The Watering Hole – Saturday, September 22, 2012 – Red Lines

According to a report on Raw Story, Israel is trying to “thaw the frosty relationship” between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the White House. They are trying to set up a meeting between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama to discuss how far they will let Iran go in developing its nuclear capability. Obama is said to be angered by Netanyahu’s repeated calls for him “to set unambiguous ‘red lines’ for Tehran,” especially in the lead-up to the election. I have to say I agree. Netanyahu should keep his mouth shut until after the elections. Iran isn’t going to be building any nuclear weapons before then, and Netanyahu knows that. He lived and studied in the U.S., so he has seen how our election system works.

Jumping off into personal opinion land, I wonder what right Israel has to boss the United States of America around? When did the people of Israel elect our President? Israel does indeed have as much right to defend itself as anybody, but the criteria used for determining what constitutes a threat has to be the same as everyone else’s: Imminent danger. You can’t use the excuse that just because Iran “claims” they simply want a peaceful nuclear energy program, they’re really lying and trying to build a nuclear weapon to be used against Israel, as the rationale for attacking them, which is what Israel wants to do.

In essence, Israel is saying this: We “know” that ultimately this nuclear program will be used to build weapons that will be used against Israel, so we reserve the right (a right they don’t have, by the way), to strike at what we feel is an existential threat. An existential threat is really nothing more than a theoretical threat, and not an imminent threat. They want our approval (an approval they sometimes say they don’t really need) to attack Iran over what they might do down the road, not what they are actually about to do right now. This kind of thinking has to stop.

Russia is more of a threat to Israel’s security than Iran will ever be. Russia has nuclear weapons and often sides with Israel’s political enemies. Why isn’t Israel worried that Russia might give a nuclear weapon to Iran and preemptively bomb them? After all, by their logic they have every right to. And Russia isn’t theoretically building nuclear weapons, they already have, and way more than they need (since they are willing to discuss arms reductions with the U.S.) The United States needs to stop enabling Israel’s warmongering behavior, before innocent people die.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Israel or any other topic you wish. It’s a free country.


123 thoughts on “The Watering Hole – Saturday, September 22, 2012 – Red Lines

  1. Bibi’s arrogance may work with the marauding Mittens, however he’s not the President.
    Attempts at ‘intimidating’ Obama into ill-conceived actions doesn’t appear to be working.
    Let’s keep positive thoughts that continues.

  2. The Easter Challenge.

    Here is Dan Barker’s “Easter Challenge,” presented briefly:

    My challenge is simply this: tell me what happened on Easter. I am not asking for proof. My straightforward request is merely that Christians tell me exactly what happened on the day that their most important doctrine was born.

    Believers should eagerly take up this challenge, since without the resurrection, there is no Christianity. Paul wrote, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.” (I Corinthians 15:14-15)

    The conditions of the challenge are simple and reasonable. In each of the four Gospels, begin at Easter morning and read to the end of the book: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21. Also read Acts 1:3-12 and Paul’s tiny version of the story in I Corinthians 15:3-8. These 165 verses can be read in a few moments. Then, without omitting a single detail from these separate accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension: what happened first, second, and so on; who said what, when; and where these things happened.

    Since the gospels do not always give precise times of day, it is permissible to make educated guesses. The narrative does not have to pretend to present a perfect picture–it only needs to give at least one plausible account of all of the facts. Additional explanation of the narrative may be set apart in parentheses. The important condition to the challenge, however, is that not one single biblical detail be omitted. Fair enough?

    • Funny.

      Last night, we were working at the Democratic Party booth at the local fair and a woman approached us and kept telling us that the “one world nation under the evil destroyer” is approaching and that Obama is the evil destroyer. It took us 10 minutes to politely get rid of her. What a nutcase. She kept saying that she wanted to educate people and I told her that there were hundreds of people at the fair that she might want to talk to and that perhaps it was time for her to move on.

        • I saw my first Romney/Ryan yard sign yesterday in Clearwater County, Idaho. I know the people and they are very nice, but their politics are fucked up. They are of the variety that says, “Yes, we built it all on our own, with no help from anyone.” Such a shitty attitude.

          • Bill Maher showed a Romney/Ryan Lawn sign and said it was nothing different than an sign inviting your pool boy to pee in your pool.

  3. Chris Hayes’ explanation of the three year window for amending tax returns means Mitt Romney has submitted zero tax returns that aren’t subject to change.

  4. In a conversation over at Daily Intel, Jim Fallows and Josh Barro consider the importance of the debates. Barrow expects them to be “uneventful” since Romney and Obama share “defensive debating styles”:

    “Their strength in debates is mostly about not making mistakes, rather than landing grand knockout punches. I can’t remember anything Barack Obama said in the debates in 2008, primary or general. Romney did have a couple of memorable moments in the primaries β€” “helping” Rick Perry remember the names of cabinet departments, listing the shifting set of pork-barrel panders that Newt Gingrich would tout depending on which state he was in. But that was sort of shooting fish in a barrel.”

    Fallows believes that “among the various elements that go into effective political performance” debates are “by far the area of Romney’s greatest skill.” Obama’s debating abilities, on the other hand, are not his strongpoint, says Fallows:

    “[W]ithout going into all the details, it strikes me that debating is near the lower end of Obama’s range of performance skills. Very effective set-piece orator, usually effective at press conferences and so on. But at least against Hillary Clinton, not really that memorably effective. So we have the high end of Romney’s skills and the low-average range of Obama’s.”

    • “Without going into all the details, it strikes me that” Fallows is an idiot. Mitt Romney is no Hilary Clinton, and there is no evidence that debating is “the high end of Romney’s skills.”

      • Ah, but Romney has been known to be condescending and belligerent when his honesty is challenged, which is not unusual for a habitual liar whose self-esteem and self-worth depend on his lies being believed.

      • Agreed Jane.Romney seem short-tempered and bossy at the primary debates. That behavior won’t look to good against the President.

      • Comparing their skill sets and where they perform in them it would be accurate to use the comparison of Tom Brady at the low average range versus the quarterback of the Almond/Bancroft Tricounty High School playing at the high end of his.

    • The pundits have stated that Obama is at a disadvantage because Romney has had many recent debates, while Obama hasn’t debated in four years. What do they think goes on during those meetings between Obama and the Republican leaders over raising the debt ceiling, deficit reduction, and extending the Bush tax cuts in exchange for extending food stamps and unemployment benefits?

    • The media and most of it’s punditry has spent the last 4 years denigrating President Obama on every subject. Not only have they shown they have no respect for the man, they underestimate him at every turn.

      Comparing his debate style with Hilary is just pathetic. It would have done neither of them any good to behave like the Repubs did in their Primary debates and they both respected the other.

      The President has shown he is an excellent public speaker and very capable of thinking on his feet. Willard will begin embarrassing himself within 15 minutes of the opening of the first debate.

  5. Charles Pierce ( on UP: “My biggest problem with the debate was, it was a battle of two people who were completely overprepared. Scott Brown was overprepared to be a belligerent jackass, and Elizabeth Warren was overprepared not to rise to the bait.”

  6. Here is something that is happening in one county in Pennsylvania that involves getting a voter photo ID.

    Another thing that I learned, is that the PA Supreme Court’s ruling requires that the lower court prove that no one will be disenfranchised by the new voter ID law. That will be difficult to prove.

      • Here is the makeup of the Montgomery County supervisors: 2 Democrats and 1 Republican. This county was once very red. As people moved out of the city (Philadelphia) and into the suburbs, Montgomery County has turned a light shade of blue.

  7. I often wonder if Bibi and the Likuds are a preview of what awaits us with Willard and the Baggers. I’ve read in foreign papers where the general population doesn’t like him very much but have been subjected to so many years of fear they are afraid of voting him out.

  8. Bibi’s trying to cast his vote in the US election, of that there is no question. It’s a win-win for him until November 7th to be as obnoxious and noisy as he can be. Don’t be surprised to see his surrogates all over Fox News in the next month.

    1. If Obama is re-elected, Bibi knows he has no leverage over Obama – none at all. Obama will be free to press Bibi on illegal Israeli behaviour (settlements) in the Occupied Territories
    2. All the focus on Iran is great news for Israel – it means that no one is talking about Palestine. The Palestinian problem has vanished completely from the world stage right now. Bibi likes that because he has continued to push settlement activity.
    3. Bibi’s nightmare – Obama wins and the PA brings a statehood resolution to the UN or worse, withdraws from the Oslo agreement

    • Odd Rombot quote:

      Romney: β€œWell, it doesn’t need a turnaround. We’ve got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president to [sic] the United States.”

      “An incumbent president,” as opposed to tied with James K. Polk??
      And apparently Mitt doesn’t know his prepositions.

  9. Having witnessed thousands and thousands of Starlings ‘dancing in the sky’ to confuse Peregrines I’d have been equally enthralled to see –

    15,000+ Vaux’s Swifts filled the sky over downtown Los Angeles last night. If you think you’ve seen everything in L.A., you’ve never seen anything like this. Photo by Rosa Delgado

  10. Chris Matthews was on fire on the Bill Maher show last night smacking down some RWNJ radio host.

  11. I don’t know why folks pee their pants over Iran’s nuclear program. Even if it were intended to produce a weapon, Pakistan is scarier both in regards to government stability and chance of a terrorist group gaining access.

    • Or worry about North Korea, which while it lacks intercontinental ballistic capability could wipe out South Korea and Japan without a problem.

    • I was just going to post this! Poor George Rockwell, I’m sure he’ll have a difficult time dealing with his “jew” blood. πŸ˜€

      I wonder how a DNA test differentiates the blood of a certain religion? Unless they’re narrowing down a blood type to a certain geological region, which doesn’t guarantee one is a member of any religion. Interesting.

      • I’m pretty sure it just narrows it to a region, with the odds enhanced by groups that tended to marry within their own population.

      • I think it gets involved in the weird ass concept that Jews are both a race and a religion. I’m not 100% certain but I think they are the only group that is subjected to the concept where race=religion.

      • Geological? Not religion, Zooey, but genealogy. I, for instance, would have indicators that are shared with contemporary residents of the British Isles, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, not to mention a lot of people in this country. No trace at all of kinship to people of the Mediterranean.

      • I don’t think that’s any problem. So many illnesses are found in only some ethnic groups I think detecting ethnic makeup is old science already.

        • They’re doing it with dogs these days. People with too much money want to verify the provenance of their dog, or try to prove it’s not really a mutt because it’s grandsire was a champion.

    • Typical rich guy entitlement attitude.

      “He used the same makeup person I use, and we asked her if he requested darker makeup,” Salinas said. “She said, ‘No he didn’t request anything.’ Apparently, he was just a little sunburned.”

      He was wearing his flap hat when he got sunburned. πŸ™„

    • Mittens is a spoiled child.

      “He used the same makeup person I use, and we asked her if he requested darker makeup,” Salinas said. “She said, ‘No he didn’t request anything.’ Apparently, he was just a little sunburned.”

      Evidently that ‘little sunburned’ disappeared overnight.
      Here’s a photo taken Friday in Hillsborough, CA.
      Not nearly as orange as his visit with Univision.

  12. ‘The Girls’ start side by side today at Kentucky in the Nationwide race. Danica qualified 11th and Johanna Long starts 12th. New crew chief today for Danica, as JR Motorsports has replaced Tony Eury, Jr. with a Cup-quality chief, Ryan Pemberton. Eury,Jr. has been a little ‘testy’ on the radio with Danica during the races, and Pemberton is reported to be more supportive. When Eury, Jr. would chief for Dale Earnhardt, Jr., his ‘colorful’ disputes with his driver were frequently noted. They are cousins and grew up together, so that worked for them, and I feel he was having to restrain himself with Danica. She’s got a good spotter, so I hope they didn’t replace him too.

    Technological problem: I need the computer audio to listen to Danica’s crew chatter, and also the AM radio of the stereo it is fed through, to listen to the Alabama game (pay-per-view only today) at exactly the same time.

      • The race ended during the Alabama halftime. Alabama’s Million Dollar band is celebrating it’s 100th year. For the halftime show, current members (roughly 400) and alums combined on the field to play the ‘Yea Alabama’ fight song by over 900 members. I may have to find that on Youtube later.

    • Johanna had a better day than Danica, finishing 12th to Danica’s 14th. Danica had debris on her grille, forcing an early green flag pitstop, and it dropped her a lap. She fought back to lead the one lap down cars, putting her in position to get back on the lead lap if a caution came out, but the leader caught other cars and put them a lap down, without a caution. Johanna was one lap down, and Danica two laps back at the end. New crew chief Pemberton promised her a better car in Friday practice next week, so she could run better early in the race. Her times were competitive with the leaders in the last fifty laps, but it took a lot of changes during the pitstops to get her to that point.

  13. Nothing like a nice sunny crisp autumn day to bring out the desire to make some chili. One big crock with shredded beef and pork and sundry other tasties from the farmers market. And a second crock of ranch beans, well laced with magic pemnic spices.

        • Did the grandkids help?
          Thanks for the invitation..
          Wish I were closer – in a heartbeat I’d bring fresh sourdough bread and/or cornbread…

          • I’m on my knees. Fresh sourdough from the Bay area. Back in 1979 I used to go to a restaurant that was part of a bakery in the south area of San Fran. I had a sandwich I loved that hit their regular menu. Fresh sourdough bread, thin sliced roast beef, alfalfa sprouts with a spread that was half sour cream and half horseradish. Fresh sliced tomatoes optional.

  14. Just enjoyed some homemade King Salmon dip on ritzy crackers. One day into fall and the NW weather has turned cloudy and cool.. Can’t say I’m bothered by the end to our 2 months of hot and dry. See ya in April, sun!

  15. I’m just making pizza, I’m beat. I hope I don’t babble incoherently during the homework hours.

  16. BEVERLY HILLS — G.O.P. presidential candidate Mitt Romney has added a Beverly Hills fundraiser to his schedule today.

    Romney will speak at a fundraiser at about 5 p.m. today at the Beverly Hilton, according to City News Service. That report was later confirmed by a CBS News reporter traveling with the campaign.

    The L.A. Democratic Party chairman, Eric Bauman, and other Obama volunteers planned a news conference and rally “to welcome Mitt Romney” at 3 p.m. today across the street from the Hilton, at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard at Trenton Drive. A similar event was held at Romney’s San Diego airport arrival event.

    – – Wonder if they’ll confiscate all cellphones at the doors.

  17. 90 – 1

    The Senate just voted by that overwhelming margin on a non-binding motion to back a foreign prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu, over the president of the US, in declaring that the US would act if Iran gained a capability for a nuke, regardless of whether it decided to weaponize it:

    “The “capability” debate was initially framed as one over “containment” in February, and hawks like Graham found little bipartisan support until their position became a centerpiece of the AIPAC policy conference in March.”

    AIPAC does its work with unremitting diligence.

    • There are two places on this planet that would be better served by being nuked. If they started with Jerusalem we could maybe not have to move on to DC but I doubt it. If both were hit simultaneously I think the rest of the world would breath a sigh of relief before they made official statements about anything.

  18. Tomorrow marks The Jetsons‘ 50th anniversary. Where’s my jetpack, flying car, robot maid, and moving sidewalk?

    • The new wireless device happens to be called a jetpack, my car is flying down the road with a new windshield (I can see again!), most responses I got from the maids last night were very robotic, and by end of the evening the sidewalk was moving unnaturally under my feet.
      It’s Saturday night in Samoa!


  19. Americans recreating can be quite entertaining.
    Camped for the evening in a large parking lot / RV campground / boat launch / beach access / ATV staging area at Samoa Dunes. (It’s only $20, compared to $35 up the coast)
    A middle aged couple with matching bright yellow 4-wheelers, riding garb and milk crates (ok, one was green, one was red) just went by, each with a matching Dalmation in the milk crates.
    Previously 3 young kids were running a radio controlled hot-rod-dune buggy type model car across the parking lot (it goes VERY fast), aiming it at the seagulls who are loitering about waiting for food.
    A neighbor came over, wanting to borrow a can opener to open a can of tuna. He launched into the “raccoon problem”, explaining that he was going to half open the can and place it over on the other side of the parking lot,reasoning that they would stay busy over there and leave him alone. Meanwhile his girlfriend is absently feeding some sort of snack food to the seagulls, in their campsite. (The gulls seem to be ignoring a scattered carpet of similar foodstuffs all over the place, apparently they like the fresh stuff) [Let’s not forget the raccoons]
    Another neighbor came over, wanting to know if I had a large pot.
    I moved from my first choice of a parking spot when the scruffarian in a van the next spot over slid his side door open the moment I pulled up and started up a tirade about the raccoons as well. From the smell of his van it appeared he had been fishing. For a few days at least.

    It’s not even dark yet….

    • That’s relatively inexpensive for all that pestering ‘entertainment’.
      Appears it should be named Raccoon haven…

      • Raccoons are the worst. Not only do they tip over the garbage, but they shred it into teeny tiny pieces. Ugh!

        I finally figured out that a bungee cord over the top of the can does wonders. They still tip over the can, but they don’t get into it. Take that, raccoons!

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