I wake up screaming

Jake Tapper used to show up here and I always respected his attitude. I didn’t always agree with his positions, but it seemed like he gave a fuck. And giving a fuck is the most important thing. I like this a lot:

Jake Tapper sometimes wakes up angry. This may be a good thing for America.

Amid the chaos of the Donald Trump presidency, and the deep partisanship that filters through seemingly all aspects of American life in 2017, Tapper is motivated by the same forces that have animated much of his career in journalism. He can’t stand hypocrisy. He can’t stand unfairness. He can’t stop talking about it.

“I recognize that it’s probably a pain in the ass for a lot of people now,” he told The Atlantic. “But it is just who I am.”

“I’m just like, I don’t want any of this to be happening,” he added. “There are so many lies and so much indecency, and I’m not only talking about President Trump. There is just a world of it exploding—and we are, I fear, as a nation, becoming conditioned and accepting of it. And it’s horrific.”








For the good times

Many of you seem like good, virtuous people. You live responsibly, making economical dishes in your slow cookers. You volunteer, you probably canvas for candidates you support, you may already be in local government in some capacity. You do all of these things even when they seem like a grind.

I’m not like that at all, unfortunately, but I spent a ton of time working with local candidates for the House and State legislature from 2006 through 2008. It was a lot of fun! It was fun because we had the winds at our back and because that was when blogging was new and exciting. I got into huge fights with other local activists, felt betrayed by a charismatic candidate who turned out to be a sex harasser (Eric Massa), and burned out on the whole experience.

The next few years are going to be like 2006-08 on steroids, though maybe “on crack” would more accurate. The generic polls have Dems up by 10 and on average Dems are outperforming Hillary 2016 by 10 points in special elections. Democrats in Virginia gained 15+ seats out of 100 in State House elections. That’s the equivalent of 65+ seats in the US House.

Things are likely to get worse for Republicans. They’re either going to fail at all attempts at major legislation or, much worse, pass wildly unpopular legislation. There will mostly likely be more indictments. Trump will probably pardon several people and/or fire Mueller. The economy is unlikely to keep going like this for another year.

The potential for Democratic gains is immense. It’s also going to be nuts, completely fucking nuts. Breitbart will be throwing crazy shit against the wall to try to tar Democratic candidates. There may be bogus DOJ investigations of Democrats. Russians will be trying to hack our elections to help Republicans, and in some cases Republicans officials will be working hand in hand with them.

It’s so exciting that I wish I could throw myself into it, but this is the busiest time of my life professionally plus we are having a baby next month. So I can’t. But you should. It’s going to be a blast. You don’t have to be the kind of person who is naturally good. You can just go into to it to have a good time. You will. Start a local blog. Have a ton of coffee or a different beverage of your choice and knock on doors. Whatever you do, it’ll make a difference. And this is probably a once in a lifetime cycle. It will make for a lifetime of good stories.








Not College Football Open Thread

I’m on my way to the beach, so I can’t post today’s matchups (image source not particularly mobile friendly). Here are some nice biscuits I made instead:

I’ll be joining my sister to watch the crappy Gators play a hopefully even crappier team. We’ll also eat unhealthy foods and possibly drink too much.

Feel free to discuss football, biscuits, beer, barbecue, whatever.








Open Thread: What Kayla Moore “Knew”

It is not, so I’ve read, uncommon for men with socially-unsanctioned sexual urges, once they approach forty, to “settle down” with a wife… who may, or may not, be aware of her spouse’s proclivities. Of course the hormones are less urgent as one ages, but just as importantly, an older man has much more to lose if his undercover activities are exposed; his credentials, his career, his network of social contacts become more valuable than the young man’s fantasy of escaping to a fresh start and a new identity. Frequently such men — such couples — become dependent, even to a cult-like degree, upon a rigid religious or ethical text that will “protect” them from the vile temptations of our sinful world. Roy Moore seems to have been a “social Christian” before his marriage; his determination to drag the rest of us into his interpretation of “Bible-based law” came with his… maturity.

Did Kayla Kisor know about her prospective husband’s dubious habits, back in 1985? She was in the same class as the woman who Roy called out of trig class to ask on a date. And she was sufficiently aware of possible embarrassment that she claimed they met at Bible study — when in reality, Roy would say that he first noticed her when she was 17 and performing at a junior college dance recital.

But what she knows now, for certain sure, is that she’s put 32 years into a fruitful working relationship, and suddenly it’s all coming undone, because Godless liberals:

“He has never one time lifted a finger to me. He is the most gentle, most kind man that I have ever known in my life. He’s godly. He’s loving — and everybody in this community knows it,” Kayla Moore, 56, said, looking around at the people gathered that night. “These are our church members, these are our family, these are our friends, these are people that know him just like I do.”

Over the past week, as several women have come forward to publicly accuse Roy Moore, 70, of pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, Kayla Moore has become her husband’s most visible and aggressive defender. In addition to her defense on Monday night, she has used Facebook to question the credibility of her husband’s accusers, threaten lawsuits and spread information that sometimes turns out to be false…

Friends describe Kayla Moore as a deeply religious wife, mother and grandmother who has devoted her life to her family and gushes lovingly about her four children and five grandchildren. She served on the board of her husband’s Foundation for Moral Law, which he founded to promote Christian values, and then took over the nonprofit as president in January 2013, when Roy Moore was elected to a second term on the state Supreme Court.

For years, Moore has helped coordinate her husband’s political campaigns. In his race for the Senate this year, the two have traveled nearly everywhere together — with him often at the wheel as she navigates…

The FML also paid Kayla Moore a total of $195,000 over three years through 2015″, on top of Roy’s “salary of $180,000 a year for part-time work.” (And of course when she’s right by his side, it’s that much easier to be sure ol’ Roy doesn’t let his eyes or his hands wander.)
Read more



Breakfast for Dinner, The Punisher, and These Dorks

Had a great dinner- I made Gordon Ramsey’s scrambled eggs and sausage (from a farmer down the road from me), and Tammy made avocado toast, which I had never had before:

It’s very good!

I am upstairs watching the Punisher in the office with Samantha, and Tams is downstairs with Lily texting me pictures:

Clowns.

The Punisher is very good! The new detective in the show, Amber Rose Revah, is going to be a star and we are going to see her in a bunch of stuff. Mark my words!



Late Night {Face*Palm} Open Thread: Horseshoes, Clown Shoes

Why do we make the mistake of chewing on each others’ ankles, when there are “professionals” like Stoller to do that for us?

The horseshoe theory of politics states that theorists out towards the far end of opposing ideas eventually start to bend towards each other — thus, far-right authoritarians and far-left “purists” may have more in common with each other than with those of us closer to the center of the bell curve. And you didn’t even know that horses could wear clown shoes!

As for Atrios — whose post set Young Stoller off — IIRC, he’s an economist, and therefore disappointed in President Obama’s solutions to the Great Recession. I also think he’s wrong about how “history” will view Obama’s tenure. While he may have been unduly respectful of both the Republican opposition and his “centrist” so-called allies, I still think President Obama is going to end up in the Top Ten Presidents list if only for what his enemies chose to label Obamacare… among other things.



Floriduh Man to Ohio Man: Hold My Beer!

In a clear attempt to maintain Florida’s well earned status as the home of turning the crazy up to 11, a Florida Democratic Party Official has turned to his Ohio Man counterpart and said hold me beer!

From The Tampa Bay Times:

Stephen Bittel’s rocky tenure as Florida Democratic Party chairman ended in disgrace Friday after he resigned following accusations from women that he leered at them, made suggestive comments and created an unprofessional work environment.

Bittel said he is working with party leaders to set a date to elect his successor.
Elected in January after a contentious internal campaign, Bittel lasted less than a year on the job.  His departure marks the latest case of sexual impropriety shaking the state Capitol.

Bittel’s position became untenable after all four major Democratic candidates for Florida governor urged his ouster following a Politico Florida report late Thursday in which six women anonymously complained about Bittel’s behavior. They said he was “creepy” and “demeaning.” Bittel apologized, but it was not enough.

Bittel appears to have gone all out in his attempt to earn his Floriduh Man! card and keep Florida much, much stranger than Ohio.

Floriduh Man: offensive and educational!

Open thread!



You’re Not Helping Brosef

Sitting Ohio state Supreme Court Justice and soon to be former Democratic candidate for Governor Bill O’Neill:

So basically a Supreme Court Justice doesn’t know the difference between consensual sex and sexual assault/harrassment/rape. Awesome.

Heterosexuality needs no defense. It’s quite popular. But as I have said elsewhere, no one is trying to stop you from being heterosexual or a “man” or even a disgusting general pig. If you’re girlfriend or wife wants you to simulate feeling her up while wearing body armor and pretending to be asleep, go fucking crazy. We’re just trying to stop you from inflicting it on uninterested and unwilling others.



Friday Evening Open Thread: All the Turkeys



Friday Afternoon Open Thread

Saw a beautiful lady woodpecker chasing bugs on a light pole early today:

She made it to the top:

Then looked over her shoulder at the morning sun:

The end.








Even More Vapid Than Usual

This is what consultants do.

It is hard to imagine how Exxon survived Rex Tillerson. He engaged two pricey consultancies, and he didn’t even get a t-shirt out of it.

It’s possible to argue that the State Department needed some reorganization. The one substantive suggestion I’ve seen coming out of Tillerson’s shop (as distinct from the State Department) is that the number of special envoys needs to be decreased.

That’s actually a reasonable suggestion. A President sees a particular problem in foreign relations and appoints a person as special envoy to deal with it. Some are successful, some not. The existing organization is usually uneasy about them, sometimes hostile. They, or their office, may linger after the problem is no longer essential to address.

I’ve griped, mostly on Twitter, about the lack of information about this reorganization that Tillerson wants to bring about. What are his objectives? How does he plan to go about achieving them?

The State Department is not like Exxon. It is the primary governmental interface for the United States with the rest of the world, not a profit-making organization. Exxon’s objectives are much simpler: to get oil out of the ground in the cheapest way possible and sell it for the highest price possible.

That can become more complicated than the oilmen would prefer, so refineries must be built and the oil must be processed into a form that consumers want to buy. And so on. As an international corporation dealing in many types of sales in many countries, however, Exxon has a department that is not unlike the State Department in that it must learn about those countries and how to deal with them, again with much more limited objectives. So one might think that Tillerson has some sense of how the State Department works.

You might think that a proposal for a reorganization of the State Department might require as much information as is in the preceding few paragraphs, perhaps even more – that State issues passports and helps Americans abroad; that it develops the background information necessary to negotiate treaties; that it supports cultural and scientific exchanges, and more. Those functions are not the same as cost centers.

But consultants don’t even need to know that. They have apps that require only the name of the client to be input and can spit out a hash of processes, impact, execute, build, framework, and other buzzwords. “Elevate their leadership” and “appetite for change” are nice.

So look through this briefing for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. No mission statement. No description of what people actually do or are expected to do. No org chart for what the department will look like after the reorg. Thin even for what consultants do.

Does Rex Tillerson believe that this represents substance? Is he trying to BS Congress? As is so often the case in this administration, incompetence vies with maleficence.



(New) Cat Rescue Bleg – Denver Area

From commentor Hedgehog:

A friend of one of my co-workers has been keeping a couple of cats in her shop. The shop owner has told her the cats have to go. I’ve posted to all of my social media contacts but no luck. The cats are in Denver metro.

The black one, Bubby, aka Mr. Bubbles, is about 6 and has been living inside with us for 2.5 yrs. Before that, he was living in our shed as a stray. He has a very shiny, medium length, black fur with mahogany tones. He keeps himself very clean and is a pretty easy going guy. His favorite things are to sit in your lap, and to eat!

He loves attention, but is used to spending a lot of time on his own. His eyes are often a brilliant green.

The tortie is Mama, as she had 3 kittens in 1 of our sheds at a very young age. Consequently, she is on the small side. She has bunny soft fur, and only has ½ of a tail.

She was feral when I trapped her and the kittens, but she has learned to like people. She loves to be petted, and is a bit of a talker. She is about 3, and moved inside 2 winters ago. She can be a bit sassy, after all, she is a tortie, but is a very sweet girl and likes to flirt.

Both cats have been neutered. If you know anyone who would like to meet them, I’d be happy to have them come by and visit. They are both really nice cats.

They could go together, as they get along, but they are not bonded so could easily go separately.

If you know anyone who might be interested in one or both of these sweethearts, leave a comment, or email me (‘contact a front pager’ or annelaurie.bj@gmail.com) and I’ll forward your message.








Quick Miss Callie (Minnesota to Maryland) Update

Kitten-courier Reilyn has booked her roundtrip flight from DC to Minneapolis, and purchased an airline-approved carrier for little Miss Callie. The hand-off is scheduled for the weekend of December 8th.

Because you guys are awesome, we’ve already collected more money than we need for this particular mission. Unless anyone has an objection, I’ve told Reilyn to hold on to the extra at this point in time. (You can contact me directly, if you need more information.)

We already have another pair of cats looking for new homes in Denver (check back for that post around lunchtime EST) so she may be sending part or all of the money directly to the next “angel”. Any money left over will go to pet rescue, if you want to nominate a recipient…








The Gold Rush

Covered California released their enrollment data for the first two weeks of their extended open enrollment period. The Gold Rush is on:

From Nov. 1 through Nov. 14, more than 48,000 new consumers signed up for coverage through Covered California, which is slightly ahead of last year’s pace when more than 39,000 consumers selected a plan during the first two weeks of November 2016….

In addition to the enrollment data, Covered California announced that its data shows that consumers are using their increased tax credit money to purchase more-comprehensive coverage with richer benefits. The percentage of new subsidy-eligible consumers selecting a Gold-tier plan has increased from 4 percent during the first two weeks of 2016 to 12 percent during the same time this year. Silver continues to be the most-selected tier, which is good news because that is the level at which consumers receive the best value due to cost-sharing reduction benefits.

The shift out of Silver looks to be two thirds towards Gold. Maybe a quarter of the people who bought Silver last year are buying far less expensive after subsidy Bronze plans and a few more folks are buying Platinum plans. The work that Andrew Sprung, Louise Norris, Charles Gaba and I had done this Fall led us to believe that a lot more people would be choosing Gold plans because of CSR costs were being Silver Loaded. One of our worries was that people who were eligible for CSR Silver plans would choose the low to no premium Bronze plans instead.

That bargain remains in place. But silver plans can be quite expensive for low income enrollees. The premium for a benchmark silver plan ranges from 2% of income for those in the 100-138% FPL income bracket to 6.3% for enrollees at 200% FPL. The benchmark premium at 200% FPL comes to $127 per month in 2018.

Will the outsized bronze plan discounts available in many places this year tempt a lot CSR-eligible buyers into bronze plans?**

Right now the California data suggests that this is not the predominant case for new enrollees. The Bronze uptake percentage may have increased by no more than 4% while Gold’s uptake percentage was 8%. This is early data but promising data that shows this worry is not the dominant pathway.

Finally, California is running their own exchange. Covered California is running their own massive marketing campaign and they are running their own open enrollment period. They are outpacing their 2017 enrollment on an apples to apples basis. We can not extrapolate California’s experience nationally as there are too many differences but again, this is promising.








Friday Morning Open Thread: If They’re That “Offended,” You Know They’re Lying

Orrin don’t care, he’s not running for re-election anyways. Just as well the Repubs can shove him in front of the cameras to act all indignant about Sherrod Brown telling the truth about what Orrin’s GOP buddies — or, more accurately, their funders — want to do to the rest of us.
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As we wait for the late-Friday news dump, what else is on the agenda for the day?
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(Matt Davies via GoComics.com)