Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Walter Says Happy Holidays

walter-says-happy-holidays-thanx-debit-2016

Sure, there are some dogs (hi, Ellie) who hold their dignity too high to willingly participate in these ridiculous human rituals. Walter says there’s worse ways to spend one’s days than with a full belly, a soft warm bed, and a household of welcoming companions.

(And if you send me a jpg of your holiday-celebrating household companions, yes I will front-page them, too also.)

Apart from happy rescue updates, what’s on the agenda for the day?

***********
I owe a couple commentors a hat tip for this — If you are looking to make a year-end tax-deductible contribution to a very worth cause, consider throwing a few bucks or bitcoins at the people responsible for the Wayback Machine site:

You have come to the Internet Archive in search of knowledge, or perhaps to find a part of the Web you may have lost.For 20 years through the Wayback Machine, we’ve backed you up. Now we ask for your help in return.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit library with a huge mission: to give everyone access to all knowledge. By making a tax-deductible donation today, you can ensure that everyone has free and open access to information, forever.

The history of libraries is one of loss. Libraries like ours are susceptible to different fault lines: earthquakes, legal regimes, institutional failure.

So this year, we have set a new goal: to create a copy of Internet Archive’s digital collections in another country. We are building the Internet Archive of Canada because lots of copies keeps stuff safe. To achieve our goal, we aim to raise $5 million by January 20, and we need your help to get there.

Right now a generous supporter will match your donation 1‑to‑1. So you can double your impact! For every dollar you donate right now, the Internet Archive will receive $2!…

Gosh, I wonder if there’s any significance to that “January 20” deadline, she said piously.

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198 replies
  1. 1
    raven says:

    Knuckleheads!

  2. 2
    satby says:

    Great way to enjoy my morning ☕; a happy Walter and Ellie picture and an early morning donation to a vital cause. Thanks, AL!

  3. 3
    satby says:

    Morning raven! How’s your bride’s wrist coming along? Better, I hope!

  4. 4
    raven says:

    @satby: Well, it’s ugly and still swollen but she somehow has been able to bake for hours the last two nights!

  5. 5
    Zinsky says:

    @raven: Women are a lot tougher than men.

  6. 6
    raven says:

    @Zinsky: I’ve heard that.

  7. 7
    satby says:

    @raven: she’s obviously a real trooper, best wishes she’s recovered soon!

  8. 8
    seaboogie says:

    Walter definitely has what Cole called “summer” teefuses…some are here, some are there. Hell of a gorgeous grin the old feller has though…thank you for giving this ol’ sweetie a great home and wonderful four-legger companions along with you, debit.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Morning Everyone😐😐😐

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    Walter looks so cute😄😄😄

  11. 11
  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Zinsky: I’m a weenie.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    Walter has come a long way with the help of Debit and Ellie!

  14. 14

    Doggies! Love ’em. Wish I had space and time for even one. Sam loved the holidays because of the smells and bouncing around in the snow.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @Zinsky: I’ve been taken down by paper cuts.

    @rikyrah: Morning, rikyrah.

  16. 16
    TriassicSands says:

    What a change. Walter today looks like one very happy and content dog. Dog-on, Walter. Your smile made me smile.

  17. 17
    Ben Cisco says:

    Guess Alan Thicke won’t be doing that inaugural gig – heart attack, gone at 69.

  18. 18

    @Ben Cisco: They’ll fly in Kirk Cameron to replace him.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    debbie says:

    Great picture. Is the haphazard placement of Walter’s front teeth common in dogs?

  21. 21
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Mustang Bobby: That probably should have been their first call anyway.

  22. 22
    Van Buren says:

    When they are from West Virginia, yes.

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    A good article in the Guardian:

    More than a decade before the raid on his office, Kozak had worked his way into the inner circles of the Pinochet regime, courting senior military figures, politicians, officials and members of the secret police. Deploying a combination of diplomatic charm, patience and crates of imported whisky, he set about painstakingly negotiating the release of detainees, almost all of whom were from the Chilean left. He even hid some of them in his own house. Kozak brokered his deals in batches, sometimes scores or hundreds of prisoners at a time, sometimes just one or two.

    When he died in September 2015, the world knew next to nothing of Kozak or his extraordinary legacy. Aside from a handful of articles in the local media and an honorary award from the Chilean government in 1992, there was no wider recognition. Kozak was self-effacing and reserved, and did not even tell his children of his actions until late in his life. His son Nikolai, who is now 24, knew little about Kozak’s work, until they attended the opening of Chile’s human rights museum – the Museo de la Memoria – in Santiago in 2010. That day, he glimpsed for the first time what his father had done.

    As the ceremony unfolded in a packed plaza, Nikolai saw Kozak staring back at a figure who was looking at him from across the square. It was a shared look of astonishment. The two men slid through the crowd and, without a word, embraced. Both began to cry. For Nikolai, it was startling to see his father so emotional. Even more surprising was what the man – whose name was Patricio Bustos – said: “Your father saved my life.”

    “I then realised my father was not the man I thought he was,” Nikolai recalled.

    A long read, but worth it.

  24. 24
    Hal says:

    Wow. So Jim Brown jumped on the Trump train.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/13/.....index.html

    Though Brown voted for Hillary Clinton in November, he told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin later Tuesday he came away from the meeting with a heart-warming sense of positivity.

    “I fell in love with him because he really talks about helping African-American, black people and that’s why I’m here,” said Brown, a man many consider to be one of the NFL’s greatest running backs.

  25. 25
    Eric S. says:

    @Baud: that made me laugh and now I can start my day.

    Satby, I saw a bunch of kids in the Lens Crafters by my office a little after 1 pm yesterday. Was the glasses give away you mentioned yesterday a national or regional event for them?

  26. 26
    p.a. says:

    @Hal: I talk about growing wings and touring the globe for free. Any day now. I’m so excited!

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @Hal: Great. I’m confident Brown’s support will stop Trump and the GOP from doing awful things to black communities.

  28. 28
    Elizabelle says:

    Walter knows he looks great in those Christmas ears.

    Ellie is less sure, but she is not going to tell him.

    Good morning, Walter, debit, and all.

  29. 29
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    Yay Walter!
    Io Saturnalia, jackals :)
    mr. h and I are currently in a warm place with rum and beaches–getting rested up for the fight when we get back.

  30. 30
    Elizabelle says:

    @Hal: It is to wonder.

    More from the article on Jim Brown and his TrumpLove:

    Speaking to Baldwin, Brown cited Trump’s resilience as proof of his worthiness of the nation’s highest office.
    “When he goes through what he went through to become the president, he got my admiration,” noted Brown. “No one gave him a chance.”

    It was hard having his every rally and utterance broadcast (free!) and discussed, ad infinitum, by our finest cable minds.

  31. 31
    Hal says:

    @Baud: When has Trump talked about helping black people again? Brown should know he’s just going to be a cover for Trump’s racism. But hey, at least his charity will get some cash to help black folks living in their devastated inner city hell holes.

  32. 32
    Botsplainer says:

    I hate my children sometimes for the things they find on the internet to share with me.

    Maybe NSFW

  33. 33
    Botsplainer says:

    @hedgehog the occasional commenter:

    I’ve been using io Saturnalia all week.

  34. 34
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Elizabelle: I wonder how much Brown was paid, but hey, I’m a Grumpy Old Cynic anyway.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Probably less than Carrier.

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    This is top of the WaPost website, right now. LOL and good for them.

    Trump’s critics say that populating an administration with people of enormous wealth and myriad financial interests is not “draining the swamp” as Trump had promised, but simply bringing in another species of reptile.

    It’s from this article by Karen Tumulty: Trump recruits army of business titans to do battle in Washington

    Oh boy. Makes it sound like a blockbuster movie. Although, what these titans are actually battling in Washington is American citizens, who rely on their government of we the people to protect the common good. The titans are the villains, dopes.

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Botsplainer: Kids these days.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    @Botsplainer: That made me laugh, so thanks for sharing.

  39. 39
    JMG says:

    @Elizabelle: Article isn’t even accurate. Tillerson is the only CEO of the bunch. Others are financiers, or were generals, or just right-wing Republican pols.

  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just a RWNJ with a martyr complex:

    Welch had begun reaching out to friends three days earlier, urging them to watch a YouTube video about the alleged conspiracy and seeking a volunteer to come along, asking if a friend was “down for the cause”, according to the documents. When his friend, who was not identified in court papers, asked what he meant, Welch replied, “Raiding a pedo ring, possibly sacraficing (sic) the lives of a few for the lives of many … The world is too afraid to act and I’m too stubborn not to.”

    As he drove the 260 miles (418km) to Washington from his home, Welch made a cellphone video for his two children, telling them he loved them and hoped to be able to tell them that again. “And if not, don’t ever forget it,” he said, according to court papers.

    ….

    Welch’s mother, Terri Welch, told reporters outside superior court that her son was not mentally ill.

    No Mom, he’s not, he’s just your everyday garden variety idiot.

  41. 41
    efgoldman says:

    @Hal:

    “I fell in love with him because he really talks about helping African-American, black people….”

    He “really talks” all kinds of shit, in that the words coming out his piehole are real ones, in English, sometimes in the right order.
    Where have you gone, Jim Brown…..?

  42. 42
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Botsplainer: Hahaha!

  43. 43
    satby says:

    @Eric S.: @Eric S.: Not sure if it was national, but I think several stores did community clinics yesterday. The org is called Onesight, and they’re held throughout the year internationally as well as domestically. The doctor I work for usually does one international mission a year. I want to go next year ( have to be an employee for at least a year.

  44. 44
    Elizabelle says:

    @JMG: I think populating your “reformist” government that’s gonna be good for the “little guy” with overpaid Goldman Sachs vampire squids and other vultures: titanic enough for me.

  45. 45
    laura says:

    @rikyrah: morning all.
    Home with the remnants of a cold, my midsection feels like I took a beat down with a sack of oranges from the sneezing and coughing.
    Pictures of happy dogs with toofy smiles helps as much as codeine cough syrup.

  46. 46
    Elizabelle says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Welch made a cellphone video for his two children, telling them he loved them and hoped to be able to tell them that again.

    Where have we seen that before? Wasn’t it one of the Bundy bunch whackaloons defending the Bundy compound? That one hasn’t gone to trial jury nullification yet, has it?

  47. 47
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @efgoldman: Chronic traumatic encephalopathy

  48. 48
    Kay Eye says:

    On Nov. 9 or thereabouts, thanks to a Balloon Juice commenter’s suggestion, I signed on to help the campaign of a good woman candidate for the city council run-off election in my town.

    My efforts were meager – a few hours of Volunteer work and calling 20 friends to make sure they voted, and encouraging them to round up their friends to do the same.

    Our lady won. Resoundingly.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay Eye: Wonderful! Sweet news.

  50. 50
    efgoldman says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy

    Certainly possible. I saw him play (on teevee, in glorious black and white). Players were smaller and slower (he was an exception) and less-well conditioned, but the game was a lot more savage and the equipment a lot more primitive and less protective.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Elizabelle: The Bundy bunch at the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge. They are certain sure that posterity cares.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @Kay Eye: Congratulations!

  53. 53
    Elizabelle says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Oh. So that whackaloon is safely at home, in the bosom of his family, this Christmas. Great.

  54. 54
    magurakurin says:

    @efgoldman:

    Where have you gone, Jim Brown…..?

    He’s 80. How many people under the age of 50 even know who he is? I only do barely and I am 54. He was a legend of the past when I was a kid, at least to us kids. My dad used to talk about him, but mostly because of his movies.

  55. 55
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Elizabelle: Not sure. IIRC he plea bargained.

  56. 56
    laura says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: you were right, a sobering portrait of courage and risk.
    And a reminder that the blue print for repression came out of the University of Chicago, so it certainly can happen here.
    Also, fuck Margaret Thatcher.

  57. 57
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Elizabelle: Yep:

    Jon Ritzheimer on Monday admitted in federal court that he conspired to impede federal officers through intimidation, threats or force while participating in the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January.

    The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison, but Ritzheimer faces between 2 1/2 and three years under sentencing guidelines, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel told the court. The government will recommend that Ritzheimer, who has no criminal history, be sentenced on the low end of that range, Gabriel said.

    He is currently out on bail tho.

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @laura:

    Also, fuck Margaret Thatcher.

    They are who we thought they are.

  59. 59
    lamh36 says:

    Good morning!

    This Friday my lil sister is graduating from college with a BS in Social Work

    She took pics with Zoe to commemorate

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @lamh36: Congrats to the family. That’s wonderful.

  61. 61
    J. says:

    Walter! Just seeing that happy picture makes me happy! Thanks for posting. :-)

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    @Hal:

    Though Brown voted for Hillary Clinton in November, he told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin later Tuesday he came away from the meeting with a heart-warming sense of positivity.

    “I fell in love with him because he really talks about helping African-American, black people and that’s why I’m here,” said Brown, a man many consider to be one of the NFL’s greatest running backs.

    PHUCK OUTTA HERE

  63. 63
    rikyrah says:

    @lamh36:

    Those pics are so sweet.

    Zoe is such a doll.

  64. 64
    lamh36 says:

    @Hal: i said yesterday too many damn blows to the head🙄

  65. 65
    JPL says:

    @lamh36: Such sweet pictures, and congrats to your sister.

  66. 66
    satby says:

    @Kay Eye: hooray! Thanks for your part in that.

  67. 67
    SWMBO says:

    @lamh36: Congrats to all! Zoe is a photogenic charmer.

  68. 68
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @lamh36:

    Congratulations to your sister and her family. The t-shirt is wonderful and I hope she preserves it in some way for Zoë. (As for Zoë herself, she is a cutie-patootie!)

    And Walter — that goofy picture gives me such joy. He, at least, will be able to count 2016 as a good year.*

    *(Well, the second part of it, anyhow.)

  69. 69
    geg6 says:

    Love me some Walter. And Ellie, too!

    That goofy smile of Walter’s, though. It warms my heart.

  70. 70
    Elizabelle says:

    @lamh36: That’s wonderful. Great message on the tee, too.

    Congratulations all around. Zoe is darling.

  71. 71
    rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    More Than Words: Why Republican Semantics Can’t Hide The True Russian Involvement in Our Election

    Trevor LaFauci
    December 13, 2016

    Russia was meddling in our election, but they weren’t interfering.

    If you were to accidentally turn on cable news over the past few days, this would be the explanation you would be hearing by Republicans in defense of the latest revelations that Russian hackers acted to aid Donald Trump in this year’s presidential election. As absurd as it is to be defending a foreign nation from intervening in our election, let’s take a moment to reflect on just how contorted this statement actually is. Republicans have gotten to the point now where they would actually defend a nation that threatens the sovereignty of the United States of America. They are doing that simply because they are out of options.

    Because Republicans are now like teenagers, caught red-handed. They have no choice but to resort to semantics in order to convince others, and more importantly themselves, that what they are seeing isn’t at all unprecedented. It’s bad enough that they needed foreign intervention to ascend to the presidency; it’s worse still that they needed their Senate majority leader to intentionally prevent that act from becoming public knowledge. Right now, Republicans have taken up the role of teenage children doing their best to obfuscate language in hopes that their crime will receive a lesser punishment. They were drinking but they weren’t drunk. They dinged up the car but they didn’t wreck it. The party wasn’t busted it just ended early.

    And Russia didn’t change the outcome of the election, they just were causally involved.

    Except they weren’t. Aided by James Comey and Mitch McConnell, Russia overtly disrupted our election, so much so that you can actually see a pattern of behavior associated with the 2016 presidential campaign. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the major Russian hacks over the past six months.

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:

    Hmmmph

    Thanks to the media and conservative political bloggers, the Russian hack of the DCCC affected the outcome of key Congressional races, too, according to a new report by the New York Times.

    But there was never anything quite like the 2016 election campaign, when a handful of Democratic House candidates became targets of a Russian influence operation that made thousands of pages of documents stolen by hackers from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington available to Florida reporters and bloggers.

    “It was like I was standing out there naked,” said Annette Taddeo, a Democrat who lost her primary race after secret campaign documents were made public. “I just can’t describe it any other way. Our entire internal strategy plan was made public, and suddenly all this material was out there and could be used against me.”

    It didn’t actually break through all the noise to the surface, but the damage was done because of a cooperative news media and local bloggers, who teamed up with Russia to do harm to Democratic candidates. There were no similar efforts against Republican candidates for the House.

    The intrusions in House races in states including Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, Illinois, New Mexico and North Carolina can be traced to tens of thousands of pages of documents taken from the D.C.C.C., which shares a Capitol Hill office building with the Democratic National Committee.

  73. 73
    Poopyman says:

    The hits just keep coming.

    Allan Thicke Dead at 69

  74. 74
    Kathleen says:

    @rikyrah: I heard tail end of Roland Martin’s segment on TJMS this morning and heard phone interview with someone whosr name I didn’t know. He was talking about how one of Trump’s people met with him to discuss supporting some programs and he felt confident Trump would follow through. I wonder if that was Brown.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    From the article:
    “James Baker, the George H.W. Bush secretary of state who, MSNBC reported, advised Donald Trump to pick Tillerson, is a partner at a law firm that has represented Exxon as well as Rosneft, the Russian state-owned oil company that partners with Exxon.”

    Carter Page Tells Moscow Rex Tillerson is Secretary of State Before Trump Tells America via @heatstreet

    — Deanna Woods (@deannawds) December 13, 2016

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    @Kathleen:

    I heard tail end of Roland Martin’s segment on TJMS this morning and heard phone interview with someone whosr name I didn’t know. He was talking about how one of Trump’s people met with him to discuss supporting some programs and he felt confident Trump would follow through. I wonder if that was Brown.

    Once again I say

    PHUCK OUTTA HERE.

    Trying to run that scam on folks.

    They’re about to usher in The Hunger Games to America, and these coons think that they can sell this bullshyt?

    PHUCK.OUTTA.HERE.

  77. 77
    SenyorDave says:

    Ray Lewis also met with Trump yesterday and came away impressed. I assume they were kindred spirits. Trump admires Lewis because he got away with involvement, if not commission, of double homicide. Lewis admires Trump because he got away with sexual predation, if not rape, of women (Lewis had a history of physical abuse of women that was covered up at Miami)

  78. 78
    Kathleen says:

    @lamh36: I saw those adorbs pix on Twitter. I see little Zoe in your sister’s smile. Congrats to your sistet and thanks for brightening my day. Walter and Zoe pics should be featured every day. Maybe we could get Commandant Trump to decree it.

  79. 79

    The last 8 years were the Cold Civil War, now one side has joined with another country to take down the other side. This is not politics as usual.
    The Russians would not have succeeded without the Republican party and the leftier-than-thou folks.

  80. 80
    Kathleen says:

    @rikyrah: I love your comments. I wondered as I eas listening to the segment if you would call this person a slave catchet.

  81. 81
    Mike in dc says:

    The electors petition now has 50 signers. Won’t affect the outcome, but I’d chuckle if they actually got a briefing, because it’d drive Trump up the wall.

  82. 82
    Belafon says:

    @Hal: Trump will tell you what you want to hear, and then hire someone else to stab you, and then not pay them.

  83. 83

    The last 8 years were the Cold Civil War, now one side has joined with another country to take down the other side. This is not politics as usual.
    The Russians would not have succeeded without the Republican party and the leftier-than-thou folks.

  84. 84
    Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones) says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thank you for sharing that. This rare person lived a life of Pikuach Nephesh, of “He who saves a life saves the world entire.”

  85. 85
    SenyorDave says:

    @rikyrah: They’re about to usher in The Hunger Games to America, and these coons think that they can sell this bullshyt?

    PHUCK.OUTTA.HERE.

    It will work short term. Its smart, meet with people who have some name recognition, no chance of real impact in the community of anything they do. But the media was all over it for a day.

    If Trump was serious he could meet with the pastor in Flint. The one whose church he appeared at and then lied about the meeting in a tweet the following day. He spoke and started in on politics when he specifically had agreed not to. The pastor cut him off, and the congregation began to boo him. She stopped them. The next day Trumpp smeared her, said she was out of control. I saw the video and she was the most in control person in the room.

    There is nothing to gain by meeting with Trump. Everything he says is a lie. Afterwards when you are interviewed about the meeting what are you going to say? It just enables him. God, I loathe him.

  86. 86
    hovercraft says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    No Mom, he’s not, he’s just your everyday garden variety idiot.

    I think you meant to say garden variety republican voter. The fact that she thinks he’s normal tells you all you need to know, tree, fruit, whatnot.

    @Hal:

    “I fell in love with him because he really talks about helping African-American, black people and that’s why I’m here,”

    So someone talking about us is a positive? Huh? I guess I’ll just have to tell my unemployed lazy kids (14 & 10), to get jobs to help bring down our youth unemployment rates, and I should stock up on bullet proof clothing so they can walk around our neighborhood, oh and tell them that BLM are just a group of police hating, anarchists, who have no respect for law and order. And if they get shot by a “scared” cop or economically anxious white person, to just be grateful it was not intentionally.
    Self delusion, or maybe being flattered that the next president of these “United” States is blowing some up your ass is apparently a powerful force.

    The scare quotes are because I don’t feel very united with the swath of dumbasses who did this to us. MORANS !!

  87. 87
    Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones) says:

    @lamh36: Congratulations to both, wonderful!

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    Every Period of unified GOP of government leads to a crash

    So unless they are thrown out in two years, binge and purge are on the menu.

    apparently that is a link to wallstreetranter

  89. 89
    GregB says:

    Meanwhile in the Philippines, the man who is Trump’s dreamboat, Duterte, has publicly announced he personally took part in extra judicial murders.

    He has also admitted to heavy use of fentanyl, so I give him less than a few years alive.

    But still, someone ought to point out to Jim Brown that Trump is praising Duterte for his work against drug dealers and by work I mean extra judicial state and death murders nearing the 6,000 mark.

  90. 90
    hovercraft says:

    @Kay Eye:

    Our lady won. Resoundingly.

    Yay !
    Every small victory is a step in the right direction, to rebuild we need to get control of as many local and state seats as possible.

    @lamh36:

    Congrats to your sister, and Zoe is just adorable, it feels like she’s growing so fast. Every time I see her she seems to have had a growth spurt.

  91. 91
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Hal: On CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday, Brown clarified that it was Scott whom he was referring to.
    “I was talking about my partner sitting right here,” Brown said. “I was talking to the man who got us together. The man who’s been the catalyst. The man who has represented. And he’s comical and he’s very vivacious. You know, he’s a character.”

    that’s Pastor Darrell Scott, one of Trump’s early fundie endorsers. And what others have said about Trump being a shapeshifter who tells people what they want to hear. Though again, even as an atheist, I’m surprised that sincerely religious people aren’t put off by the way Mr Two Corinthians (‘that’s the one you like, right?’) talks about religion “Oh yeah, Jesus, the best, right, he’s terrific, those crackers fill me religion and stuff, especially around Santa time, Ivanka has a gold cross with the best diamonds, I paid like $100,000 for that, because Jesus and the poor and all that, and I want her to remember about the bread and the fish when she wears it.”

  92. 92
    rikyrah says:

    Quick Takes: Trump Never Laughs
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    December 13, 2016 4:55 PM
    POLITICAL ANIMAL BLOG

    * Mark Leibovich brings us Sen. Al Franken’s thoughts about the next four years. It all begins with a fascinating observation from the former comedian.

    Donald Trump never laughs,” Al Franken said.

    This was the senator’s first observation to me on a recent afternoon. It was exactly three weeks from the day the punch line became the president-elect. And Trump’s mysterious absence of laughter had never occurred to me before, even though I’d spoken to him a fair amount and he has lived pretty much nonstop in our faces for 18 months, no end in sight.

    Franken, the second-term Democratic senator from Minnesota and, before that, a longtime writer and performer on “Saturday Night Live,” has studied this. He provided commentary for MSNBC at the Al Smith Dinner, the Catholic charity fund-raiser in October where presidential nominees engage in good-natured ribbing of themselves and each other (Trump mostly skipped the “good-natured” part and was booed). “I wanted to see if Trump laughed,” Franken said. “And he didn’t. He smiled, but didn’t laugh. I don’t know what it is.”

    The look on Franken’s face expresses how an awful lot of us feel these days about the prospect of a Trump presidency. It’s also interesting to notice the pictures of Paul Wellstone on the wall behind the Senator’s desk. Those are there as a constant reminder of the legacy Franken tries to uphold in his current position. Finally…the Senator is obviously in need of a new pair of shoes.

  93. 93
    Van Buren says:

    @rikyrah: He really talks about making America great again. I guess I should believe him on that .

  94. 94

    A (moderate, Canadian) libertarian–what we might call a ‘Democrat’–wrote a good piece about the necessity of identity politics that I thought y’all might like.

    [anti-‘identity’ writers] insist that liberalism is founded on principles that all could share, and that liberal politics should “speak to the nation as a nation of citizens who are in this together and must help one another,” then appeal to FDR, one of the architects of the white welfare state and the imprisoner of Japanese-Americans, to drive the point home.

    As political scientist Ira Katznelson has documented, Roosevelt’s ability to bring the New Deal into existence depended on active complicity with southern white identity politics—an easy and tempting thing to do for those who are too convinced that their political goals represent neutral and universal political truth.

  95. 95
    Mike E says:

    @magurakurin: Jim Brown is arguably the greatest college lacrosse player of all time…the rules had to be changed so the rest of league could theoretically compete with him.

  96. 96
    Another Scott says:

    @rikyrah: Interesting. And it says something about him that the only recent clip of him laughing was at a stupid crack about Hillary

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (Who notes that he called her a “dog”, because that’s who he is…)

  97. 97
    ruemara says:

    @Kay Eye: Fantastic! Congratulations!

  98. 98
    hovercraft says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Though again, even as an atheist, I’m surprised that sincerely religious people aren’t put off

    Speaking of “religious” people.

    Rev. Franklin Graham told CNN’s Carol Costello that he backs President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to bring back manufacturing jobs because people are not proud of modern jobs in computer science.

    During an interview on Tuesday, Graham praised Trump for finding a way to “work with the thugs” like Russian President Vladimir Putin “so that we can have peace in this world.”

    “That’s the problem with the politicians in Washington,” he said. “They sit down there and they do nothing. Now we’ve got a man who’s coming into the White House who wants to get things done. And I hope and I pray — we all as Americans, we need to pray for the president-elect and vice president-elect.”

    “Start working to make America great again, that’s what Trump wants to do,” the pastor continued. “We need jobs, we need to get employment up, we need to have hope for the future. And the only way you’re going to have hope for the future is if a kid goes to college and comes out and knows, ‘I can get a job and I can get a good paying job and maybe I can work my way up the ladder.'”

    According to Graham, graduates are not finding jobs because companies have shifted to overseas manufacturing.

    “This is terrible. I live in North Carolina where so much of our manufacturing base has gone to other countries,” he insisted. “And people are out of jobs, are out of work. And they say, ‘But we’ll retrain you, we’ll let you be a computer programmer.'”

    “They don’t want to be a computer programmer!” Graham continued. “They want to do the same job as their fathers and their grandfathers. There was pride in the manufacturing and the building. And we’ve taken all that away and it’s sad.”

    “You’ve opened a can of worms,” the CNN host replied.

    I want to be the village matchmaker, can Hair Furor help me with that? Is he going to help us get rid of all these pesky computers and stuff?

  99. 99
    danielx says:

    It’s climbed from 5 degrees to 6 in the last hour….is there hope? Actually the weather forecast hereabouts calls for highs of 26 on Friday, 43 on Saturday and 14 on Sunday. Not normal, but climate change is all in my head or so I am told.

  100. 100
    SenyorDave says:

    “They don’t want to be a computer programmer!” Graham continued. “They want to do the same job as their fathers and their grandfathers. There was pride in the manufacturing and the building. And we’ve taken all that away and it’s sad.”

    “You’ve opened a can of worms,” the CNN host replied.

    IS Graham really this much of a stupid shit, or is he putting on an act? I’m a financial analyst, but what i really want is a job making buggy whips that pays comparable. I just don’t feel proud of my work.

    Is this country part of a Simpsons episode?

  101. 101

    @SenyorDave: Whatever, more programming for me.

  102. 102
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SenyorDave: I believe it’s impossible to overestimate the stupidity, hypocrisy or vanity of “Reverend” Graham. His father was a piece of shit too, IMO, but the son is far worse. So is Jerry Falwell’s foul spawn.

  103. 103
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SenyorDave: IS Graham really this much of a stupid shit, or is he putting on an act?

    Well, he’s a young-earth creationist, and a legacy Y-E C at that, so….

    Trump COS-designate said something on TV last night about the problem with dealing petri-state dictators is that the the Good Lord didn’t put the oil under democracies. I don’t imagine Reince thinks fossils are fake things the Devil put there to confuse us, but on some level does believe that God wants us to gas up our Yukons and giant pick ups for $2/gallon

    ETA: I wonder if the Reverend Jr Franklin has a workshop in the basement, or more likely in a well-built ‘shed’ behind a discreet row of evergreens so as not to clash with the view of the pool from patio

  104. 104

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    the problem with dealing petri-state dictators is that the the Good Lord didn’t put the oil under democracies.

    I think his causality meter needs recalibrated.

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    that’s Pastor Darrell Scott, one of Trump’s early fundie endorsers. And what others have said about Trump being a shapeshifter who tells people what they want to hear. Though again, even as an atheist, I’m surprised that sincerely religious people aren’t put off by the way Mr Two Corinthians (‘that’s the one you like, right?’) talks about religion “Oh yeah, Jesus, the best, right, he’s terrific, those crackers fill me religion and stuff, especially around Santa time, Ivanka has a gold cross with the best diamonds, I paid like $100,000 for that, because Jesus and the poor and all that, and I want her to remember about the bread and the fish when she wears it.”

    Scott is a Prosperity Gospel HUSTLER, and should be treated with every inch of contempt possible.

  106. 106
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @rikyrah: I suspected, but was too lazy to google it and confirm

  107. 107
    The Moar You Know says:

    OK, the pic of Walter made me cry, I admit it. He’s so happy. Thank you, debit, on behalf of all dogs everywhere.

    Is the haphazard placement of Walter’s front teeth common in dogs?

    @debbie: No, it’s not at all. I suspect that’s the result of an old injury, or possibly malnutrition.

  108. 108
    hovercraft says:

    @SenyorDave:
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I thought of you as I was reading that steaming pile of horse manure, let him and his followers monopolize all those non computerized high demand fields, while all you darn book learned elitists do the programming, they’ll show you!

  109. 109
    bemused says:

    @rikyrah:

    Yes, a fascinating observation and I don’t remember anyone else pointing that out before. The only time Trump looks like he might haha is when he is making people jump through hoops inflicting vengeance.

    Franken is always a good interview, imo.

  110. 110
    Belafon says:

    @bemused: I wonder if we could get Franken to run in 2020.

  111. 111
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    It’s true. Trump is utterly devoid of a sense of humor. It gives me the creeps. There’s zero self-reflection there, he’s lacking in some way that is really profound. An empty vessel. He doesn’t have to be “funny” himself, that’s pretty rare, but he finds humor in nothing and that’s weird. He’s not a fully formed person. Incomplete. He’s shiny and hard like a mirror.

    I read that his ex wives say they never felt they knew him and I bet that’s true. The scary part is I feel there’s nothing there to “know”.

  112. 112
    hovercraft says:

    Trump wastes no time in picking fight with NATO

    The motivation behind this isn’t entirely clear, but Presidential-popular-vote-loser Donald Trump is picking a fight with NATO over Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, an appointee of President Obama’s, Josh Rogin of the Washington Post reports.

    Two Trump transition sources told me that a representative of the transition team met late last month with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels and delivered a private but deliberate message: The incoming administration would like Stoltenberg to replace Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller. Gottemoeller, who was nominated for the post by Obama this past March, started her job in Brussels only in October and has a multi-year contract. She works for NATO, not the U.S. government.
    If NATO leadership agreed to remove Gottemoeller, it would set a new precedent for U.S. government control over American officials in top NATO positions. If the NATO leadership doesn’t agree, the incoming Trump administration could work to marginalize Gottemoeller and render her ineffective. Either way, her role is set to change when the new U.S. president comes into office. […]

    Trump transition sources told me that Stoltenberg agreed to look into how Gottemoeller might be removed. But NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told me there has been no formal request from the Trump transition team for Gottemoeller to be let go and that no process for examining such a move is underway.

    “This is not a national appointment, and the selection is made in a competition, based on merit,” Lungescu said. “Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller enjoys the full support of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the North Atlantic Council.”

    Gottemoeller has clashed with congressional Republicans, largely over the fact that they perceive her as “soft on Russia” which is, yes, kind of ironic. So perhaps it’s Trump big-footing with NATO, which he made clear during the campaign that he has little use for. Maybe it’s Trump trying to mollify congressional Republicans to stave off opposition to his more Russia-cozy nominees.
    Those supporting Gottemoeller see this as “a whispering campaign by schoolyard bullies to try to pressure an organization they have already disrespected.” That’s Ellen Tauscher, former member of Congress who served as undersecretary of state for arms control. That’s as likely as anything. Maybe it’s just Trump beginning what he foreshadowed he’d have in the debates—a mad-man foreign policy, irrational and unpredictable and inherently dangerous.

  113. 113
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    “I wanted to see if Trump laughed,” Franken said. “And he didn’t. He smiled, but didn’t laugh. I don’t know what it is.”

    It’s weird is what it is. Even the smile is humorless.

  114. 114

    @hovercraft: the last explanation is the simplest and involves the assumption that Trump meant what he said, so it’s my preference.

  115. 115
    Timurid says:

    @GregB:

    He has also admitted to heavy use of fentanyl.

    It’s always projection.

  116. 116
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: I believe lack of a sense of humor is among the cluster of symptoms that indicate narcissistic personality disorder. Humor depends in part on being able to understand context outside oneself as well as empathy, which Trump lacks in spades. Trump exhibits every single trait of that condition, including this one. ETA: I’m not a psychologist, but I know a raging narcissist when I see one! :)

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    I know it’s a cliche to say it, but OMG, she’s so big!

    She’s going to be graduating from med school before you know it. ☺️

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Brown also has a documented history of violence towards women.

    Like calls to like.

  119. 119
    hovercraft says:

    @Kay:

    It’s true. Trump is utterly devoid of a sense of humor. It gives me the creeps. There’s zero self-reflection there, he’s lacking in some way that is really profound. An empty vessel. He doesn’t have to be “funny” himself, that’s pretty rare, but he finds humor in nothing and that’s weird. He’s not a fully formed person. Incomplete

    I was watching the post Al Smith commentary that night, and was surprised that I’d never seen him laugh. What type of a person never laughs? Everyone laughs right? I mean even Hitler laughed, right? But then I guess he will have the last laugh, when all his rubes finally wake up to the fact that they fell for the big con. The man is a soulless well of need. He needs to proves he’s smarter, stronger, richer, and better looking than everyone else, I guess that pen!s of his must be really, really small. He’s none of those things, so he can keep trying to prove it till the day h dies, but it will never make them true, so we all get fucked along the way, and he’ll still die knowing that he was never the best, in spite of having pulled off the great con. This is why he loves/ hates the media, they are necessary for him to prove his greatness, but they are also the ones who expose his clay feet. Good luck to both sides of this symbiotic relationship when the media finally gets bored with his antics and savages him on a daily basis, it’s going to get real ugly, he’ll try to silence them, and then the real fun will begin. A normal politician would laugh it off, this sociopath can’t.

  120. 120
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    the MSNBC chyron just told me that Trump’s nominee for Interior Secretary, MT’s AL-cong Zinke, is a “retired Navy Seal”. I suspect they’re trying to make a point about the military bent of Trump’s cabinet even in positions that are not really relevant to national security, much less the military, but out of context it looks like an endowment of his service as a qualification.

  121. 121
    bemused says:

    @Belafon:

    Can’t even guess but I have my doubts. oth, I’ve heard media ask Klobuchar that question several times.

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hovercraft:

    I am in the camp that thinks Comrade Trump has full-blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder. If that’s the case, we are even more screwed than we would be with a “normal” egotistical politician, because everything he does will be done to protect his self-image. Everything.

    And he’ll be even worse once he gets inaugurated, because that will validate for him that he’s so special that can do anything he wants and no one will stop him.

    Be prepared for the enablers and codependents to crowd around him. They had a narcissistic or abusive parent themselves, so Trump’s actions will be familiar and comforting to them.

    ETA: There is a whole lot of overlap between NPD and Antisocial Personality Disorder. At the extremes, it can be hard to tell them apart.

    And IANA psychologist, just someone who’s read up on this stuff to try and figure out WTF is wrong with one of my sisters-in-law.

  123. 123
    Kay says:

    @hovercraft:

    Good luck to both sides of this symbiotic relationship when the media finally gets bored with his antics and savages him on a daily basis, it’s going to get real ugly

    One of my sisters thinks “President as reality tv show star” will get really old, really quick. The 2016 campaign sucked. It was substance-free and full of lies. He’s still campaigning. They still do the “lock her up” chants at rallies. That’s not a real President. It’s a clown.

    Obama had crisis after crisis in his Presidency. Things are unstable. Trump will have to draw on qualities I don’t think he has- seriousness, restraint, genuine concern for others. This is not “if”, when he’ll need those qualities. It’s “when”. There will be a crisis. Obama had about one a year.

  124. 124
    Tazj says:

    Speaking of that Al Smith dinner, I foolishly thought Trump would never be elected president after that. I know that not that many people pay attention to it but I thought his behavior was so outrageous, so nasty and mean that the press would be forced to report on it. He didn’t behave like any president or any candidate for political office that I had ever seen.
    Clinton, of course, had jokes that fell flat and a few that went over the line. However, most were either self-deprecating or in line with the usual good natured ribbing that have characterized this event.
    Trump wouldn’t shut up. He kept going on and on, not telling jokes, but just stating how awful he thought Clinton was. The people in the audience looked horrified and embarrassed. I half expected someone to come up to the podium and say”Ok, thank you, ” or even push him off the stage.

  125. 125

    @Kay: Republican party is responsible for the latest debacle and no it did not start with their scorched earth policy towards Obama administration. They are responsible for Putin’s rise as well. After the Soviet Union collapsed, its economy was replaced by a no-holds barred so-called free market. Only the strongest survive in that market, because might is right. From that cauldron rose Putin. Bush II tried the same thing in Iraq, it didn’t work there either.

  126. 126
    Yarrow says:

    Calling Kay! Focus group with Ohio Trump voters. Apparently done on Tuesday. Doesn’t look like they either were asked about or brought up the Russia stuff.

    During a focus group discussion here Tuesday night, a dozen Trump supporters said they believed that Trump should make one major change: act more presidential. They said that his use of Twitter is unnecessary, unprofessional and potentially damaging to his presidency.

    “He needs to stay off Twitter and quit responding to every little thing people put out there,” said Melinda Berger, 51. “It seems juvenile. Bring yourself above it.”

    They love the Goldman Sachs guys.

    What about Trump’s Cabinet of Goldman Sachs executives, billionaires and business executives? Pitch perfect, they said.

    “Politicians are not dealmakers,” remarked Michael Rotella, 54, a staunch Republican.

    “I’m happy because I think it should be run as a business,” said Courtney Pitts, 37, a Democrat who counts Obama as her favorite president but who voted for Trump.

    And yes, Obama voters who voted for Trump.

    “The people are fed up, for lack of a better word. They’re looking for change and a new direction,” said Sarah Mars, 29, an independent who supported Obama in 2012. “I almost feel like I was willing to put aside human characteristics about him, because there were things I didn’t like about him, but I was willing to excuse it based on things I didn’t like about Hillary [Clinton].”

    Apparently they want him to “fix healthcare on day one.” WTF does that even mean?

    I just don’t even know what to say at this point.

  127. 127
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: If Trump were already president, the things he’s said on Twitter about Taiwan and China would cause a crisis. They’ve already indicated they’ll pull their ambassador. The only reason it hasn’t happened is Obama is still president. He won’t have a year. He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t have a crisis on Day 1.

  128. 128
    hovercraft says:

    This is a month old, but thanks to the GOS, I just read it.
    Sorry if someone posted it back then, but it’s interesting, and gives a theory of why so many white women voted for this know nothing lump of neuroses that is now president elect. It’s a long read, but worth it, here is a big chunk of it.

    Why misogyny won

    America’s president-elect is an alleged sexual predator. This theory of sexism explains how it came to this — and why even many women voted for Trump.

    Vox by Emily Crockett Nov 15, 2016, 2:20pm EST

    The theory of sexism that helps explain Trumpism

    To understand how sexism played into Trump’s victory, first you have to understand that there are two basic types of sexism — “hostile” and “benevolent” — and how they work together.

    If you have some “hostile” sexist attitudes, you might mistrust women’s motives and see gender relations as a zero-sum battle between male and female dominance. You might agree with statements like, “Many women get a kick out of teasing men by seeming sexually available and then refusing male advances,” or “Most women interpret innocent remarks or acts as being sexist.”

    If you have some “benevolent” sexist attitudes, you might endorse positive — but still patronizing — stereotypes of women. You might agree with statements like, “Women should be cherished and protected by men,” or “Women, compared to men, tend to have a superior moral sensibility.”

    In the context of Trump, a benevolent sexist might hear the “grab ’em by the pussy” tape and say that he’s horrified because he has a daughter — which suggests that his first instinct is to paternalistically shield his female relatives from harm, rather than to see sexual assault as an objective moral horror no matter who you’re related to.

    Meanwhile, a hostile sexist would claim the benevolent sexist is overreacting — that the tape doesn’t actually describe sexual assault, just normal male sexual aggression.

    These attitudes might seem diametrically opposed to one another. But they’re actually two sides of the same coin, Peter Glick, professor of psychology and social sciences at Lawrence University, told Vox. People can hold both of these sexist views at the same time, and they very often do.

    “It’s how men can wear ‘Trump That Bitch’ T-shirts at a Trump rally, and then go home and say, ‘I love my wife and daughter,’” Glick said.

    Trump expresses both hostile and benevolent attitudes toward women all the time. When he likes a woman, he praises her in a patronizing way (usually focusing on her physical beauty). When he doesn’t, he viciously insults her.

    Benevolent sexism is the carrot, Glick explained, and hostile sexism is the stick. If you’re a “good” woman who meets expected gender norms — who has warm feminine charms, who maintains strict beauty standards, whose ambitions are focused on home and hearth — you will be rewarded with affection, protection, and praise. But step outside those norms, and you risk being labeled as one of the “bad” girls who are abused and scorned only because they deserve it.

    It’s a tidy little cycle. Benevolent sexism is supposed to protect women from hostile sexism, and hostile sexism is supposed to keep women in line with the ideals of benevolent sexism.

    But while benevolent sexism may put women on a pedestal, Glick said, it’s a very narrow pedestal that’s easy to fall off of. This is the whole reason that our age-old “Madonna versus whore” dichotomy exists in the first place: If women can be separated into good girls and bad, and only bad girls get punished, it justifies male dominance and absolves men of blame for treating women unfairly.

    And it’s why Trump, despite the long list of sexist words and deeds to his name, can insist that “nobody respects women more” than he does — and why some people, including women, actually believe him.

    Why many women might have voted for Trump despite, or even because of, his sexism

    Male dominance actually requires a pretty delicate balance, Glick said. If men want to maintain the control over women they’ve enjoyed for thousands of years, and continue their species, and satisfy their desires for heterosexual love and companionship, they can’t just use brute force. They need women to actually like them and not resent their dominance.

    And so a compromise emerged — or at least a “protection racket,” as Glick calls it, like when the Mafioso tells the businessman he’d hate to see his nice shop burn down, so why don’t they make a deal.

    The basic agreement is that as long as women cater to men’s needs, men will protect and cherish women in return. If women have few good options for independent success, this is a pretty good deal — which explains why in more overtly sexist societies where women have fewer opportunities, cross-national studies show that women endorse benevolent sexism at even higher rates than men do.

    This may also help explain why Trump maintained high levels of support among white women voters who don’t have a college degree — a group Trump won 62 percent to 34, and a group whose career opportunities are probably more limited. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton totally reversed 2012’s partisan gender gap among college-educated white women. (A demographic Clinton won by 51 to 45 percent, and Romney won 52 to 46 against Obama.)

    But the most powerful gendered element of Trump’s campaign may actually lie in his fear-mongering.

    “Trump’s strategy was to ramp up anxiety about a dark, dangerous world,” Glick said. “When women are under threat, their benevolent sexism scores go up.”

    Specifically, he said, showing women survey data about men’s hostile sexism makes women more likely to endorse benevolent sexism out of psychological self-defense. It may be ironic to turn to men for protection from male hostility, but it’s how the cycle works.

    This also helps explain why so many women hold sexist biases against women, Glick said. If women themselves enforce gender norms and punish deviants, it reinforces the social order that guarantees them protection. And it separates them from the “bad” women who are deemed unworthy of that protection.

    But that protection can still come with a cost, Glick said — which is also where sexist stereotypes about men factor in. The idea that men have to be providers and protectors, Glick said, goes hand in hand with the “boys will be boys” attitude that’s often used to excuse men’s bad behavior.

    “Men are bad but bold. That’s the stereotype,” Glick said. “He’s not a very good protector if he can’t beat up on other men.”

    Glick said that Trump’s more positive masculine traits — boldness, change, willingness to defy tradition — may be seen as inextricably linked with his more negative ones, like his boorishness and cruelty. Trump may not be a nice guy, the thinking goes, and we may not like some of the things he says. But that just comes with the territory if you want a strong male leader.

    You hear this rationale a lot from women who still supported Trump after the “pussy” tape leaked and more sexual assault allegations came out. They don’t like it, but they find ways to excuse it. “I do find the words offensive, but that’s locker room talk. That’s the boys club,” Michelle Werntz, a Trump supporter, told CNN.

    Some of these excuses minimize sexual assault, or even endorse it. “Groping is a healthy thing to do,” Trump supporter Jane Biddick told the Cut. “When you’re heterosexual, you grope, okay? It’s a good thing.”

    Comments like these are reminders of another dark truth research has revealed about benevolent sexism: its strong role in our culture’s tendency to blame victims of sexual assault. The higher a person scores on measures of benevolent sexism, the more likely that person is to blame women who are victims of acquaintance rape (as opposed to rape by a stranger), or victims who behaved in less than “ideal” ways before a rape (like cheating on their husband, or passively rather than actively resisting their attacker).

    Sexual assault is the ultimate expression of hostile sexism. But the protection racket of benevolent sexism gives women a lot of incentive to either forgive men for it, or blame women.

    The alternative — acknowledging that the system is broken, and that virtue can’t protect you from violence — can be too terrible to contemplate.

  129. 129
    Larkspur says:

    @SenyorDave: The only solution I can think of is one I’ve considered before, in my own context as a resident of the SF Bay Area: theme parks. A whole range of theme parks. Mine would be a replica of a hippie commune; my shifts would involve hours of macramé, dancing dreamily watching my hands change color through my acid trip, smashing monogamy with assorted humans, male and female, cooking great vats of brown rice, and harvesting our community marijuana crop. Think of the entertainment for all the tourists from the PRC!

    Graham’s people would have less fun theme parks, but they’d be building and manufacturing stuff day after day, whistling while they worked. They’d have to have two parks running at the same time, though, because one would be the “building” one, then everybody would switch off to the “wrecking ball” one. There could be satellite parks, too, with farriers and weavers and iron workers with vats of photogenic molten steel. You just have to not make eye contact with the audience. Ruins the experience.

  130. 130
    tobie says:

    @SenyorDave: Yeah, and I want to make lp’s or carriages for horse-and-buggy or rotary phones but no one wants to invest in my pet project. Geezus. These people have no clue about economics, the 21st century, global competition, etc.

  131. 131
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tazj:

    Speaking of that Al Smith dinner, I foolishly thought Trump would never be elected president after that.

    There were at least four or five things that I honestly thought were the capper for his candidacy. I never thought the McCain thing was that damaging, or a few other things that got people all het up. But I thought the Al Smith thing fully exposed him as a mean spirited asshole who knew he had no chance of winning and was lashing out in meltdown.

  132. 132
    Tazj says:

    @Yarrow: I’ll be interested in what Kay has to say, she’s the expert. Though one quote keeps popping up in my mind in regards to those Ohio voters.

    When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.

    Maya Angelou.

  133. 133
    hovercraft says:

    @Tazj:

    The people in the audience looked horrified and embarrassed. I half expected someone to come up to the podium and say”Ok, thank you, ” or even push him off the stage.

    They were horrified, which is why he lost Manhattan 10 to 1, unfortunately the rest of the country didn’t pay any attention to the people who know him best, and therefore loath him. Sigh. If only it was like the Apollo, and he could have been yanked off the stage. I guess since the dinner was full of NY elitists, no one paid attention to their reaction, and they were catholics, they only pay attention to them when it comes to abortion.

  134. 134
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: “I’m happy because I think it should be run as a business,” said Courtney Pitts, 37, a Democrat who counts Obama as her favorite president but who voted for Trump.

    If this isn’t the dumbest piece of Low-Info Voter Conventional Wisdom (as opposed to VSPCW like “We’ve got to reform entitlements” and “the problem with education is the teachers union”), it’s tied for first. I don’t know how to fight it, but it got Romney and Trump a whole lot of votes.

  135. 135
    Yarrow says:

    @Tazj: Yep. They also don’t seem to care about “the wall” or immigration. No sense what they do care about except “shaking things up.”

  136. 136
    hovercraft says:

    @Tazj:

    When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.

    Maya Angelou.

    That my friend is @rikyrah favorite quotation, followed closely by PHUCK OUTTA HERE.

  137. 137
    Larkspur says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That article on Kozak was amazing. Thank you for the link.

  138. 138
    gene108 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think we should run the country like a business. Each person here has a yearly performance review. The bottom 10% get chucked out of the country. Plus we’ll constantly be looking to hire new talent, from anywhere in the world to replace the bottom 10%, who were chucked out.

    Plus, look at states like business units. Under performing states get sold to the highest bidder. The capital is used to give out bonuses to the higher ups in the organization, whoever that might be.

  139. 139
    gene108 says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Outside of political junkies, no one really knows what the Al Smith Dinner is or who the fuck Al Smith was and why he’s important.

    Trump could’ve murdered somebody there, live, on stage and most of the country would still not know what the Al Smith Dinner is or care.

  140. 140
    tobie says:

    @Yarrow:

    I was willing to put aside human characteristics about him, because there were things I didn’t like about him, but I was willing to excuse it based on things I didn’t like about Hillary [Clinton].”

    Ah, yes, the Hillary hate. This was the decisive factor for many fence-sitters. Someone posted yesterday that foreign intelligence agencies were saying that Russia’s real aim was to sow divisions among Democrats, and it increasingly seems that the Democratic primary was the test drive from the Trump campaign. The endless primary exposed that your record was immaterial if you were running against the Hilldebeast. All that mattered was that you kept on hammering her for being dishonest, craven, power-hungry, and corrupt and your many sins would be forever forgiven. So Bernie voted for the 1994 crime bill leading to the incredible incarceration rate for black men. Who cares? The Hilldebeast is worse. And he voted against background checks and a host of other middle-of-the-road gun regulations. Who cares? He’s from a rural state and had no choice. He voted against the auto bailout that saved 1.5 million jobs. Who cares? He stood for principle. He voted for the indefinite detention of undocumented people. Who cares? He’s standing up for working Joe. He voted for the omnibus budget that included the repeal of his beloved Glass Steagall. Who cares? He’s going to jail the banksters. He had a lengthy interview with the New York Daily News in which he showed staggering ignorance about how to regulate Wall Street, make college free, establish Medicare for all and actually revive manufacturing, and none of his fervent supporters (or is it groupies) cares because it’s a movement, a revolution and once the people have the power, all will be saved.

    Bernie was the test drive for Trump. And he succeeded in doing, knowingly or unknowingly, what Vlad wanted: destroying the Democratic party.

  141. 141
    Yarrow says:

    @tobie: Speaking of Bernie, he has been very quiet about the Russians hacking our election. Wonder why that is.

  142. 142
    hovercraft says:

    Too bad the new administration is too busy with it’s victory tour to spend time resolving real issues like this:
    Federal Agency Warns Trump He Must Give Up DC Hotel Before Inauguration

    The President-elect has been warned by federal authorities that he will be in breach of a government lease if he does not revoke ownership of his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. before Inauguration Day, Democratic lawmakers revealed Tuesday.

    The contract between the Trump Organization and the General Services Administration, which owns the federal building in which the luxury hotel is housed, explicitly states that no elected U.S. official may have a say in or benefit from the lease for that property.

    As lawmakers noted in a letter to the GSA administrator first flagged by Buzzfeed News, Trump and his team have been informed that he will violate the terms of the lease as soon as he is sworn into office.

    “The Deputy [GSA] Commissioner made clear that Mr. Trump must divest himself not only of managerial control, but of all ownership interest as well,” Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), and Andre Carson (D-IN) wrote in the letter.

    If Trump refuses to do so, the letter states he would be given 30 days to address the issue, then be brought before a civilian tribunal that negotiates disputes involving federal agencies…..

    The Trump International Hotel was used as the backdrop for a number of events during the presidential campaign. Since Election Day, two foreign countries have planned events there and a number of foreign dignitaries have booked rooms in order to curry favor with the incoming president. The RNC reportedly plans to hold its Christmas party there, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence spoke at a Heritage Foundation event at the hotel.

    Ethics experts have said that these bookings already represent remarkable conflicts of interest. They argue that Trump’s stated intent to turn control of his company to his adult children would not fix the problem, either.

  143. 143
    Pogonip says:

    @gene108: I’ll trade you Pacific Avenue for Boardwalk.

  144. 144

    @gene108: I do find it funny that the people who most want to “run government like a business” overwhelmingly live in underperforming departments.

  145. 145
    Corner Stone says:

    @gene108: My thought was not really that anyone cared about the Al Smith event but that Trump himself showed his cards that he knew he was getting fucking trounced and couldn’t take it. Oh well.

  146. 146
    tobie says:

    @Yarrow: Not a peep from Warren either. Pretty disappointing.

  147. 147
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The intel wasn’t 100%!

  148. 148
    J R in WV says:

    @Van Buren:

    Oh please..!

    You know why we know the toothbrush was invented in Boone County?

    ‘Cause if it was invented anywhere else it would be called the teethbrush! … badda-bing ; Crash!

    But these are cheap shots! Funny, cheap, shots… These jokes work just as well for Alabama, most counties in Florida, GA, MS, Carolina (both of ’em) and the Inland Central Valley of CA. And MO and Arkansas.

  149. 149
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    “I almost feel like I was willing to put aside human characteristics about him,

    Kay would say “putting aside human characteristics” when you’re hiring someone is moronic. You’re evaluating a person, not a set of slogans.

    Hiring is hard. Most people suck at it. Hence, Donald Trump. She likes business, okay, we’ll put this in business terms. She made a bad hire and she will regret it, because she can’t fire him in 90 days. Worse, she stuck me with him and I knew he was a bad hire.

    I love the “act more Presidential” too. As if this is a fucking television show. He doesn’t “act” Presidential because he never should have been President. It’s not a costume you put on, human decency and character. They ignored the essential nature of this person and now they want him to be a completely different person. Well, he won’t be. Stress and huge responsibility doesn’t “change” people- it makes them MORE of what they are. It REVEALS them.

  150. 150
    Pogonip says:

    @Kay: I know several people with no sense of humor. I don’t know how they get through life.

  151. 151
    hovercraft says:

    @gene108:

    look at states like business units. Under performing states get sold to the highest bidder

    I’m all in for jettisoning the lowest performing states, but to whom? Or are we back to Cascadia and Eastcoastia, plus according to @Corner Stone an independent Texas?

  152. 152
    mel says:

    @lamh36:
    Congratulations to your sister!!!

    Zoe is adorable!

  153. 153
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    Great doggies, Debit! And great taste in furniture. I’ve got those same IKEA chairs.

  154. 154
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:

    All of them sound like phucking idiots.

  155. 155
    laura says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: too true. Monsters walk among us. We’re obliged to call them out, everywhere and forever.

  156. 156

    @tobie: last I heard from Warren she was slamming a pro-regulation, democrat-backing banker.

  157. 157
    rikyrah says:

    Where are all the feminists who were up in arms criticizing President Obama and his staffing choices..

    quiet as church mice pissing on cotton about Ferret Head’s White Male Cabinet.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  158. 158
    Spinoza is my Co-pilot says:

    Wonderful to see that the “rescue of Walter” has turned out so well. All of our furry companions have been “rescue mutts” of some sort or other, including a couple I picked up (many years ago now) wandering sick and lost on construction sites, while most others we got from our local favorite “no kill” shelter (the Arizona Animal Welfare League).

    One in particular that we personally “rescued” was somewhat akin to Walter’s story, though not nearly that egregious. One of my wife’s co-workers went through a bad divorce, which apparently was hell on the couple’s young children as well as their dog (not an uncommon story, I don’t think). The woman (my wife’s co-worker) was preparing to move back to England with the kids to be near family (the now ex-husband gone already) and we were helping with things like garage sales for her before she left. While at her house the first day I took their dog (penned up to be “out of the way”) for a walk and fell in love with the poor emaciated guy. He hadn’t been abused, but was sorely neglected and starved for attention.

    Long story short, the woman wanted to take the dog with her to England but needed to do the 6-month quarantine protocol first and asked if we would do that for her (this was almost 7 years ago). We did, but in the end she asked us to keep him. I was thrilled that she did because he had become a happy and healthy part of our pack (we always have a few dogs around), a thoroughly sweet and playful and protective boy who was good with everyone, from other dogs to visitors to our baby granddaughter.

    I’ve had many dogs over the decades, but none quite like him. This morning I found him dead in our yard, lying in his favorite place outside under our citrus trees.

    This was sudden, with not a single sign beforehand (he was strong and muscular and full of energy even at nearly 12 years old, and had only ever had normal vet checkups and shots). I have no reason at all to suspect foul play or any external cause of death, but I’m still left with a huge hole in my heart (as is my wife). I’m only posting this here because I know the BJ community and how so many of us here feel about our furry friends. I’m sitting here petting the heads of my sweet departed boy’s two remaining dog-brothers as I write this, wishing there really was a Rainbow Bridge, you know?

  159. 159
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: Hiring is hard, but it’s not that hard when you’ve got almost two years to evaluate how someone operates before you hire them. It’s shocking how people couldn’t or wouldn’t see who he really is.

    And I’m pissed off they didn’t ask these people about the Russians hacking our election. WTF? It’s the biggest story of the whole thing and no questions?

  160. 160
    hovercraft says:

    Trump Adviser: Global Warming Could Be Disproven Just Like Flat Earth Theory (VIDEO)

    “Look, I know that the current president believes that human beings are affecting the climate. There are scientists that believe that that’s not happening,” Scaramucci began, before Cuomo interrupted him.

    “The overwhelming consensus in the scientific community is that man’s actions have an impact on science,” Cuomo said. “You have to correct that whenever it comes out. Go ahead.”

    “Chris, there was an overwhelming science that the Earth was flat,” Scaramucci responded. “And there was an overwhelming science that we were the center of the world.”

    Scaramucci presumably was referencing the theory of geocentrism, which held that the Earth was the center of the universe. Copernicus disproved that theory in the 16th century.

    “It’s called ignorance,” Cuomo said. “You learn over time.”

    Scaramucci wasn’t convinced. Later in the conversation, he said the Trump team simply wanted “common sense solutions. Non-ideological.”

    “Some of the stuff that you’re reading and some of the stuff I’m reading is very ideologically-based about the climate. We don’t want it to be that way,” he said.

    He later added, “I’m saying people have gotten things wrong throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet.”

    These really are the “best people” that the Shitgibbon is surrounding it’s self with. America is in truly worthy hands, tiny hands, but worthy of the morons who chose it, too bad were stuck in the car with them.

  161. 161
    gene108 says:

    @hovercraft:

    I’m all in for jettisoning the lowest performing states, but to whom?

    Highest bidder. Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Bill Gates, it don’t matter who, as long as they pony up the cash.

  162. 162
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    I don’t hire many people because we only have 2 employees and I like to think I’m good at hiring so they stay a long time, but I don’t “put aside human characteristics” when I hire because those are THE ROCK BOTTOM REQUIREMENTS. The specific resume comes AFTER “basic human characteristics” like “decency” and “honesty” and “the capacity to learn”.

    You don’t throw out everything you know about people, rock bottom standards of behavior, and just read their resume. If I had an interview with a candidate who said what Donald Trump said in that tape I’m never getting to his resume! He failed already. He failed because he’s horrible. Lacks basic “human characteristics”. Won’t be a good hire.

  163. 163
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @lamh36:

    Congratulations!

  164. 164
    Belafon says:

    Does anyone else remember that series about Texas breaking away from the United States because of collaboration between the United States and Russia? Texas broke away because they saw through the ruse that the Soviets were ready to cooperate.

    If the author is still alive, it would be great to ask him what he thinks of the current situation.

  165. 165
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    I knew they’d be uncomfortable with the sleazy behavior. Republicans here are already uncomfortable with it. They’re cringing when he’s on Twitter. I don’t think they like the reality show he’s conducting in that tacky NYC building, either.

    These are people who were uncomfortable when Kasich didn’t wear a tie. They are culturally and temperamentally .. different than Donald Trump. OBAMA is actually much closer to the behavior they expect.

  166. 166
    Yarrow says:

    @hovercraft: They really do want to take us back to the dark ages. Feudal lords. Women as chattel. Plagues. Religion rules all.

  167. 167
    rikyrah says:

    Firefighter senses something wrong at restaurant, saves 30 people

    Off-duty firefighter Lonnie Wimmer was at a dinner party with friends Saturday night when he looked around the table and realized something wasn’t quite right.

    Guests were starting to feel nauseous, complaining about headaches and some were even starting to feel chest pain after spending nearly an hour and a half inside the River Ridge Tap House in Clemmons, North Carolina.

    The first thought that came to Wimmer’s mind: carbon monoxide.

    So, the firefighter at Lewisville Fire Department called the fire station and asked them to come to the restaurant as soon as possible.

    Sure enough, Wimmer was right. At least 12 fire officials responded to the call and when they arrived they found a high level of CO inside the restaurant. They quickly evacuated dozens of patrons from the establishment.

  168. 168
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: They have seen nothing yet. Once he’s in office (if he gets there – I’m still holding out hope) he’s not going to give up Twitter. It’s his lifeblood. And when some company or country pisses him off he’ll be tweeting at 3 a.m. And then all hell will break loose.

    I really hope someone goes back and does a focus group with these people again at that time.

  169. 169
    Belafon says:

    @hovercraft: Geocentrism was disproven by SCIENCE. Climate change is proven by SCIENCE. It’s climate denial that has no backing.

  170. 170
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot: Sorry to hear about your loss, dogs really can be friends.

  171. 171
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    That’s what I keep coming back to with Trump voters. Put aside income and education and race. They are people who admired and hired a bad person, a bad human being. There are lots of bad people and some of them are very successful. This is why. They have a constituency. It’s Trump voters.

    That one lady knew it! But she put that aside. Not a priority for her, obviously, character and basic decency.

  172. 172
    Brachiator says:

    @JMG:

    Article isn’t even accurate. Tillerson is the only CEO of the bunch.

    Andy Puzder, the selection to head the U.S. Department of Labor, is chief executive of CKE Restaurants Inc

  173. 173
    hovercraft says:

    @Yarrow:

    he’s not going to give up Twitter. It’s his lifeblood.

    It’s already said that it’s not giving it up, because it’s a way to communicate directly with the people, without the lying liars who are the media lying about what he says. The national security apparatus may not like or approve of the practice, but who the hell is going to stop the new emperor from doing what he wants, he’s the most powerful person in the world, no one is the boss of him!

  174. 174
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Yarrow: These women sound like the job or they can “fix him”, like the woman who think she can “fix” a drunk abusive boyfriend.

  175. 175
    Mnemosyne says:

    @tobie:

    Someone posted yesterday that foreign intelligence agencies were saying that Russia’s real aim was to sow divisions among Democrats, and it increasingly seems that the Democratic primary was the test drive from the Trump campaign.

    Bernie’s campaign manager Tad Devine worked for Putin in Ukraine to get Putin’s puppet Yankyuovich elected.

    I keep getting called a conspiracy theorist when I bring this up and told that it’s just a coincidence, but there sure are a whole lot of coincidences in this election that just happen to trace back to Putin and Russia. 🤔

    And, no, I’m not saying that Putin arranged and masterminded the whole thing like clockwork. I’m saying that he hedged his bets and seeded the whole political establishment with his buddies hoping that at least one or two of those plants would work out. I’m sure that even he is surprised at how well it worked and how cravenly eager the Republicans were to sell us out.

  176. 176
    Yarrow says:

    @hovercraft: That’s exactly right. And he’s going to put us all in great danger because of it.

  177. 177
    eclare says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot: Oh my gosh, what a shock! I’m so sorry. It sounds like he had a wonderful life.

  178. 178
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot:

    I’m so sorry, but, honestly, it sounds like it might have been exactly the way your boy wanted to go when it was his time. It’s hard, but maybe you can be happy for him about that, at least.

  179. 179
    chopper says:

    @hovercraft:

    Jesus. people have this stupid romantic notion regarding factory work. factory work sucks. working behind a computer isn’t a ton of fun but it pays way better than a factory job ever will and your body doesn’t fall apart when you hit 60, and you don’t have to worry about getting your arm crushed by a metal press.

  180. 180
    J R in WV says:

    @lamh36:

    Congrats, that’s great news, and a difficult major, she should be really proud!

  181. 181
    debit says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot: I am so terribly sorry for your loss. It’s never easy, but I think it’s especially hard when it’s a sudden loss. Hugs to you.

  182. 182
    Mnemosyne says:

    @chopper:

    I think there’s a tiny grain of truth in what Graham is saying, though: people who like to work with their hands like to work with their hands. My brother has been a house painter for almost 30 years, and not only does he love it, he’s someone who would go nuts if he had to go to an office and stare at a screen all day. He’s WAY too ADHD for that.

    But this ties in to what Kay has been telling us for years now: if we’re going to retrain people, vocational training needs to be part of that. And it sure would be nice to get all caught up on all of the repairs we need for our roads and bridges and schools and fire houses and post offices and about a million other infrastructure things I’m forgetting.

  183. 183
    Yarrow says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot: So sorry. What a shock. It’s always hard to lose a beloved pet. I hope there is some comfort knowing he didn’t suffer.

  184. 184
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot:

    Condolences on your loss. And thanks for the good story.

  185. 185
    Kay says:

    See? They admire this:

    NYT OpinionVerified account
    ‏@nytopinion
    Trump is shrewdly milking his cabinet selection process for maximum drama and entertainment

    What can you do? There’s a large group of people who admire horrible people and bad behavior. Nothing to do with education or income. It’s the ” we admire horrible people” caucus. Crosses all lines. The country’s about 50/50, us and them.

  186. 186
    manyakitty says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot: OMG. I am so sorry to hear this. One more pin in a miserable year, to be sure. Peace and love to you all.

  187. 187
    Brachiator says:

    @Yarrow:

    @Kay:

    he’s not going to give up Twitter. It’s his lifeblood.

    Actually, you have to give him some credit for this. FDR used the relatively new medium of radio to talk to the nation. Trump has a showman’s grasp of the ability of social media like Twitter to get his message out unfiltered and on his terms. He also forces the media into a defensive or reactive posture, “Mr Trump, what did you mean by your Twitter message?”

  188. 188
    Lizzy L says:

    @JMG: Wilbur Ross, T’s choice for Commerce Secretary, is Chair & chief investment strategist of WL Ross and Co, the investment firm he founded (and sold to Invesco in 2006). His net worth, according to Forbes, is 2.5 billion $$. Betsey Devos, his choice for education, is Chair of The Windquest Group, a privately held investment firm.

  189. 189
    Brachiator says:

    @Kay Eye:

    On Nov. 9 or thereabouts, thanks to a Balloon Juice commenter’s suggestion, I signed on to help the campaign of a good woman candidate for the city council run-off election in my town.

    Our lady won. Resoundingly.

    Very cool! Congratulations.

  190. 190
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot: That happened to my Larry, who was a rescue Husky. He went suddenly, in the night, under his favorite tree in the yard, with only the slightest of whimpers to mark his passing. We cremated his body and I scattered his ashes all round the tree. Condolences on your loss.

  191. 191
    Lizzy L says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot: I am so sorry. You gave him a wonderful life when you took him in.

  192. 192
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But I thought the Al Smith thing fully exposed him as a mean spirited asshole who knew he had no chance of winning and was lashing out in meltdown.

    His monologue at his first Press Correspondents’ Dinner is going to be a laff riot, isn’t it?

  193. 193
    Miss Bianca says:

    @lamh36: Congrats to your sister! Zoe adorable as always – she rocks a cap and gown, for sure!

  194. 194
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’m sitting here petting the heads of my sweet departed boy’s two remaining dog-brothers as I write this, wishing there really was a Rainbow Bridge, you know?

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot: There’d better be. I have zero interest in an afterlife that doesn’t involve my wife and my pets.

  195. 195
    jenn says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot: I’m so sorry for your loss!

  196. 196
    Spinoza is my Co-pilot says:

    Thanks to all for your condolences and kind words over the death of my sweet old pup. My wife and I were just beginning to emerge from a very deep funk over this election (I know of course we’re not alone in that, and cue Bogart’s “don’t amount to a hill of beans” line near the end of Casablanca). But it’s hard to get up in the morning sometimes, you know?

    And it really does look as if the fucking fascists are now stronger than ever, goddamn it (as I’ve written in a few places, I’ve watched us bounce back from the execrable Nixon, Reagan, and Cheney/Bush admins, but this time I’m afraid we’re well and truly fucked due to climate change and the soon-to-be-installed generation-spanning far right SCOTUS, whatever other horrors Trump and the Congressional fascists foist upon us in the next few years). After decades now I can’t muster the fight anymore; maybe I’m only old and tired but it just seems futile.

    In the end, I don’t believe I’ve done all that much good with my life, but we’ve always had a pack of “rescue” mutts around to take care of so I’ll take the karma from that small effort, I suppose (hint: I don’t actually believe in karma or any sort of ultimate justice or whatever, but it would be pretty to think so).

  197. 197
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Spinoza is my Co-pilot:

    I’m so sorry! What a shock to you and your wife.

    Haven’t read through all the comments yet, but it doesn’t appear that raven is around, so in his absence I’ll post the moving words of Irving Townsend he so often shares:

    “We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
    Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
    We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
    never fully understanding the necessary plan.”

  198. 198
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @hovercraft:

    He later added, “I’m saying people have gotten things wrong throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet.”

    Please for the everlasting love of the FSM tell me that this part of the article is fake! Did he really, seriously say that? On air? (Video cuts off abruptly and this line isn’t included.)

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