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September 17, 2011 03:03 PM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • 106 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

“The highest reach of injustice is to be deemed just when you are not.”

–Plato  

Comments

106 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Jeffrey Scahs

    With President Obama’s speech on Monday and Speaker Boehner’s speech yesterday, we can put the Democratic and Republican Party economic plans side by side. What is stunning is that neither side offers a serious diagnosis or a solution. The truth this time is not in the middle, a compromise of the two views. The truth, alas, requires a new view, and probably a new party.



    Sweden’s government supports primary and secondary education, vocational skills, university tuitions, job training and matching, and scientific research and technological development. Sweden spends more on R&D as a share of GNP than the U.S., around 3.6% compared with around 2.6% in the U.S. The results show. Sweden creates high-quality, well-paying jobs for nearly all its population. The U.S. instead caters to the top, the third or so of Americans who can afford a university degree, while the rest of society is thrown to the wolves.

  2. Sen. Bernie Sanders

    The top six financial institutions in this country own assets equal to more than 60 percent of our gross domestic product and possess enormous economic and political power. One of the great questions of our time is whether the American people, through Congress, will control the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, or whether Wall Street will continue to wreak havoc on our economy and the lives of working families.

  3. At a cost of over $340/employee this measure could cost thousands of jobs across the Denver region. According to city workers overseeing Finance and employment costs the average per worker cost of this measure is $340/year, just think of the damage to Colorado small businesses who are forced to shuttle even more employees to the unemployment line …. it’s almost Ritteresqe!

    Next up, the authorities over at the ever-bloated DPS will figure their costs to comply with this measure …. just how much more will be diverted away from students to cover for the excesses of those Obamaites who feel they deserve even more handouts?

    According to councilman chris Harndon … “It could very well force us to cut more services, this would dangerously add to our budget crisis. I don’t think anyone wants that now. We shouldn’t be supporting any initiative that adds to that.” opposition to this measure is also backed by Mayor Hancock and Gov Hickenlooper.

      1. “budget authority”, nice corporate term for mid management employees that oversee annual operating budgets reviewed and adjusted quarterly.

        At the end of the day it’s cash flow that drives the process.

        I love your new term “concierge’, you mean delivery boy and errand runner.

        1. Cash flow is a limitation at times but it should never drive the process. Most every start-up has negative cash flow at first. Most retail stores have negative cash flow most of the year (and make up for it over Christmas).

          As to the concierge position you denigrate – are you against our creating an additional job in this economy?

            1. What the fuck kind of response was that? I don’t even understand from whence came that idiotic remark. David is a businessman. So am I. He is right. Pleeeze… STFU before the beating begins.  

              1. that Tad is a Masochist. He enjoys the beatings. He keep coming back for more and more.

                I’ll give you and Ralphie a call this coming week and maybe we can get together for a coffee or beer together.

                  1. At a cost of over $340/employee this measure could cost thousands of jobs across the Denver region, just think of the damage to Colorado small businesses who are forced to shuttle even more employees to the unemployment line …. it’s almost Ritteresqe!

                    DPS, just how much more will be diverted away from students to cover for the excesses of those Obamaites who feel they deserve even more

                    It could very well force cut to more city services, ir would add to the Denver budget crisis. I don’t think anyone wants that now.

    1. In the absence of sick leave, a sick employee have a disincentive to stay home when sick. If he or she  comes to work while sick, their co-workers will likely  sick, which will likely get the clients or customers sick. This contagion chain goes on until you have an outbreak. Outbreaks are not always fatal (e.g. most people survive the seasonal flu/colds). Nonetheless, it still presents a problem.  

      1. I do think that the first year there will likely be greater costs as folks take advantage of this ‘new benefit’. Likely that employers will write sick day policies that will result in termination for those who abuse the system.

        Where I work the employees all have sick leave. It is not abused by most and not used as much as you might expect. Employees know that if they are gone they are likely handicapping the organization’s ability to do a good job. Most try to preserve their sick leave for the day when they have a serious illness that prevents them from working for an extended time.

        But, and this is important, most people don’t get sick just because they are around someone who is sick. Good handwashing techniques go a long, long way. If you are feeling wussy do everyone a favor and quit hugging and shaking hands until you feel better.

        1. We actually don’t have sick days. What we have is combined vacation/sick days. So a new employee starts with 15 days (it goes up over time) and that can be used for vacation or sick days. No way to abuse that.

          1. The more rules implemented by gov, the more chance of dangerous side effects.  There are usually 12 negative, unintended consequences to every one good government implementation.

            Are you really trying to tell me a successful business is not capable of managing employee time off?

            Let the market sort it out. I never frequent an establishment twice if I see sick people, especially when serving food. Notice how many food shops go under or change ownership.

            Trust the market not these European socialist wannabes!

            1. please source your statistic:

              The more rules implemented by gov, the more chance of dangerous side effects.  There are usually 12 negative, unintended consequences to every one good government implementation.

              I suppose this came from some study and is verifiable? Or is this in the tradition of “it wasn’t meant to be factual”. Along with 99% of what what your side forwards each other in cute, fact free e-mails. Often accompanied by cute jokes and cartoons that aren’t at all racist.

      2. Exampe –

        I hire someone to work 51 weeks a year, pay her $51,000.  She misses a few days cause she (or her kids) are sick.  I still pay $51,000 /yr.

        She catches up when she gets back.

        Win win win

        I have happy staff.  It costs me nothing additional. She stays away from the rest of us when she’s sick.

  4. Paul Begala recently wrote a column that is worth reading. In essence, he says that the Democrats need to defend their views on the role of government.

    This argument is probably not news to everyone, but nonetheless it is yet another reminder that the Democrats aren’t just struggling in the polls, they are struggling in control the debate.  

    While I voted for President Obama 2008–and plan to in 2012, I’m less than optimistic about his chances. Should the Democrats succeed in re-framing debates over the role of government, it probably wouldn’t change the outcome of 2012 (win or lose).

    Nonetheless, this asinine rhetoric that government can’t do anything right, especially coming from those who are (or seek to be) in government is exacerbating the problems this country already faces. Re-framing the debate would help over the long term, but not necessarily over the short-term.    

    1. Thanks, faux.  

      Ever since Reagan Dems have responded to the right’s demonization of government by essentially agreeing to their basic premises, including the demonization of liberalism, and promising to be almost as conservative as the anti-government conservatives. A strong federal government has accomplished great things that could never have been accomplished by a smaller weaker government and those things at are in accordance with its constitutional role of promoting the public welfare.

      This almost total surrender of the high ground to the right has left them in complete control of all message framing, all terms of debate, definitions, even the moral,as in supposed family values, high ground.  What’s more conservatives radiate unapologetic pride in their convictions while Dems seem to cringe and beg to not be disliked for being too… well… too much like Dems.

      Begala’s rallying cry should be taken up by every Dem pol.  We need to get back to being Democrats and proud of it, shouting our accomplishments and the accomplishments of a robust federal government which has lead the way toward a fuller realization of the promise of our forefathers by expanding human and civil rights, building the greatest, though now crumbling, infrastructure the world had ever previously known, by first financing and then joining the war that saved the western world from the Nazis and rebuilding Europe and a democratic Japan, among so many other great things.

      Things like that cannot be accomplished by bathtub drowning size government which is why we see decline in our greatness everywhere we look. Democrats need to unapologetically show their pride and confidence that their convictions are the convictions that made America great and can return America to its greatness.

      1. The short answer is that its both.

        (1) People have a tendency to place blame-deserved or undeserved-on the party in power when the economy suffers. The Republicans have capitalized on this anger and have succeeded in aligning it with their narrative of government.

        (2) As an old saying goes: “When Democrats have a firing squad it’s always in circle.” Not only have Democrats been unable to offer a competent defense of government, the party can’t seem to define what it means to be a Democrat. This definitional struggle result in different, often conflicting priorities and policies.        

        1. Republicans have had no trouble defining and having complete, unapologetic confidence in who they are, what they want, why they are right and Godless liberals are wrong.  Actually being demonstrably wrong does them little lasting harm. Just look at how quickly they rebounded from the elections of 2006 and 2008, partly by saying those were anti-Bush elections and we think Bush made a lot of mistakes by not being a real conservative. Put us back in and we’ll fix it.

          On the other hand, having objective reality on their side has done cowering Democrats little lasting good with many Dems entirely rejecting embracing it in favor of going the look-we’re-really-almost-just-like-Republicans route while most try to sound at least kind of like Republicans and almost all are terrified of being called liberal. This dithering hardly inspires confidence.

          Regardless of right and wrong, strong and confident wins of over weak, tentative and apologetic.

          1. If democrats could support sustainable government programs that have checks and balances, it might get you further on down the road.

            The problem is massive government interventions promoted by Democrats usually rely on unsustainable government growth and unsustainable funding.

            Which brings us to the other side of the equation, most big government programs usually go too far, the result in actually hurting the ones they’re trying to cuddle.

            Let’s face it there are democrats that rely and believe in capitalism, then there are the democrats that really only want socialism.

            1. there are democrats that rely and believe in capitalism, then there are the democrats that really only want socialism.

              When did anyone ever claim otherwise?

               

            2. There are Republicans (in hiding it seems) that actually believe in compromise and addressing both revenue and spending.  Then there are Republicans who want to convert America into a theocracy.

              And there is you.  

          2. There also the element of conflict between everyone from Blue Dog-Democrats to Progressives. Think of it as the conflict between those who think of the party as big-tent party and those who want a purity test not unlike what is going on in the Republican Party.  

            1. Some of the Blue Dogs are so far to the right, having to please them to get anything through isn’t much different than having to please the Tea Party. Many of them were voted out in 2010 and, like the liberal Rockefeller Republicans, they probably will fade away because they no longer make sense as Dems.  

              Was just reading about the death of Republican Senator Percy, my Senator when I was a teen and young adult in Illinois and closer to that Rockefeller wing, the Rockefellers today being Dems today and Percy’s daughter being married to one of them.   Today he’d be far to the left of most Blue Dogs, such as Manchin, much less any Republican now in office.  He couldn’t be a Republican Senator because his wing faded away.

              There’s big difference between big tent and so extremely hostile to the core values of the overwhelming majority of Dems that it no longer makes sense and doesn’t help get anything passed anyway. Besides giving us the  majority in the House and Senate after the 2008 elections, the rest of their giving went mainly to helping Republicans keep their failed policies in place.

              It was something, having the power of the majority,  but since our leaders weren’t willing to twist arms when they really needed their votes, the way Republicans have always managed to do with their few “moderates”, it never amounted to much.  The health care bill?   With a mandate but no public option it does the healthy self insured no good whatsoever.   Mine keeps giving me less for more, right on the schedule.  Not the change I signed up for thanks to those Blue Dogs who are “moderate” only in a universe where any conservative Republican who isn’t insane is “moderate

              1. I’m going to have to disagree with your characterization of the Blue Dog Coalition; the represent more conservative districts. It comes down to how widespread do you want to party to be?  

    2. I really thought Begala’s last line in that article will make a great rejoinder in many a GOP/Dem debate:

      If Perry hates government that much, maybe the next time his state’s on fire he can call a CEO.

      Two more quotes worthy of repeating:

      The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then get elected and prove it.

      P.J. O’ROURKE, Holidays in Hell

      For me, the most disturbing aspect of the Republican political culture is how it puts its unquenchable thirst for power, domination and a radical ideology above facts, reason and the truth.

      AL GORE, fundraising letter, Aug. 20, 2007

  5. President Obama speaking about his job bill. True, but apparently he did think they had the luxury of waiting 24 months for him to focus on jobs again…

    Sorry DNC (who’s running the ad) – I’ll vote but I’m not putting in any time or money for someone who only cares about jobs at election time.

      1. Has anyone reminded you today that you are a POS?

        You may disagree with his policies, you may want to pretend you are some bold defender of conservatism, or however it is you imagine your pitiful self–but ‘evil’?  Really?  

        1. Obama, this guys a freaking community organizer, cum state and federal senator. The biggest budget he managed before his attempt at the Presidency was what …. 20 people in his Senate office?

          Then we have the wifey, she invites known pimps of cop killing hate speech and urban thuggery to the whitehouse for poetry readings.

          This president could have done so much for American, yet the vast majority of us stand here looking at each other with that what the fuck look on our faces … And yes I’m talking about you democrats too.

          So yes, he’s an evil man …. It’s that he he is incredibly stupid.

          1. ‘known pimps of cop killing hate speech’?  Care to provide the link (and the lyrics) while you are at it?  You might think World Nut Daily is a source, I don’t.  Best would be to find something other than Sean Manatee as well.  

            And, some of my best friends are ‘community organizers.’  But please do continue painting with such a broad, bigoted brush.  It just puts your asshatedness in finer definition.  

    1. “I’ll vote but I’m not putting in any time or money for someone who only cares about jobs at election time.”

      Don’t worry, douchebag.  I’ll work 1.5% harder to reelect President Obama.  That should cover what you would have offered anyway.

      Look up, “insufferable”.  You’ll find “DavidThi808”.

  6. according to a CDLE report on Colorado unemployment ….

    – private sector job cuts put 2,300 people to the unemployment lines last month

    – government employers grew their roles by 500 positions!

    – 2,500 Coloradans stopped actively looking for work in August compared with July, there fore holding back a real increase in unemployment.

    – payrolls decreased from 35.0 to 34.5 hours with average hourly earnings dropping to $23.68 from $23.78

    Really quite sad news as we witness the American dream continuing to implode for so many of our brothers and sisters. Greedy capitalist illegal aliens have been driven back to their foreign lands to seek the profits of their labor in a more employee friendly environment.

      1. Hopefully it’s a sustainable private sector function that will rely on the skills and individualistic knowledge you so desperately try to share on this site.

        When you’re bitter and jaded you tend to influence less versus when you enjoin American capitalism, individualism, responsibility and personal drive.

    1. When the private sector isn’t able to break through the circular situation of not being able to hire because of fewer customers with money to spend  while you’re going to continue to have a shortage of paying customers until more people are hired and have jobs, then only government is in a position to break the log jam.   The public sector can hire people and provide work for private contractors, like construction  companies, to do things that desperately need to be done anyway and the people thus employed will spend their money in the private sector where, finally, more private sector jobs can be created.  

      I’ll type this slowly and Tarzan style, ‘tad:

      More jobs good,  Small business like make money.  Don’t care if money come from public school teacher or private  company worker.  All  good.   Much big profits for job creators not create jobs for many many suns so why we say they job creators?  Make no sense.

      1. It would be interesting to know where this government job growth occurred. I’d think you’d really like to know so that you can happy dance on your successes.

        1. man(?) . . . ,er, spambot program that’s tuned-in, . . . er, make that, with the tin-foil beenie that’s tuned-in . . . to all the answers today — we’re waiting . . .

          (It would just be my guess — but your programmer might’nt have noticed that this month is September, meaning last month was August when most kiddies returned to schools that (amazingily) still have teachers . . .  but you’d probably have had to of gone to a school at sometime to figure that one out.)

    1. and they were national champions at the time.

      But, I feel compelled to answer with a “Go Buffs!”

      Looks like it’s going to be a nice day for a football game.

      1. It was reported that CSU undersold it’s ticket allotment by something like 25,000 seats.

        Granted I can understand that when low volume of seat sales, when they were pimping the 3rd deck seats for $55/seat.

        And heck the DPD took out about 100 guests who got special treatment at the city drug and drunk tank — detox I think they call it.

  7. “If you become president – and you seem pretty strident in your views…,” Leno said, before Bachmann interrupted him.

    “Convicted. I’m convicted,” she said.

    “Convicted?” Leno replied. “No, you don’t get convicted until after you’re in office. That’s later. You have to get elected first.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/po

     

  8. ColoradoPols! Thank you to the wonderful member here who introduced us to a C.S. intern who is starting this week.

    And with that the underemployment rate in Colorado drops by 1. So I’ve accomplished more than Congress & the President on this front this week 🙂

    1. See, you’re supposed to let other people say how wonderful you are.  Like this:

      ColoradoPols! Thank you to the wonderful member here who introduced us to a C.S. intern who is starting this week.

      Then somebody, not yourself, hits reply and says: That’s great Dave.  You accomplished more than the Congress & President this week!

      That way you don’t  sound like a self aggrandizing braggart.

      By the way, what fabulous sum does the intern make? Just want to know how grateful we should be for your latest contribution to the economy.

      1. In some cases (like this one) it’s more. I think we’re pretty average at that rate (for high-tech companies). We purposely want to be at average so we’re getting people because they want the challenge, not because we pay better.

        1. “We purposely want to be at average so we’re getting people because they want the challenge, not because we pay better.”

          So, you pay $10/hour (= $20,800/year, no vacation).  And, apparently it’s a job that requires high tech knowledge that is also challenging (read: stressful).  Yikes.

          Congratulations.  Rich Guy is very proud of you.    

            1. My daughter was paid $15/hour two years ago for an in office marketing summer job.  She was paid $24/hour for a busy season-only accounting firm job while still a student (she took the semester off), one year ago.  

              Sounds cheap to me.

              1. I was especially struck by your rationalization that you don’t want to pay the intern a lot of money because you want them to enjoy the “challenge” (and, not the money).

                I’m going to try that line on my next prenup:  “But, Baby, I’m not giving you my money because I don’t know if you’re doing me for me or for the money, don’t you see?”

                Passive-aggressive, indeed. Just pay them a good wage and STFU.  

                1. But that’s way outside what is being paid for internships. About half the internships students take right now are unpaid. You’re the first person I’ve heard claiming $10.00/hr is unfairly low.

                  It wouldn’t make sense financially to bring in interns at $20.00/hr. They don’t have the skill-set that a graduate has, we have costs in making sure they learn from the internship, and it’s less productive to be in just 12 – 15 hours/week.

                  Go up to C.U. and ask the students what they’re getting paid for internships. We pay a very fair rate. And it’s not like we put a gun to anyone’s head and tell them they must work for us – for every C.S. student at C.U. there’s probably 3 – 4 internships offered.

                  1. are you counting the unpaid ones? As I recall co-ops were very well-paid for undergrads in engineering when I was a student, but I guess a bunch of free ones would cancel those out and make the average just a bit over minimum wage.

                    1. The pay seems to mostly be in the $7.00 – $12.00 range. But I’m just comparing to other private companies hiring interns. If there’s on campus co-ops, that might be very different.

                      When my oldest daughter did a marketing internship when she was at CSU, all she could find were unpaid internships. She said there were some paid ones, but very few.

                      My middle daughter got a paid internship down at the C.U. Med Center the last 2 summers and that paid decent – it was a stipend for the summer. I think it worked out to $14.00/hr. But that was part of a research grant.

                    2. since I think lots of people major in that. For something in science or engineering, a quick casual search suggests average salaries are $12-20 per hour. That’s for a co-op run through the university, though. I don’t know what the difference is between that an an internship. Maybe the university helps with the screening?

                    3. That internship pay is like full time pay – a bit lower in start-ups than in large companies. (The trade-off for the bit lower pay is more interesting work, having a bigger impact, and a minimum of bullshit.)

                      With that said, I’ve asked someone here to take a look at what companies like ours are paying to make sure we’re not at the low end.

                    4. It’s usually stock options or some other chance to strike it rich if things go well. You’re thinking of the Army, where lower pay is compensated by adventure.  

              2. particularly in this economy, seems pretty decent to me. Interning is primarily about gaining experience in your field and learning how to move from college/party your ass off mentality to the real world.

                Seems like a decent gig to me.  

          1. I was also the one who sent a friend David’s way, and I assure you that I wouldn’t have done so if I didn’t believe he’d pay fairly, and this particular friend is not at all the type to take an unfair offer for his time and skills.

            My first year out of my parents’ household I worked starting at $7.25 an hour (July 2006-July 2007, so this is not ancient history) and would have been glad to have $10, flexible hours to go to school, and experience in my field. As it was, I had $7.25, a manager who kept scheduling me during my classes and threatening to fire me if I didn’t show up (this was responsible for the only F I ever got in college) and a retail job.

            Internships that pay even in the low double digits hourly and actually adhere to internship standards–the internship is primarily an opportunity for the intern to learn–are great for students. If every probably illegal unpaid internship were converted to a $10/hr legal internship students would graduate with less debt and be more employable.

            1. Internships are ops to add experience to book larnin’. These aren’t meant to be family supporting jobs and $10 is still more than minimum wage and it looks nice on a resume.  

  9. The deaths of the daughters of two Democratic political icons, Eleanor Mondale, daughter of Walter Mondale and Kara Kennedy, daughter of the late Edward Kennedy. Ironically both were 51.

    Sympathies go out to both families.  

  10. By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is expected to seek a new base tax rate for the wealthy to ensure that millionaires pay at least at the same percentage as middle income taxpayers.

    A White House official said the proposal would be included in the president’s proposal for long term deficit reduction that he will announce Monday. The official spoke anonymously because the plan has not been officially announced.

    Obama is going to call it the “Buffett Rule” for Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained that rich people like him pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than middle-class taxpayers.

    They’ll still have plenty of cake left over to eat for breakfast.

    1. The “Buffett Rule” is such a blatantly political title without even debating the merits of this apparently popular tax.

      Buffett wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece last month that he and his rich friends “have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

      1.  The words fancy and euphamism together pose a deliciously delightful challenge altogether. Can using some fancy word or phrase, as a replacement for what one intends to say, really lessen it’s impact?

        When I used it, it just seemed to fit:-) It’s probably used incoreectly….lol

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