TOTALLY Open Thread for Thursday, November 6, 2014

This is wide open, because I have ZERO time for blogging today.

OK, one suggestion: Does anyone think there is a Unified Field Theory explanation for election results Tuesday? I don’t; I never do. I believe voters have brains, and every box they checked on their ballots was for a separate set of reasons. That’s how the world actually works.

But that doesn’t stop the “It’s either one thing or the other” binary crowd from trying to offer simplistic explanations, especially when it’s to their advantage to do so. So we have the idiotic headline on an inside page of The State that says, “This election was all about Obama.” (It had a different headline online.)

That in the same edition that also reports, “Preliminary exit polls found that 33 percent of voters were registering displeasure with Obama.” Which means the rest of the voters had other things on their minds. And, just a wild thought here, even the 33 percent probably had some additional factors acting on them.

Karl Rove, of course, is going the simplistic route: “How big was Tuesday’s devastating repudiation of President Obama, his policies and his party?”

Anyway, what do you think?

36 thoughts on “TOTALLY Open Thread for Thursday, November 6, 2014

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    The top story at our breakfast table was the increased security protocols for military bases. The professor moonlights teaching engineering math to officers at Fort Gordon, as a sub-contractor, so this will affect him, but also, would an FBI criminal records check really stop a whacko with a gun? How many shooters have had a record?
    It seems to me that metal detectors or gun-sniffing dogs would be more useful, but would sure slow ingress!

    1. Bryan Caskey

      Never heard of a gun-sniffing dog. I’m not sure that’s a thing.

      Topic of interest for me (later) today: I have some freshly caught shrimp. How to cook them? I’m torn between a light lemon and garlic brushing, or a more Asian style sauce. Either way, they’re likely to be grilled.

      1. Bart


        I cannot eat shrimp due to severe allergies to shell fish developed in my 30s. When I could, I did a scampi using lemon, butter, garlic, and to add a little kick, Hungarian paprika. It is the one dish I miss most, shrimp was my favorite seafood.

      2. Kathryn Fenner

        Fresh shrimp should be allowed to shine through. I vote lemon and garlic. Saute them in high-quality butter, first.

      3. Kathryn Fenner

        There are such things, at least that is what was discussed to deal with Five Points thuggery last fall, by an actual police chief who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was not implemented because of the issues of controlling a dog in such a crowd….

    2. Silence

      It’s too time consuming to make the increased security protocols be anything more than window-dressing. For instance, when I travel overseas and go to our bases, they have 100% screening of automobiles going on base. Not just checking ID’s, but actually making you get out of the car, open all the doors, hood, trunk, glovebox, etc. and go wait in a waiting room while they search the vehicle, and run the dogs through it. It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to get on-base, depending on traffic volume and staffing. Contractors tend to live off base, and so you have a few hundred people coming on base every day.

      Here in the US, you have literally thousands of people commuting to work/shop/recreate on-base, military, civilians, contractors, dependents, schoolchildren, etc. There’s no way to subject them and their autos to the same scruitiny that goes on overseas. They do occasional random searches. It would be logistically impossible to screen every vehicle.. In over a decade of working on military bases in the US, I’ve been in a car that was randomly searched exactly once. Increased screenings and keeping unauthorized people out would not have prevented any of the recent military base shootings that i can recall. This increased security is just an inconvenience, and window-dressing, at best.

    3. Barry

      It would be quite easy to get in to a lot of bases if someone wants to get in.

      The security procedures look good on paper – but couldn’t someone that is crazy create havoc at the security window at any base? There are officers walking around there too.

      Sadly, we live in a world with crazy folks and if they want to hurt people- they will.

  2. Bart

    Not to be crude or insulting to overweight people but Karl Rove should go to a “fat farm” and get his damn head reduced to what it actually is, the head of a pin.

    Arial’s cartoon is exactly what I posted on another site yesterday. When I was in my teens, I had a Renault and every day on my way to work or school, a dog on my street chased the car, barking like crazy. One day I stopped and let the dog do whatever he thought he wanted to do to the vehicle. All he did was look at me with a puzzled expression on his face, barked a couple of times, sniffed the tires, and walked away, satisfied with himself for winning the battle, he defeated the monster – or thought he did.

    That is exactly how Republicans will react once they are sworn in. For now, they are making all sorts of comments about how they are going to fix this and fix that. Just like the dog who chased my car. Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      I think we’ll see the Senate start taking up legislation again. It may not be legislation you completely agree with, but I think things will start to move. At that point, it will be up to the President to decide if he’s going to sign what makes it to his desk.

      I’m a little puzzled with all this “What are you gonna do now, GOP?” posturing. I think they’re going to advance their agenda and put pressure on the President to either veto or sign. Frankly, I don’t understand why there isn’t more horse-trading going on.

      For instance, I am opposed to a minimum wage increase. I’ll even freak you out more, and let you in on the secret that I’m opposed to the very idea of a minimum wage. You disagree, I know. But that’s fine. here’s my deal: I’ll accept a minimum wage increase (slowly, over time) if you’ll give me keystone pipeline and allow additional oil exploration, fracking, and nuclear power plants to be built. Deal? Great. If not, make me a counter-offer.

      Another one: Immigration. How about we put up a physical barrier fence, and otherwise do what we have to do to basically put a stop to illegal immigration. (Don’t tell me we can’t. We put a freakin’ man on the moon.) If we do that, and illegal immigration is substantially reduced for two calendar years, I’ll agree to amnesty for every single damn person in the US that’s here illegally. No back taxes, no requirement to do anything other than to get a SSN and start following the rules as of day 1. (Continue to enforce the border, obviously.) Don’t like that? Make me a counteroffer.

      Closer to Home: Want to have that penny tax increase for roads in Lexington? Fine, you got it. But you gotta get rid of the CON nonsense that’s prevented Lexington Medical Center from doing hearts, and get DHEC out of the CON business permanently. Deal?

      What else do you want? Step right up and make a deal. You make me an offer, I’ll at least make you a counteroffer. Bryan’s house of deal-making is open for business.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Bryan, here’s why people are asking, “What are you gonna do now, GOP?”…

        As a party, they didn’t run on anything. They just ran on what — or who — they were against. Which is not to pick on them — the Democrats did the same thing. It was all about filling voters’ heads with images of the big, bad, horrible opposition. And the GOP won that contest — assuming any of it had anything to do with the outcome, which I doubt. I think you had a dissatisfied electorate, doing in spades what it always does — dump on the president’s party in the mid-terms. And I don’t think voters did even THAT intentionally. It’s just that things tend to work out this way in mid-terms.

        Who disagrees with you about the minimum wage? Not me. As I said on Cynthia Hardy’s show the other night, I don’t know which side’s right. And believe me, I was the only one on the show saying that. The minimum wage is a Democratic Party hobbyhorse that it rides to rally the troops. I don’t see that as one of the sensible-center things I’d like to see the GOP do.

        I’ll pass on your immigration proposal, for two reasons. I continue to believe that an impregnable fence is an absurd overreaction, and unAmerican to boot. And I don’t think I can go for your proposal to “agree to amnesty for every single damn person in the US that’s here illegally.” I’d like to be choosier than that.

        Finally, aside from the fact that I disagree with you on CON — the only thing wrong with it is that it hasn’t been applied rigorously (17 open-heart programs in SC is ridiculous, and reckless) — the penny tax for roads is a local matter, and the CON is a matter of state law. You can’t make a deal because it involves different sets of people. Unless you want to say, let’s raise the gas tax substantially so the STATE can meet these road needs.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          Open-heart pays big bucks. Infectious diseases and trauma, not so much, yet that is what we need far more of…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Actually, what pays, I’m told, is therapeutic catheterizations. But to do those, you have to have surgical backup in-house, in case something goes wrong.

            Lexington claims it’s necessary to have open-heart (now, EXPANDED open heart, since they already have it) to serve people from points west in the county more quickly in an emergency. A question Lexington has never answered adequately is, if that’s your concern, why aren’t you seeking permission for a Level One trauma unit, which would address a much larger range of emergencies?

            Back when the initial round of this CON battle was going on, several years ago, LMC was in the middle of a huge physical expansion. A construction worker was severely injured on the site, and had to be sent to Palmetto Health Richland because that’s the only level-one unit in the area.

            Which caused a lot of people at Palmetto Health and Providence to wonder, Don’t you need THAT more?

            But trauma units are expensive, and they’re not profit centers, if I understand correctly.

        2. Bryan Caskey

          Yeah, but I couldn’t really think of anything that I wanted from ONLY Lexington County. Maybe Lexington could buy the Palmetto Compress warehouse, or something.

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            You scoff, but I have to admit I was wrong about Main Street revitalization. Props to the mayor on that one.
            Folks with the smarts and means to do PCW right are on the job. It’s happening. Just takes a while.

  3. Silence

    I prefer to think of Tuesday’s results as being a repudiation of Obama’s leadership and left-wing policies. I think people generally prefer a smaller, less-intrusive federal government, and all other things being equal, prefer to be less-taxed (sorry Brad!). Now, I think the Republicans have a great opportunity, and if they sell out their base, or F this up, they stand to lose a lot in the next election. I don’t know which voters are pushing for immigration reform, but I doubt it’s the Republican base, for instance.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Your first sentence is exactly what Reince Priebus said on NPR last night.

      And he sounded REALLY obnoxious when he said it. His tone was extremely off-putting. I’d never heard the guy’s voice before, and all I could think was “What a jerk!” Not as much for what he said, as the way he said it.

      I came away knowing one thing for sure: He’d better never try running HIMSELF as a candidate. He was really lacking in appeal…

  4. Mark Stewart

    I saw that JC Penny intends to open its stores at 5 pm on Thanksgiving for Black Friday.

    Overall, it sounds like a pin-head move to me. Nothings sacred anymore. Good thing its JC Penny, hopefully christmas shoppers will vote with their feet and ignore such crass merchandizing.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      Yeah, that’s a shame. Seems like Black Friday should start on…wait for it…Friday.

      On a related topic, I vote with my feet and always try to avoid the act of physically going somewhere to pick up an item that I can purchase on the internet, unless there’s no other option.

        1. Bryan Caskey

          Eh, not really. I typically know what I want after doing some preliminary research. For instance, I bought two handguns over the internet without ever actually holding them beforehand. Love ’em.

          1. Brad Warthen

            Now see, that would be one of the LAST things I’d want to buy without seeing or holding it first. I’d want to know how it felt in my hand.

            But then I seldom spend much money. And when I do, I check out every angle, including getting my hands on the goods. The last big thing I personally bought for myself was an iPad, more than a year and a half ago. That was after weeks of going to Barnes and Noble to play with the Nook, and going to Best Buy to fiddle with the Nook, Kindle and iPad.

            The iPad won out partly because of the camera, partly because it has so many more apps, and partly because the iPhone was already second nature to me, and the software on the others just felt alien.

            I initially bought an iPad mini from Best Buy. Took it back a day or two later because I didn’t like that it didn’t have the Retina screen at that time (when the screen is smaller, you need high resolution MORE, not less). Then I got a full-size one, with Retina display, from Best Buy. Liked it, but when I realized I couldn’t buy the extended Apple warranty without hauling it down to an Apple store 100 miles away (to prove its condition), I took it back and ordered one from Apple.

            I felt bad about using Best Buy so, but there it is. I was making SURE I was satisfied with the product, and wouldn’t lose my investment…

      1. Norm Ivey

        I try to research major purchases online, and then buy locally. It allows me to cut through all the sales crap in the store. We just bought a washing machine and a chest freezer (to make a kegerator), and I spent all of 15 minutes in the store, mostly getting delivery information. I get a price match guarantee if possible, and then get the heck out of the store. If I can’t get an item within a few miles of home, I shop online (like the temperature controller for the kegerator).

    2. Kathryn Fenner

      and who is really going to jump up after turkey to wait in line to go to Penney’s?

      but then again, who are all these Black Friday shoppers, anyway? I get it that some people want deals on big ticket electronics, but otherwise, why?

  5. Rob

    I think the election showed that in South Carolina, you can be a Democrat and get elected to statewide office…as long as you appear with an “R” after your name on the ballot (Molly Spearman).

    1. Barry

      She’s not a democrat. She may not be Super Conservative (thankfully) – but she’s not a Democrat either.

  6. Brad Warthen

    I see that George Will disagrees with Robert’s cartoon. His latest column begins:

    “Unlike the dog that chased the car until, to its consternation, he caught it, Republicans know what to do with what they have caught.”

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