Tuesday Open Thread

“Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”

–Frederick Douglass

63 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    • BlueCat says:

      More people probably either know his name or would recognize who he is by just mentioning that he was prosecutor in Aurora shooting case than could name Bennet as our senior Senator. Bennet had better start making some noise here in Colorado outside of the beltway, especially since he's not from here in the first place. Bet more people could name Corey Gardner too.

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    No tillage? … 

    Hydroponics? …

    … the future is an elusive mistress, I suppose.  

    (… Except for the middle-east, that is. Pretty sure that all past is eternal prologue in that locale.)

  2. Zappatero says:

    Michael Bennet is my hero and he'll go down as one of Colorado's finest senators. And he shall vanquish any Republican who dares to challenge him.

  3. BlueCat says:

    Another good editorial (surprisingly) in today's Denver Post on the real reason for the local GOP freak out over the preference poll. Apparently for them participation by the riff raff, in this case their own riff raff, is an unpleasantness to be avoided. Chair House helpfully explains that when you have a presidential poll at party caucuses "instead of having 50 people show up you have 500 people show up". When you have all those pesky extra participants "all kinds of problems have ensued". Hmmm…. 

    While the logisitics of preparing for the huge numbers that we Dems knew (or thought we knew. We significantly underestimated) were coming with the Obama/HRC 2008 caucuses were indeed a little panic inducing for Dem HD officers, we also were thrilled with so much participation. Seeing a precinct go from 6 to 50 or 60 or more with lots more younger people (average age usually pretty geriatric so 40 qualifies for young) was considered a great thing, not something to be avoided.

    But it makes sense that the GOP doesn't see it in the same light. It's all of a piece with their preference for voter suppression over higher participation. Even within their own party they apparently consider ordinary people interfering with authoritarian, top down control an unfortunate problem. Not big fans of the democratic process.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Since the arrival of the Tea Party, can you blame them?  

      • BlueCat says:

        And just how do most Tea Party views differ from the views either openly expressed or tolerated with no push back by almost all main stream Republican pols?  They encouraged the growth of the Tea Party just like they encouraged the growth of the extreme Christian right back in the day. They always managed to use and control the latter pretty well so they thought they could do the same with the Tea Party crazies. Guess the joke's on them. Not that it's very funny. Yes I do blame them.

        They obviously thought it was a swell idea to allow their rank and file to believe every loony anti-government, anti-Obama, xenophobic  conspiracy theory to come down the pike. Obama wasn't born in America. He's a Muslim. We're in danger of being forced to submit to Sharia law. ACA means death panels. We're getting sent to reeducation camps after they take away all our guns. Only a handful of Muslims don't want to kill us. Global warming is a hoax. There's no such thing as evolution. They all either nod in agreement or refuse to come out and say any of this is hogwash.

        What the GOP has unleashed is nothing short of evil and I'd rather have it right out there with the looniest possible R candidate selected by the loony base they themselves built and nurtured, one who can't possibly get enough of the Latino, African American and women's vote to win in the general, rather than camouflaged by a candidate with a less strident, softer edged demeanor who passes for sensible and well meaning while promoting exactly the same destructive middle class destroying policies and tolerating the same hate mongering rhetoric.

        • Davie says:

          …rather than camouflaged by a candidate with a less strident, softer edged demeanor who passes while promoting exactly the same destructive middle class destroying policies and tolerating the same hate mongering rhetoric 

          In other words, don't let another Cory Gardner sneak in to do further damage to our country.

          • BlueCat says:

            That one was the Udall campaign's bad. I went to several events throughout that campaign and even though the longer their awful ads were out the lower their numbers got, their snotty know it all ops kept insisting they knew better than us bumpkins, that it was all about the women's vote and the way to get it was to keep pounding on the lady parts issues.

            Gardner just smiled and claimed he was so for women he'd even go for over the counter birth control pills. The Udall campaign came off as patronizing and scolding, assuming women don't worry their pretty little heads about economic or foreign policy issues, just their lady parts.

            Gardner came off as genial and reasonable. So due to sheer political malpractice we lost an election we should have won without breaking too much of a sweat with a candidate whose sunny, outdoorsy, Colorado 14er climbing charm factor was never used once. Even though they had the perfect example in Hick that Colorado voters eat that sunny stuff up and love a candidate willing to poke little fun at himself.  

            All scowling all the time will always be a sure loser in Colorado. Gardner didn't have to win. He just had to keep smiling while Udall lost.

    • Davie says:

      Mike Littwin of the Colorado Independent has his take on the CO GOP's getting the willies over the potential exercise of democracy among their membership.


      Looks like the idiots running the CO GOP are afraid of the even crazier members they've attracted (or inherited) over the past few decades.

      • BlueCat says:

        Littwin hits the nail on the head with this bit…

        Meanwhile, Republicans, who keep telling voters how terrible politicians are, have apparently convinced them that they’re right. In the latest Monmouth poll out of Iowa, two of three said they wanted someone out of government as the nominee. And so the new challenger for Trump is, yes, mild-mannered neurosurgeon Ben Carson — who says Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery — who is actually tied with Trump in that Monmouth poll. Carly Fiorina is third. Cruz is fourth.

        They maybe didn't think this all politicians are bad meme through to it's logical conclusion while they were so busy feeding it to the base. Since they themselves are, you know, politicians and serving in the government  themselves.

        This is why the whole Tump equals Bernie thing is a false comparison. Both may be anti-political establishment but, unlike Trump, Carson and Fiorina, Bernie Sanders is very much a career elected politician who believes in government as a means for accomplishing great things. Why else be part of government? Where did Rs in government think insisting that government and politicians are the enemy was going to take them?

        The Republican establishment pols have been trying to have it both ways. Government is bad. They're in the government. The DC of career pols is bad. They are the career pols of DC. Did they think their base would never connect those dots? Guess you really can overestimate the stupidity of the wacko right. The Trump/Carson/Fiorina crowd has indeed connected those dots.

        Dems who support Bernie don't think government has to be a bad thing or that every elected official is just part of that bad thing. They think bad government is a bad thing and the solution is good people supporting good government. Those who are flocking to Bernie are still flocking to a life long elected pol, after all. Not at all the same thing that's happening on the Republican side.  Another one of those lazy superficial media narratives.

  4. BlueCat says:

    Gandhi famously expressed that while he liked the Christians' Christ he wasn't so crazy about Christians.They seemed so unlike their Christ. Bet he would have liked this one. 

    VATICAN CITY, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Pope Francis will give all priests discretion during the Roman Catholic Church's upcoming Holy Year to formally forgive women who have had abortions, in the Argentine pontiff's latest move towards a more open and inclusive church.

    In Church teaching, abortion is such a grave sin that those who procure or perform it incur an automatic excommunication. Usually only designated clergy and missionaries can formally forgive abortions.

    But from Dec. 8 to Nov. 26, during an extraordinary Holy Year or "Jubilee" on the theme of mercy announced by Pope Francis in March, all priests will be able to do so, he said in a letter published on Tuesday by the Vatican.

    In the letter, Francis described the "existential and moral ordeal" faced by women who have terminated pregnancies and said he had "met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision."


    Compassion. What a concept.

  5. Gadfly says:

    It is good that both Senator Bennet and Governor Hickenlooper are joining many labor unions in opposing the proposed EPA Ozone Regulations that would be job killers. EPA Administrator McCarthy was a total train wreck in her mishandling of the Animas spill.


  6. MichaelBennet4CO says:

    Senator Michael Bennet stands out as a leader and not just a representative of CO.

    His work is visible. I can see and read what he is doing for us every day.

    He believes in cooperation. He has found solid common ground with Sen. Gardner to clean up the Animas River, call the EPA into account, and make sure such spills do not occur again.



    His decisions are pragmatic. I appreciate his thoughtful consideration of the Iran deal and his support of it. I appreciate that his conservation efforts are balanced against the impacts to the CO economy.

    Sen. Bennet should take the opportunity to lead on national environmental regulation. He should push back hard on the EPA and its proposed revisions to NAAQS. They go too far. If implemented, they will roll back the tremendous economic gains we’ve had from oil and gas production. You should never introduce tighter regulations on a market that is in the midst of high volatility. Moreover, the proposed emissions cuts are so deep that they would stifle manufacturing.

    Sen. Bennet should join the majority of his constituents in opposing the EPA’s proposed revisions.

  7. MichaelBennet4CO says:

    Environmental regulations must strike a balance between protecting public health and allowing for economic growth. The current NAAQS standards strike that balance. The energy industry has spent billions to develop and install emission and leak-control technologies.

    Why should we strike a balance? Because it is hard to enjoy clean air when you are out of work and hungry.

    If anything, the EPA should focus its efforts on the chief sources of emission, rather than a blanket reduction target. Car emissions continue to be a main source. Rather than force state and local governments to burden their local economies, the federal government should support high fuel efficiency standards, invest in hybrid vehicles for federal agency fleets, and invest in alternative fuel infrastructure (e.g., natural gas filling stations and charging stations).

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      It'd be harder to be outta' work and hungry and not have clean air to breathe.  Your false choices only show you're probably even more full of shit than the real MB. 

    • BlueCat says:

      Fossil fuel boom and bust has always left plenty of people out of work and hungry on a regular rinse repeat basis. New energy technologies will provide more stable jobs. Next excuse?

    • Progressicat says:

      Troll E. Troll writes:

      Why should we strike a balance? Because it is hard to enjoy clean air when you are out of work and hungry.

      Not as hard as it is to work when you can't breathe or drink the water.

      Emissions by sector (2013): (oh, and remember that transportation includes cargo transport for business, so, not just "cars")

      From that it looks like the biggest contributor is the one you’re most CONCERNED about targeting.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        The solar industry now employs more Americans than the coal industry; wind is the cheapest source of energy today.  Once thought a bridge fuel to the future, natural gas is now considered to be a bridge to nowhere for those who can do basic math and understand we have to keep the bulk of the remaining hydrocarbons in the ground if we're going to meet the challenge of our rapidly collapsing environment.  

        • MADCO says:

          MB – I appreciate your reasonable factyness.  I really do.


          But I was informed very emphatically just a few years ago that solar can never work. It's a giant waste of money, and all we need to do to solve all problems is BURN MORE COAL, even clean coal.


          Nothing has changed, because it never does, and never will. And it was sad to see Tri State announce a big solar deal yesterday – they are clearly about to go under.  Tesla building a solar plant in NV? Sucks to be them.    

          So what that gas prices are low and heading lower. So what that oil under $25 bbl is within sight.  Coal, my friend, is the only way. If you want to convince me you should have dead animals- cute ones not bacteria or , you know, un-cute.  And you should amp it up a bit ~ BURN MORE COAL!!!


          see – I'm convinced.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            Damn that 'other' MB(4CO).  I guess I'm going to have to pull out my Dale Carnegie books from a couple of decades ago and brush up.   Like the talk of war and killing' that gives Moderanus his morning wood, as it goes with Mitch McConnell and blowing up mountain tops and poisoning local, fresh water supplies.  It's so, uh, 'MeriCAN'.

            The good news about oil anywhere in the sub-$90 region is that it makes all of the unconventional reserves uneconomic: a silver lining.  OPEC will pump oil at any cost because they need the cash. 

            Thrilled to hear that Tri-State is diving in to the solar industry.  Perhaps they've figured out that it's a better use of their time to develop clean energy resources than directing their Chief Legal Counsel to harass clean energy advocates with litigation on less-than-sketchy assumptions.  (yes, that happened).  I'm not sure they turned the corner soon enough, but good on them for trying. It's not like they haven't had over a decade to join this energy transformation.  If we just had the eighty-figure sum of money they've blown on Holcomb back, just image what their infrastructure could look like today? 

      • BlueCat says:

        While Concern Troll certainly sounds like a Republican I can't say that for sure. What I can say for sure is that if this is an attempt to attract anyone to Bennet it's a waste of time. The Colorado voters who oppose regulation to keep our air and water safe will not be voting for any Dem, no matter how hard that Dem panders to the alleged "middle". Why go for a please don't hate me 'cause I'm almost a Republican if they can just vote for a real Republican? Dems who don't like him much will almost all vote for him anyway because they won't vote for anything as putrid as an R candidate.

        So what's Concern Troll really trying to do here?  We're among the few people who actually follow politics and know who Bennet is so if he's a real Bennet supporter he ought to be drumming up Bennet name rec somewhere where it might do some good. This isn't that place.

        • Davie says:

          As PCat pointed out the other day, Concern Troll is attempting mental jujitsu:

          concern troll visits sites of an opposing ideology and offers advice on how they could "improve" things, either in their tactical use of rhetoric, site rules, or with more philosophical consistency. The "improvements" are generally to be less effective.

          "Supporting" Bennet by suggesting policies known to be unpopular on this site, the objective being to generate more negative comments against Bennet.

          And like Sybil, done in the most condescending way due to their massive ego.

    • MapMaker says:

      So, I get to poison you because I can make a buck. I'll tell you that I'm only poisoning you a little bit, so you shouldn't mind. I also get to poison your yard, pets, children, parks, everything you come in contact with. Furthermore, I'll even give you a job (at least occasionally and always provisionally) so you can be dependent on me and my poison.

      No problem at all. Balanced environmental policy.

      • BlueCat says:

        And I'll scare you into thinking it's a choice between having a job to feed your family, even though the next market fluctuation is a lot more likely to take it away than any regulation and it's a guarantee there are fluctuations around every corner, and your children's health and the chance of leaving your children a decent world to live in. It's a false choice, of course, but we're powerful and strong you're weak and insecure so I'm sure we can manipulate you with ease.

  8. MichaelBennet4CO says:

    Since BlueCat has been silent on my suggestion that the EPA design and implement more targeted emission control policy, I appreciate his agreement.

    To get away from vague analogies, I've been following the work of the Regional Air Quality Council (RACQ) this year. This is where the environmental regulation (the rubber) meets state and local implementation (the road). They help produce State Implementation Plans. These SIPs document the huge progress made by the oil and gas industry to successfully cut ozone emissions through emission and leak control technologies. Take some time to download and read through a SIP summary.


    The RAQC's work also documents how motor vehicle emissions continue to be a main driver of ozone emissions. In my opinion, federal agencies are in a powerful position to control emissions from this source. Furthermore, with the right policy, motor vehicle emissions can be reduced without stifling economic growth.

    • Progressicat says:

      So, let's do a little analysis.  You assume BlueCat is male (she's not) rather than using the his/her or the feminine pronoun that so many wimpy lefties like me default to.  So, I'm guessing R.  You're extolling the virtues of state regulation and the industry's role, so that clearly means you're being paid by an industry association.

      I'm guessing not COGA, even though their Code of Conduct links to a blank page, because they have a serious reputation and wouldn't want to be outed for sock puppeting on state political blog.  So, I'd have to guess you're being paid by an industry-friendly organization, like AFP, i2i, etc.– maybe you work for a PR group like the one Jeffco schools hired– but you might be a gun for hire like Lockwood or AC.  Certainly not Lisa Pinto, since she can't write coherent English, and you clearly can.

      At any rate, have fun.  There are a couple of folks on the board that are so up on the environment and energy that anything you say is going to get pretty well crushed, but a buck's a buck!

  9. exlurker19 says:

    An acquaintance of mine allowed fracking on her land, and just had her well condemned due to some contamination that I guess she's not allowed to talk about.  She was so stoked to find out that Planet Fitness only costs $10 a month, now she has a place to shower. 

    When we talking about it, she was babbling incoherently that it was all Obama's fault for not allowing fracking-blah-blither-spittle-Obama-governing-while black-hate-hate-hate.  So I thought she was blaming him for not stopping fracking.  No, it was his fault for not doing something fracking else that made no sense.  But Obama.  All his fault.

  10. MichaelBennet4CO says:

    Thanks, Progressicat. Sorry, BlueCat– I assumed gender based on the male profile photo that showed up in my email feed. Clearly, that is not you.

    I'm just a concerned citizen, small business owner, economist by training, and lawyer by profession. I consider my views moderate. I advocate a balanced regulatory approach because I grew up with a dad who was in the chemical industry. His profession as an engineer for the chemical industry provided an upwardly mobile middle class life for our entire family, including the ability to fully fund college educations for his 2 sons. As we moved from plant to plant across the country, we always enjoyed clean air and clean water. So, my point is that from personal experience, when that balance is struck between economic growth and public health, communities enjoy broad-based upward mobility.

    Economic growth isn't achieved solely through big business. I would argue the contrary. But there are industries that are capital-intensive and require large corporations. Operating at a large scale is not bad, by definition.

    I'll leave it at that for now.

    • BlueCat says:

      I never posted a profile pic. Your e-mail? I don't e-mail as Blue Cat and what e-mail would you get from or about Blue Cat?  

      Don't apologize. I've found over the years mistaking me for male from my Blue Cat persona before running into comments that gender identify me is common.  Have my own theories on that based on gender stereotypical assumptions but am not at all offended. And about this:

      Since BlueCat has been silent on my suggestion that the EPA design and implement more targeted emission control policy, I appreciate his agreement.  

      Why would you make any such assumption just because I chose to talk about something else? Why make up an entire straw man fantasy based on nothing and then attribute it to me based on nothing I ever said?

      Got to go with PCat here. That sure sounds like Republican procedure.  And of course you didn't say PCat was wrong so I guess your silence means that you are? That's how you yourself claim it works so…

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Are you referring to a market-based system that has been demonstrated to significantly reduce it's intended target, while growing the affected industry and letting American ingenuity solve the problem – at a cost that was a fraction of the estimates by the 'woe is regulation, the sky is falling' crowd? 

      I just described George H. W. Bush's cap-and-trade program. 

      You in?


      • ajb says:

        I think that the argument against cap-and-trade runs along the lines that it's easy to game. Once people know it's coming, they can ramp up emissions, can then be sold at a later date at no cost. IIRC, that's the problem they encountered in Europe. 

        I've read that a revenue-neutral carbon tax is a better way to go, but I'm no economist. 

        • MichaelBowman says:

          I'm in complete agreement that  either the RNCT or the cap-and-dividend approach are the preferred  options.  My point was that in a smaller emissions market (like acid rain), Bush ran an astoundingly successful program – it works, and probably would at scale as well. There are lots of pros and cons for both systems – but while we fiddle, Rome burns

          We've learned a lot from Europe's mis-steps; if Congress was serious about tackling the climate, they could devise a system that would be much-less prone to gaming than the EU devised a decade ago.

          Let's put a price on carbon and lower the FICA tax.  There'd be no better combination of putting real money back in the working man's pocket and signaling to the energy sector that we mean business and to put their ingenuity to work.  In fact, we wouldn't have to invent a single new 'thing' to solve our problems.  



    • Progressicat says:

      Forgive me if I'm confused.  Just as a practical matter, I'm a concerned citizen too, and I chose a silly name (that is unfortunately similar to Blue Cat's– perhaps I'll create a new account– how about MyFavoriteMarxian?).  I didn't choose KochBrosAreGreat or AFP4People.  Why MichaelBennet4CO?  Are you connected with the campaign?  Are you only concerned about the Senator's career as a citizen?  It seems to me, and like my earlier wild, fantastic guessing game. it's only a hunch, that you're really after a bit more than a nice conversation about the economic effects of regulation on extraction and energy production.  Of course, that's only my musing, and I'm often wrong.

      I think it's terrific that you had a great middle class life and experienced clean air and water around the plants you lived by.  Shouldn't we all?  All of us who live near mines, or chemical plants, or anywhere really?  The folks near Suncor's plants in Colorado where the company has been cited for violating air pollution regulations and spilling chemicals in the water?  The folks in Rubbertown, near Louisville, KY?  So many other places?  You're suffering from a fallacy of induction where you generalize from a particular experience (yours).  It's not unlike climate deniers who say that the air is chill and so warming is a fantasy.  You're ignoring the forest for the trees.  Your experience is the one all should have, but most don't.

      As an economist, I'll ask you these two questions:  What percentage of the costs of a transaction should be internal– in other words, in a voluntary exchange, like the production and consumption of power, what percentage of the total cost of that exchange can acceptably be negatively externalized? When negative externalities exist, as they do in fossil fuel generation, how should these externalities be remedied?

    • MichaelBowman says:

      So your father apparently didn't work for DuPont?

    • MapMaker says:

      Isn't this such a typical Republican answer? Instead of stopping at 4 words – which would have been more than sufficient, ForkO goes on to say:

      I was misinformed! (Which information I invented by direct rectal extraction).

      It's not my fault! (Since I wasn't able to penetrate your nefarious gambit of not posting your picture).

      Look at the squirrel! (Business, growth, BALANCE, words, words).

      Why are you persecuting me? (I'll leave this thread and sulk for a while).

  11. BlueCat says:

    Funny. I can't find Sarah Palin's reaction to the whole McKinley/Denali thing. Maybe it's because on the one hand; Alaska states rights….

    A proposal to restore the native name of the mountain was first made by Alaskan representatives in 1975. That same year, the state government began to refer to the peak as Denali, despite the federal designation as Mount McKinley remaining in place, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

    The latest bill to change the mountain’s name was proposed by Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan earlier this year. The Obama administration said in July that it would not block the name change.

    “For generations, Alaskans have known this majestic mountain as ‘the great one.’ Today we’re able to officially recognize the mountain as Denali,” Murkowski said in a statement. “I’d like to thank the President for working with us to achieve this significant change, to show honor, respect and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska.”


    On the other hand; required rightie anti-Obama freak out

    Obama went to the very top this weekend – to 20,320 feet to be exact – and stripped North America’s highest peak of its official name of the last century, Mt. McKinley, returning it to what Alaskans had called it for centuries: Denali, or Great One.

    Obama’s opponents immediately condemned him for acting like a dictator, taking unconstitutional action, overstepping his authority, engaging in a partisan stunt and, of course, exhibiting racial animus. President William McKinley, after all, was a white guy. And, um, the mountain itself is mostly white.

    “I hope my colleagues will join with me in stopping this constitutional overreach,” proclaimed Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), vowing to work with the House natural resources committee to reverse Obama. “President Obama has decided to ignore an Act of Congress in unilaterally renaming Mount McKinley in order to promote his job-killing war on energy. This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans.

    Former Rep. Ralph Regula, also from McKinley’s home state of Ohio, asserted to the Columbus Dispatch that Obama “thinks he is a dictator and he can change the law.” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) saw it as “yet another example of the president going around Congress,” while Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio)scolded Obama for moving to “undermine a prior act of Congress.” Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a GOP presidential candidate, tweeted that “POTUS once again oversteps his bounds,” and House Speaker John Boehner, from Ohio, pronounced himself “deeply disappointed.”

    It wasn’t just a provincial dispute. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), on Fox News, thought the move might have something to do with McKinley being Republican. “People feel like this president is constantly trying to, like, stick it in our eye, and put his thumb in our eye.” The conservative website Gateway Pundit posted an item titled “Obama Renames Mt. McKinley (Named After Some White Guy) to Denali.”

    At the conservative outlet Breitbart.com, Ben Shapiro asked, “Why did Obama choose to change the name now? Presumably because Obama has now solved all the world’s problems, and decided against his second choice, Mt. Trayvon.” Shapiro said a “more serious” explanation was that Obama “opposes the legacy of President McKinley,” which includes the Spanish-American war and annexing various territories. Asked Shapiro: “[W]hen will President Obama change the name of the American Southwest to Aztlan?” The deeper one wandered into the conservative blogosphere and twitterverse, the uglier the messages became – about Obama’s anti-American views, his Muslim practices and his urge to defecate on his predecessors.


    Maybe she can figure it out while gazing at Russia from her house. Or call and find out how The Donald wants his future VP to handle it.

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