Weekend Open Thread

“Sometimes when you stand face to face with someone, you cannot see his face.”

–Mikhail Gorbachev

40 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    Or maybe they're just staring at the giant thing on your forehead.

    Sorry, I'm feeling bitter today.

  2. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Nazis and other "alt-righties" march in Charlottesville again.

    Some of their victims are seeking injunctive relief in a lawsuit for compensation for their injuries, and to prevent further racist rallies from marching in Charlottesville.

    Their attorney argues that the First Amendment protects the right of the people to "peaceably assemble", and that Unite the Right never has intended peaceful assembly.

    Meanwhile, the Daily Stormer found  and was disowned by a domain server in the Phillipines. You would think that the racial and ethnic diversity in the Phillipines would scare snowflake Anglin, but no. Currently, Stormer's horrific racist spew is hosted in Anguilla, a Caribbean island prblinobably hit by Hurricane Maria.

    Like cockroaches, spinoffs and "alternative links" to stormer's content  on the Tor server (dark web) keep breeding; whitelocust and blindlight are two of these.


  3. DavieDavie says:

    Our Buffoon-in-Chief said Dems should call him.  I've given it some thought and came up with this:



    Emotionally stunted


    Incapable of Empathy

    Mentally impaired



    Unable to control his impulses

    What else should I call him?


  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Puerto Rico in crisis. San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz pleads, "We are dying here".

    Our own Colorado representatives Buck and Lamborn voted against aid to Puerto Rico, and against funding for FEMA – a decision which may well come back to haunt them when disaster strikes, as it inevitably will, in Colorado.

    Puerto Rico has recovered from devastation before – but it had the help of the New Deal, and no punitive sanctions like the Jones Act. It was still a colony of the US – but it was a colony that was treated with compassion.


    Bill Moyers, in his article "Vulture Capitalists Circle Above Puerto Rican Prey", interviews social anthropologist Yarimar Bonilla, who says about the Jones Act:

    Bonilla: Yes. If you look at the Jones Act, the only goods that can arrive in Puerto Rico have to be on US-made ships, and owned by US citizens, with a US crew flying a US flag. So this means that if the Dominican Republic wants to sell food to Puerto Rico, which it does, it has to send that food first to Jacksonville, Florida, unload it, put it on another ship that is allowed to bring it to Puerto Rico. So this makes it very difficult for Puerto Rico to engage in trade with other countries. We’re not an independent nation, so we can’t make our own trade arrangements. And that means that we have to buy mostly from the US.

    Senator John McCain also wants to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act.

    “Our legislation would permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act, an antiquated, protectionist law that has driven up costs and crippled Puerto Rico’s economy. For years, I have fought to fully repeal the Jones Act, which has long outlived its purpose to the benefit of special interests. It’s time for Congress to take action, end this injustice, and help our fellow citizens in this time of need.”


    • Gilpin Guy says:

      They don't understand that to be American means to help others and to be helped by others.  They have turned subsidies and assistance into a dirty thing and only the rich are virtuous because they don't need help.  They are so ugly in their souls yet believe themselves to be saved.  What vile creatures from the swamp.

  5. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    MJ, you screwed up the Jones Act again!  You claim Puerto Rico recovered during the New Deal "without punitive sanctions like the Jones Act.".  The Jones Act was passed in 1920. The New Deal started in 1933.  Puerto Rico recovered despite the Jones Act but you are completely wrong to claim it didn't apply before.

    I will say U.S. Shipping wasn't as uncompetitive in the 1930s as it is today so the cost of this protectionist measure was less then.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Also, bonilla is wrong.   Jones only governs intra U.S. transport.  Dominican Republic can ship direct to Puerto Rico.  But such a ship can,t then pick up cargo in san juan and continue to, say, miami.  Since mixed cargos are common, the shippers often do land at one u.s. Port and transfer to u.s. flag ships to distribe to multiple u.s. Ports, including Puerto Rico.

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        Voyageur, you screwed up Jones again.  When you say that " Jones only governs intra U.S. transport" you are forgetting that Puerto Rico is a US territory. Jones is in effect, and has been since 1917. Of course, the Jones Act was in force during the New Deal – but the New Deal PRRA and PRERA programs changed some of the more colonial and punitive aspects of Jones to benefit the Puerto Rican people, rather than US sugar corporations. This was to appease the revolutionaries on the island, just as the New Deal programs did in the US. Like all laws, Jones has been amended many times over its existence, and should be now.

        And I'll trust Bonilla, a social scientist and PR native, as well as Melissa Mark Viverito, New York City Council member also born in San Juan, and Yulin Cruz, mayor of San Juan, in their takes that the Jones Act is crippling Puerto Rico and will hinder recovery.  They understand the law; Any foreign vessel can enter the Puerto Rican port; however, only US ships can deliver goods, even desperately needed relief supplies, without punitive tariffs or a side trip to a US port to load onto a “Jones approved” US ship.

        Historically, this Jones requirement  has resulted in high tariffs on foreign goods, doubling the price of consumer goods in Puerto Rico.

         Relief efforts are also hampered, not just by Jones, but by lack of leadership from FEMA, and by the destruction of infrastructure on the island.

        ED: removed sexism inference.

         John McCain and Bill Moyers concur. Those two gentlemen also conclude that the Jones Act has contributed to Puerto Rico's exploitation, and its provisions need to be waived in this crisis. You disagree, because Trade! Or Bernie Sanders. Or something.

        You've made it clear in previous snarky posts that you don’t read what I link to, and that arguing with you is a waste of my time and energy.

        I post these updates on the Puerto Rican humanitarian crisis for those whose minds and hearts are open. I'll continue to post links to sources, because I respect Pols readers enough to believe that they need to do their own investigation, not take my word for assertions.

        You, however, seldom link to anything. Your assertions are typically unsupported.  As the nits you pick grow tinier, your insults grow more grandiose and vicious in proportion.It's what you do.

        You are no more open to new information or changing an opinion than Zap would be to considering that Bennet might be kind to puppies, or Moddy that Obama rescued the country from Bush's recession.

        And you completely miss the point – people, as Mayor Cruz says, are dying, by the hundreds, in the hurricane's aftermath, and the Jones Act will make even more people die from thirst, starvation, disease, and neglect. Do you actually care about that?

        As long as you think that you're proving you are right. 

        It is my birthday, and I'm out and about with family the rest of today, so there will be no response from me to your (I'm sure) increasingly vicious comments. OK, that’s probably excessive snark and mind-reading on my part.

        I do like you, V, and respect you as a journalist, and I know you were dad’s friend. I wish you would post links to your sources, and not be so dismissive of counter-arguments.

        • JohnInDenver says:

          A detailed analysis of Jones Act in general and its relevance to Puerto Rico is available  at An Economic Analysis of the Jones Act … especially pp. 26-27. Other sections detail impacts and dispute benefits.  pp. 34-35 talk about Domestic Disasters …

          Overall conclusion is "By reducing competition for shipping services, the Jones Act has imposed large net costs on the US economy. The negative effects of the act on the contiguous 48 states have been reduced somewhat by the development of alternative modes of transportation. However, geography limits the noncontiguous regions from using these substitute modes of transportation, and consequently the act has done the most damage to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Guam"

        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          Happy Birthday, mama!! You continue to be an inspiration to everyone who values honesty, intellect, and kindness. Proud to be a colleague….or,..whatever you call it….fellow Polster, maybe? Anyhow…I hope you continue to tolerate us for many years to come….laugh

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          I usually read and post from bed with my amazon fire.  I have never figured out how to link with it.  However, simple key word searches on google.  –jones act puerto rico will dyield a wealth of information.  And yes, it only applies to intra u.s. Trade.  You can't ship wheat from denver to omaha on a foreign flag ship.  Of course, that's a joke and we do have rail roads available to do that job.  Puerto rico, guam, hawaii and alaska, in contrast, are islands that can' t be reached by rail or truck.  Ok, alaska isn't an island but it might as well be.  

          Yes, the jones act hurts them and I have always opposed it, simply because I invariably oppose protectionism.  I have simply pointed out that you are wrong to claim that it keeps the dominican republic or venezuela from shipping directly to puerto rico.  That just isn't true

          Even you admitted that foreign flag vessels visit puerto rico, but you then claimed they could not unload cargo there!  If that were true, why would they go there?  The point is that they can unload foreign cargo in p.r. But not any thing that originates in a u.s. port.  And they could not carry cargo from p.r. to, say, louisiana.

          The point of origin of the cargo is what counts, by the way.  You were right to say that citgo could not move diesel to p.r. on a foreign flag vessel, but wrong to assume that the act was triggered by venezuelanan ownership of the diesel fuel.  That diesel went from venezuela as crude oil to a refinery in lake charles, la.  The venezuela to louisiana leg is not covered by jones.  But once the cargo leaves louisiana for another u.s. destination, the jones act kicks in.

          • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

            I'm glad that you oppose the Jones Act. As the official death count mounts in Puerto Rico, hopefully those people won't have drowned or starved or been neglected in hospitals in vain. Their deaths may spur examination of how Trump allocated resources to the islands vs the mainland hit by hurricanes, and the consequences of the Jones Act and taxation without representation for Puerto Rico.

            I've written everything I wanted to say on this, am done with this debate.

            • VoyageurVoyageur says:

              I recommend that everyone read the link mj posted to bernie sanders's statement on puerto rico.  However, it does not even mention the Jones Act, the 1920 merchant marine protectionist law we have been discussing.

              Bernie instead talks about Jones Shafroth, a1917 act on Puerto Rico that is sometimes confused with the Jones Act, as mj apparently did when she referred to the Jones Act being passed in 1917, the year Jones Shafroth passed.

              The AFL-CIO, sadly, is fighting to keep the Jones Act in full force.  Since Bernie is the leading protectionist among modern Democratic politicians, I doubt that he would oppose big labor by urging jones act (1920) repeal.

              If you know of any place where bernie has discussed the 1920 Jones Act, please post a link. He was enforsed by the Inland Boatmans Union of the Pacific in 2015 precisely because of his strong support for the jones act. While I can’t link from the fire, you can google it with “bernie sanders jones act.”

              • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                There are 4 Jones Acts:

                The Jones Shafroth Act, also called the Jones Act for Puerto Rico, passed in 1917, referenced in Sanders' article, which established Puerto Rican citizenship and rights.  Sanders is proposing , among other things, structured bankruptcy for Puerto Rico as an economic recovery measure, and references the history to show why / how debt happened.

                The Jones Law, concerning governance of the Phillipines.

                The Merchant Marine Act, now commonly known as the Jones Act, signed into law in 1920. It was sponsored by Wesley Jones.

                Then there was the Jones-Stalker Act, which established more severe penalties for violating Prohibition.

                Not like Jones is a common name or anything. Mea Culpa, I did get the Puerto Rican Jones Act and the Merchant Marine Jones Act enactment years confused.  Enjoy your gloat, V.

                I can't find a voting record for Sanders on the various amendments McCain has proposed to the 1920 Jones Act. However, Sanders' political organization, Our Revolution, Hawaii chapter, has proposed making the waiver of the 1920 Jones Act permanent for Puerto Rico.

                Sanders was endorsed by the Inland Boatmen's Union in 2015 for his "very supportive stance on the Jones Act and his strong opposition to ‘right to work’ legislation.” It doesn't say exactly what he said or if he was also for a waiver of the Jones Act for Puerto Rico, which would have been consistent with his other financial proposals for the Puerto Rican economy. That absence of comment on the Jones Act is suspicious.

                It might be that, like many politicians, Sanders is a bit of a hypocrite on this issue, tailoring his message for his audience at the time. Shocking. 

                If I write to Sanders, I'll ask him to support McCain's proposal. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  Politically, mj, Democrats are in a bind on this issue.  Jones act ships must be american made, with american steel and at least 75 percent American crews.  So you have steelworkers, shipbuilders and maritime unions on board, all with allies in the afl-cio.  Those folks vote.  In contrast, the 3.5 million residents of p.r. Can only send a non voting rep to the house.

                  It's the old special interest general interest dilemma.  It's easy for me to do the right thing because we don't elect has beens in this country😇

  6. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    The lines between satire and reality are gone…


    “They even have a young son together. So wrong!”

    Though his first instinct was to bomb the Caribbean territory, Trump’s anger subsided when he was told how pathetic the First lady’s paramour really was.

    “I hear he’s really dumb and has tiny tiny hands, so it’s hard to get too jealous. Sad!”

  7. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    The struggle is real. 

    The woman who fathered twins with husband #3 while married to husband #1, then married husband #2 (who adopted her children sired by husband #3), then divorces husband #2 to marry husband #3, then divorces husband #3 to remarry husband #2 is in Romania professing the sanctity of her 'one man – one woman' schtick thanks to the support of Liberty University. 

    Baby #SupplySideJesus weeps. 

    Kim Davis Takes Struggle Against Gay Marriage To Another Theater: Romania

    "Her story resonates loudly with them, and they are receiving her tearfully and very warmly, because they can still remember the not-so-long-ago days when they were themselves persecuted and imprisoned for their conscience. The freedom of conscience transcends national, cultural, religious and denominational lines, and Romanians are determined to prevent such injustice from ever happening again in their country."

  8. SamCat says:

    Happy Birthday Mama!!!!!!!!


  9. RepealAndReplace says:

    Happy birthday, MJ!

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