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December 19, 2015 12:09 AM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • 58 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

“To do no evil is good, to intend none better.”

–Claudius

Comments

58 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

    1. I don't often ask my FB friends to like and share stuff and I don't often comply with requests to like and share and don't forget to type amen. But this is an exception. Thanks for the opportunity to help spread this as widely as possible.

      For one thing, her fears aren't just silly monster under the bed kid's stuff. What she fears, the army coming to take her and her family away from their home, is exactly what happened to Japanese American children and Americans let it happen to our everlasting shame. 

      I'm so grateful to all those soldiers and vets along with folks serving in or retired from other branches for pledging their protection. Sure we could assure her that neither Trump nor anyone else would be able to do that, that at least we've come as far as that since WWII. But having an army's worth of heroes pledging to personally protect her regardless along with back up from ordinary non-military Americans of all kinds is better than all the assurances we could give an 8 year old that this isn't going to happen in today's US.  Obviously, the supporters of the GOP front runner for President would be fine with it, hard as that is to wrap one's head around but there it is.

      Any Republican who doesn't stand up here and now and join these heroes by denouncing Donald Trump and swearing never to support him for political office of any kind must be considered to be an enabler of terror against our nation's children. Presidential hopefuls, elected Republican office holders and party officials who fail to do so loud and clear are anti-American cowards who should be driven from office or refused nomination by all voters who wish to be considered decent human beings ASAP.

      The trains on time rationalization (or the Putin likes me and is a great leader rationalization) was despicable back in the 1930s and '40s and still is today.

      Let this madness stop here and now.

      1. As squarely as I am in your camp, I'm not confident that appeals to decency will change anything.  I've seen it said before (and said it myself); there's a certain sickness that allows people to do (or encourage others to do) horrible things to other people, and to feel righteous in doing so. They enjoy it.  Anti-choice extremists like punishing women.  Bigots like denigrating those that are "different". I just don't see that changing by appealing to their decency.   

        1. Have to agree with you there, Curmudge. But I don't let people off the hook for it either. What's despicable is despicable and all who participate in it even to the extent of standing by and doing nothing are complicit and responsible.

          But maybe that's because my nightmares at 8 were about the Nazis following being subjected to films on remembrance day at our synagogue that nowadays no one would show a child that age but which back then many greatest generation Jewish parents felt duty bound to show their children so we would never forget. Well they got that right.

          At the time what I couldn't forget was that the reason those skin stretched over skeleton bodies got that way and were being dumped into pits in films taken by the Nazis themselves was because they were Jewish just like me and the same thing would have happened to me and my neighbors would have let it happen or helped. I'm pretty sure I know the absolute terror that little girl is feeling. I felt it in my nightmares and it's very hard for me not to despise the Trump supporters no matter what group sickness they may be suffering from.

          When I see stories like this one and think of that litte girl I truly, passionately, deeply and with a vengence hate them all and all who pander to them. Fair or not, useful or not, that's how I feel. 

            1. I certainly can't, because I feel the same way as BC…

              When I read the story at the end of denvercos' link, the words that came from my mouth were " God damn you to Hell, Donald Trump"….. I know, I know…but that's how I felt… 

              Got into a conversation with some folks at the Bagel the other day about what should we, as progressiliberalocrats, DO about Donald Trump? I said, not much for us to do but watch and see what the RNC does…unless you want to register as a Republican and vote against the sorry bastard in the primary..or give money to Jeb Bush…(did I really just type that..?..yeesh…what's the world coming to.?..)

              Anyway…

              Augusto Pinochet Ugarte was to Richard Nixon as Donald Trump is to Vladimir Putin….

              any takers?

        2. It's a real challenge for me as a liberal teacher in a very conservative district. I can't indoctrinate – I have to question, and encourage critical thinking. I have and will continue to talk about how students may not use terms like 'raghead", or mock Muslims in my class. I encourage respectful debate and insist that people check sources and use fact-checking.

          Maybe all of that helps. Reading and discussing  multicultural literature helps, too.  These are decent kids, and appealing to decency works to a certain extent. . But they are being loyal to their parents beliefs, and to the pervasive right wing media talking propaganda. However, as the adult in charge, I do get to set the rules for what I will and won't tolerate in my classroom.

          In the arena of political discourse today,there is no adult in charge. People don't self-monitor, because they don't have to. Outrageousness is rewarded by media exposure and poll boosts among the most extreme minority (Trumps most rabid supporters, 41% of likely primary GOP voters, comprise less than 15% of American general election voters, according to 538's Nate Silver, who has a habit of being correct).

          The job of journalists is to be that impartial, questioning, teaching adult, and for the most part, journalists are not fulfilling that responsibility.

          1. That's because reporting the truth, impartially, gets a journalist branded as a Liberal.  

            If we valued our children as much as we claim, teachers would be paid a lot more than they are.  

      2. Some things we learned from yesterday's data kerfuffle:

        Executive Summary:

        Friday’s skirmish showed that Clinton is not a leader, but Sanders is. Clinton cannot think strategically, but Sanders can. Clinton’s supporters are passive and may or may not bother to vote for her. Sanders has a good start on building a mass movement to back up his presidency.

      1. I kinda doubt AC will be back to respond on this one.  The GOP loves to talk about the military when it suits their purposes.  Once that purpose is served, "our troops" are no longer as important.  

        1. I always wonder when they stick a bumper sticker on their car that says "Support Our Troops", do they actually do anything constructive or helpful besides putting a bumper sticker on their car.  

          1. They'll let themselves get choked up when they see a staged reunion between a military member and their family at an NFL game (paid for by the Pentagon), and they may legitimately tear up when a flag-draped casket rolls by, because they're thinking, "Neat! This is like we're in a WWII movie!", but injured vets are useless except as propaganda tools, and homeless vets are just bums.  And they'd rather our taxes go to defense contractors than to our people who are actually doing the job.

            Sorry. Bit of a bias. I'm not only a vet, I've spent a lot of time working with vets that weren't as lucky as I am.  Sometimes I get a little testy.  

        2. What uncanny clairvoyance you old curmudgeon.  Along what unseen insights you must travel to ascertain that AC would not return to detail what actions in particular did our Commander in Chief engage in to betray our troops as opposed to the screw job that Republican legislators foist on our returning veterans of their wars.  Who else saw that one coming?

    1. While our librarian is busy re-posting useless cartoons, Ms. Nancy is busy out-foxing the FreeDumb Caucus

      How Big Oil and Nancy Pelosi Defeated the House Freedom Caucus

      Recall that, only a few weeks ago, House conservatives were trying to use this omnibus bill to kill federal funding for Planned Parenthood, halt Obama’s plan to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States, attack numerous Obama environmental policies, and generate a wish list of some hundred and fifty policy riders. (Here’s a good rundown of them.) Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and the White House got all of the riders struck from the bill, and won the wind and solar tax credits in exchange for conceding to the oil industry’s top priority, the export ban.

      “This was [House Speaker Paul] Ryan’s first big test and he got a failing grade,” Raúl Labrador, a founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told me via text message. “Not a good start.”

      As the former Freedom Caucus member Tom McClintock argued when he resigned from the group, in September, the Freedom Caucus has “unwittingly become Nancy Pelosi’s tactical ally.”

       

      1. No doubt the real reason Rs tried so hard to paint Pelosi as the devil incarnate when she was Speaker. Whether she's leading the whole House or a Dem minority, she's just plain good at her job and that, no doubt is why Rs want everyone to think this devoted wife, mother and grandma must be in league with the dark powers. Otherwise they'd just have to admit she's about a thousand times more competent than their leaders.

  1. http://michaelcarrigan.com/about-michael/ for Denver DA.

    “I know and respect Judge Gerdes, who is a former prosecutor. If she made this decision, I am confident there is good grounds for it,” says Michael Carrigan, a criminal defense attorney at the Holland and Hart law firm who has said he’s running for DA because there’s a lack of trust among law enforcement and members of the community. “Whenever there’s destruction of physical evidence that could clear a defendant, we should all be troubled.”

    He has said he would not retry the case.

    http://www.coloradoindependent.com/156721/da-candidates-on-moses-el

    1. Obviously the right decision and BTW can you imagine a white suburban guy being jailed tried and convicted on the basis of something that came to the victim, who previously couldn't narrow it down between three possible suspects, in a dream? A dream? Seriously? The poor man should never have been jailed or tried much less convicted.

  2. Have to admit that the Democratic debate is not exciting. Hunter on Kos is doing a good job with open debate threads.

    Moderator: Senator Sanders,will you apologize for the data breach?

    Sanders: Yes. I apologize.

    Clinton: I appreciate the apology, and I accept.

    That was the most exciting thing all night so far.

    Very dense, very wonky.

    Moderator: What do you do about ISIS? What's the priority, ISIS or Syria or ?? Clinton's answer is diplomacy, no-fly zone, advisers, better intelligence, stop Muslim bashing. She sounds much more knowledgeable on foreign policy than the other candidates. Scared people will gravitate to her. Dammit.

    Guns: Sanders, from huntin' Vermont isn't going to repudiate gun ownership, "People have that right", Hillary attacks not only him but O-Malley on inaction on gun laws. Like she was doing better.  At least she does talk about the no fly vs no buy terrorist paradox.

    Health care: Big differences here. Clinton: $5000 tax credit for health care costs. O'Malley. unintelligible,bla bla but I'm not a socialist. Congrats.. Sanders: Single payer holds costs down.

    Wall Street: Clinton: Yes I am business friendly. Sanders: Will big business love me? No. O'Malley. ???? not memorable, but very perky. Someone must have advised him to differentiate himself from the seniors on the stage.

    Taxes: Hillary: won't raise them. Bernie: I will raise taxes. O'Malley: Bla bla. not a socialist. His record in Maryland.

    Crime: (which got sort of conflated with "race", which is kind of racist if you think about it) Hillary: Community policing. Other candidates: some variation on this. Sanders: End war on drugs, deschedule cannabis. Why is he the only candidate saying this?

    1. Kind of weird how after that not very dramatic I'm sorry/I accept between Sanders and HRC, O'Malley stormed in about how nobody wants to hear a lot of bickering. What bickering? In fact all of their disagreements were quite civil. Must have had that ready to go anticipating a much more hostile exchange and decided to use it anyway. Poor O'Malley.

      As for Bernie, I'm afraid HRC doesn't just sound more knowledgeable on foreign policy…. she is more knowledgeable. Bernie's habit of turning every question into an excuse to pivot to the rich getting richer while everyone else gets poorer, true as it is, is getting to be pretty annoying. There are other issues, foreign policy issues, and Bernie always sounds like he hates talking about them so much he can't wait to change the subject. And it's beginning to sound like it's not just because wealth inequality is so much more important to him, though it is, but also because he just doesn't have the foreign policy chops and knows it. That's not going to fly. He just doesn't sound at all presidential when he does that which is pretty much constantly.  

      I may not like HRC much but she's presidential material and, I'm sorry, I don't think Bernie is and I don't think he'll ever be perceived in that light beyond the core supporters he already has.  Not that it makes all that much difference because though I like Bernie I've never been one of the true believers who thought he could actually pull off  the nomination win, much less the presidential. Now I'm not so sure I'd want him to.

      I don't see him as having the temperament to get much, if any, of his domestic agenda through congress anyway and don't have much confidence in him on foreign policy or dealing with the military either. He's been a breath of fresh air and moved the party in a much more progressive direction but he's never going to be the party's candidate for president.

       

       

      1. Bernie is good at governance. He's been doing it a long time, and has gotten re-elected three times as Mayor of Burlington, Vt, each time with more votes.

        U.S. News and World Report named him one of the nation’s 20 top mayors in 1987, crediting him with preserving affordable housing, holding the line on property taxes and making a serious push for home rule in a state where cities had little autonomy.

        As Representative and then Senator, (Independent) Sanders was re-elected 10 times since 1990.  In the House, Sanders was the "Amendment King"

        Despite the fact that the most right-wing Republicans in a generation controlled the House of Representatives between 1994 and 2006, the member who passed the most amendments during that time was not a right-winger like Bob Barr or John Boehner. The amendment king was, instead, Bernie Sanders.

        Sanders did something particularly original, which was that he passed amendments that were exclusively progressive, advancing goals such as reducing poverty and helping the environment, and he was able to get bipartisan coalitions of Republicans who wanted to shrink government or hold it accountable and progressives who wanted to use it to empower Americans.

        He reprised his performance as the Amendment King once he was elected to the Senate in 2006. Not only that, Bernie

        also knew how to be a thorn in the side of the establishment until it offered up something in return. Sanders was able to get the first-ever audit of funds given out by the Federal Reserve, which made transparent over $2 trillion of funds handed out by the secretive organization. This was a cause that Republican congressman Ron Paul (TX) had been pursuing for decades, but Sanders was able to get the votes to do it by forging a compromise that required an audit for the bailout period alone.

        When the Affordable Care Act was in danger of not having the votes to pass, Sanders used his leverage to win enough funding for free health treatment for 10 million Americans through Community Health Centers. This gutsy move—holding out until the funds were put into the bill—has even Republican members of Congress requesting the funds, which have helped millions of Americans who otherwise would not have access.

        Another moment came when Sanders, who was then chair of the Veterans committee, worked with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), to overhaul the Veterans Administration. McCain praised Sanders' work on the bill in an interview with National Journal. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) even went so far as to say the bill would never have passed without Sanders' ability to bring the parties to a deal.

        So Sanders is effective at getting things done in governance. As I wrote above, he did not show up well in comparison to Hillary Clinton in foreign policy matters. I'm reminded how weak Barack Obama seemed on foreign policy in 2007-08 – yet, he put together a coalition of millenials, first-time voters, racial minorities and women that ultimately propelled him past Hillary.

        The dynamics are different now – we were sick of George Bush in 08. Now, we're scared of ISIS again. So that will work in Hillary's favor – I repeat, unfortunately, because I have no doubt that Bernie would govern better.

         

                1. Indeed…..but for the hair (which is an obvious difference), you're absolutely right!

                  They just need to photograph the Donald on a balcony crossing his arms while going off on a rant.

            1. I don't believe there's any precedent for someone like Trump being either party's across the board consistent front runner at this point in the race. He doesn't equate to anything we've ever seen before. In the pre-reality TV celebrity era this could simply never have happened. Without the Kardashians, Real Housewives, Honey Boo Boo and Trump's own reality TV show stardom there could be no Trump Runs For President Show making it past a few amusing news cycles. 

              1. I don't believe there's any precedent for someone like Trump being either party's across the board consistent front runner at this point in the race. He doesn't equate to anything we've ever seen before. – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/79155/weekend-open-thread-140#comments

                 

                Not in Amurrrrica, but in France, they have Marine Le Pen, the female Donalda Trump.  Her party, le Front National, was polling quite well, but went down to huge defeat in a recent election.  People are afraid of ISIS, but they're also afraid of the Trumpster.

        1. Sorry mama. I don't see him being the type of personality to corral a lot of support in a divided congress for truly left, as opposed to Obama's merely centrist, agenda items even if we take back the Senate and reduce our deficit in the House. Heck, even if we take back both.

          What a president has to do is a lot different than what a legislator in or representing a small state has to do. But I also don't see our diverging opinions on the matter meaning much as there isn't a snowball's chance in hell Bernie is even going to get on the ticket, much less win the WH.

          I only disagree with CHB in that Bernie, unlike McGovern, isn't going to be on the ticket.  This is in no way meant to discourage or disparage your support of Bernie. I just quite frankly can't believe it's more than an academic matter at this point.

  3. This is the shortest debate blog I've ever seen. My wife's company holiday party was tonight so we recorded it, but from the clips I've seen, you seem to have gotten the sense of it.

  4.  

    The bloodbath continues….

    at crunch time for U.S. drillers, warm weather threatens meltdown

     

    Dec 20 (Reuters) – Strapped for cash, Chesapeake Energy Corp cancelled its traditionally grand display of holiday lights this year, but like most oil and gas drillers it is still dreaming of a white Christmas.

    A mild North American winter could punish large drillers, especially gas giants like Chesapeake, by curbing seasonal demand for heating of homes and businesses and hurting prices.

    Energy companies, laden with debt and reeling from a 17-month collapse in oil prices, may now face their most critical few months of the decade-long U.S. fracking boom. So far, the weather is not going their way. 

    The American O&G industry is in freefall..and here…in a nutshell… is what is going on…

    Years of oil and gas drilling zeal over the past six years have now left global markets oversupplied. OPEC countries, meanwhile, have opted not to curb their own oil production, and await shale drillers to cut first. 

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/crunch-time-u-drillers-warm-120001964.html

    1. I'd like to feel some kind of schadenfreude over this, but the only ones who suffer will be the workers.  It's not like the bosses are going to feel any pain.  

      1. you got that right, Curmie..

        The big boys will feel some pressure on their annual bonuses and many small companies are going out of business, but the real pain will be felt by the workers and the mom and pop investors in mutual funds worldwide.

        Most of these titans of industry would never risk their own money on a natural gas play….

    1. Woah. We got stem cell research going on in a big, bipartisan way.  The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2015 was passed in the House Friday with 241 Republican and 148 Democratic votes. Of course, they'll only be allowed to use "cord blood" from umbilical cords of birthed babies – no fetal tissues.It's passed the Senate, too, and goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.

      It looks almost like somebody's getting shit done in Congress.

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