Open Thread 2/23

- Peter Gleick

This is sort of a win? Maybe? The state can violate your bodily autonomy only on your abdomen and not in your vagina. Yay?

– 100% accurate Oscar picks.

– I think Social Security is stronger than its critics would have you believe, but I appreciate Chad’s take on what the payroll tax holiday might mean for the program.

– I’d also missed that the right wing is freaking out over the phrase freedom of worship.


  1. 1

    bob spews:

    Re: the linked ‘In defense of Peter Gleick’

    There is no defense of the man. If one is so rabid about one’s beliefs that stooping to overt dishonesty and document falsification is deemed necessary to try to persuade others, one no longer retains the credibility to be persuasive.

    He’s not a ‘hero’, as dKos has apparently anointed him. He’s a dishonest hack, who was caught far more quickly than he thought possible.

    If Global Warming were so conclusively proven, its proponents would not be behaving this way. Gleick’s behavior has hurt the efforts of honest individuals who share his beliefs.

  2. 5


    If Global Warming were so conclusively proven

    Some people still believe the earth is flat bob..

    The flat earthers probably do understand the benefits of having their palms greased by those who fund Heartland though..

  3. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The difference between Peter Gleick and, say, James O’Keefe is that Gleick didn’t pretend to be something he’s not or use entrapment techniques to get dirt on his political enemies. He was a passive observer, and all he had to do was let them be themselves.

  4. 7

    bob spews:


    “Gleick didn’t pretend to be something he’s not”

    Actually, that’s exactly what he did. He assumed the identity of a Board member in order to have the documents emailed to him. Nothing passive about it.

    You either misunderstand what happened or you are a liar in addition to being an unapologetic bigot.

  5. 8

    bob spews:


    O’Keefe is a twenty-something with a video camera. Gleick is a PhD, lauded by many, award recipient, and spokesperson for a big part of an international movement, who serves/served in an authoritative capacity in several prominent scientific institutions.

    O’Keefe gained access under false pretenses and recorded the results. Gleick couldn’t find what he wanted in the Heartland documents he received so he falsified a ‘memo’ and passed it off as having been given to him by someone else.

    Yes, O’Keefe was a bad boy. Gleick undercut everything he supposedly had stood for and harmed everyone who is trying to do the right thing in the process. Do you really see a close similarity between the two?

    It should speak volumes that people like Andrew Revkin and Gavin Schmidt are dismayed by what Gleick did. It really set back their cause.

    You have nothing to gain by supporting Gleick. Nothing.

  6. 10


    It was kind of surprising to me that Heartland is funded generously by the Tripp-Lite billionaire.

    Yes, I’ve used Tripp-Lite products. I think I’ll use their competitor’s products in the future.

  7. 11

    bob spews:

    @9, yes, there are bad people on both sides. Way to go with the ‘He may be a bigot but he’s our bigot.’ defense.

    Now, back to Gleick and how badly he hurt the warmists’ cause. The point I made @1 is that his behavior warranted no defense. Comparing what he did to what O’Keefe did is not a defense. A misdirection, perhaps, but not a defense.

  8. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 Actually, I think quite a lot is warranted in exposing the gangsters at Heartland, although I wouldn’t go as far as Republican dirtbags routinely do.

  9. 14


    there are bad people on both sides.

    Perhaps but you’d never make an issue of racism on the right like you’ve done with Roger Rabbit on more than one occassion. And I expect you’ll continue on in that vein indefinitely.

    Bob, I’d clean up your own camp first. Dan Evans once upon a time cast out the Birchers.

  10. 15


    I ask
    Did you also strongly condemn the right wing tool who framed Acorn?

    @8. He did not answer the question. I did not ask about the pedigree or methods of O’Keefe or Gleick.
    I wanted to know if he thought what O’Keefe did was ALSO wrong? What about the guy who posted to WikiLeaks?

    I wanted to see if he was going to be consistent or did he only condemn liberals?
    By his lack of an answer, it’s just liberals.

  11. 16

    bob spews:


    O’Keefe: It was as wrong as, say, ABC stinging Food Lion. He didn’t break in. He claimed to be someone else and turned on the camera. ACORN did the rest. O’Keefe is a quasi-journalist, not a scientist in whom much of the AGW proponents’ trust has been placed. ACORN was as badly victimized as Food Lion was. They were filmed doing what they do. Was that wrong? Depends on who is eating the burger, I suppose.

    Wiki: Tougher question. It depends, I think, on whether the US has a right to secrets. Moreover, on one’s view of whether someone like the president, representing the US national interest, has a right to operate covertly, without the public knowing about it.

    Was Manning justified because he leaked Iraq-related items that embarrassed the military and many feel the war was unjust?

    As a hypothetical, would Manning have been justified if he had leaked advance plans of the SEAL Team 6 mission to get Osama bin Laden, because killing is wrong?

    It’s perspective-based. I think it is a slippery slope and if someone in the military is leaking it should be vigorously prosecuted as a deterrent to future leakers. Insofar as Manning is concerned, I think what he did was wrong and he should be prosecuted.

    Asked and answered.

  12. 18

    Steve spews:

    @17 That’s better! Everytime I tried to post a comment during the past few days I kept getting a “Forbidden” notice popping up and I was concerned that I might have been banned from posting at HA for some reason.

  13. 19


    18 – that’s happened to me too. Something to do with the spam filter..

    In other news, the delusions of right wingers over “voter fraud” continues:

    “Due to the size and scope of the task of examining every claim, the review was limited to the 207 cases related to the 2010 General Election,” Andino said. “Investigation of every claim would require more than 1,000 hours of work by SEC employees.”

    More than half of the Election Commission’s 15 employees spent the past four weeks gathering information and determining where errors were made, Andino said.

    The findings showed:

    106 cases resulted from clerical errors by poll managers
    56 cases resulted from bad data matching by the DMV to death records
    32 cases resulted from voter participation errors, when stray marks caused it to appear that dead voters had cast ballots when they hadn’t
    3 cases were absentee ballots of voters who died before election day
    10 cases proved inconclusive

    Facts of course will NEVER deter them.. Because the true aim is suppressing votes and keeping right wingers in office.

  14. 20

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 18: Nope, you were intentionally banned. The fact you were able to post this time was an error on our part. We will have to fix that later today.

    Just kidding !-

    although I actually received a response like that from a bank once. I asked them why they started withdrawing a fee from my account without prior notice. They refused to reverse the fee, saying that they had made a mistake in not charging the fee earlier. Then they went back and deducted a year’s worth of similar fees from my account. The next day I closed down my account and went to the local credit union. As usual when you close an account, they insist you talk with the manager first. It was an interesting conversation – he said he was sorry it happened, and he couldn’t help me as it was company policy, but would I please keep my money in their bank anyway?

  15. 21


    It just came to me that we get someone like bob every 4 years here in the comment threads – one of the “perception is reality” crowd.. Four years ago it was the execrable “surreal mark”..

    To illustrate:

    Bob Ayers appeared in the same room with Obama on a few occassions so that means Obama’s judgement is bad.

    While an Illinois Senator he voted “present” 121 times out of over 4000 total votes – that shows ???? whatever.. It might mean he did that in the U.S. Senate too.. No, not really.. That’s very hard to do in the U.S. Senate.. Yeah, whatever..

    Obama spent a couple years on the streets of the South Side of Chicago community organizing, reporting to two guys funded by a Catholic organization who learned from Saul Alinsky – well that meant he was a commie pinko.

    Obama’s middle name is Hussein and his last name rhymes with Osama – well that means he’s a muslim terrorist.

    You get the picture. Repeat this crap enough times and it means no way, no how is a black looking guy whose father was a Kenyan and his mom a white Kansan is ever going to win the highest office in the land..

    heh. snicker snicker…

    Now gas prices are high because the futures traders are betting on bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran – the perception is Obama is going to lose.


  16. 22

    Czechsaaz spews:

    This is a hoot. What evedence is there that any of the documents were forged? Well, uh, Heartland says so. Caught with their fly open it goes like this, “the summary document is fake….uh, all the other ones that the AP confirned are real and form the basis of the summary, huh, we have no comment except to say that we really want you to know that the summary is fake. Pay no attention to the authentic documents in my right hand, what I have in my left that summarizes them is faker, ergo, nothing to see here.”

    Meanwhile, O’Keefe edited videos to show what never actually happened. Not forging?

  17. 23

    Doc Daneeka spews:

    why the longing to express events in terms of petty syllogisms?
    Just because gigantic multi-billion dollar PR juggernauts like Heartland specialize in it doesn’t mean that it will persuade your opponents. Save it for the NASCAR dads.

    Moreover, why the need to mis-characterize the events in question? The original e-mail containing the damaging information about Heartland was sent to Gleick unsolicited and in obvious error. Subsequent to receiving the documents, he sought to confirm the contents under a false identity.
    This statement:
    “He assumed the identity of a Board member in order to have the documents emailed to him”,
    isn’t really true.
    He assumed the identity of a board member in order to confirm the contents of the documents already in his possession.

    Gleick did us all a favor. Take issue if you will with his methods. But that doesn’t change the truth of what he revealed about Heartland. And careful you all don’t hurt yourselves falling on the fainting couch or bruise your delicate complexion while clutching at your pearls. Never mind O’Keefe. Care to apply your lofty standards to Heartland or even Revkin?
    Yeah. I didn’t think so.

  18. 25


    The way Santorum and Romney are eating other and both of them (and Gingrich and the rest of the GOP) are waging war against women and latinos..

    Obama is looking better and better in November.

  19. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    As for Wikileaks, just because a government wants to keep its misdeeds secret, and makes it a crime to reveal them, doesn’t make the whistleblower a public menace.

  20. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 All the polls (and common sense) indicate Obama will stroll to re-election. Even Wall Street is betting he gets a second term. If you think otherwise, just for fun, try finding a GOP professional operative willing to bet his own money on his party’s nominee.

  21. 30


    As for O’Keefe, he’s dishonest, period.

    JOKIII is the sleaziest of right wing con-artists. JOKIII and Breitbart learn from each other.

  22. 31

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’ll post this now, but I may re-post it when a new open thread appears.

    I expected the Dow to briefly hit 13,000 this week, and then retreat back several hundred points. That’s what usually happens when institutional investors want to lock in some profits, and amateur investors get a bit dizzy at the heights and become cautious. But for some reason, that has happened (yet). The Dow has been flirting with 13,000 all week, crossing it it in trading during the day and then dropping back a few points – but only a few points. When I first checked this morning it was six points shy of 13,000, when I just checked a couple of minutes ago it was at 13,004. Depending upon investor confidence, we might see a closing today above 13,000.

    My best guess as to why it’s still near 13,000 all week long: lots of 401(k) and IRA money has been sitting on the sidelines with worries about a potential double-dip recession and a banking crisis in Europe. But we’ve become used to the bad news from Europe, so it doesn’t scare investors much anymore. And the domestic economic news continues to look good, despite Republican efforts to shake it. Heck, even the current gas price rise hasn’t raised much of a flicker of worry among institutional investors, they are still buying.

  23. 32

    rhp6033 spews:

    To contiue:

    There’s still a lot of bad news out there:

    * Greece’s debt crisis is still lurking, current plans for dealing with it are only tentative (the next election could change things).

    * Iran is still moving forward with it’s nuclear program, and the opportunity for a military solution is rapidly diminishing. Iran is threatening to close the Straights of Hormuz, which could send oil prices soaring, and if Israel conducts air strikes on the nuclear facilities, a war in the Middle East could have widespread consequences. (Question: Iran’s air force is decrepit, the Israelis could easily knock it out. Who would then step in to supply Iran?)

    * Higher oil prices could put the brakes on the economic recovery – which is probably why prices at the pump are going huch higher, and faster, than the ppb of crude oil would justify.

    Despite all this, investors in DJIA stocks continue to remain unfazed. Do they think the stocks are still undervalued, despite such concerns? Or is it simply that they have too much cash which they can’t keep on the sidelines forever, and they will buy in regardless of the price or risks?

  24. 33


    Tom Hartman had an interesting rant.

    Countries that are investing strongly in their infrastructure and education, like Brazil, Russia, India and China are growing strongly.

    Countries that are gutting investments their infrastructure and education in the name of republican Austerity, like the US, Britain, many of the EU countries have flat or shrinking economies.

    If these are true facts, why are Americans people still trying to support republican Austerity?
    Is that why there is such an obsession over Culture War issues? To distract people?

  25. 34

    rhp6033 spews:

    In the meantime, the release of Sara Palin’s e-mails shows that she couldn’t stand the heat of being a governor OR a vice-presidential candidate. She complains about having to bear the cost of her ethics defense “No one else has to do that!” As her record and ethics violations are being examined, she says that she “…can’t take it any more”.

    Clearly, she’s not strong enough to be a President or Vice-President, and never has been. Being accostomed to surrounding herselves with sycophants and using her influence in Alaska to silence critics, she obviously never acquired the thick skin required to be the leader of the free world.

  26. 35

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 33: NPR was discussing polling data with someone from the Gallup group last night. They said that their polling shows that even among Republican voters, jobs and the economy are the biggest issue of concern, by a 2 to 1 margin over “culture” issues.

    Which shows that Santorum’s appeal on the “culture” front is an effort to win over a relatively small percentage of the Republican base. If he gets to the general election, he’s going to have a hard time getting any traction. Relying upon the Sarah Palin supporters isn’t going to win him very many electoral votes.

  27. 36

    Michael spews:

    Countries that are gutting investments their infrastructure and education in the name of republican Austerity, like the US, Britain, many of the EU countries have flat or shrinking economies

    Britain’s the one to look at because it Scotland they’ve continued to invest in infrastructure and education and have had a much shallower recession than the rest of the island. This is a big part of why they’re calling for Scottish independence, the rest of the island is holding them back economically.

  28. 38

    Michael spews:

    Hot on the heels of this epic fail

    Spokane Mayor David Condon today defended a plan to rehire an alcoholic police sergeant fired after an off-duty drunken driving crash, and to give him back pay.

    from righty mayor David Condon, we have 3 Republican state legislator staffers claiming they were fired for refusing to politic on state time.

    Three former House Republican staffers have filed legal claims against the state over their firings last June, saying they were let go for failing to work on GOP members’ campaigns or join their fundraisers.

    It’s still early on so we don’t know if the Republicans are guilty of this, but from what’s laid out in the article, it doesn’t look good for the Republicans.

  29. 39

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 38: It doesn’t suprise me a bit, just look at Sarah Palin as an example of someone who believes that the resources of her local office are supposed to be entirely devoted to furthering her political ambitions. They can’t seem to keep their public, political, and private lives seperate from one another.

    In the less obnoxious incidences, it’s sometimes because a person who is used to owning a private business can’t see the boundaries they have to follow while in public office. If a business owner is used to having his/her subordinates handle their personal affairs (pick up dry cleaning, babysit, etc.), then it’s not a big leap for them to use their state-paid staffers for political work. But that’s exactly what the law prohibits – anybody remember the West Wing episode where Donna Rice had to run outside the White House gate in freezing January weather to call people in New Hampshire on her cell phone on the day before the primary?

    Of course, there are incidents involving Democrats, too. But it seems that the number of incidences, and degree of culpability, is significantly greater on the Republican side. Republicans can point to the current investigation of Aaron Reardon for having his political consultant meet with him in his county office, and Reardon using his county-issued cell phone to call that consultant and his alleged girlfriend. But that’s considerably less harm than a politician who requires his taxpayer-paid staffers to campaign for him.

    But what’s particularly distressing about this report is that it’s the state that would have to pay out any claims to these staffers.

  30. 40

    Michael spews:

    But what’s particularly distressing about this report is that it’s the state that would have to pay out any claims to these staffers.


    It’s still early on and there were 4 people fired and only 3 are suing, the 4th person didn’t have any issues with it. I think “wait and see” is the proper perspective to take on this.

  31. 41


    I was wondering if everyone has come to realize why supermajority votes should be required for property tax levies? I happened upon an old article that basically asked: why is 50% +1 good enough to elect a governor or president, but not to provide money for schools?

    It’s quite simple: Those examples (as well as Senate, House of Rep, etc. votes) impact “all voters” in a more uniform way than a property tax levy vote where **half the voters don’t even pay the tax.

    There’s an inherent conundrum for people in addressing an issue that benefits them but is factually flawed (especially when fixing it could be disadvantageous to them). Which one takes priority, personal benefit or truth & correctness?…

    The benefit a simple majority provides, of aiding in the achievement of a desired result (levy passage), does not change the “mathematically indisputable fact” that it’s a flawed process irt basic fairness and democracy. The simple majority voting examples I give here are totally accurate but might be easier to get through with a calculator to verify the figures accuracy and help with the understanding of it.

    ** Btw, The argument that “renters pay levy taxes via rent” is “ridiculously simplistic” because only in a perfectly linked system would this be the case. In actuality, landlords can only charge what the market will bear. Meaning, if a landlord can’t get a renter at a price that actually covers the costs of the levy, he/she has to lower the rent in order “to simply rent the unit out and avoid a vacancy”. The same way profit margins go down when input costs go up that aren’t able to be fully passed on to the consumer.

    See example in next comment:

  32. 42


    Just for example sake: Imagine if it were possible to have a vote to raise the WA state sales tax another 3% and that ID & OR voters within 50 miles of our border were allowed to vote on it as well. That would be introducing a subset of voters who could vote for a tax they didn’t have to pay for but would in fact benefit from as more people crossed the borders to make purchases. Simple mathematics explains how making that vote a supermajority would at least account (to a degree) for those “unaffected voters” from the neighboring states who would tend to vote “yes” in high numbers. It would, in fact, necessitate a supermajority vote and is the exact same situation as when non property tax payers are allowed to vote for property tax increases on “other people” that they themselves do not pay.

    To reiterate, a “simple” majority is perfectly appropriate for “most” voting situation (President, Governor, statewide taxes, etc.). However, if basic mathematical and democratic fairness is to be achieved, “anytime” a vote allows people to vote a tax (that they themselves don’t pay) on other people, a supermajority is required.

    Does this help explain the necessity of the supermajority vote to you? I mean from a simple democratic, mathematical, and logical standpoint (not from a “that would impact passing things I like” standpoint)…

  33. 43

    No Time for Fascists spews:

    Dave, I think your argument is just a justification to avoid paying taxes.

    The way I see it, you arguing “The argument that “renters pay levy taxes via rent” is “ridiculously simplistic”” is also ridiculously simplistic so you can justify not pay your taxes.