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March 30, 2017 06:36 AM UTC

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Jumping through any hoop or taking advantage of any desperate situation that comes up just to sell a product is harmful. It is.”

–Trent Reznor


45 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

    1. Trump lying to everyone about coal. The jobs have been declining for years, there are about 65K jobs remaining while there are 600K jobs in renewable energy fields, and the one Koch Brother who they won't seem to listen to is Bill Koch, who said coal was dead in 2014:

      “The coal business in the United States has kind of died,” the CEO of energy conglomerate Oxbow Carbon LLC told Energy and Environment News, “so we’re out of the coal business now.”

      Of course no one bothered to mention the truth to Trump voters or anyone who cares about it, so his statements will stand forever against the reality. 

      1. Coal's enemy is geology, cheap renewables and cheap natural gas.  The industry, like the dinosaurs that made it possible, is dead.  We didn't leave the Stone Age because we ran out of stones. 

        Two Ohio coal-fired plants to close, deepening industry decline

        Cheap natural gas from record shale production over the past several years has kept power prices low, making it uneconomical for generators to upgrade older coal plants to meet increasingly strict environmental rules.

        U.S. power companies retired or converted over 14,000 MW of coal-fired plants in 2016 after shutting a record of over 17,000 MW in 2015, according to Thomson Reuters data.

        In 2015, coal used to produce electricity fell to its lowest level since 1984, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission data showed. That year, coal-fired generators produced 33 percent of the nation's total generation, down from over 50 percent in 2003.

        1. There's one solution Cheetolini and his GOPboys haven't (yet) considered:  think of all the benefits we could derive from making whale oil great again!?!

          1. OTD – Long ago I inadvertently made a comment to you that was in jest when I called you 'honey' – unfortunately the humor didn't translate from an earlier comment I made on that particular day/diary regarding an old friend who used to use the phrase on me.  Anyway – I meant to apologize long ago because I recall you told me to f-off.  Anyway, long overdue apology

        2. And WAPO had the article last month "The main plant facility at the Navajo Generating Station, … coal-fired plant [will] shutdown in 2019 "

  1. How will The Yam rescinding the environmental rules affect this? If they don't have to clean up their mess, won't that make coal cheaper to burn?

    1. Our local conservative boogeyman Phil Anschutz may have an impact on that. He has invested billions in wind infrastructure in CO, WY, and NV. He's a hardnosed capitalist, and he knows that renewables are where the money is to be made.  His Transwest transmission line will go right by Craig, Colorado, giving that little coal community a real alternative.

      It's why I'm not as worked up about Gorsuch and Bennet's affiliations with Anschutz as some other folks are – Anschutz may fund anti-LGBT and anti-reproductive rights groups, but on clean energy, he really is leading the charge.

      I hope that you're wrong on the "making coal cheaper to burn" thing – where I live is 100% coal powered, and we have high rates of childhood asthma, neurological problems and Legionnaire's disease as a result.

      1. All of the Bloviator-in-Chief's symbolic efforts aren't a match for market forces.  There isn't a utility in the country that's going to commit the capital to build a new coal plant – and the pure economics of the combination of cheap natural gas and renewables is the death knell of the Fossilonians, not Obummer or the progressives.

        Once again, like health care, they've lied and lied and lied to these good people; transitioning those regions should be Cheeto's #Job1, not propping up the stinking carcass of dinosaur poop.  

          1. Perhaps the researchers at Trump University figured out a way to turn it into diamonds. I am sure I saw a "Trump Diamonds" brochure around here somewhere…cheeky

      1. It beats having a bake sale. I wonder if Oklahoma State Senator Shortey took a ride north to Kansas to buy a couple of new button plugs or nipple clamps.

        1. I haven't been a Catholic since college days decades ago. Since I concluded then that I didn't believe in any of that religious stuff, didn't seem much point to hang around.

          1. Both of my grandmothers taught me much about spirituality – or lack thereof. My maternal grandmother was an ardent Catholic. Attended Mass every day – wore out a truck full of rosaries. She had 58 grandchildren so she had a lot of ground to cover every evening. She and my grandfather were dairy farmers who raised 13 kids on a half-section; they retire with few means – but that didn't keep Grandma from spending every waking hour until her death caring about everyone else. She was beloved in her small, rural Minnesota community.  

            My paternal grandmother was agnostic, and too, beloved by many in Wray. She didn't lack for resources and was very generous with what she had. 

            Church to me is a way to honor someone who helped shape my way of thinking.  We have a very conservative priest in Wray who's not really my cup of tea – but attending Mass, evem with a defiant spirit (which happens a lot in Wray) fills me with other things that are important – and gives me a sliver of time to reflect on my ancestors and what they mean to me.  Growing up I didn't get to see my maternal grandmother as much because of the distance between us. I count Mass as a way to make up those lost days. 

            1. My paternal grandmother was a church goer and someone who cared strongly about others until she died in late summer of 1970. Paternal g-father died when I was one. Maternal g-parents were't real churchgoers, but always givers.

              My parents were the same altho they began to drift away from the Church in their elder years. They never said anything about me falling away, and we never talked about it much. But I think they may have seen what I was doing and why, and maybe they didn't believe it as much. They both, however, had Catholic funerals when passing in the early 1990s. I was OK with that; the services were for them, not me. I follow all of them in being a strong giver, albeit a non-theist.

              My church now is anything in the backcountry and west of I-25. Don’t do much east, but did go hiking at Pawnee Buttes year ago December. Then had more fun shoveling the 4×4 out of a snow drift.

            2. As a Catholic growing up in Phillips county, I found the church a moderating force compared to the fundamentalist protestant churches.   Moderation was a Catholic goal there.  I remember in high school talking about evolution with Father John Walsh.  I said I just thought God created the world and the laws of physics and evolution were the tools he used.  "That's what I think too," he replied.  

              I left the church at 18 because the crazy stuff in the Bible made me an agnostic:  genocide at Jerico and other cities is God's will.  Really, Joshua?  But the Catholic Church, as distinct from Christianity, was a welcoming environment for me.  Most kids stopped being altar boys at 14, I stayed through high school.   Of course in my high school years, I was inspired by John 23, like Francis a warm and welcoming man.

      2.   That's a crack-up, Michael. Prudish, white bread, what's-the-matter-with-Kansas reduced to auctioning off adult toys to fill the hole Brownback's tax cuts blew in their budget.
        If they had any sense, (snerk) they'd legalize cannabis and be lousy with tax money instead of wasting it suing us over legal weed.. Are these tight-ass, broke, Republican states done being envious yet? 

  2. A word to the Reticent M. Bennet and his evergreen search for Bipartisanship hiding behind those Unicorns over there:

    Schumer's argument that a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should not be doled out by a president who is under FBI investigation is beginning to bite just a little. People are getting a little antsy about the amount of dark money pushing Gorsuch's case. And Gorsuch did himself no favors by trying to bury the Senate Judiciary Committee under an avalanche of smug non-answers. …

    So the job of bucking up the Senate majority is left to its good friends outside the caucus room. For example, the National Rifle Association has stepped up bigly. It's in for a million bucks, which, of course, will not cause Gorsuch to sacrifice his ability to judge a gun control case fairly. You can also tell how nervous Gorsuch's supporters have become because, once again, we are seeing the Keep The Powder Dry argument floating through the discourse.

    This is the political strategy by which Democrats give the Republicans what they want on the assumption that they will be able to assert their power at some vague point in the future. The only minor flaw in this plan is that it never works. The Democratic Party must have an airplane hangar somewhere filled to the rafters with dry powder. Nonetheless, the idea is back again. Here's some superb concern-trolling from a former Republican flack, brought to us by Tiger Beat On The Potomac:

    The Republican source for the story lays out the motivation for Democratic Senators, like you-know-who, to play the KTPD game:

    Were Democrats to lay off Gorsuch, keeping their powder dry for the future and maintaining the moral high ground, it would be rather easy to imagine the Susan Collinses, John McCains and Lindsey Grahams of the world getting cold feet with a lesser Trump pick.

    But, Pierce reminds again that the KTPD strategy never results in the magic moment when Democrats can use their powder.

    History tells us that the fight for which the Democrats "keep the powder dry" never occurs. 


    Democrats in Congress seem at last to be bridling at the notion that "bipartisanship" is primarily the responsibility of their party, that they don't necessarily have to be the grown-ups in a room where childish vandals roam free, and that, sooner or later, the Republicans have to take responsibility in real time for the damage they do. 

    Many Dems have known this for a long time. I hope Bennet's irrational yearning to be bipartisan (or is it just a lack of principle?) has been informed by the lies and subterfuge of Mitch McConnell and his CO BFF, the Liar Cory Gardner. 

        1. CHB. "Paid protester" is the only way nowadays most young people can truly get involved in a meaningful way. The days of the volunteer are numbered. I have been volunteering to do stuff for decades. I could do that because I have long been "above" the poverty level and could afford to take significant time off, thanks in large measure to a sympathetic and enabling spouse.

          Every volunteer service organization I know is struggling (and failing) to maintain members… and trying particularly hard (and failing) to interest younger citizens in helping. It isn't for lack of caring…it is for a lack of disposable time and income.

          Getting paid makes it possible. 

          1. Just having a little fun with the highly opinionated Zappster. 

            And volunteerism is not dead, even among young people. I engage with a couple of said organizations myself. You'll have to take my word for it; I'm not revealing them as I prefer to remain fairly anonymous around here, like most others.

  3. DeVos takes a dump on the Denver "miracle."  If you can't choose Jesus, you ain't got choice.

    Betsy DeVos slams Denver schools for offering “accessibility without choices”

    Speaking at the Brookings Institution Wednesday, she called out Denver as an example of a district that appears to be choice-friendly — but actually lacks sufficient options for families.

    A new Brookings report gave the city the top score for school choice, citing the unified application process that allows families to consider charter and district-run schools at the same time. But DeVos implied that without vouchers to pay for private schools (something Colorado’s state Supreme Court has twice ruled unconstitutional) and a sufficient supply of charter schools, Denver’s application process amounts to an optical illusion.

    1. Allies of Devos in Congress are pushing a truly destructive educational bill, HR610

      H.R. 610, aka the “Choices in Education Act of 2017,” would change how federal tax dollars are distributed to qualified states for education spending, mandating that all such monies be awarded in block grants, a portion of which must go into voucher programs for use by parents to pay for private and home schools. The bill was introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), with three Republican cosponsors. Supporters say the legislation is intended to widen educational options for all Americans, though critics maintain it amounts to at least a partial defunding of public schools.

       The bill would eliminate the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which is the nation's educational law that provides equal opportunity in education. ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, advanced and gifted kids in AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance, and Federal Accountability Programs.
      The Bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch.
      The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting Special Needs kids, no mention of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education).

      So kids with special needs would get no mandated services from this vast menu of private school "choices".  Michelle Obama's work on improving nutritional choices in school lunches would be discarded. 

      It will take massive marches of families with their disabled kids, major letter-writing  and calling campaigns to congressional reps, to defeat this monster.

      Rep. Degette: Contact Me

      Rep. Polis: Contact Jared Polis

      Rep. Tipton: Contact Congressman Tipton

      Rep. Buck: Email Congressman Buck

      Rep. Lamborn: Contact Congressman Doug Lamborn

      Rep. Coffman:Contact Mike Coffman

      Rep. Perlmutter: Perlmutter Write Your Rep

    1. MJ:

      Please share.  

      Who is it that knows something about Donald's Russian connections who are having accidents?

      Frankly I don't know of anyone that knows something about Donald's Russian connections that are not having accidents either.

      And the basis for your lefty, whack-job claims?

      1. Yeah, your paymaster is watching, so good job at the continuous whistling past the graveyard, CarnHolio. I'm sure you have many fooled. (snicker)


        We'll see your sorry ass at the impeachment proceedings, comrade.

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