Saturday Morning Open Thread: The (Musical) Tribute Vice Pays to Virtue

176 replies
  1. 1
    West of the Rockies says:

    I truly believe Fat Donny will be regarded as the worst U.S. president in history, a man of piggish greed, vile conduct, and moral bankruptcy, who was charmless and grotesque. He is to Democracy nothing more than a termite.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    Until the next Republican president gets elected to teach Dems a lesson.

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    They have been called “the men who plundered Europe”: a group of cowboy traders, seasoned tax lawyers and mathematical whizz kids who are alleged to have conspired in the heart of the City of London to siphon at least €60bn in taxpayers’ money from the state coffers of several EU countries.

    In Britain, the so-called “cum-ex” scandal, named after the complex derivatives juggling act employed, gained little attention amid the frenzied debate around the UK’s departure from the European Union when the fraud scheme was discovered in 2017.

    But in continental Europe what Le Monde has described as the “robbery of the century” has done almost as much to shape the view of Britain as Brexit itself. Dutch media has called it “organised crime in pinstripe suits” and one of the original German whistleblowers saying he now welcomes Britain’s exit from the EU in the hope it could weaken the influence of London investment banking on European financial institutions.

    This week, a British former investment banker involved in developing the scheme for the first time gave the public an insight into how the scheme worked and what spurred on its architects.

    Speaking at a regional court in Bonn, Martin Shields, one of two former bankers on trial for 34 instances of serious tax fraud between 2006 and 2011, painted a picture of a London banking scene which lured in the brightest scientists from the country’s top universities and used them to boost their profit margins – without teaching them about the moral and legal consequences of their actions in return.

    “This was the environment at that time: a financial industry that – at least as far as I could see – was geared towards maximum profit optimisation,” the 41-year-old told a packed courtroom on Wednesday.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Vallejo police department has been under intensifying scrutiny since the fatal shooting of Willie McCoy, the 20-year-old who had been sleeping in his car when police unleashed a barrage of 55 shots.

    But behind the 6 March killing lies a pattern of racial discrimination and brutality routinely exhibited by police, allege a group of Vallejo residents who are suing the city. These incidents don’t make international headlines, but they amount to constitutional violations by the California city’s police force, say civil rights attorneys.

    On Thursday, attorneys for the residents filed multiple new lawsuits that they hope will lead to a systematic reform program.

    “Frankly we are disgusted with the city of Vallejo police department,” said civil rights attorney John Burris, who is representing three people who claim they were recently beaten and wrongfully arrested. “In our view, it is an out of control police department.”

    The city responds:

    “The City of Vallejo has not received the lawsuits referenced today by a plaintiffs’ attorney,” Vallejo city attorney Claudia Quintana told the Guardian. “We cannot comment on pending litigation, but we will review any filings made and will then respond as required by court procedures. We are confident the fact-based litigation process will determine the truth in these cases.”

    I can’t help but notice they express no confidence that the facts will exonerate them.

    John Burris has a track record:

    Burris has succeeded before in having police agencies placed under federal court oversight, even without the help of the state attorney general or federal justice department. In 2000, he and another Oakland civil rights attorney, James Chanin, sued the Oakland police on behalf of 119 black men who alleged the department engaged in a pattern and practice of civil rights violations.

    The city settled the case in 2003 by agreeing to have a court-appointed monitor watch over a list of institutional reforms. This reform effort is still ongoing and has cost Oakland millions, but the city’s police force went from having one of the highest rates of police shootings in the state, to one of the lowest.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    Running up the score in House races could deliver White House to Democrats

  6. 6

    Here’s Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma’s rendition of the song in question. Just because I needed a palate cleanser after reading about this masterful composition being defiled, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

  7. 7
    Mike J says:

    I remember going to see the Marine Corps band play a xmas concert with then gfriend’s dad, who at the time was considered pretty conservative, although he’d be called a commie by today’s Republicans.

    He was unamused by my gushing over government funding of the arts and insisted this was different, but couldn’t explain why.

  8. 8
    RAVEN says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): My homegirl! Inn other news my brother made it in from LA for the Notre Dame game and, after the rich hour ride from hell, we’ll be gearing up!

  9. 9
    Lapassionara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well, that’s worth a hearty blech.

    Which autocorrect want to be “bleach.”

    Good morning, everyone.

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    Not everyone’s cup o’ sake (still not sure it’s mine either, am about halfway through it) is a Japanese series on Prime, Final Life. Police drama, international intrigue, tortured romance – and science fiction. One of the co-stars is apparently a big celebrity of K-pop. Caveat: The production’s addiction to using a filter on the lens which creates horizontal flaring of any discrete source of light becomes very visually annoying, very fast.

  12. 12
    Baud says:


    Good morning.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @Mike J:

    insisted this was different, but couldn’t explain why.

    “Because I value this.”

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike J: Those high-level military bands, as you may know, aren’t soldiers or sailors who played an instrument in high school and then just happened to fall into this as their military specialization. They are extremely high-level professional musicians who go through an audition process as rigorous as a major symphony and, after winning a spot, are just appointed to whatever rank it is they need to hold that position. My older daughter, with a Master’s in performance from a well-regarded university, looked into that process some years ago, and ultimately decided she wasn’t good enough to even audition.

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lapassionara: These people make the statement “Kill them all and let God sort them out.” sound reasonable.

  17. 17
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @RAVEN: Enjoy the game. Beat the Catholics.

  18. 18
    Raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I remember a woman who fronted the Air Force Band on commercials. She didn’t have the “looks” for show biz but what a set of pipes!

  19. 19
    RAVEN says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It is wild up in here already and the game is 13 hrs away!

  20. 20
    eclare says:

    @RAVEN: Go Dawgs!

  21. 21
    eclare says:

    I had to put my sweet Sophie (June 2019 BJ calendar girl) to sleep Thursday night. Such a void. There is no joy coming home to a dogless house. RIP.

  22. 22
    Amir Khalid says:

    My condolences on your loss. (((hugs)))

  23. 23
  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    GRANVILLE COUNTY, N.C. – A North Carolina sheriff stands accused of urging the murder of a former deputy who had a recording of him using racially offensive language, authorities say. Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was indicted Monday on two counts of felony obstruction of justice, according to court records. Wilkins is accused of trying to get another man to kill former Deputy Joshua Freeman, who he believed was going to expose his racist talk.

    Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman, who is prosecuting the case, said Wilkins’ Aug. 12, 2014, phone conversation with the “well-known” man who threatened Joshua Freeman’s life was caught on tape, according to The News & Observer in Raleigh. Lorrin Freeman and Joshua Freeman are not related.

    Joshua Freeman worked for the Sheriff’s Office from November 2011 to August 2014 but was let go in the days leading up to Wilkins’ alleged crimes, WRAL in Raleigh reported.

    The court records do not detail what Wilkins is alleged to have said, or what ultimately happened to the recording of his words. The indictment against the sheriff alleges Wilkins encouraged the man to “take care of it” and said, “The only way you gonna stop him is kill him.” According to the indictment, Wilkins counseled the would-be gunman on how to kill Joshua Freeman in a way to avoid getting caught. He offered two tips, according to the document: Get rid of the murder weapon and keep quiet.
    Wilkins and the individual discussed a time in which to kill Joshua Freeman and a location that would ensure it would be Wilkins’ own Granville County Sheriff’s Office investigators who would get the case, the indictment says. Wilkins assured the man he would not tell investigators of his prior knowledge of the crime.

    The indictment accuses Wilkins of failing to prevent harm to Joshua Freeman or warn him of the “credible threat” to his life. It alleges the sheriff also failed to seize the gun the other man planned to use, despite the person showing him the weapon at one point.

    “The defendant failed to properly execute his duties because of his personal animosity towards Joshua Freeman,” the indictment states.

    I find the charges here a little puzzling. At the very least he is promising to aid and abet after the fact and I would think that would constitute being engaged in a conspiracy to commit murder.

  25. 25
    Baud says:


    I know that feeling. I’m sorry.

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gin & Tonic: “Do like a Nun and beat the Catholics.”

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    @Gin & Tonic

    Trivia: While never in military band, it wasn’t until his time deployed with the military that jazz musician Mr. Acker Bilk first picked up what became the instrument he was known for.

    …His parents tried to teach him the piano but, as a boy, Bilk found it restricted his love of outdoor activities, including football. He lost two front teeth in a school fight and half a finger in a sledging accident, both of which he said affected his eventual clarinet style.

    On leaving school Bilk joined the workforce of W.D. & H.O. Wills’s cigarette factory in Bristol; he stayed there for three years, putting tobacco in the cooling room and then pushing tobacco through a blower. He then undertook three years of National Service with the Royal Engineers in the Suez Canal Zone. He learned the clarinet there after his sapper friend, John A. Britten, gave him one bought at a bazaar and for which Britten had no use. The clarinet had no reed, so Britten fashioned a makeshift one for the instrument from scrap wood. Bilk later borrowed a better instrument from the army and kept it after demobilisation. Source

  28. 28
  29. 29
    NotMax says:


    Sigh. Bad linky. Fix.


  30. 30
    Rob says:

    Re the Cotlar tweets, geez, it figures.

    Noga Tarnopolsky’s latest piece on Israeli politics after the deadlock election on Tuesday:
    Mired in post-election deadlock, Israelis face the prospect of a third vote

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    According to Today show this morning, butlering is a growing profession because of Downtown Abbey.

    $150,000 year, however, is nothing to sneezed at.

  32. 32
    trnc says:

    Once again, I have been schooled by DT. I thought “tippy-top” referred to the defcon rating, not our nuclear arsenal.

  33. 33
    NotMax says:


    The United States Navy Band – better musicians than undead.


  34. 34
    Kathleen says:

    @RAVEN: Some friends of mine from Cincy going to be there. Their son plays for Notre Dame.

  35. 35
    Kathleen says:

    @eclare: My condolences.

  36. 36
    NotMax says:



    Downtown Abbey could be a convent endowed by Petula Clark, though.


  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @eclare: ((((you)))))

  38. 38
  39. 39
    trnc says:


    GRANVILLE COUNTY, N.C. – A North Carolina sheriff stands accused of urging the murder of a former deputy who had a recording of him using racially offensive language, authorities say.

    If there’s anything more worthy of the phrase, “The coverup is worse than the crime,” I’d love to hear about it.

  40. 40
    Baud says:


    Aww. Cutest armed forces ever.

  41. 41
    eclare says:

    I don’t know how to link to more than one nym, but thank you to everyone for the kind thoughts. I’m going to take some time, then take the plunge again.

  42. 42
    germy says:

    I remember when President Obama awarded Paul McCartney the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Elvis Costello was one of the tribute acts, and performed Penny Lane.

    A member of the United States Marine band playing the piccolo trumpet solo, and got a startled and delighted round of applause. At the end of the song, Costello thanked him by name.

  43. 43
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The rigorous standards of musicianship for military bands is how the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian once got a highly gifted and credentialed curator of music. Even museum jobs at the Smithsonian have to deal with military preference, which generally means most applicants are not qualified in any way to be curators (even for military history). However, this gentleman was in a military band as well as having a degree in the history of music, so he just sailed through.

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    Amy Argetsinger
    Still going through this list but the notables thus far are Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, the CEO of Chick-Fil-A, and Kellyanne Conway flying solo.

    And these two:

    Rudy Giuliani has been bragging to pals about having an affair with a married woman with “big boobs,” sources tell The Post.
    The former mayor didn’t reveal the ample-bosomed woman’s identity, the sources said — but rumored mistress Maria Ryan matches that description on both fronts.
    Giuliani on Wednesday called the claims “totally false,” saying “whoever told you that is a liar.”
    But a day earlier, the 74-year-old member of President Trump’s personal legal team also denied cheating on wife Judith Nathan with Ryan, a married, 53-year-old New Hampshire hospital administrator, before Nathan filed for divorce in April.
    Giuliani insists they’re only friends, saying “I never spent the night with her” — but then adding he was “in effect separated’’ from Nathan at the time.
    It was hardly their only meeting.
    He was back in Manchester over the Memorial Day weekend to preside over Ryan’s nephew’s wedding, Giuliani told The Post on Tuesday.
    Indeed, he flew to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. that same month to defend Ryan’s daughter, Vanessa, in court against charges of car-insurance fraud.
    Ryan was nowhere to be seen at her Manchester home Wednesday, where her husband calmly told a Post reporter to, “F–k off.”
    “Get out of here. I already made a statement. We’re done here,” said former Marine Bob Ryan as he smoked a cigar on the porch next to his dog.

    Car insurance fraud.

  45. 45
    germy says:

    In addition, President Trump’s pal Roy Cohn personally grilled Copland for his alleged Communist sympathies during the McCarthy Red Scare.

    It’s McCarthyism for you to point that out!

  46. 46
    MomSense says:


    Thank you. I really needed that.

    Has there ever been a more grotesque man than the so-called president?


    I’m so sorry. You captured what it feels like without a dog so perfectly. Joyless. Big hugs to you.

  47. 47
    NotMax says:


    Dollars to donuts Downhill Donald pronounces it “Cop-land.”

  48. 48
    Jeffro says:

    Two headlines from the top of the WaPo website right now:
    – “Scrutiny Over trumpov’s Ukraine Scandal May Hurt Biden’s Campaign”.
    – “Trumpov’s Rhetoric May Have a Chilling Effect On Future Whistleblowers, Experts Say”.
    GEE. ZUS
    Here, let me help you with a couple other possible ‘angles’, Post:
    – “Experts Wonder Why President*, AG, Acting DNI Haven’t Already Resigned”
    – “Biden And Son Were Already Cleared of Wrong-doing At Time of trumpov Call”
    – Trumpov Bribery Case Has Potential to Rally Democrats, Demoralize Republicans”

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    @Kay: nothing matters.

  50. 50
    Baud says:


    Who would read those stories?

  51. 51
    germy says:

    Have you all seen that photo of trump ascending the stairs to his plane with the wad of cash in his pocket? I’m surprised and disappointed no one has front paged it here.

  52. 52
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @eclare: You honor Sophie’s love by finding another to pass it on to.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    Battered Trudeau gets brief reprieve amid Canada blackface scandal

    Reuters / 38min

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got his first day out of the spotlight on Saturday after being hammered for images showing him in blackface, which have threatened to derail his re-election campaign

    Reuters: Hey, guys, how do we pimp this story when there’s nothing new to report?

  54. 54
    Baud says:


    Front pagers are phoning it in these days. BJ has gone downhill ever since it went public.

  55. 55
    trnc says:

    @Jeffro: No kidding. It’s the WP version of NPR’s “Questions Continue To Swirl Around Clinton Foundation.”

  56. 56
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: In the 1980s, my husband enlisted in the Air Force at age 18 because he was desperate to escape Buffalo, New York. He was shipped off to Mississippi and took classes to learn about radar technology. One day in his off hours, he was playing piano in the rec hall, and the local bandleader heard him and drafted him into the base’s band. Next thing he knew, he was shipped off to Europe to play cocktail music at fancy NATO shindigs, including at the Rothschild mansion in Paris, and once at a banquet for King Olaf of Norway. He’s still a damn good piano player! :)

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Kay: As a hetero dude I’m probably the last who should weigh in, but why would anybody sentient want to fuck Rudy? The dude is repellent, frankly.

  58. 58
    Betty Cracker says:

    @eclare: How terrible! I’m so sorry.

  59. 59
    germy says:

    @Baud: Ever since Cole started taking Koch money.

  60. 60
    zhena gogolia says:

    News to me that Copland didn’t like brass.

    “Fanfare for the Common Man,” anyone?

  61. 61
    trnc says:

    @Gin & Tonic: There probably isn’t much difference between women who want to fuck repellent guys and people who want to elect them to high office.

  62. 62
    Kay says:


    Giuliani on Wednesday called the claims “totally false,” saying “whoever told you that is a liar.”

    I wonder how his married GF’s daughter’s Florida car insurance fraud case went. I’m picturing the county courthouse when the President’s lawyer (and former mayor of NYC) arrived. There’s a docket somewhere and if he entered he’s on it.

  63. 63
    trnc says:

    @germy: His rant about the fracking operation noise was really just an advertisement.

  64. 64
    JPL says:

    @Betty Cracker: What an amazing story.

  65. 65
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: Sure beats getting shot at.

  66. 66
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Please thank him for his service.

  67. 67
    JPL says:

    @Kay: I wonder how long it will take him to be granted an annulment by the Catholic Church.

  68. 68
    debbie says:


    Thought you might be interested in listening to this report about ice diving inside an iceberg.

    Jill Heinerth is a professional cave diving explorer and underwater filmmaker. She’s done work for PBS, National Geographic and the BBC, and she’s one of the most accomplished cave divers on the planet.

    Back in 2001, accompanied by expert diver Paul Heinerth and underwater cinematographer Wes Skiles, Jill Heinerth captained an expedition to the B-15 Iceberg in Antarctica. Here’s her story … in her own words:

    Looks like there’s also a transcript, if you’d rather read it. I found it kind of scary.

  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Is it just me, or is there something missing from this picture ( I’d really like to see a wider angle shot to confirm)

    eta: linky

  70. 70
    mad citizen says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): I saw Alison Krauss last night–amazing voice as always. Robert Plant incredible band and in fine voice. Willie Nelson back after his “breathing problem” in August and doing well. I saw him Aug. 5 up close and last night from the lawn.

    Farm Aid from Wisconsin today–streaming later:

  71. 71
    Baud says:


    The picture is missing from this picture.

    ETA: nevermind

  72. 72
    debbie says:


    Any chance the band was ironically performing a piece of music about “Simple” referring to Trump?

  73. 73
    MomSense says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I was thinking the same thing. Plus those choppers of his are terrifying.

  74. 74
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: Cool! Thanx. Not that I’d ever want to go there, too damned cold in that water. I don’t care how many thermal layers one wears under the dry suit.

  75. 75
    germy says:

    this anti-weed mayor has the most pro-weed name i've ever seen— adult tamagotchi neglecter (@deceasedbaron) September 19, 2019

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Right after I hit Post, I said, “DOH! What a dumbshit.””

  77. 77
    Baud says:


    Maybe that’s why he hates weed.

  78. 78

    My doggie water fountain died(I think the pump burned out), so I’m looking for a new one. After only 6 months, really?

    The reception at The Huntington was nice, the exhibit was good, but we’re going to head back when it’s a bit less crowded and have our reading glasses with us. I may try to squeeze some end of season Milky Way shots at Leo Carrilio this evening and I’ve got a morning shoot at San Gabriel Airport Sunday morning.

  79. 79
    Baud says:

    Two penguins interned at American publishing company Penguin Random House. It was awesome

  80. 80
    Kay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Well, her family seems to have some legal problems. Perhaps she thought he has some “juice” and can get them all off. “Take care of the problem”. You’ve seen the movies. The crime bosses. We’ll have to assume it works like that since we’re not privvy to these high level government dealings at Trump state dinners.

  81. 81
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @germy: Huh uh, not even close. Chief Wana Dubie wins that contest.

    My second proudest voting moment came when I pulled the lever to put him in the US Senate.

    ETA: A better obit

  82. 82
    debbie says:


    I am so, so sorry.

  83. 83
    debbie says:


    Colbert was on it! Tips, my ass.

  84. 84
    Baud says:


    Get out of jail free cards are never really free.

  85. 85
    JPL says:

    Do we know who’s funding Giuliani’s trips abroad to bribe foreign leaders?

  86. 86
  87. 87
    NotMax says:


    Should ever find myself in the position to create a jazz band, gonna name it Smokey Roach.


  88. 88
    Sab says:

    @eclare: I am so sorry. We were just talking about how much we miss our girl Tassie yesterday. We realized she died 11 years ago, which is as long as she lived. So she has been gone longer than we had her, but we still miss her.

  89. 89
    germy says:

    Portland police shoving their way through a group of peaceful young protesters to get to the only black teens in sight #ClimateStrike— sav (@saviongb) September 20, 2019

    Portland Oregon. This is a pattern of behavior for their cops and they were recently exposed to be working directly with white supremacists— BedWords (@snacklesbian) September 21, 2019

  90. 90
    Heidi Mom says:

    @eclare: So sorry for your loss. It’s always hard.

  91. 91

    @JPL: Well, we know Trump isn’t; probably the campaign.

  92. 92
    NotMax says:


    Used to be a rather eccentric lady here who made a living hawking homemade popsicles, branded “Maui Wanna.” She was known for, among other things, approaching people on the beach and asking, “Want a party in your mouth?”

  93. 93
    Suburban Mom says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Money honey.

  94. 94
    germy says:

    BABY BOOMERS: Young people today wouldn’t be able to handle the comedy of George Carlin! He was our guy!


    — Jesse McLaren (@McJesse) September 20, 2019

  95. 95
    eclare says:

    @Sab: Wow. I had Soph a little over nine years, but she was personality writ large. Got the cancer diagnosis on Sep 10, nine days later…fuck cancer.

    I’m sorry about your Tassie. They leave imprints.

  96. 96
    JPL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: This is odd.. We know how this is being paid for

    “The White House Office of Management and Budget lifted the hold, which applied to both the $250 mil in the Pentagon’s #Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and $141.5 mil in foreign military financing being prepared separately by the State Department.”

  97. 97
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @germy: Pretty damned blatant.

  98. 98
    raven says:

    @Kathleen: Cool, I’m hoping we treat them as well as they treated us.

  99. 99
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    “Want a party in your mouth?”

    “Ummmm, no thanx.”

  100. 100
    raven says:


    We who choose to surround ourselves
    with lives even more temporary than our
    own, live within a fragile circle;
    easily and often breached.
    Unable to accept its awful gaps,
    we would still live no other way.
    We cherish memory as the only
    certain immortality, never fully
    understanding the necessary plan.
    — Irving Townsend

  101. 101
    Another Scott says:

    ‘morning all.

    Condolences, eclare. It’s hard. :-(

    I think Military bands have a history of picking and playing music that can be a bit subversive to the person or event in question. Good for them.

    In other news, I often gripe about headlines in the major newspapers and soundbites on NPR that are a distortion of the real news. Evan Hurst at Wonkette gets it right.

    “DO NOT CONGRATULATE!” – omg, lol. That will live on forever.

    Have a good weekend, everyone.


  102. 102
    germy says:

    Omg the #ClimateStrike sign saying “Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriends deserve a future” has ended me— Megha Mohan (@meghamohan) September 20, 2019

  103. 103
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Got the cancer diagnosis on Sep 10, nine days later…fuck cancer.

    I had the same experience with my Hoss, tho he was only 2 years old.

  104. 104
    NotMax says:


    Suffice it to say quite a few people were taken aback by that affront.

  105. 105
    Aleta says:

    @eclare: I’m so sorry. No words good enough for loss of a dog.

  106. 106
    eclare says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Oh no! That is horrible, and I’m so sorry.

  107. 107
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    Kitten update:

    Maysie needs to spend some time pondering the wisdom of the Hogwarts motto, Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.

    She and Loki are safely back in their room. I wonder if Pixel has stopped growling yet?

    The silver lining is that Pixel has a new nickname. He is now Happy Fun Ball.

  108. 108
  109. 109
    HalfAssedHomesteader says:

    Yes, if you’re going to perform Simple Gifts I find it’s best to do it in the most grandiose style possible. Musical version of a gold plated toilet.

  110. 110
    Tenar Arha says:

    @eclare: my condolences & virtual hugs

  111. 111
    a thousand flouncing lurkers was fidelio says:

    @eclare: Its a hard loss; I’m sorry you’re going through this.

  112. 112
    Percysowner says:

    @eclare: I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s hard to come home instinctively expecting overjoyed dog to greet you and they aren’t there. Take care of yourself.

  113. 113
    Immanentize says:

    So very late to the thread, but all I could think of listening to the military band (which is quite good) was the Nazis in Sound of Music singing Edelweiss

    I hope everyone is percolatin’.

  114. 114
    Immanentize says:

    So hard. I am very sorry for you, but hoping Sophie is now resting sweetly.

  115. 115
    ThresherK says:

    @eclare: Condolences from our home.

    I’ve had a soft spot for the work and talent involved in military bands ever since I saw The Glenn Miller Story as a teen. My fandom of swing and jazz was formed when each were incredibly out of style, natch.

  116. 116
    JPL says:

    @Immanentize: A few months ago I had company and we watched Cabaret. We had all seen it when it was released and my friends didn’t remember how frightening it was.
    The media is playing along with trump stating that even a false story is bad news for Biden. If the other candidates don’t come out against this travesty, I for one will be upset. I know Pete did, but that’s all I read about.

  117. 117
    ThresherK says:

    @JPL: Still waiting for the Alt Right to start singing Tomorrow Belongs to Me and (for good measure) Horst Wessel Lied.

  118. 118
    Immanentize says:

    Have you watched Babylon Berlin (Netflix). It is a great police/mystery series set in Weimar times. Made in Germany, really great at getting across those moments of change.

  119. 119
    Kay says:


    The media is playing along with trump stating that even a false story is bad news for Biden.

    A NYTimes reporter was overtly pushing it last night on MSNBC. They don’t have “the Biden scandal” but they assured the Trump Administration and the public they intend to find one. It was amazing. They don’t have it but they’re sure there’s something there. Now in order to make good on that public promise the reporter made they have to either find one or make one.

    I think we all knew there would be another “but her emails”. I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it. I suppose Biden’s response matters to a certain extent but no one knows what response would stop them if they’ve already publicly committed to the narrative that this is a Biden scandal not a Trump scandal, so even that is guessing.

    This is just how it is and we have to deal with it. There’s no stopping them once they’re down this road, and they’re well down it. By publicly promising a Biden scandal they all but guaranteed they have to make one.

  120. 120
    oldgold says:


    The Pentagon fields more than 130 military bands worldwide, made up of about 6,500 musicians, and not just in traditional brass and drum corps like the kind that will march in many Fourth of July parades on Monday. There are also military rock acts with artsy names, conservatory-trained military jazz ensembles, military bluegrass pickers, even a military calypso band based in the Virgin Islands.

    All of this cost about $437 million last year — almost three times the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts.

  121. 121
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: I think Judy Nathan could tell some verrrrry interesting stories. Rudi, Newtie and The Beast, the three horsemen of the NDA rider to the prenup/settlement.

    @Immanentize: I haven’t seen it in years, but isn’t the point of Edelweiss in that moment that all the Austrians sing it and the Nazis are befuddled and SPOILER ALERT the Von Trapps slip out the back door?

  122. 122
    Elizabelle says:

    @eclare: My condolences, eclare. That’s rough. Sophie had a wonderful life with you, as will your next pup. But it is so hard to lose them.

  123. 123
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Baud: Initially misread as ‘burning up’,,,,not a bad misread, eh?

  124. 124
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: Ken Vogel. It was an interesting little mini-course in modern media, he went from saying there was substance to trumps’ charges to saying it was about “optics” in about 90 seconds. I think he should be mocked mercilessly as the NYT Chief Optics Correspondent, but he probably wouldn’t get it. Josh Marshall is going at him hard, and the NeverTrumpers are tweeting at him, too. I don’t mean it as a shot at Biden, but he’s definitely the candidate of the NTs

    Anders Åslund @ anders_aslund
    For the record: VP Joe Biden did a stellar work on Ukraine. He had the support of the whole Ukraine community, pressing President Poroshenko to do more for the rule of law & he achieved substantial results. Biden deserves only praise for his work in Ukraine

    David Frum @ davidfrum
    David Frum Retweeted Anders Åslund
    Nobody knows more / has thought deeper about rule-of-law reform in former Soviet Union than Anders …

    Daniel W. Drezner @ dandrezner
    Daniel W. Drezner Retweeted Anders Åslund
    cc: @kenvogel.

    I’ve never heard of Aslund, he’s an economist and academic specializing in the former SSRs, it seems.

  125. 125
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Joe Sudbay @ JoeSudbay
    Here we go again.

    After reporting in NYT on 5/1/19 that “No evidence has surfaced,” Vogel gave away his strategy on MSNBC today: if [Rudy] would just kinda leave the reporters to do the work on it, I think that potentially this story might be taken more seriously”

  126. 126
    JPL says:

    @Immanentize: thanks I just added it to my list.

  127. 127
    JPL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The Washington Post now has a similar article.

    Scrutiny over Trump’s Ukraine scandal may also complicate Biden’s campaign

    So the president uses extortion and Biden gets blamed

  128. 128
    laura says:

    @eclare: I’m so sorry for your loss. Be tender with the dog-shaped hole in your heart, and when your ready for that next dog and the joy that follows, this sharp pain will ease.

  129. 129
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Any of you familiar with the words someone wrote to the tune retelling the story of Christ. It’s called ‘Lord of the Dance’ and is sooo non gloom and doom, punishment and hell. Intriguing,,,,

  130. 130
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: @JPL: You know we have entered into an alternative universe when FOX News is the voice of reason on this. (No, not Hannity.) (not Pirro or Ingraham either) (No, not Carlson!) (it’ll come to you)

  131. 131
    Quinerly says:

    @eclare: hugs. So sorry.

  132. 132
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I was just amazed at that. He has now publicly promised a scandal they don’t have. He admits they don’t have it.

    They never, ever admit error. They will damn sure find a scandal or do wall to wall coverage of their search for a scandal, because they are now committed. I’m shocked this is acceptable for a journalist. He is plugging scandalous future stories he doesn’t have yet. It’s Fox News territory.

    Bloomberg did work checking the NYTimes timeline and they say that reporter’s story is inaccurate as far as his timeline. I think the question now becomes whether the other media outlets rely on the (perceived) prestige of the NYT or do their own work. There’s no requirement they go along with the NYTimes framing. These are decisions they make. Given the email debacle that was also led by the NYTimes maybe they are wary.

  133. 133
    Butter emails!!! says:

    It’s already been established that there’s nothing there. There’s not anything to dig into at this point. The only thing that might be accomplished is to rally the Democratic base to Biden, and piss off Democrats even more at the main stream media.

  134. 134
    Steeplejack says:


    Deep condolences on your loss. 🙏

  135. 135
    JPL says:

    @Butter emails!!!: It’s difficult to prove he didn’t.
    I wonder if the whistle blower knows that trump encouraged Russia to press on Ukraine’s leader to open an investigation.

  136. 136
    debbie says:


    If the other candidates don’t come out against this travesty, I for one will be upset. I know Pete did, but that’s all I read about.

    They all better speak very loudly, demanding an investigation of Trump’s business dealings. The nerve of that son of a bitch inquiring about anybody’s business dealings is beyond appalling!

  137. 137
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I just think it’s amazing that the NYTimes has now publicly committed to not covering the Trump scandal, and instead covering the Biden scandal. They aren’t covering the one that exists. They’re covering the one they haven’t found yet. They create their own world.

    I don’t know- their Iraq coverage maybe shoulda been the death knell for their credibility. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis died. If that doesn’t destroy credibility I don’t know what would. They sold a war on false premises. Is there a worse “error” than that?

  138. 138
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: @Butter emails!!!: and as we have good-bye to Cokie Roberts as she floats off to Broderhalla on a cloud of her impenetrable self-satisfaction, let us remember: It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it’s out there.

  139. 139
  140. 140
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I hope we don’t all have to regard wind bands as a signifier of bad politics now.

  141. 141
    Kay says:


    Kamala Harris came out strongly.

  142. 142
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JPL: @debbie: Warren had a good, strong statement, if a bit too pox-on-both-their-houses for me. This isn’t about “Congress”, this is about Republicans. I’m as frustrated as anyone by the dopes in and out of the D caucus who think impeachment is just a bit too far, but now is not the time for that. If you want to be the leader of the party, be partisan. It has the advantage of being true and necessary (4 tweet thread)

    Elizabeth Warren @ ewarren
    After the Mueller report, Congress had a duty to begin impeachment. By failing to act, Congress is complicit in Trump’s latest attempt to solicit foreign interference to aid him in US elections. Do your constitutional duty and impeach the president.

  143. 143
    eclare says:

    @Kay: She has a town hall here (Memphis) tomorrow night, I’m going.

  144. 144
  145. 145
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Cokie Roberts

    You’re forgetting that they all “know” her and she’s a wonderful human being. Because that’s what matters- their personal relationships with colleagues. They vouch for one another. You’re supposed to take their word on it. You know, because they’ve been such incredibly good judges of character. The track record there is just infallible.

    They NYTimes is now publicly invested in a Biden scandal. If they don’t find one they will cover it as if they did, because this is now about them, not Trump and not Biden. It is identical to the email story- exact same approach.

  146. 146
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Call out Mitt Romney by name. Do they still do that weekly or monthly lunch of women in the Senate? Call out your neighbor Susan Collins. Ask her explicitly if being chair of appropriations is worth abandoning the sanctity of elections and the rule of law. You like going to red/purple states? Go to AZ and ask why Martha McSally is so scared of the American people finding out the truth. Colorado’s trending blue, stop on your way from Phoenix and ask if they like having the Koch brothers office boy covering up for trump’s (or trumps’) corruption

  147. 147
    JPL says:

    @Kay: In order to woo me back, they offered me a $4.00 a month deal for a year. It expires in March, but I’m tempted to just cancel now.

  148. 148
    Steeplejack says:


    Elvis Costello at the White House, “Penny Lane.” Trumpet solo at 1:20.

  149. 149

    I don’t understand the Amy Argetsinger tweet? Flying solo? What?


    “Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriends deserve a future”

    Hey! At least he earned the money he pays them honestly.

  150. 150
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    i support Warren so I follow her pretty closely. She meant this statement to be a break from Democratic leadership- Schumer. It’s a much more aggressive posture for her. The candidates who are senators haven’t gone near Schumer’s role in all this and she’s signalling she’ll be going there. Warren chooses words very carefully. This is a big move for her and it’s deliberate.

  151. 151
    HinTN says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it’s out there.

    Exactly right. I remember her first utterance of those words and how instantly angry I became at the sanctimony entrenched in that assertion.

  152. 152
    Kay says:


    It’s almost amusing, that clip. The reporter seems annoyed the whistleblower interrupted the narrative he had planned :)

    Oops! News..happened. This pesky whistleblower crashed right into the middle of their Joe Biden story.

  153. 153
    eclare says:

    @Steeplejack: Wow, great performance, thanks.

  154. 154
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: that’s how I read it, and it’s not what I would have advised, as a certified dumb guy on the internet. Not now, not on this issue.

  155. 155
    Kay says:


    Maybe it doesn’t matter with Biden. He’s actually gaining support and they’ve been trashing him for weeks. I know rank and file Democrats are still pissed at what they did to Clinton. Maybe they’re immune to this now.

  156. 156
  157. 157
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: Democrats who support other candidates mostly don’t seem to be taking the bait and exploiting this to take down Biden.

  158. 158
    Steeplejack says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    I’m sure it was meant ironically.

  159. 159
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I wasn’t an impeachment fan but I AM a Warren fan so maybe I’m biased, but I do think it’s time to shove them. They’re not moving. They need a push. Especially Schumer, who is fucking AWOL. Bold move, Elizabeth! I hope it works.

  160. 160
    Steeplejack says:


    You might be able to get a replacement pump at PetSmart, etc., depending on your fountain model. Check the aquarium supplies.

  161. 161
    Calouste says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Seems like an appropriate location to bring up the stat again that the police in the whole of Germany, a country of 80 million people, fires about 100 shots a year on average.

  162. 162
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: I hold Schumer in minimum high regard, but it’s being played out on twitter as an attack on Pelosi, who is supposed to transform herself into the comic book history version of LBJ and get Max Rose and Jeff Van Drew to vote for impeachment with headlocks and noogies and threatening to give Dan Lipinski a swirly.

    ETA: I am also a Warren fan, but she can get out over her skis: Embracing Wilmer’s ‘the system is rigged’ rhetoric in ’16, embracing his version of M4A and now, apparently, backtracking. I think the non-native outrage about the DNA test was overblown, but it was an odd move for someone who at the time claimed to have been in a years’ long dialogue with the native community.

  163. 163
    Kay says:

    I just ordered a cake from a supermarket for a baby shower and I had to explain “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to the teenager who answers the phone. I was really close to singing it but then they put the cake lady herself on the phone.

    He’s not familiar with that. Not tracking on this concept.

  164. 164
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I love Pelosi, as you know, but they have to get their shit together. It’s not just the decision not to pursue it aggressively. It’s the disorder and dithering. Herd the fucking cats, Nancy. Go in one direction or another. I’m out of patience. They’re leaving a vaccum and if they do that someone will fill it.

  165. 165
    Steeplejack says:


    I don’t understand the Amy Argetsinger tweet?

    Guests at the state dinner. Kellyanne unescorted.

  166. 166
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: I too like Pelosi, but in the last couple years, she seems to take criticism personally– I’m thinking of some of her squabbles with “the Squad”, and I suspect the same is true with her “go ahead and leak that” comments of last week, which I think were sarcasm born of frustration. But I don’t see how you move the (my guess) two or three dozen impeachment opponents in the House by attacking Pelosi. She and Nadler and Schiff are trying to get people to pay attention while tamping down on Dems in disarray narratives. Trump’s stonewalling is working because Romney and Collins want it to work. Because Lamar “Runaway!” Alexander wants it to work. Because Richard Burr and Tom Tillis and Cory Gardner and Martha McSally want it to work. Go after them.

    ETA: she needs to be much more careful about her public statements. She sounded awful yesterday

  167. 167
    Kathleen says:

    @NotMax: He had a big hit record in the early 60’s – Stranger On the Shore

  168. 168
    Kathleen says:

    @NotMax: Downton – where all the blokes are bright…

  169. 169
    Kathleen says:

    @Baud: You mean “corporate”?

  170. 170
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Shades of Reagens people using Born in the USA because they thought it was patriotic. Most conservatives run on superficial emotions.

  171. 171
    debbie says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    It’s not even superficial emotions…the Reagan campaign literally and solely chose that song because of the words in the title of the song.

  172. 172
  173. 173
    Bill Arnold says:


    Here’s Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma’s rendition of the song in question.

    Thank you!

  174. 174
    JAFD says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Also a set of neo-Pagan lyrics for “Lord of the Dance” to that music of ‘Simple Gifts’

    Music was also used, IIRC, as the theme to “”CBS Reports” back in the ’80’s.

    Seems to me that Copland and his work have gone into the Great //Old// Classical Music category. Had friend who tought ‘Music 101’ , told stories of The Love Lives Of Great Composers that would make front of Nat’l Enquirer today, but who’ve been ‘canon-ized’ and ‘whitewashed’ …

    W. H. Auden wrote poem about that, IIRC

  175. 175
    prostratedragon says:

    @NotMax: My, but they’re good. Even the zombie march was cute.I knew the various bands could provide many different kinds of music, but this is the first pop-rock I’ve seen. Off the top of my head, Grady Tate is a top line jazz musician who started in a military band. I’m sure there are others.

  176. 176
    Bill Arnold says:


    It’s almost amusing, that clip. The reporter seems annoyed the whistleblower interrupted the narrative he had planned :)

    Am very much enjoying how people are starting to recognize and reject the narratives being constructed and cultivated by the quite-out-of-control NYTimes political team.[0] It’s so interesting to see orgs like Bloomberg doing the media policing work and story breaking.

    [0] For those who didn’t track it down,

    So basically Vogel is saying that if Trump and Rudy would tone it down and not make it so obvious that they are illegally seeking foreign election assistance it would be much easier for the NYT to help them weaponize the disinformation they are trying to spread 🤔— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) September 20, 2019

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