Tuesday Open Thread

“A man can believe a considerable deal of rubbish, and yet go about his daily work in a rational and cheerful manner.”

–Norman Douglas

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76 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. 2Jung2Die2Jung2Die says:

    Rep. Perry Buck didn't do so well in the Weld County commissioner vacancy race. Maybe the voting committee looked at her list of legislative accomplishments and noticed its near-nonexistence! Looks like Weld used sort of like ranked choice voting – results with rankings in order from the Greeley Tribune:

    Brett Abernathy: Kevin Ross (the eventual winner); Elijah Hatch; Butch White; Perry Buck; Mike Finn

    Nancy Teksten: Ross; Hatch; White; Buck; Finn

    Tonya Van Beber: Ross; Buck; Finn; Hatch; White

    James Welch: Hatch; White; Ross; Buck; Finn

    Gene Stille: White; Hatch; Finn; Ross; Buck

  2. RepealAndReplace says:

    Is this turning into a two-person race between the plutocrat and the Trotskyite?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/18/us/politics/bloomberg-debate-poll-numbers.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    They are the only two I've seen running commercials in CO.

  3. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    It's looking increasingly like it will be a Bloomberg v. Sanders contest.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Sigh.  That's like when Utah gave a condemned man the choice of hanging or a firing squad!

      • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

        I'm not agreeing to any prognostication until after Super Tuesday.  That will feed results of two more debates, 16 more states or territories, and move us from the 1.5% of delegates chosen or in process to about 40% chosen (and others still in process).

        Two really old white guys (or 3, if Biden stays alive) will make the choice much less exciting, and I think it squanders the chance to have a clear, physical difference from the really old really white guy (with painted on orange) on the other side.

        • MattC says:

          I can’t think of any progressive voter I know or am related to that cares about gender, age or race.
          Other than electability.

          Before the inevitable baloney starts , none of them are looking for free stuff. None of them really care about a lot of trivial stuff that the media and the opposition seem to think we all care about.

    • ParkHill says:

      Brokered convention.

      While I like Sanders, I can see where neither he nor Bloomberg receive a majority of the delegates on the second ballot.

      In that situation, I think that Warren (my favorite), could gain the trust of both the left and establishment lanes.

      In any case, consider which Democratic candidate you:
      (1) Like the best
      (2) Who do you trust to carry your proxy?

      • MattC says:

        If it goes to the convention without a clear frontrunner – ie, 'winner,' think superdelegates.   That would be the end of Bernie and Warren.
        And probably the dominant two party system.
         

        • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

          There are only 770 or so PLEOs (super delegates) who don't vote in the first ballot.  And they certainly are not of one ideological stripe, particularly after Sanders did so well in 2016.  If a candidate doesn't win on the first ballot and ONLY the PLEOs add (other delegates remain committed) , they would need to get half (385) plus the missing number to reach a majority — a hard task, indeed.

          No prediction here — but a guess that candidates with less than 500 delegates would try to cut deals with those similar to them who are above 1000 delegate, in search of the 2,376 votes needed in the 2nd and later rounds. Those bargains would be at least as important as the PLEOs.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        It’s just like the Dems . . . 
         

        . . . the GOPers are on the ropes after years of lies, failed policies, blatant 1%er favoritism, environmental destruction, ignoring of facts, and a hugely unpopular President.

        The Democratic response to which will be almost certainly a brokered, and fractured, convention.  And, although that used to regularly happen, it hasn’t occurred now again in the past half-century.  The upshot being that whoever emerges from the brokered convention will be seen to be lacking the legitimacy and the popular mandate that most voters have come to expect from a candidate who emerges as a Primary outcome winner.  It was always gonna’ be a heavy enough of a lift, all by itself, just to get Sanders, or Bloomberg, or Stein, or Chelsea, or whoever — now Democrats will have to also hoist along their legitimacy as nominees to a suspicious potential electorate …

        At that point, it doesn’t matter who comes outta’ thre convention.

  4. itlduso says:

    Please, please someone in the media, preferably at tomorrow night's debate, demand that Sanders answer specifically, how much everyone's taxes will be raised to pay for his plans.  For example, I suspect he will eliminate the cap on taxing Social Security earnings which is currently at about $138,000 (i.e., everyone earning over $138,000 will pay an additional 7.65% on their earnings).  And, that's just for starters.  Warren tanked when she answered that question.  Bernie's supporters might be surprised at his answer.

    • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

      How has he suggested he would pay for it?  What makes you think a Sanders supporter would be surprised by his answer?

      • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

        Sanders hasn’t clarified a cost for M4A this year, not even a revision to his campaign’s estimate of $16 Trillion for a decade that he had in 2016.  He’s left it to others to do the math.

        Standard answer in the few speeches/media appearances I’ve seen or read:  “you’ll never hear the media say, the corporate media, you’ll never hear them say, “How are you going to pay for this war … “

        In January, he was interviewed on CBS.  Report on the program:

        “Your agenda has promised free health care for everybody, free college tuition, and to pay off peoples’ college loans. The price tag for that is estimated to be $60 trillion dollars over ten years. Is that correct?” asked Norah O’Donnell of CBS Evening News.

        “Well look, we have political opponents…” Sanders began before being cut off and pressed on the question.

        “You don’t know how much your plan costs?” O’Donnell responded.

        “You don’t know. Nobody knows. This is impossible to predict,” Sanders conceded, leaving O’Donnell stunned.

        The Urban Institute, a center left think tank, emerged with this estimate on Sanders’ health care plan alone:

        For example, estimates from the Urban Institute put the potential gap for an ambitious single-payer plan at around $7 trillion over a decade. Under this plan, the federal government would spend an additional $34 trillion over the next 10 years, offset by $27 trillion less that would have been paid by people and their employers, as well as the government, for existing program obligations in the same period.

         

        • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

          The Urban Institute estimate is not based on Sanders plan,   They modeled their own version of a single payer plan they called “an ‘enhanced’ single-payer system ” and scored that.

          Sanders does talk about paying for his plan, though.  Although, of course, that will change if/when the policy gets hammered out.

      • MattC says:

        Start here

        First it would have to pass

        https://berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/

        berniesanders.com/issues/options-to-finance-medicare-for-all-1.pdf
        or
        https://www.sanders.senate.gov/download/options-to-finance-medicare-for-all?inline=file

        https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/15/sanders-applauds-new-medicare-all-study-will-save-americans-450-billion-and-prevent

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-health-202/2020/02/18/the-health-202-bernie-sanders-s-most-persuasive-medicare-for-all-argument-the-status-quo-is-worse/5e4ac975602ff12f6a671110/

        There is a lot of information – this troll poster will be happy when people start discussing it – and acknowledging the numbers are huge.

        If it's too impossible – the clear fearmongering implication – it will never pass.
        Why doesn't he ask about Mayor Pete's tax plan?
         

         

        • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

          I would say that the increase in federal spending is large, but in total dollars, American healthcare spending would be less than it is now.  I think what folks who talk about “how will he pay for it?” really mean is “tell us about the taxes that we’ll be paying.”

          Of course, there will be new taxes.  Just as spending through payroll deductions, copays, coinsurance, deductibles all go away.  In the end, I think the answer to “Oh no, mah taxes!” is “Would you rather pay lower taxes or have more money?”

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          "why doesn't he ask about Mayor Pete's tax plan…." Because Mayor Pete isn't promising the moon like Bernie is.

          • MattC says:

            Maybe

            More likely because while the numbers are still big, and the plan itself is confusing to most voters – no one really cares once the number is more than ten times their own household income.

             

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          It always cracks me up when lefties say: “Don’t worry about our crazy spending plans.  Congress will never pass them!,”

    • MattC says:

      Wouldn’t the top earners who have shifted a large percentage of their earnings to cap gains and dividends just shift even more to cap gains and dividends?

      Or is that all part of the plan to tax all income sources as income and not let Buffett pay the same effective tax rate as his secretary ?

       

      • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

        It is

        Making the federal income tax more progressive, including a marginal tax rate of up to 70 percenton those making above $10 million, taxing earned and unearned income at the same rates, and limiting tax deductions for filers in the top tax bracket;

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Yeah, because back in the day (i.e., before 1986) when we had 70% top bracket, rich people actually paid that rate.  laugh

        • MattC says:

          Well… let the accounting games begin and no one will understand it.

          Trump cut taxes? Why did mine go up?
          I have two years of data  now – no kidding effective tax rate went up in my household.
          I do catering gigs as the second job – all the while calling it the student loan job.
          Clearly, the better strategy would have been to start a for profit college.Or choose rich parents.

           

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      I’m a fan of the idea of eliminating the cap on SS and simultaneously lowering the rates to stay revenue neutral. Everybody wins (except a small handful of billionaires). 

      • itlduso says:

        Eliminating the cap on Social Security contributions changes the entire justification of the program as a retirement savings plan.  Note that it is called a "contribution" and not a tax.  And, raising taxes on those making over $138,000 may sound good to some, but in reality, that is the sweet spot for so many suburban voters that we will need to defeat Trump and the GOP. 

        • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

          You might have missed the part where I said eliminate the cap and lower the rate? Stay revenue neutral in relation to the current cap? 

          • MattC says:

            Dang.
            It is tax that is not a tax and since no one anywhere is willing to pay more tax that is not a tax, any D candidate who plans to increase it (all of them) will lose.  D's are doomed.

             

          • itlduso says:

            Regardless, you favor raising taxes on employees (and their employers) making more than $138,000.  Kiss the suburban voters goodbye.  And, for what purpose? Because you're just proposing a revenue neutral redistribution of the SS costs.  I'm still waiting to hear how Sanders ($50T) and Warren ($25T) plans will be paid for. 

  5. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

  6. RepealAndReplace says:

    Trump is crowing about his commutation of Rod Blagoevich’s prison sentence, how he was the victim of Comey and Fitzpatrick’s over-zealous prosecution, how poor Rod (“who is Democrat, not a Republican”) has been separated from his children for 8 years, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump’s next move is to tell Barr to go through all the inmates in federal prison and tag the cases which Comey or Mueller pushed, and then pardon them.

    PS Bernie Kerouk, Rudy’s police commissioner, also got a pardon.

    • harrydobyharrydoby says:

      Trump had a busy day, flinging open the jail doors for every rich, white, corrupt male.  Roger Stone has nothing to worry about — he probably will get pardoned before next week’s scheduled sentencing.

      The commutation was one of a flurry of legal actions Trump took Tuesday, including pardons for Kerik, financier Michael Milken and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr. And they came days before the scheduled sentencing of Roger Stone in federal court in D.C., amid widespread speculation about whether the president will pardon his former longtime aide.

       

  7. NOV GOP meltdown says:

    Is Juliette Parker going to win this weeks’ ” At least she’s not your (almost) Mayor ” award ?  Man, what is it about the water in C Springs…

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Good one, Michael, although I doubt even Mike has enough money to buy Greenland.

      Watched part of Rachel Maddow last night. Not normally a big fan, but she is getting again into the complex and murky financial relationships among Trump, Kushner, Deutsche Bank, and various Russian interests. Interviewed the finance editor of the NY Times, David Enrich, who has a new book out today called Dark Tower, Deutsche Bank, Trump about those relationships.

      Two levels of federal courts already have said that Deutsche has to comply with subpoenas for Trump’s financial records at Deutsche. His last hope is the Supreme Court. Would be wonderful if all his crooked ties with Russia finally get exposed just months before the election.

  8. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    I’m actually more interested in how you get on a departing plane in China with a bag of live chickens?!???

  9. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Welp.  That didn't take long.  Would anyone here be shocked that the Bloomberg tape released yesterday was creatively edited by the Trump campaign? It looks like Donnie is trying to stir up some outrage in farm country (it worked). 

    Edited video of Mike Bloomberg appears to insult farmers, factory workers, but there's more to the story

    A video circulated by President Donald Trump’s supporters on Monday, with more than a million views, attempts to show presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg making disparaging remarks about farmers and manufacturing workers.

    But the short, edited clip from a 2016 appearance by Bloomberg at the University of Oxford, doesn't provide the full context of the presentation. 

    In the video circulated on Twitter, Bloomberg says: “I could teach anybody, even people in this room so no offense intended, to be a farmer. It's a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn. You could learn that.”

    But the video deleted the first part of that statement, in which Bloomberg says, “if you think about the agrarian society (that) lasted 3,000 years, we could teach processes.”

    In the full video, the Democrat presidential candidate wasn't referring to modern agriculture at all, and "Team Trump is deliberately misleading Americans,” said Bloomberg spokesman Brandon Weathersby.

  10. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    Apparently, Barr isn't familiar with the old saying "If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas".  He has thrown away his reputation for the mangiest mutt in the alley.

    Barr has told people close to Trump that he is considering quitting over the president’s tweets, officials say

    The startling development came as President Trump defied Attorney General William P. Barr’s request to stop talking publicly about Justice Department business — declaring in a string of tweets that he might sue those involved in the special counsel’s investigation into his 2016 campaign and suggesting that Roger Stone, Trump's longtime confidant convicted of lying to Congress in that probe, deserved a new trial. The messages put Trump even more at odds with Barr, who last week told ABC News that the president's statements were making it "impossible" for him to do his job.

    “He has his limits,” said one person familiar with Barr’s thinking, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

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