Open Thread for Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The thing that happened in Portugal…

Just a few quick ones here:

  1. An inside account of devastation and survival in the Libya floods — Talk about the last thing you expect in a place like that. It has to feel, to survivors, like the end of the world.
  2. Tim Scott’s girlfriend — An interesting topic, interestingly presented. Sorry that you have to subscribe to The Washington Post to read it, but if it makes you feel better, the story — while interesting — doesn’t tell you much about her. I just mention it to say, it’s fine with me for Sen. Scott to be private about private matters. Any beefs I have with him have to do with other things.
  3. Earth ‘well outside safe operating space for humanity’, scientists find — Just a heads-up. If you’re friends with Ford Prefect, you might want to go find him and get him to activate his Electronic Thumb.
  4. Cascades of red wine flood a city’s streets in Portugal after huge tanks rupture — I don’t enjoy wine as much as I used to, but if there’s ever going to be a flood like this of beer in Bavaria, I want to know ahead of time.
  5. Romney to Retire, Calling for a ‘New Generation’ — Ah, but here’s the problem: Where’s this new generation coming from? In his party, the “new generation” is Matt Gaetz, George Santos and Marjorie Taylor Greene. So basically, the country needs Romney over on his side, and Joe Biden on the other, to stick around as long as possible, until a few more grownups emerge to run things.
  6. Is math real? And other existential questions — You might want to give this a listen. It’s pretty interesting. And since it’s NPR, it’s free — unlike those NYT podcasts I keep talking about.
  7. The dumbest day in Congress in 2023 was building for a while — In case you can’t tell, this is about something Speaker McCarthy did in Washington yesterday. Bottom line is, don’t expect rational behavior from a guy whose tenure depends upon placating lunatics.  That’s from the Globe; I just liked the headline. Here’s something you might find it easier to read, although it’s more vanilla.

Yeah, I know — not very satisfying. I just wanted to give y’all something. I’ll try to be more thoughtful tomorrow…


73 thoughts on “Open Thread for Wednesday, September 13, 2023

  1. Barry

    Michael Smerconish had The Post writer on his Sirius radio show on Wednesday to discuss his article on Tim Scott. Great interview and insight into the article.

    My favorite interview of the week was Michael having Gerald Posner on to discuss the Kennedy Secret Service agent revelation. Michael’s interviews with Posner are fantastic .

  2. bud

    2. It’s a bit fascinating that we have TWO senators who are middle aged and have never been married. I wonder how often that has happened in state.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes, it is. I don’t know the answer to what you bring up, but I suspect it’s quite rare…

      And it’s an interesting question. I might write a separate post about that. But it wouldn’t have anything to do with the “is he gay?” stuff.

      But I am reminded of a situation I encountered back in the early ’80s. Back then, I was news editor of The Jackson Sun in Tennessee, I also had some slight involvement with the editorial board. (Very unusual, but then it was a small paper, and I had written some for editorial before I became news editor.)

      Beyond that, we had a situation that would challenge any paper’s ethics committee, if it had one.

      A young man who was fresh out of school was running for the Tennessee House. This young man had worked as a summer intern in our photo department. Our entanglement went far beyond that. His mother was our “society” columnist, and I really liked and respected both of them. Beyond THAT, though, his Dad was a department store owner, and the newspaper’s biggest advertiser. His name was Matt.

      The easy thing to do, of course, was to wash our hands and endorse anybody but him in the coming Democratic primary. But I wasn’t interested in doing the easy thing, so I pushed to endorse Matt, because I was really impressed with him and truly believed that he would be the better representative. I believed we should back him no matter what people said about us, and just make the case for him as well as we could — because it deserved to be made.

      Our managing editor, the late great Johnny Malone, (who was also involved, and no, at a large newspaper he probably wouldn’t have been — at least, not at The State) disagreed. And not just because he wanted us to take the easy route. And this is where this crosses paths with the subject of Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham.

      Johnny’s position was that the primary opponent was a grown man (in his middle 30s, as I recall) who was married and had a family — whom he worked hard to support, not having been born with anything resembling a silver spoon.

      Johnny trusted a man with such life experiences to better represent the people of Madison County, no matter how smart the kid was. He thought such a rep would better understand the lives of most of us. (I suppose there were also differences having to do with actual issues, but this is what I remember.)

      I thought that was a fairly solid point, but I still wanted to back Matt.

      I lost that one. We backed the family man. However, he lost to Matt. Then we backed Matt in the general (with Republicans howling about our conflict of interest, I think — it’s been a long time, so I’m not sure), and he won that, too.

      He would go on to serve in the House for the next 20 years. And while I wasn’t there for most of that, I suspect he did a good job.

      His opponent — assuming I’m keeping all this straight in my memory — was later elected mayor of Jackson, and held THAT office for almost two decades.

      My point is that I’m remembering Johnny’s point. A guy who’s been a bachelor all his life has missed out on all sorts of experience that teach you things about, for instance, having to get along with other people (if nothing else).

      That doesn’t mean I’ll automatically prefer the married candidate with children (after all, I didn’t back in 1982). But if you present me with two identical candidates who are different only in that respect, I can see assigning a few points to someone who has also had (near as you can tell) a long, successful marriage and has been a good parent…

  3. bud

    5. Here’s a short list of Democrat who are ready or will be soon for bigger things:

    Josh Shapiro – 50. He has done an incredible job as governor of PA.
    Gavin Newsome -55. A no nonsense governor who doesn’t suffer fools lightly.
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – 33. A bit young for higher office just yet but she is very bright, articulate and will make a terrific senator, governor or POTUS one day.
    Katie Porter – 49. One of the most brilliant minds ever to serve in the house.
    Hakeem Jefferies – 53. Has done a fine job as minority leader.
    Abigail Spanberger – 44. Not the full blown liberal that I would prefer but a solid resume of accomplishment.
    Katie Hobbs – 53. Serious minded governor with a good head on her shoulders.
    Corey Booker – 54. Articulate, smart and likable.
    Raphael Warnock – 54. Fast becoming my favorite politician. A bit more exposure to foreign policy issues and he’ll be a perfect successor to Obama/Biden leadership.

    I’m afraid we’re stuck with Biden for now but the future is very bright with these gifted men and women.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Let me say that I’m glad you mentioned Rep. Spanberger. As for the rest of the list, well… I certainly prefer Warnock to Herschel Walker, as I’ve expressed here previously. So that came out well.

      As for Gavin Newsom — you do know that he once, of his own free will, married Kimberly Guilfoyle.

      We’ll skip right over AOC, and go back to the one I like…

      The fact that we have to hold our breaths every two years to see if Abigail Spanberger will get re-elected says all there is to say about our current, demented political environment…

    2. Barry

      I heard Shapiro’s press conference after police caught that fugitive. He was praising law enforcement big time and they were praising him right back that he gave them everything they needed.

      He’s very impressive. I just don’t know much about him. Pennsylvania seems to really like him.

    3. Doug Ross

      Thanks for a good laugh on Friday afternoon, bud.

      Newsome is a hypocrite who got exposed during COVID and is now watching his state collapse city by city. San Francisco is being overrun by homeless, drug addicts, and thieves.

      AOC . she might be as dumb as Joe Wilson but with less hand waving.

      Katie Porter thinks her whiteboard schtick will win her a Senate seat over Adam Schiff, who might be the biggest liar in Congress, giving George Santos a run for his money. Anyway, Porter doesn’t have the “look” to be anything that can win on national level.

      Corey Booker already proved what the nation thinks of him as a national candidate. He did worse than Kamala..

      The rest of the list are destined for obscurity

      Buttigieh is your best shot.

      1. bud

        [This comment has been edited.]

        I have a morbid curiosity as to exactly what you consider the desirable “look” for a politician seeking higher office?

        1. Doug Ross

          Not an overweight, frumpy woman… America doesn’t elect average looking people for President. Sorry, that’s reality today. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren are prime examples. Hillary didn’t win any beauty contests either it’s a visual world…
          Why do you think they keep pumping Biden with Botox and hair plugs?

  4. Ken

    ‘5: From a forthcoming book by McKay Coppins, who spent 2 years talking to Romney in putting together a new book about him:

    “A very large portion of my party,” [Romney] told me one day, “really doesn’t believe in the Constitution.”
    Not just party leaders, but the rank-and-file, your neighbors, friends, and family.

    1. Barry

      Romney is correct.

      I think he’s talking about Senator Mike Lee. Lee is held up in right wing circles as a “constitutional scholar.”

      Of course right wingers hold anyone up that agrees with them as a “constitutional scholar” even right wing radio and tv hosts that never even went to school beyond high school.

      Lee was the “constitutional scholar” that was working hard to illegally overturn the election results.

      Mike Lee clearly doesn’t give a damn about the constitution.

  5. Barry

    Other news this week

    Conservative right wing governor Kristy Noem of South Dakota, who has had a major focus on “family values” as Governor is having a sexual affair with Corey Lewandowski, the married father of 4 and former Trump campaign advisor.

    Noem has recently been touted as a strong VP choice for Trump and has openly campaigned for the job in the last few months.

    Lewandowski has been pushing Trump to pick Noem. One reason is that, with a win, Noem would be in Washington DC along with Lewandowski making their affair much easier on both- but not easy on their spouses or families.

    The affair has been going on since 2019. This is not really new info as, behind the scenes, this has been long talked about in political circles. This is the first time it’s getting major media attention. Neither individual has denied the affair.

    Noem has been married 30 years. Lewandowski has been married since 2005. He is married to a woman who lost her husband on 9/11.

    A reminder- no one really cares what adults do behind closed doors (except right wingers). It’s obvious that in political circles, a LOT of liars are cheating on their spouses constantly and many of them get on tv and lie to the audience about their fake “family values”

    Noem’s hypocrisy isn’t new. She’s made a big deal about and has made numerous references to how right wing values are superior to anyone else’s values.

    Regarding Lewandowski, I don’t think anyone in the world is surprised at his actions. It’s also perfect that he’s a top advisor to Trump.

    Trump’s other top advisor is Jason Miller. The then married Miller was forced to admit to hiring prostitutes on numerous occasions and fathered a child out of wedlock (after encouraging his mistress to get an abortion while going on right wing media and touting his pro-life position) during the 2016 campaign and has fought paying child support for years in court. His mistress as another frequent contributor to Fox News.

  6. Barry

    in the NEWS YOU CAN USE segment with HYPOCRISY icing

    Colorado Republican Congresswoman and darling of Conservatives Lauren Boebert has now apologized for her actions at a Denver performing arts center.

    Boebert, who has repeatedly campaigned and voiced her “conservative and christian values” was at a performance last week when other patrons complained that she was vaping, being loud and inappropriate at the venue with other adults and children nearby.

    The recently divorced Republican was kicked out of the performance along with her current boyfriend, a local bar owner who is known to sponsor drag shows and LGTBQ themed nights at his bar. Boebert has repeatedly said on right wing media (and from the floor of the House) that no one should be going to drag shows and should be going to church instead.

    In initial comments before any video was released, her campaign manager lied to the public and stated that she did nothing wrong and other patrons were simply mad because she was supporting the arts.

    The Denver venue released video showing that Boebert was indeed vaping, contrary to her campaign manager’s statement, and was also publicly grabbing the crotch and fondling her new boyfriend during the performance with other guests, including children, seated nearby. Video also captured her boyfriend fondling Boebert’s breasts during the event.

    This is an example of the “Christian” values that right wingers want to try to hold over everyone else.

    Right wing media, outside of a few snippets on cable news, has been silent on Boebert engaging in sexual content with her boyfriend, not to mention the nasty habit of vaping at an indoors performing arts venue.

    I’ve seen Conservatives defending her “right” to vape at the event. Yep- defending it. Few things demonstrate the fact you have no integrity at all than defending someone blowing smoke in someone’s face at an arts center performance. Most- of the “family values” crowd I’ve seen have been slient on the fact she was sexually groping her boyfriend and letting him fondle her breasts.

    sexual relations outside of marriage is the “new Christian value” – but only if you are a Republican or Conservative.

  7. Doug Ross

    The U.S. Senate is changing its dress code to allow Senators to wear whatever they want while in the chambers. Staff and visitors will still be required to wear suits and business attire.
    The rules were changed because John Fetterman doesn’t like to wear suits and his staff said wearing a suit affected his ability to recover from depression. When casting votes, he would stand at the Senate door and yell his vote in so he didn’t have to wear a suit to enter. You can’t make this up .. nevermind that he can’t form or express a coherent thought, now he can wear his favorite hoodie and shorts while he sits there.

    Feinstein, Fetterman, Biden.. the Democratic brain trust .

          1. Barry

            I don’t think wearing a suit shows respect to anyone. Lots of lying crooks wear suits. Lots of people being sentenced to prison for murder wear suits. Lots of people that murder, rape, and steal dress nice.

            I think the way someone acts and treats other people shows respect – or a lack of respect.

            Even our company leadership never wears suits or ties anymore- and these folks wore them for 30 years.

            I heard a talk show host complaining about this yesterday- then he admitted he never dresses up and hates to do it. LOL.

            This is an issue that a Republican majority leader will change- if they win the Senate- just to make a point.

            1. Doug Ross

              It’s not about wearing a suit. It’s about changing the rules regarding wearing a suit because one Senator can’t handle the stress of dressing up. Explain why they didn’t change the rules for everyone if it’s no big deal?

              Idiocracy is getting closer every day.

              1. Barry

                They changed the rules for every Senator. Good for them.

                The Senate doesn’t have anything to do with House rules.

                Wearing a suit doesn’t make someone respectful. It doesn’t make anyone show respect. It’s the oddest argument.

                Jails are full of people that wore suits.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Actually, not really. Have you visited a jail lately? Probably the only person who’s been at the Richland jail in the past year who owned a suit was Murdaugh.

                  That’s one of the problems with the news coverage that prominent people get when they’re in trouble. It leads to the notion that the jails are full of people who wore suits. (Which is related to the destructive notion — held by so many — that “all politicians are crooks,” based on the ones they read about.)

                  This causes people to care less about the actual prisoners who DO fill the jails and prisons, who’ve generally led lives of desperation and misery…

                  Changing the subject — there’s a nice middle ground somewhere. I think maybe we achieved it sometime 30 or 40 years ago. Before that, the world was probably a little TOO formal. I refer to men wearing suits at baseball games — even in the cheap seats — and other sings of those times.

                  You should be able to relax a little a ballgame, if nowhere else.

                  But if you presume to make the laws the rest of us must live by, take the trouble to dress the part.

                  Oh, and don’t get me started on senior Army officers, who may not have been on a battlefield in decades (if ever), showing up for formal occasions in BDUs. I’m pretty sure these guys have a Class A (or whatever they call them now) uniform at home, and probably a couple of formal ones as well…

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    But if you do get me started, I’ll probably riff for awhile on the dumbest uniform of all time — the Navy’s idiotic “blueberry” BDUs, which I’m happy to say they finally abandoned in 2019.

                    How did this conversation not occur at the Pentagon before those were adopted?

                    What’s the point of camouflage?
                    To blend into the background.
                    Do these things blend against the gray background of a warship?
                    What do they blend in against?
                    Why, the ocean, sir.
                    Right. And don’t you suppose that when a sailor falls overboard, we’d like to be able to SEE him so we can RESCUE him?

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      I think maybe were were deliberately trying to bump the previous Stupidest Uniform record holder, which was the one with red pants that the French insisted on wearing at the beginning of the First World War…

                  2. Barry

                    There are plenty of people that go to jail that wore suits.

                    The Richland County Jail probably isn’t full of them.

                    Regardless, I think we know what you wear doesn’t make you moral, or a decent person. It means nothing. If you think someone respects you or anything because they are wearing a tie, I think you have a personal problem.

                    The Mob dresses pretty darn good. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of clergy have abused people while dressed up.

                    “(Which is related to the destructive notion — held by so many — that “all politicians are crooks,” based on the ones they read about.)”

                    We don’t have a great track record of putting politicians in jail

                    and we don’t put liars in jail though we might want to do so.

                    Oh, I fully believe that most politicians are crooks and liars.

                    In fact, I believe you have to be a liar to be a politician. You won’t change my mind. I’ve known too many of them. I use to work at the state house.

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Well, that’s not my experience. But the quality has gotten lower and lower, as too many people who would have run for office 50 years ago shy away from it…

          2. Barry

            Fetterman’s reply to some of the nonsense about a dress code was terrific.

            Pointing out that recently a republican had nude, sexually revealing photos hoisted up for all to see in the capitol.

            They hypocrisy is noteworthy.

            (Except for Josh Hawley who likes to wear jeans in and around the Senate and didn’t apparently have any issue with Fetterman (and Republicans didn’t have any issue with Hawley’s choices).

            Another female Democratic Rep pointed out that Republican men violate the dress code all the time on the House floor wearing tennis shoes and cowboy boots. One Republican rep (a male) has a habit of going barefoot.


            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              FYI, if you’re interested and they let you read it, there was a story in The Washington Post that sort of addressed the question of How’s Fetterman doing these days?

              The headline was “‘What does next look like?’ Inside the unfolding recovery of the Fetterman family.

              I didn’t finish it, though, because it was kind of depressing, and I have a lot of work to do today.

              Possibly the most depressing thing is what partisan politics is doing to this man. He should be able to set all this aside and spend time with his family and work out his problems.

              And if the Democrats had a comfortable majority in the Senate, he’d get that chance. All his friends, including those in the Senate, would encourage him to resign his seat and rest up for awhile. Instead, Schumer can’t afford to lose him (especially in light of the Menendez thing), so he changes the rules to allow one of Fetterman’s eccentricities. Which is kind of cruel, really, because it calls more attention to his problems and just begs the opposition to abuse him over it. And they will, because they’re just as desperate to destroy the fragile Democratic hold on the Senate as Schumer is to preserve it…

          3. Ken

            What is everybody going on about? Hasn’t anyone been to church lately? The non-denominational churches in particular are pretty relaxed in terms of dress. And what about events that used to involve dressing up, like graduation ceremonies? A year ago I attended the first one in a long time. I arrived in suit and tie – only to find most folks dressed very casually. Some – including parents, not just students — were wearing shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops.

            Yes, it’s poor taste. But I don’t want a dress code that forces others to dress the way I think they should. I’d rather they enjoy the freedom of being able to dress tastelessly. And for me to enjoy the freedom of being able to consider them tasteless slobs.

            1. Barry

              the only people I see that wear suits, or ties and coats are tv hosts, scam politicians, and scam tv preachers.

              I visit numerous businesses every week. I haven’t seen someone in a tie in years.

              I was in North Carolina today at a very large manufacturing operation – one with locations in multiple states – visiting with senior management. The director, who I would guess was in his mid 60s, was wearing a t-shirt and shorts.

          1. Barry

            Except America voted for a fat Donald Trump whose hair looks like something my dog would be depressed about.

            The American people have voted for a number of less than attractive Presidents.

            Right wingers seem to love Margorie Green. I rest my case.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Yeah, that’s why I mentioned Trump. The rule that candidates need to be good-looking is one of many, many rules that his political success breaks.

              And I’m still trying to understand it all.

              Perhaps the explanation on this point is that his supporters aren’t beautiful people, either. One of the points that is frequently brought up to explain his inexplicable appeal is that they identify with him. For instance, he just comes out an says the ugly things that THEY believe, but were afraid to say out loud before he ran in 2016. Similarly, he rolls with being fat and unappealing, and they love that, too.

              As for your statement that “The American people have voted for a number of less than attractive Presidents.”… Well, they used to, before TV became so important. The moment people usually point to is the 1960 debates. Kennedy, who was way handsomer than poor Tricky Dick, won that one, although it was close.

              Sure, the very plain LBJ won overwhelmingly in 1964, but that was the result of a lot of national emotion over the loss of Camelot — to which he was the natural successor — and the fact that Goldwater was seen as such a flake.

              Bobby would likely have won in 68, but didn’t make it. In the turmoil that followed, you had a decidedly non-beauty contest between HHH and Dick, and Dick won. In 72, the Democrats were a mess, so Dick won again.

              1976 — My man Jimmy was no movie star, but had a great smile.

              1980 — An actual movie star.

              1984 — Ditto.

              88 — Bush was no sex symbol, but had a patrician bearing, and Dukakis was seen as a doofus after the tank incident.

              92 — Clinton was better-looking than Bush. (Ladies, correct me if I get this wrong.)

              96 — Dole wasn’t ugly, but his better-looking days were behind him.

              2000 — I would venture to say that Gore was better-looking, but he had “the spot” that Maureen Dowd kept writing about. Of course, if you ask a lot of Democrats, they might still say he did win.

              2004 — Kerry had the aforementioned patrician thing going on (and don’t underestimate the appeal of class among Americans — at least, until the déclassé Trump came along), but was never what most people would call “handsome.”

              2008 — Obama was better-looking than the old Fighter Jock, and taller.

              2012 — Romney’s a fairly handsome guy, but he wasn’t going to beat Obama.

              2016 — Everything fell apart, but who knows? If the woman running against him had looked like Kirsten Gillibrand or Tulsi Gabbard or Kamala Harris, maybe she’d have beaten Trump. Of course, once again, many Democrats will tell Hillary DID beat him…

              2020 — Joe’s a fine-looking guy. At least, he looks like a normal earthling.

              It’s not a sure thing, but in politics, looks help. Why? Because voters tend to make decisions for very superficial reasons…

        1. Doug Ross

          I didn’t think my comment was thinly veiled but if you need it spelled out for you, overweight, plain looking women have a much tougher task to get elected. It’s not impossible, but it certainly doesn’t help especially for women. And women like Porter and Warren have the added burden of overcoming their vocal style which comes off as nagging.. sorry, fellas, but a lot of men won’t vote for that.

          Me, I like Tulsi a little bit more because she’s both smart and attractive.

          1. Barry

            I don’t find Tulsi remotely attractive. Attractiveness is subjective.

            The House and Senate is full of “plain looking” men and women.

            I disagree with you – as usual.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Of course she is. At the very least, she’s cute.

                    I’ve often thought about writing a post trying to define the lines between the various terms used to describe different types of attractiveness, but it’s just such a minefield. I’d probably get blown up before walking two steps. I’d catch most of the shrapnel from women, but the truth is that women use some of these terms — and others — to describe men. I just can’t write about their terms, because I don’t fully understand them. I only understand the ones used to describe women. Or I think I do. I bet other guys would use the terms differently. (For instance, I’m puzzled at Barry not finding Tulsi attractive, apparently in any way.)

                    The distinctions are occasionally subtle, and I think a discussion of how different people would apply them. I mean terms such as:

                    • pretty
                    • beautiful (which is not the same as pretty)
                    • cute (you can be all three terms used so far, but you can also be cute without being pretty or beautiful)
                    • hot (this is where the first mine would go off — boom!)
                    • sexy (Boom again. But it would have to be included, since reproduction is the reason why evolution caused us to perceive “attractiveness”)

                    … and so forth. I’ve gone far enough, I think.

                    The human brain spends so much time noticing “attractiveness” that we have a lot of words for it — the way Eskimos do for snow. At least the male brain does. And from what I hear women say, they do, too. Maybe not quite to the extent that we do, but I don’t really know…

                    1. Doug Ross

                      Tulsi falls into the pretty category. It helps that she’s also very fit.

                      Meg Ryan was cute before plastic surgery.
                      Sandra Bullock is pretty.
                      Scarlett Johannson is beautiful.
                      Catherine Zeta Jones is hot.

                    2. Brad Warthen Post author

                      But don’t forget — no one is limited to just one word.

                      Meg Ryan was absurdly cute, but I’d say she was also pretty. (I don’t know what she is now, as I haven’t seen her in awhile.)

                      Sandra Bullock is pretty. She was also quite sexy at the time of “Demolition Man.” The director must have shot hours of her just doing a sexy smile in various scenes, without dialogue. Watch it again and you’ll see that over and over, there is a gratuitous shot of her doing one of those smiles for a couple of seconds. It was sort of shameless, but also possibly the most appealing feature of the film.

                      Scarlett Johannson is beautiful, and sexy, and hot.

                      Catherine Zeta Jones is the whole package, starting with beautiful.

                      OK, I might have to turn this into a separate post and just accept the consequences….

      1. Doug Ross

        I guess I would be less bothered if they had eliminated the dress code for everyone instead of just Senators. Blatant hypocrisy is not a good look.

        1. Barry

          The Senate can’t eliminate it for the House. I would suspect if they could, they would have.

          Although many members of the House- of both parties- have skirted all sorts of House rules since Donald Trump was elected President.

          Oddly enough, skirting those various rules didn’t seem to bother many of the people complaining so much about this issue.

            1. Barry

              That dog won’t hunt.

              Trump worshipers touted the benefits of Trump “breaking the rules” and “he flouted the traditions” – and that was good.

              They are going to have to accept it when others do it- when other break the traditions.

              I know the usual Trump thing is – “Trump broke that tradition, that’s great.”

              Then, “Can you believe they broke tradition? That’s awful.”

              that only works for people in a cult. We aren’t in a cult.

              1. Doug Ross

                They didn’t break tradition. They changed the rules for one Senator because he got weepy when he had to put on a tie just a coincidence that chuck Schumer made the decision for a party member. Not for the staff or visitors. One addled giant..

                Trump lives rent free in your head.

                1. Barry

                  He did break tradition. That’s obvious.

                  He also changed rules- in many areas.

                  You can’t sing Trump’s praises for breaking traditions and rules and then decry it when people you don’t like do the same thing.

                  it doesn’t work that way. it won’t work that way. Folks that see things my way aren’t going to ignore- or forgive those that celebrated rule breaking under Trump and whine about it now.

                  We can give just as much as we had to take- and will never back down.

                  Rule breaking is the norm now and anyone complaining can look in the mirror if they want to blame someone.


                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    “You can’t sing Trump’s praises for breaking traditions and rules…”

                    I don’t think anyone here has done that.

                    Also, I don’t understand what you’re saying here: “Rule breaking is the norm now and anyone complaining can look in the mirror if they want to blame someone.”

                    Who’s looking to blame anybody?

                    I’m just against it. If you don’t like a rule, work within the system to change it. Don’t break it, whoever you might be.

                    You’re suggesting that since “rule-breaking is the norm now,” we should just roll with that.

                    No. A society needs rules in order to BE a society. Otherwise, we’re living in a Hobbesian state, and I don’t go for the whole “nasty, brutish and short” thing…

                    Yep, Trump is a major rule-breaker. Not because he’s a visionary, or even a rebel. He just doesn’t care about anyone on the planet except himself, and refuses to recognize anything, including rules, that get in the way of doing whatever HE wants to do…

                    To combat that, we have to stand up for the rules he breaks. One way we do that is by indicting and prosecuting him. Another is by refusing to get down on his level.

                    1. Barry

                      I’m tickled about the lack of a dress code in the senate – and the change.

                      I think it’s fantastic. As other people have said, the code was already broken by a number of people- just not in front of the tv cameras – but in front of other people in the Senate when the tv cameras were off.

                      I don’t equate a dress code as some sort of good thing. I think it’s silly. My view.

                      “You can’t sing Trump’s praises for breaking traditions and rules…”

                      I don’t think anyone here has done that.

                      My comments on here aren’t just to people on here.

                      Not a day goes by that I don’t see Trump supporters loudly crowing about how he “blew up rules and tradition” and “didn’t care about the rules”

                      Many of those same people now are whining about the “rules and tradition” of a silly dress code.

                      If tomorrow, Trump starts wearing shorts and an undershirt on the campaign trail and then wears it sitting in the oval office, 9 out of 10 people whining about Fetterman’s clothing choice will be cheering Trump for “destroying tradition”

                      Two can play that game.

                    2. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Not me. Of course, Trump looks like a slob whatever he wears.

                      I say that not to be cruel. Poor John Fetterman has the same problem. I think you’ll agree if you’ve ever seen him in a suit…

    1. Barry

      I’d be more impressed if Conservatives and right wingers were more concerned that a well dressed Republican Lauren Boebert was playing with her date’s crotch at a public venue in Colorado while he fondled her breasts.

      Lying about it was one thing. Doing it in full view of other guests and their families – to me- shows a lack of respect.

      No one cared that she and her date were dressed up.

        1. Barry

          Given she was with her date- a man who is known in Colorado for hosting drag queen events at his bar- Me thinks the scary drag queen story line is a made up lie to get votes from right wingers.

          Are drag queens at schools a concern for you Doug? Is this something that has impacted your family?

          With 3 kids going through school, one still in school, I’ve never encountered this problem.

          But hypocrite Christian politicians seems to be a big problem. Lauren Boebert just being another one.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Well, be serious. If you’re Lauren Boebert, do you think you can be choosy about boyfriends? And I’m not referring to physical attractiveness — at least, not JUST to that…

            1. Barry

              she’s now dumped the guy she was crotch fondling- and letting rub her chest

              When you are a grandmother at age 35, and you brag about your moral values (while ignoring your checkered past) while putting down other people and their values, I guess the thing to do when caught engaging in sexual activity with your date, you end up praying there are people out there that will start talking about drag queens again.

          2. Doug Ross

            Barry’s never encountered it so it doesn’t exist.

            Follow libsoftiktok on Twitter and you’ll see videos of this occurring every day.

            I know it’s not on your talk radio idols show up don’t know about it…

            But just in case it did happen, would you support drag queens performing at schools? Simple question

            1. Barry

              I didn’t say it “didn’t exist.”

              I said I had never encountered these drag queens at elementary schools (or middle schools, etc) with my 3 children (over 20 something years.

              Now- when I was in high school, we did have male teachers dress up in cheerleading skirts and go do skits in the gym. in front of everyone. They even did this in middle school. But for some reason this isn’t considered “drag” by some people even though it is drag.

              This happens even today and no one cares at all. Funny how men- typically athletic coaches- wearing cheerleading outfits with skirts and dancing doesn’t create any issues at all but call someone a drag queen causes certain people freak out. In an ironic twist, the ones that usually freak out the most are the “don’t tread on me” types. All so predictable.

              I did ask you if an encounter with a drag queen had impacted your family. You didn’t answer the question.

              I’ll assume the answer is what I thought “no, of course not.” That’s usually the answer to this question. In fact, it’s pretty predictable that the more the person is upset about the issue, the more likely they’ve never encountered the issue in their entire lives.

              As I said, this apparently is a big concern of yours. That’s too bad.

              You then reference a Twitter account that focuses 100% on right wing grievances (and specifically ignores everything else)- as if that’s evidence of drag queens impacting your life in some way.

              I guess that’s like ignoring Lauren Boebert’s sexual activity at the performing arts center- much like right wing media – and right wing troll accounts like Libs of Tik Tok have ignored Boebert’s actions.

              Actually, my favorite talk show host on Sirius has talked about the drag queen story many, many times. I agree with his viewpoint on it.

              “would you support drag queens performing at schools? Simple question”

              I’ll answer your question even if you ignore mine.

              I have not an issue in the world with someone performing at a school that is dressed as a “drag queen.” A friend of mine from high school performs as a drag queen. He’s a terrific person. He’s in all sorts of theater shows and plays. I would only hope he does go to schools and perform- fun songs or funny skits. Children would be lucky to see him perform. He’s great and hilariously funny.

              We live in a free society. If gay people want to go to a school to do a performance, they are welcome. if a transgendered person wants to perform at a school, they are welcome. If a pastor wants to go to a school and perform, they are welcome. That includes – get this – drag queens, hunters, divorced men, women who are living “in sin,” and anyone else. – A very Libertarian approach.

              The determining question would be- just like it would if I knew you were going to be performing for young children: What are you going to be performing in front of them?

              The fact they are dressed in drag, a man wearing a kilt, athletic coaches wearing cheerleading outfits, or gay, or trans, or divorced, or living in sin, a religious nut, or any other category of person would be irrelevant.

              1. Doug Ross

                Why would I have to have a drag queen performing in front of my children prevent me from having an opinion on it?
                I don’t want any sexual activity displayed in front of any children, especially in a school. Maybe the drag queens you hang out with dress in long gowns and recite nursery rhymes.
                You know that isn’t the issue.

                1. Barry

                  I didn’t say it would prevent you from having an opinion on it.

                  I asked if you had experienced this issue and if it had impacted your family. Since it seems to suddenly be issue for certain people, especially those that have never had any personal experience with it at all, it seems like a fair question.

                  I don’t think most people want any sexual activity displayed in front of children.

                  Of course, dressing in drag or performing in drag doesn’t mean they are performing sexual activity in front of children just as teen cheerleaders in short skirts doing bends, twists and splits in full view of the public and children doesn’t mean they are performing sexually on the sidelines.

                  Fair-minded people understand this simple fact.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    I assure you that it has not “impacted” his family, or my family, or RuPaul’s family.

                    Because “impact” is a noun.

                    Sorry. I’ve just spent the past week — including all weekend (and yes, this is why I haven’t been posting here) — proof-reading a very long, technical document for a client, and I marked it to change “impacted” to “affected” maybe 100 times.

                    They may not accept the change, but I did what I could.

                    It was actually a pretty clean document, and avoided quite a few other things like that that drive me nuts in other people’s copy. And to their credit, they used “affected” just about as often as “impacted.” But as y’all know, I just have a thing about “impacted.”

                    For me, it’s like when you say “Niagara Falls” to the Three Stooges…

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Barry, it’s a matter of personal taste. You can find LOTS of authorities approving “impact” as a verb. And plenty of pedants like me who insist that it’s wrong, wrong, wrong!

                      For my part, I prefer “strike with a blow.”

                      I have similarly strong feelings against the verbification of “parent” and “partner.” And I’m sure you can find good sources that say those are OK, too.

                      But I am more “negatively impacted” by “impact.” It has a distinctly officious, bureaucratic feel to it. It “impacts” my ears in the same way as when a cop testifies in court saying “I observed the subject engaged in suspicious behavior” instead of “Hey, I saw the stupid mutt do it right in front of me…”

                      So yeah, it’s more of an esthetic thing than a rule…

                  2. Doug Ross

                    Let’s see an example of a kid friendly drag show… one you’d take elementary school children to see.

                    I think you’re staring toin long at those cheerleaders.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Yeah, keep ’em away from the blog, so they don’t get traumatized by the “tactical pants” ads.

            Y’all ever see those? They really crack me up. What an odd combination of words. What makes them “tactical?” Do they have an extra-quick zipper so you don’t pee in your pants before you get the fly open? Do they make plans for you on a short-term, immediate basis? Are there even more impress garments called “strategic pants,” which take more of a big-picture view? Does anyone involved with these products what the word “tactic” means?

            I’m going to add “Tactical Pants” to my list of band names. Although it seems like more is needed: Maybe “Brad and the Tactical Pants,” since I assume I’ll be the front man…


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