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November 10, 2016 06:38 AM UTC

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“With any recovery from morbidity there must go a certain healthy humiliation.”

–Gilbert K. Chesterton


39 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. How Democrats Fucked Up, Part xxxx:

    Back in January, the labor group Working America raised an alarm for Democrats: Their canvassing near Pittsburgh and Cleveland suggested Donald Trump had undeniable appeal in areas with high union membership. His outsider message, built on assailing trade deals such as NAFTA, was resonating with white folks with union cards who might normally vote Democratic.


    CNN’s exit polling found that 51 percent of union households went for Clinton, compared to 49 for Trump. That would be an unusually poor showing for a Democratic presidential candidate. The numbers from the Fox News and ABC exit polls weren’t as bad for Clinton. Fox News said union households broke for Clinton by an 8-point margin, and ABC gave her a 16-point margin.

    But those would still be weak performances compared with other recent candidates. Exit polls from 2012 showed Obama taking union households by 18 points.

    Trump did something unheard of for a modern Republican presidential candidate: He made a direct appeal to union workers and claimed to be their champion. When the AFL-CIO announced its endorsement of Clinton ― the federation went on to send millions of dollars to her and other Democrats ― Trump predicted that “their members will be voting for me in much larger numbers than for her.”

    Union members are a small population thanks to many things, one being the decades-long war against them by R's. But when you have a Democratic senator like Michael Bennet helping kill "card check" and helping implement TPP (despite his lies about that), why would a union member vote for a Democrat? Especially if they don't even ask for that vote?

    I know our reliable pollsters at CPols will analyze the numbers any number of ways to show how we were right, they were wrong, but that won't change the fact that Democrats fucked up the union vote this year, and probably many other years, by being afraid to support the very constituency that puts them in office.

    1. I like consistency in life. The sun rises every day in the east; we get a full moon about every 28 days; and Zappy just can't resist more digs on Michael Bennet. Too bad, dude, that your candidate; Daryl Glenn; lost.

      1. Bennet deserves the digs…he is a Republican in Dem clothing. 

        I did not vote for Bennet…that does not mean I voted for Glenn. I suspect my vote mirrored Zaps'. 

        And before any knee-jerk, centrist, Democrat tells me he is "just like Obama", I will encourage you to save your breath. I heard his victory speech. Bi-partisanship is what he encourages at every turn. He is the champion of Republicans all over the state. From Republican rancher,government welfare queens to the oil and gas industry board rooms, our senior Republican senator is there for the well-monied.

        From now on, when you want to insult Zap for expressing his views about Bennet, you might as well write, "Zap and Duke"…

        I completely agree with Zap about Thurston.

        1. I thank you, Sir (Sir Duke? – 😉 , and welcome the encouragement.

          I'm not happy being a "purple state-r" because it's plain to see Republican policies fail at almost every level – no matter how much they ignore the evidence or dispute the principle. I expect more from our side and if Bennet wants to earn his salary and praise then he needs to do something about it. 

          It's also plain to see that f it was 1950 then Thurston Howell III would be a good, old-fashioned Rockefeller (R).

          Good day, all.

      2. the guy is a fucking coward and no one has said anything here to dispute it – most of all the site's proprietors who freely print Bennet's  press releases lies to his constituents. He'll make another $Million+ over his next term, yet he'll piss his pants every time he has to make some kind of decision, especially if it leans left.

        Let him sign on to this and I might shut up:

        “Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. (Count me as one of those.-z)

        People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer. 

        “To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him.

        To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”

        Or to show some real guts he'll filibuster Trump's supreme court nominee.

        Prediction: he'll stay mum.

    2. "Trump did something unheard of for a modern Republican presidential candidate: He made a direct appeal to union workers and claimed to be their champion"



      Sorry, but that statement is not true. Reagan did the same thing, appealing to to union members ( Reagan once headed a union) that the union leadership did not represent their interests. They were called Reagan Democrats. 

      The fact that many rank and file union members are socially and politically conservative in contrast to the union "leadership" which funnels their endorsements and money to liberal, progressive Democrats isn't some new revelation.

      In 1972 I worked for George McGovern in the Democratic primary in the mid Monongahela valley in the Pittsburgh area, a heavy industrial union blue collar area. Voter registration was 4 to 1 and sometimes even 5 to 1 Democratic, owing to the FDR Democratic coalition put together in the 1930's. In fact, the demographics were much like that in the days of the "solid South", in which the real election was determined by the Democratic primary. The winner of the Democratic primary was guaranteed to take office – oftentimes the Republicans wouldn't even put up a candidate in the general.

      And more often than not, the Democrat winning the Democratic primary was the candidate endorsed by the union leadership, which was usually joined at the hip with the Democratic party.

      When canvassing working on the McGovern campaign, I had many union blue collar Democrats tell me I was working for the wrong "George", because they were supporting George Wallace.

      In the presidential primary, Hubert Humphrey (solidly backed by union leadership) just barely won Allegheny County, the county surrounding Pittsburgh. George Wallace came in a close second. In fact the only thing that saved Allegheny County from going for Wallace was the predominately Jewish 14th Ward in Pittsburgh which delivered the votes for Humphrey.

      Obviously huge numbers of rank and file union members ignored the backing of Humphrey by leadership and voted for the conservative, albeit racist candidate.

      Earlier this year I told a liberal Sanders supporting friend of mine that key to a successful Trump candidacy would be garnering those traditionally blue collar union voters as Reagan had done.

      If the pinheads at this Working America group just figured this out in January of this year, it should really be no surprise Clinton lost.



      1. Careful allyn. Zap and Duke live in their own version of an echo chamber and you don't want to interrupt or interfere with their deliberations. 

        1. I think the fact that you are such a big Bennet fan sort of proves the point about his allegiance to all the things you favor.

          Your user name doesn't say "Liberal Head-Banger"…now does it?


            1. I voted for Hillary Clinton, itlduso. I made phone calls for Hillary Clinton on multiple occasions. 

              I have money, too. And I don't need you to buy anything from me. Oh…and I don't give a crap about your indignation.

              And if you don't like Bennet bashing, then perhaps you can tell me why anyone other than a Republican or those Dems who are all "bi-partisany" would want to vote for an aristocrat who spends most of his time hanging out with Republicans.

              I am not a rancher or a hedge fund manager. What has he done for me?

              and …CHB. You never shut up telling us about your preferences …how can we not know them? And Bennets’ opinion is a matter of public record. It is obvious he is your kinda guy. Conservative through and through… Just like you.

      2. Those Union workers, and middle and lower income people, and minorities who voted for Trump, or didn't even vote, will be among those hurt the most from the coming Category 5 shit storm.  Maybe that will include the likes of you and Duke.  And you know what?  I don't give a crap.  I am done with knocking on strangers' doors and calling jerks pleading with them to vote.  Sure, the Dems could have done a better job giving people a reason to vote for them.  But, the choice was pretty damn clear for this election, don't you think?

        Enjoy the Depression, losers.  You will get what you deserve.  Those of us with money just might buy an apple from you.

        1. I used the Dead Cat Bounce yesterday and today to liquidate half my retirement accounts, and will put them in CDs since I'm so close to retirement.  

          I suspect the Republican hedge fund billionaires (heck, maybe even the Koch brothers) are pulling a J.P. Morgan and providing liquidity to the market to artificially sustain it during these few days/weeks.

          But once Trump's economic team starts announcing their plans for next year, Katie bar the door.  We'll *be* in Kansas at that point.   I half expect Sam Brownback to head the Council of Economic Advisors…

            1. It's a faux rally. The economic fundamentals are actually fine for now.  But the market anticipates events about 6 months out.  Trump's policies won't really hit for another year or so, but the impact of his policies are two-fold:

              1) emotional

              2) actual

              When he starts rattling the trade barrier swords, appoints his Laffer economic advisers, the market will realize the mistake.

              Renegotiating or killing trade agreements will start the trade wars.

              Cutting taxes will be a short term boost, but once the deficits start kicking in around 2018, and the austerity programs are announced to offset them, the recession will be in full swing.

        2. I voted for Hillary Clinton, itlduso. I made phone calls for Hillary Clinton on multiple occasions. 

          I have money, too. And I don't need you to buy anything from me. Oh…and I don't give a crap about your indignation.

          And if you don't like Bennet bashing, then perhaps you can tell me why anyone other than a Republican or those Dems who are all "bi-partisany" would want to vote for an aristocrat who spends most of his time hanging out with Republicans.

          I am not a rancher or a hedge fund manager. What has he done for me?

  2. End of Polling, beginning of AI

    We have recently come to understand that the polling in this election was not very good as a whole and that was largely due to the assumptions of their models of voter turnout. I sense that national polling will soon become much less significant.

    Computers which analysed social media signals and applied machine learning technology were able to correctly predict a Trump victory a week out.  It seems to me chasing down prospective voters and guessing as to the relative proportions that will actually vote is being revealed as a rather flawed approach.


  3. Best car sticker/sign seen by me in the last six months of the election campaign:

    "Got Steely Dan?"

    My answer: of course. One of the best jazz bands of all time. Fagen & Becker went 20 years without releasing a new studio album (1980-2000). I think they're overdue for another one.

    1. Calexit is one of the silliest ideas around.

      They leave the US and they would need to negotiate water rights. Any sense what the Colorado River means to southern CA?

      1. Colorado River water is important, but I suspect that CA could survive without it. It won't happen, but CA would likely thrive if it left the union. It contributes far more to federal tax revenue than it receives. It produces far more food than it consumes. It's the center of the tech universe. It produces oil and has a lot of installed renewable energy. It's got ports. It's got Hollywood. All in all, it's the rest of the country that would suffer.

    2. An interesting exchange this morning on FB with a friend of mine in the (failed) 51st-state.  This friend had posted an article about a liberal college professor who cancelled class on Wednesday so her students could process what happened.  This friend suggested these whiny liberals 'get a clue…and a job'.  I tried to diplomatically inject myself into the conversation, suggesting that every time one of these liberals sees a quote from one of us talking about 'getting government out of our lives' and the Democrats 'attacking our values', all while we gather hundreds, if not millions, in government farm subsidy payments, they have an identical response. 

      The rural-urban divide is manufactured (and now a 'thing') because of our leaders.  You see it with the 'Obama Tears' posts by my state senator; you've witnessed the promotion of the divide with Brophy (and Gardner before him).  While we as a rural people lament the liberals in Boulder, they are in fact responsible for many of the policies we directly benefit from today: the Renewable Energy Standard has caused billions to be invested in our back yards; the Clean Air – Clean Jobs Act gave breath to the state natural gas markets outside our front doors.  Those same liberals are interested in a radically different food supply – one that could be supplied by our farmers frantically looking for alternatives right now.  OK, so they put limits on your ammo.  I really didn't have a strong opinion one way or the other, but it seemed reasonable.  The response? An armed militia in the Brophy Christmas card.  So teh ghey can get married now? The local Catholic priest won't be performing any of those ceremonies.  Yawner.  Green energy that put billions in our economy.  The response? A 'War on Rural Colorado' campaign – funded by the very rural electrics that were a creation of The New Deal. Ending marijuana prohibition? You'll destroy our prison economy! Soil carbon sequestration as mechanism to fight climate change? Crazy liberal talk! – even though it would provide new revenue streams to our communities and be one of the lowest-cost methods to combat these levels of anthopogenic carbon.  Science would inform us that restoring our soils to carbon levels of 100 yrs ago would offset all of the CO2 emissions we experience today.  

      I'm going to remain slightly ambivalent over the Tuesday results. While I would have preferred a different outcome and fought for change within a Clinton Administration – Trump & Co. own this for the time being.  If I look back at the history of my own hometown of Wray, we've managed to achieve some great successes under Republican rule.  In 1993 we were named an "All-American City", the smallest town at the time to ever have achieved that award.  We rebuilt our infrastructure following the ag depression of the 80's with federal programs (USDA-Rural Development programs, local philanthropy and grit). As a result the Bush Administration put us on the stage in two  national USDA conferences to tout us as a blueprint for small communities.  Bush gave us the Renewable Fuel Standard which has added a lot of wealth to our community; Bush was also supportive of the PTC credit for wind farms (his home state of TX being the leader in wind development).  Today, as we look for new options for our farmers, hemp is on the horizon.  This movement (both from a state and national perspective) enjoys the support from both sides of the aisle.  Cory and Bennett have both been at the tip of the spear on the federal legislation.  Credit given where credit is due.  

      Time will tell if my old party can pull itself together and put a cohesive plan in place to address the pitchforks pointed at the political elite.  Until that plays out, I'll watch and listen.  

      1. You are going to "remain slightly ambivalent over the Tuesday results"?!?

        America just elected a sociopath as President and people on this site seem to think  it was like Romney just won.  No it isn't.  We are now living in a Republican wet dream.  They control the WH, the Senate, the House, and soon the Supreme Court.  Every single nut case idea is not only on the table, but will pass.  (How quaint if you are pinning your hopes on the Senate filibuster to protect you.). Don't forget that Trump's reaction to Iran detaining some sailors was to start firing.  His military advisors, like General Flynn, are only too happy to egg him on.

        America survived a President Reagan who had Alzheimer's. At least he had reasonable and seasoned advisors to take over.  America now seems intent on letting the stupidest of the stupid run the country. (Damn those college educated elitists  and so called "experts"!  We'll show them how it's done!). Anyone who is currently at economic risk is in jeopardy, and that includes rural America.  

        I am on vacation in New Zealand and keep recalling Neville Shute's book, "On the Beach".  It is a novel that depicts the final days in Australia after the Northern Hemisphere blew itself up with a nuclear war.  The Southern Hemisphere was left waiting for the nuclear fallout to spread South.  The lesson– there will be no place to hide from the impending Trump calamity.

        1. I don't need any lectures on my position, itlduso.  I share your concerns; we have what we have.  I'd rather had a different outcome;  I'd rather there be 1,000 bio-refineries across the US so we (rural America) could fully participate in a 21st-century bio-economy.  I'd like there to be policy that bridges factories and farms. I'd like for there to be transparency in our food system.  I'd like our state's P-20 education system to be run on renewable energy from state lands.  The point of my post is that, with history as my guide, I've seen some good things happen in my own hometown under full Republican rule in DC.  

          My world is more policy than politics so I never get to fully participate in the politics of either side of the aisle; my lens is on outcomes. There are good Republicans, too, and I enjoy working with those who support what I do.

          I’ll be dealing with a Republican majority come January – just like I was before the election.  A couple of the names floated for Ag Secretary are good people that I know. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t rather have had Ken Salazar influencing who that nominee would be.  All that doesn't mean I like the outcome or that I'm not in fear of what this man will do to my Latino, Muslim or gay friends or start WWIII – or any of the other concerns we share.  It just means that on issues related to my world – I'll withhold my judgment until later. I have a hunch he's about to get a hard lesson on the realities of governing. 

          Would I like to kick the ass of the six million millennials who couldn’t be bothered to vote on Tuesday? Hell yes. I’m into my fifth decade – I’d rather not be fighting these battles that could have been averted. But they didn’t leave me with that option. So, we live (again) to fight another day. It’s only 726 more days to the 2018 mid-terms.

          This is a game of chess…and our President-elect gets the first move. 

          1. Hopefully people will educate him to the real world. Regarding reducing number of federal employees, maybe start with the Defense Department where about 40% of those employees work.

            More specifically, the White River National Forest here in Colorado is the most heavily visited national forest in the country. The WRNF has about 150 approved positions, roughly 40 of them vacant due to lack of budget money.

            1. He might want to check on that idea of 'fully unbridling' the fossil fuel industry.  Last I checked we're drowning in oil and natural gas (and the markets reflect that supply).  What could possibly go wrong with $1.50/mcf gas and $30/bbl oil? The law of supply and demand can be a bitch. 

      2. That's why you stopped being a Republican, Michael. Like my wife, the neo-cons just don't fit you. You can listen to a left of center-or even waaay left of center person (like our own dear Zappy)- talk and your knees don't move an inch.  

        1. I feel fortunate to have had the exposure of both a Minnesota DFL maternal grandparents (small dairy farmers who raised 13 kids on a half-section and 50 cows) and an Eisenhower Republican grandparents/parents (who are more Fox-ish these days). I care a more about policy than politics and find reasonable ideas in both camps. But not for the obsession of Deuteronomy, Dudley and Dicks God, Guns and Gays by Musgrave, Brophy (and the national party), turning their focus away from the economy and jobs, I may well still be a Republican (at least 'the old kind').  I'd argue – and I think CHB would agree – that most of the things I advocate for should be conservative issues.  

          I'm an anomaly amongst my friends as I've grown more liberal in my adult years – a product of international travel and getting to spend a good deal of my time outside of the Wray bubble. 


      3. I've been gritting my teeth and smiling these last few days, powering through on sleepless nights and red wine, congratulating my Junior Trumpkins on their candidate's victory because what the hell else am I going to do? They're kids, for the most part parroting what they hear their parents parrot from Fox News. Sorry, but I'm not seeing any big white-folks-left-behind grievance. These kids are relatively well off, whether they know it or not.

        My rodeo queens and aspiring tractor mechanics don't have to worry about the police targeting them or pulling them over because of the color of their skin, or (assumed) family citizenship status,  or putting them on a terrorist watch list because of their religion.

        Ironically, the one thing that  my high school students  lack compared to their urban peers – the ability to find a job and not have to move away from their close-knit community- is jeopardized by the very candidate they so fervently support. Renewable energy, hemp production, cutting edge technologies – all of these could allow them to make a good living and stay near the people they love.

        Anyway, after I smile and congratulate them on their candidate's victory, I do observe that we will see how good Trump is at actually governing and keeping all of those promises he has made. They're 100% convinced that the Donald will "fix it" and "Make America Great Again". It reminds me of how much we lefties believed in the superhuman abilities of Obama…..Yes We Can, he can close Guantanamo, end the war, fix the economy, get us all health care, and  heal the partisan divide. So, two out of six is what we got, mostly due to nonstop Republican obstruction, and the opportunistic wavering of DINOs like Bennet. (No, I didn't vote for him, either- he was pretty clear that he didn't want or need the votes of liberals such as myself).

        Which is all to say that I expect these young Trumpkins to become every bit as jaded and disappointed in the failures of their White Knight as we did with Obama. I think the country and our system of government can survive Trump. I'm not sure that our planet can….climate change has now tipped well past the point of no return. Refugees from flooded lowlands and starving desert nations will continue to be the moral dilemma of the ages. Like itlduso, I am very much afraid that Trump's solution will be to "bomb them all". Nuclear winter would not be my preferred solution to global warming.

        This is a rambling post. I hope that you are right, Michael, and that the pendulum of the Republican party will slowly swing back towards sanity, out of self-interest if nothing else, and that this will include economic revitalization of rural centers. I am still very afraid and not sleeping well. But we all do what we can do. My bit is trying to teach some compassion and tolerance, some critical thinking and decision making to those future leaders of Dumb Luck i Stan.


        1. Mama – I love your heart and your passion. You're doing what is probably one of the most important jobs anyone could call us to do: educating those fertile young minds. My point is that we don't know what the hell is going to happen next.  McConnell has already said some of his ideas are DOA, like his infrastructure package.  But, Democrats may be on board (don't forget, it wasn't that long ago that he was a Dem).  We're about 70 days out from Inauguration.  Then he'll have his 100 day plan.  But the circus will begin way before then as he's announcing his Cabinet.  Will Speaker Ryan survive?  Can the Senate Majority leader fend off efforts by the Minority Leader to exert those rights? Particularly when Schumer will be representing a majority of the popular vote?  

          Until we get a few warning shots over the bow I'd keep our powder dry.  That doesn't imply we do nothing in the meantime – but I'm not sure rioting in the streets is where I'd spend my energy today.  We lost and dammit I'm sick and tired of this repeat of 2010 already.  We won the popular vote in 2000 and ended up with two wars on the credit card and hundreds of thousands of lives changed forever.  We've lost it again and may well lead to a meltdown like we've never seen before.  But we lost.  The rigged system, the Electoral College, gives us Trump. 

          I didn't intend to imply that I think the Republican party will swing to the center; I'm not going to spend any time contemplating that for now.  While I was convinced the GOP would split in to two parties prior to Election Day, I'm more convinced now that our party will bifurcate and somewhere out there, someone is going to launch a viable third party with a Populist bent.   The Clinton vote is already a majority of the popular vote.  Start there.  Then start seeking the 50% of the country that didn't vote. This won't be the Green or Libertarian Party; it will be a different, viable animal.  Maybe I'm wrong, but it's possible that Trump will make his reign so toxic that everyone will be looking for a 3rd option and the implosion process begins sooner than later.

          If this election is teaching us anything, it's that local politics matter.  A lot.  We're making some great progress in Colorado – and that has happened in spite of the current GOP leadership.  Let's keep that train on the tracks and our eyes on the prize. 

  4. Before This Election, Newt Gingrich Believed the Popular Vote Winner Should Be President (and so did the guy we just elected)

    Newt Gingrich, one of Donald Trump's top surrogates and a possible Cabinet pick for the Republican president-elect, does not believe that Trump, who lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, won the presidency within a fully fair and representative electoral system.

    That is, if Gingrich's words from two years ago can be taken seriously.

  5. Reportedly Trump hasn't yet responded to this report.  Perhaps he's still convinced there is no drought in California? 

    California's drought: How Trump's blustering caricatured a genuine crisis

    This was a typical Trump liturgy, in that he took an extremely complicated problem and caricatured it as a simple problem, easily solved. It was also typical in that, while masquerading as the people’s friend, he actually was parroting the position of vested interests.

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