Open Thread 12/27

It’s a pretty slow week here, but here’s an open thread.

– The Murdoch empire is reprehensible. Also, who didn’t know crossing the Rubicon?

Split the difference.

– When I say I hope The Seattle Times survives, it’s because of stories like this on a Seattle program to help people living in their cars and how it’s off to a slow start.

– Here’s hoping the next step on the missing link is a decent one. The fact that it’s being announced between Christmas and New Year’s makes me think it won’t be very popular.

Today in doooooooooyyyyyyyyy

– If you’re looking for something to do with that $25 from grandma, I can think of worse things than a Kiva loan. I’m on the Friends of Bob Harris team.

FYI, in the new year, open threads will probably be Monday-Wednesday-Friday.


  1. 3

    rhp6033 spews:

    Tim Eyeman thinks it’s fine to bring in out-of-state workers to get paid per-signature for shilling his initiatives. He’s opposed any attempts to require that they be Washington voters, or even to display identification. He even thinks they can say anything they want to get a signature, no matter how blatant a lie.

    But now he wants to make it a crime to “interfere” with a signature gatherer. So if you try to convince other people NOT to sign his petitions, he wants to get you arrested.

  2. 5

    Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

    You remain an idiot.

    We’ve spent trillions of dollars making water go certain places, and keeping it out of others – dams, irrigation systems, bulkheads, breakwaters, levees, etc. Why would the vapor phase of water be different?

    Your cloying know-nothingism is reminiscent of Palin complaining about ‘fruit fly research‘ – sounds pithy in the moment, particularly if your audience is stupid, but on examination is vapid and dangerous.

    Water vapor is a significant variable in atmospheric heat-trapping, and humans can potentially impact this – why not acknowledge this, and the need, potentially, to regulate how we change this variable by our actions?

    As I said, you’re an idiot.

  3. 7

    No time for Fascists spews:

    Most of the fun of reading Serial “Cheap shot” conservative posts is to see how he’s purposely misleading or distorting a story to his personal agenda to “take America back” to it’s glory years of the 1880s.

    Outspoken on issues including climate change and the need to protect disadvantaged communities from experiencing a disproportionate amount of environmental harm, Jackson pressed for limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants as well as the dumping of mining waste into streams and rivers near mines.

    I can totally see why SerCon would want her out. She stood up for the disadvantaged and SerCon hates that.

  4. 8


    @ 5

    Water vapor also forms clouds, which reflect sunlight. Since solar influences in the upcoming IPCC 5 report (based on the information in the leaked draft made available a couple of weeks ago) will be given far more weight as a source of heat in our atmosphere, it isn’t as easy as you would make it seem, Lib Sci. I know you’re dying to keep as many of IPCC 4’s concepts as possible, since IPCC 5 will come at a very, very bad time for your ilk.

    Actual temperatures haven’t followed the computer models. The models will be revised in the next report to reflect (no pun intended) greater solar influence.

  5. 11

    Tea for everyone spews:

    3 Oh I’m waiting for Patty Murry and Inslee to give back all of their OUT OF STATE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS, since you think Eyman should not be using out of state resources.

    I won’t hold my breath on watching hypocrisy

  6. 12

    Tea for everyone spews:

    By the way the stock market is tanking due to the uncertainty of the Cliff and the Debt Ceiling.. How about Owebamma leading for a change!

  7. 14


    I did, however learn from Mo Dowd that at Columbine there was an officer exchanging gunfire with the killers:

    And consider that in 1999 an armed sheriff’s deputy policing Columbine High School exchanged fire with the shooters, and still they killed 12 other students and a teacher.

    I didnt’ learn from her, however, why it took 20 minutes for the police to respond in Newtown, CT.

    I also didn’t learn from her how many would have been killed at Columbine if that deputy hadn’t been there and the killers had kept shooting their classmates.

    Maybe Michael’s got a link for that.

  8. 15

    Michael spews:

    The link I provided goes to the Dowd piece that mentions the head of the NRA’s son. Not sure how that’s the wrong link.

  9. 16


    @ 13

    Apologies if I’m missing it. It takes me to a 12/22 column, I’ve looked three times now, and not finding mention of his son and that other info. I’ll take your word for it – it’s a distracting day at my end.

  10. 17

    Michael spews:


    It’s at the end of the post.

    The 63-year-old LaPierre and the 67-year-old Keene, a cantankerous former Bob Dole adviser whose son went to prison for shooting at another driver in a road-rage fit, seemed as out-of-touch as Mitt Romney’s campaign and the rest of the white, macho Republican Party.

  11. 19

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 14

    From the penultimate paragraph:

    The 63-year-old LaPierre and the 67-year-old Keene, a cantankerous former Bob Dole adviser whose son went to prison for shooting at another driver in a road-rage fit, seemed as out-of-touch as Mitt Romney’s campaign and the rest of the white, macho Republican Party.

    It includes the first, and only, instance of the word “son” on that page. Isn’t it amazing what you can do when you learn how to use a browser?

  12. 20

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    In Phoenix, there has been a labor dispute between the Amalgamated Transit Union and the contractor operating the Light Rail line on behalf of Valley Metro.(Valley Metro is the umbrella name for the Phoenix Regional Public Transportation Authority, which coordinates and does some funding(but not all) of transit services within Phoenix and Maricopa County) It looked like it was going to go to a strike, but now going to binding arbitration. I thought Arizona was a Right to Work state?

    Valley Metro does not operate much of it’s services(I would say kind of like Sound Transit, but Sound Transit has 1 route in Tacoma, Tacoma LINK, that they operate directly), since most of the cities fund it’s services. This goes back to before Valley Metro was founded, but when Phoenix bought out the private operator to get Federal Assistance, they then leased it back. One of the current contractors operating services in Phoenix? A French company, Veolia. They operate rail and bus services all over the world, but when it comes to regional commuter services within France, they are shut out? The reason? French Unions are much stronger, and more powerful than their counterparts here. When Sarkozy’s popularity waned, Center-Left and Left parties won a majority of the regional governments in France, and that is where the contracts for regional passenger services are made. The Center Left and Left parties got help from unions to get elected. The unions prefer SNCF, the incumbent national operator.(Although if Veolia won the contract, they probably would have no problem organizing the employees there. In Germany, in large corporations, unions are almost compulsory, and the unions get seats on the board).

  13. 21

    No time for Fascists spews:

    I also didn’t learn from her how many would not have been killed at Columbine if that those kids had not not been able to aquire an Intratec TEC-DC9 9-mm semi-automatic handgun with thirteen 10-round magazines, fired 96 times. or a 10-shot Hi-Point model 995 carbine rifle. Klebold carried a 9 mm Intratec TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun manufactured by Navegar, Inc. with one 52-, one 32-, and one 28-round magazine.

    Just saying, nobody needs a semi-automatic handgun with 52 round magazine for hunting. Ban those.

  14. 22

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    Perhaps if one was hunting an invasive species like the wild hogs in Appalachia, one might need a high capacity magazine, but then again, that is a solution to a problem that was man-made.(allegedly the wild hogs were a European variety brought over for a game hunting preserve, and then escaped and multiplied). I was watching an episode of Moonshiners where they were facing one of those hogs, but the guy used a lever-action rifle to take it out.

    I wonder if the gun-industry just has gotten too powerful that you cannot do too much to regulate it. I mean, didn’t they flood the market with high-capacity magazines prior to the last ban? They probably would do that again, because there is usually a time period before a new law takes affect. One magazine that I don’t believe has any civilian purpose, is the Beta-Mag, it’s a double-drum that has a capacity of over 100 rounds, and has been tried by the military with mixed results.

  15. 23

    No time for Fascists spews:

    SerCon’s argument of more guns is like arguing that to stop gangrene is more gangrene. What we need to do stop being reactive and go back a step. What caused the gangrene in the first place and remove the cause of that.
    Getting rid of the guns and magazines that have no legitimate purpose outside of killing lots of humans.

  16. 26

    rhp6033 spews:

    Looks like Boener is feeling the pressure of Sen. Reid’s tounge-lashing and calling the House back into session – on late Sunday afternoon. That gives the House a little over 24 hours to deal with the immense budget issues they insist must be part of any deal.

    Of course, there’s not enough time to do anything more than pass the Senate version of the tax breaks for the middle class and higher taxes for those earning above $250,000. But so far, as recounted by some of those involved in a conference call with Republican leadership, Boeing will continue to insist that the Senate work with the House bill, and forget the Senate bill. In the meantime he’s insisting the only the House has a put a plan on the table, whereas the Senate could claim the same.

    My take: unless Boener has already talked with people in the administration and Senate and is ready to make major consessions, it’s nothing more than another public relations stunt. With the Senate already in session, he can’t afford for the House to be absent. So he will call them back into session, make some pronoucements about how the House is “ready and willing” to consider any Senate bill which pretty much gives away the boat, and then go back to their offices to issue press releases.

    At this point it’s a public relations game – there’s not enough time to get anything done seriously, so both sides are simply trying to deflect blame onto the other side.

  17. 27

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 8

    Since solar influences in the upcoming IPCC 5 report…

    You really do need to get out of the house more often:

    What this is actually talking about, is a fringe theory that cosmic rays have an important influence on the climate. What neither Mr Rawls, Watts Up With That or the climate sceptic blogger James Delingpole did, was to point out that the paragraphs on the chapter which follow the one which Rawls quotes, go on to explain why these theories were not robust.

    The dust-up among wingnuts involves this paragraph from the draft:

    Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system (e.g., Bond et al., 2001; Dengel et al., 2009; Ram and Stolz, 1999). The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link. We focus here on observed relationships between GCR and aerosol and cloud properties.

    When you look at this in context, however, this paragraph is actually a paraphrase of an argument in support of galactic cosmic ray (GCR) effects. Subsequent paragraphs go on to debunk the argument. The draft IPCC concludes exactly the opposite of what the wingnuttosphere claims.

    As for how this relates to water vapor, LibSci was quite correct. You are an idiot. According to the hypothesis, changes in GCR lead to changes in cloud formation. Cloud formation does not alter the effects of GCR. You’ve managed to point the causal arrow in the wrong direction.

  18. 28

    Tea for everyone spews:

    26 They are not going to get anything done because Obama has not offered to move an inch. Face it, he is going to be piling Obamacare taxes on everyone this year, not just those over $250,000. Everyone will be taxed if they don’t get insurance, taxed if they have a plan provided for at work, taxed etc etc etc etc.

    Obama wants us to go over the cliff, and he doesn’t care or vaguely understand the loses going on every day in the stock market and financial markets as a result of his non-action. The stock market is on a daily flop as a result of his complete ignorance to debt and deficits.

    The Layoffs next year due to Obamacare and the Cuts and Cliff will be testimony to this ignorance.

  19. 29

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 24: Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the simple definition of “smog” the combination of fog/water vapour plus pollutants? Isn’t that what socks in much of L.A. for most of the days until the weather pattern dissapates and the smog is finally able to exit over the mountains?

  20. 30

    herzog spews:

    So, can we judge Hillary based on the conduct of Hugh Rodham, then?

    Why, is Hugh a son of Hillary?

  21. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The “fiscal cliff” isn’t about splitting the difference. It isn’t about dollars at all. That’s why the difference between Obama’s $1.2 trillion and Boehner’s $1.0 trillion is irrelevant.

    The GOP House cabal showed their hand when they shot down Boehner’s tax increase on $1 million households last week. Boehner knew, and they knew, Obama would never accept that deal so it was mere posturing. They shot it down anyway. That was for Boehner’s education, not Obama’s.

    This is all about “starving the beast.” The Randroids are hell-bent on bleeding the government white. For them, this is Verdun and the Alama rolled into one.

    Their next big opportunity is the debt ceiling, when they’ll have another chance to stop the flow of Social Security checks and food stamps to elderly people living on dog food. These people must be sacrificed for the greater good of imposing the Survivalist Credo on our beloved nations.*

    They will never vote for tax increases, ever, on anyone. It’s not about protecting the rich; they don’t care about the rich. It’s about destroying the government and especially that portion of it that takes care of our own citizens. It’s about making sure the only government we have left is that portion of it that kills foreigners, especially those with yellow, brown, black, or red skin colors.

    * No, that’s not a typo; there are two American nations, the Confederacy and the Damn Yankees. These guys don’t realize the Civil War is over, much less that their side lost.

  22. 33

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 28: The southern “red states” don’t know a thing about the history of the American Civil War.

    If they did, they would have read the disputes between the Confederate Congress and Jefferson Davis over war powers and the draft, and the fight between “nationalism” within the Confederacy and the insistence of purists for “State’s Rights” (i.e., the right to ignore Richmond’s laws). By 1864 the governor of Georgia was actively trying to seek a seperate peace with the Union authorities, and the firebrands in S. Carolina were still insisting that the Confederacy had no power to issue it’s own money, restrict imports and exports, etc. (all moot points at that stage).

    In other words, the ACW was acting like a centrafuge, sending parts of the Confederacy spinning off in their own direction as they attempted to maintain ideological “states rights” purity.

  23. 34

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’ve come to the conclusion, like Roger Rabbit, that there’s no way to deal with most of the Republicans in Congress these days. Heck, even St. Ronnie would have been primaried out of a House or Senate race of ideological impurity.

    So we need to start an agressive campaign aimed at the 2014 elections. It worked in 2008 and again in 2012. But in 2010 we let our guard down and the Tea Party Congress came back into power in the House.

    So we have to go house by house, street by street, precinct by precinct, and form a new solid Democratic majority which the Republicans can’t overcome. I saw it work on my own street, we can take it statewide, and even nationally. The key is to counter-act Fox News and the Republican Lying Machine by educating people about the differences between what Republicans say and what they do, and the truth about their real agenda.

    We can sit comfortably in the Greater Seattle Area and say we are a “Blue State”, but what does that mean when our state legislature can be taken over by these idiots and a handful of treacherous Democrats? We need to get beyond the 55% – 45% advangage, and shave the Republican influence in this state down to something below 15% or so.

    Nationally, we need to figure out everyone we know and what their politics are. Visit friends and family and business colleagues this year with the goal of evangelizing and converting each and every one of them into a steadfast Democrat. Then teach them to do the same.

    It would be fun if the Republicans in Alabama suddenly found out that “safe” districts suddenly switched from red to blue, with corresponding changes to the seats in Congress. It would also be fun to see a progressive Democrat win the open Senate seat in S. Carolina.

    We can’t match the Republican fundraising power, especially after Citizens United. But we can overwhelm them with People Power.

  24. 35

    Michael spews:

    So, can we judge Hillary based on the conduct of Hugh Rodham, then?

    The NRA’s constant refrain is “personal responsibility.” That if people understood guns and were properly trained that everyone could have a gun and there would never be a problem. That “an armed society, is a polite society.” Yet, it didn’t even work out that way in the president of the NRA’s own family. Make of that what you will.

    Damn, good catch. I’m always bleary-eyed about five paragraphs in on anything she writes.

    Most browsers have a word find function.

  25. 36

    rhp6033 spews:

    Heck, I’ve got relatives in So. Alabama that are as much knuckle-draggers as any redneck Republican. I’ll never win them over on the abortion and gay marriage issues. But there main concern is the meth epidemic affecting their kids, the lack of economic opportunity, and the fields going to weeds because of a combination of anti-immigrant hysteria and Roundup-resistent weeds. Put together a rural package which addresses those types of issues, and we may have the rural farmer + urban worker coalition which F.D.R. formed and kept the Democrats in power in the South for another couple of generations.

  26. 37

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 31: Remember that in the idillic “armed society” which the NRA cherishes, the bullying by the biggest guy was replaced by the guy who was the best shot. Read a bit about duals between major Confederate officers during the American Civil War – not to mention the various attempts (some successful) at outright murder.

  27. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @30 Democrats won the 2012 House elections by more than a million votes. Why do we have a GOP majority in the House? Gerrymandering.

    Knocking on doors won’t do it. Our individual votes don’t mean squat when a minority party can seize control of our government by manipulating the voting process.

    We’ve got to reform redistricting. And if we can’t do that, we’ve got to win control of state legislatures so we can gerrymander them back.

  28. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s fine with me that we’re going over the cliff. I hope the stock market sinks like a stone. When richies facing a 43.9% dividend tax dump their stocks, I’ll be happy to take them off their hands for 56.1 cents on the dollar.

  29. 40

    Michael spews:

    In the NRA’s perfect society conservative, christian, white males rule the roost and they have their guns to back things up if need be. They’re pretty much just the Klan.

  30. 42

    Michael spews:

    O’ fuck yeah.

    Dorothy Day is a hero of the Catholic left, a fiery 20th-century social activist who protested war, supported labor strikes and lived voluntarily in poverty as she cared for the needy.

    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, of which Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York is president, voted this month to support Dorothy Day’s canonization.

    But Day has found a seemingly unlikely champion in New York’s conservative archbishop, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who has breathed new life into an effort to declare the Brooklyn native a saint.

    While we’re busy taking our country back, let’s take the Catholic Church back too.

  31. 45

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    “While we’re busy taking our country back, let’s take the Catholic Church back too.”

    Great idea! You can keep it, too! I gave up on that crazy church over 40 years ago. Too much guilt and hypocrisy. The Golden Rule works even better than organized religion.

  32. 46

    wharfrat spews:

    @25 In the auto industry/Emissions testing “smog” is generally considered to be the brown goo resulting from oxides of nitrogen mixing with atmospheric air in the presence of sunlight or, in other words, the LA basin.

  33. 47

    Tea for everyone spews:

    Roger, what bucket of tax increases are you ready to swallow!/2012.....est%20News

    Not to mention the Obamacare, marriage penalty, inheritance, employee healthcare, ATM. etc etc etc taxes ready to whoop every taxpayer’s pocketbook in 2013.

    So much for Owebamma’s promise that NO-ONE WHO EARNS LESS THAN $250,000 WOULD PAY ONE DIME MORE IN TAXES.. Ha Ha Ha – You know when a politician is lying, it’s when their mouth is moving!

  34. 48

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    “This is all about “starving the beast.” The Randroids are hell-bent on bleeding the government white.”

    Yeah, well the government has been on a campaign to bleed the taxpayers white for nearly a century, since the advent of income taxes and exiting the gold standard. I don’t care whether its getting involved in useless wars (against Islamic terrorists or on drugs) or on entitlements and boondoggle programs. We’ve allowed the bastards to spend far more than the private sector can provide. Remember, it’s the private sector that’s producing all this wealth the government is wasting.

  35. 50

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    In San Francisco, it’s not only historic streetcars that will be rolling down Market Street for San Francisco Municipal Railway’s 100th birthday, but a few historic buses that once were operated by the nation’s oldest publicly owned transit agency. They got a few old buses, including a vintage trolleybus(a 1950 Marmon-Harrington), and a motorbus from 1938, that was used by MUNI for almost 40 years, on the bus route that services the Coit Tower(clearances in the parking lot restrict bus size on that route).

    Up here, the Metro Employee Historic Vehicles Association keeps a couple of the region’s old transit vehicles running, including about 3-4 trolleybuses from the 1940s that replaced streetcars, and a handful of gasoline and later diesel buses that once were operated by various entities within King County. One on roster is a streetcar from the Seattle Municipal Street Railway, but not much has been released on it’s condition, or whether it will ever run again. There is no place to run it, LINK runs at a higher voltage(1500 Volts DC), and the modern streetcar lines use a different electrical technology that might not be compatible without extensive upgrades of the older car. SF Muni and the non-profit Market Street Railway recently did a contest to pick paint jobs for the latest round of PCC streetcars(the last US Built model for 2 generations) that were being restored. Most of those honor cities that once operated the type in decades past. They decided to liven things up with a “what might have been”, and the colors of the original Market Street Railway won out(they had planned to purchase some of the type, before economic conditions led to an eventual buyout by MUNI). I was thinking, that the Seattle Transit colors on PCF-Brill Trolleycoach 798 would have made a good what might have been. The City was bent on purchasing the trolleybuses, the union wanted to try out the new streetcar model. I think the Seattle Transit colors of the 1940s would have worked well on the streamlined streetcars as well.

  36. 51

    Gman spews:

    @5 – Don’t expect much from someone who was wrong all his life. He doesn’t get it, he needs close examination of his failings.

  37. 52

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    The MUNI of today is one of the city’s most visible assets, but bad management decisions over the last 60 years have made it also the symbol of the city that everybody likes to criticise. The biggest symbol, the cable cars, the city tried to get rid of once. The Central Subway, which will carry the newer T-Third Street light rail line(which in the days of the private MSR, was a streetcar line, one of the private operators most profitable, but MUNI made it a bus line), further into Downtown, is turning into an expensive boondoggle in many eyes.

    Looking at the stats fleet-wise, was interesting. Over 310 trolleybuses, that is twice the size of Metro’s trolley fleet.

  38. 54

    Tea for everyone spews:

    Deal or No Deal!

    No Deal! Stock Market tanking (600 points now) What’s your side offered in spending cuts. Oh please be specific

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….I thought not!

  39. 55

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    An Armed Society Is A Polite Society (TM, patent pending*)

    A 62-year-old military veteran who objected to a stranger’s derogatory anti-Obama bumper sticker ended up on his knees with a gun muzzle pressed against the back of his head.

    * It’s my understanding you can’t patent something that doesn’t work.

  40. 57

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @47 I’ll pay more taxes if everyone else does. And I’ll bitch about it, the same as everyone else. Who likes taxes? But hey, I understand that corporate welfare isn’t free for anyone except corporations.

  41. 58

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @53 Here’s what Freepers are saying about the nut who pulled a gun on a senior citizen for criticizing his anti-Obama bumper sticker:

    “Don’t ask me to serve on the mans jury — I’d likely acquit over extenuating circumstances.”

    “Not guilty.”

    “I think he is innocent and should win a Congressional Medal of Honor and a Nobel Peace Prize.”

    “Why is it that Obamaloons have the right to be offended (by the truth)? I am offended that Obama even exists.”

    “Did he click an empty chamber or two, just to see if the Ubamascum moocher would wet his pants?”

    “The fellow with the bumper sticker was simply defending himself.”

    “The obamnite was a very, very lucky man. If I feel mine needs to come out, there will be no warning. I’m using it … the whole magazine load.”

    There is, however, an occasional voice of reason on Free Republic — yes, even on Free Republic:

    “Doesn’t matter if the old guy started it. Self defense with a threat of lethal force only works if you are acting in response to an immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death. You can’t bring a gun to a shouting match.”

    “We have our share of whacked out nut jobs ourselves.”

  42. 59

    Michael spews:

    But, but, I thought guns made you safer?

    A man who had been arrested for allegedly stalking an ex-girlfriend overpowered an officer inside a police station, grabbed her gun and shot her and two other officers before being killed by police early Friday, authorities said.