Tuesday Open Thread

“There are many sham diamonds in this life which pass for real, and vice versa.”

–William Makepeace Thackeray

27 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Voyageur says:

    Trump stinks.  Great God Almighty, Trump Stinks!


  2. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from Vox: "127 New States"

    Under the Constitution, new states may be admitted by an ordinary act of Congress enacted with a simple majority vote. The Constitution does, however, prevent new states from being carved out of an existing state unless the legislature of that state consents. Chopping up the District of Columbia gets around this problem because Washington, DC, is not a state.

    • Carving DC up into 127 states does not pass the sniff test, constitutional or not. And I doubt a majority of even a Democratically-controlled Congress would approve, particularly if the purpose is just to game the constitution.

      If, on the other hand, the purpose is to ensure representation of all Americans, I think we should admit 5 new states – all of the current inhabited U.S. territories – Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Mariana Islands, and Guam. I think this could somewhat counterbalance the Alaskas and Wyomings, be morally defensible, and it's easier to design a 55-star-field than a 100-to-200-star field on the US flag.

      • Actually, I left off DC. It should be a state, except, as the Vox article suggests, the comparatively small federal district (which should just be managed directly by the US government). Six new states: DC, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Mariana Islands, Guam.

        As an added bonus, a 56-star flag is trivial to design – 6 rows of 8 stars:

        * * * * * * * *
        * * * * * * * *
        * * * * * * * *
        * * * * * * * *
        * * * * * * * *
        * * * * * * * *
      • davebarnes says:

        What about Greenland? Doesn't it deserve to be state?

        And, what about the Canadian provinces? We could easily annex them.

        Think big or go home.

      • DENependent says:

        I agree on it not passing the sniff test. Even doing something as fair as admitting DC as a state would have “moderates” up in arms about constitutionality and so on never mind that it has a larger population than two states and is probably going to pass up Alaska in the next decade.

        Puerto Rico is problematic because it is far from certain that the people want to be a state.

        Even combined the rest of the territories would not constituted enough population to even make one Wyoming. There are less than 400,000 people living in Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the N. Marianas. Figuring out some way of fairly representing them is beyond me. I suspect this is one of the many problems where the diversity of opinions in all the relevant places makes solution impossible in the short term.

        What the US congress ought to do is say to Puerto Rico, “Okay, in or out? You’re going to have a binding vote on becoming a state or an independent country because the status quo is a mess. Whichever you guys want is fine, but: in or out?”

        If PR wants independence work out some sort of addition to NAFTA (or whatever the name is now) for them and a transition period to let people migrate over the next 10-20 years. If they are going to be state get things moving that direction and have it done in 4 years, because realistically we cannot guarantee being able to admit PR if there is a change in administration.

    • ParkHill says:

      I think some of the commenters didn’t read the article.

      I did not know that North and South Dakota were split by the Republican Congress in 1888 in order to guarantee four Republican Senators instead of two.

      What doesn’t pass the sniff test is that we have States with 400,000 people getting the same number of Senators (Votes) as States with 40 million people.

      The point of the article is that, the Constitution gives Congress the right to create new states, but not split existing states. Therefore, it is POSSIBLE to add several states built out of Washington, DC, each of which could be bigger than a number of existing states.

      How is that different than the Republican Party of 1888 splitting the Dakota territories?

      • DENependent says:

        How is it different drinking 6 beers vs. drinking 360 beers? Because that’s the scale of the difference.

        While splitting Dakota in 1888 was clearly a power play it at least had the semblance of being almost reasonable since in 1890 there was 1 representative ~187,000 people. The population of N. Dakota in 1890 was 190,983. And it was not even close to the least populous state, which was Nevada at 47,355.

        It also comes down to two wrongs not making a right. Just because Republicans did a bad thing(tm) in 1888 does not mean that it is justified for Democrats to do something (incredibly) worse now. And it is not even that sensible a play for Democrats since even if the Senate were packed with 200+ new Senators from DC it is hardly guaranteed that these rotten states would vote Dem. It would be of great advantage for corporations and rich Republicans to buy up the housing in these new states to buy Senate seats for themselves.

        Dangerous, wrong, and stupid is how I would sum up the proposal for admitting more than 1 state carved out of DC.

    • kwtree says:

      No…there are quite a few divide-and- conquer Sanders vs Warren rumors being circulated. The trolls are out in force already.

      Anyone can say that they are a Sanders (or any other candidate) supporter. Then when said “supporter” does something stupid, sexist, rash, unhinged, it reflects back on the candidate, gets written up and posted on Facebook 5,000 times, and goes viral. Verify any “Bernie vs Warren” posts – or any candidate posts of this type.

      Project Veritas, your link, is by James O’Keefe, a known provocateur and purveyor of doctored videos and fake news. I didn’t even bother looking at it, since I already know he’s lying. Try again with actual news sometime. 

      Keep the bet where it is. $30 for Warren, I think you said, after Trump was impeached. Here’s the contact info: https://elizabethwarren.com/

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Response to Pear’s posting:

      These are the nut jobs KWtree says we mainstream Dems need to reach out and engage if we are to win elections.

      I’d rather win over the suburban moderates who are disgusted with where the GOP has gone and showed up for our candidates in Nov. ’18.

      • kwtree says:

        Do you always take James O'Keefe (Planned Parenthood doctored videos, fake ACORN videos, etc) at his word? Breitbart and all of the screaming rightee "news" sites are….but are those your preferred news sources? I know they are Pear's, but expected more from you.

        I doubt if the "nut job" was in fact a field organizer for Sanders. There are plenty of jerks who claim to be "Bernie Bros", but in fact are right wing operatives on a mission to divide and distract.

        Sanders said that the guy wasn't a staffer,  and denied the conversation that supposedly took place.  Warren herself said that she and Benie have much more in common than not. The adults in the room are not letting the trollie "shit stirrers" divert and distract.  

        However, it is entirely up to you  whom you allow to live rent free in your head. 

        Look up "confirmation bias" sometime.


  3. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from Josh Marshal: "It Was Always about Supporting Donald Trump"

    Oligarchs and Post-Capitalism

    I picked up a copy of the book that Fiona Hill and co-author Clifford Gaddy wrote about Putin, Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin. It’s not a biography precisely. It is an effort to understand the historical, political, ideological contexts that shaped Putin’s thinking, his actions, goals, etc. One of the key shaping influences was the transition from communism to the oligarch-ruled version of capitalism that exists in Russia today. In that vein, there’s this passage … 

    Capitalism, in Putin’s understanding, is not production, management, and marketing. It is wheeling and dealing. It is not about workers and customers. It is about personal connections with regulators. It is finding and using loopholes in the law, or creating loopholes. 

    Sound like anyone you know?

    The basis of Trump closeness to Putin is also why Trump has such close relationships with Erdogan, Kim, and the various royal families of the Gulf. This transactional and personal approach to organizing business and organizing the world is one on which Putin and Trump really see eye to eye. What is important from the perspective of the US however is that it is highly suited to Russia’s particular strengths and weaknesses but not at all to those of the United States.

    • harrydoby says:

      And of course, Putin is doing everything he can to support Trump during the impeachment process

      With President Donald Trump facing an impeachment trial over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, Russian military hackers have been boring into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the affair, according to security experts.

      The hacking attempts against Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company on whose board Hunter Biden served, began in early November, as talk of the Bidens, Ukraine and impeachment was dominating the news in the United States.

  4. Genghis says:

    Look out, Denver! Amazon's facial recognition software says you have a bunch of sex offenders on your city council

    lol Amazon facial recognition software

  5. kwtree says:

    This ( Warren quashing the Sanders conflict escalation) is going to disappoint those who really want a huge Warren-Sanders brouhaha to divide Progressives. 

    . That includes far right propagandists such as Breitbart, the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, and a whole raft of Bernie-bashers who can’t wait to spread memes about how “sexist” Bernie supposedly is. Putin and Trump love it, too. 

    Those who like to pole vault over mouse turds will have to find some other scandal to fulminate over.
     Just….. please, check sources, check validity, check accuracy and context before you go posting memes fanning the flames  of division. 

    If your preferred candidate starts leading the polls, they’ll be the next target of nasty rumors.

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