Monday Open Thread

“The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.”

–Vladimir Nabokov

58 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55 says:

    Northeast Colorado Dems had a meet and greet with candidates yesterday. I'd like to highlight Tim Krug, running for state Board of Education from CD4, and Bethleen McCall, running for HD65 (Jon Becker's old Fort Morgan area seat). Two gubernatorial candidates, Noel Ginsburg and Erik Underwood, also spoke, as well as Greeley Rep Dave Young, running for Colorado Treasurer.

    Here's a link to Craig Stevens' video: Dave Young speaks at 4:15, Tim Krug  at 5:34, Bethleen McCall at 6:47. I'm especially excited about Tim Krug's and Bethleen McCall's candidacies, and will write a diary about McCall's run against Laura Teague, Republican and wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Western Sugar plant.

    Photo in Fort Morgan Times, courtesy of Bethleen McCall.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Bethlene is a class act; she's worked with farmers and ranchers for a long time through the Yuma SCS.  We'd be lucky to have her as our representative.   

    • MichaelBowman says:

      MamaJ – this is getting long in the tooth (I wrote it during the last Farm Bill reauthorization) but it has some links to the history of our sugar subsidies.  In a global marketplace, beet sugar has a formidable competitor in cane-derived sugar. Like coal, it's glory days are in the rearview mirror.  I have friends in the industry so this is never an easy discussion at home, after church or over dinner.   

      • davebarnes says:

        Sugar price supports are evil.

        They cost the USA economy 50K jobs in the candy/baked goods business.

        Sugar price supports are evil.

        They benefit the Fanjul family over and above any other.

        • notaskinnycook says:

          I learned something today. Thanks for making me have to go look that one up, Dave.

        • mamajama55 says:

          I'm still reading and researching Michael's and other articles on sugar, but it looks to me as though the Fanjuls are cane sugar kings, centered around Florida and the islands, while our Colorado midwest sugar crop is beet-centered. There is some corporate overlap; as in all industries, corporations are merging and buying each other out. 

          Both beet and cane sugar industries exploited immigrant and child labor; and now both are propped up by subsidies even though they are failing industries.  Sugar money is in high fructose corn syrup now.

          Electorally, I need to focus in on Laura Teague (the R candidate for HD65) for right now; as a local Republican councilperson, she has promoted policies that allowed Great Western Sugar to continue to spew fumes, pile up unsightly waste, and insulate itself from public comment.  Teague and Jon Becker have chosen to switch places; he'll be the council person, and she'll run for his office.


        • Voyageur says:

          Evil, no.  The designated hitter rule is evil.  Sugar price supports are just bad policy.

      • Voyageur says:

        My dad worked winters in the sugar factory in Ovid.  For a lot of small farmers, that was a lifeline, especially during the dreadful hailout years.  But, no, it's not close to being competitive with brazil, cuba or other cane sugar producers.

        Still another case where our rugged freemarket loving farmers are wards of the government.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          As Voyageur states, I've read, although not in the past couple years, that the sugar lobby in Florida advocates and gets high tariffs on import of Brazilian cane sugar. The Florida cabal keeps sugar prices high which screws consumers. 

  2. Voyageur says:

    Trump stinks.  Stay upwind, America.

  3. Tomorrow is the day we've all been waiting for – or dreading. Get ye to yer caucuses!

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    March has roared in like a campaign promise . . . 

    (. . . will it slink out like Cory Gardner confronted by a constituent?)

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Let me think about that and I'll get back to you about what I decide at some future point in time when it doesn't threaten my right to receive more money from the NRA.

  5. flatiron says:

    Both parties need to dump the caucuses as a means to qualify candidates for primary ballots (or allocating presidential convention delegates). Limiting participating to those who are available, physically, for 90 minutes out of the entire year disenfranchises darn near the entire electorate. Sick that night? too bad. Have to work? too bad. Don't have transportation? too bad. Have children take care of? too bad? traveling out of town? too bad. 

    Let's dump the caucuses. Let the candidates either petition or just pay a filing fee and let the electorate decide.

    • DaftPunk says:

      Could not agree more! Caucusing also empowers polarization as only the most extreme partisans will make it a priority to attend.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      I love the caucuses.  We are a small county and gather at the local high school for a night of camaraderie and discussion.  Some people's extreme partisans are other people's passionate advocates.  This is another attempt to break down people into atomic and autonomous units so their combined strength is diluted and ineffectual against the power of the rich.

      I also think members of a political party should have the right to nominate the candidate that best represents their positions.

      Independents are independent because they hold no positions and don't want to commit to positions that require sustained effort to accomplish.  Why do they get to decide which candidate should be our nominee when they don't care about the policies and proposals of the party.  Their inclusion devolves the nominating process into nothing more than a beauty contest.

      I enjoy going to caucus and advocating for a responsible government that acts as a positive counter weight to the excesses of corporations and the rich.  A lot of good things happen at our caucus that we carry forward as a united group of people into the election season.  Get your blue on.

      • flatiron says:

        But why should they have the power to block a candidate from getting on the ballot? Especially when they represent .002 percent of the voters? 

        I don't have anything good to say about Tim Neville but his Senate candidacy in 16 should not have been killed off by a momentary orgasm over Darryl Glenn's speech. 

      • Dotzero says:

        Independents are independent because the political parties they used to be members of were hijacked by the far right or far left and no longer represent their beliefs. It has nothing to do with not holding positions or commitment. They should be a part of the process, in hopes that one day they can get their parties back.

        • ParkHill says:

          I noticed the Republican Party being taken over by the Libertarians, Racists and White Conservative Evangelicals.

          I didn't notice the Democratic Party being taken over by leftists, unless you are referring to Social Security and Obamacare as socialist plots.

          Please give us some examples of left hijacking the Democratic Party.

          • Voyageur says:

            I'd say the left has suzerainty over social issues in democratic party.  You're a pariah unless you're pro lgbt and pro abortion.

            On economic issues, there's no real left left.  

            • ParkHill says:

              LGBT and Abortion are not "left" issues. They are human rights and religious freedom or privacy issues. I guess they could be considered Libertarian issues. Although most of the existent Libertarians are really plutocrats if not feudalists, as opposed to (small-d) democrats.

              Left issues would be Social Security, Universal Health Care, Unemployment insurance, the 40 hour week, Public Education, etc. You know, "left" as in Socialism. 

              As Gilpin Guy points out, what about belief in science? I know the Republican Party has gone so far into Trumpism and the rabbit hole of kleptocracy, that Left and Right are kind of losing their meaning. But, that doesn't mean that you get to invent a new meaning for Left and Right. 

              Find me examples of Right-wing or Conservative that doesn't devolve into racism or plutocracy or religious fanaticism. I'll help you with one: Environmental concerns are fundamentally conservative, as in preserving the earth for the future.

              • Voyageur says:

                You deny that LGBT and abortion are left issues, then define them in terms of rigid left wing orthodoxy.  Tee hee, I rest my case.

                As to socialism, we ain't had a true soak the rich, share the wealth guy since Huey Long was murdered.

            • notaskinnycook says:

              Okay. I learned two things today, V. I had to go look that word up, too. I don't even remember that one from the ACT!

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          So what beliefs do you cherish that aren't in the party platforms?

          Are you a Climate Change denier or a lukewarm hold no position on the reality of climate change damage or are you one of those people who believes that Climate Change mitigation is one of the most important tasks that we can take on in our lifetime?

          You idea of extremism is my idea of maximum concern.  I will never ever vote for some dickhead of a politician who denies the reality or consequences of unchecked heating of our atmosphere.  Call me an extremist for holding such a position but once upon a time people like you thought that mixed marriages were too extreme and a woman's place was in the home.

          I find it a totally erroneous argument that people who belong to political parties are extremists whose views aren't mainstream enough for the superior Independent.  This stunted view is completely self-centered and misses the huge huge point that in a true democracy there many views and it is the blending of those views brings about a better solution.  The Republican position is that they are the true believers of democracy but only their views are valid.

          If you don't like political parties then form your own.  Align with people who share your unique perspective of the world and the problems of our time.  Appeal to the voters with your unique worldview and positions and see if they vote for you.  You shouldn't insist on diluting the message and positions of those who do care and do take the time to align with people of a similar worldview and work to promote solutions and policies based on those views.

        • Diogenesdemar says:


          . . . Or, maybe it’s just because we’re disappointed that the parties are institutionally set and inflexible, more interested in power and self-perpetuation than in representing their constituents?

          . . . Or, maybe we’re just smart?

          . . . Or, maybe we just can’t ever make up our minds and decide? 

          . . . I dunno’?

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            Name me one institution in the history of humankind that isn't disappointing in some regard.  All human institutions fall short of their dreams but does that mean that we dismantle and destroy them because they aren't perfect vessels?  Without institutions, the common man can't compete with the resources of the rich man so we devolve into rule by the rich.  In nature, the evolution from single cell to complex is also accompanied by increased functionality.  Humans operate within this tension of independent thought and action versus dependent social and economic groups.  The Democratic Party is always being negatively portrayed as being run by aloof elites who are don't champion real change but if you look at the Democratic Party leaders from the past (Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton) you see individuals who are passionately involved in service and helping others.  I get it that the Democratic Party needs to be more responsive to the needs of the people but not real sure what policies are being neglected that you feel are important.

            • Diogenesdemar says:

              If the party were as good as you GG, I’d not hesitate a moment to rejoin.

              And, I don’t disagree with you in theory . . . 

              . . . still, too often, I feel I go above and beyond just voting for some of the peckerheads the Party spews out.

              • Gilpin Guy says:

                Hopefully it wasn't because of your discomfort with it being the Colored Party.  It shouldn't be rooted in racism.  "I don't want to belong to a party with 'them'."

                Here's the thing.  They are the young and passionate defending friends from deportation and unarmed innocents from murder by a blue bullet.  They are the ones who are organizing the March for Our Lives and are fully engaged in the causes of our time.  We who went through Vietnam and Iraq need to bring our experiences to them and help them avoid some of the mistakes we made.  I like decentralized actions at the local level but I think we are also stronger together.  There is young power and women power and black power surging into the party right now.  Old structures will change or be swept away in this new transfusion of patriotism.  It's not to be dismissed as naive or foolish.  It is to be nurtured so the roots of democracy can grow deep into our fertile nation and a new generation of leaders come forward with our help to tame the conflicts between corporations and the public good.  I'm pumped to go to caucus tomorrow night and see the shining light of determination in my fellow Democrats eyes.  The party might not be perfect but it seeks a more perfect union of inclusion and that should count for something.  Compare it to reactionary looters in the other party and you have a stark contrast in who wants to move our society forward together.  We're in it to win it.  Get your blue on.

                • mamajama55 says:

                  Thanks, GG.

                • Diogenesdemar says:

                  Nah.  I quit the Democratic Party and registered as unaffiliated in 2003.  The final straw for me was the capitulation of the Democrats to the Bush/Cheney “war on terror” crap as they built up to the Iraq scampaign.

                  I’ve never felt comfortable with voting “against” anyone, and have relished (and missed) the times I’ve been able to vote “for” a candidate:  Carter – (‘76), Daffy Duck – (‘88), Clinton – (‘92, not so much ‘96), Obama (‘08 And ‘12)

                  PS. Your comment implying my countenancing any racism because I’m no longer registered as a Democrat is beneath you.

                  • Gilpin Guy says:

                    No it is not and I didn't imply anything especially about you who brings light to the darker corners of the web.

                    It was just another dark hypothetical on why people don't want to be affiliated or donate to support the organization but want to be able to pick it's nominee.  I bet it made you probe your heart a wee bit to make sure that what I was saying was total shit in regards to your true feelings about that organization.

      • notaskinnycook says:

        Couldn't have said it better, G.G. Caucuses are PARTY events. They aren’t meant for wishy-washy unaffiliateds or those who place themselves above party politics.

  6. JohnInDenver says:

    An interesting addition to the possibilities for caucus discussion:

    Polis’ record on guns and oil and gas makes Colorado Democrats think twice ahead of caucus


  7. Duke Cox says:

    We finally have a real chance to unseat the likely owner of the "most sold out and willfully ignorant legislator in Colorado" title..Ray Scott.

    If he happens to survive a primary challenge from state rep. Dan Thurlow (R- Don't tell me what to do), that is. Rogue Republican Rep. Thurlow may not be able to overcome the ossified Republican orthodoxy in SD-7, but if he fails, Grand Junction city councilman, Chris Kennedy, has stepped in as a Democratic Party candidate for that senate district.

    I know Chris very well. He is an outstanding citizen, a true public servant …in the old definition of the word. If the voters ( yes…I am talking to you Republicans) have half a brain they will finally reject the COGA mouthpiece who routinely fails them at the Capitol and replace him with one of the most energetic, capable, and honorable men I know.

    The fact that he is also a very accomplished musician only adds to his charm.☺🎷🎵

  8. Mike W. says:

    Magellan's got Bush-by-any-other-name in the lead with 26% of the primary vote, the taller Coffman trailing with half-that. Mini-Mittens, A.T.M(itchell) and the leftovers eating up the rest. 39% would rather they dig up Reagan's corpse and Frankenstein the Tanc's brain into it in time for our summer lightning storms.

  9. Pseudonymous says:

    Thank you Senator Bennet for being brave enough to be a sponsor of this critically-important bill! #Bipartisanship

    Bank Earnings Are Soaring, but Congress Wants to Gut Post-Crisis Safeguards

    Few in Congress oppose helping community banks. The country’s smaller banks played almost no role in the subprime disaster, and most agree that they shouldn’t be subjected to extra scrutiny because of the misdeeds of their larger brethren. “In the past, there’ve been 90 votes in the Senate for regulatory relief targeted at community banks with $10 billion or less in assets,” said Kelleher, who spent eight years as a Senate staffer. But that’s not the narrow target of the Crapo bill, he points out, which grants regulatory relief to banks with up to $250 billion in assets. Only 12 banks fall above the Crapo’s massive $250 billion threshold — under the bill, no other bank  would be considered “systemically important” and thus, would be freed of additional oversight by federal regulators, such as fewer stress tests and lower capital requirements. Currently, only banks with under $50 billion in assets (the vast majority of the country’s 5,000-plus banks) are granted an exception from increased government scrutiny.

    A $250 billion asset threshold gives a pass to Deutsche Bank, for example, which is at the center of Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and also to Barclays, Credit Suisse, and Santander — all large global banks with a significant footprint in the United States. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has pointed out that Countrywide Financial played an outsized role in the 2008 subprime meltdown while sitting on less than $250 billion in assets. Likewise below the cutoff is the publicly traded Ally Financial which, as GMAC Financial, was also a central culprit in triggering the 2008 crash.

    “I don’t think that if you’re really thinking about the vast majority of Americans, you decide that your very first bipartisan bill is one that deregulates some of the biggest banks in the country,” said Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, which pushes for tighter regulation of financial institutions. “But let’s take a step back and ask why there’s a bill at all. They’re saying, ‘We need ‘regulatory relief.’ How could you need regulatory relief if lending profits and every other metric you can look are at or approaching historic highs?”

    • mamajama55 says:

      Every once in awhile, Senator Bennet earns his $1.9 million in donations from the financial services industry.  Senate bill 2155 helps the big banks that got us into the Bush recession, while claiming to help "community banks".  There are all kinds of commendable sweeteners for in the bill; help for Habitat for Humanity construction,

      I agree, we don't want to be dismantling Dodd-Frank regulations. If anything, they should be strengthened.  Time to call Zappy's favorite Senator and complain about his cosponsorship of Senate bill 2155, the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act".


    • RepealAndReplace says:

      So what is the problem….

      If it gets the Democratic caucus to 218 votes, a Democratic speaker and center/left committee chairs, I could tolerate Lipinski and a handful of other DINOs. 

      • Voyageur says:

        Right on, RandR  If the 218 democrat is Satan herself, it puts liberals in charge of the house.  It's all about controling the legislative process.  Give me the speaker and committee chairs to get stuff to the floor and I can always round up a few moderate republicans to pass a given bill on the floor.

    • notaskinnycook says:

      I think her cookies are sliding off the platter.

  10. Voyageur says:

    Deleting duplicate. But Trump still stinks.

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