Open Thread

From Kip the Wonder Rat, in comments:

Just got off the phone with the phone staffer for Lewis (GA-4). He says that the Congressman agrees with the President completely. BUT, “the other side has been much more vocal today.”


Chat about whatever.

32 replies
  1. 1
    Handy says:

    What is right has nothing to do with who is the most vocal.

  2. 2
    Hal says:

    BUT, “the other side has been much more vocal today.”

    So the conspiracy nuts crawled out of their basement bomb shelters long enough to make a few phone calls?

  3. 3

    @Handy: If only our system worked that way…..

  4. 4
    👽 Martin says:

    the other side has been much more vocal today.

    Duh. WATBs tend to always win that particular contest.

  5. 5
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Fuck, we won’t call. We never do, but God, we’ll bitch about how the media and our congresscritters do whatever the teatards ask and bend over backwards for them.

    But we won’t call. History proves that.

  6. 6
    NonyNony says:


    What is right has nothing to do with who is the most vocal.

    What does that have to do with the actions of a democratically elected government?

    (I mean, if we had a king it would be a different story – we’d be at the whims of his conscience instead. But we don’t have a king, so the most vocal folks tend to get their way a lot more often than one might like.)

    ETA: Not an endorsement of monarchy by any stretch. But democracy takes work, and sometimes that work really is shouting like a crazy person until you get your way. The right figured this out a long time ago – it’s painful that intelligent people on the left seem to believe the fiction of “how government works” learned from Schoolhouse Rock and locally approved government classes instead of actually watching how government works and reacting accordingly.

  7. 7
    Calouste says:

    Wholefoods CEO John Mackey about the ACA:

    “Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.”

    There’s a shop one block from where I live, which was my default supermarket. I’ll never shop at that asshole’s stores again.

  8. 8

    Dennis Kucinich has joined Fox News as a paid contributor.

    Kucinich, God love him, has some pretty strong firebagger impulses. I really don’t see this as a good thing. Now we’ll get Obama bashing from the Left on Fox, as well as the crazy Tea Party shit. It must be Ailes’ new editorial policy.

  9. 9
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Has anyone heard from Gex today?

  10. 10
    kindness says:

    My rep is a crazy Teabagger. I e-mail all the time but have yet to get a response back. At least when my rep was an idiot blue dog Democrat I used to get reply e-mails. Now, I’m nothing in their eyes.

    Calling….OK. I’ll do it.

  11. 11


    I actually think Mackey is technically close to correct, the individual mandate sans public option being the reason why. I wrote about it back in November 2009 here. However, I think the difference between what we got and traditional fascism is that the government doesn’t have any skin in the game regarding the for-profit system. Under ACA it is simply regulating it.

    And also, unlike Mackey, I also think that where healthcare is concerned, a little fascism or socialism is not a bad thing. Personally I’d prefer we dump the private, for-profit model completely, since it’s neither workable, nor functional, nor affordable. But that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. I’d prefer socialism over fascism where healthcare is concerned, but there you go.

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    @Southern Beale: Even the liberal Dennis Kucinich agrees that Obama is worse than Hitler!

  13. 13
    Tom Hilton says:

    Those kids who appeared with the President…do any of them have granite countertops?

    Never mind–I’ll just ask Michelle Malkin.

  14. 14
    aimai says:


    I hate, hate, hate that guy with a white hot passion.

  15. 15
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Southern Beale: Um…no. Fascisim isn’t a specific economic arrangement (the way socialism is) so much as a collection of impulses. (Many of which, I’ll note at the risk of going Godwin Lite, are shared by today’s movement conservatism.)

  16. 16
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I’ve always been impressed with Rep. Kucinich’s fearlessness and thoughtfulness about important issues,” said Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes in a statement.

    Translated: I’ve always been impressed with his willingness to frag Democrats.

  17. 17
    trollhattan says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    Au contraire, Mackey has JONAH GOLDBERG in his court on this. He’s INVINCIBLE. Also, too, gruesomely overpriced, but hey…

    Glad I have many, many options to WF. I’d be in a pickle if it were just they and Walmart.

  18. 18
    gwangung says:


    What is right has nothing to do with who is the most vocal.


    What is right also has nothing to do with what actually gets done.

    Get LOUD, folks.

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    What is right has nothing to do with who is the most vocal.

    Qui tacet consentire.

  20. 20
    Haydnseek says:

    @trollhattan: But would it be an ORGANIC pickle? Sorry, it’s been a long day……..

  21. 21
    Lurker says:


    There’s a shop one block from where I live, which was my default supermarket. I’ll never shop at that asshole’s stores again.

    If you live in Southern California, consider Trader Joe’s, Ralph’s, Sprouts Farmer’s Market, actual farmer’s markets and Costco. You can also get interesting things from and Netrition.

    I haven’t shopped at Whole Foods since 2009, and I haven’t missed it.

  22. 22

    Since this is an open thread, there’s something I need to get off my chest. I have a five year old little girl in kindergarten. And I do not want armed guards in her school. I don’t want to see her have to walk through a metal detector to get into school. I do not want my children to grow up going to school in a military installation or a high security prison.

    What kind of people are we that we’re even talking about sending gun-toting guards into our children’s schools? Is this really the best we can do? Some nut shoots up a school, and rather than trying to get some of these guns off the street, we want to turn our children’s schools into Concentration camps? What the hell is wrong with us?

    We can do the right thing here, and that is to work to get the guns off the street. I favor banning machine guns and then buying back all guns that anybody wants to get rid of. It won’t end every threat today, but slowly, we can make this country a safer one. In time, maybe, there won’t be any guns loose, aside from some fowling shotguns and deer-hunting rifles. That’s a day I look forward to.

    Now, sure, this won’t stop every nut from killing somebody. A guy with a knife or an ax or a baseball bat can still kill somebody. But a guy with a knife or an ax or a baseball bat cannot kill 30 people in a minute in a half. It’s true, some nut who’s set on killing a bunch of schoolchildren will, if he’s dedicated enough, find a way to at least try. But I’d much rather see some nut try to carry out a mass killing with a knife than a machine gun.

    And let’s be clear, here: There’s no way to wipe out every threat in life. We can cut down on them, but we can’t do away with them altogether. Anybody with children understands that there’s always a chance that something bad will happen to their little girl or boy. Well, that’s life. There’s just no way to make it all go away. But we can lessen the odds of something happen. What’s ironic is that utting armed gunmen in school only makes a bloodbath more likely.

    I don’t think that banning even all guns is going to do away with every threat to my child. Nothing ever will. And I don’t know of anybody who is saying that an absolute ban would do that. But even if we can’t get rid of every last threat, we can make them less likely. I want to do that.

    And I cannot for the life of me understand the argument I see so often that, goes, essentially, “Well, [whichever particular bill we’re talking about] won’t thoroughly eliminate the threat, so we shouldn’t do anything.”

    Jeez, I know that locking my doors at night won’t make it impossible for a determined thief to break into my house. But that isn’t the point. I’m not trying to make it impossible for anybody to steal my stuff, only to make it a good deal harder. And the fact that locked doors won’t keep every thief out does not mean that I shouldn’t bother locking my doors at all, since, what’s the point, there’s nothing I can do, all is lost!

    Along the same lines, I wear a seat belt. I know I could die in a car wreck even with my seat belt on. I know that. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no good reason to even bother. It means that sometimes, however much we would like to believe otherwise, bad things happen. I doesn’t mean we just give up. It means we do the best we can to tip the odds in our favor and go on with our lives.

    I can’t keep every bad thing from happening to my daughter. I can only make the odds better. But by going overboard the wrong way, I can sure as hell make things worse for her. Growing up in a police state, where she can’t set foot in public without seeing armed guards all over for fear that some machine-gun wielding nut might shoot up a school or store or park or street is a sure way to warp my daughter. And it isn’t the world I want her to grow up in.

    We can do better than to cower in fear of every bogeyman, hoping for “good guys with guns” to save us. We can do better than this. Can’t we?

  23. 23
    Mnemosyne says:


    Is the meat as good at Sprouts as it is at Whole Foods? That’s pretty much the only thing I buy at Whole Foods anymore, because it’s hard to find the grass-fed and other (more) ethical meats anywhere else.

  24. 24
    Lojasmo says:


    “Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.”

    Actually, socialism implies the social ownership of the means of production.

    Fascism merely promotes a well regulated means of production, whether it be in private or public hands.

    Guy is a fucking Derp.

  25. 25
    Lojasmo says:


    Sprouts evidently has very nice ethical meats. I am jealous.

  26. 26
    Kip the Wonder Rat says:

    @Handy: Weenie.

  27. 27
    Kip the Wonder Rat says:

    @👽 Martin: Weenie.

  28. 28
    Kip the Wonder Rat says:

    @kindness: Good for you. I’ve lobbied the Hill several times in person over the years. As many others have chimed in at BJ, emails are worthless. Calls are listened to. LETTERS are the best. Faxes used to be about like letters, but the wingnuts over-used that medium so much that I’m not so sure where they place, even in teabagger offices.

  29. 29
    Wat says:

    “BUT, “the other side has been much more vocal today.””

    Because apparently it’s necessary for a policy to have a bunch of people shouting in favor of it AS WELL as being sane and sensible in order for Congresscritters to actually support it. FFS, America…

  30. 30
    Soup of the evening says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.): Dead thread, but just in case you see this, I was going to put it off till tomorrow, but this comment pushed me to write my new teatard rep. Am about to print the letter out now and get it in my mailbox.

  31. 31
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Lojasmo: the problem with fascism was not the belief in well regulated markets. The problem was the undemocratic hyper nationalism, oppressive foreign policy, and something about the Jews. In light of that, how they would provision healthcare vs. how Stalinists would is kind of irrelevant. The point of flinging out fascism is to make the ACA seem evil. We seem to be heading toward Swiss or Dutch medical provision models….doesn’t really sound scary.

  32. 32
    Carl Nyberg says:

    The problem I have with the call your Congressman routine…

    Well, first, I don’t have a Congressman. There’s a special election coming up.

    But more generally, when I worked for Campaign for UN Reform (cka Citizens for Global Solutions) I got exposed to U of Md’s Program on International Policy Attitudes research about how members of Congress see constituent contact.

    Members of Congress see constituent contact from people who believe things that are factually incorrect and full of spelling and grammar errors (but of a Right Wing bent) as evidence of where the people are on the issue. And they see well-reasoned progressive constituent contact as evidence of a well-organized minority who is out-of-touch with the majority’s opinions.

    Lest we think members of Congress and their staffs are stupid, the fact that the majority is with the Democrats on the issues doesn’t keep Republicans from getting more votes during the elections.

    The whole system seems fundamentally illogical.

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