Weekend Open Thread

“People wait until they have a need for some history and then they customize it to suit their purposes.”

–Neal Stephenson

64 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Pseudonymous says:

    Oh, to be young again…

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    Who knew? Reading the articles on Rep. John Dingell, I found his birth in Colorado Springs, CO to be an unexpected connection.

  3. DENependent says:

    The People's Fair is not coming back this year. I am about 90% sure I never went to one because they have been expensive and crowded as long as I have been aware of it (I used to live in rural Colorado, I have only been in Denver since about 1999). So for me this is just a sign of times changing rather than a personal loss.

    • Voyageur says:

      Sigh.  It began as the Capitol Hill People's Fair at Morey Middle School.  As a Capitol Hill resident I loved it.  Outgrowing Morey, it moved to East High and I still loved it.   Still have many art pieces I bought in those early years.

      But nothing fails like success.  After it moved to Civic Center it became just another excuse to sell overpriced turkey legs.  It no longer reflects the joy of our community and I haven't attended in years.

      Nothing fails like success.

      • notaskinnycook says:

        I hope it'll return. If it's too big to handle, they should shrink it and move it back to East High. It hasn't been the same since it moved to Civic Center.  

        • MADCO says:

          Who "they"?

          We is "they"… "they" is us.

          Always. Before, I used to live in a different city. Some neighbors and friends wanted to have a party in the street. One maybe two blocks- liquor, music, some booths that would be of interest and fun for us.  Open- but  what we wanted.  It became very popular.  It moved to more wide open space. Then to even further more wide open space.

          There is no "they"

          • notaskinnycook says:

            Since I live in West Wash Park rather than Capitol Hill, "they" would be CHUN. I wish CHUN would take it back and downsize it back to manageability. Better?


            • mamajama55 says:

              Yes….community festivals should be community-sized. Human scale, where you can see from one end to the other, not a megafest with banks of porta-potties and three stages and a beer garden, where you have to wall off downtown for a day and throw all of the homeless out for two.

    • mamajama55 says:

      It says that the People's Fair will be back in 2020. That's good news. Not many people know that the Capitol Hill People's Fair originally started as an idea from the Rocky Mountain Women in the Arts, which wanted to make an art and cultural fair showcasing female artists.

      The usual folks said, "Why ya gotta be all sexist like that – what is this "Women's" shit?" and so it got opened up and organized for the entire arts community. The Women Artists group did have a couple of shows, one at "Soup's On" restaurant – (remember them?) at which I had a couple of pieces.

  4. RepealAndReplace says:

    Elizabeth Warren did her campaign kickoff today….

    Anyone else worried about the Democrats' Massachusetts Curse should she end up as the nominee? 

  5. mamajama55 says:

    Elizbeth Warren had a strong campaign launch today. Her honesty,competence, and commitment shine through.  Check out the trolls' comments on the CBS news video, though…they're all promoting the exact same talking points. I guess originality costs more per post.


    • MADCO says:

      Presidential politics is hard and can be really harsh.

      But as soon as we pass that law that says only the high information, well informed voters may vote and then they vote by policy positions and not gender, race, orientation, height, religion or alma mater we'll be good.

      Until then – please remember Presidential politics is electoral math.
      Which states can she win that HRC lost? 
      I would guess Michigan would be in play.

      But she would need at least two of PA, OH, WI, FL
      Nothing else from the Trump states would seem to be in play.
      Sure the comments are misogynist, low information, sport. Nothing new there.

      I love that she's right about almost everything.
      Can she win?

      It's too early to really horse race all the D possibles.  But the math is no different for any of them. It's not personal – it's electoral.

      BTW – Starbucks guy maybe puts a T state or two in play.  But the math is still the math – and in a 3-way, Trump wins

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        Warren can win WI in addition to MI but she will have difficulty in OH. Her protege, Richard Cordray, lost the governorship last November.

        • Voyageur says:

          Our champion Amy Khobuchar due to enter the lists today.   Sadly, her momentum has been stalled by claims she is cruel to her staff.

          • gertie97 says:

            Funny how we don't see mean-to-the-staff takedowns about male politicians, unless it's sexual sins.

            • MADCO says:

              Fair point – but we will


            • deathpigeon | they/them says:

              She wasn't "mean to her staff". She threw heavy binders at them, yelled at them, and was overall abusive towards her staff. There was a telling story about a terrified aid being forced to tell another aid that Klobuchar was running late because she had messed up. That goes well beyond being mean.

              She also has a higher turnover rate for staff than most of the senate. Between 2001 and 2016 she's had the highest turnover rate of staff in the senate. Since then, Chris Van Hollen and John Kennedy have surpassed her, but she remains at the third highest in the senate, and neither of them are running for president. Of course, on its own, a high turnover rate means nothing, but it serves to back up the allegations made by her staff about her since that's exactly what we'd expect from an abusive boss.

              To characterize this sort of behavior as "meant-to-staff" is honestly really gross. She's abusive towards her employees, not simply "mean".

            • Pseudonymous says:

          • RepealAndReplace says:

            V., that is a two-edged sword. As a general principle, I don't think it is appropriate for a supervisor to throw loose-leaf binders at subordinates. OTOH, if she ends up going up against Two Scoops, the reports of her cruelty mean that she will not tolerate any of his crap.

            I still like her. As of now, my preferences are Biden, Klobuchar and Booker in that order.

            • MADCO says:

              In order
              Won't win west of PA or Florida.
               Won't win east of Wisconsin

              Wild card.

            • Voyageur says:

              Biden, 76, is just too old.  If elected and re-elected, he'd be president at 86.  Only Bernie — 77 — is older.


              • RepealAndReplace says:

                The only way Biden pulls this off is by announcing that he will only be a one-term president.

                I know, it makes him a lame duck from the get-go. But if he is the Dem with the best shot of taking back PA, MI, WI and maybe OH and FL, then that may be the price we end up having to pay.

                It makes the VEEP-stakes much more important. I am guessing he would go with Amy Klobuchar or Kamala Harris for VP.

        • MADCO says:


          I don't think you understand Waukesha or Oconomowoc.

  6. Duke Cox says:

    What a pleasant surprise to catch an in depth report on hemp production on the U.S. Farm Report this morning…featuring our good friend, Michael (Mr. Hemp) Bowman.

    Well done, Michael! Your hard and diligent work seems to be paying off. 👍

  7. itlduso says:

    "Can't anybody here play this game?"  That was Casey Stengel's lament as manager of the spectacularly inept 1963 NY Mets.  And the answer was no, no they can't.

    I thought of that quote when thinking about the bind that Dems have in VA today.  They are on the brink of handing the governorship to a Republican because of two instances of wearing blackface in the past and a sexual assault allegation.  But, I'm going to change the name of the game.  The name of the game is politics.  Liberals and Democrats do not know how to play that game.  Do you really think we are winning today?  Sure, we took back the House, but we lost three Senate seats and Trump is freaking president.  Conservatives are getting everything their cold hearts have ever desired.  Beyond the headlines like the Supreme Court appointments and tax cuts for the wealthy, God only knows what regulatory havoc they are wreaking in every single federal agency.

    So what do liberals and Dems do?  They throw out of office anyone who had a past transgression, even when it wouldn't have been illegal.  (e.g., wearing blackface is not illegal even today.)  They don't consider repentance or, most importantly, the policies these Dem leaders support today.  Do you think the VA GOP speaker who might become governor will fight for the same progressive policies of the Dems he replaces?  

    We better learn how to play the game of politics because conservatives do.  (Remember that Frank Luntz coined the term "death tax" paving the way for elimination of all inheritance taxes.)  Conservatives and the GOP are more than happy to step in after we execute our own leaders and concede the playing field.

    • Duke Cox says:

      Yup…what you said.👍

    • MADCO says:


      – No one can make the Virginia gov or lt gov resign. I doubt they are both impeachable. So I agree – D's should stop whining and be tough. If neither the Governor nor the Lt Gov resign – impeach them both? doubtful

      – politically it's… pointless? weak? to claim that your opponent is unfit because <_______> and then not enforce the same standard on your guy

      – live by identity politics, die by identity politics (or cheating, lying, corruption)

      It's not about a 'youthful indiscretion,' or a 'mistake'
      It's about personal change and values that a candidate aspires to, and at some point adheres to.

      So if Governor blackface stepped up and said something like – when I was younger I was dumber. I didn't understand why performing or posing in blackface was inappropriate. I have learned since why it is so hurtful and inappropriate. I apologize for that ignorance

      I would say- ok. get back to work.
      Instead it's I didn't do it, it was not me, there is no video, ..oh, there is video?  if I did it wasn't intentional, it wasn't important…wait it was intentional? and it was important?  Well – wahtabout that time this other guy did something … and it was 40 years ago

      I don't demand perfection in candidates or the leadership. I do want to demand comprehension. I want aspiration to the values that matter.

      In the end- I suck, because I will accept a lot of imperfection to get someone who can win.

      I can't help but think about everything I read about Watergate and how Nixon decided to resign.  And how and why LBJ in '68 decided not to run.  (also that LBJ announced that in MArch of 68 – just a few months before the convention and how the whole world went to hell just after he announced.) 


    • Davie says:

      This view from a conservative Republican:

      Should Jesse Jackson’s entire life come down to the anti-Semitic words “Hymietown,” uttered by him in 1984 (and comically immortalized by Eddie Murphy)? Should Prince Harry forever be remembered as the royal who dressed as a Nazi? What about Joy Reid’s virulently homophobic blog posts, or Joe Biden’s racially condescending description of Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean”?

      The list goes on. It will get considerably longer as more people continue to commit their dumbest thoughts to Twitter and their most embarrassing selfies to Instagram.

      Maybe at some point the sheer abundance of embarrassing material will render us insensible to what’s truly unforgivable in the past behavior of public figures. Or maybe we’ll just stumble along, calling for someone’s head merely because we happened upon his frozen image at his worst and immediately forgot the rest of his life. For those not thus caught, it won’t be because they are innocent, but because they are lucky.

      As I said, this is taking us to a dark place. It is hard enough for ordinary, decent people, aware of their shortcomings and capable of shame, to contemplate a career in politics; why would they ever do so if the statute of limitations on past indiscretions never expires? And if they won’t run, aren’t they just ceding the field to those with no shame?

      Ralph Northam needs to clear up just who’s in that photo, so Virginians won’t think he’s lying. And he has an opportunity to speak powerfully about the legacy of a casual racism that tainted his generation of Virginians, and about the need for repentance and redemption. The best way for him to do so is as governor.

      • notaskinnycook says:

        He's got it. Show me someone who never did anything regrettable and I'll show you someone who never did anything worthy either


        • MADCO says:

          Roberto Clemente.
          Roger Staubach.
          Michael Jordan.

          Oh- you mean electable politicians.

          Jimmy Carter.
          Abraham Lincoln.
          Harry Truman.
          Everret Dirkson

          I could go on – there's lots of them

          But I get your point

          • deathpigeon | they/them says:

            Uh. I don't know if Truman is the best example for "someone who never did anything regrettable". At the very least, the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would object.

            • RepealAndReplace says:

              And if Japan had never bombed Pearl Harbor, there never would have been a Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

              • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                Uh, Japan bombing Pearl Harbor, which was obviously horrible, in no way justifies dropping two nukes on two civilian cities. What the fuck is wrong with you?

                • Voyageur says:

                  You are an idiot, dp.  Japan murdered far more civilians at Nanking than were lost at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The bombings saved millions of Japanese lives by ending the war.  I know to a true America hater like you, it's hard to believe.  But it's true.

                  • gertie97 says:

                    Read some history, dp. You missing a lot of things, facts and perspective among them.

                  • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                    Japan was already willing to surrender before any nuke was dropped and no action by the Japanese government justifies such action taken against the Japanese civilian population. Japan invaded Nanking and did horrible things. But it wasn't the people who invaded Nanking who died in the fires of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

                    • Davie says:

                      War is a nasty business, and it was not a simple decision.  While your contention may have merit, it is almost beside the point.

                      Truman was playing three dimensional chess.  His real concern was the Russian threat:

                      Gloria Worthington says:

                      August 7, 2016 at 4:22 pm

                      The bombs were dropped in order to end the war in the Pacific before the Soviets could enter and claim the lands promised to them at the Yalta Conference. The extraordinary display of military might was also meant to browbeat the USSR into compliance with the US's dictates. 

                      The target was always the Soviet Union, which is why the US and UK refused to open up a second front in Western Europe to assist the USSR until 1944, and only did so to prevent the Soviets from liberating all of Europe.

                    • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                      That doesn't make the bombing better, Davie. Arguably, that makes the bombing worse. Killing hundreds of thousands of people, the vast majority of whom were civilians, in nuclear fire to make the USSR look bad? That's reprehensible.

                    • Davie says:

                      No, it wasn't done to "make the Russians look bad"!

                      It was done to prevent WWIII with Russia, costing even more millions of lives.


                    • DENependent says:

                      That is comfortable armchair retrospective knowledge.

                      At least some of the people making the decision honestly believed that bombing two cities would result in fewer civilian deaths in Japan than a full scale invasion and that a full scale invasion would be needed to cause a surrender.

                      There were also others who just wanted to use the bombs somewhere to see what they would do and did not see Japanese lives as worth considering. They were not always open about this when trying to convince others in the US command structure that the use of the new weapon was justified.

                      And there were others in the US who argued for your position and for some other kind of demonstration of the bombs offshore to convince the Japanese to surrender.

                      This is always the problem with any decision. At the time we always have lots of information that points in different directions and which set is right only becomes clear long after the moment when a choice can be made. It has been called the "Fog of War", but it can apply to anything including the candidate to choose for the best chance of moving ideas forward.

                      But of course, you do not have that problem. You are always right and have never made a mistake, right?

                    • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                      Or we could've not gone to war with Russia. Nothing was forcing war with Russia. Russia wasn't forcing war with Russia. We could've finished WW2 and cooperated with Russia going forward without dropping a single nuke.

                    • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                      At least some of the people making the decision honestly believed that bombing two cities would result in fewer civilian deaths in Japan than a full scale invasion and that a full scale invasion would be needed to cause a surrender.

                      Japan. Had. Already. Offered. Surrender.

                    • Voyageur says:

                      Your claim that Japan had already offered to surrender is a lie.  Read any of the standard books on the subject, especially "Downfall." . Then, pull your head out of your ass.

                    • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                      It's literal, historical fact. This talks about it, for example. This does, too. It says:

                      The second alternative was accepting a conditional surrender by Japan. The United States knew from intercepted communications that the Japanese were most concerned that Emperor Hirohito not be treated as a war criminal. The “emperor clause” was the final obstacle to Japan’s capitulation. (President Franklin Roosevelt had insisted upon unconditional surrender, and Truman reiterated that demand after Roosevelt’s death in mid-April 1945.)

                      Although the United States ultimately got Japan’s unconditional surrender, the emperor clause was, in effect, granted after the fact. “I have no desire whatever to debase [Hirohito] in the eyes of his own people,” Gen. Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of the Allied powers in Japan after the war, assured Tokyo’s diplomats following the surrender.

                • Duke Cox says:

                  The alternative to the bombs, dp, was a landing and invasion on Japanese soil. The death and destruction would have been even more extreme and it would have included countless thousands of Allied troops. 

                  A tough call…don't you think

                  PS. I never heard that Japan was ready to surrender.
                  Where did you get that idea?

            • notaskinnycook says:


              You seem to have deliberately misunderstood my post. Of course, Truman did things that were regrettable. He also did a lot of good. He just doesn't fit your socialist ideal. Boring.



              • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                The response to "Show me someone who never did anything regrettable" of "Truman" seems to indicate that Madco thinks Truman didn't do anything regrettable.

                • MADCO says:

                  nice hijack- but no bonus points.

                  Truman ended the war in the pacific with unconditional surrender.
                  It's nice to think that Japan was ready to surrender and then we blame Truman and the US for the unnecessary horrors of the war.

                  Those in the room know it wasn't true. Truman's action – grotesque and terrifying as it was – saved lives.

                  But my point stands – there are loads of others who understand and aspire to the values that matter.


  8. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from Vox: "What's in AOC's Green New Deal."

    I mostly seen superficial commentary rather than specific discussion of the content of Alexandria Ocaso-Cortez's Green New Deal. Vox, as usual, has a great summary.

    It’s worth noting just what a high-wire act the authors of this resolution are attempting. It has to offer enough specifics to give it real shape and ambition, without overprescribing solutions or prejudging differences over secondary questions. It has to please a diverse range of interest groups, from environmental justice to labor to climate, without alienating any of them. It has to stand up to intense scrutiny (much of it sure to be bad faith), with lots of people gunning for it from both the right and center.

    And, of course, it eventually has to give birth to real legislation.

    Given all those demands, the resolution does a remarkably good job of threading the needle. It is bold and unmistakably progressive, matched to the problem as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while avoiding a few needless fights and leaving room for plenty of debate over priorities and policy tools. 

    The resolution consists of a preamble, five goals, 14 projects, and 15 requirements. The preamble establishes that there are two crises, a climate crisis and an economic crisis of wage stagnation and growing inequality, and that the GND can address both.

    The goals — achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs, providing for a just transition, securing clean air and water — are broadly popular. The projects — things like decarbonizing electricity, transportation, and industry, restoring ecosystems, upgrading buildings and electricity grids — are necessary and sensible (if also extremely ambitious).

    • ParkHill says:

      In case you don't get to the bottom of that article:

      “The Green New Deal is what it means to be progressive. Clean air, clean water, decarbonizing, green jobs, a just transition, and environmental justice are what it means to a progressive,” Sean McElwee said. He’s the director of Data Progress, a young think tank whose work has substantially informed the GND. “By definition that means politicians who don’t support those goals aren’t progressive. We need to hold that line. Get on the GND train or choo-choo, motherfucker, we’re going to go right past you.”

  9. JohnInDenver says:

    WaPo notices another Colorado option: 

    Colorado Sen. Bennet hints about joining crowded Democratic race for president

    “We’ve got a million people that are going to run, which I think is great,” Bennet (Colo.) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” But, he added, “I think having one more voice in that conversation that’s focused on America’s future, I don’t think would hurt.”

    I'm sure that's a compelling reason to run — "it won't hurt."  /s

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