Monday Open Thread

“You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.”

–Mario Cuomo

89 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Steve Balboni says:

    I haven’t written about the bailout because I am essentially speechless, for a variety of reasons. On one hand I’m stunned at the sheer size of what Paulson and Bush want. We’re talking about a sum that is greater than the yearly budgets for Defense, Education and Agriculture combined. And they want us to just hand it over, with no accountability and no oversight?

    It strikes me as an absolutely shameless grab and another example of “disaster capitalism”, while the country is stunned by crisis maneuver to gain the maximum advantage not for the nation but for private industry. The sheer brazeness of it is shocking but it shouldn’t be at all surprising, this is what Republican’s do best – exploit national tragedy to shape public policy in a manner that affects the most possible good for their friends be they defense contractors or kings of high-finance.

    The other angle of this story that I find so hard to believe (and yet I shouldn’t) is how the Democratic Party and Democratic leadership (if you can call it that) seem so totally and completely unprepared to respond and protect taxpayers from this robbery. Have no doubt, they are in the process of getting steamrolled, again, by a hyper-aggressive GOP. Oh sure they’ll make some noises about not writing a blank check and they may even get a relatively meaningless concession or two (lower pay for CEO’s anyone?) but when push comes to shove and Bush stomps his feet they will cave. I’ve spent a fair amount of time defending Nancy Pelosi for running a tight caucus but in times like these one can have no faith in her ability to put a stop to this freight train, out-maneuver the GOP and take a stand for the people who put her into power in the first place.

    It’s like watching a train-wreck in slow motion, for about the 5th time in the last 8 years. We all know how it’s going to end, we’ve all seen this movie a few times before and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. It’s damned depressing that even though we have majorities in the House and Senate and a deeply unpopular president that Congressional Democrats cannot find their spines, cannot locate their value systems, cannot muster an iota of moral indignation and outrage and finally take a stand for the American people. Damned depressing.

    • Steve Balboni says:

      I’ll be calling my Congresswoman this morning and ask her to put the brakes on this bailout until and unless we get serious concessions from Bush and Wall Street. I suggest everyone here do the same.  

    • Car 31 says:

      so our leaders’ moral indignation is lost in the pool of prevarication.

      This is like watching Saw VIII – the canned script is predictable but we can’t turn away for fear of missing the gory moment the trap springs shut.

      Fortunately there is a chance that a Democratic Administration will manage the aftermath and any future crises.  

      But, all in all, yes, a damned depressing final act of an eight year play.

    • sxp151 says:

      The weirdest thing about this is that in real terms, the stock market isn’t doing that bad. Even on Monday, it was down a couple percent, then on Tuesday it was mostly back up.

      It really seems that the “crisis” is just that some people might lose money on their stock portfolio. Who cares? Some of us have our money in nice safe credit unions, precisely to avoid those sorts of risky investments. If I knew I was always guaranteed not to lose money, why wouldn’t I put everything in the most volatile stocks? Can’t we reward people who were a little smarter about this stuff?

    • DavidThi808 says:

      There seems to be quite a few now saying hold-on, lets do this right. And the fact that the market is doing well as they stop to look at it gives them breathing room.

      Yes, as Steve says – call your reps. And it’s a great question for Udall/Schaffer in their next debate – which will get Udall focused on finding the answer that the voters in the middle want to hear.

    • passerby says:

      since this links to the Cato Institute, which would seem to be anti-matter to you, but since you mentioned disaster capitalism, I had to put it out there. Swedish scholar (and former anarchist) Johan Norberg goes through the theory of distaster capitalism very well, refutting it point by point. I’d encouage you to read it, even if you still disagree with him at the end as I would imagine you will! I think it is at the least, an argument well reasoned, articulated, and sourced.

      • Steve Balboni says:

        I read plenty of libertarian sources, thanks. CATO isn’t anti-matter. I fundamentally disagree with them on a host of issues (mostly economic) but in many ways I am sympathetic to their view-point (generally with social issues).

      • Steve Balboni says:

        I’ve never read it, probably won’t read it. I wasn’t referencing her book specifically, I was referencing the concept of “disaster capitalism.”

        DC certainly exists in our world, whether Klein’s book is accurate or not is neither here nor there. The point is certain aspects of capitalist societies have always viewed disasters as an opportunity to gouge the public and fatten their pockets. The problem is now we have an entire political party and a White House administration that are disaster capitalists.  

        • passerby says:

          someone says disaster capitalism and I immeadiately go to Klein’s book. However I think one of Norberg’s central arguments on DC is still worthy of thought — wouldn’t we expect large-scale changes to take place post-disaster? And how do you prove that capitalism doesn’t arise from a public desparetely in need of change (Argentina, China, and Russia in the late 80’s for example) vs. “Chicago boys” pushing a harmful ideology on the helpless?

          Additionally, seeing as democratic/capitalist countries generally have the lowest incidence of famine, drought, better health-care, etc., wouldn’t it be reasonable to think that after a disaster (famine, drought, sickness) people and countries would seek to adopt the system that does a better job maintaining and containing said disasters?

          And that’s just natural disasters, but political and economic disasters seem to be more problematic in non-democratic, less market-friendly countries (sub-saharan Africa, Iran, etc.) so that would seem to follow the same logic.

          And I have yet to see proof that this White House (for all that I disagree with it) are “disaster capitalists” if that brank even actually exists.

  2. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

    Washington, DC – The Democratic National Committee today updated the Count the Lies counter after CNN called one of John McCain’s most frequent false attacks on tax cuts “misleading.’  

    As CNN notes, McCain’s campaign continues to repeat a long-debunked lie about Senator Obama’s voting record despite a clear record of opposing tax increases on the vast majority of American families.  

    This article is at least the 62nd fact check to debunk McCain campaign lies since he promised to run a respectful campaign in February.


    McCain Claim on Obama’s Tax Cuts Voting Record “Misleading.”

    “The effort to convince voters that Sen. Barack Obama would support higher taxes is a central part of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign.

    McCain and the Republican National Committee have repeatedly cited 94 alleged votes by Obama to bolster their argument., a non-partisan project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, pieced through records to determine just what these 94 votes were… Annenberg says a close look at the record reveals that Obama has “voted consistently to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers but not on middle- or low-income workers.”  

    Verdict: Misleading. McCain’s summary ignores the fact that some of the votes were for measures to lower taxes for many Americans, while increasing them for a much smaller number of taxpayers.

    CNN, 9/21/08:

    • redstateblues says:

      Somehow the GOP has always been able to portray us as tax raisers, even though Obama’s plan cuts taxes for 95% of people.

      If McCain’s ads were saying “painful taxes…..for the rich.” they might not be as effective.

    • BlueCat says:

      MSM is doing a somewhat responsible job of pointing these things out instead of just presenting the lies as another opinion as they did during the Kerry swift boating.

  3. It's Me says:

    Just found this.  Fun to play with the possibilities:…  

  4. Libertad says:

    …any word on Governor Ritter offering the rescind his EO on union partnerships in exchange for the Post’s editorializing that he has finally come around to a proper position?

    …any word on businesses, politicians and unions paying off the UFCW/Protect Colorado’s Future or A Better Colorado camps?

  5. indipol says:

    the kidz at are roadtripping through Colorado right now and doing a damn fine job covering the vagaries of the ground game for prez…

  6. Danny the Red (hair) says:

    Fom the masters of the universe at 538

    Six of the seven eight cellphone-friendly pollsters have had a Democratic (Obama) lean, and in several cases it has been substantial. On average, they had a house effect of Obama +2.8. By comparison, the control group had essentially zero house effect a house effect of Obama +0.1 (**), so this would imply that including a cellphone sample improves Obama’s numbers by 2.8 points. (Or, framed more properly, failing to include cellphones hurts Obama’s numbers by approximately 2 2-3 points).

    Makes sense given the demographic skew of cell only voters.

    • Libertad says:

      The Obama mix is there for the under 35 and highly educated crowds. All have cell phones.

      • Danny the Red (hair) says:

        The impact is on the entire electorate.

        Cell onlys skew young (I’m 40 and have been cell only for more than 10 years and I am an outlier) which favors Obama.

        That 2-3 points is the poling error on the total electorate for polls that do not call cell numbers.

        • Libertad says:

          I’ve had a cell since the late 80’s … it was $0.65/minute and the unit was $1500 if I recall right.

          I think the cell phone factor skews under 35 +10pts the 36+ crowd more then 2.8 pts. Also more educated people and younger people will GOTV for Obama. Being their use of this technology is probably 95-99% I think this factor is much more then 2.8 pts. I’d say 5-10 pts.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            An Obama call on my iPhone the other night, polling my leanings in the race.

            I was so pissed (as I would have been if it had been an R calling my mobile during dinner) that I told then I was an African American Dem, but was going to vote for McCain over the abortion issue.

            The poor guy on the other end of the phone was incredulous.

            Ah, fun times in an election cycle.  It was his penance for me putting up with everyone’s ads for the next six weeks.

  7. DavidThi808 says:

    from the Boulder Daily Camera

    University of Colorado police on Monday returned marijuana to a CU student — who’s a medical-marijuana cardholder — after officers in May confiscated about two ounces of the drug from the freshman outside his residence hall room.

  8. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

    The DEA, local police, FBI.

    Saw it on t-shirt, made me laugh.

    Seroiusly, is pot really something we want to waste our time busting people on?

  9. Laughing Boy says:

    It’s on.  I’ll bet he wishes nobody was recording that blather to the folks in S.F.


    • redstateblues says:

      But you sure are clinging to this quote.

      Some people are able to forgive it, like Ray Schoenke. He’s president of the American Hunters and Shooters association.

      Here he is talking in an ad that’s been playing on the radio here.

      The NRA is trying to scare people into thinking that Obama is going to take away their guns, though he agrees with the Supreme Court that the 2nd amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.

      I understand your anger, and the anger of others, over this quote. It was a stupid thing to say.

      Feel all the indignation you want, but don’t try to accuse Obama of wanting to ban hunting rifles.  

      • Laughing Boy says:

        “I am not in favor of concealed weapons,” Obama said. “I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations.”

        “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”

        That’s enough for me.

        The ASHA is a farce organization designed to appear to give anti-gun candidates endorsements from hunters.  It’s a total joke.

        • redstateblues says:

          is being against conceal carry banning guns? Your logic is bad on this LB.

        • Gray in the mountains says:

          I’m a member of both NRA and AHSA. I wish I did not have to join NRA to be a member of our local rod and gun club. I have no intention of counting my guns, but I love guns and usually buy 2-3 a year and have never sold one. Although I am not opposed to concealed carry as much as Obama is I do think that large urban areas have larger reasons to wish to have that ban.

          I think the NRA does no good at preserving my right to own and bear arms. I don’t respect any prganization that believes that we should all be able to buy automatic weapons. I think the primary reason for the NRA to continue is to raise $ to support Wayne LaPierre.

          • redstateblues says:

            that is think that conceal carry is a local issue, not a federal issue, and I’m sure that Sen. Obama would agree with me.

            I am more along the lines with Gray on this one. Conceal carry is fine with me, if that’s what voters choose to make legal. I don’t think it contributes to any more violence than having a ban, and I firmly believe that responsible gun owners have a right to defend themselves.

            But I reiterate my previous statement that a ban on conceal carry does not mean a ban on guns.

            • Laughing Boy says:

              But missed it – sorry.

              The NRA is the only organization that has the power to fight government over concealed-carry, and Obama has a whole host of anti-gun activity, but you are correct that they are unrelated in your post.

              He’s pretty consistently taken the anti-gun stance when given the chance.

              Look at what a violent disaster Chicago has been recently.  I’m a huge proponent on CCW, and I believe it to be a great tool in fighting violent crime.  Obama’s fought it in IL and I have no reason to believe that he wouldn’t fight it as President.

              I’m also appreciative of the fact that Sen. Obama basically spotted the Republicans the entire NRA right off the bat by not realizing that he’d lose votes over not being able to nuance things like the “bitter” quote.

              Here’s the NRA’s anti-Obama campaign.  Like it or not, it is and will be very effective against him in a close election.

              • redstateblues says:

                why would he, a respected constitutional scholar, not oppose the decision of the Supreme Court on the DC gun ban?

                • Laughing Boy says:

                  He opposed two of the judges that voted to overturn it, and said he would have opposed (in a really snotty way, actually) Thomas.

                  What qualifies him in your eyes as a Constitutional scholar?  I’m curious.

                  • bob ewegen says:

                    at the University of Chicago, I believe.

                  • DavidThi808 says:

                    It didn’t have squat to do with gun control – or abortion. It had to do with the fact that the conservative judges speak “strict interpretation” while actually being more activist than 99% of the liberal judges out there.

                    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

                      he is a high quality jurist.

                      Alito less so but qualified.

                      as to the other two on the ultra-conservative wing.

                      Scalia knows how to reason and stick the knife in, but his absolute devotion to a 17th century interpretation of the law is the same thing that incites islamic fundamentalist to look to the 8th century when interpeting the Koran.

                      Thomas single most unqualified jurist.

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      for writing the flag burning decision.

                      As to judicial activism, my theory is the constitution is a living document, but it doesn’t change every time the New York Times writes another really stupid editorial.

                       But I have also cited historian Page Smith many times documenting that, except for the Warren era, federal courts were consistently activist on the side of capital against labor.

        • ClubTwitty says:

          with a hunting rifle.

    • indipol says:

      i’m a devoted hunter and staunchly pro-gun, but also (I think) reasonable about keeping heavy weapons out of the hands of the citizenry.  this issue in this election to me comes down not on gun control or gun rights but on access to and preservation of hunting and fishing lands and habitat.  And for that there is only one choice: Obama-Biden.  

      The notion that an Obama Admin is going to “take away our guns” is utter paranoia.  The rabid NRA uses this as wedge issue the same way CC’s use abortion: to stoke the base and get more money flowing to the PACs.

      I’m an active part of the gun-owning community, I just wish we weren’t represented by such nutjobs.

      • ClubTwitty says:

        Protecting the tradition of hunting, and the viability of good habitat, is very important, and a real eason Democrats are gaining ground in the Intermountain West as the GOP shows more and more it is in bed (literally it seems) with the oil and gas, mining, and other industries.  Thanks for your work with Sportsmen 4 Obama, I know a few of the folks on the steering committee.

      • Laughing Boy says:

        What kind of guns do you own, if you don’t mind me asking?

        • Danny the Red (hair) says:

          but not as heavy as the black powder pipe cannons we used to build as a kid.

          (Unbelievable the things we used to do.)

          • Laughing Boy says:

            If I had been a teenager in the 2000s and done the same stuff I did in the 70s, I’d be in jail.

            The notion that an Obama Admin is going to “take away our guns” is utter paranoia.

            Not if you live in Chicago or D.C.

            • DavidThi808 says:

              If I had been a teenager in the 2000s and done the same stuff I did in the 70s, I’d be in jail.

              • redstateblues says:

                are about a second away from sitting on the back porch in your rocking chairs talking about the good ol’ days. Next thing you know you’ll be comparing prices of things.

                We did the same stuff, except we had computers and cell phones.

            • BlueCat says:

              Just don’t think the Rs and the NRA are getting as much mileage out of the whole Dems want to take your guns away thing as they used to, especially here in the west where we have plenty of Dems who are very supportive of gun rights, especially in connection with hunting and sporting. As a wedge issue, it just ain’t what it used to be. But good try.

  10. dwyer says:

    Today, the Post in an editorial came out against Amendment 48.  In so doing, the Post announced that

    “The debate over presonhood was settled in 1973 by the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision on whether states could outlaw abortions. The court defined a fetus as a person if it developed into the third trimester..”

    That is crazy.  Here is what the Court actually decided in Roe v. Wade

     (a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician. Pp. 163, 164.

    (b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health. Pp. 163, 164.

    (c) For the stage subsequent to viability the State, in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life, may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother. Pp. 163-164; 164-165.

    and in IX A

    “All this, together with our observation, supra, that throughout the major portion of the 19th century prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word “person,” as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn.”

    Here is the link:

    The issue is not about abortion or even women’s rights.  The issue is accurately describing a decision of the Supreme Court so as to protect the integrity of the United States Constitution.

    But what the hell are they doing at the Post? Making stuff up?  Nobody can google?  The editorial board is looking for a safe place to land ?  The board  figures that no one gives a flying f##k about the Amendment?  Nobody give a flying f##k about what the Post  says???  

    Nothing in the last week has scared me until I read this crazy statement in the Post.  If you cannot trust the Post to even get the facts on this straight, then how the hell can we trust anything they write?  I disagree with a few of their editorial positions…although quite frankly, I never before questioned the veracity of what was stated.

    I need a drink.

    • bob ewegen says:

      The post accurately summarized the trimester distinctions.

      • dwyer says:

        The Post manufactured the REASON for the distinction in the third trimester.  That is the point.  The Editorial Board of which you are a member let go with an editorial which had a false statement in it.  I showed the documentation which proved the statement is false.  And, since the very issue is the definition of personhood, the false statement takes on immense importance.

        Your hostility does not change the fact that the Post printed a false statement.  Your personal attack doesn’t change the fact that the Post printed a false statement.

        Shame on you and shame on the gd Post.  

        • bob ewegen says:

          As I said, you have had more than enough to drink already.  Way more than enough.

          • dwyer says:

            Your ed mistated the conclusion of the United States Supreme Court in defining whether or not  the unborn were “persons” in the context of the 14th Amendment. Your ed said that the court said they were, in the third trimester.  I documented that the Supreme Court said no such damm thing.

            I genuinely do not understand what you are doing. The Post made a very serious error in recounting the Court’s decision.

            You are all over the place.  The illusion to my “drinking” is spurious.  Your hostility is unprovoked. You are not making any sense.

            I didn’t object to the conclusion of the ed.  I pointed out a very serious mistatement.  This is not about me. I am not that important.  This is about the credibility of the Post and its editorial board, of which you are a member.  You can bully me all you want, it doesn’t change facts.

            • bob ewegen says:

              How is it bullying you to refute your rantings? And you are the one who mentioned your drinking.  I only noted that it seems to explain some of your outbursts. So take one more snarl and have the last word.

  11. Barron X says:


    Bigger than the idea that Senator Chris Dodd, D-Wall Street, is supposed to be a defender of the little guy.

    Wait for it.

    Ron Paul endorses Chuck Baldwin for Prez.

    I know what you’re thinking:

    didn’t he endorse Nader and McKinney last week ?

    You’d be overthinking this if that’s what came to mind.  


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