Category Archives: Blogosphere

Thoughts on the State of the Union?

I didn’t live-blog the State of the Union last night because, frankly, Twitter is a much better medium for sharing stream-of-consciousness thoughts.

Here are a few of my Tweets from last night:

Then, during the GOP response, delivered by newbie Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa:

What did y’all think of it?

One of the more interesting comments I heard after it was over was from my wife, who noted that while POTUS has turned almost completely gray-headed in the last six years, he hasn’t lost his bounce and swagger. He’s still Mr. Untouched. She noted the way he moved through the chamber with a gait like that of a star athlete, the Big Man on Campus.

Chris Cillizza of The Fix said much the same, in a piece headlined, “The remarkable confidence of Barack Obama.” An excerpt:

Seventy seven days ago, Barack Obama’s party lost control of Congress — largely due to his unpopularity nationwide. You’d have never known it watching the president deliver his sixth State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.

From start to finish, Obama was supremely confident, challenging — and mocking — Republicans at every turn.  Touting the turnaround of the economy, Obama turned to Republicans, who, in classic State of the Union symbolism, had refused to deliver a standing ovation, and joked “That’s good news, people.” On Cuba, Obama challenged those who disagreed with his Administration policies; “When what you’re doing doesn’t work for fifty years, it’s time to try something new,” he said.

But more than the words on the page, it was Obama’s tone and overall demeanor that absolutely oozed confidence. He winked. He laughed at his own jokes. And he ad-libbed….

Anyway… your thoughts?

Your Virtual Front Page for Friday, January 16, 2015

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Here you go, since I haven’t given you anything else to chew on today:

1. Belgium charges terror plot suspects (BBC) — This happened last night and all, but it’s huge, with raids across Belgium, France and Germany. Meanwhile, Obama and PM Cameron meet to discuss terror, and to reaffirm the “special relationship.” Presumably, POTUS didn’t use the occasion to return any Churchill busts.

2. 2014 Was the Warmest Year Ever Recorded on Earth (NYT) — Just FYI. Something you might really want to take note of…

3. Supreme Court to hear same-sex marriage cases (WashPost) — This one could decide whether there is a right involved. Which makes me wonder: Has the court ever found a constitutional right to marry for anyone, regardless of gender or orientation? I have no idea. Maybe some of our lawyers would know.

4. Gov. Nikki Haley: Uber ban ‘extremely disappointing’ (thestate.com) — What? I didn’t know the PSC had enacted an Uber ban. When did THAT happen?

5. Saudis ‘to review’ blogger flogging (BBC) — That would be good, since we don’t want blogger flogging to become a thing. Especially not like this — 1,000 lashes amounts to execution by whip.

6. Police: Teen sweethearts blaze trail of crime across South (AP) — Yeah, I didn’t really think it was a front-page story, either, but the lurid headline reeled me right in. The girl is just 13. The boy, who is 18, supposedly doesn’t know that…

 

Open Thread for Thursday, January 15, 2015

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The Legislature is back this week, so the time has arrived when downtown Columbia comes alive with the original purpose of the city’s founding.

And here are two or three topics y’all might want to talk about:

What did you think of Nikki Haley’s speech? — If you missed it, you can read it here. It garnered some positive reviews from some unlikely quarters, such as from here.

Get ready for a huge fight over DHEC nominee — It sort of blew my mind when I saw that Eleanor Kitzman was nominated to take over our state health and environment agency. We’re talking about a woman whose main qualification for the position is her ferocious loyalty to Nikki Haley. Remember this? But you know what? Aside from this one nominee, it would probably be a good development if SC senators would start raising some questions about executive branch nominees, in the name of transparency. We definitely don’t need it to be like inside the Beltway, where nominees get blocked because they’re from the opposite party. But some germane questioning and challenging of credentials would be nice. And then, of course, if their credentials stand up, they should be promptly confirmed. Anyway, senators are indicating they’re going to start advising some before consenting. We’ll see how good a job they do.

How “free-range” should kids be today? — Here’s something you should definitely check out:

But don’t just take Lenore’s word on what happened — we know where she’d be coming from (these parents are devotees of her movement) . Here’s the story in The Washington Post today. An excerpt:

It was a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. But what the parents saw as a moment of independence for their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, they say authorities viewed much differently.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say they are being investigated for neglect for the Dec. 20 trek — in a case they say reflects a clash of ideas about how safe the world is and whether parents are free to make their own choices about raising their children.

“We wouldn’t have let them do it if we didn’t think they were ready for it,” Danielle said….

Or, we could talk about what you want to talk about…

The 6,000-word, apparently random spam poem

helen and paris

Helen’s world/Sea son, that night you at virtuous make to admire/Disappear aforetime light in/Light subtle fragrance

 

Spam is getting more creative all the time.

Today, waiting among the pending comments in the bowels of this blog, hoping for approval, was an opus the like of which I have not seen before. It’s a 6,046-word random poem, which actually at times verges on the beautiful, or at least the evocative.

An excerpt:

Destine a meeting by chance of beauty
The stone stairs of Mount Taishan
The passing years
The passing years, at etc. whose mutually Ru with Mo
The quicksand will also stop
Wander about a person
Wander about an animal
Flow breeze to recall¡«to the min
Zhejiang on the seventh-study
Wave Tao sand ¡¤the greatly clear lake feeling keep in mind
Bathe fire rebirth
Sea
Helen’s world
Sea son, that night you at virtuous make to admire
Disappear aforetime light in
Light subtle fragrance
The light day floats joss-stick
Light deep feeling
Light handwriting, very sweet sadness
Cool
Dead hour with think
Deep autumn, the dance of end treads
Pure clear seasonal changes rain is in succession
In the morning affairs
Pure song
Clear water she
Very pure tears
Pleasant breeze from come to spend proper open
Visit zoo in Guangzhou
Visit a river the beam son lake scenic area is for summer
The somniloquy of the river
Billowing world of mortals, our everybody is the trip person who drifts on water all the way
A full sky of snowflakes that see float to spread again
The time in the driftage bottle
The Xiao Xiao rain Xie
Under the hot sun of lotus pond
The smoke flower is easily cold, heart as well such
Cook a pot of heart for month, Chi one a life time the passing years
Sleep soundly
Love

If you’d like to read the whole thing, I found it on this odd, possibly-randomly generated page, the purpose of which I can’t discern. Scroll down to this line — “101.The life is shallow to talk-return to Mou things of the past(is original)” — and the entire thing follows.

Keep it up, spammers, and I just might take the time to read them. But I won’t approve them…

Your Virtual Front Page, December 30, 2014

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There actually is some news today, which is fairly unusual for this week of the year:

  1. Metts pleads guilty, ends storied career in disgrace (thestate.com) — The judge accepts the deal this time, since it doesn’t rule out prison time.
  2. Jet Debris and Bodies Found; Little Hope of Any Survivors (NYT) — But we sort of knew that was the case, tragically. FYI, these horrific stories are seeming less distant to me lately, since I have tickets to fly to Southeast Asia myself in a couple of months.
  3. Putin critic among ‘hundred held’ (BBC) — He dared to attend a political rally while under house arrest. Pussy Riot weighs in with a video. As an aside, if this is typical, they’re not a very good band…
  4. Here’s Why Obama Said The U.S. Is ‘Less Racially Divided’ (NPR) — He said we feel worse about race just because we’re talking about it more. I can identify with that explanation. This is from an NPR interview with POTUS. (See video below.)
  5. Boehner Stands By Scalise After Revelations (WSJ) — Revelations that he addressed a white nationalist group in 2002.
  6. Release of Bergdahl Reshaped America’s Talks With Cuba (NYT) — It made the White House hesitate to make a swap deal. I’m glad to hear the Bergdahl mess made someone in the administration rethink something

Open Thread for Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Sorry I haven’t had time to blog today. May this post make up for it!

Some possible topics:

The surprise outcome in the Jimmy Metts case — A lot of folks were raising their eyebrows at the sweetness of the deal offered to the ex-sheriff, in light of the charges, but the judge in the case didn’t like the deal one bit, and tossed it out.

The smelly stuff that Bobby Harrell WASN’T charged with — Cindi Scoppe’s column tells a pretty sordid tale of undue legislative influence over state officials.

Sony actually canceling the opening of “The Interview” — My friend Bob McAlister opined on Facebook that this was “far more important than a silly movie. Just imagine what the Muslim world must be thinking as they see a major company relinquishing its constitutional right to free speech.” This was a rare case of Bob agreeing with The Guardian, which called it “North Korea’s stunningly effective fatwah…”

The political ramifications of Obama’s bold move on Cuba — Yesterday, I deliberately resisted giving into one of the more obnoxious habits of pundits — to analyze every policy move not on its merits, but in terms of its likely effect on the next election. As though policy served only as a electoral strategy, instead of the other way around (elections being our way of deciding policy directions). But pretty much no other journalist in America was so fastidious, so you’ve now heard a lot about it. I’d already heard Carl Hiaasen opining that Jeb Bush was the only Republican who could beat Hillary Clinton in Florida (sorry; I couldn’t find a link to that radio interview, for some reason). What, then, is the impact of this? Is Obama right to bet that American attitudes have changed, or is Marco Rubio smart to channel the rage of his elders?

Or, whatever y’all want to talk about.

Your Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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You haven’t had one of these lately, and it’s a newsy day locally, so here you go:

1. Metts resigns, agrees to plead guilty (thestate.com) — Thus ends 42 years as Lexington County sheriff. Here’s a copy of the plea deal, and here’s his resignation letter to Gov. Haley.

 

2. Taliban attack at Pakistan school kills at least 141 (WashPost) — And Pakistan retaliates by striking at Taliban (which would make the average, naive person ask, Why weren’t they doing that already?)

3. Apple wins $1bn iTunes court case (BBC) — The odd thing is that this is about Apple only allowing music it sells to be played on iPods. And Apple is about to quit making iPods. This case stems from events in 2006. Sort of shows that our court system is ill-equipped to make relevant, timely decisions on fast-changing technology.

4. Jeb Bush says he is ‘actively exploring’ run for presidency in 2016 (The Guardian) — I thought I’d go with the Guardian version because you just know they’ve gotta be thrilled at the idea of another Bush in the White House.

5. Columbia police chemist who was forced out fires back at city (thestate.com) — She’s sued the city for $3 million, and now she’s speaking out, among other things saying that her departure from her job is “absolutely” “about race.” That, and retribution.

6. Man breaks teacher’s arm in classroom (AP) — This happened in Orangeburg, in front of her 4th-grade pupils.

We very much enjoyed Phillip’s performance Wednesday night

Phillip

The wife and I had a treat Wednesday evening. At the last minute, one of our daughters obtained tickets for chamber music at the Columbia Museum of Art.

And one of the featured performers was our own Phillip Bush!

It was the first time I’ve actually heard Phillip in concert, and it was awesome. (I’m not counting this impromptu performance in Kathryn’s salon.) Although he would have been even more entertaining had he given us some of the extremely intense facial expressions offered by the lovely visiting violinist. That was worth paying extra for.

But seriously, folks, Phillip is an amazing talent.

My favorite part of the program was the Haydn piece. The Brahms was wonderful as well, but I’m more of a classical-period guy, I guess.

I apologize for the low quality of the photo below. I shot it as the musicians were taking their positions as the intermission ended. I wanted a shot of Phillip and also of the violinist, so we could tell the Twins that if they really practice hard on their cellos, they, too, will be able to wear such a shiny dress.

That’s Phillip behind the grand. The guy whose head you can see, not the guy in the khaki pants — that’s his page turner. Talk about having a great seat! I was pretty envious of that guy…

chamber

 

Open Thread for Thursday, December 11, 2014

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Some possible topics:

1. Kappa Sigma eviction put on hold at USC — So as I understand it, this fraternity, which just came off a three-year double-secret probation, has been banned for five years because of “hazing, alcohol abuse and controlled-substance violations.” So, my big question is this: Isn’t that kinda what fraternities do? I don’t know; back in my college days Greek life was considered so monumentally uncool that I never considered it, and ran the other way the couple of times I was invited to a rush party. Followup question — if this isn’t what fraternities are for, then what are they for?

2. CIA boss defends post-9/11 tactics — To continue the conversation on our big topic of the week. DCI Brennan does acknowledge that some of the CIA’s methods were “abhorrent.” So, you know, mistakes were made…

3. Leaders scramble for support for spending bill — And if they don’t git ‘er done by midnight, the government will, once again turn into a pumpkin. We should have had a pool, after the election, on how long it would take the new GOP majority to shut down the government. The winning prediction would have been “before the new majority even takes office.”

4. U.S. Oil Prices Drop Below $60 a Barrel — A shot in the arm for the economy, perhaps, but I’m not looking forward to sharing the road with even more SUVs. Neither is the planet…

What do you want to talk about?

Open Thread for Monday, December 8, 2014

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I couldn’t suppress a yawn when I saw this Tweet:


Taylor Swift? Did no news happen at all this year? I mean, I think I saw that name, Taylor Swift, in some headlines. But I don’t remember what they were about — except for one story I saw that was about people body-shaming her for being skinny. Folks, that ain’t news. The only way weight constitutes news (other than as a national health trend story) is when it appears as part of “throw-weight.” Right, ladies?

Well… maybe she’s as good a choice as any, judging by the available news today. But here are a couple of possible topics (nothing local; sorry):

  1. G.O.P. Donors Seek to Anoint Establishment Favorite Early — Hey, the Democrats have one; why shouldn’t the Republicans? Who should be the GOP Hillary? Jeb Bush? Chris Christie? Mitt Romney again? This makes me all nostalgic — the smoke-filled room! It sure would help the party to avoid the embarrassing spectacle of last time around, in which each of the more extreme options had a turn as Front-Runner of the Week…
  2. 5 questions about the CIA interrogation report — This hasn’t even happened yet, and The Guardian (being the Guardian, and therefore kneejerk-tiresome on security issues) is already leading with it. Basically, this is expected to find what we already knew: Torture’s not such a great interrogation technique.
  3. Ebola Cases Are Down, So Should Liberians Stop Worrying? — This is relative. They’re still getting 100 new cases a week. Can you imagine the state we’d be in in this country if we were experiencing 100 new cases of Ebola each week?

Or whatever y’all want to talk about…

Another reason I like Facebook less and less all the time

So last night, I was leafing through my tattered and musty-smelling copy of The Name of the Rose, and ran across this Thomas à Kempis quote at the end of the foreword:

In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro.

And I immediately loved it and wanted to add it as one of my favorite quotes on Facebook.

But since Facebook has been reconfigured about 47 times (I think it’s competing with the number of times the U.S. House has tried to repeal Obamacare) since the last time I added a quote, I couldn’t find my quotes.

Which really ticked me off. If it had been a button for inviting people to play Candy Crush Saga, you can bet it wouldn’t have disappeared. But since quotes have to do with the written word, and might provoke actual thought

But thanks to Google, I found a way to get to my quotes. Actually, the instructions I found were out of date (a couple more Facebook configurations since they were written, apparently), but they helped me enough that I could intuit my way to my quotes.

Here’s how: Click on your name to get your home page. Click on About. Over on the left, click on “Details About You.” At the bottom of the box, you’ll find your quotes. Which is counterintuitive. You’d expect to find them on the page with your favorite books, movies, music, etc. But they’re not there…

Here are mine. Maybe they aren’t all the epitome of profundity, but I like them:

“I wouldn’t want to live without strong misgivings. Right, Chaplain?”
— Yossarian, in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22

“Stand in the place where you live.”
— R.E.M.

“I invested my life in institutions — he thought without rancour — and all I am left with is myself.”
— Smiley’s People

“In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro.”
— Thomas à Kempis

Doug reports from London: He didn’t have the time to wait in the queue…

Doug Tube

The queue at Oxford Circus, 6 p.m., Nov. 25, 2014. Photo by Doug Ross

Yes, that’s a paraphrase from a song written by Eric Clapton and George Harrison

Anyway, you remember our discussion of mass transit back at the end of October, when Doug Ross mentioned he would be in London for a week in November, and would report on whether he thought the London Underground was as awesome as I say it is?

Well, he checked in via text last week (sorry, I failed to pass it on, what with trying to get my work decks cleared for Thanksgiving).

He sent the above photo, with this caption:

This is the line to get to the steps to get to the entry to the tube at 6 p.m. in Oxford circus. When it is not crowded it’s fine. Otherwise it’s a nightmare.

So there you have it; the opposite position from my own.

I never ran into anything that bad in London. I was in some crowded trains, and waited on some crowded platforms. But I never had to wait up on street level to get into the Tube. Maybe that’s because I was there between Christmas and two days after New Years Day, so normal commuter traffic was lighter than usual. Or else Doug has just had phenomenally back luck.

I will quote this from Wikipedia: “At the end of the 2000s, Oxford Circus had the highest pedestrian volumes recorded anywhere in London.” So, you know, it might be a place to avoid if you haven’t got the time to wait in the queue.

But I’ve shared Doug’s report, in the interest of fairness. Perhaps he would like to elaborate…

White people rioting over stupid… stuff

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سلطان سعود القاسمي, a.k.a., @SultanAlQassemi, brings this to my attention:

This in no way, shape or form excuses the behavior of those engaged in mindless destruction in Ferguson, MO. But it does provide an interesting side note, a bit of perspective lest we leap to erroneous, ugly conclusions.

Stupid is stupid.

Open Thread for Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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It’s been another busy day for me, allowing little time for blogging.

But here are some possible topics:

  1. Lawmakers getting “creative” on paying for roads — Robert’s cartoon above reminds me of what I have been meaning to write about, but hadn’t gotten to. Lawmakers continue to contort themselves in trying to figure a way to pay for roads in this state (when we HAVE a way to pay for roads, the gasoline tax — which should have been raised long before now). The most bizarre nonsolution I’ve heard is this shell game in which the same inadequate amount of money would simply be divvied up to the counties and let THEM take the blame for crumbling roads. I am somewhat intrigued, though, at the idea of simply applying the sales tax to gasoline — which addresses one of the greatest weaknesses in the gas tax, which is that it’s per-gallon and doesn’t rise with the price of fuel.
  2. POTUS about to announce executive action on immigration — I couldn’t figure out a way to embed the president’s video on this subject, but if you click on the picture below, it will take you there. It’s showdown time. For my part, I await what the president is specifically proposing to do, and I hope that he reaction to it will be, you know, rational. You know what would be the BEST, most constructive, reaction? For the House to pre-empt the president’s executive action by passing the comprehensive immigration reform that the Senate sent over to it.
  3. SC Supremes say probate judges can issue same-sex marriage licenses — This came down at about 4 today, lifting the court’s own Oct. 9 injunction pending a decision in a federal court case, which has since been decided at the trial court level. Interestingly, the case in question wasn’t about whether a couple could get married, but about the related issue of whether SC would have to recognize a marriage granted elsewhere — the very same scenario that prompted conservatives to push for their constitutional amendment on marriage several years ago.
  4. NBC pulls Bill Cosby sitcom amid renewed sexual assault allegations — It’s fascinating to watch the way public consensus develops. For years, the world ignored the young women making these accusations, refusing to believe such of “the Cos.” Then, a tipping point was reached, and suddenly this much loved media figure falls, hitting every branch on the way down. It’s got to seem pretty weird to the women who’ve been trying to get us to listen for years.

Or… you can talk about whatever you want to talk about…

Obama immigration

 

How did LinkedIn manage THIS?

linkedin

Yesterday, I received an email urging me to “ADD PERSONALITY TO YOUR PROFILE:”

Now you can make your profile pop by adding a custom background. Just upload an image that reflects your passions, projects, or inspiration and show people what you’re about.

But that’s not the amazing part. The amazing part is that LinkedIn provided the above suggestion for how such a new custom background might look.side

And the coffee cup in the picture is a dead-ringer for one of our branded ADCO coffee mugs. Not only that, but the notepad in the shot looks for all the world like one of our ADCO-branded notepads. OK, it’s a little bigger, but that’s about the only difference.

Below is a shot I staged using our own official ADCO items.

How weird is that?

It was like an invitation to the Twilight Zone. Cue the weird music: Doo-doo-DOO-doo, Doo-doo-DOO-doo, Doo-doo-DOO-doo

top

Open Thread for Monday, November 17, 2014

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Not a lot of news today, which is why I haven’t posted. Well, that, and I’ve had a lot of work to do.

Here are some possible topics:

  1. Obama and insurers now allies on health law — Because he needs them, and they’re making money from it.
  2. Kassig’s conversion to Islam didn’t protect him — Latest Westerner beheaded by the monsters of ISIL.
  3. Doctor’s false Ebola test result proves tragic — When he tested negative, his friends threw off their protective gear and embraced him. But he had Ebola. He died of it today.

  4. Nikki Haley in India — She seems to be having a great time, except for a row over a sword. Maybe she should go back to automatic weapons.

Or whatever interests you…

The Haleys and staffers Rob Godfrey and Katherine Veldran have been having a great time with the selfies. The one on top made the front page of the Sunday Times of India.

The Haleys and staffers Rob Godfrey and Katherine Veldran have been having a great time with the selfies. The one on top made the front page of the Sunday Times of India.

 

Yet another reminder politicians are people

Two quick contact reports:

  • Yesterday afternoon, I grabbed a cup of coffee with Mike Cakora, who recently returned to the blog as a regular commenter after a five-year absence. It was great to have him back, and I was happy to get to catch up with him. I knew Mike from before I started blogging. He was one of the guest columnists we recruited at The State, back in the days when we had the money and staff time for such things. We’d have these column-writing contests, and I was always gratified to see the hundreds of entries that would come in (considering that the rules required submitting three columns with little hope of their being published). Then we’d pick 8 for a year, and they’d each write a column a month, and we’d pay them a nominal amount for the columns. Mike was one of our winners one year. Anyway, we had a wide-ranging conversation about politics, working for a living in the New Normal, espionage (specifically, the TV show “The Assets”), and the social alienation that forms people like Edward Snowden. Mike and I see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but not everything.
  • Earlier, I’d had breakfast with Rep. James Smith. We talked about a number of things, too, such as whether he might run for governor in four years (he doesn’t know) and if he did, what lessons he might have learned from his friend Vincent Sheheen’s failed campaigns. (As it happened, Sheheen texted James while we were eating. He was in a deposition, and trying to adjust to getting back to earning a living with the campaign over.) At one point in the meal, Attorney General Alan Wilson came over to say hey. Any casual observer could see he and James get along well. But then, I’ve noticed Alan gets along well with a lot of Democrats, and James does so with a lot of Republicans. Alan turned to me, pointed to James and said, “This is my lawyer!” Rep. Smith represented his re-election campaign. After Wilson left, James said he has a lot of clients in the Legislature, including a number of Republicans. (So obviously, Kevin Hall and Butch Bowers don’t have all of them.) I noted that if he did run for governor, he might find a formidable opponent in his client Alan Wilson. He agreed. He said the same might be true of Tommy Pope (whose Twitter feed says he’s “working toward sc governor in 2018“).

Anyway, it was a perfectly ordinary slice of life, illustrating gently the point I try to make so often, because so many voters don’t seem to understand. Politicians aren’t just Democrats or Republicans. They’re not monolithic. At least, the good ones aren’t. They’re many-faceted. They’re actual, complete, three-dimensional people, who are capable of interacting with each other in normal, human ways, instead of as partisan automatons.

But y’all probably get tired of me making that point. Which I know sounds like such a stupid point: Of course they’re people, right? Well… I often think we don’t get that, going by what I see written and hear said about politics.

And maybe I do it in part because, after another election season in which most elections are foregone conclusions because of the way we’re separated into districts in which one or the other party dominates, I need to remind myself…

 

Open Thread for Thursday, November 13, 2014

I realize it’s kind of late in the day for this, but I figure some of y’all might still want to discuss these things, even if you don’t get to them until the morning.

I only have a couple or three proposed topics:

  1. Obama Said to Plan Moves to Shield 5 Million Immigrants — Looks like he’s going to get in the GOP’s faces over this. Will this endanger his ability to find common ground on other things? Maybe. Should he do it anyway? Maybe…
  2. US military considers sending combat troops to battle Isis forces in Iraq — That headline, from The Guardian, perhaps goes a bit far. But Gen. Dempsey was floating the idea today.
  3. Secret Service Blunders Eased Way for White House Intruder — This just in. Report details failures by the protective detail.

Sorry I didn’t see anything good local. Mostly crime news, it seems, and that tends not to catch my eye. I mean, we’re all against crime, right? So what would we discuss?

But maybe y’all have a good local topic in mind…

Open Thread for Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rosetta

I’ve got a lot to do — I’m feeling rather overwhelmed by it all, in fact — and haven’t felt particularly inspired today. So maybe y’all can keep the plates spinning for me. For us all…

Some possible topics:

  1. Judge rules in favor of same-sex marriage in SC — The judge in question is Richard Gergel, who signaled this intention a week or two back.
  2. Rosetta mission makes history, lands on comet 300 million miles away — Very cool stuff. It’s been so long since we’ve had a space milestone like this. Too long… Of course, “we,” as Americans, didn’t accomplish this. But “we,” as a species, did.
  3. US and China strike deal on carbon cuts in push for global climate change pact — I wonder what, if any, will be the practical effect of this. Will the Chinese, with the phenomenal rate at which they’ve been building coal-fired power plants, uphold their end? Will this country, given the president’s lack of political capital, uphold our end? I don’t know enough to answer that, but I’m not optimistic.

Or bring up your own topic; see if I care…

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Open Thread for Veterans Day, November 11, 2014

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Members of the Royal Irish Rifles, first day on the Somme. Look at them staring at us from a century ago…

It’s been a century now since the badly labeled War to End All Wars began, and 96 years to the day (to the hour, as I write this) since it ended in an unsatisfactory manner that helped lead inexorably to the next conflagration.

If you’d like to reflect on that, this would be a good day for it.

Here are some other possible topics:

  1. I see Cindi Scoppe has written my usual post-election column on our endorsees and how they fared. As I did after each election, she does it to deep-six the nonsense about our endorsement being the “kiss of death.” This time, the board went 9-2, slightly better than the usual 75 percent or so winners. Of course, endorsements are not predictions of who will win, but statements about who should win, and more importantly, why they should win. But one does get tired of people saying untrue things about one, hence this tradition that I started about a decade ago.
  2. Haley picks the dollar-a-year guy to run $7 billion agency — The career of Christian Soura, since he first came to SC to work for the governor, has mystified me. He started work here at a dollar a year, explaining that he was living in part off his government pension from Pennsylvania — even though he was only 32. Later, he became deputy chief of staff at the somewhat more substantial compensation of $128,698. Now, he’ll be making $154,879. And no, he has no experience running a Medicaid agency. Tony Keck, whom he replaces, had. Guess we know who just won an election. Note the picture at the link. Keck looks like he could be Soura’s father. (He even looks like a baby next to Nikki, as youthful as she is.)
  3. The Hummer is back. Blame falling oil prices. Sheesh.

Or, whatever you’d like to bring up.