The Watering Hole: July 5th – Figures

So, it’s not ok to have a beer (or several) and use a car. I agree. But to have a beer (or several) and pack a gun? No big deal:


Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich on Thursday signed into law a bill that allows gun owners in the state to carry concealed weapons into bars and other places where alcohol is served.

I like the part where it says the Cincinatti Bengals will continue to ban weapons in the stadium…

This is our Open Thread. Just get going, you know what to do. And during the day there may be other tidbits appearing below this thread. Just go see, or you might miss it.


176 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: July 5th – Figures

  1. A law that allows concealed carry in a bar…

    That is very Darwinian idea.
    The teabagger problem has just solved itself.

    • Hmmm, unless the teabaggers choose their targets outside their own fishbowl.

      Never mind, guns and booze don’t match. And as a target shooter I must say, what most achieve with guns is do unintentional but nevertheless severe damage to themselves and innocent bystanders. I am fiercely pro gun control btw.

  2. Health care cuts proposed in deficit negotiations

    Obama administration officials are offering to cut tens of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid in negotiations to reduce the federal budget deficit, but the depth of the cuts depends on whether Republicans are willing to accept any increases in tax revenues.

    Why, if the 14th amendment gives power to the president to continue to pay bills and pensions, etc, etc, is Obama willing to mess with medicare??? The republicans seem to be playing him and the democrats like a violin.

    If Obama cuts medicare, which the republicans want him to do, they will use this against him and the democrats in 2012 while getting themselves off of the hook for Ryan’s draconian budget plan. Why are the democrats so stupid?

    • Then there’s this one:

      Wouldn’t it just be easier to call it quits right now? One bill is all it would take, one bill that turns over every asset, every acre, every last dollar, every last penny, to those who are already worth, say, a million or more. What use are poor people anyway? What use are old people? Unproductive bastards. And what use is the middle class? Parasites. We get all our manufacturing done overseas anyway. Who the hell needs a working middle class?

      If only I were younger I’d leave this monstrosity of a country once and for all and for good.

    • The 14th Amendment does not give the President the authority to continue to write checks after the credit liimit has been reached.

      • The constitution only mentions ‘credit’ in this context once, in Art. I, Section 8, Clause 2, where Congress has the authority “To borrow Money on the credit of the United States.” Nowhere is there any mention of or authority granted to “limit” the amount of credit or debt.

        And the word ‘debt’ is found only in the fourteenth amendment’s Section 4, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall
        not be questioned.”

        Validity of debts “shall not be questioned.”

        Seems to me it’s the debt ‘limit’ itself that’s open to questions of validity, and never the payment of existing (lawful) obligations.

        • 1. The “debt limit” is created by Congress, and is consistent with it’s Article 1 section 8 powers.

          2. Only Congress has the authority to borrow money. The President cannot. The President cannot issue checks on funds that have not been authorized by Congress whether those funds are borrowed or otherwise. By refusing to increase the Government’s borrowing power, Congress has cut off all spending. If Congress does not authorize additional borrowing, the President’s hands are tied. The “Greatest Country in the World” will default on its obligations.

          Too bad Obama won’t get tough on the Republicans. But remember, Democrats had the opportunity to change the way the Senate operates. And they left in place the ability of just one Senator to obstruct everything and bring this country to its ruin.

          • Sounds to me like there’s a clash between Article 1 section 8 and the fourteenth amendment, then. Why is I-8 automatically assumed to prevail? I-2-3 begins by stating, “Representatives … shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons … and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. and the fourteenth amendment corrects that in the first line of its Section 2: Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.

            I can’t quite see why that part of the fourteenth is abided, but the debt part is apparently not. I have to wonder why that is? What am I missing?

            I do agree completely that the Dems screwed up badly by not adjust the Senate filibuster nonsense when they had the chance.

          • BnF,

            You know I have the utmost respect for you and your legal training, but I believe I am with frugal on this. Any language granting Congress the right to limit our nation’s debt was superseded by the 14th Amendment. If there is a conflict between the two, then it is the 14th that takes precedence, since it is an amendment.

            Further, I would argue that it was never within the authority of the Congress to limit our national debt in any kind of constitutionally binding way. It makes for good theater, and gives people reason to think that our borrowing does, in fact, have limits, but in the end, it doesn’t. Setting some kind of arbitrary or capricious (and I am deliberately NOT using the word “and” between those two words, to remove any connection to the accepted definition of the phrase that does use it) debt limit, which always got raised every time we approached it, might make the people from whom we borrow money feel better, but I do not believe it is constitutionally binding.

            Lastly, I would make the further argument that things like monthly Social Security checks are an obligation already entered into by Congress and must be honored. Of course, such an interpretation would require a reading of the actual bills that fund our Social Security program, so I may be wrong about that. If the law that makes the payments possible says that payments are contingent upon Congress continuing to authorize payments beyond a specified date, then payments may have to be stopped. If the Congress already said “We will pay Social Security recipients x-amount until, say, Sept 30, 2012 (the end of the fiscal year), then checks can still go out and must be honored (i.e. not “questioned”) until that date. After that, one could argue the checks must stop.

            Has there ever been, to your knowledge, a court case (esp a SCOTUS case) that addressed this very issue? If you know of one that proves my argument invalid, then I will, as always, happily and humbly bow to your superior wisdom. 🙂

  3. The law also doesn’t allow us to take guns into courtrooms. Or into the gallery of the legislature. Why those exceptions? Don’t politicians want to be exposed to the same dangers as the rest of us?

  4. A few years ago, my Republican nutcase gun-totin’ cousin told me he didn’t like my “attitude” concerning Republicans, particularly when it included his heroes Bush and Cheney. I wrote him back and offered him my own ‘simple and unimpeachable’ premises. I said:

    Shit stinks. Shit is shit. Ergo, all shit stinks.

    Stated another way, Bush and Cheney are evil. Bush and Cheney are Republicans. Ergo, all Republicans are evil.

    (and yes, I know the ‘logic’ wouldn’t stand up in court, but he’s not long on logic so I wasn’t worried).

    Anyway, Cuz got really mad, demanded I take back my statement. I wrote him back and asked, “Which one?”

    Today, pick a Republican, any Republican–Kasich a good example– and substitute for ‘Bush and Cheney.’ It’s a perfect fit. But then, I have yet to find a single entry that’s NOT a perfect fit. So maybe the logic really IS unimpeachable? 🙂

    As far as guns are concerned, I do not in any way, shape, or form understand the appeal of the damn things, much less understand why so many seem to find so much “comfort” in ownership. In the final analysis, the Second Amendment has clearly been misinterpreted; there’s no way the founders could have been either so evil or so stupid as to allow every nut to own a gun.

    • David Brooks wakes up in today’s NYT column:

      “If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred million dollars of revenue increases.

      A normal Republican Party would seize the opportunity to put a long-term limit on the growth of government. It would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing. It would seize the opportunity to do these things without putting any real crimp in economic growth.

      The party is not being asked to raise marginal tax rates in a way that might pervert incentives. On the contrary, Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary.

      This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers.

      But we can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.”

      • a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.

        Change “psychological” to “psychotic” and he’s about got it.

    • A 4-3/5 to 4 decision still means his side wins. SCOTUS appointments are not necessarily “for life”. There is the proviso that they exhibit “good behavior.” They can be impeached and removed from office for doing things such as taking a gift from someone with business before the court. I do not believe that the SCOTUS can, with impunity, set the rules for what constitutes ethical behavior. By that logic, a petitioner before the court could open his arguments by giving each Justice a million dollars, in front of everybody, before uttering a word, and no one could do a thing about it. Since this is clearly not the case, one must accept that there are ethics rules they must follow.

      Justice Thomas can and should be impeached. Unfortunately, that would require the also ethically-challenged Republican-controlled House to impeach him. I think Clarence Thomas could admit in open court that he killed Caylee Anthony and still not get impeached by the Republicans.

  5. I suspect the Obama administration deliberately leaks rumors that such-and-such is on the negotiating table/chopping block precisely to generate the kinds of hysterics that are inevitably generated so that the previously named such-and-such is forcibly removed from the possibility of negotiation and the conservatives get a black eye for even considering such a thing.

    On the other hand, we have this from CEPR and Dean Baker:

    • Maybe Thom Hartmann will comment on that story. It’s right up his alley.

  6. A bit of July 4 fireworks STUPIDITY.

    Fireworks show in Springerville-Eagar sparks brush fires

    The Saturday night fireworks show in Springerville-Eagar sparked several small brush fires in the area only weeks after the evacuation of the towns due to the Wallow fire.

    The show was held at the Springerville Municipal Airport and crews worked through the night to put out the flames. A few acres were burned.

    A couple of weeks ago, Springerville and Eagar Arizona were evacuated due to the approach of the gigantic Wallow forest fire. The fire ultimately burned nearly 540,000 acres, or roughly 840 square miles of forest and grassland.

    Still drier than a popcorn fart down that way, but hey, what’s a Fourth of July without fireworks, right?


    Humans are clearly the stupidest species the earth has ever been forced to deal with. Period!

  7. David Duke Is Considering A White House Bid

    [Don Black, who runs the Stormfront white power message board] says the Tea Party’s influence spurred hopes among his ideological soulmates-but that the initial excitement has given way to a realpolitik sense that the Stormfront crowd will have to go it alone. “Many of our people are involved in the Tea Party,” says Black. “But much of their leadership is skittish when it comes to talking about racial realities. The Tea Party is a healthy movement but many are too conditioned to run like scared rabbits when called racists.”

    Please run, Dukie. Put that final nail in the teabagger movement. Please.

  8. Read somewhere yesterday that the American worker is now getting 57% of the corporate pie in wages, down from what was the norm 64% for decades… Wanna guess who’s pocketing the 7% diff?

  9. Quote of the Day:

    “If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern. And they will be right,” – David Brooks, NYT, not understanding the rot in the GOP’s base goes far deeper than he acknowledges.

    • He’s such a dumbass that he doesn’t understand that the GOP and/or the ‘undecided’ are unable to critically think themselves out of a wet paper bag.

      • Ol’ Dave is a little harder to figure out that most dumbasses. When he’s at the table with Shields and Lehrer he approaches lucidity. He comes off as a bit dim, and unable to let go of his Reagan worship, but he does actually make sense most of the time.

        When he gets by himself with his computer or on a panel of like-minded people? The stupidity just oozes out. But? I’m willing to give him the benefit of a doubt and give him credit for finally realizing that there’s, at the very least, a strain of self-destructive extremism in his beloved GOP.

    • The ‘average’ Republikkkans I know hate Obama enough to wish the nation into ruin to paint him as a single term nigg um, president

      • Exactly. I’ve been spreading this around the blog world.

        There are only two possibilities.

        1. The Democrats hate this country so much that they will sacrifice elections to destroy said country.
        2. The GOoPers love elections so much that they will destroy the country to make Democrats look bad.

        Only one of those statements makes sense.

        • I don’t think GOoPers love elections all that much. They are just a (manipulable) means to an end, the result being POWER and MONEY.

          • Umm….those who LOVE elections appear to be those who are largely immune to the negative consequences of elections, which means those who have power regardless of Party and those who have money regardless of Party. The trend of late is that is is the professional GOPers who have been acquiring more of both,as much by default due to the calculated cultivation of an increasingly idiotic electorate as by cultivating spineless idiocy in their political opposition. .

            • Actually the more cynical I become, the more I think elections are only held to keep the small people thinking we have some measure of say in anything. *sigh*

            • Yep, that’s the way I see it as well. Might not quite be there yet, but the road is being paved — look at all the ‘anti voter fraud’ legislation which is designed to do nothing more than remove or reduce certain voting blocks in order to swing electoral results just enough.

              This country is in its death throes, and unless something happens quickly, it’s all over. Believe it.

            • As Emma Goldman said:

              If voting actually changed anything, they’d make it illegal..

  10. Hey Zoosters!

    I was absent this whole holiday weekend due to my Intertubes being clogged with hair or something worse—I was getting 5 Mbps down to 1 Mbps with frequent disconnects, so I missed all the fun.

    Anywhoo , things back to normal today, and I just put up a post on my infrequent blog that analyzes and opines on Bachmann’s and the Teabaggers prospects for the next year, using present and historical evidence instead of fear or accepting beltway bullshit and the mass media’s mindless mumblety-peg (I get points for alliteration and obscurity, right?).

    I’ll warn you though, despite the fun original ‘photoon’ and the introductory grafs, it runs to ten screen-pages with only a scattering of entertainment value…so please don’t feel obliged in any way.

    Your faithful passive-aggressive friend who selflessly worked his fingers and brain cells to the blogging bone this weekend, for America!, .


      • Ah-ha! My plan is working perfectly

        Really though, if you enjoy the “photoon”, then my potential resentment will only have the intensity of 923 white suns instead of the usual 1,000. 😀

        The short version is basically that polling evidence points to the Teabaggers pissing off the more moderate GOP. Bachmann’s rising star is actually a construct ofa media fad that it will try and fail to maintain, and by my reckoning Bachmann will most likely peak in popularity at the beginning of the GOP Primaries. After that, as weak as Obama is, the GOP is and will be seriously disorganized. I think the teabagger trend will be significantly reversed in those States where that option exists and that bacclash will be relfected in the national results–BUT result of 2012 appears to me to be be shaping up as a fight between…umm…’retards’, really. .

    • 5th, Did I ever tell you I missed you? Srsly i did. Now I will go and read your post.

  11. I’ll spare you the link but Nate Silver calls Tim Pawlenty the RC Cola of American politics.

    • that’s perfect! I’ve been avoiding Nate lately because I don’t want to know it yet if he believes the ‘pubs/baggers have a real chance next year.

  12. Casey Anthony found not guilty on main charges; found guilty only of providing false information=four counts.

    • I hope that means that this local case will be off the front pages. Isn’t it time we read more about Charlie Sheen’s mouth and Brittany’s crotch?

    • Oh shit! My dad was convinced of her guilt, and he hates being wrong. 😀

      Personally, I have avoided the whole mess.

    • I will repeat what I tweeted:

      If the baby hadn’t been white, we would probably never have even known her mother was on trial.

      It is a very sad fact, but it is true: Young babies die all the time, and not always of natural causes. Why did we ever hear about this particular one?

  13. Bachmann is a freak, obviously. Likewise Palin. So is, for that matter, the entire slate of Republican candidates, Republican might-be candidates, Republican possible candidates, Republican ‘I’m not running’ candidates … did I miss anyone?

    Me, I’ve been ‘aware’ of (presidential) elections since the “DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN” headline in 1948 and have participated in varying degree ever since. But today, one thing is certain: there has NEVER before been such a bumfuzzled field of candidates where the ONLY pertinent question is, which is the stupidest? and where the correct answer is not possible to discern. And to think that ALL of the stupid shits are from THE SAME PARTY! Mind boggling.

    What’s going on? I mean, really.

    • I’ll take a stab at that.

      The GOP, since they embraced the Dixiecrats and certainly since Reagan started humping Jerry Fallwell’s leg on national TV, has been consumed by the ignorant and the superstitious. In order to have any chance of being nominated by the party one must pass their “purity test” and, in order to do so, one must be insane and/or able to lie without effort.

    • Bachmann is a freak, obviously. Likewise Palin. So is, for that matter, the entire slate of Republican candidates, Republican might-be candidates, Republican possible candidates, Republican ‘I’m not running’ candidates … did I miss anyone?

      Which is what inspired me to write “See Our Best.”

  14. I hope that no one thinks that the Miss U.S.A. pageant attracts our best and brightest. Does anyone else get the feeling that these bimbos are auditioning for SaudiFAUX “News”?

    • Proof positive that Right Wing Fundamentalist Xtians are permanently stuck in the Spin Cycle of their brainwash.

        • It is so indicative that mankind has piled up an incredible amount of evidence supporting the idea of evolution in just the past couple hundred years yet the godlings haven’t found one scrap of evidence to support their ideas in over 10 times that long.

          BTW, godlings are sort of like goslings. Can only survive on what they are fed, generate enormous amounts of waste (which they have no problem wallowing in) and make loud raucous noises when disturbed.

    • There’s a clear geographic element to the viewpoints as well. The southern girls were pretty much all against. The coast, and northern girls seemed to embrace it.

      • Yep. The Bible Belt is over represented in the “no” category. It would have been interesting if they had included whether the girls were educated in public schools, private schools, or at home. From what I’ve seen; even most religious schools seem to teach evolution in biology classes yet some of these girls, apparently, never received such education. I really hope they were home “schooled” or we are in more trouble than I thought.

        Of course, it’s also possible the the young ladies in question did, in fact, sit in a classroom where evolution was discussed but, for some reason, they didn’t notice.

    • Wait … these were Miss USA candidates. Ok, NOW I get it!

      Deep down I guess I knew there weren’t THAT many chicks running for President on the Republican ticket. I kept wondering when were they going to get to Tim Pawlenty and Rick Perry? 😯

  15. Casey Anthony not guilty of First Degree Murder.
    Casey Anthony not guilty of Aggravated Child Abuse.
    Casey Anthony not guilty of Manslaughter.
    Casey Anthony guilty of lying to investigators. Sentencing Thursday.

    Nancy Grace’s ratings back in the toilet once again, until the next high-profile trial.

  16. President Barack Obama is expected to deliver a statement on the deficit reduction negotiations at 4:40 p.m. EDT, according to multiple reports.

    He’ll prolly be late. 😉

    • I hope he mentions something about the 14th amendment which constitutionally gives him the power to continue to pay government bills, pensions, etc, etc, even if the rethuglicans are trying to avoid raising the debt ceiling.

      I also HOPE he comes out and says the average middle class American has suffered and sacrificed enough, while the wealthiest Americans, big business and others have been given a free ride before and since the economic meltdown.

      It’s time for the wealthiest Americans and big business to share in the sacrifice through paying higher taxes, ending tax loopholes and eliminating corporate welfare for those who have enjoyed record profits and ship American jobs overseas. Where are these people/corporations loyalty and patriotism to their own country. After all, we are all in this together.

      • If you not checked recently, head up toward the top of this thread, IP. There’s some discussion on the matter following your early morning post.

  17. Heh!

    I’ve been trying, with some success, to stop bashing TP but I’ve got to share this bit. In one of their stories today Zack Ford actually had the gall to suggest that someone monitor and clean up comments. LOL!

    If Reisetter and Vander Plaats are concerned with “haters” in online feedback, perhaps they should pledge to help monitor and clean up the comment threads on “It Gets Better” anti-bullying videos. Here’s a look at some comments found on them today:

  18. Journalists hacked into the phone messages of a missing girl, deleting some to make space for more and thus giving her parents hope she was still alive when she was dead, the parents’ lawyer told CNN on Tuesday.

    The accusation is the latest twist in a long-running scandal involving media baron Rupert Murdoch’s flagship Sunday British tabloid newspaper, the News of the World.

    • Congrats to Ruprecht for digging a new low in canary journalism. What a creepy fuck of a company he runs.
      Yeah, FauxSnooze too…

      • Apparently looking for scoop type info on her contacts. Fucking Kreepy

  19. Short – and full of nothing. Pres. says there will be a get together to discuss – says he hopes all will be leaving rhetoric and politics at the door – [he’s invited leaders to a meeting at the WH on Thursday.

    Pres. sees a Reaching for and willingness to compromise..

    • I got the feeling he was using his access to the microphone to let the people know he was telling the idiots in congress to stop acting like babies, expressing confidence that getting the debt ceiling raised would get done, and showing that he’s a very busy man, but still wanted to take time to let people know what’s going on (by leaving the Q&A to that high school kid).

    • Gotta wonder if the extended hand winds up in the wood chipper again.?

  20. Open question to the democratic party and their leaders:

    Do you like being perpetually bent over the republicans knee, repeatedly getting your ass paddled, while repeating “Thank you sir, may I have another!?!”

    • One is left with the impression that if the Republicans gave each Democratic Legislator a pistol with a single bullet and told them to shoot themselves in the temple, the Dems would reply, which side?

        • As long as it takes the ink to dry on the signature on the check from a campaign donation by AIPAC. 🙂

  21. One reporter asked Jay Carney if President Obama would use the 14 amendment if there was no deal on raising the debt ceiling. Carney dodged that question but sounded pretty confident that a deal would be done. The question is, how much are the democrats going to give the republicans? I hope I’m wrong but I’m starting to get a very bad feeling about this. If Obama and the democrats agree to make any cuts to medicare and medicaid, the republicans will use it against them in the run up to the 2012 elections.

  22. The big problem most Dems in Congress have is it is difficult being quasi for the people while selling your soul for campaign money. Support the people or keep a cushy job, such tough decisions.

    • That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

      The loss of Wellstone, Kennedy and Feingold in the senate and Grayson in the House were big blows to the middle class and the poor in this country.

      Independent Bernie Sanders is the only one who comes close to filling the boots of the senators above. And in 2012 we lose senator Byron Dorgan
      who is retiring. This will be another huge blow to the middle and working class in this country. Senator Dorgan was also right about “The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, The Commodity Futures Modernization Act, Cap & Trade, and on the Financial Regulatory Reform bill. He has also fought hard to save American jobs and has fought hard for small businesses.

      • Al Franken is actually making some really good speeches but the only place to find them, aside from C-Span #92 at 4:00 AM: is on YouTube. Progressive voices are sent into limbo by the “librul media”; especially when that voice is a junior Senator who used to be a comedian. I’m not a huge fan of Schumer but he laid out the basic facts, that the GOoPers are doing all the harm they can in order to engineer a backlash against Obama and the Senate Dems, and didn’t even get mentioned by the MSM. Nancy Pelosi laid out the same message, in plain English, and the networks cut away. Bernie Sanders lays it on the line every Friday on Thom Hartmann’s show and no one who doesn’t listen has never heard of the guy. It doesn’t much matter how one votes, or what one says, if those who disseminate news refuse to disseminate all the news.

        On a related note: I think that Obama and Hillary made a grave strategic error when she became Secretary of State. She could have been a much needed, relatively, progressive voice in the Senate and ridden it to an easy nomination in 2016. Her skills, clout, and balls are wasted in her role as a messenger.

  23. This is reminding me of Senior Chief Waller. He was my DI in boot camp. Paraphrasing his Welcome Aboard speech…

    “Fo the next few months, you ain’t gonna like me. You ain’t gonna like the decision that put you here. And you ain’t gonna like you. Jes because you are gonna think you made the damned stupidest decision in yo entire life when you signed them papers.

    My job is to teach you how to forget what you was and make you into what the Navy wants you to be. You got a choice. You either learn how to be Navy or you learn how to beat Navy. A few of you will get stomped…most of you will will learn Navy. Be smart up front, learn.”

    I found out when I left boot that the Chief had left something out. On purpose. The ones who would learn how to game the system from inside.

    • A small bit of history about Chief Waller. Being my Company Commander/Drill Instructor was his swan song at the end of 30 years of service. Yes, He was from the Deep South, either Mississippi or Louisiana. And he was black. And one of the most decent human beings I have ever met. We have all heard horror stories about DI’s but that wasn’t the Chief.

      He taught better than 85% of our company to be Navy. With what I know today, he should have been a Master Chief and not singing his swan song in San Diego boot camp. But he did and did a fine job of it.

  24. Sickened by the oil spill in the Yellowstone River? Well? It sounds like some of the affected ranchers are looking for help. Considering the fact that “Montana Ranchers” would seem to be a pretty strong demographic for the teabaggers; I wonder if there is any town hall footage of the same ranchers chanting “drill, baby, drill” and calling for the end of the EPA. It wouldn’t relieve the distress for the harm caused to one of the most beautiful waterways on the planet but would make for good political theater. For that matter; I wonder how many GOP lawmakers who extoll those beliefs will have to find new places to hunt and fish.

    (NOTE: I realize that Montana has a Democratic Governor and isn’t generally considered quite as far off the rails as Wyoming and Idaho but it’s still pretty red territory.)

    • These are the kind of guys who are totally confident in their ability to be rugged individuals — until the proverbial shit hits the fan (man-made or natural disaster).

      I am SO fucking pissed off that an oil company ruined my favorite paradise on earth — and if past is prologue, will totally get away with it.

  25. Yeah, there’s an APP for that (but why?)

    This app recognizes the landscape around you, filling it in with the appropriate movie scene

  26. It’s incredibly sad that the Yellowstone is joining the Cuyahoga and Wisconsin Rivers. Even more so since both the Cuyahoga and the Wisconsin have, thanks to the efforts of the EPA, been cleaned up to the point where we have almost undone the damage of years of industrial pollution. A generation ago, we realized how stupid we were being.

    Time for this generation to learn.

    • You touch on something we need to remember. There are environmental success stories. I’ve spent some time on the Wisconsin river and its recovery is amazing. Here in Minnesota we have some similar stories and my favorite trout stream was an open sewer in the 70’s. Same with the upper Mississippi. During the late 60’s through most of the 70’s my favorite stretch of the Mississippi was a wasteland. Rough fish had taken over, few ducks, fewer bald eagles, and no peregrine falcons. Between the ban on DDT and simply dumping less shit in the river that has changed dramatically.

      Now? I have favorite “honey holes” where I can catch a limit of whatever fish I’m in the mood for; from northern pike to bluegills. One can’t spend much time on the river, at all, without seeing numerous eagles. We now have enough falcons that they have been trapped and used for reintroduction programs elsewhere and ducks and geese are way above their previous levels. (Note: Some species of ducks went up until the millfoil took over and have since dropped while coot have all but disappeared. But the ducks are still way above the level of the mid 70’s.)

      On an even larger scale we can look to the Great Lakes. In 1972 I flew over a stretch of Lake Michigan in a small plane. One could smell the pollution over the engine smells of said plane at 5,000 feet. There were virtually no fish available. Lake Erie was much worse and none of the Great Lakes supported much in the way of fisheries. Now? There is superb sport fishing and even some commercial fishing in lakes that were, essentially, cesspools just a few decades ago.

      We need to remember these kinds of successes when confronted by the common Reich-wing claim that “even if we are screwing up the planet there’s nothing we can do about it”. There’s lots we can do about it. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.

      Still, I’m just sick about the Yellowstone. It can, and probably will, be a fantastic river again but it will never be as pristine as it once was.

      • Pete, I grew up a block away from the Wisconsin. In the 60’s, prior to the EPA rulings, it was a toxic root beer float. Today, after three decades of effort, the sport fish are back, people are swimming in the river and sadly, it is all now in danger due to corporate sell offs.

        We learn…we forget…we learn…we forget.

        • I spent most of my life within 100 yards of Lake Pepin. It’s a natural lake on the Mississippi. As I grew up I saw everything go downhill until a spill, just two river barges, of crude oil. From Red Wing to nearly the Iowa boarder everything crashed. If one caught three sheephead and one skinny sauger or walleye in a long day’s fishing it was a good day. Any fish more than a few years old was inedible; one could smell the toxins while cleaning the fish. The weeds disappeared from the shallow bays. It was damned near a dead river.

          The spill was also a wake up call. Tougher regulations were written and enforced and, aside form the problems with invasive species (a whole other problem that might actually be worse because the river is healthier in general) it’s been a big success story.

          The walleyes still shut down in the “dog days” of summer but I have a spot where a person can fish, from shore, and get constant action from northern pike all summer long. And, since those of us who frequently fish the spot practice catch and release, one is pretty much assured a few in the ten pound class each day, one or two around fifteen, and a couple twenty pounds or more over the course of a summer. My biggest is one that I have caught, at least, three times and, as of last year, is 53 inches long and weighed a maddening 29.8 pounds. She’s old and wise and full of scars but, assuming I’m not beaten to her, I hope that she will be tempted by my secret bait one more time and give me my first 30 pound northern pike. I know that she’s nearing the end of her life and I vacillate between a wish to kill her humanly and have her mounted as the trophy of a lifetime or gently releasing her, again, so that she can find her natural end; hopefully after dropping a few-thousand eggs one last time.

          The kicker? I don’t know a single person who caught even one northern pike in Lake Pepin between 1968 and 1978. I know that a few were caught because it was actually big enough news that the local paper would mention it but I never saw one or heard of one first hand. I had other commitments, eating for 12 hours almost without interruption, so I missed out on our annual 4th of July northern pike expedition. Two of the old gang went to the “secret spot” and they caught and released nine “northerns” between 36 and 43 inches. We don’t count any “little” ones below 36 inches. That’s a fishery that is seldom matched anywhere in the world and it’s been made possible by people who treat the environment ethically.

        • Um. That should be “lamprey” not “moray”. The infestation has not been ended but it has been diminished. Lake Trout have not regained their former numbers but, at least in Lake Superior, there is a thriving fishery. Invasive species are, if I may mix metaphors, a different kettle of fish.

          Some of the comeback in the Lake Superior lake trout fishery is due to the stocking of salmon. They are also an invasive species but, because they don’t reproduce with much success, their numbers can be manipulated. They do compete for food with the native species but they also proved hosts for the lampreys. It’s a case where one introduced species has helped to mitigate the effects of another. It’s been some years since I’ve fished Lake Superior but the last time, in 2006, I caught and released several nice lake trout and kept three very big, by our standards, “steelhead”.

  27. Republicans are fascinating. They love anything that burns or blows up so they don’t have to wet their pants.

    • Last week we reached a heat index of 118 here in St. Paul Minnesota. Heat index can be measured in different ways so it’s not an official record but, to the best of my knowledge, that’s the highest heat index ever. It only hit 95 degrees but was much, MUCH, more unpleasant than the 103 degrees we had on June 7th. BTW. That was the highest temp ever recorded that early in the year too.

      I keep hearing, “global warming is a hoax”, but my personal observations would contradict that statement.

      • We’ve been having such swings with climate it’s nuts.
        Pouring rain in June – (it doesn’t rain here in the summer).
        Now we’re having an extended heat wave. The ‘natural air conditioning’ (coastal fog) isn’t venturing far enough inland to help cool off we inland folk – thus we endure the nasty 90’s.

  28. Just to tidy up the river thread:

    I should add that, even though the Upper Mississippi is in better shape than it once was, one will still hit a layer of crude oil when one digs a fire pit on the beach. That oil was deposited fie decades ago and it ain’t going anywhere.

    • Well, dang it, pete, don’t dig a fire pit! Wait another few months and you can just light the river!

      • Actually, I’m hopeful about the Mississippi. The GOoPers might try to goop it up but the general trend is still towards a cleaner river. If nothing else; barges carrying hazardous materials are even inspected before they get loaded.

        On a related note: Do you call mayflies “skopplotches” in your neck of the woods? (For the uninitiated, mayflies “pop” when one swats them. It sounds like “skopplotch”.) There were many years back in the 60s-70s where we had virtually none. In recent years they have returned in such numbers that snowplows have been called out to remove the slippery, and rather odorous, mess off of lighted bridges. I wasn’t up to it this year but I love fishing the mayfly hatch on Lake Pepin. With years of experience one can identify a particular kind of fish by the way they hit the fly on the surface. It’s the only time that one can really target mooneye, which are a bit bony but delicious, or yellow perch which are just outnumbered. I even once caught a 39 pound carp on my fly rod.

  29. Heat Index. Sounds like the opposite end of…errm, what do they call it?

    Oh yeah, Wind Chill.

  30. Hi All!

    I just have to chime in and say that I hope the Obama admin doesn’t invoke the 14th Amendment if the debt ceiling isn’t raised. First, it will be decried as a cheap abuse of power trick and second, it will provide cover to the ‘pubs and ‘baggers who refuse to raise the ceiling without draconian cuts coupled with NO revenue increases. If the economy starts to tank in the days leading up to August 2nd, and especially after, I want to responsibility to lie squarely with the GOTP. Having said that, I REALLY hope the Dems don’t fold like they did in December when they extended the tax cuts for two years in exchange for six months of unemployment. Shit, they’re f*ckin’ lousy negotiators!

    Okay, anger management/deep breathing… going to me happy place.

    • The part that pisses me off is that the “librul media” is controlled by Reichwhiners and, no matter what, everything bad will be laid at President Obama’s feet. It doesn’t matter what Dems say or even how they vote. The vast, disinterested, majority will hear every issue colored as a failure of the Democrats.

      There are a lot of issues where I wouldn’t mind the Democrats backing down from some progressive ideal, assuming the other side was negotiating in good faith, but they will be demonized no matter what they do. The Dems in the Senate could release a joint resolution that “drinking liquids is essential to life” and half the Reichwhiners would die of thirst in three days. President Obama could walk on water and the GOoOpers would be all over SaudiFAUX “News” denigrating him for his inability to swim.

      I must,again, go back to the recent examples of Pelosi and Schumer saying that the GOoPers are intentionally trashing the economy to make gains in 2012. Heck! They’ve admitted as much but the “librul media” didn’t even play the clips much less invite them on the Sunday shows to make and defend their cases.

      • pete, I hate to say it but we should just let them have their way. America no longer has the means for stopping them. The USA, America as we have known it, is done. We are to be filed under the heading of every delusional nationalistic entity for the past 1,500 years. We can talk cocky but reality is we just ain’t got what it takes to lead. We are too entrenched in the past.

        We had a shot, we blew it.

        • On my darker days I feel the same way. Let the Reichwhiners have their way and solve the problem through revolution. But? I’m not quite to that point of despair today. We’ve only resorted to revolution and civil war once, each, in our history. That’s not a bad record. There are strengths in our system that have, and can, effect great change without bloodshed. There is also some real backlash against the teabaggers who gained power in the last election. I’m old and tired but I’m not ready to give up.

          Case in point: I initiated a community effort to give kids, who’s parents may be struggling, a barbeque, at least, once a month. We’ve only put on one event but have taken in donations to do two more and, possibly, even start up our own little “emergency food shelf”. All it took was for three of us to attend a community meeting and propose an idea that has merit. (On a personal note: I was invited to every 4th of July cookout in the complex and was very well fed. I ate for 10 hours straight. I also have more offers of rides, since I’m waiting for next month to fix my car, than I know what to do with. We, as a country, need to relearn that good deeds are rewarded. This is something that is only learned face to face.)

          I happen to think that most people are basically good, generous, and kind. Evolutionary theory would tend to support the belief that, as social animals, that is our default setting. I’m willing to spend my remaining years operating under that assumption and believing that the stupid and greedy ones are the aberration.

  31. The last time America had a shot at leading the world was in the late 40’s, the Marshall Plan. The damn thing worked. And it was the last plan America had that did.

    And it was the last time America cared about what anyone thought about us.

  32. America is so cool. Since 1950 we have been terrified of various teeny countries. North Korea, Cuba, Viet Nam, Grenada, Panama, take your pick of any third world country that might, somehow, have something the mighty US thinks needs to be protected.

    America. The world’s mightiest superpower cowering in fear that a country the size of a New England state can topple America. In case no one has noticed, in the past 20 years there have been only a few countries that could maybe be a threat to America. Canada. Australia. China. India. Russia.

    And how many of these threats have we invaded?

    • Fear is a facade. The real reason behind it all is money. There’s money in warmongering, tons of money. Your tax dollars at work, saving Amurka from anthill nations everywhere who hate us. There is no risk in starting a war with Iraq, or Panama, or Grenada, or Vietnam, etc., but there’s a lot of freakin’ PROFIT waiting to be distributed. An 8-10 year war, maybe even longer, against the likes of Vietnam or Afghanistan when we whipped half the world between December 1941 and September 1945?

      That was a necessary war. Every last bomb dropped since then, every bullet fired, has been expended simply because there’s money in it.

      It pains me to say it, but we as a nation have earned the right to fail, and to fail miserably. And we’re marching in lockstep to that very beat.

  33. Another neat thing is that between 1945 and 1988 the Soviets never rose to the point where MAD was really an issue. They were pursuing us, and frankly, they never caught up. The Cuban Missile Crisis was probably the only time they could have had an impact on America.

    • JFK refused to attack Cuba following the Bay of Pigs. No war. He stood up to the Russians in the missile crisis, and they backed down. No war. Then, in October 1963 JFK issued a National Security Action Memo ordering step one in the withdrawal from Vietnam. He was assassinated a month later, and before he was in his grave LBJ rescinded the NSAM and issued one of his own that began the escalation, the one that claimed nearly 60,000 American lives before “Peace With Honor” in 1973, some eight years (and hundreds of billions of dollars) later.

      The Russians must have enjoyed the view when all they had to do was sit back and watch their still superior adversary slowly but surely begin to work on its own oblivion. And all in order that the few could profit.

      • Kennedy pissed off war mongering General, Curtis LeMay and the war industry, their brothers in crime in the CIA took care of JFK.

        • And of course the CIA was already pissed at JFK for the “Bay Of Pigs” disaster.

  34. I so love America. From 1946-1986 our government told us that the Soviets were right on the edge of blowing our asses back to the Stone Age. They were just poised on the trigger and ready to whop the shit out of us.

    And then, in 1986-88, they decided to forget 70 years of history.

    During the Cuban Missile Crisis they were ready to poke some hot nukes up our ass.

    During the Collapse of the USSR, not so much.

    Until 1986, they were ready to launch multiple hot nukes up our ass. After that, meh.

    From WWII to 1988, the Soviets were monstrously evil.

    Good thing Allah supplied a new boogieman.

  35. For my entire life my government told me the Soviets were one thin mint away from taking over the world. In the late 80’s, we discovered this was a total lie. And had been for decades.

    And now we are in the same place the Soviets eventually found themselves. Spending money you don’t have for things that don’t matter while the people at home are wondering why they can’t get toilet paper.

    • But we needed an enemy. They were easily made to look credible, and think of how much we had to spend to defend ourselves. It’s always the money.

      After they collapsed, it took all of what, two years? before Iraq and Hussein took over and alleviated the fear of what some called the “peace dividend,” i.e. a reduction in military spending for lack of a credible enemy?

      • It didn’t hurt when you have the war industry hiring powerful public relations firms to skillfully push their propaganda via the media, over the radio, in the papers, in magazines like Time and Life. Fear sells and the war industry profits.

        The cold war threat which the war industry started pushing after WWII made them billions upon billions of dollars in profits as author William Hartung suggests in his book “The Prophets Of War”. If they were willing to manipulate and manufacture stories about the cold war threat and the government lies to us about “The Gulf Of Tonkin” whose to say these same people weren’t the real people behind 9/11 along with key members in government agencies, all who would profit from the coming fear and horror?

    • Hooda….you just said a mouth full when you said “For my entire life my government told me the Soviets were one thin mint away from taking over the world.”

      We will always have enemies because enemies make huge profits for the war industry and their shareholders, including politicians.We will also always have fear as fear allows “them” to control and manipulate us by preying on our emotions.

      • Sad part is, IP, along about 1984, maybe 85, I learned differently. And I was presented with a choice to be a dad or pursue poli sci at Georgetown. Wish I had been smart enough to figure out how to do both.

  36. After 4 years of college, 3 taking classes from the most ingenious Polish gnome in America, predicting in 1984 the collapse of the USSR, I still screwed up.

  37. America has been sold a bill of goods and the people who were studying that bill seem to have gone brain dead. And I am one of them.

    Think about it, from 1946 to 1986 America was sold on the idea that if we screwed up, the USSR was going to launch nukes. Right up until the collapse, this was the threat. Then, after the collapse (when the total launch never happened) they started to sell the idea that the various republics were dangerous.

    America was terrified for 3 decades with the idea that if the Soviets thought they were losing, it was launch time. And when it really happened, oops, so sad, we were just kidding?

    • Ironically to many of us with eyes to see, We have become what we once feared and fought wars wars against.

      • Our country has done a lot of shitty things. However, it took Bushco to turn us, in my eyes, into a rogue nation. No matter what happens I will carry some shame to my grave.

  38. Wow…..! Have you seen the huge dust storm in Arizona!?!?! Wow! God is punishing Arizona for voting for Brewer, McCain, Kyl, Franks and Sheriff Joe the asshole.

    • One of the best kept secrets in this country is that we have returned to “dust bowl” conditions. Much like the 1930’s; there’s hardly a place between the Rockies and the Appalachians that isn’t in a drought, suffering floods, or both intermittently.

      • I recently had to erase my browsing history so I’ve lost the story. But? Many of the areas that are experiencing record floods are, locally, suffering from droughts. The record snow melt and rains have happened upstream while the flooded areas look to be back in drought once the flood waters recede. It’s a bad time to be a farmer, or anyone who depends on food. Some are watching their crops die from lack of rain while their neighbors, who happen to live on lower ground, have had their crops destroyed by flood. Even if they have flood/drought insurance: it’s too late to plant again in most areas.

      • Can you imagine what would happen to our economy, farms, and food supply if we suffered through another or more prolonged dust bowl?

        • I think it’s happening. Modern methods, like irrigation and better land management, and the sheer volume of land in production has managed to cancel out the losses but it can’t go on indefinitely. Will those modern practices continue to mitigate the damage?

          Two weeks ago I drove from Walker, Minnesota, to Spring Valley, a bit South of Rochester. Every 20 miles or so one goes from a region of blighted fields to one of soggy fields. I can’t think of a time, within our lifetimes, where so many farms were riding the edge.

  39. How evil is the Reich-wing media? I think that one could make a case for saying that Rupert Murdoch runs the most evil organization in the world today. He hasn’t killed anyone himself, or paid anyone to kill people for him, but the death and misery spread by his minions is incalculable.

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