Open Thread for Thursday, May 31, 2018


A few topics you might have interest in talking about:

  1. Trump imposes tariffs on closest allies, Mexico and Europe announce retaliation — Hey, if it’s stupid, pointless, malicious and harms the country’s long-term interests, he’ll do it..
  2. Nikki’s op-ed about the children of South Sudan — Nicholas Kristof tweeted, “Good for Ambssador writing an op-ed about the catastrophe unfolding in South Sudan.” I’ll second that. As her boss is cruelly and systematically mistreating children on our own border, she is at least taking a moral stance on children elsewhere.
  3. Anybody still want to talk about the Roseanne Barr thing? — I don’t especially, but maybe y’all do. I never liked her. I saw her “humor” as being based in her consistent unpleasantness — one sour comment about life after another — and that sort of thing doesn’t appeal to me. So ABC has canceled a show I would never have watched anyway…
  4. Candidates for SC governor are making promises they can’t keep — Yep. Catherine Templeton, Marguerite Willis and that John Warren guy seem to be the ones most confused about the governor’s powers, from what I’ve seen. You expect that sort of thing from people with zero political experience, but their depth of ignorance (or lying) on this point is remarkable.
  5. Students performed sex acts in SC classroom, board says — This allegedly occurred during something called “power hour.” Nope, not making that up. Hey, my high school spanned the late ’60s and start of the licentious ’70s, and teachers wouldn’t even let us rehearse sex, much less perform it. Oh, and this supposedly occurred in the straitlaced Upstate, not the Lowcountry…
  6. Baptist church threatens to destroy Christ statue deemed too ‘Catholic’ — That happened right here in Red Bank, yet I’m reading about it in The Guardian. Yeah, right, like the English have this great track record of tolerance toward us papists…

19 thoughts on “Open Thread for Thursday, May 31, 2018

  1. Claus2

    1. Big whoop, all China will do is launder those items through countries like Vietnam.

    3. But this TBS talking head will likely get a contract extension. Free speech doesn’t work both ways when you’re dealing with liberal network heads.

    4. You expect politicians to be truthful? How long have you been doing this gig?

    5. High school kids are going to have sex where ever and when ever they can. The riskier the better.

    6. It’s Red Bank, where snake handling is still a religious practice.

    1. Richard

      3. I learned a new word today… “feckless”

      TBS has stated they aren’t going to do anything to Samantha Bee, but AutoTrader and State Farm have pull sponsorship. Discover Card is not.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Hang onto that one. It’s a great word.

        I saw some references this morning on social media to someone named “Sam Bee” who said something, I don’t know what.

        And I don’t know who “Sam Bee” is…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          But I’m guessing you’re making one of those “… but what about…?” non-arguments that are so popular among Trump supporters. You know, like saying “But what about HILLARY?” when Hillary has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand….

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        Well, I looked up that Samantha Bee person. Should she be fired? You bet.

        Did she actually say that on the air? Did they bleep it?

        Anyway, if she worked for me she’d be gone. She’d probably also be gone if she worked at ABC, based on what we’ve seen this week in an unrelated case…

        Some people have standards. Some don’t…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Apparently, there are women who think it’s cool for THEM to use that word in the way some black folks like to use a certain other word.

          In both cases, I think that’s a bunch of bull…

        2. Bob Amundson

          The show was prerecorded, but TBS still allowed its airing with the word censored. It was not censored on the internet version of the show. Many heads would roll if Bob were King!

        3. Norm Ivey

          I’ve seen Bee’s show occasionally. It can be as bad as tis comment was, but it can also be thoughtful.

          I wonder if TBS is now in a position where they can’t fire her because the White House said she should be fired. Wouldn’t it look a bit like suppression of expression if they did?

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Yeah, it would.

            This, of course, would not have been a problem with a normal president who isn’t constantly on Twitter attacking people who do him wrong. TBS could fire her without it looking like kowtowing to the White House…

  2. bud

    3. I really have nothing to say about Roseanne. Instead it’s important to point out the very tangible ways Trump is ruining this country:

    – 4600 dead in Puerto Rico from Maria. The Trump response to this tragedy was shameful and cost lives.
    – Young children ripped from their parents arms and many have now disappeared. What kind of craven “animal” implements such a cruel policy. Then he actually had the audacity to blame the Democrats.
    – Harley-Davidson is laying off workers. Remember Trump praising the company for creating jobs.
    – Big companies are using tax cuts to buy back stock to pump up their profit margins rather than investing in job creating plant and equipment.
    – As mentioned Trump in 1. Trump has started a counter-productive trade war.
    – The environment continues to be endangered by this administrations diabolical policies.
    – Though no longer in the headlines health care continues on a death spiral.
    – Stories of racist behavior by Trump deplorables grow more common every day.

    1. Richard

      Nobody is buying Harley Davidsons. What do most manufacturers do when they have millions of dollars in product sitting in a warehouse? They stop production. Economics 101… Supply vs. Demand.

      The rest is just typical bud ranting…

  3. Doug Ross

    Andrew Sullivan has a pretty strong finger on the pulse of the country right now:

    “And in the U.S., of course, the omens are not good right now. Trump himself is resurgent in the polls — his disapproval-approval gap was -20 points last December; it’s -11 points almost six months later. On the generic ballot, the Democrats’ lead has sunk from 13 points to 6 in the last five months. The party is in shambles in Southern California, one of its key regions for regaining control of the House. Sean Trende now believes that continued GOP control of Congress is perfectly possible, even probable. Since, it seems to me, the midterms are our only real shot at checking our own strongman, this is demoralizing.

    Maybe the economy’s continued steady growth is part of Trump’s polling revival, especially as it begins to reach the working class (at long last). Or maybe the outreach to North Korea has persuaded enough people that Trump is not always terribly dangerous in world affairs. Maybe it’s the tax cuts, although they have had no effect on growth so far — first quarter GDP growth was just downgraded to 2.2 percent. But the better part, I’d wager, is simply Trump’s continued salesmanship, his relentless media presence, the tribalism now endemic to our politics, and his core anti-Establishment appeal.”

    My take – Trump’s “resurgence” is just as much a result of the Democrats doing nothing for the past 18 months except whine and pray for Mueller to save them. They are a rudderless ship helmed by two ancient mariners (Pelosi and Schumer) while Hillary flits about on the periphery, popping up every other week to remind us how she should have won. Where is Medicare for all? Where is scaling back our military? Where is there anything but hand wringing and finger pointing on gun issues? You better get ready for Trump’s second term…

    1. bud

      “And in the U.S., of course, the omens are not good right now. Trump himself is resurgent in the polls — his disapproval-approval gap was -20 points last December; it’s -11 points almost six months later.”

      Trump is a president 16 months into his term who is presiding over an economy that features 3.8% unemployment, a DOW that has grown at a 16% annual rate, slow but steady wage growth, plus a relatively peaceful world along with a potential diplomatic success with North Korea. Yet with all this apparent success he has an approval rating that remains well under water. That is fascinating. Half the country will never vote for him. Why? As I’ve pointed out there is plenty that has gone badly wrong as a result of this man’s incompetence, vanity and just plain cruelty. The majority of the public understands that. Given the many head winds faced by the economy it is unlikely the gains over the past 8 years can continue. Once the inevitable recession strikes Trump’s 43% approval rating will be a distant memory. Trump cannot be re-elected with an unemployment rate above 5%. His only hope is to ride the current winning streak 2-1/2 more years. Absent that a 40 state landslide loss is inevitable.

      Having said that the Democrats really should be more proactive pushing a liberal agenda. A clean environment, quality health care for all, a compassionate approach to immigration and a more sensible foreign policy are all political winners. Polls go up and polls go down. The Democrats are in good shape come the fall if they will only be smart about it all.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      That one’s still pretty Catholic. It’s got the Sacred Heart going on and all — which is one of those things about Catholicism that remains strange to me even after all these years.

      I’m the same way about the Infant of Prague. Weird, odd symbolism. Of course, that’s one of the things I love about the church, which is its amazingly complex history — you can’t get the Infant of Prague without understanding the context of time and place and culture. And of course, that’s what’s off-putting to a lot of non-Catholic Americans, who don’t like that there furrin, old-timey stuff.

      Last night I was leafing (virtually, on my iPad) through the early pages of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, which I first read more than 30 years ago. Eco was a semiotician, that is to say, one devoted to “the study of meaning-making, the study of sign process (semiosis) and meaningful communication.” And that novel was a showcase for his erudition in those areas.

      The novel is set in a monastery in 1327. As the narrator, a novice monk, notes early on, “images are the literature of the layman.” This precedes a lengthy description of the carvings in and around a church door. Even though Adso the narrator is a man of learning, or on his way to being a man of learning, he is enough of a creature of his times to be profoundly affected by the images, even to the point of sort of tripping out on a religious-imagery vision before he is interrupted and called back to reality.

      The Catholic images that seem strangest to me, a product of the late 20th century, arise from times and places such as those described in the book…

  4. Doug Ross

    Senator Courson has resigned and plead guilty in his public corruption case. It’s too bad he dragged this out so long and wasted court resources for months. Before anyone says this is a shame, it’s not. He knew what he did all along over a period of 2006-2012:

    “In all, Courson paid the Quinn firm $247,829 from 2006 to 2012. Then, the firm paid Courson $132,802 “though multiple transactions,” according to the indictment.”

    This wasn’t a momentary lapse of judgment. It was a coordinated effort. He got what he deserved.

    1. Dave

      Not only that, he left his constituents with no representation for months. He could have resigned at any time. We can only hope that the fact that this was happening for so many years with no reporting on it will finally lead journalists in this state to pay attention to what’s going on at the state house and start holding elites in this state accountable.

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