Afternoon Open Thread: Lazy Day

Looks like we could use an open thread. Believe it or not Bailey has been with us a year now. She’s really blossomed the last month or so. No longer shy around friends and strangers, she seems very secure in her place in the pack. Which seems to be beneath the ducks. Poor baby.

Above is our typical morning. We are all up by 6:30, she needs a few more hours of beauty sleep. That morning, I finally kicked her out of bed at 9:30.

What’s going on today? Open thread.

133 replies
  1. 1

    In Duluth, waiting for the hockey game in a couple of hours. Then I drive straight to Maple Grove to work tonight. I should be able to get to sleep about 10am tomorrow.

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Bailey is lovely. Clearly her “few-extra-hours-of-beauty-sleep” regimen is working!

    What’s Bixby up to these days?

  3. 3
    debbie says:

    You’re gonna need a bigger bed.

  4. 4
    narya says:

    Shredding. Unfortunately, only old papers, not, say, a guitar solo. And the papers I’m shredding now (or will be, when the shredder cools down again) are from Difficult Years. I can’t decide whether the shredding is cathartic or not. Also, the bathroom needs cleaning.

    In other words, nothing exciting.

  5. 5
    Laura says:

    Chet, the slightly-used weinie dog has just been walked about on a crisp, golden autumn morning and is now resting comfortably on the bed. If things go well, he’s going to get a claw trim. If things go poorly, he’s getting a bath.

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    And I thought it was a problem having a 15-pound cat decide that she wants to share the bed!

    We had someone tell us today that Keaton may be a Norwegian Forest Cat, not a Maine Coon. They can be hard to tell apart, apparently, but they are the two largest breeds of domestic cat.

  7. 7

    @SiubhanDuinne: Relishing his new jobs – protecting the ducks from that annoying Cooper’s hawk, helping me let them out in the morning, morning egg inspection (which for a dog his size, we’ve managed to have no loss of egg during said inspections) and putting the ducks to bed at night. He is always happier feeling useful.

  8. 8
    Hildebrand says:

    Grading mid-term exams. Nothing is more exciting than reading essays from first-year students hacking their way through historical methodology.

  9. 9

    @Mnemosyne: Someone is convinced Zander is one, too. I can see it, but I can also see the Maine Coon in him, too. He is big – and it’s all muscle – but he’s topped out at 12lbs.

  10. 10
    Elizabelle says:

    @TaMara (HFG): I love that Bixby has responsibilities.

  11. 11

    Cleaning out the refrigerator, hopefully the stove too, laundry, preparing for the arrival of my new refrigerator, getting ready for my new table. In short, routinelike stuff.

  12. 12

    @Mnemosyne: How do you know, did he suddenly develop a taste for herring and aquavit?

  13. 13
    Catherine D. says:


    And I thought it was a problem having a 15-pound cat decide that she wants to share the bed!

    Actually, I think cats can alter gravity. It’s much harder to wrest blanket out from under the 11 pound cat than from the 60 pound dog.

  14. 14
    jhtrotter says:

    Wondering if Adam or anyone else has thoughts regarding the eo 13223 amendment?

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:

    Popping this into this thread, because every thread needs Lulu. Ozark Hillbilly had put up an AP story on Lulu from a St. Louis paper. However, Lulu gets even more ink in bureaucracy land.

    Here’s the story on Lulu from the Washington Post. It was longer and even funnier.

    Lulu the dog flunked out of CIA bomb-sniffer school because she just didn’t care

    Her just didn’t care. Lulu. #sniff butts not bombs

    Feds? Lulu is just not that into you.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:


    Don’t give him any ideas! I’m sure he would love to have herring for dinner every night, with Aquavit for dessert. 😹

    Apparently the major difference is the head shape — Maine Coons have a “wedge-shaped” head, while Forest Cats are more triangle-shaped.

  17. 17
    efgoldman says:


    Nothing is more exciting than reading essays from first-year students hacking their way through historical methodology.

    Without telling them, change your grading matrix so the most ridiculous outlandish analysis gets the best grade,

  18. 18
    CaseyL says:

    @jhtrotter: Just read up on it. No one seems to know if it’s a “just in case” thing or a harbinger of another big war. My bet is the latter: if the people who put that creature in the WH really want to destroy this country utterly, a big war with NK will do the trick.

    It reminds me of how W ruined the lives of people enlisted armed forces Reserve units during the war in Iraq by continually recalling and redeploying troops in violation of the 6-month stop loss limit. Looks like Dolt45 is now going to ruin the lives of retired military personnel.

  19. 19
    CaseyL says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think Norwegian Forest Cats also have shorter legs in proportion to their bodies than Maine Coons.

  20. 20
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Hildebrand: Hah! My midterm grades are in and now students who failed to turn in multiple assignments – with the predictable outcome – are interested in extra credit opportunities. Hmmm, NO.

    As for my Saturday, my roofer just told me I have about $2000 in damages from a vicious hailstorm we had recently. Next call is to the insurance company.

  21. 21
    MomSense says:


    The profile of the Maine Coon’s forehead is squared but the forest cat’s forehead is flat and slants back like a wedge. I think Maine Coon cats are descendants of Norwegian Forest cats so they do look a lot alike.

  22. 22

    @O. Felix Culpa: “Extra credit” requests made me crazy. The answer was always of course not. Why should I do extra work because you didn’t do what you were supposed to?

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    I replaced individual pickets on a fence. I was thrilled to find out you can buy single pickets, which I did not know.

  24. 24
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Precisely. How about just doing the assignments as given?

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:


    That was the other thing the groomer said (we took them in to get their nails trimmed this morning). It’s hard to tell, because Keaton is a tuxedo cat with the sleeves rolled up (i.e. his legs are half black and half white) so it’s hard to tell if his legs are genuinely stumpy or it’s an optical illusion.

    In other cat breed news, Charlotte looks a lot like Cheryl R’s cats, and Anne Laurie was positing that they had the body type of an Oriental-type cat (the group that includes Siamese cats). Charlotte is very vocal and can make a lot of different sounds, so that seems plausible to me.

  26. 26

    Duck update: The ducks have discovered there is an indoors and an outdoors. Guess where they want to be? Found them in the kitchen the other day. They’ve been alternating between hanging out by the mudroom door (where the dogs come and go) and peering at me through the patio door (especially since that’s the one they manged to use to find their way in through).

    It’s not that it’s cold – it’s they are very social creatures and we look like we are having fun.

  27. 27
    Hildebrand says:

    @efgoldman: I like it. Of course, at this point in the grading, I would kill for any spark of creativity. Banal, simplistic, and credulous is no way to go through life, son.

  28. 28
    Redshift says:

    Took the bunnies to the vet for their annual checkup, and I’ll be going out on the 3pm canvassing shift. I don’t much feel like talking to strangers today, but it has to be done.

    I kind of wish I’d gotten involved in one of the campaigns for the House of Delegates that are a little outside of my area, instead of just the statewide coordinated campaign. It would feel more like being part of something. It’s not that they don’t appreciate the work I’m doing, but I’m not getting a lot of connection to other people.

  29. 29
    Hildebrand says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Its amazing how engaged some students become AFTER the grades come out.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:


    At 15 pounds, Keaton always seemed on the smallish side for a Maine Coon, but that’s just about average for a male NFC.

    ETA: And, as always, you know you have a large cat when people who see cats all day say things like, “Wow, he’s a big boy!”

  31. 31
    O. Felix Culpa says:


    I would kill for any spark of creativity.

    Since I teach accounting, creativity would not be a virtue. Critical thinking, however, is highly desirable especially given its rarity.

  32. 32
    Suzanne says:

    Went out and got brunch with Mr. Suzanne and Spawn the Younger (Elder is at her dad’s). Now I have an action-packed day of lounging on the couch ahead.

    This is greeeeeeaaaat.

  33. 33
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Hildebrand: I fell for that originally and sometimes provided extra credit opportunities. But guess what – the students who needed it the most didn’t do the work! Quelle surprise.

    I’ve since become hardened to their pleas. The requirements are in the syllabus. Just.Do.The.Work.

  34. 34
    Redshift says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Ms. Redshift’s favorites are the students who say “I really need an A in this class,” or the slightly less obnoxious “what can I do to get an A” (usually after they’ve screwed up enough that there’s no chance.

    Apparently they think expressing their sincere desire for a grade they haven’t earned should be enough.

  35. 35
    germy says:

    @Mnemosyne: My cat lets me clip her nails. My technique is to wait until she’s in a relaxed mood, dozing. I take her gently onto my lap and show her the clippers. She sniffs them, smells herself on them and rests on her back while I clip. Sometimes I finish and she’ll remain on her back on my lap.

    I do this because she’s got a few extra toes on all four paws, and one time she had an ingrown nail that had to be addressed by a professional. She does not travel well, so this was an ordeal.

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    This is really good, from The Toronto Star:

    Let’s say you’re Donald Trump.
    It’s 2002 and you’ve agreed to have your name emblazoned across the top of the tallest residential tower in Canada, a $500-million, five-star condo-hotel in downtown Toronto.
    Here’s the thing: Only months into the project, your lead developer is publicly exposed in the pages of the Toronto Star as a fugitive fraudster on the run from U.S. justice. Your major institutional partner — the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company — bails shortly after.
    Your remaining partners in the deal — a group of investors assembled by the criminal who was just outed — include a New York camera store owner, a former Chicago nursing-home administrator, two small-time landlords in Britain and a little-known Toronto billionaire who earned a fortune in the former Soviet Union.
    The one thing they all have in common — no experience in condo tower development.

    An investigation by the Toronto Star and Columbia Journalism Investigations in New York reveals the tower that until recently bore the U.S. president’s name was so hamstrung by inexperienced partners and an unorthodox foreign financing deal that it couldn’t be saved by Trump’s public assurances of excellence.
    “It’s pretty hard to make a mess of a real-estate investment (in Toronto),” said Toronto lawyer Marc Senderowitz, who represented four of the project’s minority investors. “In retrospect, I could have taken their money, bought a small commercial building and sat on it for 15 years … Things just went off the rails.”

  37. 37
    Another Scott says:

    @Redshift: Thank you for your efforts. The Virginia races are hugely important. I generally feel good about our chances (but wish more of the HoD was in play). I’ll be making my last donations this weekend – FlipVirginia and the big 3 (N, F, H) and the local party groups (to help them push turnout).

    November 7 is coming up fast. Fingers crossed!


  38. 38
    O. Felix Culpa says:


    Ms. Redshift’s favorites are the students who say “I really need an A in this class,” or the slightly less obnoxious “what can I do to get an A” (usually after they’ve screwed up enough that there’s no chance..

    I can’t tell you how happy this discussion makes me. I am not alone. :)

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:


    We have cleaning people who come in once a month, so taking the cats for a nail trim is one of the things we do to stay out of their way.

  40. 40

    @O. Felix Culpa: My brother once taught middle school for a very short stretch, and a kid who’d done failing work all year came in and begged for mercy. My brother finally said that if the kid showed him he’d learned something and passed the final, he’d give him a C. And the kid said, “Hm. What do I have to do to get a B?”

  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Talking Points Memo‏Verified account @ TPM 38m38 minutes ago
    NYT: O’Reilly struck $32M settlement in January over harassment allegations

    Josh Marshall‏Verified account @ joshtpm 20m20 minutes ago
    “Publicly known harassment settlements involving Mr. O’Reilly have totaled about $45 million.”

    DC residents beware because I’m sure Chuck Todd is driving like a bat out of hell to get to the studio to talk about how this will be a problem for Republicans, with the same glee in his voice as when he announced Weinstein would be a problem for Democrats

  42. 42
    germy says:

    @Mnemosyne: Your cats must be better travelers than our girl.

    She had a bad experience with a large barking dog a few years ago. Now she poops in her carrier.

  43. 43
    jhtrotter says:


    I’ll bet on the latter also. Just a question if this will be a foreign or domestic action. Now that we know that General purpose dickfor Kelly isn’t the daycare provider we thought he was, who knows what storm this is the calm before.

  44. 44

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Since I teach accounting . . .

    Sigh. I miss my accounting classes.

  45. 45
    MoxieM says:

    That dog is a beauty! Annie has a new home, with more people. So great. And I have a new rescue…a peanut, practically a Chihuahua. She’s only 85 lbs! Good lord, she’s 40 pounds smaller than my last dog! I’m still in shock. Said to be a Newf X Border Collie; my guess is more like Berner X Border Collie. Anyhow she’s 8 y o, super sweet if a little anxious. She’s a smarty pants (ands here’s me always saying I never wanted a dog smarter than me…oh well, a battle I lost). She came to me with the name Murphy, and since she’s 8, I’ll keep it. She’s a goof when she relaxes, so I’ll try for some pictures. Her snazzy new fence just went in today. Hallelujah!!

  46. 46
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): LOL! The kid at least was kinda funny…and still a kid. It’s way less amusing with alleged adults. But then, I’m turning into a curmudgeon. Too much time hanging around Cole’s place, I guess.

  47. 47
    Ruviana says:

    @Hildebrand: @Redshift: @O. Felix Culpa: Or the ever-popular “I worked really hard on this!”

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:


    They’re not great travelers, but we make sure to follow our normal morning routine before trying to put them in their carriers, because Keaton’s normal morning routine is to eat breakfast and then use the litter box. We found out the hard way that it’s better to let him do that first. 🙀

  49. 49
    trollhattan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    It makes me wonder whether Ailes was ultimately fired for squandering money and not chasin’ skirt. Murdoch’s greatest no-no is losing money.

  50. 50
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Teaching? Studying?

    I actually enjoy my classes (most of the time), which is helpful given the minimal financial reward as an adjunct. I count it as public service, since there are pitifully few decent jobs in New Mexico and accountancy can provide a path forward for my students.


  51. 51
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @jhtrotter: seems to be slowly dawning on the media that Kelly is a full on MAGA-teer

  52. 52
    MoxieM says:

    @germy: When I had cat(s) my solution to this problem was to line the carrier with newspaper, attempt to insert the cat (easier said…), drive maybe around the block until the cat voided, pull over, remove the newspaper (pro tip: throw it away and wash hands!), then resume journey. It more or less worked. Helpful to have 2 people (4 hands) available.

  53. 53

    @O. Felix Culpa: Studying. My one experience teaching accounting was as an emergency fill in for one of my profs from the MAcc program who had to bail on a six week program teaching intro financial and intro cost accounting in Xi’an, China. (“Had to” here means that he got a better offer to do a program somewhere else.) It turns out that I’m not as good a teacher as I thought, and I hated being in China for six weeks. So, I don’t miss the teaching.

    I should emphasize that the accounting classes are the only thing I miss about the business school. Everything else there was shit. The MBA classes I took as electives to fill out the MAcc curriculum were a total joke.

  54. 54
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Ruviana: Ah yes, I’ve heard that one too. Once more, with feeling.

  55. 55
    mai naem mobile says:

    My niece got a cumulative final score of 89.5 in one of her classes and the professor wouldn’t round it off to give her a 90 for an A. Same professor orally okayed her on missing a quiz because she had an interview she could not change amd.then have her a zero on it.He had the nerve to tell her that he would have to do not for everybody if he did it for her .

  56. 56
    d58826 says:

    In the meantime the unofficial death toll in PR is up to 450 and the medical community is warning that conditions are ripe for major epidemics. Gen. Honore’ continues to compared the number of troops/ships/etc in PR with those committed to NOLA. It almost looks like DOD has been ordered NOT top send additional resources.

  57. 57
    Redshift says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: She gets to tell me all the answers she wishes she could give, like “Hmm, a time machine?”

  58. 58

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: When you teach any class for the first time it is nightmarish. The second time is much easier and more fun. That has been my experience anyway.

  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    This is interesting

    GOP campaigns took $7.35 million from oligarch linked to Russia
    Party loyalty is often cited as the reason that GOP leaders have not been more outspoken in their criticism of President Donald Trump and his refusal to condemn Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Yet there may be another reason that top Republicans have not been more vocal in their condemnation. Perhaps it’s because they have their own links to the Russian oligarchy that they would prefer go unnoticed.
    Donald Trump and the political action committees for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and John McCain accepted $7.35 million in contributions from a Ukrainian-born oligarch who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank.
    During the 2015-2016 election season, Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard “Len” Blavatnik contributed $6.35 million to leading Republican candidates and incumbent senators. Mitch McConnell was the top recipient of Blavatnik’s donations, collecting $2.5 million for his GOP Senate Leadership Fund under the names of two of Blavatnik’s holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings, according to Federal Election Commission documents and OpenSecrets org.

    and here’s a nice picture

    New Research: Photo of LindseyGrahamSC sitting next to Kremlin-linked billionaire who gave him $800,000 in 2015 #TrumpRussia #AMJoy #Resist

    $800,000 is a lot of money, right?

  60. 60
    JPL says:

    Betty Price is being taken out of context

    Price said she was just being “provocative.” She said she is not in favor of a quarantine but made the “rhetorical” statement because she was sad and troubled that “too many of our fellow citizens who have HIV are not compliant.”

  61. 61
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I’ve always thought it’s useful information to find out what you don’t like – such as teaching or living in China. Helps winnow out the undesirable options. (I lived in Hong Kong for ten years in the 80’s and 90’s and was not keen on a potential relocation to the PRC, which thankfully didn’t pan out.)

    Agreed on most classes in business school. I picked up a few useful analytical tools here and there, but don’t get me started on “management” courses….

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    Bailey is beautiful 😄

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym:

    My niece who’s on the autism spectrum has decided that she wants to be a teacher, and I’m a little worried about it. The plot twist is that she wants to teach American Sign Language and deaf students, which seems like it might make her life a little easier, since you have to exaggerate your expressions a bit with ASL and that might help with some of the problems that people with autism can have in identifying other people’s emotions. That’s just my speculation, though.

  65. 65
    Hildebrand says:

    @Ruviana: Gah! Yes. The response I have always said in my head, and never out loud: “Clearly not hard enough.”

  66. 66
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I looked up Nlavatnik on one of those campaign contributton sites. He’s given money t9 both sides. It does lean more GOP now but the guy has spread his money all over.

  67. 67
    Ruviana says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Lol, yes! @Hildebrand: And this too!

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    Penetration at all levels, as Adam likes to say.

    Just out of curiosity, did he donate to Hillary specifically?

  69. 69

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t have any training for teaching. At all. So I suspect that the second time wouldn’t go a whole lot better, because I have no idea how to structure a class or write a test. I got the gig because a) my prof was throwing me a bone during my long period of unemployment* and b) I’m what you can get when you find out you need to hire someone to teach accounting in China five weeks before the program starts. It should be noted that I didn’t get asked back the next year, though some of that may involve my insisting on giving a couple of students a D for their final grade, which was not what the program was paying me to do.

    *Worth noting that he was partially responsible for this, since we set up a partnership to do continuing education seminars for accountants, and then he never did the part of the work he was supposed to, so the whole thing fell apart.

  70. 70
    germy says:

    @MoxieM: Cats have a way of turning their people into more creative problem solvers.

    They’re good for us.

  71. 71
    amygdala says:

    @JPL: It’s astounding that a physician can be so ignorant. Supposedly she’s an anesthesiologist. She might consider not yapping about a condition whose management largely occurs outside the OR.
    1) “Not compliant” is MD-code for “$*%@ patients who don’t take their meds.” Nonadherence is the preferred term nowadays, in part because it acknowledges that there are a lot of issues besides orneriness that keep patients from sticking with a treatment plan: lack of insurance, stigma, health literacy, and many others.
    2) If she’s so damn concerned about Georgia residents with HIV who aren’t on antiretrovirals, what, exactly, is she doing to improve care for them? Throwing the Q-word around doesn’t count. Many of the barriers to early HIV diagnosis and access to comprehensive care can be addressed with those social programs Republicans hate so much.
    3) Provocative, my ass. No one who knows anything about public health advocates quarantine for HIV. It was ludicrous in the early 80s and only more so now that we know the pathogen, how it spreads, and how best to control it.

    She’s an embarrassment to the medical profession.

  72. 72
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Yesterday the WABE (NPR) reporter didn’t bother to mention anywhere in her story that Betty Price has any connection at all with the disgraced former HHS Secretary.

  73. 73

    @O. Felix Culpa: The basic problem of bad education isn’t helped by the fact that the University of Minnesota Business School mandates that the median grade in an MBA class be an A-. Outside of the accounting classes, everything sucked, and I didn’t even have to take Marketing. Okay, that’s not quite true; the Business Law class I took was outstanding.

    The one elective I took from the Masters of Business Taxation program that I took was even worse than the MBA classes. I showed up the first day and it was immediately obvious that the whole thing was worthless. After that, I showed up only for the midterm and the final, never cracked a book, and got a B+. The exams were entirely multiple choice, and open book, which by the time of the final I’d realized included open computer. Some of the questions took bits verbatim from the reg code and you were supposed to pick the answer that finished the quote. Since one of the things provided by the class was a searchable PDF of the code, you just had to copy the question and paste it into the search engine to get the answer. After I reported back to the MAcc program director about it, he removed the class from the list of electives for the next year.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    I want to go check out a local authors showcase at the library, but this sprained knee is dampening my enthusiasm. Plus I still need to shower since the cleaning people arrived a little earlier than we expected.

  75. 75

    @Mnemosyne: Autism manifests in so many different ways that there are very few professions that you can definitively state are problematic for those on the spectrum. To some extent, the way that we can become obsessed with particular ideas means that it’s possible to make yourself be good at something that doesn’t seem like it would be a natural fit. Autistic people can become very good at nonverbal communication, they just need to do it analytically rather than intuitively; indeed, those who do become good at it can be extraordinary, because they can describe explicitly what cues they relied upon.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym:

    She is apparently doing so well with ASL that she’ll be getting special honors for it when she graduates from high school next year, so she obviously loves it. The teaching part is what’s non-intuitive to me, but knowing what I know about ASL (which isn’t all that much) makes it more plausible that she would choose to teach that specifically.

  77. 77
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I’m stunned to hear that the median grade is required to be an A-. Such a policy leads to all kinds of absurdities, not to mention devaluation of education. I had one MBA class (Intro Marketing) where the professor gave us all the questions AND answers to his exams beforehand. Again, stunned. Not even in high school had the teachers evinced such low expectations.

    ETA: Business Law was one of my better classes too. Made me wish I had considered law in my youth. But my lawyer friends demur.

  78. 78
    donnah says:

    There’s a new tweetstorm on Kelly. There are a whole bunch of veterans who have named him a Blue Falcon, which is a term for a soldier who screws his fellow soldiers for his own gain. I think this tag will stick. He deserves all the blowback that he gets, and then some.

  79. 79
    amygdala says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: I think this kind of grade inflation is almost inevitable when tuition costs get so high. Students become consumers, rather than learners or apprentices or scholars-in-training. Throw in helicopter parents, some of whom can’t resist hovering over their undergrads or even graduate or professional students, and admins will decide it’s easier to write policies for the gentleperson’s A- than having actual standards.

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    @donnah: David Axelrod is also getting dragged on twitter for praising J Kelly. I personally have always despised Axelrod but this is a good example of why.

    David Axelrod‏Verified account @davidaxelrod

    Listening to Gen. Kelly yesterday, I found myself longing for a president who could speak with that dignity and moral clarity.

  81. 81
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Corner Stone: Huh. Like the moral clarity of holding women sacred by slandering…a woman.

  82. 82
    satby says:

    Ugh, lousy day at the market, but at least made a bit over the table rent. Came home starving and looking forward to leftovers,only to discover I had left them out all night in the oven and it all has to be thrown out.

    Now deciding what to do about something for dinner. Not a winning day so far.

  83. 83
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @donnah: @Corner Stone: two things from his rant that haven’t gotten nearly enough attention (aside from the fact that it was a fucking rant): 1) He said that we don’t respect “life” anymore, this sounded an awful lot like a Republican talking about abortion. If that wasn’t what he was talking about, what was he talking about; and if it was, why? 2) He said that Gold Star families aren’t sacred anymore, since “the convention”. Again, if he wasn’t talking about the Khans (he was), what was he talking about? And if he was talking about the Khans, effectively declaring that they had abdicated their Gold Star status, why does he think that?

  84. 84

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I heard both parts loud and clear. BTW, the administration is preventing an underage immigrant in their custody from having an abortion. NYT had an op-ed on it, I believe.

  85. 85
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @satby: Bummer. I hate it when I forget to put lovely food away and it gets ruined. We’re thinking about pizza tonight. Come on over! We’ll share! :)

  86. 86
    JMG says:

    Alice is making beef stew with mushrooms and barley for dinner. It’s fun to have fall meals, even if it’s warm enough here you could go to the beach instead of leaf peeping,

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I believe “moral clarity” was also the term Mar-a-Liasson used on NPR to describe him. Made me despise her even more than usual, which I didn’t think was possible.

  88. 88
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @schrodingers_cat: You might enjoy Wonkette’s righteous rant about Kelly.


  89. 89
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: To channel Kay, these people have no standards. We can’t even accuse them of low standards anymore. Do they even know the meaning of the words “moral” and “clarity”?

  90. 90
    Steve in the ATL says:


    @Mnemosyne: How do you know, did he suddenly develop a taste for herring and aquavit?

    Well played.

    My daughter wants a Norwegian Forest Cat for graduation. I was thinking a Hello Kitty phone case instead, but whatever. They are beautiful animals.

  91. 91
    Baud says:

    @donnah: Good.

    @Corner Stone: WTF is wrong with people?

  92. 92
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    $800,000 is a lot of money, right?

    Depends on what you have to do for it and who you have to do it to.

    For a politician to take from a Russian richie rich? I’d have to say, yes.

  93. 93
    Elizabelle says:

    @donnah: The Blue Falcon. LOL. Sounds like a car.

    Do put up a link, if you can.

  94. 94
    PST says:

    Our dog Bernadette is six months old today, which started me wondering, what constitutes the good life for a dog? My first reaction is that the answer should be obvious, but maybe I’m missing something. Are dogs that have some special employment, like hunting dogs or service dogs, happier than those who don’t? They are all emotional support animals, of course, or should have the opportunity to be. But is there more than food, affection, attention, and exercise? I sure hope that offspring aren’t the key to the canine good life, because we’re about to put a stop to that. She seems about as happy as she could be, but I wonder if there is something I don’t realize that dogs require to live the best existence they can. I’m old enough that we may actually have similar life expectancies, but assuming I outlive her, what do I need to do to say at the end, she had a good life?

  95. 95
    jeffreyw says:

    Bah, went to check the mail and the neighbors were gathered around the mailbox cluster. Last night some joy-riding vandals cruised the roads hereabouts, heaving large stones at mailboxes. Mine is trashed, It lasted a couple of years since the last occasion of box bashing.
    Off to the mailbox store!

  96. 96
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @amygdala: The cause of the ridiculous grade inflation is a bit different at the business school. The tuition for most of the MBA students is paid by their employers. The same companiea that the school is constantly hitting up for donatuons. There is no way that they aew goung to tell those corporations that they arw aending them anything less than A- students. They’ve sold their integrity. The only surprise is that they get paid ao much for aomething they have so little of to sell.

  97. 97
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @donnah: @Elizabelle: Blue Falcon = BF = Buddy Fucker.

  98. 98
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Elizabelle: I found this on Crooks and Liars: Angry Vets Label Gen. Kelly a “Blue Falcon.”

    And now I really must get my Saturday chores done. Ta ta for now.

  99. 99
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: How do you say Best Friend?

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Best friend. It doesn’t need an euphemism.

  101. 101
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Baud: Brown Fox. Duh.

  102. 102
    satby says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: I decided on just making a sausage sandwich, sliced some from a frozen log, put it on medium on the electric range, took a minute to run to the bathroom, and came out to smoke. Not totally burned, but I was only gone maybe 90 seconds, it shouldn’t have been close to burning. It was edible, so I ate it.

    I should now the lawn but now I’m afraid I’ll pull a Cole and lop off a foot.

  103. 103
    Corner Stone says:

    @satby: I say call it a day while you’re ahead.

  104. 104
    amygdala says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Oy. The associate vice deputy deans of academic monetization are usually a touch less overt than that. Good grief.

  105. 105
    Elizabelle says:

    WaPost: For some veterans, John Kelly’s remarks add to a worrying military-civilian divide

    That was what rang alarms for me. The one percent. The best Americans being dead Americans. It was Kelly fetishicizing military service — and loss — for political gain.

    … Kelly’s remarks broaden what had been a relatively insular discussion among military families, veterans and scholars. It begins with a basic premise — that civil society and military circles are culturally, socially and geographically distinct, a form of isolation with real consequences for the country.

    “The last 16 years of war have been carried by a narrow slice of the population, and the burden is heavy but not wide,” said Phil Carter, a former Army officer and director of the military, veterans and society program at Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.

    Carter said that Kelly’s comments echo a prevalent attitude in some military and veteran circles — a feeling of pride for taking on a tough job in some of the most dangerous places on Earth, coupled with a simmering resentment of civilians oblivious to their mission.

    Kelly appears to personify that attitude, Carter said.

    … Carter and others said it can be difficult for many Americans to encounter military families. Fewer than 1 percent of the population currently serve in uniform, and 7 percent are military veterans. The number of Gold Star families — the term for those who lost a family member to combat — is about 7,000 from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “We don’t look down upon those of you that haven’t served,” Kelly said Thursday. “In fact, in a way we’re a little bit sorry because you’ll never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kinds of things our servicemen and -women do.”

    Geography heightens the separation. Military families and veterans tend to be linked to military installations that populate the South and Midwest, turning those populations inward and away from the coasts, and recruitment often draws on those who already have military ties, making service in uniform a family business of sorts.

    [Discussion of how Kelly suggested that civilians cannot understand the losses military families face.]

    Another moment also struck a dissonant note. When Kelly ended his remarks by accusing Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) of using a dead soldier for political points, he told reporters he was only interested in questions from those who had a direct connection to those killed in combat.

    “Is anyone here a Gold Star parent or sibling? Does anyone here know a Gold Star parent or sibling?” Kelly asked before taking a question about Niger.

    Analysts were taken back by his stance, which they said suggested discourse about those killed in action can only reasonably occur in the walled-off segments of society where losses on the battlefield are most directly and painfully felt.

    The notion of military service as the purest form of public virtue, at the cost of other kinds of service to others, is an alarming development, he said.

    “Military courage is something society needs to have and we need to valorize it,” Klay said. “But we also need a civic body that makes this a country worth fighting for.”

    Bring back the draft. Allow draftees to choose the military or meaningful civilian work (infrastructure development, disaster relief, community services). With a salary and benefits. Our society needs it.

    We can’t have the military being a mercenary force that is an exceedingly small segment of Americans, who have no skin in the game.

    And Kelly is no less a loose cannon than Oliver North. He proved it with that disgusting, self-serving press conference.

  106. 106
    Elizabelle says:

    @satby: Chinese food.

    I aspire to Shrimp Egg Fu Young tonight, if the stars align.

  107. 107
    satby says:

    @PST: The average dog is happy to live and be loved by her people, to have exercise and time to kill in the fresh air and sunshine, to play and get stitches and tummy rubs. A lifetime of reliable food, love, and play with their people is heaven on earth to almost all companion animals however long their lives may be.
    Edited because I think my Kindle is possessed.

  108. 108
    Elizabelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well that’s rather obscure.

    The lesser known superhero, in the shadow of the Ambiguously Gay Duo.

  109. 109
    satby says:

    @Corner Stone: agree! Going to treat myself to a nice glass of wine instead.

  110. 110
    tybee says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    My niece got a cumulative final score of 89.5 in one of her classes and the professor wouldn’t round it off to give her a 90 for an A.

    in a discrete math class, i had an 89.97 average and the young professor gave me the B because i “hadn’t earned the A”.
    someday, i want to meet him somewhere in a dark alley…

  111. 111
    Elizabelle says:

    @satby: Maybe a plastic glass. ;-)

  112. 112
    Anne Laurie says:


    Now deciding what to do about something for dinner. Not a winning day so far.

    You got a decent local pizzeria that delivers?

    ETA: Beat to the punchline by O. Felix Culpa!

  113. 113
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @tybee: My dad once took a psychics course where the professor announced on the first day that half of the class did belong there. He then proceeded to grade that way. Dad was proud of his C+.

  114. 114
    satby says:

    @satby: and “time to kill” was typed “time to loll”. Seriously, if Kindle wants to substitute words they should be words that are closer.

  115. 115
  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    My dad once took a psychics course where the professor announced on the first day that half of the class did belong there.

    I know this is a typo, but it sounds like the beginning of a short story set at Hogwart’s. 😂

  117. 117
    J R in WV says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    A. Formal rules require any number with a .5 or greater to be rounded up to the next higher whole number

    B. If a superior, boss, manager, teacher, professor, any role like that, doesn’t live up to an agreement, they should be disciplined by their superior.

    C. Hard lesson, but no doubt learned to document agreements with teachers/bosses either by writing a physical memo outlining their understanding of the discussion or sending an Email with that documentation of the discussion, perhaps with a BCC to some other official, like the chairman, next level manager, etc. Even a co-worker of the manager/professor.

    And if it was me, I would make sure that every other student in the program knew not to expect the professor to behave in a professional and ethical manner.

    I worked really really hard to do the Calc for my BSCS degree program, the same Calc the math majors and physicists took. At the end of the 3rd 5 hour class, the professor told us all he was going to drop the lowest grade from everyone’s average, thus if you were happy with your current average you could stop coming to class and skip the final.

    Like your student, I was .5 below a B. I kept coming, did my best to pick up extra credit by discussing new problems at the board, etc. Did not take the final. Professor, who was a bit of a character, biker, lifter, was also a board certified Actuary for a locally based insurance. He knew that the rule when averaging and your score was nn.5 you always score the next larger whole number, so I got the B.

    Maybe I wouldn’t have if I had quit coming to class the last month, but it was actually interesting doing orbital calculations. Finally, an interesting math class!!

  118. 118
    PST says:

    @Mnemosyne: I know this is a typo, but it sounds like the beginning of a short story set at Hogwart’s.

    But at least we understand how the teacher knew what percentage would pass.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oops.

  120. 120
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am not being sarcastic when I say that someone could use that as a writing prompt for National Novel Writing Month. I don’t write that kind of book, and yet I can already think of several cool places to take the story. 🤔

  121. 121
    J R in WV says:


    Ohh, sweet, officially recognized as a Military Back Stabber!!

    The finest men in America! Except for the few who aren’t. Note that he isn’t giving the fine American women of our military that same level of quality! Typical…

    Wonder if Kelly knew those Admirals in the South Pacific, the one who took kickbacks from a shipyard operator called Fat Leonard? There were two Admirals of the 7th fleet prosecuted and 9 officers all told. Prostitutes, wine, hotel stays, $25,000 watches for husband and wife.

    I'm so proud of our military, especially that 7th fleet, sailing into harm's way! // – NOT!

  122. 122
    Heidi Mom says:

    @PST: I think Bernadette will let you know what, if anything, she desires beyond the basics. Heidi loves to walk at her leisure and sniff all the scents. Sometimes this takes longer than any human would think possible, but I try to let her do that on our walks. We’ve also learned that she loves to go for car rides and bark at any horses, cows, and other dogs that she sees. Any day that we can say “the cows were out and the horses were right down by the road!” is a great day. She loves to meet other dogs, especially little ones, but doesn’t necessarily want to play with them. (Not sure she really knows how — she was picked up as a pregnant, heartworm-positive stray in GA, delivered 10 pups, 8 of whom lived, and was then shipped up here to PA with her pups, to a local rescue that focuses on pregnant moms and their offspring. Who knows what her pre-rescue life was like?) She wants to be with her humans as much as possible, so just going out to mail the bills and pick up a quart of milk or whatever often turns into one of those aforementioned rides, weather permitting. She likes rawhide chews and ripping the insides out of stuffed toys. I’m not any sort of dog whisperer, but I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Bones Would Rain From the Sky, a wonderful book by Suzanne Clothier. She focuses on the owner’s relationship with the dog, saying “See the dog that’s right in front of you, listen to what the dog is trying to communicate,” etc. Highly recommended for any dog owner.

  123. 123
    Heidi Mom says:

    @tybee: In my college major, poli. sci., I had a professor with whom I took several courses who gave me a B+ on a paper, saying “For anyone else it would be an A, but it wasn’t up to your usual standard.” I was kind of proud of that. I think.

  124. 124
    J R in WV says:


    There are mailboxes out there that can’t be damaged without a torch. Made of steel intended for high pressure gas lines. Not cheap, but the last one you will ever need to buy. I expect you would need to find a pipeline welder, or visit a welding shop.

    We have a neighbor who welds gas transmission lines, really heavy-duty material. He also builds pig roast smokers and that kind of thing, brings home the odd piece of scrap pipe at the end of a job, turns it into something really nice.

  125. 125
    barb 2 says:

    I am listening to Sara Chayes read her book — “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.”

    Generally, I read the book but decided to treat myself to listening to Sara Chayes. She begins in Afganistan after she left her job as a journalist for NPR and how the Afghanistan system of bribes worked. Hint — money flows up. I’m going to say that this book is a must hear or read sort of book. It is another “Shock Doctrine” book. What she has discovered after over two decades of observation of graft and corruption — is what she is now seeing in the US with the Trump gang. That remark was from an interview I heard her give on her book tour.

    Trump is crooked (as we already know) because he has businesses is known corrupt countries — and the only way to do business is these corrupt countries is to also be corrupt. The sooner Trump is fired — the better for America — because he can do nothing but harm. He is poison as Josh Marshall says.

    I bought the ebook and then as an afterthought added the author’s narration. One of the best decision I’ve made — many of the names are unfamiliar and she reads them like a native. Also, you get the author’s emotional involvement in her dedication to her work and her research. This comes through as she reads her book.

    There are a whole lot of grifters and their families running countries worldwide (Putin, for example) — and this is nothing new. She begins her book with quotes from Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. Yep, that ancient book.

    I’m listening to Chayes read her book while spinning yarn.

  126. 126
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Heidi Mom:

    It wasn’t in my major, but I had a similar experience in a nonfiction writing class I took. Got a B-minus on my first paper, which shocked me. I asked my professor about it, and he said it was clear that I was by far the best writer of any of his students but he wanted me to do even better. The grades crept steadily upwards, and I ended up with a solid A in the class. But he made me sweat, and taught me not to fall in love with my own prose.

  127. 127
    MomSense says:


    That you are asking the question tells me you will give her the best life.

  128. 128
    Steeplejack says:

    @barb 2:

    Chayes was interviewed on Rachel Maddow’s show last night. Segment was very powerful and informative.

    Huh. It’s being rerun right now, and the Chayes segment is just starting.

  129. 129
    Scamp Dog says:

    @PST: I’ve wondered the same thing, now with a bit of finality because I had to put my Border Collie down last month. She’s from a working breed, and the heritage would show through when we ran into coyotes (she’d jump and bark and do everything she could to run them off) or a line of wild geese (she’d run to one end and try to get them into a compact bunch). Of course, since I’m in suburban Denver, I never had any sheep for her to herd, and I really didn’t have much for her to do except go on walks with me. Which we did several times a day, keeping us both in decent physical condition. Or at least from getting too flabby.

    Was she a happy dog? She didn’t have the playfulness of a Lab, but I could tell she was always ready to head out with me, and definitely wanted to spend time with me. I think it worked well enough that I think I did well by her. Like @MomSense said, asking the question means you’ll be making an effort to make a good life for your dog.

    Best of luck, and may you have many years together!

  130. 130
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @amygdala: The last person I remember advocating quarantine was Lyndon LaRouche. He wanted all the gays rounded up into concentration camps, in fact. Had some bullshit about how HIV was secretly airborne.

  131. 131
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @barb 2: You know that if there is ever another Democratic President, their lifelong business dealings will be under a microscope and they’ll be held to an impossibly higher standard of honesty.

  132. 132
    PST says:

    @Scamp Dog: I’m very sorry to hear about your border collie, Scamp Dog. Thank you and others for your thoughts. I don’t worry about this every day, but Bernie is growing up fast. We live in a densely populated city neighborhood. Some might say it isn’t natural for a dog to need to take an elevator every time she wants to pee. Can an urban dog be happy? On the other hand, frolicking with other dogs seems like what she loves best, and she sure gets opportunities for that in a place like this. So far so good.

  133. 133
    gocart mozart says:

    I was swamped with term papers one semester so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and handed in the same paper to two different philosophy professors: comparing Confucious to Plato on their theory of what is a just society. I got an A and a C+.

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