Open Thread: Working Stiffs

Ahh, end-of-year production shutdown, the only time I can actually get any work done around here.  Gotta love manufacturing IT.

Looks like President Obama is ready to get some work done too.

Since taking office in 2009, Obama has only vetoed legislation twice, both in fairly minor circumstances. But with Republicans set to take full control of Congress next year, Obama is losing his last bulwark against a barrage of bills he doesn’t like: the Senate.

“I haven’t used the veto pen very often since I’ve been in office,” Obama said in an NPR interview airing Monday. “Now, I suspect, there are going to be some times where I’ve got to pull that pen out.”

He added: “I’m going to defend gains that we’ve made in health care. I’m going to defend gains that we’ve made on environment and clean air and clean water.”

Over/under on when a Republican declares on FOX that Obama’s veto is  “illegal”, Feb 8.

Open thread otherwise.

81 replies
  1. 1

    Over/under on when a Republican declares on FOX that Obama’s veto is “illegal”, Feb 8.

    That late? Ah, the optimism of youth.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    Over/under on when a Republican declares on FOX that Obama’s veto is “illegal”, Feb 8.

    It will be right after the first veto is done. But it won’t be “illegal,” it will be Obama’s “War on Congress.” FOX do love using the war meme.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    If edit function functioned, would amend that to:

    FOX do love a wargasm.

  4. 4

    @NotMax: Maybe they’ll sue him over that because only Congress has the power to declare war and clearly he’s usurping that, too.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    Now, I suspect, there are going to be some times where I’ve got to pull that pen out.”

    If Obama had only said, “Excuse me while I pull this out,” I would have personally have carved his face into Mt. Rushmore.

  6. 6
    Mike J says:

    Butbutbut Obama has already used as many vetoes as Washington, Jefferson, and Adams combined! Acting like a king! Argle bargle!

  7. 7
    rlrr says:

    @Mike J:

    He also vacations in the exotic foreign land of Hawaii…

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    I wonder if the GOP passes their massive, unpaid-for tax cut right out of the gate or waits until the election is closer.

  9. 9
    Zandar says:

    @Baud: They’ll have to bury Gov. John Kasich and his “Balanced Budget Amendment” shtick before they can do that. Of course, the work on doing just that has already begun.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Zandar:

    Easiest thing in the world.

  11. 11
    debbie says:

    No, it will be later today. Just hearing that he’s considering using the veto is certain to be grounds for impeachment. I can see the glint in every presidential contender’s eye even now.

  12. 12
    debbie says:

    @Zandar:

    Watching Kasich be made a fool of is the best present ever, even if it comes much sooner than expected.

  13. 13
    Hal says:

    So there is some minor dust up over the movie Selma’s LBJ portrayal.

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6382086

    LBJ Library Director Mark Updegrove said the film unfairly casts Johnson as a sort of composite character who represents the obstacles blacks faced in getting civil rights laws passed. What history shows, Updegrove said, is that Johnson and King had a partnership.

    He said Johnson and King had disagreements but not like the film suggests. Updegrove called the portrayal unfortunate given the current climate following the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police.

    “When racial tension is so high, it does no good to suggest that the president of the U.S. himself stood in the way of progress a half-century ago. It flies in the face of history,” Updegrove said.

    That last bit sounds like it was straight out of the NYPD police union.

    But not to be outdone:

    former Johnson domestic affairs chief Joseph A. Califano Jr. in a Washington Post op-ed this weekend.

    “In fact, Selma was LBJ’s idea. He considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement, [and] he viewed King as an essential partner in getting it enacted.”

    Which had the Twitter responses it deserved.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Shields sped away in her car and led officers on a chase down Highway 153 and Hixson Pike, still pointing her firearm at vehicles she passed.

    Eventually, officers stopped and arrested Shields at Cloverdale Drive and Koblan Drive, near the spot where the shootings occurred and just blocks from her house. She pointed her firearm at an officer, but was taken into custody without incident or injury, the release stated.Probably old news around here but any one want to guess what color she is?

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Silly man. Don’t you know tax cuts pay for themselves?

  16. 16
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Love all them pics of the Mighty 8th!

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: No one has to guess. It’s made clear by the actions of the police.

  18. 18
    El Caganer says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they’d already said his veto was illegal the first time he used it.

  19. 19

    I’ll take the under on that.

    But I think the rhetoric won’t be a war on Congress, I think it’ll be a simple rehash of “Why won’t Obama work with the Republicans in Congress? Why isn’t the White House leading us on these important issues?”

    I mean sure it’s pretty much a wash that Republicans want to completely undo the last 6 years and take us back to the golden days of Bush the Lesser when there were no impediments to the looters of Wall St. or the war profiteers/true believers of the neocon nightmare vision of American Exceptionalism, but Obama should be willing to compromise like 99.9% of his achievements to placate the Village media and Republicans to be a true leader.

  20. 20
    Mike J says:

    @El Caganer: He vetoed a CR on the budget and the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010.

  21. 21
    El Caganer says:

    @Comrade Dread: Yes, like here in Pennsylvania, where leaders of the wingnut state legislature have declared they’re “ready to work with” the new Democratic governor. Whatever that means, it sure doesn’t mean compromise.

  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: I wish you could see my favorite: The old man and his crew in their hootch dressed in shorts and shirtless in the tropical heat, all of them drunker ‘n skunks (no doubt!) and Pop balancing 3 whiskey bottles stacked end to end while trying not to laugh. Just another day between missions.

    Unfortunately, that pic probably met it’s demise in a fit of Alzheimer’s rage.

  23. 23
    H.K. Anders says:

    They won’t call it “illegal.”

    They’ll say he’s “abusing” the veto and using it in an unconstitutional manner never envisioned by the founders. In fact, I’d put even money on that last part as an exact quote from Boehner or one of his ilk.

    And Fox “News” will support the effort with segments titled Obama Veto Abuse: Threat or Menace?

    And the SCLM will play right along with fair and balanced segments featuring fire-breathing wingnuts like Rudy Nine Eleven calling Obama’s veto abuse the greatest threat since, well, 9/11, and some generic, no-name Democratic strategist politely suggesting that maybe that’s not necessarily totally true.

  24. 24
    Shakezula says:

    The servers at work seem to be on vacation. [Hits everything with a mallet.]

  25. 25
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @H.K. Anders:

    They’ll say he’s “abusing” the veto and using it in an unconstitutional manner never envisioned by the founders. In fact, I’d put even money on that last part as an exact quote from Boehner or one of his ilk.

    From Dug Muder’s “Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party“, which many of you have already read.

    During last fall’s government shutdown and threatened debt-ceiling crisis, historian Garry Wills wrote about our present-day Tea Partiers: “The presiding spirit of this neo-secessionism is a resistance to majority rule.”

    The Confederate sees a divinely ordained way things are supposed to be, and defends it at all costs. No process, no matter how orderly or democratic, can justify fundamental change.

    When in the majority, Confederates protect the established order through democracy. If they are not in the majority, but have power, they protect it through the authority of law. If the law is against them, but they have social standing, they create shams of law, which are kept in place through the power of social disapproval…

  26. 26
    El Caganer says:

    @Mike J: Worse than Hitler!

  27. 27
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Apologies if this has already been discussed, but did anyone hear about Chck Todd’s inconvenient “gaffe” on (I think) yesterday’s MTP? Paraphrasing, but essentially he said that if he and the other talk-show hosts didn’t “bark” at their guests (meaning challenge their lies and call them out on their bullshit), said guests would never do another show.

    And then where would they be?

    Well, I have an idea about that, although it would take some journalistic courage. You invite the guests back; if they refuse, if you just can’t find anyone to spin the shit, do the show anyhow and TELL your audience why you have no guests!

    (Although in actuality, I think he’s wrong. I think the McCains and Grahams and Giulianis are so in love with the idea of being on television week after week that they’do just brush off any “barking” from the likes of Chuck Todd.)

  28. 28
    Kay says:

    Ugh. I just heard a “discussion” on trade on the radio. Obama has to “buck” the “Elizabeth Warren wing” of the Party in “the heartland” in order to reach an agreement with Republicans.

    From this I learned the following:

    1. Republicans don’t have to compromise, at all. All concessions must come from Obama. It’s unthinkable that Republicans would move an inch. Not even up for discussion.

    2. There are no Republican voters in “the heartland” who work in manufacturing and might oppose a trade deal. Just those Elizabeth Warren Democrats. Ramming thru a crappy trade deal is all upside for the GOP.

    3. Although Sherrod Brown is an Ohio Senator and has focused on trade his entire career in Congress, let’s completely ignore him when discussing “the heartland”, manufacturing and a trade deal and pretend any opposition is purely uninformed and ideological, probably trumped up by union bosses.

    I didn’t think it was possible to have a dumber “debate” after the health care law, but I think the trade deal fake-debate will be worse.

  29. 29
    Yatsuno says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: No no no. Chuckles doesn’t want to challenge them because he also go to Sally’s parties with them as well. Can’t be sitting at home on Saturday night and not enjoying her cocktail weenies with the elite! That would be uncouth!

  30. 30
    Face says:

    So they lost another fucking plane over in the Orient? Can I haz a waterproof beacon please? A self-deployed floatie with 2+ miles of unraveling cord built into the plane’s fuselage?

    Unpossible this is happening again.

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    @Yatsuno:

    He’s sort of interesting though, because he’s responsive. He must know there’s something to the complaints. He’s constantly defending. I don’t see him that much but every time I do he looks miserable. Maybe he’s in the wrong business.

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Of course that is true, but I thought it was telling that the first thing out of his mouth was “oh noez, they would never come back on my program!” But you’re right, he was probably thinking “oh noez, they would never invite me to another tire-swing soirée again!”

  33. 33

    @El Caganer: There was an old PC game a while back called Star Control 2. When I hear of Republicans saying they’re willing to work with Democrats, I’m reminded of the relationship between the character you play in the game and a fictional race of cowards called the Spathi:

    Spathi: Exactly what kind of relationship were you thinking of?

    Human Captain: The kind where you do everything EXACTLY as we say.

    Spathi: Oh, ok… we’re quite familiar with that arrangement.

  34. 34

    @Zandar:
    Kasich knows exactly what he’s doing. This is 100% deliberate dog whistling, and I’m pretty sure you know the tune. To the soft racists and politically unattached, it sounds harmlessly common sense and they won’t object. The intended audience are the harder racists, and they hear ‘This rule will cut government spending to the bone, and force those damn nigger-loving liberals to never again spend one penny of my money on raising blacks above their station.’ The amendment will never happen and is a political fantasy. That’s irrelevant. These same people have demonstrated time and again that they value rhetoric, not facts. He just has to say the words that make them feel good.

    EDIT @Comrade Dread:
    At this point, I would welcome the Ur-Quan’s offer to save us from ourselves. Although at the time it was released, the social commentary was a Cold War ‘What kind of fucked up barbaric species has gigantic stockpiles of nuclear warheads?’

  35. 35
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Kay:

    He was responding to Lewis Black, I think — apparently he had a panel of comedians as his last-of-the-year guests (I didn’t watch; I never watch). So if indeed there was an element of truth to his response, however defensive, it’s interesting it would be in response to a comic rather than a politician or spinmeister.

  36. 36
    Redshift says:

    @El Caganer: Of course it means compromise. It’s just the Republican definition of compromise – “everyone comes together and agrees to do what I want.”

  37. 37
    beth says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: And that whole segment was Todd talking to comedians and asking whether The Daily Show makes us more cynical!

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Face:
    This one should be easier to find. It’s not in deep ocean like MH370 is thought to be, but on the continental shelf which is shallow enough to dive to the bottom.

  39. 39

    @Redshift:
    For the Village pundits, it means ‘Agreeing to do the obvious, common sense, moral, mature, and practical things, like fuck over the poor, launch more wars, and declare the rich the Super Bestest Daddies Who Should Get Whatever They Want.’

  40. 40
    Punchy says:

    @Amir Khalid: What makes me laugh/cry about some of this (completely separate from the assuredly sad and tragic fate of the passangers and their families) is that people are seemingly just now realizing that there’s so much trash/junk, oil, random debris, god-knows-what-else in the ocean that much of what they see cant even be blamed on the plane crash. It’s as if the world is finally getting an idea of just how freakin junk-filled and garbage-strewn the vast ocean has become.

    If there’s any upside whatsoever to these crashes, pershaps this is it.

  41. 41
    Face says:

    @Amir Khalid: I want to know what happens when they do dive to the bottom and no plane is found. Will Don Lemon and his black hole theory be vindicated?

  42. 42
    srv says:

    Is the Most Powerful Conservative in America Losing His Edge?

    Erick Erickson built his career on stoking populist rage. But now the man who steers the Tea Party says conservative anger has grown toxic and self-defeating.

    “A lot of conservatives are now where liberals were after 2004—hysterically angry about things they have no business being angry about.”

    and to check out a fabric store that had been recommended by one of Erickson’s friends: Jane Hamsher, the blogger behind the archliberal Firedoglake. “Not a lot of people know that we’re friends,” Erickson said of Hamsher. “Often we hate the same people.”

  43. 43
    SRW1 says:

    @Baud:

    I wonder if the GOP passes their massive, unpaid-for tax cut right out of the gate or waits until the election is closer.

    That issue would only arises assuming continuing CBO oburacy. Last I heard, Boehner and McConnell have already taken care of that by canning Doug Elmendorf.

    Dynamic scoring here we come!!

  44. 44
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @beth:

    Here’s Charles P. Pierce’s take on it:

    But, by far, the day’s most curious episode occurred on NBC, at broadcast journalism’s Overlook Hotel, where my man Chuck Todd, who has always been the caretaker, found himself overmatched by a panel of comedians and backed into something of a corner from which the only escape was the saddest truth of all.

    LEWIS BLACK:…here’s a sense of disenfranchisement now that I think that is seen in the number of people who went and voted. I have just never experienced this in my lifetime. What you and everybody else, when these people come on, you just sit there, and I, uh, I’d be barking at them (guests).

    TODD: “We all sit there because we know the first time we bark is the last time we do the show..There’s something where all of the sudden nobody will come on your show.”

    The problem with MTP never has been the hosts, although they could be better. The problem is that the format is obsolete, which is demonstrated quite clearly by the panels put together on MSNBC’s weekend morning shows — academics, and state politicians, and, occasionally, ordinary citizens who have latched into a cause, all viewpoints that almost never get aired anywhere else, and undeniably fresh ones. Does my man Chuck Todd really go through life concerned that he will lose the 90,763rd interview with John McCain if he points out that McCain really doesn’t know fck all about much of anything? This makes me very sad. Kill this program now before it takes you all down with it and we have to escape down the mountain in a Sno-Cat.

  45. 45
    srv says:

    A Virgin Atlantic passenger plane “is preparing to implement a non-standard landing” at Gatwick airport because of “a technical issue with one of the landing gears”, the airline has said.

    Virgin said flight VS43 travelling from Gatwick to Las Vegas is returning to the West Sussex airport.

    A spokesman said: “The aircraft is preparing to implement a non-standard landing procedure at Gatwick airport. A further update will be issued as soon as possible.”

    The plane is a Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

  46. 46
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Face:
    It’s high time people stopped referring to Lemon’s preposterous theory that a black hole ate MH370. There were then, and there are now, real people missing. They have real loved ones fearing the worst about them, who don’t need to to have those fears made light of.

  47. 47
    Hal says:

    @srv:

    “A lot of conservatives are now where liberals were after 2004—hysterically angry about things they have no business being angry about.”

    Right. Being angry about Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina etc etc is the same as Benghazi, IRS, birth certificates, the aca and so on. Hard to take someone seriously if they start with a completely fictitious apples to oranges comparison.

  48. 48
    Zandar says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: You’re absolutely right on the rhetoric, but opposed to that are the Wall Street and Pentagon types who aren’t going to put up with balanced budget anygoddamnthing. They’re the ones who will shut Kasich down very, very quickly.

  49. 49
    Marc says:

    @srv:

    and to check out a fabric store that had been recommended by one of Erickson’s friends: Jane Hamsher, the blogger behind the archliberal Firedoglake. “Not a lot of people know that we’re friends,” Erickson said of Hamsher. “Often we hate the same people.”

    You don’t say.

  50. 50
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Amir Khalid: Hear hear. Don Lemon is an idiot, but it’s tasteless to continue to mock his idiocy in this circumstance.

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    There’s something about him that makes me sympathetic to him. It started with how they promoted him as a “numbers guru” when all he did was read the rules on delegates and count them. It was more than anyone else was doing! He gets credit for that! But still. Over-sold. My sense of him is “this job is soul-killing” – he always looks conflicted.

    I think he ends up writing a tell-all on cable tv personalities and starting a non-profit :)

  52. 52
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    and to check out a fabric store that had been recommended by one of Erickson’s friends: Jane Hamsher, the blogger behind the archliberal Firedoglake. “Not a lot of people know that we’re friends,” Erickson said of Hamsher. “Often we hate the same people.”

    @srv: Where’s my fainting couch? I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED, I tell you.

    “Often we hate the same people.”

    I can’t get enough of this quote. I feel as though some grand cycle of life has been completed here.

  53. 53

    @Zandar:
    Sure, but he doesn’t mind being shut down. It’s not like he intends to do it. He’s just going to yell ‘We should have a balanced budget agreement!’ and reap the applause from the racists, and… that’s it. He doesn’t have to do anything else. Maybe he’ll say it again occasionally because the rich folks know he’s bullshitting, or maybe not. Saying it has already yielded all the results he ever intended.

  54. 54
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    It’s high time people stopped referring to Lemon’s preposterous theory that a black hole ate MH370. There were then, and there are now, real people missing. They have real loved ones fearing the worst about them, who don’t need to to have those fears made light of.

    @Amir Khalid: I grew up the child of a pilot, and that’s an upbringing that makes your insides literally clench every single time you hear the word “plane crash”. So I know, rather intimately, the fears of those people, and know, somewhat less intimately, what they’re going to go through when whatever is left of the aircraft is found. And that’s a journey that never stops – a few months to years later, the NTSB report comes out, and that’s a special breed of horror all its own. Particularly if you knew the flight crew (that has been the case once in my life and I pray never again).

    All that being said, Don Lemon’s ridiculous statement, one for the ages for those of us in the aviation community, is actually really funny. It doesn’t bother me when people joke about that. You’ll take any humor you can get if you’ve ever dealt with the reality of a situation like this. And, FWIW, since he said it I’ve always looked at that as a weird expression of hope – being sucked into a black hole would be a far better fate than what actually happens to you and your fellow passengers in a plane crash.

  55. 55
    Shakezula says:

    @srv: I for one am not at all surprised Hamster and Ewick are pals.

  56. 56
    Lurking Canadian says:

    The new passtime for Republicans in Congress will be dreaming up the craziest juxtapositions to mash together to get around the veto power. Get ready for the “VA Hospital funding and Obamacare Repeal Act”, or the “Continued Food Stamp Funding and Massive Tax Cut Program”.

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Shakezula: Not just that they are pals, but that they are apparently united by hatred. I find that my friends are people who like some of the things I like.

  58. 58

    @Zandar:
    You know, the neat thing about dog whistles is that they don’t have to be organized. They’re not a secret code, at least not to the recipients. It’s just that if you’re a mean racist shithead, when someone says they’ll balance the budget you already believe that all your money is being spent on blacks, so obviously fiscal discipline = slapping blacks down. It doesn’t need translation, because their fucked up world view makes it obvious.

    The same process applies to when the GamerGate assholes threw around ‘Social Justice Warrior’. If you’re a not-merely-dismissive-of-women but actually actively hating women shithead, you’ve got lots of experience with being publicly slapped down for saying the horrible things you believe. When the words ‘Social Justice Warrior’ are used, you instantly form a picture of everyone who’s pointed out what a vile misogynistic toad you are. And yet everyone outside that group goes ‘Why would you be opposed to social justice?’

  59. 59
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    And yet everyone outside that group goes ‘Why would you be opposed to social justice?’

    Are you saying that the tactic of denouncing a balanced budget amendment proposal as a racist dog whistle runs the same risk as the GamerGate assholes using “social justice warrior” as a pejorative? Because it seems like both rhetorical flourishes would have the effect of making people who aren’t following the whole thing that closely go “huh?” while delivering a message to the choir. But I don’t think that’s what you meant, hence the request for clarification.

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Hmmm…

    what color was she…

    oh, I already know….

    but, tell the people.

  61. 61
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Kay:

    He absolutely gets credit for that! Years ago he was a great guy to bring on during primary and election night coverage and explain all that boring numbers stuff so that regular schmos could follow along. I liked him enormously in that role. But he is the embodiment of the Peter Principle. I partly blame NBC for promoting him beyond his level of competence, but I also think he just got greedy — whether for the huge salary and perks, or the thrill of rubbing shoulders with Washingtonian Greatness, or probably a combination. Either way, although he is out of his depth, I can’t feel very sorry for him.

    I hope he does start a non-profit :-)

  62. 62

    @Betty Cracker:
    No. I am stating that the same thought process is involved in the development/interpretation of both terms. Alas, because racist messaging has been played out over such a broad audience for so long, they’ve settled on terms (like ‘balancing the budget’) that produce no backlash. They sound nominally reasonable, and non-racists don’t see the connection at all. The racists probably aren’t even aware of that. It’s a process like evolution – the slogans that work best survive and are passed on.

    EDIT – And politicians, who are specifically deliberately concerned with messaging and know about both sides and what’s going on, accelerate that process. Like Lee Atwater, they hunt down whatever phrasing works best to get their guy elected.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    The same process applies to when the GamerGate assholes threw around ‘Social Justice Warrior’.

    I don’t think it’s quite the same process, which is why Balanced Budget Amendment supporters have remained popular for longer than GamerGaters. Most people support balanced budgets and social justice, at least in principle. That means that BBA supporters have started by seizing the moral high ground, and people who oppose them have to argue for why forcing balanced budgets isn’t a good idea. In contrast, GamerGaters started by giving their opponents the moral high ground, so they have an uphill battle explaining why their opponents are really the bad guys before they can get much sympathy from the broader public.

  64. 64
    Cckids says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Re: Chuck Todd. The truly sad part is that another guest said, in effect, “what about Fox? They bark plenty & have no trouble getting guests. It’s only the left-leaning programs that worry about pushing back”.

    No real response.

    Sorry for lack of links & the gentleman’s name, on the phone so limited.

  65. 65
    grandpa john says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Well they could try inviting different people , some that have a D after their name. Then they could bark all they want to with no reprisal., since that is what they do already except giving the barkee’s
    actual face time to respond
    Some body check Ed Murrows grave, see if he has spun his way all the way to the surface.

  66. 66
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Cckids:

    Wow, thanks. I missed that, what a great point! (I saw only the tiny clip I paraphrased, and CPP transcribed.)

  67. 67
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @grandpa john:

    Forget Ed Murrow, what about Martha Rountree and Lawrence Spivak?

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    @Baud:
    I believe the phrase is:
    “Excuse me while I whip this out.”

  69. 69
    J R in WV says:

    @Face:

    I know little of this continuing fkup, is this the same model of jet plane as the previous fkup?

    I’m with you, they need a flight data recorder that floats and self ejects from the plane when it detects the final impact, and pushes radio signals that anyone with directional antenna could find. Crazy that after these mid-ocean events there is still no way to locate and investigate these crashes.

    When we flew trans-Atlantic the one vacation, it was amazing to see the on-board TV channel that showed speed, altitude, and external temps of -66 degrees. Amazing.

  70. 70
    Jay C says:

    @Hal:

    Not surprising that the Director of the Johnson Library is going to feel he has to jump up and defend LBJ’s record (on civil rights or anything else) – but if Robert Caro’s multi-volume biography is even remotely correct (and it is too vastly overresearched to be otherwise), the critics are mainly right. While the 1964 CRA and 1965 VRA are certainly monumental and pride-worthy legislative achievements, the fact is that Lyndon Johnson spent the bulk of his lengthy career in Congress -especially in the Senate – trying to temporize his positions on racial/civil rights issues, and appear supportive to both sides. Whatever his personal views were, he made great efforts, for years, to reassure the Southern (pro-segregation) bloc that, as a Texan, he was “one of them”: while soft-pedaling his stances to Northerners and/or liberals, since he realized that a “Southern” segregationist was never going to get anywhere in the arena of national politics; least of all the Presidency he lusted after.

  71. 71
    J R in WV says:

    @Jay C: I do think that LBJ, whatever his mistakes regarding Vietnam, was trying to balance between southern racism and northern progressivism, for at least the last – maybe third – of his political career. Isn’t that the mark of a great politician? to balance between extremes?

    And then of course he got his wish, became president, on the back of a terrible bloody assassination, and then was hounded out of office as a result of the execution of the Vietnam war. Then he died, not long after effectively resigning by declining to run for re-election.

    A sad ending. Of course he started his political career by cheating to be elected student body president of the tiny teachers college in TX where he went to school, after growing up very poor in a rural area of Texas. He ascended from the bottom of society to the top, did great things (Civil rights, Medicare, etc) and terrible warlike things, and then fell from that position of power.

    Shakespearean indeed.

    Of course the worst of Vietnam came at the hands of Nixon and his minions. But still…

  72. 72
    Amir Khalid says:

    @J R in WV:
    MH370 was a Boeing 777. So was MH17, but that is of course irrelevant since it was shot down. AirAsia Indonesia’s QZ8501 is an Airbus 320-200, but at this stage no one knows if that had anything to do with the mishap.

    I’m not sure a flight data recorder like you describe would have helped with MH370. For one thing, if it ejected from the plane, its location when you found it wouldn’t tell you where the plane was. And it was weeks before anyone thought to start looking in the Indian Ocean.

  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    @J R in WV:

    I do think that LBJ, whatever his mistakes regarding Vietnam, was trying to balance between southern racism and northern progressivism, for at least the last – maybe third – of his political career. Isn’t that the mark of a great politician? to balance between extremes?

    Given the evil of one of those extremes, no. A thousand times no.

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  75. 75
    another Holocene human says:

    @Kay: it is all upside because gop voters will blame obama or j000000s

    Seen this movie before.

  76. 76
    Jay C says:

    @J R in WV: @Amir Khalid:

    You can’t really separate out the “domestic” and “foreign” aspects of Lyndon Johnson’s Presidency: it’s pretty much been a given, in writing about LBJ’s Administration, that except for the debacle of Vietnam, he would today probably be remembered as one of the four or five greatest Presidents in American history (an assessment with which I mainly agree). Unfortunately, history is what was, and the onus of escalating the US’ involvement in Vietnam into the bloody disaster it would become has to be laid squarely on one Lyndon Baines Johnson, so he can’t get much of a pass; Nixon & Co.’s own bloodstaining notwithstanding.

  77. 77
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Amir Khalid: The pilot for the plane was Zaharie Shah, a follower of Anwar Ibrahim, a mover and shaker in the Muslim Brotherhood and a co-founder of the International Institute of Islamic Thought. The day of that plane’s disappearance the Malaysian government moved against Ibrahim (I think he was arrested). The Institute of Islamic Thought was investigated by the FBI in the early aughts (Operation Green Quest) for connections to terrorism and the financing of 9/11. As per usual, the FBI went so far and no farther. Must have stumbled on something they shouldn’t have been investigating.

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    another Holocene human says:

    @Amir Khalid: LBJ got shit passed, so the old coot was doing something right. And the Kennedys were the ones telling civil rights activists to cool it. Get it right.

  79. 79
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    You’re not making any sense. Zaharie Ahmad Shah was a Keadilan party supporter, like many Muslim and non-Muslim Malaysians. He was in the courtroom as a spectator the day Anwar’s acquittal on gay sex charges was overturned on appeal (also the day before the flight).

    The FBI investigated a lot of Muslims and Muslim organisations after Sept 11; it is doubtful they would have found anything incriminating about IIIT, a gathering of Muslim academicians and intellectuals which would quite naturally have included someone like Anwar.

    @another Holocene human:
    I’m well aware that LBJ got shit passed in no small part by cutting deals with the Confederate tendency in his party. But unlike J R in WV, I wouldn’t call that an effort to balance “between southern racism and northern progressivism”. And I maintain that seeking any such balance is a fool’s errand.

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    Interrobang says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: You probably won’t see this, but I am too. I second everything you said.

    A really surreal thing: You can actually see the back of my dad’s head in the archival footage of the inquiry into the crash shown on the Mayday/Air Crash Investigation episode “Cold Case,” Air Ontario flight 1363. He did know most of the flight crew.

  81. 81

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