The Watering Hole, Monday, May 7th, 2012: Monday Mix

Today’s mix is comprised of some recent articles which caught my eye on Foreign Policy Magazine and on Yahoo!News.

When I first clicked on Foreign Policy’s link entitled “A brilliant long rant about Iraq” by Thomas E. Ricks, I thought it was going to be Tom Ricks ranting about Iraq. However, it turned out to be Ricks’ brief introduction to an upcoming book called “The Long Walk” by Brian Castner. Ricks’ article includes a dozen or so evocative quotes from the book which, although worlds away from my own personal “Year from Hell”, touched a nerve of recognition in my brain. “The Long Walk” sounds like it will be well worth the read; I also found the comments after the article fascinating, and I strongly suggest reading those as well.

For all of the dog lovers amongst us, one of FP’s “Photo Essays” is “War Dogs of the World.” Not exactly cute puppy pics, but fascinating shots of soldiers and their canine teammates.

Two connecting articles at Yahoo!News drew my attention: in chronological order, a generic-drug manufacturer in India will be copying, and undercutting the price of, a cancer drug for which Bayer hold a patent, obviously pissing off Bayer. I’m rooting for the Indian drug company, Cipla, since their motivation is humanitarian: they’ll be selling the drug for about 1/30th of the cost of Bayer’s version.

Lastly, three Putin stories: Today Vladimir Putin will be sworn in as President of Russia, and apparently not all Russians are happy about this. And on a lighter(?) note, another “Photo Essay” from FP, titled “Putin Forever.”


This is our daily open thread — discuss one of the above topics, or whatever’s on your mind!

220 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, May 7th, 2012: Monday Mix

  1. Here are some photos of the Obama rally in Richmond. What I found significant, besides the fact that Michele looks really good in that shade of blue, is that the demographics of the people attending the rally reflect the demographics of the city. If this were an Rmoney rally, I doubt the crowd would be so diverse.

    • You’d be amazed at all the different shades of white you can find at a Romney Rally, and variety of net worth levels: ($1 million, $2 million, $3 million, $4 million, $5 million, $6 million…)

      • It was. He got third place and sold it for over $500.00. He still has every penny of the money in the bank. He didn’t want to show this year, he’s turned pro and sells pork at market with me.

        • I wish you and your pork were close to me. We do have these guys, but Laurelhurst Market cuts their chops as massive slabs of meat and fat, and I’m terrified of getting it wrong. Now I see that I can deal with Tails & Trotters directly toward the end of the week. Mmmmmm

      • This is the message I get:

        Internal Server Error

        The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

        Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

        More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

        Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

        Apache/2.2.8 (Ubuntu) mod_apreq2-20051231/2.6.0 mod_perl/2.0.3 Perl/v5.8.8 Server at Port 80

  2. I have been reading about the new President Elect of France… he has some really good policies. And Although unconfirmed, some say that he also likes to cook and people everywhere enjoy his barbeque…. it seems they clamor for Hollende’s sauce.

  3. I get a huge kick out of the Catholic League tweets. Lately most have been about their campaign to destroy uber-bigot Jon Stewart; virtually all of those are about which company they have approached to join them — never any reports that they’ve succeeded. They are predictably freaking out about Dan Savage. (more to come)

    • Dear Catholic League.
      Stop wetting your pants. You still haven’t cleaned up your pedophile problem, so please set that as your first priority, and wailing and gnashing of fangs secondarily.

      • Donohue doesn’t like to be reminded that his “church” breaks every law of their god. Donohue seems to go around with blinders on. The Rev. Ullman gave a great dressing down in a classy way!

  4. And, of course, teh crazy is not limited to Catholics.

    Last week on his radio show AFA Today, the American Family Association’s Buster Wilson, the General Manager of American Family Radio, warned that the European Union is setting the stage for the emergence of the Antichrist. While reading an article from a British tabloid magazine, Wilson claimed that the EU is poised to abolish its member states and foist upon them a single, dictatorial ruler, who he believes may be the Antichrist.

    • And that single dictatorial ruler is who exactly? Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Alex Salmond? Maybe a long shot like Russell Brand – who kinda looks messaniac at least?

      They need to stop spiking the communion wine, that’s obvious. Coo coo for cocoa puffs….

      • Mind you maybe the Czar of all the Russias fancies his chances now that his four-year ‘vacation’ as premier is over? I think the Ruskies are better off buying football teams and flogging the Euros natural gas though.

        • Actually, Putin would make a great Antichrist. Right now he’s having problems at home, though, so the idea of him taking over the rest of the continent seems a bit thin.

          • If I get time, I’ll spend some time with the fruitcakes over at Rapture Ready and see if they’ve updated their hit list… Sam Donaldson was on it for a while until he started plucking his eyebrows.

  5. So… liberals need to be the ones to try and understand the other side. Why is that always the case? Why can’t the Evangelicals ever seem to meet us on our own turf and realize that we’re not bad people trying to do do bad things. We want good things too. He seems to think that it’s the Evangelicals who are the compassionate ones?

    And I don’t agree with the assessment by the author that liberals don’t want people to change. We do. But what we want is there to be a net to help them in case they fall, and to protect them from the unscrupulous.

    Do as I Do, Not as I Say –

    If Democrats want to reach more evangelical voters, they should use a political language that evangelicals can hear. They should talk about the kind of people we are aiming to be and about the transformational journey that any choice will take us on. They should talk about how we can grow in compassion and care. They could talk about the way their policy interventions will allow those who receive them to become better people and how those of us who support them will better ourselves as we reach out in love. They could describe health care reform as a response to suffering, not as a solution to an economic problem.

    • The problem isn’t that liberals don’t understand conservatives. And the difficulty isn’t in the messages from the Left. The heart of the problem is the reactionary Right has decided to shut down negotiations. The President has spent the last 3 years trying to extend the olive branch and all he has to show for it is sawdust.

    • No, what they want is to hear us say, “You’re right and I’m wrong. God is real, and I believe in him.”

      Even that would not be sufficient, if we continue to act like liberals. Remember, they believe that good Xtians cannot be liberal.

      This is more “give me everything I want and more, and it still won’t be enough and I still won’t be happy” bullshit.

  6. QOTD:

    “Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has created or reconfigured at least 263 organizations to tackle some aspect of the war on terror. Thirty-three new building complexes have been built for the intelligence bureaucracies alone, occupying 17 million square feet – the equivalent of 22 U.S. Capitols or three Pentagons. The largest bureaucracy after the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs is now the Department of Homeland Security, which has a workforce of 230,000 people … We don’t look like people who have won a war. We look like scared, fearful, losers,” – Fareed Zakaria.

    “We don’t look like people who have won a war. We look like scared, fearful, losers” — I’ve said this for years.

    • Odd how the Dems gave us such departments as Education and Energy and in 8 years the Reps gave us DHS. At least when the Dems spend money, they spend it on America.

      • Bush initially objected to the idea of an independent homeland security department. The Democrats are complicit in DHS too. Bipartisanship is wonderful, eh?

    • We are, indeed, a nation of “scared, fearful, losers.” Amazing. We went from a nation of confident winners in Sept. 1945 to the precise opposite today, and all within my lifetime, all within the space of less than 65 years. My recollection is that it all began back in the fifties about the time we became scared shitless of Communism, about the time Joe McCarthy apparently needed a diaper change. Not all Republicans were nuts then, not like now.

      Fascinating history, ours; esp. the part since our Greatest Victory. One can only ask, WTF?

      • You got it, frugal. I remember all the rhetoric about all we had to do was beat the Red Menace and then we could help the world move on to the glories of democracy. And the Red Menace was telling the world that the US couldn’t be trusted and just wanted to subjugate the world to their capitalistic dreams that meant the workers would suffer under their monetary yoke.

        • And today, every now and again, one of the current crop of Republican nutcases refers to the “Soviet” threat. Good grief. The vicious old and long defunct USSR still haunts the imaginations of the idiot fear mongers.

            • Amurka would show up, guaranteed. And if nobody else did, who knows, Amurka might even finally win one. Hard to believe I know, but hey, it COULD happen!

            • Come on now. We did beat Grenada. And Panama, sort of. Otherwise the 3rd World has been kicking the snot out of us since the 60’s.

            • Jeez. How could I forget Grenada? There were what, a dozen Cubans there that our Marines kicked the shit out of? Glory! Semper Fi! Makes my day, bay-bee!

  7. Fox News Reports: France Joins America in Electing Socialist President
    Two Comrades to Merge into ‘Obamalande,’ Says Hannity

    PARIS (The Borowitz Report) � The Fox News Chhannel reported today that French voters have followed in the footsteps of their American counterparts by electing an openly Socialist man to the office of President.

    According to Fox host Sean Hannity, the two Socialist Presidents, Francois Hollande and Barack Obama, are expected to work closely together because they share a common goal: “To make each of their countries the best possible version of France.”

    Mr. Hannity said that he anticipates the two comrades to eventually merge into one transatlantic Socialist super-president called “Obamalande.”

    “Remember, these two brothers-in-arms share a lot in common, besides being flaming Socialists,” he said. “They were both born outside the United States.”

    There are already signs that Messrs. Obama and Hollande are collaborating, Mr. Hannity said, “and the French know a thing or two about collaboration.”

    The Fox News host said the two men have already exchanged ideas, such as the French adopting a version of Obamacare and the Americans surrendering in Afghanistan.

    In Paris, defeated French President Nicholas Sarkozy told reporters that he was looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Carla Bruni, adding, “Have any of you seen her anywhere?”

    In other international news, Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng said he was eager to enjoy new freedoms in the United States but said, “I will probably avoid Arizona.”

    • And now we will be once again confronted with Freedom Fries and White gravy versus Obamburgers with Hollandaze.

    • Idiotic comment of the week, or possibly month (it’s young)
      “Remember, these two brothers-in-arms share a lot in common, besides being flaming Socialists,” he said. “They were both born outside the United States.”
      WTF? Does he expect that the newly elected leader of France would be born in the USA? Channeling Alfred E. Neumann, what?Me? Worry?

      • Be careful, RUC, you got tricked by that sounding like something Hannity probably would say, but that was the Borowitz report.

  8. Okay, this will be a long comment, but I thought I’d share my replies to someone who asked for an example of how Fox News Channel distorts and lies. (Hopefully these will all post correctly.)

    I don’t know, was I a little harsh? Did I go too far?

        • So she’s probably standing around the water cooler today, talking about the liberal who couldn’t answer her stunning Fux question.

          • Her tweet asking for specific examples was posted at 10:38 AM today, my replies, starting with Doocy, were posted starting at 2:13 PM today. Doocy I knew off the top of my head. The rest I got from checking Media Matters.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if she comes back with times that NBC (or MSNBC, even though they’re a different channel) was wrong, but they won;t all be from the past week and she won’t respond to my larger point -0 that Fox News Channel lies an distorts all the time. We’ll see.

            In the meantime, I promised some very nice Muslims I’d watch a video so we can resume our discussion about God. 🙂

            • I think I will print that out and take it with me (just in case) as evidence against my Fox News watching mom. But, since most of it is from Media Matters, she won’t believe it since Bill O’Reilly calls them a Smear site.

            • A) Bill O’Reilly doesn’t know the meaning of the word “smear”, along with the meanings of several other words, like “honesty” and “integrity”.

              B) It makes absolutely no difference from where the information about FNC’s lies came, it’s still a fact that they lied. Which is why I never mentioned the source of my info to her.

            • Plus, when another network screws up? They admit it. They correct it on the same show as soon as possible, the forced apologies from offenders are more sincere, and serious cases result in firings.

    • Too bad twitter limits you to 140 characters. You could have enlightened her with one 1400 character post…!

    • Wayne, you do realize you are doomed to failure here. You used facts which means you are a librul. Faith sustains the Right.

  9. A bit of pleasant news from the Gary universe:

    I’ve been dithering for some while now because of a problem with my student loan and unemployment issues. I’d applied for deferments/forbearances back in Jan/Feb, but nothing seemed to come of them. It reached a head this last week when my credit rating got “ding’d” by them. No amount of online action did any good, and it was clear I was going to have to phone these folks directly.

    I was expecting this to be brutal. I really hate dealing with beurocracy.

    But instead, it took longer to get through the voice menu system (new options that required a lot of explanation.) The operator saw what I’d done, immediately corrected their errors, but in the correction on the credit report, and set up the forbearance is something under five-minutes.

    What the hell is all this crap I keep hearing about government inefficiency? (Which is to say, when did my banks or insurance ever solve a problem so quickly?)

    • That’s good to know, Gary. I’m going to have to call them again this month, to explain that I still don’t have a job and can’t pay. That really doesn’t feel good…

    • ebb, many years ago the ship I was on was diddling around off FL for days in some exercise or other. During that time we got to watch Mantas doing just what the pic shows. Absolutely beautiful.

    • I surf fish Canaveral Shores.
      One of the few Florida hard surf sand beaches with no condos or driving on beach.
      Every once in a while, gigantic rays are in the surf zone rolling
      I don’t know if they are feeding of scrubbing off parasites but it is an interesting thing to encounter.
      Kind of of a “National Geographic” moment that you want to tell people about but fear they wouldn’t believe you

        • I saw this on a PBS show about mantas recently, I think it was on “Nature”. The looping behavior is a feeding pattern. They had lots of good footage of it, taken in a bay where the wind and currents concentrate the plankton.

    • Poor “Meow”. My “Mellow” is a, comparatively, svelte 22 lbs. He’s a big cat though – tall. “Mel” ‘s belly doesn’t drag on the ground.

      pachy, how’s you cat doing these days?

      • He’s doing well Ebb, and being a real lovable fellow most of the time. He insists on being petted and/or having me “bless” his food by touching it before eating, except when I’m asleep. He will pester me awake if the bowl is empty!

  10. My Media Matters problem was resolved after I cleaned out my cookies. I had been using Chrome and tried IE and it came up. The first article I read had a comment that led to the cookie problem.

    • I have a cookie problem sometime… I eat too many of them… 😆
      Glad you fixed your cookie problem.

  11. Via TP, Paul Ryan when questioned about his previous statement that “Atlas Shrugged” influenced him greatly:
    “RYAN: It’s a great book! It’s a great book! Let’s go on to somebody over here, I think we’ve covered it pretty well. By the way, I don’t require it. I have a reading list. Lots of young people ask me what are good books. I give them Alexis de Tocqueville, I take the Founders, Friedman, Hayek, Atlas Shrugged. There are lots of good books worth reading if you want to study freedom, free enterprise, the Founders, economics.”
    Now I know if asked what books I recommend, I might name an author if I’ve read most of their output. I can’t imagine suggesting “the Founders” without naming which founders. I doubt he’s read what he claims.

      • Dean Baker has the best set of intros out there, either cheap or free in e-book form. Both Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz are explicitly Aristotelian in their orientation, and so they approach economic matters from the conecpt of “human flourishing” rather than the naive utilitarian one of “$ = happiness.”

  12. BTW, I’ve just spent the last four hours locked out of my apartment. The landlord finally decided he had time to run out here and let me in.

    This is the first time I ever locked myself out of my home, and I now have a key hidden in the laundry room. *sigh*

  13. My Twitter fight with that conservative is getting too long to post here. I suggest you just follow me on Twitter and see it for yourself. It’s typical of the discussions I have with many conservatives. I’ve conversed with one reasonable conservative (named James Adkins, I think), and he almost admitted an ability to be liberal socially. He said he saw things at his daughter’s college but kept his mouth shut. I said that sounds almost like he was “open-minded”, which would make him you-know-what? He laughed and tried to say it was his wife’s influence.

          • If it were legal and the only means available, I would give Mrs. Applewhite my vote. It means a lot to me, but probably means even more to her. My grandmother died at 99 in 1992. She came to this country, legally, in 1911. I’m sure she had no birth certificate and would have had to order one from Sweden. After seeing so much change in one lifetime, our respected elders deserve the right to vote.

            • AMERICA!! Love it or leave it! America is perfect in every way!! Are you a pinko commie!!??

              **cough cough**

              Damn. I can’t keep up the batshit insane very long these days.

  14. Just returned from my favorite taqueria (Eduardo’s) and supper was $6.66.
    Do I need to be concerned the devil was involved?

  15. Hmmm…

    Quiet… nobody here….

    Then I guess they won’t mind if I check out the fridge…

  16. It would appear that WordPress limits the number of times you can reply to a prior comment…


    ‘Not mine’ is prolly your best reply in this situation… 2nd only to ‘Yours’… or perhaps… ‘Up for grabs…’… heh…

  17. Used my trusty magnifying glass to peruse the TP comments. You are so correct that the stupid is well represented!

    That is a very restrictive voting act. In CA:

    Section 303(b)(2) specifies the ID requirements for voters who vote in person or by absentee ballot.

    “In person” voters must show a “current and valid photo identification” or “a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.”

    “Absentee voters” must submit with their ballot one of the documents listed above.

    hmm, I’ve never sent in anything with my absentee ballot – just popped it in the mail.
    I’d figured they would figure anyone voting by mail would have had to show i.d. to register and that would do it.

    At least CA is not as restrictive as that mess in PA.

    • The last time I voted in Idaho, the clerk made me show my ID. I found out later that I didn’t actually have to do it at that time. Stupid clerk should have known that, and besides, she knew me since I fucking worked with her for the worst 4 months of my working life.

      I’m pleased to have received my Oregon ballot in the mail this weekend, and will be filling it out tomorrow. 🙂

  18. I need to do a ‘drive-by’.
    Polar Bear – help yourself..
    strawberries, blackberries and blueberries for dessert!

        • I’m in the San Jose so this time of night just check from Campbell through just north of our downtown.
          Your Fruitvale Bridge has young peregrines again this year. A different female.
          Last years female and one of the ‘kids’ was shot by an effen pigeon “fancier”.
          Neither will be able to be released to the wild.

            • These are (crazy/obsessed) people who have “fancy” pigeons and don’t like birds of prey (hawks and peregrines). They fly the damn pigeons and a peregrine thinks: dinner – stoops “fancy” pigeon is feeding parents and young if there be any.

          • I remember that…

            Been a lot of news recently about the PGE peregrines in the City…

            4 healthy chicks so far…

            • Gotta go to bed, all…

              T’anks fer the leftovers, Ebb…


              Hehe.. jalapenos… the gift that keeps on giving…

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