Open Thread for Thursday, September 1, 2016

The guy who told Trump how it's not gonna be, in his fancy official duds.

The guy who told Trump how it’s not gonna be, in his fancy official duds.

Some topics very quickly:

  1. SpaceX Rocket And Its Cargo Explode On Launch Pad In Florida — Why am I not upset? Well, of course, no one was hurt. But also, this wasn’t our space program, the way it was in the good old days. (“Our rockets always blow up!“) It’s a private company. Their business, not mine.
  2. There’s a football game tonight, but it’s out of town! — Yay!
  3. Mother boarded child’s school bus, allegedly attacked bus driver — Ah, the stresses of a new school year — buying the kids new clothes, getting up early every day to make them a nice lunch, giving the bus driver a proper thrashing…
  4. Trump Dealt With People Who Had Mob Ties — Sometimes the bad stuff about Trump gets repetitive. We already knew this one, right?
  5. More than 6 million immigrants could be deported under latest Trump plan — Yeah, you know what? I’m just tired of even trying to keep track of him and his utter nonsense. I did note that yesterday, he said he and the Mexican president didn’t discuss Mexico paying for the wall, and el presidente reported telling him in no uncertain terms that that will never happen. Which makes me wonder: Do even the most ardent Trump fans believe that would ever happen? Sigh. Let’s move on… I really want this to be over, and behind us, and no more substantial than a bad dream…

45 thoughts on “Open Thread for Thursday, September 1, 2016

  1. Claus

    Do you think that Hillary and Bill Clinton have had ties with folks who would be deemed less than wholesome folk?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Dunno. I’m letting you know what the Wall Street Journal reported… and telling you it doesn’t sound like anything new. I’m remembering a story a couple of months back in which one of the bigger editorial boards (the Journal, the Times, or the Post) had a long conversation with him about doing business with the mob. Which he was quite open about. In fact, I seem to recall him insisting that the mob crews did great work…

      He didn’t seem to get that a lot of folks would have a problem with it…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Sounds good to me. Those people are dying, and they need a safe place to go…

      But that’s a pretty screwy headline. I don’t see where she indicated she would resettle that many….

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            The difference, you’ll note, is that that is accurate. She spoke of 65,000. Not a million.

            You could find that down in the Breitbart story, but you had to look for it. They put the speculative million figure in the headline.

            Anyway, back to my point — sounds OK to me…

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    I don’t know what’s wrong with that picture of Enrique Peña Nieto. The color looks perfectly good in Photoshop, but when it shows up here it has that weird greenish cast.

    To me, anyway. Is it doing it at your end?

    This was an ENORMOUS file — his official portrait — so maybe it lost something in my cutting it down for use here…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Huh. That’s weird. It still looks like he’s ill or something at this end. The same picture looks fine on the page where I got it, and in Photoshop, but weirdly greenish here.

        And other photos on my blog look fine. It’s just this one…

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        DANG! I removed it, called up the file in Photoshop (where it looked fine), did an “auto color” adjustment on it — just in case there was some invisible-to-me setting that needed adjusting — saved it, put it up…

        … and if anything, he’s GREENER than he was…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Yeah, I’m obsessing.

          But I was just looking at a photo in the paper in the obituary, and it’s so horribly muddy — no contrast at all, and terrible reproduction — and I’m thinking that this is it for this old lady. This is how she goes down in history. This MAY be the only time in her life that her picture has ever appeared in a newspaper. This is the keepsake that generations to come will have of her, from those who love her to unknown descendants building their family tree.

          And no one took the 30 seconds or so to bump up the contrast on her picture so it wouldn’t turn out like that.

          I’ve heard tell, I seem to recall, that photo processing for publication is done by an algorithm somewhere instead of by a person using Photoshop. That would explain this, I suppose. And the algorithm stinks at its job…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            I just grabbed her photo from online — very clear shot, but totally lacking in contrast — and I was right; it only took me seconds to sharpen it up so it would look good in a newspaper.

            I know that, for my beleaguered colleagues at the paper, this might seem a small thing. And I hate to seem to criticize, since I know how overworked they are, and how scarce resources are.

            That picture just made me kind of sad…

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    I am so mature, restrained and refined…

    I was doing a blog post for ADCO, about a survey that showed teen girls say they want more real news and less clickbait. Really, they did. Despite being, you know, teens.

    And I restrained myself from making the headline, “Jailbait says no to clickbait!”

    You don’t have to thank me; I’m just that kind of guy.

  4. Bart

    For once I can honestly defend Trump on dealing with the “mob”. If you buy concrete or engage in construction activities in New York and the surrounding area, you will do business with the “mob”. Of course, the “mob” does not restrict their activities to construction, their fingers are in most business done in the area and dealing with them is an acknowledged and accepted practice.

    Even the NYT, WSJ, and any other newspaper has dealings with the mob whether they will admit it or not. It is interwoven into the fabric of the area and apparently will remain so indefinitely.

    This is one issue that if anyone who lives and works in the area uses as a campaign tool against Trump is a hypocrite and they are dishonest if they claim their hands are clean if they live and work there.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, I personally don’t put this high on things I’d thump Trump for. Which is another reason why I thought, “Why is this getting reported again?”

      Which is kind of what I said above.

      Every once in awhile, people talk about something awful Trump did or said, and I actually think it’s kind of “meh.” Which means I promptly forget it.

      But in case it interests anyone what I’m talking about, I’ll try to remember to mention it next time I see something like that.

      It’s SO important that this guy not get elected, I’d rather not see people lowering the bar on how they define a Trump outrage. There are so many REAL outrages, it’s unnecessary, and counterproductive…

  5. Bart

    The problem is that the polls are starting to show better numbers for Trump. The best hope to stop Trump will be the debates and it is more than likely Trump will revert to his primary debate form but this time it will be for all the marbles, not just the GOP nomination.

    I did see a good political ad. It shows Trump and Clinton on a split photo and asks the question, (paraphrase) “Out of 317 million, this is the best we can do?” My sentiments exactly.

  6. Doug Ross

    Are you willing to compromise in any way on illegal immigration? I think you’re in the amnesty for all, pay a fine crowd, right? If that became the policy, would you accept deporting anyone who DID NOT come forward? Would you accept deporting anyone from this day forward who entered illegally?

    The sense I get is that you don’t want a border. Free passage into the U.S. for any and all who want to enter. Once here, full access to all rights and privileges of any citizen. If not that, then what are you willing to do when people don’t follow the law?

  7. bud

    Immigration is pretty low on my list of priorities. Probably about as much of a problem as shoplifting. We don’t go on and on about that. I’d move forward with the dream act, impose some sort of monetary penalties then provide some reasonable path forward for everyone who wants to become legal. I would not spend more money on a wall, a deportation force or border patrol personnel.

    1. Doug Ross

      Please let me know when you open a store bud so I can some in an steal without any threat of being arrested.

      Illegal immigrants break multiple laws. Entering, driving cars without insurance, tax evasion.

      1. Mark Stewart

        But l, Doug, they wouldn’t if we didn’t make it that way with punitiative laws that do nothing positive for anyone.

        I’m not saying open borders, but not being able to get a drivers license and car insurance (or any insurance) is asinine. Same with taxes.

        1. Doug Ross

          They aren’t entitled to get a drivers license or insurance. Providing benefits gives them more incentive to enter illegally. Remove access to public schools, remove access to any government safety net, crackdown HARD on employers. Take away the carrots and you don’t have to use the stick.

          I have no issue with opening the borders to more legal immigrants. Let as many in who want to come in. But anyone who came here illegally MUST get in line and follow the process or else face deportment.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            So you’re going to prevent children from getting an education because of what their parents did?

            As for cracking down on employers, riddle me this: What about the fact that growers across the country continue to fail to get Americans to work in their fields, and have crops rotting when they don’t have enough hands? Where’s our food going to come from? (Of course, they get a lot of workers through legal visa programs, but not all, I don’t think…)

            1. Doug Ross

              “So you’re going to prevent children from getting an education because of what their parents did?”:

              Yes. Please don’t play “it’s for the children” card. That doesn’t make illegal activities any less illegal. It also establishes a mindset in the children that laws don’t matter.

              Our food can come from workers who are willing to register for guest worker programs. I don’t care how many come in as long as they follow the process.

              I see firsthand today how hard it is for LEGAL immigrants to work here in the U.S. These are people who have paid thousands of dollars in fees and also paid taxes and obeyed the law. Giving illegals equal or better status is unfair.

              I’ll ask again – if we grant amnesty to those who are here now, can we deport those who don’t come forward? Can we deport anyone who comes in illegally tomorrow? What are you willing to compromise on?

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Two important points:

                — I did not play the “it’s for the children card” that you hate so much. I said it was wrong to PENALIZE children for what their parents do. Surely you agree.

                — Agreeing to “deport those who don’t come forward” isn’t a “compromise,” not in the real world. Because if they don’t come forward, how do you deport them? How large a police state are you prepared to create to run down these millions of people? It’s not something you just make happen by waving a wand…

          2. Scout

            Do you get that the conditions in the places they come from really suck alot? If your house is on fire, you will leave it. That fact of any other place not being on fire is incentive enough.

            It’s probably nice if there are people outside who will help you deal with the fact that you’ve just been in a burning house – maybe some nice person will give you food or medical care for burns. But they aren’t the reason you left the burning house and if they aren’t there to help, you still would have left the burning house. It’s just kind of the nature of being in a burning house. You tend to leave and go any place else.

            If we could remove all the things you say are incentives, it would make our country a less humane place for them to be, but it may not make it less bad than the place they left. And it may not change their incentive for leaving, regardless of what you think that is.

            So yea we could be mean to them. But that would just make us mean. It wouldn’t help or change the situation.

            I prefer to not be mean.

            1. Doug Ross

              Then don’t be mean. Send them YOUR money. Be my guest. Or go to these impoverished countries yourself and do the Lord’s work. Oh, you want your compassion to be measured by MY taxes? I see.

              It’s impossible to talk about illegal immigration without people playing emotional games. Always about the children. Hey, I have a unique idea – if you are living in a third world country, don’t have children. It’s pretty cruel to purposefully bring a child into that world, isn’t it? I would even call it “mean”.

              As I have said multiple times, I am fine with opening up legal immigration to as many people who want to come in the right way.

              1. Scout

                Ok, we can disagree about whether or not we should be compassionate with taxpayer money.

                (seems like those who are big on claiming we are a christian nation would be all for that, yet my impression is they more likely are not, which is interesting. (I’m not saying that’s your position – I don’t think it is – that was just an aside).

                But we were talking about incentives. You stated that free services were their incentive to come here.

                Do you acknowledge that for some, being in our country will always be an incentive, in and of itself, just because it is not where they came from, regardless of whether they have access to services here or not?

                And if that is the case, do you acknowledge that cutting off access to those services will likely not change much?

                Is the legal way to enter the country even working?

                1. Doug Ross

                  Who’s morality? and why is the compassion toward non-citizens a priority over the same toward our own citizens? Please don’t tell me we can do both. We haven’t and we can’t… certainly not while fighting wars around the world.

                  When we have our own nation’s issues resolved, then we can move on to fixing other countries.

                2. Doug Ross

                  No I do not acknowledge that cutting off access will have no effect. One only needs to look at how illegal immigration dropped (including people going back) during the recession. No jobs = no money = no reason to stay here.

                  And any dollar not spent on illegals can be spent on U.S. citizens. We have plenty of hungry, undereducated folks who could benefit from our compassion first.

                3. Brad Warthen Post author

                  “Please don’t tell me we can do both.”

                  Yeah, we can. You just don’t want to. And “whose morality?” Ours. As expressed at the ballot box and translated into action by our elected representatives, however messily and imperfectly.

                  That’s why we have discussions like this. It is legitimate for all of us to bring our respective values to these conversations about the sort of society we want to be.

                  But the whole way you and the other folks look at this is weird to me, like you’re looking at immigration in some alternative universe.

                  You, and others, seem to think immigrants come here to sit around the pool collecting welfare checks and having cool drinks with umbrellas in them brought to them.

                  They come here to work their rear ends off, doing really hard work. They are an asset to our economy, not a drain on it.

                  You might want to read this.

                  Here’s another good piece, debunking five immigration myths.

                  I’ll never understand why some folks — a LOT of folks in this country — seem to sit up nights worked up into a state of high indignation at the possibility that someone, somewhere, is GETTING SOMETHING at their expense.

                  Even when, in the aggregate, that’s not true.

                  It must be a stressful way to live. And when it warps people’s thinking to the point that they’ll vote for a guy like Trump — which we’ve seen happen this year, to our sorrow — it’s very dangerous to the country. And to the rest of the world, too.

              2. Brad Warthen Post author

                No, what Scout wants is for the moral thing to be done with OUR taxes.

                That’s how it works in a representative democracy. We bring our principles, moral and otherwise, to the voting booth and elect people who then decide what taxes will be levied, and how OUR tax money — not yours, not mine, but ours — will be spent.

                That is how it works in our civilization.

                There’s a better system of government available, of course, and I highly recommend it, although I doubt you’ll go for it. That’s an absolute despotism, with me as the despot. That would entail a lot of hard work for me, and I might lose some snooze time, but I’m willing to step forward if y’all will go along.

                And no, I will not accept anyone else being the despot. There are some who’d do a pretty fair job — Joe Riley comes to mind. But it just wouldn’t be quite perfect unless I’m the one. Sorry. There are risks with a system such as this — it doesn’t have the error tolerance that representative democracy has (and needs) — so it’s essential to have exactly the right despot. Moi.

                The second best form is what we’ve got.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Shoplifting is much worse. Shoplifting is stealing. Illegal immigration is crossing an arbitrary, invisible line without the proper documentation. It’s a crime only in a highly bureaucratic sense.

      1. Doug Ross

        Illegals steal services they are not entitled to.

        And the border is arbitrary? Since when? Our borders are well established, longstanding, and not under any negotiation as far as I know.

        I suppose you wouldn’t mind if your neighbor built a shed that crossed over your arbitrary and invisible property line?

  8. Burl Burlingame

    Actually, SpaceX is becoming our primary launch platform as the government gets out of the space business.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      … which I hate.

      It really bugs me that we have to catch rides from the Russians to go out into space.

      We’re the United States of America, people. We ought to have some basic vehicles to get us out into the black when we need to go. I’m not asking for anything fancy. An old, beat-up Firefly class would do just fine.

      But no… we don’t have anything, thanks to the gorram penny-pinchers of the Alliance…

        1. bud

          Birth Control. And lots of it. Wouldn’t that be more practical than trying to colonize other planets? Just do the math, with any population growth rate you want to use the people will weigh more than the earth in just a short time. It’s time we recognize this mathematical certainty and aggressively push birth control in Africa. That would be the human thing to do rather than pretending fertility rates above 3 per woman is doable.

            1. Kathryn Fenner

              Maybe he singled out Africa because their birth rates are especially high, contraception availability and utilization low and the ability of many of the countries to support the existing population strained?
              The best way to reduce the birth rate is to empower women, btws.

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