Bird ID + Sunday Funnies

I’m unsure how to identify this visitor to my feeder:

I took it for a female cowbird at first, but I think the beak is too long and curved for a cowbird. Maybe a female common grackle? If you know, please share.

Here are some Twitter funnies y’all might enjoy. The first one features my poor Daisy, who doesn’t understand why she has to endure such an indignity for a lousy piece of cheese:

Next, some conspiratorial cats:

And finally, a dead-on description of pretty much any opening statement on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine” program:

So true. There’s a Judge Jeanine-type Trumpster lying in wait in virtually every bar in my ZIP code, eager to drunkenly slur Fox News talking points at the slightest provocation and bray endlessly about political correctness. The desire to avoid such assholes is one reason we built a tiki bar in our backyard.

Open thread!

220 replies
  1. 1
    Don says:


  2. 2
    Tom Levenson says:

    Those cats would make Tony Soprano quake in his boots.

  3. 3
    Juice Box says:

    We ran into some old friends last night. They are Republicans, but in favor of UHC, who were spewing the usual FN nonsense about the failing ACA exchange — in a county where there are only six insurance providers and 34 plans from which to choose — when the conversation wandered around to DJT. They think that he shoukd be impeached ASAP or at least as soon as the Ds take over the house in 2019 and as a worst case be replaced in 2020. I like that kind of talk from Republicans.

  4. 4
    Roger Moore says:

    Waaaay too small. Ravens are by far the largest songbirds, weighing 2 pounds or more. That bird looks too small to be anything from Corvus, much less its largest member.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:



    Fuck LBJ.

  6. 6
    debbie says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Then a juvenile raven. That’s definitely a raven beak.

    Betty, isn’t this the second time you’ve debased Daisy this way?

  7. 7
    zhena gogolia says:

    Okay, I made it through 3.5 nanoseconds of that Pirro clip. Christ what an

  8. 8
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: FTW!

    @debbie: I think Patsy got Trumped last time. Her coloring isn’t as Trumpian, but she’s generally more cooperative with this type of stunt.

  9. 9
    GxB says:

    Looks like a Grackle to me. If it has a deep indigo sheen in the sunlight, that’s the give away according to my pops – who’s damn impressive with his birding knowledge. He’d also likely add, “They’re assholes.”

  10. 10
    Derelict says:

    It’s a grackle, probably a male common or a male boattail.

  11. 11

    Ha! Cats.

    I was doing some promotion of my webcomic yesterday on various platforms and it turns out that the #1 fan favorite by ten miles is the secondary character that is a regular, non-magical, non-talking cat. I’m vaguely considering just pandering and putting him in more stuff.

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Tom Levenson: That hulking orange creature is definitely up to no good.

  13. 13
    Don says:

    @Roger Moore: how about magpie? Similar beak, smaller bird, isn’t it?

  14. 14
    Another Scott says:

    @debbie: Cornell says ravens have black eyes.

    Looks kinda like a grackle to me, but the lack of iridescence is a problem. Maybe it’s a youngster?

    The cats are hilarious. :-)


  15. 15
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Don’t think of it as pandering, maybe think of it as a small act of kindness to bring happiness to the lives of your readers?

  16. 16

    Just saw who tweeted the cat picture, I love that guy! The Sandman Slim books are a refreshing read for certain moods.

    @WaterGirl: My husband agrees with you, “just make sure you don’t pull a Family Matters.”

  17. 17
    patrick II says:

    Since McConnell is waiting a week to have McCain return for the anti-healthcare bill, I have little doubt about which way that two faced bastard McCain will vote.

  18. 18
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Whew! I thought it was YOUR hair you’d combed out of the brush.

  19. 19
    WaterGirl says:

    @patrick II: I am consoled by the thought that McCain is such a coward, he may choose to have a longer “recovery” than expected just so he doesn’t have to go on record with his vote.

  20. 20
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I am in good company!

  21. 21

    @patrick II: @WaterGirl: Didn’t Byrd come in mostly dead for his vote on the reconciliation package?

  22. 22
    Betty Cracker says:

    @zhena gogolia: Uh, it is. ;) I meant Daisy’s coloring matches mine more closely! I promise the hair on my head doesn’t look like a matted clump from a hair brush, though. At least not once I’ve had a chance to comb it!

  23. 23
    gene108 says:

    pretty much any opening statement on Fox News

    The right-wing media – from Fox News, to right-wing radio, to Christian radio and down the line – has spent so much time defending Trump, I do wonder how they will back track, once there is concrete proof of Trump’s collusion with Russia.

    They are not just defending Trump’s policies, but Trump as a person and leader.

    I know they will back track. They always do. And it won’t hurt them with their viewers.

    But they seem to have so much invested in a Trump Presidency, on what seems like on a personal level to me.

    I find it weird.

  24. 24
    central texas says:

    Maybe a sub adult great-tailed grackle? I looked at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology photos and that looks to me like the closest match for the beak, color and eyes. Your bird’s tail does not seem quite “great” enough which is why I suggest sub adult. It does not look much like our local (central Texas) female grackles or juveniles. They both have a lot of brown in their underparts with black but less iridescent back, head and wings. Also the case that all are most iridescent in breeding season.

  25. 25
    Marmot says:

    @Another Scott:

    @debbie: Cornell says ravens have black eyes.

    Looks kinda like a grackle to me, but the lack of iridescence is a problem. Maybe it’s a youngster?

    Hm! The beak is too massive for a grackle, and the head too. I’d bet it’s a young raven

  26. 26
    Another Scott says:

    @gene108: You mean like they did last June?

    Yeah, that’d be great.


    Winning is all that matters to them. Everything, everything, else is fodder.


  27. 27
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @gene108: Republicans are the Spite Party and Trump is spite personified.

  28. 28
    Spanky says:



    Fuck LBJ.

    Said every commenter simultaneously.

  29. 29
    Another Scott says:

    @Marmot: But they eyes are wrong for a raven. ;-)

    There’s lots of variations in grackles. The best way to know for sure is for Betty to see it in full sun. There are hints of iridescence in her picture above (which seems to be in the shade). If the tail is vertical in flight, that’s another give away that it’s a grackle.

    We need more pictures!!


  30. 30

    Betty, do you keep a life list and all that with birds?

  31. 31
    Phylllis says:

    The photo of the kitties proves my theory of the danger of 3+ cats in the house–more than 3 can both reach and open the knife drawer.

  32. 32
    gene108 says:

    @Another Scott:

    Winning is all that matters to them. Everything, everything, else is fodder.

    True. Probably one reason they are doing it.


    Republicans are the Spite Party and Trump is spite personified.

    Also true, and I guess another reason they do it.

  33. 33
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Haha, I didn’t mean to offend! I guess I pictured you as a brunette, despite the evidence of the wedding picture you shared with us.

    I keep making shocking discoveries about Twitler, and the worst thing I learned here recently (and it’s confirmed by a picture in Vanity Fair) is that his mother had that same hairdo.

  34. 34
  35. 35
  36. 36

    @zhena gogolia: his mother looked like a drag queen version of him. It’s freaky.

  37. 37
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Of course Vanity Fair captioned it “Hair Apparent.”

  38. 38
    cleek says:

    it’s a rusty blackbird in summer plumage. light eye, shorter tail than a grackle and not iridescent .

  39. 39
    janelle says:

    @gene108: They’ll simply deny that the concrete proof is actually proof.

  40. 40
    Baud says:


    , I do wonder how they will back track, once there is concrete proof of Trump’s collusion with Russia.

    If you had recorded Fox News over the last week, you could have found out.

  41. 41

    @zhena gogolia: There have been worse puns.

    @janelle: I thought the new metric was that the collusion had to have decided the election.

  42. 42
    different-church-lady says:

    Currawong. Probably an escapee.

  43. 43
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: I have an app for that! The most rare bird I’ve seen is the mangrove cuckoo. There are serious birders who fail to spot that type despite trying really hard. I saw one through sheer dumb luck!

    @zhena gogolia: None taken! I saw that VF clip with Trump’s mother. Freaky!

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    the new metric was that the collusion had to have decided the election

    Only if the collusion was with underaged pee hookers.

  45. 45

    @zhena gogolia: Worst than that, his mother looked like Twitler in drag.

  46. 46
    prostratedragon says:

    Those cats remind me of the story of the lights of Albuquerque with which Truscott IV sets up a fine jeremiad on the state of US and our public sphere.

  47. 47
    J R in WV says:


    Who was that ignorant arrogant condescending bitch on Fox?

    Oh, wait, I’ve described nearly all of them!!! My Bad…

    The cats are great, so patient to put up with their dear leader/feeder setting up the shot, then managing the light to get them all reflecting just so. Great shot.

    Some luck getting them all to look at the camera, or maybe there were multiple shots until he got one where they all looked at the funny noises the camera was making…

    Thanks for the laff!

  48. 48
  49. 49
    jharp says:

    Not a grackle. Grackles have shiny heads.

  50. 50
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Bunnies make everything better.

    Awesome shot of the picnic. Almost seems like something that would have been painted during the Romantic period.

  51. 51
    HeleninEire says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Perfect.

  52. 52

    @J R in WV: I replied to your comment, I know you don’t always see those :)

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Well played.

  54. 54
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Fuck the garden decimating bunnies.

  55. 55
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Is there an echo in here?

  56. 56


    Fuck the garden decimating bunnies.

    The other bunnies are already taking care of that…

  57. 57
    eclare says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Looks like a nice day!

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jharp: Looking at Cornell, my guess would be it’s an immature grackle, but that is just a guess.

  59. 59
    WaterGirl says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    the worst thing I learned here recently… is that his mother had that same hairdo.

    Oh, that’s not creepy at all. :: shudder ::

  60. 60
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I’m kind of afraid to ask for a link, but I can’t help myself.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: I knew somebody would beat me to it but I still wanted to express my appreciation.

  63. 63
    WaterGirl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have been known to shout “death to bunnies!” as I pull into my driveway and find one munching on a tulip that just opened or some other yummy treat in my garden.

    It makes me feel better even though I would never trap them or poison them.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    @patrick II:
    But, this will give the CBO time to score the Cruz Amendment.

  65. 65

    @rikyrah: I can’t even begin to imagine how they would do that. But I’m sure they’ve had to score equally stupid, pointlessly-destructive things before.

  66. 66
    patrick II says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Yes, an enfeebled Byrd came in to vote for the healthcare reconciliation package which brought healthcare to millions of Americans. But that is pretty much the opposite of the McCain situation where they are holding off the vote so McCain can help take away healthcare from millions of Americans. The good thing about this is that those CBO scores will be out for an extra week and the Republicans will be forced to deal with that.
    It makes me nervous though that McConnell thinks the vote is so close that one vote will make the difference.

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    Because, their vote for him condemns them and their character. And, they have to defend themselves. The more they cling to him, the better it will be when he goes down.

  68. 68
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Oh my god, that is creepy and disgusting. Is that even real??? If I held a mirror to my face right now I’m pretty sure it would be the one you make after stepping in fresh dogs hit barefoot, and it’s coming up between your toes. ugh.

    That spell was broken just now as my 10-minute check the cookies alarm went off on my phone, which was right next to my pup. He was clearly alarmed but trying to pretend it wasn’t there so whatever evil thing that was wouldn’t see him. I laughed.

  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WaterGirl: I haven’t figured out how to trap them, but my .22 will do the job.

  70. 70
    rikyrah says:

    The cat pic is so creepy 😱😱😱

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    I finally started reading Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen as people advised me to, like, a year ago. I’m enjoying it so far, and I’m liking that what would be a shocking revelation in a lesser book is spelled out right in the first chapter: yes, three of the characters formed a happy triad for several decades, and now the two remaining members are coming to terms with one member’s death and forming their own romantic relationship.

    I also like that Lois McMaster Bujold writes about functioning future societies, not another goddamned dystopian future. Her societies feel like real places where real people actually live.

  72. 72

    @WaterGirl: Yes, that’s real.

    @patrick II: Right, that’s what I’m saying–if this was really an urgent, or important, or in anyway anything other than awful, awful, destructive, greedy, horrible bill, McCain could probably find a way to make it in for a vote.


    I’m liking that what would be a shocking revelation in a lesser book is spelled out right in the first chapter

    One of my favorite moments in books is in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, when the narrator says, right after a big missile attack, don’t worry everybody, they all totally survive and everything is fine, although somebody sprains their ankle; to maintain suspense, we won’t say who.

  73. 73

    The Secret Service says they were not protecting Jr when he took that meeting and thus didn’t screen people seeing him. Also they are not effing babysitters. (I may have made that last part up)

  74. 74
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: If I’m not mistaken, the formula is for that amendment is

    ((cruelty + lies) * unfrocking believable / WTF?) squared

  75. 75

    @WaterGirl: Wow, such animosity to cute bunnies. Now you’ve made Baud sad.

    @eclare: It was, a fun time had by all of us. Here’s our little group.

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Absolutely. The bunnies eat my weeds!

  77. 77

    @WaterGirl: I feel like there would probably be some calculus involved.

    @Iowa Old Lady: Yes, they are currently babysitting, after all.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Apparently there was much butthurt on the internet when the book came out and confirmed that a bisexual main character was, in fact, bisexual his whole life and had a triad with his wife and another man that they were all perfectly happy with.

    Plus the main characters are a 74 year old woman and 50 year old man, and apparently that grossed some people out — old people having sex! OMG!

  79. 79
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl: Too many infinities.

  80. 80
    Roger Moore says:


    I do wonder how they will back track, once there is concrete proof of Trump’s collusion with Russia.

    They won’t backtrack. Instead, they’ll move through the next steps of the standard guilt avoidance system:

    1) Ignore the accusations
    2) Deny everything
    3) Minimize the importance of what you’re accused of
    4) Accept the accusations and brag that they’re great
    5) Say Hillary was worse

    Right now we’re in 3), with some people already incorporating bits of 4) and 5) into the mix. As soon as 3) is no longer tenable, they’ll jump to 4) without the slightest shame. Of course Trump collaborated with the Russians. It was the greatest collaboration ever, it’s a sign of his political genius, and anyone who doesn’t collaborate with a foreign power is just a sucker who deserves what they get. But of course, Hillary would have done far worse had she been given a chance, so there’s really no reason to hold Trump to such a high standard.

  81. 81
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: I agree with you, but if you want something to push that cat creepiness right out of your head, then just click the link to the Trump Momster’s photo. But really, I like you, so I wouldn’t click.

    I don’t like to judge on looks, but they both have the kind of ugliness that also comes from the inside.

  82. 82
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: @Major Major Major Major: There is a rumor going around that McConnell will not even submit the Cruz amendment to the CBO but rather to the HHS dept, trumps HHS dept. It appears Mitch does not have to submit it to CBO. via TPM iirc.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:


    I apparently look almost identical to my late mother. It’s somewhat apparent in photos, but it was upon seeing old Super-8 film footage of her that I got a little freaked out. We move almost exactly alike, it turns out.

  84. 84
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: @Baud: The bunnies eat everything BUT my weeds. Came around a corner the other day and there’s a bunny munching on one of my gladiolas. Looked me right in the eye and said “What?”

  85. 85
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Your fault for growing tasty stuff.

  86. 86
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Baud, I am sorry to tell you this, but if the bunnies are eating your weeds, I think that probably all you have is weeds. Or, you have remarkably well-trained bunnies. If it’s the latter, I will pay you to come to my house and train my bunnies. (and no, that’s the what the kids are calling it these days)

  87. 87
    Baud says:


    I think that probably all you have is weeds.

    You would be correct.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I hated calculus which is why everything I learned in calculus has already fallen out of my brain. I was almost a math major and my experience with that instructor turned me in a completely different direction.

  90. 90
    Nelle says:

    My neighbors and I were discussing a potluck, based on rabbits. I got up this morning to find them, on their legs, munching their way through one of my pots of flowers. I will wake at night and hear coyotes (I’m two blocks from the edge of town) and I want to get out my flashlight and guide them into the yard. I’ve seen as many as six rabbits per front yard, looking at me with grand indifference. So, is this how the apocalypse begins? With bunnies?

  91. 91
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mnemosyne: My ex sister in law gave me a photo of my youngest son when he was app 2 yo. I was a little puzzled that it was in B&W until I looked at the date: April 1960. It of course, was a pic of me.

  92. 92
    randy khan says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    If the Trump team has gotten to the point of arguing that the meeting must have been okay because the Secret Service allowed it, they’re beginning to scrape bottom on the excuses. (Although I have to imagine that actual Secret Service agents respond to things like that by shrugging their shoulders and thinking that civilians have no idea what they do, like all armed forces and law enforcement personnel.)

  93. 93
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl: I love math. Just not good enough at it.

  94. 94
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: It’s always my fault, just ask my wife ;-)

  95. 95
    Shell says:

    Theres ALWAYS a good reason to build a Tiki bar in your back yard.

  96. 96
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Interesting!

  97. 97
    Baud says:


    So, is this how the apocalypse begins? With bunnies?

    No, sadly. It begins with Trump.

  98. 98
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Nelle: AAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! Tha’s no ordinary rabbit! THE BONES! LOOK AT THE BONES!

  99. 99
    WaterGirl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The big fat bunny in my yard earlier this year- who is probably a moocher who was surely about to have other bunny moocher babies any minute – looked at me and said “fuck you, you’re not the boss of me” and kept on munch.

    The disrespect these days, it’s all around us!

  100. 100

    @WaterGirl: you know what’s cool? Linear algebra!

  101. 101
  102. 102
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yay! Finally!

    Yes, she’s a master of just dropping things like that so casually that you end up wondering why other authors make a big deal of it.

    Most of the upset was from the OTP crowd. Plus a crew of “marriage is sacred” people.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:


    G has a picture of his middle-aged dad where they could be twins, so at least I know what the future holds. His dad was a pretty good-looking guy into his early 70s when he died of a brain tumor, so it wasn’t bad news to see that picture.

  104. 104
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WaterGirl: Must be a tRump voter.

  105. 105
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Was it wearing a Fuck Your Feelings shirt?

  106. 106
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, my son is destined to be a very handsome and fit older gentleman then.

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    I have to admit, I’d been wondering about the faithful Jole since one of the early Miles books. (I’m blanking on the title, but it’s the one where Gregor runs away.) Just the few sentences about him made me go, “Hmmm …”

  108. 108
    joel hanes says:


    my .22 will do the job

    Love hassenpfeffer, and would love to make it more often
    But cleaning rabbits that have been shot is … unpleasant. Particularly if they’ve been hit in the abdomen.
    Not because of the cuteness factor; there’s another reason, one I’m loathe to describe too clearly.

  109. 109

    @Baud: Yes, good to get that on record for when the machines come and harvest your internet history to decide whether you live or die.

  110. 110
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Please, somebody just shoot me:

    Fresh off a one-year stint in federal prison, disgraced former coal baron Don Blankenship just might run for Senate. The former Massey Energy CEO and conservative mega-donor was convicted last year of conspiring to commit mine safety violations in the run-up to the deadly 2010 explosion at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine, which killed 29 people.

    In an interview with a West Virginia radio show on Wednesday, Blankenship said running as a Republican against Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who is up for reelection next year, was a “possibility.”

  111. 111
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    to decide whether you live or die.

    Can you survive…The Determinant?!

  112. 112
    eclare says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Lovely! I liked the mountains in the background in the panorama picture.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:


    And at least some of the friends and relatives of the people Blankenship killed will vote for him, because their team is more important than their loved ones. Sigh.

  114. 114
  115. 115
    raven says:

    @joel hanes: kill the wabbit ,kill the wabbit

  116. 116
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I apparently look almost identical to my late mother. It’s somewhat apparent in photos, but it was upon seeing old Super-8 film footage of her that I got a little freaked out. We move almost exactly alike, it turns out.

    I don’t look like my mother, but my speaking voice and vocal inflections are almost identical to hers. The days after she died we kept the family bookstore open — she had been the manager, and was well known in Oak Park’s business community — and of course word had started getting around that she had died. So when I went to the store to help organise things, I’d grab the phone and answer it exactly as she always did: “Good morning (afternoon), Cannon’s.” More than once there was an audible gasp on the other end of the line, then a long puzzled silence, then, very cautiously, “Elizabeth?” And then I’d have to identify myself, often to people I had known most of my life. After the first few of these I quickly trained myself to add “This is her daughter Judith. How may I help you?” It was apparently quite jarring; the callers either thought they were talking to a ghost, or that my mom had been miraculously resurrected (and headed right back to work!)

  117. 117
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Mnemosyne: The Vor Game.

    I was up last night making final edits to my Hugo ballot, but the first vote I submitted was the Vorkosigan books for the inaugural Best Series award.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    Yes, that one! I’m embarrassed that I couldn’t remember the title, because it’s one of my favorites in the series.

    “Did you think you were dealing with an amateur?”

  119. 119
  120. 120
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @joel hanes: Sad to say, rabbits shot at this time of year are not to be eaten, the risk of Tularemia is too high. One needs to wait till after the first frost. But yes, head shots only. More humane too.

  121. 121
    Flanders' Former Neighbor says:

    A blue jay couple built and resided in a nest in our plum tree until a crow decided to go after them for some reason. Both species are assholes, so I just sat back and let them go at it.

  122. 122
    Roger Moore says:

    @patrick II:

    It makes me nervous though that McConnell thinks the vote is so close that one vote will make the difference.

    I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. Right now, the vote is on the brink of failing. There are 48 solid Democratic and Independent No votes, plus two Republicans who have staked out No to the point they don’t look like they can plausibly be moved. That means the only way forward for the Republicans is to get all of their remaining 50 Senators to vote yes and have Pence break the tie. Not only can they not afford a single defection, they can’t even afford a single abstention or not present. I’m not saying the vote is impossible- the Democrats managed to pass PPACA in the face of similar difficulties- but the Republicans currently have zero margin for error.

  123. 123
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    As I’ve said before, if we’re destined to have this piece of shit pass the Senate, I want Pence to have to make the tie breaking vote. I want him to be smeared with the shit of this bill, as insurance.

  124. 124
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    There is a rumor going around that McConnell will not even submit the Cruz amendment to the CBO but rather to the HHS dept, trumps HHS dept. It appears Mitch does not have to submit it to CBO. via TPM iirc.

    WHAT IS HE HIDING?!?!?!?!

  125. 125
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    or that my mom had been miraculously resurrected

    I would’ve had a lot of fun with that.

  126. 126

    @Mnemosyne: it’ll be the only insurance left, if this thing passes.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    I’m glad that she’s moved from military drama to politics. I was never big on the military/mercenary aspects of the series. Plus, of course, I’m enjoying that she’s gone back to her romance roots. Shards of Honor is pretty much a straight romance novel, in retrospect.

  128. 128
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major:@Baud: I don’t remember much about that. Do either of you use that in your work?

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I know. But I don’t want Pence to pretend for even a millisecond that he opposed this shit when it starts to rebound on the Republicans.

  130. 130
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    his mother looked like a drag queen version of him. It’s freaky.

    There’s also a strong whiff of Phyllis Schlafly about her.

  131. 131
    Roger Moore says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    you know what’s cool?

    Fezzes. Fezzes are cool.

  132. 132
    Immanentize says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: But Democrats can ask that it be scored by the CBO. Then it is up to the Parliment Rian whether it fits the confines of the 50 vote reconciliation rules.

  133. 133
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Oh, in that case, I meant to say that i absolutely LOVE linear algebra.

  134. 134
    piratedan says:

    i have to admit, it’s still jarring to watch the party of personal responsibility, strong foreign policy, and protector of Christian morals and ethics stand up and support a guy who….

    is a serial adulturer
    a personal fraud and tax cheat
    irresponsible businessman
    breaking of the emoluments laws
    hiring practices based on cronyism and nepotism
    a sexual assaulter
    a bigot
    a racist
    working for and with a foreign government to seize power and control of the government

    and to watch them essentially betray everything that they supposedly stand for, for THIS guy…

  135. 135
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I regret very much now that I didn’t. But it was 42 years ago, and I was better behaved in those days.

  136. 136

    @Roger Moore: hopefully the new doctor will have a sense of style more like… not Matt Smith.

    @WaterGirl: AI, machine learning, data mining etc. is, sort of, basically just linear algebra.

  137. 137
    bystander says:

    And just what’s wrong with Mary Trump’s hair?

    There was a day when a woman’s hair was a crown….and not a crown for her dog!

  138. 138
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    I’m only up to about chapter 4, but I’ve already LOL’d a few times. I especially liked an aside of Cordelia’s where she was like, “If we had all lived on Beta, we would have had earrings to show our relationship.”

  139. 139

    @Baud: Depends on Cramer’s rule.

  140. 140
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Mnemosyne: The consensus we arrived at for Hugo voters who had never read them because “MilSF” was Shards/Barrayar, the three novellas from Borders of Infinity, then Memory through A Civil Campaign. Because limited time and five other nominated series to sample.

  141. 141
    Roger Moore says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    hopefully the new doctor will have a sense of style more like… not Matt Smith.

    So you’re hoping for another Tom Baker? Another Peter Davidson? Another Sylvester McCoy?

  142. 142

    @eclare: That’s Mt. Wilson, it’s where most of the TV stations have their antenna.

  143. 143
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    But Democrats can ask that it be scored by the CBO. Then it is up to the Parliment Rian whether it fits the confines of the 50 vote reconciliation rules.

    Oh, didn’t know that. Well, she was appointed by Harry Reid, for what that’s worth. So she might rule in favour of CBO scoring. (Of course, she can always be overruled by the Majority, although that’s evidently a rare occurrence.)

  144. 144
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That’s cool.

  145. 145

    @bystander: I like her hair, I don’t like her (living) son!

    @Roger Moore: we’re going by modern standards here. And I did like 4’s scarf.
    ETA: come on, the whole gag about Smith was that he had awful taste in all things.

  146. 146
    arrieve says:

    Late to the thread as always, but that’s definitely a grackle. If you enlarge the picture you can see the iridescence on the wings. And those mean yellow eyes are very grackle-ish. I think of them as the Republicans of the avian world.

  147. 147
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Wow, so upset you couldn’t finish your sentence! ;)

    I probably missed the discussion here, but I just saw an article over at Think Progress about Steve King’s threat to open an investigation into Hillary if the Dems don’t shut up about Russia. Has she responded at all?

  148. 148
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: One of the greatest moments of embarrassment in the long line of embarrassments that is my life, was moments after my mother died. The family was in the kitchen, knocking back a few and releiving all the pent up emotions that had been building for the previous 4 months when the phone rang. My sister in law got this funny look on her face and passed me the phone.

    “Dogdamn solicitors, not now! Not here!”
    I took the phone and in my usual tone of dealing with idiots said, “Who the fuck are you and what the fuck do you want????!!!”
    From the other end of the line came one of the sweetest and kindest voices of my life speaking with the Texas lilt that only the true southern belles ever have, “Tom? This is your Aunt Jean…”

    I wanted to crawl under the table. Not because I had mistakenly used those words with someone I knew, but because she was the last person I could ever envision myself saying that to. Southern Baptists don’t believe in saints, but my Aunt Jean was one. In the years after she and I shared more than a few laughs over that moment.

  149. 149
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    LOL, wonderful story!

  150. 150
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I think of them as the Republicans of the avian world.

    That would be blue jays. Loud, obnoxious, and just mean as piss.

  151. 151
  152. 152
    patrick II says:

    @Roger Moore:

    If McCain is a no vote and he stays home that could make it 50-49 and the Pence tiebreaker wouldn’t break the tie. If McCain is a yes vote, McConnell waits and hopes to make it 50-50 and Pence breaks the tie. McCain, at least in McConnell’s mind and based on past history of voting (if not talking) compliance to the Republican id, is a no vote.

    This changes if their is a third or more republican no vote, but the fact McConnell is waiting on McCain worries me.

  153. 153
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Republicans are cunning, and will eat the young of others.

  154. 154
    sukabi says:

    Betty, it could be a “fish crow” which are indigenous to the southeastern us.

  155. 155
    Wyatt Derp says:

    @Roger Moore: So right. Same with global warming:
    1 There us no global warming.
    2 OK there is global warming but humans have nothing to do with it.
    3 There is global warming and humans are causing it but it’s no big deal.
    4 There is global warming and humans are causing it and is kind of a big deal but is too late to do anything about it.
    5 We are all fucked and it’s Obama`s fault.

  156. 156
    Another Scott says:

    @arrieve: I think so too, myself. The sneaky posture in the feeder is a giveaway, too. The ones in my backyard pose that way.

    Would be cool if it had been a currawong though!


  157. 157
    Wyatt Derp says:

    Laser cats! Pyew! Pyew!

  158. 158
    eclare says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That is a great story! Glad it was something you could both laugh about later.

  159. 159


    Republicans are cunning, and will eat the young of others.

    As opposed to cute little bunnies that just eat Baud’s weeds.

  160. 160
    Another Scott says:

    @patrick II: If McConnell didn’t wait he was guaranteed to lose – he has lost 2 already, so he’s at 49. Pence can’t vote unless he has 50.


    Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” said the healthcare debate will be an “open process” with both Republicans and Democrats.

    “This is going to be an open process where anybody on the Democratic side or the Republican side can offer an amendment and it will get a vote,” Cornyn, a member of leadership, told host Chuck Todd.

    But Cornyn signaled that leadership could alter its course should the current version of the bill fail to pass.

    “But at some point, if Democrats won’t participate in the process, then we’re going to have to come up with a different plan,” he said.

    Republican leadership has until this point signaled singleminded determination to pass its healthcare legislation despite zero Democrat support.

    IOW, he’s saying he doesn’t have the votes to pass it and it doesn’t look (at the moment) like he will get the votes. So, he’s already pivoting to blaming the Mean Democrats who prevent them (the majority) from doing what they want.

    It’s not over. We have to keep fighting. But the longer this drags out the worse it gets for them. McCain being out is a big monkeywrench in their plans to ram this through…


  161. 161
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Back when I was a drinker we had a family reunion in LA. My mom’s cousin Bob had lost an arm as a child but still was a good enough pitcher to get a try out with the St Louis Browns. We were in a group talking shit and I popped up with ” he had as much chance as a one-legged man in an ass kickin contest”. He, nor anyone else, ever said anything about it but I still feel like shit.

  162. 162
    Brooklyn Dodger says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Wow. It’s a near perfect day in the PacNW, but that panorama makes me miss the Southland.

  163. 163
    patrick II says:

    @Another Scott:

    @patrick II: If McConnell didn’t wait he was guaranteed to lose – he has lost 2 already, so he’s at 49. Pence can’t vote unless he has 50.

    That’s my point. With 2 lost and McCain at home McConnell might be at 49. With McCain there he might be at 50 plus Pence.

  164. 164

    @patrick II: right, but the point is that you might be reading too much into a strategy that simply avoids guaranteed defeat.

  165. 165
    patrick II says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I hope you are right. For some reason votes that seem reasonable and assured have not been turning out that way lately. I’m getting more than a little paranoid.

  166. 166
    Another Scott says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yup.

    It’s over if McCain can’t vote, or chooses not to vote. His only chance is if McCain votes Aye. He has to wait for McCain to come back.


  167. 167

    @Another Scott: even if McCain is a no, if Mitch holds out hope of twisting his arm he has to wait.

  168. 168
    Another Scott says:

    @patrick II: You’re right to be worried. It’s a serious vote. But McConnell is on his backfoot even more as a result of McCain’s surgery.

    We’ve got to keep fighting – it’s not over.


  169. 169

    @patrick II: We also get a week to pressure the other Rs. Its not over till its over.

  170. 170
    Yarrow says:

    @patrick II:

    waiting on McCain

    Sounds like 1970’s drama, but set in a small town/rural South instead of gritty inner city. Down-on-their-luck Southern family hears their distant relative may come for a visit and could help them in some way. Family secrets. Young kid, coming of age in the mix. Mom’s got some health problems. Does McCain ever show up? Who is he and what does he do?

  171. 171

    @schrodingers_cat: even once it’s over, it’s not over, if we follow the republican playbook and sue their faces off, obstruct, and campaign on repealing the bill.

  172. 172
    patrick II says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’m sorry to keep banging away with my more pessimistic view, but if its that close that also means that all of those “I’m not comfortable with” potential republican no votes might have found an easy chair.

  173. 173
    GxB says:

    @Roger Moore: You’re never supposed to do it without the fez on.

  174. 174
    Yarrow says:

    @Another Scott:

    “But at some point, if Democrats won’t participate in the process, then we’re going to have to come up with a different plan,” he said.

    EVERY Democrat should say something along the lines of, “Of course we’re not going to vote for this bill that hurts Americans by taking away their healthcare. We’re happy to work with Republicans to help people get better health care. This bill only hurts people.” Over and over again. This bill hurts people.

  175. 175
    Keith P. says:

    RIP George Romero :(
    Happy Birthday, Zombie George Romero :)

  176. 176

    @patrick II: just saying that there are many interpretations.

  177. 177
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That cannot be real.

  178. 178
    Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Please to be out of moderation?

  179. 179
    Yarrow says:

    @patrick II: Another view is that McCain, by having surgery and recuperating, has given all those Republicans who don’t really want to take this vote an out. He may get pressure from fellow Republicans to vote Yes. He may also get pressure from Republicans who don’t want to take a vote on this bill to take all the time he needs to recover, as in please stay away for several weeks so this dumb bill will go away. Take one for the team. Stay away so there aren’t enough votes and none of us have to go on record.

  180. 180
    TriassicSands says:

    Betty, I think there are two likely possibilities. My first choice would be a grackle — the eye, tail, legs, and bill all look right to me. The coloring — and lack of iridescence — can be explained by the flat lighting. There is a hint of purple in the wing.

    The second choice, probably less likely because of range and the commonness of grackles, would be a Brewer’s blackbird.

    If you search for both and look at images, you may be able to choose between them, since you actually saw the living bird.

  181. 181
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Sez hoo? I have a masters in applied math & I despise Linear A. Calculus was intuitive by comparison. Fuck matrices!

  182. 182

    @Omnes Omnibus: it is real.

    @Uncle Cosmo: ooh, you are gonna end up on the wrong end of the stick when the robots come.

  183. 183
    RedDirtGirl says:

    Re: trumping the dawg. I got so much hair off my cat once that I Washingtoned her.

  184. 184
    Waratah says:

    Is the Nevada senator a firm yes on the Health bill?

  185. 185
  186. 186
    randy khan says:

    @patrick II:

    First, anything that puts off this vote is good, in my view.

    Second, it’s entirely possible that the Rs have lined up 50 votes with McCain. But it’s also entirely possible that McCain’s absence would cause a lot more Senators to be unwilling to listen to McConnell’s blandishments, and he could lose the vote by 10, which effectively would kill the bill. By putting off the vote, he forestalls that possibility and gives himself a better chance to get to 50 by twisting arms one at a time. (And that’s all the more reason to keep on pushing, so the arms can’t be twisted.)

  187. 187
    Jeffro says:

    Folks on the Twitters keep pointing out that Trumpov’s tweets, Fox, and Breitbart are all trying very hard to ‘inoculate’ the GOP base against the truth coming out. Some bright Dem might want to buy 15 minutes of national airtime, point that out, and be halfway to winning the 2020 nomination at the 15:00:01 mark.

  188. 188

    @Waratah: I believe he has said nothing yet.

  189. 189
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I apparently sound very much like my father. I don’t hear myself, of course, but over the phone or from another room, people consistently comment on it and have for years. I guess it must be true.

  190. 190
    AnotherBruce says:

    @debbie: Ravens have a down curved beak. Not a raven.

  191. 191

    @Jeffro: More likely the Dem would be halfway to winning the 2020 nomination at the 0:0:01 mark, and then by the end the left would hate them for focusing too much on the Russia distraction.

  192. 192
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I refuse to accept that it is real. For my own mental health. Don’t judge me.

  193. 193
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Yarrow: If the Overage Mutilated Nutjob Turtle allows Democrats to offer amendments, one of them ought to put one up that strikes every f’ing word in the current bill & replaces them with the complete text of the current PPACA.

  194. 194
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Fuck robots. Except for the charmingly corrupt & corruptible Bender. (Binge-catching-up on Futurama these days.)

  195. 195
    Waratah says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Thank you I had not seen or heard he had.. I did read that Pence and Price were trying to convince the Nevada governor how good the bill was but they failed. I felt good about that.

  196. 196

    @Uncle Cosmo: I quote it to myself at least once a day.

  197. 197
    Jeffro says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The left would hate on the Dem for focusing too much on Russia…?? Just can’t see that happening.

  198. 198
    Yarrow says:

    @Waratah: I like that Kasich said Pence was lying.

  199. 199

    @randy khan:
    It’s also possible that McConnell just does not have the votes, like the first time he extended, and McCain has nothing to do with it other than an excuse to keep extending.

  200. 200
    Elizabelle says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: That’s my take. They don’t got the votes.

  201. 201
    debbie says:


    I find it difficult to believe McCain will be back in a week. I’ve heard reports that they removed a 2-inch blood clot. Two inches! That’s a lot in a brain.

  202. 202
    Waratah says:

    @Yarrow: I like that, wish more could call out the lies.

  203. 203

    @Jeffro: The (Jacobin-reading, Greenwald-retweeting) Left hates the Russia story and thinks it is at best a distraction.

    ETA: For instance, it’s blame-shifting by Hillary and her enablers from the fact that she should’ve gone to Wisconsin, or Bernie woulda won.

  204. 204

    @Brooklyn Dodger: A perfect day up in the PacNW is one of the best, I lived up there for 3 years while I was in grad school at UW. I think I’m headed back to the Huntington this evening. Last night was for “Upper Members” only, tonight they let the riffraff in.

  205. 205
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I’ve heard reports that they removed a 2-inch blood clot. Two inches! That’s a lot in a brain.

    Heck, that’s a lot in McCain!

  206. 206
    Ruckus says:


    they both have the kind of ugliness that also comes from the inside.

    It’s the inside ugly that makes the outside ugly. No amount of hair product, skin product, botox or inebriant will make that go away.

  207. 207
    Roger Moore says:

    Ravens also have shaggy feathers on their throats, and even an immature raven would be much bigger than that. I was once asked why you never see young ravens. It’s actually a trick question; you see them all the time, but only real birders would recognize them as such. They grow to almost adult size by the time they’re ready to leave the nest, and the only obvious sign they’re not adults is that their feathers are slightly brownish and not as glossy as an adult’s.

  208. 208
    Roger Moore says:


    I’ve heard reports that they removed a 2-inch blood clot. Two inches! That’s a lot in a brain.

    Yes, but it’s not as if McCain was doing much with his anyway. They just need somebody to sit next to him and push the “yes” button.

  209. 209

    @Ruckus: As Lennon wrote, “One thing ya can’t hide, is when your crippled inside”.

  210. 210
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @patrick II: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to kill you.

  211. 211
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Ruckus: Back in the day we useta say, Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes to the bone. To the bone, and beyond, in Thuglicans.

  212. 212
    Ruckus says:

    How long did it take to notice a clot that big? It’s not like it could have had no effect whatsoever on him. And he’s 80 so recovery is probably not going to be lighting fast.

  213. 213
    Gvg says:

    I don’t like McCain but what I read about the clot and the flap in the scull they have to remove, operate, then put back, creeped me out and didn’t sound like just a week to be ok enough to travel any distance to vote. Maybe not lucid either. I did wonder about that confused episode a few weeks ago and if his family had to tell him.
    Although McConell may not really know what recovery will be like.

  214. 214
    Aleta says:

    @Ruckus: >How long did it take to notice a clot that big?<
    Wonder if it is at all possible with a brain clot, especially if it used to be smaller, that Drs might have agreed to watch it but wait until the Senate HC vote was over? (This cynicism fits with my opinion that Republicans would rather sacrifice a life, no matter how loyal, than let down their sugardaddy donors; but it's probably not true.) Or maybe they had him on a medication to try to break up the clot, make surgery less damaging, but it grew instead.

  215. 215
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus: I wondered about the “routine annual physical” part of the statement. Surely someone got him to a doctor after that display during the hearing when he clearly did not know what the hell he was talking about.

    After I read about this surgery, I was assuming that was part of the cause of his lack of brain function in the hearing. Someone else suggested that maybe he was having a stroke on national TV, and that’s an interesting thought as well.

    I don’t think you could recover in a week if you were 25, let alone 80-something and not in good health otherwise. It sounds terrible, and maybe I am terrible, but I am hoping that somehow he ends up not coming back to the senate. Surely something like this would make you take stock of your (miserable) life?

  216. 216
    The Lodger says:

    @Gvg: There’s no way the doctors are going to allow him on the Senate floor in a week unless they take him out on a gurney. Maybe if they bring him on on a gurney too.

  217. 217
    Aleta says:

    @Major Major Major Major: May not be accurate, since from wiki, but 5-6 years before the date on that photo

    On October 31, 1991, 79-year-old Mary Anne Trump was mugged and beaten near her home in Queens, New York. She sustained broken ribs, facial bruises, several fractures, a brain hemorrhage, and permanent damage to her sight and hearing.

  218. 218
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The picture of the cats with glowing eyes?

    I am a member of a Facebook group dedicated to FiestaWare. I don’t collect, but I love FW and enjoy looking at the pictures. And members constantly post photos of their kitchen cupboards or dining room highboys filled to overflowing with FW plates and platters and saucers and all the auxiliary stuff.

    Anyhow, I posted that photo to the private FW FB page with the caption “When FiestaWare Goes Rogue,” and there are already nearly 75 likes and reactions! Didn’t think it would generate anything like that kind of response!

  219. 219
    Ruckus says:

    There are others here who have had strokes, I’ve been told that I’ve very likely had a mini stroke and am going through testing to find out more. At 80, depending on his overall health they might have checked him out and not done anything till he gets worse. But I can not imagine someone with his healthcare hasn’t had one of the same tests that I have, an MRI with really high definition or a nuclear CT or PET scan to see if they can find any trace of clots. A 5cm clot would show up on a regular MRI, even if it was half that size when they he went through it.

  220. 220
    Achrachno says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s all true, and this just looks “nothing” like a raven anyway — head shape, overall body shape, bill — all way off. It is blackish however. Not a cowbird either, but that’d be closer because at least it’s an icterid, as is the mystery bird. A grackle I’d say, unless someone wants to make an argument for some neotropical vagrant.

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