And she’s our National Security Advisor? Yikes!

Conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin brings my attention, belatedly, to this recent shocker from, not some average person on the street, but our National Security Advisor — a Phi Beta Kappa Stanford history major and Rhodes scholar:

The Tweet was evidently in anticipation of today, the 70th anniversary of V-E day — which was not the end of the war. In case you, too, are confused.

When I first saw that Ms. Rubin had mentioned her confusion, I thought, Aw, she probably just typed “V-J Day” when she meant “V-E Day,” a slip anyone could make, even when they know better.

But no. She specifically said “end of WWII,” and brought up the Japanese, implying that she actually thought this was the day that hostilities with Japan ended.

Of course, maybe she was just looking ahead to August, and celebrating that anniversary instead of this one. But I don’t think so.

Back when her potential candidacy for secretary of state was being discussed, I already had reason to fret about Ambassador Rice’s competence, for reasons that went way beyond Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. But this just floors me.

79 thoughts on “And she’s our National Security Advisor? Yikes!

  1. Bryan Caskey

    “Stupidity is not the lack of knowledge, but the illusion of having it.” -Stuff Plato probably said, Vol. I

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    She probably doesn’t do her own tweets, not that that is defensible. We don’t want stupid spokestweeters.

    1. Doug Ross

      Agree. I doubt she actually composed the tweet. If she’s like Hillary, she doesn’t know how to do it.

      1. Juan Caruso

        Let me get this straight. For some reason business people may delegate their authority to underlings but never their ultimate responsibility for serious error. Yet, some appear to excuse ultimate responsibility when a lapse occurs in important offices of the world’s most formidable government ?

        Rice is responsible for the tweet, even if composed by her assistant deputy to her under secretary for daily public relations (campaign strategy for eventual elected office).

        Their may be gravitational limits on what goes uphill, but let ‘s not forget that our lawyer in chief nominated Rice without senate confirmation.

  3. Phillip

    No, it’s not a good thing to confuse V-E day and V-J day, but I’m glad there are pundits around like Jennifer Rubin to remind us (and Jeb Bush, whose article she approvingly cites), that is, neo-cons who remember these things much better. That’s because for them, every day is 1939, every adversary is the Third Reich, every attempt to defuse or resolve conflict by means other than force makes one a “Neville Chamberlain,” and every action America takes in the world must be good “because, because, because, well…we’re the good guys—remember World War Two?!”

    So any error of remembering (confusing April and August of the year 1945) is especially galling to neocons because they live in that war and that time every single day and can’t move forward.

    1. Doug Ross

      The Greatest Generation wasn’t anything of the sort. Nostalgia mixed with jingoism = false heroes.

        1. Doug Ross

          Was it REALLY the Greatest Generation? By what standard is that designation so obvious?

            1. John

              I’m an optimist, so I’m going to propose the next generation is. At least until the one after that comes along. I knew several WW II veterans and two of them were my godparents. None of them bought into Tom Brokaw’s nostalgia fest and all of them hoped our greatest days were still ahead. It doesn’t mean those guys weren’t heroes, but none of them would have arrogated the term “greatest.”

              Re Brad’s assertion that August, not May was the end of the war, shocked, shocked I am that both he and Dr. Rice fail to count the signing of the Treaty of San Fransisco in April of 1952 as the actual end of WWII! 😉

              1. Bryan Caskey

                “I’m an optimist, so I’m going to propose the next generation is. At least until the one after that comes along.”

                Objection, your honor; counsel is assuming facts not yet in evidence.

                The relevant question is: “What is the greatest generation of Americans as of now.” You can’t cheat and say it’s some theoretical generation in the future. That’s like using one of your three wishes from a genie to wish for more wishes.

            2. Doug Ross

              None. Each generation has it’s own unique accomplishments and negatives.

              The best thing about “The Greatest Generation” was it won WWII. The worst thing about that same generation is that it spawned the military industrial complex that has led us into way too many “wars” since then.

              1. Bryan Caskey

                “None. Each generation has it’s own unique accomplishments and negatives.”

                Oh, so every generation gets a trophy for participation? That doesn’t sound like you. Which generation do we blame for Prohibition? They’re in last place on my list.

                Caskey’s Top 5 American Generations:

                1. The Generation of the Founding Fathers. (Decided not to take guff from England; set up our government.)
                2. The Generation born from about 1800-1840. (Fought to keep the Union together – kind of a big deal.)
                3. The GI (or Greatest) Generation. (Went through a mild economic downturn, resolved a small dispute in Europe, and then convinced the Japanese to chill out.)
                4. Every other generation is tied for fourth place, except for….
                5. The Generation that decided that Prohibition was a good idea.

            3. Doug Ross

              And if we’re holding a “Greatest Generation” contest, the one that spawned people like Bill Gates and the technological revolution of the past 30 years is a pretty good one.

              I think we tend to forget how many close minded people were part of the Greatest Generation. Racism and sexism were culturally acceptable for 20 years past the end of the war.

              Joe McCarthy was a WWII Marine. Robert McNamara was a WWII Air Force Veteran. They weren’t so “great”, were they?

            4. Doug Ross

              There are no participation trophies, Bryan. Because there is no game to play. Each generation has members who have been great and others who have not. There is no way to sum up and rank them.

            5. Doug Ross

              ” The Generation born from about 1800-1840. ”

              Owned slaves. Killed Indians. Otherwise, cool dudes.

            6. bud

              The generation that invented disco music is, of course, the greatest generation. No pretention. No snobbery. No boorish arrogance about what constitutes a great piece of music. This generation only cared about having fun. And that’s as it should be.

            7. Brad Warthen Post author

              I like Bryan’s Top Five generations. And I’m inclined to go along with his No. 1 pick, The Generation of the Founding Fathers.

              Although I’m not sure the WHOLE generation should get credit. There was this really awesome subset — the well-educated group that declared independence and wrote the Constitution. Adams, Hamilton, Madison, Washington, Jefferson: That’s an outstanding group.

              But you get outside of the meeting rooms in Philadelphia and you have more of a mixed bag. Don’t forget that a LOT of Americans were Tories. And I’ve mentioned to y’all in the past that I have problems with the Minutemen, shooting at the duly constituted authorities in the conduct of their duty.

              But still, plaudits to the Founders.

              Some other awesome generations…

              First half of the 1st century: Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, Augustus, etc.

              First century B.C., for that matter — Caesar, Mark Antony, Pompey, Cicero, etc., all did some world-shakin’.

              The Discovery Generation: Columbus, Magellan, Ponce de Leon, Balboa — and back home, you had Ferdinand and Isabel, Henry VIII, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas More, Machiavelli.

              I’m not saying they all did GOOD stuff. One tends to frown on their Most Catholic Majesties tormenting the Jews and Muslims out of Spain. But they did BIG stuff…

            8. Brad Warthen Post author

              It’s fascinating how people who had very, very different huge effects on history were often related and knew each other, even though we remember them for very different things.

              Last night was the last episode of “Wolf Hall,” which covered both of Hillary Mantel’s novels about Thomas Cromwell, and I haven’t watched it because I want to finish the second book first (about two-thirds finished, as of lunchtime). So I’m reading along, and I suddenly remember that Catherine of Aragon, whose unhappy union to Henry VIII launched the English Reformation, was not only the aunt of the Holy Roman Emperor, but the DAUGHTER of Ferdinand and Isabel.

              SHE (unwillingly) launched the Anglican Church, while Mom and Dad financed the discovery of the New World. In addition to completing the Christian reconquest of Spain, and setting their country on the path to becoming the world’s greatest superpower.

              Quite a fam.

            9. Brad Warthen Post author


              Here I am mostly through the second book, and it’s what… early 1530s? So, 40 years after Columbus’ first trip.

              And I’ve run across ONE mention of the New World, just in passing. To acknowledge it’s out there, not like anyone cares. Of course, it would be some time before England got interested in America; at this point the English are leaving it up to Spain and Portugal to divide up the world between them. England wouldn’t even attempt (and fail at) colonization until the 1580s.

              So it’s weird. It’s just LOOMING out there, and playing no part in the machinations of Henry, Cromwell, the Boleyns, etc.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            I always thought that was a bit of pious, dutiful respect paid to one’s elders by Brokaw.

            And… I’ve always been envious of that generation, in that they lived through such momentous times and had the opportunity to do such important things, together in a spirit of unity that I’ve never seen in my lifetime. In other words, I’ve had this unseemly tendency to think WE could have been pretty great, too, given that opportunity.

            But… there actually are some things that set that generation apart. Among them:

            — They were particularly suited to meet the challenge of the war. They had been through such privations during the Depression that the hardships of war were somewhat easier for them to bear, and they bore them well. Many soldiers had never eaten as well as they did in the Army. So basically, many of them were sort of pre-toughened for the test, in ways unimaginable for those of us who grew up soft in the ’60s, for example.

            — It truly WAS a generational thing. It wasn’t just the men who served on the front lines. The feats of production performed by men and women on the home front were heroic and almost unimaginable.

            — Of course, most of these decisions were made by an even older generation, but the approach that this nation and its allies took to the vanquished, and the rest of the world, in the years right after 1945, built a much safer and more secure world. And there was a COMPETENCE to it, a commitment to do the job and to do in right, that sort of staggers the latter-day mind. Just compare our occupation of Germany and Japan, and the peace and prosperity it led to, to our feckless NON-occupation of Iraq after toppling Saddam. Night and day.

            — Then, there was what that generation did after returning from war, particularly as they grew into leadership roles in society. Yes, it was older folks who came up with the GI Bill, but what that generation did with it, building a growing, booming economy, was remarkable. And then there were the momentous social reforms that they presided over, such as the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. (And yes, there were a lot of younger folks taking to the streets before those things happened, but if our political leadership, and the vast consensus of society, had not wanted the Rights Acts to happen, they wouldn’t have happened.) After the war, those folks did great things…

    2. Bryan Caskey

      “That’s because for them, every day is 1939, every adversary is the Third Reich, every attempt to defuse or resolve conflict by means other than force makes one a “Neville Chamberlain,” and every action America takes in the world must be good ‘because, because, because, well…we’re the good guys—remember World War Two?!'”

      I believe that was the original plot of Groundhog Day, but they scrapped the idea after the director decided that Bill Murray couldn’t pull off a convincing neo-con.

    3. Brad Warthen Post author

      Interesting comment, Phillip.

      So you don’t agree that the conflict of 1939-1945 (which is the way it was referred to on signage at the Allied prisoners’ cemetery in Kanchanaburi, rather than the Second World War, which I found interesting) was the one most momentous sequence of events in the past century? You don’t see it as having done more to shape the world we live in than anything else? You don’t consider a complete understanding of it to be important to ANYONE who would conduct international relations?

      If so, that surprises me.

      1. bud

        “So you don’t agree that the conflict of 1939-1945 was the one most momentous sequence of events in the past century? You don’t see it as having done more to shape the world we live in than anything else?”

        I don’t. And I suspect most Europeans don’t either. The European phase of the war was nothing but a continuation of the Great War. It didn’t come about on it’s on accord. Rather, it represented a new phase in the re-shaping of the world’s empires. Without WW1 WW2 makes no sense. A megalomania like Hitler would never have come to power without something very provocative to drive his ambition. Without WW1 the Bolsheviks would have never risen to power. Without WW1 the middle east would never have fomented into this melting pot of avenging grievances which in turn beget more grievances that need avenging.

        Once you understand WW 1 and the colossal stupidity of it then you have a greater perspective on the limited lessons that can be learned from WW2. That’s why these never ending attempts to thwart this or that threat will ultimately always end in failure. We try to apply the lessons of WW2 to situations that cry out for the lessons of WW1 instead. Our military can never eradicate all the terrorist threats by force, be it shock and awe, drones or proxy armies. The only real chance for peace in the middle east and elsewhere is a complete disengagement militarily followed by a move to a benevolent and understanding form of diplomacy. Only with respect to all people and all beliefs will radical groups like ISIS lose their ability to recruit young, naïve and impressionable men and women who see Americans as imperialist bullies. As long as we couch every situation in terms of WW2 we will continue to be disappointed with the results of our efforts.

        1. Bryan Caskey

          “A megalomania like Hitler would never have come to power without something very provocative to drive his ambition. Without WW1 the Bolsheviks would have never risen to power.”

          This is why it’s always wrong to say you would use your time machine to go back in time and kill Hitler. Totally short-sighted.

          If you go back in time and kill Gavrilo Princip, WWI never starts. Hitler becomes a shoddy house painter with a mild case of depression, and Stalin ends up remaining in Siberia, never to be heard from.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Ah, but Princip was but one of seven assassins waiting along that route. Maybe one of the others would have gotten lucky (although they do seem to have been a pretty hapless, incompetent lot).

            Anyone read the Michael Crichton novel, Timeline? It’s about time travel that supposedly isn’t time travel (because Crichton was all about “scientific” thrillers, and maintained that actual time travel was impossible), but a matter of “faxing” oneself to another universe in the multiverse through holes in quantum foam.

            It’s a deeply flawed story, and the biggest flaw is this: After going to all that trouble to explain that it ISN’T time travel, that this is a whole OTHER universe, things that people from this universe go and do in THAT universe have an effect on this one, in the same way that it would if one were traveling back in time in this one. For instance, the universe that the protagonists travel to is exactly the same as this one, only there it is the 14th century. Well, one of the characters who goes there decides to stay, and then when the others return, they go together and visit the grave of their friend.

            Yeah, there’s stuff in there about how the universes do interact and interfere with each other, but that was ridiculous. (Oh, I suppose if the universes ARE exactly alike, then the counterpart of that character went back and made those things happen, or something. But then you get to the absurdity of the universes being exactly alike. How does THAT happen, from second to second with billions of people making decisions every second of every day? Butterfly Effect, anyone?)

            Anyway, my point is… The Bill Gates/Stephen Jobs character who runs the corporation that developed the quantum computer that made this form of travel possible has this soliloquy in which he explains why “time paradoxes” are impossible. Basically, he says you can’t change the course of history, because you’re just one little person.

            To explain, he uses the analogy of attending an interleague baseball game between the Mets and the Yankees. The Yankees are going to win. Can you, as one of thousands of people in the stands, affect the outcome? He said you can’t. Oh, maybe you can assassinate the Yankee pitcher, but he is replaced, and the Yankees still win. Or you blow up the ballpark, thereby stopping the game, but the Mets still don’t win.

            I thought that blithe dismissal was pretty dumb in the final analysis, too, but it was interesting for a moment…

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            Speaking of Hitler, I read a couple of interesting reviews of books from European authors in the WSJ over the weekend. They were so similar, and the reviews were back-to-back on my app.

            The first was “Look Who’s Back,” by Timur Vermes. In it, Adolph Hitler wakes up in a park in Berlin after a 66-year slumber. Everyone thinks he is a very skilled impersonator with “an unusually rigorous approach to method acting.” He takes to YouTube (which he calls “U-Tube”) like a duck to water, and his fame and following grow. People are either appalled by him, or defend him as a brilliant satirist. A neo-Nazi group wants to kill him for supposedly mocking their Fuehrer. Fascinating premise…

            Then there’s the 1986 novel, just translated from the French, “The Death of Napoleon,” by Simon Leys. In this, Bonaparte escapes from his second exile, on St. Helena, catches a ride on a frigate back to Europe under the name Eugene Lenormand. On the way to Paris from Antwerp he stops at Waterloo and finds it’s become a tourist trap. He plans a return to power, but ends up living a quiet life as Eugene — no one will believe that he is Napoleon — living with a widow and running her melon business.

            Interesting pair of “high-concept” plots…

            1. Bryan Caskey

              “living with a widow and running her melon business”

              “Running her melon business”. Now that sounds like a euphemism for you know what if I’ve ever heard one.

      2. Phillip

        Brad, please. There’s an awful lot of room between having “a complete understanding” of 1939-1945 as opposed to viewing virtually all current geopolitical effects through America’s experience of that time. Must we choose one or the other?

        And now that you mention it, I’m not sure I really agree that those years do represent “the most momentous sequence of events…having done more to shape the world we live in than anything else.” I might nominate the World War I period (including lead-up to and post-war, treaty of Versailles, Sykes-Picot Agreement etc.) as “shaping” our current world even more, especially if you think about what we’ve been grappling with in the Middle East for the last 20, 30 years and more. The Second World War really was a continuation of the First. Bud’s comment is absolutely spot-on.

        In any case, history is not just a “top 10” or so list of things-you-must-know with WWII at the top. It’s continuous, flowing, one to the next, in ever-branching rivulets and streams, everything affecting everything afterwards. My original point was simply that historical ignorance of any fact pertaining to WWII must be especially galling to neocon intervention-enthusiasts like Rubin; whereas historical ignorance of other eras (as was, for example, rampant almost to a point of pride in the previous administration) doesn’t seem to bother them as much.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          But… didn’t history end in the early 90s? That’s what us neocons think, anyway. 🙂

          Good point about the First War. Lately, it seems we’re often dealing with how that shook out rather than the second war.

          That said, growing up in post-war America, I just had a stronger sense of feeling the echoes of the 1940s far, far more than the teens. Of course, to a great extent it was the continuation of the first war…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            … which in turn resulted in large part because of the conflict between France and Germany in 1870, and so on, and so on, back to when Caesar crossed the Rubicon…

      3. Kathryn Fenner

        A complete understanding of anything is impossible, much less something as complex as World War II. Any historian worth his/her salt would agree.

    4. Bryan Caskey

      You aren’t completely wrong here, Phillip. One problem with trying to sell interventionism as akin to WWII is that we don’t and won’t fight that way now.

  4. Mark Stewart

    Perhaps this is another example of the limitations of Twitter?

    I expect Nikki Haley writes her own Facebook posts; though I would not expect the National Security Advisor to tweet. Do you?

    If she admits this was her own work, let me know. Otherwise maybe we should spend more time discouraging anyone in the White House (except the Press Secretary) from tweeting, posting, etc.?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      As I’ve said before, I really hope she’s writing her Facebook updates. I’d hate to think someone was being paid to do it and doing it so unprofessionally.

      Wait; let me walk that back…

      I think there are businesslike posts on her feed that could well be staff-written. This one about the Volvo announcement, for instance — although this staffer could have used a copyeditor:

      So very proud to announce that Volvo Cars is announcing there first American plant investing half a billion dollars in our state and creating 4,000 jobs in Berkeley County. Thank you to everyone. This is Team South Carolina at her finest! Anyone interested in employment info can visit

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Shortly before that post was one about her speaking at the USC graduation Friday, and receiving an honorary degree.

        Someone who was there told me that whoever introduced her said “many adjectives have been used to describe Nikki Haley,” which I think sort of had people on pins and needles for the couple of seconds before the speaker got more specific…

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          Steve was there. As The State wrote, there was an uncomfortable silence after Haley made her opening “joke.”

      2. Mark Stewart

        Wow, sounds like Haley herself wrote that one, too.

        Can someone explain how if the State of SC is committing something along the lines of $400 million to lure Volvo that the Governor can say the company is “investing” $500 million in its new plant.

        What if we said Volvo has agreed to accept a subsidy of 80% of its costs to open a factory in one of its two preferred low-cost and port accessible states? Did SC and GA not just play a game where they guaranteed both would lose in an absolute sense so that one or the other could claim a relative political victory against the other?

        So far she has only created jobs by “winning” them with deep governmental subsidies. It’s an amusing contrast to her refusal to allow investment in our state’s infrastructure. Not that it will matter a decade from now, but it would be good if someone would do a study of the net economic return to SC from these Haley investments in subsidizing jobs. Real numbers, not the rah rah bamboozling that is continually foisted on the citizens of SC with outlandish claims like 4,000 jobs and half billion dollar investments.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Unlike many, I’m not that disturbed by such subsidies. I’m not a huge fan, but not really an opponent.

          And of course, I also favor the kind of investment that you allude to. And between the two, I prefer the infrastructure investment. And people investment. The state Chamber is actually more interested a the moment in workforce development than roads, and that is a highly worthwhile concern as well…

          1. Mark Stewart

            If these were binary choices, between preferential subsidies and basic infrastructure, I would chose infrastructure investment. Between infrastructure and education I would chose education.

            However, investment is the sustained process of increasing value. With education, and even more so “workforce development”, a state like SC quickly faces some hard truths that stymie investment returns in this area.

            The first is that no matter how it is pitched workforce development means getting people to abandon the far flung rural areas. After waves of interstate migrations, SC’s demographic soup is cooking down to the thick stock that is sticking to the pot.

            The second is that just like within people individually, our cultural strengths are also our Achilles heels. The institution of slavery continues its corrosive influence in this regard despite people’s desire to move beyond it – both black and white. One example of this would be African-Americans’ cultural valuation of land – family land. It’s an impulse we can all appreciate. And it begins, like most things, with the best of intentions. But over generations, this property inheritance regime quickly turns from a cultural strength to an economic weakness. If one has spent any time at all watching this parceling out occur in the county tax maps and probate records, one quickly sees the ways this impulse is unintentionally destroying both the value of the land and shackling the inheritors to the land and the family regardless of whether they stay or they migrate.

            If the Chamber of Commerce is willing to initiate honest conversations about the long term societal impacts of rural/small town living and of the land inheritance quandry, then the goal of achieving workforce development enhancements is a worthy one. But is it politically palatable in SC to even discuss such issues?

            If not, then maybe infrastructure investment provides the better return for the state as a whole.

            1. Bob Amundson

              Mark, did you see the Op-Ed by Burnie Maybank in Sunday’s THE STATE (How SC Can Ease Lending, Boost Rural Job Growth)? Perhaps rural America can survive without continued migration to population centers. In the rural northeast, where I was raised, small businesses (arts and crafts, small farms, tourism) are gaining strength, improving the small towns that have been hurting since manufacturing moved South.

              1. Mark Stewart

                I did today. I’m not convinced that business capital is the problem in rural areas. Where there are profitable sales one finds capital inflows…

            2. Kathryn Fenner

              One advantage the rural northeast and rural Midwest have over most of rural SC, is that the soil is considerably more fertile. The rural northeast is also far more scenic, for tourism. Artisans also would rather locate somewhere scenic and appealing to tourists.

            3. Brad Warthen Post author

              Until about 10 years ago, when my daughter started training at a ballet school in the small town of Carlisle, PA, I had mostly only visited the urban centers of the northeast.

              But on my many trips to central PA, I spent a lot of time in small towns like Carlisle, Shippensburg, Mechanicsburg, Gettysburg, and so forth — and driving the little two-lane roads between them.

              I was blown away by the vastly different rural heritage that stared me in the face everywhere I went. There were all these beautiful, well-maintained farms with 18th- and 19th-century farmhouses on them, and it was VERY clear that this was a place with a tradition of prosperous farms owned and operated by a free citizenry.

              I had not realized how starkly the collapsed system of slavery showed in our rural areas down South by comparison, but it was like night and day. Yeah, you can see some nice fields and farmhouses around here, but EVERYTHING up there was beautiful and picturesque and inviting.

              You could easily see the prosperity that was such a big factor in the North winning the war…

              1. Kathryn Fenner

                Walter Edgar, among others, has noted that the lousy soils of the sandy parts of the South would only have been farmed with slaves. Now we have all sorts of fertilizers and irrigation, but…

            4. Bob Amundson

              True Kathryn. I miss the Alleghenies and am grateful wife Joan and I still own rural property there (in Allegany County, named from an alternate spelling of Allegheny). Your family, being from Buffalo, most certainly spent time in our ‘hood …

              1. Kathryn Fenner

                My family scarcely went to the other side of Buffalo, although the racetrack in Ontario was popular with some. I remember driving through there when i was a kid when we’d go visit, and thinking it was so incredibly pretty–of course, this was in summer, when Aiken, SC was a scorched sandpit, and not in the spring when that area was a mudslide.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Hey, y’all, check it out…

                I just changed the settings so that replies to replies to replies can go as much as 8 levels deep!

                Cool, huh?

                1. Doug Ross

                  How about a feature to allow registered users to edit comments? Typos show up too frequently when using small devices to type.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Maybe I’ll try to research that this weekend. Y’all have certainly asked me enough.

                    The thing is, when I tried to have y’all register several years back, it was just a mess. All sorts of technical problems, and me not knowing how to help the people having trouble.

                    But maybe it’s easier now…

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Y’all see what I just did? I changed it again, so that replies can go to the TENTH level!

                      Unfortunately, that’s the WordPress limit…

                    2. MarkStewart

                      Unfortunately, this expansion in levels has shrunk the columns in iOS (at least) to almost unreadable proportions. So maybe the old limit was better?

                    3. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Ah… I hadn’t thought of that.

                      This blog is responsive, meaning that it will adjust its proportions to fit on whatever screen you try to view it on. I had not thought to look at one of these deep threads on my iPhone. Maybe I’d better do that…

                    4. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Hmmm… actually, on my iPhone the comments are all the same, full-screen width. They don’t contract at ALL.

                      OK… on my iPad, it looks pretty insane.

                      So… I’m gonna dial it back to 7. I wonder what will happen to these comments when I do that…

              2. Brad Warthen Post author

                OK… I see it just takes everything OVER level 7 back to level 7. Oh, well. I just wanted to see what happened when I took it to an extreme.

                Also, I had noticed that we had reached the limit a number of times recently, and I wanted to reply directly to a comment, and couldn’t.

                But we must accept some limits in life…

              3. Brad Warthen Post author

                When I said, “Hey, we’re taking it to TEN levels!” I was thinking of my favorite-ever piece in The Onion, allegedly by the CEO of Gillette, headlined, “F__k Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades.” An excerpt:

                Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the f__king vanguard of shaving in this country. The Gillette Mach3 was the razor to own. Then the other guy came out with a three-blade razor. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the Mach3Turbo. That’s three blades and an aloe strip. For moisture. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I’m telling you what happened — the bastards went to four blades. Now we’re standing around with our c__ks in our hands, selling three blades and a strip. Moisture or no, suddenly we’re the chumps. Well, f__k it. We’re going to five blades….

  5. bud

    Let’s not forget rejecting the Medicaid money. That infusion would produce a far greater economic benefit that hundreds of millions going to a foreign car company.

    1. Doug Ross

      Is there data to support your claim? Seems like we could track higher growth in those states that accepted it versus those that didn’t.

      1. Bob Amundson

        A study by Deloitte in Kentucky, the first state to release a postexpansion study with updated estimates on the impact of their Medicaid expansion, the estimated economic contribution is projected to be $30.1billion from 2014 to 2021. Their report also finds that there will be a net positive impact on their state budget of $919.1 million and job growth of 12,000 jobs in state fiscal year 2014 and 40,000 jobs from state fiscal year 2014 to 2021.

          1. Bob Amundson

            I was not a big fan of ACA, as I believed you control costs before expanding coverage. I felt the money spent on ACA would have been better spent on our Nation’s physical infrastructure.

            However, it seems the consequences of ACA have not been as severe as predicted by the naysayers. We do have an interesting nationwide data experiment in progress, being able to compare health and economic outcomes in States that expanded Medicaid and those that did not.

      2. bud

        Here’s a pretty convincing study from the Urban Institute discussing the economic benefits of accepting the Medicaid money.


        “In 2014, many states will expand Medicaid to cover their poor and near-poor residents, but others will not. As the final undecided states make up their minds, a new report shows that in 10 diverse states, very different approaches were taken to analyzing impacts. Those states that conducted comprehensive analyses found that Medicaid expansion will: (a) provide state savings and revenues that exceed increased costs, yielding net state budget gains and (b) result in increased employment because of the influx of federal dollars.”

        1. Doug Ross

          Looks like south Carolina should accept the money. The legislature could do that without Nikki Haley’s support, right?

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            I don’t know what the terms are. The bailout money back in 2008 I believe required the governors to request it and Sanford wouldn’t, until someone made him? Anybody remember that?

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I don’t know, either. Resistance has been so general among Republicans that it hasn’t really been important to make that distinction.

              This isn’t one of those things where it’s Nikki against the Legislature. They’ve pretty much been in agreement, which is why the recent attempt to provide some coverage for the uninsured was slapped down.

              The executive branch has been more visible on the issue, particularly when Tony Keck was still at HHS, making the case against expansion.

              But I’m not even sure we’d get expansion if suddenly the governor had a road-to-Damascus experience and started ADVOCATING for it. Especially with the way she’s been alienating her fellow Republicans recently…

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Of course, with things as they are, even if the Legislature DID pass expansion, they’d have to do it by a veto-proof majority.

                We are just really, really far from anything like that happening.

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            OK, now that Doug’s on board, there should be no obstacles to SC taking the deal.

            Except that Doug can be persuaded by evidence, and the people who are keeping us from taking it cannot. This is about refusing to have anything to do with anything tainted by that horrible Barack Obama person.

            That is far, far too important to the governor and her fellow resisters in the Legislature for them to move on this.

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