Thursday Open Thread

“Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.”

–William Safire

30 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Illustration by Gary Varvel for Creators Syndicate

    “In response to questions . . . Mr. Pagliano’s legal counsel told the committee yesterday that he would plead the Fifth to any and all questions if he were compelled to testify,” a spokesperson for committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement.

    Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Benghazi committee, had subpoenaed the computer staffer Aug. 11 and ordered that he appear for questioning before the committee Sept. 10. Gowdy also demanded that Pagliano provide documents related to the servers or systems controlled or owned by Clinton from 2009 to 2013.

    Pagliano, who worked in the State Department’s information-technology department from May 2009 until February 2013, left the agency when Clinton departed as secretary. He now works for a technology contractor that provides some services to the State Department.

    • BlueCat says:

      Unfortunately HRC  will almost certainly be the Dem candidate. Trump will almost certainly not be the Republican candidate nor will he run as a third party candidate according to breaking news that he does plan to sign the pledge. And there is no way around the fact that Pagliano pleading the 5th is not good news for HRC and she'll probably be completely unable to react without appearing arrogant and annoyed, as usual.  

      Even Ed Rendell, always her number one, HRC can do no wrong, last to admit defeat in 2008 supporter, the guy who always appears on cable to insist that every criticism of HRC is bull and she's doing great, no problem, called her campaign's earlier decision to react to the e-mail story by being flippant and dismissive a horrible mistake. That may be no big deal coming from anyone else but it's sit up and take notice shocking that Rendell would admit any such thing in public. He must have thought it was the only way to get the campaign to realize how badly this was playing and change course ASAP.

      Now the guy who set it all up pleading the 5th is another huge stink bomb. This is not the nothing HRC loyalists keep insisting it is. 

    • In contrast, there's Mrs. Universe 2015, Ashley Callingbull – Enoch Cree Nation native of Canada. She's using her title to try to engage First Nation citizens in Canada to vote… "I urge all First Nations people in Canada to vote in this upcoming election. We are in desperate need of a new PM. Fight for your rights." Conservative PM Harper and his allies aren't amused, apparently.

      Ashley Callingbull, Mrs. Universe 2015


  2. MichaelBowman says:

    The New Economics of Climate Change (for the reading eyes of, in particular, concern troll MB4CO)  We don't need a balance between destroying our ability to live in  an inhabitable environment and jobs.  Classical false choices.  We need a strategy commensurate to the challenge of impending environmental collapse.

    In a time of accelerating climate change, an increasingly volatile reality will eventually come up against the limits of modern portfolio theory. The definition of fiduciary duty is therefore starting to expand, to include not only traditional and largely passive investment policy but also active stewardship of global average temperature. This is an extraordinary paradigm shift in institutional investing. Last year, a coalition of larger and more forward-looking funds, including BlackRock, CalPERS, PensionDanmark, and Cathay Financial Holdings, representing twenty-four trillion dollars in assets, issued a statement calling on government leaders to provide “stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge,” as well as develop a plan “to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels.” This begs the question: Why do we need these leviathan institutional investors—historically the most passive and conservative players in the global economy—to tell us to take action that we know is both imperative and dangerously belated?

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Not so much "new."  Cleaning things up, and improvements, and progress always, always, always creates opportunities (jobs, work, even -yes -investments.)

      The dimwits that contend and try to convince that dirty is economically preferable and that cleaning anything destroys jobs, should be administered immediate 200-mph dope slaps, repeatedly …

    • BlueCat says:

      yes. If it wasn't for straw men and false choices we'd never hear anything from the righties.

    • BlueCat says:

      Huckabee is saying, regardless of Supreme Court decisions, it isn't law until the state passes legislation in compliance with the decision. Total bull of course. If the Supremes say you can't discriminate against same gender couples in the issuing of marriage licences that instantly makes all laws to the contrary unconstitutional and void.

      If her religious beliefs (apparently they haven't interfered with her serial marriages and adulterous relationships) really make it "factually impossible" for her to perform her duties as a government official required to provide marriage licences to all who qualify as ordered by the court and after appeals of that order all the way to the Supreme Court then the solution for her is simple. Resign because you can't perform your official duties.

      This is a question of the duties of a government official, not a religious freedom issue. She's free both to subscribe to inconsistent cafeteria style religious beliefs (the most common kind of religious observance, after all) as well as to find a job better suited to her particular belief selections.

  3. Voyageur says:

    Tom Brady's suspension is overturned by a federal judge.   
    Ain't it great to live in a country where you have a constitutional right to cheat at football?  

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      Hopefully it will be reinstated right around playoff time.

    • MapMaker says:

      I'm curious about why this is even an issue.

      How is it that the home team, instead of the referees, have final control of the game balls? This seems like a dereliction of duty by the NFL in it's administration of the games. 

      Like the issue with Belichick stealing signs, I think this is normal gamesmanship. If the NFL won't control the game they can expect to be gamed. "Gentleman's" agreements not to spy on each other have always been laughable.

      Either of these controversies just would not have happened in baseball. The umpires have final control of the balls used in the games and stealing signs is expected and even, in the context of the game, honorable.


  4. MichaelBowman says:

    Trump signs pledge not to run as third-party candidate. 

    (I only know this because my parental unit is here this afternoon and Fox News is blaring in the background).  

    Is their a 'political bankruptcy' equivalent to this pledge?  Donald has also signed copious amounts of financial documents in his adult life agreeing to repay banks and investors, only to skate on his ‘promise’…

    • BlueCat says:

      Several state GOPs are demanding the pledge, to support the eventual nominee and not go third party, in order to be on their primary ballots. Yes he can change his mind if, for instance, it becomes clear to him he's not going to get the nomination, but after a certain point it will be too late to get on a lot of ballots for the general and he'd have to go write in.  

      Looks like The Donald is going all in. Some of his supporters, all of whom are  nuts, of course, are none too pleased with The Donald pledging to stick with the establishment. Guess we'll see how this all shakes out.

      And you didn't have to be visiting your Fox relatives. It was all over everywhere all day. The Donald Show is inescapable!

      • MichaelBowman says:

        We often watch Fox when we're together.  I laugh while the line-up of journalists paid actors 'report' … they look at me and wonder where they went wrong. It's become a ritual.  There were a lot of exploding heads on the program last night as it appears to be the consensus that Donald outmaneuvered the rest of the clown car with this deal.  Had they only bought and read The Art of the Deal. 

        To my parents credit, The Donald horrifies them. 

        • BlueCat says:

          That's the interesting thing. You mention exploding heads. Were the Fox droids disturbed about this alleged Trump triumph?  Is it going to be Fox against Trump or are they now leaning toward going with the Trump flow?

  5. mamajama55 says:

    The letter from the dying vet is powerful. There are also young people diving headfirst into the military because it's the best opportunity they have for education and training, or out of idealism and a desire to protect and serve. Yeah, people still do that.

    I had a young National Guardsman in my speech class today. He chose to write a speech about how the Iraq war is not over, the Afghanistan war is not over. He's right. Colorado sent 4,000 young people from Fort Carson to Kuwait last February. They are in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.  Some have died. More will follow. Just because there is no draft now does not mean that young people are insulated from the continuing effects of corporate greed and ancient religious and sectarian rivalries.

  6. Duke Cox says:


    some interesting reading from Salon……


    Why Ben Carson’s rapid surge in the polls should have you very, very worried


    There has been a lot of talk about why Trump is so popular, and the conventional wisdom at the moment is that it’s because voters are mad as hell and they are looking for an outsider to articulate their rage. Trump shakes his fist at the establishments of both parties and lays it all out on the line. This, it’s assumed, is the key to his success. Indeed, an entire beltway cottage industry has grown up around explaining the Trump phenomenon as an expression of America’s id.

    Carson’s personality, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite of Trump’s. Where Trump is a bombastic narcissist, Carson is quiet and self-effacing. Where Trump rudely takes on all comers, Carson is polite and well-mannered. Trump is a street fighter, Carson a gentleman. So the fact that these two polar opposites are sitting at number one and two in the Republican primary polls right now must indicate that they represent two different strains in the GOP, right? If the histrionic Trump’s popularity is simply an inchoate expression of rage, then Carson’s support might be assumed to be based upon a yearning among other Republican voters for a more thoughtful, polite approach to politics.

    But what if neither Trump nor Carson are popular because of their personalities? What if the beltway consensus that Trump’s success isn’t based upon issues or ideology is wrong and voters are actually attracted to his crazy ideas on the merits? The fact that Carson is closing on him certainly lends credibility to that possibility, because despite his mild-mannered persona, Carson’s ideas are even more extreme than Trump’s.

  7. Duke Cox says:

    couldn't pass this one up….

    Not Satisfied With His War On Immigrants, Trump Picks A Fight With Native Americans


    It was a show of respect to Native Americans when President Obama on Sunday restored the name of the nation’s tallest mountain, formerly called Mount McKinley, to Denali. So it makes a lot of sense that presidential candidate Donald Trump didn’t like it.

    On Tuesday, the Republican front-runner promised that he would reverse Obama’s decision if elected president. Restoring the mountain’s name to Denali, he said, was a “great insult to Ohio,” because former President William McKinley was born there. To be clear, Denali is located in Alaska, about 3,000 miles away from Ohio.

    It’s unsurprising that Trump did not express concern for insulting Alaska Natives, who have been calling the mountain Denali for thousands of years. The billionaire has a historically hostile relationship with Native Americans, largely stemming from the fact that his casino business competes with tribe-owned casinos. But it was never solely business dealings that soured the relationship — it was Trump’s willingness to invoke offensive, sometimes racially-charged language to come out of those dealings on top.



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