Sunday Open Thread

Have a Blessed Sunday, Everyone.

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40 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    This is a ready made ad.

    Should be played on a loop in his district.

  2. Liza says:

    Well, my almost 15 year old sheltie isn’t doing so well. She stopped eating on Thursday and I knew she was in pain. It might be a bad tooth, half of her teeth have already been removed. The vet couldn’t tell if it was a bad tooth. She also has a tumor on her gum that has gotten larger in the last month. These tumors are just about always benign.

    Right now she is on Tramadol and an antibiotic. She’s eating a little again. She’s having surgery on Wednesday to remove the mass and check her teeth. I don’t know if she will survive, we’re just hoping it’s a bad tooth and she can survive the surgery.

    So, I’m preparing myself that this could be the end for her. It’s so sad. She was 10 weeks old when I got her and she has been the best kind of friend anyone could ever have.

  3. vitaminlover says:

    Happy Mother’s Day, Ladies!

  4. rikyrah says:

    Reports: Frustrated and Isolated Trump Considering Staff Shakeup at Demoralized White House
    By Chas Danner

    President Trump, frustrated and increasingly isolated, is considering a shakeup of his communications staff following the spectacular fallout over his stunning decision to abruptly fire FBI director James Comey on Tuesday. For their part, White House staff members don’t seem very happy, either. Unnamed administration sources, via varied comments to CNN, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Associated Press, have painted an unsurprisingly dour picture of how things have been going at the demoralized White House, where some Trump aides say they are eager for the president’s trip abroad next week. “We need to get the President outside the beltway,” someone close to the White House explained to CNN.

    According to insiders who spoke with the Associated Press, the leak-obsessed president, distrustful of his staff, has shrunk his inner circle to his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as longtime aides like former spokesperson Hope Hicks and Trump’s personal bodyguard Keith Schiller. Three officials told the AP that Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been shut out of major decisions following conflicts with Kushner and didn’t even know Comey had been fired until he saw it on television. Reince Priebus, who was consulted regarding Comey’s termination, is nonetheless still on the perpetual bubble with Trump continuing to question his leadership as White House Chief of Staff. Axios additionally reports that, according to Trump’s “after dark” consultants (the friends Trump calls at night), the president may expand the bloodletting beyond the comms team and Priebus to include Bannon and White House Counsel Don McGahn. Trump is reportedly “angry at everyone,” including a few cabinet members who he thinks have been grandstanding, and the advice the president is getting from his informal advisers “is to go big — that he has nothing to lose … The question now is how big and how bold.”

    Regarding Trump’s paranoia and micromanagement over leaks, the Washington Post adds that, according to several White House officials, Trump “personally has conducted postmortem interviews with aides about the Comey saga, investigating the unending stream of headlines he considers unfairly negative, according to several White House officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Trump is cracking down on unauthorized leaks.”

  5. rikyrah says:

    Is That a Democratic Tsunami Taking Shape for 2018?
    By Ed Kilgore

    Midterm elections are almost always a perilous time for parties that control the White House. The president’s party has lost House seats in 15 of the last 17 midterms, and the opposition party counts on the midterms as staging point for a comeback. When a party controls both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, as the GOP does today, a midterm loss can be highly disruptive. If, as seems possible, Democrats win the net 24 House seats necessary to take away Paul Ryan’s gavel and give it back to Nancy Pelosi, the Trump administration’s already sizable difficulties in enacting legislation would metastasize.

    Let’s start with caveat that odds around what will happen 2018 are hard to calculate. On the one hand, there are multiple signs the president is maintaining the support of his hard-core base. And Trump and his party took a major step towards solidifying that base by finally getting legislation repealing Obamacare out of the House. On the other hand, looking beyond the base, Democrats seem to have an enthusiasm advantage (as reflected in their candidates’ relatively strong performance in special elections so far, such as those in Kansas and Georgia). The big legislative product of the Trump Era so far, the American Health Care Act, is very unpopular to the extent people understand it, as reflected both in polls and in the hostile environment Republicans are encountering in meetings with constituents. And the firestorm over Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey is probably not going to help the GOP.

    That said, veteran political prognosticators are beginning to smell the salty air of a potential Democratic “wave” election in 2018 — possibly large enough to net the 24 seats needed to depose Paul Ryan as Speaker. Here’s Charlie Cook:

    Roughly once a dec­ade we see a tid­al wave elec­tion, al­most al­ways at midterm, in which an in­vis­ible hand seems to boost can­did­ates of one party and drag down can­did­ates of the oth­er. Can­did­ates who nor­mally win big end up win­ning by smal­ler mar­gins. Law­makers who usu­ally have com­pet­it­ive races of­ten get sucked away by the un­der­tow. Dis­tricts that should be safe are no longer safe. Strong cam­paigns lose to weak cam­paigns, un­der­fun­ded cam­paigns topple well-fun­ded cam­paigns.

    Electoral waves tend to build slowly. In the last really big wave election, in 2010, an awful lot of Democrats who looked safe at the beginning of the cycle wound up in the crosshairs, and in the end Republicans gained a shocking 63 net seats. But there are usually omens. Cook’s ace House analyst David Wasserman recently moved twenty Republican-held seats into more vulnerable territory in recognition of the pro-Democratic dynamics developing. Democrats have been regularly leading in measurements of “the congressional generic ballot,” a polling question that simply asks which party should control the House.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Mo’Nique Goes on Expletive-filled Rant Against Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, and Lee Daniels
    May 14, 2017 by Lisa

    Mo’Nique has always spoken openly about being Blackballed in Hollywood after winning an Oscar for her role in Precious. And in case you had any questions, she’s not effing with Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey, or Tyler Perry.

    During a comedy show at Apollo Theater last night, Mo’Nique went in on Daniels, Winfrey, and Perry, calling them out for somehow involving White hollywood in her attempted demise:

  7. rikyrah says:

    Just Incriminated Himself
    By Andrew Sullivan


    The core concern was always deeper than this. It was that Trump doesn’t understand the Constitution he has sworn to protect; that he would abuse his executive power, to lash out at enemies; that he would undermine the rule of law by trying to get his way, consequences be damned; that he would turn vital democratic institutions, such as the Justice Department and the FBI, into mere handmaidens of his own interest, rather than guarantors of the public’s. And it is clear to me that the firing of Comey — while within the president’s Constitutional powers — falls squarely into this category. To fire someone who is conducting an investigation into your own campaign cannot help but be seen as an interference with the rule of law. It is to cast doubt on the integrity of that investigation, and its future. It undermines public confidence that the executive branch can enforce the law against itself. It politicizes what should not be politicized. It crosses a clear line.

    And it also crosses a line when you keep lying brazenly about why you did it. You don’t pin it on Rod Rosenstein. You don’t pretend it’s about “showboating.” You don’t ludicrously argue that you’ve just finally realized that Comey did Hillary wrong. You don’t also say that you were going to fire him anyway. You don’t say the FBI was in turmoil under Comey, when it wasn’t. And you don’t say you want to get to the bottom of the matter when you have already declared the entire story a hoax. More to the point, you don’t lie about all these things and then go on television and blurt out the truth: “When I decided to just do it [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russian thing with Trump and Russia … is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election.” Read that again. The president has just said on national television that the Russia investigation was in the front of his mind when he decided impulsively to fire Comey. He has admitted he wanted to remove the FBI director because his investigation — which is fast intensifying — was targeting his campaign. That is called obstruction of justice. His spokeswoman yesterday reiterated that, after the Comey firing, the administration hoped the Russia investigation, which was trivial, would be wound up soon.

    We also learned overnight that, according to sources close to Comey, just seven days after his inauguration, Trump invited the former FBI director to a private dinner. At the dinner, he twice asked him for his personal loyalty. Comey demurred, as any decent FBI director should. But the very idea that a president should ask the FBI director this is astonishing and deeply disturbing. It’s an attempt — just a week into his presidency — to control an agency he absolutely must not control.

    All of this is simply unacceptable. An attempt to obstruct justice is an impeachable offense. And Trump has just openly admitted to such a thing. When, one wonders, will the patriots in the Republican Party stand up and confront this? If Clinton had done such a thing, the House would be drawing up articles of impeachment right now. We saw their pusillanimity last spring as this malign buffoon manhandled his way to the nomination. It has not abated. Comey may have made mistakes; he may have had a Messiah complex; he may go down in history as a self-righteous prick who interfered in an election. But he is obviously and transparently independent — the key criterion for any FBI director. He has angered both Democrats and Republicans over the years — and this very ability to stand up to the Bush administration and the Clinton campaign at critical moments made him someone you could count on to get to the bottom of the Russia affair. I might add: I’m a skeptic about whether there’s anything there on the Russia stuff that directly implicates Trump in criminal dealings. But Comey was my reassurance that someone would have the tools to get to the bottom of it, whatever it was. Now, if I am not to be stupefyingly naive, I have to assume the president is guilty of something and is busy rigging the system to stymie any attempt to bring potential traitors to justice. And yes: This is about the possibility of treason against our democratic system. And the president, chumming it up with Lavrov and Kislyak the next day, seems incensed that there is even an investigation at all.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Ala. 5th Grader Attacked and Harassed for Being Black: ‘Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, I’m White, Why Aren’t You?’
    Angela Helm
    Today 11:59am

    A 10-year-old boy is being racially terrorized by little inbred elementary schoolers in Jeff Sessions’ great state of Alabama. This be the year 2017.

    Taylor Armbrester, 10, says he has been called “black boy” and “retarded,” by other fifth graders since he transferred to the mostly white Chelsea Park Elementary School in Chelsea, Ala., this fall.

    Taylor also says he has been punched, kicked, had his finger broken and had sick little poems recited to him by his peers.

    “Roses are red, violets are blue, I am white, you should be too. Roses are red, violets are blue, I am white, why aren’t you? Roses are red, violets are blue, God made me pretty, what happened to you?”

    Another boy accused him of stealing a fidget spinner, and punched him in the face. “He lost it out of his book bag,” Taylor said.

    Most recently, a little girl broke his finger. reports that on Tuesday, Taylor was shooting baskets when a girl he considers his friend asked if she could shoot, but instead she threw the ball at him. His mother, Shaneka Phillips, took him to the emergency room.

    “He seems to be an easy target,” said Phillips.

    After being taken in front of school authorities, the boy who recited the poems reportedly said ‘Don’t take it offensively,’” Taylor said. “I know he was just playing a joke. I said, ‘I hope you know God doesn’t like that.’”

  9. rikyrah says:

    Donald Trump Tries to Explain Economics to The Economist. Hilarity Ensues.
    By Jonathan Chait

    Donald Trump has now spent enough time listening to Republican economic advisers that he can give an interview to The Economist in which he attempts to regurgitate the ideas that have been fed him. At various points in the interview, Trump tries and fails to think of the word “reciprocity.” (“We need reciprocality in terms of our trade deals,” he asserts.) Asked to flesh out his vision for a fair NAFTA in more detail, he can only come up with synonyms for “big”:

    It sounds like you’re imagining a pretty big renegotiation of NAFTA. What would a fair NAFTA look like?

    Big isn’t a good enough word. Massive.


    It’s got to be. It’s got to be.

    The interview really starts to go downhill when Trump explains his tax plan:

  10. rikyrah says:


    Luvvie’s book, I’m Judging You, is on sale at Amazon for $2.99 for the ebook.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Trump Is Trying to Control the FBI. It’s Time to Freak Out.
    By Jonathan Chait

    It seemed for a while that, while Donald Trump’s presidency has proven less competent and more right-wing than expected, it has also defied the fears of authoritarianism that circulated after the election. But the importance of the two newest revelations from the Comey episode change that fundamentally.

    First, Trump boasts to NBC’s Lester Holt not only that he decided to fire Comey himself, regardless of the advice from the Department of Justice, but that he did it specifically to strike back at the FBI’s Russia investigation. (“When I decided to [fire Comey], I said to myself, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,” Trump said.) Reports from numerous media organizations have confirmed the centrality of the Russia investigation in Comey’s firing. Now Trump is admitting it in public.

    Second, the New York Times reports that Trump, in January, asked Comey to promise his loyalty. (Comey said he could only offer “honesty.”) Two Comey friends heard this account at the time, and have felt free to share it since. This is not only wildly improper, it is a window into Trump’s disregard for basic democratic norms surrounding law enforcement. If the FBI is operating out of loyalty to the president, then one of the most important barriers between a democratic government and an authoritarian one has fallen.

    Donald Trump’s most consistent belief — even more consistent than his skepticism of international trade, which has waned on occasion — is his worship of power. He is not merely willing to do business with despots, as most presidents have been. He admires them because of, not despite, their despotism. His repeated refusal during the campaign to accept the legitimacy of the election (“rigged”), his promises to jail his opponent, and his intermingling of state power and personal profit all suggested a threat to the health of the republic. Now that threat has arrived. And if Republicans in Congress continue to cover for his actions, the damage to the health of American government may be longstanding.

  12. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Loving God is never separate from loving our brothers and sisters. It’s always the same.”
    ~Clementa C. Pinckney

  13. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “U.S. Senate votes to block California-led effort on retirement security for low-income workers”

  14. rikyrah says:

    Republicans plan massive cuts to programs for the poor

    Under pressure to balance the budget and align with Trump, the House GOP has its eye on food stamps, welfare and perhaps even veterans’ benefits.

    By Rachael Bade and Sarah Ferris

    05/14/17 07:23 AM EDT

    House Republicans just voted to slash hundreds of billions of dollars in health care for the poor as part of their Obamacare replacement. Now, they’re weighing a plan to take the scalpel to programs that provide meals to needy kids and housing and education assistance for low-income families.

    President Donald Trump’s refusal to overhaul Social Security and Medicare — and his pricey wish-list for infrastructure, a border wall and tax cuts — is sending House budget writers scouring for pennies in politically sensitive places: safety-net programs for the most vulnerable.

    Under enormous internal pressure to quickly balance the budget, Republicans are considering slashing more than $400 billion in spending through a process to evade Democratic filibusters in the Senate, multiple sources told POLITICO.

    The proposal, which would be part of the House Budget Committee’s fiscal 2018 budget, won’t specify which programs would get the ax; instead it will instruct committees to figure out what to cut to reach the savings. But among the programs most likely on the chopping block, the sources say, are food stamps, welfare, income assistance for the disabled and perhaps even veterans benefits.

    If enacted, such a plan to curb safety-net programs — all while juicing the Pentagon’s budget and slicing corporate tax rates — would amount to the biggest shift in federal spending priorities in decades.

    Atop that, GOP budget writers will also likely include Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposal to essentially privatize Medicare in their fiscal 2018 budget, despite Trump’s unwavering rejection of the idea. While that proposal is more symbolic and won’t become law under this budget, it’s just another thorny issue that will have Democrats again accusing Republicans of “pushing Granny off the cliff.”

  15. Ametia says:

    How does that MOFO Sessions gets to interview replacements for FBI directors?

  16. Ametia says:
  17. Ametia says:


    • Ametia says:

      Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a stern warning Sunday about the state of the US government after President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey last week, saying he thinks US institutions are “under assault.”
      “I think in many ways our institutions are under assault both externally — and that’s the big news here is the Russian interference in our election system — and I think as well our institutions are under assault internally,” Clapper said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
      Pressed by anchor Jake Tapper if he meant US institutions were under assault internally from the President, Clapper responded, “Exactly.”

  18. Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful Moms and to all the Moms who have passed on…

    I still love you, Mama!

  19. rikyrah says:

    Morning Everyone😐😐😐

  20. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Thank you, Ametia, for the uplifting hymns you posted today.

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