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July 06, 2016 06:23 AM UTC

Wednesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“He that struggles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.”

–Edmund Burke


35 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Thread

    1. As bad as it looks for Glenn and with the seat having moved from one of the most vulnerable to "Lean Dem" and now to "Likely Dem" it's nice to see that the DSCC isn't taking anything for granted.

      Colorado remains a competitive state, and there hasn't been any reliable polling here in over a year. The DSCC also reserved $5 million to help Bennet a few months ago, so Team Blue doesn't see this contest as safe. But the GOP establishment's reluctance to help Glenn is telling: It's all but unheard of for a Senate seat to change hands without major party involvement. As a result, Daily Kos Elections is changing our rating from Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic.

      1. At this point..the Democrats need to put everything they have behind Gail Schwartz and Morgan Carroll.

        But here is a tip, national Dems…give us the funding and staff and let us run our own campaigns, thank you. This is Colorado…not Virginia.

        1. It'd be a first, Duke. The national Dems have been throwing their weight around the 3rd CD for years with horrible results. The Denver dudes haven't done much better. They just don't get that the 3rd is winnable for the right kind of Dem, with money from national and state but campaign expertise from the 3rd. I hope Gail can keep them at bay.


  1. Forever War is a nice little policy that Republicans have supported for quite a while. When out of power, they can always call for more troops, more bombs, higher defense spending, and criticize those in power for beings incompetent wimps who hate Amurica (sic).

    But the Iraq War, even summarized from the Brits, was a special kind of disaster from which they will always be running. And we should make them run from it the rest of their lives lies.

    Here are the main points from Sir John Chilcot’s statement.

    Chilcot said the invasion was “not a last resort.”

    We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.

    He said the intelligence was presented with a certainty that was not justified.

    The judgments about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMDs – were presented with a certainty that was not justified.

    He said planning for post-invastion Iraq was “wholly inadequate”.

    Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate.

    He said the war was a failure.

    The government failed to achieve its stated objectives.

    He accused the UK of undermining the authority of the UN security council.

    Mr Blair and Mr Straw blamed France for the “impasse” in the UN and claimed that the UK government was acting on behalf of the international community “to uphold the authority of the security council”.

    In the absence of a majority in support of military action, we consider that the UK was, in fact, undermining the security council’s authority.

    He said the process of deciding the war was legal was unsatisfactory.

    The inquiry has not expressed a view on whether military action was legal. That could, of course, only be resolved by a properly constituted and internationally recognised court.

    We have, however, concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory.

    He said the joint intelligence committee should have told Blair to accept the limitations of the intelligence about Iraq’s WMD.

    The joint intelligence committee should have made clear to Mr Blair that the assessed intelligence had not established “beyond doubt” either that Iraq had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons or that efforts to develop nuclear weapons continued.

    He said Blair overlooked the threat the invasion would pose to the UK.

    In the House of Commons on 18 March 2003, Mr Blair stated that he judged the possibility of terrorist groups in possession of WMD was “a real and present danger to Britain and its national security” – and that the threat from Saddam Hussein’s arsenal could not be contained and posed a clear danger to British citizens.

    Mr Blair had been warned, however, that military action would increase the threat from al-Qaida to the UK and to UK interests. He had also been warned that an invasion might lead to Iraq’s weapons and capabilities being transferred into the hands of terrorists.

    He said Blair should have anticipated the post-invastion problems.

    Mr Blair told the inquiry that the difficulties encountered in Iraq after the invasion could not have been known in advance. We do not agree that hindsight is required. The risks of internal strife in Iraq, active Iranian pursuit of its interests, regional instability, and al-Qaida activity in Iraq, were each explicitly identified before the invasion.

    He said Blair overestimate his ability to influence America.

    Some are the management of relations with allies, especially the US. Mr Blair overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq. The UK’s relationship with the US has proved strong enough over time to bear the weight of honest disagreement. It does not require unconditional support where our interests or judgments differ.

    1. Have to love the British Parliament. Investigations that mean something, well-written conclusions that matter, likely action to follow.

      Thanks for the summary.

    2. Thanks for posting that, Zap. George Bush and his merry band of warlords may someday rival histories' greatest murderers for the sheer number of people who will have died, directly or otherwise, as a result of their lies and political machinations. I hope history never fades on their culpability.

  2. Yes, Sanders campaign did have a significant effect.  Which makes you wonder why he's chosen to pretty much disappear until the convention. Time to stop sulking. He should be out there taking credit for and supporting new improved HRC policy positions, like this one*, that he and his movement managed to bring about to demonstrate his movement's muscle. Regardless of whether he or HRC can get these things passed the point is that they are now the prospective candidate's policies and it's because of him and his supporters.

    So why is he foregoing bragging rights if he wants to maintain his movement's strength? Why does he seem to be focusing on licking his wounds and complaining about not getting everything he wants into the platform? Nobody gets everything. 

    Looks to me like grumpy Bernie is letting his movement down, letting the enthusiasm fade, when he could be focusing on their many significant accomplishments, celebrating how far they've come and, like Elizabeth Warren, marshalling support for a candidate who is listening to them.


  3. Apparently I'm not the only one who feels Bernie is squandering what his supporters won for him. And I can tell him one thing for sure. We aren't going to transform diddly by losing elections to Republicans.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders is still talking like a guy who's running for president. But frustrated House Democrats — who booed him at one point during a morning meeting — say it's time to stop.

    With the Democratic convention just weeks away, Sanders still hasn't endorsed one-time rival Hillary Clinton and dodged questions about when he would during a tense meeting Wednesday morning with House Democrats.

    Sanders also stunned some of the Democrats in attendance when he told them that winning elections wasn't the only thing they should focus on. While they wanted to hear about how to beat Donald Trump — and how Sanders might help them win the House back — he was talking about remaking the country.

    "The goal isn't to win elections, the goal is to transform America," Sanders said at one point, according to multiple lawmakers and aides in the room.

    Some Democrats booed Sanders for that line, which plays better on the campaign trail than in front of a roomful of elected officials.

    House Democrats overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton during the presidential primary fight, so it was not surprising that Sanders got a cool reception from them.

    But frustration with Sanders was also evident. Rank-and-file House Democrats want Sanders to officially drop out of the race and throw his support behind the presumptive nominee, and they can't understand why he hasn't so far.

    "It was frustrating because he's squandering the movement he built with a self-obsession that was totally on display," (my emphasis) said a senior Democrat, …

    Read more: 

    1. Bernie's going in with an agenda. He knows a thing or two about negotiating; otherwise, he wouldn't be the "amendment king", and have preserved $10B funding for community health centers in a hostile Republican congress. He won't win the nomination, as he's acknowledged publicly, and he will vote for Clinton, as he has  also said, but he's entirely within his rights, and is continuing as a smart negotiator to wait for the traditional nominating process to play out at the convention.

      Votes in California are still being counted, as the precincts which demanded provisional ballots are hand-counting those. Clinton's lead over Bernie in CA has narrowed from 13 to ~7 points over the last few weeks. It's unlikely that he'll actually win California, but his stated principle is that every vote should be counted; and they are.  Conceding early would, among other things, negate the political will of thousands of California voters.

      The agenda includes:

      *reversing the Democratic party's reliance on lobbyist and PAC money, limiting the influence of superdelegates.

      *encouraging down ballot progressives to run for local offices

      *having a platform that embraces meaningful climate change policy, as opposed to feel-good greenwashing "we want clean energy" faux policies.

      *encouraging open primaries and same-day registration in all 50 states.

      *Keeping the "Sanders revolution" alive as a movement to hold centrist Dems' feet to the fire.

      If Bernie supporters, including 30% of Sanders voters who are Democratic-leaning Independents, see movement from Hillary on the above agenda, I would expect to see the longed-for endorsement and Kumbayah moment at the DNC. Until then, expect Sanders to stay stubborn, and expect Dem politicians to keep on caling him pain in the ass, narcissistic, infantile, etc, etc. Name-calling will not move the stubborn Vermont Senator, although it may alienate some of his supporters from the Democratic party.  Only policy changes will move him. The sooner people realize that, the better.


      1. He's losing his influence. He's losing the attention and enthusiasm of his young troops. He's being a grumpy old pain in the ass. He's wasting news cycles. 

      2. The thing is, mama, he's not being seen doing much of those things you list lately. Whatever he's doing behind the scenes he's kind of fallen off the public radar.  Seeing interviews with many young Bernie supporters who came to the Clinton/Warren appearance in Ohio feeling very cool toward HRC and left all fired up for her by Warren  was a reminder of how  quickly the enthusiasm of the young can be ignited, how hot it can burn and how quickly it can burn out as their attention is grabbed by the next thing. If he's going to basically grump and grouse quietly until the convention he's going to lose what gives him power… the noisy high energy enthusiasm of his young troops. 

        1. There is actually quite a lot going on behind the scenes, BC. I'm on the Sanders text message list, and have gotten 2 alerts just in the last 2 days to call my congresscritters or DNC officials about various items on the Dem platform. It's all policy focused and wonky now.

          As such, it won't fit into an 8 second soundbite, or fit the lamestream talking points of "When will Bernie concede / endorse/ give up / hide under a rock /remove head from ass/ bla bla?"

          My millennial age nephews are still active on Sanders policies on anti-GMOs, living wage, etc. I assume they get the text messages, too.

          Sanders isn't holding huge rallies anymore, because what's the point? But there are going to be several rallies, marches, protests, and actions in Philly, most of which will be studiously ignored by the mainstream media.

          I wouldn't count Sanders out quite yet. wink

          1. Behind the scenes is not my point. As I've said he needs to be taking advantage of his new fame, name rec and following. He needs to keep the masses of his enthusiasts pumped up, not just a core of supporters behind the scenes. The main stream media can’t be blamed for ignoring him if he isn’t even trying to get out there and make some noise. They don’t ignore Warren.

            And telling the House that he doesn't much care about winning elections isn't the way he's going to keep his movement going.  He'd better care because his movement has no future with Republicans in power. It's going to evaporate if he doesn't stop the damn self righteous, holier than thou sulking.

            1. Guess getting criticized in lefty Mother Jones and getting booed in the House might have had a some effect. He has finally come out and praised HRC's plan for free in state tuition for those whose families make under 125K and intimated an endorsement will be coming soon. Good move, Bernie and about time. 

  4. Lest she be a prophet without honor in her own blog, let us salute the astute MJ.  She maintained all along that Hillary would not be indicted, simply because the e-mail follies did not rise to the level of  criminal conduct.  While she opposed Hillary firmly on many policy issues she, like Sir Bernie of the Mountain Green, never took cheap shots on the e-mail issue.   You Go, Girl!

    1. Happy to join in the salute but, honestly, hasn't that always been the majority view among Dems? And the media? And pretty much everybody but Republicans and hopeful Bernie Or Busters? Not exactly a shocker.

      1. Yes, but MJ preached this gospel to her fellow deep-dyed Bernistas.  Contrast that to Dodd, who hoped to the end for an indictment that would throw the nomination to Bernie, as evidenced by his bitter comments yesterday when he falsely accused Hillary of perjury.

        1. The hopeful Bernie or Busters I mentioned? Mama's always had more sense than that.

          To be fair to Dodd, though, both Clintons have a way of skating pretty damned close to perjury. Sometimes the best they can do is insist that it depends on what the meaning of “is” is. But, hey, it works and in the face of Trump, who gave a “speech” today that was nothing short of certifiable, it’s hard to understand how any sane person could support him over HRC even if she does get a little weasely at times.

          1. Not even mr _Dodd is crazy enough to vote for Trump and he has stated he won't.  But I bet in the end he will go with Jill Stein.  And at the risk of being called before the board of pun control,, I like to remind the Bernie or busters that the first woman nominated for president by a major party does indeed have a bust.smiley


        2. Excuse me? I never said anything of the kind.

          20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You

          5. Deliberately misrepresenting your thoughts and feelings to the point of absurdity.

          In the hands of a malignant narcissist or sociopath, your differing opinions, legitimate emotions and lived experiences get translated into character flaws and evidence of your irrationality.

          Narcissists weave tall tales to reframe what you’re actually saying as a way to make your opinions look absurd or heinous. Let’s say you bring up the fact that you’re unhappy with the way a toxic friend is speaking to you. In response, he or she may put words in your mouth, saying, “Oh, so now you’re perfect?” or “So I am a bad person, huh?” when you’ve done nothing but express your feelings. This enables them to invalidate your right to have thoughts and emotions about their inappropriate behavior and instills in you a sense of guilt when you attempt to establish boundaries.

          This is also a popular form of diversion and cognitive distortion that is known as “mind reading.” Toxic people often presume they know what you’re thinking and feeling. They chronically jump to conclusions based on their own triggers rather than stepping back to evaluate the situation mindfully. They act accordingly based on their own delusions and fallacies and make no apologies for the harm they cause as a result. Notorious for putting words in your mouth, they depict you as having an intention or outlandish viewpoint you didn’t possess. They accuse you of thinking of them as toxic – even before you’ve gotten the chance to call them out on their behavior – and this also serves as a form of preemptive defense.

          Simply stating, “I never said that,” and walking away should the person continue to accuse you of doing or saying something you didn’t can help to set a firm boundary in this type of interaction. So long as the toxic person can blameshift and digress from their own behavior, they have succeeded in convincing you that you should be “shamed” for giving them any sort of realistic feedback.

          1. Okay, Hater Boy, here is your quote:

            Clinton has repeatedly stated that none of the emails which she sent or received contained classified information at the time. She has asserted that the classification was made after the fact. According to the AG, this was a lie. – 

             Frankly, I think you edited this statement after I called you on it because it seems more lucid than I remember  , but it still contains two falsehoods.

            "According to the AG."   Hello?  Can we assume in your malignant fury that you said Attorney General when you really meant FBI director James Comey?  While false, this blunder is not a deliberate lie.   You might call it "extremely careless."

            "According to the AG (sic) this was a lie."

            Actually, this is a deliberate lie on your part.   As it happens Hillary ‘s statements were only 99.7 percent true, since about 100  of the 30,000 e-mails did originally contain classified materials — and only about two of those were labeled classified, it being left to  a "reasonable person" to realize the others included unlabeled classified information.   Well, maybe.

            But Comey did not call it a lie.   If he had, he would have had no choice but to indict her for perjury, since lying to the FBI in an official investigation is perjury.   Ask Gen. Petraeus — that's the  reason he did face charges — the FBI felt he lied to them.   Hillary just made a mistake.   Gee, out of 30,000 documents, only two of which were labeled "classified" she forgot — or failed to recognize at the time that these unlabeled items were classified as she "reasonably" should have deduced, — she, four or five years after the fact, goofed.  Is that "extremely careless" — well, yes, going back to the original setup of the server, it sounds like she should have anticipated this mess and did not.

            But is it perjury — only in the perverfid fever swamp known as the mind of James Dodd.

            So, here's my offer: Produce the text in which Comey — or the Attorney General if that is what you really meant to say — said Hillary "lied."  I'll apologize to you.

            But if you can't produce it, I expect you to apologize to us  for your lie and then go soak your head in a toilet bowl as I originally suggested.

            Sound Fair? 

            Don't forget to flush first.

              1. More than that Petraeus purposely and knowingly provided classified material to his journalist mistress. Republican Comey didn't see any indication that Clinton had any attention of providing classified material to anyone who didn't qualify to receive it and there is no proof that such a thing even accidentally happened.

                So thanks a lot, HRC, for your clueless Clinton arrogance we now have to defend you from but Comey is certainly not in anyone's pocket, much less a Clinton's.

                1. BC, it has been evident for years that the Clintons possess a super-power– the power to drive their enemies mad.

                  Yes, Bill did perjure himself in the Paula Jones suit — well, lied like a trooper, anyway.   "I did not have sex with that woman…"  But that was not an impeachable offense,   As someone said at the time, "He betrayed his wife, not his country."

                  He deserved to be censured and that's what I advocated (I was a Republican in that era.)   If he had been, he would have finished his term in disgrace.

                  Newt insisted on an impeachment that didn't even get a ,majority of the Republican controlled Senate, let alone two-thirds–and the people turned against the whoremongering hypocrite that is Gingrich.  Because Newt and other Clinton enemies overreached, Bill ended up a popular president.

                  I have a better opinion than you do of Hillary and don't think she deliberately lied about the handful of e-mails that had — usually unlabeled — classified information.  But as with Benghazi, the Rs overreached and made her look good!  If I'm ever fighting for my life, please, dear lord, let my opponent be Donald Stumblebum Trump or Newt Whoremonger Gingrich!

                  Since you think I find her perfect, I won't mention her real sins — such as her amazing success in the tricky world of cattle futures.  And if you want to see a stunning display of just within the letter of the law greed, look at how she and bill raked in the legal graft as they were leaving the White House.

                  As to the server fiasco, I think it was motivated by her paranoia with the press — she seems to have wanted to avoid FOIA.   But hell, everybody hates the press, with much justice, and that's not the high treason the Benghazi Benghazi crowd tried to paint it as.

                  I used to call myself a BobDole Republican and I'm damn glad a man of his integrity and wit is not running against Hillary.  But as it is, it looks like our girl has dodged a very big bullet as the Clintons once again exercise their mysterious power to drive their enemies mad.

                  1. ….such as her amazing success in the tricky world of cattle futures.  And if you want to see a stunning display of just within the letter of the law greed, look at how she and bill raked in the legal graft as they were leaving the White House. 

                    So you noticed? I agree with most of what you say and just wish the both of them would quit having these occasionally WTF fiascos that remind people of all the things they didn't like about them, that's all.

                    As for Dole, I never would have voted for him in a million years but I'm a pure bred 3rd generation Dem. That's ever since my family started arriving from Ukraine between 1914 and 1921 and got their citizenship pretty promptly, the younger ones by act of congress. And I agree HRC would never get past his style, now pretty much extinct, of Republican.

                    Glad you came over from the dark side.wink

  5. Well, this shouldn't surprise anyone:

    Trump is not completely wanting for heavyweight support. In recent weeks he’s won the backing of two former GOP secretaries of defense: former Vice President Dick Cheney, who held the top Pentagon post under George H.W. Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld, who served in George W. Bush’s first term.

    Read more: 
    Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

    The context of the article is about the dozens of GOP foreign policy experts from the Bush I and II administrations that have endorsed Hillary.

    Trump, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Putin, Saddam Hussein — all birds of a feather.

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