The last time it was this hot in Columbia, Reagan was president https://t.co/XBELqUsTqm
— The State Newspaper (@thestate) February 24, 2017
Today, most of the leading news is Trump-free! And no artificial additives!
- Scientists discover seven Earthlike planets orbiting a nearby star — This is very cool. And they’re only 229,261,492,590,000 miles from here, as a crow would fly if he could fly through space and wasn’t inclined to get tired after a few hundred billion miles. Hey, maybe there’s an alternative Earth where Kasich won the election! A lot of us would like to go to there! (I didn’t say the news was entirely Trump-free.)
- Free-speech advocates rail against House anti-Semitism bill — Our second time today on this subject. Have you ever noticed that a very wide range of people style themselves “free-speech advocates?” Some are actual champions of liberal democracy, and some, not so much…
- City of Columbia to provide healthier food choices for employees, residents, guests — We’re talking in terms of what’s offered in city park vending machines, and what is served if the city has a luncheon or something. I figured this might start some “free speech.”
- Bernie Sanders Loyalists Are Taking Over the Democratic Party One County Office at a Time — And I definitely didn’t say it would be Bernie-free…
- Men: Strenuous Exercise May Be Hurting Your Sex Life — You know, I had just started back to putting some time in on the elliptical this week, but maybe that’s a bad idea…
Sorry that none of these things is very light. But I won’t dwell on them for long:
- Trump Details Plans to Deport Millions of Immigrants — And so it begins. Remember how we used to talk, hypothetically, about how we’d have to become a police state to round up millions of people? Well, no more hypotheticals. This is what we’ve become. My question: Will Trump have to go through Congress for the funding to buy all those new jackboots? But then there’s this version of the story:
- Trump administration seeks to prevent ‘panic’ as it outlines broader deportation policies — Spicer says the goal is not “mass deportations.” OK, then — why does the memo call for hiring thousands of additional enforcement agents?
- Breitbart writer resigns amid outrage over his pedophilia comments — I had never heard of this guy before today. You? Whoever he is, he doesn’t look like the same person in any two photos. He’s like Clapton in the 70s. Of course, if I said pervy stuff like what he said, I’d try to disguise myself, too.
- Trump Denounces Anti-Semitism After Mounting Criticism — I’m of two minds on this. For one thing, I’ve long decried this weird national expectation — which I think got traction during the Clinton administration — that the POTUS have a comment on everything, everywhere, whether it directly bears upon his job or not. On the other hand, when POTUS comments on stuff that didn’t happen in Bowling Green, Atlanta and Sweden, it is kind of nice to have him address something real.
- Columbia could lose millions of dollars if SC lawmakers OK business license bills — That poses a genuine problem for Columbia, which starts out in the hole because so much of property in the city is untaxable. But somehow, I don’t expect a lot of business people to lose sleep over it.
- Wal-Mart, Home Depot Show Big Box Stores Aren’t Dead — Well, good for them, but if I were Home Depot, I’d worry. For my part, needing a new chainsaw — just for light-to-medium use in the yard — I went to Lowe’s over the weekend and looked at them and hefted them and compared features and prices. But I’m almost certainly going to buy from Amazon. I don’t feel good about it, but there it is.
Some more light stuff for ya.
Are you not entertained?
Today, it hit me that my last four posts had been a bit wordy for general blog purposes. This one monster on Friday was 1,425 words, which is roughly twice as long as a lot of newspaper columns. (And it only drew 2 comments, more to the point.)
So today I’m going light. No attempts at gravitas.
Hence that last post. And this one…
I was purging inactive or irrelevant feeds from those I follow on Twitter today. Some time back, I settled on 600 as the maximum number of feeds I would follow, and so whenever the number climbs above that, I go looking for slacker feeds to eliminate.
When I got to @, I figured, That’s one I can ditch! This White House certainly has no used for a Spanish-language feed!
As it turns out, yes and no.
The Trump administration signaled its willingness to keep reaching out to Spanish-speakers with this Tweet, 11 days after the inauguration:
— La Casa Blanca (@LaCasaBlanca) January 31, 2017
Then, only one day and 3 Tweets (only one of them in Spanish) later, the feed stopped cold. Here was the last thing it had to say:
— La Casa Blanca (@LaCasaBlanca) February 1, 2017
¿Que pasó a La Casa Blanca? ¿Quién sabe? I just thought I’d share what I found…
Everyone wish Bryan joy upon the announcement of his new enterprise:
Bryan, I want to congratulate you on your new business and I’m sure you’ll do very well and good luck to you. Especially since your interests don’t conflict with mine. Thank you.
Oh, and next time (and please tell all your lawyer friends this), please send a Word file instead of a PDF, so I can copy and paste the info rather than having to post a picture of it…
Some things to chew over:
- Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador — The FBI interview came before we found out that Yeah, he did, precipitating his resignation.
- ‘Are they friends of yours?’: Trump asks black reporter to set up meeting with Congressional Black Caucus — It’s so convenient that the press corps has a few members of African extraction, because they can talk to the black people for you!
- ‘This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine’ — I wasn’t going to give you any more Trump stuff, but he actually said that, at an extraordinary presser that could produce 10 more headlines if I didn’t… hold… myself… back! By the way, none of the bad stuff going on his his fault, because he “inherited a mess.”
- Myrtle Beach area man was planning attack ‘in the spirit of Dylann Roof,’ FBI says — One thing about homicidal maniacs — they seldom have an original idea.
- Pakistan: IS attack on Sufi shrine in Sindh kills dozens — In some countries, the homicidal maniacs have even less imagination that ours do. Once, blowing up religious sites in the name of religion might have seemed fresh and new, but no more.
- Kershaw sheriff shuts down Facebook comments — Yeah, comments can be a real pain in the posterior. Present company excepted, of course…
Some quick takes:
- Mideast Peace Doesn’t Require 2-State Deal, Trump Says — Remember in “Mr. Mom” when Michael Keaton tries to impress Martin Mull by boasting that he’s rewiring his house himself, and Mull asks whether he’s doing everything as 220, and Keaton looks blank before saying, “220, 221, whatever it takes…?” I thought of that when I read Trump’s quote: “I’m looking at two-state and one-state.”
- Trump says Flynn was treated unfairly, calls leaks a ‘criminal act’ — OK, so the bad thing isn’t what he did. The bad thing is that we learned about it. Thanks for the clarification…
- Labor nominee withdraws amid rising GOP concern — Apparently the standard is, if really bad stuff is said about you on “Oprah,” you’re toast. It’s good to know there IS a standard. I think maybe she needs to bring back the show, and help America vet these nominees.
- Such a shock to lose Joe Neal — I didn’t always agree with him, but he was a fine man and one of the very best, most dedicated House members.
- SC lawmakers have $522 million in added money to spend — Please don’t say this means they won’t raise the gas tax. Please don’t say this means they won’t raise the gas tax. …
Not a very newsy Monday, but we’ve got what we’ve got:
- Flynn’s Position as Security Adviser Grows Tenuous — That’s the WSJ’s take on it, to which I think, really? I mean, if Trump were to back away because someone in his circle did something inappropriate, that would certainly be news. And promising…
- Standing Rock chairman looks to history as divisions emerge among activists — This, which isn’t even a breaking news story, is currently the lede on The Guardian. You know why? Because it fits that paper’s “America the Oppressor” narrative. Also above the fold (or I guess I should say, “before the scroll”) — a piece headlined, “Chelsea Manning: to those who kept me alive all these years, thank you.” Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy? I enjoy reading The Guardian, but I have to overlook the quirks, of which the most glaring is anti-Americanism.
- Meet the WWII computer programmer whose name will replace white supremacist’s at Yale — All those words, when the headline could have said “Grace Hopper” and “John C. Calhoun.” (And “white supremacist?” Seems kind of anachronistic for Calhoun. Like saying Attila the Hun had self-esteem issues.) We know who those people are, right? I may have told this story before, but: My Dad was sent to take a course taught by Adm. Hopper back in the 1950s. He kept thinking, I’m a naval officer. Why do I need to know about computers? How will they ever affect my life?
- Trump turns Mar-a-Lago Club dinner table into open-air situation room — Security breach was on the menu as the North Korean missile launch was discussed in front of waiters and other non-cleared personnel. Welcome to the exhibitionist presidency.
- The Fix: We’ve never seen anything like Trump’s rough treatment of his White House staff — Just in case you were wondering where all those leaks were coming from, here’s an explanation.
- Gerrymandering is the biggest obstacle to genuine democracy in the United States. So why is no one protesting? — Because people who take to the streets to protest things usually don’t understand what’s actually wrong, that’s why. But yeah, this is what’s wrong. By the way — did y’all see about Nikki Setzler’s reform bill? Good for him. Of course, it’s going nowhere since he’s a Democrat, but who else is going to bring up the real problem?
Trump and Japanese PM Shinzō Abe’s EPIC handshake. pic.twitter.com/NdFY2qFhqr
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) February 10, 2017
A little something to ease us into the weekend:
- Ways and Means adds reform to gas tax proposal — That’s what I’ve been waiting to see. But before I can make up my mind, I need to see details. Below, in the comments, is a release about what Ways and Means did. Here’s The State‘s story, which barely touches on the reform part.
- Court deals blow to Trump, maintains freeze on travel ban — This is old now, but I missed it when I posted the Open Thread early yesterday. And it’s yuge. Yay, Constitution! The most telling fact in the case is that the administration has NO evidence that anyone from any of those countries posts a threat to the U.S. As Charles Krauthammer notes, “Not a single American has ever been killed in a terror attack in this country by a citizen from the notorious seven.” If you want to know just how unhinged Trump is from reality, you might start there.
- As Trump Backs Off on Taiwan, China Gains Upper Hand — In other words, he lost face in China by going all in-your-face, then backing down to the default One-China policy. That’s another thing about Trump. Even when he does the consensus, conventional thing, he manages to do it in a context where the U.S. loses. What worries me is that if this story’s right, he may never walk back a confrontational position again.
- All Ruth’s cheese spread packed at SC plant recalled — In SC, this is a crisis. As for me, that’s it. I’m never eating a bite of pimento cheese again.
Some quick hits:
- South Carolina’s $100M nuclear claim against feds dismissed — This is about MOX. And the one thing I know about MOX is that it always seemed like a good idea to me and I’ve always wanted to see it move ahead. I don’t know from all the legal ins and outs…
- Gorsuch Calls Trump Critique of Federal Court ‘Demoralizing’ — This is almost 24 hours old now, but most news outlets are still leading with it. My response now is the same it was last night: Let’s get this guy confirmed ASAP. (Of course, I had already thought that before.)
- Trump lashes out at senator who revealed Supreme Court nominee’s comments — Yeah, because that makes a lot of logical sense. But I’m not complaining. It’s better than withdrawing Gorsuch’s nomination or something.
- Snow Shuts Down Cities Across Northeast — But will we get any? NO…
- SC senators’ fistfight ends Warren debate a century later — People keep bringing up this, and the Preston Brooks incident, and ol’ Strom’s more active episodes, as though they’re trying to say something about us South Carolinians. What, I don’t know…
The very best sobriquets are the medieval ones — just the best, terrific, believe me. They’re just so… direct. For instance, I am descended from the following: Charles the Fat, Charles the Bald, Charles the Hammer, Charles the Beloved and Charles the Wise. And that’s just the Charleses. (All are direct ancestors except the Fat, who is just a cousin, but I couldn’t leave him out.)
Take that current obsession and combine it with my enjoyment of such TV shows as “Vikings” and “The Last Kingdom,” and you just know that I would love this Twitter parody, “Donaeld the Unready“:
As you can see, Donaeld is “The best early medieval King out there. I’m just great. I’m the bretwalda. The bestwalda. I’ve got great swords, everyone says so. Make Mercia Great Again.”
Some of his recent Tweets:
Canute. What a loser. Can’t even hold back the sea. It’s just water. We’re going to be so tough on the sea. Canute was too soft. Sad.
— Donaeld The Unready (@donaeldunready) February 4, 2017
Some people say we should get the Frisians in to help DRAIN THE FENS. NO WAY. Frisians part of the problem. Think, people. Trust me.
— Donaeld The Unready (@donaeldunready) February 7, 2017
The threat from radical Vikings is real! I’ve banned all longships until we can find out what is going on! No dragonheads here! #mmga
— Donaeld The Unready (@donaeldunready) February 7, 2017
Many people know I can’t be bought. Why? Simple. It’s my hoard guys. Gold, silver, arm rings, all the swords. Seriously guys, it’s great
— Donaeld The Unready (@donaeldunready) February 6, 2017
Don’t read the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. It’s a rag. No wonder it’s struggling. We are just having a few technical issues with our torches
— Donaeld The Unready (@donaeldunready) February 6, 2017
Mainstream Bards won’t shut up about Danish hacking. Sure they hack, they’ve got axes. But we should focus on the future. Gonna be great.
— Donaeld The Unready (@donaeldunready) February 6, 2017
— Clemson University (@ClemsonUniv) February 6, 2017
Well, um, actually a pretty newsy little Monday. After this, we’re going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time:
- Trump tries to salvage travel ban amid numerous legal briefs to block it — Our top story tonight. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single big story without you-know-who smack in the middle of it. Think maybe he’s peaking a little soon, maybe getting overexposed? Could be. But hey, he’s the one who wanted to shake things up, right?
- Donald Trump should not be allowed to speak in UK parliament, says Speaker — Yo, Bercow — watch out! Trump’s likely to put you “on notice”… #youjustmadethelistbuddy
- Trump claims the media is covering up terrorist attacks — You know, I was going to make a joke about this, say something like, “You mean, like the Bowling Green Massacre?” Or say something pedantic such as “You mean media are, not media is.” But then I just got totally creeped out reading that the actual President of the United States told U.S. Central Command that the “dishonest press doesn’t want to report” on terrorist attacks, claiming that “they have their reasons.” We’re talking serious Looney Tunes, folks.
- SC Gov. McMaster asks President Trump for $5 billion for state roads, port — Dang, Henry! Claus has been wanting some SC news, and you have to go pulling Trump into that, too! Don’t you think he’s done enough by sending Nikki to New York? Yeah, he owes you, but you don’t want to overwork that…
- Trump supporters slam Super Bowl ads that celebrate immigrants — Dang again! He’s even horning in on the Super Bowl! I’m trying, Claus; really I am. By the way, y’all, this counts as a sports post, so enjoy…
This Tweet was moderately popular over the weekend, so I share it here:
Do we still have a Congress? You think they’d mind passing a law or two, so the president can take break from doing all the legislating?
— Brad Warthen (@BradWarthen) February 4, 2017
We’ve seen some life in the judiciary, much to the new president’s consternation.
When will we see some life out of the legislative branch — you know, doing stuff rather than just saying stuff?
I know they’re out of practice. And I know that a lot of the stuff they would do would be stupid — like repealing Obamacare without replacing it with something that actually leads to at least as many people having good coverage. But hey, “stupid” is relatively, and they can’t possibly look as bad on that score as the executive branch — can they?
Every day it’s like this, and it’s going to keep on being like this, until Donald Trump no longer occupies the Oval Office:
- Europe Suddenly Worries Its Biggest Threat Is the U.S. — Yep. From leader of the Free World and chief guarantor of security, we have sunk to this.
- ‘This was the worst call by far’: Trump badgered, bragged and abruptly ended phone call with Australian leader — By the way, all of y’all who asked “How bad could it be?” if Trump were elected — I point you to this, his effort to wreck our relationship with Australia, of all countries. Obviously, this guy should not hold the lowliest post in government, much less be heading it.
- Defense Chief Seeks to Reassure Jittery Allies on Asia Trip — Thank God there’s this one grownup in this administration. Actually, should we even call it an “administration” when, instead of administering, it does little but wreak havoc?
- Trump defends chaotic foreign policy: ‘We’re going to straighten it out, OK?’ — Which I suppose is a promise to put out the fires that he himself sets.
- Trump’s unorthodox speech at the National Prayer Breakfast — He said those assembled should “pray for Arnold” because he doesn’t have awesome ratings like Trump’s on that stupid “reality TV” show. Really. The President of the United States said this. At a prayer breakfast.
I’ve been really tied up today with a client that had some news to get out, and I’m about to run to an event, so just very briefly:
- Leatherman re-elected to lead SC Senate — I’m sure y’all were on pins and needles about how this would come out, so I thought I’d let you know, just to relieve the suspense…
- Trump Orders Mexican Border Wall — This one’s probably a big shock to you, too… sorry to throw so many of them at you at once.
- Trump seeks ‘major investigation’ into his unsupported claims of voter fraud — Because you know, we just really need to be wasting time and money on this thing that exists only in Trump’s fevered imagination.
- White House draft order calls for review on use of CIA ‘black site’ prisons — Also, he may reinstitute torture. Just FYI, in case any of y’all were thinking about getting into the terrorism game.
- Cobb Theatres pulls out of Bull Street development — They were going to build a 10-screen “luxury cinema.” Now they’re not.
- She Turned The World On With Her Smile: Mary Tyler Moore Dies At 80 — I like best to remember her from “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” saying, “Oh, Ro-o-o-o-b-b!”
Sorry I hadn’t had time to post today before now, but here you go:
- McMaster becomes governor of SC — After Nikki Haley is confirmed for U.N. post. You knew both of those were going to happen. After this, it gets interesting.
- Israel approves huge expansion of settlements in response to Trump presidency — Yeah… that doesn’t sound great, even though I opposed the Obama administration’s abstention. Still… not stabbing Israel in the back is one thing — but more settlements? Don’t worry, though — Nikki’s on the case…
- Trump signs executive orders seeking to revive controversial oil pipelines — If you’ll recall, the Energy Party (known to the White House as the Enery Party) is on record as favoring the Keystone Pipeline. Or at least, we did in 2012. I don’t know what I think about the Dakota one….
- Leatherman resigns to avoid becoming lieutenant governor — Which is what I’d do in his place — if I had the votes to come back. Meanwhile, Kevin Bryant steps up to accept the booby prize, which he seems to actually want. Folks who don’t want a NC-style bathroom bill in SC should hope Henry stays healthy.
- Corley resigns after being indicted for CDV — Unlike Leatherman, though, I don’t think this one is coming back.
- Donald Trump still holds baseless belief that millions voted illegally — Yeah, he’s like that. The White House says this is based on “evidence”… that the White House is not sharing. So, ya know — Situation Normal, All Trumped Up.