Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Persons of the Year

Per the Washington Post:

Journalists around the world have been targeted and assaulted for their work. Some have paid with their freedom; others have paid with their lives.

Even the president of the United States — a country that has prided itself on having freedom of the press since its founding — has repeatedly attacked the media as “the enemy of the people.” Other world leaders have echoed this aggressive stance against the media, cracking down on reporters who have tried to hold them accountable.

We are living through nothing short of a “war on truth” — but it is in such a time that “professional truth seekers” are more important than ever, Time magazine declared in its latest issue…

“The Guardians” also include the staff of the Capital Gazette, whose Maryland newsroom was attacked by a gunman in June; Maria Ressa, chief executive of the Rappler news website who has been made a legal target for the outlet’s coverage of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte; and journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who have been jailed in Myanmar for nearly a year for their work exposing the mass killings of Rohingya Muslims.

“As we looked at the choices, it became clear that the manipulation and the abuse of truth is really the common thread in so many of this year’s major stories, from Russia to Riyadh to Silicon Valley,” Time editor Edward Felsenthal said on the “Today” show Tuesday…

Poignant. Or maybe I mean ‘pungent’?

194 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Somebody stole my credit card number. Caught it early, not liable for any of the charges but still….


  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Heh. In reply to

    What is the Senate’s role in reining in despotism?

    is this little gem:

    There’s a species of white-man-in-tie which avoids conflict for a living. It’s as if their only function is to adopt a moralistic tone while presiding over incarceration, sexual assault, torture, & murder. It’s a well-paying gig if you can get it. We are what we abide.

  3. 3
    Betty Cracker says:

    Open thread question for everyone: Got any ideas for Christmas gifts for people who are difficult to buy for? I don’t mean difficult as in unappreciative or picky; I mean people who don’t really need more stuff. Past gift ideas for this group have included things like car detailing gift card and a gourmet olive oil sampler.

  4. 4
    Schlemazel says:

    Had that when I was traveling all the time but because it was a work card & I had to report every week I caught it soon. Still it is a mess. Sorry you have to deal with this shit.

    I blame the computers for making it so easy

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    Ooh. Holiday time viewing chez NotMax now set. Vanity Fair shows up on Amazon Prime on the 21st.

    Expect the amusing Frances de la Tour to leave no piece of scenery improperly unchewed.

    @Betty Cracker

    Our own satby’s merchandise?

  6. 6
    oldster says:

    I’m really glad that they are honoring Khashoggi.

    However, I do wish that they would show him wearing ordinary Western dress.

    For a lot of Time readers, the keffiyeh will mean, “meh, he’s a foreigner; what do I care if foreigners kill foreigners?”

    They would not treat it so casually if they thought of him as a US resident whose children are US citizens.

    And it would be easier for Time readers to think of him that way without the headdress.

  7. 7
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Betty Cracker: A worthy group they’d not otherwise know about? Like this?

    (Was thinking about doing a post to solicit similar ideas, but there is TOO MUCH NEWS.)

  8. 8
    Schlemazel says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    If they are the right kind of folks how about something from Oxam?

  9. 9
    gkoutnik says:

    @Betty Cracker: I am that person. I’ve asked people to donate to a nonprofit that helps people in need (i.e.: not NPR or opera) and tell me all about the organization and what they do. Interesting – many are resistant to this, and insist on stuff.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    Definitely blech😡😡

  13. 13
    raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: White Tiger is my joynt!

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: Hows about a card that says,
    “For Christmas I got you just what you’ve always wanted.”
    They open it and it says,
    “Nothing at all.”

    I know it’s what I’ve always wanted.

    And oh yeah: BAH! HUMBUG!

  15. 15
    NotMax says:



    Indeed. Have you priced humbugs lately?

    Damn tariffs.


  16. 16
    Juice Box says:

    @Betty Cracker: A year of a streaming service like Acorn, Britbox, Amazon Prime, PBS’s service.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    Sigh. No TCM for me today. All day/all night Elvis-thon.

  18. 18
    germy says:

    Flynn’s lawyers say he wasn’t warned by the FBI agents that lying to them is a crime, as if that is somehow exculpatory.— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) December 12, 2018

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    The Root (@TheRoot) Tweeted:
    Several takeaways from Donald Trump’s Real Housewives of the Unseasoned reunion:

    1) Trump is treating America like a reality T.V. show
    2) Nancy Pelosi is urging Trump to avoid a government shutdown
    3) Mike Pence posed as a flag-pole the entire time:

  20. 20
    MomSense says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’ve given people like that things like archery lessons, a cooking class with a chef and four friends at their home. I gave my dad the National Geographic genographic project DNA test kit. It’s very cool because buying the kit supports the project around the world. Some of our local craft beer companies have a tasting deal where they send different beers every month.
    Depends on their interests. An afternoon with a birder at a cool place? Ancestry dot com membership? Is there a nice museum or botanical garden where they would like a guided tour?

  21. 21
    germy says:

    1/ Michael Flynn filed his sentencing memorandum tonight. The memo itself is only 13 pages long, and it mostly says what I would expect–that Flynn has served his country admirably and that Mueller was correct to recommend no prison time. The other 165 pages are exhibits.— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 12, 2018

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @Betty Cracker: If they have an ebook, you could purchase the appropriate gift card.

  23. 23
    p.a. says:

    @Betty Cracker: “A gift has been made in your name to The Human Fund…”

    But srsly, giftcards to special-needs employing businesses, mostly craft/home goods stuff is what I’m aware of; I know of one café that trains for placement in for-profit food establishments.

  24. 24
    Gex says:

    If only the media could respond to the right’s eliminationist rhetoric against any other group as it does when they are the targets. How many years have they presented people who don’t want gay people to exist as the “balance” for those who want us treated like humans and citizens? Repeat this analysis for every other group targeted by the right and it holds true.

    The media is Niemöller if he had only ever noticed that they came for him and no one else before him.

  25. 25
    HinTN says:

    @Betty Cracker: Single malt scotch. Single barrel whiskey. Tickets to Hamilton. Fishing trip with Raven. B&B getaway to the Cracker chalet.

  26. 26
    A Ghost To Most says:


    An afternoon with a birder at a cool place?

    Wouldn’t that be drinks out on BC’s lawn, given the pix we’ve seen so far?

  27. 27
    Immanentize says:

    @germy: As we have said forever: Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    The problem with that argument is that it basically admits Flynn lied to the FBI on purpose — to deceive.

  28. 28
    HinTN says:

    @raven: That’s fabulous. I’m sure you’ve read the first Doc Ford books wherein he talks at length about the history of Florida. I especially likedThe Man Who Invented Florida.

  29. 29
    HinTN says:

    @NotMax: I’ll go with the knockoff brand, Hah Bumbug!

  30. 30
    raven says:

    @HinTN: Ooo, no, thanks!

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Immanentize says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    There is this fabulous pop-up book called “Birdscapes” that has two-page pop up habitats with recorded bird songs. Here’s a viddy. But it may be out of print. I gave four or five a few years back and everyone loved them

  33. 33
    MomSense says:

    @A Ghost To Most: i want that gift!

  34. 34
    MomSense says:

    I’m giving my mom audible for the year. She has vision problems and has finally discovered audio books.

  35. 35
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m that person and I’m no help at all. I’ve been asked for suggestions and I’m honestly as stumped as the people asking. But I always am touched by things that show people know me, even if they are little joke gifts.

  36. 36
    debbie says:

    One can only hope Trump is outraged he wasn’t picked Person of the Year.

  37. 37
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Take a look at I’ve found stuff over the years for difficult-to-buy-for people. They’ve got all kinds of things at all price levels that fit into this category.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    @debbie: Thank you. I just bookmarked it.

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: Seriously tho, some people really well and truly don’t want any gifts at all.

  40. 40
    trnc says:

    @Betty Cracker: Something food based, since no one has all the food they need for the long run. Even the rugged individualist Snack Team 6 survivalists had to get food deliveries after, what, a week?

  41. 41
    Elizabelle says:

    Good morning. @ Raven: love the Saints of Old Florida link. Wow.

    I am thinking of (a) Baud and his pet and

    (b) Strasbourg, France and all those who love France and/or Christmas markets. Gunman opened fire there last night; killed 3 and injured several more critically. He was a Strasbourg native with previous criminal record, known to French police, who had gone to his home to arrest him earlier yesterday. At large now. It is said he was radicalized while in jail/prison. Strasbourg is very near the borders of Germany and Switzerland; not that far from Luxembourg or Belgium either.

    Schools are open in Strasbourg today; Christmas market and all cultural events cancelled. I hope people return, in swarms, at first opportunity, to enjoy the beautiful old city center and holiday beauty and buying gifts and treats and gluhwein.

    We need our public spaces. Courage and peace to the people of Strasbourg.

    ETA: linky to coverage in The Guardian.

  42. 42
    satby says:

    @Betty Cracker: @NotMax: actually there’s a lot of great gift ideas already in this thread (thanks NotMax!) A thread about the other artists and crafty folk among us would be great for other gift ideas. Billin’s and Albatrossity sell their photography, for instance.

    And last night I was emailing with MazeDancer about another. Her Post Cards for Patriots has some nice gift ideas, a subscription service where cards from you are sent to your gift recipient at regular times. I ‘m a terrible, erratic correspondent despite my good intentions, so I like that as a way to keep in regular touch.
    And she’s working on gift announcements for the procrastinators among us who order too late for deliver by Christmas (also my kind of thing 😊), and that would be a beautiful way to gift a donation too.

  43. 43
    Marci Kesserich says:

    @@Betty Cracker: Custom ornament of their favorite furry friend. I have innumerable crazy old aunts and other relatives who are also impossible to buy for, but I can always bank on their love of their pets.

    Just email the lady who runs this website:

  44. 44
    opiejeanne says:

    @trnc: One Christmas someone gave us a box of pears. Can’t remember who but I do remember those wonderful pears.

  45. 45
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker: Sponsor a service dog — or puppy training — in their honor. Donate to a shelter. Donate to the International Rescue Committee. Refugees abound; if anything, we are making more of them.

    Or food gifts or wine/spirits or a plant or book. People who have everything really don’t need more.

  46. 46
    opiejeanne says:

    Ok, I see what I did wrong.

    One Christmas someone sent us a box of pears. I don’t remember who, it was so long ago, but I do remember those pears.

  47. 47
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: that deserves two blechs. Sorry😕

    @rikyrah: Good morning 🙋

    @Elizabelle: also thinking of Baud.

  48. 48

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’s why credit cards are better than debit cards.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    19h19 hours ago
    I’m slightly more ashamed of having liked Sully overall but given that I received deranged emails from Greenwald and continued to think he was ok, I’m not sure.

    DougJ’s twitter is delightful. I once supported a (former) Ohio supreme court judge who is… insane, so I sympathize.

    We should do a “political mistakes I have made” thread. One time Daily Kos supported a former Republican gun nut over Sherrod Brown in a primary.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    Thanks for the great ideas, everyone!

  51. 51
    SFAW says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Although it’s not in the altruism/generosity ballpark: my family was given an “Escape Room” session (or whatever they’re called) for Christmas last year. So seven of us tried it. (This particular venue allows for groups of up to 10.)

    Now — although Ozark and efgoldman will doubtless dispute this — I’m pretty curmudgeonly. But we had a GREAT time. We are allegedly going to get another one this Christmas. I’m psyched.

    In the more-altruistic vein: a donation to something like

    ETA: How about a signed photo from the incoming Speaker?

  52. 52
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: I like that thread idea! I’ve already confessed mine — I was one of the morons who voted for Ralph Nader in the 2000 election (in Florida!). I’ll carry that shame and regret to my grave but have tried to make up for it via service as a cautionary tale.

    I wonder if Doug’s tweet was prompted by Greenwald’s appearance on the “Laura Ingraham White Nationalist Power Hour”? I think he’s a semi-regular on the “Tucker Carlson White Nationalist Power Hour,” so that horse sailed from the station a while back, IMO.

  53. 53

    I have everything I want or need but I like getting things I use up like food or gift cards (especially for books).

  54. 54
    Central Planning says:

    @Betty Cracker: How about one of the “X of the month club” subscriptions. You can google to find lists of them, and you can probably find one that fits the things they like. I’ve seen food, books, magic, socks, ties, beverages, makeup, crafts, and more.

    We got my 13yo this club for Xmas after his rock-of-the-month club shut down:

  55. 55
    dnfree says:

    @Schlemazel: we have had credit card numbers stolen several times. We believe it mostly happens in restaurants when they take your card somewhere else to process it, and we think it’s low-tech theft—the server just writes it down. Now I tell the server I’m going with them while they process our card. It’s kind of embarrassing for them and me. But more places are doing the process in front of you or via a tablet.

  56. 56
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Hence my use of them.

  57. 57
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    In your defense, that election was weird. I loathe Leiberman. I thought he was a terrible VP pick. At that point in my political life I was palling around with the IBEW (electrical union members) and they hated Gore. I think the national IBEW endorsed Nader. It was all very upsetting. I was also sick to death of Bill Clinton. I sort of liked his used car salesman vibe- I generally like cheerful sales people- but I was sick of his too-cleverness, huge ego and triangulating, so I transferred some of that to Gore.

    It wasn’t a good race. No one was inspired.

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: @Betty Cracker: I voted for Edwards in the ’04 primary. Does that count?

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    My oldest son loved Gore. He wasn’t old enough to vote but I think that’s when he started to identify as a Democrat. He’s smart and fairly centrist and Gore still pretty much typifies the kind of candidates he likes.

  60. 60
    Kay says:


    Edwards is the person who popularized that dishonest framing where the candidate says “my opponent has X donors in X industry” where they’re talking about individual donors. So there will be individuals who check “finance” when they make a donation under “occupation” and Edwards portrays that as “millions from the finance industry”

    He did it in a debate and I thought “you scoundrel” People still do it regularly. Completely dishonest.

  61. 61
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: I hate that tactic too. It was recently used by acolytes of the High Sparrow to discredit Beto O’Rourke; these people dishonestly claimed that O’Rourke was beholden to oil & gas industries because many of his individual donors worked in those fields. Well, it’s Texas — of course they do! Completely dishonest is right.

  62. 62
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Edwards ran a good con, for awhile. He took in a lot of good people.

    I’ve voted D for every presidential race since 76, except for 88. Dukakis was a terrible campaigner. The only other R I can recall voting for was Thornburgh (sp?) for PA governor way back when.

  63. 63

    @Kay: My friend who was precinct captain for Sanders in the 2016 caucus was precinct captain for Edwards in 2008. Afterwards she admitted we dodged a bullet there, but she has bad instincts.

  64. 64
    Betty Cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I saw right through that smarmy bastard Edwards and voted for Dean in that year’s primary. It still boggles my mind how big a deal the media made of the “Dean scream” — and 12 years later…well, I don’t think I need to finish that sentence here.

  65. 65
    opiejeanne says:

    @satby: Uhoh, what about Baud? I missed something

  66. 66
    Lapassionara says:

    @Betty Cracker: The gift ideas are great.

    Speaking of birds, is there an app that can help identify bird calls, meaning hearing a call and figuring out the bird that is making it?

    Good morning, everyone.

  67. 67
    Eric S. says:

    @Betty Cracker: Last year I bought a pair of tickets for a cooking class for my mother. We went together and had a fantastic time.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    MomSense says:

    WTF is up with Mike Pompeo? Anyone know what kind of kompromat they have on him? Or is he just another psychopath?

  70. 70
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @gkoutnik: Did this 1 yr. Asked recipients for group to donate to. Most gave at least 2 suggestions. One suggested several different animal rescue groups, at least 1 local.

    Isn’t there a group that takes your donation and buys a cow or goat for a 3rd-world-country family? Don’t remember deatails. I think there are several. Such groups got lots of publicity some yrs ago.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    MomSense says:

    Yes, Heifer International.

  73. 73
    opiejeanne says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Oh, that’s terrible.

    I was worried that he and the pet were in Strasbourg. Because I haven’t been asleep all night and I’m punchy. It’s a quarter to 6, so I’ll probably go to sleep soon.

  74. 74
    MomSense says:


    Sending love out to Baud.

  75. 75
    opiejeanne says:

    @MomSense: Oxfam, too.

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:


    Or is he just another psychopath?


  77. 77
    Spanky says:


    Isn’t there a group that takes your donation and buys a cow or goat for a 3rd-world-country family? Don’t remember details. I think there are several. Such groups got lots of publicity some yrs ago.

    I received that one Christmas, but don’t remember the name.

    Another one is Kiva, which gives microloans to third-world applicants – usually individuals. Your donation gets loaned out, then as it’s paid back it gets recycled into other loans. I’ve been part of that for about a decade.

  78. 78
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MomSense: He’s from Kansas. ‘Nuff said?

  79. 79
    MomSense says:

    @rikyrah: @OzarkHillbilly:

    It’s appalling how he has debased the State Department.

  80. 80
    Schlemazel says:

    I caucused for him. I thought he had a pretty good record on liberal issues. He is the only one I think I was wrong on.

    I changed my mind on BHO on the night because 200+ people showed up and I thought anyone who could move that many people could overcome America’s racism.

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    Anytime Flynn or Manafort are in the news…

    Mike Pence knew.
    Mike Pence lied.
    Mike Pence covered it up.
    Mike Pence is complicit.
    Mike Pence is still lying.
    Mike Pence still knows.
    Mike Pence is still covering it up.
    Mike Pence was chosen by Manafort.

    Isn’t that right, @VP*? 🤫

    — Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) December 11, 2018

  82. 82
    Steve in the ATL says:


    Sending love out to Baud

    Balloon Juice After Dark starts at 11 pm eastern.

  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    New in NC-09: Early voting totals from Bladen County may have been leaked.

    Tabulations were apparently run days before the election. A witness wrote in a sworn affidavit that totals were “viewed by officials at the one-stop site who were not judges.”

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 11, 2018

  84. 84
    kindness says:

    This part got me: ‘Professional truth seekers’.

    How does that explain Chuck Todd?

  85. 85
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    The big one is gas stations. California has a particularly big problem with this for some reason. Fraudsters can insert a device in the credit card slot that reads your card’s information while the pump does. I had it happen repeatedly until the bank warned me and I started paying in cash for gas.

  86. 86
    raven says:

    What’s up with Baud?

  87. 87
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @MomSense: Thank you for info.

  88. 88
    Elizabelle says:

    @raven: Baud’s beloved pet on its last legs, or gone. Do not know if it’s a dog or cat.

    I hope that is all that is up with Baud.

  89. 89
  90. 90
    satby says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Every year when my kids were younger and school aged, one of our Christmas traditions was that we selected a charity for us all to donate to. They usually chose Heifer project because baby animals, but it was another way for me to try to convey a sense that the season was about giving, not getting. They had to put in their own money too.

  91. 91
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Spanky: That’s a great group to be a part of

  92. 92
    Elizabelle says:

    @Spanky: Is it Heifer International re the animals?

    And I love Kiva. My beagles were microfinanciers. You remind me I need to check the account and see what needs to be loaned out.

  93. 93

    I am on my town’s Cultural Council, you are appointed by the board of selectman and have to pass an ethics test before you can vote on proposals. We have about $6000 to allocate. We have about 25 or so proposals.
    You are considered a special town employee even though I don’t get paid. Guess what guys our President is breaking most of the ethics guidelines. Only in America, a volunteer on a town committee with less than 4000 people has to have higher ethical standards than the President or the AG.

  94. 94
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    Oddly, I’m becoming less and less convinced that Pence knew anything. The man is an empty suit, who says and does what he’s told. The jokes about what ‘mother’ does and does not allow are how he lives his life. He is literally a useful idiot and was picked for that virtue.

  95. 95
    Chyron HR says:


    “Flynn has served his country admirably”

    And I’m sure Russia appreciates his service, but he’s in America now.

  96. 96
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: My memory is that he was the strongest pro-union voice in the primaries and I wanted to reward him for it at a time when so many other DEMs were running away from the union label.

    Obama is the only DEM candidate I have ever supported in the primaries with my wallet. My norm is to wait until the party voters have decided then support that person.

  97. 97

    @Elizabelle: I think its a dog, Baud does not have kittehs AFAIK.

  98. 98
    raven says:

    @Elizabelle: Aw, it’s such a slog. I try to keep that “love them everyday” going but watching them slow down sucks. The guys I was with last week and I have such a long history with dogs. One had a huge black German shepherd named Frog Dog who was blinded when he was app and my man was a seeing eye person for 12 years. My other pal and I had brother pups that lived about 14 years.

  99. 99
    Platonailedit says:

    New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James says she plans to launch sweeping investigations into Trump, his family and "anyone" in his circle who may have violated the law."We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 12, 2018

    Long overdue. God speed.

  100. 100
    Kay says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    but she has bad instincts.

    I don’t really trust my own anymore. Trump rattled me.

    This is horrible to say and the southerners might object but John Edwards was to me a certain type of slick southern man that I am familiar with. I dated two of them. Like “aw shucks” but really pretty crafty and clever and..strategic. Bill Clinton had elements of this too. I identify it with southern men because that’s where I happened to encounter it.

  101. 101
    raven says:

    @Kay: Did you see “The Gal Got Rattled” in the Ballad of Buster Scruggs?

  102. 102
    Starfish says:

    @opiejeanne: Harry & David does the really nice pears.

  103. 103
    Kay says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    I had a sad encounter with a Bernista. She mentioned that she had donated to Bernie in August and she said “he hasn’t announced, has he?”

    I told her she might have donated to his Senate campaign. She’s donating to a Vermont senator. Because that seat’s likely to go to a Republican, right?

  104. 104
    Spanky says:

    @Elizabelle: Almost certainly it was Heifer Int’l at the time. And now I notice Kiva has a livestock section.

  105. 105
    sherparick says:

    @germy: The problem for LTG Flynn, Retired, is that he was routinely trained from the time he was a Cadet to his time as the head of DIA on military justice and Government ethics where he was informed that a false official statement, oral or written, is a crime both under the UCMJ and Title 10 of the US Code. Flynn knew full well telling a falsehood to an FBI agent was a crime.

    This is another example though where being bound by the law kind comes to a shock to a Republican, since they believe very firmly in IOKIYAR. See Mr. Barr criticizing the donations of Mueller attorneys to Democrats, but saying, heh, nothing to see here, when it comes to his own massive donations.

  106. 106
    Kay says:


    No, should I watch that? I never know what to watch :)

  107. 107

    @Kay: They are as gullible and easily led as the RWNJs who love Orange Tantrum

  108. 108
    rikyrah says:


    I don’t really trust my own anymore. Trump rattled me.

    But, you didn’t vote for him. Your judge of character is still in tact.

  109. 109
    satby says:

    @raven: Baud mentioned his (?) little girl once when you and I and probably Ozark were talking about our oldster dogs getting on, and facing the end knowing it wasn’t far off. Knowing Baud is in that place now and wishing peace for Baud and his furbaby.

  110. 110
    WereBear says:

    @NotMax: Tortures of the Darned!

  111. 111
    Jeffro says:

    @Betty Cracker: For folks like that, I almost always go with a high-end gourmet food, spice set, or wine gift. The more ‘artisanal’ the better.

    Here in Virginia the Virginia Living store has all kinds of things like that from around the Commonwealth…I’m sure Florida has the equivalent. Or you could always go with Harry & David and the like. =)

  112. 112
  113. 113
    Kay says:


    Oh, it’s hard. I’m a team player, generally. I don’t throw anyone off the team. I think it comes from being in a political minority where I live- we’re very needy and constantly pleading with people to become Democrats. If you’re sort of a Democrat, you’re not only in, we’ll give you whatever you want.

    My youngest likes Bernie and my daughter voted for him the PA primary, although she’s not a moron so she voted for Clinton in the general. I think my middle son might have voted for him in the OH primary but I know he voted for Clinton in the general because he filled out his ballot at my kitchen table. I was lobbying him right up until the end there.

    It’s such a fragile coalition, a Democratic presidential win. You need a lot of pieces. I can’t waste any! What if I need them!?

  114. 114
    Kay says:


    I didn’t think he would win.I was shocked. Compare with Kerry, who I actually liked a lot and thought was underrated- I knew he would lose.

  115. 115
    Jeffro says:

    You know what I really detest about media coverage of Trumpov’s imminent (political) demise? They treat it like a game: “how will he avoid going to prison? what will he say when Cohen’s sentenced? Etc etc.” Instead of the sheer fact that HE HAS COMMITTED FELONIES! HIS ‘FIXER’ IS ABOUT TO GO TO PRISON! HE’S STARTING TO (as predicted) CALL FOR HIS SUPPORTERS TO ‘REVOLT’! Report THAT!

    But no…just like when he called for “2nd Amendment Remedies” during the campaign…it’s all “how does he get away with saying things like that?” BECAUSE YOU LET HIM! (Well, because the GOP lets him, too…but still…)

  116. 116
    Immanentize says:

    I know this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I am giving the Immp a gun safety course. A real one, not an NRA propoganda one.

    He is going to college, likely in a gun rights state and I want him to know how to act if a gun comes his way.

  117. 117
    rikyrah says:

    Flynn wasn’t the only one who lied about sanctions discussions

    As Mike Flynn’s sentencing approaches, Rachel Maddow looks at the other members of the Trump administration who lied about discussing Russian sanctions, or who lied about knowing about the lies, and wonders about the biggest remaining unanswered question: Why did Flynn lie?

  118. 118
    Jeffro says:

    @Betty Cracker: Oh and if you feel like giving a book, the Atlas Obscura coffee table book is just amazing…great for any age, any kind of person (except folks who hate coffee table books)

  119. 119
    gene108 says:


    Vermont has a Republican governor. Not impossible

  120. 120
    rikyrah says:


    It’s sad, but probably a useful gift for him. Break it down for him what can happen.

    Gotta give Little Imma all the skills possible for him to succeed

  121. 121
    satby says:


    The media is Niemöller if he had only ever noticed that they came for him and no one else before him.


    You know what I really detest about media coverage of Trumpov’s imminent (political) demise? They treat it like a game: “how will he avoid going to prison? what will he say when Cohen’s sentenced? Etc etc.” Instead of the sheer fact that HE HAS COMMITTED FELONIES! HIS ‘FIXER’ IS ABOUT TO GO TO PRISON! HE’S STARTING TO (as predicted) CALL FOR HIS SUPPORTERS TO ‘REVOLT’! Report THAT!

    These two quotes sum up the failure of the media perfectly.

  122. 122
    rikyrah says:


    I didn’t think he would win.I was shocked.

    I was disappointed and enraged.

    Enraged that so many White people clung to the Whiteness.

    Enraged that so many White women chose a disgusting human being over an obviously qualified woman.

    Enraged by those on the left who helped make this happen.

    In the end, it was a bank shot of voter suppression and ratphucking in a handful of states, along with the antiquated Electoral College, that got this to happen.

    Those that made this happen will never be forgiven.

  123. 123
    geg6 says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    I voted for Specter a few times, especially when old Bob Casey was running against him. Fuck him and his wanting to foist his religion on women and their bodies. But I’m not ashamed of that. Nor am I ashamed of the votes I threw to John Heinz. I can’t really think of anyone I voted for that I’m ashamed of.

  124. 124
    rikyrah says:

    A question still outstanding: Why did Mike Flynn lie?

    Shane Harris, national security reporter for the Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about questions that still linger about the Mike Flynn case (from the public perspective), including the role of his deputy, K.T. McFarland, and the question at the root of it all, why did Flynn lie?

  125. 125
    Tazj says:

    @Kay: I didn’t think Trump would win either. I remember one of my older brothers, who is a Democrat, but not really into politics, said he would win as not long after he announced. He said “People will be stupid enough to vote for him, I can see it now.”

    I was foolish and thought he wouldn’t make it out of the primary. You know how pundits always talk about how grueling running for president is? I thought he would drop out. I believed Republicans would choose Rubio and I was very wrong. Well, Trump is definitely more committed to spewing garbage than Rubio is so there’s that.

    I didn’t think Edwards was that sleazy either. I didn’t want to believe he would cheat on his wife when she was being treated for cancer and after everything they had been through. I guess most people weren’t surprised.

  126. 126
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Open thread question for everyone: Got any ideas for Christmas gifts for people who are difficult to buy for?

    I always think you should ask people what they want. People who have “everything” may have seen something recently that tickled their fancy, or not thought about gifts.

    And of course, I would not focus on a single gift, but try to get an idea of a range of possible presents.

  127. 127
    rikyrah says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Everybody cooks.

    Get a nice Penzy’s gift box.

  128. 128

    @rikyrah: Amen sister. You know what, every day he remains in office he is pissing away America’s standing in the world. And that won’t be easy to regain even if we are so lucky as to have some one like President Obama win, in 2020.

  129. 129
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Immanentize: Very wise. Even if Immp never touches another gun.

  130. 130
    rikyrah says:


    I didn’t want to believe he would cheat on his wife when she was being treated for cancer and after everything they had been through. I guess most people weren’t surprised.

    The cheating on the wife was regular sleaze.


    well, that was a whole other level of unmitigated gall.

  131. 131
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: Thanks for that! I found one final gift for my niece. Ordered.

    @raven: Thanks for the tip! I just ordered for my other niece who travels in those circles.

    @Betty Cracker, up top: Great timing for this thread! :-)

    Those were the last of my gifts that have to be mailed. Just a few gifts for local friends left, so this thread

  132. 132
    satby says:

    Not only did family friend Justin Cummings win in his race to be elected to the Santa Cruz City Council, but last night he was elected to be the Vice-Mayor. So proud to know this fine young man!

  133. 133
    Brachiator says:

    What a week. Shortly after 3 pm (noon Pacific Time), we should know the results of the no confidence vote which may boot UK prime minister Theresa May out of office.

  134. 134
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Flynn should be worried about his military pension.

  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    I’m that person as well. Nothing I really need for xmas. Nothing.
    Things I want or could use? Don’t really want anything if I’m honest. It’s an obsession many have to want more. Sort of like wanting more money than can ever be used.

  136. 136
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ruckus: Fucking commie.

  137. 137

    Update on news of Assembly elections from India. BJP lost big. They are no longer in power in 3 big Hindi-belt states, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. Whoever rules the Hindi belt, rules India.

  138. 138
    Brachiator says:


    Thanks for the gift search idea!

  139. 139
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @raven: Did you ever read Peter Matthiessen’s Shadow Country?

  140. 140
    gene108 says:


    America will never regain its standing in the world. Obama could sell Bush, Jr as a one-off and an overreaction to 9/11.

    But the next Republican President is just as bad or worse in many regards.

    The world knows we will elect another Republican and they know the odds are he will be just as big a fuck up as Trump and Bush, Jr.

  141. 141
    JanieM says:

    @Betty Cracker: Don’t have time to read the whole thread but the suggestion of Satby’s wares is a good one — I use her soap and it’s great! — and it has a more generalizable quality I like in gifts for people who don’t need a single atom more of “stuff” in their lives: it’s consumable. I give a few people on my list gift packs from our local orchard (Maine-grown/made apples, maple syrup, honey, cheese). With food, the recipient doesn’t have to store it, dust it, or maintain it. I actually *receive* a couple of food gifts that I don’t/can’t eat, but I can always find someone who will/can.

    The charity suggestion is a good one too. A friend of ours decided to do frugal Christmases and asked that I not give gifts to her kids, so I gave to a non-profit (that benefited kids) in their name and the non-profit sent them a thank-you, by name, each year.

  142. 142
    Barbara says:

    @sherparick: I am shocked that anyone would contend that a mitigating factor in sentencing should include not having been warned by the government that lying in response to official questioning is a criminal offense. You never have to lie. You can ask for a lawyer, decline to speak to agents or invoke your right against self incrimination. Someone like Flynn is way more knowledgeable and sophisticated about the legal system than most people, who really might not know, for instance, that carrying 10 grams versus 1 gram of some kind of substance is the difference between probation and decades in jail. What an idiot.

  143. 143
    Kathleen says:

    @Betty Cracker: Did the same on Ohio. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa
    I blame Obama.

  144. 144
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Is that a good thing? I guess it depends on who won instead — someone more moderate or someone who is even more extreme. I would say theocentric but that doesn’t sound right.

  145. 145

    @gene108: The RoW (rest of the world) is not covering itself in glory right now either. Right now there doesn’t seem to be an alternative to the United States on the global stage. But that could change, The disastrous tariffs imposed by T and loved by many lefties will hasten that. Its the height of hypocrisy for United States to push for tariffs while pushing WTO and it is predecessor GATT and lowering of trade barriers on other economies for the last 30 years or more.
    If the $ is replaced by the another currency or a basket of currencies as the global reserve currency the wheels will start coming off the we are number one bus pretty quickly.

  146. 146
    Citizen Alan says:


    The media is Niemöller if he had only ever noticed that they came for him and no one else before him.

    This. I’m certainly glad that Shitgibbon isn’t Time’s PotY. But it is, IMO, both hypocritical and sanctimonious in the extreme for Time to burble about journalism’s role as “professional truth seekers” when the U.S. media has been engaged in a quarter-century-plus campaign of disinformation in the service of fascism. Donald Trump is president because journalism FAILED. The entire profession simply FAILED America at every level.

  147. 147
    Platonailedit says:

    Fuck you, jack.

    Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has responded to criticism of his 10-day meditation retreat in Myanmar, saying: “I don’t know enough and need to learn more.”

    Last year, Myanmar’s military launched a violent crackdown after Rohingya militants attacked police posts.

    Since then thousands of people have been killed and over 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled the country.

    Mr Dorsey said he was “aware of the human rights atrocities” in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

    But he added that the trip had been “purely personal” and had focused only on his meditation practice.

    “Writing what is effectively a free tourism advert for them at this time is reprehensible,” one Twitter user wrote in response to Mr Dorsey’s tweets.

    “The tone-deafness here is… wow,” another user said.

    “This is an extremely irresponsible recommendation,” one response reads. “Does he pay no attention to the news and the outcry on his own platform?” they added.

  148. 148
    Barbara says:


    I didn’t think Edwards was that sleazy either. I didn’t want to believe he would cheat on his wife when she was being treated for cancer and after everything they had been through. I guess most people weren’t surprised.

    It happens more than you would think. Not everyone rises to the occasion of sickness and becomes a better person. What I would tell your brother, however, is that Trump actually lost the majority of voters, so his assessment of people only works when funneled through the kind of system that we have, that gives disproportionate levels of power to the kind of people who can be bamboozled by someone like Trump. Increasingly, it feels like an anchor around our neck.

  149. 149

    @Barbara: Yes it is a good thing. Bharatiya Janata Party is the right wing Hindu Nationalist party, the one that PM Modi belongs to. Congress and a raft of left parties won. Congress has done awful things too in the past but it hasn’t tried to rule on the basis of a majoritarian nationalism.

    ETA: Unlike Modi’s 2014 campaign which was about a centrist economic agenda this time they campaigned on hate (against Muslims, liberals etc) and were rejected soundly.

  150. 150
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    The entire profession in America simply FAILED America at every level.

    FTFY. There are courageous, truth-seeking journalists in many countries. Unfortunately they have a tendency to be imprisoned or killed. Too bad that Americans seem to prefer entertainment to news.

  151. 151
    Brachiator says:


    Last year, Myanmar’s military launched a violent crackdown after Rohingya militants attacked police posts

    And practically no one in the US gave a shit.

  152. 152
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Platonailedit: Is there any evidence that Jack Dorsey is not, in fact, a fascist?

  153. 153
    satby says:

    @schrodingers_cat: is that Modi’s party? That would be good news.

  154. 154
    Platonailedit says:

    Michigan's chief medical executive, facing a jury trial on Flint water crisis criminal charges including involuntary manslaughter, has been hired to fill a new position created within the Michigan HHS Dept. at an annual salary of $179,672.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 12, 2018

    Rethugs don’t give a shite even about a fig leaf for public probity.

  155. 155
  156. 156
    Miss Bianca says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Cool place. Cooler birder. Plus, drinks! Hey, works for me!

  157. 157
    SFAW says:


    But the next Republican President is just as bad or worse in many regards.

    Now you’ve done it.

  158. 158
  159. 159
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Elizabelle: oh, that is horrible. I was lucky enough to be in Strasbourg in December many years ago, and I remember that Christmas market fondly. : (

  160. 160
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator: I am guessing she does not lose the no-confidence vote. No one wants her job.

  161. 161
    Platonailedit says:

    Dr. Christine Blasey Ford presented Sports Illustrated's Inspiration of the Year Award to Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar of sexual assault.

    "We all have the power to create real change."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 12, 2018

  162. 162
    Miss Bianca says:

    @rikyrah: I am so with you on this.

  163. 163
    Elizabelle says:

    @Miss Bianca: Wasn’t there for the market, but visited twice this winter and it’s a lovely little city. Am not surprised that radicalized Islamists target the markets, but they must not succeed in making them less popular.

    And I feel so much safer and saner in Europe than here.

  164. 164
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Betty Cracker: A framed picture of a pet or other loved one or a common happy mempry. A membership or subscription. I have given a year of Rolling Stone, a year membership in the Audubon Society, the Smithsonian, and our local zoo at various times.

  165. 165
    Yarrow says:

    @debbie: I think it’s actually I’m a big fan of them and have bought things for people from there several times. They work with small businesses and seem to function like a different type of Etsy.

    I know someone who had their products sold via Uncommon Goods. I met them when they were selling their stuff at a local farmers/artisan market and then a few months later I saw them again. They didn’t have the thing I was looking for and they said they were short on it because they were selling it through Uncommon Goods!

    Everything I’ve got from them has been great. Unusual. Good quality.

  166. 166
    The Moar You Know says:

    Right now there doesn’t seem to be an alternative to the United States on the global stage.

    @schrodingers_cat: It could have and should have been the EU but they are too busy ripping each other to shreds over brown people inside their borders. Gotta give Vlad some credit, he knew his audience and knew what they’d bite on.

    So we will get China instead. I don’t think anyone is going to be real happy with that outcome. Least of all Vlad, when the Chinese just up and take all of Siberia/East Russia and there won’t be jack shit he can do about it.

  167. 167
    Platonailedit says:

    @catclub: Yup. The brexiteer clowns have shown themselves as complete corrupted cowards. Tina factor may help May stay as PM.

  168. 168

    @The Moar You Know: China is not without its own internal problems either. China’s ascendance is not a given. But the R nonsense here, is definitely making it easy for them.

  169. 169
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @SFAW: My sister gave this to the “middles” in our family ( those between 20&40) and a grand time was had by all. The year before she gave them a session at a local joint called Lazer-tron which I gather is kind of a shooter video game irl. Again, it was a big hit and a nice chance for the cousins to get together without us olds.

  170. 170
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Betty Cracker: Spa treatment or massage gift certificates. Something I love to receive.

  171. 171
    SFAW says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    My sister gave this to the “middles” in our family ( those between 20&40)

    Our crew ages were three 20-somethings, three 60-somethings, and a 70-something. We ALL loved it. Of course, it helped that we were able to escape within the time limit. [We were able to hear the screams — mixed in with the sound of the chainsaw — of one unfortunate team.]

  172. 172
    joel hanes says:

    “professional truth seekers” are more important than ever

    Unfortunately, the NYT has specifically and repeatedy denied that they see this as their mission.

    As to food gifts:
    Superb-quality specialty foods, chosen with a knowledge of what that person likes.
    I’ve done:
    – salmon from Keta in Juneau
    – bacon from Nueskes in Wisconsin
    – bratwurst from Miesfelds in Wisconsin
    – olives from The Olive Pit in Corning California
    – blue cheeses from Carr Valley in Wisconsin
    – one of the dried fruit “crates” from Casa De Fruta in California, or a package of their huge cashews

  173. 173
    WereBear says:

    @Kay: This is horrible to say and the southerners might object but John Edwards was to me a certain type of slick southern man that I am familiar with. I dated two of them. Like “aw shucks” but really pretty crafty and clever and..strategic. Bill Clinton had elements of this too. I identify it with southern men because that’s where I happened to encounter it.

    I know exactly what you mean. I moved a thousand miles away to date in a different pool.

  174. 174

    @WereBear: I am not southern but I too recognized the slick sleazy type in Edwards. I am sometimes surprised at how gullible and trusting many people are.
    As for Bill Clinton, his policy instincts were pretty good. The worst legislation he signed had the Gingrinch Congress imprint on it.

  175. 175
    Captain C says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I would have voted for Edwards in the ’08 primary had he lasted that long (by the time things rolled around to New York, only Obama and Clinton were left on the ballot). I’m glad I got spared from making that mistake.

  176. 176
    trollhattan says:

    @Gelfling 545:
    I first read that as “I have given a year of Roger Stone” and was pretty appalled. Unless it was to a frenemy, then Well played!

  177. 177
    West of the Rockies says:


    I concur, but sometimes I wonder what would have happened had Hillary won. I think it would have been death by a thousand cuts, one piggy-shit investigation after another, with a ginormous dose of McConnell/Ryan obstruction, resulting in a one-term presidency, with people concluding that a woman just shouldn’t be president.

  178. 178
    Platonailedit says:

    Two cardinals facing allegations linked to sexual abuse have been removed from Pope Francis’s inner circle, the Vatican said.

    Australia’s George Pell and Chile’s Francisco Javier Errazuriz will no longer sit on the Council of Cardinals, set up by the pope as an international advice body.

    The pair were absent from the last meeting of the group in September.

  179. 179
    Amir Khalid says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    Someone will step up. Maybe China, maybe the EU if they still have weight to throw around post-Brexit. They won’t have the diplomatic, economic, or military resources the US could bring to bear; they certainly won’t be any wiser or more impartial than the US was (every nation has biases and self-interest, after all); the results won’t be pleasant. But everyone wants, secretly or not, to be the big man.

  180. 180
    tobie says:

    Add this to the annals of the grift in the age of Trump: George Papadopoulos and Simona Mangiante are now being filmed for a reality TV show about their lives post-Mueller. The article in the Post only had this to say about financing:

    The project, which is still in its early phases, is being financed by investors of FGW Productions, [Stephanie] Frederic said. She declined to name them but noted that none are Russian.

  181. 181
    Brachiator says:


    I am guessing she does not lose the no-confidence vote. No one wants her job.

    A number of people think they want her job. And of course, the crazy thing is that everyone hates the decisions she has made with respect to BREXIT, but no one has a better idea.

    The UK Standard reports this:

    Cabinet ministers Michael Gove and Amber Rudd came out fighting for Theresa May this afternoon ahead of a confidence vote on her leadership.

    Rudd has previously been a strong ally of Theresa May. Michael Gove, not so much.

  182. 182
    Domestic short hair tabby (fka vheidi) says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Heifer. We gave my mom the ark (all the animals) for her 75th. Not a gift for the vegetarians.

  183. 183
    WereBear says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Are you talking about the repeal of Glass-Steagall? Because that turned out to be a mistake.

  184. 184
    WereBear says:

    @West of the Rockies: I doubt the Russian angle would have been pursued to its end under those circumstances.

  185. 185

    @WereBear: And IIRIRA, harsh sentencing guidelines, welfare reform, etc.

  186. 186
    Brachiator says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    I concur, but sometimes I wonder what would have happened had Hillary won. I think it would have been death by a thousand cuts, one piggy-shit investigation after another, with a ginormous dose of McConnell/Ryan obstruction, resulting in a one-term presidency, with people concluding that a woman just shouldn’t be president.

    No way to know. This stuff always becomes more personal projection than anything else.

    I think HRC would have had a gloriously successful presidency. Both terms.

    More seriously, I think that based on the popular vote alone, the majority of citizens have no problem with the idea of a woman president. None at all. Hell, I even think that a Republican would have a good chance of being the first woman president, especially if she positioned herself as an authentic pro-family alternative to someone like Trump.

  187. 187
    WereBear says:

    @Domestic short hair tabby (fka vheidi): Heifer. We gave my mom the ark (all the animals) for her 75th. Not a gift for the vegetarians.

    Not so! I gave a beehive in remembrance when a friend lost her vegetarian son, and she found that lovely and appropriate.

    I also love Heifer International for those tough gifting situations. One year my office bought someone a llama.

  188. 188
    Gravenstone says:


    How does that explain Chuck Todd?

    Professional truth distorter.

  189. 189
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker: Cash is king.

  190. 190
    J R in WV says:


    Isn’t there a group that takes your donation and buys a cow or goat for a 3rd-world-country family? Don’t remember deatails.

    Yes, this is the Heifer Project, which gifts rural families with everything from bee hives or Llamas up to Holstein dairy cows. It’s a wonderful charity. I had a good friend who helped start it up years ago.

  191. 191
    lurker dean says:

    @NotMax: ooh, thanks for the reminder, i forgot about satby’s soap etc. yes, excellent gift choice, just ordered some :)

  192. 192
    Domestic short hair tabby (fka vheidi) says:

    @WereBear: good points, thanks

  193. 193
    debbie says:


    Crap, you’re right. I plead early morning sleepiness. Thanks for setting the record straight, though I see it redirects to the correct site. Glad I’m not the only idiot in this world.

  194. 194
    DaveInOz says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’ve found ‘experiences’ gift cards handy. I’ve bought my wife a day’s spa treatment for example. WE’ve bought scenic flights, go-cart sessions etc in the past

Comments are closed.