Late Night Open Thread: Big Swinging… Mouths

What world is this, where I am forced to agree with the words of a professional Republican strategist?

… and Tom Nichols…

To be fair, unlike most of her fellow wingnut bloviators (lookin’ at you, Sean Hannity!), I don’t think Laura Ingraham would fold like a cheap patio chair at the first sign of physical threat. Pull an illegal can of pepper spray, plant a switchblade on her opponent’s writhing body, and lie about the altercation afterwards — yeah, that’s more what I’d consider Ingraham style.



Open Thread: #Not All American Politicians


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Best part, for me, is that we know how badly news pics like this will chafe Lord Smallgloves’ baggy boxers.

Per the Washington Post:

Thanks to an awkward coincidence, President Trump is in Brussels at the same time as predecessor Barack Obama is in Berlin. These two trips are certainly offering contrasting views of the United States’s relationship with Europe.

Obama was in the German capital Thursday morning to appear alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a biennual festival organized by the German protestant church. The two spoke in front of a large crowd at the iconic Brandenburg Gate, with Obama going out of his way to praise Merkel.

“Not only do I love this city, but one of my favorite partners throughout my presidency is sitting next to me,” Obama said with a smile…

“If you look at public opinion surveys, Barack Obama has retained a popularity in Germany that Donald Trump has not achieved,” said Karen Donfried, president of the German Marshall Fund and a member of the National Security Council during the Obama administration. “Given the political year that we have in Germany, with a national election in September, the chancellor could be well served by showing her relations with both the past U.S. president and the current U.S. president.”



Thursday Evening Open Thread: America’s Embarrasment-in-Chief


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Look, Donald, I’m dyslexic (too), so it’s hard for me to read something out loud and not sound like a moron. That’s why, when I know I’ll have to do so, I always practice my script in advance. It’s a two-minute speech, you putz! You could’ve pre-read the thing during the commercials on your favorite Fox News shows! Get “your guys” to print it out on a big card, using Comic Sans!

Of course, the speech would still be a thuggish demand for tribute from a guy who famously can’t back up his threats, but at least you wouldn’t look like a second-grader told to read Granny’s hand-written blessing at the family Thanksgiving table…
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Apart from [facepalming], what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Kids Today (Open Thread)

A blue jay couple that lives in our yard hatched the whiniest chick in the history of the universe this year. The nestlings fledged 24 days ago. I know this because of a photo date stamp: One chick crash-landed in the yard and subsequently failed to achieve air, and my husband rescued it and placed it back in a tree before our dogs could make a snack of it.

Jays aren’t known for their dulcet tones, but this bratty little shit is particularly shrill. It stands around under the bird feeder, flaps its wings, screeching all the while, while the parents frantically shuttle food into its open maw. You can tell the parents are goddamned exhausted by the little bastard. Here’s a shot through the window, with the fledgling throwing an ear-splitting tantrum on the ground while a parent looks on from the top of the gate:

[Dialog supplied by me.]

Sometimes I want to tell those parents that it’s time to cut the damned cord already. Their offspring is perfectly capable of flying now, shaky start notwithstanding. There are bird feeders all over the place. Let it paddle its own canoe! But I try to refrain from intervening in the personal business of other families, so I just complain about it here.

Open thread!



Update Your Linux Machines Folks

Researchers found a major bug in Samba, a core component of many Linux and Unix systems as it controls storage and interfaces with Windows and other non-Unix things.

The issue allows a bad guy to run unapproved code uploaded remotely as a root user. Your firewall has to have the right port open, but lots of folks do that to solve a temporary need and then forget to close the port to outsiders.

So, should you have home or work Linux machines, take a few minutes and update them. This also applies to many less-obvious Linux machines such as my personal favorite, the RaspberryPi.

Many use them as cheap controllers for home storage, media centers, home automation, etc.  So don’t neglect them folks – if they get compromised, that’s just a ticking time bomb waiting to get worse.

Unrelated to this news, we’ll be tightening the site up a bit more in anticipation of increased efforts by bad guys.

On the test server front, the good news is that it’s up and running. There are still a few more details to take care of, and I’m pretty much not doing any work from now until Tuesday as I have lots of IT duties and plan to take apart, re-organize and put back together my home office. Fun fun.

Finally, don’t forget that tomorrow at 12:30 Eastern, my guest post on Oceanography will launch, with the author in the comments ready to answer questions. I found his intro to be very interesting, and it led he and me into an in-depth discussion of the numerous crises in our oceans that are here, or will be soon.

 

Open Thread!



Political Correctness Be Damned: It’s Truth-Bomb Time

We have a problem, fellow citizens. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. Taking the “politically correct” stance that it’s an issue that is equally distributed across demographic groups may make us feel better, but it’s a lie. Only facing the situation honestly will allow us to address it.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: A certain group in our country doesn’t share traditional American values like honesty and fair play. This group glorifies thuggery, revels in stupidity and makes excuses for and even rewards lying, theft and sociopathic behavior. This group’s dysfunction is dragging us all down.

It’s not up to decent people to carry the load for this dysfunctional group or teach their lawless children morals. It’s up to the members of that group to pull themselves up out of the gutter. Parents in this group have to teach their children right from wrong. This demographic’s communities must establish and enforce moral frameworks.

So, I’ll just say it: Republicans need to start taking personal responsibility. Now. They need to own up to their dysfunctional behavior and correct it. They must stop blaming everyone else for their impulsive reactions to adverse events. They need to stop acting like they’re perpetual victims and assume some agency in their own lives.

I’m tired of hearing about how this self-destructive behavior has its roots in conservatives’ upbringing or socioeconomic status. I began life in a seedy Florida trailer park, and I managed to pull myself up by the bootstraps and leave the chaos and dysfunction behind. If I can, they can. No more excuses.



Thursday Morning Open Thread: The Great War Is Here

Paul Ryan and Mick Mulvaney are gonna get matching Blood for the Blood God tattoos…

Released Wednesday, the CBO’s scoring of the new bill finds that a few cosmetic tweaks don’t change the fact that the AHCA remains a breathtakingly cruel bill…

The AHCA is cruel. There is no other word for it. If the law is enacted, people will die because of it.

Given recent headlines, Democrats naturally have been focused on ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia and his related actions as president. But Democrats have to make the AHCA central to their plans for 2018 and beyond. In recent polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 24 percent of Trump voters want him to decrease Medicaid spending, and 42 percent say that the program is somewhat or very important to them. Independents and Democrats are overwhelmingly against the bill. And for the vast majority of Americans, health care is a visceral issue, something that affects their everyday lives. We’ve seen this reflected in the sharp confrontations between GOP members of Congress and their constituents, who are furious at their representatives’ support for a bill that voters do not want. For moral — not just political — reasons, Republicans must be made to regret their AHCA vote.

Jeanne Lambrew, in the NYTimes, “Republicans, Get Ready for the Trumpcare Headlines”:

If the Senate makes this flawed bill law, Republicans will have the chance to watch, all the way up to the midterm elections, as Americans pay higher premiums and lose coverage. By the time the bill’s full changes went into effect in 2020, many of those who voted for it could be long gone…

President Trump has repeatedly said that Obamacare should be blamed for any problems in the individual market this year and next. Yet many of the predicted premium increases are actually a reaction to the attempts to repeal Obamacare, an attempt on the part of insurance companies to protect themselves from the uncertainty induced by the congressional debate and President Trump’s executive actions. And poll after poll shows a majority of Americans dislike the Republican approach and will hold Republicans responsible for any future problems.

So Republicans citing Obamacare headlines should take a moment to imagine the likely Trumpcare headlines and what they will mean for their job security.

Since Mormons aren’t supposed to ‘disfigure their bodies’ with tattoos, the First Rat Off the GOP House Ship is feeling pretty good about his latest career choice…

Apart from that freighted discussion, what’s on the agenda for the day?