Happy Thanksgiving and Open Thread

I hope your holiday is filled with great food and spirits, warmth and pleasant company.

I think that there actually are a few things we can be thankful for this year -- but we are not yet out of the woods: The good news is the narcissist who posed the biggest threat to our democracy in the last century (at least) has slipped to the back-burner and faces legal hurdles at every turn, from his removal of documents from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, his or his legal team's attempts to overturn the 2020 election, especially in Georgia, troubles over his and his corporation's taxes, a pending civil lawsuit for sexual assault, and probably more.

More good news is that vaccines and new COVID treatments have lessened the likelihood of severe illness and death the past several months. [More...]


On the flip side, Trump is making another run for the oval office. Whether out of desperation to preserve some imaginary form of immunity from prosecution, or just his delusional sense of grandeur, we have to remember he still has his under-informed, marginalized supporters who will vote for him just because they hate Democrats.

I've been saying for years, and I'll say it again, the song that most resonates with me when forced to think about Donald Trump is "Sweet Virginia" by the Rolling Stones, "it's time to scrape that sh*t right off your (our) shoes".

Nor are we yet clear of the dangers of the variants of COVID-19. I was literally the only person in my local grocery store wearing a mask today. No one in my apartment building has worn one for months. Yet Thanksgiving is a very dangerous time, because so many people get together indoors and this is an airborne virus and its mutations we are dealing with . A good piece of advice I read is to plan your event according to the risk posed to the most vulnerable persons attending your gathering. The next best piece of advice is for everyone attending an indoor gathering to do a home test in the morning, particularly if an elderly person or person at greater risk of severe illness from COVID is attending.

here is the latest from Dr. Anthony Faucci, an American treasure we'll be losing next month as White House chief medical advisor and, for the past 40 years, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:

With Thanksgiving approaching, Fauci said it “makes sense that you might want to get a test that day before” coming in contact with friends and relatives. Updated boosters against the BA.4/5 variant provide a “14 times lower risk of dying” and “at least a 3 times lower risk of testing positive compared to the unvaccinated individuals,” he added.

Dr. Faucci's final press briefing is here.

It's still hit and miss, and no one knows in advance who will get long-covid, so please be cautious and insistent if you fear your personal circumstances put you at greater risk from COVID-19 than the risk others face.

One last thing: On the Club Q shooting: We all need to protect the rights of those who are transgender or identify as non-binary. I was astonished today to read so many ignorant comments on a Fox news article in which people who identified as over 60 claimed to have never heard the word non-binary before and had to look it up. One said they thought the word was "non-dairy". Others just mocked the idea and said they'd never accept it.

Aldrich is 22 years old, extremely physically unattractive, obese and projects an unpleasant demeanor. They were obviously medicated from the beating injuries (including being pistol-whipped by the good-Samaritan who jumped them and grabbed a handgun from them.) It seemed like even their public defenders hadn't bonded with them yet. Whatever crisis, media make-over or jury selection expert is ultimately hired by the defense team is going to have their hands full humanizing them.

Yet Aldrich seems like a great opportunity to remind everyone that our constitutional rights are not there merely to protect the innocent. They are to ensure that everyone, even those we perceive to be lowest among us, receive a fair trial. If we don't protect the rights of people like Aldrich, and those we believe to be the most heinous among us, those rights may no longer be there when we or our loved ones need them.

Shorter version: You don't have to like him. As Oprah once said about why people should vote for Hillary even if they don't like her, "You don't have to like her. It's not like she's coming over to your house for dinner. You just have to vote for her." The same thing is true about Aldridge: You can think he's gross or evil or whatever other word you want. But as far as his legal proceedings, you have to urge and explain to people less informed than you that his rights must be protected, just like the rights of those who strike you as innocent and wrongfully accused. If they aren't, those rights may no longer be there when you or your loved ones need them.

Please let us know in comments how your Thanksgiving day went, and if you cooked, please share the menu. We like that kind of stuff here. I'll start: I'm cooking lasagna (3rd year in arow) with key lime pie and chocolate cake, topped with gelato for dessert.

But it's an open thread, feel free to choose the topic.

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    OK, then, I'm going to (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by leap2 on Thu Nov 24, 2022 at 03:25:41 PM EST
    friends' house this afternoon and I'm bringing a pumpkin pie I made with a bottom "crust" of crushed pecans, cinnamon, sugar, butter, and eggwhite. (One friend is an actual sufferer of celiac disease.) The pumpkin part is loaded with fresh-grated ginger and nutmeg. Oh man does it smell wonderful!

    And I made a blueberry cobbler with a top crust of butter, whole wheat pastry flour, sesame seeds, salt, a bit of sugar for the non-gluten-free. The blueberries were from my garden crop this year. I have bags and bags, gallons of frozen blueberries and raspberries in my freezer. Also, too, frozen peaches and nectarines from my two little trees. The apricot tree lost almost all of its blossoms from back-to-back snow storms April 13 and 14. I had two cots this summer. :( They were quite large. though. No competition! Cots are the earliest blooming fruits trees around here. We must be at the northern limits of their range.

    Happy T-Day! Don't over-eat.... You'll have more leftovers.

    Happy T-Day... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by desertswine on Thu Nov 24, 2022 at 03:27:18 PM EST
    Here's my contribution...

    Chimayo Cocktail

       1 1/2 oz gold tequila
       1 oz apple cider (preferably unfiltered)
       1/4 oz lemon juice
       1/4 oz creme de cassis

       In a cinnamon-sugar rimmed glass with ice, add all ingredients and stir until glass frosts over.  Garnish with fresh apple slices and enjoy.

       by Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant

    I spent Thursday watching TV marathons (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 09:39:28 AM EST
    drinking smoking and cooking.  Three of my four favorite things along with eating.

    All my usual local thanksgiving mates were away visiting relatives or whatever else.  Both my siblings had their separate eat fests.  With grand children and great grandchildren and various hangers on a united party would probably be a hundred people.  So turkeys have been shared separately for the last several years.

    I was invited to both.  Either would have welcomed me.

    But I just couldn't do it.  Couldn't.  I stopped by to visit my brother and sister separately on Wed.  

    But all the libtard hating Trump loving yokels would have been there.  In both places.

    And I just couldn't do it.

    It was not sad or lonely.  It was actually kind of nice.  Recent years have led to days of dred leading up to the holidays.  

    I don't really care about holidays.  I do care about my mental health.

    I had Sticky Shiitake Mushrooms

    With veggie stir fry and quinoa.

    Then home made peach cobbler

    I was fine.

    Captain, (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 11:47:25 AM EST
    you  no doubt have much to be thankful for, particularly your ability to entertain ideas and yourself.   We have a detente of sorts---conversational topics limited to the weather, food, sports...although there was a brief breach.  The "terrible " schools crept into a discussion, including the "filth" being taught these days ala Pompeo, DeSantis/ Fox.

    Oh, like what?  Was asked. Well, they use the word p*nis. Really!  In what context and at what level, pre-school, kindergarten,  middle school. college?   In health classes, biology classes?  Answer: not sure, but no need to expose children, or something.  Ended with jokes about maybe pee pee would be acceptable, and the conversation moved along. But, still.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 12:04:49 PM EST
    That's so annoying. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 01:11:41 PM EST
    I'm reminded of the response offered by my late grandmother, a devout Roman Catholic, to her own sister during a similar conversation about sex education in public schools 30 years ago: "Oh, grow up! Ignorance is not bliss."

    At Thanksgiving 2016 (none / 0) (#9)
    by RickyJim on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 01:37:17 PM EST
    Arriving guests were told, "no politics."  The rule is still in effect.  

    FWIW (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 04:36:57 PM EST
    discussing politics has been banned from these gatherings for a long time.  Farther back that 2016.  Precisely because my family is and has always been very political.  Multiple family actually involved in politics.  And we like to argue.

    So all banning discussion really did is create an undercurrent of subtext that's like a cross between quicksand and rip tide.

    Unavoidable and inescapable.  I'm not good at subtext.


    Small family (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 11:32:51 AM EST
    got even smaller with members out of town for Thanksgiving. Since it was just my daughter, her husband and I, we had a wine tasting at a nice restaurant and ate there. Wine was good, food was excellent and we even had leftovers to bring home.

    Even smaller here. My daughter and I enjoyed (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 05:33:46 PM EST
    a wonderful dinner at Bistro du Marche in La Jolla. Many others had the same inspiration.

    I love La Jolla (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 07:19:58 PM EST
    One summer, a colleague from California let me and the TL kid and a friend stay in his home there for a month while he and and wife went to Hawaii. Another summer, a friend of mine rented a condo there for the summer and I spent a month there (in separate trips, not a month all together.) The Valencia hotel has the best paella and Del Mar (a town or two away) has such a fun racetrack with really good hotdogs. The sunsets in La Jolla are the best.

    I enjoy it too. But way too expensive to live (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 07:37:14 PM EST
    there.  20 min. drive from each is close enough.

    Thankful for Family and Health (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by john horse on Sun Nov 27, 2022 at 02:29:57 PM EST
    Recovering from surgery.  So thankful for family and health.

    Regarding politics, I think the fundamental question in our country is whether we are a kind and decent people.  Despite all the racism, sexism, exploitation, etc. and painfully slow progress, I believe Americans are basically a kind and decent people.  Our country has come so far, yet has so far left to go.  I am so thankful to my brothers, sisters, and comrades on the Left who continue the good fight and have kept the faith.

    I hope (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Nov 27, 2022 at 04:48:58 PM EST
    everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have been in NC and SC and not at home for over a week until now.

    I have been pretty much out of the news cycle deliberately figuring I could catch up at home.

    I have been thinking about this Trump running again thing. No one else has announced. I know it is early yet. I have to say though does any other candidate want to be asked repeatedly if they are going to pardon Donald Trump? You know it's going to be a question everyone is asked. Dodging it will win you no converts. After thinking about that I have begun to wonder if any of these ones like Youngkin and DeSantis are going to end up running. I wonder if the GOP isn't just going to write off 2024 because it's unlikely that anyone is going to knock off Trump and running is only going to damage their other candidates for any future runs. I also have thought that by the time 2028 rolls around Youngkin and DeSantis will be tired former governors.

    Just some of my thoughts on all this anyway.

    Really, really hope you are prescient. (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by oculus on Sun Nov 27, 2022 at 07:10:25 PM EST
    Trump's legacy could be the permanent (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 10:05:34 AM EST
    marginalization of the Republican party.  These people have lived in their info bubbles for so long they have no idea what they sound like to regular people.

    Like Pat.  Not one word about what he has done and said.  No mention of the clear threat to our way of life he represents.  Just a pathetic little sad face that he is now an albatross around the neck of every republican and they can't win with him as a figurehead.  

    Lindsey's truth fart about how the party will be destroyed and they will deserve it may end up being the one true thing he ever said.

    Evangelical celebrity and far-right activist Pat Boone told the Daily Beast that Donald Trump shouldn't run for president again.

    Said Boone: "I don't think there are enough Republicans who would vote for him so he could be elected. But he was his own worst enemy in his manner and his speech. And he made so many enemies that, while he could be a great president again if he muted his speech and all of that--which I'm not sure he's capable of--I would advise him, `Please don't run. I think you will divide the Republican Party even more.'"

    He added: "Sure, there are a few million people that will support him no matter what. But I think--because of the implacable, unmovable enemies he's created, even in the Republican Party--that he would not be elected."


    If he had only muted his speech (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 11:42:29 AM EST
    Translation - he keeps saying the quiet part out loud.

    Guilty (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 04:16:13 PM EST

    Oath Keepers Founder Guilty of Seditious Conspiracy
    November 29, 2022 at 5:15 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 22 Comments

    "A federal jury on Tuesday convicted Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes of seditious conspiracy for leading a months-long plot to unleash political violence to prevent the inauguration of President Biden, culminating in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol," the Washington Post reports.

    "The verdict in Rhodes's case likely will be taken as a bellwether for two remaining Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy trials set for December against five other Oath Keepers and leaders of the Proud Boys, including the longtime chairman Henry `Enrique' Tarrio."

    "Both Rhodes and Tarrio are highly visible leaders of the alt-right or far-right anti-government movements, and were highlighted at hearings probing the attack earlier this year by the House Jan. 6 committee."

    One word: (none / 0) (#48)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 04:18:34 PM EST

    I like some bobbleheads (none / 0) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 04:35:59 PM EST
    are calling him Elmer.  Probably the way the verdict was read.  Elmer Stewart Rhodes.

    They should all call him Elmer.


    The jury verdicts were split (none / 0) (#51)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 05:38:15 PM EST
    Two of four defendants guilty of seditious conspiracy, two not guilty of that but guilty only of obstructing an official proceeding (the electoral vote count). A warning to the govt not to overcharge this very serious offense below the highest level of seditious leadership.  It also shows the jury to be discerning, not biased, and thus makes the convicted defendants' burden on appeal that much more onerous.

    The US Senate (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 05:33:52 PM EST
    passed (61 to 35) The Respect for Marriage Act.  The senate-approved bill will now go back to the House for alignment with the senate changes.   Steny  Hoyer says it will be voted on next week, when it is expected to pass. It then goes to President Biden for signing into.law.

    The vote (none / 0) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 05:39:56 PM EST
    was 61 to 36 with 12 Republicans voting for the senate bill to enshrine marriage equality into federal law. (Note vote tally change from above).

    While not as strong (none / 0) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 05:46:34 PM EST
    as we would want, it does offer some protection against our activist SCOTUS.

    While good news (none / 0) (#54)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 05:54:57 PM EST
    I'm not sure this is something to celebrate.   I agree the protection it offers is very important.  But it seems a tiny bit "separate but equal" to me.

    What it does not do is say a same sex marriage is just as valid and equal to a straight marriage.  And yes they are told they must recognize the marriages if performed in another state, after it has been outlawed in yours, but I'm a little nervous about the camel's nose under the tent aspect.

    If we can deny them the right to marry can deny them the right to.....this?  Or this?  How about this?


    Also a question (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 06:53:28 PM EST
    Is this only relevant if Obergefell is reversed?

    The mutual recognition provision (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 07:24:13 PM EST
    is irrelevant while Obergefell stands (which I personally think it will, regardless). The religious exemption provision is tricky. My initial assessment is that the "protection" against compelled participation that it gives to churches and their affiliates -- but importantly, not to individuals -- is no more than the Free Exercise Clause would require anyway. And by omitting any support for individual religious "objectors," it arguably undercuts their claims and at worst leaves them no better off than they stood without the law.

    Yes, the (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 07:30:13 PM EST
    federal law will have merit only if the SC overturns Obergefell.  The threat arises from the concurrent opinion of Clarence Thomas in Dobbs that overturned Roe v Wade.  

    And, not only his threat to Obergefell, but also, to its "building blocks", including Lawrence (right to consensual same sex intimacy), and Griswold (contraception). The Act will repeal.DOMA, which was overturned in Windsor.

     Things would really get complicated  if Lawrence and Obergefell were overturned and Red states were required to recognize SS marriages under federal law and SS intimacy was illegal in those states.. It would be a disaster if the SC messed with the full faith and credit clause upon which the recognition is based. Then we have a confederacy not a union. Which may be right up the reactionaries alley.


    Is it unusual (none / 0) (#60)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 08:22:10 PM EST
    for a federal law the be passed solely (or mostly) "just in case"?

    Definitely (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 08:48:00 PM EST
    Very rare, I would say. I would like to mention, also, that I would much rather have seen a statute enacted pursuant to Section 5 of the 14th Amendment, in which Congress finds that codification of a nation-wide right to equal marriage was "appropriate legislation" to enforce the Equal Protection Clause of Section 1.

    RIP Christine McVie (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 02:40:17 PM EST
    Another rock and roll legend is gone. I didn't appreciate Fleetwood Mac until I got older.

    For only the third time in about 35 years (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 24, 2022 at 09:11:44 PM EST
    we did not host a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for a large number of family members. We have three grown daughters, each of whom is (happily) married, and so far have three grandchildren. Only one of those couples lives within 1/2 hour of us; one is 2-1/2 hrs away, and the third is 2000 miles distant. Each of our kids' spouses has two living parents (all in long-term marriages). That means we are now competing (so to speak) with three other households of our generation who want at least some of our grown kids and grands to be with them just as much as we do. Plus, we were all together about six weeks ago for our youngest's wedding. Today, kind of crazily, we wound up have a big T-giving dinner at the home of the sister and brother-in-law (very nice, talented young people, but whom we hardly know) of our youngest daughter's wife. This was supposed to be a rendezvous with the new d-in-l's parents, but then they couldn't even come, because they came down with Covid! But the parents of our d-in-l's bro-in-law were there, and they turned out to be really nice, smart, lovely folks. The hosts cooked a gigantic feast (two roast chickens were the main dish, for some reason), served like turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce. Plus a vast number of exotic sides including celery root, rutabaga, kale salad, and string beans with mushrooms. Our daughter brought mashed sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top (which my mother used to make). Three different wines. Dessert included pumpkin bread that we brought, made from our Halloween pumpkin, a pecan and ginger pie (wonderful), a pumpkin pie (not great), and two kinds of homemade ice cream. Good thing we all took a long walk between dinner and dessert. I was kind of dreading having dinner with people we (mostly) did not know, with a menu that was not our own. But it actually worked out very well. Hoping the oldest daughter, her husband and our 3-yr-old grandson will make it for a day or two this weekend, having spent Thanksgiving at his parents, who live 90 miles north of us. We have all the fixins for our own traditional Thanksgiving dinner ready to go for Saturday, if they do make it.

    Pleased to (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 25, 2022 at 09:03:30 AM EST
    learn that your Thanksgiving Day worked out so well, save for the pumpkin pie.  Hope you have a deja vu this weekend.

    So we went ahead and made another (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 07:33:42 PM EST
    Thanksgiving dinner today, with most of the elements of our family traditions. Because we had already done the shopping in the expectation of a larger crowd, we made enough dinner for ten adults and three kids, including roasting a 14-pound turkey, even though in the end we only had four adults and one kid at the table (eldest daughter, her husband, and our grandson). So now we have endless leftovers. We thought we had cranberry sauce in the pantry, but then couldn't find any; so we used ginger-peach chutney instead. Excellent. Actually, everything was really good. The pumpkin pie, following the recipe in my wife's Kentucky aunt's 1935 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, was the best ever.

    Trader Joe's sells (none / 0) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 07:54:31 PM EST
    A mango, ginger chutney that I use quite a lot. It goes well with most meats but I tend to use it with pork most often. Even use it on my ham sandwiches.

    We had a jar of that TJ's mango chutney (none / 0) (#19)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 08:17:23 PM EST
    in the pantry also, but opted for the peach-ginger instead. The mango came in second when we discussed what to substitute.

    I can see where the peach-ginger (none / 0) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 09:55:16 PM EST
    would go well with turkey. I haven't seen that flavor. I'm always looking for new chutneys...what brand is it?

    Several years back, TJ had a cranberry chutney that I loved but they don't sell it anymore.


    The ginger peach chutney is from (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 10:12:47 PM EST
    Tait Farm Foods of Centre Hall, PA. They also sell a cranberry chutney. The cost of shipping may make ordering it on line prohibitive. For many years, a friend of my wife's would make cranberry chutney and give us a small Ball jar of it annually. Delicious.

    Peach/ginger tea leaves make the (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Sun Nov 27, 2022 at 03:52:22 PM EST
    best iced tea.

    Ha ha (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 02:33:26 PM EST

    The source familiar with the dinner conversation said the dinner grew heated after Ye -- who announced another run for president in 2024 on Thursday -- asked Trump to be his running mate. Trump then began insulting Ye's ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, according to the source and a video that Ye posted to Twitter on Thanksgiving Day recounting the dinner.

    "Don't know (none / 0) (#15)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 03:43:58 PM EST
    why these anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic, misogynists keep coming to have dinner with me at my Club."   TFG.

    I would pay (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 26, 2022 at 04:28:33 PM EST
    To see and hear what happened after Ye asked Trump to be his running mate.

    You can count me as one of those ... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Nov 27, 2022 at 12:44:22 PM EST
    Jeralyn: "We all need to protect the rights of those who are transgender or identify as non-binary. I was astonished today to read so many ignorant comments on a Fox news article in which people who identified as over 60 claimed to have never heard the word non-binary before and had to look it up."

    ... who is over 60 and didn't know what the term "non-binary" meant. I had to ask my younger daughter. That said, I agree with you. Just because we never heard of it before, that doesn't mean it therefore doesn't exist.

    I still have trouble with the pronouns, and it had admittedly taken more than a bit of getting used to. But I'm working on it because respecting and accepting other people's self-identification is the right and decent thing to do.

    There's enough hostility and misunderstanding out there in the world as it is; why add to it? Ignorance can be cured with knowledge and greater awareness. Stupidity endures when we're so stubborn and set in our self-absorbed ways that we refuse to learn and evolve in accordance with the times.

    To be sure, it does take work to keep up. But that very challenge is often what makes life interesting. When we cease being interested and curious about the world around us, we stop growing - and then it's all quickly downhill from there.

    Hope everyone had a great weekend. Aloha.

    Not bothering to push them out windows anymore (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Nov 27, 2022 at 02:45:04 PM EST

    Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei has died, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday, providing scant detail.

    On Facebook, the ministry wrote Saturday that Makei "died suddenly today." It also posted a picture of Makei on Twitter, writing in English that he "has passed away," without saying where or how he died. He was 64.

    After 38 years of slumber, Mauna Loa ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 10:37:25 AM EST
     ... has finally awakened in the early morning hours today. The eruption is currently confined to its summit caldera (elev. 13,680 ft.) for the time being, and there is currently no indication of any migration of the eruption into a rift zone. But that could change suddenly and thus bears close monitoring. Lava flows are visible from South Kona, and Hawaii County civil defense officials are preparing to open emergency shelters for local residents in the town of Pahala, which is 55 miles southwest of us in Hilo.

    Correction: Lava flows are visible ... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 10:53:45 AM EST
    ... from North Kona at Waikoloa and not from South Kona. You can view the Mauna Loa summit eruption from these USGS webcams posted along the rim of Moku`āweoweo Caldera.

    Be careful, Donald (none / 0) (#30)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 12:16:41 PM EST
    I was thinking about you earlier today when I saw the news.
    May Madame Pele be kind to you all.

    Thank you, Zorba. (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 12:43:26 PM EST
    Mauna Loa's summit is about 60 miles from us to the southwest, and the mountain looms over us on the skyline. But if a lava flow starts heading our way as it did in 1935 and 1984, we'll likely have plenty of warning of at least two weeks.

    The big danger is to South Kona and Ka'u, because the mountain is really a lot steeper on the south and west sides than on the east, and any flows breaking out in that direction will head downhill much faster. Scientists estimate that South Kona will have perhaps five hours warning for any breakout there.

    I'm heading over to Kailua-Kona around noontime with the mayor to check on an evacuation center that's opening this morning. Apparently, some residents of South Kona have already evacuated up there. It's more of a photo op than anything else, but in this day and age of instant media coverage, the administration has to engage. I certainly didn't have "Volcanic Eruption" on "Things to Do" list at work when I left the office last Friday, but it is what it is.

    Take care and stay warm.


    UPDATE: Here's what Mauna Loa's eruption ... (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 02:05:18 AM EST
    ... looked like tonight from Daniel K. Inouye Hwy. on our drive back to Hilo from Kailua-Kona. We were at 6,000 ft. in elevation, and the lava flow was 10 miles away.

    Here's an archived shot of Mauna Loa's Apr. 1984 eruption from Hilo as the main lava flow moved inexorably toward the town. It eventually stopped five miles from its outlying neighborhoods to the south.

    I have to admit, I was left in awe of tonight's views. We always wondered if we would ever get to see Mauna Loa erupt, since such events occur on average once every 30-40 years. And now we have. It's not at all frightening. It's simply incredible to see this massive mountain, the largest active volcano in the world, roar to life like this.



    UPDATE: I have to share ... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 02:15:13 AM EST
    ... this view of Mauna Loa from my office window tonight. Mind you, the summit is nearly 60 miles away and 13,700 ft. high while we're at sea level. The eruption has spread down the mountain's northeast rift zone and the weather was clear, which makes for a spectacular shot. You can see the lava flow moving down the mountain in our general direction, but it poses no threat - at least, not now.

    Could be an eventful week (none / 0) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 11:06:01 AM EST
    Congress is back.  The Special Master will likely be told he is not special after all.


    I'm sure that's fine with him. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 12:53:01 PM EST
    In any event, Judge Raymond Dearie certainly wasn't giving Team Trump any breaks in their dealings with him, and we can at least appreciate that. The judge who's likely in for a verbal reaming by the appellate court is Aileen Cannon, a partisan Federalist society airhead who really has no business being on the bench.

    I'm sure that's true (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 01:05:12 PM EST
    But eliminating him is still a big deal.  And the senate may protect marriage this week.   And maybe the first sedition convictions in a while I think.

    Feels like wheels are turning.


    Have you listened to the podcast 'Ultra'? (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 01:16:29 PM EST
    It's about the America First movement in the early 1940s, Nazi Germany's attempts to undermine U.S. democracy, and the Great Sedition Trial of 1944. Rachel Maddow and Co. did a really good job explaining that history and its relevance to today.

    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 01:53:25 PM EST
    Her Ultra podcast was really good.  Recommended

    I hope (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 03:46:41 PM EST
    you are right.

    Judging by Trump meltdowns about Jack Smith, it would seem you are at least on the right track here.


    Stay safe (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 01:06:35 PM EST
    Looks like air quality will be the thing for now.

    an effort to break down the concept (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 05:22:53 PM EST
    of political power.

    It would take some time to unpack that statement.

    Justices Signal Limit to Corruption Prosecutions
    November 28, 2022 at 3:44 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 98 Comments

    "Supreme Court justices signaled they will put new limits on public-corruption prosecutions as they considered overturning the conviction of a onetime top aide to former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo," Bloomberg reports.

    "Hearing arguments in Washington Monday, the justices questioned whether Joseph Percoco could be convicted of so-called honest-services fraud given that he was working for Cuomo's re-election campaign -- and not the government -- during a key eight-month period in 2014. The Biden administration is defending the conviction."

    "Justices from across the court's ideological spectrum said they worried the administration's position would put influential lobbyists -- and those who hire them -- at risk of prosecution. Chief Justice John Roberts described the government's arguments as `an effort to break down the concept of political power.'"

    Any (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by FlJoe on Mon Nov 28, 2022 at 05:49:07 PM EST
    concept of political power that involves "influential lobbyists" deserves to be broken down, ground into dust and be cast into the trash bin of history.

    I'm starting to think this could actually happen (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 10:14:54 AM EST
    Only to McCarthy.  He is such a bumbling boob he could actually make this happen.

    Interesting times

    McCarthy Warns Democrats Could Pick the Speaker
    November 29, 2022 at 10:09 am EST By Taegan Goddard 120 Comments

    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) warned his GOP skeptics in a Newsmax interview against opposing him for Speaker on the House floor.

    Said McCarthy: "We have to speak as one voice. We will only be successful if we work together, or we'll lose individually. This is very fragile -- that we are the only stopgap for this Biden administration."

    He added: "And if we don't do this right, the Democrats can take the majority. If we play games on the floor, the Democrats can end up picking who the Speaker is."


    Anyone But McCarthy?
    November 29, 2022 at 10:59 am EST By Taegan Goddard Leave a Comment

    Tara Palmeri looked at the five GOP lawmakers who have said they won't vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker and found them all pretty firm in their opposition.

    The perceived squishiest of them, Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), said he would only vote for McCarthy under "extreme circumstances."

    Supposedly (none / 0) (#64)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 11:08:29 AM EST
    there are 12 who will not vote for him. He's obviously promised Marge a leadership role the way she's going to bat for Kev. You know those new reps in NY and CA are seeing signs of political death in 2024. LOL.

    I have heard speculation that even if Kevin gets elected speaker don't expect it to last


    Classical gas (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 04:01:27 PM EST
    Tommy Enamuel

    You're welcome

    wow, very nice! (none / 0) (#55)
    by leap2 on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 06:00:08 PM EST
    I didn't think I'd ever want to listen to "Classical Gas" ever again, but, well, this. He looks like he's having so much fun, too. Thanks.

    Tommy Emanuel (none / 0) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 29, 2022 at 06:04:46 PM EST
    Might not be a popular opinion here (none / 0) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 10:13:08 AM EST
    but I have been saying this should be done since I lived in NYC in the 70s and 80s.

    NYC mayor says city officials can hospitalize mentally ill homeless people involuntarily

    I'm glad that's settled (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 12:18:10 PM EST

    Supreme Court Counsel Clears Alito Over Leaked Decision
    November 30, 2022 at 12:56 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 43 Comments

    "The Supreme Court legal counsel said there is no evidence that Justice Samuel Alito violated ethics standards, according to a letter on Monday in response to questions from congressional Democrats about allegations that Alito revealed the outcome of a 2014 decision before it was released," CNN reports.

    Congress really needs to do something ... (none / 0) (#67)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 03:11:26 PM EST
    ... about the Supreme Court Historical Society where for a nice donation - an amount of which would be ruinous to one of us, but is chump change to the sort of people who are willing to drop that dime - you can have exclusive access to sitting members of the High Bench all in a social setting of course.

    Nobody should be allowed to lobby the Supreme Court through a back door, a social occasion or whatever. Nothing good can come from such ex parte discussions.

    As for the justices themselves, like Sammy Alito and Brett Kavanaugh, if they want to make political decisions, then they should resign their seats and run for public office.

    My biggest fear is rooted in the fact that the Supreme Court's authority is primarily of the moral variety. That is, we defer to their opinions out of respect for the Court itself. And the Court's conservative majority is squandering the public's respect the members and the institution.

    What will happen when that same majority issues an unpopular opinion that is roundly condemned and rejected by the public, to the point where some people and even states feel confident in choosing to ignore it? What then?

    It would be like President Andrew Jackson's alleged quote when hearing of the Supreme Court's 1835 opinion upholding Cherokee title to northern Georgia: "Justice Marshall has rendered his opinion. Now let him enforce it." Then came the Trail of Tears.



    It sometimes seems like (none / 0) (#68)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 03:29:43 PM EST
    they are doing their best they give democrats enough reason to expand the court

    12 seems like a good number


    needs to be an uneven number (none / 0) (#69)
    by leap2 on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 05:04:02 PM EST
    so as to avoid ties. As if that makes a difference....

    I think there are (none / 0) (#70)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 05:36:13 PM EST
    13 circuit courts.

    You are right.  


    Justices (none / 0) (#72)
    by leap2 on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 07:55:13 PM EST
    as circuit justices (scroll down)

    Thirteen justices would be a good number. But it will never happen under any Democrat in charge. Pelosi wouldn't bring it to the floor. You just know the Republicans would have no qualms if they wanted to further pack the court, but they don't need to, as they have their own sleazy ways to maintain control.


    Things (none / 0) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 08:17:47 PM EST

    This is our life now (none / 0) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 30, 2022 at 05:51:54 PM EST