Happy Passover and Open Thread

To those of you attending seders this week for Pesach (Passover), enjoy. I made Matzoh Brei for breadfast, and will have matzoh ball soup for dinner, but I'm not willing to be in a room full of people I haven't seen in a year to do a live seder. Zoom doesn't do much for me either, so I'll take a pass.

Stay safe out there, and don't believe the hype that this virus is on its way out. This Wall St. Journal article about the P.1 variant that's overtaken Brazil is very scary. The Lancet has more on the P.1 variant and Manaus.

Maine got its first case 2 days ago. It is also in New York. [More...]

From the Wall St Journal:

But from the Brazilian jungle and northeastern coastal cities to the southern farming belt, doctors and hospital directors said in interviews with the Journal that the dangers from P.1 are overwhelming and obvious.

“We’re seeing patients who aren’t obese, who have no comorbidities, who are not old but, even so, the virus just overwhelms them,” said Diego Montarroyos Simões, an intensive-care doctor in the northeast city of Recife."

The people dying are no longer old people.

“The virus is claiming parents and their children,” said Eduardo Lopes, 47, an assistant nurse at one of the main hospitals treating Covid-19 patients in Belo Horizonte.

In Porto Alegre, where at least 60% of new Covid-19 infections are caused by P.1, the number of patients between 40 and 69 years old dying in the city has risen 125.5% since December, while total fatalities rose only 102.7%, according to official data analyzed by Álvaro Krüger Ramos, a mathematician at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

There's even a throwback to the miserable days of Donald Trump -- he was just like Bolsonaro:

Brazil also owes its current catastrophe to a fatal combination of what public health experts say was mismanagement of the crisis by the government.

President Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain, has played down the dangers of the disease, disparaging face masks and recently telling Brazilians to get back to work and “stop whining.”

His health ministry has spent tens of millions of dollars on unproven cures for the disease while dragging its feet on vaccine supply deals.

Brazil doesn't have enough vaccines available for its population:

With 10 mutations on the spike protein that helps the virus attach to human cells, P.1 has been found to be more contagious than previous versions. But P.1 also appears to cause more serious illness, said José Eduardo Levi, a virologist at the lab and hospital group DASA.

With vaccines slow to arrive, some cities have taken drastic measures. Araraquara, home to 240,000 people and one of the first cities to be devastated by P.1, shut down supermarkets for six days and public transport for 10 days last month.

At least one mayor gets what's happening:

He said the president’s argument that Brazil must remain open to save its economy made no sense. “No one is going to invest in the middle of a pandemic—either you deal with the pandemic or the economy doesn’t recover,” Mr. Silva said.

In Araraquara, 19 people under the age of 40 have died from Covid-19 this year, or 8.75% of all fatalities from the disease, compared with only one person in 2020, representing 1.1%. One of them was Jorge Carbone, a 35-year-old store manager with no previous health problems. Less than two weeks after complaining of a sore throat, he was dead.

I believe those who think we are out of danger are sadly misinformed, and the rest of us will bear the brunt of their decisions to travel, party, drop their masks and abandon social distancing.

Shorter version: COVID is not over yet, it's not even close.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    We had a very lovely, inspiring Zoom seder (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 28, 2021 at 06:41:59 PM EST
    for the second year in a row. Five households of friends and family in four states (PA, DE, CO, NY). Our family represents religiously diverse traditions -- Jewish, Catholic, Quaker, Unitarian, Lutheran ... plus one Muslim husband of the organizer's daughter, and one son-in-law of ours who is half Roma (Gypsy) and half conservative evangelical (his parents, that is) and so adamantly atheist/anticlerical he won't even join the seder. Seder theme, of course, is liberation of all the oppressed and imprisoned. In addition to the traditional symbolic items, there are an orange (for LGBTQ Jews) and an olive (for the Palestinians) on the
    seder plate. Our daughter succeeded in getting our two-year-old grandson to ask (imitate) "Why?" to begin the four questions. This current seder gang is actually a lot like the leftist, secular folkshul seders I remember from my childhood. Here's the best rendition ever of a Passover song.

    One of my favorite (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 01:02:48 PM EST
    religious ceremonies was a Reform Passover at the local temple.  It was fun.  I have been told the Orthodox version is more serious.  But the version I experienced made it my favorite religious ceremony.

    So many other religious ceremonies are very, very serious, and kids need to be quiet, etc., and pay attention.  And so it was in my own frozen-chosen tradition.


    The kind of seder that I am describing (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 04:09:17 PM EST
    is well beyond (to the left of) "reform." It is to "reform" as "radical" (formerly known as "progressive") is to "liberal." It celebrates the exodus of the Hebrews from biblical Egypt as a metaphor for criminal justice reform, racial justice, immigration reform, labor union rights, gay rights, anti-poverty efforts, etc. No religious group is too small to have innumerable sects, sub-sects, schisms or splinter groups.

    If you're interested, you might look, next year (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 05:43:12 PM EST
    for an open-invitation "Freedom Seder." That version is a fairly popular interfaith, civil rights-oriented ceremony, which originated in 1969.

    Or tune in tonight, it turns out (none / 0) (#28)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 11:41:50 AM EST
    at 8pm Eastern, for a Freedom Seder program from the National Museum of American Jewish History, located on the edge of Independence National Park in Philadelphia.

    When I was very young (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 07:55:11 AM EST
    long before I had ever met anyone of the Jewish faith or had any idea what Jewish even really meant I heard the word Passover and misunderstood it as being Pass sober.  Which obviously meant you could not drink.  On Pass sober.

    When very young (none / 0) (#8)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 12:58:16 PM EST
    when watching football on t.v., which all live beings then did in Texas, I was sure players were constantly being called by the refs for being "out of balance."

    Poor dears, they were just falling all over themselves going off the field, or in other words "Out of bounds."


    I grew up in NJ. (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 01:24:05 PM EST
    When I was very young I asked my dad why the guys in blue were called the "Giants" when they weren't any bigger than the other guys.

    Ha! Good one (none / 0) (#14)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 30, 2021 at 12:29:04 PM EST
    But sorry don't like the Giants.    DNA thing for people in Texas.

    Giants are the luckiest team ever.  Won two Super Bowes they shouldn't have.  Miracle miss of chip shot field goal;  Miracle catch.  


    Ha! Well, not liking the Cowboys (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 30, 2021 at 03:47:08 PM EST
    is a DNA thing for 99% of the country, so...

    It's like a Dumb Pride Parade (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 03:47:16 PM EST

    Garret Miller didn't speak to the law enforcement officers who arrested him on charges he stormed the U.S. Capitol in January, but the T-shirt he was wearing at his Dallas home that day sent a clear and possibly incriminating message.

    Miller's shirt had a photograph of former President Donald Trump, and it said "Take America Back" and "I Was There, Washington D.C., January 6, 2021," federal prosecutors noted in a court filing Monday.


    Trying to watch the (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 30, 2021 at 07:45:41 PM EST
    HBO Q special. Makes my head hurt tho

    I started it and gave up (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 30, 2021 at 08:14:36 PM EST
    I didn't like the way they approached it.  I read that changes somewhat later.  Maybe I'll try again.

    Q members supposedly loved it.


    If Q members (none / 0) (#31)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 12:51:41 PM EST
    Like it, that's a good reason for me not to watch it.

    Newsweek (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 01:57:01 PM EST
    What I learned? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 02:36:08 PM EST
    There are these folks who run websites, all over the world. They are all sorts of and eccentric, and they are making the rest of us very silly and murderous.

    If you have not (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 30, 2021 at 08:21:59 PM EST
    you should try Luminaries on STARZ

    The series finale was Sunday.  It's the best thing I've seen in a while.


    As that review say (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 30, 2021 at 08:25:19 PM EST
    It's a bit dense.  Confusing at first.  But the finale was perfect.  Not a single thread left hanging.  Not a a question left unanswered.

    The one episode turned it from a good series into a great one.


    Who is going to eat (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 02:41:47 PM EST
    Some cicadas?

    I am vary sad (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 03:10:14 PM EST
    I am not in the zone.  No cicadas here.  Sad face.

    I love cicadas


    Apropos of nothing (none / 0) (#41)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 03:26:09 PM EST
    I just read that to this day, 200 years after his death, there's still a law on books in France making it illegal to name a pig Napoleon.

    The true purpose of an open thread. (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 06:14:31 PM EST
    The Italians (none / 0) (#54)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 08:34:40 PM EST
    balance things out by saying porco dio! (God's a pig) if they stub their toes badly at 3 AM or if Italy gets knocked out of the World Cup.

    I joined a foraging group (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 03:34:54 PM EST
    Foraging is kind of exploding too right now. Everyone's outside poking at the spring weeds.

    And cicada crop 17 is all the talk. Sharing of recipes. I'm so uncertain. Don't even know what to say. Watching from a distance for now.


    My love for them (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 03:50:25 PM EST
    does not include eating them.   Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Hey now, a few times over the years (5.00 / 5) (#56)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 01, 2021 at 11:29:34 AM EST
    I've mentioned my involvement in coaching Track and Field out here in the LA, CA area. Being such a populous area the level of competition is very high, and I've always wondered when one of the kids I coached would hit the big time. There have been many standout athletes over the years, but two of them really were head and shoulders above the rest.

    World, meet Tara Davis.

    Last Friday she broke (demolished) Jackie Joyner-Kersee's 36 y/o national NCAA record in the long jump, and that jump is now the World Leading in 2021.

    Look out Tokyo!

    Excellent (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 03:57:05 PM EST
    Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told The Hill on Friday he has no plans of stepping down after coming under fire following reports that the Department of Justice is investigating him for a possible violation of sex trafficking laws.

    Roger knows best (none / 0) (#85)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 09:30:52 AM EST
    listen to Roger

    "He needs to go on offense, this is right upfront in Stone's Rules," Stone told conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his Infowars program. "The left-wing, non-journalist, fake-news media are the most vicious, malicious, dishonest people that I have ever come across," the GOP operative continued. "All of these stories that are maligning Matt Gaetz today are based on leaks. Where is the beef? Where are the facts? I don't think there are any facts. I think this is a good old-fashioned smear." Later in the segment, Stone encouraged Gaetz to stay in the public eye, not hide in a "hole," and make additional TV appearances. "He [Matt Gaetz] should not go hide in a hole, he should be out there, like he was on Tucker [Carlson] last night," Stone added.

    Yes, definitely (none / 0) (#87)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 10:20:15 AM EST
    that appearance on Carlson's show was sooooo successful he should definitely do it again. As far as I can determine, the only thing other than further incriminate himself he accomplished was to tick Tucker off.

    A poll taken, as reported by (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 04:21:26 PM EST
    the NYPost, found. Vlad Putin to be the most handsome man in all the Russias  The Russian survey,, conducted in person, also found that 19% of the men named themselves as the most handsome in Russia and 18% of the women said there were no handsome men in Russia.

    No note in the survey if those who did not vote for Putin were invited out with him for a drink, maybe a cup,of tea.

    Godzilla vs Kong (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 05:03:13 PM EST
    is a wonderful thing

    Gorgeous.  My new default wall paper.

    Fun (none / 0) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 05:11:03 PM EST
    At the time of writing this article, Godzilla vs. Kong currently sits at 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie doesn't necessarily offer audiences a lot of depth, but it makes up for that by being a fun movie-watching experience. While it takes a while to get there, reviews have indicated that the climactic battle is worth it. Here's a look at everything that critics have said about Adam Wingard's Godzilla vs. Kong so far.



    Good (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 07:50:30 AM EST
    Republicans seems to be trying (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 04, 2021 at 08:32:34 AM EST
    to say both that Bidens infrastructure plan will superheat the economy and lead to inflation AND that the increased taxes on the rich will "slow growth" and hinder the return of the economy.

    I get they have never really cared about being consistent or even honest but it seems like they need to pick one.

    OTOH I guess if calling "sleepy Joe" woke makes sense to you logic is not really a consideration.

    Republicans have become the party of white warlords and culture warriors. Their primary appeal is to alienated white individuals who are receptive to their shout outs to white power, white nationalism and ill-perceived and misdirected white grievances against our country's racial, ethnic and social minorities.

    It's not surprising that their message is incoherent if not outright repulsive to most Americans. They are speaking a language that only their hardcore base understands and truly appreciates.

    At all levels of government, from municipal to federal, far-right Republicans have proved themselves far more interested in settling old scores than in actually engaging in even basic governance. And the country as a whole is presently paying a huge price for that sort of malevolent incompetence, both literally and figuratively.

    The State of Michigan is a case in point. Under former Gov. Rick Snyder and the GOP-led state legislature, a policy of "emergency management" was instituted, which quickly led to the deliberate targeting of that state's minority populations and communities. It was never about the state's economy. Their north star was their own misguided sense of vengeance.

    Local government was preempted and supplanted by state authority with particularly devastating results in Flint, where the city's water system was contaminated and effectively destroyed, with subsequent Legionella pneumococcal infections killing scores of its residents and lead poisoning likely damaging an entire generation of its children for the balance of their natural lifetimes.

    The still-unfolding disaster in Flint eventually led to the criminal indictment of numerous GOP state officials including now-former Gov. Snyder himself. In response, other GOP elected officials in the state legislature reacted not with humility and contrition  but rather, by doubling down on stupid and openly consorting with far-right crackpots who occupied the State Capitol building in Lansing with automatic weapons and even plotted to kidnap and possibly assassinate the state's current Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

    That's essentially what we're dealing with here -- a major political party that's broken entirely loose of its moral underpinnings and ethical moorings, and is now completely in the thrall of its most unsavory and unstable fringe elements. They are the proverbial loose cannon rolling around on the deck of USS America.

    I have no idea how this ends. But I am now firmly convinced that if we don't do something about them in short order, Republicans will most assuredly do something about the rest of us.



    In a lot of (none / 0) (#104)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Apr 04, 2021 at 05:14:32 PM EST
    ways it is the same as it always has been with them for a good 30 years and maybe even longer. They just constantly throw mud at the wall and hope it sticks. So with that in mind it makes sense that they would say it would overheat and slow the economy at the same time.

    I don't really think that's true (none / 0) (#105)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 04, 2021 at 05:49:14 PM EST
    I remember a time, in my adult life, when mainstream republicans were smart.  And the were very very good at sounding reasonable.  There was a time not that long ago when they would never have had messaging so silly and contradictory.  They were good at messaging.

    We are in a new era of Factional Truth.  They are not even trying any more.  After Trump nothing needs to make sense.   Just keep saying it like you believe it.

    I think this is colossally stupid and short sighted.  I don't think it's working.  But clearly they do.


    I remember (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Apr 04, 2021 at 06:50:33 PM EST
    that time too but it was around the 70's and 80's. Ever since the rise of Newt this is pretty much what I have heard. I remember Newt predicting that the budget reconciliation act of 1993 was going to create massive suffering due to double digit unemployment. Republicans saying that 1996 was going to have massive rises in gas prices and a massive recession. The end was always around the corner. If you don't vote for George W. Bush you're gonna die.They have been shopping fear and nonsense for a very long time.  

    My biggest concern is that ... (none / 0) (#125)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 06, 2021 at 02:57:27 PM EST
    ... white-wing stupid will beget more white-wing stupid as their frustration level rises and Trump continues to urge them on. An estimated 20-25,000 crackpots already belong to far-right militia groups and judging by accelerating statistics in firearms sales and purchases, many more wingbats appear to be arming themselves to the teeth in preparation for Armageddon or whatever. Recent events have shown that we're actually a lot closer to the rise of a domestic insurgency movement and assymetrical right-wing warfare than many people would otherwise like to believe and publicly admit.

    My opinion (none / 0) (#127)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 06, 2021 at 04:20:35 PM EST
    Of your 20-25000 maybe 1000 are actually dangerous and the rest are full of shi+.

    I actually think history will say Trump ultimately did the world and the country a favor by unmasking (no pun intended) his fans.

    There is no more equivocation.  We know what they want and more importantly we know who they are.   When hundreds of them go to jail, some for a very long time, I think it will be a reminder that there is now a functioning DOJ, FBI and many other 3 letter agencies watching their every move.

    They are being exposed every day in states like TX and GA for laughably blatant efforts to steal elections after a humiliating election loss.    It won't work.  In fact it will IMO backfire and lead to increased turnout.

    I'm sure there will be new horrors and terrorist activity from these morons.

    They are not a threat to the republic.  If there is a threat it's from elected republicans not bomb throwers.


    Also this (none / 0) (#128)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 06, 2021 at 05:02:40 PM EST
    I'm looking forward to the party of big business moving to full populist financing of their stuff by small (recurring) donations from non college educated old white people.

    Seriously.  Good luck with that GQP.

    "Big corporations are the new liberal mob."

    -- Nikki Haley, on Twitter.

    One more thing (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 06, 2021 at 05:14:47 PM EST
    I really really wish they would stop quoting the polls that say "60% of republicans believe the election was stolen" or "55% think Jan 6th was antifa trying to make Trump look bad" without at least mentioning the fact that

    a.) there are fewer republicans every day

    and b.) they do not actually believe this.  BS.  They do not believe this.  They say they do to own the libs and every time talking heads or twitter frets about those numbers, they win.


    I really try to shy away from Nazi analogies, so I'll offer one instead from "Cabaret." We are at the point in Bob Fosse's film where the pretty Hitler Youth boy is singing "Tomorrow Belongs to Me", and people sitting outside in the suburban Berlin Biergarten are starting to arise to join in.

    The underlying subplot of "Cabaret," as well as Christopher Isherwood's story which inspired it, is that few people living in Germany during in the waning days of the Weimar Republic thought much of the S.A. and S.S., either, until they commenced to cow most of an unsuspecting populace into submission.

    (A few years later, after Adolf Hitler took power in Berlin as chancellor, the S.S. would at Hitler's command then turn upon and liquidate most of the S.A., but that's a whole 'nother story.)

    Likewise, the fact that a well-heeled right-wing thug like Donald Trump can bend an entire major political party to his will, foist a cascade of of chaos and tragedy he brought upon the entire country, and then STILL induce 74 million Americans to vote for another four years of his Schitt, ought to give us all pause to take serious stock of the politically perilous moment we're in.

    I agree with you that a significant majority (90%?) of the 20-25,000 white-wing militia types are generally lowlife clowns and cowards, who are further not concentrated by scattered across the continental 48. But while they'll always be lowlife, they won't be clowns for very much longer, if we ignore them or underestimate the potential threat they pose. As we saw on January 6, even a few thousand of these yahoos can cause us an awful lot of grief.



    I missed this a few days ago... (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by desertswine on Sun Apr 04, 2021 at 03:52:39 PM EST
    Mitch (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 10:36:01 AM EST
    McConnell condemns corporate backlash to Georgia voting law

    "Nobody really thinks this current dispute comes anywhere near the horrific racist brutality of segregation. But there's an old cynical saying that `history is just the set of lies agreed upon.'"

    Here's another
    If you are explaining you are losing.

    Uh, huh, and segregation (none / 0) (#109)
    by Peter G on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 12:06:10 PM EST
    was not as bad as slavery. So?

    Translation (none / 0) (#112)
    by FlJoe on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 01:57:30 PM EST
    "Nobody really thinks this current dispute comes anywhere near the horrific racist brutality of segregation (but we are working on it)"

    "history is just the set of lies agreed upon(and Republican lies are the only valid ones).

    I do admit I am a bit confused, why are the corporate demi-gods of the GOP's theology now getting "cancelled"?

    Apparently Mitch thinks they have been lured to the darks side by the Demoncrats...or something.


    The reason (none / 0) (#113)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 02:08:47 PM EST
    all this is flinging poo all over the GOP is because of the dog whistles and all the nonsense the GOP has been plying for decades now.

    Moscow Mitch needs to face the fact that Brian Kemp ran for governor as a Lester Maddox style segregationist promising to keep confederate participation trophies up and pointing guns at people and threatening to throw "illegal aliens" in the back of his truck. So now anything he does that is even slightly over the line it sticks to Kemp. The fact that the GOP all over the country is having to defend Brian Kemp makes me laugh and laugh. Surely privately he has to be almost as unpopular as Matt Gaetz.


    I (none / 0) (#114)
    by FlJoe on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 02:30:23 PM EST
    disagree, Mitch is not explaining he is attacking, that's what they do.

    Nice little "nice corporation you have" vibe here

    Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order. Businesses must not use economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas that citizens reject at the ballot box."

    How would he do that (none / 0) (#115)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 03:00:33 PM EST
    as minority leader?

    Maybe corporations will make sure he remains one.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#116)
    by FlJoe on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 03:41:50 PM EST
    it's not like he is going to agree to raise their taxes.  I didn't say there was any bite behind the bluster (a common trait among bullies) , my point is that Republicans are always on the attack even against their natural allies if they are in any way called out.

    This whole thing (none / 0) (#117)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 04:39:01 PM EST
    of using tax policy to punish and reward companies sounds a lot like the stuff the left has pushed forever that the republicans called interfering with the "free market"

    As far as attacking allies how about screwing your strongest supporters with hidden recurring deductions from their accounts

    Love this

    The 2020 Trump campaign accounted for up to 3% of all credit card fraud claims in the entire country, the New York Times reports.

    None of this smells like a winning strategy to me.


    Sorry (none / 0) (#118)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 05:03:08 PM EST
    When (none / 0) (#120)
    by FlJoe on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 06:13:21 PM EST
    your strategy involves lying and cheating there is always a chance of winning.  I would bet a non-insignificant number of the people scammed would vote for tRump again and the vast majority will vote for any tRumpian Republican that comes along.

    The rub (none / 0) (#121)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 08:39:35 PM EST
    "Republicans are attacking corporations over their decision to condemn the controversial Georgia voting law, part of the party's embrace of the populism espoused by President Donald Trump even as it creates tensions with traditional allies in the business community," the Washington Post reports.

    "The acrimony between Republicans and large companies over Georgia underscores the party's increasingly fraying relationship with corporate America over social and cultural issues as GOP leaders grapple with the direction of the party after the 2020 election. The future of that relationship is complicated by the fact that Republicans continue to support economic policies advocated by the private sector on taxes and regulations, making it unclear what form of retribution leaders could pursue."

    Reconciliation 2 more times (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 05:35:29 PM EST
    This seems like a big deal

    The Senate parliamentarian ruled on Monday that Democrats can use special budgetary rules to avoid a GOP filibuster on two more pieces of legislation, setting the stage for President Biden's infrastructure agenda to pass in two packages with simple-majority votes," The Hill reports.

    "It's a win for Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) that allows him to pass Biden's $2.25 trillion package by revising the fiscal year 2021 Budget Resolution. A second budget resolution can be passed this year to do the second half of Biden's infrastructure agenda. Or the fiscal year 2021 budget could be revised a third time to set up a third reconciliation package."


    Just got the second shot (5.00 / 5) (#122)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 06, 2021 at 08:34:23 AM EST
    woo hoo

    Got J&J yesterday (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 06, 2021 at 01:01:41 PM EST
    Yucky, achy

    Spouse got second dose Moderna at Walter Reed today. So we can feel a little yucky together, and then feel better together.


    So far (none / 0) (#124)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 06, 2021 at 02:02:51 PM EST
    Arms not even sore.  Just a little itchy.

    Just got my Pfizer second shot this am. (5.00 / 3) (#134)
    by desertswine on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 11:18:52 AM EST
    I am now ready to resume my lifestyle of reckless bar-hopping and unrestricted profligacy.

    And also Bill Gates is my master, am awaiting instructions.


    So desert... (none / 0) (#154)
    by fishcamp on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 07:22:22 PM EST
    How do you feel today?  Any side fx?  Some get them and some don't.  Hope you don't.  Glad to hear you're ready to get out there and rock on.

    Feelin' just fine, thanks for asking... (none / 0) (#172)
    by desertswine on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 05:33:54 PM EST
    not even arm sore.  I did feel somewhat fatigued yesterday so I just stayed home, rested and listened to some music.

    Have you heard this one?  Key West   Kind of sleepy, dreamy.


    Expect more of this (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 06:32:41 PM EST
    Capitol riot defendant flips on the Proud Boys: report

    On Wednesday, CNN reported that a defendant charged in the U.S. Capitol riots has flipped on the Proud Boys, and is providing information to federal prosecutors that could help them build a conspiracy case against the far-right group.

    You just know all those morons are going to make the fight for the Titanic lifeboats seem ordered.
    This is the first of many.

    I sincerely (none / 0) (#146)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 07:27:41 PM EST
    hope so.  Very, very many.

    156 years ago today ... (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 01:50:00 PM EST
    ... on April 9, 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the remnants of his Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army of the Potomac at Appomattox, Virginia.

    While Lee's capitulation and the corresponding fall of the rebel capital at Richmond several days earlier effectively ended the U.S. Civil War in the North's favor, sporadic fighting would continue in parts of the country throughout most of the spring until word finally reached the combatants of the rebel government's collapse.

    And five days after Lee laid down his arms, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865, as part of an ambitious but ultimately failed plot by fringe rebel elements to decapitate the federal government.

    Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's command, the Army of Tennessee, would not surrender to Gen. William T. Sherman and the Union Army of the Cumberland in North Carolina for another twelve days, until finally cornered at Greensboro, North Carolina on April 26. The final battle of the war occurred at Palmito Ranch on May 12-13, 1865, near Brownsville, Texas and ironically resulted in a Confederate victory.

    In so many respects, our country is still dealing with the residual effects of the Civil War.


    And one year ago today.. (none / 0) (#174)
    by desertswine on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 05:55:55 PM EST
    Trump was advocation the use of zinc(!) as a cure for the coronavirus.

    "Zinc, they say. Zinc. You should add zinc. Now, this all has to be recommended by doctors, physicians. But they say zinc. I want to throw that out there we could where they seem to be having the best result."


    The cynical side of me ... (none / 0) (#177)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 06:26:32 PM EST
    ... really wants to write my doctoral dissertation on the history of American ignorance and stupidity. It is truly a rich, inglorious and sometimes tragic history that has never really been explored at length or considered in its totality.

    Sure (none / 0) (#178)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 06:32:53 PM EST
    But seriously (none / 0) (#179)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 07:20:30 PM EST
    Line from episode one is relevant (none / 0) (#180)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 07:42:39 PM EST
    "It's not knowledge we lack.  What is missing is the courage to understand what we know and to draw conclusions"

    I just finished episode 4 this morning (none / 0) (#183)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 10, 2021 at 07:53:25 AM EST
    Once I started I could not stop.   Really they might as well give Mr Peck the EMMY for best documentary series right now.

    It really is something extraordinary.  I agree with TIME

    It may well be the most politically radical and intellectually challenging work of nonfiction ever made for television.


    Richard Hofstadter already wrote (none / 0) (#184)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 10, 2021 at 09:06:59 AM EST
    that thesis, back in 1965, didn't he?

    But that was over 50 years ago. (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 04:55:37 AM EST
    And if people back then wondered how idiotic Americans could be - well, they had no idea. Not a clue. We showed them. We've since hit the motherlode of right-wing crackpottery. Not only did we elect Donald Trump president, which was shocking enough, but then 74 million Americans just voted for another four years of him and when they didn't get their way, they went full Visigoth on us and seized the U.S. Capitol building.

    So, let's just say Hofstadter's thesis needs some serious updating.


    President Biden (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 03:29:56 PM EST
    has created a Commission to Study Supreme Court reforms.  The Commission is chaired by Bob Bauer, former White House Counsel and Cristina Rodriguez, professor at Yale Law and former Deputy AG, both  in the Obama Administration. The Commission is to consist of 36 legal scholars, former federal judges and practicing lawyers. Membership includes conservatives such as Jack Goldsmith (GW Bush Administration), Adam White (American Enterprise Institute), and Keith Whittlington, professor of politics at Princeton.

     The Commission is to include public input and hearings. A report is to be produced in six months. The study is not to make specific recommendations, but rather, to provide an analysis of a range of proposed changes to the Court, including membership and size, code of ethics, and the Court's case selection.

    While specific recommendations are not a part of the Commission's charge it is likely, in my view, that evaluation of the pros and cons of the various reforms suggested will, in a nuanced manner, let it be known which side the  Commission comes down on.  However, with the 50/50 in the senate and Manchin enjoying his 15 minutes of fame, it is unlikely that the Court will be expanded as I believe it should be.

    But, if the Commission does its job, it could at least come up with a code of ethics for the Supreme Court, and, importantly, change the procedure by which the Court selects the cases it wants to hear--with dissents that include "bring a case" that I can work with. The epitome of judicial activism.

    Justice Stephen Breyer seems to have gotten wind of the Commission's imminence  getting his oars in during a recent speech at Harvard Law, wherein he warmed that expansion of the Court could make the Court more political.   Really, Mr. Justice?  

    It's like Bryer (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by jmacWA on Sat Apr 10, 2021 at 04:52:02 AM EST
    never heard of Mitch McConnell, who just by himself made the court more political.  Maybe it's time for him to retire.

    Everything they say is projection or confession (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 10, 2021 at 10:24:48 AM EST
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tore into President Biden's new commission studying potential changes to the Supreme Court, Fox News reports.

    McConnell released a statement calling Biden's commission, which will study topics including whether to add more seats to the nation's highest court, a "direct assault on our nation's independent judiciary."

    I don't think Biden (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 11, 2021 at 08:11:44 AM EST
    should take vaccine doses from other states to send to Michigan.  Michigan has known as long as anyone else what they need to do while they wait for the vaccine allotted to them.  The right there has been among the craziest in the country in fighting safety measures and attacking people like the governor who pushed for them.

    Michigan and everyone else gets to wait their damn turn.  Just like I did.  Stay home.  Double mask when you can't.  And STFU.

    Nope (none / 0) (#200)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 04:25:21 PM EST
    Bloomberg: "The Biden administration on Monday put Michigan's Democratic governor on notice that her plea for more vaccines to be sent to the state isn't going to happen, despite a surging Covid-19 outbreak there."

    Out of ICU. (5.00 / 10) (#187)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Apr 11, 2021 at 08:55:29 AM EST
    Long way to go however to regain lung function.

    Thank you so much for checking in, ChuckO (5.00 / 3) (#188)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 11, 2021 at 09:57:15 AM EST
    We were all very worried about you, as of course you were about yourself. How's your wife holding up?

    She's doing better than I thought she would. (5.00 / 3) (#189)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Apr 11, 2021 at 10:29:57 AM EST
    She got her 2nd Moderna vaccine yesterday. Sore arm seems to be only side effect.

    wooot! (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by leap on Sun Apr 11, 2021 at 10:37:10 AM EST
    That is wonderful news, and a huge step forward. Thanks for checking in.

    Fantastic (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by MO Blue on Sun Apr 11, 2021 at 10:57:01 AM EST
    Your first step on your road to recovery.

    So glad that you are out of (5.00 / 4) (#192)
    by Zorba on Sun Apr 11, 2021 at 02:52:59 PM EST
    ICU, Chuck.  We know that you still have a long haul ahead of you, but this is the first step.
    We all continue to pull for you.  

    Nice going Chucko.. (none / 0) (#193)
    by desertswine on Sun Apr 11, 2021 at 05:42:42 PM EST
    You got this. (none / 0) (#198)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 12:06:46 PM EST
    I mentioned my cousin (the sewing teacher) (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 05:48:29 PM EST
    was coming to visit.  Her mom was my aunt who had covid.  She recently passed away.  Not really anything to do with the covid.  I think she was just 95 years old.

    Anyway I just got an email with pics of all the stuff she found going through her things.  All this beautiful craft work, quilts and afgans and crochet and stuff.  But best of all she found some stuff my mom made.  Quilts mostly.  So she is bringing me and my siblings some of the stuff.

    one of my moms quilts she is bringing.  There are others with more traditional quilt shapes but I love that.

    Chag same'ach, (none / 0) (#1)
    by Zorba on Sun Mar 28, 2021 at 05:14:50 PM EST

    Definitely gotta get me some (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 07:50:31 AM EST
    Satan Shoes!

    I think this is hilarious.  I love it's a gay black guy who is driving  them up the wall to total distraction.

    Nike denies involvement with Lil Nas X 'Satan Shoes' containing human blood

    Pastor Mark Burns
    These #SatanShoes by #Nike & #LilNasX with 666 and a drop of human blood in the sole is a reason why we Christians must be prayed up ready to battle in the spirit with the Voice of the Holy Spirit. This is evil & heresy and I pray that Christians rise up against this.

    Clever biblical nod (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 07:58:42 AM EST
    They are priced at $1,018 a pair, a reference to the Bible passage Luke 10:18 that reads: "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."8 hours ago

    I will see to getting "all prayed up" for 1018 bucks.


    Blood type (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 10:55:21 AM EST
    O my..

    I got yer bipartisanship (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 29, 2021 at 08:25:17 AM EST
    right here!

    President Biden's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has a 72% approval rating among Americans, an ABC News/Ipsos poll finds.

    Speaking of approval ratings, ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 02:52:47 AM EST
    ... the California GOP is attempting to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has a 53% personal approval rating and a $20M war chest. Further, 56% of likely voters are  opposed to the recall, and 77% approve of the state government's handling of the vaccine rollout.

    There is some very serious stupid afflicting that state's GOP, whose leaders appear intent on wasting their party's dwindling resources to stage the political equivalent of Pickett's Charge.

    Oh, well. As Napoleon once admonished a subordinate in battle, "Never interfere with your opponent when he is making a mistake." It's their funeral.



    Also wasting CA taxpayers' hard-earned $$ (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 03:02:08 PM EST
    Then there's this sort of stuff: (none / 0) (#126)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 06, 2021 at 03:25:07 PM EST
    Axios | April 6, 2021
    Scoop: Caitlyn Jenner explores run for California governor - "Former reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner is talking with political consultants as she actively explores a run for governor of California, three sources with direct knowledge of her deliberations tell Axios."

    From a Republican standpoint, I would think that their biggest concern would be the recall effort eventually turning into farce and self-parody. Only this time around, unlike in 2003, nobody in California is in the mood to laugh at them. This has rich potential to blow up in GOP faces like an exploding cigar.



    Gaetz of hell (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 06:54:43 AM EST
    When you lose Tucker.....

    That was one of the weirdest interviews I've ever conducted."

    -- Tucker Carlson, quoted by the Washington Post, trying to distance himself from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

    About this.  Which started under Bill Barr.  She was 17 and taken across state lines.

    Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) confirmed to Axios he "is under federal investigation for sexual activity with women, and fears being criminally charged."

    Said Gaetz: "I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I've dated. You know, I've paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I've been, you know, generous as a partner. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not."

    Matthew Miller: "Given that he's admitting to the relevant behavior here, if the person in question was in fact underage, then this is pretty open and shut. Pretty simple thing to determine."

    Gaetz later claimed on Twitter that his is a victim of "an organized criminal extortion."


    Don't laugh (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 12:44:06 PM EST
    but I think there may be some truth to the extortion claim simply because a "former DOJ" would be a Trump appointee. Said person probably found out about the criminal investigation or even the facts about Gaetz and threatened to go public unless Gaetz paid up. We all know how Trumpers thrive on extortion and blackmail. I doubt it was 25 million though and I bet that person has been able to extort money from Gaetz and/or his dad.  

    Can't be (none / 0) (#37)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 03:05:39 PM EST
    David McGee left the Justice Department in 1996.

    Yes (none / 0) (#45)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 04:44:05 PM EST
    after learning there was a name attached obviously I don't believe that person had any thing to do with blackmail. Never involved in the Trump administration and why Gaetz would attempt to draw him into his nonsense is beyond me.

    This Gaetz thing (none / 0) (#50)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 06:40:51 PM EST
    Is getting murkier and murkier.  It's not over yet, folks.

    Let's face it (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 08:16:24 PM EST
    the guy's always had a vibe like he was covered in slime you could scrape off with trowel.

    Muckier (none / 0) (#57)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 01, 2021 at 02:45:38 PM EST
    and muckier.   Muck it up so it sounds so complex and complicated when it is not so complex or complicated. And, create doubt and confusion.

    Martindale.com: (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 03:14:15 PM EST
    First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Florida, 1991-1996. Lead Attorney, Organized Crime Task Force, 1983-1991.

    Who busted out laughing (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 03:24:13 PM EST
    Listening to Matt Gaertz talk about his father wearing a wire?

    A wire to nowhere LOL


    Somehow (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 04:45:44 PM EST
    this person new to extort them for exactly 25 million the net worth of the Gaetz family?

    How long is it going to be before Gaetz claims that Nestor is the boyfriend of this girl or that Tucker Carlson was in on the sex slavery?


    More info coming out though. (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 06:15:57 PM EST
    I'm listening (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 06:37:49 PM EST
    And wut?

    See Washington Post. (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 08:03:55 PM EST
    Yes, (none / 0) (#51)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 07:43:48 PM EST
    the "extortion" note or whatever it is. Anybody could have written it. Promising a presidential pardon? Now I am wondering if Trump found 2 stooges to act as middleman so he could get his hands on some money.

    Sounds to me like there may be two separate investigations: blackmail and then the sex trafficking.


    Perfect (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 07:14:22 AM EST
    Some backers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are proudly sticking with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) even after learning he's facing a sex trafficking investigation involving a 17-year-old girl.

    Twitter account @pinealdecalcify, which follows QAnon Telegram channels, has found that many Q devotees believe that Gaetz is being set up by the feds as a way to cover up for Democrats' purported global sex trafficking ring.

    "The SMEARING of MAGA patriots has no end!" declared one QAnon devotee.

    I guess (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 12:46:33 PM EST
    they are gonna be after Bill Barr now. While not cheering them on I will stand aside and watch as the circular firing squad commences.

    The "former DOJ (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 01:58:15 PM EST
    official" , David McGee, who is supposed to be involved in an extortion, left the DOJ in 1996 and has been in private practice. McGee denies extortion claiming the story to be a distraction from Matt's possible indictment.

    Another curious part of the story is the very recent reporting of Matt possibly leaving Congress and joining Newsmax.  And, the timing of Matt's engagement to Miss Ginger Luckey proposing to her on Dec 30 at Mar a Lago.

    The NYTimes also reports that this is not the first time Matt Gaetz's personal life has gained attention.  Last summer, he announced that he had a son, Nestor Galban, 19, though he was not Nestor's biological father, nor had he adopted him. Nestor was 12 when they met and had come to the US from


    I remember Claude Taylor (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 03:29:21 PM EST
    Tweeting about an underage girl "traveling" with Matt Gaertz and staying overnight with him in his DC abode. That was over 2 yrs ago. I'm not sure there was much of a secret to extort.

    I once represented an American lawyer (none / 0) (#26)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 10:01:51 AM EST
    who got a 15-year sentence for traveling with a teenager, with whom he was in a seemingly consensual relationship, from Pennsylvania to another place, with the intent to have sex with the teen there (where such sexual relations were legal), with the client paying all expenses. Of course, both the lawyer and the teen in that case were male, which seemingly made the conduct more offensive to the judge. This statute (as would be the basis for the Gaetz case also), btw, is the modern version of the notorious Mann Act.

    She was just 17, (none / 0) (#58)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 01, 2021 at 03:27:53 PM EST
    you know what I mean. Too cute to be a minute over 17. The age of consent has risen since the days of good ol' rock 'n roll.

    G. Gordon Liddy is dead at 90 (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 07:07:26 AM EST
    I will not miss him.

    Liddy was my first celebrity client (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 08:12:22 AM EST
    At the time, I was a 27-year-old Assistant Federal Public Defender in Connecticut. GGL was serving his 20-year sentence at the federal prison in Danbury. (President Carter commuted that sentence about a year later.) The judge appointed me to assist GGL in a prisoner's rights case. Liddy did not want or accept my advice or "assistance," as I recall. I forget what his complaint was (about prison conditions, I mean, not about me), or what the issue in the case may have been.

    I have book signed by Liddy. (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 06:15:23 PM EST
    Actually stood in line to obtain it.

    Slightly off topic (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 12:19:58 PM EST
    I also have book signed by Abbie Hoffman. Got it from him at Univ Of MD after he resurface. "Steal This Urine Test"

    I met his debate tour frenemy (none / 0) (#94)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 04:53:27 PM EST
    Tim Leary once..

    Talk about a guy who not only kissed the Blarney Stone, but made love to it..


    He had dinner at GG's house.

    They (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by FlJoe on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 08:45:38 AM EST
    sure don't make political thugs like that any more, he at least looked and lived the part. Now we have effete pinheads like Roger Stone or bullchitting slobs like Steve Bannon.

    Well, George Gordon Liddy (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 31, 2021 at 10:53:04 AM EST
    did leave us with his good advice on "rat-phobia".  Being frightened of rats, he overcame his fear by cooking a rat and eating it.   On another front, Liddy never ratted on Nixon, or any of his other goons.  Said he would do it again for his president---a real tough guy, held his hand over a candle flame letting it burn the flesh.   Just your basic run of the mill Republican, only a little ahead of his time.

    I have not been following the trial (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 01, 2021 at 06:07:41 PM EST
    Which basically means I have been avoiding cable news.

    I don't see how the wall to wall 24/7 three ring circus coverage of this is a good thing.

    It's not like other news is not happening.

    I Haven't Been Watching Either (none / 0) (#60)
    by RickyJim on Thu Apr 01, 2021 at 06:44:55 PM EST
    But I have noticed the coverage.  I was particularly disturbed by this comment from former US Housing Secretary Julian Castro: "I am hopeful it is an inflection point. Also, of course, hopeful that this defendant is going to be found guilty because I'm afraid of what's going to happen if he's not."

    Why are you disturbed? (none / 0) (#82)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 05:19:45 AM EST
    Julian Castro only said out loud what a lot of other people are thinking. After all, there are a plenty of us who still remember what happened in Los Angeles in April 1992, following the shocking acquittal of the four white LAPD officers who were caught on video viciously beating a hapless Rodney King with obvious impunity, and didn't stop even after they had fractured his skull and broke his leg.

    I won't opine about defendant Derek Chauvin's guilt or non-guilt; that's for the jury to decide. But that said, he is not a sympathetic character in this drama. What he did to George Floyd haunts me. Why? Because even when I bend over backward in my mind to try and give Chauvin the benefit of the doubt, there's simply no rational explanation other than animus for what we see happening to Floyd in that video. Clocking in at nine-plus minutes, Chauvin's action was no accident.



    Thank You Mr. Woke (2.00 / 1) (#89)
    by RickyJim on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 10:49:01 AM EST
    You start a paragraph by saying you won't opine about whether Chauvin is guilty or not and a couple of sentences later say, in effect, that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  I wonder what Chauvin's lawyer thinks about prominent politicians warning the jury that they better convict, or else.  It sounds like something that might cause a conviction to be thrown out on appeal.

    So? I'm not on the jury. (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 05:19:37 PM EST
    I just shared with you what I saw on the video and how I honestly felt about it, whereas you seem to be delicately dancing around what you really wish to express with your concern trolling about other people with opinions about police misconduct.

    And that is, just perhaps, beware the Big, Bad, and Menacing Supernegro, a brutish and thuggish creature of our nightmares who is almost always somehow deserving of his fate, regardless of circumstances, and who must often be subdued by any means necessary whenever he seeks to rise above his designated low place on the Great American Totem Pole.

    We tend to hold the police in relatively high esteem and give officers extraordinary discretion and latitude in their professional conduct because as a society, we recognize that law enforcement is a very difficult job, with hours of tedium punctuated by those occasional moments that can range anywhere from levity, perplexity and annoyance to sheer horror and terror.

    But that degree of difficulty should never, ever be construed as a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for those who are willing - and quite frankly, privileged - to wear or carry the badge. Not everyone who puts on the uniform is necessarily going to be a good guy. Officers are not without their own sins, and have their faults and shortcomings just as the rest of us do. They are there to maintain the peace, and not to keep certain less-privileged people in their place.

    The trial jury in Minneapolis will rule as it will rule. We have no say in that decision, and we must accept its verdict even if we disagree with it because we are a nation of law, and that law grants jurors the power to render the final judgment. (Pending appeal, of course.)

    But to grant certain people in the law enforcement community that aforementioned level of extraordinary power, without any corresponding demands and stated expectations for human decency and personal accountability, well, that's almost always an inevitable portal to some potentially serious grief, both for individuals and the greater community at large. At some point, given what we're seeing happen time and again in Black-and-Blue encounters across our nation, we have to draw a very sharp line in front of that thin blue line and say, enough is enough.

    At the very least, Derek Chauvin's professional conduct as a police officer last May was totally appalling and reprehensible, and he should never be given the privilege of wearing the uniform and badge ever again. What the courts will ultimately do with him beyond that is simply not our call.



    Even if the jurors are not sequestered (none / 0) (#91)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 11:21:58 AM EST
    (which I don't know), they will have been strictly admonished by the judge not to look at any news or social media coverage of the case while serving on the jury. Or at least, this is SOP in all high profile cases I have been involved with or read about. Then, each day, at the beginning of the proceedings the judge reminds the jury of this rule and asks whether anyone has been exposed to any coverage, whether intentionally or unintentionally. If so, then the judge asks whether they can put it out of their mind and continue their service impartially. If the issue is then raised on appeal, the jurors' inevitable assurances and the judge's credulous acceptance of them will be cited to reject the appeal. Every time.

    CNN (none / 0) (#61)
    by FlJoe on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 07:09:37 AM EST
    top of the hour this morning devoted about 10 minutes to it then about 8 minutes on Gaetz with a perfect  into this Panic Rooms, Birth Certificates and the Birth of GOP Paranoia
    In the 2010 midterm election, voters from all over the place gave President Obama what he himself called "a shellacking." And oh boy, was it ever. You could be a total moron and get elected just by having an R next to your name--and that year, by the way, we did pick up a fair number in that category.
    John Boehner pulls no punches in describing his trip on the crazy train.

    Yes exactly (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 08:19:43 AM EST
    If they take a break from the trial it's to talk about Gaetz.  
    Or possibly to talk about how not bipartisan Biden is.

    It's sickening.  It really is.

    You have to go on line and look if you want any information on the massive transformational infrastructure bill being proposed or any possibility of stopping Republican voter suppression with a federal law.


    I have been watching the trial (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 08:27:21 AM EST
    And also understand of what you speak.

    I think coverage of this trial is important.


    Do any of our former prosecutors, or (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Peter G on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 09:17:32 AM EST
    anyone else for that matter, agree with my perception that the D.A. may be "overtrying" this case? A prosecutorial mistake that can confuse a jury, or lead them to believe that the case is more complicated or dubious than it really is. Too many witnesses, that is, too many opinions offered; way more than is needed to prove the charged offense(s) beyond a reasonable doubt?

    Former prosecutor here. Surprised the (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 10:09:25 PM EST
    prosecution called as witnesses so many bystanders and so many law enforcement and medical experts.

    Minneapolis paper: (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 04:23:30 PM EST
    Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker's expected testimony Friday about the cause of George Floyd's death could pose challenges for both the state and defense if it mirrors the contents of at least a half-dozen meetings he had with prosecutors about his autopsy results leading up to the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

    Documents obtained by the Star Tribune show Baker ruled the death a homicide and said Floyd's May 25 arrest placed added stress on his already ailing heart that increased the likelihood of a "bad outcome." But he also expressed skepticism that placing Floyd stomach-down in the street with three officers on top of him would be "any more dangerous than other positions."

    In an unusual move that appeared to underscore a growing gap between the state and Baker, prosecutors sought out several outside medical experts, including a forensic pathologist -- Dr. Lindsey Thomas -- who duplicates Baker's role at trial as a witness on the cause of death. Two additional out-of-state experts testified Thursday.


    I thought Baker was particularly (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 05:26:16 PM EST
    good, especially on the topic of autopsies, heart and vascular disease. He really reduced everything to a comprehensible level.  Here's another wrap up from the MN papers.

    Chicago Sun Times. (none / 0) (#181)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 10:07:24 PM EST
    So that is really a thing? (none / 0) (#195)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 10:35:02 AM EST
    My husband was saying if he was a juror he would have reached a point where they were now losing him.

    I have been fixated on/by the expert testimony.


    Yes, MT (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by Peter G on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 11:03:17 AM EST
    it definitely is a thing.

    I agree coverage is important (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 08:40:50 AM EST
    but I think the excessive wall to wall thing is a disservice to that importance.

    People who might be interested in important truths will be made so sick of the saturation they will never want to hear about it again.

    You could spend 5 minutes an hour and keep everyone completely informed for most of it.


    Back in the Trump days (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 09:00:35 AM EST
    Especially the early days there was much hand wringing about how the poor DC press corp, they just are not equipped to deal with something as atypical as Trump.  They are just to serious and high minded.  They will be unable to cover something so weird and stupid and pointless as a Trump administration.

    What I think has become clear since Trump left is that was exactly backwards.  Trump is THE ONLY kind of news they are  capable of covering.  I think for the most part the press did a good job on Trump  Chasing the outrage of the day is all they can do.  

    Clearly Trump understood this.


    I have not seen coverage (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 09:36:05 AM EST
    Of the trial on testimony I found important.

    No real coverage that so far at least three public servants reported to their superiors that they believed George Floyd was murdered by police officers or possibly murdered by them.


    Your (none / 0) (#67)
    by FlJoe on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 10:03:26 AM EST
    perception of wall to wall coverage is skewed by the live coverage dominating the AM hours.

    The regular news cycle coverage is not that excessive, the morning cycle was about 25% of the time, which IMO is not too out of line with it's importance.


    After veteran lieutenant's (none / 0) (#68)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 01:24:16 PM EST
    Testimony that Chauvin's use of force was totally unnecessary, I do not find it possible that a jury would fail to convict him.

    I think the theory of the defense (none / 0) (#69)
    by Peter G on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 02:15:24 PM EST
    is that the force, excessive or not, was not the cause of death. Or so I am led to understand from the news I've read. Has anyone read anything reliable on whether Missouri uses "contributing cause" (the easiest to prove), "but-for cause" (had the defendant not done what he did, the result would not have occurred), and/or "proximate cause" (the most complex and challenging to prove) as its test for legal causation in criminal homicide cases?

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 02:48:51 PM EST
    you intended Minnesota.  

    Also part of testimony (none / 0) (#71)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 02:50:09 PM EST
    Zimmerman also said that once a suspect is in handcuffs "you need to get them out of the prone position as soon as possible because it restricts their breathing."

    "You need to turn them on their side or have them sit up," he said.

    Raw Story

    If the above is part of his training, Chauvin should have been aware that he was endangering Floyd's life.


    I thought it was interesting (none / 0) (#75)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 03:50:00 PM EST
    He is charged with both second and third degree murder AND second degree manslaughter.

    Sounds like they have hm coming and going.

    I agree with MT.  I don't see how he is not convicted of at least one of those.



    Oops (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 03:50:56 PM EST
    I mean MO blue

    Causation, as defined in Minnesota (none / 0) (#92)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 11:32:10 AM EST
    criminal law, would be a required element -- to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt -- for any of those degrees of homicide. Has the prosecutor called the medical examiner or forensic pathologist yet to give expert testimony on the causal relationship between Chauvin's actions and Floyd's death, vis a vis other potential contributing causes? The (un)reasonableness of Chauvin's actions is nevertheless also relevant, because it goes to whether his use of deadly force was justified, even if it was the legal cause of Floyd's death, which would be a separate line of defense. What I've seen and heard so far strongly suggests that that second line of defense is very weak (to put it mildly). I would not be surprised, however, if the defense were able to call a qualified expert witness to support their position on either or both of these issues.

    Today: a pulmonary specialist. (none / 0) (#161)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 10:05:55 PM EST
    2nd Deg Manslaughter (none / 0) (#95)
    by BGinCA on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 05:11:11 PM EST
    (1) by the person's culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another.

    Don't see how Chauvin avoids this one.


    Causing Death by Negligence and Incompetency (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by RickyJim on Sun Apr 04, 2021 at 11:10:55 AM EST
    I think it should be a crime.  Nobody thought that the staff at Chernobyl intentionally tried to kill people but some were given 10 years in a labor camp for violating safety regulations. I think such things have happened in the US.  I guess that the defense will try to show that Chauvin's police education made his actions reasonable behavior to him.

    Whatever the law is in Minnesota (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 04, 2021 at 01:58:44 PM EST
    I am pretty sure it is not Russian law. And of course what you think "should be" a crime is beside the point. What Minnesota law clearly said on the date of the incident (not as it may have been subsequently amended) is the only reference point, if you are trying to assess Chauvin's guilt. The only valid purpose of this trial is to determine, by a fair trial under our constitution, whether Chauvin is guilty (beyond a reasonable doubt) of any of the charged crimes. Neither "Justice for George Floyd" nor the need for police accountability, nor the existence of systemic racism and police brutality, nor anything else (including fear of how the public will react to a verdict), is properly the subject of this trial, no matter how important we believe those things to be.

    As I have been trying to point out, (none / 0) (#99)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 04, 2021 at 10:27:31 AM EST
    every kind and degree of homicide (the category that includes all forms of murder and manslaughter) -- even second degree manslaughter -- requires proof of legal causation, however that is defined in Minnesota criminal law. I do not see a statutory definition, and I am not about to try to research it under Minnesota state case law. To me, that is the inflection point in the case, that is, the potential locus of any reasonable doubt. That's why I have been wondering exactly what has been the expert testimony on cause of death, and what the defense expert testimony on that subject will be, if there is any.

    Ok, so here is some of the testimony (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by Peter G on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 12:16:05 PM EST
    I have been waiting for. Emergency room physician who pronounced Floyd dead, opines that his heart stopped from asphyxiation, not from a heart attack or from a drug reaction or overdose.

    And more testimony from medical experts (none / 0) (#155)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 07:52:57 PM EST
    today to prove causation-of-death and disprove the defense theories of drug intoxication or pre-existing medical weaknesses.

    I Still Would Like the Answer (none / 0) (#158)
    by RickyJim on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 08:31:38 PM EST
    to what must be proven about Chauvin's intent to convict on various charges.  It is hard to believe that he intended to kill Floyd with so many people watching.  His lawyer can argue was really stupid and incompetent and thought he was preventing Floyd from hurting himself.  So which Minnesota law is most likely to stick?

    You appear determined to give Chauvin ... (none / 0) (#159)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 09:48:16 PM EST
    ... a mulligan before the defense even presents its case. Why? At this point, what you and I think about it doesn't matter. Let the trial unfold.

    American criminal law supports the inference (none / 0) (#163)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 11:24:48 PM EST
    -- which is virtually a presumption -- that a person is deemed to intend the ordinary and probable consequences of their voluntary actions.

    Not good for defense probably (none / 0) (#107)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 05, 2021 at 08:20:15 AM EST
    Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo is expected to take the stand as soon as today, as testimony in the Derek Chauvin trial continues for a second week.

    Why it matters: The city's top cop will tell jurors that Chauvin's "conduct was not consistent" with MPD training and policies, per special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell's opening statement.

    "He will not mince any words. He's very clear. He will be very decisive, that this was excessive force."

    Hurting the Republican Party (none / 0) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 03:00:24 PM EST
    in the only way that they respond.

    Major League Baseball (MLB) announced Friday that it is pulling its All-Star Game for the 2021 season out of Georgia in protest of the state's new voting restrictions signed into law last month.

    Robert Manfred, the MLB commissioner, said in a statement the decision was made after conversations with teams and players and that moving the July 13 game out of the Peach State is "the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport." The MLB draft will also be moved out of Georgia.

    The Hill

    Unfortunate (none / 0) (#73)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 03:18:22 PM EST
    but necessary.  It hurts Atlanta and the metro area--- the areas that helped turn Georgia blue, but an important step for democracy and the nation.   And, the economic growth and development are, in large measure, responsible for the political progress of the state.

    The new Braves stadium (none / 0) (#84)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 09:20:02 AM EST
    ...was deliberately built far outside the city of Atlanta, with limited public transportation to it, because "those" people (i.e. Democratic voters) might come to games.

    Kind of (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 06:31:41 PM EST
    Cobb County offered them more free stuff than Fulton did for the most part. Georgia State University bought the old Braves stadium so it is still in use. It just so happened that there is no public transportation there but that goes back decades. There wasn't any public transportation to Fulton County Stadium that I recall either though POC lived nearby. The biggest complaint was the loss of income for the people that lived near Fulton County Stadium who had no way to get to the new stadium. The Cumberland area where the new Braves stadium is actually is not a deluxe area and has not been since probably the mid-90's. Cobb either got new roads or had to build new roads for the stadium which I'm not sure. Anyway it is more complicated than just a race issue.  

    Yes, and (none / 0) (#93)
    by KeysDan on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 11:58:28 AM EST
    it did not end well for everyone involved.  The chairman of the Cobb County Commission, who spearheaded the location of the new stadium in unincorporated Cobb County, about 10 miles from downtown Atlanta, lost his job in the next election (for the costs laid on the county taxpayers).  And, the pandemic substantially reduced revenues needed.

    Moreover, the stadium environs, at one time represented  by Newt Gingrich, is now represented by Congresswoman Lucy McBath, a Black woman.  

    The stadium itself, as it turned out, is very nice, and the surrounding area has been developed with commercial and a diverse residential community. Still, no good public transportation access, save for special buses.


    The GA GOP (none / 0) (#74)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 02, 2021 at 03:25:17 PM EST
    really can't retaliate against MLB like they did Delta. I guess they have gotten away with so much they figured they could keep getting away with it. They certainly don't like accountability.

    Oh, golly (none / 0) (#86)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 09:36:17 AM EST
    Wow (none / 0) (#88)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 10:21:29 AM EST
    Intelligent creature...stupid human.

    Admirable restraint (none / 0) (#90)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 03, 2021 at 11:08:06 AM EST
    in word choice.  IMO.

    NYTimes is reporting (none / 0) (#130)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 06, 2021 at 07:54:09 PM EST
    Gaetz asked Trump for a "blanket pardon"

    Not, as Rachel just said, for his blanket.

    And a (none / 0) (#131)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 08:34:04 AM EST
    "blanket pardon" for his "congressional allies" I wonder who that is? Honestly could be lots of Republicans judging by how many vote identically to Gaetz.

    That would have been a nice maneuver (none / 0) (#132)
    by Peter G on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 09:08:39 AM EST
    Ask Tr*mp for a "blanket pardon," implying that you need it to protect against who-knows-what charges those evil Dem prosecutors might bring after January 20 to accuse Gaetz et al. of complicity and incitement in the January 6 insurrection.  But in the back of your mind, you know that you have criminal exposure for entirely unrelated problems (like allegedly violating Mann Act) that a true "blanket" pardon would also cover. Good thing the Tr*mp White House didn't fall for it, albeit no doubt for the wrong reasons.

    Still no COVID relief payment. (none / 0) (#135)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 12:38:41 PM EST
    Guess I'm getting screwed on that also

    Every day we hear from you (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by leap on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 03:37:43 PM EST
    is a good day!

    Have to tried the IRS (none / 0) (#136)
    by Peter G on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 01:14:34 PM EST
    "where's my payment" widget on their website?

    Everyday (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 05:17:27 PM EST
    CNBC March 31 (none / 0) (#139)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 03:34:46 PM EST
    Over 127 million people have received their third stimulus payments, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). That's an estimated $325 billion in funds disbursed since March 17.

    While many households are already able to use their checks to pay bills or save for a vacation, the IRS has run into a few issues getting the third payments to everyone who qualifies. The agency has said it is working to distribute the funds as quickly as possible while simultaneously processing 2020 tax returns.

    If you haven't received yours yet, the agency says not to worry, and that most taxpayers don't need to do anything but wait for their deposit or mailed payment. In the meantime, here's what else you need to know.



    Got (none / 0) (#141)
    by FlJoe on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 04:17:10 PM EST
    mine today. But they did keep me guessing'
    #1: paper check much later than everyone else.
    #2: Nada
    #3: Direct deposit, apparently near the middle of the run.

    Nothing has changed, I never used direct deposit from the IRS so the first check made sense. I suppose they they finally figured out my direct deposit from SS but I thought was their plan for the first payment.


    I just received mine yesterday. (none / 0) (#149)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 01:31:32 PM EST
    I know it's hard to do because everyone's nerves at this point are singed and frazzled, but we all just have to be patient on this count. The IRS is severely understaffed right now, and its employees are still processing nearly 30 million in 2019 tax returns left over from last year.

    To be fair, the Trumpskyites extended the filing deadline for 2019 returns until August 15, 2020, and IRS processing centers had been closed for months due to COVID. I didn't receive my 2019 tax refund until November, and I had filed in March. I believe qualification for the $1,400 is based upon your earnings from that calendar year.

    Also, unless you're expecting it to be deposited electronically to your bank account because you file online, please be on the lookout for your payment to arrive in the U.S. Mail in the form of a VISA debit card. That's how my daughters' payments were transmitted to them.

    Hang in there.


    When you are explaining.... (none / 0) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 03:31:12 PM EST
    Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) backed off his "warning" that businesses should stay away from politics, the Wall Street Journal reports.

    Said McConnell: "I didn't say that very artfully yesterday."

    He clarified that companies are entitled to be involved in politics: "My principle complaint is, they didn't read the darn bill... There are many states right now after the new Georgia law, that are much more restrictive than the new Georgia law."

    I (none / 0) (#142)
    by FlJoe on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 04:26:19 PM EST
    don't understand why he waded into this fight in the first place, he could have easily punted on the issue.

    IMO Republicans strategy has devolved into cornered rat strategy, with even experienced pols like Mitch blindly lashing out without much thought to the consequences.


    Yeah, he stepped in it (none / 0) (#143)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 05:14:52 PM EST
    yesterday and I believe he actually made it worse today. He doesn't know whether those businesses read the bill and now he's giving cover to businesses to boycott other states with "worse" voting bills.

    Aquarela (none / 0) (#140)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 07, 2021 at 03:43:48 PM EST
    Just saw this.  Terrible name.  Sounds like a Disney movie.  But it's something else.

    Inside the most dangerous movie ever made

    "Aquarela" begins with a car zipping straight across Siberia's Lake Baikal, which usually remains frozen January through May. And then the car disappears, plunging through the thin ice. Russian filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky captures the moment at the world's oldest, largest, and deepest freshwater lake in an astonishing feat of fast-frame-rate cinema that showcases the power of water all over the globe. It also placed its director and crew into terrible danger.

    That is what "Aquarela" is about. Kossakovsky chased stunning images of water around the globe, using Arri digital cameras that shoot at 96 frames per second (alas, only a few cinemas are able to project that format; most will be 48 or 24). The movie has no narration to explain where you are, or what's going on -- just crashing Dolby Atmos Sound and a heavy-metal score from Finnish violinist/composer Eicca Toppinen. Kossakovsky improvised locations and shot without a script, trying to show the water's POV. The effect is hypnotic, haunting, and terrifying.

    A 12-minute cut of that Siberian sequence was worth $1 million in financing from Participant Media, which backed 40 percent of the $2.6 million budget. "Whoa, this is incredible!" said Participant documentary president Diane Weyermann. "The main character is obviously water. I could see it would be an immersive approach to the subject. There's virtually no people and 12 lines of dialogue in the entire film. For us, it's about climate change, but the film could potentially reach a very different audience who would be going to see a film about the power of nature, which comes across in a visceral, emotional way. "

    This is just sad. (none / 0) (#150)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 01:47:07 PM EST
    I guess the corrosive thought of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the four-party accord for Northern Ireland brokered by President Clinton's special envoy George Mitchell, still keeping the peace was simply too much for some malcontents to handle.

    My understanding (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 03:17:26 PM EST
    is Brexit is the underlying instigating factor.

    Next to our election of Donald Trump, ... (none / 0) (#160)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 09:53:14 PM EST
    ... Brexit has to be one of the most stupid own goals in recent political history. It was the English who foisted it upon the UK. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all voted overwhelmingly against it.

    Come Out Ye Black and Tans (none / 0) (#153)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 03:41:25 PM EST
    come out and fight me like a man..

    That song for some reason popped into my head the other day and then it dawned on me that it was the anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916..

    Despite some reactionary Brits wishes to hang onto their last pathetic scraps of empire, Ireland will be reunified hopefully sooner rather than later. The demographic numbers game is a battle the UK can't win and they know it.


    In a U.S. bar, at least around here, (none / 0) (#156)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 08:01:38 PM EST
    a "black and tan" is a mixture of stout into a glass of beer, and is my favorite. Yuengling makes one pre-mixed in bottles and cans. When we visited Ireland a few years ago, I made the mistake in a Dublin pub of asking for a "black and tan." The server gave me a look between horror and utter confusion. We eventually figured out that what I was trying to order, in all my non-Irish American ignorance, was a pint of Guinness with a topper of Smithwick's (pronounced "Smiddick's") red.

    Not a good idea in an Irish Pub (5.00 / 3) (#176)
    by Jack E Lope on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 06:17:41 PM EST
    A brewpub (in Portland, OR, USA) that I frequented in the 1980s had a Black & Tan (with their own stout over their own ale) on the menu, until they learned how uncomfortable and unwelcome it made Irish visitors.

    The publican, a Scot, thought it was funny.


    I think I got that backwards (none / 0) (#157)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 08, 2021 at 08:03:01 PM EST
    Should be a pint of Smithwick's with a topper of Guinness stout. More of the red than of the black, in other words.

    I do like (none / 0) (#164)
    by jmacWA on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 04:53:58 AM EST
    the Yuengling black and tan.  Or rather I did like it.  Haven't had one since they supported Trump in 2016.

    My wife imposed the same limitation (none / 0) (#167)
    by Peter G on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 01:28:32 PM EST
    on our household. We used to buy it in bottles, by the case.

    I had my first black and tan (none / 0) (#196)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 10:44:27 AM EST
    In Manhattan in 1992. Have you tried a Black and Blue, using Blue Moon and Guinness?

    I'm from the Midwest (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 01:46:36 PM EST
    Blue Moon is supposed to be served with a slice of orange.  ;-)

    Not normally a beer drinker (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 04:43:23 PM EST
    But Fast Eddie's in Alton, IL has Blue Moon on draft which they serve in the coldest mugs I've ever had. It is also properly served with an orange slice. Fantastic.

    Such a fuss (none / 0) (#165)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 09:15:46 AM EST
    for a tiny bit of attention.

    after all those years of jokes about the only thing in the middle of the road being yellow stripes and dead armadillos a little attention from the press must be nice.

    "Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) "flashed a warning sign for President Biden's infrastructure ambitions this week, renewing his pleas for fellow Democrats not to ram through a large spending bill without first working to compromise with Republicans who have panned the president's plans," the New York Times reports.

    "In a divided Washington, the chances that such a compromise will materialize are slim -- at least for a sprawling spending plan of up to $4 trillion, as Mr. Manchin, a pivotal swing vote in the Senate, and administration officials favor. But even so, Mr. Manchin's calls for bipartisanship were less an insurmountable obstacle for Democrats than a road map for Mr. Biden if he wants his party's tiny congressional majorities to deliver him another economic policy victory."

    "It involves reaching out to Republicans to explore possible areas of compromise while laying the groundwork to steer around them if no such deal materializes."

    He could have just said `what Joe said but more moderate.  sounding'

    80 (none / 0) (#166)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 11:06:59 AM EST
    Yeah, here too... we've been running (none / 0) (#173)
    by desertswine on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 05:37:03 PM EST
    about 12 degrees over average for the last week or so.  I think its likely to be a brutal summer.

    It's been very warm here (none / 0) (#175)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 09, 2021 at 05:57:23 PM EST
    but a cold front, and a storm, came through this afternoon and it's supposed to be in the 60s for the next few days.  So I wanted to get out.

    You can tell the trees are just starting to get green.  It's about to get very green very fast.

    I'm afraid it's going to be wild weather.  More hail and winds.  Ping pong sized hail in this county today.


    Plans for the states (none / 0) (#201)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 04:30:55 PM EST
    Associated Press: "The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3 trillion infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns that show the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing affordability."

    "The figures in the state summaries paint a decidedly bleak outlook for the world's largest economy after years of repairs being deferred and delayed."


    I don't see how the promise of broadband, care giving and other thing won't be popular in my state.   We have discussed the lack of broadband here before.

    Not just about voting anymore (none / 0) (#204)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 06:37:38 PM EST