Open Thread for Monday, March 13, 2017

Eventually, we'll all be REQUIRED to carry handguns, and fire them indiscriminately in the street."

Eventually, we’ll all be REQUIRED to carry handguns, and fire them indiscriminately in the street.

For your consideration…

  1. CBO projects 24 million more uninsured over a decade under Republican plan — OK, so that’s why Ryan didn’t want it scored by the CBO. On the other hand, this could help him with the Tea Party base, since people losing coverage is what they want.
  2. Bill allowing carrying firearms without permit advances in House — Because we just want everybody to carry guns everywhere, and we don’t even want to know anything about them. Yeah, this story’s four days old, but we hadn’t talked about it yet. Sometimes I think this stuff comes up on a dare. It won’t be long before they’ll be considering a bill to require everyone to carry, and to draw and brandish their weapons about while drinking.
  3. Democrats’ Strategy: Depict Gorsuch as ‘Against Workers’ — Really? How do you think that’s gonna play in Peoria, comrades? Or in the Republican Senate, for that matter?
  4. Filing closes in 5th District, and more candidates are running — We’re up to seven Republicans — all competing to see who can be more Trumplike, no fewer than three Democrats and five independents. To go to Congress. Because that’s such a pleasant place to be these days…
  5. McCain tells Trump: present evidence or retract wiretapping claim — Tell it, John. Meanwhile, Spicer says Trump’s totally unsubstantiated claims are covered because he used quotation marks on “wire tap.” Really. He even demonstrated his point by doing air quotes. No, look.
"Did I tell you about the bill I'm proposing in the House?" "You just keep thinkin', Butch; that's what you're good at!"

“Did I tell you about the bill I’m proposing in the House?” “You just keep thinkin’, Butch; that’s what you’re good at!”

55 thoughts on “Open Thread for Monday, March 13, 2017

  1. Bryan Caskey

    Constitutional Carry here in SC, huh? Meh. I’ve been carrying for awhile now. Actually, that reminds me that I need to renew my CWP license.

    If you’re going to carry, it’s stupid not to get some training. If you’re going to get training, it’s no extra burden to submit some paperwork and get the state of SC to grant your CWP. It instantly legitimizes your carrying if you’re ever in a traffic stop or otherwise interact with law enforcement. I don’t see the downside of the permitting system as long as it’s a “must issue” system.

    I understand the argument in favor of Constitutional Carry, but I think it’s a bit abstract. Yeah, you can carry without a state government’s say-so. Sure. Fine. But it doesn’t make real, practical sense to me.

  2. bud

    Big local story. 2 DOT workers killed and a third injured by hit and run driver near Aiken. There may be a safety aspect to this that could be addressed by more funding. We really need to find the damn roads. This is just ludicrous to s*** around with this basic public need any longer. Lives are now being threatened by the intransigence of our Republican general assembly.

    1. Richard

      So what I’m hearing is it’s the Republicans fault this guy ran over three people. Are they also responsible for the lady who killed the guy fixing his tire on the side of the road the other night too?

      As for both drivers, both need to be strung up for their actions. And I’m not saying that because their black and being a Republican that means I’m a racist. Both driver’s just need to have their lives terminated.

    2. bud

      Of course I meant FUND the damn roads but if we continue to delay it may become difficult to FIND the damn road through all the overgrowth and potholes.

      But I’d like to make another point also. For so long the Ayn Rand types of the world denigrate the hard and dangerous work that public employees do on a daily basis as an inefficient waste of the “job creators” money. The loss of these two men illustrates just how asinine this worldview is. While the libertarian types are jetting around the country peddling a bunch of worthless products by promoting false claims to the gullible through deceptive half baked claims the men and women of the maintenance shops at the DOT are working tirelessly with aging equipment under harsh conditions to make our roads just a little better. These workers often are summoned to deal with downed trees blocking the roads from a storm in the middle of the night. They’re responsible for removing dead animals from the road in inclement weather. They operate old mowing equipment to keep our highways somewhat pleasant to drive on. Thousands of signs need replacing every year along with traffic signals and old pavement markings. And sometimes these hard working, underpaid employees pay the ultimate price. No, they are not soldiers in the traditional sense but they do soldier on in obscurity to make our lives just a little bit better. They are unsung heroes in the most real sense.

      The men that died yesterday in Aiken County will not be afforded a 21 gun salute or the playing of taps (unless they were military veterans which many of them are). But they deserve our respect and a tiny bit of dignity for what they do. And I for one will tip my hat the next time I ride by a maintenance crew doing their best to ensure a quality ride for us all. They deserve this respect and not a craven assault on their character by those who should know better. The next time someone bad mouths the DOT maintenance workers in my presence he will have to face my wrath. It’s the least I can do for these tireless warriors.

  3. Richard

    I was talking to a guy on a plane last week from Arizona who said Arizonians are so fed up with John McCain that he better plan on retiring after this term because he likely won’t make it out of the primaries in the next one. He may stay on the ticket if he runs as a Democrat.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Ah, but see, that’s not likely to happen, since he’s a Republican — a real Republican. Someone who would be recognized as such by Abraham Lincoln, Howard Baker, Ronald Reagan and Bob Dole. Maybe I should scratch Bob Dole from the list, though, since he betrayed the party by getting behind Trump…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Oh, and the world is full of people who think they speak for “Arizonans,” or for South Carolinians, or for Americans — because they know some people who agree with them.

        And you find that across the political spectrum.

        How long has it been political “wisdom” that South Carolinians are fed up with McCain’s buddy Lindsey Graham? And how did that crowd of fringe candidates who ran against him do in his last election?

        1. bud

          “Fringe” is in the eye of the beholder of course. But if you define the fringe in regard to how well a candidate performed during primary season Lindsey and by association a like-minded McCain surely qualify as fringe Republicans in 2017. A mainstream Republican is clearly within the realm of Cruz and especially Trump. That observation seems beyond dispute.

            1. Bill

              Nope, it’s yet another attempt to show you how the Republican Party of yore — the one you still think is the “real and true” party that’s just waiting the wings to resume its rightful place — is increasingly fading from view. Just as it does no one any good to insist that the Tea Party is not really the Republican Party, it also does none of us any good to insist that Trumpism isn’t now part of the Republican Party too. I wish it weren’t so, but wishing don’t make it true.

            2. bud

              I’m not the one normalizing Trump. I wish he’d go away. But it’s just not rational to deny the obvious any more.

  4. Bart

    Can anyone post with certainty the last time they actually met a “real Republican” or a “real Democrat”? Of course it is all in the eye of the beholder but the distinctions drawn today between “real” Republicans and Democrats of yore and the “real” Republicans and Democrats of today is so muddled, it is difficult to distinguish between the two.

    Both have moved to the extreme left or right and they will not tolerate anyone in the middle. As far as the extremes are concerned, anyone in the middle is non-existent and out of touch. It is a my way or the highway mentality with no room for sensible solutions and finding common ground.

    And we wonder just how the heck Trump and Clinton ended up being the candidates and how Trump won over Hillary. Just take a quick look at the replies and comments on this blog and consider the fact that we are a very mild bunch considering how the poisonous atmosphere in Washington, DC has permeated the politics of this nation.

    Trump is nothing more than a manifestation of what is wrong with the political system and the polarization created by the vocal left and right to the exclusion of most of us who are actually in the middle.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      “Both have moved to the extreme left or right and they will not tolerate anyone in the middle.”

      Well… yes and no. I agree they’ve pulled farther apart from each other, and thanks to the way district lines are drawn, they’re pulling farther apart every day.

      But is it to the “left” and “right?”

      You come closer with the Democrats. The Bernie element is indeed pulling to the left. The rest of the party is an amalgam of identity group politics that have become associated with the left, certainly. But although she was being pulled that way, on most of the issues that count (such as national security), Hillary Clinton was more centrist than anyone we’ve seen lately.

      As for the Republicans — well, they’re being pulled all over the place. None of the directions are what I’d call “liberal” (except maybe for the libertarians like Rand Paul), but they hardly seem to all be going in the same direction.

      By the way, I’ve done a separate post on all this…

  5. Doug Ross

    “. But although she was being pulled that way, on most of the issues that count (such as national security), Hillary Clinton was more centrist than anyone we’ve seen lately.”

    You understand that when you call someone a centrist on national security, that’s not exactly a balanced scale. Your “left” STARTS about 75 degrees right of the true center when it comes to that topic.

  6. Richard

    Releasing this information on the air may be a violation of the Privacy Act of 1974.

    “The Privacy Act of 1974 (Pub.L. 93–579, 88 Stat. 1896, enacted December 31, 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a), a United States federal law, establishes a Code of Fair Information Practice that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information about individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal agencies. A system of records is a group of records under the control of an agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifier assigned to the individual. The Privacy Act requires that agencies give the public notice of their systems of records by publication in the Federal Register. The Privacy Act prohibits the disclosure of information from a system of records absent the written consent of the subject individual, unless the disclosure is pursuant to one of twelve statutory exceptions. The Act also provides individuals with a means by which to seek access to and amendment of their records, and sets forth various agency record-keeping requirements.”

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Was that a Wall of Text?

      Yeah, don’t hold your breath waiting for someone to be prosecuted on that.

      A man who runs for the presidency of the United States, and especially one who runs and wins and now IS the president of the United States — is the ultimate example of a public figure. And public figures simply don’t have the privacy protections that people who don’t put themselves out there like that do.

      I’m not sure how this specific Act applies, but that’s the general rule. Perhaps some of our attorneys would like to weigh in. But this layman sees little reason for anyone at MSNBC to stay awake at night over this…

  7. Doug Ross

    So in one year, 2005, Donald Trump paid more in federal income taxes (38 million) than every person who comments on this blog will pay in total in their lifetime. It’s a good thing there are people like him supporting the rest of us. Think of all the other taxes his businesses generated. Every employee, every hotel room, every property tax bill. Take whatever you pay in taxes and multiply it by a thousand. Think about that number for a second and determine if you could ever come up with a way to create that much income. Buds going to have to open a LOT of Subways.

    1. Claus2

      A couple of interesting tax facts:
      – According to estimates by the Tax Policy Foundation, the top 1 percent of earners (incomes in excess of $615,000) are paying nearly half — 45.7 percent — of individual income taxes for tax year 2014. The top 20 percent, with incomes above $134,300, contribute nearly 84 percent of all federal income taxes.

      – The Tax Policy Center has updated its estimate of the percentage of households that will not pay federal income tax this year. We now figure it is 45.3 percent, nearly 5 percentage points higher than our 2013 estimate of 40.4 percent. But that doesn’t mean more Americans have moved off the tax rolls.

      1. Doug Ross

        Stop dealing in facts and reality, Claus. It doesn’t fit the narrative to suggest that half of Americans don’t pay income taxes… sure they pay some Social Security and Medicare — but, again, rich people are picking up a larger portion of that and likely never getting back what they paid in.

        We should have a flat tax where everyone pays – 10% up to 100K, 20% up to 10 million, and 30% above that. That’s how you become a productive contributing member of society.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Fascinating… as you were typing “facts and reality” — referring of course to money — I was typing that you couldn’t care less about what Trump is doing to this country every moment of every day, because “it’s ‘just words’ to you, and doesn’t bear on anything REAL like money…”

          It’s hard for us ever to agree on any of this, because we disagree entirely on what matters…

          1. Doug Ross

            Well, let’s see what kind of government and military you can run without any money. Just because you don’t care about money doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary. But then you live in the world of words and not actions so you can generate all you need for free.

            1. Doug Ross

              But you sure do LOVE that money when it comes to raising taxes like the penny tax. Then you hop on board the money train and start tooting the engine full force! Whoo! Whoo!

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  The difference between you and me is that when we’re faced with a small thing like an additional penny on the dollar to address something needed, to me it’s just money.

                  And to you, it’s MONEY. 🙂

                  And I know more people think like you than do like me. But all I can go with is what I think.

                  1. Bryan Caskey

                    “Are you very much attached to money?’ asked Stephen. ‘I love it passionately,’ said Jack, with truth ringing clear in his voice. ‘I have always been poor, and I long to be rich.”

                    ― Patrick O’Brian, Master and Commander

                2. 1st Lt. James Dillon

                  … which is why you always go whoring after merchantmen and other easy prizes rather than saving shot and powder for enemy national ships of equal or greater weight of metal, as a gentleman should.

      1. Doug Ross

        No, being rich doesn’t make him awesome. But he’s providing more tax revenues to the country than everyone else on this blog combined. And he creates jobs and purchases products that produce even more revenue. Too many people lose sight of the fact that Trump and other rich people are responsible for many of the jobs that employ the middle and lower class. You think the people who work in the businesses that supply Trump’s hotels with sheets, furniture, etc. are glad he exists?

        1. Doug Ross

          “Bernie Sanders paid $27,653 in federal income taxes in 2014, a federal tax rate of 13.5%, according to his tax return”

          So the man of the people paid taxes at half the effective rate Trump did and contributed less than one tenth of one percent that Trump paid in 2005. It would only take Bernie 1,357 years to match Trump’s one year total.

          How about President Obama? “The President and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $436,065. The Obamas paid $81,472 in total tax. The President’s effective federal income tax rate is 18.7 percent.”

          Wait – why is a millionaire like Obama only paying 18.7%? How does Trump get a deal like that? It will only take Obama 460 years to catch up to Donald’s one year total.

            1. Claus2

              What makes you believe he’s not paying his taxes now? Are you upset that he’s taking tax loopholes that everyone else takes? Did you deduct your mortgage interest this year? Why, those who don’t own a house can’t declare that deduction… so you shouldn’t either.

              First you complain that he’s not paying his taxes, then when a return shows up you’re complaining that he is paying his taxes. I get the feeling that you just don’t like the guy.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                1. I didn’t complain that he’s not paying his taxes.

                2. I didn’t complain that he IS paying his taxes.

                3. I DO care that he’s president of the United States. THAT’s something I care about.

                1. Claus2

                  Okay so they may not be complaints, but maybe sarcasm is a better word… I don’t get paid for my writing ability so my vocabulary is probably only at about the 8th grade level and not up at your Oxford Latin Distinguished Professor level.

                  So that’s an awful broad brush you’re painting with. Can you elaborate on why you’re upset that he’s President?

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    The thousands of words written over the last few months haven’t been enough for you? I thought you and Doug were tired of hearing about it….

        2. Brad Warthen Post author

          Utterly and completely irrelevant. Those considerations have zero bearing upon anything we’ve been talking about. Zero.

          I truly could not be less interested in whether the people who sell him — and other people — sheets are happy he exists. I don’t care whether he exists, as long as he does so out of my sight. (Which he succeeded in doing, mostly, while he stuck to building casinos, appearing on reality TV and talking dirty about his daughter on Howard Stern’s show. When his profound neediness for celebrity managed to bring his absurd self to my attention momentarily, I could roll my eyes, shake my head, look away and forget him. Because he did not matter, except as another exemplar of the degradation of our culture. He was just another Kardashian.)

          I care that this dangerously dysfunctional, narcissistic, ignorant, profoundly unhinged man-child is president of the United States.

          It’s not complicated, so it puzzles me that you keep returning to this “but he’s a successful businessman” meme. It’s like you’re saying “But he’s tall.” So? It’s just not in any way related to the problem.

          Yet you seem to think it is.

          1. Doug Ross

            Uh, this is an Open Thread. I’m not engaging in your derangement theories. I was talking about the latest news that Rachel Maddow hyped last night on MSNBC that actually turned out to make Trump look perfectly fine. She had her Geraldo Rivera vault moment. Like her, you also probably need to take a chill pill when it comes to Trump. He’s not going anywhere soon.

            1. Doug Ross

              We’re two months into Trump’s presidency and the world hasn’t fallen apart. Normal people are going about their lives while you sit there actually hoping for some disaster to strike to vindicate you. Every day that passes makes your huffing and puffing seem more delusional. Yeah, Trump has screwed some minor things up — it happens. You and the liberal sore losers keep obsessing about every word, tweet, handshake, shoes on the couch moments that happens in real time. It must be exhausting to be that obsessive.

            2. Brad Warthen Post author

              And he’s definitely not EVER going anywhere as long as we kick back and accept this situation as something we can sit still for,

              This outrageous state of affairs must be opposed constantly, without letup. No one who sees what’s happening and cares about this country can in good conscience “take a chill pill.”

              I get it that you don’t get it, Doug. You just don’t see the problem. But I do.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                On this, our positions are reversed from what they are on illegal immigration.

                You see that Trump is an idiot, as you’ve acknowledged. But you don’t care. You hold government and the people who serve in it in such contempt that you don’t see how it makes any difference.

                I DO care. Passionately, because I see the immensity of what’s happening to the country.

                I think we should enforce our immigration laws, because a nation needs to have a handle on who is in the country. Passage across our borders should be regular and documented. Also, if immigrants have legal status, there is less likelihood that they will be exploited by unscrupulous employers.

                But I don’t get terribly upset when a bunch of poor people who for whatever reason don’t know how to do it legally or are prevented from doing it legally walk across the border to take hard jobs picking vegetables, slaughtering chickens and working construction, in order to support their families.

                I’d RATHER they do so legally, but I don’t resent them for being here. It doesn’t outrage me. It’s just not, to me, an issue to get worked up over. To me, the best solution is that we figure out how to fix things so that these folks can easily come her to work legally. Among other benefits, that would mean they would feel free to go home without being terrified that they might not ever get back in here when they need to.

                But it IS an outrage for you. You get highly indignant about their presence.

                So we’re at an impasse, on that, and this…

                1. Doug Ross

                  False analogy. If Trump does something wrong or illegal, I will view it that way just as I view those who break the law to enter the country and continue to break the law in other ways while here.

                  I don’t equate Trump’s bluster with sneaking across a border illegally.

                  Trump is just another in a long line of idiots who occupy the government ranks. He’s no worse than Pelosi or McConnell — in fact, he’s better in that he eventually will leave office.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    “Trump is just another in a long line of idiots who occupy the government ranks.”

                    And there you have it. Doug does not see that Trump is entirely different from anyone who has ever even come CLOSE to being president in our nation’s history.

                    Which is why we keep having this argument that goes nowhere…

                2. Claus2

                  “I DO care. Passionately, because I see the immensity of what’s happening to the country.”

                  As a legalized citizen, how has your life changed (with regard to his taking office) since November?

                  I’ll start, my life hasn’t changed one bit other than I’m happier knowing the fact that Hillary’s political career is over… although I have read rumors that she’s going to run for mayor of NYC. Because living there her entire life, and being familiar with the citizens of NYC has made her the perfect candidate for that office.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    You keep asking that question. And I don’t know why.

                    My life is different because for the first time in my life, I live in a country in which the president is someone dangerously unqualified, who seldom goes a day without doing something that no previous president in our history would have done to embarrass himself and the country I love.

                    I realize you and Doug don’t care about that, but I do.

              2. Doug Ross

                I don’t get it because it isn’t a problem yet. When you use the term “outrageous state of affairs” and yet nothing is falling apart, the stock market is cooking along, normal people are going about their normal lives, then who is off track here? You’re waiting for an “I told you so!!!” moment. When that does happen, then I’ll worry about it. Til then, I have more important things to be concerned with.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  The fact that this buffoon is the president of the United States IS the problem.

                  And this emergency state of affairs has existed since he first started closing in on the GOP nomination.

                  You don’t care, because you despise our institutions to begin with. The fact that our nation, its institutions, its governing principles, its history are all profoundly degraded by THIS being our chief executive is completely lost on you.

                  Whatever bad happens from here on is just injury added to insult. The insult — and such things matter in politics, in the life of a nation, even though you will NEVER believe it (it’s “just words” to you, and doesn’t bear on anything REAL like money) — has already happened. It gets up early every morning and happens all day…

                2. Doug Ross

                  I don’t despise the institutions. I despise the hacks and crooks who occupy them. I despise the self-serving phonies like Lindsey Graham who live for the spotlight and have grown rich as public servants.

                  You on the other hand see all of the problems with the institutions and think that the current group of politicians can solve those problems if you just write the right blog post to convince them.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    You don’t see Trump as the problem.

                    You see Lindsey Graham as the problem. You see HIM, not Trump, as the “self-serving phony.”

                    That’s a problem.

              3. Claus2

                The only problem I see is the one you’re making up and blowing out of proportion. You can make up as many hypothetical examples as you want, but that’s all they are hypothetical. The fact is your life is no different today than it was three months ago when Obama was in office… other than maybe your elevated blood pressure and anxiety level.

      2. Claus2

        Maybe you should write it on your hand.

        BTW – 99% of the people in the House and Senate are rich, and they think they’re awesome.

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