On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com


Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!


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Monday Morning Open Thread: Cherish the Otter Moments

Elsewhere in this misbegotten multiverse…

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Sunday Night Open Thread

I know there is an open thread down below but I have been awol for a few days all caught up in real life bullshit.

Steelers won today, in the most stressful way possible.

Ten days until I head to South Beach for ten days. My college roommate, after a career in finance and law, became a smallish real estate developer, and lives in a condo in South Beach near a bunch of his properties. Every year, he goes on vacation to some remote island somewhere that doesn’t even have much in the way of cell service, and he needs someone to babysit his dachshunds. I said HELL YES, and I am packing up the family truckster and Lily and I are going to get our beach vacation anyway in 2018. Plus, it’s free (well, gas there and back, and I am going to stay in a motel on the way there and back because I see no reason to drive for 20 hours straight). I’m pretty excited. Christion, the fraternity brother who lived with me for several years, will be staying at my house here dealing with Rosie, Thurston, and Steve.

Speaking of Steve, I was just putting some wet food down for Lily, and the fat bastard must have heard the can open, because he came barreling in out of nowhere like the kool-aid man busting through a wall and shoved me AND Lily out of the way. I just yelled “You motherfucker” and grabbed the food and took Lily into another room.

God damned zoo here.

Open Thread: Giving Nancy Pelosi (Some Portion of) Her Due

OK, we are saying a hyperbole, but she promises she will quit being speaker once she is 83. (83!) She is 78 right now, so basically she is saying she’ll be the boss of two more Congresses and then she will hand her gavel to somebody who’s ready on day one like a common Nancy Pelosi. (Presumably, this gives her a chance to finish grooming whomever is best suited to take her spot.)

See? Everybody wins. Also? LIKE A BOSS.

Pelosi, 78, clinched the votes she needed late Wednesday after announcing support for a term limits deal that would allow her to serve as speaker for another four years. Seven dissident Democrats immediately said they would support her, paving the way for her election Jan. 3.

Former House majority leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) called it “a very typical performance by a really talented political figure.”

“The fact that she’s been speaker and will be speaker again is testimony to her enormous ability, her toughness, her off-the-charts work ethic, and her ability to interact with people and negotiate with people and come to a conclusion,” he said. “She works harder than any human being I’ve ever known.”…

The six-week battle over the speaker’s chair was vintage Pelosi. Relying on a mix of pressure tactics she’d sharpened during three decades in Congress, Pelosi waited out her critics, wore them down and then threw them a bone as they looked for a way out.
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Stupid Watergate Open Thread: Very Cool and Very Legal…

Also in the poll, a combined 50 percent of Americans say the Russia investigation — led by special counsel Robert Mueller — has given them “major,” “fairly major” or “just some” doubts about Trump’s presidency, versus 44 percent who say it hasn’t given them more doubts.

McInturff, the GOP pollster, says that the 44 percent without doubts is a “powerful reminder about the status of his political base.”

What’s more, a plurality of respondents — 46 percent — say the convictions and guilty pleas of members of Trump’s 2016 campaign suggest potential wrongdoing by the president, compared with 23 percent who believe the wrongdoing is limited only to those individuals; 28 percent don’t know enough to say.

And asked if Mueller’s investigation should continue, 45 percent believe it should, while 34 percent think it should come to an end — essentially unchanged from August’s NBC/WSJ poll.

More Americans want Democrats — not Trump — in charge of policy

A month after the results from the 2018 midterm elections, 48 percent of Americans say they want Democrats in Congress to take the lead role in setting policy for the country, versus 21 percent who want congressional Republicans to take the lead and 19 percent who want Trump in charge…

Collusion Lite (Open Thread)

The latest line is that if there was collusion, it was over before the election anyway:

Next up: “Collusion is awesome and everyone does it.” A version of this brazen lie was debuted earlier this year by Giuliani in defense of Dim Son, when Giuliani said that any campaign would have taken a meeting with Russians claiming to have dirt on a political opponent. Does anyone doubt this tactic will eventually be rolled out in defense of Trump himself?

Giuliani hinted at it today when he said on the same program, “if Roger Stone gave anybody a heads up about Wikileaks leaks, that’s not a crime. It would be like giving him a heads up that the Times is going to print something.”

Okay then. Y’all go with that.

Open Thread: Homecoming

I still remember the day my dad came home from Vietnam.  These kill me every time. My ex-husband would come home, find me in a puddle on the couch and say, “you’ve been watching soldiers’ homecoming again, haven’t you?” I’d just nod.

I need a movie recommendation. Christmas Eve, we gather for dinner and a movie.

The movie has gotten more difficult. It cannot be: Romance (teenager goes blegh), no nudity (aunty TaMara can’t sit with kids in the room and nudity on screen), no Harry Potter. And finally, Christmas is touchy – can’t be sickly-sweet. I did get them to sit through Christmas Story, that’s about as Christmasy as we can get.

Last year was Diehard.


Open thread

(I have no idea where anyone else is…I just finished gardening – it’s 60 degrees here).