Friday Open Thread

"We do not talk–we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests."

–Henry Miller

45 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Greatest editorial retraction – ever.

    Seven score and ten years ago, the forefathers of this media institution brought forth to its audience a judgment so flawed, so tainted by hubris, so lacking in the perspective history would bring, that it cannot remain unaddressed in our archives.

  2. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Unique?

    "This year and over the last three years, we've seen a level of polarization that seems unique," Obama said at a Democratic fundraiser in Philadelphia, according to a pool report. 

    I hope he's just saying that for political purposes and doesn't truly know that little of our history. Among other times:

    1. The first 20 years when sections of the country were constantly threatening to break off for being ignored (and not just the South). The Federalists and Democrats were both convinced the other meant the ruin of the country.
    2. During Andrew Jackson's term when the fight over the national bank had the two sides doing everything they could to destroy the other. And they took the economy into a recession doing so.
    3. The Civil War.
    4. The New Deal. The Republican party was convinced that FDR was a communist and they were fighting to keep us free.
    5. The '60s (civil rights & Vietnam). The government was shooting and killing students.
    • dwyer says:

      You are so right, DT.  But, Obama's personal knowledge of our political history starts in 1980 or so. It is like talking to kids for whom, the Oklahoma Bombing is just a page in the history book.  

      • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

        Or apologists who downplay Nixon's culpability for being at the top of a conspiracy which committed money laundering, obstruction of justice, subversion of campaign finance laws etc. by claiming he didn't specifically give the order for the Watergate burglary.

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        But keep in mind, too, that Obama is uniquely an international man. If you've read his biography, "Dreams for my Father," you know that he learned by osmosis about dictatorships and coups, freedom fighters and the penalties they paid, apartheid and third world poverty while talking with his father, living in Indonesia, etc. His grandparents, who raised him in Hawaii as a young teen, were FDR Democrats.

        And, he's certainly demonstrated as a scholar and a politician that he's deeply interested in history, and has learned from it. I wouldn't be too condescending about the political acumen of our President.

  3. dwyer says:

    All is relatively quiet on the boyles front.  I expect after his hours long rant yesterday, somebody got to him and told him to tone it down.  He did have the recall people on again…evidently, there was another incident yesterday and the Arvada police issued an harassment ticket against an "anti-recall" person – the same one who kicked a recall sign.  

    Now, he is recounting history of Pueblo and CS recall success. Talking at great lenghth about "outside interests."  But, he did have Jennisfer Kerns on and declared to note that she is a "California gal"! 

    Once more into the breach??  boyles is calling for people to pressure Channel 4s Shaun Boyd to have Laura Walters, one of the two leaders of the recall movement, on her show.  What is interesting is that boyles did not call for Mike

    McAlphine (spelling?) to be interviewed.  Perhaps in his careful reading of Colorado Pols, he learned about Mike's Boulder immediate background.  He may also know that the tape shows that Mike indeed say "brown shirts"…better not to rattle that cage?  

    I think it would be good for Shawn Boyd to ask both Walters and McAlphine on the show and ask them about the above as well as who is helping with the petition signers and whos paying them, and is Canino the only petitioners with a CR????  Just a thought.

    To contact Boyd:  http://denver.cbslocal.com/personality/shaun-boyd/

    To just call the Channel 4 tipline:   303.863.8477

     

  4. dwyer says:

    I really want Obama to be successful. I really want AHCA to work.  But when I

    watched Obama's press conference yesterday, I was so reminded of the first presidential debate where Romney had the President on the ropes because Obama did not appear to be knowledgeable, at all, about the details of AHCA.

     

  5. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/15/colorado_a_microcosm_for_american_politics_120669.html

    Things Going Sour for Colorado Democrats – Michael Barone, DC Examiner

    Colorado a Microcosm for American Politics

  6. Gray in Mountains says:

    eating pomegranete sure is messy. and, difficult. might it be a food that causes you to burn more calories than you consume?

  7. Obamacare update: Add 59 thousand to the number of enrollees in the first month of enrollment. California reports that many people signed on to ACA plans last month through its exchange.

  8. Republicans latest anti-Obamacare effort passes in the House today (no surprise, though the 39 Democrats joining them on the "let the insurance companies keep screwing their customers forever" bill might be).

    Republicans blocked a Democratic amendment limiting the non-conformant plans to current enrollees only (and only for a year) by declaring the amendment not germane to the debate.

    The Republican plan would allow insurance companies to continue offering non-conformant plans for as long as they wanted, both to current customers and new enrollees. This, of course, would gut the insurance reforms of the ACA over the long term.

    Next step, the Senate, where I believe Sen. Landreau's competing plan that is similar to the House Democrats' plan minus the one year limitation. Republicans in the Senate will probably filibuster that bill in hopes that Reid will bring up the Upton (House) bill instead, but Reid seems pretty adamant about not allowing that one to the floor as the base bill. (He'll probably allow it as a substitution in the nature of an amendment from the Republican side, but it would die as an amendment given the preferable Landreau plan…)

  9. Today's ACA Healthcare.gov fiasco progress update:

    An official working with the Healthcare.gov repair update today notes significant progress on the site, stating that there were no outages this week, and that the error rate on the site is down below 1%.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/190430-official-healthcaregov-error-rate-below-1

  10. Miss Jane says:

    Is this less than 1% error rate acceptable for a new program?   I wonder how the state exchanges are doing error wise. And I guess that as the program rolls out error will pop up.   

    • The official stated that they were still working on it, so <1% – whatever the actual figure – is still too high, or there are other issues like speed that still aren't up to snuff. They do expect to have new bugs reported once everything is "okay" – which is to be expected from software (which averages about 1 bug for every 1000 lines of code. Given the enormous reported size of the healthcare.gov site, it's no wonder it's broken…)

      As to the state exchanges, they range in quality, with some state programs being role models (Kentucky), others starting poorly but really getting rolling (California), and still others that are apparently still lagging (Oregon).

  11. dwyer says:

    FYI, @mj55, et.al

    John Andrewswas on the Mike Rosen show, today.  Evidently he and Rosen are trying to engineer a reproachmont between the tea party and the party elites.  From the calls, it did not appear to be going well. Some Libertarian called in and Rose was irate…..he thinks Libertarians run and take votes away from Republicans and cause them to lose….but what Andrews said was that

    he was grateful to the LIbertarians because they stopped the mail-in ballots for the Morse and Giron recalls,  and if there had been mail-in ballots, the outcome would have been DIFFERENT.  Nice to see a republican admit that.

    • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

      John Andrews recently had Michelle Morin as a purported spokesman for the Tea Party while she was supporting Santorum (who was on record as saying the Tea Party should be marginalized/destroyed)

      So excuse me for not taking this all that seriously. 

      • BlueCat says:

        How about the part where he admits what we all know? That anything that makes it harder to vote and therefore cuts the number of votes cast is a blessing for Republicans? In other words yes it is about voter suppression. Preventing fraud, which nobody has come close to proving is a real problem, is just an excuse. 

        I do agree with you that it's pointless to take anything that Andrews says seriously. Naturally the same goes for Rosen.

        • BlueCat says:

          Care to comment, Elliot?wink

          • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

            I don't feel like getting into an election security vs. purported voter suppression discussion here right now.  I'd rather build on minecraft.

            • Curmudgeon says:

              "And Sir Fladen ran away…." again.

              Elliott… the surviving members of Monty Python are on the phone… something about intellectual property?

              NOT LEGAL OR FACTUAL

              • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                We're really going to have to recruit some better trolls. Our conservatives on here are much too mild-mannered for y'all.

                • Curmudgeon says:

                  Elliott's no troll. A troll lives under a bridge, and that involves taking a definite position…..

                • BlueCat says:

                  Elliot isn't a troll. He's a self deluded apologist who can't come to grips with the reality of what the right has become. He doesn't see racism or bigotry or voter suppression because he can't bear to.

                  Best not to think about it, which you'd have to do in order to respond. Too painful, especially since he's already forced to take a position that his fellow travelers reject on immigration reform by his personal situation. One can't help thinking he'd be an apologist adhering to the the rightie line on that too if he had an American born anglo wife. 

                  Speaking of trolls, n3b must be taking a long weekend.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      That is refreshing to hear that truth come out.  Something really odd has happened to the conservatives, and the closest analogy I can find to it is my experiences in the radical left and feminist movements in the 1970s.

      Somehow, only the most extreme, the angriest, the least willing to compromise, were seen as the purest and the "best". Of course, that kept these groups small. But they liked that, felt it was a badge of honor.

      I see that same dynamic happening on the right wing these days. Moderate fiscal and social conservatives tend to hang back and say less and less, engage civically less and less, vote less and less, possibly because they're tired of being hit up to finance extreme candidates.

       

      • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

        MamaJ  Yor comment reminded me of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpMv76SIUhg It's cool old song I hadn't heard in a long time. This site displays the lyric. See if the sentiments sound familiar.

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          Yes, that's the personality type, cook.  What's ironic is that most of the purely social/cultural changes we fought over in the 60s and 70s are now incorporated into mainstream American culture.  So the "angry young men and women" got at least some of what we wanted.

          Gay folk are coming out in droves and being treated like real people. They (we – I'm the "B" in LGBT" ) are not going back into the closet. Children out of wedlock?  Yawn. Abortion and birth control? The law of the land, although I suspect we're going to have to fight that battle all over again. Vietnam war? Finally got our butts kicked and got out.

          What has not changed, or not changed enough, are the racial and economic disparities. White folks can have upward mobility. Americans of color can never outgrow their skins.  A Pew poll shows the disparity between white vs. Latino and African American income is the highest its been in 25 years.  So even though, culturally, we see more faces of color in popular media and sports, schools are largely resegregated, as are neighborhoods and  the upper echelons of the job market.

          I'm not sure how this relates to the "angry old men and women" of the conservative and tea party movement. I think that there's a desperate nostalgia for those Good Old Days of invisible and powerless gays and people of color, of righteous wars, and of taxpayer paid infrastructure, even though they now decry the taxes which built "this great country". 

          There's a nostalgia for the days when powerful, outspoken women as public figures and leaders were rare, and there was shame attached to not being a proper mother/housewife. That ship, too, has sailed away.

          The fight over abortion and birth control, in my opinion, is a fight over who gets to decide life and death. That's a decision men have always kept for themselves; they get to decide which enemy in war deserves death, how many immigrants must die crossing the desert, how many Native Americans should die so corporations can take their mineral resources. Women started saying that they wanted just that one little bit of power, to decide whether this potential life growing in their own wombs would live, or die, and that decision encroached on the sacred male purview.

          This has turned into more of a diary than a comment, so I'll stop. But I did like Billy Joel's song. What a talent he has for incisive commentary and irony, mixed with bouncy melody!

          • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

            I don't think anyone fought for single parenting becoming the norm, and it's nothing to be proud of having achieved.

            • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

              I didn't say that anyone should be proud of single parenting becoming the norm, nor do I think it is the norm.  Latest numbers: 1/3 of kids live in one-parent households.

              My own opinion is that kids need many adults interested in and cooperating in their welfare: "It takes a village", etc.

              What I said was:

              Children out of wedlock? yawn.

              Meaning no one gets too excited about it anymore.

               

              • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

                Shouldn't we ought to be.  It's not a good thing. 1/3 is not good.

                • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                  I've raised kids both in and out of marriage. With the right partner, it's awesome to co-parent. With the wrong partner, it's hell, on parents, kids, everyone. Some kids are really better off being raised by a single parent than being raised in an environment of constant conflict and poor role modeling. I see that dynamic as a teacher, too.

                  • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

                    But some kids are better not being conceived at all  by parents who aren't on the same page about parenting.  Too much indescriminate breeding, and not enough birth control.  Lots of people won the right to sexual freedom, and lots of less responsible  people won the right to make really bad decisions resulting on the creation of children they had no interest in raising to be responsible adults.

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