Every rose has its thorn

Sorry, Charlie:

Eight women have told The Washington Post that longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

Can’t say I’m surprised. I remember him drooling over Penelope Cruz in the most cringe-worthy manner on 60 Minutes once.

Always hated the guy. I’m partial to drunks but he took it a little too far on air.

Here’s thing with him and his ilk. Act like a fucking professional! Perv on all the women you want to on your own time but not when you’re working with them or worse yet when they work for you and certainly not when you’re on tv. Drink all you want but don’t show up for work visibly hung over every damn day. I guess I’m from the old school when it comes to doing your job.

Update. I didn’t mean Rose could grope women on his own time, that’s assault. I just mean if you want to hit on women in a clumsy way, do it at a bar, not at your workplace. People deserve a workplace that is free from having to deal with that kind of shit.

Fat Cat

My nightly ritual, shortly after feeding Steve, he informs me his meal was not enough:

He’s amazing.

Monday, the Video

Amazing. This will go down in TWC history.

Open Thread: Readership Capture

Meanwhile, in news of the current Oval Office occupant, from Buzzfeed

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster mocked President Trump’s intelligence at a private dinner with a powerful tech CEO, according to five sources with knowledge of the conversation.

Over a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz — who has been mentioned as a candidate for several potential administration jobs — McMaster bluntly trashed his boss, said the sources, four of whom told BuzzFeed News they heard about the exchange directly from Catz. The top national security official dismissed the president variously as an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner,” the sources said.

A sixth source who was not familiar with the details of the dinner told BuzzFeed News that McMaster had made similarly derogatory comments about Trump’s intelligence to him in private, including that the president lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council.

Both Oracle and the Trump administration heatedly denied the comments that Catz later recounted…

Man’s not wrong, is all I’m saying.

Time to Raise Hell

Because the very fact of President Obama’s existence as a beloved, accomplished, respected and self-made man is a grave narcissistic injury to the worthless whelp of Fred Trump, the Orange Fart Cloud has tried to undo everything his predecessor did. Now Trump is trying to ruin the economy that PBO rescued from the abyss.

The good news is, the GOP tax plan is deeply unpopular, and if we can put the fear of God in just a few Republicans, we can defeat it, which would hang another goose egg on the scoreboard, against all odds. (Trump has already given us an assist on that by trashing Senator Flake on Twitter — thanks, asshole!) Another legislative defeat would drive Trump even more batshit insane, causing him to lash out impotently at his own party and perhaps hastening the unraveling of the whole sorry mess.

So call/fax/email/tweet your senator, maybe? Here’s where to get contact info, in case you don’t already have them in your contact list (which you do). Thanks!

Odds and Ends (Open Thread)

GQ sent a reporter to Kentucky to see if he could ferret out the truth about why Rand Paul’s neighbor curb-stomped the Tribble-topped senator. As the reporter noted, the altercation was originally cast as a dispute over lawn care.

More recently, Paul’s staff and conservative outlets have been hinting darkly that the attacking neighbor was motivated by politics. But the GQ report suggests the simplest explanation: a clash of egotistical assholes. Excerpts:

If it is possible for a man, as he’s being hauled in front of a judge for his arraignment, to somehow still project an air of haughty superiority, well, that man would look like Rene Boucher did as he appeared in court just over a week ago.

If Paul is ever arraigned (FSM please!), he’ll project just such an “air of haughty superiority.” It’s his permanent state — possibly a consequence of an action all mothers warn against: “If you keep doing that, your face will freeze that way.” Paul kept doing that. Sounds like Boucher did too.

Jim Skaggs, who lives nearby (and is also the developer of the community), said that he thinks that Boucher charged at Paul from the street. From that direction, Paul’s yard slopes steeply downward, toward the lake at the rear of his property. Barreling downward, about 30 degrees, this imagined path would increase the force of a running tackle, perhaps explaining how a man of Boucher’s diminutive stature—an acquaintance of the two men estimates that they both stand five-foot-six and about 140 pounds—could do so much damage.

There’s also speculation that Boucher kicked the shit out of Paul while he was down. I’d bet money on it.

But across Bowling Green, sympathy for either man appears to be in short supply. [Bowling Green resident Bill] Goodwin described them as ‘two little shits’ who have brought embarrassment upon the town.

This has the ring of truth to my ear.

In other news, Kellyanne Conway jumps on the “Republicans for Child Molester Roy Moore” bandwagon because tax cuts. Transcript from Fox & Friends via MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin on Twitter:

The entire party is hopelessly depraved. But you knew that. Open thread!

The sick among the upper middle class will have more pain in their future

Senator Cassidy (R-LA) likes to talk about one of his constituents when he argues against the ACA. This family has $40,000 of health care costs every year and they don’t get any help to pay for those costs.

This is a real and growing problem.
The question is what policies improve or worsen the outcomes for families in this situation?

The Washington Post’s fact checkers chased down the family and their situation:

conservative talk-radio host named Moon Griffon. Cassidy invoked Griffon when he introduced the bill on Sept. 14….
Griffon used to get group insurance through an employer but then he moved and had to buy insurance on the individual market. He said he and his wife, a nurse, have a six-figure income, though “it’s not high but middle class.” They have two children: a 15-year-old son and a 20-year-old daughter who has seizures and needs to take four kinds of medicine.

There are a couple of ACA related items going on here. First, the family has a modified adjusted gross income of at least $98,000 and therefore they don’t qualify for subsidies. Secondly, they are keeping their daughter on the parent’s insurance. This is guaranteed by the ACA and was questionable pre-ACA. Third, their daughter has an expensive pre-existing condition but is covered.

They are paying too much for their insurance. And none of the policies that Senator Cassidy has voted for would improve their situation.

Read more

Monday Morning Open Thread: Fireball

Meteor entering the Earths Atmosphere over Italy in the Dolomites


From the Astronomy Picture of the Day website (Image Credit & Copyright: Ollie Taylor)… because we all miss Alain’s wonderful morning posts.

Apart from Thanksgiving prep/travel, what’s on the agenda for the start of another week?


Also entertaining, though on a far less elevated plane — from the Washington Post, “‘A long winter’: White House aides divided over scope, risks of Russia probe”:

Six months into a special counsel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, White House aides and others in President Trump’s close orbit are increasingly divided in their assessments of the expanding probe and how worried administration officials and campaign aides should be about their potential legal peril, according to numerous people familiar with the debate…

The investigation reached a critical turning point in recent weeks, with a formal subpoena to the campaign, an expanding list of potential witnesses and the indictments of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates. Some within Trump’s circle, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus, have already been interviewed by Mueller’s investigators, while others such as Hope Hicks — the White House communications director and trusted confidant of the president — and White House counsel Donald McGahn are expected in coming weeks.

One Republican operative in frequent contact with the White House described Mueller’s team “working through the staff like Pac-Man.”

“Of course they are worried,” said the Republican, who insisted on anonymity to offer a candid assessment. “Anybody that ever had the words ‘Russia’ come out of their lips or in an email, they’re going to get talked to. These things are thorough and deep. It’s going to be a long winter.” …

The president himself, however, has warmed to Cobb’s optimistic message on Mueller’s probe. Cobb had initially said he hoped the focus on the White House would conclude by Thanksgiving, but adjusted the timeline slightly in an interview last week, saying he remains optimistic that it will wrap up by the end of the year, if not shortly thereafter…

But the reassurances from Cobb and others — which seem at least partially aimed at keeping the president calm and focused on governing — are viewed by others as naive.

“The president says, ‘This is all just an annoyance. I did nothing,’ ” said one person close to the administration. “He is somewhat arrogant about it. But this investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up. You have to anticipate this roll-up will reach everyone in this administration.”…

In fact, legal experts and private defense lawyers monitoring the case believe that Mueller’s investigation — which officially began in May and resulted in its first charges against three former campaign aides last month — is still in its early stages.

They expect that the prosecutors have considerable investigative work still to do, and they predict more campaign officials, among others, will face charges. They expect the probe to extend deep into 2018 and possibly longer…

This sounds promising…

Via ABC News:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.

In particular, Mueller’s investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it.

Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel’s first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.

Trump confessed obstruction to Lester Holt, FFS. But this report is encouraging because, if true, it indicates the investigators are going hard after the clown mob boss himself, not just the sideshow lackeys.

The whole fucking bunch needs to go down, and I hope they’re sweating so hard over Thanksgiving that the brigade of imported custodial staff at Disgraceland in Palm Beach has to stand by with mops and buckets.

Late Night Thanksgiving Food Atrocities Open Thread

Since even a skilled cook can find it difficult to make a modern pre-frozen Butterball bird corpse taste like anything other than poultry-flavored styrofoam, it’s not surprising that every few years there’s a new fad — brining! deep-frying! — intended to add novelty to the “essential centerpiece” of our national celebratory Bloat.

The NY Daily News blames this year’s novelty, courtesy the Reynolds Corporation, on “Instagram chefs — who cook things just for their photo value”. (Of course Kids These Days is another time-honored perennial.)

It also predicts worse for the future, difficult as that might be to imagine…

One Hundred and Fifty-Four Years Ago: The Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

(Lincoln Address Memorial, US National Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA)

One hundred and fifty-four years ago today Abraham Lincoln gave an address to dedicate the national cemetery. He did so about 300 yards from where the memorial in the picture above stands, hence the explanatory marker in the lower left. Lincoln’s address, now known as the Gettysburg Address, was written in DC and revised upon his arrival in Gettysburg.

As is often the case with historic documents before the advent of carbon paper, let alone photocopying, word processors, and computers, there are multiple surviving versions of Lincoln’s dedicatory remarks. This includes two copies written before the speech, including the actual reading copy, and three others prepared for specific individuals after the speech. You can read all five versions here. The Nicolay copy, which was written on White House stationery also includes Lincoln’s revisions and additions after his arrival in Gettysburg on a second page of foolscap, is the reading copy he delivered at Gettysburg on 19 November 1863.

The Nicolay Copy (2nd and Reading Draft) of the Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow, this ground—The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us —that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

(Nicolay Copy of the Gettysburg Address)

And here is what I always think of as the definitive documentation of how President Lincoln drafted his remarks.

A Tern for the Worse

Bad bird puns open thread?

Or we could discuss what an utterly graceless, classless, clueless, embarrassing clown the president is:

Foul or fowl — your choice.

There’s a gun in your hand and it’s pointed at your head

The GOP tax bill is incredibly unpopular

If you read carefully, you’ll see that no other major legislation of the past 25 years has polled below 40%, except for the ACA repeal bill.

I happen to think that the tax bill is *more* politically damaging for Republicans than ACA repeal. Here’s why: unlike working class people who vote Republican, upper middle-class people who vote Republican pay attention to how government actions affect their finances. They’re probably still mostly motivated by racism/tribalism, but they don’t want their tax deductions to go away. If they do go away, they may stop voting Republican.

Democrats are *already* +11 in the generic ballot. No one has won the House by 11 points since 1982.

I hope to God this piece of shit doesn’t pass. I wish Republicans in Congress cared about the country. They don’t. Some do care about getting re-elected. If they do, they should vote against this thing.

SNL Speaks for All of Us


Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Moulding the Future (Veggie)


This actually makes sense in a culture, like Japan, where individual perfect fruits are considered an essential gift for business clients or social visits — the way Americans treat wine or flowers. I suspect it would be difficult or impossible to make them profitably here, since we’ve been so conditioned to treat ‘unprocessed’ food as something that should be cheap. Although, given the upswing in “artisanal” every-damn-edibles, maybe that’s changing?

There are cheaper, no doubt much less durable versions of some of the simpler moulds available from American companies. I remember seeing an ad for an “ugly old man potato” mould from a Midwestern company some years ago. Which reminded me of the ending of a particularly unpleasant villain in Terry Pratchett’s novel The Truth

So I checked out the website referenced in the video. Sure enough, an American contacted them about producing pumpkins in the likeness of a certain American politician, but the kickstarter to fund wider production failed rather spectacularly. I still like the idea of growing little ugly-dude potatoes, though: “That’s not the right type for boiling, it’s a fryer!”

Apart from gearing up for the Thanksgiving Experience, what’s going on in your garden(s) planning, this week?