Snakes in the Grass in Florida

Aside from the ones in Tallahassee.

New York Times:
A slithering, 17-foot Burmese python found at Big Cypress National Preserve in the Florida Everglades weighed 140 pounds and took four people to carry.
What may have been even more unnerving (for conservationists, anyway) was that it contained 73 developing eggs.
[…]
Burmese pythons can grow to about 23 feet and are native to South Asia. They found their way to Florida decades ago through people who imported them as pets. Many owners underestimate how large the python will grow, and sometimes they let the snakes loose when they can no longer take care of them. Female pythons have the ability to lay 100 eggs, and the snakes multiply quickly.

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32 thoughts on “Snakes in the Grass in Florida”

  1. so how’s the sale of the homestead going, craig?

    any bites yet?  skeeters and snakes notwithstanding that is.

  2. and speaking of things slithery…

    the hill: 

    Stephen Miller’s power in the White House is on the rise with the departure of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, giving the influential immigration adviser a stronger hand in reshaping President Trump’s border security team.

    The senior White House staffer’s name has been linked to recent upheaval in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the president seeks more like-minded allies in enforcing immigration law and curbing the flow of migrants into the country….

    Opponents of increased immigration hailed Nielsen’s departure and a shift in strategy as a step in the right direction. They cited Miller, a former Senate staffer to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), as a positive presence in pushing Trump’s immigration agenda.

    However, immigrant rights groups and even some loyal to Trump have expressed concerns that the president, with Miller’s encouragement, will ratchet up his crackdown on illegal immigration, with potentially disastrous results.

    “[Trump] is listening and coordinating with a guy who has never had legislative success as a staffer,” a Trump loyalist who advised the campaign told The Hill. “We are going to end up with the same result every time.”

    […]

    While many White House aides have come and gone over the past two years, Miller has been a survivor. He is a trusted and loyal soldier to Trump and has been able to work with key players in the White House, notably Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

    Critics of the 33-year-old Miller say he is a huge impediment to any possible compromise bill on immigration reform.

    […]

    “Every policy Trump and Stephen Miller want is either impossible, illegal or immoral,” Douglas Rivlin, communication director for America’s Voice, said in a statement. “Their simplistic deterrence-only strategy misreads the complexity of the challenge and will only make the situation worse.”

    [continues]

  3. also in the hill,  the grass[ley] to the snakes:

    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Monday urged President Trump not to dismiss any additional Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, saying that Trump is “pulling the rug out from” under his immigration officials.

    Grassley also told The Washington Post that he is “very, very concerned” amid speculation of a broad purge at DHS.

    […]

    Grassley added that he texted White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to express his concerns about the potential departure of Cissna.

    “He didn’t seem to know who I was talking about,” Grassley said, adding that Mulvaney told him he would look into it.

    When asked whether he wanted to speak directly with Trump, the Iowa senator said he will “see if it’s necessary.”

    Grassley also criticized White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, who is especially hawkish on immigration and reportedly urged Trump to pull Vitiello’s nomination as ICE director.

    “I think it would be hard for him to demonstrate he’s accomplished anything for the president,” Grassley said.

     

  4. Hmmm, lessee what this does when I hit Post Comment..

    Tuesday, April 9

    Race/Topic   (Click to Sort)
    Poll
    Results
    Spread

    2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination
    Morning Consult
    Biden 32, Sanders 23, Harris 9, O’Rourke 8, Warren 7, Booker 4, Buttigieg 5, Klobuchar 2, Gillibrand 2, Yang 1, Castro 1, Inslee 1, Hickenlooper 1
    Biden +9

    Monday, April 8

    Race/Topic   (Click to Sort)
    Poll
    Results
    Spread

    2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination
    The Hill/HarrisX
    Biden 36, Sanders 19, Harris 9, O’Rourke 7, Warren 6, Booker 6, Buttigieg 4, Klobuchar 2, Gillibrand 2, Yang 1, Castro 1, Inslee, Hickenlooper
    Biden +17

    That worked nicely. The numbers show the relative strength of the dem candidates at this point – two different polls released a day apart that look very similar.

  5. snakes….    ewwww…  I know they eat pests.  And when I see one, I leave it alone.  But I’m really not into them.  I used to have a cat named Toots who loved to hunt them.  She loved to bring baby snakes into the house.  I miss her…  but not the snakes.

  6. Watching our Attorney General testifying before Congress this morning. His performance makes me think of the ‘Elephant Stomp’ rather than the ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Faeries’.

  7. RR, the tables would have been turned for Toots with that snake.

    I had a cat -Al – many moons ago that brought a snake home for dinner – thing was only about 8″ long and was wriggling around like crazy in Al’s mouth.  It was brown and marked like a copperhead but once I got it out of Al’s mouth and got a good look it was just a common water snake.  Al didn’t have snake for dinner that day.

  8. jamie is so right about the media’s thumb on the candidate scale.  essence of that fivethirtyeight piece:

    In absolute terms, Bernie Sanders led the week’s coverage. He was mentioned the most — in a total of 551 clips on the three cable networks, up nearly 300 percent from the week before.

     

    wonder if the Russians (whose help in 2016 was cited in mueller indictment) will also continue “to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump” for the coming election.

  9. nytimes:  At Trump’s Florida Resort Empire, a Quiet Effort to Eliminate an Undocumented Work Force

    >PALM BEACH, Fla. — Behind the clipped hedges of President Trump’s sumptuous private clubs in South Florida, including his Mar-a-Lago estate where he has spent many getaway weekends, there has long been a built-in contradiction to the policy the president has repeatedly described as “America First.”

    Many of his employees have foreign passports.

    Romanians serve dinner in lavish banquet halls. South Africans tend to guests at the spa. Britons bake elegant pastries. Most are young people hired as guest workers on special visas, living over the winter high season in a gated community with a sand volleyball pit and a movie theater. In the mornings, they dress in trim uniforms and are chauffeured by van over a bridge to the luxury compound six miles away in Palm Beach.

    But that’s only part of the Trump resort work force in South Florida.

    Alongside the foreign guest workers and the sizable American staff is another category of employees, mostly those who work on the pair of lush golf courses near Mar-a-Lago. Not offered apartments, they have been picked up by Trump contractors from groups of undocumented laborers at the side of the road; hired through staffing companies that assume responsibility for checking their immigration status; or brought onto the payroll with little apparent scrutiny of their Social Security cards and green cards, some of which are fake.

    That second pool of immigrant labor is an embarrassing reality for a president who has railed against undocumented immigrants, one his company is scrambling to erase.

    Mr. Trump has long acknowledged that running the hospitality industry on a tight supply of American labor is extraordinarily difficult — the reason Mar-a-Lago has frequently turned to legal guest workers for jobs that typically span only, in the case of Florida, the pleasant winter months. “It’s very, very hard to get people,” he explained during the 2016 campaign. “But other hotels do the exact same thing.”

    In the case of the Trump Organization, the hiring of some immigrant labor may be about to change: Facing growing questions about its employment of undocumented workers, the company has quietly begun to take steps to eliminate any remaining undocumented workers from its labor pool in South Florida.

    In March, seven veteran maintenance workers at Trump National Jupiter, the golf club 18 miles north of Mar-a-Lago that Mr. Trump purchased in 2012, were informed that the work force was being reorganized. Workers had until March 22 to provide proof that they were legally eligible to work in the United States, they were told.

    One by one, the workers — from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico — began to depart. Only one of the seven was a legal resident.

    “They got rid of me after so many years of hard work because I don’t have papers,” said Doroteo Hernández, 42, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who worked for 10 years on the maintenance crew at Jupiter, one of Mr. Trump’s favorite golfing spots on his weekends at Mar-a-LMr. Hernández, a diminutive man with a weather-beaten face and workman’s hands, said that in late March he handed over 11 well-worn, button-down shirts embroidered with his name and the name of the club, 11 pairs of khakis and a club cap to his supervisor, who praised him and gave him a farewell hug.ago.

    […]

    No one from the management at the Jupiter club, or at any of the Florida Trump properties, responded to interview requests for this story, nor did officials from the Trump Organization. But none of the immigrants doubted that club managers were aware all along that they were undocumented, and were disappointed to see them go.

    “They knew immigrants working there are here illegally,” said Giovanni Velásquez, a 23-year-old from Guatemala who said he had been allowed to continue working as long as he did because he was needed. “The know-how that I have, the work I do, can’t be easily replaced. No American wants to do it.”

    […]

    In addition to the workers who recently lost their jobs at the Jupiter club, around a dozen other undocumented workers at local pickup spots and a resource center for day laborers told The Times that they had worked stints at the golf club, brought in by contractors to install irrigation plumbing, spray insecticide and paint houses. One of them said he had worked there for years.

    A man who gave only his first name, Santos, 31, said that “they give us a permisito” — a pass — “so we could go in.” He said he had worked nearly three years painting houses at the golf club starting in 2012.

    [continues]

     

  10. the guardian:

     

    Trump hotels exempted from ban on foreign payments under new stance

    A narrow justice department interpretation of the emoluments clause gives countries leeway to curry favor with the president via commercial deals

    The Department of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation of a law meant to bar foreign interests from corrupting federal officials, giving Saudi Arabia, China and other countries leeway to curry favor with Donald Trump via deals with his hotels, condos, trademarks and golf courses, legal and national security experts say.

     

    The so-called foreign emoluments clause was intended to curb presidents and other government officials from accepting gifts and benefits from foreign governments unless Congress consents.

     

    But in a forthcoming article in the Indiana Law Journal, the Washington University Law professor Kathleen Clark reveals justice department filings have recently changed tack. The new interpretation, Clark says, is contained in justice filings responding to recent lawsuits lodged by attorneys generals and members of Congress.

    Clark’s article notes that in more than 50 legal opinions over some 150 years justice department lawyers have interpreted the clause in a way that barred any foreign payments or gifts except for ones Congress approved. But filings by the department since June 2017 reveal a new interpretation that “… would permit the president – and all federal officials – to accept unlimited amounts of money from foreign governments, as long as the money comes through commercial transactions with an entity owned by the federal official,” the professor writes.

    […]

    These foreign dealings with Trump hotels are exhibit A for many critics of the weak kneed enforcement of the emoluments clause in the Trump era.

     

    “This administration gives off every appearance of turning the White House into a giant cash register,” said Mikhail. “ Rather than drawing bright lines between the Trump Organization and the Trump administration they seem intent on blurring those lines.”

     

    The lawsuits have to wend their way through the courts – which could see tough battles given mixed court rulings thus far. But critics in Congress and outside are raising more questions about emoluments and Trump’s business conflicts as new issues keep arising.

     

    “Congress now must conduct independent oversight so the American people can determine for themselves whether the President is acting in our nation’s best interests or his own,” said congressman Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the House committee on oversight and reform.

     

    Mike Carpenter, who served on the National Security Council in the Obama years, added: “When foreign powers patronize the president’s businesses it creates an enormous national security risk.”

  11. Bill Barr-the-truth  has ruined whatever reputation he had for being a decent guy and now is just another liar for SFB

  12. The new Barbara Kingsolver book has some SFB fan insight.   One such maroon explaining why he likes Trump so much –“It’s because he respects me.”   Proof that they are idiots

     

    The book is not about Trump and is wonderful

  13. Trump is a big FAT liar — he’s so blatant a liar I am amazed that even his stupid idiot fans believe him

    I want a list — I have a lot of things I would like to sell them

  14. I hope likud, and the Israel power Party lose all their seats in the new Knesset, and that Gantz and Labour pick them up.

    I’ve been nagging G!D about this, and just hope that She’s of the same opinion.

  15. usatoday: Another tax headache ahead: IRS is changing paycheck withholdings and it’ll be a doozy

    You finally finished your taxes and are learning – for better or worse – the ins and outs of the new law.

    But wait, the law isn’t done with you. There’s another complication coming out later this year: The Internal Revenue Service is changing how you adjust your paycheck withholdings, and early indicators show it won’t be easy.

    The agency plans to release a new W-4 form that better incorporates the changes ushered in by the new tax law so that the amount held back for taxes in each of your paychecks is more accurate.

    The agency’s goal: A taxpayer shouldn’t owe or be owed come tax time.

    But the changes won’t be simple, says Pete Isberg, head of government affairs at ADP, the payroll and human resources company.

    Filling out the new form will be a lot like doing your taxes again.

    “It’ll be a much bigger pain,” he says. “The accuracy will be 100 percent, but the ease-of-use will be zero.”

    What’s changing?

    While the new form hasn’t been released yet, the IRS last summer put out a draft version and instructions  seeking feedback from tax preparation companies and payroll firms. Instead of claiming a certain amount of allowances based on exemptions – which have been eliminated – the draft form asked workers to input the annual dollar amounts for:

    • Nonwage income, such as interest and dividends
    • Itemized and other deductions
    • Income tax credits expected for the tax year
    • For employees with multiple jobs, total annual taxable wages for all lower paying jobs in the household

    “It looked a lot more like the 1040 than a W-4,” Isberg says.

    The new form referenced up to 12 other IRS publications to fill it out. It was so complex and different from the previous W-4 form that Ernst & Young worried employees would struggle to fill it out correctly and employers may need to offer training beforehand.

    Why is it taking so long?

    The tax and payroll community expressed many concerns about the draft form aside from its complexity.

    Many cited privacy issues because the form asked for spousal and family income that workers might not want to share with their employers. Other employees may not want to disclose they have another job or do side work outside their full-time job.

    To avoid disclosing so much private information, taxpayers instead could use the IRS withholding calculator, but it’s “not easy to use and the instructions are confusing,” according to feedback from the American Payroll Association.

    In September, the IRS scrapped plans to implement the new W-4 form for 2019 and instead is planning to roll it out for 2020.

    What to expect

    Another draft version of the new W-4 is expected by May 31, according to the IRS, which will also ask for public comment.

    “We encourage taxpayers to take advantage of that opportunity and send us comments on the redesign,” says agency spokeswoman Anny Pachner.

    The IRS will review the comments and plans to post a second draft later in the summer. The final W-4 version will be released by the end of the year in time for the 2020 tax year.

    Once it arrives, you’ll probably need the following information on hand, says Kathy Pickering, executive director of H&R Block’s Tax Institute. That may mean lugging in past 1099 forms, paystubs or last year’s tax returns to fill it out correctly.

    • Your filing status
    • Number of dependents
    • Information about your itemized deductions such as home mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and charitable deductions
    • Earnings from all jobs
    • Information about nonwage income such as business income, dividends, and interest.

    “If you’re married, and both you and your spouse work, it will also be helpful to know information about your spouse’s income,” she says.

    You may also need to fill out a new state income withholding form. Many states use the current W-4 for withholding, but they may need to release their own forms, too.

  16. Anyone who had read the barr or mulvaney resumes would know that they were evil snakes in the grass (and trees). barr looks like a small burmese boa that swallowed a beachball.

  17. Didn’t SFB say that you should be able to submit your tax return on a post card when he was running for president?   Oh, I suppose he forget to mention that instead of filling out what in essence is less than a postcard for your W-4, you will have to fill out a lengthy form that is almost as difficult as filling out the tax return?  Oh, and that postcard idea, never mind – you’ll still have to fill out the 1040. But don’t worry, they will change the personal exemptions and deductions and adjustments so that you won’t understand what the hell you are doing when you file your tax returns.  Did he forget to mention that?

  18. The Cult members know he’s lying, and think it’s great.  It’s people on grassley level who might start turning

  19. Looks like Bibi is going down!

    Can’t wait for SFB to say he knew he was going to lose but Trump wanted to kiss Sheldon’s butt so he did what he could to help

  20. When Henry Thaw, the murderer of Stanford White, saw Mrs Davies’ Mar-e-Lago, he is said to have declared that he shot the wrong architect.

  21. Mulvaney is the real Trump jr

    sleazy business deals, walking away from debt and a lying sack of shit and a bigot bully

    I’ll bet he has a tiki torch

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