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October 27, 2017 06:09 AM UTC

Friday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“We forget cruelty and past betrayal, heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.”

–Robert Graves


26 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. The thread quote this morning evokes an abuse victim’s response: It wasn’t that bad, he didn’t mean it, ______ excuses it, it won’t happen again, it was really my fault, that was the worst it can be and I survived, it won’t happen again, just don’t talk about it, just forget about it. That is the GOP Congress’ reaction to Trump administration.

    Every accusation made against Obama or Hillary Clinton has now been accomplished in reality by members of the the current administration. Private email accounts? check. Too friendly to Wall St? Check. Overuse of executive orders? check. Waffling or weakness against hostile powers? Check, check, check. Four soldiers killed under President’s watch, by terrorists, in undeclared war, with help not arriving in time? Check (Niger)

    No child sex trafficking rings in pizza parlors. Yet. No nysterious murders of interns and aides. Yet.

    If a pregnant immigrant held in detention is forced to carry her baby to term, does that not make her child a US citizen?

    Just random thoughts this morning.

    Don’t have time to put all the links in.

    1. The difference being that this (not being able to hold government office if you have dual citizenship, or presumably any title by a foreign government) is a standing law in Australia, and the ruling is actually based on facts.

      The ruling affects members of at least 4 different political parties. Haven't followed the whole thing, but it's a real bizarre twist to Aussie politics.

  2. What could possibly go wrong? 

    Whitefish Energy contract bars government from auditing deal

    A deal reached between the government and a small Montana energy company located in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown prohibits the government from reviewing labor costs or profits related to the company's relief efforts in Puerto Rico, according to a leaked copy of the contract.

    A copy of the deal obtained by reporter Ken Klippenstein reveals that the government isn't allowed to "audit or review the cost and profit elements" under the agreement, allowing the company greater discretion and secrecy for how it spends the $300 million to restore power to the island. Puerto Rico is rebuilding after two major hurricanes wiped out most of the island's aging electrical grid.

      1. Hey there, ardy.

        I lost your number when my previous phone disappeared…kindly call me when you can and we can discuss that project you mentioned at the Polis soiree…☺

    1. Sounds like a pretty good deal, . . .

      . . . if you can get it!

      Reporter Ken Klippenstein has obtained a copy of the contract between Whitefish and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), and the details paint an even more egregious picture. Whitefish reportedly is charging $300 an hour for a subcontracted lineman; $462 an hour for a subcontracted supervisor; and $400 per worker per day for food and housing. The contract also shields Whitefish from legal liability if they screw up the job, and prevents government authorities from auditing the company, according to Klippenstein.

      1. This is easily as corrupt a deal as the infamous Teapot Dome scandal 100 years ago:

        The Teapot Dome Scandal was a bribery incident that took place in the United States from 1921 to 1922, during the administration of President Warren G. HardingSecretary of the InteriorAlbert Bacon Fall had leased Navy petroleum reserves at Teapot Dome in Wyoming and two other locations in California to private oil companies at low rates without competitive bidding. In 1922 and 1923, the leases became the subject of a sensational investigation by Senator Thomas J. Walsh. Fall was later convicted of accepting bribes from the oil companies and became the first Cabinet member to go to prison.

    2. The Governor of Puerto Rico has called for the contract with Whitefish to be cancelled.

      Puerto Rico, as a commonwealth, has its own Office of Management and Budget. So it's stretching the boundaries of colonialism for Puerto Rico to audit the contract which is supposed to restore its electrical power.

      If it doesn't pass muster,  just cancel it and get someone in to do the work. Seems reasonable to me.

      Elon Musk's Tesla is already installing solar grids and powerpacks on hospitals in Puerto Rico. Google's Alphabet is floating balloons over the island to restore cell service. 

      If Whitefish can't measure up, people will go to innovative renewable energy sources on island communities. (Oh, the horror!) RE is more efficient, and easier to rebuild after disasters.



  3. The GOP: The self-proclaimed "party of fiscal responsibility," is in reality the "Cut Taxes and Spend Even More Taxpayer Money on the Obscenely Wealthy Party." They intend to give us  DEFICITS DEFICITS DEFICITS DEFICITS, in perpetuity, as far as the eye can see, and far beyond that.

    And all so that they might continue to provide oral servicing to the oligarchs and billionaires who hold their leash, and enable their continued death grip on power.

    If there was ever a more corrupt, more contemptible, more hypocritical, more fraudulent, more anti-American, more anti-democracy, or more anti-fiscal responsibility assortment of scum, vermin and traitors in our nation's history, I’m unable to think of whom that might have been.

    1. OTOH, I’ve been thinking I might be willing to pay a bit more in taxes myself . . . 

      . . . so that the Kochs get their massive tax cuts passed . . . 

      . . . as it seems to be the only thing holding the GOPer establishment to Trump.

      Once they get their cuts, perhaps we can finally get on with the business of excising the Imbecile-in-Chief.  At this point, I’m not certain that the $1.5 trillion cost might not be worth it?

      Yeah, sure, some will say that it’s paying ransom to buy off terrorists, but it’s looking more and more like one hell of a smart bargain!?

  4. For the record this guy was arrested yesterday on federal racketeering charges.  Every day 91 Americans die from opiod overdoses.  For the benefit of our resident voice of reason, exactly zero Americans will die from cannabis in the same timeframe.  

    Fentanyl Maker Donates Big to Campaign Opposing Pot Legalization

    An embattled pharmaceutical company that sells the powerful painkiller fentanyl has donated $500,000 toward defeating a ballot initiative that would make recreational use of marijuana legal under Arizona law.

    It's hard to imagine a more sinister donor than Insys Therapeutics Inc. in the eyes of pot legalization proponents, who long have claimed drug companies want to keep cannabis illegal to corner the market for drugs, some addictive and dangerous, that relieve pain and other symptoms.

        1. I copied it .and will read it at leisure. But after just a skim, all I can say is WOW! This guy belongs behind bars for a very long time, as do a lot of doctors who were handing this stuff out like dinner mints.

  5. Oh, look: Eduardo Rafael woke up. The strings from your oily puppet masters are showing.

    (Northey is a really good guy).

    Ted Cruz is blocking Bill Northey's USDA appointment

    U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas is holding back Northey’s nomination as the Ag Department’s new undersecretary for farm production and conservation. The move comes despite wide support for Northey on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

    The reason? According to Politico’s unnamed sources, it’s a “reaction” to successful efforts by Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst last week to block action by the Environmental Protection Agency to decrease the mandate for biofuels blended into the nation’s fuel supply.

    1. That, or he’s really pissed off that Cheetolini finally released the long-buried evidence that Papacita was the second shooter?!? . . .

      . . . I really hate to start any day almost agreeing with DosScoops about anything, but Jumpin’ Jiminy Jebus — Trump, Cruz, Grassley, Ernst, Perdue, Pruitt, Zinke, et al ? — there’s not even the hint of a single “good guy,” or even a slightly “decent guy,” in that entire story?? Washington is a scum-laden, disease-infested, toxic swamp . . .

  6. Hemp revives northwest Colorado towns.   Denver Post's 10/27/17 piece by Jason Blevins explores how rural  NW towns that were dependent on uranium and coal mining are turning to  a more sustainable industry.

    “This field right here will be full of hemp. Our high school kids — the 4-H and ag students — they are going to be tending the field,” says Sheriff, kicking tumbleweeds away from a dormant Nucla school where a host of new businesses — many hempcentric — will soon set up shop. “It’s going to be an advanced technology incubator, dependent on hemp. We already are about 85 percent full.”

    What you do is working, Michael. smiley

    1. Special shout-out to everyone that worked so hard to make Colorado the #1 industrial hemp state in America.  To the citizens of who overwhelmingly cast their ballot to end Prohibition. Our state legislature, second-to-none in supporting the industry; Senators Bennet and Gardner have been invaluable in the national discussion as have our entire Congressional delegation (sans the occupant of CD-5). Congressman Polis is Superman in the House, introducing the hemp amendment in 2013 that became Section 7606 of the Farm Bill and formed the legal basis for the industry's success today.  The CO Department of Ag, a trusted partner in our endeavors, and Colorado State University and its pioneering research. 

      We have one step left: removing industrial hemp from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act and returning its jurisdiction back to USDA and all state departments of agriculture through passage of The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, H.R. 3530.  

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