Open Thread for Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Note the weirdness of the seven identical microphones. In a free society, an important person might be seen with multiple microphones, but they would be different, placed there by an array of news organizations. This is Kim trying to look important without the freedom part...

Note the weirdness of the seven identical microphones. In a free society, an important person might be seen with multiple microphones, but they would be different, placed there by an array of news organizations. This is Kim trying to look important without the freedom part…

Happy New Year! Here’s what we’ve got at this hour:

  1. South Korea welcomes Kim Jong Un’s offer of talks — This could be a big deal — and could drive a wedge between South Korea and the U.S. First you-know-who pulls us out of TPP, now this. Stand on the Pacific Rim, and watch American influence disappearing over the horizon. A smooth move by Kim. So far in 2018, that’s one point for Little Rocket Man, zero for the Dotard…
  2. Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham call out Iran. Here’s what they said — I won’t make you click to find out that they were supportive of protesters, critical of the regime. The Iranian regime, that is. Graham was sucking up to the Trump regime (“As to President Trump and all those who love freedom…”).
  3. Leaving a car idling so that it’s warm when you get in is illegal in SC. Here’s why — Um, is it because that makes you a total jerk who hates the Earth? No, that’s not it. But if you need another reason, that one’s lying around available. I would also accept, “Because it makes you look like a total wuss who can’t handle a little weather…”
  4. In 347 days, Trump has made 1,950 false and misleading claims — In case you were wondering whether someone is keeping score, the answer is yes — the Post‘s Fact Checker is. Of course, this won’t impress Trump supporters, because they believe “They all do it.” Well, they don’t all do this. The White House has never been held by someone with such complete disregard for reality. Ever.
  5. New SC laws go into effect on New Year’s Day 2018 — I share this purely as an illustration of how slow news is: This story is four days old, and is still leading Seriously…

21 thoughts on “Open Thread for Tuesday, January 2, 2018

  1. Doug Ross

    Leave it to the SC government to demonstrate it’s stupidity on day one of the new year.

    “When S.C. lawmakers last spring passed the state’s first gas-tax hike in 30 years, they included a few sections of the law that kick in on New Year’s Day. One new feature is a tax credit for preventative maintenance on your car, truck or motorcycle. To earn it, save your receipts – starting Jan. 1 – when you buy gas or pay for car maintenance, such as new tires or oil changes for up to two vehicles.You then can claim those expenses on your 2018 taxes and be reimbursed either the amount you paid in higher gas taxes at the pump or what you spent on maintenance – whichever amount is smaller.”

    So, it starts with raising the gas tax and giving millions of dollars to fix our “[obligatory adjective]CRUMBLING” roads to an organization that is less productive than the Keystone Kops. And then, in their continuing example of idiocy, establish a new set of deductions to OFFSET THE TAX INCREASE and then make it part of the yearly tax return — forcing taxpayers to either save receipts or else just lie (because who is going to check anyway??). I suppose it creates a bunch of jobs for DOR bureaucrats to enforce this. Probably created a new position called “Director of Gas Refunds”. Instead of making the tax system easier, they make it harder.

    You can’t make up how stupid politicians are.

    1. Claus2

      I wonder if you’ll have to be a CPA to be DoGR? Or if you just need to be able to use an adding machine.

    2. bud

      So, it starts with raising the gas tax and giving millions of dollars to fix our “[obligatory adjective]CRUMBLING” roads to an organization that is less productive than the Keystone Kops.

      No one does “obligatory adjective” more disingenuously than Doug. This “Keystone Kops” meme is further evidence of that. While the DOT certainly has it’s share of issues it is hardly unproductive. And with the snow and ice fixing to come down let’s see who gets the roads functioning again. Will it be some billionaire hedge fund manager? Or a wealthy real estate mogul. Or will it be the heirs to Walmart fortune. Or perhaps some self indulgent software developer. Hardly. Instead it will fall to the dedicated 20k maintenance workers who will be out in the freezing cold driving trucks filled with sand and salt trying to keep our roads both safe and efficient. These “Keystone Kops” will once again come through in the face of difficult circumstances as they always do. Of course that thankless work will go unappreciated by all libertarians who can always find the worst in everyone and every organization. Sad.

      1. Bart

        bud, I can’t speak for Doug but I think he was referring to the people in charge, not the 20k maintenance workers who actually do the hard work of maintaining roads. They do the best they can but if the people running the DOT are not doing their job, how can the people who are charged with carrying out their responsibilities do it effectively?

        Perhaps the best analogy I can offer is when a department, business, or any organization is referred to as a bus and everyone riding in it are in agreement and dedicated to the same goal, all riding together. But, if the one driving the bus is incompetent or isn’t willing to do what is necessary for the bus to meet expectations and drives it into a ditch, how can the passengers be blamed for failure?

        I have great respect for the people on the line who are dedicated and do the hard work. It is the bureaucrats who sit in their offices and have never been on the line but make decisions without experience to back them up I object to. I think that is the point Doug was making.

  2. Lynn Teague

    On Senator Graham – I am never a fan of conspiracy theories and dark speculation, but I really have to wonder what is inspiring his recent way-over-the-top adoration of Dear Leader.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      It happened shortly after Lindsey spent some time in Room 101…

      He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty weeks it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath that corona of preposterous hair. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved the Donald.

      1. Doug Ross

        Actually, it seemed to kick in after their first golf outing. Maybe, just maybe, Lindsey saw a different side of Trump in that environment. Maybe some promises were made (immigration? a spot on the Supreme Court? a free membership at Trump’s courses worldwide?) . Certainly Trump pumped Lindsey full of grandiose compliments. It would be fascinating to get Lindsey to discuss his change of heart truthfully.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          The only viable explanation I can imagine is that Graham imagines that by being a toady for Trump, he will somehow be able to control him.

          You know, the way Hindenburg thought he could control Hitler…

          1. Dave

            I fully expect Graham will also either say nothing about Trump’s nuclear tweet from tonight or poo-poo it somehow. Graham has cast his lot. And 2018’s the year for voters to cast theirs by voting out every Republican on the ballot in the House and Senate as a check on Trump. And it’s pretty clear a tidal wave is coming that’s going to sweep many Republicans out of office (most likely enough to cost them a House majority at the least). Sane Republicans could have avoided this if they’d been willing to stand up against Trump. Or had not decided to no longer be sane Republicans.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        I know. I thought they were the most significant item of the bunch. Kind of surprised no one commented on it.

        I hope the people of Iran can somehow break out of the grip of the Mullahs and have a freer, more open society. What a game-changer that would be. Can you imagine a free, open, wealthy Iran, not pursuing nuclear weapons, and at peace with its neighbors?

        It would be a staggering event. I hope that the US and other nations around the world are doing everything possible to support the people of Iran behind the scenes. The problem with any overt support is that it allows the Iranian government to classify their opponents as “puppets of the West” or something like that.

        1. bud

          I hope the people of Iran can somehow break out of the grip of the Mullahs and have a freer, more open society. What a game-changer that would be.

          Perhaps. But I would maintain the nuclear armed theocracy of Israel represents a serious threat to the Palestinian people. Why can’t people see the other side of that coin? Unless American policymakers can understand that issue properly then it’s unlikely the “grip” of the Mullahs will be a game-changer.

  3. Claus2

    4. I’m curious, did this liberal newspaper have the same statistics for Obama or any previous President or is this just more Trump bashing by the main stream media?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes, this newspaper — not “liberal newspaper,” but newspaper — has been doing this for quite a few years. No one in public life has ever come remotely close to the Trump standard of multiple lies per day. Recently, he made 24 false or misleading claims in 30 minutes. He’s the all-time world champion, and no one can touch him.

      And perhaps I should use those terms — “false or misleading claims” — rather than “lie.” Because as George Costanza told us, it’s not a lie if you believe it’s true.

      And I think Trump actually DOES believe a lot of the things he says are true, both as a function of his astounding ignorance, and his utter disregard as to whether a thing is true or not, as long as it’s what he wants to believe.

      Another thing: Your reference to “liberal newspaper” suggests you’re one of those people who believe there are alternative facts. You know, liberal facts as separate from “conservative” facts, or whatever. But no. There are just things that are facts and things that aren’t and things that can’t reliably be classified either way by fallible humans.

      The Fact Checker checks facts. And Donald Trump departs from the facts more than anyone who’s held such high office in this country, ever…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author


        In the past, I’ve seen where the Post ran numbers comparing the rates at which Obama and Trump said things that did not measure up as true.

        I’m having trouble finding that right now. But here’s a chart The New York Times put together. Oh, and before you say “liberal media,” let me point out that no “news” outlet that supported Trump would ever take an honest look at Trump’s veracity compared to other politicians, because it would make their guy look so astonishingly bad.

        As the NYT notes, even these lopsided numbers are probably unfair to Obama, who — being a normal person, and not pathological, would correct himself when found to be wrong:

        We have used the word “lies” again here, as we did in our original piece. If anything, though, the word is unfair to Obama and Bush. When they became aware that they had been saying something untrue, they stopped doing it. Obama didn’t continue to claim that all Americans would be able to keep their existing health insurance under Obamacare, for example, and Bush changed the way he spoke about Iraq’s weapons capability.

        Trump is different. When he is caught lying, he will often try to discredit people telling the truth, be they judges, scientists, F.B.I. or C.I.A. officials, journalists or members of Congress. Trump is trying to make truth irrelevant. It is extremely damaging to democracy, and it’s not an accident. It’s core to his political strategy…

        These are simply observations based on reality. These are not statement trumped up to make some guy the media has randomly decided to hate look bad. If you’re someone who has spent a career looking critically at facts and checking and double-checking them, there is simply nothing to discuss — no one in public life has ever been as big a liar as Donald J. Trump…

  4. Bill

    If Graham’s gonna get himself a silverdaddy,he might as well get some sugar while he’s at it…

  5. bud

    3. This creates an interesting dilemma. It is now a standard safety practice to remove a young child’s coat before fastening her into the child safety seat. Thick coats create an unsafe fit for the child and hence put the child in danger in the event of a crash. This makes it advisable to warm the vehicle up first. But apparently this practice is now illegal. So what to do?

    1. Norm Ivey

      I found this article about a Michigan man who received a ticket for warming up his car in the driveway. He reacted poorly, but the cop probably should have handled it differently. Just because you can give someone a ticket doesn’t mean you have to give them a ticket.

      To Bud’s point about making the vehicle safe for a child in a car seat, it seems to me you could stay near a door and keep an eye on the car as it warms up. “Unattended” seems to be the key here. I would think if you are paying attention to it, it’s not unattended.

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