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January 25, 2007 04:31 PM UTC

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

You’re good enough, and smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.


67 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. The recent member who’s a helicopter pilot reminded me of this. A lot of the bears had to be dropped by helicopter in places where it was too dangerous for ground troops to mix with kids.

    Operation Teddy Bear

    The mom’s in Boulder loved this too because their kids no longer played with their stuffed animals once they hit the teen years – but were not willing to get rid of them. For this they were happy to send them on.

    1. Never flew teddy bears, but we’ve had the cabin full of soccer balls before. 

      I thought that was neat, despite the fact that I think soccer and socialism are directly related. 

    1. The good thing about the New Hampsire primary is that the people there get to know each candidate in a more intimate way, and are not making decisions based soley on glitzy ad campaigns or name recognition.

      1. But we don’t get to know a candidate in an intimate way!  Literally, the fate of the Republic is in the hands of the population of two small states.  A couple of million (????) people twist the course of history.  Look at Howard Dean, end of story by Iowa.  Yet Dean has gone on to show himself to be a creative thinker and finding solutions “outside the box.”

        Instead, the Dems wound up with Kerry, a decent human being but a lifeless sort of candidate….and presumably, president.

        A national primary – like many other democracies – would give a chance for events like the famous “Dean Scream” – which CNN later admitted was a fabricated story – to be moderated over time.  Right now, it’s one strike and you’re out!

        I think lesser know candidates will actually have a better chance.  If their positions are popular, money will flow to them.  Again, Dean.  They can plot a multi-month strategy instead of trying to run a 5 yard dash, win or lose.

        1. Kerry probably wouldn’t have won in the primary if he had to compete in more states over a longer period of time.  Kerry won the caucus largly by default because Dean and Gephardt killed each other with the negative ads.  Saddam had just been captured and people knew Iraq would be a big issue and wanted Kerry’s forgien policy cred.  A larger primary hopefully would have exposed Kerry for what he was.

          Also, if CA, FL, IL, and NJ do move up their primaries I think this could be a huge opening for Bill Richarson.  All of these states have large hispanic populations and with the other big three candidates splitting the vote that could be all Richardson needs to ride to victory.

          1. This is terrible for someone like Richardson.  There is no way someone without big name ID and organizations can raise enough money to simultaneously compete in the L.A., S.F., N.Y., Miami, Chicago, and Philly markets (plus all the states that already have primaries that day).  A spread out process allows a lesser known candidate to focus almost entirely on the first couple states.  If he does well there, that success helps attract the resources needed to compete in later primaries.  This change would turn the primary season into a three week process.  At the very best two candidates will divide the spoils in those three weeks and carry on, but everyone else will be history.  In my opinion, this change would make it almost impossible for anyone except Clinton or Obama to get the nomination, unless they Dean/Gephardt on grand scale and open the door for Edwards. 

            1. Actually, if we had a nationwide primary, we’d have a long season running from a November election, even years, to early summer, election year.  Lots of time for even the most pecuniarily challenged contender to prove his/her mettle.

              If people keep hearing a good message, they will contribute and build up the little guy, er, girl, er, woman.  Hillary might well burn out in such a scenario when people see that 90% of her donations are corporate.

              1. No one who is informed disagrees with me!
                Okay, joking.  But see Clinton circa ’92.  Contests decided by personal ass kissing and brownie baking, as others on this thread have described it, can be won through retail politics by politicians without a lot of dough.  That is how such a candidate can “prove his/her mettle” before the contest goes “national,” aka super Tuesday.  A national primary would be won in the same manner as a general election: saturation media buys and effective media spinning.  And a longer campaign just means more money needed.

            2. will certainly kill each other in negatives, that has already started.  I don’t think Edwards will be above the fray though because he still has to answer the question on why this time will be different for him.  Democrats are very unforgiving to 2nd time around candidates i.e. does anyone remember Joementum (Lieberman’s sad campaign).  Edwards and Obama will also slit the liberal “he’s so charismatic” vote diluting each others chances.  Richardson has a very large unchallenged natural base in the hispanic community.  If he can rally them he can stay positive and surprise a lot of people.

              1. I agree with you. Hillary is a heavyweight, Obama is the newfound star of the dem party, Richardson has a distinguished res and can court the hispanic vote, but Edwards is just toast.  I don’t know why the guy is doing this again.

                1. But Obama’s been pretty good at picking up on the growing class divide.  Hillary came out this week sounding like the liberal Hillary the right fears and not the triangulator she’s been while Senator.  Richardson’s always been understanding of class and minority issues.

                  So why *is* Edwards running again – except that he figures he’s the right man for the message?

                  1. South Carolina.

                    Most say if he’d have had another couple days in the Corn State, he would have pulled it off there, too.  Don’t discount him yet.

                    I love the New Hampshire/Iowa system.  It’s the last-best way to have a true candidate start getting buzz, instead of the candidate with the biggest war chest and most friends in the media.  As cheesy as it is that they do pancake breakfasts, there’s something actually *real* about it, especially compared with campaigning 30 seconds at a time. 

                  2. Following up Yokel’s comment, my understanding is that Edwards is strong in Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada.  He was getting a dream primary schedule, until this develoment.  It’s enough to give him hope, anyway.  Personally I like Edwards but found him a big disappointment during the ’06 campaign.  I’m not sure if that was his fault or that of his boss’ campaign manager.

        2.   The entire population of N.H. is about 1 million but obviously not all are eligible voters who turn out for the primary election.  In Iowa, because we are talking about caucuses, has turnout in the low six figure range.

      2. You mean we won’t get to see all that much of Dennis Kucinich, Duncan Hunter, Joe Biden and Tom Tancredo.  Gee, I’m devastated……
        (Notice in the interest of  bipartisanship, I balanced that with losers on both sides of the aisle.)

    2. Take a look at this post, item 2 in it.

      My proposal is take the 5 states with the closest vote in the previous election, order them from smalles to largest, and they are on a set schedule of 2/week. All other states can then go anytime 1 week or later after those 5 are done.

      That pushes the primary to the states that make the final decision in the general election. And that will get us the most competitive candidate.

      – dave

      1. Because it’s not.

        The Constitution has little to say about the election of the President beyond the mechanics of the electoral college.  That means that all there is defining the process is the 10th Amendment – how the states decide to appoint their electors, and how the candidates are chosen for whom the electors vote.

  2. and I have to say those people are spoiled rotten!  I can’t tell you how many people told me they just couldn’t think of voting for a presidential canidate unless they had dinner with them.  Most of these folks were more concerned with much sucking up to them the campaigns did verse any real policy differences. Shack em up I say!

    1. I understand your sentiment but most Iowans are pretty reasonable when it come to who they caucus for.  Out of curiosity, where in the state did you work?

        1. and I agree completely.  Far too many people were aggressively uninterested in what the candidates proposed to do.

          It’s a social event.  A grade school popularity contest.  Old folks choose candidates based on which supporter baked the best brownies.

          The two caucuses I attended contained a few enthusiastic young folks who were well-informed, and a large number of veteran Democrats who folded their arms and announced themselves “undeclared.”  Then the competition to stroke their egos begins, and basically boils down to fawning attention from the few decided attendees, then nervous glances to see which group your more friendly neighbor went to, ended by a stampede towards whichever group reached critical mass first.  Then lots of “which candidate did I just pick?” questions, and finally The Count and Goodnight.

          Many of the caucuses have media participation, which changes the dynamic significantly.

          Finally, even if the caucus process somehow could refocus itself on the candidates’ merit, it’s still Iowa.  An entire state 93% white, rural, and conservative.  Nothing against them, but Iowa could not be less representative of Democratic voters, and giving them undue influence in the process has been a huge mistake until now.

  3. On Fox News (don’t laugh) about some CO legislator being suspicious of the actions of their 2006 opponent… but I had to leave my house before the actual story came on.  Did anyone see this?  I’m dying to know what happened and I can’t find any reference to it on their website.!  Thanks!

  4. A few days ago, the Denver Post editorial board ran an article claiming a bill in the house would kill business in Colorado and was a reward bill to unions (bashing the substance of the bill with knowing what it did).

    Now, the post has gone back on that assesment (flip-flopping) and claims the following:  “Our objection to HB 1072 has less to do with substance than process – it sends a bad message to employers when business isn’t even invited to discuss the proposal to change a 64-year-old law.”

    Who is writing the editorials for the Post no-a-days, Rep. David Balmer?


    1. Ritter can start counting down his days if he’s going to approve garbage like this ridiculous Union bill right out of the gate. 

      I hate to break it to you, but most people in Colorado (especially the people with money from their businesses are, if not anti-union, at least not pro-union.

    2. The earlier editorial attacking the uniun shop bill was in the Rocky Mountain News.  The Post editorial, whatever you think of it, was not a “flip flop.”  They just were much less shrill (and much more factual) than the Rocky in their opposition to hb 1072.

  5. I have a diary on this, but I just want to get the word out far and wide. Tancredo has announced that he’s willing to talk about a guest worker program after all! In other words, he’s willing to discuss an amnesty program!

    The Austin American-Statesman reported that Tancredo said:

    “if I see we’re truly enforcing the law…I’d be willing to talk about a potential guest worker program.”

    Of course Tancredo’s supporters are trying to sugar-coat his revealing slip, but Tancredo’s statement actually is just as much a betrayal as his switch from his term limits pledge. Suddenly he’s now willing to SUPPORT an amnesty plan as long as it’s linked with better enforcement measures? That’s a HUGE switch, and the only reason for him making the switch is that he’s bending the way the wind blows: political expediency.

    In 2001 Tancredo said: “For me, the issue of giving one’s word and promising to do something like this is more important than the rest of it… The overriding motivation for me today to adhere to the term limits pledge is that I made a pledge… I took the pledge. I will live up to the pledge. That’s it. That’s the overriding issue.” Then a year later he broke the pledge. His excuse was phrased thus: “I find myself in a position of leadership … I represent the best hope for change … I dare not abandon this cause …”

    Of course, now he IS abandoning the cause. If he is willing to consider an amnesty program, then the only difference between him and McCain/Kennedy/Bush is one of degree, of tinkering around the edges. He’s no different than dozens if not hundreds of other Congressmen.

    As Paul Jacob, Senior Fellow at U.S. Term Limits, the national organization that had worked so closely with Tancredo to pass Colorado’s term limits laws, said when Tancredo broke his term limits pledge:

    “Voters can count on one thing: They’ll never be able to count on Tom Tancredo.”

    He has proven it once again.

    1. If TT is cracking in his resolve then I think we can officially say that illegal immigration, as an issue to get the base motiviated, is now on life support.

      I predict that immigration reform will pass and include a guest worker plan, and the issue will become as irrelevant nationally as it became locally after the special session.

    2. TT is about my least favorite politician — he always struck me as a rather cynical opportunist who made a career out of stirring up hate for his own gains.  I think this latest move just tends to prove the point, despite the fact I’m kind of glad to see him back down at least a little bit.

  6. Another bit of amusement from Congressman Tancredo.  He’s done it before, yes, but now that he’s looking to run for president, it makes him look like the candidate that ran because his cow told him to.

    Story is in the Denverpost.
    Post story

    1. Forgot to say what the bill was about.  Apparently Tancredo is attempting to try to get the house to change rules so that they do not allow for a Hispanic American, African American, or Asian Pacific Islander Caucus.

  7. Common wisdom was that Tancredo was only running to give his immigration position a bigger stage. Now that his position has changed does anyone have any idea why he’s running?

  8. Ford loses $6 BILLION dollars, but might reinstate bonuses for 6,000 managers while laying off 40,000 blue and white collar workers.  Shouldn’t the captain of the Titanic gotten a raise?  After all, he almost got them to Newfoundland.

    For “morale.”  Hey about paying a fair salary, I never got a bonus for just puttin in hours.  Give raises to those who are saving Ford’s ass with creativity and looking forward, and get rid of the others. 

    Note to those who think government is bloated and unresponsive, remember this.  And there’s plenty more waste and stupidity in the private sector to go around.

  9. Fucking Republican fascist congress, good riddance.  Can you say “to-tal-i-tarian”, kids?

    “May I svee your pay-pers, pleees?”

    We, freedom loving Americans of all stripes, need to overturn the Real ID act, HAVA, reinstate Habeus Corpus, and impeach Bush.

      1. will secure our freedoms from terrorism while the Republican congress was slicing the throat of our democracy?  Pretty weird “thought” process.

        Ask yourself these questions:

        Did HAVA increase or decrease the liklihood of election fraud?  (It’s a lot easier to hack one SW program than a thousand mechanical machines.  Beside being a kiss on the ass of the Republican dominated voting machine industry.)

        Does the Real ID act increase or decrease your freedom?  Your ability to move about unfettered w/o the feds knowing everything about you? 

        You know what Ben Franklin said about those wiling to give up freedom for security. Isn’t it strange, the left has been screaming about this drop by drop totalitarianism coming, and the “conservative” right says, “OK by me!”  Goldwater would cry that people who claim to be conservative would approve of these laws.  And you know it.

      1. Jeez, man, are you…, I won’t stoop that low.

        The diffence is, is that the Nazi’s didn’t have the technologies we have today!  If they were around today, they would be using them. 

        Real ID act intrudes on our freedoms greatly.  We already, effective two days ago HAVe to have a passport to travel outside of America and get back in. Even little toddler Tom that went to Tijuana with his parents. 

        It is people like yourself who went along with Hitler, oh, how could the “good German people” have allowed such things?  Easy, they had people like you in their midst.

        “Land of the Free” my ass. And yes, it IS the Republicans who have stripped us of the freedoms we had as recently as 2000.

      2. why do you stoop to calling me a name? It sort of indicates your level of intellect.

        “Why Mister Churchill, you are drunk again!”

        “Ah so I am Lady ????.  But in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly.”

        Now THAT is a put-down done with creativity and wit. 

  10. http://www.newsnet5….

    Even if people only drive by, they will be reminded of the “hidden” cost of our oil economy.  As I posted recently, the cost of the Iraq war divided by all the oil we import adds another $14 to every barrel. 

    Oh, yeah, it’s so worth it, right, righties?

  11. It’s “Democratic”

    As noted by Media Matters for America in August 2006, a nasty habit has cropped up in right-wing circles and, increasingly, in the media. At some point, Republicans and other right-wing types began using the incorrect adjective to refer to their opposing party. Increasingly, media types have been parroting the slight.

    Make no mistake, this is a deliberate mashing of the English language, meant to alleviate confusion of the big-D Democratic Party and the small-d adjective modifying any number of other nouns, highly popularized in the 1990s by Newt Gingrich. President Bush’s sore-thumb use of it in his State of the Union speech of Jan. 23, 2007, however, has made it clear that this insulting useage has seeped too far into the lexicon. It’s time to start fighting it.

    It’s “Democratic.” We are the Democratic Party. And if Republicans aren’t just mouthing all of that “bipartisan” and “compromise” talk following the 2006 mid-term elections, they’ll respect the opposition enough to not use this insulting phrase anymore. And if Democrats are serious about leading this country in a new direction, they’ll bark corrections any time they hear this insult. Stand up for the Democratic Party, people. You’ve earned the right.

    And finally, let’s address the most heinous violators of all, the media. Shame on the journalists for this, injecting langauage into news stories and commentary that you know is meant to be politically derisive, and not to mention that you know is grammatically challenged. Each and every one of you who has ever used this construction of language should have to eat the “D” section of your AP Stylebook for breakfast and an entire Strunk and White for lunch. What’s wrong with you?

    Democrats, please take heed: If the practice of dropping the “-ic” from “Democratic Party” doesn’t face a fight here and now, it stays, and the Democrats once again allow the Republicans to define them. Indeed, they will have allowed the Republicans to stitch a sorry insult directly into their quilt. If you don’t fight for “Democratic,” you cannot fight for the Democratic Party.

    Remember these words. Practice them in a mirror. “Ahem. It’s ‘Democratic.'”


        1. That the Boy Wonder should check his own grammar structures first.

          “Shame on the journalists for this, injecting langauage into news stories and commentary that you know is meant to be politically derisive, and not to mention that you know is grammatically challenged.”

          I mean c’mon.

          Nitpickin’ I know, but my grandmother was a grammar teacher.

          Other than strangling the language, the topic you brought up is fascinating.  Over the years language in politics has become more useful, especially in today’s media.  Robin, it must be intersting to contrast Lincoln’s messages with what you read these days.

            1. if that is the case, I am sorry, I should keep my busy  body mouth shut and write the fine people at, what, smirkingchimp, and let them have it.

              I don’t think Robin will answer, he doesn’t talk to me much 🙂

    1. According to Thom Hartmann, Frank Luntz, the mastermind of framing, did focus groups on Democrat Party vs. Democratic Party.  He found that the latter made the folks feel warm and fuzzy, no doubt linked to we being a democratic nation.  (I know, technically not, but that’s what we claim.)  However, Democrat Party sounded very partisan and reeked of politics.

      So that’s how it came to be.  And you are right, so-called journalists are following right along and Luntz laughts his ass off.  He’s a smart guy.

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