Open Thread for Wednesday, August 9, 2017

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Here we go with some topics. Add others if you’ve a mind to:

  1. Trump’s Threat of ‘Fire and Fury’ Raises Alarm in Asia — Yeah, I suppose it would. Tillerson says we should all rest easy. Why? Is Trump resigning, and he’s only told Rex? Who says stuff like this — other than, say, a Kim Jong Un? Or maybe a Saddam “Mother of All Battles” Hussein? He really, truly does not know the difference between talking like a tinhorn blowhard dictator and talking like the leader of the Free World. I like this headline in The Post: “Trump’s threats to North Korea were spontaneous and not drafted by advisers, officials say.” In other words, “Pay no attention to this guy; he’s only the president.”
  2. Top SCANA execs paid millions in bonuses for roles in failed nuclear project — Meanwhile, a state agency is challenging SCANA’s plans to further charge ratepayers for the cost of the abandoned project.
  3. FBI raided ex-Trump campaign chairman’s home for Russia probe — Nothing like a predawn raid to add spice to an investigation.
  4. McMaster rejects call to suspend Wilson over corruption probe — As you would expect. A Democrat raised this question to me last night: Why do you suppose the 2nd Vice Chair of the party made the initial demand for Wilson to go, instead of Trav Robertson? Interesting question, but now moot, since the chair has now issued the same demand. Doesn’t make it any more likely to happen, though. And I think they knew that going in, hence the lower-level statement.
  5. What about the firing of that Google guy? — I’m a couple of days late on this, but it seems some of y’all might have an interest in discussing it. My take? I suspect that the top brass felt like they had to fire him to cover their insecurity over being, you know, nerdy white guys themselves. Beyond that, I kind of liked Ross Douthat’s take. Check it out.
  6. Goodbye to Glen Campbell — Until he died yesterday. I didn’t know he was once a member of the Wrecking Crew. Cool to know. I can’t say I was ever a huge fan, although I did watch his TV show. I thought “Wichita Lineman” a particularly fine song (“Galveston,” too.). I wish they hadn’t junked it up with the strings, although I like that this clip is from the Smothers Brothers show, before Campbell’s own…

17 thoughts on “Open Thread for Wednesday, August 9, 2017

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, you’ll see one of the links above — the Glen Campbell one — is from The New Yorker. As was the inspiration of this post yesterday.

    I’ve subscribed to the iPad version of The New Yorker for a couple of years or more, but really had not been reading it that often — until recently, when I started getting daily emails from the magazine.

    These are keyed to the days news, and this presentation makes me much more likely to engage with the content. To me, this is far more inviting than the regular magazine format, which is the way the content is presented on the iPad app.

    This is a departure for me, since I usually don’t get into the email-update approach. But with The New Yorker, somehow their stuff was more relevant and inviting that way. I’m pondering why that is.

    This digression probably won’t interest you, but I remain fascinated by new ways of presenting the written word and getting people to engage with it. Chalk it up to having spent a career in a medium that withered when its business model failed. The demand for written material is as great as ever. Now, if just someone can figure a way of presenting it that is not only inviting and engaging for the reader, but that makes as much money as newspapers used to — so more of us outside the markets of Washington and New York can afford to do it for a living again…

  2. bud

    2. The SCANA execs getting big bonuses while the customers continue to pay. This is pretty much what you’d expect in the great plutocracy of South Carolina.

    I saw an interesting graph yesterday showing how the distribution of economic growth has changed since 1980. That year the poorest folks gained the most when the economy grew. The wealthy did fine too but gained a bit more slowly percentage wise than the less affluent. This was in sharp contrast to 2014 when the classic hockey stick gain were illustrated with the top .1% benefiting bigly from economic growth. The lowest 5% actually lost ground! So the fact that SCANA execs get rich at the expense of customers during this nuclear debacle is not really news. (I’ll try to track down the story)

    1. Doug Ross

      It’s a shame that between 1980 and 2017 there haven’t been any Democratic Presidents or majorities in Congress to help address your issue. If only there had been a Democratic President from 2008 up until January of this year who was in office. Stupid Republican oligarchs!

      1. Doug Ross

        How many government programs to “help” the poor have been implemented in the past 37 years? It’s almost as if giving people everything for free might impact their motivation to improve their standard of living… nah.. couldn’t be.

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    I don’t want to say Trump’s making me nervous, but only two things scare me, and one is nuclear war. If he starts talking about carnies, I’m outta here….

  4. Phillip

    No disrespect to Glen Campbell, who was indeed a great singer and guitarist, but (while he did bring them to life wonderfully) “Wichita Lineman” & “Galveston” were both actually written by the great Jimmy Webb. Certainly those songs were a great match of material and interpreter.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, absolutely. But (according to what I heard on NPR), Webb credits Campbell with having done more to shape the final product than the average singer — which you would expect from a member of the Wrecking Crew…

  5. Chuckie

    1) I see that Sen. Graham has declared the president a strategic thinker when it comes to N. Korea. He went on to reject the idea of containment, puffing himself up with his own bit bluster about eliminating the threat.

    On this issue, Sen. Graham is just as reckless as the Highchair Caudillo he otherwise seems to think so little of.

  6. Norm Ivey

    The film “I’ll be Me” documents Campbell’s Alzheimer’s disease. It’s worth the time to watch it. He faced it with as much grace and humor as he did everything else. And he released an album just a month or so ago, (“Adios”) which was recorded after the disease had begun to take its toll. He lost the ability to communicate, but he could still sing and play guitar.

    1. Bart Rogers

      Glen Campbell sang one of the most touching and extraordinary songs as his last tribute, ” I Won’t Remember You”. I will admit it brought a few tears to my eyes because like many on this blog, dementia and Alzheimer’s has taken a loved one and is affecting someone I hold so close to my heart, it hurts to watch this wonderful person slowly go away.

      Life is precious and every life is valued, even the life that has not been brought into the world from the mother’s womb. When you watch someone die a slow death and that is exactly what the disease does, it reminds us or at least it reminds me of how short our time on this earth really is and brings what is important into focus with a lot more clarity than it did in my younger years. Recently, I finished reading Ecclesiastes again and even if one is not a Christian or believer, the words written by Solomon are still relevant today and it is worth reading and contemplating.

      If you haven’t listened to Campbell’s song, give it a try. The volume of truth in the words of the song is astounding. Just in case you don’t listen to it, here are the lyrics.

      “I’m still here, but yet I’m gone
      I don’t play guitar or sing my songs
      They never defined who I am
      The man that loves you ’til the end

      You’re the last person I will love
      You’re the last face I will recall
      And best of all, I’m not gonna miss you
      Not gonna miss you

      I’m never gonna hold you like I did
      Or say I love you to the kids
      You’re never gonna see it in my eyes
      It’s not gonna hurt me when you cry

      I’m never gonna know what you go through
      All the things I say or do
      All the hurt and all the pain
      One thing selfishly remains

      I’m not gonna miss you
      I’m not gonna miss you”

  7. Doug Ross

    From Ron Aiken’s Quorom:

    “EMS Worker: ‘We’re Killing People Out There’

    Two weeks after a Richland County Sheriff Department Deputy committed suicide on duty, Richland County Assistant Administrator Kevin Bronson told a monthly meeting of approximately 100 County Emergency Management Services (EMS) personnel that a whistleblower who wrote a long list of complaints about conditions in the EMS department should either commit suicide or quit, multiple sources present at the meeting Thursday morning told Quorum.

    “He said ‘I’m reading this letter with more than 50 complaints, and if it’s that bad, you should just go kill yourself or leave,” said a paramedic in attendance. “He’s saying this to a whole room full of first responders. Everybody just lost it and blew up at him. Some people left the room they were so angry, some people cried.”

    Full story behind a very worthwhile paywall here:

    Richland County government is a bastion of mismanagment and incompetence.

      1. Richard

        Probably the fact that their leadership hasn’t changed in 20 years and there’s no upward mobility and if you want to move up the ladder you need to join a difference police force.


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