Open Thread for Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What does it mean to be "presidential?" Here, POTUS shares the bully pulpit with a rapper -- albeit a very nicely dressed one.

What does it mean to be “presidential?” Here, POTUS shares the bully pulpit with a rapper — albeit a very nicely dressed one.

Where is everybody today? This some kind of holiday nobody told me about? Oh well… I might as well toss out some topics for those few of you who are paying attention today…

  1. House overrides Gov. Haley’s $40 million farm-aid veto, 112-2 — Now it’s the Senate’s turn. I know how one senator, Tom Davis, is likely to vote on it. He’s with the governor. Interestingly, he’s also with her in supporting the expenditure of $40 million on beach renourishment to help out the tourism industry…
  2. On anniversary of Brown v. Board, new evidence shows U.S. schools are resegregating — Which is not terribly shocking to those who have paid attention, although it should be.
  3. 31 Olympians could face ban after doping retest, officials say — Just because y’all complain we don’t talk enough about sports.
  4. West Columbia man stole $68 steak to pay child support, he told police — He must have thought it was legal tender… Yeah… I used this just so I could say that. But folks, if I’ve learned nothing else from working with the SC Center for Fathers and Families, the practice of holding jail over men’s heads to get them to pay support — thereby inspiring them to acts of desperation — is no laughing matter. (Seriously, think for a second: how much support can a man provide when he’s in jail?)
  5. ‘Presidential’? It’s in the Eye of the Voter, Trump Shows — All about the rapid decline of standards among the electorate — or at least, the portion that will consider voting for Trump. And to go with that, we have…
  6. Former Mafia-linked figure describes association with Donald Trump — If you can’t be presidential, hang with a Man of Respect.

11 thoughts on “Open Thread for Tuesday, May 17, 2016

  1. bud

    1. The governor and the general assembly have different ideas on how to pick “winners” in our so called “free” enterprise system. Bunch of damn hypocrites.

  2. Barry

    Schools are resegragating. The question now will have to be is that the way most groups want it.

    It often seems that way.

  3. Mark Stewart

    #4: I am still fine with holding fathers’ feet to the fire when they chose to ignore their children’s needs. In return, however, I would expect that the family court do that when it is the other party to the child’s being here on earth who is the one with the issues.

    That never happens. To the children’s loss…

    In the court’s eyes, fathers are prejudiced minorities. All of them. In every circumstance.

    There is a lot to think about in this; and not just with regard to fathers. Or even mothers.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Thanks in large part to the SC Center for Fathers and Families, the system is changing its views. DSS, and to some extent the courts, have been coming around to realizing that helping a man become a better, engaged father (which includes getting a job and paying child support) is way better for everybody.

      In keeping with that, the Child Support Enforcement division at DSS has changed its name to Child Support Services, in a conscious effort to get away from the “round ’em up and lock ’em up” paradigm.

      Consequently, in partnership with DSS, SCCFF is expanding its services this year to cover all 46 counties. It’s a big, and very positive, development.

      CFF rejects the “deadbeat Dads” stereotype. Yeah, some fit that description. But most want to be better Dads; they’re just “dead broke,” and they don’t know how to turn the situation around without some guidance…

      1. Bryan Caskey

        Eh, the laws we have in place can always be made better here and there. Overall, the child support enforcement system works about as well as it can. Non-custodial parents get plenty of chances to deal with their child support issues.

        One huge problem that I see quite often is when a non-custodial parent suffers a dramatic reduction in their income (being laid off, being unable to work, or simply being fired) they are generally entitled to a reduction in their support amount (with some caveats). A large number of non-custodial parents don’t actually go back to court and petition for a modification of their obligation, so the amount owed still keeps on piling up. Eventually, they get around to trying to modify, but it’s more difficult to deal with the accumulated arrearages.

        Whether to incarcerate or not is still in the discretion of the presiding judge. Some are harsher than others. Some non-custodial parents are more sympathetic than others. All in all, the system is what it is. It ain’t perfect, but nothing is.

        1. Dave Crockett

          Some 20+ years ago as a non-custodial parent, I had to go back to court just to get a firm visitation schedule with my sons. The original agreement just said “ times of mutual convenience” which my ex generally interpreted as solely her convenience, including my bearing the entire obligation for making the 90-minute round trips to pick up and return the boys. Going back to court cost me nearly $1000 out of pocket and saw my child support obligation rise by about 25 percent. But at least I got the visitation issue resolved (though I still had to make all the trips)….

        2. bud

          My personal experience with the family court system is that it worked EXTREMELY well for the attornies. For everyone else, including the kid, not so much.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Remember, Walter Scott fled — and was shot in the back and killed — because he was wanted for child support.

      The old punitive model is not best…


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