Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Ramadan Kareem!

Per AlJazeera:

It’s that time of year again: 1.84 billion Muslims around the world will be welcoming the holy month of Ramadan with their first day of fasting on May 16. For other countries, May 17 will be the first day of fasting.

Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims as it is regarded to be the month that the holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad on the night of Laylat al-Qadr, one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan.

Millions of Muslims around the world will be fasting every day for a month, refraining from eating, drinking (yes, even water) and smoking from sunrise to sunset.

It is a month that teaches self-discipline and awareness for those living in poverty.

As one of the five pillars of Islam, fasting during Ramadan is accompanied with increased spiritual reflection, worship and acts of charity…

Ramadan isn’t official, in some countries, until a council of religious elders spots the new crescent moon. That’s why it won’t start till Thursday in the UAE, per the Khaleej Times, which includes the glorious sentence:

Although Ramadan is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar…

Less globally significant, but still good news…

124 replies
  1. 1
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Oh now it makes sense. When I turned on the TV this morning I checked the weather. It showed the usual, cloud, sunshine and stuff but then when it went into the overnight instead of the usual cloud etc., it showed the crescent moon. I thought it was unusual and now I know why. I learn so much from BJ. I love it.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    Okay, okay, it’s check your brain at the door fare but as these things go The New Legends of Monkey on Netflix ain’t bad check your brain at the door fare.

    Effort put into making it shows, and at only a half hour apiece, the episodes fly by. trailer

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I know! There are so many smart Juicers. Somebody is an expert on almost every subject that comes up.

  4. 4
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mary G:

    There are so many smart Juicers. Somebody is an expert on almost every subject that comes up.

    Cabinet fodder for Baud! 2020!’s administration.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mary G: I’m an expert on stuff I’ve never even heard of, just ask me.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😄😄😄

  7. 7
    Immanentize says:

    Good morning, All. A.L., I liked your epitalh from.last night.

  8. 8
    geg6 says:

    So Dem voters came out in droves here in PA, outnumbering GOP voters by quite a bit. All the people I voted for won their primaries. On to November!

  9. 9
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning rikyrah and all 🙋!

  10. 10
    The Ancient Randonneur says:


    I’m a legend in my own mind.

  11. 11
    Amir Khalid says:

    Ramadhan starts at sunset on Wednesday here, about an hour from now as I type this. In the Muslim calendar, the day runs from sunset to sunset, not from midnight to midnight as in the Gregorian calendar. So a Muslim fasts in the latter half of the day, not the earlier half: a point that may be lost on those not familiar with the Muslim calendar.

    I think I mention in these threads every Ramadhan that 12 lunar months is 11 days shorter than a solar year. Calculating the calendar is tricky. It’s based on the observed phases of the moon in some places, and on astronomical calculation in others. This is why it gets a day or so out of step in some countries. We’re in the 21st century now, despite the fundies who fetishise the 7th, and it’s long past time to have a unified worldwide Islamic calendar based on calculation. Come to that, I don’t think there’s anything in the Quran or Hadith that actually forbids going to a solar calendar.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It’ll be quite the culture shock in DC after the current crop of yahoos.


    Good morning.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @geg6: Excellent news. And we flipped another seat!

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Out: Shiites vs. Sunni

    In: Lunites vs. Solarites

  15. 15
    NotMax says:


    Baud 2020.

    “No yahoos, serious.”

  16. 16

    Oh, this is rich, the Nazi running as a Republican for US Senate here in CA calls himself a “Civil Rights Advocate”.

  17. 17

    @Amir Khalid: I always wondered what folk in the extreme northern and southern latitudes do for Ramadan when there is no night.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ecuador is preparing to remove a stone from their shoe:

    The man who would like to portray himself as a stateless challenger of power has found himself in the same position as a grounded teenager: Ecuador decides who he sees, what can be in his room, even when he washes and tidies up (a regular source of friction).

    Additionally for someone trying to offer safety to whistleblowers around the world, he is a stationary target for the world’s intelligence agencies: any of them able to piggyback on Ecuador’s surveillance – or create new surveillance of their own – and track what his site is up to.

    Assange lives in a world of dissonance, right down to his reasons for being in the embassy. He talks of being a political prisoner, who has been under “house arrest” for seven years due to his work for free speech. In reality, he fled from justice having decided not to face Swedish authorities over an investigation into rape and sexual assault.

    Reconciling Assange’s version of events with reality is an all-but impossible task, and one Ecuador has been trying to unravel as it finds a way to end his stay. As Ecuadorian patience continues to crumble, Assange may soon find reality will come to bite.


  19. 19
    NotMax says:


    Something similar to the ruling that applies as to when Ramadan begins for astronauts in orbit, one would imagine. Which, if memory serves, is when it is declared by observation in Mecca.

  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    @Amir Khalid: Take it easy this year… I know it can be a bit of a strain for you.

  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I wonder what they do when there is no day.

  22. 22
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    On a funny note, rugged bootstrap white supremacist Matthew Heimbach got his probation (from attacking a woman at a Louisville Trump rally) revoked over some domestic violence in Southern Indiana.

    I was watching the clip and recognized his lawyer as a senior public defender – so he’s a mooch, and is going to find his next month to be far more racially mixed with no real Aryan Brotherhood presence. 😂

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Kay says:

    A real sign of the shifting winds of American politics came from the victory of a pair of first-time candidates backed by the Democratic Socialists of America who knocked off two incumbent state legislators from a well-established Pittsburgh political family.
    Both Dom and Paul Costa, the incumbent losers, were on the conservative side of modern Democratic Party politics but also seemingly well-entrenched.
    Instead, they lost. To Sara Innamorato, a 32-year-old nonprofit manager and former Apple retail store worker, and Summer Lee, a 2015 graduate of the Howard University School of Law.

    My daughter was backing Summer Lee. She was all worried – something about absentee ballots? PA’s voting process is archaic, they need early vote, which is essentially expanding absentee to everyone. Anyway. I guess they came in :)

  25. 25
    Lapassionara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Haven’t we heard this before? I will believe it when I see it.

    Good morning, everyone.

    What is the preferred salutation for Ramadan?

  26. 26
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m not an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  27. 27
    NotMax says:


    Wait until dark.


  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    That ActBlue fundraising statistic really is remarkable. May it translate to a blue tsunami!

  29. 29
    ant says:

    (yes, even water)

    Wouldn’t this increase the likelihood of getting kidney stones?

  30. 30
    debbie says:


    Right! I got nothing but opinions! All kinds of opinions!

  31. 31
    Just one more canuck says:

    @NotMax: Speaking of ‘check your brain at the door’ fare, Young Einstein was pretty amusing

  32. 32
    debbie says:


    Ah, that explains all the GOP posturing on NPR this morning. Tornado warnings dominated the local news here so this is the first I’m hearing of the results. Congratulations!

  33. 33
    MattF says:

    If you want to feed your inner nerd on the details of calendars, feast on The Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac. Also, incidentally, includes all the current models and algorithms for planetary motions, astronomical geometry, and time standards.

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    Presume IV drips are not disconnected during daylight?

    @Just one more canuck

    Whew. Thought maybe that might have been too abstruse a reference.

  35. 35
    debbie says:


    the Democratic Socialists of America

    Is the writer being snide or is this an actual party of the United States on America?

  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @debbie: It’s good. The media had been playing up Trump lately and trying to discourage Democrats. Sounds like Pennsylvania Dems ain’t listening to them.

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Karma is a beach in Kentucky.

  38. 38
    Just one more canuck says:

    @NotMax: I was one of the few who saw it – a friend of mine and I loved dumb movies like that

  39. 39
    Schlemazel says:

    If only you were the only one on the internet that was!

    @The Ancient Randonneur:
    truly a legend that will last a lunchtime

  40. 40
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @geg6: I’ve been looking for a report on statewide turnout this morning. I believe you’re around Pittsburgh, the other corner from me. Philly city reported higher turnout than 2014. Haven’t found anything about numbers overall for the state.

    Our two strongest candidates for the new Congressional seat were women. Between them they got 50% of the vote in a field of 10 candidates. Both had really strong resumes. I’m very excited about Mary Gay Scanlon being our next Congressional rep.

  41. 41
    rikyrah says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Happy Ramadan 😄

  42. 42
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    He’s not going to enjoy the time he spends in custody.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Schlemazel says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    When the Pope decreed the Gregorian replace the Julian there were riots & people were killed. One of the ‘problems’ was that there were a couple of ‘lost’ months because they needed to catch up to the actual world’s place in time. But people felt that the stuff their grandparents lived with must have been decreed by god almighty and not tampered with by mortal man. Back in the 70s I knew some farmers who felt that way about daylight savings time.

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    I swear.. law enforcement.. just be waiting, scoop him up and put him on an airplane to the Special Counsel.

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    I’m just going to whine about this one more time- small dollar donations are great but the “raising” is only half the equation.

    Campaigns will stay the same as long as we spend the money the same way. They’re horrible. People hate them. We could have campaigns people don’t hate. Maybe. Maybe not, but we could try. We could have campaigns where we hire a lot of lower level people instead of paying the people at the top a ton and the people at the bottom nothing. People might hate it slightly less if some of the people talking to them had some connection to their communities.

    We could do it differently than Republicans. Because if we just take all the same dollar donations and pour them into something that looks exactly like a big dollar campaign we haven’t “revolutionized” anything- we’re just funding the same horrible system.

    I read that Clinton’s campaign was averse to spending money because she ended up with so much campaign debt after the last race, but it isn’t about “saving” money- people not ordering flowers or using cabs or whatever. It’s about pushing money down and having a much bigger bottom rung, because getting our voters out is labor intensive. I feel like we run campaigns like this because we have adopted the bad parts of US business culture- where managers are (allegedly) “geniuses” or “superstars” and no one pays attention to the entire bottom rung (if one even exists) and it’s a bad culture!

    Bernies campaign, the supposedly “revolutionary” campaign, collected all those small dollar donations and then dumped them into the same consultants and media purchases. That’s not revolutionary.

    Trump’s campaign wouldn’t be a model either, because God knows what was going on there- something about the Mercers and Facebook and Russians…? No one knows, but most of us are pretty sure it was sleazy and probably illegal.

    But there has to be a different way to do this and liberals are supposedly creative (not me, but I have heard that this is true) so liberals should at least try to come up with something less conventional. Arguably there is MORE of a responsibility to do something better with small donor money since most of them can barely afford these donations.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Ken says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    it’s long past time to have a unified worldwide Islamic calendar based on calculation.

    Does Islam have a process for everyone to get together and agree on that?

    Christianity technically does, in the form of church councils, but they aren’t held any more. That’s one reason the Eastern Orthodox churches still use the Julian calendar for religious holidays.

  49. 49
    Schlemazel says:

    My Congressman, the honorable Mr. Ellison, posted “Mubarak Ramadan” on his fb page yesterday. About 90% of the response were warm wishes. The other 10% were gutter trash which is really disappointing but to be expected when the media and the gop have spent the last 20 years demonizing Islam (and far too many Dems have ‘politely’ remained silent).

    The act blue notice is encouraging

  50. 50
    Kay says:


    It’s a real party. My daughter is funny because she isn’t really “political” – she’s a reliable voter but it’s just not a huge interest of hers in terms of horserace. But she is liberal, in sort of the broadest sense of the term, so a candidate who is very liberal would get her attention. I give her credit because she pays attention to local races- library levies, public transportation, boring things. I noticed the “Summer” signs the last time I was there because it’s a young person’s name and as candidates get younger their first names sound younger. First names can be an indicator of age, as I’m sure you know. More “Conner’s and fewer “Pauls”- like that.

  51. 51

    @Schlemazel: I still feel that way about daylight savings time.

  52. 52
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Will he spend his time in county or state accommodations? County lock ups are sooo…. Luxurious. That’s the word I’m looking for.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @Kay: Someone needs to be successful at this strategy before it will be widely adopted. People are resistant to change because trying something new is seen as reckless if it doesn’t work.

  54. 54
    Kay says:


    Absolutely and I agree – they would be rightfully risk-averse- so someone should try it in a governors race. Has to be big enough to do a real test and those are (mostly) in state so you wouldn’t have to counteract national media with anything.

    Something has to change anyway. It can’t just get more and more expensive forever and yet stay exactly the same.

  55. 55
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    When the Pope decreed the Gregorian replace the Julian…

    And I will swear with my dying breath that the Papal Astronomers set it up with the full knowledge and intent that the first full moon of the 2nd Millennium would be a Blood Moon.

    We had a hell of a party that night.

  56. 56

    @rikyrah: That’s what it says on my sample ballot.

  57. 57
    Schlemazel says:

    Back in the 50s and 60s out Congressman would hold “coffee parties”. Someone would invite 10-12 people to their house for coffee & cookies and to meet the Congressman. This was a really good way to connect with voters on a personal level but since he could only go to a limited number of these things I am not sure how practical it would be even for a Congressional race these days let alone a state-wide one.

    We had huge success in 04 through the door knocking & GOtV efforts funded by Move On. Didn’t unseat the COnnecticut Cowboy but we flipped the state senate and put the fear of god into Erik Paulson for a cycle. Those efforts are very expensive & take a lot of people committed to the cause. We might pull that off this year but it has not shown itself to be sustainable.

  58. 58
    mai naem mobile says:

    Anybody see the story about Amazon’s NDA with cities and states where Amazon gets to keep the state income tax of their employees.WTF? It isn’t enough that they get incentives to come to town in the form of no or decreased property and sales taxes but whats the point of them keeping the income tax when that’s one of the big reasons you have the company come in. Ofcourse these are NDA agreements. How is that even legal? Let’s not forget Amazons a good reason for local retail going out of business.

  59. 59
    Baud says:

    @mai naem mobile: Do you have a link? That does not seem right.

    The tax thing is a common feature of these incentive programs, I think.

  60. 60
    Amir Khalid says:

    There is the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which has 57 member states and sees itself at the collective voice of the Muslim world. If anyone can take on a job as big as calendrical reform, it’s them. Getting them to see the need, or to overcome the weight of centuries of traditional practice, will be a problem, though.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    Yes, MSM, why are you asking this of Democratic candidates?😕

  62. 62
    Kay says:


    It would actually be a return to a more traditional model- all those “precinct captains” that people romanticize are just a low level workforce. Don’t “run it like a business” or “run it like a business” but don’t run it like the US business conventional model.

    Not having to make a profit should be freeing- it shouldn’t be constraining. It isn’t “flowers and expensive hotel rooms” are the problem. It’s hiring people who order flowers and stay in expensive hotel rooms and devoting all the resources to them. If it’s a labor intensive enterprise, and it is, the biggest expense should be labor and not managers. Invest in that. In them. What the Mercers tried to do is automate that outreach and they did it, once, by the skin of their teeth and with a lot of help from national media. There’s a more resilient model for labor intensive, human-centered enterprises – paying actual people. It’s a longer term approach. Imagine if you hired a lower level organizer in Pittsburgh – a Pittsburgh lifer- and they did a campaign length (even part time gig) – then you could go back and hire that person AGAIN and they would be very valuable.

    They way we run campaigns doesn’t fit with our supposed values. It could! People might like it, too, instead of sighing and dreading these horrible campaigns they could be like “so and so came to see us about X candidate and we know so and so because she came last time”.

  63. 63
    Amir Khalid says:

    They could go by the time in Makkah, not just for fasting during Ramadhan but also for daily prayers year round, and many do. Or the time in some other place of their choosing. The issue has also come up for Muslim astronauts in orbit, and I understand they go by this approach. I wonder what they will come up with for a Muslim in a lunar base, or on a Mars expedition.

  64. 64
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: You know the answer.

    @Kay: You probably need a way to bring in fresh blood every so often.

    As I’ve said before, we’ve been hurt by the loss of party machines, labor unions, and Dem churches, from a standpoint of local organization.

  65. 65
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    County accommodations, and there is a crowding issue with some inmates occasionally sleeping on the floor or in older facilities kept barely functional to handle overflow (state money is scant here, and Louisville only gets back 50 cents on every dollar sent to Frankfort – population has increased by at least 20% since the newest facility was built). Our inmate population tends to consist of ordinary decent criminals, and there’s not as much of a hideous racial climate here as exists elsewhere.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    The latest on what they’re doing with migrant children 😠😠😠

    Remember, they have lost 1500 children already

  67. 67
    Kay says:


    Right- it’s an old idea, and campaigns and candidates are always all for it, because they don’t do any of the work or pay for any of it. I think they should devote real money to it. Take it seriously, in the same way they take their ad consultants seriously.

    It’s an asset that adds value. The person who is paid to organize the coffee parties will get better at it. The list of people they know will get longer and longer. They never have to leave Pittsburgh! Hire them there.

    Part of the reason the “Democratic machines” worked is there was a benefit for the organizers. They got money for their neighborhoods or actual public sector jobs. So that’s prone to corruption and it’s bad government practice so instead just pay them with campaign funds.

  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    Your Attorney General White Citizens Council, folks 😠😠😠

  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    County accommodations

    Oh goody. He gets to spend his time counting flies on the wall.

  70. 70
    Amir Khalid says:

    As I recall (yes, I was around at the time) the issue — or an issue, at any rate — was that at that point in the Julian calendar there had been eleven more February the 29ths than in the Gregorian, because the latter changed the rules for determining leap years; eleven days had to be subtracted to compensate. People rioted in the streets demanding those eleven days back.

  71. 71
    Steeplejack says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    Anybody see the story about Amazon’s NDA with cities and states where Amazon gets to keep the state income tax of their employees. WTF?

    WTF indeed! Isn’t the income tax paid by the employee, not the employer? How does Amazon get to “keep” that?


    Yeah, I’d like to see a link on that too.

  72. 72
    Kay says:


    I just cringe when I see the “fellowships” offered by big D campaigns. What is this thinking? You have to pay people for their work. The idea behind this is you don;t have to pay young people for working for a year? Are they all independently wealthy?

    They have a BILLION DOLLARS to spend! They can’t pay employees?

    If some middle or lower income young person asks me if they should take a “fellowship” or take a private sector job that pays I’m telling them to take the job because…they need to get paid. Like everyone else. We took the absolute worst of modern US “business” and made it the model for our campaigns. In service businesses that involve direct contact with people the biggest expense is employees. There’s a reason for that. They ARE the business.

  73. 73
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    As I understand it, there is no gymnasium, no real library outside of some statute books, no yard and the meals are cold bologna sandwiches, chips and a packaged cookie 3X a day. Just lots of TV to fight over, along with some sex if you’re in to that sort of thing (the guards are pretty good at keeping a lid on unwanted sex).

  74. 74
    Kay says:


    Democrats could say “we really value working people- we value them so much we’re willing to pay them”

    I don’t know when these two concepts got disconnected- work + pay. Those are connected. Put them back together again. Then we can be pro-work AND pro-worker.

  75. 75
    Schlemazel says:

    I have not heard of a fellowship on any campaign I have worked on (maybe I am in the dark?). I agree that they could pay local organizers but one problem that could be encountered is people only doing it for the cash. There is much to be said for people doing it out of commitment. it is particularly stupid to spend big bucks on those consultants, none of whom have ever demonstrated an ability to ensure success.

    Too few of the pols come from the working class background needed to understand that concept I am afraid.

  76. 76
    Schlemazel says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I would not mind 11 more Fridays!

  77. 77
    Kay says:


    I’m on a school committee and it was “thank a teacher” week and I was so cranky! Thanking is nice, I think it has to be individual to have any meaning- I’m not really “thanking” horrible teachers- but instead of doing all this “thanking” how about we treat them like adult peers and pay them? We’re not going to gratitude them off the picket line, and isn’t it a little elitist, how some people get “thanks” and other people get paid? There’s no “thank a banker” week, I have noticed, although they’ll probably buy one.

  78. 78
    rikyrah says:

    Prosecuted for a crime he didn’t commit 😠 at the age of 14!!!

  79. 79
    Schlemazel says:

    Those union thugs? Hell we can’t afford to pay them & besides my kids don’t go to school so why should I pay more for it?

    Everyone, even bankers, like to be recognized so “thank a teacher” is not a bad thing in and of itself. But, combined with an unwillingness to compensate them, an inability to maintain discipline in the classroom so that they can do their job and the blatant disrespect of much of the community (parents above all others) makes any thanks pretty hollow.

  80. 80
    Kay says:


    There is much to be said for people doing it out of commitment. it is particularly stupid to spend big bucks on those consultants, none of whom have ever demonstrated an ability to ensure success.

    Okay, but there are plenty of committed people who also get paid. We accept that in the real world- “she’s a wonderful nurse, very committed to patient care, oh and by the way we also pay her and she often asks for more pay and that doesn’t get her a demerit on the ‘commitment” measure”. I hope. Although with nurses it probably would because there would be a whole group of assholes who would say “but you LOVE your patients!” That’s about good hires, not the system of pay for work.

  81. 81
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    there is no gymnasium, no real library outside of some statute books, no yard and the meals are cold bologna sandwiches, chips and a packaged cookie 3X a day. Just lots of TV to fight over,

    TV???? Wow, you Kentuckians sure are generous. But yeah, county lock ups are very austere, to say the least. They don’t have a whole lot of money and even less incentive to treat their inmates like human beings instead of like cattle in a feed lot. They are generally holding people too poor to afford bail and awaiting trial (or denied bail) or serving sentences for the more minor felonies. They suck donkey dick. Which is one of the reasons people will plead guilty to something they didn’t do and that the state can’t possibly prove, just so they can get the fuck out of that soul sucking Hell.

  82. 82
    Kay says:


    I agree on parents. I have a whole different view of parents now, and I am one. We’re bad. We’re the problem. One of the problems. But for some reason no one is allowed to say that.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    Baud says:


    There’s no “thank a banker” week

    I believe that’s what Election Day 2016 was.

  85. 85
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: But we’d probably get stuck with Mondays.

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    @mai naem mobile: Thanks, but I don’t see anything about NDAs there. That’s what confused me.

  87. 87
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

  88. 88
    Kay says:


    We can talk about money without violating our sacred civic norms. Patronage jobs are just money in a different form. Patronage jobs were bad, but a straight transparent transaction – pay for working on campaigns- isn’t bad, it’s good!

    We’re pro-work and pro-pay :)

  89. 89
    MomSense says:


    They lost 1,500 children! This is one of the most terrifying, despicable things we have ever done. And it’s barely getting a mention on tv news.

  90. 90
    Barry says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: “ I always wondered what folk in the extreme northern and southern latitudes do for Ramadan when there is no night.”

    They’ll follow the nearest city which does have night, or base it on Mecca (I think).

  91. 91
    Dnfree says:

    @Kay: Hear, hear! Big campaigns buy ads, and people get sick of ads. Adding internet buys to TV buys is not innovative.

  92. 92
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I have mixed feelings. I don’t know if I can afford to pay you guys.

  93. 93
    Kay says:


    People on election boards in Ohio get state health insurance. They’re civic boosters, sure, but they’re also getting paid.

    I’m for that.

  94. 94
    Kay says:


    OMG, Dnfree, I found one! An agree-er. You and me, Bud. Revolutions have to start somewhere :)

  95. 95
    Schlemazel says:

    Yes but there are some truly awful people who are in their job, doing it half-assed, simply for the money. In a temporary, ad hoc organization like a political campaign there is not enough time to weed out the bad ones. I agree that they should be paying low level staffers and even compensating volunteers at some level but it is not simple or easy

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    White House urges support for House farm bill
    BY JOHN BOWDEN – 05/15/18 06:20 PM EDT

    The White House on Tuesday issued a statement urging support of the House GOP’s version of the 2018 farm bill, which has struggled to attract enough support to pass.

    In a statement from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the White House praises the bill’s work requirements for food stamp recipients, declaring a commitment to “ending dependency and promoting work.”

    “By including strong work requirements for able-bodied participants in SNAP, H.R. 2 takes a major step toward the President’s vision of welfare reform,” the statement reads.

    The statement was issued a few hours after Trump visited the Capitol, where he had lunch with Senate Republicans and huddled with House Republican leaders on immigration.

    The release goes on to highlight the bill’s elimination of the Conservation Stewardship Plan, a federal program that encourages farmers to work with the government on conservation efforts for worked land.

  97. 97
    Steeplejack says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    According to The Chicago Reader, employees would still pay the full taxes; but instead of Illinois receiving the money to use for civic infrastructure, Amazon would get to pocket it.

    The result is that Amazon workers would essentially pay taxes to their own company. The practice is known as personal income-tax diversion, according to a 2012 report from Good Jobs First (GJF), a research organization critical of many corporate subsidies. It’s unclear how Amazon would spend the funds if it chooses to build HQ2 in Chicago.

    Jeez. Words fail.

  98. 98
    rikyrah says:

    Bad day for Manafort as judge points out his deep Russia ties

    Rachel Maddow catches up on the day’s news, including a ruling by a judge who not only rejected former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s bid to have charges dismissed, but also pointed out just how deep and long Manafort’s ties to Russia run, making the charges he faces from Robert Mueller particularly relevant

  99. 99
    Schlemazel says:

    The woman foolish enough to marry me worked in an elementary school for 20+ years and can testify that it is getting worse. Not only are some parents unwilling to discipline their children they insist that the school does not try to either. As class sizes blossomed from 22 up to 32 kids it only take 4-5 problem children to end the education for the whole room. She had 3rd graders telling her “What are you gonna do about it?” and, of course, the kids parents were exactly what you would expect.

  100. 100
    Schlemazel says:

    NO! The Fridays would replace 11 Mondays!!! They would be followed by a Tuesday-Wednesday weekend!

  101. 101
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Good to hear. Assange is a fascist. Look at who he supports and who he’s against. The Left was snookered by him initially but should have woken up by now. At the very least, he’s a Russian tool.

  102. 102
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    I hear there’s a vibrant drug trade that occupies time (but also inspires some spirited disputes among entrepreneurs both inside and on the street). Supply comes in via crap ass vending delivery and paid off, low pay guards.

    Were it up to me, I’d supply unlimited cheap beer and have smoking pads to keep them occupied and content.

  103. 103
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @rikyrah: How can they “lose” children? Why isn’t this a huge scandal? Not normal

  104. 104
    Kay says:


    It is really hard. Our school hired a whole level of “aides” to work one on one with behavior problem kids, because it is absolutely true that all the other students suffer when there are 3 really disruptive kids. I’m on this committee so I knew my son was in one of the high maitenance classes in 6th grade (he’s not badly behaved) – I knew it because his room had 2 aides. I was apprehensive about it because you’re essentially risking that year for your kid hoping that the really needy kids get what they need so don’t ruin it for everyone else. It worked fine. It’s a random assignment so it’s fair. We’re lucky because we have this pool of retired teachers who will pick up the aide jobs part-time so we’re getting really good people cheap. They’re not relying on this as basic income.

    It still costs less than smaller classes (which I’m convinced are the key) because it essentially gives the teacher support staff- “hires” to manage. Part of it comes from admitting that some kids DO need more, instead of insisting on a really dumb version of equity that says they’re all the same. They’re not and it doesn’t help them to pretend they are. Don’t exclude difficult kids- add staff.

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    ‘Poor People’s Campaign’ rallies at capitals across U.S.

    Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, talks with Joy Reid the issues behind a revived effort to bring attention to impoverished Americans amid a political leadership riven with greed and untethered to morality.

  106. 106
    rikyrah says:

    Qatari admission on Trump outreach presents new dots to connect

    Rachel Maddow explains an unusual story in which a Hollywood colleague of Steve Bannon says he was told by a Qatari who is a co-investor in a fledgeling 3-on-3 basketball league that he paid money to Mike Flynn, a story that might not mean anything if the Qatari in question didn’t subsequently admit to meeting with Trump transition officials in December. Jed Shugerman, law professor at Fordham University, offers his best guess at how the dots connect.

  107. 107
    Schlemazel says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    They are waiting till the Dems are in charge again & then it will be a scandal and further proof the government can’t do anything so more Republicans are needed.

  108. 108
    rikyrah says:

    Federal lawsuit accuses Obama center organizers of pulling an ‘institutional bait and switch’
    By Tony Briscoe

    A federal lawsuit filed by a Chicago nonprofit in an attempt to block the Obama Presidential Center from being built in Jackson Park accuses organizers of pulling an “institutional bait and switch” by shifting the center’s purpose away from being a true presidential library.

    Protect Our Parks Inc. also claims in its lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court on Monday, that the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago don’t have the authority to transfer public parkland to nongovernmental entity such as the Obama Foundation.

    It has long been expected that the Park District would sell the land to the city for a nominal amount and the city would enter into a long-term lease with the Obama Foundation. The lawsuit, which also names three Chicago-area residents as plaintiffs, argues that such a maneuver would violate state law and represents “a short con shell game, a corrupt scheme to deceive and seemingly legitimize an illegal land grab.”

    “The City and Park District clearly realize and fully understand that this established law precludes the Park District from arbitrarily transferring possession, use and control of this dedicated ‘open, clear and free’ public parkland in Jackson Park to a private nongovernmental … entity’s self-determined use,” the complaint says.

    The plaintiffs accuse the Obamas of committing an about-face on original plans for the Jackson Park site to be home to a national presidential library that would hold historic documents and archives from Barack Obama’s presidency under the National Archives and Records Administration’s supervision.

  109. 109
    Kay says:


    Rev Barber is probably happy today. NC teachers are striking. I didn’t think they’d go- it’s SUCH a far Right government but they are going.

  110. 110
    rikyrah says:

    Secret CIA torture report kept from senators ahead of Haspel vote

    Rachel Maddow explains that in addition to his report on the destruction of videotapes of CIA torture interrogations, John Durham issued a second report on whether anyone lied in the course of the investigation. Given the likelihood that the second report is relevant to Gina Haspel, Democrats are asking to see it before they vote on Haspel’s nomination to lead the CIA.

  111. 111
    Kay says:

    The general counsel for Swiss drugmaker Novartis has resigned, the company announced Wednesday, over his role in a consulting contract with President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney that has wrapped the company up in U.S. federal investigations.
    Novartis’ CEO has previously acknowledged that “we made a mistake” in paying Trump attorney Michael Cohen $1.2 million as part of a yearlong contract aimed at understanding how the president might approach healthcare policy in the U.S. On Wednesday, Novartis general counsel Felix Ehrat said he would resign, effective next month.

    Odd that he’s resigning over involving the company in such a nothingburger investigation. National media told me this was just like K Street! No one resigns for hiring lobbyists.

  112. 112
    Schlemazel says:

    Mrs worked with kids with emotion based disabilities. She started off teaching them on on one but the last few years she mostly had to babysit in the classroom & some rooms had 3 ‘handlers’ because each child needed their own. During that time she was physically attacked on at least 4 separate occasions including being hit with a metal drawer that damaged her knee and requires regular treatments and knocked down stairs fracturing a bone in her shoulder. Not one of those 4 kids was disciplined in any way, not removed from the school or class setting. One was eventually placed in a ‘self contained’ educational unit at a district facility equipped to handle that level of effort. She was expressly forbidden from stopping any bad behavior so her charges were free to do as they felt. One was “a runner’ that would wonder the halls & enter unlocked classrooms (most teachers kept their doors locked because there were several kids like this) and wonder around classrooms disrupting class, drawing on walls, dumping things on the floor etc. They would usually try to lose their handler & often left the building. When they did adults were not allowed to try to corral them but had to call the police – THATS a great use of their time & valuable lesson to the kid. The inmates OWNED the asylum.

    I am going back to work tomorrow but still recovering. going back to bed now – all you jakles have a great day

  113. 113
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Kay: this was my biggest issue as Vice Chair of a county Democratic party. I come from the business world, you pay people, good people more, to retain them. Only the state party officers and staff were paid, everyone else had to donate their time and money (driving 2.5 hours each way to state meetings 1-4x a year isn’t cheap). That’s not how you build a long term,successful operation.

    It is my opinion state and county parties should pay their officers and major staff, and should pay reasonably well. Organizers and trainers should be paid very well to keep them local and engaged. And state legislators should get paid well AND be paid travel expenses as they have to travel frequently between their district and the state capitol.

    Siphon 10% of the tv and consultant budget across the entire party. Spread it out. Invest in local communities everywhere so that we build a large new cohort of local then county then state then national Democratic leaders.

  114. 114
    Jeffro says:

    Man, that Paul Waldman piece yesterday – once posted on my FB page – sure brought the RWNJs out of the woodwork!

    (piece: Why Democrats Can’t Win the “Respect” of Trumpov Voters“)

    [the perception of Democratic disrespect] doesn’t come from the policies advocated by the Democratic Party, and it doesn’t come from the things Democratic politicians say. Where does it come from? An entire industry that’s devoted to convincing white people that liberal elitists look down on them.

    It’s more than an industry, actually; it’s an industry, plus a political movement. The right has a gigantic media apparatus that is devoted to convincing people that liberals disrespect them, plus a political party whose leaders all understand that that idea is key to their political project and so join in the chorus at every opportunity.

    If you doubt this, I’d encourage you to tune in to Fox News or listen to conservative talk radio for a week. When you do, you’ll find that again and again you’re told stories of some excess of campus political correctness, some obscure liberal professor who said something offensive, some liberal celebrity who said something crude about rednecks or some Democratic politician who displayed a lack of knowledge of a conservative cultural marker. The message is pounded home over and over: They hate you and everything you stand for.

    So…a smattering of RWNJ commentary back at me here:
    – “oh yeah, Fox is SOOO biased and CNN, MSLSD*, the Com-Post, the NY Slimes, and more aren’t?”
    – “they won’t cut Trump a break…he freed three American hostages and the liberal media is like, ‘and now back to Russian collusion’…gimme a break!”
    – “all they want is to keep putting on Stormy Daniels to lie about Trump…and she’ll do anything for money”
    (and it kept going downhill from there…)

    Why yes, the commenters all are fellow GenX white male Reagan babies, why do you ask?

    Anyway, I just reminded them that their fear and anger make them susceptible to Fox’s lies & manipulations, and that they’ll figure it out eventually. (They won’t, of course, but it feels good leaving them confused like that)

  115. 115
    rikyrah says:

    Trump’s concern for sanctions-violating Chinese firm bewilders

    Rachel Maddow reports on the litany of penalties imposed on Chinese firm ZTE, in part for violating sanctions against Iran and North Korea, making Donald Trump’s concern for the company’s jobs and well-being hard to understand.

  116. 116
    rikyrah says:

    Trump backs Chinese firm despite security issues, sanctions break

    Rep. Adam Schiff talks with Rachel Maddow about Donald Trump’s inexplicable reversal of policy on a Chinese firm despite compelling reasons for punishments imposed by the U.S. on the company.

  117. 117
    rikyrah says:

    New candidates aim to break up Pennsylvania political fraternity

    Rachel Maddow points out that all of Pennsylvania’s elected officials are men, a fact that a new wave of candidates hope to change, beginning with today’s primary elections.

  118. 118
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: North Carolina has a marvelous Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, the former Attorney General. But you are right — throwback GOP legislature with disproportionate power; the folks who brought you the bathroom bill and have trashed a once far better state.

  119. 119
    catclub says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: wouldn’t the first full moon of the second millenium be in either 1000 or 1001?

  120. 120
    rikyrah says:

    But his emails: EPA’s Pruitt faces yet another investigation
    05/16/18 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen


    Once Pruitt took the reins at the EPA, he returned to his old ways, utilizing four separate email accounts, and as of yesterday, the agency’s inspector general has decided this is worthy of closer scrutiny. The Associated Press reported:

    Inspector General Arthur Elkins said in a letter released Tuesday that his office will review the matter, the latest in a series of federal investigations of Pruitt’s travel, security and spending and other issues.

    The request for the email investigation came from Democratic Sens. Tom Carper of Delaware and Jeffrey Merkley of Oregon. Carper released a copy of the IG’s response.

    The senators asked the IG to review whether Pruitt was complying with federal law and EPA policy when using multiple email accounts and whether all accounts are searched when responding to Freedom of Information Act requests.

  121. 121
    J R in WV says:

    @Mary G:

    Some of us are subject matter experts – others are just deluded about our expertise. With me, it varies depending upon the subject being discussed. I have some experience, some edumacation, I even read a lot… but that don’t make me a grammarian, at all.

    I recognize proper speech structure when I see it, or improper for that matter, but I can’t name the participles or gerunds of a given piece of speech at all, unlike wife who knows a past participle gerund (sic) when she meets one.

  122. 122
    Kay says:

    @Alain the site fixer:

    I think they don’t do it because the campaign industrial complex is kind of a racket, and a few people are making a lot of money off it.

    But it repels and disgusts voters, so it should change. ESPECIALLY with small dollar donors because we have to keep a whole bunch of donors happy instead of 5 big ones.

    It doesn’t have to be this bad. We shouldn’t have campaigns where people are like “oh, my God, all these people are horrible and I do not want them coming to my door or into my house ever again

    Surely that’s not a requirement. We can’t go anywhere but up. It’s rock bottom. We could do something other than flooding them with campaign ads. They don’t like that. Let’s try something they might like better. Maybe they’d feel better about their government if campaigns weren’t such awful, cynical, cash-soaked rackets.

  123. 123
    J R in WV says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Many years ago I was hired by a friend into a challenging software position – he was a converted Muslim and always fasted. But he also had serious asthma, once I went into his office and he was face down on his desk, and when I roused him, he didn’t make any sense. I called his wife, and she came to get him and take him to his specialist – he was pasty gray which was a trick for an African-American. I was seconds from dialing 9-1-1, which I did another time for another guy who worked for me.

    I always encouraged him to pay attention to his health during the Ramadan fast, not that I made much difference. But the call to fast makes specific allowances for the very young, the very old, and the ill. So take care, you Internet friend, and keep in touch. We need to to tell us about The Girl and Sister and your feats of R&R!

  124. 124
    Origuy says:

    @Amir Khalid: A major reason for the riots was that rents were calculated by the month, while incomes of most people were by the day or week. If you were a craftsman, you had 11 fewer days (excluding Sundays) to make the money to pay your rent, which didn’t change.

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