Wednesday Morning Open Thread: In One Voice…

(Jim Morin via

Per USA Today, “Donald Trump to visit grief-stricken El Paso and Dayton even though some want him to stay away”:

President Donald Trump will travel to Texas and Ohio on Wednesday to meet with the victims of back-to-back shootings that have reopened a pointed debate over whether his own campaign trail rhetoric has contributed to the violence…

In Ohio, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, told SiriusXM on Tuesday said he would not join Trump on the Dayton visit. “I don’t have any interest because of what he’s done on this – total unwillingness to address the issue of guns, his racist rhetoric.”

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said she planned to tell him that his proposals on gun control as outlined in remarks Monday are inadequate…

Trump remained mostly out of sight Tuesday, even on Twitter. White House aides said the president spent the day meeting with staff and preparing for Wednesday’s travel…

White House officials declined to say where within El Paso and Dayton the president is traveling, citing security concerns. The president is expected to visit Dayton first…


Late Night Open Thread: An Armed Society Is A Polite Society!

From local paper The Advocate:

A man who visited Walmart to buy his child a lunchbox Tuesday morning got caught in the middle of an altercation between two other patrons and was injured in the shooting that resulted, authorities said.

East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said there was never an active shooter situation despite initial reports that suggested otherwise. He said investigators believe two Walmart patrons got into an altercation while standing in the store’s customer service line and both pulled guns out on each other.

Gautreaux said investigators believe only one fired his weapon, striking the victim who was waiting to purchase the lunchbox and was not involved in the altercation. The incident occurred late Tuesday morning at the Walmart on Burbank Drive and the victim was brought to the hospital in a private vehicle.

He’s being treated at Baton Rouge General Medical Center and is currently in fair condition, according to hospital spokeswoman Katie Johnston. Gautreaux said the man was hit multiple times by gunfire, but they believe his injures are not life threatening…

(Update: Looks like no shots were actually fired — people panicked when an Active shooter! alert sounded, and someone was hurt badly enough to go to the hospital. Horrible that everyone’s so on edge, but it makes the gunfondlers’ defenses even more mockable.)

Achinsk Explosion

The video is impressive.

Twelve people were hospitalized. Sections of Achinsk were evacuated.

Explosions of ammunition warehouses are not uncommon in Russia. This one is reported to have started with a fire.

Achinsk is southwest of the city of Krasnoyarsk. The nuclear plant at Zheleznogorsk is northeast, some distance away.

The shockwave shows up because the humidity of the air was just right for condensation in the expansion part of the wave. Any large explosion produces a mushroom cloud. It’s not nuclear, but I suppose there will be some conspiracy theorists who will latch onto this.


New York Times (Whose online frontpage was not as bad as what they proposed last night)

The Times article was from AP, as was the Washington Post article.

The Guardian



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Nope

(Drew Sheneman via

You think you hate your job…

“He’s suffering too!”…

A White House official confirmed Monday that Trump was postponing his trip to the sprawling retirement community, where he was scheduled to discuss Medicare at an invitation-only event Tuesday that was generating excitement in an area where Trump enjoys strong support.

…John Temple, chairman of the Sumter County Republican Party, said he received an email announcing the postponement shortly after Trump addressed the nation Monday about the shootings in Dayton and El Paso.

In the days leading up to event in The Villages, Temple and other GOP officials have been inundated with requests for tickets. State and local elected officials had planned to attend the event, which was scheduled to be held at a 1,000-seat theatre…

(Cruel snark: After the ‘Toledo’ fiasco, either his handlers are taking some private time to adjust his meds before letting him speak in public again… or they’re rewarding him with extra play-time for not adding his own ‘very fine people’ gloss. Maybe both!)

Proud to be a Democrat.

Monday Morning Open Thread: …If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.*

These are moments when a president can and should attempt to use their bully pulpit to reassure the nation that as the country mourns, action will be taken. As president, Barack Obama was asked to do this all too often. Most of the time he was brilliant at it; sometimes he faltered. The important thing is the man tried every time. Obama understood his function during these moments of trauma, and endeavored to speak for all Americans at such times. Obama was hardly unique; with the occasional exception, the 42 men who preceded him performed the same function.

Commentators can debate all day about President Trump’s performance as the head of government, but there is a rare degree of unanimity that the 45th president is not just a bad head of state; he is essentially incapable of performing that function. This had been clear long before this weekend…

… Trump was completely missing in action this weekend — except for Twitter. On that platform, he tried to mimic what a head of state would say, but it came across as tone-deaf…

The growth of homegrown white nationalism preceded Trump, but his administration has made the problem worse with its rhetoric and staffing decisions. There will and should be debates about the best set of policies to cope with this burgeoning problem. Maybe something will get done; maybe the people acting as impediments to doing something will be voted out.

For now, however, what matters is that America is hurting. Unfortunately, we lack a leader with the ability to serve as a head of state. We have a man who cannot comprehend grieving. All he understands is grievance.

*Stein’s Law