Monday Morning Open Thread: Vintage Year

On a more serious topic, keep our Left-Coast friends & associates in your thoughts…


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Apart from that, what’s on the agenda for the (holiday-for-some) day?



Sunday Morning Open Thread

(Jeff Danziger’s website)
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Megan Marguiles, in the Washington Post, “My grandfather helped create Captain America for times like these“:

Amid the masses of strangers gathered to protest at the Boston Women’s March, I spotted something familiar: that shield — red, white and blue — a simple design that holds the weight of so much conviction. Captain America’s iconic getup caught my eye, not only because of the principles it stands for but because he reminds me of another hero of mine.On Dec. 20, 1940, a year into World War II, my grandfather Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, both sons of Jewish immigrants, released the first issue of “Captain America.” The cover featured Cap slugging Adolf Hitler . Because the United States didn’t enter the war until late 1941, a full year later, Captain America seemed to embody the American spirit more than the actions of the American government.

As Cap socked the Führer, many rejoiced, but members of the German American Bund, an American pro-Nazi organization, were disgusted. Jack and my grandfather were soon inundated with hate mail and threatening phone calls, all with the same theme: “Death to the Jews.” As the threats continued, Timely Comics employees became nervous about leaving their building in New York. Then my grandfather took a call from Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, who promised to send police officers to protect them. “I was incredulous as I picked up the phone, but there was no mistaking the shrill voice,” my grandfather recalled in his book “The Comic Book Makers.” “ ‘You boys over there are doing a good job,’ the voice squeaked, ‘The City of New York will see that no harm will come to you.’ ”…

For years, Captain America… came to symbolize the immense love I had for my grandfather and, with that love, a kind of selfish chokehold on the character. More than once I approached a stranger wearing a Cap T-shirt and asked if they knew who created the superhero gracing their chest. It was an attempt, especially after his death, to shout his name far and wide, but also a childish statement: He’s mine. A part of me feared that by sharing my grandfather’s creation, our bond and the love that we had would be diluted. Cap was mine because Daddy Joe was mine.

Yet as I stood among thousands at the Boston Women’s March on Jan. 21, the personal suddenly felt global: More than five years after his death, my grandfather and his creation seemed newly meaningful. In life, my grandfather stood up for justice and taught me about compassion and understanding. Captain America contains all of that for me on a personal level, but now, in this time of turmoil for America, it’s clear that Cap represents something much larger, something we need as a nation…

Late last month, the Jewish Community Relations Council released a statement in response to President Trump’s executive order on immigration, saying that “these actions — which are causing anxiety, pain and anguish throughout immigrant communities and our nation — are unjust. We stand together on the side of empathy and religious tolerance and we urge the administration to open the gates of compassion to those seeking safety, regardless of their faith or country of origin.”…

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What’s on the agenda for the day?



Friday Morning Open Thread: Soldier On

On a lighter note (h/t commentor scav), possibly the most Scottish solution ever to help ‘harder-to-adopt’ dogs find new homes:

Jumpers [translation: sweaters] are being knitted for “discriminated-against” dogs that an animal welfare charity finds among the hardest to rehome…

Scottish Women’s Institute groups, including those in Aberdeenshire, have been knitting the eye-catching jumpers. The knitting effort forms part of celebrations marking 100 years of the SWI.

The SSPCA describes the problem of rehoming dark-coated dogs as Black Dog Syndrome.

The charity said that, in photographs, the dogs’ features and personalities do not show up as they do for dogs with lighter coats.

SSPCA superintendent Sharon Comrie said: “This syndrome really does affect the adoption of animals in our care and, through no fault of their own, black dogs are almost always the last to find new homes.

“It’s a really creative idea to knit coloured jackets to show these dogs off to their best advantage.

“Knowing that the SWI has members in every part of Scotland, many of whom are extremely dextrous when it comes to traditional crafts, means that we’ll hopefully be able to help animals in the nine rescue and rehoming centres we operate in Scotland.”…

You should definitely click the link, because the models are adorable. Given how popular knitting has become here in America… if a shelter were to photograph its black dogs wearing… hmm… pussycat hats?

(And speaking of the Women’s Institute, Calendar Girls is a delightful little diversion if you’re looking for something to distract you this weekend.)
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What else is on the agenda as we wrap up another long week?



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: How It Should Be Done


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What’s on the agenda as we buckle down for another day?



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Hearts & Flowers Brickbats

Potentially good news:

Ever-enjoyable jeering from the peanut gallery:



Late-Night ‘The Road Not Taken’ Open Thread

From NYMag, “The Obamas’ Law Professor Thinks Michelle Should’ve Been President“:

This election cycle, Michelle Obama proved she could give a speech as well as — and maybe even better than — her husband. But according to her law professor, Michelle’s skills rivaled Barack’s in other areas, too. TMZ caught up with Charles Ogletree Jr., a constitutional law professor at Harvard who taught both the Obamas when they attended the university. And according to him, Michelle was the better student — and would’ve been the better president…

So … Michelle 2020? Not quite. “She could easily be president, but I don’t think she will,” Ogletree said. Judging by the number of times the Obamas have said exactly the same thing, that’s a pretty safe bet.

Video at the link. That’s the thing about becoming President — you have to want it, above all else, and it would seem that’s not how Michelle Obama rolls. Who could blame her?

In that vein, former MObama staffer Sara Hurwitz had a piece in Politico:

The most valuable lesson I learned about speechwriting from my former boss, first lady Michelle Obama, is this: Say something true.

The first, most foundational question any speaker should ask is not, “What will make me sound smart, or witty, or powerful?” or “What does the audience want to hear?”

It is: “What is the deepest, most important truth I can tell at this particular moment?” From her frank comments on race and gender over the years, to her remarks on the campaign trail last fall, every speech Michelle Obama gave was her answer to that question—and audiences appreciated it. Amid the bland, calculated language that has become the dialect of modern politics (“We need to support hardworking middle-class American family values!”), genuine words stand out and have a special kind of power to move and inspire…

Members of Donald Trump’s party saw that he lied with impunity, lashed out at the smallest provocation and took pleasure in demeaning and humiliating others. They acknowledged that certain statements he made were racist and misogynistic. And they clearly suspected that he was dangerously unfit for the presidency. Yet rather than voicing what they felt in their gut to be true about him, they chose to verbalize it away, helping legitimize his candidacy for the most powerful job on Earth.

Perhaps they thought he could not win. Perhaps they thought he could not do that much damage if he did. Both of these assumptions have now been proven wrong. Yet, many of these individuals still seem to be talking themselves out of telling the truth about who Trump is and how he behaves…



Monday Morning Open Thread: Remember the Ladies!

What’s on the agenda as we start another week in the Resistance?
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… “I want to know what the Russians have on Donald Trump,” the California Democrat told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think we have to have an investigation by the FBI into his financial, personal and political connections to Russia, and we want to see his tax returns, so we can have truth in the relationship between Putin, whom he admires, and Donald Trump.”…

Trump on Saturday diminished Russian President Vladimir Putin’s human rights violations in an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, saying, “You think our country’s so innocent?”

Earlier Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Todd asked Vice President Mike Pence, “Why can’t [Trump] say a negative thing about Vladimir Putin?”

“The president has said many times if we got along with Russia better, that would be a good thing for the world,” Pence answered. “Maybe it’s not going to work out. But I think he’s absolutely determined. He had a productive conversation with President Putin.”

It’s not just Trump: All the Republicans are happy to enable Vladmir Putin!