Your Friday Afternoon Moment of Zen

A friend’s “babies”:


The dog’s name is Lucky, and he should be a dog model because he never takes a bad picture:


Well, almost never:


He was on benadryl for allergies in the last shot so we won’t hold it against him.

We Are at DEFBlog 1: The Internet is Under Attack. Or Friday…


For those trying to figure out why 1/2 of everything on the Internet isn’t working its because there have been a couple of massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks. Take it away Gizmodo before someone takes you away:

Twitter, Spotify and Reddit, and a huge swath of other websites were down or screwed up this morning. This was happening as hackers unleashed a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the servers of Dyn, a major DNS host. It’s probably safe to assume that the two situations are related.

Update 12:28 PM EST: Dyn says it is investigating yet another attack, causing the same massive outages experienced this morning. Based on emails from Gizmodo readers, this new wave of attacks seems to be affecting the West Coast of the United States and Europe. It’s so far unclear how the two attacks are related, but the outages are very similar.
From Dyn’s own website (h/t: Gizmodo)
DDoS Attack Against Dyn Managed DNS
Incident Report for Dyn, Inc.
This DDoS attack may also be impacting Dyn Managed DNS advanced services with possible delays in monitoring. Our Engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue.
Posted about 1 hour ago. Oct 21, 2016 – 16:48 UTC
As of 15:52 UTC, we have begun monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Our Engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue.
Posted about 2 hours ago. Oct 21, 2016 – 16:06 UTC
Services have been restored to normal as of 13:20 UTC.
Posted about 4 hours ago. Oct 21, 2016 – 13:36 UTC
This attack is mainly impacting US East and is impacting Managed DNS customers in this region. Our Engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue.
Posted about 5 hours ago. Oct 21, 2016 – 12:45 UTC

Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21st-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.

Customers with questions or concerns are encouraged to reach out to our Technical Support Team.

Posted about 7 hours ago. Oct 21, 2016 – 11:10 UTC
Stay Frosty!

America’s Rage Puppet


I remember clearly when Donald Trump’s birther crusade stopped being funny. There was never anything truly comical about it, of course; it was always an outrageous racist lie concocted to delegitimize the first black president. But living in a nation of 320M people, a not-negligible percentage of whom are raving idiots, we learn to laugh. Baratunde Thurston taught me to stop laughing and see the tragedy of it.

When President Obama produced his “long-form” birth certificate in 2011, I perceived it as a president hilariously smacking down an absurd, malignant, preening blowhard. Thurston saw it as an affirmation that the president — and by extension Thurston himself, and all other black people — were still less than full citizens. Even with a black man in the Oval Office.

Five years later, we’ve come full circle. That very same absurd, malignant, preening blowhard — whose birther antics should have banished him from the company of serious people forever — has instead been elevated to head one of our two major political parties. And this time, he’s telling Hillary Clinton, and by extension all women, that their aspirations are illegitimate and that they are less than full citizens.

Trump’s vile misogyny and painfully obvious lack of basic human decency — and more importantly, its echoes from tens of millions of our fellow Americans — have tarnished what should have been a joyous celebration of a historical milestone. We see them. We understand the implications.


Trump had help from nearly the entire GOP establishment, the Beltway media, his abhorrent family, his pack of ghastly political operatives, the Putin-reanimated remnants of the KGB and a self-important wanker with a grudge residing in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London as a fugitive from justice.

But that’s only the latest cast of characters. The hit has been out for Hillary Clinton ever since she emerged from Arkansas as a woman with a national profile and an agenda of her own.

During the recent debate, Clinton called Trump Putin’s puppet, and good for her. It’s about goddamned time someone said as much while the country was listening.

But Trump is not just Putin’s puppet. He’s America’s rage puppet, dancing in a fury because change is coming — no, it is here. And there are so many hands on the strings. That’s the tragedy of it.

Not Ready To Make Nice

This was the first thing I saw this morning and love it. I’m still pissed about this.

There will be no recipe thread tonight. Honestly I’m not even sure where my kitchen is right now. The puppy has used up the one functional brain cell I had remaining. I’ll try for a pup and kitteh update later.

Maybe we can convince Adam to stop palling around the rich and famous and cook something up for us.

What nasty things do you have planned for today. Open thread!

Friday Morning Open Thread: GOP — Abandon Whale!


(John Deering via

From the Washington Post:

A wave of apprehension and anguish swept the Republican Party on Thursday, with many GOP leaders alarmed by Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election and concluding that it is probably too late to salvage his flailing presidential campaign.

As the Republican nominee reeled from a turbulent performance in the final debate here in Las Vegas, his party’s embattled senators and House members scrambled to protect their seats and preserve the GOP’s congressional majorities against what Republicans privately acknowledge could be a landslide victory for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton…

“The campaign is over,” said Steve Schmidt, a Trump critic and former senior strategist on George W. Bush’s and John McCain’s presidential campaigns.

Calling a refusal to accept the election results “disqualifying,” Schmidt added: “The question is, how close will Clinton get to 400 electoral votes? She’ll be north of 350, and she’s trending towards 400 — and the trend line is taking place in very red states like Georgia, Texas and Arizona.”

Meanwhile, top Democrats fanned out to battleground states on Thursday to hammer Trump for what they described as an unprecedented attack on the country’s political system and to attempt to yoke Trump to Republican candidates down the ballot.

Campaigning in Miami, President Obama said Trump’s doubts about the election outcome are “not a joking matter. That is dangerous.”…

And in Arizona, where polls show an unexpectedly tight presidential race, first lady Michelle Obama said Trump “is threatening the very idea of America itself” by suggesting he would not honor the election results.

“You do not keep American democracy ‘in suspense,’ ” Obama said in Phoenix.

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Clinton’s vice-presidential running mate, held a rally at a downtown Charlotte brewery, where he said Trump’s claims of a “rigged” election reminded him of the Third World politicking he had seen as a young missionary in Honduras.

“The bigger we can win by, the harder it is for him to whine and have anyone believe him,” Kaine said, trying to galvanize supporters on the first day of early voting in North Carolina…

Apart from a little hard-earned schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up this busy week?

Late Night Open Thread: Catholics, No Charity

Well, that went well… assuming you weren’t Donald Trump. He said himself that he’s been attending these dinners ‘for years, with my father, since I was a young man’, and he still hasn’t picked up a feel for what would be acceptable? Does the man listen to anything other than the sound of his own voice?

What began as the expected ribbing of presidential candidates at the white-tie Al Smith Dinner Thursday turned to boos as Donald Trump described Hillary Clinton as “corrupt” at the event, which is a major fundraiser for the Catholic charities connected to the Archdiocese of New York…

… Trump was quick to take some campaign trail attacks with him to the dais at the annual dinner. He called Clinton “so corrupt she got kicked off the Watergate Commission” and lobbed his usual line that Clinton has been in politics for 30 years and accomplished little. “I can fix it, she says,” he deadpanned as the crowd’s mood noticeably shifted.

As the boos rolled in Trump wondered who they were booing. “I don’t know who they’re angry at Hillary, you or I?” he said. Someone in the crowd yelled out “you!”

Trump’s next line struck a nerve. “Here she is in public, pretending not to hate Catholics,” Trump said, referencing an apparent email exposed by WikiLeaks in which a Clinton spokeswoman seemed to joke about Catholics and evangelicals…

The Democratic nominee, for her part, poked fun at herself while also taking searing jabs at her opponent. Clinton didn’t hesitate to slam Trump for his past comments on women and his ambivalence about accepting next month’s election results.

In contrast with Trump, Clinton also made a point of acknowledging both the purpose and the history of the Al Smith dinner and closed her speech with a big-picture campaign message that was tied to the positive focus of Thursday’s Catholic fundraiser…

Me, I think this was the most interesting photo from the evening:

Now, Timmy Cardinal Dolan is not a good man — to steal a Donald Westlake line, I’d trust him alone all night in bed with a ten-year-old, as long as the kid didn’t have more than five dollars cash on them — but he has a nose for power like a pig for truffles. If he’s willing to put aside his public histrionics over baby-murdering lesbian feminist God-denying Democrats who don’t care about suffering women to suck up to Hillary Clinton in public, that’s another leading indicator as to which party will be on the podium at the inaguration in January.
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Cubs V Dodgers Late Innings Open Thread

As we move to the bottom of the 8th, its 8-1 for the baby bears. Regimented, Group Physical Activity Open Thread!




Here’s a Better Video than More Trump

This has been going for a half hour. Thurston pulled all the blankets down on to the floor, placed a bone between him and Rosie, and has been goading her to play.

Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner Live Feed: Its All Good Fun Until…


In Defense of the Stay At Home Mom or Dad

Rather than write another really good (in my opinion) post and have some fuckwit lobotomize the entire thread in the third comment, let me discuss something I have been thinking about a lot lately. I have no idea how married couples who both have fulltime jobs and kids do it. Period. End of story.

I have spent the last couple months thinking about shit that I NEVER imagined thinking about, and were it not for my father, who knows this shit, I would be in so far over my head I would probably be ready to throw myself off a roof if I weren’t terrified of heights. There is just so much shit you have to know to make all these decisions about your house, and none of it is simple or easy. One of the big downfalls of the modern economy is that there are so many choices, simply picking out a mattress sends you down an endless black hole of choices. I mean, fuck me running. I just want a god damned bed. I don’t want to have to learn a physics.

So I imagine, in a simpler time, having one person going to work and earning money while the other spent time doing this kind of thing would have been nice. Until you factor in the kids, and then, fuck that.

Whatever. Flooring and whatnot probably starts this weekend, plumber midweek next week, then electrician.

From the History Archives: When Rudy Met Hillary

So tonight is the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, one of those anodyne quasi-political events which become news only in years when the politics are particularly inflamed. Since His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan is a notorious trimmer who, some people say, was rewarded by Pope Benedict with the plum NYC residency for hiding Church assets from lawsuits by survivors of clerical abuse, and who has since made a prominent pest of himself encouraging hardcore fellow Talibangelicals to resist civil laws protecting reproductive rights and same-sex marriage, reportorial hopes are high for this year’s event. Per the NYTimes:

On Thursday night, Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump will appear together again for a ritzier gathering, delivering remarks at the white-tie Al Smith charity dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan.

In most presidential campaigns, the dinner, which benefits Roman Catholic charities, functions as a welcome respite, a forum for levity and self-deprecation in the throes of a heated election.

This year’s may be more complicated.

Convened less than 24 hours after the caustic final debate on Wednesday, the event would appear, on paper, to be nothing less than a high-society nightmare for Mr. Trump…

The Clinton campaign has in recent days been forced to navigate its own turmoil after the hacked correspondences of top aides appeared to include messages criticizing Catholic conservatism…

Which reminded me that I wanted to share a remarkable Gail Sheehy article from back in 2000, a Vanity Fair piece on a related NYC event, “When Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani Did Battle for a Senate Seat”:

Tonight is Rudy’s night. It is the annual New York spectacle known as the Inner Circle, where reporters skewer the mayor in cute, amateurish skits, and Hizzoner has the chance for rebuttal with his own skit. Since nobody upstages Rudolph Giuliani, his will be a Broadway-class show, perhaps his final bravura performance before November 2000, when he hopes to be turned out of the mayor’s office by virtue of his election to the United States Senate.

This evening, however, the ravening city media corps is not his chief target. Instead, it is Hillary, formerly Hillary Clinton. The two have been circling each other with the wary menace of prizefighters in the opening round, but it’s been a year now, and still they have not been in the same room. Tonight’s spectacle at the Hilton in midtown Manhattan has drawn an unusually large crowd, 1,300, including poohbahs representing every fissure in New York’s unstable political ground. They are all packed into the grand ballroom, hoping to witness the combatants touch gloves for the first time.
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Funk to Wash Away That Trump FUNK

Is it cool? Is it cool? Yes. Yes it is.

Open thread!

How We Got to Trump


One of the more vexing things about the current election has been the fact that the now, all of a sudden, principled conservatives who are #NeverTrump are basically being given a free ride by the media to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their party nominating Trump. This didn’t just happen. This took years of effort, years of unprincipled playing to the mob, decades of subtle and not so subtle racism and otherism, years of chipping away at facts and logic, pretending tea party candidates and Sarah Palin were serious people, and to borrow a phrase from the C+ Augustus reign, years of “creating their own reality.” To borrow a more recent wingnut phrase, you built it, GOP.

At any rate, if you want a striking example of how we got to Trump, look no further than the spin from the Republicans, including the #NeverTrump frauds after Donald Trump refused to state he would accept the election results:

There is a fundamental difference in refusing to accept the results of the process before a vote has even been cast, de-legitimizing the election before it even happens, and contesting an election using pre-existing election law. What Donald Trump is doing is the former, what Gore did was the latter. It’s a fundamental distinction, and it is why people who know things are horrified by what Trump did last night:

Contesting an election does not de-legitimize it. Asking for a recount and pursuing your rights as LAID OUT IN ELECTION LAW does not de-legitimize elections. These polices are argued over, debated, and passed into law to make sure that we keep elections legitimate and fair and that everyone knows the rules. Individuals on twitter still being pissed about the election outcome does not de-legitimize elections. Candidates refusing to accept the outcome, before and after, de-legitimizes the election. Gore did neither.

And for the record, if anything in the 2000 election de-legitimized things, it was the Supreme Court making shit up and passing a ruling that was so obviously shite that they made sure it COULD NEVER be used as precedent:

omentous Supreme Court cases tend to move quickly into the slipstream of the Court’s history. In the first ten years after Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision that ended the doctrine of separate but equal in public education, the Justices cited the case more than twenty-five times. In the ten years after Roe v. Wade, the abortion-rights decision of 1973, there were more than sixty-five references to that landmark. This month marks ten years since the Court, by a vote of five-to-four, terminated the election of 2000 and delivered the Presidency to George W. Bush. Over that decade, the Justices have provided a verdict of sorts on Bush v. Gore by the number of times they have cited it: zero.


Even at the time, Bush v. Gore was treated as a kind of novelty item, a one-off decision that applied only to the peculiar facts then before the Justices. The majority itself seemed to want it that way. In the most famous sentence from the decision, the Justices wrote, “Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities.” (Unlike most weighty decisions, Bush v. Gore had no single author and was delineated “per curiam,” or by the Court, a designation the Justices usually reserve for minor cases.) In light of all these admonitions to leave the case be, might getting over it be the best advice?

Actually, no. To return briefly to the distant world of chads, hanging and otherwise, it’s worth recalling what Bush v. Gore was about. The pervasive uncertainty about the results of the election in Florida—at the time, Bush led by five hundred and thirty-seven votes out of nearly six million cast—prompted the Florida courts, interpreting Florida election law, to order a statewide recount of all undervotes and overvotes; that is, ballots that indicated no Presidential preference or more than one. (Chads were the tiny paper rectangles that voters were supposed to push through punch-card ballots.) That recount had already begun on Saturday, December 9th, when five Justices—Scalia, William H. Rehnquist, Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas—issued a stay, barring the Florida authorities from continuing their labors. Three days later, the same five issued the per-curiam decision that stopped the recount once and for all.

What made the decision in Bush v. Gore so startling was that it was the work of Justices who were considered, to greater or lesser extents, judicial conservatives. On many occasions, these Justices had said that they believed in the preëminence of states’ rights, in a narrow conception of the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and, above all, in judicial restraint. Bush v. Gore violated those principles. The Supreme Court stepped into the case even though the Florida Supreme Court had been interpreting Florida law; the majority found a violation of the rights of George W. Bush, a white man, to equal protection when these same Justices were becoming ever more stingy in finding violations of the rights of African-Americans; and the Court stopped the recount even before it was completed, and before the Florida courts had a chance to iron out any problems—a classic example of judicial activism, not judicial restraint, by the majority.

In short, this is how we got to Trump. Yes, Republican, you built this. And if you read this “DEMOCRATS ARE WORSE” gibberish from Bre Payton, graduate of the “Patrick Henry School of Political Journalism,” which I googled and is an actual place andnot a quip made up in the Free Republic comments section, they are still building it. Or demolishing it. Your call.

Almost blue

Something interesting is going on in this election that hasn’t got much discussion: Hillary is doing the same as Obama (in 2012) in blue states, about two points better in swing states, and about nine points better in red states.


This is a very health development, because one of the real dangers for our political system going forward is extreme regional polarization. If Republicans continue to hold the Senate (which disproportionately represents red states) while Democrats dominate the overall popular vote, that could be a huge source of political dysfunction. (Yes, for now the House is the real problem, but I think that will start to change after the next redistricting.)

Hillary losing Texas by 7 points instead of 15 doesn’t make a whit of difference in terms of this year’s election. But in a sense that’s halfway to winning the state in a future election