42 thoughts on “Choices”

  1. stephen jokes about that example of a horrible choice the american people made in 2016 

    Sep 28, 2022Maggie Haberman will join Stephen on The Late Show next week to talk about her new book, “Confidence Man,” and Lizzo used her concert in D.C. to encourage fans to get interested in history

  2. hope our trail friend tony made good storm prep choices and came through the storm okay as it still was destructive 1 when it hit his region.

    BTW, sturge, looks like your island may be in the crosshairs next

    Ian weakens into tropical storm as it lashes U.S. east coast with strong winds, heavy rain (msn.com)

    The National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. EDT update that the eye of Tropical Storm Ian was located about 40 miles southeast of Orlando and about 55 miles southwest of Cape Canaveral.
    Tropical Storm Ian’s center was expected to move off the east-central coast of Florida later Thursday before approaching the coast of South Carolina on Friday.
    “The center will move father inland across the Carolinas Friday night and Saturday,” the forecasters said.
    As of 5 a.m., Ian’s maximum sustained winds had slowed to about 65 mph, with stronger gusts, the hurricane center said, adding that the storm continues to move northeast at about 8 mph.
    “Widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flash and urban flooding, with major to record flooding along rivers, will continue across central Florida,” NHC warned in its update.

  3. editorial board Opinion | Democrats push through Manchin’s energy bill to fight climate change – The Washington Post

    Without this, the country’s climate plans are in danger
    The good news is that the government isn’t shutting down. Congress is on track to pass this week a stopgap spending bill that would keep the lights on past Friday, and it includes some $12 billion in badly needed Ukraine aid. But another critical provision failed to make it into the package: legislation that critics have unfairly characterized as a sop to Big Oil but that is, in fact, indispensable in the fight against climate change. This cannot be the last word on the proposal.
    To call the plan from Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) “permitting reform” undersells its importance. The United States’ existing energy infrastructure was built to run on fossil fuels. If the country is to transition quickly to renewables and other nonpolluting sources of energy, it will need to build a lot of new facilities — solar farms, wind turbines, geothermal plants and power lines to connect it all to the grid. Maintaining onerous rules on building energy projects puts renewables at a disadvantage relative to sources that have associated infrastructure already built out.
    Environmentalist opponents of Mr. Manchin’s proposal complain that it would also ease fossil-fuel infrastructure permitting — it would specifically approve a West Virginia natural gas pipeline — and that Congress should pass a bill without such baggage. That is another way of arguing to do nothing, because such a package would not pass the Senate, where permitting legislation needs 60 votes. A Democratic aide said Mr. Manchin’s proposal would likely have attracted the support of 48 out of 50 Senate Democrats if it had come to the floor this week, meaning at least 12 Republicans would have needed to support it.
    For their part, Republicans have long called for permitting reform because oil and gas companies want it, but they withheld their support for Mr. Manchin’s plan this week to punish the West Virginia senator for backing a big Democratic health and environment bill over the summer. Having their revenge, Republicans should come to the table. President Biden, whose spokeswoman says he is “committed” to Mr. Manchin’s legislation, should lean on his party’s balking lawmakers. Congressional Democratic leaders should aim to attach Mr. Manchin’s legislation to other must-pass bills in the coming months. The opportunity is still there. All sides should seize it.

  4. Yep Sturg, batten them hatches down and hope Ian doesn’t recharge too much once it gets back out over the ocean. 

  5. lol, nice cartoon, patd 😆
    It’s also funny because the artist obviously just skimmed the article- the calculations as to whether the asteroid was deflected appreciably or not won’t be available until October (as i know all you newsies are aware).
    Also, Bronc, sounds like you had a fun convo with your friend, my contribution would have been that average life expectancy is trending downwards, despite all of our marvelous 21st-century capabilities.
    …a little added incentive to have a good day 😜✌️

  6. Yes hattening down the latches on batches of hatches and cursing several entities.
    (but it’s still the best of all possible worlds)

  7. Axios: “Hurricane forecasters’ worst nightmare came true yesterday, when what had been a Category 3 storm Tuesday night suddenly jumped almost to Category 5.
    •    Why it matters: It used to be rare for storms to keep strengthening until landfall, let alone do so rapidly. Now it isn’t — and studies show this is a dangerous sign of climate change.”

  8. insider:

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has threatened to retaliate against those responsible for the damage to the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines that run between Russia and Europe.
    NATO issued a statement on Thursday saying the leaks were of “deep concern” and would be met with a “united and determined response.”
    “All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage. These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage. We support the investigations underway to determine the origin of the damage,” the statement read.
    “We, as Allies, have committed to prepare for, deter and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors. Any deliberate attack against Allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response.”
    The statement came after the Swedish coast guard said a fourth leak had been discovered on the Nord Stream pipelines.
    “Two of these four are in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone,” coast guard spokesperson Jenny Larsson told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper on Wednesday night, adding that the other two breaches were in Denmark’s zone, Reuters reported.

  9. It should make the world turn its back in gas/oil.  Not only the environmental impact, but being at the mercy of those in control.    

    Tomorrow, Poohtin will hold his sham ceremony annexing more of Ukraine. This is not the end, either.   It’s definitely a face-saving maneuver, but ingest not going home.    Someone with access to Pootin needs to do the world a favor and stop this mess. 

    jack – I’m sure that’s what Pootin wants folks to think.

  10. https://www.texastribune.org/2022/09/28/texas-abortion-funds-ken-paxton-subpoena/

    Lyin’ Ken Paxton

    “Lawyers in an abortion lawsuit tried for days to subpoena Attorney General Ken Paxton before sending a process server to his home Monday, and notified his office that their server was there before Paxton fled in a truck driven by his wife, according to court records detailing the communication.”

    “Paxton said he left his house in a truck driven by his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, because a “strange man” made him fear for his safety; his attorneys say they didn’t know he’d be served the subpoena at his home.”

    “Your staff and client necessitated this, and we even advised that he was evading service before it was ultimately completed, to avoid a result embarrassing to you and your client.”


    “When Herrera arrived at Paxton’s home in McKinney on Monday morning, he told a woman who identified herself as Angela that he was trying to deliver legal documents to the attorney general. She told him that Paxton was on the phone and unable to come to the door. Herrera said he would wait.”

    “I walked up the driveway approaching Mr. Paxton and called him by his name. As soon as he saw me and heard me call his name out, he turned around and RAN back inside the house through the same door in the garage,” Herrera wrote in the sworn affidavit.

    “Angela Paxton then exited the house, got inside a Chevrolet truck in the driveway, started it and opened the doors.”

    “A few minutes later I saw Mr. Paxton RAN from the door inside the garage towards the rear door behind the driver side,” Herrera wrote. “I approached the truck, and loudly called him by his name and stated that I had court documents for him. Mr. Paxton ignored me and kept heading for the truck.”

  11. Paxton – sounds like the adverse party in one of my cases that evaded the attempts by clerk (certified mail), sheriff and private process servers nine times before we said fuck it and served her by publication. Unlike ol’ Ken at least she isn’t  a lawyer and officer of the Court.

  12. Ya know… I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time.  Being human doesn’t only consist of solving problems such as hunger, climate change, and war IMO.  We need beauty and things to inspire us also.  After all… if the only thing that matters is solving our problems then what hell is art, music, movies, theatre productions, etc. etc. all about.  Am I wasting my time with weaving?  And are you wasting your money when you buy my product?  Should we stop all artistic pursuits because they don’t feed the hungry?  When was the last time anyone here read a book and thought… “this is great, I’m solving a world problem by reading this.”
    You can translate those thoughts to scientific explorations too, IMO.  Exploration inspires us!  And for that reason alone I say…   YES!…. reach for the stars.

  13. Renee, good on you.  Keep on weaving – I’ll tell LP to keep on playing.  And NASA should keep on researching and launching. The benefits of all of of those add value to our world.

    NASA hit an asteroidette 7 million miles away with a fridge-sized spacecraft to … (wait for it) see if it could. That’s what I call the beginning of the story. 100 years ago the Model T was the state of the art in production automobiles and was about the best car you could buy in America and the state of the art in aviation was still the biplane.

  14. Art is a necessity; creativity is an inherent part of being human.  

    My issue with spending a lot of money on flinging an “ant at a bus,” is that it wasn’t necessary. They did the math; the money spent on the experiment would’ve been better spent on medical care, food, birth control, education, etc. It falls under the category of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

    I suppose it gives puny humans a false feeling of control over something big. Paying attention to the dumpster fire might make more sense than the thing that may never happen.

    I’m not sure why questioning the value of art was brought into the equation…but advanced mathematics isn’t my strong suit. 

    Speaking of art, Willie Nelson is hosting a concert for BETO in Austin on October 2nd.  Wish I could go.

  15. https://www.texastribune.org/2022/09/28/attorney-general-ken-paxton-voter-fraud/

    “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s last-ditch attempt to regain the power of his office to unilaterally prosecute election cases was rejected by the state’s highest criminal court Wednesday.”

    “The push extended to Conservative Republicans of Texas, a group run by Houston conservative activist Steve Hotze, which sent robocalls urging people to call the judges because “Democrats will steal the elections in November and turn Texas blue” if the decision stood.

    The fox can not guard the hen house.

  16. NASA landed a data-transmitting probe on an asteroid, two years ago, which is an achievement, for sure, but made me wonder why hitting one with a tin can is such a big deal- we already knew they could.  NASA says they want to see if they can deflect an asteroid observably, fair enough, but that seems like something that could be modeled and calculated.  There’s a further discussion to be had on approximately how much harnessed physical force it would require to neutralize a world-killing asteroid (i venture a whole lot), but i don’t want to offend delicate sensibilities on such an emotional topic.
    As for the value of any endeavor at all, that’s an unanswerable philosophical question, but your hobbies and handicrafts aren’t federally-funded to the tune of billions upon billions of dollars, which is real money for which hardworking people all across the country people have to struggle and scrape.  If it was all just play-money, POTUS wouldn’t be risking political capital to reconstitute the IRS.

    Listening to the world’s leading climate scientists scream from the rooftops for the last 20 years, or so, effectively convinced me, as intended, to believe an “all hands on deck” approach was needed to mitigate and if possible, reverse, the effects of man-made climate change, but apparently the cognoscenti make an exception for rockets?
    As you may have read in discussions about the costs of climate-change, it is the world’s poorest countries that have to bear the brunt of those costs on behalf of the world’s richest countries.  “Hey, sorry we flooded your coastline and eradicated your ancestral way of life, but did you see we hit a space-rock with a tin-can?  Pretty neat, eh??”
    We’re never going to find a more habitable planet than the one we’re standing on.  Terraform Mars?? We can’t even provide the city of Jackson, MS with clean drinking water.  
    So, yes, i find cost-benefit analysis of space exploration an interesting topic, and could discuss it all day, but if you all don’t and prefer not to, pardon me 🤷‍♂️

  17. renee, well said.

    as to the backlash my “kudos to NASA” got yesterday on the trail, what’s the difference saying that and extolling “atta boy/girl” to my fav olympic athlete or an “encore” to a willie nelson/meryl streep/tina fey performance or a “bravo” to an obama book ?

  18. what the hell?  are they now going to rule against expressing personal opinions about them? 

    “It goes without saying that everyone is free to express disagreement with our decisions and to criticize our reasoning as they see fit,” said Alito, one of six conservatives on the court. “But saying or implying that the court is becoming an illegitimate institution or questioning our integrity crosses an important line.”

    so said the morality police spokesman to WSJ

  19. speaking of handing out kudos, one goes today to uncle joe for warning the oil industry not to use the recent hurricanes as an excuse to gouge customers by raising gas prices.

    while he’s at giving advice to the petrol profiteers, i wish he would also put in a plug/threat about their methane leakage problems, much worse than we thought according to this in the hill:

    Global emissions of methane from existing gas infrastructure may be up to five times higher than had been believed, a new study has found.

    Existing measures to burn off the powerful greenhouse gas — which is dozens of times more potent than carbon dioxide — allow far more to slip by than had been believed, according to the paper published on Thursday in Science.

  20. Kudos to YOU, patd, for being so diligent in keeping the blog going for us all, and initiating so many provocative and enlightening discussions, i appreciate it and you

  21. Alito is wrong- what line is he referring to? There’s no line in the first amendment related to questioning the integrity of the Supreme Court. As the saying goes, respect is earned. Screw him.

    Oh, and Pat, kudos to NASA.

  22. jack, you been listening to tucker lately?

    Tucker Carlson’s shoddy case linking U.S. to alleged Nord Stream sabotage – The Washington Post

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s long-running quest to blame the Biden administration for the war in Ukraine hasn’t borne much fruit, despite his prominent perch on the most-watched cable news channel.
    But it’s not for lack of trying. And on Tuesday night, Carlson broke out his latest shoddily constructed theory: He strongly suggested the United States is responsible for explosions that damaged the Nord Stream pipelines — and, at times, seemed to more explicitly blame the United States.

  23.  patd & Pogo… the enthusiasm those NASA people exhibited the other day was infectious.
    Hey Alito… let me know when you decide to stop acting like a clown show…

  24. https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/29/europe/denmark-queen-grandchildren-scli-intl/index.html

    “A rift has emerged in the Danish royal family following a decision by Queen Margrethe to strip four of her eight grandchildren of their royal titles in order to “future-proof” the monarchy.”

    “Back in May he (Prince Joachim) was told that they might remove their titles when they turn 25 and then he didn’t hear any more until a few days ago.”

    “Von Wildenrath Løvgreen explained that the rebrand is purely a formality, as Joachim’s children do not receive any money from the public purse.”

    “It’s just their loss of identity and it’s very hard for little children and young men. As Prince Nikolai [age 23] said to me, ‘what will they write in my passport now?’”

    ~That’s quite a problem~

  25. That methane leak issue – my understanding Albeit are very rudimentary, is that methane is the primary constituent of natural gas, and that it is odorless and colorless, so the natural gas industry in order to be able to detect leaks adds a scent to the natural gas so that their workers, and ostensibly also the public, can smell it when there’s a leak. We all know the smell if we’ve got any kind of a gas appliance. There is a valve structure that is maybe 30 feet from the road I travel on my way to work and back, and there is a station of some description affiliated with the transmission lines that run next to the West Fork River, which I also drive beside on my way to work. I can smell natural gas at both of those structures almost every time I drive past them. I have no idea whether the leaks that allow me to smell the gas of those two structures are substantial or negligible or whatever, but there’s no question that leakage is occurring at both of them. And these are lines that are no bigger than 6 inches in diameter. I can only imagine what kind of leaks can occur at the larger NG transmission lines, like the ones Manchin tried to pass for permit concessions for the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines under the rubric of permitting reform in the latest budget bill, which involves lines that are anywhere from 3 to 6 feet in diameter, with the attendant compressor stations, meter locations and the like.

  26. Well that should stop the immigration problem at the southern border. ~~~
    Good thing Texas has the money to put up more of T****’s stupid monument to himself. Think they’ll get the TX legislators to name that portion for the dumbass and emblazon his name on it in gold, which seems to be his preference? Maybe they will make a portable one like the VWM that the Vietnam Vets take around the country to honor people whose names actually deserve to be on a wall. What an utter load of horse shit.

  27. Poobah, moron. Rudy said it best – something like – we’ve got theories but we don’t have proof.

  28. she still believes 2020 was stolen 

    That’s the cover-your-ass argument against intent: it helps having a SCoTUS judge to coach you

  29. The Dumbass scams continue apace.  WaPo

    A company that organized a lucrative series of post-White House paid speeches for former president Donald Trump is now struggling to pay vendors, investors and employees, angering Trump allies who supported the effort.

    The American Freedom Tour, which struck a multimillion-dollar deal with Trump after he left office, has lost two top executives and canceled events in a number of locations as it has failed to pay its bills, according to people familiar with the activities and documents obtained by The Washington Post. Its founder and owner, who has a history of bankruptcy filings, recently sought bankruptcy protection again.

    The group has promised events in a number of locales but canceled them before they began and appears to be banking on a large event at Mar-a-Lago in December to turn its financial position around.

    With speakers, affiliates and investors all clamoring for their money, one of the people involved who did get paid was Trump, people close to the former president say. Some Trump advisers have warned against doing future events, though Trump has expressed interest.

    It’s not clear what that means for the tour’s advertised upcoming black-tie gala at Mar-a-Lago, with tickets starting at $10,000 a couple to spend time with Trump. The event includes a poolside reception and a formal ballroom dinner. Dinner and a photo with Trump costs $40,000, and a private library meeting with Trump is so pricey that it’s only listed as: “INQUIRE BELOW.” The company declined to say how much Trump is being paid for the event.

    You know, I just don’t get it.
    If you is ’em, it ain’t hard to find ’em. 

  30. https://www.texastribune.org/2022/09/28/greg-abbott-border-migrants/

    “For the past year and a half, Gov. Greg Abbott has made border security his priority and the centerpiece of his reelection campaign.”

    “He’s put $4 billion on the line to do so, initiating construction of a border wall and sending thousands of National Guard service members and state police to patrol the border with Mexico for months on end in his highly touted Operation Lone Star.”

    “But despite those efforts, the number of migrants officials encounter at the Texas-Mexico border is higher today than it was before Operation Lone Star began…”

    “Yet the continued pace of migrants at the state’s southern border calls into question the effectiveness of a state policy intended to stem border crossings that is costing the state the equivalent of the average annual college tuition and fees at a public university for 395,000 students.”

    “…Abbott announced that Texas would build a state-funded border wall to crack down on immigration, saying that “as prolific as [Operation Lone Star’s] results have been, it is clear that more is needed.” He set aside an initial down payment of $250 million to pay for the wall, which could ultimately cost billions of dollars.”

    “As of this month, the state has completed 4 miles of permanent border wall as well as more than 100 miles of nonpermanent wall in the form of fencing and concertina wire, Abbott’s office said.”

    “..,many of the factors driving migration — economics, natural disasters and the pandemic…”

    At tomorrow night’s debate, I predict Abutt will try to hammer away on the border…and pretty much nothing else. I hope BETO calls Greg on the ad that was heavily edited/he did not actually say defund they police. Call out lyin’ Gregg Abbott and the lying liars who support him.

  31. Ginni doesn’t actually believe it, she’s just not cracking.  You know, never admit liability.   

  32. The Martha Vineyard encounter as told by one of the Venezuelans.

    When we landed in Martha’s Vineyard, there was a black van waiting for us. The van took us to a house and the driver said, “There’s a doorbell. Ring it. They are waiting for you there.” When we rang the doorbell, a lady came out, and we told her, “Here we are. We’ve arrived.” The lady asked, “Who are you?” and we told her, “The gentleman brought us. He said to ring the doorbell.” But when we turned around, the black van was gone.
    We told the lady, “We’re from Venezuela. We came from Mrs. Perla.” We were terrified. We thought they would take us to jail or deport us. Many of us cried.
    On the plane, they had given us some red folders with a map, and we looked at the map and realized that we were surrounded by sea, that we were on an island. There was no bridge; there was nothing. How do we get out of here? Do we have to leave by ferry or in a private plane like we got here? We were so scared. Then a gentleman came out speaking Spanish. He told us that we should not worry, that they were going to look for a solution.

    What kind of asshole do you have to be to think that is funny, appropriate or even moral to play such a trick on a desperate person. Thank God the woman who opened the door wasn’t as crazy as the van driver who dropped them off.

    This is for the Old Sea Hag and her neighbors:

    We slept in the church that night. Some slept on mattresses on the floor and some in bed. I preferred the floor. If those people hadn’t offered us their hearts … We didn’t know where we were. I’m so thankful to those people on Martha’s Vineyard who reached out to us and treated us like their family.

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