Thursday Night Open Thread

Seriously, Joe Biden intends to seek a second term? Who is he kidding? Trump's kids must be screaming with delight, thinking it's their turn next.

Politics has been completely boring lately. I think it's to be expected after four years of living on the edge of our seats and not knowing whether we'd live another year -- as a country or individually.

I had court this morning and the Judge wasn't wearing a mask. The only people in the courtroom were his clerk, 2 U.S. Marshals and me and my client (all masked). (The prosecutor and court reporter appeared by video). At one point he said the risk wasn't too big since all of us had probably gotten at least one vaccination dose. [More...]

My client and I also wore gloves because we had to pass papers between each other. At least we got to sit six feet apart and use differenct microphones. But I'm not sure I'm going to do that again. Yesterday our Governor issued a new Order that included the following:

Individuals at Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19 cannot be compelled to work for any business or government function, including a Critical Business or Critical Government
Function, during the pendency of this pandemic emergency.

Minnesota reports that 89 people who have gotten one or two doses of the vaccine have gotten COVID afterwards. Officials there say it's to be expected.

I don't feel as comfortable getting this vaccine as with other vaccines, like polio, measles, chicken pox and the like. I also don't like the rush to re-open dine-in restaurants, sports and concert venues. Movie theaters are gearing up to do the same. Even though it will be a lot longer before I visit any one of those places, I don't like the idea that someone who does patronize those places may unwittingly transfer something to me, at the grocery store, in an elevator, or anywhere else.

So many other countries have managed to contain this virus by having a citizenry who follow rules. That's impossible in the United States where the last four years of chaos have brought out the worst in half the population (i.e., Republicans, who insist on doing what's good for them not society). Just another reason to watch more House Hunters International and find some alternatives.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome. Bonus points for comments about other countries you've been to that you enjoyed so much you could picture yourself living there.

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    I think it was smart of Biden ... (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Erehwon on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 05:29:16 AM EST
    ... to say that he is running again in 2024, otherwise the idiot media will immediately brand him a lame-duck, and start 2024 candidates' speculation while making Harris's life unbearable with stupid question upon question.

    Also, most Republicans insist on doing what they think their voters want, and not what's really good for them. I guess we should be glad for that, otherwise we might have had Trump again.

    I agree with this completely (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 09:19:50 AM EST
    If Biden had in any way indicated that he would not run in 2024 the media would spend the next four years focusing on that rather than Biden's agenda.

    I have a few issues with Biden but I have to admit that he is handling this initial period of his presidency really intelligently. Much better than I expected.


    Hope we hear fro our friend Chuck soon (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 07:56:10 AM EST
    Hope he is ok.

    Yes. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 06:53:14 PM EST
    Jeralyn posted a note that she sent him an email to the address she had associated with the blog. I hope he is able to respond and it's the correct email address.

    He last visited here (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 27, 2021 at 12:48:31 AM EST
    on March 23, 2021. I hope we hear from him soon.

    Well, that's two days after his original, (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Peter G on Sat Mar 27, 2021 at 03:15:47 PM EST
    alarming post. So that's good news, kind of. Like everyone else, I'm eager/anxious to hear more.

    I have been moved into ICU (none / 0) (#21)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Mar 30, 2021 at 03:44:32 PM EST
    Pulling for you (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 30, 2021 at 05:14:45 PM EST
    All of us are (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by jmacWA on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 04:56:45 AM EST
    Get better Chuck

    Me too (none / 0) (#23)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 30, 2021 at 11:36:46 PM EST
    Get well soon, buddy.

    Get better soon. (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 05:51:52 AM EST
    Keep pushing forward. Surely you want to see the odious Matt Gaetz finally pay the piper.

    Gaetz is going down Chuck... (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by desertswine on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 10:52:50 AM EST
    You don't want to miss this.  It's going to be a good show.

    Get better, Chuck! (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 12:53:47 PM EST
    We really care about you.

    Thinking of, and worrying for you, Chuck. (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by leap on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 02:53:06 PM EST
    I'm the World's Best Worrier (just ask my family and friends), so you just let me take over.

    Our thoughts are with you and your family (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 02:40:12 PM EST
    RIP... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by desertswine on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 01:38:26 PM EST
    "The older the violin, the sweeter the music."
    ― Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove

    I can't think of sadder news. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Apr 01, 2021 at 03:51:16 PM EST
    Larry McMurtry is one of my all time favorite writers. Spent many a long night in an 18 Wheeler crossing America listening to him on tape. Lonesome Dove was one best books I ever read. Augustus McCrea one the best characters ever written.

    Are you out of ICU, if you (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 01, 2021 at 09:16:07 PM EST
    don't mind my asking? Everyone's very concerned about your illness and recovery. We're all pulling for you.

    No. (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 03:38:08 PM EST
    I'm kinda fighting for my life. On high dose of oxygen trying to avoid ventilator. I think it's over if that happens.  Thanks for yourthoughts..

    The ventilator is uncomfortable but (5.00 / 7) (#33)
    by Peter G on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 04:51:04 PM EST
    has saved many a life in the last year, including recently our son-in-law's mother. Don't give up!

    Going under and onto a ventilator (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 12:23:56 PM EST
    Scares me completely. I fear not waking up.

    We will (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by jmacWA on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 03:22:13 PM EST
    keep pulling for you Chuck.  Hope to see new posts from you in the near future.

    My cousin (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 06:32:50 PM EST
    went on a ventilator and came off of it. It's not the end if you go on one. They have come a long way in learning about when and how to use ventilators.

    I listened to an old interview he gave (none / 0) (#36)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 01:54:47 PM EST
    in the 80's. He was very direct and blunt in his comments.

    He described how the "wild west" of cattle drives, from the ranches in TX and the SW to the cargo boats of the Great Lakes, etc., was very short lived. That it only lasted about one generation, from the end of the Civil War to when the cross country railroads were built.

    His grandparents were part of that generation, and Larry mentioned that he and his parents lived with his grandmother in her house on her ranch until her death when he was about 10 y/o.

    The interviewer asked if his grandmother told him stories about the "old" times, and he said no, that he has no memory of his grandmother ever talking to him.

    The interviewer asked how that happened, how could that be possible?

    And McMurtry said the life she lived was extremely hard in the Texas desert. That she had had 12 children and about 100 grandchildren, and that she had long since lost any interest in kids by the time he had come along.


    Amen George (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 14, 2021 at 04:17:39 PM EST
    George Will: "Today, the Internet and social media enable instantaneous dissemination of stupidity, thereby creating the sense that there is an increasing quantity of stupidity relative to the population's size. This might be true, but blame it on animate, hence blameworthy, things -- blowhards with big megaphones, incompetent educators, etc. -- not technologies. Technologies are giving velocity to stupidity, but are not making people stupid."

    I was thinking about this.  If you had asked any of us in 1980, or even 1990, what the effect would be of a truly miraculous and almost unimaginable innovation that would literally allow everyone to have all the collected knowledge of the world at our fingertip, in the palm of our hand, who would have guessed that the most consequential effect would be to make people more stupid and tribal.

    It's a sad thing that says more about us than technology.

    I'm totally cool with 'boring' politics. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 03:24:44 AM EST
    Frankly, treating politics as a sideshow and vicarious form of public entertainment, rather than the serious business that it is, brought about the election of an inordinate number of blowhards, showboats, clowns and drama queens to public office, which led to mediocrity in our governance - and worse. This country got exactly what it deserved when Donald Trump was elected president. What the f--k were people thinking?

    It's going to take a lot of hard work to dig us out of the huge mess we're in. This past year has been the longest and most difficult and professionally challenging of my life. Not only have I had to worry about the well-being of my own family members, but I've also had the responsibility of helping craft, and then coordinate and oversee, our county's COVID response, not just health-wise but economic as well. I'm working six-plus days a week. That's why my comments at TL have been sporadic.

    I took leave from my business when I originally agreed to help re-build the county's planning department. When COVID hit, I was suddenly thrust into this. We had to create whole programs from scratch to get GOP-begrudged federal aid out the door to affected populations. We did it all in the face of a hostile administration in Washington that really didn't care if residents of blue states lived or died.

    And since my island is over 4,000 square miles of small rural communities and hamlets save for my own town of Hilo (pop. 43,000) and the resort community of Kailua-Kona (Pop. 12,000), I've been on the road a lot. Yesterday, I was up in Hawi in the North Kohala district, an 80+-mile drive north on a two-lane highway. Tomorrow, I'll be in Pahala in Ka'u, 70 miles to the south, again all two-lane highway. (No freeways on the Big Island.)

    Hawaii County just elected a new mayor last November. Five weeks into the job on January 11, he suffered a major heart attack. With him laid up and mending, we've all had to ratchet up our own already considerable efforts. Every day, I'm giving pep talks to county employees across the island and relying ever more on the dozen volunteers of our team, including three retired public health specialists in their late seventies who actually came out of retirement last May, and whose wisdom and counsel have been invaluable to me.

    They're all probably as exhausted as I am at this point. God bless every single one of them, they rose to the occasion and went above and beyond the call. Now we're focusing on getting vaccines in people's arms, as quickly as possible. I really don't have the luxury of being bored. And whenever I'm down, I look to them for inspiration.

    I don't ever want to hear anyone b*tch about government workers again. They've restored my faith in humanity. They stepped up. (Your own communities probably have a lot of unsung heroes, too. You likely know who some of them are. Please be sure to thank them.)

    So, sorry about the rant, but I'm too tired to do song and dance. If you want to be entertained, go watch cartoons. Thank heavens we have boring old Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and their administration, who are doing all the heavy lifting that their immediate predecessors didn't f--king bother to do. They've only been in office two months. Why is anyone even speculating about 2024 right now? If we fail here, 2024 won't matter, because it'll likely be the end of America as we know it.


    YIKES (none / 0) (#2)
    by jmacWA on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 05:09:26 AM EST
    A Biden Second Term?  Hopefully, he was just trying to provoke the Trumps Donald and stay in their heads for a bit more time.

    Trump was on FOX last night (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 08:02:34 AM EST
    doing his best to try to distract from Biden's stellar performance at that presser.

    I won't link or quote but he did a whole thing about how the rioters were no threat to anyone.  That they were hugging and kissing cops and that they are now being unfairly persecuted.

    The news worthy part of this I think is how utterly NOT news worthy it was.  It was not discussed on cable news.  It did not take over social media.

    No body cared.  He is sinking further into irrelevance by the hour.  It's wonderful to watch the bubble get smaller and smaller.

    Jan. 6 should have the cults Kent State (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Mar 28, 2021 at 05:55:03 PM EST
    The should have fired volley after volley of live rounds as soon as the breached the barriers. I think they got off easy.

    Hey, ChuckO. Great to see you posting. (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 28, 2021 at 06:44:30 PM EST
    Still in the hospital? How are you feeling? We've all been worried about you!

    Glad to see (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 01:46:18 PM EST
    you are well enough to be posting here and rage at conservative nonsense.

    More FOX news (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 08:09:34 AM EST
    "Dominion Voting Systems on Friday filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, arguing the cable news giant falsely claimed in an effort to boost faltering ratings that the voting company had rigged the 2020 election," the AP reports.

    The case against Fox is somewhat different, (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 02:47:40 PM EST
    to my way of thinking, from a First Amendment perspective, from the same case when brought against Powell or Lindell. There is a "fair reporting" privilege that allows a news organization to report newsworthy statements by people in the news, without being held responsible for those statements as if reporting them was the same as endorsing them. This is one of the ways that the First Amendment "freedom of the press" is not the same as the "freedom of speech" that we all enjoy, even if we're not part of "the press."

    My guess is (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 03:29:29 PM EST
    it will be more about what their people, Hannity, Carlson and Ingram and others said.  Not what they said others said.  Not "reporting".

    I think this (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 03:30:49 PM EST
    is how the Rich family won their case against Fox was going after Hannity.

    Lou Dobbs (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 03:57:25 PM EST

    It will (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 02:30:01 PM EST
    be interesting to see if Fox uses their standard claim of how they are not a news organization.

    This again (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 26, 2021 at 04:01:26 PM EST
    What do we think of this (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 07:01:49 PM EST

    Minnesota police chief says he believes officer meant to grab Taser before shooting Black man during traffic stop
    Daunte Wright, 20, was killed during a traffic stop, sparking tense protests near Minneapolis.

    Really, which is worse.  That it's just a lie and an excuse or that it's true?

    If it's true this person should never be allowed to be a crossing guard again.

    Apart from the difference of the way a gun would feel in your hand and a taser it's not an acceptable "mistake"

    Unbelievable.  They just said it was a misdemeanor warrant.  That he died for.

    At this effin' rate (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 13, 2021 at 01:11:34 AM EST
    no one's going to want to pull over at all anymore, which will obviously lead to even more problems and disasterous consequences.

    Those cops in Virginia reacted like the driver was a member of Al Qaeda simply because he chose to pull into a well-lit service station.

    All this screaming and yelling and threats and guns out to theoretically 'take control of the situation' just trigger people's fight-or-flight response and make a fraught situation even more fraught.  


    The VA incident was ridiculous. (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Apr 13, 2021 at 08:04:32 AM EST
    I have done EXACTLY what the LT did on more than one occasion. Especially when riding a motorcycle. I do not pull over on dark roadsides. I always look for a well lit spot before stopping. For everyone's safety.

    A felony stop for no license plate on a new vehicle was beyond stupid and bad policing.


    The Minnesota cop (none / 0) (#41)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 13, 2021 at 01:17:57 AM EST
    was a 26 year veteran.

    26 years and she doesn't know the difference between a taser and a gun? Who do they think they're kidding?


    I'm not buying it (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 13, 2021 at 07:12:09 AM EST
    They say cops there carry the taser on the non-dominate side.  Opposite the gun.

    As far as her actions and reaction, i heard it as "holy shit+ I shot him.  I'm so fuck€d"

    That said it's hard to understand why the kid would jump back in the car.  Handcuffed.  You wonder what might have been said to him, possibly whispered to him, that would cause him to do something so desperate

    And you mention the active duty guy.  The way they treated him shows there is literally no telling what horrible thing that might have been.

    That incident at the gas station is stunning.  Even if he did not die it shows what people of color are obviously expected to accept and keep their mouth shut if they want to live.

    It absolutely has to stop.  It's starting to look like intentional provocation intended to make people go nuts and loot and burn to give the right good footage for the "news"


    EXACTLY (none / 0) (#43)
    by jmacWA on Tue Apr 13, 2021 at 07:41:34 AM EST
    Not buying it either.  26 year veteran doesn't know handgun from taser or left from right.  Either one shows someone who HAS to go.  The fact that she was once head of the police union does not come down in her favor in my ledger.

    I buy it. (none / 0) (#47)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 14, 2021 at 02:44:27 PM EST
    Two years ago a motorist with about 3o years of driving experience looked right at me and then pulled out and drove straight into me and my motorcycle as she was looking at me.

    People f*ck up, they're human.

    And, like the driver, Kim Potter needs pay for the consequences of her f*ck up.


    They do (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 14, 2021 at 03:35:30 PM EST
    I believe she might have intended to do what she said.  

    The fact she did what she did means, at the very least , she should never wear a badge again.  So many of these guys just get fired and start the next day in the next town.  As far as the charges I will leave that to a jury.

    I think one of the more frightening parts of this along with her decades of experience is they just said she trained other officers.  


    Also I think the instant announcement she got her gun and her taser confused was a disaster.  Even if it was true.

    It's not just that it sounds so stupid but it really sounds like one of the parade of excuses cops have given for killing unarmed people for decades.  Decades of impunity that have hopefully ended.


    Agreed. (none / 0) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 14, 2021 at 04:32:33 PM EST
    I called BS when I first heard the "confused" claim, but changed my mind when I saw the vid. The body cam is looking directly at her hand but imo her eyes probably were looking everywhere but.

    I think that is why (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 13, 2021 at 08:48:33 AM EST
    Nobody wants to get out of the car also. When police are aggressive the ONLY thing between the driver and a bullet is the car frame or door. Police officers open fire on unarmed people constantly and say they believed their lives were in danger, and then just walk away.

    Footage of the event (none / 0) (#39)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 08:55:29 PM EST
    Shows officer shouting Taser several times before she shot him. Based on that, I don't think the chief is lying. Definitely not acceptable. I heard he was pulled over because he had an air freshener hanging from his mirror. If that is true, they are over policing big time and it illuminates the dangers of driving while black.

    "He was pulled over for having an expired (none / 0) (#46)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 14, 2021 at 02:34:16 PM EST
    "He was pulled over for having an expired registration on the vehicle," Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said Monday. "When the officer went over, an item hanging from the rearview mirror was spotted."

    It was after that, Gannon said, that the officers discovered that a "gross misdemeanor warrant" for Wright's arrest had been issued.