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Gender: Male
Hometown: Northern VA
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 10:34 AM
Number of posts: 21,175

Journal Archives

Anyone following the Bob McDonnell corurption trial?

In an early thread on McDonnell, I goofed on the defenses already trotted out by his lawyer:

Which defense will he use? His lawyers have already trotted these out:
It wasn't illegal.
If it was illegal, McDonnell didn't know.
It is his wife's fault.
Everybody does it.
Sometimes courts get things wrong, so this case should be dismissed since they might get it wrong.
This is just political.

(Did I miss any of his defenses?)

Of course McDonnell lawyers used a variation of "It is his wife's fault" by claiming his wife fell in love with Williams.

Petula Dvorak ridicules this in today's Washington Post:

"On Wednesday, the rapt gaze of former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell followed Jonnie Ray Williams, a former car salesman turned nutraceutical entrepreneur, as he strode across the courtroom and took the witness stand for the first time. I was waiting for her to clasp her hands together and moon, “Oh, Jonnie,” or maybe blow him a kiss.

Her puppy crush is a sad act scripted to avoid jail time for allegedly selling the prestige of the governor’s office in exchange for the Rolex on her husband’s wrist, the Ferrari joy ride, the private jet trips, the $70,000 life raft to save a real estate investment, the vacation at the lake house, the help with a daughter’s wedding, the fancy golf gear and the rounds of golf Bob McDonnell and his sons played at $300 a pop."


"All the lovesick melodrama about the first lady having a crush on Williams has probably been manufactured by the defense attorneys. Maybe they have some evidence to back up this story line. But when this scandal began, Bob and Maureen McDonnell showed up in court holding hands, presenting themselves as a solid, Christian couple.

Now they are changing that narrative, walking in and out of court in separate entourages, riding different elevators, brushing past each other without even making eye contact. The staging borders on ridiculous. They are doing nothing more than selling Virginians another tale."

Whole article here:

Paranoid RW delusion or some basis in fact?

Talking to a small business owner the other day. Guy is right wing (economically) but hates the crazies and social conservatives in his party. Runs a good business, treats his employes well, offers and pays for medical without being required to, company pays 90% of medical and only passes 10% cost on to employees, etc.

Anyway he is paranoid that Obama's Department of Labor is getting ready to audit ALL small businesses in the US to see that they are complying with EVERY SINGLE applicable regulation and will fine any business that has forgotten to submit a form or haven't complied with every regulation whether they know about it or not. He says this a new form of revenue for the DOL and that they will have ridiculously high fines.

I told him that this sounded paranoid and I doubted they had the capability to audit even a fraction of small businesses. I pointed that the IRS currently has an all-time low on number of people/businesses audited. I said that any DOL audits would be against companies where complaints have been filed or having a history of ignoring laws/regulations.

Has anyone heard anything about new DOL audits?

Are you raising nice kids? A Harvard psychologist gives 5 ways to raise them to be kind

By Amy Joyce at the Washington Post.

"Earlier this year, I wrote about teaching empathy, and whether you are a parent who does so. The idea behind it is from Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist with the graduate school of education, who runs the Making Caring Common project, aimed to help teach kids to be kind.

I know, you’d think they are or that parents are teaching that themselves, right? Not so, according to a new study released by the group.

About 80 percent of the youth in the study said their parents were more concerned with their achievement or happiness than whether they cared for others. The interviewees were also three times more likely to agree that “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring community member in class and school.”

Weissbourd and his cohorts have come up with recommendations about how to raise children to become caring, respectful and responsible adults. Why is this important? Because if we want our children to be moral people, we have to, well, raise them that way."

Whole article here


To his list of 5, I'd say add a component of nature/respect for living things to their metrics for kindness.

"Who's The Man? Hollywood Heroes Defined Masculinity For Millions"

by Bob Mondello for NPR

"Tony Curtis used to say that he'd learned how to kiss a girl by watching Cary Grant at the movies. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he wasn't just sitting behind Grant at the theater — while also noting that he's hardly alone in taking instruction from films.

Movies have always offered a window through which audiences, sitting in the dark, can observe human nature without being observed. A movie theater is where many a boy learned how to make things right, the way John Wayne did in so many pictures, with fists or a gun. Movies taught about sacrificing for the greater good, as Humphrey Bogart did when he sent Ingrid Bergman off with a "here's lookin' at you, kid" in Casablanca. They're a place to learn about standing firm against injustice (with Spencer Tracy in Inherit the Wind), and about standing up for yourself (with Sidney Poitier in A Raisin in the Sun).

All of which was useful for a nation that thought of itself as a melting pot. For generations, newly arrived immigrants had emerged slowly from their ethnic enclaves in big cities, where things were comfortingly just like the old country. Assimilating was hard.

But film — even back when it was silent — was like an instruction manual for the American experience. For a nickel at the nickelodeon, a foreign fellow fresh off the boat could see exactly how American men dressed, how they greeted each other (with a handshake, not with European kisses on each cheek), and, more generally, how people in his newly adopted country behaved. Admittedly, silent films used a kind of shorthand for American behavior — stereotypes, to allow directors to brush in characters quickly without dialogue: women were almost always domestic, delicate and passive, while men were outgoing, strong and active."

SNIP to comply with DU's 4 paragraph rule. Article is really interesting and doesn't end up how you think it will. Mondello makes a good arguement for why there are so many super hero films these days.

Whole article and/or link to listen here:


Craft help!

I want to attach a 11"x17" photo (on photo paper) to a piece of foam core. What adhesive can I use to not ruin the photo.


r>g A Formula of Inequality Told in Four Generations

Illustrated version of Banksy's "Taking the Piss"

Sorry, can't post the image without posting the entire story. Recommended reading.


Words by Banksy and art by Gavin Aung Than.

Isn't birth control cheaper than pregnancy? Won't insurance cost more for companies that

opt out of preventive* medicine or opt out of birth control options? Of course, those companies will either pass the cost on to the employee or blame Obamacare.

* I realize that BC isn't preventative medicine, but it is similar and vastly cheaper than the alternatives.

Best book title

For me it has to be:

"An arsonist's guide to writers' homes in New England : a novel by Brock Clarke.

From The Top Secret Files of Dick Cheney

Ruben Bollings' "Tom the Dancing Bug"

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