Open Thread 9/9

- In case you’re wondering if there’s still time to register to vote in Washington, congrats! There is.

– I kind of like that the rest of the country doesn’t think all that much of us (also, the maps that the post links to are as interesting as Emmitt says).

– Fox News knows the best thing for poor kids is to starve them.

– Goldy’s piece on universal preschool in Seattle is important. I don’t think the dynamic of how the state level would react is quite spot on. I’d think they would spend more time trying to kill it in Seattle/King County than they would implementing it statewide, but hopefully I’m wrong.

– I think there’s a great value in apologizing, but yeah, a lot of them are empty and that can be problematic.

When is a war not a war?


  1. 1

    No Time for Fascists spews:

    I like looking at what’s going on while we are all riled up with the Crisis of the Week.

    Here’s an interesting nugget:

    Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement. The main problems are two-fold:

    (1) IP chapter: Leaked draft texts of the agreement show that the IP chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process, and hinder peoples’ abilities to innovate.

    (2) Lack of transparency: The entire process has shut out multi-stakeholder participation and is shrouded in secrecy.

    And this is doozie if true

    Negotiated in secret, what we know about the treaty comes from leaks. Only a few of the “chapters” of the agreement are actually about “trade” at all. The rest are about the “rights” of corporations and investors. Negotiated just as the worldwide democracy uprising threatens to reign in corporate interests, the agreement will limit governments’ ability to write banking regulations, energy policy, food safety standards and even government purchasing decisions. It will allow corporations and investors to sue governments for lost profits if the governments try to make and enforce environmental, labor and other laws.

    There does seem to be some bait and switch. Pay attention to that humanitarian crisis with no real effect of national self interest but it makes the president look bad, or this “trade deal” that further destroys the middle class and national sovereignty.

  2. 2

    czechsaaz spews:

    A senior IOC member, meanwhile, said sponsors are “afraid” of the fallout of possible demonstrations in Sochi.

    “I think this could ruin a lot for all of us,” marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg said. “We have to be prepared.”

    You know what else could ruin a lot for all of us? Those same sponsors, “This beatdown of a Russian gay teen outside the games, brought to you by McDonald’s”

    And prepared for what? If a gold medal winning American in a high profile sport pulls out a rainbow flag on the podium, what are you prepared to do? Embargo the video. Demand NBC not show it? How will news of that go over.

    IOC voids contract with NBC in order NOT to seem tolerant of homosexuals.

    AP (Sochi, Russia) IOC President Jacques Rogge announced today that NBC will no longer hold broadcast rights to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil after they aired the gold medal ceremony in figure skating.

    “What happened in Sochi, that an athlete would openly declare support for the gays is something the public should never have been allowed to witness.” Rogge said at a hastily convened news conference. “The mere fact that there are mistreated gays in Russia is not of the IOCs concern. We, the IOC stand in unity for all athletes in peaceful competition, unless they are gay and in Russia.”

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 Fuck the sponsors. The only two groups who matter are the athletes and the audience. If IOC doesn’t grasp that, then we should boycott the games by ignoring them, and the sponsors will get no eyeballs for their ad dollars.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s hard to tell, but there might be some movement today on Syria, as Russia is proposing to take custody of Syria’s chemical weapons and Assad is indicating he’s open to the idea. This is obviously an attempt to forestall a U.S. strike against Syria’s military assets.

    What’s most significant about this is Syria acknowledged in its response that it possesses chemical weapons. There was some speculation over the weekend that Assad might not have ordered last week’s nerve gas attack in a Damascus suburb. (In which case, the answer to the question “who did?” would be, Syrian local military commanders.)

    A number of things are problematical about this, though.

    First, Putin and Assad are buddies, and even if Russia (or their pals) took temporary custody of these weapons, (1) that doesn’t assure that ALL of Syria’s chemical weapons have been turned over, and (2) nothing prevents the custodians from handing them back to Syria’s military at any time of their choosing.

    Second, nerve gas has already been used — in violation of a 100-year-old ban — and every use of nerve gas ought to be punished in order to deter the proliferation and use of these weapons. What Putin is doing, while possibly helpful as far as it goes, is akin to letting a bank robber off with a reprimand if he promises not to do it again. That’s not the kind of precedent we want to set for other countries that may possess these weapons or be thinking of acquiring them who are watching intently to see what the world (or us, or anybody) does about this. Having to hand over your chemical weapons after you’ve used them isn’t much of a punishment or deterrent.

    But the fact there’s movement from Russia and Syria, however superficial it may be, indicates Obama’s intention of retaliating against Syria for using nerve gas against civilians is having some effect. Our diplomats and military people will have to study the details of the Putin proposal and determine whether it’s worth pursuing.

    In the meantime, Obama should seek congressional authorization and continue planning for cruise missile strikes against Syrian military assets. The Putin-Assad initiative may not be enough to solve the problem we’re trying to deal with, which is to deter the entire world from ever using these types of weapons again. Going forward with Obama’s plan for strikes will keep the pressure on and may lead to something we can work with. If Obama now backs off, that takes the pressure completely off, and there will be no reason for Assad to do anything.

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    duplicate post deleted by poster

    (I don’t know what WordPress is posting twice, but this has been happening frequently lately)

  6. 6

    Michael spews:

    we should boycott the games by ignoring them, and the sponsors

    Hell, other than biathlon and BMX racing (just added in the last summer games) I’ve been ignoring them for 20 years.

  7. 7

    No Time for Fascists spews:

    No Compelling National Interest

    What happens if they do it again?

    No clear path to making it better. We have a choice of helping a Brutal Dictator or Brutal Rebels.

    No International Support to enforce an International War crime. America should not go alone.

    No support from the US people.

    Obama said he was against this when was a candidate.

  8. 8

    wharfrat spews:

    Apparently Bachmann, Gohmert and some other clown are in Egypt conducting foreign policy….at least it’s foreign to them.

  9. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 You’re overthinking this. Syria used nerve gas against civilians in defiance of previous warnings and a 100-year-old ban on such weapons. When somebody does that, you gotta spank ‘em, because appeasement is not a viable option. It’s no more complicated than this. Who wins Syria’s messy civil war has nothing to do with it.

  10. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 You’re overthinking this. Syria used nerve gas against civilians in defiance of previous warnings and a 100-year-old ban on such weapons. When somebody does that, you gotta spank ‘em, because appeasement is not a viable option. It’s no more complicated than this. Who wins Syria’s messy civil war has nothing to do with it.

  11. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Roger Rabbit Is Feeble But Not Dead

    On veterinarian’s orders, I’m reporting to the ER for cardiac tests in a few minutes, and I don’t know when I’ll be back. I may disappear for a few days if they throw me into the rabbit ward. But don’t get your hopes up, trolls, I’m still breathing and I’ll be baaaaaaaack to dish out you unpatriotic traitors’ just desserts.

  12. 15

    Michael spews:

    On Syria,

    I think that when you’ve been friends with with a brutal regime for decades, ignored their abuses for decades, done nothing when they’ve slaughtered their own people for a couple of years, done nothing as they sent a million or so of their people fleeing their country as refugees, you lose the moral standing to say that they’ve done wrong in their use of chemical weapons, and you’ve lost the standing and right to issue a punishment for their use.

    We should sieze and Syrian assets in the US and use those funds to help the refuges. We should work to end the conflict and secure any chemical weapons though diplomatic means, and that is all we should do.

    America has a lot of work to do before it can claim the moral high ground again.

  13. 16

    czechsaaz spews:


    Here’s to good tests.

    Actually the sponsors hold the power right now. As angry as I am, moving the games thus winter can’t be done. Cancelling them outright can’t be done.

    The games aren’t profitable without the TV rights. And if a majority of U.S. based sponsors threaten to pull out if the IOC doesn’t make a stand and NBC loses a boatload of money over it the IOC loses the last chunk of revenue to keep going that being obscene amounts for TV rights in the U.S.

    As every IOC statement on the matter indicates, they won’t get involved. It’s up to Budweiser, McDonalds, Visa, and all the exclusive providers of the games. If NBC is threatened with nothing but loses in the games, you better believe the IOC has to listen to their biggest broadcast partner.

  14. 17

    Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

    Hope all goes well Roger! Remember – stay away from doctors – they’re nothing but trouble.

  15. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    13,14,17 — Good news, guys, I’m out of the jug and back in my burrow! Now bring on the useless trolls!

  16. 20

    No Time for Fascists spews:

    @19. It’s easy to snipe and just say that he only gets a free pass to stand his ground if the victim is black.
    The comments are amazing. 10 to 1 saying that the wife engineered the incident to get a better divorce settlement.

  17. 21

    Gman spews:

    @20 – if what the wife says is true, in time George Zimmerman will fuck up again and kill someone or attempt. Just give him some time. Justice will prevail.

  18. 22

    Michael spews:


    Last time he could have gotten hmself killed by a skinny teenager. Next time it will probably be good old geoge that gets killed.

  19. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    At my age, chest pains trigger paranoia, but lots of benign things can cause that. I don’t have a history of heart problems, I simply don’t, and this was another false alarm.

    Back in 2000, I checked myself into an ER because of chest pains, and was subjected to a battery of cardiac tests. Negative results. In August 2012, I was carted off to an ER by fire department medics because of chest pains in conjunction with spiking blood pressure. Negative results again.

    Last night, I had chest pains again and my systolic reading briefly jumped over 200, but I decided not to call 911 because other key symptoms were absent, and instead called my doctor’s office today, got chewed out for not calling 911, and was instructed to report to the ER for cardiac tests, which I did. Negative results again.

    This is not to say there aren’t concerns. I’m getting old, as rabbit longevity goes, and I’ve had high blood pressure for 30 years. But mainly I’m just getting old, and when you get old some of your parts wear out, and even the Rabbit King isn’t immortal, so you stupid humans better get cracking on eliminating yourselves or I won’t be around long enough for my species to take over your niche on this planet.

  20. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Remember the jerks who called us “unpatriotic” for not supporting George W. Bush’s recreational war in Iraq back in 2003? This is what Bush did to us:

    “Take the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It’s cost about $1.7 trillion so far — or more than $5,000 per person in America — and led to cratering opinions of the U.S. abroad. A quarter of the Jordanian population had a favorable attitude toward the U.S. in the summer of 2002, according to Pew Foundation surveys. By 2004 that measure had dropped to 5 percent. In Russia, meanwhile, U.S. favorability fell from 61 percent in 2002 to 41 percent in 2007. The fall in Japan was from 72 percent to 50 percent, and in Germany it dropped to 30 percent from 60 percent.” popular

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Even our friends don’t like us anymore, thanks to that numbskull and the morons who voted for him.

  21. 32

    Expat(!)Chad spews:

    Congratulations. Rabbit, and continued good health to you.

    26. Roger Rabbit spews:

    At my age, chest pains trigger paranoia, but lots of benign things can cause that. I don’t have a history of heart problems, I simply don’t, and this was another false alarm.

    I’m a fossil (70) and I get chest pains, but it’s just my attempt at Filipino cooking.

    On the other hand, I do not suffer from GOP pains any more.