Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Fly the “Friendly” Skies!


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Stuff like this is why I make it a policy to leave home as seldom as possible. But, hey, I hear Orbitz is making it easy for users to filter all searches by “Never ever United”…

Apart from fighting back as best we can, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Monday Evening Open Thread: Congratulations, Mr. Fahrenthold!

… Although the trophy probably doesn’t say “For Excellence in White-Hat Trolling.” May he continue to investigate the myriad weirdness of Donald Trump for as long as the President-Asterisk remains a blot on our national character.

Props also to Marty Baron, former Boston Globe standout, now Fahrenthold’s executive editor at the Washington Post.

Apart from that — and some seders — what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Trust Issues

Here is the United Airlines video of them dragging a paying passenger off the plane as they did not want to spend more than $800 to correct for their own mistake in overbooking the flight:

And here is the police statement:

And people wonder why there is a trust issue with police.



Monday Morning Open Thread: Pesach Sameach

Passover doesn’t actually begin until sunset, of course, but those who observe the holiday will be celebrating instead of reading this blog when that happens. The ritual retelling of history sung in the YouTube is, I’m told, very much a living text, open to interpretation for the current moment. In some moments, more apposite than others, per the Washington Post:

When Veronica Ades’s guests gather around the Seder table, they’ll read the list of the 10 plagues, just as Jews around the world will do on Passover.

But at Ades’s table, the plagues won’t be blood and frogs and lice. Her guests will read the first plague: “neo-Nazis.” Then “Fake news. Freedom Caucus. The electoral college. The American Healthcare Act.”

When Ades hosts a Seder, she says, “I don’t really understand not being political.”

The springtime holiday of Passover, when Jews retell the biblical story of the Exodus from Egypt at a ritual meal laden with food and symbolism, has long been a vehicle for political commentary. A story about liberation from slavery lends itself to that.

This Passover, which begins Monday night, the nation’s preoccupation with politics and the flurry of activism since President Trump’s election are inspiring a new crop of amateur writers to try their hand at updating the age-old Passover story…

The plague of frogs bit seems almost a little too easy…

Apart from that, what’s on the agenda for the start of another week?



End of the Weekend Open Thread: What Are You Doing with Your Soros Checks?

Best comment, so far: “Ideal buyer would be a wealthy fourteen-year-old.”

Or then, there’s this genuinely lovely Washington Post story — “Can a remote island in Canada become a safe harbor for those who want to flee Donald Trump?”

CAPE BRETON ISLAND, Canada —The first sign of what Rob Calabrese would come to think of as America’s unmooring began last year, just after Donald Trump won his first presidential primary and Calabrese published a $28 website that he’d designed in 30 minutes. “Hi Americans!” it began, and what followed was a sales pitch for an island where Muslims could “roam freely,” and where the only walls were those “holding up the roofs” of “extremely affordable houses.”

“Let’s get the word out!” Calabrese wrote, adding a photo of an empty coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. “Move to Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins!”

It was meant as a joke — but seven hours after Calabrese linked the site to the Facebook page of the pop radio station where he works as a DJ, in came an email from America. “Not sure if this is real but I’ll bite.” And then another: “It pains me to think of leaving, but this country is beyond repair.”…

The emails kept coming, so many that soon the island’s tourism association brought on four seasonal workers to help respond to the inquiries, which were arriving from every state and hundreds of towns, until it seemed to Calabrese that America was filled with people who wanted to get away…

There were emails from a molecular biologist, a University of Oregon professor, a granite construction worker, a contractor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a woman who said her home town was “Unfortunately, Alabama.” There were declarations and confessions about incomes, sexual orientations, goals for their children. Several included résumés. “I am so sick of what has happened to my beautiful country,” one letter began…

People passed around a five-page research paper that said the island needed to attract 2,000 people annually to remain viable. There’d been decades of failed attempts to rebuild.

The island had one new thing going for it — the website. More people knew about Cape Breton now. “We’re receiving thousands of emails,” one person said at the meeting. But that wasn’t the same as thousands of people moving there. Canada had strict immigration laws. People couldn’t just come because they wanted to. Applicants were scored based on age and skills and their ability to help the economy. Anybody who emailed Cape Breton was told they still had to apply through Canada’s immigration agency. They were sent a link to begin a process that could take more than a year.

So maybe some Americans would arrive someday, but they hadn’t yet. As the responses rolled in, Calabrese had revised the site’s text to make it less political — and less directed at Americans specifically…

True, the weather’s kind of inhospitable right now, but GCC will fix that soon enough. Read the whole thing — not least for the photos.



For the Record, First Draft of History: Sidebar to Adam’s Post



Wednesday Evening Open Thread: Nancy SMIRK!

The Trumpcare blame game is getting worse, with Heritage Action blaming the moderate Tuesday Group for the lack of progress in last night’s talks and House GOP leadership blaming the conservative Freedom Caucus. But everyone seems to agree on one thing: Congress should give the talks a break and go on recess rather than meeting again today…

There had been tentative plans for more talks today between Vice President Mike Pence and Hill Republicans, but there’s now a growing sense that another meeting before recess would be a waste of time.

Remember, it’s not bragging if you’ve actually done it.

Apart from schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the evening?