Saturday Morning Open Thread, No Politics (Except by Implication) Edition

Blair Braverman is a dogsled racer; that peculiar vehicle in the background is how you transport a whole team of extremely hyper, very fit dogs to Their Happiest Place on Earth (and believe me I’ve known flyball competitors and even some AKC conformation handlers who’d at least consider using a similar trailer).

I could do seventeen Trump-Crime-Family posts every day, except (a) I have a life, believe it or not; and (b) I do not wish to be responsible for any readers throwing themselves or even their devices out the nearest window.

Political or not, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Especially for beloved commentor SiubhanDuinne…

158 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    My British-born husband takes his oath of citizenship today. In the packet for new Americans, the welcome letter from POTUS is from Obama.

    Probably better not to tell him.

  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Into the fray… I mean the garden, again. The hornworms have been absolutely relentless this summer. i’ve been picking off 4-8 of the bstrds every day. Also need to finish cutting up a tree I took down about a month ago. I hated cutting her down, but she was shading the garden just way too much. It was inevitable but I still didn’t like doing it.

  3. 3
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Thanks so much for the Jimmy Carter photo, AL! So glad he’s back at the Habitat site, doing what he loves.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    FYI- Aisha Sultan is a columnist for the STL Post disgrace (scroll down for her bio) “writing about families and social change. She’s researched how technology is changing parents and children.” She’s written some good stuff.

  5. 5

    Finished cleaning and changed out two pics in the bathroom(I have my own photography as art in my bathroom). We’re going to the evening at the Huntington(for “Upper Members Only”, reminds me of “Colbert Platinum”).

    ETA: I don’t remember madame getting a letter from the President when she became a citizen, then again it would have been from a Bush(HW).

  6. 6
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They got the huge tree out of our neighbor’s yard but had to run over her yard with a bobcat toting gig pieces so it wrecked her groundcover. What used to be heavily shaded is now in the sun so we’re going to take our mini-tiller and try to prep it for grass seed.

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    We should ask Schrödinger’s Cat if her letter is also signed by PBO. Obviously, that’s far preferable to the current alternative, but on its face it just seems weird that nobody in the Trump Maladministration has apparently even noticed.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Trump probably hasn’t authorized a new letter yet.

  10. 10
    bystander says:

    Does it strike anybody else that the Daft Punk interlude was a subtle dig at twitler? Macron just lights up, and all I could think was, “Daft Punk for a daft punk.”

    And if you haven’t seen the video of the singing of the Marseillaise with Macron positioned at the pinnacle of a whoosh at yesterday’s ceremony, you’ll realize how modest Obama’s Greek pillars were.

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Ugh, too bad. Going to change the character of the yard entirely. One gets used to the way things are. Change is hard.

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    on its face it just seems weird that nobody in the Trump Maladministration has apparently even noticed.

    To me it seems like SNAFU for these clowns.

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    A letter from President Trump to a new citizen like Aisha Sultan’s husband might well have dwelt on the threat of radical Islamic terrorists. That being the Trump administration’s idea of how to welcome new citizens.

  14. 14
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This woman is something. She doesn’t have a car and is fiercely independent. She’ll text us for a ride if it is pouring because we drive to the bakery if things are too wet. She’s busted her ass on this little shotgun and all this really hurt her financially. Don’t know what the final cost is going to be but it’s upwards of $2500. We’re going to help as we can but she won’t take anything but tools and some work.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Nice. Chainsaw art is too cool.

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    It seems to me Trump would prefer that new citizens get no letter at all over one signed by Obama. That’s why I don’t think he even knows (nor anyone on his staff). I mean, somewhere in the process of preparing, assembling, and distributing these packets, you’d think someone might have noticed….

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Is she from the Ozarks?

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: They think we only deport these people, probably don’t even realize there is a naturalization process.

  19. 19
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yeah, I didn’t phrase that well. Totally SNAFU for this group, but weird in that Trump is ridiculously sensitive to All Things Obama and clearly wants to expunge all institutional memory of him, so why not tweak a boilerplate letter and put his own signature on it?

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Very likely.

  21. 21
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven:

    That’s very cool.

  22. 22
    Doug R says:

    @raven: Grass? Maybe a ceanothus and some flowers?

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Yup. I think @Baud had the correct instincts. Better to let this particular sleeping dog lie.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    One of the consequences of not appointing officials who can manage all these ministerial tasks.

  25. 25
    Raven says:

    @Doug R: it’s her call, she asked for the tiller, not my advice!

  26. 26
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Upstate NY.

  27. 27
    Victor Matheson says:

    The shots of Trump during Daft Punk just again reveal how odd he is about smiling. Say what you will about GW or Reagan, they were at least genial in public at the appropriate times. Heck, even Nixon is frequently shown smiling in photos.

  28. 28
    p.a. says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @raven:
    My neighbor took down a tree that provided nice shade for my yard; the only patch of decent grass I had. So much rain so far this year the lawn hasn’t been affected but it’s just a matter of time. The upside is the tree’s #!*%ing seeds would, I swear, germinate before they hit the ground. Lotta plucking.

    re: lawn. I just say “It’s xeriscape.” Usual response: “Those are weeds, asshole.”

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: About the same, stubborn to the core.

  30. 30
    HeleninEire says:

    OY VEY. Sitting in a lovely café on the River Liffey eating a delicious brunch and “Ebony and Ivory” just came on the radio. Kill me now.

  31. 31

    @HeleninEire: Could be worse, they could be playing “Wonderful Christmastime”. BTW, Merry Christmas(you know we can say that now).

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Finally got around to reading that Douthat column. He is still naive. Also can’t follow a timeline to it’s logical conclusion:

    As the hapless Don Jr. — the Gob Bluth or Fredo Corleone of a family conspicuously short on Michaels — protested in his own defense, the Russian rendezvous we know about came before (though only slightly before) the WikiLeaks haul was announced. So the Trump team presumably assumed that it involved some other Hillary-related dirt — some of the missing Clinton server emails that Trump himself jokingly (“jokingly”?) urged Russian hackers to conjure and release, or direct evidence of Clinton Foundation corruption in its Russian relationships.

    With that semi-exculpatory explanation in hand, you can grope your way to the current anti-anti-Trump talking point — that Don Jr. and company were just hoping to “gather oppo” to which a foreign government might happen to be privy, much as Democratic operatives looked to Ukraine for evidence of the Trump campaign’s shady ties.

    How could they assume it was something else if they didn’t know about the wikileaks haul to begin with? Isn’t it even more likely (given the timeline of events) that it was the wikileaks haul they were talking about? That at that meeting they discussed when and how to release them? And that soon thereafter it began?

    Sooner or later it’s going to come out that Julian Assange was the unidentified 11th person at that meeting.

  33. 33
    NotMax says:

    @SiubhanDuinne

    Takes time to get those pre-addressed envelopes printed to insert with the new letter soliciting campaign funds, don’tcha know.

  34. 34
    Raven says:

    @HeleninEire: Paul just played here and all accounts were that it was spectacular.

  35. 35
    NeenerNeener says:

    Obama would have recognized the Daft Punk music selections and would have been grinning right along with Macron. Trump sat there frowning like the clueless old fart that he is.

    Maybe the French band could be invited for a college football halftime show here.

  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    you can grope your way to the current anti-anti-Trump talking point

    It’s literally what Trump would do.

  37. 37
    NotMax says:

    @HeleninEire

    Subtle hint to order a black and tan?

  38. 38

    @Raven: The album he released a couple of years ago(“New”) is pretty good. His output in the eighties left a bit to be desired.

  39. 39
    Joey Maloney says:

    Saturday’s a workday for me, but once I’m done I have to buy the airline tickets for my annual Trip To Visit Family. This is a literal round-the-world trip I do once a year to visit as many of my scattered friends and relatives as I can. 10 airports on 4 continents and an island chain in 2-1/2 weeks.

    Hopefully it’ll work out better than my aborted Icelandic vacation last month. (I’ve seen a specialist for that, btw, and have a tentative diagnosis and a treatment plan for symptoms while we move on to more advanced diagnostic work.)

  40. 40
    danielx says:

    Thread needs kittehs, so….Boris (tabby) and Natasha (tuxedo) are thriving and there hasn’t been a dull moment since they arrived. They have been denied their fondest desire, which is to gain access to the wide world outside the back porch at Chez X. I’d say we could use a break from the rain at this point, but the plants are loving it. Now if I could just get rid of the damned rabbits. I can testify that contrary to popular opinion and various google citations, rabbits do eat marigolds. In point of fact, the only thing I’ve found that they won’t eat is lavender. They have a condo under the deck and I’m contemplating dropping firecrackers down there to move them out since nothing else has worked.

  41. 41

    @Baud: He’d grab the talking point by the, eh, point.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

  43. 43
    patrick II says:

    Jimmy had a tough day building houses. I be he wishes he was 91 again.

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Isn’t it even more likely (given the timeline of events) that it was the wikileaks haul they were talking about?

    I think all the “timeline” pieces suffer from the same problem, the same assumption, they “start” at the point the author wants them to start. This didn’t “start” with the Wikileaks revelations. From what we’ve heard so far it began in 2015- whatever “it” is. One can’t exculpate Trump with a timeline anymore than you can find him guilty with a timeline. It’s the same error. They don’t know when it started.

  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Ross Douthat is a silly person who only got that right-of-centre columnist gig at NYT because Bill Kristol was too dumb to keep even that job. Douthat is wrong on the facts about as often as Kristol, shares Kristol’s unfamiliarity with logic, and should only be read when you want to be entertained by ignorant self-righteous pomposity.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😐😐😐

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  48. 48
    NotMax says:

    Hmm. Jay Sekulow, “one of President Donald Trump’s private lawyers” is booked on all five Sunday talking head-a-thons.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Why did they lie so much about this meeting? That statement Don Jr. gave to the NYTimes was a lie. He omitted what the meeting was about and he omitted some of the attendees. The statement was crafted by a whole group of people. Why did they all lie?

  50. 50
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @danielx:

    Boris (tabby) and Natasha (tuxedo) are thriving and there hasn’t been a dull moment since they arrived

    They look like trouble.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    10 airports on 4 continents and an island chain in 2-1/2 weeks.

    Sucks to be you. Pictures, or we will hunt you down and string you up by your little baby toes.

    @danielx: Around here, the only thing they won’t eat is the weeds. Came around the corner and there’s a rabbit with a gladiolus hanging out of his mouth just chewing away. Looked at me and said, “What?”

  52. 52
    Lapassionara says:

    @raven: Way cool. I love chainsaw art. There is a rest stop in I-57 in Illinois, and someone there has done all sorts of carvings of the trunks that remain when a tree falls.

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: In my defense, I was following the timeline he was using. All the timelines I’ve seen are obsolete by the end of the week because new info has come out pushing it back even further.

  54. 54
    NotMax says:

    @Kay

    Why? Hark back to the story of the scorpion crossing the river.

  55. 55
    Amir Khalid says:

    @NotMax:
    Defending his client in the court of public opinion, no doubt. Because if any lawyer has to defend him in a court of law, Trump is probably cooked. Also because like anyone else, Mr Sekulow would rather talk to someone who’ll listen.

  56. 56
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: Why are they still lying?

  57. 57
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    To me, picking a start date just makes it a story, a fictitious version of events. Anyone can do that with any series of events- I can narrow or broaden that timeline to make it look like anything I want. A timeline needs a beginning to mean anything and they don’t have a real start date.

  58. 58
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @NeenerNeener:

    Trump sat there frowning like the clueless old fart that he is.

    Not only frowning — in one shot, he has his arms crossed over his chest in the classic pose of hostility/defensiveness. Typical for him, but this was an odd occasion to use that particular body language.

  59. 59
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    Or, every time they print the new letter, they find yet another $#@! typo.

  60. 60
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I think he’s a hack. He’s always presented as this “serious thinker” but his timeline is just as valid as any other random Twitter person’s timeline. I listen to Right wing radio. They’re inventing timelines too, to exonerate Trump. Anyone can do it.

  61. 61
    HeleninEire says:

    @NotMax: I like the cut of your jib!

  62. 62
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: “It was a cold frosty morning….”

  63. 63
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Because they don’t know how to do anything else?

  64. 64
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @sm*t cl*de:
    @danielx:

    Boris has Melania eyes.

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Various motives: out of malice, for profit, to hide guilt, disdain for the truth, or maybe because they see withholding the truth from others as a power move.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I think the lying “makes them look guilty” as some of my young clients say. I tell them “yeah, it does and that’s reasonable so just deal with it”.

    Kushner is the worst. He revealed nothing that would have raised questions on that form. He deliberately misled people. 100 innocent omissions? Give me a fucking break.

  67. 67
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    To Trump, every occasion calls for a power move or a power display. Which only highlights how weak he feels himself to be.

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: I was married to a pathological liar, and I learned the hard way that a new timeline can always be invented to justify the new facts. They just wear you down with it until finally you stop asking questions.

  69. 69
    ThresherK says:

    It’s as memorable as the Russian Army Chorus singing and dancing the same Get Lucky at the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony. I mean, it was only on intergalactic TV, maybe Trump missed it and his BFF Putin didn’t tell him about it.

  70. 70
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: How about this: It’s just what they do. If I learned nothing else in my first marriage, I learned that. She would lie when the truth was enough, just because it wasn’t quite good enough. And when she did tell a truth? It was always in the service of a lie.

  71. 71
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I read somewhere that he deliberately cultivated that frown, I think around the time he first thought seriously about running for president. Apparently he had seen the famous Karsh of Ottawa portrait of Churchill and his reasoning went something like:

    Churchill was a great leader.
    Churchill scowled.
    Therefore, to be a great leader, I must scowl.

  72. 72
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay:

    Kushner is the worst.

    The part I like is he had to submit 3 amended SF-86s. (or was it 3 total? i get so confused…) The first one was blank. Excuse? An aide hit submit before it was finished. The flaw in that story? When filing electronically you have to fill in your password on 28 successive pages before it gets submitted. Otherwise you do it via the old fashioned paper form.

    2nd of all when adding additional contacts that anyone who is busy enough with this stuff might forget one or 2, it is very helpful to be sure to submit ALL the ones you missed the first time around. To have to go back and amend again, and again, and again, as new info gets discovered is certain to raise What Are You Hiding alarms.

  73. 73
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I read the same.

  74. 74
    Raven says:

    @Lapassionara: where on57?

  75. 75
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Must see TV:

    The Keepers is harrowing, documenting awful violence and abuse. I recently heard someone describe it as “brilliant”, and follow that immediately with “don’t watch it”. White was well aware of its potential impact. “We knew we had found something very sad, but also very powerful, that could lead to a lot of change,” he says. The sheer scope of the story The Keepers ends up telling – a cover-up of child abuse on a mass scale within the Catholic church; a new Spotlight, of sorts – became frightening to him.

    “I’ll say it, I was afraid,” says White. “I was afraid many times during filming. I was probably afraid through the entire filming. You always had the sense that we were rooting around in something people didn’t want us rooting around in. It was definitely the most uncomfortable I’ve been in my film-making career.”

  76. 76
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: I think Josh Marshal has the right idea — his timeline, at least his broader view, starts when Trump was getting out of bankruptcy and was blacklisted from US banks so had to go looking for cask from Russian money launderers. The 1990s. That is why these people had no qualms taking such meetings. It was already completely normal. Business as usual.

  77. 77
    Oldgold says:

    Trump’s body language and facial expressions during the band’s performance were odd, but within normal a-hole parameters.

    His goodbye handshake with Macron was not. Cray-cray. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/07/14/politics/a-second-by-second-analysis-of-the-trump-macron-handshake/index.html

  78. 78
    Immanentize says:

    @ThresherK: I did not know the Russian Army did Daft Punk too. Do you think the French band and Macron knew that little detail?

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    Getting ready to head home after visiting family in Chicago. We had a good time, but now we’re exhausted and ready to see our cats.

  80. 80
  81. 81

    @Mnemosyne: We turned up the heat and humidity to make you feel like you’re still in Chicago. Don’t thank me.

  82. 82
    Another Scott says:

    @raven: Beautiful. Thanks for the photo.

    Reminds me of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. (I have a bimodal reaction to that book – it’s great at showing the power of unconditional love and sacrifice, and it’s also horribly depressing. But real life can be like that, too.)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    They are very used to lying. They get away with it all the time.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    The beginning can probably be found in the tax returns

  85. 85
    Yarrow says:

    Good morning, everyone.

    @Immanentize: I think Josh Marshall doesn’t start quite early enough. Trump visited the then Soviet Union, now Russia, for the first time in 1987. His “handler” for the trip was Kislyak, who later became the Russian ambassador to the US who was very recently recalled after 20 years here. The Russians have been cultivating Trump since then. When he needed money in the 1990’s they were there. And from there Josh Marshall’s timeline is probably right.

  86. 86
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Oldgold: Eww, I lasted 8 seconds before I had to stop the tape.

  87. 87
    Immanentize says:

    @Yarrow: Thanks. That is another great detail I did not know.

  88. 88
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    And the, ” staff accidentally sent it ”
    Maddow or Hayes pointed out that you have to put in a password over 20 times just to get to the end of the Security Clearance application.
    Just doesn’t add up.

  89. 89
    rikyrah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Hadn’t gotten down to your reply..just told Kay pretty much the same thing😄

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Can you throw in some flooding, too? We had to detour on our way to the airport because the Des Plaines is doing what the Des Plaines does when there’s a lot of rain.

  91. 91
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Oldgold: Cringe inducing.

  92. 92

    @SiubhanDuinne: I didn’t get no letter, I got something better, a tankard of red ware pottery made by the good folks at the Old Sturbridge Village.

    ETA: There was a welcome letter with the book they give you to study for the civics test, I have forgotten who it was signed by.

  93. 93
    bystander says:

    @NotMax: I hope Sekulow’s loading up on whatever it is he was taking the last time. The pills started wearing off at the end and Sekulow started telling the truth to Chris Wallace. Real embarrassing. Hope he doses appropriately this time.

  94. 94
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Video of everybody enjoying the music except Trump who is looking like a stuffed moose. I guess he doesn’t enjoy events that aren’t about him.

  95. 95
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: After Hurricane Ike, a lot of the trees on Galveston Island were lost due to the seawater flooding. Many residents turned their dead trees into sculpture and carved art in their front yards from the dead stumps. This article shows a few of them. The Galveston tourism website gives an idea of how many there are, but their photos aren’t as good. They really are cool and the tour is free.

  96. 96
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: I’m sorry to see your mind grasps onto the same useless facts as mine does.

  97. 97

    @rikyrah: We are paying the price for their lies. Truth always triumphs.

  98. 98
    Glidwrith says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I am envious of the signature. My eldest, who has struggled academically from kindergarten, brought his grades up to almost straight A’s by 8th grade. He worked hard, insisted on doing it on his own and showed responsibility and foresight. He got an award for academic achievement, signed by POTUS – by the fucking orange hairball.

    We offered to exacto knife the document to change the signature. He is thinking about it.

  99. 99

    @Mnemosyne: And the cats are ready to give you a royal ignore!

  100. 100
    Bupalos says:

    At first I was like how can a “no politics” be tagged as “proud to be a democrat” but now I see what your did there.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Keaton will try, but he’s such a big mushball that he usually relents within about 10 minutes. Charlotte will resist longer, but will insist on laying on me for several hours tomorrow. Annie will come out and disdainfully observe us from a distance.

  102. 102
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Gov, M.T. Suit continues his unbroken string of vacuous promises betrayed by indifference in action:

    In one of his first nights as governor, Greitens hosted foster children at the Governor’s Mansion. In May, Greitens and his wife attended a St. Louis Cardinals game and promoted the state’s foster care system.

    “Tonight, I was honored to watch my amazing wife, Sheena, throw the first pitch at a special Cardinals game in honor of foster kids and families across Missouri. So proud of everything she’s doing for foster families around the state,” Greitens wrote.

    In a Facebook post from June 22, Greitens wrote, “Our state has 13,000 children in the foster care system. They are, both in law and spirit, Missouri’s children. Our kids. We recognize the potential of kids in foster care. We honor hard-working foster parents. And we’ve got a lot of work to do in Missouri to fight for, work with, and build a better system for our foster families.”

    ………….

    Foster care providers in Missouri are expressing surprise and disappointment after learning they’ll be getting paid less this year from the state. The news especially stings after Gov. Eric Greitens and his wife have spent his first six months in office promoting foster care programs and pledging their commitment to youths who are in need. As part of the spending plan sent to Greitens, by lawmakers, foster care reimbursement rates were reduced by 1.5 percent as part of a reduction in Medicaid spending.

    Lori Ross, executive director of Independence-based Foster Adopt Connect, formerly known as the Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association, said providers were upset. “Obviously there is a lot of frustration. Missouri already has a very low reimbursement rate. To have that reduced by even 1.5 percent is very frustrating,” Ross told the Post-Dispatch Friday. “For some, it just sort of feels like a kick in the teeth.”

    Ben Mulford, a Methodist pastor from St. Joseph, was among those criticizing the governor, saying Greitens should not talk out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to foster care. Mulford and his wife have been foster parents for four years, taking in five children over that span and adopting one. “It feels like a lack of care and concern to people who are somewhat volunteering their time for children who have no one else to care for them,” Mulford said.

    I used to work with a guy who along with his wife were foster parents. The amount of resources they put into taking care of children that were not their own (at one point it was up to 6 children)… Let’s just say it is not a money making proposition. People only do this because they really do care. To turn around and spit on them?

  103. 103
    rikyrah says:

    Good luck to Venus today 😄😄😄

  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @bystander:

    I knew Sekulow’s name but really nothing else. Don’t think I ever saw him on TV. But as I went a-Googling just now, this WaPo article about him caught my eye and made me go “Hmmmmmm….”

  105. 105
    Booger says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Make sure you leave at least one. That ensures you’ll maintain a braconid wasp population, and there’s nothing as satisfying as seeing a hornworm covered with wasp eggs!

  106. 106
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Glidwrith:

    Congratulations to your son on his recognition! Good for him (and for you as parents) for not only his drive and hard work, but for his good taste in being offended by the Giant Orange Hairball.

    I wouldn’t change out the signature, though. Even if it’s very skillfully altered, he’ll always know the truth. Anyhow, he’s on a trajectory to earn many more academic citations, and they’ll be signed by much better Presidents.

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Agreed. He should think of it as a reminder that he did the work for himself and his own satisfaction, not for an outside reward.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    All right, time to go into airplane mode. See all y’all later.

  109. 109
    Yarrow says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: @Mnemosyne: Agree. Plus, the signature may be something of a collector’s item at some point. He got his letter during the very short presidency of the Worst President Ever. When he’s an adult that’ll be a great story and he’ll have the letter to prove it.

    @Mnemosyne: Safe flight.

  110. 110
    GregB says:

    I had mentioned on a thread previous that I recently went to an induction ceremony for an in-law family member was struck at how emotional I became.

    Seeing the a whole group from 27 different nations, all ages and genders and colors.

    It made me feel hopeful that we’ll get through this present nightmare and a bit melancholy that we are even in the midst of it.

  111. 111
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Safe and happy (or, at least, uneventful) flying.

  112. 112
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Booger:

    there’s nothing as satisfying as seeing a hornworm covered with wasp eggs!

    My chickens pecking one to death as it writhes in pain or the pop they make when I step on them in my bare feet and their guts ooze up between my toes.

  113. 113
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    No, it’s just that he prefers the version by the Russian MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs) guys:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlUsMuz9_RU

  114. 114
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mnemosyne: Happy landings.

    @GregB: I’m still unhappy at not being able to go to my wife’s.

  115. 115
    Yarrow says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    I guess he doesn’t enjoy events that aren’t about him.

    Pretty much. Typical narcissist.

  116. 116
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: That’s not why you’re running, is it? :-)

  117. 117
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That’s the meanest thing I have ever seen you say here.

  118. 118
    Yarrow says:

    LOL. I’d missed this photo yesterday. Click through to see it.

    Bill Clinton is literally hiding between two Bushes in this photo https://t.co/RWb9F3hUSq pic.twitter.com/Rjo33HOSPd— CNN (@CNN) July 14, 2017

  119. 119
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @WaterGirl:

    That’s the meanest thing I have ever seen you say here.

    Really? I’ll have to up my game. If I get a reputation as a nice person, people might take me for a Canadian.

    But anyhow, it’s purely factual. Look at the photo and see if that pretty tabby doesn’t have eyes like Melania’s (for the record, although I don’t have much use for Melania herself, I do think she has beautiful eyes).

  120. 120
    GregB says:

    Fox News is pushing the Overton window wide open for the Trump Russia meetings.

    Vladimir Putin could have been in that meeting and it wouldn’t be a crime.

  121. 121
    La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    Rev. Barber on AM Joy right now telling truth. Makes me proud to be from North Carolina.

  122. 122
    gene108 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The first one was blank. Excuse? An aide hit submit before it was finished.

    An aide should not be handling your SF 86 form to begin with. You log-in to the OPM website, get the form, fill it and then submit it. If you can’t fill it in one go, you save it and log back in to keep working on it. Once you are done, you still have to print out and physically sign the signature page, IIRC, and scan and upload it.

    Having an aide to this for you should disqualify you automatically.

  123. 123
    Yarrow says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Which Melania’s eyes are you talking about? The younger Melania or the more recent version after whatever cosmetic surgery she’s had done? Her eyes look quite different from how they did when she was younger.

  124. 124
    trollhattan says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I believe Mr. Chunky Reese inherited the Bill Safire seat at NYT, probably due to being a more or less non-offensive RW blogger at the time it became available. That he keeps it eight years later says more about the NYT op/ed crew than is thinking skilz.

  125. 125
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @raven: There’s a sculptor here in OK who does this type of work professionaly. He has several quite stunning pieces here in town. I think he might be jealous of your neighbor’s art.

  126. 126
    OldDave says:

    @gene108:

    You log-in to the OPM website, get the form, fill it and then submit it. If you can’t fill it in one go, you save it and log back in to keep working on it.

    I can testify this is the case. And I’m more than irritated about Kushner et. al. getting away with blatantly lying on the form and gettting away with “amending” it.

    Also, a thumbs up on the flyball mention. My daughter has a pup who earned her Onyx title a few years back.

  127. 127
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Not gonna do it! That kitty looks a bit like my own, and I most definitely do not want to ever think about Trump and his traitorous family when I look at my sweet kitty. Why spoil a perfectly lovely relationship with a thought of the dump truck?

  128. 128
    Yarrow says:

    @OldDave: So many people fill out these forms that the knowledge of what the requirements are and how they’re completed is widely known. I think it’s part of why the disgust with Kushner, Sessions and others who have “forgotten” meetings with Russia and have submitted multiple amended forms is so widespread.

    Regular people know they’d have been fired and possibly sent to prison for doing what these guys are doing. Not only are they still in their jobs with no punishment, there isn’t even a hint that they’ll have their clearances revoked. It’s so clear that there are two sets of rules depending on who you are.

  129. 129
    gene108 says:

    @gene108:

    One of the basic rules of security is you do not share log-ins, passwords, etc. Doing so can cause you to lose access.

    No way in hell should anyone else be handling your forms, until it is submitted to be reviewed by the officer in charge of making sure you filled it in correctly.

  130. 130
    japa21 says:

    Once again I direct people to a column by Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times. It is all about Trump supporters being the problem, not Trump. It is powerful.

    Key quotes:

    For instance: I wish I could get excited about the revelations regarding Russian conspiracy. The media, which can be fairly thick, has been intent on the drip-drip-drip of new developments, of Trump’s son, Donald, meeting with Russian officials promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.
    That is what we do — dig up pertinent facts and confront those involved. But as reporters go through the elaborate kabuki ritual of uncovering scandal, I can’t help but suspect it is a colorful pageant put on for an audience so sharply divided they aren’t seeing the same show. Those who are stunned by the news were stunned already; those who have torched their morality and conscience and patriotism enough to support Donald Trump in the first place aren’t going to renew it now in order to feel outrage.

    Give the man credit — he is as he has always been. Trump is a problem, but he’s not the problem. He is a symptom. The problem is that 63 million Americans voted for him, and support him still, no matter what. They have created a closed system where contrary information can be shrugged off as “fake news.” Science is a lie. Courts are dubious if they rule against you.

    Getting rid of Trump will solve a problem, but not the problem. The problem is people support him and will continue to do so, no matter the cost.

    Read the whole thing. http://chicago.suntimes.com/ne.....pport-him/

  131. 131
    gene108 says:

    @GregB:

    I am amazed at how far right-wing media – from Fox News, to talk radio, to Christian radio – is going to defend Trump.

    At some point (I hope) the evidence is going to be so irrefutable that Russia interefered in our elections, at many levels, that no sane person will take them seriously again. I know this is wishing for a lot, but I just hope there comes a day, when right-wing media jacks up the crazy to 11 on Whitewater, Shirley Sherrod, etc and the reaction of the rest of the media and public is to ignore them.

  132. 132
    japa21 says:

    @gene108: See last line of quote above. Not gonna happen.

  133. 133
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gene108:

    no sane person will take them seriously again.

    No sane person takes them seriously now. But that’s not what got us into this mess.

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    .Douthat is wrong on the facts about as often as Kristol, shares Kristol’s unfamiliarity with logic, and should only be read when you want to be entertained by ignorant self-righteous pomposity.

    That sums it up quite nicely.

  135. 135
    Laura says:

    @NotMax: bet a shiny nickel that not a single host of the Sunday morning chat fests asks Sekalow about his mad skills as a god bothering shakedown artist.

  136. 136
    Amir Khalid says:

    @trollhattan:
    I don’t think you have that right about Douthat replacing Safire. As I recall, it was Kristol he replaced. Kristol was so bad — NYT had to run corrections after his column from the start — that he was booted out after just one year. I guess the paper was scraping the bottom of the barrel when they found Douthat, which must be why they haven’t let him go.

  137. 137
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: As entertainment, I used to watch bits of TBN and CBN. I think I saw Sekulow shortly after Pat Robertson started promoting him.

    So I’ve watched Jan Crouch, the ‘new’Jim Bakker, Jack van Impe, John Hagee, etc. It’s a way to see what might become mainstream. Prior to tne 2014 midterms, there were constant notices on TBN programs and in their network announcements to be sure to register and vote. It was a massive GOTV directed to Evangelicals, repeating ad nauseum.

  138. 138
    zhena gogolia says:

    @japa21:

    Excellent piece.

  139. 139
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I thought Douthat preceded Kristol. Too lazy to google.

  140. 140
    Old Broad in California says:

    I enjoyed this tweet from Reebok, of all companies, explaining when it is appropriate to say “you’re in such good shape- beautiful”

  141. 141
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    You’re right, he replaced Kristol. I guess it just seems as if he’s been there forever. “He is the youngest regular op-ed writer in the New York Times, having replaced Bill Kristol as a conservative voice on the Times editorial page in April 2009.”

  142. 142
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    That video, amazing how Trump’s idea of looking dignified come out as just making him look clueless. For someone with an acting TV career one would think Trump would notice, but I guess even Donald Trump is allowed to critic The Donald.

  143. 143
    Amir Khalid says:

    @gene108:
    Trump wears their team shirt, and they’re going to stick with him until he becomes an immediate danger to the republikanische Partei.

  144. 144
    gene108 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @OzarkHillbilly: @Amir Khalid:

    I am not expecting Republicans or their voters to become sane, but when James O’Keefe, the Drudge Report, American Spectator, Fox News, etc run hit pieces on Democrats, the rest of the media and public ignores them, even if they yell loudly, because they’d have lost credibility defending Trump.

    It is a dream, but surely you can let a boy dream? Can’t you?

  145. 145
    WaterGirl says:

    @Amir Khalid: Isn’t that the truth!

  146. 146
    J R in WV says:

    My British-born husband takes his oath of citizenship today. In the packet for new Americans, the welcome letter from POTUS is from Obama. 😂

    The welcome letter from Obama is heartfelt and genuine. One from Trump would be miserly ungenerous and unwelcoming.

    It also shows how incompetent Trump is, he probably has NO ONE appointed to mess up the State Department section in charge of naturalizing new citizens. Maybe because he intends to stop allowing people from away to become citizens, he’s that un-American. Mom from Scotland, Father’s family from Germany no wonder he doesn’t understand how America works, no exposure to American ways at home, none.

  147. 147
    Heidi Mom says:

    Hi, if anyone’s still here. Perhaps I should save this question for a garden thread, but doing so would feel pretentious, as the sum total of my “gardening” is tending several pots of geraniums (geraniums are not harmful to pets) on a north-facing balcony every summer. We buy five or six plants in different colors, always a strain called Survivor because the plants live up to their name, and repot them into three large containers. This year the growth of several of the plants seems to be going into leaves rather than flowers, which hasn’t happened before. One variable is that we’ve started later this year (mid-June) than usual. Any suggestions for increasing the ratio of flowers to leaves will be appreciated.

  148. 148
    WaterGirl says:

    @Heidi Mom: Try using a fertilizer that is higher in phosphorous, Try googling bloom booster if you want to read about it and see all the different companies that sell products just for that purpose. Speaking from experience, just don’t get carried away putting too much on because you can burn your plants if you overdo it.

  149. 149
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Heidi Mom:
    Rest assured, this is not a place where people will mock you because your garden is just half a dozen flowerpots. You can expect quite a few helpful replies from the Juicitariat, either in this thread or the Sunday morning gardening thread.

  150. 150
  151. 151
    Yarrow says:

    @Heidi Mom: Agree with @WaterGirl:. Also make sure whatever potting soil, compost or fertilizer you’re using isn’t too high in nitrogen, which will encourage growth at the expense of blooms.

    Since you started late, the plants may need to grow more now to get to a certain point where they have enough root structure to put on blooms. That could be part of it. Also, are there any structural changes that have increased shade or sun? New tree or building causing more shade? Or less tree (trimmed branches or gone) or building removed causing more sun? Those can also be factors. Temperature this summer vs other summers might also have an impact.

  152. 152
    Heidi Mom says:

    @WaterGirl: Thanks, I’ll do that!

  153. 153
    Heidi Mom says:

    @Amir Khalid: Thanks for the kind words.

  154. 154
    Heidi Mom says:

    @Yarrow: Many thanks! The effect of a late start makes sense.

  155. 155
    Ruckus says:

    @GregB:
    That’s really something positive to think about isn’t it.
    We have this collection of bigots here who disdain anyone who doesn’t look like them, who doesn’t come from their little corner of their little town, and yet we welcome (at this time of our history, and a few prior, that’s “welcome”) people to come here and make a life, and they do. They settle in unlikely places and become part of the surroundings. They join in. Soon they fit in.
    When I owned my bicycle shop, in a somewhat touristy area of NorCal I used to get people from many parts of the world would stop in, just to see how if any different a shop was from where they were from. I’ve known and worked with people from many countries around the world and traveled to a number of them and yet it always delighted me to hear where they were from. That people are willing to travel and learn and enjoy meeting people, what a privilege to be one of them.

  156. 156
    scav says:

    @Heidi Mom: Another fun thing maybe to do faced with the variability in geranium bloom year to year is to work with it. Throw in some alternative geraniums based upon exactly what their leaves look like rather than exclusively their bloom. Aren’t zonals the ones with the two-color leaves? I’m personally biased in favor of the scented geraniums which come with all sorts of different shaped leaves but are generally more erratic in bloom. This year one Orange Fizz is just covered in bloom and has been since about week one but the Mabel Grays are just starting a few buds now. But they all smell good on the porch no matter what happens so I’m happy.

  157. 157
    Heidi Mom says:

    @scav: Good ideas, thanks!

  158. 158
    gaderson says:

    @GregB: Yeah, they do a reduced induction ceremony/recognition at the Soccer games (San José Earthquakes), and fun to see them — with their ‘Quakes scarves taking the oath.

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