Friday Open Thread

“Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.”


29 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    Biden's Brilliant Preparation for a Russian Invasion of Ukraine.

    Trump attempted to destroy NATO in service to Russia. Biden rebuilt the US-Europe relationship.

    Blinken and other officials gave me new details this week, describing a series of behind-the-scenes meetings over the past year that helped forge the U.S.-led coalition to support Ukraine. His narrative validates President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s observation in a 1957 speech: “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”

    The Biden administration’s secret planning began in April 2021 when Russia massed about 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border. The buildup turned out to be a feint, but Blinken and other officials discussed U.S. intelligence about Russia’s actions with leaders of Britain, France and Germany at a NATO meeting in Brussels that month. Their message was, “We need to get ourselves prepared,” a senior State Department official said.

    U.S. intelligence provided Ukraine with a preview of Putin’s battle plan. Though Russia had surrounded Ukraine with 150,000 troops, Putin’s real strategy was a lightning, decapitating strike on Kyiv by a relatively small group of elite special forces. The Russians planned to seize Antonov Airport in Hostomel, west of the capital, and then use it to quickly pump troops into Kyiv.

    The Ukrainians knew the Russians were coming. Burns had secretly traveled to Kyiv in January to brief Zelensky on the Russian plan, according to two knowledgeable officials. The Ukrainians used the U.S. intelligence to devastate the attacking force at Hostomel, in what may turn out to be the decisive battle of the war. “The Russians had no Plan B,” explained Marek Menkiszak, a Polish intelligence analyst with the Centre for Eastern Studies in Warsaw.

  2. coloradosane says:

    Brilliance better catch up to changing battlefield as Russia pounds the 100 US 155mm units we provided. 5 are destroyed today and Russia has more and focused now in one region. 

     The meat grinder of artillery of this size doesn’t care about back slapping soft tissue and will crush Ukraine in Donbas and is. 

    I witnessed Iran and Iraq do it with very predictable results in 1981. 

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Iran-Iraq war I know about started in 1980 — with the first campaign being an attack by Iraq mainly during the US election campaign that gifted us with Ronald Reagan — and then became a meat grinder with neither side able to "win." "Peace" was secured in 1988.

      My recollection is Iraq attacked and invaded, thinking Iran's new government would be easy to beat and that the international community would not react.  The combination of Iran's military, organized Home Guards, and the various militias managed to blunt the invasion, degrade and sabotage the few instances when Iraq "won" territory, and then have their navy and air forces counterattack into Iraq, destroying ports, military equipment and supplies, and oil infrastructure.  Iraq's forces got pushed back to the original borders and Iran actually had some offensive success (if having more attackers than Iraqi forces could kill can be considered "success").  Later, momentum seemed to shift back to Iraq.  

      So, 1981 — is the point you are trying to make that invaders with artillery can inflict damage with their artillery and tanks?

      • coloradosane says:

        John, my point is I was there in 1981 and earlier in Operation Eagle Claw in 1980 as a USN operator. The subject article misses the current situation and is looking 3 months back. 

        Mass #'s of  NATO/US 155 mm artillery is needed to defeat the Russian 152 mm and rockets or they will crush Ukrainians defense and counter offensive in Donbas.   We can't diddle around with assisting Ukraine pushing back against the mass machine of incompetent but larger #'s of weapons and troops.  Time is closing in on Ukraine to keep the eastern part of they country.  Since we have decided to give them little in air cover or CAS they must have counter power or Russia will take the  Donbas. 

  3. ParkHill says:

    Looking at the repeating gun orgies across the country its clear that the US is in a war with right-wing militia, and that the Republican Party is on the side of the terrorists. Paul Krugman points out:

    But if you ask me, the worst and also most chilling response came from Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas. What we need to do, declared Patrick, is “harden these targets so no one can get in, ever, except maybe through one entrance.”

    That restriction would have interesting consequences in the event of a fire. But in any case, think about Patrick’s language: In a nation that’s supposedly at peace, we should treat schools as “targets” that need to be “hardened.” What would that do to public education, which has for many generations been one of the defining experiences of growing up in America? Don’t worry, says the Federalist Society: Families can keep their kids safe by resorting to home-schooling.

    Actually, if you take the proposals by Cruz, Patrick and others literally, they amount to a call for turning the land of the free into a giant armed camp. There are around 130,000 K-12 schools in America; there are close to 40,000 supermarkets; there are many other venues that might offer prey for mass killers. So protecting all these public spaces Republican-style would require creating a heavily armed, effectively military domestic defense force — heavily armed because it would face attackers with body armor and semiautomatic weapons — that would be at least as big as the Marine Corps.

    The solution is pretty obvious.

    De-militarize the Right-Wing Nut Jobs. Ban assault weapons. Offer a buy-back if you want, but then enforce the ban. If you ban assault weapons, only terrorists will have them

    • coloradosane says:

      Stop allowing a minority to run a democracy.

      It ain't a democracy if you allow this much power in minority to "trump" the will of the people.  Consent of the governed went out the window with jesus, guns, abortion, and we can't win elections if they are fair. 

      Top it off with Citizens United so we can really be squished. 

  4. coloradosane says:

    Can Coram stop or kneecap Qbert/Boobert?  They debated yesterday in Ignacio. I was at VA trying to be more smarter and stay alive?  Anyone see debate? 

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    Lake Mead water level running well below predictions, could drop another 12 feet by fall

    [i]n September 2023, it suggests Lake Mead will be 26 feet lower than its current level — just 19% of the lake's full capacity and a level that would trigger the most severe water cuts for the Southwest.

    • Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

      I'm guessing that means that more bodies will surface. 

    • JohnInDenver says:

      How much does that degrade power production, meaning there will be even more strain on other sources?

      • Wong21fr says:

        A lot.  The biggest impact are on rural co-ops and municipal utilities that receive almost all of the hydro power allocations.  They'll be left having to pay market rates in a market where most of the excess firm capacity is already spoken for.  Not that there's a ton left as power suppliers have accelerated their closures of coal plants (and a few nukes in CA because CA is composed of short-sighted idiots) and there's nowhere near enough renewables, battery storage, or gas plants coming online to make up the difference.

        The possibility of routine rolling brownouts during the summer across the West over the next five years is highly likely.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        This diary is dated but you can find links to the related energy issues in the posting. 

  6. Voyageur says:

    Thursday was last day of school at Northfield high, where my grandson attends.  Some doofus decided to bring a paintball gun as a senior prank.  Result, schoolwide lockdown, grandson spent 90 minutes under a desk, finally they sent every body home.

    You could call it an overreaction.  But what's the alternative?


  7. JohnInDenver says:

    Magellan Strategies released a poll on Colorado citizens' opinion of public education.  You can read the posting here.  One question: Local School District Job Approval

    • Among all respondents, 40% approve and 42% disapprove of the job their local school district is doing educating students. One in five respondents did not have an opinion on this question. Voter population subgroups with higher approval ratings for their school district included all Democrats (52% approve), Democrats aged 45-64 (62%), suburban men (47%), households with a student attending a public school (54%), and voters in the new 8th Congressional District (52%), El Paso County (48%) and Weld County (53%).
    • Population subgroups with higher disapproval ratings for their school district included all Republicans (57% disapprove), urban women (53%), rural voters (53%), voters in the First Congressional District (Denver) (61%), and Larimer County (50%).
    • davebarnes says:

      I am shocked that Denver voters think DPS (for the most part) sucks.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Thanks to BEST (thanks, Andrew!) we have some of the finest school complexes anywhere in rural America. 

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Chalkbeat provides some data that can explain some of the attitude.  One marker: 

        Statewide, 81.7% of the Class of 2021 graduated on time last spring — slightly down from 81.9% in 2020,

        The Denver school district, the largest in the state, posted a 74% graduation rate, just slightly down from 74.6% in 2020.

        Another:  Federico Pena wrote a letter published in the Denver Post where he pointed out

        ●      Only 12% of third graders district wide are meeting grade-level benchmarks in reading.

        ●      Only 5% of Black third graders and 5% of Latino third graders are reading on grade level; meanwhile, 30% of white third-graders are meeting the same benchmark– demonstrating startling achievement gaps between white students and students of color.

        Short version, to me — things are not all they could be in the DPS.

        • kwtree says:

          In every district in Colorado, students are struggling with the long lasting effects of the pandemic. There are incoming high school freshmen who basically missed their last two years of school – staying home and doing "remote" classes.

          Their older siblings spent the last two years taking care of younger siblings, or working to supplement the family income.

          There are some students who do well with remote classes – most don't. I doubt that DPS is significantly worse than other urban districts. Graduation rates seem to be steadily climbing back up.

          The other thing to keep in mind is that ( per original post)  it is a Magellan poll, which tends to generate results more in line with conservative preconceptions. Glancing through the crosstabs, this surveyed group was overwhelmingly white, ( W 591 L 176 B 44) ) and had no students at home. (no students 613, students 239.) This does not reflect Colorado population of black students.

          It was also pretty wealthy, with a majority having household income of over $75,000.

          On other demographics, the survey proportionately represented the population by gender, age, and political affiliation. It did have a significant "tell" – the crosstab references "Democrat" voters, vs unaffiliated and  Republican voters.

          So a group of wealthy, white folks with no students at home gave their opinion on how schools are doing educating poor and minority students, which is who you have in DPS. I don't think I'd give it any more weight than one does CHB's periodic grousing about a Jeffco building built with his tax dollars a decade ago that he is still mad about.  And we can get off his lawn, too.



          • JohnInDenver says:

            US Census reports …

            White alone, percent  86.9%

            Colorado's Median household income (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020…… $75,231

            Magellan on partisan matters works for Republicans.  But they do a heck of a lot of nonpartisan polling on education bond and budget/tax propositions, too.  The sample was set for statewide population … and the cross-tabs don't come with enough information to know the specific representation within CO-1.  It could be way off — but their overall sample doesn't seem intentionally skewed to me. 



            • kwtree says:

              The Magellan poll did fairly represent Colorado, but it did not represent the Denver area, nor Denver public school parents. White, middle class, student-less households were asked how  the poor, racially diverse DPS schools were doing. 

              Apparently, 61% of the Magellan group disapproved of DPS schools. On what grounds? They have no skin in the game. Their tax contributionss are limited by Gallagher and Tabor. Their info about schools comes from Fox News complaining about nonsense (critical race theory, homosexual “grooming”) that doesn’t actually happen in schools.

              For the poll to be meaningful, Magellan should have asked  representative CD1 households with students their opinion of schools.

              44 black respondents out of 882 total respondents = 5% 

              Black  % of  Colorado population =  4%

              Black students % of DPS students = 13%

              Latine students % of DPS students = 52%

              Latine % of Colorado population = 21%

              Magellan sample composition: 67% white, 19% Latine*, 5% black , remainder “other”

              I said that the Magellan sample vastly underrepresented blacks in DPS, which comprises most of CD1.

              The Magellan poll sample may represent Colorado as a whole; but I saw people tsk-tsking about DPS.  The Magellan poll does not reflect the ethnic nor income makeup of CD1, which comprises most of DPS schools. It under-represents blacks and Latine students, which are the majority of students in DPS, which is only 23% white.

              It vastly under-represents families with students in the household. 69% of the Magellan respondents had no students in the household.  (31% did have students in HH)

              100% of DPS parents have students in the household.

              It doesn’t represent the 59% of DPS students eligible for free and reduced lunch. The maximum household income to be eligible ( with 4 kids) is $51,000.

              * I use “Latine” as a generic term for Latino/Latina, since there isn’t a reason to gender the term. Latinx is a construction that doesn’t exist in Spanish,  (no words end in x) where Latine does.


              • MichaelBowman says:

                Speaking of skewed data, I met with some friends at Union Station yesterday afternoon expecting to see dystopia, complete with sulfur gas emanating from the sewer grates. It was a pleasant surprise after my expectations were set low by the Republican front runner for Governor.

                Those of us who didn’t live in Orange County at the time and remember the Larimer Square and downtown of the early-mid 70’s really appreciate what the area has become. 

  8. Voyageur says:

    Having sent two generations of platypuses through DPS, with one grandson still a high school sophomore, I think it does a fair job.  Definitely top-heavy with bureaucracy, though, partly as a result of all the litigation.

    But on the whole, good teachers.

  9. kwtree says:

    Trump mangled Spanish names of dead students,  blamed the carnage on “broken families”, and did a little cha-cha at the end of the recitation, while the NRA rang a gong. Horrifying and disrespectful. 


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