Friday Morning Open Thread: Compare & Contrast

Seared by memories of seeing their friends murdered at a place they believed to be safe, these young leaders don’t intimidate easily. They see the NRA and its allies—whether mealymouthed politicians or mendacious commentators peddling conspiracy theories—as mere shills for those who make money selling weapons of war to whoever can pay. They’re as comfortable speaking truth to power as they are dismissive of platitudes and punditry. And they live to mobilize their peers.

Already, they’ve had some success persuading statehouses and some of the biggest gun retailers to change. Now it gets harder. A Republican Congress remains unmoved. NRA scare tactics still sway much of the country. Progress will be slow and frustrating.

But by bearing witness to carnage, by asking tough questions and demanding real answers, the Parkland students are shaking us out of our complacency. The NRA’s favored candidates are starting to fear they might lose. Law-abiding gun owners are starting to speak out. As these young leaders make common cause with African Americans and Latinos—the disproportionate victims of gun violence—and reach voting age, the possibilities of meaningful change will steadily grow…

***********
 


 
(I have a post about the leak of the Comey memos scheduled for 8am EDT, if you wanna get coffee & breakfast before reading.)

150 replies
  1. 1
    gene108 says:

    Trump at least is aware human trafficking is a thing and it is a bad thing.

    Start off the morning with positive thoughts.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    FYI.

    Swaziland’s King Mswati III, Africa’s last absolute monarch, said on Thursday he was officially renaming the country as the Kingdom of eSwatini. Source

  3. 3
    SectionH says:

    @gene108: It’s ALWAYS projection with the Republicans. Of course he’s aware of it.

    eta: sorry, but damn

  4. 4
    gene108 says:

    Anybody else have trouble getting motivated to exercise? I have a lot of exercise equipment at home, but always find excuses to not exercise.

    I want to figure out how to get around those excuses I make for myself.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  6. 6
    Aleta says:

    This sure would be a good time for someone or many to stand up wherever the prez is speaking to say “You lie.”

  7. 7
    Tony Jay says:

    @gene108:

    Oh, he’s very, very aware of it. He has the receipts.

    Or rather, his legal fixer has the receipts, he handles all that dodgy shit.

    Tick Tock, melonfarmer.

  8. 8
    raven says:

    @gene108: I don’t think there is any great trick, you have to find something you like enough to make a commitment. I played hoops for years and had to quit at 50. I ran for another 5 but then it became apparent that my wheels couldn’t hack it. I’ve been swimming for 15 years but had to go from 5 days a week to 3 when my shoulder started acting up. We also walk a couple of miles in the early morning and I think it’s crucial to integrate exercise into your day-to-day life.

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gene108: I’m not sure trump is aware of 90% of the shit that spews out of his mouth, most times he;s just repeating what he heard on F & F that morn w/o ever stopping to think if it even makes sense.

  10. 10
    Joyce H says:

    @gene108: Others have mentioned finding something you enjoy and I endorse that, but another option is finding something that’s rather mindless than you can do while reading or watching television. Something like a stationary bike or elliptical would work for that. I do my pedals while watching MSNBC. What keeps me motivated is when I’ve missed a couple days and my knees start to ache. So I’m pretty good at pedaling every day or every other day, but when I start to backslide and skip several days, I get a reminder pretty quickly.

  11. 11
    Aleta says:

    @NotMax: But why?

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gene108: What @raven: said.

  13. 13
    MomSense says:

    @gene108:

    The only thing that gets me out of the house to the gym is that I meet a friend there. See if finding an exercise buddy helps.

    Ok I’m off or I’ll be late.

  14. 14
    Anne Laurie says:

    @gene108:

    I want to figure out how to get around those excuses I make for myself.

    Find a partner. Only two periods I’ve consistently exercised were back in my 30s, when a dear friend needed a wing-woman in aerobics class / at the pool; and recently, when the Spousal Unit & I joined a boutique gym for the aging & unfit. Both times my partners have been much more successful at achieving their fitness goals than I have… but just having someone to give you The Look when you try to plead scheduling/illness/stress has given me the motivation to at least improve my endurance / strength to some degree.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: Or be a gym rat all your life!

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The World Bank is proposing lower minimum wages and greater hiring and firing powers for employers as part of a wide-ranging deregulation of labour markets deemed necessary to prepare countries for the changing nature of work.

    A working draft of the bank’s flagship World Development Report – which will urge policy action from governments when it comes out in the autumn – says less “burdensome” regulations are needed so that firms can hire workers at lower cost. The controversial recommendations, which are aimed mainly at developing countries, have alarmed groups representing labour, which say they have so far been frozen out of the Bank’s consultation process.

    Or how’s about this: Shoot them. Just shoot them all.

  17. 17
    SectionH says:

    @gene108: It’s hard. I have no real clues. Best theoretical answer I have is ppl who say “I’m going for my walk now” or similar things. I twigged to that when I started saying that – and I was going for “my” walk a while back.

    No, I not selling moonshine. It was srsly something I noticed.

    It is for YOU. It’s not imposing on anybody – no, really – but exercise, or activity, as Mr S prefers, call it what you will, is something for you. Don’t do it if it hurts too much. But when it’s a good feedback, it’s your walk or your workout.

    I’m trying to remember my own advice. And act on it.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ships laden with more than 1.2m tonnes of US sorghum bound for China may have no where to go amid the ongoing trade tensions between Beijing and Washington.

    Twenty ships carrying more than $216m worth of sorghum were at sea on Friday, according to Reuters, but least five of them had changed course within hours of China’s announcement this week that it would place stiff tariffs on the grain.

    On Tuesday, Beijing said US importers had been dumping the grain, used for animal feed as well as China’s traditional baijiu liquor, on the Chinese market and harming Chinese farmers.

    China’s ministry of commerce said it would begin requiring deposits of 178.6% of the value of grain shipments. The five diverted sorghum ships, all loaded in Texas, would have had to pay that deposit, rendering their shipments unprofitable, Reuters reported.

    China said the new requirements on sorghum imports were the result of a previous inquiry. In February, after the US placed tariffs on Chinese solar panels and washing machines, China started its own investigation into the impact of US imports on Chinese businesses.

    Karma is a beach.

  19. 19
    gene108 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Developing countries already have poor labor protections, because there economies are not strong, and thus have a lot of unemployed people needing jobs, with minimal to no safety net.

    They don’t need to lower already low standards.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  21. 21
    raven says:

    @SectionH: I’m going to be interested to see what happens when my wife retires in a few weeks. I’m and early riser (duh) and I get her up at 6, she stretches and we walk a couple of miles. She traveled this week so, when I went to roust her just now, she said she wanted to sleep in. I have to push a buggy because the dogs can’t make the entire round trip but I do hope we keep up this routine.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @gene108: I’ve been better lately. It’s more about finding time than motivation. But my thing is having a variety of exercises I can choose to do depending on my mood.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Shoot them. Just shoot them all.

    It’s still a draft. They still may propose that.

  24. 24
    gene108 says:

    @raven:

    My issue is I went from being in pretty good shape to bad shape rather rapidly, so exercise just reminds me of what I can’t do as easily, and makes doing things I enjoyed, like jogging, harder.

    I think that and not becoming an Adonis overnight gets me into a “what’s the point” mindset.

    @Joyce H:

    I have been able to do this from time to time.

    But get out of the habit after some time.

  25. 25
    Joyce H says:

    I have really poor mobility (arthritis) that I’m working on improving. One thing that keeps me motivated is that I have a rather sporty dog, and take her to two classes a week, rally and agility. She’s so fast, and I’m… so slow.

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gene108: It’s for their own good. Sacrificing builds character.

  27. 27
    gene108 says:

    @Baud:

    I have the time. It is more a matter of not reading the Balloon Juice morning thread in bed, than not having the time. 😄

  28. 28
    raven says:

    @gene108: Oh man I can relate. I know a guy that was an awesome b-ball player but when his physical ability declined some he just couldn’t bring himself to play anymore. Also, some of the fattest dudes I know were paratroopers. When you are Airborne they run your ass to death and it seems to make some guys HATE exercise.

  29. 29
    bystander says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    … necessary to prepare countries for the changing nature of work.

    More like “necessary to screw working people in a new way.”

    I have been enjoying Ben Wittes Unleashed. Hallie Jackson was reciting the repub talking point that Comey’s comments about twitler’s repulsive physical appearance negates the truth of his entire book. Wittes said, “Listen to what we’re clucking about.” He should have used the second person, but still. Jackson is a real Mrs. Greenspan in training.

  30. 30
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just read John’s post on Lily. Shit.

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yea, it’s a real bummer.

  32. 32
    SectionH says:

    @raven: Best to her on retirement – I bet she’ll be busier after retirement than before – she seems a candidate for that. Yes, that’s a huge compliment (to be sure, because internet…)

    Mr S is an Up at Dawn guy. Always has been. I have a 36 hr circadian rhythm. No, srsly. We’re working on 34 years married though.

  33. 33
    raven says:

    @SectionH: Yea, she and her co-conspirators have all kinds of evil plans!

  34. 34
    SectionH says:

    @raven: Keep us posted!

  35. 35
    Immanentize says:

    Well, in the good news department, my son turns 17 today. Woot! What he wants for his b-day? A new external sound card for his PC to optimize his gaming. Nerd.

    Next chore for me is making sure he makes it to 18….

  36. 36
    Quinerly says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning from Poco and his tribe. Have a great day!

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: I went thru something similar with my first dog. Cried like a baby. After I put him down, without much thought I decided to take him and bury him out in a woods he and I had spent countless days hiking and hunting mushrooms in. 110 lbs of limp German Shepherd is not easy to carry. Had to go back for my shovel.

    It was worth it.

  38. 38
    Raven says:

    @Immanentize: On my 17th I reported to the Induction Center in Chicago and took the last train to Clarkesville!

  39. 39
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I buried Raven in the garden and lit a candle every day for a year.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @gene108:

    Trump at least is aware human trafficking is a thing and it is a bad thing.

    Also, it’s a real hot-button in Truther circles, for whom “human trafficking” and “Deep State” and “Secret Pedophile / Satanic Ritual Sacrifice network” are practically synonymous. This is dog-whistling for his Alt-Reality base.

  42. 42

    @Immanentize: get him a nice enough sound card and the extra time he spends indoors ought to make that easier…

  43. 43
  44. 44

    @gene108: I’d never be able to motivate myself to exercise on my own. That’s why I go to a class at the Y. The same people go all the time, so there’s a social aspect as well.

  45. 45
    Raven says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Off your ass and on your feet, out of the shade and into the heat!!!

  46. 46
    Raven says:

    What slays me are these “boot camps” where you pay to have some dork yell at you!

  47. 47

    @Raven: My aerobics teacher doesn’t quite say that, but close!

  48. 48
    debbie says:

    @gene108:

    I’ve got the motivation, but I don’t have the back I used to have. I do what I can, which is less than I want to, but accepting this as my “new normal” will probably never happen.

  49. 49

    @Raven: I resent being scolded or yelled at, and the teacher knows it so she leaves me alone.

  50. 50
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: Nice.

  51. 51
    debbie says:

    @Immanentize:

    Happy 17, Immp!

  52. 52
    debbie says:

    @Raven:

    Love that dog statue!

  53. 53
    HeleninEire says:

    @raven: I have a friend who is retiring at the end of the month. 65 years old. She is going to walk the entire Camino de Santiago on her own. 500 miles. She’s going to go slow and take a month and a half, but I have no doubt she will finish.

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    Next week, the teachers will do walk-ins at their school sites from Monday to Wednesday, and then will walk out Thursday, leaders said.
    “This is undeniably and clearly a mandate for action,” said Joe Thomas, the president of the Arizona Education Association.
    Leaders of the movement called it a first-of-a-kind vote in a right-to-work state. “I think we all sensed that something big was happening here tonight,” said Noah Karvelis, a West Valley music teacher who has spearheaded the #RedForEd movement in Arizona.

    They are short about 2000 teachers statewide in Arizona so they can’t fire them. Nevada also underfunds schools and can’t attract/keep teachers so I wonder if they go next. That would be my guess.

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    AEU and other education organizations that support the #RedForEd movement rebuffed Governor Doug Ducey’s April 12 offer to increase teacher pay by a cumulative 20 percent over the next two years. Although Ducey’s plan was well-received at first, funding details emerged that showed the raises were cobbled together from overly optimistic projections of state revenue and repurposed dollars from other areas of the budget, as opposed to a new source of revenue dedicated to teacher pay.

    The “overly optimistic projections of revenue” scam is really the go-to in conservative states these days- also the Trump Administration. I love it because it’s so childish- it’s magical thinking. Kasich is sold as this level-headed manager and he WILDLY overestimated revenue after his tax cuts. Currently they’re pretending they don’t have a billion dollar budget dollar hole, but people will find out! :)

  56. 56
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    Currently they’re pretending they don’t have a billion dollar budget dollar hole, but people will find out as soon as a Dem is elected, and then they will blame him! :)

    Fixed.

  58. 58
    Aleta says:

    Tonight I get to go help friends who’re giving a concert for a benefit. And then party with them, and then sleep over at a little farm of other friends. In the morning see their newborn goats and I hope their rescued race horse. I like these people a lot and am grateful they like me, and the music is good for what ails me. But it’s very hard to make myself go. I don’t entirely understand why it started to be so hard to make the effort. All day yesterday I was thinking, I can’t do it.

  59. 59
    Baud says:

    @Kay: What’s the “red” in #RedforEd stand for?

  60. 60
    Spanky says:

    There’s a comment on that Amanda Terkel tweet:

    dangeroo

    @dangeroo_
    17h17 hours ago
    More
    Replying to @Bencjacobs @tparti
    Donald Trump is what a head slap would look like if it grew legs.

    I like that.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    @Immanentize:
    Happy Birthday to Little Imma 😄🙌🍨🎂🎆🎈🎁🎉

  62. 62
    randy khan says:

    @Sm*t Cl*de:

    @gene108:

    Trump at least is aware human trafficking is a thing and it is a bad thing.

    Also, it’s a real hot-button in Truther circles, for whom “human trafficking” and “Deep State” and “Secret Pedophile / Satanic Ritual Sacrifice network” are practically synonymous. This is dog-whistling for his Alt-Reality base.

    That was my first thought. My second thought is that he actually got it from the Alt-Reality base.

  63. 63
    Kay says:

    Giuliani: Russia has had Clinton’s emails ‘for some time’

    I’m upset about Trump hiring him because I think this whole NYC/Trump gang are both corrupt and connected and it seems that Giuliani must have been central to that- his long associations with law enforcement worry me. I’m convinced Giuliani had some Trumpsters in the FBI he was working with during the campaign.

    The longer you look at Trump the more you wonder why he was never prosecuted criminally- how did that never happen? Cohen has been “fixing” a LONG time. No one ever investigated that? Was he somehow protected? If Mueller finds criminal activity unrelated to “collusion” doesn’t the question then become how Trump Inc acted with impunity for so long?

    I’m trying not to become hopeless – mostly counting on the fact that they’re also incompetent and brazenly crooked AND they can’t shut up so they’ll fuck up.

  64. 64
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Spanky: Heh.

  65. 65
    Quinerly says:

    So glad the grown ups are in charge of all levels of government
    http://thehill.com/homenews/ca.....-book-tour

  66. 66
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning 🌞! Finally, some springtime weather heading out way 🎉

    @gene108: I have the same problem. I’ve stated wearing my Fitbit again just to get a baseline the last few weeks of how sedentary I had become, and am trying most days to push my activity levels a bit higher. Gradually doing a bit more each day is working for me; before I used to go all in on a new exercise regime and burn out fairly quickly. That’s the @raven: method, trying to incorporate more exercise as a normal part of the day instead of a special time. And then when I feel less like a beached whale, going back to doing Pilates, because I did enjoy that when I did it regularly.

  67. 67
    Betty Cracker says:

    Just read the Comey memos that were released last night. There’s nothing new there — it’s the same thing Comey has been saying. The only surprising thing is that Trump and congressional Republicans think those memos help in some way. How can they possibly think that?

  68. 68
    RSA says:

    @gene108: For me, getting back to regular exercise took two things: (1) I noticed I’d lost some weight and I figured I might as well keep it off; (2) I had the goal of being strong enough to lift another person into certain positions, which was doable but not easy.

    So I had one goal of maintenance and another goal of attainment (I don’t know if these have non-technical names), and then it was a matter of figuring out a plan (I joined a fitness club, which gave me a routine) and keeping records of progress (which the fitness club did at first, but now I have a notebook).

  69. 69
    CliosFanboy nee Woodrowfan says:

    @Raven: My little buddy was cremated. I bought a nice urn and it sits next to his photo on a shelf in my office. One of the 3 we have now is nearing his end and we’ll do the same. When I die my wife knows to put their ashes with me.

  70. 70
    Spanky says:

    @Betty Cracker: Well, you haven’t seen the “editing” they’ve been working on. That’s why we’re seeing leaked versions now.

  71. 71
    Fester Addams says:

    @NotMax:

    he was officially renaming the country as the Kingdom of eSwatini.

    Piker. Should have named it Blockchain.

  72. 72
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: Happy Birthday to young Immp!
    I can relate to the “making sure he makes it to 18” part. Parenting an almost independent teen (and later 20-something) is all about guiding them and hoping that none of the dumb decisions they’re sure to make as they learn have irrevocable consequences. Between my sons, foster sons, and the exchange kids I seriously didn’t sleep soundly at night for close to 25 years. Luckily, we all survived 😆

  73. 73
    WereBear says:

    @gene108: You don’t do “motivation” because that’s not what works. “Doing it anyway” is what works. Push it into six weeks and then it’s a habit and you start missing it if you don’t do it.

    Putting in six weeks (think of it as a class or something) will get you over the hump of disrupting your routine and doing something that has not yet paid off.

  74. 74
    Kay says:

    @randy khan:

    We had an insane case here so I learned a lot about conservatives and human trafficking. They accused a woman not of trafficking but of being trafficked. It’s complicated but the conspiracy theory that involved this poor woman began in Milwaukee, with a child who went missing and was never found. In the course of the case our local paper followed this trail that included you tube videos of fundamentalist Christians who made all these crazy connections and came up with this entire theory that ended with them insisting local law enforcement collect DNA from this woman under the theory that she was this missing child from Milwaukee. You would not believe how far it got- they were successful in persuading local law enforcement to contact Milwaukee law enforcement. They did that, just to shut them up. They contacted Milwaukee hoping that would put it to rest but it’s a conspiracy theory so of course it didn’t put it to rest- they were instead convinced the sheriff was in on the scheme.

    Human trafficking is real BUT conservatives are insane about it. This won’t end well. They are incapable of staying in the realm of reality. Roseann isn’t a one-off. Insanity about human trafficking is rampant on the far Right. It goes back a ways, too. It started in the Bush Administration.

    Christian conservatives were central to the false child abuse prosecutions in the 1980’s and 1990’s too- this isn’t the first time they’ve gone off the deep end.

  75. 75
    Immanentize says:

    @Raven: With Trump, I admit I have a fear that is what might happen for Immp’s 18th birthday.

  76. 76
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t know. Does it stand for anything? The idea is to wear red. It started with the Chicago teachers strike. That’s the first place I saw it.

  77. 77
    satby says:

    @Sm*t Cl*de: a former friend’s granddaughter has gone full metal wingnut and is a college YAF activist. Her Twitter feed is all about human trafficking, anti-choice, crazy shit. Were you aware that feminists and the Women’s March gave aid and comfort to human traffickers?
    It’s really bizarre stuff.

  78. 78
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @randy khan:

    That was my first thought. My second thought is that he actually got it from the Alt-Reality base.

    It’s an algorithmic thing. The Trump algorithm follows the path of least resistance and most adulation. If he gets hootings of approval from the conspiracist-ideation crowd when words about “human” and “trafficking” and “child” and “abuse” fall out of his face-hole, then those words will continue to fall out of his face-hole in the future.

  79. 79
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Immanentize:

    A very happy birthday to the Immp!

  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: They aren’t too bright. Unfortunately it works for them.

  81. 81
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I don’t think it has anything to do with facts. They just think if they raise enough “doubts” the investigation will be discredited.

    As long as the big criminal justice machine keeps chugging along I don’t think it matters. Once it fires up it runs until it’s done. Their best bet is to stop it, and I don’t (yet) believe they can do that with Fox news appearances.

  82. 82
    frosty says:

    @Immanentize: My eldest up and joined the Army National Guard (artillery) right after he turned 20. It was a good fit. A few years later he reregistered at the college he’d dropped out of and got his degree; did work study at the school’s VA center. We worried abiut him being deployed but it didn’t happen. All in all it was a positive experience.

  83. 83
    Aleta says:

    “Why did you bother at all?” Remnick asked, referring to Comey’s decision to hold a press conference, by himself, in July, 2016, to announce that no charges would be filed in the Clinton case, but to say, nevertheless, that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information. “Why not come out and say, ‘Nothing to see here,’ and go home?”

    “Because I thought that, without transparency, public trust and confidence in the integrity of our work would be severely undercut,” Comey said.

    … Speaking of his decision, that October, to inform Congress that a trove of Clinton’s e-mails had been found on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, ( …) Comey said that he still felt he and his team had handled things “the right way.” … Comey said, if he could go back, he would not change his own actions.

    If he had the power of time travel, he said, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have opted to use a private e-mail server to begin with, or “Anthony Weiner probably would have never been born.”

    Remnick also asked Comey about a Times article that ran on October 31, 2016, under the headline “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia.” Remnick asked Comey, “Why would the F.B.I. push that story on the New York Times a week before the election?”

    “Yeah, that’s a hard one to answer. I don’t know who the F.B.I. is in this context,” Comey said, referring to the newspaper’s sources. Comey confirmed that, among other things, the F.B.I. had concluded by that point that the Russian government was supporting Trump’s campaign.
    “You’re saying that the Times’ F.B.I. sources on that story were wrong?” Remnick asked.

    Comey, cautioning that he was limited in what he could say, responded by saying, “At least with respect to what the goals of the Russian effort were, it’s just wrong.”

    When Remnick asked Comey to comment on Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan’s silence after Trump fired him, Comey said that the question that they needed to ask themselves is, “ ‘What am I going to tell my grandchildren?’ ”

    -NYer
    What a colossal fuck up Comey is. Pretending he calmly floats on righteous waters while working furiously under the surface to put forth a story he hopes will save his history. And sell the movie rights to his book by hyping the drama of his moments alone with T. Then how he drank red wine out of a cheap cup beside an airplane window. Cause he was treated outrageously, although H wasn’t. I hope he sinks in a whirlpool of his own sexism.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    Something else BLACK people can’t do without risking their lives:
    Ask for a refund in a store 😠😠

    https://twitter.com/LordHasan/status/987107568567939072?s=19

  85. 85
    Kay says:

    @satby:

    They’ve tied all kinds of things into human trafficking. I’m not surprised abortion ended up in there because it’s grounded in this idea that liberalism has caused a degradation of “values”.

    It’s remarkably like the child abuse prosecutions/moral panic. That supposedly implicated feminists because the kids were in daycare. Women abandoned their kids to daycare which led directly to, literally, The Devil. Demonic ritual abuse.

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    @Aleta:

    “Because I thought that, without transparency, public trust and confidence in the integrity of our work would be severely undercut,” Comey said.

    It’s pretty clear that Comey has no regard to the views of Dems when it comes to public trust.

  87. 87
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    I’m not surprised abortion ended up in there because it’s grounded in this idea that liberalism has caused a degradation of “values”.

    This is true though. Liberalism has caused a degradation of values among conservatives. Exhibit A: Donald Trump.

  88. 88
    Immanentize says:

    Thank you all for the B-Day wishes. Sadly, my son’s birthday will forever be associated with Hitler’s Birthday, the Columbine shooting, and in a more positive vein, the High Holy Day of marijuana.

  89. 89
    Kay says:

    @Aleta:

    It’s good though, on balance, don’t you think? Comey is answering these questions. That’s the best that anyone can do at this point- it’s too late to fix his massive mistakes, so at least someone is asking him questions and he’s answering. No one ever answered the question about the story the FBI planted in the NYTimes. The NYTimes had no intention of ever addressing it.

    The best we can hope for is the facts become clear and people draw their own conclusions. Comey makes that more possible.

    We – the public- don’t know what happened, and no one is telling us. I loathe Comey but his willingness to go out and get interrogated is a plus – it might not help but it is a piece of the puzzle.

  90. 90
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Kay:

    The scam on a client I broke up yesterday used a wildly optimistic set of revenue projections from day 1 as the hook. I had to work a hell of a lot harder to get my client to abandon that notion than the conman did in selling it. People hear something like that and they drop 50 IQ points.

  91. 91
    raven says:

    @HeleninEire: Cool, my bride is only 60!

  92. 92
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @satby:

    Her Twitter feed is all about human trafficking, anti-choice, crazy shit. Were you aware that feminists and the Women’s March gave aid and comfort to human traffickers?

    Here for your entertainment is a group of professional grifters soliciting donations for a “Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Human Trafficking and Child Sex Abuse” in London, consisting of Prominent Judicial Experts who are entirely self-appointed and self-qualified: https://hoaxteadresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/itnj-cutbacks-2018-04-16.png

    The description of “Westminster Hall” as the venue suggests some connection to Parliamentary buildings (Westminster Palace), but it is in fact a small low-rent meeting room in the same general area.

  93. 93
    Quinerly says:

    @Immanentize: happy birthday to your awesome son!

  94. 94
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Well, this won’t surprise you but there was a high-profile sex abuse case that may or may not have involved minors and one of the locations where this abuse occurred was a Trump property in Florida.

    If we’re “making connections” the connections between Trump and child sex abuse are much more direct than the connections between Hillary Clinton and child sex abuse. Hence, the aggressive accusations.

    It really IS all projection. Christian conservatives have their own BIG problems with child abuse, including child sexual abuse. There’s a whole category of child sex abuse that centers around homeschooling Christian conservatives- specifically- their pastors. I won’t even get into “child marriage” but that’s in there too. It’s legal in parts of the US and it’s a Right wing thing.

  95. 95
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay:

    it’s grounded in this idea that liberalism has caused a degradation of “values”.

    They didn’t have any values to degrade to begin with.

  96. 96
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay:

    “child marriage” … It’s legal in parts of the US and it’s a Right wing thing.

    so is multiple wives, especially very young multiple wives.

  97. 97
    Kay says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    I do a lot of that, as I’m sure you do too. I think of it as “bringing them down”- I do it gradually because I find they dig in with a frontal attack. I “raise questions” and they often get there themselves, which is better for me because then they don’t punish the bearer of bad news. You have to find a way to let them save face, which I get. No one likes to be humiliated or shamed and that’s not necessary – they can get there w/out that. I no longer treat them as victims though. I don’t think that’s helpful and I also no longer believe they were victimized. They played a role in the scam.

  98. 98
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: exactly.
    That’s what happens when you convince yourself that the line between good and evil is the one between you and everyone else.

  99. 99
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    “If the governor is removed quickly, the impact will be less noticeable,” Missouri GOP consultant Scott Dieckhaus said. “If he is allowed to linger in the Governor’s Mansion, I think it will have a catastrophic impact on Republican elections this fall.”

    Pleeeeze oh pleeeze oh pleeeze….

  100. 100
    Manyakitty says:

    @Kay: This reeks of projection, just like the rest of their heinous accusations.

  101. 101
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    That is just an amazing scandal. I’m jealous :)

    There’s a huge scandal brewing in Ohio but I’m afraid it’s boring- ordinary corruption. Money.

  102. 102
    MomSense says:

    @Immanentize:

    Happy birthday, Immp!

  103. 103
    WereBear says:

    @Immanentize: Happy birthday to the Immp! And hey, we all share birthdays with tough events and people. And sometimes, nice ones. There’s only 365 to really choose from there.

  104. 104
    raven says:

    @CliosFanboy nee Woodrowfan: We mixed my dad’s ashes with his black lab so there is at least one doggie in the Phoenix National Veterans Cemetery!

  105. 105
    Manyakitty says:

    @Immanentize: But it’s 4/20, maaaan! Seriously, though, happy birthday to the Immp! Which games/genres are his favorite?

  106. 106
    Manyakitty says:

    @rikyrah: WTAF. This garbage is a cancer on our country,

  107. 107
    Manyakitty says:

    @Kay: Are you talking about one of the Epstein cases, or was this related to his “modeling agency?”

  108. 108
    Immanentize says:

    @WereBear: That’s so true. I was thinking about Lily this morning. And all the sweet animal friends who are having a tough time and all the people friends who are too. And then I thought of the Immp and how smart and teenagerish he is. What he laughs about. How gawky he is at 6’5 and 160 pounds. And then I thought of all the people I know — pet owners and parents and spouses and lovers and children, etc. All putting their hearts on the line each day.

    The heart is an amazing organ. So large, so fragile, yet also so resilient.

  109. 109
    raven says:

    @Kay: Hi, how are you?

  110. 110
    sherparick says:

    @Aleta: I know this is kind of uncommon thing among the Left, with our fondness for circular firing squads, but really, we should not be doing the Right’s job for them by beating up Comey. Trump and overall Republican perfidy is the thing. I am mad about a lot of things that happen in 2015 and 2016, Comey being an obtuse idiot in many ways being one of them. But as witness to obstruction of justice by the President of the United States and penetration by the Russian Government of the U.S. political system and Republican Party’s alliance with that foreign Government to promote its own objectives of tax cuts, reactionary patriarchy, and white nationalism Comey is very credible and I prefer we keep reminding the people and the media that these people want to destroy democracy and establish a Christianist Kleptocracy in its place. megindckeep.

  111. 111
    MomSense says:

    @gene108:

    Here goes with some tips that have helped me. I too went from super fit to feeling like shit so I understand what you are going through.

    Figure out what the obstacles are. I was trying to exercise after work but after work I am grumpy, not in the mood to see people, and frequently have to do unplanned things like go to the store, pick up a kid, etc. I also gave up my gym membership thinking I would just do more walking at home. Nope, that didn’t work at all and the weather was a big factor.

    So, I work out early in the morning before I have a chance to think about it. I meet a friend at the gym although now I see enough friendly faces (we don’t really talk!) that I would go without my friend.

    Music helps.

    I don’t think about how I look. I focus on how I feel.

    I set micro goals and then celebrate when I meet them. For instance I think about adding 5 lbs or 10 more repetitions. I might add one resistance level on the bike for 10 minutes. I am very bored with the exercises I can do now so setting small goals helps.

    The last thing that helps me is only trying to do one thing. If I focus on exercise, I am not going to think much about diet. Interestingly, the better I feel the less I crave sugar, chips, or other unhealthy things.

    If you decide to exercise today or tomorrow – try 10 -15 minutes and see how you feel. Jump back on balloon-juice and let us know how it went. I’ll try to check in and see what you are up to.

  112. 112
    Immanentize says:

    @Manyakitty: Thanks. He likes all sorts of games (including, thankfully, board games). Online, there is a political one of European historic nation building, one where you build an industry and compete for resources and profits, and for his FPS game, he and his ‘squad’ are into Player Unkown Battleground (or PUB-G). He has an amazing gaming set up — in part compliments of my wife’s tech knowledge — that the Immp build himself from the ground up with her help

  113. 113
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay:

    That is just an amazing scandal. I’m jealous :)

    It’s truly trumpian in scale. I’s so proud… I love the Hawley flip out:

    Hawley, a one-time Greitens ally, has distanced himself from the governor. Last week, he called for Greitens to resign or be impeached. On Tuesday, Hawley announced that he’d turned over to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney evidence from his own probe that he said showed Greitens illegally used a donor list from his veterans’ charity to raise money for his 2016 campaign.

    But McCaskill and state Democrats are accusing Hawley of going easy on Greitens for too long.

    “Hawley was asleep at the wheel,” McCaskill’s campaign said in response to the press conference, noting that the allegations about the charity had been public since October 2016.

    A top Missouri Democratic Party official accused Hawley in a statement of looking “the other way to protect his friend and donor until it became politically untenable for him to do so.”

    Greitens’ hasn’t made Hawley’s situation any easier. The governor filed a restraining order against the attorney general this week, accusing Hawley of prejudging his guilt in the blackmail matter. He also fired off a dismissive statement calling Hawley “better at press conferences than the law.”

    “It is unfair to attack the attorney general for doing his job,” Harris said, likening Greitens’ scandals to a “bunch of weights tied around” Hawley as he campaigns. “Hawley didn’t commit these potential crimes. All these things originated in the governor’s basement.”

    It’s so fucking petty and a complete waste of money.

  114. 114
    Aleta says:

    @Baud: And no regard for democracy. Comey and those puzzling FBI sources decided if Clinton was about to win the election, their job was to prevent her effectiveness as President. Forget about the voters, the democratic process and majority rule.

  115. 115
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    so fucking petty and a complete waste of money.

    Isn’t that a Republican win/win?

  116. 116
    Aleta says:

    @Kay: @sherparick: That’s a good way to look at it; I appreciate the different perspective. Useful to look at the positive part.

  117. 117
    sherparick says:

    Something else that Trump and his base have never heard of.

    The Transatlantic Slave Trade: Transatlantic slave trade, segment of the global slave trade that transported between 10 million and 12 million enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas from the 16th to the 19th century. It was the second of three stages of the so-called triangular trade in which arms, textiles, and wine were shipped from Europe to Africa, slaves from Africa to the Americas, and sugar and coffee from the Americas to Europe. https://www.britannica.com/topic/transatlantic-slave-trade

    Meanwhile another 17 million were taken in the East African and Trans-Sahara slave trade from the 6th to 20th centuries.

    So, The Orange One and Steve Ducy are wrong again.

  118. 118
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m outa here for the wkend, Y’all play nice now, ya heah?

  119. 119
    Aleta says:

    @Immanentize: The heart is a muscle ….

  120. 120
    Immanentize says:

    @Aleta: I knew that the realists and concrete thinkers would harsh my mellow. 😄

  121. 121
    Manyakitty says:

    @Immanentize: Neat–he’s diversified! Sounds like he’s well situated to reach the age of majority.

  122. 122
    raven says:

    @Immanentize: Richard & Linda Thompson – A Heart Needs A Home
    Tongues talk fire and
    Eyes cry rivers
    Indian givers
    Hearts of stone
    Paper ships and
    Painted faces
    The worlds no place when
    Youre on your own
    A heart needs a home

  123. 123
    TerryC says:

    @raven: Please take a look at disc golf. it can be very competitive or just a walk in the park with a frisbee. Bonus, it’s very social and you’ll soon have, at any age and in any location – 6,000 courses in the US – many new friends who will encourage you to come out and play.

  124. 124
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Kay:

    Yeah – this guy really got it bad – they saw him coming.

    They operate a scam alternative health clinic in Utah, treating Lyme disease with magnets and some goofy gravity wave thingamajoob. They know going in that the person has been weakened physically for years and that they’re dumb enough to believe anything.

    Another big part of the scam is Mormon piety – they demonstrate it with pretty sounding words and some alleged Mormon bishop comes around checking on marks, er, patients. None of it is covered by insurance – the mark stays for several weeks, so the scammers know they have resources as they work the emotions.

    The Countess, as a sales professional, really admired the setup. They scam you up front, and you’re paying scam money – essentially paying to set yourself up to lose everything – while they’re setting up an even bigger scam in the back.

    They left a glaring hole, though, that they’re probably going to fix after my little call. The registered agent is an attorney who’s gotten disbarred in both Utah and Texas, and who also got into a jam in Oregon for running some dodgy mortgage company and credit repair scheme. When I mentioned this I got the “oh, we’re not using him as a lawyer, we’re using him for business knowledge and analysis of numbers – he’s great at it, and came up with most of the information on the spreadsheet”.

    Too goddamned funny. He was stammering and talking a mile a minute – I don’t know why he thought he should call me.

  125. 125
    raven says:

    @TerryC: Oh my buddy is huge in it here and in Savannah. My shoulder will not tolerate the snap needed to throw the frisbee anymore.

  126. 126
    Aleta says:

    @Immanentize:

    an amazing organ. So large, so fragile, yet also so resilient.

    ooo I meant to be agreeing with you in a poetic way. Strengthens through use, endures, can be torn but repairs itself, responds to practice…

    Anyway, congratulations on your son’s birthday, and best birthday wishes to him.

  127. 127
    Kay says:

    @raven:

    Hi raven. Fine. How are you?

    A friend of mine retired from teaching. She works like 40 hours a week on a community garden. “Retired” :)

    That will be your wife.

  128. 128
    Kay says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    That’s funny because we have this company here I just became aware of. They have what sounds like a scam opiate addiction treatment involving some “light box”- rays or something?

    The CEO drives a sports car that my middle son covets- he was telling me about the car and then told me about the “treatment”

    I was sad immediately when I heard it because there will be tons of money available for opiate addiction treatment and people are desperate. I can almost guarantee that guy will make a killing.

  129. 129
    Immanentize says:

    @Aleta: That is very kind and also true!

    I was actually kinda counting on OzarkH to be the one to mention the biologics, so my response was primed….

  130. 130
    Aleta says:

    @raven: Brand New Heart (song by John and Rachel Nicholas)

  131. 131
    Immanentize says:

    @raven:
    Love that song.

  132. 132
    satby says:

    @gene108: apropos to our earlier discussion, this article 6Truths About Exercise… just was delivered in my email by a writer I subscribe to.

  133. 133
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @HeleninEire:

    I have a friend who is retiring at the end of the month. 65 years old. She is going to walk the entire Camino de Santiago on her own. 500 miles. She’s going to go slow and take a month and a half, but I have no doubt she will finish.

    That’s what I did. One of the best experiences of my life. Ms. O and I are plotting to do it together this time. Only catch is she’s still working, so we either need to do it in stages or wait until she’s retired too.

  134. 134
    rikyrah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    they are thinking that the Governor cares about anything but himself?

    TEE HEE HEE

  135. 135
    rikyrah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’m still tickled by the restraining order.

  136. 136
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Immanentize:

    With Trump, I admit I have a fear that is what might happen for Immp’s 18th birthday.

    I had that fear when my boys came of age too and I encouraged them strongly to keep their passports current. I didn’t want my kids blown up in George Bush’s war. There are times for public service such as the military, but this wasn’t one of them. My elder son worked as a poverty-stricken VISTA doing poverty law for veterans instead. Made me proud.

  137. 137
    raven says:

    @Kay: I know, between garden activities and the Dog Parade she’ll be a busy bee!

  138. 138
    Gretchen says:

    Gene108: I read Balloon Juice comments while on the elliptical. It makes the time go quickly.

  139. 139
    J R in WV says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Or how’s about this: Shoot them. Just shoot them all.

    You ARE talking about the Bankers, right? “Cause the Bankers are talking about us!!!~!!!!

  140. 140
    J R in WV says:

    @Kay:

    Christian conservatives were central to the false child abuse prosecutions in the 1980’s and 1990’s too- this isn’t the first time they’ve gone off the deep end.

    Well, the Christian RWNJs know there is child abuse, rampant child abuse, because they facilitate it when they aren’t the ones doing it. Because parents OWN those kids, and it’s no one else’s business what they do with those kids.

    The Christian Patriarchy is the seat and home of most of what’s wrong with America and the world.

  141. 141
    J R in WV says:

    @Kay:

    They have what sounds like a scam opiate addiction treatment involving some “light box”- rays or something?

    That’s a great choice for a scam, because light boxes are common treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder, when gloomy weather makes someone with depression or bi-polar disorder even worse. Wife’s shrink recommended one, Amazon, $56. Hard to do much scam for $56…

    But if you wrap the light box with gobs of woo and counseling, there ya go!!! Woo is the most expensive ingredient in any scam!!!

  142. 142
    JDM says:

    @NotMax:

    FYI.

    Swaziland’s King Mswati III, Africa’s last absolute monarch, said on Thursday he was officially renaming the country as the Kingdom of eSwatini.

    So old-fashioned. Call me when he changes it to BlockchainSwatini.

  143. 143
    Brachiator says:

    @gene108:

    Trump at least is aware human trafficking is a thing and it is a bad thing.

    A late thought (I’m slowly catching up with the Internets today). I don’t think that Trump knows or cares about human trafficking. But this vaguely has something to do with sex and sin for evangelicals, and they fixate on Trump as a Thundering Savior of White Women Sex Slaves so that they can ignore the reality of Trump as a sleazy, sexist p*ssy grabber.

  144. 144
    TenguPhule says:

    @gene108:

    and it is a bad thing.

    Evidence that he considers it a bad thing not available.

  145. 145
    workworkwork says:

    @gene108: I’ve found there are some apps that let you ‘gamify’ your workouts. For example, I use “Zombies, Run”, which is an RPG where you are a runner in a post-zombie apocalypse going on missions.

    It’s audio-only, so you don’t have to look at your phone or change directions or speeds. You can also use it with workout equipment like treadmills, elliptical machines and stair-steppers.

    So far it’s kept me working out seven days a week since last December. (Just got back from a mission as I’m writing this – escaping through an abandoned insane asylum, chased by zombies and mind-controlled humans with guns.)

  146. 146
    Brachiator says:

    Obama’s essay on the Parkland teens… Man, I miss him.

    “Our history is defined by the youthful push to make America more just, more compassionate, more equal under the law. [..] If they make their elders uncomfortable, that’s how it should be.”

    Love Obama’s comments.

    Was Trump asked to write anything for anyone?

  147. 147
    notoriousJRT says:

    Donald Trump simply is a profoundly ignorant, self-centered, completely un-self-aware, un-other-aware individual. His declaration of anything as the “highest, biggest, most, greatest, etc.” is not credible in any way. I suppose he has worn me down because I see this as just another confirmation of his doltishness and not something I should waste time refuting.

  148. 148
    notoriousJRT says:

    @Brachiator:
    I don’t think that Trump knows or cares about human trafficking. But this vaguely has something to do with sex and sin for evangelicals, and they fixate on Trump as a Thundering Savior of White Women Sex Slaves so that they can ignore the reality of Trump as a sleazy, sexist p*ssy grabber.
    Yup.

  149. 149
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Aleta:

    In the morning see their newborn goats

    Late to this, but empathic connections to mother/child, or to any cooperative relationship between sentient beings really (I count all mammals and birds, at least), can be really restorative. Also early spring. Hope you feel better.
    (Whacked by three major change sticks myself, work, one self-applied (and terrifying, and lonely), and increased level of shunning, feeling fragile and looking for something emotionally restorative this week-end.)

  150. 150
    Chet Murthy says:

    @gene108: Several times when I fell off that wagon and was tryin’ to climb back on, the following helped a lot:

    (1) forbid yourself any blog-reading (or any other kind of time-wasting reading) except while exercising

    (2) go to the gym with a ton of reading material, at a time when you will be able to use a recombent bike for as long as you wish

    (3) get on that recumbent, and bike at whatever pace allows you to actually read

    Like, 2hr. Seriously, after a few weeks of that, you’ll start to feel better, and maybe you can start doing other things. It’s worked at least 3 times for me (in the past 20 years).

    As for the “what’s the point, I fell so far down from where I was” feeling, I feel you — I’m …. lordy so many pounds away from my target weight, it’s embarrassin’. I like swimming, and I find that focusing on “that next increment” in speed or distance, helps. So instead of focusing on “getting back to that 32min mile” (if only, snort), I focus on getting to that “half-mile without stopping” and then “half-mile at -one- minute faster than last week”.

    But really, gotta say, taking all my “mind distracted by reading” time, and putting that onto a recumbent, has helped the most.

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