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September 30, 2014 06:33 AM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

"What frightens us most in a madman is his sane conversation."

–Anatole France


39 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

    1. Interesting article, denverco. My favorite quote:

      National polls show the GOP to be about as popular as the heartbreak of psoriasis. The Democrats, for all their faults (and they are many) remain more popular.

  1. Watch Gary Shapiro attempt to pin Cory Gardner down over Gov't shutdown, this morning on Ch 20 at 8:30AM  "there was no bill to shutdown the Govt" 

    No, just planned maneuver to defund ACA, stuff that earned a 11% approval rating for polls

  2. ok, I want our side to win, but the plain old incompetence and fear of being a plain old Dem is a chronic problem, especially at the national level. 

    The great failing of the Democratic party over the past three-and-a-half decades has been the party's failure to take political advantage of the obvious prion disease that has afflicted the Republican party since it first ate all the monkey-brains in the mid-1970's. Whether this was out of cowardice, incompetence, or an overly optimistic view of the inherent sanity of the electorate, is no longer an issue.

    The failure to make the Republican crazee the Republican party's standing public identity has encouraged the increased spread, and the increased virulence of the prion disease, with disastrous consequences for the rest of us.

    Why, in the name of god, would you not call Michele Bachmann crazy? Because it might offend the people who vote for her? It's supposed to offend those people. Those people beg to be offended, and, by doing so, you at least inject into the discussion the notion that the Republican party has thrown its marbles gleefully to the four winds. A few elections later, that may become the general opinion. After all, the Permanent Republican Majority wasn't built in a day.

    Mark Udall is a prime example of someone who doesn't want anyone to notice the (D) behind his name. Doug Lamborn is a prime example of what happens when we let R's go unchallenged year after year.

    These people should take a few hours and watch some Roosevelts in action. And they should start doing some of what the Hyde Park Roosevelts did to build and support America's Middle Class. This fear to lead is doing great harm to those whose lives depend on a little leadership from our "leaders".

    1. The problem with Lamborn is not that he's gone unchallenged year after year, but that he has an extremely safe R District – sadly.

      Democrats: Running away from leadership and messaging since _____ (fill in the blank – 1999? 1963?).


      1. Maybe……..but, I see very little going on down here to counter Republican efforts. Yeah, I know, we're endangered here. But there is a party, there are activists and supporters, and there are some good candidates. Where are the big guns? Where's the state party? The national party? 

        IMHO, EPC can turn the whole state if local D's turn out.

        1. I agree, Zap – state Dems are neglecting EPCO, and missing the best opportunity to turn EPCO blue (or at least purple)  they have had in decades. With the rampant corruption (Maketa, Lowderman, Williams, Herpin) and prevalent insanity (Chaps, Lamborn), I would think Dems would be all over the county. But no.

          Very few resources, for example, have come to Lois Fornander's campaign, although her opponent, Gordon Klingenschmitt, defines "right wing nut job". I was happy to see a fundraising email from Rick Palacio (Dem party chair) today calling out Lamborn and asking us to notice Irv Halter on the Maddow show tonight, but again, it is primarily a fundraising email for the Democratic party, and not a specific call for resources to aid General Halter.

          1. El Paso County Democrats do turn this state.  We are out numbered by right wingers and conservative independents who mindlessly vote for the borg people, so the county is run by the gop.  But we do make a difference at the state level.  

            We are working hard for our candidates, and the ones we have are very good. Halter has a good shot at pulling this off.  The military people do not like Lamborn, excepting for the gomers, of course, but their serum porcelain levels are off the charts.  

            Do not under estimate Democrats in El Paso County.  The gop can, but not you all.  The air is shifting here, but it may take a while for more people to understand that.  More people are understanding that the health of our economy here depends on a fresh approach.  We will turn this county.  Of course, you dollars would be greatly appreciated.



    2. But  Zap is right about Dems coming cross as embarrassed to be Dems and mistakenly believe that Americans mean it when they say less partisanship is a high priority for them. It isn't. Republicans are fiercely partisan and have had great success with that. 

      Dems, from Obama on down, who are afraid to call out Republicans as extremists because they want to sound all hands across the aisle, let's drum circle our way to swell solutions, come across as weak, less confident in and proud of their policies. Less proud of being Dems than Rs are of being Rs. The most aggravating thing is when the overwhelmingly centrist Democratic party is blamed equally with Rs by Dem pols for impasses. We her hear Dem pols, once again from Obama on down, talk about "extremists on both sides" or "too much partisanship on both sides" which is total bull. 

      It's 99% on one side, the Republican side. They're the ones who hold their breath until they turn blue or shut down the government when they can't get their way via the legitimate democratic process. They're the ones who refuse to vote for policies that were their own 15 minutes ago and came from their own think tanks as soon as Obama supports those same policies just to deny him any victories. 

      And most important, yes, they are the party for which crazy tinfoil hat conspiracy theories of all kinds have gone mainstream. Dems don't do a better job of calling them out because they  think that would be perceived as too partisan. When did the current crop of Republican pols ever worry about appearing too partisan? Never. They take every opportunity to go on offense which puts Dems on perpetual defense.  It's high time we started seeing ads from Dems showing the public exactly what wacky things these extremists believe and that even the most "moderate" of Rs tolerate in the candidates they support. It's time to stop worrying about looking partisan. It's time to stop worrying, period, and get out there and kick ass.

      The truth is the 21st century Republican party is the most extremely partisan and monolithic party in our history and the 21st century Democratic Party is the big tent party of moderation and compromise. Dem candidates need to let the public know how one sided the rejection of a functional congress that works together to solve problem really is. Most of all it's time to stop worrying about being Dems and start being proud of it. It's not the end of the Reagan era any more. We don't have to be triangulating, Republican lite, almost as conservative as the conservatives any more to get elected. For one thing conservatives back then weren't the total nutbags they are now. 

      Strength and confidence goes over way better than ineffective "niceness"

      1. "Q: Another thing I’ve been wrestling with lately is a kind of complacency that you see among Democrats, where they say, “Eventually, Democratic domination is inevitable. The demographic changes in this country…”

        A: Believe me, I’ve heard it 500 times.

        Q: So why do we need to worry?

        A: Which is obscene. Forget obscene, it’s the wrong word. It’s pathetic.

        I’ve been to those meetings with very high-ranking campaign leaders. And that’s exactly what they say. So what they say is, during the Obama campaign, “This is how we’ll win this election. We’re going to get a huge percentage of the African-American vote. We’re going to get 67 percent of the Hispanic vote. We’re going to get 58 percent of the women’s vote. Et cetera, et cetera. All those trends are on our side. And that’s how we win elections.”

        During the course of that discussion, the issue of how the party that created Social Security and Medicare is losing the senior vote—or even the issue of seniors—was not there. They have a list of the 87 different categories, and kind of toward the bottom is seniors. The white working class of America, which now votes overwhelmingly for Republicans, was not mentioned. Now, how can it be that the party that is struggling to raise the minimum wage, to fight for pay equity, do reasonable things for working-class people — not enough by any means — is losing the white working class to the other side? Very little discussion about that.

        So I am not a great fan of this. I understand demographics. But it has to do with what your political values are. And if your value is to expand the middle class of this country, provide healthcare to all people, educational opportunity for all people, it’s not just winning elections. It’s not just being better than another party, which is now an extremist party with racist overtones. You can’t go through your life saying, “Hey, you think we’re bad! You should see them! Vote for me! Yeah, we’re pretty bad, but they’re worse!”

        That’s always what they [Democrats] do. That’s the rationale. That’s the reason they exist.

        So the answer is to say, “We are going to stand up for the working class of this country — black workers, Hispanic workers, and white workers. And we do have the guts to take on the billionaire class, and we do have the guts to take on Wall Street and we do have the guts to take on the people who finance campaigns.” Is the Democratic Party there today? No. No one thinks it is.

        Let me reiterate. I’m not one who says there’s no difference between the two parties. There are significant differences. The Republican Party is right-wing extremists. The Democratic Party is centrist. That is a big difference."


        1. Agree. Rs trumpet how superior they are. Dems too often go with, we're not as bad. Hardly a ringing, to the ramparts, inspirational message. It wasn't always that way.

          Dems are still suffering from Reagan era shell shock. Clinton got elected with the whole DLC, triangulating , we're almost as responsible  and conservative as Republicans thing. That was necessary then. It isn't now.

          More than two decades  during which all that Republican and Republican lite "fiscal responsibility" have completely stalled the economy for the middle class (good article on that in today's Post business section, of all places) have changed the landscape and Dems need the guts to change with it. 

          People didn't vote for Obama because people wanted him to be the King of  playing nice with the Rs. They voted for him because they were sick to death of the Rs and wanted change.  Everybody is pretty much over that now. That was an unusual election. What's most consistent in our elections is that Americans tend to vote for strength and conviction, even in the service of crappy policy.


          1. yes, BC, and this is the bottom line that bears repeating:

            Dems don't do a better job of calling them out because they  think that would be perceived as too partisan (that's the "yuckiness" that the press, and Dems who want to be loved by the press, don't like about politics. Atrios hounds on this topic often. -z)  When did the current crop of Republican pols ever worry about appearing too partisan? Never. They take every opportunity to go on offense which puts Dems on perpetual defense.

  3. Our infant mortality rate is a national embarrassment

    And it's all because of the party of "life."

    The United States has a higher infant mortality rate than any of the other 27 wealthy countries, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control. A baby born in the U.S. is nearly three times as likely to die during her first year of life as one born in Finland or Japan…


    The U.S. rate of 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births masks considerable state-level variation. If Alabama were a country, its rate of 8.7 infant deaths per 1,000 would place it slightly behind Lebanon in the world rankings. Mississippi, with its 9.6 deaths, would be somewhere between Botswana and Bahrain…


    One factor, according to the paper: "Extremely preterm births recorded in some places may be considered a miscarriage or still birth in other countries. Since survival before 22 weeks or under 500 grams is very rare, categorizing these births as live births will inflate reported infant mortality rates (which are reported as a share of live births)…"


    Oster and her colleagues found that this reporting difference accounts for up to 40 percent of the U.S. infant mortality disadvantage relative to Austria and Finland. This is somewhat heartening.

    But what about that other 60 percent?

    "Most striking," they write, "the US has similar neonatal mortality but a substantial disadvantage in postneonatal
    mortality" compared to Austria and Finland. In other words, mortality rates among infants in their first days and weeks of life are similar across all three countries. But as infants get older, a mortality gap opens between the U.S. and the other countries, and widens considerably…

    Digging deeper into these numbers, Oster and her colleagues found that the higher U.S. mortality rates are due "entirely, or almost entirely, to high mortality among less advantaged groups." To put it bluntly, babies born to poor moms in the U.S. are significantly more likely to die in their first year than babies born to wealthier moms…

    In fact, infant mortality rates among wealthy Americans are similar to the mortality rates among wealthy Fins and Austrians. The difference is that in Finland and Austria, poor babies are nearly as likely to survive their first years as wealthy ones. In the U.S. – land of opportunity – that is starkly not the case: "there is tremendous inequality in the US, with lower education groups, unmarried and African-American women having much higher infant mortality rates," the authors conclude…

    But the differences arise after infants are sent home. Poor American families have considerably less access to quality healthcare as their wealthier counterparts.

    One measure of the Affordable Care Act's success, then, will be whether it leads to improvements in the infant mortality rate. Oster and her colleagues note that Obamacare contains provisions to expand post-natal home nurse visits, which are fairly common in Europe.

    Research like this drives home the notion that economic debates in this country – about inequality, poverty, healthcare – aren't just policy abstractions. There are real lives at stake."

    I think we can retire that "land of opportunity" notion.

      1. Here is one of my very first diaries, "Bitter Harvest" – with sobering statistics about childhood poverty and family struggles in Gardner's CD-4.   Given his penchant for ignoring the most challenged of his constituents in eastern Colorado while he kneels at the alter of Koch, Inc. makes him wholly unfit to represent CD-4, let alone the entire state.

  4. I was looking for something else, but I came across this information on the Wikipedia page for the Colorado 2010 race, and wonder if anybody has any thoughts.  In 2010, the last off-year Senate election in Colorado, Bennet v. Buck, of the last  22 publicly released polls, taken August 1 through October 30, 17 showed Buck leading, 3 showed a tie, and only 2 had Bennet ahead. Only one poll, the last one, had Bennet getting as much as 48% of the vote, which was his final tally, but even that one had him losing. Only 5 of the polls showed Buck with 46% or less (his eventual total), and of those 5, 3 had him winning.

    Are the polls better calibrated this year? Was there something unique about 2010 that made it difficult to poll? Are the pollsters full of shit?

    1. Good questions.  Things might be becoming more unpredictable. Certainly Silver and Wang have changed up the game quite a bit.  But thinking of Scotland, I wonder what the bookies are doing here.

  5. Well Ebola virus has made landfall in the United States. And look where…..the state that gave the world Dick Armey, Tom Delay, Rick Perry, Raphael Cruz, Louie Gohmert, and the adopted home of the Bush family.  Here's hoping the Texas health care system works better than their criminal justice and education systems.

    1. Bet it's already all over wacko rightie media as having come over the southern border. And don't tell them any different.  Anything different is just another Muslim brotherhood conspiracy.

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