Monday Open Thread

“The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.”

–Hunter S. Thompson


36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Pelosi and Schumer pre-emptively say "No" To $rump's planned $8 B wall.

  2. itlduso says:

    John "Drinkin Freakin Frackin Fluid" Hickenlooper is getting crucified out on the presidential campaign trail.  On Friday, he couldn't tell Joe Scarborough that he is a capitalist.  On Sunday's Face the Nation, he also couldn't describe himself as a capitalist.  And, today on Morning Joe, they are mocking him again.  What's worse, they are asking whether the entire Democratic Party is anti-capitalist.  

    Hickenlooper's main message on Face the Nation was that the number of new startup companies has apparently dropped.  My Google machine found an obscure article in the NY Times from 2017, citing 2015 statistics, that made this point.  So, he's not a capitalist, but his primary concern as a candidate is that there aren't enough capitalists.

    I have been wishing Hick to drop out of the presidential race and take on Gardner.  Now, I'm thinking he should just go home and stop embarrassing us and himself.




    • The realistThe realist says:

      I'm sure there are opportunities in the private sector he could pursue . . . why, perhaps the oil and gas industry could use him right now in opposition to SB181, drinking the fluid and saying it's safe, breathing in the methane and saying it smells like spring flowers.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      These should be slam dunk questions for a guy who is a millionaire and was governor during a time when the state economy did very well.  Fumbling simplistic questions isn't a good sign.

      Where I think Hickenlooper is way way out of touch with Democratic primary voters is saying silly shit like He can sit down with Mitch McConnell and come to an agreement.  Based on that statement, he disqualifies himself from serious considerations.  No Democrat I know wants to revive Obama's search for a consensus.  The guy is totally out of tune with these times.

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      Socially-responsible capitalists that loathe monopolists and oligarchs?  Is that too hard to say? 

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      Nearly all politicians stumble through concepts when they first try to articulate them in public.

      Consider Trump … on virtually anything. Or Warren, when questioned about the relationship between family lore, biology, and identity as assigned personally and socially. Or Sanders, trying to account for his 2016 campaign's disconnection with minorities and now, its apparent misogyny.  Or Rubio. ….

      Hickenlooper's not been pushed by new topics and skeptical audiences for a long time. Early uncertainty more likely shows awareness of traps without certainty of how to avoid them.

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        Agreed. It's early.  

        • itlduso says:

          With so many candidates, someone like Hick will get only a very small window to make an impression.  I think that window has already closed on him.

          • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

            The tail on the original Morning Joe piece is painfully long.  It's not helping the Governor's case that Joe is still talking about it today.  

          • VoyageurVoyageur says:

            It's certainly a lost opportunity to embrace the American free enterprise system.  Hell, the man had a brewery!  I'll drink to that.  But he still has time to find his stride.

            • VoyageurVoyageur says:

              Hick would be smart to talk up Colorado's hemp industry — not the smoking stuff — as a triumph of entrepreneurs with the potential to revolutionize our economy through, among other things, providing storage for intermittent electrical generation.  Beat that drum, Hick!  Americans are dying to hear optimism.

              Screw socialist equality.  Small business has always been a dynamo!

              Okay, I'll buy social ism for health care and education.  Otherwise, let a thousand flowers bloom!

              • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                Honestly, V, in today's "let's move on from Prohibition" political climate many of his early gaffe's are going to haunt him.  Colorado has been the #1 hemp producer for four years running (although listening to Mitch McConnell you'd never know his state ranks behind the Centennial state farmer-entrepreneurs.  Farm Journal is now calling agricultural hemp the next, legitimate "Third Crop" and Hemp Business Journal is forecasting a rosy marketplace.  

                We can thank every Colorado voter who supported Amendment 64 for setting this stage. Shockingly the DP Editorial board got another one wrong

                If it's the young that are going to determine the outcome of this primary – they are very interested in seeing social justice 'served' on this issue and square the blame on mostly-white guys (not Hick in particular, but he'll be thrown in the same bucket), then he and a lot of others better be prepared to answer some very tough questions.   From a 2014 interview with Ryan Warner: 

                Ryan Warner: I think if you talked to a hemp farmer they’d say, “Gosh, the promise of this industry is huge. The potential is huge in Colorado.” It sounds like you’re not– shall I say betting the farm on this crop.

                Gov. John Hickenlooper: I don’t want to hemp and haw and about this but it is…

                Ryan Warner: Ouch.

                Gov. John Hickenlooper: Again it’s a great – I’m sorry. It’s a great crop, right? But it’s not huge. Again, it’s legal in Canada, and they’re not – you don’t see vast tracks of hemp in Canada. I think it’s a niche crop. I think you can get a good price for it, but I think the market – the depth of the market – isn’t as large as what we might hope.

                That said, in 2014 few could have predicted a *rump presidency or a world where US tariffs would permanently alter our nation's #2 crop, soybeans. But even in 2014 there were a lot of people who understood well just how big the hemp market could be. 

                Then there was this: 

                Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper tells CNN he is not ruling out making marijuana illegal again, as the state’s crime rate has been rising since recreational use of the drug was made legal in 2014. As of yet, there’s no research that ties the increased crime rate to the Colorado’s recreational pot law.

                “Trust me, if the data was coming back and we saw spikes in violent crime, we saw spikes in overall crime, there would be a lot of people looking for that bottle and figuring out how we get the genie back in,” he said. “It doesn’t seem likely to me, but I’m not ruling it out.”

                I don't know if these are death knells or not in this political cycle, but I think we can all agree that the vast majority of this country is over the 'Prohibition' thing and that our food system is rapidly shifting beneath our feet.  Any candidate that has been consistent in their views on cannabis and climate (amongst other things) has an edge this time around. 

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  If he'd flack hemp relentlessly, he'd get the attention of those Iowa farmers — and might end up on the short list of "three tickets out of Iowa." .But as the Bible says, " If the trumpet sounds an uncertain call, then who will go forth to battle? "

                  Alas, as always,Hick is an uncertain trumpet.

                  • gertie97 says:

                    Iowa farmers might be ready to talk about hemp. It wouldn't require massive buys of politicians like their sainted ethonol does.

                    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                      Senator Grassley has been a staunch opponent to hemp legislation (as well as medical marijuana and recreational).  McConnell basically steam-rolled him in the Farm Bill process.  This is mostly a generational thing; you couldn't find a busload of millennials in Iowa that would stand with Chuck on this issue.  

                      This shouldn't be that hard….

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      And his name is Grass ley?  Sigh.  Where is Samantha Bee when you need her?

                    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                      Right?!?  I did mention to him at one point he had the perfect name to be a co-sponsor of the Bill (he didn't find the humor). His wife, a very nice lady, signaled that she might not share the Senator's opinion.  

                      The good news is that once the 2018 Farm Bill is fully implemented Iowa farmers will be able to fully participate.  Just like they did seventy-five years ago in the Hemp for Victory campaign.  

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      I remember once joking to Nighthorse Campbell that he had the chess player vote locked up.  He immediately wanted to know what I mea nt.  laboriously, I tried to explain that the knight is represented by a horse in most staunton pattern chess sets…well, anyway, as the day wore on, it became ap parent that levity was not going to prevail….

                    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                      …and closer to home, on the 102nd Meridian: (and just as *rump is whacking away at the coveted ag subsidies that make the eastern-Colorado-world-go-round.  Truly unfortunate timing).

                      GOP’s choice: pay for year-round campaign or for oppressive government

                      The way forward for Republicans requires decisive financial leadership.  Grassroots conservatives must also participate, whether by volunteering to do outreach or sponsoring paid activists.

                      The one thing we cannot do is to do nothing.  That path leads to repeating recent failures, becoming politically irrelevant, and leaving Colorado a hopeless haven where government sucks the life out of everything that once made our state a beacon for freedom and opportunity.

                  • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                    The bizarro world on the 100th Meridian: a state where the faces of two Founding Fathers who grew hemp are *literally* etched in stone.  I wish I was making this up…

                    Noem Vetoes Industrial Hemp Legislation

                    South Dakota must stand as an example for the rest of the country, not simply go along with others. Our focus must be on leading for South Dakota’s next generation. Our state is not yet ready for industrial hemp.

                    There is no question in my mind that normalizing hemp, like legalizing medical marijuana, is part of a larger strategy to undermine enforcement of the drug laws and make legalized marijuana inevitable.

                    South Dakota is one of only nine states that have yet to legalize industrial hemp.


                    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                      I still have a slew of ex in-laws in So Dak, most of them Trumpers if they’re over 30. But I fondly remember my ex-father-in-law, an FDR Democrat who maintained all his own equipment, sweating over the amount of water and diesel fuel it took to irrigate his corn fields. 

                      He would have been thrilled at the prospect of growing water-thrifty hemp; for him it would have also had positive associations with rope and canvas in WWII.

                      there aren’t many of his generation left, but those that are should be writing their reps and complaining about their lack of vision.

  3. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Well, I guess this means the Democratic presidential candidate will have visited Wisconsin at least once, this go-round.

    Democrats pick Milwaukee for 2020 national convention site

  4. CaninesCanines says:

    Oregon newspaper recaps former Colorado Attorney General John Suthers's trip to Saudi Arabia to speak with the king there concerning US laws and a convicted Saudi citizen:

    The Oregonian/OregonLive has identified more than a dozen times Saudis in Oregon and elsewhere have skipped the country in recent years while facing criminal prosecution. Most, like the Colorado case of Homaidan al-Turki, involve sex crimes. Some defendants vanished before trial, including those who had surrendered their passports to U.S. authorities.

    The Colorado prosecution stands out from those examined by The Oregonian/OregonLive because al-Turki didn’t disappear but faced trial and was convicted. Yet the diplomatic pressure afterward highlights common themes in all of these cases: Saudi concerns that U.S. courts won’t give them a fair shake and the kingdom’s starkly different view of justice and what constitutes a crime…

    Al-Turki is eligible to apply for parole again in May, according to Colorado authorities.

  5. Genghis says:

    On today's episode of Never Discuss Your Colorado Court of Appeals Business With The Married Dude You Met Online, Especially If You're A Racist:

    In re Booras, 2019 CO 16.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      It pisses me off, that the Martinez appeal, which is going to impact so many Coloradans absorbing the negative health impacts of fracking, was decided by a racist, sloppy, adulterous judge (Booras). Given that 2 of the lead plaintiffs are "Mexican" by the judge's definition,  her decision could well have been prejudiced.

      People who live near oil and gas operations absorb the social costs, while the state  continues to subsidize the industry with low severance taxes. Bill 181 seeks to reverse those priorities, placing public health first – which is why the industry is panicking. The industry, which accounts for about 3% of Colorado's GDP and 26,000 direct jobs, could still operate, albeit with less profit – they'd have to put in safety equipment, inspect more, cap methane emissions, drill horizontally, stay away from population centers. They just don't want to do all that.

      Martinez et al are going for a do-over. Good luck to the youth.

      More articles on health impacts:
      methane and ozone:


      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Perhaps you might want to re-write your comment.

        "Given that two of the lead plaintiffs are "Mexican"………..her decision could well have been prejudiced."

        Why am I reminded about Trump's comment about "that Mexican judge" who rendered a decision that Trump did not like, in regard to one of those Muslim travel ban cases?

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          CHB, read the complaint about the judge. The complaint is based on her calling a fellow judge, a Latina, "the little Mexican". I am quoting the judge who dissented on the Martinez decision.  And yes, it should remind you of Trump.

          So no, I don't need to rewrite my comment.

        • Curmudgeon says:

          Why am I reminded about Trump's comment about "that Mexican judge" who rendered a decision that Trump did not like, in regard to one of those Muslim travel ban cases?

          Because you didn't bother reading?

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            Typical response from Curmudgeon. I read the 24 page link. Still reminds me of Trump, who is the country’s main disgruntled loser.

            • Curmudgeon says:


              Typical response from Curmudgeon. I read the 24 page link. Still reminds me of Trump, who is the country’s main disgruntled loser.   

              Don't try to distract with your empty "I hate Trump" BS.  You were acting as if MJ made the statement, not that it was a quote:

              Perhaps you might want to re-write your comment. 

              "Given that two of the lead plaintiffs are "Mexican"………..her decision could well have been prejudiced."

              Why am I reminded about Trump's comment about "that Mexican judge" who rendered a decision that Trump did not like, in regard to one of those Muslim travel ban cases?

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                "your empty 'I hate Trump' BS……."  Of course, everything I might post is "BS" because Curmudgeon has decreed it so.

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  Curmy just folded like a two-dollar accordion in his flame war with me.  Leave him alone to lick his wounds for a while.  I still think your ideas have value, though  I'd be a lot more supportive if you let me buy you a beer.smiley

  6. Gray in Mountains says:

    That was interesting

  7. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Paul Le Page, Maine's ex-governor, has an explanation for why the country should keep the electoral college, and keep disregarding the popular vote.

    “Why don’t we just adopt the constitution of Venezuela and be done with it?” LePage said. “Let’s have a dictator because that’s really what you’re gonna boil down to.”

    What would happen if they do what they say they’re gonna do, white people will not have anything to say. It’s only going to be the minorities who would elect. It would be California, Texas, Florida,” he added

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