Weekend Open Thread

“False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”

–William Shakespeare

69 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Voyageur says:

    Kenny Rogers is dead at 81. Or as he would put it, he broke even.

    And Trump stinks!

    • DaftPunk says:

      Stay healthy, you old coot!

      • Voyageur says:

        I gotta admit I'm running scared, Daft Punk.  I'm 74 and have fought diabetes for 47 years, have respiratory issues like allergy induced asthma and apnea.  For all that I've stayed fairly healthy, but the Trump virus almost looks like it has my name on it.

        A Japanese writer named Mishima mused that it is hard to die a glorious death after age 30.  But part of me just can't take the notion of dying while my beloved country lies at the feet of the stupidest vilest stumblebum in American history.

        Fight the stink at all cost.  And vote blue, no matter who!

  2. Duke Cox says:

    RIP, Kenny.😥

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    So when the OD says “he always knew it was a pandemic” he’s technically not lying. He knew; he just rejected the message and played his MAGAts like a fiddle for the next 60 days. 

    U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic

    U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronaviruswhile President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Dumping huge portfolios of stock, without arousing suspicion or signaling panic to the market, takes time . . .

      . . . people, as in obscenely rich people (you know — the people who actually matter), know this kind of stuff.  That’s why they always get to be in charge!

    • MADCO says:

      President classified NSC briefings re: C19 since Jan 15, 2020.

      What was said?
      Who knew, when did the y know?

      I believed that the campaign strategy was to engage in some military show of force, most likely Iran, sometime around July or August. Then the rest of the campaign is pretty straight forward:
      – who ya gonna trust?
      – Burisma! Her Emails!
      – look at your 401K

      Could still happen. (and plan B: N Korea, Syria, RussianVenezula, Afghanistan, etc) 
      But war-time president v hoax-virus?  IDK if it has the same campaign force.

      Who knew what and when?


  4. itlduso says:

    Deep Thoughts for a weekend.

    It seems to me we have to deal with two problems, Covid-19 and the economy, in that order.  The primary problem today is the criminally incompetent response by the Trump administration.  Beyond the lack of preparedness is the continued lack of leadership and meaningful action.  It’s almost as if he’s doing Putin’s bidding to destroy America.  Hmm.  We must remove Trump, ASAP.  Perhaps in return for his resignation he’s offered clemency for he and his family.  And, we’ll throw in $1 billion to help him payoff Putin and the Russian mafia.  That will allow him to go directly to the first tee box at Maralago which is what he wants to do, anyway.  That leaves us with Pence, which admittedly is not much of an improvement.  But, perhaps the rest of government that remains will begin to deal with facts without fear of Trump retribution.  Perhaps then they will actually use the federal government’s resources to make tests, PPE, hospital beds, etc. available now.  Something has to change, and change fast.

    Next is the economy, and it’s almost a harder problem to solve.  I think the emphasis should be on expanding unemployment insurance, by both increasing payments and extending their availability.  And, we should offer payments to those who do not qualify for unemployment because they didn’t lose a job.  Why give people who are still employed $1,000 or more when they are still receiving their normal, or near normal paychecks?  What are they going to spend it on?  We need to get some money to those who truly need it.  And, why should we pay any businesses to pay their employees or to remain open when there is no demand because the economy has shut down?  Business owners should also qualify for unemployment insurance.

    Next, we should consider cutting everyone’s loan and rent payments in half.  Perhaps also cut other bills in half, such as utilities, insurance and other monthly payments that most people face.  We cannot make everyone whole, which means that we cannot fully replace their income to cover all of their bills.  Landlords, mortgage banks, insurance companies, etc. will have to live with half of what they billed.  But, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, etc. should receive full payment to entice them to keep these critical supply chains open. 

    Just some preliminary thoughts on how to spend the trillions that Congress is about to waste.

    • kwtree says:

      Why, itlduso, you old socialist, you have very detailed plans for spending trillions of borrowed money. (I don’t disagree with your proposals, by the way). How do you  think that the next Democratic President should go about making up the deficit? 

      Surely not by a wealth tax, transaction tax, capital gains tax, caps on entitlements, penalties on corporations for evading taxes, etc. Cause that would be Sanders and Warren style Democratic socialism, and itlduso told us that was Bad. 

      What’s Biden’s plan to pay for the Families First coronavirus response proposals, and all of the additional funding needed to get what’s left of our country back on track?? 

      If people just live on credit without paying huge interest and fees, Biden’s Delaware financial services donors won’t be happy with him. 

      My point, if I have to spell it out, is that you’re a hypocrite- more than willing to go all “socialist” and spend up the deficit with other people’s money, with no plan to repay it when you and yours’ health is stake- but so freaking judgmental and willing to demonize anyone else with plans to create an accessible affordable health system. 

      • Voyageur says:

        Just couldn't pass up on the opportunity to throw more insults, could you, La Pomposa?

        Cue Ride of the Valkyries.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Good illustration.

          Apparently Covid’s not the only thing right now that’s contagious? . . . 

          Cue: https://youtu.be/CduA0TULnow


        • itlduso says:

          Yeah, mama's not too thoughtful, is she?  What's particularly galling is how Sanders' plans had a huge gap (like $20 plus trillion) in revenue versus spending.  And I say "had" because Bernie's toast.

          We do need to try and balance the budget sometime by raising income tax rates on the wealthy, equate capital gains taxes to ordinary income tax rates, to begin with. 

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            Whatever happened to the good, old fashioned, notion of cutting spending? I was not a big fan of former Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) for several reasons. I did like his work on pork barrel spending. He revealed a number of his staff’s findings in a 60 Minutes interview some years ago. As just two examples…….

            Coburn found that there were over 80 different job training programs in the federal government, each with its own bureaucrats. Couldn’t the country get by with just 20, or 30, instead of over 80? His staff also found a massive social security disability scam in eastern Kentucky & West Virginia, with non-disabled people getting benefits.

            Elsewhere, according to the Project on Government Oversight, the price tag for a single copy of the “flying turkey” known as the F-35 fighter plane is now up to $100 million. The same issue of POGO’s newsletter (Oct.-Dec., 2019) hit hard at the Pentagon’s overall lack of transparency in its funding decisions; for which Trump can be blamed.

            Yeah, I think the corporate tax rate could be raised from 21% to 25% and our businesses would still be competitive in the world. But, eliminate a lot of the tax breaks big business kept, even with the tax rate reduction to 21%. I’m OK with a small tax on each share of stock being traded. But it is really time to get away from the notion that soaking the rich will solve everything. It won’t, not enough money there, without big time cuts in wasteful spending.

            p.s. when I click on the Families First Coronavirus link, I get a page telling me how to track my packages. ???

            • itlduso says:

              We should absolutely cut military spending.  Thanks for reminding me of one of the best ways to achieve a balanced budget.  But, it'll have to be done in some phased way because the job loss could send us into another recession.

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                We’re already in a recession; the Trump Recession.

                The country didn’t get into this position overnight. We need a 10 Year plan and stick to it. Everybody wanted to get rid of the budget sequestrations from Obama: the military- industrial complex that wanted more spending there; and the welfare-handout complex that wanted more spending on social programs.

                Another line from the Temptations’ 1970 hit record, “Ball of Confusion:” “Politicians Say More Taxes Will Solve Everything.” Not really.

                • JohnInDenver says:

                  The problem with a "ten year plan" is twice as big as China's 5 year plans — we don't know what the heck is going to happen 6 months out, and we certainly cannot anticipate 5 House election cycles and 2 and a half Presidential terms. 

                  Imagine the plan of 2017 … which then would need to adjust to a new House majority, to begin with.  Or consider the budget agreements which have been struck with "caps" everyone was able to acquiesce to, and then the willingness to supercede there agreement by pulling things "off budget," eliminating "pay-go" trade-offs, or developing other gimmicks.


                • davebarnes says:


                  use it often

            • kwtree says:

              At least your positions are consistent, CHB. And yes, it’s going to take cutting military waste, closing corporate tax loopholes, and a bunch of other stuff to dig us out of the Trump deficit and coronavirus depression. 
              I fixed the Families First Coronavirus Response link – thanks for catching that. 

          • kwtree says:

            We discussed your sourcing on that “20 trillion gap omg” story. I still maintain that Bloomberg’s investment adviser was hardly an unbiased source on those numbers. 

            But as you pointed out, it’s mostly irrelevant, now. Your guy Bloomberg and my gal Warren have both withdrawn from the race. 

            Bernie and Lizzie are both still hugely influential in the Senate, as they will hopefully continue to be during this crisis. You should be grateful for their going to bat for you, and wringing concessions out of Wall Street, the airline and cruise industry, and Trump’s donors looking to line up and suck at the gubmint teat, because it turns out that you are a big old Socialista when it comes down to saving your own hide. As am I, and most people these days. 

            At least we do agree on some measures to “pay for it all”.  So let’s call a truce for the duration of the quarantine. I’ll promise not to point out your hypocrisy for at least 14 days. 

            • JohnInDenver says:

              Duration of the quarantine is going to be longer than 14 days. 

              A week ago, Dr. Fauci was saying "several more weeks." When pushed a bit, he said up to eight.

              Imperial College of London modeling says it COULD be modified if we were willing to have higher death tolls — 2 months on, 1 month off, until there is a vaccine, which they think could be available in 18 months.

  5. Genghis says:

    The Broomfield County Dems Convention/Assembly, Online Edition, went quite well. And, absent the opportunities that in-person gatherings present for grandstanding know-it-alls to bone everything up, the process was expeditious despite the software-imposed limitations.

    Rep. Matt Gray told us few of the bills pending before the General Assembly will be acted upon.

  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    We’re Just Not Built For This    (and it’s fine to admit that)

    The violence of this sort of social, emotional, and economic whiplash—again, my Nashville trip was just two weeks ago—is something we just haven’t been able to process, and it’s fine to admit that. It’s fine to admit that you’re scared. It’s fine to admit that you’re possessed with anxiety and dread. It’s fine to admit that you just don’t know. It’s fine to admit that you were wrong a month or a week or a day or an hour ago to downplay this. And it’s not just fine to admit these things to yourself, it’s necessary. It’s paramount. It’s life-saving. It might feel counterintuitive and weak, like you’re laying down and giving up. But embracing that there’s so much unknown, and so much to be terrified of, allows pride, ego, insolence—each of which are legitimately life-threatening now—to dissipate and be replaced with vigilance, attentiveness, and dexterity.

    Everything about what’s happening now is new, and to pretend otherwise—to act like you’re built for this and you got this—will literally kill people. Including, possibly, you too.



    • Duke Cox says:

      Thanks, Dio. That is a very important point to make.

      I have noted that many people just are not handling this very well emotionally. We are facing a condition I first discovered during the Garfield Co. oil and gas wars. I called it “hyper-vigilance”. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I can tell you what happens to people who live, not knowing WHAT bullshit is coming, but knowing for sure it is. You spend your days just waiting, as FreddyM. said, “just waiting for the hammer to fall”. It can make people crazy.

      Listening to representatives of the administration does not imbue one with confidence that everything is going to be alright.

  7. Duke Cox says:

    As I observe the decline of the T***p administration, I am worrying about the Justice Department. They are currently trying to make a move around Habeus Corpus.

    Incarceration without due process. Was Cory in the Phillipines to study with Duterte, the King of Extrajudicial Justice?

    • Duke Cox says:

      That is a special song.

      Thanks , Michael

    • kwtree says:

      Many musicians are doing free live concerts via YouTube or other platforms- check out the list at NPR.org. Something for everyone.

      I’m waiting for my UU church’s service to start online here. Technical difficulties abound. 

      Does anyone have the ability and inclination to host a virtual Pols meetup? I know there are various free platforms for this, and would expect Pols to supply the bandwidth if we posted it here…have no idea how to troll-proof or set it up,but I’m sure that some of y’all are experts. What say you?

      • MichaelBowman says:

        I have a Zoom account that could accommodate several.  I'm in. 


        • kwtree says:

          The simplest thing to do would be to start a diary, include a time and place and link, let Pols promote it, and invite people to log on and see who shows up. Zoom lets you show your face or not, be anonymous or not, in my limited experience. What I don’t know is if it lets you log on without revealing your mobile phone #. 

          If the trolls do show up, you, or whoever’s hosting, can simply mute them. Maybe. 

          I’ll suggest to Pols  that they get wild and crazy and do a “call in” version of the Get More Smarter podcast. Set a topic, give everyone a link or number, get ready for either boredom or mayhem. 

      • notaskinnycook says:

        I'll ask Karen about it. She's been working and teleconferencing from home since the Wednesday before last. She's napping. She keeps her stress in her gut and when the world is like this it gets cranky.


    • notaskinnycook says:

      That is so cool. I love these pieces done from all over the world.


  8. DavidThi808 says:

    Please read, and forward to your Congressperson and our two Senators (I know… I know… they're both try to give corporate America everything they can. But one can hope) – https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/stop-the-coronavirus-corporate-coup

  9. Diogenesdemar says:

    The pessimist:  “Sure I’m hoarding toilet paper — I’m buying every damn roll I can whenever I can!  It’s every man for himself now until the bitter end.” . . . 

    The optimist:  “Might be a good time to do a little early Christmas shopping — I think your Aunt Evelyn would really just love some toilet paper, wrapped in toilet paper, this year??!”

    Either way, whatever you are, a word of advice . . .
    . . . not everything it’s possible to flush, should be!
    (. . . or, haven’t we all got enough &!#* to deal with, already??)

    Americans Coping With the Coronavirus Are Clogging Toilets

    Sewage systems and toilets are backing up as consumers clean their homes with disinfectant wipes and turn to paper towels, napkins and baby wipes to cope with the lack of toilet paper.


    Meet essential American worker #139,983,651 . . . 


  10. Duke Cox says:

    Someone, please, make him stop. The Orange Destruction is out of his mind and trying to turn his presser into a rally.

    All he wants to do is talk about himself. Please…sedate the bastard!

    • MichaelBowman says:

      My God.  This is where we are.  A man-child at the helm of government. 

      This just in:

      DEMS REJECT SENATE GOP BAILOUT BILL: Senators are expected to speak after a GOP economic stimulus bill failed a first key vote. Earlier, Speaker Pelosi announced that Democrats oppose the GOP bill and that the House is drafting its own. Dems say the Republican legislation increases the corporate bailout fund to $500 billion (not including airlines), and gives the Trump admin complete discretion on how it's used. Companies that receive bailout money could be kept secret for up to 6 months. Dems also said the GOP draft allows bailed-out corporations to fire their workers, and to increase executive salaries after just two years.

      Tell me again how Republicans are helping those of you that are out of a job right now? 

      • MichaelBowman says:

        “No one would know where to start.”


        One name comes to mind.  The black dude.  The one you loathe. 

      • harrydoby says:

        Yep, when Democrats pointed out how abuse of the $500 billion is practically baked into the bill, the GOP response essentially is "Yeah, so?"

        Democrats have argued that without protections for workers, companies receiving bailout money could fire their employees and pocket the taxpayer assistance, which would undermine the purpose of the federal aid. Republicans have said, though, that the program needs to be up and running immediately in order to help the economy before it is too late.

      • kwtree says:

        This was so predictable- and is so disheartening. There won’t be mass protests in the streets because of the virus threat- so how are people to organize protests?

  11. Duke Cox says:


    Hey Hey! Jordan Cove is on the way!


    Finally..the oil and gas industry on the western slope is saved!!!

    Hahahahahahhahahahha! Fer fucking sure, Maynard.

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