Category Archives: Open Thread

Open Thread for Tuesday, June 20, 2017


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

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




Open Thread for Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Happy Flag Day, folks:

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

Open Thread for Monday, June 5, 2017

one drive

I’m taking a slightly different approach with this one. It’s less like a Virtual Front Page. Some of the most interesting stuff from the last couple of days:

  1. Trump National Security Team Blindsided by NATO Speech — Apparently, none of the grownups were in the room when Trump decided to delete the Article 5 reassurance — after they had worked hard to make sure it was in there. If you don’t understand how pointlessly reckless what Trump did is, you might want to read Charles Krauthammer’s column from Friday.
  2. With his London tweets, Trump embarrasses himself — and America — once again — Excellent piece by Jennifer Rubin, which I retweeted Saturday, saying, “Something he had not done in the past — what? Two or three minutes?” But being Trump, he still managed to explore new areas of crassness.
  3. Donald Trump Poisons the World — Sorry about three Trump items, but after the last few days, dare we look away? This is one of David Brooks’ best columns in awhile, and I didn’t see it until Cindi ran it in the Sunday paper — with the Krauhammer piece mentioned above, as it happens — and if you haven’t yet, I urge you to read it.
  4. Anybody get a threatening email from Microsoft? — Check out the email at the top of this post. I don’t recall ever asking Microsoft for cloud space, much less going over my supposed allowance. Anybody else get a threat like this? I’m not even entirely clear on what “One Drive” is, except that I’ve ignored it whenever it tried to get my attention. Sort of like Cortana. Who needs it?
  5. Have you seen the Wonder Woman movie? — And if so, is it worth my going to see on the big screen? I ask because, while I’ve heard a good bit about it, it’s mostly been cast in What This Means in Feminist Terms (Et tu, Rolling Stone?), and frankly, that’s not what I go to see superhero (or superheroine) movies for. I mean, how does it compare to, say, “Doctor Strange” or “Captain America: Civil War?” Should I just save my money and go see the new Spiderman next month?
  6. Check out this cool simulation — That’s all I have to say. I couldn’t seem to grab the gif itself, so here’s the Tweet in which I saw it:

Open Thread for Thursday, June 1, 2017


Sorry I haven’t been posting. Super busy. And I’m in a rush to get done today because my grandson’s in an “opera” at school this evening.

Remember, this is an open thread, so feel free to introduce your own topics:

  1. Trump Expected to Withdraw From Climate Deal Today — So, ya know… that planet thing? Fuggedaboudit. What do we need with a planet anyway? We got America. Except for California, which will probably do its own thing.
  2. First cases of highly contagious dog flu confirmed — I feel bad for the pooches, but I’m basically just including this for the pictures, for you dog lovers. We’ve got sad pictures (which, let’s face it, is not a stretch for a dog), and even some with surgical masks — see below. Just search on Twitter for “dog flu,” and you’ll get your fill of pitiful cuteness. And if this doesn’t do it for you, try “Stolen puppies go for a wild ride in Mercedes as alleged thieves flee down interstate “. I’m thinking Disney’s already taken out an option on that one… Let me guess — are these the suspects?
  3. Nigel Farage is ‘person of interest’ in FBI investigation into Trump and Russia — Exclusive from The Guardian. This is like the TV version of “Batman” — the same villains keep cropping up.
  4. High IQ and mass murder: Files shed more light on Roof — You know what? I sorta already know all I want to know about this guy. You? And I find the “high IQ” bit highly doubtful…
  5. Grieving SC parents shed light on addiction in 2 obituaries — We owe a debt of gratitude to these parents for their frankness. We need to know what’s going on in our communities. I’ve got a peeve about obits that don’t list the cause of death. Sometimes, disclosing that provides a public service.
  6. Trump decides to keep U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv — for now — OK. I wonder what the position will be next week?

Open Thread for Thursday, May 25, 2017

Graham grill

Sorry I’ve had no posts today before now. Busy day. Here are some items:

  1. Graham grills Mulvaney over cuts to ‘soft power’ — And you know whose side I’m on in this one. (Hint: the sane, rational side). Good on you, Lindsey.
  2. Colin Powell: American Leadership — We Can’t Do It for Free — Just to note that rational Republicans agree with Graham on this, whether they speak up or not.
  3. Appeals Court Rules Against Revised Trump Travel Ban — The courts continue to do their vital job. And this was the 4th Circuit — the conservative one, the polar opposite of the 9th.
  4. Trump tells NATO allies to pay up — Which we all say, but of course we must keep NATO going whether they do or not. Maybe this is one of those cases where the Madman Theory will actually work — the one instance in which Trump is useful. I’m not betting on it, though.
  5. Jared Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation — I wish it were Steve Bannon instead, but you take what you can get.
  6. Trump threatens to prosecute over Manchester attack leaks — Here, he’s standing by Theresa May, as he should. But I wonder if he thinks this is a way of achieving his own goals of stopping leaks back home? I’m thinking of the Trump/GOP narrative that the problem isn’t the awful stuff Trump’s doing, but the fact that we keep hearing about it…
  7. Richland deputy saves choking toddler — I thought you could use some good news, and something local…



Open Thread for Monday, May 22, 2017

The 1812 editorial cartoon from which we get the term "gerrymander."

The 1812 editorial cartoon from which we get the term “gerrymander.”

Not much that’s interesting out there, but here are some talkers:

  1. Justices rule North Carolina improperly relied on race in redistricting efforts — Whoa! If they’re not going to allow that, then there goes every district in South Carolina. And it can’t be too soon. Reapportionment reform!
  2. Trump said what?!? — That’s the headline on a Jennifer Rubin column — one she could use at any time these days, but here she specifically marvels at what Trump said in denying he had revealed the source of code-word intel he gave the Russians: “I never mentioned the word or the name Israel in that conversation.” This puts Trump on the level of my granddaughter when she was about 2. One day her baby brother started crying suddenly and my wife asked her what had happened, since he couldn’t talk. Her reply: “I didn’t kick him in the head!” (He’s fine, by the way. We celebrated his 5th birthday over the weekend. She’s 7 and, unlike our president, way too smart now to incriminate herself that way.)
  3. Flynn takes the Fifth, declines to comply with Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena — That pretty much states it.
  4. Officials: Visitor releases boa constrictor in Congaree park — But that’s not the good part. The good part’s in italics here: “A visitor who thought boa constrictors were a native snake species in South Carolina released one in a Midlands park.” Really? Really? Who would own a boa constrictor and not know where they come from?
  5. Lawmaker apologizes after saying Louisiana leaders ‘should be lynched’ for removing Confederate statues — Well, golly gee… As long as he said he’s sorry… This is getting prominent play on The Guardian because they love stories that make Americans sound like malevolent hammerheads…
  6. You should go give blood — That’s what I’m about to do in a few minutes. I’m giving platelets again, as I do about every two weeks…

Trump reveals U.S. secrets to Russians, and other news


My blog was shut down most of the day. There was a server out of action somewhere, and it took a long time to fix, according to my host. I’m still fuzzy on the details. But here are some topics:

  1. Trump revealed highly classified information to RussiansBREAKING… This was just last week, on the day after he fired Comey for, you know, investigating the possibility of collusion with… let’s see… what country was that?
  2. G.O.P. Senators Begin Edging Away From the President — “And they all started moving away from me on the Group W bench there…” This story actually predates the breaking one above.
  3. Richland Library wins nation’s highest honor — Don’t tell me I never give you any good news. Access freely (a tagline, by the way, created by ADCO when we rebranded the library awhile back). I prefer this kind of “access freely” to the way Trump uses it with regard to the Russians.
  4. McMaster won’t use Richard Quinn for 2018 re-election bid — This is from the Post and Courier over the weekend, but I just learned about it this morning. Looks like there’s some “edging away” going on here in SC as well.
  5. Secret Republican Senate Talks Are Shaping Health Care Legislation — Just in case you got up this morning wondering, “What fresh hell will Washington send my way next?”

Trump fires Comey, and other news of the day

Comey cropped

Yeah, this is an Open Thread, but that first item just demanded to be in the headline:

  1. Comey dismissed after misstatement of Clinton email evidence — Wow. Whoa. Hang on!… I had seen a headline earlier today about Comey’s “oops,” and wasn’t interested enough to read it (the whole Comey-Hillary thing has sort of been done to death). Now this, which has only happened once before.
  2. SC House passes gas-tax hike — Both chambers have passed it with enough votes to override McMaster’s outrageous promise to veto. I still have questions about this bill — especially the pointless tax breaks in it — but on the whole this looks like it’s a good bit better than I would have expected from this General Assembly even a couple of weeks back. So good for them. I think…

And you know what? I’m going to stop there, because everything else looks so uninteresting by comparison…

Open Thread for Friday, April 28, 2017

Mug shots from crime story in The State. Note the way the "whites" of her eyes are totally dark. Is she a Fremen? If so, Fremen are scary.

Mug shots from crime story in The State. Note the way the “whites” of her eyes are totally dark. Is she a Fremen? If so, Fremen are scary.

Sorry I haven’t posted much. Here are a few topics:

  1. Congress passes spending deal to keep government open another week — Woo-hoo! Talk about leadership! These statesmen for the ages can’t get it together to actually DO anything (even stupid things, like repealing Obamacare), but they’ve gone all out and avoided shutting down the government for a whole week! If you see your congressman, be sure to pat him on his overburdened little head.
  2. Economic Growth, at 0.7%, Is Weakest in Three Years — That’s what The Wall Street Journal is leading with. But hey, those Trump tax cuts are going to fix it all up, right, WSJ?
  3. Trump Administration Wants North Korea At Negotiating Table On Nuclear Weapons — Beats the scary news from earlier in the week.
  4. SC needs money for roads, so senators pass tax cuts — Yeah, they did it while increasing the gas tax, but I just can’t stop focusing on the insanity of — when faced with a need for revenue, and you have a tax dedicated to that purpose, it’s lower than the national average, and you haven’t raised it in 30 years — refusing to raise it without cutting totally unrelated taxes? It’s just completely nuts. You say “Hello, good morning” to these guys, and their response is “Yes, let’s cut taxes!” And don’t even get me started on Henry McMaster’s role in all this…
  5. NSA halts warrantless collection of Americans’ emails that mention foreign targets — Why? Sounds like a potentially valuable intel source to me.

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


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


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


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


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…


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