4th of July Weekend Open Thread


65 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:


    “There’s no room for racism, intended or unintended, in society,” Right!! We are talking about the GOP: Party of Hate®.

    • mamajama55 says:

      Elie Wiesel changed so many people's thinking about suffering and resilience. His books should continue to be required reading from middle school through college.


  2. DaftPunk says:

    More evidence that bedisdes being racist, the death penalty is arbitrary and capricious and rife with misconduct:

    Last year, a journalist asked Dale Cox, then the District Attorney of Caddo Parish, Louisiana, about the wisdom of the death penalty in light of the recent exoneration of Glenn Ford, a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime that he did not commit.Cox told the reporter: “I think we need to kill more people. Revenge,” he said, “brings to us a visceral satisfaction.” Between 2010 and 2015, Cox alone secured one-third of Louisiana’s death sentences. 

    Cox’s disproportionate use of the death penalty illustrates a point that Justice Stephen Breyer recently made. “It is now unusual to find capital punishment in the United States,” Breyer wrote, because “capital prosecutions are being pursued in only a few isolated counties.” There are more than 3,100 counties, 2,400 head prosecutors, and thousands of line prosecutors in America—yet only a tiny handful of prosecutors are responsible for a vastly disproportionate number of death sentences. The question that this disparity prompts is: Why?

    This report analyzes the records of five of America’s deadliest head prosecutors. Three of them personally obtained over 35 death sentences each: Joe Freeman Britt in North Carolina, Bob Macy in Oklahoma, and Donnie Myers in South Carolina. These men shared an obsession with winning death sentences at almost any cost.

    For example, Joe Freeman Britt, who committed misconduct in more than 36% of his death penalty prosecutions, said: “Within the breast of each of us burns a flame that constantly whispers in our ear ‘preserve life, preserve life, preserve life at any cost.’ It is the prosecutor’s job to extinguish that flame.” The remaining two prosecutors, Lynne Abraham (Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania) and Johnny Holmes (Harris County, Texas), did not personally prosecute as many death penalty cases as the three men above, but nonetheless oversaw the imposition of death sentences against a staggering 108 and 201 people, respectively, during their terms.

    Of these five prosecutors, only one—Donnie Myers—remains in office, and he plans to retire at the end of the year. One of the most remarkable findings from our research is the fact that once these prosecutors and their protégés left their positions, death sentences dramatically declined in these jurisdictions–a pattern that has only become clear in the years since their departures.

    We also highlight five additional prosecutors who came very close to becoming members of this notorious group. These runners-up have egregious records in their own states, and like the prosecutors above, the striking drop in new death sentences that has occurred in their respective jurisdictions since their departures illustrates their outsized impact on the death penalty. 

  3. waagosh says:

    July 4, of course, is Independence Day, a federal holiday celebrated to commemorate the adoption in 1776 of the Declaration of Independence, which split the 13 American colonies from England.

    But John Adams, who had a lot to do with the American colonies’ break from Great Britain, didn’t think the day to commemorate was July 4. Adams, a leader of the American Revolution who became the first vice president and the second president of the United States, thought July 2 was the date that would be celebrated “as the great anniversary festival.”


    So Johnny had a little problem getting the future to agree with him.  So. I celebrate both dates.  A salute of rye whiskey to John, our first Veep.

  4. mamajama55 says:

    I was glad to see that public pressure and media attention forced DHS to find some other way to pay for storing the pitiful possessions of the homeless, other than raiding the fund which was supposed to help homeless become self-sufficient.

    You know, the Homeless Donation Fund which Denver so generously puts on parking meters? $76,000 of it paid for bulldozing the camps, bundling their stuff, and moving them on.


  5. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    I just read an amazing interview on Yahoo News with Olivia DeHaviland on the occasion of her 100th birthday. I had no idea that one of the major stars of Gone With The Wind was still living. 

    • notaskinnycook says:

      I saw that yesterday, C.H.B. I think she may be one of those people who had dying on her schedule and just missed the appointment. She could go on for years. Another of the world's oldest people just went at 116.

      BTW, I see you made it back from your daredevil exploits. Have fun?

  6. BlueCat says:

    I think When Mother Jones (David Corn) thinks Bernie is being kind of a pain in the ass, he's probably being kind of a pain in the ass.



  7. Zappatero says:

    The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal should be rejected now and by everyone. It's quite sad that Obama placed such hope that this deal would enhance his legacy……when he could've done many more things for America's citizens, rather than its corporations, during his time in office. 

    NAFTA oozes the poison of Profits over People:

    Dave Johnson points to how corporate barons have grown strong enough and bold enough to challenge great nations. And not with conventional weapons, but with legal ones:

    A Canadian corporation is suing the us because we wouldn’t let them build a pipeline across our country (seizing people’s property along the way) so they could sell oil to China.

    They can do this because we signed a trade agreement that places corporate rights above our democracy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would increase by an order of magnitude the companies that can sue us for hurting their profits by protecting the environment, consumers, public health and small businesses.

    TransCanada Corporation is suing the U.S. government (us) for $15 billion in damages under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules. The company wanted to build the Keystone pipeline all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico so they could ship oil to China. They also wanted to use “eminent domain” to seize land from ranchers, farmers and other property owners along the way to enable this.

    Why can they do this? In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed NAFTA and on January 1, 1994, the United States officially became a party to the agreement. Chapter 11 of the agreement “protects investors” by allowing them to sue governments that pass regulations or laws that hurt their profits. 

    Memo to Mikey:

    At the American Prospect, Harold Meyerson has a thoughtful piece on how Democrats address the politics of downward mobility. It has taken time for the long-term effects of the 2008 crash to sink in. One pollster tells candidates to avoid using the term "middle class." Too many Americans have fallen out of it:

    Last year, a Pew Research Center survey confirmed those Americans’ assessment. The share of income going to middle-class Americans declined from 62 percent in 1970 to 43 percent in 2014, while the share going to upper-income households rose from 29 percent to 49 percent.

    In response, Meyerson asks, "Will the Democrats, as they did between 1928 and 1936, and again in 1964 and 1965, redefine their fundamental mission?" Will they, as Franklin Roosevelt did? Just as the Great Depression shaped the perspective of the generation that experienced it, so too has the Great Recession reframed the thinking of Americans 29 and younger. Over 70 percent of those voters supported Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries, while over 70 percent of those over 65 went for Hillary Clinton. The capitalism that allowed post-war Boomers a comfortable life in the suburbs has failed Millennials still living with their parents and saddled them with mountains of school loan debt.

    Having to show profits and growth every quarter has induced a psychosis in America's business and financial sectors that not surprisingly has trickled down into most every aspect of our lives. I supported Bernie because he understands all of this. Not so sure about Bennet and Clinton.

    Roosevelt on the Economic Royalists who now rule America:

    For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital—all undreamed of by the fathers—the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Yes indeed. Reject the TPP and cede economic hegemony in the western Pacific to China. I often wonder why those who reject international trade agreements have the least knowledge of basic economics? 

      • Zappatero says:

        China is already "eating our lunch". NAFTA was a key reason, TPP is sure to do more damage. Chinese leaders (you might recall they are "Commies") are surely laughing at the Dumb Americans who ship their plants en total to China where their cheap/prison labor can undermine and destabilize what was once the world's greatest middle class – a key goal of Republican economics. 

        (I've had the great pleasure of training my replacements at 2 Fortune 500 companies who were achieving what for America by outsourcing their labor my job?)

        Do Govs. Jindal and Brownback have a satisfactory knowledge of economics?

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          The thread is not about Governor Brownback and former Governor Jindal.

          NAFTA is for trade among US, Canada, Mexico. China was not a party. Maybe you worked for the wrong companies. People that I know in the middle class are doing fine. Don't believe everything you might hear on Daily Kos or from Bernie. 

          • BlueCat says:

            "People you know" is hardly a scientific sampling. For the record the middle class has stagnated or lost ground as a whole while the top 1% and especially the top .01% has made continuous substantial to enormous (depending on whether you're merely top 1 or top .01) gains and the wealth gap continues to grow.

            I agree it's not all the fault of NAFTA. It's the fault of conservative voodoo economic theory.

            • Voyageur says:

              Don't forget the destruction of trade unions and the erosion of the minimum wage.  I don't think any of the blame falls on NAFTA and I totally scorn the idea that protectionism "protects" anybody except narrow special interests.   And as CHB noted, China, Zappy's chief target, isn't in nafta.   that's like blaming the Jews for the deplorable state of British cooking.

    • Voyageur says:

      Absolutely.  Throw out all those mexicans.  Build a wall.  Re-enact Smoot Hawley.  Isolationism will make America great again.  Zappatero is auditioning for Trump's VP spot.  


      • Zappatero says:

        somehow you're always able to misread my words and divine my intentions. Yet you are wrong once again.

        • Voyageur says:

          Must stop trade.   Must stop trade!  MUST STOP TRADE!  Then get rid of furriners. Build wall, stop trade, back to 1930 when all was well in the world, cuz protectionism is such a cool thing.

          • BlueCat says:

            You seem to see  way too much in black and white. There's a lot of distance between… TPP as written needs some adjustment in order to work for the 90% and…. MUST STOP TRADE, BUILD WALL.

            Kind of like your insistence that anyone who doesn't share your view that HRC is perfection incarnate is an enemy of feminism.

            • Voyageur says:

              If you really think Zappy wants only some mild adjustments on trade, you.have smoked way way too much of a certain Colorado product.  He is a died in the wool zealot.   As to Hillary, you're the one who just fiercely rejected Trumo's latest attack on her because, well, there was this starsmiley



              • BlueCat says:

                Nothing to do with HRC. The argument was whether or not it was an anti-Semitic meme regardless of Trump's intention or who it was aimed at. It was. The white supremacists who created, posted and shared it were not thinking Gun Smoke. 

                On TPP I said plenty of distance, which would range from tiny minor adjustment steps to more extensive ones. I too doubt Zap is for the former. 

                But Zap is a little like you. You both over do the bombast a little (I'm being diplomatic in my use of "a little") for effect. I don't think he's quite as "extreme" as you think he is. And I'm pretty sure that by now you're well aware that you're Gun Smoke argument is all wet. You probably even know that HRC isn't really a flawless goddess who can do no wrong.

                Don't worry. I don't expect you to walk back anything. 

                Happy  4th.heart

                • Voyageur says:

                  I don't think I'm walking back.   You did jump the gun, decrying anti-semitism on little evidence.   Then, the evidence came in and it's pretty obvious the alt-right sites had that in mind.   At the same time, Ari was right that this was more stumblebum behavior from Trump rather than deliberately malicious — a theory even chickenheed embraced.   But after the fix article I'm not quite so sure.   This is apparently the fifth time Team Trump has fallen into this trap.   Is some underling that dumb to keep going back, some group of underlings — or is it Trump himself, surfing for stuff to use and flipping it on with no thought?   Frankly, while the stupidity theory usually works best, I now doubt that the stupidity in question is found in the proverbial underling or whether it originates in what is at least the ambivalent mind of Donald Trump himself. .

                  But yes — you may have fired from the hip but you hit the target.   I give you credit for repelling an attack on Hillary as corrupt by shooting the messenger — who had  it coming.   

                  Good to see you girls stick together.

                  • BlueCat says:

                    Oh puhlease! Jumping the gun? Shooting from the hip? The reason I and pretty much everybody but you, with the possible exception of Trump, came quickly to the conclusion that this was an anti-Semitic image is because it's such a classic stock in trade example… an accusation of corruption, piles of money and a Jewish star. Common as dirt and hundreds of years old. No shooting or jumping required. 

                    As for the sheriff's star, leaving aside all the sources that say a sheriff's star has little globes on the six points, how would the use of a sheriff's star in this image even have made sense? 

                    We know what the Jewish star in conjunction with a pile of money is meant to convey What did you suppose your heavens to Betsy have you never seen Gun Smoke sheriff's star was supposed to convey here? That HRC is as corrupt as …… a sheriff? Just a random wild hair idea to decorate the image with a sheriff's star? What did you think it meant? Nothing?

                    What the immediate recognition of this meme by all sorts of individuals and groups far and wide, quickly verified as exactly what we all took it for, should tell you is that we weren't the ones jumping any guns on "little evidence"  or shooting from the hip and just accidentally hitting something. 

                    As I said, I don't expect you to admit that you were the one doing the silly jumping and wild shooting here, not the rest of the world. However your insistence that this age old immediately recognizable use of anti-Semitic symbolism was nothing of the kind and had something to do with sheriffs (seriously?) really is simply ludicrous.


                    • Voyageur says:

                      The six point star is standard on microsoft Shapes imaging, along with a lot of other stuff.  You see it all the time in newspaper ads to illustrate deals I.e. bud lite $2.95 or bacon $3.89.  It's  called a sheriffs star  to distinguish it from the 5 point variety but obviously in displays rarely  has anything to do with sheriffs.  But it also rarely has anything to do with jews   you can put more print in a 6 pt than a 5 point because there is more solid body mass.  Assuming you have microsoft office, check out your drawing tools and I am sure you will find both types of stars along with lots of other shapes. 

                      In other words, the term sheriffs star is in common use.  Google it.  You would rather cut off your arm than admit you were wrong, but I guarantee you this standard display item was not put in computer graphic programs to signify jews, though it can do that.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      You are delusional, V. This wasn't a mattress ad. This was a classic juxtaposition, one more time, of the Jewish Star in conjunction with an accusation and a pile of money.  That was the context, not a Bud Lite ad.

                      That's why it was instantly recognized for exactly what it is by, once again, pretty much everybody but you and possibly Trump and why it, not at all unexpectedly, turned out to be exactly what, one more time, pretty much everybody but you and possibly Trump knew it was.

                      So just what the hell was I and pretty much everybody else but you and possibly Trump wrong about?

                      How much more proof do you need that you are the one who was wrong here? The fact that it was in fact a white supremacist meme as we all said it was isn't enough? Everybody but you is still crazy?

                      Never mind. I know the answer to that and my arms are perfectly safe.



                  • BlueCat says:

                    Had to use my reply to respond to your last truly absurd communication. You know…the one about how I should admit I was wrong when pretty much the whole world besides you and Team Trump thought the same thing and were proved right? Real Through the Looking Glass stuff, that one, even for someone as stubborn as you.

  8. Diogenesdemar says:

    An Independence Day question: blow up or build (. . . not a damn border wall, however . . . )?


  9. James Dodd says:

    Hi, everybody! Miss me? I thought I might dish up a little cognitive dissonance this Independence Day weekend.

  10. mamajama55 says:

    So what's everyone doing to celebrate Independence Day?

    I took my daughter to the rodeo last night. It turns out that "mutton bustin'" is kind of entertaining: tiny tykes in helmets clinging to bewildered sheep until they fall off, to the oohs and ahs of the crowd. One lasted 17 seconds. Also bronco and bull -riding, barrel racing, and calf and steer roping. And today, there's a parade. I'm just hoping for no confederate flags in it.


    • notaskinnycook says:

      Chores during the day. We'll drop by my brother's later for my mom's birthday (it was yesterday), then off to our "secret" fireworks spot. Okay, I can tell you folks. The parking lot of the Denny's above Mile-Hi Stadium is one of the best spots in the city. It's high up enough to see the displays from Aurora to Golden and from Fiddler's Green to Westminster. Then we'll have dessert there (admission fee). 

    • BlueCat says:

      Going, as usual for years now, to the annual block party at the coolest, most culturally diverse cul de sac in the south 'burbs. Luckily we have close friends there because it's way more fun than anything on our block ever is. Live Blues. Lots of great food from various ethnic cuisines, of course including American BBQ. Great fireworks view from neighborhood decks. Lots of kids and dogs. Classic.

      Happy 4th, everyone. May you all have as much fun at yours as we will at ours!

    • Voyageur says:

      I'm mostly hanging out with my wife and dog, both of whom need extra comfort after losing our other dog three weeks ago.

    • BlueCat says:

      Couldn't fill a house here and and couldn't even scare up much of a protest/counter protest. Colorado may be the state least enamored with Trump. Happy 4th!

    • mamajama55 says:

      Here's half of the Trump media buy in Morgan County. It's a gigantic billboard on private land, on I76 near Roggen, Colorado.

      The other half of the Trump media buy in Morgan County is another billboard facing east.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        You beat me to it, Mama.  Does one of Cliven Bundy's kin own that piece of scrap land? 

        • mamajama55 says:

          I checked Weld County online mapping first of all.

          Roggen is actually in Weld County, it turns out. The property in question is just north of I76 and east of County Road 73. The town of Roggen, which consists of a grain elevator, a post office, and a phone co-op, is just south of I76.

          I think that particular parcel is owned by the Cervi Enterprises Group, whose CEO, Mike Cervi, a well-known rodeo roper, recently passed away. Mike Cervi was the son of Gene Cervi, who wrote the famous Rocky Mountain Cervi's Journal (which later resurfaced as the Denver Business Journal).

          Mike Cervi was also sent to prison in 2005 for poisoning the wastewater from oil and gas extraction. There's that overreaching federal regulation for you – hence probably the reason for Cervi Enterprises, the family business, to support Donald Trump. So, probably at least a brother in spirit to Mr. Bundy.

          William B Cervi, probably a relation, is a landowner in Roggen. All are Republican donors.

          Cheeze N Rice…..the things you find out when your friends assign you random research tasks. wink


  11. Zappatero says:

    Idiot Democrats learn nothing after 8 years of extreme Republican Obstructionism

    Should she win the presidency, Hillary Clinton would quickly try to find common ground with Republicans on an immigration overhaul and infrastructure spending, risking the wrath of liberals who would like nothing more than to twist the knife in a wounded opposition party.

    … Not one to do business over golf or basketball, she would bring back the intimate style of former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson, negotiating over adult beverages….

    Deeply confident that she would perform better as the president than as a political candidate, Mrs. Clinton wants to pursue a whole new approach at the White House to try to break through years of partisan gridlock, according to a dozen campaign advisers and allies who described her goals and outlook.

    With the 25 years of built in hate for Hillary, this has about 0% chance of happening. Obama was fresh, and they stuck it to him just the same. 

    Responsible governing is not something national Republicans do. And it's not "twisting the knife" if responsible policies that should've been passed 8 years ago are finally passed in the near future — with or without the phony patina of bipartisanship. 

  12. mamajama55 says:

    Hillary Clinton must adopt a Sanders style agenda, or risk Trump outflanking her.

    A very cool-headed and thoughtful analysis by Egberto Willies on Kos.  He got hundreds of trashing comments for it.

    Here's the video on his own vlog, Politics Done Right discusses "challenging Hillary Clinton without being misogynistic"


    • Voyageur says:

      I eagerly await advice from the people who oppose everything Hillary stands for as they now attempt to claim the fruits of her victory.  Wake me when it's over.

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