Weekend Open Thread

“We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.”

–Khalil Gibran

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  1. ParkHill says:

    Urban Planner criticizes Denver's light-rail system. 

    "The best and worst cities in America for public transportation, according to an urban planner"

    His point is that the system serves a lot of low-population areas. He says a Colfax East-West corridor would serve higher density needs. I can see that could be true for the present day. My thought is that Denver's light rail will drive higher-density development over the next 40 years. 

    Denver isn't super easy to get around on mass transit aside from going to the central area. That is pretty easy if you are on a light-rail or even a bus line. But, it is pretty slow anytime you need to use more than one different line.

    • davebarnesdavebarnes says:

      In 2060 it will be illegal for humans to drive/control vehicles on paved roads in the USA. (In 2060, a car will have 100,000 times more computing power in it than it has today.)

      In 2060 it will be much cheaper to give poor people a voucher for an automated "individual passenger vehicle"  ride than to give them a bus/train ride.

      In 2070 the complete collapse/dismantling of RTD will begin (or maybe even be complete).

      Politicians (mostly technology clueless lawyers) and transit unions will resist.

      • DENependent says:

        You sound like someone who would have said in 1980, "Why bother making light bulbs efficient? Fusion power too cheap to meter is just 30 years away!"

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        In 2060, you'll be dead and unable to check up on your fool predictions.   And the Broncos will win the Super-Bowl.  

      • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

        Guessing technologies of 40 years in the future seems pretty risky.  Guessing how those technologies will be managed is even riskier.

        Your prediction of RTD's demise is one option. I think it every bit as likely that RTD will be thriving, owning the vehicles providing service to individuals and operating privately owned personal vehicles in the city will be banned.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Isn't the #15 bus there for the Colfax East-West corridor? Or the #16 bus? Not that anyone in his or her right mind would ride one of them. Well, no unless he or she was looking to score some crack or meth.

      • DENependent says:

        Have you ever been on the 15 or 16? I used them all the time when I was going to Auraria. They were incredibly full of ordinary commuters, especially the 15L at rush hour. Once in about 3 years of using the bus I encountered one person smoking a tobacco cigarette. I never saw any drug deals. There were the occasional drunk or high passenger, but better riding the bus with me than trying drive.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Actually I have been. The last time was a few years ago. I got on the # 16 to go pick up car in west Denver. Sat down. Little did I know that some other passenger had apparently urinated on the seat.

          I know, it was my own fault. Which is why I no longer ride the #15 or 16. BTW, the # 0 is a odyssey as well. It lives up to its name.

          The # 59 down here in SW metro area is actually not bad. A lot of well-dressed professional who do not have problems with bladder incontinence.

    • DENependent says:

      In case you are not aware of it, the City of Denver studied the Colfax Corridor and came to the conclusion that center running bus rapid transit was the right choice rather than light rail or a street car. The west segments of the project are currently being designed using money from the GO bonds.

    • MADCO says:

      "light rail will drive higher-density"
      Bwahahahah. Good one!  🙂

      pun intended right?

      most people who buy near current light rail have 1.1 cars per bedroom, higer than median household income and don't want higher density.

      Seriously – development drives additional development (retail follows rooftops), so maybe

      And the point of the article is transportation could go to the current density. A light rail line that connects the VA and the hospitals campus to ….Capitol Hill? Mile High? Federal /Colfax would have large positive impact NOW

      Name one metro plex (not counting the top 5-8) where high density development followed transit.

       

      • davebarnesdavebarnes says:

        "Name one metroplex (not counting the top 5-8) where high density development followed transit."

        Boston. Look at the Green Line. Of course, it took 50 years.
        St Louis. Railroad suburbs to the west of the city.

      • DavieDavie says:

        High density is coming, regardless.  Transit-Oriented Development maps almost seem to show RTD purposely routed the new commuter and light rail lines through areas ripe for (re)development (yes, that's to your point about gentrification and displacement of older neighborhoods, and why affordable housing is also such a critical need in the city, for which developers probably are not carrying enough of the weight, but I digress).

        The city has been taking comments since August on the Denveright Blueprint planning documents addressing development, transit and parks & recreation to support a projected 900,000 Denver residents by 2040 (currently there are about 700,000).  A revised document should be released by January 7th., with a final Council vote April 15th (why they want to rush this through before the May Denver election is a question we need to be asking the Mayor and City Council).

        The documents are huge, repetitious and mostly glittering generalities drowning out the few real nuggets of critical assumptions, facts and plans (the maps are especially enlightening).  The City Council vote to approve the Blueprint document in April will have major influence on zoning decisions through 2040.  Colorado Blvd from I-70 to I-25 is going to explode with high rise housing, which is probably to be expected, so I just hope BRT can handle the load.

         

      • ParkHill says:

        Pretty much every city in the US was developed and then expanded based on transportation opportunities. Small neighborhoods when people walked, near-in suburbs when people rode horses, further suburbs with trams, huge metropolises with private automobiles.

        What gets you to work in 30 minutes?

        Zoning and profit motive can encourage higher density along bus or rail lines. That can happen via re-development of existing housing stock, or warehouses, rail-yards, or closed down military bases.

  2. itlduso says:

    Why is CO State Senator Daniel Kagan resigning midterm?  

  3. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    President Trumpstink is guilty.  Thank you.

  4. DavieDavie says:

    Trump a con man?  Who knew?

    The exposure on campaign finance laws poses a challenge to Mr. Trump’s legal team, which before now has focused mainly on rebutting allegations of collusion and obstruction while trying to call into question Mr. Mueller’s credibility.

    “Until now, you had two different charges, allegations, whatever you want to call them,” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the incoming Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in an interview on Saturday. “One was collusion with the Russians. One was obstruction of justice and all that entails. And now you have a third — that the president was at the center of a massive fraud against the American people.”

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      …the president was at the center of a massive fraud against the American people.”

      Of course he was. And he colluded with Russia for personal and political gain. And he should freaking well be impeached for it. 

      I get that Pelosi wants to get the "kitchen table" stuff passed first – infrastructure, health care reform, strengthening rules against corruption.  I just hope to hell she's not dismissing the new and old progressives: 65% of the incoming freshman congressional class, 98 out of the 235 Democratic House members, and the people they represent,  who walked and talked and donated to put a check on the anti-democratic Trump, incidentally giving Pelosi her gavel.

      We're so fucking dismissible. We're useful as long as we're organizing, and they'll certainly take our money any day,   but on policy, we are always supposed to give way to the "sensible, reasonable, bipartisan" moderates.  It's like, "Thanks, now run along and let the grown-ups make policy."  If Pelosi and "Democratic Leadership" go that route, they can wave bye-bye to young voters, say farewell to the Bernie branch, hasta la vista to voters of color who are ready for real change.

      So I really hope that this is a tactical, rather than strategic, move. I hope that Pelosi is gathering her forces for investigation of all of the impeachment charges including treason, high crimes, and misdemeanors, for which there is 100x the evidence against Trump that there ever was against Bill Clinton.

      Of course, we must achieve all of those "kitchen table" victories, as well. But if Pelosi plans to only  pacify and quiet the progressives in the party, while letting Trump continue to run amok, it will quickly become evident. It would be a "no-takebacks" mistake. It could mean giving up on our last chance for democracy.

       

      Today’s “Impeach or Not?” debate on AM JOY:
      (videos won’t load, so I took them off – here is a link to the page to watch them. )

      • DavieDavie says:

        I certainly can't predict Pelosi's strategy, but I'm certain she will use the House majority to maximum impact in stopping much of the Vichy Republican and Trump agenda for the next two years, and move the bills that do get passed to include as many Democratic priorities that she can given control of just 1/2 of the Congress.

        But the Vichy GOP Senate will never convict Trump even if they dig up the bones of the person he shot on 5th Avenue.  I am 100% convinced that as the article above mentions, indictments of Trump will rain down on him the minute he is no longer in office.  When the indictments of Trump's family start in a few months, he may go berserk with pardons, and then perhaps the Senate Republicans might want to bring that to a halt.  But as others have said, I do not see a Pence Administration as a trade up for America.

        If Pence is forced to resign, then we can talk impeachment if Trump’s crimes are about 1000x Clinton’s

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          A Congressional vote to impeach, even without the Senate concurring, makes Trump a lame-duck President with zero chance of re-election or getting his agenda passed.

          Clinton and Trump impeachment votes are worlds apart, and their consequences should not be compared. Colluding with a foreign power to weaken the United States globally is not even on the same planet as lying about an extramarital blow job.

          So to me, the question really is, what weakens Trump the most? And I think an impeachment vote, even if it isn't "consummated" with actual impeachment, does that. Others can and will disagree. 

          And I think that Democrats can walk and chew gum at the same time – the redoubtable Pelosi can manage to herd her cats towards health care reform, the progressive caucus agenda, and manage to build inexorably towards well-deserved impeachment.

           

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Correct about the Senate voting to convict and remove….

          I count at most, two Republicans who might vote to remove Donnie if the evidence was overwhelming:  Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney. Add them to the 46 Dems/indies (I don't think Manchin would vote to remove) and voila there are a grand total of 48 votes to remove. 

          • VoyageurVoyageur says:

            Correct–and it takes two thirds.

            • Conserv. Head Banger says:

              Impeachment is a bad idea, no matter how much the far left wants to push it. Imagine if 20 Republican senators go along, assuming something really earth shattering is uncovered by Mueller. The country then ends up with far right wing, religious nut job, Mike Pence as president, as noted by Davie. The wet dream fantasy of the theocratic religious right is to get Pence into the White House.

              Better to let things go along as they are, with Democrats in the House pursuing investigations while the Trump presidency continues to crumble. And proof will continue to show that Never Trump Republicans have been right all along.

              Another factor is the early appearance of economic recession clouds on the horizon, thanks to "Tariff Man." If the economy turns sour in 2019, it's possible Trump may not even run again.

              "We're so f***ing dismissable." That status remains until folks use their heads for something other than hat racks.

              • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                When 41% of the Democrats in Congress (98/235) are either members of the progressive caucus, or were voted in promoting progressive policies (65% of those who won their midterm general elections are self-identified progressives), are they still "dismissable"? Is almost half the caucus still to be considered as the "far left wing"?

                The thing about impeachment is that it is the main Constitutional remedy for the situation we have now, which is an unfit and probably criminal president. Personally, I think we ignore the Constitution at our peril, whether or not it is politically advantageous to our side.

                When responsible legislators, legal experts, pundits, and journalists such as those in the videos you didn't watch advocate for impeachment,  Should Nancy Pelosi take your advice and ignore their voices, and those of almost half her caucus?

                Perhaps your agenda, as a Republican, even though a NeverTrump Republican, is clouding your judgment on what is best for Democrats to do.

                 

                • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                  Bear in mind, MJ, that the Dems snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in 2016, by about 80,000 votes, was it, in three Rust Belt states. Thanks to Dem complacency and the inept Dem campaign, the country got Trump.

                  In 2013, the Dems in the Colorado Legislature went with the progressive positions regarding guns and subsequently lost their majority.

                  Also depends on how you define “responsible.” And I do click on around 4/5 of your links. When leftists like Ms. Ocasio-Lopez begin talking, my first reflex is to protect my wallet. Pelosi will do what’s smart and good for the business of governance, not necessarily what the American version of the French “yellow jackets” wants.

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  Help me out with the math, mj.  You basically demand that the left wing caucus should run everything because you represent 41 pct of the party.  How much bigger is your 41 percent than the 59 pct of us who represented moderate views?  There are three of us moderates to every two lefties.  How does that make lefties "almost half?"

                • RepealAndReplace says:

                  98 out of 435 is 22.5% of the entire House membership. Even if the Dems had the Hastert Rule (what a ghastly name), 41% of the Democratic caucus is not going to dictate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' Free Stuff for All agenda to the rest of the Democrats.

                  As far as an impeachment vote, I am ambivalent about that. But if that keeps the lefties on board with the other stuff on Pelosi’s agenda, I say give it to them. They can use it to run for re-election in 2020.

                  And Trump will, too. No matter what the investigations yield – and there is probably a lot of nasty stuff that will come out – his base will vote to re-elect him.

                  He will run his 2016 strategy again. Ohio and Florida will probably stay with him. If he can hold on to all the states he carried last time, he can afford to lose Michigan and Wisconsin, yet still win (278 to 253). The 2020 race may turn on Pennsylvania.

                  • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                    "may turn on Pennsylvania….."  Perhaps so. All depends on what other "goodies" are unearthed by Mueller. Still a lot of time to go. It's possible Iowa may be in play in 2020, thanks to "Tariff Man" and big time loss of farm markets. Maybe also Arizona.

              • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                Your characterization of support for impeachment being the sole property of the far left and that their heads are of little value other than as a hat rack, is indicative of the arrogance that makes you call yourself a conservative. 

                The party chosen by "conservatives" is not so and never has been. Republicans are not conservatives and most people who call themselves one are not either. How come your " conservative " brethren aren't swarming congress complaining about the trillion dollar Trump deficit? 

                The Republican party has designed and set into motion a plan to subvert democracy. There is no more guilty individual than your " conservative" senate leader, Wormtongue McConnell. He has aided and abetted the ascension of a criminal organization for the benefit of his political party and his billionaire investor friends. 

                There has been, is, and will continue to be untold suffering because of this lying, soulless, sorry, son of a bitch. Mitch McConnell is a traitor to democracy and to the citizens of this country. He should be behind bars.

                Of course the Senate won't ratify impeachment. But impeachment should proceed. The American people need to hear the whole thing…the entire case against this criminal and traitorous conspiracy. The impeachment process will insure no stone gets left unturned.

                Impeach the bastard.

                 

                • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                  Don't think I've ever said, or implied, that I was a fan of Ditch O'Donnell.

                  Thanks for calling me “arrogant,” Duke. That seems to often be your approach in dealing with those with whom you disagree.

                  • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                    Insults aside, CHB, which is always a good idea, of course 41% (the present percent of House that is "progressive") is a smaller number than the combined Blue Dog remnants and moderates (59%).

                    However, it is also not a "lunatic fringe", as you characterized it. I'll stick with 4/5 being closer to half than not, and yes, Pelosi is way too smart to ignore them. She barely got away with the gavel as is.

                    I don't reply to V's taunts because there isn't any point. How can I defend something I didn't, or wouldn't, write? It really is him ranting to the little "crazy leftie" persona he has created as a foil, which has almost nothing to do with me. It's his usual game, and there's usually some sucker that takes him up on it, but I ain't playing.

                    – posted here because out of replies to your post below.

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      Actually, the goofy MJ who lives in my mind thinks 98 lefties are 41 percent of the House, which has 435 members.  That the same dumb claim the goofy MJ who fulminates endlessly on this blog makes.  As RandR, who passed third grade math notes, it is actually just 22.5 percent of the House.

                  • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                    Oh…I get it. Suggesting that my head is best utilized as a hat rack is not an insult. What the fuck do you call it…life coaching?

                    Get over yourself CHB. You are much more transparent than you think. Hat racks notice such things.

                    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                      Duke: when you advise people to "get over themselves," you might start by looking in the mirror. Beginning next month, I’m interested in the “realm of the possible,” from the new Dem leadership in the House. I want reasonable oversight coming from the House Committees on Intelligence, Judiciary, Intelligence. I want the transcripts of the Nunes hearings early this year delivered to the Special Counsel rather than Mr. Nunes continuing to sit on them. You and I already agree on the possible work to come out of the House Natural Resources Committee, to be under Raul Grijalva.

                      Assuming Pelosi remains speaker, I expect solid work and progress. If I want a Don Quixote like tilting at windmills, moving immediately to impeachment proceedings, then I’ll go the route of Ms. Ocasio-Lopez, Duke, Zappatero, and MJ. I’m not saying that impeachment should not be on the table ever. But there isn’t enough solid evidence at this time and why trigger the far right wing “dark money machine” needlessly.

                • The realistThe realist says:

                  Agree, Duke. If the House does not begin the impeachment process, the message is loud and clear: The President is above the law. There is no rule of law in our country when it comes to the rich and powerful.

                  If House members can't handle more than one agenda item at a time (impeachment plus policy/law), then they don't deserve their healthy salary. 

                  I think it is wrong to assume that there can never be conviction in the Senate. This is a process – a long process. Trump's criminal path is far more complex than Nixon's, and it took a lot of time and effort to get impeachment hearings going in his case.

                  Remember, folks, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg from Mueller so far – the iceberg that will bring down the Trumptanic.

                   

                  • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                    👍 !                                            

                  • RepealAndReplace says:

                    After the Kavanaugh confirmation, I believe that the Senate Republicans will literally do whatever Mitch McConnell tells them to do. (Well, except maybe Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney.)

                    The only way the Senate removes Trump is if McConnell tells his colleagues to do so. Maybe if the polling numbers fall far enough it will happen, but I wouldn't count on it. Trump will always have his 35% who believe whatever he tells them.

                     

                  • The realistThe realist says:

                    I'd add one more thing – we are on a different election timeline between Nixon and Trump. Nixon had just won re-election in '72, so the next Presidential election was years away. Nixon resigned in a midterm year. With Trump, Republicans (and all of us) are facing a Presidential election coming up much sooner. The #GOP will fear what Trump does to their chances in that election, and the Dems will also be impacted by the quickly approaching Presidential race.

                    • RepealAndReplace says:

                      Well, there is also the difference between Gerald Ford and Mike Pence. Pence may not want to risk his chance at being elected in 2020 by pardoning Donnie shortly before the election. 

            • RepealAndReplace says:

              Precisely, V., it takes two-thirds. With 46 Dems/indies voting to remove – and at best, 2 Republicans – where do the additional 19 votes come from? The vacuous Susan Collins? The principled Cory Gardner?

              • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                Which one of us far lefty kooks suggested the senate will go along with impeachment?

                I don't remember reading that. 

                It must be tough for people like you and CHB who are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

                • RepealAndReplace says:

                  You folks just like to do meaningless but symbolic things because they make you feel good.

                  • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                    That's a bunch of crap, R&R, and you know it.

                    What significant political or social movement was ever pushed from the middle? You be a Mugwump if you want, but shit changes because of pressure from the edges. I was involved in the political dynamic of the O&G wars for years.

                    In the middle you get bullshit like Frackenloopers' Blue Ribbon Panel on Stalling O&G reform. On the edges you get the successful protection of the North Fork Valley by heroes like our very own Pete Kolbenschlag.

                    I used to believe, as you apparently still do, that you can negotiate with adversaries like the Oily Boyz…or Big Money of any sort. No…you can't. They are almost universally corrupt. If you fall for their lies, you deserve what you get.

                    Ask your average human being in Weld county.

                    • RepealAndReplace says:

                      In the middle you get bullshit like Frackenloopers' Blue Ribbon Panel on Stalling O&G reform

                      I actually like John Hickenlooper. And I hope he runs against Gardner in 2020. And while I'd definitely like to see more restrictions on fracking, I also like putting gas in my car and heating my home.

                      Sanity resides in the middle. Progress is made in the middle. The fringes – both the Tea Party and the LWNJ – make a lot of noise but accomplish very little.

                    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                      You have well described your useless and ineffective political POV. 

                      Fracking and gasoline in your car are unrelated. That is an API talking point. You " liking" John Hickenlooper says as much about you as it does about him. He lied through his teeth about drinking "fracking fluid" and perpetuates that lie to this day. I have NO respect for an individual that will so easily sell out human beings for their rich friends. That is the territory that belongs to bi-partisanship. I have never seen an O&G operator negotiate in good faith.

                      If you know of one…name them.

                      You middle of the road equivocators have allowed the people of this country to be bullied and steamrolled by the rich and powerful. You are enabling fascism.

                      Wake up.

                       

  5. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    A winning issue for Dimocrats.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/11/30/every-single-state-minimum-wage-is-lower-than-what-residents-want-study-says/
    "in every state in the union, the minimum wage is well below what that state’s residents say they prefer."

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      More importantly, raising the minimum wage appears to be a winning policy for working people all over the US.

      Although results are mixed, the economic effects, studied in  cities that raised the wage recently, are mostly positive:

      Berkeley found: …"wages were up while changes to employment were minimal: “We find significantly positive effects on wages and small effects on employment, consistent with many previous studies.”

      In Colorado, DU researchers predicted that "Among the key findings: A minimum-wage increase would result in Colorado’s gross domestic product growing by $400 million, and incomes would increase for 20 percent of households in Colorado."

      Since Colorado did in fact raise its minimum wage to $10.70/ hr, and is slated to be at $12 /hr in 2020, and since we do in fact have the best economy in the country, our little wage hike here is also bringing home the bacon.

      Where, o where is the Powerful Pear to argue on behalf of the essential rights of Melissa to work three jobs to make ends meet?

       

       

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