Thursday Open Thread

“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.”

–Joseph Joubert

81 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ThillyWabbit says:


    So we can now focus on defeating the anti-labor initiatives, and the ballot is not going to be quite as long.

    • kstrait says:

      It appears to me that the Labor Union is afraid that they are going to be held accountable for their actions.  If they remove this from the ballot, Colorado workers will not be treated fairly, the labor unions will not have to provide us with insurance, and they will spend your union dues supporting their own special interests not yours.

        • Libertad says:

          The Union Bosses couldn’t afford the heat.

          The $3M cash pay-off will help fight some very good measures (47 and 54 specifically).

          The $3M pay-off frees up $3M in forced Union Boss dues that will go to elect Democrats from Obama on down.

          Ritter gets credit and does it with Hickenlooper out of town.

          Too bad they are pulling these Amendments, the 600,000 Colorado signatures that will be confused.

          • ClubTwitty says:

            will find some use for them.

          • bob ewegen says:

            It even bans Xcel from financing franchise elections, opening the way for socialized power coops to take over. Way to go, libertine!  Karl Marx would be so proud of you.

            • Libertad says:

              everytime they renew their local business license. Plus they are state regulated by DORA, right?

              Seems to me this “clutters the ballot” at the local level and wastes tax payer dollars.

              Grow a brain Bob, the law should change.

              • bob ewegen says:

                I know you’re too dumb to know the difference between investor owned utilities and socialistic “public power” schemes, but you could read up on it. Electric and gas franchises are usually granted for 20 years and require a vote of the people of the municipality involved.  And, No, DORA doesn’t regulate utility franchises. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission does.  But it has no power to award franchises. You managed to go a few days without posting anything that revealed your stupidity, but you’ve blown your cover again. You’re one of the type Lenin called: “useful idiots.”

                Jonathan is not going to be happy with your defection to the dark side.

                • Libertad says:

                  You are a Republican right? You won’t support changes to state and local laws that repeal the need for voter approval of a business license. These are out of date to say the least.

                  You my friend are the stupid one.

                  • bob ewegen says:

                    And your notion that private utilities should have perpetual operating rights without voter approval is fascist at best…and again, shows your utter ignorance and unwillingness to learn. A socialist who hates unions!  Boy, are you dumb.

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      Your own comments are even dumber than the ones you plaigiarize.

                    • nonlawyerlobbyist says:

                      Municipally owned electric systems in Colorado, of which there are 29, are run on normal business principles.  Their “shareholders” also are their customers.  They elect their “board members” (city council and town board members) every two or four years.  They are responsive to their citizen-owners in every way and have, on average, lower rates than Xcel.  In some places, Longmont, for instance, the rates are 50% below those that Xcel charges in Boulder.

                      Try going to Colorado Springs, Haxtun, Julesburg, Wray, Center or Trinidad and telling them they are a bunch of socialists!

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      government ownership of the means of production. Colorado Springs is a government, ergo that government’s ownership of a major means of production is per se socialism. Most public power rates are much higher than Xcel, on average, even though they don’t pay manyof the taxes that investor owned utilities face and often receive below-market subsidized loans from the federal government through the REA. Higher rates in public power areas are not much a commentary on the inefficiencies of socialism as it is to do with the densities of the service areas, but it is a fact that rates at Union REA would have come down substantially if Public Service had been allowed to take them over years ago…a fact documented in filings before the PUC. You are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts. If you like socialism, be honest enough to say so. Personally, I supported the original purpose of the REA and am still a member at my farm in Phillips County. But socialized power in urban areas is just one more case of big government crowding into an area best service by private enterprise.

                    • nonlawyerlobbyist says:

                      Municipal systems don’t receive subsidized loans through the RUS.  19 muni systems have rates lower than Xcel’s residential rates, so, you’re wrong, most muni system rates are not higher than Xcel’s.  

                      I’ll give you the socialism argument but it doesn’t matter.  Municipal systems occupy a rightful and important place in Colorado’s electric fabric.

                      I’ll let the REAs defend themselves!

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      only because they don’t pay taxes.  Most are also just distribution companies, buying their power wholesale.  Many REAs and I think munies also get below cost subsidized power from Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) hydro electric dams.  There may be legitimate reasons to promote public power over investor owned utilities. But when a right-wing hack like Libertine tries to keep Xcel from even financing a franchise electiuoin, which 54 does, it’s just a demented example of the law of uinintended consequences. I’m not trying to kill off public power, I’m a member of Highline REA myself with my farm in Phillips County.  But I reject the right-wing assault on Xcel. Basically, I think they were so dumb they didn’t even realizae they were throwing Investor Owned Utilities in with the unions they were trying to destroy. Just vote no on 54 and enjoy your subsized electricity in the People’s Republic of Colorado Springs;-)

                    • nonlawyerlobbyist says:

                      And enjoy my Public Power community in even more radical Boulder County!

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      Do you live in the once-rural sections served by REA?  Out of curiosity, which one?

                    • parsingreality says:

                      The good people of tiny Longmont back around 1910 were fed up with the rates and shenanigans of the company that supplied that new fangled electricity.  So the citizens bought out the private provider.

                      I recall good rates when I lived there in the 1970’s.  Another clever benefit is the city had all front porch lights wired before the meter and required that porch lights be left on all night.  Presto, street lighting without the capital of poles and lamps!  Even after conventional lights were installed, it was always nice to walk in Longmont at night and women felt safer because of the lighting between poles.  

                      During the big electric crisis a few years ago in California, there was one provider that snoozed right through it and didn’t jack up rates to cover the raping by Enron and friends.  It was DWP, citizen owned and bureaucrat run.  Not trying for maximium profits every quarter, that had bought up ample contracts way into the future.  

                      Oh, those boring socialist utilities!  

                    • kstrait says:

                      I am from one of these little towns and know that they work much better and the rates are extremely lower.  You play with your customers money and the shareholders say bye bye to you and you wake up the next morning updating your resume.

                      But, on the other hand, city council and town board members are one of the persons that receive these services and know how valuable common sense is.

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      I don’t have the foggiest idea of what point you’re trying to make.  I doubt that you do either.  Been hanging out with Libertine and losing your ability to use the English language?

                    • Ralphie says:

                      Look at the registration date.

                      He/she/it IS Liberturd.

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      Otherwise I have to consider the possibility of two utterly inchoate trolls who can’t even argue right wing bombast effectively. But kstrait also has some of the mean incoherence of Nancy L Baldwin.  So many trolls, so few bridges.

                    • kstrait says:

                      Public Power is not socialistic

                      Municipally owned electric systems in Colorado, of which there are 29, are run on normal business principles.  Their “shareholders” also are their customers.  They elect their “board members” (city council and town board members) every two or four years.  They are responsive to their citizen-owners in every way and have, on average, lower rates than Xcel.  In some places, Longmont, for instance, the rates are 50% below those that Xcel charges in Boulder.

                      Try going to Colorado Springs, Haxtun, Julesburg, Wray, Center or Trinidad and telling them they are a bunch of socialists!


                      by: nonlawyerlobbyist @ Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 10:38:20 AM MDT  

                    • Ralphie says:

                      Do you have something other than cut and paste to offer?

                      I thought not.

                    • kstrait says:

                      have anything to say other than B.S.?  

                      You have the mentality of a liberal toad.

      • Ralphie says:

        I hope the two days you have spent here so far have been pleasant.

    • redstateblues says:

      Will Coors and Caldera step up to the plate and do the same?

    • bob ewegen says:

      The anti-businhess measures will remain on the ballots, which have already been printed. But votes for them won’t be counted. Now, intelligent people can concentrate on defeating 47, the right to mooch, and 54, promoting socialized electricity and natural gas.  I’ll still support 49, telling the state and local government not to collect union dues, which are better handled in many other ways.

  2. WesternSlopeThought says:

    at my local Republican HQ for tonight’s debate?  Like Parker, I actually find myself feeling a bit sorry for Palin.  And the fault falls squarely on John McCain.  McCain chose someone who is obviously unprepared to be president.  And he did it at Palin’s expense and for short term gain.  Sure, she put a fire in the belly of the right wing extremists.  (as evidenced by Josh Penry claiming to be the president of the Palin fan club)  But it is absolutely clear that he did not have our nation’s best interest in mind when he made his choice.  

    I keep recollecting my summer after HS graduation and the autumn beginning college when our nation was embroiled in Nixon’s Watergate scandal and the televised scene of Nixon physically grabbing, turning and shoving Ron Ziegler out toward reporters.  Although not with the same vigor, McCain is doing that to Palin now.

    And now as we witness the impossible situation McCain is putting Palin in and hear her responses to serious and valid questions, the words of Ron Ziegler, from that dark time in our country’s history, seem like they could easily be spoken by Sarah Palin tonight:

    “If my answers sound confusing, I think they are confusing because the questions are confusing and the situation is confusing.” -Ron Ziegler

  3. MarilynWalker says:


    Thank you for the open thread opportunity. I’d like to tell you and your readers about a voter education initiative that I’m involved in – Your Candidates-Your Health.

    We’ve asked all candidates for Congress to let voters know where they stand on health, research and science, including funding. So far, four of the 22 candidates running from Colorado have responded.

    It’s critical that voters have access to their candidates’ positions, and we think that our issues are of great importance to the US economy and health care system.

    Both McCain and Obama have responded to our questionnaire, but we’d like to get a higher response rate from candidates in Colorado. Please visit the site at to learn where the presidential candidates stand and to get contact information and suggested messages to contact your Congressional candidates and urge them to respond.


    • Barron X says:


      Now, my evidence is strictly anecdotal, but from my limited viewpoint, you haven’t even bothered to contact one of the candidates for the 5th Congressional District –

      the candidate of the American Constitution Party –

      to ask him (me) to fill out your questionnaire.  

      What are you thinking ?

      That campaigns will surf the Net,

      looking for questionnaires ?


  4. redstateblues says:

    Leaked scene from this fall’s Halloween episode of the Simpsons. I thought all you polsters would get a kick out of it.

  5. Danny the Red (hair) says:

    McCain is done

    John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.

    McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida.   Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.

    McCain’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Republicans had been bullish on Michigan, hopeful that McCain’s past success in the state in the 2000 primary combined with voter dissatisfaction with Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm and skepticism among blue-collar voters about Barack Obama could make it competitive.

    • redstateblues says:

      they’re secretly wishing McCain had picked Romney now. His presence on the ticket could have put Michigan in play for the GOP.

    • mr science says:

      and that the rest of the candidates would too!

      Its difficult to watch TV for more than 5 min w/o getting bombarded by political ads.

      • redstateblues says:

        For the ballot initiatives and 527s. Personally I would rather see 500 McCain-Palin “Country First” or “Change is Coming” ads than 527 attack ads and special interest group ads.

      • Precinct854 says:

        I don’t like political ads and I have a simple solution. I limit my television time to the shows good enough to make me put up with the crap and liberally use the mute button. Yeah, I’m living in the dark ages, but I’m a penny pinching curmudgeon. No Tivo for me yet. And for a lot of shows I wait to watch them anyway. I’ve just started second season Veronica Mars on DVD. And it is very nice to watch it without commercial breaks.

        On the bad side I cannot have water cooler conversations about shows, but on the good side I really think about what I want to watch rather than channel surfing without watching anything.

    • One Queer Dude says:

      …this way he can better channel his resources to states he still has a chance of winning.  Like North Carolina, Indiana, or one of the Dakotas.

  6. Hugh Jorgen 2008 says:

    Senator Ted Stevens is having a great week.

    First he cuts Begich’s lead to three when it was once close to twenty.

    Now it looks like either charges against him will be dismissed or a mistrial declared.

    Stevens will be reelected.  

  7. ClubTwitty says:

    to really be O’Reilley

  8. Hugh Jorgen 2008 says:

    Ted Stevens is what is called a United

    States Senator form Alaska

    He is under indictment in Washington DC.

    Now it seems the case against him may be dismissed.

    For a long time he seemed about to lose his seat to a Democrat. This is very important because Democrats want to win 60 seats to have what is called a filibuster proof majority. I do not have time to explain this term Mr. Twitty so will instead suggest you watch  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. You will like the movie Mr. Twitty as it does not have too many big words in it.

    Now it seems that the momentum has swung from his opponent who is a man named Begich to Senator Stevens.  It appears likely that Ted Stevens will be reelected.

    Now Mr. Twitty I hope I explained this in a way you can understand.  

    If you disagree about my conclusion that Ted Stevens is now likely to win why do you not explain why?

    I know you like to use the term sock puppet.

    That is very cool on your part Mr. Twitty. Kudios for your use of words and phrases. The Department of English at Yale University I am sure is envious of your excellent usage of the term sock puppet.

    It is certainly easier to use the term sock puppet than to discuss something that is kind of complicated. I understand.  

    • ClubTwitty says:

      I do not know what kudios are.  

      I went to a state college in Kentucky.  

      And I like to make fun of your pre-pubescent name.

      (PS-That it’s even a question if Stevens will win shows just how bad off Republicans are this year.  Sure if you need to grab on to that to feel good about your chances, rock on Little Wienie Hugh Jorgen).

    • kstrait says:

      Stalking individuals that do not see as you think they should.  There is the catch, kinda reminds me of the KGB.

      You should change your screen to Simple Simon.

      Do you know the nursery rhyme about Simple Simon and the Pie-man?

      If you do, than Kudos to you.

    • Ralphie says:

      mistrial or sanctions in the Stevens case.

      Different from dismissal.

      Don’t they teach you that stuff in middle school?

  9. sxp151 says:

    We knew it had come close, when the funniest thing SNL could do to the Palin-Couric interview was to do nearly the same text.

    But this is a bit much for even me.

    First, this joke post from Huffington Post, How Sarah Palin can win the debate:

    But the whole process of getting to know Sarah Palin exposed Palin’s greatest flaw: she’s precisely the sort of person who should never be subjected to a “getting to know” process. Over time, her recycled speech wore poorly and her attempts at moving on to new rhetorical pastures have been disastrous. Her overall favorable rating dipped precipitously. And even in Alaska, her once impressive 80 percent approval rating fell to a more quotidian 60 percent. That’s bad, considering that in Alaska, just knowing how to make fire spots you forty approval points, right off the bat.

    And now the debate looms, and if Palin isn’t careful, she’s going to run the risk that America might get to know her even better.

    What’s to be done? Well, when all else fails, its best to keep things basic. Focus on the task at hand. Embrace the simplicity of the debate rules. And in those debate rules, Sarah Palin will find her salvation. For while those rules govern the topic of conversation, and the length that each participant may speak, nowhere is it written that Sarah Palin actually has to say anything. So that’s how she wins. By saying nothing. By standing there, stock still, with a look of determination screwed to that lovely face, and not uttering a blessed word, for ninety minutes.

    Now the McCain campaign is taking this advice literally. Holy Joe Lieberman with Andrea Mitchell:

    “She’s not lived in the world of Washington, so she doesn’t know every detail of all the questions senators deal with,” Lieberman told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “But, frankly, that’s her strength. I think that’s why a lot of regular people out across America think she’s going to be their voice.”

    Mitchell interjected, “Senator, she wants to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. You know, that doesn’t mean just being an average mom, it means bringing other skills.”

    But Lieberman stayed on the point, stating later, “I think tonight is not a kind of final college exam. I think the point is who is she as a person… Whether she can answer every detailed question, I don’t think that ultimately matters to the American people so long as they think she passes those other personal thresholds.”

    Indeed, she will the “voice” of the average American, by not answering the same questions your average schmuck wouldn’t be able to answer.

    Reminds me of what Roman Hruska said about Harold Carswell:

    Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance?

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