Open Thread for Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Trying to get back into the swing here, while we’re all riveted by Israel’s situation:

  1. IsraelA unity government is formed, which is a good thing, and a continuation of the positive developments I wrote about last night. Meanwhile, photos and videos are emerging documenting the Hamas invaders’ atrocities — in case you needed such confirmation.
  2. Ukraine — Oh, and just so you know: The other war hasn’t gone away. Zelensky made a surprise visit to NATO headquarters today, as top defense officials representing members of the military alliance gathered to consider how many more weapons — and for how much longer — the West can give Ukraine in its war against Russia. I’m glad he went. And so far the news is good: Britain and Germany announced large packages of additional military assistance to Ukraine hours before the two days of meetings began.
  3. Speaker — The House GOP caucus backs Scalise. So we’ll see. A relatively positive development in an idiotic situation. But I just keep thinking, can you believe we’re still screwing around with this nonsense with what’s going on in the world.
  4. Tim ScottGeorge Will has a column saying Scott should drop out in favor of Nikki, who’s been gaining ground, and it’s a great point. It is desperately important to give anti-Trump Republicans someone to rally around. But now Scott is stepping up to say other things that need to be said, such as “I will always condemn antisemitism, appeasement and weakness on the radical left, but I will also call out weakness or confusion among conservatives as well.” So good for him. But this field needs sorting out, so that Trump can be stopped.
  5. Crypto — Speaking of nonsense… In case you’re following the… what’s that guy’s name?… Sam Bankman-Fried foolishness, I was drawn to this headline this morning: “Crypto was never more than a solution in search of a problem.” Yeah, that’s one way of putting it. In retweeting that, I said, “Crypto was the siren that called to people who didn’t understand what money was…” My impression is, if you could fall for this, you might also go for magic beans…
  6. Braves — But if you’d like a moment’s break from all the madness, watch the third game of the Eastern National League Division Series tonight. Did you see the Monday night game? Now that’s what I call some baseball — although when it’s all over, someone needs to give Harper some base-running lessons. I definitely want the Braves to win this, but under other circumstances (say, when they’re up against the Astros), I’m likely to cheer for the Phillies as well.


6 thoughts on “Open Thread for Wednesday, October 11, 2023

  1. Barry

    The ending of the Brave game Monday night was fantastic. It rarely gets more exciting than the last play of that game. Excellent catch, and despite the baserunning, it was a terrific throw to double him up at first.

    That catch was incredible in that situation. To catch a ball that high, up against the netting, with the crowd going nuts, and to throw that ball back in time to double off the guy was high level baseball at its best.

    Speaking of Crypto (aka Crap-o)

    There is a social media scam I’ve seen dozens of times now going around. It usually involves someone posting a picture of a good looking couple holding a sign up that says something like…

    Thanks Brad Warthen. His funding program allowed us to pay off $100,000 in credit card debt in 3 weeks and buy our first RV. Talk to Brad about crypto and how it can help you. Thanks Brad Warthen. – signed The Smith Family.

    Of course, in these situations, the social media poster is posting this on their own social media page – with random couples expressing thanks for helping them make a lot of money.

    of course, the pictures are of real people. But the “sign” they are holding is clearly fake. It looks like one of those Tim Russert boards. This is seen most easily by noticing that the same people are showing up in these pictures under different names. In other words, their names are different and they are thanking different people. One couple thanks Brad Warthen. The same couple on someone else’s social media page, is thanking Rick Davis- and on and on and on.
    Apparently. people are falling for this obvious scam over and over and over. I have seen it dozens of times over the last few months.

    Something about crytp just brings out all the scammers.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      That was an awesome ending to a game, truly. And one of the things I loved about it most was that it wasn’t about home runs. It was about <em>baseball</em>.

      Last night was less awesome. Did you see it? Back to home runs, lots of them.

      And did you see Harper being all arrogant about it? He’s a great ballplayer, but I’d like to see a little humility.

      He lost that game Monday night with his base-running. Fine. Even the best ballplayers make mistakes. And maybe from where he was, it wasn’t a mistake (but that hit seemed catchable to me from the start).

      And sure, Arcia shouldn’t have taunted him. But it wasn’t a big deal. He just said — in the locker room, not to Harper’s face — “ha-ha, atta-boy, Harper!” No, not good sportsmanship, but it didn’t really call for Harper turning his head to give the shortstop this look as he ran past him on each of his homers:

      Sure, I can see Harper’s side of it. He’s saying (without SAYING anything): Laugh now, funny boy. This is how a MAN does it — with action, not silly giggling…

      Which some would dismiss as “toxic masculinity,” but it’s way less toxic that physically attacking Arcia.

      So I can see his point. But I’d rather have seen the superstar just ignore the taunt. That would have been way cooler…

  2. bud

    You just have to laugh at the utter absurdity of this. Republican lawmakers openly acknowledge they want to reduce the ability of DEMOCRATS to elect people to congress but deny they want to reduce African-American voters from electing who they choose to congress. With “Scarlett A Nancy” acting weirder by the minute it may not matter. From Politico:

    “Republicans appealed to the Supreme Court, conceding that the district was gerrymandered — but for partisan, not racial, reasons. The lower court “failed to disentangle race from politics” when tossing out the district, South Carolina Republicans argued: They had drawn the voters out of the district because they were Democrats, not because they were Black.”

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, you know why. It’s because courts let you gerrymander for partisan reasons, but not for racial.

      It got super complicated in the 1990s, when the GOP first figured out how to take over the SC House.

      They did it, quite simply, by concentrating black voters into certain districts. That means you accomplish two things at the same time, one of them being laudable to Identity Politics folks:

      1. You get more Republican districts.

      2. You get more black-majority districts.

      That first time, in the early ’90s, the then-minority GOP did this by joining forces with the Black Caucus. There were well-meaning folks in the Black Caucus who thought this was a good deal, because they picked up a few members.

      Never mind the fact that the Black Caucus, while somewhat larger, would be the weakest it had been in living memory. That’s because the House would be run by Republicans who essentially had no black constituents to listen to…

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