Thursday Afternoon Open Thread

Here’s a limpkin looking for apple snails by the river’s edge:

It got a big honking snail a few minutes before I took this shot and scurried off into the vegetation with it. I saw a pair of limpkins near this spot escorting some downy younglings along the bank a few days back. The little ones looked exactly like mallard ducklings, only with extra-long necks. Anyhoo, I suspect it is hustling for snails to feed the family.

This is the greatest spot for birding I’ve even been in, let alone lived in. That same limpkin was foraging next to three other species earlier: a little blue heron, an ibis and a tricolored heron.

Last night when we were sitting on the porch, we kept hearing barred owls calling all around us, and then one swooped down right across our field of vision in pursuit of a small critter that was shrieking in terror. I think the prey got away, but it was very close.

It’s a bit chilly here today by our standards — lows in the mid-40s and highs in the low 60s. The mister works outdoors, so I’m making pot roast to knock the chill off. (I’ve forgiven him for forgetting my Pepcid the other day.)

What’s going on in your neck of the woods? Any predictions on which shoe will drop next off the Trump-Russia millipede? Feel free to discuss whatever — open thread!

139 replies
  1. 1
    jl says:

    I dunno. In the last place, magic animals would come out of the enchanted swamp to give tribute to Lady Cracker.
    Here, so far, it’s just vicious critters eating each other. But if Cracker is OK with it, fine I guess.

    OTOH, when I was a real little kid, I vaguely remember an old movie on TV where Walter Brennen (?) and a little kid wandered too far into the boonies, and the trees started telling them ‘tooooo faarrrrrr….tooooo faaarrrrr…” I don’t remember what the damned thing was abou, other than thatt.

  2. 2
    oldster says:

    “Here’s a limpkin looking for apple snails…”

    You made that up, right? “Here’s a frazzwot hunting the elusive fizzlemop…”

    Limpkin? Apple snails? Sure. We can all play that game.

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    I have run out of Thanksgiving leftovers so now I have to figure out what the hell to eat tonight. Maybe cereal. Seeing as how we’re in for a few days of 80 F highs (spit), not much of a mind to cook anything.

  4. 4

    What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

    Fire has turned into rivers of mud! If we had only raked, if only…

    ETA: And I have to take the Prius to the dealer cause the ‘check engine’ light came on yesterday on my way back from Costco.

  5. 5
    J R in WV says:

    I’m not saying what happens next, or when it happens, but what I’m hoping for is the NRA is totally owned, along with Mitch McConnell and his sidekicks in the Senate. Even if not actually indicted, merely glued to Russian dirty money funneled thru the NRA to a vast number of Republicans.

    While many Rs and Trumpists don’t find Russian mobsters a big deal, I think there are enough Americans who would be violently upset to put those bastards out of politics forever. Hoping, anyhoo.

    Nice birds. Our barred owls could snatch a full grown chicken out of the cedar tree late at night. The wild game birds who left the flock / flew the coop.

  6. 6
    jl says:

    And remember, a cash deal is not the same thing as collusion. Trump really didn’t lie at all! Remember that, it will help you figure out the Fox News coverage over the next week or so.

  7. 7
    Mandalay says:

    Enough of the diversions. We need to get back to the real issues of the day: Benghazi, a 10% tax cut for the middle class and caravan leprosy.

  8. 8
    jacy says:

    @Corner Stone:

    We have likewise run out of leftovers and I seem to have lost the desire to cook so it’s corndogs all around tonight! (There is one piece of sweet potato pie I hid, unless one of the boys found it…….)

  9. 9
    Yarrow says:

    Any predictions on which shoe will drop next off the Trump-Russia millipede?

    No, but he’s canceled all his meetings at the G20 and will probably be holed up in his hotel room watching cable and rage-tweeting just like he did in France. So I expect things will be sort of interesting.

  10. 10
    jl says:

    @oldster: Out here on the Left Coast, I just saw a Voracious Honking Uberass consume a Common Chunky Hipster. Fine with me. The Common Chunky Hipster is becoming an invasive pest out here..

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    Limpkin? That sounds like something out of Dr. Seuss.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    @Yarrow: ” he’s canceled all his meetings at the G20 ”
    Seriously? Is that true?

    Rare, but sometimes observed, behavior of the Vulgar Chickenshit when in extreme distress.

  13. 13


    What a great bird name! Was unaware of that.

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    So, bin Salman* and Erdoğan both in attendance in Buenos Aires portends an unseasonal chill in the air. Protocol people who draw up seating charts must be pulling their hair out.

    *hat (or rather keffiyeh) in hand, too.

    In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s own efforts to attract foreign direct investment are foundering. Foreign direct investment in Saudi Arabia is at its lowest level as a proportion of GDP since 2002 (0.3 percent of GDP). The government has been slow to move forward with a number of planned privatizations, and the opportunities for shared projects seem often crowded out by new state-owned companies picked up by the ever-expanding Public Investment Fund.

    It is really saying something when Egypt was the largest beneficiary of foreign direct investment in the Middle East and North Africa in the first half of 2018. Four billion USD of direct investment from foreigners has found a home in Egypt in the first half of 2018, more than double the amount to Saudi Arabia. This is up 9 percent from last year and equivalent to 1.6 percent of Egypt’s GDP, according to research by JP Morgan. There is capital literally waiting to find investment opportunity in the region, and it seems to prefer the relative stable chaos of Egypt to that of wealthy Gulf states. Source

    Trump-Russia millipede

    Or is that gigapede?

  15. 15
    Betty Cracker says:

    @jl: The local frogs have already made a few overtures. But I do miss the white squirrels at the old place. None spotted here yet, but perhaps they’re still migrating north to join us.

    @oldster: Ha!

  16. 16
    Corner Stone says:


    The Common Chunky Hipster is becoming an invasive pest out here..

    There’s no vaccine for them. From recent reporting I understand they have infected both coasts. Thrift stores and second hand shops detail widespread upticks in the sale of porkpie and trilby hats. One hipster in TriBeCa was said to be recorded as saying, “Damn you, this is my Uber! Don’t you know I’m from San Francisco!” on his way to a coffee shop to commune with other hipster writers.

  17. 17
    trollhattan says:

    Yup, pissing rain up north as well. Camp Fire is truly out but they now have to sift through muck for bones. Lovely to contemplate.

    In what was once a normal fall we’d have had two or three big storms in October, ending fire season until next summer. Funny how we seldom see those now.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    Speaking of birds, Yarrow put up a pretty interesting link late in the previous thread. Guy who owns a white dove-releasing business in Huntington Beach, CA (weddings, funerals, etc.) started making threats against a customer.

    Flap over funeral doves prompts arrest of California man, seizure of cache of guns and Nazi paraphernalia

    Mitchell Todd, 51, was arrested at his home in Huntington Beach after he allegedly threatened a man who hired him to release white doves at his son’s funeral, Sgt. Jim Cota of the Laguna Beach Police Department told ABC News on Wednesday.

    In a voicemail to the victim, Todd allegedly said, “I think it’s time for you to go where your son went,” according to Cota.

    When police officers executed a search warrant on Todd’s home on Tuesday, they seized more than 50 guns, numerous rounds of ammunition, flags bearing the Nazi swastika, a Confederate flag and a picture of Adolf Hitler, Cota said.

    He said Todd has 12 guns registered to him.

    “So we need to figure out what the other 40-plus guns are doing in his possession and who they belong to and whether or not he’s even able to have them,” Cota said.

    Getting tired of these surf Nazi types.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    JPL says:

    @jl: First they came for the Common Chunky Hipster. and I did nothing. You had better be careful out there in the wilderness.

  21. 21
    jl says:

    @trollhattan: It is a few weeks later than usual compared to the ‘before times”, but at least we are getting a series of semi-cold and cold fronts now. So, late but at least feels like an olde-tymey Northern California winter. Better savor them while we still can.

  22. 22
    JanieM says:

    Heh, I’m sitting here in Maine looking out at the white world in the waning of the day, and I glanced at the picture at the top of the post and thought the bird was poking around in the snow. Then I realized it was a Betty Cracker post and knew that couldn’t be so. Love the bird pics — they always add some cheer to the day.

  23. 23
    NotMax says:


    Orange-bellied crapspouter?


  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    @jacy: I’m thinking getting takeout dumplings from a local Thai place. If I can’t muster the energy for that – HoneyNut Cheerios to the rescue.

  25. 25

    Afternoon break
    Last week I discovered Manjusha Kulkarni Patil, and I shared one of the abhangs sung by her.
    This is another one
    Bolava Vitthal, Pahava Vitthal ( Speak Vithhal, See Vitthal), singing starts at 2.34
    Varkaris sing and dance while walking from different parts of Maharashtra to Pandharpur on their semi annual pilgrimage. The entire Bhakti movement was an eclectic grassroots movement with people from all castes, walks of life, women as well as men, that arose that challenged the Brahminical hierarchies in the 13th century Maharashtra. They produced excellent corpus of literature mainly in the form of devotional songs sung to this day.
    This is abhang is written by Tukaram who was grocer by profession and one the most famous poets of the Bhakti pantheon along with Jnaneshwar who translated Geeta from Sanskrit. This version was composed by the late Kishori Amonkar.

  26. 26
    Mike in DC says:

    If I had to guess, the next shoe could be one of the following:
    1. Documentary or testimonial evidence of Trump’s contemporaneous knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting and/or the contacts with Wikileaks.
    2. Evidence of Russian laundering of money into the campaign and GOP war chests.
    3. More generally, the first wave of indictments of Americans who conspired with the Russians.

  27. 27
    jl says:

    Someday Cracker will probably get a plastic flamingo from some second hand shop and plant it in the mud outside her place and say it is a Flaming Frizzle scanning the horizon for Lesser Tidberry Gawks, looking to tear them apart and drink their blood.
    As if this blog needed another ethics scandal.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mike in DC: We better hope for audio related to #1. The other two will get buried in the ignorance of the average American, and go memory hole in 24 hours.

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    Well, it’s not as bone chillingly cold as the last several days, so that’s an improvement. And it’s supposed to hit the 50s at some point this weekend. That makes me happy.

    My John is making some kind of pork for dinner. We will finish off the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers by having the turkey and barley soup I made from the carcass for dinner tomorrow. Glad to be done with it and very glad my family does not “do” turkey for Christmas. Like all good people of British descent, we always have a nice beef rib roast with Yorkshire pudding for Christmas dinner.

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    We used to have a place that would deliver a pink flamingo flock to your yard (or the yard of an unsuspecting target) for events and such. If the Crackers didn’t live out in the waller beyond the sticks ordering up a Welcome to the Neighborhood flock would seem like right friendly thing to do.

  31. 31
    HeleninEire says:

    Have been waiting for an open thread. The American news today has been BOTZ crazy. I have news. Good news. I’m going back to NY permanently. The date is Jan 28. When I was back at the beginning of November I got so weepy. I love Dublin but I think I love NY (specifically Forest Hills, Queens) more.

    Also my Dad seemed so old. Its been almost 2 years since I’ve seen him and he has aged a lot. He has always been healthy, but 85 is 85.

    This adventure has been a gas. I will always treasure it. I will miss my Ireland friends. To a person they have been great.

    Also to you all who have been following me; I saw my sister Mary. She is fabulous and healthy. Thank the Goddess.

    See you at the NYC meet up.

    I suppose I need to change my nym. Maybe not yet.

  32. 32
    gwangung says:

    @geg6: Like a good Chinese American family, we tend to have both.

  33. 33
    CaseyL says:

    Not much happening in my neck of the woods. My 2009 (!) MacBook Pro is dying in fits and starts, and I’m having to decide if it’s possible to get one more repair/repatch on the old workhorse and keep it as a spare after buying a newer replacement.

  34. 34
    debit says:


    Like all good people of British descent, we always have a nice beef rib roast with Yorkshire pudding for Christmas dinner.

    French and German here, but same. Well, some years it’s popovers instead of the pudding.

    I was so sick of leftovers that I ended up having scrambled eggs and toast for dinner last night. I think the wretched remnants are going to be binned tonight.

  35. 35

    Oh, I’m heading up to Beacon this weekend to visit Samwise. That’ll be nice. Maybe I’ll submit an On The Road.

  36. 36

    We’ll eat in the restaurant here tonight. We have a food allowance to use there and at the end of the month, we have to use it up or lose it. We had so much left over this month that we also ordered 3 dozen cookies, a cheesecake, and a pecan pie to store in our freezer.

    In the meantime, I’m experimenting on Instagram, which is new for me thanks to Felony Govt, who helped me get started. Thank you!

  37. 37
    tarragon says:

    @Yarrow: All for real?

    It was 4 last time I read. At this point things are moving so fast that it could be all.

  38. 38
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Local theater is putting on “It’s A Wonderful Life” and the kid’s got a good role. Tonight’s dress rehearsal, and tomorrow, it’s showtime, folks!

  39. 39
    Dan B says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Ellen and Michelle’s curse lingers over Costco!

  40. 40

    @HeleninEire: I’ve enjoyed your adventure vicariously! I’m kind of sorry to see it end.

  41. 41
    NotMax says:


    Lager futures take unexpected drop. Film at 11.

    I suppose I need to change my nym

    Helen The Peripatetic.


  42. 42
    Aleta says:

    This is the greatest spot for birding I’ve even been in, let alone lived in.

    And we’ve lucked out with the photo rewards! The chickens alone were cool enough, but now ….

    I’m very happy for your bird riches. A rare piece of the older earth.

  43. 43
    Yarrow says:

    @jl: @tarragon: Well, he’s canceled meetings with Russia, Turkey and South Korea, so I don’t know if that’s “all” but it’s certainly heading in that direction.

  44. 44
    trollhattan says:

    @low-tech cyclist:
    Remember, in Trump’s America Mr. Potter is the hero.

  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    So… Laura Loomer, who I know is an alt-right crank on twitter who has been banned for twitter for that rare achievement of being too crudely racist even for AtJack, this person has handcuffed herself to the front door of twitter’s offices to protest the assault on her first amendment right to use that private company’s platform.

    Will Sommer @ willsommer
    Yes, Laura Loomer is wearing a yellow Jewish star to protest being banned from Twitter.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    HeleninEire says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Me too. But it has been grand. I have an Irish friend who just said “you’re not leaving” “Yes I am,” I said. I “have people at the airport” he said.

    I will be back. I love this country but mostly I love the people.

  48. 48
    Lapassionara says:

    @HeleninEire: Welcome home.

  49. 49
    Yarrow says:

    @HeleninEire: Oh, wow! That is big news! Do you get to keep your Irish citizenship? That might come in handy at some point.

    Welcome back to the fight. We are glad to have you back!

  50. 50
    HeleninEire says:

    @NotMax: Yes about those futures.

  51. 51
    Aleta says:

    @HeleninEire: That’s wonderful news!

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have a bit of a technology bleg:

    I have been forced to accept that my carpal tunnels are shit and I’m going to need to limit my typing. This is potentially a huge problem since I’m trying to jump-start a second career as a novelist.

    Is Dragon Dictation still the gold standard for Mac-based dictation software/hardware, or has something better come along since I last looked into it? If there’s something that would work with both a Mac and a Chromebook, that would be amazing.

  53. 53
    JPL says:

    @HeleninEire: When you are back stateside can we still screen your dates? NycHelene works.

  54. 54
    zhena gogolia says:


    You’re supposed to say, “Welcome back to the fight. This time I know our side will win.”

  55. 55
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    and a pecan pie to store in our freezer.

    I am not familiar with this concept of “storing” pecan pie. Can you elaborate? Does this mean you buy it, take it home, and do not eat it? How does that work?

  56. 56
    chris says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That’s hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That’s a beautiful train ride (you are taking the train, right?)

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yarrow: The only one he may keep is with Xi. But I would not rule out a cancellation there also.

  59. 59
    Elizabelle says:

    @HeleninEire: I hope you have a future on both sides of the pond!

    But listen to your heart. Your dad won’t be around forever, and you can see more of Mary.

    Can you get a job with an airline? How cool would that be! And Dublin will be there for you when you’re ready to head back, maybe for an extended stay.

  60. 60
    HeleninEire says:

    @Yarrow: Yes. My mother was born in Belfast. Even though that is the UK, the Republic of Ireland says that if you were born “on the island of Ireland” you are an Irish citizen. Even though my mom moved to the US at 21 and became an American citizen, Ireland says you cannot renounce your Irish citizenship. As her daughter I am a citizen of Ireland. Pretty awesome, yes?

  61. 61
    NotMax says:


    How do you say caravan in Celtic?


  62. 62
    Betty Cracker says:

    @HeleninEire: Wow! I’ve enjoyed your adventure vicariously too, but it sounds like you know in your heart where you truly belong, so I’m happy for you.

  63. 63
    trollhattan says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    My daughter considers pie the inferior dessert alternative. Am working on disowning her.

  64. 64

    @Gin & Tonic: We will certainly eat it over the next month, but it’s only the two of us and that’s a lot of sweets.

  65. 65
    jl says:

    @HeleninEire: Umm… how many generations back does that work? Asking for a friend.
    If goes back to great great grandpappies in 1850s, I’m… my friend is in!

  66. 66
    Chris Johnson says:

    @Yarrow: I could be wrong but this is my call.

    They’re already gone. They’re going directly to Russia and will never return.

    Trump gave his handler, Melania, a kiss as they boarded the plane. Bolton’s on there, someone said. Have you seen how Bolton looks in the presence of Putin? Did you notice they’ve got Trump and Melania and Jared and Ivanka on there?

    They are never coming back. Hope I’m wrong, would be fun to see them in court. I don’t think it’s happening. They’re going straight to Russia and will never leave. They’re going home. Vlad is well pleased, and this is exactly the moment to yank the rug out and watch the chaos in the US. Here’s hoping we have quick reflexes because this is where things get messy.

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: sounds like Alt right Lucy swallowed the key. Is there an Ethel who will help her look for it tomorrow?

    andrew kaczynski @ KFILE
    2m2 minutes ago
    Laura Loomer said she is getting cold and no longer has the key.

  68. 68
    p.a. says:

    @oldster: beat me to it.
    “Your bored out thermostat cracked and knocked the kiniffilin pin out of alignment.”

  69. 69
    Immanentize says:

    @HeleninEire: Damn! Just when my kid is applying to University of Dublin….

    But welcome back!

  70. 70
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    You hope you’re wrong?????

    For the record, I think you’re wrong, but I hope you’re not.

  71. 71
    Dan B says:

    Mid 50s here west of the Hudson and east of the Humptulips. Semi sunny so creamy orange girl kitteh has been in the back garden finding sunny but hides spots until her love, Fluffy Beast, joined her outside. Then she began prancing and dancing ( and rubbing up against the calm old gentlekat). The Beast had to beat a fast retreat inside, followed by Miss Peach in-love.

    Tomorrow the deluge returns followed by dry-ish mid forties dipping to freezing for the first time since January or so.

    Tried to get some support for our selfless underpaid climate scientists but the “accidental” CNN smear will prevail due to the OMG news landslide today. Can’t get any traction with my media contacts for some reason….

    Next time.

  72. 72
    p.a. says:

    @Gin & Tonic: medieval ascetic level self-abnegation

  73. 73
    noname says:

    @HeleninEire: Even through the intertubes I was getting a feeling that you were thinking about this…probably because I made the same decision this year for the same reasons…missing my birthplace and getting-along-in-years family. Best of luck to you.

  74. 74
    Dev Null says:

    @Mandalay: What, no Hillary email server?!?

    @JPL: meta-joke with the punch line “I’m from Oregon, where Californians are a dime a dozen, but I can get a nickel for this bottle.”

    Yes, I’m from the Right Coast, why do you ask?

    @CaseyL: no doubt you’ve already looked into this, but if not, you might check out or similar sites. In my experience ifixit’s recipes are mostly OK, although they don’t always warn you about mobos which pop SMT ICs when flexed even slightly, so don’t flex the mobo, not even slightly. And vacuum out the fans when you have the case open! er, after removing the battery etc and grounding everything in sight, of course.

    Also too, the user startup folder (I forget the name – found this when I “repaired” my daughter’s 2009 unibody MBP by replacing her hard drive with an SSD) can cause you a world of grief. And max out the RAM … but depending on just when your MBP was released, chances are that you’re upper-bounded at 4G. (SAD!) But you knew that already.

    (FWIW, I’m 2 of 4 on repairs. Popped an SMT IC on a PPC MacBook, unrepairable; don’t remember details on the other failure; fixed the other two Mac laptops to the extent possible. Unibody MBPs, well … good luck if your trackpad or shift key has gone south.)

  75. 75
    J R in WV says:


    Asking for a friend.

    If goes back to great great grandpappies in 1850s, I’m… my friend is in!

    You guys, the jackals, you crack me up!!! LOL !!

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    Low(er) budget Maltese Falcon spoof on TCM 12:15 a.m. Saturday, The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery (ref.).

  77. 77
    eclare says:

    @HeleninEire: Wow! Big news. I too have enjoyed living vicariously through your posts, but we need all good jackals here. Welcome back.

  78. 78
    Jacel says:

    I think I first heard of limpkins in the Pogo comic strip collections. A Miz Limpkin was one of the early characters, who Walt Kelly used infrequently. You can see her (head mostly obscured by a bonnet) in this illustration of the cast done for Life magazine.

  79. 79
    PJ says:

    @HeleninEire: Also, the US does not make foreign nationals renounce other citizenship when they become US citizens.

  80. 80
    Dan B says:

    Same sex marriage in Cuba.

    Cuber si! (For those who remember the Camelot prez era.)

  81. 81
    HeleninEire says:

    @Lapassionara: Thank you.

  82. 82
    Chris Johnson says:

    @zhena gogolia: It would mean the course of justice pursued in the USA would be sort of kneecapped. No impeachment or any of that, just a fait accompli, and the maximum attempt to make transition of power in the USA as illegitimate-seeming as possible, while also prodding all the alt-righters to completely flip out on the grounds that it’s some kind of Democrat plot. I don’t know whether it would be Putin gloating, or some kind of trumped-up (heh) story about how evil Dems are staging a coup and it’s not safe for Trump to go back to the USA. The latter would be smarter, if you’re Putin.

    I don’t want it to be true because it would be the biggest, ugliest mess. That’s why I think it is true. Trump is gone. Gone home to Russia, along with Melania, Jared, Ivanka, Bolton: a neat little collection of the biggest traitors and biggest Putin-worshippers.

    I want to know where McConnell is.

    I think this is where a bunch of rats scramble for holes really, really quick. This is not abstractions to these people. A bunch of them are knowing traitors and foreign agents. They will bolt when the moment is right, and I think this is that moment.

  83. 83
    The Moar You Know says:

    I could be wrong but this is my call.

    They’re already gone. They’re going directly to Russia and will never return.

    Trump gave his handler, Melania, a kiss as they boarded the plane. Bolton’s on there, someone said. Have you seen how Bolton looks in the presence of Putin? Did you notice they’ve got Trump and Melania and Jared and Ivanka on there?

    They are never coming back. Hope I’m wrong, would be fun to see them in court. I don’t think it’s happening. They’re going straight to Russia and will never leave.

    @Chris Johnson: I’m going to second this. Something really off about their whole departure. I think you may well be right.

  84. 84
    HeleninEire says:

    @jl: No sorry back to your parent(s) is absolute. Grandparents almost absolute.

  85. 85
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    Your analysis is sound but my visceral need to have him out of my life is overcoming my rationality at this point.

  86. 86
    Mary G says:

    We have had some rain last night and today – Wunderground predicted a whopping .08 inches of it, and all my bones are complaining, but the news is keeping me happy anyway.

  87. 87
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    This headline just popped up in my e-mail:

    ‘We will be in Moscow’: The story of Trump’s 30-year quest to expand his brand to Russia

    from WaPo and my heart stopped because I thought it was The Announcement.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chris Johnson: Dude’s not leaving. What do you think Kavanaugh was all about?

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:


    The good thing about having that dual citizenship is that you can always go back again if/when your life circumstances change. Nothing is forever, etc etc. I’m sure the Irish have a saying for it. 😉

  91. 91
    jl says:

    IIRC, the good guys scooped up crooks just as they were about to skip town in The Maltese Falcon.
    Mueller is no Bogie, And the gang of crooks was more entertaining.

  92. 92
    Yarrow says:

    @Chris Johnson: Not going to happen. The Air Force One pilots and crew members do not work for Trump. They work for the United States of America. They will not fly them to Russia for them to escape.

  93. 93
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Our 2006 Prius had the big red triangle of doom appear a couple weeks ago. Turned out to be the coolant pump for the big battery. It’s the first real money I’ve spent on it.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    HeleninEire says:

    @jl: @Immanentize: UCD or DCU?

  96. 96
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chris Johnson: You hope you’re wrong? I’ll throw a month-long party if your prediction proves true, even if it means enduring lame-duck President Pence for a couple of years. I agree there’s something weird about their departure, but I don’t dare hope it’s as drastic a signal as you’re inferring.

  97. 97
    HeleninEire says:

    @eclare: Thank you

  98. 98
    debit says:

    @Chris Johnson: You’re being silly. Was Barron on the plane? What about Ivanka’s children? They may be awful people but I have no doubt that Melania loves her son as Ivanka does her kids and would never leave them behind.

  99. 99
    HeleninEire says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes. I love it in both places. Lucky me.

  100. 100
    Mandalay says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    They’re going directly to Russia and will never return.

    I don’t think that would be possible. All the Trumps are constantly surrounded by the Secret Service. The Trumps wouldn’t be permitted to board a Russian plane even if they wanted to.

    A president defecting is the mother of all security threats to the United States, and not one that would be overlooked. The Secret Service have surely had contingency plans for this unlikely-but-possible scenario long before Trump ever thought of becoming president.

  101. 101
    dp says:

    Betty, I am jealous of your birdwatching.

  102. 102
  103. 103
    trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    You misspelled lame-dick, otherwise 100% in agreement.

  104. 104
    NotMax says:


    Found the nonsense plumbing demi-jargon in the Amazon series Patriot endlessly amusing.

    “We’re the only company offering triple-flanged bucked jimjams with a notched derling couple.”

    While I grew to enjoy the series (really hits its stride in season 2), the ending, while not disappointing, is peculiarly inchoate.

  105. 105
    Chris Johnson says:

    @Betty Cracker: No. Pence is also Russia’s. He’s dumb as a rock but he’s Putin’s guy. And removing him, now, means total chaos. This is not a great turn of events if I’m calling this one correctly. It’s not grounds for a party, it’s a really big mess.

    @debit: Bullshit. Firstly, Barron’s most likely innocent and not subject to revenge-punishing (this is America) and secondly, Melania is the handler, a professional. In a high enough cause she would abandon her child. Yes they would leave them behind: assuming they ARE still in the USA and not quietly on some plane somewhere, with or without explanation.

    Again, I hope I’m wrong, but I think this is one of those days with years-worth of action inside it. I think an awful lot is changing very quickly and this is the gist: Trump and the most central traitors are cutting and running to Russia, possibly right now, possibly after they are no longer ON Air Force One. I hope it’s not that because that would be the most damaging course of action, but I think they’re as good as gone.

  106. 106
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Perhaps they are following on a private jet?
    Not that I believe it, but it would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  107. 107
    NotMax says:

    @Chris Johnson

    Whatever it is you’re smoking, maybe lay off for a bit?

  108. 108
    debit says:

    @Chris Johnson: This is right up there with Sarah Palin’s youngest actually being her daughter’s secret baby crackpot conspiracy cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs brand of crazy. Kudos.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    What’s that smell? Hmmm, seems like a cross between Fitzmas and unicorn urine.

  110. 110
    Mandalay says:

    @Chris Johnson: Explain in detail how the Trumps manage to get to Russia. Pick any plausible scenario you want.

    Air Force One won’t take them there, and they won’t be permitted to board a Russian plane, so how do they get to Russia?

  111. 111
    NotMax says:

    @Corner Stone

    Full circle, as unicorn urine smells like pecan pie.


  112. 112
    danielx says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I live in flyover country, and they are beginning to infest even these environs. One problem is that it can be difficult to tell the hipster douchebags from the redneck shitbags. Although one tell is that the hipsters usually have better tats.

  113. 113
    TomatoQueen says:

    WaPo and McClatchy Say Tim Scott will block Farr. Yes. If Scott can do this, what else might he be able to do?

    Pah. That link used to show a red breaking news strip, now it doesn’t. Maybe it’ll come back.

    Here’s the McClatchy page:

  114. 114
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: Not that I find this scenario remotely plausible, but why wouldn’t they be permitted to board a Russian plane, assuming Putin thinks they’d be handy PR baubles?

    ETA: Never mind — I see in another comment you’re suggesting the Secret Service would stop them. Maybe you’re right. I don’t know.

    @Chris Johnson: We have chaos now, with a demented narcissist with the launch codes. Not seeing the downside here.

  115. 115
    Haroldo says:

    @NotMax: @Chris Johnson:

    Whatever it is you’re smoking, maybe lay off for a bit?

    Or at least share it with the rest of the class.

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:


    One problem is that it can be difficult to tell the hipster douchebags from the redneck shitbags. Although one tell is that the hipsters usually have better tats.

    I would say it’s the quality of the manscaping of the neckbeards that puts a hipster on top. However, thanks to the NYT, we now know that quite a few Nazis also have become quite dapper in their self-care regimen. So, where you are – hipster is probably a lower probability if you consider the redneck/Nazi components.

  117. 117
    Corner Stone says:

    I don’t even know how Sarah Fagen doesn’t spontaneously combust most days. Chuck Todd, you are the fucking worst.

  118. 118
    Betty Cracker says:

    @dp: The house is a ramshackle money pit, but mainlining this much nature all day every day has made me a happier person!

  119. 119

    @Dan B: Different Costco; Los Feliz, not Burbank.

  120. 120
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Betty Cracker/Top:

    <blockquote (I’ve forgiven him for forgetting my Pepcid the other day.)

    Can't for the life of me remember where I saw it earlier today, but wondered if you caught the story about Floriduh! Woman who was in line at a Dollar Store in Broward County and cut a very loud fart. The man next to her in line complained, the two of them got into a shouting match, and FartWoman pulled a knife on the guy. She was taken into custody.

  121. 121
    ruemara says:

    @HeleninEire: Ah, I can understand that. But I’d be hard pressed to leave Ireland, it looks so beautiful. Welcome back to Forest Hills! Ship over as much whiskey as you can.

  122. 122
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @jl: She can’t do that, the great garbage monster underground will rise up and consume her (X-Files reference, let me know if you want an explanation)

  123. 123
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Corner Stone:

    One hipster in TriBeCa was said to be recorded as saying, “Damn you, this is my Uber! Don’t you know I’m from San Francisco!” on his way to a coffee shop to commune with other hipster writers.

    That comment was majorly majorly majorly majorly funny.

  124. 124
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Haroldo: This dude is as deluded as late-stage matoko_chan. There’s no weed involved, it’s straight-up organic hallucination.

  125. 125
    Mandalay says:

    @Betty Cracker: A potential future problem would be if Trump (or any future president) decided to make an official visit to Moscow with his family, and then decided to defect. I don’t see how the Secret Service would be in a position to physically prevent that.

  126. 126
    Chris Johnson says:

    We’ll see. Night, all <3

  127. 127
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    White House opts for red Christmas trees. In Europe, that’s a bad sign.

    May your days be dreary and dead,
    And may all your Christmases be red.

  128. 128

    @A Ghost To Most: This is just the solid yellow ‘check engine’ light, my old car(1986 Jetta, may it rest in peace) would throw up a red light for the O2 sensor ever 15K miles. I learned to ignore that, this seems to actually indicate a problem, though minor(though possibly still expensive). The range of problems I’ve seen on the Prius Chat site are: loose gas cap, dirty air filter, O2 sensor, something in the fuel tank(in order of expense to fix). I dropped it off at the local dealer, $135 for the diagnosis but part of that can be applied to the fix if I have it done there now.

  129. 129
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Well…goddamn shit and YAY how wonderful!

    Guess I will have to give up my thoughts of visiting you in Dublin, but it will be easier for me to get to NYC and see you, probably sooner, on this side of the pond. Do you have even tentative dates or timeline in mind yet?

  130. 130
    NotMax says:


    Ka-ching the body electric.

    @zhena gogolia


  131. 131
    Haroldo says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Well, well aware of that. I was merely attempting to extend Not Max’s previous thoughts.

    (Thanks for the intro to makoto_chan, tho’. Learn something new every day. Or, as R.L. Stevenson would have it, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”)

  132. 132
    Emma says:

    @Chris Johnson: Well, I think you’re wrong but OH BOY!, is that the most fantastic premise for a thriller!

  133. 133
    J R in WV says:


    Welcome back…

    That means I don’t have an Irish beauty to ask to marry me for citizenship into the EU !!

    For shame! I kid.

    You jackals all break me up, which had been a life saver the past couple of years, for which thanks so much!!

  134. 134
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    late-stage matoko_chan.


  135. 135
    oldster says:


    No answer to Mnemosyne’s question about speech-to-text dictation software?

    I’d like to know the answer myself.

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’ll ask it again later tonight. I suspect everyone got distracted by Helen’s news.


    At least when I say stuff like that, I try to preface it with “If I were writing the screenplay of this story, my next plot twist would be …”

  137. 137
    NotMax says:

    FYI (WaPo link).

    Lawmakers have struck a final farm bill deal that scraps a plan — backed by House Republicans and President Trump — that would have added new work requirements on food stamp beneficiaries, according to a key GOP Senator.

    Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), chair of the Senate agriculture committee, confirmed Thursday that the farm bill deal does not include House GOP plans to add new work requirements for older food stamp recipients and for parents of yonger [sic] children.
    Liberal groups have vehemently opposed the proposed restrictions on food stamps, which they say are needed for people in poverty. Between 800,000 and 1.1 million households would have faced food stamp benefit cuts under one of the House Republican proposals, according to a study by the Mathematica Policy Research, a policy research organization.

    Under current rules, most adults are already required to work in order to receive food stamps. But House Republicans’ farm bill would have forced states to impose work requirements on those aged 49 to 59, an approach rejected by the Senate. The Senate also rejected the proposal to force states to impose work requirements on parents with children 6 to 12. Source

  138. 138
    rikyrah says:

    You coming back?
    Welcome back .

  139. 139
    Miss Bianca says:

    @HeleninEire: for realz? Aw. I was getting so used to getting my Ireland jones thru’ you!

Comments are closed.