Comments

  1. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    What Should Our Iran Policy Be?

    This is an academic question because Israel will push us into a war with Iran; the most likely scenario is Israel will start a fight it can’t finish and we’ll have to step in.

    Sanctions have never worked and won’t this time. I’m not saying sanctions shouldn’t be used; they should to (1) exact a price from Iran for its nuclear activities, (2) weaken Iran militarily and economically, and (3) undermine the already unpopular regime. But sanctions won’t deter Iran’s mullahs from pursuing nuclear weaponry.

    We face an either-or choice: Either destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, or let Iran get the bomb. Israel knows this. The longer we wait, the harder it will be to get at those facilities, because Iran is hardening and undergrounding them as quickly as they can. Iran is already producing 20%-enriched U-235 — the last step before weapons-grade — in its newest and best-protected facility. Iran is now just months away from being able to assemble a bomb. That’s why Israel is chomping the bit and becoming increasingly prone to act unilaterally.

    But should Israel and/or the U.S. go to war to stop the Iranian bomb? Is that rational or rash?

    Israel is emotionally involved and can’t exercise dispassionate judgment, not only because of their proximity to Iran, but also because of their history rooted in the Holocaust. They feel extremely threatened. That’s why our government needs to be the “cooler head” and prevail upon Israel’s leaders to act sensibly.

    The question that must be asked is, If Iran gets the bomb, so what?

    Nuclear weapons are militarily useless. The only time they’ve ever been used was when one country had a monopoly on them — a monopoly that will never exist again. Today, no country can use them. Russia has had the bomb for 60 years and never used it. China has had the bomb for nearly 40 years and hasn’t used it. India and Pakistan are both nuclear-armed, and despite having fought several wars, they aven’t used it. South Africa’s apartheid regime had the bomb and didn’t use it to save itself. North Korea has the bomb and hasn’t used it.

    Iran getting the bomb, in and of itself, won’t be the end of the world. Iran won’t use it for the same reasons nobody else uses it. But for extra insurance, we can do what we’ve done elsewhere: We can guarantee Israel’s security by putting Israel under our “nuclear umbrella,” i.e., adopt a policy that a nuclear attack by Iran against Israel or any of our other friends will be treated as an attack on the United States and we will retaliate. That policy has kept the peace ever since the dawn of the Nuclear Age, and it’ll work in this case, too.

    Against the potential threat posed by an Iranian bomb, we must weigh the actual costs of a preemptive war against Iran. An unknown number of people will die. In addition to military casualties, there will be Iranian civilian casualties — and also Israeli civilian casualties if the Iranian regime makes good its threats to respond to a military attack by bombarding Israel with its long-range missiles. It might require a bloody ground invasion to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities and keep them from being rebuilt. Apart from economic costs, the lost human lives can never be retrieved.

    But this isn’t the popular course of action, and isn’t what our policymakers can or will do, because no one can get elected to anything by arguing we should let Iran get the bomb. The American public will be rah-rah for “taking it out” or letting the Israelis do so. It’s not plausible that reason will prevail in the political environment we have now. This will be an emotional decision, and because Iran won’t back off, it’s going to happen and probably soon.

    When it does, gas prices will go through the roof, the world economy will drop back into recession, the stock market will tank, and Roger Rabbit will become a war profiteer by scooping up cheap stocks. Wtf, I tried to talk you humans out of it, so don’t blame me! If you humans behave like fools, I’d be a fool not to take your money and run with it.

  2. 4

    ArtFart spews:

    Israel wants to eliminate its “Iran problem” regardless of whether Tehran manages to cobble together something resembling an atomic bomb. Iran supports the Palestinians, and in particular Hamas, and has considerable resources with which to do so. Israel’s leadership knows they cannot remain a Zionist republic if the Palestinians become more powerful or are integrated into their society.

    Isreal is really good at prosecuting short wars. They know they don’t have enough resources or cannon fodder to sustain a prolonged conflict against a larger neighbor, so if they can’t neutralize Iran very quickly themselves (and I think we all know what that means), they’ll do everything they can to drag the United States into the fray. This of course would be heartily supported by the neocons (who never met a war they didn’t like), a large segment of American Jewery, and the dominionist crazies who’re itching to have some cataclysmic dust-up with the “Gog” du jour as a prelude to the “End Times”.

    Whether Obama personally buys into any of this nonsense I have no idea, but perhaps that doesn’t matter. Preparation for such a fiasco has been part of our political DNA for so long that it’s dubious whether someone in the Oval Office could put the brakes on it, even if he or she wanted to.

  3. 5

    doggril spews:

    Karen Keiser is a moron. If she doesn’t like the state’s art collection, then she should write a bill to sell the whole damn thing. If she does like the state’s art collection, she shouldn’t propose selling it off for what amounts to less than an annual $1 per capita tax shortfall.
    Selling the state’s assets is a stupid way to raise operating funds. It fixes NOTHING. Any legislator wanting to fix the state’s budget ought to find a pair and explain that if we want fucking government we need to pay for fucking government; and that there’s no such thing as fucking a la carte government. You don’t get to pay for just the shit you want.

  4. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 I dunno. Her argument makes some sense. She says the state owns over 4,000 art pieces, many of which “need repair and conservation and are not available for public view,” and she’s proposing to sell only 250 pieces, or 6.25%, of the collection. Surely there are that many just collecting dust. I think her idea deserves a second look. I don’t know how realistic it is to expect an average price of $20,000 per piece, though. Even among 1-percenters, not many people can afford to pay that much for art.

    http://blog.senatedemocrats.wa.....education/

  5. 8

    Michael spews:

    Obama’s radical islamic policies in terms of energy exploration? I’m sure glad Santorum’s spokeswoman cleared that up!

  6. 9

    Michael spews:

    The state owns a shit-ton of stuff that it doesn’t use or uses really rarely. The garage sale is a great idea and shouldn’t be limited to just the state’s art collection.

  7. 10

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Let’s just get out of the Middle East entirely and mind our own business. By getting involved in Iran and Israeli business, we’re involving ourselves in a religious war. The last time I checked, we’re not supposed to favor one religion over another.

    The best thing to do with Iran is to withdraw all troops from the area and deal with every nation there at arm’s length, including Israel. Israel is not our 51st state and never will be.

  8. 11

    Zotz sez: They lie, cheat, have no shame and cannot be embarrassed. spews:

    Whether Obama personally buys into any of this nonsense I have no idea, but perhaps that doesn’t matter.

    He doesn’t. But, I’m pretty sure he’s bought into the notion that an Iranian bomb capability restrains the exercise of our military power in the ME. It would effectively undermine the Carter Doctrine, if not end it. And the oil companies and some ME dictatorships (who our leader routinely kisses, holds hands with, and bows to) would really, really hate that.

    As usual, follow the money. It’ll be easy, the dollars are drenched in oil and blood.

  9. 12

    spews:

    The Republicans have bored me to freaking TEARS!

    I heard somebody today call little Ricky something.

    Ayatollah Santorum.. heh. That’s hmm. Ok.

    Ayatollah Sanitarium is a bit better..

    Oh well… November can’t get here soon enough.

  10. 13

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Re the Director of Communications for the Santorum campaign misspeaking … What do you expect of a Director of Communications? Not misspeaking? That would not be severely conservative!

  11. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Oil Prices Jump

    Crude jumped 2% today because of Iran’s embargo of certain European countries. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) went above $105 while Brent jumped to $120. My guess is all my oil stocks will be up tomorrow, including the one I bought last week — gee, how did I know oil stocks would go up? It’s magic …

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/book.....heap-trick

  12. 15

    Lauramae spews:

    Selling the artwork is a dumbass idea. And I would imagine because we have a dumbass legislature they won’t set a minimum sale price, and they won’t properly set up the requirements for what gets sold.

    There is an incredible amount of public art that has been donated to colleges and universities as an example.

    Also the story bugs me because the writer uses the pronoun when referring to Arts Commission director, Kris Tucker. Kris is a she.

  13. 16

    Max spews:

    today is also the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s orbit of the Earth..a first for the US.

    far more important than Presidents Day, if you ask me.

  14. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If I understand the video correctly, Ricky Sanitarium’s spokesperson said global warming science is a “radical Islamic policy.” Where does he find these people?

  15. 18

    Michael spews:

    @15

    Selling the artwork is a dumbass idea.

    Maybe. But, the state already has surplus sales and directing folks to get more stuff that’s just taking up space off their hands and using those sales to help people go to college sounds like a good idea to me.

  16. 19

    Michael spews:

    Have you all heard about Paul Babeu?

    By Michael Muskal
    February 20, 2012, 3:04 p.m.
    Pinal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu — whom a former boyfriend recently and publicly accused of threatening to deport him — denied on Monday that he had done anything illegal. He’ll continue his bid for a congressional seat, he said.

    “I have never run from a fight and am not going to now,” Babeu told interviewer Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s Situation Room.

    “I am a single man, never have been married and don’t have a fake girlfriend,” said the law enforcement officer, who also served in the military. “I want to be judged on my life of service.”
    http://www.latimes.com/news/na.....?track=rss

    Not sure what to make of it just yet. So far he just looks like yet another douche nozzle running for congress.

  17. 21

    manoftruth spews:

    daryl,
    i don’t know if you’re gay, but i’m sure you celebrate it daily. i was thinking of experimenting with homosexuality and was thinking that a teacher at a state university knows everything about being gay. is their any chance you would like to be my partner?

  18. 22

    spews:

    LMAO!! Darryl, this self-loathing jew-hater has a crush on you.

    Ewwwwwww… I’m sure you’ll shrug it off.

  19. 23

    manoftruth spews:

    daryl, that was supposed to be just between me and you. you deltete all my posts so i thought it would be a private moment. im a lot younger than you and most teachers, (from what i can tell from the news) are molestors, so i thought you might jump at the chance.

  20. 25

    rhp6033 spews:

    Republicans have been courting the Evangelical right and Catholics for decades with their anti-abortion platform. It’s a convenient way for them to demonize the Democrat, by positioning themselves as the “protectors of the unborn” versus the “child-killers”.

    But it’s all been a lot of hot air. Why haven’t they done more to advance the anti-abortion crusade? Sure, they’ve passed some state laws, most of which don’t pass Roe vs. Wade muster and get thrown out. Republicans then complain about “liberal judges”, and say we need to keep them in office in perpetuity so they can appoint more conservative judges to the bench of the various federal and state courts.

    But there are other ways to attack the issue, if it really was a big concern to them. They could push for a Constitutional Amendment. Not just make noises, but make a significant expenditure of their political capital behind the effort. Sure, it’s likely not to be passed, but that’s not the issue. Why haven’t they tried harder?

    Or they could try a strategy which as a more likely chance of succeeding – restricting the jurisdiction of the federal courts to exclude attacks on state laws on the issue of abortion. All they need is a majority of both houses and the Presidency. Guess what – they had that for the better part of six years during the Bush administration, and they made no effort at all.

    The reason why the Republicans don’t really care about abortion is that’s it’s only valuable to them as a wedge issue. It isn’t core to the central beliefs of the financial elites who really control the party. For them, the only issue is low (or zero) taxes, corporate socialism, and cooperation in squeezing every last dime out of the U.S. public, taxpayers, and Treasury Dept. for their own benefit.

    Don’t believe me? How about when Reagan came into office. He ran on a policy of a increasing defense spending, anti-abortion, cutting taxes, and cutting the budget deficit. Of course, many of these were inconsistent with one another. But what did he do first, and which of the agenda items were ignored? The very first thing was the Reagan tax cut. Then came the increase in military spending (which happened to benefit defense contractors immensely). Deficit reduction? Ask Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, about that – he couldn’t even get budget reductions past Reagan’s own cabinet. He couldn’t submit a proposed budget without assuming unrealistic growth rates, what he called the “rosey scenario”. Abortion? Forget about it.

    Of course, the dirty dirty little secret among Republicans is that they WANT abortion to be available to their own family, even if it’s generally unavailable to others. They figure if it’s left up to the states, they can always take a trip to a state which allows abortion so their sixteen-year-old cheerleader who got knocked up after the Homecoming dance can put that “mistake” behind her without sacrificing her social standing or graduation schedule.

    Before Roe vs. Wade, the well-off could always get abortions by taking a trip to Sweden or other more liberal countries which created a cottage industry emphasizing luxory medical care and discreet service. Roe vs. Wade just made it available to the masses.

    Now, I’ve mentioned before that I’m opposed to abortion on religious grounds. But I’m also opposed to either party using it hypocritically as a ping-pong match to score points. The Republicans never intended to do anything about abortion – it serves them better as a “hot button” from wich to get donations and support from Evangelicals and some Catholics.

  21. 26

    ArtFart spews:

    @25 Historically, you’re right…the GOP has carefully nurtured the “abortion debate” over the years so they can rather crassly trot it out every election cycle and beat us all over the head with it. However, in the last decade or so we’ve seen the rise of a new crop of right-wing politicians like Santorum (and a few hacks like Gingrich who’ve re-invented themselves in the same vein) who actually believe their own bullshit. Combine this with the Roberts Court, and it’s anyone’s guess what is likely to happen.