23 comments for “The Primaries as a Trailer for the New Batman Movie

  1. Jill Buck
    January 21, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Dear Dan,

    Your post is lovely…quite catchy!

    I can’t say I was thrilled to earn your meanest blog of the day a few months ago, but to prove I don’t have a mean bone in my body, I thought we might have coffee on Saturday. I have a fairly full day of meetings this Saturday in Irvine, but would be more than happy to excuse myself for a few minutes if you have time to stop by and say hello. Left, right, or somewhere in between…we political junkies have a lot in common!

    Hope to meet you soon,

    Jill

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    January 22, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Jill –
    Thanks for checking in; we’re always happy when someone from the Flash Report comes our way. And thanks for the invite, but I have a girl’s 3rd/4th grade basketball practice to run and meetings later in the afternoon for all-star evaluations, coupled with the “Man in my Life” dance with my 8 year old (it’s a sock hop this year) which we look forward to every year. So Saturday is quite busy with all that families values sort of thing the left never gets credit for having!

    On the subject of “mean,” do you read your own blog (Flash Report) and posts other than your own? We liberals and Democrats are referred to as “forces of evil,” “the looney left,” “socialists.” Since the right fights dirty, you shouldn’t complain about the ocassional mudball in the eye especially when you’re own hands may be dirty from time to time. To quote Donald Sutherland’s conservative speaker of the house character from the great-but-cancelled series “Commander-in-Chief,” “Politics is a contact sport; wear a cup.”

    I will say you were spot on about McCain early and I do think he will be the eventual nominee for your side.

    And do back back often Jill; I read your stuff and would actually comment on your site but its seems I’m barred from doing so

  3. Jill Buck
    January 22, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Hey, Dan!

    Sorry this weekend won’t work, but perhaps another time. And truly, I’m not offended by any mudballs in the eye…it’s the way of our world, unfortunately. But I would prefer finding at least a little piece of common ground, even if the piece of real estate is the size of a postage stamp, and talking about how we might expand that common ground. I know, I know, it might not be solacious enough to keep people coming back to our blogs, but I’m always up for trying! (:

    Anyway, have a good day, and try again to post on the FR. If Steve Maviglio is allowed to post, I can’t imagine you being barred. (:

    Take care…JB

  4. RHackett
    January 22, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Jill, I would like to thank you for participating. I have to agree with Dan. I always get a hoot when conservatives make the claim that liberals can’t argue facts and resort to personal attacks. Jon makes personal attacks frequently as does his better paid peers like Limbaugh and Hannity.

    Usually when any of them are attacked the need to call their doctors because their fake outrage hard-ons have lasted longer than three days.

  5. Dan Chmielewski
    January 22, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Jill —
    The family values thing wasn’t common ground enough?

    Look Jill, no offense, but Republicans have been telling me I’m a non-patriotic America hater for not worshipping at the altar of Bush-Cheney; your post on Code Pink was absolutely a space shot; your posts praising Joe Lieberman and Duncan Hunter made me chuckle, but it was the item you posted about your kids birthday with the reference to Bill Clinton’s impeachment 9 years ago that I think we can find some common ground on.

    Seriously Jill, lets review some facts here. The Paula Jones case and the cause for Bill’s deposition in the first place. First off, it used to be that sitting president’s were immune from civil lawsuits, less they be distracted from their duties in running the country; the Republicans in Washington changed the rules requiring Clinton to testify. Paula Jones’ description of her encounter with the President, eve if completely true, would still fail the test to bring the case to trial (source: 198 Jones case ruling). IN a deposition, you are supposed to answer any question. Lewinsky was brought up and Clinton did indeed lie about it even though it had nothing to do with the Jones case. Clinton was impeached and on the day of his impeachmen, he had a 72 percent approval rating from the American people.

    I ask you Jill. Under Republican rule, we went to war in Iraq on WMDs not there. A CIA operative working undercover on Iran’s nuclear programs was outed by a member of the Administration (and Scott McClellan’s upcoming book said the President knew all about it). We export torture. We waterboard. Allin America’s name. Do you think we get anything meaningful from the prisoners in Gitmo six years after they were captured and we still hold the without access to a lawyer or charges against them. And as far as less intrusive government goes, Republicans spy on our emails, phone calls and banking transactions all in violation of the 4th amendment. And yet a lie Bill Clinton told under oath about an extramartial affair not related to a case he was disposed of is somehow more impeachable than anything the current administraton has done; since the Bible calls for adulters to be stoned to death, then Bill should be stoned to death right alongside Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingstone, Henry Hyde (I know he’s dead), Rudy Giuliani, et al, right?

    I wonder how you feel about the administration and staff members using RNC email addresses and servers to conduct official US business, bypassing White House systems where this communication is supposed to reside and then the backups are suddenly deleted?

    For common ground Jill, I offer this: I believe in a government that governs by the rule of law, extends the sames rights to all citizens, uses my tax dollars to fund education, public safety, public defense, transportation, and health care.

    Oh Jill, Jill, Jill. I wish we could go back to the days where our two parties would work together and hammer out a compromise. But the GOP’s “our way or the highway” approach to working with the opposition just makes that look impossible.

  6. Dan Chmielewski
    January 22, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Code Pink does protest Democratic candidates and elected officials too; the price we pay for this unjust war in American blood and treasure is way too high

  7. RHackett
    January 22, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    There you go Dan. Now you’ve scared her off. As St. Ronald Reagan once said, “facts are stupid things.”

  8. Jill Buck
    January 22, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Everybody breathe now…

    I just had to type in “Clinton” to prove I’m not a spammer. Now if that doesn’t scream “why can’t we be friends” then I don’t know what does. (:
    I even laughed at the priapism joke above.

    I didn’t come here to enter a confessional for every member of my party, nor do I ask anyone reading this to do likewise. That will just take too long, and won’t solve anything. Let’s do more than rant. Let’s start with one issue, and go from there…what do you say?

    If you know anything about me, you know I’m passionate about the environment. I work on that issue morning, noon and well into the night, b/c I think it’s so important. There are a lot of other Main st. Republicans who feel the same way.

    Is that something we can talk about and be kind to one another?

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    January 22, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Then Jill, why do Republican initiatives on the environment mean the opposite of what it does. Clear Skies initiative for example? How do you feel about Newt Gingrich’s Republican Majority allowing the SuperFund site go dry.

  10. Northcountystorm
    January 22, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Uh, Dan, the lady politely suggested coffee–you said-understandably given your schedule–no. She then suggested a rain check which you blew off and launched some heavy ordinance her way. She then tried again to reach out to you on an issue and asked if that was one that you both could be kind to one another, and you fired your forward torpedoes.

    They don’t all have cooties. And we have our John Dingalls. Shower her with your charm, not your cannons. At least not until the second date.

  11. Dan Chmielewski
    January 22, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Fair enough NCS; Jill, megadittoes on the environment. Do you have a position on nuclear power?

    And thanks for the raincheck; I’m in SF in April and in Santa Clara next week, but working trade shows and not sure about any meaningful free time.

  12. Jill Buck
    January 22, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    NCS…you’re a hoot, and quite right about the cooties. (:

    BTW…I got to type in “peace” to prove I’m not a spammer…much nicer than last time.

    Yes, I do have a position on nuclear power. Don’t freak out…but I think it’s really clean. I also think it’s much cheaper than other forms of clean energy. Additionally, I think we don’t want huge bullseyes for terrorists all over the country if we cannot secure them properly. So, my position is simple…it’s worth investigating b/c of the environmental benefits, but not something we should be reckless in promulgating. Probably not the strident answer you were hoping for, but I much prefer conversation to platitudes, and I’m really open to discussions. Disagreeing doesn’t mean war with me.

    Recently, I wrote about my China trip at the end of 2007, and in it, I talked about the types of energy plants I saw there. It was unbelievable to see the difference in air quality between Beijing and Shanghai. I wouldn’t have believed it, if I hadn’t breathed it for myself.

    We need solutions soon to secure our energy future. What are your thoughts?

  13. Dan Chmielewski
    January 22, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Geez Jill. Its not. The waste byproduct of nuclear fuel is toxic for thousands of years. And th cost of building plants outweighs the benefits and cost savings. Any renewable fuel ideas we can agree on?

    I do agree with you on China; was wife was in Beijing and Shanghai in November and the air quality is awful in Beijing. Wonder how our athletes will do in the Olympics having to breathe that stuff in.

  14. RHackett
    January 22, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Jill,

    I appreciate your concerns on nuclear power regarding the potential for targetting. My other concern that I’m sure you would share is the degree to which the Feds would be involved in the process of protecting and regulating those facilities.

    As Dan pointed out, the startup costs and waste disposal outweigh any environmental gains.

  15. Jill Buck
    January 22, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Those are valid concerns if that information is factual. I’m not sure if it is, and here is why I say that…from what I understand, the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility here in CA has been operational for 22 years, and PG&E is in no rush to close it down. They can only operate if they are turning enough of a profit to keep paying their workers and their business costs, so if the cost of nuclear power was beyond the market’s ability to absorb the cost and generate revenue, then utilities wouldn’t have any incentive to keep the plants open, would they? Otherwise, they would go out of business. Now if the government built and operated the plants, that would be another story, and you’re likely quite right that the cost benefit analysis wouldn’t pan out.

    On the nuclear waste side, I completely agree with your concern, and I side with parents in states where nuclear waste is either present or passes through, that they are afraid of the health risks to their children. We absolutely cannot be too careful in dealing with the waste, and I think that is an issue that must be constantly addressed, so that we can be sure we’re using the best technological advances in dealing with the waste. But I don’t think that we should be so afraid that we halt progress on dealing with the waste. I mean, if you think about it, going to the moon was one of the most dangerous and crazy things we could have dreamed up, but thanks to JFK’s grand vision, we have learned so many things in the space program that have benefitted us in the past few decades.

    One of the most exciting developments in the nuclear world is advances in using a good deal of the waste to create even more energy. It’s like a nuclear waste to energy technolgy. It not only reduces the amount of eventual waste by a huge percentage, it also maximizes the amount of clean energy we can glean from the nuclear material.

    There is just so much potential that we should explore, and put American ingenuity to work. If we could develop even safer and more secure ways of dealing with nuclear waste, the pay off for humans could be unbelievable. We could supply all the energy we need at a low cost, and without air pollution. That possibility is worth investing time and resources to investigate, in my opinion. I believe we can do it!

  16. thesunkenroad
    January 22, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Jill, you keep calling nuclear “clean energy,” but that’s mislabeling. Nuclear is not clean energy, not in the mining of it, not in the waste it produces. It’s different than fossil fuels sure, but there was nothing clean about Chernobyl and there is nothing clean about burying waste on site or under a mountain and hoping that it will remain contained for a couple million years. It’s an amazing historical hubris that makes people think that somehow the United States will be around in the year 1,002,008. I suppose there’ll be someone named Bush or Clinton in that aged but quaint White House with his teams of diligent inspectors too.

    The magnitude of your mistake is revealed in the metaphor you chose to describe the risks:

    “going to the moon was one of the most dangerous and crazy things we could have dreamed up, but thanks to JFK’s grand vision, we have learned so many things in the space program that have benefitted us in the past few decades.”

    When Challenger and Columbia came down they did not contaminate a continent, as Chernobyl did.

  17. Jill Buck
    January 22, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I’m the last one to disagree with you…there are risks, no doubt about it. And Chernobyl wasn’t regulated the way U.S. plants are, but that’s not to say we couldn’t do an even better job of keeping them safe. However, sometimes, the risks are worth the gain.

    When I landed in Beijing last month, my eyes started stinging the moment I stepped off the plane, while I was stil INSIDE the airport. Coal is very inexpensive and readily available. There is no risk of a meltdown, but the health risks are clear and dangerous, nonetheless.

    I guess my question is this: what are our options? If we can ensure that our kids have access to the energy they will need in the future without nuclear, then that is the best news possible. Tell me how it works. I’m not being at all flippant; I’m really interested in a serious, solutions-oriented discussion. Let’s put our best minds to it, and not feel limited by anything. You have great ideas…let’s keep fleshing it out.

    How do we secure our nation and our world’s energy future in an affordable and environmentally responsible way? I don’t pretend to have the answer. I want to hear what you think…

  18. RHackett
    January 23, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I won’t speak how the Chinese manage nuclear power, but France is an interesting model with a couple of points you might not find so rosy:

    °100% of those plants are owned and run by the state; there is no private enterprise involved.

    °The French are more efficent in reusing the waste than we are, but they have just as many problems finding a place to bury the waste as we do. The “solution” was to effectively bribe the province receiving the waste with a government-funded and -run lab to “study” the waste, since the French have been unable to force any province to simply receive the waste and have it buried deep underground.

    °The cost of the nuke power is acceptable to the French because they lack options–the country has no coal or natural gas and few hydro plants. That contrasts with the US, which has a sizeable supply of coal, lots of hydro and natural gas to power plants, which makes nuke plants less cost-effective than they are in France.

    °The cost of construction, combined with the cost of operation, has meant that no utility has finished a new plant in the US in 17 years. As far as existing plants are concerned, the failure of the Yankee plants in New England (plant in CT closed 10 years early, plant in ME which wasn’t cost-effective to run and closed early, and plant in MA–the first in the US–which was closed early because of structural issue), along with the WPPSS (largest utility bond default in US history, two plants abandoned about 60% completed 25 years ago) shows enormous financial risks for utilities.

    If you’re comfortable with the Feds running a network of nukes in this country as the French do, then the idea might work. They’ll supervise the construction and operation of the plants with the high-efficiency and superb oversight than only the Federal government can do. Otherwise, the private sector isn’t going to spend its money on nukes for the time being.

    The most important factor to remember is that just as alternative sources of fuel don’t become financially viable until the price of a barrel of oil goes through the roof, the viability of nuclear power in the US depends upon more conventional methods of generation becoming much more expensive than they are currently.

  19. Jill Buck
    January 23, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Did a bit of poking around today, because you’ve truly piqued my interest. First let me say…I’m for smaller government, not bigger, so I wouldn’t want the federal government doing something that utility companies can do much more effciently and effectively. On the other hand, I’m not one to ban the word “french” in my favorite fast food side dish. I don’t want to criticize the way anyone else runs their nuclear operations…instead, I want to learn what they have done well, and where we could improve, if we end up needing nuclear power.

    Now here is a little mental candy to chew on…

    I’ve done some research, but I invite you to do your own so you’ll reach your own conclusions. It seems as though some anti-nuclear proliferation groups and lawsuits were involved in the early closing of the plants you mentioned above. It was less about economics or safety, and more about nuclear protesters. Tell me if my research is wrong…I’m listening.

    I’ve got a question now about something mentioned above. You said, “alternative sources of fuel don’t become financially viable until the price of a barrel of oil goes through the roof”…here’s my question:

    If you are in the same socio-economic class I am, and you already feel pain at the pump, then how will ethanol or other alternatives be more financially viable unless they are cheaper than the fuel that is already sucking my budget dry?

    My stance is that the price of oil shouldn’t be the gauge for what we consider “affordable energy” b/c there are already a lot of people hurting due to energy prices, even for the price of natural gas for heating their homes. I am a coal miner’s daughter (literally), and I know what a cold house in the winter feels like. I think we should put on our thinking caps and do something better than just beat oil prices…

    Let’s come up with energy that is clean and affordable for ALL people. We can do this, I really believe it. Seriously, if we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we shoot for a goal like this?

  20. RHackett
    January 23, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I’m for smaller government, not bigger, so I wouldn’t want the federal government doing something that utility companies can do much more effciently and effectively.

    I’m not so sure that is the case when it comes to utilities. During the energy crisis that caused Enron to melt down and ultimately caused the recall of the governor, my friends in Anaheim saw their energy prices drop. I don’t mind the concept of municipal utilities for a couple of reasons. I believe the barriers to entry are so severe that making numerous providers is impractical. The infrastructure that is demanded to produce and distribute electricity would make that concept prohibitive in my opinion. Secondly, private corporations diversify. Which is their right and quasi obligation to their stockholders in order to obtain the maximum ROI. So if the rubber plant in Malaysia is showing losses, the power company in CA can raise its rates to protect its earnings per share. A municipal utility only has one function, and that is to provide energy to its citizens. If I have a problem with a municipal utility I can contact someone in city government to address the issue. If I don’t like the policy, I can vote to remove that individual. I don’t have that ability with a corporate CEO.

    Now on to the second part of your question. I have been stating for some time the US needs to make itself independent of foreign energy. For the moment I’ll discount the global warming issue (ironically it is my anti-spam word) and address energy independence as a national security issue. We are unwilling to spend the billions of dollars necessary to become independent, but we think nothing of spending what will end up being well over a trillion dollars in a war that even the President now admits oil is a factor for our being involved. In this regard I view both parties as failing in providing that necessary leadership.

    As far as nukes are concerned. I don’t believe that private entities who operate view them as being economically feasible. Otherwise it is my belief they would be pushing much harder than they are currently.

  21. thesunkenroad
    January 23, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Jill, you wrote:

    “I guess my question is this: what are our options? If we can ensure that our kids have access to the energy they will need in the future without nuclear, then that is the best news possible. Tell me how it works. I’m not being at all flippant; I’m really interested in a serious, solutions-oriented discussion.”

    I have to say this is an amazing comment. About 30 years ago the Carter Administration wanted to advance research on alternative and sustainable energy sources. It was during the second major gasoline crisis of the 1970s. Your party has consistently opposed, undermined, and scuttled such research. Now three decades later that Republican “vision” is clips holes in our wallets and you’re here to tell us that you are interested in serious solutions-oriented discussions.

    Here’s a serious proposal: get your party behind research in sustainable energy sources. Suddenly your JFK metaphor makes sense: the funding that produced the moon landing could have given us clean fuels by now. It’s called research. There are dozens of proposals out there that have developed slowly with too little funding. Get your party behind the funding. Like this internet we’re dialoging on? Government research built it. Like so many of the benefits from space program you cited earlier. Seriously.

  22. Jill Buck
    January 23, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Interesting concept of munis and nuclear power. I hadn’t thought of locally owned nuclear plants, but who best to protect a community from harm that the local folks. Hmmm…that is a really fresh concept that I will definitely noodle on…I like fresh concepts.

    As for the economics of nuclear plants, let me tell you a story. A few months ago I attended a CA Coastal Commission meeting. If you haven’t been to one of these meetings, I highly recommend it…ought to be on CSPAN. Anyway, PG&E was aksing for a permit to replace worn out turbines in the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, and the CCC stipulated that there was absolutely no adverse environmental impact to the change in turbines. Additionally, many elected officials and community leaders who live near the power plant spoke in favor of the turbine replacement in testimony to the CCC. BUT…the executive director of the CCC and Sierra Club members (with the help of a group called Mothers for Peace) who didn’t even live near the plant asked the commission to deny the request, b/c by doing so, the plant would by default have to close down 10 years earlier than the State had planned, and Yeah! one less nuclear plant. Now, no plan was submitted by the ED of the CCC or the other groups represented there to replace the energy for 2 million homes that the plant currently provides. AND the owner and operator of the plant, PG&E, wanted to keep it open. If it were economically unfeasible, it seems like they would have sided with the shut-it-down-early crowd, right? I don’t know how typical this kind of situation is, but if this is going on around other nuclear plants that shut down ahead of schedule, it might be possible that it isn’t for economic or environmental issues at all. I think that we should all work on getting to the bottom of this. I don’t know the answer, but I know what I saw in that CCC meeting, and I couldn’t believe it.

    And you know what, I’m so glad you got my JFK part. That’s exactly where I was going. See, common ground doesn’t have to be quicksand. (: Here’s the good news: despite what may have happened politically when i was in Pampers, there are many Republicans who care very much about our environmental future and energy independence, and it has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with common sense, and a sense of urgency about things matter much more than red or blue. For me, it’s all about my kids.

    Whatever motivates you to protect the environment, that’s great! We don’t have to wait for the government to do our thinking for us. Let’s figure this out.

    And to whomever picked “Pelosi” as your anti-spam word…cut me some slack. (: “Peace” was way better.

  23. Dan Chmielewski
    January 24, 2008 at 7:13 am

    Jill — please provide a single example of a Republican who shrunk government. I know the GOP always preaches this, but it never happens. Bill Clinton and Al Gore shrunk the size of the federal government down to the same size as JFK’s administration.

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