Wednesday Open Thread

“Revenge is sweet and not fattening.”

–Alfred Hitchcock

28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    Good morning Republicans!

  2. Another special election, another flip for Democrats. Connor Lamb is the winner in a nail-biter in PA-18. The margin of 641 votes – 0.2% – means there might be a recount; Saccone did not concede and is exploring his options. Still, this is a 20-point swing from Trump's win, and Republican groups heavily outspent Democrats in the race, with Trump and surrogates campaigning…

    So. Much. Winning.

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    News of Trump’s “good people” from that side . . . 

    https://newrepublic.com/minutes/147457/end-white-nationalist-traditionalist-workers-party

    . . . it’s a doozie.

  4. Davie says:

    A sensible approach to international trade and dealing with China, economic shock and retraining.

    Imports of Chinese goods alone equal two-thirds of the global U.S. trade deficit today.

    But while Trump’s gut instinct is right, he’s so ignorant about the facts, he’s so easily swayed by the last person he talked to or by ill-considered promises to his base, he’s so weirdly obsessed with protecting “manly” industries like coal, steel and aluminum that affect our allies more than China — and he’s built such a chaotic policymaking process and unilaterally surrendered so much leverage to Beijing — that he can’t be relied upon to navigate the China trade issue in our national interest.

    For those of us who believe in free trade — and that China and America can both thrive at the same time — but who are convinced that China hasn’t been playing fair and don’t trust Trump to fix it, this is a critical problem to think through.

    Too much of the economic discussion of late “has been focused on the 1 percent versus the 99 percent,” observed Autor. “It’s become a kind of ‘inequality porn’ — where you get so focused on those two numbers that it becomes demobilizing. You lose sight of the fact that there is a dramatic rise in the economic return to tangibly acquiring skills — skills that are available and should be within everyone’s reach.”

    The lack of real meritocracy in our country today, he added, “is not about the returns to realized skills. It is about the inequality in the ability to acquire those skills. Too many people live in areas where they cannot get them. If you get educated in America today, and have a good work ethic, you are going to be rewarded. What does education do? It gives you a skill set and enables you to adapt to change better. And cities and towns anchored by universities tend to reinvent themselves more easily; they’re engines of adaptation. So higher education benefits not just college students but college places.”

    In short, if you want to get rid of walls and ceilings — and I do — you have to strengthen the floors under every American.

     

     

  5. Davie says:

    Powerful words from our young, amplified through the New York Times:

    America Has Failed Its Kids on Guns. It’s Time to Let Them Lead.

    “No kid should be afraid to go to school, no kid should be afraid to walk outside, and no kid should have to worry about being shot. Now that’s why I’m marching.”

    — Alfonso Calderón, Junior

    “The ‘children’ you pissed off will not forget this in the voting booth. Don’t doubt the power of the younger generation, because we are a force to be reckoned with.”

    —Aly Sheehy, Senior

    “Maybe the adults have gotten used to saying ‘it is what it is,’ but if us students have learned anything, it’s that if you don’t study, you will fail. And in this case if you actively do nothing, people continually end up dead, so it’s time to start doing something. We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because…we are going to be the last mass shooting.”

    — Emma González, Senior

    “The children will become leaders as the leaders have become children.”

    —Madison Leal, Junior

    “The fact that some of the students at Stoneman Douglas high school … are showing more maturity and political action than many of our elected officials is a testament to how disgusting and broken our political system is right now in America. But we’re trying to fix that.”

    —David Hogg, Senior

    “Our nation’s leaders are baffled and surprised that a bunch of 17 year olds are planning a nationwide movement but haven’t even blinked that we’ll also be able to purchase weapons of war in the same year.”

    —Adam Alhanti, Junior

     

    “I blame the government for what happened and the people that are sending prayers and condolences but aren’t doing anything. It’s just heartbreaking to know that the people that are representing you are failing you.”

    —Lina Crisostomo, Junior

  6. Davie says:

    The lesson for Democrats in the wake of the apparent victory over Trump's sockpuppet?  Field a candidate that actually reflects and will represent their district.

    Indeed, Democrats’ euphoria over how he fared on Tuesday will give way to sharp internal tensions and sustained quarreling over which sorts of candidates — soft-spoken or bold, centrist or liberal, eclectic or pure — the party would be wisest, from a pragmatic standpoint, to promote. 

    But of course, Trump will likely assist in changing the minds of even stalwart Republicans and Independents, leading them to realize chaos and willful ignorance are not sufficient in maintaining a prosperous America.

    And with each passing week — each passing day — the Trump administration’s turbulence intensifies and the scandals and scandal-ettes pile up. Yes, it’s a long way from now until November, and much about the national mood and the playing field can change. But in that yawning stretch of time, Trump can also render himself and his enablers even less attractive. 

    • ParkHill says:

      Some issues enjoy support in most corners of the US, like getting rid of "assault" weapons, reproductive choice & birth control, Dreamers & immigrant families, and "socialist" safety-net programs like health insurance and Social Security.

      As you say, there are some differences depending on the district that Democrats can take advantage of. 

      PA-18 was supposed to be one of those white-working-class, Trump-favorable districts, but the union tradition is still strongly felt. While the Democratic brand is not necessarily seen as pro-union (thanks Clinton & DNC), but in a district like this, an anti-union Republican would be quite easily pwned by an unambiguously pro-union Democrat.

      Union support is not very strong in Colorado (although issues supported by Unions are). However one equivalent wedge issue in Colorado could be environmental issues, climate research and renewable energy, which are so popular here.

      The Republican brand is strongly enmeshed with anti-unions, which plays terribly in the Industrial midwest, anti-environmental issues which plays terribly in the West.

      • Davie says:

        True — the union angle definitely was a factor.  But here is a good summary of Lamb's voter appeal:

        “Before you get try to put too much theory into voters’ minds, I think all the credit should go to Conor Lamb,” Mr. Kopas said. “There is no substitute for a candidate who is willing to go everywhere and do anything. He is the kind of person who, when people meet him, they like him. Smart and articulate. He is the picture of what people want to see in a congressman.”

        Voters also liked his politics. Last weekend, Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers, reached deep into his bag of compound adjectives to declare at a Lamb rally: “He’s a God-fearing, union-supporting, gun-owning, job-protecting, pension-defending Democrat.”

        BTW — Lamb, as a practicing Catholic, is personally opposed to abortion, but does not believe the laws permitting it should be changed — similar to our own Gov. Ritter back in the day.

  7. Diogenesdemar says:

    Godspeed, Stephen Hawking.  Bon voyage!

  8. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Mike Pompeo, Trump's candidate for Secretary of State, was one of the biggest recipients of campaign contributions from the Koch brothers while in Congress.

    • Davie says:

      Pompeo is from Wichita where the Koch Bros. have their HQ.  He'll be their in-house intelligence gathering resource, since it is their aim to make the entire US government a wholly-owned subsidiary.

  9. Diogenesdemar says:

    A much better man than . . . 

    . . . Sarah Sanders?

    ICE Spokesman Resigns, Saying He Could No Longer Spread Falsehoods for Trump Administration

      https://nyti.ms/2tJpw4O

    . . . Kellyanne Conway?

    . . . Ivanka?

    . . . Moderatus?

  10. The Denver Post is cutting 1/3 of its newsroom. Looks like we're next in line to get our city paper sucked dry by majority shareholder Alden.

  11. I've decided that FAUX News's The Five is a show designed to make rational people buy new TVs due to sudden impact damage.

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