July 17, 2014 archive

The Bankruptcy of Democratic Wing of the Institutional Democratic Party

The Calm Before The Calm

By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

7/17/2014 at 12:45 PM

The annual Netroots Nation gathering is an almost placid affair. For example, in contrast to the CPAC convention, at which every wingnut with delusions of grandeur showed up and at which enough red meat was thrown out to give the Potomac atherosclerosis, this hootenanny is remarkably uncontaminated by major politicians, and especially by those national politicians who allegedly aspire to a higher office than the one they presently hold. The only real marquee names are Senator Professor Warren, who speaks on Friday morning, and Vice President Joe Biden, who pops in this afternoon to inflame the masses as only he can. Hillary Clinton is too busy having a really bad book tour.

Nevertheless, having been to CPAC, it’s hard not to conclude that the two national parties continue to have conspicuously different attitudes toward their respective bases. At CPAC, every high-profile Republican showed up, whether or not they happened to have five votes in the hall. Chris Christie got hooted at by the denizens of the monkeyhouse, and nobody seemed to know quite what to do with Rand Paul and his devotees. But they showed up. Here, once again, it is fair to conclude that the national Democratic party — at least as represented by its high-profile national figures — can still be scared away from its base and its issues by a strong breeze. The people at Netroots are being held at arm’s length in a way that national Republicans never would dare hold CPAC. And with the triangulated, deadening specter of an inexorable Clinton Restoration looming over everything, and that includes everything here, it’s difficult to see that changing very much. I’m sure Senator Professor Warren will get a wild ovation tomorrow. How long and how profoundly that ovation echoes in our politics is still very much an open question.

Yeah, Markos.  Things are better than ever.  How’s that working out for your business model Bucky?

Edward Snowden Calls on Professionals to Protect Private Communications

On July 10, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sat down for an interview with Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, and reporter Ewen MacAskill in Moscow.

Over the course of seven hours, he talked about the need for professionals to protect the confidentiality of their clients in the light of the surveillance by spy agencies. He also spoke about his life in Moskow and the specious accusations that he was spying for Russia or had given the information he took from the NSA to Russian authorities.


• Said if he ended up in US detention in Guantánamo Bay he could live with it.

• Offered rare glimpses into his daily life in Russia, insisting that, contrary to reports that he is depressed, he is not sad and does not have any regrets. He rejected various conspiracy theories surrounding him, describing as “bullshit” suggestions he is a Russian spy.

• Said that, contrary to a claim he works for a Russian organisation, he was independently secure, living on savings, and money from awards and speeches he has delivered online round the world.

• Made a startling claim that a culture exists within the NSA in which, during surveillance, nude photographs picked up of people in “sexually compromising” situations are routinely passed around.

• Spoke at length about his future, which seems destined to be spent in Russia for the foreseeable future after expressing disappointment over the failure of western European governments to offer him a home.

• Said he was holding out for a jury trial in the US rather a judge-only one, hopeful that it would be hard to find 12 jurors who would convict him if he was charged with an offence to which there was a public interest defence. Negotiations with the US government on a return to his country appear to be stalled.

You know, we also do elections.

Not a complaint, mostly an observation.

Personally, as a writer, I find it very hard to get enthused about elections.  Frankly I find horse races boring and gossip petty.  I like writing about issues when I can find a hook and my lighter pieces- Sports, Open Threads (c’mon, you think I’m that into Betty Boop because of the Adult themes and curves?  Nothing off topic with me ever.), the only “news” worth watching, etc. are here as a framework and because I’m a good humored guy (want to see what’s in the back of the truck?  Ice Cream!) and like to entertain people; and I delude myself that my audience is well apprised of the grim reality of our situation and is seeking diversion.

We are the ‘fun’ site, the place where you don’t have to tuck your hair up under your hat.

But your muse is not mine and just because I amuse myself to pass the time while I’m counting down to the apocalypse shouldn’t make you feel that any particular topic is off limits except one-


And that’s ok too provided you submit your copy for pre-approval.

Anyway to cut to the quick (because I feel a long winded dissertation on the fundamental nature of blogging coming on and need to lie down until it passes), I hope you don’t think you can’t contribute posts of a political nature.  If we thoroughly disapprove and you’re not openly abusive or hateful you’ll simply languish without promotion, but we do promote a lot of material with which we don’t necessarily agree for informational and discussion purposes.

If you have any question at all if your piece is suitable drop us a line or just give it a shot.  It’s not like I don’t keep track of what’s happening.

The Breakfast Club (Summer Nights Edition)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

The Breakfast Club Logo photo BeerBreakfast_web_zps5485351c.png

This Day in History

Breakfast Tunes


Le Tour 2014: Stage 12, Bourg-en-Bresse / Saint-Étienne

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Yesterday all the action took place at the back of the race as Andrew Talansky (team leader of Garmin from the USA), the very last rider, struggled against back injuries caused by 2 crashes, one in Nancy and one on the Gérardmer descent Saturday, to avoid the broom car, so called because it picks up riders unable to continue, and time disqualification, on this day 37 minutes from the stage winner, Tony Gallopin.

After a a solid 4 minutes on the side of the road talking with the team manager and unkinking his back, he remounted and struggled to the finish a mere 32:05 behind.  It was, as the French say, an outstanding example of cran, guts, and whether he starts today or not he did not quit and that is a quality so admired that about half the (French) TV coverage was devoted to his effort and they stayed with it long past the normal post stage wrap up.

Otherwise it was a breakaway day with a pack of about 36 riders including most of the top contenders slipping away into the hills at the end and Tony Gallopin, the maillot jaune on La Fête Nationale, capturing the finishing sprint for the stage victory.

So the the results for Stage 11 look something like this.  On the stage it was Tony Gallopin with John Degenkolb in 2nd and Matteo Trentin in 3rd.  In all 35 riders scored the lead time including most of the usual suspects, an additional 10 riders were within a minute of the lead.  Nothing much changed in the General Classification with Vincenzo Nibali leading, Riche Porte closest (2:23), Alejandro Valverde BelMonte (2:47), Romain Bardet (3:01), Tony Gallopin (3:12), Thibaut Pinot (3:47), Tejay Van Garderen (3:56), and Jean-Christophe Péraud (3:57).  Bauke Mollema (4:08) leads a group of 4 riders at under 5 minutes behind, Gerant Thomas 2 at under 6, and Mikel Nieve Iturralde 2 at under 7.  Everyone else is farther back than that.  In Points Peter Sagan has a commanding lead (301), Bryan Coquard (164), Marcel Kittel (157), Alexander Kristoff (127), André Greipel (111), Mark Renshaw (110), Greg Van Avermaet (100), Vincenzo Nibali (95), and Tony Gallopin (87).  Everyone else is over 11 points behind.  In the Climbing contest Joaquim Rodriguez (51), Thomas Voeckler (34), Tony Martin (26), Vincenzo Nibali (20), Alessandro De Marchi (18), Blel Kadri (17) and Thibaut Pinaut (16).  Everyone else is at least 4 points behind.  In Team competition it is AG2R, Astana (3:19), Belkin (4:25), and Sky (4:56).  Everyone else is ove 21 minutes behind.  For the Youth contest it is Romain Bardet, Thibaut Pinot (:46), and Michal Kwiatkowski (1:38).  Tom Dumoulin is 12:42 back, Peter Sagan (your prohibitive Points leader) is 38:07 behind.  Everybody else is about an hour or more off the pace.

I hesitate to stick a fork in it with both the Alps and the Pyrenees to come, but with over 50% of Le Tour complete were I a betting man I’d start putting my money on stage wins, place, and show.  It’s starting to look very America’s Cup/Formula One.

Today’s stage is about 115 and a quarter miles and is another one of those ‘hilly’ sections that encourages breakaways instead of bunch sprints.  The Sprint Checkpoint is early (40 km) and uphill after a little dip and there are 2 Category 4s and 2 Category 3s with the finish on the flat after a descent.

Distance Name Length Category
Km 58.5 Col de Brouilly 1.7 km @ 5.1% 4
Km 83.0 Côte du Saule-d’Oingt 3.8 km @ 4.5% 3
Km 138.0 Col des Brosses 15.3 km @ 3.3% 3
Km 164.0 Côte de Grammond 9.8 km @ 2.9% 4

Now tomorrow there are only 2 climbs, but we are in the Alps for sure.  One is Category 1 and the other is Beyond Category.  Things could still change so stay tuned.

On This Day In History July 17

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge

July 17 is the 198th day of the year (199th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 167 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1998, a diplomatic conference adopts the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, establishing a permanent international court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crime against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002. As of March 2011, 114 states are party to the statute. Grenada will become the 115th state party on 1 August 2011. A further 34 states have signed but not ratified the treaty. Among other things, the statute establishes the court’s functions, jurisdiction and structure.

Under the Rome Statue, the ICC can only investigate and prosecute in situations where states are unable or unwilling to do so themselves. Thus, the majority of international crimes continue to go unpunished unless and until domestic systems can properly deal with them. Therefore, permanent solutions to impunity must be found at the domestic level.


Following years of negotiations aimed at establishing a permanent international tribunal to prosecute individuals accused of genocide and other serious international crimes, such as crimes against humanity, war crimes and the recently defined crimes of aggression, the United Nations General Assembly convened a five-week diplomatic conference in Rome in June 1998 “to finalize and adopt a convention on the establishment of an international criminal court”. On 17 July 1998, the Rome Statute was adopted by a vote of 120 to 7, with 21 countries abstaining.[5] The seven countries that voted against the treaty were Iraq, Israel, Libya, the People’s Republic of China, Qatar, the United States, and Yemen.

On 11 April 2002, ten countries ratified the statute at the same time at a special ceremony held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, bringing the total number of signatories to sixty, which was the minimum number required to bring the statue into force, as defined in Article 126. The treaty entered into force on 1 July 2002; the ICC can only prosecute crimes committed on or after that date. The statute was modified in 2010 after the Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda, but the amendments to the statute that were adopted at that time are not effective yet.

The Rome Statute is the result of multiple attempts for the creation of a supranational and international tribunal. At the end of 19th century, the international community took the first steps towards the institution of permanent courts with supranational jurisdiction. With the Hague International Peace Conferences, representatives of the most powerful nations made an attempt to harmonize laws of war and to limit the use of technologically advanced weapons. After World War I and even more after the heinous crimes committed during World War II, it became a priority to prosecute individuals responsible for crimes so serious that needed to be called “against humanity”. In order to re-affirm basic principles of democratic civilisation, the alleged criminals were not executed in public squares or sent to torture camps, but instead treated as criminals: with a regular trial, the right to defense and the presumption of innocence. The Nuremberg trials marked a crucial moment in legal history, and after that, some treaties that led to the drafting of the Rome Statute were signed.

UN General Assembly Resolution n. 260 9 December 1948, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, was the first step towards the establishment of an international permanent criminal tribunal with jurisdiction on crimes yet to be defined in international treaties. In the resolution there was a hope for an effort from the Legal UN commission in that direction. The General Assembly, after the considerations expressed from the commission, established a committee to draft a statute and study the related legal issues. In 1951 a first draft was presented; a second followed in 195] but there were a number of delays, officially due to the difficulties in the definition of the crime of aggression, that were only solved with diplomatic assemblies in the years following the statute’s coming into force. The geopolitical tensions of the Cold War also contributed to the delays.

Trinidad and Tobago asked the General Assembly in December 1989 to re-open the talks for the establishment of an international criminal court and in 1994 presented a draft Statute. The General Assembly created an ad hoc committee for the International Criminal Court and, after hearing the conclusions, a Preparatory Committee that worked for two years (1996-1998) on the draft. Meanwhile, the United Nations created the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and for Rwanda (ICTR) using statutes-and amendments due to issues raised during pre-trial or trial stages of the proceedings-that are quite similar to the Rome Statute.

During its 52nd session the UN General Assembly decided to convene a diplomatic conference for the establishment of the International Criminal Court, held in Rome 15 June-17 July 1998 to define the treaty, entered into force on 1 July 2002.

Late Night Karaoke

TDS/TCR (No Hugging, No Learning)


All Bear Report-

Jon used up all 4 of the segments of his 3 segment show on Hillary Clinton which you can find extended and web exclusively along with the rest of the real news below.