Open Thread for Thursday, October 19, 2017

Oh, and another thing: I forgot to share myoutrage at a local Walmart being full of Christmas stuff, way back on Oct. 7.

Oh, and another thing: I forgot to share my outrage when I found Walmart full of Christmas stuff, way back on Oct. 7.

Not much going on, but here are some topics:

  1. Sure, There’s A Health Care Deal. That Doesn’t Mean It Can Pass — I’m leading off with this because, whatever happens, I’m proud of Lamar Alexander for working so hard to find a bipartisan solution. I’d be proud of Patty Murray, too, except I don’t know her.
  2. Bush Speech Is Seen as Rebuke to Trump, Who Goes Unnamed — You tell him, Dubya! As Jennifer Rubin wrote about it, “This is what a president sounds like.”
  3. What would happen if Amazon brought 50,000 workers to your city? Ask Seattle. — What if they build HQ2 here? Would we like that, or not?
  4. Who gets $60 million when nuke project fails? SCANA execs with golden parachutes could — Just to keep you outraged. I mean, that’s a bunch of money. It’s more than I make in a year.
  5. This Is What Victory Over ISIS Looks Like in Syria and Iraq — Such is the constant political freak show in Washington that it seems we’ve almost entirely overlooked the fact that we’ve sort of, you know, won the war against ISIL. I think….
  6. Dear Men: It’s You, Too — Apparently, we’re all Harvey Weinstein, this writer seems to think. And in a way that may be true, but not in the chock-full-of-ideology way the essayist seems to mean it.
You go, Lamar! Alexander back in the days when I covered him.

You go, Lamar! Alexander back in the days when I covered him.

26 thoughts on “Open Thread for Thursday, October 19, 2017

  1. Richard

    Did I hear it right, that Richland County Council proposed a sewer rate increase for the next three years? Base sewer rates will increase from the current $38/month to $48 in 2019, $58 in 2019 and $68 in 2020? If so I assume the only people who will live there are those who can’t afford to move across the river.

    Reply
  2. Chris

    Brad, While I certainly appreciated your tip to read about Bush’s speech, you should be alert to the fact that the Washington Post wanted me to pay $1.00 for that article. I was able to find it from Politico free, no fee.

    Reply
  3. bud

    2. We’re starting to a lot of these flattering articles about George W. Bush lately. Everyone opining about the good ole days of the early 2000s and how much more presidential and statesmanlike 43 was. BULL! We should never forget the horrors of that terrible presidency and how he and his minions paved the way for the rise of a man like Trump. At least the Huffington Post gets it. Until we understand that it’s not just Trump but the entire Republican Party at fault for the divisiveness we are experiencing as a nation we will never solve the nation’s problems. Let’s leave W on the scrapheap of failed presidents where he belongs and not try to resurrect his image with some false narrative. Honesty is the best way forward. And honestly George W. Bush is just as awful as Trump.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/george-w-bush-trumpism_us_59e8cec3e4b061a7badae0f3?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Bud, you just identified yourself as part of the problem when it comes to explaining the nastiness of our politics today.

      There are two categories of presidents in our history. The first category includes every president we had before Trump, all of them to varying degrees and in different ways fit for the office they held. In the second category is Trump.

      This should be obvious to anyone not blinded by partisanship, or in this case, by Bush Derangement Syndrome…

      Reply
      1. Mark Stewart

        We are also all responsible for Trump’s election win.

        And we are all going to have to find a solution that points us in another direction as a country. GWB has added his voice to this; we need more leaders, not less.

        Focus on the future. Close the BDS book for a while, Bud. Thanks.

        Reply
      2. Chuckie

        Everyone is to blame – just not equally. The Republican Party, and the new conservatism banner it’s been sailing under, is far more guilty of crimes against community than its counterpart(s) on the left.

        The road to division began when Reagan adopted the Thatcherite view that “there is no such thing as society” and famously asked, during the 1980 campaign, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago,” rather than asking are WE better off as a COUNTRY. After that he went on to beat the anti-government drum that’s been the rallying cry of Republicans and conservatives ever since. In all of this, he and they put self-seeking individualism above the common good and set the stage for the everyone-for-him-or-herself mentality that we have now. That’s where we should look for the seeds of Trumpism. Because in the kind of life he has led and the sort of person he is, Trump is the very essence of that mentality.

        Reply
  4. Bart Rogers

    Read the HuffPo article. Nothing like the smell of stupidity in any discussion if that is what one cares to call it. The crash of 2007-2008 was set in place long before GWB was elected and anyone with a smattering of understanding of what was going knows full well the crash was a long time coming. If you want to pin the tail on the donkeys primarily responsible for the crash, have Bill Clinton and Gramm bend over and have at it. It started with the repeal of Glass-Steagal and the passing of Gramm-Bliley-Leach. Bill Clinton and Democrats were as hot for it as was Phil Gramm and Republicans. And the person making $25k buying a $250k house was not the root cause, speculators from all political persuasions jumped at the opportunity to earn easy money by flipping houses. Maybe a little education without the blinders of hatred hindering their ability to think and reason for themselves would do some on this blog immeasurable good.

    As for Iraq, before GWB was elected and 9/11, every Democrat who could find a microphone was salivating over getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Even Clinton in 2003 stated with absolute certainty that Hussein did possess WMDs when he was in office. Albright, Gore, and many other prominent Democrats made similar claims. Clinton made it official policy calling for regime change in Iraq. If facts screw your little mind up, don’t bother to do any research, just continue to swallow the crap spewed by liberals just like conservatives do the same for the ones who do their thinking for them.

    If it were possible, I would really like to place every critic in GWB’s place the morning of 9/11 and watch to see what their actions would have been. Yeah, right, the hair on fire scenario would have been something to see.

    Like every other POTUS, GWB made mistakes. But, for all speculators who fantasize and actually believe what they would or could have done, continue to fantasize, hang on to your delusions. I didn’t care much for Obama and some of his decisions but he still had my support because he was the POTUS. As for Trump, he is what he is, totally unfit or qualified for any public office or job. Well maybe cleaning toilets at Grand Central Station.

    Reply
  5. bud

    This poll from YouGov shows just how starkly divided we are in this country. Both Clinton and Trump voters find the sexual harassment/assault charges against Harvey Weinstein credible: Hillary voters 74%; Trump voters 66%, fairly close. But when asked about the harassment/assault charges against Trump the difference between the Clinton and Trump voters is incredible. Fully 83% of Clinton voters found those charges credible. A jaw dropping low 8% of Trump voters found those charges credible. 8%! An outright majority, 51%, of Trump voters found the charges NOT credible! Seriously! This poll is the single most astonishing thing I’ve seen in many months.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-voters-weinstein-poll_us_59ea11c9e4b0f9d35bca3fd9?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    Reply
  6. bud

    This is fairly typical of how historians rate presidents. Before Trump there were 21 presidents since 1900. Bush tied for 20th:

    20 (tie). George W. Bush (2001-2009)
    Gets high marks for…..give me a year or so, and I might think of something. An atrocious president by any measure. Fabricated an excuse for going to war, then started yet another — both of which have turned out to be the longest conflicts in American history, and also the costliest from a financial standpoint. Left country on the brink of a global meltdown stemming from his administration’s policies in favor of deregulation. Military, national security, and private contractor bureaucracies exploded out of control. Anti-intellectual, tethered to religious right, tax cuts for the rich, (then) record deficits, on and on. Arguably the worst president in history other than Andrew Johnson.

    http://www.nolandalla.com/ranking-presidents-1900-present/

    Wiki has a chart that ranks the various presidents. Ws aggregate rank is 34th all-time, the worst since Warren Harding and even worse than Nixon. Believe that W was really not so bad. The facts show otherwise.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_presidents_of_the_United_States

    Reply
  7. Bart Rogers

    Present something balanced and not totally influenced by liberal polling and opinions and I will listen. Until then, just more sources to support your position about GWB. Siena is about as liberal as a college can get and the other source is even worse. So, no, until a rating system not devised to support a liberal position can be presented, I stand by my comments. As for the nolandalla link, just another loud mouth who thinks his opinion is worth a damn.

    Will make it easy for you. I trust Brad and if he agrees GWB was a bad president, then his opinion I will accept.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I think he was middlin’ — perhaps a bit below average, but in the range of average.

      It’s such a hard thing to say, because there are so many variables. In a number of ways, Nixon was one of our worst presidents, but he did some good things, too. LBJ was one of our greatest in terms of accomplishments, but then Vietnam drags him down.

      I’m a student of American history, but I’d feel really ill at ease trying to rate all the presidents. It’s a LITTLE easier to rate the BEST, because we know more and have thought more about them.

      I’d say our greatest were Lincoln, FDR and Washington — and Washington not so much because of anything he did in office, but because he got the office off to a good start.

      And you know what Washington did best of all? He set a good tone for the office — that thing that Trump is doing his best to destroy…

      Reply
      1. Claus2

        “He set a good tone for the office — that thing that Trump is doing his best to destroy…”

        Keep telling yourself that, one day you’ll actually start to believe it as the truth. This country is in a better position today than it has been over the past decade no matter how much the liberal mainstream media wants to tell you otherwise.

        Reply
          1. Claus2

            Is there more than one?

            Those who are miserable, are miserable because they want to be… not because of Donald Trump.

            Reply
            1. Barry

              This is funny because my Tru,p support frof nds on Facebook appear to be scared to death going by their posts.

              They are scared of Muslims, terrorists training camps in Chester or rock Hill or wherever they are this week, and refugee children that apparently are going to set up a tent on the .0001th acre lot these scared to death people own.

              Reply
          2. Doug Ross

            It is certainly in better shape than 2007-2009. Not that Trump has anything to do with that. Trump hasn’t done anything yet no matter how many times you try to suggest otherwise.

            It was good to see Jimmy Carter come out and say over the weekend that he and Rosalind voted for Bernie instead of Hillary. Jimmy was the most honest President we ever had. And that’s why many rate him so poorly. We want our Presidents to by lying figureheads.

            Reply
            1. Claus2

              This morning I heard John McCain and other Democrats complaining about Trump’s Draft dodging of the Vietnam War.

              Here’s today’s Fact of The Day: When all of this was going on, Trump was a registered Democrat. So does this put him on an equal plane as Bill Clinton who ran off to England?

              Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Yes, it does. Same deal. They’re draft-dodgers.

                But as you say, Trump is the one who was a Democrat — not McCain.

                He’s been a Republican from back when it was a much more respectable thing to be, as was being a Democrat.

                As I’ve said many times, I could see myself being either a Democrat OR a Republican through the 1950s and into the early 60s. They had different points of view, but they were respectable. Both parties started going nuts after that — the Democrats over Vietnam and Identity Politics, and the GOP over race and… You know what, so many things have happened in the GOP the last few years that it’s hard to keep count. They’re even throwing away things that used to be core beliefs for them, such as free trade. Used to be, you knew that Republicans were one thing, if nothing else — they were pro-business.

                Now you have all these populist, xenophobic, nihilistic extremists who call the REAL Republicans “RINOs.” It’s insane…

                Reply
              2. Barry

                Trump was a bIll and Hillary fan up to about 3 years ago, u till he decided to run for president and knew he had to lie and create an alter ego.

                Look up the videos of Trump praising Hillary and dismissing Benghazi concerns by Republcans…

                Reply
                1. Doug Ross

                  And wasn’t Hillary a Trump fan as well? The photos of her and Bill laughing it up with Trump can’t be erased.

    2. Bart Rogers

      Once anyone does any serious research will find that presidential rankings always reflects the “opinion” of the ones involved doing the ranking. I prefer what JFK had to say about “experts” ranking presidents.

      “No one has a right to grade a President—even poor James Buchanan—who has not sat in his chair, examined the mail and information that came across his desk, and learned why he made his decisions.”

      So, I am still throwing the yellow “BS” flag on the comment about Bush. No one on this blog or anyone involved in ranking presidents sat in the chair, not one. And especially some jerk with a blog using the “f” word to cover his inability to express his opinions without resorting to foul language.

      Last comment about ranking. It all comes down to your personal opinions and finding sources to reinforce them. After researching as many resources possible including left and right leaning sites, some ranked Obama higher, others ranked him much lower, some ranked Clinton high, others lower, but most ranked according to the personal political ideology of the ones doing the ranking and what THEY considered the most important aspect of any president’s term in office. A standard and reasonably accurate metric is virtually impossible to establish on something as subjective as a president’s performance in office.

      Reply

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