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Open thread 4/19/24

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  • ghostsniper April 19, 2024, 8:26 AM

    Hummingbirds are Here!
    Showed up last evening while we were sitting on the porch.
    They (2) drank deep of the feeders which have been ready for them for over a week.
    Now, let the good times roll!

  • Joe Krill April 19, 2024, 3:11 PM

    My favorite song. Hope that you enjoy.


  • ghostsniper April 19, 2024, 5:42 PM

    From over at CW’s place:

    How This Year’s Election Mirrors An Earlier Presidential Rematch

    Eight American presidents before Donald Trump have lost reelection since the beginning of modern popular-vote elections, in the 1830s. In four out of the eight, the losing party came back and won four years later, but Democrat Grover Cleveland was the only president who returned to office after leaving it. Three others ran again as third-party candidates (Theodore Roosevelt, Millard Fillmore, and Martin Van Buren). Of those, only Van Buren had been voted out of office. So Cleveland’s 1892 defeat of his Republican opponent, Benjamin Harrison — the man who beat him in 1888 — is our only real historical parallel for 2024.

    The miracle of the Democratic Party was that it had survived the Civil War at all. The party did not win a national popular majority between 1852 and 1932. In 1860, Democrats won only four states that didn’t secede, and by 1884, five new states had been admitted to the Union, only one of which (West Virginia) ever voted for Cleveland. Cleveland’s 1884 victory was the first for a Democrat in a presidential election since 1856.
    The Confederacy was still a live memory in the 1880s: Jefferson Davis lived until 1889, and Cleveland (who was from Buffalo and had scarcely ever traveled farther south than Albany) put two ex-Confederates in his first cabinet. The eleven ex-Confederate states, voting Democratic as a bloc, provided 107 of the 201 electoral votes needed to win in 1884 and 1888, and 112 out of 222 in 1892. In 1884, Cleveland carried just four states (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Indiana) where slavery had been illegal in 1860, and he lost two of those in 1888.
    While Cleveland won the popular vote in 1884, 1888, and 1892, he was always between 48 and 49 percent of the total. His margins depended on the escalating disenfranchisement of black voters in the South.
    As always, the Democrats have been throughout history the enemy of Black Americans. The Democrats use them as their tools, if they can, and like they have since the 1960’s, but are more than happy to screw them over if that turns out to be in their interest.
    Like Trump, Cleveland was a New Yorker dogged by a sex scandal and he barely defeated a former secretary of state who reeked of crooked politics and opportunism. Only 2000 was closer than 1884, when the allocation of New York’s decisive 36 electoral votes was determined by a margin of 1,149 popular votes. A Republican rally speaker’s branding of the Democrats as the party of “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion” was even more costly than calling the other party’s voters “deplorable.”
    Controversy over an illegitimate child probably fathered by the then-unmarried Cleveland — which escalated into last-minute charges that he had raped the mother (she denied this) — left Cleveland so embittered toward the press that he wrote privately after the election, “I intend to cultivate the Christian virtue of charity toward all men except the dirty class that defiled themselves with filthy scandal. . . . I don’t believe God will ever forgive them and I am determined not to do so.” His hatred deepened when the papers fabricated charges in 1888 that he was also a wife-beater.
    The chant of Cleveland’s political enemies over his bastard was, “Ma, ma, where’s my pa? Gone to the White House, haw haw haw!”
    Intractably stubborn and immune to advice, Cleveland in office divided his own voters by pursuing tariff reductions that alienated Northerners while adhering to a hard-money stance unpopular with farmers in the West; fired up the Republican base by continually vetoing disability pensions for individual Union veterans; and feuded with state-level Democrats (especially David Hill, his Tammany Hall–backed successor as governor of New York) who objected to his leaving Republicans in coveted federal civil-service jobs. Cleveland left the campaigning in 1888 to his 74-year-old running mate, Allen Thurman, who told a Madison Square Garden crowd that he was there to rebut the charge “that Allen G. Thurman is an old, weak, broken-down man” but regretted that he was “too unwell” to say more that day.
    Enter Benjamin Harrison of Indiana, a Civil War brigadier general and former senator whose grandfather had been president, running with Levi Morton of New York.
    Interesting fact: there have been two presidents named Harrison. And there have also been two named Bush, Johnson, Roosevelt and Adams! Now if we could just get another Eisenhower!
    Scrumming between the 47-yard lines, they flipped just Indiana and New York, but that was enough. Many Democrats, still obsessed with grievance over the contested 1876 election, felt that Harrison’s well-oiled campaign had stolen the election. Cleveland accepted the result. But his glamorous and charismatic 24-year-old wife, Frances — who had become a national fashion icon in the two years since they married — told the White House staff to keep the place in order because they’d be back in four years.
    Sounds a bit like Melania, but with attitude!
    Harrison and the Republican “billion-dollar Congress” went on a spending spree that blew through the budget surplus, much of it on pensions for their own voters. On party-line votes, they raised tariffs so high that many workers saw the prices of food and other staples increase sharply. They also enacted the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which expanded the money supply — but not enough to please the free-silverites. Labor unrest underlined the fact that wages were not keeping up with the cost of living. In the 1890 midterm wave, House Republicans were massacred, but the president’s party held on to the Senate, ensuring two years of stalemate.
    Deadlocked at the polls, the two parties obsessed over every possible edge. In 1884, both parties bankrolled third parties that aimed to erode the other side’s base: a Greenback ticket that appealed to soft-money Democrats and a Prohibition ticket that wooed dry Republicans. In 1891, Harrison scrapped plans for a special session of the House after two Republicans died, leaving the party’s majority so precarious that Democrats often tried to deny them a quorum. He added six new western states in his first two years in office (North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Washington), while Republican campaign posters warned that Cleveland would add New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah as Democratic states. When Republicans pushed for federal protections for black voters in the South, Cleveland accused them of using expanded voting laws to steal elections in perpetuity.
    Cleveland and Harrison were very different men from Trump and Biden; they lacked charisma rather than character. Henry Adams quoted “the common saying” about Harrison and Cleveland that “one of them had no friends; the other, only enemies.” Both were workaholic, detail-oriented lawyers known for their ramrod integrity; Cleveland was tightfisted and brusque, while Harrison was an earnest and devout Evangelical Christian. Cleveland hated negative campaigning so much that he bought documents damaging to his opponent in 1884 and threw them in the fireplace. In 1892, both men were absent from the campaign trail to an extent unusual even then: Cleveland battled gout, and Harrison was at the bedside of his wife, who died of tuberculosis in late October. While they were not as geriatric as today’s candidates, the white-bearded 59-year-old Harrison was the oldest Republican nominee until Dwight Eisenhower.
    Back then, 59 was a lot older than it is today.
    The outcome of the election reflects how an electorate responds when a stale, rejected plurality candidate is offered as the only alternative to an unpopular incumbent. Voters ousted Harrison, but without much enthusiasm.
    That enervating dénouement, followed by the immediate onset of a depression in 1893, marked the end of an era of political stasis. In 1896, the parties chose fresher faces in McKinley and Bryan.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same. We will see how things work out this year, but Americans would be mad to re-elect a failed 80 year old that is sliding fast into senility.


  • Joe Krill April 20, 2024, 8:39 AM

    SHOCK MOMENT: Mike Garcia Tells FBI’s Wray ‘I Don’t Trust You’ To His Face—Then Wray Responds


    • azlibertarian April 20, 2024, 12:47 PM

      In this video, Garcia tells Wray “Your bosses are the American people, right.”.

      Well, Garcia is naively wrong here. Wray’s (as well as the heads of the other various departments) bosses are not the American people. Wray’s (et. al) bosses are not even above him in the Executive Branch. His real bosses are the Deep State and the thinking that pervades it.

      For me, these hearings don’t have much value any longer. It is all theater. The “actors” are the elected reps (and their staffs) of each party, who are divided into a majority and a minority. The other actors are those sitting at the tables being asked questions.

      And here is the script that they follow…..

      Chairman (Majority Party): “Today we have invited this panel to examine this [hot button] issue. [More introductory remarks meant as stage-setting…..either favorable to the majority party’s witnesses, or unfavorable to the minority party’s witnesses.]

      Majority Party Congressman/Senator addressing minority party witness: Four and a half minutes of Outrage!!, High Dungeon **shakes fist**. Maybe offers question, but only if it is entirely loaded, and not meant for a meaningful answer.

      Minority Witness: “Thank you for your question, Congressman.” [Why do they always say that? Are they just being polite? Hardly. The purpose of those six words is to eat into the Congressman’s 5 minutes. Whatever of the 30 seconds is left, is given as platitudes and gobbledy gook.] The idea for the minority witness is to respond without answering anything.

      Minority Congressman to minority witness: “Wow. You’re just amazing. Tell me more about your career. Lob a softball right over the middle of the plate.”

      Minority witness: “Thank you for your question, Congressman.” [Here, he’s being polite. But he’s also eating into the 5 minutes. The witness’ goal is to end the questioning as quickly as possible.] “My work is super, super important, and I’m not biased at all. No siree. I’m doing the work that the American people demand, and you should give me more money for it.”

      From there, everybody plays ping-pong until the hearing is ended and nothing has been accomplished except the theater.

      I wish that Wray, et.al cared about what the representatives of the American people think. But they don’t. They don’t have to. They’re going to do what they do with impunity because no one has ever called them to task. And they know that no one ever will.

      • ghostsniper April 20, 2024, 1:26 PM

        This thing cannot be fixed. Too much scaffold has been constructed to hold the structure in place as is. Overwhelming force is necessary to bring it down to ground level, where shovels will be used to re-establish it in some form if that is to be.

        That shitty constitution. It’s a gentlemen’s agreement meant for limited engagement. No teeth. Soft underbelly. A condom filled with 5 gals of jello and a handful of roofing nails. You can’t organize 300mil people with tissue paper, nor can you contain 435 criminals with whispers of sweet little nothings.

        A concrete and steel stable platform backed with a battalion of iron fists might work.
        And NO borrowed money. If you can’t afford it you can’t have it and if you try the iron fist will tame you.

        Weak, simple suggestions are ignored as always. Like those found in the current constitution. No sir! Few strong rules, etched in thousand foot thick steel, encased in diamond – never to be betrayed. Anything less will fail, and it too may fail under human cunning.

    • Anonymous April 20, 2024, 1:11 PM

      It was Chris Christy from New Jersey that got trump to hire ray.

  • ghostsniper April 20, 2024, 2:09 PM

    Next Crib
    One of the standard topics my wife and I talk about when we are sitting on the porch in the evening enjoying the wild life is stuff about our “next crib”. Think of it as a mental Rolodex of ideas filed internally to be draw upon at some time in the future.

    A current addition to the Rolodex was the notion of the absence of base cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. We’re old, and speaking for myself, bending these wore out paratrooper knees to get something out of a kitchen base cabinet is in it’s final days. Soon, I just ain’t gonna do it any more.

    Base cabinets are expensive too. Even the cheap builder grade versions. A simple 2′ wide x 36″ tall cabinet with a door and a drawer will cost $100 – $200 depending, plus installation. Yes, you have to shim them, and screw them into the studs and floor, and after all of them are installed, the toe kick cover. Pain in the ass.

    I’d like to have 1 simple drawer cabinet, top at 36″ above the floor, and some sort of decorative-structural bracket anchored to the wall to support it. All the way around the whole kitchen. fuk base cabinets.

    But, but, but….where are you gonna put all your “stuff”???
    You mean all that stuff that’s been accumulated over the years that got used once and then thrown in the back of one of them base cabinets never to be seen again? That’s what landfills are for.

    Pay attention to what you actually use on a day to day basis and get rid of everything else. Then, once you know what it is that you use, a well designed pantry is your Uncle Bob. THAT is where you put that slow cooker. THAT is where you put that 12″ Lodge cast iron skillet. THAT is where you put that stand mixer. IOW, graduate from adolescent adult to mature adult.

    With the money saved by NOT buying and installing base cabinets you’d be able to create a righteous walk-in pantry with shelves all the way up to the ceiling.

    I’m a building designer and though I don’t talk about it much here, my wife has heard me talk a library worth of architecture stuff over the decades. My brain literally churns with architectural and building related things all day every day and from the age of 10 til now it has never stopped. Constantly thinking about “What if….” things, and even sometimes establishing some gems that find creation. My knees are sighing right now.

  • ghostsniper April 20, 2024, 3:00 PM

    Today is tomorrow’s “good ol’ daze”.

  • Anne April 21, 2024, 10:14 AM

    I used to talk to my DH about the value of a pantry. He used to nix the idea as being unnecessary. Our town condo has a nice pretty large walk-in closet out on the patio. We use that as a pantry and because it is at least 45′ from the kitchen DH is in charge of “the pantry”. So he has to run back and forth whenever the chef needs something. It has been a life save for us and now DH understands the importance of a pantry. Like you, I am now too old and too tired of crawling around looking for something under the counter! DH is too tired of the 40′ walk every time I need a can of tomatoes!

    • ghostsniper April 21, 2024, 11:24 AM

      Do you have any open wall space in your kitchen, or close by?
      A handy person can do this.
      Using a studfinder, tape measure, large framing square, and a pencil, find and describe the space between 2 studs. Take a good picture of one of your cabinet doors. Go to the home center (places online will do it too) and buy the tallest door you can find.

      Next, use a small trim router with a spiral “down” bit and remove the drywall from between the studs but not taller than the cabinet door you bought. Using scrap 2×4’s cut and install them horizontally between studs to frame the top and bottom of the space and to provide for shelves spaced adequately to allow cans to be stored there. Paint the 2×4’s, studs, and exposed edges of the drywall the same color as the walls. Install the new over size cabinet door with a piano hinge, knob to match, and a magnetic catch.

      There can be up to 14-1/2″ wide space between the vertical studs and that is enough room for about (4) std 15oz cans and you can stack them as high as you want but higher than (4) will be unstable, so make your shelves accordingly.

      If, purchasing a tall cabinet door is not possible, you can buy a 16″ wide x whatever x 3/4″ thick pine-spruce-fir board and some thin decorative trim pieces of wood and make your own door, and paint it with “chalk board” paint and write grocery lists, notes, dates, etc. on it. If you can’t match…. then contrast and/or harmonize.

      Helpful hint for installing the horizontal 2×4 shelves:
      Drill (2) 1/8″ holes on a 45 degree angle about 1″ from each end. Then use 3″ x #10 PHILLIP head (Torx would be even better) screws for installing the shelves. If you try to nail, or nailgun, or screw the shelves without drilling the holes first you will have a nightmare that is difficult to fix.

      Hint 2: A piano hinge is difficult to install on a wall by one person, so get some help, or use 3 or more standard hinges. Remember, drill first, then screw.

  • ghostsniper April 21, 2024, 11:58 AM

    Snake Fall
    Anybody wanna lay wagers on Snake falling off that scaffold yesterday?
    If he does fall, he’ll prolly be OK as long as there’s no sheet metal layin’ around.
    Just drag his limp ass over to the porch and had him a Hamm’s! 😉

    • Snakepit Kansas April 22, 2024, 5:18 AM

      You were thinking of me. JAJAJJAAA!!!! With the help of my two young’ns We set that scaffold up next to the dining room bay window. Stretched out the ladder to 10′ and got on top of the scaffold which was set at 9′. Pretty sturdy. Pulled off the old cedar and was happy to see the plywood facing was not dry rotted. The streaks on the window were NOT from a seal leak on the double pane, but just on the outside of the glass. Don’t know what a 5’X5′ double pane window cost but I bet it is not cheap. The builders did a nice job of 22.5 degree angle cut on the cedar to make a nice join, and I will replace it the same way.

      I did realize after I got down for the evening my thighs were pretty tight. Legs were locked pretty tight standing up there at 9′. Made some hot saki and watched the sun set with the wife.

      • ghostsniper April 22, 2024, 6:31 AM

        When I got to the “bay window” part I got nervous.
        Actually, I got nervous at the ladder ON TOP of the scaffold part. LOL
        Gotta do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission.

      • ghostsniper April 22, 2024, 6:34 AM

        BTW, some of that cleaner for glass top ranges might take those stains off the glass.
        I know 0000 steel wool will too but that stuff can scratch the glass if you’re not careful, make the glass kinda hazy.

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