Weekend Open Thread

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”

–Robert Frost

48 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. itlduso says:

    Americans care more about Al Franken's tongue than what's in the tax bill.

  2. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Trump administration gives CDC a list of forbidden words, including ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender’ and ‘evidence-based’

    Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

    In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      How does one fight disease without science? The Trump adminstration wants to return us to the Dark Ages. What's next, witch trials? Treating illness on the basis of "foul humors"?

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        I guess the Medical Leech lobby got to him.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        There are no words for that kind of ignorance, that the CDC employees would be told what words they can not use makes me want to Trump my breakfast . . . 

        (Language will have its revenge . . . )

         

      • DavieDavie says:

        Oh boy!  We can look forward to vastly lower costs of healthcare!  It's a miracle:

        …miraculous cures were not ascribed to persons merely. Another growth, developed by the early Church mainly from germs in our sacred books, took shape in miracles wrought by streams, by pools of water, and especially by relics. Here, too, the old types persisted, and just as we find holy and healing wells, pools, and streams in all other ancient religions, so we find in the evolution of our own such examples as Naaman the Syrian cured of leprosy by bathing in the river Jordan, the blind man restored to sight by washing in the pool of Siloam, and the healing of those who touched the bones of Elisha, the shadow of St. Peter, or the handkerchief of St. Paul.

        St. Cyril, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and other great fathers of the early Church, sanctioned the belief that similar efficacy was to be found in the relics of the saints of their time; hence, St. Ambrose declared that “the precepts of medicine are contrary to celestial science, watching, and prayer,'' and we find this statement reiterated from time to time throughout the Middle Ages. From this idea was evolved that fetichism which we shall see for ages standing in the way of medical science.

        Theology, developed in accordance with this idea, threw about all cures, even those which resulted from scientific effort, an atmosphere of supernaturalism. The vividness with which the accounts of miracles in the sacred books were realized in the early Church continued the idea of miraculous intervention throughout the Middle Ages. The testimony of the great fathers of the Church to the continuance of miracles is overwhelming; but everything shows that they so fully expected miracles on the slightest occasion as to require nothing which in these days would be regarded as adequate evidence.

        The goal?

        In this atmosphere of theologic thought medical science was at once checked. The School of Alexandria, under the influence first of Jews and later of Christians, both permeated with Oriental ideas, and taking into their theory of medicine demonsand miracles, soon enveloped everything in mysticism. In the Byzantine Empire of the East the same cause produced the same effect; the evolution of ascertained truth in medicine, begun by Hippocrates and continued by Herophilus, seemed lost forever.Medical science, trying to advance, was like a ship becalmed in the Sargasso Sea: both the atmosphere about it and the medium through which it must move resisted all progress. Instead of reliance upon observation, experience, experiment, and thought,attention was turned toward supernatural agencies.

        White, A. D. 1898. Warfare of Science with Theology. Chapter XIII: From Miracles to Medicine. New York. D. Appleton and Company. Copyright, 1898 By D. Appleton and Company.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        By prayer. Diseases are not caused by microbes but by those who commit serious sin.

    • 'Cause the President and his incompetent administration will use a search program to make sure there's no inappropriate messaging, but won't be bothered to read for actual content.

    • MADCO says:

      That is a load of santorum.

  3. DavieDavie says:

    Trumpidiocy has befallen our land.  Now it's costing us some of the best and brightest who now find opportunity in other countries.

    Petra Axolotl knew her chances of getting an H-1B visa were slim. She had an MBA from Wharton and a job offer at Twitter, but luck would decide the Dutch data scientist’s fate — and in 2016, it did not fall in her favor.

    Axolotl missed out in the lottery for the coveted visa but remained determined to work in Silicon Valley, a place she considered the global capital of tech innovation. The plan was to reapply this year.

    Then Donald Trump became president, and she prepared to move somewhere else –– Canada.

    The Canadian government has also laid the groundwork to make the region more tech-friendly…

    Applying for a U.S. H-1B visa can be a months-long process, and the path to permanent residency can take years. For Waxman and his foreign hires, though, “from the day we filled out the forms to the day my three engineers were in the country, it was about 10 days.”

  4. DavieDavie says:

    Even the Denver Post has had it with Trumpidiocy and his Trumpidiot spokesperson:

    itemprop

  5. DavieDavie says:

    The real reason Trump has so many vacancies in his administration?  There aren't enough Trumpidiots to go around:

    …less than a quarter of Americans think Trump has made good on the pledges he made to voters while running for president, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

    …three in 10 Americans that approved of the president’s handling of health care, foreign policy or taxes.

    The survey results suggest that with or without a tax overhaul, Trump has work to do in convincing the public that his presidency is benefiting them.

    Just 25 percent of Americans think the country is better off since Trump took office — and only 20 percent say they personally are doing better.

  6. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    As we head into a new year, a little reminder for my Democratic friends.  There are miles to go before you sleep.

    I’m A Brown Woman Who’s Breaking Up With The Democratic Party

    At the congresswoman’s town hall in February, Neeti Pawar, the brown female founder of the South Asian Bar Association of Colorado, was one of the only people of color in a room of nearly a thousand. She asked about immigration and DACA protections. The congresswoman scoffed. When Pawar pressed on, she was told to remain silent or she’d be asked to leave. During a follow-up, staffers told Pawar that civil rights weren’t the representative’s “issue.” Brown and black people don’t have the luxury of sidelining civil rights. It’s life and death for us.

    Charles Barkley Got It Right: Democrats Need to Respect the Black Voters Putting Them in Power

    Well, this is a wakeup call for Democrats. … They’ve taken the black vote and the poor vote for granted for a long time. It’s time for them to get off their ass and start making life better for black folks and people who are poor.

    They’ve always had our votes, and they have abused our votes and this is a wakeup call. We’ve got it in a great position now, but this is a wakeup call for Democrats to do better for black people and poor white people.

    • allyncooper says:

      Barkley is spot on. Trump made the same claim as a candidate. Fact is neither party seems to give a shit about truly uplifting the economic condition of blacks and poor people ( the gap between the rich and poor gets ever wider regardless of who is in power).  MLK knew civil rights were meaningless without economic justice and advancement.  He was in Memphis supporting the garbage workers on strike and was planning the Poor Peoples March on Washington when he was killed.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Degette has advocated for Dreamers – she is a cosponsor of the Bridge Act, a short term fix for DACA deportations. She's also one of the people saying that she will see the government shut down before she votes for a budget bill without a DACA fix.

      So I don't think it's entirely true that she is deaf to the needs of immigrants.

      As for the women's march, the movement this year was led by women of color.  This was a deliberate organizing choice. The hugely successful movement, which brought millions out to protest Trump's inauguration, was not by any means an all-white event. Instead of debating "Who is more oppressed?" or "Which resistance movement must be prioritized?, " people now are talking about "intersectionality."

      "Intersectionality" is a fancy word of saying that people have multiple weights pressing down on them, and multiple communities and concerns.

      I agree with Barkley and Rao's critiques, though…. subtle, usually unconscious, racism still motivates too many decisions and policies within the Democratic party. We do need to be aware of how policies affect communities of color, whether we're talking about the environment, the workplace, the tax code, or whatever.

      Yes, there are miles to go before we sleep.

    • MADCO says:

      The break up/wake up needs to be for the Denver Colorado "we're all Democrats now" congresswoman.

      from her wikipedia page "…returned to Denver (she went to law school in New York) and began a law practice focusing on civil rights and employment litigation."

      She sucks. She's got one of the safest districts to ever exist – she could introduce any progressive issue.  She just doesn't want to.

      She should resign and give some up and comer the seat. Never, ever going to happen.

      And Sir Charles can get in line.  There is not going to be a wake up call for the Ds until a there is a better voting choice for the black and poor voters he wants to include. What's that- the black and poor voters who 
      think they deserve representation are going to vote for Coffman (s)?  

      New parties are the only way. One that makes a commmitment to run a clean nominating contest and adhere to the voters wishes. 
      Bwahhahahah. The Democratic Party ?  not bloody well likely, is it?

  7. allyncooper says:

    The 503 page tax reform bill is being touted as "tax simplification".   Can't wait till I can file my taxes by filling out a postcard as promised by Mr. Ryan.

  8. allyncooper says:

    The "tax reform" bill as coming out of conference committee kills the individual health care mandate. Pretty much sticks a fork in Obamacare.

  9. ZappateroZappatero says:

    And just wait until he’s on the wrong end of Mueller’s “evidence based” evidence. 

    • MADCO says:

      Mueller is going to be powerless when he gets fired. My guess is next Friday (12/22).

      just about the same time the House and Senate inquiries into the Russian thing end. And her emails become the focus again, only this time with the 'right' FBI cooperation

       

       

  10. itlduso says:

    Seems to be very little interest in the tax bill.  Let me simplify it for you.  Self-employed like me Winners!  W-2 schlubs like you Losers!  Ha ha ha.  

    Thank you for your indifference.

    • itlduso says:

      Oh yeah.  The child tax credit used to be $1,000 and phased out at $115,000.   The GOP just doubled it to $2,000 per child and doesn't phase out till $400,000.  Why didn't Dems double the credit and start phase out at $250,000?

      Ha, ha, ha.  Thank you for your indifference, Losers.

      • MADCO says:

        Yes, you told us.

        What did you want us to do? write letters to Coffman and Buck?

        Deficits don't matter – esp to Coffman or Buck.

        And no one believes Medicare, Social Security are really at risk.

        Likewise, the right to choose a gender neutral draft because of the War, etc.

        • itlduso says:

          Madcow, my friend, we could ask all Dem candidates what their tax plan is.  I get deer in the headlights when I ask CD6 candidates and Michael Bennet.  

          The best GOTV tactic is to give voters a reason to vote for you.  A simple middle class tax cut would do the trick.  

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Democrats didn't liberalize the tax credit because certain Republicans USED to be concerned about the deficit, and did not agree to increase the refund limit.

        Democrats saw no reason to provide additional tax credits to households earning over $115,000 — basically twice the national average.

        Now, Republicans get the best of both worlds — they double the credit and raise the limit, allowing households with incomes between $115,000 and $400,000 to claim it. The only limit is a phase-out so the maximum refundable amount is $1,400.

        The only cost is to the deficit and debt — and as long as they "win," they suddenly have no concern about that. Dick Cheney's realization that deficits don't matter has suddenly taken over the GOP. The only difference is Cheney wanted to spend for DoD — this new GOP doesn't limit their largesse.

      • allyncooper says:

        Short answer. Because they are powerless to do so.

  11. itlduso says:

    ATL airport without power.   What would you do if 1/3 or more of US power grid went out for weeks or months?

    itlduso

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      I live off the grid..we are self- contained. Still need back up on gasoline and water. Our refrigerator runs on propane.

      We have a leg up should that happen. It would still be a struggle, though.

      • DavieDavie says:

        Trump may have to sign his TaxScam bill by candlelight.  Looks like there are about a dozen different scenarios where Buck and his lunatic fringe caucus could force a shutdown.  But Ryan is already assuming they are even stupider than the Trump voters when it comes to pulling the wool over their eyes.  

        It's going to be a bipartisan [spending] deal; [some House Republicans] are going to be unhappy with that — and you don't want to have the tax issues as the place they decide to retaliate," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla), a member of the House appropriations panel, hinting at House GOP fears that conservatives could hijack tax reform to make a stand on spending issues.

        Ryan, meanwhile, green-lighted a short-term spending strategy that funds the Pentagon but does nothing for Democratic priorities — and suggested House members could leave town to try to "jam the Senate" into accepting their bill. But McConnell needs eight Democrats to pass anything, so the House plan is sure to fail in his chamber.

        "Right now, they're just headed straight off a cliff," one person familiar with the negotiations said of the House. "[The] Senate's not likely to jump with them."

        Interestingly, and as a sign of how critical swing-state Colorado has become, both our Senators are knee deep in the immigration element of the negotiations:

        There has been some progress on the immigration front, aides say. A bipartisan group of seven senators met multiple times last week to try and hammer out an immigration deal that combines legislation for Dreamers — hundreds of thousands of whom are losing their temporary work permits and deportation protections due to actions by Trump — with other immigration enforcement measures.

        The group includes Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Michael Bennet of Colorado, and GOP Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. They want to be able to strike a deal on immigration they can subsequently present to their leadership.

        This definitely ain't over, and of course Trump is likely to tweet his narcissistic fat ass right into the middle of this, torturing McConnell and Ryan yet again.

    • allyncooper says:

      Could happen with EMP attack by the North Koreans.  I'm now in the design process of a 800 +- sq ft. off grid house to be built in a rural area not in Colorado). Then stockpile water, food, and weapons.

  12. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    New Deduction Expected To Benefit GOP Leaders Was Needed For Votes: Cornyn

    A last-minute addition to the Republican tax bill that could personally save President Donald Trump and several GOP congressional leaders millions was a way to “cobble together” enough votes to pass the controversial measure, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told ABC.

    The new deduction was slipped into the tax measure Friday during the process reconciling bills from the House and Senate. Shortly after it was added, GOP swing vote Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) declared his support for the bill. The provision would boost Corker’s income through his real estate holdings, IBT reported

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      I’m absolutely baffled at the Democratic “leadership” in this process and why they didn’t make a concerted, vocalized effort to again demand that Cheetolini release his tax returns before any tax-plan voting commenced???? WTF??  Talk about opportunity lost . . . 

    • DavieDavie says:

      Gee, what an amazing coincidence!  As Moldy will surely tell us, there was absolutely no quid pro quo involved at all!

      Sen. Bob Corker, who was considered a potential “no” vote on the bill, abruptly switched his position upon the release of the final legislation. Federal records reviewed by IBT show that Corker has millions of dollars of ownership stakes in real-estate related LLCs that could also benefit.

      …instead of being being able to get a large tax cut only if you pay a lot of wages, now you can get the tax cut if you own a lot of property.

      “If they were saying before Trump wouldn’t get this because his pass-through firms don’t have employees, that’s clearly no longer the case,” Kamin said.

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