Paramus

I grew up in Bergen County and I must differ with Lucinda Rosenfeld’s attribution of Jared Kushner’s entitlement to his growing up there. I was there somewhat earlier than she was, though.

The neighborhood I grew up in was ethnically mixed, although yes, white. Czech, German, Irish, longer-time American, and, overlaid, Jewish and Christian. We were Democrats and Republicans. We were too working-class to aspire to the heights of New York society. We kids would have disdained that anyway. We had the local playground, the railroad tracks that our parents wished we wouldn’t frequent, and buses to get to the next town. Who needed more? We had good schools that continue to be good.  The diversity mix has changed, but diversity there is.

It particularly pains me when I read that Kushner attended a private school in Paramus. Paramus was, for me, a magical place. Read more



Site News: Hurricane

(This is a re-post from Saturday evening for those who may have missed it)

Folks,

Our hosting company, Hosting Matters, is in reach of Irma. So lines or power could go down and so could this site. They have generators, backups, all kinds of great and groovy stufff, but shit happens.

Luckily, we have a test server. Right now, it’s configured for test usage, not live site usage. So please don’t go there to check it out. But, should the main site go down, I will upgrade the memory and processers so you can use it instead. It is hosted far away from Irma (or José, for that matter!)

Even after memory and CPU upgrades, it will be much less powerful then the main server, but it will work to keep the community going.

Please consider the site a resource to help get through Irma, and whatever cruel twist of fate José might offer.

Your normal nyms should work, and it should work and look like the main site but there may be twitches – it’s a development, testing, and staging site.

The site is at https://test.balloon-juice.com

I will repost this post over the next day or so, stopping when the threat to the main site has passed.



Site News: Hurricane

Folks,

Our hosting company, Hosting Matters, is in reach of Irma. So lines or power could go down and so could this site. They have generators, backups, all kinds of great and groovy stufff, but shit happens.

Luckily, we have a test server. Right now, it’s configured for test usage, not live site usage. So please don’t go there to check it out. But, should the main site go down, I will upgrade the memory and processers so you can use it instead. It is hosted far away from Irma (or José, for that matter!)

Even after memory and CPU upgrades, it will be much less powerful then the main server, but it will work to keep the community going.

Please consider the site a resource to help get through Irma, and whatever cruel twist of fate José might offer.

Your normal nyms should work, and it should work and look like the main site but there may be twitches – it’s a development, testing, and staging site.

The site is at https://test.balloon-juice.com

I will repost this post over the next day or so, stopping when the threat to the main site has passed.



Russiagate Open Thread: Nastygram, Incoming!

It’s just no FUN anymore! Schiller’s been The Donald’s personal bodyguard/bagman for almost twenty years — he was the guy who delivered the letter firing Comey to the FBI. It *could* just be a coincidence that he decides to jump ship right now… Per CNN:

Schiller has told associates within the last two weeks that he plans to leave the White House at the end of September or in early October, the sources said. Schiller has told people his primary reason for leaving was financial, the sources said. Schiller earns a $165,000 annual salary at the White House — a downgrade from his annual earnings before he followed Trump to the White House…

The sources stressed that Schiller’s reasoning was primarily financial, but one source said Schiller has also grown frustrated with the new system installed by White House chief of staff John Kelly aimed at restricting access to the President. Schiller has complained that he must call into the White House switchboard to reach Trump over the phone, one source said…

The NYTimes broke the story:

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has obtained a letter drafted by President Trump and a top political aide that offered an unvarnished view of Mr. Trump’s thinking in the days before the president fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.

The circumstances and reasons for the firing are believed to be a significant element of Mr. Mueller’s investigation, which includes whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey.

The letter, drafted in May, was met with opposition from Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, who believed that its angry, meandering tone was problematic, according to interviews with a dozen administration officials and others briefed on the matter. Among Mr. McGahn’s concerns were references to private conversations the president had with Mr. Comey, including times when the F.B.I. director told Mr. Trump he was not under investigation in the F.B.I.’s ongoing Russia inquiry.
Read more



Open Thread: More “Nuremberg in the Desert”

From the beginning of the rally…



Call your Senator

Right now the word is that the Senate is voting on something healthcare related tomorrow.

Does anyone know what the bill will be?

Is it the BCRA with a half dozen Byrd droppings?

Is it the BCRA with half a dozen Byrd droppings and the Cruz amendment?

Is it the AHCA?

Is it the 2015 show-me reconcilitaion bill that got vetoed by President Obama?

Is it complete repeal and delay ORRA?

No one knows.

That is not normal.

That is not healthy.

That is not safe.

But it is the reality that we are facing.

So call your Senator and tell them what you think about the wisdom of voting without knowing a goddamn thing about the subject.



Late Night Open Thread: A Little Silhouette-o of A Man


.

Archetypical celebrity clown figure for a clownshow “administration”. Buzzfeed:

Trump “wanted to give Scaramucci something to do because he likes him on TV,” a source close to the White House’s press operation told BuzzFeed News.

“Ivanka has been pushing this for some time. Since the communications job was open, Trump thought it would be a nice fit. But the president doesn’t understand what kind of responsibilities come with that job, and Sean did. Sean would have been expected to serve as press secretary, and do the comms job while Scaramucci held the ceremonial title, and he would have reported to him. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” the source said.

“And Trump did it over the objection of several senior staff who know Scaramucci in that job is a joke,” the source added…

At his first White House daily press briefing on Friday, Scaramucci named Sarah Huckabee Sanders the new press secretary. She read a statement from Trump about Spicer’s resignation, complete with an odd line about television ratings at the end: “I am grateful for Sean’s work on behalf of my administration and the American people. I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings. Sean will continue to serve the administration through August.”

Scaramucci then took over, calling Spicer — a Navy reservist — a “true American patriot” and said he hoped he would go on “to make a tremendous amount of money.”…

Scaramucci was calm, chatty, and easily engaged reporters — something Spicer was never quite able to master at the White House — and repeatedly said how much he loves people in the White House and how much he loves the president.

Though his presentation was sleek, the substance from previous news conferences wasn’t that different: When asked about Trump’s baseless claim that about 3 million people illegally in the election, he said, “There’s probably some level of truth to that.”…

Those close to the administration who have remained skeptical of Priebus and Spicer because they don’t consider them Trump loyalists see the shakeup positively. This is “all good! Trump needs more people around him he can trust,” one of them wrote to BuzzFeed News…

Scaramucci, who recently sold his stake in his hedge fund, was originally under consideration for the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, a post held by Valerie Jarrett under President Barack Obama. But White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tried to get Scaramucci to pull out, claiming that his ethics review was taking too long. Priebus, according to reports at that time, did not want someone as close to the president in that position as Scaramucci is and sees him as a possible threat to his own power…

“Commutations” Director.