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September 11, 2018 06:56 AM UTC

9/11/2018 Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar.”

–D. H. Lawrence


30 thoughts on “9/11/2018 Open Thread

  1. Today's test is multiple choice.

    What is the most outstanding trait of Donald Trump?

    A: Trump stinks!

    B: Trump really, really stinks!

    C: Great God Almighty, Trump stinks!

    D: All of the above.

  2. Stumbled into an article in the WAPO mentioning the taller Coffman. She got around to filing suit against an opioid making corporation.

    “Purdue’s habit-forming medications coupled with their reckless marketing have robbed children of their parents, families of their sons and daughters, and destroyed the lives of our friends, neighbors, and co-workers,” Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said Thursday in a statement. “While no amount of money can bring back loved ones, it can compensate for the enormous costs brought about by Purdue’s intentional misconduct.”

    Good she's on the case — given that "In federal court in 2007, three top current and former employees for Purdue pleaded guilty to criminal charges, admitting that they had falsely led doctors and their patients to believe that OxyContin was less likely to be abused than other drugs in its class."

    No explanation in the article of the 11 years between the federal court admissions and the Colorado action.  Or why after three years and 8 months of her occupation of the AG office, there is a suit now.

    The release does say, no doubt without irony,

    Today’s lawsuit is only the beginning,” said Coffman. “My office, in partnership with federal, state, and local authorities around the country, will continue to investigate and pursue justice against drug companies that earn billions of dollars from prescription opioids while millions of people suffer and die

  3. For those who were wondering about my math around Amendment 73 (nee Initiative 93), here's the final math from the state about the effects of the property tax cuts and income tax increase.  This is a more refined district-by-district amount (mine was based on the fiscal statement's statewide average) and $50 million more in expected corporate tax revenue than in the original fiscal statement– still a $90 million tax break for corporations.

    2019 residential property tax increase: $255.3 million
    2019 non-residential property tax decrease: $317.8 million
    2019 increased corporate income tax revenue: $229.4 million

    The state also provided a map so that you can see property tax impacts on residential and nonresidential properties around the state.

    Still leaves me as a no– I won't pay more while businesses pay less.  Nice to know the giveaway may be smaller than I originally thought, though.

  4. How to talk about Trump being odoriferous (if we must):

    1. Have actual information showing this to be the case. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. Not everyone has facts and figures to back their opinions.

    The lowest common denominator of facts is the opinion poll. It turns crap (opinions) into something resembling compost (facts) by piling up enough opinions together so they can tell a story. (Sort of.)

    According to 538 Trumps net approval this Tuesday after averaging the polls is -13.7%. When I posted about the polls last week on the 4th he was at -14.1%. That looks like a big difference because of the roll over between numbers, but his improvement in popularity is 0.4%. Well within noise or randomness and though this still worse than the -12.0% of the two weeks ago there does not yet seem to be a real trend developing. Unless his net approval is bellow -17% by October it seems like the convictions of his associates does not matter to his core of support.

    2. Better than analysis of opinions would be pointing to an article or research showing why Trump pongs like a bog. Maybe something like John Oliver's extended piece on trade showing how the erratic and badly planned trade war with China is hurting American workers. Ten minutes in, after lots of background on why we should care, he points out that the tariffs on aluminum are going to create about 26,000 jobs while destroying 400,000 others. There, net bad for America with facts and figures. And funny graphics to make it all go down easier.

    3. Best of all would be to find a bit of good news in what otherwise is like sitting in a bog commenting on the pong. For example: Washington Post: Voter backlash to Trump, bathroom law has put conservative N.C. legislature in play.

    Good reporting on the on the ground efforts of the Democratic Party to flip a state legislature with the usual scenes of shoe leather powered vote seeking. And facts, "The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is pouring $35 million into state legislative races across the country, twice as much as in 2016, with hopes of flipping 15 chambers nationwide, according to a spokeswoman."

    1. Trump quote on New Jersey radio station WWOR literally on the afternoon of 9/11:  "…when they built the World Trade Center, it (Trump owned 40 Wall Street building) became known as the second tallest.  And now it's the tallest."

      Is that enough "actual information" that Trump is odoriferous?

      1. It is about 1,000% (actual fact from Dept. of Justmadethisup*) better than just repeatedly posting variations on "Trump Stinks" like some sort of chat bot programed by the Green Party in memory of the Wizard of Id "The King is a Fink!" bit.

        * Really I could have written infinitely better because the difference between 0 information and even 1 point is infinite. But 1,000% is funnier.

          1. The Lone Haranguer rides again! To bravely, boldly, bluntly announce that, "The King is a Fink!"

            Truly, what amazing wit, what command of debate, what a point!(?)! This verbal blow will surely bring down his evil reign!

      2. The #snowflakes in my part of the world seem to have caught a severe case of amnesia. Making the rounds in the 51st-state this afternoon (with two members of my immediate family posting, neither of them old enough to remember Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson or Nixon).

        I offer no apology for what I am posting, for this is truly how I feel. This is my opinion, not a debate. If you disagree, or find my position offensive, I'm perfectly fine with that and no… I'm not offended, feel free to unfriend me, forthwith. No need to respond because I won’t be responding for this is my opinion…
        I have lived throughout 12 different United States Presidents in office, since the time of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Out of those 12, 7 have been Republican and 5 have been Democrat. However, it has not been a bi-partisan issue. In my lifetime, I have never seen, nor heard, of a President scrutinized over every word he speaks, humiliated by the public to the point of disgrace, slandered, ridiculed, insulted, lied to and beyond common logic, threatened with death, received threats to rape our beautiful First Lady, our First Lady so disrespected, and his children so very insulted and humiliated.
        I am truly ashamed of the people of MY country. I am ashamed of the ruthless, hating, cruel, Trump haters who display themselves as having no pride, morals, ethics, nor values in our country’s traditions. Our elders have taught us for however many years to respect our President, whether we voted for them or not… and all these news stations and reporters who feel they have the right to carry on with blatent lies and say the things they do for a good story is just gut-wrenching. These media outlets take “freedom of speech” a bit too far! Every other President before he was elected, that took the oath of office, were left alone, weren’t on the news 24/7, scrutinized by their every word. ALWAYS BEING PRESSURED to do this or that and never given the time to take care of the important work this country really needs. I know he is not perfect, far from it, very different than what we've become accustomed to. But, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, LEAVE THE MAN ALONE AND LET HIM DO HIS JOB!!!
        None of the other Presidents in their own time were spotless or perfect either. I want our President Donald Trump to succeed and try to make our America Great Again! Yes… AGAIN!!!
        If you agree, please copy and paste this to your timeline! #TEAMUSA
        🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

        1. Here's one Trumper that opened his eyes and let reality in:

          I used to be That Guy. I always voted Republican. I watched Fox News. I read clickbait articles on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I echoed these slanted talking points when I was a Radio show guest prior to the 2016 Presidential General Election. In one sense, I was just your average, conservative, pro-Israel Jewish American. Yet, I was also a full-fledged, unapologetic, red-hat wearing Trumper.

          While aboard the “Trump Train,” I met many Trump supporters who felt stigmatized or ignored on Twitter. They introduced me to specific Direct Message (DM) groups where they felt their voice could be heard without judgement from “RINOs” or “Liberals.” These DM groups also served as a sort of amplifier, where one would submit their tweets to get many followers and retweets. A top MAGA Twitter account would quote someone they didn’t like, Trump supporters would then swarm in and malign that individual for dissenting thought. At the time, I didn’t think about how vile many of these tweets were, even while sending them out myself. I felt at home, as these Twitter accounts were supposedly conservative, pro-God, pro-guns, pro-flag, and pro-secure borders. For those foolish enough to critique any of those values, there was a Twitter mob eagerly waiting to attack. I was part of that mob.

          I discovered sources with journalistic integrity which debunked the lies and generalizations that conservative media often report. I slowly began reevaluating my principles.

          During this process, a few high-profile Twitter Trump supporters saw me communicating with (as opposed to bashing) Silverman and other liberals like Andy Lassner and Chelsea Clinton. The Trump train mob turned their vileness toward me, just for talking respectfully to those they thought of as the enemy. I, a U.S. Army war Veteran of 13 years, was being called a traitor to the country. I never realized how hateful this group was until I became the subject of their abuse (which doesn’t make me feel very good). From then on, my eyes were open to the kind of person Trump was — an amoral bully like his base that supported and elected him. There was the MAGA way or the wrong way, and Trump and his followers would use Twitter to bully those who thought differently. Trump’s tweets were both divisive and dishonest, and everything had to be about him personally. I decided to no longer be part of the Trump Train or MAGA team and ended my blind loyal support.

          Read more:

        2. Maybe the poster, quoted by Michael, might have a point if the Trump family wasn't apparently a crime cartel. How many legal investigations are underway now concerning Trump? And let's not forget the federal law suit on alleged violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

          If the poster thinks Trump should be respected, Trump must first show that he is deserving of respect. I guess the poster has forgotten Trump’s public mocking of the reporter with cerebral palsy during the campaign.

          1. And this part is really rich — you know, Chelsea, Michelle, Malia and Sasha might, just maybe, have a slightly different view:

             In my lifetime, I have never seen, nor heard, of a President scrutinized over every word he speaks, humiliated by the public to the point of disgrace, slandered, ridiculed, insulted, lied to and beyond common logic, threatened with death, received threats to rape our beautiful First Lady, our First Lady so disrespected, and his children so very insulted and humiliated.

        3. 🙄I get this from some of my old friends, too. This is the current talking point: 1. Trump's being picked on by "the media, Dems, etc. 2. He's not perfect, but Bill Clinton/ Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama was worse because emails/ Benghazi/uranium one. 3. Shut up and be loyal.

          I've pushed back on it gently, but their opinions seem pretty entrenched. What I asked was if Obama getting 30+ death threats per day could be considered equivalent to the "unfair treatment" Trump is getting. (BTW, Trump gets about 8 death threats per day)

          1. Yup, a friend I've known for 40 years found #ProsperityJesus about 10 years ago (Ok, well 30 years ago it was Werner Erhard's "est" movement too).  He tut-tutted one of my posts while sending me similar claptrap just last week. We exchanged our views, then he erased the entire thread.

            I haven't bothered to check if he unfriended me as well.

            1. Commentary in the New York Times column by Thomas Friedman — your wombmate is helping to destroy our democracy:

              David Shapireau

              Sacramento, CA7h ago

              Times Pick

              Chris Hayes 2012 book Twilight of the Elites hit the nail on the head. Instead of a true meritocracy, where intellect, experience, character, and at least minimum competence and knowledge should be the basis for a leader, we mostly get the worst Americans in positions of power.
              Friedman is essentially saying that stupidity and lack of vision and denial of anything that does not line the pockets of these totally immoral politicians has replaced intelligent analysis of how to best achieve security, justice, and hopeful lives for our citizens.
              It is appalling watching scoundrels running Lincoln's party. The Dems have serious flaws, but the GOP is now a power mad, totalitarian enterprise. Other than the rich that they constantly protect from the vicissitudes the rest of us live with, GOP voters are so ill informed as to dwell in a fictional mental world of paranoia and delusion. They are incapable of seeing that they vote in their greatest enemies.
              As Jefferson warned, poorly informed citizens are the greatest threat to a democracy.

          2. What amazes me is MJ's reference to "Uranium 1."

            I keep seeing it come up on Yahoo threads. I always reply like this: "Don't you watch Fox News? Shep Smith totally debunked the whole uranium issue on his Fox show months ago."

        4. Just curious … what would the person use as a description of the *resident's job?

          selecting "the best people" to serve?

          we've already had 4 cabinet secretaries resign, and another is likely to be fired as soon as the midterm election is complete. Rumors swirl around another couple.  Multiple people named as nominees have been withdrawn.

          we've already had 6 named White House communication directors (1 of them twice). 4 National Security Advisors, the White House Counsel is leaving soon and 4 of 5 deputies are already gone.

          Conducting foreign policy?

          The Republican Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee recently said  “It appears that in a ‘ready, fire, aim’ fashion, the White House is waking up every morning and making it up as they go.”

          Domestic policy?

          Well, there's health care insurance reform — a sizeable fail in the Senate, and no clear path ahead, whichever position he might hold on the ACA these days. Criminal justice reform, the outcome of negotiations lead by jared Kushner & Charles Grassley — nope, not before the elections.  Regulatory reform? George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center looked at the first 18 months of the Trump Administration, finding activity down about 70% below Bush and Obama levels.   "President Trump has promised deep cuts to regulation, but it generally takes a new rule to undo an old rule. The deep reductions in regulatory activity shown above suggest that, while the Trump Administration has staunched the flow of new regulations, it has not taken all necessary steps to remove old regulations from the books."

          *resident Trump HAS been able to get in more golf, more visits to his properties, and more campaign appearances. So there is SOME activity going on. Are those the hallmarks of MAGA?

    2. One additional data point …. international approval of the US *resident. Pew Research has accumulated a bunch of national polls, and you can see the impact of the change in Administration to Sad!-ministration in numeric form here.

      Pretty pictures, based on over 40,000 interviews, can be found here.

      One illustrative slide, among the pictures, is this one, showing responses in France, Germany, Spain, and the UK.


      1. Huh. Spain is not as happy with us in comparison to other countries no matter who is President, it seems. Difference on reporting in the Spanish language press?

  5. I spent yesterday in Detroit with a veterans group who help with emergency preparedness and have been working with the community (centered around the community of Redford; the birthplace of Ted Nugent).  

    We spent part of the afternoon touring city block after city block of what looks like a war zone; vast swaths of once-middle-class America that looks like a third-world country.  The great American pretense is communism is to blame for bread lines in Havana, but capitalism isn't to blame for poverty in Detroit.  

    As we reflect on this day, of human and capital treasures we've plundered as a response, let's hope we've learned enough not to do this again.  We funded both sides of this War on Terror for far too long. 

    So today I'll remember the extreme sacrifices made by our fellow soldiers and the Iraqi civilian lives lost, all in the name of liberty.  Lest we not forget that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from a country we didn't invade. 

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