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May 24, 2016 06:58 AM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

–Will Rogers


81 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Well, I guess we can say it's official. Clinton is trailing Donald Trump in the weekly average of head-to-head polls.

    General Election: Trump vs. Clinton – Real Clear Politics

    Trump passes Clinton in polling average – Politico

    Hillary Clinton Now Loses to Trump in Polls. Bernie Sanders Beats Trump by 10.8 Points. – Huffington Post

    Meanwhile, as the last link suggests, Sanders still leads Trump by 10.8%.

    General Election: Trump vs. Sanders – Real Clear Politics

    Now, who is more electable? Let the excuses begin!

        1. Thatis your devout hope for a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The left's endless savagery of Hillary is opening the wayy to the age of Trump.  Ennjoy four more Scalias on the Supreme Court. 

          1. Hillary's right wing policies and rhetoric is why she has been attacked. Don't ask a bunch of progressives to vote for a republican like Hillary and expect people to be happy, support it, or vote for it……. I will vote for her, but I have to hold my nose to do it… I will not vote for Bennet again because of his similar right wing policies and his seat does not represent a 1/3 branch of government like the presidency…. Hillary sucks and it's all her fault not those calling out her fascists record…..


            1. Well, the polls — and we know they are infalible according to James __, have her up 9.7 in California (RCP)  and28 in NewJersey.  (Monmouth) even before her all but certain win in the DC finale, she should have about 400 delegates above the nomination.  

            2. Well, Denise, your reluctant vote and my wholehearted one count the same.  And, yes, I'd vote for bernie if he was nominated in spite of his former membership in the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party.  I'd be sick to my stomach, but even a trotskyite is better than Donald Trump, the real fascist in tjis race.

        1. Well, the polls — and we know they are infalible according to James __, have her up 9.7 in California (RCP)  and28 in NewJersey.  (Monmouth) even before her all but certain win in the DC finale, she should have about 400 delegates above the nomination.  

    1. Trump's numbers are rising, though to a paltry 43%, because he has his nomination locked up and some of the GOP is falling in line (though, not enough of them). The same will happen with Clinton after Sanders drops out, and most of his supporters fall in line.

       It's not an excuse, it's just reality. 

    2. First, James, CHB is right about the polls. One side has selected their candidate. The race on the other isn’t quite over and the soon to be officially losing side of that race is registering their discontent. This will change when HRC is the accepted sole nominee and it won’t take until August either. A good deal of Bernie’s poll strength at this point lies in his not being the subject of much in the way of attack yet. That would change too were he to become the nominee. and should be taken with a grain of salt at this juncture.

      Second, I hate to put a crimp in your happy anticipation of an I Told You So party following the complete melt down of the Dem Party and the Trump win you're rooting for so I'll let Rachel Maddow do it. It's beginning to look like the Bernie or Busters aren't even going to have Bernie on their side much longer. Detente is already in the air and there are far more Denises than Bernie or Busters.

    1. I think this is the money quote here, but not something our Clintonistas/Bennetites want to hear. Rather than reflexively try to minimize the significance of this decision, perhaps it would be helpful for them to consider how this fits into the larger picture of this election. One of our posters used the term "fleeting passions" in describing the insurgence in the Democratic Party in particular and the nation in general. You may want to re-evaluate that assessment.

      “This is great for me to hear that they’ve taken a pass on this because it shows that the unions have realized that the Democratic Party is not fighting for unions,” Menconi says. “We’ve seen that steady decline.” 

      Consider this statement by his spokesperson:


      “Michael’s proud to be supported by a majority of union members across Colorado and in the Senate he’ll continue fighting for middle-class families and working to get things done for Colorado,” 

      To our right-of-center Democratic friends, this is a perfectly reasonable and appropriate response. But to many who are tuned in to the above mentioned insurgency, there is an unspoken phrase, a caveat, that follows this statement.. " as long as it doesn't threaten my relationship with my wealthy and influential donors and my associates on Wall Street".

      I think it might turn out better for the country if some of our entrenched elected officials started taking off the blinders and unplugging their ears and understand that, "the times they are a' changing". … fast.

      1. As long as the workers and others being actively harmed by Democrats who would offer bread and circuses, rather than serve and enrich the middle and lower classes, continue to vote for these "compromise candidates" in fear of the worse worse choice, change will not happen.

        The spectacle that is Bernie and Hillary's alleged "pivot" to the left will be used by the party as "evidence" that progressivism is alive and well in the party and that the change we need is "just another election around the corner" long after the echoes of this too-brief rebellion have died down; the middle class has continued to shrink as more and more jobs are sacrificed to the clarion call of the "free trade" which ennobles all of us, yet enriches only a few; and people continue to suffer and die under a regime which is intended to keep them just poor enough that they will endure the pain but not rise up in anger against it.

        It's not for the entrenched elected officials to take off their blinders and unplug their ears– that's the peoples' job.

          1. Will you knock it off with that absurd crap, CHB? My criticism of Senator Bennet DOES NOT mean that I would vote for one of his even more onerous opponents.

            That you continually revert to that response means that you have no actual argument to put forth. So,…we get that. But repeated accusations that criticism of the exalted ones are tantamount to party treason are the reason Democratic party institutions are in trouble in the first place.


            1. No, Duke. We're not going to "knock it off" and it's not an absurd reaction or crap. OK, I get it that you, and others around here, like mamajama and Zapp, don't like Bennet. And I don't need an argument to put forth to focus on the lack of political common sense on the part of the AFL-CIO. The union wants a return to the 50s or 60s when the US was the leader in manufacturing around the world. But guess what, other countries developed and union membership has sunk.  

              1. Michael Bennet is an innocuous blond smiling man who makes financial deals. What's not to like? "Liking" Bennet is not the issue. His policies are the issue.

                His policies as a US Senator, have for the most part been squarely in line with Obama's centrist agenda, as BC will no doubt quickly remind us. Where Bennet has had the power to move the debate, at least, to the left, he has instead moved it squarely to the center, and then baffled people with evasive bullshit.  Cases in point:  his votes for Keystone pipeline (before he was against it), against TPP (before he changed his mind to fast-track it), and now his turning against Coloradocare

                Bennet has gotten no significant legislation passed in his tenure as a US Senator. Most of that is due to the obstructionist nature of Congress; he did have 104 sponsored bills referred to committee.

                Yeah, yeah, Bennet's record is still better than Cory Gardner's – another smiling, innocuous man. Gardner's only gotten 58 bills even referred to committee; most of these, of course, were highly partisan sops to the base, such as "no unionizaton for IRS employees". 

                But Cory Gardner is such a low bar for Bennet, as is the rest of the Republican field arrayed against him. If we progressives stop criticizing MB's votes, stop challenging him to walk his talk on healthcare, trade, and the environment, the pressure from his donors will impel him to act in their interests, not ours.

                And six years from now, we'll still be waiting to get single payer health care, because Bennet will still be saying "It's too soon", and we'll still be vainly trying to make some kind of  foolish "All of the above" water and energy plan work, as coastlines disappear and forests burn under the inexorable forces of climate change.

                  1. V. This not about picking a new Senator…it is about trying to improve the one with whom we are going to be stuck..or picking the next Democrat who decides to primary him…Does this sound familiar? 

                     Not listening to and not responding to the base got the Republicans where they are…

                    1. On the other hand, Duke, think about what the Republican base was saying.  That inchoate rage is WORSE than Trump, as hard as that seems.

                    2. Actually, Duke, I'd say people who bother to vote in primaries qualify as base and those people picked Bennet when they also had available a well known alternative in Andrew Romanoff. Colorado Democratic primary voters picked Bennet instead of Romanoff. So which base people weren't "listened to"?

            2. Allow me to make CHB's argument in another manner: its like you hate driving down a particular road because its littered with potholes, but now there is a flood, or a fire, or zombies, and that road is now your only way to escape the flood of combustible corpses. Doesn't make much sense to complain about the potholes when you're escaping death…

              1. Except that those potholes are peoples' lives, right?  And there's always a "fire" or a "zombie."  Do you think that the middle class isn't on fire?  That zombies haven't invaded the places that poor people live and torn apart their homes, schools, and neighborhoods?  These realities have been as true under Democratic regimes as Republican ones.

                If Democrats won't talk about the real need to significantly increase taxes; won't stop trying to destroy education through groups like DFER, one of whose goals is the destruction of teacher unions; won't stop enriching oligarchs while paying lip service to the plight of the middle class; can't stop themselves from hypocritically shouting out to the heavens how we need to reform campaign finance while sucking at the teat of the billionaires and their dark money groups, because, well we need to get elected first.  If they won't stop hurting us, hey, at least the other guys are honest about wanting to hurt us.

                This isn't about a potholed road that has now transitioned into a dystopian nightmare.  This is about an actual nightmare for millions of people that's looking to get somewhat worse.

                1. The potholes inconvenience a lot of people and even turn some peoples' lives into a living nightmare. But compared to an actual disaster, they're minor and even the people whose lives have been ruined by hitting the potholes should recognize that it's better to escape down the less than perfect potholed road than it is to face certain death from a zombie horde.

                  Politics has rarely been about the perfect vs the perfectly evil. It's mostly a matter of evaluating less-than-perfect choices. Sadly, the longer the primary goes on, the less perfect Bernie seems to me, and the more I'm okay with Hillary no matter how imperfect she is – and I mean that without regard to who has the delegate lead.

                  1. I think that's where we differ, which is fine. I certainly understand why you would perceive these issues largely as inconveniences interspersed with some amount of actual tragedy.  I used to.  I don't anymore.  The tragedy is much more present, more tangible, more immediate than it used to be.  Before I felt that way, though, I was content to vote in Democrats I thought were wrong, but in some ways right.

                    I also don't think Bernie's perfect in any sense of the word.  Nor is any other politician that I know of, even those whose policy views I agree with.  I do, though, find that many of the imperfections the left have become OK with tolerating have become intolerable to me, and, if I'm reading things right, a small, but increasingly aware, minority.  I also think that the young may be more amenable to seeing the way life is for the majority of people in this country as intolerable than, perhaps, at any time in recent memory.  Of course, revolutionaries always believe these things and usually end up wrong– and even more often hung.  Hope springs eternal, however.

                    1. Let me put it a different and more personal way. Six years ago I was prescribed one of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics and had a severe reaction that left me with a still-ongling if sporadic disability. I've developed a distrust of doctors and a definite aversion to that class of drugs.

                      However, if a terrorist attack dispersed Anthrax and I became infected, I would hesitate for only a second before agreeing to take the course of medication that would save my life and leave me with another decade of (probably even more severe) disability.

                      As a voter my job is to elect a slate of representatives that can best lead our country, regardless of how imperfect – or even how damaging – they might be. The alternative is much worse, and we're not in a period of history where 4 or 8 years of electing a hazardous government will turn out for the best in the end.

                    2. I totally get where you're coming from.  But, as I noted before, I disagree.  As a voter, it's not my job to save the country, my state, or my city from every possible ill that might befall it as a result of someone I disagree with more than someone else coming into power.

                      We're never in a period of history where it's OK to let "that guy" get into office.  We're often left saying, "see, I told you!" when folks like George Bush, the younger, get into office and do awful stuff.  That doesn't mean that the folks we're using to backstop them aren't also doing awful stuff.

                      But, remaining so mired in our understanding of what we have to do today in order to stop <insert evil here> from succeeding prevents us from taking the time to ask ourselves how we should be preparing for the future society we wish to have.  We can't do that insisting on living in the politics of the moment.  "But our society may crumble if we don't check this evil," I hear folks saying.  And I agree.  It may, although it hasn't yet.  I just no longer believe that the future we're creating justifies the present that we believe we're avoiding.

                    3. Pseudo, since HRC is going to get the nomination I think the best way to support Bernie and his movement is to make damn sure we elect her and Dem majority ot the Senate. Not as an exercise in lesser evils but because Bernie has come from being  unknown to the general public to being a major power in the Democratic Party.

                      Already HRC is adopting some of his message into hers and the party has granted him  big concessions in getting more of his people on the platform commitee. Modest steps but steps the powers that be knew they had to take and wil lead to more.

                      Bernie is now the leader of a powerful growing wing, fueled by the very demographic groups Dems desperately need to keep engaged in order to aovid the usual backsliding in 2018 if they do take the WH and Senate in '16. They'll need to keep making concessions  because  Bernie's big block of voters can get more Dems into office they're not all going to be just lesser evil Dems but better Dems on our issues.

                      You want to keep the Sanders revolution alive and well? You need to  make damn sure HRC wins and the Dems take the Senate.

                    4. BC, totally understand your point of view, again, like with PR, I just disagree.  There are plenty of fine reasons to vote for Clinton, or Bennet, for that matter, and I hope that people who prefer them, or think they're at least a good hedge, do.  Supporting the resurgence of the left, to the extent this actually is that, isn't one of them.

                      Hillary is channeling Bernie in her messaging.  I don't think the same will happen in her policy.  We know how a Clinton governs, and it was extraordinarily successful for the prior one, personally.  Hillary is her own person, but I don't believe she and Bill disagree on what gets things done, and that's been her key selling point (hyper-progressive experimentation notwithstanding).  Folks who are voting for Ms. Clinton should be expecting Ms. Clinton, not Sanders-lite.  To paraphrase Pols, Hillary Clinton is exactly who you thought she was.  Honestly, for her supporters, I think that's a plus.

                      Bernie and his supportive young folks will be completely forgotten shortly after the election.  My former, your current, party hasn't done anything to show that they're likely to do anything else.  They'll govern, largely from the center, and rely, as usual, on the good graces of folks who hate the other guy more than they dislike their local Dem.  I honestly don't think, after this cycle ends, that folks deeply attracted to Bernie will be interested in working within the party.  As has been driven home over and over– Bernie isn't a real Democrat.

                      Democrats taking the Senate will certainly result in a remaking of the federal judiciary, the FEC, and some other bodies I can't think of right now, but there won't be any significant legislation coming, at least in my belief.  The House will remain in Republican hands and Dem gains will largely come at the expense of the most moderate Republican members.  Core Republicans have no problem with the government dissolving around us, so what's the lever the administration uses?

                      Nah, I won't vote for Hillary, or Bennet, but I'll certainly have a beer to celebrate my mom, who was an ardent second wave feminist and avid HRC supporter and say a toast for (most all) you all here.

                    5. IMHO we have a singular crisis on our hands right now. Climate change is on our doorstep, and we can either bury our heads in the sand for a few more years until it's too late, or we can really dig in now and possibly save ourselves from the worst of it.

                      Humanity will survive – more or less – but the ripple effects runaway climate change will have IMHO will be of the cyberpunk dystopia level of negative change.

                2. yes Psuedo. And…That's exactly it, Dio…and I'm  also responding to Vger's "false choice" question to me about whom I will vote for.

                  Bennet's supporters are so afraid of criticism that they try to suppress it immediately. No spot of tarnish must stain their golden boy. As for Bennet, he doesn't respond to emails with anything meaningful. His staff is polite and takes  messages. He keeps on asking for and getting more money, keeps on smiling and changing positions, depending on when and to whom he's talking.

                  So little leftie blog criticisms like this are probably the only accountability Bennet has – we all know Arn Menconi or Darryl Glenn or Blabla or Graham Cracker aren't going to even dent Bennet's "Lesser Weevil" vote totals.

                  I may vote for Menconi just as a poke to Bennet. For sure, Menconi is better on issues I care about. Depending on how Bennet's doing in the polls against whichever GOP clown gets to be the nominee.

                  1. We can spare you on the Senate, so have a good time in the wilderness.  But ask Arn if he's through reading the copy of Lenin's "Left Wing Communism, an infantile disorder" he borrowed from me.   I need to lend it to Sudafed.smiley

                    1. Gee, I thought I was the only one around here with a copy of "Left Wing Communism……"  Bought mine in spring, 1974 for a grad school course on Marxism. Where did you get yours? Mine came from the Foreign Languages Press in Beijing (then still spelled Peking). It's a 1970 edition. 

                    2. That's neat, CHB.  My copy, unfortunately, is purely rhetorical though I too read it in grad school in the early 70s.

                    3. Not much of a Leninist myself. But, you will have to admit that Bernie Sanders is doing a good job of following Lenin's advice to the German and British Communist Parties by working within the existing parliamentary structures to communicate with the working class and in modern terms move the Overton window to the left. I believe that Lenin would advise Sanders to stay in the race through the convention to maximize the exposure of his message, then support Clinton in opposition to the bourgeois candidate.

                  2. Arn Menconi…….   Meets my definition of a far left liberal: "someone who devises creative ways to spend other people's money." No thank you. And, just so you know, Bennet has been real good on issues pertaining to our public lands and the tourism & outdoor recreation economy. Menconi doesn’t even mention public lands or Colorado’s economy. 

                    Actually, Duke, people usually give their money willingly to banks. I have no choice in the confiscatory taxation espoused by people like Mr. Menconi.

                    1. : "someone who devises creative ways to spend other people's money.  

                      The definition of a Wall St. banker.

                3. Well I think you’re wrong, dear Pseudo. For one thing it isn't just Bernie and his young people. Bernie's movement  is much more widespread than that and much more likely to bolt. They aren't going to necessarily stick with Dems because they have nowhere else to go the way some of our demos have done without getting much in return. And a lot of what they want isn't so much counter to what establishment Dems want as it is more than establishment Dems have dreamed possible. Bernie is redefining what's possible.

                  Look at us here. Plenty of Bernie's supporters on this site and in primaries all over are not necessarily young. He wouldn't still be in this race at this point if he didn't have a pretty damn robust coalition behind him. But more young people of all kinds, his core supporters, are becoming voter all the time. Young African Americans are going for Bernie. So are young women. So, though, are a goodly chunk off grey hairs. 

                  But whether you agree with me or not the fact is, if there is any chance for Bernie's movement to retain and grow it's influence, whether you think there's a slim chance or a good chance, the only chance lies on the other side of a Dem win in 2016. 

                  I also agree that if a small group of Bernie or Busters refuses to support a Dem win in 2016 it will probably happen anyway. But you never know and those who throw away their votes will not be entitled to complain about any possible consequences. 

                  1. I'm sorry if you got the impression I didn't think anyone not young supported Bernie.  I was merely saying that's the contingent that I expect to be dismissed by Democrats, as they already are daily, as being idealistic, uninformed, obsessed with the fantasy of what the world could be.  I don't think the party will make any meaningful attempt to integrate them or their ideals.  I do think the party will try to retain those folks who are older and have been more "reliable" voters.  I think for some, that will happen, at least in the short run, and for others will be too little to late.

                    As far as whether the movement that's coalesced around Bernie will survive and grow, you're right, I do disagree.  Unlike your facts about the movement's only chance for success lying in Democratic victory, I only have the veneer of opinion to offer, but I believe that the principles that guide these folks aren't based in the politics of advantage or victory; they're based in a moral belief in what action is required to move the nation forward.  To the extent that remains and continues as a political force, that will happen whether Trump or Clinton is president.  Again, this isn't a Democratic movement, as many of us have been repeatedly informed, it's clearly one supported by both Democrats and non-Democrats.

                    As far as Bernie or Busters, I can't speak to that movement.  I left the party and resolved to not vote for someone simply to stop another candidate after I last voted for Barack Obama, and before I ever knew that Bernie would be a candidate.

                    Also, not for nothing, but deriding a choice that folks make not to vote as you wish as "throwing away their votes" simply because they don't do what you want isn't going to be a powerful convincer.


                    1. OK. So tell me how Bernie's movement maintains the ability to exert influence without the party he joined because he knew perfecty well it was the only way make a serious run for the presidency being the one in power?  

                      When HRC becomes the official nominee I'm pretty sure you'll find that Bernie himself disagrees with your position, that he himself will not choose to run 3rd party,  will not urge supporters to write him or anyone else in, will support the Dem nominee, believes that defeating Trump and electing a Dem President, Dems to congress and gaining the opportunity to take back the Supreme Court is of paramount importance. Ditto for Warren. In fact everything she says and does points to her wish to be a unifier and power within the party.

                      If you choose to write Sanders or anyone else in it will be contrary to his own plans for keeping his movement alive and strong.  One would think a supporter of Bernie Sanders would want to take his plans and wishes into consideration but of course you are under no obligation to vote the way Bernie or Warren or anyone else, including me, would want you to.

                      As to throwing away votes I consider any case of voting to make a point rather than to make the best choice between the realistically available options as throwing a vote away, regardless of which of those choices I would prefer. In this election the only realistic choice will be between Trump and HRC so, regardless of my wish, I would not consider voting for Trump, a real contender, as thowing away your vote.

                      Clearly we'll have to agree to disagree. I'll be happy to do my part to save you from the consqences of a Trump presidency and Supreme Court regardless.

                    2. I don't know if the movement that's come up around Bernie does survive without being an offshoot of the Democratic party.  I'm not a Democrat, nor are many others who support him or the ideas that led them to support him.  Maybe the energy around a more liberal view of the world survives him, maybe it doesn't.  I do suspect that the movement cannot thrive in the context of a party that welcomes its votes, but disdains its voters.

                      I didn't come to the conclusions I have about politics because of Bernie.  He's not sending me brainwaves commanding me to act or not to act.  For me, he was simply the candidate running for president who best articulated views I share about the country and in whom I had the trust that he would govern compassionately.  What he wants, when it comes to supporting Democratic Party nominees isn't particularly relevant to me.  I'm not interested in party politics, nor, again as I've oft repeated, is the party interested in me, as they've shown through their Bernie (and all non-affiliated voters, apparently) isn't a Democrat line.  Bernie and Ms. Warren should do what they think is best.

                      I offered Bernie my support as a voter to a potential elected official, not as acolyte to master.  To be honest, I also don't think he's the head of any movement, simply the target of an existing sentiment which his candidacy has given some folks permission to express, but which I was talking about well before his candidacy.  He didn't inspire whatever I'm feeling, he's simply the first politician to come along to tap into it.  Nothing is different about my political views, or my intentions regarding voting than it was the day before he entered the race.



                    3. Well you certainly sound like someone who connects with enough of Bernie's ideas that you consider him worthy of support and not just as a lesser evil. You sound like someone who would be happier with Bernie and those who also feel he taps into what they have been wanting remaining a force to be reckoned with.  

                      I disagree that that will be the case whether HRC or Trump wins. 

                      I didn't mean to imply that you were some brain wave tapped follower. I just think a situation in which whatever has coalesced around the Sanders campaign becomes an important component of the only party capable of challenging GOP hegemony would be the more positive outcome for you and for the country and that we don't get there without Dems first winning in 2016.

                      As I said, we'll just have to agree to

            3. You can't even criticize Thurston, Duke! 

              I've been missing this until now, but apparently even his most unquestioning supporters realize he's such fucking weak sauce that if you or I or anyone else ever criticizes him for anything,  any one of those brainless GOPer clowns, including even Keyser's dog, will automatically become Colorado's next Senator.  

              So, … rah, rah Thurston most awesome ever !!! …

              Get your ass on board, huh?!?  Woof. 

              1. And above all, never respond to a criticism from the uber left by defending a mainstream Democrat.  Their feelings are v e r y sensitive and they cry easily when contradicted.  The salt in their tears plays hell with the server and makes pols go off line.  So . "Yay left.  Take State!"

                1. Hey, V, tell you what — you defend incessantly, I'll criticize, occassionally . . . 

                  . . . and we can both save our salt for the important things, like the rims of our Margarita glasses ??

                  Here’s to Thurston! Cheers!

        1. The "Free Market Experiment" has dealt poverty, misery, and corruption wherever it has raised its ugly head. Naomi Klein, in her seminal work, "The Shock Doctrine", suggests that the brutal takeover a country by a wealthy elite cannot happen in a democracy. 

          We are about to find out if we live in one.


          1. Ask the good folks of Venezuela how socialism has worked out for them. Or maybe the citizens of Cuba. And check out Bolivia which has seen growth, with a mixture of helping the poor and keeping a mostly free market system under Morales. As for Ms. Klein, you might want to do a bit more research. Her tome has not engendered widespread favorable reactions outside of the far left community.

            1. Of course, an expose of the "Free Market Experiment" would not be embraced by those who exalt personal wealth.

              And as to research: the Free Market Experiment has not taken place in Cuba, nor Bolivia, nor Venezuela. Go back to Chile, Brazil, and Argentina in the 70s. There is your example'

               Perhaps you should read the book, before you comment on it.

              1. I've read a summary of the Klein treatise, and no, the entire book is not on my personal reading list. I'm still working on the "Serpents of Paradise," by Edward Abbey. I get my ideological fixes in part from two subscriptions; Hightower Lowdown for the left and National Review for the right.

                "those who exalt personal wealth……"  Well, having some money sure beats living in poverty.

                As for Argentina, that country has been an economic basket case for decades thanks to the populism of the Peronistas. I was there in 2002 when the peso collapsed and they stopped taking their own currency, wanting dollars & British pounds instead. As for Chile, yeah, Pinochet was no saint and Klein clearly doesn't like him. But one can't deny that his work laid the base for the prosperity that is Chile today. And, yes, I've been in Chile several times since 2002.

                1. some money 

                  C'mon, man..we're not talking about "some money". We're talking about income and wealth inequality not seen in this country since the turn of the 20th century.

                  I live in Grand Junction.There are individuals in this country who could easily buy the entire Grand Valley…and would still have enough to purchase the Uncompahgre valley with it.

                  If everyone in this country had an equal chance for a good education, plenty of good food to eat and clean air and water. If everyone in this country had a warm, dry, place to sleep at night and access to quality health care, I am sure I would feel differently. Or as Alan Jackson put it…

                  " If everybody everywhere had a lighter load to bear and a little bigger piece of the pie, we'd be living us a pretty good life, and that'd be alright."

                  "Conspicuous consumption" is a seldom mentioned consequence of the ever upward imperative brought to you by corporate industry and media. It is also a trapping of the social obsession with "more" and "bigger". Donald Trump is the embodiment of that materialism. It is what led Pope Francis to declare that one of the greatest challenges facing mankind is a "crisis of exploitation."



                  1. Please explain to me, Duke, how 

                    " If everybody everywhere had a lighter load to bear and a little bigger piece of the pie, we'd be living us a pretty good life, and that'd be alright." –


                    Everybody everywhere gets a bigger piece of the pie?  How much more pie do the Koch Brothers need?  How much lighter does Donald Trump's load have to get?

                    I guess we make everybody's load lighter with an across the board tax cut?  And lower taxes make the pie bigger so everybody everywhere gets a bigger piece?

                    When did you become a convert to Reaganomics?



                    1. Oh, for heavens' sake, V., its a song lyric…Ask Alan Jackson why he chose those words you want to parse…

                      I don't think the Koch brothers and Donald Trump need to have their "load" lightened…even though they are "loaded". Funny how a word can mean two different things…huh?

                    2. Gotta admit my reading runs more to Thorstein Veblen than Alan Jackson.  So, apparently does yours.  Veblen, far better than Marx, grasped where the 20th Century emphasis on growth for growth's sake was taking us.  He also understood why no country has ever had a revolution where the worker's parking lot was jammed with eight-year-old SUVs.

                  2. "conspicuous consumption……."  C'mon Duke, that is really old news. I read several books in high school by the late author Vance Packard. Maybe visit your local library for "The Hidden Persuaders" (1957); "The Status Seekers" (1959); and "The Waste Makers" (1960). You might also read "The Millionaire Next Door," a well written tome that opines that the large majority of wealthy people are not into conspicuous consumption. They in fact are generally small business owners who live fairly frugal lifestyles. 

                    1. Well, somebody is buying all those Porsches, not to mention the occasional Maserati.  And don't forget the private jet, usually billed to the  shareholders.  Finally, the Vail/Aspen McMansion market is always booming.   And did I mention some rich idiot just spent $15 million for a Diego Rivera painting!  Somebody doesn't understand Irony!

                      I think most of that conspicuous consumption comes from thieves,,,err, hedge fund managers who produce absolutely nothing for society and their spoiled rotten kids, with Donald  trump a perfect example.   Your small business owners usually work damn hard providing real services and know the value of their money.  They have my respect.   The hedge fund clowns, not so much.

        2. Is you "the People" Pseudo? Or are you just another of those no compromise NaderNuts who gave us George W. Bush?  How did that exercise in political purity work out?

          1. I was a Democrat at the time and voted for Gore.

            It was my party's fault, though, for not providing a compelling enough vision for the future of the country to attract those folks who voted for Nader instead.  We weren't entitled to their votes, and we failed to earn them.

            Also, go fuck yourself, you arrogant, abusive prick.

              1. Do you dig her up each time you feel the urge, or are you storing her in a freezer?  Since she died relatively recently, I'm assuming most of the parts are intact, so have at, just make sure to leave a tip on the gravestone for the extra work you're making for the cemetery staff.

                    1. That I truly believe you think that is what's had me smiling for the last hour.

                    2. Good to know, Sedafed.  I thought you were smiling because I reminded you that your mother died.  My bad!

                    3. No, I actually cried a bit after reading that, but it was lunch time, and I walked it off.  She died just over a year ago– two days after her 67th birthday.  I still miss her a great deal, and thinking about her death still comes with great pain.  That's OK, though, it reminds me how much she meant to me.

      2. The times may be changin but the change has been mostly in the utter collapse of the Colorado GOP Senate campaign.  I'm not losing a lot of sleep over Michael's re-election chances.

        1. Because of that line, I know which video you're commenting about; however, JD's post doesn't contain a link. Pols, is there a problem?

          Here's the video, again:


  2. Pseudo: 

    An honest response warrants a truce in the flame wars.  For good or bad, I can tell you it doesn't get much better with time.  I'm, coming up on 22 years since my dad died and I still miss him daily.   But you're right that the pain also underscores how much they meant to you.  A poor bargain, perhaps, but the only one we are offered.

    pax vobiscum

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