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October 29, 2021 07:00 AM UTC

Friday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Malice is of a low stature, but it hath very long arms.”

–George Savile


43 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. American Trucking Association estimates driver shortage at 80,000. Is this a problem for the economy?

    What should you do to protect your family?

    1. 1.  Get ’em vaccinated 

      2.  Buy local

      3.  Reduce, recycle, reuse

      4.  What Bowman said

      5. Fight back against all those who would treat this planet, its air, water, resources, and all its living inhabitants, as either expendable or some kind of convenient dumping ground.

      6. And, by all means — don’t ever let ’em watch FOX

      . . . You know, pretty much the stuff we all shoulda’ been doing all along . . .

        1. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, now retired, was famous for keeping his long distance truck driving license in active status while he was in politics.

          Karl Malone, the retired power forward for the Utah Jazz, also had a long distance trucking license. When he got a little bored with his off-season workouts, Malone was known to do some hauling.

  2. Matt Taibbi interviews David Sirota on his new audio series "Metldown". This looks pretty good, even though I've become irritated by Sirota's histrionics, and even Matt's muckraking, which used to be so satisfyingly outraged under the Rolling Stone editors.

    The interview is at substack, and in the email, we are teased only a portion of it. I think Substack is great, but I'm not willing to pay $10/month for each author; I'd happily pay $10 for five or ten authors.

    The conflict of the Democratic party is that it is a party that is trying simultaneously to appease its corporate donors, and look like it is delivering help to people who are being screwed by those same corporate donors.

    That creates a party that is often incoherent because those goals are often at odds with each other, mutually exclusive. You can enrich your donors. You can enrich the pharmaceutical companies by not letting Medicare negotiate lower prices for drugs as a specific example. Or, you can make your pharmaceutical donors mad, and let Medicare negotiate lower prices for drugs, and make voters happy and deliver on your promises to voters. You can’t do both. With those two things, you’ve got to make a choice. And if you try to not make a choice, you sound incoherent. And if you ultimately side with your corporate donors, guess what? Voters are going to be pissed off. The reason to tell this story is because it’s a story that hasn’t been told.

    It’s not a story, by the way. These are facts. In 2016, you had Steve Bannon tell New York Magazine that the financial crisis, the “legacy of the financial crisis is Donald Trump.” That’s a direct quote. The legacy of the financial crisis is Donald Trump. Steve Bannon said that. You could say he’s a liar and a demagogue and an evil person or whatever, but that tracks. 

    1. I’ve come to appreciate that the politics of politics is POWER, not Ideology. Within the Democratic Party, there is a power struggle between the corporate wing and the populist or progressive wing. The most popular items in the budget are precisely the ones that Sinema and Manchin are opposing. Fortunately, the Progressives have been screwed over and over from the Clintons on down, and are holding tight to what they have. (Even Obama caved to the Corporate wing).

      Sticking with the theme of POWER. The Republican Party acknowledges and operates completely as a power broker for the wealthy. However, they know that they can deliver that only if they win elections, which explains why they cater to the culture wars and the Christianists. 

      My prediction: In order to gain and retain power, the Republican Party will move to the LEFT of the Democratic Party on some of these extremely popular issues: Child Care tax credit, Daycare, improved Medicare, infrastructure. These issues play extremely well with the Republican base and they actually benefit Corporations – and paying for them will NOT come out of corporate taxes or the pockets of the wealthy! 

      The important policies for corporations and wealthy: 
       – minimal regulation on pollution or the environment
       – minimal regulations on health & safety
       – low taxes and access to tax havens
       – gutting climate change progress
       – public pays for pollution and coal mine cleanup
       – privatization and expansion of big contractors: Military, Prisons, Immigration.

      I’m thinking of how quickly Soviet Russia devolved into oligarchy and kleptocracy. Trump actually does have an ideology – Transactional Oligarchy.

      1. …and now that Manchin and Senator Bananas (thx MattC) have torpedoed those provisions and we can’t gather a single Repub vote to offset them they’ll run on the platform: Vote for us because the Democrats couldn’t deliver! 

        1. I understand with Manchin that he is the best that anyone can probably hope for in terms of a Democrat who is viable in West Virginia.

          With Sinema though, I really hope she's pounded into the dirt. Her goofy ass nonchalant, let them eat cake attitude is irritating as hell. Arizona can do better.

          1. If she loses a primary, Sinema will run as an independent. She believes she has cultivated an Arizona maveric, character in the mold of John McCain. It won't work, as Republican will never vote for her, and so she'll split the Democratic vote based on name recognition, if nothing else.


      2. So far, there has been modest movement of a few Republicans to back infrastructure, if it is the "hard" infrastructure they can put a sign next to. There was next to no support for the Child tax credits.  The only "improved" Medicare which has gotten much Republican support is minimizing benefits by not letting people start it so quickly and not letting benefits rise as quickly as medical inflation is going up.  Daycare isn't going to go unless the money can go to religious providers with no strings, and I'm not certain they'd be able to pull in enough Democrats to make that happen. 

        Trump went into office promising amazing health care, excellent policy for young families, and infrastructure — and couldn't make any of it happen.  Why do you think there will be enough of a swing in the next couple of elections to make it more possible for Republicans to become the populists they have said they want to be? 

          1. Exactly. Republicans will do anything to gain power. If that means cutting off some of the more popular Democratic policies, I have no doubt that they will do that.

            Topsy turvy world, but the Dems haven't realized it – Machin in particular!

            1. After a week of MAGA immersion with extended family from Minnesota (I still kinda want to live them) it’s clear they’ve been convinced the only way forward is to “burn it all to the ground”.  Fox News is their crack cocaine. They are impervious to conversations that aren’t aligned with their bias.  And Laura Ingram showed up on set with a puppy and explained all of the terrible things Dr Fauci allegedly does to them. 

              There. Is. No. Bottom.  

    2. I actually share in the frustration over corporate funding power in the Democratic Party, but who's going to fund the Sirota party if it ever hopes to gain actual power? And for Taibbi, I read the biography of Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone, and it's full of shady or even corrupt financial dealings. Without that financial backing, would Matt Taibbi be a household name? I sometimes have purity wishes too, but there's dirt in the political trenches and actual players sometimes get their fingers sullied.

  3. My Idaho friend, living way up 8 miles from the B.C. border sent me this.  I don't know where to post it other than in today's open thread.  

    Take a look at the official website of the Idaho Democratic Party (google Idaho Democrats – it won't paste this), and scroll down to the post from Wed. the 27th "Which Idaho Rep. is the SCARIEST?" 

    Be happy that we don't live in Idaho…Cheers!


  4. Bye the bye…

    My Cat and I got our booster jabs Thursday morning. We got J&J vaccine almost 8 months ago. Early yesterday got a Moderna booster.

    Mild symptoms… injection site soreness..lethargy…slight diarrhea…barely noticeable fever.

    Vaccination protects much better than "natural immunity." The research is not equivocal. The unvaccinated have another wave coming. It will be all theirs.

    1. My better half and I did the same on Wednesday. We had J&J back in April and chose Pfizer this time. Similar mild symptoms. Hopeful that this (and masking) will keep us from spreading it to our 90-something-year-old parents.

  5. This personal moratorium on indoor shows is starting to get annoying. So far it means:

    – No Taylor Tomlinson in Boulder (December) or Denver (February)

    – No Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets in February

    – No Opeth/Mastadon/Zeal and Ardor in December. Haven't seen Mastadon live, but Opeth and Z&A are superb concert bands.

      1. The Paramount. My concert buddy from work and I saw them in 2019, and it was top notch. Mason differentiated his band from Roger Waters and David Gilmour by doing all pre-Dark Side of the Moon Floyd songs.

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