Thursday Open Thread

“Leadership is intangible, and therefore no weapon ever designed can replace it.”

–Omar Bradley

68 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ScottP says:

    I mean, yesterday Great Leader Obama says he supports gay marriage and today it’s not legal everywhere. He’s the worst socialist dictator I’ve ever seen!

  2. dwyer says:

    here is the update from Education News Colorado:

    http://www.ednewscolorado.org/

  3. Libertad 2.0 says:

    still churning away.

  4. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents

    A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

    • rocco says:

      I just finished the WaPo piece. I read it in its’ entirety.

      The stunning comparisons, from then to now, are still making me shake my head.

      Romney didn’t just screw with this kid during the “haircut incident”, he taunted him a lot.

      And always with a “posse”.

      As he is now as an old man, Romney was a feckless coward as a boy, when he bullied Lauber, and as a young “man” when he dodged the draft, attending pro-war rallies while on a “missionary deferment”.

      At some point we need to address the similarities of Romney and Bush, two young “practical joking scamps”, that were cheerleaders, never players, whether in sports or wars they enthusiastically advocated and cheered for, but never participated in.

      What is it about these conservative “tough guys”, these “rambos”, these “tough talkin’, smooth walkin’” “heroes”.

      Must be the gene.  

    • BlueCat says:

      If Mittens does lose, you and dwyer won’t be too disappointed over your lost chance to let SXP have it with an in your face, I told you so dance, Dave.

      If Obama actually wins, you can always console yourselves with the knowledge that we’ve been saved from decades of damage at the hands of this moron and the unbeatable rightie super majority on the Supreme Court that would result from a Romney win, even if it means losing the chance to stick to arch enemy, SXP151.

      I know, I know.  I’m naive to think Obama has a ghost of a chance and besides, he’s not good enough either. Do you suppose there’s a new, laughable Nader in the wings I could flush my vote down the toilet for? Or do you recommend voting for Obama but only while non-stop carrying on about how much I think he stinks and will probably lose, anyway?

      • dwyer says:

        I believe that the greatest obstacle to an Obama victory is the complacency of the democratic base. I cite the 2010 republican victory.  I link to other loyal democrats who share the same concern. We will see in Colorado how that ONE vote margin in the House finally plays out.

        To be upfront and honest about my concern has not earned me the undying gratitude of this blogging community. Au contrarie, I am vilified, attacked, accused of having a major mental illness, and worse of all, accused of wanting Mittens to win, so that I can say “I told you so.”  That is CRAP.

        I was sitting at a phone bank for RFK, the night he was shot. I was assigned to the middle of nowhere because I choose  to “Ask Not” when JFK was killed.  Don’t you dare accuse me of wanting to see everything my generation worked for and endured thrown out.

        You all act like this is a middle school lunch room food fight.  It is not.  What utter contempt you have for democrats who built this party to think that we must all be lock step, rah, rah, right over the gd ledge.  

        What sanctimonious fools you are.

      • sxp151 says:

        I think this will be a difficult election for Obama to win. Unemployment is still high, and the Democratic base is not excited (although I share David’s optimism that the gay marriage announcement may get young voters excited again).

        Romney is unpopular and a really bad candidate, but he’s got more money than God if God had a rich father, and that counts for a lot in our elections. Neither of these candidates is going to win by a landslide, whatever happens.

        David and dwyer are not wrong to be worried about Democrats losing, or even to be telling us about their concern. Where I criticize them is in their utter hopelessness about it: David’s because he frequently says they’re all the same and nothing will make any difference, and dwyer’s because no matter how hard any of us works for any candidate, we’re all just elitists who are asleep and out of touch and lazy.

        There’s nothing wrong with being pessimistic, until it gets to the point where it’s completely demoralizing. No matter how hard anyone works, dwyer will still tell us we’re not doing anything and it won’t matter anyway.

        • BlueCat says:

          Where I criticize them is in their utter hopelessness about it: David’s because he frequently says they’re all the same and nothing will make any difference, and dwyer’s because no matter how hard any of us works for any candidate, we’re all just elitists who are asleep and out of touch and lazy.

          Those were almost exactly my thoughts reading their exchanges with you yesterday. And now I’ve gone over my allowed per day average of comments to the point where I’d better take the next two days off entirely so I won’t be able to respond to Dave or dwyer after getting a rise out of them. You said it perfectly anyway. Also this:

          There’s nothing wrong with being pessimistic, until it gets to the point where it’s completely demoralizing.

          Have a great weekend SXP, Dave, dwyer and all the rest of the usual suspects. Bu-bye!

    • Theosuphus Jones says:

      The Post also detailed incidents where Romney said “Atta girl,” in class to a closeted gay student, and deliberately held a door closed while an sight-impaired teacher walked into it.

      http://www.chicagotribune.com/

      Criminal mischief?

      After Romney rounded up some friends, including Matthew Friedmann, who gave his version of the story to the Post, “they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a  pair of scissors.”

      Lauber, who died in 2004, was traumatized by the incident, according to a witness who bumped into him years later at a bar in Chicago O’Hare International Airport. “It was horrible,” Lauber reportedly told David Seed, a witness to the event, who apologized to Lauber for not helping stop it, the Post said.

      • CaninesCanines says:

        “I have 18 grandchildren, who I’m now serving as a less-repellent example to.”

        “I’m quite a different guy now. I’m married, have five sons five daughters-in-law and now 18 grandchildren…”

        It’s up against the wall, redneck mother!

      • VanDammerVanDammer says:

        who has more compassion?  who has better character?

        Barack was seriously bullied during his time in Indonesia, he was the outsider and the one that looked different & acted different.  One can’t just laugh off and pass off childhood experiences and not see how they’ve affected the adult character.  Let’s see Mitt’s side pull out another “he ate dog meat” episode to show their desperation.

    • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

      I would find this dredging-up of high school pranks silly, kind of like trying to interpret Barack Obama’s presidency by analyzing his ex-girlfriends’ diaries, as the conservatives have been lately doing.

      But, he doesn’t seem to have. He’s still an anti-gay bully… he just wields policy instead of scissors.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        And there’s instigating physical assault  

        • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

          If he were poor or a minority, he would have been.

          However, there’s a reason that for most offenses, a minor can move into adulthood with a clean record. The part of the brain that deals with good judgment and choices isn’t fully developed in adolescence. A person can be influenced by parents, peers, and others throughout adolescence and then develop an independent conscience as an adult. That’s why zero tolerance school discipline is kind of shitty, and why one of the bills I was most excited about this year was Newell’s bill to temper those policies a bit.

          But, again, he doesn’t seem to have changed. People can, and often do, change after adolescence, even if they were real shits as teenagers. Mitt hasn’t, as far as I can tell.

          • nancycronknancycronk says:

            I agree completely. Who among us didn’t do silly things as kids? The questions to determine if this is a relevant story are the following:

            1. Did one’s “pranks” involve physical violence, threat, or intimidation?

            2. Did the person learn from their mistakes, and to the extent they may have caused harm to others, work to right their wrongs, and to improve life for others in the future?

            If Romney had gone on to express remorse for his past behavior, and put his energies into pushing for equal rights for those whom he had personally oppressed and persecuted, I’d have some respect for him. I don’t.

          • sxp151 says:

            The victim of the bullying was kicked out for smoking a cigarette, but as far as anyone quoted in the article can recall, Romney was never punished once.

            There are basically two ways to get a bully to develop a conscience: severe punishment or having him become a victim of it himself. Neither ever happened to Romney, so it’s no surprise he never changed.

            • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

              Which also seems never to have happened to Romney.

              Some bullies are bullies because they’re already victims of bullying–usually by their parents or other caregivers. Others genuinely are just kids with poor judgment, a twisted sense of humor, and no history of appropriate consequences. Often, the adult world straightens them out quickly.

              I had a friend in my own teens who behaved in a bullying way toward gay and transgender individuals. He wasn’t physically violent like Mitt was, but we’re talking about a school community that’s run mostly by hippies, not an all-boys prep school for rich families. In that kind of environment, this person certainly might have participated in physical bullying. In this case, it was online harassment and consistently hateful verbal remarks. The bullying stopped completely after a mutual friend came out of the closet as gay and another mutual friend subsequently came out as transgendered. There was no severe punishment and the bullying friend was never a victim–he just suddenly was forced to recognize that GBLTQ people are his friends, too, not some sort of outside or alien group he’ll never have to know personally.

              But we agree on the basics here — nothing ever appears to have happened to change Mitt, as evidenced by the fact that the only thing about Mitt that has changed is his mind, every time someone shakes the etch-a-sketch.

              • sxp151 says:

                I guess there are three ways to learn empathy.

                I guess the trouble with the “Suddenly I have a gay friend” approach is that it seems to only work on anti-gay bullying. I can think of several cases where someone who’s very anti-immigrant, anti-minority anti-gay, anti-woman, etc., admits that he’s gay or that he has a gay friend or family member, but still goes right on hating women and minorities.

                And as you say, getting bullied yourself isn’t a cure-all; it can easily lead to the other direction of getting revenge on others and making the problem worse.

                • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

                  (Well, except in the case of transgender issues.)

                  They form the disrespect instantly and never make the kind of bond that can be generalized to “Well, if Sue is okay and she’s a woman, maybe women are just people like men, too.”

                  I’m not really sure how to make an anti-woman or anti-immigrant or racist bully feel empathy. I guess it sometimes happens that a female family member’s victimization by a man creates that kind of response, but it’s just as likely to lead to direct bullying of the victim. There was one case last year where a racist murderer of the Islamophobic variety repented on death row after a man he tried to kill touched him deeply by forgiving him, but that’s hardly scalable–not everyone forgives, and not every bully is affected by forgiveness other than to see it as permission to keep up the bullying.

      • AristotleAristotle says:

        Mittens would LOVE for you, and everyone, to think of it as that. A-BOT will be here shortly to palm off Rmoney’s fauxpology where he called it that, but it was nothing less than bullying, full stop. It’s why he got away with it.

        And don’t give him a pass based on his age at the time. He fully crossed the line from right to wrong that he was old enough to comprehend.

        • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

          Mixed in with a story about various things that certainly are pranks, like pretending to set up a fine dining restaurant in the middle of a roadway. That’s a completely normal teenage prank. Heck, if I’d thought of that one, I’d have done it. I can even give him a pass on the impersonating a police officer thing–against the law and for good reason, but so are a lot of perfectly normal teenage pranks.

          The bullying of a gay classmate and of a visually impaired teacher are outright bullying.

          Obviously, both types of incidents are included in an attempt to give a fuller picture of the Mitt-who-was. I’d find it a bit silly to discuss the pranks at all if Mitt had changed since then, and I’d consider the two bullying incidents just enough of a story to be worth asking him about and letting him apologize and explain all he’s done for gays and people with disabilities since then–but, of course, he hasn’t. He’s continued to bully both groups, so it’s a story.

          That’s all I’m sayin’ — the story is a story because Mitt’s still apparently that same Mitt.

            • Fidel's dirt nap says:

              by raiding innocent peoples’ pensions, ruining their lives, and kicking them to the curb I might add Dwyer:

              In 1993 Bain acquired the Armco Worldwide Grinding System steel plant in Kansas City, Missouri and merged it with its steel plant in Georgetown, South Carolina to form GST Steel. The Kansas City plant had a strike in 1997 and Bain closed the plant in 2001 laying off 750 workers when it went into bankruptcy. The South Carolina plant closed in 2003 but subsequently reopened under a different owner. At the time of its bankruptcy it reported $553.9 million in debts against $395.2 in assets. It was charged later that Bain had taken $58.4 million out of the company in profits while saddling with debt and underfunding the employee pension by $44 million.[48][49][50][51]

              Quote above from Wikipedia.

              The man stands for nothing, other than plutocracy and social darwinism.

          • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

            of “Animal House”. “.Killed in Vietnam by his own troops”.

        • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

          It appears he was 18 at the time of the incident and has been brushing it off in ways that make pretty damn clear he has no idea to this day what he did wrong. Gross.

        • nancycronknancycronk says:

          Singling out a homosexual, enlisting a gang to hold him down, and forcibly cutting off the victim’s hair, while he screams, is an example of a prank.

          Throwing a small handful of glitter on someone as a form of social protest, is not a prank. That is considered a serious crime, akin to terrorism.

          Go figure.

    • nancycronknancycronk says:

      From the press release:

      Governor Hickenlooper Will Honor Fallen Firefighters

                 On May 12th at 11 a.m. at Belmar Park in Lakewood, Governor Hickenlooper, the Colorado fire service, families of the fallen, and citizens will remember the firefighters who gave the ultimate sacrifice – their lives while protecting the people and property of the State of Colorado.

      This is the 11th year that the Colorado Fallen Firefighters Foundation has put this significant ceremony together honoring fallen firefighters in Colorado.   Fortunately this marks three consecutive years in which a name of a fallen firefighter has not been added to the wall that bears the names of 137 firefighters.   The event is open to everyone and there will be a fire apparatus parade at 10:30 a.m. immediately preceding the remembrance ceremony. The route begins on Garrison Street in Lakewood proceeding northbound to West Alameda Avenue. The route then heads east down Alameda and turns southbound on South Allison Parkway, passing the location of the Colorado Fallen Firefighter Memorial. Citizens are welcome watch throughout the route or wait for the procession at the Memorial site.

      There will be a small reception after the ceremony.

    • CaninesCanines says:

      It gets promoted either today or tomorrow, so that the promotion is closer to the actual date of the meet-up.

      Or it gets summarily ignored.

      One of the two.

  5. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Where is the most effective place to donate (Nancy don’t say Miklosi). Is the House Majority Project ruthless about directing money to those with the best chance as opposed to those who are best connected?

  6. caroman says:

    Apparently, the special session will not take up the pot DUI bill.

    Good.  This bill would have created a severe criminal penalty for an activity (driving with THC in your blood) that had not been legitimately determined to pose a threat to public safety.  It reminds me of states like Utah that lower the DUI alcohol standard below what constitutes a legitimate public safety threat because they don’t approve of any consumption of alcohol.

    Yesterday when I raised this issue, all I got were snarky comments about smoking cell phones, or something.  Funny.

    Actually, this is a serious issue regarding government intrusion and overreach.  It’s difficult to lobby because of the snark directed to those who try to discuss it.  

    My view: Establish a THC limit that is proven to be a public safety risk via credible scientific studies.  Anything short of that is government tyranny.

    • nancycronknancycronk says:

      while waiting for Civil Unions last week. You’re right, Caroman. The science isn’t conclusive. There needs to be more research.  

    • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

      I’ve been wondering about 117.

      Sorry if you didn’t think I (we) take the issue seriously. I am so used to unbelieveably idiotic stuff coming from Steve King, I sometimes get carried away.

      I first started distributing literature for NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) in 1971. While I am no longer an activist on that subject, I have supported the decriminalization of Cannibis ever since.

      I just had a hard time believing Kings’ phony science would stand up in court.

      Glad to hear the bill won’t make it.    

    • MADCO says:

      that just begged for a punchline.  

      Now if you’re saying it wasn’t funny- that’s a horse of a different feather.

      I agree with you otherwise on this one – no science needed. Just ask yourself this- you or people you love are driving on a Friday night around 2am.  Who would you rather be sharing the road with – a bunch of drunks just released from last call, or a bunch of THC affected drivers?

  7. SSG_Dan says:

    Soon-to-been unemployed repub Gov Scott Walker, seeing his anti-union BS falling apart under the assault of those facty-thingie, steals a socialist President’s idea as a way to try and save his ass in the face of a recall election:



    Scott Walker Using $100 Million Of Taxpayer Money To Fight Off Recall?

    In the effort to move withering public opinion in his direction, the Governor has embarked on a campaign strategy highly dependent upon finding someone else to blame for the poor economic performance of his state. In the process, Walker has resorted to committing a huge amount of taxpayer money to aid in his political survival, while mounting a campaign that-to anyone paying attention-only serves to highlight his own failures over the past decade.

    Not surprisingly, the ‘someone’ chosen by Walker to play the role of scapegoat is his recall election opponent, Mayor Tom Barrett of city of Milwaukee-a city with some of the most difficult poverty problems in the nation.

    The effort kicked off ten days ago when, after fifteen months in the Governor’s chair where Walker has consistently cried poverty in the state budget as the rational for his many controversial moves, the Governor miraculously came up with $100 million to fund economic development in Milwaukee’s poorest areas-money Walker claims will come from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Board.

    Even more surprising is the astonishing resemblance between the Walker scheme and the series of measures put forth by President Obama as the Governor’s proposal involves reoccupying foreclosed and vacant properties while making loans and venture capital money available to small businesses and industrial developers.

    Of course, Scott Walker had been a vocal opponent of such proposals when uttered by the President.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ri

    Of course, this has NOTHING to do with the fact that despite all the snake-oil legistative tricks by the Gov and his repub minions, Wisconsin currently competes with Nevada for the dubious title of worst job creator in the nation.

    I thought that it was PFM that the moment you stripped away union rights, that jobs magically fly out of the Gov’s butt?

  8. ClubTwitty says:

    The former Massachusetts governor held his first Colorado campaign event since February at a K.P. Kauffman Co. oil field, which records show failed its last state inspection in July 2011. The woman who answered the phone at K.P. Kauffman’s field office in Ft. Lupton said she was unaware of any of the company’s multiple oil spills or what’s been done to remedy them.

    http://coloradoindependent.com…  

  9. caroman says:

    Romney yesterday claimed that for 3,000 years marriage has always been defined as between a man and a woman.  Andrew Sullivan has cleverly noted a problem with that statement:

    “Ahem. His own family were ardent polygamists only a century ago — and went to Mexican colonies to escape US federal oppression of their version of marriage (which also goes back a long, long way and still exists across the world). Romney’s great-grandparents were polygamists; one of his his great-great-grandfathers had twelve wives and was murdered by the husband of the twelfth. For Romney to say that the definition of marriage has remained the same for 3,000 years is disproved by his own family. It’s untrue. False. A lie.”

    • MADCO says:

      we’ve learned  that religion is off limits in campaigns – unless you know Rev. Wright.

      And grandparents  from another country are off limits – unless they are African.

      untrue. False. A lie.

      That oughtta just be the Romney campaign slogan – at least  for about 3 months months or so.

    • ScottP says:

      The argument from the right is always “gay marriage will ruin ‘traditional’ marriage”.

      When you talk about tradition, you talk about what your previous generations did. Now Romney has to talk about the polygamists in his family tree.

      I don’t think Obama could have made such a confident statement in support of gay marriage without Romney as his opponent, strategically speaking.

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