Thursday Morning Open Thread: What’s Worse Than College Kids?

And on a completely different topic…

The drama began last fall when the village spent $134,000 to turn a muddy triangle of land into a park where pups could run off-leash in a fenced refuge. Chase tennis balls. Sniff one another’s butts.

But after about a month, signs decrying the barking of those dogs began appearing around the park. The village police started receiving almost daily calls about the noise, mostly from one particular neighbor whose house backs up to the park. By spring, the tension had escalated so much that the Chevy Chase Village Board of Managers called a public hearing. Then another in June. And another in July…

“As residents of Chevy Chase, how many times is it acceptable for you to be bothered in your house every day?” Tom Bourke, a real estate developer whose house sits across the street from the park, asked in June. “You’ve created a nuisance.”

The park regulars, he acknowledged, were trying to hush their hounds. He heard that they were ostracizing the yappiest dogs, including, he told the board, “a certain standard poodle whose name should be withheld.”

“But there are people,” chimed in Bourke’s wife, Dale, “and I don’t mean to characterize the District, but I just notice that they have District plates on their cars, and they have very little regard for us or our property . . . there are dogs barking and they’re just not doing anything.”

“I hear you,” Leonard said again and again, with the patience of a dog trainer. She explained to the residents that no, they could not restrict access just to dogs from the immediate neighborhood (where the houses for sale currently range in price from $1.1 million to $22.5 million). The village purchased this 15,000-square-foot parcel of land in the 1980s, in part, using state money, so it had to remain open to the public. For years, it had been a favorite spot of local dog owners, so when the village wanted to update its parks, a dog park just made sense. Neighbors voiced their support. A unanimous vote followed.

But now the park was somehow both a wild canine circus sabotaging property values and a beloved gathering space for only the politest of pooches…

And you know who lives in the District, right? People who… [searches for euphemism]… aren’t rich! They’re just not like us!

120 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😊😊😊

  2. 2
    Patricia Kayden says:

    I suppose the rich folk of Chevy Chase can just go ahead and pay the state of Maryland for the park and then make it private. Problem solved?

    Good morning rikyrah

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sometimes the rich just make it so easy to hate them.

    @rikyrah: @Patricia Kayden: Blech.

  4. 4
    dr. luba says:

    Catching up on TBogg tweets and this caught my eye:

    Aug 15
    I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Bernie love starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the socialist cosplay streets at dawn looking for an angry podcast

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    The school around the corner put in some “modular classrooms” right next to a fence with a house right next to it. They put the HVAC units on that side and it was noisy as hell. The homeowners went into protest mode with the school district and they school ended up moving them to the other side. It was expensive but the district should have done their homework before they placed the units. We have these noise fights all the time in what used to be a rock and roll neighborhood but has become family oriented. We had a house full of kids who had a band move in behind us and it was pretty tense shutting their shit down.

  6. 6

    Wait, dogs bark…who knew?

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    Grr. Had a use for a rarely taken of the drawer item. Batteries dead. It takes five C batteries.

    Checked another drawer where spare batteries are.
    Size AA – check
    Size AAA – check
    Size D – check
    Size C – Nada, zip, zilch.

    /first world problems

  8. 8
    NotMax says:



    rarely taken out of the drawer

  9. 9
    Baud says:


    Good morning.

  10. 10
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: @Patricia Kayden: Good morning 😊
    @OzarkHillbilly: 😘
    @dr. luba: love Tbogg!

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    I love listening to playing dogs, but I am also sensitive about noise complaints because I like quiet. But the quotes make it clear that the problem here isn’t the noise. It’s the public nature of the park.

  12. 12

    Later today is b-day here, not mine, Madame’s actual and the kid’s is next Tuesday. I’ve got the gift’s ready, just need to hit the dollar store for some wrapping paper.

  13. 13
    satby says:

    So Dorian missed Puerto Rico, small blessings!

  14. 14
    Baud says:


    just need to hit the dollar store for some wrapping paper.

    You should have bought that when you bought the gift. :-D

  15. 15
    Baud says:


    You’ll be interested in my Batteries for All proposal.

  16. 16

    @Baud: The kid’s gift I made, Madame’s was from Amazon.

  17. 17
    Baud says:


    The kid’s gift I made,

    That’s cool. Photo, or do you have other creative talents?

  18. 18

    @Baud: Framed Milky Way photo from Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree, I already had the frame. If she gets tired of that one, I also included a star trail photo from Red Rock.

  19. 19
    satby says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Happy Birthday to them!
    @Baud: he’d be a dead man if he got his wife’s birthday gift at the dollar store. Trust me on this.

  20. 20
    Sab says:

    Took my uncle’s dog to the vet for teeth cleaning, and while I was gone two cats got into a literal pissing match on my bed. Two down pillows soaked. Ick!

    I suspect Mac (my dad’s cat) and Shadow (aka Mean Kitty).

  21. 21
    satby says:

    @Sab: might as well buy new ones, you’ll never get the smell all the way out.

  22. 22
    ET says:

    As someone who lives in DC, I will bet money that it is highly likely the only city residents that were getting in a car to drive their dog to play in a dog park were likely not black. That is the whitest act ever. That is of course, not to say the CC residents don’t think “certain types” DC residents were sneaking into their neighborhood.

  23. 23
    Chyron HR says:

    “Well, I agreed to a dog park, but not a dog BARK! Jeeves, have them shot.”

    Re: Hashtag register cover, you know perfectly well that if a newspaper in a shithole state tried this the Republican Secretary of State would just declare the applications invalid.

  24. 24
    JR says:

    Reminds me of a great Paul F. Tompkins bit.

  25. 25
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: @Sab: At least it wasn’t the mattress. Right?

  26. 26
    Sab says:

    @satby: I agree. Fortunately I needed to get rid of them. They were my mom’s. Valuable so I couldn’t bear to throw them out, but my bed had so many pillows that there wasn’t much room for me and all the cats.

    I do wish Shadow would stop being such a jerk to Mac, who is a nice guy.

  27. 27
    Sab says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Absolutely. That would be a fast way for Shadow to rediscover the feral lifestyle.

    ETA feliway is definitely our friend.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    Harris unveils disability plan focusing on education and employment opportunities

  29. 29
    Barbara says:

    @ET: Right. The DC neighborhoods that border CC are like CC itself, though they probably have apartment buildings not just houses. I actually don’t like dog parks but the complaints seem to dislike the noise as a pretext for not wanting people coming into their neighborhood from outside. CC has also opposed the purple line Metro expansion.

  30. 30
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Sab: well the enzyme cleaners that can eliminate urine odor wouldn’t bother the synthetic mattress components, but would be destructive to the organic down. I have been able to get mattresses clean and odor free, though it involves enzymes, steam, more enzymes, and more steam. But it’s possible.
    Never tried down, I’m allergic anyway.

  31. 31

    Isn’t Chevy Chase where David Brooks lives?

  32. 32
    NotMax says:


    If you call that living.


  33. 33
    debbie says:

    Poor pups. Not allowed to have any fun. This sounds like the East Coast version of the conflicts in CA about access to beaches.

  34. 34
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Maybe since his divorce if his wife got the house with “vast spaces for entertaining” but that one was in Cleveland Park, in the District, though it’s basically as posh as Chevy Chase.

    Agree with ET above. I used to live in a one bedroom apartment in the DC area that borders on Chevy Chase and the people coming from that and other proximate DC neighborhoods are unlikely to be considered”undesirable” for any reason of ethnicity. Or any other reason really. Except for the large apartment buildings along Connecticut Ave you have to be loaded to live in that neighborhood and most of the apartment buildings don’t allow pets. Also even the people who live in those are doing OK – they tend to be somewhat younger but the same general socioeconomic group as the Chevy Chase folks. Same can be said for all the other DC neighborhoods West of Rock Creek Park. But there are (obviously) some über-snobs in Chevy Chase.

  35. 35
    rikyrah says:

    We will see🤨🤨🤨

    Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) Tweeted:
    Farmers are getting angry with Trump for gaslighting them so shamelessly about the impact of his trade wars on them.

    Trump’s agriculture sec “joked” that farmers are “whining” about their travails. You’d think this would be a bigger story.

    New piece:

  36. 36
    rikyrah says:

    Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) Tweeted:
    Peppered with complaints at a Minnesota event from farmers fed up with Trump’s trade war, Agriculture Sec’y Sonny Perdue made a joke.

    “What do you call two farmers in a basement?” Perdue asked. “A whine cellar.” Boos ricocheted around the room, NYT says.

  37. 37

    You all know how hard it is to get people to organize and campaign. Now imagine having such an empty life that you do it to keep, hm, shall we say immigrant? dogs out of the dog park. Those other dogs probably come from shithole cities.

  38. 38
    Chyron HR says:


    Asked for comment after the meeting, Farmer Dan said, “I tell you what, I’m not going to be very happy when I vote for God-Emperor Trump again next year.”

  39. 39
    Honus says:

    @Chyron HR: you mean Great Patriot Farmer Dan don’t you.

  40. 40
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Imagine a community so rich and entitled that it doesn’t want dogs to bark.

    I’d rather not-imagine all these dogs giving a firm chomp to some human crotches. (It’s not their fault they aren’t all big enough to kick each of these NiMBY assholes between the legs.)

  41. 41
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Honus: We must remember that Great Patriot Farmer Dan was also big and burly and blubbering like a baby about his God-Emperor’s greatness.

  42. 42
    Kay says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    dogs out of the dog park.

    Oh, it’s not the dogs. As you know.

    Perpetually barking dogs are bad though- not in a dog park which as far as I’m concerned is their area, but if you’ve ever lived next to a bark- bark- bark (8 hours) dog you really want to cry after a couple of weeks. We had one in this neighborhood for years. The guy next door has two huge (well behaved) black labs and he recorded the barking and played it for the owner. The dog would bark when she wasn’t home and she wasn’t home a lot. She didn’t do anything in response to the complaints. Eventually she moved and took Mr. Barky with her.

  43. 43
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Ukraine’s new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has been sworn in – about 80% new members, as “vote the bums out” was the primary theme of the most recent presidential and parliamentary elections. It includes its first-ever black member, Zhan Beleniuk, who also won the 2016 Olympic silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling. Zhan was born in Kyiv to a Ukrainian mother and a Rwandan father, a military pilot who was studying in Ukraine and was subsequently KIA in the Rwandan civil war.

  44. 44

    Wonderful story about a woman who works with non-verbal kids and her plane trip with a father and child, who had severe autism. It’s not long. You won’t regret reading it.

    I just had such an affirming experience. On my 8hr intl flight back from a conference, I sat next to a father/son. In broken English, the father began to apologize/warn me that his ~10 yr-old son had severe nonverbal autism, and that this would like be a difficult journey. 1/— Rachel R. Romeo (@RachelRRomeo) August 28, 2019

  45. 45
    Kay says:


    Farmers are whiny though. That’s the stereotype he’s playing off of. They never, ever have a good year. There are only bad years and catastrophic years. It’s weird, right? They’re least stoic people on the planet yet they have this whole myth around them.
    Oh, well. Obama was objectively better for them on every measure and they insisted he was terrible – bitched the whole 8 years. So now they get catastrophic. TPP was great for agriculture. There are winners and losers in trade deals and they were the winners in that one, which some of them knew. They voted for Trump anyway.

  46. 46
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: As opposed to the airline that refused to allow a passenger to move so a child with severe nonverbal autism could sit next to the father.

  47. 47
    Baud says:


    It’s going to get more catastrophic for them when Trump cuts food stamps.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    Philip Rucker
    “We’ve never been in a situation like this, where there’s so much dry kindling across the landscape and we’ve got someone all too willing to light the match.”
    New Hampshire Republicans fear Trump’s false voter fraud fury,

    It really does bother election officials. Our county board of elections are doing events at the county fair to show voters the process and hopefully limit some of the conspiracy theories. Put a face on it. Make it less of a black box and thus vulnerable to Fox News bullshit. Ohio Boards of Elections are evenly split – R’s and D’s – and I’m happy to say our D hire is the person who suggested going out to the public and is doing all the outreach work. She’s great- very earnest.

  49. 49

    @OzarkHillbilly: There are tragedies and suffering we can’t avoid in life, but too often, the world is terrible because people choose to make it that way. Or you can choose kindness. Kindness turns out to be a radical move.

  50. 50
    Baud says:


    Our next Dem president is going to have to deal with a flurry of domestic terrorism. Especially after we pass comprehensive immigration reform.

  51. 51
    Kay says:


    Ha! My hobbyhorse. Farmers hating food stamps is farmers hating their customers. Show me another sector where we issue VOUCHERS to purchase the product and the producers of the product object to the people using the voucher. Food stamps are as much a subsidy to agriculture and retail food sales as they are to people. I think they would have been long gone but for that part of the transaction. It’s why they’ll never get rid of Medicaid expansion once it goes in. Rural hospitals would have to go back to suing essentially uncollectable people and never getting paid. Will they take 60%? Sure! It’s better than zero!

  52. 52
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    Happy birthday to them!

  53. 53
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: which has a higher percentage of black residents—Ukraine or Chevy Chase?

    Steve in Milledgeville

  54. 54
    Baud says:


    As much as Trump and other Republicans hate us for being decent folk, I’ve come to the conclusion that they subconsciously disrespect ordinary people who vote for them more. Understandably so, BTW.

  55. 55
    Chyron HR says:


    Farmer Dan big man, big steelworking man, sir, tears in eyes, he didn’t even cry when he killed baby, sir, but he was crying now, sir, sir, you are the chosen one, sir.

  56. 56
    Kay says:


    It’s such a weird and cynical view- to look at VOTERS as presumptive felons. This has changed in my lifetime. Prior to around 2000 voting was like going to the public library- praised as A Good Thing done by decent people. Conservatives managed to turn it into a malicious scheme.

    It’s fucked up and it gives one a real window into how they view their fellow citizens. Good God, we have 50% participation in this country. It is hard enough to get people to vote, let alone orchestrate a huge “white van” caravan to transport black and brown election felons from precinct to precinct.

  57. 57
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I’m really happy for Ukraine and hope their new leaders are able to lead them well and preserve Ukrainian democracy/independence

  58. 58
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    Formerly the state capital.

  59. 59
    raven says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Fishin below the power plant?

  60. 60
    Baud says:


    It’s fucked up and it gives one a real window into how they view their fellow citizens.

    As not.

    It’s easy to have noble values when one feels safe about one’s status. It’s harder when adherence to those values mean someone else “wins.”

  61. 61
  62. 62
    NotMax says:


    Unless you meant you’re in the Milledgevillle in PA.

  63. 63
    Kay says:


    Especially after we pass comprehensive immigration reform.

    I watched a (really good) documentary on Bush’s immigration reform effort. It focused on the Democratic senators because that’s who they needed. Kennedy was the lead negotiator, essentially, although I think senators think they’re all the lead. They came close but they couldn’t get there. It seems like ancient history now- no GOP Senator could even take part in it now. The screeching would start immediately and that’s if Trump even allowed it, which he would never do, partly because he does NO legislative leading at all. He’s objectively a bad President and a bad manager, even without being a horrible racist and liar and nasty. He doesn’t get any laws thru. It’s all executive action, because they;re incompetent and lazy.

  64. 64
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

    James Mattis.

  65. 65
  66. 66

    @OzarkHillbilly: Has General Theranos written a book?

  67. 67
    raven says:

    @NotMax: Nah’ he probably boated up there from Lake Oconee. Funny story I used to fish there and, one night 30 years ago, I was tied up to the I-20 bridge with my crappie light floating and my corks headed north. All of the sudden everything changed directions and I was pretty flummoxed! It turns out that they pump water from the two lakes (Sinclair is the one at Milledgeville) at night and it reverses the flow of the water! That is also the night that I had a big basket of cats and crappie tied to the side of the boat and rubbing against the bridge broke the line and all the fish fell to the bottom. I hooked up a big treble hook and dragged it on the bottom and damned if I didn’t get the haul back! TMI?

  68. 68
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: I read once that when O’Connor moved to NYC to shepherd her first book through the editing process, the publisher had to hire a translator because no one could understand her accent!

  69. 69
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Steve in the ATL: That’s a tough question. I know of one for certain in Ukraine – maybe two, because I think Beleniuk has a child. Not so sure about Chevy Chase.

  70. 70
    Baud says:


    Sadly, although we have to pursue it, I don’t know that immigration reform will be a winning issue for us. It’s easier for our people to demand things than to reward things.

  71. 71
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodingers_cat: General Kiddie Kamp has written a book, which is much ballyhooed on Twitter because he vaguely hints at disrespect for Trump! What a cowardly cockwaffle.

  72. 72
    Baud says:


    See, that’s why I never attend BJ meetups.

  73. 73
    Ohio Mom says:

    The Ithaca newspaper’s front page reminds me of Sherrod Brown’s voter registration effort when he was Secretary of State: forms printed on the paper placemats of fast food restaurants. He claims there are still completed forms on file with ketchup and mustard stains.

    @Baud: I automatically love anyone with a disability plan. I’ll look at it.

    We already know the first step in strengthening special education, that’s for Congress to finally allocate the full amount promised in the special ed law; they’ve always underfunded this mandate.

    As for employment, I don’t think any great strides will be made until there is a federal law modeled after the State of Washington’s that requires employers to hire people with disabilities. Don’t think that would go over well as a campaign promise though.

    Washington led the way on special ed legislation so there is a nice precedent there.

  74. 74

    @Baud: I have met two other BJers IRL and am still alive to tell the tale.

  75. 75
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: I remember conservative cartoonists in the 1970s and 1980s running cartoons reminding everyone to do their civic duty and vote. Of course, you always got some grousing that there were idiots voting who oughtn’t, and jokes about dead people voting in Chicago. But the idea that the franchise should be sharply limited and that there was some huge undocumented-immigrant-voting conspiracy wasn’t mainstream. I remember hearing rumblings of it in the 1990s conservative movement and it got worse from there.

  76. 76
    Baud says:


    But are they? 🤔

  77. 77

    @Baud: You have to ask them, if you can.

  78. 78
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @NotMax: a most pleasant town full of beautiful antebellum homes

    @raven: too late in the day for that! Just drove a friend down to the Ford dealership to pick up his truck.

  79. 79
    Baud says:


    if you can.

    ::ominous music plays::

  80. 80
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’ve met a couple dozen and I don’t know that I would call this living….

  81. 81
    Aleta says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And he’s single! What a catch (if you stay alive).

  82. 82
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    Now am picturing – the horror – lawn jockeys as far as the eye can see.


  83. 83
    p.a. says:

    I think we were still New England Telephone when we ran out of numbers in the eastern Mass 617 area code, and had to shift a few towns to central Mass’ 508. Wellesley revolted because 508 was associated with hardscrabble Worcester, while 617 was Bahstin. We reassigned them anyway: at the time we were THE TELEPHONE COMPANY

  84. 84
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: If you get the DVD of “Wise Blood” there is an interview with the screenwriter Benedict Fitzgerald. Flannery was his babysitter when he was a kid and it’s a fun piece.

  85. 85
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @raven: Saw the film about Laurel and Hardy’s last tour — Stan and Ollie. Good film with great performances (especially John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy). Heartfelt and sweet without being overly saccharine and manipulative.

  86. 86
    rikyrah says:


    Ha! My hobbyhorse. Farmers hating food stamps is farmers hating their customers. Show me another sector where we issue VOUCHERS to purchase the product and the producers of the product object to the people using the voucher. Food stamps are as much a subsidy to agriculture and retail food sales as they are to people.

    Tell the truth.

    SO tired of folks being scapegoated, and they are the ones putting $$$$ into your bank accounts.
    Farmers AND WALMART better thank their lucky stars for food stamps.

  87. 87
    NotMax says:



    “is there someone else I can speak to? A human?”


  88. 88
    rikyrah says:


    Happy Birthday to both of them :)

  89. 89
    rikyrah says:

    Congratulations Sasha

    Barack Obama’s younger daughter, Sasha, is poised to begin her college career at the University of Michigan next week, according to the Detroit News.

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 29, 2019

  90. 90
    rikyrah says:

    There are very few Native Americans who reach the elite levels of ballet. Meet Than Povi who is following her passion from the Pueblo to one of the top ballet programs in the country. Get involved with @MovingArtsKids:

    — CNN Heroes (@CNNHeroes) August 28, 2019

  91. 91
    rikyrah says:


    Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress is one of the most well remember and often imitated wedding looks of all time. However, its designer, Ann Lowe, never received the credit for it in her lifetime. When asked who made the dress Jackie simply responded ”a colored dressmaker”.

    — KEYONCÉ (@thatssokeshaun) August 27, 2019

  92. 92
    rikyrah says:

    Black voter preference YouGov (change from last week)

    Biden 38 (+2)
    Harris 14 (+8)
    Sanders 12 (-3)
    Warren 9 (-1)
    Buttigieg 4 (+3)

    Black voter preference Quinnipiac (change from last poll)
    Biden 46 (-1)
    Sanders 10 (-6)
    Warren 10 (+2)
    Harris 7 (+6)
    Booker 3 (+3)

    — Federico Chispas (@dfsparks) August 28, 2019

  93. 93
    rikyrah says:

    A Second-By-Second Recap of That Bizarre, Ridiculous and Utterly Perfect KOCO-TV ‘Gorilla’ Apology Video

    Damon Young
    Yesterday 4:00PM

    0:08: The first shot you see is one of KOCO-TV morning anchors Alex Housden and Jason Hackett seated next to each other, with approximately six inches of space separating them. Housden looks frantic and harried like she just completed a seance for a whiteness Voltron that hasn’t yet arrived. Hackett looks like he’s waiting for some bullshit.

    0:12: The waterfalls start to almost fall as Housden begins her apology to both Hackett and their “entire community.” We’re left to wonder which community she’s referring to. Are Housden and Hackett neighbors? Roommates? Frequent attendees of Furries conventions? WHICH COMMUNITY IS THAT WHICH YOU SPEAK OF, ALEX?

    Also, Hackett now looks like the bullshit he was waiting for has finally arrived, but it’s not quite the bullshit he ordered. Like he asked for the bullshit medium-well, but they gave it to him well done. He’s not mad or anything about it, but he’s still trying to decide whether to send it back.

    0:32: Housden digs deeper into her sad white woman war chest, and inches closer to him while touching his arm, peering directly into his eyes and telling him she loves him—a tactic known in the industry as “The Triple Play.” The only thing missing is Housden sharing a story about “Jamal,” her “beautiful and brilliant” study partner from the first semester of her junior year—a tactic known in the industry as “The Lena Dunham.”…

    more at the link.

  94. 94
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @rikyrah: Those are some huge differences between polls! Are these cross tabs from general-population polls, with the usual small-number statistical weirdness?

    Either way, Warren’s weakness with non-white voters is by far her greatest liability, to my mind.

  95. 95
  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    Personal: Powerful Biden Healthcare Ad Stakes Out Fierce, Moral Defense of Obamacare, Robs Single-Payer Diehards of High Horse
    By Spandan Chakrabarti

    It has to be said.

    There have been two groups of people interested in doing away with the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s crowning domestic policy achievement that protects the health care of 100 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, massively expands public responsibility in health care through subsidies and the greatest expansion of the public health care safety net (aka Medicaid) since the inception of Medicare, and insures – even through Republican attacks and obstructionism – over 20 million Americans who lacked coverage prior.

    The first group is obvious: the Republican party and its president, Donald Trump, has been trying to dismantle it from day one. They have been so against it that they have argued both that Obamacare is unconstitutional because it had an individual mandate, and also that Obamacare is unconstitutional because it no longer had an enforceable mandate. Then came 2018, and 40 Republican members of the House lost their jobs for opposing Obamacare.

    The second group that opposes the Affordable Care Act is much closer to home: Leftist ideologues who argue that Obamacare perpetuates a health care system for profit and that the entire system should be wholesale dismantled in favor of a single-payer system that gets less popular the more details people learn about it. Bernie Sanders has been such a plan’s top cheerleader since his 2016 campaign, and he remains its chief spokesperson. Some other candidates who had originally signed onto Sanders’s plan, though, have since backed off and created plans with much more gradual, less disruptive approaches.

    The Bernie Left matches the Trump Right in terms of political tactics of bullying, vilifying, and plain calling one a bad person if one dares disagree with them. Bernie makes the argument himself all the time that those in favor of strengthening Obamacare are either naive pawns for health insurance companies and big pharma, or worse, in the pockets of the industry themselves. Never mind that their own single-payer plan will perpetuate a private health care delivery system – including private pharmaceutical companies and private doctors, hospitals, and clinics – if you are not on the Bernie train to single-payer pipedreamland, you are a corporatist!

    For all of their substantive weaknesses and political infeasibility, though, the crusaders of single-payer have been pretty effective at painting Democrats who don’t support them as evil incarnates who just don’t care about people with health care needs and worse, handmaidens of the “murder by spreadsheets” industry. Thus far, the arguments against government-payer-now have been cerebral, practical, and to a good extent, defensive.

    Joe Biden just upended that dynamic.

  97. 97
    rikyrah says:

    Outrage mounts over Harvard student turned back at airport
    Caitlin Dickson
    Reporter,Yahoo News•
    August 28, 2019

    The story of an incoming Harvard freshman who was denied entry into the United States after his laptop and cellphone were searched at the airport last week has immigration and free speech advocates sounding the alarm over the Trump administration’s increasingly restrictive immigration policies and how they are enforced.

    According to the Harvard Crimson, which first reported the story on Tuesday, Ismail Ajjawi, a 17-year-old Palestinian resident of Lebanon on his way to Harvard to begin classes as a freshman, had his student visa canceled and was returned to Lebanon several hours after arriving at Boston’s Logan International Airport last Friday — according to the student, after border agents searched his cellphone and investigated his social media contacts.

    The incident demonstrates “an astounding disregard for the principle of free speech,” according to Summer Lopez of PEN, an advocacy group for authors.

    Ajjawi told the Crimson in a written statement that he and other international students were questioned by immigration officials upon arrival in Boston, but that one officer continued to press him on his religious practices after the rest of the students were allowed to leave the airport. According to the Crimson, Ajjawi says the same officer asked him to unlock his cellphone and laptop and, about five hours later, returned with questions about the social media activity of his friends.

    “She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the U.S. on my friend[s] list,” Ajjawi wrote to the Crimson. Ajjawi told the student paper that he assured the officer that his friends’ posts did not reflect his views, writing “I have no single post on my timeline discussing politics.”

    But Ajjawi never made it out of the airport. Spokespeople for Harvard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that he was, in fact, denied entry to the U.S. (Ajjawi could not be reached for comment.) Critics of the Trump administration’s immigration policies say that Ajjawi’s account, if accurate, offers new evidence of the threat to civil liberties of the increasingly common practice of searching travelers’ electronic devices and using social media to vet visa applicants.

  98. 98
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I remember hearing rumblings of it in the 1990s conservative movement and it got worse from there.

    George W Bush. He mainstreamed it. And the Wall Street Journal. Prestigious conservatives pushed it. The highest levels. The US Attorney scandal was about the Bush Administration pushing USA’s to bring bogus fraud cases and replacing those who were too ethical and wouldn’t.

    As far as I can tell, “Location Zero” for modern conservative conspiracy theories on voting fraud is Milwaukee. That’s where the Bush Administration claims of fraud originated. I think it actually caught fire in mainstream media because the WSJ is respected among journalists. That paper gave it the sheen of legitimacy. So- for about 12 years they pushed a nonsense theory that made no sense at all and it took that long to be exposed as bullshit. The court cases helped, because courts didn’t buy it. They delved into the boring facts of election process and discovered “voters impersonating other voters” makes no sense.

    I used to regularly read “dead people voting” stories when the fact is what they’re reporting is that dead people are REGISTERED. Those are two different things! One is records management and the other is felony fraud! They treated them the same. They didn’t understand the process.

  99. 99
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    A lot of liberals want to federalize voting process, but I think that’s too risky. If it’s federalized then George W Bush and Donald Trump control the whole works. The fragmented nature is the problem, but it also the safety valve.

    It doesn’t work anyway, as far as quelling conspiracy theories, federalizing. Mexico did a huge overhaul- got the seal of approval from international democratic orgs, all good. I went to a legal info session on it. A model system! A national card. Certain voters just moved to accusing the federal government of fraud, rather then the local government. You can’t fix an imaginary problem. The problem is imaginary, so it operates independently of fixes :)

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    Oh Kay…….

    Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have discussed replacing Pence on 2020 ticket: Axios reporter

    Nikki Haley raised eyebrows by denying rumors that she was angling to replace Vice President Mike Pence as Donald Trump’s running mate in 2020, and now there’s some new reporting on what’s behind that chatter.

    The former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina governor tweeted out a denial of “false rumors” — which hadn’t seemed to have spread beyond the White House — that she wanted to join Trump on the ticket.


    Axios reporter Jonathan Swan told MSNBC’s “First Look” that the president’s daughter and son-in-law had discussed the possibility of replacing Pence with Haley, who instead has signed on as a “special guest” at a Trump-Pence fundraising retreat in the fall.

  101. 101
    Kay says:


    I do loathe them. One of my sisters is pretty funny and she thought it was hysterical how much I disliked Mitt Romney’s wife. I did dislike her. She would say “why do you HATE that nice rich lady?” LAdeeeee.

  102. 102
    rikyrah says:


    As far as I can tell, “Location Zero” for modern conservative conspiracy theories on voting fraud is Milwaukee. That’s where the Bush Administration claims of fraud originated. I think it actually caught fire in mainstream media because the WSJ is respected among journalists. That paper gave it the sheen of legitimacy. So- for about 12 years they pushed a nonsense theory that made no sense at all and it took that long to be exposed as bullshit. The court cases helped, because courts didn’t buy it. They delved into the boring facts of election process and discovered “voters impersonating other voters” makes no sense.

    It was the WSJ Editorial Page, which has always been right-wing garbage that hid behind the prestige of the WSJ name. There is one guy, name escapes me, but, he’s never met a Black voter that he felt was legitimate. Been pushing that racist azz voter fraud bullshyt for a decade.

  103. 103
    Just One More Canuck says:

    my favourite comment from the WaPo story – “Pave paradise, shut up the barking lot”

    my suburban Toronto city (used to be a town, but council promoted us to a city!!!!) has noise bylaws regarding dogs – I would think that the good folk of Chevy Chase Village could figure something out to deal with this. Of course, our town – sorry, CITY!! has a clause in the bylaw that says that wind chimes have to be taken down after 7pm, so we may not be the best example of how to deal with noise. On the other hand, we have had wind chimes hanging off our back fence for 15 years without any jack-booted by law officers kicking in our front door, so it seems that that part of it isn’t being enforced

  104. 104
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @rikyrah: we now have one MORE reason to hate Ohio State? Awesome!

  105. 105
    Kay says:


    Exactly. Claus Von Whatisname and then some other more legit Righty. They took turns promoting it. But it was a Bush Family scam. Hell, Jeb Bush suppressed AA votes to get his brother the job! That was the first time I looked up “voter caging”.

    Trump is horrible but I don’t think we can forget there is a LOT of precedent for Trump in the conservative movement. They created him. I was listening to Walsh blatantly lie yesterday and I thought “so this is how it is now for them- they’ll just all blatantly lie after Trump”. In manufacturing they call this a “quality collapse”- when the low standards become systemic. The collapse is preceded by decades of bad management. It gets slightly worse over years and then it falls apart, because EVERY actor is part of the system. The good ones leave.

  106. 106
    Kay says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Ha! That’s where my youngest wants to go there. I was surprised. He’s an easy going cheerful guitar player. I keep telling him “it’s a HUGE school” and he says “I’ve been there”. Which is true. Did I mention huge? I have to come up with another reason.

  107. 107
    Kay says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    If I go to a parent sales event I’ll ask “do you have safe spaces for liberal snowflakes, like, for example, this fine young man here?” This is my moment to be a Twitter video star. OK, maybe not.

    I went to one with my older son where Right wing parents asked if students are “allowed” to go to church. Yeah, they bar that. Forbidden. They have a whole bus system! For your snowflake. Knock yourself out. Spend the whole weekend there.

  108. 108
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: Yeah–the system we have means that when Republican trifectas control big swing states like Pennsylvania or Florida, they can wreak national havoc by messing with the elections. But it also means they can’t destroy local elections in Massachusetts (not that our system is perfect–it has problems of its own, but they’re not maliciously intended).

  109. 109
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Kay: It’s huge, but in lots of small sections. My oldest did her Master’s there, and enjoyed the experience, but she really only interacted with a small group of her colleagues.

  110. 110
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: Hans von Spakovsky. Went from Huntsville, Alabama to promoting voter ID in Georgia, then representing Bush in Bush v. Gore, then… civil-rights section of the DoJ! Last seen briefly serving as vice-chairman of the Fairfax County, VA election board.

  111. 111
    rikyrah says:


    I know Hans von Spakovsky.
    He’s one of them, but, this guy is a regular on the Editorial Page.

  112. 112
    J R in WV says:


    It was the WSJ Editorial Page, which has always been right-wing garbage that hid behind the prestige of the WSJ name. There is one guy, name escapes me, but, he’s never met a Black voter that he felt was legitimate. Been pushing that racist azz voter fraud bullshyt for a decade.

    His name is Paul Gigot, a treasured RWNJ who actually won a Pulitzer Prize for some tripe. I used to think the Pulitzer was a big deal, then I discovered that you (and your boss) have to apply to the program, with leather-bound copies of the work, and there is advertising and PR work done on the part of the big industrial media companies to sway the “jury” — which is no doubt how Mr. Gigot won a Prize.

    He is how and why the WSJ editorial page is a bizarre wasteland of fictional perspectives on America and why that fiction is communist and should be fought in the streets to the last breath of true patriots.

    Public schools are a communist plot. Medical care is communist. Interstate highways should be funded by tolls because for the government to do so is communist. And lastly, voting is a communist plot because everyone is allowed to do it.

  113. 113
    kindness says:

    I read several blogs during the day. One that I usually find fun is LG&M. They’re smart and usually have good topics. Unless they are talking Kirsten Gillibrand. One of the principles there I guess hails from upstate NY and loves, loves, loves her. I like her fine. Not my first choice but could easily vote in the general for her. However said principle seems to adore starting Al Franken/Kirsten Gillibrand food fights. I say that because those threads pop up way too frequently and they always end in purity food fights. Now, don’t get me wrong, Franken did some stupid stuff even though I dearly love him. Franken deserved much of what he got. He should have at least gotten a hearing rather than just be railroaded. Not sure it would have changed anything. I think when Kirsten went from leading the Boot Franken contingent to additionally saying Bill Clinton should have resigned, well I lost a bunch of respect for her then. What really pisses me off is to see purity fights purposefully set up within our own ranks repeatedly. It only harms our electoral chances and doesn’t help them one bit. But it does allow egos to go out on parade and double jointedly pat themselves all over their own backs because they are better liberals than I am. I stopped participating in these threads a while back as they didn’t further anything but only seemed to reinforce lingering dislike of people on our own side. Counterproductive and for what? Egos. Just dumb. Purity trolls suck. Vote Democratic, even if it is Bernie at the end (it won’t be).

  114. 114
    joel hanes says:


    Maybe James Taranto?

  115. 115
    rikyrah says:

    @joel hanes:

    Maybe James Taranto?

    Nope. Not him or Gigot. I know them.
    Last name sounds like Frum, but it’s not Frum. Looks smarmy. Oozes repellant. But, everytime he opens his mouth about voting, he has a problem with Black people voting.
    He was the one who said that President Obama’s poll numbers didn’t count- that they were artifically high- because Black people were supporting him.

  116. 116
    Gravie says:

    Having lived in the Chevy Chase-adjacent but not so upscale area of Silver Spring, and having experienced the sense of entitlement so rampant in CC and Bethesda, this doesn’t surprise me at all.

  117. 117
    John Finkbiner says:

    My wife is in local government, and dog parks are really popular — adding a dog park is always on the list of suggestions from residents — so we’ve done some google-level research on the topic. The thing is, they need to be much bigger than people think to be viable long term. The AKC recommends at least an acre[1] and two is better because between digging/scratching and urine, dogs a really hard on grass and other plants. Only a small part of the park should be accessible at a time so the remainder can recover.

    The quote from the article says this park is 15,000 square feet which is about a third of an acre. I suspect this park will be closed fairly soon when it turns into a barren patch of dirt.

    [1] page 15

  118. 118
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Drop in on Cheryl Rofer & pick up a half-life.

  119. 119
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: seems like pretty good advice, to be honest

  120. 120
    Sab says:

    @Kay: My sister teaches/taught at the OSU. All of her liberal, only half white kids went there.They all liked it. Lots more choices on weird arcane classes than at a smaller school. One half Chinese nephew met and married the granddaughter of a Japanese war bride. Couldn’t do that at Hiram or Kenyon.

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