The Widening Gyre

Before we get to today’s unpleasantness, here’s a downy woodpecker drumming in our bamboo stand this morning:

As I mentioned on Twitter earlier, downy woodpeckers are the smallest woodpecker species in North America, and their eggs are about the size of jelly beans. Isn’t that cool?

Stop reading here if you’d like to hold onto pleasant Sunday morning thoughts.

Still with me? Okay. Before yesterday, Trump had never tweeted the name “Mueller.” He’s tweeted it twice in the past 14 hours:

Every single sentence in that tweet is a lie. More lies and paranoia this morning:

I’m gonna disagree with Doug’s post from last night a little here:

The elections in November are the only thing that matters. All this bullshit about norms and so on is a waste of time.

I agree that the upcoming elections are the most consequential of our lifetimes. That was true in 2016 too, but that outcome makes this midterm even more important, for obvious reasons. But I also believe dismay about norms being folded, spindled and mutilated daily before our eyes is not only warranted but essential, if channeled into energy to stop this slide into authoritarianism. Voting is one form of expressing that energy — the most important, arguably.

But so is speaking up at every opportunity and resisting this madness on a daily basis. And, in the event Mueller is fired, which I believe will happen soon, public demonstrations to protest the breaking of that norm must follow. Here’s a link I shared yesterday to find a local protest. Me, I think I’ll head to DC, and I hope tens of thousands join me.

248 replies
  1. 1

    “Hardened Democrats” – I love that!

  2. 2

  3. 3

  4. 4
    clay says:

    I’m going to be a “hardened” Democrat the day Trump is frogmarched into Federal Court in handcuffs.

  5. 5
    cosima says:

    Can we at least be hopeful that Mueller will have shared certain info with attorneys general in various states that will then use said info to prosecute for money laundering etc? I realise that Sessions has been busy planting folk in various courts, perhaps in anticipation of that, but not sure he can get away with it in NY or CA. I’ve always held out hope that there is someone sane who is explaining to the OFC that his options are better with Mueller than with AG in NY, for him and for his evil shitty spawn.

  6. 6
    clay says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Oh please. Rubio’s protests are worth the paper they were printed on. (And they weren’t printed on paper.)

  7. 7
    Chyron HR says:

    And yet, MY SON REALLY “LOVES” HAVING RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES ENGAGE IN ESPIONAGE AGAINST THE US GOVERNMENT, MANY STATE GOVERNMENTS, AND MY POLITICAL OPPONENTS ON BEHALF OF MY PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN ESPECIALLY LATER IN THE SUMMER OF 2016!

  8. 8
    Cermet says:

    When push comes to shove you can be sure both a spineless wimp like Rubio and all other thugs – flake included – will NEVER vote to remove from office the orange fart cloud – period. Short of suicide aircraft or vest bombers taking out the fox station and its pack of intestinal parasites, this country will not ever recover as long as those rat fuckers use their propaganda licence to brain wash vast sections of the amerkian public.

  9. 9
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Here’s hoping the elections matter.

  10. 10

    @clay: We report. You decide.

  11. 11
    debbie says:

    I can’t find it now (deleted/blocked so quickly?), but the best comment to Trump’s second tweet above was, “Weren’t you a hardened Democrat when you were with Stormy Daniels?”

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans?

    We want the job done right!

  13. 13
    debbie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I don’t trust him farther than I can throw him, but why is Gowdy talking like this?

  14. 14
    Chyron HR says:

    And yet, THE POLITICAL FAVORS MY ADMINISTRATION OPENLY DOES FOR RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS IS ENTIRELY UNRELATED TO THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS TO ME THAT THEY LAUNDERED THROUGH THE NRA!

  15. 15
    Quinerly says:

    @debbie: I find the Gowdy statements fascinating. He is retiring, though.

  16. 16
    debbie says:

    I’m hoping for a joint trial of Trump and the Mercers. This Cambridge Analytics is really pissing me off.

  17. 17
    JMG says:

    @debbie: Gowdy is leaving Congress.

  18. 18

    @debbie: Gowdy seems to be having genuine feelings that perhaps what is happening is against the Constitution. I’ve put him on my list of potential Republicans who go to visit Trump to tell him it’s all over.

  19. 19

    I’m fighting off despair. Because we can demonstrate all we want and Trump can ignore it.

  20. 20
    debbie says:

    @JMG:

    Honestly, that makes him all the more crooked. Integrity is when you are honest from the first day on.

  21. 21

    Even Lindsey Graham.

  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): If he could ignore it he wouldn’t so keenly feel the need for campaign stunts in front of adoring wingnuts.

  23. 23

    I agree that the Republicans are weasels who say some things that sound right, and that it’s a small fraction of them who even do that. The others are too busy stuffing their pockets with cash stolen from old people and babies. But it’s worth keeping tabs on how many speak up and how often they do. As that increases, Trump’s days in office decrease.

    There probably won’t be a serious uptick in that until after we smash their asses in the November election.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Well Lindsey, you and your Republican colleagues need to prove it.

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Lindsay and Marco have both backed down in the past, so we shall see.

  26. 26

    And, in the event Mueller is fired, which I believe will happen soon

    This time for sure!

    Before yesterday, Trump had never tweeted the name “Mueller.” He’s tweeted it twice in the past 14 hours:

    And? Trump has a new way of phrasing things. People jump and panic at every new twist in the Mueller investigation. I’m not saying the firing can’t or won’t happen, but this is Crying Wolf stuff. It will only be by coincidence if one of these signs actually happens before the firing, because we are literally nonstop in warnings and have been for almost a year.

    The elections in November are the only thing that matters.

    I sort of agree with this. I mean, you both have points, because they’re not addressing exactly the same issue. Mueller’s investigation is not going to get rid of Trump, or stop the Republicans from doing anything. Only elections will fix our political situation. Nevertheless, we should stay outraged, keep in mind the sanity we want to go back to and be angry about how far things have gotten from it.

  27. 27
    Matt McIrvin says:

    The key thing is to smash them in state legislatures so Trump can’t repeal the presidential term limit with a constitutional amendment. Then even if he gets reelected in 2020 through some combination of voter stupidity and election fuckery (which I consider at least 50% probable), he won’t be President-for-Life.

  28. 28
    eclare says:

    @JPL: Agree, words are easy.

  29. 29
    oatler. says:

    @clay: Notice Rubio will be getting fellated by Chuck Todd this morning along with Mike Conaway and Jonah Goldberg.
    “Hardened Democrats”

  30. 30
    AM in NC says:

    Hey Betty, thanks for posting the link to protest planning should Trump fire Mueller. My friends and I went to DC from NC for the Women’s March following Lord Smallgloves’s inauguration, but we’ll be protesting in-state for this one because we want our local republicans to feel our rage about this. I think if there is huge turnout everywhere it’ll have more impact – especially if it is in Republican areas. Thanks for making the trip to ensure they feel the pressure in the Belly of the Beast.

    I also agree with you about the importance of upholding norms – it has been a real eye-opener regarding how much of our functioning government depends upon understood comity, rather than following actual laws. I think it would be beneficial both practically and politically that, when the Democrats retake control of government, they should outline a serious list of “Good Government” policies to pass into law: everything from campaign finance laws, to forced disclosure of tax returns, to forced divestment of business interests, to anti-nepotism statutes, etc. Make the GOP campaign for corruption if they want to maintain the status quo.

  31. 31
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @debbie:

    It’s still there, I think two or three comments below the b/w sketch caricature of Stormy.

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    Wouldn’t protesting in loud numbers outside GOP congresscritters’ offices help, this week? Tell them you are watching whether they support Mueller’s investigation or not.

    Don’t wait until — and if — he’s fired. Get out there NOW. Protect his back.

    Also, what happened to the “only Rosenstein can fire Mueller” theme? Has that changed? Couldn’t Mueller refuse to be fired by Trump, and take it to the Supreme Court? I don’ think Trump has 5 votes there.

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Relax: Article 5:

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress;

    It ain’t happening in my lifetime and I expect to be here for another 10 years at least.

  34. 34
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @AM in NC:

    it has been a real eye-opener regarding how much of our functioning government depends upon understood comity, rather than following actual laws.

    Quoted for truth. I also like your “good government” policy proposals. Let’s win back the states, our federal representation, and – in 2020 – the presidency. Then ensure the Dems follow through and enact the necessary legislation.

  35. 35
    Schlemazel says:

    @AM in NC:
    My BIL sometimes jokes, “It ain’t illegal if ya don’t get caught”. Dump and his GOP are proving an ancillary to that, if nobody holds you accountable it isn’t illegal. There is no law as long as it is not enforced against him.

  36. 36

    @Elizabelle:

    Tell them you are watching whether they support Mueller’s investigation or not.

    I would say they don’t care, but after watching the ACA repeal, I learned that this stuff scares the living shit out of Republicans in congress. I don’t know how big an effect it has on their votes, but it has some and it certainly impacts them emotionally. They are absolutely terrified when they have to face the angry world outside their comfortable bubble of conservative back patting.

  37. 37
    Schlemazel says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I think a large part of the Koch end game is control of enough state houses to amend the Constitution to their benefit. I don’t think they would support President for life, they loves them some term limits though as it gives functionaires more power and they can own functionaires by the score.

  38. 38
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Elizabelle: Rosenstein would get fired first, then Mueller. Might have to fire Sessions first, not sure how exactly all that would work.

  39. 39
    Betty Cracker says:

    @AM in NC: Excellent point about local Republicans needing to feel the heat. I agree 100% about the need to codify good government practices too.

  40. 40
    Cermet says:

    @Schlemazel: You do realize e this has been a standard of the amerikan “justice” forever; especially today when cops murder people and never are held accountable.

  41. 41
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I know. Republicans are much closer to control of three-fourths of the states than I consider happy-making. We need to make sure this is the high point.

  42. 42
    Brachiator says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    If he could ignore it he wouldn’t so keenly feel the need for campaign stunts in front of adoring wingnuts.

    Trump’s rallies is how he hardens himself. He gets an ego stiffy from basking in the adulation of his supporters.

  43. 43
    Elizabelle says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I think it could terrify them, and maybe make a few lean towards retirement. They saw Conor Lamb’s victory. The wind has turned.

    And it will be visuals for local news (if they deign to cover it), give those who support Mueller a chance to turn out and be heard, rather than just being at home, depressed.

    I think we could stop this firing. Fuck the bought and paid for congresscritters. If they are not representing us, maybe we have to get out there and speak directly.

  44. 44
    debbie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I love that Trump’s response to McCabe making notes of everything is to say that McCabe didn’t take any notes when they met. As if there’s no such thing as taking notes after meetings. As if this tweet doesn’t contradict another tweet saying he rarely met with McCabe.

  45. 45
    Schlemazel says:

    @Cermet:
    Yes, or whites killing blacks.. It has been practiced to some extent at the Presidential level occasionally but never to this extent with such a flagrancy.

  46. 46
    Chris says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’ll believe that when I see it.

  47. 47
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: Definitely that is what the Kochs would like to do but fortunately life is still fatal and at 78 and 83 they are getting close to their final destinations. Not to worry tho, the Mercers will carry on with the dream. Meanwhile, once I die it won’t be my problem anymore.

  48. 48
    debbie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Thanks! I have to share it:

    Weren't you a hardened Democrat when you were with Stormy Daniels?— Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) March 18, 2018

    Pity I had to scroll past all those shots of babes with their rifles.

  49. 49
    Schlemazel says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Sadly, I have grandchildren.

  50. 50
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Huh:

    The King James Bible (I Kings 7:23) gives an approximation of pi in cubits, an archaic unit of length corresponding to the length of the forearm from the elbow to the middle finger tip (estimated at about 18 inches, or 46 centimeters)

    I knew about the Babylonians, Egyptians, and the Greeks but I had no idea Pi was in the Bible.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: As do I, which is why I need to do everything I can now.

  52. 52
    danielx says:

    That would be the same Mueller who has been described as a lifelong Republican, no?

  53. 53
    mad citizen says:

    Although I have a twitter account, I rarely look at it and almost have never tweeted. I wonder, do people answer Trump’s idiotic tweets? Directly back at him?

    Also, if somehow Mueller is fired, what happens to the investigation, trials, etc. Taken over by the Justice Department? At this point could they file to vacate the charges?

  54. 54
    Another Scott says:

    Morning all.

    We have them on the run – we can’t get discouraged.

    In other news… TheHill:

    A White House staffer left the password to his encrypted email account at a bus stop in Washington, D.C., according to a new report.

    Ryan McAvoy left his ProtonMail passwords and email address on a piece of White House stationery at a bus stop near the White House, The Intercept reported Saturday.

    Someone reportedly found the piece of paper and turned it over to The Intercept, which said that it confirmed its authenticity. The aide, who works as a staff assistant in the White House, did not return The Intercept’s requests for comment.

    House Intelligence Committee Democrats said Wednesday they are interested in filing a subpoena to see how Trump campaign officials used WhatsApp, a messaging service.

    Democrats said they want to see how how senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and other campaign employees are using the messaging app and others such as iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Signal, Slack, Instagram and Snapchat on the encrypted networks.

    […]

    Needless to say, there are things like the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act that have something to say about people trying to go around requirements to retain records of official business…

    Clowns. Dangerous, stupid clowns…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    I do think people – the public- will have to move quickly if it gets worse. Mass protests work, in that they create a little room for some political actor to take action. Congress could actually do a lot – I don’t think Congress has ever explored the full extent of their powers in checking the executive and they are substantial. They could create a sep of powers crisis if they want to, and in my view that would be completely valid and within their grant. In any event, a challenge would have to go to a court and courts would be loathe to intervene, partly for good reasons where they should hang back and let the elected branches do their thing and partly because I don’t think they want to let political actors escape accountability by throwing it to a court.

  56. 56
    JMG says:

    @Schlemazel: It takes a two-thirds vote of Congress to pass a constitutional amendment. There is the constitutional convention movement, but enough pols are aware of the chaos that would create so that it always seems to be a threat that never quite crosses the horizon.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    @AM in NC:

    it has been a real eye-opener regarding how much of our functioning government depends upon understood comity, rather than following actual laws.

    Excellent point. I like your ideas about good government. Republicans would stupidly defy any attempt to get these laws passed, and it would be interesting to see how voters reacted. It would also be interesting to see if any Democrats running for office pick up this theme and lay down a challenge to his or her opponents.

  58. 58
    clay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, the anti-religion folks sometimes try to use that as a “gotcha”:

    “If the Bible is the infallible word of God, how come it hasn’t the wrong value for pi, huh?”

    Which… only fundamentalists believe that the Bible is infallible text. The anti-God people, by making this argument, are buying into the same framing as the fundamentalists, which gives them more legitimacy than they deserve.

    It’d be like buying into Scalia’s framing of the Constitution, and only basing your arguments on strict constructionalism.

  59. 59
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Does that mean democrats with GUNS?

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Republicans are much closer to control of three-fourths of the states than I consider happy-making.

    Agreed, most definitely.
    @Brachiator: I thought that’s what v!agra was for.
    @debbie: And hardly knows him.

  61. 61

    @mad citizen:

    I wonder, do people answer Trump’s idiotic tweets? Directly back at him?

    The most recent tweet has 27,330 replies and counting. There are people, pro and con, who seem to make a career of replying. Seems to me there are getting to be more con than pro, but I seldom look at replies to his tweets, so my judgment on this may not be accurate.

  62. 62
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @RedDirtGirl: No, that means a million women in pink hats.

  63. 63
    Yarrow says:

    @Elizabelle: Sessions could fire Mueller but he can’t because he recused himself from the Russia investigations. Next in line is Rosenstein who won’t fire Mueller. So Trump would have to fire those two at least before getting to someone who can fire Mueller.

  64. 64
    Brachiator says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Trump has a new way of phrasing things. People jump and panic at every new twist in the Mueller investigation. I’m not saying the firing can’t or won’t happen, but this is Crying Wolf stuff. It will only be by coincidence if one of these signs actually happens before the firing,

    I don’t know whether Trump will fire Mueller, but he clearly wants to get rid of him. And he uses his Twitter rants to openly smear people he wants gone. He did it with McCabe.

    He also uses his Twitter droppings to signal the GOP leadership to follow his lead in attacking his designated targets, and to fire up his dumbass supporters, who will eat this shit up and spread it over social media.

  65. 65
    dmsilev says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If I remember correctly, that Bible passage says something like “Make a round vessel that is one cubit across and three cubits around the rim”, i.e. pi=3 (which is close enough for government godly work.

  66. 66
    chris says:

    232 days until the election. Lots of time to GOTV.

  67. 67
    Schlemazel says:

    @JMG:
    It can also be amended by a convention of the States. Yes, there would be chaos but that has not stopped W from taking office when he obviously cheated not Dump while he destroys the nation. At what level do the people arise & say “enough” and how would a Dump-run government, led by Fox News, respond?

  68. 68
    Yarrow says:

    @debbie:

    I’m hoping for a joint trial of Trump and the Mercers. This Cambridge Analytics is really pissing me off.

    Remember awhile ago when Robert Mercer abruptly announced he was stepping down as head of his company and selling his stake in Breitbart to his daughters? It wasn’t random. The legal bills are going to hurt.

  69. 69

    @Brachiator:

    I don’t know whether Trump will fire Mueller, but he clearly wants to get rid of him.

    And has since day one.

    And he uses his Twitter rants to openly smear people he wants gone. He did it with McCabe.

    Completely true. And Kelly. And Sessions. And Mueller, he just hasn’t been using Mueller’s name. At some point Trump may fire Mueller, but every sign we get is meaningless, because there have been so many of them. They never stop. If it happens, the predictions will be right only in a stopped clock sense.

  70. 70

    Imagine a hummingbird the size of a seagull and thank god we live in our bizzaro world.

    A “legal and political” analyst on Joy Reid MSNBC show (whose name escaped me) just pointed out that it’s very common for people under investigation to act out in their panic (that’s a paraphrase, but was the gist of his remark). Nixon drank, talked to portraits, and used his “inside” voice till his last breath. Trump, on the other hand, stays stone cold sober while a living nightmare- as inexorable as a cancer overwhelming his physical body- now rips and tears at his psyche. So, like any birdbrain with fingers whose survival is threatened, Trump tweets, and in so doing, and is essentially screaming at the top of his lungs in his agony. I say end his torture. It’s time for congressional democrats to publicly confront his tantrum as constituting the mortal threat to our democracy. Because that’s what it is, and will remain, until his overthrow, in conduction with the political annihilation of those whom today aid and abet his treason, i.e. congressional republicans and their party of treason. Count me in…

  71. 71

    @chris:
    The ratfucking trolls have already returned to try and derail any thread which would motivate us.

    Remember, kids: Only you can not feed the trolls!

  72. 72
    Schlemazel says:

    .

  73. 73
    The Dangerman says:

    ….in the event Mueller is fired, which I believe will happen soon…

    Yup. The staples are coming out, bigtime (Tillerson, McCabe, et al). He did say he was very stapled, right?

    It was stable? No shit?

  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    WRT the title: our opponents are counting on us to go quietly. Don’t do it. We, too, are full of passionate intensity.

    Keats, from 1919, The Second Coming. First verse.

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

  75. 75
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It’s been interesting to watch how the replies have evolved. Spambots hawking MAGA merch used to occupy the top slots.

  76. 76
    Quinerly says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Excellent comment. I agree wholeheartedly.

  77. 77

    @No Drought No More:

    It’s time for congressional democrats to publicly confront his tantrum as constituting the mortal threat to our democracy.

    How, exactly? They say very, very negative stuff all the time, in a variety of flavors to suit any Democrat’s palate.

    until his overthrow

    Which congressional Democrats can’t do.

  78. 78
    oldster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The cubits part really doesn’t matter. You can’t measure pi in cubits, or inches or nanometers. It’s a ratio.

    So the bible says god made something round that was ten whatsits across and 30 whatsits around.

    If you think “round” means “circular”, then it uses 3 as an approximation for the ratio. Not impressive as a piece of estimation, not even for back in the bronze age.

  79. 79

    @Elizabelle: Really relevant verse. You have a typo though. It’s by Yeats, not Keats.

  80. 80

    I am done being afraid. Fuck T and his R minions.

  81. 81
    Elizabelle says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Yeats, not Keats. Thank you! Still on first cup of coffee, and watching the fox kits video.

  82. 82
    Brachiator says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I thought that’s what v!agra was for.

    Trump clearly needs his emotional v!agra as much as he may need the regular kind.

  83. 83
    Kirk says:

    @dmsilev: Ten across, and thirty in compass around. So even though they had a /chance/ of picking up decimals (31 or 32 around the brim), they missed.

    Yep, for them pi=3.

  84. 84

    @Elizabelle: Yeah, I couldn’t nitpick with the cubit/pi people so I picked on you instead.

  85. 85
    artem1s says:

    @debbie:

    I don’t trust him farther than I can throw him, but why is Gowdy talking like this?

    I never understood why John Dean did what he did either. Maybe Gowdy really believes his sanctimonious BS about conservatives being better than pretty much everyone else. Who knows? Maybe he resents the GOP leadership using him as a powertool to advance their political agendas? Maybe he picked up the clue phone a lot sooner than Issa did and finally realized that they are never going to let him into their inner circle no matter how often he flop sweats his way thru their bogus ‘hearings’.

    who knows why anyone develops a conscious or decides ‘this far and no further’? If he’s willing to make a fool of himself and a target of ridicule for McConnell and Ryan, why not for something he actually believes in. As long as he keeps it up, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

  86. 86
    Cermet says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Like most things in the bible, it is extremely inaccurate! For the bible, pi is 3.0. Guess god was into rounding errors – lol. See someone else noticed where it came from and its value.

  87. 87
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @oldster:

    It’s a ratio.

    As noted in the quote.

  88. 88

    @Kirk: Not too bad an approximation for pi.

  89. 89

    @Brachiator:
    Yeah, as a narcissist his self-esteem is actually incredibly, outrageously fragile. It needs constant external validation. Things could be going great and he would still be scheduling these rallies as often as possible, because they’re the purest happiness he can get.

  90. 90
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    That’s a lovely woodpecker. Thank you for sharing it.

  91. 91
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @JMG: As OzarkHillbilly said, even amendments passed in an Article V convention need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states. That’s one of the many reasons why reversing the creeping rise in Republican control of state governments is so important. They’ve got a trifecta (both houses of the legislature and the Governorship) in a bare majority of states, and control of the legislature in just over two-thirds. Another big Republican wave on top of what we’ve got could conceivably put them in a position where they can just slam through dozens of amendments. At that point, we would all have to choose between revolution and accepting the US as a one-party authoritarian state. But I don’t think it’s going to happen.

  92. 92
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Kirk: It was good enough for Indiana.

  93. 93
    opiejeanne says:

    @Cermet: We are on the road with our cat and spent last night in a small hotel in Yreka where we have stayed many times because they take pets. This morning the tv in the breakfast room was tuned to Fox Noise, sound off and sub titles on. They stopped doing this years ago but there’s a new woman behind the desk who is probably the reason it’s on.
    I’m going to leave a note for the owners suggesting Food Network or HGTV.

  94. 94
    Wag says:

    I am a PHD, a Proud Hardened Democrat.

  95. 95
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cermet: To you and all the other pedants out there { ;-) } I am a fairly math literate person very capable of doing simple calculations based on long ago worked out theorems and formulas and exhibited by me during a life time of doing said calculations on a daily basis as a carpenter.

    I was only surprised that it was in the Bible.

  96. 96
    Cermet says:

    @Yarrow: As I have been told, the orange fart cloud can fire Mueller directly since Mueller falls under political appointee; of course, Rosenstein would resign before firing Mueller; however, I’d expect this sequence to occur – the sticking fart orders Rosenstein to fire Mueller; Rosenstein resigns,and then Mueller is fired by the walking fart.. The media focuses on this for a few days but new stupidity by the fart cloud takes their attention away from this and the country, lead by the fake news propaganda arm of the thug party, creates endless noise to cover the fart cloud’s action.

  97. 97
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I get depressed reading Ed Markey’s posts to Facebook just because the comments to them are always dominated by this group of haters who just post the same “SJW socialism instead of doing your job, soon the people will vote you out” arglebargle on every single one. (Elizabeth Warren’s comments are more positive on balance because she has a nationwide fan club.)

  98. 98
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @oldster: An irrational number cannot be a ratio.

  99. 99
    The Lodger says:

    @dmsilev: In Indiana, pi=3 used to be good enough for government work.

  100. 100
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    So, basically, you just pied all of us? Or maybe reverse pied?

    Based on the circumference volume of responses, it seems to have worked, sort of.

  101. 101
    germy says:

    I’ve never seen the term “hardened Democrat” before. Is that similar to a Staunch Republican?

    He might be right, though. Democrats have been hardening since he won the electoral college. I hope to see more hardening, as well as stiffening.

  102. 102
    bystander says:

    Joy Reid just asked Barry McCaffrey if twitler should be removed from office. Bold, brave American that he is and despite his earlier tweet that twitler posed a great to our national security, Barry said that was too far from his thinking. No, let’s wait until he’s adding onion domes to the WH.

  103. 103
    SFAW says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    An irrational number cannot be a ratio.

    Except when it is, of course.

    ETA: Assuming English is commutative, since, technically, a ratio can be an irrational number.

  104. 104
    Jean says:

    @Elizabelle: That’s Yeats, not Keats.

  105. 105
    RobertB says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think it’s in Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, where he’s making fun of Tennessee’s legislature by having them try to pass a law saying that pi should be 3. IIRC it passed the lower house and died in the upper house.

  106. 106
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cermet: This is wrong. When Nixon wanted to get rid of Cox he had to first get rid of Richardson and Ruckelshaus before finally getting to the toady Bork who was willing to do the deed.

  107. 107
    danielx says:

    @Elizabelle:

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    May have been true at some point in the recent past, but there’s plenty of conviction in those opposing lord shortfingers now.

  108. 108
    Cermet says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Uh, sorry! Never meant to say, or in any way, question your math skills. Just having fun that the bible so badly misses the value of pi. I too, remember the Indiana joke of pi as 3.0 for a day. They did it for the fun & publicity of doing it. Not sure if the writers of the bible had the same idea – considering the value has been better known than 3 in the time frame of when the bible was written, maybe they too, were looking for publicity.

  109. 109
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: HA! That made me laugh.

  110. 110
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    during a life time of doing said calculations on a daily basis as a carpenter.

    My carpentry is more of the “measure once, cut twice” and “I keep cutting it, but it’s STILL too short” variety. So I don’t use no stinking ratios. I don’t NEED no stinking ratios.

  111. 111
    debbie says:

    @Yarrow:

    I can’t believe he would stick it to his daughters like that!

  112. 112
    Aleta says:

    The Kushner Cos. reportedly filed false paperwork with New York City officials regarding the apartment buildings it owned.

    The Associated Press reported that the company in 2015 bought thee apartment buildings in Queens.

    The company, which was run at the time by White House adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, then pushed people out and raised rents in the buildings even though many of the tenants were protected by rules that said developers couldn’t raise rents or push them out to create a profit, according to the news service.

    Kushner Cos. sold the buildings two years later for nearly double the price it paid to buy them, the AP reported. The The company often filed paperwork with New York City saying it didn’t have any rent-regulated tenants in the buildings it owned. But, according to the AP, it had hundreds of rent-regulated tenants across the city.

    “It’s bare-faced greed,” said Aaron Carr, founder of Housing Rights Initiative, a tenants’ rights watchdog that compiled the work permit documents and gave them to The Associated Press.

    Kushner Cos. said in a statement that if there are “mistakes or violations” in its documents, “corrective action is taken immediately.” … “Kushner would never deny any tenant their due-process rights,” Kushner Cos. told the AP. …

    The Housing Rights Initiative said there were at least 80 false applications filed by the Kushner Cos. for construction permits from 2013 to 2016. The applications were most often signed by an employee of Kushner, according to the AP.

    -The Hill

  113. 113
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I misread “deed” for “dead” and thought that’s really tacky.

  114. 114
    Cermet says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I sure hope you are right (and you generally are)! But then, the orange fart cloud can fire Rosenstein and reappoint a toad to then fire Mueller. So, Rosenstein resigns or is fired, and then Mueller will quickly follow.

  115. 115
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @SFAW: I’m not sure where.A ratio can only be a whole number or a fraction.

  116. 116
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @RobertB: The real-life incident was in Indiana in 1897. The bill didn’t directly say anything about pi; it was a mathematical crackpot’s incoherent circle-squaring proof, which he lobbied to get passed as a state law, with the offer that if they did it they could use it in school textbooks free of charge. The proof was internally inconsistent and could be read to imply all sorts of values of pi, but the one it came closest to stating was 3.2.

    The legislature didn’t know what to make of the bill and sent it to a committee that was something of a butt of jokes; that committee sent it to a different committee that recommended that it pass. The lower house then passed it, but there happened to be a mathematician visiting who was alarmed by the stupidity of the whole business and clued in the Senate sufficiently that it (barely) died there.

  117. 117

    One more Republican, this one the chair of the House Intel Committee.

    Drip, drip, drip.

    Or, as Yarrow likes to say, tick tock

  118. 118

    @Aleta: You can see why Kushner felt free to lie on his security clearance applications. It’s just what he did.

  119. 119
    debbie says:

    @artem1s:

    Except…others who have spoken up (Flake, Rubio, etc.) have then returned to the fold. I do give a damn about hypocrisy like that.

  120. 120
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @RobertB: Been a long time since I read that book, don’t remember that part of it. Not surprising considering the subjects my young teenaged mind were exposed to.

    @Cermet: No biggie, just giving back a little bit in good fun. ;-) My ignorance about things that many here regard as common knowledge has long since ceased surprising me.

  121. 121
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: This sounds to me like someone deliberately left the piece of paper with passwords there for The Intercept to pick up. Of all the outlets that someone would pick to share this information with, The Intercept does not strike me as a first choice, unless the outlet arranged this accidental drop. I’m assuming most US residents would think of a news source like CNN first.

    By the way: Does The Intercept take the Greenwald line when it comes to the Russia probe? Are there other voices there?

  122. 122
    Cermet says:

    @SFAW: LOL; I often work in tolerances of a small fraction of a millimeter (viewed under a microscope) and rarely have I measured anything to do it. Not that I am that good but I simply don’t care. Lucky, it doesn’t matter for my results but I can get close to +/- 250 microns without any measuring device.

  123. 123
    B.B.A. says:

    You can replace any of Trump’s blatherings with “HILLARY IS A C*NT” and not miss anything.

  124. 124
    debbie says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Pretty similar to Sherrod Brown’s FB posts. They pretty much say the same thing, which I find to be sketchy. I’d bet there’s an invisible puppetmaster behind their comments.

  125. 125
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I am done being afraid.

    Spoken like a hardened Democrat.

  126. 126
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Cermet: It passed the lower house and they were quite serious about it. The upper house did not take it seriously as they had been previously briefed by a professor from Perdue.

  127. 127
    Yarrow says:

    @Cermet: Mueller got himself hired under civil service rules so he can’t be fired like a political appointee. Here’s a WaPo article about how Mueller could be fired. It even has a handy flowchart of how it might work!

  128. 128
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    as the gyre widens, this makes me smile

    Daniel Limpan @ dlippman
    The mood at the White House these days — a former Trump WH official texts me: “I’ve been trying to find jobs for some people still inside and nobody wants to hire a White House person. It’s toxic … Everyone inside is broken. … Everyone is resigned to the worst.”

  129. 129
    germy says:

    @tobie: From what I’ve seen, the Intercept has not always followed the GG line.

    The few times they deviated from GG, he was on twitter undermining the editors while also boasting about how independent the editors are. It’s quite a contortionist’s act with him.

  130. 130
    SFAW says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    Pi is defined as the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Last I heard, pi is still an irrational number.

    Yes, I realize some people play semantic games with rational numbers only being constructed from integers, etc. That’s nice, but until they change the definition of the concept “pi” or the word “ratio” (meaning that it can only apply to integers), that argument seems to fall flat.

  131. 131
    germy says:

    @Aleta: I’ve had some bad landlords in my time, but I’m glad I never rented from a Kushner.

  132. 132
    Achrachno says:

    @clay: “Which… only fundamentalists believe that the Bible is infallible text. The anti-God people, by making this argument, are buying into the same framing as the fundamentalists, which gives them more legitimacy than they deserve.”

    We agree then that the Bible is error prone and not the word of any god? It’s just another text, written by people long ago, and in need of ruthless criticism to weed out the errors and nonsense? Or should we just believe that we can interpret it to mean anything we like? One Bible many contradictory meanings?

  133. 133
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: I can easily see Bork doing the dead too.

    @Cermet:

    But then, the orange fart cloud can fire Rosenstein and reappoint a toad to then fire Mueller. So, Rosenstein resigns or is fired, and then Mueller will quickly follow.

    The hoops are a little more complicated than that (and I am unsure of the exact progressions) but yes, the end result could well be the same. I have hopes that the lessons of the Saturday Night Massacre are so well instilled in the DOJ that the ensuing blood bath would be such that even trump would blanch, but I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

    Desperate people do desperate things.

  134. 134
    Cermet says:

    @Yarrow: Thanks! Reading it.

  135. 135
    Kirk says:

    @schrodingers_cat: re good approximation, Yes and no.

    First it’s a poetic measure, not a mathematical one. Ten and thirty thunder. Ten and thirty-one are, well, that hiccup of the one subtly breaks the rhythm. So the rest of this has to be noted as niggling at that point.

    1st Kings was written after the end of exile caused when Babylonians destroyed Judah and exiled Israel. Ancient Babylon used 3 as its measure for pi. (check pretty much any pi day history piece on that, and many will give links if wanted.) That would stand as making the passage a mathematical certainty, except I intentionally didn’t finish the phrase. Ancient Babylon used 3 as its measure for pi until around 1500-1600 BCE. In around 1630 BCE the Egyptians determined pi to be 256/81, and used 3.16 (or 3.1605) as their approximation. Within a century the nations in close trade with Egypt (which included Babylon) were using that measure. The book of Kings covers approximately 950 to 550 BCE.

    The contemporaries of the writers of Kings well knew the better figure. But again, 10 and 30 is poetical while 10 and 31.6 or even 31 isn’t.

    It’s a pretty good approximation for a poet.

  136. 136
    Baud says:

    @SFAW:

    It’s a ratio that can’t be written as a fraction but it is a ratio IMHO.

  137. 137
    Cermet says:

    UH, oh. The article says

    at least not directly or at least without eventually getting an unprecedented rubber stamp from the Supreme Court.

    That is a done deal then. The majority of the inferior court would side with the fart cloud without a doubt.

  138. 138
    Brachiator says:

    @bystander:

    Joy Reid just asked Barry McCaffrey if twitler should be removed from office. Bold, brave American that he is and despite his earlier tweet that twitler posed a great to our national security, Barry said that was too far from his thinking.

    If she hasn’t done so already, I would love it if Reid would ask a Republican what it would take for them to support impeachment and removal. I’d like to see the question put out there every week on every pundit show.

  139. 139
    SFAW says:

    @Baud:

    It’s a ratio that can’t be written as a fraction but it is a ratio IMHO.

    Don’t need to convince me; that’s what I’ve been saying (more or less).

  140. 140
    Baud says:

    @SFAW: I think people are fighting over what the word “ratio” means.

  141. 141
    jimmiraybob says:

    Wait just a minute! I just posted on FB about a Downy Woodpecker visiting my feeder this morning in Missouri….and, of course, banging on some trees. Man, this is soooooooooooo Deep State!//!

    Note to self: Increase bunker security.

  142. 142
    Sherparick says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The Republican donor class & the white supremacists base are completely comfortable with an overthrow of democracy & establishment of an authoritarian regime that will enrich the Republican donor class & assert white male social privilege as God ordained. They will call Lyndsay & remind who he works for & that Trump should be sustained & his enemies crushed in the name of “law & order”.

  143. 143
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    If she hasn’t done so already, I would love it if Reid would ask a Republican what it would take for them to support impeachment and removal.

    “Oh, look, Joy — is that Halley’s Comet I see OVER THERE?”

  144. 144
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: it has something to do with unfavorable responses to tweets, from what I gather.

  145. 145
    SFAW says:

    @Baud:

    I think people are fighting over what the word “ratio” means.

    Thank FSM they’re addressing the important issues.

  146. 146
    Yarrow says:

    @Cermet: If Trump fires Mueller at all, but especially outside the proper channels, he will be toast. Mueller has planned for this eventuality and evidence of Trump’s treason is sitting with every state AG where Trump has property and there are sealed indictments waiting to be made public. Mueller is not stupid and he knows who he is dealing with. He is prepared.

  147. 147
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Most tweets are irrational, so they have that in common with the set of real numbers.

  148. 148
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Fuck this shit. When this is all over, Trump and his Ivana spawn all need to be put to death.

  149. 149
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cermet: Not while Kennedy is sitting there and I even doubt Roberts would go along, not because he is a man so principled but because he very much is concerned with the perception of the court, especially in the history books.

  150. 150
    germy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Okay, now you’ve reached peak Villago Delenda Est.

  151. 151
    Aleta says:

    Protest opportunity with trigger warning at this link to a M Jones story. A newly formed council will recommend changes in exotic animal hunting law to Zinke and harm the soul. Cost to taxpayers: 250 K a year. Appointees whom we already deplore, despise and would prefer jailed.

  152. 152
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Cermet: Now I no longer feel proud to have eyeballed 1/16 inch. We have two sets of shelves side by side and I told Mr. Q they aren’t exactly the same size. He scoffed because of course they are; they’re the same shelf sets, but two of them. After much back and forth, He got out and used a tape mesaure. There is 1/16 inch difference in width. He measured them 5 times.

  153. 153
    Yarrow says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Agreed. They know Trump is a traitor. Roberts wouldn’t want his legacy to be “sided with a traitor.” He’s too concerned about his image.

  154. 154
    B.B.A. says:

    @Yarrow: A sitting president can’t be indicted. An ex-president won’t be, because comity, healing, look forward not backward – and if you see through that bullshit, there’s still the threat of those 60 million white people with guns rioting.

  155. 155
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @germy: ??? I miss the reference.

  156. 156
    germy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: See comment #148

  157. 157
    Yarrow says:

    @B.B.A.: The indictments don’t have to be for Trump. Plenty can be learned from indictments of others. I disagree with your other statements.

  158. 158
    Sherparick says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: No, he won’t blanch anymore then a shakeup of Trump Organization legal office since he now simply thinks of US Government as an extension of the Trump organization.

  159. 159
    Cermet says:

    @Yarrow: True but no state can enforce any ‘conviction’ what’s-so-ever on a sitting president. Once out of office, yes. Until then, no. The thugs in congress could enforce a State order through impeachment and then successful senate removal hearings but that later will never happen until we take back the senate with enough margin that only a few thug senators are needed and they put country before their party (LOLOLOL.) That was a funny thought! OK, not happening.

  160. 160
    Baud says:

    @B.B.A.:

    60 million white people with guns rioting.

    Fantasy. Any terrorism will be sporadic.

  161. 161
    Another Scott says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Impressive!

    My OCD goes nuts when pictures on the wall are slightly out of level, but eyeball-measuring isn’t my thing.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  162. 162
    A Streeter says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    An irrational number cannot be a ratio

    of integers
    A rational number is one that is equal to a ratio (fraction) of integers. An irrational number such as pi can be a ratio, just not one where both numerator and denominator are integers.

  163. 163
    Nancy says:

    Local protest again the firing is at Washington Square Park in Rochester, NY.

  164. 164
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Cermet: When my daughter was younger, and I was trying to teach her fun stuff about math, a couple of times we actually did the experiment of measuring a bunch of circular objects with a tape measure to see if we could empirically get a value for pi from them. We had the advantage, that ancient people did not, of having a great number of mass-produced containers and other items manufactured to be circular to pretty high tolerance. I found that it was pretty easy to get values between 3.1 and 3.2, not so easy to get the next digit if you were being fairly casual about it.

  165. 165
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @germy: Sorry. I don’t see how my saying the SC would not give it’s approval to trump’s firing of Mueller is like the execution of trump and his children. Or is there an inverse ratio you are referring to?

  166. 166
    randy khan says:

    @Yarrow:

    Trump doesn’t have to fire Sessions; Sessions has effectively fired himself when it comes to the Mueller investigation by recusing himself from anything to do with it, except apparently firing McCabe. He would have to fire Rosenstein and anyone below him who wouldn’t do the deed.

  167. 167
    Yarrow says:

    @Cermet: We’ll see. There are a lot of moving parts, including intelligence that our allies have. The two houses of Congress are run by traitors and the threat of that intelligence being made public can influence action. Firing McCabe is going to have a lot of negative consequences for Trump that he didn’t anticipate. Firing Mueller would be like that on steroids.

  168. 168
    randy khan says:

    @Schlemazel:

    But any amendments have to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, whether adopted by Congress or a convention.

  169. 169
    bystander says:

    @Brachiator: Talk about balloon juice. A question like that would unleash an explosion of hot air that would show up in satellite pics.

  170. 170
    sukabi says:

    @clay: TMI….lol

  171. 171
    randy khan says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Not too bad an approximation for pi.

    Yeah, within 5 percent.

  172. 172
    Brachiator says:

    @Elizabelle: A little Wiki trivia concerning “The Second Coming.”

    A 2016 analysis by Factiva showed that lines from the poem were quoted more often in the first seven months of 2016 than in any of the preceding 30 years. In the context of political turmoil after the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s election, commentators repeatedly invoked its lines: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.

    And Trump is definitely a rough beast.

  173. 173
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @debbie: I’ve been assuming that most of this activity is actually not organized paid trolling, just because I don’t see any reason a high level of it wouldn’t exist anyway in the absence of that. But the professional trolls can certainly fan the flames.

  174. 174
    Cermet says:

    @Matt McIrvin: And the most powerful “trick” of all – a decimal based math system that has zero (both as a place holder and a ‘quantity’ value.) Then division – the most difficult procedure in the ancient times – is (almost) trivial to do. Thus the math part is, for us, easy – something no Greek, Babylonian or Egyptian ever had.

  175. 175

    If someone thinks nothing can be done and all is lost, what is the point of commenting on this blog?

  176. 176
    Cacti says:

    Hardened Democrat?

    I like it!

  177. 177
    jimmiraybob says:

    @B.B.A.:

    …threat of those 60 million white people with guns rioting.

    Threat of 60 white people with guns doing stupid shit while yelling “Freeeeedooooommmmmm!!!!!”. Fixed

    59,999,940 listening to rage radio, checking twitter and watching Fox News to see how the great Civil War II is going.

  178. 178
    Ruviana says:

    @germy: Severe Republican.

  179. 179
    Cermet says:

    @Cacti: And where are the white walkers?

  180. 180
    Jeffro says:

    @Baud: seconded. Plus not all of those 60 million have guns . More like 1 million of them have 60 guns ( but only two hands ) each.

  181. 181
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    If one thinks nothing can be done and all is lost, what is the point of commenting on this blog?

    To argue about historical approximations of pi, I think. ;)

  182. 182
    Chyron HR says:

    @Baud:

    I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed, but I do say no more than ten to twenty thousand killed, tops.

    Depending on the breaks.

  183. 183
    Dave says:

    @jimmiraybob: That’s a bingo. They are far to comfortable and safe to act in any numbers. This all is certainly lost bullshit needs to end. There is a difference between clear eyed recognition of the situation and all is doomed no matter whatism.

  184. 184

    @Baud: I am sick of this learned helplessness. Every stupid step T takes harms him as well. Firing Comey got him Mueller. Rs are losing seats left, right and center. We won in Virginia and fucking Alabama. I am not here to game T’s strategy for him. He holds a powerful office and is vindictive but he doesn’t control everything.

  185. 185
    germy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was replying to #148, not your comment.

    I’m on a small device here, not my usual laptop, and apparently I hit the wrong link.

  186. 186
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I’m thinking of starting a twitter account with the handle “100% Percent UnFake American News for Patriots”, just to join in this fight

    Charles P. Pierce @ CharlesPPierce
    Can we start a rumor that Mueller’s going to hire Eric Holder just to see what happens?# Scanners

    and maybe this second non-sportsball one here

    Charles P. Pierce @ CharlesPPierce
    These are three things I never will understand:
    1) Calculus
    2) The popularity of The Doors.
    3) Not guarding the inbounds pass with the game on the line.
    MichiganBasketball

  187. 187
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Well played.

  188. 188
    chris says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Maybe Mueller should hire McCabe? Heads would surely explode.

  189. 189

    @Baud: Comfortable people (which most of T’s base is) do not start insurgencies.
    @Dave: Word.

  190. 190
    Brachiator says:

    @Yarrow:

    Firing McCabe is going to have a lot of negative consequences for Trump that he didn’t anticipate.

    Trump doesn’t seem to care about trying to anticipate anything. This is both a weakness and a strength.

    If the Democrats can do well in the midterms, it will knock out one of the props that sustain Trump.

  191. 191
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Please do! And don’t forget to post about the Dem Congresspeople offering McCabe a job to ensure he will get his pension.

  192. 192
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @debbie: Possibly because he’s leaving Congress and will have to re-enter the realms of reality?

  193. 193
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    he doesn’t control everything.

    You’re right, he doesn’t and his panicked tweeting indicates that the scared part inside of him knows it. We need to keep organizing and VOTING. We’re working here in NM to take back the governorship and retain control of the legislature. It won’t be easy: the Republicans have a Koch-backed candidate with a massive war chest (US Rep. Steve Pearce, R-Evil) and the True Progressives are doing their best to divide the Democratic Party and tear down the Democratic frontrunner (US Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham). But, we’re doing our best and I think we can do it. Sí, se puede!

  194. 194
  195. 195

    OT: Taking the Plunge, rikyrah:

    Finding out that cooking the conventional way leaves meat and vegetables somewhat bland and watery for me. When it’s not that, dry and hard. After half-cooked chicken thighs and somewhat stringy steak, I decided to give, based on the recommendations of my fellow jackals, this a try. I also like the possibility of cooking beans to the proper degree of tenderness. Comes Wed, and I’ll let everyone know how things turn out with this. And I chose a 9 function due to Tamara’s recommendations.

  196. 196
    Cermet says:

    @Kirk: enjoyed the history lesson – thanks. Fellow jackals in the pack can be fun.

  197. 197
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I have noticed that it doesn’t influence Chris Collins but it ’s probably because he’s dumb as a stump. He has been known to publicly acknowledge that he is mainly concerned for his donors and that he hasn’t read legislation & has no clue what he’s voting for so, not too bright.

  198. 198
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Until Congress switches to Democratic control. Trump is golden. Those are the hard, cold facts.

  199. 199
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Driving people to suicide would eliminate their carbon footprint.

  200. 200
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Yarrow: No doubting that Mueller knows that Trump is a creep and is setting up his investigation so that his firing won’t stall things. It makes you wonder why those “best people” surrounding Trump haven’t figured this out as yet.

  201. 201
    Fair Economist says:

    @oldster:

    If you think “round” means “circular”, then it uses 3 as an approximation for the ratio. Not impressive as a piece of estimation, not even for back in the bronze age.

    Yeah, the contemporaneous and neighboring Egyptians had 22/7, which is almost 100 times as accurate.

  202. 202
    germy says:

    Almost 7 years ago, 45 went on a test run. He tested the waters by seeing how MSM would feed him unnecessary attention by pushing his fake birther investigation team.

    For his efforts, he got an invite from the Washington Post to attend the 2011 WH correspondents’ dinner.

    The next year, he was made a prominent campaigner for Mitt Romney..once again on the strength of his birther and conspiracy pushing.

    So when folks say “how did we get here?”

    Stop.

    The MSM & GOP elevated & gave tons of free airtime to a mofo who pushed lies that he had a birther investigator team that never fucking existed.

    Folks breathed LIFE into Mr. Fake News himself.

    That’s why we are here.

    link

  203. 203
    sukabi says:

    @tobie: sounds like a dead drop…

  204. 204
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Who would be insane enough to go along with the repeal of the 22nd fucking amendment?

  205. 205
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: hallelujah and Hear fucking hear! the near deification of Senator Willard* has been driving me crazy in no small part because no one talks about his embrace of trump and birtherism in 2012, also the unwillingness to call birtherism racist. Not ‘racially charged” or “racially insensitive”. Racist.

    *and the accompanying finger-wagging of conservatives and a certain kind of liberal, “Oh you lefties all slandered Noble Willard by calling him racist and that’s why we have the real thing.” And it wasn’t just trump’s robocalls aimed at the Archie Bunker demo in OH and MI. It wasn’t just vile old warthog John Sununu. It was one of the Mittlets going full bore on not just the birth certificate, but Obama’s college transcripts, because god knows President Affirmative Action T Teleprompter couldn’t have gotten into Columbia on his merits. It was Willard chuckling about “No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate!” Just a joke.

  206. 206
    B.B.A. says:

    I prefer to focus on strategies that can work. We’re going to get 200-240 seats in the House, and which end of that range we land at is crucial. Praying for Muellermas isn’t going to cut it, especially if Muellermas doesn’t come and the rank and file are too despondent to go to the polls.

    Meanwhile a year into the reign of Il Douche, the Rust Belt is still as rusty as ever. To the common clay of the Midwest, I ask: how’s that make America great again thing workin’ out for ya?

  207. 207
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Baud: ‘Grampa, what did you do in the great Balloon Juice ratio/irrational number war of 2018?’

  208. 208
    feebog says:

    @randy khan:

    Trump doesn’t have to fire Sessions; Sessions has effectively fired himself when it comes to the Mueller investigation by recusing himself from anything to do with it, except apparently firing McCabe. He would have to fire Rosenstein and anyone below him who wouldn’t do the deed.

    Here is how it goes; Trump fires Sessions because he is a poopy pants. Trump then installs Pruitt as Acting AG. Pruitt is not recused and is then in a position to take oversight of the Mueller investigation. One of two things happens then; Pruitt effectively hobbles the investigation to the point where Mueller can no longer investigate or he fires Mueller and the entire team for “cause”, shutting down the whole thing.

  209. 209
    Vhh says:

    @Yarrow: Guess why Rosenstein’s deputy reportedly just resigned. Makes it harder ….

  210. 210
    B.B.A. says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Repealing 22 means Obama can run again. Do Repugs really want to take that risk?

  211. 211
    Baud says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    “I pied everybody.”

  212. 212
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Schlemazel:

    and how would a Dump-run government, led by Fox News, respond?

    That’s easy. Shoot all the libtards.

  213. 213
    efgoldman says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I don’t think it’s going to happen.

    They don’t have 2/3 in either house, and won’t, likely never have 3/4 of the legislatures

  214. 214
    Kathleen says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m in agreement with Pierce, for a change.

  215. 215
    SFAW says:

    @Baud:

    “I pied everybody.”

    That was Ozark.

    But, I guess if your 2020 run is going to gain traction, or at least battle Shitgibbon on his own terms, you need to take credit for the work of others. Will your inauguration have 20 million attendees?

  216. 216
    dww44 says:

    @bystander: Yes, I heard that and thought the same thing. It’s as if they have to say the obvious by degrees so as to protect themselves from the verbal attacking that will come from the right. Sheesh!!

  217. 217
    Aleta says:

    @germy: They’re probably eyeing fire sale nursing homes as we speak.

  218. 218
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @germy: You can be forgiven for hitting the wrong link.

    I realize you don’t care for my comments, particularly when they involve a setting of examples for others. But Trump and his Ivana spawn are toxic. An example must be made of them, of some sort. They can all die in prison, as long as they’re also made to suffer. Just being in prison is probably enough.

    I do worry about their kids, though. Imagine growing up knowing that your parents were traitors.

  219. 219
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Baud: Pie everyone – let God sort them out

  220. 220
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @B.B.A.:

    and if you see through that bullshit, there’s still the threat of those 60 million white people with guns rioting

    Let them riot. They will be crushed.

  221. 221
    joel hanes says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    That estimate is “3”, 30/10.
    It’s a terrible estimate, off by almost 3%

  222. 222
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    I reckon Harold Watson Gowdy III is sympathetic to Robert Swan Mueller III because Gowdy has been a federal prosecutor himself and still thinks like one, and is a fellow member of the Three Sticks Club also, too.

  223. 223
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: A lot of Democrats wanted to repeal it in 2016.

  224. 224
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …looking it up again, I’d forgotten that the same “Pi Bill” also implied that the square root of 2 was exactly 10/7, or 1.428571 repeating. There was a lot of crazy in it.

  225. 225
    randy khan says:

    @feebog:

    That’s vaguely depressing, especially because I think Pruitt would revel in taking the Robert Bork role.

  226. 226
    joel hanes says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    You’re confused.

    An irrational number cannot be a ratio OF INTEGERS.

    But ratios of integers are not the only ratios, and pi is the ratio between diameter and circumference.

  227. 227
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    How many of them were serious?

  228. 228
    JR says:

    @SFAW: You can get pi (and a whole host of irrational numbers) using infinite sums of rational ones. Math is a freaky, fun, amazing thing.

  229. 229
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    “We are a rule-of-laws nation.”

    LG wrote that? And acts like he believes it?
    Maybe he’s confusing the ideals of his party for the laws of the country.

  230. 230
    Ruckus says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Mueller’s investigation is not going to get rid of Trump, or stop the Republicans from doing anything.

    If this is true then Graham is wrong, we are no longer a nation of laws. I firmly believe that drumpf has broken laws in this election. Serious laws. I believe a lot of people have broken laws in getting him elected. Serious laws. That republicans are playing political games with the laws of the country is not in doubt. So if those laws don’t stop this then it isn’t a matter of politics, it is a matter of lawlessness. And if that isn’t stopped then we are done as a means of governing ourselves. Of course that is what people like the koch bros and the mercers want. They want to rule by the almighty dollar but misunderstand that the dollar won’t mean squat if there is no government to back it up.

  231. 231
    cynthia ackerman says:

    My orange juice must have been spiked this morning.

    I laughed so hard at Gowdy, Graham, et al. sternly professing red lines and “up with which we cannot put …”

    I kept seeing the unspoken words: “Then we’ll roll over like we always do and make you punch a hippy. Dumbass …”

  232. 232
    Jim Parish says:

    @Cermet: One more step. Decimal notation finally was accepted in Europe around 1200 AD, thanks to the tireless propagandizing of Fibonacci. (Screw the rabbits: this was his real contribution to history.) But the decimal point, extending the notation to fractions, wasn’t introduced until the late 1500s – early 1600s; Simon Stevin (another fellow who deserves more fame than he has) made the big push that time.

    (I teach history of math every spring. It’s my favorite class.)

  233. 233
    David Evans says:

    @JR: Yes, if you have an infinite amount of spare time.

  234. 234

    @Jim Parish: What book do you use? I would have loved to take a class like that.

  235. 235
    Jim Parish says:

    @schrodingers_cat: We’ve been using the old standby, Introduction to the History of Mathematics, by Howard Eves. Eves died a while back, so it isn’t being updated (either present-day math or new learning about old math), but for our student body (mostly future high school teachers) it’s fine.

  236. 236
    Mike in DC says:

    IF Trump fires Mueller, there will be
    1) massive spontaneous protests
    2) semi-permanent encampments of protesters in various parts of DC, NYC and elsewhere
    3) 1 or more huge planned marches a month or two later, likely demanding impeachment
    4) Dem pols raising hell and shutting down the business of Congress
    5) Large portions of the media acting appropriately to the situation and correctly calling it a constitutional crisis
    6) GOP congressmen being beseiged at town halls and on the campaign trail
    7) the prospect of everyone who was looking into russiagate being free to talk to Congress and the media about it…including Bob Mueller
    8) the prospect of state AGs going after Trump
    9) leaks from western intel agencies, our agencies and the FBI in particular
    10) Mueller may file suit in federal court to protest or block his firing, and/or may send a report to the DAG and to both the chair and ranking member of House Judiciary
    11) The generic ballot lead for Dems will surge into 20+ point territory, which will cause the GOP to panic and cracks to form in their coalition
    12) Trump approval will drop several points, permanently.

  237. 237
    Mike in DC says:

    Also, I thought that 22/7 was the first decent approximation of pi.

  238. 238
    SFAW says:

    @David Evans:

    Yes, if you have an infinite amount of spare time.

    Do you also need an infinite number of monkeys using an infinite number of typewriters slide rules?

  239. 239
    debbie says:

    @Mike in DC:

    I would expect all that. I would also expect Trump to draw the curtains and turn the volume up on his television when Fox-gazing.

  240. 240
    SFAW says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Also, I thought that 22/7 was the first decent approximation of pi.

    “first decent approximation”? You’re kidding, right?

    It’s off by, what, 0.04 percent? That’s more like a “rough guesstimate” or a SWAG.

  241. 241
    Mike in DC says:

    @SFAW: I meant, back in ancient times.

  242. 242
    Cermet says:

    @joel hanes: And where did you get 3%? The error between pi and 30/10 is almost 5% (0.047 or 4.7%; that is pi: 3.14159 so the difference between that and 3.0 is 0.14159; which means the percentage difference is then given as: [0.14159/3] x 100 = 4.7%.)

  243. 243
    Cermet says:

    @JR: As others noted: Can’t use any sum method; that requires adding up an infinite series. While calculus can allow that for many, many functions, Pi can not be calculated using any such method because it is non-terminating nor repeating. QED …lol.

  244. 244
    OCee says:

    @AM in NC: Absolutely! I think standards and good governance can be a winner. Regardless of Russia per se, Trump’s (and the GOP’s) moral, personal and financial corruption is pretty blatant, and it’s revolting a lot of people. Would be nice if the Dems could aggressively pound them on this, constantly.

  245. 245
    Another Scott says:

    @JR: Machin’s Formula, also too.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  246. 246
    Citizen Alan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    IIRC, the calculation for pi in the Bible is incorrect and results in a value of exactly 3. I’m pretty sure at least one of us state, Idaho I think, actually tried to pass a law establishing pi is equal to 3 in accordance with scripture. But that may just be an urban legend.

  247. 247
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I imagine quite a few Democrats wanted to repeal the 22nd in 2000 as well. Bill Clinton would have easily defeated Shrub, I think.

  248. 248
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @SFAW: That’s about as much accuracy as a slide rule gets you most of the time, and lots of fine engineering was built on that.

    @Citizen Alan: It was Indiana, and that wasn’t exactly what happened–it was a bill enshrining a crank’s supposed circle-squaring proof, which incidentally implied that pi was equal to 3.2 (but the legislators probably didn’t even realize that). See my comment above.

Comments are closed.