Thursday Open Thread

“It’s not denial. I’m just selective about the reality I accept.”

–Bill Watterson

38 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. James Dodd says:

    Now, you all said that we have to support Hillary because she is the only viable candidate to win against Republicans and, in particular, the Donald. Well?

    • OrangeFree says:

      Yeah, I'm totes going to believe a Fox News Poll whose political spectrum question is "do you consider yourself to be a liberal, very conservative, somewhat conservative or white evangelical."

    • BlueCat says:

      One more time…. sigh…polls for the general, regardless of source, Fox or other, are not reliably predictive at this point. If they were we would have had a Dukakis administration. This is especially true with the race over on the GOP side but still going between Bernie and HRC.  

      On the Dem side so far only HRC has been under fire from Rs (and also Bernie) because she's the presumptive nominee. Were she to get hit by a bus leaving Bernie the the sole presumptive nominee all GOP guns would be trained on him and then general election polls would start to have more lasting meaning but even then most presidential race voters are low info and don't tune in until much later. 

      In the absence of the bus thing HRC will be the nominee, leavng Bernie supporters forever pointing to his alleged superior electability dreaming of what might have been. The most likely scenario is that she will win the presidency and you'll be confined to dreaming of how Bernie could have won it by more.

      Bernie will continue to lead his movement as the outsider he's most comfortable and effective being, working to keep progressive issues in the forefront and encouraging the young and minorities to stay engaged and keep turning out to vote more quality Dems into Congress, state legslatures and Governor's seats where we need them the most to make any concrete progress on his issues and keep the pressure on those Dems to be responsive to the concerns of a newly energized block of Bernie movement voters they'll need to stay in office and in majorities.

      That is if Bernie is smart enough to use his new national position to maximum effect. I think he is. I sure hope he is.


      • ohwilleke says:

        Once your down to six months to the election and you have presumptive major party Presidential candidates in each party, general election polls are far from irrelevant. They aren't our certain fate, but they do accurately indicate what will happen if nothing in the campaigns of the candidates changes public opinion.  And, while one poll by itself isn't very accurate, trend lines of the average of multiple polls do and show the race tightening.

      • James Dodd says:

        The Most Reliably Democratic County in America Just Sent Hillary Clinton a Signal – The Democratic front-runner needs to embrace the New Deal themes that still resonate in frequently forgotten corners of America. – The Nation

      • Voyageur says:

        I don't know, BC.  New York Times Front page today is all about Bernie going all out to destroy hillary regardless of the cost, in hopes that even if he wrecks the party, he will rule the ruins,

        • BlueCat says:

          Let's hope that's not the case. If he wrecks, rather than revives, the party and helps Trump win and helps Rs keep the Senate and take over the Supreme Court indefinitely he won’t be ruling the ruins. He’ll be hated by all but a tiny Bernie or Bust faction who think destroying the party is worth years of living with hellish government and court decisions that the American midde class as we know it and shrinking as it already is may not survive. If he thinks the other hero of the progressives, Elizabeth Warren, will want any part of him or his movement if that’s what he has in mind, he’s gone completely insane. He can always get together with Zap for seething over drinks so there’s that.

          • notaskinnycook says:

            The Bernie or Bust people are mostly young. Too young to remember the 12 years of Reagan/Bush. They have no idea how much damage was done to the country in those 12 long years; damage we still haven't recovered from, like the stall in the minimum wage.

        • Canines says:

          I don't know, either. From reading that article, it sounds to me like the Democratic party is in need of fixing. And that, for backup reasons, the Democratic Party benefits by having Sanders remain in the race. And that Hillary is probably doing well with a decent segment of Republicans who won't for Trump, but still needs to win over the hearts and minds of progressives and young voters in her own party.


          • BlueCat says:

            Fixing as in destroying the village to save it?  Any movement for the kind of change Bernie seeks requires beating the insane asylum that is the 21st century GOP right now in 2016 first. That will require united opposition. There will be no triumphant Bernie led third party. His power now rests with with the movement he commands and the fact that the Democratic party needs his voters. He's got something the establishment needs and that's what's going to make him and his movement a force to be reckoned with going forward.

            Unless he blows it. If he refuses or is unable to deliver, his movement loses all that they have gained because it will be of no use to the Democratic party and doesn't have the capacity to take power on its own from both the GOP and the Democratic Party as a third party. The Dems may be able to win this round without him, though they stongly feel the need for his voters and every other voter they can get, but he can have no influence, can win nothing, without uniting with the Dem Party and using his movement to influence it from within.

            And BTW a new CBS/Time poll has HRC up 6 points on Trump for the general. So now are the Bernie  supporters going to be citing that one and saying never mind all the fuss we made over the Fox poll?  I won't hold my breath not least because at this point we'll be getting the odd poll saying just about anything and it's pretty silly to run around like chickens without our heads over any of them. Especially over a few points up or down from one May day to the next. 


        • mamajama55 says:

          I read the article. Nothing in there about "Bernie going all out to destroy hilary regardless of the cost, in hopes that even if he wrecks the party, he will rule the ruins".

          That spin is all yours, V, loaded language calculated to provoke an emotional response.

          Sanders is in it to win the nomination. That is what candidates do in a primary fight. Duh. People have been telling him he had no chance and should drop out ever since he announced last year. This is nothing new.

          Per Maddow last night, the DNC is already making concessions – the Sanders people will have equal representation on the platform committee.

          As irrelevant as the party platform expressing the wills of grassroots activists is to the actions of actual legislators, it is a place to start.

          Sanders is a wily old pol, known as the "Amendment King" for getting progressive amendments attached to passed legislation for over 30 years.   He knows what he's doing, and I'm pretty sure it does not include "wrecking the party" or "destroying Hillary" in V's overly emotional parlance.

          We know that pols such as Senator Bennet have zero respect for the party platform as written, as evidenced by Bennet's disregard of ColoradoCare. You all don't need to jump in and snidely remind me that Bennet has no respect for, nor need of grassroots party activists such as myself. He does have his donors, after all, and one of the weakest fields of opponents in Colorado electoral history.

          A resolution in support of Coloradocare, Amendment 69,  was introduced by Democrats in 20 Colorado counties, (I introduced the resolution in my county) and is now on the Colorado Democratic Party Platform ( p 28).

          Bennet chose to disregard activists, resolution, platform, and Coloradan's health needs in his remarks against Coloradocare.

          V, let's spare poor Phoenix another onerous minute of scrolling past  your reasons why Coloradocare is bad, and mine why it is good, at least until I have time to write a diary about it.

          Last day of school today!


          • mamajama55 says:

            To be more concise, as Senator Bennet has amply demonstrated, party platform change is meaningless. It is a sop to progressive activists, meant to satisfy and to shut them up without committing to any actual legislative change.

            For Sanders forces to make a real difference, the DNC rules have to change. The powers of superdelegates have to be lessened; they should be bound to follow the votes of their state constituents.The DNC chair should be removed by a vote of "No Confidence". Other changes making Democrats more democratic need to be implemented.

            • BlueCat says:

              Fine. Lessen the power of super delegates. Of course in this particular case HRC would still be ahead because she's ahead in pledged delegate and would be ahead even if you forced supers to all go along with the majority in their states.

              Of course since we don't have winner take all primaries but assign delegates proportionally, it seems that a winner take all requirement for supers only is hardly a more fair and democratic solution. If you took away the supers right to vote as they desire and just divided them along proportional lines there would be no reason to have supers. Fine but once again, either way, HRC would still be ahead.  

              Why Bernie's supporters are focusing on supers as the obstacle to a Bernie win is a mystery since there is no scenario with any possible adjustment to the rules governing supers or their elimination in which Bbernie wouldn't still be behind in both delegates and the popular vote.

              Not only that but Bernie himself has proposed getting HRC supers to switch to him even if their states went for HRC which kind of dilutes the righteous indignation factor 

              There are plenty of valid reasons for wishing to change the super delegate rules or eliminate super delegates but by all objective standards, no matter how we got to a place where our only choice is either HRC or Bernie (and I think the how we got here is the problem) that's where we are and the choice made by the majority of primary voters between the two via the democratic process is HRC. 

          • Voyageur says:

            Actually, our last round was more about the difference between bernie care and colorado care on the financing front.  But, yes, I'll pass.  You still need to decide whether your prime directive is to bash bennet or promote Coloradocare because doing both only underscores the weaknesses of Coloradocare that have led so many top Democrats, including the governor to oppose it.

          • BlueCat says:

            V does get overly emotional about his fave candidate but between the two of you it's pretty much a pot calling the kettle black thing.

            Suffice it to say, nobody, including Bernie and his supporters, wins if he doesn't start finding ways to keep his movement and the Dem party on the same team going into this election. That goes triple for DWS who needs to just shut up for the duration. A little shutting up would also be a good idea for Bill.

            And while V may be hyperventilating a bit the truth is Bernie has never been a Democrat, has never been overly fond of the Democratic Party and is still spending more time attacking the party and all its works than attacking Trump outside of the occasional formulaic sounding… of course we can't let Trump be Prez… now back to how HRC and everything about the Dem party sucks. 

            So it's not as if you, V or anyone else can claim to be able to foresee exactly how Bernie's going to play this. We really don't know for sure. We can all hope for the best but we can't rule out the worst either.  

    • Early Worm says:

      That is some really shallow and simplistic analysis.  To summarize: In Hillary's previous three election contests, where she was by far the better-known candidate (former first lady, incumbent senator), the early polls showed her with large early leads against relatively unknown candidates (with substantial undecideds). In those instances, after months of campaigning, her opponents were able to close the gap, in the case of Obama, beat her. Therefore, we should presume that Trump, who has saturated the public consciousness for over 6 months, will similarly gain on Hillary as people get to know him better. It is possible that Hillary will lose.  But these polls are all but pointless at this point and the "horserace" narrative that the media is going to feed us (which they always feed us) is going to make this a very long slog. 

  2. Voyageur says:

    Oh, a poll.  Well that ends it.  We now have to vote for trump.

  3. BlueCat says:

    Looks like another air tragedy. Egyptian airline disappeared from radar last night our time and only more bad news so far.  Already finding debris near Cyprus but not confirmed to be from that airline. Probaby soon will be. No one claiming responsibility so far. Terrorism or more really bad luck for Europeans seeking sunny vacations?

  4. ohwilleke says:

    Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid, one of the two solidly conservative justices out of the seven justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, is apparently on Donald Trump's short list of SCOTUS nominees.

    Honestly, of all the judges whom a Republican President could nominate and certainly of all of potential nominees on Trump's list, Eid would probably be one of the better choices.  She is a conservative jurist in the model of Rehnquist and Roberts, not Scalia, Alito and Thomas, despite the fact that she clerked for Justice Thomas. She is also the smarter and more thoughtful of the two reliably conservative justices on the Colorado Supreme Court.

    "Mr. Trump’s selections consisted of six federal appeals court judges appointed by President George W. Bush and five state supreme court justices appointed by Republican governors. All are white . . . .

    They include several judges who are favorites of conservative legal scholars, like Dianne S. Sykes, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit who was appointed by President Bush. . . . The federal appeals court judges on the list included Steven M. Colloton of the Eighth Circuit, a former clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Raymond M. Kethledge of the Sixth Circuit, who clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

    The state supreme court justices included Joan Larsen of Michigan, a former clerk to Justice Scalia, and also Allison H. Eid of Colorado, David Stras of Minnesota and Thomas Rex Lee of Utah, all three of whom clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas. In addition, Judge Lee’s father, Rex, served as solicitor general in the Reagan administration, and his brother, Mike Lee, is a Republican senator from Utah.

    Another state supreme court justice on the list, Don Willett of Texas, previously worked for the Bush White House’s office of faith-based initiatives and later in Texas government, where he pushed to keep a monument of the Ten Commandments on public property and the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, issues he has promoted on his Facebook page."

    • Duke Cox says:

      Hey…thanks for that, ohwilleke. Good overview.

      I had heard some things about Willett, but didn't realize how quite overt he was with his "radical christianism". A religious nut is a religious nut, no matter what language they speak….

  5. DaftPunk says:

    Kochtpus tentacles in education lead to some not so surprising conclusions.


    “The charge that sways juries and offends public sensitivities … is that greedy corporations sacrifice human lives to increase their profits. Is this charge true? Of course it is. But this isn’t a criticism of corporations; rather it is a reflection of the proper functioning of a market economy. Corporations routinely sacrifice the lives of some of their customers to increase profits, and we are all better off because they do. That’s right, we are lucky to live in an economy that allows corporations to increase profits by intentionally selling products less safe than could be produced. The desirability of sacrificing lives for profits may not be as comforting as milk, cookies and a bedtime story, but it follows directly from a reality we cannot wish away.”

    • ohwilleke says:

      They went astray at "intentionally."

      It is true that it is impossible to run a large enterprise (public or private) that affects many millions of people in countless transactions each year without now and then making mistakes that cost lives, often in way that no one could possible predict.  But, in order for this not to get out of hand, economics tells us that enterprises that do so should be held fully accountable for their actions by bearing the cost, at a minimum, of the full cost of all foreseeable injuries or mistakes they make, rather than imposing this externality on the hapless victim of their corner cutting. If cutting corners still makes economic sense after providing full and complete compensation to everyone who suffers a foreseeable injury from this, then perhaps cutting corners is still the right choice. But, far more often, corporations cut corners while trying to impose the costs of doing so on the innocent victims of their choices, while saving less money with the choices they make than the harm they do to society.

      • BlueCat says:

        "Intentionally" does sound kind of criminal doesn't it? Is it equally OK if a grandkid named as sole heir intentionally kills miserly grandma, whose fortune is stuffed into a mattress not doing anyone any good, to acquire that fortune and invest it in ways profitable to said grandkid and allegedly to the economy as a whole? Because it kind of sounds like the same thing. 

  6. ohwilleke says:

    Has anyone seen any polling in the CO-6 race yet?

  7. MichaelBowman says:

    In today's cannabis news, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley is upset there is a banking provision in the medical marijuana bill (CARES Act) that would allow producers to use federally-insured banks.  

    Seems as though he believes our current system to keep the practice of money-laundering drug profits through our banking system actually works.  Does no one in the Republican caucus read the newspaper?  If he's concerned about laundering, all he needs to do is run on down to the local HSBC and check it out!

    We are monkeys with money and guns. 


    • Duke Cox says:

      With a name like "Grassley" , you would think he might feel differently about it, but…go figure. If Big Ag and Big Money have a mechanical monkey, it would be Grassley….Well…there's Inhofe

      • MichaelBowman says:

        With the way public opinion has turned against Prohibition, any enterprising 21st-century politician with a name like that would leverage that name right in to the big chair at 1600 Pennsylvania. I do have some empathy; he's the age of my own dad – who understands the world is racing by him.  

        Unfortunately the mindset that drives the actions of Grassley and Feinstein on this issue is serving the best interests of no one other than BigPharma and the cartels. 

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