Late Night Open Thread: SAD!

(Courtesy of Schroedinger’s Cat)
.

Not us Dems, of course — but this guy:

What’s that again, Donald?…



Kinsley Gaffe Dead Ahead

Oh, my.

Republicans are everything we said they were.








Late Evening/Early Morning Open Thread: Floriduh Man Brunch in Unusual Places Edition

So this happened.

ABC 10 News has the details.

LAKELAND, Fla. – A man’s desire to eat pancakes in the middle of the road got him in trouble with the police.

On Monday, Lakeland Police Department received a call that a man was sitting in the middle of a crosswalk eating pancakes on a small TV table. He was disrupting the flow of traffic by causing an obstruction.

Police came to the area, yet the man had left prior to their arrival. A video of the incident was posted on Facebook and the police were able to track down 21-year-old Kiaron Thomas as the flapjack-eating man.

Thomas admitted he ate the pancakes in the middle of the road as a prank.

Thomas was charged with obstruction in the roadway and disrupting the free flow of traffic. He will appear in court for the pancake prank in April.

Mmmmm pancakes!








Friday Night Open Thread

Glad to see that ACA got a temporary reprieve- now we need to be make sure they don’t kill it with 1000 cuts.

At any rate, I picked up the car today from the shop, and after a sacrifice of blood and money to the Subaru gods, my car is running like a champion. Thought I would share part of my conversation with the dealership guy to demonstrate why they hate me but love my money:

Subaru guy: Ok. You’re all ready to go. Here’s what we did. We-

Me: I’m not going to understand this.

Subaru guy: -something something sensor something something bushings something something injector something something next oil change something something come back in 30k miles.

Me: What about the blinking tire pressure gauge thing?

Subaru guy: We checked the TPS and it is ok and your tires are fine and inflated ok.

Me: What if it starts blinking again?

Subaru guy: Just ignore it. It just means your tires might need some air or the battery might be dying on it.

Me: They MIGHT need some air? Isn’t that precisely the same amount of information I had in my Subaru that DIDN’T have a TPS? What’s the point of that thing then?

Subaru guy: *Pauses* If the light comes on and stays on then get your tires checked.

Me: You just told me to ignore the light.

Subaru guy: Only if it is just blinking. If it comes on and stays on you have a problem.

Me: How can we be sure? We already have no idea what it means when it is blinking, why should we trust it if it comes on and stays on?

Subaru guy: *Pauses* I’ve never known that light to come on and stay on unless there is a problem.

Me: Ok, whatever. What about the check engine light?

Subaru guy: It’s off.

Me: It was off when I came here. Did you fix whatever it was that was making it go on?

Subaru guy: We think so. But if it comes back on come back and we will fix it.

Me: Isn’t that why I am here right now?

Subaru guy: *Pauses*

Me (sensing there is hate building in his heart): You know what, never mind. How much?

At any rate, the car ran like a dream, and I saw a noticeable increase in gas mileage, and apparently the bushings have something to do with the way it rides, because it was so much better and really fun to drive. I took advantage of the beautiful weather and headed to Pittsburgh to pick up an antique armoire we found on Craigslist for $100 bucks, and man is it a beauty. This thing is worth a helluva lot more.

I put it right in the foyer as soon as you walk in the front door. It’s off center right now because I need to get something for the legs so they don’t fall through the cold air intake, but it looks perfect there. It’s cedar lined, and has drawers on the right side and a space to hang jackets and put shoes on the left side.

My house is really starting to shape up. Now I need to figure out what to hang above it the armoire.



Friday Recipe Exchange: Slow-Cooker Meals By Request

What’s this? Recipes? On a Friday night? Crazy, right? So, anything interesting go on today?

I received a request from The Mighty Trowel, friend of blog from Down Under, for some slow-cooker recipes as they move into fall.  I think Slow-cookers are one of the most versatile appliances in the kitchen – you can make a nice pot roast dinner, or recipes as simple as soups and stews. The best part is coming home from work or long hike and know dinner is ready to go and the house smells wonderful.

For recipes, let’s start with JeffreyW’s Italian Beef, pictured above and the recipe here.

A surprisingly easy and tasty Spinach Lasagna recipe is here.

Pulled Pork two ways, click here for both, makes great sandwiches or wraps, .

Then something different, and a childhood favorite meal, Brunswick Stew, recipe here. (Posting this makes me smile, because the last time I posted the recipe, commenters informed me that REAL Brunswick Stew is made with squirrel. You’re welcome to substitute as needed).

And finally, a Turkey Bean Soup,  recipe found here.

For all our slow-cooker recipes, click here and here.

I also posted my updated recipe for Extra Crispy Oven Fried Chicken today, you can find it here.

What’s on your menu this weekend? Have any slow-cooker recipes to share with The Mighty Trowel – I’m sure they would be appreciated. Vegetarian recipes would be great, we like to do at least one a week here, so new ideas are always welcome.

I really like tonight’s featured recipe because it is very simple, but so very tasty. I often make it when I have a crowd visiting. The recipe below serves 4 and I always double it.  It’s a great recipe for letting everyone help themselves when they are hungry. I toss the pasta with olive oil and put it in the refrigerator and leave the beef simmering in the slow-cooker on low for the entire day. They can mix the two when they are hungry. The longer the beef cooks, the better it gets. It’s always a hit with everyone.

Portuguese Beef & Pasta

  • 1 lb round steak, cut into thin strips, remove excess fat
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (reserve ¼ for beans)
  • 1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2-14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf (remove before serving)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 8 oz dry macaroni**

Slow-Cooker and saucepan

Add beef, salt, pepper, onion, green pepper, garlic, paste, diced tomatoes, water, bay leaf & red pepper to Slow-Cooker. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions (usually 8-10 hours on low) until beef tears easily with a fork. In saucepan, cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain well (you don’t want any water in your beef mixture) and mix beef and pasta in serving bowl.








The Maskirovka Slips XI*: Updates to Four Ongoing Components

Three quick updates to our ongoing coverage of Putin’s campaign of active measures, dezinformatziya, kompromat, and cyberwarfare against the US, the EU and its member states, and NATO and its member states.

First up, if you’re going to try for clever keep your mouth shut!

Additionally Congressman Nunes had not actually seen anything that he talked about at his two press conferences or with the President on Wednesday. He does not actually know what, if anything, was incidentally collected or if anything even was.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not know “for sure” whether President Donald Trump or members of his transition team were even on the phone calls or other communications now being cited as partial vindication for the president’s wiretapping claims against the Obama administration, according to a spokesperson.

“He said he’ll have to get all the documents he requested from the [intelligence community] about this before he knows for sure,” a spokesperson for Nunes said Thursday. Nunes was a member of the Trump transition team executive committee.

And that was before he destroyed what was left of his committee this morning.

It is important to note that Congressman Schiff is a former Federal prosecutor who has successfully prosecuted an FBI agent who was working for the Russians. He understands counterintelligence and he has successfully prosecuted a criminal case that arose out of a counterintelligence investigation. Congressman Nunes has a masters degree in agricultural science.

Secondly, and still involving the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Paul Manafort wants to come in out of the cold.

And now Roger Stone and Carter Page are looking to get a foot in the door to play let’s make a deal!

But, you ask, what about LTG Flynn? Surely you couldn’t forget LTG Flynn? No, I have not. Our third entry this Friday afternoon is that LTG Flynn, while working for both the Turkish government as an unregistered foreign agent and the President as his campaign’s national security advisor, proposed kidnapping Fethullah Gulen from his home in Pennsylvania and rendering him back to Turkey – outside of the actual, formal, and required by law extradition process. This is usually referred to as kidnapping. It is also, usually, a crime!

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, while serving as an adviser to the Trump campaign, met with top Turkish government ministers and discussed removing a Muslim cleric from the U.S. and taking him to Turkey, according to former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey, who attended, and others who were briefed on the meeting.

The discussion late last summer involved ideas about how to get Fethullah Gulen, a cleric whom Turkey has accused of orchestrating last summer’s failed military coup, to Turkey without going through the U.S. extradition legal process, according to Mr. Woolsey and those who were briefed.

Mr. Woolsey told The Wall Street Journal he arrived at the meeting in New York on Sept. 19 in the middle of the discussion and found the topic startling and the actions being discussed possibly illegal.

 Mr. Woolsey said the idea was “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away.” The discussion, he said, didn’t include actual tactics for removing Mr. Gulen from his U.S. home. If specific plans had been discussed, Mr. Woolsey said, he would have spoken up and questioned their legality.It isn’t known who raised the idea or what Mr. Flynn concluded about it.

You know you have lost what little grip on reality you may have had when you’re proposing things that make DCI Woolsey uncomfortable.

Finally, we have our fourth update: Marine Le Pen has traveled to Russia to meet with her handler, boss, and krysha, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin has received Marine Le Pen in the Kremlin in a surprise move likely to reignite fears in Europe about Russian support for the European far right.

Putin told Le Pen Russia had no intention of meddling in the French presidential elections, though the meeting is likely to send the opposite message.

Speaking after their meeting, Le Pen said Putin represented “a sovereign nation” and “new vision”.

“A new world has emerged in the past years. This is Vladimir Putin’s world, Donald Trump’s world in the United States, Mr [Narendra] Modi’s world in India,” she added.

“I think I am probably the one who shares with all these great nations a vision of cooperation and not one of subservience – a hawkish vision that has too often been expressed by the European Union.”

Putin, of course, stated that Russia has no intention of interfering in the upcoming French elections.

“We do not want to influence events in any way, but we retain the right to meet with all the different political forces, just like our European and American partners do,” said Putin.

Bloomberg Politics reports that Le Pen’s visit is all about the money. Le Pen and the Front National are a bought and paid for arm of the Russian government. Which makes sense because otherwise a nationalist party that believes that the nation it seeks to lead should be dominated by Russia would be hard to understand.

“Russia is a decisive element of the balance of power that could help bring peace to the world,” she said during her Feb. 23 speech in Paris on foreign policy. “Russia has been mistreated by the EU and its vassal France,” she said.

Russia’s First Czech-Russian Bank OOO helped her finance an earlier campaign with a 9-million-euro loan in 2014. In the same year, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen’s political fund Cotelec received another 2-million-euro loan from a Russian-backed fund based in Cyprus, news website Mediapart reported.

Le Pen is still seeking a loan to help her finance her presidential run. She says French banks are refusing to lend her the millions of euros she needs. So far, she has a 6-million-euro loan from Cotelec, according to wealth filings with authorities made public this week.

A couple of final odds and ends. Putin has taken advantage of all the tumult in DC this week, as well as the successful attack in London, to escalate his war against Ukraine and to make some mischief in Belarus.

One last note: I’ve mentioned in comments a couple of times that all of the open source reporting and documentation is showing more and more penetration and penetration at all levels. This includes conservative organizations such as the NRA. If anyone was wondering how Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and Trump campaign surrogate wound up in Moscow getting a briefing from Russia’s Foreign Ministry, well we now know:

In March 2014, the U.S. government sanctioned Dmitry Rogozin—a hardline deputy to Vladimir Putin, the head of Russia’s defense industry and longtime opponent of American power—in retaliation for the invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Eighteen months later, the National Rifle Association, Donald Trump’s most powerful outside ally during the 2016 election, sent a delegation to Moscow that met with him.

The NRA delegation’s 2015 trip to Russia took place the same week, lasting from Dec. 8-13, according to Clarke’s public financial disclosure forms, (PDF), and included not only the people who met with Rogozin but a number of other NRA dignitaries, including donors Dr. Arnold Goldshlager and Hilary Goldschlager, as well as Jim Liberatore, the CEO of the Outdoor Channel.

Here’s the link to Clarke’s disclosure form.

I’ll have more about this next week.

Stay frosty!

* This is the actual eleventh maskirovka post, I misnumbered number ten as eleven. I apologize for any inconvenience.



Friday Evening Open Thread: Repubs Be LOOOOSERRRSSSS!

Yes, it’s only one battle, the GOP will never give up, think of the Media Village Idiots whose cocktail-party weekend has just been ruint, yadayadayada. As a devout Cynic, I’ve always felt that one of our Democrats’ greatest weaknesses is that we can never stop looking for the defeat lurking behind every victory. Tomorrow, we gird for the next fight — tonight, we celebrate!

Apart from cheering our warriors, what’s on the agenda as we start our well-earned weekend?

(And I am “open” to being handed a large bag of money, no strings attached. LOSER!)



About This Afternoon

These messages, encountered on a foggy morning on the Venice (CA) boardwalk last week, seem on point:

Sorry for the soft focus — I had only time to grab a quick phone shot; these bearers of wisdom disappeared before I could unlimber some more sophisticated camera action.  But the point is made, I think.

I had a ten-day Flagyl imposed alcohol break, but that ended last night.  I plan to raise a cocktail tonight flavored with sweet, sweet wingnut tears.  La lucha continua, certainly.  But that doesn’t mean triumphs along the way can’t be savored. In fact the reverse.

Open thread, y’all.








I’m not tired of winning

Are you tired of winning? I’m not

Next fight is to make sure CMS and the Trump Administration do not sabotage the exchanges and avoids approving horrendous 1115 Medicaid waivers.

And yes, I am big footing Doug








It’s all over now








Soothing Balm of Nature (Open Thread)

As we wait for the Trumpcare vote to come down, here’s something lovely to look at — our white squirrel, Salt, hanging out in an oak tree:

Open thread!








Juliet was waiting with a safety net

Trumpcare isn’t dead yet. I won’t be surprised if the Freedom Caucus caves and votes for it this afternoon. If you live in a district with a Republican Congressional representative, get on the phone and tell them to vote against it pronto if you can. Try district offices as well as the DC office.

Things will get worse, not better, for Republicans if they pass this piece of shit onto the Senate. But there’s a real risk of this thing passing, becoming a law, and ruining millions of lives. So let’s kill it now while we can.

Update by Dave Anderson








Something Strange in the Greater DC Area: There Appears to be a Cluster of Missing African American and Latina Teen Girls

There is concern that there is a cluster or, perhaps, a spike in missing persons cases in the DC area where the missing person is either an African American or Latina teen girl.

The figure is startling — more than a dozen black and Latina teens have been reported missing in D.C. since March 1.

The apparent jump in the number of missing young people in the District has raised concern in neighborhoods and on social media.

Actually, what’s happening is D.C. police are now acknowledging a continuing problem.

https://twitter.com/DCPoliceDept/status/839886925632835584?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwtop.com%2Fdc%2F2017%2F03%2Fdc-police-address-concerns-over-missing-teens%2F

As indicated by the social media response, DC authorities are taking the issue seriously.

Chanel Dickerson, who recently became commander of the D.C. police’s Youth and Family Services Division, said she was shocked by the number of missing children in the District. She said many of the cases involved runaways and she has pledged to publicize each case and provide equal service to all.

The 211 people who went missing in January did not reflect an increase in cases, Dickerson said, just better reporting by the families. While that may be true, it is far from reassuring. Few believe that the children are being snatched off the street in mass, but they do think that the children are endangered.

Sharece Crawford, a member of an Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Southeast Washington, said she believed that more black girls were getting involved with gangs and also being forced into prostitution.

“What we need is a citywide alert about the dangers out here and how parents can protect their children,” Crawford said. “Residents are very worried. They are wondering if the city is taking this seriously. They say things like, ‘If white girls were disappearing uptown, there would be a state of emergency.’ ”

The good news is that some of the missing teens are being found.

Amongst the teens missing, it’s been reported that 13-year-old Taylor Innis has been found in “good health.” Missing teen Antwan Jordan has been found safe.

Here’s the picture arrays with the pertinent information from one of the Essence authors/reporters.

As much as we are paying attention to a lot of important, fast moving things, it is equally important to pay attention to other equally important issues that impact people in different, but still important ways. It is important to remember that there are people at risk not because of anything the Federal, state, or local government may or may not be doing – though they may be at risk for things that should have long been done, but weren’t. Rather, people can be at risk just because of the reality of day to day life. It is important to keep in mind that as we focus on the big issues that we don’t lose sight of equally important things closer to home.



Why I Hate The NY Times, Part [n]*

This paragraph:

There is most likely a middle way. Republican lawmakers might be comfortable with a system that shifts more of the costs of care onto people who are sick, if it makes the average insurance plan less costly for the healthy. But making those choices would mean engaging in very real trade-offs, less simple than their talking point.

“Republican lawmakers might be comfortable…”  Think of the assuptions not in evidence required to write that phrase.  Think also of the cluelessness in what comes next:  those who buy insurance are seen here in the Republican frame, as two binary populations, the healthy and the sick.

That would be  the “virtuous”  healthy paid less than the molly-coddled, feckless sick.  That the same people might occupy both identities at different points of their lives seems not to have occured to this Times writer, Margot Sanger-Katz — whom I’ve noted before has an odd willingness to couch her Upshot explainers in weighted and coded language.

As seems to be hers and several Times-folk’s penchant, much of the story from which I extracted above is perfectly fine, an actual explainer of what Essential Health Benefits do and why they’re important. She even notes that in a system without a required benefit package–

…the meaning of “health insurance” can start to become a little murky.

Well, yeah, as it doesn’t actually insure against unanticipated risks.  I’d take issue with the meekness of her critique here, that is, but at least she suggests to the fragile sensibilities of her tender readers that perhaps a minor problem might result here.

Which makes the passage I quoted up top both weird and revealing: cheap insurance for the healthy and soak-the-sick policies for those with the misfortune to suffer the ails that impinge on just about every human being, sometime or other is a pretty damn good example of a murky notion of health insurance.

That is: the habit of mind, the reflexive and seemingly unconscious acceptance of a right wing tropes that lead both to conclusions unsupported by the evidence and an inability to grasp what one has actually just said.  This happens a lot at The New York Times. Happened a lot there too, over the crucial months of 2016.  Which goes a long way, IMHO, to accounting for the predicament we’re in now.

*Where [n] is an arbitrarily large number.x

Image:  Codex Aureus Epternacensis, Christ Cleansing Ten Lepers, c. 1035-1040.



I lay traps for troubadors

This is a sad story. I’m glad at least that this guy has come to his senses about Trump and I hope others do before more damage is inflicted on Americans, whether they voted for him or not:

Beginning in January 2016, Kraig Moss traveled to 45 rallies, belting out songs in support of Donald Trump and telling the story of his late son, Rob, who died three years ago from a heroin overdose. In this way, the musician earned the title of “the Trump Troubadour,” a true believer said to symbolize “the voice of unheard America.”

[….]

But this bill backed by the president “disgusted” him. He no longer sings songs about Trump, and he now wonders if any of his sacrifices were worth it.

[….]

“The one platform that I was just so genuinely involved in with my heart was the one thing that he just turned right around,” Moss said. “He’s turning his back on all of us.”