Wednesday Open Thread

“What we call rational grounds for our beliefs are often extremely irrational attempts to justify our instincts.”

–Thomas Huxley

44 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke Cox says:

    I anticipate a very ugly August. The traitorous activity of the Republicans is blowing up on them more and more with each passing day. 

    I predict the next few weeks will see a savage dismemberment of the GOP body politic. They are about to start eating each other with increasing desperation.

  2. jimmay says:

    It is a good morning. Yesterday, a local group in my city (Westminster) ostensibly enraged by water rates tried to recall a city council member in an off-year recall election that cost the city (us taxpayers) 250 grand. The only apparent reason for this is because the council member had a Latin name. He wasn’t on the council when rates were raised, and voted not to raise the rates when it came up when he was on the council. It was Republican Trumpy bullshit, and I’m delighted to say my city showed them the door. They’ll be back in November, but so will we.

  3. davebarnes says:

    Today is Lowest Recorded Temperature Day – (-128.6 F in Antarctica)

  4. MichaelBowman says:

    This oughta get #PewPew fired up for Saturday! 

  5. DavidThi808 says:

    Hi all;

    Remember the stories about how people in Congress do much better on their investments than everyone else?

    In those stories I remember that they had a defense that they used public knowledge, but acted on it sooner. Is there any details around that? Specifically what they claimed and did that defense hold up?

    thanks – dave

    • JohnInDenver says:

      There have been a variety of studies trying to pin down broad trends, beyond individual or small group enforcement actions.  I went hunting for one that was a basis for a debate case several years ago, and couldn't find it.  One the search DID turn up was Harvard Business Review: The Growing Conflict-of-Interest Problem in the U.S. Congress , published in 2017.   There's a paywall, but I think everybody gets a free article …

      Sure, members of Congress are profiting from their positions — with nearly one in eight stock trades by congresspersons intersecting with legislation — but does that necessarily mean they are profiting at the expense of their constituents and society?

      We think the answer is a clear yes.


      • DavidThi808 says:

        I'm more interested in what do they know that helps them decide which stocks. And is it truly confidential info, or are they just more plugged in to understand public info.

        For example, there were people saying that COVID was going to be bad in early February. Few paid attention. But a few Congresspeople bought stocks based on that.

        That wasn't privileged info, that was understanding the likely ramifications of that public info.

        And another issue, plenty in Congress bought stocks that would jump in Obamacare passed shortly before the vote. But I think all that did were already a clear vote in favor of it. And all of us knew that it was a gamble – would they get it passed.

        There's surely some of this that's illegal (confidential knowledge or their vote is key). But how they make the decisions with public info, that's much larger I think.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          They get better, more expert as opposed to speculative, information and they get it sooner.  They have much larger networks of information coming from other early-informed colleagues who attend hearings. Plus, they generally have much better resources (net worth and available disposable dollars) to act and capitalize on any or all of that information.

          For example, I believe those congressional covid warnings were from hearings that occurred in mid-January; not February, and well before the public began being informed of any significant possible concerns?

          Many regular folks hear of coronavirus pandemic and start considering investing in rolls of toilet paper and canned soup, not buying stock in Astro Zeneca or Johnson & Johnson . . .

          • DavidThi808 says:

            Yeah, that’s what I think it largely is. Public info, but no one else was hearing it and at the same time the Congresspeople were being told this is important.

            Which brings up an interesting question. What if someone listened to all the public testimony, discussions, etc. in the subcommittee meetings. Would that give that person the same advantage?

            ps – My wife bought Zoom shares when the discussion started saying we might have to go remote.

  6. DavidThi808 says:

    I told my wife this morning that I think things are going along quite well. The Republicans are on the road to showing that when it comes time to vote, they won't deliver 10 votes for hard infrastructure. That delay gives Dems very good ammunition for the 2022 election and gives Manchin proof that bi-partisanship is impossible with the filibuster.

    Then when they pull this shit around the debt limit, that could well give Manchin & Sinema a situation where they'll remove the filibuster. And if you remove it for one more thing, then additional exceptions are a lot easier lift.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Either all of that, . . .

      . . . or more cognitive dissonance.

      • MattC says:


        I do not know that I agree to call it cognitive dissonance, though I do believe it is a fine demonstration of Dunning Kruger. Also Lucy Van Pelt kick-the-ball-Charlie-Brownism.

        For years as the Republican party abandoned me I heard all about how next time they would be reasonable, or more reasonable; how next time the obstructionist Democrats would finally realize that the Republicans played them; how deep down everyone believes in Democracy and American values.

        Many elected officials believe only in getting reelected. Some are ideologically blinded to anything else. Very few believe in the America that most of us say we want.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      The Dems will need all the firepower they can get next year since the far right wing will still be pushing communism, socialism, critical race theory, defund the police, and A.O.C.

  7. kwtree says:

    Support striking Frito Lay workers – boycott Pepsi and Frito Lay  products. The workers are  protesting forced overtime, which has driven many to exhaustion and even suicide, as well as poor pay and working conditions. Pepsi owns most Frito Lay brands. Here’s a helpful list of what not to buy:

    It will help your waistline, your wallet, and your community. So find something else to glug or crunch.


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