Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Smart Takes


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Apart from planning for the Women’s March / Sister Marches, what’s on the agenda for the day?

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I applaud Josh Marshall, on “The Case for Not Being Crybabies“:

Presidents don’t validate what is and isn’t news. If you’re expecting them to, you’re doing it wrong. Almost nothing that is truly important about the work of a free press is damaged by moving the press office across the street.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that these things are not important or that all these threats aren’t a very bad sign. It is vastly preferable to have a President who believes in or at least respects American and democratic values. But let’s get real: we don’t or won’t as of Friday. Trump is a would-be authoritarian and a bully. He’s surrounded by mediocrities who owe all to him and feel validated by enabling his endless transgressions. Of course, he’s doing these things. We know Trump’s MO. He will bully people until they’re cowed and humiliated and obedient. He’ll threaten to kick the reporters out of the White House and then either cut a ‘deal’ or make some big to-do about ‘allowing’ the reporters to stay. These are all threats and mind games meant not so much to cow the press as make them think Trump is continually taking things away from them and that they need to make him stop.

They don’t need to. That access isn’t necessary to do their jobs. And bargaining over baubles of access which are of little consequence is not compatible with doing their job. Access can provide insight and understanding. But it’s almost never where the good stuff comes from. Journalists unearth factual information and report it. If Trump wants to turn America into strong man state, journalists should cover that story rather than begging Trump not to be who he is. America isn’t Russia. And I don’t think he can change us into Russia. So unless and until we see publications shut down and journalists arrested or disappeared, let’s have a little more confidence in our values and our history and our country…

Trump wants to bully the press and profit off the presidency. He’s told us this clearly in his own words. We need to accept the reality of both. The press should cover him on that basis, as a coward and a crook. The big corporate media organizations may not be able to use those words, I understand, but they should employ that prism. The truth is that his threats against the press to date are ones it is best to laugh at. If Trump should take some un- or extra-constitutional actions, we will deal with that when it happens. I doubt he will or can. But I won’t obsess about it in advance. Journalists should be unbowed and aggressive and with a sense of humor until something happens to prevent them from doing so. Trump is a punk and a bully. People who don’t surrender up their dignity to him unhinge him…



Saturday Morning Open Thread: Good Thing Trump’s So Prolific!

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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With the aid of his trusted lieutenants, he’ll gin up new truckloads of bullshit in no time!

Apart from reminding everybody this is Not Normal, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Monday Morning Open Thread: “… Your Generation Will Build A Wall, and Our Generation Will Knock It Down”

Via heartfelt commentor MomSense. Kudos to those young women!

Social note from commentor Yutsano:

So this huge weather storm that has affected much of the country is also impacting my ability to travel. Looks like I’m gonna have to postpone my plans to meet up on Wednesday. By all means let it still happen, I’ll just have to arrange something a bit later when Mother Nature is more cooperative.

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Apart from such bumps in the road, what’s on the agenda as we start another week?

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More wisdom from Professor Krugman, on “The Age of Fake Policy“:

On Thursday, at a rough estimate, 75,000 Americans were laid off or fired by their employers. Some of those workers will find good new jobs, but many will end up earning less, and some will remain unemployed for months or years.

If that sounds terrible to you, and you’re asking what economic catastrophe just happened, the answer is, none. In fact, I’m just assuming that Thursday was a normal day in the job market…

But why am I telling you this? To highlight the difference between real economic policy and the fake policy that has lately been taking up far too much attention in the news media.

Real policy, in a nation as big and rich as America, involves large sums of money and affects broad swaths of the economy. Repealing the Affordable Care Act, which would snatch away hundreds of billions in insurance subsidies to low- and middle-income families and cause around 30 million people to lose coverage, would certainly qualify.

Consider, by contrast, the story that dominated several news cycles a few weeks ago: Donald Trump’s intervention to stop Carrier from moving jobs to Mexico. Some reports say that 800 U.S. jobs were saved; others suggest that the company will simply replace workers with machines. But even accepting the most positive spin, for every worker whose job was saved in that deal, around a hundred others lost their jobs the same day.

In other words, it may have sounded as if Mr. Trump was doing something substantive by intervening with Carrier, but he wasn’t. This was fake policy — a show intended to impress the rubes, not to achieve real results…

So why are such stories occupying so much of the media’s attention?…



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?



Women’s March On (Your City Here): Let’s Meet-Up

When Betty posted this morning about attending the Women’s March on Washington, I saw there were a lot of people going to local marches. There is one in Denver:

Women’s March on Denver

January 21, 2017
9 am – 3 pm
Denver’s Civic Center Park
Marching in Solidarity for Human Rights…
Sponsored by Women, For Everyone! 

Any Colorado folk want to do a meet-up for the march. Even if I can’t make it, I’ll help organize it.

Why don’t we use this thread to see if we there is any interest for meetups in other cities.

And I’m hoping Betty C and anyone else going to the marches will live blog/tweet their adventures – or at least provide photos after the fact.



Possible Seattle Meet-Up?

Note from indefatiguable commentor Yutsano:

It turns out I’ll be in Seattle from January 10-12. Hoping a meet-up can happen while I’m there! I’m free the evening of the 10th and the 11th going back on the 12th in the afternoon.

Leave a comment, or if you want to get in touch directly, email me at annelaurie dot verizon dot com and I’ll forward your message.



Angry River

We’ve had really weird weather the past few days- super cold, snow, a melt, then freezing rain and pellets, then it warmed up to upper 50’s, then freezing rain and cold right now, so there is a lot of flooding in my current location. I thought I would take some pics and share it with you all.

Here’s a map of Bethany:

As you can see, the Buffalo Creek loops around the town, with a major change in elevation between the creek and the center of town. Here’s an image in the summer that shows what the creek and town looks like. I’ve labeled it, with my current house (BJHQ), the new house, and the parents house:

The creek is usually really low, with some fishing holes here and there, but usually just a lazy, slow moving bit of water. NOT TODAY. If you look at the legend, you will see some numbers. Here are pictures 1, 2, and 3 from the bridge on the east end of town, with the picture facing north, northeast, and south, respectively:

Here’s picture number 4, which is about 400 yards to the east, looking back at for a westward view of the bridge where pictures 1, 2, and 3 were taken:

If you look in the lower right hand corner, you can see where I took the other two pictures at the town park, facing east and southeast, respectively:

We haven’t had flooding like this since 2004. No one is in danger or anything, but I always find winter flooding to be really menacing and simultaneously fascinating, so I thought I would share.