Plunged Into Primordial Darkness (Open Thread)

Here’s the view in my house right now:

The electricity went out hours ago during a thunderstorm. So I’m just hanging out on a Friday night, aerating my fish tank with a snorkel. No Rachel Maddow. No binge-watching the new season of Kimmy Schmidt.

Le sigh. Hope your evening is going better!

180 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Still better than Cole’s photos.

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    May the power be with you, Betty!

  3. 3
    Mike J says:

    My buerre bleu is done, gonna slap some fish on a cedar plank in about a half hour, then a slice or two of polenta that’s been cakeified.

  4. 4
    Kropadope says:

    How is Kimmy Schmidt? I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m just wrapping up my year long Star Trek viewing.

  5. 5
    jharp says:

    There are some new generators out there that are pretty amazing.

    Was checking them out at REI the other day. I’ve been thinking of getting one.

  6. 6
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    The Friday night, um, dump continues.

    Washington (CNN)Russian officials bragged in conversations during the presidential campaign that they had cultivated a strong relationship with former Trump adviser retired Gen. Michael Flynn and believed they could use him to influence Donald Trump and his team, sources told CNN.

    The conversations deeply concerned US intelligence officials, some of whom acted on their own to limit how much sensitive information they shared with Flynn, who was tapped to become Trump’s national security adviser, current and former governments officials said.

  7. 7

    My power went out the other night. It sucked. Good thing I have a kindle fire.

    This is a fun read.

    Nearly $1 Million in Stolen Bees Recovered in Fresno

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    It’s always darkest before the stumble over the prone doggie.

    In other news,

    Members of the House of Representative Committee on Science, Space & Technology—including representative Don Beyer (VA), Jacky Rosen (NV), Mark Takano (CA), and a number of other Democrats—have signed and submitted a letter to President Trump expressing concern over the President’s methods of receiving scientific information. The letter states that by failing to appoint a qualified director to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy or adequately staff the department, the President has left himself vulnerable to “misinformation and fake news,” noting that Trump has, “a tool at your disposal in this regard, should you wish to make use of it, in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) which, under your administration, has been left largely unstaffed and without a director.”

    Congress created the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act in 1976 with the goal of providing the President and those within the Executive Office quality advice on the creation and modification of policies that directly affect science and technology. …
    The House letter states that “Disseminating stories from dubious sources has been a recurring issue with your administration,” pointing to a May 15, 2017 Politico article which notes that Trump’s “Deputy National Security Advisor passed along printouts of two Time magazine cover stories—one, a previously identified and debunked internet hoax purporting to be from the 1970s warning of a coming ice age, and the other, from 2008, a special report on global warming, with the intention of undermining concern about climate change.” Source

  9. 9
    TaMara (HFG) says:

    Well, while you’re waiting, I don’t have a recipe thread prepped, but I did post a nice looking baked blooming onion and recipe tonight. Easy-peasy.

  10. 10
    lamh36 says:

    Wow…so when the cat’s away the mice will play!

    Damn…were they just WAITING for Cheeto to hop on that plane…

    This past two weeks are the first time I’ve watched Maddow and Lawrence LIVE

    @RawStory 8m8 minutes ago
    CNN’s Tapper: White House leaks appear to be coming from staffers ‘concerned about Trump’s fitness’

  11. 11
    lamh36 says:

    ok…come on Cheeto ain’t coming back is he???

    Saw on Rachel per Reuters: “Putin’s Fixer” in contact w/Trump campaign, but the named guy “denies” of course.

  12. 12
    Mike J says:

    Richard M. Nixon‏ @dick_nixon 51 minutes ago
    If Kushner goes to jail she’ll write a “single mother” book, I bet.

  13. 13
    TaMara (HFG) says:

    @Mike J: Steak, mashed potatoes and green beans here tonight. Keeping it simple.

  14. 14
    Mike J says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Detectives had help from what Terrence calls a close-knit Russian-Ukrainian beekeeping community in Northern California. Tveretinov is Russian-Ukranian himself.

  15. 15
    NotMax says:


    Shaping up to be the first presidency to die from aides.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    Betty, Are you able to stream this on your phone..
    It’s MSNBC international, which is MSNBC

  17. 17
    Timurid says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    That story is disturbing because it supports the alternative theory that Trump was not an active conspirator and he was being played by his advisors. It makes him look dumber than ever, but stupidity isn’t against the law.

  18. 18

    @Mike J: penetration at all levels.

  19. 19
    japa21 says:

    @Timurid: But being warned about Flynn and hiring and keeping him goes beyond stupidity.

  20. 20
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Timurid: There is much more to come out. It could be that the Russians were exaggerating or fooling themselves. Or it’s possible that they also had some kind of hold on Trump – his love of Russia goes back before he knew Flynn.

    But this explains why Obama warned Trump about Flynn.

  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    At least, that’s the buzz.


  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I read the dossier, and I discounted the golden shower section. Now I’m not so sure.

  23. 23
    smintheus says:

    According to tapes of Flynn’s conversations by US intelligence last fall, now being leaked to CNN, Flynn definitely negotiated with the Russians behind Obama’s back about the sanctions Obama was imposing for Russian meddling in the US election.

    One major concern for Obama administration officials was the subject of conversations between Flynn and Kislyak that took place shortly after President Barack Obama slapped new sanctions on Russia for meddling in the election. Sources tell CNN that Flynn told Kislyak that the Trump administration would look favorably on a decision by Russia to hold off on retaliating with its own sanctions. The next day, Putin said he wouldn’t retaliate.

    Sources say Flynn also told Kislyak that the incoming Trump administration would revisit US sanctions on Russia once in office.

  24. 24
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @JPL: I think if they’ve got something on him, it’s financial. He’s fine with the sex stories.

  25. 25
    Mike J says:

    @TaMara (HFG): The sauce is the only finicky bit, and even most of that was just waiting to reduce 1.5 cups of wine and other liquids to 1/4 cup.

  26. 26
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike J: I know several Ukrainians who were beekeeping in NYC long before it was legal. It is a small community.

  27. 27
    Feebog says:

    Follow the money. Almost beyond doubt that Russia funneled money into dark money PACs supporting Trump, and quite possibly directly into the campaign. It was coordinated by Manafort, and Trump had full knowledge of what the Russians were doing.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Groaning and wincing and laughing and applauding, all at once.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Well done with ketchup?

  30. 30
    smintheus says:

    Betty, at least your electricity isn’t out because Trump started WWIII. Every morning I wake up, look around, and straight off think “Well he still hasn’t nuked anyone yet.”

  31. 31
    lamh36 says:

    ‘Trump’s best defense is dementia’: Internet in shock as Friday bombshells abruptly rock White House

  32. 32
    hovercraft says:

    Nicely done.

  33. 33
    lamh36 says:

    Ok…a bit of NON political news!!!!

    I’m happy to hear this bit of twitter moments…
    First reactions for Wonder Woman are positive

    I was gonna see this on first weekend either way, but I’ll admit, I’d seen a few extended trailer clips w/non action sequences of Gail Gadot, and I came away just hoping it’s not as wooden as it comes off…but hey, maybe the action offsets the possibility of wooden acting?

  34. 34

    But her emailz
    Alleged BS supporter is re litigating her emailz in the comment threads below. Russian bot, Republican troll you decide.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    japa21 says:

    @smintheus: That is definitely a crime. If he did so with trump’s knowledge or direction, then Trump is also culpable.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    smintheus says:

    @japa21: I agree, it could be a major break that forces the rats to turn against each other.

  39. 39
    Woodward Interviewing William J. Casey says:


    I haven’t been here since around 2004. When this blog got tons of traffic.

    What a difference!

  40. 40
    Jeffro says:

    You almost have to wonder just how badly Trumpov will damage/rat out/pin blame on all of these GOP cretins who enabled him, when the end finally arrives. He’ll definitely incite his base to vote against any R who has anything to do with forcing him from office. He’ll almost certainly shiv Pence and Priebus on the way out.

    It’ll be interesting to see how investigators and others who end up questioning Trumpov about the collusion and cover-up(s) use his fear of losing his money/status, and Ivanka, to get him to squeal.

  41. 41
    dm says:

    @lamh36: I am reminded a little of the Yippies’ pranksterism, but I suppose it’s just standard psychological warfare. It’s being waged against Trump, to keep him and his staff off balance, and against the Republicans who can do something about the nasty piece of work in the White House.

    The White House staff and Republican members of Congress must dread the approach of the 5PM witching hour each day, not knowing what’s coming next.

    It’s a bit of a gamble — I’m sure they don’t want to to destabilize 45 so much that he puts the nation at greater risk than his mere presence in the Oval Office already does. But keeping him and his staff off balance will probably serve to hasten his departure from that office.

  42. 42
    Inventor says:

    Let’s get this party started!

  43. 43
    Timurid says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    At this point the actual piss tape would not be a big deal. As described, it’s basically Trump watching a strip show, albeit a very nasty one. It’s common knowledge that he is a serial adulterer and sexual harasser, so that’s pretty small change in light of his record (that nobody who matters holds against him).

  44. 44
    different-church-lady says:


    Russians bragged they could use Flynn

  45. 45
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: This is about the fifth time you have made me laugh today, twice out loud.

  46. 46
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mike J:

    just waiting to reduce 1.5 cups of wine and other liquid

    I have successfully reduced far more wine than that tonight and it’s still early.

  47. 47
    Peale says:

    I’m kind of holding out for a tape of Paul Ryan making fun of his own voters.

  48. 48
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    stand back, Libs, you aren’t the only ones who are “woke”

    Rob Schneider‏Verified account @ RobSchneider 13h13 hours ago
    I think it’s pretty obvious to the American people that there is coup going on from “intelligence,” the CIA and from unintelligence, the

    I foresee a devastating youtube from Rob’s much remembered “copy guy” character that should put an end to all this

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    @different-church-lady: Flynn’s team might take the latest leak as a sign, that the pardon is not coming soon.

  50. 50
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Peale: I’ll settle for one where he explains to his interns why they all have to read Atlas Shrugged before he’ll sign their letters of recommendation

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mike J:

    The Russians are controlling our bees now! Our bees!

    Though I have to admit that, like zhenia goglia, I hate Putin, but I like Russians and Ukrainians, at least the ones I’ve met. My very good dentist immigrated here from Russia as a teenager.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: If they were interning for him, they brought it upon themselves.

  53. 53
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne: I agree. One of our admins is Russian and she is smokin’ hot.

  54. 54
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Have you read about the great maple syrup heist?

  55. 55
    Peale says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: look, I’m not happy that it is taking the IC working overdrive to stop Trump. He should have been stopped a year ago by republican primary voters. But from the moment he decided that conflict of interest rules needent apply to him, he had to go.

  56. 56
    Morzer says:

    Have you called Jared the Electrician? I understand he’s busy providing peace to the Middle East right now, but I am sure he’ll have a window for tackling your power and light needs in the near future.

  57. 57
    TS says:


    This past two weeks are the first time I’ve watched Maddow and Lawrence LIVE

    You and everyone else – ratings are way up

  58. 58
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Those Ukraine girls really knock me out.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:


    Well, I need to do something to entertain myself while I’m down with the flu.

    You have to admit that linking to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal written by Rudy Giuliani’s law partner as an unbiased source was a stroke of genius. Maybe I’m getting played by a deadpan comic troll after all. Poe’s Law strikes again!

  60. 60
    Morzer says:


    You know she got the …ahem… power to do that by turning to the dark side, don’t you?

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Um. Yeah. No, that wasn’t a creepy thing to say at all.
    /backs away slowly

  62. 62
    germy says:

    I’m reading Stephen Leacock tonight

    I really believe there are many excellent writers who have never written because they never could begin. This is especially the case of people of great sensitiveness, or of people of advanced education. Professors suffer most of all from this inhibition. Many of them carry their unwritten books to the grave. They overestimate the magnitude of the task, they overestimate the greatness of the final result. A child in a prep school will write the History of Greece and fetch it home finished after school. “He wrote a fine History of Greece the other day,” says his fond father. Thirty years later the child, grown to be a professor, dreams of writing the History of Greece — the whole of it from the first Ionic invasion of the Aegean to the downfall of Alexandria. But he dreams. He never starts. He can’t. It’s too big. Anybody who has lived around a college knows the pathos of those unwritten books.

    STEPHEN LEACOCK, How to Write

  63. 63
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Mnemosyne: The best part was it kept accusing you of claiming that “The Clinton’s are perfect”, which wasn’t even close to your real argument. Talk about weak tea

    Oh and following it around lol

  64. 64

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m about to!

    @germy: I forget where I saw this the other day but somebody said about writer’s block, “you can edit a bad page but you can’t edit a blank page.”

  65. 65
    ms_canadada says:

    Betty, as long as you have wine and jazz cigarettes, you’ll be fine. Enjoy the peace!

  66. 66
    different-church-lady says:


    Russian bot, Republican troll you decide.

    Cat toy.

  67. 67
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    OMG, Kimmy Schmidt’s back?!?!?

    *disappears for hours to get her Titus Andromedan fix in*

  68. 68
    👩🏽‍🔬 Martin says:

    I wonder how you say Dunning-Kruger in Russian?

  69. 69
    chopper says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    “dump” is generally a good word for all of this.

  70. 70
    amk says:

    Dear White House Counsel McGahn: Fun fact for you. The White House Counsel under President Nixon went to prison. Just sayin'.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 20, 2017

  71. 71

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: I saw Burgess and Krakowski with the SF symphony on New Year’s Eve. Good times.

  72. 72
    lamh36 says:


    To be clear, HR McMaster, a decorated 3-star general, sat in the Oval as Trump called James Comey “a nut job,” to the Russians.

  73. 73
    Steeplejack says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Should’ve been “rustled bees.” Maybe even “kidnapped bees.” Somebody missed a rare opportunity there.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    LO’D on a Friday night broadcast. Hmmmm.

  75. 75
    Morzer says:

    @👩🏽‍🔬 Martin:

    Эффект Даннинга — Крюгера

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @lamh36: McMaster Is a large bald guy in a big barky suit. He’s a fake. A fraud. A phony. A flim flam man.
    If he’s not in jail within 24 months I will be surprised.

  77. 77
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Should the NBA have a mercy rule? Discuss.

  78. 78
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: omg.. I just checked the score

  79. 79
    Morzer says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I fear the National Bullshit Artist shows no sign of any interest… oh, you didn’t mean the Creature from the Mar-a-Lagoon?

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    McMaster is a destroyed piece of shit. The Dignity Wraith got all of him, with his acquiescence.

  81. 81
    efgoldman says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Should the NBA have a mercy rule? Discuss.

    As hideous as the Ottawa Senators are to watch, I’m sticking with the hockey anyway.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steeplejack: Bee rustling’? That’s a goldanged hangin’ offense.

  83. 83
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Nearly as bad as beestiality. The thought of which brings me out in hives.

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    So does a margarita count as a medicinal use of alcohol? Asking for a friend.

    It’s a really good three-ingredient margarita on the rocks with lime juice, Cointreau, and decent tequila, if that helps.

  85. 85
    CaseyL says:

    Hope the power comes back soon, Betty. In the meantime, you can multi-task by lighting a candle and cursing the darkness!

  86. 86
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Bee rustling’? That’s a goldanged hangin’ offense.

    Active beehives are worth a TON of money to farmers, especially since the die-off of the last few years.

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: For what purpose are you ingesting it? That is the salient point.

  88. 88
    Gravenstone says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I’m coming to the point where I believe Russia is dangling a rather large financial carrot in front of Trump to encourage his deep “loyalty” to Flynn. Goes to his insistence on hiring Flynn in the face of multiple warnings, retaining him after Yates’ warning and his recent statement that he wants Flynn back in the WH. Also comports with today’s news about Russia seeing Flynn as a lever to control Trump. No proof whatsoever, but personal gain strikes me as a near primal motivator for Trump.

  89. 89
    Peale says:

    Could one of the many lawyers who work here explain the rules for immigrants receiving legal help? The goal seems to be to cut off people with deportation from any help whatsoever, but it seems like there’s already laws in place to prevent that? Is it Already illegal for lawyers to help?

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: I am aware. I am also terrified of the little fuckers.

  91. 91
    Morzer says:


    So does a margarita count as a medicinal use of alcohol?

    Stick ten bucks in my hand and I’ll write you a prescription right here and now!

  92. 92
    Aleta says:

    bees seized

    bee booty uncovered

  93. 93
    Inventor says:

    @Morzer: I believe it was “beestealality”.

  94. 94


    medicinal use of alcohol

    What are you, Winston Churchill?

  95. 95
    SWMBO says:

    Living in south Florida, I have had key lime margaritas. OMG. I would be an alcoholic if I got all of those I wanted.

    If whiskey can be used in a hot toddy and be medicinal, margaritas have citrus which is vitamin C. So, yes it is medicinal.

  96. 96
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am also terrified of the little fuckers.

    Stay out of the clover fields!
    You allergic?

  97. 97
    Morzer says:


    Sounds like someone found daddy’s bee-porn stash.

  98. 98
    efgoldman says:


    bee booty uncovered

    Six little teeny booties for each bee

  99. 99
    SWMBO says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: An ounce of prevention…

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Peale: The DOJ can’t sanction lawyers.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne: romance novelist loaded on tequila?

    /backs away slowly…then quickly

  103. 103
    amk says:

    Poetic justice will be if Ex-president Trump must fly home commercial, just like ex-Director Comey— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 19, 2017

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: I got swarmed by hornets on Isle Royale when I was 8. I’ve had “issues” with flying, swarming, stinging things ever since.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Because, to my shame, it’s been sitting pre-mixed in my fridge waiting to be drunk for a couple of weeks, so I need an excuse to pour it.

    For the record, it’s still delicious, though not quite as delicious as the day it was mixed.

  106. 106
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Unrelated to alleged creepiness or backing away slowly, what do you people know about Colombia? Thinking about a trip to Bogota and Cartagena.

  107. 107
    efgoldman says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    romance novelist loaded on tequila?

    Bodices ripped in chapter three, instead of chapter seven

  108. 108
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sounds like a deep psychological wound that can only be treated by booze to me.

  109. 109
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Kropadope: qu’est-ce que c’est, “Kimmy Schmidt”?

  110. 110
    Morzer says:


    Classify it as pre-loaded cognitive therapy and pour away.

  111. 111
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’ve had “issues” with flying, swarming, stinging things ever since.

    Quite understandable.

  112. 112
    Gravenstone says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Had a former colleague who hailed from Moscow. Gorgeous and extraordinarily intelligent and skilled. Alas, she couldn’t deal with life in semi-rural Wisconsin and jumped ship to a major east coast pharma house.

  113. 113
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Darn tootin’! That was a big problem back on the Honeycomb Trail in aught-three.

  114. 114
    Mnemosyne says:


    Interesting trivia I only found out recently: limes don’t have enough vitamin C to prevent scurvy, so scurvy started recurring in the British Navy when they switched from lemons to limes. They didn’t realize that the two fruits are not interchangeable.

    I’m drinking it anyway. 😄

  115. 115
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    qu’est-ce que c’est, “Kimmy Schmidt”?

    C’est la merde

  116. 116
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: I don’t have all that many phobias – bees and their cousins, clowns, and mayo.

  117. 117

    @Miss Bianca: Tina Fey’s project after 30 Rock.

  118. 118
    Aleta says:

    @Morzer: If only the operation had been a sting.

  119. 119
    Peale says:

    @Gravenstone: it was the mild winters, wasn’t it.

  120. 120
    Timurid says:

    @Corner Stone:

    To be fair, this is the situation facing him:

    McMASTER: Mr. President, I can’t do this anymore. As a man of honor and a patriot, I can’t stand by while you disgrace this great nation. I must resi–

    TRUMP: Hold on there a moment. I have something to show you first…

    (Trump presses a hidden button on his desk, and a panel in the Oval Office wall opens, revealing a chamber containing General John Bell Hood’s brain in a jar.)

    TRUMP: I’d like you to meet my new friend. Jeff Sessions introduced us, he says I can trust him to the end. *cough* Unlike some people I can think of… (turning to the jar) General Hood, what are we going to do about North Korea?

    HOOD: (in a computer generated voice) We’ll send 20 divisions right up the middle! Give ’em the cold steel! Those Yankee Koreans won’t know what hit ’em!

    TRUMP: The moment you walk out the door, he’s getting your job.

    McMASTER: …

    TRUMP: I can’t hear you.

    McMASTER: What would you like me to do for you, Mr. President?

    TRUMP: You can start by bringing me some of that chocolate ice cream… I think I’ll have three scoops tonight!

    McMASTER: Sir, yes sir!

  121. 121
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I haven’t been, but a close friend and experienced traveler *loves* Cartagena.

  122. 122
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    what do you people know about Colombia? Thinking about a trip to Bogota and Cartagena.

    Do you enjoy being randomly tied up and/or blindfolded in spaces with no lights or no areas of egress?
    Then Colombia is for you.

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gravenstone: Aren’t you Manitowoc-esque?

  124. 124
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    A bee came close to killing me in grad school. Got my temperature up to 104.2 and my heartbeat made the hospital bed shake. For hours after it happened, I was wearing two coats and feeling like I was in Siberia – and this was on a blazingly hot summer day in New Haven.

  125. 125
    Steve in the ATL says:


    Bodices ripped in chapter three, instead of chapter seven

    Well played. This is why you are considered a top 500 poster here.

  126. 126
    👩🏽‍🔬 Martin says:

    @Gravenstone: Trump doesn’t need much motivation. You’re thinking in terms of ‘what would it take to get me to an act of treason’. He’s thinking in terms of ‘where can I get external validation’. I doubt he even realizes he did anything wrong, or could be convinced he did. The Russians gave him the validation he needed, therefore he did the right thing. Flynn and Manafort and Kushner have entirely different and personal motivations.

    That’s why Trump seems like a toddler – he has the same basic worldview as one – will punching the cat get me what I want? Ok…

  127. 127
    Peale says:

    @Aleta: idk. The government may have stepped onto a hornet nest had the sting went wrong.

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:


    Alright, I’m calling it doctor’s orders.

    I was already pretty addled from the mild fever, so expect a sharp downturn in my typing accuracy from here forward. At least, until it’s time to take some Benadryl to clear my stuffy nose and go to sleep.

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Safer than it was.

  130. 130
    NotMax says:


    Following the wet bodice contest in chapter two.

  131. 131
    Gravenstone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: To be fair, hornets are just foul tempered and evil little bastards. Bees tend to much more mellow unless you threaten their hive.

  132. 132
    Miss Bianca says:

    @germy: Oh, fucking ouch.

    Which i don’t see myself in those words at all, at all…

  133. 133
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Well, in the press conference the other day Trump talked about interdicting “cocoa” production, so if you like hot chocolate you might want to take your own.

  134. 134
    Morzer says:


    Hell, let’s stop diddling around and make it two wet bodice contests per chapter.

  135. 135
    NotMax says:


    “It was mead wrestling night at the Duck and Clover…..”

  136. 136
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Corner Stone: OK, I’m finding the “Dignity Wraith” meme popping up everywhere now on dis yere blog, and whilst I can formulate an idea of what that might mean, still I would like some explication. Plz?

  137. 137
    Gravenstone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: within spitting distance of it, yeah.

  138. 138
    Corner Stone says:

    @Timurid: Nope. Nope. “Good Soldier” excuses have left the building. Gone. Good bye. See ya later. Don’t exist. Not here. Sorry. Trump be doing his thang.

  139. 139
    Morzer says:


    Many things would be explained if we discovered that the Dear Leader had been shoving Bolivian Marching Cocoa up his snout for decades,

  140. 140
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gravenstone: I am aware of a number of distinctions at an intellectual level. My phobia doesn’t work at that level. Beekeeping is right out as a career.

  141. 141
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I thought you were white enough to qualify for supercracker status. How does that reconcile with a mayo phobia?

  142. 142
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    At what tender age were you swarmed by clowns?


  143. 143
    Gravenstone says:

    @Miss Bianca: think it was promulgated by Josh Marshall. Basically anyone who comes into Trump’s orbit ends up being totally debased and humiliated. They become wraiths once their dignity has been stripped away.

  144. 144
    Sab says:

    @CaseyL: So are you blowing CO2 into the little guys, or are you somehow pumping air in? Either way sounds tedious. Best fish mom ever!

    Comment meant for Betty not Casey, but Casey mentioned the power issue.

  145. 145
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Do you enjoy being randomly tied up and/or blindfolded in spaces with no lights or no areas of egress?

    I would tell you, but I’ve already been called creepy once tonight!

  146. 146
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh, that is a horrifying image. You of all people, then, will appreciate my wrath and indignation when I found myself dragooned by my good friend, master of my hunt and possible investor in my mead business – found that she had dragooned me into becoming her beekeeeper – before I had any notion of what I was doing. Ten hives, for the love of Christ, *ten hives* to home the weekend before last, and won’t I just hunt down that author of “Beekeeping for Dummies” who pooh-poohed the notion of wearing any sort of gloves while hiving the bees, on the grounds that they would be so docile, I wouldn’t need to? Easily half-a-dozen stings all over my hands, which swelled up like boxing gloves. Oh never, oh never, oh never again, if I live to be a hundred or a hundred and ten, will I approach the little bastards without being gloved up. Or would that be “bitches”, when we speak of bees?

  147. 147
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gravenstone: Some people need more than cribbage and beer.

  148. 148
    Another Scott says:

    @Timurid: FTFNYT Review of McMaster’s Book in 1997:


    Having drawn up a devastating indictment of Johnson and his principal civilian and military advisers, McMaster apparently believes he has explained the outcome of the Vietnam conflict. It was a war, he says, that was ”lost in Washington . . . even before the first American units were deployed.” The notion that a war like that in Vietnam, which began 14 years before the election of Kennedy and continued for six years after the end of the Johnson Administration, can be satisfactorily explained by reference to decisions made in Washington during late 1964 and early 1965 would seem at best questionable. Yet it is a view held not only by McMaster but by many of the authors who have preceded him. This preoccupation with the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations and their decisions displays some of the same ethnocentrism, the same assumption of American omnipotence, for which McMaster pillories the leaders of that era. It largely leaves out of account the ideas, plans and actions of the Vietnamese.

    There is a story that the Confederate Civil War general George Pickett was once asked ”to what he attributed the failure of the Confederacy in the late war.” ”Well,” Pickett replied, ”I kinda think the Yankees had a little something to do with it.” We may hope that historians of the Vietnam War, having thoroughly studied Presidential decision making, may now move on to discover what the Vietnamese had to do with it.

    Emphasis added.

    I fear that McMaster had a good publicist in 2016, no matter how intelligent, brave, and competent a general he may have been in combat.

    Anyone who willingly joined Trump’s administration in a political appointment after seeing the way he conducted his campaign and who he surrounded himself with was and remains suspect to me.

    (Who hasn’t read the book.)

  149. 149
    chris says:

    @germy: This Leacock quote has been in my mind since November for some reason. Change one letter…

    Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.
    “Gertrude the Governess”, Nonsense Novels (1911)

  150. 150
    Morzer says:

    @Another Scott:

    Jack of all trades, McMaster of none.

    A perfect butler for the Trump White House.

  151. 151
    Gravenstone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: hey now, sheepshead is all the rage around here too! But I’m sure the simplicity of the place wore in her. She did her graduate work in Chicago and complained that the city felt too small.

  152. 152
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Miss Bianca: I had stepped on a stump that was actually a hornets’ nest. My dad ended up lifting me off of it by my hair. After we got rid of the hornets my parents gave me an aspirin and stuffed my in my sleeping bag. They were terrified; I had really weird dreams – you don’t actually feel pain in dreams but you can feel things crawling on you.

  153. 153
    Jeffro says:


    I think it was promulgated by Josh Marshall. Basically anyone who comes into Trump’s orbit ends up being totally debased and humiliated. They become wraiths once their dignity has been stripped away.

    Josh is on target but Betty’s “Trumpsubstantiation” – where everything Trumpov touches turns to shit – is even better. Works for organizations, businesses, governments as well as individuals.

  154. 154
    Morzer says:


    Lord Donald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and fell madly off on the other side.

  155. 155
    Steeplejack says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I don’t know if he originated it, but Josh Marshall had a tweet last July that said: “Now part of news cycle where we have Trump Dignity Wraiths once considered serious people make preposterous excuses for what he said.” It was that time when all of Trump’s rabid opponents in the Republican primaries were suddenly deciding that he was the greatest candidate ever.

  156. 156
    Jeffro says:

    @Timurid: That’s fucked up and probably also on target. Or at least it was in the beginning…now, I don’t know…McMaster may be thinking, like so many before him, that there’s a way out of this that leaves him with some shred of self-respect. There isn’t.

  157. 157

    @Another Scott:

    We may hope that historians of the Vietnam War, having thoroughly studied Presidential decision making, may now move on to discover what the Vietnamese had to do with it.

    I’m not a fan of generational pigeonholing but this is very much a blind spot that many baby boomers have.

    @Morzer: And then sued the horse.

  158. 158
    chris says:

    @Morzer: LOL that works too.

  159. 159
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Which is why I will always hold Neil Gaiman in something of abhorrence, for his fiendishly wonderful “Sandman”, which featured the character of Delirium cursing an officious highway patrol officer with that very same thing – that he would always and forever feel a swarm of creepy crawly things upon him. It’s almost funny at first, till you see the guy in restraints in a psych ward, later in the story…

  160. 160
    Mnemosyne says:


    He said to NEVER speak of that again!

  161. 161
    Doug R says:

    At least you’re not pumping the room full of carbon monoxide. Although when our car was acting up a couple of years ago and the C*******n Tire store in the town we were passing through couldn’t squeeze us in ’til the long weekend was over, I bought a battery booster. It’s supposed to help you start a dead battery, although it really doesn’t have enough capacity to do a complete job.
    It does, however have enough capacity to pump up several air mattresses and charge a few pads and cell phones. Plus it has a light on the front. It ain’t no generator, but it’s sure handy camping.

  162. 162
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Yep. That was part of Obama’s appeal for a lot of people — his answer to “what did you do during Vietnam?” was I was in grade school.

  163. 163

    @Mnemosyne: It’s just so weird. “And we must never forget the 50,000 young men who died for no discernible reason… the tragic casualties of this pointless war… somewhere.”

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: McMaster’s book was about the American involvement in the war. So writing about the American involvement in the war made some sense. It was a dumb thing for the US to do; the top brass knew it and acquiesced. If HR is doing the same thing – shame on him. If he is part of the leak campaign, kudos.

    (who has read the book)

  165. 165
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thank you. Let’s not even bring up the mayo swarm.

  166. 166

    How does one go about luring bees away to kidnap them? I mean, dudes roll up in a van with Purina Bee Chow or what?

  167. 167
    Jeffro says:

    yes I know it’s Erick son of Erick…but holy cow: Here Comes the GOP Bloodbath.

    Not so much for electoral concerns, as the indictment of so-called Christians…

    Second, I thought that Trump, even if he won, would be deeply destructive to the national fabric and to the conservative ideas I support.

    Third, I strongly believed that Trump lacks moral character and that he sets a bad example both for my children and for people of faith. I repeatedly said throughout the campaign that if God wanted Trump in the White House, he would not need Christians to dirty themselves to make it happen.

    Unfortunately, while I was wrong about my first concern, I am increasingly worried about the latter two. Trump’s evangelical Christian supporters often told me that whether we liked Trump or not, we needed him to save the Supreme Court. My response remains that four years of Clinton appointing judges, while awful, would be nothing compared with a generational wipeout of the GOP. Watergate may have turned Charles Colson from hatchet man to pastor, but the defense of President Trump is turning a lot of pastors into hatchet men. Few people come away from Trump’s orbit without compromising their characters.


  168. 168
    Jeffro says:


    The president exudes incompetence and instability. Divulging classified information to the Russians through bragging; undermining his staff’s defense of his conduct through inane tweets; even reportedly asking the FBI director to suspend an investigation of a former adviser — all these strike me not so much as malicious but as the ignorant actions of an overwhelmed man. Republicans excuse this behavior as Trump being Trump, but that will only embolden voters who seek greater accountability to choose further change over stability. The sad reality is that the greatest defense of the president available at this point is one his team could never give on the record: He is an idiot who does not know any better.

  169. 169
    Sab says:

    @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant): Smoke their hives, then kidnap them while they are knocked out. Folks have been doing that for centuries.

  170. 170
    Steve in the ATL says:


    He is an idiot who does not know any better.

    He totally stole that from my last performance review

  171. 171
    Jeffro says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    He totally stole that from my last performance review

    So, no bonus then? Just a 1% COLA?

  172. 172
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Good points about the book. Perhaps it was a cherry-picked quote (and one should always beware of ellipsis).

    However, I think my bigger point stands.

    He joined up with Trump willingly.

    McMaster’s former deputy makes an excellent point (from May 16):

    I [Tom Ricks] asked several officers who know Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, how they would advise McMaster about his current plight, working for a president who may in fact present a clear and present danger to the nation’s security.

    Here is the response I received from retired Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, who was McMaster’s “effects coordinator” in Iraq, and later became deputy commander of their regiment:


    I haven’t anything to say to you regarding HR. He is my friend and my advice to friends is private. However, I would like to clarify a point regarding the honor code of the officer corps.

    An officer may not tolerate a lie.

    It is not enough that everything an officer says is true. This standard is too low; it allows an officer to omit facts that are relevant to the matter at hand.

    It is not enough that everything an officer says is true and complete. This standard is too low; it allows an officer to remain silent while others lie.

    An officer may not tolerate a lie. This standard requires not only that everything an officer says is true and complete, but also that an officer must correct anyone who lies in his or her presence. An officer can never be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.

    A minor example illustrates this point. Prior to my retirement, my chain of command insisted that I have a public retirement ceremony. Such a ceremony would include the public reading of an award citation stating that the secretary of the Army valued my service. I informed my chain of command that if they read such a statement in my presence, I would be obliged to correct the record. They cancelled the ceremony.

    You are welcome to use this statement in its entirety, attributable to me by name.

    An officer may not tolerate a lie.





  173. 173
    Morzer says:


    Are we still talking about bees?

  174. 174
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: I have made clear my opinion on McMaster in several previous threads and in this one as well.

    ETA: Why would he trash his reputation? Do you know who is doing the leaking? Are you sure that he isn’t a brake on the horribles? I don’t know either. I’ll wait to condemn someone I’ve known and admired until more facts come in.

  175. 175
    Sab says:

    @Sab: If you mean smoking bees out, I think so. Still worried about Betty Crackers fishes’ air.

  176. 176
    laura says:

    @Morzer: Nearly as bad as beestiality. The thought of which brings me out in hives.

    To the Punitentary with you. Beegone!

  177. 177
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: re your ETA. That’s fine. You (and Adam, IIRC) have your reasons, and I don’t know the man.

    I’m just offering my opinion.



  178. 178
    Morzer says:


    Is that you, honey, combing through my crimes?

  179. 179
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Or at least a stinging accusation.

  180. 180
    Helena Montana says:

    Had the same storms in Palm Harbor. Sat with a shaking dog in my lap for 2.5 hours. But we did not lose power.

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