Friday Open Thread

“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”

–Hunter S. Thompson

34 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    "Whoever bought Kristen Sinema and Joe Manchin sure got their money's worth!"

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      My prediction:  Sinema leaves office after this one term either voluntarily (and coincidentally, by securing employment with one of bigger contributors) or involuntarily after: (a) losing the Democratic primary to Ruben Gallego, or (b) losing the general election after running as an independent, siphoning off votes from the Democratic candidate and tossing the race to a MAGA Republican.

      Manchin eventually makes it official and becomes a Republican after McConnell gives him the chair of energy and resources committee.

      He should do it sooner rather than later. If he caucused with the Republicans now, the 2022 races could be about the Republican majority stymying Biden’s agenda. Then again, this is probably what McConnell wants.

      • itlduso says:

        I don’t expect American democracy to exist starting with the upcoming November, 2022 election.

        I predict that Sinema and Manchin will actually garner more votes in their reelections, only to be declared the losers by their GOP controlled state legislatures.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Now that Manchin & Sinema have demonstrated the power of 2 AND that there really is no effective consequence until (maybe) their next election:

       * is there ANY policy agenda that meets the new standard of bi-partisanship?  

       * are there other topics of Senate business with a partisan divide that Senators from the left/progressive side of the conference can stop?

      I'm thinking Senate duties can diminish to confirming nominees, passing continuing resolutions to maintain status quo funding and policy, and being a debating society with all the impact of the ones at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the UK.

  2. allyncooper says:

    SCOTUS smacks down Biden's vaccination "mandate".

    Sorry Joe, we're a government of laws, not presidential edict.

    • Duke Cox says:

      Riiight…I remember you said the same thing when Trump tried to build his wall…no, wait..

    • Genghis says:

      Well, sort of. The Court enjoined enforcement of the OSHA reg requiring vaccination or regular testing for large employers pending final resolution of legal challenges. That, of course, means the reg is doomed, as a majority of SCOTUS has already concluded that the challengers will succeed on the merits.

      The HHS reg requiring vaccination for healthcare workers at facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid, on pain of the facilities losing their provider agreements, fared better. Two federal trial court judges have enjoined enforcement of reg, but yesterday the Court held that the government may enforce the reg while its appeals proceed.

      Of course, both "mandates" are subject medical and religious exemptions. It doesn't take much effort to find an anti-vax quack who'll sell you a medical exemption for the price of an office visit, and claimed religious belief can justify damned near anything.

      • allyncooper says:

        IMO both decisions were correct. The case involving HHS complies with long standing policy and law in which the federal government could impose regulations on the states or other entities receiving federal funding. An example of this was the federal imposition of a 55mph speed limit on all states or risk losing federal highway funds (now of course repealed). Another was the federal requirement that states that did not establish a .08 BAC standard for impaired driving could again lose federal highway funds. In addition both these examples were established through legislation, not executive branch edict.

        • Genghis says:

          Yep, both rulings were entirely predictable, though the fact that the HHS case was 5-4 is more than a little horrifying. I read earlier this morning that Cucker Tarlson called Kegs Kavanaugh a "cringing little liberal" for his vote in that case. I wanted to laugh, but the sound just wouldn't come.

        • Old Time Dem says:

          "Long-standing law" also says that OSHA can regulate workplace hazards, and that it can to it via emergency regulations:

          The Secretary shall provide, without regard to the requirements of chapter 5 of title 5, for an emergency temporary standard to take immediate effect upon publication in the Federal Register if he determines (A) that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards, and (B) that such emergency standard is necessary to protect employees from such danger.

          29 US Code § 655(c)(1)

          That was passed in 1970, by the way, so it is a pretty seasoned law.

          "Grave danger from exposure to substances or agents":  Do you think that viruses are not substances or agents?  Or that there isn't danger, or maybe that it isn't "grave," notwithstanding that 850,000 Americans (give or take a few) have died from this virus?

          "Determined to be toxic or physically harmful": Do you have some secret insight that informs you that the SARS-CoV-19 virus is not physically harmful?

          A Supreme Court majority made up of right-wing nut jobs invented, out of whole cloth, a new principle: that OSHA can only regulate harms that only occur in workplaces. That is bullshit. Everyone used ladders at home. So OSHA can't regulate ladders? Or how about knives–I use them in my kitchen all the time. So OSHA cannot require slaughterhouse workers to be provided with cut-resistant gloves?  OSHA can't require workplaces to provide sanitary bathroom facilities because everybody excretes?

           

           

          • The realist says:

            Thanks, Old Time Dem. You have made crystal clear that the SCOTUS majority is not about logic, or even the law. It's a political agenda they're advancing, and unless there is structural change for the Court we will live with this for a long time, and perhaps not even in a democratic republic. 

  3. ParkHill says:

    If you really want the details, see Marcy Wheeler: "THE FIRST SEDITIOUS CONSPIRACY CHARGES DROP"

    The government arrested Stewart Rhodes today and charged him with other Oath Keepers in a seditious conspiracy indictment. Effectively, this charges everyone who conspired — including by participating in the planning — to bring weapons to Virginia on January 6 (and spins the other Oath Keepers off onto their own indictment). The charges effectively incorporate the material from this post on the Quick Reaction Force and this post on discussion of an insurrection after January 6, with additional details on Rhodes and Edward Vallejo, the guy who organized the QRF.

    The charges are, at once, no big deal, because they’re really just the same conspiracy charged in a different way with two conspiracies added. They’re a huge deal, because now Republicans will be hard pressed to continue to downplay January 6. And they’re a solution to some problems and a tool to move on.

    First consider the problems DOJ was trying to solve:

    • How to split up an unwieldy 17-person conspiracy into two trials?
    • How to charge Stewart Rhodes (and Vallejo) for roles central to the conspiracy when they didn’t do anything like trespassing to make that easy?
    • How to backstop the sedition charges so white terrorists won’t go free?
    • How to add leverage to flip key witnesses to move beyond just the Oath Keepers?
  4. ParkHill says:

    Rawstory: "Road to Jan. 6: How Portland police grew to love the Proud Boys and paved the way for Trump’s insurrection

    It was not just the Oath Keepers. Remember that the Proud Boys provided "security" to speakers at the Jan 6 incitement rally.

    Leading up to the failed coup every alarm was ringing. Capitol Police knew a violent invasion was in the works, the Department of Homeland Security knew, the FBI knew, warning of “war at the Capitol.” Hundreds of security officials at 80 Fusion Centers set up after 9/11 to combat domestic terrorism knew. They shared “an avalanche” of warnings about violence beginning at “1 p.m., U.S. Capitol, Jan 6.” Nonetheless, the police allowed the invasion to happen.

    If armed right-wing mobs who invaded state capitols in Idaho, Michigan, and Oregon before Jan. 6 were held accountable, support for the coup might have been squelched. Instead, ProPublica reported, Trump supporters learned “it was possible — even easy — to breach the seats of government to intimidate lawmakers,” they would find sympathizers on the inside, and police would treat them with kid gloves compared to Black Lives Matter protesters.

    Since 2017, police have allowed the Pacific Northwest city to serve as a proving ground for fascists like the Proud Boys. They received legal impunity and even police support with few attempts to stop it. The far-right used political violence to network with white nationalists, militias, and other extremists, raise their image nationally, gain recruits, and build capacity.

    In June 2018, scores of Proud Boys invaded Portland. They joined with Patriot Prayer, a hate group based in Vancouver, Washington, that acts as an umbrella for extremists. Reporters say police marched a hundred-strong Proud Boys gang into anti-fascists. It quickly devolved into a massive brawl with groups of fascists stomping lone counter protesters. One reporter wrote that police appeared “primarily to protect the Patriot Prayer followers.” Another reporter overheard a cop suggest “police should restrict the protesters to one area and ‘just let them fight,’” adding, “That is essentially what happened.” Researchers identified dozens of fascists, many by name, engaging in violence. But no one was ever charged with a crime related to that day, not even Proud Boys president Enrique Tarrio who visibly joined in the assaults.

     

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    Paging Dr. Pfruit…36 million American families will be seeing a TAX HIKE starting tomorrow because the #ChildTaxCredit expired. 
     

  6. JohnNorthofDenver says:

    The Republican Party is now the SLAVE PROPERTY OF TRUMP 

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/gop-rep-john-katko-trump-impeachment-not-running-for-reelection

    His district is likely going to become blue too so enjoy the Trumpers howling as the political murder of John Katko 

  7. Voyageur says:

    Once again, America has had a Sinema Enema.

    She jams it right up our aspirations.

     

  8. MichaelBowman says:

    I’m looking forward to the keynote speech at this years Colorado Ag Forum that will be given by Steve House, former head of COGOP, now with Braver Angels. 
     

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      “Nearly 80% of parents say they would reject a potential mate for their child if that person was from the opposite political party.”

      With that kind of clearly credible supporting evidence they should probably just call it, “the Keynote Blizzard of Bullshit”?

      • MichaelBowman says:

        I’ll know they’re serious about their efforts to build bridges if they offer a plant-based option for lunch! 

        PS: that sound you hear is Moddy throwing up a little in the back of his mouth.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Isn't Steve House Moderatus' friend?

    • The realist says:

      I know who Steve House is but don't know enough about him to guess if this will be a meaningful talk about how diverse interests move forward together, OR if it will be a talk preaching to progressives to learn to love authoritarianism. 

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        You think that maybe he’s going to patiently explain to those Democrats’-war-on-agriculture farmer victims agricultural forum attendees that it might be helpful to try to understand, and maybe even somehow give a bit of concern towards, some of the interests and views held by the other 95% non-agrarian residents of this state???

      • kwtree says:

        Steve House used to be a straight shooter, along the lines of CHB’s rare “responsible Republican moderate”. Which was, of course, why Marks, Mizel, Cynthia Coffman, Tancredo, etc, went after him in the long running soap opera “ OutHouse”. They are all notoriously corrupt and not averse to screwing their own people.

        Before House was extorted to resign by the aforenamed cabal, he was advocating that a  GOP elections oversight committee actually meet wth County Elections Clerks of various or no party affiliations, in order to bring some actual expertise to the table. Being independently wealthy, he was immune to bribes and the usual corruption. He’s still a shitty administrator
         

        Not saying House is some kind of GOP saint- he was a never-Trumper before he lined up behind Trump. He also has parroted the party line against immigrants. And yeah, he probably did have the sleazy extramarital affair they extorted him about. He’s supported all the wasteful recall efforts in order to build the party.  Recently, he’s been spreading conspiracy theories and misinformation about COVID. 
         

        My guess on House’s latest venture is it’s all about list and party building. 

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      There’s gonna’ be plenty of really pissed off homeschool kindergartners over on the West Slope if this ever actually does hit the streets . . .

      “Fuck, mom — No!  Not again?!  I already colored both pages — three times!” . . .

      . . . “I’m gonna’ go play with Dad’s Lauren Boebert [airquotes] ‘action figure’* some more!!!”

      * pre-order now! — on Amazon.com — and also, MyPillow.com

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      And it's 224 pages long and written in English.

      None of her followers will ever be able to get through that. Better to wait for the movie to come out.

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