Saturday Morning Open Thread: REPUBS IN DISARRAY!

Talk about your lavish smorgasbords! I suppose I shall grow bored eventually… but not just yet.

The Usual Suspects — Round Them Up!

Hard truth: A lot of McConnell’s voters (and more important to him, his *donors*) rely on federal subsidies. You think Kentucky’s tobacco farmers, horse breeders, and coal mine owners stay prosperous by sheer hard work?

And let’s give due “credit” to the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver, last seen scuttling like an invertebrate for the safety of some Randian ‘think tank’…

162 replies
  1. 1
    Cermet says:

    Good morning Jackals!

    Actually, the orange fart cloud has learned a valuable lesson – he understands he can get a wall, but it will be based on Smash’s idea. He is prepping his base for the wall he will soon have them believing all along was the wall he promised – the one Nancy decided she would allow funding for. Also, as I said yesterday, he’d sign the CR before Noon today and it is already signed! Its very slow, but the orange fart cloud is learning how to play the game thanks to Smash! She proved she can teach a three old after all!

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    This worked because the Dems had the public’s support. All the toughness in the world doesn’t matter unless you’ve locked that down.

  3. 3
    Plato says:

    Was a senate vote even held before the totus thug folded?

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @Cermet: Yeah, if his advisers are smart, they’ll propose something where perhaps expansion of the existing barriers makes sense, trade it for DACA relief, and call it a win. But Stephen Miller will have a sad.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    The Atlantic

    Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO, will say in a 60 Minutes interview already recorded, but airing on Sunday that he is thinking very seriously about a presidential run—but stop short of a full announcement.

    He will make clear, however, that it would be as an independent if he moves forward.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    Kevin Drum has a nice rundown on the constitutional problem with federal wealth taxes.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    Nancy has moved on to trump’s involvement with Russia? Is she going after his taxes next?

  8. 8
    Plato says:

    Wtf is ‘process crime’ that traitor stone blabbing about and cuomo is stupidly nodding along ?

  9. 9
    NotMax says:


    Politically speaking, running around like a bunch of chickenhawks with their heads cut off.

  10. 10
    Jeffro says:

    @Baud: well, then f___ him. Anyone hoping to undo GOP damage to this country, but running as an “independent”*, is just perpetuating the damage

    * translated as, I can’t stand Trump but no way no how my going to pay my fair share of taxes

  11. 11
    Jeffro says:

    @Plato: that is the Republican term for indictments for lying to Congress, lying to the FBI, tampering with witnesses,

    Meaning, actual crimes, but since they didn’t get caught jerking Putin off they don’t count

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    In other news – found!

    In Flinders’ field the stories sough…

  13. 13
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    but, but….. McConnell is a strategist

    but, but….. art of the deal

  14. 14
    Smiling Mortician says:

    That picture of Lindsay Graham — he looks like he’s trying really hard not to cry. Like he’s terrified. Which, it seems to me, he has been, ever since . . . when? McCain’s death? What happened with him? He’s acting precisely like a guy who has recently seen all of the receipts being held against him and he’s flailing around wildly, trying to make the bad dream go away.

  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    @David Merry Christmas Koch

    But, but… so much winning.


  16. 16
    Chyron HR says:

    the only outstanding question is whether the White House is stupid

    That’s not an outstanding question.

  17. 17
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    “if [Trump] doesn’t break them now, it’s going to be a terrible 2019,”

    Lindsay Graham

    Please proceed, Senator

  18. 18
    BlueGirlFromWyo says:

    Let us savor.

  19. 19

    Yesterday was awesome. As someone on twitter said, there’s nothing like starting your day by having your beloved whisper into your ear, “Honey, wake up. Roger Stone has been arrested.”

    It’s 12 below this morning. And yet we are planning to go out for bagels.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:

    Repeating for the morning/daytime crowd. FYI.

    The first official estimates of the [flu] vaccine’s performance, released Thursday, found the shot was 68 percent effective at preventing all types of influenza, and 72 percent effective at warding off H1N1, the strain of influenza A that has prevailed this season.

    The vaccine protected 91 per cent of children between the ages of 1 and 8 from H1N1, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), whose figures are the first to officially reveal how well the shot is working in the Northern Hemisphere.
    Over all, the 2018-2019 vaccine is a big improvement over the previous four seasons, when the shot provided scant defense.

    Last year’s version was only 17 percent effective against the dominant H3N2 strain of the virus at midseason. The last time the shot’s overall effectiveness approached 70 per cent was in the 2013-2014 season. Source

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    @Jeffro: Thanks because that appears to be all it is. If a democrat was charged, it would be called multiple felonies.

  22. 22
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Front page NY Daily News: “Cave Man” (photo)

  23. 23
    Ken says:

    Senate Republicans on Thursday: A CR with no wall funding is unacceptable, doesn’t address the border

    Senate Republicans on Friday: President Trump is right, a CR with no wall funding is a sensible way forward

    We’ve always been at war with Eastasia, don’t you know.

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    Sen. Graham looks tired. “How many impossible things am I going to have to believe today?”

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    @Smiling Mortician: Didn’t see your comment before, I agree Graham’s unhappy and disoriented.

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor

    Priorities reign paramount.


  28. 28
    JMG says:

    I don’t think this is going to be a good election cycle for “centrist” third party billionaires. I mean, that whole pitch is basically, “I’m just like Trump, but less racist and insane.” Where’s the constituency for that except the op-ed pages? So Schultz will make some consultants rich, but that’s about it. He might not even do that if he has the good sense to commission a poll or two before he decides.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  30. 30
    Betty Cracker says:

    Got a crappy phone vid of an otter frolicking in the river yesterday. It’s about twice the size of Badger, or maybe a Badger and a half. We’ve seen it before but I’d never had a phone or camera at hand to get a shot of it until yesterday. Squeeeeeeeee!

  31. 31
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    The name’s Lanley, Lyle Lanley and I come before you good people tonight with an idea.

    Probably the greatest– Ah, it’s not for you.
    It’s more of a Shelbyville idea.

    Now wait just a minute.
    We’re twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville.
    just tell us your idea, and we’ll vote for it.

    All right.
    I tell you what I’ll do.
    I’ll show you my idea.

    – I give you the Springfield Monorail! – [All Gasping] I’ve sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook and by gum, it put them on the map! Well, sir, there’s nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide electrified, six-car monorail.
    – What’d I say? – Monorail! – What’s it called? – [ Together] Monorail! – That’s right, monorail! – [ All ] Monorail.

    I hear those things are awfully loud.

    It glides as softly as a cloud.

    Is there a chance the track could bend?

    Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

    What about us brain-dead slobs?

    You’ll be given cushy jobs.

    Were you sent here by the devil?

    No, good sir. I’m on the level.

    The Simpsons

  32. 32
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Plato: Just the most transparent type of self-justification: cover-ups and lying to investigators aren’t real crimes, they shouldn’t count.

    They know perfectly well that these things are crimes because you use them to get away with the real crimes. But they’re playing to a crowd of hacks and ignoramuses, so ignore them.

  33. 33
    MattF says:

    @Baud: I guess I’m going to have to try to understand that. My question, fwiw, is how local property taxes, which are levied everywhere, are constitutional while a federal weath tax would not be. What’s the difference?

  34. 34
    Baud says:


    The constitutional provision at issue only applies to the feds.

  35. 35
    charluckles says:

    @Plato: ‘

    The same people up in arms about Stone’s arrest were apoplectic when Obama suggested that it wasn’t a good idea to arrest a Harvard professor for the crime of entering his own home. Bonus points if you can guess the race of the arrestees.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Lapassionara says:

    This feels great, but until he is no longer president, we cannot let down our guard. No telling what Limbaugh will suggest to him next.

    Good morning, everyone.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Lapassionara: Good morning.

  39. 39
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @NotMax: have you ever been to Flinders station in Melbourne – such beautiful architecture.

  40. 40
    NotMax says:

    Way behind the times when it comes to computer gaming yet have to say enjoyed a second playthrough of Mass Effect 2 even more than the first.

    Had been curious about it and the new souped up computer handles it like a dream (the old workhorse machine is nowhere near up to snuff hardware-wise). $5.99 (sale price) well spent. Unfortunately the sequels get reviews ranging from meh to dreadful, so that’ll be it for the franchise for li’l ol’ me.

  41. 41
    Lapassionara says:

    @Betty Cracker: Loved seeing the otter yesterday. Thanks for bringing the great wildlife to Twitter, Betty.

  42. 42
    Ken says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Also, the coverups and lying – or “obstruction of justice” and “perjury” to be technical – are the crimes the Feds have revealed. Whether that was to make the arrest as in Stone’s case, or as the crimes in the plea bargain as in Flynn’s, there’s worse.

  43. 43
    MattF says:

    @Baud: But state laws can be unconstitutional and are declared so all the time. I’m missing something.

  44. 44
    plato says:

    @Jeffro: @Matt McIrvin:

    Jesus. And the moron cuomo was agreeing with the thug? Talk about white entitlement.

  45. 45
    NotMax says:

    @David Merry Christmas Koch

    Nope. Never been to anything in Melbourne. Nor Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart or Cairns, for that matter.

    Train stations really did unleash the muse in architects back in the day, didn’t they.

  46. 46
    Baud says:


    Certain provisions of the Constitution apply only to the feds, some only to the states and some to both. The specific provision that (arguably) prohibits wealth taxes applies only to the feds. If a state tax is unconstitutional, it’s based on some other provision.

  47. 47
    Betty Cracker says:

    Damn, just saw this Hillary Clinton interview clip, which is LIT. Does anyone know when this took place? She talks about the Bernie Bros going after Kamala Harris, but that’s been happening for a while now.

  48. 48
    marklar says:

    ” You think Kentucky’s tobacco farmers, horse breeders, and coal mine owners stay prosperous by sheer hard work?”

    It’s a double whammy….I have no knowledge of tobacco farms or mines, but drop by some of the horse farms in KY, and you’ll see much of the work is being done by Mexicans.

  49. 49
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Betty Cracker: September 10, 2017 (during her book tour).

  50. 50
    debbie says:

    “We never did.”

    Well, then, fuck you, you fucking asshole for putting the nation through this.

  51. 51
    Betty Cracker says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Thank you. She’s a fucking prophet, ain’t she?

  52. 52
    Ken says:

    @marklar: Sometimes I think we should increase the fines levied on businesses that hire undocumented labor. Then I realize that would reduce their profits.

  53. 53
    debbie says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    My hope is that Trump realizes his gut isn’t as genius as he thought it was. I hope it makes him fearful and tentative.

  54. 54
    Another Scott says:

    @Baud: Meh, I’m not convinced. Congress can find a way to make it work if they want. I think Drum says as much. Jacking up the inheritance tax, taxes on unearned income, introducing a trading tax, etc., would have the same effect (but not as quickly) without the supposed Constitutional issues.

    That piece is less legalese, but ultimately more persuasive, IMHO.

    It’s Constitutional if SCOTUS says it is.


  55. 55
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Betty Cracker: She sure is: Hillary at Recode conference, back in May of 2017</em (link)

    Clinton: They did it through paid advertising we think, they did it through false news sites, they did it through these thousand agents, they did it through machine learning, which you know, kept spewing out this stuff over and over again. The algorithms that they developed. So that was the conclusion. And I think it’s fair to ask, how did that actually influence the campaign? And how did they know what messages to deliver?

    Swisher: Who told them?

    Clinton: Who told them? Who were they coordinating with, or colluding with? Because the Russians historically in the last couple of decades and then increasingly, you know, are launching cyber attacks, and they are stealing vasts amounts of information, and a lot of the information they’ve stolen they’ve used for internal purposes, to affect markets, to affect the intelligence services, etc. So this is different because they went public, and they were conveying this weaponized information and the content of it, and they were running … You know, there’s all these stories of guys over in Macedonia who are running these fake news sites and I’ve seen them now and you sit there and it looks like a sort of low-level CNN operation

    Like a fake newspaper, and so the Russians — in my opinion and based on the intel and the counterintel people I’ve talked to — they could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided.

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @Another Scott

    Triple the cap on which FICA is imposed, for starters.

  57. 57
    Ken says:

    @debbie: If he hasn’t learned that in the last seventy years of bankruptcies and lawsuits, he’s unlikely to learn it now.

  58. 58
    Cermet says:

    @NotMax: Wow, that is EXTREMELY good news – that means many thousands of lives that would have been lost (in a terrible way) will not be! This is a really great, win/win weekend for news based on liberal beliefs (i.e. facts, science, and reality)!

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    😅😅😅😅 At your wakeup call

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    Propane Jane was on point about the Red State Moochers.👏👏

  61. 61
    Mikeindublin says:

    I think what is at play here is Dems winning the messaging and easily because of Trumps inability to not step all over GOP congressional messaging and manipulation of the press corps.

    By the way, all that hacking of voter polls before the 2016 election….I know there was like 20+ detected fishing efforts by the Russians but never got a definitive yes or no they were successful. Fingers crossed that if they were successful Mueller has the details and can follow the trail from Moscow => Stone => Trump Campaign. That will be the direct link imho that will erode any remaining support for this corrupt admin.

  62. 62
    Another Scott says:

    @NotMax: That would probably increase the national debt.

    Seriously. That’s the way the bookkeeping works. Excess FICA get turned into Treasury instruments so that the money doesn’t sit in a lock box, and those bonds have to be paid back, so it’s a debt.

    It’s probably past time to fix issues like these. Money is fungible so why should FICA give rise to debts when the money could be spent for higher benefits now?

    Yup, raise the cap, and maybe fix the other issues.


  63. 63
    Lapassionara says:

    @NotMax: Agree. Increasing the cap was part of Reagan’s tax plan to “save” SS in 1986. Should be part of a plan now.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Otters in Florida?😲😲

  65. 65
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Pelosi, the youngest of 7 and the only girl


    With President Kennedy in the Oval Office


  66. 66
    debbie says:

    Yeah, right.

    I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall. This was in no way a concession. It was taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it’s off to the races!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2019

  67. 67
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I missed that when it first aired. Thank you. I’m so angry at how she was treated.

  68. 68
    debit says:

    @debbie: You don’t understand. It’s never his fault. It can’t ever be his fault. Someone else let him down, steered him in the wrong direction, gave him bad advice. He can’t learn from his mistakes because that would require to first admit he made one. I’m actually not being sarcastic. This is who is he is, who he’s always been.

  69. 69
    Crashman says:

    @NotMax: So, I think Mass Effect 3 is probably worth playing if your expectations aren’t too high. There are some pretty good parts in it. Overall it’s not great but I think it’s probably worth it for the good moments and to see the series through. Andromeda is blech. Don’t touch it with a 10 foot pole.

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @Another Scott: Right. But all this is in response to Warren’s proposal. There are other ways that wouldn’t be as constitutionally risky.

  71. 71
    rikyrah says:

    Kelsey Snell (@kelsey_snell) Tweeted:
    I didn’t catch this before but the short-term spending bill (CR) includes a reauthorization/extension of the Violence Against Women Act per McConnell spox.

  72. 72
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Another Scott: because taking it out of the lock box makes it available for anywhere.

  73. 73
    Cermet says:

    @debbie: “Please Mr. Orange Fart Cloud …” said the rabbit (named Nancy) “… throw me into that briar patch – yet again!”

    Loved the Otter phone clip, Betty.

  74. 74
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Kirk Spencer: oki need coffee. Please disregard the nonsense I just wrote.

  75. 75
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Betty Cracker: Wanted to smack Pauley when I watched that yesterday.

    Why give them material? Why not let them concentrate on the Trump Administration?

    I would have criticized the question itself. Hillary was actually nice to her and didn’t do it. “Let them…” is doing a heck of a lot of heavy lifting in this question including assumptions about how women are responsible for men’s behavior. This is how unexamined unconscious sexism comes back to bite us all in the azz. ETA typo

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @Tenar Arha: I noticed that too.

    ETA:. “Why do you need to dress so provocatively?”

  77. 77
    Walker says:


    Except for the ending (which gets too much crap) Mass Effect 3 is a great game. The Citadel DLC makes the game worth playing by itself.

    Andromeda is meh and only for completionists.

  78. 78
    Betty Cracker says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Youngest of seven and the only girl? That explains a lot.

  79. 79
    Victor Matheson says:

    @NotMax: The problem with just raising the FICA limit is that it hits the working upper middle class without essentially touching the billionaires at all.

    Not necessarily a bad thing, but not a strike at the aristocracy at all. For example, double the cap and you raise taxes for the average pediatrician by about $10k which is exactly the same increase that hits Mnuchin, Trump, or Wilbur Ross. And once Ross retires out of the terrible job he is doing as commerce secretary, the FICA increase won’t touch him at all.

    There is also a genuine concern that the more you make SS look like welfare and less like a retire program, the potentially less popular it becomes, although I am not 100% sure I buy that.

  80. 80
    plato says:

    Officials need to bring evidence of Trump administration crimes directly to the people. The best format is impeachment hearings with open debate and no media filter.

    Our media is largely sponsored by dictators or dictated by sponsors. Talk to the people directly.

    — Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) January 23, 2019

    Yup, the media has a vested interest in protecting this thug. #ratings

  81. 81
    Starfish says:

    I didn't catch this before but the short-term spending bill (CR) includes a reauthorization/extension of the Violence Against Women Act per McConnell spox.— Kelsey Snell (@kelsey_snell) January 25, 2019

  82. 82
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Tenar Arha:

    “Let them…” is doing a heck of a lot of heavy lifting in this question including assumptions about how women are responsible for men’s behavior. This is how unexamined unconscious sexism comes back to bite us all in the azz.

    Quoted for truth.

  83. 83
    Victor Matheson says:

    @Another Scott: I don’t think you are exactly right about the FICA/debt thing. While it would technically increase the number of bonds, those extra bonds would be owned by the federal governmwnt itself. It’s not really debt in any real sense if you owe it to yourself.

    It would be like you getting $1000 extra income, promising yourself to spend $1000 on BJ pet calendars in 2030, using the $1000 now to buyvideo games, and then writing yourself an IOU for the $1000 you just spent in order to remember that you want to buy calendars in the future.

    No one would say that you are $1000 more in debt now that you were before you got that $1000. That IOU is totally fictitious debt.

  84. 84
    tybee says:

    @NotMax: eliminate the cap. i pay it on 100% of my income, the wealthy need to do the same.

  85. 85
    Victor Matheson says:

    @plato: but wouldnt months of televised impeachment hearings be a ratings bonanza? Everyone tunes in for a series finale!

  86. 86
    Victor Matheson says:

    @tybee: Yeah, either go all the way or none of the way. Why just extend the inequity to the upper middle class.

  87. 87
    debbie says:


    Agreed. If everyone pays, the percentage could be lowered to something less painful for those in the bottom tiers.

  88. 88
    AM in NC says:

    Going to the Women’s March in Raleigh today. It’s happening a week later than everyone else’s so as not to step on MLK events last weekend. It’s cold today (for here), but sunny! After yesterday’s news, I expect a fairly festive atmosphere.

  89. 89
    mad citizen says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: I LOVE this callback to the MONORAIL. Perfect!

  90. 90
    mad citizen says:

    @JMG: Very good post. Googled Schultz, indeed his net worth is $3.3 billion. Yes, I don’t think running as a white male for President is going to be very advantageous, not to mention the billionaire thing. Trump has ruined both brands for a while.

  91. 91
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Ken: Big fines on firms/farms employing undocumented workers would sure quickly pressure prez/senators and reps to change immigration laws, right?

    Reagan sure backed away from this idea in the 80s

  92. 92
    Another Scott says:

    @Victor Matheson: Indeed we owe it to ourselves, but that’s the way the bookkeeping works. And that’s (a big reason) why the OMG TEH DEBT IS GONNA KILL US IN OUR BEDS arguments are disingenuous.

    Most of what I know about this is from Angry Bear from a few years ago.



  93. 93
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Great photo of Miss Lindsey too! The caption should read:

    Senator Graham watches his political future crash and burn.

  94. 94
    Betty Cracker says:

    @mad citizen: I was thinking the same thing. Bloomberg too. Learn to read a room, guys!

  95. 95
    kindness says:

    OK, that last tweet about Ryan’s spinelessness? It’s true….but, there’s always a but, the last Congress was effectively held hostage by the Freedom Caucus in the House. It’s still Republican’s fault and all. They let a group of their 50 craziest Sardaukar FC hold the majority hostage because they were all worried about getting primaried from the right. Well….see how that worked out?

    I think I like the sound of Kamala/Beto. Sounds like winning.

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    Jeremy Cliffe (@JeremyCliffe) Tweeted:
    Merkel was widely derided for her immigrant policies. But now we know:

    – 3/4 of new immigrants have done or are doing German courses
    – 33% speak good or v good German, up from 18%
    – 35% are in work
    – 2011-16 migrants added €35 billion to the German economy

    Source: @DIW_Berlin

  97. 97
    BroD says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    Yep, Lindsey just graduated from Trump University.

  98. 98

    @NotMax: I read somewhere that train stations were the cathedrals of their era.

  99. 99
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Ken: The “process crimes” are the things they can most easily prove, because the process crimes made it harder to prove all the others.

    This is why “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” became a catchphrase. It is the crime, really, but when the cover-up muddies the waters you can go after the cover-up.

    But people like Trump are still upset that the G-men cheated by getting Capone for tax evasion, so…

  100. 100
    Spanky says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    Senator Graham watches his political future crash and burn.


    After South Carolina seceded in 1860, (SC AG) Petigru famously remarked, “South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.”

    I think we’ve already found out that South Carolina isn’t an insane asylum so much as a nest of racist vipers. Miss Lindsay only needs to keep going back to what has always worked in his campaigns, and the base will come home.

  101. 101

    @kindness: I was thinking about this just this morning in the shower. Maybe we excuse both Boehner and Ryan too easily by saying their conference is fractious. The current Ds could be fractious, but Pelosi manages them just fine. It’s like I used to think CA was ungovernable and then a D was elected and it’s governed just fine.

    Boehner and Ryan may have known how to do what Pelosi does or may not have been smart enough to figure out what would work on their people. They might have been less hard working or less fearless. I don’t know.

  102. 102
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: The Leipzig train station I saw in 90 was incredible.

    IIRC it was ‘modernized’ after unification was complete.

  103. 103
    Immanentize says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    And, to add, AFTER the election, Ryan could have simply brought the Senate Bill to the floor where all the Democrats and most of the Republicans would have voted for it. The Freedom Caucus had no power at all over what was brought to the floor other than the power Ryan gave them.

  104. 104
    Another Scott says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Boehner and Ryan were big boys – they weren’t victims of their caucuses.

    I reject the word Compromise.

    This is how we know we’re a real family here.

    They could have passed a lot of good legislation (legislation that we would have had problems with, but would have helped move the country forward) by compromising and getting Democratic votes. They weren’t interested. It was Party Uber Alles.

    They were all in it together, and not victims of the Teabaggers.


  105. 105
    Immanentize says:

    Not mentioned above, I don’t think, but Nancy still has the State of the Union address in her back pocket. I suspect that “mutually agreeable time” will be after February 15 as long as the government remains open.

  106. 106
    Another Scott says:

    @Immanentize: +1


  107. 107
    Kay says:


    This worked because the Dems had the public’s support. All the toughness in the world doesn’t matter unless you’ve locked that down.

    Well, but they also stuck it out and passed health care which wasn’t that popular and had a huge, organized opposition. It’s more popular now and as a long term proposition really changed the whole debate from “should people get healthcare” to “how should we get it to them”. I think it’s under-rated what happened there- the whole debate is now conducted within the Democratic Party. There’s the Right-leaning Democratic position and the Left-leaning Democratic position, they knocked Republicans out of the debate completely. The only thing Republicans weigh in on now is if they will vote to retain some or all of the Democrat’s health care policy.

    Democrats got creamed on that law in 2010 and then ran on it in 2016. So it’s not strictly true that public support has to come before the action. If it’s a worthwhile long term goal they can take a huge hit short term and ultimately benefit from it long term.

  108. 108
    danielx says:

    My cup, it runneth over. Wish my late friend could have held out for another two weeks.

  109. 109
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Been to Leipzig several times in recent years. The train station is still impressive. You want to see a decent train station ruined by modernisation? Look no further than London Euston.

  110. 110
    kindness says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I think the biggest problems Republicans faced were caused by their wealthiest donors. All those nut job billionaires gave tons of cash to the craziest factions. The MSM helped bring the FC stuff to the forefront. Remember how much they loved the Tea Party when Obama was elected? Media is hurting democracy because sensationalism sells eyeballs and dry policy doesn’t. We have to figure out how to get media to frame things properly. I don’t think our side will be able to do that until we own some of that media. There is a link there. Anyway, I hope the purity ponies on our side don’t wreck havoc like the FC did on Republican’s side last Congress (& going forward to 2020 elections!).

  111. 111
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: but Main Street’s still all cracked and broken

    Sorry mom, the mob has spoken

  112. 112
    Yarrow says:

    @Immanentize: I agree. There is no reason for her to give up the SOTU until she gets what she wants.

  113. 113
    SFAW says:

    You think Kentucky’s tobacco farmers, horse breeders, and coal mine owners stay prosperous by sheer hard work?

    That depends — are they white a/k/a Real ‘Muricans?

  114. 114
    flipper says:

    OK, now it’s killing me that I can’t find it. Who coined the moniker “Nancy Smash”?


  115. 115
    SFAW says:


    It’s true….but, there’s always a but, the last Congress was effectively held hostage by the Freedom Caucus in the House.

    Sorry, but that’s just not true. It was only the Republican caucus that was held hostage. Had a Speaker Pelosi been in charge of the Rethug caucus, she would have worked with both sides to pass something rational (and non-punitive on the “least among us.”) But because Ryan’s ethos (so to speak) requires him to find new and better/worse ways to harm the poor and those similarly dis-empowered, every fucking day, he did not bother to try to do anything outside of the “Child Molester’s Hastert Rule," and use that as an excuse. He's scum, and I hope he loses whatever wealth and privilege he has grifted off this country and his donors.

    Boehner was a little better — I don't think he had the hard-on for hurting the poors that Ryan did/does — but it was his choice to obey the "Child Molester’s Hastert Rule."

    ETA: To clarify (I hope): yes, I realize that the net result was that Congress didn’t get anything done, but I don’t consider that the entire body was held hostage by the FCs, only by Ryan.

  116. 116
    Salty Sam says:


    But, but… so much winning.

    Yeah, but I’m not sick of it quite yet.

  117. 117
    Ken says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Maybe Graham’s worried that Trump will blame him, and retaliate by releasing the kompromat he’s rumored to have.

  118. 118
    catclub says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    cover-ups and lying to investigators aren’t real crimes, they shouldn’t count.

    Elliot Abrams (The criminal) is back at the Pompeo State Department. Trump nixed him the first time because Trump remembered Abrams called Trump an idiot.
    This time Trump is distracted.

  119. 119
    Kay says:

    Trump says the stuff about the women in vans because it’s a huge issue with evangelicals, and has been for years, since at least Bush II. It was AG Gonzales big issue. It comes from the religious Right. They exaggerate sex trafficking and play down work-for-no pay trafficking- employment trafficking is the bulk of “trafficking” as a category. Child care workers, caretakers for elderly, ag workers- they’re the bulk of trafficked workers.

    I ran into it first hand locally when far Righties mistakenly identified this adult local woman as someone who had been trafficked when she was a child. It was the craziest thing I ever saw. They succeeded in pressuring local law enforcement into asking her to take genetic testing to determine if she was who she said she was. She took the test voluntarily, probably so they would stop bothering her. She was Latino-looking, although she had a common local last name, which fit with her (claimed) identify because she was the step-child of a white man. I had this ridiculous argument with one of them in the court hallway over “the State Department” – supposedly “The State Department” had something to say about this insane crusade they were on.

    Anyway, they learned all about this on youtube. It’s a thing on the Right. Trump is speaking in code to a certain subset of his most rabid supporters who took a real broader problem (trafficking, including the much smaller subset of sex trafficking) and blew it up into, specifically, “sex trafficking” which is why no one else knows what he’s talking about.

  120. 120
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud: Schultz does that, I have just bought my last Starbucks product. Evah.

    He has to pitch his vanity run as an “independent”, cuz the GOP is crazy and the Democrats too full of wimmens and nonwhites (clue: like his former employees).

    I have no use for Saint Howard. And I am relieved he’s not thinking of running as a Dem. I guess his schtick is to appeal to embarrassed Republicans?

  121. 121
    Quinerly says:

    Six Trump tweets in less than an hour.

  122. 122

    That we have individuals rich enough to run for president without the support of a political party is a sign of maldistribution of wealth.

  123. 123
    japa21 says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: That picture, and seeing him walk out to announce the “deal” was just like he looked walking up to the press conference after meeting with Putin.

  124. 124
    Ken says:

    @Quinerly: Well, it’s not like he has anything to do.

  125. 125
    Quinerly says:

    @Ken: and that’s good for the rest of us. Less damage.

  126. 126
    Sebastian says:

    We should start crowdsourcing a term for those horse breeders et al. Trumpian Welfare Kings? I am generally in favor labeling everything Republican and conservative as Trumpian in the way they call everything sockalist.

  127. 127
    Quinerly says:

    Nancy P’s statement on Roger Stone arrest.

  128. 128
    cain says:


    @Baud: Schultz does that, I have just bought my last Starbucks product. Evah.

    Isn’t he like the former Starbucks CEO? It isn’t like he gives two shits about Starbucks. That said, I applaud you going to burnt-coffee-beans house, and you should consider the sister coffee shop, Peet’s anyways. :)

  129. 129
    Lyrebird says:

    @Elizabelle: Hi, if you’re still seeing this thread, let me reply to your thoughtful comment yesterday. My browser gets hung up and I don’t see replies until hours later for some reason.

    It was probably harsh of me to put BS and O’Malley in the same boat, but his handling of the riots in Baltimore came under criticism and his answers on the debate stage fell short at least to some listeners. He was in a tough situation, and in fact some of the excess use of force by Baltimore police officers is done by officers of color, but that doesn’t mean we should just hop over the race factor in excess use of force.

    The Guardian has a fairly positive article still up about the matter, which helps show the good things O’Malley was trying to say about cities. Maybe the debate podium just isn’t his medium.

  130. 130
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Truth.

  131. 131
    debbie says:


    It is staggering that the President has chosen to surround himself with people who violated the integrity of our democracy and lied to the FBI and Congress about it.

    I will be giggling all afternoon while vacuuming and dusting.

  132. 132
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Kay: So basically the “white slavery”’mythology updated for the present, ie the same myths that enabled the Mann Act once upon a time, & that was frequently applied & enforced against interracial marriages.

  133. 133
    Quinerly says:

    @debbie: Poco gives a debbie’s afternoon giggling 4 paws up! (then he falls over, feels foolish, and hopes John Lennon, fearless rescue kitty, didn’t see him.)

  134. 134
    Elizabelle says:

    @Lyrebird: Thank you! And I saw your long response in a thread last night, but have not read it yet.

    I will read up over the weekend (your comments and the article), and maybe we can get back to an O’Malley discussion early next week? Thank you for the responses; I am genuinely curious. Was not trying to vex you.

  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    They really will look for any reason to declare superiority over someone won’t they? Does it really boil down to they are criminals so everyone else must be bigger criminals than them?

  136. 136
    SFAW says:


    Nancy P’s statement on Roger Stone arrest.

    Although I can guess the answer, I’m wondering:

    Given Speaker Pelosi’s outstanding start to her Speakership, and given the low likelihood that there will be any fall-off in her performance, have the “Never Pelosi” quislings modified their stance re: limiting her to four years in the job? [Of course, given the moronitude of large swaths of voters in this country, there’s no guarantee the Dems will retain the House in 2024, that’s a different issue.]

  137. 137
    Elizabelle says:

    @cain: Peet’s is lovely. Major Dickason’s blend ??

    I usually look for small local coffee houses. Mostly brew my own (damn fine!) coffee at home. Sometimes Starbucks is just the omnipresent choice if you’re out with a friend or traveling. (The turnpikes! And airports.)

    I like @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    That we have individuals rich enough to run for president without the support of a political party is a sign of maldistribution of wealth.

    Copy that! Word!

  138. 138
    gwangung says:

    @Elizabelle: Schultz is showing the kind of thinking that destroyed the old Seattle SuperSonics.

    This is one issue where Washington Rs and Ds unite on…he’ll be lucky to get to 1% in Washington state.

  139. 139
    debbie says:


    Two dust rags, one mop, and a Swiffer raised for Poco!

  140. 140
    Bill Arnold says:


    I suspect that “mutually agreeable time” will be after February 15 as long as the government remains open.

    I f-ing hope so! Or something similarly clear about the unacceptability of shutdowns. And we need to hammer harder on the idea that shutdowns work because Republicans hate the US Federal Government. They do, in their unthinking devotion to an abstract right-wing-canon[1], but they don’t, really.
    [1] the canon is constructed in part by special interests, some with a lot of money.

  141. 141
    Doug R says:

    @NotMax: Proud of my province. When the bird flu hit Canada, there were some deaths in Ontario, including nursing staff.
    Kudos to the BC Health czar for recognizing signs of an outbreak early and isolating possible infected patients. Not a single death in BC attributable to bird flu that year.

  142. 142
    Kay says:


    It got even weirder and sadder. Okay, so there was an actual AA little girl who disappeared from Milwaukee and was never found. That was real. They connected these two people and decided that the grown Latino woman was that girl, and she had been trafficked into Central America, then back to Ohio. What they didn’t know was the little girl’s disappearance in Milwaukee had been this huge controversy there because the allegation was the Milwaukee county sheriff didn’t put resources into looking for her because she was black. So then a state lawmaker repping Milwaukee got involved. One of our sheriiff’s deputies, Rex, who is a decent person, didn’t want this to spread because it would bring false hope to the people who were looking for the little girl, so he asked that our woman do the genetic test, working with the Milwaukee county sheriff’s dept. They wanted to just fix it. The thing is, none of it made sense from the start. The dates were all wrong. This woman was too old to be that little girl. But by then we were down the rabbit hole and this is a conservative county and they fucking coddle these nuts, so judge had us all on this insane wild goose chase that had now snared TWO innocent people and families in two states.

  143. 143
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: No lie there.

  144. 144
    Doug R says:

    @Victor Matheson: Former Senator Al Franken in his Air America days liked the idea of a FICA/SS doughnut hole. Keep the cap, maybe raise to match inflation-then bring it back for incomes above say a million a year. That way professionals like doctors wouldn’t get slammed with taxes unless they were making major $.

  145. 145
    bemused says:

    Who the hell has any sympathy for depressed Republican legislators? Zero people as far as I can tell.

  146. 146
    PenandKey says:

    @NotMax: don’t let the reviewers fool you. Most of the negative reviews were little better than bandwagon mob mentality and while there are flaws its nearly as good as ME 2. Three contains some of the absolute best scenes in the franchise and its well worth your time. I don’t know how strong the multiplayer scene is anymore, but that’s phenomenal. I sunk way, way too much time into the multiplayer PVE matches for my wife’s liking.

    Andromeda? We don’t talk about one. I’ve heard it’s multiplayer is good, but the plot? I never managed to get past the opening acts because the voice acting and storyline was that bad.

  147. 147
    JR says:

    @NotMax: That’s a good way to lose all the people who just shifted over into the (D) column.

    If you want to hit the extremely wealthy your best options are

    1) estate tax
    2) long term capital gains tax

    plus a number of other forms of taxation

  148. 148
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @PenandKey: ME3 is basically great with a truly terrible (original) ending. It ties up the whole series beautifully, and then then the last 15 minutes were so bad and people hated it so much theybredid the ending a bit… and then released a DLC that was a much better “ending” for the trilogy. Its worth playing for sure.

    Andromeda got a really bad rap. It’s pretty good, with some dumb problems you can mostly ignore. Basically, most of the mini quests (and theres a lot of them) do nothing and are just filler you do not need for XP or equipment.

    The story is intriguing and has some genuinely awesome moments, but the villains kind of suck. Likewise, theres some really good potential DLC or story that didnt get expanded on due to the hate the game received.

    It’s also worth playing and a lot of fun – just skip the skippable stuff. I’ve been meaning to go back and play it again, qnd theres some really interesting stuff that connects back to the original trilogy at the end.

  149. 149
    Jinchi says:

    @NotMax: A lot of people were unhappy with the final scene in Mass Effect 3 but the gameplay and story up to that point was pretty good. Andromeda on the other hand was mediocre.

  150. 150
    Ruckus says:

    So maybe the takeaway is that conservative thought has no logic, mostly because the people who believe it have no ability to use logic in any way, shape or form.
    I say this because if you attempt to use logic on conservative “principles” you end up with a very tiny circle you just keep going around in. There is no logical end to it, one just keeps going around in circles trying to connect with reality and ending up back at the same place. It ends up being all slogans and theft of any loose change that can be picked out of any available pocket, with nothing in return.

  151. 151
    NotMax says:


    Story was well crafted, and I’m a sucker for just wandering around doing exploration.

    Somewhat astonished the religious right did not rise up en masse against Mass Effect 2, as one way of looking at it is that the goal of all the missions is to be able to travel to an uncharted part of the galaxy and perform a space abortion.


    P.S.: Lost only Jack on the second time through, which would consider finishing up with an A-.

  152. 152
    Karen says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    Lindsay’s conditioning is wearing off and he’s no longer a Stepford Wife.

  153. 153
    NotMax says:


    I’ll reconsider ME 3 based on comments here (if it goes on a decent sale). Already know about the ending – all those decisions you fretted over are in the crapper now.

    My Captain Shepard was purposely created to resemble a gaunt version of Alfred E. Neuman as much as possible, albeit a blond, and would like to see him in action again.

  154. 154
    JR says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Certainly true for most eastern-ish cities. Here’s Union Station (Pittsburgh).

  155. 155
    Jinchi says:


    Lost only Jack on the second time through

    I doubt most fans would give you an A- after losing Jack.

  156. 156
    NotMax says:


    Found her annoying as hell, and am a strong anti-fan of full body tattooing. YMMV.

  157. 157
    divF says:


    sister coffee shop, Peet’s

    I’m sitting in the original Peet’s right now. It is not a sibling – Peet’s is the mother ship.

  158. 158
    chopper says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    the ring came off my pudding can!

  159. 159
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @NotMax: Not Max: thanks for the link. I did not even know about Flinders and his circumnav off australia.

  160. 160

    @divF: I’m a devoted Peetnik, since back in the days when I had to order it by mail.

  161. 161
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @NotMax: See the fascist station in Milan, Italy.

  162. 162
    sgrAstar says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Boehner and Ryan hung their hats on the Hastert rule. Sink that and you have a functional Congress and a castrated Freedom Caucus. What losers they were.

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