Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Good Choices

Of course the NYTimes is sniffy about this — how dare those Democrats presume to defend themselves?!? — but I’m feeling pretty good about donating to Rep. Davids last year.

Desperate to maintain their one perch of power in Washington, House Democrats are moving aggressively to defend their majority. Incumbents, under intense pressure from the party to begin their campaigns, raised a record $11.6 million in the first quarter of the year and are moving quickly to protect the 31 seats they hold in districts where President Trump prevailed in 2016.

“We have a solid operation,” said Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois, who runs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House. “We are investing in field operations already — we have never done that this early — and we know how we are going to spend our resources. Everything is front-loaded.”…

And a little update on best business practices….

I took Ms. Sanders aside and politely suggested she leave. She agreed, equally politely. She may or may not have expected this day would come, but she never showed any sign of outrage, or even much surprise. We’d drawn a line; she’d accepted it…

When I awoke the next morning, social media was on fire. The incident had gone from a Facebook post to a tagged tweet to nationally trending news with the whoosh of lighter fluid to a flame…

When we opened after a 10-day hiatus, our dining room was full. In the following weeks, people who had never been to the Shenandoah Valley traveled out of their way to eat with us. Hundreds of orders for our Red Hen spice blend poured in. And the love spread far beyond our door, as supporters sent thousands of dollars’ in donations in our honor to our local food pantry, our domestic violence shelter and first responders.

After nearly a year, I’m happy to say that business is still good. Better than good, actually. And besides the boost to our area charities, our town’s hospitality and sales revenue have gone up, too.

Our haters may have believed that there were more of “them” than of “us,” but it turns out we have more than enough to keep us cooking. And to everyone who might be fearful about taking a stand, I say don’t be. Resistance is not futile, for you or your business.

This Business Will Get Out of Control, It Will Get Out of Control and We’ll Be Lucky to Live Through It: Tanker Attack Rashomon Edition!

According to reports, over the weekend, several oil tankers were attacked using magnetically attached mines in the United Arab Emirates’ Fujairah port. The initial reports were, interestingly enough, on Sputnik, the Russian state owned “news” media service on Mother’s Day in the US. Which meant absolutely no one was following this story. So the Saudis, which had two tankers damaged and the UAE, in whose port this occurred are, of course, screaming for security assistance and blaming Iran. Iran is denying they had anything to do with it. And knowledgeable observers have questions. Especially as the port authorities in Fujairah have denied that anything out of the ordinary happened at all.

Here’s the translation:

The media office of the Government of Fujairah denies the validity of media
reports about the loud explosions that rocked the UAE port of Fujairah at dawn
today, and confirms that the work movement in the port is conducted as usual,
and calls on the media to investigate the accuracy and reliance on official

Nothing was showing on satellite at the time:

The Saudis, of course, are claiming major damage to their two tankers:

And Iran denies any involvement:

While these types of operations are not my area expertise, I have spent considerable amounts of time over the past decade working on issues pertaining to Iran; its strategic understanding of itself, how it interacts with the world and within the region; and its strategic objectives. The IRGC and the Quds Force are neither stupid, nor are they sloppy. They know that right now the US is looking for an excuse, so conducting a high risk, low reward operation like this right now makes no sense whatsoever. I think this analysis is a far better explanation of what is going on:

Until/unless I see something to make me think otherwise, Chief Wright’s and Chief Nance’s assessments make the most sense to me. I would not be surprised at all, as more information on what, if anything happened, in Fujairah over the weekend is learned and reported, that we find this was another ultimately self defeating effort undertaken by security and intel personnel close to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, Emirati Crown Prince Muhammad bun Zayed, or that they contracted it out. It will also be interesting to see whether or not Secretary Pompeo uses this to hammer the EU officials he’s meeting with in Brussels today in regard to the US’s position on Iran and/or whether it comes up during his meeting with Putin and Lavrov at Putin’s resort in Sochi later in the week.


Open thread!

Blog post tags live!

Bibi Gives Away the Game by Publicly Patting Himself on the Back: Israel is the Tail Wagging the American Dog

Looks like Bibi Netanyahu just proved Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib were correct. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Congressman Crenshaw or the arbiter of American anti-Semitism, Megan McCain, to acknowledge their errors and apologize for their incendiary remarks.

Here’s the translation courtesy of The Times of Israel (1. So no one can accuse me of doing a biased/slanted translation from the Hebrews. 2. Because I really don’t like having to translate it myself at this hour with my rusty, out of use Hebrew. 3. Emphasis mine.):

In recording, Netanyahu boasts Israel convinced Trump to quit Iran nuclear deal

Public broadcaster airs clip of PM telling Likud activists US exit came after he stood up ‘against the whole world’ by opposing accord

Ohio Jackals – Contact Info For Your Legislators

If you are enraged about Ohio’s vile forced-pregnancy bill (H.B. 182), debbie has compiled a list of the sponsor and co-sponsors the members of the Insurance Committee who began hearings on the bill last week.. I’m going to put them below the fold. Keep in mind that the Insurance Committee is hearing the bill and is not responsible for it. The Sponsor and Co-Sponsors want the bill to become law. Write, call, demonstrate! Let these people know what you think! Read more

Happy Mother’s Day! (Open Thread)

Cersei Lannister: Murderous psychopath or misunderstood wine mom?

Some days, it’s a fine line.

Open thread!