Tuesday Open Thread

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

–Dr. Seuss

57 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    Some around here will blanch. SFL Bennet would wet his pants presented with the idea, but for years I’ve been saying the same thing as these excellent thinkers and fresh-faced candidates are now saying about the built-in inequality (why Trump can say it’s “rigged”) and distorted principles (why growth numbers are good, but wages are stagnant) of our economy.

    Michael Tomasky continues:

    I could go on like this for 20 paragraphs. Many more, in fact. But you get the idea. Back in the days when our economy just grew and grew, we had a government and a capitalist class that invested in our people and their future — in the Interstate highways, the community colleges, the scientific research, the generous federal grants for transportation and regional development.

    A 28-year-old today — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to take one at random — has never seen that kind of corporate capitalism, only the more rapacious, post-Reagan kind. The kind many Democrats embraced in vying to complete for campaign funds from the deep-pocketed. No wonder the young are calling capitalism on the carpet. 

    At Netroots Nation in New Orleans on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez called on Democrats to rededicate themselves as the party of working people and to the policies that from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson built the world's greatest middle class

    “These are not new ideas,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “We are picking up where we last left off, when we were last our most powerful, when we were our last greatest. It’s time to own that our party was the one of the Great Society, of the New Deal, of the Civil Rights Act. That’s our party. That’s who we are. It’s time for us to come home.”

    Were FDR and JFK and Harry Truman wild-eyed Socialists, or were they the proponents and architects of a government that created a MIddle Class that was the envy of the world and a financial engine that made America’s greedy, short-sighted and selfish 1%-ers what they are today?

    Now someone go check Michael Bennet’s drawers……they might be damp.

    • Duke Cox says:

      Excellent piece, Zap. Thanks.

    • Voyageur says:

      Uhhh, Zappy, read a book about the Gilded Age.  Rockefeller, Carnegie, Jay Gould, J.P. Morgan weren't the pussy cats you think they were.

      For that matter, check out Joseph Kennedy.

    • allyncooper says:

      Good observations Zap.  I think the "rapacious post Reagan" capitalism of today is largely a result of two things.

      1. The corrosive effect of money in politics (as you say this game has to be played by all) which leads to parochial interests over the public good and the promotion of crony capitalism.

      2. The rise of multi-national corporations and business interests with no sense of national identity or purpose other than maximizing return to an elite economic class, contributing to the ever widening gap in income inequality witnessed in both Democratic and Republican regimes over the past 40 years.

      "We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.  Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me – and I welcome their hatred !"

      Franklin D. Roosevelt  –  October 11, 1936


      • Duke Cox says:

        The end of the Cold War was the beginning of a world re-alignment. For years I have recommended Naomi Kleins' prophetic book, "The Shock Doctrine". T***p was the Republicans supposed answer to the conclusion drawn by Klein and others that the " Free Market Experiment" launched by Milton Friedmans' Chicago Boys could not work in a democracy. It is back-firing on them. He will not succeed in destroying democracy in America.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Getting back to "most powerful" era is a fine idea. For example, 66 Democratic Senators in 1964, 68 Democrats in 1966.

      Of course, those days meant the Democratic party caucus included Stennis & Eastland of Mississippi, Strom Thurmond (until he declared himself a R in 1964), and Scoop Jackson of Washington. Closer to home, Hayden of Arizona, Anderson of New Mexico, Gale McGee of Wyoming.  I don't think ANY of those would be favorites of Zappatero.

      And Colorado had two Republican Senators.


  2. mamajama55 says:

    Colorado Rising turned in 171,000 signatures for Initiative 97 yesterday. They only needed 100,000, and their goal was 143,000. Now the voters get to decide whether we want to impose some reasonable limits on the oil and gas industry to protect public health and safety.

    Faced with harassment and dirty tricks , paid for by Protect Colorado, the front group for Anadarko, Extraction, Noble, and other energy companies, the Colorado Rising volunteers persisted. Here's a victory dance in their honor:


    • Duke Cox says:

      I can hardly wait for the massive onslaught of advertising by the Oily Boys on this one. I stood in a hallway during the EPA methane hearings and watched as the environmental communitys' leaders decided to bow to pressure from Frackenlooper and support the "Blue Ribbon panel" (an effort that was doomed from the start). The O&G lobby doesn't fuck around.They will come after 97 with every thing they have.

      It is time for the air breathing, water using, plant eating, humans in this state to initiate a long needed change in the direction of energy development in Colorado.

      Back Them Up! They Are Too Close.

      • gertie97 says:

        I'm not cheering, Duke. The O&G crowd will back Brinks trucks into the state and dump money. That'll take down a lot of good people and ideas along with it. I fear Dem chances to get anybody elected in most of the 3rd CD just went south.

        • Duke Cox says:

          I have a different perspective on it,  certainly, Gertie. Time will tell.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Gertie says it best. I had high hopes of Colorado voters electing a pro-conservation governor; a pro-conservation state senate; and keeping a pro-conservation state house in November. That hope has faded markedly with the news that Initiative 97 will likely be on the ballot. 

          Yes, the O & G lobby will come after 97. That lobby; and its flow of dark money from outside Colorado; will likely tie 97 to conservation minded candidates. It's already happening with "job killer" ads being directed at Polis. If the worst plays out in November, Colorado Rising will have a LOT to answer for. But to quote the "orange headed one," we'll see what happens.

        • mamajama55 says:

          Don't write the obituaries yet, Gertie. AG candidate Joe Salazar was the only candidate to come out supporting the 2500' setback, and he did so well in rural Colorado that he came within 4800 votes of defeating Dem "moderate"  Phil Weiser.

          If you look at the map of primary results, you'll see Salazar with a donut of support in rural Colorado around Weiser's support in urban areas. 55% Salazar to 41% Weiser in Mesa County, for example. Across the board,Dem candidates with positions limiting the reach of the O&G industry outperformed expectations.

          Yes, the industry will pour tons of money into defeating initiative 97. But it will stand more or less on its own merits – people negatively affected by the stink and noise and pollution and earthquakes of the industry will vote for I97, and people with monetary self-interest on the line will vote against it. And those categories are not nearly as stacked on the monetary side as some would like to promote.

          In CD3, there were more Democratic votes cast in the primary than Scott Tipton got. Arn Menconi could be a spoiler there, though, and for once I agree with you that the Greens probably should sit back in that district. I wouldn't vote Green, and would discourage others from doing so. Menconi's 8% could doom Mitsch Bush's candidacy.  I'd really like to see Tipton retired to spend more time running his antiquities business.

          Diane Mitsch Bush is solid on the issues and has a good record of conservation and fair curbs on the energy industry, even though she has not endorsed the I97 2500' setback per se. Plus, she's a more exviting candidate than Tipton.



    • Voyageur says:

      Bread Dough R ising, by its own admission, relied on paid signature gatherers, not volunteers.  And they still came in 30,000 signatures behind the Farm Bureau initiative that would wipe them out.

      here's hoping voters poop on both these ex tremist measures.  But it will get ugly.

      . And Gertie, I fear, is right — a lot of good people will get caught in the crossfire.
      The uber left never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

      • Duke Cox says:

        I am going to call bullshit here, V. 

        For years I have watched O&G acolytes use the same concerns to stop ANY effort for real regulation of this most invasive of industries. No candidate is required to support 97. If a Democratic candidate doesn't support 97, do you really believe that would cause any Democrat to vote for the Republican opponent? If so, I suggest you ease up on the self-medication.

        Frackenloopers' "Blue Ribbon Boondoogle" was a result of the same fucking cowardice and equivocation. Here we are, years later, in exactly the same place, and I, for one, have learned that the OilyBoyz fear only the voters. It is time to give the people of Colorado the power to make a statement.

        Elect Democrats that will not accept oil and gas industry money. Vote for 97. Call bullshit on those who, once again, make decisions based on fear of losing…not a passion to win the real prize. I repeat..97 was designed to protect people. 108 is designed to protect profit. Whose side are you on?

        Back them up. They are too close.

        • Voyageur says:

          You're not calling Bullshit, Duke, you're spreading it.  You think a single surface rights owner, even just a quarter acre lot, can ban development on 450 acres– 25 times the curren law.  You are trying to put tens of thousands of people out of work, including two who are in my family.

          Overall, you want to block extraction on 85 percent of private land in Colorado.  In return all you offer is some lousy welfare payments.

          The people have beaten extremist plans before and will do it again.  But if the backlash carries a lot of leftie candidates and issues down with it, don't say we didn't warn you.

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            Duke: you're overlooking that 1/3 of the Colorado electorate is registered independents. Most Dems will likely vote for their candidates and most Repubs for theirs. The real battle is gaining a majority of those independents.

            97 will be painted as being extreme. I've already seen a TV ad to that effect. Historically, as I've said before, ballot initiatives perceived by the electorate as "extreme" go down by landslide margins; e.g, personhood in '08, '10, '14; universal health care in '16. All the commentary from pro-97 people can't change that. Question is whether or not pro-97 people can paint 108 also as "extreme."

            As for your branding of anyone who might oppose 97 as being an "O & G acolyte," that isn't helpful to 97's cause. 

            • Voyageur says:

              108 is also extreme.  But thankfully, as a constitutional amendment, it will need 55 percent to pass.


            • Pseudonymous says:

              I don't understand this argument.  In the 2010 election, the state house went (R).  In 2014, the state senate did.  How did the "extreme" personhood measure affect the election again?  In 2016, Dems increased their house majority– I suppose that was due to being crippled by ColoradoCare.

              97 will go down in a landslide or not.  Dems can disavow it if they like.  Folks will vote for candidates they prefer.  The election will continue.

              There's never a "right time" for measures some people think are extreme.  That's the reason people have to turn to the ballot in the first place.

              • Duke Cox says:

                Well said…👍

                Thank you..☺                    

                • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                  It's simple, Pseudo. I didn't care all that much what happened to far right wing Republican politicians during the personhood years. I am concerned in the here and now that 97 pulls pro-conservation candidates down. One can hope that pro-97 people put in as much energy into opposing 108 as they did in getting 97 onto the ballot.

                  • Pseudonymous says:

                    My point is that the opposite of what you fear seems to have happened during the years you mentioned.  What evidence is there that 97 will impact any pro-conservation candidate in any way?

                    Republicans won with personhood on the ballot.  Dems won with CO single-payer on the ballot.  Where's the effect you're claiming?

                  • gertie97 says:

                    I'm with CHB on this one in the 3rd CD. Tipton's campaign will paint Bush as an enviro who wants to kill the O&G industry. Facts be damned. And it'll hurt. If enviros really want to help Bush, they'll sit on Marconi until he gives up his greenie ego trip and gets out of the race. But I still fear the impact of 97 (win or lose statewide) on Bush.

              • Voyageur says:

                Well, democrats did lose the Senate amid the Coloradocare debacle.  It would have been very nice to have it.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            This has really turned into a Tragedy of the Commons.  

            The tragedy of the commons can be considered in relation to environmental issues such as sustainability. The commons dilemma stands as a model for a great variety of resource problems in society today, such as water, forests,[16] fish, and non-renewable energy sources such as oil and coal.

            Situations exemplifying the "tragedy of the commons" include the overfishing and destruction of the Grand Banks, the destruction of salmon runs on rivers that have been dammed – most prominently in modern times on the Columbia River in the Northwest United States, and historically in North Atlantic rivers – the devastation of the sturgeon fishery – in modern Russia, but historically in the United States as well – and, in terms of water supply, the limited water available in arid regions (e.g., the area of the Aral Sea) and the Los Angeles water system supply, especially at Mono Lake and Owens Lake.

            In economics, an externality is a cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit. Negative externalities are a well-known feature of the "tragedy of the commons". For example, driving cars has many negative externalities; these include pollutioncarbon emissions, and traffic accidents. Every time 'Person A' gets in a car, it becomes more likely that 'Person Z' – and millions of others – will suffer in each of those areas.[17] Economists often urge the government to adopt policies that "internalize" an externality.[18] (my emphasis)

            The industry will spent whatever they think it's going to take to kill the initiative.  Thinking back to 2008 when Governor Ritter proposed a common sense realignment of our severance taxes so they were generally harmonized with our neighbors to the north and the south, both who have substantially higher tax rates for extraction

            Pew did a study on building state sovereign wealth funds in 2016 that is worth a read.  Why do we Coloradans stand by and watch this resource extracted to extinction with John Q. Public left holding an empty bag? There is a balance – and we're at imbalance.  You only need to look east to the loss of the Ogallala Aquifer to get a glimpse of the pain that could have been averted with that finite resource had we not been on a Farm Bill-fueled orgy mining the fossil water over the past 20 years. 

            We're hosting a fire sale for some of our most valuable natural resources; let's plunder away and accept $2mcf, miss an opportunity to create a state sovereign wealth fund (I'm open to a tax on solar and wind for that fund, too.  Energy is energy) and rape Colorado's finest vistas ad aquifers while we're enriching the private sector at the long-term expense of both public and private interests .  (j/k)

            To quote Congressman Coffman: it's a Ponzi scheme

  3. Pseudonymous says:

    This is fine.

    EPA is now allowing asbestos back into manufacturing

    One of the most dangerous construction-related carcinogens is now legally allowed back into U.S. manufacturing under a new rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On June 1, the EPA authorized a “SNUR” (Significant New Use Rule) which allows new products containing asbestos to be created on a case-by-case basis.

    According to environmental advocates, this new rule gives chemical companies the upper hand in creating new uses for such harmful products in the United States. In May, the EPA released a report detailing its new framework for evaluating the risk of its top prioritized substances. The report states that the agency will no longer consider the effect or presence of substances in the air, ground, or water in its risk assessments.

    This news comes after the EPA reviewed its first batch of 10 chemicals under the 2016 amendment to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which required the agency to continually reevaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals to see whether they should face new restrictions or be removed from the market. The SNUR greenlights companies to use toxic chemicals like asbestos without thinking about how it will endanger people who are indirectly in contact with it.

  4. Voyageur says:

    AP reports that two competing road initiatives, a measure capping payday loans at 36 pct interest, a $1.6 billion tax increase for schools and a partidge in a pear tree were also turned in.  No reports on number of signatures though.

    Also a measure raising campaign contributions for candidates whose opponents put more than $1 million pof their own money in a campaign.

  5. allyncooper says:

    72 shot and 12 murders over the weekend in Chicago, which has some of the strictest "gun control" laws in the nation. Seems to me instead of more "gun control" we need to have more control over the people using those guns.

  6. gertie97 says:

    On a sad note, former Democratic Mesa County Commissioner (not a typo) Doralyn Genova has died. She was a wonderful woman, friend and leader who served four terms in a conservative political environment from 1988 through 2004 and who remained dedicated to working people. She had absolutely no use for the current occupant and his ilk.

    She will be greatly missed.

  7. RepealAndReplace says:

    Today's conservative christian kiddie diddler is from the Garden State:  


    If only he had been from Alabama where he could be a serious Republican candidate for elected office.

    • allyncooper says:

      Reading the article makes clear the guy is despicable and deserves his sentence. But where does it say he is a "conservative"?  His political inclinations (if any) aren't mentioned in the article, and for all you know he could be a liberal (there are plenty of liberal/progressive Christians.) Your unfounded assertion qualifies as "contempt before investigation" on the same level as ethnic or racial profiling.

  8. Voyageur says:

    So far, Truth, Justice and the American Way is leading Trump, Satan and Tojo in the Ohio Special Election.  De mocrats usually lead the early vote so it's too soon to break out the Pabst Blue Ribbon..  

    But so far, freedom is beating fascism.

    Roh roh,
    Tojo, Satan and trump have almost pulled even. The Russian precincts are weighing in!
    Late charge by Tojo and Satan appears likely to eke out a trump win.
    But the very tight margin in a supposedly safe Republican district bodes well for Jesus, Moses and warm puppies in November. Trumpstink strikes again.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Don't pop the champagne yet. With 95% of the vote in, O'Connor is down by about 700 votes with Jill Stein Manchik on the Green Party pulling 1,100.

      • mamajama55 says:

        There are still over 8,000 provisional and absentee ballots to be counted. Those tend to be Democratic votes.

        • Voyageur says:

          Unfortunately, most of those absentee ballots were just mailed out but no t returned, according to MSNBC.

          the bad guys won this one, barely.  But if that's the best they can do next fall, they 're toast.  50 seats are more winnable than this one.  And this one is up again in November.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Recall that I posted yesterday that anything less than a 4-5% win for the Republican would be viewed as a loss. Balderson's margin of victory sits at about 1%, prior to tallying of absentee and provisional ballots. In a normal year, no way that Ohio 12 should have been a competitive race.

          Same two candidates go at it again in November. I'll go out on a limb and predict a narrow Dem win in Ohio 12 in November.

          • Duke Cox says:

            The consensus this AM among the talking heads matches your take.

            Preparation H sales among T***pians must be skyrocketing. I hear shitting bricks aggravates ones hemorrhoids.



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