Category Archives: Open Thread

(Late) Open Thread for Thursday, February 15, 2018

I don't know what kind of tree this is, but it was nothing but blooms when I walked past it on the State House grounds today.

Don’t know what kind of tree this is, but it was nothing but blooms when I passed it on the State House grounds today.

Been busy today, but here are a few things to chew on:

  1. America’s Failure to Protect Its Children from School Shootings Is a National Disgrace — A second-day angle, from The New Yorker. I spent some time today writing a post on this subject, but it’s not quite ready. I’ll try to finish it tomorrow.
  2. The AR-15: ‘America’s rifle’ or illegitimate killing machine? — Why can’t it be both? With 8 million of these weapons designed for war are out there, I sort of think it is…
  3. 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.”
  4. Relic Room offers plan to display State House Confederate flag — At a tenth of a cost of its earlier plan, the museum hopes this will fly at the Legislature and it can get back to concentrating on actual military history.
  5. Steve Bannon questioned in Mueller inquiry — He reportedly spent 20 hours with investigators this week.


Open Thread for Monday, January 22, 2018


Not all that much going on:

  1. Senate passes spending bill, clearing way to end shutdown — For three week. Whoopee. Lindsey Graham sent out a release encased in the usual exclamation points: “! Graham Votes To End Government Shutdown !” But as he acknowledged, this is no win for the country. Personally, I think I’d be tempted to hide that I had anything to do with what’s happened up there.
  2. 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…
  3. Amazon Go: convenience and concern at new checkout-free corner shop — Technology is going to have to get better and smarter for me to trust a gimmick such as this. I mean, I love Alexa; she’s a lot of fun. But she’s not playing with a full deck. Last night I asked her to “play some Memphis soul,” and she had no idea what to do (even though Google and Wikipedia know exactly what I mean). To make it easy, I told her to play anything from Stax Records. She was totally flummoxed. Meanwhile, Netflix still doesn’t know what kind of movies I like.
  4. The State has a new editor — based in Raleigh — Newspapers are not what they used to be, and you can hardly point to more dramatic evidence of that than the fact that our own daily newspaper will be overseen by an editor in Raleigh. Someone who thinks “Carolina” is located in Chapel Hill. You know, like the paper was a Starbucks or something. At least that’s the way they make it sound. Yet there is still someone here with the title of executive editor. We’ll see what this all means as time passes. It will be extremely helpful when The State puts something on the front page explaining it all. That will be a start.



Open Thread for Tuesday, January 9, 2018



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:

  1. 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.”
  2. As North Korea Tensions Rise, U.S. Army Trains Soldiers To Fight In Tunnels — I heard this on NPR this morning. Fascinating. It’s like we’re getting ready to do battle with the Mole People. The north has thousands of these tunnels, some of which extend under the DMZ and deep into the south.
  3. Ex-DHEC chief to run troubled Carolina Water Service — We’re talking Catherine Heigel, not Templeton. Will this help clean up CWS’ rep? I guess it depends on what she does from this point.
  4. Roman Polanski will not face criminal charges for allegations of 1975 molesting — Too bad. He’s been a fugitive from charges of having sex with a 13-year-old since 1978. This alleged victim was 10. The statute of limitations had expired on this one.
  5. Fusion GPS founder claimed FBI had Trump source during campaign — This is from transcript Diane Feinstein released, in apparent defiance of GOP members of the panel.
  6. Steve Bannon Out At Breitbart News — Like I care or something.


Open Thread for Friday, January 5, 2018

Cowboy (or Wade Hampton) rides into sunset. Nothing to do with the news, just a picture I recently shot on one of my downtown walks.

Cowboy (or Wade Hampton) rides into sunset. Nothing to do with the news, just a picture I recently shot on one of my downtown walks.

Just to close out the week:

  1. Mueller Learns of Trump Effort to Keep Grip on Russia Inquiry — This is pretty wild stuff. I thought Jennifer Rubin did a good job of putting these revelations into perspective. I still remain pessimistic about the Mueller’s investigation’s ability to heal what’s wrong with the country. But he needs to do his job, and go where the evidence takes him.
  2. Graham, others take weird turn in GOP’s Russia investigation — Are they going after Manafort or Trump Jr. or Russian agents? Nope, they’re talking possible charges against Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 guy who compiled the infamous dossier on Trump and the Russians. I suppose next they’ll go after that dude who wrote the new book, Fire and Fury. Or better yet: Hillary Clinton! I’ll bet the Rooskies are quaking in their felt boots with such bloodhounds as these on their trail.
  3. 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…
  4. Blizzard Has Passed, But Frigid Temperatures Remain Along East Coast — In case you still want to talk about the weather.

Y’all have any other topics?

Open Thread for Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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...

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:

  1. South Korea welcomes Kim Jong Un’s offer of talks — This could be a big deal — and could drive a wedge between South Korea and the U.S. First you-know-who pulls us out of TPP, now this. Stand on the Pacific Rim, and watch American influence disappearing over the horizon. A smooth move by Kim. So far in 2018, that’s one point for Little Rocket Man, zero for the Dotard…
  2. Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham call out Iran. Here’s what they said — I won’t make you click to find out that they were supportive of protesters, critical of the regime. The Iranian regime, that is. Graham was sucking up to the Trump regime (“As to President Trump and all those who love freedom…”).
  3. Leaving a car idling so that it’s warm when you get in is illegal in SC. Here’s why — Um, is it because that makes you a total jerk who hates the Earth? No, that’s not it. But if you need another reason, that one’s lying around available. I would also accept, “Because it makes you look like a total wuss who can’t handle a little weather…”
  4. 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.
  5. New SC laws go into effect on New Year’s Day 2018 — I share this purely as an illustration of how slow news is: This story is four days old, and is still leading Seriously…

Open Thread for Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Harry Obama

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.

But here’s an Open Thread:

  1. Obama tells Prince Harry: leaders must stop corroding civil discourse — Meanwhile, the former president is still the most admired man in America. But Hillary is the most admired woman, so take that with a large amount of salt. This is basically a name-recognition test. And guess what? Nikki Haley’s in the top 10.
  2. 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?
  3. Ryan’s ‘pro-white’ primary foe denounced by Breitbart after his anti-Semitic tweets — So apparently you can go too far for Steve Bannon. Good to know…
  4. The real greatest threat to democracy this year — It’s indifference. E. J. Dionne offers a prayer for our democracy. It can use one.

You know what? That’s it. I’m just not finding any news tonight. Y’all have any?


WWII — the video game, not the real thing — has been occupying a good bit of my time today…

Open Thread for Saturday, December 16, 2017


Yes, a weekend Open Thread. To make up for giving you nothing new the last two days:

  1. ‘Chicken Man’s art trailer stolen — You know, some crooks out there don’t respect anything. That goes for the lowlifes who took Ernest Lee’s trailer, for sure…
  2. 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.
  3. How Doug Jones Destroyed Roy Moore’s Whole Shtick with One Well-Chosen Verb — Kind of an interesting piece on the use of words in politics. The most damaging word Jones used in his takedown was “prancing.” Interesting choice of weapon for a Democrat these days.
  4. Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program — The stuff of science fiction movies revealed, at last. Where does the funding come from? “You don’t actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?”
  5. Palmetto State Armory’s Xmas billboards making a stir again — You know, like the “Silent Night” one showing a semiautomatic pistol with a noise suppressor?




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…