Friday Open Thread

“Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.”

–Charles de Gaulle

44 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    First there was Todd Akin, amateur gynecologist

    Then we had Donald Trump, amateur infectious disease expert

    And now we have Bernie Sander, amateur oncologist (and sex therapist, too)

    I am sure we hear more about this in September if he is the nominee.

  2. ParkHill says:

    Spare a prayer today for all the food service and other service workers who don’t get paid sick days.

  3. itlduso says:

    I got sick last night — I made the mistake of turning on Hannity for just a few minutes and got sick to my stomach.  It's disgusting how they are blaming this on the Dems and also how delusional they are.  I pity the fools who get their information from Fox. 

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Sadly, you cannot fix stupidity. 

    • MichaelBowman says:

      This article has some age on it but it's as relevant today (if not more) as the day it was published.

      I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria

      Old, white, wrinkled and angry, they are slipping from polite society in alarming numbers. We’re losing much of a generation.  They often sport hats or other clothing, some marking their status as veterans, Tea Partyers or “patriots” of some kind or another. They have yellow flags, bumper stickers and an unquenchable rage. They used to be the brave men and women who took on America’s challenges, tackling the '60s, the Cold War and the Reagan years — but now many are terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.

    • harrydoby says:

      The simple reason Fox and the rest of the RWNJ media need to deflect blame onto Dems — with Trump in the White House and McConnell and the GOP pretty much in charge of everything else, they are deathly afraid of having their sheeple wake up, realize 2+2 does equal 4 afterall, and throw them out of office for gross negligence, and venal incompetence.

      Cowards, bullies and toadies are all that is left of the Republican Party.

  4. kwtree says:

    Mike Bloomberg cost the city of New York  almost a billion dollars for people wrongfully arrested under his beloved Stop and Frisk program.
    This includes the settlement to plaintiffs, new training programs and procedures for police, dismissals of summons, and legal fees and costs. If you want the rest of the links, I’ll post them later.
    That may have more to do with Bloomberg’s scaling back the S&F program than sudden pangs of conscience that “It was wrong”. 

    With likely spread of coronavirus, quarantines, disruption of the economy, and likely inundation of much of the eastern seaboard, the last thing we need is to elect another autocrat who thinks that police crackdown and incarceration  of all the poor and brown people is the best solution to all problems. 

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      As you know, from Bloomberg’s POV, $1 billion is not all that much money.

      Everyone – except Donald Trump, if course – makes mistakes and apologizes for them.

      Bill Clinton apologized for the infamous blow job.

      Joe Biden apologized for his vote for the Iraq War.

      Bernie Sanders apologized for some of his pro-NRA votes on gun bills.

      Elizabeth Warren apologized for her claiming to be Native American.

      Bloomberg apologized for stop and frisk.

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    The Judicial Branch of our government has something to say about the 1mm acres of public lands put up for oil and gas leases…

    Judge voids nearly 1 million acres of oil and gas leases, saying Trump policy undercut public input

    PS: before you get the vapors Nutter, you do realize that if we converted the farm ag waste we let rot each year to advanced biofuels we could offset somewhere between 30% and 50% of our liquid fuel needs?  We don’t need public lands opened for drilling; we need federal policy that supports energy independence with ag-based solutions. 

    • JohnInDenver says:

      having been an academic debater or coach on topics involving bio-fuels since 1973, biomass has been a “promising” technology that is 5 or 10 years away — and I’ve heard that timeline forecast in at least three different decades.

      What is the range of prices estimated for the waste biomass fuel?

      And has anyone determined a good way to deal with year to year variations in the amount of waste available and the excess capacity that would be needed (for biomass and for traditional petroleum/natural gas) to prevent shortages?

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Like solar and wind this all boils down to political will.  We’d have to rewind the story all the way to the days of Reagan when he gutted both the solar and algae-to-biodiesel program at (now) NREL and scattered the scientists to the winds.  We’ve made a respectable amount of advanced biofuels at (originally) DuPont’s (now Poet-DSM)  Liberty plant in Iowa, but that’s winding down now.  The current Administration has put a real damper on the advanced biofuels development with all of the SREs (Small Refinery Exemptions) he’s handing out to the oily boys.  Couple all of that with the oil lobby on Capital Hill and you can see some of the challenges rural America is up against.  

        The military took the lead on developing the technology under the last Administration.  They are all-to-woke about the dangers of climate change and the fact we are generally financing both sides of mideast wars with our petro dollars.  Unfortunately the current administration has quietly (or not so) disbanded most of these efforts. 

        What could we do to make this a reality? We already know that E-22 is the “sweet spot” for ethanol, yet we still quibble over E-10 and E-15. Don’t forget, the first 10% mandate was a brokered deal to get MTBE out of the (then) current gasoline supply as it was poisoning underground water supplies  We already have a biomass procurements program that was piloted (and worked) called BCAP.  We could end the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and use the proceeds of the sale of the oil ($28bb with today’s trading at $44.76) in that reserve to fund 1,000 advanced bio refineries across the US, investments in an above-ground, working strategic reserve that no one weather or military event could disrupt, all while creating thousands of jobs in rural America.  

        It’s pretty simple math, even discounting the known costs of the negative externalities that we never factor into pricing. 

  6. Pseudonymous says:

    Well, that might explain why Liz's super Pac has 14 million in ad buys out.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I saw that. Which is why I see her withdrawing from the race on Wednesday morning if Bernie takes Massachusetts. Even Amy Klobuchar has a modest lead in Minnesota.

      If Bernie takes the Bay State – and apparently he's making a serious effort – then Elizabeth can be the recipient of the Al Gore Winning-One's-Home-State-Is-Overrated Award.

      OTOH, it looks like Warren may still win some pledged delegates.

  7. harrydoby says:

    If you need a break from Coronavirus/Dow Crash/Bernie news, here is some bad news for Roger Stone (or as usual, the future of our democracy if it goes sideways in the Supreme Court):

    Speculation that President Donald Trump might pardon Roger Stone has reached a fever pitch after Stone’s sentencing by a federal judge and the president’s repeated hints that he thinks the verdict unfair. But fortunately, the Constitution’s framers imagined this nightmare scenario—a suspected criminal president pardoning a co-conspirator—and they put in the Constitution language to legally prohibit the pardon power in exactly this kind of case.

    But the framers knew not to place blind trust in the president to wield the power justly. That’s why they explicitly forbade a president from exercising the pardon power in “cases of impeachment.” The clause prevents the worst abuse of the pardon power: a president’s protecting cronies who have been convicted of crimes related to the president’s own wrongdoing.

    If Trump’s lawyers and advisers fail to stop him, and the president moves ahead with a pardon for Stone, it is incumbent upon any judge asked to enforce that pardon to deny it on constitutional grounds. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the meaning of the impeachment exception to the pardon power because such a pardon of a co-conspirator by a president who has been impeached is unprecedented. But the need to stop it is dire. Otherwise, the original purpose of the pardon power—to show mercy to others—will be turned on its head. Instead, the pardon power will be converted into a self-serving tool of an aspiring despot, precisely the danger Mason warned against.

    Even though he wasn't convicted, Trump was impeached, thus rendering his pardon powers in matters related to the articles of impeachment irrevocably lost.

    Even (especially) the conservative strict constructionists on the SCOTUS aren't craven enough to ignore the plain language of the constitution on this matter.

  8. Pseudonymous says:

    Some really depressing news.  The DC Circuit has decided that the courts cannot enforce congressional subpoenas (for information from the executive branch).  In declining to enforce the McGahn subpoena, the court is essentially saying that such disputes are beyond the courts’ purview and can only be settled between the legislature and the executive.

    Which means (1) by impeachment, which can be prevented by having 34 senators representing about 7% of the country, as I’ve mentioned before; or, (2) the House is going to have to figure out what it looks like for it to enforce its own “inherent contempt” powers.

    Fucking mess (the decision, and the opinions themselves (there are two), which are confusingly wishy-washy).


    • Pseudonymous says:

      It will be interesting to see if the circuit will hear the case en banc (all the judges, rather than a three-judge panel), but even if the full court reverses, who knows what will happen at a Trump-leaning supreme court.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Saw that just now onYahoo News. Bad decision by those two judges.

      • itlduso says:

        I don't know if the DC Circuit court is GOP or Dem, but you also alluded to the Supreme Court which is already Trump-leaning as you suggest.  So, please imagine how many more GOP judges and justices will be appointed if Trump is reelected and what that will mean in all future cases that mean something.  I am pleading with you and others on this site to not risk Trump's reelection by nominating Sanders.  If we lose in November with Sanders, my Itlduso will be personally satisfying, but deeply troubling.

        • Pseudonymous says:

          You have no idea if Sanders will win or not.  You just don't want him as the nominee.  That's OK.

          I'll bet you thought you had a winner in 2016, and that's why we have the judges you fear now.

          Oh, and if it's the judges you're so worried about, consider this, in light of your Bloomberg support:

          • RepealAndReplace says:

            "I'll bet you thought you had a winner in 2016, and that's why we have the judges you fear now."

            We have those judges because 80,000 or so left wing nut jobs in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania wanted to be ideological purists and not soil their hands by voting for Hillary and instead voted for Jill Stein.

            How did that work out?

            I am doing everything I can to stay focused on the prize (retiring Trump), hold my breath and vote for Bernie if he is the nominee.

            But I will be honest. There is a small part of me that would like to serve up some revenge to the Bernie Bros for 2016.

            But ABT. Even if it means voting for the Trotskyite.

            • Pseudonymous says:

              If Bernie is the nominee, and he loses, those of us on the left aren’t going to be given the luxury of blaming his loss on the “Bloombitos,” reactionary elements within the Democratic party, or billionaires.  It will be cast as a failure of the left and left-ideology.  The left will be ethered from Democratic politics for generations– a joyful excoriation in which you will happily participate.  And, you know what, we’re gonna have to eat that, because it’s the candidate’s job to win.  To find sufficient votes in the places it matters.

              As it was Hillary’s.  A task at which she failed.

            • kwtree says:

              Whoop! There goes that Jill Stein reflux/ reflex again.

              Voter suppression and Russian targeted propaganda  elected $rump in 2016. Stein was Putin’s patsy, but played a minimal part in the electoral calamity. Everyone, Stein included, expected Hillary Clinton to win. No pundits were predicting a Trump victory. 

              These factors (suppression, propaganda, 3rd party candidate) overlapped and enforced each other. Russian trolls spread memes, some of them vile and pornographic,  that defamed Hillary Clinton and suggested that people vote for Stein, or not vote at all, because “All politicians are alike -corrupt and incompetent.”. I received some of these posts, reported and blocked the senders. Not everyone did. 

              The very real Clinton / DNC thumb on the scale against Sanders was used to further divide and conquer Democrats. They took our existing divisions, magnified them, and heightened the emotional impact, demonizing the opposing candidate and his/her supporters.

              But….If we don’t keep our eyes and hands focused on the prize ( a democratic   republic), Putin and Trump will do it again. We’re all seeing the “demonizing the opposing candidate and supporters” dynamic right here on this blog. 

              Keep on repeating your one-note Stein song, or broaden it to include the real power players and the big picture- I know which option will help us see clearly enough tp avoid a repeat of 2016….Do you?

              • Voyageur says:

                For the millionth t ime, flightless bird, there is blame enough to go around.  If all the jilliots had voted for hillary, she would have won. Without the voter suppression she would have won.

                Like a baseball game won 6-5, we can argue that four run homer in the fourth was critical or that two run triple in the 9th.

                Try giving it a rest.

                • kwtree says:

                  Sure…a rest…when you, spiteful one, direct even half your venom at the “moderates” who insist on blaming “left wing nut jobs” for Trump and his judges, remaining willfully blind to all of the other factors in 2016, and most importantly, in 2020.

                  When you are truly a uniter of Democrats and allies,  not a gleeful divider, when you lead by modeling reasoned discourse instead of bullying put downs, then I might consider “giving it a rest”. 

                  • Voyageur says:

                    You really do suck at math, flightless one.  And logic.

                    My whole point was that it took the combined efforts of jilliots and right wing vote suppressors to turn hillary ‘s 3 million popular vote victory into a castastrophe.

  9. MADCO says:




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