The Widdershins

Serenity Now!

Posted on: November 20, 2022

Hello Shinners,

What a week. We learned that the Democrats have lost the House, but only by a sliver. Nancy Pelosi is passing the baton, as are fellow octogenarians Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn, to a new generation of leaders. Hakeem Jeffries is the favorite to succeed her; if he wins election as Minority Leader, he will be the first Black American to lead a chamber of Congress in any capacity. Incredible that it it has taken this long, but sadly, not surprising.

As gifted as Hakeem Jeffries is, it will be near-impossible to equal Pelosi’s significance and prowess as Speaker. She was the first woman Speaker, and has been a beloved leader and powerful force for democracy during her long tenure. But I do think he is the right person at the right time for the job. He knows how to keep AOC and her fellow “Just Us” Democrats in line. And, women will stay in leadership with Katherine Clark (D-Mass) putting in her bid for the second-in-command. I didn’t know much about her, but she seems really promising.

Central to her approach as a member of leadership would continue to be her focus on women and families. In Massachusetts, before serving in the state legislature she was a lawyer for the state’s Office of Child Care Services.

As a member of the “sandwich generation,” taking care of young children at the same time as elderly parents, Clark said women’s struggles are always front and center for her. She is a member of the Women’s Caucus and has been instrumental in working with members to message around access to abortions. She worked to enable federal workers to have expanded fertility benefits and child care, and to provide federal support for child-care providers during the pandemic.

She also campaigned in 19 states and raised $12 million for Democratic colleagues during the mid-terms.

On the Senate side, Democrats sued the state of Georgia to allow early voting the Saturday before the runoff election between Walker and Warnock – and won. This is a YUGE victory, as lower turnout will benefit that brain-damaged werewolf-wannabe who should not be anywhere near the halls of power.

Herschel weighs in on the top issues of our time

So much else has happened…today we heard about another mass shooting in Colorado Springs at the one nightclub where LGBTQ+ people were welcome in that area. Of course it was a wingnut who had previously threatened violence, and of course it was an AR-15. Such a terrible tragedy, and so preventable. I don’t even have words at this point.

Also this week, Merrick Garland appointed a special prosecutor to continue his two ongoing investigations of der Drumpfenfuhrer and his enablers in Congress. To me, this is a good sign because it means he wants leeway to after not just Drumpf, but Republican Congresscritters as well, and will need to have the appearance of neutrality; not to QOP, because they’ll scream no matter what, but to swing voters and persuadable Republicans. Experienced prosecutor Barb McQuade weighed in on this decision.

With Smith, DOJ has a chance for a do-over. By all accounts, Smith is a hard-working, apolitical prosecutor, who once led the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, which prosecutes corruption public officials. Most recently, he has been working as a war crimes prosecutor in the Hague. Dwight Holton, a former colleague at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, called Smith “a scrappy, no nonsense prosecutor who cuts through bullshit like a knife through hot butter.” All sounds like good preparation to investigate the former president. 

And of course, the Mango Moron’s announcement that he was running again, and Elon Musk’s fake poll to let him back on Twitter, both landed like a lead balloon. Without Rupert Murdoch’s vast media empire unequivocally backing Donald, the rest of the media doesn’t seem as inclined to hang on his every word. They’ve been doing pretty well so far – how will things play out?

Now that Trump is running for president, how should the media cover him? That’s a major topic today, and will be for the next two years — or however long Trump is in the mix.

Writing for The Conversation, Thomas E. Patterson — Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, Harvard Kennedy School — writes that it’s up to the media to be responsible by, among other things, doing the following:

  • Don’t play into his hands by letting him set the narrative.
  • Call out his falsehoods, but don’t dwell on them.
  • Don’t confuse access with newsworthiness. (This is a really smart point by Patterson.)
  • Do notice when he trashes democracy.
  • Avoid false equivalence.
  • Provide context.

There’s more, and Patterson expands on his points with thoughtful examination. It’s good advice for journalists and those who follow this stuff closely. Give it a read.

And so far Musk’s takeover of Twitter has been a complete fail, with advertisers dropping by the droves and people setting up accounts on other platforms like Mastodon. As for me, my account is super limited and I don’t allow retweets or bot followers – I’m mostly there to read and support activists. Because of this, I’m sticking with it till either the investors pull Musk and restore the platform to normalcy, or the whole thing goes down.

With all of this happening in just one week, we need serenity now! This is a thread for us to post animals, music or whatever else gives us calm and happy feelings. Here’s mine – happy Sunday, all.

106 Responses to "Serenity Now!"

So good to hear the news that there will be early voting in GA!

Also good that the media isn’t hanging on Trump’s every word and reporting it without fact checks this time around. Still paying him too much attention.

Few things more restful than watching a world turn. Livestream of Artemis orbiting the Moon.

@3, q, Ahhhhh.

That’s really relaxing, Quixote!

Family dramas are starting to heat up in my little world. I guess it’s that time of year.

My contributing happy thought: January! Woot woot!
It saves me every year. 🙂 Covid wasn’t all bad…

Great post, madamab.

“My contributing happy thought: January! Woot woot!
It saves me every year. 🙂 Covid wasn’t all bad…”

Oh dear. Sounds like a typical family. And people ask me whether I don’t regret everything I’ve missed, being an only child. 😆

PJ, sorry to hear about the family drama. I hope you make it through to January without too much ignunce, as my friend from Texarkana used to say.

GAGal, that dog has quite the musical ear. I mean literally. Did you see it rotate? 😍

Yeah, quixote – you missed some “stuff” alright. 🙂

Hahaha, MB. I saw the word “ignunce” and I was like, I’ll have to look that word up, and then I read the rest. Too funny!

That was totally delightful, GAgal. Great find.

Great post MB and a time for good vibes is well needed.

Q- the moon scenery with that calming music is awesome.

Sorry about the dustup in your family.

Some calming music I found by accident when surfing the internets. 😉

Yes, that little girl playing Moon River with this beautiful wolf-like dog sitting on top of the piano…with his ears turning to certain notes, is great.

Aaack. The moon scenery is NOT live. Someone did an animation. A very nice animation. But not the real thing, it turns out. Sorry. :redface:

The real thing is here ( It’s getting very close to the Moon and the real orbiting should start soon.

I’m glad you posted the animation, quixote. It was, as you say, very nice. Thanks for the link to the real thing too.

Thank you, Shadow. Nice music!

Ok, this makes me happy. The DNC postponed making any decisions on the presidential primary calendar until after the midterms. It’s good they did because I think the results of this past election will make for a better decision. Buh-bye, Iowa.

That is great news, PJ! No worries about the “livestream,” Quixote. Seemed live to me!

Thanks for the music, Shadow!

This makes me happy!

Check the tapes!
These women have the proof.

@17 Whoa! That makes me happy too!!

“Oh Lordy, there are tapes”. Hahaha

Isn’t that a crime? I’m not a lawyer, but isn’t that conspiracy to commit murder? Under Herschel Law, I mean. Or would it be coercing someone to commit murder? Incitement? I don’t know, but it sounds bad. I wouldn’t want to be Herschel Walker living under Herschel Walker rules.

The first rule of Herschel Rules is that Herschel has no rules.


Am I remembering the past through rosy glasses? Were there so many gumballs of this caliber ever before? Herschel. Large Marge. Bobo. Gohmert. And a others whose names I’ve mercifully forgotten. Seems like a lot.

Herschel Rule: rules for thee but not for me.

Betcha ketchup is covering the walls at MarALago today.

Supreme Court clears way for Trump tax returns to go to Congress

High court again rules against former president Donald Trump in a case involving his finances, requests to withhold information.

The justices’ brief order means that the Treasury Department may quickly hand over six years of tax records from Trump and some of his companies to the House Ways and Means Committee.

There were no recorded dissents and, as is often the case in emergency applications, the court did not state a reason for denying Trump’s request to withhold the records.

Just another mass shooting in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Republicans are sending their cut-and-paste thoughts and prayers.

An assailant opened fire late Tuesday at a Walmart in the Tidewater area of Virginia, leaving several people dead, authorities said.

Officials could not provide an exact number early Wednesday of those killed and wounded at the store in Chesapeake. However, city spokeswoman Elizabeth Vaughn said police reported that there were “less than 10” fatalities and multiple injuries. She added that the assailant was dead, referring to a report she said she received from police.

Herschel rule #2
Do as I say, not as my friends the zombies done do.

Great post MB! Love the moon and the little girl playing Moon River for that gorgeous dog.

Hahaha, Shadow!

Quixote, indeed, I think Drumpf opened the doors for all the wackadoos to ram through. Although Raygun unlocked them!

Love the comments about the Herschel Rules! And thanks, Annie.

Did you all see this? Spot-on comparison!

@27 OMG! That’s genius!!

@Luna 29, 30. Do these people ever even listen to themselves? They’re going to notice their giant, purple, elephant-size double standard any second now, right? Right?

Anyhoooo, onward and upward. A peaceful and kindly Thanksgiving to all! Envision Snoopy jumping around with Woodstock in their happy dance whenever the relatives get a bit too much 😆

Great attitude, and I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving too.

Most of time I will be wearing a freakin’ mask because at least one man refuses to get any type of vaccination.
❤ To all

Happy Thanksgiving, all, and may it be a calm, warm time with as little dissension as possible.

Shadowfax, I’d be wearing a mask in those circumstances too.

Happy Thanksgiving! So thankful for all of you.

33 (Luna)
Always good to get your feedback.

Jack Smith had a busy Thanksgiving!

Can’t be indicted too soon. Last year would have been good.

Hakeem gives a little taste of what he will be like as Minority Leader while Senior entertains Nazis at Mar a Lardo.

Hi all! Hope you enjoyed the holiday. I’ve been busy with typing all of hubs paperwork, nursing my injured knee, and son had a minor seizure. Now I have to drive him everywhere for months. I’m dying to go on a real vacation.

I’m glad for Nancy, and hope she gets to enjoy the good things in life now, even though I will miss seeing her take on evilness everyday. She has been an amazing speaker. I wish Hakeem well, he has big shoes to fill.

What does “non-binary” mean anyway? I always thought it was about math or science.

Oh (Annie), sorry to hear about your son’s minor seizure, your injured knee and your need for a vacation. I hope your road ahead calms down soon.

Thanks Shadow! How are you and your son doing?

Love the Hakeem quote.

(Shades of Car Talk, too. Remember Vinnie? I hear Hakeem saying that in a Vinnie voice 😆 “Well, investigate that.” I still miss Car Talk!)

@41, what a bird!

Yeah, you’d think the whole binary arglebargle was something coming out of computer science. Instead it’s people who feel quite special because the stereotypes don’t fit them. Wowzer. Don’t know what they’ll do if it ever dawns on them that stereotypes fit nobody.

Socal, so sorry to hear about Laker! Thank you for the beautiful bird.

@39 A sign of good things to come from Hakeem Jeffries!

@42, annie, “non-binary” is one of those LGBTQ WTF+ terms made up to describe an imagined self ‘gender’ identity which doesn’t display only masculine or only feminine stereotypes. Pronounced “enby.” Never mind that 99% of us don’t display only one gender role’s stereotypes — for example, a woman wearing pants or having short hair, or a man who becomes a ballet dancer. Also seems odd since saying you’re not part of a binary is de facto admitting there is a binary. Enbies want others to use “they” or “them” pronouns when talking about them, even if it’s only one person being talked about. Pronouns, of course, are the words used by others. Demanding that others use certain words about you is demanding controlled speech IMO.

A common gender ideologue mantra is “TWAW, TMAM, non-binary people are valid.” Everyone’s gender ID is supposed to be valid. So, it’s very weird that now they’re saying that this man’s self-declared non-binaryness (binariness?) isn’t valid. When the news of the tragedy broke, it was quickly assumed that the shooter’s rage was due to transphobia (which in turn was all the fault of radfem women[eyeroll]). But now it turns out that the shooter himself was one of the TQ+ crowd. Well, of course that is not complimentary for the TQ+ people to have a violent mass-murderer amongst them, so they are denying the guy’s self-ID & say it’s not real They say he’s only claiming to be enby as a defense. Hey! What happened to “enbys are valid?” Oh the irony! They are contradicting their own dogma.

Gender-critical (GC) persons know that the gender self-identities aren’t real, and that when a man says he is a woman he’s not really a woman. We’ve pointed out the numerous instances when trans-id’d men have said they’re women just to get access to girls’ or women’s same-sex spaces where girls/women are vulnerable. We know we can’t tell the difference between abusive and non-abusive men just by looking, so for safeguarding (and female privacy and dignity) it’s best that all the men stay out.

None of the above is to deny that the shooting was a tragedy and an atrocity. It was another horrendous example of male violence. I thought it was more likely due to the shooter’s homophobia than transphobia. 98% of mass murders are committed by men. The easy access to guns gives violent men the means to murder dozens of people at once.

Society needs to adopt sensible gun laws such as exist in the UK and other more-civilized countries. Society also needs to bring up boys and men to not take out their anger against others (yeah, like this is ever going to happen).

Annie, sorry to hear your son had a seizure, and I’m glad it was only a small one (if anything like an explosion of neural energy in one’s brain can be considered ‘small’). What’s the duration of driving restriction after a seizure in California? WA has 6 months. Half a year is a long time to be chauffeur.

Yes, you need a vacation. I’d still love to meet up in Vancouver BC sometime. Just checked — they’ve dropped all requirements for vaccines or testing for travellers.

Everyone could use a vacation!

44 Annie
Thanks for asking, my son is doing well.
I’m dealing with a health issue now, but other than that, I’m doing well. Wishing the best for you.

Shadowfax, glad to hear your son is doing well and that things are mostly well for you also.

Annie, so sorry to hear about your son and your injured knee. I hope you both feel better soon! Beautiful bird too.

Shadow, I hope you’re doing okay. Sending you healing thoughts!

My opinion – I don’t feel comfortable with the idea that gender identity isn’t real. Ithink there must be a biological reason why people identify as trans. I recently read an article that attributed being trans to estrogen levels in the brain during development in the womb. And, kids seem to know very early that they are trans. My pediatrician friend says she sees kids identifying as the opposite sex as early as five. How could that be environmental?

I experienced this myself with a friend’s daughter running around saying “I’m a boy, I’m a boy!” She was three. She’s now out as trans.

I agree with the point that whatever the shooter’s gender identity is, it’s completely irrelevant to whether it was a hate crime. Hitler was a quarter Jewish, and look at today’s Nazis who are non white. It doesn’t matter. The guy is a mass murderer.

Kids believe all sorts of things when they’re kids! If a kid runs around saying I’m a princess! or I’m a pirate! that doesn’t make it so. It’s just part of being a kid and playing. Due to societal stereotypes, if a boy likes playing with dolls, or a girl likes playing with trucks, the poor kids will get the idea they really should be the opposite sex. 80-90% of kids with body dysphoria will no longer have the condition after puberty, and most turn out to be lesbian or gay. As the saying goes, let’s not trans away the gay. The brain doesn’t fully develop until about mid-20s, and children too young to vote or buy alcohol shouldn’t be making irreversible decisions which may render them sterile and unable to orgasm (which puberty blockers do if used for more than a few months). Adults who can truly give informed consent are a different matter. As far as female or male brains, there isn’t much evidence to back up the theory of sexed brains. Gina Rippon, a professor of cognitive neuroimaging in the UK, wrote a fascinating book on the subject: The Gendered Brain. It’s well worth a read.

Other Resident Biologist chiming in here. They (meaning scientists in relevant disciplines) have looked for biological bases for gendered differences.

They’ve looked really really really hard. Every few years somebody comes up with something. The media jump all over it. People are breathlessly desperate to find a “real” basis for gender. Six months later, or so, after re-runs or reanalysis, it always turns out to be bunk. Rippon’s book is excellent. Cordelia Fine is another good source. All the evidence so far says gender is a story humans overlay on the biology.

The other thing the evidence says is that even pre-verbal babies are super-sensitive to social cues. One example of how we’re *genetically* primed for social cues: babies who are born blind smile at their mothers during the first couple of months. But they never see a response so the instinct to do that gradually disappears. The amazing thing is that smiling is so important socially, the trigger is genetic to start with. After that, social reinforcement is supposed to keep it going. That and suckling are the only two actually instinctive, inborn behaviors humans have, if I remember right. The chance that something as complex as gendered behavior would be the third one, unaccompanied by any other complex inborn behaviors, seems remote.

None of which is to say people shouldn’t support their kids exploring whatever avenues they want. Just that it’s a really bad idea to do damaging or irreversible medical procedures based on that. And also that it’s a much thinner line between support and giving children social cues than we’re usually aware of.

Thanks Luna and MB for the positive vibes, back at ya. 😉

Luna and Quixote – I think it’s tough to say that in all cases of kids feeling like they are the opposite sex it is some kind of social cue. In that case why wouldn’t every kid in the household be trans? And saying “I’m a princess” is not in the same category as saying “I’m a boy.” There is something there that we don’t understand. I’ll look for the article to see whether it’s something you’ve seen before.

I actually know two kids who were born female but have a male gender. One of the girls had a sister and she’s not trans. So I have no idea who would have been giving social cues to one sister but not the other?

I agree that making irreversible medical decisions based on kids’ feelings is not a good idea. Couldn’t agree more. But being trans is something kids seem to know very early on. I don’t think it’s wise to dismiss it and say it’s not real or pretend it’s the same as playacting. These feelings are real and cause a huge amount of disruption and heartache.

For example, my 30 year old mentee is trans and she knew as a kid. She is taking hormones and has grown boobs. You can’t convince me her feelings are based on social cues. Her parents are very much against her transition and stuffed her back into the closet a few times before she came out. She barely talks to her parents now.

Fell out of a 5-story window? Or not. Belarus acts like an annex of Russia.

Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei dies ‘suddenly,’ state says.

It also posted a picture of Makei on Twitter, writing in English that he “has passed away,” without saying where or how he died. He was 64.

‘And saying “I’m a princess” is not in the same category as saying “I’m a boy.” ‘ Whyever not? When we ask kids (or most adults) what it means to be the opposite sex, the answer will be to wear different clothes or do different activities than the stereotypes associated with their sex. Taking hormones and growing ‘boobs’ does not make one a woman. I don’t care if a male takes certain meds or has gynecomastia, but that doesn’t make him a woman.

When I was a child and especially in early days of puberty I desperately wanted to be a boy. I wanted to find something that would stop my breasts growing. I didn’t actually want the lower body of a boy (ick as I thought then) but I didn’t want the restrictions of girls’ or women’s clothing, the breasts that boys and men stared at, and the cruel insults I got about my ‘tomboy’ behavior. If I was a kid now I probably would be trans. But I slowly realized the reality was indeed the body I was in, that the problem was cultural stereotypes, and I was damn well going to continue doing shit that most other girls didn’t in my small-town rural fairly conservative area. I was a stubborn, questioning child. (grin)

Well, MB, we’ll have to differ on this subject. I hope it doesn’t affect all the rest of what we have in common.

Don’t underestimate social cues, mb! In the scientific sense. I agree that in the social sense they’re not all that.

Sometimes people prefer to ignore the extent to which the social environment shapes us because anti-discrimination movements recently have based much of their justification on being “born this way.” I see that as fundamentally flawed. There should also be acceptance of the choices people make, so long as they don’t harm others. You don’t have to be helpless about who you are to have a right to choose a path.

As for trans people knowing from early childhood, Luna and I are just talking about biology. What people, including children, feel is a different area altogether. The Hindus have the belief that upon reincarnation, the soul may find itself in a body of the sex it doesn’t usually inhabit. Maybe trans kids have that issue? There’s no way to know. It depends on an understanding of souls and feelings about how they work. That doesn’t mean it’s any less significant to the person involved. But it does mean it’s a matter of faith, not of biology. And matters of feeling and belief, no matter how deep, don’t work well when mixed up with social policy for people of different faiths. Does that make sense to you?

Okay, on a different topic if it’s permissible- I have questions about the zero Covid policy in china.
I understand how the continuing lockdowns have avoided their reckoning with Covid. Where we have had many infections and deaths, they have kept it to a minimum with their draconian measures. How do they proceed from there? It’s a vast population without much exposure and lagging vaccination. No matter when they open up, isn’t the virus going to take advantage of the opportunities and spread like wildfire? Even if they can put off opening up for some unknown amount of time- the reckoning will still happen. This is what I don’t understand about their thinking.

MsMass, to me the biggest failure in public health communication about covid is the notion that it’s either about Total Lockdown or FreeForAll-damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead. Just makes me want to scream.

We know how it transmits at this point. We know how to reduce transmission. That’s what we do. End of story.

1) Vaccinate everybody (over 98%, everybody) with effective vaccines. Sinovac is pretty mediocre, which is one of China’s problems, but they’re too We’re-Numbah-One! to use anyone else’s.

2) Vaccinate fast enough to stay ahead of the virus’s huge mutation ability so the vaccines work well enough.

3) Reduce aerosol infection in indoor spaces with effective building ventilation. Yes, this costs money. Less money than covid!

4) Use UVC lighting to kill as many germs, including covid, as you can in indoor spaces. Costs money. Cheaper than covid.

5) Require mask-wearing wherever people gather. Especially public transportation. Especially hospitals. (That shouldn’t even need to be said!) Provide free N-95 masks.

6) Have financial support for workers and businesses so there’s no loss if people who test positive stay the hell at home. Costs money. Cheaper than covid.

Of course, all those things that are “cheaper than covid” cost money up front. Covid will beggar us later on when all the downstream disease, death, and disability hit.

So, anyway. If any government would actually implement useful measures, there is currently no need for lockdowns. Plus lockdowns ar expensive too. Public health is actually the cheapest option. Besides being the nicest for humans and other living things :/ .

Oh, and to answer your actual question: yes, if you

let the virus loose in a population with nothing but Sinovac (mostly too long ago to do much good now) to protect them, there will be a lot of disease and death.

One wrinkle non-Chinese tend to be unaware of is how this intersects with China’s old One Child policy. Many people in their 50s and 60s have only one child. If that one son or daughter dies, it’s crushing. I gather Xi and Co. are terrified of overthrow from enraged bereaved grandparents even more than recession.

So you’d say-for China’s strategy- vaccinate like hell and quickly. Don’t know how they’ll do with #3&4. Probably the mask wearing is pretty ingrained already. It seems like they’re still doing lockdowns which has to be affecting their economy from the lowest worker to the biggest businesses.
Somehow they have to transition to a more open society, I would never want them to imitate our free for all nitwits. I just question what their strategy was for the long term.

Also, China is pist that the rest of the world blames them for the pandemic in the first place. The jump from animal to human. Sounds like a petri dish on a big scale.

Seems as though 30-40% of our own NITWIT citizens have the luxury of good Covid vaccines and refuse to use them. The rest of us will suffer by not ending this pandemic and cause the variants to possibly get even more deadly.

I’m amazed this pandemic spawned such a spectrum from zero-Covid China to the freewheeling Covid-can’t-touch-me US idiots but who could have foreseen it?
It’s so hard to know what to do even now. I’m still leery of Covid but so many aren’t and I still struggle with what I should be doing.

Part of the reason the virus got out of hand was that local Party leaders didn’t want higher-ups to hear about some kind of problem on their watch. They pulled out big guns to squelch their own scientists. Moving to a more open society would indeed be a good idea!

The US had scientists there (in Wuhan actually, if I remember right) watching for emerging diseases. But the Big Orange Blobhead didn’t see why we should be wasting money on Chy-nah, so he closed it down. I do mean “he.” It was an exec order, if memory serves. If the scientists had still been there, they would have noticed covid before the disaster, no matter if the stupid Party bureaucrats wanted them to shut up.

As to what they should do now, the things on the public health list, same as all the other governments, none of which can be bothered. /*endless screaming*/

As individuals, the only thing we can really do is get all the vaccines going and mask up. You can’t really do *public* health individually, any more than you could do mass transit individually. If you have lots of relatives or friends over to your house, maybe install UVC lighting?

I think for Republicans, the imminent threat of trans will go the way of caravans and crime. It will evaporate into thin air until the next election.

The war on women, gays/lesbians and people of color never seems to grow old. But those wars are costing them more and more politically. Right now they are scrambling on how to better message the abortion issue. Those damn real life stories are really stepping on their “pro life” fairytale.

Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes. If religious nutters need a cause to give their life meaning, why not that one?

This makes me happy: Mary Peltola and Lisa Murkowski winning in Alaska.

And voter turnout in Georgia!

I voted today! I’ve never seen lines that long, but our county only has 5 early voting days (no weekends). It moved fast since there was only one race on the ballot. I was in and out in 10 minutes. The actual voting took 30 seconds from inserting the card in the machine to sending it through the scanner. A lot of younger people. I think the old codgers wait until election day. This county is heavy R (at least 75-25) We’ll see how it goes this time.

Congratulations, GAGal! Excited for you that you got to vote today and that it was such a consequential election. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that we get Warnock back in the Senate! Honestly, I don’t know how Walker can still be in the race considering he doesn’t actually live in Georgia. These QOP get away with anything.

Luna and Quixote, yes, we will have to disagree on the topic of gender. It does upset me to hear it described as not being real. And Luna, as you say, we have so much in common that I don’t want it to come between us.

I think of us as a family at this point, and sometimes, families do make decisions to avoid the more contentious topics to keep things peaceful. I’m thinking gender might fall into that category. What do you say?

Sad about Christine McVie isn’t it. My son said something nice, someone on the news said that Christine was the face of the band, and I said people probably thought of Stevie as the face of the band & that Christine seemed like the quiet one. Anyway, my son said that Stevie was the face of the band but that Christine was the heart of it. That made sense to me.

MB, I promise I will not bring the trans issue again. We do have lots of more interesting things to discuss.

GAgal, so happy that your voting was fast and easy. Hopefully all will go well.

Annie, that’s such a nice story and picture. It was sad about Christine McVie! And thanks for understanding about the gender issue.

Speaking of those other interesting things…I think Maddow was spot on here. Tweeted by MuellerSheWrote.

Personally I don’t think we need to agree on everything, back and forth on ideas is healthy. Some are more invested in certain issues than others and some of us listen more than talk when less invested.

I agree more with the people on this blog than I do with people that live around me. I would avoid talking about politics around most people.

I also think of all of you as my second family and I am open to your opinions. That’s my two cents.

Hip, hip, hooray – GAgal!!!!!!!!!!!!

Annie, what a great photo of Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks.
Fleetwood Mac is one of my favorite bands.

This is a really good version…

One more, Stevie has some amazing outfits…

Sounds good to me, MB.

Fleetwood Mac is one of my favorite bands too! That’s a great Laker story, socal. I really like how he put that.

Thank you for voting, GAgal!! Please Georgia, one more time! (until the next time)

I hope there is a lot more of this.

Waited an hour in line until his conscious kicked in. I hope more think like this too.

@84, GAgal, that’s wild. Agree with Shadow, hope many more come to the same conclusion.

I like Biden’s proposed line-up for the presidential primary calendar:

Well, darn. Judge says Republicans in rural Arizona don’t get to cut off their nose to spite their face. Idiots were willing to lose a House seat.

Wow, sounds like Pramila Jayapal, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair, is fully on board the Biden train.

“He was not my first or second choice for president, but I am a convert. I never thought I would say this, but I believe he should run for another term and finish this agenda we laid out,” Jayapal told Politico in an interview published Monday.

@87 – the calendar is really great and about time, IMO. Have you seen the freakouts from New Hampshire Dems? They are literally being asked to go second, and they’re outraged! Hey Maggie Hassan, your state is 96% white and has like three people in it. Try being in New York or California sometime! Everyone knows we’re going blue so no one cares by the time we vote.

I heard David Plouffe say on MSNBC that NH will probably still hold their QOP primary before any other primaries. and Iowa will do the same with their caucus. Just to satisfy their egos! If you think about it, NH and Iowa are much more representative of the Republican base due to whiteness, but if the QOP wanted to change their schedule, they’d probably go with Florida first, then Ohio

It’s amazing to me – the tantruming. The sense of entitlement. Wow. What the hell, NH? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but I kind of am. Well, at least someone is happy. Me. 🙂 And you, MB.

I would like to see completely different calendars for Democrats and Republicans. I agree, Florida and Ohio make sense for Republicans. I love the idea of Iowa being completely left out in the cold. 🙂 They need to keep their corndogs to themselves.

The calendar line up conversation…

I would like to see a larger Dem state start the ball rolling for ONCE. Maybe rotate the lineup to put the current states at the end of the line and change every four years.

That sounds good to me, Shadow. In a lot of ways, CA would be perfect. The argument against – and this isn’t coming from me – is that if it is a large state that goes early, the game is over. Which is kind of rich – the game has (essentially) been over after IA and NH almost every time. Not delegate-wise, but media-wise.

I like the idea of rotating. I think states should still have to make their case to the DNC. I don’t want the strip of states going down the middle of the country ever going first (from ND to TX). But I like the idea of not locking in the same early states. We see how they act (IA and NH).

I think states like Colorado, Arizona, PA, MN, NC – any swing state or potential swing state – would be ok.

I will never forget the NH primary of 2008. Chris Matthews was salivating. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he had an actual hard-on waiting on the results to come in so he could gleefully put a stake in Hillary’s heart.

Seeing his reaction to her winning was one of the greatest days of my life.

The reason I hate the same states to start is because it gives them too much attention. Everyone would love to have all the candidates going to meet the pubic like they do with the first states.

Hanging out with Hillary in a local restaurant would have been heaven.

Shadow & PJ, enjoyed your comments about the primaries and agree wholeheartedly. I think there should be a rotation of some kind, and yes, get rid of the dirty dealing caucuses. I can’t imagine why my 2nd state, Washington has both a primary and caucus.

Another pair of cuties:

@95 Yes, that would have been a thrill!!

Yeah, too much attention and too much power. The voters in Iowa and NH have turned into little Godfathers where they expect candidates to come kiss their ring. It’s ridiculous. All that power went to their heads.

NH bitching about being 2nd – also probably peeved they have to share with NV. Get over yourselves. A lot of states would be ecstatic just to be in the top five.

And this is an unimportant point… I would like to get a close-up of different states. What’s their culture like? How do they talk? What do they eat? Hopefully something other than meat sticks.

Thank you for the birds, socal!

I don’t understand the negative reaction of some democrats to SC going first. The truth is, a Democrat cannot win a presidential election without support from Black voters. So why not know who they support up front? Hillary had their support – unless she was running against Obama, which I get now. Bernie never did win them over. They just never bought his shtick.

SC goes on a Saturday. NH and NV go three days later. The intense media focus will be on all three states. Why the hair-on-fire?

Annie, I also agree with the ‘come over red rover’, dirty dealing caucuses.

And those birds, so cute. What ever happened to bird camouflage?

A lot of states would be ecstatic just to be in the top five.

Who always decides to put these states first???

Morale is high.
Love to see some happiness from the Ukraine troops.

This reminds me of some of the troops dancing during the Viet Nam war. So much death, trauma and sadness and music sometimes brings some happy moments.

re bird camouflage: it’s always kind of mindboggling, to me at least, to watch one of those insanely gaudy parrots flyinto some tropical tree with bright fruits or flowers or just bright sun and deep shade and … the parrots just disappear. “Disruptive coloration” is the official $64 term for it, and believe me it *really* works.

Annie, those birds were just precious. The robin feeding her little babies and seeing them grow up – that was beyond adorable. When they’re born, they’re all mouth! And the neon red and blue parrots – beautiful! I loved to see them eating the flowers. I noticed their calls are very un-parrotlike. When I lived in the Financial District in SF, down by the Embarcadero, there were a ton of parrots living in the little park close by. The first time I slept in that apartment I was awakened at 4:40 am by their raucous screaming!

I totally agree with the state primary rotations and dumping the caucuses. Caucuses are completely undemocratic. I remember when Obama won the Nevada caucus but Hillary won the primary. It was so strange. What did it say about the electorate? Who knows?

Luna, great video of the Ukrainian soldier dancing. Thank you for sharing. It’s very worrisome and scary what’s going on with the lack of water and power and heat in this season. The Russians should burn in hell forever for what they have done.

Working on a new post now…it will be up shortly!

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