Open Thread

Been a while since we had one. As predicted, John Boehner’s branch davidian caucus will take the debt ceiling hostage for more spending cuts. If they play their usual games with the deadline, can Treasury handle the extra back-loaded debt? This is a serious question.






139 replies
  1. 1
    MomSense says:

    This is no way to run a superpower.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    The Republicans want the government to be defence and nothing else. Might as well declare the country ungovernable and split us up.

  3. 3
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @MomSense: Well if Boehner and company have their way, we will no longer be one.

  4. 4
    Trollhattan says:

    Shredded Freedoms(tm) restored by market forces, via plucky entrepreneur.

    A Sacramento man was arraigned in federal court Wednesday, charged with purchasing multiple firearms in Reno and illegally bringing them across state lines.
    Dejon Andrade, 27, who was arrested late Tuesday, drove to Reno and bought nine guns between November and January, according to an affidavit by Sara M. Lewis, a special agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    Andrade couldn’t legally buy the guns in California as a condition of his probation for a misdemeanor conviction, authorities said. That misdemeanor likely would have shown up in a state background check in California, but not in a federal background check in Nevada.

    One of the guns purchased by Andrade in Reno was found less than a month later on a known gang member who tossed it while fleeing police, according to the affidavit.
    Authorities also found text messages and pictures on Andrade’s phone that they say suggest he was selling some weapons that are illegal for purchase in California, including automatic weapons.

    One text message from a contact listed as “Gotti” asked Andrade, “Wats good wat u got?” Andrade replied, “Mac 10 fully for 1500,” according to authorities.

    A MAC-10 is a compact machine pistol capable of firing about 1,000 rounds a minute.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/.....rylink=cpy

    Yay, us!

  5. 5
    Todd says:

    @Yutsano:

    The Republicans want the government to be defence and nothing else. Might as well declare the country ungovernable and split us up.

    That’s what they want. On one hand, while there would be the personal satisfaction of knowing that The Olds and the military pensioners will be screwed as a group (whattaya mean, the checks and healthcare stop? That wasn’t supposed to happen), I can’t say that watching them fight eight year olds over sparrows to roast on curtain rods under an overpass will be very enjoyable.

  6. 6
    askew says:

    At least we have until August until the next budget crisis. Maybe in the next few months, Congress can focus on passing something else like immigration reform, gun control, farm bill, or infrastructure bill. Just kidding. We all know none of that will happen.

    On a more positive note, there are rave reviews for Obama’s speech in Israel.

    Not for nothing did Barack Obama cite Martin Luther King’s address on the eve of his assassination. The image of the Promised Land as a place Moses will not be able to reach, but one which his work will allow his people to eventually enter, clearly resonates with a president beginning already to see the end of his time in office.

    This is not the same country after this speech.

    Four years from now, when he hands back the White House, Barack Obama should consider a change of direction, even a change of venue.

    Let him run here. It’s about time we knew again what a real leader was like.

  7. 7
    Hunter Gathers says:

    can Treasury handle the extra back-loaded debt?

    I imagine that they can get by for 2-3 weeks, as opposed to a couple of months the last time they pulled this retard stunt.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Todd: Dude, they are my sparrows and my curtain rods, and unless the eight year olds were trained in McMegan’s school for tiny commandos, they ain’t getting them.

  9. 9
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    It’s been a while since we had a Debt Ceiling Hostage Open Thread. Hopefully, the White House can come up with an even more hideous compromise than sequestration this time. I’d hate to see a manufactured crisis go to waste.

  10. 10
    Paul W. says:

    Tim,
    From what I understand the additional increase of the debt during this break is actually automatically assumed to be the new debt limit at the end of the break… so they don’t have to raise it by more.

    I’m trying to find where I saw this, but my conclusion is that the R’s are totally toothless on this issue when they (effectively) raised the debt limit after all their threats last time when Obama refused to negotiate. I expect the same hemming and hawing this time and then a raise anyways.

  11. 11
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Huh. Wasn’t but a few weeks ago that he said the debt ceiling was “totally off limits”.

  12. 12
    Seanly says:

    WTF. Let’s hope the President will pull some kinda Atrios-approved shenanigans to get rid of the debt ceiling.

  13. 13

    @Trollhattan: Reno is the biggest little gun market in the world. It is also so close to hell you can see Sparks.

  14. 14

    I’m not sure what to expect. Orange Julius has been folding more and more lately, breaking the Hastert Rule to get crap passed that the reactionaries in his caucus do not like. Certainly there will be growling and posturing, but I no longer know how hard they’ll actually obstruct.

  15. 15
    Zifnab says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Hopefully, the White House can come up with an even more hideous compromise than sequestration this time.

    Sequestration took all the pain we would have experienced before November and pushed it until after November. That was a smart move politically, and – given the uptrend in hiring activity and construction we’re finally beginning to see – a smart move economically.

    I won’t begrudge Obama for sequestration because he convinced the GOP to wait a few months before fucking us over.

  16. 16
    srv says:

    I thought if I had embraced sequestration that I would be done for awhile.

  17. 17
    Mojotron says:

    For those suffering from anemia we have Where Higher Education Went Wrong at Reason by perfesser Glenn Reynolds.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @askew: It was a historic speech but Obama was heckled. The MSM will devote their time to the free Jonathan Pollard movement.

  19. 19
    srv says:

    @askew: How can a guy ask foreigners to compromise with each other when he can’t with our leaders in Congress?

  20. 20
    David Koch says:

    On a more positive note, there are rave reviews for Obama’s speech in Israel.

    Just words. He didn’t really mean it. He only said it cuz we made him. Also too, Dr0nze!!

  21. 21
    Hill Dweller says:

    They’re bluffing. By the time the debt ceiling needs to be extended, the sequester will have already had devastating effect on communities across the country.

    All Obama has to do is tie the sequester(and spending cuts in general) and its effects to Republicans using last debt ceiling extension for ransom.

  22. 22
    NR says:

    Last time we had a debt ceiling fight, you guys claimed that Obama kicked the Republicans’ asses…. And we got the sequester, which is hurting people all over the country.

    I can’t wait for you guys to start cheering Obama’s next “victory.”

  23. 23
    Hill Dweller says:

    @JPL:

    It was a historic speech but Obama was heckled. The MSM will devote their time to the free Jonathan Pollard movement.

    But Obama handled it beautifully, which earned him a standing ovation.

  24. 24
    David Koch says:

    The MSM will devote their time to the free Jonathan Pollard movement.

    How come the Free Manning movement doesn’t stick up for Pollard? Is it simply because Manning is adorably cute and oh so crushable, while Pollard looks like a bag of potatoes?

  25. 25
    askew says:

    @JPL:

    So far the US media seems to be ignoring it. They are spending their time talking about how horribly unpopular Obama is in Israel and how badly he screwed up with handling Israel, which is odd since he just got a medal from the Israeli government for being such an ally to Israel but whatever.

  26. 26
    4tehlulz says:

    @David Koch: Never underestimate the power of cute.

  27. 27
    Yutsano says:

    @NR: Yes because Obama passed the sequestration by executive order and it had nothing to do with Congress whatsorver. Innocent little lambs they are!

  28. 28
    NR says:

    @Yutsano: Like I said: You guys claimed that Obama kicked the Republicans’ asses. Well, if kicking ass gave us the sequester, I can’t wait to see what the next ass kicking will bring.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @David Koch: No, it is because the two cases are almost entirely different.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    Has anyone seen The Croods or Side Effects?

  31. 31
    eemom says:

    wrt Obama in Israel, I hope Romtron is watching, and remembering how Obama handed his ass to him on that subject in the foreign policy debate, and eating his nonexistant heart out. Tee hee.

  32. 32
    max says:

    As predicted, John Boehner’s branch davidian caucus will take the debt ceiling hostage for more spending cuts.

    They had them with the fiscal cliff, and our upper-crusty D’s blinked. Bad move. It is going to turn out that going over the fiscal cliff would’ve have been less bad than the debt ceiling. (And the same with the filibuster.)

    If they play their usual games with the deadline, can Treasury handle the extra back-loaded debt?

    Probably. Depends on when it happens.

    max
    [‘In the end, we’re going to have to face these guys down sooner or later, so it’s not that relevant.’]

  33. 33
    David Koch says:

    sequestration was only the first step in Obomber’s ultimate goal in installing Sharia law.

  34. 34
    Hill Dweller says:

    @NR: What do you think would have happened if Obama let the country default?

    Keep in mind the media we have right now when answering.

  35. 35
    Todd says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Dude, they are my sparrows and my curtain rods, and unless the eight year olds were trained in McMegan’s school for tiny commandos, they ain’t getting them.

    I dunno. A starving 8 year old can be mighty wiry. If they snarl and bite, they might be able to best a teatard granny or even a gun totin’ real man on a battery starved hoverround.

  36. 36
    NR says:

    @max: I hope by “face these guys down” you actually mean “give in to these guys completely and enact policies that fuck a bunch of people over and then try to spin it as some grand progressive victory while repeating endlessly that the president has no power and Congress controls everything” because that’s what’s going to happen.

  37. 37
    Trollhattan says:

    @eemom:

    RomneyTron 2.0 would have begun, “I’m severely Jewish.” and run with it from there. “I love it here in the Holy Land, where all the walls are just the right height.”

  38. 38
    shortstop says:

    @askew: Those Israelis are the last people on earth to know what being Israeli means. It takes a reactionary American fundamentalist Protestant to really understand this topic.

  39. 39
    Cassidy says:

    Yes! More firebaggery. Hard to think much of people who are ideologically similiar to T&H.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @Hill Dweller: He did handle it well but the media will focus on the negatives.

    edit. not sure what negatives though. The speech was excellent.

  41. 41
    shortstop says:

    Yep! Another thread about to be shot to shit by people who can’t leave a troll alone at any time or under any circumstance.

  42. 42
    Cassidy says:

    @shortstop: It’s close ot the end of the week, I’m still at work, and I’m not drinking. What the hell else you want from me?

  43. 43
    eemom says:

    @NR:

    You are an exceptionally boring and predictable individual.

  44. 44
    Yutsano says:

    @shortstop: I sowwy. I stop now.

  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    A moment we’ve all been waiting for:

    A Native American state representative in Kansas rebuked Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a leader in the anti-immigrant movement, at a hearing yesterday.
    “I think it’s funny Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you,” said State Rep. Ponka-We Victors (D) during a hearing on Wednesday

    Kobach is the Very Serious ConWonk behind “self-deportation”, IIRC.

  46. 46
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop:

    Yep! Another thread about to be shot to shit by people who can’t leave a troll alone at any time or under any circumstance.

    Squirrel!

  47. 47
    Tone in DC says:

    Doom and gloom from regular commenters about November of last year is still fresh in my mind.

    Boehner’s caucus is fracturing, slow but surely. The Prez sees it, as do Reid and Nancy Smash. Even Ezra Klein sees it, and the view from the Kaplan Post usually isn’t that clear.

    But, by all means, continue moaning about something that hasn’t happened yet. And keep downplaying the slow, mostly steady unemployment numbers that are moving in a good direction.

    Instant gratification is the only kind, after all.

  48. 48
    shortstop says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That is some kinda awesome, not least because it’s so enjoyable to say “Ponka-We.”

  49. 49
    Trollhattan says:

    Giant shock delivered, as Michele Bachman demonstrates she literally doesn’t know what literally means.

    BACHMANN: That’s why we’re here because we’re saying let’s repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens. Let’s not do that. Let’s love people, let’s care about people. Let’s repeal it now while we can.

    Also, too, please everybody, let’s avoid the “Medicaid ghetto.”

    “Here’s the one that no American wants to be in. It’s the Medicaid ghetto,” she said. “And that’s where the lowest possible care, where very few doctors will be available available to offer this kind of care.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/healt.....ll-people/

    Oi.

  50. 50
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Oddly enough, I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye as I was reading that. It was a squirrel looking calmly through the window at my obliviously napping hound dog. Whatarethechances!

  51. 51
    Tone in DC says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I am truly glad he said that. Even if only the locals and B-J readers will actually see that he did. Self-deportation fans need to STFU and/or DIAF.

  52. 52
    Ben Franklin says:

    NO AMERICANS (CURRENTLY) ON KILL LIST !!!! HUZZAH !

    But no more Americans are in line for such killings—at least not yet. “There is no list where Americans are on the list,” House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers told National Journal. Still, he suggested, that could change.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com.....o-20130320

  53. 53
    Jennifer says:

    I’m to the point where my preference is for the president to just say, “go ahead, default on the debt, you’ll own the consequences,” and be done with it.

    The fact is, a hostage loses all utility after you’ve already shot him in the head.

    On the Israel trip topic, did anyone else see Chuck Todd make a towering ass of himself (yet again) in that press conference Obama held with Bibi yesterday? Shorter Todd: “Mr. President, aren’t you a failure because there was no resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian issue in your first term?” Bibi stood off to the side behind his podium, sniggering, no doubt thinking to himself, “hey, remember that time Biden came to visit, and we waited until his arrival to announce we were setting up new settlements on the West Bank? Good times, good times…”

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Awesome.

  55. 55
    Zifnab says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: After she made that statement, did Representative Victors drop her mic, clap her hands, and just walk off the floor?

  56. 56
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop:

    Oddly enough, I caught some movement out of the corner of my eyeas I was looking askew as I was reading that. It was a squirrel looking calmly through the window at my obliviously napping hound dog. Whatarethechances!

    Fixed for even more weirdly weirdness.

  57. 57
    Trollhattan says:

    @David Koch:

    Maybe it’s because their offences and cases are nothing alike?

  58. 58
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Trollhattan: I’m sure she has a good plan in place to house all of those people she wants to throw out of the medicaid ghetto. The uninsured ghetto? I’ve heard the housing stock and overcrowding sucks there, too. But I’m fairly certain she’s not actually thinking about moving them into the rent stabilized apartments in Edina after leveling their neighborhood.

  59. 59
    Valdivia says:

    @askew:

    awesome link. Was following the speech on twiter before my toe surgery today and the reviews by a mile were like that, except perhaps for the WH press who didn’t get it at all.

  60. 60
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tone in DC: I was thinking the other day about how internet liberals like Dave Niewert were like “Obama is weak, that means fascism is coming!” Good times

  61. 61
    shortstop says:

    @Suffern ACE: Are there no workhouses?

  62. 62
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Trollhattan: The trolls come in more than one flavor here. Caveat Commentor.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    It’s 47 degrees and is suppose to freeze again tonight and my azaleas are starting to bloom. ugh

  64. 64
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Trollhattan: I don’t know. How sure are you that Pollard wasn’t planning on releasing that information to the New York Times and the Guardian?

  65. 65
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jennifer: EVenTheLiberalMSNBC keeps telling me, for days now, that Obama’s approval rating in Israel is 10%. Their tone suggests I should care about this, but I can’t for the life of me imagine why.

    “Of course Republicans/Likudniks are colossal dicks. Why won’t Obama change them?”

  66. 66
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Why the hell do people on this blog insist on spelling it “commentor”? Who does this? No one does this!

  67. 67

    if it’s an open thread, Imma do a little shameless self-promotion. I’ll be playing the Abilene Bar in Rochester TONIGHT 3/21. Show starts at 8:00, two sets. 153 Liberty Pole Way.

    Music etc at the link

  68. 68
    Valdivia says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    he got a standing ovation there today. Most Israelis have been fed the Republican caricature of Obama and now that they have actually met him, they seem to be smitten. :)

    ETA: https://twitter.com/joshledermanAP/status/314801925818286084

  69. 69
    shortstop says:

    @brendancalling: I am not going to be the one to make a joke about a Liberty Pole. I’m just going to wish you a successful performance.

  70. 70
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop:

    Why the hell do people on this blog insist on spelling it “commentor”?

    I had to keep the similarity to “Emptor”. Stop bullying me or I’m going to write a plaintive email to John.

  71. 71
    David Koch says:

    But no more Americans are in line for such killings—at least not yet.

    See, that’s the problem with Obummer. A strong president like Elizabeth Warren would have already put the Yankees, the Kardashians, and Adam Sandler up against the wall.

  72. 72
    Ben Franklin says:

    @David Koch:

    See Caspar Weinbergers classified 47 page memo to the sentencing judge.

  73. 73
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Don’t be plaintive. Be officious and imperious. Demand that he start policing his blog and removing the bad element. Include lots of extra lectury goodness.

  74. 74
    Trollhattan says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Point taken. I get my dander up everytime I see Pollard described as anything other than a traitor. Even without the cash and jewels.

  75. 75
    MomSense says:

    @askew:

    That is an incredible article. I read some excerpts from the speech and it really is incredible. I think I will actually watch the footage later. He apparently went off script and added something very personal.

    It feels good to be proud of my President.

  76. 76
    piratedan says:

    @srv: maybe because they may be more reality based than our local tea party patriot?

  77. 77
    scav says:

    Any guesses as to any possible extra oomph to this part of Obama’s speech to the students?

    Criticising hardliners on both sides, he said: “There will always be extremists who provide an excuse to not act. And there is something exhausting about endless talks about talks, the daily controversies and grinding status quo.”

    . ETA tidied from poddish

  78. 78
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Point taken. I get my dander up everytime I see Pollard described as anything other than a traitor. Even without the cash and jewels.

    David’s Cock wouldn’t be able to pick Jonathan Pollard out of a lineup. He’s just here for the reversefirebaggerlulz. (It’s complicated and unfunny.)

  79. 79
    Jennifer says:

    I have squirrels looking in the windows all the time, probably because I feed them and they’ve become tame. Now if I’m not out on the back patio at the appointed time, they come up and peek in the french door at the cat and climb the window screens to make noise and let me know they’re waiting to eat.

  80. 80
    shortstop says:

    @scav: Clearly he’s talking about academic committees. Humanities, I think. Maybe the social sciences.

  81. 81
    NR says:

    @Jennifer:

    I’m to the point where my preference is for the president to just say, “go ahead, default on the debt, you’ll own the consequences,” and be done with it.

    That will simply never happen.

    The Republicans know that all they have to do is wait long enough and Obama will start negotiating with himself. He wants a “Grand Bargain” more than anything else for his second term.

  82. 82
    shortstop says:

    @Jennifer: Why do they not respect the immense and immediate danger posed by our pets? Yes, I’m laughing as I type this.

  83. 83
    jl says:

    Awww, shoot. I thought I heard on the news that they settled this through the end of the year.

    Maybe the GOP could start their outreach program with not being jackasses on fiscal policy. I guess it depends on how hard the sequester starts hitting their base and funders, which might be poorly understood at this point.

  84. 84
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop:

    Don’t be plaintive. Be officious and imperious. Demand that he start policing his blog and removing the bad element. Include lots of extra lectury goodness.

    What do you I look like? A self-righteous little white guy?

    SCORE!

  85. 85
    Suffern ACE says:

    @scav:

    ETA tidied from poddish

    I read that as edited for the prudish. I know we want Biden to someday give a NSFW speech, but Obama will need to wait until he’s out of office.

  86. 86
    scav says:

    @shortstop: Discussions about pizza toppings.

  87. 87
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: That was funny. But so was David Koch at #71. You know it’s true.

  88. 88
    Jennifer says:

    @shortstop: Ha! The cat is actually a little afraid of them, since they’ll walk right up to her and get in her grill. When she’s just sitting on the patio, they don’t seem to recognize that she’s a cat. Every now and again, she’ll make a run at them, not to try to catch them, but as if to just remind them to respect her authoritah. They’ll run off for a few minutes, then come right back.

  89. 89
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Around these parts the T-shirt shops sell one with a repo of a grainy 19th cen. photo of half-a-dozen pissed-off looking Native American warriors mounted on horseback, titled: “Homeland Security, fighting terrorism since 1492”

    Kobach is the Very Serious ConWonk behind “self-deportation”, IIRC

    Oh snap! I wonder which Central European country Kobach will be self-deporting to, then? I hear the strudel is excellent in Vienna.

  90. 90
    Maude says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I have a couple of pigeons and a rotisserie. So, there.

  91. 91
    David Koch says:

    @Trollhattan:

    I get my dander up everytime I see Pollard described as anything other than a traitor.

    How is Pollard a traitor? How is giving information to what is universally recognized as America’s strongest ally treason?

    Seriously, if Bradley Manning had given the document dump to the Israelis would any of his current supporters be calling him a traitor? No.

    But you’re welcomed to tell me how giving information to an ally of 50 years is wrong, but giving the very same information to a web site is whistle-blowing.

  92. 92
    eemom says:

    @shortstop:
    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    John loves you.

  93. 93
  94. 94
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop:

    That was funny. But so was David Koch at #71. You know it’s true.

    No, it wasn’t funny. The idea may have been funny the first time someone funny had that funny idea but David’s Schtick long ago ceased being funny, in much the same way as Ted & Helen ceased being mildly interesting about three thousand threadjacks ago.

    I’m thinking about starting our clique back up. You interested? Sound like fun?

  95. 95
    Jennifer says:

    @David Koch: I agree.

    Rather than jail Pollard, the response should have been to immediately cut all military aid to Israel, since by definition an “ally” isn’t someone who should be paying someone to spy on you.

  96. 96
    scav says:

    @Suffern ACE: Not quite so good. poddish is the specific language / spelling one gets from typing on pods and pads. characterized by wild typos, auto-correct and letters (usually n’ sometime b) instead of spaces. Given enough time, it’s as legible as 3|33T.

  97. 97
    Hill Dweller says:

    @NR: I’ll ask again, what do you think would have happened to both the economy and Obama’s reelection chances if he had let the wingnuts default on the debt in 2011?

  98. 98
    shortstop says:

    @Jennifer: Our girl will lunge at them outside when she’s forgotten she’s on a leash…which makes for some moments of hilarity. At home, she can’t be bothered. Territorial, no.

  99. 99
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I forgot about our clique! God, we were tight. No one has ever held me the way you held me.

  100. 100
    Todd says:

    @shortstop:

    Don’t be plaintive. Be officious and imperious. Demand that he start policing his blog and removing the bad element. Include lots of extra lectury goodness.

    Me like. It has all the good stuff that makes blog reading exciting.

  101. 101
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop:

    I forgot about our clique! God, we were tight. No one has ever held me the way you held me.

    It could be the way it used to be.

    “I was a fool to ever leave your side
    Me minus you is such a lonely ride
    That break-up we had has made me lonesome and sad
    I realize I love you ‘cuz I want you back, hey-hey..”

  102. 102
    NR says:

    @Hill Dweller: Not everyone thinks that Obama’s re-election is more important than, you know, people’s lives.

  103. 103
    Hill Dweller says:

    @NR: I said economy and Obama’s reelection chances.

    For the third time, what do you think would have happened if Obama let the Republicans default on our debt?

  104. 104
    shortstop says:

    @NR: Check this one out, JSF. That’s some email-to-John-quality sniffiness right there.

  105. 105
    Ben Franklin says:

    @David Koch:

    When the FBI found sensitive — though it turned out, unclassified — documents in Thomas Drake’s basement, he was charged under the Espionage Act. When the Army found hundreds of thousands of classified — but not Top Secret — cables on Bradley Manning’s computer, they charged him with Espionage and Aiding the Enemy.

    But when the FBI found Top Secret documents on Sudan — our actual enemy, if sanctions count — in Reagan National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane’s basement, it decided to investigate him for illegal lobbying.

    The FBI has searched the apartment of former Reagan administration national security adviser Robert McFarlane for evidence of whether he lobbied for the government of Sudan, in violation of federal law.

    The search warrant is on file in federal district court in Washington. It shows agents seized items this month including handwritten notes about Sudan and White House documents with classifications up to Top Secret.

    From this I can only assume that McFarlane is being subjected to the same double standard that Clinton’s National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was (represented, it should be noted, by former Criminal Division chief Lanny Breuer), when he snuck 9/11 related documents out of the Archives, yet only plead guilty to a misdemeanor.

    When National Security Advisors take top secret documents, they’re called lobbyists, not spies.

  106. 106
    Amir Khalid says:

    @David Koch:
    While an American citizen, holding security clearances granted by the US, Jonathan Pollard sold America’s secrets to an outside power for money. That’s a treasonous act in any country. That Israel was a long-standing ally doesn’t make his action any less treasonous.

  107. 107
    JPL says:

    @Jennifer: We have to support Israel because that is where Jesus will reappear. Oh there is always the chance he could reappear in Missouri though.

  108. 108
    Ben Franklin says:

    I tell ya, it’s an absolute sonofabitch keeping up will all the selective prosecution.

    http://www.emptywheel.net/2013.....onage-act/

  109. 109
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop: No one writes John sniffy letters any more. It’s just easier to crap in one of mistermix’s threads. That way John doesn’t have to forward it to him allcapsing “LET THE FUCKERS EAT CAKE”.

  110. 110
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It should have been easy for Pollard to follow the crumbs to freedom.

    He should have gotten a gubmint post first, then become a lobbyist.

    Then you might feel better about the criminality.

  111. 111
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: That’s why I send my busybody complaints via registered mail. He’s always home, and he has to answer the door or the damn dogs won’t stop barking.

  112. 112
    Ben Franklin says:

    Here’s yet another traitor for y’all to scourge…….havin’ fun yet?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....-anonymous

  113. 113
    scav says:

    @Ben Franklin: Amir? Of all the people? Right, carry on.

  114. 114
    Ben Franklin says:

    @scav:

    So, you’re saying it’s more of a bigotry thing?

  115. 115
    Trollhattan says:

    @David Koch:

    How is Pollard a traitor?

    A: Only in every sense of the word, “traitor.”
    You can’t possibly be that thick, can you? For the impaired, please note: rhetorical question.

  116. 116
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Trollhattan:

    You could, actually answer the question if the facts supported your assertion. Failing that, you could become mayor of Wasilla.

  117. 117
    scav says:

    @Ben Franklin: No, I’m saying he’s not American, so probably has his own reasons to feel what he does, not your presuppositions about love of lobbyists in all but your holy self.

  118. 118
    Trollhattan says:

    @Ben Franklin:
    Gun-fondler dipshit might consider he’s in prison for life.

    Idiot.

  119. 119
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Gun-fondler dipshit might consider he’s in prison for life.

    Jeez. So, “if you weren’t guilty, why were you arrested” is your response.

    Christ Jesus !

  120. 120
    Ben Franklin says:

    This thread sure cleared the decks…….

  121. 121
    JS says:

    Seriously, leave the Branch Davidians alone. They were never as bad as that clown Boehner.

  122. 122
    scav says:

    There’s a lot of ‘It’s not treason if one with no authorization to do so gives state secrets to allies because they feel like it.’ reasoning here. Reminds me of the “It’s not rape if she’s out cold and didn’t say no.” defence. The fact that some other case wasn’t prosecuted correctly isn’t a get-out-of-jail card. It’s Rape. It’s Treason.

  123. 123
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop:

    That’s why I send my busybody complaints via registered mail. He’s always home, and he has to answer the door or the damn dogs won’t stop barking.

    I post nude & stiff photos of myself on his Facebook wall.

  124. 124
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Don’t believe him when he says he hates that. You know he’s a reflexive contrarian.

  125. 125
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop:

    You know he’s a reflexive contrarian.

    Truer words have never been spoken.

  126. 126
    David Koch says:

    If Bradley Manning’s case is sympathetic then why hasn’t liberal icons like Paul Krugman, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow, and Charles Pierce spoken on his behalf?

    If Bradley Manning’s case is sympathetic then why hasn’t liberal lions like Elizabeth Warren, Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, and Alan Grayson spoken in his defense?

    The silence by these liberal pillars is deafening.

  127. 127
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Hmmmm. That was a joke about him not wanting to see you sporting wood on his wall. I don’t actually think he is. Cranky and contrarian, yes. Reflexive, no.

  128. 128
    Mandalay says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    When National Security Advisors take top secret documents, they’re called lobbyists, not spies.

    Unless you are Sandy Berger who suffered the harshest punishment imaginable after he was caught stealing classified documents: he was savagely stripped of his security clearance for 3 years.

    Bad enough that Berger didn’t go to the slammer, but how the heck can it be possible for ANYONE caught stealing classified documents to ever get their security clearance restored?

  129. 129
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop: John is secretly obsessed with me. I’ll send him a Facebook message every couple minutes all day to see if he’s thinking about me and, invariably, he is.

  130. 130
    Amir Khalid says:

    @David Koch:
    Is his case really all that sympathetic? Manning’s a messed-up kid who didn’t belong in uniform to begin with. He was always trouble waiting to happen. But it’s no defence to the charges he’s still facing; and if he’s convicted on the charges he didn’t plead guilty to, it might not be enough to mitigate his eventual sentence by much.

  131. 131
    danimal says:

    @Jennifer:

    I’m to the point where my preference is for the president to just say, “go ahead, default on the debt, you’ll own the consequences,” and be done with it.

    Totally agree. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Obama gets in trouble when he tries to explain concepts at a third-grade level or higher. The national press can’t keep up intellectually, and when the GOP stick their tongues out and say “phhhhhhhhttttt”, the national press can say both sides have a point.

    Better to keep the message to one simple, repeatable sentence.

  132. 132
    David Koch says:

    @Trollhattan: The fact of the matter is Israel is unpopular because of their actions since 1967. Had Pollard given the information to Canada, an uncontroversial ally he wouldn’t be as unpopular.

    Manning is considered a hero by some in the blogosphere and he would be if he gave the very same data dump to Canada. But had he given the data dump to Israel that support would vanish.

    Imagine if a report surfaced tomorrow saying Manning had passed data to Israel in addition to passing data to a website. His popularity would dry up.

    So the bottom line is the acts aren’t so different, it’s just the underlying popularity of the recipients of the information.

  133. 133
    Joel says:

    @David Koch: I wouldn’t object to any of those.

  134. 134
    David Koch says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Is his case really all that sympathetic?

    He’s popular and considered a hero with a segment of the Blogosphere, just witness the comments defending him in the thread.

    Yet that very same segment hasn’t noticed that their icons (Elizabeth Warren, KThug, Maddow, et. al). won’t go near their hero’s case.

    So who’s right and who’s wrong? Are they right and Warren is wrong? If they really believe in Manning freedom they should hold people like Grayson and Warren accountable for their silence instead of giving them a pass.

  135. 135
    lojasmo says:

    @David Koch:

    Ask Ted & Helen. He might have some…um…insight.

  136. 136
    Ben Franklin says:

    @lojasmo:

    Fuck your one-line surrenders, asshole..

  137. 137
    Kyle Michel Sullivan says:

    Terrorists should be treated as such…and that’s what the GOP has become — a terrorist organization. No negotiation. No surrender. Problem is, we’ve got a schoolmarm in the White House instead of a ball-breaker.

  138. 138
    Kyle Michel Sullivan says:

    @David Koch: Your suppositions are ridiculous, if not outright specious. Make some adult claims and back them up with facts instead of fancy, if you can.

  139. 139
    cal1942 says:

    @Yutsano: Can we ditch the states of the old Confederacy. That would solve many, many problems.

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