29 thoughts on “Free Form Friday”

  1. LONDON (The Borowitz Report)—Following the resignation of its Ambassador to the United States, Kim Darroch, the government of the United Kingdom has disclosed that it has been unable to find a replacement for Darroch who does not also think that Donald J. Trump is a blithering idiot.

    At a press conference at 10 Downing Street, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, revealed that the search for a new ambassador who does not believe that Trump is an imbecile has thus far come up empty.

    “We did not want a repeat of the unfortunate Kim Darroch incident, so we made the first question on the job application, ‘Do you think Donald Trump is a moron?’ ” May said. “So far, none of the applicants has checked the ‘no’ box.”

    May acknowledged that the government might have to expand its search for applicants beyond those with diplomatic experience in order to find a replacement for Darroch who does not consider Trump a dolt.

    “We will search high and low until we find someone in this country who doesn’t think Donald Trump is a nitwit,” she said. “We’re starting by interviewing people who don’t think Boris Johnson is a nitwit.”

    While affirming her government’s determination to find someone in the U.K. who does not think Trump is an unmitigated bonehead, May warned that the difficulty of the task must not be underestimated. “This is turning out to be harder than Brexit,” she said.

  2. the hill:

    Deportation raids in major cities are set to begin on Sunday, according to The New York Times. The raids, to be carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), are expected to take place in at least 10 cities with 2,000 people or more targeted.

    Tensions over immigration are already inflamed because of conditions in detention camps near the southern border. Now, new images of family members being forcibly separated by ICE agents at their own doors could add fuel to the political fire.


  3. I forgot to post this last week.  Fourth of July dinner.  And, it was smoked with mesquite wood.
    My twitter world is changing.  Real people are now following me, not the usual Russian bots. 

  4. bbronc,  perhaps those Russian bots are too busy elsewhere helping out ms AOC and her so-called justice dems.  something’s fishy about what the squad is up to.

    the hill:

    Congressional Black Caucus members are furious at Justice Democrats, accusing the outside progressive group aligned with firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) of trying to oust lawmakers of color, specifically African-American lawmakers. 

    Justice Democrats is backing primary challengers to eight-term Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a Hispanic Caucus member, and 10-term Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The insurgent group also made noise this year about challenging Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), a CBC member seen as the heir apparent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

    And CBC leaders are fretting that Justice Democrats may target other black lawmakers in the coming weeks and months, including Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Emanual Cleaver (D-Mo.) and Anthony Brown (D-Md.). Brown said the group has been making calls in his district, actively trying to recruit a challenger to run against him.

    “It just seems strange that the social Democrats seem to be targeting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, individuals who have stood and fought to make sure that African Americans are included and part of this process,” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), a senior CBC member, told The Hill.


    “They are going after the wrong target instead of fighting Republicans and defeating Trump and holding onto our majority, they find it convenient to go after their own, which is to me a bunch of B.S.,” Clay told The Hill. 

    He likened Justice Democrats to “Russian trolls of 2016” trying to sow divisions in the Democratic party.

    “It does make you wonder what’s going on,” added another CBC member, Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.). “Some names that have been mentioned all seem to be people of color, and more so CBC members.”

    CBC members and some top Democratic aides have questioned who is pulling the strings at Justice Democrats. The group, which is targeting entrenched incumbent Democrats they view as insufficiently progressive and beholden to corporate donors, was founded in the wake of President Trump’s surprise 2016 victory by progressive media personalities Cenk Uygur and Kyle Kulinski, along with Bernie Sanders organizers Saikat Chakrabarti and Corbin Trent. 

    Uygur and Kulinski are no longer with the group. And after winning a seat in Congress, Ocasio-Cortez hired Chakrabarti as her chief of staff and Trent as her communications director.


    A senior House Democratic aide called it “ironic and funny” that Ocasio-Cortez is accusing Pelosi of attacking women of color, when Justice Democrats is targeting minority lawmakers.  

    “She’s only a woman of color when it’s convenient. None of the things she’s fought for aligned with communities of color and her group is funded only by elitist white liberals; she’s a puppet,” the top Democratic aide told The Hill in a phone call. 

    The aide then texted an image of a Goomba puppet from the Super Mario Bros. video game.

    “I can’t tell you how pissed off people are” about the Justice Democrats, the aide added. “All these CBC members feel like they are under siege. But it’s offensive that these elitist, white liberals feel like they can undermine the foundation of our party,” African American voters.

    Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s now-spokesman, declined to comment for this story. 

    Top CBC member Meeks now is calling for a meeting between CBC leaders and Justice Democrats to find out why they are targeting lawmakers of color. 

    “We will have to, at some point, sit down and see: Is this something that is directed at members of the Congressional Black Caucus?” Meeks asked. “We’re going to sit down with whoever the social Dems are. We have to find out who they are. Who is really running this show. We have to figure that out.”

    Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), a CBC member, said it was upsetting that Justice Democrats appeared to be taking aim at so many black lawmakers, especially since they have some of the most progressive voting records in the caucus.

    “I think challenging other Democrats in the primary when we’re trying to hold onto the majority is wrong unless the person is so far out of bounds, so far away from Democratic orthodoxy, but that’s not what’s going on here,” McEachin told The Hill. 

    “It’s disturbing to see challenges to that many CBC members.”

  5. don’t forget steve’s strategy in his own words reported in wapo back in 2017 :

    In the second interview, with the American Prospect, Bannon (supposedly believing himself to be off the record) elaborated a bit more on this general theme:


    “The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”



  6. politico: Poll: Biden, Warren lead Democratic field


    Biden tops an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll with 26 percent support, followed by Warren at 19 percent and Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Bernie Sanders of Vermont each at 13 percent.

    South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg ranks fifth with 7 percent support, while entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke register at 2 percent. The remaining candidates are at 1 percent or less.


    Despite the presence of a clear top-tier in the poll, there are signs the race remains fluid: Only 12 percent of respondents said their minds are definitely made up on which candidate they will support in the primary, meaning most voters are open to changing their minds before Democrats begin to cast votes in February.


    The survey was conducted after last month’s Democratic debates in Miami and the Fourth of July holiday weekend.


    NBC News and The Wall Street Journal are approved poll sponsors by the Democratic National Committee for the party’s debates. The poll does little to alter the landscape for the next debate, later this month in Detroit, for which the field is essentially set at 20 candidates split between two nights.


    The poll does bring good news for two candidates who have not yet qualified for the first fall debate in September, according to a POLITICO analysis. With both O’Rourke and Yang at 2 percent, the latest survey gives the former Texas congressman three qualifying polls and the outsider entrepreneur his first. Candidates need 2 percent in four qualifying polls, along with 130,000 unique donors (with 400 in at least 20 states), to make it on stage.


    A second qualifying poll released Tuesday evening marked a milestone for Sen. Cory Booker. In a poll released by Fox News of South Carolina Democratic primary voters, Booker received 3 percent. This is good for his fourth qualifying poll for the September debate.


  7. What irony, not to mention hypocrisy – that the Squad is claiming race-based targeting against them on Nancy’s part while they are targeting Reps of color.  Dave me from extremists.

    XR, yeah, that fun quotient was a huge determinate whenever I bought a car.  My hiatus from VWs and Audis was in the early-late 80s.  After my run through VWs in the 70s I had a Toyota Corolla liftback that was the prior Mrs. P’s car.  It was an OK car, but talk about not suitable for NH winters – it was as close to worthless in the snow as a car can get.  OK drive in nice weather, but not a lot of fun there.  Guy I worked for in NH made fun of me when I bought a new VW Jetta back in the late 80s when the Corolla was having death throes.  Said it was a yuppie car.  He STFU after he drove it.  That 1800 cc engine was tons of fun in that car.   We needed a 2nd car when I went to law school, so I bought  a well used 5 year old Mazda 323 hatchback – it was a piece of crap – had worn splines that allowed the right axle to slip just far enough out of the transaxle to stop going – I learned how to address that on my back on the side of the road to get moving – but it had a straight shift and was a blast to drive.  Since then there has been only on e car that we’ve had that I’d really classify as fun – After Mrs. P & I met,  in ’93 she bought a Dodge Stealth R/T twin turbo.  6 speed manual, all wheel drive, all wheel steering and just fucking crazy fast. 320 HP in a  3800 pound car.   0-60 in less than 5 seconds and top speed of 165 mph.  We ended up getting rid of it because it ran through tires and brake pads & rotors like they were free – and they were definitely not.  Since then it’s been cars suited to drive LP and his friends to soccer games etc. in, (aka 3 row SUVs)  and although that need has no longer there since he went away to college, we’ve not gravitated back to fun cars.  But one of these days…

  8. Another one bites the dust – Acosta is out the door. Putin must have signaled something to SFB to toss the baggage out the door.  I wonder what his golden parachute is? He must have a long story to tell and a great number of “friends” willing to make sure he is quiet.

  9. So it’s been a great couple of days for SFB – 2 judges reject change of counsel in the census suppression case, SFB drops efforts to include the citizenship question, Acosta resigns, and Paul Ryan slams SFB in his new book.  All that winning…

  10. Ya know… something smells fishy with all this crap about progressive Congressional Dems going after other Dems… especially of color.  Is this true or is this Russian trolls?  I haven’t seen or heard anything about it on the news…  only here on the ‘net.  If it’s the younger generation trying to push out the older generation…  good luck with that.  We oldies but goodies vote…   them…  not so much.

  11. Had 3 of those 68 V W buses. Busses?
    anyway, great for hauling around a Hammond organ with Leslie tone cabinet on back deck above the engine. Toured all around all over the south and from Atlanta to Massachusetts and as far out as Black Eagle, Montana……could count on 68-70 mph on flatland, or as fast as needed in mountains.  They took a licking, but kept on ticking.  
    There was an interesting thing I enjoyed whenever the situation occurred…..when going up a long grade you could feel the engine working, but there came a point when reaching the crest where the engine would sort of float from pushing to kind of free wheeling a bit and then being a drag. I enjoyed that point where it switched over from push to pull.

  12. I guess all engines do that, but seemed somehow different in the bus.  We called it Loto Boose, or L’auto Bus if you will. 

  13. Oh, is it summertime? Vacations in the mountains and whatnot? I thought it was just infernally hot for no good reason. 

  14. Never know when those damned republicans are gonna have themselves another nice little recession.   They like that separating the wheat from the chaff. They get the wheat and we get the chaff. 
    They chaff my ass.
    Rotten mother chaffers.

  15. Acosta is slime.  No one’s buying (1) that he got the absolute best deal he could against Jeffrey 10 years ago and (2) that his leaving was his decision, not SFB’s.  And LOL at your chaff riff.
    Sturg, I had 2 – a ’68 and later a 73 that had a sunroof and bed folding kit in it.  The 68 was a bit, ummm, rough.  It had a semi functional sliding door (you had to be gentle and hold your tongue just right to get it to work) and worn dogs on 4th gear. To keep it in 4th gear I had to hook a bungee cord hooked to the passenger seat to it. Oh, and heat … fuggitaboutit.  I’m glad I lived in the deep south.  I hear ya on that power thing – The 1600 engine had just (barely) enough power to get it from A to B, and very slowly in the mountains.   
    The 73 was a gem – red/white/white, pancake engine that I put a carb conversion on to get rid of the quirky dual carb synchronization problem, put a mechanical advance distributor and a better exhaust and it was a running fool.  And it had actual heat that came out of the vents.  Like I said, it had a sunroof – damn thing was close to 4′ long and 3′ wide – and had this funky linkage kit for the rear seat that let you bring it up to the deck height to be a bed.  Worked great for trips to the beach, woods, etc.  Loved that bus.

  16. Funny thing about the bus…..you could drive without a clutch if’n You had to. 
    Like that movie about little miss sunshine or something like that.
    what a long strange trip it’s been.

  17. Yeah…  I’m sweltering in place here in NH too.  I’ve always joked around that I’d like to spend the summer in Alaska.  But I read on this here ‘net that it was 90 degrees in Anchorage the other day.  Damn!…  no place left to hide.

  18. renee, here’s daily beast on the brouhaha 


    ‘The View’ Sides With Pelosi Over AOC: ‘You’re Not Allowed to Bitch About This’

    “It’s annoying to people,” Whoopi said. “I don’t think this had to do with color. I think this is—this is more—I don’t know, B.S.”

    It would appear that the women of The View are solidly in Nancy Pelosi’s corner when it comes to the House speaker’s simmering feud with progressive star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

    The hosts kicked off Thursday’s broadcast of ABC’s chat show by discussing the back-and-forth between the New York lawmaker and the speaker, noting that AOC recently accused Pelosi of disrespecting and repeatedly singling out women of color. Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks came on the heels of Pelosi dissing the “Squad”—a group of four freshmen progressive congresswomen of color—and claiming they have no clout or influence.

    After liberal co-host Joy Behar said it was “disheartening” and that this “infighting isn’t helping” to get Donald Trump out of the White House, she then felt it was a “bit much” for Ocasio-Cortez to “go to race right away.”

    “Well, I have a problem with how all these young women started out when they were accusing, you know, older Democrats like myself of not getting

    what needed to be done in the country, and started saying, you know, you haven’t done this,” fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg responded, adding that the “Squad” wasn’t taking into account veteran Democrats’ past activism and accomplishments.

    “It’s annoying to people,” she added. “So I don’t think this had to do with color. I think this is—this is more—I don’t know, B.S.”

    Goldberg lashed out some more at the young lawmakers, telling them that it’s “not okay” to come in and tell older Democrats to “get out of the way” because they didn’t do their job. This prompted Behar to say they needed to “keep your eye on the prize” and get Trump out of office.

    “That is the reason you stick together—to get him out,” she exclaimed. 

    Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain, meanwhile, rallied to Pelosi’s defense, noting that it was the speaker who delivered the 2018 midterms for the Democrats while the “Squad” was only able to get four votes in opposing a recent border funding bill. The conservative McCain called it “Democrat on Democrat crime,” adding that Republicans “see the bigger picture” and stay

    united on legislation.

    Hostin, for her part, did point out that Pelosi needs to be careful with calling AOC and others out because they are young women of color, causing Goldberg to directly address the viewers.

    Well, women of color watch me right now,” she exclaimed. “Let’s keep this in mind. Do you think Nancy Pelosi wanted to pass a half-ass bill? No. The moderates were the problem, and I would say to these women, did you sit these moderates down and say, ‘Listen, we got to put this together?’ What have you done? Have you called? Have you tried?”

    After McCain agreed that the Squad isn’t caucusing, Goldberg ended the segment with this:

    “And if you are not going to do that, you’re not allowed to bitch about this! If you want to move it, then let’s get it moved!”



  19. Just realized that I missed the dead bug article, then I remembered yesterday was a nasty storm coming through and things were rather dicey.
    My college roommate had a 67 bug.  I would occasionally borrow it when my 1936 Chevy did not want to run (which was frequent). 
    There are many YouTube channels regarding VW’s, but one that is very interesting is Mustie1.  He not only is a VW expert he is an expert in bringing back to life all sorts of broken things.

  20. We’re not crazy cat people, but we like to make sure that Princess Leia has enough to keep her occupied. When we got her she was seriously over weight, and we’ve been helping her with diet and exercise. She’s doing really well, but she seems to be getting bored. It’s not easy to shop for toys for adult cats and you have to keep changing things up. 
    So Pam found this subscription deal online. It’s called Kitnipbox. For $20/mos they put together a box of 5 different toys and ship them once a month. We just got the first box. It’s a hit. Princess Leia has been alternately snuggling, tossing, chasing, and pouncing her 5 new toys all afternoon. And we’ve been laughing at her antics.
    Happy pets make for happy families, I say. 
    Oh, have to go. She just brought me a pink mouse.
    Nope. Not crazy cat people.

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