Weekend Open Thread

“Never cry over spilt milk, because it may have been poisoned.”

–W. C. Fields

35 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    And what is with all the advertising for Cynthia Coffman on the masthead and in the margins on this site?

    They ask for support at the April 14 Republican Assembly. Has anyone explained to her independent expenditure supporters that except for perhaps Moderatus, Negev and Republican 36, there are not many Republican delegates in this site.

    And she already has Moderatus' undying devotion. Until he jumps over to Simpleton Stapleton's bandwagon.

    • mamajama55 says:

      It's a google thing. Big snooper attends to what you research and shop for and write about. I was seeing Gavin McInnes new show  (he's the white supremacist /  misogynist founder of the Proud Boys) on the masthead here for a while.

      I had to keep repeatedly xing those ads out, with reason "I don't want to see this ad anymore". Now all I see is girly stuff – clothes and makeup – which is fine with me.

      I have an ad blocker on, too, which gets rid of most ads.

  2. Voyageur says:

    Donald Trump and Mike Pence walk into a men's room that is in need of a good cleaning.  For a long time, Trump stares balefully at a grimy urinal.  Glancing over, Pence sees it has a shiny dime laying by the drain.

    Finally, Trump tosses a quarter into the urinal.

     "Why did you do that, Great One?" Pence asks respectfully.

     " I'm not going to put my big hand in that mess for a lousy dime, " Trump replies with a shrug.  "But for 35 cents…"

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    I wonder if there is enough common feeling among Colorado teachers that they will begin to emulate other states …

    Kentucky districts call off classes due to teacher absences

    The article points to action triggered by state pension "reforms" that call for higher contributions for those already in, and a second-tier system for newcomers.

    It just hurts my heart’: Low pay, big classes are the plight of Oklahoma teachers

    Oklahoma teachers (and many of their administrators) are pushing for action — mentioning West Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky. More importantly, even Trump-backing Republicans among the teachers are joining in.

    • mamajama55 says:

      No massive teacher walkouts in Colorado yet- but you're going to be seeing a lot of red every Tuesday for a while. I'd say Colorado teachers have a "watch and wait" attitude, at least until after the November elections. There is money, for now, coming into school budgets, at least for externals like buildings and safety measures. The cannabis industry has been good to Colorado schools.

      Other factors are bringing money into school budgets this next year, too. We'll see if this tax largesse gets into classrooms and teacher's accounts, or if it all goes to administrators, consultants, and curriculum and testing corporations.

      If Walker Stapleton succeeds in his efforts to scapegoat teachers unions and defund PERA, he will see a backlash, from union and non-union teachers. A Senate bill, SB200, was introduced to "fix" PERA without giving Walker the red meat he wants  to feed his base.

      The CraycrayCaucus keeps trying to make us pack heat in the classrooms, and that's not going to work, for obvious reasons. And thank the kids for keeping the pressure on gun safety reform. Those student walkouts have made legislators allocate funds for school officers and more security in schools.

      So for right now, you're not going to see massive teacher walkouts like the other states. By January of 2019, though, things could change. Denver teachers are talking strike if the ProComp agreement doesn't pan out. Pueblo teachers have already had demonstrations and talks of strikes this last year.

      Pueblo D60 schools are trying to fix their budget with a 4 day school week. Good luck dealing with that childcare issue if you have young kids in Pueblo!

      Both Kennedy and Polis have some reform agendas teachers would want; Kennedy's would directly impact teacher pay, and Polis' free all day kindergarten would ease the "remedial" teaching load; if kids enter the system knowing some basic academic skills we won't be playing catch-up for the next 12 years or shipping kids off down the prison pipeline as much.

      So we'll have to see what the next school year brings, and most of that will be based on what voters do in November.

      • Unitary Moonbat says:

        The other reason we're not going to see much for teacher walkouts, etc, here in Colorado is the flaccidity of our union's state-level leadership. For the past six years (longer than that, really, but at least Bev Ingle was a nice person), we've been lurching from crisis to crisis with no real plan except to support whatever social justice initiative our president has decided needs the imprimatur of the teachers' union. Ironic that you should mention the positive impact of our citizen-directed changes to marijuana laws, since CEA's leadership strongly opposed legalization; only desperate actions by a couple of Exec Board members saved the Association from spending a lot of money on what would have ultimately been a losing cause.

        Mercifully, our current president is term-limited. We'll be electing a new one at the much-shrunken Representative Assembly next month, but I think we all know who's going win – and the heir apparent doesn't seem any more aggressive than the current president. Gone are the days when Ron Brady could summon 5000 teachers to a protest in sub-zero temperatures – and gone are the days when legislators feared the power of the CEA.

        If we do see walkouts in Colorado, they'll be more like the ones in West Virginia – in which the rank-and-file rejected the deal initially signed onto by their leadership and turned an authorized strike into a wildcat one – than the type we're seeing in Oklahoma and elsewhere. Our leadership, such as it is, is more interested in "building coalitions" with left-wing groups than they are with the needs and concerns of teachers on the ground, so in the end, it's going to come down to us saving ourselves.

        • mamajama55 says:

          It always comes down to us (teachers) saving ourselves – but what "coalitions with left-wing groups" are you objecting to?

          Any"social justice initiative"  I can think of (holding onto DACA protections,  not targeting immigrants for fear and hatred, LGBT rights,  minimum-wage hikes, health care for all, keeping the ADA  and Title IX laws free from interference) has pretty direct impacts in the classroom. So which ones do you have a problem with, moonbat?

          • Unitary Moonbat says:

            I object, mamajama, to those coalitions that do little more than have different groups post their logos on each others' sites and issue press releases in support of common goals. Coalitions should be purpose-driven and short-term in nature, directed by a unified command, and their members need to work side-by-side throughout the whole of the fight. We haven't been involved in that sort of coalition since 2004, when we joined with other groups to do the grassroots stuff that was needed to turn the Colorado electoral map blue (nowadays, "coalition-building" consists of a handful of powerful, elite "stakeholders" meeting in a gussied-up boardroom somewhere and writing each other checks). A good example of a successful coalition is the Allied powers during WWII – one which is also illustrative of the way that even successful wartime coalitions cannot bear the strain of extreme ideological differences between their members once the common threat that bound them is removed.

            What CEA's leadership often terms "coalitions" are actually "alliances," which are longer-term in nature but subject to unilateral revision or outright abrogation per the whims of the administration tasked with maintaining them (see Trump, Donald). We forget at our peril that alliance partners have their own goals, and can't be counted on to go the wall on our behalf. Remember how deep our brethren from the AFT sunk the knife in our back during the debate over SB10-191 – and if we can't even trust other organized educators, how can we be sure that outfits which also support charters will stand by us when things get hairy?

            Regarding social justice initiatives, those are all laudable issues (from a left-wing perspective, anyway) you bring up, and all undeniably have an impact on the classroom. Given a little time, we could probably think of dozens more issues that "impact the classroom" to greater or lesser degrees, which makes me wonder: how do we choose which wrongs to right first? Who gets to decide what things are "wrong" and what are "right?" There are members of CEA who are also members of the NRA, the Republican Party, and churches that deny climate change and the Theory of Evolution – are we going to take what they feel about the "right" and "wrong" side of social issues into consideration? Or are we to simply seize their dues money and inform them that it will now be used to offset their tithes and donations to the causes they believe in because of what?…enlightened leadership? Leftist knows best?

            The answer is that we shouldn't be making these choices at all. CEA is a labor organization, meant to serve all our members in a nonpartisan fashion by negotiating and maintaining collective bargaining agreements. We are not – or at least, we're not supposed to be – a ready reserve of foot soldiers for the Democratic Party, nor should members have to watch their dues being spent on anything that doesn't ultimately serve to increase their pay and benefits or better their working conditions. There are plenty of advocacy groups out there that members are free to join if they want to make their voice heard regarding single-payer health care or the DACA program, but it's not right for our union's leadership to be picking and choosing for them.

            • mamajama55 says:

              Well, I agree with you about how coalitions should operate.  I don't even know about CEA these days because my union is so weak out here on the eastern plains that it barely exists. The district negotiates with whomever comes to school board meetings, and tells us how it's going to be.

              Plenty of my union and non-union colleagues are conservatives or moderates, as I assume that you may be.  Do you let your leadership know how you feel about the causes they espouse?  I remember these things being debated and voted on at union meetings when I worked in Denver and Pueblo. Perhaps you just got outvoted.

              Half my colleagues, union and non-union, are Republican or unaffiliated. They have their strong beliefs. It's been a learning experience for me, how to talk about things outside my bubble, and you're right – leftists aren't particularly good at it.

              The thing about teachers is that we are fact-based. We want empirical evidence, lab results, proven hypotheses. We grade on rubrics, with criteria.  So all of that reality-based practice kind of gives us a liberal bias. I think that it's hardwired into the profession.

              Just some random musings. I'm dying easter eggs, for my grown-ass kids, because I can. Back to it.  Peace.

              • Unitary Moonbat says:

                And peace be with you, on this snowy Easter morning. Btw, I saw a great meme about Easter falling on April Fool's Day this year – the recommendation was to tell the kids to hunt for eggs you never hid.

                Shame about the state of your local; here's hoping that whoever shows up to negotiate with your school board this year does you right. If not, maybe a good old-fashioned wildcat strike is what we need to get the attention of the pols and CEA leaders here on the Front Range.

                I got outvoted on most things when I was on the Board, but not because I was too conservative – rather the opposite, in fact. Later, I was a Bernie supporter who was pretty angered by our Association's endorsement of Clinton in the Dem primary, especially by the fact that my first $50 donation to his campaign was essentially offset by the EMO contribution from CEA – I was using my own money support the candidate of my choice, while a handful of leaders in Denver decided that my union dues would go to the coffers of his opponent. Those weren't the only times I butted heads with local and state leaders over their tendency to stray from union values, and the experience of being frozen out, ignored, and ultimately shown the door taught me about the need to listen to all our members, to focus on our core mission. Anything else is going to cost us members – people aren't going to stick around in, or join in the first place, an organization that takes their money but doesn't listen to their concerns (or worse, uses it to support people or issues they oppose).

                • Voyageur says:

                  An April Fool Easter?  So the faithful gather, the stone is rolled back and a Roman centurion jumps out to yell "April fool!"

                   And on that dumbass joke, a religion is built!

  4. Davie says:

    The kids are very astute: Young people: Trump dishonest

    There is widespread agreement among young people about Trump, with more than 7 in 10 saying he “doesn’t reflect my personal values.”

    “He doesn’t seem to be really for women. He doesn’t seem to be for Black Lives Matter. He doesn’t seem to be for DACA,” said Meghan Carnes, 23, of New York City, referring to a program to allow young immigrants to stay in this country. “He doesn’t seem to be for the kids worried about guns. It’s extremely disappointing to have a president who doesn’t seem to care.”

    The new poll finds that 60 percent describe Trump as “mentally unfit,” 62 percent call him “generally dishonest,” and 63 percent say he “is a racist.” In a mid-February AP-NORC poll, 57 percent of all adults in the U.S. said they believe Trump is racist.

    Spencer Buettgenbach, 23, of Topeka, Kan., said Trump has emboldened attitudes about racism, sexism and homophobia by “normalizing abusive talk.”

    The AP/NORC polled 15 to 34 year olds (since the 15 year olds will be eligible to vote in 2020).  But will they?

    there are signs that seven months before the midterm elections, young people appear to be more engaged in politics. Nearly half of younger Americans, 47 percent, say they’re personally paying closer attention to politics since Trump’s election; 2 in 10 say they’re engaging in political activism more than before.

    • Duke Cox says:

      As I mentioned in another thread, these kids are not fooled by the phony rhetoric used by adults in positions of authority to look the other way when it comes to the truth of gun violence. They know who is their enemy…his name is Wayne La Pierre…his name is Cory Gardner…his name is Steve King…her name is Laurie Saine.

      The enemy is the leadership of the NRA, the politicians who enable them, the corporations who fund them, and the army of fearful xenophobes who continue to arm themselves with weapons of war.

      The kids see it clearly…they have no conflicts of interest…this is about their survival. If you are against that…you clearly have lost your soul.

      If we do not stop the Trumplican© party in November…we will not get another chance.



      • MichaelBowman says:

        Watching David Hogg defang Laura Ingraham was one of the sweetest things on media this week. He is giving these kids permission to speak.  To act.  To not be afraid. To know their voice and vote matters (they won't make these kinds of mistakes).  We'll soon see them tackling other critical issues, too.  We're handing them a future that looks like a steaming pile of crap that spans from the environment to the economy.  Taking on Trump's "gifts from heaven"? More of this?  And this?  All this leading us to the (locked) golden gates of America, Inc.?  

        This is their time. 


        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Which is worse: Laura Ingraham or Ann Coulter?

          • Voyageur says:

            RandR, your choice reminds me of the old Utah choice of execution by hanging or firing squad.

            • Duke Cox says:

              I know, right?                        

              • Diogenesdemar says:

                There’s just no good reason to  be overthinking questions like that . . . 

                (. . . especially when the subjects are so odious that just reading either name makes your nose burn and your eyes water . . .)

                • MichaelBowman says:

                  For good measure, we could throw in Virginia Foxx (she has "very little tolerance" for anyone with student loans. Claimed the idea that Matthew Shepard was killed because he was gay is "a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing [hate-crime] bills"), Joni Ernst (grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm; in her first campaign ad, complained that Washington is "full of big spenders" and urged voters to send her there so that she could "make ’em squeal." #epicfail) and  (Professor) Michele Bachmann ("Our movement at its core is an intellectual movement." –on the Tea Party movement, CPAC conference, March 2014 )

                  If Louie Gohmert and Steve King had lady parts I'd add them, too. 

                  • mamajama55 says:

                    Equal opportunity for crackerbrains! DumPhuckery hath no gender.

                    These ladies are the direct descendants of the Flowers of White Womanhood, slave mistresses of the south, the Klan Ladies Auxiliary.

                    The myth that the "white race", whatever that is, is endangered and must be protected, through the "cherishing" of the carriers of the extra-special 100% grade A pure wombs, has caused untold suffering in the world.

                    Even though these women have all been and continue to be harmed by sexism themselves, have to work twice as hard to get the same  money and respect as their male colleagues, they still identify with the Masters of their universe, and look down on those they see as their social inferiors.

        • notaskinnycook says:

          I'm loving this. I came in at the raggedy tail-end of the Boomers. The Gen-Xers I went to school with were either so lazy or demoralized by 12 looong years of Reagan/Bush that there was no activism of any kind. But our children’s generation (nieces and nephews in our case) are raising hell like their parents did. It's truly an inspiration.

  5. RepealAndReplace says:

    And the Nugge says that the Parkland high school kids have no soul……..


    That means a lot coming from a man who crapped his pants to get out of Vietnam.

    • Davie says:

      Not to mention sexual predator:


      who had been accused of having sex with a 12-year-old, written a song about raping a 13-year-old and adopted a 17-year-old so that he could have sex with her going on to campaign alongside all the most conservative “family values” candidates?

      When Ted Nugent was 32 years old, he released the song “Jailbait.”

      Two years before recording “Jailbait,” Ted Nugent had the novel idea of becoming legal guardian to a 17-year-old girl, so that they could have sex without, you know, her parents having legal recourse. They acquiesced. “I guess they figured better Ted Nugent than some drug-infested punk in high school,” he told VH1, years later. In the same documentary, he claimed to have had several relationships with young girls, and seems to brag about gaining their parents’ approval, too. (Though he didn’t go so far as to adopt any of them.)

      Ted "Mad Cow" Nugent — Proud defender of today's Republican Party values.

  6. JohnInDenver says:

    Mike Littwin is beginning a weekly effort to rival THE BIG LINE 2018. At least, the Governor's Race part of it.

    Littwin's "poll"

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