Monday Open Thread

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

–Edgar Allan Poe

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Davie says:

    Coming soon, a book detailing the horrible reality if Pence sinks his fangs into the Office of the Presidency.

    There are problems with impeaching Donald Trump. A big one is the holy terror waiting in the wings.

    That would be Mike Pence, who mirrors the boss more than you realize. He’s also self-infatuated. Also a bigot. Also a liar. Also cruel.

    To that brimming potpourri he adds two ingredients that Trump doesn’t genuinely possess: the conviction that he’s on a mission from God and a determination to mold the entire nation in the shape of his own faith, a regressive, repressive version of Christianity. Trade Trump for Pence and you go from kleptocracy to theocracy.

    That’s the takeaway from a forthcoming book by the journalists Michael D’Antonio, who previously wrote “The Truth About Trump,” and Peter Eisner. It’s titled “The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence,” it will be published on Aug. 28

  2. Pseudonymous says:

    Income shares Top 1%/Bottom 50% US (top) v. Europe (bottom).  When you're being fisted by the invisible hand.

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    The most thought-provoking article of my morning read:

    VOX: Centrist Democrats are out of ideas

    Notes of political caution can be valuable, but caution is not a policy vision.

    I immediately wanted to disagree — but then began trying to articulate specific examples of policies on a couple of key areas. I found it difficult to think of key differences in goals — and more explanations of why an incremental approach was more reasonable.

    So, anybody have a counter-example, where a Centrist Democrat has a "policy vision" or a "policy goal" that differs from the more leftest vision or goal?

    • Davie says:

      While I've always considered myself a centrist Democrat, I'm more concerned that we need to do a better job of explaining the "why" of our policies. 

      For example:

      Medicare-for-All is not a goal.  It is a means to achieve the goal of lowering the cost of care, stop using emergency rooms as free clinics, cutting out overhead, simplifying the paperwork so that doctors spend less time filling out insurance forms, and more time with delivering patient care.

      Free public college (either community college or even 4 year public college) is not the goal.  The goal is to relieve the burden on the middle class (and the underprivileged) of college debt, and giving them the tools needed in the modern workforce to become successful, productive members of society — starting families, buying homes, saving for retirement, paying taxes — things made difficult if not impossible by the last 40 years of Republican economic policies rewarding the rich, and punishing the rest of us.

  4. MichaelBowman says:

    50 years ago today…


    On July 31, 1968, a young, black man was reading the newspaper when he saw something that he had never seen before. With tears in his eyes, he started running and screaming throughout the house, calling for his mom. He would show his mom, and, she would gasp, seeing something she thought she would never see in her lifetime. Throughout the nation, there were similar reactions.

    What they saw was Franklin Armstrong's first appearance on the iconic comic strip "Peanuts." Franklin would be 50 years old this year.

    Franklin was "born" after a school teacher, Harriet Glickman, had written a letter to creator Charles M. Schulz after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot to death outside his Memphis hotel room. 

    Glickman, who had kids of her own and having worked with kids, was especially aware of the power of comics among the young. “And my feeling at the time was that I realized that black kids and white kids never saw themselves [depicted] together in the classroom,” she would say. 

    She would write, “Since the death of Martin Luther King, 'I’ve been asking myself what I can do to help change those conditions in our society which led to the assassination and which contribute to the vast sea of misunderstanding, hate, fear and violence.'”

    Glickman asked Schulz if he could consider adding a black character to his popular comic strip, which she hoped would bring the country together and show people of color that they are not excluded from American society. 

    She had written to others as well, but the others feared it was too soon, that it may be costly to their careers, that the syndicate would drop them if they dared do something like that.

    Charles Schulz did not have to respond to her letter, he could have just completely ignored it, and everyone would have forgotten about it. But, Schulz did take the time to respond, saying he was intrigued with the idea, but wasn't sure whether it would be right, coming from him, he didn't want to make matters worse, he felt that it may sound condescending to people of color.

    Glickman did not give up, and continued communicating with Schulz, with Schulz surprisingly responding each time. She would even have black friends write to Schulz and explain to him what it would mean to them and gave him some suggestions on how to introduce such a character without offending anyone. This conversation would continue until one day, Schulz would tell Glickman to check her newspaper on July 31, 1968.

    On that date, the cartoon, as created by Schulz, shows Charlie Brown meeting a new character, named Franklin. Other than his color, Franklin was just an ordinary kid who befriends and helps Charlie Brown. Franklin also mentions that his father was "over at Vietnam." At the end of the series, which lasted three strips, Charlie invites Franklin to spend the night one day so they can continue their friendship. [The original comic strip of Charlie Brown meeting Franklin is attached in the initial comments below, the picture attached here is Franklin meeting the rest of the Peanuts, including Linus. I just thought this was a good re-introduction of Franklin to the rest of the world – "I'm very glad to know you."

    There was no big announcement, there was no big deal, it was just a natural conversation between two kids, whose obvious differences did not matter to them. And, the fact that Franklin's father was fighting for this country was also a very strong statement by Schulz.

    Although Schulz never made a big deal over the inclusion of Franklin, there were many fans, especially in the South, who were very upset by it and that made national news. One Southern editor even said, “I don’t mind you having a black character, but please don’t show them in school together.”

    It would eventually lead to a conversation between Schulz and the president of the comic's distribution company, who was concerned about the introduction of Franklin and how it might affect Schulz' popularity. Many newspapers during that time had threatened to cut the strip.

    Schulz' response: "I remember telling Larry at the time about Franklin — he wanted me to change it, and we talked about it for a long while on the phone, and I finally sighed and said, "Well, Larry, let's put it this way: Either you print it just the way I draw it or I quit. How's that?"

    Eventually, Franklin became a regular character in the comic strips, and, despite complaints, Franklin would be shown sitting in front of Peppermint Patty at school and playing center field on her baseball team. 

    More recently, Franklin is brought up on social media around Thanksgiving time, when the animated 1973 special "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" appears. Some people have blamed Schulz for showing Franklin sitting alone on the Thanksgiving table, while the other characters sit across him. But, Schulz did not have the same control over the animated cartoon on a television network that he did on his own comic strip in the newspapers.

    But, he did have control over his own comic strip, and, he courageously decided to make a statement because of one brave school teacher who decided to ask a simple question.

    Glickman would explain later that her parents were "concerned about others, and the values that they instilled in us about caring for and appreciating everyone of all colors and backgrounds — this is what we knew when we were growing up, that you cared about other people . . . And so, during the years, we were very aware of the issues of racism and civil rights in this country [when] black people had to sit at the back of the bus, black people couldn’t sit in the same seats in the restaurants that you could sit . . . Every day I would see, or read, about black children trying to get into school and seeing crowds of white people standing around spitting at them or yelling at them . . . and the beatings and the dogs and the hosings and the courage of so many people in that time."

    Because of Glickman, because of Schulz, people around the world were introduced to a little boy named Franklin.

    • Voyageur says:

      Schultz was a good and great man, who preached: "In the end, the most important thing a human being can do is to go home and make your dog happy."

      • JohnInDenver says:

        One important outcome of Charles Schulz's work: showing the integrated  world as it was and as it could be.

        Another — Schulz and his second wife donated (very generously) to the foundation and growth of Canine Companions for Independence (, making a HUGE difference in the lives of 5,753 graduate teams (person + dog).

        The National Headquarters and Northwest Training Center are located on the Jean and Charles Schulz Campus in Santa Rosa, California. The Schulz Campus, named after generous supporters Jean and Charles Schulz, opened in 1996.

  5. Zappatero says:

    Even as Republicans have dragged the debate to the right since Reagan (and Rush), it’s Democrats who are tagged as radical, crazy extremists by “Even the Librul” NY Times. 

  6. Voyageur says:

    An expensive but rewarding day.

    I sent $100 to Jason Crow in honor of our dear Moddy.

    $100 to Karen McCormick in honor of Bowman, M.J. and other diehard prairie liberals.

    $100 to Diane Mitsch Bush for Gertie, Duke and the Pueblo Democrats already riding to their support.

    $50 each to Jena Griswold, Dave Young, Phil Weiser and the Colorado Democratic Party.

    Sweep the Boards!

  7. RepealAndReplace says:

    And his Democratic opponent's name is Cockburn, which probably makes him giggle….

    Another solid conservative who will do the Grand Old Perverts proud.

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