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January 29, 2016 11:53 PM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Cleverness is not wisdom.”



42 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Turns out United States Senators can oversee governmental operations and release reports about stuff:

    Washington, DC – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren today released a report titledRigged Justice: How Weak Enforcement Lets Corporate Offenders Off Easy. The report, the first in an annual series on enforcement, highlights 20 of the most egregious civil and criminal cases during the past year in which federal settlements failed to require meaningful accountability to deter future wrongdoing and to protect taxpayers and families.

    "Much of the public and media attention on Washington focuses on enacting laws. And strong laws are important – prosecutors must have the statutory tools they need to hold corporate criminals accountable," the report states. "But putting a law on the books is only the first step.  The second, and equally important, step is enforcing that law.  A law that is not enforced – or weakly enforced – may as well not even be a law at all."

    "When government regulators and prosecutors fail to pursue big corporations or their executives who violate the law, or when the government lets them off with a slap on the wrist, corporate criminals have free rein to operate outside the law. They can game the system, cheat families, rip off taxpayers, and even take actions that result in the death of innocent victims-all with no serious consequences."

    The 20 cases highlighted in Rigged Justice illustrate problematic enforcement patterns by federal agencies across a range of areas, from financial crimes to student loan rip-offs to auto safety violations to environmental disasters. In many of the cases described in the report, corporations reached settlements with the federal government that required no admission of guilt and held no individual executives accountable.

    A PDF copy of the report is available here.

    Doing productive work in the US Senate, what a concept!!!!!

  2. Interesting. I follow realclear poll averages almost daily and have noticed this too. Still not stellar approval ratings, of course, but interesting that while the GOP paints him as a tyrant because of his taking more (perfectly legal) unilateral actions in the face of congressional inaction in his final days as president Obama's numbers are improving. Not stellar but the opposite of the direction Rs are aiming for going into the next election.

    1. Have to agree with you. He has better numbers than the Rs listed.  I can see where the percentage would be low but it's certainly as significant as Rubio's.

    2. I'm with the dustpuppy; Bernie needs to take his rightful place on the Line. Pols, your reasoning that these reflect chances of a win in Colorado don't pass the smell test – Sanders has better numbers in Colorado (average 37%) than Rubio, Trump, or Cruz, and it's a helluva lot closer (Trump +2) for Trump v Sanders, than Trump v Clinton's Trump+11.

      Looks like Sanders does better at appealing to Colorado's contrarian Independents than Clinton does.


  3. The N.Y. Times is out with its endorsements this year:  HRC for the Dem nod and John Kasich for the GOP nomination. (Good luck with that Kasich endorsement……)

    1. I think John Kasich could beat HRC or Bernie. Lots of middle of the roaders and Dem leaners who don't like HRC and aren't comforrtable with the word "socialist" would have no trouble voting for Kasich instead of either one. He wouldn't be sufficiently scary to minorities to bring them out to vote against him in the high turn out numbers Dems need among those demos. Lucky for Dems Kasich isn't going anywhere on the 2016 GOP crazy train. He'll  be standing in the station waving bye bye.

    1. Agreed……he's still way too conservative but at least his views are not from another planet like those of his primary opponents. The fact that we are saying positive things about Kasich is reason enough the GOP would never nominate him.

  4. Liz Cheney is off and running again. This time for the at-large U.S. House seat from Wyoming which her daddy once held. With the exception of her vacation house she tried to pass off as her permanent residence in 2014, she hasn't actually lived in Wyoming in decades. Why should that stop her……….

    Why doesn't she just run against Tim Kaine or Mark Warner for one of Virginia's U.S. Senate seats? The GOP needs someone to run and it would be convenient since she lives there.

    I wonder if she's kept her in-state fishing license current in the Cowboy State since her ill-fated U.S. Senate bid fizzled. And have she and sister Mary made up over her flip-flop on same sex marriage?

        1. Bernie lays it on the line – great response to the stupid question, but if you can watch Bernie's entire response, watch it.

          It’s been true for years that many progressive proposals are supported by polling majorities. But it is also true that Dems have to support and sell these proposals, that are attacked with lies, hyperbole, and wild predictions of doom on a daily basis. And people like you-know-who are constantly trying to get bipartisan kudos rather than pushing productive solutions.

          Bernie continues on congress, while describing many in the CO congressional delegation to a 't':

          "Congress is so dominated by big money interests they are much more concerned about campaign contributions than they are the needs of working families."

          I doubt anyone we've sent to DC from here the last several years could plausibly deny this sad statement about our political system and those who work within it

          Take it away, Bernie……..

    1. Another small uptick, bringing his RCP polling average up by several points since the first R debates. Not the intended consequence of criticizing everything Obama including getting our people released from prison in Iran and clearing up a potentially serious incident with no American sailor suffering anything more than about a half day comfortable detention. Too bad for them. They were all demanding the prisoners be part of the nuclear negotiation (which they pretty much quietly were) but now are complaining about how terrible negotiating their release was. And they were so looking forward to a long grueling detention of our sailors, hopefully through the end of next year so they could run on Obama allowing our sailors to languish without any carpet bombing. Only had a few hours to demand Obama postone his SOTU and complan when he didn’t when Obama's State Dept made the tragedy go poof. Speaking of, how nice would it have been for Obama to appoint Kerry in the first place instead of HRC. Guess he just want to make sure the Clintons couldn't sart trashing him for a while.

      All of which proves diplomacy works a lot better than any of the GOP pols' stupid ideas. Apparently increasing chunks of the public agree. They like getting prisoners and sailors released without bloodshed. Who knew? Certainy not the GOP.

      Latest Gallop poll?

       President Obama Job Approval

      Approve 49,

      Disapprove 48  Approve +1

          1. I know. Especially since I don't get the mistakes underlined in red anymore. I have to find them by re-reading, correcting, rereading, correcting and I get in a hurry, the phone rings, etc. and you can't pause your editing time. And I'm a really, really crappy typist. Back in the day I always had someone else type my papers.  On the plus side, I'm a pretty good cook.

  5. The remaining 4 holdouts squatting at Malheur Wildlife Refuge now are blocked from making calls or using the internet. All access roads have checkpoints; nobody gets through if the FBI doesn't want them to. Residents of the area have had it, are psychologically exhausted, and not at all sympathetic to the militants, even if they started out in agreement with some criticisms of the BLM or the Forest Service.

    About time. Let's see how long these selfish bullies hold out when their phony martyrdom gets no attention.

    1. Should have cut off power and stopped delivery of mail and care packages a long time ago. It was smart letting them come and go for a while, though. That's clearly how they got so confident nobody was going to touch them that pretty much the entire leadership felt free to take a road trip together and got caught without endangering any innocent bystanders.






    This is a story from Peak Oil

    ( I have included their disclaimer)




    This is a guest post by Steve St. Angelo of SRSroccoReport.Com. All opinions expressed in this post are his and do not necessarily reflect those of Ron Patterson.

    The U.S. Empire is in serious trouble as the collapse of its domestic shale gas production has begun.  This is just another nail in a series of nails that have been driven into the U.S. Empire coffin.

    Unfortunately, most investors don’t pay attention to what is taking place in the U.S. Energy Industry.  Without energy, the U.S. economy would grind to a halt.  All the trillions of Dollars in financial assets mean nothing without oil, natural gas or coal.  Energy drives the economy and finance steers it.  As I stated several times before, the financial industry is driving us over the cliff.

    The Great U.S. Shale Gas Boom Is Likely Over For Good 

    This is a meaty article with lots of data if you are interested in the subject. It is the best explanation of what is really going on in the shale gas scam… Here is a sample…

    Basically, the overwhelming majority of the shale gas extracted at the Haynesville was done so at a complete loss.  So, why do they continue drilling and producing gas in the Haynesville?

    The reason Art Berman states is this:

    What we see in the Haynesville Shale play are companies that blindly seek production volumes rather than value, and that care nothing for the interests of their shareholders. The business model is broken. It is time for investors to finally start asking serious questions.

    Chesapeake is one of the larger shale gas producers in the Haynesville as well as in the United States.  According to its recent financial reports,Chesapeake received $1.05 billion in operating cash in the first three-quarters of 2015, but spent $3.2 on capital expenditures to continue drilling.  Thus, its free cash flow was a negative $2.1 billion in the first nine months of 2015.  And this doesn’t include what it paid out in dividends.

    The same phenomenon is taking place in other companies drilling for shale gas in the other fields in the U.S.  This insanity has Berman perplexed as he states this in another article from his site:

    This has puzzled me because the shale gas plays are not commercial at less than about $6/mmBtu except in small parts of the Marcellus core areas where $4 prices break even. Natural gas prices have averaged less than $3/mmBtu for the first quarter of 2015 and are currently at their lowest levels in more than 2 years.

    The reason these companies continue to produce shale gas at a loss is to keep generating revenue and cash flow to service their debt.  If they cut back significantly on drilling activity, their production would plummet.  This would cause cash flow to drop like a rock, including their stock price, and they would go bankrupt as they couldn’t continue servicing their debt.

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