A Hurried Open Thread for Thursday, April 13, 2017


Not a lot of opportunities to set up the laptop and blog, since I’m on spring break with four grandchildren. Quickly, between activities, here’s an Open Thread:

  1. British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia — It’s somewhat surprising anyone in Britain’s intelligence establishment talks to The Guardian, but they managed to break this.
  2. McMaster backs Myrtle Beach development interests upset about environmental challenges — Meanwhile, on the other hand, McMaster cool to offshore drilling. So, you know, something for everybody.
  3. George W. Bush Calls Foreign Aid A Moral And Security Imperative — Thank you, Mr. Ex-President.
  4. Why the ordinary Nikki Haley is exercising extraordinary influence over American foreign policy — You know what struck me most about this piece? That, in comparing her to the rest of the Trump administration, he referred to Nikki as “the seasoned politician” in the crowd. And it this crowd, that is what she is.
  5. Trump on NATO: ‘I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.’ — It seems Mr. Trump is now channeling the electric Dylan. It used to go like that. Now it goes like this.

dylan electric

13 thoughts on “A Hurried Open Thread for Thursday, April 13, 2017

    1. Claus2

      So all it means is those of us who are “monitored” won’t get anything published until he gets back.

  1. Karen Pearson

    It’s amazing how many situations “bless your (his/her) heart works in. It’s a pity the UK press didn’t put this info together sooner and publish it. I’m very disappointed in McMaster’s stand on “environmental challenges.” Does he not understand that if we don’t start being kind to the environment, the environment will stop being kind to us?

    1. JesseS

      “Does he not understand that if we don’t start being kind to the environment, the environment will stop being kind to us?”

      Not sure if it even matters at this point. Now that the oceans are acidifying from absorbing so much CO2 and the reefs are going terminal, we’ve passed the threshold of cataclysm and whether we like it or not, there will be another Triassic–Jurassic mass extinction event.

  2. Karen Pearson

    Jesse, it’s amazing the number of people who simply do not understand the interconnectedness of the entire ecosystem, and how dependent we are on everything else. If it’s not a simple connection on the order of 1+1=2 most people simply don’t believe it. And most people seem to think that “believing” in science is like “believing” in a faith tenet, rather than like “believing” in gravity.

      1. Richard

        Looks to me like it’s a book about how she screwed up and she and Bill blamed everyone but themselves. So it will be in the Humor section.

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        Yeah, I’m kind of with you, Bryan.

        First, I generally don’t read books on politics, especially this kind. I read enough about that last year; I don’t need to relive it from her perspective.

        Second, the only thing interesting about that election is the disaster of Trump. The big remaining question, the one that might be worth reading a book to get the answer to, is how ANYONE could have considered voting for him, even for an instant. And this is not a book that would answer that question. Unfortunately, the folks who perhaps could answer the question are in general not folks who write books.

        Third, if I DO read a book on politics, it’s probably not going to be by or about Hillary. Not an appealing or high-interest topic for me. Somewhere around the house we have Carl Bernstein’s book on her from 2007, and I’ve never picked it up….

        1. Doug Ross

          ” is how ANYONE could have considered voting for him, even for an instant. ”

          Because they felt Hillary would have been worse. It’s that simple. They knew what they would get with Hillary and were not as freaked out as you were about Trump.

          And as we have seen so far it’s been about what you’d expect for a guy who isn’t a politician… and facing the most excessive hyper-partisan micro-analysis of every action ever. He’s said some stupid stuff but he hasn’t done anything close to what all the Chicken Littles were squawking about. He got his Supreme Court nominee through. Something eventually will happen on immigration and Obamacare. North Korea is just a farce. Syria is Syria — what would Hillary have done differently?

          Meanwhile, Democrats haven’t done anything except act like Republicans did when Obama was elected. No leadership, no ideas, whining about golf trips and old tax forms. They’re a rudderless ship and worse than Republicans in that they cannot ever get organized to accomplish anything because they have so many splinter groups of special interests to placate. For all their faults, Republicans are better at working together because they have more in common.

          1. bud

            Doug, you have a point. As a human being Donald Trump is by far the most reprehensible human being to ever occupy the White House. But his many character flaws should not in any way cloud our assessment of events. But in one specific area the policies of Trump HAS had a real impact on people’s lives. That’s in the area of immigration. Thousands of lives have been disrupted and human tragedy has ensued because of his misguided, callous actions aimed at Latin American and especially Muslims who are merely seeking a better way of life. So while it is true that Syria has been a human tragedy for years Trump has exacerbated the horror with his Muslim ban.

            As for North Korea let’s just hope his bellicose approach doesn’t get thousands killed. The man scares me and it’s pollyanish to simply dismiss concerns about his clear temperament shortcomings. I’d feel much more comfortable with Hillary Clinton in charge.

            1. Claus2

              I may be alone, but I can think of at least one person worse than Trump, and she just happened to be running against him at the time.


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