Open Thread for Thursday, February 16, 2017

Some things to chew over:

  1. Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador — The FBI interview came before we found out that Yeah, he did, precipitating his resignation.
  2. ‘Are they friends of yours?’: Trump asks black reporter to set up meeting with Congressional Black Caucus — It’s so convenient that the press corps has a few members of African extraction, because they can talk to the black people for you!
  3. ‘This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine’ — I wasn’t going to give you any more Trump stuff, but he actually said that, at an extraordinary presser that could produce 10 more headlines if I didn’t… hold… myself… back! By the way, none of the bad stuff going on his his fault, because he “inherited a mess.”
  4. Myrtle Beach area man was planning attack ‘in the spirit of Dylann Roof,’ FBI says — One thing about homicidal maniacs — they seldom have an original idea.
  5. Pakistan: IS attack on Sufi shrine in Sindh kills dozens — In some countries, the homicidal maniacs have even less imagination that ours do. Once, blowing up religious sites in the name of religion might have seemed fresh and new, but no more.
  6. Kershaw sheriff shuts down Facebook comments — Yeah, comments can be a real pain in the posterior. Present company excepted, of course…

Kershaw

25 thoughts on “Open Thread for Thursday, February 16, 2017

  1. bud

    Yeah we can go on and on about Trump but really is just your typical Republican. It just bizarre that Republicans in congress turn the other way over the Flynn scandal and yet people still, inexplicably lump the two parties together. This is the same party that had 9 investigations on Benghazi. The GOP is like a cancer rotting the soul out of the country by destroying its institutions and crippling its values.

    And the hapless Democrats merely bend over backwards and take it and ask for another. Liberal voters are waiting for a bit of fight but continue to get disappointed by these wimps. Meanwhile a holes like Bitch McConnell are callously telling a female senator to sit down and shut up. What is this the 50s with Joseph McCarthy fully on display. It’s time to call the wicked, vile Republicans out for the enemy that they surely are and stop pretending Trump is some kind of abheration. Let’s rename this awful organization for what it really is: the Trumpublican party.

    Reply
      1. Phillip

        No, he’s not a typical Republican, Scout, but the rise of somebody like Trump—-the lionization of the wealthy, the worship of wealth for its own sake as a moral good, as well as the fetishization of “toughness” and “macho-ness”—was only possible within the Republican party in this country. Though some of his ideas may be anathema to traditional conservatives (talk of infrastructure spending, the coziness with Russia, some of the anti-trade anti-globalization populism), there is plenty in there that he espouses that they like so that they will gladly accept him as their “savior.” Repeal of Obamacare, tax cuts for the wealthy, unwinding of Dodd-Frank regulations, turning a blind eye towards global warming in order to maximize short-term profits, gutting environmental regulations for the same reasons. And, in spite of his campaign rhetoric about questioning some of American interventionist foreign policy over the years, if the Donald just gets worked up about some country and decides to bomb it or send some troops in, you watch—even Lindsey Graham will turn around and praise Trump for finally understanding America’s global “responsibilities” and re-establishing American “credibility.”

        Claus mentioned in a comment elsewhere that few if any Republicans will ever cross the line into advocating impeachment because of fear of Trump’s supporters, and I have to say I agree. Trump would have to do something so clearly nuts and/or grotesquely illegal to ever get more than a handful of GOP senators to say that he has to go.

        The press conference yesterday, the ratcheting of anti-press rhetoric, even the questionnaire put out by the GOP about press coverage and “holding the mainstream media accountable” makes one wonder if DT will begin to more seriously try to leverage his popular support to actually rein in (by extralegal means) the press. This will be the sign that we’ve moved into new territory. It is important (as Doug has pointed out) to remember that those of us gnashing our teeth and wringing our hands and seeking reassurance from late-night comedians that it’s not us that has gone crazy…we’re only maybe half the country, more or less. Trump (and his rise to power) is not the disease, he is really just the symptom.

        Reply
        1. Bill

          “Trump would have to do something so clearly nuts and/or grotesquely illegal to ever get more than a handful of GOP senators to say that he has to go.”

          Unfortunately, fear of his supporters is only part of the reason why the GOP-controlled Congress will be reluctant to take him on. As David Frum points out in his masterful, though chilling piece for the Atlantic (“How to Build an Autocracy”), congressional Republicans will be disinclined to raise serious objections simply because they are more dependent on him than he is on them. Frum writes:

          “The first reason to fear weak diligence is the oddly inverse relationship between President Trump and the congressional Republicans. In the ordinary course of events, it’s the incoming president who burns with eager policy ideas. Consequently, it’s the president who must adapt to—and often overlook—the petty human weaknesses and vices of members of Congress in order to advance his agenda. This time, it will be Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, doing the advancing—and consequently the overlooking.”

          Reply
  2. Doug Ross

    Your tax dollars at work. Six million dollars overpaid by the Department of Education to schools because they misrepresented their enrollment numbers.

    http://www.thenerve.org/state-overpays-millions-to-schools/

    They either can’t count or they are corrupt. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt based on how terribly they run their school districts. But, no, really, we can fix this just by giving them more money and not replacing the people at the top.

    Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        As with any government funded project (e.g. Penny Tax for Roads), they just make up numbers and assume everyone will forget their outlandish estimates. They start with the end number they want and extrapolate everything else. The funniest/saddest estimate I remember from the Penny Tax dog and pony shows was that it would save every driver several hundred dollars a year in car repairs. And the pro tax people pushed that out there with a straight face. Then there were the 17,000 jobs it would create. How’s that working out? Other than the straight out patronage and kickback jobs, have we even reached 100 real jobs yet?

        Being a government flack for projects is even better than being a weatherman, You don’t even have to be close.

        Reply
    1. Barry

      One post and one only –

      The state has violated their own law for years since they passed ACT 388 underfunding school districts according to their own formula to the tune of tens of millions of dollars that they promised- in law- to fund.

      I don’t mind this “overpayment” in the least.

      Ms. Spearman should have reminded those esteemed committee members of that fact- which they already know about.

      Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        Ah, the “ends justifies the means” rationalization. If you can’t get it the right way, steal it.

        Anyway, it was for 4K “education” – which is essentially babysitting and shows little real down-the-line benefit for the investment.

        Reply
            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Actually, you’ve got that backwards. If anyone on this blog has “liberal blinders,” it’s Doug.

              As he’ll tell you, he’s a libertarian, which means he is a classical liberal.

              I’m a good bit more conservative than he is, to the extent the word has meaning. But then, so are most people…

              Reply
              1. Claus

                Well he’s the only one that seems to make any sense. When I said “liberal blinders” I meant as in those here who are for full-blown socialism… everybody is equal no matter how little or much you participate, everyone gets a trophy mentality.

                Reply
                1. Claus

                  “I’m not recognizing what you’re saying. I can’t think of when anyone here has advocated anything like what you’re talking about…”

                  Am I speaking a foreign language?

              2. Doug Ross

                I’m fiscally conservative (be good stewards with other people’s money), socially liberal (mind your own business), and militarily pacifist (don’t kill innocent people – ever).

                Reply
          1. Doug Ross

            THAT was an insult? Questioning the logic of saying that just because he thinks that schools are underfunded, it’s okay for school districts to take more 4K money than they are entitled to?

            I don’t lose sleep over people who a) are afraid to put their name on their opinions and b) run away if anyone questions them. Make your case, “Barry”. Convince me that this was a good way to handle education funding.

            Reply
            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Here’s what you accused him of advocating:

              Ah, the “ends justifies the means” rationalization. If you can’t get it the right way, steal it.

              That’s a pretty insulting assertion.

              By the way, he doesn’t use his whole name, but his name IS Barry. No, he doesn’t meet your standard in that regard, and you know I value and applaud your openness. It would be great if everyone would meet me in person and show me a valid picture ID. But I don’t demand it. :)

              Reply
              1. Doug Ross

                Well, what would you call it then to say that it’s okay to take money that they weren’t entitled to? There is no question that they got more than they were supposed to and should return it — or have their funds cut by the same amount next year. When it’s tax dollars, we’re supposed to just shrug our shoulders apparently. It’s not real money.

                But then it’s a similar attitude some have about illegal immigrants — “They are JUST trying to take care of their families! So they commit crimes, is that SO bad? “.

                Reply
  3. bud

    The buses are running better. I’d have to rate the penny a success overall. Perhaps there are a few problems but it’s been a worthwhile endevour.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      Yeah… why worry about the millions funneled to political cronies. With government projects, the bar is set really low for performance. Mediocrity is excellence.

      Reply

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