Thursday Open Thread

Do what you did on Wednesday.

30 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. kwtree says:

    This might make some “moderate” heads explode around here:

    To cut down on health costs, house the homeless. Look up Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy sometime. The basic principle is that needs higher up on the pyramid can’t be addressed until the base needs are met. Security and safety are low on the pyramid; so higher needs such as self-actualization (gainful employment, acquiring skills, citizenship) can’t be met until the basic needs are met first.

    United Health, one of the largest health insurers, is saving lives and money by providing shelter to its neediest patients in Phoenix, Arizona. Closer to home, addicts and people in recovery stay sober and rehabilitate themselves by being sheltered in one of the many peer-run Oxford House sober living homes. This was essential to my own daughter’s recovery, after years of a downward spiral. 

    Some things really do take a village.

    • MichaelBowman says:


    • Duke Cox says:

      yes…and yes.

    • itlduso says:

      I'm a moderate on this site and this does not blow my mind.  What does blow my mind is the insanity of promoting candidates who support the $34 trillion Medicare for All which will hand Trump the election.  What blows my mind are those who wanted to throw out VA Governor Ralph Northam and also his Dem Lt. Governor which would have prevented us from taking over the VA legislature and Governorship paving the way for real progressive action. 

      Tuesday's election once again proves that we need to promote candidates and ideas that won't turn off urban/suburban/exurban voters. These voters are poised to throw out Trump if given someone who is just plain reasonable.  That means practically anyone other than Warren or Sanders. 

    • 2Jung2Die says:

      Not sure about numbers, but "permanent supportive housing" projects have been built in Colorado, through CHFA and local housing authorities, and I think the concept has legs plus maybe an OK level of financing opportunity. It totally makes sense that stable housing would not only be humane but would also have positive impacts on health, safety, need for emergency public services, and perhaps rates of incarceration. I'm a moderate Whig and permanent supportive housing has my support.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Wow, one of those big, nasty insurance companies has managed to pry itself away from its profiteering to do something about homelessness?

      How is that possible? More importantly, how can we allow this when there is no doubt lots of government bureaucrats perfectly capable of doing the same?

      It doesn't matter if the cat is black or white as long as it catches mice.


    • Diogenesdemar says:

      That’s a crock, kwtree.

      Even the Ttump-reddest pfruity conservatives don’t have the slightest problem with, “it takes a village” . . . 

      . . . as long as it’s their village/church/gun range/gated community/yachting marina/country club/cooperative/compound/klavern/multi-national corporation . . . 

      . . . And, as long as it doesn’t cost them a single penny, personally.

      It’s just the principal . . .


    • JohnInDenver says:

      No reason for explosions.  Denver Foundation and other organizations created an approach for private investment in housing, with the investors getting paid if those in the housing use fewer government resources.  Pilot programs like that ought to appeal across the ideological spectrum.

      Salt Lake City, hardly one of the most liberal locations in the country, has a "100 More Housed" initiative, integrating state and local government funds with private enterprise and nonprofits. 

  2. Arvadonian1 says:

    Gabbard has qualified for the November debate; Amy has qualified for the December debate.

  3. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from Vox: "Colorado's Cleanest Energy Options are also its Cheapest"

    Comparing three scenarios: Business as Usual, Retire Coal and Deep Decarbonization. Due to Colorado's geographic position, the huge decline in costs for renewables and storage, and the Democratic political trifecta we are extraordinarily lucky. 

    As you can see, in the retire-coal scenario, the lost coal is replaced with a mix of solar, wind, and natural gas. In the deep decarbonization scenario, coal and natural gas are both replaced (though some residual natural gas remains), occasioning a huge rise in solar, wind, and storage.

    The strategy is to electrify everything you can, in particular transportation and home heating (head-pumps). The biggest cost improvement is in transportation because electric cars use far less fuel than gas-cars, and have far fewer parts. We’re only waiting on economies of scale to bring the price down.

    Relative to BAU, deep decarbonization saves Coloradans $4.8 billion in electricity costs through 2040. Of that, $1.5 billion is invested in renewable energy, electrification, and storage technologies, so the savings net out to $3.3 billion. 

    Third, deep decarbonization brings savings in other sectors as well. VCE reports:

    The total savings between 2018 and 2040 for transportation are estimated to be $15.6 billion (real 2017$), which equates to a saving of almost $680 million per year. The total savings between 2018 and 2040 for heating are estimated to be $9.7 billion, which amounts to an annualized saving of $424 million. Therefore, the combined savings are $25.3 billion by 2040, at an annual average amount of approximately $1 billion.

    All told, that averages out to annual savings of $97 per electricity customer, $528 per heating customer, and $611 per vehicle through 2040. Not a bad deal for Coloradans. 

    When all the costs are tallied up — electricity, transportation, and heating system costs — the deep decarbonization scenario comes in the cheapest.

    Dave Roberts at Vox has been doing a great job covering the alternative energy industry in depth. 


  4. ParkHill says:

    WOTD2 from Tim Higginbotham at Jacobin: "Elizabeth Warren Is Jeopardizing Our Fight for Medicare for All"

    The main point to be made about the MFA debate is that WE ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR IT. In terms of cost, it doesn't really matter whether we pay in taxes or premiums, we just need to get through the fear and the transition period.

    Personally, I'm in the Public Option camp because (1) The collapse of employer insurance is inevitable, once people and companies have a reasonable alternative, and (2) Public Option offers the most graceful, least friction alternative.

    Standing in the way are two things:

    (1) Everybody is afraid of losing the little crumbs we already have.
    (2) There are BIG money interests invested in monopolizing the system, starting (obviously) with the Drug, and Insurance companies. But there are grift and skimming at every level of the system. 

    I'd like to see a transparent accounting of where all the money is going at every step of the process, but even that would radically undercut the moneyed interests.

    I'm a Warren supporter, but I guess I agree with Higgenbotham's points:

    Whatever her intentions, Elizabeth Warren’s plan to finance Medicare for All has made winning single-payer far more complicated than it should be — and jeopardized a wildly popular policy that should be a political slam dunk in the process.

    Medicare for All is plainly realistic in terms of sheer policy and numbers. There are no wonky details to work out to prove it is doable. The only candidate who seems to understand this — and to understand the massive fight winning Medicare for All will require — is Bernie Sanders. His approach for decades now has been to emphasize the program’s obvious affordability without getting suckered into debates about misguided policy questions, all the while rallying the working-class majority against the powerful interests standing in our way.

    The question of how to pay for Medicare for All has always irked single-payer advocates, mostly because we’ve always known that paying for it is easy — the United States is the wealthiest country on earth, and we’re spending far more now than we would be under Medicare for All. The real obstacle is not the cost, as those immersed in the fight for single-payer understand well, but the battle we’ll need to wage against insurance companies, drug companies, and the political establishment in order to take public control over what’s rightfully ours.

    Check the news, however, and you’d think the only reason we haven’t yet won Medicare for All is that nobody has figured out how to finance it. Media outlets frequently repeat political attacks on Medicare for All’s costs while ignoring all firm evidence about its benefits and inevitable savings. The question has gotten far more play in presidential debates than any concern about the insane profits of insurance and pharmaceutical companies, or the political establishment’s effort to bait-and-switch on the promise of universal health care by rallying around watered-down alternatives.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      I keep coming back to the old-line political advice, "if you are explaining, you are losing."

      Pushing for affordable health care for all is the Democratic vision.   How it will be accomplished (and when) will depend a great deal more on members of the House and Senate than any President.

      Democrats can consistently point to the unanimous Republican opposition to the ACA; to relatively consistent Republican efforts to obstruct the expansion of Medicaid; to the on-going effort to legislatively repeal the ACA as a whole or in part; to the legal efforts brought by Republican Attorneys General to invalidate the ACA; and to the on-going efforts of the Trump Sad!-ministration to undermine the ACA with every possible administrative choice they've made.  They can point to the on-going promise there will be a great Republican plan for health care, still not seen after a decade of announcements.

      The primary debate ought to be over who can make the attack on the Republicans most forcefully and persuasively.  Who can commit to running the administration of whatever program we have most fairly and efficiently. 

      The details of how to improve the present situation can be hammered out in think tanks, platform committees and Congressional debate.

  5. notaskinnycook says:

    Details on the meet-up on the Wednesday Open Thread.

    • harrydoby says:

      I really, really wanted to go, but my wife's flight from the East Coast gets in tomorrow shortly before the meetup. After being on the road for over a week, she deserves a date night (or at least some great take-out, a bottle of wine and a foot rub ;-).  She hates politics, so unfortunately, The Abbey isn't an option.

      Since that is Madco's usual haunt, he must not live that far from me, so I suspect our paths will cross eventually.  I'm not hard to find.

  6. RepealAndReplace says:

    President Mike Bloomberg…..

    He's not my first choice but we could do a lot worse.

  7. kwtree says:

    Dang. Some other time, then.

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