Thursday Morning Open Thread: Speaking Up

via commentor Rikyrah

The Media Village Idiot ‘let’s you and her fight’ spin is stupid, but Michelle Obama is a very smart lady. I’m really looking forward to seeing what she does next. Per the Boston Globe:

Former First Lady Michelle Obama criticized women who voted for President Donald Trump during a wide-ranging conversation in Boston Wednesday that addressed life in the White House, her forthcoming book, and the challenges of discrimination that women face together.

“Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice,” Obama told the audience during a question-and-answer session with author Roxane Gay at Inbound, a marketing conference that has attracted an assortment of famous speakers this week.

Obama maintained that she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, still support Trump and want him to be successful…

Obama said she doesn’t miss being in the White House, though she does miss the “people and the work.” The process taught her that she can do anything, she told the audience.

“It was like being shot out of a cannon…with a blindfold and the spotlight on you,” she said when asked what it was like as First Lady…

(Tim Eagan via

183 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😐😐😐

  2. 2
    SFAW says:

    I’m wondering if the Rethugs will next try to mitigate Legislating While Black. About 45 members of the current CBC, times 60 percent, that’s another 18 votes the Dems get taken away, and given to Real ‘Muricans.

    Twenty years ago, even thinking about something like that would be grounds for questioning one’s sanity. Today? Not so sure any more.

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Puerto Rico:

    Despite the dire situation, some Loíza residents were reluctant to accept help. José Ciuro, 94, did not want to ask Taller Salud for anything, but eventually he said: “whatever you can afford, I will take”. He was especially interested in a potential delivery of broccoli and mixed vegetables.

    Ciuro had not spoken to his daughter in Orlando since the storm, so the group also offered to check in with her when they returned to San Juan, where the cellphone reception is better. So Ciuro, who is half-blind and uses a cane, went inside and brought back a shoe box which held his most important papers. Across the lid were dozens of names and telephone numbers, inked in different colors, overlapping and tilting in every direction. Eventually he found the number he was looking for.

    “What do you want us to tell her?” asked Monegro.

    He replied: “I’m still alive.”

  4. 4

    The chance is close to zero. Despite initial fears, the System is proving remarkably resilient. Even a hyperpartisan, evil, racist jackass like McConnell knows he has no power if he actually breaks it.

    Trump would do it in a second, except he’s too cowardly. On top of that, he’s had a hard and regular education in the limits of the president. In general the Republicans hope to stack the deck, but not actually throw out the cards.

  5. 5
    EriktheRed says:

    Cubs are going to the postseason three years in a row.

    Other fans out there may yawn at that, but to us Cubs fans that’s a pretty big fucking deal.

  6. 6
    Kay says:

    Christina Wilkie‏Verified account
    Trump just said 6 times that Graham-Cassidy failed because “there was a senator in the hospital.”
    There are no senators in the hospital.

    The lying has gotten markedly worse lately. Just yesterday he lied repeatedly about why his healthcare bill failed and also that he wouldn’t benefit under his tax plan. He also said he has accomplished more than any other President in 9 months and that “the reviews” on Puerto Rico relief were terrific.

    These are really big lies- he’s creating an alternate history of his term- a complete fiction.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  8. 8
    Baud says:


    that “the reviews” on Puerto Rico relief were terrific.

    I do believe Puerto Rico’s GOP governor has been praising Trump.

  9. 9
    aimai says:

    @Kay: Remember how Bush II would sometimes “explain” things to reporters that showed he’d had them explained to him very simply and incorrectly? Trump offers his own explanations to himself, and then to the press, because reality is just too painful to him. He is unable to tolerate it. So he substitutes a convenient and familiar fantasy. He may even believe it–he can’t tolerate the realization that McCain killed the bill last time and was NOT in the hospital, and he conflates what happened this time with that and makes it more congenial (as he thinks) for himself and his fans.

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EriktheRed: For the 2nd year in a row, the Cards aren’t. And yes, the Cubbies celebrating their division title on the Busch Stadium field was more than a little bit of salt in the wound. BOO! HISS!

    NEXT YEAR!!!!! : (

  11. 11
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: well, it is morning, so good morning to you.
    I sat down with my first cup of coffee and my Kindle, and the big dog promptly threw up all over the hardwood floor and area rug. Not a promising start.

  12. 12
    clay says:

    @Baud: Well, he’d have to, right? Sucking up to Trump is the only way that PR might get the help,it needs.

  13. 13
    satby says:

    @clay: guarantee that is the reason.

  14. 14
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Kay: Drumpf later said the vote is being delayed because the dog ate the homework bill.

  15. 15
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @EriktheRed: #FakeSportsNews

  16. 16
    bystander says:

    Shouldn’t at least the Amazon link be draped in black bunting? I mean, how you guys can go on at a time of national morning is beyond me.

    Oh Hugh, My Hugh! The fall of another icon of my generation! Hand me my handkerchief and vaporizer…

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @clay: Fair enough.

  18. 18
    Kay says:


    I play this game with myself where I think “what would happen if any other President did this?” – the failed health care bill, for example.

    Obama ran on healthcare and Trump ran on repealing health care. Obama would have been savaged if he had failed- it would have been defining- rightfully so for such a central promise. With Trump we get these childish, fake excuses – someone was “in the hospital”.

    In so many ways he’s just not a real President. He’s below the ordinary mark, and deliberately so, works so hard to move the goalposts and create a lower standard. There’s no “trying to be better”- not even a whole lot of trying applied to anything.

    Ivanka is the same way. She attends these ordinary First Lady type events- yesterday was computer science in schools- and she promotes them as “accomplishments”t as if she drafted and passed legislation. She gives herself an A+ for showing up.

  19. 19
    SFAW says:


    Sorry to hear about your distress. I hope you’re feeling OK soon.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:


    Current governor of Puerto Rico is ostensibly a Dem. Took office this year, in January. Was a pledged delegate to Dem conventions – for HRC in ’08, for Obama in ’12, for HRC in ’16.

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    @NotMax: Hmmm. I thought I read that he was a GOP. Then I’ll assume he’s pandering out of necessity.

  22. 22
    SFAW says:


    I guess my point was not that something like that is around the corner — it isn’t — it’s that you felt the need to respond (not you in particular) in any way other than “Are you fucking nuts/stupid?” (which would have been the case 20 years ago).

  23. 23
    NotMax says:


    It’s … muddled. The local party to which he belongs has members affiliated with both the Rs and the Ds on the mainland. He, however, is affiliated with the Ds. Same local party, but the non-voting delegate from Puerto Rico to the House is affiliated with the Rs.

  24. 24
    Kay says:


    I think the “not trying” is the part that bothers me most because Trump applies that his fans. They don’t have to try to understand why the football players would protest- they can just get mad and there’s this sort of dumb, stubborn “I don’t WANNA” – learn anything, look at anyone else’s view, change an opinion, think about anything. He has such low standards for them. If Obama was the earnest dad carefully setting a good example and pleading with people to try harder, Trump is the indulgent dad who says “YOU don’t have to change anything- you’re perfect! Everyone else has to change”.

    That’s the new national ethos- we don’t try at all and then we just say we’re great.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Baud says:


    That’s the new national ethos- we don’t try at all and then we just say we’re great.

    I’ll fit right in.

  27. 27
    Kay says:


    And the thing is it isn’t going to help. Media attention to white working class was a fad. No one pays attention to them anymore.

    Trump told them they were perfect just the way they are and they’re in exactly the same mess they were when they elected him and they have all the same problems they always had- they’ll just get interviewed less now that the fad has passed.

    It didn’t help them at all- they had that 6 months where they the most important voters and Trump stroked them so they felt better about themselves but nothing else changed for them. In some ways it’s worse because he told them they don’t even have to try.

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    Tell that truth, Kay.

  29. 29
    Kay says:


    Well, it’s a balance because we aren’t telling white working class here they are perfect and they don’t have to change. They have to change as much as anyone else had to in response to changing conditions. We tell them that because it’s true. They can complain to me that college costs too much or they aren’t paid enough- I agree!- but that isn’t an excuse for not finishing high school or refusing to work. That’s not actually a “culture”, giving up or blaming other people or being proudly racist. These are things they’re supposed to be resisting.

  30. 30
    rikyrah says:


    And with every article about them, folks like me just grew more and more disgusted.
    They will NEVER be able to wash away THEIR lack of character for voting for Dolt45.

  31. 31
    satby says:

    @SFAW: I’m fine, the dog is the one puking 😝
    At least the second time he kind of let me know in time to get him to the door.

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I had a colonoscopy yesterday. Just about the time it’s supposed to begin a nurse comes in and says the anesthetist was called to the ER and it’s going to be a while longer. OK, that’s what I brought a book for (Sherman’s March, ifn’s yer curious). An hour later the anesthetist comes to my room.

    “Sorry about the delay. I guess you heard why?”
    “Yeah, you had an emergency to deal with. No big deal, these things happen.”
    “Yes, a drowning vict…..”
    Then sobs and gushing tears and I am thinking “Oh fuck, what now?”

    Turns out the drowning victim was a 3 yr old boy. It was a good thing my wife was there, I always go silent in those situations but she was able to say a couple of the right things (I guess). After about a 20-30 sec cry, the anesthetist pulled herself back together and got back down to business. Hell’s bells, it would’ve taken me a month.

  33. 33
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Obama maintained that she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, still support Trump and want him to be successful…

    This is just diplomatic talk because there is no way that the Obamas want Trump to be successful in his endeavors to destroy President Obama’s legacy. Trump has no other policies than “if Obama did it, it’s bad”.

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    Anyone have links to people who have correctly assessed the scam that is GOP tax reform?

    Thanks in advance.

    If the Front pagers see.this, will one of you do a post on it?


    Your comments from yesterday on why this is so important were on the money.

    They have sold out this country for a tax cut.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I’m sympathetic to people who give up out of frustration. I am unsympathetic to people who promote and support hate of innocents out of frustration. I wish they would give up. But they vote.

  36. 36
    rikyrah says:

    Sorry satby.
    Hope that the sickness passes quickly.😖

  37. 37

    @OzarkHillbilly: I thought your first sentence was going to be the worst part of that post but oh wow, that’s terrible.

  38. 38
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: What a horrible thing for all concerned, but especially the child’s family.

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Damn. How awful.

  40. 40

    @rikyrah: I believe it’s her dog that’s sick. I was impressed the dog hit the hardwood floor. Mine always ran straight for the living room rug

  41. 41
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: thanks, he’s probably fine. No more rawhides for Mr. Piggy though.

    The rest of the day should get better.

    Speaking of ill dogs, I hope BillinGlendale’s pup is feeling better and her back is improving.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    “Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice,”

    I’m glad she said this. And put it as voting against Hillary.

  43. 43
    Kay says:


    By “give up” I mean not adapt, not try to change views. There’s this kind of indulgent attitude- “well, so many Latinos moved in and it changed the town, so they all became flaming bigots” – there were other options. Three things can happen: move to compound in Idaho or adapt to a changing environment. For Trump voters we add one- refuse to adapt at all and yell at everyone. They behave like complete assholes at those rallies and he’s congratulating them! “Good job!” It’s not good. It’s bad. It’s an incredibly low standard.

  44. 44
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: One of my oldest and closest friends went to medical school, and when time for specialization came, he chose opthalmology. I asked him why, and he said “your patients don’t die.”

  45. 45
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: So sad. That’s just awful.

    @NotMax: And now we know why Trump and Republicans are dragging their feet and talking about mid-fricking-October to send federal aid.

  46. 46
    NotMax says:

    Repeated for the morning crowd. From up north:

    The federal Liberals are working on an apology for the Canadian government’s decision in 1939 to turn away a boat of German Jews hoping to seek asylum in Canada, The Canadian Press has learned.
    The government is also working on an a apology for discrimination against thousands of LBGT people in the Canadian military and public service in the Cold War era — and Trudeau has promised that by year’s end. Source

  47. 47
    MomSense says:


    Voting for trump is unforgivable. I’ll never get over it. The moment he made fun of Serge Kobaleski, I thought there is no way any decent person could look at that disgusting display and not find it completely disqualifying.

  48. 48
    satby says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): He got both the floor and the area rug. I’m more picky about the floor, had it refinished before I moved in last year. My area rugs are cheapies. Old dogs, whaddaya gonna do?

  49. 49
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Baud: I’m annoyed she said this. It’s ungrammatical. Any woman who voted against Hillary voted against her own voice.

  50. 50
    satby says:

    @MomSense: my thoughts exactly.
    And I don’t want to live in the same country as them, I want them to all crawl into a hole and go away forever.

  51. 51
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Kay: Trump is living in a bizarre world where he tells an audience that his wife would have liked to be there with him while she’s standing right beside him. Something is not right in his head.

  52. 52
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Being a father who almost lost both my sons on separate occasions, that’s where my thoughts first went. I guess that’s part of the reason I had nothing to say.

  53. 53
    Eric S. says:

    @EriktheRed: I was reading last night butt knew they had clinched when the news helicopters started hovering over the neighborhood. (I live 3 blocks from Wrigley Field.)

  54. 54
    Baud says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Apparently, it’s now vogue to use the gender neutral plural in all situations. There’s a term for it I can’t recall.

  55. 55
    MomSense says:


    Oh god. The poor parents. I don’t know how people go on when something like that happens.

  56. 56
    Kay says:


    It’s like the bullying thing in school. I get parents “we had bullies and we turned out okay”

    Yes, we had bullies. Whether we turned out okay is debatable. But children can behave better than that. They CAN treat one another better. It’s possible. It was a lower standard. This one is higher.

    It’s this refusal to even contemplate “making progress”.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @MomSense: Me either. I know how much I break down with my dogs.

  58. 58
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Baud: The term is “ungrammatical.” Using a supposedly gender-neutral pronoun when you are talking about a single-sex group is simply wrong.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:


    There’s a term for it I can’t recall.



  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I’ll give them this, they understand that progress means the lessening of privilege, and they don’t like it.

  61. 61
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @NotMax: From what I hear, Trudeau has a fractious relationship with Native Canadians which I hope he is working to fix.

  62. 62
    Baud says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The Associated Press Stylebook, arguably the foremost arbiter of grammar and word choice in journalism, has added an entry for “they” as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun in its latest edition.

    “We stress that it’s usually possible to write around that,” Paula Froke, lead editor for the Associated Press Stylebook, said in a blog post on the American Copy Editors Society’s website. “But we offer new advice for two reasons: recognition that the spoken language uses they as singular and we also recognize the need for a pronoun for people who don’t identify as a he or a she.”

  63. 63
    MomSense says:


    That’s how I feel. I’m so sick of the media and others making excuses for them. Economic anxiety. Forgotten man. Blah blah blah. I really don’t care to hear excuses for people who rewarded such cruelty and bigotry.

  64. 64
    Betty Cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My sister is an anesthetist and a very tender-hearted person. I asked her how she deals with horrendously tragic cases without falling apart, and she said she just focuses on her role in easing her patients’ suffering. I asked if it ever gets overwhelming, knowing about all the horrible things happening to people all the time, and she said awful things happen whether you know about them or not, and it’s a privilege to be able to help people get through them, or at least try to save them. Yeah, my sister is a much better person than I am!

  65. 65
    MomSense says:


    I know. I’m still not over my cat who got out one night never came home.

  66. 66
    J R in WV says:


    Good morning rikyrah!!

    OK, that’s where the confusion arises. One can be forgiven for assuming that two individuals in the same Puerto Rican political party would both be in the same American political party, and it was discussed that their legislative rep was an (R) the other day. I thought the governor was an R myself because of that connection.

    So he feels that he needs to stroke Trump in order to get Trump to do his job. Very rational decision on his part!

  67. 67
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    “Is Donald Trump a white supremacist?”

    I am still not convinced Trump can be that systematic in his thinking. I think it’s more like blacks are just some vulnerable group Trump thinks he can bully.

  68. 68

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Trump is senile. Presumably it’s Alzheimer’s, but regardless, he has senile dementia. Twenty years ago he was a racist, idiot asshole, but a totally coherent one able to do basic planning and exhibit self-control when it advantaged him. Now he babbles gibberish, forgets what he was saying, walks out of signing ceremonies without signing, forgets a car that is literally right in front of him, and so on.

  69. 69
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: I’m wholly in favor of more inclusive language, but I wish we could come up with a gender-neutral pronoun in singular form instead of using plural pronouns, which inherently imply multiple people.

  70. 70
    Summer says:

    On the North Carolina Confederate monument issue, speaking out:

  71. 71

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    You don’t need any coherent thinking to hate minorities, consider them inferior, and applaud their pain. He’s a white supremacist. Just a wildly incompetent one, rather than some chillingly organized Nazi leader. At this point, I give it 50/50 he thinks of himself as a Nazi.

  72. 72
    NotMax says:

    @Betty Cracker

    Forty-odd years ago began trying to get people to use “hown.” Think of it as a non-apostorphized contraction of both “his own” and “her own.”

    Never caught on.

  73. 73

    Yeah, it’s been tried before. No one is willing to use the gender neutrals, not even intersex people.

    EDIT – I do have a friend who prefers ‘it’, but absolutely no one, not even its wife, feels comfortable with that. I feel weird typing it here.

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker: It’s hard to come up with something that sounds normal, and people have been using “they” forever in this way.

  75. 75
    SFAW says:


    Probably would have helped if I could effing read for comprehension.

    Still glad you’re OK, of course, but also hoping your doggy is OK, too.

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MomSense: If you have other children (my parents lost 2) that’s how you hang on. If you have an only child (my Aunt and Uncle) you hang onto each other (if you can, sometimes such a tragedy drives people apart) And the age of the child doesn’t matter, when my sister died at the age of 42, all the accumulated things that had come between her and my father over the years almost killed him.

    I have good relations with both my sons, despite and because of everything we went thru together in their teen years. I don’t think I could survive the death of either.

  77. 77
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Betty Cracker: Why does it need to be “inclusive” or “gender-neutral” when Michelle was talking about women *only*? There’s a perfectly good and accepted pronoun she could have used.

  78. 78
    NotMax says:


    Thankfully, waitron never gained legs.

  79. 79
    Baud says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Transgender women are women, but I think someone here once said they prefer “they.”

  80. 80
    Leto says:

    @MomSense: Dotard could’ve dug up the corpse of Lincoln, humped it on stage, and his base still would’ve cheered him on. The media would’ve looked on, feigned outrage, but kept the cameras rolling for every horrendous second of it, while having on every Dotard surrogate/apologist spewing lies and never being challenged.

    As Kay has said the bar hasn’t just been lowered, it’s been thrown away. There are no standards with him and that applies to everyone who voted for that malignant tumor. Fuck them all.

  81. 81
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: And a much stronger person than I. I did one cave rescue pulling dead people out of a cave. Never again.

  82. 82
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    I think it’s more like blacks are just some vulnerable group Trump thinks he can bully.

    You just defined a racist.

  83. 83
  84. 84

  85. 85
    NotMax says:


    Would’ve been quite the feat ( :) ), because –

    Trivia: Lincoln’s body is buried completely encased in concrete, after having been stolen and recovered. Twice.

  86. 86
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: If we could pull off making “Ms.” an alternative to “Miss” or “Mrs.” in one generation, we can come up with a more elegant solution for this conundrum, IMO. I realize “they” has been in use for generic singular subjects who could be one of a number of people in spoken language for a long time. (“If anyone calls, tell them I’ll be back at 2 pm.”) But using a plural pronoun to refer to a single, specific person is a relatively new thing, and there’s an opportunity to adopt a more logical approach that doesn’t ignore the plural nature of the pronouns in question.

  87. 87
    Betty Cracker says:

    @NotMax: It was unnecessary anyway; “server” does nicely.

  88. 88
    Jeffro says:


    Just yesterday he lied repeatedly about why his healthcare bill failed and also that he wouldn’t benefit under his tax plan. He also said he has accomplished more than any other President in 9 months and that “the reviews” on Puerto Rico relief were terrific.

    These are really big lies- he’s creating an alternate history of his term- a complete fiction.

    Which would be fine if it was just him talking to his bathroom mirror every morning. Unfortunately, much of his base takes his Twitter feed + Breitbart as gospel. Not sure how that gets undone.

  89. 89
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:


    You just defined a racist.

    Sure, but they are saying “White Supremacist” which implies some how believes whites are genetically superior to blacks. I don’t accept Trump is capable of understanding that.

  90. 90
    PAM Dirac says:


    As Kay has said the bar hasn’t just been lowered, it’s been thrown away.

    It hasn’t been thrown away. It’s just in storage waiting for the next Democratic president.

  91. 91
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker: I figure once the robots have taken over, we can just use “it” for everything.

  92. 92
    Kay says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Oh,God I do. I think he believes wholeheartedly in archaic notions of how one group is inherently better than another.

    It’s why he doesn’t try to be better. He doesn’t think he has to. He’s in the best group already! The whole family think that.

  93. 93
    Spanky says:

    Here’s something … not new, but something of a summary …

    Russia was successful in its disinformation and hacking campaign to help Donald Trump win the November 2016 U.S. presidential election, but the Alliance for Securing Democracy notes that the Russian subversion of the U.S. electoral process was only one of many such attempts, and that it offers an example for the challenges global democracy faces.

    Russia has interfered in the affairs of at least twenty-seven European and North American countries since 2004, using cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns to subvert and undermine the political systems of these countries.

    The countries targeted by the GRU, the Russian military intelligence branch which has been coordinating the Russian subversion campaign, include: Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine, and the United States.

    More at the source.

  94. 94
    Amir Khalid says:

    Too many of today’s Republicans are the ideological heirs of those who quit the Republic rather than let the rich among them give up the right to own slaves. Do they claim any love for Lincoln at all?

  95. 95
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Leto: Yes, but Trump just got outflanked by a guy dressed in a kids cowboy costume, Moore turned having Dementia into a conservative virtue. Trump’s problem is it’s a race to the bottom with the Base and because he’s president he has limits were any conservative who wants to oppose him doesn’t have.

  96. 96
    J R in WV says:


    Oh wow, talk about a strained situation made worse. You have to feel for the medical staff, they have to learn to deal with that kind of thing frequently. And then go on to the next patient who need their help!

    Hope your results are good.

  97. 97
    Leto says:

    @NotMax: Things you learn. Of course he probably would’ve gotten Jackson. He does love him some Andrew.

    @PAM Dirac: Very true. “He/she is SHAMING the office of the president!” /eye rolls and fainting couches all around.

  98. 98
    cmorenc says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    @Baud: I’m wholly in favor of more inclusive language, but I wish we could come up with a gender-neutral pronoun in singular form instead of using plural pronouns, which inherently imply multiple people.

    If one speaks of a singular person as “they”, think of it as referring to the entire trinity of personhood: the “me, myself, and I: of that person. That’s good grammar when considered in the proper framework.

  99. 99
    MomSense says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    For decades trump has blathered about his “race horse” ideas of superior genes, something his father believed in as well. It’s pretty common in the kkk, nazi, white supremacist circles the trumps have long been a part of.

  100. 100
    Chyron HR says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Translation: “It will go into effect a week late.”

  101. 101
    Kathleen says:

    @EriktheRed: As a beleaguered Reds fan one win is a big deal. Congratulations. Always Always happy when Not The Cardinals take the Central Division.

  102. 102
    Leto says:

    @Amir Khalid: only as a figurehead. Only as a way to say that they’re not racist. “We’re the party of Lincoln! We freed the slaves!” Yes, technically, you’re the party of Lincoln. But honestly, this hasn’t been his party for over 60 years now.

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: It’s interesting that you think he has limits, when all evidence points to the contrary. I guess we’ll all find out together.

  103. 103
    Betty Cracker says:

    @cmorenc: Maybe you’re kidding, but just in case, I disagree because the plural nature of those pronouns provides clarity around their relationship to the subject. For example: “Baud realized they had bitten off more than they could chew.” Are we talking about Baud here, i.e., the trinity of Baud’s personhood — Baud the parent, Baud the child, and Baud the holy spirit? Or are we talking about some others about whom Baud has had an epiphany?

  104. 104
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Sure, but they are saying “White Supremacist” which implies some how believes whites are genetically superior to blacks.

    Every racist in the world believes s/he is inherently superior from birth. And he’s white. Add to that the KKK believes he’s a white supremacist. The Nazi’s too. And don’t forget that trump has repeatedly invoked his superior genes over the years.

    Seriously, I get tired of people (not pointing a finger at just you) parsing their words to the finest detail, afraid to make too broad a statement concerning trump, desirous of every ‘t’ being crossed and every ‘i’ being dotted.

    trump is a racist piece of shit and the fact that he is a white racist piece of shit makes him a white supremacist. The only people who will argue with that are FOXbots.

  105. 105
    A Ghost To Most says:

    One of the strengths of the English language is the ability to absorb words from other languages, and new words, and new uses of old words. I’m sure it can survive calling a person ‘they’; I use it all the time. Of course, I have a gender fluid child, so maybe I’m used to it.

  106. 106
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @PAM Dirac: Truth.

  107. 107
    J R in WV says:


    Our dogs went out briefly in the wee hours last night. The younger white lab dog is less adventurous than the elder brown lab, after getting lost on the mountain not long after she learned to chase chipmunks and deer, so she came to the back door after just a little while.

    But the older dog stayed out in the dark woods all night. I could hear her barking from time to time, which she loves to do. When she showed up not long ago, at first I thought she may have hurt herself, but nope, it was just the adrenaline of the chase, she was bouncing from foot to foot anxious for me to open the door and give her the morning snack.

    I love it that we have such a good place for the dogs to range in the woods. They get great exercise, never really chase the deer to catch them, just to make them run a hundred yards. Our chipmunk population around the house has dropped to zero, but that isn’t a bad thing, they have 98 more acres of forest away from the house to thrive.

    The younger bigger dog ate grass yesterday, which resulted in a large barf in the bedroom, which we found last night at bedtime. Standard practice for big dogs, though. They do it to feel better. I never worry about dog barf with grass in it, I think that’s why they eat grass. I don’t worry about cat barf with lots of hair in it, or packed solid cat food, when they eat too much too fast. Someone mentioned putting river rocks in a cat’s dish to slow them down a little – I think that sounds like good advice. Dog knows they need to eat slower than they want to!

  108. 108
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    the trinity of Baud’s personhood

    Baud! 2020!: Three for the price of one!

  109. 109
    Baud says:

    @A Ghost To Most: We should be grateful. Romance languages are fucked on this issue.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @J R in WV:

    I love it that we have such a good place for the dogs to range in the woods.

    Same here. I taught the Woofmeister to stay away from the state hwy in front of our house when we first got him and he does, so I can let him out to roam without worry. He loves to chase the squirrels and especially the raccoons but the only thing he ever kills are the moles, which bothers me not at all.

  112. 112
    SFAW says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Trump is living in a bizarre world where he tells an audience that his wife would have liked to be there with him while she’s standing right beside him. Something is not right in his head.

    No, you got it all worng. He was thinking of his OTHER wife — the blond one “married” to the son of some ex-con from the New York area. SHE wasn’t there.

  113. 113
  114. 114
    Spanky says:

    @Spanky: Also too:

    Cyber experts say that Trump’s refusal to accept the reality of the 2016 Russian government’s hacking and disinformation campaign is creating a dangerous policy vacuum. This vacuum, the security experts fear, is only encouraging more cyber warfare (see “Refusal to accept reality of Russian hacking hobbles U.S. cyber defense efforts: Experts,” HSNW, 27 July 2017)

    Another one for the “No Shit, Sherlock” file.

  115. 115
    Another Scott says:

    @rikyrah: Brad DeLong points us to the CBPP.

    Congress is expected to consider legislation to make major changes to the tax code this year. President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress are calling their plans “tax reform,” but to date, they have largely been revenue-losing tax cuts tilted to the wealthy and profitable corporations that largely ignore working class people whose wages have been stagnant. Here is a series of two-page explanations of key issues in the coming tax debate.

    For graphics resources, please also see our Social Media Graphics on Tax Reform.



  116. 116
    Marcopolo says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I guess I’m happy that the White House can still be shamed into doing something if enough pressure is put on them. But really, they waive it almost immediately for FL & TX but not for PR & the VI–makes them effing racist bastards in my book.

  117. 117
    Another Scott says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Smart doc. :-) But, of course, there are always corner cases. Uveal Melanoma.



  118. 118
  119. 119
    J R in WV says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    According to the Oxford Dictionary:

    The word they (with its counterparts them, their, and themselves) as a singular pronoun to refer to a person of unspecified gender has been used since at least the 16th century.

    So not a new thing at all, as with so much under the sun, grammar was much more casual way back in the days of old. No offense intended… I do have my own grammatical bugbears which absolutely rub me the wrong way at times.

  120. 120
    rikyrah says:


    But really, they waive it almost immediately for FL & TX but not for PR & the VI–makes them effing racist bastards in my book.

    absolute racists

  121. 121
    SuzieC says:

    My sister is a belligerent conservaive. She has been losing her mind recently over the NFL protests. I finally had enough, told her so, and blocked her. Have any of you managed to maintain a relationship with a toxic right wing Trumpist relative?

  122. 122
    Spanky says:

    In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined a sweeter life.

    Thanks for everything, Hef.

  123. 123
    Marcopolo says:

    In case anyone is still tracking this thread & in remembrance of Hefner (and Dick Gregory), here’s a piece on the Freedom Summer 3. Hefner put up the reward money Gregory used to get the tip where they were buried:

  124. 124
    Another Scott says:

    @Betty Cracker: Since we all kinda/sorta start out female, and males are kinda/sorta genetic mutants, maybe simply instead of defaulting to “he” as we did for hundreds of years (or more), maybe we should simply default to “she”. It’s singular, it already exists, and one can construct a kinda/sorta plausible reason to do so.

    They seems weird to these ears. But it really doesn’t bother me much if someone or some group prefers it.

    (Who is glad he’s not in charge of making decisions like these!)

  125. 125
    rikyrah says:

    Why the Republican tax plan is effectively ‘Cheez Doodle reform’
    09/27/17 04:46 PM
    By Steve Benen

    In the spring, Donald Trump’s White House unveiled a one-page outline that he described as a bold tax-reform “plan.” The president gave it far too much credit: the piece of paper was basically a table of contents without the content.

    In the months that followed, the administration struggled to get its act together. Trump World intended to pass a tax-reform plan by August. Then it said the plan would by “locked in place” by September. Eventually, the White House assured everyone the president would spend August selling the policy, before unveiling the “full blown” presidential blueprint around Labor Day.

    Now, it’s nearly October, and Republicans have only managed to put together something resembling a tax plan.

    After months of work, a tax plan released Wednesday by the White House and House Republicans would provide large tax cuts to both corporations and individuals. The highly-anticipated proposal still has a long ways to go before it can be voted on but Republicans outlined their objectives in a nine page document this morning.

    The plan includes long-held Republican goals of reducing the corporate tax rate and simplifying the tax code. It lowers the corporate tax rate to 20 percent and eliminates four income tax brackets. It doubles the standard deduction and increase the child tax credit. It also repeals the estate tax but keeps the deductions for mortgage interest and charitable giving, all tax breaks that tend to impact high-income tax payers. But it is expected to cost trillions of dollars and Republicans haven’t yet presented a clear way to pay for it.

  126. 126
    rikyrah says:

    How the Bankruptcy System Is Failing Black Americans
    Black people struggling with debts are far less likely than their white peers to gain lasting relief from bankruptcy. Primarily to blame is a style of bankruptcy practiced by lawyers in the South.
    SEP. 28, 2017 6:00 AM

    Novasha Miller pushed through the revolving doors of the black glass tower on Jefferson Avenue last December and felt a rush of déjà vu. The building, conspicuous in Memphis’ modest skyline along the Mississippi River, looms over its neighbors. Then she remembered: Years ago, as a teenager, she’d accompanied her mother inside.

    Now she was 32, herself the mother of a teenager , and she was entering the same door, taking the same elevator. Like her mother before her, Miller was filing for bankruptcy.

    She’d cried when she made the decision, but with three boys and one uneven paycheck, every month was a narrow escape. A debt collector had recently won a court judgment against her and, along with that, the ability to seize a chunk of her pay. Soon, she would be forced to decide between groceries or electricity.

    Bankruptcy, she figured, despite its stink of shame and failure, would stop all that. She could begin anew: older, wiser, and with a job at a catering company that paid $10.50 an hour, a good bump from her last one. She could keep dreaming of a life where she had money left over at the end of each month, a chance of one day owning a home.

    What Miller didn’t know when she swallowed her pride and called a local bankruptcy attorney is that she would probably end up right back where she started, with the same debts, in the same crisis. For the black debtors who, for generations, have made Memphis the bankruptcy capital of the U.S., the system delivers neither forgiveness nor renewal.

    Up on the sixth floor of that tower where I met Miller last February, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee appeared to be a well-functioning machine. Debtors, nearly all black like her, crowded the wedge-shaped waiting area as lawyers, paralegals and court staff, almost all white, milled about in front. Hundreds of cases are filed here every week, and those who oversee and administer the process all proudly note the court’s marvelous efficiency. Millions of dollars flow smoothly to creditors, to the court, to bankruptcy attorneys.

    But the machine hides a harsh reality. When ProPublica analyzed consumer bankruptcy filings nationwide, the district stood out, both for the stunning number of cases in which debtors were unable to get relief, and for the reasons why. In Memphis, an entrenched legal culture has made bankruptcy a boon for attorneys while miring clients like Miller in a cycle of futility.

    Under federal bankruptcy law, people overwhelmed by debt have a choice: They can either file under Chapter 7, which wipes out debts and, since most filers lack significant assets, allows them to keep what little they have. Or they can choose Chapter 13, which usually requires five years of payments to creditors before any debts are eliminated, but blocks foreclosures and car repossessions as long as debtors can keep up. In most of the country, Chapter 7 is the overwhelming choice. Only in the South, in a band of states stretching from North Carolina to Texas, is Chapter 13 predominant.

    The responsibility of knowing which path to pick falls to those seeking relief. In Memphis, about three-quarters of filings are under Chapter 13. That’s how Miller filed. She thought the two chapters were “the same,” she told me.

  127. 127
    Laura says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I got to have one yesterday as well. It was uneventful except for terrible anxiety and foreboding after flunking the mail in test.
    I am 10,0000% less freaked out than I’ve been for the last 2 weeks.
    My backside sends greetings from sunny Clearwater Florida even though I’m in Cali.

  128. 128
    rikyrah says:


    had no idea about this story.

  129. 129
    rikyrah says:

    Senate bill could trigger mass slaughter of wild mustang via @cbsnews. These magnificent animals are American icons
    — Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) September 28, 2017

  130. 130
    rikyrah says:

    The Los Angeles Times obituary for Hugh Hefner is really good.
    — Javier Panzar (@jpanzar) September 28, 2017

  131. 131
    Marcopolo says:

    @SuzieC: My neighbor voted for Trump. Yesterday I asked him how he’s feeling about being Republican considering the Rs in AL just nominated a religious zealot who doesn’t believe in the rule of law. I also pointed out that said zealot thought the proper place for his out gay son was in jail. His reply was he was a fiscal conservative & he was waiting to see the tax plan–to which I followed up that all analysis of what’s out there on it so far points to it adding 1.5T dollars to the national debt. Of the othe two folks in my extended circle who voted T. One hasn’t shown his face at any gatherings since March, the other (a libertarian douchebag) hasn’t wanted to talk about “politics” since June–he used to go on and on about the evils of Hitlery & Obama. As for the NFL thing, I’d be tempted, if I were you, to ask your sister if she’d jump off a cliff if Trump told her to cause this whole boycott football shitstorm just makes me think of lemmings marching.

  132. 132
    rikyrah says:

    No one can figure out why Trump included Chad in Muslim Ban 3.0. via @thinkprogress
    — Jim Roberts (@nycjim) September 27, 2017

    State Department and Pentagon officials all opposed Trump’s travel ban on Chad. Stephen Miller said do it anyway
    — Dionne Searcey (@dionnesearcey) September 27, 2017

  133. 133
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @SuzieC: I broke with my family 10 years ago. They were in the vanguard of the white nationalist movement. I haven’t been back since.

    15 years ago, when my brother sent me an email telling me that all non-christians should get out of America, I responded by telling him that in the future, we would be on opposite sides of a new civil war, and that I would have the American flag at my back, and he would have the loser flags at his back. I had no idea how close to that we would come.

  134. 134
    rikyrah says:

    Here’s why Trump’s tax plan will hit Californians especially hard

    Maany Californians face a big financial hit under the Republican tax plan, which would eliminate a major tax break that benefits state residents more than those anywhere else in the U.S.

    The federal deduction for state and local taxes allowed Californians to reduce their taxable income by $101 billion in 2014, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

    The tax outline released Wednesday by President Trump and top congressional Republicans would ax the break, which largely benefits residents in states that are Democratic strongholds

    “Republicans in Washington have once again zeroed in on California to punish us and make our state the single biggest loser in their reckless tax scheme,” said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the elimination of the deduction was one reason the plan was a “non-starter” for her.

    “I don’t believe California should suffer in order for President Trump to give tax cuts to the rich,” she said.

    The plan also left open the possibility of another big hit: new limits on the deduction for home mortgage interest, which would have a greater effect on states with higher housing costs, such as California and New York.

  135. 135
    Steeplejack says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    That wasn’t her error. She used a plural adjective (their) when she should have used a singular one (her) to agree with the singular subject woman. “Gender-neutral” doesn’t come into it.

  136. 136
    rikyrah says:

    .@Acosta: Trump says his tax plan doesn’t help him; We don’t know that because he hasn’t released his tax returns
    — CNN (@CNN) September 27, 2017

  137. 137
    rikyrah says:

    Obama’s alma mater launches scholarship program in his name
    — The Hill (@thehill) September 28, 2017

  138. 138
    Betty Cracker says:

    @J R in WV: Again, as I noted above, it’s not a new thing when used in a generic sense. But the push to make plural pronouns standard when referring to specific individuals is new. I recognize the need to throw off the shackles of binary gender categories and applaud inclusive language. I just disagree with this particular approach because indicating whether the subject is plural or singular is an important function of pronouns. (I also recognize the futility of my objections and am resigned to being overruled. But I’m not resigned to being misunderstood!)

  139. 139
    rikyrah says:

    Ohio shut down its navigator program, responsible for #ACA enrollment assistance, due to Trump’s admin’s budget cuts
    — Save My Care (@SaveMyCare) September 27, 2017

  140. 140
    rikyrah says:

    Trump invents hospitalized senator to explain latest failure
    09/28/17 08:00 AM—UPDATED 09/28/17 08:08 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Yesterday morning, Donald Trump was so eager to explain away the demise of his party’s health care gambit, he unveiled a new excuse: one of the Senate Republicans prepared to vote for the repeal measure was in the hospital.

    A few hours later on the White House South Lawn, the president elaborated on this point:

    TRUMP: I just wanted to say though on health care, we have the votes for health care. We have one senator that’s in the hospital. He can’t vote because he’s in the hospital.

    REPORTER: Are you talking about [Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi]?

    TRUMP: [Nods] He can’t vote because he’s in the hospital.


    Not to put too fine a point on this, but four “no” votes plus one “yes” is still … four “no” votes.

  141. 141

    @Baud: I was once at a tech writing conference in Canada and the French speakers were talking about how to write gender inclusive documents when just about every noun is gendered. You can’t just say the French equivalent of “professor” for instance because that’s masculine.

  142. 142
    rikyrah says:

    What Trump doesn’t understand about the politics of taxes
    09/28/17 08:40 AM—UPDATED 09/28/17 09:19 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Donald Trump put on his political-strategist hat this morning and offered Democrats some advice. “Democrats don’t want massive tax cuts – how does that win elections?” the president tweeted.

    For now, let’s put aside the oddity of thinking Donald Trump wants to help Democrats “win elections” – as if the nation’s top GOP official is sincerely interested in the opposing party’s electoral well-being – and focus instead on the president’s confusion about public attitudes.

    Consider, for example, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which included an interesting question: “In order to fund the government and work to make certain the economy is healthy, would you increase, decrease, or keep taxes about the same as they are now for each of the following?”

    The wealthy
    Increase taxes: 62%
    Decrease taxes: 12%

    Increase taxes: 55%
    Decrease taxes: 16%


    In other words, the American mainstream doesn’t want tax breaks for corporations or the wealthy. Trump and congressional Republicans are pushing tax breaks for corporations or the wealthy. To borrow a phrase, “How does that win elections?”

    In Indianapolis yesterday, the president tried selling his plan by lying about it. “Our framework includes our explicit commitment that tax reform will protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy and well-connected,” Trump said, reading from his trusted teleprompter. “They can call me all they want. It’s not going to help. I’m doing the right thing, and it’s not good for me. Believe me.”

    Actually, no, don’t believe him. The Washington Post, among others, published a piece setting the record straight.

    There are certain components that will obviously benefit the Trump family (at least two of whom work directly for Trump). Repealing the estate tax, for example, would save the Trump estate half a billion dollars by Bloomberg’s estimate — money that would then go to his heirs.

    What’s more, as Wonkblog reports, Trump’s vague articulation that he’s protecting the non-rich but not the rich is not borne out by the details. “The wealthy get a tax cut,” our Heather Long writes. “They will pay only 35 percent on their income taxes (down from 39.6 percent). At the moment, this rate applies to any income above about $418,000.” If you make $500,000, in other words, you’ll save about $25,000 a year in taxes. What’s more, business gets a significant cut, which obviously benefits Trump through the Trump Organization (which still puts money in his pocket).

  143. 143
    rikyrah says:

    Trump, GOP tax plan omits details on who pays
    The trick is to provide enough detail to satisfy lawmakers whose votes they’ll need but not so much that they get eaten alive by lobbyists.
    09/27/2017 10:44 AM EDT Updated 09/27/2017 05:59 PM EDT

    ¦The long-awaited proposal released Wednesday morning by the so-called Big Six is heavy on the GOP’s tax cut desires and light when it comes to explaining whose taxes will have to go up to help control costs.


    But Republican leaders don’t plan to simply cut taxes and leave it at that. They want to at least partially defray the cost with offsetting tax increases. But their plans for doing that, for the most part, are still a secret.

    That didn’t stand in the way of a crucial endorsement from the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus, even though some of its leaders had warned they wanted to see plenty of details. House Republicans presented a unified front for the plan at a retreat aimed at rallying their often-divided conference behind the new tax push.

    It’s not that Republicans don’t necessarily know who they want to foot the bill for their plans. They just don’t want to identify all the losers quite yet. Their game plan is to delay spelling out who would have to pay more under their plan in order to give opponents as little opportunity as possible to mount a counteroffensive.

    There’s a fear that K Street lobbyists will launch massive campaigns to protect their favorite provisions, killing the entire initiative. Speaker Paul Ryan urged lawmakers to stand firm against lobbyists during the GOP retreat.

  144. 144
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Good morning! In other shameful things this maladministration is doing: Zinke says his workers are disloyal. They say his personnel moves break the law.

    As Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blasted many within his department for being disloyal to the Trump administration’s agenda this week, the agency’s inspector general’s office continued a probe into whether officials acted inappropriately when they abruptly reassigned dozens of senior workers.

  145. 145
    rikyrah says:

    Trump tries, fails to explain the basics of his latest travel ban
    09/28/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump’s proposed Muslim ban has gone through a few iterations, and this week, the president unveiled the latest version of his controversial policy – which now includes non-Muslim countries.

    In a move so obvious I have no idea why the White House didn’t think of it sooner, Team Trump added to the list of Muslim nations with banned or restricted travel visas, this time including North Korea and Venezuela to the mix. This will make it at least marginally easier for the administration’s attorneys to say it isn’t a Muslim ban, Trump’s campaign promises notwithstanding.

    But the new policy still raises plenty of questions, and the issue came up briefly yesterday when the president spoke to reporters on the White House South Lawn. From the official transcript:

    REPORTER: First of all, can you explain to us why Sudan was removed [from the travel ban list]? And second of all, how does the travel ban work in North Korea that doesn’t allow their people out of the country?

    TRUMP: Well, the people – yeah, the people allowed – certain countries – but we can add countries very easily and we can take countries away.

    REPORTER: What did Sudan do right?

    TRUMP: And as far as the travel ban is concerned, whatever it is, I want the toughest travel ban you can have. So I’ll see you in Indiana.

    Oh. So, in other words, Trump unveiled an important international policy this week, and he hasn’t the foggiest idea what it is. The questions that came up yesterday weren’t obscure policy details; they were the kind of questions a competent president should’ve been able to field about his own policy two days after its unveiling.

  146. 146
    rikyrah says:

    I have the Les Miserable 10th Anniversary Concert that I downloaded from youtube…been playing it all week.

    Damn, I love this musical.

  147. 147
    rikyrah says:

    Lips pursed:

    CNN’s Chris Cuomo: Trump is telling NFL owners “control your dog”
    — The Hill (@thehill) September 28, 2017

  148. 148

    @A Ghost To Most:

    One of the strengths of the English language is the ability to absorb words from other languages, and new words, and new uses of old words. I’m sure it can survive calling a person ‘they’; I use it all the time.

    No, clearly this is the death knell of the language. Damn millennials and their avocado grammar.

  149. 149
    Jeffro says:


    Have any of you managed to maintain a relationship with a toxic right wing Trumpist relative?

    Yes, but not that toxic.

    You might want to send her links to some of the stories about Russian troll farms stirring up both sides of the #takeaknee issue. Then ask her “who benefits?” when folks such as herself get riled up to the point of hating other Americans…

  150. 150
    Jeffro says:


    Now, it’s nearly October, and Republicans have only managed to put together something resembling a tax plan.

    It’s because, once again, their lies about ‘fiscal responsibility’ and ‘looking out for the middle class’ have caught up with them and it’s impacting their true agenda: taking care of the rich. Stating the obvious, I know, but still…you can’t have it both ways, GOP.

  151. 151
    J R in WV says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Well, I have to admit that my formal knowledge of grammar is low. I’m well read, and as a result I write pretty well. By now I’ve learned to be specific and clear about topics where I know something.

    I suspect I may have misunderstood your gripe about “they” as an ungendered singular pronoun. In any case, no offense intended. I have been able to slide into using it easily, even though I don’t know many people for whom it is even potentially appropriate, being in rural dark holler country.

    You take care down there, and stay cool when you can!

  152. 152
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Kay: Lord Dampnut just wanted to put a Senator in the hospital.

  153. 153
    J R in WV says:


    Have any of you managed to maintain a relationship with a toxic right wing Trumpist relative?

    Yes… but. My brother finally wound up in Texas, after living and working in Georgia, New York, Texas,Utah, and then back to Texas. He really feels at home in TX, and had a Bush ’04 bumper sticker on his cars before that election.

    The way we deal with it is by never talking about any political issue whatsoever. I ask about his sons, my only nephews, we talk about his small ranch property, other family and friends, but we never mention politics. This held especially during the election of 2004 and the run-up to it.

    Election day our father, who was receiving palliative care in his apartment from Hospice, finally died from the side effects of his otherwise successful chemo for a rare and severe strain of leukemia.

    That night (I was staying with my brother and his family) we watched the election returns silently, with the aid of a good bottle of bourbon. Come about 10 pm, when it was about obvious Bush was being re-elected, I said good-night and went up to my room to bed. There was zero discussion of the election results or the causes behind them. I was grateful that my younger brother was able to just not go there.

    We don’t talk as often as I would like, because cutting out politics removes a lot of conversational topics from the table. And we aren’t as close as we once were. His wife is a Georgia raised person, who no doubt pulls at him to be more southern than he was already prone to be. My cousin calls her the Georgia Peach Pit, which is pretty apt.

    But we do have a relationship, although I thankfully haven’t spoken to his wife in years now.

  154. 154
  155. 155
    rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan sees Trump ‘giving us the leadership we need’
    09/28/17 10:02 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Regular readers may recall a “Saturday Night Live” sketch from may in which “Donald Trump” sat down for an interview with NBC News’ “Lester Holt” – actors, of course, portrayed the real people – only to be interrupted by an overeager young man who wanted to give the president some ice cream.

    The young man was an actor playing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

    The sketch came to mind watching the Republican leader on Fox News last night, boasting about “great relationship” he has with Trump; When Sean Hannity asked if he’s pleased with Trump’s presidency, Ryan replied, “I’m very happy.” It led to this exchange:

    RYAN: I think the president is giving us the leadership we need to get the country back on the right track. […]

    HANNITY: Any big disagreement you have with him?

    RYAN: No.


    Asked about Trump’s many conflicts of interest, Ryan said he doesn’t care. Asked about Russia’s role in helping get Trump elected, the Speaker passed the buck. Asked about the Muslim ban he used to oppose, Ryan defended the president’s policy. Asked about Trump firing the FBI director to help derail an ongoing federal counter-espionage investigation, wasn’t especially concerned.

    Just how badly does the Speaker of the House want tax breaks for the wealthy? The answer gets clearer every day.

  156. 156
    Steeplejack says:


    “The wealthy get a tax cut,” our Heather Long writes. “They will pay only 35 percent on their income taxes (down from 39.6 percent). At the moment, this rate applies to any income above about $418,000.” If you make $500,000, in other words, you’ll save about $25,000 a year in taxes.

    WTF? We’re talking about the top marginal tax rate. In this example, it would apply only to the $82,000 of the person’s income above $418,000. Under current law, the tax on that would be $32,472 ($82,000 × 0.396). Under the proposed change, it would be $28,700 ($82,000 × 0.35). That’s a savings of $3,772. How in the fuck someone (presumably not Heather Long, since it’s outside her quote) got $25,000 out of that is a mystery to me.

    The larger question, of course, is how can we have a sane discussion about tax issues when large numbers of the press (and politicians, business people and the public at large) can’t handle relatively simple math?

    ETA: Oh, right. “Taxes bad! Cut ’em!” Problem solved.

  157. 157
    SFAW says:

    @J R in WV:

    Well, I have to admit that my formal knowledge of grammar are low.

    Fixed, because I just wanted to fuck with you.

    By now I’ve learned to be specific and clear about topics where I know something.

    That makes you unusual for this joint. Not that you’re specific and clear; rather, that you opine on stuff you actually know. Most of us are not hampered by that scruple.

  158. 158
    rikyrah says:

    Brendan Cox: ‘I told Obama that Jo had admired him greatly’

    Four days after the murder of Jo Cox, her husband, Brendan, received a call from the US president inviting him and his children to the White House. In this extract from his new book, he talks about the warmth and sympathy of Obama, and the delicate negotiations as his children choose which of their drawings to give the president

    20 June 2016
    I felt strong enough to turn on my phone again and be able to talk to people. One of the friends I spoke to was Gordon Brown, my former boss at 10 Downing Street.

    Gordon was kind and compassionate, and he said all the right things. Just as we were saying goodbye, he told me that Barack Obama had called him and asked for my contact details.

    “Would that be OK,” Gordon asked. “May I pass them on?”

    I couldn’t really imagine the president of the United States wanting to get in touch, so I offered a casual response: “Yes, that would be fine.”

    We all focused on getting through the day as best we could, and looking after the kids. Hour after hour we tried hard to keep them occupied and in good spirits.

    Early that evening, sitting downstairs with everyone, my phone rang again. It was a withheld number. I almost didn’t answer but, because dinner was nearly over and there was a lull before we gave the kids a treat for dessert, I picked it up.

    “Hello, Mr Cox. This is the White House Situation Room,” a very deep and very American voice boomed. “We would like to transfer you to Air Force One.”

    I nearly said: “Yeah, right, which one of you is taking the piss?” I was convinced it was one of my friends winding me up. But no one I cared about would be in the mood to play a prank on me. I also remembered what Gordon had said.

    “That’s fine,” I said, rising like a zombie, heading upstairs like one of The Walking Dead. It felt so extraordinary I didn’t really know what I was doing.

    I had reached the top of the stairs when a new voice echoed. “Hello. This is the control room of Air Force One. We would like to connect you with the president of the United States.”

    I wanted to say: “Really?” But, instead, I just muttered: “OK.”

    “Come and see me,” Obama said. “Bring the kids and come out to DC …” “OK,” I said, as if one of my mates from the band had just invited the kids and me over to an impromptu gig at Simon or Rob’s house. “We’ll do that.” “Who was on the phone,” my dad asked. “Barack Obama,” I said. “He’s asked me and the kids to go see him in the White House.” My parents and my sister looked at me as if I’d gone mad. And then, for the first time since Jo died, we laughed. Barack Obama was warmer and even more approachable than I had hoped.

    He set us at ease – so much so that Cuillin asked if it was true that British people had burned down the White House. Obama grinned. “Yes, you did burn it down,” he said cheerfully, “but it’s much nicer now. Do you like it?” “Yeah,” both kids replied in unison. We now have a lovely photograph of Lejla reaching up with her left arm to embrace President Obama while her right foot arches behind her. Barack Obama holds her drawing of the blue sea, full of colourful fish, in his left hand. His right arm encircles her. Cuillin, Jessie and I are beaming in the background. It was Cuillin’s turn next and he fell happily into an Obama hug. My gaze drifted from that happy scene to the prized picture we would be keeping. I couldn’t stop smiling, making a mental note to present this very drawing in a frame to Cuillin on his 18th birthday.

  159. 159
    SFAW says:


    My brother commented to me something on the order of: one of the reasons he hates Paul Ryan is because every day, Ryan wakes up trying to think up new ways to fuck over the poor and middle class.

  160. 160
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    @Marcopolo: Damn, Dick Gregory is now one of my heroes. Thank you for posting this Marcopolo

  161. 161
    SFAW says:


    Dammit. Now you’re making me miss him even more.

  162. 162
    rikyrah says:

    They are mad because he sees Black humanity. And understands that it has nothing to do with ‘ respecting the troops’. He understands the real meaning.

    ‘ Too affluent’ to speak out?
    They are telling him what they tell the athletes – you make too much money to have the ‘ right to complain’. – as if your bank account discounts your right to free speech and protect.
    Funny how this only seems to apply to NON-White people.

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    People Are Claiming This Asian-American Doctor Who Took A Knee Is …. he is too privileged in this country to speak out about racial injustices.

  163. 163
    SFAW says:


    Fucking MSM. I had no idea that Gregory had died. Shit.

  164. 164
  165. 165
    rikyrah says:


    My brother commented to me something on the order of: one of the reasons he hates Paul Ryan is because every day, Ryan wakes up trying to think up new ways to fuck over the poor and middle class.

    I understand.
    Like Attorney General White Citizens Council, Dolt45 could say whatever he wants about the ZEGK.
    He has had his fantasy of dismantling the New Deal, and dammit, he wants to go down in history as the person who did it.
    Cause, who other than a complete sociopath would admit that he’s been dreaming of destroying Medicaid since college?

  166. 166
    SFAW says:


    Let me see if I can get this:

    In ‘Murica:
    If you’re rich, and non-white, you shouldn’t speak out.
    If you’re poor, and non-white, you shouldn’t speak out.
    If you’re rich and white, you’re oppressed by Those Others
    If you’re poor and white, Those Others are getting things that YOU should get, but THEY shouldn’t
    If you’re poor and white, if you actually DO get certain things, Those Others still shouldn’t get those things

    Do I have that right?

  167. 167
    catclub says:

    @Jeffro: Why has no one told him that whenever he says “Believe me” they know it means a lie has just happened?
    Actually two.

  168. 168
    rikyrah says:


    That about sums it up.

  169. 169

    @rikyrah: I have experienced that to some extent on Balloon Juice and IRL too, I have been commenting here since President Obama got elected the first time but I have only been called names here since T got elected as I become more vocal and less diplomatic.

  170. 170
    catclub says:

    @Steeplejack: The single top rate is the most insidious theft.
    Ask someone if people who earn $25k and $100k should pay the same top rate and they say no.
    How about if they earn $450k or $2M – Apparently, then the answer is: sure that is the only fair way!!
    How about $2M or $50M, should they pay the same top tax rate? Another place where mathematical ignorance costs us.

  171. 171
    satby says:

    @Betty Cracker: along those lines, I’m at the Farmers Market now, and two classes of kindergarten kids are touring with their teachers. I noticed both teacher addressed the group as “friends”, i.e. “ok friends, let’s keep moving”. As opposed to what they would have said before: “girls and boys”. I thought that was nice, both because it’s inclusive and because little ones that age are all about their friends. In these classes, everyone had a grown-up friend.

  172. 172
    Betty Cracker says:

    @J R in WV: No offense taken. I’m pretty casual about grammar at this joint, but I have made my living as a writer for 20+ years, so issues like this are important to me from a professional standpoint. My zeal for precision accounts for any vehemence on the subject; I am all for inclusiveness! 🙂

  173. 173
    Tenar Arha says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning! 🌞 Ron Wyden was out almost immediately with a tweetstorm yesterday if you still need stuff.

  174. 174
    The Moar You Know says:

    Have any of you managed to maintain a relationship with a toxic right wing Trumpist relative?

    @SuzieC: Yeah. Kinda interesting. Should mention first my parents have been divorced for almost 40 years.

    Post-Obama’s first election, my lifelong Dem mother – who was also a lifelong racist – went GOP. My lifelong GOP dad went full Never Trump in this election and is really not happy with his party. Oh, he won’t switch. But he’s very, very unhappy with the direction it’s gone in.

    My mother is a full-on Trump supporter, was in all the way as soon as he said the words she had been praying to hear from a politician since she moved to California…”all Mexicans are diseased rapists.” She’s been saying it for decades. Nothing like affirmation, right? Thinks he’s doing all the right things to get America back.

    She’s not all the way stupid, knows her kids won’t speak to her if she decides to let the freak flag fly, so she keeps her mouth mostly shut. The burden is on her. My brother and I are more than willing to tell her to go get fucked if she decides to be the asshole, and she knows it.

    People tend to be more respectful of your feelings if you let them know up front they are expendable.

  175. 175
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Kay: There was a Harvard study of that in the Boston area. Over a certain percentage people adapt or move. However it’s the transitional & border areas that get (this is my word) squirrelly. ETA Basically there’s starting to be s body of work that shows that proximity to change without actually participating in demographic change ends up increasing all sorts of nasty prejudices.

  176. 176
  177. 177
    Steeplejack says:


    Oh, c’mon, man! They can’t even add and multiply the numbers. Asking them to think about what the numbers actually mean is a bridge way too far.

  178. 178
    Monala says:

    @Betty Cracker: People have: ze and zir. I much prefer they and their.

  179. 179
    eclare says:

    @cmorenc: DeLaSoul would approve.

  180. 180
    J R in WV says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blasted many within his department for being disloyal to the Trump administration’s agenda this week

    Didn’t Ryan Zinke take an oath when he took his position as a cabinet secretary? Does he remember that oath at all? Because it wasn’t swearing to honor and protect Donald Trump, nor the Republican Party, nor Grover Norquist and his policies. It was to faithfully defend the Constitution of the United States of America, unless they’ve changed it a lot since I took my oath.

    I will confess I barely remember that day in the Induction Center in Roanoke, March 1st, 1970. But I’ve studied that oath since that day, and heard others take it. This MothaFuqr Zinke breaks his oath every couple of hours, sounds like. Tearing down what he swore to protect. Attacking what he swore to defend. Wasn’t he an elected politician before his appoiintment? I guess that explains it – Republican elected political office holders have to get used to living with a broken oath quickly.

  181. 181
    The Golux says:


    How in the fuck someone (presumably not Heather Long, since it’s outside her quote) got $25,000 out of that is a mystery to me.

    Simple. If you apply the 39.6% and 35% rates to the entire $500K, the difference is $23,000, or “about $25,000”. So the author is making the same mistake the Galtians make, thinking the marginal rate affects total income.

  182. 182
    J R in WV says:


    That makes you unusual for this joint. Not that you’re specific and clear; rather, that you opine on stuff you actually know. Most of us are not hampered by that scruple.

    Now you’re really pulling my leg…. Seriously, have you read any of my comments, you know – the long ones at 2 am??

  183. 183
    SFAW says:

    @J R in WV:

    Seriously, have you read any of my comments, you know – the long ones at 2 am??

    Oh, Christ no. How much of a masochist do you think I am? And besides, isn’t it enough that I read the comments from that other WV denizen, the guy with all the animals keeping him company in his “new” (to him, at least) house?

    But I’m shocked — SHOCKED! — that anyone would think I’m pulling their leg.

Comments are closed.