Open Thread………………………………..Monday, January 19

January 19th, 2015 50 comments

winter pansies 3

The winter pansies at my house are struggling because of all the cold weather.  It looks like some of them have croaked but they might surprise me and take a new lease on life.

The little ones like Johnny Jump Ups do better than the bigger faced pansies.  The big faces flop around a little too much under snow and ice.  I was greedy this year.  I have 5 containers of them.  The smaller ones are wintering on the porch for protection.

Categories: General Tags:

Anti-abortion bill includes tax hike on small businesses

January 23rd, 2015 3 comments


WASHINGTON — After a botched effort to pass legislation imposing a 20-week ban on abortions, House Republicans are moving forward Thursday with what’s being dubbed a less controversial bill that codifies a ban on federal funding for abortions.

The bill would do a number of things — including block federal funds for abortion for women who are in the military, who live in Washington, D.C., and who are poor — but one aspect of the legislation that hasn’t received much attention is the fact that it would raise taxes on the vast majority of small businesses.

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would deny small businesses a tax credit they currently receive through what’s known as the SHOP exchange, a part of the Affordable Care Act, if they include abortion care in their health plans. Roughly 87 percent of private plans include abortion services as part of comprehensive coverage, meaning the bulk of small businesses would be hit with a tax hike if the bill were to become law.

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NCSI investigation: another affair, another reassignment, an unexplained death?

January 23rd, 2015 9 comments

NCSI investigates an unexplained death at Gitmo. The naval commander at Gitmo has been exposed for an affair with the dead man’s wife and has been reassigned to a base in Florida. Commander Nettleton has not been charged with anything specific but adultery is a crime under  the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Does Gitmo need any more negative attention than it has already received?

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Categories: Military, sexual issues, War/Military Tags:

Rules for talking about balls….footballs that is

January 23rd, 2015 7 comments

You would think that the football issue was a matter of national security.  I got so sick of hearing about balls yesterday that I thought I would put my foot through the TV.  I don’t care!

I cared about basketballs, not footballs.  How about those Wahoos!!!  The Wahoos remain undefeated and are ranked #2 in the nation.  This is our state.  When have we ever been ranked #2 in the nation?  UVA seems determined to get in the news, regardless.  Come on folks, this is exciting!  This is a good thing.

Go Wahoos.

Categories: Sports Tags: , ,

Anti-abortion bill doesn’t make it to the table

January 22nd, 2015 5 comments

House Republicans passed a watered-down antiabortion bill Thursday after withdrawing a more restrictive measure that some female GOP lawmakers argued would hurt the party’s efforts to broaden its appeal to women and younger voters.

The rebellion on the abortion bill, led by women and moderates, was an illustration of some of the new challenges the party faces as a result of its expanded majority in the House. The 246-member GOP caucus is now experiencing rifts that previously did not exist, and those divisions are largely being driven by concern among moderates that they could face tough reelection battles in 2016, when more Democratic and independent voters are expected to turn out for presidential election.

So this anti abortion bill is basically a retread.  Maybe they think that the  Hyde (that old hypocrite) Amendment missed something.
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Jon Stewart: The “Guns, God, Guts, and Gravy” Interview

January 21st, 2015 12 comments

Do we live in Bubbleville? Are the Bubbas in Bubbaville all that stupid?
Ouch. Was Jon Stewart overly rude or snarky? You be the judge.

Categories: General Tags:

Pope Francis discourages “breeding like rabbits”

January 20th, 2015 47 comments


Pope Francis gets pretty chatty on the papal plane.

He’s talked to reporters about jobs, homosexuality and women’s role in the church. He’s spoken out about the War in Iraq and terrorism. He’s even addressed his own retirement. And on his flight back from the Philippines this week, he started chatting about the church’s position on birth control, saying some think that to be good Catholics, “we have to be like rabbits.”

Here’s [sic] his exact words from the Vatican Insider:

I believe that three children per family, from what the experts say, is the key number for sustaining the population. The key word here is responsible parenthood and each person works out how to exercise this with the help of their pastor. … Sorry, some people think that in order to be good Catholics we have to breed like rabbits, right? Responsible parenthood: This is why there are marriage support groups in the Church with people who are experts on such issues; and there are pastors and I know that there are many acceptable solutions that have helped with this. And another thing: For poor people, children are a treasure, prudence is needed here too, it is true. Responsible parenthood but also recognizing the generosity of that father or mother who see their child as a treasure.
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Predicting Northern Virginia’s future

January 18th, 2015 21 comments

A pair of loud alarm bells sounded last week for the Washington area’s economy, and political leaders from Richmond to Annapolis should take them seriously.

The warning of immediate concern came Thursday at an annual conference of 750 business and civic leaders in McLean. Economics mavens led by George Mason University professor Steve Fuller presented eye-opening data showing that our region has trailed almost every other major U.S. metropolitan area in job growth for the past three years.

Evidence of sluggishness is all around us, although the public has been slow to take note. Vacant commercial offices in Northern Virginia are at their highest level since 1991. Average wages in the region have dropped for three straight years, an unprecedented decline.
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Prove it, Dick “Plastic Fetus” Black

January 17th, 2015 46 comments

Dick Black’s statement regarding Senate Bill 722:

There is a Federal Statute that says that if you give in-state tuition to unlawful immigrants then you must give in-state tuition to Americans from other states.  It just makes sense that Americans should receive as much consideration as people here illegally.  Giving in-state tuition moves illegal immigrants to the front of the line.  For every unlawful person who get in-state tuition, there will be an American who can’t go to college in Virginia and that’s unfair.  Any time you give something free to a person here illegally, you have to take it from an American.

I would like to see a copy of that law.  I find it hard to believe that there is a law stating such bullsh!t.

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Morris Davis: Where is justice for the men still abandoned in Guantánamo Bay

January 16th, 2015 54 comments


Colonel Morris Davis:


Where is justice for the men still abandoned in Guantánamo Bay


“I will be back soon,” I said, as we stood up and shook hands. Then I turned and walked a few steps to the gate, and waited for the guard to unlock it so I could leave. Those were the last words I said to Mohamedou Ould Slahi after I met him in the tiny compound he shared with Tariq al-Sawah in the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay. That was seven and a half years ago. I have never been inside the camp again. Slahi has never been out.

I didn’t know, that afternoon in the summer of 2007, that in a few weeks I would send an email to the US deputy secretary of defence, Gordon England, saying I could no longer in good conscience serve as chief prosecutor for the Guantánamo military commissions. I reached that decision after receiving a written order placing Brigadier-General Tom Hartmann over me and the Pentagon general counsel, Jim Haynes, over Hartmann.

Hartmann had chastised me for refusing to use evidence obtained by “enhanced” interrogation techniques, saying: “President Bush said we don’t torture, so who are you to say we do?” Haynes authored the “torture memo” that the secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, signed in April 2003 approving interrogation techniques that were not authorised by military regulations – the memo where Rumsfeld scribbled in the margin: “I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing [for detainees during interrogations] limited to 4 hours?” Rather than face a Hobson’s choice when they directed me to go into court with torture-derived evidence, I chose to quit before they had the chance.

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