Uncle Joe!

Our wonderful President just pulled a fast one on the Veep he calls his brother.  Class honoring class:

If you want to cut to the chase, go here:

I’m so going to miss both these guys. Or rather, come January 21, they can each take, oh, say, two weeks. Then I’m gonna need them back, full steam ahead.



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Walter Says Happy Holidays

walter-says-happy-holidays-thanx-debit-2016

Sure, there are some dogs (hi, Ellie) who hold their dignity too high to willingly participate in these ridiculous human rituals. Walter says there’s worse ways to spend one’s days than with a full belly, a soft warm bed, and a household of welcoming companions.

(And if you send me a jpg of your holiday-celebrating household companions, yes I will front-page them, too also.)

Apart from happy rescue updates, what’s on the agenda for the day?

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I owe a couple commentors a hat tip for this — If you are looking to make a year-end tax-deductible contribution to a very worth cause, consider throwing a few bucks or bitcoins at the people responsible for the Wayback Machine site:

You have come to the Internet Archive in search of knowledge, or perhaps to find a part of the Web you may have lost.For 20 years through the Wayback Machine, we’ve backed you up. Now we ask for your help in return.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit library with a huge mission: to give everyone access to all knowledge. By making a tax-deductible donation today, you can ensure that everyone has free and open access to information, forever.

The history of libraries is one of loss. Libraries like ours are susceptible to different fault lines: earthquakes, legal regimes, institutional failure.

So this year, we have set a new goal: to create a copy of Internet Archive’s digital collections in another country. We are building the Internet Archive of Canada because lots of copies keeps stuff safe. To achieve our goal, we aim to raise $5 million by January 20, and we need your help to get there.

Right now a generous supporter will match your donation 1‑to‑1. So you can double your impact! For every dollar you donate right now, the Internet Archive will receive $2!…

Gosh, I wonder if there’s any significance to that “January 20” deadline, she said piously.



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Begin As You Mean to Go On

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(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
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I endorse Catherine Rampell’s proposal in the Washington Post:

Officers wielding gigantic guns guard Trump Tower, where President-elect Donald Trump conducts all transition business, and soon lots of presidential business, too. Shoppers patronizing the stores, cafes or public gardens inside must endure layers of security screening. Streets and sidewalks are barricaded; traffic is snarled; and costumed buskers milk money from the looky-loos obstructing the entrances to Gucci and Tiffany.

The challenges of securing this 58-story building in a high-density neighborhood will, by Inauguration Day alone, drain $35 million of local taxpayer money. Who knows the additional costs to commerce and property values?

The feds have thus far been stingy about footing the bill. Fortunately, I’ve come up with a solution that should warm the cockles of the president-elect’s heart: New York should use eminent domain to seize Trump Tower.

Eminent domain — the constitutionally enshrined government power to take private property in exchange for just compensation — was traditionally reserved for road-and-school-style public projects. But thanks to a 2005 Supreme Court ruling, perpetuating a line of earlier decisions, governments may now use this power to condemn property if they can devise virtually any use that better promotes “economic development” — kicking out poor people and building luxury condos, for example.

Trump loves eminent domain, especially this ruling. He thinks it’s wonderful. And there’s no question why: Throughout his career, Trump has lobbied governments to seize properties from those who refuse to sell when he wants to build amusement parks, golf courses, office buildings and parking lots on their land. He believes expansive use of eminent domain is necessary to promote economic growth and “beautification,” and that it’s even a good deal for property owners who don’t want to sell.

“When eminent domain is used on somebody’s property, that person gets a fortune,” he has declared…

New York officials probably won’t take my advice, since seizing Trump’s property might appear partisan. (Manhattanites voted against Trump by about 10 to 1.) But, according to almost every eminent-domain scholar and land-use lawyer I consulted, if the city tried my strategy, courts would probably uphold it…



Quick Language Help Needed!

So, I’m hoping to put some fliers up at some of the local haunts I frequent that are full of immigrants. Here in Ashburn, Virginia, a large number of folks are of foreign origin. Many work for the government directly or for contractors, but many others work for technology companies in non-defense areas.

I am scared to go do my normal Friday shopping at two large international supermarkets. It’s usually a festive day of sorts, with many Muslims from a number of countries coming by after attending Friday prayers, and in good cheer. I encounter many Hindus and Sikhs, Chinese, Korean, Persians, Japanese, Thai, African, and a smattering of Western and Eastern Europeans. I prefer to go Friday for the mix of people, fresh seafood and produce, and because on the rest of the weekend, there are too many people!

Both stores have a nice bulletin board up with information in a multitude of languages. I’ve been planning to put together some kind of “Friends Who Cook” poster to see if I can make some new cooking friends from far away cultures so we can share what we know. But this week has accelerated what I feel I must do, and that is, make friends and let people know that I love, respect, and appreciate them, as I know most Americans do.

So I’m going to print up this sign in the next little bit and would love any advice from native Spanish or Arabic speakers. I’ve used Google’s translate feature and though I took a bit of Spanish and Arabic when I was young, I am trusting the machine.

So – please, any helpful editing would be great! I’ve posted the doc as a PDF here for your reference. I stuck to Spanish and Arabic as those are the two communities that need the most reassurance.

Flier for posting

ETA: sorry to bigfoot John’s Veteran’s Day post. I’ll put this beneath it.