Wednesday Open Thread

“It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

–Mark Twain

22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    Jeff Flake characterized Trump's mocking Dr. Ford as "appalling." Wonder if this put his vote in play…..

  2. itlduso says:

    Imagine where we would be today if the nuclear option allowing a mere majority of the Senate to confirm a Supreme Court justice, rather than a 60 vote majority, were not in place.  This is particularly relevant given that a Senate majority today represents just 18% of the US population.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      And whose fault is that? 

      • JohnInDenver says:

        I argue EVERYONE (or at least both parties) are to blame with the escalating series of events which culminated with the "nuclear option" of a bare majority vote of the Senate qualifying someone to site on the Supreme Court.

        The question becomes, given the current toxic and dysfunctional process, what can be done to rectify and rebuild a process more likely than not to create and independent judiciary?

    • JohnInDenver says:

      We've achieved bipartisanship in a few areas — the majorities clearly voting for more defense spending and carefully avoiding any vote directing the aims or tactics of war, is one. Another appears to be agreement that we don't have to have sufficient federal tax payments to cover the expenditures of the federal government — ever.

      And of course, there is a vast majority in favor of maintaining payments and subsidies for the old and limiting payments or care for the young.

  3. Davie says:

    Thomas L. Friedman has some thoughts regarding our toxic politics and the threat they pose to our democracy:

    My friend retired Marine Col. Mark Mykleby stopped by for a chat after the Kavanaugh hearing last week, and as we bemoaned this moment, he remarked: “When I walked out of the Pentagon after 28 years in uniform, I never thought I’d say this, but what is going on politically in America today is a far graver threat than any our nation faced during my career, including the Soviet Union. And it’s because this threat is here and now, right at home, and it’s coming from within us. I guess the irony of being a great nation is the only power who can bring you down is yourself.”

    When I look at all the people today who are propelling their political careers and fattening their wallets by dividing us, I cannot help but wonder: Do these people go home at night to some offshore island where none of this matters? Do these people really think their kids aren’t going to pay for the venom they sell and spread? Don’t worry, I know the answer: They aren’t thinking and they aren’t going to stop it.

    What stops it? When a majority of Americans, who are still center-left and center-right, come together and vote only for lawmakers who have the courage to demand a stop to it — now, right now, not just when they’re leaving office or on their death beds.

    Faint hope, unfortunately.


  4. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from VOX: "Kidz Bop 'censored' songs aren’t just annoying"

    Interesting article on "censorship".

    Christopher Bell

    Well, look around: Our culture prioritizes censoring language over violence. Take a movie like The Avengers: Black Widow shows up in a skintight black latex outfit for the visual, sexual pleasure of the audience. She engages in horrific physical violence — kicks the holy shit out of eight guys on the screen. Tasers them, electrocutes them, kicks them in the face, throws them across the room. That is a PG-13 movie, but if it had said the word “fuck” once, it would have been rated R. That’s the nature of our society.

    We are weird about what we censor and weird about what we care about. And violence is always at the bottom of that list. With language, say two “bad words” and you have to be rated R, but go ahead and shoot 15 people in the face. We censor words and we censor explicit sex, but we don’t censor sexual content and we absolutely don’t censor violence. 

    Aditi Shrikant

    Does this lack of censorship when it comes to sexual content and violence affect boys and girls differently? Especially when it comes to KGOY?

    Christopher Bell

    I do think it’s geared toward girls. Particularly in terms of this whole getting older younger thing. We have the exact opposite effect when it comes to boys, and if you don’t believe me, you haven’t been paying attention for the past two weeks. This whole idea that “boys will be boys” — no, grown-ass men will be responsible for their actions. It’s a complete double standard in our culture. 

    Aditi Shrikant

    So boys don’t have the pressure to grow up faster? 

    Christopher Bell

    Our boys are getting older younger, too, but it manifests itself differently. With girls, it manifests itself with sexualization. With boys, it manifests itself with violence and this sort of never-ending stream of violent content and the ideology that violence is an acceptable means to solve your problems. 

    For girls, adulthood is tied to their sexuality; for boys, adulthood is tied to the ability to win. And winning, in our culture, almost always has the baseline that is violence.

  5. mamajama55 says:

    Which Federal legislator(s) do I send these flowers to? I just got a substantial refund check for "fraudulent payday loan fees". Nice. Who wants to claim credit? It must be at the Federal level because it is the result of a lawsuit between the Federal Trade Commission and "AMG services".

    So….Elizabeth Warren? Bernie Sanders? Michael Bennet? Bueller? Jared Polis? Diana Degette? Cory Gardner,  Ken Buck, this would be a great time for you to chime in and say, "Yes, I fought for my constituents!" Or hang your head in shame and whisper that you fought for the payday lenders….

    • Duke Cox says:

      The thing that blows my mind is that there are only 3 out of 50 Republican Senators who have a shred of conscience.

      This man (Kavanaugh) has shown himself to be a political hack. He clearly has a partisan chip on his shoulder. And seriously, was his " I am rubber, you are glue" defense when asked about his drinking problem not as adolescent a response as you can imagine?

      Once again, the ever greedy GOP, is giving power to a mentally unstable man. It may come back to bite them in the Grassley….

      • mamajama55 says:

        Sweet! It's very gratifying to know that Scott Tucker will do 16 years in prison for ripping off millions of Americans like myself.

        The FTC must have started this lawsuit prior to the Trump budget cuts in 2017. 3/5 of the Commissioner slots are still empty, too. The FTC budget went up under Obama, down under Trump. If you use the Do not call registry to keep advertisers from contacting you, that's an FTC responsibility.  The FTC seems like Good Government at work.

  6. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Don't forget the nefarious influence of the religious right in all this social stuff.

    (this reply is to MJ and Park Hill. The “network” moved it, per the note I got) 

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