Lazy Afternoon

I am a touch under the weather, and I suspect it is a combination of an unpleasant reaction to Miami water and and not sleeping more than a few hours each night for the past few days. At any rate, the squad is not that motivated anyway:

BTW- Don’t forget to pick up your Pets of Balloon Juice 2019 calendar. The New Year is upon us.






150 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Hope you feel better soon, John. You deserve a great vacation. Give the doggies belly scratches for us.

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m standing around at Joann waiting for my “buy online pick up in store” order that I requested two days ago. I can’t get that mad at the employees, though — I know they keep this store pretty short-staffed. So I’m just waiting and thinking about what else to do today. 🤔

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    Comfy relaxed puppies are just the ticket for the free-form dread I feel today. Lily fits right in. I hope you brought a pair of overalls, John, because the thought of you wearing them on South Beach cracks me up.

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Feel better, Cole😏

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    The New York Times (@nytimes) Tweeted:
    Breaking News: The EPA proposed new rules for assessing pollution that would make it easier for power plants to release mercury and other toxic substances

    https://t.co/ybsn9HXlnG https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1078713812000391168?s=17

  6. 6
    lurker dean says:

    ugh, this day and week are dragging at work…

    @Mary G: HA on the overalls, that would be a sight.

    this is interesting – bollywood releasing a same-sex movie?!? the twitter is making it sound like a major deal, hopefully the reaction is positive.

    https://www.vogue.in/content/ek-ladki-ko-dekha-toh-aisa-lagas-trailer-hints-at-same-sex-lesbian-relationships/?

  7. 7
    satby says:

    I just spend a delightful couple of hours reading The Wind Reader by our very own jackal formerly known as IOL. It’s a nice way to spend a dank, chilly winters day.

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    planned chaos to lend credibility to the notion that the candidate that stole and manipulated absentee ballots is entitled to be certified the winner cuz they’ll never win a new election… #NC09
    https://t.co/6YU9Iea7Wk

    — skeptical brotha 🌈 (@skepticalbrotha) December 28, 2018

    a last word on #nc09 :

    GOP absentee vote fraud was exposed and referred to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of NC in January of 2017 by the GOP appointed Exec Dir of the State Board of Elections.

    the feds did nothing.

    — skeptical brotha 🌈 (@skepticalbrotha) December 28, 2018

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    U.S. suffering effects of Trump gutting environmental protections

    Eric Lipton, investigative reporter for the New York Times, talks with Joy Reid about extensive new reporting in the Times about the observable environmental impact of Donald Trump rolling back Obama-era environmental and anti-pollution regulations, and hiring the likes of Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke to run the EPA and the Interior Department.

  10. 10
    Jeffro says:

    Decent first day here in the Bahamas but whew…that ridiculous delay yesterday in Miami was, um, ridiculous.

    Got to swim with some dolphins too, so probably better than ‘decent first day’ actually.

    Oh who am I kidding…life’s pretty darned good. 😎🐬

    Sending some good island karma your way, Cole – feel better soon!

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    New McClatchy report: Cohen cell phone pinged in Prague in 2016

    Greg Gordon, investigative reporter for McClatchy News, talks with Joy Reid about the information behind his new reporting that Michael Cohen’s cell phone was observed to have pinged cell towers in the area of Prague in the summer of 2016, and an Eastern European intelligence agency eavesdropped on Russians discussing his presence there.

  12. 12
    gratuitous says:

    Based on that picture, I say, “Whoa, pace yourselves guys!”

  13. 13

    Two other people showed up at the office and we’re all being very productive standing around in the kitchen talking about anime.

  14. 14
    catclub says:

    @gratuitous: so Lily has a collar, a bow AND a harness? why?

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    Why the Bernie Movement Must Crush Beto O’Rourke
    By Jonathan Chait

    The first skirmish of the 2020 Democratic primary, a wave of attacks on Beto O’Rourke by supporters of Bernie Sanders, took almost everybody by surprise. On the outside, it looks like one of those inscrutable, personality-driven online spats that characterize the Twitter era. But the feud is neither petty nor personal nor irrational. It’s the first shot in a war that may well continue for the next year and a half.

    I have opinions about the parties involved in this conflict that are not difficult to guess. But my aim in this article is not to persuade readers of the merits of my preferences, but instead to provide a descriptive account of an important conflict that I believe is being widely misunderstood. Indeed, I think the online warriors of the Bernie movement are getting too little credit, and their mainstream liberal antagonists would benefit from a better understanding of their motives and thinking.

    ………………………….

    The rise of Beto O’Rourke poses an obvious threat. The Texas congressman has replicated aspects of Sanders’s appeal — his positivity and refusal to accept PAC money — while exceeding it in some ways. Sanders is charismatic in an unconventional way, the slovenly and cranky but somewhat lovable old uncle, while O’Rourke projects a classic handsome, toothy, Kennedy-esque charm that reliably makes Democrats swoon. Hard-core loyalists find the contrast irksome. “Reading Karl Marx is cool,” said Nomiki Konst, a Sanders loyalist and candidate for New York City public advocate, to NBC. “Doing a livestream while you’re doing your laundry is a gimmick.” The comment sums up the left’s well-grounded fear that Sanders’s hard-core ideological appeal can be easily disarmed with personal charisma.

    And while O’Rourke has yet to decide on a presidential campaign, and would have to overcome an enormous field if he does, the Sandernistas are hardly paranoid to discern the kind of groundswell that could quickly propel O’Rourke to the front of the pack. Former Obama strategist and current Pod Save America host Dan Pfeiffer wrote a piece urging O’Rourke to run (without endorsing him). O’Rourke reportedly met with Obama, who favored him with public praise. “What I liked most about his race was that it didn’t feel constantly poll-tested,” Obama said. “It felt as if he based his statements and his positions on what he believed.”

    ……………………………..

    One of the deeper strategic goals of the left is to equate progressive maximalism with authenticity, like Sanders did. They want candidates who take uncompromising left-wing positions to be seen as authentic, and candidates who adopt more moderate lines to be seen as calculating and phony. The socialist left will attack any non-Sanders candidate, but O’Rourke is especially dangerous to their project precisely because of his Obama-like personal appeal.

    The frequently invoked comparisons between O’Rourke and the 44th president explain both O’Rourke’s wide appeal within the party ranks and the mistrust he has inspired on the far left. Socialists generally regard Obama as a failure; Sanders often critiqued Obama implicitly, sometimes explicitly.

  16. 16
    zhena gogolia says:

    I always have to drink bottled water when I travel. These days it’s not just food but alien tap water that sets me off. It’s ridiculous. (Philadelphia is the worst, for some reason.)

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    Cohen again denies Prague visit despite report of intel, evidence

    Barbar McQuade, former U.S. attorney, talks with Joy Reid about the legal implications for Michael Cohen if the information reported by McClatchy, that Cohen was in Prague as the Trump dossier says, is true, and why it wouldn’t already have been mentioned in Cohen’s charges.

  18. 18
    rikyrah says:

    @Jeffro:

    The Bahamas?

    Have a great time

  19. 19
    Kelly says:

    @Major Major Major Major: When I was young and single I always volunteered to take the on call pager and generally hold down the fort Christmas thru New Years. Uninterrupted quiet time to work at my own pace plus gratitude from my coworkers and managers. Made it easy to leave work early to go night skiing in January.

  20. 20
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @satby: I’m about to go pick up the copy I ordered for my son!

  21. 21
    raven says:

    All these Cole travel travails really make me look forward to driving to New Orleans in the morning. . . in the rain.

  22. 22
    Another Scott says:

    @rikyrah: He might be playing parsing games. The reports say “Prague area”, IIRC. Maybe he never went inside the city limits.

    Or something.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Either way, I assume we’ll know the full story when Mueller releases his report.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  23. 23
    jeffreyw says:

    In the waiting room to see the doctor for cataract surgery options. i hope it works out.

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    And why, exactly, am I getting multiple cell phone robocalls from Boise? About a half-dozen so far, today. The calls leave a voicemail– something something pain specialist something. Uh, wtf?

  25. 25
    Humdog says:

    Why aren’t you and the pack out soaking up some sunshine and warmth?

    Feel better soon. Don’t forget to fix some food you regularly eat for you and Lily.

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    @jeffreyw: There are a couple of choices you need to make. The big one is the focal length after surgery- do you want to be able to drive without glasses?

  27. 27
    jeffreyw says:

    @MattF: yes, this is wat we will be talking about today

  28. 28
    FlyingToaster says:

    re: the calendar; thanks for the reminder. I need one for our guest room (better known as the “full of outgrown clothes to be donated” room)

    Relax. The whole point in going to Flahridah is to get some rest, where it’s warm and your yard/street/exit from your neighborhood isn’t under several inches of cold water. Heh.

  29. 29
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: I think maybe Cohen sent an emissary to Prague with his phone. I don’t know why, but that’s the only explanation that makes sense. Cohen has no motivation to lie about going to Prague now that he’s completely broken free from Trump. But the intel about Cohen’s phone seems credible too. So, the phone went, but not with Cohen.

  30. 30
    Marcopolo says:

    @rikyrah: On my cell so linking things is a pain in the @ss but Joy Reid just interviewed the reporter on that story & it appears the info he had was 3rd hand (he did not see any actual evidence) & they rushed the story out w/ doing a full vetting. I’d stay far away from endorsing or repeating this until they provide more info or another outlet confirms it. I was totally impressed w/ how Joy nailed his @ss on the details—or lack thereof.

  31. 31
    prostratedragon says:

    Let’s see now … there’s Grant Green …

    “Lazy Afternoon”

  32. 32
    Marcopolo says:

    @Marcopolo: Okay here is a link to a tweet thread discussing the story that has an embed for Joy’s interview:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/jedshug/status/1078677894711468032

  33. 33
    prostratedragon says:

    @prostratedragon: (Forgot the link)

  34. 34
    chris says:

    @jeffreyw: Easy as pie. Almost anyway, the post-op eyedrops are a pain but not for long. Being able to see without glasses is amazing.

  35. 35
    prostratedragon says:

    … and there’s Shirley Horn …
    “Lazy Afternoon”

  36. 36
    Gin & Tonic says:

    From The Hill:

    President Trump on Friday threatened to “close the Southern Border entirely” if Democrats do not agree to provide money to “finish” building a wall on the Mexican border.

    If he can “close the border entirely” by executive order, why do we need a wall?

  37. 37
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I think maybe Cohen sent an emissary to Prague with his phone. I don’t know why, but that’s the only explanation that makes sense.

    Why would Cohen send his phone (or one of his phones) to Prague, and not go himself? That baffles me.

  38. 38
    lurker dean says:

    @Betty Cracker: and didn’t cohen have a stash of burner phones when they raided his office? it’s not inconceivable he gave one to someone he and trump were sending to the meeting, and it was later tracked to cohen.

    just checked, the fbi found 16 cell phones in cohen’s office. it’s not crazy at all to think he gives them out as needed.
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/michael-cohen-fbi-raid-trump-lawyer-mobile-phones-seized-home-office-latest-a8324966.html

  39. 39
    MattF says:

    @Gin & Tonic: No executive order is needed. He does it by pure force of will.

  40. 40
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Amir Khalid: His father-in-law speaks Russian. AFAIK, Cohen does not.

  41. 41
    plato says:

    Nice news to round off the year.

    It's official. Democrat Jared Golden's win in Maine-2 has been certified by outgoing Gov. Paul LePage. https://t.co/kMQFHtzUmj

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 28, 2018

    If only the fricken senate had flipped…

  42. 42
    Yarrow says:

    @Betty Cracker: His motivation may come from his fear of Russians and how people that have worked with/for them suddenly die of natural causes by being stabbed multiple times in the back in their showers. Also fear for his family. He hasn’t flipped on everything.

  43. 43
    Another Scott says:

    @lurker dean: This makes the most sense.

    If the phone was there, and he really wasn’t.

    But then why are we also treated to stories that intercepts said the Russians (IIRC) said he was in the area?

    And since Cohen was Trump’s “fixer”, why would he send someone else for such a sensitive job? Who else could be trusted to do it in his stead?

    All very curious.

    But, IMHO, not worth spending a lot of time on. Press reports almost always garble the facts. Especially when sources have a reason to try to spin the facts or only release selective ones. We’re not really going to know until Mueller speaks up.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    germy says:

    @plato: Also nice news to see LePage referred to as outgoing. It’s about time he went out.

  46. 46
    Marcopolo says:

    @lurker dean: I may be wrong, but if I recall the reporting from that time the issue wasn’t that Cohen kept a bunch of burner phones it was that he never disposed of his old phones when he upgraded. There was a lot of chatter at the time in regards to how “unprofessional” and stupid that was and how it was a treasure trove of info for the Feds in gaining access & insight into the Cohen/Trump org business records.

  47. 47
    germy says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    His father-in-law speaks Russian. AFAIK, Cohen does not.

    He can barely speak English.

  48. 48
    JaySinWA says:

    @MattF: Sounds like the medical brace scam. You get a free cheap brace to deal with your pain, Medicare or insurance gets billed for an expense brace. We are getting 2 a day or so with different phone numbers attached.

  49. 49
    Marcopolo says:

    @germy: My fav part of the story is LePage writing “stolen election” next to his signature verifying the results. Christ, what an @sshole!

  50. 50
    plato says:

    @Marcopolo: With racist assholes like him and with concern troll collins, is Maine even a blue state any more?

  51. 51
    jl says:

    The chaotic activity in Trump’s brain stem is confusing up his Wall crusade. It’s to save the US from dissolution due to waves of dirty undocumented immigrants, it’s to punish Mexico for largely meaningless bilateral trade deficit numbers, it’s an attempt to sabotage saner Trumpsters in State Dept from going through with their proposal for a Central American Marshall Plan.

    News reports I’ve heard are still good about slipping in the facts on the Trump Wall shutdown fiasco. But this morning they are letting Trump officials lie about purported Democratic obstructionism. The ruthlessly dishonest Mulvaney is allowed to spout BS about events from last Saturday, ignoring GOP sabotage of negotiations and attempts to end shutdown that happened since then.

    Trump Bizarrely Threatens To Turn Shutdown Fight Into Mexican Trade War
    Nicole Lafond, TPM
    December 28, 2018
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-bizarrely-threatens-to-turn-shutdown-fight-into-mexican-trade-war

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    Georgetown Law ICAP (@GeorgetownICAP) Tweeted:
    Bittersweet news from @GeorgetownICAP: our amazing senior litigator Doug Letter will become General Counsel of the House of Representatives. We will miss Doug, but America needs him in the role, now more than ever. Congrats to our wonderful colleague!

    https://t.co/xNE7ry4NDb https://twitter.com/GeorgetownICAP/status/1078733974866980865?s=17

  53. 53
    MattF says:

    @JaySinWA: Interesting.

  54. 54
    Burnspbesq says:

    @rikyrah:

    Beto has the right enemies.

  55. 55
    Marcopolo says:

    @plato: I think ME is considered more bluish purple than straight blue. The more rural 2nd CD has often sent R’s to DC, there used to be two R Sens (remember Snow?) before King, and this is LePage’s 2nd term. But hell, he is packing up & moving to FL directly from the ME governors’ mansion so he can go eff himself & we can hope the state stays where it is politically.

  56. 56
    jl says:

    @plato: Collins has turned into something worse than a concern troll. I read a report that she may back challenges the opposition fund that was raised over her Kavanaugh vote. Next time Collins faces an election, I’ll look to the commenters from Maine on this blog for advice on the best way to defeat her and kick her out of any sort of political office forever.

    Not much in link below about Collins’ plans on the fund. That is based on something she said in an interview that I can’t find online now.

    Crowdfunding to pressure Collins on Kavanaugh vote likely to face legal challenge
    https://www.pressherald.com/2018/10/23/crowdfunding-to-pressure-collins-on-kavanaugh-vote-likely-to-face-legal-challenge/

  57. 57
    Betty Cracker says:

    Uber on up to The Wreck in Lauderdale. You’ll thank me later.

  58. 58
    lurker dean says:

    @Marcopolo: yeah, i remember that too. but 16 old phones seemed like a lot of old phones considering the original iphone didn’t come out until 2007. on the other hand, cohen is so flaky it’s hard to imagine him keeping a bunch of burner phones straight, so maybe they are just old phones and he replaces them often because he uses them so much. and with the way he kept tapes of people, it makes sense he kept the phones for whatever info they had on them.

    @Another Scott: yes, all very curious. hopefully mueller has a clearer picture than we do.

  59. 59
    Jay says:

    @lurker dean:

    Why would you send a phone to a meeting you are trying to conceal?

    If you have to have a phone, you get a fresh burner, preferably in Europe, pay for it with cash, and destroy it before getting on the airplane home.

    The key to the Cohen/Prague “angle” is according to the Steele Dossier, the Prague Meeting is where all the direct, heavy treasoning took place, directly between Treason Tribbles staff and the Russian Government, from quid pro quo’s to money changing hands.

    In the beginning, Cohen lied about Prague because that’s where all the heavy treasoning happened.

    Now Cohen lies about Prague, to keep Hair Furour in the dark about how much Cohen told Meuller about Prague, and how much IC evidence Meuller has about “What Happened in Prague”.

    Cohen sticks to the Prague Lie, because it’s a simple lie, it’s the same lie being told now for a different reason, and because everyone from Faux to QAnon has seized on it a proof the entire Steele Dossier has been “disproven”.

  60. 60
    Mike in DC says:

    I think that the first few major candidates to declare should release their tax returns early, to put pressure on Wilmer. I also think that there’s no percentage in pulling their punches on him this time around.

  61. 61
    e julius drivingstorm says:

    John, those of us who are expatriots from Miami always go straight to Shorty’s for a bbq beef sandwich when we’re in town. It’s about 30 minutes from you on the weekends, but 2 hours away during the week because of traffic. If you’re stuck out there because of your charges I’ll see if I can get some sent out. Enjoy your vacation.

  62. 62
    jl says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Hope Cracker is sitting down, but Montana has one of the best mermaid bars in the country, as does the great city of Sacramento, California.
    The people of this great country need to stand up, finally, once and for all, to the outrageous Florida mermaid bar propaganda. It has gone on for far too long.
    Florida seems to think it owns mermaid bars. It does not.

    5 Gorgeous Bars with Real Life Mermaids
    https://www.supercall.com/culture/mermaid-shows

    Edit: while trying to get to the FL mermaid bars in one piece, be sure to watch out of disgruntled customers in local convenience markets bringing in AR-15’s to help with bargaining over the price of smokes.

  63. 63
    Burnspbesq says:

    @jl:

    FWIW, as i read the Maine statute, what the crowdfunders did isn’t bribery. They didn’t offer a pecuniary benefit to Collins.

  64. 64
    Fair Economist says:

    @rikyrah: I am increasingly leaning towards supporting O’Rourke because it is essential we stop this Russian funded purity pony drive. The Republic will survive a slightly less liberal Democratic President. It might not survive one who hires Russian supporters as campaign managers and imposes major legislative changes by executive order.

  65. 65
    Ohio Mom says:

    @jeffreyw: Having had cataract surgery, it seems to me that ophthalmologists all assume that everyone wants perfect distance vision.

    The first eye surgeon I met with told me very excitedly that I’d be able to drive and play tennis without glasses!

    Well, I hate driving, avoid it as much as possible, look forward to the day I can ditch this suburban ranch and move to the city, in a walkable neighborhood on a bus line.

    And I have never played tennis.

    I read, I sew, and I considered the perfectly sharp very near-vision I had my super power.

    If I wanted to see far away, or even an arm’s length away — presto! Glasses made it possible. But no glasses can make the fabulous near-vision I had possible.

    My wishes were ignored, I now have some inbetween prescription permanently implanted. I still need glasses for distance, and readers, which don’t work as well as my very nearsighted original equipment did, for close work. I have perfect vision for watching TV from the couch but I don’t own a TV.

    I don’t begrudge anyone who wants perfect distance vision and finally has it. I am just super pissed at the eye doctor who pretended to listen to me. Who probably doesn’t know anyone who doesn’t have a TV (well, besides me, and I ditched him as a doctor).

  66. 66
    jl says:

    @Burnspbesq: Thanks for info. But fact that Collins is talking about supporting it means that she has moved from being a fraudulent moderate to being a danger to our political liberty and freedom of speech. No longer any practical difference between Collins and the most extreme reactionary GOPers,IMHO. So, I hope this blog, or commenters on it, alert me to best way to eject her from every holding any political office of any kind ever again, when the time comes.

    Same goes for the likes of Rand Paul and Grassley.

  67. 67
    chopper says:

    @rikyrah:

    “Reading Karl Marx is cool,” said Nomiki Konst, a Sanders loyalist

    and people say berniacs live in a bubble.

  68. 68
    divF says:

    @MattF:

    multiple cell phone robocalls from Boise

    For the last couple of months, I have been getting weekly robocalls from SoCal, with messages in (I think) Chinese. WTF ?

  69. 69
    Ohio Mom says:

    @jeffreyw: I should add that cataract surgery is fun. Lots of swirling colors and you have enough of a buzz to really enjoy them.

  70. 70
    MattF says:

    @Ohio Mom: Similarly, I don’t have a working TV, drive very little, and had very acute near-distance vision. The main advantage of acute distance vision for me now is that I can find my glasses without wearing glasses. Not world-changing, but that’s one frustration gone.

    The main problem of cataract surgery for me was that I turned out to be sensitive to the post-op prednisilone eyedrops– they caused a blood pressure spike.

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    @marcopolo

    Can recall the confusion on the set of the CBS election night coverage the year Angus King was first elected governor as an independent. Dan Rather announcing that King was the projected winner but they would be showing Maine on the gubernatiorial map in the D color*. Then about an hour later announcing they had changed gears and now would color Maine as green.

    *Networks used to swap the colors every four years. IIRC, that year was one when red was used for Dems and blue for Reps.

  72. 72
    Raven says:

    Well we just decided to wait until Sunday to go to New Orleans and extend our trip through next Saturday,

  73. 73
    JMG says:

    @jeffreyw: I have the same appointment on the 8th. After a lifetime of extreme nearsightedness, they idea of not wearing glasses when outdoors has great appeal.
    In re North Carolina: The House is the final judge of whether or not to seat a member, and Pelosi has already said Hayes would not be seated without a full investigation — meaning he won’t be.

  74. 74
    MattF says:

    @divF: This is actually a known scam. Chinese recipients are told that they need to make a payment of some sort. It’s weird that people with very non-Chinese surnames get these calls.

  75. 75
    Ohio Mom says:

    @MattF: Oh dear! re: blood pressure spike. Sounds dangerous, especially high blood pressure tends to be without obvious symptoms.

    I hear you on needing to have glasses to find glasses. I don’t take mine off during the day but Ohio Dad is always taking his off to read something and losing track of where they are. We use a lot of adrenaline in this house on frantic, mad searches.

  76. 76
    Raven says:

    @jeffreyw: Good luck brah!

  77. 77
    Yarrow says:

    @Raven: Best to be safe. I drove through that storm a few days ago and it was some of the worst driving I’ve done in a long time. Hard, hard work and I was utterly exhausted after four hours of it.

  78. 78
    MattF says:

    @Ohio Mom: Everyone was amazed when the cause of my up-and-down blood pressure was figured out. The eye surgeon said she’d never seen that degree of sensitivity before.

  79. 79

    One of my neighbors just stopped by and asked to buy a book for her grandson. Neighbor had already read all three of my novels and says she’s no longer telling people they’re books for young readers because she really enjoyed them. This is a good day.

    OTOH, poor Mr DAW went to the dentist with a swollen gum and came back with a hole where his last molar used to be.

  80. 80
    raven says:

    @Yarrow: I was wondering where you were driving to/from? I really want to see the two playoff games tomorrow and I’d be hauling ass trying to get there so the hell with it. I can’t get a refund on the parking but what the hell, no biggie.

  81. 81

    @jl:

    as does the great city of Sacramento, California.

    And you get the Delta Breeze as a bonus. WIN!

  82. 82
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Trump is not popular so I don’t see how shutting down the federal government for some phantom wall is going to help his ratings. Or maybe he just doesn’t give a damn. Some of his supporters are already being hurt by this shutdown which could go on for another two weeks if he decides to be stubborn.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    ”Reading Karl Marx is cool,” said Nomiki Konst, a Sanders loyalist and candidate for New York City public advocate, to NBC. “Doing a livestream while you’re doing your laundry is a gimmick.”

    I’ve only heard of AOC doing her laundry on a livestream, not Beto. Are the Bros starting to realize that AOC is much more pragmatic than they realized and would rather work with Nancy Pelosi than against her?

  84. 84
    James E Powell says:

    @Mike in DC:

    I think that the first few major candidates to declare should release their tax returns early, to put pressure on Wilmer. I also think that there’s no percentage in pulling their punches on him this time around.

    I think that constantly reminding the Democratic base that Sanders and his cult followers helped put Trump in the White House and that he has never apologized or explained why he did will help deflate his campaign. Sadly, I expect him and his to go Nader for the general.

    For the TrueLeft®, winning elections is proof of impurity & corruption.

  85. 85

    @divF: Probably the Chinese Consulate here in LA, I’ve been getting calls from them for a year or so.

  86. 86
    Ohio Mom says:

    @MattF: Rolling my eyes. That’s what the endodontist said after the right side of my face froze after the root canal: Never saw that before!

    Yeah, right.

    My face loosened up a few days later but my smile remains a bit crooked. The right side doesn’t lift as high as the left.

  87. 87
    Brachiator says:

    @rikyrah:

    Why the Bernie Movement Must Crush Beto O’Rourke
    By Jonathan Chait

    Good to see this posted here. I noted it in an earlier thread.

    I also see this fight taking place on YouTube and elsewhere, where programs like The Young Turks are attacking Beto because he is insufficiently pure, and of course, has corporate contributors, etc.

    These people also have to attack Obama, because he failed to become their Progressive Messiah. This is a tiresome bunch of dopes, but they cannot be reasoned with.

    NBC also notes the focused attack by Bernie-nuts on Beto, Inside Bernie-world’s war on Beto O’Rourke They also touch on how the Sanders’ acolytes want to make a fetish of appealing to white, and especially male, voters

    But O’Rourke’s ability to connect with younger and progressive white voters — Sanders’ source of strength in his losing 2016 primary against Hillary Clinton — puts him in direct competition with the Vermont senator.

    A Quinnipiac University poll released Dec. 19 showed that 57 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 34 have a favorable view of Sanders, while his unfavorable ratings are higher than his favorables with voters 35 and older.

    Twenty-five percent of millennials view O’Rourke favorably and 15 percent view him unfavorably, with 59 percent telling Quinnipiac they haven’t heard enough about him to know how they feel.

    And while the vast majority of Democrats have an opinion about Sanders, that’s not true of O’Rourke yet, with 51 percent reporting they don’t have enough information to form an opinion.

    That explains the rush to define him in negative terms.

    These dopes are seriously out of touch, but they are intent on causing as much trouble as they can.

  88. 88
    Skepticat says:

    @jl: As someone who contributed to that fund twice, I have more than the usual rude things to say to and about Collins and her pettiness. And LeRage … don’t get me started. He’s going to fit in well in Floriduh.

  89. 89
    Ohio Mom says:

    I’ve just answered the fifth robocall since starting reading this thread. I’m beginning to wonder how much of our national electric usage is going to those things.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    It could have been worse for Mr. DAW. My mother-in-law turned out to have a small but cancerous growth when she had a weird sore in her mouth. Fortunately, she goes to the dentist regularly and it was caught so early that they were able to remove the whole thing surgically. She didn’t need chemo or radiation, though she did have to sacrifice 3 teeth.

    She whistles a little when she talks now because of the plate they put in, but otherwise she’s fine. Always see your dentist regularly, kids!

  91. 91
    geg6 says:

    I’m being pretty lazy today, too, Cole. Got caught up on the new season of Top Chef, which is my favorite show.

    Now getting ready to bake a ham with a maple glaze. Going to make baked candied yams and braised orange carrots and parsnips for sides. Tomorrow it’s chicken thighs, rice and broccoli casserole. Comfort food mania is setting in.

    May try once more to get into Game of Thrones. If it doesn’t take this time around, I’ll quit trying.

  92. 92
    jl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Just a block from the CA state capitol.

    And, on another topic, how come no support or attacks from operatives and fanatics in the media on Baud 2020! He’s asleep at the switch again?

  93. 93
    e julius drivingstorm says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    My eye doctor said I had pretty good distance vision. I told him I couldn’t see my golf ball land. He said I should try landing it in the fairway.

  94. 94

    @Ohio Mom: Hmmm, sounds like a case of Bell’s Palsy. Madame had that after wrist surgery.

  95. 95
    The Golux says:

    @Raven: If you get the chance, check out Longway Tavern (on Toulouse Street, half a block from Bourbon Street). My son is the head chef. It opened in April, and made Esquire’s top 20 new restaurants list.

  96. 96
    germy says:

    @Brachiator:

    These dopes are seriously out of touch, but they are intent on causing as much trouble as they can.

    And playing innocent while they do:

    The fact that describing someone's congressional record has been depicted as an attempt to "annihilate" them is laughable. If a recitation of your record annihilates your presidential ambitions, that is not the fault of the person reciting it.— Puff the Magic Hater (@MsKellyMHayes) December 26, 2018

  97. 97
    JMG says:

    @Ohio Mom: My eye doctor, who referred me to the surgeon I’ll see, had cataract surgery and explained she chose to keep her new vision because it was more important to her in her work, which figures.

  98. 98
    germy says:

    @jl:

    how come no support or attacks from operatives and fanatics in the media on Baud 2020! He’s asleep at the switch again?

    I heard there’s an oppo book the size of a phone book. It’s out there.

  99. 99
    Burnspbesq says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I asked for what you apparently got. I work on computer all day, and wanted to be optimized at 2-2.5 feet. I am ok with readers for up close, and distance classes at night.

  100. 100
    jl says:

    California GOP robbed again in the increasingly rigged TPM annual scandal awards. Getting almost as bad as East Coast bias in sports and disaster news coverage.
    One problem is that they have fallen for all these weird and outlandish Trumpster style scandals, and no category for good old fashioned graft and embezzlement.
    Duncan Hunter Jr. was robbed of his rightful recognition as a top scandler.
    TPM needs a ‘good old-fashioned money scandal’ category. What happened to that, huh?

    2018 Golden Dukes Winners Announced!
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/golden-dukes-2018-winners

  101. 101
    Raven says:

    @The Golux: Oh cool, we’ll be at Burgundy and St Ann so it’s right around the corner!

    Liam or John?

  102. 102
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: I agree with Chait when he says their ultimate goal is to change the Democratic Party from “liberal” to Sosh-a-list, raising the obvious question, Why don’t they and their idol join the Sosh-a-list Party and sell it to the American people, who are just dying to vote for their policies if they but knew it.

    Reminds me of all the earnest keening from Kucinich supporters (remember them?): If the People just heard Dennis then they would see….! (put an exclamation point after every word, and maybe in the middle of them)

  103. 103
    Fair Economist says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Symptoms could be Bell’s palsy but if there was a nerve block done that is a more likely cause.

  104. 104
    Raven says:

    All these vision issues have me thinking about my stroke. The double vision has resolved but dang.

  105. 105
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Jeb! and Baud 2020! show that the magic is putting the explanation point next to the name. Beto! Bernie!

  106. 106
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @jl: In the Beginning was Lamar!

  107. 107
    The Golux says:

    @Raven: It’s between Bourbon and Royal. Are you staying at the Inn On St. Ann? Looks intriguing – I’ve always got an eye out for hotels in New Orleans for our next visit.

  108. 108
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Fair Economist: The internist thought the endodontist must have hit a nerve with the novocain needle. It seemed to me to be an honest mistake but the reaction was anything but. Of course every dentist knows that’s a possibility.

  109. 109
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @MattF: Evenision the day when a 50ft statue of Trump (gold of course) will stand at the Rio Grand with his hand sternly raised in rebuke, eternally defending America from the Latin American hordes who come to mow our lawns!

  110. 110
    germy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Reminds me of all the earnest keening from Kucinich supporters (remember them?): If the People just heard Dennis then they would see….!

    I think the People do want socialism…. but just for white people.

    During the republican primaries, trump sounded almost like bernie, the way he attacked wall street, the big bankers, and promised healthcare for everybody. His redhats ate it up.

  111. 111
    The Golux says:

    @Raven:

    Liam or John?

    John. An exceedingly rare specimen in the restaurant business — no tattoos.

  112. 112
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @rikyrah:

    “Reading Karl Marx is cool,” said Nomiki Konst, a Sanders loyalist and candidate for New York City public advocate, to NBC. “Doing a livestream while you’re doing your laundry is a gimmick.” The comment sums up the left’s well-grounded fear that Sanders’s hard-core ideological appeal can be easily disarmed with personal charisma.

    “Reading Karl Marx is cool.”

    I mean Marx had some good critiques against capitalism but this is simply out of touch. I would think Wilmer’s “hardcore-ideological appeal” would itself be a drawback in a general election, unless he somehow moderated. Which could then alienate these same hardcore supporters.

  113. 113
    jeffreyw says:

    Back home. The Dr is going to implant a lens that he claims is good for near vision and far vision both. Color me sceptical but they are similar to what Mrs J had several years ago. She wears over the counter reading glasses for close work but goes without durning the majority of her day.
    They have scheduled the surgery in 2 weeks which seems prompt as these things go.

  114. 114

    @Betty Cracker:

    Cohen has no motivation to lie about going to Prague now that he’s completely broken free from Trump.

    These people lie so often they don’t know how to stop.

  115. 115
    Raven says:

    @The Golux: No, our friends have a house at 805 . We stayed there 10 years ago and it is beautiful and we can take the dogs. I reserved a parking space for $30 a day from Premium and I hope it works out. I just looked at their app and it says it’s “congested”.

  116. 116
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: it almost never gets mentioned, but I believe trump never would’ve won the EC if he had, as a candidate, adopted the Bush/Romney/Ryan/etc position on the social safety net

    and if you’re old and white, that isn’t sosh-a-lism (can we just type it now?), it’s money you earned! by god

  117. 117
    Mary G says:

    I am firmly following all the black women on Twitter who have no use for Bernie, or socialism. It seems to be a white purity pony delusion backed up by a massive infusion of new Russian trolls and bots, which Twitter and the media are once again ignoring. I am OK with Beto, but I love Kamala. My mind will be made up for realz after the primary. That’s what primaries are for.

    And this guy has been a real disappointment:

    .⁦@SenSanders,⁩ recent CNN poll shows that among potential Democratic candidates in Iowa caucuses you have the highest approval rating from people of color. https://t.co/Wv8ktZsbkc— Keith Ellison (@keithellison) December 25, 2018

  118. 118
    germy says:

    @Mary G: I like Ragnarok Lobster’s reply to that tweet:

    You retweeted an article from the most toxic Sanders supporter on social media. A woman who hatestalks black women and writes entire articles about their tweets because they have the nerve to be critical of Sanders. Amazing.— Ragnarok Lobster (@eclecticbrotha) December 26, 2018

  119. 119
    Jay says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Cohen has reason to lie in public, lots of reasons to lie in public, even though he rolled over on Treason Twitler,

    #1. To hide what Meuller knows from Hair Twitler,
    #2. Pulonium tea,
    #3. Accidental fall out window,
    #4. Accidental fall down stairs,
    #5. Novichuck coated door handles,
    #6. Suicide by gym bag,

    Just to name a few.

  120. 120
    jl says:

    @Mary G: ” My mind will be made up for realz after the primary. That’s what primaries are for. ”

    I agree with that. The great Bernie! versus Beto! wars seem more a proxy battle between centrist and lefty factions of the party, waged by interested pundits, political operatives and various camp followers.
    Beto has significantly changed some of his policies, and is pretty vague on many issues right now. Bernie! sounds like a tape recording of his 2016 pitch.
    I’ll wait until we know who the candidates are and what they have to say, see what they are willing to put down on paper as their policy platform, how primary voters respond.

  121. 121
    MattF says:

    @jeffreyw: Not obvious to me how that would work. I’ve heard of ‘monovision’ where the two eyes have different focal lengths, and if that works for you, it’s fine. But I’m not gonna speculate.

  122. 122
    Shana says:

    @Mnemosyne: What did you get at Joann? Sewing stuff or crafting stuff? What are you making?

  123. 123
    MattF says:

    @Jay: Defenestration is a very classical method of assassination.

  124. 124
    trollhattan says:

    @MattF:
    Agent Gadd in The Americans.

  125. 125
    tobie says:

    @Mary G: I want to like Kamala Harris but I haven’t been all that taken when I’ve seen her interviewed on TV. She seems cagey and suspicious of the interviewer. Maybe she’ll get used to the format in time. I heard her speak at a healthcare rally in 2017 and, again, left underwhelmed. I’ll keep an open mind about her since a lot of people I know are excited about her candidacy. Right now I’m tending toward Amy Klobuchar who strikes me as warm and smart–not charismatic but appealing in a low-key, midwestern way.

  126. 126
    germy says:

    Pelosi Names Douglas N. Letter New General Counsel of the House

    Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi announced today that she will appoint Douglas N. Letter to be the new General Counsel of the House of Representatives.

    Until February 2018, Letter served as the Director of the Civil Division Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice, retiring this year after 40 years of distinguished service at the agency. He is now a Senior Litigator at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he is also a Visiting Professor of Law. He is a recipient of many prestigious honors, including the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award.

    “Douglas Letter has an outstanding and highly decorated record of achievement in service of America,” Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi said. “He will bring deep experience and legal expertise to the House, as he counsels and represents our institution, Members and staff as House General Counsel.”

    https://www.democraticleader.gov/newsroom/122818-3/

  127. 127
    Quinerly says:

    @MattF: I was always nearsighted until I hit 50. Wear contacts… Left eye is set up for distance with that contact. Right eye is set up for reading with that contact… Thus mono vision. Never had a problem with adjusting to it.

  128. 128
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @germy:

    In all fairness to Ragnorak Lobster, what does that have to do with Ellison’s claims in that tweet?

    ETA: Unless his(?) point wasn’t about that and was critical of Ellison choice to retweet that toxic person’s article.

  129. 129
    NotMax says:

    @germy

    Relying on the Letter of the law, so to speak.

  130. 130

    @Fair Economist: True, depends on when the symptoms presented themselves.

  131. 131
    MomSense says:

    Sorry you are not feeling well, John. At least the dogs look like they are ready for some serious rest and relaxation.

    Everyone at work is sick and I’m definitely fighting it off. I’m supposed to go to North Conway tonight but I think I’m going to wait until morning. I want to go to bed early and if I’m sick in the morning I won’t infect three families with this pestilence.

  132. 132
    trollhattan says:

    @Quinerly:
    Friend who got Lasik had that done and has been happy with the result.

    I make do with contacts for nearsightedness and once presbyopia hit the doc has made them progressive for reading and such. I dunno if cataract lenses can be similarly crafted but I’m asking for that should the day come.

    Walking in the rain, real sunglasses and seeing everything 25% larger are all compelling reasons to keep the glasses off until bedtime.

  133. 133
  134. 134
    NotMax says:

    Anomaly or sign of the times?

    For the first time in 18 years, MSNBC came out ahead of Fox News last week with an average of 1.56 million viewers to Fox’s 1.54, according to a Thursday Politico report.

    Those viewers tuned in from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. from Dec. 17-21.Source

  135. 135
    rikyrah says:

    @Mary G:
    When I say lips pursed 😒😒

    He needs to do his new phucking job, cause nobody is playing with them 😡😡

  136. 136
    rikyrah says:

    @Mary G:

    We got receipts.
    Tad Devine

    There is absolutely NO WAY that the Democrats will nominate ANYONE with ANY possible Russian connection in 2020.

    NEVER EVER EVER.

  137. 137
    jl says:

    @NotMax:

    What older people watch, 2017. The data below give a younger age for the average Fox News viewer than I’ve seen elsewhere. I’ve seen numbers between 68 and 70, but maybe those estimaes are for specific shows, like Fox and Friends, Hannity, etc.

    Here’s the Median Age of the Typical Cable News Viewer
    Adweek
    ” In prime time, the median age ticks even lower: CNN’s median was 59 (flat vs. 2016); MSNBC’s median was 65 (up two years from 63 in 2016); and Fox News’ was 66 (flat vs. 2016).”
    https://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/heres-the-median-age-of-the-typical-cable-news-viewer/355379

  138. 138
    zhena gogolia says:

    @jeffreyw:

    I look forward to hearing about it. This lies in my fairly near future. I have a great doctor so I’m hoping it won’t be too bad.

  139. 139
    Citizen Alan says:

    @rikyrah:

    I am so fucking sick of these pampered armchair Marxists who have hijacked the word progressive. Everything they say they want has already been put out of their reach for a generation because of their petulant hatred of HRC. And if they get their way, it will be put out of their reach literally forever.

  140. 140
    Suzanne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: The other reason that is a bullshit equivalency is because reading Marx and live streaming your laundry are done for different fucking reasons. One reads political philosophy to develop and deepen ideas for policy. One live streams one’s activities to connect with people, build rapport, and find new ways to communicate ideas.

    As we are mostly nerds here and we follow this inside baseball, what we are looking for in our candidates is not the same as what most of the public is looking for. I really think this commentariat tends to underestimate the importance of the power of human connection for most of the electorate. People want to feel inspired, personally represented, valuable, meaningful. Trump was successful in winning because he weaponized the fuck out of this. Once again, marketing is the only thing he is good at.

    We should and we will parse all of the policy positions held by all of the potential candidates, including Beto. But let’s remember that what many/most of the public is looking for is different, and I fear we overlook missing something important.

  141. 141
    StringOnAStick says:

    @MattF: You might want to call back and let them know you are not the person they are seeking. I had a long rambling review of a medical test left on my voicemail by a doctor for a patient who gave them my number. She also never paid her bill and it was 3 years of fighting with a debt collection service to get them to quit calling me. The last time they claimed my number was no longer in their system, which I told them was very interesting since they’d just called me 15 minutes ago.

  142. 142
    jeffreyw says:

    @MattF: Not obvious to me, either, despite circles and arrows drawn on a notepad — Concentric “zones” that alternate near Rx and far Rx in a lens with a different curvature than what I would term a simple lens. Again, how that works was beyond the Dr’s ability to explain to me before the heat death of the universe would make understanding superfluous.

  143. 143
    Shana says:

    @StringOnAStick: I spent years calling back people who had left voicemails on our landline because they had misdialed a doctor’s office that was one digit off from our number. I couldn’t live with myself if I let people think they had left a message with a doctor and didn’t. They were, without exception, very glad to hear that they’d misdialed and very apologetic to me.

  144. 144
    NeenerNeener says:

    @jeffreyw: One of my co-workers has the lenses that are supposed to be good for both near and far. She said our insurance didn’t cover it so she paid for it herself. When I had mine done 4 years ago I went with the ones for distance vision because I’ve been very, very near-sighted since I was 10 and I was tired of balancing Coke bottles on the bridge of my nose. I still need cheap drug store glasses for reading and computer work, but the cheaters weigh almost nothing compared to my old glasses. One of my sisters just had hers done with one lens for distance and one for near vision, an option I don’t remember being offered. It seems to be working well for her.

  145. 145
    JPL says:

    @Raven: Forty years ago, the Court of Two sisters had the best red beans and rice that I’ve ever had. I just googled and it appears the generation that owns it now has fancied up the place a bit.

  146. 146
    Mary G says:

    @rikyrah: Yep. And no candidate who doesn’t release many years of tax returns can fuck right off.

  147. 147
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mary G: Jesus, Ellison’s feed is almost entirely devoted to promoting Wilmer. I imagine he imagines a Sanders-Ellison national ticket?

  148. 148
    Redshift says:

    @jeffreyw: I’m getting one eye done on Monday. (My cataract is caused by retina surgery in June, which is why it’s only one.) My decision was simpler, because most of the fancy replacement lenses are not recommended for people who’ve had retina surgery. Also, once I had my consultation, the doctor said my pupil is off center, and the multi-focal lenses only work if you are seeing through the center.

    So I’m getting a lens for distance, which hopefully will replicate what I had before in that eye, only better. Since I’ve always had one eye that was good for distance and one that’s good for up close, it was easy for me to transition to glasses and contacts that worked the same way, and I’ll continue with that.

  149. 149
    seaboogie says:

    Pet-sitting a sweet older lab, five fishes, and a gorgeous black and white cat who hates me and is working on a plan to kill me in my sleep. I know we often joke about such things, but this feels real – and I am a total cat person. Giving her ample space, and we have another week of this.

  150. 150
    dww44 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Just seeing this now, so I know the thread is dead, but I just want to add to your comment about stores short-staffing. It’s everywhere and it is never more annoying than at the Kroger, which can’t seem to keep enough stock on their shelves and only put 2 folks on the checkout lines pushing everyone to go to the self-service aisles, which I hate. The employees are very nice;the manager also is. It’s the corporate suits that are pushing this agenda. Going to Publix, albeit more expensive, is a shopping pleasure.

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