By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

OK, July 4th has come and gone and we’re entering the political doldrums of the late summer. Of course with Trump (aka Peter “Wrong-way” Peachfuzz) at the helm of the ship of state, who knows what will happen over what is usually a quiet period in US politics?

But we are entering the Atlantic hurricane season, California is burning from San Diego to Oregon, over half the country is sweating its ass off and Houston is flooded again, without the need for a hurricane this time.

With all of this I’m focused on helping my kid find a place to live in NYC  for the upcoming year.

So what’s important to you?

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74 thoughts on “SO WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT?”

  1. pogo, you left out our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico who, BTW, must be fuming with this latest bit of news:
    (Bloomberg) — Puerto Rico’s bankrupt electric utility is getting a new boss: for $750,000 a year.
    Former General Electric executive Rafael Diaz-Granados will replace Walter Higgins as chief executive officer of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, according to a statement from the utility. His salary, up from the controversial $450,000 base pay that Higgins garnered during his short tenure.
    Higgins is quitting after just four months on the job, marking an abrupt departure for a polarizing outsider who gave investors hope of a course correction even as his own rich compensation package stirred controversy locally. Higgins mentioned his salary as the reason for his departure in an email Wednesday to Prepa’s staff.
    “Even if some legal arguments could have been made, it became very clear to me that the politics related to my compensation made it impossible for the contract to be fulfilled,” Higgins wrote in the email, which was confirmed by Prepa.
    Higgins, who arrived on the island from Nevada without even speaking much Spanish, brought 40 years of management experience to Prepa, which had been plagued by decades of corruption and mismanagement, all of which was laid bare in Hurricane Maria. He will continue to collaborate with the agency, according to remarks Wednesday from Governor Ricardo Rossello.
    Residents questioned Higgins base salary of $450,000 plus bonuses. Investors saw him as an outsider who could fix the utility’s long-running problems.
    Amid the furor over Higgins’ salary, Puerto Rico’s legislature passed a measure to prevent him from receiving bonus compensation, and his successor’s higher base salary appeared to be a work-around. In its press release, the utility said $750,000 a year was consistent with industry standards for similarly large and complex companies.

  2. meanwhile, while contemplating just what’s important, here’s Rachel with a real life story a la “the americans” and what it may mean in the twit collusion case

  3. My biggest, most important task is finding at least a partially indestructible chew toy or two for Toby Dog’s birthday this month (we use the date we got her from the shelter, July 22, since we don’t know her real birthday). Heading to Southern Command on Saturday for two weeks. Also, Dad will be getting a couple of minor skin cancers removed from his shins at the VA.

  4. Poobah, check this out. FWIW, we’ve had Kong toys with our last 2 dogs and they have been terrificly durable.

    Patd, Puerto Rico, the separated immigrant children, the NATO and Russian summits are all critically important issues that we all watch and care about, and  if miraculously all of those issues and the ones listed in my admittedly incomplete list of issues were solved tomorrow, we would still have important things in our own lives. That’s what I’m really asking about. I think I could probably guess what Jack and Mrs. Jack’s answer might be, and Poobah’s headed south to take care of his dad who’s having thankfully what sounds like minor surgery. So this is really a respite from the issues of the world for those who wish to take one.

    That said, SFB continues to embarrass me and about 2/3 of the nation with his antics and lies on the world stage.  Catch that NATO presser?  Jesus H. Christ.


  5. While both cartoon characters, Peter Peachfuzz was well-intentioned and generally sweet.  Plus, I’d never let trump steer a boat.

  6. Re: dog toys- Nothing is indestructible, but dogs tend to prefer to gnaw natural rubber rather than shred it, from my observations.

    “continues to embarrass me and about 2/3 of the nation”

    1/3 might be embarrassed, 2/3 has no shame.


    Power Chew Wishbone Chew Toy,
    Made with tough, durable nylon, the Power Chew Wishbone Chew Toy was designed for the most powerful chewers. With THREE textured ends, an easy-to-hold arched design, and delicious chicken flavor throughout, it’s the perfect toy for long-lasting chewing fun! Designed to help clean teeth and freshen breath, this multipurpose wishbone dog toy will help keep your dog healthy and entertained!

    craig, the above nylabone chew toy gets 8 paws up vote by billie bob and bu. be sure to get the new 3 dimensional wishbone, but the flat is second best.

  8. wapo:

    French President Emmanuel Macron has denied President Donald Trump’s claim that NATO allies have agreed to boost defense spending beyond 2 percent of gross domestic product.
    Macron said: There is a communique that was published yesterday. It’s very detailed.”
    He added: “It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024. That’s all.”
    The summit statement affirms a commitment made in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea that NATO allies would halt defense spending cuts, start spending more as their economies grow, with the aim of moving toward 2 percent of GDP within a decade.


    At least 3 lines of attack opening up against Kavanaugh:

    • He praised Rehnquist dissent in Roe and school prayer cases, calling the Nixon appointee his “hero”. Combine that with Trump’s specific campaign promise to abolish Roe with appointments, and pro-choice GOPers Collins/Murkowski will have a tough time justifying support. (New Gallup: 64% say Roe should stand, 28% say overturn.)
    • His finances a security risk? Reported liabilities exceeding cash accounts and other assets are a classic blackmail risk, at least to security clearance folks, should be to the Senate. (WH spin about baseball tickets is just a diversion, proof they’re worried about it.)
    • His pro-business beliefs are not mainstream. Frequent dissenter (sometimes by himself) on appeals court in rulings favoring employees, food and drug protections, and environmental regulations. WH documented this in what was supposed to be a secret memo to corporate leaders.

    If Dems succeed in obtaining the trove of documents, emails, etc. from his White House jobs (as was done with Kagan), could be much more to scrutinize. No wonder McConnell was against this choice, fearing Kavanaugh’s paper trail would slow down the process past midterms.

    Health Care. Democrats are trying to make a big thing about threat to Obamacare, which they should, but I haven’t found anything specific in his record to seize upon. So they’ll have to badger him about it in the hearings.

    And a wild card: Questions about whether Trump and Kennedy made a secret deal to appoint Kavanaugh are curiously getting dodged without denial by the White House. Seems worth exploring in the hearings.

  10. Just confirm Kavanaugh and be done with it.  Will the Party of Impotence fight every nominee?  Chump interviewed 6- you think the reserve roster is any better?  Dems couldn’t even fill the seat when they had the opportunity.  Give the people the hell they want.


    Also, carrots and celery.

  11. Defeatists?  More like “defeated”.  Longshanks gets it:

    “…arrows cost money- use up the Irish.”

  12. But Craig, that was the 100th Congress.  House and Senate both Democratic.  Senate margin was 55 to 45.  And most Senators were still human beings at the time.

    Most Democrats today are relatively gutless.  Their biggest fear is that they won’t be able to make the house or senate a lifelong career.


  13. DV, i covered that Bork fight every day. Dem senators didn’t get fired up until their constituents and liberal advocacy groups went nuts on them, would have wimped out otherwise. They were afraid of Reagan. If anything, I see Dem leaders more energized at this early stage than in those days, but the grassroots and advocates need to light up (and among other things, badger the heck out of Collins/Murkowski).

  14. So whats important for me today? Tomorrow the list may change a bit but not much.

    #1 of course Mrs Jack,  specifically what can I cook that she will like.

    2 water our flowers, looks like anouther 95 to 100 degree day, already hot out

    3 get the mowing done, we have a mowing contract with the city to mow city owned vacant lots.

    4 do a better job of cleaning the house

    5 get busy with planning backpack / fiesta del ninos/childrens festival day.

    6 to infinity,  whatever grabs my attention for a few moments, including you all.


  15. Not on the list, anything Donald Trump says or anything the special interest in the scotus fight say.
    In reality The Democrats lost that fight back in 2010.
    As to giving advise to my Senator up for election, “Do what ever you need to get reelected”. That is the most important thing right now.
    The court fight is already lost.
    Any one who thinks Collins/Murkowski aren’t going to vote the Republican line hasn’t been very observant the last 2 years. 

    They may pretend to be concerned but in the end they vote the line. Don’t listen to the words,  Actions express priorities


  16. Another one today, that’s 20 Dem House nominees on record to vote against Pelosi as speaker. This math is getting to the point that if most get elected and keep that promise she’ll need more, perhaps a lot more, than a simple House majority to get that job.

  17. What’s important to me.  Getting ready for my upcoming fair.  I’m not doing a booth (never will again).  I’ve got a space in “shop at the fair” along with about 50 other artists.  I gotta work 2 days instead of 11.  Won’t make anywhere near as much money…  but time is much more important to me nowadays.  Semi-retirement is great!

    oh yeah…  and visiting family and friends…

    ps… summertime is margarita time!

  18. What’s important to me?

    – To finish remodeling the house we bought in April and move in by the end of July

    – To learn as much as i can next week in an APSI training on AP Human Geo

    – To enjoy the rest of my summer and not run straight into going back to work in August w/o getting any rest.

    – To spend some time with the kids!

  19. If Nancy P is unseated the people who did will immediately be unhappy and the party in worse shape

    who else can count votes and raise money????? The chorus of anti-pelosi sentiments starts with goopers and stupid idiots who are Democrats and haven’t got the guts to stand up to the goopers

    Linda Sanchez is just playing out California politics to everyone’s detriment

  20. Pelosi and gang have a lid on house leadership.  They’re antiques – Joe Crowley just found that out.  They should have left 2 years ago to let new talent rise and be tested.  I would think there’s a ton of untested talent waiting in the wings.

  21. dv3, human geo. Anthropology? When I took it in high school Kroeber was the man.

    Right now the thermometer has my attention as well as the Hearing on Strzok on MSNBC

    It was up to 107deg yesterday and 104 so far today. Brutally dangerous.

  22. Flatus… don’t forget to have some lemonade and whatever snack strikes your fancy while watching that crappola…

    I’m going outside to sit on our patio set under the umbrella with my book…   listening to the birds…

  23. flatus, what’s your opinion of how strzok is doing?

    this is ny mag take so far:  FBI Agent Peter Strzok Scorches GOP in Testimony Fit for Aaron Sorkin Script


  24. in particular they report:
    Conservatives proceeded to cast one of those text messages as the smoking gun in its case against Strzok in particular, and the FBI investigation into Trump, in general: In response to a message from Page expressing horror at the thought of Trump’s election, Strzok replied, “We’ll stop it.”
    Strzok implored Republicans to appreciate the context of his text, which was sent late at night, shortly after the Republican nominee had “insulted the immigrant family of a fallen war hero” (i.e., the family of Khizr Muazzam Khan, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention).

    “My presumption [was] based on that horrible, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States,” Strzok explained. “It was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate. ”

  25. from the guardian:

    Dreamily envisioning Donald Trump as “a unicorn, riding a unicorn over a rainbow”, former press secretary Sean Spicer has filled a new book with breathless memories of his role in recent American history – while admitting that Paul Manafort, suspected of being a tool of Moscow, played a central role in the Trump campaign.
    In The Briefing: Politics, the Press and the President, which will be released on 24 July and a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian, Spicer dramatically compares the work of a press secretary to that of fighter jet pilot, champion boxer and tightrope artist.
    At impressive length, the book purports to set the record straight on an extensive string of micro-episodes and mini-scandals from the Trump campaign and early presidency.
    But Spicer’s description in the book of Manafort’s campaign role belies Trump’s characterization of former campaign chairman Manafort as a minor campaign figure. Last year, Trump said Manafort had only been with the campaign for a “very short period of time”. The book also contradicts Spicer’s own March 2017 statement at the White House that Manafort had “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time”.
    But in the book Spicer portrays Manafort as having an important and impactful role.
    “Paul brought a much-needed maturity to the Trump campaign when it needed an experienced political professional operative more than anything else,” Spicer writes of Manafort’s hiring in the spring of 2016. “There was no semblance of a campaign structure, just a few, distraught, overworked people constantly barking into their phones. Paul immediately set up and staffed the political and communications operations necessary to take on the Clinton machine.
    “The Manafort message was clear: Trump will be our nominee and our next president, and anyone who didn’t want to work to that end could spend the next four years in political Siberia. (No Russia pun intended.)”

  26. Pat, I think Strzok is doing exceedingly well. He refuses to become rattled despite cycling attacks by the cadre of repugnant critters determined to rattle him into mindless incoherence. He has the calming presence of a Bureau attorney (with whom he can’t consult) behind him slipping occasional notes.

    He is holding his own as befits a seasoned agent and a member of the senior executive service. And, in so doing, he’s making the repugs crazy.

  27. Renee, I’m fortifying myself. Big glass of ice water, granola bars, and a bit of Courvoisier.

  28. What’s really important :

    1. Registering Dems & Indies to vote.

    2. Volunteering for Dem campaigns.

    3. Giving money to Dem campaigns.

    4. Talk up the Dem candidates.

    ‘Cuz if the Dems don’t win by a monster margin in November everything else you care about will die of mercury, fluorocarbons, asbestos, and bullets.

  29. If you are going out in the brutal heat, please go easy on the alcohol, cuz it dehydrates.

    If you must drink outside in the brutal heat, for heaven’s sake, stay in the shade.

    I want you all to be healthy.

  30. XR, you are absolutely correct. I am inside at the kitchen table watching the hearing. I am on my third tumbler of ice water, my sixth granola bar and my first small Courvoisier—and it’s pouring outside!!

    Alcohol dehydrates!

  31. flatus, agree about strzok.  too bad he can’t question them re their seeming willingness to thwart and obstruct justice.  bet he could really draw them out on a limb considering some of the questionable contributions buried in the unreported dark of certain PACs like the nra’s big Russian donors.

  32. abc news:  At Strzok hearing, top Dem displays ‘guilty’ posters of those convicted in Mueller probe

    A memorable moment of political theater came even before Strzok spoke – during opening remarks by ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings. Several people, apparently committee staffers, stood up behind Democratic lawmakers, holding large posters of all those who have already pleaded guilty so far in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
    “The special counsel has now obtained five guilty pleas and indicted 18 others, including some of President Trump’s closest advisers – referencing posters that included retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn who resigned and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
    “Here are the officials who have already admitted their guilt … Let me underscore, these are not allegations, these are admissions,” Cummings said.


  33. Watching the Strzok hearing.  The desire to reach through the screen and knock Gowdy and Gohmert heads together until they crack permanently.


  34. Ms Jamie,

    I believe they came into the hearing pre-cracked.

    Mr Flatus,

    Rep. Coleman was one of the heroes who pushed the International Megan’s Law through.

  35. Patd, that giggle ball looks great. And it’s $10, which is what I just earned in Amazon credits at Whole Foods today, for use on Prime Day this Monday, will order it then. Thanks.

  36. Flatus… glad to read you are taking care of yourself.  We here in the Northeast have been blessed the past couple of days with temps in the low 80s… low humidity…  and abundant sunshine.  I just couldn’t justify staying inside and watching some kangaroo court on the tv this afternoon.  Hope your heat breaks soon.

  37. Spending a little time today watching the testimony on the tube.  What an diversion and waste of time and money.  It’s embarrassing.

  38. It’s not as though Senate & House Dems have a lot of other things to deal with, being frozen out of offering legislation. So, why not fight the kavanaugh appointment, and the others, until January ? They’re stuck in Washington until mcconnell decides to let them roam. With 23 Dems up for re-election vs 10 rippers, he will allow as little time on the stump as possible. So, why not mount a counter-attack in the War on Women ?

  39. Every time I see Trey Gowdy’s pointed, little head yapping, I want to scream.

    What’s important to me: UK  protesting Trump! & the baby Trump ballon!

    What isn’t important: Emmy nominations. I’ve never even heard of most of these shows or actors.

  40. Apparently, Build-A-Bear is what’s important to waaaaaay too many folks.   If voter turnout looked like the lines for stuffed animals…

  41. What’s important to BigPharma:  Getting the medical community to lower the the numbers considered to be high blood pressure…so they can sell more drugs.  BS!

  42. craig, try not to steal that giggly ball from toby when you go back to d.c.

    am sure you’ll be tempted.    be ready for her at first to bark anxiously at it.  maybe even frightened. after a while she will enjoy pushing the ball around to hear the little creature inside make funny noises.  bu likes to pick hers up and shake it to make it laugh.

  43. I do not recommend the kong.  My dog chewed off the top knob of a giant kong and swallowed it – it has to be surgically removed making it one of the most expensive dog toys ever

  44. Getting back to what is important:  Water, Air, and Food.  Vandana Shiva has several great videos on You Tube, but this is a good place to start:


  45. Other important things:

    Tomorrow the plumber brings jack hammers to destroy cement install pipes and mount a new toilet.  It will be very noisy.  Luckily we have an alternative upstairs.


  46. Hey, here’s something important… tomorrow is National French Fry Day. Who knew?  Of course after Macron went before the press and said Trump was lying about what was agreed to in the NATO summit, chances are tomorrow will become national Freedom Fry Day…again.

  47. KGC, yes we have been very careful those. Luckily she is too, never eats or swallows anything she doesn’t like, spits toy stuffing out. And spits out anything she bites off. Still, I’ve read the horror stories like yours in customer comments on Amazon, staying vigilant.

  48. Importantest things, (today and every day we continue to live under the fraudulent administration of this agent of a foreign power; this block, this stone, this worse than senseless thing):

    Robert Mueller

    Robert Mueller

    Robert Mueller.

    and all those eggs lying in that one basket.


  49. Craig – you should try Himalayan dog bones.  They’re made out of Yak milk – and technically are hardened Yak cheese – but hard as concrete.  We give them to our dogs (St. Bernards and Malamutes) – they love them and it takes hours and hours to consume one.  They’re not cheap – but an excellent treat.

  50. Dog:  “I really enjoy destroying things.”

    Human:  “Here you are, dog, enjoy this indestructible thing I got you.”

    Dog: “Not only will I demonstrate that this thing is not indestructible, at all, I will destroy something you value, when you least expect it, just to show you I’m not as dumb as you think I am.”

    Human, months later: “I have a really cute dog, plus it’s really smart!  Seriously, it’s like the smartest dog, ever!  Did I ever tell you the story about the dog toys?”

    Dog Toy Marketing Analyst:  “Hey, Boss, the numbers are in: sales of indestructible dog toys are WAY up!”

    Dog Toy Executive:  “That doesn’t make any sense, Brett.  Once people purchase one indestructible dog toy, they never need one again.”

    Dog Toy Marketing Analyst: “…but that’s the thing, Boss: they’re not really indestructible, and once they DO get destroyed… get this… the owners buy another, more expensive, even MORE indestrucible dog toy, that we of course, sell also!”

    Dog Toy Executive: “Holy shit.  That’s genius!”

    Celery Farmer:  “Sorry, kids, we are going to have to sell the farm.  They’re going to build a Petco on it.”

  51. Bink,

    I have cats, or rather, they have me.

    A bag of sparkle balls from the craft store & an open cardboard box is fun wow. We have an understanding: I feed them, scoop their poop & they tolerate me with signs of affection & lawnmower loud purrs. Cats are complex-ly easy. Plus the FU looks they can toss around are hoots. I know & accept they are my overlords.

  52. NATO should demand the US cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment. Prime Minister May should dump scalding hot coffee over the pussypincher.

  53. pogo, most important thing

    breathe in

    breathe out

    …clean air I hope as Jamie posted earlier

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