Wake up, little Susie

I still have to figure where there’s a Mitch, there’s a way, but….



Open Thread: It’s A Million-to-One Chance, But It Just Might Work!

But srsly, Alex Pareene’s got an eye for the Next Big Trend, which gives me hope:

The American right is awash in money. A huge amount of right-wing donor money—much more than many reputable liberal activist and advocacy groups ever see—goes to grifters solely out to enrich themselves, and the movement still always has more than enough left over to fund campaigns at every level of government. The right has more money to spend on electing conservatives than it can efficiently spend. You don’t raise and spend thousands of dollars on college student government campaigns unless you don’t have a more urgent use for that money…

Here’s a fun question to ask the internet if you want to start an endless argument: What should we want Hillary Clinton to do with herself now, exactly? Regardless of whether you voted for her enthusiastically, reluctantly, or not at all, we must all acknowledge that she will continue to exist in this world for the foreseeable future, and, hence, will have do do something.

One thing rich people love to do is give the Clintons money. Rich people enjoy giving the Clintons money almost as much as they enjoy eating expensive versions of traditional street foods, and causing measles outbreaks. The liberal donor class and the not-that-liberal-but-likes-to-donate class love writing checks to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and increasingly also Chelsea too. The Clinton Foundation was the ultimate proof of that fact.

The good news is, this seems to be what Hillary Clinton has decided to do. Last month, she launched “Onward Together,” her new political nonprofit that will reportedly act not as a launching pad for a future Clinton campaign but as a group dedicated to aiding existing activist groups. The Politico reported just prior to the group’s launch: “The new organization is not expected to have a large staff, but will instead focus on sending money to other organizations at a time that Democratic donors are largely unsure about how they should be spending their cash.”

If accurate, this is exactly what we (pretty broadly defined) should want from Clinton in the Trump era.

The Clintons are a safe “brand” for wealthy donors who don’t want to get their hands dirty doing liberal politics. Donors who do want to do liberal politics are frequently attracted to big shiny races—the presidency, Virginia governor—and neglect state legislatures, House races in far-flung districts, and groups doing on-the-ground organizing throughout the country. A Clinton organization that can act as a clearinghouse for big donor money, and that distributes that money to organizations doing good work, is an eminently sensible idea. With the exception of a handful of mega-donors who determine the course of the movement, conservatives largely have experienced political operatives steer their donors’ money wherever it’s most needed (while taking a hefty cut for themselves and their friends, obviously). It has been, as we can all see, a successful model…

The nice thing is, letting rich donors give their money to the Clintons, to give away as they see fit, doesn’t have to come with any downside for anyone. It does not preclude other fundraising strategies: There is room for the individual, small donor-funded grassroots campaign as well as the giant hose of dark money aimed at every conceivably winnable race. The Democrats will clearly need both…



Ignorance Is Strength

Day #155: the childish outburst continues:

The most interesting thing about this comparison is that Trump equates Clinton’s “collusion” with the Democratic Party to his campaign’s collusion with a hostile foreign power. Unintentionally revealing!

Shortly after that tweet, Trump sat for a tuggie an interview with Fox & Friends’ Pete Hegseth and elaborated on his bizarre complaint yesterday that President Obama didn’t stop the Russians from sleazing him (Trump) into office:

Note that Trump, who has received the most highly classified intel for many months now, claims he just learned this from the Washington Post story published last week. As Stelter rightly points out, the WaPo story inspired debate about whether PBO should have done more to counter Russian interference, not whether he addressed it at all.

As Stelter says, everyone has known for months — before the vote — that the Russians interfered with the election; only Trump and his surrogates have consistently denied it. PBO took action against the Russians for it, and we know Trump knows that too, since he has removed or attempted to remove every sanction placed on the Russians. Trump even kissed Putin’s ass shortly before the inauguration, praising the Russians for demurring on a response to PBO’s sanctions and providing a wink-wink signal that the sanctions would be short-lived:

Fox Friend Hegseth didn’t follow up because that’s not the role of the state propaganda organ’s presenter. Trump is counting on brazen lies and the inversion of observed reality at every turn to carry the day. Why not? It’s worked so far.



Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Back from the Damage / E-Mail Change

First of two posts from faithful commentor WaterGirl:

I love my anemones [top pic] – they are such happy flowers. So simple but they are some of my favorites.

The day after the huge tree fell on my house (just passed the 4-year anniversary on 5/31) a friend brought over a cherry tree for me to plant because I had told her once that I always wished I could have a sour cherry tree but I had nowhere to put one. I had about a dozen cherries the first couple of years, then none last year because we had a cold snap at the wrong time, but you can imagine the thrill for me when my cherry tree decided that this was the year it was really going to take off! One photo shows the flowers earlier this spring, and I took the other photo about an hour ago before I started round one of picking my cherries.

This was my first spring for my Jane tulip magnolia (not sure what the proper name is) and like everything else, it was so lovely but seemed to last only about 45 minutes. Everything was 2-3 weeks early this year but didn’t seem to last very long. What global warming, you say?

***********
Speaking of damage — although on a much less grand scale — Verizon’s ‘migration’ to Aol borked my contact link here. So I have a new email address: annelaurie.bj@gmail.com. And while I’ve still got everything sent before June 11th, I’m afraid that anything you may have sent me since that date has been etherized… sorry I didn’t post about this sooner, but my Tech Guy (aka, the Spousal Unit) kept holding out hope for a miraculous recovery.

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








He can’t be wounded ’cause he’s got no heart

I have a question about the Bobo column that Tom eviscerated: what’s the purpose of saying there’s nothing there this early in the investigation? There’s no way to guess what exactly Mueller will turn up. All I can think is that Bobo is helping to lay down justification for eventually firing Mueller.

I also wonder what made Bobo decide he had to start carrying water for Trump. The vast majority of mainstream conservative pundits aren’t — Douthat isn’t, Stephens isn’t, no one at WaPo is except Thiessen. My guess is that Bobo wants to be careful to protect the conservative part of his “reasonable conservative” brand. Without it, he’s just an ostensibly straight version of Frank Bruni, wanking about college admissions and what extracurricular activities build character. That’s not going to pay his alimony. With it, he’s “hey there’s a conservative who supports funding for after school music programs”, to put it in totebaggerese.

To benefit from the lowered standards applied to conservative opinion writers, you have to maintain some amount of conservative cred. That means that if Trump wants to drop nuclear bombs, you have to at least support dropping conventional bombs. Otherwise you’re just another pinko.

We’ll probably see more and more conservative pundits work their way around to being anti-anti-Trump. It pays the bills.



Open Thread: Blessed Eid!

To our Muslim readers: My timing may be shaky, but my best wishes are sincere!

Eid al-Fitr: Saudi Arabia declares Sunday first day

When is Eid al-Fitr, and why do Muslims celebrate it?

ETA: Apologies for the earlier draft posting — too much IRL stuff going on!

ETAA: Happy birthday-approximation, Red Dirt Girl!








Summer Menu: June Week Three

All this week’s photos are from JeffreyW’s library

This week, at the bottom of the menus is a list of substitutions and ideas, save that for future weeks.

As we finish up June, there are more grilling recipes and a couple of quick and simple meals for those busy days when being in the kitchen needs to be kept to the minimum.

Here are June’s menus and recipes: June Week Four Menu (click for printable PDF)

Monday features Chicken Carbonara.  Along with a Sautéed Mushroom Salad

Thursday, Toasted Tuna Sandwiches are paired with a tasty chilled Wild Rice Salad, that can be prepared ahead of time for an easy dinner.

And Friday’s Kid Friendly recipes include Quesadillas and a sweet summer salad.

Click here for the shopping lists: June Week Four Shopping List. Remember they are color coordinated to the menus, so easy to eliminate any ingredients when you skip a recipe. (You skipped a recipe?!? :-) )

What’s on your menu this week? Let me know in the comments if you have a question about any of the meals.

Enjoy!








The card should say MOOPS

Rank the following plans in terms of most attractive benefit structure.

Plan A: $2,000 deductible
Plan B: $400 deductible and coinsurance
Plan C: $0 deductible and coinsurance

C,B,A is how the plan designs rank in terms of deductible attractiveness.

Kaiser Family Foundation current messaging is deductible focused.

But is deductible the number to look at?

It really depends, the best number to look at is the actuarial value. The three plans are 81%, 71% and 70% AV. Read more








Flake News

I think whether the Obama administration should have revealed the extent and intent of Russian meddling prior to the election is a legit question. But not from this fucking guy:

Good Christ. What we have here, fellow citizens, is a creature utterly devoid of any beliefs, strategy or principles — just a dim, gelatinous hairball lashing out at anything that threatens his extra-dainty, super-fragile ego.

And the biggest threat to Trump’s self-regard is the very existence of Barack Obama, a man who is effortlessly and obviously Trump’s superior in every conceivable way. That drives Trump batshit crazy.

Trump will do anything to ameliorate the threat to his self-esteem — anything to obliterate his better’s accomplishments. Wreck the healthcare system. Throw the immigration process into turmoil. Screw his own base. Sow chaos in congress. Toss his subordinates under the bus. Undercut his own messaging strategies.

Nothing is too nonsensical, self-destructive or reckless. Buckle up.



Life Hacks (Open Thread)

For many years, when I washed produce in the sink prior to consumption, I’d scrape the little stickers off and allow them to get washed down into the drain trap. This habit irritated the mister exceedingly, and one day he asked why I couldn’t just throw the damn things away.

It was a reasonable complaint, but when engaged in the task of washing produce, I didn’t want to stop that activity, open the door where the trash can is and dispose of the sticker. Nor did I think it likely I could retrain myself to scrape the stickers off prior to washing the produce. Who gives stickers advance thought?

However, in the interest of maintaining marital harmony, I hit upon another solution: I started scraping the stickers off and applying them to the bottle of dish soap that sits on the ledge of the sink. Those bottles get tossed in the recycling anyway; who cares if they’re covered with produce stickers? Problem solved!

I realize this isn’t rocket surgery, but little things that make life easier, well, make life easier. Do you have any to share?

If not, feel free to discuss other topics. Open thread!








Saturday Morning Open Thread: Restore the Vote

On the eve of the four-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down key parts of the VRA, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-AL, told a crowd of voting rights advocates and supporters gathered on Capitol Hill that it is time to “restore the promise of voter equality.”

“Today, I’m introducing the Voting Rights Advancement Act because I believe that the right to vote is one of the most fundamental rights in our democracy,” Sewell said. “As state after state create new barriers to the polls, our work to prevent discrimination and protect the rights of all voters has taken on a new urgency. The time to restore the vote is now.”

The Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) aims to modernize Section 4 of the VRA that the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County v. Holder was outdated on June 25, 2013. Under the new act, local and state governments with a history of voter discrimination from the past 25 years would have to obtain federal approval before making changes to voting policies or procedures.

These states would include: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

The bill has 180 Democratic co-sponsors, but has yet to garner support from across the aisle. Without it, the bill cannot forward in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while calling on her GOP colleagues to make it a bipartisan measure, said the bill “will be introduced on the very first day” Democrats regain control of the House in 2018.

“We want people to understand they have the right to vote and their vote will be counted and counted as cast. Many people sacrificed so much for the right to vote in our country,” Pelosi said. “You have our commitment that this will become the law when we become the majority and we want it to become the law even before then.”….

Apart from fighting onward, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Social Notes Open Thread: Nazi Slapfight!

DC readers: You may want to stay away from the tourist areas this Sunday. Per the Washington Post, “‘Alt-right’ and ‘alt-lite’? Conservatives plan dueling conservative rallies Sunday in D.C.”

Dueling conservative rallies will be held Sunday in Washington after a split over the involvement of white nationalist Richard Spencer.

The “Freedom of Speech Rally” at the Lincoln Memorial originally included controversial conservative personalities and two people arrested this week after interrupting a production of “Julius Caesar” in New York.

But when some potential participants discovered that Spencer, known for his racial rhetoric, was on the bill, they withdrew and decided to hold a “Rally Against Political Violence” near the White House instead. Liberal protesters also plan to rally Sunday on the Mall to counter the conservative demonstrations.

The “Rally Against Political Violence” — headlined by Roger Stone, an adviser to President Trump during his campaign — is intended to condemn the attack on Republican congressmen during their June 14 baseball practice in Virginia and the “depictions of gruesome displays of brutality against sitting U.S. national leaders,” according to the event’s Facebook page. Stone didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Corey A. Stewart, a darling of the alt-right — a small, far-right movement that seeks a whites-only state — who narrowly lost in last week’s Virginia Republican gubernatorial primary, will also speak at the rally, his first major public appearance since his defeat. Stewart campaigned on unwavering loyalty to Trump, defending Virginia’s Confederate monuments and condemning what he called an “unhinged” left and the eventual GOP nominee Ed Gillespie, whom he blasted as a Washington insider and “cuckservative.”…
Read more



Late Night Open Thread: Challenge

Or is it?….

Here’s to a quiet weekend, for once, irregardless…



Last Minute NY City Meet Up: RedDirtGirl Invites You to Her Self Thrown Surprise Birthday Party

I’m elevating this from comments to front page on behalf of RedDirtGirl (whether she likes it or not!):

New York City area Balloon Juicers: in observance of my birthday week I’m throwing myself a surprise party!
It’s at Sunny’s Bar in Redhook (link below). The weekly bluegrass jam starts at 9pm and it’s beautiful space. So…
You are invited to my
Surprise*
Potluck**
52nd Birthday
Party
this Saturday,
the 24th
at sunnysredhook.com.

* I’ll be there for the weekly bluegrass jam that starts at 9pm. If you are in the tri-state area/general vicinity, please come by!

** bring a SMALL, shareable treat.

Now don’t spoil the surprise by RSVPing!

Yom hooledet sameach! Sanna halwah ya jameela!

(and that’s all the ways I know how to say happy birthday in Semitic languages)

Open thread!








Friday Night Open Thread- MOAR STEVE

Still importing cd’s, and I opened the next box and no sooner got started when this happened:

Nevertheless, I persisted:

At this point it’s a battle of wills, and we all know who is going to win that. Hint- it’s not the asshole who gets out of bed at 5 am every morning to feed Steve.