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February 17, 2020 10:34 PM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

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

–Norman Douglas


76 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. 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

          1. I’ve actually visited the Trotsky house near Frida Kahlo’s house in the Coyoacán neighborhood of Mexico City.

            Nothing speaks for the class struggle like living in a villa in an upscale neighborhood.

    1. I've seen ads for Sanders, Warren, Biden, Buttigieg & Bloomberg. The few Steyer ads I saw long ago were mainly on impeachment, not his candidacy specifically.  I can't recall any for Klobuchar or Gabbard.

      I'm not watching broadcast or cable tv, so those are the ones popping up for my computer site usage.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. YouGov did a survey asking who was "too old" to be President. In the cross-tabs, those self-identifying as Liberal looked at a list in 5 year increments and chose.  Agreeing with the "too old" (and the cumulative) at 

            60-65….. 7% (..7%)

            65-70… 10% (17%)

            70-75….24% (41%)

            75-80….12% (53%)

              1. Wait until you've had to deal with Alzheimers and dementia in your own family, Duke.  The notion of a president with those afflictions is terrifying.  Example Trump.  Warren 70 is a good bet.  Bernie, 79 upon taking office?  Hardly.

          2. "before the inevitable baloney starts…..none of them are looking for free stuff……"

            Guess you didn't see the recent interviews on (Denver) Channel 9 with the young people almost jumping for joy that they wouldn't have to repay their student loans if Bernie gets elected.

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. What I imagine is more likley
            Bernie is not at 50%+1 on the first ballot
            second ballot – supers and moderates pledged to Bernie go for someone "safe" and cue balloon drop.

      2. 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.

  2. 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.

      1. 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.


        1. 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.

      2. Start here

        First it would have to pass

        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?


        1. 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?”

          1. 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.


          1. You find it somehow less amusing when Righties like you say don't worry about our crazy spending plans, because we can cut taxes even more and get more revenue .. supply side stoopid… freedom!… oil… NASCAR good, socialism bad.




    1. 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 ?


      1. 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;

        1. 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.


            1. "shift even more to cap gains and dividends……"

              Matt C needs to understand that cap gains and dividends are a big part of the income of many retirees.

    2. 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). 

      1. 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. 

          1. 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.


          2. 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. 

              1. By removing the link between contribution and benefit, mike, you'd make oasdi a welfare program.  Ffdr fought that idea fiercely, for fear that it would weaken the program politically.

                1. We're already making that argument moot by claiming we're going to have to reduce benefits expected for people that have already paid in?

                  There is still a link between contribution and benefit without a cap (I can point you to any number of millionaires in eastern Colorado receiving their monthly checks).  Those in that bracket are just seeing a smaller return on their contribution.  

                2. PS, V: thanks for the insight from FDR.  All of the comments on this issue are valid; we each have our own point of view.  Just having the conversation is most important.  We don't lack the tools or ability to fix any of these problems…just the political will and our reluctance to stand up to bullies. 

              2. Look – you have been warned previously about doing math and being practical.

                I feel confident that the 15.5% you are referring already lean R. 
                But the political issue is most voters like to think they will pay estate tax, and they hate idea that when they get rich, they'll pay more. 

                    1. I may welcome the robot overlords – but rich guys like Dell should go ahead and change their citizenship and get it over with.
                      I recommend he bank in Aruba, create LLCs in Panama, and reside in Moscow. Or Vilnius.


              3. This article is a good addendum to this discussion. I don't believe Dems, particularly CO Dems, are clueless as this article asserts.  The national party writ large needs to do a better job of telling their story.

                “Shit-Life Syndrome,” Trump Voters, and Clueless Dems

                The Brookings Institution, in November 2019, reported: “53 million Americans between the ages of 18 to 64—accounting for 44% of all workers—qualify as ‘low-wage.’ Their median hourly wages are $10.22, and median annual earnings are about $18,000.”

                So tell me again why lowering the FICA rate on these 53 million would be a bad thing? 

  3. 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.

    1. 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.


  4. 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…

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

      1. I didn’t think there was enough empty space left in his brain for an additional resident after Nancy moved in but it appears I am mistaken: his galaxy brain is a two-bedroom condo.  

  6. 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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