White House, Lindsey Graham go to war over immigration — Not literally war, of course, but they’re definitely not BFFs any more. Lindsey blew his stack over a truly puerile memo from Trump’s Department of Homeland Security. It said his bill “would effectively make the United States a Sanctuary Nation where ignoring the rule of law is encouraged.”
Who drops everything to watch such boring news live? — Admittedly, I’m not a fan of getting news via video. But I often wonder, when I see live feeds like the one pictured above, I have to wonder who stops everything to watch the Senate or the House vote on ending the stupid shutdown. It’s certainly not historic. We’ll be doing this again in three weeks. I’d as soon watch paint dry…
Dang, I neglected to do an Open Thread for Elvis’ birthday yesterday. Well, here’s hoping somebody gave you a jelly doughnut anyway.
Here’s what we have today:
Trump Says He Is Open to Sweeping Deal on Immigration — We’re talking about not just the Dreamers, but a path to citizenship. Hey, if he can pull off a Nixon-goes-to-China and push through real comprehensive reform like that sought by his two predecessors, I will applaud. But the heads of those in his base are likely spinning right now. For his part, Lindsey is pretty excited about this, calling it the “Most fascinating meeting I’ve been involved with in twenty plus years in politics.”
These numbers could shake up the SC governor’s race — A poll shows Phil Noble edging out James Smith. This tells us that so far Dems are paying zero attention, or they’ve kind of gone nuts. Noble’s beef about Smith is that he’s too “Republican.” (You know, someone with potential appeal in the fall. I suppose Noble would hate to see the party break its streak.) The news that Kevin Bryant is ahead of Catherine Templeton is almost as weird. I find myself wondering how accurate this poll is…
Note the weirdness of the seven identical microphones. In a free society, an important person might be seen with multiple microphones, but they would be different, placed there by an array of news organizations. This is Kim trying to look important without the freedom part…
Happy New Year! Here’s what we’ve got at this hour:
In 347 days, Trump has made 1,950 false and misleading claims — In case you were wondering whether someone is keeping score, the answer is yes — the Post‘s Fact Checker is. Of course, this won’t impress Trump supporters, because they believe “They all do it.” Well, they don’t all do this. The White House has never been held by someone with such complete disregard for reality. Ever.
Been busy. Eating a lot. Training the Echo Dot I got for Christmas (or perhaps Alexa is training me). And I got Call of Duty WWII for my PC, and I’ve been having a lot of trouble with this one German in the fifth bunker on Normandy Beach.
I.R.S. Warns That Prepaying Property Taxes Is a Risk — What I want to know is this: Who has the cash to run out and pay their property tax for the whole next year just sitting around? If I had that, the last thing I’d be worrying about is saving a few bucks on my income taxes. Don’t people have other things to think about? Interesting things?
On their heads be it — Congressional Republicans seem poised to pass, as their signature (let’s face it, their only) accomplishment of 2017, a completely unnecessary tax plan that is only favored by a third of the electorate. Democrats must be hugging themselves at this point, with visions of 2018 dancing in their heads.
Russian Team Barred From 2018 Winter Olympics — Yeah, OK. Get back to us when they get barred from the real Olympics. But I will say this is a better way of punishing Russia than the last time we did it, when we stayed home instead. Y’all know I like me some Jimmy Carter, but that was a huge disappointment to a friend of mine who was coaching our boxing team.
Yeah, it was dopey, but back in the century when I was a kid, we watched ‘The Time Tunnel.’
When you type the date “2017,” do you ever, just for a second, think you’re living in, or writing, a science-fiction story? I do, every once in a while. How can that date belong anywhere but in the future? Of course, I’m still adjusting to 1984 being in the distant past, instead of the distant future the way it was when I first read it. In fact, it’s farther in the past now than it was in the future then — which seems impossible. Maybe time travel really IS a thing, only instead of jumping over years to get to the future, you just fast-forward, which mean you store “memories” of the intervening years as though you had lived them, when you really haven’t. Maybe I’m onto something. Or not.
Here are some more down-to-Earth things to talk about:
Some possible topics — but as always, feel free to introduce your own:
Wal-Mart Posts Strongest U.S. Sales in Nearly a Decade — So that’s who’s been doing so well in this economy. Sorry if you can’t pull up the story; I don’t have access to WSJ these days, either. But what I could see said this was the retailer’s “strongest quarterly U.S. sales growth in nearly a decade” and that it was “boosted by a big jump in ecommerce and strong store traffic.”
Four Women Accuse Moore as Campaign Pushes Back — Four more that is, bringing it to nine. Who knew there were so many lyin’ women in Alabama? That Bernie Bernstein must be running out of money about now, huh? Of course, this leaves Moore WAY short of Donald Trump’s 16, but then, Trump is the Man… I guess I shouldn’t joke, since there are people reading this blog who actually think that way, which is no laughing matter.
You know what ELSE I think Sessions has forgotten? His Twitter account, which is where I found this picture. He hasn’t Tweeted since 2014…
I hate doing back-to-back open threads; I like to give y’all some leavening in between, but it’s been a busy day, and this is all I have time for, and y’all aren’t paying for this, so quit yer bellyachin’…
Donald Trump Jr. communicated with WikiLeaks during 2016 campaign — Wikileaks was like, Why don’t y’all Tweet about what we’re doing to Hillary? and Trump Sr. tweeted minutes later. Then they said, Why don’t y’all Tweet the link, too? And then Trump Jr. tweeted the link. Not that it’s collusion or anything, right? And the Russians weren’t behind Wikileaks, right? And the check is in the mail…
Senate committee questions Trump nuclear authority — While others lead with other stuff, BBC is leading with this. I guess they think nothing is more important than making sure somebody keeps the really dangerous toys out of Trump’s hands. You know what? The thought of Trump having the power to use WMD could tempt Iraq to invade us — with our erstwhile allies cheering them on…
Catherine Templeton: ‘Henry ain’t Trump!’ — Looks like this GOP primary is a contest to see who can bring the most crazy. What else can you say about a competition in which you try to score points by saying your opponent is no Donald Trump?
Not a lot of what I’d call news, but some things we could talk about:
Moore Faces a 5th Accuser as McConnell Asks Him to Quit — Of course, he’s likely to ignore that the way he tried to dismiss The Washington Post. After all, if I recall correctly, Moore has been running against McConnell and the party. Basically, if somebody says something that makes sense, Moore and his supporters will dismiss it.
Paradise Papers — I don’t have anything to say about this yet, for two reasons: First, it’s about money, so, ya know. Second, I can’t concentrate on it for Bernie Sanders yelling, “I tolja so! I tolja so! I tolja so!I tolja so!” Meanwhile, The Guardian‘s gone absolutely ape over it — you have to scroll down a screen and a half to read about anything else.
Steve Benjamin won’t be on the ballot tomorrow — No, he’s running, and I assure you he will be re-elected. But he’s not on the ballot, which Cindi is pointing out because it’s such a dramatic example of one of her pet electoral peeves…
Bergdahl Avoids Prison; Trump Once Urged Death Penalty — Well, we generally don’t shoot deserters anymore, but no prison at all? Really? I heard someone on the radio — probably from his defense attorney — talking about what a terrible ordeal this has been for poor ol’ Bergdahl. Yeah, well, tell that to his comrades who suffered casualties trying to “rescue” him.
What’s this? I don’t know. The category was “Any other meritorious vegetable,” which cracked me up.
Some random topics:
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…
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.
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.)…
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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?):