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March 27, 2014 12:12 AM UTC

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

"It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things."

–Henry David Thoreau


29 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

    1. The Horror. People will have more time to sign up for affordable health insurance, and a lot of people who were previously denied due to pre-existing conditions will finally get care.   To a Conservative, this is a bad thing.   

      1. It is a scary thing, Curmie. Every cartoon our moonbat Cowardly troll posts just confirms that the only tactics they have left is to try to convince progressives we should just roll over because defeat is inevitable or to trivialize everything in hopes that the public won't notice that it (the ACA) is working.

        Now if we could just get congress back, we could work towards getting a public option, which would be exceptionally sweet.

        1. I'll never understand Conservative "humor"…I know he thinks/hopes it scares us or annoys us somehow, but it's just puzzling. Do people really think it's funny to have the same stereotypes, lies, and misconceptions repeated to them over and over and over again, like a fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd email?

          This must be why I never found the jokes on "Hee Haw" funny…although Roy Clark was a legitimate shredder….

          1. Roy Clark was a picker, no doubt. I never did think Hee Haw was funny, either. I was mostly embarrassed by it. Being ascended from Hillbilly roots, I found it to be demeaning.

        1. Bush did exactly this same thing when starting up Medicare Part D. Democrats didn't complain then, because (a) the date to begin sign-ups didn't change, and (b) it was ultimately a benefit for people. Just FYI.

      2. For those that view everything as a black and white, no shades of gray, morality play, this is a bad thing: if you get sick it's because you're lazy or otherwise irresponsible The reality of course is a different story—many people develop chronic through no fault of their own.

        There is no way to ensure everyone has a basic level of access to healthcare or guaranteed insurance coverage  without some degree of government involvement, which is incompatible with the notion—at least in the terms the GOP seems to define it—of small government. The GOP subsequently faces a dilemma: do they push for smaller government or for a viable alternative to the ACA?  

      1. I helped them reach that number.  Finally got around to it. It was easy once I got a human to help me get my instant medicaid rejection. The site was a bit confusing for me as a self employed person in one spot so I gave up and called and was really glad I did. Even though it's the last week I didn't have to wait on hold too long, annoying long but not infuriating long, and the person who helped me was terrific and made the rest easy as pie. With credits I'm now paying a little under half what my old private insurance cost me with the same pretty high deductible but no higher.  Just need to get through the next few years to medicare age. Plan to keep the high deductible option until then and we have some left in the old health savings account to make that hurt less. My husband reached medicare age a couple of years ago so what insurance costs us a month has been dramatically lowered since the days when we both had private insurance that kept getting more ridiculously expensive despite the fact that we both hardly ever use it. Knock wood. 

        Hope my positive, money saving experience doesn't make AC too sad.crying


        1. I'll double down on the AC sadness front. Due to price-fixing by big Pharma, against which I plan to start a petition, the generic meds I take increased in price by 1200%. Because of Obamacare, I can still get my meds for the price of a co-pay, which for me is low.

  1. Today in Censored News: Cheyenne River people force a megaload  truck of tar sands off the reservation in South Dakota.  Native peoples are saying an emphatic "No!" to the run up to the Keystone pipeline, no to megatons of toxic waste stored on Indian land.



    1. Can't read the article behind the paywall, but, no. We can't ignore rural Colorado. There are these  things we need: food, water, air, open space, wilderness, diversity.

  2. Obama fully endorses the Bush/Cheney war doctrine with regards to Iraq and completes the sad course that ruined and rejected the newly energized and revitalized base he created in 2008:

    Yesterday President Barack Obama tried to claim that the United States government’s actions in the 2003 Iraq War were legal and different than Russia’s actions in Crimea because the US had“sought to work within the international system.” Apparently merelyseeking to work within the international system is some kind of get out of jail free card. If one follows Obama’s logic then Russia need only to have “sought” a doomed UN resolution justifying the annexation of Crimea before doing so, this would have made their actions legitimate under Obama’s standard.

    Of course the Iraq War killed hundreds of thousands of people and annexation of Crimea has killed how many again? Let’s just hope this absurd argument of legitimacy through failed UN lobbyingdoes not turn into a doctrine, it can justify anything.

    Anne-Marie Slaughter of the New America Foundation has some sound advice for Obama and others trying to act like Russia’s actions during Ukraine’s political crisis are some amazing act of aggression unseen before in our lifetimes – tone down the sanctimony.

    More broadly, the United States would do well to tone down its sanctimony. Putin’s annexation of Crimea violated international law. But so did the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the NATO intervention to protect Kosovo, even if the latter was, to many, including me, a legitimate violation. Insisting that this is a new era because Moscow is bent on violating international law may indeed propel the world into a new era. But that would be a choice of our making, not Russia’s.

    Actions speak louder than words, and Obama's failure to back up his rhetoric from both election campaigns has proven that triangulating towards right-wing solutions in contradicting your stated principles will surely cost you votes and support and expose you as a hypocrite of vast proportions:

    In merciful brief, the president attempted to explain to the world why the self-destructive and mendacious decision of the United States to engage in aggressive war in Iraq in contravention of god alone knows how many provisions of international law was manifestly different — politically, legally, and morally — from Vladimir Putin's land grabbing in and around Ukraine.

    It represented the cleanest break available to the country from the bloody stupdity of the previous administration. It was the seedbed for all the hope and all the change. The problem arose when the architects of the American fiasco were allowed to escape any real accounting for what they'd done in Iraq and to the United States. There was no public punishment, no public shaming, no indication from the new administration that it was ready to demand penance from the old. And yesterday, the president illustrated quite clearly the size of the corner in which his basic philosophy had painted him.

    The case he made was preposterous.

    And one more gigantic negative effect of the posturing and prevarication of the President: he gave Republicans the opportunity to notch win after policy win in Washington, DC, while they have lost electorally time and time again.

    It will hardly matter, but I’ll be shocked if Democrats manage to keep the Senate in this era The Cowardly Democrat.

    1. ~~Putin’s annexation of Crimea violated international law. But so did the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the NATO intervention to protect Kosovo, even if the latter was, to many, including me, a legitimate violation."

      Apparently that is what it boils down to, an opinion and how many nations you have on your side who agree with it. The Bush/Cheney/neocon rationale, no matter how morally and ethically bankrupt, served as a plausible excuse to invade.  Putin doesn't have that, and his intimations of empire are threatening the stability of the region and beyond it. 

      Do I agree with the war doctrine? No. Many of us didn't at the time.  But it seems that as the world has figuratively shrunk, the principles established in what we call  the Monroe Doctrine have been expanded.  Politics is a dirty business in the best of times. We rarely have the best of times.  Putin has put himself in a corner.  Let's keep him there.   

      The Iraq invasion established a dangerous precedent, and the American people are tired of war.  I certainly agree there.  I don't think it will come to war, however.  No one wants it to.  Bush, Cheney and the neocons created a mess both domestically and abroad, that will take a long time to clean up.  I see no point in blaming Obama.  That is just another political football to be used for short term gain. Walking all this back won't happen any time soon.  

      1. Unfortunately, Putin's phony contentions that ethnic Russians in Crimea (and perhaps next in eastern Ukraine proper) needed to be protected and therefore the occupation and annexation were justified, are no less valid an excuse than the one we used to invade Iraq as a response to terrorist acts in which Iraq played no part. There was no more evidence of excuse number two, mobile chemical weapons labs, than there is now for persecution of ethnic Russians and, if anything,  a shade more for the invalidity of Crimea's becoming part of Ukraine in the first place. We're talking degrees of dog ate my homework level excuses here.

        We should do whatever we can to prevent further Russian territorial aggression but thanks to Cheney/Bush and the political cowardice of a largely supine Dem opposition at the time we can no longer do so from any moral high ground. And let's not forget how limited the international support for the invasion of Iraq was and how many nations, including France and Germany (hardly insignificant light weights) who willingly participated in Afghanistan, refused to touch it with a ten foot pole. 

        Among those things we threw the right to moral high ground away on during the Cheney/Bush era we must number the right to claim moral high ground on torture, unprovoked territorial aggression, arbitrary and secret imprisonment, numerous civil rights and liberties. 

        There has been a promise to walk back torture under Obama but that's about it and there have been no consequences for the war crimes committed by the Cheney/Bush administration with water boarding simply being a newer name for a process formerly known as water torture that conveniently doesn't include the word torture and also being quite firmly established by legal precedent in both the military and civilian justice systems as A) torture and B) a crime, for which both military and civilians have been prosecuted and convicted over many decades.

        We should do as much as we can but we 'd be better off just claiming our own and the international community's best interests rather than getting into the question of whose actions have been less justified. 

        1. Highly suggested reading on the Crimea situation from a seasoned foreign service officer about the RealPolitiks of the matter:

          Bottomline:  Crimea has Russia's only warm-water port, and thus is worth almost any price to protect.  That there were sufficient pro-Russian supporters to vote to secede was Putin's ace-in-the-hole.  After the bluster dies down, there won't be war, Russia will take a few hits internationally for a while, and the world will move on.

          1. Yep. The USSR was fine with that port belonging to Ukraine when Ukraine belonged to the USSR.  Never thought the USSR would disolve and Ukraine would become a whle other country. But will the world be quite so complacent about all of eastern Ukraine? Or the next piece of the old USSR and Empire Putin want's back?

            1. At the risk of sounding like Chamberland, I think Putin has what he wants.  If he starts a civil war in the Ukraine, he'll have his own little Iraq.

        2. I think you are right.  But as president Obama will never say that going into Iraq was illegal for both domestic and international political and diplomatic reasons.  And the neocons still do think that what they did was in the national interest and therefore legal and moral.  That is a tragic thing.  But, then many in the South are still fighting the Civil War, so I suppose it is no wonder.

          Iraq will remain a very painful experience for a long time as we can see.  Sometimes it is not what you do as much as how you do it that makes the difference, and the neocons botched the whole intervention thing.  It is what it is, and as Davie says below, the world will move on. 

  3. Here's a piece pointing out that Benghazi investigation has run into the millions of dollars. The video explains something many on this site probably know already: the investigation isn't really about figuring out the truth but reaffirming the Republican ideology about President Obama.

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