Weekend Open Thread

“Ignorance is bold and knowledge reserved.”

–Thucydides

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96 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    The "Giddy Up" PAC?

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    John…have you no shame? Are you going to keep using the speech?

    Please, God….make it just a bad dream.🙏

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Psuedo, I played "Cowboys and Indians" and "Cops and Robbers" as a kid. Did you? Does that make us parties to native genocide, or  brutal cops or thieving robbers?

      Every person over 30 on this blog has been indoctrinated the same way. We all were taught that the heroic pioneers bravely overcame the savage Indian menace. We may have even watched "Gone with the Wind", and believed that the darkies were all happy on the plantation, and devoted to solving their owner's problems. Years of education, of social movements, learning real grievances and real history, have moved most of  us from that childhood naiveté.

      The only solution I see (to the distant shameful pasts of candidates catching up with them) is honesty. That, and treating every candidate like they were applying for a security clearance to the White House.

      • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

        Northam would have been fine if he had put it out there himself. The fact that he got busted for it is his problem now.

      • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

        I actually didn't play either, but that's neither here nor there.  The answer is that playing "cowboys and indians" did make you part of perpetuating stereotypes of first peoples and of the continued societal minimization of the genocide inflicted on them by Europeans.  Just as it would have if you'd played "slaves and masters," which of course you didn't, because society was already broadly uncomfortable recreating the dynamic of owned black bodies when you were playing as a kid.

        But, then, you grew up and realized, I expect, that maybe cowboys and indians wasn't a great game in the way you thought it was.

        Of course, Ralph Northam wasn't a child when he played blackface and klansman.  He was a 25-year-old man, extraordinarily well educated, and with a full capacity for appreciating what he was doing.

        As for the rest, "it's how we were taught," folks should believe what they want about that.  For me it's a shallow excuse that exposes the privilege inherent in white attitudes toward race.  People of color, and other persecuted groups, don't get the luxury of claiming, "Oh my, I never knew!" or "Well, these are different times" when confronted with society's disdain or active hatred for them.

        Oh, by the way, Northam's now denying he was in the picture he said he was in. So, apparently, it totally could have been me, but I’m specifically denying it was me in this one.

        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          An interesting subject, this. 

          As a child in the segregated south, it was not unusual for me to hear conversations regarding the actual worth of a "black" human being.  Many adults in the world I inhabited in the late 50' and early sixties had no trouble expressing the notion that those with an obvious (through racial profiling) African background were somewhat sub-human and lacking the same consideration as their apparently Causasian/ European counterparts. 

          My personal experience and my mothers' constant teaching showed me how ugly and wrong was that POV.

          I read a book by Germaine Greer in the latter years of high school that turned my world around regarding my relationship with the fairer sex (to use a time -worn sexist phrase) and my understanding of the act of seduction as a violent act. Seduction based on intimidation or on false pretenses is rape. On top of my instruction from the ladies in my family on just what it meant to be a gentleman, that training has led me to comport myself with decorum…at all times.

          Our world experience, and hopefully our families teach us to reject hatred and greed or accept them and use them to elevate ourselves…and get what we want. It is a false proposition and a hollow bargain. Hatred will never gain for you anything of value. Sometimes it takes karma a while to bite, but bite it will. 

          The governor had time to learn how to NOT be stupid. He was an adult. He is responsible. Besides…who approved the appearance of the photo in the first place?

          However. He should not resign. If penance is appropriate, let him champion racial injustice throughout his political career. That seems more helpful.

           

      • deathpigeon | they/them says:

        Yeah, who hasn't, uh, dressed up as the KKK or in black face? Totally normal, not racist behavior.

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          Don't presume to read my mind. I would think you had enough of that from V.  I'm not advocating dressing up as the KKK. I think it shows a hideous, racist arrogance and insensitivity.

          But I'm not convinced that behavior from 35 years ago is reason to require resignation now, if the person has behaved reasonably, as Northam has. I don't think Al Franken should have been forced to resign, either, at the risk of setting off that debate again.

          I'll be glad when Northam's Lt Gov takes over. By the evidence, Northam is – or was – something of a racist, who was trying to do better in his later years.

          I'm about to retire and be a grandma and, eventually, write full time. I'm also considering running for office myself, and wondering what gawdawful revelations from my youth I might have to fess up to.  I wouldn't want to go through all of that trouble and then find out that party officials considered something an unforgiveable offense. Why would anyone risk candidacy under those conditions?

          I would like us to do a much better job vetting candidates, or come up with a real process by which elected officials can come clean about some of the episodes that were never vetted.

          • deathpigeon | they/them says:

            I'm not presuming to read your mind. I'm presuming to see Northam having done racist thing and correctly calling him a racist, just like Al Franken doing sexual harassment shows how he's a guy who sexually harasses people, and, just like Kavanaugh should never have been nominated and it was good that Al Franken resigned and has left politics, Northam being a racist, which he probably is, means he probably should resign.

            And, like, if you're worried about what revelations from your past will come up, think about if you've ever dressed in black face or sexually harassed people or anything like that and, if you haven't, then don't worry about it and, if you have, then don't get into politics. There's a really simple way to not get forced to resign for a history of racism, sexual assault, or whatever: Don't have that history. If you don't have that history, then people won't be able to use that history against you.

          • DavieDavie says:

            I'm with you MJ.  If nothing else, we have the principle of a statute of limitations.  I'm more concerned with someone's established character, credibility, beliefs and achievements than mistakes in the distant past. 

            Sure, if there are indications that they have not learned and reformed, reject them.  There is a reason we put a premium on age and maturity, and it is enshrined into the constitution.  Age really does impart a demonstrable improvement as a person in most of us.

             

            • deathpigeon | they/them says:

              Statute of limitations is for sending people to jail or giving people fines, not for criticizing people for a history of racism and asking them (nicely) to step down because we think it would send a better message to have someone without a history of racism to hold positions of power within this country.

              • DavieDavie says:

                That's why I explicitly said the "principle", thus meaning it has broader applicability than simply a criminal charge.

                To err is human, to forgive, divine.  As long as we only have humans to select from, we'll never have a perfect candidate. We’ll see what happens in about 20 years 😉

                 

                • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

                  We could probably find one who didn't try to perform a one-man version of The Birth of a Nation, though.

                  • DavieDavie says:

                    Well, from what I am reading, Virginia Democrats appear to agree with you.  I'm a pragmatist.  If he can overcome this and still serve effectively, I think he should. 

                    But getting burned 35 years after the fact, to the great amusement of Republicans who coddle and approve worse on-going behavior, and are gloating over how Democrats eat our own, well, that's what really gripes me.

                • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                  To err is human. To have someone without a history of dressing up in black face for a dance competition running a state where one in five of the people living there are black is sensible.

                  • DavieDavie says:

                    Like Duke, I grew up in the south during segregation.  I agree with Pseudo about the inherent white blindness to our privilege and the suffering of minorities.

                    My father (born 113 years ago in Georgia) was a liberal, fair-minded, empathetic Democrat, who nevertheless used many traditional extremely racist southern metaphors and figures of speech without enmity towards minorities.  My siblings and I as children in the '50's sang a highly racist rhyme during playtime, unaware of its true meaning.

                    My parents were good, honest people who did not look down on others, regardless of race, creed or religion.  I have my many faults, but I consider myself a good person (except, perhaps, when I'm bullying the GOP trolls on this site).

                    35 years ago in Virginia, what Northam did was not out of the norm. Context is very important.

                    • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                      Ok, but it actually doesn't matter if Northam is a good person or not. You can be a good person and also not be the right person to be governor of the state of Virginia because of your history of dressing up in blackface. Having him stay governor despite these revelations sends a message of not caring about racial caricatures while him resigning sends the opposite message. These effects are more important than whether or not he's a good person.

                    • Curmudgeon says:

                      My father (born 113 years ago in Georgia) was a liberal, fair-minded, empathetic Democrat, who nevertheless used many traditional extremely racist southern metaphors and figures of speech without enmity towards minorities 

                      Perhaps without enmity, but it was still racist. 

                      You can't be a person who "doesn't look down on others" and use extremely racist southern metaphors.  The latter is a direct contradiction to the former. 

                    • DavieDavie says:

                      Curmudgeon — yes you can.  For example, when he disagreed with my mother on some matter and wanted to end the argument, he would close with "I'm free, white and 21" in reference to himself.  Racist?  Yes.  Disparaging minorities — no.  It was a metaphor (and commentary) borne of the reality of slavery in which my ancestors grew up.  Not an affirmation that it was just. His father was 13 when the Civil War began. They were farmers, but to my knowledge, did not have slaves.

                      Update: MADCO, no one, including me said “It’s ok”, but yeah that was the way it was. If it makes you feel better, I’ll stipulate that if before the Civil War, you weren’t an abolitionist in the South, you were a racist, since grey does not appear be an option. I guess you had to be there to understand.

                      BTW, Curmudgeon — I just checked the US Census for 1830 – 1850. The term “Free White {age group}” comes directly from the census taker’s questionaire. We should all hop into a time machine and yell at them for being racists!

                    • MADCO says:

                      And it's all ok – cuz that's just how it was.
                      I don't buy it.

                      Is it possible to tell racist jokes, make racist comments, do and say racist things – but not be a racist?
                       

                       

                    • Curmudgeon says:

                      Using "traditional extremely racist southern metaphors" is by definition racist.  

                      I grew up in the same kind of family; racial slurs to describe Brazil nuts, countless racist references, all that "it don't mean nuthin' bad" BS.  You can't use the terminology and not look down on the people it's referring to.  

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        They can have my Blazing Saddles DVD, when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!

        (Anyone else here feel kinda’ like maybe it’s Groundhog Day? . . . )

      • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

        How does someone run for office in 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2017 without having SELF analysis or opposition research turn up photos and a nickname that would likely be disqualifying in modern Virginia politics?

        MJ — I grew up playing "cowboys and Indians" — "Army" (where not everyone was an American soldier all the time) — and went to a church that had us wearing darkening makeup for roles in Bible skits and the musical Amahl.  I'm certain not all of the portrayals were politically correct. 

        That said, to the best of my knowledge, I didn't do so in my university or graduate school life. If there are pictures of me doing something stupid, I didn't get them into a yearbook.

      • MADCO says:

        Stop making excuses for the guy just cause that's how it was. Cause a) it didn't have to be. b) it wasn't that way everywhere, just where it was c) there is no excuse.
        He should step down – others have for a lot less.

        I can't defend Bob Byrd, Strom Thurmond, or Jesse Helms or any of them cause that's how it was

        It wasn't just the way it was everywhere.

        We fought wars over that's how it was.
        We had a labor movement (amazingly uplifting in it's equality amongst workers, no matter gender, race or religion). We need a new one. The murderers at Ludlow , the Pinknertons – they don't get a pass just cuz that's how it was.

        We had a civil rights movement. We need a new one – and having a governor who just gets a pass because that's how it was is bullshit. Oh well – it was a racist era, and I had racist friends, and I might have even been in that picture, but I swear I wasn't – but that's just how it was.

        Tough. You are not fit to hold public office. Resign and run again when everyone knows who you were.

    • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

      Northam explaining how he isn’t in the racist photo in his yearbook section (because he asked a bunch of people if it was him), but he did do blackface to win a dance contest as Michael Jackson, whose name he apparently can’t remember.

      “I dressed up as — what’s his name, the singer?” Northam asks his wife. “Michael Jackson.” He continues to explain how he put shoe polish on his face.

      — Matt Viser (@mviser) February 2, 2019

      But he wants to be sure to let us know he won!

      • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

        Oh, my bad.  He talked to his black friend.  All good now.

      • deathpigeon | they/them says:

        This tweet, tho. Holy shit.

        EDIT: There’s video of it and, holy shit, it’s so much more awkward than I imagined it could be.

        • deathpigeon | they/them says:

          I actually don't know how to make a tweet show up in my comment like in the above one, lol.

        • Genghis says:

          Christ.

          I have no idea whether Northam is a roaring racist now. (He indisputably was in med school, but that was a long time ago and people do in fact change.) However, the whole "I did it and I'm sorry" followed by "lol j/k wasn't me" and now this moonwalk thing establish beyond all doubt that he's too stupid to live.

          Northam needs to tell his constituents that he's dumb as dog shit, resign, retreat from the public eye, and be grateful that breathtaking stupidity, standing alone, is not grounds for execution.

          • The realistThe realist says:

            yes

            As my husband likes to say, we elect people to benefit from their good judgment and wisdom. Northam has neither.

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            Clearly a case of a man who can thank his wife for whatever success he has attained thus far. What a moron.

            I am moving from the camp of forgiveness and probation to the ranks of the axe wielders. Not because I know his present heart and mind…but…his self immolation is not helping anyone…except the T***publicans.

            His resignation should come soon.

             

            • DavieDavie says:

              The folks that know him best, Virginia Democrats, have spoken.  While I disagree with the linkage of Northam's poor judgement to much broader and deeper issues of race posted here, in Northam's case, I suspect he will resign, sooner or later.

              • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                It will be difficult to survive the tsunami of rejection coming his way.

              • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                Northam was targeted because of taking a pro-choice position. Earlier this week, Northam had spoken in favor of a law, which would require only one doctor (not 3) to OK a medical abortion. His comments were taken out of context, promoting a narrative that the Gov was literally in favor of killing babies.

                Then, the trolls went into overdrive, looking for and finding the photo that was guaranteed to drive the libs crazy.

                This is how they divide and conquer us.

                Regarding Northam’s inevitable resignation:

                When Virginia's traditional celebration of Robert E Lee's birthday the Friday before MLK's birthday is factored in, it's evident that Gov. Northam does in fact still support institutional and cultural racism.

                That whole "The South Will Rise Again" bullshit.

                I still don't think that outing  a 35-year-old offensive yearbook picture is, by itself, reason to resign, but taken with his continuing placating of the Confederate Cause, yeah, Virginia would be better off without him….and probably will be, rather soon.
                 

                 

                In the future, I’d like Dems to not rush to judgment, to take the whole picture of someone’s past and present into account. I wish we all were not so easily manipulated by GOP trolls who do not have our interests at heart.

                • MADCO says:

                  The photo is enough.
                  But it wasn;'t the photo

                  I was in it…. oh, wait not me.

                  I did black face other times, I got a fun nickname, and
                  I knew how hard it was to get the shoe polish off that I was smart enough to use less that Michael Jackson time

                  It's just how it was then, but I would never do that now

                  In my 30's I dated 14 yr old girls because it was normal and I wanted a large family… wait, that's unfair because that was only that other guy.

                  • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                    "dating 14 year old girls."  Why are you bringing up the unlamented Roy Moore?

                    • MADCO says:

                      Here's how the nuns in elementary school taught me to apologize:
                      – acknowledge what you did wrong
                      – apologize for it
                      – agree to avoid doing it ever again

                      apparently – other teachers taught these methods as acceptable alternatives:
                      – I am sorry you feel hurt
                      – I didn't do it, it wasn't me
                      – you don't understand,
                      – that's just how it was

                      I agree with Sister Marie – all the apologists who stick the alternatives are going to burn in hell

                • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

                  Wow! I missed that part. Yeah, he can go. 

  2. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    The Schultz effect: Liberals own 2020

    Michael Bloomberg and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, each of whom were virtual locks to run, are having serious second thoughts after watching Democrats embrace "Medicare for All," big tax increases and the Green New Deal. Joe Biden, who still wants to run, is being advised to delay any plans to see how this lurch to the left plays out. If Biden runs, look for Bloomberg and McAuliffe to bow out, the sources tell us. 

    Iowa polling by a prominent 2020 hopeful found that the Democratic electorate has moved sharply left.

    • For instance, the polling found that "socialism" had a net positive rating, while "capitalism" had a net negative rating.
    • deathpigeon | they/them says:

      The interesting thing about polling about socialism is that, across all demographics, support for socialism increases the younger you are. According to this Axios poll, 29% of Republicans in the youngest age cohort (18-34) support socialism compared to 2% in the oldest age cohort (65+) of Republicans. Democrats have a similar trend with 57% of the oldest age cohort supporting socialism compared to 75% of the youngest age cohort.

      This seems, to me, to indicate that, as the people currently in the youngest age cohort or who currently cannot vote steadily make up a larger segment of the voting population, socialism will be a bigger and bigger force within American politics.

      • gertie97 says:

        When the young cohorts start actually voting in large numbers, their opinions will mean something. But it doesn't happen because they don't vote.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          When the young cohorts start acquiring and owning a few things, it’s just as likely that their opinions will mature?

        • deathpigeon | they/them says:

          Yes, that's my point. As time goes on, we will make up a larger and larger part of the voting population. That's what I was talking about.

        • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

          Or, perhaps, they don't vote because it doesn't happen.

        • MADCO says:

          It's the untold story of the 2016 cycle.

          Get the numbers on 2016  18-20 voters, break it out by any demo you want.
          Then get the same numbers for 16-28 yr old voters – they tip a little further toward progressive issues.
          They don't care about relgious difference, gender, age, sexual orientation.
          They care about income inequality, healthcare, buying a house, justice, getting drunk/high/stoned

          Will they sell out when they have the electric car, the house and favor a tax code with no freeloaders?
          Said another way – will the rich people win again because even though they don't care about about all the classic divisions, they will still care about the have/have not division at th eheart of all that is America.

          Football causes brain damage.

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            They’ll care, but not because of having electric cars, houses, or tax refunds . . . 

            . . . isn’t it funny how life views and philosophies suddenly change when you start having kids?

            One day you’re almost ready to give all you shit to the deadbirds of the world, then boom — biology happens, and giving what is now all your kids shit away instead of providing for their well-being doesn’t seem like nearly such a groovy idea?

            The agency of parenthood has ruined more would-be “socialists” (whatever the fuck that means, and, no, I have no interest in debating the definitional esoterica, because I’ve got kids, and nothing else matters, certainly nothing else like the people who want what us now my kids stuff for themselves), and it always will.  Our future will always be our children, not some goofy adolescent philosophical construct.  

            Paraphrasing Paul, like it or not, the childish dreams of children eventually make way for the realities and dreams of parenthood.  Same as it ever was . . . 

            Playing Football causes brain damage. Watching football cayses obesity and diabetes.

            • MADCO says:

              Hmm.. i hear that
              I want public education.  Not 1-12. K or PK – 16

              When did it become ok for young working students to indebt themselves with debt only dischargeable by death or payment in order to maybe get a degree that maybe developed or signaled an employable skill set?

              It's not socialism to tell Starbucks that the salaries and other compensation of the management is 100% tax deductible. But it is socialism to subsidize college tuition ?  (Sorkin is great bu the tax deductablity of tuition only increases tuition)

               

              I want my kids (and their kids and theirs) and yours too to have access to healthcare and medical services whether or not they are really rich or really poor. I don't want the health banking insurance industry to insert between patients and doctors and drive margins.  I don't want crappy physicians but I don't want practicing physicians to control the supply.

              Look – free market solutions can be great, but I don't want free market solutions for everything: clean air, water and the environment overall, access to electricity, roads, bridges, schools, libraries, etc

              A freemarket solution for higher ed leads to inferior outcomes. Free market healthcare leads to utterly bizarre outcomes.

              in 1963 the opposition scared 1/2 of America into believing Medicare for anyone was end times for America. Godless communism for sure. We're having the same conversation now with Medicare for all.  But we have to  because Medicare for anyone age 58 or over doesn't sell in Peoria.

               

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        This seems, to me, to indicate that, as the people currently in the youngest age cohort or who currently cannot vote steadily make up a larger segment of the voting population, socialism will be a bigger and bigger force within American politics.

        . . . said millions and millions and millions of other people when they were in their twenties, throughout the decades, back as far as 100 years ago.

        • gertie97 says:

          The first election I could vote in was in 1972. On the dorm floor where I lived, there were 40 of us. Most attended the Shriver rally for McGovern on campus and many had lost friends in Vietnam. As it turned out, I voted. So did the congressman's daughter. Nobody else did.

        • deathpigeon | they/them says:

          Back 100 years ago, the most popular union in the country was the Industrial Workers of the World, a revolutionary syndicalist union. 100 years ago, no 20 year old would say that because most of their parents were socialists and socialism was already a powerful force in American politics. But, yeah, go ahead and project how politics looks currently upon the whole of American history.

    • MADCO says:

      see Davos, 2019, Michael Dell getting owned when he challneged the moderator (who works for Bezos) to name a single country that succeeded or thrived where top marginal income tax rate exceeded 70% .Ever.

      United States. 1930's – 1980's

      (If I could embed video I would – it's beautiful and the comments are raucous)

  3. The realistThe realist says:

    I'm just posting this – because I can!

     

  4. MADCO says:

    SUPERBOWL prediction – guaranteed

     

     

    Football causes brain damage.
    https://concussionfoundation.org/CTE-resources/what-is-CTE
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/25/sports/football/nfl-cte.html
     

    Watch, don't watch.
    Play or not.
    Encourage the kids in your life to play or not.

    But we eliminate all publicly funded football.
    – publicly funded stadia
    – publicly funded teams – West Point, Annapolis, AFA, etc
    – University of Colorado, CSU, UNC, CSOM, Mesa, etc, etc, etc
    – Parks & Rec leagues under age 18

    Football causes brain damage.

     

  5. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Keep spending that much "executive time," and you're going to go blind!

    Scoop: Insider leaks Trump's "Executive Time"-filled private schedules

  6. MADCO says:

    Vaccines work.
    Anti-vaxxers put everyone at risk.  Measles was declared "eradicated." Polio was so close.

    Colorado should adopt a policy – or legislate – that requires all state funded conferences or travel not be to states that allow the herd people to opt out and or have an opt out rate over 3%. 2%?

    Colorado should also add the flu vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for public school, including college.

    Family of those who die should be able to make a claim against the carriers under some circumstances.  Think of it like the laws that make it a felony to knowingly expose another to danger that results in harm.

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