Open Thread for Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Obama Afghan

The president talking about Afghanistan.

Here’s what we have at this hour:

  1. Obama alters Afghanistan exit plan, will leave 8,400 troops — I appreciate that the president is bowing to reality, rather than trying artificially to pull out before he leaves office. I don’t expect that he’ll catch too much flak for it, do you? You can watch his video announcement here.
  2. 7 Years In The Making, Report Finds British Rushed Into Iraq War — NPR — Interesting juxtaposition. It took this group seven years to conclude that the Brits “rushed” into war? And the highlights (sorry, I have no plans to read a 6,000 page, 2.6 million-word document, especially if the headlines are no more surprising than these) are things that Blair’s critics were already saying before this process started. OK, I’ve got it: Thirteen years after Tony had to make a decision, you’ve decided he was wrong…
  3. Corbyn apologises for war on behalf of Labour — The Guardian — Thanks, Jeremy, but didn’t pretty much the entire leadership of the Labour Party tell you last week that it’s time for you to go? So when, exactly, are you leaving? Meanwhile, The Guardian calls Tony Blair “unrepentant.”
  4. Outrage after video captures white Baton Rouge officer fatally shooting a black man — WashPost — This one’s a little hard to follow, but it looks pretty horrific.
  5. About Moe Baddourah’s CDV charge — The State — Yeah, I know this is old news, but we haven’t had a discussion about it yet, and I suppose we should. Also, we don’t have anything newer that’s local.
  6. Belgian Neanderthals ‘were eating each other 40,000 years ago’ — The Guardian — Presumably, English Neanderthals were not. Which is why the Brits just had to get out of the E.U. Or something.




44 thoughts on “Open Thread for Wednesday, July 6, 2016

  1. Tex

    Baton Rouge man shot was a convicted felon, spent 4 years in jail, had to register as a sex offender, and has a rap sheet as long as your arm. Caller reported he had a gun. Cops were familiar with him. That along with resisting arrest and failing to follow police orders ended up getting him shot. It doesn’t sound like it was a big loss to society.

  2. Doug Ross

    Hillary hasn’t done a general press conference in seven months. Think she’s got something to hide? She’s the most packaged candidate in history. Everything is scripted.

      1. Doug Ross

        Hard to stay on script when people are asking you questions you don’t know about in advance.

        Also, if you don’t speak, you can’t lie.

      1. Doug Ross

        The last introvert President was??? Nixon? Seems like an apt comparison to Hillary.

        Seems pretty gloomy to think about an introvert as the leader of the country.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Hey! I’m about as introverted as they come, according to the Myers-Briggs test. (But they don’t use the term quite the way it is used popularly.)

          Anyway, you’re on the right track with your latest comment. When you speculated above that she may be “the most packaged candidate in history,” I was about to say, “not in history, but maybe since Nixon.”

          If you haven’t, you should read “The Selling of the President 1968,” which describes the way Nixon was marketed. The main point I remember from it was that they avoided unscripted encounters with media, making sure every detail was managed when he appeared publicly and on TV.

          That campaign has been much imitated since. Which explains why the press has always loved McCain. His bus was aptly named the “Straight Talk Express,” because he was constantly available to reporters, and he just let the chips fall where they may.

        2. Brad Warthen Post author

          Your introversion point is interesting, especially through the Myers-Briggs filter…

          We can’t KNOW how every president would have been typed by the test, but we can speculate. And a couple of sites I’ve looked at agree with me in labeling Jimmy Carter as introverted — Gerald Ford, too.

          Some sites even call George H.W. Bush introverted. (With all of these, we’re talking about the first of the four letters in the type — I for introverted and E for extraverted.

          They split on whether Nixon was. Personally, I tend toward saying he was extraverted, and here’s why: Under this system, “introverted” means you get your energy from within, and your own judgment is what matters most to you — what other people think is secondary. Extraverts care deeply about what others think of them, and their self-esteem is dependent on what they think others think of them.

          Nixon was a guy who really let other people’s opinion of him get to him, and eat at him. So I’d give him an E, as this site does….

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            I’m very proud to see that all three of the sites I’ve looked at so far agree that Madison and Lincoln were both INTPs — which is what I am…

            FYI, the N stands for intuitive…

          2. Doug Ross

            I was going to say Ford also but he wasn’t elected and likely never would have been.

            Not so sure about Carter. He is very willing to get out in front of the cameras and also seems to be a very warm, caring, spiritual person. I don’t envision Hillary spending her post-Presidency years building houses for Habitat for Humanity.

            Hillary is very Nixonian. I can picture her bugging her own office and authorizing a break in of the Republican campaign HQ. And when (hopefully) she resigns in three years, she’ll do the same peace sign exit as she boards Air Force One.. never quite recognizing her own ethical and personal failings.

            Nixon: “I am not a crook!”
            Hillary:”I did not receive any classified emails!”

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Well, having her own email server was very Nixonian — the urge to control everything.

              I guessed Jimmy was introverted because he tended to have his own ideas about things and cling to them whatever others thought, and he was terrible at working with others in Washington. He was an outsider who was never accepted by the Democratic establishment. Reagan got vastly more out of a Democratic Congress because he was an extravert…

              1. Doug Ross

                ” he tended to have his own ideas about things and cling to them whatever others thought”

                Smart people tend to do that. Carter’s academic background (top 10% at Naval Academy, nuclear engineer training) suggests he was much smarter than Reagan (a C student at Eureka College). Reagan was a good actor for D.C. standards but not so good by Hollywood standards.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Yep, and that was my big problem with Reagan, the reason I resented him beating Carter so much.

                  It was the most galling, offensive thing I’ve ever seen in a debate (before this year, anyway): Carter would say something intelligent, something that was true and perhaps inconvenient or even unpleasant (actually, I don’t remember what he said; I just remember having that impression of it), and Reagan smirked and said, “There you go again” — as though Reagan were the wise one and Carter was saying something stupid, yet again.

                  And Reagan’s fans clapped and hooted and laughed. Laughed at the President of the United States, and a POTUS who was way smarter than they were.

                  I never understood people perceiving him as the Great Communicator. When I saw that smirk and heard that smarmy folksiness, I wanted to throw something at the TV. I found his method of communication EXTREMELY off-putting.

                  But hey, at least he was smooth about it. Trump is a far BIGGER dummy, and isn’t even good at it — he can’t get out a coherent sentence to save his life.

                  Looking back, I see Reagan as far better than I saw him then. It would be so wonderful to have HIM as the GOP nominee this year. I’d suddenly find his manner reassuring, and his grasp of policy positively stellar…

                2. Doug Ross

                  Re-read what you just wrote and envision the upcoming Hillary-Trump debates. You may experience some deja vu all over again. Trump has the potential of getting Hillary to appear weak or to lose her temper. Picture Jeb Bush on the stage earlier this year. That could happen with Hillary.

                3. Brad Warthen Post author

                  And then, we might witness Hilary ripping Trump’s throat out with her teeth.

                  Which would be good, because then both parties would have to nominate someone else…

            2. Scout


              “Not so sure about Carter. He is very willing to get out in front of the cameras and also seems to be a very warm, caring, spiritual person.”

              Are you implying that introverts can’t be warm, caring, and spirtual? You are mistaken – they just show it with fewer people around, typically. The caring and spirtual part would go more with the F part of the personality, most likely, though.

              I’ve seen Carter typed as possibly INFP, which is what I am, and if you believe the sites that have attempted to type presidents, he is the only possible example of my type represented – and then only maybe. I agree that his apparent ease getting up in front of people is uncharacteristic, but then also the defining thing about INFP is being driven by particular causes and principles. If he felt that politics was the avenue to pursue being true to his cause, it could potentially overcome any instinctual unease. Such is the strength of causes for INFPs. He could also be close to the middle of the spectrum and be close to being on the dividing line between introvert/extrovert.

              I’ve seen him typed as INFJ or ISFJ too – I can believe the J simply because he has been so productive – He is a doer. P people tend to think longer about things and accomplish less.

              What’s interesting if you believe this site:


              is that the great majority of our early presidents were introverts.

              I’m thinking the media age has decreased the odds for introverts getting elected.

              Here’s another site that seeks to find a representative of every type among the presidents. They had to scrounge for an INFP – they picked Carter:


              There are several discussions on the internet about how there never has been an INFP president. Which is likely true as we are not an ambitious lime light seeking sort typically.

              I’m thinking INFJ for Carter. Does anybody know if his office was messy? That would be a clue to the J/P pole. I feel pretty solid on the INF part.

              1. Doug Ross

                I shouldn’t have implied that the warm, caring, spiritual aspects of Carter’s personality were related to him being an introvert.

                I just think it is very difficult to assign the introvert characteristic to a person who runs for and wins the Presidency. The very nature of having to press the flesh, to lead, to serve as the commander in chief, to make decisions that impact millions of people doesn’t seem to fit the definition of introvert.

  3. bud

    2. Better late than never. Pretty much says he was Bushs lap dog. But we knew that all along.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      No, we didn’t. Because he was the guy who knew what he was doing. He had his reasons for going into Iraq, and he, unlike Bush, was good at articulating them.

      But as we see from this report, Bush didn’t listen when he should…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        The imbalance in the relationship wasn’t a function of Bush’s and Blair’s personal traits or personalities. It was the power balance between the nations. The Empire was gone, and starting in the 1940s, Britain was very much the junior partner in the Special Relationship.

        Under other circumstances, with relative power equal, it would have been more obvious to everyone that Blair was the natural leader between the two.

        Blair was the guy who had to push and pull Clinton into involvement in the Balkans. With Bush, he was trying to hold him back — and not succeeding.

  4. Assistant

    I don’t mean to hijack your posting, but there’s a story from downunder that seems right up your alley. It’s rather the start of what may become an interesting story about divisive politics and how wounds might be healed.

    Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party was founded in the late 1990s and viewed as a nationalist, conservative, and racist organization by mainstream political types. Hanson herself had been “disendorsed” by the Liberal Party. Hanson’s party did run several candidates in various elections, but no member of her party was elected to the Aussie House of Representatives. Hanson herself was pilloried by the other parties and the mainstream media. Her controversial 2003 conviction for election irregularities was overturned, she and another party member were released from prison.

    Hanson’s back and just as controversial as ever, but this time at least one media member is asking folks to listen to her and her supporters. Margo Kingston, a political journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, followed Pauline Hanson around the country for the 1998 election campaign, learned a few things.

    • Her supporters were by and large nice people with little money who were largely uninterested in politics. They were suffering badly from the effects of competition policy, which had seen basic services and jobs stripped out of their towns. They loved Hanson’s grit and plain speaking. Most of all, they loved that she listened.

    • Hanson is also a nice person. She’s a Liberal who’d always worked very hard in small business and was surprised to have been expelled from the party for racially charged remarks. She had no idea that what she’d said about Aboriginal people was racist. Because she’d been isolated by other politicians when she got to Canberra, she was easy prey for hard-right carpetbaggers.

    • When I tried to converse with supporters about politics I misinterpreted everything they said, and likewise. I thought they were racists and they thought I was a racist. Communication was impossible without getting to know each other first.

    Australia itself is in a bit of an election crisis, so we may learn a bit from what’s going on there.

  5. Brad Warthen Post author

    I got an email that says:

    Former Nigerian Presidential candidate and global terrorism expert, Abayomi Nurain Mumuni, is available to provide though-provoking dialogue on terrorism’s effect on humanity….

    I kept reading, waiting for the part where he needed my help getting back several million dollars, which he would share with me.

    But I didn’t find it.

    OK, so is that a racist joke? Or at least, an unjustified reflection on someone’s nationality?

  6. Doug Ross

    We should be finding out about VP selections for both parties in the coming weeks. If Trump goes with Gingrich, he’ll drop even further behind. He needs someone who projects stability, experience, but also isn’t some rehashed ex-politician. A woman would be ideal but I don’t know of any that fit that description who would take it — imagine Condi Rice, though. That would blow Democrats’ minds. It will likely be someone from a swing state though. I thought it was interesting that Trump’s campaign identified 17 states that they will focus on. That’s a smart move in an electoral college system. Don’t waste time on California, Illinois, etc. Force Hillary to use resources in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, etc.

    As for Hillary’s VP choice the odds are pretty high that it will be someone who is not a white male. Although I think her best choice would be to see if Joe Biden would take the job for one more term. That would project a smooth transition and would deflate any Republican counterattack. We all know who Joe is already. A lesser know VP candidate will become media fodder for awhile and run the risk of something negative coming out that could be potentially damaging. Hillary doesn’t need her version of Sarah Palin.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I think if you’re Hillary, and see he world the way she does, your smartest move is to go with a white guy people are already comfortable with — such as, as you say, Biden. I had the same thought as you just the other day — that Joe would be a good call for her.

      Why would she choose a white guy? Because if you’re a sincere feminist who believes in all the doctrine — which I think she is — then you believe that America is so sexist that she already has a hurdle to clear with lots of people, and a white guy helps her with that. Since the nation has never elected someone like Hillary before, you calm and reassure them with someone who looks conventionally “presidential.” And Joe fits the bill. (And he has experience playing that role, for Obama.)

      Then there’s just the plain old idea of balancing a ticket. A white guy does that for her, demographically speaking. On the other hand, if it’s Joe, she’s failing to balance AGE on the ticket. If she were a YOUNG woman, Joe would be perfect. If we could keep him from hugging her and whispering into her ear all the time

      Besides, Hillary wants to be the one making history here. She really, really wants to be the Obama of women. She doesn’t need any other ground-breakers on the ticket…

  7. Doug Ross

    From today’s hearing featuring FBI director Comey and SC representative Trey Gowdy. This should make a great Trump campaign ad.

    Gowdy: Good morning, Director Comey. Secretary Clinton said she never sent or received any classified information over her private e-mail, was that true?
    Comey: Our investigation found that there was classified information sent.

    Gowdy: It was not true?

    Comey: That’s what I said.

    Gowdy: OK. Well, I’m looking for a shorter answer so you and I are not here quite as long. Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her e-mails sent or received. Was that true?

    Comey: That’s not true. There were a small number of portion markings on I think three of the documents.

    Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said “I did not e-mail any classified information to anyone on my e-mail there was no classified material.” That is true?

    Comey: There was classified information emailed.

    Gowdy: Secretary Clinton used one device, was that true?

    Comey: She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as Secretary of State.

    Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said all work related emails were returned to the State Department. Was that true?

    Comey: No. We found work related email, thousands, that were not returned.

    Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said neither she or anyone else deleted work related emails from her personal account.

    Comey: That’s a harder one to answer. We found traces of work related emails in — on devices or in space. Whether they were deleted or when a server was changed out something happened to them, there’s no doubt that the work related emails that were removed electronically from the email system.

    Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said her lawyers read every one of the emails and were overly inclusive. Did her lawyers read the email content individually?

    Comey: No.

    She lied. Repeatedly. There is no other explanation for it.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Hillary said things that weren’t true about her email, for whatever reason you choose to believe: That she out-and-out lied and knew it, with malice aforethought; that she conveniently remembered it wrong, in a way that made her look better (a very common human failing); or that she just really didn’t remember and didn’t think it important enough (since to her all this email talk was a distraction manufactured by the “vast right-wing conspiracy”) to go back and investigate herself, and said whatever she thought would best dismiss the subject (another form of lying).

        I suspect it was a combination of all those factors.

        But you’re right that not many people are going to care (unless they are already in the #neverhillary camp), because she’s running against a guy who seems congenitally incapable of saying ANYTHING true. Practically everything he says earns him four Pinocchios when the WashPost fact-checks them. (“Fact-checking” Trump seems like a particularly futile exercise because it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, and no one who would consider voting for him is going to believe the newspaper over him anyway.)

        I’ll grant that it seems somehow worse when Hillary lies because she is a mainstream, rational person and we hold her to a higher standard. We expect nothing from Trump, and therefore he never lets us down…

        1. Doug Ross

          Re-read Gowdy’s questions and Comey’s answers. Which would fall into any category BUT intentional lying? She said she only used one email device. Is she that mentally challenged that she can’t remember if she had more than one? If so, she’s not fit to be President,

  8. bud

    Did Hillary’s actions related to her email server any real threat to national security? Of course not. It’s time to move on.

    1. Doug Ross

      Right, bud. The fact that she lied repeatedly about the matter is no indication of her character. As her Doppelganger Richard Nixon learned – It’s not the crime, it’s the cover up.

      1. bud

        Comet said she cooperated fully with his investigation. From this point forward this is nothing but another GOP witch hunt.

        1. Doug Ross

          She was not sworn under oath and there was no recording or transcript of her testimony… err… I mean “interview”.

          Comey had the nerve to say she could still be in trouble if she lied to the FBI but if there was no recording or transcript, how could that be proven.

          This was a setup from day one. Should have been a special prosecutor appointed.

    2. Bryan Caskey

      Exactly. No one can conclusively prove that she was hacked by a foreign government, and she’s not being charged with violation of the law, so let’s all forget it ever happened.

      No lessons to learn here. Onwards into the brave new world!

      1. bud

        Fine don’t vote for her. I will enthusiastly vote for her largely because she’s been through so much crap from the right and they still have virtually nothing on her. It’s nothing but the whining of a 2 year old to carry on over this any more.

        The options include a lunatic from the party that can’t do anything constructive. Or you could vote Libertarian and turn the clock back to the barron robber days. Hillary is clearly the wise, sensible and well vetted choice. Really this is not even the least bit close.

        1. Bryan Caskey

          I’m staying out if it altogether. I refuse to place my name alongside either of the two major candidates. Unlike Dr. Maturin, I do not have to choose either weevil. (And believe me, they’re both weevils.) I am not forced to pick one of them.

          I’m going to be fine no matter who the POTUS is. The chief magistrate of the federal government affects me very little. I’ll carry on practicing law – helping my clients through their personal matters. I’ll continue to make a good living despite how much the government takes, providing for my family, trying to do good here in the community, and keeping my head down.

          I’ll be doing more reading and enjoying time with my family. My son is almost 5, so I may coach his t-ball team in the fall.

          I’ve already lost all my firearms in a tragic canoeing accident, so no worries there.

          My mind is right, boss.

          1. Tex

            You know you don’t deserve any of that money, according to one person here you got it from luck. You should be ashamed to be in that tax bracket when others could use that money to up their social and economic status.

        2. Doug Ross

          Which robber barrons are you talking about bud? The Rockefellers? The Kennedy’s? The Roosevelts?

          Can you even NAME a libertarian?

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