This weekday feature is for Balloon Juicers who are on the road, travelling, etc. and wish to share notes, links, pictures, stories, etc. from their escapades. As the US mainland begins the end of the Earth day as we measure it, many of us rise to read about our friends and their transient locales.
So, please, speak up and share some of your adventures, observations, and sights as you explore, no matter where you are. By concentrating travel updates here, it’s easier for all to keep up-to-date on the adventures of our fellow Commentariat. And it makes finding some travel tips or ideas from 6 months ago so much easier to find…
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Alain the site fixerhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAlain the site fixer2017-05-22 05:00:302017-05-21 21:37:29On The Road
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2017-05-22 02:47:152017-05-22 02:47:15Open Thread: More Global Adventures with the Trump Crime Cartel
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Alain the site fixerhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAlain the site fixer2017-05-21 21:23:522017-05-21 21:26:42WordPress Update In a Few Minutes
Absolutely *not* fleeing the Titanic, per fellow WH cronies:
…The decision for Priebus to return to the US was pre-planned, not spur-of-the-moment, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and a second Trump adviser said.
“He was planning to come for the first stop and then head back for the budget roll out,” Sanders said.
The chaotic nature of this White House has prevented Trump’s team from doing much strategic planning, the second Trump adviser said. Leaving the trip early would give Priebus time to plan for the President’s return, the adviser said.
Some major issues are awaiting Trump back home, including the possible hiring of outside legal counsel in the Russia probe, the selection of a new FBI director, and the effort to pivot back to the President’s domestic agenda…
he should never have been on the trip in the first place. chiefs of staff usually dont travel https://t.co/dEDN0AJvpA
Yeah, like that’s any different than when Priebus was on the plane.
Reince’s job is to (try to) ram the oligarchs’ agenda through Congress, voters be damned. Trump’s agenda is to loot everything not nailed down, or that his thieving spawn can pry loose. No point in the GOP’s hand-chosen ‘Chief of Staff’ trying to keep them in line, as the Saudi portion of the trip has made abundantly clear.
Write a letter to Senator Hatch at HealthReform@finance.senate.gov and give him your interested stakeholder input. For some of us, your interest is your life. For all of us, it is the type of society we want to live in.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00David Andersonhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgDavid Anderson2017-05-21 16:21:132017-05-21 15:01:36We can write letters too
Low hanging synergy-fruit Ivanka Trump brought her women’s empowerment corporate cliché roadshow and shakedown fest to Saudi Arabia along with her embarrassing father. Unsurprisingly, real-life activists who are resisting the nightmarish autocracy in Saudi Arabia weren’t buying what the auto-tuned Trump was selling. Via WaPo:
“All the women that Ivanka Trump met have a guardian,” said Aziza al-Yousef, a 58-year-old activist here who has campaigned to abolish the guardianship rules [i.e., necessity of obtaining male permission for work, education, travel, healthcare, etc.]. A retired professor of computer science at King Saud University, she was recently rebuffed when she tried to deliver a 14,700-signature petition on eliminating the guardian system to the government.
“All these achievements depend on whether you’re lucky to be born in a family where your guardian will be understanding, will help you,” Yousef said. “If Ivanka is interested in women empowerment and human rights, she should see activists, and not just officials.”
“It’s not about Ivanka speaking at the meeting,” said activist Loujain al-Hathloul, “but is it actually useful for these women from Saudi Arabia to speak as well? Is their contribution in such events helpful to us Saudi women in general, not princesses or business owners or rich women? Does it actually help us? I doubt it.”
I hear you, Saudi sisters. The ambulatory teeth whitening strip’s* patter about women’s empowerment rings a bit hollow in the States too. Particularly when she holds herself up as an example of how pluck and determination drive entrepreneurial success.
Pffft. It would be a lot easier to watch these entitled pricks monetize the U.S. government if they didn’t expect us to pretend that they’re doing us all a favor.
PS: Help the sweet old lost dog pictured below find his way home — details here!
Had breakfast at a place we’ve wanted to try forever, but it was always too crowded until today. I had the shrimp and grits:
So good! The shrimp were on the shrimpy side but fresh, well-seasoned and not overdone. They’d cut the grits up into wedges and fried them as if they were polenta (which grits are a cousin of, I suppose). Never seen anyone treat grits that way, but it was GOOD!
Then we went walking in the woods until it got too hot. On the way home now. What are y’all up to today?
UPDATE: Faithful reader “bl” has found an old dog that needs to be reunited with its owner. Here’s his message:
I have a lost dog that I am trying to get home… I live in the Maryland suburbs of DC, and have notified the county animal shelter and posted on various lost and found pet sites, but no response.
The dog is an old black lab mix that only had a invisible fence collar and no tags. I took the dog to the vet and he is not microchipped.
He is very stiff and doesnt walk well so I thought his owner would be easy to find since he must live close by, but so far no luck. I tried to walk him around the neighborhood but we couldn’t get very far.
I travel for my job every week and leave Tuesday morning. I need to do something with him, at least while I am gone, by Monday evening. I am hoping someone in the DC area has a contact with a rescue group that I can work with.
He is very good with people and dogs, but not cats. I have a call into one local rescue group, but they havent gotten back to me.
Here in the Willamette Valley, we’ve had a very wet, very cool (not in the good way) Spring. This week and next finally, FINALLY, are delivering warm sunny days. Suddenly, it’s OMG WE’LL NEVER CATCH UP time.
Lucky dogs that we are, with the possible exception of a newish (4-year-old?) tree peony [at top] that still takes a fair amount of coddling, the ornamental portion of the grounds hereabouts is well-established and, except for seemingly endless cycles (starting NOW) of beating down weeds & bugs, we’re free to enjoy the stunning color & grace of the perennials we haven’t yet killed. Out front, an agreeable assortment of rhodies & azaleas give eye-catching spots of color to even the most
Out back, there also are pockets of Spring color that deliver the goods with little or no encouragemt from us, including a swath of iris (some of which are just lovely natturalized Japanese purples, the
others are a ‘gene farm’ from a friend’s garden — we grow cuttings from her favorites in case her long-listed house finally sells) andferns (etc.), tucked here & there.
Elsewhere, we’re breaking our butts to encourage another year’s supply of garden goodies, f’rinstance: today started out overcast so we decided to wrestle with Area 51, getting it ready for the 110+ corn starts that have been growing in the greenhouse these last few weeks. My partner roto-tilled while I watched & worried, then I worked a bunch of compost into the fluffy soil and set up irrigation. We
brought the lovelies out for their first taste of Oregon sunshine and called it a day.
Every year we remind ourselves that Panic & Desperation always overtake us at the beginning of our gardening season. We repeat our mantras (e.g., “It’s not an infinite number of weeds, just a whale of a lot…it’s not an infinite number of weeds….”) and try to remember that some people pay good money to get this much stretching & lifting exercise in…and we trust that in a month or two, all this work will slack off and we’ll start plucking sweet fresh fruit & veggies from the dirt out there.
Meanwhile, we’ve commenced our late afternoon practice: a lovely glass of wine with an ibuprofen chaser.
Around our house, the vibrant unkillable purple species irises are called ‘Auburndales’, because that’s the town where I first dug up a no-longer-flowering overcrowded patch beside the house we were renting, and put the leftover rhizomes into a plastic planter that moved with us when we finally bought this place.
Since we’re very much hobby (lazy) gardeners, we spent Saturday at our favorite garden center, picking out annuals and replacement planters and a couple more bags of mulch. (Every weekend between now and August will involve at least one trip to purchase mulch or potting soil or both.) Today I’ll be transferring those annuals into the planters, and hopefully finding enough daylight to spread the new mulch before Monday’s predicted downpours…
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2017-05-21 02:32:082017-05-21 02:35:59Donald of Arabia: A Photo Album
Despite Adam’s attempts to jinx me, I picked up the car this afternoon and there were no problems. Pretty seamless all the way around. The Subaru broke down Wednesday, they called me and gave me the details on the repair costs and likelihood of success, Thursday morning, that afternoon I went and test drove it, put down the down payment Friday, and picked it up today. I’d spent the last couple months researching CRV’s and Lexuses, so when the CRV was available in that shapoe and with that mileage, it was a no brainer.
Mom took me down to pick it up, and afterwards I treated her to lunch at Avenue Eats in Wheeling (I think David Anderson went there once on my recommendation), and while there took some pictures for my sister which I will now share with you:
This is the first car I have ever had with bluetooth (I had to play itunes through one of those shit fm transmitters in the Subaru), and the CRV has this nice seven speaker system and sounds great, so that is a real plus. Mileage is really good and it rides well, and I don’t miss the HP the Subaru
From the Washington Post, in its role as the paper for a company town whose monopoly industry is politics — “The worst job in Washington right now: Working for Trump“:
… Some White House staffers have turned to impeachment gallows humor. Other mid-level aides have started contacting consultants, shopping their résumés. And at least one senior staffer has begun privately talking to friends about what a post-White House job would look like, according to two people close to the staffer…
…[Trump’s] team is growing increasingly weary. Privately they say that the problem is not an incompetent communications shop, as the president sometimes gripes, or an ineffectual chief of staff, as friends and outside operatives repeatedly warn, but the man in the Oval Office, whose preferred management style is one of competing factions and organized chaos…
One Republican operative in frequent contact with White House officials described them as “going through the stages of grief.” Another said some aides have “moved to angry,” frustrated with a president who demands absolute loyalty but in recent days has publicly tarnished the credibility of his team by sending them out with one message — only to personally undercut it later with a contradictory tweet or public comment.
And a third said that others are sticking around purely for self-interest, hoping to juice their future earning potential. This Republican added that any savvy White House staffer should be keeping a diary. “The real question is, how long do you put up with it?” this person said. “Every one of those people could get a better-paying job and work less hours.”…
Are there no Koch-fueled conservative ‘think’ tanks? Are there no Mercer-paid ‘study groups’?
Take the word of Rick Wilson, “Republican political consultant for almost 30 years” — “If you work for Trump, it’s time to quit“:
…Whether you’re a 20-something fresh off the campaign trail, or a seasoned Washington insider serving in the Cabinet, by now you’re painfully aware that you’re not making America great again; you’re barely making it to the end of the daily news cycle before your verbally incontinent boss, the putative leader of the free world, once again steers the proverbial car into a ditch. On every front, you’re faced with legal, political and moral hazards. The president’s job, and yours, is a lot harder than it looked, and you know the problem originates in the Oval Office…
You learned quickly that your job isn’t actually to serve the nation, manage your agency or fulfill the role you ostensibly play according to the White House org chart. In reality, you spend most of your time fluffing Trump’s ego. Either that or you’re making excuses for not being a more aggressive suck-up. If you’ve been ordained to appear on television as an administration surrogate, you know by now that your task isn’t to advocate for your agency or issue, but to lavish the president with praise…
You already know you can’t save the president because he doesn’t want to be saved. You already know there’s not another, better version of Trump getting ready to show up. You’re smart. You’re loyal. You’re sniffing the wind like a gazelle, nose filled with the scents of predators. You don’t want to break from the pack too soon, but there’s greater risk in waiting too long…
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2017-05-20 18:22:302017-05-20 18:08:52Open Thread: Bring on the Very, Very Tiny Violins
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Adam L Silvermanhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAdam L Silverman2017-05-20 17:41:462017-05-20 17:41:46We Go Now to Breaking Coverage of the Dealership Preparing Cole's New Car for Pickup