Pick Up The Damn Phone

I just got off the phone to my Congresscritturs:  Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, and Joe Kennedy.  I spoke to aides at each place, thanking Senator Warren for her support for the Iran deal, and urging in the strongest possible terms that Senator Markey and Rep. Kennedy pull their fingers out and do the same.

The bad guys are hitting the airwaves, the junkets, the phones hard on this one.  President Obama got this one right: the anti-deal folks include all those who screwed up the Iraq call.  We shouldn’t — we must not — let the nation listen to them again.

Joseph_Hauber_(attr)_Falter_Pilz_Schlange

To that end: aeons ago I did a summer’s worth of answering the phone on Capitol Hill for a congressman.  I’ve asked, and what was true then is still true: phone calls make a difference to these people — and you’d be surprised how few calls it takes to register with them.

So get on the phone.  Call your representatives.

House of Representatives numbers.

Senate numbers.

Thank your peeps if they’ve already got this one right:  affirmation matters a lot to them.  If they are still thinking, urge them POLITELY to come out in favor of the deal.  Tell them how disappointed you are, how angry, how motivated for change you have become if they tell you that they’re going to try to block the deal.  (Again — do so politely, but firmly.  That’s vastly more scary to them than bluster.)

If you want a great quick review of the arguments for the deal, there’s no better place to start that James Fallows. This post and this one will put you ahead of the entire neo-con policy apparat.*

In any event.  Call. Call now. Get your friends to get on the horn. It matters.

*This one opens with a longer list of Fallows’ arguments for the deal in the context of an opponents view.  The asymmetry of intellectual power will, I think, speak for itself.

Image:  attibuted to Joseph Hauber, Unsterblichkeit – Falter, Knollenblätterpilz und Schlange,** before 1834.

**translation help, anyone?

 

114 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Need to check to see if Maryland Reps and Senators are backing the Iran Deal. I assume so because they’re Democrats in a mostly Blue state but shouldn’t make any assumptions.

    Every vote counts.

  2. 2
    jl says:

    Washington Post is keeping an updated whip count on the vote.

    Whip count: Where the Senate stands on the Iran deal
    Washington Post

    Current state of play

    (Updated 7:57 a.m. on Aug. 11)

    Yes or leaning yes (34 needed to uphold veto, keep the deal): 29

    No or leaning no (67 needed to override veto, kill the deal): 58

    Unknown/unclear: 13

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....iran-deal/

    Has info, or notes lack thereof, on all 100 Senators.

    Edit: Manchin is listed as supporting but hesitant, I thought I heard him express stronger support. If that doesn’t change, Cole can have fun calling and venting a little.

  3. 3
    Mike in NC says:

    Our new senator is that imbecile who suggested it was government overreach to request restaurant employees to wash their hands. Our new representative is a neo-Confederate shitbird who was mentored by Jesse Helms.

  4. 4
    bg says:

    Vey pleasantly surprised that my Senator, Bill Nelson supports the treaty, and have taken the time to send him an attaboy.

    I know it was a waste of breath, but I called Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s office. I was treated skeptically but politely and I was cross-examined a little bit about the details.
    But at least she knows not all her constitutents oppose the treaty.

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    Good point about thanking pols who are voting the right way. I’m too likely to harangue the undecided and leave it at that, failing to express gratitude to the righteous. But I will mend my ways.

  6. 6
    oldster says:

    Just called my psychopath, Tom Reed, and left a polite message with a flunkie. This guy is so far to the right that he would fit better into downstate GA than upstate NY, so it was probably pointless. But noise is noise, and I’m glad to have made some.

    Gillibrand’s line busy. Schumer…don’t get me started.

  7. 7
    Origuy says:

    My Senators, Boxer and Feinstein, have come out in favor. So has my Representative, Mike Honda; the only question is whether he’ll be awake for the vote. He’s a reliable liberal, but probably should have retired last year.

  8. 8
    Pappenheimer says:

    Nie sprech, but Shlange is almost certainly Snake. See shlong, which I think is american slang out of Yiddish.

    As for my congresscritter…it’s WA-05, Jake.

  9. 9
    Jeffro says:

    Pretty sure my Senators support the deal…will double-check and also check on my Rep.

    OT but OMG funny: http://wonkette.com/592810/you.....und-fap-to
    That’s one down. Who will be next (besides Gilmore of course): Jindal or Christie?

    UPDATED: as it turns out, Sen Warner is “undecided”…not after he gets an earful from me, though…

  10. 10
    Patrick ii says:

    My comment is very simple : give peace a chance.

    We can always bomb them later if things don’t work out .

  11. 11
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @oldster: Thankfully, Gillibrand has already said she supports the deal. As for Schumer, it’s a big sigh.

  12. 12
    dedc79 says:

    I interned in DC for a summer in college before moving here permanently. A bunch of friends were interning for various senators/reps answering phones and responding to emails and letters. They all told me that the number of comments/inquiries/complaints they received about gas prices dwarfed all the other issues combined. Depressing.

  13. 13
    RSA says:

    Unsterblichkeit – Falter, Knollenblätterpilz und Schlange

    Best I can do is Immortality – Moth, Deathcap [mushroom], and Snake.

  14. 14
    bmcchgo says:

    It’s easy in these cases being from the home of the Muslim Kenyan Usurper, but I called my Senator (Durbin) and Congressman (Danny Davis) and spoke with two very nice young men. One even wondered aloud what’s up with Schumer? Pure politics and powerful Jewish lobby, young lad.

    I wasn’t gonna call Mark Kirk, but on second thought….

  15. 15
    Elie says:

    Called my senators and my cong representative…

    This must pass…

  16. 16
    jl says:

    My rusty German and Google translator says Immortality: Moth, some kind of toadstool, and snake.

  17. 17
    goblue72 says:

    @Origuy: Probably should have but his Democratic opponent was a neoliberal 1%-er type (Ro Khanna -D) who ran to be the flunkie of the SV technorati. (CA has a top 2 system, so two Dems often face off in strong Blue districts)

  18. 18
    Mayken says:

    My German is rusty but Unsterblichkeit is “immortality” (and that I only know because I memorized it for something else ages and ages ago – the things our brains hold onto!) and pitz is fungus so I assume it’s the kind of mushroom in the picture. Not 100% sure about Falter but I assume it’s the winged critter. Schmetterling is the German word I know for butterfly so maybe moth?
    Oh, and yes, Schlange is snake. And, yes, the slang is the same in German.
    Lots of edits for grammar. Geez!

  19. 19
    Emerald says:

    Both the California senators are OK on this, and my rep is Issa (I apologize to the world for that fact. We tried, we really did, but the district includes Tom Metzger country).

    I called Issa’s office once before to tell him not to shut down the government.. His minion yelled at me. I don’t need the stress.

    Good luck to everybody else!

  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    Unsterblichkeit – Falter, Knollenblätterpilz und Schlange
    My Langenscheidt Standard Dictionary tells me:
    Immortality — Butterfly, [tuber-leaf] Mushroom and Snake.
    I’m no expert on mushrooms, so I wouldn’t know if the mushrooms in the painting are edible or not — which might be important to what they symbolise in the painting.

  21. 21
    Smiling Mortician says:

    WTF? Both of my D senators are on the “unknown/unclear” list (Cantwell & Murray). So are Mikulski and Stabenow. I do not get it. But I guess I better make some calls.

  22. 22
    RandomMonster says:

    @RSA: That’s how I read it, too.

  23. 23
    Origuy says:

    @goblue72: Yeah, I ended up voting for Honda because I was uncomfortable about Khanna. I think most other Democrats who might have run stayed out because Honda was running again. Had he retired, there might have been another choice.

  24. 24
    RSA says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’m not great at symbolism, but I know that moths are symbols of death (Hauber would have used Schmetterling for butterfly, I’m guessing), and that the poisonous mushrooms and the snake can cause death. I guess that’s a contrast with immortality?

  25. 25
    goblue72 says:

    @Origuy: True enough. I hope. Khanna is fundraising to run again in 2016.

  26. 26
    RandomMonster says:

    @Amir Khalid: Not butterfly. That’s ‘Schmetterling’. Oh the beautiful German language …

  27. 27
    jl says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yeah ‘tuberleafedtoadstool’ is as close as I could figure out from memory and online translator. Moth can be Motte or Falter, I don’t remember whether the two imply any meaningful distinction.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Thank you for posting this. It is a big deal and the encouragement matters.

  29. 29
    goblue72 says:

    @Smiling Mortician: Srsly? Neither Murray nor Cantwell have anything to worry about in terms of GOP challenges in any upcoming election cycle. The Jewish community in WA state is minuscule, so any worries about “pro-Israel/AIPAC” type voters would be completely overblown. And their base in the Puget Sound area is probably in favor of the deal.

    Makes no sense.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mayken:
    I remember the word Unsterblichkeit from this verse of Les Misérables:

    Ich hab´ geträumt vor langer Zeit
    Von einem Leben, das sich lohnte
    Von Liebe und Unsterblichkeit
    Vom guten Gott, der mich verschonte

    Listening to Les Mis in German on YouTube has been very helpful to my study of German.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    In Europe, moths are an omen of death.

    So, I take the title to imply that death is the only immortal.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    Another OT but OMG (this time not in a funny way): Fox surrenders to Trump http://nymag.com/daily/intelli.....kelly.html

  33. 33
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @Patricia Kayden: According to the Wapo article listed above Ben Cardin is listed as purely undecided, and Barbara Mikulski has not expressed an opinion. Cardin’s office # is (202) 224-4524. Mikulski’s # is (202) 224-4654.

    I called the senators, as well as Rep. John Delaney, about 2 weeks ago and simply asked them to support the agreement. I called about 9:00 a.m. and got right through. My husband called yesterday afternoon and had to try several times to get through. I’m thinking about calling once a week until there is a vote, but I’m not sure if that would be counterproductive. Tom, do you have any suggestions on that?

  34. 34
    Joel says:

    I’ve given Casey a call but the voicemail dropped on me. I’ll give him another.

    As for Toomey, fuck him.

  35. 35
    agorabum says:

    @Origuy: California is frustrating politically for many reasons, but it seems like every time these calls come out on the really big things, they’re national level politicians are on the right side (republican reps in parts of OC and central valley excepted)

  36. 36
    esme says:

    Thanks for the reminder/encouragement to call. Called Klobuchar and Franken and got right through to very pleasant staffers.

  37. 37
    Jeff says:

    Just called Mark “sitting duck” Kirk, (R IL).

    Told his telephone answerer that he better support the Iran Deal or he will be working for Tammy Ducworth next year. Very polite, yet firm.

  38. 38
    Mike J says:

    @Amir Khalid: Google says blätter pilz is “agaric”, which is a psychoactive.

  39. 39
    WaterGirl says:

    I called my senator, Mark Kirk (R-Sociopath). Not that it will do any good!

    His staffer said Kirk is vehemently opposed and just doesn’t trust Iran not to use their nuclear weapons again their neighbor, Israel. Oh, and we could have gotten a better deal.

    I don’t know if Kirk is off his rocker because of the stroke he had or if he is just off his rocker because he’s a crazy republican, but I don’t care anymore. I just want him out of office.

  40. 40
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Smiling Mortician: Mikulski? That’s a shock, especially given that she’s already announced her retirement.

    In Europe, moths are an omen of death.

    Christ, then I can count the hours.

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Well, actually they got that status from a couple of moths that have a skull pattern on the wings, so watch out for those.

    They are also a symbol for giving in to dangerous attraction that leads to unhappiness, so maybe just put down the drink, stay away from the cake, turn off the TV, or just say no to that sketchy but desirable stranger giving you hot looks, or whatever trouble you are getting into these days.

  42. 42
    Jeff says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Kirk is toast next election.

  43. 43
    Poopyman says:

    @Patricia Kayden: From the WaPo site linked above:

    Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.): “There’s a lot of questions,” the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee said on NPR on July 14. In his opening statement of a July 23 hearing on the deal, he said, “Our negotiators got an awful lot, particularly on the nuclear front.”

    And Babs is “Unknown/Undecided”.

    I’m certain an encouraging phone call will do wonders for Ben’s soft spine. Babs, she’s retiring and likely won’t give a shit., but I’ll call anyway.

  44. 44
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Kay (not the front-pager): Don’t know. Will ask. My guess is that with senators, sheer volume helps, so calling and giving your first name and saying you’re a constituent will give the impression that you contain multitudes. Representatives, I think, tend to want to know who calls; certainly, Kennedy’s staffer asked me at the end of the call if I’d give him my contact info. (Which I did.)

  45. 45
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I was surprised about Mikulski also. Since she just hasn’t said anything one way or the other, I’m hoping she just doesn’t want to get into it but will vote yes. I’m not leaving it to chance, however. I’ve already called her (and Cardin) and will call at least once more. I may even break out the letterhead and send them a snail mail.

  46. 46
    Gimlet says:

    If the polls overwhelmingly favor Hillary, I’m not sure what to make of the crowds he’s drawing.

    On Saturday, an estimated 15,000 people turned out to see Sanders in Seattle.

    On Sunday night, 28,000 people attended a Sanders rally in Portland, the largest crowd so far for any political event in the 2016 cycle.

    The Sanders campaign, citing Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena officials, said 27,500 people were inside the venue or in an overflow area outside. Monday night’s event caps a three-day West Coast swing for Sanders that saw him pull record crowds.

    The crowds he’s attracting on the campaign trail are staggering in size for an underdog in an off-year.

    Hillary Clinton maintains a huge lead over Sanders in national polls and remains the heavy favorite to win the party’s nomination.

  47. 47
    piratedan says:

    Called McSally and Flake, know that it’s an uphill battle but better that they know than not…. Flake was an autobot, select option 1 to register a position, McSally, I got a staffer and they were polite and naturally wanted me on their mailing list.

  48. 48
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jeff: I never thought he could get elected in the first place.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    Called Mark Warner’s office. No decision there yet. So, will call a few more times….

    Also called to thank Tim Kaine, who was an early supporter of the Iran deal (as early as July 15). His office says calls are running about 50-50.

  50. 50
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @Tom Levenson: Thank you. Yes, Rep. Delaney’s answerer asked for my name so he could pass it on the the Congressman. The senators’ offices did not ask, but I gave my full name in my greeting. I will try again using just my first name.

  51. 51
    Smiling Mortician says:

    Just called both of my senators. I got voicemail for Murray and left a reasonably coherent message (I hate voicemail). Cantwell’s staffer answered on the first ring, was very pleasant, confirmed that the senator hasn’t announced a decision yet, seemed to be taking notes . . . dunno whether the calls will do any good, but they can’t do any harm.

    Anybody who’s iffy about calling your congresspeeps: take it from a genuine phone-phobe, it’s not bad.

  52. 52
    Pie Happens (opiejeanne) says:

    @Jeffro: I love that depiction of Hilary as Saint Joan.

  53. 53
    Mike J says:

    @Smiling Mortician: Did you call the Seattle or DC office? (if they didn’t ask for your name, etc, you could call the other one. )

  54. 54
    jl says:

    @Gimlet: I don’t think it means much. Sanders is on a series of stump speech tours with goal of drawing large crowds to show he has a viable campaign. HRC doesn’t need to do that.

    I just know that all three Democrats are doing what they should be doing at this early stage of campaign, formulating policies and organizing.

    HRC put out her college tuition proposal yesterday, which I mildly criticized as being too complicated, But all Sanders has, really, is a funding source and a rousing slogan, not a detailed policy proposal (unless I missed it).
    Sanders got endorsement of a large nurses union yesterday.

    Better doing those things than participating in some media freak show, which is all certain political parties I could name seem to know how to do anymore.

    One problem with Trump dominance is that he actually puts a friendlier face on the GOP, since he is not as rigidly ideological as the others. But maybe in long run OK, since people like Walker and Rubio are free to say things as extreme as they can to get support from someplace with little media attention. Walker is doubling down on his anti-abortion position, even when life of mother at risk or fetus not viable. Maybe he would trim on that if he had more visibility. He won’t be able to back out of that later, though in his case, apparently he would not anyway. But more clear public record of his insane position on abortion is better if he survives in primary.

  55. 55

    Here are my reasons for supporting the deal. Please feel free to use any that strike your fancy when you call your congresscritters.

  56. 56
    Pie Happens (opiejeanne) says:

    @Smiling Mortician: I have been emailing them, Cantwell and Murray, for weeks about this. Del Bene is good, she’s in favor of it. I sent her a nice note.

  57. 57
    Pie Happens (opiejeanne) says:

    @goblue72: Seattle’s a blue state. Murray and Cantwell have nothing to worry about , which is why it’s so frustrating that they haven’t declared.

  58. 58
    Ben says:

    @Emerald:
    Fuck that shit. Interns aren’t supposed to yell. I was an intern in a D office during the final ACA passage and never yelled once, not even at the caller who told me to tell my boss to “shove the bill up her p***y” and that I was a “fucking communist motherfucker”.

  59. 59
    JMG says:

    The reason so many Democratic Senators are staying uncommitted as long as possible is the desire, shared by all humans and especially by pols, to have it both ways. They’re well aware that there will be no blowback if Obama’s veto is upheld but they voted to override, and that blowback will be huge and quite likely career fatal if the override passes and they voted that way. So they’re all waiting in the hope there will be enough public declarations of support for the deal that they can vote no to assuage Israel-first types without getting burned for it.

  60. 60

    @Gimlet:

    If the polls overwhelmingly favor Hillary, I’m not sure what to make of the crowds he’s drawing.

    Two points:

    1) Hillary hasn’t had any big events yet, so it’s hard to compare the two directly.
    2) Attendance at rallies probably tracks the number of very enthusiastic supporters more closely than the total number of supporters.

    Neither of these things is meant as a knock against Sanders; getting that many people to a rally, especially this early in the campaign, is damned impressive.

  61. 61
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Both the California senators are OK on this, and my rep is Issa (I apologize to the world for that fact. We tried, we really did, but the district includes Tom Metzger country).

    I called Issa’s office once before to tell him not to shut down the government.. His minion yelled at me. I don’t need the stress.

    @Emerald: Same district, agree with you as to the cause of the problem, and yeah, Issa’s people will actually yell at you if you don’t agree with their boss. Most unbelievable treatment I have ever received from an elected official. I guess he knows he has a seat for life (he does) and has decided his actual constituents can go fuck themselves.

    Had they not redistricted (once again a big thank you for everyone who didn’t show in 2010, you dicks) I’d still be in what was Bilbray’s old district, and I’d have a Dem congresscritter.

  62. 62
    Mike J says:

    @Ben: The great thing about yelling at constituents is that half of them won’t call back on future issues, so you’ve lowered the number of people heard from on the opposing side.

    The half that do call back are more likely to be rude, and then you can tone police them and refuse to listen to such ruffians.

  63. 63
    mdblanche says:

    @Jeffro: I can hardly believe it, but Trump seems to have become the GOP’s Anthony Fremont.

  64. 64
    Gimlet says:

    Rasmussen

    Donald Trump remains the leader in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, but his support has fallen by a third over the past week-and-a-half. Carly Fiorina is now near the front of the pack.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Trump with 17% support among Likely Republican Primary Voters, down from 26% in late July before the first GOP debate. Senator Marco Rubio and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are in second place with 10% support each, in a near tie with Fiorina and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who both earn nine percent (9%) of the likely primary vote.

  65. 65
    Valdivia says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I think a lot of dems out there think it really makes no difference what Congress does, and it really does.

    Since I live in DC but work in Md I have called the Maryland Senators and will continue to do so until the end of recess and they are about to vote. I have a bad feeling about Cardin.

    Anyone call Sen Wyden’s office? He is down as a possible no, been making lots of negative noises. WTH is up with that?

    Also: according to this Schumer the ass is whipping against the deal. Would be good to tell your Senator that you think Schumer would make a horrible leader for the Dems.

    ETA: Steny Hoyer is on a trip to Israel sponsored by AIPAC–all the freshmen from Congress are on it apparently!–and he has been making bad noises about the deal too. But I hope Nancy will kick his ass into the right direction.

  66. 66

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    Had they not redistricted (once again a big thank you for everyone who didn’t show in 2010, you dicks) I’d still be in what was Bilbray’s old district, and I’d have a Dem congresscritter.

    While the people who didn’t show up in 2010 deserve a giant fuck you, they have nothing to do with the redistricting. In case you have forgotten, California’s districts are now drawn by a non-partisan redistricting commission, not by our elected representatives, and they’re based on census results, not on how many people voted.

  67. 67
    Gimlet says:

    @efgoldman:

    Ya gots what ya gots.

  68. 68
    Cacti says:

    18 Dems are firm yes votes on the deal:

    Baldwin, Boxer, Durbin, Feinstein, Gillibrand, Heinrich, Kaine, Klobuchar, King, Leahy, Murphy, Reed, Sanders, Schatz, Shaheen, Udall, and Warren

    8 are lean yes:

    Blumenthal, Brown, Carper, Franken, Manchin, McCaskill, Merkley, and Reid

    The remaining 19 are undecided or undeclared:

    Bennet, Booker, Cantwell, Cardin, Casey, Coons, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Hirono, Markey, Menendez, Mikulski, Murray, Peters, Stabenow, Tester, Warner, Whitehouse, and Wyden

    From The Hill

    The one nay thus far is odious warmonger Chuck Schumer (Likud-NY).

  69. 69
    dedc79 says:

    @efgoldman: we get the govt we deserve.

  70. 70
    jl says:

    @Jeffro:

    ” Fox surrenders to Trump ”

    Trump is dragging the whole GOP onto the Maury Povich show, except there are no guards with water bottles, or ‘exit counselors’ to try to manage the consequences. (I learned a lot about cable TV in hospital and clinic waiting rooms over the last year, it was an education!)

  71. 71
    goblue72 says:

    @Pie Happens (opiejeanne): I think you mean Washington is a blue state. ;) But otherwise, yes – I agree -its baffling.

    I lived in Seattle for three years – there were definitely days when I wished it was its own state!

  72. 72
    kc says:

    Thanks for this. I will call, though I don’t know what good it will do, given that my Congressmen and Senators are reliable GOP assholes.

  73. 73
    piratedan says:

    @Gimlet: I’d take anything Rasmussen promotes with a shaker of salt. Those guys are so far up the GOP establishment’s arse that they can probably indicate what their last three meals were.

  74. 74
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @Roger Moore: I would probably go to a Sanders rally if there were one near me. I like him. I like his positions and I like his passion. But there’s just no way I’m voting to put a 75 year old in the White House. I might not have felt so strongly about it 10 years ago, but as I watch my husband and other men around me hit the big seven oh, I realize that most men just really slow down and lose mental flexibility at that age. I don’t see that in women.

    Wait. There is a way I would vote for this old man – if he is the democratic nominee.

  75. 75
    goblue72 says:

    @efgoldman: Good old Ed King. Managed to ride the reactionary social politics of the Masshole electorate, funded by crony corporate interests, to boot Dukakis out of office – only to so overplay his hand to wind up a one-term Governor at the hands of…Dukakis.

    There are days I miss the shenanigans of Beacon Hill politics. Mind you, those days aren’t many, but I do miss them occasion, if only for sheer entertainment value.

  76. 76
    kc says:

    @Valdivia:

    ETA: Steny Hoyer is on a trip to Israel sponsored by AIPAC–all the freshmen from Congress are on it apparently!

    I guess it’s only proper that they visit the country they represent.

  77. 77
    Valdivia says:

    @Cacti: A few of the undecided in that list have been vocal in saying quite negative things (for example, Menendez will be a no for sure). I think the WaPo whip count upthread is more reflective of where things are with those who have not declared officially.

  78. 78
    kc says:

    @Kay (not the front-pager):

    I just hope he succeeds in pulling HC and O’Malley to the left on economic issues.

  79. 79
    Betsy says:

    Moths, mushrooms, and snakes are symbols of death, so the title might have been “Mortality.” So there seems to be a double meaning here … Perhaps, in that the moth resurrects itself after pupation; the mushrooms grow on dead logs, and the snake, … well, I don’t know. Anyone got an idea how a snake could represent immortality?

  80. 80
    goblue72 says:

    @Kay (not the front-pager): Soooo, you’re sexist in other words?

  81. 81
    Gimlet says:

    Another one

    Businessman Donald Trump continues to lead the Republican field in Iowa, a new Suffolk University Poll finds, but his performance in Thursday’s opening debate has dented his standing.

    The survey of 500 Iowans likely to participate in the Republican caucuses, taken by landline and cell phone from Friday through Monday

    Trump leads the field at 17%, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 12% and Rubio at 10%.

    A 54% majority reject Trump’s complaints that he was treated unfairly by the Fox News anchors who served as moderators; 41% agree with him.

    A third of Iowa Republicans say Trump “doesn’t show appropriate respect for women”, while 46%, side with the real-estate mogul and reality-TV star, saying criticism of his comments about women “are just examples of political correctness.”

    Trump scores a big lead among those who didn’t watch the debate, at 21%, but among those who watched the debate, Trump does less well, tied with Walker at 14%.

  82. 82
    Cacti says:

    @Valdivia:

    A few of the undecided in that list have been vocal in saying quite negative things (for example, Menendez will be a no for sure). I think the WaPo whip count upthread is more reflective of where things are with those who have not declared officially.

    I’d also suggest that BJers not forget blue and purple state GOPer Senators who will be defending their seats in 2016, like:

    Ayotte (NH), Kirk (IL), Johnson (WI), Portman (OH), and Toomey (PA)

  83. 83
    JPL says:

    @Tom Levenson: Forgive me, but I live in GA. A friend lives at Lake Hartwell and she has seen support Israel signs. It’s not because of the large Jewish population. I think my friend
    is one of three.

    If you have a chance, will you comment on the article by the billionaires, that was in the NYTimes Sunday Review section. link

    link didn’t work… http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08.....38;emc=rss

    lol.. it sure did that time

  84. 84
    Baud says:

    @kc:

    O’Malley’s proposed policies are to Sanders’ left, last I heard.

  85. 85
    Valdivia says:

    @Cacti: yes and Flake from Arizona is actually a possible yes, would be nice to show him some love if he does support it.

  86. 86
    gelfling545 says:

    @oldster: I contacted Shumer’s office to let him know that while I had voted for him in the past, if he gets a primary challenge I’ll go for whomever it may be due to his lily-livered protection of his political contacts in the face of one of the most important issues of the times. I need to contact Gillibrand to say thanks. I was not all that excited when she was named to fill HRC’s office but I have been quite surprisingly happy with her to date.

  87. 87
    Cacti says:

    Ron Wyden of Oregon needs to be read the riot act from his blue constituents.

  88. 88
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Soooo, you’re sexist in other words?

    @goblue72: I won’t speak to any sexism but she’s not wrong about the 70s mental (and physical) slowdown. Both my parents are in their seventies, my mom is just blasting right along, my dad, who is in perfect health, has slowed down a LOT.

    It doesn’t happen to everyone (witness Jerry Brown) but he is the exception and most assuredly not the rule.

  89. 89
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Forgive me, but I live in GA. A friend lives at Lake Hartwell and she has seen support Israel signs. It’s not because of the large Jewish population. I think my friend is one of three.

    @JPL: Things have changed. My parents and grandparents are from Alabama. My brother’s middle name is “Allen” because spelling it “Alan” was “too Jewish”. I shit you not.

    These people now support Israel? It is to laugh. This has nothing to do with Israel and everything about trying, once again, to ruin the black guy in the White House.

  90. 90
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Mike J: D.C. Cantwell’s staffer didn’t ask my name, just zip code. I left my name on Murray’s voicemail. I’ll try Seattle tomorrow.

  91. 91
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Oh to live in a world where Elizabeth Drew could get the kind of attention Megyn Kelly gets. Or even Maureen Dowd.

    Elizabeth Drew ‏@ ElizabethDrewOH 6h6 hours ago Delaware, USA
    .Jeb! conveniently overlooks that it was his Bro! who made the status of forces agreement with Iraq that US troops would be withdrawn

  92. 92
    jl says:

    @Betsy: snakes molt?

  93. 93
    rikyrah says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I don’t know if Kirk is off his rocker because of the stroke he had or if he is just off his rocker because he’s a crazy republican, but I don’t care anymore. I just want him out of office.

    Amen
    Amen
    Amen

  94. 94
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: And George W and his neocon foreign policy ‘institute’, and Cheney’s neocon crew, are key Jeb! advisers,

    Not sure Jeb! has thought this through enough. I hope not well enough to sell it to sane voters.

  95. 95
    rikyrah says:

    @efgoldman:

    Rasmussen is the house organ of the Republican establishment. I’d need a lot more validation than that to believe it.

    so true. And, if the best they could do is get Trump down to 17%, in reality, I’m sure he’s around 25%.

  96. 96
    Cacti says:

    @piratedan:

    If the polls overwhelmingly favor Hillary, I’m not sure what to make of the crowds he’s drawing.

    Crowds can be a good gauge of the level of enthusiasm of the already commited, but are a lousy indicator of how an election will turn out.

    A large turnout at a campaign stop makes for good optics. But even in a blue state like Oregon in 2012, when Obama was running unopposed, more than 326,000 people voted in the Dem primary.

  97. 97
    justawriter says:

    @Betsy: Snakes shed their skins, which can be seen as an analogy to the moth emerging from its cocoon.

  98. 98
    sharl says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Support for Israel within with the U.S. Bible Belt has multiple reasons. Barack HUSSEIN!!!1! Obama Derangement Syndrome is certainly one cause, as you note. But then there’s that whole wacky Revelations business:

    In the last book of the Christian Bible, Revelation, the author claims that 144,000 (12,000 from each of twelve tribes) Jewish witnesses will be saved as Christians because they have preached the Gospel. This bizarre book ends with the torment and tribulation that indicates that Jews, other than the 144,000 who have been redeemed, will drown in a river of blood or “ be cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev19:19-21).

    I got that from a post about the Covenant Journey program, which sponsors trips by American evangelical Christians to Israel.

    It turns out that younger Christian evangelicals aren’t so impressed by this Revelations bit, but are apparently sufficiently interested in the plight of Palestinians, including the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) program. This BDS program has scored some successes, and scares a lot of Israel supporters greatly, especially the more rabid among them. The Covenant Journey program is primarily targeted at these younger evangelicals, according to the Mondoweiss article I linked.

    “It is critical to bring the next generation of leaders in the Christian community to Israel. If they walk in the places where the patriarchs and the prophets and the kings and that young rabbi from the Galilee walked, then they will stand with Israel here, and they will strengthen their Christian identity.” The description of the Covenant Event was laced with these romanticized connections between biblical Israel and modern-day Israel. All that was missing was Moses parting the Sea for the young evangelicals to walk to their homeland.

  99. 99
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @goblue72: A realist. Go to any retirement village or nursing home and ask the staff. Or, heck, just look around. The women outnumber the men 5 to 1 (a made-up statistic, but I bet it’s close) and are much more likely to be pursuing intellectual activities. It’s like, science or somethin.

  100. 100
    gene108 says:

    It’s interesting that North Korea’s entry into the nuclear weapons club has gone down the memory hole like it has. Maybe we were more focused on The Surge or whatever, but North Korea sort of shows the limits of sanctions, tough talk and isolating a member of the Axis of Evil.

    Bill Clinton, to the derision of the Republicans, neo-cons, et. al., negotiated an energy deal / non-proliferation agreement with North Korea, in the mid-1990’s. The right-wingers declared this was showing weakness and whatever other shibboleths they were want to throw around in those days.

    Bush & Co. get in charge and they start “getting tough” with North Korea, to all the right-wingers approval. Bush, Jr. even going so far as to label North Korea a member of the Axis of Evil.

    From that point on North Korea basically decided, “fuck it, we ain’t gettin’ nothing for not building the bomb and we got nothing to lose” and in the four years following the “Axis of Evil” speech, North Korea detonated a nuclear device.

    Why this is never brought up as one – of a long list – of failures from the Bush & Co. years is troubling. It was not that long ago. Unlike the 1938 Munich Accords, which seem to scare people shitless, in 2015, folks reporting today were around in 2002-2006.

    Or maybe because the fuck-ups of Bush & CO are so long, this is a rather minor point, as thousands of Americans were not killed or maimed as an immediate result or because the fools, who cheered on Bush & Co. from 2002 to 2006 are still around and don’t have the conscience to admit they made a mistake.

  101. 101
    Bill Arnold says:

    Thanks for this. The first Fallows link ( The President Defends His Iran Plan ), where Fallows very carefully summarizes a meeting between the president and some journalists including him, is amazing. I will miss having B. Obama as president, a lot.
    Time to call Senators Schumer and I guess Gillibrand.

  102. 102
    Mj_Oregon says:

    The moth is a common cabbage moth; the mushrooms are a variety of Amanita “Death Caps” (often called Knollenblätterpilz in German); and the snake is a common European adder. All are means of death, although the moth might be a bit arcane (starvation due to failure of cabbage/brassica crops because of severe infestations of cabbage moth larvae plus there was a famine in Europe in 1816 because of the eruption of Mt. Tambora in 1815)

    Hopefully Wyden comes around but he’s been linked to pro-Israel interests for years so he’s a bit wishy-washy on some things.

  103. 103
    Goblue72 says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: On average, blacks do far less well academically than whites. Ergo, I won’t vote for a black candidate because they are more likely to be less intelligent.

    See how stereotype works. Cuts both ways. You either treat people as individuals on their own merits – or you don’t. You don’t get to pick and choose.

  104. 104
    Splitting Image says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    I won’t speak to any sexism but she’s not wrong about the 70s mental (and physical) slowdown. Both my parents are in their seventies, my mom is just blasting right along, my dad, who is in perfect health, has slowed down a LOT.

    You’d need a lot more data to make a convincing argument, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some truth to this. The effects of lead poisoning are well-documented at this point. The current crop of retirees were working age when leaded gasoline was common, and men were far more likely to be commuting in rush-hour traffic than women. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to discover that this was making a difference to how well people are holding up in their old age.

    Of course, the average woman seems to naturally live a few years longer than the average man, so it may be as simple as that. But you never know.

  105. 105
    Pie Happens (opiejeanne) says:

    @goblue72: Yes, I meant Washington, and I know what you mean. I live on the Eastside, still a really blue area, but a couple of the neighbors are not just Republicans but idiot Republicans.

  106. 106
    Tree With Water says:

    @rikyrah: That’s exactly how I feel about the republican party across the board.

  107. 107
    PaulW says:

    When’s the vote by the by?

    in the good news category, my Democratic Senator Bill Nelson supports the Iran deal.

    you might guess who my other Senator is.

    and I live in a gerrymandered GOP congressional district, so… yeah, I know, excuses…

  108. 108
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Blue Man Group.

  109. 109
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @efgoldman: They got Druids in Oregon?

    I don’t know, but I’d bet they do. Maybe even a sizable sum.

  110. 110
    Kropadope says:

    Already made the calls (hey, looks like your in my district), but glad for the links with all the numbers in one place for future reference.

  111. 111
    Juju says:

    @Mike in NC: My representative is Mr. Freedom Fries and Senator what you said and also, I just got my degree at University of Phoenix. The other senator is the guy who tried to withdraw all his money when the economy crashed. A truly impressive group. Burr might be worth a call, but Senator badger face isn’t worth the trouble to dial the phone.

  112. 112
    Otmar says:

    fyi, knollenblätterpilze are the type poisonous toadstools that cause the most deaths in Austria each year. If you’re not careful, they can be mistaken for wiesenchampignons.

    We used to see them every now and then when we were looking for Eierschwammerl or Herrenpilze in the Alps.

  113. 113
    Otmar says:

    fyi, knollenblätterpilze are the type poisonous toadstools that cause the most deaths in Austria each year. If you’re not careful, they can be mistaken for wiesenchampignons.

    We used to see them every now and then when we were looking for Eierschwammerl or Herrenpilze in the Alps.

  114. 114

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