Tuesday Open Thread

“Perhaps it is impossible for a person who does no good to do no harm.”

–Harriet Beecher Stowe

32 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    Today's Denver Post speculates about who might be the GOP nominee to run against Michael Bennet. Some of the names mentioned (i.e., Dan Domenico, Robert Blaha, and the ubiquitous Owen Hill) may actually have lower name recognition than Bennet has!

    Blaha, for instance is known only in CD 5 and as the man who couldn't beat Doug Lamborn. Domencio, for those of you who do not know, was the state solicitor general under John Suthers. He's apparently hoping that if Ted Cruz could ride that office to the U.S. Senate, lightning can strike again.

    I'm tell you, Coffman will reconsider at the start of 2016, or Cynthia will run.

  2. MADCO says:

    It's going to be Coffman.

     

    • BlueCat says:

      Unless Coffman's too chicken to give up his sure thing seat no matter who wants him to, a distinct possibility.

    • DaftPunk says:

      I have to agree.

      I don't get his reticence.  Bennett seems ripe for the taking, unless the R team somehow thinks the presidential year boost for Dems is too big to overcome.  I don't see Hillary having the coat tails of Obama.  Sanders?  Love to see it, but doubt I will.

      If Coffman takes a stab at Senate and loses, he's ripe for a cushy think tank or lobbying job involving the Military Industrial Complex.  He could cash in for millions after upping his name rec in the Senate race.

      Is he too dedicated to public service to go that route?  I don't see that, but he has worked his whole life for a government paycheck.

  3. Canines says:

    The Guardian: Keystone protesters tracked at border after FBI spied on 'extremists'

    More than 18 months after federal investigation violated internal rules, activists say they were still watchlisted at the airport, visited at home by a terrorism task force and detained for hours because they ‘seemed like protesters’

    According to Neef, who also works as an independent-media journalist, the agents asked his parents several questions about the people he knew, whom he was working with, and where his funding came from. They also wanted to know, Neef said, if he was involved in anti-fracking campaigns.

     

  4. BlueCat says:

    Just me or does this sound incredibly like things that happen in countries like Egypt and Iraq?

    On Thursday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill that threatens the entire state's judiciary with destruction if it rules against a law he favors. Brownback has spent much of his tenure attempting to curb the state supreme court and consolidate power in the executive branch. Thursday's startling maneuver suggests the deeply conservative governor has no compunction about simply obliterating separation of powers when another branch of government gets in his way.

     

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/06/08/kansas_governor_sam_brownback_threatens

    • Davie says:

      Somehow I don't think this will end well — for Brownback:

      This scheme is rather bonkers. It's also par for the course for Kansas Republicans, who turned their state into a failed Tea Party experiment and are now terrified of paying the price. The state supreme court is simply pushing the legislature and the governor to uphold their basic constitutional duties. In response, the legislature and the governor are trying to destroy the court. That's not democracy. It's just extortion. 

      I missed out on the whole weekend thread regarding the Kansas legislature's midnight shenanigans, reinstating slavery so they wouldn't have to shutdown the government. So these latest moves appear par for the course.  

      We'll see if the Kansas voters finally notice (or care) what a bunch of idiots they have "running" the government.

      • BlueCat says:

        I'm afraid Kansas voters are the type who agree with the rightie wackos like Huckabee that when the courts perform their constitutional duty of making sure legislation falls within the requirements of the constitution, state or federal, they are "making law" and usurping the rights of the legislature.

        The same voters who elected Brownback and his Tea Party state legislature probably think this is just great and, like some of our own rightie pols here in Colorado, think things like schools and roads could easily be addressed by forcing government to just cut waste as if there is enough waste to cut to make up for the severe shortage of revenue engendered by pure petri dish conservative economic/tax policy.

        Of course, in Kansas that would mean blaming your elected 100% rightie controlled government for failing miserably to cut enough waste to keep the lights on with the money on hand which is, according to righties, plenty if not for the waste. Don't expect a majority stupid enough to reelect Brownback and the rest of the wacko rightie government to be smart enough to see this enormous hole in conservative theory as demonstrated by the utter failure of the pure laboratory experiment they created for it by their electoral choices. They aren’t real big on science, facts, evidence, or objective reality. They're big on hating gub'mint, libruls, minorities and Obama.

        • Davie says:

          Ah, so you saw that letter to the editor in the Post too — the idiot claiming that we don't need to raise gasoline tax to pay for repairs, just cut the 20-30% waste that is obviously present in the government to pay for it all.

          Ignorance is bliss, and that is one thing Republicans definitely have over us — they are dangerously blissful.

      • notaskinnycook says:

        "This will not end well", is exactly what I thought when I caught the story above, Davie. Since the days of "What's the Matter With Kansas", a generation ago, the state's just gone from bad to worse to weird. In the very near future, look for this case coming to a federal court near you. 

        • Davie says:

          If Brownback and the lege do go through with their threat to cut off State Court funding, it could set off the most interesting "states rights" lawsuit.  It would hit the SCOTUS like a ton of bricks.

          Dearie me, what would they decide?

          • BlueCat says:

            Conservative, moderate or liberal, I'm having trouble imagining SCOTUS ruling in favor of the principle that if legislators don't like court decisions they can abolish the courts by cutting off funding. That would seem to apply to SCOTUS itself as well. I can't picture Scalia voting to make the judicial branch, and more importantly himself, subservient. 

            • Davie says:

              On the point about Scalia and his ego, I agree.  But the court for the last 15 years has decided too many cases based on specious logic (starting with Bush v. Gore, and now potentially with King v. Burwell — why would they even consider such a frivolous case?)

              • BlueCat says:

                Those cases didn't obliterate the power of the judicial branch. In fact in Bush v Gore they got to install the President preferred by the conservative majority including "swing" Sandra who, in the most important judicial moment of her life, decided to go a along with a decision everyone on that court knew was so flawed that they themselves stipulated that it should not be construed as setting any kind of precedent.

                While she later became adored by liberals for supporting the liberal minority on other decisions, I will never forgive her for installing an unelected president when she could have prevented it.

                It's not about frivolous. It's not about partisan. It's about power and the Supreme's aren't going to give any of theirs up. Does anyone, including Obama, ever give up any presidential powers no matter how much they promise to end abuses and be the most transparent Prez ever?  No. Power is never voluntarily given up.

                The exception is Congress, happy to give up the power to declare war by technically calling it something else so they don't have to take responsibility. That's why there have been no "Wars" since WWII. That way they keep the power to complain and change positions as the wind blows without any responsibility. The other two branches aren't going to give up a thing.

          • mamajama55 says:

            How would such a case get through the lower state courts to the district court to the Supreme Court, if the lower courts do not exist?

            Or can the Supreme Court just decide to hear a lower court case?

            I think Brownback is bluffing – or insane. It doesn't really matter – they need to call his bluff.

            • Davie says:

              I'm not an attorney, but I'm pretty sure any suit that has constitutional implications can be accelerated directly to the SCOTUS.  My concern is that they might say this is an internal matter between the Kansas branches of government (i.e. "States Rights"), and let the Teahadists like Brownback have their way.

              But BC makes some very good points, and I'm way out on a speculative limb 😉

  5. mamajama55 says:

    Attila, Genghis, Kim Jong Un? Pick your dictator- everything the right wing complains about Obama's overreach is being fulfilled by governors like Brownback and Wisconsin's Walker.

    • Davie says:

      Yep — projection of their own motives.  Josh Penry was quoted in Lynn Bartels' article on the potential GOP Senate candidates whining about "all of the lousy policies of President Obama" — you know, like pulling us out of a near-depression, saving the auto industry, lowering unemployment to 5.5%, the stock market recovering to record heights, adding 10 million people to the roles of insured, cutting medical inflation to practically nothing and saving tens of billions in wasteful ER expenses, cutting the deficit by 2/3rds, avoiding starting one or two more Middle East wars, etc. etc.

      And all the GOP can offer are clowns and wannabe Banana Republic dictators!

       

  6. mamajama55 says:

    This is why late-term abortions must stay legal:

    This poor woman was desperate, could not have this baby, self-aborted at 22 weeks. Now she's charged with murder in Georgia.

    The pro-birthers are feeling vindicated and charged up. I can't bring myself to watch Klingenschmitt's self-promoting videos today, but I'm sure that he has something judgmental and disgusting to say.

    • BlueCat says:

      Not disagreeing that this is horrible but you say she "could not" have the baby and there is nothing in this short article other than to say she was desperate.  Have you read elsewhere that there was a particular reason for this degree of desperation such as  a health related one, a question of incest  or something else? Just wondering if there is more to this story than related in the very short piece.

      • mamajama55 says:

        Nobody knows Kenlissa's story yet – but she does fit the profile of women who use late term abortions – that is, she is black, probably low-income, young, and has another child to care for. Here's another news link with slightly more info. I say that she was desperate and could not have another child because she would have to have been desperate to risk her own life (and abandoning her other child) in that way.

        In the political context, both Indiana and Georgia have started charging women with feticide. Both have restricted abortion access, didn't expand Medicare, and have social conservatives running the show. It sounds as if the Indiana women may have been immigrants, if the names are an indication.

        This is what Colorado has to look forward to if the social conservatives have their way, and we enact a fetal homicide bill.

         

        • BlueCat says:

          Please understand I'm not arguing that this is a horrible precedent. It's just usual when you see the word "desperate" in an article here is further explanation.

  7. Davie says:

    Republicans, once again, demonstrate their motto is "Fuck America, Yeah!"

    House Republicans will vote Wednesday on a bill to help Wall Street banks and the Koch Brothers avoid regulatory scrutiny for risky trades similar to those at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis.

     

    "If you liked the financial crash of 2008, you're gonna love the financial crash that this Wall Street-drafted bill is gonna deliver you," Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets told HuffPost.

     

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/09/koch-brothers-wall-street_n_7544956.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

    But wait, there's more:

    "This literally incentivizes companies to send banking jobs overseas," Keller said. "The foreign country gets the jobs, the benefits and the tax revenue, and the U.S. taxpayer gets the bill."

  8. FrankUnderwood says:

    Denny Hastert surfaced today to appear in court. He had to surrender his passport and (here's the real kicker) give up any firearms he might have. Where's the outrage? where's Dudley Brown? Don't accused felons have Second Amendment rights, too?

  9. notaskinnycook says:

    The court might have reasoned that they were removing one means of suicide. These are the kinds of accusations that can drive a high-profile person to such desperate ends.

    • mamajama55 says:

      True – and Hastert fits into the demographic that most often dies by a self-inflicted gunshot wound – that is, aging white men. That's per CDC statistics.

      I used to believe that proven child molesters should be killed, since there is no known therapy that keeps them from repeating their crimes. Now, I think that they should all be locked up for life. Whatever keeps them away from kids.

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        The shock of Hastert's indictment did get me thinking. The GOP has spent the past decade villifying Nancy Pelosi who, despite what they may think of her left of center politics, has led a scandal-free personal life. Then we look at what the GOP has served up as alternatives to Pelosi:  Gingrich (admitted serial adulterer), Livingston (another admitted adulterer), Hastert (accused pedophile), and Boehner (a wino).

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