Re: Round-Up

1

Time for someone to write a book about how the memorial got located in that spot.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 8:28 PM
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2

The flowers at the memorial form the shape of a crescent and star.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 8:32 PM
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3

100 feet does make more sense than 35. The witnesses talk about Brown running away, and thirty feet is hardly enough to get started -- if he'd stopped that close it seems as if it would have been described differently.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 8:35 PM
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3: Thank you. Not a scoop! Not a big deal! Jesus.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 8:39 PM
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It's not like I find the fact that the Ferguson police chief was openly lying about something surprising, but when that thing was something that made the various witness accounts confusing and made the self defense story a bit more solid it does sound like a moderately big deal. I mean, unless you're saying that it isn't a big deal or anything because already knew the witness accounts were spot on, and that anything the police said that conflicted with them was probably a lie.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 8:44 PM
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Not a scoop! Not a big deal!

What what? There's a video clip of the chief saying it was 35 feet.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 8:49 PM
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7

It's pretty obvious the chief isn't very good at his job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 8:54 PM
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8

And I think maybe Gary Hart is over estimating his potential influence on the course of history.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 8:58 PM
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9

Higher ups get shit wrong all the time because often it's like fourth hand info by the time it gets to them. 35 vs 100 at this point tells us nothing about whether this was a justified shoot.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:01 PM
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100 feet is a very long way away. 33 yards. It's got to be next to impossible to convince people that somebody without a gun was a threat at that distance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:03 PM
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11

Not if they're already convinced.


Posted by: Cady | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:05 PM
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12

Very good shooting indeed to get six out of six hits at 100 feet with a handgun.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:06 PM
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13

It's easier if the target is stationary, with his hands in the air.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:07 PM
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14

But he's reported to have staggered a few feet after the first five shots, which surely justifies blowing his head off with the sixth.


Posted by: Cady | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:11 PM
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You people are trolling me, aren't you. Listen to ajay. Wilson was chasing Brown. Wilson did not put half a dozen shots in rapid succession on a dude at 100 ft.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:12 PM
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I don't even see how that's a defense if true. If he was chasing Brown, Brown wasn't attacking and he's got no sane reason at all for shooting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:15 PM
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Ironically, reading that Twitter feed about the guy who killed Brown is pretty convincing about the importance of having a union. There's nobody willing to help me cover up a capital crime except family.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:22 PM
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16: I could have sworn we covered this ad nauseum in the other threads but the chase isn't disputed. The rub is whether Brown turned to give up or did he come back at Wilson. Both have been implied by what limited witness info we have at this point.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:30 PM
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16: he might, if the chain of events were something like
Wilson (in his car) tries to grab Brown
There's a scuffle, and a shot is fired
Brown wrenches free and runs off
Wilson runs after Brown, gun in hand
Brown stops, 100 feet from the car, turns round and charges at Wilson, who is now between Brown and the car
Wilson opens fire - we don't know how far apart Wilson and Brown are at this point

This latest thing confirms how far Brown was from the car when the shots were fired, but not how far Brown was from Wilson, which is the important thing. Wilson didn't shoot Brown from inside his car and there's no reason to suppose that he shot him from beside it either.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:35 PM
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20

When you suppose a chain of events, it's worth remembering how probabilities combine by multiplication.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:39 PM
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21

Don't all the witness accounts say that Wilson fired and then Brown turned?

No's have it in Scotland, by the way.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:41 PM
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20: well, we know beyond dispute that steps 1-3 actually happened, so they have a probability of 1.000.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:45 PM
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If it really had been thirty five feet away it would have been easier to sell the "Brown backs off but then charges Wilson" story. At the distances involved it's hard to claim that Brown wasn't making an honest attempt to get away from Wilson (whether or not he changed his mind and decided to charge someone who was already shooting at him from a decent distance away for some reason). So that's at least some difference there.

The story that a friend of Wilson's told, for example, is directly inconsistent with Brown being 100 feet away from the police car when Wilson killed him. (She said that Brown turned back and charged Wilson when Wilson got out of the car and yelled "Freeze!") If the article is right when it says that this was roughly Wilson's story (via "a source with detailed knowledge of the investigation" which means precisely nothing) then that's a genuine problem for them. And if so it's also a decent reason to believe that the police chief wasn't just mixing up stuff or getting confused in the heat of the somewhat after the moment but just telling a lie.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 9:53 PM
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And the now debunked story of the friend of Wilson's is the only unambiguous source at all that I've seen for the story that Brown was charging Wilson. Gswift linked to an unidentified witness that said that Brown turned and moved toward Wilson, and then that one of them kept coming at the other, but there's no witness with a clear story of Brown attacking Wilson. There's a whole bunch agreeing on Brown having fled, turned, surrendered, and died.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 4:20 AM
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22: Actually, I think the police story contradicts the first step of that: Wilson didn't try and grab Brown, Brown spontaneously attacked Wilson in the course of what had been a verbal encounter up to that point. It's not particularly likely sounding, but I think that's their story.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 4:26 AM
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I don't think Gary Hart understands much about joint probability, or about the dynamics of elections, or about much of anything. Hart takes a fact (that he was ahead of Bush in the polls by about 10%) and extrapolates that to getting caught with his pants down as a world-historical event.

"Harry Turtledove, call your agent..."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 4:47 AM
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I was really surprised to learn that the sequence of events I remembered for the Hart story was wrong, though. I remembered (1) Reporter asks Hart about rumors; (2) Hart defiantly and stupidly says "Follow me around if you like"; (3) Reporter does, gets pictures; (4) Hart is exposed solely because he was a stupidly aggressive ass about it, and if he hadn't been he would have been fine. Finding out that was bullshit -- that they were going to get him whatever he'd said -- was interesting. Also interesting, of course, and not mentioned in this article, was that I understand it was an open secret in insider circles at the time that GHWB was having an affair as well; exposing Hart wasn't distinguishing between an adulterer and a non-adulterer.

What makes you call that not world-historical?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 5:01 AM
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28

I know there were lots of rumors, but I didn't know that anybody ever had anything firm (laydeez).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 5:42 AM
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29

SPY published the story in 1992, but I think it was an open secret for a long time before that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 5:53 AM
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30

I didn't know that had people willing to publicly give evidence like that. Or I'd forgotten. I think I used to subscribe to SPY back then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:02 AM
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31

Has nobody staked out the "Dukakis was a better candidate" ground? Okay, I'll do it. No Democrat was going to win that year. Hart is a delusional narcissist (which, you know, makes sense).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:04 AM
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32

Oh, I think there was a difference in terms of how ready Jennifer Fitzgerald was to go public about Bush (that is, not at all). But I also don't get the impression that anyone was doing any investigative reporting about her, despite the fact that it wasn't a well-kept secret.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:05 AM
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33

31: Voters are shallow, and Dukakis was short and funny-looking. With roughly the same substance, Hart would have won on looks and charisma.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:07 AM
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34

I think I was for Paul Simon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:08 AM
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35

33: yeah, post-hoc, media driven nonsense. Wouldn't have happened.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:08 AM
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36

27. Because the chain of probabilities is too tenuous to support the inference that if Weems hadn't made the phone call there would have been no Iraq War.

When a butterfly flaps its wings in Asia, it very rarely produces a hurricane.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:09 AM
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37

Only because the charisma explosion that is Paul Tsongas wasn't running.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:11 AM
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38

36: Boy, this one I buy. I mean, there's some argument that GHWB's State Department is responsible for the first Gulf War happening -- whatsername April Glaspie? being perceived as having given Hussein the green light to invade Kuwait? Even without that, the Iraq War was not an inevitable, or even a particularly likely, response to 9-11, and seems to me to have been strongly driven by the individual personalities in American government.

Predicting what would have happened if Hart had won is absurd, but predicting that it would very likely have been very different from what did happen seems safe to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:13 AM
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39

Sifu is correct. It wasn't a close election. Hart might have done better than Dukakis, but he still would have lost.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:19 AM
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40

Different is certain, but it's entirely possible it would have been worse. For example, Iraq invades Kuwait, President Hart doesn't respond militarily, oil prices spike, Hart loses next election to a Republican who can claim a mandate to intervene in the Middle East more broadly than GHWB was able, etc...


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:23 AM
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I once addressed Hart as "Former Senator Hart" to his face; fortunately, he has the famous person's trick of never hearing or seeing the little people.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:25 AM
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42

Is "Senator" a title you get to keep for life?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:28 AM
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38. I agree on personalities. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that GHWB's decision not to conquer and occupy Iraq after GW1 was (even at the time, and especially in retrospect) really smart. Would another President have been able to resist calls to overthrow Saddam, etc.? We could have had GWB's version of the Iraq War in the 90's if he hadn't done that.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:36 AM
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44

Re Insurance. At one point, dual-eligibles, that is those Medicare beneficiaries who also have Medicaid, were automatically assigned to the Part D plans with the lowest premiums. This group is generally pretty sick and expensive, so plans started to raise their rates to prevent themselves from bing the cheapest plan. They didn't want to lose money, and it wasn't unreasonable on their part. What we should have done from the beginning, of course, is make Part D part of the public Medicare program and spread the risk across the whole population.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:55 AM
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45

The connection - or lack thereof - between the "follow me around" quote and the Herald investigation is another place where Bai's counterfactual imagination fails. After all, Bai's whole point is that the quote didn't have any impact on the investigation. Is he proposing that the quote materially altered the public's reaction to the investigation? Or Hart's own reaction to it? If that's what he's saying, he's nuts.

I also don't see what's wrong with saying, "Gary Hart said reporters wouldn't find anything if they followed him around, but when they did, they found something." It's true and complete.

Would Bai have been satisfied if the reporting had been more didactic on this point? "Gary Hart said ... but while this comment didn't motivate our investigation, as we've shown, he was lying."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:57 AM
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46

All I remember from that episode is that "Monkey Business" was an unfortunate name for the boat.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:08 AM
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47

And this, from Bai, is stupid in a way that reveals his actual agenda:

Predictably, politicians responded to all this with a determination to give us nothing that might aid in the hunt to expose them, even if it meant obscuring the convictions and contradictions that made them actual human beings.

Oh, yeah, that's why they do that. The problem, according to Bai, is not that journalists challenge politicians for stupid reasons, but that they challenge politicians at all.

He elaborates:

Maybe this made our media a sharper guardian of the public interest against liars and hypocrites. But it also made it hard for any thoughtful politician to offer arguments that might be considered nuanced or controversial.

How wrong is this? All wrong. Just four years later, Bill and Hillary successfully offered nuanced and controversial explanations for the exact issue that ended Hart's campaign.

It's just horseshit to pine for the days when the failure to challenge Ronald Reagan facilitated his ability to offer nuanced arguments.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:11 AM
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48

Yeah, unless Hart had some big ideas about what to do with the military-industrial complex and reducing the shit we do overseas besides flashy invasions, I have a hard time imagining him breaking the cycle of militarism.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:14 AM
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45: I was a teenager at the time, but yeah, the quote changed my perception of the events. Believing that the quote inspired the investigation made me think that he was exposed because he challenged the media to catch him lying, and they wouldn't have interfered with his personal life otherwise -- essentially, that there was a substantive justification for why Hart's affair was front page news and Bush's wasn't.

Without that sequence of events, there's no justification for the double standard applied to Hart and Bush.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:20 AM
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50

I want the Fergeson police charged under the RICO statute.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:26 AM
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51

I never believed that the quote inspired the investigation, but I didn't know (or knew and forgot) that all the evidence of his affair came from before he gave the quote. I'd thought he gave the quote and didn't even put a check on activities after giving it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:27 AM
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52

49: How do you (and Bai) explain the double standard applied to Bush and Clinton?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:33 AM
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52, Bush was an old fart at the time, almost 70 in 1992 and therefore should be judged by the standards of Eisenhower and Truman.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:36 AM
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I remember the 1992 election had some joking that the Bush camp was going to leak proof that Bush was having an affair to make him seem like less of a dweeb. Or maybe that was 1988. Which one had "the wimp factor" as an issue?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:37 AM
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It had to be 1988, because there was a war before the 1992 election, he said to himself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:46 AM
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48: GHWB created the current cycle of militarism. The Vietnam War discredited military action as an instrument of foreign policy. Under Reagan, the role of the military-industrial complex was entirely to waste money. The Iraq War was so easy that the foreign policy establishment rediscovered its taste for militarism.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:49 AM
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56: I think that it was more the collapse of the Soviet Union than any difference between how Reagan and GHWB felt about militarism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:53 AM
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58

Uh, Grenada?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:57 AM
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59

What? I'm not going commie again.


Posted by: Opinionated Grenada | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:59 AM
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58: forget Grenada. Or rather, remember why we invaded Grenada? Because a bunch of Marines got blown up in Beirut (after we'd sent a fucking battleship over there to shell). The Vietnam War discredited military action as an instrument of foreign policy for like three years.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:09 AM
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I thought we invaded Grenada because somebody swiped our nation's supply of people who don't do well on standardized tests but still want to be doctors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:12 AM
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62

Grenada was a joke. A precocious boy scout troop could have successfully invaded Grenada. A drunk fraternity could have done it on a dare.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:12 AM
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63

12: While both are moving.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:12 AM
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62, we say that now, but in attempts at recreating the buzz of that moment, that French guy had some real trouble invading Sark.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:17 AM
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58: Grenada was so easy. You could have gone in with a BB gun and successfully invaded Grenada.

Reagan, however, avoided entanglement in the Falklands and did tell Thatcher to avoid demanding unconditional surrender.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:19 AM
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66

There was a large contingent of politicians who thought from the fall of Saigon onward that Vietnam gave adventurism a bum rap, and worked to restore its reputation as soon as politically feasible. Both Falklands and Grenada were part of this restoration, and it amped up after the USSR. Granted I wasn't politically conscious at the time, but I have an extremely hard time believing GHWB singlehandedly turned the tide.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:21 AM
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67

Or rather, remember why we invaded Grenada? Because a bunch of Marines got blown up in Beirut

This is a common accusation, but I don't think the timelines make it credible. Unless you think it takes less than 2 days to stage an invasion.

Certainly the timing was fortuitous for Reagan. But, in truth, Grenada was invaded for her strategic coconut reserves.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:27 AM
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68

Nutmeg, not coconuts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:30 AM
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69

On the propublica article: not all generics of the same drug cost the same amount. Brand-name Lamictal is about $600/ for 30 tablets. Generica lamotrogine can cost from $20-$100.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:33 AM
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The Vietnam War discredited military action as an instrument of foreign policy for like three years.

That and Eagle Claw, I would say. It has a sobering effect on a country's militarism if it can be shown to be just not very good at it.

Reagan, however, avoided entanglement in the Falklands and did tell Thatcher to avoid demanding unconditional surrender.

That's not so much because he was sceptical about the value of war as a political tool, more because the Reagan administration was divided on who they wanted to win in the Falklands. I've described the Falklands elsewhere as "a proxy conflict in the long-running cold war between the US government and itself". A lot of the crustier types in the Reagan White House were the last dregs of the Admiral King instinctive-Anglophobia territory, and seeing the British Empire apparently resurrecting in South America pushed all their buttons at once. Reagan at one point pushed for partitioning the Falklands, which would have been about the worst outcome conceivable.

Any anti-adventurism sentiment would probably have manifested as being anti-Argentina; you don't just go around invading other people on a whim or because the polls are looking dodgy and GDP's on the skids.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:34 AM
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66: Sure, there was a faction working to legitimize war, but after the Iraq War, they were done. War was legitimized. The dovish wing of the Democratic party, which opposed the involvement in Iraq, was completely discredited.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:35 AM
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68: wars have been fought over nutmeg before. The first Russian overseas student at Oxford ended up in a cage being shat on by Dutchmen as a result of being involved in one.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:35 AM
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Reagan at one point pushed for partitioning the Falklands, which would have been about the worst outcome conceivable.

It worked for the Virgin Islands!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:37 AM
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74

It would be nice to say that the US invaded Grenada because there had just been a bloodthirsty coup by a bunch of Stalinist nutjobs who had murdered most of the previous, left wing but not communist and generally popular, government. But they fucked up that story by picking up one of the surviving ministers of that previous government and locking him in a packing crate.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:40 AM
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52: 1) Literally favoring Republican candidates doesn't seem impossible at all to me, much as I sound like John Emerson (who is mostly right about everything). Rich people own newspapers and TV networks, Republicans favor rich people, the cossacks work for the Czar.

2) Leaving material incentives out of it, pure snobbism. GHWB was a classy guy having a classy affair with a classy lady, and they deserved some respect and privacy. Clinton was trailer trash fucking a nightclub singer, and who wants that kind of degeneracy in the White House?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:43 AM
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75 seems right, but I also don't think you can rule out the combination of prurient interest, sexism, and advertising dollars. By 1992, the woman GHWB was nearly a senior citizen. The Clinton accusations let them put up pictures of and tell sexy stories about much younger women.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:59 AM
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"the woman GHWB was having an affair with was..."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 9:00 AM
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62. I've talked to people who were involved in Grenada or studied it afterward, and in spite of the "troop of boy scouts" story, it actually turned out to be very hard, largely because the planning and execution were total clusterfucks. Most of this was reported at the time or soon after.

The main lesson of Grenada was that military "readiness" was pretty much nonexistent and needed a lot of work.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 9:39 AM
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78: So what you're saying is that Grenada was easy enough to invade that they were able to do it despite crappy planning and execution.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 9:41 AM
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78 -- only the film Heartbreak Ridge dared to tell the tale. Did you see what kind of dudes with earrings they were letting into the Marines before Clint toughened them up for the invasion?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 9:43 AM
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I do agree with Walt, though. Grenada was more a last gasp of a 1950s-style "let's get aggressive in the Cold War" adventurism. The first Iraq War was a new thing, the US saying that "with the Soviets gone, the new rules are that we get to invade where we want if you fuck around too much with valuable mineral assets." To his credit, I do think GHWB himself or those around him thought at the time that the principle would be limited to maintaining existing boundaries and justifying war only when there was a breach of territorial sovereignty and full international support. But it pretty quickly metastasized (and I'm looking at you New Republic democrats and Madeline Albright, you don't get off the hook) into "we can and should invade anywhere anytime we're mad about something."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 9:53 AM
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82

That and Eagle Claw, I would say.

Mantis Fist on the other hand promotes militarism.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 9:56 AM
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83

79: Yes.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 9:56 AM
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84

I should probably modify 81 to say that Grenada (like GHWB's invasion of Panama) was also an extension of "we have a unilateral right to invade and overthrow Carribean or Central American governments we don't like," which has more or less been official US policy since at least 1898. But the Iraq War I really was the greenlight for similar intervention on a world scale.

the last dregs of the Admiral King instinctive-Anglophobia territory

Criticize all you want, but this attitude is probably responsible for the (probably) one and only unambiguously good, successful, and important thing the US has done in the Middle East in the past 65 years, which was taking the Egyptian side of the 1956 Suez Crisis.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 10:21 AM
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85

Speaking of things past, I just walked past a group of Hare Krishna.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 10:28 AM
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80: I saw that fucking thing IN THE THEATER. I am still amazed it was ever made.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 10:32 AM
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I thought Wilson shot more than 6 shots so his hit % was under 100.
Also didn't they mark where the shells are with little cards so we know exactly where the car was, where Brown was, and where Wilson shot? Presumably someone took a picture of where the little shell markers were? Or did they clean those up ASAP because they might have looked bad if too far from the body? Or maybe I'm gun ignorant and the kind of gun Ferguson cops use don't pop shells out on to the ground.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 10:36 AM
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84: The Monroe Doctrine was enunciated in 1823, but you said that our policy of believing that we have the unilateral right to invade countries in Central America and the Caribbean dates to 1898. To which of the events of 1898 are you referring when you say that 1898 are you referring, and why didn't you date the policy to 1823?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 10:42 AM
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89

I mean, obviously, you're talking about the Spanish American War, but maybe you could flesh it out a bit.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 10:44 AM
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90

Also didn't they mark where the shells are with little cards so we know exactly where the car was, where Brown was, and where Wilson shot? Presumably someone took a picture of where the little shell markers were?

The cops haven't been forthcoming with their evidence and version of events -- like, the 'scoop' in the post would be silly if they had released that kind of thing, because any map would have had the car and the body on it. Everything we've been saying about the police version is from bits and pieces they've said or that has been leaked, not from any full official account.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 10:50 AM
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78 - In fact, isn't the complete Army/Navy communications breakdown during the invasion the reason JCS basically gets unified control of the military? (And Special Operations Command was created?)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 10:54 AM
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79. I guess I didn't make my point clearly enough. The Grenadan defenders, who included some Cuban special forces troops (aka "construction workers") put up some decent resistance, and extra US troops had to be airlifted in. I think even precocious boy scouts would have had trouble winning.

88 & 89. Perhaps the demarcation there is it's the first time the US actually invaded and kept Caribbean territory? (Puerto Rico, semi-colonial occupation of Cuba). Filibusterers had tried such things various times in the 1840's and 50's but never succeeded.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:02 AM
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92 last was what I meant, and the "at least" was put in there to hand wave away a lot of complicated 19th C history. The Monroe Doctrine itself was (a) never actually intended to be enforced by Monroe and (b) directed at keeping Europeans out, not intervening in Latin America.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:10 AM
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Brown spontaneously attacked Wilson in the course of what had been a verbal encounter up to that point. It's not particularly likely sounding...

Not likely Brown assaulted someone attempting to detain him? People keep saying this like he's not on video doing that exact thing five minutes prior.

Or maybe I'm gun ignorant and the kind of gun Ferguson cops use don't pop shells out on to the ground.

You might see the occasional sheriff in WY or something sporting some old timey six shooter but automatics are the rule for a long time now. And what 90 said. The county and federal investigations have not been released.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:12 AM
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Not likely Brown assaulted someone attempting to detain him? People keep saying this like he's not on video doing that exact thing five minutes prior.

Jesus Christ, dude, there's a giant fucking difference between grabbing/shoving some random shopowner and doing the same thing to a uniformed (and armed!) cop.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:15 AM
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The Russians now control PBR, Schlitz, and Schaefer. Even if America decides to take this horrible loss in stride, nobody ever got a hold of that much Schlitz without starting a fight.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:17 AM
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The unlikely bit, from my point of view, is (a) unarmed teenager, not high, not drunk, physically assaulting a man who he knows has a gun, and (b) man standing outside a car assaulting someone sitting in a car. Not impossible, but really awkward sounding in a way that man sitting in a car grabbing man outside the car through the window isn't. You're right, Brown had a demonstrated record of shoving people. But that seems pretty far from attacking a cop.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:18 AM
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Or what Josh said.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:18 AM
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I agree with the dog groomer. As near as I can tell, the whole point of everything that has leaked out from the official sources is to make Brown look like the kind of guy who might engage in a vicious struggle with the cops because they can't actually produce evidence of a vicious struggle with the cops.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:21 AM
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95, 97: Most people don't immediately assault a store employee when they're caught in a theft. IME those people are in fact more likely to be willing to escalate with the police as well.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:23 AM
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IME those people are in fact more likely to be willing to escalate with the police as well.

More likely, sure. Enough more likely that the spontaneous attack is plausible, not really as I see it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:26 AM
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100: I don't think anyone would dispute "more likely". "Likely" in an absolute sense is another thing entirely.

Or what 101 said.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:29 AM
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not high, not drunk

We don't know this either. His blood work might have looked like a Mormon but it hasn't been released.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:31 AM
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The NSA thing makes me think of Scott Ritter and his run-ins with the law - how long did the powers-that-be know about his activities, and did someone offer a helpful pointer to local law enforcement once Ritter went publically off the reservation?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:35 AM
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Okay, g? I know you're staking out a strong "we don't have all the evidence, don't prejudge matters" position, which isn't unreasonable, and it's a good check on everyone else's assumptions. But from the things the FPD has been releasing (i.e., the video from the store, when no one had asked for it) do you honestly think it's likely that we wouldn't have heard if Brown were drunk or high (on something likely to lead to belligerence. They did release something about marijuana residue, but of course that (a) doesn't mean more than that he smoked in the prior month, and (b) doesn't have much to do with being assaultive in the absence of alcohol.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:36 AM
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104: I always assumed that was the case.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:37 AM
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104, 106: Ritter might be a better "what if somebody had a different sex life?" counter-factual history than Hart.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:40 AM
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Actually, this story says the official autopsy was released, and mentions marijuana but nothing else.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:41 AM
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102: How likely is pretty damn hard to determine. But what I'm pushing back against is LB's claim that it's not plausible. That's flat out wrong. Young guy willing to fight a store clerk who then fights the cops because he doesn't want to go to jail is a real thing that happens on a regular basis.

105: They did release something about marijuana residue

No, they didn't. That's one of a bazillion anonymous "leaks" which don't involve any documentation. The only real leak I've seen from FPD is the store vid which is technically a different case which is no longer active because the suspect is dead. Has there been any actual credible leaks involving some kind of backing like copies records or reports? I haven't seen any.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:49 AM
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Young guy willing to fight a store clerk who then fights the cops because he doesn't want to go to jail is a real thing that happens on a regular basis.

Struggles/fights when he's being arrested? Wouldn't seem implausible to me. Goes in through a car window after a cop who isn't arresting him, just telling him repeatedly to get off the street? Doesn't that sound totally different to you, plausibility-wise?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:52 AM
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Not just goes in through a car window after a cop who isn't arresting him, but runs away and then comes back again.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 11:55 AM
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108 is wrong -- the linked story is leaks from the official autopsy, not an official release of information. Still, what I said about how if he was relevantly chemically altered, it would have leaked by now, still sounds right to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:02 PM
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And let's not get carried away with the "fights with a store clerk" stuff. The clerk tries to physically restrain Brown, and Brown, who could have squashed him, merely pushes him back. The next thing Brown does is knock the clerk the fuck out puff out his chest and leave.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:02 PM
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110, 111: So we're assuming that Wilson never realized Brown was the suspect in the robbery that had recently been broadcast on the radio? Or that if Wilson did realize Brown was the suspect that Wilson didn't do or say anything that alerted Brown to this?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:02 PM
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No, we're assuming that the police would have said if the situation was that Brown was resisting arrest.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:03 PM
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114: Hasn't it been explicitly stated that Wilson didn't know Brown was?

And if he did, why is he telling Brown to get on the sidewalk instead of picking him up?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:05 PM
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93. The point about the Monroe Doctrine is exactly right.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:05 PM
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I can totally believe that at the time of the first contact between Brown and Wilson that Brown was thinking "Oh shit, the cops, and me with my hands full of stolen tobacco." But if the thing that makes violence between Brown and Wilson likely is that Brown didn't want to go to jail, it doesn't make any sense for Brown to attack Wilson unless Wilson is (legitimately or illegitimately) restraining him and he's trying to get away. Unless Brown is planning on leaving Wilson dead, the point of violence would be escape -- if he didn't want to go to jail, he would have run when Wilson engaged him verbally, rather than trying to attack Wilson through the window of the car.

There's a limit to how much I'm going to rely on people not doing things because they wouldn't have made sense, but this one seems like enough to talk about relative plausibility.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:09 PM
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116.2: Broken Windows policing. First you deal with the quality of life crimes like jaywalking and then you worry about robbery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:10 PM
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Partitioning the Falklands would have been idiotic and lead to endless pointless war, but their geography does kind of lend itself to partition.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:10 PM
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116: The PD said Wilson didn't know Brown was a suspect when he first stopped him, but figured it out at some point.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:10 PM
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115, 116: With the caveat of this being yet another of the chief's statements so who the fuck knows how accurate it is, but he told a local paper that the initial stop was for walking in the street but that Wilson then realized Brown was the robbery suspect.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:11 PM
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The next thing Brown does is knock the clerk the fuck out puff out his chest and leave aggressively advance on the clerk until the clerk runs away.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:13 PM
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119: Broken Windows policing is the belief that every problem, no matter how fundamental, can be solved by rebooting society.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:13 PM
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and then leave.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:13 PM
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Smokes, shoots, and leaves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:14 PM
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His blood work might have looked like a Mormon but it hasn't been released.

Diet Coke and Oxycontin?

Come on, you left it hanging there.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:18 PM
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I thought caffeine was verboten.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:19 PM
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127: Heh, you forgot the Prozac.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:19 PM
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I am so sick of this speculating. What is the timeline on when we get some actual reports of actual evidence?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:20 PM
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November sweeps aren't far off. I'm sure the news networks could use the ratings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:21 PM
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128: Coffee and tea are verboten. Caffeine is often assumed to be as well but it's not the letter of the law so to speak.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:21 PM
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Are there any cheats on the liquor side?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:23 PM
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133 -- Jello shots.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:24 PM
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It depends a lot on the Mormon in question as to the interpretation. You can look holier than the next guy if you don't even take in any caffeine, which is valuable for some of the Molly Mormon/Peter Priesthood types, but my students refer to Diet Coke as Mormon coffee.

129: Teehee.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:25 PM
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Gswift, I really think you're really are exaggerating the extent to which the shopkeeper incident (1) was violent and (2) was violent in a way that makes Brown look like the sort of person who would, in order, violently assault a police officer, back off a bit while taunting him, and then charge forward in an attempt to assault him again. I mean, the Ferguson police are clearly trying to portray Brown as the sort of violent unpredictable criminal sort who would openly rob a store and try to beat someone up on the way out, but that doesn't mean we have to take that seriously given what we actually know about that incident and about them in general.

Also it's less important that Wilson did/did not/did at some point know about the robbery than it is whether Brown knew that he knew. It's clear Brown didn't automatically assume that the police officer knew since he didn't, you know, try to get away or do anything when Wilson yelled at him. The idea that Wilson stopped might have been a clue, but from what we know about the Ferguson police at that point it wouldn't have been out of character for them just to hassle him for no reason (and he was still in a very good position to just take off running at that point). So short of "Brown was just a really violent guy who wanted to get into a fight for no reason and despite having been in a mild altercation earlier (and walked away from it rather than doing anything) decided that an angry cop was the best person to assault", which really is implausible sounding, it's hard to see how that incident tells us much.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:25 PM
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132: Bave once said that it was technically warm beverages that are forbidden.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:31 PM
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136.1: If you don't see that encounter as violent then you and I must have very different life experiences.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:37 PM
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I've led an almost completely nonviolent life, and I would have been scared if I'd been in the store with Brown, and would have certainly thought he was being an asshole (depending somewhat on what had been said leading up to the shove). But even to sheltered me, that didn't look like someone who was planning to go randomly injure people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:42 PM
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"Mild" is a word indicating a lack of severity, not a nonexistent thing. The storekeeper pushed him (very lightly) and he pushed him back out of the way and did that silly chest-out-look-at-me posture, and then he stomped out. That's not exactly the sort of violent assault that makes me believe he'd randomly attack a cop for no reason whatsoever. The shopkeeper didn't seem to think it was worth calling the police about, which certainly says something.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:43 PM
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||
Hey speaking of tv, which we were yesterday, is Justified 1) any good, and 2) violent in a traumatic way?
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:44 PM
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Yes (at least until last season) and maybe but also maybe in a fun way.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:45 PM
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I love Justified. It's not violent in a traumatic way (granted, we may have different trauma thresholds), but a LOT of people get shot over the course of a season.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:47 PM
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139, 140: "Randomly"

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:49 PM
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I don't know if the first season is really that great (it was described to me as "it's a show about a marshall and at the end of every episode he shoots someone" which is about right). But after that it gets pretty fun.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:49 PM
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I usually take it to mean this sort of thing, which does apply here.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:50 PM
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144: The only motivation I can see for Brown's attacking Wilson is to escape arrest; a motivation that only comes into play once Wilson is restraining him (without restraint, if Brown wants to escape arrest, he doesn't attack Wilson, he runs away). In what appears to be the police story, where Brown attacks Wilson at a time when Wilson has not arrested him and is not restraining him, Brown's attack on Wilson is unmotivated, if you like unmotivated better than random.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:54 PM
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If you credit Johnson's story, where Wilson grabbed Brown through the window of his car, I do absolutely believe that Brown used force to break free and run away.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 12:57 PM
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||

No job of ideological policework is too small, part one million...

1. Friend posts this famous letter to his Facebook feed.

2. Br/ian Do/herty, editor of/contributor to Rea/son Magazine and a friend of the friend, shows up in comments in this exchange:

BD: We can laugh at ol' stick in the mud corporate record exec, but it was a legit thing to think about, trying to sell a record in 1970. Punchline: the corporation released the record with that title.

Friend: You're projecting a little there, BD. It's just an artifact. No judgement implied.

BD: What is supposed to be funny about it, then, other than that a record exec for a major corp in 1970 thought twice and wanted ass-covering approval to issue a record called BITCHES BREW?

|>


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:16 PM
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What was wrong with last season? I haven't seen the earlier ones yet, are they better?

How shoddily can McCulloch, the St L county prosecutor, do his job? Wilson testified to the grand jury earlier. Who can call him out for incompetence with any kind of repercussion, any prospect at all for federal action?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:20 PM
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without restraint, if Brown wants to escape arrest, he doesn't attack Wilson, he runs away

Maybe. A significant percentage of the physical altercations police get into with suspects are ambush style attacks. It's a known thing.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:21 PM
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I'm still not getting how Brown's best chance at escape was grabbing the cop through his car window. Maybe if the convenience store video showed the clerk staying behind the counter, and Brown grabbing him over the counter, it would tell us something. But how does him shoving back and walking away demonstrate that he would assault a police officer in an effort not to get arrested? Forget Brown's state of mind; what is even the conceivable A=>B here? Did Michael Brown jump in lakes to stay dry? Eat junk food to lose weight? Scream loudly to avoid attention?

G keeps arguing that the video shows Brown as a violent man, but I'm 99% certain that if we had a video of a civilian grabbing a cop and the cop pushing the civilian away, G would object to characterizations of an out of control, violent cop. Once someone lays hands on someone else, he loses the presumption of non-contact. I'll buy that the video shows Brown as someone unafraid of returning violence for violence (that is, LB's 148), but the police story G wants to defend is that Brown initiated violence, and that's not what the video demonstrates.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:25 PM
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And God Almighty with the "unmotivated". People don't like going to jail! Not unmotivated! Not random! Cops and suspects in crimes are not colliding in Brownian motion.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:27 PM
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151: Again, when the suspect is a suspect in an extremely petty robbery with no injuries to anyone, with no criminal record of violence? I'm not saying ambushes of the police don't happen, but I am saying that from Brown, it would have been what I called random but am perfectly happy to call unmotivated instead.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:27 PM
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149: One is tempted to write a Just So Story, "How the Libertarian Got His Belligerence".


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:28 PM
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153: Because attacking the cop through the window of his car makes literally no sense as a way of avoiding arrest! I'm not saying it couldn't have happened! But if it did, Brown was attacking Wilson in a manner that did not serve any reasonable goal, like avoiding arrest!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:29 PM
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156: Seriously, you don't think punching someone in the face a few times might increase your odds of getting away?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:32 PM
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155 is a guest post. Except we're about to take off so I can't post it at the moment.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:35 PM
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If I were standing outside of a car, hoping to get away from a man inside the car, who was not at that time touching me, and was given the choice between (1) running, and (2) reaching in through the car window to punch him in the face, I would seriously believe that punching him in the face rather than running would not increase my odds of getting away.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:35 PM
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157: a cop???!!!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:35 PM
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159 and 160, for truth.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:36 PM
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"I bet if I whack this hornets nest with a stick a few times, they won't chase me."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:36 PM
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I hear it works even better if you stop running away and go back for more when they get back up and point a gun at you.

Also, again, there's no obvious reason to think that Brown thought the police officer was coming back to arrest him for something, as opposed to, for example, yelling at him for not getting off the street a second time. We have to assume that the first time the police officer was there Brown also didn't think about the robbery (and get out of there when the police officer was coming leaving/coming back), but then suddenly did when the police officer started to get out of the car.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:37 PM
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You people are from a different planet. Sucker punch/punches before running is a thing, even to cops. We've got one guy in patrol who's the perfect combination of annoying and slow and projects not one iota of "taking a swing at me will get your shit ruined". It's happened to him like five times now and is a running joke.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:42 PM
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109 -- Th suspect isn't dead. He's on administrative leave while his employer tries to find a way for him the skate.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:44 PM
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one and only unambiguously good, successful, and important thing the US has done in the Middle East in the past 65 years, which was taking the Egyptian side of the 1956 Suez Crisis.

Not getting into the ethics of it, but successful? In the sense that, what, if you hadn't done what you did in 1956, the US might be hated by pretty much every Arab in the Middle East, not least because they'd see you as providing uncritical support for Israel every time it aggressed against its neighbours? Yeah, that would have been terrible. Good job you avoided that!

Though it is interesting how recent the pro-Israel slant in the US is. When Israel bombed the Osirak reactor in 1981, the State Department condemned it and the LA Times called it "state-sponsored terrorism". Times change.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:44 PM
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166 -- well, not now. But it bought us 10-20 years of goodwill.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:46 PM
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165: Brown is the suspect in the store robbery, and is dead. Wilson is the suspect in the shooting, which is a different case.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:46 PM
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It's the car window that makes it seem absurd to me. First, it makes the hitting awkward and difficult, and second it means sticking my arm in a trap. Trying to get away from a cop who was also on foot and standing close, hypothetical-me-with-some-faith-in-my-ability-to-successfully-hit-people might sucker punch and run (if I were batshit crazy enough to hit a man with a gun, which I'm not and I don't see any indication that Brown was, but I certainly believe there are plenty of people that crazy out there). But reaching into the car to do it? No.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:47 PM
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167: 17 years, to be precise. (Suez in 1956 to the oil squeeze in 1973.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:47 PM
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160: Too bad there isn't a L.A. car chase channel on cable. You could see people trying all sorts of insane things every week trying to get away from 57 cop cars and helicopters and probably Predator drones by next month.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:48 PM
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A significant percentage of the physical altercations police get into with suspects are ambush style attacks.

It is quite literally impossible to ambush somebody who has just stopped to yell at you for jaywalking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:49 PM
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Surprise attack, though.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:50 PM
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Grenada Invasion Screwups:

http://articles.latimes.com/1985-03-13/news/mn-22111_1_marine-report


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:51 PM
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Right. In one case, the victim has never shown any interest in pressing charges. In the second case, there's a lot of interest in justice being done. And, indeed, the first case is only public knowledge specifically to influence opinion on the second case.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:51 PM
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For training "ambush" is often used to describe surprise attacks on traffic stops and other encounters. They're not holding to the strict "from concealment" definition.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:52 PM
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There truly is nothing more loathsome than the kind of comment I'm about to make, but hot damn can we stop talking about this and micro-litigating forensic details of the Ferguson shooting based on zero actual evidence? At this point anyone sane agrees that things look fishy and that there's super good reason to thoroughly and impartially investigate the killing as a murder/use of excessive force. Nobody sane disagrees (and, in fact, there is a federal investigation). But that investigation hasn't released any public information yet. It's also clear that the Ferguson PD has a demonstrated history of incompetence and racism as does apparently St Louis County. Beyond that everyone is just speculating over and over again based on forensics-by-intuition and some cryptic leaked information and holy shit is it repetitive. Just my personal, clearly assholish, view.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:58 PM
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Traffic stops could indeed be a threatening situation. The officer is standing outside of a car that is itself a potential weapon and can't very well see what is happening in the car so the stopped guy could easily have a weapon. That seems very different than when a policeman in a car stops a pedestrian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 1:58 PM
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(On preview, somewhat pwned by 177, but anyway . . .)

To summarize the competing narratives (here and elsewhere):

A) Brown was likely acting rationally, and Wilson was out of control.
B) Wilson was likely acting rationally, and Brown was out of control.
C) Both Brown and Wilson were out of control.

Given the paucity of uncontested facts, any of these scenarios is theoretically possible.

More facts and evidence sure would be useful.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 2:01 PM
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There's one very crucial uncontested fact. Brown was unarmed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 2:04 PM
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Yeah, 177 is right. To 178, though, I've never heard any explanation from the proponents of (B) that explains the shots fired before Brown turned around. Most of what one sees on this -- and I am not including anyone posting above, because I think they are more of the 177 line of thought than the 178(B) line -- is that the second clause of (B) is so totally scary that one need not even consider the first clause.

With that, I'm going to join 177 (unless provoked . . .)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 2:07 PM
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Make that 179!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 2:07 PM
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181: I think the answer for (B), at least from the plausibly-deniable-police-story, is that Brown was going for the gun (and in some versions that Brown was actually the one who fired the gun) in the car, and that he turned around as soon as Wilson left the car. So the claim is that Wilson didn't actually shoot at Brown as he was running away, just when he turned around to attack him a second time.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 2:11 PM
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177 is pretty much right -- while the new facts in the OP are interesting, I don't think they conclusively establish anything more than we knew before.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 2:14 PM
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OK, fine, if we're not going to argue about whether or not cops are monsters, then can we argue about whether or not Gary Hart was out of the DLC mainstream? That is to say, other than some sneering up above, I'm wondering if anyone has some serious arguments that Hart wasn't much more of the (say) Humphrey mold than the Clinton mold?

Everything I've read says that he was a pretty smart version of a traditional liberal Democrat, as opposed to the neoliberal bullshit* of Clinton or the soulless technocracy of Dukakis. I'm not interested in arguing whether he could have beaten Bush (I think it's stupid to pretend that, absent press assassination, he wasn't a more attractive candidate, but whether that's enough, who knows?), but if he does defeat Bush I think it changes a LOT. Now Dems don't need a "Sistah Soulljah moment" to win. I'm pretty sure he genuinely had a different approach to the defense establishment than Clinton**, but he unquestionably had a different approach to poverty & welfare, and would have had a favorable Congress (the other day I was looking at wave elections, and it's jaw-dropping what a big advantage the Dems had in the House pre-1994). I'm not saying he would have moved mountains, but it's such a different context that I don't think we can casually pretend that everything comes back to our current timeline.

The truth is that a clean 2000 election changes the future almost unimaginably***. The idea that a Hart presidency in 1989-93 makes no substantial difference is silly.

*and I actually like Bill pretty well

**or perhaps: post Gulf War I, Clinton's approach, not that different to Hart's, was doomed, because America Fuck Yeah, which wasn't really the state in 1989. Frex, I'm pretty sure that the US armed forces lost more personnel in the 1980s than they killed opposing forces (that is, not civilians). A figure like Schwarzkopf could shut down Clinton in a way that no IRL general could have shut down Hart. People up above hilariously use Grenada to suggest that the Vietnam Syndrome was already dead, but apparently missed the 1,000,000 inches of newsprint created in 1991 to celebrate the death of the Vietnam Syndrome. No one held your position at the time.

*** if you deny this, I'm not interested in talking to you


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 3:11 PM
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On the issue of what brought Hart down: the narrative that he dared the press to follow him, and then still fucked Donna Rice on the floor of the Miami Herald newsroom, put the question of whether the press had done anything wrong off the table. That is, whether the exposure of Hart had been perceived as press malfeasance* rather than the signal example of candidate hubris in modern history, changes everything. If you doubt this, explain to me the Dan Rather/Air Force Nat'l Guard situation. Nobody denied the underlying facts of the Rather report, just the kerning of the (supposedly) contemporaneous documents. Once the press was discredited, Americans were happy to ignore the plain facts and exonerate Bush from draft dodging via National Guard. If the narrative around Hart is that the press had a personal vendetta, there's no particular reason to assume that hoi polloi views the reportage in the same light.

*the way Republicans view Woodward & Bernstein but possibly worse


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 3:17 PM
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Everything I've read says that he was a pretty smart version of a traditional liberal Democrat, as opposed to the neoliberal bullshit* of Clinton or the soulless technocracy of Dukakis.

What? No.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 3:23 PM
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187: From Wikipedia:

Although the label "New Democrat" was briefly used by a progressive reformist group including Gary Hart and Eugene McCarthy in 1989,[6] the term became more widely associated with the policies of the Democratic Leadership Council,
OK, so we have Hart and Eugene McCarthy on one side, and the DLC on another. What's your argument, exactly? Maybe the Humphrey reference was bogus, but here's one clear cite of him as non-DLC.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 3:50 PM
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The cite [6] in 188 is to an article headlined "The "New Democrats" are Liberals and Proud of It". Is there a world where this is DLCesque?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 3:51 PM
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His entire pitch in both 1984 and 1988 was that old Democrats were hidebound servants of labor and failed big government and that he had "new ideas" for reform, while maintaining a modernized strong defense.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 3:52 PM
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This is an OK summary I found in a minute or so of searching.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 3:55 PM
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177 and 179 come along and now, NOW you all get reasonable? I tried to head this off at comment 4. You fuckers are all getting tased.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 3:56 PM
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||

On the question of how the Hart matter was presented and/or spun back in the day, I confess that I'm astonished that all of you remember so much of it. My hat is off to you. I was certainly alive, and adult enough in theory, at the time, but I remember virtually none of the details. Apparently I have a really bad memory. Either that or you all have been supplementing your memories.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:12 PM
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192: It might, just might, be the case that your attitude in this case seems a bit defensive to some. #notallcops


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:33 PM
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#yesallscallops


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:40 PM
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194: Only to people overly fond of a strained and tendentious reading of gswift's actual words.

Unless he was serious about the tasing thing. Then, yeah.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:43 PM
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196: Yeah.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:58 PM
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I'm not getting 186, or any of JRoth's other reasoning about Hart.

Rather fucked up. The part of his story that was true - what JRoth calls "the underlying facts" - wasn't news, and the part that was news - the documents themselves - apparently wasn't true. Nobody has credibly accused the Miami Herald of getting the Hart story wrong.

Clinton, meanwhile, was pilloried in '92 without having provoked the press with anything other than the facts.

On the issue of what brought Hart down: the narrative that he dared the press to follow him, and then still fucked Donna Rice on the floor of the Miami Herald newsroom, put the question of whether the press had done anything wrong off the table.

That's ahistorical. In fact, the press's behavior was very controversial. In 185, JRoth correctly remembers the million articles celebrating the death of Vietnam Syndrome, but he forgets the million thumbsuckers about whether Hart's behavior was something the press ought to be policing.

Halford has disposed of the political aspect of Hart, but I just want to add that JRoth in 188 also gets Eugene McCarthy entirely wrong.

In 1976, McCarthy joined the Mississippi Republican Party and other degenerates as plaintiffs in Buckley v. Valeo, the first key kick in the nuts for campaign finance reform.

In 1980, McCarthy endorsed Ronald Fucking Reagan.

In 1988, he endorsed Reagan's Strategic_Defense_Initiative - that's "Star Wars" to you, me and the liberal media.

Most everything unfortunate about Bill Clinton was pioneered by Gary Hart, who did not, by any stretch of the imagination, run against Walter Mondale from the left.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:38 PM
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198.2: Actually, I rather like Rather.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:39 PM
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Rather was great, but he was clearly not all there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 7:40 PM
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