Butter lamb! Here’s the finished product:
Here’s the shorn beast, before I used the garlic press to make the curlicues:
And here are the tools of the trade:
I think 2016 butter lamb was better. But it was a more innocent time.
Anyhoo, open thread!
Easter has become the Evangelical winter solstice.
It’s that date on which professions of faith and the actual practice of that faith are the farthest apart.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) March 29, 2018
All vernal equinox festivals tend to celebrate the new, the young, and the throwing off of outworn properties to make way for fresh growth — things bound to raise hives on conservative hides at the best of times. But to those rightwingers raised in the Christian tradition, where Easter is (believe it or not!) the most sacred Holy Day, it’s gotta be especially irksome. Scripture preaches that the literal embodiment of the One True Father God allowed himself to be captured, manhandled, and murdered by the government. Bad enough that the totally-within-their-rights civil authorities and their licensed security thugs should be cast as being on the wrong side… however can they reconcile this “Prince of Peace” pussified Jesus with the Flaming Sword Wrongness Punisher of their hearts’ desire?
(Of course, my own understanding here was strongly influenced by parochial school nuns who put a lot of stress on the deliberate pacifism of Easter Week, for reasons. In 1968/72, explaining to a bunch of sullen teenagers who considered their NORAID donor buttons the height of political correctness that St. Peter deserved to be rebuked for whipping out his sword at Gethsemane can’t have been easy.)
Modern pop culture isn’t easy for our ‘conservative’ opposites to enjoy, either — every time they think they’ve found a good violent shoot-em-up to applaud, mouthy Lie-brals start pointing out how ‘oppressed young special-needs minority types’ are shown more sympathetically than ‘the duly appointed legal authorities’. But ya gotta give them points for trying!…
— National Review (@NRO) March 29, 2018
Legalize magic. Ok, sure. https://t.co/i8lRsx5Mtf
— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 31, 2018
but like, they didn't win because they were armed? They won because the main guy literally let the evil wizard kill him?
I'm not sure you guys have thought this through.
— ROU Do Not Congratulate (@braak) March 30, 2018
It's also worth remembering that the kids spend seven years learning how to use the wands responsibly. Furthermore are prohibited from using them outside of school.
— George Offley (@georgeoffley) March 30, 2018
However, if we've fallen into this dystopian fantasy where we need to train child soldiers we've got other problems.
— George Offley (@georgeoffley) March 30, 2018
Also worth remembering:
Its fiction. https://t.co/7pK941VOgW
— Kragar (@Kragar_LGF) March 30, 2018
Ya know what’s fun?
Watching the right wing folks learn the hard way that they were never good at social media.
It was just the pre-election army of bots and trolls that made it seem that way.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) March 30, 2018
I really, really hope that people are watching how the Parkland kids are just shredding the gun nuts and the right wing extremists, because it really is an object lesson in how to get things done. Again, it’s a long battle, and very little has changed legally, but laws always follow public attitudes.
At any rate, their recipe for success is simple, but most of all what they are doing is throwing out the old rules. In the old way of doing things, liberals put forward a watered down version of their agenda, and signal they are willing to compromise before the game even starts- “we can all agree on common sense gun laws.” And then we learn, that no, we can’t all agree on common sense gun laws, and they take the weak opening position and push back against it. Then we get distracted, bullied, and allow them to muddy the waters with discussions over clips v. magazine and other gunhumper bullshit, all wrapped around the axle because we let them set the terms of the debate.
Not these kids. They have clear messages that haven’t been muddied by technocratic bullshit- “My friends got shot and there are too many fucking guns and we’re going to do something about it and we’re going to go after people who won’t.” The end result, obviously, is legislation, but these kids are not pushing specific laws- they’ll let legislators do that.
And it is working. A clear message, the moral high ground, and inclusive approach, and most importantly, not taking any shit. Someone throws bullshit at them, they turn it back around and amplify it on their target. See also, Laura Ingraham. And when they get minor victories, like the weak laws that passed in Florida, they don’t celebrate, they nod and get back to going after the motherfuckers who keep putting guns on the street.
It’s a goddamned breath of fresh air. I don’t know if it is because they are young and fearless, because they are smart and social media savvy, if it’s because they have great parents and teachers, or if because being shot at brings one a clarity of purpose, but it’s probably all of the above. We all could learn something from these kids, because the NRA and the frothing wingnuts sure are- the old rules don’t fucking apply any more.
This is my shocked face:
Freddie Deboer's Race Science Book is being published by the guy who printed The Bell Curve. pic.twitter.com/a0TEfhXu0a
— Stormy Hogg (@erasmusNYT) March 30, 2018
In the interest of compete fairness, All Points Books purports to publish an “ideologically eclectic mix of titles”, but in the article I link the two “liberal” books are ones by a guy at Reason and a No Labels type Democrat. The biggest hit for All Points was a book by Laura Ingraham.
I regret every having that guy post here, but I feel good about this
.@eliasisquith Freddie will be at the Daily Caller within five years.
— JacksonianWhig (@DougJBalloon) June 3, 2014
At the Korean Bamboo.
As of pre-dawn, commentors Yutsano, Mike J, Bumpers, CaseyL and HEWolf plan to be there… also no doubt one or two I’ve missed.
Lurkers, friends, significant or not-so-significant others always welcome.
And if you’re at the party — remember to take a photo or three, to share with those of us who aren’t so fortunate!
Above is another look at the cedar waxwings who visited our bamboo earlier this week. I haven’t seen them in a couple of days, so I assume they’ve flown up to Illinois or wherever they live in the summer.
I need to go to the store and get stuff to make the two Easter feast side dishes I’m in charge of (asparagus and carrots), plus put Easter baskets together for my kiddo and her roomies. I suspect the store will be a nightmare.
What are you up to today?
Spring is allegedly here, although we are still going to have some chilly weather in the next few weeks, but the daffodils are having none of it:
The tulips will be next. Last fall was my first bulb planting at the new house, and now that I have seen how it looks, I am going to triple my planting this fall.
Dean (the guy who did most of the work on the house) was in town this week, and we spent some time stabilizing the first floor. Remember, when I purchased the house, the idiots before me had cut a joist in the ceiling, which had put all the load bearing on the beams in the basement and created a five inch sag on the main floor, so we had to jack it all up and put 8×8’s in, etc. That, and the addition of the 3/4 inch interlocking hardwood floors firmed things up, but there was still some give. After a year and some of letting the house expand, contract, and settle, it was time to head back to the basement and make a few adjustments. We added some more supports and what now, and I can now report that even my fat ass can do jumping jacks in the living room and none of the china in the corner cupboard so much as jiggles.
The backyard is the next project- the raised bed gardens are going in (I salvaged two from the old house, and am putting in three new ones), and we are hauling all my soil and compost from the old place. Those will all go in the area of my yard that will get the most sun, while on the other half of the yard, where there is shade from pines and I put in the two apple and the chestnut tree, the butterfly and bee pollinator garden will be going in with a bird/butterfly pool. Tht’s also where the compost pile is (in the back corner). Last year I put in a dozen blueberry and blackberry bushes under the pines, so we’ll see if those produce anything. I’m going to throw some mushroom logs back there too and see what happens.
In June, we are cutting the deck in half because it’s too damned big, and I want to reposition where the stairs are and add some support beams as well as some 4×4’s so I have a place to tie off a large retractable tarp for some shade.
As far as actual plants, the babies are doing well:
I’ve got a new run of seedlings in, this time, mainly herbs, some late blooming tomatoes, and my cold weather run of broccoli and cauliflower. So that’s how things are going here.
Brian and Tammy are coming up tomorrow, and we are going to cook an Easter feast for my folks and some locals.
*** Update ***
OMG- I completely forgot the total overshare portion of this post. I bought a bidet attachment for my toilet and from Tushy and I am embarrassingly excited.
— CNN (@CNN) March 30, 2018
…“I’m really glad that, you know, Al Gore didn’t stop talking about climate change,” Clinton said of the former Democratic vice president who ran for president in 2000.
She continued, “And I’m really glad John Kerry went to the Senate and became an excellent secretary of state.”
“And I’m really glad John McCain kept speaking out and standing up and saying what he had to say,” Clinton said of the Arizona Republican.
“And for heaven’s sakes, Mitt Romney is running for the Senate,” said Clinton, referring to the 2012 Republican nominee’s campaign for Senate in Utah.
Clinton added that she’s “really committed to speaking out and doing what I can to have a voice in the debate about where our country is going.”…
Bob Dole, 94 – still tweeting, btw
Gore, 69 – global leader on climate
Kerry, 74 – became Sec of State
McCain, 81 – Senator, writing memoirs
Romney, 71 – Running for Senate
Biden, 75 – Biden 2020!
Sanders, 76 – Bernard 2020!
All have lost presidential runs.
Fact Check: True. https://t.co/M9VG77BFX1
— Jack Miller (@politicalmiller) March 30, 2018
To be fair, failed presidential candidate Jill Stein is most likely also being told to stay out of public & to not talk to the press…by the attorneys representing her in the Congressional & Mueller investigations in to collusion w Russia. https://t.co/VQyPdewra9
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) March 30, 2018
Aaand, up scurries Erick Erickson (the other white meat), hoping to get in a few kicks on an unconscious victim…
Hillary Clinton is the perfect loser for a selfish generation. In the past, the losing Presidential candidate disappeared from the stage. Not Clinton. It's all about her and you're sexist if you disagree.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) March 30, 2018
Lotta folks have the recent history of this being a spectacularly dumb thing say covered, so I'll start at the beginning and work forward. https://t.co/FXicscwqrh
— Mike Duncan (@mikeduncan) March 30, 2018
Thomas Jefferson def 1796. Started a political party so it wouldn't happen again. Became President in 1800 in bitterly contested race.
— Mike Duncan (@mikeduncan) March 30, 2018
Henry Clay also def 1824. Clay also retired quietly and was never heard from again. These are jokes people.
— Mike Duncan (@mikeduncan) March 30, 2018
From party-sparker Yutsano:
So I made it Thursday afternoon and am just awaiting details of what we’re doing. I know a lot of folks said Saturday was the best day, we just need a location and a time!
Leave a comment below, or contact me at annelaurie (dot) bj (at) gmail (dot) com, and I’ll forward your message…
My job is such that sometimes I can be cleaning one damn thing or another from the moment I awake until I collapse into bed. Today is one of those days.
I watched half of that Joe Cocker doc on Netflix last night. It was pretty good! The post title is supposed to invoke the cri de coeur that follows this line. Some further research has lead me to this album which I’ve never heard before and am now sampling as I scrub this house clean. So far so good! Classic Rock Values!
Speaking of cleaning, we can clean up congress this fall with a little elbow grease, some love, and whole heap o’ money. And so I present fund the that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.
ETA: Down in the comments Thoughtful David having the thoughts:
I have some suggestions for what you can also do, besides giving money, to help Democrats get elected: get involved with your local Democratic Committee. If you live in a county with, say, <100,000 people, the local Dem Committee is probably desperate and begging for your help.
I’m not talking about just things like making phone calls or writing postcards. If you have accounting skills, they probably need a treasurer or assistant treasurer. If you’re good at organizing events, they’ll need help with that too. Manage email lists. Do data entry. If you’re a good communicator, help with the communication strategy. Write copy. Be the web/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram master. Manage the online events calendar.
No, the pay isn’t great (=$0). But this is the kind of thing that’s needed, and sometimes needed desperately.
You can volunteer to help with this kind of stuff for candidates, too. Town, county, state, or federal.
And the best part: they’re all decent people. No deplorables.
Saw this mystery novella from @zaktoscani on Twitter just now:
Co-worker got his lunch stolen and they’ve agreed to let him watch the security camera tape. This is the most excited I’ve ever been at any job ever. Ever.
The lunch in question was shrimp fried rice which means this escalates from a misdemeanor to felony no doubt
Lunch was in fridge for less than an hour before it vanished. No shrimp smell remnants in the microwave or kitchen area. This was a professional hit no doubt
HOLY SHIT. He’s back. He watched the tape. He knows who did it.
Justice, justice you shall pursue… — Deuteronomy 16:20
BREAKING: Noor Salman is found not guilty of all charges
— Melissa Jeltsen (@quasimado) March 30, 2018
Jeltsen did an excellent piece of long form reporting on Salman that really gets into the details of why she was even charged.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Noor Salman looked up as the prosecutor directed the jury’s attention to a copy of her 2011 marriage certificate. There, on the screen, was her looping signature, right next to Omar Mateen’s. Proof she wed a killer.
The 31-year-old widow shivered and hiked a purple blanket up to her neck, glancing over at her team of defense attorneys for reassurance. They often soothed her in court with physical touch, squeezing her shoulder or patting her arm. Her fear was palpable.
Later, Salman watched herself on the same screen, testing perfumes at Victoria’s Secret. In the security camera footage shown to the jury, she sniffed a paper strip, then passed it to her husband for his thoughts. He must have agreed; they left with a shiny pink bag.
While her husband was committing mass murder, Salman was in her pajamas, asleep in their home in Fort Pierce, Florida. Seven months later, she was charged with aiding and abetting her husband and obstructing justice for allegedly lying to the FBI. Prosecutors claimed that Salman helped her husband scout potential locations for the attack, created a cover story for him and participated in unusual spending.
The seemingly ordinary excursion to a mall store was now center stage in a federal terrorism trial. In the days leading up to the shooting, Mateen spent thousands of dollars on Salman, buying her clothes and jewelry, including a diamond ring. Prosecutors suggested she got the gifts in exchange for agreeing to help him carry out his heinous plan.
There was zero evidence that Salman was radicalized herself, they admitted. Instead, they argued that she was content to trade her husband – the sole provider for her and her 3-year-old son – for baubles and designer wear.
Salman, who did not testify in the trial herself, pleaded not guilty, and maintained through her lawyers that she had no knowledge of Mateen’s plans. When he began showering her with presents in the weeks before the massacre, Salman was optimistic about their future, her lawyers said, and believed it was a sign her husband – a brutish, abusive man who only permitted her a $20 allowance each week – was changing.
For the 49 families of the victims, the trial was an opportunity for closure. And yet, they didn’t get to see the man that took their loved one’s lives. Instead, they got his wife.
Outside the federal courthouse, on a lunch break from the trial, Salman’s cousin was seething. Susan Adieh, didn’t recognize the one-dimensional cliched caricature the prosecution had described, and she didn’t understand why Salman was on trial. The wives of other terrorists and mass killers never faced charges. She wondered if her family’s religion played a role, even though Salman was not religious.
After all, they were Muslim.
Susan Clary, the family spokesperson, said that many other relatives wanted to come to support Salman, but they were afraid. As Muslim Americans, they worried about being associated with the terrorism case; their jobs could be at stake.
After all, they were Muslim… Pretty much sums it all up right there. Somewhere the shade of bin Laden is smiling. He got almost everything he wanted, as delineated in his manifesto, out of the 9-11 attack.
Click over and read the whole thing. And recognize that on this Good Friday, which is also the first night of Passover, justice has prevailed in a courtroom in Florida.
Whether you subscribe to the Girther theory or not (White House physician Ronny Jackson shaved pounds off Trump’s actual weight to spare Trump placement in the “obese” category), Jackson seems like a good guy. He took care of the Obama people during the last administration, and they’ve got nothing but praise for him.
That doesn’t mean he’s qualified to run the VA, of course. People who understand the scale of that job are aghast at the nomination, and The Post says Jackson himself wonders if he’s up to the task:
Jackson was taken aback by his nomination, said senior White House officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. After aides gauged his interest in recent days, he hesitated to take on such a big job. But the president continued to push and told his senior staff Monday that the doctor was his top choice. A senior White House official described an informal interview process, without the extensive vetting that typically accompanies a Cabinet selection.
It’s unsurprising that Trump is driving the whole thing — impulsively, and in service of his own vanity, like everything else he does. Maybe Jackson will get Harriet Miersed during congressional hearings; that would probably be the kindest thing. Maybe he’ll get confirmed and face-plant on the job.
The possibility that he’ll get the support he needs to do the job well is vanishingly remote since this is the Trump administration; more likely, he’ll be surrounded by grifting vipers who will manipulate him and eventually sully his reputation, as former VA sec Shulkin implied on Chris Hayes’ show last night (though lord knows Shulkin has his own axes to grind).
Former CIA Director Brennan minced no words on the matter:
I personally know and greatly respect Ronny Jackson….as a terrific doctor and Navy officer. However, he has neither the experience nor the credentials to run the very large and complex VA. This is a terribly misguided nomination that will hurt both a good man and our veterans
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 29, 2018
All of Trump’s cabinet secretaries are either wildly unqualified or wholly unsuitable because their past positions indicate they are at war with the assets they’re supposed to protect. Ben Carson is a good example of the former, and Pruitt exemplifies the latter. Some cabinet members are both unqualified and unsuitable, such as Betsy DeVos.
As these folks do their jobs badly, I watch them accrue reputational damage and come under fire politically (the latter of which could have actual teeth if we flip the House) with unmitigated glee. They chose to work for Trump, and each, in his or her own way, is a horrible person and part of the vilest collection of villains outside a James Bond film.
Jackson seems different. Josh Marshall coined the term “dignity wraith” to describe people who willingly surrender any honor they think they possess to serve a pig like Trump. Becoming a dignity wraith is a ritual humiliation anyone who works for Trump must endure. Jackson is the first one I sincerely pity.