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February 18, 2016 06:28 AM UTC

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Anything cracked will shatter at a touch.”



66 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread


    I don't know how much more evidence people need to finally start understanding that natural gas IS NOT A "CLEAN" FUEL. We do not need it as a "bridge fuel". It is directly postponing our transition to real clean fuels.


    Methane Leaks Erase Climate Benefit Of Fracked Gas, Countless Studies Find

    Fracking is not good for the climate. Or, to put it a tad more scientifically, “By The Time Natural Gas Has A Net Climate Benefit You’ll Likely Be Dead And The Climate Ruined,” as I wrote two years ago.

    New satellite data and surface observations analyzed by Harvard researchers confirm previous data and observations: U.S. methane emissions are considerably higher than the official numbers from the EPA. Significantly, the EPA numbers are mostly based on industry-provided estimates, not actual measurements.

    While this new study doesn’t attribute a specific source to the remarkable 30 percent increase in U.S. methane emissions from 2002–2014, many other studies have identified the source of those emissions as leakage of methane from the natural gas production and delivery system. 



    Even worse, other studies find — surprise, surprise — natural gas plants don’t replace only high-carbon coal plants. They often replace very low carbon power sources like solar, wind, nuclear, and even energy efficiency. That means even a very low leakage rate wipes out the climate benefit of fracking.

    Indeed, researchers confirmed in 2014 that — even if methane leakage were zero percent — “increased natural gas use for electricity will not substantially reduce US GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions, and by delaying deployment of renewable energy technologies, may actually exacerbate the climate change problem in the long term.” Exactly. In fact, a study just last month found that natural gas and renewables are competing directly with each other to replace coal plants in this country. 

    This an excellent article…please help distribute this link….


    1. You're going to make me do it, aren't you Duke?  😈

      I do wish someone would explain to his speech writer that a radical is someone who wants to change the status quo.  Environmentalists are simply environmentalists.  The Fossilonians, by definition, are radical environmentalists.  Their activities are what are forever altering our environment that has been in balance for millennia.  

  2. Like the Machiavellian manipulator's claim that economic inequality is the only issue of relevance in this primary and the last seven years of center/left leadership have been a deep deep disappointment to the Democratic Party faithful but he has a plan to make America Great Again (where have we heard that line before) by raising taxes a whole lot on only certain people.  Wait till Republicans start exposing his record of more money to the VA while on the Veterans Affairs committee resulting in the Fitzsimmons fiasco.  Coupled with the boat anchor amendment of Colorado Cares more taxes proposal that is going to get trounced like the Personhood amendment, that euphoria of bashing Clinton's money grubbing and anybody who thinks this primary is about more than economic inequality will be quickly shattered when Republicans start going after the Machiavellian manipulator's record on taxes and the resulting failure to provide effective government goods and services..

    1. Machiavellian manipulator? There's one I've never heard applied to Bernie Sanders. Agree with his economic vision or not the idea of Bernie as some kind of amoral genius manipulator is pretty wildly over the top paranoid.  Pretty sure even most Dems (Rs will believe any outlandish thing about anyone left of the far right) who think his ideas would not be good for the economy don't believe he has some secret plan to ruin it on purpose. Sounds just like those conspiracy theories that insist Obama's secret plan has always been to destroy America from within.

    2. Bernie is more manichean (sp?) Than machiavellian.  But his theme that all problems from racism to male pattern baldness can be solved by tax increases on billionaires just doesn't hold water.

      1. As a conservative, I don't think Bernie is engaging in, or leading, any kind of "conspiracy." Bernie's problem is that he's been drinking the "socialist kool-aid" for way too long. He doesn't have any clue as to how he'll pay for all his freebies, assuming he does get elected and gets to face a Republican Congress. Yes, I did say Republican Congress. I think the Dems can kiss any chance of re-taking the Senate goodbye if Bernie is the nominee. It's that down-ballot coattail effect. 

        1. Well, a Donald Trump nomination would change everything.   Of the 63 people that could bring themselves to vote, as many as 40 might choose 

          bernie over Trump, the human fart joke.

          1. Interesting joke about Trump. It seems to apply.

            If Trump and Bernie are the nominees, the country loses. And both of them as the nominees; or likely nominees; might bring Michael Bloomberg into the race as a 3rd party nominee.

            1. Because the country is clamoring for another old white guy from New York? One that nobody I know of likes? Could there be anyone besides the voices in his head urging him to run?

              1. An interesting choice then. Two extremes and one in the middle. Two old white guys from New York and one old white guy from Vermont. What's a Texan to do?

  3. Economic inequality has been around at least since the invention of Arithmetic when humankind began keeping score, but we're going to solve it today in a highly partisan culture by raising taxes on only certain people.  That's a pretty cracked idea waiting to shatter.


      from Wikipedia….

      "Machiavellianism" is a widely used negative term to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described most famously in The Prince. Machiavelli described immoral behavior, such as dishonesty and killing innocents, as being normal and effective in politics. He even seemed to endorse it in some situations. The book itself gained notoriety when some readers claimed that the author was teaching evil, and providing "evil recommendations to tyrants to help them maintain their power."[2] The term "Machiavellian" is often associated with political deceit, deviousness, and realpolitik. On the other hand, many commentators, such as Baruch SpinozaJean-Jacques Rousseau and Denis Diderot, have argued that Machiavelli was actually a Republican…

      really,GG? Machiavelli?

      1. So Sanders joining the Democrat Party after a lifetime of scornful disdain for it for the sole purpose of dividing and subjugating it for his political purposes isn't Machiavellian?  Oh right.  He is sincere in joining the Democratic Party so that he can divide and subjugate it for his political purposes.  That makes me a lot more goosey that Dennis Kucinich er Bernie is the man for me. But! But! Hillary is the phony one who only does the political calculation stuff.

        1. All politicians practice political calculation. It's in the job description. A higher bar and a whole lot of finesse is required for "Machiavellian". Something as simple as switching from indie or obscure third party to a Big Two party for the obvious to anyone purpose of running as a serious candidate for President in our two party system hardly qualifies. To be Machiavellian requires complex layers of difficult to penetrate plotting, a web of spies, double and triple and counter agents, that kind of thing.  I'd say Bernie would need remedial courses to even qualify for acceptence into Machiavellianism 101. You, however, are more than ready for Advanced Conspiracy theory.

          1. Thanks for the nuances on the application of "Machiavellian" Blue.  Glad to know that Sanders decision to the join the Democratic Party PURELY for his political advancement doesn't meet the standard for political gamesmanship because his attempts to portray Mrs. Clinton as an impure progressive was obvious and transparent to everyone from the start.  Since it seems to be working with the Dennis Kucinch wing of the party, I guess all is fair.  No harm no foul right?  In the future, I will remove such an inappropriate adjective and just call him a master manipulator.  Would that be acceptable to you?

            BTW: I thought it was the Sanders supporters who are circulating the conspiracy theory that Mrs. Clinton is in league with the banksters and plotting all manner of evil against humankind.

            1. The Bernie supporters I know were never Kucinich supporters or Nader supporters either, for that matter, and their preference for Sanders is issue oriented whether you agree with their take or not.

              I haven't been cornered by any Bernie supporters trying to talk me into believing Clinton is plotting "evil against humankind" (that would be Zap on Bennet) though they do think she's too cozy with Wall Street.

              I wouldn't characterize HRC as machiavellian either and haven't had her described to me that way by any of Bernie's supporters. Maybe if she were more machiavellian she woudn't make so many dumb unforced errors as a campaigner like claiming the poor Clintons were broke while so publicly living a jet set lifestyle or that she just naturally took all that money for talks because "that's what they offered" and she wasn't even thinking about running for President at the time, like anyone is going to believe that.

              Neither one of them is scoring very high on the machiavellian mastermind scale IMHO. I think you have me confused with someone who expects any pol to be pure. I'm not. Probably why I've aggravated both HRC supporters and Bernie supporters, not to mention the Obama is God's gift contingent.

              1. While I was never a Kucinich backer, because I didn't think he could win, I do have great respect for him.  It would,t surprise me if some of his folks went for Bernie but the strongest Kucinich person I know is a 60-plus feminist and, sorry BC, she is a strong HRC backer.

                1. I'm sure some Kucinich backers are also Bernie backers. I just doubt that most Bernie backers were Kucinich backers. And let's face it. Kucinich never was a serious threat to win  a single primary. That's  my main objection to comparing a Kucinich  or Nader to Bernie. Just like it was idiotic of Bill to try to place Obama in the same category as Jesse Jackson.

                2. HRC has lots of women my general age on her side. While my age cohort friends liked Obama fine, at first they backed HRC. I was pretty much the only one who never was for her in 2008 from day one. By our caucus most of my friends had switched their allegiance to Obama. But I'm not at all surprised by 60ish women backing HRC this time. Especially instead of Bernie. Kucinich supporters in particular should be older and wiser.

                  I'll be supporting her this time too but I just never got her as a feminist icon, owing her entire political career to marrying Bill and staying married to him despite his inability to keep his pants zipped for 15 minute as she does.  Seems more like the old fashioned, pre-feminist Evita route to power by marriage than the way a Thatcher or a Golda Meir made it. Obviously tons of feminists disagree with me and couldn't care less whether I get it or not.


                    “Human rights are women’s rights,” she told supporters. “And women’s rights are human rights—once and for all.”


                    "It is time for us to say here in Beijing, and for the world to hear, that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights," Clinton intoned, 20 years ago this past weekend. In this famous speech, delivered at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women on September 5, 1995, Clinton condemned the global injustices that undermined women and girls. But Clinton did not travel to China only to point fingers. 

                    "As an American," she said, "I want to speak up for women in my own country—women who are raising children on the minimum wage, women who can't afford healthcare or childcare, women whose lives are threatened by violence, including violence in their own homes."  At the time, Clinton saw that women all over the world were in crisis. She wanted to represent them. 

                    "It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls," she continued, or "when women and girls are sold into slavery or prostitution for human greed. It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire, and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small," she said, or "when thousands of women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war."

                    1. And the reason she was in a postion to give that speech and have it matter was because she was married to Bill Clinton.

        2. GG, how many people on this forum are a) Independent b) unaffiliated, or c)have switched political parties in the last year? For purposes of spying, voting up unelectable candidates, screwing up the opposition's caucuses. I know I've seen a few Polsters admitting to such practices on here.  Then there are those who simply switch affiliations because "my party left me".

          Are they all phonies who want to  "divide and subjugate for political purposes?" And Independents are usually the largest group in Colorado, the one everyone wants to woo. So why are Bernie's decades of running as an Independent (but caucusing with Democrats) somehow so sinister and calculating?

          And I thought that only Republicons called it the "Democrat Party". Or have you switched? If so, does this make you sinister, calculating, out to "divide and subjugate" Democrats?

  4. Clinton campaign gets marching orders from Wall Street:

    Hillary Clinton Donors Hear Concerns About Nevada Outcome – New York Times

    Robby Mook, the Clinton campaign manager, sat at the head of a conference table in the New York office of Clinton donor and Wall Street investor Marc Lasry, according to accounts from people in the room.


    Donors also voiced some frustration with the lack of media scrutiny of Mr. Sanders, who they said was essentially getting a pass. They pressed Mr. Mook to demonstrate that the Vermont senator’s policy proposals were entirely implausible promises and that his responses to essentially all substantive questions drew on excerpts of his stump speech and rants about the “millionaires and billionaires.”

    One donor also asked Mr. Mook to go after the youth vote. With a straight face, attendees said, the operative took the suggestion under advisement.

    Notice how the campaign has followed their instructions.

    1. Notice how Income Inequality is the only issue by which Sanders Supporters grade candidates by.  If you look at Sanders record involving the Veterans Administration vs. Clinton’s record running the State Department there is no comparison in terms of performance.  Clinton was brilliant in helping with the end of the occupation in Iraq and setting the stage with early negotiations for the Iran Nuclear Pact.  Sanders let the Fitzsimons fiasco happen and spent a colossal amount of taxpayer for substandard outcomes at a time when Iraq and Afghanistan vets needed the finest medical care.  Everyone thinks Coffman is vulnerable because of his involvement with the VA but Sanders is maybe even more vulnerable to charges of using taxpayer money poorly but INEQUALITY.  Clinton has a clearly superior record at running a major federal agency but that is of no consequence to Sanders supports because INEQUALITY.

  5. Just the headline should be enough to get a few heads exploding in God's Colorado:

    Wisconsin Freedom of Religion Law used by Muslims to protect daily prayers

    Well, going around coming around on all the chickens coming home to roost and the cows coming home and all those unintended consequences.

    Earlier this month, the manufacturer of snowblowers and lawn mowers fired seven Muslims for taking unscheduled prayer time, while 14 other employees resigned over the issue. More than 50 Somali immigrant Muslims at Ariens protested the company's recent enforcement of a policy of two 10-minute breaks per work shift—without accommodations for unscheduled prayer time. The Muslim employees wanted Ariens to continue a previous, more lenient practice of allowing them to leave their work stations at different times—such as at dawn and sunset—to pray in accordance with their faith. By law, an employer must provide "reasonable accommodations" for religious practices, provided they do not result in a hardship for the employer. Maha Sayed, a civil rights attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the Washington, D.C., group will file a complaint on behalf of the Ariens employees with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—citing religious discrimination.

    While they're at it they should probably check this creep's books to make sure he's paying all their payroll, social security, disability, and other taxes. 

  6. More then and now GOP opinion.

    “I believe that we should wait until after the next election and let the American people pick the next president, and we should consider who the next president of the United States nominates," McCain said on a Phoenix radio show.

    That came as a surprise to many observers familiar with McCain's long-standing position that presidential nominees should receive a vote — even some he didn't think were qualified.

    The campaign team for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), who's running to replace McCain, found the senator's switch so noteworthy that they went looking for those previous occasions when he explained why presidents deserve votes on nominees. And they found them.

    Speaking about getting votes on Bush nominees in 2005, for instance, McCain told MSNBC's Chris Matthews, "The American voter was very well aware of what kind of judge the president of the United States was going to appoint and they decided to re-elect him." my emphasis.


    As were the voters who, by a 5 million popular vote margin, re-elected Obama to serve until late January 2017.

  7. I admit to a sneaking admiration to bernie in one area__his clothes.  Heywood Broun was once described as looking like an unmaid bed and that pretty well fits bernie.  It also describes me as I find it very hard to look sharp at my size and weight.  May the war on Savile Row prosper!  Down with Brooks Brothers!  Power to JC Penny!


      1.  with Cruz, tailor have a terrible time with the horns which make it hard to fit a hat, and the tail.  And good luck finding wingtips designed to fit those cloven feet.

        1. unfortunately Bernie had to clean up his wild mane of hair for this campaign. I wish he didn't but the press would've been merciless on him………it happened a few weeks in, iirc………

  8. Marco RubioBot's programming still doesn't support Ad Hoc query responses.  Following the time-tested approach of "Better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought the fool, than to open it and remove all doubt":

    AIKEN, South Carolina — Marco Rubio’s campaign events here have been billed as “town halls.” But if you’re a South Carolina voter, don’t expect to ask him a question.

    On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Florida senator’s campaign held four events — all dubbed ahead of time as “town halls” — but the candidate didn't take questions from voters at any of them. He did stick around each time to mingle and take selfies with audience members after delivering his roughly 40-minute stump speech.

    Read more:

  9. Well, Trump is now blasting the Pope as "disgraceful" because the Pope said to build only walls and not bridges is an unchristian act.  Trump now bellowing that a "religious leader" has no right to question another man's faith.  And the Trump-bots (we now know the bot candidate) agree with him.  Gee, how could the spiritual leader of a billion Christians judge the faith of a man who quotes from "two Corinthians" and boasts he never had to ask God for forgiveness.

     Trump to Pope: "You're fired!"

    1. Listening to public radio in the car on my way home I heard that the Pope says women in danger of contracting the Zika virus should consider themselves allowed to protect themselves from pregnancy with the use of condums. He said that even though the church does not approve of birth control he use of codums should be permissable to prevent the greater evil of exposing children to such a serious condition. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Greatest Pope ever and world's greatest spiritual leader in my boook.

      He's Catholic. I'm Jewish/secular. I certainly don't expect to be on the same page with him on points of theology but he so clearly doesn't care about theological points anywhere near as much as he cares about all of humanity. In my book, that means he can belong to all of us. We can all love him because he so clearly loves all of us and so clearly stands for nurturing and revering what's best in all of us. And BTW he even says Jews, and I assume other non-Christians, can get to heaven without accepting Jesus. I have also heard this from Jesuits on the principle that God can save whoever the hell He wants to.

      Pope Francis the Great.

    1. Interesting…. but

      1) too early for general election polls to mean much and

      2) Qunnipiac has been wildly inaccurate in recent cycles.

      Agree it shows Bernie stronger and HRC weaker than anyone would have imagined a few short months ago. Which means she's going to have to make some concessions she wouldn't have had to make (she already has) to the more progressive/populist base she must have imagined she and the rest of the center right Dem establishment would be able to take for granted as usual. She also knows that the days of taking minority voters for granted as usual are over after the Obama presidency.

      Those are both good things for the party and for the American people. All of us. Not just the top.1%.

  10. BC, many Christian theologians accept that Jews are already in a covenantal relationship with God.  I put the pope in that category.  He even holds out hope for agnostics like me.  He's the best since John 23, which, sadly, doesn't say much.

    1. I think he's the best in my life time and probably the best ever. Some of those theplogians claim that only those Jews who keep every rule of that covenant to the letter, which is impossible, can qualify so pretty much you’re screwed without accepting Jesus. In other words either be a perfect Jew(not possible) or the only way an imperfect person can be saved is through Jesus. I know that’s the view of some from the fundamentalist Christian sphere. I’ve had it explained to me.

      1. Theologians with no "p".  And I've also heard the God can save whoever he wants explanation from a Jesuit, irrespective of the Jewish covenant.

        In any case I believe, from everything he says and does, that this Pope believes that good people are good people and won't be punished by God for not guessing or being born into one correct religious culture. Which, incidentally, fits in with the traditional Jewish reverance for "righteous gentiles". There has never been a Jewish teaching that I ever heard of that says you have to practice Judaism or go to hell.

      2. Seriously, BC, that is why Galatians is so important — it changes the rules.  In the early days of Christianity, it was just a reform Jewish sect which, unlike most Jews , proselytized.   But would-be converts were appalled by two things.  1-You want to cut off my WHAT?  2-What do you mean we can't eat sacrificial animals after burning the entrails as an offering to God? We are poor people and can't afford to waste food.

           Paul thought about it and said, in Galatians, OK, new rules.  Eat whatever you want and keep your (ahem.)   Believe in Jesus and your sins will be forgiven, as long as you don't root for the New England Patriots.  (I don't think the Patriots thing is in Galatians but it is somewhere, maybe in Deuteronomy.  )

        If you ever get the chance, read Hyam Maccoby, Revolution in Judaea.  It is in the Denver Public library and is a stunningly good book.   It is the closest I ever came to understanding the phenomenon of Christianity.  

        1. Thanks for the suggestion. I  don't know much about the New Testament except common knowledge stuff. It doesn't come up in the course of a Jewish education. I do know that Saul/Paul was a great salesman who figured skipping the snipping and the dietary restrictions would make it all an easier sell. We got outmarketed but as you note, Jews were never much interested in signing on new recruits or "saving" anybody. With 20/20 hindsight in light of the Crusades, the Inquisition, the pogroms, the Holocaust, etc. I guess we should have known the best defense is a good offense.  Live and learn.

  11. How Stupid is Ted Cruz, Part 569

    Cruz sez if he is elected president, the Pentagon will no longer provide gluten-free meals because it is just a fad.   I don't doubt it is a fad for some but there are about 5 million people in this country with celiac disease, including my wife and daughter, diagnosed by our doctor after careful tests.   AsI understand it, the military doesn't let Celiacs enlist but the disease is progressive and can  develop after you enlist.  Does this imbecile plan to discharge military personnel who excel at their jobs because he thinks their disease doesn't exist — or does he just plan to poison them?.  Avoid gluten and celiac patients can live normal productive lives.  This man is so stupid I think he needs help to tie his shoes,

    1. Celiac disease is far, far less of a fad than the historic "yuppie flu" of the 1980s, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. 

      Cruz may be a classic idiot savant in disguise. Intellectually brilliant; Harvard law degree and all that. But no common sense.

      1. I think Carson is the idiot savant. Put him in his element, he's a (former) respected neurosurgeon. Put him on Jeopardy a Republican primary debate and ask him policy questions, not so great.

        Cruz is willfully horrible, with occasional bouts of idiocy like the celiac disease thing. He probably heard that it was happening from some sycophantic right-wing blatherer. Like Trump (and, well, many politicians but moreso on the right), Cruz makes sh*t up to fire up the base by rallying against some "obvious problem". But I think he does it mostly in support of his twisted worldview, and on purpose.

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