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May 27, 2017 12:24 AM UTC

Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

Photo by Colorado Pols


96 thoughts on “Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread

  1. For the veterans of past wars, and those of the wars to come.

    For those idealistic young people who thought that they were defending Democracy, and found out that they were defending corporate profits.

    For soldiers on all sides of conflicts, who gave their idealism and blood and limbs and sanity for those cynical enough to use them and throw them away.

    Like Mideast War? You'll love Trump:

    Trump appears to be deploying more forces, and moving those already in the field closer to the fight. The number of U.S. forces in northern Syria has doubled in the past month, with 400 Marines and Army rangers joining the 500 U.S. special operations forces deployed by Obama (and reports suggest the Pentagon may request even more forces soon to support the assault on ISIS’s capital Raqqa). Meanwhile, in Iraq, hundreds of U.S. soldiers have been sent to reinforce the assault on ISIS in Mosul, with many more waiting in the wings in Kuwait. And reports indicate that American military advisers in Iraq are getting much closer to the front lines.

    What's the strategy? What's the big plan?

    We’re gonna beat ISIS very, very quickly folks. It’s gonna be fast. I have a great plan…They ask, ‘What is it?’ Well, I’d rather not say. I’d rather be unpredictable.

    Fort Carson's 4th Infantry Division has deployed more than 4,000 troops to Europe, to Syria, to Afghanistan, to parts unknown.

    Here's to hoping their leaders don't betray them and throw their sacrifices away…this time.

      1. Politics is the allocation of resources to pursue values. There is nothing more political than asking your people, usually young, poor and rural, to give their lives

  2. Time to play America's fastest growing game:  Name Those Articles of Impeachment!

    Here is my list.  How many do you have?

    Article I.  Obstruction of justice.  (see: Comey firing, et al.)

    Article II. Espionage.  Including covert communications with a hostile foreign adversary.

    Article III. Money laundering.  What did happen with that Cypress bank?  How did Trump and Kushner avoid bankruptcy?

    Article IV.  Tax evasion.  See # III above.

    Article V. Security clearance fraud.  (a felony punishable up to a five year sentence).  How many undisclosed meetings with the Russians does it take to revoke Kushner's clearance?

    Article VI.  Failure to execute the office of the presidency.  Trump has already recklessly disclosed top secrets to the Russians in the Oval Office that outed intelligence assets within ISIS established by the Israelis, and 2) Disclosed to dictator Dueterte the location of two US nuclear subs.

    Have I missed something?

      1. I'll also add to Article VI — Appointing Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor with the accompanying highest security clearance against strong warnings from President Obama and other high level security officials.  Flynn was subsequently found to be an agent of Russia and Turkey, yet did not have his position revoked until 18 days after being informed of his traitorous conduct.

  3. Photo at top of thread is the National WW2 Memorial in DC. That was the 4th and last war we were in that had anything to do with freedom. Revolution, 1812, Civil War and WW2

    1. War of 1812 had nothing to do with freedom.   It was a stupid land grab and we had our heads handed to us.  Worst war we ever fought and by far the stupidest.

        1. Remember, we burned the provincial capital in Windsor, Ontario.  They paid us back, bigly, by burning Washington.  But we started it.  I revere Henry Clay but he and his War Hawks screwed that up, Bigly.

      1. And we were allied with Napoleon at the time, though to be fair the British thought they had the right to stop and board American ships and impress anyone they believed belonged in the British Navy (deserters, etc.).

        1. Ironically, the Orders in Council we used as at least the pretext for war were repealed shortly before we declared war.  Alas, news traveled slowly in those days and we declared war before we learned of the repeal.  Of course, we were allied to the mighty Napoleon, so what could go wrong.  Naturally, later that year his Army was annihilated in Russia.

          Roh Roh…

  4. There was a fourth, just, war by America, the Korean War.  We saved the South Koreans and showed communism could not advance by armed aggression.  Since there was no other way it could advance, it eventually collapsed.  A bitter, hard, conflict but its living veterans share the pantheon of honor with those of World War II.  

    Vietnam, by contrast, was a mistake.  But veterans don't get to chose our wars.  To my fallen comrades, my salute and my tears.

    1. I remember when my father  admitted to me that I had been more right in protesting the Vietnam war than he had been in defending it. A huge concession for him – we had feuded bitterly for decades about it. He was socially very liberal, but a died-in-the-wool anti-Commie hawk.

      I think newspapermen had to be pretty aggressively anti-Communist to survive the McCarthy era and the Cold War.

      You veterans that are getting on in years – have you seen this? The VA plans to cut back on those service-connected disability payments once you reach retirement age and begin collecting Social Security. Because, you know, once you're over 65, who would hire an old vet?sad

      We just got my 100% disabled Vietnam vet ex-hubster settled in an expensive assisted living place – I think that this might be a 20% cut in his income.

    2. I agree that Korea was a just war. But, not about American freedom.

      Vietnam was worse than a mistake. Lies, covering up lies. But, the American soldier, largely, doesn't get the choice and 58,000 plus died for those lies. And, to protect their friends.


  5. Title this picture — Is Trump giving Pence a tongue-lashing?

    Or maybe Pence takes a licking and wonders how much longer he has to wait before becoming POTUS

      1. You all had better hope that Trump lasts the 4 years. Pence is a far right wing religious zealot who badly damaged the Indiana economy when he signed that stupid anti-gay bill a few years ago, before retraction.

        1. Agreed, CHB.  We'd go from delirious to devious.  In other news, I couldn't pass up sharing this picture making the rounds: 

          1. President StrangeSelfLove !!! …

            ( . . . there's nothing that isn't a joke with this pompous clown . . . )

            On  the personal side, Trump reportedly disdains exercise of any kind except golf. He believes that raising a sweat depletes the finite reserves of precious bodily fluids, I mean energy, that a person is born with, and should therefore be avoided.

            Many years of acting on this belief may or may not explain the weird and embarrassing scene at the G-7 summit in Taormina, in which six of the advanced world’s leaders strolled together a few hundred yards through the historic city, but Trump followed behind, driven in an electric golf cart.



  6. From Republican Michael Gerson:

    “The conservative mind, in some very visible cases, has become diseased,” Gerson writes. “The movement has been seized by a kind of discrediting madness, in which conspiracy delusions figure prominently. Institutions and individuals that once served an important ideological role, providing a balance to media bias, are discrediting themselves in crucial ways. With the blessings of a president, they have abandoned the normal constraints of reason and compassion.” 

    This abandonment, he argues, inevitably leads conspiracy theorists to ignore the tragedy at the center of these stories — in this case, Rich and his family — and instead focus solely on the political machinations they believe are at hand. 

    “In Trump’s political world, this project of dehumanization is far along,” he concludes. “The future of conservatism now depends on its capacity for revulsion. And it is not at all clear whether this capacity still exists.”

    To AC, Moddy and Pear — this is why we are so passionate (and yes, quite uncivil) in response to your cynical, hypocritical and inhumane posts.

      1. With introspection, there is hope.  

        George Will, Charles Krauthammer and most certainly William Buckley, if he were still alive, understand and are appalled at the fatal virus that is consuming the GOP and with it the hopes of their constituencies.

        That's why I've used the analogy of the Good Nazi so many times in response to AC.  Once the fever breaks (and I know it must someday), he will be the first to deny culpability for his words and actions, and will pledge allegiance to whatever direction his party chooses, good or bad.

        We must learn the lesson of how fragile our freedom and democracy are if we fall prey to fear and ignorance, placing our faith in frauds, con men and charlatans. Never again.

        We must resist and persist!

          1. Gerson makes good comments, but with a serious oversight. He assumes that slugs like Limbaugh and Hannity actually are conservatives. They're paid entertainers with a large following among the under-educated and poorly-informed segment of the citizenry.

            As for Davie's comment, yes, I've been more impressed with Mr. Krauthammer's writings since the 2016 election than I was beforehand.

            Regarding the Trump presidency, and the growing foolishness & banality emanating from it, I'll add that Moderatus, PP, Andrew simply make themselves look bad in their steadfast defense of this Administration; and in their attempts to deflect attention from it (Benghazi anyone?).

              1. Carnholio has hit a new low.  He now argues no Republican can be criticized for any crime because Ted Kennedy ran off the bridge at Chappaaquiddick!  You just can't make this shit up.  

                1. That was in 1969. Nearly three years before Watergate. And you don't see us blaming everything on Nixon anymore. (Hell, events of the last seven months have placed Nixon in a relatively better light.) 

                  Is that the best he can do? Can't Andy come up with more recent Democratic politician stuff to excuse GOP misdeeds? There are always those unanswered questions about You-Know-Whose birth certificate and Bill Clinton lying about the blow job.

                  1. Between the three wives each (and countless affairs and/or mistresses) of Trump, Giuliani and Gingrich, Gerbils probably has been told not to go there regarding Bill Clinton. And of course, the notorious Kenyan-Muslim birth certificate "controversy" only makes Trump out to be a complete moron (but we all knew that).  His famous 180 spins in the middle of a sentence also makes establishing a credible narrative a complete lost cause.

                    Tough job Gerbils has there, polishing all those elephant turds Republicans everywhere keep dropping on his head. devil

                    1. Regarding the birth certificate issue, the problem for the Threesome (Moderatus, PP, Andrew); plus El Jefe (Trump); is that Bill O'Reilly totally debunked the "born in Kenya" conspiracy on his Fox News show back in 2009. The far right conspiracy theorists never forgave O’Reilly for that “transgression.” 

  7. So, does the Screaming Yam's presidency survive the summer?  My bet was to have him out by the mid-terms, but this is going so fast that I'm not sure it'll take that long. As I said on another thread, I was a little kid during Watergate, but I don't remember it all falling apart nearly this quickly

    1. It didn't fall apart so quickly. I was in high school when Watergate unfolded. Drip, drip, drip. 

      The other big difference was in the 1970's, there were Republicans who had integrity and principles, like Elliott Richardson, William Ruckleshaus, Howard Baker, Lowell Weicker, and many others.

      Today we have toadies like Paul Ryan, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, Mitch McConnell, Moderatus and Powerful Pear.  

    2. But that doesn't answer my question. Does he survive the summer? Is he out by the turn of the year? And how many in the line of succession go down with him? Considering that he still hasn't completely filled out his Cabinet, how far down do we have to go to find someone untainted by his growing catalog of scandals?

      1. We'll just have to be patient until they get Trump under oath — then he's toast.  In fact pretty much anyone that Mueller chooses to put under oath in the Executive Branch will probably perjure themselves to one degree or the other.  Then it's just a matter of who he flips and who he prosecutes.

        But second-in-line Ryan is safe, since he has plausible deniability (for now at least).  Since writing legislation that will kill tens of thousands of innocent people every year isn't illegal, he'll thrive, unlike millions of unfortunate Americans whose opportunities and options are being shredded before their eyes.

        1. Ryan may be innocent enough of The Yam's scandals to step in, but if he were to run for election, I don't think he could sell "free lunch kills a poor child's soul" to the whole country. On the other hand, Dems had better start auditioning candidates to go up against the Rs. And none of these 70-something foot soldiers who think it's "their turn".

          1. I'll be happy when the children of the poor eat as well as the dogs of the rich.  

            Here's a great piece by Jim Hightower on the subject…

            What Is Worse Than Being Poor?

            Thus, practically every year is a bonanza for these slicks. Last year, for example, the 25 best paid hedge fund operators totaled a staggering $11 billion in personal pay — even though nearly half of them performed poorly.

            Meanwhile, Donald Trump — who promised just last year to close that special hedge fund tax break, is now promising to give an even bigger break to them. Guess who was one of Trump’s most generous funders last year: Bob Mercer.

            One of the lucky things about being rich like these hedge fund hucksters is that automatically become handsome, your jokes are hilarious, and politicians treat you with fawning deference.

            1. Paul Ryan probably laughs when he hears stories like this. Mike Pence, like Moldy, just says they are getting what they deserve:

              Some schools literally take an indebted student’s tray of food away from them, making a show of dumping it in the trash in front of everyone. Some remove the hot food from the child’s lunch tray and replace it with a cold sandwich of white bread and a slice of cheese, claiming that this so-called “sandwich” meets federal nutrition standards. Others actually brand the meal offenders, using markers to write “I need lunch money” on the poor kids’ arms! Nearly half of America’s school districts use some form of shaming and stigmatizing, embarrassing children to tears.

              What educational lesson is this teaching? And what’s the matter with school boards and lawmakers who are either allowing or directly causing this abuse, using school lunch to punish the poor? Being poor means you lack money; being mean to the poor means you lack a soul.

              Now consider Donald Trump’s recently unveiled budget proposal. It is a truly soulless piece of work. Not only does it slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans and do nothing to close the loophole Bob Mercer and his ilk take advantage of, it will cut about 25 percent — or $191 billion — from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over the next 10 years, leaving even more of America’s school children hungry and ashamed.

              Don't expect Gerbils to see anything wrong with this picture either.

              1. Michelle Obama was really doing some important work with improving school lunches, and I've seen changes in how kids are eating. Most buildings have salad bars and fresh foods these days. Teens will be teens and buy hot cheetos if they have the dollars for it, but those on free lunches are getting better nutrition.

                Betsy Devos' agenda, along with making Federal funds available for private, religious, and homeschooled kids, wants to undo everything Michelle accomplished. House Bill 610's been introduced; it hasn't gone far yet, but it will be one of the next big fights in Congress.

                Free and reduced lunch programs will be hit. Most of the students you mention as being shamed and turned away are kids of the working poor – kids whose folks maybe never turned in the free lunch application paperwork because they were afraid of immigration coming after them, or kids whose parents, technically made enough money not to qualify for free lunch. I know my kids were in that group for years, and providing their lunch money was sometimes a real struggle.

                Now, I bring peanut butter, jelly and bread once a week for those kids who otherwise wouldn't eat breakfast or lunch. Yes, there is hunger in America.

                That's the next big fight – keeping some guarantors of educational equity in place. We can't take anything for granted – not special education, not gender equity in sports, not giving second language learners appropriate supports instead of yelling "Sink or Swim! English ONLY!" , and not the free and reduced lunch programs for hungry kids.

      2. Nah, the toad-eaters propping up this charlatan won't turn on him until after their own personal oxen have been thoroughly gored, who cares if he only ruins the country for most folks???  After the mid-terms at the earliest, and then only if the Republicans lose bigley.  Otherwise, the yammish nightmare will continue until Putin finally has had enough, or North Korea nukes someone, or . . . these are not America's finest hours, sorry!

    3. I don't think the Yammer's administration survives the summer. But I don't think Pence will be much of an upgrade. More competent, a slicker politician, so capable of more damage on the domestic front, and a True Believer in theocracy. He'll have plenty in common with the Saudi Prince's application of Sharia law.

      In foreign policy, I think that Pence will be more circumspect, so less likely to start World War III by accident. I wish we could say that Pence is implicated in Trussiagate – he is- but unfortunately, nobody ( in power) cares. To check, just see the responses of our local trolls: 1) nothing to see here 2) Hillary's emails/Benghazi/? were worse/just as bad 3) media is lying 4) CIA / FBI/ NSA is lying = "deep state" 5) all smoke, no fire, and if Trump keeps the smoke going to obscure the fire, well that's just fine.

      1. You forgot Carnholio's main argument, that none of this matters because ted kennedy had a car accident 49 yearsago.  The little shill actually wrote that!


      2. You forgot Carnholio's main arguement, that none of this matters because ted kennedy had a car accident 49 yearsago.  The little shill actually wrote that!


    4. Well, if Jared really is in as much trouble as it appears to be, then the Trump Administration will be crippled. There won't be anyone running the Business Intervention in Government group, finding peace in the Middle East, addressing the opioid crisis, negotiating with Mexico, liaising with China, and developing a relationship with the American Muslim community.

      So, the agenda will be slowed, at least.


  8. And on this fine Sunday morning, we have the following public service announcement brought to you by the traditional family values and religious freedom people…..

    Yes, I'm looking at you, Powerful Pear, lamenting how many of us to the left of center mock and ridicule religious fanatics. 

    Your people freak out and obsess about their fear of Sharia law being introduced in this country but when you practice it yourselves, you don’t even recognize it.

    1. "how many of us to the left of center mock and ridicule………."  I'm to the right of center and I freely "mock and ridicule."

      The late Senator Barry Goldwater warned against allowing preachers too much influence in the Republican Party.

      Don’t expect Passionate Prune to weigh in to this conversation with serious commentary. It’s not his style.

      1. I've been thinking about this issue of bias, prejudice and hatred of other Americans CB and am in a conundrum regarding how to interact with people who loath you because of your political perspective without exhibiting an equal amount of contempt for their insane justifications for hating everything I support (climate science, sustainable water sheds, healing the sick and feeding the hungry).

        ColoradoPols is an interesting comment site because it pretty much allows no-holds barred barbs and insults which is one of it's attractions and pitfalls.  At what point do I cross the line between venting over hubris and stupidity and sink to prejudice and disgust for another American because of their dick licking support for a horrible politician?  I don't know if it is possible to respect the individual when they are intent on abetting and destroying the communities and standards that have been a staple of our nation since it's founding.  How can I respect someone who wants to impose Christian Sharia law on a country that was founded on freedom of religion?  How can I not react to the lies and distortions without implicating the ethics and integrity of someone who throws out statistics without context and then proceeds to argue the opposite of what the measurement shows when taken in context? How many more Portland massacres will occur because of the hatred propagated by those who benefit from a divided nation.

        1. ColoradoPols is an interesting comment site because it pretty much allows no-holds barred barbs and insults which is one of it's attractions and pitfalls.

          There have been days when it resembles Lord of the Flies in here.

          1. I generally try to keep it clean, civil and on an adult to adult level on here. However, when someone advocates for assaulting and /or killing journalists, I figure that the mask of civility is off….on both sides.


            1. I appreciate your discipline mama.  I'm more of a color outside the lines person that was brought up on the acid commentary of The Rude Pundit.  I am trying to reform a little and just go ballistic when it is an obvious situation that requires a totally pissed off response.

              Once upon a time this site had true conservatives like Laughing Boy who were thoughtful and sharp.  Starting with BJ through the current crud, they are mean, selfish folks who lie with no remorse.  I suppose that is a stereotype but the proof is in the posts.  Probably a reflection of the insanity that has enveloped the Republican Party where principles and playing by the rules is a thing of the past and the only priority is to gain power to punish.  

        2. GG: It's difficult for me not to loathe the far right, but I try hard to keep things in perspective. Christian Sharia is a far greater danger than Islamic Sharia. I visit Right Wing Watch occasionally, a web site that chronicles the religious right leadership both in print as well as video/audio. One just needs to keep on keeping on, in the trenches.

          Climate science is well established. How to deal with it is somewhat of a quandary; we aren't going to renewables yesterday, altho progress continues to happen.

          "healing the sick and feeding the hungry……" Again perspective is needed. The far left would have everyone think that people are starving to death as we speak. After my career in social services, I know t'aint necessarily so.

          1. And you can bet that if childhood malnutrition is not a problem now, it will be after The Donald is done raping the poor for his tax gifts to the rich.

            1. Malnutrition is a better characterization.  A child is no different than a farmer tending to a young corn plant, wheat plant, etc.  If you starve it or feed it the wrong things at an early stage the plant never reaches its potential regardless of how much water or fertilizer you give it later on.  We shouldn't be surprised when we bathe kids in high fructose corn syrup and processed foods that we are building in life-long societal costs that far exceed what we think we're 'saving'.  


      2. I remember back in 1981 when Reagan nominated O'Connor to the Supreme Court and there were concerns about her appointment based on questions about her position on reproductive choice raised by the late Jerry Fallwell. Barry Goldwater famously said that Fallwell needed a swift kick in the ass.


  9. When we think of the contributions of those who were willing to be cannon fodder for our country, we rarely think of the scions of wealth who seem to have bone spurs or hang nails that keep them from making sacrifices of body parts or life for their country.

  10. My Great-Uncle, Navy seaman, killed when his U.S. Navy ship was sunk by a German submarine, September 16, 1918.  My Great-Grandmother, a civilian,  killed by the Soviets, Winter War 1939.

    1. I often wonder if Trump is already in the early stages of dementia.  But his junk food diet and obesity could ironically be his undoing.  It's not like golf is that much exercise.

        1. He subscribes to the theory that each human heart has only a fixed number of beats in it before it gives out. Why waste beats exercising when there is a golf cart available.

          As for the side effects of propecia – which MJ discusses below on this thread – Trump's doctor is already on record talking about the risks (dementia and ED) and benefits (nice hair) associated with it. 

          1. Trump appears to believe nice hair is a fair trade-off.  Melania isn't his type anymore (too old), and Trump is oblivious to any other symptoms.

    2. No – I had no idea that JBS Swift, our local economic engine and stench factory, was an international company, much less one based on bribery and corruption in Brazil. So let's see – we're getting tainted meat from Brazil, which is marketed here because of bribes paid and regs ignored. Trump wants to neutralize oversight even more than it is today, because rules against bribery and corrupt trade practices make it hard for poor little rich guys to profit and grow.

      Back in the day, commies predicted that this would happen – that "capital" in their terms, or "corporations / people" in ours, would start ruling the world and calling all shots.  We're not quite there yet,  and if Trump can be halted, it should be a dire warning about the consequences of unbridled corporate power. Checks and balances, regulations and rules, policies and procedures, laws with consequences – so boring, and unsexy,  yet so very important.

      That, and buying local from people who live where they work.


      1. Another one for you, Mama.  It reminds me of the quote by Andy in The Shawshank Redemption, "I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying."


        I'll post without further comment – these are some damning statistics about the economic health of rural America; there are going to be a lot of towns who won't make it. There are both shining and fading stars in Colorado and most of that has to do with local leadership, not political ideology. 

        Like climate change, these are precursors, most of which will be ignored by all but those who decide they're worth saving. 



  11. The narcissist in the White House is now consumed by paranoia that his image to the outside world isn't the wonderful, fantabulous hero that he sees himself.

    But just because he's paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get him:

    Two White House officials said Trump and some aides including Steve Bannon are becoming increasingly convinced that they are victims of a conspiracy against Trump's presidency, as evidenced by the number of leaks flowing out of government — that the crusade by the so-called “deep state” is a legitimate threat, not just fodder for right wing defenders.

    Still, Trump and his aides are starting to take the probes more seriously, seeking to establish a communications team dedicated to dealing with questions around the probe and beefing up his legal representation. And they've become more rattled by the idea that they don't know where the scandals are headed and who may be ensnared next.

    “The more people talk to him about it, the more he obsesses about it,” said one outside adviser who is close to the president. The White House did not respond to requests for comment as to how Trump was spending his day after returning from the nine-day foreign trip the night before.

    Senior aides and long-time confidants admitted not knowing who Trump would hire, how safe the jobs of top staff are, what the White House's agenda is for the coming days, or what — if anything — they can accomplish.

    “We are letting others dictate entirely how we are perceived," one White House official said. “The calendar changes every day. There is no rhyme or reason to a lot of it.”

    Having offered little in the way of policy specifics — and with Congress on recess next week — Trump’s White House could struggle to distract attention from the Russia probes. The White House’s plans for the week remain largely unclear; Trump scrapped a planned trip to Iowa for a rally.

    The paralysis in the White House is nearly complete.  Putin is surely smiling, and the rest of our enemies are probably thinking "What can I do to take advantage of this totally predictable collapse of the Trump administration?"

    1. And the paranoia will amplify as the various "senior" people begin to lawyer up. They will get advice to stay away from nonessential meetings, people who are already under suspicion or investigation, and topics likely to be a part of investigation.

      That "tip toe" approach happened in the Clinton White House, shifting as the Starr investigations moved from topic to topic. Even in a staff that mostly liked each other, there were barriers. I can't imagine how it will play out in the Trump Sad!-ministration's intentionally competitive environment.

  12. The stumblebum president is back, having again disgraced America before the real leaders of the free world.  Thank God for Angela Merkle!

    Is Trump senile?  

    1. No, definitely not . . . 

      . . . senility implies a loss, and/or deterioration, of cognitive function (for which there is no evidence of Drumpf having ever displayed) . . . 

      Corollary:  Dipshits ( . . . Hey Moderatus, buddy, was just thinking about you! . . . ) would have to get measurably smarter before anyone has to to worry about their going senile. 

    1. Maybe someone can explain why Trump needs his Muslim ban, considering that it was to be in place for 90 days to allow his administration to put in place the "extreme vetting" necessary to protect the country. He's had his 90 days; what progress has he actually made?

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