Open Thread for Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Who you gonna believe: Trump, or this woman? Me, too...

Who you gonna believe: Trump, or this woman? Me, too…

Fortunately, there’s no debate tonight. Here’s what we have:

  1. Trump Lashes Out, Calling Debate Unfair — What all is he whining about today? He’s complaining about the moderator, his microphone, the beauty queen… As for Hillary Clinton, he says he may “hit her harder” next time. So, you know, he’s just a bundle of maturity and good sportsmanship. Sounds like he knows he lost. But again, will it matter?
  2. U.S. Government To Pay $492 Million To 17 American Indian Tribes — What?!? Didn’t we already give them 24 whole dollars for Manhattan?
  3. Plan surfaces for new nuclear disposal ground in SC — I don’t really know enough about this yet to have an informed opinion, but I feel about the way the Seinfeld characters felt about low-flow shower heads: I don’t like the sound of that!
  4. Elon Musk Outlines Mars Plans — Sounds good, depending on how the election comes out.

Perhaps you have some other topics to suggest…

23 thoughts on “Open Thread for Tuesday, September 27, 2016

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    I think I’ll also throw out a couple of interesting excerpts I’ve read today. I like this, from a column by Frank Bruni:

    Go ahead and laugh at Donald Trump’s claims that he was foiled by a finicky microphone on Monday night, but I can relate. When I write a bad column, it’s all my keyboard’s fault.

    The other columnists have reliable keyboards. I’m not saying it’s a conspiracy, but they do. Reach your own conclusions. When one of them taps out a beautiful sentence, a beautiful sentence appears on the computer screen, just the way it’s supposed to.

    When I try to tap out an even more beautiful sentence — and my sentences are amazing sentences; you can’t believe these sentences — I have to press and bang and hunch closer to the desk and bang even harder and still you never know.

    The sentence winds up mangled. It lacks a verb. Or it sprouts an adverb (“bigly,” anyone?) that sounds ridiculous, though I’m not. Readers experience a rant where, really, there was eloquent reflection — or would have been, if not for my keyboard. A “sniffle” sneaks into the equation when there wasn’t any “sniffle” at all. It’s just a nasty trick of that keyboard. A defective keyboard, which the other columnists don’t have….

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Here’s another one I like, from Jennifer Rubin. And it’s got Lindsey Graham in it:

    As Donald Trump flailed and sniffled his way through the presidential debate on Monday night, one could not help but imagine: What if the Republicans had nominated any of the “normal,” reasonable Republicans, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former Florida governor Jeb Bush or Ohio Gov. John Kasich?

    Most of the debate Monday night would not have occurred. All of these men possess government experience, and none can be accused of hiding their tax returns or playing fast and loose with their charitable foundation or charitable giving. None evaded military service; Graham served as a lawyer in the Air Force in both active duty and reserves. (Graham, a former JAG officer, could have had fun with Hillary Clinton’s email debacle and its implications for national security.)

    None has a record of stiffing small-business people or exaggerating his wealth. Three have had one wife only; Graham was never married but helped raised his sister when their parents died. None backed the birther nonsense. None of them can be accused of ever (let alone, routinely) making misogynistic or xenophobic remarks. None is a bully who would have constantly interrupted, made faces and hinted that he intended to bring up Clinton husband’s past affairs.

    Republicans, are you feeling the buyer’s remorse, yet? You should be….

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    I calculated the “fat” pig beauty queen’s BMI. Wikipedia says she’s 5’7″ so if she weighed 170 lbs. she’d have a BMI of 27. Trump’s “medical” report claims he has one of 29, though many people say that seems a stretch and suspiciously just under the 30 BMI cut-off for obese.
    “I know what you are; what am I?”
    Whole lotta projection going on….

    1. bud

      I think it is high time to pile on to Trump for his obvious health risks. All that sniffing the other night was an obvious sign of some very serious health issue. His enormous girth certainly is a health concern for someone his age. And what’s with those facial ticks during the debate? Do we dare risk electing a man who may have Tourette syndrome?

  4. bud

    Brad I find your choice of topics interesting for their general lack of anything related to race issues. Your white, male privilege comes through loud and clear. Until we fix the racial divide in this country we will forever be stuck in a diametrically contentious society. That holds us back. And it’s what is largely driving the Trump phenomenon. We ignore this issue at great risk. Frankly I’m extremely uncomfortable with the whole race thing and wish it would just go away. But as long as bigots like Trump and his band of deplorables continue to hold sway over 10s of millions of Americans we just cannot ignore it.

    1. Bart

      bud, are you a white male? If so, then you have the same “affliction” as Brad, Doug, Mark, Phillip, Bryan, Clark, me and very likely most other males who post on You are a privileged white male and unless you go through a pigmentation therapy change, you will remain a privileged white male. Even then, you will still be a white male biologically. With a very few exceptions, most of the white males posting on do not use their privilege to their advantage, most are not racists nor do they seem to take an unfair advantage because of it. If anything, they along with Brad, try to bring balance and fairness to the racial issues we face in this country.

      Did you ever give up a promotion or raise you received over one of your fellow black employees because you are a white male and believed you were promoted or given a raise because of the color of your skin? I have no way of knowing but are you an active member of any organization seeking to improve racial relations in your community? Years ago, I put my money where my mouth is and financed a masonry company and all of the employees were black males. They had health insurance fully paid, higher than normal wages, transportation to work, paid vacations and holidays, and everything a white company would have and then some. Unfortunately the business didn’t work out but at least I did something, I tried, it was not simply lip service. What have you done other than point fingers at everyone else and hurl invectives at Brad?

      When was the last time you engaged a black person you don’t know or just met in an honest conversation about racial issues one on one? It is my intent to do so at any and every opportunity. Reach out one on one and be honest with the other person. Most of the time, all it takes is to let the other person know, black or white, that you actually care about them and the issues they face when confronted with racial matters. I want to know what the other person thinks, feels, and believes about racial issues and not be patronizing or have the other person patronize me. Once I get the impression they are only giving lip service, I politely excuse myself, shake hands and move on.

      Unfortunately we live in a contentious world. It is not confined to America but it is found in every country across this planet and as long as there are differences in skin color, cultures, religions, gender, and all of the other things that make us different from each other, there will be conflict and dissention by one “tribe” because they don’t like the way another “tribe’s” socio-economics is better or different from theirs. We are witnessing a shift in Europe due to the influx of refugees from Syria and other ME countries. A shift away from the open and welcoming of refugees to a resistance because suddenly, Europeans are witnessing first person what happens when one culture completely different has a major increase in population. Instead of being on the sidelines where they can observe and offer criticism about the way a large segment of our population is reacting, now they are confronting something much different than the way they have been living for decades, perhaps centuries and it is presenting a real problem for the citizens to adapt and accept the changes due to the influx of refugees. And most of the countries where the greatest problems are, the majority of the population is white where white privilege is dominant.

      Racial issues and conflicts are not necessarily endemic to the United States, it is part of every country and the predominant race can be white or black, it doesn’t matter. Even the Hawaiian paradise Burl lives in has racial issues between native Hawaiians and “haoles” along with others of oriental ancestry. We just don’t read about it because Hawaii is so far removed from the mainland.

      And I know Brad does not need anyone to defend him, he is more than capable, much more so than I am.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      I post those question marks because I don’t know what it is you think I’m ignoring. Every time I do an Open Thread or a Virtual Front Page, I first do a quick perusal of, at the very least, the homepages of:

      1. The State
      2. The Wall Street Journal
      3. The New York Times
      4. NPR
      5. BBC
      6. The Washington Post
      7. The Guardian

      I didn’t see any stories “about race” trending there other than what you see above — the story about the payment to American Indian tribes, and Trump calling the Latina beauty queen “Miss Housekeeping.”

      So what was this huge story that I missed? What was trending at 5:51 p.m. yesterday, when I posted this, that was so conspicuous by its absence from this thread that you would post such a comment as that?

      Oh, and by the way — I have a standing offer on every one of these threads for y’all to bring up your own topics. (In fact, it’s an “open thread.” I just put up some topics as conversation starters in case no one has anything immediately.) So bring it up.

  5. Doug Ross

    “When was the last time you engaged a black person you don’t know or just met in an honest conversation about racial issues one on one? It is my intent to do so at any and every opportunity. Reach out one on one and be honest with the other person. Most of the time, all it takes is to let the other person know, black or white, that you actually care about them and the issues they face when confronted with racial matters.”

    Exactly, Bart. I’d rather spend my time reaching out then feeling guilty about being born white. I have nothing to do with the state of black and white relations today other than the personal interactions I have every day with people of all colors. The “white privilege” b.s. is just that – a way to transfer liberal guilt onto other people. I spend most of my work week now with a black woman from Zimbabwe and we have discussions on a wide range of topics as we walk a mile back and forth to work each day and at lunch or dinner. Two of my best friends are an Indian man and woman who have taught me more about their culture and been more accepting of MY differences than anyone I have ever met. I had an Uber driver from Nigeria two weeks ago and we talked about the training I did to help my sons get jobs and I am now mentoring him to do the same. Sorry, but I accept ZERO blame for the state of racial issues in this country. I’m not privileged and I’m not guilty.

    1. Bart

      During my years of travel for my job, I met people of all nationalities and races. With few exceptions, we were always able to talk about any topic without offending each other or falling back on the dog whistle phrases like “white, male privilege”. We openly discussed the differences between us and tried to reach an understanding of how each viewed the world and the problems we face in differing cultures and societies. For the most part, we were more than business associates, we became friends and shared meals and visits together. We enjoyed each other’s company and once the communication barrier was broken, we learned from each other and we come away with a better understanding of other cultures and races.

      I agree, it is total b.s. and if a white person uses his or her race to their advantage knowingly to cause harm at any level to a person of another race, then one has a case to use the term but if this is the case, it is more than “white privilege”, it is then blatant racism and should be called as such. I won’t get into the reverse because it might offend some sensibilities and they may feel the overwhelming desire to retreat to their “safe zone” to recover from a micro-aggression at the hands of a “white, privileged male”.

  6. bud

    Just watched the first Kennedy Nixon debate. Wow the world was different. Zero interruptions. Total respect between the candidates . The entire debate was on policy. And the setting was very sparse. Apparently there was no audience. We should return to the no audience approach.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes. The nation took the presidency seriously back then. And that was reflected in the quality of candidates, and the way they comported themselves. We had high expectations…


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