Category Archives: Open Thread

Open Thread for Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Turn her about, boys, and show 'em our stern chasers!

Turn her about, boys, and give ’em a good look at our stern chasers!

Busy day today folks, and tomorrow will be the same. Basically, we’re producing a video for the S.C. Association of Counties annual meeting. It’s their 50th anniversary, and we’re talking with folks about the highlights of that period from a county government perspective, which means we’re talking a lot about the Home Rule Act of 1975. This morning I interviewed Jean Toal, who was on that legislation’s conference committee as a freshman legislator. We had a couple of other interviews with key officials, both here in Colatown and up in Lancaster. More interviews tomorrow, ending with former Gov. Dick Riley up in Greenville.

So, fun stuff if you’re me and love to talk about Home Rule. (With Chief Justice Toal today, I even got to talk a bit about how Home Rule is subsidiarity in action, although that part won’t make the video.)

Here are some other things y’all might want to talk about:

  1. Despite talk of a military strike, Trump’s ‘armada’ sailed away from North Korea — And so we have the Trump corollary to the Nelson dictum: Never mind maneuvers, always go straight away from ’em!
  2. British prime minister makes stunning call for early elections amid Brexit fallout — Another side topic Justice Toal and I briefly touched on had to do with the virtues of a parliamentary system. And here we see one advantage, from the perspective of those who like to see government do stuff — a leader can consolidate power by calling an election more or less at will. Here’s an explainer from the Beeb for you Yanks…
  3. Columbia, Colonial Life Arena to host NCAA men’s tournament — But… but… I thought we just had that. What? You mean, in 2019? Come on, people — shouldn’t we be talking about baseball now?
  4. Mark Sanford gets an earful on health care, affair — It seems these townhall meetings just are not getting any more pleasant.
  5. Netflix’s biggest competitor? Sleep — Yeah, that’s about right — at my house anyway. Along about 10:45 tonight, I’ll be asking myself, One more episode of “30 Rock” or get 8 hours?
Whaddya think, Lemon? One more episode, or a good night's sleep?

Whaddya think, Lemon? One more episode, or a good night’s sleep?

A Hurried Open Thread for Thursday, April 13, 2017

HaleyRussiaAriailW

Not a lot of opportunities to set up the laptop and blog, since I’m on spring break with four grandchildren. Quickly, between activities, here’s an Open Thread:

  1. British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia — It’s somewhat surprising anyone in Britain’s intelligence establishment talks to The Guardian, but they managed to break this.
  2. McMaster backs Myrtle Beach development interests upset about environmental challenges — Meanwhile, on the other hand, McMaster cool to offshore drilling. So, you know, something for everybody.
  3. George W. Bush Calls Foreign Aid A Moral And Security Imperative — Thank you, Mr. Ex-President.
  4. Why the ordinary Nikki Haley is exercising extraordinary influence over American foreign policy — You know what struck me most about this piece? That, in comparing her to the rest of the Trump administration, he referred to Nikki as “the seasoned politician” in the crowd. And it this crowd, that is what she is.
  5. Trump on NATO: ‘I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.’ — It seems Mr. Trump is now channeling the electric Dylan. It used to go like that. Now it goes like this.

dylan electric

Open Thread for Thursday, April 6, 2017

FilibusterFingerPOintingAriailW

Here’s what we’ve got going:

  1. Trump weighing military options following chemical weapons attack in Syria (WashPost) — Here we go, y’all. Hang onto your seats.
  2. Senate Republicans use ‘nuclear option’ to break filibuster on Gorsuch (WashPost) — Yeah… You know what? In light of Syria and the pictures of children killed by WMD, maybe we’d better dial back the hyperbolic language used to describe bloodless parliamentary maneuvers, OK? Here’s my question: Since they knew this would happen, what do Democrats think they achieved by voting as a bloc against a qualified nominee?
  3. Nunes to Step Aside From House Russia Investigation (NYT) — With this coming on the heels of Gen. McMaster getting Steve Bannon off the National Security Council, it seems we’ve got a tiny streak of good news going on the national security front — except, of course, for that going-to-war-in-Syria thing.
  4. S.C. House backs plan for carrying firearms without permits  (The State) — I know; this is old. But we didn’t deal with it yesterday when it happened. In any case, the need for this measure continues to elude me.
  5. Should America Have Entered World War I? (NYT) — Most provocative assertion in this piece: If we hadn’t, there might not have been a Hitler. To which I say, woulda, shoulda, coulda…
  6. Comedian Don Rickles, Merciless ‘Merchant Of Venom,’ Dies At 90 (NPR) — I hate to say it at this particular moment, but I never liked this guy. Yeah, I know — he was supposed to be a sweetie in real life, kind to friends and dogs, but I just never enjoyed his brand of humor. He was like a pre-internet troll. I found it grating. You?
Rickles in "Kelly's Heroes."

Rickles in “Kelly’s Heroes.”

Open Thread for Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Screenshot of Washington Post video

Screenshot of Washington Post video

Some topics for your consideration:

  1. Graham urges Dems to give Gorsuch the chance he gave Kagan, Sotomayor — And he’s right. I heard an absurd argument from Russ Feingold this morning claiming that Republicans’ outrageous behavior on Garland (and it was inexcusable, an unprecedented refusal by senators, including Graham, to do their jobs) means Gorsuch shouldn’t get a chance. That’s insane. Gorsuch should get the same respect and consideration that Garland should have received.
  2. Bill allowing carrying firearms without permit heads for House floor — Because ya know, when we look around at the problems we have in the world today, we really need to add THIS to the pile, right?
  3. Charleston church killer’s friend sentenced to 27 months in prison — This reminds me of a conversation earlier in the week with Doug. I don’t see why the hed couldn’t have said, in the interests of brevity, “Roof’s friend Meek” instead of “Charleston church killer’s friend.” Anyway, it’s out there in case you want to comment.
  4. Trump tells GOP critics of health-care bill: ‘I’m gonna come after you’ — Today’s classy move by the fulminator-in-chief. I wonder how much longer it will take for these people to have the nerve to tell him to take a flying leap…
  5. The American presidency is shrinking before the world’s eyes — Yep. And it shrinks more every day. This is what I keep saying to those of you who ask why I don’t wait to complain when Trump does something “horrible.” The answer is that he’s already doing it, every day. Worldwide respect for American institutions went into free fall the moment this guy captured the GOP nomination, and it hasn’t stopped falling yet…
  6. Trump is under investigation for ties to Russia. What happens now? — This is a day old, but still worth examining. This is a place where we’ve never been — in the first days of an administration, we learn officially that it’s being investigated for ties with the Russians, and the head of the FBI says under oath that the president’s attempt to deflect with wild accusations about his predecessor is a load of horse manure. Where, indeed, do we go from here?

 

Open Thread for Monday, March 13, 2017

Eventually, we'll all be REQUIRED to carry handguns, and fire them indiscriminately in the street."

Eventually, we’ll all be REQUIRED to carry handguns, and fire them indiscriminately in the street.

For your consideration…

  1. CBO projects 24 million more uninsured over a decade under Republican plan — OK, so that’s why Ryan didn’t want it scored by the CBO. On the other hand, this could help him with the Tea Party base, since people losing coverage is what they want.
  2. Bill allowing carrying firearms without permit advances in House — Because we just want everybody to carry guns everywhere, and we don’t even want to know anything about them. Yeah, this story’s four days old, but we hadn’t talked about it yet. Sometimes I think this stuff comes up on a dare. It won’t be long before they’ll be considering a bill to require everyone to carry, and to draw and brandish their weapons about while drinking.
  3. Democrats’ Strategy: Depict Gorsuch as ‘Against Workers’ — Really? How do you think that’s gonna play in Peoria, comrades? Or in the Republican Senate, for that matter?
  4. Filing closes in 5th District, and more candidates are running — We’re up to seven Republicans — all competing to see who can be more Trumplike, no fewer than three Democrats and five independents. To go to Congress. Because that’s such a pleasant place to be these days…
  5. McCain tells Trump: present evidence or retract wiretapping claim — Tell it, John. Meanwhile, Spicer says Trump’s totally unsubstantiated claims are covered because he used quotation marks on “wire tap.” Really. He even demonstrated his point by doing air quotes. No, look.
"Did I tell you about the bill I'm proposing in the House?" "You just keep thinkin', Butch; that's what you're good at!"

“Did I tell you about the bill I’m proposing in the House?” “You just keep thinkin’, Butch; that’s what you’re good at!”

Open Thread for Tuesday, March 7, 2017

SCGasTaxLastResorceAriailW

I’m really busy today and will be here at work for quite awhile more, but I wanted to give y’all something else to ruminate over (not that I’m saying y’all are actual ruminants or anything):

  1. WikiLeaks Files Describe C.I.A. Tools to Break Into Phones — And why are they doing this? Well, because they hate the United States of America and wish to weaken it as much as possible. No indication of Russian involvement on this yet (that I’ve seen), but they have to be happy to get their hands on this material.
  2. Republican ‘Trumpcare’ plan battered by politicians on both left and right — In fact, the question arises: Is there anyone out there who actually likes this thing?
  3. SC House passes moped bill — I didn’t even know there was such a bill out there. Anyway, it’s apparently been watered down to where it just offers some minimal safety rules and administration regulation.
  4. Six of Trump’s tweets this morning seemed to respond directly to what was happening on ‘Fox & Friends’ — So basically, over a period of two hours, he was watching this and responding to it. We need to get this guy a job or something…
  5. Former MI6 agent behind Trump dossier returns to work — Actually, I think Christopher Steele is a former intelligence officer, not an “agent” or “asset” or “joe” or whatever you choose to call the people whom intelligence officers go out and recruit to provide humint. The Guardian should know better. But far more exciting than this news is the following…
  6. George Smiley will soon be back! — Coming in September! So I’m pretty pumped. Technically, an elderly Peter Guillam seems to be the protagonist, which indicates present-day, which means George is probably no longer among us (he’d be close to 100 if he were). But he’s bound to appear in flashbacks. If only he could be with us in the flesh, in the West’s dark crisis of faith…
Alex Guinness as George Smiley.

Alex Guinness as George Smiley.

Open Thread for Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Happy Mardi Gras! The holiday is huge in Dominica in the Caribbean, where my youngest daughter teaches ballet under the auspices of the Peace Corps. This is from her Facebook page, "Ballet in Dominica."

Happy Mardi Gras! The holiday is huge in Dominica in the Caribbean, where my youngest daughter teaches ballet under the auspices of the Peace Corps. This is from her Facebook page, “Ballet in Dominica.”

A few things you might want to talk about:

  1. Trump prepares to address a divided audience: The Republican Congress — Which reminds me… I’ll probably be actively Tweeting during the speech, in case you’d like to join in.
  2. Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds — A depressing piece in The New Yorker on how our brains work, or don’t work. It makes some good points — the ones that say things I already believed. The rest of it is fake news. Sad.
  3. Trump Learns That a Health Overhaul Is ‘So Complicated’ — Specifically, he said, “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” I hope that didn’t shake him up too much, just before his big speech. You know what else is complicated? Stuff. Way more stuff than he has ever realized…
  4. U.S.-Russia Clash at U.N. Over Syria’s ‘Barbaric’ Weapons — The Kremlin vetoes American-backed resolution to punish Assad’s regime for using chemical weapons. Welcome to the big leagues, Nikki Haley.
  5. Confederate flag pair jailed over threats to Georgia black family — FYI, they’ve “received lengthy prison sentences” in spite of Georgia not having a hate crimes law. So, take that into consideration.

Open Thread for Wednesday, February 22, 2017

PIA21422_hires

Today, most of the leading news is Trump-free! And no artificial additives!

  1. Scientists discover seven Earthlike planets orbiting a nearby star — This is very cool. And they’re only 229,261,492,590,000 miles from here, as a crow would fly if he could fly through space and wasn’t inclined to get tired after a few hundred billion miles. Hey, maybe there’s an alternative Earth where Kasich won the election! A lot of us would like to go to there! (I didn’t say the news was entirely Trump-free.)
  2. Free-speech advocates rail against House anti-Semitism bill — Our second time today on this subject. Have you ever noticed that a very wide range of people style themselves “free-speech advocates?” Some are actual champions of liberal democracy, and some, not so much…
  3. City of Columbia to provide healthier food choices for employees, residents, guests — We’re talking in terms of what’s offered in city park vending machines, and what is served if the city has a luncheon or something. I figured this might start some “free speech.”
  4. Bernie Sanders Loyalists Are Taking Over the Democratic Party One County Office at a Time — And I definitely didn’t say it would be Bernie-free…
  5. Men: Strenuous Exercise May Be Hurting Your Sex Life — You know, I had just started back to putting some time in on the elliptical this week, but maybe that’s a bad idea…

Open Thread for Thursday, February 16, 2017

Some things to chew over:

  1. Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador — The FBI interview came before we found out that Yeah, he did, precipitating his resignation.
  2. ‘Are they friends of yours?’: Trump asks black reporter to set up meeting with Congressional Black Caucus — It’s so convenient that the press corps has a few members of African extraction, because they can talk to the black people for you!
  3. ‘This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine’ — I wasn’t going to give you any more Trump stuff, but he actually said that, at an extraordinary presser that could produce 10 more headlines if I didn’t… hold… myself… back! By the way, none of the bad stuff going on his his fault, because he “inherited a mess.”
  4. Myrtle Beach area man was planning attack ‘in the spirit of Dylann Roof,’ FBI says — One thing about homicidal maniacs — they seldom have an original idea.
  5. Pakistan: IS attack on Sufi shrine in Sindh kills dozens — In some countries, the homicidal maniacs have even less imagination that ours do. Once, blowing up religious sites in the name of religion might have seemed fresh and new, but no more.
  6. Kershaw sheriff shuts down Facebook comments — Yeah, comments can be a real pain in the posterior. Present company excepted, of course…

Kershaw

Open Thread for Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Benjamin Netanyahu met with Trump at the White House.

Benjamin Netanyahu met with Trump at the White House.

Some quick takes:

  1. Mideast Peace Doesn’t Require 2-State Deal, Trump Says — Remember in “Mr. Mom” when Michael Keaton tries to impress Martin Mull by boasting that he’s rewiring his house himself, and Mull asks whether he’s doing everything as 220, and Keaton looks blank before saying, “220, 221, whatever it takes…?” I thought of that when I read Trump’s quote: “I’m looking at two-state and one-state.”
  2. Trump says Flynn was treated unfairly, calls leaks a ‘criminal act’ — OK, so the bad thing isn’t what he did. The bad thing is that we learned about it. Thanks for the clarification…
  3. Labor nominee withdraws amid rising GOP concern — Apparently the standard is, if really bad stuff is said about you on “Oprah,” you’re toast. It’s good to know there IS a standard. I think maybe she needs to bring back the show, and help America vet these nominees.
  4. Such a shock to lose Joe Neal — I didn’t always agree with him, but he was a fine man and one of the very best, most dedicated House members.
  5. SC lawmakers have $522 million in added money to spend — Please don’t say this means they won’t raise the gas tax. Please don’t say this means they won’t raise the gas tax. …

Open Thread for Monday, February 13, 2017

Not a very newsy Monday, but we’ve got what we’ve got:

  1. Flynn’s Position as Security Adviser Grows Tenuous — That’s the WSJ’s take on it, to which I think, really? I mean, if Trump were to back away because someone in his circle did something inappropriate, that would certainly be news. And promising…
  2. Standing Rock chairman looks to history as divisions emerge among activists — This, which isn’t even a breaking news story, is currently the lede on The Guardian. You know why? Because it fits that paper’s “America the Oppressor” narrative. Also above the fold (or I guess I should say, “before the scroll”) — a piece headlined, “Chelsea Manning: to those who kept me alive all these years, thank you.” Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy? I enjoy reading The Guardian, but I have to overlook the quirks, of which the most glaring is anti-Americanism.
  3. Meet the WWII computer programmer whose name will replace white supremacist’s at Yale — All those words, when the headline could have said “Grace Hopper” and “John C. Calhoun.” (And “white supremacist?” Seems kind of anachronistic for Calhoun. Like saying Attila the Hun had self-esteem issues.) We know who those people are, right? I may have told this story before, but: My Dad was sent to take a course taught by Adm. Hopper back in the 1950s. He kept thinking, I’m a naval officer. Why do I need to know about computers? How will they ever affect my life?
  4. Trump turns Mar-a-Lago Club dinner table into open-air situation room — Security breach was on the menu as the North Korean missile launch was discussed in front of waiters and other non-cleared personnel. Welcome to the exhibitionist presidency.
  5. The Fix: We’ve never seen anything like Trump’s rough treatment of his White House staff — Just in case you were wondering where all those leaks were coming from, here’s an explanation.
  6. Gerrymandering is the biggest obstacle to genuine democracy in the United States. So why is no one protesting? — Because people who take to the streets to protest things usually don’t understand what’s actually wrong, that’s why. But yeah, this is what’s wrong. By the way — did y’all see about Nikki Setzler’s reform bill? Good for him. Of course, it’s going nowhere since he’s a Democrat, but who else is going to bring up the real problem?
Nikki Setzler/2016 file photo

Nikki Setzler/2016 file photo

Open Thread for Friday, February 10, 2017

A little something to ease us into the weekend:

  1. Ways and Means adds reform to gas tax proposal — That’s what I’ve been waiting to see. But before I can make up my mind, I need to see details. Below, in the comments, is a release about what Ways and Means did. Here’s The State‘s story, which barely touches on the reform part.
  2. Court deals blow to Trump, maintains freeze on travel ban — This is old now, but I missed it when I posted the Open Thread early yesterday. And it’s yuge. Yay, Constitution! The most telling fact in the case is that the administration has NO evidence that anyone from any of those countries posts a threat to the U.S. As Charles Krauthammer notes, “Not a single American has ever been killed in a terror attack in this country by a citizen from the notorious seven.” If you want to know just how unhinged Trump is from reality, you might start there.
  3. As Trump Backs Off on Taiwan, China Gains Upper Hand — In other words, he lost face in China by going all in-your-face, then backing down to the default One-China policy. That’s another thing about Trump. Even when he does the consensus, conventional thing, he manages to do it in a context where the U.S. loses. What worries me is that if this story’s right, he may never walk back a confrontational position again.
  4. All Ruth’s cheese spread packed at SC plant recalled — In SC, this is a crisis. As for me, that’s it. I’m never eating a bite of pimento cheese again.

Open Thread for Thursday, February 9, 2017

Southern_Chivalry

Some quick hits:

  1. South Carolina’s $100M nuclear claim against feds dismissed — This is about MOX. And the one thing I know about MOX is that it always seemed like a good idea to me and I’ve always wanted to see it move ahead. I don’t know from all the legal ins and outs…
  2. Gorsuch Calls Trump Critique of Federal Court ‘Demoralizing’ — This is almost 24 hours old now, but most news outlets are still leading with it. My response now is the same it was last night: Let’s get this guy confirmed ASAP. (Of course, I had already thought that before.)
  3. Trump lashes out at senator who revealed Supreme Court nominee’s comments — Yeah, because that makes a lot of logical sense. But I’m not complaining. It’s better than withdrawing Gorsuch’s nomination or something.
  4. Snow Shuts Down Cities Across Northeast — But will we get any? NO…
  5. SC senators’ fistfight ends Warren debate a century later — People keep bringing up this, and the Preston Brooks incident, and ol’ Strom’s more active episodes, as though they’re trying to say something about us South Carolinians. What, I don’t know…

Open Thread for Monday, February 6, 2017

Well, um, actually a pretty newsy little Monday. After this, we’re going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time:

  1. Trump tries to salvage travel ban amid numerous legal briefs to block it — Our top story tonight. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single big story without you-know-who smack in the middle of it. Think maybe he’s peaking a little soon, maybe getting overexposed? Could be. But hey, he’s the one who wanted to shake things up, right?
  2. Donald Trump should not be allowed to speak in UK parliament, says Speaker — Yo, Bercow — watch out! Trump’s likely to put you “on notice”… #youjustmadethelistbuddy
  3. Trump claims the media is covering up terrorist attacks — You know, I was going to make a joke about this, say something like, “You mean, like the Bowling Green Massacre?” Or say something pedantic such as “You mean media are, not media is.” But then I  just got totally creeped out reading that the actual President of the United States told U.S. Central Command that the “dishonest press doesn’t want to report” on terrorist attacks, claiming that “they have their reasons.” We’re talking serious Looney Tunes, folks.
  4. SC Gov. McMaster asks President Trump for $5 billion for state roads, port — Dang, Henry! Claus has been wanting some SC news, and you have to go pulling Trump into that, too! Don’t you think he’s done enough by sending Nikki to New York? Yeah, he owes you, but you don’t want to overwork that…
  5. Trump supporters slam Super Bowl ads that celebrate immigrants — Dang again! He’s even horning in on the Super Bowl! I’m trying, Claus; really I am. By the way, y’all, this counts as a sports post, so enjoy…

Open Thread for Thursday, February 2, 2017

For whatever reason, this image kept coming to mind as I was putting this post together.

For whatever reason, this image kept coming to mind as I was putting this post together. Apologies to Hank Ketcham.

Every day it’s like this, and it’s going to keep on being like this, until Donald Trump no longer occupies the Oval Office:

  1. Europe Suddenly Worries Its Biggest Threat Is the U.S. — Yep. From leader of the Free World and chief guarantor of security, we have sunk to this.
  2. ‘This was the worst call by far’: Trump badgered, bragged and abruptly ended phone call with Australian leader — By the way, all of y’all who asked “How bad could it be?” if Trump were elected — I point you to this, his effort to wreck our relationship with Australia, of all countries. Obviously, this guy should not hold the lowliest post in government, much less be heading it.
  3. Defense Chief Seeks to Reassure Jittery Allies on Asia Trip — Thank God there’s this one grownup in this administration. Actually, should we even call it an “administration” when, instead of administering, it does little but wreak havoc?
  4. Trump defends chaotic foreign policy: ‘We’re going to straighten it out, OK?’ — Which I suppose is a promise to put out the fires that he himself sets.
  5. Trump’s unorthodox speech at the National Prayer Breakfast — He said those assembled should “pray for Arnold” because he doesn’t have awesome ratings like Trump’s on that stupid “reality TV” show. Really. The President of the United States said this. At a prayer breakfast.

Open Thread for Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Laura and Rob

Laura and Rob Petrie

I’ve been really tied up today with a client that had some news to get out, and I’m about to run to an event, so just very briefly:

  1. Leatherman re-elected to lead SC Senate — I’m sure y’all were on pins and needles about how this would come out, so I thought I’d let you know, just to relieve the suspense…
  2. Trump Orders Mexican Border Wall — This one’s probably a big shock to you, too… sorry to throw so many of them at you at once.
  3. Trump seeks ‘major investigation’ into his unsupported claims of voter fraud — Because you know, we just really need to be wasting time and money on this thing that exists only in Trump’s fevered imagination.
  4. White House draft order calls for review on use of CIA ‘black site’ prisons — Also, he may reinstitute torture. Just FYI, in case any of y’all were thinking about getting into the terrorism game.
  5. Cobb Theatres pulls out of Bull Street development — They were going to build a 10-screen “luxury cinema.” Now they’re not.
  6. She Turned The World On With Her Smile: Mary Tyler Moore Dies At 80 — I like best to remember her from “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” saying, “Oh, Ro-o-o-o-b-b!”

Open Thread for Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Screengrab of WIS feed of McMaster's swearing-in.

Screengrab of WIS feed of McMaster’s swearing-in.

Sorry I hadn’t had time to post today before now, but here you go:

  1. McMaster becomes governor of SC — After Nikki Haley is confirmed for U.N. post. You knew both of those were going to happen. After this, it gets interesting.
  2.  Israel approves huge expansion of settlements in response to Trump presidency — Yeah… that doesn’t sound great, even though I opposed the Obama administration’s abstention. Still… not stabbing Israel in the back is one thing — but more settlements? Don’t worry, though — Nikki’s on the case…
  3. Trump signs executive orders seeking to revive controversial oil pipelines — If you’ll recall, the Energy Party (known to the White House as the Enery Party) is on record as favoring the Keystone Pipeline. Or at least, we did in 2012. I don’t know what I think about the Dakota one….
  4. Leatherman resigns to avoid becoming lieutenant governor — Which is what I’d do in his place — if I had the votes to come back. Meanwhile, Kevin Bryant steps up to accept the booby prize, which he seems to actually want. Folks who don’t want a NC-style bathroom bill in SC should hope Henry stays healthy.
  5. Corley resigns after being indicted for CDV — Unlike Leatherman, though, I don’t think this one is coming back.
  6. Donald Trump still holds baseless belief that millions voted illegally — Yeah, he’s like that. The White House says this is based on “evidence”… that the White House is not sharing. So, ya know — Situation Normal, All Trumped Up.

Open Thread for Thursday, January 19, 2017

"That block was already messed up."

“That block was already messed up.”

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

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

Open Thread for Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

Something I received just now from Lindsey Graham…

Open Thread for Tuesday, December 27, 2016

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

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

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

But here are some things to discuss:

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

 

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

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