Category Archives: Blogosphere

Remembering a better time, just 10 years ago

That's me interviewing Obama on MLK Day 2008 -- taking notes with my right hand, shooting video with my left. With my Initech mug: "Is This Good for the COMPANY?"

That’s me interviewing Obama on MLK Day 2008 — taking notes with my right hand, shooting video with my left. With my Initech mug: “Is This Good for the COMPANY?”

I retweeted this today…

I passed it on not because it was particularly profound or unique or even one of our former president’s better Tweets, but because it reminded me of a better time for our country.

As it happens, I met Barack Obama 10 years ago, on MLK Day.

That was such a better time for our country.

McCain in the same seat, not long before.

McCain in the same seat, not long before.

A week before, we had endorsed John McCain in the SC Republican Primary, and he had won. We knew, when Barack Obama came in, that we liked him for the Democratic Primary in a few days. But this interview, at 8 a.m. on that holiday, cinched it. We were all very impressed. And since Hillary Clinton declined even to come in for an endorsement interview (I would learn why sometime later) and Joe Biden had dropped out much earlier, that was pretty much it.

We endorsed Obama, and he won the primary a few days later.

As a result, I’ve never felt better about a presidential election than I did about that one — my last in newspaper journalism, although I didn’t know it at the time.

From the time McCain and Obama won their respective nominations, I referred to it as the win-win election. Whichever one won, I felt good about our countries future.

We endorsed McCain in the fall — I’d wanted him to be president since long before I’d heard of Barack Obama, and I was concerned about the Democrat’s lack of experience. But it was OK by me when the latter won. It was the win-win election.

Fast-forward eight years, and we find the Democrat we rejected then running against the worst candidate ever to capture a major-party nomination in our nation’s history — and as if that weren’t bad enough, the worst man won. And we are reminded of that daily, as he goes from outrage to outrage.

So it’s good, if only for a day, to look back and remember a time, not so long ago, when all our prospects seemed good.

Google has measured me and found me guilty

Google-favicon-2015And there is no appeal, since I have been offered no opportunity to interact with a person and make my case. Never mind facing my accuser, or even getting an explanation of the charges against me. (Ain’t the private sector wonderful? Such accountability!)

Here’s Google’s verdict on the matter I told you about yesterday. You have to hunt for the verdict; the lede is buried (it’s in the second bullet):

Dear Publisher,This Google Publisher Policy Report gives you an overview of recent activity related to violations found on specific pages of your websites. As enforcement statuses may change over time, please refer to the “Page-level enforcements” section of the AdSense Policy Center for the current list of active violations.

Please note this report doesn’t cover violations that may happen on an overall site or account level. You may be notified by a separate email if site or account level violations are found. Ads will continue to serve where no policy violations have been found, either at the page- or site-level.

In the last 24 hours:

  • 1 page-level review request was received. You’ll be notified when the review is completed.
  • 1 page was reviewed at your request and found to be non-compliant with our policies at the time of the review. Ad serving continues to be restricted or disabled on this page.

Further details on enforcements can be found in the AdSense Help Center. To learn more about our program policies, please view the AdSense Program Policies.

Kind regards,
Google Publisher Policy

And my punishment is… that no Google ads will appear on a seven-year-old post. Fine…

Open Thread for Tuesday, January 9, 2018

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Dang, I neglected to do an Open Thread for Elvis’ birthday yesterday. Well, here’s hoping somebody gave you a jelly doughnut anyway.

Here’s what we have today:

  1. Trump Says He Is Open to Sweeping Deal on Immigration — We’re talking about not just the Dreamers, but a path to citizenship. Hey, if he can pull off a Nixon-goes-to-China and push through real comprehensive reform like that sought by his two predecessors, I will applaud. But the heads of those in his base are likely spinning right now. For his part, Lindsey is pretty excited about this, calling it the “Most fascinating meeting I’ve been involved with in twenty plus years in politics.”
  2. As North Korea Tensions Rise, U.S. Army Trains Soldiers To Fight In Tunnels — I heard this on NPR this morning. Fascinating. It’s like we’re getting ready to do battle with the Mole People. The north has thousands of these tunnels, some of which extend under the DMZ and deep into the south.
  3. Ex-DHEC chief to run troubled Carolina Water Service — We’re talking Catherine Heigel, not Templeton. Will this help clean up CWS’ rep? I guess it depends on what she does from this point.
  4. Roman Polanski will not face criminal charges for allegations of 1975 molesting — Too bad. He’s been a fugitive from charges of having sex with a 13-year-old since 1978. This alleged victim was 10. The statute of limitations had expired on this one.
  5. Fusion GPS founder claimed FBI had Trump source during campaign — This is from transcript Diane Feinstein released, in apparent defiance of GOP members of the panel.
  6. Steve Bannon Out At Breitbart News — Like I care or something.

 

Anyone have any idea what I’m doing that bugs Google?

The cartoon that started the fuss back in 2010. In case you forget, it was about Nikki Haley calling for transparency for everyone but herself...

The cartoon that started the fuss back in 2010. In case you forget, it was about Nikki Haley calling for transparency for everyone but herself…

Google Adsense — the folks who place the more random-seeming ads on this blog — sent me this warning recently. I just wish I knew what it was I did that they don’t like — because while the money I get from Google for those ads is a tiny trickle, it’s better than nothing, so I’d hate to see them pull the ads altogether.

Here’s what they said:

Dear Publisher,

This Google Publisher Policy Report gives you an overview of recent activity related to violations found on specific pages of your websites. As enforcement statuses may change over time, please refer to the “Page-level enforcements” section of the AdSense Policy Center for the current list of active violations.

Please note this report doesn’t cover violations that may happen on an overall site or account level. You may be notified by a separate email if site or account level violations are found. Ads will continue to serve where no policy violations have been found, either at the page- or site-level.

In the last 24 hours:

  • New violations were detected. As a result, ad serving has been restricted or disabled on pages where these violations of the AdSense Program Policies were found. To resolve the issues, you can either remove the violating content and request a review, or remove the ad code from the violating pages.

Further details on enforcements can be found in the AdSense Help Center. To learn more about our program policies, please view the AdSense Program Policies.

Kind regards,
Google Publisher Policy

The particular post that is seen as being in violation was this one from 2010, in which I rebutted people who were offended by a Robert Ariail cartoon. All Google tells me is that it contains “Dangerous or derogatory content.” Google further defines that this way:

As stated in our program policies, Google ads may not be placed on pages that contain content that:

  • Threatens or advocates for harm on oneself or others;

  • Harasses, intimidates or bullies an individual or group of individuals;

  • Incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.

Of course, neither my post nor Robert’s cartoon did any of those things, although there were people who managed to twist logic enough to be offended. Perhaps one of them complained to Google. Well, sorry, folks, but this is a political commentary blog, and that cartoon was legitimate commentary that made a highly relevant political point at the time.

Even if you do find a way to be offended, it completely escapes me how this seven-year-old post constitutes a “new violation.” This post was old and moldy before I ever started running Google ads. And the last comment on it was posted on Aug. 14, 2010. There’s nothing new there. In fact, reading over it just now I found some glaring typos, but I’m not going to touch them in case that makes the post more current to some algorithm out there.

The only way Google offers me to question this ruling is to “request review,” which I have done. I don’t get to offer a defense or anything; I just click on “request review,” and they say this:

What’s happening

You’ve requested a review for this page and we’re currently looking into it. Reviews typically take 1 week but sometimes can take longer. We’ll let you know when the review is complete.

We’ll see.

Important info in case of werewolf attack

upload

I just kind of enjoyed this Tweet today. I also liked the photo, above, that Stan Dubinsky posted on Facebook in response to my retweet of it…

That’s all. As you were…

Would you vote for Oprah?

Liz Lemon hallucinating about Oprah.

Liz Lemon hallucinating about Oprah.

Sources say Oprah Winfrey is “actively thinking” about running for president. Of the United States.

Not long after that broke, former Nikki Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey tweeted this question:

Remind me to ask Rob sometime how you set up a tweet like that. Now, back to the topic…

I answered “wut idk,” because I really don’t know. It would depend on the office she was running for (since Rob said “any”), who was running against her, and on me learning a lot more about her.

Having never watched her show (beyond that clip of Tom Cruise going nuts, which I think all America has seen) or read her magazine, and having certainly never heard her political views, I just don’t know. The longest exposure I’ve ever had to her was that episode of “30 Rock” when Liz Lemon took a tranquilizer before flying and hallucinated that Oprah was in the seat next to her.

I do assume (unless I learn some really bad stuff about her) that I would vote for her over Donald Trump for pretty much anything. That’s because while I don’t know of any great positive qualifications she has for the presidency, I’m also ignorant of any negatives. Whereas I’ve never seen a person in high office with more negatives than Trump.

Last time I looked, one person had answered Rob in the affirmative, three of us had answered idk, and the rest were negative. I wonder what makes those five people so sure they would never vote for this woman, for any office? Maybe they know of huge negatives I don’t know about, but I sort of doubt that…

Open Thread for Friday, January 5, 2018

Cowboy (or Wade Hampton) rides into sunset. Nothing to do with the news, just a picture I recently shot on one of my downtown walks.

Cowboy (or Wade Hampton) rides into sunset. Nothing to do with the news, just a picture I recently shot on one of my downtown walks.

Just to close out the week:

  1. Mueller Learns of Trump Effort to Keep Grip on Russia Inquiry — This is pretty wild stuff. I thought Jennifer Rubin did a good job of putting these revelations into perspective. I still remain pessimistic about the Mueller’s investigation’s ability to heal what’s wrong with the country. But he needs to do his job, and go where the evidence takes him.
  2. Graham, others take weird turn in GOP’s Russia investigation — Are they going after Manafort or Trump Jr. or Russian agents? Nope, they’re talking possible charges against Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 guy who compiled the infamous dossier on Trump and the Russians. I suppose next they’ll go after that dude who wrote the new book, Fire and Fury. Or better yet: Hillary Clinton! I’ll bet the Rooskies are quaking in their felt boots with such bloodhounds as these on their trail.
  3. These numbers could shake up the SC governor’s race — A poll shows Phil Noble edging out James Smith. This tells us that so far Dems are paying zero attention, or they’ve kind of gone nuts. Noble’s beef about Smith is that he’s too “Republican.” (You know, someone with potential appeal in the fall. I suppose Noble would hate to see the party break its streak.) The news that Kevin Bryant is ahead of Catherine Templeton is almost as weird. I find myself wondering how accurate this poll is…
  4. Blizzard Has Passed, But Frigid Temperatures Remain Along East Coast — In case you still want to talk about the weather.

Y’all have any other topics?

Yep, that’s exactly how a republic is supposed to work

The Caskey boys, spotted together at an event in 2017. No, I don't know exactly how they're related...

The Caskey boys, spotted together at an event in 2017. No, I don’t know exactly how they’re related…

Bryan posted this about his kinsman and my representative, Micah Caskey:

Yep, that’s exactly the way our representative democracy is supposed to work. Elected representatives are not your agents whom you send to do your bidding. They’re people you delegate to go do what, in a complex modern economy, most people don’t have time to do: Go to the capital and study and debate complex issues until they understand them better than they otherwise would — and then act accordingly.

A lot of Americans, maybe most of them, don’t understand that. They expect the following from elected officials:

  1. That they make very specific promises when running for office.
  2. That those promises appeal directly to what they, the voters, want to hear.
  3. That, once elected, the representatives do exactly what they promised, without amendment or deviation.

I don’t expect those things at all. With me, it’s more like:

  1. I don’t care to hear specific campaign promises, because I don’t want that person, once elected, to have his or her hands tied.
  2. To the extent that such promises are made, it’s not necessary that they align with what I think should be done. Sure, if the candidate is promising a lot of stupid stuff I’m dead-set against, I’ll oppose him or her (in part for the simple fact of making pandering promises, whatever their content). But I don’t expect agreement across the board. Since I don’t buy the prepackaged sets of values the left and right sell, there’s never been a candidate with whom I agreed on everything.
  3. Once elected, I expect the representative to buckle down and study, and debate matters with people with different views, and learn, and become wiser about the issues than he or she was during the campaign. And if that means breaking a stupid promise that was made when the candidate was less wise, then I hope my representative has the courage and integrity to do so — like George H.W. Bush ditching the “read my lips” thing.

But as I said, too many people have the first set of expectations, and that misunderstanding has led to many of the ills our country is suffering today. The Tea Party and Trumpism were both outgrowths of the frustration of people who were mad because the people they had elected had not followed through on stupid promises they had made.

The danger in that, of course, is that you can arrive at a point at which people who will actually follow through on stupid promises get elected.

Which is where we are today…

Which is why a fine representative like Micah is good to find. Which in turn is why, once I met him and saw how bright, serious and thoughtful he was, I gave up my crazy thoughts of running for the office myself. I didn’t see how I would do a better job than he would. I don’t remember any of his positions in particular; I just remember that the way he approached issues made me trust him to address them wisely in the future.

And that, boys and girls, is how our system is supposed to work. And yes, this will all be on the final exam…

Open Thread for Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Note the weirdness of the seven identical microphones. In a free society, an important person might be seen with multiple microphones, but they would be different, placed there by an array of news organizations. This is Kim trying to look important without the freedom part...

Note the weirdness of the seven identical microphones. In a free society, an important person might be seen with multiple microphones, but they would be different, placed there by an array of news organizations. This is Kim trying to look important without the freedom part…

Happy New Year! Here’s what we’ve got at this hour:

  1. South Korea welcomes Kim Jong Un’s offer of talks — This could be a big deal — and could drive a wedge between South Korea and the U.S. First you-know-who pulls us out of TPP, now this. Stand on the Pacific Rim, and watch American influence disappearing over the horizon. A smooth move by Kim. So far in 2018, that’s one point for Little Rocket Man, zero for the Dotard…
  2. Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham call out Iran. Here’s what they said — I won’t make you click to find out that they were supportive of protesters, critical of the regime. The Iranian regime, that is. Graham was sucking up to the Trump regime (“As to President Trump and all those who love freedom…”).
  3. Leaving a car idling so that it’s warm when you get in is illegal in SC. Here’s why — Um, is it because that makes you a total jerk who hates the Earth? No, that’s not it. But if you need another reason, that one’s lying around available. I would also accept, “Because it makes you look like a total wuss who can’t handle a little weather…”
  4. In 347 days, Trump has made 1,950 false and misleading claims — In case you were wondering whether someone is keeping score, the answer is yes — the Post‘s Fact Checker is. Of course, this won’t impress Trump supporters, because they believe “They all do it.” Well, they don’t all do this. The White House has never been held by someone with such complete disregard for reality. Ever.
  5. New SC laws go into effect on New Year’s Day 2018 — I share this purely as an illustration of how slow news is: This story is four days old, and is still leading thestate.com. Seriously…

Open Thread for Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Harry Obama

Been busy. Eating a lot. Training the Echo Dot I got for Christmas (or perhaps Alexa is training me). And I got Call of Duty WWII for my PC, and I’ve been having a lot of trouble with this one German in the fifth bunker on Normandy Beach.

But here’s an Open Thread:

  1. Obama tells Prince Harry: leaders must stop corroding civil discourse — Meanwhile, the former president is still the most admired man in America. But Hillary is the most admired woman, so take that with a large amount of salt. This is basically a name-recognition test. And guess what? Nikki Haley’s in the top 10.
  2. I.R.S. Warns That Prepaying Property Taxes Is a Risk — What I want to know is this: Who has the cash to run out and pay their property tax for the whole next year just sitting around? If I had that, the last thing I’d be worrying about is saving a few bucks on my income taxes. Don’t people have other things to think about? Interesting things?
  3. Ryan’s ‘pro-white’ primary foe denounced by Breitbart after his anti-Semitic tweets — So apparently you can go too far for Steve Bannon. Good to know…
  4. The real greatest threat to democracy this year — It’s indifference. E. J. Dionne offers a prayer for our democracy. It can use one.

You know what? That’s it. I’m just not finding any news tonight. Y’all have any?

sh-overview

WWII — the video game, not the real thing — has been occupying a good bit of my time today…

And Nikki had been doing so WELL lately…

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First, Nikki Haley was doing pretty well as a backbench S.C. House member, to the extent that we endorsed her twice. She had a lot to learn, but she seemed fairly bright and we felt her intentions were good.

Then, she ran for governor, for which she was shockingly unprepared. All I could say at the time was, “Don’t do it, Nikki!” But she did it. And for much of the past four years, she demonstrated how unprepared she was.

But toward the end, she showed some signs of growing in office. I wasn’t the only one who noticed. One of her own political appointees put it to me in just those words. I didn’t report that at the time because the next thing he said was, “And if you write that I’ll come to your house and kill you.” It didn’t seem worth it.

Then she got re-elected, and then in 2015 she did probably the finest thing she will do in her life, and I praised her to the skies and urged others to do so. Finally, I thought, she is a governor.

And then, owing Henry McMaster a major favor, you-know-who named her U.S. ambassador to the U.N. This was shocking, of course, because she had no known experience or understanding of geopolitics, either in a real-world or academic sense. So I braced myself.

But she has done surprisingly well. Not perfectly well, but amazingly so for someone entirely lacking in credentials.

I attribute this to one of her most remarkable innate attributes: She makes a good impression. Not just a good first impression, or a good second one — the effect continues through the 10th, the 20th and so on. Sometime after that, you might have creeping doubts, if you’re inclined that way. But it takes awhile.

And a talent like that can go a long, long way in diplomatic circles. Consequently, people started talking of her as a replacement for Rex Tillerson, who has no discernible diplomatic talents, and has been dismantling the State Department. She even gets mentioned as a possible future successor to you-know-who, but let’s not get into that.

The point is, she’s been doing well.

But sometimes old habits rise up, as in this Tweet:

Hey, at least she didn’t say that other thing people say they’re going to do in tandem with taking names.

You know what that reminds me of? When she presumed to “grade” legislators according to whether they had done her bidding. This was in 2011, long before she started showing signs of growing into the office of governor.

And this is disappointing. Here’s hoping Diplomatic Nikki makes a return, and soon…

Meanwhile, the bluster didn’t work:

United Nations Rebukes U.S. Over Jerusalem in 128-to-9 Vote

How fast can she write? That’s a lot of names to take in a short period of time…

Duke Twitter flap: But was it ‘racial’?

blur

I’m musing over terminology after reading about the sportswriter who got himself into hot water at a Duke roundball game on Dec. 2.

Here’s what happened, as I understand it:

  • College Insider reporter John Stansberry made some cracks on Twitter about some students who were right behind him at the game.
  • One of the students took offense, I’m assuming because of his reference to her and her friends as “Asian chicks.” But the student’s explanation of her anger on Facebook wasn’t specific. It may have been the Cheap Trick thing.
  • Duke revoked his credentials for the rest of the season.
  • He became an Unperson. His Twitter account is gone, and apparently College Insider (or someone) has erased traces of his existence. (I base this on the fact that, if I Google “John Stansberry College Insider,” I get a bunch of links that say, “CollegeInsider.com: John Stansberry’s College Basketball Notebook.” But I get a “Not Found” error if I click on them. Down the memory hole, I guess. Like Garrison Keillor.)

All of which seems fairly straightforward in a day when we’re used to people being more or less disappeared for stepping over lines.

But I’m confused by news stories that refer to the incident as “racial” or “racist.”

“Racial” maybe, in the sense that a reference to race was made. But that doesn’t seem to be a primary concern of the young woman who complained. She made a passing reference to herself as a member of the set “Asian women,” but didn’t indicate that that was what bothered her about what the wiseguy did. She seemed mostly bothered about being discussed before the world when all she was doing was watching a basketball game.

But “racist?” I ask because the college paper mentioned this among several instances in a story headlined “‘We were just kind of shocked’: Asian American students report racist comments in recent weeks.”

Yeah, the “Cheap Trick” seems to be kind of snide, presumably a reference to this. But racist? And if this guy is actually part Asian, as the reference to “my Korean mother” would indicate, can it be racist? I don’t know.

I don’t know. The whole thing kind of hovers on the edge of a number of hot-button issues that are in vogue — privacy in a social media age, safe spaces in academia, sexism, racism(?), and so forth — that I thought I’d offer it for discussion.

I do know one thing: If he’d been doing his phony-baloney job and paying attention to the game, we wouldn’t have all of this. But that’s the editor in me….

And I didn’t mean to go on about it this long. But whenever I can come up with anything even vaguely sports-related for you, my dear readers, I try to oblige…

CheapTrick_Live_atBudokan

Open Thread for Saturday, December 16, 2017

about-photo2

Yes, a weekend Open Thread. To make up for giving you nothing new the last two days:

  1. ‘Chicken Man’s art trailer stolen — You know, some crooks out there don’t respect anything. That goes for the lowlifes who took Ernest Lee’s trailer, for sure…
  2. On their heads be it — Congressional Republicans seem poised to pass, as their signature (let’s face it, their only) accomplishment of 2017, a completely unnecessary tax plan that is only favored by a third of the electorate. Democrats must be hugging themselves at this point, with visions of 2018 dancing in their heads.
  3. How Doug Jones Destroyed Roy Moore’s Whole Shtick with One Well-Chosen Verb — Kind of an interesting piece on the use of words in politics. The most damaging word Jones used in his takedown was “prancing.” Interesting choice of weapon for a Democrat these days.
  4. Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program — The stuff of science fiction movies revealed, at last. Where does the funding come from? “You don’t actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?”
  5. Palmetto State Armory’s Xmas billboards making a stir again — You know, like the “Silent Night” one showing a semiautomatic pistol with a noise suppressor?

 

 

 

No, Democrats: Alabama doesn’t mean you’re on a roll…

And congrats to the winner. We don't have to look at the #fakecowboy any more...

And congrats to the winner. We don’t have to look at the #fakecowboy any more…

An old colleague who now works in Washington, John O’Connor, reported this this morning:

I couldn’t help replying, “Well, yeah… if the other guy is a child molester…”

John followed that up with:

And here’s what I had to say to that…

Yeah, but we’re extrapolating from a sample of two, and the circumstances of the two are miles apart. Show me a few more Virginias, and you have a trend…

Democrats like Schumer are desperate for good news. They want the augurs to tell them that they’re going to win big in 2018. This grasping at hope can be seen in SC as well:

And while Democrats are looking to win, the rest of us — independents, and rational, normal Republicans — are hoping to see the national nightmare of Trump come to an end.

So there’s satisfaction, relief, in the Alabama results. But cause for celebration? No. The nation dodged a bullet. A terrible thing did not happen.

But just barely. Good Lord, look at what lost: Trump’s man was an absolute nightmare of a candidate, regardless of your political implications. We have good reason to believe he’s a child molester. He wants to do away with every amendment after the 10th, which means (and he knows this is what it means — he’s a lawyer, and a former judge, as incredible as it may be that he ever passed a course in law school) doing away with the amendments that freed the slaves and guaranteed equal treatment before the law. He seems incapable of opening his mouth without saying something shockingly idiotic.

In a sane world, he should have been creamed; he shouldn’t have received 10 percent of the vote. But he almost got 50.

It’s a bit early to say Trumpism is dead. Yes, we should all be happy that a horrible candidate lost. And to be a little more upbeat, we can even take comfort from the fact that a decent guy seems to have won (I liked that Joe Biden chose to focus on the positive, without making too much of it.)

But the country’s not out of the woods. All we’re seeing is flickers of light through the trees…

Open Thread for Tuesday, December 5, 2017

SlagerShooting5x3.1

Very quickly:

  1. Russian Team Barred From 2018 Winter Olympics — Yeah, OK. Get back to us when they get barred from the real Olympics. But I will say this is a better way of punishing Russia than the last time we did it, when we stayed home instead. Y’all know I like me some Jimmy Carter, but that was a huge disappointment to a friend of mine who was coaching our boxing team.
  2. Trump risks backlash as he prepares to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — Seeing as how it is the capital, it’s hard for me to get worked up about this one. Of course, I don’t have to because millions in the region will get worked up for me….
  3. Justices seem divided in case of baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple — I’m including this for Bud, who may have a point — this guy seems to have a stronger case than most defendants in this are. But in the end, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t eat cake, so what do I know?
  4. Evidence of fight, threats mark defense’s version of Scott shooting case — Can anyone ‘splain to me how the defense thinks any of that adds up to, “It’s OK to shoot a guy running away from you in the back?”

That’s it for now. Gotta run…

Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, November 30, 2017

Is it that the missile is so big, or he's just so small?

The experts say it’s a real monster.

I haven’t done one of these in awhile. There’s certainly plenty of news for it:

  1. Senate GOP tax plan hits deficit snag, leaving leaders scrambling — Flake and Corker are refusing to agree to jacking up the national debt. Good for them. In the bad news column, John McCain has agreed to support the bill, despite the news that it will increase the deficit by a trillion over 10 years. That’s very disappointing.
  2. If North Korea fires a nuclear missile at the U.S., how could it be stopped? — I’d be leading with this, since it’s infinitely more important than stupid tax policy. But the actual news of the N. Korean test was yesterday, so it can’t lead today. And the tax thing is breaking. There are rules. Meanwhile, in this story with a rather comical headline, experts note with alarm that Kim’s missile is way bigger than they’d thought.
  3. 2nd undisclosed report shows delays, poor oversight doomed SC nuke project — Hang on. Did I just hear “undisclosed” again? And get this: “State regulators and legislators said Thursday that they were unaware of the Fluor report’s existence until told of it by The State.”
  4. Alan Wilson joins multi-state effort to ban abortion after 20 weeksThe State reports that “Other states whose attorneys general are part of the coalition include West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.”
  5. White House Plan: Replace Tillerson With C.I.A. Chief — Well, I doubt he’d be any worse. Meanwhile, talk about Nikki Haley getting the job has faded to the background. I suppose if Pompey doesn’t want the job, they’ll go with Crassus or Caesar. Oh, wait — it’s PompeO. (Sorry. I’m still reading, and enjoying, Rubicon.)
  6. Gloria Steinem: ‘I wouldn’t write the same thing now’ — Normally, I pay little attention to what she says about anything, but that piece she wrote defending Bill Clinton in 1998 was so deeply shameful and egregious that this is worth noting. But like the sex harassers who “apologize” with caveats and excuses, she’s still not ashamed that she did it then — and that’s appalling.
"I want you to listen to me... and to Gloria Steinem..."

“I want you to listen to me… and to Gloria Steinem…”

Finally looked at the Nancy Mace video. Wish I hadn’t…

Nancy Mace, in a photo from her campaign website.

Nancy Mace, in a photo from her campaign website.

Somebody brought this to my attention on Twitter last week. Seeing it was video, I didn’t click on it (I frequently check Twitter in places where that would be annoying to other people), and soon forgot about it.

That is, I forgot about it until Nancy Mace, as expected, won her runoff last night for the GOP nomination for Jim Merrill’s old House seat, District 99. Suddenly more people were mentioning the video.

So I went and found it.

First, for those who need reminding, Nancy is known for three things, mostly for the first:

  1. She was the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel, back in 1999.
  2. She was Will Folks’ partner for a time in the FITSNews blog. Will handled the content, she dealt with the technical side. (At one point I met with her to ask how they worked that out, looking for ideas for turning this blog more into a business. I tried setting up something similar, but it didn’t work out.) Here’s Will’s coverage of her win last night.
  3. She was one of the crowd of folks who ran against Lindsey Graham in the primary last time around.

Now, conventional wisdom would have it that she’s positioned to cruise into the House. Because, you know, it’s a GOP seat, and they don’t draw them for Democrats to win.

There are only a couple of factors that might stand in the way of that. First, Democrats seem pretty enthusiastic about their candidate, Cindy Boatwright. Second, there’s that video, which has been mentioned quite a few times on social media since last night.

So I went back and looked at it. The first person you see is Nancy Mace:

Perhaps not wishing to share the part about “that’s not her husband… or a man,” a number of Democrats have Tweeted about it separately, especially in recent hours, now that they know whom they’re facing.

Here’s Cindy Boatwright’s statement:

I hope they can get to the point of discussing factors other than this between now and election day Jan. 16. But whether they do or not, this is likely to get interesting…

boatwright twitter

Open Thread for Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Yeah, it was dopey, but back in the century when I was a kid, we watched 'The Time Tunnel.'

Yeah, it was dopey, but back in the century when I was a kid, we watched ‘The Time Tunnel.’

When you type the date “2017,” do you ever, just for a second, think you’re living in, or writing, a science-fiction story? I do, every once in a while. How can that date belong anywhere but in the future? Of course, I’m still adjusting to 1984 being in the distant past, instead of the distant future the way it was when I first read it. In fact, it’s farther in the past now than it was in the future then — which seems impossible. Maybe time travel really IS a thing, only instead of jumping over years to get to the future, you just fast-forward, which mean you store “memories” of the intervening years as though you had lived them, when you really haven’t. Maybe I’m onto something. Or not.

Here are some more down-to-Earth things to talk about:

  1. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe resigns, ending 37-year rule — I’m going to go with the BBC and lead with this, even though the denizens of Trump’s America are all like, “What’s a Zimbabwe?”
  2. FCC plan would give Internet providers power to choose the sites customers see, use — OK, would one of y’all please explain “net neutrality” to me one more time, and see if I can hold onto it long enough to form an opinion?
  3. ‘I feel so good about myself doing this.’ says Trump — He was pardoning his first turkey.
  4. Trump Defends Roy Moore Amid Sexual Assault Allegations: ‘He Totally Denies It’ — Well, OK, as long as he denied it “totally;” otherwise I’d doubt him. When this republic started, we had presidents who were conversant in Latin and Greek. This one is fluent in Valspeak. (Look it up, kids — it was an ’80s thing).
  5. Former SC first lady, widow of Carroll Campbell dies — The end of an era — one that had just begun when I came home to SC to work at The State. Back to my time-travel theory, above.
  6. Indie rock group cancels Columbia show after singer is accused of ‘sexual coercion’ — Does it count as a celebrity scandal if I’ve never heard of the celebrity?
Ya know, I never FULLY realized how surreal the turkey-pardoning thing was until Trump did it...

Ya know, I never FULLY realized how surreal the turkey-pardoning thing was until Trump did it…

Open Thread for Thursday, November 16, 2017

Apparently, Al Franken thought this was funny.

Apparently, Al Franken thought this was funny.

Some possible topics — but as always, feel free to introduce your own:

  1. Wal-Mart Posts Strongest U.S. Sales in Nearly a Decade — So that’s who’s been doing so well in this economy. Sorry if you can’t pull up the story; I don’t have access to WSJ these days, either. But what I could see said this was the retailer’s “strongest quarterly U.S. sales growth in nearly a decade” and that it was “boosted by a big jump in ecommerce and strong store traffic.”
  2. After Tokyo Commuter Train Leaves 20 Seconds Early, Company Apologizes — Yeah, we get it — yours is a very conscientious culture. But come on; lighten up. You’re forgiven (even though, in my book, leaving early is way worse than waiting a minute).
  3. Senate bill would cut taxes for millionaires but hike them for the poor, working class — That’s according to the official assessment by the Joint Committee on Taxation.
  4. Senator Al Franken Apologizes After Groping Accusation — You know, I still haven’t adjusted to the idea of this guy being a U.S. senator. The above photo fits more closely to the way I think of him than his serious senator photos.
  5. Four Women Accuse Moore as Campaign Pushes Back — Four more that is, bringing it to nine. Who knew there were so many lyin’ women in Alabama? That Bernie Bernstein must be running out of money about now, huh? Of course, this leaves Moore WAY short of Donald Trump’s 16, but then, Trump is the Man… I guess I shouldn’t joke, since there are people reading this blog who actually think that way, which is no laughing matter.