Weekend Open Thread

“Beware the wrath of a patient adversary.”

–John C. Calhoun

39 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Majority Moderate says:

    State Senator Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs) plans to introduce legislation again this year (similar to what he did last year and couldn’t get out of committee) that would give municipalities the option of lowering the City’s contribution to PERA and making up the difference by raising the employees contribution.

    Senator Lambert is a retired Air Force Colonel and his pension is in the neighborhood of 80-90K a year.  While his service to his country is greatly appreciated, it should be noted that he did not contribute one penny to his pension during the course of his 30 year career.  So is he a little overboard in railing about big government pensions when he himself is the beneficiary of a big government pension?  And is he overboard in pushing to get employees to contribute more out of their paychecks when he never had to contribute anything?


    • DavidThi808 says:

      Why is the state involved in this at all? Why not let the cities each structure this however they wish?

      ps – Yes it strikes me as hypocritical.

    • BlueCat says:

      pensions are entirely or almost entirely paid for by tax payers but who are diehard conservatives who want to minimize tax dollars going to anyone else is as common as dirt. Career military are heavily skewed toward those who vote for conservative, small government, anti-tax Republicans (at least they say they’re for small government)  even though their livelihoods and retirement benefits derive entirely from taxes and the military represents the biggest possible example of “big government”.

      The only hard rightie nuclear family within multiple generations my old fashioned, pro-labor Democratic extended family is that of the uncle who is a long retired fire fighter and whose generous pension, much more per year than he ever earned while working, and gold plated health benefits all have been paid entirely by tax payers. He also is a firm believer in  the whole don’t take money out of my pocket to pay other people’s health care thing. Go figure.

      How odd that so many of the people most likely to call any tax payer financed benefit programs “socialism” and rail against “big government” fail to see that, by their own (granted completely incorrect) definition of socialism, they owe everything they have to “socialism” and that “big government” has always been their employer and benefactor, and a most liberally generous, at that.  Baffling.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        If he’s ok with the pensions being reduced due to the proposed tax cuts 🙂

        • BlueCat says:

          And he retired over 15 years ago. The packages young fire fighters can look forward to won’t touch his, I’m sure.  Even his son, also a firefighter, probably can’t look forward to anything close to what my uncle gets.

          By the way, though, besides his inexplicable black sheep lurch to the right, he is the most personally honorable, courageous, devoted and all round best uncle on the planet.  We just don’t talk politics anymore. I trace it back to a problematic relationship with my stubborn judgmental grandfather leading him to rebel against the old leftie. That and a lifetime of hanging out with conservative fire fighters.

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Absolutely hilarious and it has such a large element of truth in most every stereotype it shows about nerds. (Although I disagree with my family about any resemblance between Sheldon and me.)

  3. SSG_Dan says:

    The Restart page – please choose your vintage operating system, and press the restart button!


    (IRIX is missing, but Apple Rhapsody is not!)

  4. Sir Robin says:

    Freddie Mac announced Friday that it was giving mortgage servicers the authority to offer up to 1 year of mortgage forbearance to unemployed homeowners who have Freddie Mac-backed mortgages.

    The change takes effect Feb. 1, means loan servicers can offer six months of forbearance to jobless borrowers without Freddie’s approval and another six months with approval. Currently, servicers can grant up to three months of no mortgage payments without prior agency approval, or six months of reduced payments with approval .

    But don’t think that Freddie suddenly had a twinge of social consciousness that led to move, they were ordered to do so by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Home foreclosures jumped just over 21 percent in the third quarter of last year – for a total of 347,726 homes – almost exactly the number of foreclosures in the third quarter of 2010.


  5. JeffcoBlue says:

    “And so I’m prepared if the NAACP invites me, I’ll go to their convention and talk about why the African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps,” Gingrich said.


    • BlueCat says:

      the African American middle class  has experienced serious shrinkage during the great recession brought on by Bush  era Republican foreign and economic policy but Newt might still be interested to know that african Americans aren’t all receiving foood stamps instead of checks.

      For a brief moment in American history, one could argue that the majority of African Americans were middle class. That moment ended last year.

      One definition of “middle class” used by social scientists is twice the poverty level. Individuals who live in households that have an income of at least two times the household’s federal poverty threshold are middle class. By this definition, in 1999 black America became a majority middle-class population. That year, 52.2% of blacks were middle class. Last year, the percent of middle-class blacks slipped down to 49.7%. There is every reason to expect further declines this year and next year.

      And it’s not as if all who don’t meet this definition are on food stamps either.  Beside this very large chunk of the African American population of which Gingrich seems to be unaware, there are many more who are getting a pay check and not on using food stamps.  In fact a large majority of African Americans do not use food stamps.

      So what besides racism could account for Newt’s non-fact based assumption that when you’re talking to the African American community most of them are unemployed and using food stamps?


  6. Tazistan Jen says:

    in Boulder tomorrow?  I haven’t been hanging around enough to remember where people are.

  7. DavidThi808 says:

    Both are Boulder residents and very liberal. Yes they’ve complained at time about Obama’s inaction on the economy but I figured both would unquestionably vote for Obama in November.

    One said he had listened to John Huntsman and asked what his odds were. I said about zero and asked why. He replied that if Huntsman ran he would vote for him. That led to a really “robust” discussion but at the end that person stuck with the fact that Obama had not improved things and therefore he would vote for Huntsman, probably Romney, and possibly/maybe Gingrich.

    The other guy came from my point of view – “we suck less.” But by the end of the conversation he said that if Huntsman got the nomination he would at least consider him.

    I don’t think the big worry here is that Huntsman could beat Obama. The Republican primary voter is not sane and so won’t nominate him. The big worry is that some very liberal voters in Boulder are considering voting Republican. These two guys should be slam-dunk Democratic votes. Complaining while voting Democratic, but guaranteed Democratic.

    On the flip side that is a date set of just 2. And talking is one thing while marking the ballot is something more. Still…

    • SSG_Dan says:

      …and then I remind my goatwool sock-wearing leftie friends that Obama was never a liberal, and to the Centrist friends that he’s accomplish a lot.

      A whole lot. The one cited should make them reconsider their whining…


      Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office.  Though he is often cited as superior to Obama, President Lyndon Johnson’s success rate in 1965 was only 93%.  


      The rest, with those facty-thingies right beside each point, here:


      • DavidThi808 says:

        And the reply was – “who cares, the economy still sucks.”

        • to turn things around sufficiently from the beginning of the Great Depression?  More than a single election cycle to get a good start on it.

          It’s people like your one supposedly liberal friend who doesn’t appear to actually be considering the differences between Obama and the Republican – and who’s actively falling for the Republican obstructionist tactics – that are the reason we still have a competitive Republican Party in this country.  The lack of logic in his comments is stunning.

          • DavidThi808 says:

            Is he was constantly trying programs to address the recession. We had the WPA, the CCC, and much more. They saw that constant ongoing effort and from that knew FDR was focused on the problem and trying.

            And FDR had to fight like crazy to get his programs passed, against a Supreme Court that found many of his passed bills unconstitutional and a Congress where conservative Democrats plus Republicans would not pass many of his proposals.

            I don’t think people are expecting Obama to fix the economy. I don’t think they expect him to win all his fights with the Republicans. But I do think they expect him to put everything he has into fixing the economy.

            • Diogenesdemar says:

              more difficult time with the public if he had been something other than a pasty white WASP male?  As it was he was still considered by his opposition to be the devil incarnate . . .  

    • Ralphie says:

      Maybe talk to some Real People who don’t live in Boulder.

      You know, open your eyes a little bit.

      Couldn’t hurt.

  8. DavidThi808 says:

    I’m still glad I bought it. Details at:

    I bought a Leaf!

    My Leaf – day 2

    The Nissan Leaf – my first week

    One horrible problem with it – it won’t play my music (it can’t handle song titles that use cyrillic letters)!!!! (My wife and daughters have described this as a plus.)

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      there is the relief so many have sought. Resrict language recognition! 😉

      Seriously, I don’t care, I’ve only ever watched 2 and none for at least a year since a soft porn one with a guy in cabin

  9. DavidThi808 says:

    The Myth of Japan’s Failure

    Adjusted to a per-capita basis (which is the proper way to do this) and measured since 1989, America’s G.D.P. grew by an average of just 1.4 percent a year. Japan’s figure meanwhile was even more anemic – just 1 percent – implying that it underperformed the United States by 0.4 percent a year.

    A look at the underlying accounting, however, suggests that, far from underperforming, Japan may have outperformed.

    A striking instance of how the story has influenced American perceptions appears in “The Next 100 Years,” by the consultant George Friedman. In a chapter headed “China 2020: Paper Tiger,” Mr. Friedman argues that, just as Japan “failed” in the 1990s, China will soon have its comeuppance. Talk of this sort powerfully fosters complacency and confusion in Washington in the face of a United States-China trade relationship that is already arguably the most destructive in world history and certainly the most unbalanced.

  10. Ralphie says:

    Tee-Bow.  Tee-Bow.

    Surprised the shit out of me, but I’ll take it.

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