Tuesday Open Thread [1.22.13]

Filed in Open Thread by on January 22, 2013

The New York Times has a good graphic identifying the notable public officials sitting on the Inaugural Platform with President Obama yesterday. You know you are a political freak when you don’t need the NY Times’ help to identify anyone.

Local police in Ireland’s Kerry county will be allowed to permit some residents to drive drunk if a measure passed yesterday by county councilors is approved by the Department of Justice.

By a vote of five to three with 12 councilors absent, lawmakers in the south-west Ireland county passed a motion giving the Gardaí (police) authority to issue a get out of jail free card to drivers in rural areas who are found to have more than the legal limit of alcohol in their system.

The motion’s author, Councillor Danny Healy-Rae, said he proposed the motion out of concern for “older” rural residents who “are being isolated now at home, and a lot of them falling into depression.”

Healy-Rae said the lack of public transportation in these areas is preventing these people from venturing out of their homes after having “two or three drinks” for fear of losing their licence.

So, according to Mr. Healy-Rae, these rural Irishmen are always two to three drinks in. LOL. Sounds about right. And I’m Irish, so I can make that joke.

Virginia Republicans pulled off an unethical coup yesterday by fast walking a gerry mander through the Senate while a Democratic lawmaker was out of town at the inauguration. Now these same Republicans will no doubt be upset today or tomorrow when we Democrats even talk about reforming the filibuster. The hypocrisy. It burns.

Al Roker was a comedian yesterday.

The Cloakroom has the five most pointed shots at Republicans yesterday in Obama’s speech. I do not care about their precious feelings. They are evil and deserve ridicule on the largest of stages.

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  1. Jason330 says:

    John Tester smacking his gum through the speech looked like a goddam idiot. Thinking, “John Tester looks like a goddam idiot” during the speech wasn’t something that I am proud of.

  2. socialistic ben says:

    I was playing with that map…. did Mitt not go to the Inauguration? I seem to remember previous losers attending.

  3. Delaware Dem says:

    Yes, Mitt Romney was not in attendance. He was in San Diego. It was the first time since 1989 that the loser of the presidential election was not on the stage, as in that year, Michael Dukakis stayed home. To be fair to Mitt, all the losers since 1989 have had either current or expiring jobs in Washington D.C. at the time of the inauguration and thus their presence was appropriate if not required.

    1993–loser was the outgoing President Bush. He had to be there.
    1997–loser was the outgoing Senate Majority Leader and creature of Washington (resident of the Watergate) Bob Dole. He had to be there.
    2001–loser was the incoming President Bush…. er ah… I mean outgoing Vice President Gore. He had to be there.
    2005–loser was Senator Kerry. As a high ranking and current Senator, he had to be there.
    2009–loser was Senator McCain. Same reason as Kerry above.

    So this was the first time since 1989 that the loser had no connection to Washington.

  4. socialistic ben says:

    can we NOT be fair to Mitt and just call him a sore loser?

  5. Delaware Dem says:

    LOL. But seriously though, it is not required for him to be there, and if I were him, I would not want to be there. So I am not going to criticize him for not being there. Although I guess it would help with some psychological closure issues Mitt may be experiencing.

  6. mediawatch says:

    To be fair to Mitt, it’s a long plane ride, the hotels were booked, the 47 percenters were crowding the streets, his PACs didn’t want to pony up for a couple of tickets to one of the balls, he had nothing to celebrate,and the weather was warmer on the west coast.
    Can’t blame a guy for deciding to stay home.

  7. cassandra_m says:

    I don’t know. I heard that the only way he could go was if he would agree to be strapped to the top of the car while Ann and the family drove to DC. Who wants to travel 3000 miles in the winter on top of the car?

  8. mediawatch says:

    You must have heard it wrong. I think you’re talking about Mutt Romney.

  9. cassandra_m says:

    A disappointed family can be highly motivated for paybacks, mediawatch.

  10. cassandra_m says:

    In today’s Point and Laugh News: A Louisiana Senator asks if E. Coli can evolve into human persons

    A Louisiana state senator (Mike Walsworth) is asking a high-school science teacher about the teaching of evolution in class. He asks if there’s any direct example of evolution that can be taught in class. In response the science teacher settles on one of the most elegant and convincing experiments in evolutionary biology – Richard Lenski’s decades-long study in which he froze selected generations of E. coli bacteria while allowing others to evolve. The differences between the evolved and original bacterial populations clearly demonstrated evolution.

    At that point the good senator asks if the E. coli evolved into a person.

    Go read the rest.

  11. puck says:

    “At that point the good senator asks if the E. coli evolved into a person.”

    The jokes write themselves.

  12. Another Mike says:

    Virginia Gov. Bob McConnell, a Republican, apparently condemned the move by the state senate, but he has not committed to a veto should it pass the house. I’m convinced that McConnell’s disdain for the move comes not from any sense of fair governing, but from the sense that if this goes through, he can expect no help on his agenda from any Democrat in the state legislature.


  13. cassandra_m says:



    And for everyone who has been judging the fashion choices at yesterday’s inaugural events, makes an amusing observation re: the FLOTUS’ day outfit.

  14. SussexAnon says:

    Another shooting on a college campus today. Texas.

  15. Delaware Dem says:

    3 people shot at Lone Star College in Texas. School has armed security. State allows concealed weapons. Didnt make a damn bit of difference.

  16. Delaware Dem says:

    And this is the state whose idiot Governor, Rick Perry, said the only way to prevent gun shootings was prayer. I guess prayer didn’t work.

  17. mike says:

    Hey DD! They should have just banned guns on campus and put up a “Gun Free Zone” sign! That would work! Then no one could ever be victimized on campus!

  18. meatball says:

    I like to use this line whenever it seems appropriate, it some how magically brightens people’s day.

    I was standing in line at the Super G behind a women who was having difficulty using her EBT card. It held the line up a few minutes and now there were several people waiting behind me that I could sense were becoming irritated. As the woman left and I approached the cashier who apoligized for the delay, I simply said “Mam, if waiting in line a few extra minutes is the worst thing that happens to me today, I think I’m doing OK.” Always floors ’em.

    Try it sometime.

  19. Aoine says:

    Meatball, We are soooo disappointed……..Don Ayotte would,be soooo disappointed too

    You didn’t state whether or not the person having trouble with the EBT card was:

    Not what language they were speaking

    Or what they had in their cart
    10 T-bone steaks
    Sirloin tips

    You are an abysmal failure…….if you were a Sussex county Conservative Christian for not pointing out that THOSE people rob the system. But white Christians don’t…

    Sad. Sad. Sad……bad Meatball…….

  20. meatball says:

    Actually, I don’t know why I felt the need to point out the EBT, I just thought it was unusual as I never see people using it and that there was some kind of problem.

    I do own and compete with guns though……and buy ammo in bulk for my 30 round magazines. Am I still Sussex County enough?

  21. Aoine says:

    If u bring the gun and have an Uzi we might reconsider……

    Oh, and can you stomp around and spew racial slurs? That would be good too…..

    And cost the taxpayers of Sussex County untold hundreds of thousands by denying civil rights….

    We bro, we will see u at the cross burning…….

  22. socialistic ben says:

    you are such a big strong powerful gun owner, meatball.

  23. AQC says:

    Anyone watching the press conference by whack job Lapierre?

  24. Tom Hawk says:

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the national exposure Beau Biden was granted while Beyonce was singing/lip synching the National Anthem at the inauguration. His face was very prominent for the whole time she was on the microphone. Right side of the screen image.

  25. pandora says:

    Aoine and Ben, I’ve said this before: Meatball is a longtime commenter and not how you’re describing him in the least. There are responsible gun owners. There are liberal gun owners. Alienating them is foolish. Painting them with the same brush as the nuts is grossly unfair.

  26. meatball says:

    I do shoot fairly regularly, although less so during cold weeks like this. I rarely have more than 1000 rounds of a particular caliber on hand because, as a responsible gun owner, I practice regularly. You know what’s nuts? I have been unable to locate certain calibers of ammunition anywhere. It has all been bought. A purchase I placed well over a month ago is still on backorder.

  27. socialistic ben says:

    Look, talking about how much ammo you buy or how many guns you own as a way of proving…. how sussex you are?…. is the same as proving how un-racist you are by talking about all your black friends. It’s not about how anyone is describing meatball, it is how meatball is portraying himself in this thread.

  28. meatball says:

    Dude, the sussex thing was a joke. People really are just people. I was born, raised and lived in 19808 for 23 years before moving to the beach. I’ll never be considered Sussex, they won’t allow it no matter how many teeth fall out of my head.

  29. socialistic ben says:

    well cool then. my bad.
    Just for the record, you play a good “gun-nut”.

  30. mike says:

    Oh, and for Delaware Dem….. The Houston campus was one of those magical “gun free zones” the folks here love so much.


  31. socialistic ben says:

    Mike are you saying if the innocent bystanders had guns, they wouldnt have been shot?

    All your argument does is prove that every place everywhere needs to be a gun-free-zone. Clearly people wishing to not be around devices that are only meant to kill are really just at the mercy of gun owners who hopefully dont have a bad day.

  32. cassandra_m says:

    mike here is a known gun troll who has gotten himself banned from this space multiple times for being a disruptive troll. I’m not sure how he’s gotten back, but he is on a damned short leash. So everyone looking to respond to this guy, know that you are dealing with a known troll.

  33. Miscreant says:

    “I’ll never be considered Sussex, they won’t allow it no matter how many teeth fall out of my head.”

    Please consider that being “considered Sussex” may have less to do with the number of teeth in your mouth, or whether or not you shoot guns, and more to do with your condescending attitude.

  34. geezer says:

    For gun lovers, please note that one of those injured in the Texas campus shooting was a janitor hit in the crossfire. So much for the idea that more guns would solve the campus shooting problems.

  35. Dave says:

    “The Houston campus was one of those magical “gun free zones””

    Mike, first it great that you posted a source for your statement. When we use sources it helps to get everyone on the same page. Second I congratulate you on going to actual source material rather than a news aggregator who provides information salted with opinion.

    However, I encourage you reread the source you provided and see how it aligns with your statement. I believe you will find that the college is not a “gun free zone,” unless you define “gun free” to mean “some restrictions.” For example, concealed carry is only prohibited “unless otherwise allowed by state law.” There are other examples that I’ll leave to you find.

    Finally, the LSCS has a Campus Police (http://www.lonestar.edu/units-college-police.htm) who are armed. I leave it to you to assess whether the college was really a gun free zone.

  36. socialistic ben says:

    Geezer, didnt Wild Wayne want to arm Janitors?
    If he was armed, he wouldnt have gotten hit. Du’h The problem was not enough guns. If only everyone else in the crowded public area could have drawn and fired…. then all the bullets would have hit each other in mid air and no one would have gotten hurt.

  37. meatball says:

    I love this quote from this Sam Harris article about crossfire.

    “Needless to say, it is easy to see how things can
    go badly when anyone draws a firearm defensively. But when an armed man enters an office building, restaurant, or school for the purpose of murdering everyone in sight, things are going very badly already……..

    If you found yourself trapped with others in a conference room, preparing to attack the shooter with pencils and chairs, can you imagine thinking, “I’m so glad no one else has a gun, because I wouldn’t want to get caught in any crossfire”?

  38. mike says:

    The part thats instructive is

    II.F.1.06 System Firearms Policy

    It would appear the school prohibits non-law enforcement from carrying.

    “II.F.1.06 System Firearms Policy
    It is the policy of this System to prohibit the carrying of firearms, knives and clubs onto any of the System’s facilities. The possession of firearms, illegal knives and prohibited knives on System facilities including parking areas and publicly accessed facilities is a violation of criminal law and Board policies. This prohibition includes licensed concealed handguns except as otherwise allowed by state law.”

    In Texas properly posted “no gun” signage carries the weight of law, which I highly suspect is exactly what they mean by “is a violation of criminal law and board policies.”

    So no, it would appear CCW was not allowed. That didn’t stop these two guys.

    Richard Carpenter, chancellor of the Lone Star College System, said the campus is a gun-free zone that “has been safe for 40 years.”


    Hooray for facts!

  39. Geezer says:

    As usual, the pro-gun argument rests on “imagine yourself…” This is what gun owners do more than anything else — imagine scenarios in which their bravery and gun skillz lead to their crowning moment of glory as a hero.

  40. meatball says:

    Hero? Self preservation, perhaps. As opposed to what lying there and dying. What would Geezer do?

    Look all kinds of people prep for all kinds of situations. It wasn’t too long ago many here were stocking up on food and alcohol in case Sandy struck. When my children were younger we regularly practiced fire escape plans and we still change the batteries in the smoke and CO2 alarms twice a year, all 12 of them. Am I imagining the low probability that my house may catch on fire? Am I acting irrationally by taking measures to ensure I exit a low probability event unscathed?

  41. liberalgeek says:

    But I thought that most gun owners are law-abiding citizens? If true, why would one need to plan for an imminent attack by a gun-wielding intruder at work, school or home?

  42. Geezer says:

    House fires in U.S. annually: 370,000
    Mass shootings in U.S. annually: average of 2 since 1986

    So, while both events are “low probability,” one is considerably lower probability than the other.

    This is known as “false equivalence.”

  43. Liberal Elite says:

    @G “So, while both events are “low probability,” one is considerably lower probability than the other.”

    Very good.. and now consider that about 90% of all gun deaths in the US are family and friends of the gun owner.

    What does that tell you about low probability events?

    The pro-gun arguments would be a heck of a lot stronger if gun owners stopped shooting their wives and girlfriends (#1 gun homicide crime) and themselves (#1 cause of gun deaths)…

  44. Geezer says:

    LE: That’s no fun to fantasize about. It is, however, a sad reality:

    “GRAPEVINE, Texas — A teenage girl’s [16th] birthday party turned tragic [last] Saturday night when her father killed her mother and then himself, police said.

    Kristi Suckla was celebrating her daughter’s birthday when her estranged husband arrived at the party. Kelly Suckla argued with his wife outside her parents’ home before shooting her about 10 p.m., police said. He then fatally shot himself.”

  45. Miscreant says:

    I suppose one man’s ‘fantasy’ is another man’s situational awareness. Probably hard to explain to those who haven’t been in risky situations, but situational awareness lowers my probability that I’ll get caught in the crossfire. I very rarely carry, but it has been beneficial in the past.

  46. SussexAnon says:

    There is a big difference between situational awareness and paranoid delusions that every time you walk out the door its the Wild West or the Zombie-liberal-pocalypse is imminent.

    The former has little to do with guns in day to day living, the latter has to do with believing carrying a gun will solve a problem that is less likely to happen to you then getting hit by lightning. Despite what “Clamaity Wayne” (LaPierre) would have you believe.

  47. meatball says:

    @LG “But I thought that most gun owners are law-abiding citizens? If true, why would one need to plan for an imminent attack by a gun-wielding intruder at work, school or home?”

    I’m pretty sure that most are, what’s your point. And FEMA thinks you should have a plan for work and school. http://emilms.fema.gov/IS907/index.htm Also, my employer recently made major policy changes after a very real threat was made against certain workers in the company for doing their job correctly.

    @Geezer “Mass shootings in U.S. annually: average of 2 since 1986” which of course is any shooting involving 4 or more fatalities. So why the rush to ban rifles? We as a nation also spend millions of dollars to mitigate even less likely events, like asteroid impacts for instance.

    @LE I’m pretty sure this figure (90%) is inaccurate (you could provide a link to show me though). But you are correct in that about 2/3 of gun related deaths are from suicide. So there is that mental health angle again. I’m also not sure where you got the wives/ girlfriends info. I couldn’t find it (although I didn’t do a deep search)but I did discover that the vast majority (like 80%)of gun homicide victims are male. So there is that.

    @mis Of course, situational awareness lowers you risk for all kinds of things. That’s why insurance companies are required to grant a premium credit to defensive driver course graduates. Some call it paranoia, though. When you did decide to “carry,” what was the reason?

    @Sussex Anon “There is a big difference between situational awareness and paranoid delusions that every time you walk out the door its the Wild West or the Zombie-liberal-pocalypse is imminent.”

    I love this one. Who implied anything about the wild west or Zombies? Any idea what the police response time is for say, six miles inland?

  48. Aoine says:

    @ pandora- sorry I didn’t see this earlier.

    For the record meatball is one of my Favorite commentators, My snide remarks were about the wing nuts in Sussex County, if which meatball IS NOT ONE at all, by any stretch

    I am sorry if you perceived my comments as a ding at meatball, they were absolutely not meant that way at all

    Sorry meatie…..

    I am also a gun owner and frequent shooter ( at a range)

    I think it would have been more appropriate to ASK ME what I meant than to chastise me for something I didn’t mean
    No offense taken tho and I am glad to clear the air.

  49. Miscreant says:

    “When you did decide to “carry,” what was the reason?’

    I was a police officer for over 25 years. After two off duty encounters with former ‘clients’, one while at a social event with my family, I decided to carry for a while. Actually, my wife ‘suggested’ it. After retirement, although H.R.218 made it easy, I’ve only used it a few times since. I travel extensively, and have only used it in parts of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Alaska, and of course when I’m visiting friends in Los Angeles and at Slab City in Southern California.

    For defensive purposes only, no fantasies.

  50. meatball says:

    Agreed, no fantasies. Thanks for answering honestly, similiar situation here.

  51. Liberal Elite says:

    @m “@LE I’m pretty sure this figure (90%) is inaccurate (you could provide a link to show me though). But you are correct in that about 2/3 of gun related deaths are from suicide. So there is that mental health angle again. I’m also not sure where you got the wives/ girlfriends info. I couldn’t find it (although I didn’t do a deep search)but I did discover that the vast majority (like 80%)of gun homicide victims are male. So there is that.”

    The 90% is fairly accurate. This include all suicides (you’re starting right there at well over 60%), virtually all gun accidental deaths, all the familial homicides, all killings of friends… If it isn’t in the 90s, it’s certainly in the upper 80s… That quibble doesn’t really change the argument either way.

    And spousal homicide is the #1 crime involving death (ignoring that suicide is a crime), but that also includes wives killing husbands.