Monday Morning Open Thread: Fireball

Meteor entering the Earths Atmosphere over Italy in the Dolomites


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From the Astronomy Picture of the Day website (Image Credit & Copyright: Ollie Taylor)… because we all miss Alain’s wonderful morning posts.
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Apart from Thanksgiving prep/travel, what’s on the agenda for the start of another week?

***********

Also entertaining, though on a far less elevated plane — from the Washington Post, “‘A long winter’: White House aides divided over scope, risks of Russia probe”:

Six months into a special counsel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, White House aides and others in President Trump’s close orbit are increasingly divided in their assessments of the expanding probe and how worried administration officials and campaign aides should be about their potential legal peril, according to numerous people familiar with the debate…

The investigation reached a critical turning point in recent weeks, with a formal subpoena to the campaign, an expanding list of potential witnesses and the indictments of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates. Some within Trump’s circle, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus, have already been interviewed by Mueller’s investigators, while others such as Hope Hicks — the White House communications director and trusted confidant of the president — and White House counsel Donald McGahn are expected in coming weeks.

One Republican operative in frequent contact with the White House described Mueller’s team “working through the staff like Pac-Man.”

“Of course they are worried,” said the Republican, who insisted on anonymity to offer a candid assessment. “Anybody that ever had the words ‘Russia’ come out of their lips or in an email, they’re going to get talked to. These things are thorough and deep. It’s going to be a long winter.” …

The president himself, however, has warmed to Cobb’s optimistic message on Mueller’s probe. Cobb had initially said he hoped the focus on the White House would conclude by Thanksgiving, but adjusted the timeline slightly in an interview last week, saying he remains optimistic that it will wrap up by the end of the year, if not shortly thereafter…

But the reassurances from Cobb and others — which seem at least partially aimed at keeping the president calm and focused on governing — are viewed by others as naive.

“The president says, ‘This is all just an annoyance. I did nothing,’ ” said one person close to the administration. “He is somewhat arrogant about it. But this investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up. You have to anticipate this roll-up will reach everyone in this administration.”…

In fact, legal experts and private defense lawyers monitoring the case believe that Mueller’s investigation — which officially began in May and resulted in its first charges against three former campaign aides last month — is still in its early stages.

They expect that the prosecutors have considerable investigative work still to do, and they predict more campaign officials, among others, will face charges. They expect the probe to extend deep into 2018 and possibly longer…

180 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    I know what I’ll be thankful for his Thursday.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    “The president says, ‘This is all just an annoyance. I did nothing,’ ”

    In his entire life, legalities have never been anything more than an annoyance. He’s playing on a whole different field now tho. I am going to thoroughly enjoy the smack down when it comes.

  5. 5

    @Baud: Thursday will probably be the beginning of chauffeur season for me, since madame works at the local mall and it’s pretty much impossible to get(or get to***) a parking space until Dec. 25th.

    *There’s usually parking on the upper level, but it takes pretty much half a hour to get up there since people wait for other to leave since they must park right next to the mall entrance to maintain their fat asses(bitter, who me?).

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:

    Good morning, jackals. Countdown to Turkey Day.

    Do you think Mr. Mueller will gift Trump’s cronies w indictments before or after our day of thanks? They will be stewing, no matter what.

  7. 7
    Raven says:

    Manson died

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Right. I remember that Turkey Day is not a pleasant time for Madame.

  9. 9
    Elizabelle says:

    @Raven: LA Times had a good article on Manson. His crimes were terrible, but so was his background. http://beta.latimes.com/local/.....ft06a-1la1

    Symbol of an era; will not be missed.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Raven: Hillary killed him as a distraction because people were starting to talk about the 1990’s again.

  11. 11
    geg6 says:

    @Elizabelle:

    My birthday is Friday. I’m hoping for a nice present tied up with a big bow from Mr. Mueller.

    And someone the last thread was saying Brian Wilson was tangled up with Manson but that’s wrong. It was Dennis Wilson.

    Meanwhile, Dems have picked what looks like a good candidate for the congressional seat being vacated by Tim Murphy. A veteran and former federal prosecutor who beat a Bluedog-type anti-abortion candidate for the party nomination.

  12. 12
    Gvg says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: yes. We would not be in this mess if the law had been impartially enforced on on rich crooks like Trump all along. He just didn’t understand that President isn’t just another rich guy prize. With real power comes real scrutiny and Other people have competing interests. Losers don’t just go away in this game because they can’t afford to.
    If he’d paid attention he would have known this. I bet a lot of rich criminals noticed this and stayed out of the spotlight. However we can’t afford not to knock him down or more scum will try for the prize next. Gah…I always hated the America’s stupidest criminal show type but now I am forced to watch.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @geg6: Early happy birthday.

  14. 14
    Raven says:

    @Elizabelle: I’ll never forget the argument I had with my mom. I’d been home for about 6 months and I was in LA. We were talking about Manson and I said it was the same rot as My Lai. The conversation did not go well.

  15. 15

    @geg6:

    And someone the last thread was saying Brian Wilson was tangled up with Manson but that’s wrong. It was Dennis Wilson.

    A classmate in my Calculus class in college used to party with Dennis on his boat.

    Happy early b-day, you’ve got a couple of months on me, IIRC.

  16. 16
    Raven says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: and then there was Squeaky.

  17. 17

    @Elizabelle: There’s a house(actually a former convent) that Katy Perry was*(is) buying in Los Feliz. The house next door is the Labianca house.

    *There was a dispute between the sister’s order and dioceses about who owned the property and who could sell it.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: No no no, she killed him because he was about to spill the beans on that shady LA real estate deal she and Bill got into where they needed to buy the Polanski/Tate properties but they wouldn’t sell.

    ETA word change

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: have been watching that. What a view those nuns had. Eerie about the LaBianca home so close.

  20. 20
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Raven: Good. Lived way too long.

  21. 21
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    @Raven: and there goes the only legitimate primary challenger to Donald Trump.

  22. 22
    Kay says:

    But this investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up. You have to anticipate this roll-up will reach everyone in this administration.”…

    All investigations are “classic Gambino- style roll-ups”. There is no investigation where they start at the top and then go to lower people because who gives a shit about lower people if they could reach the top immediately?

    I love how Trump hires lawyers who tell him what he wants to hear. Because he’s dumb and arrogant and he wouldn’t take real counsel anyway.

  23. 23
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @geg6: Happy B’Day (in advance). Hoping you get exactly what you want regarding this awful regime. That would be a gift for all of us.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Behold, dear faithful, the gift shop: Museum of the Bible hats, Museum of the Bible blinged-out keychains, Museum of the Bible frankincense and myrrh body wash.

    There are bibles for sale, too, but it’s safe to assume that the crowd who pre-reserved tickets for the museum’s opening weekend already have the Holy Book at home. Which is why there is another wall covered in books about the Holy Book. Amy Sauerwein couldn’t decide between “A Visual Guide to Bible Events” or “The Journey from Texts to Translations.”

    “Do you think my mom will forgive me if I spend more than $100?” the 33-year-old asked. She was the youngest person on her Saturday morning tour bus coming from Montgomery County, Maryland, where she works as a school janitor. She decided to take both books off the shelf, then continued weaving through the racks of branded T-shirts, cuff links, fuzzy pens, winter coats, baby bibs – all opportunities to become a walking advertisement for the 430,000-square-foot nonprofit museum.

    That’s, in part, the point of the gift shop: to send guests home with something that encourages them to remember and talk about their experience with other potential visitors (and donors). In privately funded museums such as this one, though, the success of the gift shop is even more crucial to an institution’s future, said Julie Steiner, board president of the Museum Store Association.

    I think that’s called, “Fleecing the flock.”

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @Kay: His lawyers probably spend all their time telling him how unfair it all is because Hillary’s crimes were worse.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Evey museum has a gift shop. I thought I read that this museum had their opening night reception at the Trump Hotel though.

  27. 27
    satby says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: the insanity has already started at the mall where our Lenscrafters is. I’ve had a hard time parking most of the last week. The lines start early for Santa, and that’s near our store. Christmas music started right after Halloween.
    I get through it by knowing it’s the last year I will work at a mall during this season for the rest of my life.

    Did anyone see my comment last night that the new full time employee hired last week only lasted 2 hours?

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @satby: What happened?

  30. 30
    Raven says:

    @Immanentize: look out now!

  31. 31
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: is this the museum that the Hobby Lobby nuts are funding? Not quite up to clicking the link.

  32. 32
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Sure! Because what do they care? They’re not going to prison. He’s really his own lawyer. Anyone who gave him real advice would get fired.

    His assertions of innocence are completely meaningless to me. He doesn’t know any of the laws and he doesn’t think they apply to him anyway. Of course he thinks he didn’t do anything wrong. He has no idea what “wrong” might be.

  33. 33
    Just one more canuck says:

    @satby: yes, that’s a story begging to be told

  34. 34
    Immanentize says:

    @Raven:
    Such a great song….

    The Family was seriously messed up. But I suspect there are more crazy people with more weapons out there today plotting a way to start a race war…..

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    @mattyglesias
    10h10 hours ago
    I think Trump picks fights with black people because he genuinely has a problem with black people.
    This does help him win racists’ votes but unlike his belief in banning abortion or whatever it’s perfectly sincere

    True. People should stop making this dumb distinction between Donald Trump’s racist behavior and Donald Trump’s racism.

    If Donald Trump isn’t a racist then no one is- the word has no meaning. This has been going on for decades. How long does he get this ridiculous pass where people insist it’s somehow a show? This is what he IS. To his BONES. Deal with it- the President of the United States is a racist. He’s not fucking shy about it! No need to continue making excuses for him!

  36. 36
    satby says:

    @Baud: After a prolonged search of 3 months for just the perfect person to join our exalted staff, they hired some inexperienced 18 year old who asked to leave early after two hours on her first day. Evidently that wasn’t enough of a clue; it took 2 more days when she didn’t show up as scheduled, and no calls, before it dawned on them she wasn’t coming back. They don’t know how to even pay her for the two hours, because she hadn’t filled out any paperwork.

    Bet you guys thought I exaggerated about my manager 😂

  37. 37
    Amir Khalid says:

    @geg6:
    It was eemom. I’d asked about Manson’s history as a musician, and she said Brian Wilson had been among his enablers. Either way, it seems incongruous that a band like The Beach Boys, with such a clean-cut image, would be associating with Manson. (Yes, I’m aware that image =/= reality.)

  38. 38
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: OK, this is one of my “Get off my lawn!” Pet peeves.

    Christmas just shouldn’t start until Thanksgiving is over! That is why the Macy’s Day Parade always ENDED with Santa coming into New York. Holiday music (which I love — especially the Low Album) is banned at my house until the day after T-Day. Ok. End of rant.
    /S/. Scrooge

  39. 39
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Kay: It’s almost as if his dad was in the KKK

  40. 40
    Raven says:

    @Immanentize: forever and always

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @satby: Wow. That’s pretty quick.

  42. 42
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @satby:

    I do not get how your boss, the doctor, does not see, or can keep on ignoring, the chaos caused by the crazy office manager. It has got to be a drag on the whole operation.

  43. 43
    Raven says:

    It’s only 43 degrees so I’m going to wait. A while to hit the gulf. The water is 10 degrees warmer than Manhattan beach was in July so I should be ok. I only fished for a few hours yesterday and it was 15mph winds gusting to 30 si it was a bit chilly.

  44. 44
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: Oh, I do agree! I could have committed seppuku right in the parking lot as soon as I pulled up Nov. 1 and cheesy Christmas music was blasting over the speakers. But as long as people show up on Thanksgiving day to shop and weeks before Thanksgiving to line their kids up for Santa, the stores will push this. I spent two decades not working in retail, and not going out at all on Black Friday. I hate the entire circus.

  45. 45
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: The article states that the avg museum gift shop is 1,000 sq ft. This one is over 3 times that size.

    Now the dark wood shelves are filled with opportunities to fund those electric bills, all handpicked by a woman who used to run retail operations for Universal Studios, Nickelodeon and Six Flags. Finding more than 2,000 biblically themed items for this much holier gift shop was a similar task, buyer Eileen Strotz said. She had to figure out what customers wanted to buy (cross-shaped anything), where the items would come from (everything from Israel has a higher sticker price), and how not to offend anyone (the museum has already been criticized for “not enough Jesus.”)

    She stocked a $1,250 leather foot stool in the shape of a rhinoceros because it goes with the Noah’s Ark theme. She stocked a $125,000 ruby-encrusted pomegranate made from something called “Jerusalem stone,” and ensured it was kept in a locked glass box. She stocked four shelves of custom-made sculptures and Waterford Crystal crosses, which is what one visitor was looking at when she loudly gasped.

    “It’s just like my vision!” Tawana Moore, a Baptist minister from the District of Columbia exclaimed. She had recently seen in her mind a glass cross just like the one on the shelf, with the words “Pursuing intimacy with God” floating beside it.

    She picked up the cross and looked for the price: $59. So, she wouldn’t be buying her vision today.

    Each time a visitor found something they liked, a search would ensue to find the small sticker listing its price. One woman said a $5,000 necklace “made for a fantastic Christmas gift.” Another guest whispered to his wife, “$25 for a T-shirt?”

    “Look!” a woman named Patsy Perge said as she showed her friend a $15 coffee tumbler covered in glitter and the first lines of the Book of Genesis. The 27-year-old wanted something to remind her of this museum, where she had walked through an exhibit on the Old Testament and thought about how forgiving and patient God can be.

    25$ t-shirts? Sure. $15 coffee mugs? All the time. $1,250 footstools????? $5,000 necklaces????? That’s a hefty (and very small) price tag on those shears.

  46. 46
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    No, he’ll be tweeting on the holiday.

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    It’s almost as if his dad was in the KKK

    Who IS a racist if Donald Trump isn’t one? What in heck would the standard if he doesn’t meet it? 40 years of specifically targeting black people, well before he was shilling for the “racist vote”. Why is it so difficult for people to admit? Because he doesn’t have a southern accent? Because “NYC real estate developer and con man” doesn’t fit the stereotype of “racist”? They’re everywhere and he’s one. Not acting racist to please his base. A racist.

  48. 48
    debbie says:

    @Elizabelle:

    No, he was the symbol of the end of an era. There were no longer flower children, only dirty hippies.

  49. 49
    satby says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): The doctor was hoping the manager would decide to leave under her own steam rather than need to be pushed out. This last episode is the final straw though, they’re starting to train one of my younger co-workers to take over the office management duties. She’s a smart kid, pretty stable and good common sense and work ethic. I told the doctor she would be a good choice to train a few months ago. The office manager wants to just work occasionally, so hopefully the situation is on the way to some improvement.

  50. 50
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):
    It can happen where the doctor concerns himself with only the doctoring because he doesn’t know or couldn’t be arsed about the rest of it.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby:

    Did anyone see my comment last night that the new full time employee hired last week only lasted 2 hours?

    Heh. Reminds me of the new journeyman I got handed to show the ropes. About an hour into the day he asked me how much drywall we had to hang in a day. I told him.

    He said “I can’t do that!”

    I shrugged and that was the last I saw of him.

  52. 52
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    He also picks fights where there are none. Why does he keeping saying he should have left the players in jail when they in fact apologized?

  53. 53
    debbie says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Manson believed he was the next John Lennon, and Dennis was naive enough to want to help him.

  54. 54
    gene108 says:

    @Kay:

    You are only, defininetly, a racist, if you say the N-word. Otherwise the media gives you wiggle room. They have been doing this for Rwpublicans for decades.

  55. 55
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Yep. It’s worth clicking thru for the laughs. The first pic is of a shelf of animal figurines. My first thought was, “You have to buy them in male and female pairs I’ll bet.” the 2nd thought was, “Where’s the special commemorative Ark display case for them?”

  56. 56
    bystander says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I lost interest once I realized I was misreading it as the Museum of the Edible.

    Wasn’t Terry Melcher, Doris Day’s son, the landlord of the house where Tate, Folger and Sebring were murdered? He was a record producer who was the connection to Manson. IIRC Manson went there to kill Melcher because he never delivered a recording contract. Anyway, Doris is still with us.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Heh. Prosperity Gospel indeed

  58. 58
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: yes, but how much is the nail from the one true cross??

  59. 59
    satby says:

    @Amir Khalid: She’s an excellent doctor, but you’re right, she hired office managers because that aspect of the business isn’t her strength. I assume the manager was once capable, because she’s been there years, but she’s almost 72 and though a very spry woman she’s just not up to the job anymore. At some point as we age we need to accept as well as we can that we slow down.

  60. 60

    @satby: While the mall she works in has a large 3-level parking lot, it’s next door to the fancy pants mall that charges for parking; so folk park at her mall’s parking lot and walk across the street to the fancy pants mall and avoid the parking fees.

  61. 61

    @Immanentize: Wonder if that one of the versions on the Anthology.

  62. 62

    @Immanentize: And it’s a song about a playground slide.

  63. 63
    Immanentize says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: it may be. I like it, pretty raw. I have considered getting myself the Apple thumb drive with every damn recording on it…. But, 400 balloons!

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    @Raven:
    Lucifer has a new guest

  65. 65

    I work today and tomorrow then take Wednesday as a one of the two comp time days that I earned for coming in to work the Thursday and Friday after Hurricane Irma. I expect I will be one of many who will be cramming into the parking lot of the local Publix on Wednesday morning.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    @geg6:
    Well, Pre Happy Birthday 🎈🎁🎊😄🎂🍹

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    1. You have to PAY real counsel.
    2. You have to do what real counsel tells you.

  68. 68
    Betty Cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: O/T — is your email address associated w/ your BJ account operative? Got an Ozark-specific question!

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    Why does he keeping saying he should have left the players in jail when they in fact apologized?

    Because he’s a spoiled, coddled brat who demands congratulations for what is mediocre, ordinary work? Because the giant baby is banging on his high chair tray and he wants someone to pay attention to him?

    Why can’t he go away for a week? Just shut the fuck up for 7 days and give the country a break. See if he’s capable of existing without constant attention or if he disappears up his own ass on Day Two.

  70. 70
  71. 71
    JPL says:

    Jana Novotna winner of 17 Grand Slam titles, but only one in singles, died. She was 49.

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:

    @satby:
    I read that and LOL 😄

  73. 73
    Immanentize says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: or drugs….

  74. 74
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: Because the father of one dissed him.

  75. 75
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    I think it’s from a Paul McCartney concert, maybe this one.

  76. 76
    geg6 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Dennis was the bad boy of The Beach Boys.

  77. 77
    Phylllis says:

    @Mustang Bobby: We hit Publix while in Charleston Saturday. It was on the edge of mad house-ish. Snagged a fresh turkey breast though, so it was worth it.

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    Trump says he “didn’t do anything wrong”. Based upon his extensive reading of the applicable law and his own high ethical standards?

    What exactly would qualify as “wrong” to a Trump? They have no standards at all. It isn’t just him. The kids are thieves and con men too. Asking them to determine if something is “wrong” is a complete waste of time. Nothing they do is wrong, according to them.

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    Tell it, Kay.
    So racist that the Nixon government charged him.

  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: You mean the blood stained nail from the one true cross? $9,999.99. Comes with a special ebony and glass display case.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: I’m torn between staying way the hell out of the whole thing and offering to help hire someone. Because I would be interviewing for someone who could do the job, not for someone to fit in and adopt.

  83. 83
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: No it isn’t. (I’ve tried changing it a # of times but when I do I go straight to spam hell) My new addy is karstedm2 at gmail dot com.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    This is the truth. They have never been held accountable. They have never been in a situation where there are actual rules in place to follow. They had phucking Kushner stand out in front of the White House, giving that statement that was FULL OF LIES 😠😠

    GLAD that Richard Engel found a clear cut angle to circle Ivanka too.

    Want that entire crooked gene pool to do a perp walk.

  85. 85
    Kay says:

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
    @realDonaldTrump
    Follow Follow @realDonaldTrump
    More
    Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.

    I see the Trump Team are hard at work again this morning. Low quality people who don’t do a whole lot of work.

    We really can do better than this. There’s no reason we have to hire the mediocre, lazy heirs of people who made some money once.

  86. 86
    debbie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Then diss the father back, FFS.

  87. 87
    Amir Khalid says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Are there pious Christians gullible enough to want such a thing? If it was an actual relic, and I’m not sure how you could prove that about a rusty old nail, it wouldn’t be on sale in a gift shop.

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    If it was an actual relic, and I’m not sure how you could prove that about a rusty old nail,

    Faith.

    it wouldn’t be on sale in a gift shop.

    But it would be on sale somewhere.

  89. 89
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Damn. Another of the greats gone.

  90. 90
    Elizabelle says:

    @satby: I think you should offer to help hire and train. Do it for the doctor, whom you seem to like. And so that you can get out of there.

  91. 91
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Amir Khalid: Are there? Of course. The history of Christendom is replete with (questionable) relics.

  92. 92
    Kay says:

    Kyle Griffin‏Verified account
    @kylegriffin1
    Follow Follow @kylegriffin1
    More
    Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, was informed that a conservative candidate for the Ohio legislature had been accused of fondling an 18-year-old male college student. He said would handle the situation. It appears he did nothing.

    This case is interesting. It’s an Ohio state rep but it seems to have national implications because (supposedly) the Washington Post was pursuing it and that’s why the state rep resigned so quickly. Maybe Perkins is the national part of the story.

  93. 93
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I bet Perkins told God, and God told him He would take care of it.

  94. 94
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: C’mon now debbie, you know he doesn’t work like that. ;-)

    @Amir Khalid:

    Are there pious Christians gullible enough to want such a thing?

    Well, they may be pious, and they certainly would want such a thing, and while I’m not sure they would be gullible enough to actually believe it really is from the “one true cross”, I am certain that there are people gullible enough to buy such a thing and the more it costs the more they will want it.

    “There’s a sucker born every minute.” -David Hannum

  95. 95
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: I read that Perkins did do something. The man was banned from the FRC and all events, but it was done quietly so that nobody would be embarrassed.

  96. 96
    satby says:

    @Elizabelle: I have sort of offered, but we’ve had to tread very carefully because of the manager.

    I don’t hate the woman, it’s really a sad situation. She’s not aging gracefully, she’s in denial about it all. Which makes it worse, because it all becomes so personal. As a human being, she’s quite a nice person and devoted to the doctor. I get the doctor’s dilemma, because to push more openly makes it obviously about a formerly competent manager and friend’s failing capacities as they age. But, it’s now become more than just something to work around. Fortunately, this time the manager herself has decided to dial back.
    It’s an object lesson in staying realistic about what you can and can’t do as you get older, and many of us aren’t good at that.

  97. 97
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hell, at that price I think I’ll buy three!

  98. 98
    Immanentize says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Amir,. The Hapsburgs were rather notorious collectors of such relics –. Or easy marks if you prefer — from crusaders. I have a post card of (one of the many) nails from the one true cross which is in Vienna still.

  99. 99
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: Cheaper by the dozen!

  100. 100
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @satby:
    Even though I didn’t favor country music when I was younger, M-m-mel T-tillis was always a favorite. He was one of the first people I ever saw overcome a disability in such a public way. It was a great story which captivated the young me.

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    she had walked through an exhibit on the Old Testament and thought about how forgiving and patient God can be.

    I am not neither a Jew nor a Christian. Isn’t the Old Testament God the OPPOSITE of forgiving and patient? He’s always smiting people.

  102. 102
    MJS says:

    @Immanentize: There’s a very good Stephen King book, “Needful Things” where one of the “needful things” is an alleged splinter from “the Cross”. Stories about religious relics always remind me of that book.

  103. 103
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Somehow or other I don’t think any tears around here at this news: Gunmaker Remington faces default as Americans buy fewer firearms

    Remington Outdoor, the second-largest U.S. gunmaker, has had a “rapid” and “sharp” deterioration in sales and a similar drop in profit since January, and faces “continued softness in consumer demand for firearms,” credit analysts at Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings said in a report.

    S&P as a result has cut the company’s corporate credit rating — already at a junk-bond-level CCC+ — two full notches, to CCC-, which is likely to make the company’s high-yield debt less attractive to investors and lenders, and force Remington to pay more in interest. The company could face a change in control, bankruptcy, or default on its debt by next year.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    Immanentize says:

    @MJS: They say that the extant slivers from the one true cross could build five hundred true crosses.

    I actually thought the more creative salesmen were those who would sell items not from Jesus, but from those more tangentially related to the story — like a leg bone from one of the thieves crucified next to him. That is smart marketing!

  106. 106
    NotMax says:

    @Gin & Tonic

    As such “relics” go, perhaps the most outre.

  107. 107
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Holy Foreskin Batman!

  108. 108
    Betty Cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thanks! You’ve got mail!

  109. 109
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’ll go see if I can help.

  110. 110
    Amir Khalid says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    That’s the problem with the Abrahamic deity. He can be shockingly petty and spiteful.

  111. 111
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ok, I thought I knew my relic mythology — but man that is too much!!
    Somewhere I am sure someone has the knife of the Mohel.

    I always thought it was funny that one of the first members of the Morman church was named Moyle.

  112. 112
    satby says:

    @NotMax: yep, that was weird.

  113. 113
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid: He and I have that in common.

  114. 114
    Immanentize says:

    @NotMax: sorry, my comment at 111 was for you

  115. 115
    gene108 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Funny how the gun lobby backed Trump, when from a business point of view, Obama was the best thing ever for sales. And Hillary would have kept the buying frenzy going.

  116. 116
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    You don’t think the ‘ male student’ part is what made him resign so quick?

  117. 117
  118. 118
    rikyrah says:

    Ten African Americans win Rhodes scholarships, the most ever in a single US class. The winners include the first black woman to lead the Corps of Cadets at West Point. https://t.co/hGJfe54R8W

    — AP West Region (@APWestRegion) November 19, 2017

  119. 119
    rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Reminder:

    If Rs wanted to cut taxes for the middle class, they could go ahead and *cut taxes for the middle class,* while minimizing the huge giveaway to their corporate donors.

    But Rs have publicly admitted their donors must be rewarded:https://t.co/zs0lqT1Ey7 pic.twitter.com/JVYdvU3lec

    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) November 20, 2017

  120. 120
    rikyrah says:

    Wow. That’s some honesty– the White House admitting that electing a pedophile is worth it to pass tax cuts. 😟 https://t.co/DvJOwJQ5e2

    — Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) November 20, 2017

  121. 121
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Baud:
    Baud is great.

  122. 122
    Peale says:

    @Amir Khalid: yes. But then looking at the stories told about the pagan gods in the neighborhood, God seems relatively stable and chipper.

  123. 123
    Amir Khalid says:

    @rikyrah:
    It’s the same thing Governor KIV of Alabama said about voting for the child molester: party before principle.

  124. 124

    @OzarkHillbilly: Snooze Hour’s Jeffrey Brown covered it lovingly last week. I can has liberal media?

  125. 125
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’s some great news. Kind of surprising given all the shootings we have each year but I assume their competition is doing better.

  126. 126
    rikyrah says:

    Technical Foul: Trump Goes There Again
    by D.R. Tucker November 19, 2017

    …………………..

    Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017

    ……………………………

    Trump had the option of simply ignoring LaVar Ball’s dismissal of his role in freeing the UCLA players; he wouldn’t be the first person to simply ignore Ball. Trump chose otherwise, for fairly obvious political reasons: he figured that attacking supposedly ungrateful African-Americans would maintain his popularity among his most devoted followers. Ball is being attacked for the same reason Colin Kaepernick was attacked by the 45th President: he’s a convenient target.

    Trump’s base undoubtedly thinks he “should have left them in jail.” Their hatred fuels Trump; their resentment is the force that gives him power. Imagine dealing with three (or even seven?) more years of this. Imagine hearing similar rhetoric from Roy Moore if (when?) he wins the US Senate seat Jeff Sessions vacated.

    This Thursday, give thanks for the anti-Trump resistance movement. It’s hard to imagine our country remaining stable without it.

  127. 127
    rikyrah says:

    The Melting of Republican Snowflakes
    by D.R. Tucker November 19, 2017

    That sound you hear is the playing of the world’s tiniest violin for Republican Governors who didn’t have enough sense to walk away from the party once Donald Trump secured the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, and who now fear the consequences:

    For nearly a decade, meetings of the Republican Governors Association were buoyant, even giddy, affairs, as the party — lifted by enormous political donations and a backlash against the Obama administration — achieved overwhelming control of state governments.

    But a sense of foreboding hung over the group’s gathering in Austin this past week, as President Trump’s unpopularity and Republicans’ unexpectedly drastic losses in elections earlier this month in Virginia, New Jersey and suburbs from Philadelphia to Seattle raised the specter of a political reckoning in 2018.

    “I do think Virginia was a wake-up call,” said Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, who took over here as chairman of the governors association. “There’s a pretty strong message there. When Republicans lose white married women, that’s a strong message.”

  128. 128
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Fleecing the rubes dry. That’s one museum I’ll never set foot in.

  129. 129
    rikyrah says:

    Mueller’s latest request suggests trouble for Trump’s White House
    11/20/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    ………………………..

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.

    In particular, Mueller’s investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it.

    ABC News’ report, which hasn’t been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, added that this line of inquiry “marks the special counsel’s first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.”

    The piece went on to say, “The latest move suggests the Special Counsel is still actively digging into, among other matters, whether Trump or any other administration official improperly tried to influence an ongoing investigation.”

  130. 130
    Peale says:

    @Patricia Kayden: as you know, us liberal elite types who are stocking up for the coming revolution wouldn’t be caught dead holding a Remington. When we go nuts, we buy imported foreign arms from Sweden and France. Directly. Hand crafted and curated weapons that we buy at film festivals and avant-guard performance art shows. Remington is soulless mass market American piffle.

  131. 131
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    There was a very small part of the punk-rock-alternative scene that idolized Charles Manson as some kind of nihilist-revolutionary-hero. It always kind of disgusted me. Back when I briefly worked in a record store one of the other clerks was going on one day about what a genius Manson was, and I finally just looked at him and said, “You know, I’m against the death penalty, but I’d make an exception for Charlie.” Shut the guy right up. Glad to hear that fucker is gone. The world is a (slightly) better place this morning.

  132. 132
    rikyrah says:

    11/17/17
    Echoes of Trump in corrupt former Panama president Martinelli
    Richard Engel, NBC News chief foreign correspondent, reports on similarities between Donald Trump and his friend, former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli, who is being held in a federal detention facility in Miami fighting extradition back to Panama.

  133. 133

    @rikyrah:

    This Thursday, give thanks for the anti-Trump resistance movement. It’s hard to imagine our country remaining stable without it.

    According to our progressive betters we are all supposed to curl up and die, because Rs always win, we are supposed to help them by demanding immediate firing of our allies based on flimsy allegations.

  134. 134
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    There are not enough gun hoarders in America to make up for more and more people not wanting to own even one gun.

  135. 135
    J R in WV says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Charley Manson grew up in Charleston WV for a time; in a log home that was once a turnpike tavern back when turnpikes had stops for the stage coaches and horses. It was moved when the road was widened and the Midland Trail became Rt 60, which runs clear to the west coast.

    Sara Jane Moore, who attempted to shoot President Ford also grew up in that same old log house. Perhaps there was something odd about that old house…

  136. 136

    My thoughts on Charles Manson mirrors that of Sam Kinison’s:

    YOU WERE ON ACID, MANSON. You’d have gotten the same message out of the Monkees you f-cking psycho.

  137. 137
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Very biblical. It leaps to the eye how it’s based on scripture. “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth. and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” Faugh!

  138. 138
    gene108 says:

    @rikyrah:

    Their hatred fuels Trump; their resentment is the force that gives him power.

    Got it backwards. Trump’s racism fuels his base. For the first time in fifty years a national politician is saying out loud and vindicating what they have always been thinking.

  139. 139
    rikyrah says:

    11/17/17
    Trump may be at legal risk for crimes at Trump-named building
    Arlo Devlin-Brown, former public corruption unit chief for the Southern District of New York, talks with Richard Engel about whether Donald Trump is at any legal risk for illegal things that happen through a building to which he has sold his name.

  140. 140
    rikyrah says:

    11/17/17
    Many Trump deals abroad come with conflicts
    Richard Engel, NBC News chief foreign correspondent, reports on some of the unsavory circumstances and outright conflicts of interest in some of Donald Trump’s international business ventures.

  141. 141
    rikyrah says:

    11/17/17
    Trump comfort with foreign corruption hurts US global reputation
    Sarah Chayes, author of “Thieves of State,” talks with Richard Engel about how Donald Trump’s tolerance of corruption in other countries reflects back on the reputation of the United States, and why Donald Trump is in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

  142. 142
    rikyrah says:

    11/17/17
    Trump makes position on foreign bribery clear
    Richard Engel shares a CNBC clip of Donald Trump expressing his displeasure with a law that forbids American businesses from bribing foreign officials.

  143. 143
    Chet says:

    Anyone else noticed this?

    Want to experience The Trump Hotel during the holiday season in Washington, D.C.?

    I thought Trump was going to fix that?

  144. 144
    Amir Khalid says:

    @J R in WV:
    The other woman who tried to shoot Ford that year month, Lynette Fromme, was a member of Manson’s cult at the time. There may indeed be some evil connection at work here.

  145. 145
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Immanentize: In our family, holiday music, movies, etc. are BANNED until Santa arrives at the Macy parade. Then break out the champagne, toast Santa, crank up the music & deck those halls!

  146. 146

    Can I ask a favor of the Juicers here?

    Can you confirm that a panelist on a real live show on CNN this morning just said, no dubbing or editing or anything, that he just said he trusts trump over JESUS CHRIST COMING DOWN OFF THE CROSS when it comes to the Russian scandal?

    I can’t believe that really happened. I can’t… I just… JESUS, I AM HONESTLY THINKING OF DRINKING HEAVILY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY 47 YEARS OF EXISTENCE. /cries

  147. 147
    hueyplong says:

    @J R in WV: I thought it was US highway 50 that went all the way to the west coast. Maybe both did.

  148. 148

    I am a complete amateur when it comes to getting drunk. As I cannot abide the smell of beer, what are my alternatives to drown myself in this hellish season of JFC trump VOTERS ARE STUPID AND INSANE. /headdesking

  149. 149
    rikyrah says:

    11/18/17
    Trump Panama building a magnet for dirty money laundering
    Richard Engel, NBC News chief foreign correspondent, looks at how a Panama building project bearing the Trump name became a hot spot for illegal money world wide to be cleaned through real estate transactions.

  150. 150
    J R in WV says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’m acquainted with a very pleasant young woman who started and runs a small BBQ restaurant. Sometimes very busy, other times not so much. She tries to have two staff to help in the kitchen so she can devote her time to the front where the customers are.

    Hired a young man for the summer one time. Next day he didn’t show up as needed, so she called him. He told her it wouldn’t work for him, asked why he told her, very seriously, “I don’t like to be told what to do!”

    That boy is going to have a fairly hard and unhappy life, I suspect. Military draft might be good for him. Not sure what else could fix that.

  151. 151
    Jeffro says:

    Hey happy Monday everyone! A good swim in the morning gets the day started off right…well, that and the sweet, sweet sound of two #NeverTrumpers going. off.

    First up, as usual, Ms. Rubin: The Face of a Soulless, Intellectually Corrupt Party

    Republicans will tell your they support Moore and Trump as vehicles to policy goals. That assumes (falsely) that their policy goals are noble when they are actually unrealistic, unpopular, inconsistent and unconservative. Run up the debt, say the fiscal hawks. Take away health-care coverage, say the GOP “reformers.” Ban Muslims, round up Dreamers and slash legal immigration say the “Constitutional conservatives” and “market capitalists.” Worst of all: Vote for “values,” say the charlatans who backed Trump.

    In truth, the goals these Republicans care about, if they ever did, have long ago been sublimated (they certainly changed them entirely) to the goal of holding power, of winning. When that is the highest calling they’ll vote for alleged child predators, racists and just about anyone else with an “R” next to his or her name. The result is moral chaos, political malfeasance and gross incompetence. And a President Trump

    And then Fred Hiatt weighs in: Did Putin Get Taken For a Ride?

    Vladi­mir Putin got taken for a ride: That’s one view. A year after Putin did his best to tip the U.S. election to Donald Trump, economic sanctions remain in place on his regime and U.S.-Russia relations have hardly thawed.

    But I think to grade Putin only on that bilateral measure is to sell him short. When he ordered his KGB successor agencies to intervene in the election, he had much broader aims. Let’s look at a fuller report card, one year in, based on three goals he likely set himself — remembering that we’re not even one-quarter of the way through this course.

    Goal: Diminish U.S. leadership in the world.

    Here Putin must be delighted. The Trump administration in one year has undermined U.S. leadership in ways Russia in a decade couldn’t have accomplished on its own.

    Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 nations desperate for U.S. protection in confronting Chinese dominance. This month we saw some results: eleven nations signing a TPP agreement without the United States. China strutting across the Asian stage as the undisputed kingpin. Trump finding no takers for his offer of bilateral trade deals.

    Grade: A

    Goal: Undermine faith in democracy.

    Here again, Putin must be pleased. With minimal investment, he influenced voters in ways sufficient to cast doubt on the results of a presidential election. Perhaps more remarkable, the incumbent administration has taken almost no steps to prevent him from interfering again, and the majority party in Congress is ambivalent. So the country may be no better protected in 2018 and 2020.

    The president’s former campaign chairman and his deputy are under indictment, a former foreign policy adviser has pleaded guilty, and a special prosecutor is, presumably, just getting started. The president, his attorney general, his former national security adviser, his son-in-law and other advisers all have been caught misinforming or giving incomplete information about their relations with Russia.

    And if you are thinking, oh, Putin must worry about being caught out? No. The more suspicion falls on the U.S. system, the better it serves his purpose, which is to say: Yes, I may be sleazy and undemocratic, but so are you — only you are more hypocritical.

    Meanwhile, the world sees a U.S. president who admires dictators more than democratic leaders. He talks about human rights where convenient (Cuba, Iran, North Korea) and laughs them off elsewhere (Saudi Arabia, the Philippines). As an authoritarian wave washes across the globe, he says: Not our concern.

    At home, his government is understaffed, accomplishes little and is proudly underinvesting in research, education and infrastructure — hardly an exemplar for other democracies.

    Grade: A

    Goal: Turn Americans against each other.

    What’s most striking about the fake news planted by Russians is its total cynicism: There’s no belief in anything, only a feeding of suspicion and hatred, an effort to turn religions and ethnic groups against each other and to undermine faith in institutions and in the idea of truth itself.

    Putin could hardly have found a better accomplice for this effort than the current White House occupant. From his first-day fiction on inaugural crowds, he has been untethered to the truth. Many of his policies have continued his campaign themes of division: the travel ban, the prohibition-by-tweet of transgender troops, the abandonment of the “dreamers” — and his sudden discovery of judicious evenhandedness when it came to white supremacists in Charlottesville.

    Polls show mistrust and partisanship growing, faith in most institutions declining. On the other hand, in the first major electoral test of Trumpism since Trump’s election, voters in Virginia* rejected a campaign that relied too heavily on racial division and fear of immigrants and crime.

    Grade: A-minus

    *yeah BUDDY! =)

    If y’all have a minute in between calls to your Senators, shoot these two an email and tell ’em to keep it coming!

  152. 152
    Jeffro says:

    Oh and PS: Has Russian Money Gone to Trumpov’s Legal Defense? (inquiring minds – like Bobby Three Sticks’ – want to know)

    …Let’s start with the Russian connection. It was first reported in September that three Americans with substantial Russian business ties contributed almost $2 million to the RNC. Unless these donations were directed by a foreigner, they are not illegal. But we know, for starters, that all three men are connected to Viktor Vekselberg, one of the richest men in Russia and a close associate of Putin. In fact one man, Andrew Intrater, is Vekselberg’s cousin and CEO of the American subsidiary of Vekselberg’s firm. Furthering suspicion, two of the three men do not have a significant history of donating to prior campaigns. The three men declined to comment to ABC News or could not be reached. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly now investigating their 2016 contributions.

    Two pieces of context should deepen our suspicion. The first is that in Putin’s Russia, business, politics, and the security establishment are inextricably linked. In 2004, Putin sent a message to his country’s oligarchs with the televised trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, then Russia’s richest man, who was placed in a cage for the broadcast. Since then, any major business deals in Russia essentially require the approval of the Kremlin. Secondly, this type of conduct fits into a broader pattern of Russian interference with other countries’ domestic politics. Russia has even offered legal assistance to political allies before; last year, Lukoil, the Russian oil giant, paid state fines for a Russian-connected adviser to the president of the Czech Republic, allowing him to retain his influence.

    In addition to raising deep concerns about Russian interference, this development should also sound alarms about the state of our campaign finance system. Americans are deeply concerned that anyone—Russian or otherwise—could funnel millions of dollars into the political system. Here, for the first time in recent history, we are seeing a major portion of six- and seven-figure contributions to a political party being funneled toward the personal legal expenses of the president and his family.

  153. 153
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @PaulWartenberg: Here you are!

    Remember, you asked for it.

  154. 154
    bystander says:

    @Jeffro: Nothing undermines democracy more than repub gerrymandering. Putin contributed by exposing our corrupt media.

    I’m guessing Putin is also enjoying the sexual harassment revelations and their damaging effects on both parties.

  155. 155
    J R in WV says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Might be related to a 60 Minutes piece about a Remington rifle (an expensive one!) which fires randomly when the safety is clicked off, without anything near the trigger. They did a secret recall, which made it worse.

    The show had a number of filmed examples of a suspect rifle, reworked by the Remington shop, firing about 1 time in 4 when the safety was clicked off. People were shot, killed, often relatives.

    One young man wasn’t believed when he told cops the gun “just went off” and killed his brother, so he was looking at life without parole, spent several years in jail. Because Remington did their best to keep their shitty trigger mechanism’s faults secret. Now they’re fucked hard. I wouldn’t have one nor be around one lest it go off pointed at one of us.

    Was offered a used 30-06 Remington 700 for $289 not long ago, looked pristine, least expensive gun in the (very big) shop. It would normally go for $1200 used in as new condition. But not any more.

  156. 156
    rikyrah says:

    Trump now says he ‘should have left’ Americans in Chinese jail
    11/20/17 08:42 AM
    By Steve Benen

    ………………………………………………………….

    Stuart Stevens, a Republican strategist and former aide to Mitt Romney, responded to this story by explaining, “This is on emotional spectrum of a troubled child. Elected officials don’t help the taxpayers they work for because they expect praise. They do it because it’s their job.”

    I realize that this president often struggles to understand the nuances of his responsibilities, but this isn’t especially complicated: for generations, U.S. officials have worked on behalf of Americans, not for glory or public displays of gratitude, but out of a desire to serve.

    Trump did something worthwhile by taking steps to free those three Americans from a Chinese jail – in other words, the president did his job – but now he regrets it because one of those American’s fathers hurt his feelings.

    Yes, this makes Trump appear alarmingly small. And yes, this reminds us that the president has the temperament of a spoiled child. But this incident also makes clear that in Trump’s mind, public service is a vanity exercise. He’s willing to do the right thing, but only if he’s rewarded with gratitude and praise.

    Without them, Trump is inclined to ignore Americans’ needs. Indeed, in his mind, the president’s work is inherently transactional: he’ll protect our interests, and in exchange, we’ll acknowledge his greatness and satisfy his ego. Those who fail to live up to their end of the bargain, evidently, are unworthy of his efforts.

    There is nothing like this in the American tradition.

  157. 157
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Ah, I see: the guy is a Trumpian, not a Christian.

  158. 158
    rikyrah says:

    From FORBES…

    FORBES!

    FORBES: GOP Tax Bill Is The End Of All Economic Sanity In Washington

    . . . If it’s enacted, the GOP tax cut now working its way through Congress will be the start of a decades-long economic policy disaster unlike any other that has occurred in American history.

    There’s no economic justification whatsoever for a tax cut at this time. U.S. GDP is growing, unemployment is close to 4 percent (below what is commonly considered “full employment”, corporate profits are at record levels and stock markets are soaring. It makes no sense to add any federal government-induced stimulus to all this private sector-caused economic activity, let alone a tax cut as big as this one.

    This is actually the ideal time for Washington to be doing the opposite. But by damning the economic torpedoes and moving full-speed ahead, House and Senate Republicans and the Trump White House are setting up the U.S. for the modern-day analog of the inflation-producing guns-and-butter economic policy of the Vietnam era. The GOP tax bill will increase the federal deficit by $2 trillion or more over the next decade (the official estimates of $1.5 trillion hide the real amount with a witches brew of gimmicks and outright lies) that, unless all the rules have changed, is virtually certain to result in inflation and much higher interest rates than would otherwise occur.

    The GOP’s insanity is compounded by its moving ahead without having any idea of what this policy will actually do to the economy. The debates in the Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees and on the House floor all took place before the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis and, if it really exists, the constantly-promised-but-never-seen report from the Treasury on the economics of this tax bill. . . .

  159. 159
    burnspbesq says:

    @J R in WV:

    Rt 60, which runs clear to the west coast.

    U.S. 60 terminates somewhere near Phoenix, and has since the 1980s. The Pomona Freeway (CA 60) is the last vestige in California. The rest was swallowed up by I-10.

  160. 160
    jonas says:

    “The president says, ‘This is all just an annoyance. I did nothing,’ ”

    The fact that he fired the FBI director heading the investigation and is still furious that his own AG recused himself from anything Russia related would suggest otherwise. Had he just kept his cool, he could have at least copped to the classic “I was too stupid/naive to know what was going on in my own organization” excuse beloved by crooked CEOs everywhere. As it is, he’s acting — and tweeting — as if he’s guiltier than hell.

  161. 161
    rikyrah says:

    This Is Just How Badly Scott Walker Has Decimated Public Schools in Wisconsin

    A new study highlights the dire teacher shortage created by Walker’s anti-union law.
    NOV. 20, 2017 6:00 AM

    In the six years since Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed the union-busting Act 10, which curtailed collective bargaining rights for public employees, the state’s labor movement has been decimated. Wisconsin was once a leader in organized labor, but its share of workers belonging to unions plummeted from 14.2 percent in 2010 to 8.1 percent in 2016. In 2015, the state’s unionization rate dropped below the national average for the first time.

    Now a new study highlights the unintended consequences of Act 10, which has proven catastrophic for Wisconsin’s public schools.

    As I explained in the March/April issue of Mother Jones, Wisconsin’s attack on public sector unions has created a shortage of public school teachers, as teachers retire and look for jobs in other states and fewer young people embark on careers in education:
    […]
    “Rather than encouraging the best and the brightest to become teachers and remain in the field throughout their career,” Wisconsin state Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling said during a press call on Wednesday, “Act 10 has demonized and devalued the teaching profession and driven away many good teachers. These serious implications have left schools across Wisconsin struggling to fill teaching positions.”

  162. 162
    burnspbesq says:

    @rikyrah:

    That Forbes article almost certainly understates how bad the bills are.

  163. 163
    laura says:

    @satby: Yes, and we’re awaiting the details. Was it the Office Manager?

  164. 164
    rikyrah says:

    @Jeffro:

    I will remind folks of the $ 50 million AT LEAST leftover from the Inauguration.

    He has that $50 million for legal funds, and he was still phucking greedy – having the RNC pay his and Jr’s legal bills.

  165. 165
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Welp, looks like we have another Franken accusation over at Huffpo.

  166. 166
    Aleta says:

    @Chet: “for a weekend of Christmas magic captive fundraisers. (Additional fees and service charges may apply.)”

  167. 167
    different-church-lady says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: This is really really amazing: he got a bunch of football fans to pick him over the NFL, he got a bunch of southern voters to side with him over child molestation, and now he’s got Jesus freaks picking him over Jesus.

  168. 168
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Amir Khalid: Well, to be fair, a lot of Christians have been ignoring the teachings of Jesus for quite some time without seeming to feel it’s a big deal.

  169. 169
    Citizen Alan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    It’s like these people have never heard of Mammon.

  170. 170
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Kay:

    Yes, but do give him a little credit. He did not personally shoot Medgar Evans. Therefore he’s not really a racist.

  171. 171
    Citizen Alan says:

    @gene108:

    Nope. Remember that staff member for Bay Buchanan who got arrested for yelling the n-word at a black woman while he was in the process of physically assaulting her? Buchanan described accusations of his racism as “a high-tech lynching.”

  172. 172
    Citizen Alan says:

    @different-church-lady:

    That’s not surprising at all to me. If there is any validity at all to Christianity, on Judgement Day Jesus Christ will tell the majority of Evangelical Christians to their faces that he never knew them and then he will send them to hell. In my opinion, the New Testament is absolutely clear on what makes someone a good Christian and what makes someone a future permanent resident of a lake of fire. And there ain’t nothing in there about voting a straight Republican ticket being the thing that gets you into heaven. It’s all about what you do to the least of these, and Republicans think the least of these should be ground up into a fine powder.

  173. 173
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Whelp, so much for co-existence.

    Burn em all, its the only way to be sure.

  174. 174
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    How long does he get this ridiculous pass where people insist it’s somehow a show?

    Forever Kay, or until Village gets his way with the tumbrels. Whichever comes first.

  175. 175
    TenguPhule says:

    @PaulWartenberg: Sake. Hot Sake.

    Very little taste but feels good going down.

  176. 176
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @J R in WV: I have a 40 yr old Model 700 (.30-06). Very good and accurate rifle, and safe too. I wonder what they changed in the trigger. (If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!)

  177. 177

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’ve confirmed it since my first posting, so yes indeed. it is official. the Age of trumpian assholes has driven me to drink.

    As a complete newb when it comes to getting drunk, should I start with hard cider and work my way up to whiskey? Is there a chart that shows which drinks are harder than others?

  178. 178
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Immanentize: “I GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!” — Ringo

  179. 179
    J R in WV says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    These guys were buying ancient cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia, Babylon as mentioned in their bible. They were shipped to America in crates marked “ceramic tile” which was true as far as it goes. Basically bought from tomb robbers and ISIS – real terrorists – to support their war against western culture.

    They got caught, and wound up forfeiting 5,500 artifacts looted from Iraq, and IIRC paying $3,000,000 in fines. If you Google just “Bible Museum” you get lots of hits (1.4 million) which are quite positive and complementary. If you Google “Bible Museum and stolen artifacts” you get 1.28 million hits with more accurate data.

    What they think lists of harvests and amounts of produce owed to local government has to do with their bible I cannot tell, but that’s what most cuneiform tablets were, bookkeeping taxes and tithes, crops raised and harvested, inventory of beer, etc.

    Very few regarding Jews captured into Babylonian slavery until their Lord G-d set them free. Besides, all that is the Old Testament, should be irrelevant to Christians who believe in the story of Christ, right? Those artifacts are all in museums, inventoried and recorded, hard for the Bible Hobby folks to steal!

  180. 180
    J R in WV says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Well, I guess it is safe, until it goes off without a trigger pull. Maybe never, maybe the next time you load it. I’m in the market for a deer rifle, thinking about a Ruger Mini-30 after seeing one at the same Rod and Gun shop. Then I asked about used .30 caliber rifles and they showed me the used Remington 700. Here’s the CBS story…

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