Thursday Reads

 DogReadingGood Morning!!


I’m pretty wiped out this morning, so this won’t be an extensive post. My mom is doing okay, but she needs help with a lot of things. This morning we’re going to have to deal with the Comcast people. It would really help if she could watch TV or listen to the radio! This afternoon I have to take her to the doctor, and then we might have to go back to the emergency room to have them put on a looser splint. They told us to do that if the one she has starts to feel too tight. But enough of my problems; let’s see what’s in the news.

The Bowe Bergdahl story gets more disgraceful with each passing day. Last night, via Little Green Footballs, NBC News reported that officials in Bergdahl’s hometown of Hailey, Idaho, had been

deluged with angry calls from people who think that Bergdahl is an Army deserter or traitor who doesn’t deserve a hero’s welcome.

Jane Drussel, the president of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, has been fielding dozens of angry calls.

“Well, (I feel) disappointment number one, just absolutely total surprise at how bad some of them are,” she told NBC News on Tuesday….

Drussel said many of the calls are cancelling trips to the town of about 8,000.

“Well, number one is, how dare we as a community support someone who in their mind they’re thinking of as a ‘deserter,’ a traitor. That they had plans to come here on their vacation, they’re no longer coming, they’re cancelling their reservations.”

“I just find that shocking,” she said. “You know, we’re Americans, and we need to act like Americans, and to me that’s un-American. Let things play out, and if there needs to be action taken, I’m sure it will be taken. But that’s not the city of Hailey’s responsibility.”

As a consequence of the threatening calls, the town has cancelled the welcome home celebration they had been planning. According to the Washington Post, the reason for the cancellation is concern for “public safety.” The small town of 8,000 people simply can’t handle an event that might attract a large number of angry protesters.


The right wing focus on Bergdahl hasn’t kept them from carrying on the meme that Hillary Clinton is old and disabled. The former Secretary of State is pictured on the cover of People Magazine this week smiling broadly and holding onto a deck chair. But the inimitable Matt Drudge has a different theory. From Bob Cesca at the Daily Banter: Drudge Wonders if Hillary Clinton Used a Walker on People Magazine Cover.

Oh, Drudge, you magnificent bastard. There are very few right-wing trolls who are better than Matt Drudge at manufacturing an odious whisper campaign, and he didn’t disappoint today. Drudge posted the new People Magazine cover featuring Hillary Clinton, then wondered whether she was holding onto, wait for it, a walker. You know, like an old lady with brain damage. Wink, wink.

Of course he didn’t say it outright. He used the nefarious “Cavuto Mark” — a question mark at the end of a deliberately leading statement, made famous by Fox News Channel.

Yesterday afternoon, Reuters reported: Last of Navajo ‘code talkers’ dies in New Mexico.

The last of 29 Navajo Americans who developed an unbreakable code that helped Allied forces win the second World War died in New Mexico on Wednesday of kidney failure at the age of 93.

Chester Nez was the last remaining survivor of an original group of 29 Navajos recruited by the U.S. Marine Corps to create a code based on their language that the Japanese could not crack.

His son, Michael Nez, said his father died peacefully in his sleep at their home in Albuquerque….

About 400 code talkers would go on to use their unique battlefield cipher to encrypt messages sent from field telephones and radios throughout the Pacific theater during the war.

It was regarded as secure from Japanese military code breakers because the language was spoken only in the U.S. Southwest, was known by fewer than 30 non-Navajo people, and had no written form.

The Navajos’ skill, speed and accuracy under fire in ferocious battles from the Marshall Islands to Iwo Jima is credited with saving thousands of U.S. servicemen’s lives and helping shorten the war. Their work was celebrated in the 2002 movie “Windtalkers.”

May he rest in peace.


Despite all the controversy over her faulty reporting on Benghazi, Lara Logan is “back at work on CBS News’ 60 Minutes,” according The Hollywood Reporter.

The news ends a suspension that began last fall after an erroneous60 Minutes report on the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that resulted in the death of AmbassadorChristopher Stevens and three other U.S. personnel. Logan had a handful of pieces in the works when she was suspended last November after her report that relied on a now-discredited interview with security contractor Dylan Davies.

She has been eager to return to work, say sources close to the correspondent, but the Benghazi report undermined her status as one of the veteran newsmagazine’s biggest stars and created a media feeding frenzy that unearthed a strident speech she gave a month after the Benghazi attacks in which she advocated for military intervention in Libya and asserted that the Obama administration was downplaying the threat from Al Qaeda.

At the time of her suspension last November, CBS News chairman and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager told THR that the report was a “black eye” for the venerable newsmagazine, still the most watched of its genre.

A CBS News spokesperson confirmed that Logan has returned to work. 60 Minutes typically takes something of a production hiatus during the summer months, with new pieces sprinkled throughout a schedule that includes reruns and updates of previously aired segments. Logan likely will not be seen on60 Minutes until the fall, sources tell THR. But she’ll begin appearing on other CBS News broadcasts such as the CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning in the coming weeks.

I guess we already knew that CBS is no longer a serious news organization. This is just one more piece of confirming evidence.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center, Massive Investigation Uncovers White Supremacist Criminal Network in Oregon.

“Operation White Christmas,” as the year-old investigation is code-named, so far has resulted in the arrests of 54 individuals, mostly in the Portland area, leading to 11 criminal cases in state court and another 43 in federal court.

As for its scope, the investigation based in Portland and Multnomah County rivals the prosecutions of members of another violent gang, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.

The Oregon suspects variously are affiliated with at least five known street and prison white supremacist gangs – European Kindred (EK); Rude Crude Brood; All Ona Bitch (AOB); Fat Bitch Killers (FBK) and Insane Peckerwood Syndicate (IPS), authorities say.

“The scope of this case is by far the largest ever undertaken by this agency in recent memory, based on the number of suspects investigated, the number of persons arrested and the amount of guns recovered,” Lt. Ned Walls, the investigations division supervisor for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, told Hatewatch.

What initially began as an investigation of drug and firearms trafficking by white supremacist gangs blossomed into a broader probe of robberies, home invasions, burglaries, kidnapping, assaults, shootings and witness intimidation, Walls said. Some of the crimes involved gang-on-gang violence.

“The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office would have had an impossibly hard time trying to conduct this investigation on our own,” Walls said. The department, he said, got “outstanding collaborative” support and involvement from the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Clackamas and Washington County Sheriff’s Offices in Oregon, the Portland Police Bureau, the Gresham, Ore., Police Department, Klickitat County, Wash., Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

It’s good to know the Feds are seriously investigating right wing domestic terrorists, but it sounds like the investigation was initiated by local law enforcement.

A military plane crashed in a residential neighborhood in California yesterday afternoon.  From the AP, via the Visalia Times-Delta:

A Marine jet crashed into a residential area in a Southern California desert community Wednesday, exploding and setting two homes on fire. The pilot ejected safely, and there was no immediate word of any injuries on the ground.

The Harrier AV-8B went down at 4:20 p.m. in Imperial, a city of about 15,000 near the U.S.-Mexico border about 90 miles east of San Diego. Witnesses described an explosion and thick plumes of smoke.

“It felt like a bomb was thrown in the backyard of the house,” said Adriana Ramos, 45, whose home is less than a block from the crash scene. “The whole house moved.”

Ramos fled with her 4-year-old granddaughter and 10-year-old daughter, who both cried at the sight outside….]

At the crash site, there was chaos as people ran in every direction, he said. The two homes were on fire and it was unclear if anyone was inside.

The plane was from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona, said Cpl. Melissa Lee, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. She had no details about what might have caused the accident.

As of this morning, no injuries have been reported. You can see video of the scene at The Week Magazine.

I have a few more links for you that I’ll post in the comment thread, and I hope you’ll do the same. What stories are you following today?


43 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    For Dakinikat: The Republican Case Against Republican Economics, by Thomas B. Edsall

    • dakinikat says:

      Thx. I was reading one about how all the economists in the UK are dismayed by the policy right now and no one in government can understand it.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Amazon Is NOT the Vladimir Putin of the Publishing World

    Can you believe those…those…those…sons of bitches at Amazon? After launching almost 20 years ago and making virtually every book—new, used, dead-tree, electronic, audio, and I’m guessing any day now, olfactory—available to everyone in America at good-to-great prices, the company’s true character now stands revealed. It’s not pretty, folks. Despite a huge market share, Amazon apparently still wants books, especially the e-books that everyone agrees are the future of the medium, to be cheaper than what publishers and big-name authors want you to pay for them.

    • RalphB says:

      Good for Amazon. Keeping prices low is bad? Go figure.

      • NW Luna says:

        They are doing some manipulative placement, and even non-placement, for books from certain publishers who don’t sell to them at dictated prices. And it’s not all big-name best-selling authors, it’s authors like Sherman Alexie. Yes, prices that are too low for independent publishers and authors to make a profit on are too low.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    A couple of bizarre real-life horror stories:

    Police investigating death unreported for months

    An 88-year-old Lafayette man’s body remained in his home for nine months before it was discovered by police, authorities said Wednesday.

    Neighbors said Gerald Gavan’s wife lived in the home during that time and acted as if everything was normal.

    “It’s really disturbing, the fact that we’ve been living here the whole time and talking to her,” Tyler Imel, who moved in next door to Gavan’s home in August, told the Journal & Courier.

    An expert on insects determined that Gavan had been dead since at least last July, Tippecanoe County coroner Donna Avolt said. If necessary, she said, the forensic entomologist would testify in court that Gavan died last July 15.

    But Ila Solomon, who was Gavan’s caretaker before they married two years ago in Kentucky, told the Journal & Courier that her husband didn’t die until April 28, five days before police found the body.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Gruesome road trip: Clinton Township man drives cross-country with a dead woman in passenger seat

      WJBK Fox 2’s Roop Raj reports a 62-year-old man drove from Michigan to Arizona to pick up a 31-year-old woman, with whom he was in a relationship. The man picked the woman up on May 31 from the mental health facility where she resided in Glendale, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix.

      FOX 2’s Maurielle Lue reports the man has been identified as Ray Tomlinson.

      Police believe the woman ingested a number of oxycodone pills after stopping at a gas station in Flagstaff, Ariz. June 1. Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green says she returned to the van and died almost immediately, but it wasn’t until later that the man touched her and realized she was dead.

      The man told police he made two additional stops between New Mexico and Oklahoma, where he attempted to ask the woman if she needed to exit the vehicle. After she failed to respond, he determined she was deceased.

      Commissioner Green says the man used his cell phone to search what he should do with the woman’s body.

      Apparently, what he read on the Internet convinced him to continue driving to Michigan. Warren Det. Sgt. Stephen Mills said the man determined via the Internet that he had 48 hours to present the body to a medical examiner.

      The woman’s body remained in the passenger seat for the remainder of the drive. Police say he propped her body up and placed sunglasses on her face and a stuffed animal in her lap.

      The man’s 92-year-old mother was also riding in the back of the van in her wheelchair. During the 26-hour drive she was not able to use a restroom. The air-conditioning in the van stopped working soon after they began driving.

  4. bostonboomer says:


    Exclusive: Afghan villagers recall when Bergdahl stumbled into their midst

    The Washington Post has reached Afghan villagers who spotted Bergdahl shortly after he slipped away from his base. To them, it’s clear something was wrong with the American. And he seemed to be deliberately heading for Taliban strongholds, they say.

    “It was very confusing to us. Why would he leave the base?” said Jamal, an elder in the village of Yusef Khel, about a half-mile from the American military installation. (Like many Afghans, he goes by only one name). “The people thought it was a covert agenda – maybe he was sent to the village by the U.S.”

    Locals remember Bergdahl walking through the village in a haze. They later told Afghan investigators that they had warned the American that he was heading into a dangerous area.

    “They tried to tell him not to go there, that it is dangerous. But he kept going over the mountain. The villagers tried to give him water and bread, but he didn’t take it,” said Ibrahim Manikhel, the district’s intelligence chief.

    “We think he probably was high after smoking hashish,” Manikhel said. “Why would an American want to find the Taliban?”

  5. bostonboomer says:


    • ANonOMouse says:

      Ditto to the “sickening”. Last night Rachel showed a video of John McCain being for the prisoner swap for Bergdahl before he was against it. I believe the video was from 6 months ago. In typical McCain fashion he’s all over the fucking map until he gets his marching orders then he’s off to deliver the latest GOP/TP propaganda.

    • RalphB says:

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    Here is Vladamir Putin being his usual misogynist, prick of a self. This MF’er is tugging on Superwoman’s cape no doubt in the hope that she never becomes POTUS.

    Putin on Hillary Clinton: “Better not to argue with women”

    Better watch out Vlad, IF HILLARY DECIDES SHE WANTS TO BE POTUS she will neuter you if given half a chance. You sorry he-man-woman-hater.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Vlad likes his women to be QUIET and to REMAIN IN THE KITCHEN cooking his dinner while he rides horses shirtless and bareback.No wonder he felt so threatened by Pussy Riot

      • NW Luna says:

        Better not to argue with Hillary because he’ll lose. She’ll easily discuss policy details even off the cuff, and politely but firmly outsmart him.

  7. RalphB says:

    esquire: If You Needed Further Proof Racism Is Not Dead

    If you think race is not an issue anymore and that America has dealt with the past and come through it, you are dead wrong.

    A black man was told he could not use the water fountain because it is for whites only. He said, “Put your sign on the wall then, because I am feeling to drink it. What they do when they catch me drinking your water?”

    His white supervisor responded, “That’s when we hang you.” …

    The ever watchful Lt Col Robert Bateman writing at Pierce’s blog. This has to be stomped dead now!

    • NW Luna says:

      They should put serving size — and ingredients — on any edible product intended for public consumption. Just because it’s pot doesn’t mean it’s totally harmless.

  8. RalphB says:

    Well said!

    tpm: Obama: ‘I Make No Apologies’ For Bergdahl Release

    “We have a basic principle. We do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind. We had a prisoner of war whose health had deteriorated and we were deeply concerned about, and we saw an opportunity and we seized it, and I make no apologies for that,” Obama said when asked about the controversy surrounding the prisoner swap at a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Brussels.

    “I’m never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington, right? That’s par for the course,” he said.

    “I make absolutely no apologies for making sure that we get back a young man to his parents, and that the American people understand that this is somebody’s child, and that we don’t condition whether or not we make the effort to try to get them back,” Obama concluded.

    • Every time things like this are shown on Fox: Bill O’Reilly Really, Really Wants You To Know Bowe Bergdahl’s Father ‘Looks Like A Muslim’

      It makes me cringe…but like one of the commentators at the bottom said.

      Danny O’Hara · Williston Park, New York
      Billo would blow him if he was on Duck Dynasty

      And speaking of Duck Dynasty: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Stars To Release ‘Duck Commander’ Bible In October

      ‘Duck Dynasty’ stars Phil and Alan Robertson will release their ‘Duck Commander’ Faith And Family Bible in October of this year, according to a statement from publisher Thomas Nelson.

      Thomas Nelson publishers will release the book on October 28 with 52 Bible-reading plans from the Robertson duo. The Bible will be published in King James Version and will highlight the Robertson family’s core values of faith, family, fellowship, forgiveness and freedom, according to a release from the publisher.

      Also included will be a personal welcome from the Robertson father and son, 125 articles on the top 24 most-searched topics on BibleGateway, supplementary materials and “30 days of life-changing testimonials.”

      God help me!

      • RalphB says:

        All of those people are just crooks and grifters. The tea party and republicans seem to attract them like shit attracts flies. Come to think of it, that analogy works pretty well. 😉

  9. RalphB says:

    Speaking of crooks and grifters…

    tpm: Documents: Businessman Claims He Laundered Money To Sen. Mike Lee

    A newly revealed document disclosed the details of an alleged scheme where an embattled Utah businessman claims to have used straw donors to contribute tens of thousands of dollars to Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) 2010 campaign.

    The Salt Lake Tribune reported late Wednesday on a 41-page affidavit filed in connection to the investigation of former Utah Attorney General John Swallow and his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff. According to the Tribune, the affidavit lays out how indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson told state investigators that, at the request of Swallow, he gave around $50,000 of his own money to other people, who then donated to Lee’s campaign. Johnson told investigators he did the same thing for Shurtleff when Shurtleff was considering his own 2010 Senate run. …

  10. RalphB says:

    stolen from commentor ‘raven’ at balloon-juice:

    Puppy Rescued by Obama Accused of Having Rabies

    WASHINGTON – A cocker spaniel puppy that President Obama rescued from a burning building has created an uproar in the U.S. Congress, where many leading lawmakers have accused the puppy of having rabies. “The President rushed into the burning building and yanked out the puppy, keeping all of us in the dark,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S. Carolina). “If that rabid dog bites a single American, it’ll be on President Obama’s watch.” In the House, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) called for hearings on the burgeoning Doghazi scandal, with several prominent House members demanding the President’s impeachment.

  11. bostonboomer says:
    • RalphB says:

      This old bastard should hang it up. He’s a walking piece of shit.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      My partner and I were having this discussion earlier in the day about the POW for Viet Cong prisoner swap that happened during and after the Vietnam war. I’m with Ralph, the old codger should shuffle on off to the porch and take up a rocking chair. He’s so lame he doesn’t even remember that just a few months ago he thought this prisoner exchange was a good idea.

      And by accident I surfed past Hannity a few minutes ago and guess what? He’s still lamenting the prisoner swap and talking down Bergdahl even though there are reports surfacing now that Bergdahl escaped from the Taliban and was recaptured and that the Taliban became so frustrated with him they kept him in a cage. Goddam John McCain, does that sound a bit familiar to your shrinking brain?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        And for the record Sean Hannity isn’t really old enough to remember the details of the POW swaps during and after the Vietnam war, so he needs to STFU about “negotiating with terrorists” lest we ship his sorry ass over to Eastern Afghanistan and let the Taliban have at him for 5 years. He’s such a waste of protoplasm.

  12. RalphB says:

    AP: Threat to Bergdahl led to US action, officials say

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration told senators it didn’t notify Congress about the pending swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban officials because of intelligence the Taliban might kill him if the deal was made public.

    That fear — not just the stated concerns that Bergdahl’s health might be failing — drove the administration to quickly make the deal to rescue him, bypassing the law that lawmakers be notified when detainees are released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, congressional and administration officials said Thursday. …

    Congress can never keep anything quiet.

  13. RalphB says:

    He had walked away once in California and once before in Afghanistan. Chances are to have some time to himself.

    NYT: Bergdahl Walked Away Before, Military Report Says

    While much of the report is said to focus on disciplinary problems within his unit and a lack of accountability within its chain of command, the report is also said to portray Sergeant Bergdahl as a free-spirited young man who read martial-arts books, drank tea with Afghan soldiers from whom he tried to pick up Pashto phrases, and maintained a collection of throwing stars and knives, which it documents in detail.

    Its portrayal of him as a soldier is said to be positive, with quotes from both commanders and squadmates — apparently including some of the men now criticizing him — describing him as punctual, always in the correct uniform and asking good questions. It quotes colleagues as saying that he expressed some boredom and frustration that they were not “kicking down doors” more to go after insurgents who were destroying schools.

    The report is also said to contain no mention of any alleged intercepts of radio or cellphone traffic indicating that Sergeant Bergdahl was asking villagers if anyone spoke English and trying to get in touch with the Taliban, as two former squadmates told CNN this week in separate interviews that they remembered hearing about from a translator who received the report.

    Nothing about any “note” he left etc is in any of the actual contemporaneous investigative reports. The more I read, the more his unit sounds like a cluster looking for a place to fuck up.

  14. RalphB says: 2.0 may point the way to revamp government IT.

    wired: Inside the Next Version of

    Whether or not Marketplace 2.0 works as promised, the effort has already achieved a turnaround of sorts. In the past, such an effort would have avoided risky innovation, producing something with Rube Goldberg-esque code bases, a lockdown on data centers, and hundreds of veteran engineers schooled in the traditional ways of producing government IT. (Like… the original version of Not this time, or at least not as much. Marketplace 2.0 will use contemporary tools, a third-party automated data center, and a system of A/B testing and rapid iteration. And though the Marketplace 2.0 team will grow a bit in the coming months—with some original members of the rescue team returning as contractors—tech lead Liaw reports that the current headcount stands at ten.

    Moreover, the rescue effort has provided a blueprint for reforming long-moribund government IT. The next step is getting more people like those on the Ad Hoc and Marketplace 2.0 teams into public service. Indeed, many of them have become evangelists for this cause. “This is my second job—I’m only 24,” says David Chang, who took over as de facto product manager after Jini Kim. “It’s phenomenal to have this impact on how government does IT, how millions of people get healthcare.”

    While Affordable Care Act itself remains controversial, the government is finally using smarter techniques on the website that signs you up for it. That’s got to be healthier.

  15. RalphB says:

    I’m proud of President Obama. Semper Fi!

  16. RalphB says:

    The source of James Rosen and Fox scoops on Bergdahl is an asshole who was convicted of lying to Congess during Iran-Contra and kicked out of the CIA in the 80s. This is fucked.

  17. NW Luna says:

    More gun violence on a college campus…… stopped by a student with pepper spray, and not another gun.

    1 dead, others hurt in shooting at Seattle Pacific University before student tackles gunman.

    One of the victims, a young man who was taken in critical conditon to Harborview Medical Center, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

    Another, a 20-year-old woman, was in critical condition and in surgery. Two others, men ages 22 and 24, were in satisfactory condition, one with gunshot wounds and the other, who was not shot, suffered injuries that weren’t immediately described.

    Two other people were reported to be hurt, although the nature of their injuries was not known, and they were not taken to Harborview.

    Seattle police arrested the gunman, described as a young man armed with a shotgun and handgun. Police said the gunman walked into the foyer of Otto Miller Hall shortly before 3:30 p.m. and shot three people.

    Seattle police Capt. Chris Fowler said a student, who is a building monitor, subdued the gunman as he stopped to reload.

    As the gunman stopped to reload his weapon in blood-splattered Miller Hall, Meis, 22, a senior engineering student from Renton, saw an opportunity, his roommate said Thursday night.

    Meis, who was working at the time as a monitor who sits at a desk in the lobby, near the Hall’s front door, quickly moved in to pepper-spray the gunman, then he tackled him to the ground. Police arriving moments later moved in to handcuff and arrest the suspect, other witnesses said.