Open Thread: It’s a Blizzard Out There!

Just got back from a wonderful week completely unplugged, exploring wonderful Havana and some nearby beaches.  Back to the grind today with a week’s worth of work to catch up on…but it was worth it.

Of course, some of the critters were not amused and are doing their best to hang out with me while simultaneously ignoring me.

We are awaiting blizzard-like conditions in about two hours, it’s raining now. I have a house full of company and well-stocked cupboards, so we’re all set.

Open thread

76 replies
  1. 1
    TomatoQueen says:

    Crossed paws: “Welcome home, where you bin did you bring me treats?”

  2. 2
    Geeno says:

    Ooooh Havana, I’m jealous.

  3. 3
    swiftfox says:

    Tried to talk family into doing Cuba cruise instead of the standard Caribbean that does not appeal to me. Voted down, of course, so I did not go. I missed nothing. Would like to see it before the first Taco Bell franchise gets there.

  4. 4
    TomatoQueen says:

    moderation. one little mistake. tizzy.

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    @swiftfox: say what?

  6. 6
    SenyorDave says:

    A Fox Headline:
    Kellyanne Conway slams Huffman, Loughlin as ‘stupid’ over admissions cheating scheme

    Normally, this would be a true example of the pot calling the kettle black and would be the height of hypocrisy. But hypocrisy is a meaningless word to anyone involved with Trump. KAC works for a man who LITERALLY RAN A SHAM UNIVERSITY.

    If George Conway has any sense he’ll divorce her ASAP, she really is an evil person.

  7. 7
    jeffreyw says:

    Welcome back and where are the pictures, eh? As an aside, Four Seasons in Havana was a very good police drama, a mini series available on Netflix.

  8. 8

    @jeffreyw: I actually watched that! I have an entire Cuba story to write, complete with photos, but first I must get the backlog of work done. Self-employed means not really having time off. But not complaining!

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    Would love to hear more about your impressions of Havana when you have time. I’ve never been, but the place has always fascinated me in literature, music and the tales of friends and relatives who’ve been.

    Anyone following the Manafort sentencing? Sounds like Judge Berman is about to bring the hammer down.

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    Cat wants attention.

  11. 11
    Raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m on it like a duck on a junebug!

  12. 12
    Ohio Mom says:

    Misc Cincinnati news:

    The Covington Catholic smirker’s Family is now sueing CNN in addition to the Washington Post.

    The family of the incorrectly doxxed Cov Catholic student is involved in pushing a Kentucky anti-doxxing bill.

    Last night Sheriff David Clark and Steve Bannon headlined a Build the Wall event in a posh downtown Cincinnati Hotel and drew less than 100 people. Although that might be because their target audience doesn’t do downtown. Too hard to park and it’s dangerous!

    I have to keep reminding myself I live here because there are great services for my son.

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Raven: I’m reading the TPM liveblog. So far, it doesn’t sound like Berman is buying Manafort’s bullshit like the last judge did!

  14. 14
    Another Scott says:

    Manafort sentencing hearing is going on now. Live tweets here –


  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker: Good. Hope justice can redeem itself somewhat.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: Judge is still not amused.

    Judge Berman Jackson is now turning to the crimes that are in front of her to consider. “It is hard to overstate the number of lies, and the amount of fraud,” she says. Unlike what the defense suggests, she says that “This is not just a failure to comport to some pesky regulations.”

  18. 18
    Raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: MSNBC has some kind of contact in the courtroom and they are reading statements from Judge Jackson. She just told him to stop the “no collusion” bullshit.

  19. 19
    rk says:

    Yet another tape of Tucker Carlson. Listening to it made me sick. Question for the men out there. What percentage of men talk like this? I ask because in all my years I have never heard men talk this way. I know it’s not all, but the fact that this was all done out in the open, broadcast on the radio indicates that it is more prevalent than we’d like to believe. These guys have no shame whatsoever in talking about sex with underage girls, hinting that they’d have their way with unwilling women. The part that pained me the most was when he compared her to a “wounded gazelle” and ripe for the taking. So he/they would take advantage of a vulnerable girl. No wonder they all support Brett Kavanaugh. I have a daughter and this just hurt and made me furious.

  20. 20
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @MattF: Oh look, a Judge that takes her responsibilities seriously even for rich white guys. So far.

    Crossing fingers about the sentencing.

  21. 21
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @rk: I don’t. I do know a few guys in high school that would make sexual jokes (and yes, they were clearly jokes) about their friend’s little sisters, to needle their friends. But it was always in a “This is funny because it’s so ridiculous and out of line” kind of way. Not what Tucker was doing.

    I was uncomfortable with it then. All of those guys are pretty upstanding now, too.

  22. 22
    germy says:

    There was a school shooting today in Brazil, in São Paulo state: 2 teenager shooters entered and killed at least 8 people, including 5 students and 3 school employees. Just happened so details are still sketchy— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 13, 2019

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I think Canada has just grounded the MAX 8, but can’t yet find confirmation. If true, the cheese stands alone.

  24. 24
    Kay says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    She’s not, but don’t get your hopes up. It doesn’t mean anything. Sometimes it’s the opposite of how it sounds. They do a big wind up that sounds favorable to one side and that’s just an predicate to the other side winning. It’s really odd, but it’s true.

    The judge at the last sentencing said a lot that sounded stern before he got to “blameless life”.

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    as others have said, Judge Jackson ain’t buying any bullshit today

    Natasha Bertrand @ NatashaBertrand
    Oof. Judge ABJ has called out Manafort over his comments today– says they seem to have been prompted by the comments he made at the last hearing. Says “elements of remorse and acceptance of responsibility” in submissions so far have been “completely absent.”
    Judge ABJ has gone back to this now: “The ‘no collusion’ refrain that runs through the entire defense memorandum is unrelated to matters at hand.”
    “It’s hard to understand why an attorney would write that…The ‘no collusion’ mantra is simply a non sequitur.” It’s also not accurate, since the investigation is ongoing, she says.

    that last one looks like a direct (okay, technically indirect) STFU to the President of These United States from a co-equal branch of government.
    Fifty quatloos says at least 8 years, consecutive (borrowing language from TeeVee lawyer friends)

  26. 26
    Baud says:


    I probably said some things in high school I would now be ashamed of. I grew out of it, however.

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    @MisterForkbeard: The whole concept that a Federal Judge is a powerful person you should not try to fool or anger seems to be entirely outside Manafort’s field of view.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    “It’s hard to understand why an attorney would write that

    Because a Republican judge bought it.

  29. 29
    rikyrah says:

    The picture from Havana looks fabulous

  30. 30
    Kay says:


    It’s either an over-reaction that we’re wisely not buying into or….Trump is a bad manager :)

    Both or either. No one knows. Well, we know the second part.

  31. 31
    WaterGirl says:

    @jeffreyw: Spanish with english subtitles?

  32. 32

    BREAKING: Paul Manafort has been sentenced to:
    – Count 1: 60 months, with 30 months concurrent with EDVA sentence
    – Count 2: 13 months, to run consecutive to count 1 and the EDVA sentence

  33. 33
    germy says:

    BREAKING: Paul Manafort has been sentenced to:- Count 1: 60 months, with 30 months concurrent with EDVA sentence- Count 2: 13 months, to run consecutive to count 1 and the EDVA sentence— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 13, 2019

  34. 34
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Baud: Oh yeah. Lots of that.

    I’m not as old now as Tucker was then and I know better. That said, I HAVE said things that HR would get me in trouble for, if I hadn’t said them solely with a group of private friends. Again, as jokes and still nowhere near Tucker’s statements.

    But I do think a lot of dudes act like Tucker. How many that is, I dont know. Even 5% of men would be a staggeringly large amount of people.

  35. 35

    The winds have picked up, sleeting. I just put the protesting ducks into their coop – they were fine, but I was not going out in the middle of it when they suddenly decide the wind and sleet are too much to bear. 🦆🦆

  36. 36
    WaterGirl says:

    @Betty Cracker: I hope you are right! She has given him so many chances.

  37. 37
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: huh, looks like five years, with time served counted, so four additional years. Who do I pay my quatloos to?

  38. 38

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Not that it matters, since Trump will pardon him.

  39. 39
    Bruce K says:

    Judge Jackson gave Manafort six years plus, according to Zoe Tillman.

    BREAKING: Paul Manafort has been sentenced to:- Count 1: 60 months, with 30 months concurrent with EDVA sentence- Count 2: 13 months, to run consecutive to count 1 and the EDVA sentence— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 13, 2019

  40. 40
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: So… a total of 5 or 6 years out of a max of 10? Not bad, but given his behavior at trial I would have gone the full 10.

  41. 41
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @germy: More bullshit.

  42. 42
    Another Scott says:

    Zoe Tillman Verified account @ZoeTillman

    BREAKING: Paul Manafort has been sentenced to:
    – Count 1: 60 months, with 30 months concurrent with EDVA sentence
    – Count 2: 13 months, to run consecutive to count 1 and the EDVA sentence

    FWIW. Don’t know if that’s it, or just the first of several charges…


  43. 43
    hueyplong says:

    So we’re looking at 7.5 years total for the two cases, not far off the 8 yr guess above.

    Shoulda been more.

  44. 44
    PJ says:

    @germy: Only an extra 43 months – 73 months total with the earlier sentencing, so he’ll be out in 6 years (minus time served, probably). Fuck him and his corrupt ass.

    ETA: It’s apparently 90 months total, because the EDVA charges ran consecutively. Still too little.

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    Time for some states to bring up charges on Manafort. This is absolute bullshyt.

  46. 46

    @Betty Cracker: It is as wonderful as those who visit and love it have said. Worth the hop from FL. And we stayed at a sweet Casa Particular that I would recommend to anyone. I feel like I now have family in Havana.

  47. 47
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bruce K: Four years minus, because of the concurrence. Fuck that noise.

  48. 48
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    BREAKING: Paul Manafort has been sentenced to:
    – Count 1: 60 months, with 30 months concurrent with EDVA sentence
    – Count 2: 13 months, to run consecutive to count 1 and the EDVA sentence

  49. 49
    Raven says:

    3.5 more years.

  50. 50
    Luthe says:

    @hueyplong: Minus time served, good behavior, and possible reductions from the new prison reform act.

  51. 51
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Another Scott: That’s it. Only two counts in this case.

    Sorry for hijacking TaMara’s thread.

  52. 52
    Wapiti says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Yeah, the tampering with witnesses should have had the gloves off and filled with concrete.

  53. 53
    Another Scott says:

    HighlySelectiveHat @Popehat

    So that’s 43 months additional time on top of the EDVA sentence, for a total of 90 months, or 7.5 years. He gets credit for time served, will get good-time credit of up to 15%, and may get additional credit under the new and untested First Step Act.


    It’s a good thing he wasn’t charged with trying to vote or something… :-/


  54. 54
    Raven says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Yea but we still get to bitch and moan don’t we?

  55. 55
    hueyplong says:

    @Luthe: Yes.

    Powerful white man “justice,” and the right will whine about even this.

  56. 56
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Wow, politics aside (to the extent that that’s possible), given all the talk about the soft sentences for white collar crime in the last week, I’m really surprised she didn’t come down harder on him.

  57. 57
    Raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Uh, “Open Thread: It’s a Blizzard Out There! “

  58. 58
    Raven says:

    @hueyplong: Gee so everybody gets a piece of the action!

  59. 59
    Shana says:

    @Ohio Mom: That reminds me: I’ll be in Cincy in mid-October. Family wedding one weekend followed by The Wodehouse Society convention the following weekend. I think I’ll be staying in town in between to visit MIL and other family, probably in the Mason area but I’ll have a car. Want to try to get together sometime during the week?

  60. 60
    WaterGirl says:

    @germy: If my math is right, that gives him 7.5 total years.

    (60-30) + 13 + 47 = 90 months or 7.5 years

  61. 61
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Raven: Yeah, I know, but 75% is Manafort and only 25%, maybe less, is Cuba.

  62. 62
    Baud says:

    Does anyone know if this was within the Guidelines range? The Virginia sentence was a substantial downward departure from the Guidelines.

  63. 63
    jnfr says:

    Bombogenesis blizzard! So far a bit of wind and blowing snowflakes here in Westminster.

  64. 64
    Another Scott says:

    Great pictures, and congratulations on being able to vacation in Havana! Of course, Donnie is trying to retighten the embargo, so who knows how long USians will be able to make similar trips.



  65. 65
    WaterGirl says:

    Manafort didn’t get enough time, in my opinion. I think there might be one more sentencing to go, from some other court. Or am I wrong about that?

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WaterGirl: one of the MSNBC former-federal-prosecutors just rattled off the states where charges could but have not yet been filed. I think it included NY, Illinois and Rhode Island

  68. 68

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I suspect his troubles are far from over….

  69. 69
    Doug R says:


    I think Canada has just grounded the MAX 8, but can’t yet find confirmation. If true, the cheese stands alone

    Yup. Transport Minister (Former Astronaut) Marc Garneau just finished a press conference.

  70. 70
    R-Jud says:

    For those of you interested in reading more about Brexit, one of the more entertaining and incisive pundits is Marina Hyde:

    The story of Brexit since the referendum has in large part been the story of politicians finding out in real time what the thing they had already done actually meant, then deferring the admission or even acceptance of it. We hear a lot about low-information voters, but low-information politicians are the bigger problem.

  71. 71
    Jay C says:


    That’s a brutal piece (though entirely well-deserved by its targets:

    “On close inspection, the “beacon of democracy” turns out to be a bin fire”.

  72. 72
    Momentary says:

    @R-Jud: Marina Hyde is a treasure.

  73. 73
    J R in WV says:

    We would really like to do a Cuba music trip, love Cuban traditional music. Perhaps a bunch of Jackals could all do the same trip? After a search [Cuban Music travel] it doesn’t even look very expensive…

  74. 74
    karen marie says:

    @Shana: oh, please do a post about the Wodehouse Society!

  75. 75
    Shana says:

    @karen marie: I’ll try at some point, but in the meantime: the US Society (there’s also an English Society, but ours is older) meets every two years for a long weekend. There’s sometimes a cricket game, but always a cocktail party Friday evening, “riveting talks” on Saturday followed by a banquet on Saturday evening – with costumes if you’re inclined – and a brunch on Sunday including a skit by one of the local chapters.

    It is, as you might imagine, a fun group of people. We frequently get a bunch from England, sometimes a woman from Japan who does Wodehouse manga, a representative or two from the Dutch society. Usually around 200 people.

    There are local chapters all over the country. DC, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, LA, San Francisco, Philly, Texas, and New England are some of the bigger ones. The chapters have occasional meetings/parties.

    More info available at I think membership is only $20-25 a year and includes a quarterly newsletter.

  76. 76
    karen marie says:

    @Shana: I had seen something about it years ago but never followed up. I should. I read Wodehouse when life gets me down. They never fail to make me laugh no matter how often read. Thanks!

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