Saturday Night Open Thread

I’ve really been searching for some interesting things to post and there still seems to be the same old topics and the same old craziness. So, I’m just going to post an open thread to see if any of you can find anything new.


Have You Ever Wondered What Compels Your Conservative Relatives to Vote the Way They Do?

When caught in the stalemate of a political debate, the advice of Jonathan Haidt, author of  The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion and a social psychologist in the New York University Stern School of Business, is to save our breath–or at least recognize that what we think we’re arguing about isn’t really what we’re arguing about. Haidt believes that most political debates, at least the way they’re usually conducted, are useless because the underlying issues aren’t what they appear to be on the surface. Politics, he says, is ultimately about our stance on fundamental moral beliefs and group loyalties–things that aren’t usually influenced by facts, figures, or rational policy debate. In the interview that follows, he offers a perspective on why we vote the way that we do that differs from what you’re likely to read about in our mainstream election-season coverage.

Have a Great Saturday Night!!

14 Comments on “Saturday Night Open Thread”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    First whistleblower to be sentenced to prison:

    On Jan. 25, Mr. Kiriakou is scheduled to be sentenced to 30 months in prison as part of a plea deal in which he admitted violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by e-mailing the name of a covert C.I.A. officer to a freelance reporter, who did not publish it. The law was passed in 1982, aimed at radical publications that deliberately sought to out undercover agents, exposing their secret work and endangering their lives.

    In more than six decades of fraught interaction between the agency and the news media, John Kiriakou is the first current or former C.I.A. officer to be convicted of disclosing classified information to a reporter.

    Mr. Kiriakou, 48, earned numerous commendations in nearly 15 years at the C.I.A., some of which were spent undercover overseas chasing Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. He led the team in 2002 that found Abu Zubaydah, a terrorist logistics specialist for Al Qaeda, and other militants whose capture in Pakistan was hailed as a notable victory after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    A guy who disapproved of torture goes to prison, banksters who crashed the economy walk free.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Balding, ugly Republican congressman attacks Nancy Pelosi for her appearance.

    Speaking with guest host Larry O’Connor on the Dennis Miller Show, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) argued that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was functionally equivalent to Pelosi because both held one-on-one backroom negotiations with the president. Gohmert then went on to deride Pelosi’s appearance: “Well, let’s give him credit. There’s no facelift with John Boehner.”

    No. Just bright orange skin and addled brains.

  3. roofingbird says:

    The most calming activity right now is looking at seed catalogs. I spent the day grinding up old leaves to put in my mini veggie garden wit some manure. A head of lettuce, a tomato, an early cabbage; the promise of those things give a person a little hope.

  4. RalphB says:

    Bob Somerby on the familar hemming and hawing of liberal wonks. He’s so right and Beltway Bob gets a little beating..

    Daily Howler: NEW WONKS ON THE BLOCK: New leadership needed!

  5. RalphB says:

    From SteveM, looks like the NYT has done some useful reporting again for us to ignore.


    I’m sure the gun absolutists will either ignore or try to pick apart Elisabeth Rosenthal’s New York Times story on guns in Latin America, but if she’s right, she’s making an interesting point about the gunners’ preferred solution for the violence problem in the U.S.:

    I recently visited some Latin American countries that mesh with the N.R.A.’s vision of the promised land, where guards with guns grace every office lobby, storefront, A.T.M., restaurant and gas station. It has not made those countries safer or saner.

    Despite the ubiquitous presence of “good guys” with guns, countries like Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia and Venezuela have some of the highest homicide rates in the world….

    The gun lobby is part of the vast right-wing conspiracy. The NRA has long been in bed with the pro-plutocrat lobbyists of ALEC. I’m not sure there’s a conscious strategy at work here, but is it really surprising that plutocracy advocates want to hollow out America’s middle class and create a class structure more like those in Latin America (where U.S. corporations have traditionally found cheap, willing workers), while their pro-gun allies want us seeing one another as (literally) mortal enemies, while we lose focus on what the plutocrats are doing to us economically?