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Thursday Morning at The Confluence: Going to Carolina in My Mind

Can’t you see the sunshine, can’t you just feel the moonshire?

Here in the Boston area, you can hardly tell day from night anymore. The gray skies and rain have been with us day after day for more than a month. July 2, and it’s 57 degrees outside my house. I had to turn the furnace on for awhile last night! What the heck is going on with our weather?

The Eastern U.S. was expected to continue seeing severe storm development on Thursday from a slow-moving low pressure system hovering over the Great Lakes region.

Widespread scattered showers were to continue across the Northeast and New England, with moderate to heavy showers over New York.

A slow-moving low pressure system? I’ll say it’s slow-moving. It’s been hovering over us since May. Will we ever see the sun again? That’s what I want to know.

So what else is happening out there?
This time the Red Sox stole a win from the Orioles, rallying in the ninth inning for a 6-5 win.

One day after the team had left shards of dignity on the field at Camden Yards, their best-in-baseball bullpen obliterated by 10 runs in two innings, the Sox were down by four runs with three outs to go.

But Dustin Pedroia worked a walk. And, as Orioles manager Dave Trembley said afterward, “If you’re going to walk people, it’s not the time to do it in the ninth inning.’’


It spiraled, spurred on by an energizing two-run home run by Kevin Youkilis, and ended two innings later on a redemptive single by Lugo that capped off a 6-5 triumph in 11 innings that turned the night before on its head, turned the series around, and left the Sox with a celebration for the plane ride home.

And the Red Sox still lead the Yankees in the American League East by 2.5 games. All right! It sure doesn’t feel like summer, but at least the Red Sox are doing well.


Moving on from New England-centric news, in politics, Chris Cillizza has a lengthy wrap-up of how Al Franken finally won the Minnesota Senate seat from Norm Coleman. Apparently Franken had good lawyers and consultants, and he was smart to stay out of the limelight during his long legal battle.

Right wing blogs are still buzzing over the Helen Thomas-led mutiny of the White House press against the Obama administration’s worse-than-Nixon efforts to control public perceptions. That Robert Gibbs sure is a smarmy, arrogant SOB, isn’t he?

Meanwhile Dana Millbank gives examples of the kinds of comments in Facebook and Twitter threads about Obama’s health care “town hall meeting.”

Speaking of the Carolinas, the Sanford soap opera continues unabated. Why won’t he just STFU and go have his mid-life crisis somewhere out of the public eye? I do not want to hear any more about this man’s love life. Can’t the press just ignore him? I don’t need to know about it, thank you very much.

Gov. Mark Sanford’s long and emotional interview with The Associated Press Tuesday appears to have been the final straw for South Carolina’s Republican establishment, much of which is now actively seeking his resignation.

While Sanford seemed to have weathered the storm in the brutal days immediately following his admission of an affair with an Argentine woman, his support has cratered in the wake of the AP interview in which he talked of his “tragic” and “forbidden” love for his “soul mate” and admitted to having “crossed lines” with a handful of other women.

Fourteen GOP state senators — more than half the Senate Republican caucus — have already called for Sanford’s resignation, joining a list that, as of Wednesday afternoon, included 11 Republican members of the state House and six of the state’s biggest newspapers.

Good! Now please go away. You are nothing but a boring cliche at this point, Governor Sanford.

The World

In world news, according to Ann Curry on Twitter, the U.S. just moments ago confirmed that North Korea has fired two missles.

North Korea test-fired two short-range missiles on Thursday, further stoking tension in the region that was already high due to Pyongyang’s nuclear test and threats to boost its nuclear arsenal in response to U.N. sanctions….

A South Korean daily said that the secretive North may also test fire mid-range missiles in a matter of days.

Washington said this week it had tightened its crackdown on firms linked to the North’s lucrative proliferation of missiles, a major source of cash for the destitute state, and has sent the U.S. point man for sanctions to Asia for discussions.

Two UK soldiers have been killed in the Helmand province during a massive US assault on Taliban fighters in the Afghan river valley. CNN reports that a U.S. soldier who has been missing since Tuesday has been captured by the Taliban.

In Honduras, coup leaders continue to defy world-wide condemnation of their ouster of President Zelaya and have “vowed” that Zelaya will “never return to power.” Interim leaders in Honduras are blaming Hugo Chavez for the crisis.

In Iran, a police chief “invented” an Interpol investigation of the murder of Neda Agha-Solton. Interpol denies that it is trying to find the doctor who tried to help Neda after she was shot. The Iranian government is desperately trying to pretend that Neda’s death had nothing to do with the protests that have rocked the country after the reelection of Ahmadinejad.

Other News

In other news, reclusive author J.D. Salinger has won his suit to prevent publication of an “unauthorized sequel” to his classic novel The Catcher in the Rye.

The New York Times has an interesting story about two Vatican investigations of U.S. nuns.

A fourteen-year-old girl who was the only survivor of the crash Yemenia Flight 626 on Tuesday has returned home to her father. The girl’s mother along with 151 other people died in the crash.

Fort Worth police raided a gay bar on the anniversary of Stonewall. One man is in intensive care with a serious head injury and may not survive.

The officers who raided the Rainbow Lounge claim that the men in the bar made “advances” on them—and Forth Worth’s police chief is backing them up:

Monday, police chief Jeff Halstead said the officers’ actions are being investigated. However, he also said that officers that entered the bar during the scheduled inspection were touched inappropriately.

“You’re touched and advanced in certain ways by people inside the bar, that’s offensive,” he said. “I’m happy with the restraint used when they were contacted like that.”

Michael Jackson used “a slew of aliases to score prescriptions meds” says TMZ:

The DEA, which is joining to assist the LAPD in its investigation of several doctors who prescribed drugs to Jackson, will be hunting down these names and others.

Sources tell us the prescription abuse was so egregious, one doctor would call the pharmacy and say Jackson was coming down to get Demerol. The pharmacy would then fill the prescription, leaving the patient’s name blank.


Karl Malden has died at 97. He won an academy award for his role as Mitch in 1951’s A Streetcar Named Desire. with co-stars Marlon Brando, Vivian Leigh, and Kim Hunter. He also appeared with Brando in On the Waterfront. Many of us also fondly recall him as Michael Douglas’ partner in the 1970s TV show, Streets of San Francisco. Another of Malden’s memorable TV roles was the grieving father in the true-crime miniseries Fatal Vision.

81 Responses

  1. Well, at least we didn’t get the second round of thunderstorms they predicted for last night. We’ll settle for one per day.

    • that’s because they doubled them up for today! Another ‘flash flood’ warning – channel 5’s meteorologist was actually just thrilled because the 4th is going to be ‘mostly dry’.

      “…………..Noah, party of two. Noah, party of two, your table’s ready” I’ve never seen so much moss on the trees in this city, it just ain’t right!!!

      • It’s a frickin’ nightmare!

        • SoFla has drenching rains almost every afternoon this time of the year. Sort of a blessing, as it cools things down.

          • That’s fine when it’s hot. When it’s 57 degrees in July, it’s not as much fun.

        • Well, Dr. BB, we’ll gladly trade you the stifling hot, triple digit weather down here in Central TX. No clouds in the sky, no rain in sight forever, rivers and streams drying up, ground cracking, crops and trees and grass and plants dying. We’ve been experiencing exceptional drought for almost two years now and it’s not just depressing, it’s downright scary. Life without water? Looks like we might discover just what that means.

        • bb, You need to come visit Pumas on the California coast. 🙂

        • ok, so when the sun finally does burn through, and you hear someone screaming in horror at this burning ‘thing’ in the sky,…………….follow the voice and introduce yourself, ’cause it’ll be me.

  2. BB:

    I think I took the good (summer) weather with me as I left Beantown.

    Not to frost your berries but I’m having lunch break in a nice cafe outside by exactly 79 degrees, that would 26 celsius here.

    At least the Sawx won after what the abomination from the other night.

    • Boston is now full of disgruntled British people wandering around moaning why did we come here, why did we give away our one chance to see the sun.

      • LOL.

        My relatives and friends say it’s really bad. Apparently the entire mont of June has been rainy. For once I had a good timing.

        • You can’t even begin to imagine how bad it is unless you’ve lived through it.

      • Ooooh, they have to be bitter about that. Brits love their sun and they’ve had great weather in the UK the past week. My neighbor just got back from London yesterday … she said it was in the 80s!

        • LOL. I have friends visiting from the UK for the last two weeks, so they missed it while here. They’ll probably return when it goes grey again. But they did get to see me, that should be enough sunshine for anyone. 🙂

    • It’s nasty out there! How much more of this can we take?

  3. Sorry if this is OT/has already been posted/not of interest:
    “The IRCT condemns the coup d’Etat in Honduras.”


    (To the best of my knowledge this is a nonpartisan organisation and site 😉 .)

    • Hey Pips!

      No time no see. Thanks for the link!

      • Hej Inky 😀 !
        So happy to “meet” you and get a chance to tell you how admirable I find your civility in debating! I first noticed it some time ago on another blog (where your courtesy certainly wasn’t returned!), and was in awe!

        Being myself the type who tends to run for cover, heh, I sooo admire and envy that gift/ability of yours!

      • Should have added “civility and knowledge.”

  4. BB,

    Thanks for the nun, article link. Life is odd, I have a friend (who just happens to be a gay man, and his mom loves him) whose mom is a nun in a Southern State and he often visits her when he is about his travels. It is very common among the very faithful women, to go into spiritual service if they are widowed, once their children are grown. So, some of today’s nuns are more aware of real life than you would think.

    I guess someone was busy saying ‘Those American nuns are getting Uppity’… 😯 I saw a nun last night and well, although she wasn’t in black or wearing long restrictive clothing, I knew who she was, most people do…it’s the aura of the smile and the way they carry themselves. 🙂

    I liked one of the comments: “Go nuns!”. Yea! Go Nuns Go!

    • It’s odd that they’re cracking down on them when the number of priests AND nuns have sharply dropped. They should be offering them incentives to stay!

    • I find it interesting that it is always a man in charge of the women’s organizations.

  5. As a native Tar Heel, I love that song 🙂 Especially the Dixie Chicks teaming up with James Taylor. I have that entire concert on tape and it’s fantastic.

  6. My first date with my hubby 33 years ago was a James Taylor concert. I never get tired of his voice.

    The weather is crappy here too. So much for summer.

  7. Under the heading of more managed news:

    The Virginia woman who was hugged by Obama is active in a local OFA (Obama Fan Association/snark) and received her ticket to attend the “health forum” directly from the White House. Hmmmmm.

    The city lines of Bagdhad have been re-drawn in order to make it appear that the U.S. military base in Bagdhad is actually outside the city limits.

    More for Helen Thomas to sink her teeth into.

    • That figures….

    • I wonder if I’m the only one who found it offensive when Obama called the woman “Exhibit A”?

      • Sadly, that’s exactly what she was. The only thing missing were the flip charts. Health forum? Nothing more than an Obama infomercial.

      • No, referring to a person like that, especially when she’s standing right there, is arrogant and obnoxious. Or maybe just noxious, like B0.

    • How pathetic-redrawing the city lines of an overseas capital, so as to look good in your local media.

      (and very close to lying to the Great American Public)

    • and she will too.go Helen.

  8. Goodmorning! Thank you for this great list, BB. I’m in Indianapolis until tomorrow and totally discombobulated so having a fresh morning post here is perfect to help me figure out what I’m doing.

    (coffee will help too)

    I’ve got a kind of full day – My dad has the medical test (our reason for being here) this morning. Then I’m meeting one of my oldest Blog Friends (from the BoomanTribune!!) for a long hike and dinner.

    But, I’m hoping to be able to eat lunch up here in peace and quiet with you guys here between the two events.


  9. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24441.html

    “For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post is offering lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to “those powerful few” — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the paper’s own reporters and editors.

    The astonishing offer is detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he feels it’s a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff.” ”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24441.html#ixzz0K6n6iBHp&C

    • Every day I feel better and better about removing the Washington Post from my bookmarks.

    • This is an incredible development. Which means it’ll be disappeared pronto. Things are getting pretty scary out there…

    • I think WaPa reconsidered this program. Politico may have updated their story.

  10. Goldman Sachs will pay 700,000 per employee in bonuses this year–total about 20 billion.

    Well it’s good to know the guys running our government are doing well financially.

  11. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_economy

    “WASHINGTON – Employers cut a larger-than-expected 467,000 jobs in June, driving the unemployment rate up to a 26-year high of 9.5 percent, suggesting that the economy’s road to recovery will be bumpy.”

    • “bumpy” seems to be an understatement!

      • Somehow, in an economy driven by consumer spending, we’re supposed to have a jobless recovery. I haven’t really been able to figure out exactly how that will happen.

  12. http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/07/thanks-for-the-bailout-here%e2%80%99s-your-lovely-parting-gift-mr-ms-taxpayer/

    “Will Ben, Hank, Little Timmy and Congressional leaders explain to the American people how it is possible for Wall Street to have near record remuneration AFTER the US taxpayers were put on the hook for about $12 trillion of guarantees to The Street? And will they explain to Americans that while Street insiders ‘earn’ record pay they must suffer a severe recession or depression, possibly record future inflation, collapsing home values, job losses and an income contraction?”

  13. Isn’t it strange that Obama is morphing into the worst caricature his delusional sycophants made Hillary Clinton?

    Extremely calculating? Checked
    Insincere? Checked
    Control freak? Checked
    “Centrist”? Checked
    Limited access? Checked
    Friend of big business? Checked
    Supporter of Cheney’s policy? Checked
    Lack of principles? Checked
    Outright saboteur of Liberal policies?Checked
    Republican “light”? That is not checked because on many policies he’s more that “light”

    I could go on and on. This is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen.

    I can even have any type of schadenfreude here because we’re ALL paying a price and the policies I strongly believe in have just been dumped for the sake of convenience.

    • It is bizarre, but I suspect that the irony will be forever lost on the aforementioned delusional sycophants. Here’s two more I would add to that list:

      Foreign policy Hawk? Checked
      Nixonian vindictive streak? Checked

    • There’s also a virulent form of ODS, but, in his case, the “D” is for “delusion.”

    • I think he was all these things (and more) all along. His name calling of Hillary was classic psychological projection. It served him well politically too.

  14. An interesting tidbit…

    India decriminalizes gay sex.


    And, since misery loves company…..up here in my little part of the land of ice and snow, it has been dark, cloudy, rainy, stormy and cold for a week. We’ve been having the odd sunny spell, but for the most part, this spring and summer (so far) have sucked. My tomato plants and I are quite depressed.

    • That is so unfair juststoppingby! Here in the often dark, cold Scandinavia, where foreigners talk about the two seasons: the white winter and the green winter, lol – except for a short periode in June, we’ve had sun, sun, sun ever since the beginning of April!

      Would have loved to share with you … if only I could!

      • Wow, Pips… you are in Scandinavia? 20 Years ago I traveled to Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. I really liked those countries… Some people I met there complained about high taxes but still, most people appreciated their safety net and social programs. I live in California but I used to celebrate Santa Lucia every year as a kid, in honor of the 1st lights appearing out of a long winter. 🙂

        • Lol! Yes it is a favorite passtime of ours to complain about our taxes 🙄 . But actually we are kind of living in the “butterhole”, as we call it (as in the lump of butter in the middle of the porridge!)

          And reading about the troubles of the average US citizen, I sure don’t find that I have anything to complain about. (Apart from the never ending adoration of Obama, that is 😦 .)

          • lol!

            So, what do you make of worldwide adoration of him and what do the majority of other Scandinavians think? Is he popular there as well? I know a lot of other European countries are very much in Obama-worship mode.

          • Madrigal, according to both the media and the politicians here, this brilliant, intelligent, supreme political savvy man can do absolutely no wrong.

            Actually we have him to thank for … well, just about everything! Everything good, that is.

  15. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aOmcD1Kpajh4

    ““This will be another jobless recovery,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We may get positive economic growth driven largely by federal spending, but people on the street will say, ‘Where are the jobs?’” ”

    “Tax cuts and Social Security payments under the stimulus plan propped up incomes last quarter, supporting household purchases. Consumer spending rose in May as earnings climbed 1.4 percent, the most in a year.”

    “Today’s report also showed the average work week fell to 33 hours, the lowest level since records began in 1964, from 33.1 hours in May. Average weekly hours worked by production workers rose to 39.5 hours from 39.4 hours, while overtime held at 2.8 hours. That brought the average weekly earnings down to $611.49 from $613.34.”

  16. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=azsX7o.atu7U

    “Crisis Won’t End Until Balance Sheets Get Real: Jonathan Weil”

  17. I can report that the weather here in the High Sierra is sunny and gorgeous—weather to match our mountains. It is a little surreal to survey the awesome beauty and bounty of this land while knowing that California is sinking into a deep financial morass. I find it strange that this story is going so unreported in the national press or media—with little more than surface sound bites. Articles in the LA Times are blatantly inaccurate and biased and no one is exploring what it will mean for the 7th largest economy in the world to fail—what it will mean for the US economy. The RIFs and layoffs linked to CA’s economic meltdown and the education system have not really shown up yet on the national unemployment numbers. July unemployment numbers will be the first to reflect this wave of public employee layoffs. The estimates I have seen are for 60,000 lost jobs. Most of these people are middle class, professionals, home owners—what will this mean for foreclosures and home prices? New car sales in the largest auto market in the world?

    But I forgot. Obama said the stimulus worked. We are on the road to recovery.

    Have you noticed the parallels between the celebrity hype and miasma for Michael Jackson and the celebrity media cast that surrounds the One? The roots really come from the same tree—like kudzo—wrapping itself around reality and choking out any semblance of truth. It has been building in ferocity since WWII. Helen Thomas should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom, or whatever that is called.

    Interesting about Lynn Cheney and comments about the Obama/Clinton relationship. That is no accidental chatter. That is a very well thought out plan that surely involves the Cheney’s and Rove. Why is Lynn coming out as the spokesperson? Watch for her running for office somewhere? I am sure it is not about helping the fame and fortune of Hillary Clinton so what is the motive—undermining the credibility of Obama in foreign policy? Surely, but there must be more to it—there is an insiders game going on there somewhere.

    RD: I so hope that you find the sun and can get out to play!

    • http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/07/economy-bigger-than-russia-brazil.html

      “An economy bigger than Russia, Brazil, Canada, India or Spain is in imminent risk of defaulting on its debts.

      Which nation am I talking about?

      Not a country . . . but the state of California.

      California’s GDP was around $1.812 trillion in 2007.

      According to the International Monetary Fund, that is bigger than the 2008 GDP of every country in the world except the US, Japan, China, Germany, France, UK and Italy.

      Given that California has more people than any other state in the US, and some of the largest agricultural, manufacturing, high-tech and defense sectors in the nation, you would think that helping California would be important.

      And yet – instead of helping California – the federal government is giving aid to Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and the other financial giants who helped to cause the financial crisis, and to Israel and other foreign countries.”

      • Thank you Oprah for helping to sell ‘The Gropper’ Arnold who NEVER held office to California’s voters. She gave him a one hour show and obsolved him of any wrong and to Hell with the women that spoke up. Next time ask for a RECORD before voting, don’t believe the sound bites…they are just pretty words.

      • Thanks for the link, sam.

        I know I’ve been listening to the ongoing default discussion for months now, since I live in CA. The California Report on KQED will often feature information on the budget debate. My understanding is that the deadlock between Democrats & Republicans has something to do with the legislature laws in voting, as well as the (unsurprising) fact that D’s don’t want to give up programs & R’s don’t want to raise taxes. I believe the Governator wants to do some of both. Have you been following this situation much?

    • My dad said told me this morning that he was waiting for the Mission Accomplished banner to be trotted out about the economy. He figured that’s the way they’d deal with it. Another kabuki town hall meeting and a mission accomplished banner.

      • After reading at a number of different sites this morning, my guess is that they’re going to say we successfully fixed the financial crisis, and now we just need another stimulus package to fix the employment situation.

  18. This is from one of the linked economic blogs:


    “Toxic Equity Trading Order Flow On Wall Street”

  19. North Korea fires another short-range missle. That makes four now.


  20. OT – Yet another female whistle blower who was ignored. She worked at the SEC and tried to blow the whistle on Madoff in 2004 but was told to move on to another project. She left the SEC in 2006 because of a hostile work environment. During the current investigation she has not been contacted – what a surprise.


  21. The police attacks in Fort Worth (on the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, no less) are sickening to me. The police are lying, imo. I’ve been in gay bars when the police come in. It’s chilling, and scary. I’ve never seen anyone try to grope the police. People might catcall or do a PDA for effect, but you don’t touch the cops.

    The police chief justifying the brutality of the police is just what was said in defense of Matthew Shepard’s killers, that it is so heinous to be touched by a queer that any response is justified. The chief is defending and spreading that notion. Do you know that the cops arrested so many people that they used zip ties as handcuffs? Obviously, they were prepared and went there to send a message.

    I lay this at Obama’s feet. Everyone can see that he is anti-lgbt, that he is stringing us along and plying our so-called leaders with champagne while his justice department stabs us in the back. Violence against lgbt people is up incredibly in 2008 (overall crime in DC down 17%, lgbt attacks up more than 200%), and now police departments think they can come after us–on our days of celebration.

    If that man dies in Fort Worth, it’s on you, Obama.

    • It’s the exact same thing he did with misogyny, Erica. He did not do anything too too obviously and technically heinous himself, but sent a very clear message that it was open season on women. And the haters exploded into woman-hate, having been given a wink and a nod and tacit approval.

      The same thing is happening for GLBT people. Did you see the story about Gay Pride Month posters being defaced INSIDE the halls of the Labor Dept? If that had been posters for Black History Month being defaced inside our govt buildings, it would have been 24/7 news and a deafening public outcry.

      But it’s no biggie, because hey, it’s just the pervert queers, who cares?

      It’s open season on women and gays, courtesy of the tone Obama himself has set, and anyone thinking he could ever be trusted is living in a dangerous lala land.

      • I know, I agree completely. It’s so enraging. Women, glbt, and false accusations of racism. He has set us back socially and created more divisions amongst Americans than any public figure I can think of. Over at the Widdershins there is a video of a group of black kids following a white gay man in Minnesota after the gay pride parade. For blocks they taunt him with anti-gay slogans. Finally they start calling him a racist. I swear, that video is like a commercial for the real, true, underbelly of the Obamanation. If only there was some misogyny thrown in, it would be perfect.


        • WMCB:

          “It’s open season on women and gays, courtesy of the tone Obama himself has set.”


          “He has set us back socially and created more divisions amongst Americans…”

          *YES* on both of these!

          And in honor of the continued division and suppression of the already disenfranchised… I hear that Jon Favreau is writing up a new U.S. pledge of Allegiance for the kool-aid nation. The new title of which is called “The Pledge of Compliance”

          Ok now everyBOTy… take your blue pill & repeat after me,

          “I pledge allegiance to the Flag lapel pin of the United States of Obamica, and to the RepubliCrats for which he stands, one Wallstreet Nation under O-God, divisible, with larcency and prejudice for the smll.[5]

          (Teleprompters will be available soon for all citizens to help those unfortunate people who happen to still rely on their own memories of an older version of this pledge)

          *morning snark*

          • Geez, Madrigal, you scared me with that pledge….

          • EricaLeigh,

            Sorry! I think I scared myself too…after posting & rereading it


          • Sometimes comedy doesn’t always work.
            (especially when it hits too close to home) 😦

  22. OT but news flash: SC Law Enforcement Division states that they fins no evidence of fiscal wrongdoing on the Guv’s part. They stated that he repaid a trip for appearance sakes, but that he had actually conducted business on the part of SC on that trip.

  23. My brother who I love to death couldn’t handle the first item on my list of 175 alarming acts by Obama, unlimited detention. He couldn’t handle a single criticism. Then he said Obama considers all options before making a decision. I said even Bush did not want to bring Gitmo stateside. No dice. Obama is perfect.

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