Wednesday Open Thread

“Where destruction is the motive, unity is dangerous.”

–Ravi Zacharias

47 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Davie says:

    Hah!  I knew it would not be possible for everyone in the House chambers to stifle a guffaw or two:

    President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address had a proposition for Democrats: Set aside investigations and make deals instead.

    “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” Trump said.

    The line landed with a thud — and even a smattering of laughs — but the president didn’t appear bothered. The offer wasn’t a serious pitch, but a preview of how Trump plans to defend himself in the difficult months to come. With the special counsel probe nearing its end and newly empowered House Democrats just getting started, the president is bracing for a flurry of subpoenas, high-profile hearings and political recriminations.

  2. 2Jung2Die says:

    I've lost track of what Individual 1's lie-per-day average is, but he racked up at least 30 stretchy facts or dubious statements yesterday and that was only during his speech.

  3. Pseudonymous says:

    New VA tourism board campaign: Virginia is for…racists?

    Virginia attorney general admits to wearing blackface at 1980 college party

    Richmond, Virginia (CNN)Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted Wednesday that he appeared in blackface at a 1980 party, further plunging Richmond into chaos as Democrats here struggle to overcome a trio of scandals rocking their three top statewide elected officials.

    Herring said Wednesday that he wore blackface as a 19-year-old to dress up as a rapper at a party. The admission comes days after the Virginia Democrat called on Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after he admitted a racist photo in his medical school yearbook featured him, a charge Northam later denied.

    Maybe they need to stop selling dark shoe polish and face paint in the state for a while.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Not one of their opponents found any hint of any of these skeletons in their closets back in 2017? Is there a cause of action for professional negligence against opp research firms? 

      • deathpigeon | they/them says:

        Or they didn't get why this would be a bad thing because they're racists as well.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Valid point.

          IIRC Northam's opponent, Ed Gillespie had to fend off a challenge in the GOP primary for governor from Corey Stewart whose racial views were, hmmm — how to put this politely — traditional southern and ante bellum.  Didn't Stewart make a big issue over preserving confederate war statues in his race against Gillespie?

          Even if Gillespie was not a racist himself, he still needed to pander to them since they make up much, if not  most, of the GOP base today. 

    • I'm probably going to get called racist for this post (incorrectly). But I think it's important to post it anyway. The quote at the top is appropriate for this topic. Is the Virgina AG racist? I don't know. But if the punishment for every 40-year-old transgression is "Resign!" then there won't be enough pure people left to fill all the elected seats.

      Blackface today – absolutely offensive and unforgivable. Especially given the dramatically increased visibility and attention paid to it. And blackface was certainly offensive to a lot of people in the past – but if you were insulated by a bunch of racially / culturally homogeneous friends, you might not have known it was considered offensive by so many. The real questions should be – has he sincerely apologized and repented? Has the Virginia AG grown? Has he provably repudiated his past racial insensitivity? Has he taken action to try to heal our destructive racial history? With examples, please.

      And, remember the context of 1980. We all think that "Everybody knew blackface was bad!" – but the 1980 incident was only 3 or 4 years after this extremely popular film, where it was played for laughs. Young people might be forgiven for being confused.

      • Pseudonymous says:

        I don't get to decide when it matters, because I'm white, and part of white privilege is being able to distinguish between racism we mean and racism out of ignorance.  Forgiveness, acceptance, whatever you call it can only come from the communities of persecuted people who don't get to wipe off the makeup at night.

        What are black folks in Virginia demanding?  That's what I'm for.

        • Pseudonymous says:

          Oh, speaking of…

          Washington Post: Warren listed race as 'American Indian' on Texas bar registration

          Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren listed her race as "American Indian" on a State Bar of Texas registration card in 1986, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

          The Post's reporting represents a previously unknown instance of Warren claiming her race as Native American and the first document that appears to definitively show Warren making the claim in her own handwriting. According to the Post, Warren has previously declined to answer whether she or an assistant filled out forms in which her race was listed as Native American.

          Elizabeth Warren apologizes for calling herself Native American

          Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday that she was sorry that she identified herself as a Native American for almost two decades, reflecting her ongoing struggle to quiet a controversy that continues to haunt her as she prepares to formally announce a presidential bid.

          Her comments more fully explain the regret she expressed last week to the chief of the Cherokee Nation, the first time she’s said she was sorry for claiming American Indian heritage.

        • Fair point. But most of the people I see calling for heads to roll are neither Virginian nor black. It will be interesting to see what they choose.

          • Pseudonymous says:

            Also, the AG, himself, called for Northam to resign.

            • I was talking about the AG. I suspect Northam is toast. My gut is that his story has evolved too many times to be trustworthy. But I also suspect the issues with the Vice Governor and the AG are part of Northam's calculus.

            • RepealAndReplace says:

              Those who live in glass houses…..yadda, yadda, yadda.

              OTOH, putting aside the hypocrisy, at least Mark Herring did not handle his incident by: (a) saying he didn’t know if it was him, (b) apologizing if it was him, (c) then say that it couldn’t be him but (d) he did do black face on different occasion in a dance contest, and (e) turn to his wife to ask if it was inappropriate to demonstrate the Moonwalk dance at a press conference.

      • deathpigeon | they/them says:

        But if the punishment for every 40-year-old transgression is "Resign!" then there won't be enough pure people left to fill all the elected seats.

        You're saying that there wouldn't be enough people to fill all the elected seats who haven't done something like wear blackface? Idk. I think there'd be plenty of black people who could fill those seats.

        • That's not what I said. Not every transgression is blackface, nor is every transgression racial. But I bet there are not very many people who have *never* done anything offensive.

          • deathpigeon | they/them says:

            But this transgression is blackface and getting politicians who've dressed in blackface to resign doesn't necessitate more minor things forcing people to resign. Have most people made some mistake? Sure. Have most people made a mistake on the level of dressing up in blackface? Lol, no.

            • Voyageur says:

              Frankly, kid, I don't think you're old enough to judge 40-year-old offenses against political correctness.

              • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                Frankly, I don't care. He doesn't want to be governor 40 years ago. He wants to remain governor now in 2019. If he wants his actions to be judged by the standards of 40 years ago, he should've run for governor 40 years ago.

                • MADCO says:

                  You've missed or are ignoring his point: you're too young to matter.
                  Come back after you've had your progressive asskciked for 20 or 30 years – meanwhile study up on Humphrey, Carter, McGovern, Dukakis, and every solid D who ever ran and lost in Colorado.

                  the flux capcitor argument is good.
                  IN the end – "it's just the way it was, and hell, I didn't mean nothin by it" is bs.

                  • Voyageur says:

                    I'm just happy to have lived long enough to meet a person wholly without sin who is perfect in every way.

                    As I understand it, the next step is that we crucify them.

                    • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                      Oh, don't be so melodramatic. People are asking him to resign as governor. No one wants him to go to jail or face any fines, both of which I'd oppose. The standards we hold for whether or not someone should hold or stay in elected office should be much higher than the standards for if we like someone or if someone is a good person or if someone should face punishment.

                  • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                    Nah. I'll keep going now. Youth doesn't make you irrelevant any more than age makes you relevant.

                  • Voyageur says:

                    You flunk theology 101, deadbird.  It is not Northam the sinner who is crucified.  It is you, the perfect one, born of a virgin, politically correct in all things, who is nailed to the cross to pay for our sins.  It may not seem fair to you, but that is our tradition.  Perfection has its cost.

                  • mamajama55 says:

                    Nobody is too young to matter. And deathpigeon, here's hoping you live long enough to be embarrassed by shit you're doing right now. Karma is  a sneaky bitch with a loooooong memory.

                    We all have "stuff" we're embarrassed by, or we should be embarrassed by. That, if not relevance, comes with age.

                    And…. Vger's comment below:

                    I'm just happy to have lived long enough to meet a person wholly without sin who is perfect in every way.

                    As I understand it, the next step is that we crucify them.

                    is hilarious.

                    • Diogenesdemar says:

                      Yeah, but some folks are too young to matter as much as they think they do . . . 


                      . . . it’s not their fault, and time will usually correct that.

                    • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                      I plan on never running for elected office. If I were on the ballot, I'd tell people to vote against me. I am not suited for government. And nor is someone with a history like Northam's. He should step down and he should've never run in the first place.

      • DENependent says:

        "It is not the crime, it is the cover up." – What many, many, many people said of Watergate and many other political scandals involving crime since then.

        A similar phrase could be formulated for instances of past bad behavior that is not criminal coming to light in times that are less forgiving. "It is not the past conduct, it is the spin."

        Much as with Bill Clinton the suspicion when something negative about the past is revealed is that the person may still be doing it, but being more careful about revealing what they have done. Especially when their story keeps changing or what they have done cuts against the core of their message.

        People can reform, they can change for the better, they can grow. But part of that has to be admitting what they have done wrong instead of being hopeful it says buried or acting like a child lying about what happened to the cake while they still have frosting on their hands.

      • mamajama55 says:

        You don't have to go that far back to find blackface in pop culture. Are we supposed to now go after each of these actors and demand that they resign their present gigs, or should we just ask them to publicly say why what they did was wrong,  cultural (mis) appropriation, and vow not to do it again?

        I vote for the latter.



    • notaskinnycook says:

      It's a shame about Herring. I watched him through the marriage fight in Virginia and he seemed like a good guy. I bet he would have been a good governor.

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    Regardless of one’s opinion on Virginia politics, here’s something that isn’t receiving nearly enough attention . . . 

    With Northam Picture, Obscure Publication Plays Big Role in Virginia Politics

    . . . forest meet trees.

    “But as mainstream news outlets scrambled to confirm the photograph on Mr. Northam’s medical school yearbook page on Friday, it became clear that Big League Politics — and its mission of promoting the Trump agenda and nationalist causes — had assumed outsized influence in an increasingly Democratic state.”


    • MADCO says:

      Good catch.

      Part of me wants to blame the guy even more – he knew shit was out there (this cannot be everything) but he ran anyway.

      But you're right – this kind of shit is devious
      Why wait until after the election

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        I dunno’, why do dogs chase squirrels?

        Who benefits from chaos and turmoil, now?

        What else would journalists near Washington have to report upon?

        BTW, do you think you have ever met anyone who didn’t know that there’s “shit out there”? Life, political life, is a gamble . . .

    • mamajama55 says:

      Exactly. It's why I want Democrats to have some guidelines or norms for dealing with past bad behavior other than the knee jerk reaction:  OH NO HE/SHE IS NOT PURE THEY MUST RESIGN ASAP.

      guidelines should include:

      Did the behavior harm people directly? Indirectly? How severe was the harm?  Would it be a crime under a legal definition? Did the offender try to cover it up? Did the offender blame others/ lie/ justify the bad behavior?

      Is there evidence that the behavior is continuing – for example, Northam  did not sign off on a bill celebrating Robert E Lee's birthday the Friday before MLK day – that bill was codified in 1983. But there is no evidence that Northam was part of the effort to not celebrate Lee-Jackson day anymore. It looks to me as though Northam's failure was a failure to speak out and stand up.

      Kavanaugh continued to get drunk and abuse women, even as a grown man.

      John Conyers continued to come on to his aides, and to try to coerce sexual favors.

      John Edwards continued to lie about his love child.

      Clinton said publicly that he didn't have sex with "that" woman (wagging his finger at nobody in particular).


      • MADCO says:


        How about- don't be a racist jerk.
        Or don't be a rapist.
        Or a pedophile.
        Or a fraud.
        Or a felon.

        Go ahead- ask me about the time I was any of those things.
        There are millions and millions of us

        It isn't about perfection or purity or wtfe.
        It's about being qualified.

        • mamajama55 says:

          Yes, guidelines. Not all-or-nothing purity tests that make us so easily manipulated by any oppo researcher with an agenda. 

          Of the list you have above, criminal habits would be obviously disqualifying. So no Denny Hasterts, no Mark Foleys or Roy Moores. No Trumps, no Kavanaughs. 

          The catch is that voters have to know about the criminal behavior prior to the election. 

          Even with felons, I don’t know that it would totally disqualify a candidate. A person can be convicted of a felony that involves using, possessing, or selling drugs. They can do their time, make restitution, and then be ready to be a productive citizen, including running for office.  The key is to let voters know the whole story, and let them decide. 

          Now, on the “being a racist jerk” front – define that behavior. Was it habitual? Continuing? Intentional or ignorant? I don’t know you, but assume that you are an American human white male, as I am a female in those categories.  That means that sometime, we did or said something racist, or that someone said was racist.  Best thing to do is understand, acknowledge, resolve to do better, including being proactively anti-racist, move on.  

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