Tuesday Evening Open Thread

Here’s Badger looking all bad-ass:

If my area of Florida is destroyed by a hurricane next summer and Trump tours this neighborhood, I know my Badger would sink his fangs into the shitgibbon’s nutsack if he wandered onto our property. Badger has heard Mom and Dad cursing at the Bad Man on TV all his life!

And he’ll hear it again this evening. We’ll definitely tune into the carnival of stupid. You?

I’m looking forward to the Chuck and Nancy rebuttal. And while I generally despise it when pundits — especially neocons! — suggest what Democrats should say in a given situation, J-Rub’s suggestions here are pretty damned on point, IMO. “It’s the lying, stupid!”

Also, a little bird told me that if you want to watch a shouty, finger-wagging rebuttal by a non-Democrat, such a spectacle will be streamed live for your viewing pleasure. That I will skip.

Anyhoo, open thread!

97 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    You couldn’t pay me enough to watch it. I’ll just keep tabs on it from various sources. Hell someone here will probably liveblog it.

    On a happier note, it looks like all my unemployment hiccups have resolved. I should start getting money at the end of next week.

  2. 2
    ruemara says:

    I like his dignified grumpy man in spats face.

    @Yutsano: YAY!

  3. 3
    dlwchico says:

    Badger looks like he’s ready to wrassle a gator.

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    The last two nights I was able to sleep at least seven hours, and if I watch I fear my nightmares will return. I’ll pass.

  5. 5
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Here’s an interesting link on the first ever government shutdown which was caused by Confederate sympathizers.
    https://twitter.com/HC_Richardson/status/1082705020154372096
    Very fitting for what’s happening in our federal government right now.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    We’ll definitely tune into the carnival of stupid. You?

    You’d have to do a Clockwork Orange on me to get me to watch.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    The DC Circuit issued a redacted opinion in the Mueller mystery case. Skimming through it, I don’t think Company A is Deutsche Bank because it seems to be a company that doesn’t do much business in the U.S.

    https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/543298E5B1BEA87C8525837C0074E9A9/$file/18-3071-PUBLIC.pdf

  8. 8
    FlyingToaster says:

    I certainly will not be watching; I got a new device for my birthday and I’ll be streaming an episode of something far more entertaining for an hour, then putting WarriorGirl to bed, then doing dishes and probably scrubbing out whatever exploded in the microwave (I wasn’t here, I’m deciding to not sweat it).

    If a network were brave enough to run it on time delay and chyron the lies, I’d change my mind, but otherwise, fuckem.

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    And he’ll hear it again this evening. We’ll definitely tune into the carnival of stupid. You?

    Sorry, I’m on call to wax the turtles in the local pond.

  10. 10
    Aleta says:

    Don’t mess with Badger.

  11. 11
    pluky says:

    @Baud: Bank of Cyprus?

  12. 12
    Yarrow says:

    Badger looks fierce! Good boy!

    I’ve got two family members in the hospital and thankfully I’m not in charge of finding the assisted living place for a third one. I am helping a good friend who has no one else who has been in and out of the ER a few times since Christmas and is on high dose antibiotics. And there’s major issue at home that is taking all the rest of my time and energy. So that’s all fun.

    I won’t be tuning in. I don’t need to add the orange traitor to that level of stress. If there’ something worth watching I’m sure Balloon Juice will let me know.

  13. 13
    TomatoQueen says:

    Badger doing his best Winston Churchill (minus cigar): “We’ll fight ’em on the beaches! We shall nevah surrendah!”

  14. 14
    MomSense says:

    Anyone watch Samin Nosrat’s series Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix? I really enjoyed it. Tonight I’m soaking beans to make her roasted vegetable and bean salad.

    recipe

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @pluky: Good as guess as any.

  16. 16
    Schlemazel says:

    @Yutsano:
    Congrats. Having had the pleasure in 2007 I know how wearing unemployment can be

  17. 17
    The Dangerman says:

    We’ll definitely tune into the carnival of stupid. You?

    I’d rather take out my own appendix with a screwdriver.

    Probably not.

  18. 18
    eclare says:

    I may watch with the sound off til the Democratic response, I do want to see and hear that.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    Badger is so adorable 😍😍🤗🤗

  20. 20
    Just One More Canuck says:

    Poco/Badger 2020

  21. 21
    Brachiator says:

    I’m looking forward to the Chuck and Nancy rebuttal. And while I generally despise it when pundits — especially neocons! — suggest what Democrats should say in a given situation, J-Rub’s suggestions here are pretty damned on point, IMO. “It’s the lying, stupid!”

    Ha! I agree.

    Sadly, Trump and his base are one. Even though the California Republican Party has been reduced to remnants, they are holding firm. They are getting ready to elect a new state chairman, and have decided that the future of the California GOP is to become more like Trump.

    A big-tent candidate’s withdrawal from the race to be chairman of the California Republican Party is widely seen as a lift for rivals who would try to rebuild the state GOP in the image of President Trump.

    It might not work out that way, exactly. But David Hadley’s decision to quit his campaign to lead the struggling state party does shake up the contest, in which Trump supporters Travis Allen and Steve Frank are the only other declared candidates so far.

    Hadley, the California GOP vice chairman and former Assembly member from Torrance, announced late Sunday that he no longer thinks he can win “while still running a campaign to unify the delegates and walk forward together after the convention.”

    The vote for a successor to retiring chairman Jim Brulte of Fontana is scheduled to be taken Feb. 24 among delegates to the state Republican convention in Sacramento.

    And unsurprisingly, the average California Republican is whiter, less educated and relatively poorer.

    This year, 26 percent of Californians are represented in Congress by a Republican. Next year, it will be down to 13 percent.

    Prior to the election, the average Californian living in a Republican-held district earned $65,634 per year. That’s slightly above the state average of $63,783. The average district was also slightly less educated than the state as whole (19 percent have bachelor’s degrees compared to 20 percent statewide) and significantly whiter (49 compared to 38 percent)….

    And so come January, when only half of the Republican delegation will return to Washington D.C., the average income of the new, diminished GOP-represented electorate will be nearly $5,000 lower. It will also be majority non-Latino white. Only 16 percent of the population will have a college degree. And notably, every district in which less than a majority of voters supported Trump in 2016 abandoned the Republican brand this year. Only Trump country remains.

    These fools will be with Trump until the bitter end.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Schlemazel says:

    Put me down for the never ever group tonight. The only words I want to hear are “guilty, your honor”

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    @Brachiator:
    They are pitiful 🙄 🙄
    Pay them no mind.

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Badger looking all bad-ass

    He could jump out of an airplane, for sure. He’s just that bad-ass.

  26. 26
    SFAW says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I’d rather take out my own appendix with a screwdriver.

    Just make sure it’s a flat-blade, not a Phillips or Torx — the incision will heal up better, I think.

  27. 27
    Waratah says:

    Beto is using twitter to reply to trump. He linked to some facts first then had an old newspaper article about Libyan hit squad at the border kind of saying we have had this fear mongering before. The comments were funny.

  28. 28
    Cacti says:

    Wilmer is fairly anti-immigration reform, so I suspect his response will be a backstab of the Dems, with some railing about “millionayuhs and billionayuhs”.

  29. 29
    Waldo says:

    I’m going to avoid watching the wannabe dictator now, in case he becomes a for-reals dictator later and we all have to watch.

  30. 30
    Thoughtful David says:

    @Baud:
    Not sure if that’s good or bad. If it’s a company that doesn’t do much business in the US, I hope Mueller has placed a hold on all of the principals’ passports so they don’t just skedaddle. Also, the $50k/day fine will be an incentive to skip, unless they have a lot of assets to protect. On the other hand, if they don’t do much business but do have a lot of assets here, the fine will be an incentive to talk sooner.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @Thoughtful David: Reading the opinion, it doesn’t sound like an easy legal issue. We’re lucky the Supreme Court stayed out of it.

    As far as how compliance goes, I really can’t predict since we don’t know for sure who all is involved and what their exposure actually is.

  32. 32

    I can’t watch or listen to Trump. I already had a heart attack. I’ll be reading Esi Edugyan’s WASHINGTON BLACK, which is so well written. I am deeply jealous.

  33. 33
    Steeplejack says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t think Deutsche Bank is owned by its country’s government, which Company A is. Hoarsewisperer thinks it might be the Qatar Investment Authority, which has New York offices quite close to Trump Tower and keeps popping up tangentially in many aspects of the Mueller investigation.

    Reminder: the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) was the party on the other side of the Rosneft transaction described in the Steele Dossier.1/ https://t.co/aVQUBmZQbJ

    — The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) January 8, 2019

  34. 34
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cacti: He totally dropped “millionayuhs” from the stump speech when he became one.

  35. 35
    WereBear says:

    @FlyingToaster: Put a cup of water in the microwave for a few minutes on high for the steam effect.

  36. 36
    MomSense says:

    @eclare:

    Don’t do it! I made that mistake once. His facial expressions are terrifying, moreso with the volume muted. It’s like a scarier Heath Ledger as the Joker.

  37. 37

    My parents will be watching just in case he decides to go full tin-pot dictator and declare an emergency, so they can say there were Watching When. I imagine I’ll be writing at that hour.

  38. 38
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    And he’ll hear it again this evening. We’ll definitely tune into the carnival of stupid. You?

    Oh, yes. Hope you or Adam or some BJFP puts up a link so I don’t have to screw around with WaPo links or whatever.

    I’m looking forward to the Chuck and Nancy rebuttal.

    Me too. I know a lot of people want an AOC or Beto or Warren or Sharice to give the Dem response, but I think it’s important, symbolically and actually, to have the top leadership figures of the Opposition speak for their caucus. (Also, neither of them AFAIK is even remotely considering a 2020 Presidential run, so that whole “political positioning” thing is irrelevant.)

    Now Bernie? Him, I’m not so much looking forward to (although may watch him, if only to laugh and point).

  39. 39
    Tenar Arha says:

    I admire your fortitude. I know my limitations, and I would be screaming mad in a minute or less.

    I’m having a fancy bourbon & dinner out, then going to see If Beale Street Could Talk so I won’t be tempted to watch the stupid live.

  40. 40
    debbie says:

    Lieu’s providing rebuttal remarks. I’d like to hear them, but doubt the networks will still be around.

  41. 41
    JustRuss says:

    My mental health is fragile enough as is, so I’ll pass on tonight’s rant-fest.

  42. 42

    @SFAW: If you have an iAppendix you’ll have to use a special screwdriver.

  43. 43
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’ve been tormenting my BernieBro friends with, “why do you suppose he won’t release his tax returns? Is it because he’s one of those “millionayuhs” he’s made so much bank railing against?”

    Strangely, they never seem to want to answer that question.

    Fierce Badger is fierce!

  44. 44
    Patricia Kayden says:

    When you’ve lost Allahpundit …
    https://twitter.com/allahpundit/status/1082769577120022529

    Allahpundit

    @allahpundit
    Follow Follow @allahpundit
    More
    Just not gonna fly in court that the solution to a national “emergency” requiring extraordinary executive action is … a building project that’ll take years

  45. 45
    Steeplejack says:

    @Cacti:

    Honesty bonus points if Bernie phrases it as “billionayuhs and my fellow millionayuhs.”

  46. 46
    Joy in says:

    Badger! such fierce cuteness!

  47. 47
    Waratah says:

    @Yutsano: my sister in Australia was feeling sorry for the employees laid off. I am glad you get to go back.

  48. 48
    MazeDancer says:

    @MomSense:

    Your enjoying Salt, Fat, Acid encourages my watching it which I had no intent to do.

    Will encourage others to watch “The Bodyguard”. Which besides the ridic Kevin Costner name gave no indication there would be lovemaking involved. Also, had no clue until he won the Golden Globe that was Rob Stark.

  49. 49
    hedgehog mobile says:

    Not watching. Happy hour with office buds someplace with no TV. I will catch up with the jackaltariat once the speech is over.

  50. 50
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yutsano:

    Good to hear on the unemployment! I’ve been there, and it’s no fun.

  51. 51
    Crosspalms says:

    Is he taking us furniture shopping before or after the speech?

  52. 52
    MomSense says:

    @MazeDancer:

    I liked the Bodyguard but I watch everything with Keeley Hawes. I watch everything her gorgeous hubby, too.

  53. 53
    Jeffro says:

    @Baud: Alfa bank?

  54. 54
    lamh36 says:

    TV Alert: The season 5 premiere of Finding Your Roots airs tonight on PBS!

    Check out this video from @PBS: Finding Your Roots, Season 5 Preview https://www.pbs.org/video/season-5-preview-uv6am6
    Looks like an interesting season, including: Marisa Tomei, Felicity Huffman, Laura Linney, S. Epatha Merkerson, Michael K. Williams, Andy Samberg, Chloe Sevigny, Kal Penn, George R.R. Martin, Christiane Amanpour, Ann Curry, Joe Madison, Lisa Ling, Seth Meyers, Michael Strahan…

    but bleh…his doing 3 Republicans on one Episode (Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Tulsi Gabbard)…PASS!

  55. 55
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    We’ll definitely tune into the carnival of stupid.

    Why do you hate yourself so, Betty?

  56. 56
    Uncle Omar says:

    Watch tonight? No thanks, I have peonage basketball to watch…one of my almae matrae tonight and another Thursday when the inevitable brouhaha from tonight’s shitstorm abates.

  57. 57
    rikyrah says:

    Colorado swore in its new Governor.
    First openly gay Governor.

    I remember the line from Scandal when Olivia Pope said..

    Give me 10 years and I can give you a gay President.

    Looked him up— husband, two kids…

    Colorado has a new First Family 😏
    We will see how this works out.

  58. 58

    According to Facebook I acquired Samwise four years ago today. Here is a picture from that day https://www.instagram.com/p/BsYyHsjnaVJ/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=43cozlkrszhi

  59. 59
    Waratah says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I agree with you it should be Nancy and Chuck.

  60. 60
    Ruckus says:

    I have more than enough health issues without watching the shithead, that I’m not willing to make it worse.

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah:

    Give me 10 years and I can give you a gay President.

    I’d like a gay president, just not that gay president.

    #JustATestRun

  62. 62
  63. 63
    tobie says:

    @Steeplejack: Didn’t Trump knife the Qataris in the back at some point? I thought his administration ended up supporting a Saudi blockade of Qatar’s ports but it’s really hard to keep track of all the screw ups and scandals and paybacks emanating from the White House.

  64. 64

    He’s gotten so big! Bad-assed indeed.

  65. 65
    SFAW says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    If you have an iAppendix you’ll have to use a special screwdriver.

    You know, there are times when I attempt to make a funny, and someone like you comes along to show me how it’s REALLY done.

    In other words: your comment was bee-yoo-tee-full.

  66. 66
    jl says:

    ” You? ”
    No. Worried about BP spikes. Can watch clips later if need be.

    Edit: Bad Ass Badger looks ready to give an appropriately aggressive response, though. You can put up a youtube!

  67. 67
    trnc says:

    @dmsilev:

    Sorry, I’m on call to wax the turtles in the local pond.

    So that’s what we’re calling it now?

  68. 68
    SFAW says:

    @tobie:

    Didn’t Trump knife the Qataris in the back at some point?

    He’s knifed everybody he’s dealt with in the back, at some point.

  69. 69
    MCA1 says:

    @Steeplejack: He’s also just retweeted the curious coincidence that QIA just happens to be the 2nd largest stakeholder (I think the original tweeter was incorrect in saying the largest) in Brookfield, which just happened to front the 666 5th Ave. deal that rescued the Kushners from that terrible investment.

    Recall that:

    – Jared had been assigned the diplomatic portfolio of all Middle Eastern issues by Dotard
    – Jared established chummy relations with MBS ofSaudi Arabia
    – At a time when it appeared QIA/Brookfield were getting cold feet on the 666 deal, the U.S. endorsed an airspace/shipping lanes blockade of Qatar
    – The primary mover on that blockade was…wait for it…Saudi Arabia
    – Funny enough, the deal got done (although the blockade and diplomatic crisis is still extant)

    I’m sure there’s no connection between any of these things, of course. And certainly the Cheetolini Maladministration’s spineless shriveling away from even the mildest rebuke of MBS over the Khashoggi murder has nothing to do with any of this. Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

  70. 70
    Steeplejack says:

    I probably will watch Trump tonight, or at least start out. My distant salad days as a newspaper reporter who had to sit through many boring/​awful speeches still tug at my curiosity. But I’ll have Daniel Dale’s Twitter feed (@ddale8) handy in case the going gets too tough. He has already laid down some preparatory information and recommended some other experts to follow.

    Still need to think of a drinking-game word that won’t have me comatose within the first five minutes. And I’ll have HGTV set as my “previous channel” in case I need to tag out.

    ETA: I sincerely hope that “J-Rub” or “J-Rubs” does not become a thing.

  71. 71
    trollhattan says:

    NWSL draft is Thursday and lots of players have registered for it, particularly from top US college programs but not exclusively, since it’s the top pro women’s soccer league in the world. Anyhoo and in honor of Herb Caen, my favorite names in the draft pool:

    Lucy Whipp
    Sam Staab

    Oh, that they would end up on the same team.

    Honorable mention to Kristen Ritter who evidently is branching out from acting and barely disguising the effort via minor name change. Jessica will be a kickass striker.

    How many knew there is a Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania? Learn something new every day and that’s two new facts for me. Somehow they’re not among the horde bombarding my kid with recruitment stuff.

  72. 72
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    I’ll either watch the Democratic rebuttal or read about it, I haven’t decided. I know I won’t be watching.

    Update: Some commentators may remember me asking about investing a week or so ago. After being given very good advice, I did some more research and discovered that it’s not as scary or confusing as I previously thought, especially for the long-term investing I plan on doing. Much of it depends on how much risk I’m comfortable with taking as well as the length of time for the investment. As young as I am, I won’t have to worry about market fluctuations much. Having a diversified portfolio with low fees, and with Vanguard, commission-free buying and selling.

    I came across this:
    Build a fully diversified portfolio with just 4 ETFs

    A mix of growth ETFs like the Total Stock Market ETF along with some Bond Market ETFs in my portfolio like in the link would reduce my overall investment risk.

    The only problem now is investing the minimum amount needed to cover buying a single stock, and I’m not flush with cash. But that’s not a big deal. I at least have a plan. Does it sound like I’m on the right track?

  73. 73
    grrljock says:

    @MomSense: Very much enjoyed the series; beautifully presented and shot. My spouse and older son were seated next to Samin Nosrat at our neighborhood cafe last weekend. They said that she was as joyful in real life as she was on screen.

  74. 74
    Steeplejack says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I love it when they pose with such dignity but don’t realize something is laughably askew (e.g., bent ear).

  75. 75
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Just saying dictators don’t go on mass media and announce it before they do their coup.

    Trump’s an entertainer so this is about keeping his audience. He likely thinks about his poll numbers like audience share.

  76. 76
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    Badger is an adorable bad ass, and he’s gotten bigger than I expected. So he’s a big adorable bad ass.

  77. 77
    JPL says:

    @MazeDancer: That was a great show.

  78. 78
    Steeplejack says:

    @tobie:

    Didn’t Trump knife the Qataris in the back at some point?

    Yes, but that was after he was elected, not when all the dirty deeds were going down during the campaign. So QIA might be just another subcontractor that got screwed by Trump.

  79. 79
    debbie says:

    @Steeplejack:

    “Crisis.”

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    But that’s not a big deal. I at least have a plan. Does it sound like I’m on the right track?

    Looks good, especially if you are comfortable with your choices.

  81. 81
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    Thanks, and I’m fairly comfortable with my strategy. Of course I’m still reading and I could still change my mind, but I feel much better with more knowledge. Funny how that works ; )

  82. 82
    Steeplejack says:

    @debbie:

    That might work. Kind of hoity-toity, so Trump might not say it too often, but surely his speechwriters will have worked it in somewhere.

    I think a lot depends on whether Trump sticks to his text or goes off on an extended improv solo.

  83. 83
    MomSense says:

    @grrljock:

    Her personality makes the show. Would be so great to go to one of her dinner parties. I even know which apron I’d wear.

  84. 84
    debbie says:

    The local Fox station (Sinclair) is saying they’ll only broadcast 15 minutes. Guess this means they won’t be giving time to Pelosi and Schumer.

  85. 85
    Steeplejack says:

    Whether you watch or not tonight, I think this is a good thing (linked from @Hoarsewisperer):

    For every minute that Trump speaks during his “Border Address,” I pledge to donate $10 to @RAICESTEXAS.Will you join me in the #10DollarChallenge?Please retweet and share with others.https://t.co/Zh53asNBNo

    — TOᑭ ᖇOᑭE TᖇAViS (@TopRopeTravis) January 8, 2019

  86. 86
    WhatsMyNym says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I just put another 15k into a short term CD (3 month in this case) because I couldn’t see anything else better. Yes, still have stocks/funds/EFTs, but they were heavily trimmed before the downturn.

    ETA: the trick is to keep on putting money into the account on a regular basis.

  87. 87
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Doing something is generally better than doing nothing. You have a very long time horizon, so don’t sweat it so much.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MazeDancer:

    Richard Madden was also in the live-action Cinderella that came out a few years ago. He’s so good at being sincere that I would be worried if I was his romantic partner — how would you know if he was telling the truth or just acting? 🤔

  89. 89
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @WhatsMyNym:

    ETA: the trick is to keep on putting money into the account on a regular basis.

    Definitely.

  90. 90
    catclub says:

    @Cacti: Well, If I were Nancy and Chuck, I would propose a billionaire’s tax to pay for the wall.
    Trump can be the first in line to pay for it.

  91. 91
    satby says:

    The only way our miserable news media starts to take their jobs seriously will be when they can’t draw eyes and ratings with the freak shows any more, so no way is my TV even going to be on.

  92. 92
    Miss Bianca says:

    @rikyrah: The cool thing is, not even the rabid right-winger he ran against brought up JP’s sexual orientation as a reason to vote against him. Even the mouth-breathers out in CO have evolved somewhat.

  93. 93
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Major Major Major Major: He looks like he’s saying, “Who are you?! What have you done with *my life*?!?!”

  94. 94
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: You are so right. I laughed out loud. Sad that it’s true, though.

  95. 95
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: You are so right. Bet that if Trump goes long, they will cover his whole deal, and then bail before Nancy and Chuck.

  96. 96
    seaboogie says:

    The ever saucy Stormy Daniels tweeted that she’ll be live-streaming a video of herself folding laundry in her underwear starting at 9pm EST and offered a link to her Instagram account…

  97. 97
    rekoob says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: The short answer is, yes. Jim Lorie, whose writings on business and investment management made a lot of sense to me, noted that investment management consists of three primary steps:

    1. Determine your risk/return preferences
    2. Build a portfolio that reflects those preferences
    3. Minimize taxes and transaction costs in delivering that portfolio

    Easy to say, hard to do. It is, by nature, dynamic, but the truth is that your overall asset allocation is likely to be the biggest contributor to your portfolio’s performance. Each of the ETFs you’ve cited is extremely well-diversified — you’ll get the market return (more or less) in each category. The question for you to consider is how much of each ETF to own: equal shares (25%) or something more blended. Given your long-term investment horizon, you may wish to have a much higher equity (stock) exposure. Fortune favors the bold — give some thought to a very high (90%+) equity exposure, with the non-US/international component being significant (above 30%). Bonds/fixed income investments are great, but can be part of a rebalancing/reevaluation of your risk preferences over time. Start out a bit more ambitious than you’d thought (don’t worry about dollar amounts/minimums unless they force you to do something you don’t like) and give it a year or two. Check on your birthday or at the end of the year or another time. Rebalance to your initial mix as needed, or re-think that mix as situations change. Contribute as frequently as you can and take advantage of all the tax-beneficial programs available to you. Once you have a bit of a feel for it all, think about branching out to own a couple of stocks in a couple of industries you find interesting — you’ll follow them more closely and find that you’ll learn a lot about how others see the world. Investing can truly be for fun and profit. Good luck!

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