Turkey Loaf

My family informs me that they don’t much like my Turkey Loaf. As a matter of fact the exact quote was “It tastes like leftovers just before you pitch them in the garbage.”

Thanks guys. Now you know why I’m in Therapy.

As it turns out what they object to is the concept of Ground Turkey entirely.

These are the same people who thought “Kingsmen 2: The Golden Circle” was funny because it had Elton John in it.

Nevertheless, I persist. It’s Thankgiving on a stick. I think it’s ok the way it is, but I suppose you could deep fry it. – ek

Yoob a dinkadee a dinkadoo a dinkadee
A dinkadoo a dinkadee a dinkadoo
Morp!  Morp!  Morp!

Us Scandinavian Bachelor Chefs (h/t CompoundF) frequently find ourselves in the position of needing a last minute substitute for real food because planning ahead is not one of our strengths (if it were we probably wouldn’t be Bachelors anymore).

Here’s a recipe that is not too fussy and can be thrown together at the last minute and great expense as a cheap imitation of inferior quality.

You will need-

  • Ground Turkey
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Onion (chopped coarse)
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Garlic Powder
  • Bell’s Poultry Seasoning
  • An Egg
  • Dry Packaged Instant Turkey Gravy (more than you think)

Optional (of course the more you add the better it will taste)-

  • Walnuts (chopped coarse)
  • Canned Mushrooms (stems and pieces, chopped coarse)

The goal is simple, to create a reasonable taste facsimile of a Turkey dinner with stuffing and gravy without days of defrosting and hours of cooking time.  It is somewhat pricey as ground Turkey often costs as much as ground beef or more.

The primary problems to overcome are cohesion and dryness.  I’m going to recommend what seems like a lot of fat but Turkey is quite a lean meat.  I’ll be working with approximately 2 pounds of Turkey as a base (that’s how much the local Super Market puts in a package), you adjust the other ingredients for taste and volume.

The most labor intensive part of preparation is chopping the onion(s).  Depending on how strong the flavor (in decreasing order- yellow, red, sweet) you’ll want to prepare about half the volume of your meat.  If you use yellow and are sensitive to onions (I am) you may want to saute them a little to take some of the harshness out.

The most time consuming part is the bread.  Toast it a bit (hey, if you have enough time to stale it you most likely don’t need this recipe), smear generously with butter and shake quite a bit of garlic powder on top.  Cube.  You need about 3/4 of the volume of your meat (6 slices or a little more).  Crusty European breads work much better than Balloon breads because the goal (as with meat balls) is to lighten the texture of your finished dish.


I put the other ingredients in the bottom of the bowl with the meat on top but I don’t think it makes any difference.

A cup or more of Dried Cranberries (I like them), Onion, Garlic Toast (cubed), 6 Tbls Butter (chopped), Ground Turkey, 1 – 4 Tbls Bell’s Poultry Seasoning (the primary flavor is Sage in case you can’t find it), Salt, Pepper, more Garlic Powder, an Egg or 2 to bind.

Now is the time to add your optional ingredients, if using Mushrooms include the liquid too.  Mix gently, completely, and not too long with your fingers.  The important thing is not to over mix because the loaf will get gummy and dense.


I like loaf pans, others mound on a sheet.  Grease for clean release.  It leaks a bit so you’ll want a lip to catch the drip.  In any event at least an hour at 325 – 350 until the internal temperature reaches the recommended level for poultry or brown on the top and gray through the thickest part.

Rest 5 – 10 minutes while you prepare the gravy, slice and serve.

Thanksgiving on a stick.

Turkeys Away

“Oh the Humanity!”

Did you watch the whole episode? How could you possibly think this was a good idea?

Tossing a Bird That Does Not Fly Out of a Plane
by Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic

Here in Yellville this cold and rainy weekend, there are turkeys everywhere—turkey shirts and turkey costumes and turkey paraphernalia. There is a raffle giving away birds for Thanksgiving dinner. There’s a brisk trade in turkey legs, too, pulled out of a barrel smoker. At the bandstand, a judge announces the winner of the “Miss Drumsticks” contest, who gleams and sparkles in her pageant finery. “It’s Miss Drumsticks because they’re judging who has the best thighs,” an older woman explained to me, matter-of-fact.

But—and this is unusual, and much to the dismay and consternation of many locals—there are no live turkeys. None in a cage towed behind a pickup. None thrown from the courthouse roof. None pitched off the bandstand and picked up by screaming teenagers. And none dropped out of an airplane. That is what the Yellville Turkey Trot festival is famous and infamous for, you see: living, breathing, squawking birds getting lobbed out of a low-flying aircraft.

Turkeys, it seems worth mentioning, do not fly. Although the wild, dark-feathered ones you see in flocks on exurban roads are capable of fluttering up into and in between trees, the factory-farm-bred, white-feathered ones you eat on Thanksgiving are closer to the penguin side of the avian flying-ability spectrum. The birds can slow their descent by flapping wildly and catch the wind and glide, should they find themselves free-falling from 500 feet. But some die on impact, fleshy anvils with useless wings.

Once a year for the past seven decades, with just a few breaks, Yellville has had a dozen or so fowl demonstrate this gravitational reality. The Turkey Trot is a much-anticipated event for people with a lot of Ozark pride but without a lot of money, organizers and attendees explained—a transgressive event that locals love to love, love to hate, love to go to, and really love to talk about. “There’s a festival that goes on in Fayetteville that’s huge. They have booths there where you walk up and you just stop in your tracks and go, ‘Holy cow, that’s neat!’” Bob King, the owner of a local retreat property, told me. “We’re a small-town festival. It is important to people.”

As the lip-synch contest echoed and the quilting guild showed off its wares, some worried that the everything-else portion of the weekend would wither away, too. Local-business owners fretted that a vital source of income was gone—with some hoping that a plane foisting the birds would show up, cops and politicians and op-ed writers and vegan busybodies be damned. “We will have to see how the numbers end up,” said Keith Edmonds of the Chamber of Commerce, a note of resignation in his voice. Every time an aircraft passed overhead, little kids checked to see if a bird would come out.

Was it worth it, ending a town’s beloved annual event to save a few birds from a few moments of confused terror? Was it meaningful, given how many billions of birds raised for meat face a far more gruesome life and death? Would it stick, given the steeliness of the residents of this corner of the Ozarks and the devotion of Americans to their meat-eating and cold-weather traditions?

I was not sure before going to the festival, and I was even less sure after it. But I knew this: This was not a Thanksgiving story about throwing a bird that does not fly out of an airplane. This was a Thanksgiving story about the human will to throw a bird that does not fly out of an airplane.

Ample documentary evidence recorded in the years since, as well as the testimonies of a number of townsfolk, indicate that this was and is pretty much what happens when you drop a turkey from hundreds of feet in the air. The panicked animals try to right themselves. Some catch a gust. Others do not. Some die when they hit the ground. Others survive with broken bones. Yet others are grievously injured when they are fought over by local kids. Some perish of apparent shock. A few, it is fair to note, are rattled, but physically unharmed.

“I was standing in the alley behind one of the buildings in town, and that plane came right overhead,” said Rose Hilliard, who attended last year’s festival to try to save some of the birds. “We’re all trying to chase it down and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, I can’t outrun 15 kids! There’s no way.’ They weren’t supposed to drop them over town. They were supposed to be across the river there, across the creek. But the pilots kind of think they can do no wrong and they’re proud of it.” The turkeys she encountered were heat-stressed and in shock and bruised, she told me. “It is not entertaining to watch a frightened animal trying to get away from a crowd of people. That’s— I don’t call it entertainment.”

Their very bodies are no less cruel than what humans do to those bodies. Turkeys, as you might remember from elementary school, are native to the Americas. Domestication occurred hundreds or perhaps even thousands of years ago. Right around when the Yellville Turkey Trot was getting started, in the 1940s, big agricultural companies began to breed domesticated turkeys intensively to obtain more meat from them, faster. The experiment was an astonishing success: The broad-breasted white, the bird that is most likely on your Thanksgiving table, went from a 15-pound bird in 1960 to a 30-pound bird today, and it grows to that weight far more quickly than nature intended.

These are Franken-creatures, like bulldogs or racehorses. They cannot reproduce naturally, and their body is incompatible with a healthy, long life. The birds, if not slaughtered, face grotesque problems with their skeleton, their heart, and their respiratory system, as their cartoonishly oversized breasts distend and stress their body. “They get these compound fractures and leg injuries—often these things can’t be fixed—because they grow so fast,” said Susie Coston, the national shelter director of Farm Sanctuary, a major farm-animal rescue organization. “They are just too big.”

Another strange thing about them: The birds suffer from compulsive insatiability. If you leave food out for them to eat at will, “they just never stop eating,” Coston told me. “I’ve never seen anything like it. They eat so much that they injure their intestinal tract.”

If you withhold food, as is necessary to keep them alive, she said, “they are always hungry.”

Falling from a plane might be a reprieve for a turkey.

You can read deeper for the whole “Evil Librul Bi-Coastal Elitists Ruining Good Clean ‘Murikan Fun” subtext which is so totally of a piece with all the other stories about how Evil Librul Bi-Coastal Elitists are ruining ‘Murika and that’s why we support Trump. “He gets us.” Which is why of course Democrats and Leftists lose elections say the “Centrists”.

Some branches of my Club used to hold “Rattlesnake Roundups” where you’d toss a bucket of snakes into a ring and charge people to stomp them. Very lucrative in certain areas.

I never saw the attraction.

But I eat meat and I make no apologies for it. I just don’t think it’s a necessary part of every meal and I’m just as happy with Vegetable Lo Mein or Rice and Beans as I am with a Beef Steak. My personal identity is not invested in it- whatever. Sheep Eyeballs? Yum!

And if you have some Levitican problems and think Ham cursed by Yahweh I guess you’ll not be wanting to try my Bacon Wrapped Scallops in Lobster Sauce.

Good. More for me.

I swear, I thought Turkeys could fly!

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt</i

Paul Krugman: The New Economy and the Trump Rump

A little over a year ago, Amazon invited cities and states to offer bids for a proposed second headquarters. This set off a mad scramble over who would gain the dubious privilege of paying large subsidies in return for worsened traffic congestion and higher housing prices. (Answer: New York and greater D.C.)

But not everyone was in the running. From the beginning, Amazon specified that it would put the new facility only in a Democratic congressional district. [..]

Over the past generation, America’s regions have experienced a profound economic divergence. Rich metropolitan areas have gotten even richer, attracting ever more of the nation’s fastest growing industries. Meanwhile, small towns and rural areas have been bypassed, forming a sort of economic rump left behind by the knowledge economy.

Amazon’s headquarters criteria perfectly illustrate the forces behind that divergence. Businesses in the new economy want access to large pools of highly educated workers, which can be found only in big, rich metropolitan areas. And the location decisions of companies like Amazon draw even more high-skill workers to those areas.

In other words, there’s a cumulative, self-reinforcing process at work that is, in effect, dividing America into two economies. And this economic division is reflected in political division.

Eugene Robinson: It’s time for the rats to leave Trump’s sinking ship

Like a television show that has jumped the shark, President Trump’s frantic act grows more desperate and pathetic by the day.

Asked by Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” to grade his presidency, Trump absurdly replied: “Look, I hate to do it, but I will do it, I would give myself an A-plus. Is that enough? Can I go higher than that?”

Much closer to the mark is the assessment by Republican lawyer and operative George Conway, the husband of one of Trump’s closest White House aides, counselor Kellyanne Conway: “The administration is like a s—show in a dumpster fire.”

And it is all getting worse. The cravenness, incompetence, corruption, dysfunction, insanity — all of it.

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Not A Stunt

I sort of (but not really) hate pointing out that a substantial part of the U.S. population are what is politely called “low information” but I call ignorant.

Sending Troops to the border was a transparent appeal to Trump’s most racist bigoted base.

There are Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (the Bureaus of Redundant Redundantcy) tripping over each other already. The additional Troops gave them a Medical checkup, put up some camps, strung some barbed wire, given a few Cops a Helicopter Thrill Ride…

And they’re going home.

Your Tax Dollars at work- $220,000,000.

Victory! The evil Caravan of Barbarians at the Gates of the Empire have been thwarted!

Deployed Inside the United States: The Military Waits for the Migrant Caravan
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Helene Cooper, The New York Times
Nov. 10, 2018

Instead of football with their families on this Veterans Day weekend, soldiers with the 19th Engineer Battalion, fresh from Fort Knox, Ky., were painstakingly webbing concertina wire on the banks of the Rio Grande, just beneath the McAllen-Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge.

Nearby, troops from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State were making sure a sick call tent was properly set up next to their aid station. And a few miles away, Staff Sgt. Juan Mendoza was directing traffic as his engineer support company from Fort Bragg, N.C., unloaded military vehicles.

Come Thanksgiving, they most likely will still be here.

Two thousand miles away, at the Pentagon, officials privately derided the deployment as an expensive waste of time and resources, and a morale killer to boot.

In late October, the Department of Homeland Security sent a memo to the Pentagon with a series of formal requests for support in handling immigrants at the southern border, including the caravan on its way from Central America, according to two senior administration officials.

Among the requests, issued at the White House’s behest, were that troops deployed to the border be armed, prepared for direct contact with the migrants and ready to operate under rules for the use of force to be set by the Defense Department.

When Defense Department officials replied the same day, on Mr. Mattis’s orders, they rejected those requests and referred the Department of Homeland Security to the White House, the officials said. The Defense Department viewed the requests as inappropriate and legally treacherous, potentially setting up soldiers for violent encounters with migrants.

Defense Department officials said the tasks by the troops at the border were the best compromise that Mr. Mattis could reach. The Pentagon agreed to other requests for help, including sending supplies, setting up tents and providing transportation as needed.

“A wasteful deployment of overstretched Soldiers and Marines would be made much worse if they use force disproportional to the threat they face,” tweeted Martin Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Troops at U.S.-Mexican border to start coming home

The 5,800 troops who were rushed to the southwest border amid President Donald Trump’s pre-election warnings about a refugee caravan will start coming home as early as this week — just as some of those migrants are beginning to arrive.

Democrats and Republicans have criticized the deployment as a ploy by the president to use active-duty military forces as a prop to try to stem Republican losses in this month’s midterm elections.

The general overseeing the deployment told POLITICO on Monday that the first troops will start heading home in the coming days as some are already unneeded, having completed the missions for which they were sent. The returning service members include engineering and logistics units whose jobs included placing concertina wire and other barriers to limit access to ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Buchanan confirmed previous reports that the military had rejected a request from the Department of Homeland Security for an armed force to back up Border Patrol agents in the event of a violent confrontation.

“That is a law enforcement task, and the secretary of Defense does not have the authority to approve that inside the homeland,” Buchanan said.

The troop deployment should start trailing off as engineer and other logistics troops wind down their mission of building base camps and fortifying ports of entry for the Border Patrol.

Army and Marine engineers have now emplaced about 75 percent of the obstacles they planned to, including concertina wire, shipping containers, and concrete barriers at ports of entry. “Once we get the rest of the obstacles built, we don’t need to keep all those engineers here. As soon as I’m done with a capability, what I intend to do is redeploy it,” Buchanan said. “I don’t want to keep these guys on just to keep them on.”

Logistics troops, too, will be among the first to head home. “I will probably ask to start redeploying some of our logistic capability,” Buchanan predicted. “Now that things are set down here, we don’t need as many troops to actually build base camps and things like that, because the base camps are built.”

Among the troops who will remain after construction engineers and logisticians start departing are helicopter pilots, planners, medical personnel, and smaller “quick response” teams of engineers who can help Border Patrol personnel shut down traffic at their ports of entry.

In contrast to the speed of the deployment in early November and the fanfare surrounding it, the withdrawal promises to be slower and quieter — but Buchanan expects it to be done before Christmas.

“That doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” he added. “But right now, this is a temporary mission, and we’re tasked to do it until the 15th of December.”

The futility is entirely predictable to anyone who knows anything at all. My real ire is reserved for those who knew this from the start but excused it.

Oh, Merry ek’smas.


Just because they’re animated doesn’t mean they’re funny.

Daria, Alienation, and the Limits of Irony

Except in that classically ironic way where the Protagonist has a fatal flaw which leads to their ultimate doom.

Funny guys those Greeks.

The Breakfast Club (Citizenship)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Nazi war crimes trial begins at Nuremberg; Robert F. Kennedy born; Britain’s future Queen Elizabeth II marries; Spain’s dictator Francisco Franco dies; Mexican Revolution begins; ‘Cabaret’ hits Broadway.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Elections remind us not only of the rights but the responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy.

Robert Kennedy

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I got asked by Richard and Emily today whether I thought Pelosi wouls win her Speaker’s race as if I knew something about politics, which I do actually because I write about it here every day and I read a ton of stuff that doesn’t make the cut.

What I told them was it was a virtual certainty.

Sure, there are 17, or 25, or 30 Democratic Representatives who have pledged to oppose her, Well, that’s whatever out of 237 or so and while it seems like a big deal that she could drop below the 218 in the Well of the House, there are some problems with that calculation.

First of all her opponents don’t have an alternate candidate. Don’t Marcia Fudge me, she doesn’t have nearly enough support and even if everything broke her way she could muster at best 50 votes and Pelosi would have 187. That’s 79% to 21%, a pretty crushing victory if you ask me and even if I’m optimistic about Pelosi’s strength the margin is too huge to overcome.

Second, there’s not just the one vote. Before the Speakership hits the House Floor (typically the first order of business in a new Congress) Democrats will have their own Leadership votes and if there is a rebellion in the Caucus they will soon realize the weakness of their electoral position. I expect there will be an attempt to defeat Pelosi and it will fail and the Representatives who pledged to vote against will go back to their constituents and say- “I did vote against her, in the Caucus, and she won and we lost. I kept my promise and I did my best.”

“Aha! But you voted for her on the Floor!”

“Well… yeah. I’m a Democrat- see that (D)? If I voted for Kevin McCarthy the House would still be under Republican control. Is that what you voted for? Should have voted for the Republican.”

Whatever support Marcia Fudge had in Caucus will melt like Ice Cream on bubbling asphalt (we have that kind of weather in Connecticut, don’t kid yourself).

And if the rebellion should carry the fight to the well, what will be the result? Even if Fudge keeps all her votes it will be 198 McCarthy, 187 Pelosi, and 50 Fudge.

And here’s the thing about Speakership races, they keep voting until someone has a majority. The only way to defeat Pelosi is for Democrats to vote for McCarthy.

The House would still be under Republican control. Is that what your constituents voted for? Should have run as a Republican, that way at least you wouldn’t be a lying hypocritical traitor. Good luck next cycle, you’ll need it.

Interestingly enough if you look at the bulk of Pelosi opposition it’s made up of ConservaDems so maybe they would, but there are definitely not enough of them and they should be Primaried out of the Party (or run out of town on a rail, pitchfork, torches, tar, and feathers optional).

Now so-called “progressive” (most of them are not all that Left) Democrats did the smart thing and cut themselves a deal.

Progressives back Pelosi for speaker — in return for more power

It wasn’t a coincidence that moments after Nancy Pelosi promised progressive House leaders more power in the next Congress, a host of liberal groups announced they were supporting her for speaker.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who is expected to co-chair the House Progressive Caucus next year, left a Thursday night meeting with Pelosi in the Capitol and proclaimed that her members would have more seats on powerful committees and more influence over legislation.

The Washington state Democrat then phoned MoveOn and Indivisible with the news, and they promptly tweeted out support for Pelosi. Then, on Friday morning, Jayapal, previously uncommitted on whom she would back for speaker, gave Pelosi a full-throated endorsement.

She went on to note that the 15 to 20 Pelosi critics trying to oust her are more centrist in their ideology and goals than the rest of the caucus. If Democrats remove her, Jayapal argued, they would effectively be turning their backs on the voters who swept Democrats into power.

“That drive is not going to take us in the direction that we should go,” Jayapal said of the effort to depose Pelosi. “It’s going to be the opposite of what the election really told us, which is a much more diverse, progressive, bold agenda.”

Pelosi’s overtures also speak to progressives’ growing influence in the Democratic Caucus. The Progressive Caucus will increase its membership by at least 20 members next year, and comprise about two-fifths of the caucus. Its leaders intend to use those numbers to boost their power and agenda — starting first with committee assignments and leadership positions, then expanding into legislation.

Adding to that heft is their relationship with powerful groups on the outside — organizations that Jayapal argues are the main reason Democrats retook the majority.

“We coordinated very closely with them, and they actually told Pelosi that they won’t come out for her until [after] our meeting,” Jayapal said. “So we are leveraging our power in different ways within the caucus but also with our allies on the outside.”

Thursday’s meeting with Pelosi included Jayapal and current Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan (D-Wis.). One request to which Pelosi agreed was to give the Progressive Caucus proportional representation on what lawmakers call the “A committees”: the Appropriations, Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services and Intelligence committees.

Jayapal and Pocan also asked for “expanded leadership that allows for more progressives in the top spots,” Jayapal said. While progressives would still have to run for and be elected to the positions, it would at least ensure there would be positions for progressives to run for.

Pelosi agreed with the idea, though it is unclear whether she will create a new position in leadership, as is being discussed behind the scenes now, according to several Democratic leadership sources. Since Pelosi, Hoyer and Assistant Leader James Clyburn have been leading the caucus for 15 years, there haven’t been many openings in leadership for progressives.

One progressive lawmaker, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), is running for assistant leader, the No. 4 position. But he is expected to be defeated by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), who helped win back the House as head of the caucus’ campaign arm, lawmakers and aides predict.

A new leadership spot would create an opening for Cicilline, in theory, though he would have to be elected.

Pelosi did commit to enhancing the heft of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, a panel recently created to give rank-and-file members more leadership opportunities — and stocked with progressive lawmakers. Pelosi agreed to a Progressive Caucus demand that those positions include a budget and staff; they currently have neither. Several progressive lawmakers are running for these positions again next year.

The group leaders also registered their concerns about “pay-go” rules with Pelosi. Under those rules, certain bills cannot be considered if they aren’t paid for. Progressives have long run on policy positions that would be expensive, from “Medicare for all” to free college tuition. Pelosi didn’t make any commitments, but she promised to bring those rules up for debate.

In a sign of the rising influence of the Progressive Caucus leaders, outside groups specifically held off on endorsing Pelosi until she committed to these asks. After the meeting, the progressive leaders called these groups to give them the green light to back Pelosi.

About 30 minutes after that meeting, progressives weighed in on Twitter.

“We strongly support and call on all members of the Democratic caucus to support @NancyPelosi for Speaker,” MoveOn.org tweeted at around 6:30 p.m.. “Were it not for her skilled and effective leadership, the ACA would not be law today. Dems must reject attempts to defeat her and move caucus to the right.”

Now is Nancy Pelosi “liberal” or “progressive” or Left?


That’s simply a vile Republican canard because they want to label Democrats Communist Homosexuals. Nancy Pelosi has some monumentally stupid ideas like not Impeaching W for War Crimes or Trump for his Treason. Her latest stinker is to require super majorities to raise taxes which is both anti-Democratic (large and small ‘D’), and, among other Left priorities, pretty much strangles Single Payer in it’s crib. She still supports Pay-Go which MUST GO! If Republicans don’t care about deficits why should Democrats (and MMT also says that they don’t matter, only hyper-inflation does)?

I’m as ready as the next person to turf her out, but she’s held her Caucus together though 8 years of exile in an incredibly hostile environment and there are no Democrats with the skills to replace her.

Hopefully she uses her “bridge” period to develop the leadership necessary to move forward.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt</i

Gordon Adams, Lawrence B. Wilkerson and Isaiah Wilson III: Trump’s Border Stunt Is a Profound Betrayal of Our Military

A week before the midterm elections, the president of the United States announced he would deploy up to 15,000 active duty military troops to the United States-Mexico border to confront a menacing caravan of refugees and asylum seekers. The soldiers would use force, if necessary, to prevent such an “invasion” of the United States.

Mr. Trump’s announcement and the deployment that followed (of roughly 5,900) were probably perfectly legal. But we are a bipartisan threesome with decades of experience in and with the Pentagon, and to us, this act creates a dangerous precedent. We fear this was lost in the public hand-wringing over the decision, so let us be clear: The president used America’s military forces not against any real threat but as toy soldiers, with the intent of manipulating a domestic midterm election outcome, an unprecedented use of the military by a sitting president.

The public debate focused on secondary issues. Is there truly a threat to American security from an unarmed group of tired refugees and asylum seekers on foot and a thousand miles from the border? Even the Army’s internal assessment did not find this a very credible threat.

Tim Wu: We’ve settled on a shallow conception of democracy. And that’s dangerous

Over the last several decades, many in the west have come to accept a remarkably narrow concept of what the economy and a democracy are for. The economy exists to make us rich, or at least pay the bills. It’s thought to be working when the stock market and the GDP rise. Democracy is voting for someone who is “on your side”. The two are linked when you vote for someone who promises to make you rich, or at least cut your taxes.

At the risk of stating what has become obvious in recent years, this materialistic view of the economy and democracy is at best thin and at worst dangerous. Prolonged economic dissatisfaction and our thin conception of democracy have left behind a spiritual hole that has driven voters across the United States, Europe and South America into the arms of angry populists and nationalists who offer a new spiritualism based on the nation.

But there’s another, nearly lost, democratic tradition, in which the goals of a democracy and a worthy civilization are irreducibly linked to the healthy development of its citizens along social, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions. In this older conception, a great democracy is one that serves as a cauldron for the building of good character and the pursuit of a worthwhile life – one that includes but also goes beyond mere material security.

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A Star Is Born (2018)

“The one movie even Neil deGrasse Tyson can’t ruin.”- John Oliver

Hah. Rick Roll.

Seriously, last show of the season which is extremely disappointing. Oliver will return in February and I can’t wait. Losing regular programming for the next 2 and a half months is one of those things that make this such a SAD time of year.

I’ll just have to get by on Gold Rush and Curse of Oak Island.

What’s Cooking: Turkey Technology

If you’re an experienced cook or one who looks at the kitchen as a foreign country and are preparing a turkey on for Thanksgiving, or any time for that matter, our hero is Alton Brown and his absolutely fool proof method for roasting a turkey is here. No basting required which leaves you time for other tasks or enjoying your company. We repeat this post every year at this time. If you haven’t already purchased your bird, you need to do that today. A frozen bird needs at three days in the refrigerator to defrost. The best bet is a fresh turkey. While it may cost a few cents more, you’re assured that it’s thawed and ready to cook. So, get thee to the grocery store!

Revised from November 20, 2010 for obvious timely reasons.

I never went to cooking school or took home economics in high school, I was too busy blowing up the attic with my chemistry set. I did like to eat and eat stuff that tasted good and looked pretty, plus my mother couldn’t cook to save her life let alone mine and Pop’s, that was her mother’s venue. So I watched learned and innovated. I also read cook books and found that cooking and baking were like chemistry and physics. I know, that was Translator’s territory, but I do have a degree in biochemistry.

For you really geekie cooks here is a great article about the “Turkey Physics” involved in getting it all done to a juicy turn.

Cooking a turkey is not as easy as the directions on the Butterball wrapping looks. My daughter, who is the other cook in the house (makes the greatest breads, soups and stews) is in charge of the Turkey for the big day. Since we are again having a house full of family and friends, one the two 13 to 15 pound gobblers will get cooked outside on the gas grill that doubles as an oven on these occasions. Her guru is Alton Brown, he of Good Eats on the Food Network. This is the method she has used with rave reviews. Alton’s Roast Turkey recipe follows below the fold. You don’t have to brine, the daughter doesn’t and you can vary the herbs, the results are the same, perfection. My daughter rubs very soft butter under the skin and places whole sage leaves under the skin in a decorative pattern, wraps the other herbs in cheese cloth and tucks it in the cavity. If you prefer, or are kosher, canola oil works, too.

Bon Appetite and Happy Thanksgiving.

The recipe is below the fold.

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Whose Boat Is This Boat?: A Holiday Hurricane Relief Spectacular!

The Breakfast Club (Anomalies)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

President Abraham Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address; Egypt’s Anwar Sadat becomes first Arab leader to visit Israel; Ford halts Edsel production; Bandleader Tommy Dorsey and actress Jodie Foster born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.

Margaret Atwood

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