Category Archives: Open Thread

Open Thread for Monday, October 16, 2017

What's this? I don't know. The category was "Any other meritorious vegetable," which cracked me up.

What’s this? I don’t know. The category was “Any other meritorious vegetable,” which cracked me up.

Some random topics:

  1. I recommend the pork chop-on-a-stick — Have you been to the Fair yet? What did you eat? I tried the pork chop-on-a-stick, and it was really good, once I removed the stick — about 3/4 thick, nicely grilled and tender. It may have been the most normal Fair food I’ve every tried. Goes well with Fiske Fries…
  2. Scientists detect gravitational waves from new kind of nova, sparking new era in astronomy — This is pretty old news: It happened 130 million years ago. Still, the science boffins are excited.
  3. Iraqi Forces Seize Kirkuk, in Blow to Kurdish Separatists — This is a real mess. For whom should we root? Normally, I abhor separatism. But the Kurds have been worthy allies, and they’ve taken a lot of grief from their neighbors. Should they have their own homeland?
  4. Deserter Bergdahl pleads guilty — And what a long, strange trip it’s been.
  5. Trump stumps for McMaster in Greenville — This hasn’t happened yet as I write, but I put it on here in case y’all want to talk about it.

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Open Thread for Thursday, October 12, 2017

"Perdicaris alive, or Raisuli dead!"

“Perdicaris alive, or Raisuli dead!”

A few topics to consider:

  1. Trump threatens to abandon Puerto Rico recovery efforts Really? What a petulant child… In the same vein, how about his threat to NBC?… He is just so embarrassing…
  2. Jeff Duncan worries admitting girls will ‘destroy’ Boy Scouts — Well, I guess they’ll have to change the name, anyway. Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts are steamed. It all seems pretty odd to me. But what do I know? I never made it past Tenderfoot.
  3. Dueling Confederate flag controversies — First, go read Cindi’s column. Then, consider this: I think her points are mostly sound, but it seems to me the Orangeburg guy might have a case to make that his neighbor’s actions are lowering his property value and possibly even putting him in danger. I’d be particularly interested in what you lawyers would think of that.
  4. American woman and famly freed in Pakistan after 5-year hostage ordeal — And why didn’t I know about this before now? I guess because nowadays presidents don’t go around saying things like “Perdicaris alive, or Raisuli dead!” Then we would have heard about it!
  5. Spain asks Catalonia: Did you declare independence or not? — Good question. And from there we should be able to have a good discussion about separatism in general. For my part, I don’t hold with it.
  6. Trump signs order to eliminate Affordable Care Act insurance rules — Hmmm. Maybe it’s just me, but I have this vague memory of Republicans thinking it was really, really bad for Obama to do things administratively that he couldn’t get done through legislation…
  7. Happy real Columbus Day! — Never mind the controversies, which to me are neither here nor there. Just enjoy the cartoon. (And yes, I know that everybody knew the world was round, and that Columbus was wrong about how big it was. It’s just the untrue story is funnier.)…

Open Thread for Friday, September 29, 2017

Gerrymandering goes before SCOTUS next week...

Gerrymandering goes before SCOTUS next week…

Slow news day, but let’s see what we can find:

  1. U.S. to Pull Embassy Staff in Cuba After Mysterious Attacks — This is one of the weirdest items out there, and it’s been percolating in the background for awhile. What have the Cubans — if it’s them — been doing?
  2. The U.S. Is Beating Back ISIS, So What Comes Next? — Trump left the generals alone, and they’re finishing the job started under Obama. But now what? Just leave everybody standing in the rubble, and expect that another ISIS won’t arise? And what about that Kurdish independence vote earlier in the week?
  3. Gerrymandering, a Tradition as Old as the Republic, Faces a Reckoning — OK, we can’t read this because it’s behind the WSJ paywall. But I post this as a reminder that next Tuesday, the issue goes before the Supreme Court. Reforming reapportionment, if we can find a way to do it, remains THE thing that would do more to improve politics in this country than anything else.
  4. ‘I’m going to work until I die’: The new reality of old age in America — I don’t even think I’ll read this. Stuff like this is so depressing…
  5. Miss these guys yet? You betcha. — This is a column by Jennifer Rubin. It starts: “They looked relaxed, comfortable in their own skin and happy to be in each other’s’ company. They looked normal. The sight of former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton at the Presidents Cup golf tournament made one downright nostalgic — and a little sheepish about not appreciating them more when they were in office, even the ones we passionately disagreed with.”

presidents

Open Thread for Thursday, September 28, 1017

What was with the stupid hat? Makes me think Gilligan is nearby...

What was with the stupid hat? Click on pic to see what I mean. Where’s Gilligan?…

Will I ever catch up with the episodes of “The Vietnam War?” Maybe, maybe not. In the meantime, here’s an Open Thread:

  1. Is nuclear fiasco beginning of the end for SCANA? — And if so, does it mean anything, Mr. Natural?
  2. GOP Tax Proposal Expected to Benefit Wall Street Firms — That headline is leading The Wall Street Journal at the moment. Which means it’s a good-news, feel-good story, right? Bud and Doug, have at it. I’m going to step out of the way now…
  3. Death of a famous sleazebag — Not that I’m minimizing Hef’s achievements, mind you — he managed to tap into the sleaze in all of us guys, after all. And back in the ’60s, he fooled a lot of us into thinking his was the sophisticated way to go. He wasn’t content to make us sexual materialists — he was about bachelor pads crammed with all the latest cool stuff. But didn’t his smirk always make you feel kind of creeped out a little? Perhaps someone will write an in-ter-esting article about it all.
  4. Alabama defeat weakens and isolates Trump as his problems grow — That headline is leading The Washington Post right now, and you know what? I think it’s completely wrong. Trump didn’t lose in Alabama. The people who voted for the winner love him, and hate McConnell. Isn’t that the impression you have? To me, this is another triumph of Trumpism, never mind that he sorta kinda backed the wrong guy.
  5. Miracles really do happen’: Scalise returns to Congress, 15 weeks after shooting — For an actual feel-good story…
  6. Jared Kushner registered to vote as a woman. It’s not his first paperwork mistake. — Until we get this sorted out, I think he should be barred from using bathrooms in the White House.

Open Thread for Thursday, September 14, 2017

Y’all haven’t really been interested in my (admittedly quirky) posts so far today, so talk amongst yourselves about whatever. Here are some possible topics. (Oh, the video? It’s about Dreamers. Get it? Dream On?):

  1. Trump Now Says He Backs Deal to Protect ‘Dreamers’ — That’s his position on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, however… Meanwhile, GOP’s Ryan dismisses potential DACA deal between Trump and Democrats. Oh, and Trump’s until-now loyal base is ticked
  2. U.S. Supreme Court justice wants others to think like lawyers — This was Samuel Alito, speaking at the dedication of the new USC Law School. This should make Juan’s day. But yeah, I think we’d be better off if more people did think like lawyers. Not everybody. But more people.
  3. After Oval Office meeting, Tim Scott says Trump ‘got it’ on Charlottesville — Yeah… OK… riiight. Poor Tim Scott. He’s trying so hard to hang onto this being-a-Republican thing in the age of Trump. It can’t be easy for him.
  4. Frank Vincent, Who Portrayed Dapper Mobsters, Dies — Best known for telling Tommy (Joe Pesci) to go get his shinebox…
  5. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will soon crash into Saturn — its final screaming success — There’s no astronauts, but it’s a pretty good story, anyway. 15 hours left as I type this…

Cassini

Open Thread for Monday, September 11, 2017

Part of a tree has fallen across my neighbor's driveway. That's all I've seen, I'm happy to say.

Part of a tree has fallen across my neighbor’s driveway. That’s all I’ve seen, I’m happy to say.

I decided to stay home today. You? Here are some possible topics:

  1. Anything to report about Irma? — My parents have no power at their house. They were told about 6,000 homes are in a similar situation. And there’s that tree across my neighbor’s house above. You?
  2. Irma knocks out power to more than 6 million in Florida — Which, I suppose, puts our 6,000 into perspective.
  3. Desperation in Caribbean: ‘All the Food Is Gone’ — And then, farther south, things are worse than that. Which is usually the case.
  4. From Sept. 11 To The Beatles’ British Invasion: How We Remember Our First News Events — It seems incredible to those of us who were stunned by JFK’s assassination, but there are actual, technical adults walking around for whom 9/11 was the first huge news event they can recall. For others, it’s smaller events such as the death of Princess Diana.
  5. Pope Francis: If Trump is ‘pro-life,’ he should extend DACA — You bet.

Open Thread for (late) Thursday, August 31, 2017

The nuclear expansion that wasn't.

The nuclear expansion that wasn’t.

Better late than never, right?

  1. Merrill resigns a day before possible guilty plea in corruption probe — I hope for The State‘s sake that he really does plead guilty Friday morning, after that hed.
  2. In Tit-for-Tat Move, U.S. Orders Russia to Close a Consulate — You close one a ours, we close one a yours — bada-bing!
  3. Trump officials slash advertising, grants that help Americans get health coverage — You know how Trump and Republicans talk about letting the ACA fail on its own. Their plan for letting it do that involve shooting it in the head first.
  4. Santee Cooper leaders were paid bonuses for failed nuclear project — Drip, drip, drip. The hits keep comin’.
  5. Trump-Russia inquiry: what you missed in a week dominated by Harvey — A nice service from The Guardian for distracted Americans.

Open Thread for Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lonnie Carter at that event in Bamberg back in March.

Lonnie Carter at that event in Bamberg back in March.

A few quick topics:

  1. Source: Santee Cooper chief Lonnie Carter to leave job Friday — You know, it was Lonnie who first told me how bad the situation was with the project. I ran into him at an event in Bamberg back in March and asked how things were going. He shared his worries about the situation. (I’d have written about it at the time, but I didn’t feel like I had a good-enough grasp of the details — and the fact that the project was in trouble wasn’t news in itself.) Perhaps even then, he foresaw this result.
  2. Trump’s Identity Politics — The blurb with this Tom Edsall piece says, “The more white voters care about being white, the more they like President Trump.” Reminds me of something I said at a Community Relations Council event just the other day. I noted that unlike a lot of women and minorities, most white guys couldn’t care less about being white guys. But a few do, and those are the guys you need to watch out for…
  3. Giant Gamecock statue won’t be ready for football season — Oh, no! How will the team and the fans go on! Should we cancel the season? Should we cancel the semester at USC? Since we’re talking about monuments, I want to go ahead and be the first to say we should take this one down as soon as it goes up. Because, you know, cockfighting is illegal, so we shouldn’t glorify it. Just kidding (sort of), football fans!
  4. Escalating feud, Trump blames McConnell, Ryan for upcoming ‘mess’ on debt ceiling — That’s the WashPost version of the story. For other approaches, the NYT has “Trump Warns of Shutdown if Border Wall Isn’t Funded” and NPR reports, “Trump’s Fractured Relationship With Congress Causes GOP Dread.” Yeah, the poor, pitiful GOP, which inflicted this guy on us. I’m just sitting up nights worrying about them and their endangered agenda — especially since, you know, the first thing on it was taking health coverage away from millions…
  5. Navy names 10 sailors missing since McCain collision, begins recovery operation — How did this happen again? Is this part of some deep strategy to convince China they don’t need to build up their Navy because we’re so incompetent?

Open Thread for Wednesday, August 9, 2017

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Here we go with some topics. Add others if you’ve a mind to:

  1. Trump’s Threat of ‘Fire and Fury’ Raises Alarm in Asia — Yeah, I suppose it would. Tillerson says we should all rest easy. Why? Is Trump resigning, and he’s only told Rex? Who says stuff like this — other than, say, a Kim Jong Un? Or maybe a Saddam “Mother of All Battles” Hussein? He really, truly does not know the difference between talking like a tinhorn blowhard dictator and talking like the leader of the Free World. I like this headline in The Post: “Trump’s threats to North Korea were spontaneous and not drafted by advisers, officials say.” In other words, “Pay no attention to this guy; he’s only the president.”
  2. Top SCANA execs paid millions in bonuses for roles in failed nuclear project — Meanwhile, a state agency is challenging SCANA’s plans to further charge ratepayers for the cost of the abandoned project.
  3. FBI raided ex-Trump campaign chairman’s home for Russia probe — Nothing like a predawn raid to add spice to an investigation.
  4. McMaster rejects call to suspend Wilson over corruption probe — As you would expect. A Democrat raised this question to me last night: Why do you suppose the 2nd Vice Chair of the party made the initial demand for Wilson to go, instead of Trav Robertson? Interesting question, but now moot, since the chair has now issued the same demand. Doesn’t make it any more likely to happen, though. And I think they knew that going in, hence the lower-level statement.
  5. What about the firing of that Google guy? — I’m a couple of days late on this, but it seems some of y’all might have an interest in discussing it. My take? I suspect that the top brass felt like they had to fire him to cover their insecurity over being, you know, nerdy white guys themselves. Beyond that, I kind of liked Ross Douthat’s take. Check it out.
  6. Goodbye to Glen Campbell — Until he died yesterday. I didn’t know he was once a member of the Wrecking Crew. Cool to know. I can’t say I was ever a huge fan, although I did watch his TV show. I thought “Wichita Lineman” a particularly fine song (“Galveston,” too.). I wish they hadn’t junked it up with the strings, although I like that this clip is from the Smothers Brothers show, before Campbell’s own…

Open Thread for Monday, August 7, 2017

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Nikki and the Brits voting on new North Korea sanctions Saturday.

Some items to chew on while I run to the Red Cross to give platelets:

  1.  North Korea Says It Would Use Nukes Only Against U.S. — Is this supposed to make us all feel better?
  2. SC Dems call on Alan Wilson to resign over State House corruption probe — This is apparently about Wilson seeking advice from Richard Quinn on his approach to getting rid of Pascoe, back in 2014. I say “apparently” because I can’t get past the Post and Courier’s paywall.
  3. As Coal Seeks a Comeback Under Trump, the West Is Split — The NYT is leading with this. So, is this what we’re doing instead of building nuclear plants?
  4. Atheists tend to be seen as immoral – even by other atheists: study — Wow. And you thought they were tough on believers
  5. Why Does Trump Remain So Witless About the World? — This is a New Yorker piece quoting such people as Max Boot about how amazed they are at how little POTUS knows, and uninterested he is in learning.
  6. Al Green sings ‘To Sir With Love’ — No, this isn’t news, although it was to me. I never knew he had covered this. Heard it for the first time over the weekend, and loved it. Not saying it’s better than Lulu’s, or even as good as his best stuff, such as, say, “Love and Happiness.” It was just a nice weekend surprise for me — two worlds colliding, but in a good way — so I thought I’d share.

Open Thread for Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Yeah, that's probably where I would have looked first for instructions, but thanks for clearing up any doubt...

Yeah, that’s probably where I would have looked first for instructions, but thanks for clearing up any doubt…

A few things to cogitate upon:

  1. Senate GOP to try again today to give America the shaft — Here’s hoping that when John McCain gets there, he votes against it. We’ll know soon.
  2. North Korea advances rapidly in its ability to strike U.S., experts warn — And look who we have in charge of our national security. Feel safe, anyone?
  3. Forget Trustworthy, Loyal and Helpful. It’s now Petty, Delusional and Vulgar — The President of the United States displays to Scouts exactly how they should never behave.
  4. This is not okay — That headline on an editorial in the Post kind of says it all. Another take on the same thing: Trump White House Tests a Nation’s Capacity for Outrage
  5. 111 N.F.L. Brains. All but One Had Brain Damage. — Y’all still want to be fans of this? You sure?
  6. Mark Lett to retire as executive editor/VP of The State — I wish my longtime colleague well in his retirement.
Boys climb timbers of Surfside Beach pier, wrecked in last year's storm. In distance, dredging equipment poised to pump new sand onto beach.

Boys climb timbers of Surfside Beach pier, wrecked in last year’s storm. In distance, dredging equipment poised to pump new sand onto beach.

Open Thread for Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Add Khrushchev and Nixon to the list of people who were NOT in the Trump Jr. meeting...

Add Khrushchev and Nixon to the list of people who were NOT in the Trump Jr. meeting…

Y’all, I might not be able to post beyond this today — I’m super under the gun all week (as I was last week) — so let’s see if there’s anything good out there. Mostly, I sense that the Dog Days have arrived early:

  1. The anti-health bill’s failure — At least, we hope it’s completely failed. The stupid mess keeps rising from the dead. As for McConnell’s (and Trump’s) even stupider idea for a “clean” vote on repeal only — just go away, OK?
  2. Lindsey Graham hopes his Senate bill could replace Obamacare repeal effort — He’s going to have to do lots of ‘splainin’ for me to like this. Personally, I’d like them all to go away and not bother us anymore until they’re ready to do one of two things: 1) Fix problems with Obamacare that actually need fixing, so it works as intended, and just shut up about repealing, or 2) Single-payer. Otherwise, go on to other issues.
  3. 8th person at meeting between Trump Jr. and Russians identified, name sent to Mueller — You know what might be easier? Let’s make a list of who wasn’t in the meeting. Let’s see: Stalin, Khrushchev, Nixon, Ivan the Terrible…
  4. U.S., Russian officials meet as Kremlin accuses U.S. of ‘robbery’ over dachas — They just won’t shut up about this. Makes me wonder: What’s in those properties that they want back so badly? If we haven’t already ripped out the walls and pried up the floorboards checking it out, we need to. The intel crown jewels must be hidden there somewhere.
  5. ‘Bleeding heart’ judge? Not so fast — Solicitor Dan Johnson sticks up for Allison Lee.
  6. Expand the West Columbia chicken plant? — Apparently, that’s going to be before the West Columbia Zoning Board of Appeals tonight. I don’t know it I’ll make it, but I wonder: Am I the only person who has been noticing the smell a LOT more over the past month? I hadn’t smelled it in a while, and now, it hits my nose pretty hard every night that I drive home via Jarvis Klapman…

Open Thread for Bastille Day — Friday, July 14, 2017

No, I don't have any stories about Bastille Day, but here's a picture.

No, I don’t have any stories about Bastille Day, but here’s a picture.

I think I’ll lead off with a change of pace, paying attention to the kinds of stories I normally pass over — if only as a way to cite more local stories:

  1. SC man left children home alone with no power to visit girlfriend, police say — Yeah, another Parents Who Do Awful Things To Kids story. This one’s actually relatively mild compared to the horror stories I’ve turned my head away from lately (because they’re so painful to read). Are these kinds of things proliferating, or are police just intervening more?
  2. Kershaw sheriff slams ‘bleeding heart’ judge — I’m going to recuse myself on this one, since Judge Allison Lee goes to my church and all. Besides, I don’t know enough about her work on the bench to pass judgment; I just know she’s been criticized this way before.
  3. Across Beaufort County, monkeys once terrorized dogs, rode mules — This is just here as Odd Headline of the Day. You don’t actually have to go read the story to appreciate that.
  4. Ex-Soviet counter-intelligence officer says he attended Trump Jr meeting — Next thing you know, we’ll learn that Stalin was at the meeting. With Mata Hari. And Ernst Blofeld.
  5. New Health Bill on Knife’s Edge as Republican Support Wavers — Heads up: While we’re distracted with all of the above, Senate Republicans are still trying to pass their “No Healthcare For You!” bill. They haven’t succeeded yet, thank God.
Yoo-hoo, Trump Jr.! Sorry I couldn't be at the meeting! Turns out I'm dead...

Yoo-hoo, Trump Jr.! Sorry I couldn’t be at the meeting! Turns out I’m dead…

Open Thread for Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Yo, Paul! How are those predictions coming?

Yo, Paul! How are those predictions coming?

In no particular order:

  1. Trump Jr. on Russians’ Offer: ‘I Love It’ — This is a pretty big deal — meeting with a Russian after being told what the Russians were trying to do. And yet, I haven’t focused on it that much yet. I care more about what the boy’s daddy does. But yeah, this could be significant.
  2. Repeal of Obamacare without a replacement not ‘politically palatable,’ Sanford says — Wow. If Mr. Never-Met-A-Government-Program-I-Liked is saying that, I guess it’s pretty much of a non-starter.
  3. Paul Ehrlich is still around and peddling the same stuff! — In this case, it’s in a column in The Guardian. Yo, Paul — how are the predictions coming? That Population Bomb go off yet?
  4. Shark attack on nude beach! — Sorry about the second exclamation point. I just couldn’t resist this. I did learn one thing about it: I didn’t know there were nude beaches in America, probably because it’s something I don’t keep up with. I just figured it was some sort of decadent French thing. Oh, as for the attack on the nude swimmer: First, it was a guy, so get this scene out of your heads. Second, don’t worry about him, guys — he didn’t lose anything important.
  5. Christie Blasts N.J. Caller: ‘I Love Getting Calls From Communists In Montclair’ — This guy’s just really losing it, isn’t he? Whatever; I just hope we can keep him off those nude beaches…

139AA799000005DC-0-image-a-114_1434326475294

Open Thread for Thursday, July 6, 2017

"Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids..."

“Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids…”

Some quick topics; I’m kind of snowed today:

  1. SC won’t release voter info to Trump panel. SC GOP will get it instead — Say what?!?!? I mean, good on the first part — SC is joining most states in this — but as to the second: How is that better, especially since the state GOP head says he’ll turn it over to the Trump Fantasy Election Committee? I mean, if he’s going to do that, what’s the point of the initial refusal? And how is it that a private entity, a political party, has any standing in this? This is nuts, and the Election Commission needs to revisit the decision. Do like the secretary of state in MIssissippi, and Just Say No.
  2. Trump wonders whether Western civilization has ‘will to survive’ — I dunno. I mean, we elected him to be president, which is definitely not a good sign of our republic’s health. Of course, he brings up a good topic to ponder, as I’ve suggested more than once lately — except his notion of what the West is about differs from that held by those of us who actually believe in liberal democracy.
  3. Majority Of Americans Believe Trump Acted Either Illegally Or Unethically With Russia — In other words, they hold uninformed opinions. Did he act illegally with regard to Russia? We don’t know yet. Did he act unethically? Well, yeah — but “ethically” in the sense of violating actual ethics laws? I dunno. It’s a profound dereliction of duty for the POTUS to completely dismiss the fact that our intelligence agencies are certain that Russia interfered in our election, and particularly unethical — in a moral sense — to dismiss it considering that Russia interfered on his behalf. What we know is that a man who would do that has absolutely zero business being president of the United States. Whether laws were broken — we’ll see, if he stops trying to hinder the investigation (by things like, you know, firing the head of the FBI).
  4. Mars covered in toxic chemicals that can wipe out living organisms, tests reveal — So don’t invest in Arean real estate just yet. Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids…

Open Thread for Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Huck cogitates on whether to do something "unregular"...

Huck cogitates on whether to do something “unregular”…

Very quickly, as I have to be somewhere:

  1. As a Last Resort on Health Bill, G.O.P. May Try Bipartisanship — Those wild and crazy Republicans! For whatever reason, they remind me of Huck Finn, who in a desperate situation made a fateful and unprecedented decision: “I reckon a body that ups and tells the truth when he is in a tight place is taking considerable many resks, though I ain’t had no experience, and can’t say for certain; but it looks so to me, anyway; and yet here’s a case where I’m blest if it don’t look to me like the truth is better and actuly SAFER than a lie. I must lay it by in my mind, and think it over some time or other, it’s so kind of strange and unregular. I never see nothing like it. Well, I says to myself at last, I’m a-going to chance it; I’ll up and tell the truth this time, though it does seem most like setting down on a kag of powder and touching it off just to see where you’ll go to. ” Huck was as well acquainted with truth-telling as these lawmakers are with bipartisanship. As to whether they have it in them, well, we’ll see.
  2. Obamacare Had Big Impact in Kentucky. Its Senators Hate It. — Which shows you just how completely unaffected by reality ideologues are, and the extent to which it has warped our politics. You boys and girls may not believe it, but I’m old enough to remember a time when senators supported things that benefited the people of their states, instead of placing a greater priority on partisan purity.
  3. Just 17 Percent Of Americans Approve Of Republican Senate Health Care Bill — Just a little something McConnell et al. may want to consider…
  4. Will Folks go to jail to protect a source? — This is a fascinating situation. Will doesn’t adhere to a lot of the norms and standards that conventional journalists do, yet here he is standing on principle as a conventional journalist. Strange new ground. I hope it doesn’t come to him going to jail — for his and his family’s sake, and because I’m not sure what purpose it would serve. Yet Kenny’s lawyers are seeking just that…

Open Thread for Tuesday, June 27, 2017

John Kasich, pictured here campaigning in South Carolina last year, and other governors led the charge against the Senate bill.

John Kasich, pictured here campaigning in South Carolina last year, and other governors led the charge against the Senate bill.

Since there was little interest in today’s earlier offerings, let me try a few other topics to see what bait you’ll rise to:

  1. Why a new car in SC will cost $200 more starting this week — I’ll tell you why. Because the car sales tax has been kept artificially, absurdly low for a generation, and lawmakers finally got up the nerve to raise the $300 cap a bit. If you buy a typical new car, you still won’t be paying sales tax on most of the value of the purchase. This is about as regressive as a tax can get. A poor man buying a beat-up used car to get to work pays full sales tax on the $10,000 price. Someone buying his kid a $50,000 Lexus to park at college doesn’t pay a dime in tax more than the guy buying the $10k model. This is backwards. We should make the first $10,000 in value tax-exempt, and tax the amount above that. (And that, ladies and gentlemen, is about as Bernie Sanders as you’ll see me get — unless you want to talk single-payer.)
  2. Senate leaders postpone vote to overhaul Obamacare as bill faces GOP rebellion — That’s a good start. Now if you’ll just go ahead and delay it for good, you’ll be onto something. It couldn’t happen to a meaner bill.
  3. Key Constituency Against Bill: Governors of Both Parties — Because governors have to deal just a bit more with reality than Congress does. Or some governors do. The maxim doesn’t necessarily apply to governors we’ve had in South Carolina for the past 15 years (although I still haven’t entirely given up on Henry, and Nikki did get better toward the end). The first governor cited in this story: My man John Kasich, who should be president now.
  4. New Ransomware Cyberattack Spreads From Europe to U.S. — Maybe we should go back to doing everything on paper. That would be a drag — instead of Twitter, I guess I’d have to write my tweets in a notebook, tear out the pages and throw them into the wind from the Capital City Club, which would put a crimp in my likes and retweets — but this is getting ridiculous.
  5. Pregnant Serena Williams poses nude for Vanity Fair cover shoot — Hah! Let’s see John McEnroe do that! On second thought, let’s not and say we did…

1471

Open Thread for Monday, June 26, 2017

Boss Tweed on Flickr

Boss Tweed on Flickr

OK, people, let’s get some discussions going here:

  1. Supreme Court allows limited version of Trump’s travel ban to take effect — Bunch of court news, because it’s that time on the calendar. I was particularly interested in the Missouri case that said, yes, kids who go to parochial schools should also benefit from playground grants. Seems like that case has been dragging along for decades
  2. BMW to invest $600M, create another 1,000 jobs in SC — Again, nice job there, Gov. Campbell!
  3. 14 pounds! Lexington newborn surprises everyone — Yikes! And they thought the BMW thing was big news. Yes, it was a C-section.
  4. Nuclear project could be scrapped within 45 days — OK, a quick show of hands: How many of y’all think scrapping this project would be a good thing? I mean, aside from those of you who just don’t believe in nuclear power…
  5. Senate Republicans Alter Health Care Bill To Avoid ‘Death Spiral’ — I had thought that was the official name of the GOP plan: “Death Spiral.” Apparently not, since they’re trying to avoid that.
  6. McEnroe vs. Serena: 44 years after ‘Battle of the Sexes,’ the same dumb debate — Yeah, it’s dumb, but I’m not sure how it’s even a debate. McEnroe said Serena couldn’t beat male champions, and Serena herself seems to have agreed in the past. So where’s the debate? (By the way, my daughter who played on her high school team regularly beats me at tennis, for what that’s worth.)

Open Thread for Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Parnell

Not all that much out there today, but here’s what I’m looking at:

  1. Hard-fought House race in Georgia nears end as a referendum on Trump — Yeah, OK. But as I’ve said so many times before, it’s really none of my business whom the folks in Georgia want to sent to Congress.
  2. The SC 5th Congressional District election — I’m somewhat more interested in this one, although it’s apparently not as competitive as the one in Georgia (it would be nice to be surprised, however). Mostly what I know about this is the ads I’ve seen (which is always a lousy basis for making an electoral decision). And while I think Parnell’s have been rather silly, at least they show an original approach and don’t make me crazy the way Norman’s mindless “Ah’m a bidnessman and ah’m agin’ that Obama” approach. (Dang. There’s a particular ad I kept seeing last night that illustrated my point, and I’m not finding it…)
  3. Kasich & Hickenlooper: Another one-party health-care plan will be doomed to failure — I share this just to remind you that Kasich is the guy I wanted for president, and I’m not above saying “I told you so.” It’s interesting to see governors standing up and speaking out in the face of the Senate’s silence. You may also be interested in this interview on the subject with the independent governor of Alaska.
  4. How Could The Navy Destroyer Collision Happen? — That’s what we’d all still like to know.

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Open Thread for Wednesday, June 14, 2017

US_Flag_Backlit

Happy Flag Day, folks:

  1. Gunman in GOP baseball practice attack dies after shootout — I don’t know what to say, but maybe y’all do. Oh, I can say this: There are too many nuts out there, and it’s too easy for them to get guns. That’s it for now. Wait; I’ll add this: NPR notes that the ballgame the members were practicing for is one of the few bipartisan traditions Washington has left. And now this.
  2. Four dead in San Francisco shooting after UPS worker opens fire at facility — I include this to illustrate the points I made above — too many nuts chasing too many guns.
  3. Think you’re lucky? One Little River man won the Powerball lottery twice this week — No, I don’t think I’m lucky — that way. But we’ll never know, since I don’t intend ever to buy a ticket. However, I do consider myself blessed in terms of the things that count in life.
  4. Thoughts on the Sessions testimony yesterday? — Yeah, it’s old, but we haven’t talked about it. Personally, I missed it, and haven’t read much about it. But maybe y’all have observations.