Friday Open Thread

“Ignorance is bold and knowledge reserved.”


29 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. kwtree says:

    Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it- Santayana

    Alex Wagner, MSNBC’s new primetime anchor, featured some disturbing news from Florida about the teaching of revisionist history. Teachers were trained over the summer in DeSantis-sponsored “Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative”. Teachers are supposed to downplay the role of slavery in the American colonies, and portray the founders ( almost all slaveholders) as wannabe abolitionists. The “civics initiative” also insists that  teachers frame the United States as a Christian nation, downplaying or ignoring the very clear Constitutional language about the separation of church and state.


    I’m currently tutoring adults on high school equivalency exams. Prepping for the Social Studies Exam, It’s been a joy to teach and talk about civics, including the Bill of Rights,and other amendments, and how our government works, with people who are directly affected, vote, and curious about it.

    It would be horrifying to have to teach lies and half truths instead, to perpetuate ignorance instead of dispelling it. I’m sure teachers are leaving Florida in droves.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      One interesting thing about the growth of slavery in America is at the time of the revolution a fair number of leaders in the South viewed it as a necessary evil. They at least paid lip service to the fact that it was wrong and some freed their slaves.

      By the time of the Civil War the belief in the South was almost unanimous that it was a good thing for both whites & blacks. And it was illegal to free your slaves.

      Why did this happen – there's lots of theories.

      • kwtree says:

        What’s your favorite theory about that?

        Mine is that the church, specifically Southern Baptists, failed to take the moral high ground. The SBs only publicly renounced their support for slavery and segregation in 1995.

        Frederick Douglass had some choice words about that.

      • Voyageur says:

        The main cause for the support of slavery was Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1794.

        Without the gin, cotton wasn’t very profitable.

        With it, fortunes could be made. But you still needed slaves to plant, cultivate and pick it.

        One slave working ten hours could clean one pound of cotton a day.
        Two workers on a gin could clean 50 pounds of cotton in that same ten hours.

        The gin made cotton king. And that required millions of slaves.

        Are you surprised that white southerners decided slavery was a good thing after it made them rich?

        How many coal mine owners accept the theory of global warming despite the overwhelming proof?

    • Duke Cox says:

      I'm sure they are.

      DeSantis is replacing them with soldiers.

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    My attention to things Colorado this morning came up with The Atlantic article:

    End Times in Aspen

    On Thanksgiving 2021, the start of ski season, the Times editorial team numbered 13, including four reporters who had been covering our town since at least the 1990s. We were treated well by our parent company, Swift Communications. Our paper was profitable, owing largely to real-estate advertising. We seemed to be a safe harbor for small-town journalists.

    We were wrong.

    Less than nine months ago, on that Tuesday after Thanksgiving when we first virtually met Bob Nutting, the Times editorial team consisted of 13 people. The week of July 4, it was five, including just two full-time reporters. One resigned after 35 years. After yet another column was spiked, Marolt quit in protest and went to the Daily News. Local businesses have pulled their ads in protest, and Pitkin County commissioners have taken their legal notices to the Daily News..



  3. DavidThi808 says:

    Political trivia question of the day – who did FDR say were the three most dangerous men in America?

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    How do State legislative candidates break through the noise to get there message across? There are so many political stories, ads, videos, etc. for races that are viewed as much more important. Most voters don't even know who their state legislators are.

    How in all this do they get people to pay attention to their race? Seems like it's almost impossible to get any attention in all the other stuff.

    • Voyageur says:

      Door by door, plus working county fairs and other events.  Personal contact is vital.

      • notaskinnycook says:

        V's right. There's even a phrase for it "retail politics".

        • Genghis says:

          For real. Dianne Primavera, our current lieutenant governor and my all-time fav state legislator, got herself elected to the state House of Reps four times from a district that started red and got increasingly bluer (thanks largely to Dianne's efforts) through hard goddamn work, including knocking on every door in the district.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        Oh god that's right. I can remember doing that for my mom. She was a machine hitting every door in her district over the election period. And then we all put in days doing it too.

        It was exhausting.

    • ParkHill says:

      Um, Obviously: the Boebert strategy succeeds in getting press and attention.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Far and away, the local races turn on human contact. 

      Candidates at the doors is probably the gold standard.  Already-known neighbors who urge attention to the race and vouch for the candidates are good — depending on the credibility of that already-known neighbor. Candidates showing up for local events (or staging some of their own helps.

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    Scott Galloway *nails* it today…



    The biggest critics of the government are, oddly, some of its biggest beneficiaries. Tech billionaires are often the first to shitpost America, even as they continue to harvest wealth from the investments taxpayers make via the U.S. government.

    In fact, the biggest bitch(er) may be the biggest (financial) beneficiary. Elon Musk says we should “get rid of all” government subsidies, that “the government is the biggest corporation with a monopoly on violence,” and last week mocked Washington for hiring more employees at the IRS. Let’s be clear: Elon didn’t build an EV company in South Africa or start a rocket company in Canada. He built Tesla and SpaceX in the United States. And both continue to be heavily dependent on U.S. government support. 

    There would be no SpaceX without NASA, its largest customer. Tesla built its Fremont factory with a $465 million DoE loan in 2010, and its first 200,000 cars benefited from tax credit subsidies of up to $7,500. For years the company was able to report profits thanks to the “sale” of emissions credits to other carmakers. All told, the company has accepted an estimated $2.5 billion in government support.


  6. itlduso says:

    How disappointing to learn that CNN has canceled “Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter.”
    This show made a good faith attempt to analyze how the media should operate in an era where the “media is the enemy of the people”. Especially looking at the “both sides” dilemma when the GOP is clearly anti-democracy and pro lying all of the time.  
    I understand that CNN has somehow been taken over by conservatives.  

    I bemoan the loss, through political assassination, talented voices such as Al Franken, Charlie Rose, even Chris Cuomo.  And the voluntary resignation of Jon Stewart.  Those, like all good communicators are not easily replaced.

    And I bemoan the fact that our elections will be hijacked by GOP legislators.  This could have been prevented by the Senate passing Voting Rights legislation but for the filibuster supported by our own John Hickenlooper.

    Our democracy has never been at greater risk.  I wonder if twenty years from now Michael Bennet (a really good guy) and 
    Hickenlooper (not so much) will be writing books, a la McNamara, how they should have done more to save American democracy.

    Democracy.  Pass it on.



    • JohnInDenver says:

      There are lots of reasons you might not support Hickenlooper … so it would pay to get things right. 

      Hickenlooper Press Release, Dec. 15, 2021: ‘It’s Time to Change the Filibuster to Protect Voting Rights’

      “We’ve been here almost a year, and we’ve seen enough: It’s time to change the filibuster to protect voting rights.

      “Protecting the right to vote shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and we set out to work across the aisle. But three separate voting rights bills have failed in the Senate this year.

      “Voter disenfranchisement threatens our entire democracy. If we can change the process on the debt ceiling, then surely we can do the same to protect our democracy.”

      Hickenlooper co-sponsored 3 voting rights bills and urged their passage.  VOX explained the failure:

      The Senate on Wednesday voted 48-52 against changing the chamber’s filibuster rules, dooming much of Democrats’ agenda for the near term.

      Democrats were ultimately split on the rules vote, with two opposing the change and 48 in favor of it. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) were the only Democrats who voted against the rules change, which would have made an exception to the 60-vote threshold many bills need to advance. No Republicans voted to support the reform.

      • itlduso says:

        Thanks for the information, John.  I appreciate it and stand corrected.  My views were based on viewing two or three Hickenlooper Zoom town halls where he was very wishy washy about overturning the filibuster specifically for voting rights legislation.  I also had a conversation with Michael Bennet where he acknowledged that Hickenlooper was sketchy about his stance, but thought that Hick would end up on the right side.  It's good to learn that Hick did end up supporting ending the filibuster for voting rights legislation.

        Also, I'm still heartsick that Reliable Sources has now had its final show.  We need every avenue available to spotlight the impending loss of our democracy before it's too late.


        • JohnInDenver says:

          I think Hick started off with a belief/wish that the filibuster would do what people said … encourage caution and compromise, probably leading to incremental steps in the direction of the majority's position. 

          After a year, I think he was facing the current usage — lock step to block nearly anything the majority wanted and could claim credit for.  The Senate about to surpass last session's record pace of 328 motions for cloture — already at 305, and something like 10 or 12 weeks Senate floor work to go before the session ends.

          Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a working majority building to further erode chances to filibuster on particular legislative topics (Manchin & Sinema say no) or simply entirely end the tradition/rule and let the majority rule (M&S and probably some others would oppose).  Nor does there appear to be uniform support for any particular type of reform ("talking" filibuster, limited numbers of filibusters in a term, going back to the days of a single calendar meaning a filibuster shut EVERYTHING down, or whatever).

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