Open Thread for Monday, February 6, 2017

Well, um, actually a pretty newsy little Monday. After this, we’re going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time:

  1. Trump tries to salvage travel ban amid numerous legal briefs to block it — Our top story tonight. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single big story without you-know-who smack in the middle of it. Think maybe he’s peaking a little soon, maybe getting overexposed? Could be. But hey, he’s the one who wanted to shake things up, right?
  2. Donald Trump should not be allowed to speak in UK parliament, says Speaker — Yo, Bercow — watch out! Trump’s likely to put you “on notice”… #youjustmadethelistbuddy
  3. Trump claims the media is covering up terrorist attacks — You know, I was going to make a joke about this, say something like, “You mean, like the Bowling Green Massacre?” Or say something pedantic such as “You mean media are, not media is.” But then I  just got totally creeped out reading that the actual President of the United States told U.S. Central Command that the “dishonest press doesn’t want to report” on terrorist attacks, claiming that “they have their reasons.” We’re talking serious Looney Tunes, folks.
  4. SC Gov. McMaster asks President Trump for $5 billion for state roads, port — Dang, Henry! Claus has been wanting some SC news, and you have to go pulling Trump into that, too! Don’t you think he’s done enough by sending Nikki to New York? Yeah, he owes you, but you don’t want to overwork that…
  5. Trump supporters slam Super Bowl ads that celebrate immigrants — Dang again! He’s even horning in on the Super Bowl! I’m trying, Claus; really I am. By the way, y’all, this counts as a sports post, so enjoy…

45 thoughts on “Open Thread for Monday, February 6, 2017

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Of course, there is this one local story out there that has no Trump in it, and it’s the kind Doug really loves — Claus, too, I expect. It’s even written by Ron Aiken.

    Maybe I read it too fast, because I had a little trouble following it all. It seemed a bit like somebody — Ron, the editors, somebody — let it get into the paper without a nut graf. Or what marketers would call the elevator speech.

    I had one question — what does this mean? Does it mean the project’s dead, hopelessly compromised? What consequences might ensue, if any? What’s at stake. What are the lessons to be learned?

    I think maybe this was supposed to be the nut graf, but it still left me wondering what all this meant, Mr. Natural:

    Nearly two months after the McClam award was approved and four months after County Council’s scuttled vote in October, the only dirt that has been turned at a site critical to the infrastructure of the China Jushi plant was done by golden shovels at the high-profile groundbreaking ceremony Dec. 8. And no start date has been released for a project the county promised Jushi would be completed by Dec. 31, 2017.

    When reached by phone, a man to whom the McClam & Associates transferred a reporter for questions was asked when he expected to start work.

    “You’ll have to ask Richland County that,” he said, and hung up….

    Good drama, but I’m still confused.

    Later in the day, The State posted this folo: “Jushi still committed to building Richland County plant, create up to 800 jobs

    OK. But what about all that other stuff? What will happen about THAT?

    Perhaps things will get clearer as the story develops…

    1. Mark Stewart

      Three bidders; none meets the preferential criteria the way the County wants to implement that.

      So maybe chose on a different basis – like quality/price offering? Just a thought…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I’ll have to disagree with you there. Nothing against Ron, but I think John Monk is still the best of that particular breed of journalist. And even though he has to pull his daily weight in a drastically diminished newsroom and can’t take the time he used to to develop a deep story, he’s done some pretty decent stuff with the courts in the last couple of years. His scoop on Bobby Harrell’s bid to shake Alan Wilson off his back in a secret court hearing made a real difference, and brought down one of the most powerful men in the state. There was good reason why Corey Hutchins wrote about it in Columbia Journalism Review.

        There hasn’t been anything that big since, but John’s still done good work since then, and I think he still holds the title…

        1. Richard

          Columbia Journalism Review? Is that a joke? Do the reporters for The State and Free Times rotate who gets the Journalist of the Month award?

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            We seem to be misunderstanding each other. The Columbia Journalism Review, published by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, is probably the premier publication in the country covering the field of journalism.

            But maybe I assumed too much in mentioning it. I thought it was something non-journalists would have heard of, but maybe not…

            Sure, if you think that refers to Columbia, SC, that would be pretty funny.

            It’s like, after I’d received the top award for editorial writing in SC a couple or three times, I quit entering. Not a very large field to compete against…

            1. Richard

              Okay I thought it was something that the local journalists did each month so they’d have something to put on the shelves in their offices.

        2. Doug Ross

          John Monk may be living on his past accomplishments. Ron Aiken does more, more often, and with greater impact than Monk does. The State also seems to be unwilling to go after certain sacred cows in the Columbia area.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            “Ron Aiken does more, more often, and with greater impact than Monk does.”

            No, it seems like it because you’re impressed by the things Ron does. You’re not counting the day-to-day work John does — basic reporting that a newspaper HAS to do — which is solid stuff.

            Ron’s always swinging for the fence, and fans love that. But I was a manager, and had a different perspective. Long ago, when I was a newsroom editor, reporters who always wanted to swing for the fence frustrated me — and I them. They wanted to be stars and make their reps on the basis of Big Scoops. Which was fine, if they could do it AND give me base hits every day. But I had the responsibility of covering ALL the news, and I couldn’t do that if everybody was ignoring the basics while chasing their white whales.

            And if any of them ever mixed metaphors the way I just did, they’d REALLY have gotten on the wrong side of me… 🙂

            1. Brad Warthen Post author


              People who wanted to do long-form investigations and had the talent for it were few and far between. John was one who could; he took the burden of proof quite seriously.

              There were others who had stars in their eyes and wanted to do nothing but big exposes, and they were TERRIBLE at nailing the facts down. Because they WANTED to have the story, they assumed they DID have the story, even when they weren’t close.

              All of which sounds a bit quaint these days, I suppose, when you can be Joe Blow (or president of the United States) and publish to the world anything you WANT to be true, even when it obviously isn’t…

  2. Bryan Caskey

    Oh, to circle back to something from an earlier post/comment: the .27 cent foreclosure story Burl brought up a while back is fake news. The woman in question was never foreclosed on, nor did she lose her home, nor was it Mnuchin’s bank.


    Once lost, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to regain.

      1. bud

        Robo signings. Damn spell check. There needs to be a special place in hell for the person who invented that.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Oh. I thought maybe you were talking about Branch Rickey. I thought maybe Trump had said Rickey (who died in 1965) “is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.”

  3. bud

    Not sure if this rises to the lofty level of Brads blog but it’s local. The power in our building went off at 10:00.

      1. bud

        It’s been 5 hours without power. Nothing else has been affected. (Or to needle Brad a little, nothing else has been impacted) 🙂

          1. Dave Crockett

            Can’t a tooth be “impacted”? Or is that an adjective usage? Trying to be a word guy is exhausting… 😉

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Yes, it is.

              But that’s jargon specific to the dental profession.

              What I object to is saying “impacted” when what one means is “affected” or “had an impact upon”…

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                A person might go his whole life without needing to say “impacted tooth.”

                But there are people out there — and they know who they are — using “impact” as a verb EVERY DAY…

              2. Scout

                One day they are going to put it in the dictionary since so many people are doing it wrong. And wrong will become right. I hate that. I get it. But I hate it.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              It was considered to be correct usage long ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

              But that was just on Alderaan. Fortunately, Darth Vader had the Death Star destroy Alderaan to teach Princess Leia a lesson.

              And the lesson was, “Don’t use ‘impact’ as a verb…”

              You know that “disturbance in the Force” that Obi-Wan felt when the planet exploded? That was millions of Alderaanians yelling, “Oh, no! We’ve been impacted!!!”

    1. Mark Stewart

      Ummm, you should blame the Congresses’ sequestration nonsense for the lack of a military budget.

      This has been an unfolding disaster for the last 5+ years.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Yep, that was that ungodly impasse between him, Boehner and the Freedom Caucus types Boehner was so afraid of.

          They agreed to military cuts that they all agreed would be insane — to have something hanging over their heads to FORCE themselves to come to agreement to keep them from going into effect.

          Of course, they failed to reach agreement, and the insane cuts went into effect…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            If you want to blame any one party, it would be Boehner’s Tea Party faction. If it had just been Boehner and Obama, they’d have reached an accommodation…

            1. Mark Stewart

              It’s hard to tell – weren’t they really more isolationists? You know, the ones who think we can have a superior yet unused military at full readiness at their bases in the U.S.

              It’s amusing to hear Trump talk about restoring the military when it is his supporters who tanked it’s readiness and funding. I’m all for him restoring the military – but that means having a robust, active military, not a sleepy garrison force. I don’t think Trump appreciates the distinction.

                1. Mark Stewart

                  I’m on the record as saying sequestration was insanity; so no, not likely that I would complain that we fund the military that we do need.

                  You know, versus constructing the “wall”…

                2. Claus

                  “You know, versus constructing the “wall”…”

                  I’ll take your wall and raise you every social welfare program.

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