Open Thread for Friday, November 3, 2017

Yet another shot of Ben Tillman with a bird of prey on his head.

Yet another shot of Ben Tillman with a bird of prey on his head.

We haven’t had one of these all month, have we?

  1. G.O.P. May Repeal Health Mandate as Part of Tax Bill — These fellas just do not want to pass any actual legislation, do they? The tax bill was already an uphill climb, so what do they do? Stick in a poison pill. This is really, you know… stupid.
  2. Bergdahl Avoids Prison; Trump Once Urged Death Penalty — Well, we generally don’t shoot deserters anymore, but no prison at all? Really? I heard someone on the radio — probably from his defense attorney — talking about what a terrible ordeal this has been for poor ol’ Bergdahl. Yeah, well, tell that to his comrades who suffered casualties trying to “rescue” him.

  3. European arrest warrant issued for ex-Catalan leader — We’ve been ignoring this story, and it’s a biggie.

  4. White House allows release of dire climate report that contradicts views of Trump officials — How about that? But what does it mean, Mr. Natural?

  5. SC governor hopeful Templeton praises Bannon, calls him ‘voice for the rest of us’ — I neglected to mention this earlier in the week. She just seems determined to out-crazy Henry, try as he might with his crusade against nonexistent “sanctuary cities.”

20 thoughts on “Open Thread for Friday, November 3, 2017

  1. Mark Stewart

    The GOP isn’t going to pass tax reform. That haven’t put forth a plan that is anything other than a donor-lead pipedream. Mnuchin and Cohen are smart guys; but there is a breathtaking lack of political savvy in this proposal. A little pandering is in it, sure, but there is no moral framework (for any political persuasion) that makes sense to anyone without a billion dollars to spare.

    Creating a “tax overhaul” which leads to a 1.5 Trillion dollar deficit AND the transfer of Trillions more from the 2% to the rest of the top 20% of earners is sticking it right to the most politically active slice of the electorate.

    This is going to come down to voters vs. donors. Vote for this proposal to placate the donors and the voters will not forget their shafting at the next ballot box. Not over an issue like taxes, and not one aimed squarely at the upper middle class.

    1. Claus2

      “Creating a “tax overhaul” which leads to a 1.5 Trillion dollar deficit”

      Since when has the left been concerned with the deficit? On January 20, 2009, when he was sworn in, the debt was $10.626 trillion. On January 20, 2017, it was $19.947 trillion.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        The left is concerned about the deficit when it is caused by tax cuts. The right is concerned about it when it is caused by spending increases. The rest of the time, they’re not.

        Me, I’m kind of concerned about it all the time, although admittedly tax cuts AND spending increases can increase growth under the right conditions…

  2. Richard

    Bergdahl will be found dead within a year and ruled a “suicide”. The safest place for him at the moment would be in prison… there are people extremely upset about this.

    We need more judges like Judge W. Wyatt McKay who had the guts to sentence appropriately:

    “Judge McKay hears criminal cases in Trumbull County, Ohio. Recently he had kind of a loathsome guy in front of him. The creep had kidnapped, robbed and repeatedly raped a young girl who was delivering newspapers.

    When it was time to sentence the villain, Judge McKay said:

    When you slithered out of your hole that day, (and) spewed your venom all over this defenseless 12-year-old girl, you made this court’s Top 10 hit list.

    I’ve had the misfortune of being involved with some of the lowest scum this county has to offer and you’ve made the Top 10.

    In a way, the best sentence this court could give would be no sentence at all, because if you left this courtroom, I don’t think you would be alive 10 minutes. You are nothing but a weed, a weed among wheat. . . .

    And when we have a weed, it’s my job to eradicate the weed, because if I don’t, you will choke the wheat.

    Therefore, I’m going to take you off the streets for just as long as I possibly can.”

    (The judge then ticked off long sentence after long sentence for each of the many crimes committed against the girl.)

    It means you aren’t even eligible for parole until you’re 92.

    That leaves only one more count, aggravated robbery. . . . You stole this little girl’s bra as a souvenir, probably to brag about it to your friends later on.

    Well, I’m going to give you a souvenir of Trumbull County justice. And that is, you will receive a maximum sentence of 10 to 25 on the aggravated robbery for the stealing of that bra.

    And I hope that in your last 25 years in prison that you remember that souvenir.

    Get this scum out of here.”

  3. Chuckie

    2) Calling for additional punishment – on top of the 5 years of captivity and mistreatment at the hands of the Haqqani network – is vindictive and vengeful.

    1. Bart

      “- is vindictive and vengeful.” According to who, you? The reason he was held for 5 years in captivity and mistreated by the Haqqani network is because he purposefully chose to abandon his post and become a deserter. He made a choice and he should be punished accordingly based on the rule of military law for deserters. So, if someone shoots his parents and then expects sympathy because he is an orphan would be acceptable to you?

      1. Chuckie

        Yeah, according to me.
        AND the judge in this case.
        At least somebody still understand the difference between justice and vengeance.

        1. Bart

          Okay, I will concede your point after reading more about Bergdahl, how he washed out of the Coast Guard, his apparent mental illness, and treatment at the hands of the Haqqani network. When I am wrong, I am not too proud or stubborn to admit it. He should have never been in Afghanistan in the first place, he should have been home with his family. I offer my apology.

          This entire ugly incident goes high up the chain and the standards used to enlist men and women into the military should be more rigorous and given the fact that he washed out of the Coast Guard should have been more than enough to deny his enlistment into the Army.

          As for the comments from Trump, he is a loudmouthed jerk and should have kept his mouth shut until he had all the facts but it is doubtful the facts would have mattered. Instead, his comments did enter into the judge’s final decision. As for McCain, I have never been a McCain fan but do appreciate his service to our country and will take his comments in the context of his experiences as a POW in Hanoi. His view comes from a totally different perspective over anyone who was never held prisoner by the enemy.

          Like many who jump to conclusions without all the facts and input from as many sources as possible, I reacted with a populist mindset instead of reacting with facts and understanding of the entire situation.

          Given the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s abandoning his post and his explanation, knowing after the fact that he has mental and emotional issues, what do we say to the men and women who looked for him and the ones who ended up with their lives ruined? Where do they go to seek justice when they did their duty and didn’t know about Bergdahl’s emotional problems?

          And when do we stop playing political football with this unfortunate incident? The sentence has been handed down by a competent and qualified military judge who does have battlefield experience. Maybe it would be a good idea to learn from it, made some changes, and move on the best we can. Bergdahl will live his life the best he can and so will the ones who suffered life changing injuries trying to find him along with their families.

        2. Claus2

          In any other time he would have been shot by his own troops for desertion. How many other lives did he put in danger with his desertion? What if a rescue team member would have been injured or killed trying to rescue him, would his time served have been enough for you? Bergdahl didn’t get captured in the traditional sense, he walked away from his post and got captured.

        3. Brad Warthen Post author

          That’s an interesting distinction. Justice vs. vengeance.

          Now, if one of the men who got wounded trying to “rescue” Bergdahl got to sentence him, and gave him a long sentence, THAT might be termed vengeance.

          I’m not sure how my determination that this verdict seems to be treating the crime of desertion too lightly amounts to “vengeance.”

          Unless we term any kind of punitive sentence meted by our courts, or in this case courts martial, to be vengeance.

          I mean, if you stretch the term, we could say any sentence meant to PUNISH someone for committing a crime is society taking “vengeance,” and therefore not justice.

          But that seems to stretch the definition a bit far…

          1. Claus2

            So, what we have now, what is Bergdahl’s punishment for desertion? Stripped of his stripes and a fine that rivals driving without insurance?

          2. Chuckie

            Lordy, some people can be really, really dense sometimes.

            The punishment was the imprisonment and mistreatment by the Haqqanis. Vengeance comes when folks want to lard onto that additional prison time.
            Time served in captivity is enough.

    2. Richard

      So you agree that he got a correct sentence? 99% of the country would disagree with you… most I know think he should have been shot for desertion.

      1. Barry

        I think he did.

        I admit, I didn’t sit In Court and listen to all the info.

        What 99% of the country thinks about it is irrelevant. I quit Being influenced by peer pressure in 7th grade.

  4. Karen Pearson

    If/when some idiot ignores all orders to evacuate an area b/c of fire or flood (perhaps thinking he can stop a forest fire with a garden hose) and ends up in a dire situation do we risk the lives of others to go save this guy or do we decide that he made a very bad decision and not attemp rescue? And if we do rescue him do we just get him to safety/medical aid, or do we punish him for endangering everyone else? This scenario is one way of looking at the Bergdahl situation. I sympathize, but he was a member of our armed forces, and as such did take an oath. Unless one can demonstrate that Bergdahl was mentally ill at the time, I think at least some jail time is in order. If he was that mentally ill, perhaps the onus lies on the military for failing to recognize and treat him.

    As for Templeton, maybe she heeds some intervention.

    1. Bob Amundson

      Much of the defense was centered on his mental illness. Bergdahl washed out of Coast Guard boot camp and yet made it through Army basic. How did that happen? Bergdahl was not fit to serve in a combat zone, hence the situation became FUBAR.


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