Friday Night Open Thread

What’s going on?

Two years sober this weekend. Woo.

Just watched Cornell West on Bill Maher, and the man is a moron.

Friday Night PopCult Dreams Open Thread: Trump Fantasizes Himself James Bond

Guy who wrote Art of the Deal for Trump:

Foreign security expert; Professor, Naval War College:

As many critics have pointed out, Ian Fleming wrote the first James Bond novels just as the sun was conclusively setting over the British Empire. While grey little MI bureaucrats coped with rationing coupons and currency restrictions, every day seemed to bring news of another embassy ceded or outpost overrun by lawless wogs and ungrateful colonials. But the imaginary Bond was an invicible Trickster, breezing past every finger-wagging Moneypenny and shadowy figurehead M to play one exciting scenario after another in a world of limitless funds, fast cars, exciting tech toys, bangable women, high-end cuisine, and a whole carefully-curated shopping list of the top consumer brands in every category. Even President Kennedy — who knew to a nicety just how much it cost to live like Bond — enjoyed the paperback fantasies where constant physical discomfort and the subliminal Cold War drumbeat of Mutually Assured Destruction could be ignored, however briefly.

Half a century later, as the American Exceptionalism empire ebbs, and even the bedrock verities of white racial superiority and ‘natural’ patriarchy are under assault, an aging New York developer stands in front of a full-length gilt mirror in his knockoff penthouse, adjusts his made-in-China self-branded tie, and whispers to himself “Trump. Donald Trump.”

First time as tragedy, second time as farce.

trump putin 16 make tyranny great again kasich20n-1-web-500x263

All The Good Shit Belongs to US

The last couple of days, we’ve heard over and over again from many Republicans the same sort of thing, typified by Charlie Sykes, the dean of conservative talk radio in Wisconsin:

Now first things first. Dems were always patriotic- it was Republicans who confused patriotism with just agreeing with whatever bullshit the government said while we rushed into war and had their heads so far up Rush Limbaugh’s ass they couldn’t see straight

At the same time, this was the most overt display of patriotism I have ever witnessed, but without what I felt was the jingoism of the right. And I gotta add, I find overt patriotism unsettling and uncomfortable outside World Cup events and the Olympics. I’m more of a hang a flag out front of the house and watch white people dance awkwardly on the PBS 4th of July specials than I am the tattoo an eagle on my chest and scream “USA!! USA!!” while pissing Budweiser on a stack of back issues of Le Monde. But that’s just me.

At any rate, what we can probably expect to see is that people of the, well, professional left, the guys who thought it was necessary to scream at a Marine General speaking during the convention (a guy who went all out for the Iran deal PRECISELY because he doesn’t want war) are probably going to start braying that the Democratic party left them and what not, and fail to realize that the Democratic party didn’t leave them, the Republican party just left their fucking senses.

That’s right. We Democrats get ALL THE GOOD SHIT NOW. We get the most progressive platform and agenda in my lifetime, we get to cheer for our troops and say NO MORE STUPID WARS. We get to stand up and say Black Lives Matter and thank the cops who risk their lives because we’re fucking smart enough to hold two god damned ideas in our heads. We get to stand up for a woman’s right to choose and gay people to marry and still get to rock the house as Rev. Barber brings down the fucking roof in the name of the almighty.

We get it all. We get all the good stuff. The whole kit and kaboodle. The Republicans get Trump and his dingy digits and we get to make them wear it and own it. Progressives didn’t lose the Democratic party. Republicans lost their fucking minds.

Sucks to be them. We get all the balloons, too.


See that look of pure joy on Bill’s face? That’s what I look like in the ice cream aisle at Kroger, btw.

This Really Happened

Mike Pence appeared on ghostly apparition Hugh Hewitt’s radio show today and complained about President Obama calling Donald Trump a “demagogue:”

While speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence took issue with Obama calling Trump a “demagogue” during his speech, saying that it made him feel disheartened.

“You know, I don’t think name calling has any place in public life, and I thought that was unfortunate that the President of the United States would use a term like that, let alone laced into a sentence like that,” he said.

Emphasis mine, because are you fucking kidding me? Has this half-wit not seen his own running mate’s Twitter account? Did he not watch any of the GOP debates? Here you go, Mike; try not to knock your head on the mahogany trim during your swoon:


Honest to dog, y’all, if I could add an immutable law to the universe, it might be to set a maximum level of hypocrisy that would make any creature exceeding it spontaneously combust. It might reduce every elected Republican Party official to an ash heap inside a week, but we could live with that, right? Open thread!

Chicken Makeover (Open Thread)

Via Buzzfeed, here’s a little girl in Brazil grooming a chicken:

I’m on pretty good terms with the hens, but I suspect my birds would peck me to pieces if I tried something like that. Open thread!

Dainty Digits Is on an Epic Twitter Tear

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Figured Trump would have a hissy fit over the convention speeches, especially actual multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s criticism. Yep:

He was yelling at people with his stumpy little thumbs all morning. I think we’re getting to the ambulatory Tang-colored scrotal sac, y’all!

Open Thread: And Take that Cigar Out of Your Mouth, Donald

Things that are too grotesque to parody, for a bazillion…

Trump has long refused to release his tax returns, saying that he is currently under audit. But asked Thursday night by Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren if he would release older tax returns that are not under audit, Trump said the beating Romney took in 2012 over his own tax returns should serve as a warning.

I remember with Mitt Romney four years ago, everybody wanted his, and his is a peanut compared to mine. It’s like a peanut. It’s very small. Not nearly as big a document. I mean, mine, you saw the picture where it’s two or three feet high,” Trump said.

“Now, they finally got it in September. He decided to give it. And they found a couple of little minor things. Little things that didn’t mean anything,” Trump continued. “He did nothing wrong. By the way, Mitt Romney did nothing wrong. But when they gave them, they found a couple of little sentences. If you remember Harry Reid lied about it. He told a dirty lie. And Mitt gave that and after he gave it, they found a little sentence and they made such a big deal. He might have lost the election over that.”…

Maybe a Democratic prankster can start following Trump’s campaign around, carrying a sign saying HARRY REID WILL LAUGH WHEN HILLARY TAKES YOUR PEANUT. But only out of sympathy, for our oppressed billionaire class!

Filling the bucket in vertically integrated medical practices

Idaho Flaneuse raised a good point in yesterday’s post regarding models of medical care and the economics of referral.

I wonder how this will work with the consolidation of doctor’s practices. Here in Boise most of the primary care practices have been bought by the hospitals here. I don’t have personal experience, but I think that some of the specialist practices have also been purchased by the hospitals. Seems likely to me that the doctor will send you to the hospital that owns them rather than the one that is rated the best. Will this leave the patient fighting to go to the better rated hospital or bearing a larger burden of cost if they don’t?

This is one of the big problems with system and delivery reform. The business model requires a lot more regional coordination without ownership barriers.

Hospitals buy up provider practices for a few reasons. Before last year’s budget bill, one of the big reasons was to transform outpatient centers into off-campus hospital facilities that could charge a much higher Medicare rate. That revenue hack is gone for new acquisitions. The other two reasons are prestige of the hospital now being able to offer a high profile program and referral patterns.
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Friday Morning Open Thread: This Is My Fight Song…

Miss Bianca says:
Secretary Clinton! Madame President-Elect! WOMAN WARRIOR!!

My fellow Americans, I was for her before, but now… *now* I feel like lightning just struck twice. First Obama, now Clinton.

We are not worthy. Oh, wait – yes, we are!

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Late Night Open Thread: Early Reviews

Major Major Major Major says:


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If you missed the sermon by the Reverend William Barber, please watch this theologically conservative, liberal, evangelical, biblicist speak about right and wrong, and the heart of our democracy. You owe it to yourself.


ETA: I found the full speech by Mr Khizr Khan, in which he is accompanied by his lovely wife. Also this.

Special mention of the gentleman delegate with the fab red turban.

Post-Acceptance DNC Open Thread: Fired Up — Ready to Go!


“There is more than enough of the American dream to go around.” — HRClinton

Shonda Rhimes made the video, and she did a most excellent job, didn’t she?

And here’s a faith call-out I can get behind, even as a devout animist:

No one gets through life alone.

We have to look out for each other and lift each other up.

She made sure I learned the words of our Methodist faith:

“Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.”

“when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone… Because when there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit!”


I’m already weeping, and I’m not even a Katy Perry fan…

We must be the moral defibrillators of our time (or, “I have a Constitution to lend you”).

DEM 2016 Convention_Timm (3)

Chickens before they hatch and all that…. but the thing I think I am most looking forward to is the photos of Bill walking into the White House as First Gentleman.

I’m a cynical old trout, but Bill’s beaming mug on my ipad has made me giggle like a schoolgirl for the last three days. It seemed like every time someone cracked a joke, or ripped into the Toupéed Apricot Fucktrumpet (but I repeat myself), there was Bill, grinnin’ like a dog with three balls and a bone.

It’s been a barn burner so far, and the leading lady is yet to hit the stage, but my votes for best supporting act go to the Reverend William Barber for:

“We must be the moral defibrillator of our time. We must shock this Nation with the power of love.”

and the equally righteous Mr Khizr Khan for offering his copy of the Constitution to the Hairpiece.

If anyone can link me to a video or a transcript of both, I’d be most grateful.



DNC Pinnacle Night #4 Open Thread


Courtesy, blessings upon them forever, the Guardian, livestreaming here.

There’s also the official livestream, which unfortunately right at the moment is showing backstage clips instead of the podium speakers…

Abdul-Jabbar introduces a video in which Clinton tells the story of Humayun SM Khan, an army soldier who died in a car bombing.

Now out stop Khizr Khan, the soldier’s father, and his wife, unintroduced.

Khan says they stand as parents of Khan “and as patriotic American Muslims.” They are fervently applauded.

This don’t look like Cleveland.