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December 30, 2017 07:32 AM UTC

New Year's Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

So long, 2017.


53 thoughts on “New Year’s Weekend Open Thread

  1. Here’s to a 2018 in which SFL Bennet does not fall for Trump’s “bipartisan” horseshit. Trump is a liar and can’t, nor shouldn’t be, trusted. 

    Nor should Bennet, who values an empty bipartisanship over doing stuff, pretend that any Republican Senator can be trusted to do what’s in the best interest of the American People, when they have consistently supported Trump’s lying, his attacks on our Democracy, the Free Press, any number private citizens, and all of whom have proven to be shameless puppets of a hostile foreign power that Physically Attacked* our Democracy and will do so in the future. 

    * – the argument could be made that black bits and bytes are physical things, and that when deployed in the correct sequence can cause great harm. When not deployed properly they are relatively harmless. 

    1. "over doing stuff"

      Exactly what kind of stuff can a member of the minority party do without collaborating with the other party – other than making empty speeches to gin the base?

      1. Well, minority legislators can sponsor and push amendments – as Bernie Sanders did for years. That does require bipartisanship and collaborating with the other party, however.

        Bennet has offered several amendments on trade issues. I'll leave it to people who know trade issues well to discuss whether these were good ideas.

        With the tax bill monstrousity, Democrats were specifically excluded from any markup or amendment-making, as it was rushed through. Republicans made hand-written amendments which were impossible to read. All Democrats got was a list of titles of the amendments.

        This has left significant weaknesses in the bill, (besides that whole screw-the bottom 99% to enrich the top 1% thing) which Republicans now own absolutely.

      2. Bennet, or "SFL Bennet" as Zappatero titles him, is not only in the minority, he is in the minority in the time of McConnell, a nakedly partisan Majority Leader.

        As I see it, he has 3 things to do:

          * support efforts to hold the Democratic caucus together. Maintaining effective contact with and relationships with Manchin, Heitkamp and McCaskill  (and their sort) limits the chance of big enough majorities for bills to pass in the regular order of the Senate.

          * make policy arguments and build relationships with the few Republicans who are not totally in the bag for McConnell. Finding common ground has a potential of stripping away a crucial vote or two on strong ideological proposals.  To do that, Bennet will need to listen to policy arguments from some Republicans, and if they make sense, he can support the policy.

          * help drive up the vote for Democratic candidates for the Senate and House in special elections and the November general election, particularly in Colorado. At least two House districts in Colorado have constituents who should be outraged by Republican tax "reform" and proposals for health care "reform" that were supported by their Republican Representative. Finding those folks and getting them to the polls in November opens up possibilities, especially if the House can be flipped.

        1. "build relationships with the few Republicans who are not totally in the bag for McConnell"

          I agree with you but that is precisely what sets Zappy off on one of his tirades.


          1. How can anyone trust a single Sociopath Republican in today’s US Senate? Even the ones who supposedly show some guts eventually cave to Trump and McTurtle.  

              1. To the Nazis who have taken over the Republican party. "compromise" is another word for surrender. You can compromise with an honest, principled opponent…but you cannot with lying thieves. 

                Ever the masters of betrayal, the New Nazi Party under Trump will stop at nothing to win. Moving goalposts is a timeworn practice by Republicans, accelerated even more in this  age of Republican hegemony.

                Compromise is what Europe thought would stop Hitler.What will stop our new Nazi Party? Compromise? Don't be so naive, CHB…you are smarter than that.

                1. As bad as some of the current Republicans are, I don't see them sending anyone to the ovens for liquidation, even gays. Of course, the more power that the religious right gets from Trump and Pence, things could change a bit. No, I firmly disagree with anyone who compares Trump to Hitler. Bad comparison.

                  I see Trump more as a modern day Mussolini with the religious right and white supremacists serving as the "brown shirts." Mussolini and his crowd didn't march on Rome in 1922 to make friends. Likewise, Trump and his far right wing cronies didn't go to Washington a year ago to make friends.

                  1. I guess the fact you are drawing a distinction between Adolf and Benito says everything I need to hear. A fascist is a fascist. You can parse words all you want. 

                    Well, I guess we shouldn't worry until the Republicans suggest it would be simpler if we just require Muslims to wear some identifying symbol…no wait…that already happened. What IS it going to take for you to see that which you continue to deny?

                    The Trump Republicans will not stop until we are living in a full blown kleptocratic theocracy. And compromise will not stop them. Apparently, neither will you.

                    1. There is quite a difference between refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding and the deliberate murder of 11 million people, including thousands of gays.   If you can't see that, Duke, you are deranged.

                  2. You're right on the money, CHB. Right down to that pose he strikes when he goes off on a tirade only to cross his arms. The only thing missing is the balcony.

                    As for the LWNJs and their claim that all fascists are the same, I wonder how they would react if someone said that same thing about those left wing socialists.

                    Do Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders belong in the same category as Lenin, Mao, the Castro brothers (not Julian and Joachin, Fidel and Raul) and Pol Pot?

                    Discuss among yourselves…..

                    1. First of all, Duke never said that "All fascists are the same." Nor did he write the other blithering nonsense (comparing Hitler to the no-gay cakes guy) that V imputed to him.

                      That's what we've grown to expect from V. From you, not so much. So WTF exactly are you talking about?

                      Is this really about the supposed differences between Hitler and Mussolini? How is that even relevant? We're looking at corporate fascism. Here's the dictionary definition of fascism:

                      from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

                      • n. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
                      • n. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.

                      No, we’re not there yet, and not getting there is why we resist. But yes, if the modern GOP gets its way, we’ll be living under something a whole lot like fascism.

                    2. MJ, you are either dumb as a post or did not readDuke.  He assailed chb for distinguishing between Hitler and Stalin, then said "A fascist is a fascist."

                       if that doesn't mean all fascists are alike,what does it mean?  In answering, please try to not sound like Ilya Ehrenburg.

                      You should be ashamed of yourself.

            1. Tom Daschle knew how to deal with Republicans when he was minority leader. He enticed one to switch parties by offering committee chair to Jim Jeffords. By doing that, he became majority leader.

              .Zappy's solution is to call them names collectively.

      1. In theory, I agree with Ms. Jahn's decision. Her Ballotpedia voting record shows practical, problem-solving votes for the most part. Americans for Prosperity does not see her as a lackey; she only had a 45% rating from them in 2016.

        I do think both parties rely too much on their party structures, and too little on the power of their ideas. A stronger Independent / unaffiliated caucus could get our legislature unstuck.


        1. Agreed….this might just mix things up. 

          Maybe in the name of ideological purity, the Dems should exclude her from their caucus. That will teach her.

        2. She's a prototypical Third Wayer.  Socially liberal, protective of corporations, antagonistic to unions.  She was a reliable voice for Xcel, and ran the bill that retarded the progress of municipal broadband for CenturyLink.

          I assume she’s looking at some job where she thinks this helps for after she leaves the Senate in 2018.

  2. Broccoli is hiding the secret sauce.

    Per Colorado Independent, the current DA Brauchler, former candidate for Governor, current candidate for Attorney General Brauchler is having trouble hiding his  mistakes as prosecutor from the persistent reporters at the Colorado Independent.

    Broccoli would actually prefer that the public not even know that the Colorado Independent sued for access to the court documents. Susan Greene writes:

    Brauchler’s efforts to shroud that misconduct in secrecy bring up new concerns about his fitness to become Attorney General, the office he’s seeking after quitting the governor’s race when Republican AG Cynthia Coffman announced her candidacy last month. Brauchler, also a Republican, is trying to manipulate the court system to suppress documents that shed critical light on him, his record as DA, and the colleagues he dispatched – for millions of tax dollars – to secure a death sentence at all costs. That may not bode well for a candidate seeking election as the state’s top law enforcement official.

    Rep. Joe Salazar, also a candidate for Attorney General, wrote on Facebook:

    What’s ironic about Brauchler’s argument is that in 2014 he supported a bill to force public defenders to turn over their records under the Colorado Open Records Act, while his office enjoyed stronger protections from turning over Records under the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act.

    1. Just wow!  I hope this leads to broccoli getting sanctioned.  Kudos to the Colorado independent and their attorneys for exposing his hypocrisy and mendacity.

      1. Maybe then he'll bail on AG and join the scores who are running for treasurer.

        Then Ken Buck can run for AG and the watermelon hunter can run in CD 4.

        1. Are you nuts, R&R? Buck is on my list of people I'd never trust as AG. He's a partisan hack. Jack Phillips (of the cake wars) would be A-OK in his book.

          Now CD4 might be cool with the watermelon farmer, especially now that Ft. Collins is gone to CD2.

          1. That was not an endorsement of Ken Buck, Cook. It is simply how the GOP dominoes could fall. And frankly, a choice between Buck and Broccoli is tantamount to a choice between ingesting arsenic and blowing one's brains out with a gun.

            1. They are, indeed, about six of one, half-dozen of the other. However, the shape of CD4 at the moment would give the watermelon farmer a leg up. But as much as Buck would be a nightmare as A.G., I don’t think he can be trusted with the state’s money, either.

  3. Top 10 Stories of 2017 #11: White Voters choose Race over Class

    What they forfeited in material benefits, working-class whites also recouped in limited power and privilege. “They were admitted freely with all classes of white people to public functions, public parks, and the best schools,” he wrote. “The police were drawn from their ranks. … The newspapers specialized on news that flattered the poor whites and utterly ignored the Negro except in crime and ridicule. On the other hand, the Negro was subject to insult; was afraid of mobs; was liable to the jibes of children and the unreasoning fears of white women; and was compelled almost continuously to submit to various badges of inferiority.” You couldn’t necessarily buy groceries with these benefits, but they were palpably meaningful.

  4. Happy New Year, everyone!

    May this year bring you closer to your personal goals, whatever those may be, and collectively, bring us all closer to our ideals of democracy and community.


    1. Yes, Happy New Year, everyone! We've got some serious work to do this year – if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Get active!!

  5. Hey, V. Tough New Years eve?  I recommend ibuprofen, filtered water, and vitamin B12.  Forum duels with multiple straw men will just make you even crankier.

    I should know better than to engage with you on any topic… and I do know better.  So…done.


    I was actually responding to R&R's characterization that any leftist who mentions the word "fascist" in connection with our present situation is a LWNJ. Fascists have similarities and differences, but they all require corporate control of government, weakening of democracy and the press, repression and censorship, and establishment of autocracy. We have elements of this now.

    To Recall & Repeat (only): Fascism: I'm seeing corporate control of congress, deregulation, rising nationalism and racism, autocracy and admiration / emulation of autocrats. These match the dictionary definitions of fascism, or at least the ideological and economic underpinnings of fascism.

    I fail to see why it's important whether that's more like Hitler or Mussolini. Please explain your reasoning.  Is it important to deny any preconditions of fascism? If so, why? Is it important to distinguish between "Mussolini" fascism and "Hitler" fascism? If so, why?

    1. Taking issue with "all fascists are the same" and "a fascist is a fascist" is a distinction without a difference.

      What next? A debate over whether it is macaroni and cheese, or cheese and macaroni?

      1. Well, yeah, but that's not what I originally jumped in this "debate" to do. Do you or don't you think that anyone who brings up the word "fascist" in relation to the current administration is a "LWNJ", aka "Left Wing Nut Job"?

        1. Do you or don't you think that anyone who brings up the word "fascist" in relation to the current administration is a "LWNJ", aka "Left Wing Nut Job"?

          Answer: No, using the word fascist in relation to the current administration does not per se make the speaker a LWNJ.

          But failing to see that there was a difference – perhaps of degrees – between Hitler and Mussolini, or between Mussolini and Franco, or between Franco and Peron does make one a LWNJ because he or she is so far off the ideological scale that everything in the real world looks the same.  

          Nice try defending these guys, MJ.

          1. So someone who disagrees with you about the fascists of yesteryear is a left wing nut job. But someone who agrees with you that there are elements of fascism in today's Republican party is sensible and reasonable.

            What were you saying about a distinction without a difference?

            Why should we care more about people's interpretations of WWII (or earlier) history than we care about how people interpret the imperatives of today?

            Why are you so eager to brand your fellow progressives as "nut jobs"? What does that accomplish for you?

  6. You still haven't answered why Duke'sclaim that distinguishing between hitler and Mussolini makesone a scoundrel and also fail to explain how saying " A fascist is a fascist" is different from saying "all fascists are alike.". So if I read your opening, can I conclude you were too hung over to make an intelligent comment?   You know, orating on anything and everything isn't really necessary or helpful.

    As just one of many differences between fascism and Nazism, consider that many Jews held high offices in the Fascist movement, which had no anti-semitic core.

    Plus, I take it you don't know who Ilya Ehrenburg was.  You can find his epic poem " Wait for me" in Alexander Werth's classic Russsia at War.  And he was Stalin's favorite propagandist.

    As to why it's important to distinguish between Hitler and Mussolini, girl, if you are really that dense, I won't waste my time on you.

  7. MJ: I'll do this without name calling. Hitler and his national socialism killed millions. Stalin and his socialism killed millions. Mao and his socialism killed millions. Pol Pot and his socialism killed millions.

    Mussolini did not send people to gas chambers. Neither did Franco (Spain), Salazar (Portugal), or Stroessner (Paraguay). 

    I think the best way to combat the growing autocracy in this country is by educating one's self. Calling Trump another Hitler is a knee-jerk reaction which leads to additional knee-jerk reactions by Trump's admirers and minions. The religious right; most of their leaders are born autocrats; love Trump. How do you combat that? Not by comparing Trump to Hitler.  

    1. There you go again.. I did NOT compare Trump to Hitler.

      I asked you what it will take for all you Trump apologists to decide that our very own, 21st century Nazi party needs to be stopped. I was comparing the reaction of people like you to the people who DIDN'T stop Adolf Hitlers' Nazis.

      This is about a takeover of the United States by a fascist movement, aided and abetted by a megalomaniacal con man. Do you really think the Republican party will fairly handle our next set of elections? Yeah…right. They are in charge and they aren't going to let go easily.

      But that is OK CHB. When Trump decides the only way we can contain " Little Rocket Man", is for his administration to permanently control the government and he should be president for life, we can have this conversation again. And you and R&R and V can tell me how your complacency wasn't responsible. 

      And one more thing. V., .I reread this thread and, maybe I missed it, but saw absolutely no mention of Stalin, except by you. Maybe your eyeglass prescription needs to be updated.

      1. You repeatedlycalled Republicans Nazis.  Nazis.  Now you deny comparing Trump to Hitler!

        You refer to the "New Nazi Party under Trump."

         your words.

        If that's not comparing Trump to Hitler, what is?

        I repeat, you are deranged , drunk or under the influence of drugs.  You seem incapable of rational thought.

        And, yes, your babble reminds me of Stalinist propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg.

        . By the way, CHB did mention Stalin also. Apparently you missed that. It’s a pretty safe bet that any thread that bellows Hitler, Hitler, Hitler will eventually mention his fellow tyrant.

        1. Please copy and paste or reference the time of the comment in which CHB mentioned Stalin. Thank you. I am unable to find it.

          Sorry V. None of your guesses are correct.

          I am pretty sure you remember Charlottesville…don't you?


          1. Deranged is not a guess, Duke.  It's a diagnosis.  As for chb, in his comment just before your "there you go again post, he discusses numerous tyrants, including Stalin.

            I would say that you are the one who needs new eyeglasses, except I think they are of limited value when one's head is firmly enclosed in a place of limited sunshine…

            1. You are right, V. I did miss CHBs' reference to Stalin. I guess that makes my argument invalid.

              As to deranged…OK…if that is the way you want it V. But that will not diminish the inexorable march of the Republican party toward the completion of Friedmans' Free Market dream. The "strong man" is in place, his goverment is full of military men, he controls all three branches of government, and he and his fascist party are systematically destroying American democracy. That you will not see it doesn't make it not real..                              

              Oh yeah…BTW…Hail Victory!

    2. CHB says:

      I'll do this without name calling.

      Appreciate it, and it means I'll actually respond to your arguments. I'll be happy to respond to R&R's assertions that we're all "LWNJs" for saying the F (fascist) word, as soon as he has the guts to fight his own battles on here.

      So your assertion seems to be that socialists and socialism are deadly, because "socialism kills millions", with examples from history. I don't argue with the facts here, but will point out that any leader of a country in a declared or undeclared war is capable of "killing millions", regardless of ideology. See: Vietnam. Iraq. Iran. Gulf War.  Yemen.  You didn't post any links, so I won't bother documenting all of these unless you contest the facts there.

      If we count only the American side of conflicts , we can still show that ___ ideologies ( religious fundamentalism, greed, "manifest destiny", "states rights") " killed millions.  When we count civilian deaths, deaths from the aftermath of war, i.e. sanctions, Agent Orange, drone strikes,  etc, the body count is always high – often in the millions.

      If you're only counting deliberate genocide of an ethnic group in order to claim territory, Rohingya Muslims and Rwandan Hutus were killed or forced to flee as refugees, by the hundreds of thousands.

      So socialism is not the deadliest ideology…it is one of many poor excuses to kill large numbers of people for an ideal or cause.

      I think the best way to combat the growing autocracy in this country is by educating one's self.

      You're entitled to your opinion, but I think that educating oneself is necessary, but not necessarily the only or "best way' to combat autocracy in this country. Other ways are organizing, writing, marching, voting speaking, running for office….you know the drill.

      Calling Trump another Hitler is a knee-jerk reaction

      Calling Trump another Hitler is over-simplification. You won't see me do that.  But I think we are not well-"educated" when we ignore the obvious signs of fascist trends in this country, which I've listed before – deregulation of corporations, weakening of institutions (press, checks and balances in government, fair elections, ) and admiration of dictators and autocrats.

      Tomorrow I report back to school, and won't have the leisure to write diaries and comments.

      I appreciate your decision to keep arguments civil, and refrain from ad hominem attacks. I would ask you also to directly quote those with whom you disagree,  as I have above,and address only those statements, rather than indulge in mind-reading, hyperbole,  or fighting straw men as others do.

      1. You say you won't call Trump Hitler, mj.  But you cheer loudly when others do , duke forexample, and giggle when he calls Republicans nazis.

        Your motto seems to be "The left can do no wrong."

        That is the road to zero credibility.  Along with calling people who disagree with you fascist.


          1. What rot.   You have an ego the size of North Dakota and couldn't begin to avoid reading anything about you, even a "refudiation" as palin would say.

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