Category Archives: Blogosphere

Open Thread for Thursday, January 19, 2017

"That block was already messed up."

“That block was already messed up.”

Just a few items to discuss on America’s last day as a respectable nation:

  1. President-Elect Says Nation Was Divided Long Before Election — You ever see “Rush Hour?” My favorite line is when the captain, chewing out Chris Tucker, yells, “You destroyed half a city block!” Tucker shrugs it off: “That block was already messed up.”
  2. Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ is being extradited to the United States — What!?! I thought that at the very least, Trump would keep out a guy like that! So what did we elect him for? No, seriously: What did we elect him for?
  3. At least this time we don’t have to pretend the president is good — I’m sharing this Washington Post opinion piece because it’s written by Columbia’s own Barton Swaim, the former speechwriter to Mark Sanford. Most provocative line, which he attributes to a left-of-center friend: “the rhetoric of consensus is always coercive.” As a big believer in consensus, I’d like to discuss that with Barton.
  4. Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Nominee, Failed to Disclose $100 Million in Assets — As I said on Twitter this morning, if this guy’s so loaded, why doesn’t he go out and buy himself another vowel?

Open Thread for Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Yo, Mr. President: Commuting Manning's sentence is a BFD -- and not in a good way.

Yo, Mr. President: Commuting Manning’s sentence is a BFD — and not in a good way.

Have we done one of these this year? Well if we have, we haven’t done it enough:

  1. President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning’s Prison Sentence — Well, I suppose that’s all right. What would be outrageous and utterly unthinkable would be if he commuted the sentence of Bradley Manning, because that little slimeball betrayed his country big-time, and is lucky he wasn’t shot. Just to be clear about it. And let me say now that if the president is even thinking about dismissing charges against Edward Snowden, I may have to take back every good thing I’ve said about POTUS. That would be completely beyond the pale.
  2. Dollar Tumbles on Trump Comments — Welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Trump. Well, I don’t exactly mean welcome. That’s just what the worldwise major-leaguers say to the bushers when they do something stupid, right? If only we could send him down to single-A ball soon after the season starts Friday.
  3. British Leader Commits to a Clean Break From the E.U. — I’ve been seeing stories about this since early in the morning, starting with The Guardian, and I keep thinking, Isn’t this what we thought she’d say? Isn’t that what the referendum decided? I mean, I see that she says that in the future, British courts would hold sway, not E.U. courts. And I’m like, duh! They’re be NO point to a Brexit without that particular point of sovereignty. That’s minimal!
  4. Leatherman wants ‘dark-money’ groups to have to disclose donors — I’m all for that, and I’ve yet to hear a good argument against it.
  5. White Knoll standout, USC baseball commitment dies — A very sad story about a local kid who had his whole life ahead of him. I want to know more about what happened; I hope subsequent stories tell us.
Something I received just now from Lindsey Graham...

Something I received just now from Lindsey Graham…

Tim Scott’s celebrated one-word burn

I read about this in The State this morning, but it really didn’t make any sense without the original Tweet:

Tim Scott is the first black Republican U.S. senator from the South since Reconstruction and the only black Republican in the Senate at the moment. He also has announced he will vote for Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to become the next attorney general.IPwQ2WC9

Given the allegations of racism that have followed Sessions since he was denied a federal judgeship in 1986, Scott’s decision to support him has been met with plenty of criticism.

And lots of that criticism has come online, especially on Twitter, where Scott has 162,000 followers. But one tweet in particular annoyed Scott. User @Simonalisa blasted Scott and former Sessions aide William Smith by referring to them using a racial slur….

“So I thought it was a good time to tell people what I thought.”…

The original Tweet and the account that produced it had been deleted, but I found a reTweet that reproduced it:

OK, now I get it.

Well played, senator.

Wishing Bryan and Kathryn joy of their birthday


I already knew thanks to Facebook that today was the birthday of two blog stars, Bryan Caskey and Kathryn Fenner.

Then Bryan told us it’s Alexander Hamilton’s special day, as well. (We know what his birthday was; it’s the year that’s in doubt.) You know, the Broadway star.

I thought I’d do a post about ALL the distinguished people born on this day, but when I Googled it, I got this ridiculous site that listed Hamilton, and a bunch of people I’ve never heard of. See the sample above. I had been hoping for famous people. Was that list put together by a bot from Teen Beat?

Wikipedia took the question more seriously, and yielded up:

Now, see, that’s some distinguished company! A Roman emperor — well, you can’t say fairer than that! And I honor DeVoto as editor of Mark Twain’s papers. And who is cooler than Clarence Clemons?

In any case, happy birthday to all, especially Kathryn and Bryan. I give you joy.

Oh, and a special blog welcome to Colton, Bud’s 6th grandchild!

That's me on the left, Doug on the right, and our birthday kids in the middle, at the 2013 Walk for Life. They were younger then...

That’s me on the left, Doug on the right, and our birthday kids in the middle, at the 2013 Walk for Life. They were younger then…

Apparently, I did NOT use Hans Delbrück’s brain in building the new president


I began my day, my year, crying out in protest against a headline on The Fix:

I am as dismayed as Froderick Frahnkensteen at learning that apparently, at some point during this awful past year, I put an abnormal brain into a seven and a half foot long, fifty-four inch wide — but small-handed — gorilla.

But don’t blame me! Eyegor let me down. I had intended our new POTUS to have Hans Delbrück’s brain, you see…

Open Thread for Tuesday, December 27, 2016

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan pause for a moment of silence following a wreath laying at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 27, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan pause for a moment of silence following a wreath laying at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 27, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Sorry, I hadn’t posted the last day or two. I got a cold or something that hit me like a ton of bricks Christmas night, and just started feeling noticeably better today. Since I’m off from work this week, I’ve just been kicking back in sickbay mode.

But here are some things to discuss:

  1. Shinzo Abe visits Pearl Harbor in what Barack Obama calls ‘historic gesture’ — I wonder if Burl was there. After all, the Arizona Memorial is only a couple of hundred yards from his workplace. Anything to report, Burl?
  2. Israel intensifies battle with U.S. over U.N. resolution on settlements — The conflict we discussed at length on Friday continues.
  3. White House prepares covert action, sanctions to punish Russia for election hacking — Yeah, OK, but I have a question: Can we get this done before Putin’s biggest fanboy takes over the White House?
  4. Russian Sports Officials Admit to Systematic Doping Effort — On top of everything else, the Russians have to cheat at sports, too.
  5. U.S. Accuses Three Chinese Traders of Hacking Law Firms — Reminding us that the Rooskies aren’t the only bad actors we have to deal with.
  6. Aiken legislator charged with felony domestic violence of his wife — The only real news on the local front today, from what I’ve seen. Sorry it’s not happier…
  7. Carrie Fisher, Actress Beloved For Playing Princess Leia, Dies At 60 — This was the shock of the day for me. First Han Solo dies on screen, now this. Particularly shocking since I think of her as the Lolita-like character she played in “Shampoo,” two years before “Star Wars.”


Carrie Fisher as provocative teen in "Shampoo," in 1975.

Carrie Fisher as provocative teen in “Shampoo,” in 1975.

Apparently, Franklin Graham thinks God hates America

As if this were not a bad enough time for America, the son of an evangelist I’ve always respected seems to believe the Almighty is out to get us:

Franklin Graham: It wasn’t Russians who intervened in election, ‘it was God’

Evangelist Franklin Graham doesn’t believe it was the Russians who intervened in this year’s controversial presidential election.

It was God, he declared Saturday in Mobile, Ala., during President-elect Donald Trump’s final public rally before the Electoral College vote Monday.

“Since the election there’s been a lot of discussion as to how Donald Trump won the election,” reported Graham as saying. “I believe it was God. God showed up. He answered the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people across this land that have been praying for this country.”…

Really? REALLY?

I don’t care what your politics might be: What sort of prayer could Donald Trump be the answer to? He wasn’t even what most Republicans wanted (he received about 13.3 million votes in the primaries, while more than 16 million cast votes for someone else), much less an answer to their prayers. Settling for a deeply flawed candidate isn’t exactly an occasion for hallelujahs.

Let’s unpack this a bit. A large number of evangelicals were prepared to vote for whoever opposed Hillary Clinton because like me, they oppose abortion. And I can almost, but not quite, understand their holding their noses and choosing Trump as the one person in position to stop a woman they regarded for whatever reasons as the Devil herself. (Just as I was willing to vote for her as the only person in position to stop Trump.)

But note that I said “almost, but not quite.” That’s because the only possible justification would be that they were single-issue voters, which I find it hard to imagine being. And even if I were, on the life-and-death issue of abortion, I would find it very difficult to see Donald Trump as an ally, since his commitment to the pro-life position is so transparently a stance of convenience. He obviously has practically no understanding of the issue, and could drop the position as conveniently as he dropped his previous one — something we’ve seen him do time and time again. If you don’t like a position taken by this guy, wait a few minutes.

So what is there that a man of God, or one who sees himself as a man of God, would see as worth celebrating here?

It just floors me.

But let’s look at what unites us. I can join him in this prayer at least:

Dylann Roof found guilty


… which in a way isn’t news, since it was a foregone conclusion. But it’s a tribute to the fact that we still live under a system of laws and not of men — innocent until proven guilty, etc. — which is reassuring in this post-election world in which so much that our Founders bequeathed us seems threatened.

Of the seven news outlets I just glanced at, five led with it, including both British outlets I looked at:

  1. The State — Dylann Roof found guilty
  2. NPR — Jury Finds Dylann Roof Guilty In S.C. Church Shooting
  3. BBC — Supremacist guilty of US church killings
  4. The Washington Post — Dylann Roof found guilty of all charges in Charleston church massacre
  5. The Guardian — Dylann Roof found guilty in Charleston church shooting

Only The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times led with other things. The Journal, true to its calling went with an item about the dollar hitting new heights, while the Times touted the latest in its series about the Russians tampering with our election.

In other South Carolina news, Steve Benjamin — of all people — had a meeting with Donald Trump. He says he thinks it went well. Sure — that’s what people say just before Trump gives them the Mitt Romney treatment…

Your Virtual Front Page for Wednesday, December 14, 2016



Hey, we have some actual news on the local front today:

  1. State Rep. Merrill accused of misconduct in office, violating state ethics law — The other shoe has finally dropped in the investigation arising from the Bobby Harrell mess. Or perhaps I should say another shoe, since Pascoe says the probe continues, and we have no idea how many feet this critter has.
  2. Fed Lifts Rates, Signals More Increases Next Year — A story like this is like Christmas for the WSJ; they gave it the equivalent of a six-column headline.
  3. Aleppo battle: Raids on Syria city ‘likely a war crime’ UN says — Thank Goodness for British media, else we’d forget the rest of the world is out there. This is leading the BBC.
  4. SC Gov. Haley fires Richland Recreation Commission chair, vice chair — Better yet, she let one of the good-guy members stay on instead of firing everybody. So good one, governor.
  5. Democratic House Candidates Were Also Targets — Part two of the NYT’s series on what the Russians did to undermine our electoral process.
  6. Legendary jewel thief Doris Payne, age 86, caught stealing diamond necklace — A change of pace, for the mix. Maybe she should take a page from Cary Grant’s character in “To Catch a Thief” and retire. Don’t you think she’s earned it at this point?
Grant's character had the good sense to retire to a place with a view.

Grant’s character had the good sense to retire to a place with a view.

If you were to spoof a WSJ headline, it would look like this

There are two things I love, and they are opposites — those that delight by running counter to expectations and thereby undermining oversimple assumptions, and those that run SO true to stereotype that they reassure the harried mind that there is order in the world and it can be understood.

So I particularly enjoyed this, from The Wall Street Journal this morning:

If you were trying to lampoon the WSJ‘s editorial proclivities, you couldn’t have come up with a better headline. You take the Journal‘s disdain for anything that smack of socialism, and you add a touch of Grinch: Not only do those socialists dishonor the holy marketplace, but they want to take the kids’ toys, too!

It’s so perfect, it’s satire.

But here’s what really makes it special — the whipped cream and cherry on top: The Journal is right! The words accurately describe something that’s happening! None of it’s made up. The Venezuelan government is actually confiscating (some) toys before they can get to the kids.

So I enjoyed that — while at the same time feeling bad for the kids, and for their parents, trying to cope with 470 percent inflation. Which is way worse than not being able to find a certain brand of toy, which, let’s face it, is to some extent more of a First World Problem.

I could have done without the standard libertarian reference to “other people’s money” at the end, but that will probably delight Doug, so… something for everybody. Merry Christmas, Doug!

Open Thread for Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Some quick topics:

  1. How Moscow Aimed a Perfect Weapon at the U.S. Election — Wow. This currently leads the NYT site. It takes the story well beyond where The Washington Post had advanced it. This is a huge accusation — and an assertion that not only did Russia attempt to sabotage our election, they got it done. Heads up — Trump is really not going to like this one.
  2. Deals With Putin Helped Fuel the Rise of Tillerson at Exxon — And this one, somewhat less lurid but still serious food for thought, is leading the WSJ. No wonder Marco Rubio says he has “serious concerns” about the SecState nominee.
  3. 2 doctors assaulted at maximum-security S.C. prison, official says — Another security failure in our underfunded prison system.
  4. Florida court says iPhone passcode must be revealed — The guy’s accused of being a voyeur. Not exactly the terrorism case we discussed previously, but interesting nonetheless.
  5. Wave taller than a six-storey building sets ‘remarkable’ world record — Looks like I gave up surfing about four decades too soon. Thank God…

File photo from Wikimedia Commons. I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to attribute it, so I’m linking you to the source…

Open Thread for Friday, December 9, 2016

Some possibilities:

  1. Obama orders review of Russian hacking during elections — Well, I don’t know how much they had to do with it, but their guy did win, so…
  2. Russian state doped more than 1,000 athletes and corrupted London 2012 — I think maybe a certain Eurasian country needs to get an “Unsatisfactory” grade for deportment for this quarter-century.
  3. Jurors, families hear Roof’s voice as taped confession is played in court — I’m just glad I’m not on that jury, and forced to see and hear all this horror.
  4. U.S. Kids Far Less Likely To Out-Earn Their Parents, As Inequality Grows — I’m not a bit surprised at this, are you? But I don’t see it as an inequality thing as much as I do the fact that we just don’t have the broad growth that we need. Oh, but wait: Trump stopped from Carrier jobs from going to Mexico, so it’s all cool…
  5. Goldman Sachs President Eyed for Economic Post — Refresh my memory: Didn’t this populist madness that produced Trump sort of get started with everybody hating Goldman Sachs? Or am I confused?
  6. Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent to Step Down Next Year — The company is having troubles. They should ask Trump to help! First thing he’d probably say would be, “You shouldn’t have hired a guy named ‘Muhtar’.”


Open Thread for Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It occurs to me there have been several interesting things happening the last few days that we haven’t talked about:

  1. Dylann Roof allowed to hire lawyers back, for now — Strange goings-on in Richard Gergel’s court.
  2. Mistrial declared in black motorist’s shooting by officer — We’re not there viewing all the evidence. But yeah, to those of us who have only seen the infamous phone video, this is hard to fathom.
  3. Trump chats with Taiwan — Remember how China was cheering for Trump to win the election? I wonder whether they’re kicking themselves now. Personally, I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, it just isn’t done. Harrumph, etc. On the other, there might conceivably be an advantage to having a president dumb enough to do something like this, just as a way of provoking a conversation about the whole one-China diplomatic fiction. But don’t worry. I haven’t lost my mind. I’m not about to say, as Marc Thiessen did, that “Trump’s Taiwan call wasn’t a blunder. It was brilliant.” I think the truth is somewhere between that and “bottomless pig-ignorance.” I’m just not sure exactly where….
  4. Trump’s Carrier deal could permanently damage American capitalism — Let’s use the headline from Larry Summers’ piece to kick off our discussion of this thing, which Trump’s supporter think was just awesome. Then we can segue into a discussion of his protectionist threats over the weekend.
  5. Ben Carson has been named to be the head of something — Doesn’t much matter what it is; I’m not sure I’d put him in charge of anything. But it might have seemed marginally less strained to put him over HHS rather than HUD. Maybe Trump figured, based on his assumptions about how black folk live, that Carson must have grown up in the projects. That’s what Mike Huckabee thought. Well, he didn’t.

Anybody have anything else to bring up?

When Trump and Carson first bonded: Remember THIS special moment?

When Trump and Carson first bonded: Remember THIS special moment?

Another of the many basic things Trump has never thought about


Trump voters wanted an outsider, but I doubt that they, or I, or anyone yet fully grasps just how out-of-the-loop this guy is.

I think I have a pretty good idea, based on the last year and a half. I’ve long known enough to see that — if you see the same things — you’d have to be stark, raving mad to want to put this guy anywhere near the Oval Office. But look what’s happened.

So, each day will bring us face-to-face with yet another thing that demonstrate that Donald Trump has never spent a moment of his garish life thinking about things that are second nature to people who — regardless of party or philosophy — possess the most basic qualifications to be president.

Sometimes it’s something small — but telling — such as this:

Now here’s a place where my own gut feelings are the same as those of our president-elect. The idea of someone showing such hatred and contempt toward the flag that our bravest Americans have given their lives to defend, and to raise over such places as, say, Iwo Jima — a flag that symbolizes the noble ideas upon which our nation was founded — is profoundly offensive, even obscene. I have utter contempt for anyone who would even consider such a thing.

But I wouldn’t use the power of the state to punish someone for it, certainly not to the extent of loss of citizenship, or a year of imprisonment. You might have me going for a moment on something such as writing the protester a ticket, but ultimately I’d even have to reject that. Why? Because of those very ideas that the flag stands for. If burning the flag causes a person to be burned or causes some other harm, then you have a crime. But if the expression itself is punishable, then it doesn’t matter whether the flag is burned because it doesn’t stand for anything.

(This is related to my opposition to “hate crimes,” one of the few areas where I agree with libertarians. Punish the crime — the assault, the murder, the arson, whatever the criminal did — not the political ideas behind it, however offensive.)

People who have their being in the realm of political expression have usually thought this through. And true, even people who have thought about it may disagree with my conclusion, wrong as they may be. Still others cynically manipulate the feelings of millions of well-meaning voters who haven’t thought the issue through themselves.

But I don’t think that’s the case with Trump. I think he’s just never really wrestled with this or thousands of other questions that bear upon civic life, so he goes with his gut, which as I admitted above is much the same as my own on this question. He engages it on the level of the loudmouth at the end of the bar: I’ll tell ya ONE damn’ thing… 

In a time not at all long ago — remember, Twitter didn’t exist before 2006 — we wouldn’t know this as readily as we do now. Sure, a political leader might go rogue during a speech, or get tripped up on an unexpected question during a press conference. But normally, the smart people surrounding a president would take something the president wanted to say and massage and process and shape it before handing it to a press secretary to drop into the daily briefing.

Now, the president-elect — or Joe Blow down the street — can have a gut feeling and without even fully processing the thought himself, immediately share it with the entire planet. As this president-elect does, often.

That’s a separate problem, of course, from the basic cluelessness of this president-elect. Not only does he not know a lot that he should, he has the impulse and the means to share that lack of knowledge and reflection with the world, instantly.

Quite a few people in public life haven’t figured out social media. They don’t understand something that editors know from long experience — that you have to be very careful about what you publish. (And yes, posting a random thought on Twitter does constitute publication.) Our governor, soon to be our U.N. ambassador, had a terrible time learning that, although to her credit she hasn’t done anything notably foolish on Facebook in a while.

As Aaron Blake writes on The Fix, it might be nice to think we could ignore these outbursts:

For the second time in two weekends, President-elect Donald Trump stirred controversy, bigly, using only his thumbs.

With a trio of tweets Sunday alleging millions of fraudulent votes and “serious” fraud in three states, Trump effectively hijacked the news cycle for the next 24 hours with baseless conspiracy theories. A week prior, it was Trump’s tweets demanding an apology from the cast of “Hamilton” for disrespecting Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was in the audience the previous night.

It can all feel pretty small and sideshow-y at times. Some have a prescription: The media should resist the urge to cover Trump’s tweets as big news. Others even say we should ignore them altogether….

But we can’t. In the months and years to some — assuming no one gets control of him, and I doubt anyone will — we must treat them as seriously as if the president strode into the White House Press Room and made a formal announcement.

This is what we’ve come to. Our window into the mind of the most powerful man in the world will to a great extent be these spasmodic eruptions onto a tiny keyboard.

We might as well brace ourselves…

Let an expert ‘splain the Electoral College to ya

Some of my friends here see the late election as further proof that we need to reform, or do away entirely with, the Electoral College.

Well, they just haven’t had it explained to them right. Here, let me get an expert to tell you why you’re wrong:

Don’t think for a moment, though, that Mr. Trump needed the Electoral College to win! No, no, no. He’s a Karate Man, and he would just have changed his whole strategy around:

I share these with you because they are the only two Tweets today by the man who was just elected to head our nation.

I share them because… yeah… this is just the way we expect a president of the United States to spend his time and communicate with the world — like an insecure 10-year-old boy whose chief concern is that people don’t think he’s as awesome as he really is….

Open Thread for Monday, November 14, 2016

"That's a fargin' trick question!"

“That’s a fargin’ trick question!”

OK, since y’all didn’t want to talk about cosmic coincidences, before I leave the office, here are some other possible topics:

  1. Trump, Putin agree on phone to improve relations, Kremlin says — Here we go with the bromance. Who do you think is going to get the upper hand in this negotiation — the ex-KGB man who’s been ruthless running the Once and Future Evil Empire, or the guy who was easily flattered when Putin gave him a backhanded compliment?
  2. Obama at press conference will not say if Trump is qualified to be president — “That’s a fargin’ trick question!” he cried.
  3. Pro-Trump rally planned for Saturday at SC State House — What? What do they need a rally for? They just won the election — something about which I wish people would stop reminding me, by the way…
  4. Schools chief should be a cabinet post, Haley urges lawmakers — Well, yeah… Something I’ve only been saying for what, 25 years now? Be nice if it actually happened. It’s ridiculous for the state’s largest executive function to be walled off from the state’s chief executive. Watch for Democrats to resist this, as always, since they continue to consider superintendent to be their best shot at a statewide position.
  5. SC Democratic leader Harrison considering a bid for party chair — That’s national party chair. Hey, who better for such a hopeless job than the guy who’s been doing it in South Carolina? Seriously, Jaime’s a good man. He should go for it.

Open Thread for The Day After, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016


Is Pence thinking, “Oh, my God, what have I DONE?” I hope so…

This is not going to be a normal Open Thread (just as we no longer live in a normal country), being election-centric. But as always, y’all are invited to introduce other topics.

  1. The worst major-party nominee in history will now be POTUS — Not to put too fine a point on it… Anyway, there are a gazillion aspects to this, and no doubt we’ll go into a few thousand of them.
  2. And Republicans retain control of Congress — But what will that mean? Seriously, most of these people didn’t want Trump; many were traumatized by his candidacy. So how is this going to work?
  3. What will replace the Republican Party? — Given what I just said above. And if you think the GOP just won a “victory” as a party, you are sadly mistaken…
  4. World gasps in collective disbelief — And can you blame them?
  5. And what about the Democrats? — Now that they’ve gotten through the “It’s Her Turn” election, how will they get their stuff together? Some party is going to have to address the vast middle at some point. It’s insane to keep having elections driven by Trumps and Bernies…
  6. Congratulate my advertisers — Excuse the commercial message, but I’m grateful for their custom, and happy for the ones who won. Micah Caskey won going away, Lila Anna Sauls was the biggest vote-getter in the Richland One School Board race, and Avni Gupta-Kagan is in a too-close-to-call contest for the second spot on that board. Only Frank Barron clearly lost, and he was up against insurmountable odds — running against a Republican incumbent in Lexington County.

And… that’s about it for now. Gotta go do some work. This should get y’all started… If that’s not enough, chew on this:

Intelligence community is already feeling a sense of dread — To quote further: “At some point today, a sober team of analysts will give the president-elect his first unfiltered look at the nation’s intelligence secrets.” Good thing he’s, you know, so discreet, and has such excellent judgment…

Oh, by the way, in case some of you are too young to get the headline: Possibly the biggest TV event of the 80’s was the film “The Day After,” which was about something all of us had tried not to think about during the Cold War — what the day after global thermonuclear war would look like. So of course, we all watched in morbid fascination.

Seemed like an apt allusion…


I cannot believe what I’m watching right now

I posted this about 50 minutes ago, and have had a number of reTweets and likes, so I suppose it struck a chord with a few people:

Yeah, sure, he might win a primary here and there, even capture the nomination of a divided, traumatized party.

But this… this is different.

These are actual votes that actually count for the presidency of this great country. THIS country. Not Bolivia. Not Nicaragua. Not even Italy, which inflicted upon itself the Berlusconi madness. THIS country.

What I am seeing is simply impossible.

He’s not on pace to win the election or anything — so far — but the fact that actual states in this my country are voting for him in a general election… it just beggars belief. I thought I knew that was going to happen — I’ve seen the projections in recent days — but somehow, on some level, I suppose I still didn’t believe it.

Open Thread for Thursday, November 3, 2016


Sorry I couldn’t post today. Busy in the morning and away from both laptop and iPad this afternoon (posting on a phone is possible, but tedious). Here you go:

  1. HOW ABOUT THEM CUBBIES? — Sometimes, cliffhangers turn out right. Nothing against the Indians, but wow, what a great Game 7! I almost missed the end. I was so tired (after 7:30 a.m. speaking engagement), I turned it off when the rain delay started. Then I came back and turned it on. I sat down, saw the Cubs build a two-run lead, then saw the Indians score and turned it off again assuming it would be all night. Doused the lights, left the room, came back and turned it on just in time for the winning out. Wow!
  2. Baseball ratings rise as NFL ratings fall — More good news for the country. I don’t know why, but it does seem like an outbreak of sanity, which flies in the face of what we’ve been seeing in the political sphere all year. Seriously, this is one of the most promising trends I’ve seen in this country in some time.
  3. Walter Scott’s passenger in traffic stop: ‘He was murdered’ — Well, that’s what it looked like on the video. Weird trial. Did you see the thing yesterday about the defense attorney taking the stand to offer his opinions?
  4. Court ruling means act of parliament would be needed for Brexit, says May — This gives me an idea — could we make the result of the U.S. election contingent on Parliament approving? No? Dang. Thanks a lot, George Washington! And King George loved us so
  5. Anderson woman found alive, chained ‘like a dog’ in Woodruff — What a bizarre, horrible story…

Open Thread for Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The 1908 Chicago Cubs

The 1908 Chicago Cubs

I need to run to an appointment, so very quickly:

  1. Obama is critical of Comey decision: ‘We don’t operate on innuendo’ — OK, we’re treading on very sensitive ground here…
  2. Suspect In ‘Ambush-Style’ Killings Of 2 Iowa Police Officers Is In Custody — Here’s hoping we don’t read any more headlines about incidents such as this.
  3. Haley to campaign with SC Senate candidate in vulnerable seat — I include this not because it’s remarkable in the grand scheme, but because this year, we’ve seen so little about politics on the state and local level. True, we don’t have many competitive races on the local level, thanks to the scandal of reapportionment, but it’s just sort of eerie…
  4. The World Series — Yes! America got what it needed, at just the right moment! A seven-game Series! Featuring the Cubs and the Indians! I take great comfort from this…

And that’s about it. Perhaps you’re seeing something else that interest you…