, healthy, and peaceful 2012.

May some of our old commenters come back and may our conversations be respectful.

luvithere — January 1, 2012 at 11:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Fireworks are no longer allowed on New Years eve in either Vancouver or unincorporated Clark County. I'm not sure when Vancouver banned them - at least a couple of years ago.

Not that it matters to the people who choose to set them off anyhow. And seeing as how law enforcement is (quite rightly) more concerned with focusing on DUI - I doubt there's much effort to stop them. Like the cell phones when driving law - ignore with impunity.

roger — January 1, 2012 at 11:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal

and may the stupid captcha be more readable. Maybe the C can be like other media and ask us to do this once upon sign-in and not every single time we post?

luvithere — January 1, 2012 at 11:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal


I'm going to disagree with you - Hillary's time is NOW. That spineless person who occupies the White House now needs to go - we need someone who'll (figuratively) take Speaker Boehner out behind the woodshed and kick his butt a few times until he decides to make his crowd play nice. I can't imagine her playing second fiddle to our current Pres. I also don't see Biden as Sec'y of State - his lapses in tact could cause serious problems.

Besides, Hillary will be about 70 in 2016. And I believe she's made it clear she wants to retire at the end of this term, get involved with nonprofits that advance women's issues, and enjoy be a grandma. So, unless the Dem party leadership goes to her and says we want you to run the show now - not in 2016 - I think Reich's opinion will remain wishful thinking.

roger — January 1, 2012 at 11:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit: I want to add another thought about that Reich opinion piece you shared on Business Insider.

I, too, was impressed with the sheer number of posts removed for offensive comment! That alone tells me that this is THE ticket the Republicans dread most (I am assuming that Business Insider has a lot of conservative followers). You know you are over the target when you start receiving flak........

Therefore, that is this is the ticket with the most power to win and the most irritating and threatening to the opposition.

manthou — January 1, 2012 at 11:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal

roger: My husband and I just had a similar discussion. Our first friendly disagreement of the New Year!

He thinks Obama is too threatened by her to open this door. And we know that the Dems are not going to dump the President.

I am not as skeptical as you, but I will admit that my wish-fulfilling need might be blocking reality here. Just let me wallow in the revelry for a bit, OK? :)

Women are heartier than men, health wise and otherwise (blame research not me). Look at Golda Meir and the iron Lady. 70 is not too old any longer.

manthou — January 1, 2012 at 11:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal

"Therefore, that is this is the ticket with the most power to win and the most irritating and threatening to the opposition." [manthou]

Oh yes! Oh yeah! And a phrase I often use but would be censored for, so I won't. Fudging A' censorship line is no way to start the new year! My thoughts exactly. Hillary would not only be young enough (but could bring problematic optics with a Rubio, Ryan type in the race), but with her creds as Senator and Sec of State, she makes the current Republican field look more like boys than men. Talk about the adult in the room! She'll fire up the base as a proven warrior against GOP policy, and offset the "weakness as a leader" perception Obama has when it comes to domestic negotiation tactics.

And as you pointed out (and what I thought gave this write much credibility) was the author!


I stumbled on this while checking out the website. These pics are truly 'amazing'.

Amazing Pictures From A Year In The Life Of Barack Obama

Read more:

nailingit — January 1, 2012 at 12:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou and nailingit,

Well, I think the three of us are in agreement that Hillary is the best candidate for Pres that's out there.

I'd love to hear Rush talk about this. Let's see - Feminazi #1, Clinton dynasty, and resurrection of how she supposedly threw a lamp at a Marine White House aide, for starters. Then he'll really get wound up and start preaching doomsday. Maybe he'll even blame her for his drug addiction? Maybe we could get Matt to let Bob Larimer back on to give us a sample of what we'd hear?

roger — January 1, 2012 at 1:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal

roger — January 1, 2012 at 11:17 a.m.

I don't know about Vancouver but in Battle Ground, we had two firework stands set up and selling for three days before New Years day.

hawkeye — January 1, 2012 at 4:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal

roger — January 1, 2012 at 1:26 p.m

Make me four. I'd love to see Hillery and Joe swap places. She was the power (and brains) behind Bill and this would put her in place for President in 2016. I'd vote for her.

hawkeye — January 1, 2012 at 4:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — January 1, 2012 at 12:25 p.m.

Thanks for the link, what a GREAT tour, also along with that was a like to a White House tour. It too was pretty cool.

I don't care what anybody says, If you can be the President and come out the other side sane, you are a really strong person. My hat's off to Mr. Obama.

hawkeye — January 1, 2012 at 5:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawkeye at 4$5 PM: My neighbor told me the same thing today: fireworks stands in BG.

I guess there is no law against selling them, but Clark Co and Vancouver have reduced the fireworks days to July 4th only.

I noticed that our January neighborhood association meeting with be discussing the fireworks issue and whether we want to support putting a total ban on a ballot for the voters to decide.

Wonder what the guys at the 37th and Main fire station thought of all the concussive explosions and sky displays easily seen and heard/felt at their location last night? This was no short firecracker celebration, but a full-blown pyrotechnical display that rivaled anything I saw on the 4th. Went on for an hour nonstop. It must have cost into the thousands.

Funny what people choose to spend their hard-earned money on in tight times. Go figure.

manthou — January 1, 2012 at 5:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal

manthou — January 1, 2012 at 5:21 p.m.

We took a little day trip up to Lucky Eagle for the buffet yesterday and the Indians were doing a brisk business at the firework stands. I walked outside and heard (actually felt) a very loud firecracker or bomb.

What I'm saying is, even if you outlaw them, they will still be around.

hawkeye — January 1, 2012 at 6:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal

roger- 'The Hill' wouldn't get in at this stage. It would fragment the party, and at this point with all he's been through, I'll echo hawkeye and tip my hat to Obama. Given his record (he has had quite a few accomplishments) if he starts pushing progressive policy I'd take him over the Hill anyway. This sets up the eight after Obama! (Glass half full)

manthou-Reagan was 73 to start his second term. Alzheimer's and a bullet ta boot, and look how effectively destructive he was! As far as Obama opening his door to her, he already has appointing her Sec of State. Obama and Hillary would have control as to face time, but after three years of Republican leadership/constituency disrespecting and fighting this Democrat president on everything from questioning his citizenship/birthplace/patriotism to effectively banning abortion in some states and raising taxes on the middle class, I think they would see eye to eye on many things. :))

hawkeye- Those pics were great. I damn near got emotional with some. (I'm getting soft!) pic 30 with our troops goes against the grain (as in singular :0 ) of thought with those that claim the troops disrespect our President.

Sometimes a picture *is* worth a thousand words.


Imagine 16 years of Dem rule to shape policy, lend balance to our Supreme Court, and put America on the right track! And given the average age of Fox viewers are over 65, there is something to be said for attrition!

nailingit — January 1, 2012 at 6:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal

**Sci-Fi Brothel to Open in Nevada**
An infamous entrepreneur plans to open the Alien Cathouse, located 90 miles from Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal explains that as Hof crafts his out-of-this-world bordello filled with girls from other planets, he is getting some help from one one of earth’s experts, the infamous madam Heidi Fleiss. “She’s the chief alien design queen,” Hof told the paper.

Read more:

nailingit — January 1, 2012 at 8:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal

nailingit — January 1, 2012 at 8:11 p.m

Could be interesting. I wonder how they will do that really short three breasted Martian lady from Total Recall? LOL

hawkeye — January 1, 2012 at 8:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal

hawk- I'd be happy to give advice and lend support! :)

nailingit — January 1, 2012 at 8:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal

NYPD Scandals 2011: Ticket-Fixing, 'Rape Cops' And More From A Rough Year For NY's Finest;=The_Gunpoint_Rape

nailingit — January 1, 2012 at 9:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal

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