Category Archives: Blogosphere

(Mostly Local) Open Thread for Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A few items — WAY more local than usual, all from my old colleagues at The State:

  1. Haley’s veto overridden; farmers to get $40 million in state aid — I’m a little surprised the paper isn’t leading with this, even though it was not a shock that they overrode her.
  2. SC proposal to register refugees stalls — Here’s hoping it does more than that and dies a miserable death; this legislation is unconscionable. With legislation like this, Donald Trump is superfluous (he’d like that; it has “super” in it).zevoexcisl
  3. Man busted with cocaine, ecstasy and guns on Harbison Boulevard — Didn’t Warren Zevon sing about that? I don’t know what happened — I went home with the waitress, the way I always do… How was I do know she was with the Russians, too? Officials say they “found cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, two pistols and $1,170 in cash in his car.” Excitable Boy, sounds like.
  4. Ethics officials say they have more questions about Treasurer Loftis — I’d forgotten this was out there. You?

And elsewhere in the world:

  1. Trump releases list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees — Very interesting. Not something I recall seeing before, but for once, we have some specifics beyond that wall Mexico’s not going to pay for.
  2. Kidnapped schoolgirl found in Nigeria — She’s the first of the famous 219 taken by Boko Haram to be found and rescued.
  3. U.S. Enlarges Its Military Footprint In Eastern Europe, To Mixed Reviews — Trump’s buddy Putin is not happy about it.

Open Thread for Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What does it mean to be "presidential?" Here, POTUS shares the bully pulpit with a rapper -- albeit a very nicely dressed one.

What does it mean to be “presidential?” Here, POTUS shares the bully pulpit with a rapper — albeit a very nicely dressed one.

Where is everybody today? This some kind of holiday nobody told me about? Oh well… I might as well toss out some topics for those few of you who are paying attention today…

  1. House overrides Gov. Haley’s $40 million farm-aid veto, 112-2 — Now it’s the Senate’s turn. I know how one senator, Tom Davis, is likely to vote on it. He’s with the governor. Interestingly, he’s also with her in supporting the expenditure of $40 million on beach renourishment to help out the tourism industry…
  2. On anniversary of Brown v. Board, new evidence shows U.S. schools are resegregating — Which is not terribly shocking to those who have paid attention, although it should be.
  3. 31 Olympians could face ban after doping retest, officials say — Just because y’all complain we don’t talk enough about sports.
  4. West Columbia man stole $68 steak to pay child support, he told police — He must have thought it was legal tender… Yeah… I used this just so I could say that. But folks, if I’ve learned nothing else from working with the SC Center for Fathers and Families, the practice of holding jail over men’s heads to get them to pay support — thereby inspiring them to acts of desperation — is no laughing matter. (Seriously, think for a second: how much support can a man provide when he’s in jail?)
  5. ‘Presidential’? It’s in the Eye of the Voter, Trump Shows — All about the rapid decline of standards among the electorate — or at least, the portion that will consider voting for Trump. And to go with that, we have…
  6. Former Mafia-linked figure describes association with Donald Trump — If you can’t be presidential, hang with a Man of Respect.

Finally, Twitter will only count the characters you actually TYPE

twitter header

This is exciting news for those of us who are addicted to Twitter — and it’s long overdue.

How many times have you carefully honed a Tweet to well under 140 characters, only to have it disqualified when you add the photo or link that inspired the post?

Did that feel unfair to you? It should have. It always has to me, even though, over the years, I’ve come to accept the stricture.

Mind you, it’s not that I object to the 140-character limit itself. Far from it. I embrace it. I think it provides the necessary tension to keep Tweets lean and mean — there’s just enough room to express an idea as long as you squeeze the fat out. It’s just right. It’s like the 90 feet between bases — an inch more or less and the balance between runners and defense wouldn’t be perfect.

But when you attach a picture or a link to your carefully-honed Tweet, suddenly you’re over the limit, through no fault of your own.

In any case, this injustice is finally at an end, or about to be:

Twitter Inc. is making a major shift in how it counts characters in Tweets, giving users more freedom to compose longer messages.

The social media company will soon stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages, according to a person familiar with the matter. The change could happen in the next two weeks, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. Links currently take up 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them. The company declined to comment….

“Declined to comment?” They should be shouting the good news from the rooftops!

Your Virtual Front Page for Monday, May 16, 2016

Slow news day, which just makes it more of a challenge. So here goes:

  1. Justices send Obamacare contraception issue back to lower courts — With Scalia gone and no replacement, the court decided unanimously to punt this hot potato.
  2. Libya: US backs arming of government for IS fight — Interestingly, this wasn’t prominently played on any U.S. outlet; I got it from the BBC.
  3. The presidency is Clinton’s to lose. Here are 12 ways she could. — And she’s perfectly capable of trying each and every one of them, while the rest of us watch on pins and needles, fearing the sound of “President Trump.”
  4. Cancer Survivor Receives First Penis Transplant in U.S. — Ummm… I’m just going to say God bless this poor guy, and I hope this works out well for him.
  5. Man told deputies he was cleaning gun when it went off, wounding 11-year-old — Just to get something local on the page. Seriously, who cleans a loaded gun?
  6. Queen of Cartels: most famous female leader of Mexico’s underworld speaks out — Recently, I tried watching a show in Spanish on Netflix called “La Viuda Negra.” It was SO bad I stopped about five minutes in. But I guess the subject of this story may have been an inspiration for that. Anyway, I thought I’d give you a story off the beaten path. For the mix…


Open Thread for Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Her Majesty

I hate to give y’all two Open Threads back-to-back, but it’s just one of those kinds of days:

  1. Federal grand jury indicts ex-North Charleston cop in shooting of Walter Scott — Not terribly surprising, but an important step in an important case.
  2. Islamic State Bombings Kill Dozens in Baghdad — Making the success of this administration’s ISIL strategy just look farther and farther away. As James Clapper indicated in the latest Ignatius column, this problem will await the next president.
  3. Spurning Unity, Trump Claims ‘Mandate’ to Be Provocative — So apparently, the internal campaign memo says, “Let Trump Be Trump.” As if he would or could be anything else. Meanwhile, it’s being said on the eve of Trump’s meeting with Speaker Ryan that “Trump and GOP leaders might never be on the same page.”
  4. Google Announces It Will Stop Allowing Ads For Payday Lenders — This is some good news. Google gets a conscience…
  5. Queen filmed calling Chinese officials ‘very rude’ — And she was not amused. See above. The remarkable thing about this is that Her Majesty wasn’t “caught” on some stranger’s phone video. This was released by the Palace. So, all together now: Harrumph!

Open Thread for Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I guarantee you Fritz Hollings could squeeze all the political correctness out of ANY visit to Hiroshima.

I guarantee you Fritz Hollings could squeeze all the political correctness out of ANY visit to Hiroshima.

I gave you a break yesterday, but I won’t promise to make this one Trump-free, too:

  1. Obama to be first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima — No doubt the president will receive a lot of criticism from those who regard this as another stop on his supposed Apology Tour. You know how he could put a stop to that? Take Fritz Hollings along with him. Or not
  2. China scrambles fighter jets as a U.S. destroyer steams past disputed island — Just so you know that’s going on out there. Showing the flag. Standing up for freedom of the seas. Brinksmanship. Stuff that’s more important than calling a beer “America.”
  3. Secretary admits to using $97,000 of church funds to buy drugs — Which apparently was against the rules. Not a huge story, but I needed something local for the mix, and this sort of stuck out. I don’t know what kind of drugs this involved, but I’m going to hazard a guess it was a prescription opioid, which can cause seemingly normal people to do horrific things. Of course, I could be totally wrong on that. I’ll read followup stories with interest, if there are any…
  4. Islamic State ‘Kill Lists’ Target Ordinary Americans — If true, this is definitely a new and disturbing wrinkle. One wonders why they didn’t think of it before, if they truly mean to be terrorists.
  5. Is Donald Trump Playing The ‘Man Card’? — See? I told you I couldn’t promise anything.


Trump envisioned as the Baron Harkonnen


Apparently, I’m not the only one to draw an analogy between Donald Trump suddenly seizing control of the Republican Party and the Harkonnens crushing the Atreides and taking Arrakis.

My son-in-law brings my attention to the above — which I appreciate even though I think David Lynch’s “Dune” is the Worst Movie Ever Made. Or at least, the Worst Movie Ever Made That Should Have Been Awesome. Which was why, on my previous post on the subject, I used a picture of Germans taking Paris rather than something from the movie…

Trump-free Open Thread for Monday, May 9, 2016


We’re stuck with you-know-who for months to come, so I hope you appreciate this special gift from me to you:

  1. North Carolina sues U.S. over ‘bathroom law’ — All right, I’m now convinced of it: North Carolina is engaged in a deep, dark plot to make us in South Carolina look like a buncha dang’ liberals. Oh, and The Wall Street Journal is actually leading its site at this hour with this story about the issue of who goes to what bathroom. Have we hit bottom yet?
  2. Sanders favored in West Virginia primary — Is this thing never going to end?
  3. Philippines Votes For President; ‘The Punisher’ Leads The Pack — Wow. It seems other electorates are going nuts as well. A generation ago, I remember the uplifting campaign of Cory Aquino. Now this…
  4. Panama Papers include dozens of Americans tied to financial fraud — This is about money and offshore accounts and… (yawn). For those of you immune to the soporific effect, this database is now searchable. If you find that I have a vast fortune hidden away somewhere abroad, please let me know, so that I can go to there.
  5. The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru — This is kind of a scary story, about the kid (still in school, albeit graduate school, when 9/11 happened) who is “according to the consensus of the two dozen current and former White House insiders I talked to, the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from Potus himself.” Not John Kerry, or Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates before him, but Ben Rhodes…

A Trump Rorschach test: What do you see here?

Here’s how Donald Trump tries to win over a constituency he has deeply insulted:

This is the kind of thing that provides an indication whether you are susceptible to being a Trump supporter or not.

Do you see this as:

a) The candidate just been one heckuva smooth charmer, bewitching all the Pedros and Marias into loving him in spite of all; or

b) The sort of ham-handed, tone-deaf gesture that makes you a little embarrassed for the human race.

As Slate wrote, “How did he forgot the sombrero? Where’s the mariachi band? Does he want to win or not?”

Open Thread for Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Unfortunately, Indiana also seems to want Donald Trump, which means we’re all in trouble. If you’d like to comment on that or anything else, type away:

  1. Indiana Votes, in What Could Be Knockout Blow in Races — If you have thoughts as the results come in, leave them here. Me, I’m fantasizing that Cruz gets fed up and quits after tonight, and Kasich starts getting the attention he deserves, and manages to win enough delegates in the remaining primaries to deny Trump a first-ballot win. Hey, it could happen. If Donald Trump can be on the verge of obtaining a once-great party’s nomination, anything can happen. Oh, you don’t believe in underdogs? I refer you to “Hoosiers.” See photo below.
  2. Democrats’ Brand Is Bad, But Republicans’ Is Way Worse — I sense it approaching… the UnParty Moment!
  3. US accuses Russia of nuclear sabre-rattling, amid NATO tensions — While we make a mockery of the process of choosing our commander in chief, there’s some serious s__t going on in the world…
  4. American killed as U.S. troops get closer to Islamic State battle in Iraq — As this administration continues its excruciatingly gradual escalation, at what point do we drop the “adviser” shtick, and go after ISIL?
  5. Father-daughter dance canceled following complaints at elementary school — The complaint apparently was that a lot of kids are left out by a father-daughter dance. After having worked with the SC Center for Fathers and Families for several years, I’ve been acutely aware of the severe problem of father absence in far too many families. This dramatizes it.
"OK, boys -- we're gonna run the picket fence at 'em!"

“OK, boys — we’re gonna run the picket fence at ’em!”


Open Thread for Monday, May 2, 2016

May_Day_Parade_1957_Moscow (1)

So, did you have a good May Day, comrades? Well, if not, don’t come crying to me. Nichevo. It can’t be helped:

  1. Terrible, awful, horrible news out of Indiana — Did you see the poll results showing Trump with a double-digit lead? Yep. It’s just getting harder and harder for the Republicans to avoid nominating this bizarre character. Which leads to such cringe-inducing stories as this one: What would Trump be like as the Republican nominee? Meanwhile, the candidate’s latest gem: “Trump accuses China of ‘raping’ US with unfair trade policy
  2. Should your workplace have a nap room? — Absolutely. One of the few nice things about our steadily decreasing staff those last few years I was at the paper was that we had an empty office in which we kept a couch. Sometimes, along about 4 in the afternoon when I needed to concentrate on proofs, I’d get this debilitating sinus headache. So I’d go into that room, set my phone to wake me in 12 or 15 minutes, and drop off immediately. I’d wake up feeling great and ready to work hours more — which is great, because I had to do just that. I highly recommend it if you can swing it.
  3. CIA ‘Live Tweets’ Bin Laden Raid On 5th Anniversary — Fortunately, the raid itself was well thought-out. This Twitter stunt, I’m thinking, not so much. Look, we killed the guy; it was a thing that needed doing. Let’s not invite the country to celebrate each moment of the experience, OK?

Or maybe you’ve run across something more interesting, which wouldn’t be all that hard. If so, please share…

Open Thread for Friday, April 29, 2016

But I'm a creep; I'm a weirdo. What the hell am I doing reading about the BUSINESS side of music?

But I’m a creep; I’m a weirdo. What the hell am I doing reading about the BUSINESS side of music?

A few things that might spark conversation (if only this weren’t a Friday):

  1. Nikki Haley says she’ll help Obama find the money to keep Guantanamo open — Just call her NIMBY Haley from now on. This cockiness about helping POTUS find money comes from the woman who thinks we should finance roads by either a) cutting another tax by a larger amount than that needed for roads or b) taking it from other programs even though roads have their own dedicated funding source, one that hasn’t been raised for 29 years.
  2. GOP elites are now resigned to Trump as their nominee — This is very, very, extremely, awful, horrible news, if you are an American, or the resident of any other country affected by U.S. policy, which is to say, if you are an earthling.
  3. Cruz’s latest fights with fellow Republicans are a reminder: Many simply don’t like him — And see, this is why we’re in the horrible situation described in the previous item: Two things characterize Cruz: Tout le monde sees him as the only guy to stop Trump, and he is a guy who causes normal Republicans to say such things as what the former speaker of the House said — that he “never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” If only there were a sane option out there that leading Republicans didn’t hate… someone like… I don’t know… KASICH?
  4. Radiohead’s corporate empire: inside the band’s dollars and cents — Disregard! I was hoping this would be about Radiohead’s upcoming new album or something, but it turns out the headline was accurate: It really was about business and money. Bleh. I’d just as soon watch “Vinyl” as read about that…
  5. Pentagon Disciplines 16 for Errors Tied to Afghan Hospital Bombing — This is the one back in October, not the latest one. The latest one wasn’t us.

Open Thread for Monday, April 25, 2016

Several interesting items out there that I’ve run out of time today to turn into separate posts:

  1. Roof friend Meek to plead guilty to federal charges — I still find myself wondering, based on what has been reported, why the feds bothered with Meek — did they really think there was a realistic chance the slaughter could have been prevented by him? I suspect it was mostly about having leverage over him when it comes time to prosecute Roof.
  2. Cruz and Kasich team up to try to stop Trump — Fascinating. And, I suppose, it’s a good thing. Although it does have its Orwellian aspect. Cruz was going around acting like it’s a personal affront that Kasich was still running, and now he’s is all like, Oceania was always allied with Eurasia…
  3. Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Tom Brady, Says He Must Serve Suspension — REALLY? People are still talking about this? An actual, literal federal case about whether a football was sufficiently inflated?
  4. Obama outlines plans to expand U.S. Special Operations forces in Syria — Obama is SO intent on not repeating our experience in Iraq. I think he’s safe on that point. This gradual escalation of the involvement of “advisers” feels a lot more like Vietnam… By the way, you may also be interested in reading this recent piece by the editorial page editor of The Washington Post (because editorial page editors are always right), headlined “Obama destroyed Syrians’ ‘glimmer of hope’ that America would intervene“…
  5. Cleveland To Pay $6 Million To Settle Tamir Rice Lawsuit — I heard an interesting observation on the radio this afternoon. Some note that in settlements regarding Walter Scott in North Charleston, Eric Garner in New York and a couple of other cases, the amounts were also about $6 million. Leaving the person on the radio to observe that $6 million seems to be the “going rate” for the wrongful death of a black man — on in the Cleveland case, a 12-year-old boy…

Corporate America leaps to associate itself with Prince


Donning my ADCO hat for a moment…

In the brave new world of social media, some pretty big brands — that in the past would have spent months deciding how to present themselves — sometimes make hasty decisions with their identities.

Sometimes their instincts are sound. Sometimes, not so much.

In any case, here’s how some brands positioned themselves upon the news of the passing of the artist formerly, and latterly, known as Prince:

Thank Mashable for calling our attention to these efforts.

Open Thread for Monday, April 18, 2016


Flag of Ecuador. I used to be able to sing the national anthem, but it’s been awhile.

Let me just toss out a few topics before I go give platelets:

  1. Ecuador quake death toll rises to 350 — This might not hit home for you, but I lived there for the longest period that I lived anywhere in my peripatetic childhood. Small quakes that would move furniture in our house were a regular part of life.
  2. Dow Closes Above 18000 for First Time Since July — And if that floats your boat, I’m happy for you.
  3. Oil Slips After Output Deal Fails — Which is both good and bad news. Good because I really don’t want to go back to paying more for gas, and it’s been creeping up lately. Taking the long view, it’s bad from an Energy Party perspective. You know who is the world’s largest producer now? Russia. Because it costs a lot less to produce a barrel there than it does here.
  4. Supreme Court Sharply Divided on Obama Plan for Immigrants — Again, it would be nice to have nine justices!
  5. A cold-eyed view of allies has left Obama with few overseas friends — Which is not good, geopolitically speaking.

Open Thread for Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I hope Breakthrough Initiatives doesn’t mind my using this image of a “Starchip” on its way to another star system.

Once, I had to come up with a front page every day whether there was news or not. Now, if there really isn’t enough front-worthy news out there, I can do an Open Thread instead. It’s liberating. No need to find a lede! Nothing even has to be important!…

  1. Forget Starships: New Proposal Would Use ‘Starchips’ To Visit Alpha Centauri — This NPR story is very cool. It seems according to Stephen Hawking this other guy, before too much longer we should be able to send tiny, postage-stamp sized probes to other star systems, using sails (check it out, Brian) and lasers. And they’d get there in about 20 years. We’d send bunches of them, to make sure some made it. Interestingly, there are several different artists’ conceptions of what this craft would look like, such as this one.
  2. Despite Party Pleas, Ryan Rules Out Presidential Bid — That’s OK, I wasn’t holding my breath for this anyway. Besides, I think he’s doing a passable job as speaker thus far. Let him stick to that — if, you know, the GOP can hang onto the House when their nominee is Trump or Cruz.
  3. This white nationalist shoved a Trump protester. He may be the next David Duke. — Interesting piece on a guy who’s gone off the deep end.
  4. STIs may have driven ancient humans to monogamy, study says — Well, yeah… and maybe to drink as well. Because this was right about the time we invented beer. “STI,” by the way, is Brit for STD. This is from The Guardian.

Open Thread for Monday, April 11, 2016

Don’t quite feel up to a VFP today, but here are some possible topics:

  1. White officer gets probation in black driver’s shooting in Edgefield — They didn’t exactly throw the book at him; they just wafted a few pages in his general direction. The black driver in question was killed. This is kind of a weird outcome. One expects that either the cop would be cleared of wrongdoing, or receive a heavy penalty. This is odd. Oh, and guess what — we still haven’t seen the video.
  2. Bible makes list of ‘most-challenged’ books — Methinks the American Library Association is trying to drum up some sympathy from conservative quarters for its concerns about efforts to “ban” books. Where did Holy Writ rate? No. 6 — Four slots below Fifty Shades of Grey and four ahead of Two Boys Kissing.
  3. The fall of Edward Lin, the Navy officer accused of espionage and hiring a prostitute — Does the second charge sound kind of anticlimactic after espionage? Like, “We may not get him on the spy charges, but he’s a sailor, so everyone will believe the second one. Let’s also charge him with jaywalking while we’re at it…”
  4. Why I’m quitting the ‘Walking Dead’ franchise — I confess I gave up on it myself a couple of seasons back. Are you still watching it? Why? And don’t give me any spoilers. I especially don’t what to know if something bad happened to Daryl…
  5. Masters winner was a Gamecock, but not from USC — I had no idea that the Jacksonville State team also called itself the “Gamecocks.” I thought our Gamecocks were unique, for good reasons. The only other thing that interested me out of the Masters was this item from The Onion: “Jordan Spieth’s Family To Wait A Few Days Before Asking Him What The F__k Happened.”



FYI, Bobby Harrell is once again out there, in the public eye


This is certainly just coincidence, but as the struggle between Alan Wilson and David Pascoe has been in the news, I keep running into Bobby Harrell on Twitter.

There he is, popping up with some frequency, still using the @SpeakerHarrell handle, even though the content is purely business, and “Speaker” is something he will never be again.

It has seemed to me that this started just as the ongoing legislative investigation hit the front pages again, but his re-emergence on social media predates that a bit.

Harrell was absent from Twitter from 10 Sep 2014 to 14 Apr 2015, and after that Tweeted infrequently and with no apparent aim for several months — two Tweets in April, one in May, none again until September. But in December he launched his campaign, Tweeting 32 times, then 43 times in January and 43 again in February, rising to 45 in March.

The content ranges from the blandly seasonal…

… to the kind of content meant to position himself and his company as authoritative on insurance-related matters:

And no, I haven’t seen him weigh in on politics even once.

It’s interesting that he decided to use his own feed, his own identity (complete with “Speaker”), to promote the business — as opposed to having an employee Tweet via a feed branded more directly with the name of the business (which is the approach he takes on the Facebook page). Apparently, he’s decided the value of his name recognition outweighs other considerations.

No, I don’t have any particular editorial point to make here. I just thought these renewed sightings were interesting…

Your Virtual Front Page for Monday, April 4, 2016

A quick look at top stories this hour:

  1. Supreme Court rejects conservative challenge to ‘one person, one vote’ (WashPost) — For all of you who paid attention in school, this is what we used to call “one man, one vote.” So, way important. A side note: As long as the Court is willing to rule unanimously, as they did on this, I guess maybe replacing Scalia isn’t as urgent. Yes, my tongue is in my cheek, but it’s nice to see them not splitting into the liberal/conservative camps. Gives one hope and all that.
  2. The Panama Papers (WSJ) — These are generating a huge reaction elsewhere in the world — they’re chanting in the streets in Iceland demanding the resignation of their PM — but not making much of a splash here., except perhaps among the “feel the Bern,” “the whole world is rigged by billionaires” crowd.
  3. Database would track refugees in South Carolina if passed (The State) — Yeah, this is the same bill that would penalize sponsors for having done the Christian thing in helping desperate people find refuge — if any of them turn out to be bad guys. The ill will in that provision is just staggering.
  4. Princeton Will Keep Woodrow Wilson’s Name On School Buildings (NPR) — Apparently because, you know, his legacy is complicated. You know what? Read The Washington Post‘s story instead; it’s a little clearer. I suspect all the news people had a hard time grabbing ahold of this story firmly because the university’s tiptoeing statement was so bewilderingly oblique…
  5. Double Agent Kim Philby’s Credo: ‘Deny Everything’ (NYT) — Something fun for those of you who, like me, are into spy stuff. For the mix.
  6. Transcript of Woodward and Costa’s interview with Trump — A trip through the mind of the GOP front-runner. (First the editorial board meeting, now this. The Post certainly is getting some serious access to Trump…)
Bob Woodward talks about interview with Trump.

Bob Woodward talks about interview with Trump.

Your Virtual Front Page for Friday, April 1, 2016

President Barack Obama hosts the Nuclear Security Summit working dinner with the heads of delegations in the East Room of the White House, March 31, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama hosts the Nuclear Security Summit working dinner with the heads of delegations in the East Room of the White House, March 31, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Not a huge news day, but let’s see what we can put together. Sorry to say that none of these are April Fool’s jokes:

  1. Obama warns of terrorist nuclear attack (BBC) — This is more like a storm watch than a storm warning, but the threat is real. And presumably, POTUS considers this to be worse than the bathtub threat to the country, which is encouraging. Why lead with this story? Because I’m a Cold War guy. How close we are to nuclear midnight is important. And I was inspired by our exchange about the Triad earlier today.
  2. U.S. Economy Showed Broad Strength in March (WSJ) — You can’t really tell it by me, but I’m glad to hear it. The Journal is leading with this on this slow news day.
  3. Tens of thousands of Americans just lost their food stamps (WashPost) — Something that, if you’re fortunate enough to still be in the middle class, you might have missed. The Post is leading with it.
  4. Here’s Why Mississippi’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Is So Controversial (NPR) — It’s narrower in its focus than the others.
  5. Trump manager Lewandowski: poster boy of a brash new politics (The Guardian) — This guy is very Trump — just as clueless, but he’s winning. I’m thinking this guy (Mikey Palmice) from the Sopranos) would be good to play him in the movie.
  6. Severe weather moves east toward Carolinas after tornadoes (The State) — Not huge news, but we need something local, and I don’t see the flag thing as worthy of the front. Besides, it’s a day old.