Monday Open Thread

“The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception.”

–Friedrich Nietzsche

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25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Energy Equity: Bringing Solar Power to Low-Income Communities

    Isbel “Izzy” Palans lives in a small cabin nestled among mountain peaks and towering trees in the Colorado Rockies. Her home is often shaded and, during the long winters, buried under heaps of snow. Her monthly utility bills show credits for solar electricity production, but no solar panels are affixed to her roof. Instead, the power comes from a solar array some 60 miles away in a nearby valley.

    Last year, the panels nearly slashed her energy bill in half. “I’ve been thrilled,” said Palans, a 76-year-old retired waitress who relies partly on Social Security benefits to make ends meet.

    Palans is a subscriber to a 145-kilowatt solar array project run by Holy Cross Energy, a rural utility cooperative. Built with state funding, the program provides solar credits to more than 40 low-income households in western Colorado that otherwise wouldn’t have the financial or technical means to access renewable energy. The venture is just one of a growing number of so-called “community solar” projects across the United States focused on delivering renewable energy — and the cost-savings it can provide — to low-income households, from California to Minnesota to Massachusetts.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      This is a very heartening story, Psuedo. It's a micro example of what should be happening on a macro scale. All hail the rural energy co-ops, especially the forward-thinking ones! (mine is not one of those).

       

  2. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    Good morning…
    Is there anyone who still believes the awful man the Republicans and Vladimir Putin weaseled into the White House (now the Whitest House) is not fully intending to establish himself as the ruler (in some form) of this nation? Look over his shoulder at the fascist people who influence him most. Stephen, “We will not be questioned” Miller, Mick, “Many Hats” Mulvaney, Smelly Anne, Whatever that demon that calls itself “Sarah” is, Hannity, Levin,…actually, the process of recalling these names is making me a bit queasy, so I will stop. You get the idea.
    Keep your eye on his moves to establish his own loyal military force.
    He has already subverted the Justice Department…the courts…EVERY cabinet agency…

    This danger is only getting worse.

    • The realistThe realist says:

      Agree, Duke. It amazes me that so many do not yet see this. Do folks remember early in #TrumpsterFire's rule, knowing Republicans would soothe folks' frayed nerves by saying, "Hey, he's new at this! He'll learn the ropes and will become more Presidential over time!" That was never the intent of his rule. 

      The lies are effective, the US House is weak, McConnell is as evil as #TrumpsterFire if not more so, and has neutered the US Senate. It is no accident that there are few properly installed cabinet members – it is purposeful. 

      To a great extent people do not yet see the danger because of human psychology – it is normal to try to make sense out of a sudden disaster – that house didn't just explode, my leg didn't just break, that guy didn't just pull a gun on me. But in #TrumpsterFire's case, the frog that's thrown in the pot of water that is gradually being heated is the clear analogy. The other ruling piece of psychology is that many just won't get it until it affects them directly – What happened to my tax refund? What happened to my health insurance? What happened to my job? What happened to my savings?

      It is going to be a very rough ride between now and November 2020, if Congress doesn't impeach and convict.

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        Very well said. 

        We must not allow the cacaphony from the Trumplican megaphone to drown out our ability to help our people understand how our nation is in peril.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      We've had worse. What we face now is bad, but the country has survived worse.

      Buchanan told the army to turn facilities and military stores over to the Confederacy.

      Harding sold off everything that wasn't nailed down in the federal government.

      FDR locked up U.S. citizens in internment camps.

      Nixon subverted the federal government to his ends a lot more effectively than Trump.

      Hover was a power unto himself.

      The list goes on…

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Sounds to me like maybe someone’s just a little too tired from all this winning???! . . . 

      sad

      Mondays suck . . .

      • The realistThe realist says:

        And so does Tax Day . . . 

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        Well, today would have been my mothers' 87th birthday. She was a lifelong Democrat who helped me learn right from wrong at a pretty early age. We lost her about 5 years ago. She would be appalled at this ugliness. Particularly the family separation thing.

        If you are fortunate enough to still be able to do so, call your Mom. Or better still, go see her and give her a hug. Tell her you love her. It is not a waste of time.You will not regret it.

         

        P S…don’t forget your Dad.

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          Both my parents are gone and two decades later, the wounds haven't really healed.  Yes, pay those visits and treasure those memories.  My dad died in a tractor accident and I didn't have a chance to say goodbye.  Dementia robbed my mother from me long before her death at 90.

          Life sucks.  Love your family, love your dogs and cats.   And work for a social order where fascism doesn't defame our shared national values.

          • The realistThe realist says:

            Good comments, both of you. My mother, too, was a lifelong Democrat, heavily influenced by FDR and Kennedy. She died 15 years ago – if she were alive today, seeing what Trump and the Republicans have done would have killed her.

            We have no choice, folks – every single one of us must work to restore our democratic republic.

        • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

          I talked to my mom this morning. She called to tell me to turn on the T.V. and see Notre Dame in flames. Does that count? My father died 3 years ago; just shy of 87.

          • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

            My mom survived the blitz in London (after the family fled Austria). She loved the old cathedrals and thought it was a miracle that they weren't all destroyed.  Her experience as a survivor of that conflict both traumatized and toughened her; she was a fighter for civil rights the rest of her life. 

            I'm doing my part to be a more accessible mother by moving closer to my adult children and my new granddaughter. It does take a village.

            • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

              You're a grandma? When did that happen?

              • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                My daughter is due in late May. I'll be moving back to metro Denver area in June. So we can probably hang out more!cheeky

                I will miss big skies, empty roads, familiar faces all around, low rent, the tightness of a small town where there's just no getting away from people who know (or think they know)  all about you and your beezneez. It's going to be an adjustment from being "that  hippie teacher at the high school" to being just another anonymous white middle aged woman, another face, another driver in a car.

                It's going to take time to get used to being paranoid about strangers again and taking 3x as long to get anywhere. Definitely a double-edged sword.

  3. unnamed says:

    So, verdict on the new tax law: Without question, it fucking sucks.

    Yes, I take more home on my paycheck each month, but the difference in  amount that I pay come tax time is higher than the extra amount that I take home for the year that apples to apples, I spend more than $900 additional taxes for 2018 than 2017.  I am in the lower-middle class tax bracket.

    So, thanks Repubs.  Your supposed tax cut, ain't a tax cut and your whole party can go fuck themselves.

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

       

      amen ….

      I was obliviously expecting a repeat of last year, with minor variations due to some minor shifts in what we'd done.

      As best I can see, a shift in how some asset sales are handled inside the tax software made me count all of those as "income" against my ACA tax credits.  The subsidy based on income gets whacked, which means income tax gets whacked. BIGLY.

      So I file — sending along a check.  And tomorrow, I track down an accountant who can go over the returns to see if there are adjustments needed for past years or this one. 

    • itlduso says:

      You're unfortunately not a millionaire/billionaire.  You're not a business owner who got a 20% pass-through deduction.

      For most folks, I've labeled it, "Trump Chump Change".

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Looks like Notre Dame will survive and rise again, like all the others. 

    I'm not a Christian, but I do love cathedrals and houses of worship. Lost in the anguish about Notre Dame: the historic Ramallah mosque on the west bank was also burning , definitely arson, probably set by Israeli settlers. 

    And there are the black churches in Louisiana, torched  by a racist. Who's to blame? The press: the music did it.  

    • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

      Thanks for the link, M.J. As the building was under renovation, my money's on a cutting torch throwing sparks or oily rags being what set it off. With all the craziness that's been going on in France, I'm just glad they don't think anyone intentionally put a match to it

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