Open Thread for Monday, May 15, 2023

Hey, if they’d put the byline up higher, I’d have read the story ere now…

Well, here we go, another week. Here are some things that have grabbed my attention:

  1. Football bonded them. Its violence tore them apart. — Someone brought this story to my attention today saying, “Great work from Babb and Washington Post.” My reaction was that Kent always does good work, as I think I’ve said before. I had seen this story over the weekend, and almost read it. If I’d noticed his byline, I’d have read it. The good news is that all of you can, too. Kent has tweeted out a “Gift link so everyone can read.” Try it and let me know if it works…
  2. India just passed China in population. That’s good news for America. — This is a column by Max Boot. Yes, that does sound encouraging, although of course the future is impossible to know. It’s always possible that Indian politics could take an unpleasant turn. But there I go looking at the dark side…
  3. Effort to dissolve DHEC headed to SC governor. Here’s what’s in the final plan — That’s one a them there newfangled kinds of headline. At least, the last part is. Headlines used to give you news, and the first part of this one does that. But the “here’s what’s in the final plan” part tells you “Click on this and we’ll tell you something.” But you don’t care about that, do you? Anyway, the thing that grabbed me about it was that the story can’t fully tell you what this bill will do, no matter how many times you click on it, because the details aren’t in it — at least, on the health side. As the story says, “the bill doesn’t parse details about how the agency would be structured.” So, it’s about to become law, but we don’t know the details? Huh. As Gilda Cobb-Hunter suggests, this bears watching…
  4. Limiting what novelists can write about won’t help readers — This is a column by Kathleen Parker. My reaction to it was, you want to worry about books being “banned?” Worry about it happening before the books are published, or even written. That’s what this is about. Unfortunately, I don’t see a “gift link” for this one. So if you can’t read it, maybe I’ll post about it separately, with some excerpts…
  5. Cunningham: With Biden trailing Trump, we need a third option for president in 2024 — As usual, Cunningham is full of… nonsense. I can’t think of anything more likely to get Trump elected — if, you know, he is the nominee of the former GOP. My man Joe Lieberman doesn’t think so, but hey, nobody’s perfect. I saw a tweet this morning from someone who said, “Wait is Cunningham really aligning himself with the disastrous no labels crowd? Man that’s incredibly disappointing.” Actually, it’s more the other way for me. “No labels” is a group that, at least in theory, I would see as having good points. But the fact that they’ve hired Cunningham lowers it in my estimation.
  6. Why Some Companies Are Saying ‘Diversity and Belonging’ Instead of ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ — I liked this story because it started with an anecdote about a company that until the 1950s required its (apparently all-white), male workers to wear bowties. Now it’s trying to diversify. That’s fine in my view, as long as all the new folks are also required to wear bowties. Standards are standards, right? They always have been, as you can see below…

I certainly wore bowties regularly back in the ’50s. You’ll note also that I had a sort of hipster haircut…

19 thoughts on “Open Thread for Monday, May 15, 2023

  1. Doug T

    I always have a yard sign for the Democrat in the governor contest. I passed on Cunningham.

    OBTW, old news but I saw where John Jenrette died recently. He was at a Gallivant’s Ferry gathering not too long ago. Walking around in his pale blue suit shaking hands. A pol to the very end. Gotta give him credit though for just showing up.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, that reminds me… another recent headline that you would never have seen back in the days that we had those things called newspapers….

      Did you see this one recently? “Former wife of SC congressman, now Italian princess, evicted from $158M Roman mansion

      You don’t find out until the 16th graf that they’re talking about Rita Jenrette. And that graf should have been a clue that maybe they shouldn’t have been hiding the fact:

      To South Carolinians, Ludovisi is better known as Rita Jenrette, wife of U.S. Rep. John Jenrette of South Carolina’s Pee Dee, She was married to Jenrette for five years while he was an up and coming congressman. He served three terms before losing after he got caught up in what was known as ABSCAM, an FBI sting operation to uncover political corruption.

      So… if you know that she is “better known as Rita Jenrette” to your readers, maybe, just maybe, you should have called her that in the headline. Or at least a little higher-up in the story.

      From what I’ve seen, there are two reasons they didn’t. First, the kids located here and there who assemble the publication don’t know who Rita Jenrette is.

      That’s understandable. What is less understandable is the apparent assumption that this is being read by people around the globe, so you have to write the hed for people who know nothing about South Carolina. Which is odd. Just because people in Hong Kong CAN read it online doesn’t mean they have any interest in doing so.

      Anyway, consequently, you see prominent South Carolinians referred to by roundabout descriptions, rather than by their names.

      I haven’t seen one yet about Strom Thurmond headlined “Former longtime SC senator,” but it’s just a matter of time…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Of course, in defense of The State… they don’t always do that. For instance, I saw no examples of it today.

        For instance, today we had “Executions in SC could resume after law signed by McMaster.” Which I see as normal.

        But as you see above in the main post, three days ago, we had one that said, “Effort to dissolve DHEC headed to SC governor….”

        The fact that it doesn’t say “McMaster,” though, is only slightly weird. The really weird part is thinking you have to add “SC.” Because, I guess, that tells all those readers in Montana they don’t need to look at this one. Or something….

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    You may think that photo at the end somehow contradicts my point in the previous post.

    It does not. The picture is from a pre-COVID time, you see. Like, WAY pre-COVID. In fact, I just did the math, and the date was much closer to the Spanish flu pandemic than to COVID.

    Not that I’m getting old or anything…

  3. Doug Ross

    I guess the story about Russiagate being a complete farce orchestrated by the FBI and supported by Obama, Hillary, and Biden didn’t hit your newsfeed.

    Same for the “Hunter’s laptop is Russian disinformation” lie you all swallowed hook, line, and sinker.

    If you’d just let Trump lose on his own merits, we wouldn’t be in this mess. But, nope, you Trump derangement sufferers think you need to make stuff up in order to beat him . He’s conned all you suckers.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, first, who’s acting obsessed here? I’m using “obsessed” as a kinder, less hyperbolic word than “deranged.” You keep talking about Trump. YOU do. Oh, I see where he came up, in an indirect way, in what Cunningham said. Is my continued criticism of the things Joe Cunningham does and says somehow “Trump derangement?” In what universe?

      Second, remind me what “Russiagate” is. No, don’t. It sounds like some silly term used by conspiracy theorists, and not a term that would be used around here. Hold on, let me check — nope, never been used in the 1,308 posts on this blog.

      Third, who are the people you call “you Trump derangement sufferers,” who are apparently focused on things that only you bring up here?

      Finally, read the first line of the post: “Here are some things that have grabbed my attention.” It’s not “Here’s everything that has hit your newsfeed.” In the multiple news sources that I pore through each day, you’ll never see me regurgitate everything that passes across my gaze. Because increasingly, most of it is garbage. I look for the stuff that provokes thought.

      You see how many words that took? I should have stuck with just deleting your comment. When you bring up these things that are SO off track, I should always do that. And increasingly, I do. But do my efforts to answer absurd accusations do any good? Not that I’ve been able to see, in these many, many times…

      1. bud

        I think Doug is referring to the final report from John Durham which was critical of the FBI in its investigation of Trump. The right wing had great hopes that this would implicate the Democrats as an overly zealous gang of hoodlums hell bent on smearing Trump regardless of the truth. Here is The NY Times take on the investigation:

        “After Years of Political Hype, the Durham Inquiry Failed to Deliver”

        So I’m not really sure I understand Doug’s point. There actually was plenty to learn about Trump, so investigating his various sordid conduct was entirely justified.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Yeah, I think I saw that piece — or something like it. But it certainly doesn’t seem to bear much resemblance to what Doug has perceived…

        2. Barry

          Dan Abrams on his Sirius radio show went into the Durham report earlier this week.

          He laid out the problems with the FBI approach but he also dismissed the mischaracterizations of the report by some on the right. Dan was critical of the FBI, but not the leadership.

          He also reminded some of his callers that the Hillary Clinton campaign had plenty of reason to be furious at the FBI as well in the weeks right before the 2016 election.

          The farce Jim Jordan committee hearing this week was laughable. That guy is just a joke.

          Even one of the Republican attorneys on Fox News said the fact that the witnesses refused to meet with Democrats on the committee or allow them to look at their documents ahead of the hearing was “a problem.” He said that wasn’t how any committee was supposed to operate.

          I thought several Democrats on the committee did a really good job of showing that the FBI “whistleblowers” that Republicans brought to the hearing were really Trump supporters.

          Those emails that some of them wrote were right out of the Trump campaign. In one case, one of the “whistleblowers” was proven to have said the January 6th riots were made up by the government. (I guess if he meant Trump, he would be right, but he meant the FBI orchestrated it). What a loon.

          Not only that- they were forced to admit a Trump operative was paying them cash money to support their efforts.

          It’s always interesting that to see the people accusing others of being political are100% right wing partisans themselves.

  4. Barry

    Some things The State and others don’t seem interested in covering that really went on at the state house with our high class legislators.

    (They really have a deep desire to present themselves as being too elite to get in the gutter – when in reality they spend a lot of their time there)

    Last week, the Speaker of the House had words with the body because so many people were making speeches on the floor accusing each other of being liars- and not just hinting at it – but tossing out the accusation specifically- and other personal insults.

    Even so, the Speaker’s “admonishment” was weaker than an ounce of gravy mix in Lake Murray.

    The State did find time (barely) to cover the campaign to replace the current director of the SCGOP with 2 “more Conservative candidates”

    That’s The State’s way of describing 2 candidates that make Marjorie Taylor Greene look like a Berkeley liberal.

    More and more county GOP groups across the state are throwing out their traditional extreme right wing Republican chairpersons and replacing them with even more extreme right wingers. The latest was Anderson County. They join Greenville County in that effort that had done it earlier,

    Both groups join several other large counties in moving toward Trump in their efforts. One Republican in Greenville described their current party meetings as an effort to “look and sound like a Trump rally.”


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