Wednesday Morning Open Thread

Feels like Wednesday is the new Friday — too much news for one week. And I’m just a spectator here!
At the same time:

201 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:


  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    I like this March for Truth business.

    Good advice on waiting to see the Mueller report. Why can’t our professional journamalists and headline writers do that? Again, goes to truth.

    Boeing Max8s are not the only things plummeting to ground these days. (And I am fascinated w that whole story. Illustrative of regulatory capture, institutional fail, predatory capitalism; rot, rot, rot of something that used to be better and justifiably admired. No more. I hope they break up the FAA’s functions too.)

  3. 3
    Raven says:

    Well crap. Lil Bit went to her eye vey yesterday and her breathing and coughing prompted that vet to urge us to take her to her GP. Because of her tie-back surgery and susceptibility to aspiration pneumonia the first thing they do is xrays. Cockers often have valve problems and enlarged hearts and she has for a while. The recommendation. is for for her to see her cardio for a ultrasound with an eye toward meds that might help her. Then, last night, Bohdi started limping on his front left and he has a big lump on his “knee”. Back to the vet this morning for what will surely be at least a needle biopsy. All this with the princess going to UK tomorrow!

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    @Raven: I’m so sorry, and hopefully they both heal quickly.

  5. 5
    RAVEN says:

    @JPL: We have health insurance Bohdi and, at his age, we may as well get the deductible behind us but it is worrisome.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: When it rains, it pours. Fingers crossed.

    All this with the princess going to UK tomorrow!

    She planned it that way.

  7. 7
    opiejeanne says:

    @Raven: I’m sorry, Raven. I hope the various vets can help them.

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In most cases I’d say yes but not this.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Sounds as if you’re in need of a pick me up. While poking around hither and yon (mostly yon) came across a coffee mug which might have been designed with you in mind.


  11. 11
    SFAW says:

    So the Partei of Traitors had the reins for eight years, including two with the Traitor-in-Chief in the Oval Office, and they couldn’t seem to come up with their own version of ACA. The Dragon Lady and her evil minions take back at least part of the power, and in less than 90 days, they announce ACA 2.0.

    Thank FSM both parties are the same, etc., etc.

    But someone — I think it was here — was complaining/commenting that the Dems haven’t done ANYTHING yet since the Blue Wave. So I guess I must be misunderstanding things.

  12. 12
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: Bizzare!

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Raven: Zikes, hope the critters are okay!

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Alien: The Play

    Perfecto Cuervo, the drama club moderator and play director, got the inspiration as a lifelong fan of the film. But both he and the art director Steven Defendini were a bit apprehensive, given the intricacies of the sets and costumes. “Once he proposed that to me, I said, ‘I don’t even know if that is a thing that is possible but if the students are engaged, then I think we can make it happen, however we make it happen,’” said Defendini.

    With no drama department and no great funds to speak of, the costumes and sets of the Alien play were made largely from recycled materials. From start to finish, the production took around eight months. In the process, the teachers spent quite a bit of their own money, roughly $3,500, including funds for food for the students and lighting. “Despite the fact that they were small productions, we put … as much ingenuity and imagination as we can into putting these plays up and doing the most we can with the little amount of money that we have,” said Cuervo.

    The elaborately staged play was put on for two nights, 19 and 22 March, and ran for about an hour and 40 minutes. It was posted online by a Reddit user and subsequently on Twitter. Within a night of the final show, the former host of Discovery Channel Mythbusters Adam Savage retweeted stills of the production under the caption “OMFSM [Oh My Flying Spaghetti Monster] i need to see this wow,” and word about the play took off.
    The sets and effects of the play are even more herculean considering North Bergen high school is one of the most underfunded schools in the entire state of New Jersey. The teachers pointed out their work in the arts does not get as much attention as the sports, but this play has the community (and the world) looking at them in a different light. “One student walked across the stage … a student I’ve never met and he said, ‘Thank you for putting us on the map in a positive way,’” Defendini recalled.

    (Hispanic) Kids these days. And who are these teachers reaching into their own pockets to provide the children of a bunch of immigrant slackers and leaches with an education are Republican tax cutting betters have decided they are not worthy of?

  15. 15
    SFAW says:


    Good luck with your four-legged family members, I hope everything comes out OK.

  16. 16
    Immanentize says:

    @Raven: Week continues to suck. Good luck with the pups. I always hear “Groundhog” now when you talk about them.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: I say blame her anyway. If she’s not guilty of it this time, it’s for the time she thought she got away with it. ;-)

  18. 18
    RAVEN says:

    @Immanentize: The whistle pigs are about to become active!

  19. 19
    Immanentize says:

    And Good Morning, All.
    Question — which is worse? Insomnia or awful nightmares? Trump was in my dreams last night!

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: Insomnia, but I’m weird. I hate waking up before my nightmares* are finished, I want to see how they end.

    * with one exception

  21. 21
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I know you are probably right … Sleep, even troubled is better than no sleep.

    So, what’s the exception? That asterisk has me imagining all sorts of terrible things. Or maybe it’s just the dream about searching for a bathroom?

  22. 22
    NotMax says:

    @Immanentize – @OzarkHillbilly

    Being one of those people who never, never, never remembers dreaming (which presumably i do experience), have no dog in this fight.

  23. 23
    Immanentize says:

    Time to get the Immp to the train….

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    Stacey Abrams is going to be on CBS This Morning, and will talk about her future plans. I assume that means Joe is outta luck.

  25. 25
    Betty Cracker says:

    I was pleasantly surprised last night when I checked CNN’s mobile site and all the above-the-fold headlines were about Trump’s attempt to kill the ACA. I thought CNN would be huffing Barr’s bullshit summary for at least another couple of weeks. Way to step on your own dick, Trump!

  26. 26
    SFAW says:


    Being one of those people who never, never, never remembers dreaming

    Excessive drug (as opposed to meds) use can have that side effect.

    Just sayin’.

  27. 27
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: When my oldest was a toddler, they thought he might have cystic fibrosis (it runs in my family, a cousin died of it)(my ex was adopted) They did sweat chloride test after SC test and they always came back just this side of negative. The issue exposed a couple of deeply buried familial issues laden with I suspect, a goodly amount of guilt.

    In my dream I am carrying my 1 yo son into the operating room. Masked and hatted doctors and nurses surround the OR table with the various implements of their trade. I can see only their eyes. I lay him down onto the table, The doctors and nurses are now hooded, shapeless figures around the table. They begin chanting in an unintelligible language, swaying this way and that as they walk around the table.

    I grab my son off the table and hold him close to my chest and say,

    “I’m ready to wake up now. Like right now. NOW!…”

  28. 28
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Betty Cracker: They weren’t all about Jussie Smollett? That seemed to be the great topic of obsession on Fox yesterday (there was a public screen I couldn’t avoid).

  29. 29
    Bruce K says:

    @Immanentize: Physiologically speaking, nightmares aren’t as bad as no sleep at all. You can crowd a bad dream out of your head during the day, I think, but sleep debt is much more unpleasant for the following day (or several days).

    Over the past few months, I’ve suffered both, right up to Twitler invading my dreams, and the sleep debt was far more unpleasant. (The worst instances of insomnia were caused by gastrointestinal problems causing pain so intense that it ended up requiring emergency surgery, and after a lot of thinking, I would absolutely wish that level of pain on the current crop of 21st-century Republicans infecting DC today.)

  30. 30
    SFAW says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I was pleasantly surprised last night when I checked CNN’s mobile site and all the above-the-fold headlines were about Trump’s attempt to kill the ACA. I thought CNN would be huffing Barr’s bullshit summary for at least another couple of weeks.

    They were just doing some “deep background” work for their Jussie Smollett blockbuster story to be aired for the rest of the week. And it might be time for an update to the JonBenet Ramsey saga.

    Why, yes, I am a tad cynical — why do you ask?

    ETA: Shakes fist ineffectually at Matt McIrvin.

  31. 31
    NotMax says:


    Been the same way since was a wee bairn. The entire concept of dreams and of nightmares is alien to me.

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: I took Chantrix to quit smoking. A lot of people can’t handle the dreams side effect. Me? 3 of the most entertaining months of my life.

  33. 33
    SFAW says:


    Oy. A nightmare like that …

  34. 34
    debbie says:


    Jeez, all at once, too. Fingers crossed for both pups.

  35. 35
    trnc says:

    I heard NPR say during my commute home yesterday that the dems are looking for a way to pivot from the Mueller report and chose health care.

    Dems are still demanding the Mueller report much more than NPR’s news division seems to be.

    Dems didn’t pivot – the DT administration did.

    It’s a shame. I have friends who work at the local NPR station.

  36. 36
    debbie says:


    I rarely remember my dreams, but when I wake up as tired as I did this morning, I know they must have been doozies.

  37. 37
    SFAW says:


    3 of the most entertaining months of my life.

    Somewhere, the ghost of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is going “Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about! Try about 75 micrograms of pineal gland of adolescent iguana, too. It’s outstanding!!”

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    Before trump was elected, my dreams consisted of the freedom girls singing. One was so intense, that I jumped out of bed. I think that’s when I realized that he had a good chance of winning.

  39. 39
    MomSense says:

    I’m really sorry, Raven. Hoping for good news for both pups.

  40. 40

    @Raven: I hope the various vets can help the doggos. It sounds worrisome.

    @Matt McIrvin: Last night, I heard two old guys talking about Smollett, or trying to. One of them brought the subject up but he couldn’t remember Smollett’s name and the other guy hadn’t heard anything about it. I assume the first guy saw it on Fox and was trying to work up some angry reaction but the conversation floundered and they moved on. It was clear to me that the whole thing was a completely artificial controversy. They didn’t care until Fox told them to. It was basically a topic of conversation they could share to show they were allies, not something they cared about for its own sake.

  41. 41
    MomSense says:



  42. 42
    ola azul says:


    Hoping the worry for your furry guys is relieved by good news soon; the older they get, the more precious they become.

  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    A German newspaper report has revealed major historical ties between the Reimann family, owners of Krispy Kreme and Pret a Manger, and the Nazi party.

    The report in Bild, since confirmed by the family’s spokesman, shows that ancestors of Reimann family were enthusiastic antisemites and keen supporters of Adolf Hitler. They used Russian civilians and French prisoners of war as forced labourers in their factories.

    The report contains harrowing details about the family’s treatment of forced workers: female slaves, mostly from eastern Europe, were forced to stand naked in the factory barracks during checks. Those who refused were beaten and sexually abused. Other workers were beaten, often by the Reimanns themselves, including a Russian woman who worked in the Reimanns’ private villa.

    In July 1937, Albert Reimann Jr wrote to Heinrich Himmler, the SS leader responsible for the Holocaust, saying that his business was “a purely Aryan family business that is over 100 years old”, he wrote. “The owners are unconditional followers of the race theory.”

    After Hitler came to power, millions of ethnic Slavs were forced to work in Nazi factories or in German agriculture for no payment. The Reimanns’ enthusiastic support for the Nazis’ racial ideology and personal abuse of workers is uniquely shocking.

    Reimann Jr amassed a huge fortune which was passed, through shares in his company, to his nine adopted children, four of whom now control the company. The Reimann family are now the second richest family in Germany with an estimated net worth of €33bn ($37bin). Through JAB Holding, a private company owned by the family, they also have majority shares in Peets Tea and Coffee, Panera Bread and Dr Pepper.

    The source of the revelations appears to be a report commissioned by the family themselves, in an effort to learn more about their ancestry. After discovering the extent of the Nazi ties, the family have said they will donate $11.3m (£8.5m) to charity, though they are yet to say which one.

    $37 Billion worth built on slave labor, and they think $11.3 Million will wash away the stain. When I read shit like this I hope I am wrong and there really is a hell.

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    DeVos also suggested that American education has gotten worse since the federal Department of Education was created in 1979, echoing a comment made by Rep. Harris. “I know we were much higher in the rankings and we’ve definitely continued to deteriorate,” she said.
    It’s not clear what she was referring to. In her opening remarks referring to the U.S.’s middling education rankings, she relied on results of the PISA exam. But that was first administered in 2000. It’s unclear that the U.S. ever ranked highly on older international exams.

    I always wonder why this is so popular– the idea that we used to be smarter or better educated. It’s not true on any of the available measures, but people absolutely love it and repeat it constantly. I used to think it was nostalgia but now I think it’s more personal than that- we want to think we, personally, were and are smarter and better educated than younger people :)

    DeVos is of course an ideologue and far Right so she dates this imagined decline to Jimmy Carter, but the year doesn’t really matter – a lot of people date it “the 1950’s” which is absolutely untrue too. We just didn’t count or test most students in the 1950’s. A lot of them weren’t even there TO test- they had dropped out by high school.

    Liberals do it too. After Trump, people said “it’s because there’s less civics education” but Trump voters skew old, so they should have gotten their civics education 40 year ago, back in the (imaginary) days when people were smarter. Really Americans were MUCH less educated in FDR’s time- a lot of them didn’t even get to high school, let alone college.

  45. 45

    @Betty Cracker:

    Way to step on your own dick, Trump!

    He must be a great deal more flexible than I’d imagined.

  46. 46

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: @Betty Cracker: Forget stepping on it, I doubt that he can see it without a strategically placed mirror.

  47. 47
    ola azul says:


    No doubt Trump found the needle in the haystack whilst tripping over his idiotically long tie.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    Nancy Pelosi is the keynote at the Democratic state dinner in Ohio. The tix are 250 dollars so we’re sending our youngest committee member and paying for his trip (he can’t afford the ticket and an overnight stay in Columbus).

    I just thought it was interesting she’s coming to Ohio.

  49. 49
    Betty Cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I also took Chantix several years back to kick the habit and had some truly weird dreams — like tripping on acid-level bizarre! My dreams weren’t bad, just outlandish, but a couple of people I know had to quit taking it because their nightmares were so horrific. The brain is a mystery!

  50. 50
    NotMax says:


    FDR’s time? Ah, the days of the Bellamy salute.


    Surprising in a way that the Rs in Congress haven’t (yet) tried to bring that back as a part of the hallowed mythical Golden Age eradicated while FDR was in office.

  51. 51
    satby says:

    @Raven: fingers crossed for your babies at the vet.
    I’m worried about my old guy Hershey right now. He’s acting off, but not in any way I can ID a problem, other than he’s old.

  52. 52
    Matt McIrvin says:


    After Trump, people said “it’s because there’s less civics education” but Trump voters skew old, so they should have gotten their civics education 40 year ago, back in the (imaginary) days when people were smarter.

    This has been bothering me for years. The people who had these great mythic civics classes all voted for Trump!

    (I had civics in the eighth grade in 1981-82. I hated the class, thought it was the dorkiest thing in the world, but I also took AP government in high school and got a lot of the same stuff on a higher level.)

    At one point my father told me that aside from one class on differential equations, he thought my high school mathematics education in the 1980s had been comparable to the courses he had taken for a college mathematics degree in the early 1960s. Of course, it’s possible that things have deteriorated since then, but based on my daughter’s current middle-school experience I don’t think so. I’d say she’s running slightly ahead of where I was.

    Our problems in education have more to do with inequality than with the overall level of the median or most fortunate students.

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The brain is a mystery!

    My youngest was born with a defect that affected his left eye. We went to U of M children’s hospital to have it corrected and the surgeon told us “we don’t really know how the eye works with the brain, but we’ll do what we can”. I thought it was great he was so blunt.

  54. 54
    Lapassionara says:

    @Kay: This. By every metric, my children had a better elementary, middle school, and high school education than I did in the glorious 1950’s.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    Sending positive thoughts for your crew.🤗

  56. 56
    MomSense says:


    Almost 25 years ago I read a book by Robert Kegan called In Over Our Heads: the Mental Demands of Modern Life. I no longer wonder why so much of the population wants to go back to a “simpler time” .

  57. 57
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Members of the Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma, the company that drove America’s opioid epidemic, appear for the first time to have acknowledged a role in the crisis by agreeing to pay tens of millions of dollars as part of a landmark legal settlement.

    Purdue and some Sackler family members are to pay a total of $270m as part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit by the state of Oklahoma over the drug-maker’s aggressive and illegal marketing of the narcotic prescription painkiller OxyContin, made by Purdue, one of the drugs in a public health crisis that overall has claimed more than 350,000 lives over the past two decades.

    The settlement does not reflect any admission of wrongdoing by the Sacklers.
    Paul Hanly, a US lawyer heading a different federal lawsuit, which is consolidating about 1,600 legal actions by US cities and counties from states across the US against Purdue and other drug-makers and distributors in a court in Ohio, welcomed the payment. He especially noted the inclusion of members of the Sackler family in the settlement announced on Tuesday, who have been largely silent about the epidemic as it unfolded, intensified and persists, even as OxyContin sales made them billionaires. Sacklers will pay $75m toward the settlement announced.

    “It’s the first time that we’ve seen any sort of public acknowledgement by the Sacklers concerning opioids,” Hanly said. The Sackler family was not a defendant in the Oklahoma claim.

    $75 million is really a pittance but I am curious at their contributing to the settlement of a case in which they were not defendants. It makes me think they are in some seriously deep doodoo with these lawsuits.

    I recently read a story about *one of the lead lawyers* in the biggie lawsuit in which he said they were not going to accept a settlement in which the evidence was not made public. While I won’t hold my breath, I hope his prediction comes true.

    *one of the lead lawyers* – (a self described “WV hick” who keeps getting underestimated by his opponents) (he’s won a couple of large settlements)

  58. 58
    SFAW says:


    we want to think we, personally, were and are smarter and better educated than younger people

    Well, we ARE! And I’ll explain why, right after I finish getting those rotten kids off of my front lawn!

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    Why did it take so long to uncover?

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: HIGH FIVE!

  61. 61

    @Matt McIrvin: My son had a great HS govt class. The teacher (who happened to also be his home room teacher) used Howard Zinn’s book and among other things required them to do volunteer work for a civic organization of their choice. My son did data entry for the local D party, which then became his paid summer job.

  62. 62
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Those Parkland kids had an extremely impressive civic education, and it showed immediately when they were in the public spotlight. Practically the only civics education I got in the 1980s in FL public schools was anti-Soviet propaganda, which was almost immediately rendered moot by events.

    @satby: My Daisy, whose 11th birthday is today (bacon cake!), is showing her age a lot these days, poor girl.

  63. 63
    MomSense says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Inequality compounded by the failure of institutions to deal with they symptoms of inequality and so many of us enduring poverty. We have made schools responsible for handling so many of our social ills without the human and financial resources to do so. The fewer resources the school has, the more likely they will be punished and have more resources taken away. It’s fucked up and bullshit.

    It’s part of why I hate the children are our future sentiment. All that framing does is encourage waiting until the future to address how we treat our children.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    Eh….waste of time, IMO.
    But, Nancy Smash 🤗 is Nancy Smash 🤗

  65. 65
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: Screw the bedside manners (vomit) give me an honest Dr.

  66. 66
    Immanentize says:

    @Bruce K: Diverticulitis?

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Well, it’s complicated but it is connected to efforts at equity. So, for example, many more people take college entrance exams now than did in the past. That’s a laudable goal, and we reached it. But as you end up adding lower income students the scores stall, because you’re bringing in the middle and the bottom of the income scale. It’s not an apples and apples comparison.
    The spending is actually easy to explain and was also a goal and the right thing to do- we brought in students with handicaps. We used to completely exclude them. That costs. Now, no Right winger is ever going to say “we should go back to excluding students with handicaps, like we did in the good old days!” so instead they ignore that it happened. It was a civil rights victory, parents of kids with handicaps were the drivers and they fought for decades and won- but it adds cost. It can be triple the cost per student.

  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    Put JAIL 😡

  69. 69
    MomSense says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    They had more than civics. Parkland has outstanding drama, arts, journalism, and social justice programs. Civics without the training in empathy and critical thinking that those other disciplines develop, will not create progressive citizens.

  70. 70
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: Because nobody ever looked? Who was it who said, “Behind every rich person is a crime.”? (or something like that)

    Google is my friend:

    “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” -Balzac

  71. 71
    Kay says:


    I did a bone marrow donation to a relative and I will never forget one of the nurses- I was signing tons of releases and they were all babbling at me that it would be “uncomfortable” and one of nurses looked right at me and said “it hurts”. It was like this moment of pure understanding, because I am actually the kind of person who hates surprises, so I want a warning. I need to mentally prepare. I was grateful to her. I mean, what do they think? I’m going to rip out the IV and run away? That deed was pretty much DONE by that point.

  72. 72
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: I don’t know about this specific test, but I recall there being a similar sample issue with international comparisons made back in the 1980s and 1990s: many educational systems sorted their students into trade and university tracks much earlier than we do, while we were still treating everyone as theoretically college-bound, and our whole student body was being compared with their elite. I can only imagine this problem has gotten worse, now that we think of a college degree as the bare minimum to get a job that can support a family.

  73. 73
    raven says:

    @Kay: As you know, the GED was originally a military program intended to allow WW2 vets to take advantage of the post-secondary benefits of the GI Bill. Fewer than half of WW@ troops had a HS diploma and they had to have one to continue.

  74. 74
    Kathleen says:

    @Elizabelle: You must have read WAPO article about Boeing doing FAA’s job now.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    dylan (@dylanmsmitty) Tweeted:
    A white man, Donald Trump, is not exonerated of obstruction, conservatives scream exonerated.

    A black man, Jussie Smollett, has all charges dropped against him, conservatives scream guilty.

    Conservatives are fucking racist. Who agrees?

  76. 76
    Karen S. says:

    My parents, who are black and grew up in states where schools were segregated by law, really had to work very hard to get the education they did get. Just yesterday, my dad told me that the textbooks that the black schools got were second or third hand, given to them after they’d been used for years in white schools. (He said though he never knew those white children, he knew their names because they wrote their names in the textbooks.) So you know that at least some of the information in those books wasn’t up to date. Fortunately, my parents were lucky to have a lot of support from their families, who were poor but wanted them to get the best education available to them that they could. I think with people who imagine some halcyon time when education in the U.S. was so much better and, we were, therefore, smarter are indulging in some American exceptionalism. Of course we’re the best and brightest! We’re American! USA! USA!

  77. 77
    raven says:

    @Matt McIrvin: When I worked with adult literacy directors I’d ask them “do you really tell people that getting a GED will change their lives”? Mostly they would say “we have to in order to get them to come”! It is necessary but not sufficient just like an undergrad degree now.

  78. 78
    SFAW says:


    they were all babbling at me that it would be “uncomfortable” and one of nurses looked right at me and said “it hurts”.

    Kind of like the nurse (or phlebotomist) telling you “there’ll be a little pinch,” just before they shove a 000 needle in your arm.

  79. 79
    Kathleen says:

    @Raven: I hope they are OK and get better soon.

  80. 80
    rikyrah says:

    George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) Tweeted:
    The all-female space walk is being canceled because of lack of enough space suits that fit women. And if that isn’t a metaphor for the obstacles women face across many professions, I don’t know what is.

  81. 81
    Matt McIrvin says:


    Now, no Right winger is ever going to say “we should go back to excluding students with handicaps, like we did in the good old days!”

    Don’t be so sure–they HATE, hate, hate the ADA and things like wheelchair ramps and Braille signs. Those accommodations get them as mad as “press 1 for English” for some reason. Some of the super-religious ones believe that disabilities are outward signs of sin or punishments for sin.

  82. 82
    NotMax says:

    Been driving me nutso that had one line from a song, complete with the correct music, running repeatedly through the brainpan for like the past 6 hours and could remember neither the title nor where the song was from. Mental light bulb finally flickered to life. Maybe now can attempt some semblance of slumber.

  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) Tweeted:
    Trump brags about taking away healthcare.

    DeVos takes away funding for the Special Olympics.

    MCConnell blocks Americans to see the Mueller Report where the House voted unanimously for all to see.

    Seriously if you are a MAGA supporter…

    Go fuck yourself.

  84. 84
    SFAW says:


    Conservatives are fucking racist.

    Nah, they’re just economically anxious.

  85. 85
  86. 86
    rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh😒😒😒
    Lone wolf 🙄🙄

    Reuters Top News (@Reuters) Tweeted:
    JUST IN: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says we can now confirm that there was financial support and so a connection between the New Zealand attacker and identitarian movement in Austria

  87. 87
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Right wingers here said it after Obama was elected. That it was young voters and they don’t know what they’re doing.

    Because we have such an awesome track record, just asking our brainy policy questions and taking the measure of the man. Please. They loved Reagan because he rode a horse. They thought The Apprentice was real. I mean, Jesus, talk about glass houses. I’m embarrassed to be in their cohort. I can take the bad decisions- I can’t take the delusional conceit.

  88. 88
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Well…

    Wild digression and then I’m running away to work – I’ll check later I promise.

    But one of the things that’s been popping into my worry sack over the past decade and even moreso recently are how we’re going to handle the transition to a supply economy. I mean where it’ll only take a few people operating a lot of automation to provide more than just the basics.

    I think that “needing a college degree” is going to stay and get even worse as more people compete for fewer jobs — until (if) we solve the puzzle of providing access to the large supply. (Can’t work, no money. No money, no getting goodies. No getting goodies, provider goes out of business. And we’re back to one.)

    Yes, I think we in the US (and to be honest most of the so-called developed nations) are going to be leaders regardless how we handle it. Maybe just as warning examples, but leaders nonetheless.

  89. 89
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: Did you see Hillary Clinton’s response to that news? “Make more suits.” LOL!

  90. 90
    Another Scott says:

    @trnc: I was almost literally screaming at the radio when I heard that intro by Audi Cornish. It was infuriating! The actual reporting by the reporter wasn’t that bad.

    Whoever writes these intros for the hosts, and the 3 minute news summaries at the top of the hour, to often seems to value both-siderism above all else.


    Wait for Mueller. That is what top Democrats used to say whenever it came to questions of impeachment. Well, special counsel Robert Mueller has delivered his report, clearing President Trump of coordinating with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. And that leaves Democrats trying to pivot but to what?


    Now we know. The Trump administration yesterday revealed a new legal position. It is trying to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act without any replacement. And Democrats want to talk about health care, not Russia. NPR congressional reporter Kelsey Snell has been following this. She joins us now from Capitol Hill.

    Kelsey, it didn’t take long for Democrats to figure out how they were going to pivot away from the Mueller report. So what are their plans?

    KELSEY SNELL, BYLINE: Honestly, this announcement, or this new strategy from the White House, was a political gift for Democrats. They have said all along that they won 2018 – won the House in 2018 – by presenting voters with a binary option. It was Democrats want to protect health care and coverage for pre-existing conditions. And they said Republicans wanted to take it away.

    Trump essentially locked that message in, and he revived it really loud and clear. And that’s something that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said when she talked to reporters earlier today.


    NANCY PELOSI: They say one thing, and they do another. They say they’re going to protect pre-existing conditions as a benefit – pre-existing condition as benefit – and then they go to court to strip it.

    SNELL: So they’re already moving on to this new message. And a lot of Republicans can’t argue with Pelosi there. They don’t want a repeat of 2018, and they know that they lost the messaging battle on health care. They don’t want to fight that war again, particularly with the White House being so clear about repeal without any real replacement options on the table.

    CORNISH: Are rank-and-file Democrats, though, ready to leave the Mueller report and the prospect of impeachment behind? This was such a talking point – right? – for some on the campaign trail. Are they ready to just focus on, like, health care?

    SNELL: Well, there are some members who aren’t ready to move on, and – but I’m told that it’s a pretty small minority. I will say it is a very vocal minority, but it’s a small group inside of the party. So Democrats met last night, and the leaders kind of agreed that they needed to refocus the message.

    One of them described it to me as getting back to policy basics and kind of – it was a back-to-basics policy altogether. It was absolutely reflected by Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York at his press conference today, who said it’s all about kitchen table issues plan that they call the “For The People” Agenda.




    The NPR news shows have their problems, but there are good reporters doing good work there, too. It would be kinda interesting to be a fly on the wall at the daily meetings where they decide how to report things…


  91. 91
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I wonder if the small business people have changed their mind, though. When we built our office it had to be ADA compliant (of course) and the contractor told us “you would want all this anyway, for older people”. It’s true too- 90% of the benefit in our place goes to people who used to be “abled” but are now old. They’ll lose a fuck ton of business, and it isn’t 9 year olds in wheelchairs. The ADA is great for business.

  92. 92
    MomSense says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    Another problem that worries me is that we literally do not have enough planets to keep up with the demand for resources to make stuff. Our economy is based on consumption that has to keep increasing for the economy to keep growing and we don’t have enough raw materials to keep up with the demand.

  93. 93
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: I just saved that so I can watch it again. For a while anyway.

  94. 94
    tobie says:

    @Immanentize: I’ve had a hard time sleeping since Friday. I don’t think I appreciated how much we’re reliving the trauma of Comey’s October surprise. It’s the loss of the security that, however imperfect, we are still a nation of laws. Bullshit. You can obstruct an investigation into conspiracy and then claim that you can’t be held liable for obstruction since there’s no underlying crime. I will be there for the March for Truth because I’m mad and need to howl.

  95. 95

    Signed up for the March

  96. 96
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: One thing I do find, comparing my daughter’s education to what I got (in a comparatively richer district than where we live now, but ~35 years earlier), is that hers seems more STEM-oriented, maybe skimping in the humanities and social studies compared to mine. The rudiments of computer programming are part of the standard curriculum now at the elementary-school level, but she really hasn’t been taught about the structure of the US government yet apart from what she hears from us. I had my first foreign-language classes in junior high; her middle school doesn’t offer them. But, as I said, she’s at or ahead of where I was in mathematics.

  97. 97
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: Well, it was great for my business. (I did ADA compliance on previously grandfathered buildings for several years) The funny thing is, all those things don’t really cost all that much extra if you just do them from the start.

  98. 98
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: My father has owned and operated a tourism-dependent business since the 1970s, and I remember him complaining about the ADA when he was required to install ramps. He’s in his 70s now, and I know he’s secretly glad he doesn’t have to drag his ass up and down the stairs, though he’d never admit it! :)

  99. 99
    LivinginExile says:

    @Betty Cracker: Smoked for 45 years. Mostly rolling my own with ocb papers and half and half pipe tobacco. I quit Sunday morning. So far so good. Using patches and an e-cig with low nicotine. Thought about chantrix but is it ever expensive.

  100. 100
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MomSense: The Mote in God’s Eye, about an alien species trapped in their solar system.

  101. 101

    @OzarkHillbilly: They should have looted trillions and starved millions instead, that would get them a glowing TV show on Masterpiece theater.

  102. 102
    MomSense says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ooh, that looks good.

  103. 103
    prufrock says:

    @raven: Wow, I didn’t know that.

  104. 104
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @LivinginExile: Good luck, it’s double tough. I must have tried to quit a couple dozen times before I finally succeeded. I could go a whole week underground without a cigarette, no problem, but as soon as I hit the surface… My last year of smoking, I was at 4 cigarettes a day, and I still couldn’t quit without the help of the Chantrix.

    Thought about chantrix but is it ever expensive.

    Yeah but the dreams alone are worth the price of admission. :-) I wanted to get a 2nd 3 month scrip, bad.

  105. 105
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MomSense: It is good, one of their best.

  106. 106
    Immanentize says:

    @Kirk Spencer:
    Read Vonnegut’s Player Piano

  107. 107
    NotMax says:


    Yup. To make use of an overused term, a classic of its time.

  108. 108
    satby says:

    So the garden dahlias tubers and daylilly roots that were supposed to be delivered “at the right time for planting” showed up yesterday. All need to be planted after the last frost, which is roughly 6 weeks away. I guess I have to plant them in pots till then. Which means I have to go buy more pots 😒
    But Hershey sat up and ate several mouthfuls of food for me, so I’m a little less worried than I was.

  109. 109
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LivinginExile: Oh, good for you! If I can do it, you can — I have NO willpower whatsoever! The first few weeks were somewhat hellish, but it got easier. Now it almost never even crosses my mind. I can’t even remember how long ago I quit — something like six years, I think?

    A couple of things that helped me: I played a lot of games on my phone (Temple Run was a fave) just to keep my hands busy. I also made a motivational folder on my browser labeled “Don’t Fucking Smoke!” that included links to grotesque lung disease pictures, a list of reasons for quitting, puzzles and games, etc.

    I firmly believe nicotine addiction is the least of it — the real problem is the way tobacco worms its way into every facet of our lives. It punctuates so many daily activities, so the reminders are constant.

    If you can substitute other rituals, that’s most of the battle, but it takes a while to rewire your brain no matter what. Anyhoo, best of luck, and if you need to bend someone’s ear about it if the cravings are driving you nuts, feel free to reach out via the “Contact a Front Pager” link.

  110. 110
    Leto says:


    90% of the benefit in our place goes to people who used to be “abled” but are now old.

    I’m one of those people. The AMC theater we go to has exceptional handicap access (dedicated disable row in the theaters and big bathroom stalls with lots of railings). I’m forever grateful for the passage of the ADA because I’d essentially be stuck in the house without it. And while I will get back to a degree of my former self, I know that in 30 years time I’ll probably have to utilize all of that equipment again.

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    It was basically a topic of conversation they could share to show they were allies

    That’s pretty much the entire function of Fox News. It’s basically a social media app for old people that runs on their TVs.

  112. 112
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Immanentize: I think of that book every time the topic of automation-related dislocation comes up. :)

  113. 113
    Kathleen says:

    @Kay: I’m seriously thinking about going thanks to my Ohio tax refund. Once in a lifetime opportunity.

  114. 114
    raven says:

    @prufrock: They started working on the GI Bill (Servicemen’s Readjustment Act) a good while before the war started. They knew they couldn’t dump millions of GI’s on the job market out they’d have another “Bonus Army” on their hands. You should read the reaction of the Ivy Leagues to the idea of nasty veterans in their schools! When LBJ (fuck LBJ) signed the Vietnam Bill he said that the WW@ Bill was the greatest ecumenic flywheel in the history of the US”. Imagine, opportunity is good!

  115. 115
    LivinginExile says:

    @Betty Cracker: I agree nicotine addiction is the least of it. The act of rolling and lighting a cigarette is an addiction of its own. Several people told me that quitting by the sign of the moon really helped. So far it so good. Thanks

  116. 116
    satby says:

    @LivinginExile: Good luck! Best thing you’re doing for yourself!

  117. 117
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: 9 years and not a day goes by without the thought, “A cigarette would be really good about now.”, usually when I pause to contemplate my next step in whatever project I’m working on. If I ever get diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer or whatever with mere months to live, I’m going out smoking.

  118. 118
    Leto says:

    @raven: Next year I will utilize my GI Bill benefits when I go back to school. The post 9/11 GI Bill was a great step forward but Republicans gutted a lot of it. Dip shit service members cheered it on. All in the name of “fiscal sanity”. I hate them so much. Just a pure white firey hatred.

  119. 119
    tobie says:

    @satby: I know you know tons about gardening. Have you ever had success with a meadow flower field? I’ve got an acre I’ve been trying to convert for some time and have never been able to get rid of the weeds. I’m tempted to go the labor intensive right this year and cover as much of the field as I can with tarps and plastic to bake all the weed seeds. My neighborhood has only well water so I wouldn’t dare spray roundup. The other option, I guess, would be to regularly mow and blow torch throughout the season.

  120. 120
    H.E.Wolf says:

    For the US House hearings enthusiasts:

    the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will hold two public events as part of its investigation into Russian influence during and after the 2016 election campaign. On Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. the Committee will hold an open interview with Felix Sater about his business ventures with the Trump Organization and the potential Trump Tower Moscow deal.

    On Thursday, March 28, 2019, at 9 a.m., the Committee will hold a hearing titled “Putin’s Playbook: The Kremlin’s Use of Oligarchs, Money and Intelligence in 2016 and Beyond.” Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, former CIA Chief of Russian Operations Steven Hall, and CSIS senior vice president and author of the Kremlin Playbook Heather Conley will testify in open session.

  121. 121
    Kay says:


    I’m seriously thinking about going thanks to my Ohio tax refund.

    See if you can join “a table”. It’s 50 dollars cheaper. Unions buy tables and so do county chairs and people who are pushing a ballot measure. I sat at the legalize pot table a couple of years ago and they were like cartoon character pot smokers. NOT to be mean but I felt like their spokespeople were just solidifying existing impressions. Wouldn’t you go the other way? “Busy mom pot smoker” or “business person and pot smoker”.

  122. 122
    rikyrah says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    @rikyrah: Did you see Hillary Clinton’s response to that news? “Make more suits.” LOL!

    I did, and part of me thought, when I read it, was if it was a President Hillary Clinton, they never would have even attempted it before they knew that they had enough suits.

  123. 123

    @Kay: You should run for Congress, your hearings would go viral. Move over AOC, Kay is here.

  124. 124
    Immanentize says:


    If I ever get diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer or whatever with mere months to live, I’m going out smoking.

    My Dad did just that. Over 8 years of not smoking. Pancreatic cancer. Smoking.

  125. 125
    Immanentize says:

    I’m a big fan of solarizing soil. All you need are black garbage bags and rocks

  126. 126
    Kay says:


    And I’m old so there’s no existing video of me doing anything at all :)

    I was lucky enough to grow up unrecorded. They don’t know how great it was to be reckless and 17 and not a celebrity.

  127. 127

    @Kay: So no videos of you dancing, that the Rs can manipulate, that’s definitely a plus!

  128. 128
    SFAW says:


    9 years and not a day goes by without the thought, “A cigarette would be really good about now.”

    I hear ya. My father quit smoking shortly after the Surgeon General’s report came out. He more-or-less went cold turkey. Many years later, he said that there would be times — primarily when he could smell someone else’s cigarette smoke — that he’d want to light up.

    He had a heart attack in the 1970s. Were he still smoking at the time, it probably would have killed him. Fortunately, it didn’t, and he lived another 25 years. So if you’re anything like him (medically speaking), we’ll have another 25 years of your comments to “look forward to.”


  129. 129
    rikyrah says:


    Good luck…it is good for you…

  130. 130
    Kathleen says:

    Ha! The interim Ham Co Executive Dir said he’d work with me and we would order thru Ham County Dems. On another note, our new Chair is African American woman who organized a come together session with unions, community groups etc which was jam packed and well received. She’s very impressive. Sunday I’m going to call people who have been purged from voter rolls to ask them to register again. Voting rights is front and center issue here.

  131. 131
    CaseyL says:

    @Raven: Best wishes for good news for both doggos!

  132. 132
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I would definitely tune in for those hearings! “Mr. Comey, please take a look at that copy of the FBI director job description in front of you and refer back to it to explain your rationale for inserting yourself into the 2016 election. Take your time, sir. This is important. We’ll wait.”

  133. 133
    rikyrah says:

    I hadn’t watched that Mike Lee spectacle on the Senate floor until last night.
    That man is a phucking idiot, and more proof of the Curve for Unqualified White Men is REAL.

    I keep on imagining ANYONE Black, giving that presentation…
    They would have been laughed off the Senate floor and told to turn in their Senate pin.

  134. 134
    SFAW says:


    So no videos of you dancing, that the Rs can manipulate, that’s definitely a plus!

    I can envision Jimmy O’Keefe editing a video of Elaine Benes dancing, and claiming it was Kay, just to harass the Ohio Dems.

  135. 135

    @rikyrah: R senators require more from DACA recipients than they do from their own caucus. True story.

  136. 136
    the Conster says:


    I had a terrible terrible dream several months ago – hard to characterize it exactly but it was so alarming I haven’t shaken it, and it involved current events, sort of. It was more like I woke up feeling like chthulu had come and seen me, or the eye of sauron or some such powerful presence, and I knew at that point all the possibilities and explanations of evil were no longer hypothetical but now present. The first thing I understood upon waking up was that no matter how determined I feel about ridding the stain of this administration, *they* know where my beautiful little grandson lives and plays, and the power to take that away is POWER. I have not spoken of this to anyone IRL.

  137. 137
    tobie says:

    @Kathleen: Yay! I can’t think of anything more important now than making sure everyone who is eligible to vote has all the documentation they need to register. Kudos to your local Democratic party for tracking who has been purged from the rolls. I’ve been feeling very woe-is-me of late so this kind of activism is inspiring. Thanks.

  138. 138
    Kay says:


    They probably have a lot of tables. Ohio Dems talk about “the 50 smallest counties” which always makes me laugh. So- the majority of the counties are “smallest” :)

    It’s like “Be Best” – what? All of us? Best? I don’t think that’s possible :)

  139. 139
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: So in other words, you enjoyed yourself?

  140. 140
    rikyrah says:

    Just throwing this out there..

    I want the next Democratic President to choose Adam Schiff for Attorney General.
    That is my positive thought put into the universe for today :)

  141. 141
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: With my health issues, which while not too terribly great an impediment just now, they will get worse, I give myself 10-20 years at the most.

  142. 142
    rikyrah says:

    A historical analogy
    by Liberal Librarian

    The Russians were at the gates. The Allies were pushing in from France. The days were dire and dark for the Third Reich. Every resource should have been going towards keeping the wolves at bay and make the dual advances so costly that its enemies would sue for peace to stanch the massacres.

    Instead, in the dying days of the Reich, the trains kept rolling towards the death camps. Even facing looming defeat, Hitler and his cabal’s first priority was to exterminate the Jews and other undesirables.

    Today, we witnessed something of the sort with the Trump cabal.

    Although the weekend’s news isn’t quite as good as some in the media are making out to be, there’s no denying that Donald Trump got a bounce from his handpicked Attorney General’s whitewashing letter summarizing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report. For at least one news cycle, Trump and his coterie could breathe a sigh of relief.

    They couldn’t go 48 hours without scuppering everything.

    As you see from the graphic heading this piece, the regime has decided to cut all funding to the Special Olympics, the legacy of Eunice Shriver Kennedy. The regime has also decided to no longer defend the Affordable Care Act in court. (Not to worry; the Democratic House has stepped in.) But it’s the Special Olympics news which is really stupefying.


    Much as with the Nazis, the cruelty is the entire point. There is no political or moral reason to pull support from a group like the Special Olympics. The only rationale is that we’re dealing with a cabal of evil, petty little people. There’s no other way to describe it. Our government has been taken over by sheer evil.

  143. 143
    Kathleen says:

    @tobie: You’re welcome! I’m very excited about county party org. It did great job with judicial races, including sample ballots and phone banks. The effort paid off. The summary of 2018 successes is quite impressive.

  144. 144
    Tenar Arha says:

    @LivinginExile: I wish you all the good luck & extra will power to quit.

    It took me multiple attempts until 2005 when I came up with my own quirky steps & rules that helped me to stop. TLDR; I did a lot of behavior tracking & modification before I stopped smoking. Including one of the most difficult, truly decoupling coffee from cigarettes. I also didn’t use the gum much or patches at all in my final attempt. For me the nicotine didn’t stay around in my system if I didn’t have a constant dose. So, once I got down to just a few cigarettes per day, the nausea caused by that big first inhale helped me to quit those last few ;) (Like I said, quirky).

  145. 145
    frosty says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: yeah,
    blech. Ain’t that the word of the week.

  146. 146
    ola azul says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    (Fuse lit, I’ma go off now. Not directed at you or anyone, pardon the eruption interruption.)

    Comey is such a sanctimonious black-hole of fatuous self-regard and galactically unearned rectitude. As big a fraud as Paulie Blue Eyes.

    The guy throws the election to Trump by sticking his fucking oar in the water at the 11th hour — cuz he’s too chickenshit to quell the riots in his own department *or* take the fake-outrage heat from the Goopers who’re cynically working the refs — and *then* he’s too big a moral coward to acknowledge that his selfish cowardice produced this result.

    And now, NOW that he’s fina-fucking-lly seen just the kinda monsters the GOP is capable of producing (and *solely* b/c the Gooper ragegasm firehose got turnt on *him* for change), NOW the motherfucker deigns to tell *Democrats* that they’re doing it wrong and best not go “too far” or douches like James “Oughtta-Be-in-Jail-Not-Concern-Trolling-on-Twitter” Comey might not vote for them.

    Robert E. Lee, Colin Powell, meet the new boss, same as the old boss, Jim Comey.

    Fuck. That. Guy.

    Am only *slightly* less infuriated by Comey than the Orange Pustule he enabled.

  147. 147

    @rikyrah: Its revenge against all the people who dared to vote Obama into office twice.

  148. 148
    Kathleen says:

    @rikyrah: Liberal Librarian is a treasure.

  149. 149

    @Matt McIrvin:

    they HATE, hate, hate the ADA and things like wheelchair ramps and Braille signs.

    Three reasons, which all combine well:
    1. Cruelty. I think the Trump presidency has proven that most Republicans get off on hurting others.
    2. “You are not the boss of me.” They fume over the existence of rules that stop them from doing whatever they want.
    3. They want to be the norm, the center of all attention, the definition of everything, in control of everything. The government helping any minority impinges on that.


    the Curve for Unqualified White Men is REAL.

    Since 2009, the curve for unqualified white men has been the point. Actively defending and strengthening it means deliberately choosing the stupidest assholes they can find to elevate. See: Trump.

  150. 150
    satby says:

    @tobie: @tobie: @Immanentize: I’m a fan of solarizing too, but tobie, that’s a lot of land and weed seeds will blow into (or be carried into by birds) it after a summer. I’d probably rototill the parts I want to turn into a wildflower meadow, sow the seed mix, and then water as needed until the seeds germinate and establish. Unless it’s noxious weeds I’d ignore them until they crowded out something else. Even the thistle weeds I used to battle in Michigan had seeds for the birds, so I let them go in spots as long as they didn’t take over the whole patch (and they did their best). Natural wildflower meadows have weeds too 😉
    Edited to add: I plan to do just that in the outside perimeter of my back yard to make a buffer zone between my yard and the vacant lot next door.

  151. 151
    zhena gogolia says:


    Have you watched Cold War on Amazon Prime? The music is incredible.

  152. 152
    prufrock says:

    @raven: I read somewhere that every dollar the GI Bill invests in education comes back as six dollars in income tax because a college grad’s wages are so much higher.

  153. 153
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @MomSense: I’m a cornucopiast; an optimist. Malthusians have been predicting everything used up for centuries but we keep finding alternatives. Doesn’t mean we should be Republicans and pretend there isn’t a resource problem, but does mean fall forward.

  154. 154
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    “Practically the only civics education I got in the 1980s in FL public schools was anti-Soviet propaganda”
    In Missouri in the 1960s we got good civics education, but we also got the Gone With the Wind version of Reconstruction, I realized only decades later.

  155. 155
    different-church-lady says:

    The way we ought to be playing this is, “The level of admitted criminality the President has surrounded himself with would have resulted in calls for the resignation of any previous president. We don’t even need to see the full report to know this.”

  156. 156
    satby says:

    @zhena gogolia: Last night I watched the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix. It has a lot of Downton Abby alumni, and thought you’d enjoy it.

  157. 157
    zhena gogolia says:


    I hope all goes well with them. I see that Lil Bit is the poster girl next month on the BJ calendar, but identified as Bohdi!

  158. 158
    raven says:

    @prufrock: And it’s so much better now. When I started school at Illinois in 1969 I got almost exactly the same amount my dad got in his last year there in 1949. I had to take pout a loan to be able to afford a dorm (three years in the Army and 25 months in Asia and I was too young to live off campus)! Now a vet can actually go to school and have housing covered and family member s can use it.

  159. 159
    different-church-lady says:

    @Immanentize: Everyone should read that.

    The part at the end where the proles rebuild all the machines that were oppressing them simply because they’re bored and fascinated by technology has stuck with me all these decades since I read it as a teen.

    We will never stop being lab monkeys pushing levers in cages of our own making.

  160. 160
    zhena gogolia says:


    Yes, I probably would, but I don’t have Netflix! I hesitate to invest in any more time-wasting sources. I can barely scratch the surface of Amazon Prime.

  161. 161
    zhena gogolia says:


    Some people have been saying this on twitter. I’m amazed at how much more sophisticated and advanced the analysis is on twitter than in the NYT — and even WaPo. I’m so disappointed in WaPo for how they’ve played this.

  162. 162
    different-church-lady says:


    Since 2009, the curve for unqualified white men has been the point. Actively defending and strengthening it means deliberately choosing the stupidest assholes they can find to elevate. See: Trump.

    I think you mean since 2000.

  163. 163
    raven says:

    @zhena gogolia: The bride just texted that there has been a history of the lump on Bohdi’s leg ( I don’t know if that is good or bad so I’m going with good) ad they are going to keep him for a bit and maybe do X-rays. Lil Bt can’t get into her cardiologist till the 11th so it’s wait and see.

  164. 164
    tobie says:

    @satby: Thanks for the tips!!! It would be impossible to eliminate all weeds. I just want enough space for the meadow flowers themselves to bloom. The weeds are crowding everything out–even monarda and rudbeckia, which are about has hardy as plants come. mr. tobie thinks we should follow monty don’s advise and create several large raised beds with gravel paths in between. That’s an option, I suppose. A perimeter is a great idea. Thanks again. I knew you’d have some answers on this front.

  165. 165
    zhena gogolia says:


    I’d say good, too, if they’ve seen it before and it hasn’t changed much. Fingers crossed!

  166. 166
    laura says:

    @LivinginExile: Best of luck in this endeavor. I quit when I realized I needed a plan for playing the long game. When the urge to smoke was strong I’d think about being tethered to an oxygen machine……spending time where smoking is verboten was also very helpful.
    Hang in there, YOU CAN DO IT!

  167. 167
    satby says:

    @zhena gogolia: I bet it will end up on Prime at some point.

  168. 168
    different-church-lady says:


    “The only rationale is that we’re dealing with a cabal of evil, petty little people.”

    63 million makes for a pretty big cabal.

  169. 169
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: but what gets me is, as others have said, they also skew old. Just about everyone ends up disabled to some degree sooner or later. They can’t look that far forward?

  170. 170
    satby says:

    @tobie: for environmentally friendly weed control, this is pretty good if you get the weeds fairly early. It’s expensive and non-selective, so it’s best mostly as a spot treatment on the really tough weeds.

  171. 171
    Kathleen says:

    @satby: I’m dying to read the book.

  172. 172
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @rikyrah: It’s so unfair that only Republicans and Jesus have dinosaurs to ride. Pisses me right the fuck off.

  173. 173
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @different-church-lady: Vonnegut had, I think, a deep suspicion of science and technology that was rooted in his complicated relationship with his brother, a guy whose enthusiasm for science was something he could not wrap his brain around. (And his experiences working in a General Electric company town.) He seemed to think of the quest for knowledge as THE thing that would kill us in the end, more than greed or fear or hate. I tend to think it can enable those things but is also an antidote.

  174. 174
    satby says:

    @raven: keeping good thoughts for them both!

  175. 175
    satby says:

    @Kathleen: yeah, now I want to. Books are usually better than the movies.

  176. 176
    satby says:

    @Matt McIrvin: in my experience, most of them steadfastly refuse to concede that they’re getting old, that their health isn’t good, that their bodies are failing… Hell, lots of them can’t even cope with the idea that their hair is graying.
    So, no, they refuse to look ahead to a time when they might need accommodation for any frailty. And when that time comes they’re guaranteed to be bitter, entitled pricks about almost everything.
    Trump voters, in other words.

  177. 177
    WaterGirl says:

    @satby: Crossing my fingers for Hershey.

    Also, you probably know this, but if you order by phone, you can override their “we’ll send them when it’s time” by telling them when you want the items shipped to you. That’s what I do because otherwise they are invariably either too early or too late.

  178. 178
    rikyrah says:

    Surprise Obamacare move puts GOP in bind
    Peter Sullivan

    The Trump administration’s surprise call for the courts to strike down Obamacare upended Capitol Hill on Tuesday, putting Republicans in a bind while giving Democrats new talking points on one of their favorite issues for the 2020 elections.

    GOP lawmakers for the most part were reluctant to even talk about the Justice Department’s decision to call for all of Obamacare to be struck down in a court filing.

    If the courts agree with the Justice Department, it would dramatically change the way health care is now delivered in the country. Insurance companies were among those criticizing the administration’s decision.

    For the GOP, it shifted the political discussion from a more welcome storyline about the end of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe to health care — the issue Democrats believe helped them win back the House majority last fall.

    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) deflected a question about the Obamacare case at his leadership press conference and told reporters to call his office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office had no immediate comment.

  179. 179
    Kathleen says:

    A @satby: coworker who read and recommended the book said she didn’t like the move as much as she loved the book

  180. 180
    Leto says:

    @raven: caveats to that:

    Now a vet can actually go to school and have housing covered and family member s can use it.

    Housing will be mostly covered. Housing allowance is based on zip code but it’s not 100%. Definitely better than zero, don’t get me wrong, but not as good as say 2009 benefits. Regarding family members, they’ve restricted it to: you have to be in service minimum six years, max 16 years. Must have four years retainability. This restriction, min-max, was just put in last year. Before there was no min-max time, you just needed four years retainability. Which the retainability part was added a few years back (previous you could transfer, no problems). Again, Republicans continuing to slash benefits. Have I mentioned the change in retirement to a 401k system? The fact that they’re ending dual BAH benefits? Or anything else to turn us into the fucking French Foreign Legion? Hate. Pure fucking hate.

  181. 181
    WaterGirl says:

    @satby: Thistle is the devil.

  182. 182
    WaterGirl says:

    @tobie: I repeat: Thistle is the devil. Everything else satby said can stand. :-)

  183. 183

    @Matt McIrvin:

    They can’t look that far forward?

    No. The whole point of those mindsets is that they want what they want NOW. In the future they will also demand to be catered to in every way, even if they destroyed that possibility with their earlier demands.

  184. 184
    LivinginExile says:

    @Tenar Arha: This-First cup of coffee, first cigarrette. That is the hardest. Also — Ozark- studying a work project and trying to make a decision. A cigarette seems to improve concentration. Thanks for the suggestions and good lucks.

  185. 185
    satby says:

    @WaterGirl: I don’t like it either, but in Michigan I had over an acre of land, so we could coexist in the corner near the swamp on the next acres of farm field next to me. The birds loved it.
    It was a bitch to get rid of everywhere else though.

  186. 186
    Kathleen says:

    @rikyrah: Where in the name of FSM did media get the idea that Dems invoked Mueller as focus of 2018 or 2020 campaigns? Aftab and Sherrod hammered jobs and healthcare. Effers aren’t even doing bare minimum effort.

  187. 187


    Where in the name of FSM did media get the idea that Dems invoked Mueller as focus of 2018 or 2020 campaigns?

    From the imaginary Democrat that lives in their heads, that they want Democrats to be. They tell each other stories about that Democrat so much, how could anyone question that is what Democrats are like? They are constantly bombarded with confirmation, even though that confirmation is just someone repeating their own idea back to them. Echo chamber.

  188. 188
    Alien Radio says:

    For anyone who wanted an additional perspective on Brexit from a long time BJ Reader, who doesn’t buy the Corbyn’s rubbish line from the media AND is a remainer. I left a comment at the end of the Brexit thread, I hope it’s worth your time.

  189. 189
    Kathleen says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: It’s sick and it’s vile. Tumblers are too good for them .Thought of them begging on street corners and Chuck Todd fighting with Mitch McConnell for scrap of bread makes me smile.

  190. 190
    WaterGirl says:

    @satby: It’s not just that I don’t like it — it crowds out every fucking thing in my garden unless I stay on it all the fucking time. Ask me how I know: last year my garden went to shit because of my broken ankle and it took every EVERYTHING. And yes, I am bitter about that and holding a grudge.

  191. 191
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    (I had civics in the eighth grade in 1981-82. I hated the class, thought it was the dorkiest thing in the world, but I also took AP government in high school and got a lot of the same stuff on a higher level.)

    I don’t remember a junior high civics class, though I’m sure I had one. I did have to take one my Senior year in 1987. I remember a big chunk of the grade was reading newspaper articles (in class!) and then writing one paragraph summaries of them.

  192. 192
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Except that the characters are cardboard cutouts. I reviewed TMIGE when it first came out & I had to read it through 3 times before it hit me just what was amiss.

    Just before my review came out I went to hear wicked-good SF author Roger Zelazny (RIP far too soon) speak at a local library & he mentioned the book & how superb it was. I went up to him afterwards & said, Now wait a minute, Roger & explained my misgivings. He thought about it for a few seconds & said, Yeah, you’ve got a point there.

    (FTR I love Larry Niven’s SF & hate his politics. [Did you know he was a trust fund baby? One of the heirs to the Doheny oil moneybin in CA IIRC.] Pournelle has occasionally interesting ideas but couldn’t write coherent directions for opening a window & his politics are even worse.

    BTW anyone who hasn’t read N&P’s Lucifer’s Hammer should give it a shot. [I reviewed that one too.] The first half is even after >40 years the best runup-to-the-end-of-civilization yarn I’ve read. The rest – the aftermath – is about as repugnant as Heinlein’s Farnham’s Freehold & for similar reasons. Consider yourselves warned.)

  193. 193
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @LivinginExile: (ETA: IIRC nicotine clears the body in 96 hours. But:) The oral fixation is tough to break. Some people chew gum, others chomp carrots & celery, others worry toothpicks. I broke a box of spaghetti into toothpick-size pieces & kept a baggie-ful in my pocket. Get the craving, pop one in & roll it around – eventually it dissolves, no muss, no fuss. I broke a packaday habit cold-turkey that way. YMMV

  194. 194
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: What I thought was especially interesting about TMIGE (which to be fair I LOVE but absolutely it’s dated) is that the sequel (written a decade or two later) tried very hard to fix some of those things. Such as explaining a bit why gender roles and politics had gone the way they had and ALSO how they’d advanced in the intervening 25 years or so.

    Women were far more independent and valued in the sequel, and while the military was extremely important the civilians were in some cases much more necessary – unlike the original, in which most of the civilians are basically one-note plot devices.

  195. 195
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @satby: The first move right-wing rage boys do when they try to shout me down on social media is usually to knock me for being bald and ugly and gloat about how being an SJW won’t get me laid. I always wonder what they think is going to happen to them.

  196. 196
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @LivinginExile: One of the greatest things for smokers who want to quit about smoking bans in the workplace & in public accommodations is that it has severely limited the amount of time a former smoker has to put her/himself in what Catholocism calls “the occasion of sin.”

    When I first quit in the mid-1970s, it was on a whim. (I thought I was out of cigs & then found a mostly-empty pack on the windowsill. Cue whim.) I carried that pack (& matches) around in my shirt pocket for the next 3 months. Why? Because I didn’t trust leaning on their unavailability; what would happen, I said to myself, if I walked into my favorite bar & suddenly one of my friends had a pack sitting right there? No crutches; every minute I had that pack in my pocket, I chose not to smoke. I said to myself, if things ever got so tough I just couldn’t go on without a smoke, they were right there – & because I was choosing to quit, I made sure it never got that tough. (“OK, I understand – but wait 5 minutes.” Five minutes later: “You can wait 5 more minutes, can’t you?” Blather, rinse, repeat.)

    (FTR I am not recommending anyone else try this. Among other things, you don’t need to worry about the occasion of sin; it’s a lot more occasional these days, thanks to those smoking bans.)

  197. 197
    Steeplejack says:


    I saw this earlier. Monstrous.

    A little Googling shows that Americans’ net worth is shockingly low. The median net worth of U.S. households is $97,300, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances (via MarketWatch). If the Reimanns donate $11.3 million of their $37 billion net worth, that’s the equivalent of the median U.S. household donating . . . $29.72. Thirty bucks. Yee-haw. Pizza money on Tuesday night. Way to make things right, Nazi descendants!

  198. 198
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @MisterForkbeard: You might be right. I read The Gripping Hand** once, a long time back; I should revisit it.

    Both novels are set in a hypothetical interstellar Second Empire that clawed its way up out of the wreckage of a First Empire. Pournelle did a few books in that latter timeline, some in collaboraton with S. M. Stirling – I have next to me a copy of Go Tell the Spartans, which is interesting if a bit obnoxiously reactionary in its politics – mostly around the character of John Christian Falkenberg & his Legion as actors during the collapse of the Soviet-American Co-Dominium of Earth in nuclear apocalypse & the founding of the First Empire on Sparta: Falkenberg’s Legion, Janissaries (II-III), Prince of Mercenaries, Prince of Sparta…)

    ** As oppose to The Groping Hand: Trump In Orifice, 2017-21 (or earlier – a guy can dream, can’t he? :^D)

  199. 199
    J R in WV says:


    [the nurses] were all babbling at me that it would be “uncomfortable” and one of nurses looked right at me and said “it hurts”.

    Uncomfortable is common medical babble for “it hurts” — Good on you for doing that bone marrow work!!

    Don’t ask me how I know this…

  200. 200
    J R in WV says:

    @ola azul:

    And now, NOW that he’s fina-fucking-lly seen just the kinda monsters the GOP is capable of producing (and *solely* b/c the Gooper ragegasm firehose got turnt on *him* for change), NOW the motherfucker deigns to tell *Democrats* that they’re doing it wrong and best not go “too far” or douches like James “Oughtta-Be-in-Jail-Not-Concern-Trolling-on-Twitter” Comey might not vote for them.

    Robert E. Lee, Colin Powell, meet the new boss, same as the old boss, Jim Comey.

    Fuck. That. Guy.

    Am only *slightly* less infuriated by Comey than the Orange Pustule he enabled.

    Quoted for truth. Sometimes we agree totally. Comey is a dipshit traitor to the nation.

    If I were elected president in 2020, I would set my AG to work to take away that pastard’s pension. A task group, so to speak.

  201. 201
    goblue72 says:

    Strike it down & there’s absolutely no reason for the 2020 Dem platform to be Medicare for All.

    Not that I don’t expect squishy centrists to insist that running on Romneycare 2.0 is TOTES the way to go.

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