If you like the First Amendment:  Today is National Religious Freedom Day. To find out what  Thomas Jefferson and Virginia have to do with us observing this day, check out the linked wiki.

Changes at Fox News?  Rupert Murdoch owns it but Roger Ailes manages it. It could be due to a recent illness suffered by Ailes or some internal struggles. Who knows with media moguls.  Still, somebody needs to be at the rudder. Especially during election season. NY Magazine has a behind the scenes look.

“There’s no directive on anything,” one anchor told me. “There used to be directives on everything, and now there’s not, which is kind of nice.” By far, the clearest sign of this leadership vacuum is the network’s erratic handling of Trump in the wake of his feud with Megyn Kelly. “There is no Trump strategy,” the source explained.

Trump’s not the only candidate brought up. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio receive mentions as well. There’s also a  whiff of disappointment concerning Fox coming from the camps of some conservative pundits.

Love ’em or hate ’em:  Chances are there’s a Walmart near you that’s about to close. Living in a small town in a low population county I watched as the building affected lives and livelihoods when it first arrived. Mom and pop shops of all kinds shuttered. Big grocery stores would come in and corner markets would fold. But then our Walmart became super, offering food! Then the big food store  providing hours of fun with a live lobster tank up and left since the town couldn’t support two grocery franchises. I won’t even disclose all the upheaval in employment this has caused over the decades. Then the gas pumps came and we lost a couple smaller gas stations. Getting a Walmart is generally being the recipient of a two edged sword.  This week we learn Walmart is boarding up over 250 stores, 154 in the U.S. alone.  Here is the list from USAToday if you want to check your state. Mostly it will be smaller ones but some larger ones are in the mix.

A plea on Go Fund Me: You’ve heard of Go Fund Me, and you’ve no doubt heard the $1.6 billion lottery has been claimed. Here’s where the two come together. A Tennessee woman calling herself Cinnamon Nicole went on Go Fund Me and asked people for help. She was obviously I desperate need.

We spent all of our money on lottery tickets (expecting to win the 1.5 billion) and are now in dire need of cash. With your small donation of at least $1.00, a like  and one share, I’m certain that we will be able to pick ourselves up from the trenches of this loss and spend another fortune trying to hit it big again!”

The fund got up to $800  notes Al. com before Go Fund Me shut it down. Presidential candidates might look into this kind of crowdfunding before long. They’ve tried everything else.

Still waiting on SCOTUS:  The Supreme Court was expected to tell us yesterday whether or not it would hear a case brought by 26 states challenging the President’s executive orders on immigration. But the case was not on the list SCOTUS put out.  Justices could still make a decision on whether or not to hear this case next week.  A Primer. This involves the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and  Deferred Action for Parents of Americans programs.  Last year, a U.S. District Court Judge  issued an injunction barring the Department of Homeland Security from moving forward with the programs. The Politico tells us what this means in the grand scheme:

“Neither the lawsuit nor the injunction directly involve the first version of the DACA program for so-called Dreamers that Obama set up in 2012. However, if the Supreme Court holds Obama did not have authority for his more expansive moves in 2014, the administration would likely have to shut down the earlier program, which has granted quasi-legal status and work permits to about 788,000 people.”

Care packages:  Those armed protesters/militiamen who took over the Malheur wildlife refuge in Oregon a couple of weeks ago put out a call for aid hoping to receive supplies to help get them through the winter. Some of the items they’ve received were clearly sent by those not in support of the group’s efforts. So far, a bag of penis-shaped candies have arrived, one large sex toy, and an “…array of packages stuffed with glitter, nail polish, pedicure socks, and perfume.” There’s some more as well.  Yahoo has unwrapped more.

On a side note: One of those Oregon occupiers has been arrested.  Turns out he went to go grocery shopping in a vehicle owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service . Law enforcement didn’t like it.

That’s the thirst quenching Watercooler for Saturday. Hope something caught your eye. If so drop a comment down below. There’s plenty of stuff going. From bad water in Michigan  to a terrorist attack in West Africa . And this is the place to put your two cents in if you don’t feel like writing a full diary. Watercoolers are always Open Threads.


* All emphasis mine.