Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: What News of Maine’s “Human Bowling Jacket” Governor?

I have a mild case of the spindizzies, and it’s making me even crankier than usual. But I’m still about 80 IQ points and some head trauma away from “cranky like Paul LePage.”

I will also point out, for any Purity Ponies lurking, that LePage is what happens when the “True Progressive” becomes the enemy of the “at least he’s not Paul LePage” mere Democratic machine candidate.

To quote Mr. Charles P. Pierce, Paul LePage always brings dignity to the office.”

The Only Commercial Clinton Needs

That. Just have a voiceover that says “Donald Trump says he only hires the best people and that is how he will run the country. This is his doctor.”

Let the bad SNL doctor roleplay speak for 50 seconds, and then say “I’m Hillary Clinton and I agree with this commercial.”

The end.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Pears and Grilling

Pears Pecorino Walnuts

Pears, Pecorino and Walnuts over pasta

I am heading out for the evening, hoping this will post okay in my absence. This was one of my favorite new recipes, I’d never heard of mixing pears and cheese over pasta, but come to find out, it’s actually a very popular ravioli. I think this recipe has all the flavor without all the work. From the recipe blog:


Sometime contributor Michael Fallai shares a lot of terrific recipes on Facebook. The only hitch is they are often in Italian. Tonight’s featured recipe was one of those. If you ever want a laugh, let Google translate a recipe for you…and don’t let dissolve cheese in a water bath, or let your wine evaporate on flame lively intimidate you.

Perusing the weekly ads, I pulled together a few recipes based on what was on sale this week and headed out to the grill.

First up, Curried Turkey Burgers, recipe here. Great served on fresh pita and grill some fresh eggplant from the garden.

Collard greens were everywhere at the farmer’s market last weekend, so Collard Greens with Bacon seems timely, click here.

The dinner menu took advantage of the abundance of pears right now, Grilled Salmon in Dill Sauce with Pear Raspberry Salad. Click here for recipes and full menu.


JeffreyW and Mrs. J made some delicious looking Cream Horns (and to this Italian girl, seems the only difference between these and Cannoli is the filling). Purty pictures and directions can be found here.

What’s on your menu this last weekend of August? What garden fresh items are you enjoying right now? What are you grilling up?

Tonight’s featured recipe (pictured at top) became a poignant reminder of the earthquake in Italy. I had pulled it off the Italy site, translated it and put the ingredients on my shopping list just days before it hit.

Here is my version:

Pasta with Pears, Pecorino and Walnuts

  • 10 oz linguine pasta
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large pears, very ripe, cored and cubed
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano (plus extra for garnish)
  • 4 oz cream cheese or Mascarpone, cut into small cubes
  • dash of white wine (opt)
  • salt and pepper to taste

skillet, large pot

Bring water to boil in large pot, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente.  Drain but do not rinse and add back to pot, off heat.

While pasta is cooking, heat skillet on medium heat, add walnuts. Stir constantly until lightly toasted, remove and set aside.

Add butter to skillet and melt before adding pears. Stir gently until well coated with butter. Cook until softened, gently stirring occasionally (you don’t want to break up the pears).

Add both cheeses and stir in completely. Let simmer on medium heat until lightly boiling. Add wine and let simmer away (about 5 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine pasta, pear mixture and walnuts in large pot and mix well. Serve with extra Pecorino for garnish.


That’s it for this week. I’m sorry I don’t have a new photo of Bixby for National Dog Day.  Have a great weekend, enjoy the fading days of August – TaMara

Update your iPhones and iPads Immediately

An Israeli company, the NSO Group, that sells hacking solutions to governments to allow them to access people’s tech, has found a way to get around iOS security.  So if you’ve got an iPhone or an iPad or anything else running iOS, go to settings and software update and download and install the patch that Apple pushed out yesterday!

T-14 Hours


Here’s a picture of sweet Ole Walter taking a look around the yard after dinner. Spoke with the driver, who is actually from around this area even though he and the company are down in Kentucky, and he knows right where I live, so another uncanny coincidence. Small world.

People are coming by to say bye bye, and before you know it he will b e whisked off to his new forever home with Debit. Such a lucky doggie.

Everyone keeps asking if I am going to miss him, and the simple answer is I am not. I mean, he’s a sweet, wonderful boy, but when I found him I never once got it into my head that I would keep him. I just never thought of him as “my” dog. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t. I knew what had to be done- he just needed to be picked up, fixed up, and sent off on his way, and thanks to you good people he can and is going to be heading west in style.

Soccer Open Thread

Good evening all. I don’t really have much too add, except that I am glad that Arsenal finally loosened their purse strings a little.

Feel free to share what’s on your mind. Some suggested topics:

  1. Is Hope Solo’s punishment too harsh?
  2. Thoughts on the transfer market.
  3. Champion’s League Draw.

Have at it!

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite! Liberte and Egalite Have Won Edition


(Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People)

France’s highest administrative court, The State Council/Council de Etat, overturned the local burkini bans that had popped up in French beach towns over the past several weeks. The panel of three senior judges ruled that the ban:

“has dealt a serious and clearly illegal blow to fundamental liberties such as the freedom of movement, freedom of conscience and personal liberty.”

They found that no evidence produced in favour of the prohibition proved a risk to public order was being caused by “the outfits worn by some people to go swimming”.

 There will, of course, be pushback. The Mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet, who is also a member of France’s parliament, has indicated that he will push legislation in the next session to address the issue. Municipal authorities in Nice, Frejus, and Sisco have already stated that they will keep the ban in place despite the ruling. We will now have to wait and see how the different levels of French government, and the French themselves, reconcile themselves to the Council de Etat’s ruling.

The Best People

There is this guy.  He’s running for president.  He himself is not particularly experienced at most (all) of what a president does, but we’re not to worry.

Why not?

Because he’s not the detail guy.  He’s the big picture guy, the boss.  He hires the folks who lift and tote.

But that’s OK.



“My motto is ‘Hire the best people…”  (Donald Trump: Think Big, 2007).

And now, let us savor:

Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign chief is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.

Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s election campaign, has an active voter registration at the house in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which is vacant and due to be demolished to make way for a new development….


Election officials in Miami-Dade make clear to prospective voters that they are required to actually live in the county and to use their home address in election paperwork. “You must reside in Miami-Dade County,” their website states. It adds: “When you register to vote, an actual residence address is required by law.” A county spokeswoman did not respond to questions relating to Bannon’s situation.

Three neighbors said the house where Bannon is currently registered to vote had been abandoned for three months. When the Guardian visited the property on Thursday a large window in the front aspect was missing. A soiled curtain was blowing through it. The driveway was a mess of tree branches and mud.

Bannon never appeared at the house, according to the neighbors.

What’s most striking is that this apparent prima facie  voter fraud — while the more likely to get Bannon into actual legal difficulties — is in a moral sense the lesser of two scandals that have dropped over the last twenty four hours.  Because we’ve also learned this:

Stephen K. Bannon, the new CEO of the Donald Trump campaign, was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness following an incident in early January 1996, though the case was ultimately dismissed, according to a police report and court documents.

That witness:

The Santa Monica, Calif., police report says that Bannon’s then-wife claimed he pulled at her neck and wrist during an altercation over their finances, and an officer reported witnessing red marks on her neck and wrist to bolster her account. Bannon also reportedly smashed the phone when she tried to call the police.

The details get uglier:

Bannon then got his lawyer on the case, who allegedly “threatened” Piccard and told her she “would have no money [and] no way to support the children” if the case went to trial.

Bannon then told Piccard to skip town.

He said “that if I wasn’t in town they couldn’t serve me and I wouldn’t have to go to court,” she claimed in the document.

Piccard left for two weeks before Bannon’s attorney said she could return, according to the declaration.

“Because I was not present at the trial, the case was dismissed,” she said in the documents.

That second quote is from The New York Post. That would be the Rupert Murdoch-owned Post, which is an added twist to this tale.  What is the true state of Trump-Murdoch relations?

But leave aside that kind of political inside baseball.  The most compelling element to the story of Bannon’s thuggery is that it is an unexpected, deep look into his character.  Through it we can discover what kind of person Donald Trump — a major party nominee for President, with a genuine, non-zero chance of achieving that office — thinks is one of  “the best people.”

It ain’t pretty.  The Post‘s coverage continues:

Bannon had allegedly also earlier told Picccard, who was then his girlfriend and the expectant mother of their twin girls, that he would only agree to marry her if the kids were “normal.”

He married her on April 14, 1995, three days before the twins were born.


Worst of all — at least it seems to me — Bannon is a man who would do this:

Piccard alleged in another document that Bannon believed in corporal punishment for the girls, even though he rarely saw them.

She cited as one example that Bannon allegedly spanked one of his toddler daughters to try to stop her from hitting her head against the crib.

Piccard claimed that when she intervened, he exploded, calling her “f—ing crazy” and saying if he hadn’t been interrupted, “she wouldn’t be banging her head anymore.”

Beating any adult is reprehensible.  Whacking on a child, a toddler? (And no, I don’t think “spanking” in this context is likely to have been a gentle swat on the bum.)  There are special circles of hell for those folks.

I left out the last half of the Trump quote at top.  In full, it reads “My motto is ‘Hire the best people, and don’t trust them.’”

As none should him.

Images:  John Sell Cotman, Ruined House betw. 1807 and 1810.

George Romney, Mother and Childundated, before 1802.

It would be, it would be so nice

This blog was talking about The War On Christmas before The War On Christmas was cool. We’ve been waiting ten years for TWOC to become a general election campaign issue. That day has finally come.

While listing the reasons why his father ran for president in an interview published Thursday, Eric Trump pointed to the tree on the White House lawn and claimed it was renamed the “Holiday tree.”


“Or, he sees the tree on the White House lawn has been renamed ‘Holiday tree’ instead of ‘Christmas tree.’ I could go on and on for hours. Those are the very things that made my father run, and those are the very things he cares about.”

Fuck yeah.

Begin the beguine

Is it too early to predict that Republicans will impeach Hillary while the media cheers them on?

Whatever its cause, the media’s general Hillary Clinton loathing is a foundational truth that would define her as president. Even a landslide victory in November would surely be accompanied by a sidebar emphasizing how very unpopular and utterly disliked she is; and how her presidency could not have been possible without the utter decrepitude of Donald Trump.

Republicans, as longtime Clinton friend and adviser James Carville predicted this week on Bloomberg and MSNBC, would surely declare her presidency to be both accidental and illegitimate because of phantom “voter fraud” and Trump’s distortion of the political alchemy. If the past eight years of is prologue, the GOP will paint this supposed illegitimacy onto every proposal out of the Clinton White House; from budget bills to Supreme Court nominations, and attempt to freeze the federal government in place until 2020, when Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio can have another go.

The Republican-controlled House would likely begin to immediately investigate the new president, rehashing the amorphous, never-ending media bait that is “emailgate,” perhaps with an eye toward impeachment. And their cries of “corruption” and “criminality” will be duly covered by We, the Media, reinforcing the age-old narrative of Clintonian chicanery in a public already battered by Bad Hillary narratives.

Not Even an Orkin Army…

Donald Trump’s Twitter meltdown in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s scorching speech continues into day #2:

The greengrocer’s apostrophe lets us know it’s really Trump. It’s also heartening to see that Clinton’s speech didn’t drive Trump’s army of pallid meme-froggies and white genocide kooks underground:

Is that person using Dylann Roof’s photo as an avatar, or is he just another ugly-ass white boy with a bad haircut? No matter: Keep showing us who you — and your idol — are, malignant creeps!

Meanwhile, Trump claims not to know what the “alt-right” is, denies that it exists and disavows knowledge of his campaign chief’s involvement in it. Check him out at the 5:10 mark:

He’s lying, of course. It’s usually safe to attribute Trump’s actions to stupidity, but here we’ve hit upon the one area of expertise he actually possesses: an ability to rile up the rubes.

There’s just no chance Trump didn’t know exactly what Bannon was. Trump might fire Bannon tomorrow if the association with the Breitbart hate site proves untenable (which would happen TODAY if the Beltway press devoted 1/1000th of the attention they’ve lavished on Clinton’s innocuous emails to perusing that site).

But it won’t change that Trump knew exactly what he was inviting to take center stage in the GOP tent. Good luck with that fumigation, craven Republican assholes.

And Kentucky just got worse

Kentucky released their revised Medicaid waiver application earlier this week.  We had looked at their draft application a few months ago.   The base story in their draft application was that people on Legacy Medicaid would barely be touched by the institution of road blocks, bureaucratic barriers, confusion and add-on requirements.  The Medicaid expansion population that is currently being served by a straight Expansion would be hit by the creation of Health Savings Accounts, lock-outs, job training requirements and half a dozen other systems of friction to get people to not sign up.

I am a firm believing that budgets are profoundly moral documents and the draft document’s solution to customizing Medicaid was to make it more confusing while serving fewer people at higher trend rates.

The final version was released and there is minimal change in the budgetary outcomes.

KY 1115 Final

Again the plan is the same.  Magic pixie dust will be sprinkled on the kids in Medicaid to bring down their trend cost rate but most of the enrollment side barriers won’t touch the kids.  Adult Legacy Medicaid which in Southern states means the completely disabled, poor pregnant women and extraordinarily poor working parents will see an annual 2.2% decline in enrollment instead of half a percent increase.  Roughly one in eight member months that Kentucky anticipated covering with no change will now not be covered.  The cost trend rate will be roughly the same.  That implies the people who are not being covered are costing roughly the same as the people who still have coverage so it is not a matter of kicking out the healthy people and only covering the sick as that would have had at least a one time bump in per member per month (PMPM)  cost trends.

Medicaid Expansion adult is where things are still very screwy.  The enrollment gains will be reversed at a higher rate than the Adult Legacy population.  At the end of 5 years, 13% fewer member months will be covered.  This time, the cost trends hint that the actuaries project that healthy/low utilizing people will be the ones driven from the program as we see a noticable bump in trend PMPM rates.

Medicaid 1115 waivers are supposed to cost the Feds no more money.  This proposal meets that criteria.  They are also supposed to be at least coverage neutral.  This proposal fails miserably on this aspect.  The next best alternative to approving this waiver is the continuation of the status quo and a forty seven page technical response document by CMS staff.  The threat by Governor Bevin to pull out of Medicaid entirely is a non-credible threat as that destroys Kentucky’s medical system.

Friday Morning Open Thread: Happy International Dog Day!

A made-up gimmick of a holiday intended to push… awareness of how many good dogs are waiting for homes. Because we all need more excuses to talk about our four-legged companions.

zevon image 2011

(Zevon, via Papillon Rescue PA)

Yes, there are people who take even worse pictures of their beloved pets than John Cole.

gloria lasers

(Gloria, accidental failed foster —–>)

sydney be a lert(<----- Sydney, via State Island shelter)


(For balance: National Cat Day is October 29th.)

Apart from remembering the good stuff, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up the week?

Late Night Hate-Fic Open Thread: Entertaining But *Very* NSFW

Owen Ellickson is an evil genius, and if you have a taste for nasty political humor you should most definitely be reading him on the regular. Just not at work, or around people with delicate sensibilities…

Late Night Open Thread: Media Village Idiots, Projecting Harder Than An Octoplex of IMAXes

Read more