Friday Morning Open Thread: “It Begins Now”

Besides Tlaib, Illan Omar, a Somali immigrant from Minnesota, also was sworn in, resplendent in a white-and-gold hijab. A few rows in front of Omar in the House chamber was Deb Haaland of New Mexico, dressed in turquoise jewelry and traditional Pueblo Native costume. Along with Sharice Davids of Kansas, Haaland is one of the first two Native American women to be elected to the Congress. After the morning’s business was concluded, the two women enfolded each other, weeping, in a long embrace, Haaland using David’s scarf to wipe away her tears.

All of these new members of the House, it needn’t be said, were members of the Democratic Party. So was virtually every person of color in the chamber. On the other side of the hall was a largely monochromatic new Republican minority that channelled its foul mood through the person of Congresswoman Liz Cheney, child of the Undead, who spit up a bitter, Trumpian nominating speech on behalf of Republican leader Kevin McCarthy’s candidacy for the speakership. She even went to “build that wall,” which got her a hoot and a holler from her fellow Republicans, but which was drowned out by the sound of happy children and grandchildren from the other side of the aisle. It was as though someone had grafted a Chuck E. Cheese onto a funeral parlor.

Nancy Pelosi, because she is smarter than everyone in the House, and much smarter than anyone in the White House, god knows, was re-elected easily to be the new Speaker, although the balloting was not devoid of hilarity. Pelosi and McCarthy were the only two announced candidates, but votes also were cast for Reps. Jim Jordan, Cheri Bustos, and Marcia Fudge, as well as for Senator Tammy Duckworth, defeated Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Conor Lamb, the rookie from Pennsylvania, voted for Rep. Joe Kennedy, who got a good laugh out of it, and Ron Kind, Democrat of Wisconsin, voted for Rep. John Lewis, who looked rather frosty about it. Two Democratic House members voted “Present.” And Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey haplessly voted, “No,” which was not on the menu. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, both of whom made noises months ago about challenging Pelosi, both voted for her. And, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted for Pelosi, there was some kind of organized whoo-hoo from the Republican side. She simply makes them completely crazy.

The most touching moment of the balloting came when Lucy McBath of Georgia dedicated her vote for Pelosi to her late son, Jordan, murdered for the offense of playing his music too loudly for the white guy in the next car. McBath threw herself into the fight for sensible gun laws, and that culminated in her election in November. This was quite a moment, as was the embrace between Davids and Haaland. It took 240 years for people like the two of them to represent their fellow citizens in a government that did so much bloody damage to their people…

It is a different place now, this House of Representatives. There is something of the future in it, and god alone knows where it will lead, but the work, the real work, begins now.

132 replies
  1. 1
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    In 09, 47 Dems held seats that voted for McCain & Bush 04. Now, just 14 hold seats that backed Trump & Romney.

    This is why passing the stimulus, ACA, a repeal of DADT, Dodd-Frank, withdrawing all the troops from Iraq, etc. so amazing. There was zero republican support and 33% of Dem caucus was looking over their right shoulder.

  2. 2
    Mary G says:

    The Indivisible groups in San Francisco and New York were already demonstrating outside Nancy SMASH and Schumer’s local offices in celebration and also to keep them honest on the minimum wage and M4A. Possibly other cities, too. It’s great to see citizens staying involved to keep the government headed in the right direction.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    To those bemoaning the death of democracy, a message.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Total women in the U.S. House:

    16 Democrats
    13 Republicans

    89 Democrats
    13 Republicans

    A point of data from the Guardian a few weeks ago:

    The proportion of white men within the Democratic caucus has dropped from 41% to 38% next year, while the same percentage is has risen among Republicans from 86% to 90%.

    But both parties are the same, no difference at all between them.

  5. 5
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I love men, my sons are men, but less than 1/4 is still too many men and not enough women.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  7. 7
    satby says:

    @satby: speaking of my sons: 36 years ago today my oldest was born. I would call him to say Happy Birthday but he isn’t up yet.

  8. 8
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @satby: I’d be concerned if your sons weren’t men! :P

    The new Democratic majority looks good. I hope they’re ready to play PR war games with Yertle, because that fucker only knows how to do one thing when he can’t do everything he wants, which is to do nothing at all.

  9. 9
    Plato says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    Yup. What Obama achieved was incredible given the political scorched earth opposition, for which he is not given due credit by the left and the dems including this blog.

  10. 10
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning 😊!

  11. 11
    Aleta says:

    Thanks AL and everyone.

  12. 12
    trnc says:

    I wonder what Pelosi will be doing during the State of the Union as she stands behind Individual 1. She can’t roll her eyes every time he lies because it would look petty and also wear out her eye sockets. I’m thinking maybe she can have a legal pad that she makes notes on about his lies.

  13. 13
    satby says:

    @trnc: hope she knows shorthand or she’ll never be able to keep up.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I wonder what Pelosi will be doing during the State of the Union as she stands behind Individual 1.

    Wielding the gavel in a threatening manner.

    ETA, you know, like whack-a-mole. Every time he lies she smashes that sucker flat

  15. 15
    p.a. says:

    @trnc: She could wear Beats. No crime in being disrespectful to those who don’t deserve respect.

  16. 16
    Luthe says:

    @trnc: I’d be in favor of her banging the gavel on the podium every time he lies, but there would be neither podium nor gavel left by the end, not to mention the risk of carpal tunnel for Nancy SMASH.

  17. 17
    MagdaInBlack says:

    She’ll need 3.
    Insane Rambling.
    Flat-out Gibberish.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:


    Practicing her best Buster Keaton facial impression.

    Which is still more animated than Pence’s Madame Tussaud’s visage.

  19. 19

    […] Charles P. Pierce in Esquire via Balloon Juice: […]

  20. 20
    Lapassionara says:

    @MagdaInBlack: True, this. I do wonder if Trump can still read from a TelePrompTer. His ramblings during his cabinet meeting the other day were so bizarre that I think his mental decline has accelerated. Just comparing this year’s address to his first one should prove interesting.

    Good morning, everyone.

  21. 21
    debbie says:

    I think a slight arch of an eyebrow will convey all that needs to be conveyed.

  22. 22
    Amir Khalid says:

    No, Pelosi shouldn’t wear Beats. Beats headphones are all marketing and no sound quality.

  23. 23
    debbie says:


    I think his mental decline has accelerated.

    Turns out our parents were right: Too much TV watching is bad for us!

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    Put on something innocuous to watch last night while supping. Episode from season three of a series.

    Closed captioning was on as is my wont, but it was displaying the dialogue from a season one episode of the same series. Talk about eye-ear dissonance.

  25. 25
    plato says:

    Six years ago I never imagined that I would one day be sworn into the United States Congress.

    Jordan – we did it. But the real work is yet to come.— Lucy McBath (@LucyWins2018) January 4, 2019

  26. 26
    rikyrah says:

    Happy birthday to him👏🎊🎉🍷

  27. 27
    SFAW says:


    Every time he lies she smashes that sucker flat

    Seems reasonable.

    I was considering suggesting Speaker Pelosi — I love being able to write “Speaker Pelosi” — should pull a Joe Wilson, shouting “You lie!” every time Lying Littledick lies. But then I realized that she’d probably need someone like Springsteen to do it for her, because her voice might give out by the thousandth time she said it. Hell, even Bruce might be vocally challenged.

    ETA: Or maybe it’s Bru-u-u-u-u-u-ce?

  28. 28
    oldster says:

    My country. My America. Goddamn but I love it.

    Not the Russian’s country. Not the NRA’s. Not the white supremacists’.

    My country. Our country. It’s a beautiful thing.

    God bless Lucy McBath, and AOC, and NDP, and Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids.

    And God bless Congresswoman Tlaib. You go, girl — impeach that motherf*cker.

  29. 29
    LevelB says:

    Thank you for posting this.

  30. 30
    NotMax says:


    So just missed being a tax deduction for 1981.


    Happy birthday to your boy.

  31. 31
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: thanks, I’ll tell him!

  32. 32
  33. 33
    debbie says:


    How about laughter at inappropriate places?

  34. 34
    Quinerly says:

    Sweet little piece about the 10 scientists and medical professionals sworn in yesterday.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:


    Heh. Make that a tax deduction for 1982.

    Not used to it numerically being a new year yet. Already pre-wrote “/19” on the first few checks in the book.

  36. 36
    Schlemazel says:

    @satby: As a woman older than a given age I can bet you she was taught shorthand. Boys OTOH were sent to shop. Now everyday as I struggle to two finger type mat way through the world I curse my limited education!

  37. 37
    John S. says:


    My thoughts exactly. But let him refuse to bring anything up for a vote for 2 years and preside over a do-nothing Senate heading into a presidential election year.

    I’m sure that will work out for him.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    Heh. Marginal British detective flick, circa 1950, on in background. Police have a bug set up in a private detective’s office and are shown taping the conversation there on a reel to reel recorder.

    Seated right next to the recorder is a speaker and a male officer acting as stenographer, taking it all down in shorthand.

  39. 39
    SFAW says:


    How about laughter at inappropriate places?

    As you kids say, “It’s all good.”

    I’d also be OK (theoretically) with Speaker Pelosi mouthing “fucking moron” or “bullshit” when on camera, but that’s not her style, and I frankly don’t want her to behave that way, because she needs to be the adult. [In my mind, she’s pretty high-class/high-end. It would be sorta like seeing Walter Cronkite or Sir Laurence Olivier (in a Shakespearean thing) saying “What the FUCK???” But that’s just me.] It might be good fun if the cameras managed to catch Ted Lieu doing that, however.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  41. 41
    Gremcat says:

    I think there is a 80% chance that Asshole will forego the SOTU address and simply send a letter.

  42. 42
    SFAW says:


    Seated right next to the recorder is a speaker and a male officer acting as stenographer, taking it all down in shorthand.

    Was he wearing a kilt?

  43. 43
  44. 44
    JMG says:

    @Gremcat: And miss being on all TV networks at once? Never!

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @satby: I hope he realizes he won the mom lottery.

  46. 46
    SFAW says:


    I think there is a 80% chance that Asshole will forego the SOTU address and simply send a letter.

    We should be so lucky. No, he’ll want to mug for the cameras, and spout more self-aggrandizing lies in front of the nation, and manage to work in some moronic insults towards Speaker Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Barack/Michelle Obama (among others).

  47. 47
    satby says:

    @NotMax: and my ex was annoyed about that, and that I couldn’t intuit that I was carrying a boy.
    That’s a guy I don’t miss at all 😆!

  48. 48
    Eric S. says:

    @Schlemazel: My mother convinced me to take a typing class in high school. I wasn’t very good but I did get learn some basic musclememory. Twenty, ney 30 years (where did the time go), and a career in programming, it is one of the many things I’m thankful to parents for.

  49. 49
    satby says:

    @Baud: why thanks, you sweetie you!

  50. 50
    NotMax says:


    Nope. Otherwise he’d be taking it all down in shortbread.


  51. 51
    SFAW says:


    Nope. Otherwise he’d be taking it all down in shortbread.

    Not haggis? Although I guess that would be a tough, non-permanent medium to use.

  52. 52
    gene108 says:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted for Pelosi, there was some kind of organized whoo-hoo from the Republican side. She simply makes them completely crazy. horny

    Honestly think a lot of the conservative men would love to cat call her, but since that would look really, really bad, they chosen petty insults, as they know they have been rejected

  53. 53
  54. 54
    satby says:

    @Schlemazel: I was still in the age group that were steered into typing and shorthand. Ironically, my mother’s antipathy to typing (“they’ll trap you in the pink collar ghetto”) carried over into my classes, and I barely passed. But I got As in shorthand, which is pretty useless if you aren’t a secretary taking dictation.
    To this day I type with three fingers only.

  55. 55
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Pierce at his best.

  56. 56
    Spanky says:

    @Quinerly: A week or so ago I posted this link with pics of AOC as science fair prizewinner.

    No dancing, but the pics are pretty geeky.

  57. 57
    NotMax says:


    “Are you prepared at this time to enter the evidence in court?”

    “No, your Honor. It seems the file clerks, um, ate it.”

  58. 58
  59. 59
    gene108 says:


    think there is a 80% chance that Asshole will forego the SOTU address and simply send a letter.

    I don’t think he’ll miss a chance to be on TV and then be the focus of the cable news cycle for the next couple of days.

    Though sending a letter to be read by someone else is how the SOTU was done for around the first 100 years of this country.

  60. 60
    Patricia Kayden says:

    So it looks as if federal employees will be out of pay for another week or so since Trump and his minions have decided that “no wall, no deal” is what will please the deplorables. I just hope that Democrats continue to hang tough. Speaker Pelosi’s assertion that the wall is immoral is a perfect way to sum up Trump’s immigration policies (Muslim ban, separation of children, tear gassing asylum seekers, etc.).

    My favorite part of yesterday’s proceedings was Speaker Pelosi calling up the children for her swearing in. That was so sweet.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    Lucy McBath and what happened in Harris county in Texas are why the campaigns of Beto and Stacey Abrams were important. Both had coattails and pulled a lot of lower races across the finish line
    Same with Espy in Mississippi-the Hinds County judicial branch is completely different.

    Coattails are why I am skeptical about Sherrod Brown- he had none in Ohio in 2018😒😒

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    Morning to Poco and the tribe 😄😻

  63. 63
    Procopius says:

    @Plato: I’m always annoyed when somebody proclaims, “But the Dems had majorities in BOTH houses the first two years.” Yertle had an unprecedented achievement, keeping 100%, every single Republican, voting according to his orders the full four years. Never before in history had the filibuster been used against every single proposal the Democrats offered in the Senate. Never before had it required 60 votes to even conduct routine business. And then Ted Kennedy died and a Republican was elected in his place and the Democrats no longer had 58 seats in the Senate and a majority was not enough to pass a bill. The people who refuse to acknowledge that make me furious.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    I got choked up looking at videos when I got home after work.
    This is America. I was so relieved to see MY America 😪😪😪

  65. 65

    I don’t believe Hillary Clinton will ever run again, but this is her legacy.

    “Legacy. What is a legacy?
    It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.
    I wrote some notes at the beginning of a song someone will sing for me.
    American, you great unfinished symphony,
    You sent for me.
    You let me make a difference.”

  66. 66
    plato says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Bipartisan groups of House and Senate lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that would guarantee retroactive pay for federal employees during the partial government shutdown.

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 4, 2019

  67. 67
    Duane says:

    @Spanky: Anyone who sees the video of AOC dancing and doesn’t think it’s sweet, and wonderful and puts a smile on your face has a serious lack of soul problem.

  68. 68
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I hope she gets the level of credit and recognition she deserves one day, but I am not optimistic that I’ll live to see it.

  69. 69
    Schlemazel says:

    your mom was a smart lady!
    25 years ago I bought one of those typing tutor programs but I lost interest. Between work & family I just didn’t feel like spending an hour a day at it. I do use multiple fingers & I do sort of remember where the keys are but I have to look at the keyboard while I type whis is not really the best way to go

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @Plato: Agree completely, and that has only hurt the good people of this country.

  71. 71
    Immanentize says:

    Hey Ho Morning Crew! I hope you are all well (now to scan the thread to see what I missed)

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:

    In case you missed Maxine Waters yesterday 🤗🤗👏👏

  73. 73
    Schlemazel says:

    so . . . a conservative

  74. 74
    gene108 says:

    @Eric S.:

    My mother made me take a typing class in the 7th grade. Turned out to be useful. Didn’t think that, when I enrolled.

  75. 75
    Quinerly says:

    @rikyrah: waves, meows, tail wags back at you!

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    I really do just adore her. I never thought that she would win.

  77. 77
    Quinerly says:

    @Spanky: 💙💚

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    Kasich’s bipartisan cred is so overrated.

    His big idea for public education was put “business people” on the state school board. He chose one from my area- the Kasich pick is already on a local public school board and Kasich chose the school board member from literally the worst district in a six county area.

    The district is known for 1. underfunding and 2. weird wingnut obsessions unrelated to education – teachers with guns, mandatory religious mottos displayed in classrooms, that sort of useless grandstanding and ideological posturing. Their claim to fame is they had such an ancient water system in the public schools they were poisoning the kids. The federal EPA had to intervene because the hard Right people who run those schools wouldn’t allocate any funding for infrastructure so they let the in-building water system corrode and then collapse.

    We have a lot of middling and strong school districts in this area. There’s a tiny rural district that is just excellent that the OTHER districts, including mine, try to imitate. Kasich didn’t pick any of the members of those school boards. Kasich chose the absolute worst one as the model. Because the guy he chose has the correct ideologically hard Right political opinions.

  79. 79
    Immanentize says:

    @Quinerly: Hello, The Q. (I just like typing that)

  80. 80
    Quinerly says:

    @Immanentize: 💙💚
    And a wonderful good morning to you!

  81. 81
    Schlemazel says:

    @gene108: If I could have seen my future when I was in HS, The places I would go, the jobs – most of which were SiFi stretches of imagination at the time – I would hold, I think my head would literally exploded.

  82. 82
    zhena gogolia says:


    So cool!

  83. 83
    Immanentize says:

    I love Her Honor Waters.
    I once did a big study on the race of prosecutors who have the authority to seek death as a punishment in this country. We called it the Ivory Snow study because unsurprisingly the prosecutors were 98% white….

    But the fun started when Maxine picked it up and started (with the Congressional Black Caucus) making waves about racial disrepresentation in prosecution offices. One of my proudest moments.

  84. 84
    Duane says:

    @Schlemazel: Everyday they make me want to scream, “What is wrong with you?”

  85. 85
    Kay says:


    They all type now. They learn in 3rd and 4th grade here. They have to. They’re doing all their work on a computer. When they imitate older people they use a poking motion that they all seem to understand as an age marker :)

    It’s funny to watch what are little kids really flying on a keyboard. I wonder if it’s easier to pick up at 9 or 10.

  86. 86
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: There is a big debate in Colleges about whether teachers should ban laptops in classrooms. It is true that studies demonstrate taking notes by hand cements learning better because so many processes are involved getting thought to hand to paper…

    But as you point out (and I point out in faculty meetings) we are 5-10 years, tops, away from having students who never took a note on anything but a device their entire school lives. They don’t know how to take notes and would be worse off if we forced them to.

    I also point out that, for learning’s sake, the slide rule was far superior to the calculator.

  87. 87
    Kay says:

    Those pictures from Congress are just wonderful- so much joy. Such an antidote to the mean-spirited, nasty Trump Administration. I just love that about Democrats- that it’s socially acceptable to like and value government. I am so, so sick of the sneering, ultra-sophisticated anti-government Right. It’s not even true. This worship of the private sector just has no connection to the real private sector, which is often low quality and bumbling and poorly run, or, if it’s Trump Inc., a fraudulent enterprise that enriches only the owners.

  88. 88
    rikyrah says:

    Yep. A total fraud 😡

  89. 89
    Quinerly says:

    Has Dexwood checked in on any threads recently? He’s from Albuquerque and his lovely bride is from Deb Haaland’s Laguna Pueblo. Met them in Albuquerque a couple of trips ago. Wanted to congratulate them. That’s a sweet pueblo, rather small….not in the news that often. Plus, it is home of the very tasty “Laguna Burger.” I take mine with extra green chiles, but I digress….. 💚💚💚💚💚

  90. 90
    Kay says:


    We leave it up to the teacher. My son and his friends told me their english teacher bans devices. She’s young so it isn’t an age thing- she’s considered a really strong teacher in the district. They were …interested. Not opposed. Interested. She really got their attention. He’s been in her class for 2 years running and he really likes the class.

    He’s pretty strong in math- fluid- and I noticed when he does his online math assignments he uses a paper and pencil to work the problem and then transfers to the screen. He says the answer box is too small and he wants to see the whole thing at once, all the steps.

    My juvenile clients are funny. They say “you have such nice handwriting!” – I don’t- I have ordinary legible cursive. I never won any of the handwriting kudos. To them it’s like caligraphy.

  91. 91
    Spanky says:

    @Kay: Everything’s easier to pick up at 9 or 10.

  92. 92
    plato says:


    This worship of the private sector just has no connection to the real private sector

    Apple blaming the chinese for not buying their overpriced crap shows the greatness of private sector.

  93. 93
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: My mom has beautiful handwriting, even at 88. But her mom was a teacher….

    I have a friend at Georgetown Law who tries to split the baby in his large classes. He generally bans laptops, but he has rotating students who volunteer to be ‘note takers’ for the whole class. He objects to the transcribers who are fast enough to basically get everything down without listening — like shorthand or court stenographers.

  94. 94
    arrieve says:

    @rikyrah: This is important and doesn’t get mentioned enough. Enthusiasm for the top of the ticket plays out all the way down the line, and we need to win Every Single Race that we can.

    Not that I wouldn’t walk over hot coals to vote for Sherrod Brown if he were to end up as the nominee. It’s a fine line between falling into all the stupid likability arguments (see: Warren, Elizabeth) and recognizing that we do need a candidate who gets people excited.

  95. 95
    Quinerly says:

    Second tweet of the AM:
    “How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?”

  96. 96
    Quinerly says:

    First tweet of the AM:
    “As I have stated many times, if the Democrats take over the House or Senate, there will be disruption to the Financial Markets. We won the Senate, they won the House. Things will settle down. They only want to impeach me because they know they can’t win in 2020, too much success!”

    Let the day begin!

  97. 97
    Immanentize says:

    @Quinerly: I hope, really hope, that he truly believes all of that because he will not do the work necessary to be reelected.

  98. 98

    @Immanentize: Also sometimes when studies are done in different circumstances, you get different results. I saw studies showing fonts with a serif are more readable (ie, the participants finished them faster and registered the info better). But then it turned out if you were talking about a computer manual rather than a novel, a sans serif font did better. So it’s possible the generation raised with devices will be compensating in some other way for the effect of muscle learning or whatever. You can’t stop it anyway.

    My problem with devices in a classroom is that students are often on the internet or social media.

  99. 99

    @Quinerly: “The greatest election of all time”? WTF?

  100. 100
    Spanky says:

    @Quinerly: It makes me very happy to know that Nancy and Bobby Three Sticks occupy so much space in that addled head.

  101. 101
    plato says:

    @Quinerly: LOL. The dems haven’t even uttered the word ‘impeachment’ yet. The cowardly pos is shitting in his pants.

  102. 102
    hueyplong says:

    @Quinerly: Imagine reading that twaddle and thinking, “yes, this is the hill I am prepared to die on. The demonrats have gone too far, actually taking office after elected.”

  103. 103
    Quinerly says:

    Off to my favorite dental hygienist in the world! I have followed her from office to office since after law school. She’s struggling. Her husband (in his 50’s) just past away after a long illness. Taking her chocolate.😈 Have a great day, jackals! I feel like our Nancy is looking out for us. Wish my mom had lived to see it all yesterday. She adored herself some Pelosi dressed in red!

  104. 104
    JR says:

    @rikyrah: There may be more to it than coattails.

    Look who’s on the top of this list, and see who’s on the bottom:

  105. 105
    Citizen Alan says:


    I have often thought that typing was the single most useful class I took in high school. Since graduating, I have never used any Algebra beyond what was taught in the first six weeks, and I’ve never used any Bio, Chem, Physics or post-Algebra math at all. English was probably pretty useful, though all I clearly remember from high school was my Junior English teacher instilling a lifelong hatred of William Falkner in me through her week-long obsessive discourse on “The Bear.”

  106. 106
    Citizen Alan says:


    I just lol’d because I thought you were sharing the tweet of some random trump supporter who showed up in your feed. I didn’t realize at first it was Shitgibbon himself, which only makes the tweet even more moronic.

  107. 107
    Citizen Alan says:


    I am gobsmacked that Mississippi is so comparatively young. When I look around, I feel like the whole state is nothing but bitter, racist old people. I guess they keep their kids looked up in the attic until they’re old enough to vote.

  108. 108
    Brachiator says:

    I remember when some cynical pundits dismissed the Resistance as an ineffectual waste of time.

    And some of them explicitly dismissed the anger and discontent of women.

    Bunch of dopes. They had no idea what was coming for them.

  109. 109
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @satby: I used shorthand for notetaking all through college. I still use some of the forms now, 50 years later, when making notes.

  110. 110
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @SFAW: Could she maybe have a cardboard cutout of Plaid Shirt Guy that she pops up behind him when he is facing the other way? That guy had a good WTF face.

  111. 111
    Elizabelle says:

    @Brachiator: I want someone to go all Saint Tim Russert on those pundits.

    Go after them. Name names. Give examples. Hound them out of their pundit positions. It can be done.

  112. 112
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Citizen Alan: I noticed that a friend of mine in the 1980s, a female programmer, was a hunt and peck typist. “Doesn’t that slow you down?” I asked. “Haven’t you ever wanted to learn touch typing?” She told me it was a deliberate choice not to, that if she had typing skills she would have been forced into a secretarial track and never hired as a programmer. I suspect she was right.

  113. 113

    @Citizen Alan:

    I guess they keep their kids looked up in the attic until they’re old enough to vote.

    This is almost exactly the goal of evangelicals. They’ve recognized that if their children are exposed to the outside world at a formative age, they run as far the Hell away from their parents’ cruel and ignorant beliefs as possible. This starts with their racism, the foundation of the evangelical movement. They’re obsessed with homeschooling and have been trying to destroy public education for decades, to keep their children ignorant. Look at their policies, and you will see ‘keep children ignorant of everything but my way’ as one of the constant themes. Also total control and parental supervision.

  114. 114
    bemused says:


    They should see handwriting samples from my 95 year old mother-in-law before she lost most of her sight but her signature is still better, more readable and stylish than mine. I never did take to cursive, abandoned it early and half print/write everything.

  115. 115
    Ramalama says:

    Dumb question – why wasn’t it Paul Ryan who handed the gavel over to Nancy Pelosi?

  116. 116

    Because he isn’t in congress anymore.

  117. 117
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Maybe he’ll do it by video like he sometimes does for his “press conferences”?

  118. 118
    WaterGirl says:

    @gene108: That would make their maturity level at about 10-years-old, when the way you showed a girl you liked her was by kicking her in the shins.

    Are you sure you don’t mean “pull her pig tails”? That might be more age-appropriate.

  119. 119
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: Any other year and I would be thrilled to have Sherrod Brown run for president. I love Sherrod Brown, but he is not what we need this year.

  120. 120
    WaterGirl says:

    @Immanentize: My last name is 12 letters long. To his dying day at 84, my dad had the same beautiful penmanship he always had. Every letter written in cursive. Me? I’m down to the first couple of letters and then squiggles.

    One of my prized possessions is my dad’s porcelain baby bowl where his dad had hand-painted my dad’s name, and their penmanship was identical. Just gorgeous. The rim of his baby bowl alternates 3 yellow ducks and a bunny, all the way around, all hand-painted. There seems to be something in my eye.

    edit: I see that I am talking to myself again. Oh well.

  121. 121
    Ramalama says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Oh. So the losers don’t have to show up to the new congress to shake hands saying “Good game” in front of America? Thanks. It was really bugging me that Paul Ryan’s sad face was not juxtaposed with Nancy Smash’s.

  122. 122
    Emma says:

    @WaterGirl: Nope. You’re talking to me. I love the story. I don’t have anything from my family. When we left Cuba we had to leave everything behind. Having something like your dad’s baby things would make me really happy.

  123. 123
    Suzanne says:

    There has never — never! — been a House Democratic majority without a powerful bloc of southern conservatives.

    Yes. The Democratic coalition is:
    1) Minorities and immigrants
    2) Urban dwellers
    3) White people with a college degree
    4) Young people

    We will do well to remember that.

  124. 124
    WaterGirl says:

    @Emma: Thank you.

    Wow, having to leave everything behind. I can barely fathom that. I have stayed three times at the bed & breakfast that is the house where my dad was born. Literally born, at home, as all the kids were back then. Each time I have been struck by how much at peace I feel when I am there; I am so lucky to have had that.

    If you left everything behind, you must have been fleeing for safety. I’m glad you have that, at least.

  125. 125
    VOR says:

    @Procopius: Not to mention the 6 month delay in seating Al Franken in the Senate after flipping a Republican seat. There were extensive recounts since the margin was very small. And yet no in-person voter fraud was found.

  126. 126
    Elizabelle says:

    @WaterGirl: It’s wonderful to have things like the baby bowl. Irreplaceable.

    I have my grandfather’s child size rocker. From the mid to late 19th century, I think.

  127. 127
    Emma says:

    @WaterGirl: Not fleeing at all. Orderly plane to Miami. When we left in 1970 we were allowed to take two outfits (they had to be formal and in excellent condition “to show Americans the Cuban economy was booming”), family pictures as long as they didn’t show infrastructure (i.e. nothing that would be a “tactical target”, as if most people posed their family in front of missile silos), no jewelry (it was likely to be confiscated by the “airport security”). That was it.

  128. 128
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: I am picturing your little rocker and smiling.

    @Emma: Thanks for clarifying. Sorry if my use of fleeing was offensive in any way. I apparently just couldn’t imagine leaving somewhere with basically the clothes on my back unless I didn’t feel safe where I was and really wanted to be living somewhere else.

  129. 129
    J R in WV says:


    I also point out that, for learning’s sake, the slide rule was far superior to the calculator.

    I know knew how to use a slide rule, and how they worked, a very long time ago. Before there were electronic computers… imagine that. Well, there were a couple electronic computers in the mid-1960s, but none for HS kids to use!

  130. 130
    Bess says:

    During the period in which Democrats held 60 seats the Senate was only in session for 56 days. And some of those days were only pro forma sessions. About 9 days in December were ‘gavel open, gavel closed, go home’ days.

  131. 131
    Emma says:

    @WaterGirl: It wasn’t offensive. You had no way to know. Honest ignorance is ALWAYS an excuse as far as I’m concerned. :-)

  132. 132

    @Elizabelle: I have my grandfather’s child size rocker. From the mid to late 19th century, I think.

    My maternal grandparents gave me a child size rocker as a present for my first Christmas, 67 years ago. Last month, I gave it to our grandson as a present for his 1st birthday. Hang onto your grandfather’s rocker – you’ll have a use for it someday…

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