Friday Open Thread

“Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.”

–Napoleon Hill

50 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    How the legislature could improve the business climate here – hold CenturyLink accountable for responsive service.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      How about holding Century Link responsible for their promises to customers? I pay for high speed internet from Century Link. Much of the time, the speed is like the old dial-up or slower, especially on weekends. 

      • mamajama55 says:

        Centurylink gets a tax subsidy to build broadband in rural Colorado; they are also supposed to offer lower rates. So I pay $45 for intermittent internet.

        They keep jacking up rates for no reason. But in my area, it's Charter / Centurylink as the only game in town for internet.

        As a solution, hold your Republican lawmakers accountable for subsidizing Centurylink to provide rural broadband, when CL isn't doing squat to provide affordable service in the sticks.

        Don Coram, quoted in the GJ Sentinel:

        "We were able to tell the story, and people could see the kind of service they were getting," Coram said. "Between federal and state money, CenturyLink got almost $1 billion in subsidies, and we cannot see where they used it."

        Any fiscal conservatives in the house?

        • gertie97 says:

          You're kidding, right?

          • mamajama55 says:

            Yes, Gertie, I was kidding. I know that there are plenty of fiscal conservatives on here. I question why ostensible fiscal conservatives like our R reps in the state legislature, are so willing to keep forking over funds to Centurylink, when Centurylink is unwilling to pass on any savings to consumers.

        • MichaelBowman says:

          One of the best rural telephone companies in the country is Plains Cooperative Telephone Association headquartered in Joes, CO. Key word: cooperative.  Deep in the heart of the 51st state, they provide the kind of service most can only dream of.  They have managed to combine an effective Board of Directors and RUS funds and grants to bring this service to their members.

          • mamajama55 says:

            If Plainstel Cooperative ever expands its service area, I'll jump on board.  The rural phone co-ops should be getting our subsidy funds, not Centurylink that had a good 2017:

            – Anticipate 2018 Free Cash Flow after Dividends of $850 million to $1.05 billion

            • Conserv. Head Banger says:

              I understand the need and desire for broadband in rural communities. But maybe let's have efficient broadband first in the urban areas, where the bulk of the population resides.

              Anyone got any beta (info) on the quality of Comcast's internet service (I already have Comcast cable and it’s pretty reliable albeit not cheap)? I am thinking of switching in a few weeks when I finally replace my 1995 TV, with its early '90s technology.

              • MichaelBowman says:

                It is a conundrum, CHB. Like the build-out of the rural electrics under the New Deal, we need these kinds of services for survival in a modern world. These landscapes and natural resources we use to produce food and fiber need this transition, yet private companies are generally just going to give the crumbs to the backwaters.  It’s with a dash of irony that this transition needs the support of taxpayers through programs at USDA and RUS while the same inhabitants of this area think they want government out of their life.  It’s a disconnect – and one unfortunately fueled on a regular basis by past and present elected leadership. The War on Rural Colorado comes from within.  

              • Pseudonymous says:

                I've used both.  I didn't have the issues you have with DSL– I got what I was promised, more or less.  The only time I had an issue was with a bad line filter, which was easily replaced.

                Comcast internet offers higher speeds, generally (for download, upload is still probably 3-5 mbps).  You should see these unless there's an unusual amount of congestion in the local loop (too many households using the same "hub").

                My Comcast service has dropped more often than Centurylink's, but it's still not been terrible.  Not sure what the current state is of monthly data caps with either. I haven’t cut the cord (yet, probably will soon) so it isn’t an issue. You may want to check what each provider’s policy is if you download a lot (> 250-300 gb/month).

              • DavidThi808 says:

                We have Comcast gigabit and it's consistent & reliable, granted at an effective 1/2 gigabit. But I think that reduction is not Comcast but that the internet as a whole is not set up to provide gigabit effectively point to point.

            • MichaelBowman says:

              Here’s a nice story of Plains broadening it’s service territory and bringing high-speed service to Wray (a CenturyTel franchise) 

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Who (and why) should I vote for? Governor – Jared for sure. But for?

    • CD2
    • Treasurer
    • AG
    • DA – 20th
    • Voyageur says:

      For AG, it's worth noting that Phil Weiser once clerked for the notorious RBG herself.  It's pretty hard to beat that for provenance in the legal community.  Dave Young is fighting hard for treasurer.  I don't know the rest, but Joe the Goose has excited a lot of polsters for Congress.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      AG choice (in my take) is a choice between two good options:

      "native activist makes good and wants to shake things up for progressive values"


      "local resident brings skills developed out-of-state and wants to professionally represent progressive values."

    • davebarnes says:

      Vote for Cary.

      We will need Jared to run against Cory in 2020.

    • mamajama55 says:

      I'll weigh in on Treasurer. If expertise matters to you, Bernard Douthit has the resume to be hired as state Treasurer. He has a grad degree in finance and management from MIT and an undergrad degree in economics. He'd been a successful businessman and entrepeneur for the last 25 years. He's also more progressive than Dave Young on issues I care about, like health care access.

      Dave Young is the better speaker, has legislated for three terms, can  work a crowd and hold their attention, might be more electable statewide. 25 years as a middle school math teacher have to hone those skills. Some folks in Greeley don't trust Dave because he has only now begun to speak out about the city's "frack next to schools" policies.

      Again, Dems have an embarrassment of riches in the treasurer race, and Lebsock's betrayal has only made these two candidates shine more brightly. I've spent time with both men as they've both come to our forums in NE CO.


      • JohnInDenver says:

        I met Bernard Douthit early on, as he was just pulling things together for his campaign. Saw him later on at a candidate forum, where he was much better as at making his pitch. He's got the financial education and skills needed for the stated job — but I don't know if he is improving fast enough as a politician to be a winning candidate.

        Dave Young has a good story about being an effective politician, winning races as a progressive in a Republican dominated area. He's personable and has a teacher's earnestness. From his time in the legislature, he understands that side of the job quite well. I have no idea how he would do in determining cash flow and investment strategies.

        • gertie97 says:

          Just about anybody can do well in the state treasurer's office if he/she is smart enough to back off and let the professional staff do their jobs. Bill Owens and Mike Coffman proved it.

          Stapleton did us all a favor by not showing up for work.

    • Mike W. says:

      Joe Neguse is an energetic campaigner and he has a personality which doesn't seem capable of malice. I don't know much about the other guy and understand this is from an outsider's perspective, but the few times I've spoken with Joe I just got the feeling that he could get along with everyone. Even Wayne Williams respects the guy. That's a valuable tool in a politician, especially if Joe wants to aim higher. I say send him to Congress, see what he can do.

      I'm supporting Dave Young for treasurer. Douthit just didn't sell me on his background or his campaign style. Its not an office I'm excited about and we probably stand the best chance of losing it of all the statewides regardless of our candidate here, but Dave's got a solid background so if he does manage to win it I'm sure he can execute as well.

      As for AG, I have seen ads from Weiser, which I couldn't say for any previous AG candidate. Salazar is a nice guy and all, but if he isn't willing to buckle down and do the fundraising to get his message out to people, then he doesn't stand a chance at winning in November. 

      Know nothing about DA-20th, so no endorsement there. 

      I'd also agree with your choice for Governor. Lynne and Johnston just aren't clicking with voters, so if its between Jared, who always sounds like he's excited to be running and engaged in the conversation, and Cary, who comes across to me as speaking from the script, then it's gotta be Jared. His people have been relentlessly contacting me, and that's the sort of effort it takes to win this thing.

      Also, if that last poll is to be believed, Cary isn't getting much of any Latino support, while everyone else receives solid support from that group (and Donna for whatever reason gets nearly ALL of her support from them, which if I had to take a guess it would be that she's actually winning the rural Latino vote). If we don't get everyone out to vote in November, then we cannot win. 

      • Voyageur says:

        According to a n e-mail I got from Johnston, JareD has now put $10.5million of his own money in his campaign.  Those relentless Jared supporters contacting you are just earning their pay.  I admit to a populist streak that just doesn't like uberrich buying public office.  Cary has earned her support by talent and service.

        Some things are beyond price.  But this election may not be one of them.  


        • DavidThi808 says:

          i wish we had public funding so all the candidates are on a level playing field in terms of paid media.

          but we’re not and so, all things being semi equal…

          I’ll take the self funder. Because raising money means you spend all day on the phone talking to people like me. And that colors your view of what the voters care about – to the issues we’ll off people care about.

          and that’s why when I get a fund raising call I tell them if/what I’ll donate immediately and refuse to discuss what issues I care about.

          • Voyageur says:

            I never give money to phone calls.  I do my own research and send by internet.  But when I see the few bucks I can squeeze from my pension overwhelmed by a flood of tens of millions in rich guys cash, I begin to think Robespierre had it right — or, at least, Marat did.

            but I'll either have a great champion fighting for my family this fall — Cary Kennedy — or a lot of time to watch football.

            in the immortal words of Crash Davis, Fuck thi s fucking game!

  3. ParkHill says:

    WOTD Josh Marshal: "Trump is wrecking Us Alliances in the East and West"

    The whole article lays it on the line; it's pretty damning.

    We have a President who clearly got a great deal of assistance from Russia in getting elected. We can argue about how important it was to his victory. But the reality of the help is not in any real dispute. His campaign at a minimum had numerous highly suspicious contacts with people either in the Russian government or acting on behalf of the Russian government while that was happening. That is a very generous interpretation. He’s doing all the stuff he’d have been asked to do if such a corrupt bargain had been made. At a certain point – and I’d say we’re clearly at or past that point – it really doesn’t matter whether we can prove such a bargain was made. I’m not even sure it matters whether it was explicit or even happened. The bank robber helped the teller get the job and now the teller just won’t seem to lock the safe or even turn on the alarm. We can debate forever whether the teller is just absent-minded or has some odd philosophical aversion toward locks. The debate may be unresolvable. It truly doesn’t matter.


  4. Pseudonymous says:

    Senators Gardner and Warren release bipartisan marijuana bill that prioritizes states' rights

    Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts released a long-awaited bipartisan marijuana legislation reform bill on Thursday that would give states the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders.

    It does not seek to legalize marijuana, but instead proposes an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act, protecting people who choose to use marijuana, so long as they comply with local state or tribal laws. The bill also states that compliant marijuana transactions are not considered trafficking, and, finally, removes industrial hemp from the list of substances prohibited under the CSA.

    Of course subject to change as always, but Trump has indicated he supports the bill.

    Trump Says He “Really” Supports Senate Marijuana Legislation

    “I really do. I support Senator Gardner,” he said when a reporter asked whether he backs the bill.

    “I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it,” Trump said during an impromptu press conference on the White House lawn as he prepared to board Marine One to head to G-7 summit in Canada. “But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”

    The bill

  5. mamajama55 says:

    Governor candidate debates on 9 news:

    Rittiman and Clark do a good job moderating the debates.

    First the Rs (Stapleton, Robinson, Lopez, and Mitchell) from last night:

    And Monday night’s Democratic candidates Kennedy, Polis, Lynne, and Johnston.


    If Pols doesn't make a diary on this, I will, so that folks can discuss after this comment disappears.

  6. Voyageur says:

    Corre ction: We burned York.  Yesterday I noted that Britain's burning of Washington in the War of 1812 was a reprisal because Americans had burned a Canadian provincial capital.  That is exactly right.  But I mistakenly identified the Canadian city as Windsor, Ontario..  Americans looted and burned York, which was then the capital of Upper Canada.  Today, York is part of Greater Toronto, Ontario.

  7. Pseudonymous says:

    Emily Sirota (running in HD-9) says that Planned Parenthood is supporting her opponent because Ms. Sirota publicly supports the workers trying to unionize in CO.

    From her Facebook:

    After I took this stand with workers, Planned Parenthood’s executives decided to take an unprecedented step of intervening in this primary between two clear pro choice candidates. This was particularly troubling considering the executives decided to spend a huge amount of precious resources in this Democratic primary, at a time when we need as many resources as possible to make sure anti-choice Republicans are not successful in their efforts to take back the state legislature.

    In this situation, I am unequivocally pro choice, pro patient and pro union — and if that generates an effort to defeat me in the election, then so be it. I am not running this campaign for some personal ambition to hold an office — I am running this campaign because I’m fed up with the status quo and am committed to fighting for our community’s values — and I’ll fight those fights even when they may be politically risky.

    • Pseudonymous says:

      From the SOS filings:


      06/07/2018: $6,825.24 – Main Points of  Communication VOTE FOR ASHLEY WHEELAND

      06/05/2018: $13,650.48 – Main Points of  Communication VOTE FOR ASHLEY WHEELAND

      Funny thing is, that's all I can find they've spent this cycle.  They must really love Ashley Wheeland! I mean, they’ve already said they don’t have any problem with a union coming in.

    • DaftPunk says:

      Emily Sirota is full of shit (So is her husband.)

      Ashley Wheeland is PPRM's former Public Affairs Director. Did Sirota think they'd be neutral? Is there any evidence at all (LIKE ANY?!?!?!) that her union stance played a role in this decision.

      All of the reporting around this issue stems from one crappy Intercept article that claims PPRM went running to Trump because they didn't like AFSCME to cherry-pick which clinic workers got to be unionized at which didn't, as if that made them chummy with Cheeto Benito and a good liberal organization would wait until Democrats were running things to complain to the NLRB.

      Her pretending to be some kind of martyr for the cause of worker's rights is crocodile tears of the highest order. I'd expect nothing less from this family of leftier-than-thou crybabies.

      • notaskinnycook says:

        I'm with you, Daft. It ain't my district, but if it were, Sirota wouldn't get my vote. The uber-left bores me as much as the uber-right. The lefties would rather maintain their idiological purity than win. If you don't win, you can't govern.

      • mamajama55 says:

        You're probably right that PPRM was always going to endorse their former Public Affairs Director Wheeland for HD9.

        But there is more fire than smoke on the decision to appeal SEIU's election to the NLRB. A little background:

        SEIU was the union the employees of PPRM chose, back in 2016 under Obama. This was partly because of SEIU's historic pro-choice stance and funding of pro-choice initiatives and candidates. Also under Obama, the NLRB decided to allow "micro units" of organizing – so a union could organize just its manufacturing, or just certain clinics in PPRM's case. This was the case for several years, and apparently PPRM had no problem with it.

        Then when the union was recertified in December 2017, with bargaining unit including all Colorado clinics except Durango*, and not including New Mexico or Las Vegas because their distance made it difficult to organize, then PPRM freaked and decided to take it to the NLRB, knowing that, under Trump, the NLRB had a 3-1 Republican majority, and had just rescinded the Obama "micro-units allowed" rule.

        So PPRM knew that the NLRB was likely to side with them and to disallow the certification of SEIU because of the bargaining unit scope.

        It truly was an intentional move on PPRM's part to bust the union. I think that the receptionists, clerks, aides and all professional staf at PP locations, who may be the ones to face down some murderous nutcase, deserve all the job security, pay, and working conditions relief possible.

        **Not going to try to find the link now, but somewhere I read that Durango was not included because of a ) driving distance making organizing logistically tough, and b) there had been some controversy about whether both professionals and non-professional employees at those clinics would join)

        Apologies in advance for all the acronyms, but you know what they stand for.

        • Gray in Mountains says:

          Hell of a story, MJ

          • mamajama55 says:

            You can check out the links yourself, Gray, if you're having trouble believing the "story".

            I know it's an uncomfortable thought, that one of our favorite rights organizations may be limiting rights for its own workers – but that does seem to be what's happening.

            SEIU has been the union for other state affiliates of PP since 2011, so it's not like they're an unknown quantity to PP. SEIU is also infamous on the right for canvassing for and donating money to pro-choice candidates and issues.

            In fact, if the Planned Parenthood board is so concerned about uneven union representation from state to state and clinic to clinic, they could invite national SEIU in to organize in toto. Although I don't think that collective bargaining works that way – it's bottom up, not top down. 

            Instead of acceptance of an old ally, RMPP chose to fight SEIU's collective bargaining agreement. The right wing media is in ecstasy over this story. "Civil war on the left", etc.

            I wrote to national PP and told them I wouldn't be donating anymore until they negotiate with their employees chosen union. If you're  uncomfortable with that , you could just write to them, and ask them to negotiate a contract rather than appealing the scope of the bargaining unit.



            • JohnInDenver says:

              We went through this in detail on an earlier thread.

              The only element pushed into the NLRB was whether the regional director's decision correctly applied precedents on representation to this case. SEIU wanted only 14 of the 17 Colorado sites, and none from other states. PPRM wanted all of their sites included.  The Director excluded the out of state locations and one of the Colorado locations. As best I could tell from the decision, they are not looking at the decision about what employees should be in the unit — that will stand, no matter what.

              The NLRB only had 3 commissioners participating in the decision — 2 Republicans said "its worth the review." 1 Democrat said "it isn't worth the review."

              So, after a review, the NLRB will come up with a decision affirming the regional director or making a modification of the bargaining unit based on how previous cases have been decided.

              While the decision is not as immediate as some would want, and it isn't a decision as the SEIU wanted, nothing I've read says this is the major anti-union push and "appeal to Trump's administration" as some describe.

            • Gray in Mountains says:

              Unfortunately, I have no trouble believing it. Reads like the back cover of a novel

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