Wednesday Open Thread

“I was an accomplice in my own frustration.”

–Peter Shaffer

69 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    Corporate Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz needs to be fired from the DNC:

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the six-term congresswoman from South Florida and chair of the Democratic National Committee, has been embroiled in numerous significant controversies lately. As the Washington Post put it just today: “DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s list of enemies just keeps growing.”

    She is widely perceived to have breached her duty of neutrality as DNC chair by taking multiple steps to advance the Clinton campaign, including severely limiting the number of Democratic debates and scheduling them so as to ensure low viewership (she was co-chair of Clinton’s 2008 campaign). Even her own DNC vice chairs have publicly excoriated her after she punished them for dissenting from her Hillary-protecting debate limitations. She recently told Ana Marie Cox in New York Times interview that she favors ongoing criminalization of marijuana (as she receives large financial support from the alcohol industry). She denied opposing medical marijuana even though she was one of a handful of Democratic legislators to vote against a bill to allow states to legalize it, and in her interview with Cox, she boasted that her “criminal-justice record is perhaps not as progressive as some of my fellow progressives.” She also excoriated “young women” — who largely back Bernie Sanders rather than Clinton — for “complacency” over reproductive rights.

    Aside from that, Karl Rove's SuperPac has endorsed her in her Florida race where she supports those Pay Day Lenders everyone loves: 

    American Crossroads explained, rather cynically, why they'd rather see Debbie Wasserman Schultz keep her seat than watch Tim Canova win it. Aside from the reasons in their press statement endorsing her, there's the obvious point that with no chance of a Republican winning in the deep blue district, Rove wants a conservative like Wasserman Schultz who will vote with the GOP against working families.

    Democratic Senators, who have to work with Bernie, are now discussing the need to dump Debbie:

    Democrats backing likely presidential nominee Hillary Clinton worry Wasserman Schultz has become too divisive a figure to unify the party in 2016, which they say is crucial to defeating presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in November.

    “There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on,” said one pro-Clinton Democratic senator.

    “I don’t see how she can continue to the election. How can she open the convention? Sanders supporters would go nuts,” said the lawmaker, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

    Another Democratic senator who supports Clinton said Wasserman Schultz will hurt her chances of rallying the liberal base in the fall.

    “We need to get this figured out and come together,” said the lawmaker. “Hillary’s got the nomination. She needs Bernie’s energy. It’s time for her to accommodate. It’s time to pick hard-nosed people to cut through things and figure out a deal.

    The senators don't quite have the nerve to speak for attribution, and I'm confident CO's senior senator doesn't have the other requisite qualities to make such a key political decision, but this is clearly what has to happen. And it needs to happen soon as every political interest group on the right moves to abandon all principle and rally around Herr Trumpf. 

    Triangulation (towards right-wing solutions) worked for Democrats once. Its day has come and gone, its adherents holding on only by momentum and the insatiable need for campaign cash. Voters are rejecting all of it, and only those Democrats who can see a future that looks more like our proud Democratic past should be wielding the levers of power in the Democratic Party.

    • Voyageur says:

      Anybody want to put a bet on the primary?  Twenty bucks says DWS beats her lefty gadfly. I agree, however, that she should resign after the convention and let a more widely supported chairman lead the drive for party unity and victory. Any nominations?

      • Duke Cox says:

        Kinky Freidman..first choice…Alan Grayson…second choice

      • Tough call. The role of DNC Chair is a split one:

        1) Lead the DNC in setting the policy tone of the party both in media and in intra-party communications.
        2) Lead the party's fundraising efforts.

        If Sanders had broadened his message somewhat, I'd say he'd be perfect for the job. He has done an amazing job engaging the average person to donate to his campaign and sparking the base. But unless he's willing to moderate a bit and voice a broader series of concerns, he's not what the party needs as a public voice. (Sorry all you – and I – Sanders supporters. We've heard the Sanders message, and it is unfortunately getting too repetitive to receive broader public acceptance. The campaign schedule, perhaps, has killed its freshness…)

  2. mamajama55 says:

    Triangulation (towards right-wing solutions) worked for Democrats once. Its day has come and gone, its adherents holding on only by momentum and the insatiable need for campaign cash. Voters are rejecting all of it, and only those Democrats who can see a future that looks more like our proud Democratic past should be wielding the levers of power in the Democratic Party.


    • BlueCat says:

      Agree that triangulation is no longer operational and that DWS needs to be  fired yesterday. Yesteryear. Should never have been appointed.

      • Zappatero says:

        +++Should never have been appointed.

        • Voyageur says:

          That's water over the dam,Zappy.   Any ideas for a replacement acceptable to both wings of the party?

          • mamajama55 says:

            Tulsi Gabbard. War hero, Sanders supporter, proud progressive, pro-cannabis, and she was Vice Chair of the DNC before she stepped down because of DWS' shenanigans.

          • BlueCat says:

            I'm guessing there isn't a wing that appreciates DWS all that much at this juncture.

            • Duke Cox says:

              She lost me long ago when I watched her have a "Coffman" moment and kept repeating an obvious untruth, never answering the question put to her. Seems like a generally humorless, dislikable person…on the other hand, I only know her TV persona, which likely differs from her private one.

              • BlueCat says:

                I care about what she does, not her charm level. She might be a terrific friend or neighbor. She might be super kind to old ladies and puppies and kittens. I think she needs to go because what she does in her official role is not conducive to keeping the party healthy, inclusive, and responsive to ordinary Dems. We need to go into into this election as united as possible and that's pretty clearly not her thing.

                And BTW, who else thinks Hick is the last person HRC needs as VP if there is going to be any kind of accommodation with the liberal Warren/Sanders wing? Toasting with fracking fluid is the last thing that's going to bring this party together.  

                • I'll raise my hand on that last. Hickenlooper won't drag anyone over the line and into the booths nationally; he's too soft to play the VP attack dog role IMHO; and he's absolutely the wrong message for motivating a broad swath of the Democratic Party.

                  • Voyageur says:

                    Hick is definitely too nice for vp.  I want somebody who makes Trump yell and cry 24/7. Elizabeth Warren, come on down.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      I fear you'll be disapointed, V.  Even if taking back the Senate wasn't a top priority I don't think Warren is interested.

                    • Voyageur says:


                      Nobody is interested in VP until it is offered, at which point no one turns it down.  Senate is a Yuge priority for me but Frank Underwood remembered Mass law calls for a special election within 145 days, so we'd only have to put uo with Sen. Scott Brown for about 5 months.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      OK…. let me be more clear. I think Warren really doesn't want  to be HRC's VP and that HRC really doesn't want her. I don't think it goes beyond HRC going so far as having Warren talked about as being on the list and I think that suits them both just fine.

                  • Duke Cox says:

                    In his interview on the CBS Morning News, Governor Hickenlooper spoke eloquently about his childhood and the bullying he faced growing up. I was, like him, small and skinny…I can relate. He seems a gentle soul, and as I think back, I don't remember when I have seen a demonstrably angry John Hickenlooper. Of course, force and power are two different things.

                    He also mentioned his self-identification as a moderate and his commitment to centrism. In a time when so many are grouped at the ends of the political spectrum, those who choose to be in the middle are likely to find themselves sitting on a fence…they used to be called "Mugwumps"…with their "mug" on one side of the fence, their "wump" on the other.

                    I believe John Hickenlooper to be a decent and well-intentioned individual. On the other hand, I will remain engaged in criticizing and challenging Governor Frackenlooper, as long as it takes to break the stranglehold on the state government the oil and gas industry has held for over a century.

                    I completely agree with you about his potential on the national stage…this is no time for a reluctant warrior.

      • debbielynnepaint says:

        I agree with BlueCat on so many issues including DWS.  This needs to be a full-time job and not a part-time job.  The last good chairman for the Democrats was Howard Dean but for some reason they got rid of him.

  3. James Dodd says:


    State Department Inspector General Finds Hillary Clinton Violated Recordkeeping Rules – Mother Jones  The IG also says Clinton and her top aides did not cooperate with its investigation.

    • James Dodd says:

      Something didn’t work.

    • James Dodd says:



      • mamajama55 says:

        But does her misconduct or "bending the rules" rise to the level of actual criminal behavior? I think not. As much as Trump and Co like to gloat about a possible "indictment" of HRC, I think it's not forthcoming, and average voters could care less about rule-bending, no matter how much the "Crooked Hillary" memes bounce around the blogosphere.

        • Voyageur says:

          That's a gracious, but I believe, an accurate assessment, MJ.  Short of an indictment, this much discussed issue will change no minds about a woman whose friends and enemies are mostly set in stone.  It does, however, seem to be weakening James' support for the secretarysmiley

          • mamajama55 says:

            Not so much gracious as respecting  verifiable facts. My reading of the information available tells me that HRC may have exercised poor judgement, may not respect transparency any more than her boss BHO does, but most likely cannot be indicted for mishandling of classified information.

            • James Dodd says:

              but most likely cannot be indicted for mishandling of classified information

              That's really low bar of acceptable behavior, MJ. Have you read the report? I'm on page 36 and it is pretty damning. 

              • mamajama55 says:

                I haven't read the entire report, JD. What I have read confirms my initial impressions that HRC showed poor judgement. She may have inadvertently compromised diplomatic security by refusing to follow rules and guidelines. But

                I don't really get the whole "using the Blackberry vs. using a secure Smartphone" thing on p. 36, which you cited.  If I understand it, HRC and her staff kept their Blackberries to communicate within their Department, and refused to use Smartphones. Again, not really a criminal offense, especially since per the WaPO reporting, there is no evidence that any foreign bad actors got hold of classified information.

                I don't think it's great that she refused to follow the rules – as you know if you read my comments, I'm not an HRC supporter.   But poor judgement and breaking rules and guidelines are not crimes, no matter how we might wish for a deux ex machina to swoop down, remove HRC, and leave the field clear for our guy Bernie. It ain't happening.

              • Voyageur says:

                James, you could read the Manhattan phone book and find it very damning for Hillary Clinton.

        • James Dodd says:

          Wait a minute. "I'm not a criminal." Is that the new standard for our leaders? Wowzer!

          • BlueCat says:

            Seems to me we've been hearing for a long time that what she did was against protocol and established rules. My feeling is that this is another one of those things that people already feel one way or the other about and won't change people's minds.  

            If she doesn't get indicted, which is the most likely outcome, those who weren't going to vote for her anyway still won't and those who plan to still will. 

            I think she coud do herself a lot of good by dropping her usual super arrogant overly lawyerly routine and admitting that it was a mistake in judgement, that she, like everyone else, is not perfect and has made a few mistakes like anyone running for President has, maybe that she relied too much on tech advisers and thought this would be sufficiently secure…. whatever.

            It should be a real mea culpa, including that she's learned from this experience, that she's still confident no damage was done to national security but would follow every rule, every protocol, now and in the future to be absolutely sure that she is fulfilling the trust she is asking the American people to place in her. Yadayadya.  

            If she doesn't she'll be asked about it in every debate anyway and if she gives her usual hair splitting answers that won't be good for her. At all. If she has already come up with a good answer it will easily roll off her tongue in every debate.

            Of course if she is indicted or her poll numbers tank and stay tanked permanently we've still got Bernie. He'll need to start working on explaining his honeymoon in the USSR to a general non-Bernie adoring audience, etc. because he'll be asked about his communist sympathies in every debate.  

            Somehow I think the HRC being the candidate and Bernie leading his movement/coalition from the Senate is still the best option.

            • I'll second this.

              I do think Bernie has already covered the USSR "honeymoon" reasonably well, if not to the broader audience that he'll be facing once the Limbaughs and the Drudges start promoting the "Communist Honeymoon" falsehoods.

              • Voyageur says:

                Well, there is also the fact that he was a Socialist Workers Party elector on the Vermont ballot in 1980.  The video of him making nice to Castro that Univision hit him with in the Florida debate, 

                and much more to come.   Against any kind of credible Republican, Bernie would be dog meat.  Against Trump, he'd have a fighting chance and, certainly, my vote.  But Bernie is an opp researchers dream candidate

            • Diogenesdemar says:

              Depends …

              … on what your definition of "is" is?

              Ah, those good old days have returned — Clinton fatigue all around …

      • And yet, the report covers 5 previous Secretaries of State, says they all violated the rules to some extent or another, and particularly goes after Colin Powell for his violation of the rules – which were as extensive (or more) than Clinton's.

  4. Voyageur says:

    Hillary Beats Bernie Yet Again.

    Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders 54-46 in Tuesday's Washington state's primary.  The vote was purely advisory since Sanders earlier scored his biggest win in terms of delegates in that state's caucus, which he won 73-27.  But it again signaled Clinton's strength with mainstream Democrats even in states where Sanders' outnumbered but highly energized followers dominated the caucus process.  That, in turn strengthens her hold on "super delegates" who have overwhelmingly backed her over Sanders.

    The Washington triumph replicates Clinton earlier win in Nebraska's advisory primary, which she led 59-41.  Sanders had earlier won the majority of Nebraska's delegates in a caucus he won by a 57-43 margin.

    While neither Washington nor Nebraska's primaries added to Clinton's delegate totals, she already has an insurmountable lead over Sanders in that all-important category.  MSNBC says Clinton is just 84 delegates short of the 2,483 needed to clinch the nomination.   She should get a major slice of that in Puerto's Rico's June 5 caucus, with 60 delegates at stake.  Two days later, she is likely to win both California, with 475 delegates at stake, and NewJersey, with150.  Those states, along with smaller ones voting on the final "Super Tuesday" award delegates proportionally, virtually guaranteeing Clinton her victory harvest.   Recent polls show her leading Sanders by double digits in both states. 

  5. Pseudonymous says:

    Hillary Clinton’s Energy Initiative Pressed Countries to Embrace Fracking, New Emails Reveal

    Far from challenging fossil fuel companies, the emails obtained by The Intercept show that State Department officials worked closely with private sector oil and gas companies, pressed other agencies within the Obama administration to commit federal government resources including technical assistance for locating shale reserves, and distributed agreements with partner nations pledging to help secure investments for new fracking projects.

    Thank you in advance, friends, for correcting the record below.

    • BlueCat says:

      No thanks required as the record needs no correcting.

    • Voyageur says:

      Why are you complaining about a "secret anti-fracking ad?"  First of all, you're anti-fracking so you should be happy that she is.   Secondly, there is no such thing as a "secret ad."  Why spend time and money preparing an ad then keep it "secret?"   Did you mean to call it a "secret pro fracking policy"?   As it stands this makes zero sense.

      • Pseudonymous says:

        I'm not complaining about the ad, it's the one referenced in the article I linked.  The title was laid on by whomever posted it. I would have preferred to post it from her own ad set on YouTube, but it’s not available there for some reason.

        Also, I shouldn't be happy, because she's not against fracking.  That's the whole point of the article attached– the dissonance between a message she played for people in a particular region that's concerned about fracking while seeking the nomination and her actual work as SoS and stated positions (see Politifact's Does Hillary Clinton support fracking?)


    • mamajama55 says:

      Psuedo (and are you Pcat or S-cat?),  I think you're pointing out Clinton's hypocrisy – HRC's  own political ad, the "secret anti-fracking ad" highlights where she did fight fracking as New York Senator, supporting NY resident's fracking ban.  However, the linked "Intercept" article charges that the newly revealed State Dept emails show collusion with energy companies to push international fracking projects.

      HRC the Presidential candidate is pushing natural gas as a "bridge fuel", because LNG burns cleaner than coal. So if you push NG as a bridge fuel, you can't be anti-fracking, right?  More knowledgeable Polsters, such as Duke, can expand on how this is a bad idea, but my sense of it is that people are better served by keeping a 30% or so niche for emergency natural gas use, but developing renewable sources for all other energy needs.

      • Pseudonymous says:

        Yep, I am.  I screwed up my account using the fancy generate-a-password button combined with a bad e-mail address.  I thought as long as I was making a new account, I'd have a new name, toosmiley

        You could, in theory, be in favor of natural gas and not fracking. Hydraulic fracturing is only one method of extraction. I don’t think that happens in the real world. The problem with the notion of natural gas as a “bridge fuel” is twofold. One, it’s a bridge we never stop building since there’s never a concrete destination or any real work toward one. Two, it’s not particularly clear that fracking for gas is less impactful than burning coal.

      • Duke Cox says:

        Your sense of things is completely right, mama, as usual. Fossil products are so valuable in so many ways, we are sacrificing the future generations of our species, indeed the future of our planet, by burning them up at a frantic pace for transportation fuel, heating and cooling spaces, and electricity generation (authors note: as an afterthought, I want to add, “fertilizing” our soil to the preceding list)… all of which we have ample technologies to provide. 

        In order to conquer space, where lies our future, we will need materials and fuels in abundance. To move our collective DNA off this planet in order to save it is the option we have if we haven't already burned and poisoned this "blue marble" beyond saving. The fossil fuel industry enabled mankind to build the modern world by fueling the Industrial Revolution. The Information age is upon us. It is time to move beyond an oil and coal driven economy. Fossil fuel dependent industries have an obligation to work with their governments to implement the necessary reforms and programs to make these fundamental changes. They owe it to all of us…including themselves and their own children.

        You know how much I admire and respect you, mama, so I hope you won't mind if I ask you to amend this phrase..

        LNG is cleaner than coal. 

        to read: LNG burns cleaner than coal. That would be closer to accurate, according to Cornell and Duke Universities, as I recall.

        • mamajama55 says:

          Done! Thanks, Duke. smiley

          And according to Pseudo's link, the methane emissions component of fracking is as damaging to the environment as coal burning. It's just invisible, for the most part. 

  6. debbielynnepaint says:

    I just saw that UAW (United Auto Workers) endorsed Hillary.

  7. Pseudonymous says:

    Grand jury indicts former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa

    A grand jury has indicted former El Paso County sheriff Terry Maketa on several felony charges, including extortion, official misconduct, witness tampering, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

    • mamajama55 says:

      Maketa really is quite a piece of work. Last I heard, he had gone up to Alaska to work with a relative. He'll have to be extradited back to Colorado to face charges.

      It will be interesting to see what the various El Paso County candidates do if Maketa starts making news again – Darryl Glenn was very cautious in endorsing Bill Elder (Maketa's replacement), and in distancing himself from the "shirtless Sheriff."

      HD 15 rep, and SD25 candidate Klingenschmitt, that paragon of preachiness, hasn't ever said anything about Terry Maketa. At all. Which is kind of weird if you think about it.

      Chaps is willing to fundraise based on hypothetical transgender bathroom demons and hypothetical Syrian refugee threats, but has NOTHING to say about the guy in his own county that has sexually harassed colleagues, is accused of kidnapping and interfering with a witness on a domestic violence case? Really?

    • Jorgensen says:

      Pseudonymous, Love the video – think you nailed a Maketa aura. But, then I used to frequently see a very tired  Maketa buying groceries at Safeway late at night, and as our carts passed, he'd always say hello and converse. Always nice – but definitely didn't come off as "I'm too sexy for Safeway" or shopping for my family… funny!

  8. Jorgensen says:

    Mamajama55, I saw Maketa last year doing work on his new home in Colorado Springs and one of his vehicles, a truck, had an Alaska license tag, which wasn't surprising as it was known that his family owns a company there. As for Glenn's comment, it was after the scandal came to light. Before that it seemed that Terry Maketa was the "golden boy" of El Paso County and beyond particularly after the highly publicized gun-control legislation battle at the Capitol in Denver. Then, Maketa was a hero… and that simply propelled his ego. This guy was beloved by El Paso County, a conservative bastion that votes against tax hikes and embraces term limits but sanctioned Maketa's budget increases and approved three four-year terms for him. It's a very sad but human story about how power corrupts. 

    • mamajama55 says:

      Jorgenson,  Former El Paso Sheriff Terry Maketa is undoubtedly a human being. But the latest indictments (not allegations or accusations) do not show merely a “sad but human story about how power corrupts”, in your words. I'm furious about the latest story of Maketa's "abuse of power" – he kidnapped and threatened a woman who had dared to accuse one of his deputies of beating her. 

      That's right – he used the power of his elected office to re-victimize at least one victim of domestic abuse. He and his buddies are indicted on kidnapping charges, for Gawdsake! And this is on top of all the hoochie sleeping around and favoritism, pay-for-play in the Sheriff's Department under Maketa.

      FYI, when the batterers are police officers, the victim is five times as likely to die. Obstacles to reporting and prosecution are staggering, even when you don't have complicity from the fricking head of the Sheriff's Department as in this case.

      So, no, Maketa gets no pass from me for being "human" or letting power go to his head. I may even write a diary on it, as I don't see the media coverage from a domestic-abuse by police spouse angle.

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