Open Thread

Open Thread Dec. 14: Revenge of the Rich

Filed in National, Open Thread by on December 14, 2017 5 Comments

To the horror of a nation still celebrating Roy Moore’s defeat, House and Senate Republicans reached a compromise on their noxious tax plan, putting it on schedule for a vote next week. Liberals might be pleasantly surprised by how liberal Alabama’s senator-elect Doug Jones is for a deep-South Democrat. National Democrats seem particularly impressed that […]

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Open Thread Dec. 12: The Devil Fools With the Best Laid Plan

Filed in National, Open Thread by on December 12, 2017 8 Comments

All eyes are on Alabama for the special election, and the polls are all over the place — some have Jones up by several points, others have Moore up by double digits. That’s a sign that pollsters don’t know how to calculate the “probable” voters, not unusual for a special election. Those who specialize in […]

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Open Thread Dec. 11: The Women Are Coming for Trump

Filed in National, Open Thread by on December 11, 2017 17 Comments

Denying reality is trending, as the kidz say. Republicans have been doing it for decades, but lots of Democrats are giving them competition. Consider this essay by Sean McElwee, who declares “the Democratic Party is fine,” and argues it is “the most united American party in modern political history.” Given that his head shot makes […]

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Open Thread Dec. 5: This Is Why They Don’t Let Clowns Run the Circus

Filed in National, Open Thread by on December 5, 2017 2 Comments

The Republican Death Star tax bill is not yet fully operational, because the House and Senate versions must be reconciled. The first think pitched overboard: some of the special deals granted to senators Susan Collins and Jeff Flake to win their votes. The party has sold the bill with outright lies about whom it would […]

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Open Thread Dec. 1: Flynn Pleads Guilty, Cotton Unqualified

Filed in National, Open Thread by on December 1, 2017 22 Comments

Well, now we know why Crazy Uncle Donald has been crazier than usual. Mike Flynn is pleading guilty today to a single count of lying to the FBI. Given how much else he could be charged with, this seems a pretty clear indication that he’s going to talk, if he hasn’t already. The earthquake that hit […]

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Open Thread Nov. 29: Matt Lauer, Closing Schools and Police Behaving Badly

Filed in Delaware, National, Open Thread by on November 29, 2017 22 Comments

Whoever had the Today Show’s Matt Lauer as the next media heavyweight to fall in the sexual harassment pandemic, contact management to claim your prize. The ax fell just this morning, so no details have emerged yet — that’s all people really care about, isn’t it, the dirty details? — which should keep reporters on […]

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Open Thread Nov. 27: Pressure Gonna Drop on You, GOP

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 27, 2017 10 Comments

Democrats have one thing saving them in Washington: Their opponents are Republicans, and hence not very bright. Politico says the White House screwed up again by having billionaires like Steve “I Can’t Write” Mnuchin and Gary Cohn try to sell this as a cut for the middle class. One more thing Democrats have in their […]

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Open Thread Nov. 25: Trump Golfs as Mueller Closes In

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 25, 2017 2 Comments

Long read for a long weekend: Bill Moyers and retired lawyer Steven Harper put together a timeline of known Trump campaign contacts with Russians, resulting in a (relatively) easy-to-follow version of what we know so far. Short version: It’s a three-pronged pincer movement. Sen. Al Franken’s hand problems continue, with Franken issuing an apology on […]

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Black Friday Open Thread

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 24, 2017 0 Comments

Black Friday isn’t called that because stores get “into the black” from all the retail shopping — it was coined by Philly cops in the 1960s to describe their day-after-Thanksgiving, when they had to work 12-hour shifts to handle the traffic (all the department stores were in the city then; there were no malls). Henry […]

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Open Thread Nov. 21: Sex and Politics Don’t Mix

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 21, 2017 28 Comments

With liberals arguing over Al Franken, Bill Clinton and the political power of opposing sexual harassment, here’s a reminder that Republicans’ Roy Moore problem, which is only partly about sexual harassment, remains a problem. Both Steve Bannon and the White House have vacillated about their strategy, and the result has been silence from Ol’ Stumpy […]

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Open Thread Nov. 20: Manson, Moore and Trump; UPDATE: Franken Groped Another One

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 20, 2017 14 Comments

There is literally NO NEWS today worth talking about, unless you consider the death of an 83-year-old boogieman notable. Yes, Charles Mason, the nutcase “hippie” whose murderous mutterings caused the deaths of seven people and gave Middle America the weapon it needed to demonize the hippies, died in prison. Also, the sun rose today toward […]

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Open Thread Nov. 16: County Council Clown Show

Filed in Delaware, National, Open Thread by on November 16, 2017 11 Comments

The News Journal is too busy dredging up the Capano case (it’s an anniversary thing) to bother covering New Castle County Council, but WDEL was there for an epic meltdown by council President Karen Hartley-Nagle when she was stripped of her last committee assignment by a vote of council. The back-and-forth with Councilman George Smiley […]

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Sunday Breakfast Links: Open Thread, Nov. 12

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 12, 2017 5 Comments

Question of the day comes from Lucian Truscott, who asks “WTF is wrong with rich people?” I have to say, I don’t have a clue what’s up with rich people. I mean, I’ve got friends here in Sag Harbor who do stuff like building teak decks and painting houses and plumbing and electrical work, and […]

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Open Thread, Nov. 11: Saturday Scrapple

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 11, 2017 4 Comments

When it comes to judges, I like ‘em well-seasoned. Republicans like ‘em raw. Yesterday every Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted for a 36-year-old twerp who has only practiced law for three years and never tried a case. Real raw. Bellyache raw. Louis C.K.’s apology got a mixed reception from critics and the public […]

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Open Thread, Nov. 9: Equal Pay, Elections and Halladay’s Plane

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 9, 2017 6 Comments

Stories searching for lessons in Tuesday’s election litter the ground like autumn leaves, and I’ll be damned if I rake them all up. A couple of them are worth your time, though. Joan Walsh at The Nation does the best job of pinpointing the reason for the surprising down-ballot wins in Virginia: “This year Democrats ran […]

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Tea and Clickbait: The NFL, Bannon and Brains

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 8, 2017 15 Comments

Football took another blow to the head at a University of Maryland symposium, with several sportswriters acknowledging that it’s going to be hard to make a collision sport brain-safe. Bob Costas scored the lead quote with “This game destroys people’s brains.” Speaking of brains, young-fogey conservative Matt Lewis took a swipe at unkempt svengali Steve […]

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Open Thread Nov. 8: Red Hats, Day Drinking and Denial

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 8, 2017 4 Comments

Defeat is an orphan, all right, and Trump left Ed Gillespie’s losing race in the convent doorway with a note saying, “He wouldn’t embrace me.” The Daily Beast has the schadenfreude-tastic details. That anecdote about Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller fetching the Boss’s quarter-pounders opened a sluice gate of partially hydrogenated journalism about the president’s diet. The […]

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Open Thread, Nov. 7: Eagles, Fast Cars and Taylor Swift

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 7, 2017 11 Comments

Alt-right darling Taylor Swift is already widely despised, but for some reason she doesn’t want to be associated with white supremacists — so much so that she has threatened to sue a web site for making note of their love for her. I guess no-talent “artists” have to protect their reputations because that’s all they […]

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Open Thread for Nov. 6, 2017

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 6, 2017 2 Comments

People who want marijuana legalized for recreational use often talk up its tax advantages, but they’re seldom realistic about it. Consider this Los Angeles Times article about the coming tax increases a reality check on what will happen when full legalization arrives in California in January. Not only will the taxes raise the price for […]

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Open Thread for Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 4, 2017 6 Comments

The civil war in the Democratic Party should be slouching toward Appomattox Courthouse, but the belligerents just won’t let it go. Shots are still being fired over Donna Brazile’s book excerpt, despite pleas from all quarters to focus on the Orange Menace. Most voters don’t know what’s in the GOP tax cut plan, but polls […]

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Open Thread for Friday, November 3, 2017

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 3, 2017 4 Comments

The owner of the Glasgow Court trailer park wants to oust residents to make way for a housing development, but the plan might have hit a roadblock. A FOIA request by WDEL’s Amy Cherry unearthed the fact that the park owes over $300,000 in unpaid sewer fees. The manager says that much water leaked from […]

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Open Thread for Thursday, November 2, 2017

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 2, 2017 3 Comments

Oh, that pesky tax reform plan, always getting yelled at. Now some Republicans are upset because — brace yourself — they’re worried it will be portrayed as helping the rich while hurting the poor. Given that the lowest tax rate, applied to the lowest earners, would rise from 10% to 12%, you can see where […]

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Open Thread for Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Filed in National, Open Thread by on November 1, 2017 4 Comments

Remember that GOP tax plan that was going to be released today? Whoops. They’re still fighting over the details, so now it will be unveiled tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow. James Fallows at The Atlantic explains what has gone wrong with our political system, and it’s not Trump. It’s the Congressional leaders who have chosen tribal loyalty […]

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Open Thread for Sunday, October 29, 2017

Filed in National, Open Thread by on October 29, 2017 1 Comment

Everybody waiting for Mueller’s Monday reveal, but writing about it is difficult because nobody knows anything more than the bare bones. I’m skipping all the prediction stories — Mueller will be fired! — because they were written to fill a void, not because journalists make great predictions. The best thing I found was this clear-eyed […]

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Open Thread for Thursday Oct. 26, 2017

Filed in Open Thread by on October 26, 2017 9 Comments

You don’t need ESP to sense there’s a much deeper story here. Kathleen Davies, Tom Wagner’s chief administrative auditor, has been on administrative leave for more than a year. Now she has created a campaign finance committee and says she will run against her boss as an unaffiliated candidate.    The good news: A majority of […]

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