Open Thread for Wednesday, September 2, 2015

North to Alaska: POTUS checks out some fjords.

North to Alaska: POTUS checks out some fjords.

It’s been a busy day for me, but here are some topics to discuss amongst yourselves:

  1. Obama secures votes to clinch Iran victory in Congress — We’ve seen this coming for a couple of days, but before that, it would have surprised me. How did we get here? It seemed like all Republicans and some Democrats were against it, so… what happened? ‘Splain the math to me…
  2. Chinese Navy Ships Operating in Bering Sea Off Alaska Coast — Fascinating development. I heard a story on the radio yesterday about how the Russians are using their icebreaker fleet to open shipping routes to Europe through the Arctic (the Northwest Passage!), and now this. All this as Obama becomes first sitting president to travel north of the Arctic Circle. It’s “Ice Station Zebra” time.
  3. U.S. Stocks Regain Footing — Now that’s more like. This is the kind of story I want to read, if forced to read financial news. Don’t give me any more of that junk like yesterday. Got that?
  4. Draft Biden super PAC hires SC staff — Meanwhile, Inez Tenenbaum and Gerald Malloy will be state co-chairs of the effort.
  5. Trump: Jeb Bush Should Be ‘Speaking English’ — Because he hadn’t said anything truly outrageous all week, so he was due.


15 thoughts on “Open Thread for Wednesday, September 2, 2015

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Actually, “Ice Station Zebra” wasn’t the right pop-culture reference. What was that movie — I think it might have been made for TV — in which the U.S. and the Soviets get into WWIII, and the outcome ends up depending on a firefight between two small units somewhere in the Arctic?

    At least, I don’t THINK “Ice Station Zebra” is the right reference. I actually never saw it. I figured Howard Hughes watched it enough for both of us…

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        The Dirty Dozen, The Split, and much later, Small Soldiers.

        They must have had the same agent?

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          DINGDINGDING! The answer we were looking for was “The Dirty Dozen.”

          Anyone besides me read the novel, by E.M. Nathanson? WAY better than the movie, despite the wonderful performances by Lee Marvin as Reisman and John Cassavetes as Victor Franko.

          I love it, partly because it was the first really adult (complete with “adult” scenes, which I read repeatedly) novel I read, back when I was 14. I’ve read it many times since then.

          The black character in the novel, Napoleon White, was MUCH more interesting than the Jim Brown character in the movie. He had been an officer, and he engaged in intellectual debates with Reisman, who also had a fascinating backstory…

          1. Kathleen

            Loved the movie. Came across the novel YEARS later. Glad I saw the movie first. The book was better and I wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie nearly as much.

  2. Bryan Caskey

    Jeb! is speaking spanish? Next step: He should start talking like Tuco from “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”. He could refer to Trump as “Blondie”.

  3. Doug Ross

    “The former aide to Hillary Clinton who helped set up and maintain her private email server has declined to talk to the FBI and the State Department inspector general’s office, as well as a congressional committee, invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself, sources familiar with the investigation confirmed to Yahoo News.”

    If you haven’t done anything wrong, it sure makes you look guilty when you invoke the 5th amendment. It’s his right but it hurts Hillary at the same time.

    She will NOT be the nominee of the Democratic Party. Thankfully.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      Hey, I don’t blame Hillary’s IT guy for invoking his Fifth Amendment rights. What needs to happen is that he should be granted immunity from prosecution.

      Hillary ain’t going to be indicted, though. She’s too connected/powerful to be indicted. Peons like you or me, though? We’d be toast.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Funny story from my reporting days…

        When I was Gibson County Bureau Chief of The Jackson Sun (which means I supervised myself and a secretary who also worked for advertising and circulation) and covered several counties, I happened to develop several lawyers as sources in the town of Huntingdon, and they (knowing all the gossip) kept me up on everything happening in Carroll County. Two of them were partners, and whenever I was passing through town for whatever reason, I’d drop by their office just to shoot the bull, and leave with three or four stories to pursue.

        Anyway, they had a young associate fresh out of law school, and one day when I was visiting, the partner I was talking to took an urgent phone call from him. He was in the middle of a criminal trial (or maybe just a hearing) in another county, and a problem came up and he was calling, desperate to know what to do.

        The partner said, “Have him take the Fifth.” Then they spoke for another minute, and hanging up the phone, the partner busted out laughing. He gave me the background and then told me that when he had told the associate to have his client take the Fifth, he had reacted with amazement: “You mean, I can really DO that?” He thought it was just something you see in gangster movies. And the partner thought that was hilarious.

        The young lawyer thought it was SO cool that he could actually do that.

        It was probably like the first time an editor gets to run into the press room and say “Stop the presses!” — which was something I had occasion to do a few times over the years…

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