Open Thread for Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Moisture Festival 2010, photo by Michelle Bates

Moisture Festival 2010, photo by Michelle Bates

I’m super busy with catching up on work, but I wanted to give y’all something new to chew on.

If you are old enough, you will remember something on television called a “variety show,” and you will also remember that periodically someone would come on such a show whose claim to fame was the ability to keep a number of plates spinning simultaneously atop spindly sticks. (And yes, young people, we actually watched this, because the Beatles might come on next — also, there was no Netflix.) Well, me pausing in catching up on work to post this is like that — another plate set to spinning.

Some topics:

  1. House fails to override Trump’s veto of emergency declaration challenge — Which you knew was going to happen because arithmetic. So now, this particularly stupid saga moves on to the courts.
  2. Charges dropped against actor accused of lying about a hate-crime attack — If there’s a moral to this story, I have no idea what it is. But if this development means we hear no more about this particular episode, I’m all for it.
  3. SC House passes millions in tax breaks to lure Carolina Panthers across border— Really? As in, seriously? I liked that Henry proposed some light rail as part of his pitch on this. Could we just have that, without the football?
  4. 2020 presidential candidate to make commencement address at SC university — I just include this as an example of the newfangled type of headline that doesn’t tell you anything more than it has to to get you to click. Here’s the Old School version: “Cory Booker to speak at S.C. State graduation on May 10.” (I even padded it, as the usefulness of “Cory” and “on” are debatable.) Note how I told you everything you might conceivably want to know, in less space. Now you don’t have to click. You can thank me later.
  5. Tory rebels asked by No 10 if they would back Brexit deal if May quit — You can see the appeal of this plan to the PM. It’s a twofer: She’d get a win, and she wouldn’t have to deal with stupid Brexit any more.

30 thoughts on “Open Thread for Tuesday, March 26, 2019

  1. Doug Ross

    For those people who were 100% sure that Trump would be impeached by now, how YOU doin’?

    I’m enjoying immensely watching the Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers deflect all prior proclamations with the weak rallying cry of “Release the full report!”… Let it go.. or, as Hillary fanatics would say, “Move on”. Get used to Trump being in office for 22 more months and find a candidate who can actually beat him in the Rust Belt. Stop whining about replacing the electoral college and the popular vote. That’s not changing in 2020.

    Or, you can keep the clown car of candidates fighting over just how many trillion dollars more the government can spend to buy votes. Even Obama had cautionary advice for Democrats today to make sure they can explain how to pay for all the stuff they want. I think he’s really more worried that his “signature” legislation of his mediocre eight years will be tossed in the dustbin of history if the Medicare for All crowd gets it way.

    Note: I have donated to the campaigns of Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang (he’s a lunatic with harebrained ideas like Universal Basic Income). Yang is going to be a thorn in the side of Democrats because he’s got the backing of the Internet doofuses .

    1. Pat

      Doug, I think the old school democrats would like to see something more incriminating on President Trump but don’t really want to impeach him. They don’t want VP Pence to have a shot at 2020 and are placing their bets on Trump losing the next election. However, the Democrats need a candidate and a strongly appealing platform, and I don’t see either of those yet.

      1. Bill

        I’d rather see Trump arrested for child abuse.As a direct result of his administration’s policy changes,children and infants were detained,held in cages,etc.He should be held accountable for his actions and face his victims in court.He has no place in public service whatsoever.

      2. David T.

        The Democrats are a little gun shy now that their lie was exposed. Pelosi sure did change her tune awful quick after the Meuller report was released. Now she’s all about health care. Unless something drastic happens in the next 18 months, the Democrats just handed Trump his second term.

            1. David T.

              I guess you’d know better than me, I don’t watch CNN and that’s the first I’ve seen this video. I’m guessing you’re a Democrat who’s upset that the findings didn’t come back in your favor.

              1. Mr. Smith

                First, I’d recommend you read more carefully. I wrote “this stuff,” as in this view/position/line, not this specific person/report/video/etc.

                And by the way, we’re still waiting for you to specify which “lies” you were referring to.
                To help you with that, give this a listen:
                And then tell us which event listed is a lie.

                If you don’t like that particular source, here’s one from a certified conservative source:

                1. David T.

                  Who said anything about handing the Democrats a gift? Unless you’re taking Opinion articles as your source these days.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Ask a Republican member of Congress. But make sure you find one brave enough to tell you the truth. They probably wish Trump would shut up about this…

    1. Doug Ross

      Not for Sanders or Gabbard. Gabbard is my first choice because she is anti intervention in foreign wars…and has the experience in Iraq to solidify her view. I will only vote for anti war candidates. Yang is also in that camp but I’m more interested in seeing the old school democrats have to deal with him and his followers. They need to be challenged every step of the way.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Propose your cuts, and see if you can get the Congress to pass them. That’s how it works. No one — not you, not Trump, not Nancy Pelosi or Mitch McConnell — gets to do it unilaterally. Not even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez herself has the much power, as surprising (and wrong) as that might seem to her admirers.

        If you can sell your cuts to a veto-proof majority, you’ll get your cuts…

      2. Harry Harris

        There will be few cuts from the only over-resourced area of the budget – the military, and I think you know that. Lindsey wants them making those machine gun bullets in his state whether we’re shooting them or not.
        On the hot economy, we’ve seen it before – easy to sour the economy on a credit card. Remember Bush 2 in the first part of the 2000’s? He inherited a good situation even after the dot-com bust and ramped up the economy based on massive deficits and ridiculous private debt levels that came back to bite us. Trump’s approach is the same, but with reckless abandon – while he holds on to a large real estate-based business. We’re headed for some crises just like in pre-2007.

        1. David T.

          How is the military budget over-resourced? Much of the equipment (aircraft) is at or beyond it’s hourly life expectancy and many of the jets being flown today should be sitting on poles in veterans parks. Talk to Marines and Army soldiers about the readiness of their wheeled and tracked vehicles. Go to Fort Jackson and look at he rattle trap M-16’s being issued to recruits. We have our military fighting with worn out and unreliable equipment.

          1. Doug Ross

            You don’t need the equipment if you only plan to fight in declared wars. We need more butter and less guns.

            1. David T.

              I took Economics 101 as well in college.

              How do you defend yourself with a weak military? The only reason Canada and Mexico have a weak military is because they know the US will protect them. If we wanted to, we could invade and take both countries in a weekend. Defense is as or more important than offense. If countries have ICBM’s who can hit Kansas and Nebraska without any problem, would it be to our advantage to have a defense to stop those missiles? Also you need to have an offense to deter people from lobbing missiles into this country hoping 1 out of 100 will hit, if they know we’ll shoot back that puts a question in their mind as to whether not attacking us is a good idea. You work in IT, what if hackers knew that we could reverse things rather than strictly go on the defensive? How many fewer hacking attempts would we have if they knew their attacks could be reversed and we could wipe out their computer system?

              1. Barry


                Canada’s military isn’t weak. Canada has a history of making decisions that don’t rely on war as a means of foreign policy.

                No country is lobbying missies at the Untied States because we have nuclear weapons and the ability, without building any more airplanes or bombs, to pinpoint deliver them anywhere.

          2. Harry Harris

            Just a couple of points.
            We spend just over a third of the world’s military spending (about 37%). Of the top eight spenders, all but 2 are our allies, and we spend just under 3 times the second place country (China). The lack of readiness some might tout is likely as much the result of misallocation, poor contracting, and bloat in the top ranks than shortage of funds.
            All of out services are considerably too general-officer heavy. The top ranks and their staffs are eating a huge lunch without contributing much at all in fighting power or readiness. They generate signatures and paperwork for the level just above the fighting-level. Attempts to reduce this upper-ranks bloat have been rebuffed by upper-level officers, using their political, and supplier allies. Self-interested politics.

            Nobody doubts the killing power of our troops and weapons. We’ve foolishly demonstrated the limits of that power in wars of choice that allow third-rate groups to bog down the world’s best army. We’ve sent them to fight viscous and determined enemies their leaders choose but don’t understand.

  2. Bill

    New but old school :

    It’s still in San Diego
    You can hear a baby cryin’
    As the trains in New York City
    Roll thunder down the line

    The teachers rise in Richmond
    As they sleep in San Antone
    While the harbor lights on Baltimore
    Got nurses headed home

    And the jails of Mericopa
    Say a man is but his wrong
    It’s morning in America
    But I can’t see the dawn

    Congressmen in Washington
    Receive their brief n’ brew
    While lead it fills the pipe lines
    In a Detroit county school

    And I think of my grandmother
    How she told me to be strong
    It’s morning in America
    But I can’t see the dawn

    A junkie waits at Jacksonville
    Prescription for the pain
    As what the doctor ordered
    Comes screaming through the vein

    And in towns across the country
    It’s color that divides
    When in working men and ladies
    We could find our common side

    It’s morning in America
    It’s morning in America
    We’re mourning in America
    And I can’t see the dawn

  3. Doug Ross

    Joe Biden is done, thankfully. The latest Creepy Uncle Joe story about him kissing the back of the head of a female politician just a few years ago and how much it disturbed her will end Joe’s campaign before it starts. If he runs, he will face constant scrutiny every time he lays his hands on a young woman. #next

  4. Bill


    The working trio Rempis/Lopez/Packard jumps off on it first ever US tour starting next week, with thirteen concert dates scheduled around the Midwest, South, and East Coast, in support of their new album The Early Bird Gets on Aerophonic Records. Featuring Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis (Rempis Percussion Quartet, Ballister, The Engines) alongside NY-based phenom Brandon Lopez on bass, and Chicago-based wunderkind Ryan Packard on percussion and electronics, this tour will introduce one of the most happening new bands on the improvised music scene to the national stage.


    04/10 Urbana, IL Champaign Urbana Independent Media Center
    04/11 Chicago, IL Elastic Arts
    04/12 Madison, WI Arts Lit Lab
    04/13 Lafayette, IN Spot Tavern
    04/14 Milwaukee, WI The Sugar Maple
    04/15 Cleveland, OH New Ghosts @ The Bop Stop
    04/16 Lexington, KY KY Fun Mall / Outside the Spotlight
    04/17 Asheville, NC The Mothlight
    04/19 Columbia, SC If Art Gallery
    04/20 Raleigh, NC Anisette (presented by Kings)
    04/21 Washington DC Rhizome
    04/22 Beacon, NY Quinn’s
    04/23 New York, NY 244 Studios/Kirov Recital Hall


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