Open Thread: I’m With Her

And also with these guys…

Because… really, Trumplodytes? A literal comic-book villain?



Excellent Read: “Back on the Mekong Delta… “

From the Washington Post:

CA MAU, Vietnam — It could have been 1969 again as Secretary of State John F. Kerry stood on the bow of the small boat chugging up the Bay Hap River on Saturday, the wind billowing his sleeves and his eyes darting left and right toward banks shrouded in dark foliage.

As a young Navy lieutenant, Kerry commanded a Swift boat along this stretch of churning brown waters in the middle of a free-fire zone. Here, he earned a Silver Star for his heroics when he leapt ashore after an ambush to pursue a fleeing Viet Cong with a grenade launcher and shot him dead.

Now, some 48 years later and with the rapid approach of sunset on a political career spanning almost four decades, Kerry was about to be yanked back to that time, and come face-to-face with a Viet Cong soldier who had taken part in the ambush.

Aides escorted Vo Ban Tam to greet Kerry on the dock, beside a row of blue tourist boats. Tam at 70 is three years younger than Kerry. He was Viet Cong in the communist stronghold of Ca Mau, one of the enemy lying in the tall grasses waiting to entrap unprotected, thin-skinned river patrol boats like Kerry’s.

Tam apparently had been tracked down by U.S. consulate officials and invited to meet the U.S. secretary of state he once tried to kill.

Speaking through a translator, Tam said that he had known the man whom Kerry had chased and killed in the firefight of Feb. 28, 1969.

His name was Ba Thanh, and he was 24 years old.

“He was a good soldier,” Tam told Kerry, explaining the training and skill required to handle an R-40 grenade launcher…

Kerry’s encounter with Tam was the emotional peak of his two-day stop in Vietnam on ­Kerry’s final trip as secretary of state. His office in Foggy Bottom is packed and ready to be shipped to Boston.

It is doubtful the longtime senator from Massachusetts will ever run for public office again, but he will continue to work on climate change and ­environmental issues, and he is particularly concerned about the effect of rising sea levels and hydroelectric dams on the rivers in the lower Mekong Delta. When he wasn’t looking at the ­riverbank for some familiar marker from long ago, he was engrossed in conversation with a local ­scientist who said the effect of rising salinity and dams upstream brought once-in-100-year drought last year and threatened livelihoods…



Friday Evening Open Thread: Shots Fired Markers Laid



“You cannot be at home with something that you feel is wrong.”

Blessings to Rep. Lewis for standing up, as he has alway stood up, for truth and justice. The Trumplodytes are going to call him every name they can think of — and the Very Serious Media People will amplify the screeching, because they have concerns about civility — but they’ve been calling him those names for more than half a century anyway.
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Apart from calling things by their rightful names, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
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And furthermore…



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Fight On

We are besieged by the armies of would-be Supreme Leaders, with all their orcs, trolls, wargs, and zombies (aka, the Media Village Press Corpse). And yet… if we must live without hope, there is always vengeance.

From the NYTimes, “Eric Holder to Lead Democrats’ Attack on Republican Gerrymandering“:

As he prepared last week to deliver his farewell address, President Obama convened three Democratic leaders in the White House for a strategy session on the future of their party. The quiet huddle included Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the top Democrats in Congress, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia.

One topic of urgent concern, according to people briefed on the meeting: how to break the Republican Party’s iron grip on the congressional map.

Thwarted for much of his term by a confrontational Republican Congress, and criticized by his fellow Democrats for not devoting sufficient attention to their down-ballot candidates, Mr. Obama has decided to make the byzantine process of legislative redistricting a central political priority in his first years after the presidency.

Emerging as Mr. Obama’s chief collaborator and proxy is Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general of the United States and a personal friend of the president. He has signed on to lead the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a newly formed political group aimed at untangling the creatively drawn districts that have helped cement the Republican Party in power in Washington and many state capitals…

Mr. Holder is set to kick off his initiative on Thursday with a speech at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington. The first major fund-raising event for the group is to take place in Chicago this spring; David Jacobson, a former ambassador to Canada and an Obama campaign fund-raiser, is hosting the event.

Mr. Holder said he anticipated that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. would also be involved, along with other “present and former cabinet members.”…

Mr. Holder said his initiative would unfold on three fronts: In court, where Democrats will challenge Republican-drawn maps they see as violating the law; on the campaign trail, where they will seek to win offices that influence redistricting; and through ballot referendums in states that allow voters to give direct approval to laws mandating new procedures for legislative apportionment…

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Apart from fighting back, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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President Obama’s Farewell Address: Livestream


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If the YouTube embed doesn’t work for you, here’s the official White House livestream link.



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Transition Notes

This evening at 9pmEST, President Obama will deliver his farewell address. Per the Washington Post:

In his weekly Saturday address, the president alluded to the special feeling he has for Chicago. It’s where he came of age personally and politically. He started his public service career there, first as a community organizer before launching the political career that would take him from the Illinois state Senate (after he lost a U.S. House race) to the U.S. Senate and ultimately to the White House as the first black man to occupy the Oval Office. Chicago is also where Obama met and married his wife, Michelle, who is Chicago born and raised. Their daughters Malia and Sasha were born there, too…

Presidents give farewell addresses primarily to reflect on their achievements during their four or eight years, sometimes even including expressions of regret for promises left unfulfilled, said Marc Selverstone, associate professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, which studies the presidency.

The speeches are also used to raise warning flags about specific policies.

Obama’s address is likely to issue some warnings about the politics of his successor, Donald Trump. The Republican president-elect has pledged to overturn much of what Obama put in place, including the Affordable Care Act, executive orders on immigration and other issues, and environmental regulations, among them.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest says Obama wants to give a “forward-looking speech” that will examine U.S. progress during his tenure, but that he also wants to spend time talking about the challenges ahead and what he thinks is necessary to confront them. He also wants to thank the American people for putting their trust in him, Earnest says…

Along with the usual media venues, it will be livestreamed at WhiteHouse.gov.

And in the happy news category, the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) is pushing back at a news report that the transition team for president-elect Donald Trump plans to remove the heads of the agency when he takes office.” So I guess Cole’s raised garden beds are safe, for the moment.

Apart from planning your evening watching / commenting, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Click on the blue link at the end of the following tweet, and you will be rewarded:



Sunday Evening Open Thread: Memorable Moments

… Including, of course, the marshmallow gun. Thanks to universally beloved commentor SiubhanDuinne.

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What else is on the agenda as we wrap up the weekend?