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July 07, 2023 08:04 AM UTC

Friday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.”

–Baltasar Gracian


18 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. Krugman on masters of the universe and their private Xanadus:

    The Rich Are Crazier Than You and Me

    And to the extent that contrarian tech bros talk to anyone else, it’s to one another. The tech entrepreneur and writer Anil Dash tells us that “it’s impossible to overstate the degree to which many big tech C.E.O.s and venture capitalists are being radicalized by living within their own cultural and social bubble.” He calls this phenomenon of venture capitalism “VC QAnon,” a concept that I find helps explain many of the strange positions taken by tech billionaires lately.

    Let me add a personal speculation. It may seem odd to see men of vast wealth and influence buying into conspiracy theories about elites running the world. Aren’t they the elites? But I suspect that famous, wealthy men may be especially frustrated by their inability to control events, or even stop people from ridiculing them on the internet. So rather than accepting that the world is a complicated place nobody can control, they’re susceptible to the idea that there are secret cabals out to get them.

    There’s historical precedent here. Watching Elon Musk’s descent, I know that I’m not alone in thinking of Henry Ford, who remains in many ways the ultimate example of a famous, influential entrepreneur, and who also became a rabid, conspiracy-theorizing anti-Semite. He even paid for a reprinting of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forgery that was probably promoted by the Russian secret police. (Time is a flat circle.)

    In any case, what we’re seeing now is something remarkable. Arguably, the craziest faction in U.S. politics right now isn’t red-hatted blue-collar guys in diners, it’s technology billionaires living in huge mansions and flying around on private jets. At one level it’s quite funny. Unfortunately, however, these people have enough money to do serious damage.


  2. Three tidbits from the most recent monthly Secretary of State report on voter registration and my tracking from earlier reports.

    • loss of party members continues, with Democrats and Republicans losing “active registrations” both in absolute numbers and share of the overall numbers. Democrats now outnumber Republicans by 121,637.  Minor parties reported minuscule gains – except for the Libertarians, who also lost registrations.
    • Preregistrations among those over 16 who register so they become eligible on their 18th birthday, show a preference for Republicans: R have 5,971, D have 4,122. Of course, both are swamped by the Unaffiliated at 55,656.
    • CD-3 registrations. Since 12/1/2022, Democrats increased active registrations by 220. Republicans increased 760. Unaffiliated are up 13,175. Boebert backlash doesn’t seem to have hit partisan identification just yet.
    1. I don't know that registrations mean much anymore in this state. unaffiliated is easy, flexible, and unless you're running for a party office, non-restrictive.

      As far as teen registration, I read that as a measure of ideological extremity for the same reason. The D registrations are the strong "can't support any R" and the R registrations have bought in to the MAGA, QAnon, or "Demoncrat" belief systems.

    2. "Minor parties reported minuscule gains – except for the Libertarians, who also lost registrations."

      Geee, and after Brandon Williams negotiated his non-aggression pact with Misses Caucus and the Libertarians to try to give Lori Saine a clean shot at CD-8 next year.

      Looks like the Libertarians are losing members just like the GOP.

  3. Well I've been busy. Mostly working on an application for the Democratic Party to manage volunteers (it's making good progress).

    But… the other biggie is I wrote a book. And it's now available. You can get it here (Amazon is the only outlet at present). So if you need something to do this weekend, get the book, read it, leave a wonderful review.

    Have a good weekend. And keep in mind, we need to keep putting in every last bit of effort, but by doing so, things are clearly shifting in a positive direction. It's a lot of two steps forward, one step back, but at the end of the day, that's a step forward.

  4. The Colorado Election Security Act (SB22-153) made some important changes.  One I hadn't understood:

    At a meeting of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), Colorado’s elections director Judd Choate said “probably… the most important part” of the law is a rule most missed or ignored: an effective ban on hand-counting ballots almost everywhere in the state.

    Choate said the ban was included at the request of the Colorado County Clerks Association, to stop “the election denial world” from “badgering” officials to hand-verify votes tabulated by machines.

    As a result, any county with over 1,000 registered voters must tabulate votes using machines, and election officials asked to verify controversial results by hand-counting can safely say they are legally unable to comply.

    For what it is worth, only 3 counties have fewer than 1,000 registered voters: Hinsdale, San Juan, and Mineral.

    1. I get the rationale, here.  Still, I’m gonna’ miss the MAGAts not being able to piss more of their GOPer money away paying the freight on lengthy hand recount wet conspiracy dreams which have absolutely no chance of changing any of the results.

      1. They can still pay for the recounts — it is just that the recounts will be done with the same methods used the first time (which already had been the case in most instances).

        This just stops the whining about hand counts INSTEAD of machine counts.  The research is clear — EVERY machine count is more accurate than hand counts.

  5. MAGAs and RINOs crowding around the PPP feeding trough. This is why government can’t be shrunk down to fit in a bathtub- it has to accommodate all the hypocritical grifters and skimmers!

    Didn’t someone find that the Boeberts also sucked down some PPP funds?

    1. Reporting on Congress critters who got PPP funds is here.

      he government, through the Small Business Administration, gave out nearly $790 billion in PPP loans between March 2020 and May 2021, when the program ended, public records show. Of that amount, $757 billion has been forgiven. 

      The recipients include two dozen members of Congress who received between $79,000 and $3.4 million apiece for businesses, according to reporting at the time

      1. I didn't see Shooters Grill as being among those sucking on the teet of the federal government. Did I miss it?

        The other two stooges, Gaetz and the Big Bitch, took their government handouts.

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