Open Thread 3/13

- More GOP races today? I think Rick Santorum wins Alabama and Mississippi. Romney wins Hawaii and American Samoa. That means we’ll be up pretty late to hear his victory speech.

– I appreciate the intent behind these sort of bills to get us talking (and obviously, I’m linking to it here continuing the discussion) but surely there’s a better way to go than joke laws that would objectively be worse policy to object to actual laws that are terrible policy.

– Anyone going to the official reopening of the Burke-Gillman Trail?

– Anyone going to Chocolate for Choice?

ASFCME’s most important endorsement ever.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the other room banging my head against the wall.


  1. 1

    rhp6033 spews:

    Remember that the anti-sex discrimination provisions of Title IX of the Equal Opportunity Act were originally offered as a joke amendment designed to kill the bill. What a joke – women having equal rights as men! Certainly that will show the absurdity of laws also proclaiming equal rights for all races!

  2. 2

    rhp6033 spews:

    More news that the local aerospace industry is strong, and getting stronger:

    * Alex Pietsch, the director of community and economic development for Renton, has been named by Gov. Gregoire to head Washington State’s new Aerospace Office, a cabinet-level post. The position was created to ensure Washington’s competativiness in the aerospace community, and comes on the heals of the success in having Renton win designation as the site of the new Boeing 737MAX program.

    Renton Official Named New director of State Aerospace Office

    * AES, a division of Astronics, is opening new offices in Kirkland. It is one of the more than 350 suppliers to Boeing, and it makes seat power-supply units. It has some 300 employees in Washington State, and expects to hire about 45 more over the next year. As more and more passengers search out airlines with aircraft supplying inter-seat connectivity for their wi-fi and laptop plug-ins, the business is expected to continue to expand.

    Astronics to expand in Kirkland, hire more workers

  3. 3

    David C spews:

    Great news. washington state is in top 8 nationally for gas prices. that ought to get people outta their damn cars and riding their bikes, walking etc. energy secretary chu and president obama are right, we need gas prices like europe. the higher the better.

  4. 4

    rhp6033 spews:

    It looks like Joe Walsh, (TeaParty Ill), is headed for defeat. His wife has asked the court to assist her in collecting over 100K in unpaid child support. According to her, he used the money he owed for child support to fund his 2010 race for Congress. So far this year he’s raised only $38,500 to fund his re-election campaign, yet owes over 28K in unpaid legal fees.

    Joe Walsh Money Woes: Campaign Low On Cash As Child Support Case Continues

    On top of that, his headline-catching extremist views have put him at odds with most of his electorate, including that banks had nothing to do with the 2008 financial collapse, and that carrying a concealed handgun is necessary to protect citizens from their own government.

  5. 5

    Blue John spews:

    #3. We don’t hate cars. I love the freedom that driving a car gives me. What we need is realistic, affordable, convenient options to driving cars. If gas prices go to $10 a gallon, and we have NO choice to do anything but drive, we are screwed. If we have a effective public transportation service, if we can bike safely, if we can walk to a store or to work or to the public transportation, then $10 gas won’t hurt so bad.
    Can you see the difference?

  6. 6


    dummy @ 3 – Nope higher prices won’t be better because, as is typical, we didn’t plan ahead..

    The Euros taxed gas/diesel heavily and did stuff with the money – lots and lots of public transit.

    The Euros are twice as efficient in energy use. And Japan is even more efficient making them look wasteful.

    As I was telling another idiot the other day, gas costs over $11/gal in Istanbul and the city is gridlocked.

    But they have a subway.

  7. 7

    Bob spews:

    @ 6 YLB:

    Care to double down on your claim that people have adjusted to gas prices and it won’t be a factor? CBS/NYT has Obama down 9 points in a month, coincidentally the sam month in which gas prices have skyrocketed. Stephen Chu is walking back his earlier comments. No pressure from Obama there, I’m sure:

    And was it the Euros doing all that public transit stuff? Or was it the Marshall Plan? I forget. WWII was SUCH a long time ago.

    Does your Euro-efficiency in energy use extend to the efficiency of, say, Germany’s subsidies of solar, which have proven unsustainable and have been drastically curtailed (meanwhile, every Puget Sound area solar installer trumpets Germany as a model for solar use in Seattle.)?

    Just wondering.

  8. 8

    Bob spews:

    @ 6

    I wonder if the traffic in Istanbul has anything to do with the fact that the number of motor vehicles has about doubled in the last decade, and at the same time there’s a Third-World infrastructure to support it.

    Anyone can pick numbers off of a list. Things are more complicate than just looking at bad traffic, noting high gas prices, and assuming gas prices have no effect on vehicle usage.

    There’s a pretty thriving gas-smuggling market in Turkey. Think cigs in the US and sources that are cheaper, like Indian reservations. A lot of people probably are paying significantly less than $11/gal. I also suspect that after factoring in currency exchange rates, it’s quite a bit cheaper there.

  9. 9


    7,8 – Hmmm Bob… What a dope you are..

    How much better is U.S/Euro economic output per unit of energy since oh 1970??

    Much better and higher prices only help that.. If the higher prices are due to taxes and the taxes build stuff that give people transportation choices so much the better.

    Guess the Marshall Plan also built all those nuke reactors in France that propel their bullet trains.. Heh.

    Demand for gas in this country is way down. Refineries are EXPORTING the stuff. People are resilient and not stupid like you think they are.

  10. 10

    Bob spews:

    @ 9

    I wonder if economic output efficiency has anything to do with computers, more efficient engines, and the like?

    Nah, you’re right. It’s because gas prices are climbing. Not because of stuff like just-in-time technology, computers replacing inefficient manual labor, global competition causing EVERYONE to become more efficient doing EVERYTHING.

    Nah. It’s because of high gas prices. Silly me.

  11. 11

    rhp6033 spews:

    I just lost the link to the story, but it’s a good one.

    A Republican candidate for a local position showed up a bit early for his local caucus. He saw a large crowd had already gathered. He asked if he could speak, and the crowd told him sure, go ahead.

    The Republican candidate then did his regular stump speech, but was baffled that no one seemed to cheer or applaud his best lines, they just looked on silently. At the end of the speech, one of the audience raised his hand. “Are you sure you shouldn’t be speaking to the Republican caucus?” the audience-member asked.

    Sure enough, the Republican candidate was in the right place, but too early. He was speaking to the Democratic caucus which was winding up it’s affairs. The Democratic caucus had started it’s meeting two hours earlier at the same location as the Republican caucus.

    The embarrased Republican candidate says he now starts every speech by asking if he’s in the right place.

  12. 12

    Bob spews:

    A civil rights hero and influential congressman showed up at an Occupy Atlanta gathering and someone there suggested he speak. After extended and very humorous discussion including lots of up-twinkles and down-twinkles, all of which was video’d for internet consumption, it was decided that, no, they had a written agenda, and he would have to wait his turn and speak at the end.

    Some time later he left, without addressing the crowd.

  13. 13


    I wonder if economic output efficiency has anything to do with computers, more efficient engines, and the like?

    All of which are helped along by a simple mechanism that I believe is called a “price signal”??

    Why do you hate the free market so much Bob???

    Again, your “perception is reality” schtick is in great part wishful thinking..

    If you believe that the voter thinks Obama is to blame for high gas prices and the solution is to allow a Republican to come back in..

    You must really believe the typical voter is stupid..

    You are really counting on that.

  14. 14

    Bob spews:


    Moore’s Law. And everything that occurs downstream from that.

    I have no idea what the average voter thinks. I do know that for Stephen Chu to do an about-face there is some huge pressure coming down on him from above not to wax philosophic about how if only gas prices were twice as high, people would buy more solar panels and Chevy Volts.

    Watch what the administration is doing. They’re the ones who will be acting like the voter is weighing gas prices heavily come election time.

    Matters not what I think.

  15. 15

    Steve spews:

    Hats off for tensor, who was called a liar by Pudge 14 times in a single comment over at un(SP). I do believe that’s a new record.

  16. 16


    called a liar by Pudge 14 times

    Is that all??? Seems to me old pudge was just getting warmed up.

    No way can that be a record.

  17. 17

    rhp6033 spews:

    Last Friday we had a decent job report (a quarter of a million new jobs). Today we had a good retail report, and the Fed decides that it’s going to stand pat – it doesn’t see any danger of inflation in the near future, so it isn’t going to raise interest rates. The result? Dow closing at 13,174.50, up 214.79 points. The DJIA performance during the Obama administration is now at +59.09% (compared with Bush’s -21.78%).

    It looks like some money that has been sitting on the sidelines for quite some time is finally stepping up to the table.

    It’s also bad news for the Republican candidates. Last year they thought they could ride the “Where are the jobs?” slogan. Notice you don’t hear that so much any more? Then they wanted to talk about $1 trillion + deficit, only to see that shrink about 20% as the mini-stimulus kicked in and the recovering economy reduced strains on the federal budget. Then they wanted to talk about Pres. Obama being soft and indecisive on defense, only to have Osama Bin Laden killed on his watch. Now they are sputtering about Iran, but if that’s resolved peacefully before summer, then the Republicans are going to be left sputtering with nothing at all to say.

  18. 18

    rhp6033 spews:

    By the way, this performance in the DJIA (+59.09%) places President Obama in rare company. Of all the presidents over the last thirty-five years, only President Clinton had a better performance of the DJIA in his first term of office (+111.83%). Even St. Ronnie only had a +32.72% DJIA performance in his first term, and Republicans like to cite this as proof of the superiority of Republican economic doctrine.

  19. 19

    Steve spews:

    @16 But this was just one comment. Heck, I think Pudge called tensor a liar more times in his one reply than tensor had words in his original comment. I’m pretty sure it’s a record. If not a record, it’s at least a bravura performance.

  20. 20

    rhp6033 spews:

    Pudge’s definition of a liar is anyone who disagrees with him, no matter how dillusional Pudge’s opinions might be.

  21. 22

    Michael spews:

    Wows, there’s some kinky, kinky, shit going on in the suburbs.

    I’m at a Starbucks in Gig Harbor and a couple of women in their late 40’s sitting near me are having this discussion loud enough for everyone to hear: guy wants him and the wife to have a 3-way, but the wife’s not going for it. After talking to her friend about about the kinky shit they do do and should that be enough for him, the friend chimes in about how she found a hidden file on her hubbies computer and describes and laughingly describes the content. Turns out 3-way wanting hubby #1 also has a “hidden” file.

    Neither of the women seem particularly surprised or upset by the fact that their husbands are a couple of horn-dogs. They’re discussing this in a completely matter of fact manner and loud enough that those around us could hear. This, I guess, is normal for conservative upper class America.

    Meanwhile, us moral-less liberals, lead what is in reality a fairly staid, conservative, lifestyle.

  22. 23

    Bob spews:


    Your analysis failed to include any mention of the fact that JPM Chase has been permitted by the Fed to increase its dividend payout (by 20%), meaning it smoked its stress test.

    That was a huge contributor to the gains in the stock market today, and is apparent in the jump in trading levels that occurred right around 3p EST.


    Yes, the rebound in the stock market from a drastically oversold position has made Obama’s numbers look good if the DJIA is your measure.

    Actual growth in the economy?

    Not so much:

    Economic growth averaged 2.2 percent during Bush’s presidency. By comparison, economic growth during Obama’s first three years in office has averaged about 1.5 percent, which is comparable to growth levels in Europe.

    It’s one thing to be a beneficiary of some good economic news. Quite another to have actually earned it.

    Over to you, sir.

  23. 24

    rhp6033 spews:

    Final DJIA numbers for the day… up 217.97. There must have been a surge in last-minute trading, and it took a while for all the trades to be included in the tabulations.

  24. 25

    Bob spews:


    Yeah, that boost from 214 to 217 really merited a second mention. Thanks for the news flash.

  25. 26

    rhp6033 spews:

    In the meantime, it looks like the Republican Party is imploding, as the candidates for the GOP nomination hurl some pretty revealing accusations against one another. The winner will probably NOT want to hear these repeated back to him at a subsequent debate.

    * Santorum, in an interview on Fox News, accused the network of “shilling” for Romney. The interview then argued with Santorum. The whole affair pretty much confirmed that even Republicans consider Fox News to be biased, and the interviewer’s arguments confirmed it as a fact.

    * Gingrich has been throwing pot-shots at Romney, saying we didn’t need another “Wall Street Banker” as president, and otherwise criticizing him for being among the elite 1%. This, of course, is a direct attack upon the forces which fund and control the Republican party. Newt’s not going to win the nomination anyway, but he’s not helping the Republicans win the Presidency by confirming the obvious – that the eventual nominee will represenet Wall Street investment firms and the 1% of the nation’s wealthiest people.

    Romney’s done less damage, because as the front-runner he doesn’t have to directly attack his opponants. But he’s not helping things by trying to appear “folksy” to southerners, which comes off as being very fake. He should admit that he’s not like everybody else, but that’s okay. Instead, when he tries to be self-depricating he makes jokes with Jeff Foxworthy, implying he (Romney) doesn’t know which end of the gun to point toward his target. So much for the NRA vote.

  26. 27

    Michael spews:

    Gas prices have a lots of stuff to factor into them. Demand in the US is down, but oil companies have shuttered quite a few refineries and can sell some refined product abroad so there’s no excess refining capacity. Speculation about Iran and troubles in The Gulf has driven up the price. We’ve burned though most of the cheap to get to and easy to refine oil, so cost of pumping and refining the stuff is up and will stay up. I could go on, but really, the takeaway from all this is that the price of oil will only go up from here and their aint’ much anyone can do about it. Better get used to it.

    On the good side of things Iraq’s production of crude is up over 3M bpd.

  27. 28

    Bob spews:


    Yeah, things never really got nasty when Hillary and ‘bambi were dukin’ it out in 2008.

    Once you exclude the accusations of racism leveled against Bill Clinton and the insinuations of Obama selling drugs during his youth, that is:

    Clinton Supporter Raises Idea of Young Obama Dealing Drugs ……/clinton-supporter-raises-idea-young-obama-deali…Clinton Supporter Raises Idea of Young Obama Dealing Drugs. —By Jonathan Stein. | Wed Dec. 12, 2007 3:22 PM PST. Tweet. billy-shaheen.jpg Earlier today …

  28. 29

    rhp6033 spews:

    So, as I understand the GOP primary situation now:

    All primaries conducted before April 1st will have their delegates split proportionately, so even though the winner will get the headlines (and some money-raising advantages), the Romney machine will still be plodding forward toward the “magic number” of delegates which gets him the nomination on the first ballot.

    At this point Gingrich and Santorum are simply trying to stay competitive until the caucus states hold their conventions and select delegates. Many of the caucus states, like Washington, select delegates without regard to the “straw poll” taken at the caucuses earlier. So they still have a shot at grabbing more of those delegates than the straw polls might have indicated.

    Gingrich needs to win both Alabama and Mississipi, so he can be a power-broker in negotiations for his endorsement or in an open convention in Tampa. Even with those wins, here’s no way he can pick up enough delegates to win on the first ballot – his appeal is limited to the deep south. Despite what he says, Gingrich is not a conservative idealouge, he’s merely an opportunist. He’s not so much anti-Romney, as he is pro-Gingrich. If it suits Gingrich’s purposes to act like he’s right of Atilla the Hun, he will do so. Newt would probably see Romney as the one most likely to win the nomination, so he would throw his endorsement (and his delegates, to the extent he can do so) to Romney, in return for a promise of a major appointment (V.P.? Secty of State?).

    Santorum also needs to win both Alabama and Mississipi, in the hopes of talking Gingrich into dropping out. But I doubt Gingrich would do so, or that he would give his delegates to Santorum (see above).

    A mixed win of any of the states (Newt takes one, Santorum taks another) means that the game simply moves further down the road to the next contest, with no change in rankings among the players.

  29. 30

    Michael spews:

    Yep, ’08 got pretty rough, but democratic primaries are like that and we’ve never hesitated to fight in public. Republican primaries are a completely different story.

    The Republican Party really does appear to be breaking apart.

  30. 31


    37 – And I shouldn’t forget the Klynical Klown and his Montana “friendo”.

    In other news. Wow were there some soshuleests back in the days just after WWII

    Dennison joined forces with Paul Hoffman of Studebaker, advertising executive William Benton, and top managers from Eastman Kodak, General Foods, Sears and General Motors in the Committee for Economic Development in 1942. Fearful that the economy would slip back into a depression once World War II ended, they advocated an activist state that spent money to promote consumption and high employment. Their position was hardly radical, and they aimed their appeal at “all who are interested in keeping the system of private enterprise and larger personal freedom.” But they understood that capitalism could survive only if there was a way to “counter the tendencies toward boom and depression.” Capitalism required growth, by whatever means necessary.

    The growth logic took time to penetrate the rest of the business community. Even after the great spending surge of World War II wiped out unemployment, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Chamber of Commerce continued to argue that government deficits were “job destroying.” This “strange thinking,” Hoffman told the NAM, would “fasten upon us an economy of scarcity.”

    But soon even the Chamber of Commerce took the plunge and joined the growth coalition. Under the dynamic leadership of Eric Johnston, it supported the Full Employment Act of 1946, a Keynesian, albeit conservative, embrace of government spending to reduce the boom-and-bust cycle that Hoffman feared. Johnston, a wounded veteran of World War I, had built up the largest appliance distributorship in the Northwest, starting out as a door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesman. This Main Street entrepreneur understood that capitalism couldn’t survive on a starvation diet. “We can’t afford to go into another tailspin,” he told the Chamber’s staff. “Another depression would mean the loss of our system.”

    Studebaker, Eastman Kodak, General Foods, Sears and General Motors.. Great Americans names.

    And they supported government stimulated economic growth over the right wing dogma of these times: austerity.

    My how times have changed.

  31. 33

    Bob spews:


    What planet are you from?

    1976 Reagan threatening a convention floor fight for the nomination before backing down.

    1980 RRR again: “I’m paying for this microphone, Mr. Breen!”

    2000 McCain “I endorse him. I endorse him. I endorse him.”

    I could mention Dole ’88 and Dole ’95 as well.

    Plenty of GOP fights. You’re just living in the moment.

  32. 34

    Michael spews:

    Nah, GOP prefer coronations to real fights which is what the Republicans had when they nominated Dole and McCain,. Who the nominee was going to be in ’96 and ’08 was never in question. Bush in ’00 was a little bit of a squabble, but it was always clear who was in control of the party and that their guy would get the nod.

    You’re forgetting RR’s admonition to never talk poorly (in public) of another Republican.

  33. 35

    Michael spews:

    1976 Reagan threatening a convention floor fight for the nomination before backing down.

    Backing down being the key.

    2000 McCain “I endorse him. I endorse him. I endorse him.”

    Because being part of the Republican party means you have to say that.

  34. 36

    Michael spews:

    It’s practically white-out outside in Gig Harbor right now.
    I really need to move to a part of the country where the weather sucks just a little less.

  35. 37


    “‘bambi” = your bias is showing.

    It’s a moderate case of Obama Derangement Syndrome..

    Stronger than mild but not quite as unhinged as trolls like yd and the now (finally!) defunct Puddybud.

  36. 38


    “‘bambi” = your bias is showing.

    It’s a moderate case of Obama Derangement Syndrome..

    Stronger than mild but not quite as unhinged as trolls like yd and the now (finally!) defunct Puddybud.

  37. 39

    Bob spews:


    Did that guy get banned? I don’t live on here so I don’t know the names of all the players.

  38. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Middle-class entitlements are the latest target of the Republican demonizing machine:

    “Over the past few months, America’s social safety net … gotten a tough rap. Republican presidential candidates and congressmen have decried its cost, its supposed infantilization of the citizenry, and its long-term effect on the American dream. Yes, this collection of programs and services has been described as ‘a dime bag’ of drugs that will ‘hook’ users, a threat to America’s ‘merit-based society,’ and a socialist tool that will steal ‘America’s soul.’ And the people who accept money from these programs? They are ‘passive,’ ‘lazy,’ ‘slothful,’ and are ‘systematically destroying’ America’s work ethic.”

    (Let’s skip over the fact a “work ethic” is something only workers have … the moneyed classes know nothing about it … after all, how can people who don’t work have a work ethic?)

    Now for reality:

    “Let’s examine the largest two slices of the entitlement pie first:

    ” … 53% of entitlement spending goes to the elderly through Social Security and Medicare.

    “… Another 20% goes to the disabled, through programs like Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.

    “What about the remaining 27% of entitlement spending?

    ” … 18% goes to entitlements like the school lunch program, the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, and the children’s health insurance program, which are designed to help provide a minimum standard of living for the working poor ….

    ” … 7% goes to the ‘almost elderly,’ covering medical care, unemployment insurance, Social Security survivor benefits and Social Security benefits for those between the ages of 62 and 64.

    ” … 2% … gets spent on … those … whose lives have been undermined by … job losses and the unsteady economy.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Another GOP argument is blown to hell by facts! Hey, I’m not saying there aren’t lazy, slothful people who goof off while others are working. For example, click here:

  39. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Roger Rabbit News Quiz

    “A former member of an elite Guatemalan military force extradited from the United States last July was sentenced to 6,060 years in prison Monday for his role in the killings of 201 people in a 1982 massacre.

    “Guatemala’s civil war claimed at least 200,000 lives before it ended in 1996. The country’s U.S.-backed army was responsible for most of the deaths, according to the findings of a truth commission set up to investigate the bloodshed.”

    Quiz Question: Who was U.S. president in 1982?

  40. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I gotta question. Can saints be stripped of their holiness based on newly discovered evidence?

  41. 45


    The right wingers really got unhinged in that thread at (un)SP..

    Totally fell in with the slut/prostitute Limbaugh line.

    Pudge is totally whacked out in that thread..

    Nothing but crazy people to see there.. Move on folks..

  42. 48

    rhp6033 spews:

    I can’t wait for an open thread today, I’ve got meetings to attend. So here’s an article worth reading, for all those who still think that Wall Street bankers and investment firms should receive favorable tax treatment because they “create jobs”:

    Exec: Goldman-Sachs called clients “muppets”

    Actually, the article is much worse than that, and it’s worth reading on to the original article to which it refers. In short, a high-ranking executive at Goldman-Sachs, no longer with the firm, said that he couldn’t recall a single meeting where the subject of how to help clients make money was discussed. Instead, the meetings all centered on putting lipstick on the pigs and selling them to unsuspecting clients.

    I’ve previously reported that my wife once worked for a major Wall Street brokerage firm (as an administrative assistant), and we were surprised to learn that the art of evaluating stocks and helping clients grow their portfolios had very little to do with whether a broker made it in the firm. It was all about convincing clients to bring in more of their assets for the firm to handle, and the firm would take a cut off the top, regardless of how well their recommendations performed. New brokers were required to hustle new business from their family, friends, and casual acquantances, to the tune of some $1 million per month, each and every month. Those who ran out of contacts after the first year and were unable to bring in more assets were let go – and prohibited by non-compete and secrecy clauses signed as part of their initial employment from taking their clients with them as they depart, or even encouraging them to take their money anywhere else.

    These large brokerage firms really don’t want to have anything to do with you if you only have a hundred grand or so in your IRA or 401(k) account. They want you to go to E-Trade or some other service at that level. But once you, or someone else advising you, turns your assets into a million-dollar-plus portfolio, you can expect them to suddenly be your best friend, and offer to bring you into “the club” – along with your retirement savings, personal savings, mortgage, credit cards, life insurance, etc.

  43. 49

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    But once you, or someone else advising you, turns your assets into a million-dollar-plus portfolio, you can expect them to suddenly be your best friend, and offer to bring you into “the club” – along with your retirement savings, personal savings, mortgage, credit cards, life insurance, etc.”

    Yeah, that’s how Bernie Madoff got people on the hook for his Ponzi scheme – appealing to the “snob” aspect of personality. BMW does the same thing with the “Ultimate Driving Machine” slogan. It’s all about snobbery and working on people’s egos to get them to do something that’s good for the firm but lousy for the customers.

    My advice – educate yourself on investing and do it yourself, either through mutual funds or by picking individual stocks.