Open Thread

It is just an absolutely fabulous day outside and I feel like maybe I made it through another winter. I have had my windows open for four straight days, the heat is off, there is a nice breeze, and everything is wonderful. Right now I can hear the sounds of the college baseball team (you can see the infield in the background) down in the park warm up for a game.

I’m going to be devastated when the temperatures drop again, as they always do in April, and we get the last spasm of winter. But for now it is glorious. The dogs and Steve (save Lily, who is faithfully at my feet napping) are all on the porch. It’s just so nice outside.

76 replies
  1. 1
    RedDirtGirl says:

    But are you wearing your Key Imperials?

  2. 2
    trollhattan says:

    Same here. Since Sunday it’s been springtime glorious and what blooms in the garden is at its peak. Heat will soon enough knock it all back until next year.

    Coincidentally, we bought our house after seeing it on a glorious April Saturday. Spring is definitely when you want to sell a house here.

  3. 3
    trollhattan says:

    Are those fancy eatin’ overalls?

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Beautiful picture, Cole :)

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    Trump consolidates power with staff of ‘acting’ officials
    Rachel Maddow looks at how Donald Trump has allowed executive staffing to wither down to a collection of “acting” officials who were not subject to Senate confirmation and who are kept aware that their employment is contingent upon fealty to Trump.

  6. 6

    Has anyone mentioned that the willows are too close to the house?

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    Trump determined to take kids from immigrant families despite law
    Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, talks with Rachel Maddow about the effort to prevent Donald Trump from ignoring courts and re-implementing his deliberately cruel policy of taking children from immigrant families to discourage future immigrants.

  8. 8
    trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Too distracted by the lawn-parker.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    Glad you’re getting a respite from the shitty weather. Meanwhile, we’re about to experience “First Summer” later this week when the temperatures hit 90 for the first time this year. That will be followed by “Real Summer,” which is followed by “Damn, Summer Again,” which is then followed by “Fucking Hell, It’s Still Summer?” etc. One of the (many) weird things about living in Florida is that while most of the rest of the country is glorying in the first signs of spring and looking forward to great weather, we experience the dread of knowing that Summer Is Coming.

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    Prosecutors praise Patten help in ‘a number’ of unnamed cases
    Rachel Maddow reports on the contents of the sentencing memo filed by federal prosecutors in the case of Sam Patten. While prosecutors cited Patten’s cooperation, they were not specific about the nature of the cooperation or what cases used his testimony.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    Rather: Trump era tests rule of law in the United States
    Dan Rather, president and CEO of News and Guts, talks with Rachel Maddow about similarities between how the Watergate era progressed and the current stage of the Trump Russia scandal.

  12. 12
    WaterGirl says:

    Posted in the previous dead thread, will try again here:

    I would love to see someone front page this:

    Dave Zirin writing about Kyle Korver’s statement on white privilege, racism and the NBA

    and the actual article by Kyel Korver, titled Privileged

  13. 13
    Steeplejack says:

    Which house is Cole’s? The tree seems to be inching toward the one on the right, but I’m not sure.

  14. 14
    sukabi says:

    @Betty Cracker: the folks in Midwest would welcome a bit of spring…if not summer. Instead they get Wesley

    Next Article

    Here’s How Often It Snows in April

    Winter Storm Wesley Prompts Blizzard Warnings in the Plains, Upper Midwest
    By Jonathan Erdman7 hours
    At a Glance
    An intense winter storm will develop in the Plains by Wednesday.
    Heavy snow is likely in parts of the Plains and upper Midwest.
    Blizzard warnings have been issued in the Plains from Wednesday into early Friday.
    This includes areas still dealing with flooding, including parts of the Missouri Valley.
    Winter Storm Wesley has already moved into the West and will intensify in the Plains by Wednesday and Thursday where it will become a major blizzard, contributing to dangerous travel conditions and likely shutting down highways.

    Wesley will be an intense low-pressure system that could flirt with all-time April low-pressure records in parts of the Plains, according to data compiled by NOAA Weather Prediction Center meteorologist David Roth. That said, it’s not clear this storm will be strong enough to be deemed a “bomb cyclone” since its atmospheric pressure might not meet the meteorological definition for bombogenesis, which is a 24 millibar pressure drop in 24 hours.

  15. 15
    Ramalama says:

    I haven’t made up much of my mind re: the Dems running for President, aside from loving Elizabeth Warren and being slightly okay if she doesn’t win the nomination.

    A friend pointed me to this Current Affairs compelling take-down of Mayor Pete. Apologies if someone else has already linked to it.

    So much to underline and highlight but I’ll add this:

    Mayor Pete does not have an entirely different story than any other politician in our lifetime. He has the same story they all have. David Axelrod has gushed: “His story is an incredible story.” Is it? The son of two professors at an elite university goes on to several different elite universities, serves an uneventful seven-month tour of duty in the Navy, and then becomes the technocratic mayor of the city his parents’ university is in? Ilhan Omar has an entirely different story than any other politician. So does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This man is the story of the American elite.

    The myth-making here is going to be intense.

    Trigger-warning: the writer is pro-Bernie, but he tries to tamp that part down.

  16. 16
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Enjoy. We’re to hit 80 here today, then another bomb cyclone tonight/tomorrow with several inches of snow.


  17. 17
    Ramalama says:

    @WaterGirl: I love that the essay has been praised by Steve Kerr. I was a big fan when he played for the Bulls, way back.

  18. 18
    WaterGirl says:

    Cole, from your twitter feed: “Does anyone know what I can do to attract squirrels to my yard”

    Oh my god, why do you want squirrels? Some lady deliberately brought squirrels into our neighborhood decades ago and there’s no getting rid of them.

    Especially as someone with bird feeders, why would you want squirrels? All they do is steal the food from the bird feeders. What am I missing?

  19. 19
    Emerald says:

    @Ramalama: Second long takedown of Mayor Pete from a pro-Bernie writer in just the last few days.

    Maybe somebody is coordinating the attacks?

    I’m for Harris, but I’m getting to be reeeeaaaaaly suspicious of attacks on Dems from people who are purported Dems.

    And yeah, which house is Cole’s?

  20. 20
    WaterGirl says:

    I forgot my manners, again! Cole, after a crappy winter, it’s great to see you uplifted by the sun and the warmth and the good weather.

  21. 21
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Is your house what is called a four square house? I just recently came across this term and realized my favorite house I ever lived in was one. Also that that style is the only one that seems the way a house is supposed to look.

  22. 22
    WaterGirl says:

    @Emerald: Yeah, I thought the same thing. We need to get better at paying attention to sources before spreading information.

  23. 23
    GregMulka says:


    That was front-paged about a week ago.

  24. 24
    MazeDancer says:

    @Steeplejack: Think pic is looking across the street, from Cole’s porch, to show baseball infield

  25. 25
    Ramalama says:

    @GregMulka: D’OH! I was busy that week…and the dog ate my homework.

    Also, I don’t care if someone who is pro-Bernie has a well-written and cogent argument. Sometimes I’m in the mood for something that challenges me… and sometimes I’m not.

  26. 26
    John Cole says:

    @Steeplejack: the picture is from my office window on the second floor.

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    Who are you and what have you done with John G. Cole?


  28. 28
    Amir Khalid says:

    My, that looks like a very nice day indeed. Maybe you should take Lily and sit outside so that both of you can get some sun as well.

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    West Virginia is pretty.

    I lived in a development once where they buried the power lines and ever since I’ve noticed them. You don’t realize how much better it looks without them until you don’t have them and then go back to having them.

  30. 30
    burnspbesq says:


    I’m not aware of a single reason I should take Nathan Robinson seriously.

  31. 31
    dexwood says:

    Ah, April in Albuquirky – we’ll go from a gorgeous 84 degrees today to lousy, blustery day of 57 degrees tomorrow. Even worse weather this weekend.

  32. 32

    There was a week or two not that long ago where I actually got a chance to have my windows open. The cats loved it. My bedroom window looks down over a portion of the neighborhood and gets all the afternoon sunlight. They perched on my cedar chest for days sniffing the breeze and chittering at the birds. Alas, it is now in the mid-90’s and the AC has been officially turned on.

  33. 33
    cckids says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    One of the (many) weird things about living in Florida is that while most of the rest of the country is glorying in the first signs of spring and looking forward to great weather, we experience the dread of knowing that Summer Is Coming.

    That is the #1 thing I do NOT miss about living in Nevada. Fuck the sun.

  34. 34
    Kristine says:

    Here in NE Illinois, it’s 61F, sunny, and a bit breezy. Tomorrow, daytime temp drops about 25 degrees–we’re bracing for everything from an inch or so of wet snow to wintry mix to rain. The grass is greening, the crocuses and hellebores are opening, and the mini-roses by the back door are leafing out. I don’t want colder weather and possible snow, but it’s April in the Midwest. Welcome to the Rollercoaster.

    I plan to get outside later and do a little work while I can.

  35. 35
    BC in Illinois says:


    “Does anyone know what I can do to attract squirrels to my yard”
    “Oh my god, why do you want squirrels?”

    Back when I actually lived in Illinois, one of the funniest stories I heard from a woman who worked in the Department of Natural Resources was about two neighbors, one of whom was trapping squirrels, one of whom was feeding squirrels. The local police had to bring the DNR up to date on where the dispute came from, and where it was going. (The eating of squirrel stew came into the story as well.)

  36. 36
    zhena gogolia says:


    It’s the same one, I guess. Really sick of it.

    I just gave to Kamala again today, the only thing that makes me feel slightly better. But I’m not spreading around attacks on any Democrats (note I said Democrats).

  37. 37
    cckids says:


    Especially as someone with bird feeders, why would you want squirrels? All they do is steal the food from the bird feeders. What am I missing?

    Maybe it’s an exercise program for Steve?

  38. 38
    donnah says:


    Ruh roh! I’m visiting Albuquerque for a week, starting Sunday. I was wondering what clothes to pack. I guess I should bring clothes I can layer.

  39. 39
    sukabi says:

    @Emerald: the one you can’t see as he’s taking a picture of the neighborhood from the upstairs window?

    Annnnd I should have read the comments first…again😜

  40. 40
    Olivia says:

    This winter in Minnesota nearly broke me and now we are due for another 8 to 12 inches. The last bit of snow we had just melted in the rain a couple days ago. On one of the -20 days in February, I looked on VRBO and booked a place for next winter. We are spending the first 3 months of 2021 in Florida. If we like it, we will do it again the following year.

  41. 41
    Gin & Tonic says:


    Fuck the sun.

    I like the sun, but New England sun. I was once in Death Valley in July, talking to one of the park rangers, who said: “once it gets above 120, you can really feel it.” I thought I felt it pretty good at 117.

  42. 42
    dexwood says:

    You can never go wrong with layers here in April. Mid to high 40s Saturday, 50s on Sunday. Expect wind. Weather should be beautiful after Sunday. Is your visit rug related? I think you’re the rug maker.

  43. 43
    stinger says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: A four-square is the house little kids draw when they draw “a house”, no matter what kind of place they actually live in. I agree with you — most big modern houses only look livable to me if they have an obvious central “house”. There can be wings on the sides, but they should be set back and smaller.

  44. 44
    donnah says:


    Thanks! And yes, I’m teaching a rug hooking workshop there M-Thursday and looking forward to it. I’ve never been there and hope to get some sightseeing done.

  45. 45

    @Ramalama: I am not a PB fan by any means but holding his parents jobs as academics against him is ridiculous. For that matter weren’t Kamala Harris’s parents academics too? And Obama’s parents for that matter.

  46. 46
    JustRuss says:

    @WaterGirl: Squirrels are cute, intelligent, and highly entertaining. Last place I was at, there was one that would sit in the tree about 3 feet off the ground and tease cats until they’d try to catch him, then rocket up the trunk and taunt them from 20 feet up. Cats are quick, but squirrels are tree ninjas.

    They also liked to drop walnuts out of the tree on to my metal roof. Sometimes very early in the morning.

    I wouldn’t want them living in/under my house. Be careful what you wish for Cole.

  47. 47
    WaterGirl says:

    @BC in Illinois: Ha! I am in Illinois, and my neighbor for decades (she recently moved) would feed the squirrels peanuts and I always had a million peanut plant starts from, I presume, the squirrels burying them in my garden.

    I would never trap them, but I surely wished the squirrels to be gone.

  48. 48
    Barbara says:

    @Ramalama: @Emerald:

    Actually, it is not the second take down, it is in fact the first that has already been discussed extensively.

  49. 49
    debit says:

    @Olivia: Seriously. I announced to the office today that I am done shoveling. DONE AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.

  50. 50
    dexwood says:

    Heading out for the afternoon. Maybe we can arrange a mini meetup if a front pager is willing to give you my email address. Adam has done that once before with another regular.

  51. 51
    lauta says:

    Someone’s got Spring Fever.
    Have you fashioned a pair of cutoff overalls yet?

  52. 52
    dexwood says:

    For donnah, forgot to hit reply.

  53. 53
    Olivia says:

    @debit: It sounds like the temp will be above freezing for most of the snow we are supposed to get and it will melt fast so maybe you won’t have to shovel. We don’t have sidewalks but our driveway fills in quickly.

  54. 54
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Open thread you say?

    The replies to the Ivanka Salad tweet that Cole replied to made me cry. It’s well worth your time.

  55. 55
    mrmoshpotato says:


    Fuck the sun

    Sounds very painful. That’s not what suntan lotion is for.


  56. 56
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Olivia: Dump it all into one of your bazillion lakes.

    Snow in April is fucked up. No, Autocorrect, it is not ‘ducked up.’

  57. 57
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @trollhattan: his Sunday-go-to-meetin overalls

  58. 58
    J R in WV says:


    ” We are spending the first 3 months of 2021 in Florida. If we like it, we will do it again the following year.”

    In the long ago, my parents, newly retired, stayed in rented condos in different west coast towns in FLA, from Sarasota area clear down to Key West. Then they bought in Osprey, a little south of Sarasota, where they spent winters until the early 90s, when mom became unable to travel and they stayed home in WV.

    We got to visit all those towns, in order to see the ‘rents, and to vacation on the cheap by staying with them, which was actually fun. Didn’t care for Naples, and Key West was spoiled for us because we lived there in 1970-72 when it was a fishing village rather than JimmyBuffetLand. But Osprey was pretty nice 20 years ago.

  59. 59
    Olivia says:

    @mrmoshpotato: They usually just pile it up in empty lots so it melts into the storm sewers and runs into the Mississippi River and not the lakes. One year in the parking lot across from where I worked, the pile of snow was so large that it didn’t melt until well into June. By the time it was down to about 6 feet high it was black on the surface from all the detritus that was in it.

  60. 60
    Olivia says:

    @J R in WV: That is actually kind of our plan. It would be fun just to live in a few different places to see what they are like and have the family visit.

  61. 61
    germy says:

    After lobbying by @TurboTax, Congress is about to ban the IRS from offering a free tax filing service
    In lots of countries, taxes take minutes to file and are free.
    We're curious: What country are you in and how long does it take to file your taxes?
    — ProPublica (@propublica) April 9, 2019

  62. 62
    trollhattan says:

    @Just One More Canuck:
    Top Shelf! Won’t do to get possum stains on those.

  63. 63
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @germy: To be fair, it wasn’t just TurboTax – H&R Block was also a significant contributor to the lobbying.

  64. 64
    germy says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I avoid both those services like the plague.

  65. 65
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Olivia: Sounds tasty. Blackened road snow is the best.

  66. 66
    NotMax says:


    Mmmm. Cajun sno-cones.

  67. 67
    J R in WV says:


    I am not a PB fan by any means but holding his parents jobs as academics against him is ridiculous. For that matter weren’t Kamala Harris’s parents academics too? And Obama’s parents for that matter.

    I don’t think anyone is holding Pete Buttigieg’s parents jobs against him, just that any claims of Pete’s to have achieved his life on his own is odd, as he had huge legs up at every stage. Harris’s parents were both academics. Obama’s parents were not academics.

  68. 68
    Aleta says:

    Out of it today so I haven’t seen if this appeared in other threads. Rental car records, police tech, surveillance tech … interact with white male privilege, in a writer (and tech co. founder) who’s concerned to inform us.
    (He doesn’t go into the WMP part and what would have happened if he hadn’t been who he was.)

  69. 69
    Ramalama says:

    @burnspbesq: Why? Curious to know what your argument against him.

  70. 70
    Ramalama says:

    @Emerald: When Hillary and Obama were running against each other, her team threw the kitchen sink at him and he adjusted. He campaigned so much better as a result, then, against McCain.

    Maybe there’s a timing issue but it’s not an October surprise. We’re not there yet. Are you saying that anyone who is a Bernie supporter is defacto something to never be read/listened to /talked to/talked about?

  71. 71
    Ramalama says:

    @J R in WV: I’ve heard on maybe 4 different podcasts, and read gobs elsewhere online the admiration for PB learning Norwegian to continue reading his favorite author. That is really impressive. And no one can choose their parents or what their parents do or don’t do.

    Do the same outlets also talk about PB’s proposed policies or his accomplishments as mayor? No. That’s what the article was saying with this line: “The myth-making here is going to be intense.”

    In other news: Total snow storm here today in these here parts. We’re officially out of wood. I often think of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s stories of finding sources of heat in winter when the trains froze on the tracks for weeks. Should have had a subaru.

  72. 72
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta: To go with that.
    I think a commenter or FP linked this one earlier. It goes with
    the subject of police-WhMP, and is written by a white guy thinking over his thought process. He mentions his blind spots and his realization of the racist foundation of his immediate automatic thoughts. He had them even though, this time, his friend was the person who the police hurt badly.

    Privileged BY KYLE KORVER

    Thabo brought a perspective that wasn’t typical of an NBA player. And it’s easy to see why: Before we were teammates in Atlanta, the guy had played professional ball in France, Turkey and Italy. He spoke three languages! Thabo’s mother was from Switzerland, and his father was from South Africa. They lived together in South Africa before Thabo was born, then left because of apartheid.

    It didn’t take long for me to figure out that Thabo was one of the most interesting people I’d ever been around. We respected each other. We were cool, you know? We had each other’s backs.

    Anyway — on the morning I found out that Thabo had been arrested, want to know what my first thought was? About my friend and teammate? My first thought was: What was Thabo doing out at a club on a back-to-back??

    Yeah. Not, How’s he doing? Not, What happened during the arrest?? Not, Something seems off with this story. Nothing like that. Before I knew the full story, and before I’d even had the chance to talk to Thabo….. I sort of blamed Thabo.

    I thought, Well, if I’d been in Thabo’s shoes, out at a club late at night, the police wouldn’t have arrested me. Not unless I was doing something wrong.

  73. 73
    Timothy J Buckalew says:


  74. 74
    The Lodger says:

    @Ramalama: I don’t know. Burning a Subaru could get awful messy.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    From a BS guy, talking about Mayor Pete’s service time and making it seem like nothing, might that not reflect well on his choice, who hasn’t served a day.

  76. 76

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