4th of July Weekend Open Thread

“Loyalty to the true, core values and roots of democracy is what makes a true patriot, not loyalty to a symbol of the country.”

–Cindy Sheehan

78 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:

    "We hold these truths to be selfevident,…"

    Well, sort of.

  2. Voyageur says:

    We hold this truth to be self-evident:

    Trump stinks.

    Stay upwind, America.

    The monster gets weaker every day.

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    On this day may we be reminded that ancestors of African-Americans were slaves.  

    Their Independence Day is June 19, 1865. 

  4. MichaelBowman says:

    Five years ago this morning a hemp flag flew over the US Capitol building, a 'first' in at least the last eight decades.  Later that year (then) DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart described that act as "the worse day of her 33-year career at DEA" followed by the words below: 

    Every yin needs a yang, and for that, we're going to use a picture of DavidT's mother holding that same flag at the Hawaii capitol building after we flew it there on opening day, 2015.  

    Rep Cynthia Thielen is a treasure.  

    Happy 4th everybody! 

  5. mamajama55 says:

    Governor Hickenlooper showed up at the Brush 4th of July parade today to shake some hands, do some photo ops, kiss a few babies.

    Is he running for something?

    Here Hick is on a tractor. I think this goes with “Dukakis in the tank” as far as awkward political shots go. But he’s trying, bless his heart.

    In the foreground is Debra Gustafson, Democratic candidate for Senate District 1 (Jerry Sonnenberg’s District)


    And here’s Hick shaking hands with young Vincent, and some of HD65 Candidate Bethleen McCall’s young entourage, on the Morgan Democrats parade float today. Photos courtesy of N. O’Dell.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Hick on a tractor seems a bit awkward, but possible, to me.

      The recent images of Trump in a semi or with a firetruck fits the Dukakis in a tank picture (both still wearing a tie).

      And yes, Hick is probably continuing to think about running for something. But I'm willing to credit the specific trip to Brush to the idea of possibly doing something to boost the Democratic party on on the plains.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Hick on a tractor is kind of like Dukakis in a tank.  The optics are really bad for the beer baron.

        • marklane1351 says:

          They really aren't. If you look at his political history, he has constantly been able to seem very appealing doing goofy stuff. There was the skydiving, and riding a unicycle at a Nuggets game, and who can forget taking a shower while dressed in a suit and tie?

      • The realist says:

        Is it a hint that he's campaigning in "Cory Gardner country?"


        • mamajama55 says:

          I think so. Come on now – he rode a tractor in the Brush 4th of July parade . Hick showed up with a full complement of handlers, which for all I know is his usual thing.

          He did pose with Morgan Democrats and a couple of our local legislative candidates, but that didn't appear to be the primary purpose of his visit. Our county party didn't know he was coming here until the last minute.

        • itlduso says:

          Exactly.  Hick for Senator in 2020!

          • mamajama55 says:

            If Hick were the Senate nominee, I'd vote for him, of course. But I dearly hope he's primaried by someone more progressive, still electable.

            Hick's done some good things and been mostly on the right side of issues; support for famiies threatened by ICE, methane rules, renewable energy, school finance, capital punishment.

            He's had to be threatened, negotiated with, and cajoled to take a stand on most of them, as well. And he's still not budging on cannabis banking or firefighter unionizing. He was and still is in his heart a petroleum geologist, and that is where his deepest loyalties lie.

    • Zappatero says:

      Trump’s Undersecretary of Interior for Fracking

  6. Pseudonymous says:

    If you're using the Stylish addon, which I've recommended (why I'm posting here), you need to remove it from your browser.  The folks who took it over are using it to siphon off data from your browser.  You can replace it with the open source Stylus add-on (Chrome, Firefox).  Your existing styles will still work.  Export or copy them before deleting Stylish.

    • notaskinnycook says:

      Thanks for the heads-up, Pseudo. I did have it. I'll get my wife the software geek to replace it tonight.

    • mamajama55 says:

      Thanks, Psuedo. I deleted Stylish and added Stylus. As before, it worked with my computer's version of Chrome, but not of Firefox. 

    • DaftPunk says:

      Do you have a bit of code for blocking users you don't want to see?

      • mamajama55 says:

        Here's the latest version of pseudonymous' instructions,  Daft.

        He changed it up by recommending the use of Stylus as an addon instead of Stylish. Here are the links again for the Firefox and Chrome versions of Stylus. (Chrome, Firefox).

        I found that it won't install on Firefox 48.0.2 on my older mac, but you may not have that problem. You just end up with an "S" in your toolbar that you can click on and off when you want to see or hide a problem user.

  7. Davie says:

    Coming next week — London's tribute to Trump during his visit!

    Let Trump Baby Fly

  8. Gilpin Guy says:

    I finally found an term that easily describes Trump.

    The Lance Armstrong of Politics.

  9. Davie says:

    History repeats (or Republicans are just hardwired this way):

    Maine Senator (and Congresswoman) Margaret Chase Smith, Ms. Collins’ political foremother and idol, often broke ranks with her party — to defend, for instance, F.D.R.’s New Deal legislation from conservative attacks. On June 1, 1950, she became one of the first members of Congress to denounce the anti-Communist witch hunt of fellow Republican Senator Joe McCarthy. She began her Declaration of Conscience speech: “I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition. It is a national feeling of fear and frustration that could result in national suicide and the end of everything that we Americans hold dear.” She did not want “to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny — Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.”

    After six moderate Republican senators signed the declaration, Mr. McCarthy labeled them, in Trumpian fashion, “Snow White and the Six Dwarves.” He had Ms. Smith removed from her post on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (replacing her with Richard Nixon) and lavished support on her challenger in the next election (she won anyway)

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Those Four Horsemen are now the GOP Congressional leadership.

      • mamajama55 says:

        Four Horsemen definition: Four figures in the Book of Revelation who symbolize the evils to come at the end of the world. The figure representing conquest rides a white horse; war, a red horse; famine, a black horse; and plague, a pale horse. They are often called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

        Mitch rides the red horse (he has no remorse)

        Paul Ryan spreads Famine, Austerity's feast

        Pence on a white horse, the conquering beast

        A Plague of white hoods ghosts behind Sessions' smug face

        Four Horsemen Ride Forth to our country's disgrace.




    • Davie says:

      Although, we could be trading bad for even worse:

      The departure of Scott Pruitt, the scandal-plagued former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, means that the agency will be led in the coming months by Mr. Pruitt’s deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who shares Mr. Pruitt’s zeal to undo environmental regulations.

      But unlike Mr. Pruitt — who had come to Washington as an outsider and aspiring politician, only to get caught up in a swirl of controversy over his costly first-class travel and security spending — Mr. Wheeler is viewed as a consummate Washington insider who avoids the limelight and has spent years effectively navigating the rules. For that reason, Mr. Wheeler’s friends and critics alike say, he could ultimately prove to be more effective than his controversial former boss in implementing President Trump’s deregulatory agenda.

      • Duke Cox says:

        Perhaps Mr. Wheelers' effectiveness has been due to his "under-the-radar" position. Bright light is scary to cockroaches…maybe the fourth estate can bring him down, too.

  10. unnamed says:

    Another One Bites the Dust:  Scott Pruitt resigns as EPA chief.  As an intellectual giant once said: womp womp

  11. Davie says:

    Hot off the wire — Even Wall Street doesn't believe Trump's BS:

    UPDATE: Corporations brought home $350 billion after tax cut, but they haven't put it to work By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch 

    White House says tax cut has already transformed economy, but that's pure politics 

    The Trump White House is using meaningless statistics to falsely claim that its big corporate tax cut is working even better than hoped. Donald Trump's economic adviser says the tax cut has fundamentally transformed the economy after just six months, deceptively claiming that U.S. corporations are no longer investing in their foreign operations. 

    Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, was on TV recently 

  12. mamajama55 says:

    At least he's not your state campaign chairman?

    Trump’s Kentucky Campaign Chair Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Trafficking. Ew.

  13. MichaelBowman says:

    There's a stench over CD-4 (these bubbles aren't from champagne bottles popping their tops, they're FARTs coming from the Nobel Laureate-economists bung).  

    For relief, donate here

    Note to self: this ain't the Lawrence Welk show. 

    A trade war with China could hit these communities hardest

    Circles sized based on percentage of jobs affected in that county



    • mamajama55 says:

      I blame a rogue staffer for the FART acronym. It should make for some interesting coffee shop conversations.

      Mellnick and Uhrmacher, reporting for the Washington Post, write that these are mostly counties that voted for Trump. They claim that these Chinese tariffs were "targeted" to achieve that effect. If so, the Chinese tariff designers miscalculated; Trump voters seem incapable of believing that their guy lied to them or would harm them. And Trump doesn't care if it hurts his base in their wallets.  But we'll see how long all that willful blindness lasts when people can't market their pork or soybeans or beef or dairy products for export.

      While the largest urban and suburban counties are home to almost as many people working in tariff-exposed industries as rural areas, the rural concentration is far higher, about 1 job in 33. In the big cities, it’s 1 job in 200.

      Tariff-exposed jobs are more than twice as likely to fall in counties that voted for Republican Donald Trump in 2016 than in counties won by Democrat Hillary Clinton. There are more than 1 million jobs exposed to China tariffs in more than 2,600 counties carried by Trump, and fewer than 564,000 exposed jobs in Clinton’s counties.

      Muro said the mix of goods and industries targeted by the tariffs “seems carefully selected to maximize agitation in mostly red counties that are oriented toward agriculture.”

      On the map Wapo published, it does look like northern plains / CD4 country.

  14. Davie says:

    Rudy Guiliani is getting nervous.  He's laying down a slick, slimy brown trail trying to evade Mueller's investigation.

    President Trump’s lawyers set new conditions on Friday on an interview with the special counsel and said that the chances that the president would be voluntarily questioned were growing increasingly unlikely.

    The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, needs to prove before Mr. Trump would agree to an interview that he has evidence that Mr. Trump committed a crime and that his testimony is essential to completing the investigation, said Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s lead lawyer in the case.

    After the raid on Michael Cohen and his recent indication that he's gonna start singing about his work for Trump, breaking the Code of Omerta, the smokescreen effort by his panicked legal team has grown rapidly.

    After the raid, Mr. Trump decided to double down on his more aggressive strategy, according to people close to him. He hired Mr. Giuliani to replace his lawyer John M. Dowd, who had convinced Mr. Trump of the value of the earlier, more cooperative approach. Mr. Giuliani immediately began a public relations assault on Mr. Mueller. Mr. Flood, who is known for his strong view of the president’s powers to shield his communications and documents from investigators, was brought on in May.

    Mr. Giuliani has sown doubt and confusion by pushing dubious theories about the case. He has made claims like accusing Mr. Mueller’s office, without evidence, of trying to frame Mr. Trump. Mr. Giuliani has also pushed unfounded theories, like an assertion that the F.B.I. implanted a spy in Mr. Trump’s campaign.

    It's the standard Mafia mouthpiece practice of telling the cops to "Charge my client or let him go!"  Banking in this case on the hope that the President is immune to arrest or indictment.

    Perhaps, if the House flips in November, but McConnell still holds a majority in the Senate, he'll come to realize that it's time to cut his losses and "retire" Don Trumpolione, and let Pence become President.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Davie, you're presuming that the GOP will process the loss of the House rationally.

      They won't. If they lose the House, it won't be because of Trump. It will be because they failed to repeal Obamacare. Or failed to cut taxes enough. Or build the wall.

      • Davie says:

        True, but I’m counting on “deep state” Republicans that want cheap immigrant labor and free trade to tell their rent-a-senators to dump Trump now that he’s costing them serious bucks, and Pence will do their bidding for free.

  15. RepealAndReplace says:


    Discuss among yourselves.

    Some of us are old enough to remember the 1980's and what happened then. It took Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and the Democratic Leadership Council to detoxify the Democratic Party, break the cycle that our friends on the left were determined to pursue, and make the Democrats electable again.

    I've spoken with many millennials and contrary to the views of some, there is no great groundswell of support for giving away free stuff to everyone be it Democratic Socialism or whatever label you want to slap on it. 

    • Davie says:

      Paul Krugman has a pretty good take on the economics, if not the politics of the new left's positions:

      As I wrote the other day, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may call herself a socialist and represent the left wing of the Democratic party, but her policy ideas are pretty reasonable. In fact, Medicare for All is totally reasonable; any arguments against it are essentially political rather than economic.

      A federal jobs guarantee is more problematic, and a number of progressive economists with significant platforms have argued against it: Josh BivensDean BakerLarry Summers

      So I don’t want to minimize the potential problems with a job guarantee. But a wholesale migration from low-paid private to public employment isn’t one of those problems.

      And to repeat what I said Tuesday, whatever problems you may have with the specifics of AOC’s proposals, they’re far more sensible than, say, Larry Kudlow or Sam Brownback-style voodoo economics, which passes for mainstream economic thinking on the other side of the aisle.

      So the point is to stay on message that GOP voodoo economics has been and forever will be a horrible idea, as Trump is proving every day.

    • mamajama55 says:

      New York Queens District Dems saw Ocasio-Cortez' ads, listened to her speak, liked her message, and voted for her 57-42% against Crowley, the moderate Dem leadership-annointed candidate. That wouldn't work in every district in the country, but it worked there. Why?

      1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) was a better candidate, full stop. Crowley was the epitome of an entitled candidate. He didn't live in the district, he was out of touch with Queens'  younger, browner constituents, and he had never faced a real election in his life. AOC's all-volunteer campaign worked for a full-on grassroots political push for months, talked to voters Crowley had given up on, inspired them, got them to vote in a midterm off year election.

      2. AOC's message was fresh, exciting, and hopeful. It included elements of the new democratic socialism These included Medicare for All, and a proposal for a federal job guarantee program. Kirsten Gillibrand has advocated for this – kind of a Citizens Conservation Corps for the digital age.

      The Nation cites a Civis poll showing 52% of respondents supported a job guarantee program. It makes good economic sense as a revitalizer – remember how Obama got us out of Bush's recession? And again, not "free stuff" – a job requires an exchange of labor for money.

      Medicare for All is also hardly "free stuff" – workers pay Medicare taxes all of our working lives, and finally are able to access this earned benefit when needed. I'm personally looking forward to being able to buy into it.


      The article you cited, R&R, calls AOC's proposals "Dem Doom". That's hyperbole. Candidates with AOC's platform would not win in, say, my CD4 corner of Colorado – but they might win in Denver, Fort Collins, or Boulder. And the policies themselves are workable, even if they can only be implemented incrementally, as the ACA was.

      Times change. Democratic Socialists, or Social Democrats, are not the Trotskyites of yesteryear. I kind of hate the Trots, too, having seen their lies and opportunism up close as a radical youth. Nor are modern social Democrats equivalent to Marxist regimes like Venezuela or Cuba – nobody's advocating for a dictatorship – except maybe Donald Trump.

      You may know and talk with some millenials, but as a group, millenials  accept, or at least are not repelled by "socialism". They do not see it as "Dem Doom", or any other kind of doom. Doom is irreversible climate change, the loss of the free press, locking kids up in camps, that kind of thing.

      I know you won't agree – you said yourself that you would be a Republican if not for the social-issue bigotry. But you asked, and I answered. I like AOC's policies, they are not "dem doom", and she was the right candidate for her blue Queens district, and deserved her win.

      Here’s her ad again. It appealed to people’s humanity and hopes for the future. Hardly “doom”.

      • Davie says:

        Also, it should be noted that the writer of the article, Bret Stephens, is a conservative foil to the NYTimes' Gail Collins.  He's definitely a moderate Republican, and is worth the read.  But his canary in the coal mine commentary might be a tad premature to be taken as a broad indictment of all Democratic districts.

  16. Davie says:

    For those concerned about Ivanka's future, everyone can rest easy — Daddy Trump exempted his daughter's Chinese supplier from the tariffs, so her livelihood is secure!

    President Donald Trump’s daughter has long had her apparel and shoes made in China and thanks to a major exemption for Chinese garment and footwear in the tariffs dispute, the clothing industry looks likely to be left unscathed.

    Just the sort of nepotistic self-dealing we have come to expect and appreciate from our Glorious Leader!

  17. MichaelBowman says:

    Interesting piece by Ken Levy, Holt B. Harrison Professor of Law at Louisiana State University's Paul M. Hebert Law Center:

    The 'McConnell Rule' is law, and Senate Democrats should sue to enforce it

    McConnell’s imminent abandonment of the McConnell Rule implicates an equally fundamental democratic principle: due process for 49 percent of the Senate, which itself represents tens of millions of American citizens. Just as the judiciary would have the authority to intervene if McConnell changed the vote threshold from 51 to 40 (or, for that matter, if he refused to step aside as majority leader should the Democrats regain control of the Senate in November), so, too, the judiciary has the authority to intervene if McConnell violates his McConnell Rule.

    If you give full credit to states with two Democratic senators, including ME and VT given they caucus with Dems (population: 142,081,000), and one-half credit for split states (1/2 population: 37,585,000), the 49 Democrats and Independent senators represent 55% of the US population.  

    Someone needs to update Wiki: no page exists for Tyranny of the minority

    • Pseudonymous says:

      Dude is high.  That's not remotely the law.

      McConnell's entitled to about as much tyranny as he wants– the king of the trough at the all-you-care-to-eat tyranny buffet, as it were.  If politicians could be held accountable in court for all the disingenuous bullshit they spout, they'd have judges trying cases 24/7/365.

      • mamajama55 says:

        What is too high here are the stakes.

        I don't know if the "McConnell Rule" is law, or not. However, I'm in favor of Dem leadership insisting that it is law, and that they are bound by it as precedent.

        Therefore, they just can’t let a nomination for the Supreme Court be heard until after the midterm elections.It just wouldn’t be right. 😉

        Sue to the Supreme Court for whether the Republican leader's BS rule is "law"?
        Why the hell not, if it will buy some time until after the midterms? We can't filibuster nominees anymore, right? So we have to get creative.

        • Pseudonymous says:

          I don't believe anyone could make a coherent legal argument that McConnell's statements are law or that him being a knob violates due process.  If that's true, there won't be a case, and it's entirely possible that lawyers that try to file such a case will be sanctioned.

          If there is a way to make an argument, I expect it won't meet the standard for a temporary injunction, so there will be nothing restraining McConnell from executing his plan while the case lives its all-too-short life as it's dismissed, and appeals are denied.

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