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A quick note on the comments section. A number of you have emailed me and asked me to ban several commenters who have been trying to hijack the section with repeated posts that are identical and/or carry the taint of harassment.

Here's our policy on this. Banning is a decision that's made by editors. They reserve the right to ban commenters who break any one of these rules. Note that one of them forbids comments that are intended to "harass."

Those commenters who we think have been hijacking the section of late will receive -- if they haven't already -- an email from editors asking them to tone it down and knock it off. If they don't comply, action will be contemplated and they may well get banned.

As you regulars know, I view the comments section as absolutely integral to this blog's success and I believe it's one of the best on the Internet. However, banning is not a decision to be taken lightly and if it happens it will take time. All I can do is ask those of you whose contributions we value immensely to stick around and keep the conversation going despite those who are making the experience somewhat less than ideal. I hope you agree that the quality of the discussion in this comments section makes sticking around worth it.

Now, have at it! Just over a month until election day. What's happening?

By Greg Sargent  | October 2, 2010; 8:42 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: Sunday Open Thread

Comments

Fascists!

Wait...it was...wait...I was only jok...

*banned*

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 2, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

But seriously...

Are you all going to be around to cover the march on Washington today? I'd really like to see how many people turn out, compared to the tea-party rallies...and also see how little the media covers it.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 2, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

"However, banning is not a decision to be taken lightly and if it happens it will take time"

Fair enough. Deliberation is always better than snap judgments.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 2, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Just a suggestion. While I rarely post, I read this blog every day. Maybe WaPo could redesign with a "mute" button where we could "mute" the tiresome commentors ourselves, thus not having to endlessly scroll past them to get to the real discussions.

Posted by: mjohnson1116 | October 2, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

You ought to try commenting on the NPR site. The moderator must be an ultra-liberal, gay activist, illegal "immigrant", Obama worshipping, free speech hating person with an attitude and a chip on his/her shoulder.

Sheeesh!

Posted by: battleground51 | October 2, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Battleground, NPR has more conservative content than liberal. "Double sheesh"!

Posted by: Maezeppa | October 2, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

@mjohnson: "Just a suggestion. While I rarely post, I read this blog every day. Maybe WaPo could redesign with a 'mute' button where we could 'mute' the tiresome commentors ourselves"

While I support this, I suspect they'd end up farming out comments (ala The Fix) which clearly (a) breaks the indicator that says how many comments had been added and (b) would probably be a 3rd party that ends up getting screened by "safe site" and "nanny site' services, as does The Fix comments. I spent a lot of time behind a nannygate that lets me read the WaPo but won't show the stuff hosted by 3rd parties, like anything Twitter or Facebook related, or whoever hosts comments for The Fix.

So, that would be the downside for me of switching to any kind of externally hosted solution.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 2, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@Maezeppa: "Battleground, NPR has more conservative content than liberal"

Sure, if you're idea of "conservative" is anybody to the right of Che Guevara. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 2, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I've stopped reading Ben Smith's blog along with "The Hill" comment boards because of the ignorant rants I had to wade through. Unfortunately, I see the same thing happening to this blog. I honestly think driving off legitimate posters is their intentions.

Posted by: clintt5 | October 2, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Greg and with Clint5. I read the blog several times a day. I try to scroll the comments to get to those I regard as insightful (and not just people I agree with). But repeat offenders and blah-blah-blahers just make it a drag, and while I want to say something, if I do, I get into a flame war. Don't want to do that, either. So it stifles debate.

We've all double-posted by accident at one point or another. But 3, 4, 6 repeats is inexcusable and all the excess should be deleted.

Other than that, whoa, how 'bout Rick Sanchez?

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 2, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

As I was saying, Obama is not pro-growth, Obama is putting a DRAG ON THE ECOzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


bg


.............
90af dj[f;a


$^#O^U&%E$^%@# BANNED er96

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

For those interested, the HCR report on the Israeli flotilla raid... http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/15session/A.HRC.15.21_en.pdf

And Greenwald on this... http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/10/01/flotilla/index.html

Greenwald correctly indicts the administration for its vote and for its silence (and indicts the media silence on this too) particularly given that a US citizen was executed in the operation (shot in the face while lying unconscious on the deck after having been shot twice in the head and several times in the body while holding a camera equals "execution").

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@kevin: I was thinking more of sites I use that allow me, personally, to block the whose commenters I don't want to see, not a third party. If each of us had the ability to mute a party, it would be our individual choice, not WaPo or a third party. Comments would still be counted, but I wouldn't have to wade through the STRFs and jake-ds of this world to see intelligent discussions from the rest of you.

Posted by: mjohnson1116 | October 2, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

More of a lurker than a poster, for the most part.

But I really don't even bother looking at the comments section anymore since STR showed up.

Posted by: PorkBelly | October 2, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Obama is the MOST WONDERFUL GUY ON EARTH -

Obama's administration is riding on a BED OF FLOWERS AND IS BRINGING AMERICA THE MOST POST-PARTISAN AND POST RACIAL time in the history of the Earth.


Obama is the greatest leader ever - of any nation on Earth - of any nation that ever EXISTED on Earth.


hhhh.....mmmmmm That comment got through.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@kevin: Cont'd. See STRF above, a perfect example of a waste of space. If we had the ability to ignore (mute), banning would not be necessary, but the discussion would flow by not having to wade through the blah blah blahs highjacking the thread.

Posted by: mjohnson1116 | October 2, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The compassion of the modern conservative movement illustrated...

"As More Bullying Victims Commit Suicide, Right-Wing Groups Decry Anti-Bullying Policies As ‘Gay Agenda’ Ploy"
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/02/anti-gay-bullying/

What is so disheartening to me is not so much that a political movement might arise which so commonly demonstrates the symptoms of psychopathology but rather that so many individual humans can be led to such a deep and cold absence of empathy for others' suffering. If we've wondered how Rwanda or Serbia or 1930s Germany could have happened, we can watch the mechanisms of this up close right here and right now.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@mjohnson1116

Yup, I've had good experiences with sites that have an "ignore" function. You simply enter the name of the person and the software then doesn't display his/her comments (with a little one-line note saying 'ignored comment' or some such which you can click on to make visible if you choose.

Of course, some folks are so into discussions as fights that they'll read exactly those people they disagree with in order to have a fight. But then you can put those doofuses on ignore as well.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Ezra writes to Krugman asking him to lay out the differences in the Keynsian model Krugman/Delong use in contrast to the model that others use...

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/02/how-the-other-half-thinks/

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Hi Kathleen - yes, it becomes a drag and that's not good for old or new posters.

I'm rather more willing to remove posters of a certain ilk than the good folks running the show here. That's not merely a consequence of my Canadianish rejection of free speech absolutism but moreso as a consequence of my time in the classroom. There are certain students and student behaviors which cause enough havoc that the purpose of the entire enterprise (learning) can be thwarted.

To the degree that I consider blogs and discussion to be an opportunity for learning (I happen to consider that the main or one of the main benefits/purposes) to that degree I'll be willing to remove those who thwart such an endeavor or goal.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Wordpress I believe has a duplicate comment filter. I can think of two or three ways to design one.

Posted by: CalD | October 2, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

I just finished Andrew Bacevich's "Washington Rules" which I believe you had recommended. I've read other Bacevich books but Washington Rules is the best so far. If one truly wants to understand how the U.S. operates today Bacevich is absolutely must-read. The Military Industrial Complex has morphed into a leviathan Ike wouldn't even recognize. We'll know Obama is serious about fundamental change when he appoints Bacevich or someone like him to a cabinet post.

Anyway, thanks for the recommendation, Bernie.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 2, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm not going to advocate banning people, not because they don't deserve banning, but because I'm new here and I feel I should bow to the wishes of the regulars here. What I will tell you, though, is the history of the Fix in the last year vis-a-vis trolls.

The ONE poster who everyone complained about was STRF (37th&OStreet at the Fix). The ONE poster who everyone scrolled past was STRF. And when the Fix finally did block the worst offenders, STRF was tops on that list of four.

JakeD was blocked by the Fix due to his repeated birther comments. Then he changed his handle to JakeD2 and promised to keep changing his handle to JakeD#, but he finally gave up and disappeared on his own.

Again, I'm not advocating banning the two mentioned posters. You regulars should make that call. But I certainly understand the DESIRE to ban. Oh, do I understand!

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

PorkBelly:

FWIW I enjoy STRF's posts and have posted here MORE since he joined. If you disagree with that, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 2, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

This whole discussion REVEALS more about the liberals than anyone expected.


The liberals want to FORCE their views on you - and if they can put a policy in place WITHOUT a vote, they will.


However, just READING opposing views is a major problem - the liberals are DESPERATE to find a way to REMOVE opposing views from their view.


Well, that is NOT what this country is all about. Freedom of Expression is about TOLERANCE - which the liberals clearly do not have. Is this the change they talked about - ELIMINATION OF TOLERANCE FROM AMERICAN SOCIETY ???


AMERICA MEANS A FREE FLOW OF IDEAS.


The liberals continue to prove they are UNFIT to govern.


The liberals simply do not measure up - by their OWN ADMISSION, they are UNABLE to participate and exist in American society which includes a FREE FLOW OF IDEAS.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

No one can make the case better than Jake and STRF.

Bwahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We MUST allow STRF to post here and we MUST interact with him. And Jake comes here to worship at his throne.

Bwahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The libertarian subsuming continues apace...

"Washington Conservatives Worried About Movement Conservatives On Defense
OCT 1 2010, 9:14 PM ET 8

Washington conservatives will send their more libertarian-inclined movement brethren a message on Monday: don't short change national defense.

In an op ed to be published in the Wall Street Journal, the heads of the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Foreign Policy Initiative warn that there will be "long-term prosperity" if the US military is "hollowed out" and can't defend the country.

Although the op-ed, written by FPI's Bill Kristol, AEI's Arthur C. Brooks and Heritage's Edward Fuelner, sets up the Obama administration as its foil, the real purpose to nudge Tea Party conservatives back into line on defense spending, according to a Republican strategist who is working on the program.

"We agree with them on 90 percent of things. But this last ten percent is very important," the strategist said.

The op-ed is the first wave of a national political campaign that will include aggressive legislative outreach. It is organized under the umbrella of "Defending Defense."
more here http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/10/washington-conservatives-worried-about-movement-conservatives-on-defense/63951/

There was utterly no chance, of course, that any hint of libertarian foreign policy ideas would be allowed to gain traction. The folks who really hold power make many billions every year from US military operations and these are the neoconservatives closest allies within the structures of power.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues at 12:00 PM


You are speaking with a forked tongue... again.

You have stirred up much of this trouble - and you are probably happy with yourself now.

You came on this blog EVERYDAY - not to discuss topics - but to HARASS AND DISRUPT THIS BLOG.

Congratulations - you have achieved your objective.


You really have no defense - because I have put together ALL your comments and I'm sending them in.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

STRF,

If I am banned, along with you, for pointing out your history at the Fix, so be it. I have no obligation to help you hide your history. You don't want people to know you go from blog to blog and the SAME complaints follow you. You use the same list of lame excuses you used on the Fix:

"I don't understand the rules"
"You guys are worse than me"
"It's a violation of my civil rights to be banned"
"No one ever follows the rules. Why start with me?"
"I have a right to be here and everyone should be forced to interact with me"

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I read this week that the Israeli amabassador stated unequivocally that Israel will not stand for Iran possessing nuclear weapons. Joe Lieberman made a similar statement within the last few days; he said diplomatic solutions and sanctions were preferable to military action but made it fairly clear that military action would be used if sanctions and diplomacy fail.

Joe Biden assured Israel a few months ago that Iran would under no circumstances be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. I dismissed his comments as typical Biden hot air and gut wind. But now I'm hearing the same thing from others.

Since some of the military talking heads on television have said that it would be next to impossible to take out Iran's nuclear capability with air strikes and the U.S. may not currently have the human resources to involve itself in another war at the same time it is bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm wondering how many people think the crap will hit the fan within the next year---which seems about how long those in the know think it will take Iran to develop its first nuke. Or are Israel and the U.S. bluffing? Are we resigned behind the scenes to figuring out how to respond and "contain" Iran once it goes nuclear?

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

This STR comment sums it up for me:

"AMERICA MEANS A FREE FLOW OF IDEAS."

1. No one here wants to stop the flow of ideas. That's why we're here.

2. You don't exhibit ideas in your posts very often (I'd generously say 5% or less).

3. Your inane, repetitive posts interrupt the flow of ideas.

4. You're polluting the flow.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 2, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

You are doing it constantly - that is harassment.

You are also INTENDING TO HARASS ME ON A CONSTANT BASIS.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues


Why? Tell us ALL WHY you come on this blog everyday - to harass other posters ???


What is wrong in your real life that you feel you have to do that ??

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@bernie,

In addition to the commercial possibilities of the war machine, I suspect this editorial is damage control, one, and preemptive damage control, two. Once the conservative base hears the libertarian stance on War, Inc., they have MAJOR reservations.

To tie this to Rand Paul--I have read that there are rumors that conservatives fear Rand's antiwar, antiinterventionist stance will become even more public. Perhaps this editorial is some kind of damage control to assure prowar conservatives that Paul's view won't be the prevailing view if he is elected.

Do you think this editorial is Rand Paul innoculation?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

BGinChi

Your comments are tinged with partisan motivations.

YOU just don't like the content of the comments - it has little to do with any violation of any vague rule.


If my comments were FAWNING OVER OBAMA LIKE A JOURNOLIST PROPAGANDA ARTIST, then you would have no problem, would you?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, that's an interesting question. Bernie?

I can't help but think that Ahmadinejad is also setting back the diplomatic effort overall. He may be fronting for the Imams, but his stupidity and aggression towards Israel is giving hardliners in all three countries (US, Israel, Iran) what they need to drive towards military rather than diplomatic solutions.

I hope the next generation of Iranians can break this cycle.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 2, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

If we've wondered how Rwanda or Serbia or 1930s Germany could have happened, we can watch the mechanisms of this up close right here and right now.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 11:12 AM
----

A little strong, don't you think?

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

STR, you don't make arguments. You just make statements, over and over again. There was a commenter who did that here for a long time from the left and we had the same problems with him/her. It ain't ideological.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 2, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

12Barblues


You know perfectly well that I have called for TOLERANCE -

Not forcing people to interact.

(Not for nothing, but isn't that what the liberals want to do - FORCE people to act and SPEAK the way the liberals WANT ?)


Anyway - you do have a knack for mischaracterizing everthing.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing is childish -


Tell everyone to engage everyone - and if they don't like it - leave.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 1, 2010 4:35 PM
----------------------------------
Oh, you didn't say this? Too bad, I thought it was one of your most creative excuses: Make they interact with me!!!!!!!!!!! I DEMAND it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

BGinCHI,

I've been meaning to ask you if you're a Mancow listener? Some of the people I work with listen to him every day and occasionally share some nugget with me. He's evidently more into pure humor than Limbaugh, and plays more music, but he must be fairly political as well---from what I hear.

Someone told me he (on air) called random people named Ted from the Chicago phone book and played snippets of Robert Byrd's Senate meltdown after finding out that Ted Kennedy was very ill.

It must have went something like:

Ted: "Hello."
Recording: "Teddy . . ."
Ted: "Yes, this is Ted."
Recording: "I miss you Teddy."
Ted: "Who is this?"
Recording: "I love you Teddy."
Ted: 'WHO IS THIS?"
Recording: "Teddy . . . Teddy . . ."
CLICK.

What do you know about him? Is he funny? Some of the stuff sounds like it may be in poor taste, but that doesn't stop Stewart or Colbert.

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

In our reverence for The Founders and The Framers we generally ignore their hatred of standing armies, which in their wisdom they knew led to imperialism and internal tyranny. Now that we are in a condition of Permanent War fought by professional soldiers and mercenaries and draining the national coffers we may want to re-read those portions of The Federalist that we have chosen to ignore.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 2, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, sorry to disappoint, but no, I don't listen to him. My commute to work is only 3.5 miles, so I can barely figure out what's happening in an NPR story before I get there.

Anyone else?

It does sound pretty funny.

Slightly off the subject, but relevant to radio listening and being trapped in the car. Any of you ever listen to "Atoms, Motion, and the Void"?

http://www.atomsmotion.com/

It's hard to describe, but it's a guy who tells stories in the persona of an old man (Sherwin Sleeves) looking back on his very eventful life. Please take my word for it. Profound, hilarious, haunting, and very smart. Download the podcasts or listen via computer.

Trust me on this one.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 2, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

I was simply making the point that TOLERANCE is what should be the guiding principle.


There have been several posters who have stated they would prefer to ignore someone.
That is fine.

HOWEVER, the problem NOW seems to be that those people are unhappy that THEY are getting ignored.


Take a look at BginChi - He is complaining about "statements" - and complainging that it isn't "discussions"

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

brigade wrote:

"I read this week that the Israeli amabassador stated unequivocally that Israel will not stand for Iran possessing nuclear weapons. Joe Lieberman made a similar statement within the last few days; he said diplomatic solutions and sanctions were preferable to military action but made it fairly clear that military action would be used if sanctions and diplomacy fail.

Joe Biden assured Israel a few months ago that Iran would under no circumstances be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. I dismissed his comments as typical Biden hot air and gut wind. But now I'm hearing the same thing from others."

Like you I thought that an Israeli strike was not only inevitable but imminent after the mid-term elections. However, you may have missed this week's story that the Mossad (apparently)
has planted a worm called "stuxnext" in the operating equipment that Siemens supplied to Iran. Very sophisticated stuff that would actually allow the controlleer to take over the systems infected. Way out of my league in technical terms, but that's what I have read. Iran is being pretty hush hush about it basically just saying they're working on the problem, so you know that means it's been very successful. If so, an airstrike has probably been averted in the short term.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues


I was also trying to make the point that people should TRY TO GET ALONG.


There are those on this board - who would prefer to INSIST on ignoring people


It seems NOW that those are the SAME PEOPLE who are not complaining about the atmosphere here.


_________________________

You are a different story - you have been coming on here looking for a fight - and to stir up trouble.

You have brought people onto this board - to start fights - and you have tried to ENCOURAGE others to start fights.


You are to blame for this round.


WHY ?? What is your problem???


You have said that your father used to beat you - up until he was 87 years old (I can understand why)

You have said you are in therapy - and you BLAME the people on the blogs for your need for therapy.


HOW is that going? Are you still blaming the blogs for your need for therapy?


Lastly, you have said that your family never accepted that you are a lesbian - and that has created a great deal of conflict in your life. You said you aren't sure if you should marry your girlfriend.


Are you TRANSFERRING this conflict onto this board ???

I'm just wondering - because you seem intent on being hostile ALL THE TIME.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Newsweek's latest generic poll has Ds plus 5. Is that reason for hope or just an outlier poll Greg?

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 2, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

To those asking for a "mute" button or some sort of community moderation...you can forget it.

WaPo runs the blog, and this is the format they use for ALL their blogs. They (understandably) won't go through the effort of having to create special code for one blog, and to create a new code to use for all the blogs is a pretty major project. While I personally hate the margins on this site, and how slow it runs...I understand why it's not going change without major work.

The editors doing a better job of keeping the comment sections clear of nonsense is a great start. As the community grows, doing so will get tougher and tougher...then maybe some time down the road a real overhaul will be warranted.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 2, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Brigade writes:

I read this week that the Israeli amabassador stated unequivocally that Israel will not stand for Iran possessing nuclear weapons. Joe Lieberman made a similar statement within the last few days; he said diplomatic solutions and sanctions were preferable to military action but made it fairly clear that military action would be used if sanctions and diplomacy fail.

______________________________

Well this obviously is a major problem - and both sides certainly has its case.

Israel has nuclear weapons, so why can't Iran ???

A nuclear balance has always resulting in preventing nuclear weapons before.

______________


Of course, a settlement in Palestine would help the situation.

Clearly, the problem is clear: the Israeli settlements are illegal under international law - and Israel wants to continue breaking international law.


International law is there for a reason - to make PEACE easier. Obviously, the settlements make peace more difficult.

________________


Israel has SOUGHT to turn its military advantage into a ONE-SIDED peace settlement.

What Iran is doing is trying to EVEN up the military situation - so the Arabs can achieve a more equitable peace settlement.


Israel has indicated that a WAR will result if a military balance is EVENED up.

______________________


I'm going to say one more thing that many people will regard as OUTRAGEOUS

The lesson of the holocaust should be STOP THE KILLING.


The Israelis have NOT learned that lesson - instead they use to the holocaust as a LICENSE TO KILL.


The situation on the West Bank has nothing to do with the holocaust - and it should be removed from the equation.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@bbq,

WaPo does not use the same system on the Fix (not that I recommend it). Go to the Fix, sign in using your same handle, and you'll see what I mean.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/

link to the Fix.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Great article in the National Journal today on the reemergence of the Radical Right and the paranoid style in American politics. I'd call it required reading. Here's a taste.

"He was born in Denison, Texas, on October 14, 1890, and raised in Abilene, Kan. He worshipped as a Presbyterian. He was educated at the U.S. Military Academy and embarked on a long military career that took him to the pinnacle of responsibility, as supreme commander of the Allied invasion of Nazi-held Europe in World War II. The war won, his fellow Americans resoundingly elected him to the highest office in the land.

None of these facts about Dwight Eisenhower, known affectionately as Ike, made much of an impression on Robert Welch, a retired candy manufacturer in Belmont, Mass., and the founder in the 1950s of the John Birch Society, an arch-conservative group sharply focused on the threat of communist subversion. For Welch, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Eisenhower was "a dedicated, conscious agent of the communist conspiracy." This stark judgment, Welch insisted, was "based on an accumulation of detailed evidence so extensive and so palpable that it seems to me to put this conviction beyond any reasonable doubt."

http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20101002_6066.php

Posted by: CalD | October 2, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

STRF:

Religious wars are seldom subject to arbitration. You have to choose a side and stay on it. We're on the Israeli side, and that's all there is to it. At least this time we picked the winners because the Arabs will never form a coalition to attack Israel since they have, estimates vary, between 60-100 nuclear weapons. Netanyahu lost his brother in a Palestinian related terrorist incident. He won't hesitate to use Israel's nuclear arsenal if he deems Israel in danger of being overrun.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Brigade writes:

I read this week that the Israeli amabassador stated unequivocally that Israel will not stand for Iran possessing nuclear weapons. Joe Lieberman made a similar statement within the last few days; he said diplomatic solutions and sanctions were preferable to military action but made it fairly clear that military action would be used if sanctions and diplomacy fail.


_____________________________________

One other point

The Iranians are not stupid - and they have had a great deal of time to think this through.


ONE major thing - they had seminars after the Cold War on the Cuban Missile Crisis - and the Russians were happy to tell us one little item: they had operational nuclear missiles on Cuba.


Kennedy was operating on the idea that the missiles in Cuba were not there yet, and not operationals. That was wrong.


The Iranians PROBABLY HAVE 100 NUCLEAR WEAPONS RIGHT NOW READY TO GO.


The International Community should operate on that assumption - because ANYTHING ELSE would be irresponsible.


______________________

Israel has had at least 30 years to make peace - and always - Israel REFUSED to make the kind of concessions which would give it recognition and peace for the long term.

NOW that refusal has led to a situation in which the military balance does NOT support a ONE-SIDED peace.

And still, on the West Bank, and other issues, the Israelis do not want to make an EQUAL peace.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Just a small quibble, but Iranians are not Arabs.

Persians, folks. Iran is not an Arab country.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 2, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey, to the several of you who use these threads as an instant messaging service, you're every bit as bad as STRF in your own way. Every day a few of you go on and on post after post, like today. Just look at all the inane posts above about censorship. The other day it was all about which Reid supporter had done what to which Angle supporter, on and on hour after hour (all of which had nothing to do with the article the thread was linked to , as it usually doesn't). Geez, exchange AIM names and get a room will ya!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

STRF wrote:

"The Iranians PROBABLY HAVE 100 NUCLEAR WEAPONS RIGHT NOW READY TO GO."

Do you have any basis for this assertion?

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

54465446 at 1:47 PM


OK to everything you said - however in a war, the US is not going to back up Israel - the American People are done with wars in the Middle East.

One has to wonder what side Obama is on.

Obama was raised in Indonesia as a muslim. Obama thinks the US has 57 States and he can not throw a baseball.

Young children in Islamic nations are taught that Islam has 57 nations.


______________________


Let me ask you this: If you were a military planner in Iran, would you want a conflict when Obama was in office -


OR would you want to wait until someone else comes in ?


_______________________________


It is wrong to take ANY side in a religous war.


The United States should only take sides WHEN OUR VITAL INTERESTS ARE AT STAKE.


In the West Bank, the US has NO VITAL INTERESTS - the American People are on no one's side.


So, don't fool yourself.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

bgincin wrote:

"Just a small quibble, but Iranians are not Arabs.

Persians, folks. Iran is not an Arab country."

You are correct of course. I wasn't referring to them. The Iranians will play no part in any Palestinian issues, no matter how much they want to. The also do not have any contiguous border with Israel and would have to go through Iraq to get there. Iran would never be able to join any Arab coalition against Israel except by air or missile. They have no air force that could take the air effectively against Israel, and their missiles would be taken out before any war begins.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Anyone watching coverage of the One Nation rally?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 2, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

STRF wrote:

"Let me ask you this: If you were a military planner in Iran, would you want a conflict when Obama was in office -


OR would you want to wait until someone else comes in ?"


The Iranians have no ability to start a war. Their air force is not worthy of the name, and all they have are missiles that the Israelis will take out when they believe the time is right.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

54465446 at 1:54 PM

Yes - the two unclassified reasons are the lack of correct intelligence during the Cuban Missile Crisis

And - the extent of the missing nuclear material from the former Soviet Republics.


____________________

Clearly, the Israelis have a problem


The UN attempted to divide Palestine in half - half the pre-1948 borders.


A realy peace settlement would give the Arabs half of pre-1948 Palestine - that would allow the Right of Return into those areas.

Then - the Israelis could negotiate for portions of the West Bank - because the Israelis have already settled parts against international law.

Jerusalem HAS TO BE divided in half - or make it an OPEN CITY.

______________________________

The International community has no choice but to operate on the idea tha Iran already has 100 nuclear weapons ready to go.


If the international community operates differently, and they are wrong - sparking a nuclear war that would be completely irresponsible.


Clearly - Israel is faced with a NEW CHOICE - make a FAIR DEAL BASED ON PRE-1948 borders - OR FACE A NUCLEAR WAR.

Just as 54465446 said, this is a religious war - and one side is just NOT going to back down - a FAIR DEAL is the only way to go.


To try to say that a FAIR DEAL is not centered on the pre-1948 borders - WELL THAT IS THE BASIS OF THE CONFLICT, isn't it?


So, there you have it - this is where the world is right now.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse


STRF:

Do you know of any other country that is interested in giving up land to go back to 1948 borders? The right of return is never goinng to happen, because the demographics would kill them. You are asking the Israelis to commit suicide which they will not do.

I'm glad that you admit that 100 nuclear weapons for Iran is just your own fantasy and not bade in reality in any way.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

STRF:

Israel is not going to START a nuclear war, since they are the only ones that have them. They might end a war started by an Arab coalition with the use of a nuclear weapon, but the Arabs, for all their blustering, are not going to do that. Look at what happened when Israel took out the Syrian nuclear facility, not a peep!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

54465446 at 1:54 PM

This is what I CARE about:

IF there is a nuclear war, the nuclear cloud will travel around the globe.


Los Angelos, Pheonix, Houston and Atlanta are all at roughly the latitude of potential war zone. I just hope there is limited damage to the United States.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, no, is there coverage?

What's it like?

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

54465446 at 2:17 PM


Israel HAS ALREADY STARTED A WAR - which may go nuclear.


The war is on-going. HALF THE LAND of pre-1948 borders is STILL in dispute.


Living WITH one's neighbors does not have to wreck any nation.


The Jews KNEW the Palestinians were there BEFORE the Jews migrated to Palestine.


At this point, we have ETHNIC CLEANSING - there is a certain level OF ETHNIC CLEANSING WHICH IS BEING DEMANDED BY ONE SIDE.


Does that sound like the Nazis?


Does that sound like Hitler ???


The Right of RETURN is the ONLY way to settle this conflict.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

54465446 at 2:23 PM


You can not be serious. The Jews MOVED INTO Palestine.


That is not defensive.


You know in the same comment you claim that Israel will only attack second, you mention a time when Israel attacked FIRST.


The war started DECADES AGO -


The Israelis can MAKE A FAIR DEAL - GO BACK TO THE UN PARTITION OF PALESTINE.


Otherwise, many observers - of which I am only one - see the possibility of a nuclear war.


Yea - PRECISELY because Israel has been attacking its neighbors -

That is PRECISELY WHY Iran has already PREPARED FOR THAT.

54465446 you talk - but you really don't offer a REASONABLE WAY out of this.

The American People are not on Israel's side by the way - they don't want to get involved in another war.


Neither does Obama. I wonder what implications Rahm leaving will have on all of this.

54465446 - WHAT settlement do you see that will satisfy the Palestinians ???

By the way - 54465446 the jews already have a homeland - its called the United States.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

54465446 at 2:00 PM


Your points are worthless - the muslims are united against Israel.


And the Iranians have a force on the border of Israel.


Its called Hezbollah and Hamas.

Who are you trying to kid ?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, though I'm much more of an occasional commenter, I'm fine with comment section as is. This place is more than valuable enough to warrant scrolling through The Crazy.

As for today, this rally is giving me hope that the progressive coalition will start to truly grasp that there is a progressive coalition, and as cliche as it sounds, working together is essential. The right has grasped this for a long, long time.

Movement conservatives have applied our economic ethos to their work (we're all in this together; success requires investment), while we've neglected to support critical work on our side. Hopefully, today marks the beginning of the end of that short-sightedness.

Ann Friedman said it best.
http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_company_we_keep

Posted by: michael_conrad | October 2, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

54465446


I would prefer to be wrong - however our experience with the Cuban Missile crisis is just too stark: Kennedy thought there were either no missiles or they were NOT operational.


The truth, we find out later, was that the missiles WERE operational.


Given the Israeli prior-attacks against Iraq and Syria - one MUST believe that the Iranians have thought the issues through - and are ready.


The Iranians and the North Koreans have been in contact - the North Koreans have the bomb. You decide.


______________

I obviously do not want to see a war. However, the parties have not come to an agreement in decades.


My thinking is as above:


the Israelis should make a PEACE DEAL - FAST.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

54465446 at 1:47 PM


The concept of a "jewish state" has to be modified - it is that simple.

- first the people who were living in that region have to be giving a means to go on living.


- the idea of a "jewish state" should not be extent to the point at which "ethnic cleansing" is necessary.


- Everyone has to learn to live with each other, side-by-side - and that includes all the territory in the pre-1948 borders -


- The Right of Return is an INTERNATIONAL RIGHT and has to be respected

The idea of a "jewish state" has to STOP at "ethnic cleansing"


It is that simple.

Case closed.

If you do not think the case is closed, your mind is closed.


.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Are any of you watching the "One Nation Working Together" rally on the National Mall? Check it out on MSNBC or the Freedom of Speech channel.

Harry Belafonte's speech was a spellbinder. If you can see one speech on youtube, watch it!

Posted by: dozas | October 2, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@BG and Brigade re 12:27 post
I haven't seen a statement from Biden stating the US would not permit Iran to gain a nuke. Can someone find such? Lieberman might have expressed this notion but as there is no daylight between him and the neoconservatives re the Middle East and the happiness of launching unilateral and unprovoked war, it wouldn't be a surprise. He adheres to the PNAC understanding of international law/justice - it is established by the powerful and therefore the US must remain the most powerful so that the world is ruled by law/justice. If Lieberman did say this, it wouldn't be important.

As to the consensus on whether anyone could take out Iran's nuke program or even delay it in any significant way, I don't think there is anyone outside of the Bolton/Gaffney circle who imagine this could be achieved. And the consequences of such an attempt, by either Israel or the US, are pretty well understood. Nobody sane wants to go down this path. As to the US's ability/resources to mount a ground campaign there...you gotta be kidding.

The world may well have to live with a nuclear Iran. But so what? What are they realistically going to do with it?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Harry Belafonte's speech was a spellbinder. If you can see one speech on youtube, watch it!

Posted by: dozas | October 2, 2010 3:09 PM
-----

Did he say anything about Colin Powell being a house "boy"? Anything about his hero Hugo Chavez? Maybe treated them to a
little of "Island in the Sun" or "Jamaica Farewell"? "Matilda"? I won't get banned for teasing about Harry will I?

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

STRF,
There was a commenter at the Fix---12BarBlues and leichtman1 know who I mean---who once suggested the U.S. abandon Israel and arm their enemies. Looks like you believe their enemies are already armed. In fact, it looks like you may BE one of their enemies.

"One other point
The Iranians are not stupid " --- STRF

Do you have any evidence to support such an assertion?

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Brigade

Let's look at the situation - how much nuclear material is missing from the former Soviet Republics ???


It HAS to be somewhere.


The other side of the issue is people are relying on published accounts of intelligence reports.


I already pointed out - during the Cuban Missile crisis we were under one set of understandings - and later we found out there were nukes where we didn't think there were nukes.

___________________________

I said what I said - I'm not saying taking anyone's side or arming anyone - we have already armed one side.

Bernie at 3:34 has some really good points about the potential effectiveness of military power against Iran.

There have been published reports that the Iranians have planned significant military operations - perhaps in Europe or the US too - if it is attacked. These could be of a terrorist nature.

The entire situation is extremely dangerous.

If the Israelis believe they have the military advantage they had in the past - they are wrong.


I am simply pointing out that the peace involves the 1948 war - not just the 1967 war - everything is on the table.

If the Israelis continue to refuse to make a fair deal, they are not going to get out of their present situation.


I am supporting a radical peace deal - an aggressive peace.


One poster above asked how much time we have - and clearly the Iranians might be thinking they have an advantage with Obama in office as opposed to the next guy. So perhaps the time frame is within the next two years - next year may be critical.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, here are a couple of Biden quotes. I can't locate anything right now where he directly says we absolutely will not allow Iran to have nukes. Maybe I dreamed it. :)

"Israel can determine for itself as a sovereign nation what is in its best interest,” Biden said. “If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that. That is not our choice.”
Biden ABC News, 07/04/2010

"Bibi you heard me say before, progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the US and Israel. There is no space between the US and Israel when it comes to Israel's security." -- Biden
Jerusalem Post - 03/09/2010

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

STRF wrote:

"IF there is a nuclear war, the nuclear cloud will travel around the globe.


Los Angelos, Pheonix, Houston and Atlanta are all at roughly the latitude of potential war zone. I just hope there is limited damage to the United States"

There will be no exchange of nuclear weapons, since the Arabs and Iranians don't have any. Your fears are groundless.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Brigade at 3:49 PM


I do not want a war -

I am concerned about nuclear fallout reaching Los Angelos, Pheonix, Houston and Atlanta.

I believe we are in an extremely serious situation.


Israel is being extremely unrealistic if it thinks it should have nuclear weapons - and no one else should be allowed to have them.


One can look at the situation from the other point of view: the Israelis have been holding onto land under the threat of nuclear blackmail.


A radical solution is called for - The UN partition plan from 1947 should be dusted off - and all the Palestinians should be granted the Right of Return.


The parties have to learn to live together in peace.


Any state which has insisted on "ethnic cleansing" has been rejected by the international community. It is time that Israel reject "ethnic cleansing" and figure out how to live in peace with everyone.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 2, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@12bar re 12:31 post
The Paulite notion of foreign affairs is about 180 degrees in opposition to the current GOP set of ideas just as their libertarian notions of social policy stands the converse of religious conservatives and the Bennett virtue-crat crowd.

The Paulite movement, vigorous, growing and very well organized had to be taken in hand by the GOP because of the real risk of a third party split. And they have been effectively disempowered now (take a look at the so-called "tea party" candidates and there are almost no libertarians among them). Even Rand Paul has been seduced. Whether he assumes he'll use the Rove/Armey crowd for his own purposes and then push his ideas when in office, god knows. But he'll be powerless to change anything. The narrative being advanced in the editorial has, it seems, the purpose of further seduction (we're all in this together and we - specifically anyone with lingering lbertarian hopes - better play along to win. It's the same scam they ran on religious conservatives.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

bernie,

We're on the same wave length. There is a Paul/Conway debate on either tonight or tomorrow. Perhaps the timing of the editorial MAY have something to do with the timing of the debate.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

STRF wrote:

"Your points are worthless - the muslims are united against Israel.


And the Iranians have a force on the border of Israel.


Its called Hezbollah and Hamas."

The Muslims are not united in anything. Shiites and Sunnis are only in a timeout from killing each other. The right of return as you say and the 1948 partition ended with the Jordanian invasion in the 1948 war. They tried to wipe out the Israelis and failed, twice.

The Israelis are not worried about Hezbollah. Do you think they gave away Gaza, the most worthless place on earth, for humanitarian reasons? They have Hezbollah isolated now, and can take them out on the right pretext.

You're right that I offer no solutions because there is none that would ever satisfy both parties. Arafat had the best deal he could ever get at Wye River, but he couldn't/wouldn't take it. That won't come again.

The solution is to be on the side that wins, and we are. The Arabs importance to the world is much less than it used to be because oil is now produced in more than 30 countries around the globe. They know it too, which is why they bought into Fox Network. They have to substitute money for oil.


Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

STRF wrote:

"Any state which has insisted on "ethnic cleansing" has been rejected by the international community. It is time that Israel reject "ethnic cleansing" and figure out how to live in peace with everyone."

Then how do you explain Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the many states carved out in the Balkans? You make all these sweeping genralizations unsupported by facts. Being strident doesn't make you correct.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade re 4:08
Yeah, that's the sort of thing I'd expect Biden (or any other US government official) to say. That's pretty much boilerplate. But it's facade, right? There's obvious multiple purposes for rattling the sword by both governments and obvious domestic political purposes to continue to forward the "Israel and we are one" line. It's the discussions and disagreements we don't hear that would be interesting.

There's nothing easy about an attack on Iran or Israel would have done it. They could still if they are nuts enough, of course, but I think it unlikely. Netanyahu can be counted on to continue to acquire real estate (tough luck for Palestinians) but an attack on Iran makes many of Israel's problems far more acute.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I was glad to read your comments about the recent state of the blog. I have been a recent and occasional poster, and I enjoyed reading the insightful comments of several of your regulars.

But lately, I have been coming here less and less because I have found the pointless and repetitive meanderings of a few people have taken over the blog. I just don't have the time to scroll past the comments that have no meaning or insight.

I generally don't like the idea of banning anyone's right to participate, but I agree with those who say that certain posters seem to be here simply to cause havoc and drive away the more thoughtful and insightful readers.

I chose to come here because I appreciate your point of view, and I found many here who share my thinking on current political topics and a few who don't agree but who have interesting opposing views. And while I understand that it's good for your blog to have as many hits as possible -- even when those hits are generated by troublemakers -- I still don't understand why people who vehemently disagree with the general tone of this blog would spend so much time and energy here when they could go to lots of other places on the web and find sympathetic cohorts.

That leads me to believe that they are only here to cause mayhem or drive people away. It's no secret that the Washington Post comments sections have been infected by a group of ultra-conservative posters who seem only to want to tear down any progressive viewpoint published in the paper. Just read the comment sections of any Eugene Robinson article. I think the Post in particular has become a target of certain right-wing groups because I don't find the same thing happening at the NYTimes.

Anyway, sorry to ramble on, and thanks again, Greg, for your good work. The Plumline is mentioned more and more as a source for stories among other news outlets.

Posted by: elscott | October 2, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

@12bar - Good point, re timing. Would the WSJ editorial crowd insert an editorial with the direct purpose of aiding a particular candidate? Annenburg's "Echo Chamber" documents how common this is...
http://www.amazon.com/Echo-Chamber-Limbaugh-Conservative-Establishment/dp/0195366824

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

All,

The second Brown/Whitman debate was today and of course centered on Maid-gate. It won't be aired until later today, so I have no impressions.

There is an ad (antiWhitman) running now that talks about Whitman running different messages in English vs. Spanish. Anyone who understand Spanish, could you translate the ad for us?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEwgpqs_hWc&

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

elscott wrote:

"That leads me to believe that they are only here to cause mayhem or drive people away. It's no secret that the Washington Post comments sections have been infected by a group of ultra-conservative posters who seem only to want to tear down any progressive viewpoint published in the paper."

How can a commentor tear down a viewpoint by the author? Surely you're not afraid of STRF and a few others. I don't come here, when I do, for reinforcement of my own views. I come to be challenged by things I don't know and facts which I'm unaware of. Same me from the inane drivel that occurs on smoe days.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Hi elscott
Thoughtful post. Would love to have you write more often.

As to the idea that the WP has become a target, I think something like that is the case. Ignoring the culprits is, of course, the proper strategy as unsatisfying as that is.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

In response to 54465446 who writes,

"I don't come here, when I do, for reinforcement of my own views. I come to be challenged by things I don't know and facts which I'm unaware of."

Yes, I like being challenged as well. I come here for interesting discussions of current political happenings. The problem with the posters I have referring to is that their posts are usually devoid of facts.

In short, the troublemakers are making things up, much like the Fox News crowd. That's what I consider inane drivel.

Posted by: elscott | October 2, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Hi bernie, thanks for your kind comment. I always enjoy your posts. And you're right, it's always best to ignore and not engage.

What I have sometimes noticed here is that when no one engages some of the usual culprits, that's when they start with the repetitive posts.

I'm a mom, and every mother has seen this same kind of behavior with a small child who doesn't think he is getting enough attention. ;)

Posted by: elscott | October 2, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@elscott,

Bingo. Only a mom, and I am one too, would recognize the obsessive quality. When no one engages is when the demanding, repetitive behaviour ramps up. Some would say that argues for engagement. Well, maybe some will "engage", but it won't be me.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Colorado Gov debate is on C-SPAN

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@elscott and 12bar - I'm not a mom but I know some. Like 'em.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest:

Keep up the good fight!

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 2, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD - Good to see you! Is it Dr. DDAWD now? I'm sorry to have missed the debate. They've got Supreme Court arguments on at the moment.

Greg and co - It is disheartening to see a return of the tactics that damaged the FIx comments section. The point is to focus all of the discussion on responses to an individual or several individuals. Banning proved ineffective as it's very easy to reregister under another name. Heck, after JakeD got banned, started posted as JakeD2 and threatened to change again, I created JakeD3 as a lark.

You have a great community here. The new Fix comments section has some strengths and some weaknesses. Tweets simply repeating the first few characters being one of them. Discussion was suppressed for awhile, but seems to have come back. I think it's being used as a test bed for the Post's blogs.

Anyone interesting in discussing is welcome to do so. Use my handle with a gmail account.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 2, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, I highly recommend reading when Chris Cillizza had to confront a similar problem. The blog post title was "A comment on comments". Several of those participating in the comments that day (ChrisFox8, JakeD, KingofZouk) were subsequently banned. Repeatedly.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/fix-notes/a-comment-on-comments-1.html

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 2, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Today is yet another tired day when much of the board is taken up posting about posting. There are plenty of less cosmopolitan offerings out there than the Post (like the Nation or National Review) where you will only have to converse with your own kind, whatever that may be. Just ignore STRF if you want, but please don't chat incessantly ABOUT him!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

In short, the troublemakers are making things up, much like the Fox News crowd. That's what I consider inane drivel.

Posted by: elscott | October 2, 2010 5:45 PM
----

The quickest way to marginalize yourself is to start whining about Fox News, or Faux News, as some like to call it. Many more people get their news from Fox than any other cable news network. Beck and Hannity are not news people, and they make no effort to hide their partisanship. But Fox does actually do news as well as opinion.

Watch the nightly line-up on MSNBC if you want to see and hear inane drivel. Of course you might be the only one watching at the time. Ed Schultz and Lawrence O'Donnell are as big a pair of fools as you'll ever see in prime time. If you think Christine O'Donnell is nuts, you should listen to Lawrence some time.

And when people here are "making things up", the proper response is to point that out and hopefully provide some evidence. Otherwise, how is one to know they're not making factual points? I, too, have seen some fact-free rants here, and they haven't all been by the people to whom you probably refer.

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey, BB. Yeah, I'm Dr. DAWD now. Working on my second Dr. now.

I think JD2 and 37th are far more tolerable here because people will ignore them for the most part. Yeah, 37th will spam the board, but it was far more worse when people felt the need to respond to everything they said.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

So Posted by: elscott, meaningful ramblin' is OK as long as you thank the Blog-Host repeatedly and redundantly. How about thanking the occasional readers who have to scroll through repeated and redundant thank-you's before they figure out who you are mad at?


Writer 54465446,

Some WaPo blogs do indeed seem to be infected, but the infection WE have noticed is by some who think they already know all the relavent 'facts' and see themselves as 'gate-keepers' as it were, some have coined the acronym 'TROLL', then apply it capriciously to anyone they do not agree with.

Rick A

Posted by: RichNomore | October 2, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Today is yet another tired day when much of the board is taken up posting about posting. There are plenty of less cosmopolitan offerings out there than the Post (like the Nation or National Review) where you will only have to converse with your own kind, whatever that may be. Just ignore STRF if you want, but please don't chat incessantly ABOUT him!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 7:36 PM
----

You are entirely correct. As a former contributor to the Fix, I will offer a dissenting view. You guys know Jake because he posts here. ChrisFox8/Noacoler and the person they call Zouk were, in fact, among the most literate and interesting people who participated there. Ask 12BarBlues. It was the snark and occasional outbursts of anger that turned some people off. But the Fix currently does not hold a candle to the Plum Line---IMHO. Don't make the same mistakes.

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Brigade:

Hard to imagine a worse ad for the left than Keith Olbermann. His smugness is a carryover from his days at ESPN where it worked, at at least to a degree. On MSNBC he's just repellant even when I agree with him. Call it the anti-charismatic network.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse


Hey, BB. Yeah, I'm Dr. DAWD now. Working on my second Dr. now.

---

Congratulations, DDAWD. Sorry for my ignorance but what sort of Dr? Medical? I know you said you were into the sciences, but I don't think I ever heard what you were majoring in.

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Brigade. It's a PhD, though I'm working on the MD now. My PhD was on the study of an enzyme that is involved in cell signaling that can trigger an asthma attack.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

@brigade,

Zouk was literate? How could you tell? He just cut & pasted other people's stuff. At least noacoler could write his own stuff. Bwahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was never a dull moment, was it.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Brigade. It's a PhD, though I'm working on the MD now. My PhD was on the study of an enzyme that is involved in cell signaling that can trigger an asthma attack.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2010 8:01 PM
---

Even if we never agree on a political point, I wish you great success and a rewarding career. You've obviously worked hard and earned it.

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

@brigade,

Zouk was literate? How could you tell?
---

I think it was the zingers and his sense of humor. Occasionally he would come up with something original, like his comments about the Obamas' night on the town. And he and Drindl seemed to genuinely enjoy their ongoing banter and mutual insults, even though neither would ever admit it.
Both of them did a good deal of cutting and pasting. The more usual practice here at the PL seems to be just providing the links. But since you can't actually post the link here, I think I'd favor the cut and paste of whatever you think is so important that I need to see it. I did think the continual reference to Chris Fox as "Ped" was a bit inappropriate.

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone bothered to take in Broder's latest denial of reality but it's one of his greatest accomplishments in that endeavor. Here's the last graph...

"Boehner was a serious legislator for five years at the start of this decade as chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, before he became a floor leader for his party. His diagnosis of the problems in Congress offers a starting point for a cure. Let's hope the Democrats respond."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/01/AR2010100105259.html

How do once intelligent people become this daft?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham:

I haven't followed Boehner's career so I can't speak to his early effectiveness. I agree with the analysis that was stated in Broder's column though. It is probably even more true of the Senate. It is common procedure now in both houses to stage votes in such a way that individual legislators can vote against legislation that they actually favor. John Kerry and his I voted for the bill before I voted against it, was right on the mark. My personal opinion is that we need a constitutional amendment on term limits, but that would never be approved.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Trolls calling the blogger irrelevant...
Examples from Achenblog:

[yello, please don't engage with him. He's a moron. The last thing I want is for him to explain himself better.
Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse]

[...I abhor the behavior of the most extreme fundamentalist Orthodox Jews who want to take over the occupied territories and who are the biggest troublemakers inside Israel. And then there is Christine O'Donnell, who is self-explanatory.]
Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 28, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse]

[RNM, I want to show what the state of West Virginia looks like on your right hand.

Now make a fist,extend your thumb out to the right(like you are hitchhiking). Now extend the second finger away from your thumb straight up.Please go to the closest mirror you have and look at what you just created. Now think about it for a few minutes while you look at yourself.

Have a nice day
Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 2, 2010 2:31 PM]

Term Limits out of the question, elections are the only limit on terms provided or intended, besides the limit would have to be two weeks to be effective for some reps., in OUR opinion. Won't work at all in the virtual community of blogs.

Posted by: RichNomore | October 2, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Brigade.

RE: zook, ped was way over the line. But my thing with zook was that he was incapable of actually discussing anything. Wrong as you might be about everything, Brigade, you could at least hold a conversation. And that's good. No one wants homogeneity, but it's not anyone's fault that 37th's and zook's spamming and jd2's racism all came from the same side of the political aisle. People wanted CF8 gone too until he mellowed out in terms of sheer numbers of posts.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Drindl and zouk were the cut & paste queen and king. I don't think drindl enjoyed it at all but she had trouble ignoring zouk. I HATED the Ped thing. I'm not really big into name calling. I'm too much of a good Catholic girl for that, I guess. Twelve years in parochial school calms you down a good bit.

I'm glad there is not copious cut & pasting here. It gets old real fast. A quick and judicious snippet or two is fine, but keep it short and snappy.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

hey dr. ddawd--congratulations on your ph.d. Next, with your M.D., we'll have to call you double ddawd. Didn't you get married too? Don't we owe you congrats on that also?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 2, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Wrong as you might be about everything, Brigade, you could at least hold a conversation.
-----

LOL. Thanks. I guess that's some consolation.

Posted by: Brigade | October 2, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Jim DeMint brings the Crazy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/02/demint-gays-unmarried-pregnant-women-teachers_n_748131.html

Money Quote:

"In addition to reiterating anti-choice talking points on abortion and backing "traditional marriage," according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the senator went further and "said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn't be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who's sleeping with her boyfriend -- she shouldn't be in the classroom.""

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 2, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh.

"Jon Scott Ashjian, Nevada's little known actual "Tea Party" Senate candidate, said this week that not only was he going to stay in the race, he was going to overtake Sharron Angle on his path to victory.

Speaking with the Las Vegas Sun's Jon Ralston, the conservative agitator said that, despite recent negotiations to remove him from the race, the momentum was with him."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/01/scott-ashjian-nevada-angle_n_746817.html

Sorry for the HuffPost links, but it was quicker....

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 2, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

How do once intelligent people become this daft?
Posted by: bernielatham | October 2, 2010 8:14 PM

Maybe it's because daftness is in the mind of the daffy.

Posted by: RichNomore | October 2, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone considered the possibility that the TP Party is not a party, but a coalition of once silent, couch potatoes driven by just cause by a out of control congress urged on by an administration manned by mercenary, unaccountable advisooors from Chitcago-land, etc. who have no intention of letting off the pressure 'til WE are all at each others throats. I see TP, not as a Party, but just neo-activists who saw the tactic work sooooo well in 2008, that WE now got a Grizzly Bear as big as a $15,000,000,000,000 war-chest in the hands of those who have neither right or the sense to do right it. Those/these people are the runners along the 'watch towers' crying out for relief. In lieu of relief they are sounding the alarm. It is up to the rest of US (50-85% who know by experience something is out of whack and without intervention it isn't gettin' any better real soon) to do what it takes to right the sinking rudderless ship and make sure it reaches it's appointed destination.

Posted by: RichNomore | October 2, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

BGinCHI:

Nice try but your wasting your time. You must have mistaken this place for a comment thread on the news. It's really an IM chat. Good night.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 2, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Ah, memories. I hope Greg doesn't mind that a few Fixistas are reminiscing. I'd actually forgotten about Zouk until I looked up the old FIx thread. The change in comments format was akin to a mass species extinction. I think a few commenters gave it up specifically because there was no longer a chance to sling insults. I'd rather interesting conversations with 50 posts than 200 posts of Point-Counterpoint (a la SNL).

I think it's a shame that Right Now disappeared. I enjoyed Weigel's work, but I believe the Post would have been well served by such a blog written by someone a bit more sympathetic. Dunno. If it's too much effort for the likes of Thiessen or Capehart, there has to be someone out there on the right who can right entertainigly about the right. Say that three times fast.

Incidentally, WETA has Annie Hall on right now. What a great movie.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 2, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

BB, Weigel has a new blog on slate.com

Posted by: DDAWD | October 3, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

@BG - thanks for that Huff Po link above. Hadn't heard about that Perhaps the fellow just needs a visit from Rove who could use words like "principle" and point out how the opponent ought to stay true to the grass roots and anarchic spirit of the Tea Party.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Any Israel experts here?

As was surely to be expected, direct talks look dead for now given the Netanyahu decision to carry forward with settlement.

The temporary halt (it didn't really) to settlement was scheduled for 10 months. That looks a rather arbitrary period - outside of the relationship to the US mid-terms.

My assumption (correct me if anyone has more knowledge here) is that Netanyahu scheduled termination either to gain a lever over the Obama administration knowing it would push him, or that the Likud boys simply wanted to set Obama up for a failure close to the election.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Heart-warming piece from Ha'aretz this morning...

"IDF soldiers convicted of using 11-year-old as human shield in Gaza

Two soldiers forced Palestinian child to open bags, feared to have been booby trapped, during Operation Cast Lead..."
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-soldiers-convicted-of-using-11-year-old-as-human-shield-in-gaza-1.316867

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

A rather better bit of behavior...Ha'aretz editorial...

"Say 'yes' to Obama

Only by agreeing to extend the settlement freeze will Netanyahu show that he is committed to negotiations and an agreement, and is capable of leading."
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/say-yes-to-obama-1.316808

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

All, here's a fresh Sunday thread for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/sunday_open_thread_7.html

and I want to second Bernie and others who thanked elscott for his thoughtful comments. I too wish you would post here more.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 3, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

@54465446 re 8:25 post

Sorry, just saw your post.

Sure, gears are jammed but there is a probability of zero that Boehner will do (or wants to do) anything about it. Except as applies to a situation where his preferred policies/nominations/etc are at issue. Where the WH, congress and/or senate are in the hands of Dems, then maximal inefficiency and obstruction to governance is his goal.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 3, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Count me as someone who stopped commenting as I felt like it was getting lost in a sea of ego posts. But I do keep reading the plum-line. Love the articles.

BTW the WaPo has nothing on The Hill. Just read the comments in any article about Michelle Obama. You'll find a mass of the nastiest racist posts imaginable. Really rude stuff. Nothing policy oriented. Just posts about her race. I complained but nothing happens. So I stopped reading The Hill. I can only assume The Hill approves.

Posted by: Alex3 | October 3, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Born to run...
The Fix is IN, DCNN Proves
Every day in every way...
the Demothugs are now running as fast as they can away from themselves...
Donna Bazaille (on CNN, Sunday Morning), Serial Global Groper (Al Goreleoni's) Campaign Advisoooor (2000), says the elections(2010, stupid) will hinge (or un-hinge) on which side can more successfully convince the voters it didn't listen to the people least. If you follow that, you understand why WE had 8 more years to prepare for the Mayhem now being waged on America by a apostate gang of invaders from Chitcago-Land now camped round-about OUR Hill and House, intent on bringing an end to the Engine of Prosperity that fueled a un-precedented rise to prominence in the world (whether one thinks this is a good or bad thing, pretty much frames the political landscape today). The side one takes on this single issue may decide not only your personal fortune and future, but the future and fortune of America for Generations to come. So what would the sultans of despair replace that Engine with? A pedal-powered, flatulence heated, GM-Yugo Hybrid, recycled from habitat for D**b*sses Jimmy Cartier's, tune-in, turn-down(or downturn) your thermostats, and enjoy hostage-land, while hugging a tree and kissing a rock, ears to the ground, shoulders to the wheel, noses to the grind-stone. Yeh, let's not turn back the clock, it's OUR economy and WE need recovery now, not promises and excuses for promises broken! Mr. First-Ever Obama can stay awile, but the rest of them must go...

Posted by: RichNomore | October 3, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Alex3 | October 3, 2010 10:47 AM,

Did it ever occur to anybody that the ACORN, SEIU branches of commoonity activism has found a way to get the most bang(so to write), for the bucks(OUR'S) is to set loose a barrage by Blog-Hogs to disrupt the legitimate dialog in virtual chat-rooms, now so, so important! WE believe that: behind every conspiracy theory, there is a conspiracy, and behind every truther there is the truth, just peel back the layers to find the kernels.

Posted by: RichNomore | October 3, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

...What is the 'Hill' anyway, does anybody care?

Posted by: RichNomore | October 3, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Just who were those people complaining about WarshPost comments threads as they compare to those of the NYT?

In case you hadn't noticed the WarshPost regularly has threads with upwards of 5,000 posts ~ something you'll rarely see at NYT, if ever!

The reason is the number of "more interesting" or "useful" posts in the WarshPost ~ the place is outta' site as newspaper sites go.

BTW, NYT is, in general, predictable and unexciting. Same old party line every single time.

Gad!

Posted by: muawiyah | October 3, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

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