Open Thread for Friday, September 29, 2017

Gerrymandering goes before SCOTUS next week...

Gerrymandering goes before SCOTUS next week…

Slow news day, but let’s see what we can find:

  1. U.S. to Pull Embassy Staff in Cuba After Mysterious Attacks — This is one of the weirdest items out there, and it’s been percolating in the background for awhile. What have the Cubans — if it’s them — been doing?
  2. The U.S. Is Beating Back ISIS, So What Comes Next? — Trump left the generals alone, and they’re finishing the job started under Obama. But now what? Just leave everybody standing in the rubble, and expect that another ISIS won’t arise? And what about that Kurdish independence vote earlier in the week?
  3. Gerrymandering, a Tradition as Old as the Republic, Faces a Reckoning — OK, we can’t read this because it’s behind the WSJ paywall. But I post this as a reminder that next Tuesday, the issue goes before the Supreme Court. Reforming reapportionment, if we can find a way to do it, remains THE thing that would do more to improve politics in this country than anything else.
  4. ‘I’m going to work until I die’: The new reality of old age in America — I don’t even think I’ll read this. Stuff like this is so depressing…
  5. Miss these guys yet? You betcha. — This is a column by Jennifer Rubin. It starts: “They looked relaxed, comfortable in their own skin and happy to be in each other’s’ company. They looked normal. The sight of former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton at the Presidents Cup golf tournament made one downright nostalgic — and a little sheepish about not appreciating them more when they were in office, even the ones we passionately disagreed with.”


10 thoughts on “Open Thread for Friday, September 29, 2017

  1. bud

    They looked normal.

    George W. Bush will never, ever look normal. He was a lying travesty of a president. A joke. A charlatan. A miserable excuse for a human being. Ok maybe he does have some basic humanity that Trump lacks. But seriously this nauseating man was just an awful, awful president. Even so I’m glad to see two very fine presidents accept him into the club. That’s how America should be.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        In fact, he was SO normal, I think a lot of people had a problem with that. He came across as such an ol’ regular fella that you might play golf or have a beer with…

  2. bud

    Here’s a late breaking big story. Tom Price is out at HHS. This just shows how ridiculously partisan the Republican congress is. Price had a pretty damning history of using his congressional position for financial gain from his stock holdings. That was worse than the plane stuff yet apparently not bad enough for the Republiklan Party.

  3. Dave Crockett

    Re: 4.) I know I took some criticism from this group a while back when I shared that I’d taken my state retirement after more than 29 years of service because I was ONLY 58 years old at the time.

    I still make no apologies for that, as I more than fulfilled the terms of my contract with the state when I was hired in 1982 by Clemson University. Also, I voluntarily did NOT enter the TERI program, as I had issues with how the program had evolved into a substantial giveaway of retirement system dollars without much benefit to the employing agencies in far to many cases. That decision alone cost me close to $100,000. So be it.

    My point is that I retired because I was done. I was mentally and physically exhausted from both my state job AND the major campus programs I’d put years of energy into (the Staff Senate and the fledgling Staff Development Program). But I did not want to work until I dropped.

    That decision was further ratified this week when a friend of 30 years (about a year older than me) shot himself after enduring more than a year of physical and psychological pain growing out of several medical and personal issues. He was a small business owner whom I patronized regularly, who often referred consulting business to me but rarely took time off for himself. He always said that he envied my retirement decision but that he’d have to work until he dropped. He didn’t exactly get his wish…

    1. Barry

      Who was critical of you for making your own decision to retire?

      I realize people like to control other people, but I can’t imagine a more worthy thing to ignore than someone’s advice on when YOU should retire.

    2. Richard

      I know several people who have retired from state and university jobs, not one that I’ve spoken to regrets getting out when they did. My plan has me retiring in 4 years at 56, I work with people who are 20 years older than that and still hanging around (at that’s about the extent of what we get out of them). It’s sad that people who are financially able to stay working because that’s all they have in their lives. Well except for one guy who works because his wife is such a hateful person that it’s his excuse for leaving the house everyday.

    3. Bart Rogers

      Dave, anyone criticizing you for taking your well earned state retirement is literally speaking from the opposite end of their anatomy. You worked hard for it, you put in your time and there are some professions that do exact a great deal of physical and emotional health.

      Some of us are still working for a multitude of reasons. I still work because first, I want to and it fulfills me to be able to continue to contribute. The BS artists who make comments about older people just hanging around and at their age, “that is about the extent of what we get out of them”, are totally full of it. Yes Claus, I am addressing your comment.

      Second, I did own a successful business until one of our lying politicians broke his word and within 6 months everything I had worked for went down the government drain along with thousands of others who ended up losing everything they had worked for. So, due to circumstances, some within and others beyond my control, I have had to start over more than one time. The difference is that I enjoy working, my wife is not hateful so getting out of the house to avoid her is out, I have my own small business I operate out of my home, and I can set my own hours. If this bothers anyone, go tell it to your hero who suffers from “Tourettes of the Thumb and Mouth”.

      Some individuals grow old before they get to 50 or 60. Some never grow old mentally, emotionally, or physically other than the obvious physical appearance – wrinkles and gray hair. I have both and will never be embarrassed or feel as if I am no longer viable and able to contribute. Ageism is just as discriminatory as any other “ism”. Some who believe they are wise in their own eyes are royal pains in the arse.

  4. Karen Pearson

    Regarding gerrymandering, if the courts don’t do something about it, it is likely that our system of government will collapse. The constitution was originally written with many protections for those who didn’t agree with the majority. Those are being gerrymandered out of existance. The practice is ensuring a disdain for compromise and collaboration among those who might not agree completely with each other. The voters cannot manage to stop it because the gerrymandering has ensured that those in power will stay there.

    With the mysterious Cuban “attacks” I’m not completely sure that they aren’t a medical problem. Not everyone is being affected, but those that are attacked are from this country. We have effectively isolated ourselves from Cuba for about 50 years now. Other countries have not chosen to isolate themselves. We don’t even get many refugees now (at least not that I know of). I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t some virus that Americans are especially succeptable to because we haven’t been exposed to it.


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