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August 11, 2018 07:45 AM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.”

–Helen Keller


39 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. A Category Four Trumpstink alert is in effect through all next week.  This down grade from the long-standng Cat 5 alert is due to the Paul Manafort trial, which is starting to generate badly needed fresh air to dissipate the stagnant banks of Trumpstink.

    Stay upwind, America.  Help is on the way.

  2. Jeff Lynne wrote this long ago about a love interest coming to America.  Pretty fitting for today's political climate.  #ELO  Enjoy the weekend everyone. 

    1. From 1986, just before the band called it quits for a while. Lynne continued with the Traveling Wilburys. 

      Bev Bevan on drums and Richard Tandy on keyboards in this video. These three, along with Roy Wood, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 as ELO. Tandy was part of Jeff Lynne’s ELO as least through 2016.

        1. Jeff is the End of the Line for the Traveling Wilburys with Petty's unfortunate death. Orbison was the first to die (just seven months after the band formed) and the empty rocking chair in this video is a tribute to him.  I've gotten to know one of Orbison sons and its been fun to hear stories about his dad.

  3. Here's an (old) news item which will gratify V and R&R, and anger most of us:

    Montana Green Party Senate Candidate was on state GOP Payroll

    Timothy Adams is challenging Jon Tester, who clings to his Senate seat in Montana, which voted for Trump in 2016 by about 15 points.

    I agree with most of the Green Party platform. I have admired the speaking skills of Jill Stein and Arn Menconi. I agree with the constitutional right of minority parties to exist and to try to recruit voters with their own ideas. I will not vote Green in the foreseeable future, and ask those of you who are tempted to do so to also refrain.

    Case in point: Arn Menconi's candidacy in CD3. We need Scott Tipton out, and Diane Mitsch Bush to win. Menconi is rumored to be running as a write-in Green candidate. He got 8% of the Democratic primary vote. Green votes for Menconi might prevent a Busch win and finally getting Howdy Doody Tipton out.

    Apparently, Greens do not vet their candidates well*- also, they apparently suck at evaluating the relative merits of a political strategy to promote policies, versus an electoral strategy to gain power.

    We can’t afford to be naive anymore. We progressive people are being manipulated by cynics; Russian hackers, GOP strategists unashamedly in league with these foreign forces. Watch what you like on social media; think hard about your vote.


    * Remember that Roseanne Barr  sought the Green Party  nomination in 2012. (Jill Stein won)

        1. Correction / update: Rumor notwithstanding, the Green Party of Colorado is not promoting a write in campaign for Menconi for CD3. In fact, Menconi is no longer associated with the Green Party at all.

          The only candidates the Greens are backing are Cliff Willmeng for Boulder County Commissioner, Julie Bañuelos for School Board At Large, and Theresa Stets for HD12. Thanks Greens for not being spoilers this time.

          Menconi got 8% of the primary vote as a Democrat. His social media and twitter feed have not been updated, and still show him as a Congressional candidate.

          ArN with an n (I stand corrected)  Menconi is not a "stalking horse". He is an honorable man, a fiery speaker, and I respect his views, as well as those of the 8,000 some people who voted for him for CD3 in the primary. Full disclosure, I voted for Menconi in 2016 when I thought that I could afford a protest vote against Bennet.

          But this is not the year to vote for Menconi or any left-of-center third party candidate in the general. The stakes are just too high.


          1. Doesn't really matter in the long run if Menconi is an honorable man (I have no reason to doubt you) or is a good speaker.

            What matters is a major party, pro-conservation, candidate having a solid chance of winning in the general election in the 3rd. Menconi's ego may interfere with that.

    1. The problem is that our electoral system does not give us the luxury of voting for our first choice without running the risk of serious blow back.

      I sometimes think we would be better off with the system the French have for both their presidential and parliamentary elections.

      Everyone runs in the first round: far center-right, center, center-left, and far left. They call it voting their hearts.

      The top two finishers go to a run off a couple of weeks later. That part is called voting with their heads. Or voting tactically.

      Historically, it would usually end up with a center-left candidate running against a center-right candidate in the run off. Last time, it was a centrist running against a right wing nationalist.

      But alas, we are stuck with the electoral college. And the only sign of improvement their is if the national popular vote movement gains enough steam to make its solution work.

        1. Some similarity, Cook, but some differences. The French allow different parties to nominate one candidate. But there are multiple parties on the left and multiple parties on the right. California allows two or more Dems or Repubs to run in one cycle. You are absolutely right about it can be a little messy. 

    2. If Democrats want Greens/Democratic Socialists/Others to vote for their candidate in the general election instead of voting Green/Democratic Socialist/“Stay Home” they need to provide a way for voters to express their discontent with least bad voting.

      Most people who are deeply green already vote Democrat if the election is going to be close. If you look at the results for Jill Stein in 2016 in states where it was predicted to be close like Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio she got less than 1% of the vote. Respectively 0.68%, 0.69%, 0.81%, and 0.84%. This is in comparison to her top five states Hawaii 2.97%, Oregon 2.50%, Vermont 2.14%, Kansas1.98%, and California 1.96%, where Greens were correct in assuming that Clinton either had no chance or was the overwhelming favorite. So a third to half-ish of people who would otherwise vote Green do vote for Democrats.

      If there is only a Democrat or a Republican on the ballot many of the last half a percent of Greens are going to stay home, undervote that contest, or spoil their ballot. They are angry/fed up/disgusted/uncompromising. You can shame them all you want, but they are not going to vote Democrat unless they can at least express some displeasure by having a ranked vote, transferable vote, or something of that kind.

      All or nothing first past the post is part of the problem with elections in America having poor turn out. (Yes, there are other bigger factors like the complexity of voting, but the issue in this comment is about voting third party.)

      1. Interesting ideas, DENependent. Fighting for ranked choice voting is about my 5th electoral priority, though – behind electing Democrats in the US and Colorado legislatures,  and impeaching Donald Trump or at least making him a powerless figurehead.

        Then I would want to see true universal, portable voter registration so that partisan Secretaries of State can't disenfranchise hundreds of thousands on a whim.

        I'd want to see the "citizenship" question taken off the US Census so that we get a true picture of demographics in each state.

        Other than your priorities, I agree with much of what you wrote.

        1. Impeaching Trump, or trying to, is a bad idea. Does one really want to see far right wing, religious fanatic, Pence as president?

          I'm just a no name common sense conservative. But, prominent conservatives like George Will, Michael Gerson, Steve Schmidt, Max Boot are saying to vote Democrat in November to save the country. Voting Green does not help the country.

          1. The GOP has forever corrupted the impeachment process — Newt Gingrich "Uh, can we recess this impeachment trial for a few minutes — I need to take this call from my mistress".

            But as with the question of should Cheney or Bush have been impeached (or prosecuted at the Hague) for war crimes, impeaching Donald Trump is a process unlikely to be undertaken.

            If and until Mueller's investigation results in criminal behavior directly attributable to Trump, impeachment makes no sense anyway.  Mere political mis- or malfeasance, while theoretically grounds for impeachment, will not be considered serious enough in this climate.

            And as a practical matter, while the House may impeach, there is zero probability that two thirds of the Senate would convict (unless Pence's billionaire backers paid them more money than Trump could afford to counter).

          2. I've said it before and I'll say it again; The Screaming Yam is a power-hungry, narcissistic,  mendacious sonofabitch, but Pence is truly dangerous. He would bring Gilead to fruition.

          3. Unless there are 67 votes in the Senate, why bother to impeach him? Hell, if there are close to 60 votes to convict, it might be worth trying, but short of that, why bother?

            Because it will make the left feel good? Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay tried that in 1998. The result was that the GOP lost five House seats in competitive districts. And you know what? Gingrich lost his speaker's gavel while kept the presidency.

            And CHB brings up a really good point with the Ayatollah Pence.

            1. Don't get too far ahead.

              Until there is a Special Counsel's report, we don't have a clear picture of what was done.

              Until there is a House resolution authorizing a committee to formally investigate and prepare an Impeachment Resolution, there won't be a full Congressional investigation and development of a set of charges to consider.  Thus far, individual members are sponsoring and co-sponsoring resolutions, but they are only brought up for a vote if there is partisan advantage. No one expects any will pass until there is a Democratic majority and leadership, and it will only pass if there is some greater substance that what thus far as been shown.

              Until there is a passed House resolution and delegation of House members to act as "managers" for the Senate trial, there will be no Senate action.

        2. I do not disagree with your intentions, but I think electing Democrats in any particular cycle is a sisyphean task. Due the nature of politics the Republicans will always get in again and break almost everything the Democrats fix.

          You will get rid of this president at some point, probably in six years and then we will have eight years of an Obama like centrist Democrat until the next Republican. Who will be just as bad, if not worse than the present Republican. The problem is the electorate and the system rather than being with the individuals who run for office.

      2. the only ways anything can happen on that front 
        a) those already elected in office change the laws (Ha!) 

        2) petitions and ballot initiatives, which would mean giving up on a few election cycles.

        See US Constitution Article 5, and count the states.  An Article 5 Convention anytime soon would not be likely to make you happy.

  4. Rep. Chris Collins has decided to "suspend" his congressional campaign and apparently is maneuvering to get someone else on the Republican line for November.

    I wonder how much will trickle down to those he convinced to buy stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics[e.g., Rep. Lamborn and at least 4 other Reps].

    Does anyone know if there has been a systematic assessment of Representatives' declared stock holdings in their annual financial statements, looking for other clusters of buying of OTC shares?

  5. This just in: 

    More Than 100 Newspapers Are Uniting To Fight Trump’s ‘War On The Press’

    The Boston Globe has urged newspapers nationwide to publish editorials on Aug. 16 condemning Trump’s anti-media rhetoric.

    The Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald and Denver Post are among the larger publications that have agreed to take part in the initiative, The Associated Press reported.

    Each paper will write and publish its own individual editorial ― which, Pritchard said, will mean each approaches the topic their its perspective and with its own voice.

    Alden Global Capital may be loosening the choker chain, along with their purse strings, allowing the Post to replace the recent departures with new hires (for less money, presumably).

    1. This is the only part of The Yam's war on the media I am enjoying. The newspapers and even television news are finding their muscles again, often to the chagrin of their corporate owners. I've seen more cross-posting and sharing of sources and quotes in the last year than I have in decades.

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