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April 17, 2020 07:14 AM UTC

Friday Open Thread

  • 22 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”

–Will Rogers

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22 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. This article from Salon is a must read….

     

    DONALD TRUMP IS NOT A SUPERVILLAIN – HE JUST WANTS TO BE

    His goals are not mysterious: Donald Trump wants to rule over a corrupt regime forever. What will we do about it?

     

    Donald Trump is not a supervillain from a comic book. He is a simple man, almost primal in his drives and impulses. For those who choose to see the world as it actually exists, there is no great mystery about what Trump wants: His goal is to be president forever and to use the power of the office to enrich himself and his inner circle, while taking revenge on anyone and everyone who dare to oppose him, or who he thinks has wronged him.

    After nearly four years of Trump's public contempt for the rule of law, democracy, the Constitution and norms of human decency, there are still too many Americans — especially among the news media and pundit class — in a state of denial about the reality of this dire situation.

                                              ———————————–

    Trump has repeatedly "joked" that he will not leave office, publicly solicited the interference of hostile foreign powers to help him steal the 2020 election, and has threatened the Democratic Party, the news media and others who dare to oppose him with imprisonment (or worse) for "treason."

    Donald Trump is also trying to defund the U.S. Postal Service, perhaps to prevent mail-in voting. Such an outcome will force the American people — and Democratic voters most of all — to wait in line where they may well be exposed to the coronavirus. Refusing to permit mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic will clearly suppress voter turnout, an outcome that will help Trump remain in office. Shutting down the Postal Service will all but guarantee, arguably, that Trump will win a second term.

    https://www.salon.com/2020/04/17/donald-trump-is-not-a-supervillain–he-just-wants-to-be/

     

     

    1. I also saw that coal now only comprises 15% of our electrical power generation. The end is near for coal. Nat gas can't stay above $1.80/mcf, which is helping to push coal out. Now is really a good time for companies to focus on shifting to non-fossil sourced power systems. There is no future in non-renewable/sustainable power sources. Just ask the largest investment firms on earth.

      1. Exactly. If you want to fully understand the fossil fuel and nuclear power industries, just check in on the investment firms and the insurance companies (nuclear wouldn't exist in the U.S. without the taxpayer insuring the industry).

          1. We should treat (and extract) that resource in a manner of the treasure it is.  Jimmy Carter had it right – wasting natural gas on thermal applications is the equivalent of throwing our antiques into a fireplace.  

          2. Way back in the 90s, RMI was saying that we need to conserve petroleum products for applications that need very high, portable BTU density. Commercial air travel and shipping, for instance.

             

        1. Remember the 2004 anti-Amendment 37 campaign funded by Intermountain REA and Tri-State proclaiming how just 10% renewable energy in our grid would cost us billions and lead to the collapse of the Colorado economy? 

          Yeah. That didn't happen.  

  2. Who could have imagined? Nobody would have guessed .

    Heartland hotspots: A sudden rise in coronavirus cases is hitting rural states without stay-at-home orders

    Just as cases are starting to plateau in some big cities and along the coasts, the coronavirus is catching fire in rural states across the American heartland, where there has been a small but significant spike this week in cases. Playing out amid these outbreaks is a clash between a frontier culture that values individual freedom and personal responsibility, and the onerous but necessary restrictions to contain a novel biological threat.

    The bump in coronavirus cases is most pronounced in states without stay at home orders. Oklahoma saw a 53% increase in cases over the past week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over same time, cases jumped 60% in Arkansas, 74% in Nebraska, and 82% in Iowa. South Dakota saw a whopping 205% spike.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/17/politics/republican-governors-stay-at-home-coronavirus/index.html

  3. Income inequality is the economic equivalent of "eating our seed corn".  When consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP, business execs really need to pay attention to who actually funds their annual bonuses.

    In less than two decades, the share of income paid out in wages and benefits in the private sector shrank by 5.4 percentage points, a McKinsey Global Institute study found last year, reducing compensation on average by $3,000 a year, adjusted for inflation.

    The result is that a job — once the guarantor of income security — no longer reliably plays that role.

    “For many working families, wage growth has not been strong enough to allow them to meet their basic needs on their own,” the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston concluded in a report last year.

    For years, households have strained to navigate this cut-to-the bone economy with varying success. The coronavirus shock has made the economic precariousness — usually seen in scattershot fashion — evident everywhere at once.

    In 2018 alone, companies in the S&P 500 — flush from windfalls resulting from steep cuts in corporate taxes — spent $806 billion repurchasing their own shares at boom-time prices in search of quick profits.

    “Employer-based health insurance is a wrecking ball,” the Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton wrote this week in The New York Times. The couple, the authors of “Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism,” argue that over time this system has “destroyed the labor market for less educated workers.”

     

    1. This is not going to fix itself:

      Fully 92 percent of the Americans who reached their 30th birthday in 1970 earned more than their parents had earned at the same age, even after adjusting for inflation. But beginning in the 1970s, the economic ladder gradually became harder to climb, and fewer Americans were able to surpass their parents. In the cohort of Americans who turned 30 in 2010, only half earned more than their parents at the same age, according to research by a team of economists led by Raj Chetty, a Harvard professor. The American dream had become a coin flip.

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