The Watering Hole: June 5 — Pacific blues

Photo by Zooey

Big day today, for Wisconsin and Venus.  Is everyone excited?

This is our daily open thread — Discuss!


262 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: June 5 — Pacific blues

  1. Venus is marching across the Sun and the Paycheck Fairness Act is marching across the Senate floor… I wonder who’s gonna get burned?

  2. Won’t see Venus transit today, the PNW is cloaked in rain today 😦 – check out the history of the twin transits of 1761 and 1769. The stories of the intrepid explorers who tried to travel to far-flung places in order to observe the transit are epics in themselves: James Cook in Tahiti (yeah baby) for example.

    Why is this so important? Well simple geometry can use the transit to measure the ‘astronomical unit’: the distance of the Earth from the Sun at the time of the transit.

    None had a worse time trying to observe the transit than Guilaume Le Gentil. I’ll let you read his unfortunate tale.

  3. Let’s see how WI votes today. Seems like the Walker supporters are very comfortable handing over their freedoms to a bunch of “fat cats” like the Koch Brothers. The Walker supporters don’t even realize that Walker and his ilk are pushing them into more poverty with less safety nets. If monied people and Fox Prop. Net. handed the Walker supporters an ice cream cone filled with poopy and told these supporters that it was chocolate ice cream, these idiotic supporters would believe that it was chocolate ice cream and eat it even when their senses told them differently. They believe whatever propaganda they are told. Tell them that the light at the end of the tunnel is daylight when in fact it is a train blowing its whistle and they will step into the tunnel in front of the oncoming train. Can’t fix stupid.

    I am truly beginning to believe that this nation is too big to succeed. The more diverse this nation becomes, the more it will fall apart as the future minority (whites) is fighting to hold onto its current state of control. The USA may one day become like Apartheid SA and our nation will be boycotted by more progressive nations.

    • No no no, Cats. If the toadies support the Koch brothers et al, then they will be protected from all the bad things that will be happening to liberals, atheists, welfare queens, etc.

      Ya gotta believe! 🙄

    • Cats, I have long suspected that a serious part of the oligarchs plans include the balkanization of America. The dumb side is their support comes from the most bass akwards areas.

      • This is actually one of the reasons the Founding Fathers went to such lengths to ensure that the US was NOT a democracy (or, “direct democracy” if you want to be more accurate. The knew very well their history, and in particular the history of Athens during the Pelopanesian (sp?) war. It is still widely accepted that Athens lost that conflict due to the incompetent leadership produced by the need to pander to the mob in order to rule. Aristotle listed democracy as the least bad of the bad forms of government.

        Consequently, they established all these firewalls between ordinary citizens, and the making, administration, and interpretation of laws: The electoral college, indirect election of Federal Senators by state legislatures, etc. We are a democratic republic or, if you prefer, a “representative democracy.”

        Now I’m not suggesting we should return to all these things — indirect election of Senators made them especially “for sale,” because the railroad companies could more easily bribe state reps. The electoral college is also pretty dubious. But that’s how and why those things were tere.

        • Recall the words of historian Will Durant in his book, The Life of Greece (Simon and Schuster, 1939):

          “If we may believe Thucydides, the democratic leaders at Athens, while making liberty the idol of their policy among Athenians, frankly recognized that the confederacy of free cities had become an empire of force. ‘You should remember,’ says Thucydides’ Cleon to the Assembly, ‘that your empire is a despotism exercised over unwilling subjects who are always conspiring against you; they do not obey in return for any kindness which you do to them to your own injury, but only in so far as you are their master; they have no love for you, but they are held down by force.’ The inherent contradiction between the worship of liberty and the despotism of empire co-operated with the individualism of the Greek states to end the Golden Age.”

          It may in fact be reasonable to say that today, the fall of Athens may well have become a sort of “history” of the United States under the the current thumb of errant corporate and political power, a history seen through the eyes not of those unable to see evil in the actions of America, but rather through the eyes and via the words of those still able and willing to be critical of actions which result in war, death, and destruction, all for no discernibly honorable aim, but only to satisfy the urge of the few to accumulate evermore power and monetary wealth, invariably at the expense of the many.

          If Thucydides was correct (and I think history willingly concedes that he was), then this nation’s days are severely numbered … unless ‘we’ do something about it, and quickly. Today in Wisconsin might be a good starting point. Time will tell.

  4. If Walker wins today, P.T. Barnum will have been vindicated, there’s a Koch sucker born every minute. And too many of them are from Wisconsin.

  5. QOTD:

    “Republicans were pro-deficit, and pro-entitlement expansion under Bush and Reagan. Deficit cutting only became part of the party’s ideology under Obama.” Compared to anything Obama is likely to get from a Republican House, that is, at least in the short term, a much more expansionary, Keynesian approach. But it’s also an awful precedent. In a sense, Republicans are holding a gun to the economy’s head and saying, “vote for us or the recovery gets it.” —
    Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal,

  6. The shenanigans of the Republicans are continuing apace. Many reports of fraudulent robocalls yesterday and today. Funny news is a fresh report that Snotty has a love child from his college days. The best news though is most places are expecting high, if not record, turn out for this election.

    • I remember that in the Bible, you know, the part where Jesus was going around the countryside preaching and healing. He always asked before healing someone “Who do you have sex with?”, right?

        • Seriously, that woman needs to lose her license. What she did is similar to asking a bleeding man what his beliefs were and refusing to stop the bleeding if they don’t match what she believes.

          • Refusing to treat a patient on religious grounds is an overt violation of the medical oath. So if this case bears out in court, I think having her license stripped from her is pretty much a certainty.

    • That’s almost as bad as the doctor that refused emergency birth control to a rape victim….

  7. Same-sex marriage battle now headed to U.S. Supreme Court

    …The 9th Circuit said a majority of its 26 actively serving judges had voted not to revisit a three-judge panel’s 2-1 decision declaring the voter-approved ban to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians in California.

    • And, by a “majority” that’s 22 out of the 26. Only 4 argued in favor. By the bye, it is extremely unlikely that the State of CA will pursue this, so the money and lawyers will have to come from private sources if they intend to pursue it.

    • It’s not enough to just tell people you think they’re sinners. God really likes it if you torture them a bit first.

  8. Big ole longitudinal study info…with charts!

    “In 1987, midway through Ronald Reagan’s second term in office, party was one among many fundamental cleavages in American society. Republicans and Democrats held different values, but the differences were on par with the differences of opinion between blacks and whites, wealthy and poor, or college grads and those without a college degree. This is no longer the case. Since 1987 — and particularly over just the past decade — the country has experienced a stark increase in partisan polarization. Across 48 different questions covering values about government, foreign policy, social and economic issues and other realms, the average difference between the opinions of Republicans and Democrats now stands at 18 percentage points. This is nearly twice the size of the gap in surveys conducted from 1987-2002.”

  9. 14-year-old Caiden Cowger does seem to be old enough to know what his well-spoken words mean. His belief is that sexuality is as fragile as resistance to peer pressure. He believes that an encouraging word is all a boy needs to be driven into the arms of another boy. He makes homosexuality sound as enticing as that first sip of a beer or first puff on a cigarette. He believes that a few encouraging words from the President are all it takes to divert a teenage boy’s gaze from the scantily-clad women-in-bloom who share the gym floor, to the boys in the locker room.

    Well, I think he’s right — if he’s talking about himself.

  10. Bit of an update. It appears turnout here is going to be huge for this vote. Word has it it will push the 2008 Presidential election levels. High voter turnout favors Dems by a wide margin. Come on, Wisconsin!

      • Harry Reid would rather shake hands in a gentlemen’s agreement — where he’s the only gentleman present.

        He should have known better; we certainly screamed it loudly enough for him to hear our concerns. I’m SO pissed off about that.

        • Call these bastards out – make them say on the Senate floor in front of the cameras why they won’t pay women a fair wage. Come on you fascist, white mysogynist bastards, tell us all why….

  11. Young Turks is actually saying today he is so shot with Obama that he is thinking that McCain would have been better – his reason: McCain might have fought to overturn Citizens United.

    • I highly doubt that. McCain was the next meat puppet in line. He wouldn’t do shit, except hire a food taster and do what he was told.

      • Its somewhat out of context with the rest of his rant – he’s really not backing McCain, but attacking Citizens United.

        • I think we can all agree the Citizens United is heinous. Obama directly confronted the SCOTUS in his public SOTU address, so I don’t think Cenk is right to piss and moan about this.

          • I think that he is attacking Obama in that he has done nothing since then about it and is taking Wall St money just the same now. That much Cenk is correct about. Obama is part of the system.

            • Until we can get it changed, this is the system we have to work with — and Obama has to do the same. I don’t like it, but it’s the reality with which we have to work. It’s Obama or Romney, those are our choices.

              No politician is perfect — none of them, not ever. George W. Bush gave the repiggies just about everything they ever wanted, and it still wasn’t good enough. Whatever.

              I don’t want to live under President Romney, nor do I want my children and grandchildren to deal with his SCOTUS choices. I understand why people are disappointed with Obama for whatever reasons, but what is the friggin’ alternative? Something we can do between now and November that will actually work?

    • “Young Turks is actually saying today he is so shot with Obama that he is thinking that McCain would have been better – his reason: McCain might have fought to overturn Citizens United.”

      Single-issue Democrats who are just “so over” Obama can blow me. Nobody gets everything they want in a politician. G’head and vote for Romney you pussheads — then get back to me 6 months later on the abyss-like depth of your buyer’s remorse.

      • I think actually the point is being missed – Uygur is hardly a single-issue demo. If you have any of this over a number of years, TYT has seen Obama back off what he was elected for again and again:
        1. On Afghanistan
        2. On governement transparency
        3. Bills of attainder
        4. Prosecutions for bank fraud
        5. ….. shall I go on?

        Uygur’s argument is that progressives have got *nothing* from Obama, not even the ACA counts because it cements private for profit insurance into the system. If repeal of DADT is it?

        So no – it’s not a one-note complaint. And frankly I am ‘anyone-but-Obama’ too – except Romney.

        • The interesting part of this is the last time a Dem President actually tried to move strongly left in his first term, he was crucified. While I disagree with some of the things Obama has done as unnecessary, I am not privy to the overall picture. I still trust him for a second term and hope we can give him the tools in Congress to move ahead.

        • I posted this here months ago, it’s worth a read.

          “{Obama’s} gotten more done in three years than any president in decades. Too bad the American public still thinks he hasn’t accomplished anything.”

          “Obama’s biggest accomplishments function, like FDR’s, with a built-in delay. Some are structured to have modest effects now but major ones later. Others emerged in a crimped and compromised form that, if history is a guide, may well be filled out and strengthened down the road. Still others are quite impressive now but create potential for even greater change in the future. At this point, it’s hard to get a sense of these possibilities without lifting the hood and looking deeply into the actual policies and programs. Hence, there’s no reason to think that today’s voters would be aware of them, but every reason to think historians will.”

          I think most Americans suffer from confusing their expectations with, ya know, actual reality. Obama’s done pretty well considering the unhinged opposition party along with their surrogates in the media.

      • And – the point is that Citizens United is such a big building block in the fascist take over of this country that it almost overshadows every other issue that the country has faced since 2008 – that’s the debatable point Cenk was trying to make.

    • I wonder if they would be happy that McCain would still have us in Iraq.

          • I’m late in reading this thread, but what’s the point being missed? We’re down to two options: Obama, or Romney. One of those two will be the next occupant of the White House. I don’t agree with everything Obama has done, not by a long shot. I also understand that a lot of what he wanted to do — stuff that I would favor and agree with — never got done because of either Republicans or conservative Democrats who can’t see the boogers dangling from their respective noses. Not sure how Obama was supposed to handle such resistance and remain constitutional in the process, but true enough, a lot didn’t get done, for whatever reason(s),

            But Romney as an alternative? Romney as president? I’d rather be run over and squished by a bus than have to face that as a reality. I still can’t imagine how Romney could possibly get more than fifty total votes come November, not unless there are lots of totally empty-headed and genuinely stupid shits that are allowed to vote!

            My bottom line: IF Romney should somehow land in the White House, esp. with a Republican Senate and House at his disposal, I’m fucking outta here. For good. IF I can find the cash and the means, of course. Maybe my next Social Security raise will come with a one-way ticket to somewhere sane! (assuming such a place still exists, somewhere).

            OBAMA OBAMA OBAMA IN 2012 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            • Point that was missed: Young Turks was ranting about Obama’s lack of delivery to progressive issues (besides the sop of DADT), but was zeroing on his failure to give anything but lip service to what TYT thought was the most destructive SCOTUS ruling in many decades to the legitimacy of the republic. That everything Obama had done (and that it was not much for progressives) paled in comparison with that failure.

              He put up for debate that with all John McCain stood for, at least he (thanks to McCain-Feingold) would have probably done more about CU had he been elected. It was an extreme expression of frustration.

              It was a thought experiment as a rant

            • Citizens United must be overturned by a Constitutional Amendment, which Obama can’t do all by himself.

              I understand the frustration, but I also understand I never get everything I want, so whenever I’m feeling particularly down I say to myself “President Romney,” and my priorities fall back into order.

        • So, basically, it’s impossible. And it’s certainly impossible for a President. Do you know of an instance where Congress succeeded in passing legislation that accomplished this? Not saying examples don’t exist, just that nothing comes to mind.

          In this instance, I believe that if the political will to end this ridiculous judgment then it wouldn’t have been made in the first place, given how political SCOTUS is.

          • The President is powerless in such situations. He has no authority to do anything other than try to shove the congressional and/or the amendment string(s) up the slippery slope. Anger at Obama on the Citizens United issue is misdirected … it was GWBush’s SCOTUS appointments (Roberts and Alito) that, in effect, made it possible. That it happened on Obama’s watch is simply a fortuitous circumstance, one for which there is no quick remedy.

    • I love the response. We will deal with it if and when we receive a recording of a call. And of course, everyone is capable of recording random calls at a moment’s notice.

    • It’s funny that Republicans see voter fraud in everything; except when they commit actual voter fraud.

  12. “A treasure chest of $31m has let Walker outspend his rival seven to one, swamping the airwaves with commercials, lining motorways with billboards and planting his sign on thousands of lawns.”

    Citizens United anyone?

    • I just hope the turnout in Milwaukee is very high. Madison’s practically DFH-Central, and the turnout makes sense, even in the face of GOPer disenfranchisement of students.

      • It’s important that the defeat of Scott Walker is decisive, in order to send the proper message to the KochSuckers. I think it’s going to happen today because the people are showing up to vote.

        This is what democracy looks like!

      • Milwaukee brought in more poll workers earlier today to handle the influx.

          • Go, Michigan!

            Seriously though, it’s really sad that anyone is stupid enough to think that several thousand Michigan residents would illegally vote in Wisconsin when they have their own fascist governor to worry about.

          • I think the RWNJs are starting to panic. Whenever a Democrat wins a tight race they immediately start screaming “voter fraud” and “ACORN!” as if it’s the only explanation for a Dem victory. Faced with blatant vote manipulation like that woman in Waukesha(?) County they accuse the Left of paranoia.

  13. Its getting interesting. The trolly types are starting with the claims of bussed in union thugs already. Sounds like the sweat is breaking.

      • Trolls can’t be bothered with things like logistics or logic. All they know is Wis voter turnout is smashing barriers and none of that bodes well for the Wanker.

    • Nasa is broadcasting this from Hawaii. I got to go to the top of Mauna Kea a year ago last summer to see the sunset. It was very cold and we had to stop mid-way to acclimate to the altitude. It was very, very cold up there. But really an amazing journey.

  14. Total geek/nerd alert: This transit is a wonderment!

    Went outside with the pinhole projector…exciting!

    • Excellent Ebb!
      I’m stuck with online video – complete cloud cover with rain pending.

  15. Awkward Tweet of the Day:

    Scott Walker ‏@ScottKWalker
    President Reagan died on June 5, 2004. Let’s win one for the Gipper!

  16. Cenk sounds worse today than yesterday. He’s got a cold, flu or something.

  17. I know I shouldn’t be so snarky, even to someone as worthless as Grover Norquist, but sometimes I just can’t resist.

    • They’re running out of ballots because voter turnout is reported (in at least one place) to be as high as 119%! Yes, 119%. Wisconsin still allows same day registration, and so many new voters are turning up to vote that voter turnout is exceeding 100%. In many wards, they only printed enough ballots to cover 100% turnout. People being told there were no more ballots need to stay in line and wait until they are brought ballots to use. They have the right to vote. It is the voter’s responsibility to show up during voting hours; it is the election officials’ responsibility to make sure there are enough ballots. If they have to print more, they have to print more. But they should not walk away discouraged.

  18. The polls are closed in WI, but if people were already in line they will be allowed to vote, no matter how long it takes.

  19. I wish I knew something about the reporting in WI, or the population centers to watch for. The results are depressing me!

    • I never believed the polls which said it was close. I thought for the last few months that Walker would prevail pretty handily. We’ll see….

        • Exit polling. “plus other methods.” Whatever that means. They should wait until they are all in.
          But when have exit polls been right lately?

          Money wins. And Divide and conquer wins. Democracy loses.
          I guess we will see the demise of unions shortly in this country. And the middle class after that.

  20. So I had been wondering why the Dems didn’t make a stronger play (financially) in WI. Several thoughts. Most will say they don’t know what they’re doing. Okay we have that one off the able for this discussion.

    -Let the R’s waste their time and energy and we build up for the bigger fight in November? Afterall there’s no such thing as a proxy election. Each election stands on its own.

    -Let Walker win, and then let him self-destruct in his own corruption. (Likely.)

    • Exit polls +9 Dems, Vote +4 Teabagger – voting machines, electronic – priceless.

      • Oh I stand corrected +11 Obama, vote +6 Teabagger – 17 point difference between nominally Democratic voters and the actual recall vote……

        … really that many people said hey Obama *and* Walker?

  21. Btw, here’s the 2010 results. At the current pace, Walker will have a much larger mandate:

    Scott Walker
    1,128,941 52.3%

    Tom Barrett
    1,004,303 46.5%

  22. As days of the week fall, 44 years ago today, Tuesday June 4, was the day of the California primary. America lost what little remained of its soul only a few moments into the next morning, June 5, at the LA Ambassador Hotel. This year’s June 5 is merely yet one more reflection of that day, the day the nation died. The death throes continue. One can only wonder when the incessant twitching will finally cease once and for all, and national rigor mortis settles in for good.

    I’m guessing it won’t be too much longer.

      • Are you anywhere near Nampa, Idaho? My brother has a good friend that lives there and he’s an ardent liberal. That makes two in the state.

      • and the crazed reactionary R’s are all accessories to murder

  23. Well next up for Scott Walker – federal prosecution…… hope Wisconsin is ready for that….

    • Just remember “the adventure continues” and Go Jolly. Tough night, but the war rages on, and petards are being sharpened for Snotty’s deliverence.

  24. Time for the Feds to step in and indict the gilipollas!
    Walker is an arrogant s.o.b.

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