Wednesday Open Thread

“Ours is an excessively conscious age. We know so much, we feel so little.”

–D. H. Lawrence

25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    There is a useful reminder on personally dealing with the cascade of disasters at CPR this morning:

    A Mass Shooting During A Pandemic Means More Trauma And Stress. Here’s One Psychologist’s Advice For How To Cope

    I'm uncertain the generalized suggestions are going to help much … but I am nearly certain they will do more than awaiting effective social or legislative actions. 

  2. davebarnes says:

    Today is National Cheesesteak Day 

  3. harrydoby says:

    The QAnon virus still holds great danger for our democracy

    On Monday morning, a caravan of National Guardsmen were transporting COVID-19 vaccines to Matador, Texas, when they were assaulted and pulled over on the road by an Arizona man, Larry Lee Harris, just outside of Idalou. According to reports, the 11 Guardsmen were unarmed in three National Guard vans when Harris “attempted multiple times to run the vans off of the roadway. He then turned his vehicle into oncoming traffic” and stopped the vans in the road. At this point he trained a gun on the Guardsmen, made them get out of their vans, and demanded to see what was inside.

    The Idalou police chief told reporters that Harris “appeared to be mentally disturbed”—he believed that the vans held a kidnapped “woman and a child.” Idalou officers arriving at the scene were able to take Harris into custody peacefully. None of the Guardsmen were injured in the incident. Harris reportedly first identified himself to the uniformed Guardsmen as a “detective.”

    Fortunately, this heavily armed psycho, while delusional, didn't shoot anyone (this time).

  4. MattC says:


    I always admired the idealism and optimism (desperation?) of English majors.

    " I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator." ~ Mother Jones

    • MattC says:

      "Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; and eight other Democrats proposed the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act in early March.

      …2% on the net worth of households and trusts ranging from $50 million to $1 billion. …3% for anything over $1 billion.

      About 100,000 Americans would be subject to a wealth tax in 2023,…   The policy would raise at least $3 trillion over a decade, they found."


      Deficit Reduction Act
      Fund American Values Act

      There are a hundred ways to describe what this kind of bill would do and mean to America. Democrats chose the easiest to defeat messaging, which makes me question their sincerity. To be clear – I believe Warren and Sanders are sincere. Biden is not – and will not be – on board.



      • This is probably the most legally controversial method of addressing wealth inequality. I wish we'd get straight to capital gains, stock transaction fees, executive compensation reforms, and restoring higher tax rates for the upper classes and stop playing with possibly unconstitutional measures that will drain time and taxpayer dollars.

        • MattC says:

          I do not believe the current administration wants to get straight to anything regarding wealth inequality.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Well whoopee shit! “would raise at least $3 trillion over a decade.” That’s chicken feed when the annual budget deficit will be $1-2 trillion PER YEAR for the foreseeable future.

          “stock transaction fees”  Now you’re talking, Phoenix! How about a nickel per share fee on all stock purchases and sales? Haven’t done the math. But that is likely to be much more of a winner than the typical “soak the rich” routine. And the hedge fund billionaires won’t be able to evade it.

          (after being gone for 2 plus months to work on other stuff, not even lurking, I drifted back today to see what’s being said about the shooting and found this).

          Maybe see ya’ll in another two months. And for Duke and kwtree, don’t get excited about this temporary return. Digging politely at the fascist, non-conservative, far right wingers on PJ Media, where I visit briefly maybe once a week, is more fun than Pols. And not all the posters on PJ are that bad. I’ve actually had some civil conversations since I reactivated my account.

          I also checked out the latest wisdom from Michael Bowman. Even though we don’t directly agree on a lot, I always listen when I’m here because Michael knows his stuff and how to present it effectivly.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            Hey CHB.  Thanks for the kind words – miss having your contributions to the dialogue. Don’t be a stranger.  

            PS: Rush is celebrating one month sober today. Perhaps we should propose a balanced radio show to Clear Channel with a line-up of the full-spectrum of pollsters on this site! Otherwise I hear we’re going to be blessed by white prosperity Jesus with Dan Boiningo (sp?). 

          • Duke Cox says:

            Don't hurry back. The level of stupid around here diminished considerably since you bailed.

            I disagree with Michael. You add nothing valuable to the conversation.

            • Conserv. Head Banger says:

              Couldn't resist checking back one more time so I could hear the expected pious polemics emanating from the lofty and airy heights of the Sanctorum Sanctorum of western Colorado, as annunciated by the legendary Duke of Earl himself.

              Michael: did you catch any of the Department of Interior's 3 1/2 hour streamed briefing today on the pause in oil & gas leasing (it was recorded)? I did the entire thing and it was highly informative, with multiple panels. Somebody does need to tell the Pipefitters Union, however, that times are changing. Later.


              • Duke Cox says:

                Gosh…you must know soooo much.

                Keep trying to be relevant, CHB, you may yet get there. Oh…and when you get a chance, take a creative writing course. I am not sure two paragraphs makes a polemic. I suppose if you torture the definition…maybe.
                Just sayin’

          • kwtree says:

            They’ll listen to you, and hopefully let go of some Q -A- nonsense. I think that you reaching out to the nutcases in your own party is a more productive use of your time than reacting to AOC or some other uppity progressive women “mouthing off”, in your quaint characterization. 

            So, good luck with PJ Media. 

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Wealth taxes sound incredibly easy … probably because few of us are that wealthy, or discuss investment choices with those who are, or have tax accountants paid for their performance at dodging taxes. 

        There are a number of other countries that tried to tax wealth.  The Tax Foundation says "the number of current OECD members that have collected revenue from net wealth taxes has grown from eight in 1965 to a peak of 12 in 1996 to just five in 2019." Another of their essays says "only three European countries covered levy a net wealth tax, namely Norway, Spain, and Switzerland."  So, why do only 5 (or 3) of the 35 countries use them? 

        Is there a macroeconomist in the house? 

        • ajb says:

          An investment banker friend of mine said it was because it's so easily evaded. You just move your assets offshore. Remember the Panama Papers?

        • MattC says:

          So few countries try to have a wealth tax for multiple reasons:

          a. The rich (ultra millionaires) tend to run their countries, or hire those who do.

          b. It is difficult to enforce (see a.) and even if the enforcement was sincere, it is difficult.

          c. Even those not currently subject to it, wish to one day be that rich.

          The same can be said for the estate tax, and to a lesser degree cap gains. Assets can be relocated and retitled for planned avoidance.

          Transactions are relatively easier to tax.


          • itlduso says:

            aka, accountants and lawyers full employment act.

            Here's a secret:  CPA's hope for "tax simplification" legislation because it's anything but.  Whenever that type of legislation is in the works, I have to fight my way past BMW and Mercedes salesmen to get into my tax seminar. 

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    Actually, Mitch, many people historians would say you're full of shit. 

    He's got that deer in the headlights look about him today. 

  6. MichaelBowman says:

    So special.  Like a Cadbury egg buffet, except different. 

    One year ago today: 

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