Open Thread: “Loyalty Day”


“Actually… “

Woodsy Respite (Open Thread)

We went for a hike this morning and saw these lovely Sandhill cranes:

We also saw a little dragonfly that was the most gorgeous metallic blue:

We spotted a couple of soft-shell turtles as well as a gopher tortoise and numerous wading birds. Plus the usual complement of cardinals, jays, mockingbirds, etc.

I hope you’re finding beauty in your corner of the world when you can. I’ve made a deliberate effort to look for it as an antidote to the ugliness in the current culture, and I swear it helps!

Open thread!

Open Thread: Sam Bee’s Not the WH Correspondents Dinner

Seems to have been a fun time! You can watch the whole thing, bit by bit, at the Full Frontal YouTube channel.

NYMag had an interview with Ms. Bee earlier this week:

I am sure you consider yourself to be an entertainer first. But how much do you also consider yourself to be an informer and journalist?

I don’t consider myself to be a journalist. But we rely on the work of journalists. We have journalists working at our offices. We poached a lot of really great journalists to work in our midst. Really, without them we couldn’t create satire. We couldn’t do this show. We are absolutely reliant on them. We are vampires sucking the life force out of all of those great journalists.

Are there a lot of journalists coming to this event? Do you have a sense of that?

You know, some are. We invited a lot of journalists. Certainly, some people felt like they couldn’t come to an event like this, which we completely understand. Our event is on television. That doesn’t prevent anyone from watching it. But we’ll talk about them and thank them whether they’re here or not. But if they come, that’s great…

What has been the most surprising thing, to you, that has happened since Trump’s presidency began? Can you even pick one thing?

I can’t even pick one thing, but I will say the speed at which things were happening for a long period of time. That was very surprising to me. That was very surprising to me. I’m really just getting a sense right now that he’s trying to figure out what are the toys at his disposal. He’s really figuring it out in real time. I don’t think that’s a good thing.

So the degree to which he really had no idea what he was getting into was surprising.

It doesn’t surprise me that he had no idea what he was getting into. It surprised me that someone who had almost no knowledge of what the job required would endeavor to do things as quickly as he did…

If you’re bi-curious, here’s Hasan Minhaj’s monologue at the “real” WHCD. Poor fella tried really hard, but the audience seemed a little stiff…

Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Beginnings

From commentor Japa21:

I don’t have much that comes up this early in the NW suburbs of Chicago. I have never had much luck with bulbs but will have a lot later on with our pots and other plants. But this year, possibly due to the warmth and moisture, our lilacs are specially beautiful.

I adore lilacs — one reason I love living in New England is that lilacs flourish here. I think of them as the harbingers of “real” Spring; forsythia, daffodils, even cherry blossoms may show up just to get frost-bitten, but once the lilacs bloom, it’s safe to put away the snow shovels.

Earlier this week, Schrodingers Cat left a comment on an open thread:

As a newbie gardener what equipment do I need. What is okay to buy used and what has to be new?

Any help is much appreciated.

Seems like a good time (here in the Northern hemisphere) to raise that question. What would you recommend for starting a garden?

What tools / tips do you wish you’d known about sooner?

My personal hobbyhorse is a pair of good gardening gloves. I like Bionic Gloves, which are spendy, but they’re the best I’ve found. They protect my hands beautifully, yet are so sensitive I don’t have to take them off even for transplanting delicate seedlings. But any gloves will serve, as long as they give you enough protection that you don’t develop blisters or scrapes, and fit well enough that your fingers don’t slip around while you’re using tools.

And I wish I’d known about hand knives sooner. I used a Korean hand plow for years, but since I discovered A.M. Leonard’s soil knife, I’ve never looked back. The company has a subsidiary website separate from their professional-horticulturalists-&-landscapers site; it may be significant that Gardener’s Edge lists their knife & pruner combo but not the knife by itself. (Again, it’s a pricy set, but IMO well worth every penny.)

What’s going on in your garden(s) / planning, this week?

Late Night Mockery Open Thread: Faux-Fyre Festival

Seems like nobody can resist the chance to mock a bunch of mostly-young Rich Snowflakes suffering — for once — some penalties for being over-privileged and under-smart…

Fyre Festival was supposed to be an elite and luxurious musical festival. Hosted on a private island in the Bahamas — which was once owned by Pablo Escobar — tickets ranged into the thousands, and the promo videos for the event, which was co-organized by Ja Rule, featured Bella Hadid and other professionally hot people frolicking on sandy beaches and diving into pristine waters. Except, when the people who actually ponied up those dollars showed up to the event this week, Fyre did not deliver. The site was unfinished, headliner Blink-182 had canceled, and the luxurious villas festivalgoers were promised turned out to be nothing more than disaster-relief shelters…

NYMag also had the single best summary of why things went so wrong…

In early March, a friend of mine texted me to ask if I wanted to be a talent producer for the Fyre Festival. I’d never heard of it, but the gig involved going to the Bahamas and being paid extremely well. So I said yes and packed my bags. The festival was supposed to be a luxury music retreat where elite millennials could mingle with “influencers” and models. Tickets cost between $1K and $125K, gourmet food and accommodations were promised. I was planning to spend the next two months working on the festival, but a mere four days after I arrived I was back on a plane to New York…

On March 14, I flew from Miami to the island of Great Exuma to get the planning started. I was excited, at least at first. Flying in, the water looked beautiful — but I was almost immediately warned not to go near it because of a rampant shark problem. That was an omen I regrettably missed…

My job as a talent producer was to coordinate travel and on-site logistics with the artists who would be performing: Blink 182, Major Lazer, Disclosure, among others, had already signed on. I would be working with an 11-person team and a few of the festival executives. The production team was all new hires and, before we arrived, we were led to believe things had been in motion for a while. But nothing had been done. Festival vendors weren’t in place, no stage had been rented, transportation had not been arranged. Frankly, we were standing on an empty gravel pit and no one had any idea how we were going to build a festival village from scratch.

Pending disaster aside, I started working from an island rental house. I contacted the booked artists’ tour managers to start to coordinate. Almost all of them had the same question for me, which was along the lines of, “Hey … Where’s our money??” I tried to email the business manager to get an answer, who said something like “stand by” for three days in a row. By the end of the week it became clear they would not pay the people they owed…

Didn’t take the media long to track down the bro responsible. Per the Washington Post:

Long before he was forced to apologize for his now notorious Fyre Festival, entrepreneur Billy McFarland founded another company in 2013 called Magnises that made some familiar-sounding promises targeting status-seeking millennials.

For an annual membership fee of about $250, Magnises members could “unlock their cities and take their lives to the next level.” They were assured exclusive tickets to “private members-only concerts, tastings with notable chefs, and exclusive art previews at top galleries,” as well as access to hard-to-book Broadway shows (including “Hamilton”) and events such as New York Fashion Week.

But some of those benefits never materialized or were far from what was advertised, according to a report earlier this year by Business Insider

… McFarland… despite describing Friday as “definitely the toughest day of my life,” was already vowing to forge ahead and hold the event in the future. Perhaps it was his history of moving on from failure. (In 2011, McFarland co-founded a social networking site called Spling, which attracted $400,000 in funding but now appears defunct.) Or his habit of overpromising.

What was clear was that, at least in McFarland’s mind, the Fyre Festival was not dead…

So the Trump Administration has not yet cornered the market in ‘Eminently Punchable Faces’…

Saturday Night Open Thread

A relaxing day- went to the farm for a bit for a party for Holly, now watching a movie.

Found this in my office:

He’s so happy with his haircut. He sleeps with me every night again.

Another Day, Another March of Thousands

I’m dutifully ignoring the Cheeto-In-Chief rally, though I saw a report there were actual skinheads in attendance.

The Climate March today, which I was only peripherally aware of, seems to have drawn quite a crowd. You can see some of the impact here.

Also, if you need a boost, I still highly recommend, Carbon Nation, a great little film on solutions to climate change from around the world.

What’s going on in your world tonight?

Perspective (Open Thread)

Something funny from the Twitters:

Man, it’s hot here in West Central FL today! Summer is going to be beastly. It always is, of course. But the sun-blasted hellscape will be even more hellish than usual, is my prediction.

Pursuant to the weather, I was looking for summer cocktail recipes online earlier. My search led straight to one of my pet peeves: a compendium of recipes (or livable towns, recommended hiking boots, sought-after vinyl records — anything that lends itself to the listicle treatment) that requires the reader to click through item by item instead of scrolling down or clicking a particular entry from a list of links.

I get why they do it; it’s more swipeable for mobile, and page clicks generate ad revenue. But it’s annoying AF, particularly when the separate page for each item then requires you to click yet again for the full recipe. I feel like someone’s Pomeranian being forced through a virtual agility course.

The navigation scheme of this one collection I saw made me want to hunt down the web designer and punch him in the dick: Not only do you have to page through to find the recipe, then click to see the ingredients and measurements, some of the recipes contain custom mixers with cutesy names like, say, “Buccaneer Betty Mix,” so you have to click through to that page to find out what the fuck it is!

I know — “boo-fucking-hoo, you have to depress a button on a mouse four whole times to assemble an entire cocktail recipe — wah!” Still, they’re gonna drive me back to print, I swear, the money-grubbing shitweasels.

Anyhoo, open thread. And feel free to share refreshing drink recipes (alcohol or nah)!

PS: I ultimately settled on an old favorite I invented a few years back.

PPS: For some reason, “St. Elmo’s Fire” is playing without the sound on our tiki bar TV. (Hubby’s golf tournament must’ve ended.) I will never hassle my kid about Gen Z fashion sensibilities again. Ever.

Open Thread: His Mandate Was Bigger, Too…

Who could blame President Obama?

Former President Barack Obama hailed the political
resilience of his signature health care law at a private event Thursday, pointing out that Obamacare is now more popular than his successor trying to repeal it: President Donald Trump.

As Republicans in Washington sputtered again this week in their efforts to undo the law, Obama noted to an audience in midtown Manhattan that “the Affordable Care Act has never been more popular — and it’s more popular than the current president,” according to a person in the room who paraphrased the comments.

Trump has recorded historically low approval ratings for a new president, while public opinion on the health care law has improved gradually amid Republican efforts to get rid of it.

Obama also predicted Thursday that it will be challenging for Trump and fellow Republicans to make any sweeping changes to a law that now provides health insurance for so many people, as he remarked how difficult it was for him to get Obamacare enacted into law in 2009…

Thursday’s event featuring Obama was closed-press and off-the-record, and hosted by the A&E network for a private audience, according to a source. Obama was interviewed by famed author and historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, with the question-and-answer portion lasting about one hour…

(And before anyone asks: I think our last President should scoop up as much ‘tainted’ money speaking to outside groups — even Goldman Sachs! — as he’s comfortable taking. Because I have a very low opinion of the white male alt-left/punditariat whinging about how “the optics demand” that political figures, or at least Democrats, should reject such “compromising” engagements, seeing that it’s always a Black guy or a woman who’s supposed to lead the parade to make that sacrifice.)

“Why can’t we prioritize all the bullet points?”

Relationship Advice

Pro-tip: When asked by a woman how an outfit looks for an afternoon party, “that’ll do” is not the optimal response.

This better not be true…

Via New York Mag:

MSNBC is in talks with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt about creating a show for him on weekend evenings, four well-placed sources at the network tell Daily Intelligencer. Initially MSNBC was keen on having Hewitt host a program on weekend mornings, but that idea is off the table because Hewitt wants to be on in the evening, according to two sources. At one point, network management also floated moving Joy-Ann Reid’s popular weekend program AM Joy to the afternoon to serve as a lead-in for Hewitt and help jumpstart his ratings, but that plan has seemingly been dropped.

It’s bad enough that they already have that ambulatory cream cheese sculpture on board as an analyst — now they’re giving him his own show? Fuck that bullshit. I get that network execs are stuck on the idea that if they “balance” the points of view, they’ll attract a larger audience. It’s not true, but I get that they are wedded to this falsehood.

But Hugh Motherfucking Hewitt? That googley-eyed, mealy-mouthed, chickenshit non-entity? And this after giving Nicolle Wallace and Greta Van Susteren their own shows? If this Hewitt deal goes down, fuck MSNBC. I’ll catch Joy Reid and Rachel Maddow online.

Saturday Morning Open Thread: “I Thought It Would Be Easier”


Lazy weekend morning, time for the BJ hive mind to ‘enjoy’ the full panoply of this week’s Worst Interview(s) Ever…

More than five months after his victory and two days shy of the 100-day mark of his presidency, the election is still on Trump’s mind. Midway through a discussion about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president paused to hand out copies of what he said were the latest figures from the 2016 electoral map.

“Here, you can take that, that’s the final map of the numbers,” the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. “It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.”

He had copies for each of the three Reuters reporters in the room…

He frequently turns to outside friends and former business colleagues for advice and positive reinforcement. Senior aides say they are resigned to it.

The president has been at loggerheads with many news organizations since his election campaign and decided not to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington on Saturday because he felt he had been treated unfairly by the media.

“I would come next year, absolutely,” Trump said when asked whether he would attend in the future…

And it gets… “better”!…

I Like Pleasure Spiked With Pain

So ABC has had the travel day worthy of a John Candy movie. I was supposed to pick her up at the airport this morning at 11 am, but got a frantic phone call she had overslept and missed her plane, but she had rescheduled and would be in at 3:30. No big deal, I dealt with the hvac guy and worked and did other things.

At about oneish, I got a text that she had to reschedule and would be leaving at 6:30. No problem, I would get some Chico Fiesta (my favorite Mexican place) and be there to pick her up.

And then the fun started. Her plane was delayed an hour, and when they finally boarded, got 500 feet from the gate and had to turn around for some tests because something was wrong with the engine. That took about an hour, and they determined that the plane was tits up and they unboarded them and poured them all back into the airport bar/lounge. I had to turn around and go home because I had been grocery shopping on the way to the airport, and Chico Fiesta had a wedding rehearsal dinner and was packed and I could not eat.

At this point I realized how smart it was for them to put them all back in the bar (where she had basically been since 1 o’clock), because if I had been there I would have already been starring in a viral video on the internet of things. At any rate, the hits kept on coming with multiple new departure times that were all scratched, and she finally is airborne at 11:30 with a 1:15 landing time.


Late Night Foreign Intrigue Open Thread: In Like (Mike) Flynn

Earlier today, per Politico:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that his recusal from Justice Department investigations into the 2016 campaign for president will extend into inquiries into the activities of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, under fire for his ties to foreign governments.

“My recusal deals with the campaign issues,” Sessions told NBC’s “Today” show. “But I would expect not to be involved in this one.”…

Flynn, a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency who served briefly as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has been the subject of scrutiny in recent weeks amid reports surrounding lobbying work he did for the Turkish government and a paid speech he delivered at an event for RT, a propaganda arm of the Russian government.

Sessions, too, has been tied to Russia: The attorney general recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election amid reports that he had met on multiple occasions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the campaign even though he had testified during his Senate confirmation hearing that he had not interacted with Russian officials…

… [W]hile the FBI has acknowledged that it is investigating Russian interference in last year’s election as well as possible ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin, Sessions said he was unaware of any specific investigation into Flynn.

“I really don’t know whether there’s an investigation or should be,” Sessions said. “And we don’t confirm investigations of – you know, in the Department of Justice.”

Why, Ah barely even *met* that Yankee fella, Flynn or whatevah. Why should mah good name be linked to his?…

Florida Man: We Have Found a Superior Specimen Edition

A Tampa man, Andrew Lumish, spends his one day off a week doing something unusual: he cleans the dirty and neglected graves of veterans at cemeteries in the Tampa area.

TAMPA – The story of Andrew Lumish’s selfless and up until now anonymous service to veterans struck a chord. More than 8 million people around the world  have viewed the story on Facebook and on in just two days.

“I’ve gotten phone calls and messages from people I haven’t seen since kindergarten.  I’ve been on three radio shows across the country already this morning” said Lumish reeling from the reaction.

Among the more than 10,000 comments on Facebook,  Lumish is called a blessing, an inspiration, even a hero for his work cleaning old and often forgotten grave stones of veterans and their families at Cemeteries around the Tampa Bay Area.

Just a nice, positive story for the end of a busy and somewhat nerve wracking week.