Open Thread: More Global Adventures with the Trump Crime Cartel

They look like any other bunch of rich kleptocrats on parade. Remember when the Repubs thought Secretary of State HR Clinton’s official trips were embarrassing-bordering-on-treasonous?

Caption Contest

This has been all over Twitter today. It’s for those of us who don’t know anything about CUPS in dogs.

I spent a good part of the afternoon at the New Mexico History Museum’s new exhibit on the 1960s counterculture in New Mexico. It was so-so.

But this does look like something out of an acid trip.

CUPS Disease in Dogs

Do any of you have any experience with CUPS? My friend’s dog is in really bad shape and they are at their wits end.

WordPress Update In a Few Minutes

Just a (hopefully!) quick update to the core WordPress install.

I’m hitting the sack after doing it, so I won’t be in the comments; feel free to suggest site tweaks or what-have-you as I will be planning a lot of that this coming week.

‘night all!

Oh – Open Thread!

Open Thread: We’ll Always Have Paris Snark

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…

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.

We can write letters too

Write a letter to Senator Hatch at 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.

Open Thread: Just Desserts

A compost creme pie right inna kisser, and who’s done more to deserve it?

Human Auto-Tune’s Vapid Pitch

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!

And open thread!

* H/T: Sam Bee

UPDATED: Fancy Grub + Lost Dog (Open Thread)

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?

Open thread!

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.

Thanks for any help.

Anyone have ideas on how to help this dog?

UPDATE II: Here’s a photo:

He looks like a sweet fellow.

Sunday Morning Garden Chat: “What Were We Thinking?!?”

Beloved gardening regular & photography whiz Marvel:

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
mundane surroundings.

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…

What’s going on in your gardens this week?

Donald of Arabia: A Photo Album


(Nice cup of tea, but no accompanying large bowl of individually-wrapped pharmaceuticals)


(Edgar suit, Men in Black)

Conjure your own images:

We Have Ignition!

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

Open Thread: Bring on the Very, Very Tiny Violins

You knew what he was when you signed up to work for him!

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…

We Go Now to Breaking Coverage of the Dealership Preparing Cole’s New Car for Pickup

Open thread!

Some good news on voting rights

Some good voting rights news from Alabama:

“Many” Alabama felons will soon regain the right to vote if Gov. Kay Ivey signs a bill that landed on her desk Thursday morning, according to advocates.

The bill, called the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, passed both houses of the state legislature Wednesday, a victory for backers who have sought for years to see it codified into law.

If Ivey signs it, the bill would more clearly define the term “moral turpitude” as it is used in the state constitution, which stipulates that “no person convicted of a felony of moral turpitude” may vote….

the term would refer to less than 50 specific “felonies that involve moral turpitude which disqualify a person from exercising his or her right to vote,” the legislation states.

By redefining “moral turpitude,” the bill would effectively restore “thousands” of felons’ right to vote.

The governor has indicated she will sign the bill this week.

Open thread