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December 02, 2014 06:28 AM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

"Any general statement is like a check drawn on a bank. Its value depends on what is there to meet it."

–Ezra Pound


22 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.

    “There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, ‘Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.’ It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn’t. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.”

    For any righties offended by Chris Rock's observations: It's not racist to point out that America is still racist.

    1. Rock rambled a bit, but he has the right idea: saying that the black condition has improved puts the blame for their condition, connotationally, on black people. It perpetuates the old stereotype that black people simply weren't as good as white people – the subconscious race division that is at the heart of the slow pace of racial reform in this country.

      Saying 'white people aren't as crazy' and hoping that America keeps producing nicer white people – well, that's not going to sit comfortably with some folks, but it's still the truth today in America.

    2. I'd be happy if America just would stop producing a whole lot fewer ignorant . . .  white, purple, chartreuse, striped . . . (I really don't give an F . . .) 

  2. The Hispanic Vote:

    President Barack Obama’s approval rating among Hispanics shot up 10 points to 68 percent after he announced his administration would offer deportation relief to an estimated 4.4 million undocumented immigrants, according to a weekly Gallup poll.

    Obama’s surge in popularity among Hispanics follows a nearly two-year long decline from a peak of 74 percent in early 2013, according to Gallup. His approval rating among Latinos has hovered in the fifties since May of this year, dropping to a low point of 44 percent in the first week of September.

    The Gallup poll, released Monday, covers the week of Nov. 24 to Nov. 30. Obama announced the changes to deportation policy in a televised speech on Nov. 20.

    The figure puts Latino support for Obama some 25 points higher than the national average of 43 percent, and even farther above non-Hispanic whites, only 31 percent of whom currently approve of the president’s performance.

    Anyone think we could've won a few more races with some messaging, and action, around this issue before the election? I'd say yes. But there was no action because Democratic Senators were afraid of the backlash at the polls…….as if the Republicans didn't already have their base all riled up and ready to vote 'No!'.

    1. More of that good old political cowardice. The calculation was that ignoring immigration would help Dems by not handing the Rs something more to  use against them with the supposedly conservative average voter. Never mind all polls on actual issues show this rightie average voter to be a myth perpetrated by the GOTP and meekly accepted by Dems. The only reason so many people think they're conservative is because Dems allow a situation to exist whereby the majorities who poll with Dem policy and against rightie policy have no idea that's the case. So, here's another case where, despite polls, Dems from Obama on down were afraid to challenge GOTP message hegemony.

      Obviously it would have been a different election, especially in places like Colorado with large Hispanic populations, if Obama had done this and Dem pols had supported him in doing this instead of no doubt asking him to help them by refraining from dong it. Because no amount of polling in favor of progressive policies such as sensible humane immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, etc. seems to ease Dem fears of those big bad all powerful GOTPers.

      Clearly this would have significantly bumped up Hispanic participation and youth participation too. It wouldn't have changed a thing for red state conservadems who lost anyway. It wouldn't have pissed off anyone who was likely to vote for a Dem in competitive states like Colorado anyway. But I'm sure the DLC  pro ops were convinced that staying away from immigration reform, treating Obama and every success of the Obama administration like toxic waste and targeting women by constantly harping on abortion rights and in some cases only on abortion rights, which honestly isn't even the number one priority for that demographic, was the way to minimize the bleeding.

      The fact that the election went much worse for Dems than even most conservative pundits predicted will not convince these DLC Republican lite cowards that it isn't the grass roots amateurs who are without a clue. It's them. They made this election far worse than it had to be but I don't believe the arrogant  little know it alls will learn a thing from the experience. Nope. They'll probably think this means Dems need to head even more to the "me too" right in hopes that the public will choose almost Republican over real real Republican if Dems can just keep closing the gap.

      They'll never admit "We're almos just like real Republicans" is a lousy, losing message when the obvious choice for those targeted by that message is to just go ahead and vote for the real ones instead of the wannabes. There needs to be a major Dem ops purge. The ones who ran this last election should all be handed their walking papers.

    2. Agreed. I never understood why he didn’t do the EO months before the election. There was no downside and there might have been a noticeable upside.

      1. Don't agree simply because Udall went into this election in a strong position. First, this is no longer a red leaning state. Second, early on nobody expected that he wouldn't get the usual incumbent win, if not by as much as would have been the case in a presidential year. He was much less a victim of a Republican year than a victim of a campaign that stubbornly stayed the course set by the pros despite the concurrent steady loss of points in the polls.

        I don't know that any other campaign started to to turn a winner (albeit one whose win would be no landslide) into a loser so early on with no adjustments being made despite the problem being clear in plenty of time to make adjustments. They steadfastly refused to change a thing no matter how much worse the numbers got until it was too late.  

        Udall has plenty of Colorado outdoorsy boy charm that could have been used very effectively against Corey's happy face campaign but they insisted on showing only a scowling, scolding, grim candidate hammering on one subject that was nobody's, outside of NARAL's, top priority ad nauseam.  

        I think this campaign deserves top prize because it was so much more responsible for his defeat than any other factor or combination of factors. More so than with Walsh or Braley, I believe his horrendously managed campaign and only his campaign cost him this election.

      2. Walsh didn't run a bad campaign…he was a fatally flawed candidate (Don't plagiarize.  You can't get away with it unless you are Joe Biden).  Braley didn't have the advantage of being an incumbent, so it is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison. Can we agree it is safe to say Udall's was the worst campaign ran by an incumbent and Braley's was the worst for a non-incumbent (that should have had a real chance of winning)?

  3. Remember that R congressional aide who recently exploded  over the Obama daughters supposedly awful behavior, dress, and their parents' failings as role models? Then almost immediately apologized and imploded? Maybe one of the things she spent so much time praying about was how to minimize the embarrassment she was sure to be in for because people were bound to start nosing around into things she never would have had to worry about pre-rant. I'd feel sorry for if she hadn't brought this embarrassment, and losing her job, on herself by viciously attacking a couple of teenage girls who have never been in any real trouble in their lives just because she hates their mom and dad.

    Until her resignation this morning, Lauten served as communications director for Rep. Steven Fincher, a Tennessee Republican. In the face of criticism about her attack on the Obama daughters, Lauten said that “many hours of prayer” helped her realize that her Facebook screed was “hurtful.”

    Lauten, pictured above, was arrested in December 2000 for misdemeanor larceny, according to court records. Lauten, then 17, was collared for stealing from a Belk department store in her North Carolina hometown.

    Because Lauten was a first-time offender, her case was handled via the District Court’s deferred prosecution program, which resulted in the charge’s eventual dismissal after the future scold stayed out of trouble for a prescribed period.

    Since Lauten was just another teenager caught shoplifting at the mall, it appears unlikely that she was publicly pilloried for her lack of class, nor were her parents criticized as poor role models.

  4. Rob Portman (RINO-OH) will not run for prez in ’16. Rand Paul (NUTCASE-KY) is running for re-election to Senate but is exploring ways around KY’s law prohibiting candidates from running for more than one office at a time.

    Let the games begin!

  5. Bernie Sanders initiates a discussion on economic policy at DKos.

    As Vermont's senator, here are 12 initiatives that I will be fighting for which can restore America's middle class.

    1. We need a major investment to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure: roads, bridges, water systems, waste water plants, airports, railroads and schools. It has been estimated that the cost of the Bush-Cheney Iraq War, a war we should never have waged, will total $3 trillion by the time the last veteran receives needed care. A $1 trillion investment in infrastructure could create 13 million decent paying jobs and make this country more efficient and productive. We need to invest in infrastructure, not more war.

    2. The United States must lead the world in reversing climate change and make certain that this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. We must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies. Millions of homes and buildings need to be weatherized, our transportation system needs to be energy efficient and we need to greatly accelerate the progress we are already seeing in wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and other forms of sustainable energy. Transforming our energy system will not only protect the environment, it will create good paying jobs.

    3. We need to develop new economic models to increase job creation and productivity. Instead of giving huge tax breaks to corporations which ship our jobs to China and other low-wage countries, we need to provide assistance to workers who want to purchase their own businesses by establishing worker-owned cooperatives. 

    4. Union workers who are able to collectively bargain for higher wages and benefits earn substantially more than non-union workers. Today, corporate opposition to union organizing makes it extremely difficult for workers to join a union. We need legislation which makes it clear that when a majority of workers sign cards in support of a union, they can form a union.  (Someone pass the Maalox to Bennet…;-) z)

    5. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. No one in this country who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty.

    6. Women workers today earn 78 percent of what their male counterparts make. We need pay equity in our country — equal pay for equal work.

    There're 6 more………

    I really suggest our side learns how to engage and mobilize the netroots in their favor. And, just for clarity, I'm not saying our side has to be as, God forbid, Liberal, as Bernie. And they don't have to be as vicious or as ignorant as Republicans. But they have to be something that voters are able to discern from their "friends" on the right.

    1. A few of Sen. Sanders' points may go further than a majority of Americans want – or might be framed in a way that makes them uncomfortable. But it's a good conversation to have, and Sanders has pointed it in the right direction.

          1. He offers plenty of good and potentially very popular ideas that could be effectively messaged but we could use a more broadly appealing messenger to to take these ideas public in a big way. We all know Bernie for Prez is not going to fly. Ideally we need someone somewhere in between pro-corporate DLC darling HRC and Bernie, closer to Bernie on policy but closer to HRC on the electability scale. Unfortunately, "ideally" is often not an option.

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