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March 18, 2014 06:25 AM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

"There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise."

–Gore Vidal


30 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. From the Northern Colorado Business Report: Report recommends changes to oil/gas regs

    In the wake of last September's floods, a new report from state oil and gas regulators recommends that oil companies maintain precise locations and inventories of wells and production equipment near waterways, that all new wells near waterways contain remote shut-in equipment, and that no open pits be allowed within a designated distance from the high-water mark of any given streams.

    But, of course, COGA thinks otherwise:

    The Colorado Oil and Gas Association, however, said that the industry responded well to the emergency and that no further regulatory action was needed.

    So, keep those cards and letters coming to your legislators and local representatives.  This industry needs significantly more regulation and oversight.

    1. In other news, the Einsteins over at the House Energy and Commerce Committee are launching an investigation on the EPA over the proposed coal-fired plant air regulations.  Our very own Congressman Gardner (R-Koch) sits on the committee.

      Never mind that the coal industry could not stand on its own without the ability to socialize the costs of their negative externalities.  The thought that we're still propping up an industry in the 21st century that burns dinosaur poop is an approporiate backdrop for the House majority. 

      If you like what our Conservative Otter stands for in the House – you're going to love him in the Senate. 

      Did you know that right here in the Mile High state the coal industry is exempt from all severance taxes on the first 300,000 tons of annual production?

      Here's a brilliant proposal on how to transition away from an industry that accounts for one-quarter of all US emissions – and with it the opportunity to create scores of new jobs and save our economy billions.  The downside?  The conservatives in the House couldn't perpetually orchestrate these faux, Issa-esque lynch mobs upon an Administration that understands our energy future doesn't depend upon an excavator or drilling rig.

      All we need to do is "look up".  And be able to perform mathematical equations.

  2. Owen Hill is dropping out of the SEnate race.  Senate Dems have introduced legislation to remedy the problems with the recall election timeline and procedures.


    1. Dwyer,  Hill dropped out so now the race is on starting in March.  I would guess this was known at the time Americans For Prosperity placed their Ad buy.  

      With the field clear the Outside Republican groups will start to the steady drip of anti-Udall commercials which will continue the nose-dive of his approval ratings. It is now about -4 points. Here is what Roll Call had to say:

      Udall led Gardner 45 percent to 44 percent in a March 8-9 automated survey of 689 likely voters by Harper Polling for the GOP-friendly American Action Network, which was released to CQ Roll Call.

      The survey also showed Udall with a 39 percent favorable/43 unfavorable ratings compared to 28 percent favorable/28 percent unfavorable for Gardner. Thirty-seven percent said that the senator deserved re-election, while 50 percent said it was time to “give someone else a chance.” 

       There does not appear to be much Dem outside money entering the fray at this point so the Republicans get to set things up on their own.

    1. I can only imagine what his campaign slogan was: "Elect Swallow, Not Spit."

      In Utah, the documents show, a former state attorney general, John Swallow, sought to transform his office into a defender of payday loan companies, an industry criticized for preying on the poor with short-term loans at exorbitant interest rates. Mr. Swallow, who was elected in 2012, resigned in November after less than a year in office amid growing scrutiny of potential corruption.


  3. RE: "low information voter"

    I was wrong.  We visited with friends to celebrate, quietly and in keeping with our advanced ages, the  "wearing of the green" for those of the celtic persuation and democratic party affliation.  They were all familiar with the term. I had never heard it before. What I find absolutely fascinating is that both the left and the right use the term for those voters who do not vote for "their side."  

    Limbaugh uses the term in a degrogatory manner and at least one posting here referred to the "low information voters" as "dumbshits."  Wow. Could there be an agreement between the left and the right?  Is it possible that both share a contempt for the common man who is impervious to their propaganda?  Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?  It is not just that the term is common to both, but the definition appears to be the same.

    Where are the political anthropologists?

    1. "Low information voter" doesn't necessarily mean "the other side" unless you're some partisan douche like Rush or AC.  It means simply, people who vote and decide without facts and information. Examples of low-information voters cod include, single-issue voters, straight party ticket voters, or anyone else who votes one way or another without a well-informed reason. 

      1. People who vote against their own interests are your textbook low information voters.  You know, "tell Mark Udall to start thinking about people" so we can repeal Obamacare so we don't have to insure you, because only the elite deserve healthcare.

      2. Numerous studies show that people respond to how a politician makes them feel, not what their policies entail.  That encapsulates the term.

        In 2008, Obama made me feel better, I thought Hillary would have governed better.

        I stand by my thought process, not that it mattered worth a damn in my caucus.

  4. Dwyer,

    You can deride my use of the term dumbshit all you want. In my opinion, people who pride themselves on not reading any kind of newspaper, make no effort to learn about the issues and what very little news'' they hear comes from either the far right or far left information bubbles, go ahead and vote anyway.

    They render themselves intentionally ignorant.


        1. If the Rockies win the world series and David's company will sell more software, that would get David's attention.  Now David's a sports fan.

          If someone perceives their life will not be changed by either of two bad choices, why should they care about politics?  

          When both sides use negative ads to define their opposition, the ration result may be why vote for either.  It is a product of the system.

            1. Sports does not have the impact on people that politics does.  It just dosen't.  Political decisions like going to war, etc. impact millions of people in a way no sporting event can't.  Sure there are riots and arrests and such associated with major sporting events like the World Cup or the Superbowl, but it is not the same in terms of how it effects peoples lives.

              Politics determines who gets what, and how, and when.  Whether or not your team won pales in comparison unless you are somehow connected to a team (or part of one) or you are in the industry.

              Finally, just because both choices are perceived as negative is not a really good reason to not make a choice.  Sure, people behave that way, but it is in their interest to not be ignorant of such things.

              1. Your point of view only makes sense if you think who you elect will make a significant difference in your life. For a lot of people they don't perceive who they elect making much of a difference.

                Part of it is the standard "a pox on both your houses." But part of it is very legit – we switched from Bush to Obama and the vast majority of things didn't change. Wall St still runs the show, we're still in a war we can't win, the state is still spying on all of us.

                Does it have much impact on most people? A lot of people have made a very valid decision that it doesn't.

                1. What find I aggravating is the people who have very strong opinions about things while bragging about not caring about politics or bothering with news. They're very sure of what they know even though they don't bother to know anything about anything besides who won American Idol. 

                  To say it makes no impact is a tremendous over simplification. For instance, we have Citizens United because we elected Bush and that makes it much harder to get anyone elected who isn't beholden to Wall Street. The tiny big money elite wouldn't rule elections if people who outnumber them thousands of times over studied the issues and truly voted their own interests instead of just letting all the bright shiny ads do here thinking for them.

                  There is no law against not caring about politics but the fact that most people don't is the reason why our choices are so limited and the few have such an easy time manipulating everyone else. It's why the only candidates that are viable are so much more similar on the issues you cite than dissimilar.

                  Not caring about politics means you don't care enough about any of those things to pay attention. It's not as if we are forced to vote for the candidates backed by the most money who can afford the most ads. Don't use the excuse that nothing changes anyway to let the willfully ignorant, easily manipulated majority off the hook. 

                2. David, your points about Wall St., the war and spying are all good ones.  There are some things so thoroughly entrenched in our country maybe they'll never change.

    1. gertie@97, et. al

      We have a secret ballot.  You don't know how people vote; and you can't tell from the results whether your side had a majority of well informed voters or not… don't know how "well-informed" voters are or even how to define "well-informed."  We do have a 14th amendment that provides for "equal protection of the law. The Supreme Court ruled that tests given to potential voters to decide if they were sufficiently "well-informed"to vote, were unconstitutional.   

      All of you have the right to your opinions  My opinion is that those opinions are ill informed because you have no way to validate them; you deal in sterotypes and assumptions about how people get information.  You assert that there are only certain "improved" ways to get information.  I consider your attitudes a real threat to democracy. 



  5. Interesting breakdown of the 2012 election results by State Senate and State House district from Daily Kos.

    They note that Colorado's election results perfectly matched the elected district breakdown – until the recall elections, anyway. What does it mean? That the Democratic reapportionment map proposal accepted by the judge accurately reflects the will of the district, and is a strong indicator that Democrats were fair in their reapportionment. (Incumbent protection maps and gerrymandered maps tend to be less closely correlated…)

  6. For goodness sake. Now we need political anthropologists to study the meaning of a completely self explanatory term, two words each of which in the context of the term mean exactly what they mean according to plain old dictionary definition? Put the two words together and, now here's where I guess it gets complicated, it means voters with a low level of information. Period. Naturally (duh) conservatives prefer to think that progressives can only think the way they do because they're ignorant and vice versa but the fact is it fits most Americans. 

    Now when do we start excavating "is"?  Anyone find it suspicious that Rush Limbaugh repeatedly uses that word?  Boyles does too? Anyone? Better call in the experts to untangle the hidden meanings and investigate this sinister mystery. Oh and BTW? The sky is falling.

  7. A filter bubble, most of us have them.  After reading not a skinny cook's linked piece about faux news watchers not knowing much actual news and that even MSNBC has its limitations, I googled for best news sources.  And found this piece linked below.

    I do try to get out of my reading and viewing rut on occasion.  From my daughter who doesn't watch a lot of news, I did learn, that yes, if you stay in your bubble you will miss major stuff.  Diversity is really best.  I don't think I can go quite as diverse as faux, but network news and the Christian Science Monitor are helpful. 

    This offers a few more of the usual suspects and a couple of more.  Plus it has a very cute video that applies across ideological lines.

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