Category Archives: Open Thread

Open Thread for Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Very quickly:

  1. 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.
  2. Trump risks backlash as he prepares to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — Seeing as how it is the capital, it’s hard for me to get worked up about this one. Of course, I don’t have to because millions in the region will get worked up for me….
  3. Justices seem divided in case of baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple — I’m including this for Bud, who may have a point — this guy seems to have a stronger case than most defendants in this are. But in the end, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t eat cake, so what do I know?
  4. Evidence of fight, threats mark defense’s version of Scott shooting case — Can anyone ‘splain to me how the defense thinks any of that adds up to, “It’s OK to shoot a guy running away from you in the back?”

That’s it for now. Gotta run…

Open Thread for Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Yeah, it was dopey, but back in the century when I was a kid, we watched 'The Time Tunnel.'

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:

  1. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe resigns, ending 37-year rule — I’m going to go with the BBC and lead with this, even though the denizens of Trump’s America are all like, “What’s a Zimbabwe?”
  2. FCC plan would give Internet providers power to choose the sites customers see, use — OK, would one of y’all please explain “net neutrality” to me one more time, and see if I can hold onto it long enough to form an opinion?
  3. ‘I feel so good about myself doing this.’ says Trump — He was pardoning his first turkey.
  4. Trump Defends Roy Moore Amid Sexual Assault Allegations: ‘He Totally Denies It’ — Well, OK, as long as he denied it “totally;” otherwise I’d doubt him. When this republic started, we had presidents who were conversant in Latin and Greek. This one is fluent in Valspeak. (Look it up, kids — it was an ’80s thing).
  5. Former SC first lady, widow of Carroll Campbell dies — The end of an era — one that had just begun when I came home to SC to work at The State. Back to my time-travel theory, above.
  6. Indie rock group cancels Columbia show after singer is accused of ‘sexual coercion’ — Does it count as a celebrity scandal if I’ve never heard of the celebrity?
Ya know, I never FULLY realized how surreal the turkey-pardoning thing was until Trump did it...

Ya know, I never FULLY realized how surreal the turkey-pardoning thing was until Trump did it…

Open Thread for Thursday, November 16, 2017

Apparently, Al Franken thought this was funny.

Apparently, Al Franken thought this was funny.

Some possible topics — but as always, feel free to introduce your own:

  1. 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.”
  2. After Tokyo Commuter Train Leaves 20 Seconds Early, Company Apologizes — Yeah, we get it — yours is a very conscientious culture. But come on; lighten up. You’re forgiven (even though, in my book, leaving early is way worse than waiting a minute).
  3. Senate bill would cut taxes for millionaires but hike them for the poor, working class — That’s according to the official assessment by the Joint Committee on Taxation.
  4. Senator Al Franken Apologizes After Groping Accusation — You know, I still haven’t adjusted to the idea of this guy being a U.S. senator. The above photo fits more closely to the way I think of him than his serious senator photos.
  5. 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.

Open Thread for Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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...

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’…

  1. Senate GOP to add repeal of Obamacare insurance mandate into tax bill — OK, I thought this was dead. Like, three or four times dead. Rotting. Moldering. Did it not get a stake in its heart? Who was supposed to have the wooden stake and drive it in? Somebody is not getting the job done…
  2. Sessions Denies Lying Under Oath About Russia Contacts — You see, he just forgot (as he does so often) about that meeting with his aide who wanted to get Trump together with the Russians. Yeah, forgot — that’s the ticket! Oh, by the way, you know how many meetings we now know about between Trump and Russians? 30. Three-zero. Also…
  3. 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…
  4. 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…
  5. 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?

Open Thread for Monday, November 13, 2017

There he is, representing all of us to the world...

There he is, representing all of us to the world…

Not a lot of what I’d call news, but some things we could talk about:

  1. 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.
  2. Iran-Iraq Earthquake Kills More Than 400 — OK, this is news. Of the really bad kind.
  3. N.S.A. Struggles to Recover After Breach of Spying Tools — Oh, but don’t worry. As y’all keep telling me, these leaks and breaches don’t harm the country in any way. Right?
  4. Trump Picks Alex Azar To Lead Health And Human Services — What I want to know is, why not Joe Azar? Joe’s been interested in public service way longer than this guy, I’m guessing.
  5. Penn State Student Given 18 Drinks In 82 Minutes Before Hazing Death, Prosecutors Say — Tell me again why fraternities should exist? I keep forgetting.
  6. Trump hails ‘great relationship’ with Philippines’ Duterte — Just to remind us that fraternity boys aren’t necessarily the biggest idiots in the country, or the most dangerous.
  7. If you see a naked person in Five Points on Tuesday … — Continuing with that theme… No, it’s not serious news, but it’s local. Why will there be a naked person in Five Points on Tuesday? Well, it has something to do with PETA, so don’t try to make sense of it.

Open Thread for Monday, November 6, 2017

The Guardian has gone totally ape over this Pentagon, uh, Panama, uh, Paradise Papers thing...

The Guardian has gone totally ape over this Pentagon, uh, Panama, uh, Paradise Papers thing…

Some possibilities:

  1. Texas gunman who killed 26 ‘sent threatening texts to mother-in-law’ — This angle is many hours old, but this shooting story remains the big one, and we haven’t talked about it yet.
  2. 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.
  3. Which Columbia-area hospital is the safest? Not one got an A. — Yikes.
  4. Amazon’s Roy Price Left Alleged Trail of Sexual Harassment — I’m just sharing this to note that The Wall Street Journal is leading with it, when everybody else (except The Guardian) is leading with the Texas shooting… Interesting… Maybe the WSJ is just trying to distract The Guardian from its shiny new toy: Look! Business executives! Sexual harassment! 
  5. 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…

Open Thread for Friday, November 3, 2017

Yet another shot of Ben Tillman with a bird of prey on his head.

Yet another shot of Ben Tillman with a bird of prey on his head.

We haven’t had one of these all month, have we?

  1. G.O.P. May Repeal Health Mandate as Part of Tax Bill — These fellas just do not want to pass any actual legislation, do they? The tax bill was already an uphill climb, so what do they do? Stick in a poison pill. This is really, you know… stupid.
  2. 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.

  3. European arrest warrant issued for ex-Catalan leader — We’ve been ignoring this story, and it’s a biggie.

  4. White House allows release of dire climate report that contradicts views of Trump officials — How about that? But what does it mean, Mr. Natural?

  5. SC governor hopeful Templeton praises Bannon, calls him ‘voice for the rest of us’ — I neglected to mention this earlier in the week. She just seems determined to out-crazy Henry, try as he might with his crusade against nonexistent “sanctuary cities.”

Open Thread for Thursday, October 19, 2017

Oh, and another thing: I forgot to share myoutrage at a local Walmart being full of Christmas stuff, way back on Oct. 7.

Oh, and another thing: I forgot to share my outrage when I found Walmart full of Christmas stuff, way back on Oct. 7.

Not much going on, but here are some topics:

  1. Sure, There’s A Health Care Deal. That Doesn’t Mean It Can Pass — I’m leading off with this because, whatever happens, I’m proud of Lamar Alexander for working so hard to find a bipartisan solution. I’d be proud of Patty Murray, too, except I don’t know her.
  2. Bush Speech Is Seen as Rebuke to Trump, Who Goes Unnamed — You tell him, Dubya! As Jennifer Rubin wrote about it, “This is what a president sounds like.”
  3. What would happen if Amazon brought 50,000 workers to your city? Ask Seattle. — What if they build HQ2 here? Would we like that, or not?
  4. Who gets $60 million when nuke project fails? SCANA execs with golden parachutes could — Just to keep you outraged. I mean, that’s a bunch of money. It’s more than I make in a year.
  5. This Is What Victory Over ISIS Looks Like in Syria and Iraq — Such is the constant political freak show in Washington that it seems we’ve almost entirely overlooked the fact that we’ve sort of, you know, won the war against ISIL. I think….
  6. Dear Men: It’s You, Too — Apparently, we’re all Harvey Weinstein, this writer seems to think. And in a way that may be true, but not in the chock-full-of-ideology way the essayist seems to mean it.
You go, Lamar! Alexander back in the days when I covered him.

You go, Lamar! Alexander back in the days when I covered him.

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.


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.”


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…


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

google symbols

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


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…