Monday Open Thread

“The bad news is that only the bad people reach the news because they are noisier.”

–Javier Bardem

32 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    Declare independence from the Trumpstink.  It's the American way.

  2. Pseudonymous says:

    Please be true.  Please be true.

    'It stinks': Twitter gets wind of oddly named Trump tariff bill draft

    A report that Donald Trump is looking to walk away from the World Trade Organisation and instead adopt a United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act, or Fart Act, has been greeted with loud amusement on Twitter.

    Axios reported that it had received a leaked early draft of a bill ordered by the president, that would see America take the unlikely step of abandoning WTO rules, allowing Trump to raise tariffs without the consent of Congress.

    • unnamed says:

      Why do you want it to be true?

      • Davie says:

        As the article goes on to explain:

        Don Moynihan, a professor of government at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, noted that Trump might struggle to get the world to take his policies seriously given the naming snafu. He wrote on Twitter: “‘The world is laughing at us,’ says Trump, before proposing the FART Act (Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act).”

        Journalists delighted in the name, while others suggested it could be a subtle act of rebellion from a disillusioned staff member.

  3. Mike W. says:

    Taking all bets!

    I'll go ahead and say Johnston. 

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I say Kennedy, unless she turned him down. He gets more from her than Johnston. Besides, the teachers' union will be livid with a Polis/Johnston ticket.

      It wouldn't be bad for Kennedy to take it while she decides what she really wants to do:  run against Gardner, see if Hancock is forced out and then she runs for mayor, or wait for Polis to finish and then run for governor again.

      • Voyageur says:

        I think Cary should take it, if offered.  Right now, she has lost two straight elections and it wouldn't be easy move from there to a mayoral race.   As for Johnston, the teacher's unions would throw a fit.   Yes, he ran a stronger race than expected but third place is third place and an all white male ticket is an anachronism.

        If played properly, the lt. gov. can be a valuable minister without portfolio and trouble shooter, like Gail Schoettler did for Roy Romer.

    • Davie says:

      I suppose a unity ticket with Cary might be too obvious (personally, I hope she has a chance and desire to run for Denver Mayor if the opportunity arises)

    • Pseudonymous says:

      How about Crisanta Duran?  No way it's Mike– no need to pick someone who gets him no demos and kills him with teachers.  Crisanta is the opposite of that, helps him with unions, and she's available, at least in theory.

  4. Davie says:

    David Leonhardt of the New York Times takes a jaundiced view of Sen. Susan Collins' pro-choice stand on the next Trump-appointed Supreme Court justice:

    Collins wants to be seen as a centrist — to the left of most of her fellow Republicans and to the right of the Democrats. And that would be reasonable if Collins consistently made substantive decisions that were centrist. The trouble comes when she is willing to neglect substance and put the highest priority on appearing centrist, regardless of the content of her actions.

    On Sunday, she laid down what sounded like a clear line on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee: Anyone “who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me,” she said in a television interview. How centrist! But then she quickly seemed to back away from her bold promise (knowing full well, I assume, that she had already guaranteed herself some headlines making her sound like a moderate).

    She argued that John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch, who are both on the court already, fit her definition of justices who would not overturn Roe. 

    During Trump's campaign, he promised that he would demand his nominees be in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.  His WH attorney, Don McGahn, has already vetted the list supplied by the Federalist Society from which Trump will be choosing his nominee.  Thus it is not a big stretch to infer that they meet that criteria, thus eliminating the need to press the question in Senate confirmation hearings.  The nominee will simply refuse to answer when asked by Democrats, and Collins, et al can claim they can vote for them in good conscience.

  5. Davie says:

    The correct way to pronounce Trump (per his ancestral home in Germany):

    “Droomps,” as the name is pronounced in Palatinate dialect

  6. ParkHill says:

    What makes anyone believe that Susan Collins is pro-choice? Watch what she does, not what she says. Isn't that the first rule of watching politicians?

    Didn't she already vote for several anti-abortion Supreme Court justices?

    For that matter, on what significant legislation has she voted with the Democrats and against the Republicans? 

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Half right, Park Hill. She has voted for several anti choice judges most recently Got such. She has rationalized it by saying that he respects precedent.

      Yeah, right. Whatever helps her sleep at night.

      She did vote to save ACA.

  7. Pseudonymous says:

    Hey, I wonder what Tim Geithner, Obama's Treasury Secretary and right-hand man during TARP is up to?  [Checks internet]  Oh my…

    ‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans

    The check arrived out of the blue, issued in his name for $1,200, a mailing from a consumer finance company. Stephen Huggins eyed it carefully.

    A loan, it said. Smaller type said the interest rate would be 33 percent.

    Way too high, Huggins thought. He put it aside.

    A week later, though, his 2005 Chevy pickup was in the shop, and he didn’t have enough to pay for the repairs. He needed the truck to get to work, to get the kids to school. So Huggins, a 56-year-old heavy equipment operator in Nashville, fished the check out that day in April 2017 and cashed it.

    Within a year, the company, Mariner Finance, sued Huggins for $3,221.27. That included the original $1,200, plus an additional $800 a company representative later persuaded him to take, plus hundreds of dollars in processing fees, insurance and other items, plus interest. It didn’t matter that he’d made a few payments already.

    “It would have been cheaper for me to go out and borrow money from the mob,” Huggins said before his first court hearing in April.

  8. Davie says:

    The word Republicans want to erase from textbooks?  Democracy

    Democracy isn’t to be protected, it’s to be thwarted.

    The GOP is working towards doing that in a number of ways.  This story is one small, petty, and yet simultaneously significant blow:  an attempt to remove democracy’s reverence from our textbooks.

    As conservative author David Frum admits, the new GOP hates democracy, because, in his own words:

    The Republican party has a platform that can’t prevail in democratic competition.


    It’s why the GOP fights tooth and nail to make voting as hard as possible, to kick people off voter rolls, to gerrymander, to appoint ideologues to the Courts, to blow up all institutional norms in Congress:  the new GOP has a twisted agenda, and they don’t care how they get it.  

    • mamajama55 says:

      This is fricking scary. I have ex in law relatives who bemoan that “public schools don’t say the Pledge of Allegiance” anymore…. and no matter how many times I assure them that we in fact Pledge every morning, they insist that all those other public schools refuse to say it.

      i guess it’s a talking point on Fox or something. I could just see some of these extreme parents coming to school board meetings to protest “ too much talk of democracy” in civics textbooks. 

      When I taught the Transcendentalists (Emerson, Thoreau, etc), I actually had kids whose parents complained that we were talking about Nature too much. And these were farm and ranching kids. 

      It’s  getting wacky out there with a chance of brain shrinkage.

      • Davie says:

        As George Orwell and Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451) showed us, words are powerful.  Suppressing or twisting their meaning has long been the favorite technique of fear-driven regimes.  It is no wonder Republicans are resorting to that to pervert our nation’s values.

  9. Davie says:

    Mining the comments on Daily Kos articles really pays off:


  10. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from Josh Marshal: "Dem's Goldilocks Fight Club"

    Let’s take the ‘Abolish ICE’ slogan. I’m agnostic on whether this is precisely the right tack. But I’m inclined to think it is since on the merits I really do think we should abolish ICE as currently constituted and create a new immigration service that is not structured around paramilitary enforcement and isn’t so prone to abuses. I hear a lot about it’s better to say ‘reform ICE’ or ‘thoroughly change the way we enforce immigration laws’. No. Electoral politics is far less about particular policies than it is about meta-messages about clarity and power. Policy and policy literalism is the libretto; these deeper messages are the score. If your political language tip toes around what you think or shows you’re not quite sure what you think or shows that you know what you think but may not be willing to act on what you think, that has bad consequences. It signals weakness and irresolution. It shows you may not have the resoluteness to act. And that counts for far more than the specifics of the policies.

    It is of course important to be strategic. For instance, it’s not at all clear to me that interrupting cabinet secretaries’ dinners accomplishes anything productive besides emotive satisfaction for protestors and diehard anti-Trump voters. Unlike ‘Abolish ICE’ it doesn’t signal a clear policy goal. It’s mainly about emoting. It is important to evaluate every tactic and strategy for what it actually gains. What Democrats need now isn’t training sessions on civility or better ways to finesse language. They need to find the most effective ways to fight and then throw everything into it. Doing anything else is a recipe for constantly wrong-footing yourself, signaling an irresolution, uncertainty and fecklessness that is far more damaging than mere policy disagreement.

  11. ParkHill says:

    WOTD2 From Mahablog: "Who gets to be angry"

    In the first “Who Gets to Be Angry” post I pointed out that right-wing white men are the only demographic in the U.S. allowed to display anger without social or cultural penalty. Right-wing white women are allowed to display anger if they are standing next to a white man who is angry about the same thing — call it ladies’ auxiliary anger. Otherwise, women who display anger are labeled “hysterical” or “whacky,” whereas a white man doing the same thing is “strong.” Men who are not white must also take care to be gentle of temperament, because right-wing white men have a pathological fear of black men displaying so much as mild pique. Or wearing hoodies.

    Watch out for people who are enforcers of the anger rule, especially if they are on “your” side, because They Do Not Get It. Nancy Pelosi’s recent rebuke of Maxine Waters is an example. Rep. Waters didn’t call for violence; she called for confrontations. But she got slammed by Democratic leadership, including by Chuck Schumer.

  12. MichaelBowman says:


    Highlights from Michael Cohen’s exclusive interview

    He went on to reiterate that his family is "my first priority," and when reminded that he previously said he would “take a bullet” for Trump, Cohen said, "To be crystal clear: my wife, my daughter and my son and this country have my first loyalty."

  13. Davie says:

    Leadership, Trump-style (and governing GOP-style):

    1.  Start fire

    2.  Pour gasoline on it

    3. Make sure your private and corporate benefactors extract the maximum profit

    4. Find someone else to blame

    5. Start new fire

    Trump may enjoy campaigning on immigration, but it’s far from what Republican leaders want to highlight as they battle to keep their majorities this fall. GOP lawmakers have repeatedly shown an inability to unite behind any sort of immigration plan, and Trump has failed to lead on the matter as well — creating a constant whiplash as he changes his positions from day to day.

    Trump’s reversals are one of the major reasons House Republicans were unable to pass a pair of GOP immigration bills addressing the fates of Dreamers just before the July Fourth recess — even though they’d spent months negotiating among themselves. At least one of those bills mirrored the president’s own proposal in providing a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who were brought here as kids, increasing border security and enforcement, and curbing legal immigration.

    It went down in a whopping defeat, 121-301, as conservatives panned the bill as “amnesty.” The vote was a rebuke to both GOP leadership, which tried and failed to reach a consensus in the conference, and the president, who endorsed the legislation in an all-caps tweet hours before the vote.

    Trump appeared to try to deflect blame for the failure in a tweet Saturday, falsely claiming he “never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill.”

    Between the bungling of the immigration issue, sabotage of the health insurance markets, the unfunded $1.5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy, and the planned reductions in Medicare, Medicaid, and even Social Security if they can pull that one off, we need to keep the malevolent incompetence of the Republican Party as the number one issue for voters to remember in November.

  14. Davie says:

    Republicans (and their hacks on this site) wonder why we call them Nazis.  Here is something that might clear up their confusion:

    Regardless of its source, Ron Paul’s official Twitter account did, in fact, post the wildly offensive Nazi-style version of the image. And, as Christopher Mathias of HuffPo points out, this is the third time in a month that a right-wing figure has distributed content from the literal-Nazi corners of the internet. Last Friday, recently pardoned conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza retweeted a message that included the hashtag #burnthejews, while on June 13 Iowa Rep. Steve King retweeted a message about immigration that had been posted by an infamous British Nazi. D’Souza says he “did not see” the hashtag; King says he didn’t know about the background of the user in question. Maybe someday soon one of these guys will figure out why so many Nazis seem to be hanging around the Republican Party!

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