Thursday: Hili dialogue

November 17, 2022 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Thursday, November 17, 2022: National Bread Day.  Below are examples of the best indigenous American bread: biscuits! They’re easy to make (here’s a recipe) and delicious. You can even buy them pre-made in a can to put on a baking sheet. But the from-scratch ones are best. No other bread goes with breakfast eggs so well:

It’s also National Baklava Day (world’s best pastry), National Butter Day, International Happy Gose Day, celebrating the wheat beer (pronounced “goes-uh”), Nouveau Beaujolais Day (avoid it and wait for the crus), National Unfriend Day (a favorite on Facebook), National Take a Hike Day (isn’t that the same thing?), World Prematurity Day, and International Students’ Day.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this day by consulting the November 17 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*First the House report: the GOP has gone over the top, and now controls the House of Representatives. Six races are still in play: 4 in California, 1 in Colorado (Her Glockness is ahead by about 1,000 votes), and 1 in Alaska.  That Boebert is even consiered qualified to be in Congress is an embarrassment for Colorado—indeed, America.

From the NYT:

Republicans secured a slender majority in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, a delayed yet consequential finish to the 2022 midterm elections that will reorder the balance of power in Washington and is expected to effectively give the party a veto on President Biden’s agenda for the next two years.

After more than a week of vote counting, the Republican Party formally captured the 218 House seats needed to claim the majority after just four years out of power. The outcomes in six close races that remain undecided will determine the final size of a slim Republican majority that will be far narrower than party leaders had expected, though Republicans still cheered the achievement.

*As expected Mitch “Tortoise” McConnell was re-elected by Republican Senators as the (minority) leader, beating out Rick Scott. The evil fellow will be in charge until at least 2027 when he stands for regular election. Whether he makes it to then is anybody’s guess, but tortoises live a long time.

Though Mr. McConnell won convincingly, the contest exposed a divide over strategy among Senate Republicans that is likely to complicate their attempts to counter the Democratic majority over the next two years.

Meeting behind closed doors for more than three hours, Republican senators sat at desks in the Old Senate Chamber, a semicircular room adorned with marble columns and an ornate central table hung with crimson fabric, to hash out their differences and vote. In a final tally of 37-10, with one person voting present, Mr. McConnell easily defeated Mr. Scott.

The rest of the Republican leadership has been set with little fanfare or competition: Senator John Thune of South Dakota will remain as the No. 2 position, the minority whip, and Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming will remain as the conference chair, the No. 3 position.

*But the Congress is still doing stuff, and will try right up till the Republicans take over the House in January. Right now, they’re trying to protect gay rights against possible dismantling by the S-preme C-urt, and yesterday the Senate held a successful “test vote” against the Defense of Marriage Act. Republicans joined with some Dems!

The Senate held a key test vote on Wednesday on legislation to allow federal protections for same-sex marriage, with 12 Republicans joining all Democrats to help move it through the 50-50 chamber.

In one of their first major agenda items in the postelection session, Democrats moved fast to enact the bill — which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples — while their party still controls both chambers.

Should the bill pass the Senate in a vote that is expected after Thanksgiving, it would need to pass the House in its revised form before being sent to President Biden to be signed into law.

The push in Congress to pass codify marriage protections came after Justice Clarence Thomas suggested in an opinion overturning abortion rights that the court “should reconsider” past rulings that established marriage equality and access to contraception.

They have to work fast. And after this they have to work on contraception and to defend mixed-race marriages. With the present Supreme Court, everything’s up for grabs, and even some Republicans will join in on votes on these no-brainer issues. What about abortion? Gun rights? Can they do anything about those two issues?

A relevant editorial in the WaPo: “The Senate’s victory on same-sex marriage should terrify the GOP.”

Republicans are finding out there is a penalty to be paid for cultural extremism, but they have yet to show they are capable of preserving general-election viability. Over the next two years, as MAGA forces double down in the GOP House caucus and Trump fights with primary opponents for the support of the GOP base, Democrats will be delighted to watch Republicans marginalize themselves. During that time, Democrats will look for opportunities to put measures related to abortion and other cultural issues on the ballot in 2024. If that approach worked to drive Democrats to the polls in 2022, there is no reason to think it won’t work again in 2024.

*Yes, the Donald announced yesterday that he’s gonna run for President again, and it was met not with a chorus of huzzahs, but with yawns. Here’s the NYT’s headline, buried deep on the front page in small print (click to read):

Anyone looking for Republican reactions to Donald J. Trump’s announcement of a third presidential campaign may have been surprised by the silence.

There was, to be sure, a vocal contingent celebrating Mr. Trump’s entry into the 2024 race. Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mary Miller of Illinois and Troy Nehls of Texas quickly endorsed him; Representatives Andy Biggs of ArizonaMatt Gaetz of Florida and Jim Jordan of Ohio also indicated they were on board. Representative Ronny Jackson of Texas tweeted his support five times in 80 minutes on Tuesday and added on Wednesday, “I WILL BE VOTING FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP IN 2024!!!!!!”

But these voices stood out precisely because so few of their colleagues echoed them.

On social media, most congressional Republicans were talking about almost anything else: inflation, border policy, NASA’s Artemis moon rocket launch, the military’s coronavirus vaccine mandate, the 115th anniversary of Oklahoma’s statehood, the need to recycle asphalt. Inside the Capitol, the focus was on the meetings in which Senate Republicans were choosing leaders, and House Republicans had just chosen theirs — both groups reeling from disappointing election results for which many of them blamed Mr. Trump.

I’m starting to think that DeSantis could win the nomination from Trump, though he’s nobody I’d want as President. But at least he’s not mentally ill (I think). Perhaps Trump will be indicted before then. . .

*However, over at Five Thirty Eight, Nathanial Rakich tells us “Why Trump is favored to win the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary“. Some reasons:

First, Trump remains popular and influential among Republican voters. According to Civiqs, 80 percent of registered Republican voters have a favorable view of the former president, and only 11 percent have an unfavorable view. Admittedly, he is a little less popular than on Election Day 2020 when 91 percent viewed him favorably. But the decline has been gradual.

. . . Trump also leads early polling of the Republican primary by a substantial margin. In most national surveys, he registers in the high 40s or low 50s, 20-30 points ahead of his closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. (Though DeSantis is polling higher than he did earlier in the year.)

Finally, Trump leads in polls of early primary states, albeit generally by smaller margins. A poll of Iowa conducted by a pro-DeSantis group over the summer showed Trump leading DeSantis 38 percent to 17 percent. In August, a poll of New Hampshire conducted by Saint Anselm College put Trump up 50 percent to 29 percent. And most recently, Susquehanna Polling & Research found Trump at 41 percent and DeSantis at 34 percent in Nevada in late October.

All I can say is that things change, and hope that Republicans come to realize what a malign and antidemocratic force Trump really is. One of my friends, who works in healthcare, bet me last night that Trump wouldn’t live more than a year. I took the bet.  The S.O.B. lives on burgers and ice cream, but he still keeps chugging along.

*Whew, that missile landing in Poland was a close one! I thought for sure that the missile that killed two Poles a few kilometers north of its southern border was fired by Russia, which would have triggered all kinds of diplomatic (and perhaps military) reprisals. Now, however, both NATO and Poland say the missile wasn’t Russian at all.

 NATO member Poland and the head of the military alliance both said Wednesday that a missile strike in Polish farmland that killed two people appeared to be unintentional and was probably launched by air defenses in neighboring Ukraine. Russia had been bombarding Ukraine at the time in an attack that savaged its power grid.

“Ukraine’s defense was launching their missiles in various directions and it is highly probable that one of these missiles unfortunately fell on Polish territory,” said Polish President Andrzej Duda. “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to suggest that it was an intentional attack on Poland.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, at a meeting of the 30-nation military alliance in Brussels, echoed the preliminary Polish findings. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, however, disputed them and asked for further investigation.

The assessments of Tuesday’s deadly missile landing appeared to dial back the likelihood of the strike triggering another major escalation in the nearly 9-month-old Russian invasion of Ukraine. If Russia had targeted Poland, that could have risked drawing NATO into the conflict.

*A sad story from the WaPo to finish, titled “She ran a 100-mile world record. A course error means it won’t count.” In ultra-marathons, women are often better than men, and the winner of this race, Camille Herron, a world champion, is also 40 years old, yet she holds the world’s records for the 50K, 100K, and 245-hour run. But her latest victory won’t count because they mismeasured the course!

Imagine running for 100 miles, setting a world record, and then finding out it doesn’t count.

That is the situation professional ultrarunner Camille Herron faces. Herron, known as one of the most accomplished ultrarunners in the world, won the Jackpot Ultra Running Festival 100-miler in Henderson, Nev., in February in what was believed to be a world-record-setting time.

The 40-year-old finished the race in 12 hours 41 minutes 11 seconds — a 7:37-per-mile pace — and beat the second-place finisher and first male athlete, Arlen Glick, by nearly 30 minutes. The race served as the USA Track & Field 100 Mile Road Championships, and Herron garnered international acclaim for her world record victory.

In doing so, Herron also beat her own world record of 12:42:40, which she set in 2017, by more than a minute.

Or at least that’s what she thought.

After the course was remeasured, in February and again in October, it was determined that the course had been slightly altered and was short by 716 feet. As a result, a USA Track & Field committee decided not to ratify the record.

. . .The Post obtained a measuring report that indicates the course was measured on Oct. 25 by Brandon Wilson, a World Athletics measurer with an A rating, the highest distinction for racecourse measurers. Wilson’s report concluded that the 100-mile course’s actual length was 99.864336 miles, or 716 feet short.

“Due to overwhelming documentation, photos, first-hand accounts, and live video coverage of the race this fact is not in dispute, no runners in any contest ran certified courses on race-day,” Wilson said in the report.

Jebus, can you imagine how Herron feels? Here’s a photo of an earlier victory:

From the Post: Camille Herron after winning the 55-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa in 2017. (Rajesh Jantilal/AFP/Getty Images)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili mocks both religion and humans who talk rubbish.

Hili: In the beginning was the word.
Paulina: And then?
Hili: Plenty of gibberish.
(Photo: Paulina)
In Polish:
Hili: Na początku było słowo.
Paulina: A potem?
Hili: Mnóstwo bełkotu.
(Zdjęcie: Paulina)


From Merilee:

From Facebook:

From the B. Kliban Appreciation society via Stash Krod. But everybody knows that Jews don’t become alcoholics!

Three tweets from God; they’re too good not to use:

From Masih, another brave Iranian woman:

From Simon, who notes that Murdoch has really dumped Trump. The Orange Man’s announcement, at the bottom, is relegated to page 26!

From Ken, who calls this a “sick burn from Liz Cheney”. Republican Kari Lake was of course defeated in the race for governor of Arizona.

From j.j., who says, “Hili would not like this at all.”

From the Auschwitz Memorial: a boy gassed at age 9.

Tweets from Dr. Cobb, renowned author. Look at the gams on this owl!

A Brocken Spectre is one’s shadow (or any image) cast on the mist by a strong backlight:



37 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. Relatedly to biscuits: dinner rolls. By far the best of dinner rolls in the world come from Venice. They have green olives in them, ad pair excellently with the Venetian wine Soave (which, back in Jersey, we called South Avenue). Has anyone else encountered them?

    1. And my late biscuit comment this morning: i use half whole wheat and half all purpose white flour; and rather than roll out dough and use a biscuit cutter, i make drop biscuits by just digging out a forkfull of dough and dropping (actually it requires pushing it off with your fingers) it on the baking sheet. The baked result ain’t so pretty, but with butter, butter and preserves, or butter and cinnamon & sugar tastes great.

    2. Dispatch from the MacMillan kitchen: You can use much less butter than the linked recipe calls for if you are worried about fat calories. Ms M uses 1/4 cup instead of 3/4 (and buttermilk instead of whole milk) and the results are still delicious. Of course that means I eat three (with cream cheese) instead of just two…

    3. And then from out of the depths of my childhood memories, I seem to remember a cartoon with a song, “Pass the Biscuits, Mirandy.” Of course, I found it on YT, but not as a cartoon but as a very short apparent wartime short. Further research would be needed on this.

  2. yesterday the Senate held a successful “test vote” against the Defense of Marriage Act. Republicans joined with some Dems!

    I found this a bit confusing. I think it should say “some Republicans joined with the Dems”.

    over at Five Thirty Eight, Nathanial Rakich tells us “Why Trump is favored to win the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary“.

    Yes, of the four US national elections in which I followed FiveThirtyEight, have got two somewhat wrong (Trump/Clinton and these mid terms). I’m not sure I would bet on what they think.

    As for the 100 mile world record attempt, they couldn’t do anything else because, what would they set the new record at? If Herron had run the extra 716 feet at her average speed, it would be 12 hours 42 minutes and 4 seconds but you can’t be sure,

      1. Just so it’s clear…Herron’s record is the women’s world record. The men’s record is held by Sorokin, whose record time is nearly 2 hours faster than Herron’s.

        and apologies for typos

    1. It’s very tough luck for Camille Herron, but at least she missed out on breaking a record she already holds. If her pace were extrapolated to give a predicted finish time, I guess that record would have an asterisk by it. My guess is that record lists will have an asterisk by her previous record and include this recent run in the footnotes, with a note that it was marginally short.

  3. Yes, the Donald announced yesterday that he’s gonna run for President again, and it was met not with a chorus of huzzahs, but with yawns. Here’s the NYT’s headline, buried deep on the front page in small print …

    That’s nothing compared to what Trump’s former ally Rupert Murdoch did to the Donald. Yesterday’s New York Post simply had a banner at the bottom of the front page saying: “FLORIDA MAN MAKES ANNOUNCEMENT Page 26″.

  4. Looks like the possum from the cartoon playing The Dead in the front yard could be part of the ensemble in a Playing for Change/Songs Around the World video:

  5. The great John Boehner was born on this day. Also on this day in 2018, John Allen Chau landed on North Sentinel Island to spread the good word. He was greeted in traditional fashion, with a body piercing 🙁

    1. Boehner will no doubt be kicking back with some wine and some weed having a laugh at Kevin McCarthy trying to manage his wingnut House caucus. It’ll be like watching a monkey trying to schtup a coconut.

    2. I guess the North Sentinelese have good reasons. It is difficult to find fault with their attitude. What happened to most of these island populations is not really edifying, to put it mildly, if they survived at all, that is (disease, genocide, alcoholism, religion, de facto slavery, prostitution, etc). I’m not sure the North Sentinelese are aware of all that, but I would not be surprised either if they actually are, if not in detail at least in a general sense.

  6. Now the interesting thing will be to see if Trump can spin out matters like his testimony before the January 6 Committee and the demand for his taxes until January. There are only about fifteen working days until this Congress ends.

    1. Trump pled his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination over 400 times during his deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by the NY AG’s office (something he earlier claimed only mobsters would do).

      Pace his posturing, none but a fool believed that Trump would ever testify before the J6 committee — any more than that he would testify during the Special Counsel’s investigation (something he promised he would “absolutely” do during a 2017 Q&A in the Rose Garden).

      Mendacity, hypocrisy, and cynicism, are all that remain to lash today’s Grand Old Party together.

  7. Oh, and people need to get over the idea that there are qualifications or fitness other than age, residency, or nationality for elected Federal offices. Like Fetterman, Boebert is “qualified” if more people vote for her than her opponent. We don’t have an aristocracy à la Plato’s (misnamed) republic.

    1. How do you mention Boobert in the same sentence as John Fetterman? For starts, by her own website, she never held public office before and has academic credentials that don’t extend beyond high school. Fetterman’s creds include Harvard and having been elected mayor and Lt Gov.

      1. If Boebert ends up keeping her House seat, there’s gonna be a waitress job at the Hooters knock-off in Rifle, CO left unfilled.

        A job she’s at least marginally qualified for.

  8. I’m not convinced at all these two missiles were Ukrainian and not Russian. We haven’t been shown any evidence, and Ukraine was not invited to participate in the investigation, despite requesting so. I find that suspicious.
    – Russian missiles are prone to go astray.
    – The longitude and latitude of the impact were very close to those of of Kyiv and Lviv respectively. A reading mistake, mixing up two lines?
    – Correct me if I’m wrong, but it is said that S 300 anti air missiles self-destruct when missing their target.
    – Ukraine appears to make very few mistakes in this war, Russia makes them conveyor belt style.
    – NATO is very keen not to engage Russia over this error (an error it is, regardless of whether a Ukrainian or Russian one). If it was Ukrainian, no arguing about article 4 (or even 5). And NATO is not keen on those. How convenient.
    These are the main reasons I’m not convinced (to put it mildly) they were Ukrainian missiles. Whichever way, it should urge the West (NATO) to provide even more efficient air defence systems to Ukraine

    1. Inviting Ukraine into the investigation but keeping Russia out would be seen by Putin as prejudicing the conclusion. Awkwardly, if the missiles had been Russian, Zelensky could not have been made to shut up about it. Poland is not at war with either Ukraine or Russia. I think the best we can say is that NATO is satisfied that Russia was not intending to make war on Poland and thus obligate a NATO response. Whether it was a Russian targeting error or a malfunction in the AA missiles that caused them to fall intact into Poland is not material. If it was a deliberate test by Putin to see what he could get away with (including trying to hit logistical targets close to the Polish border), we will probably never know. Poland has been induced by fact or by realpolitik to agree with the least inflammatory explanation. Score one for diplomacy by adults. Truth where it serves but “lies conveniently agreed to” where it doesn’t.

      1. AFAIK Russia did not request to be involved in the investigation, but Ukraine did. And since the blame appears to be put on Ukrainian missiles their request is legit, I’d say.
        If it was an attempt by Russia to test Polish air defence, there obviously still is some homework to be done.
        I don’t think that though, I still think it was 2 Russian rockets just going astray, as they are prone to do. The most parsimonious explanation.

    1. The fuck you say.

      I used to threaten to put my teenagers in the woodchipper with Buscemi when I’d wake up in the morning to find that they’d left the caps off the condiments or the peanut butter & jelly on the kitchen counter overnight. (They always got a big laugh out of that — guess I wasn’t much of a disciplinarian — but there’s no telling what kinda world of pain I’d be in if someone overheard it today and reported it to DCF.)

      1. Woodchipper🤣😹I was once supervising a high school math exam and we all heard what sounded like a pencil sharpener going on and on for about 10 minutes in the room next door. Since I couldn’t leave the little buggers unattended, I muttered “Must be a woodchipper.” About half the kids chuckled, and the other half looked at me as if I were crazy.🤓

    2. When I was eight, there was some sort of mix up and my friend and I somehow didn’t get a lift home at the end of a Cub Scout event one summer evening. We simply shrugged our shoulders and walked the two miles home, although my parents weren’t too happy about it.

      It’s over 40 years ago but I remember the incident quite well. So it was a surprise when I recently looked on google maps and realized that the two mile walk home was actually about half a mile!

    3. In second grade I would walk a mile to my elementary school each morning. But that was in 1967 and people tolerated risk more easily.

      She never should have talked to the police. This is a must-watch video if you have not seen it:

  9. I was a single parent for a time. Most of my colleagues where I worked as a maintenance electrician at a factory knew of my circumstances, and I would get asked who looked after my daughter during school holidays. I joked that I locked her in the cupboard under the stairs until I got home. A colleague approached me one day and said that there were plans afoot by some others to call the police and and have her welfare checked out. The reality was that my daughter had a huge network of relatives and friends and neighbours who all chipped in when needed.
    And I was deeply appreciative that my fellow workers took a real concern for her welfare, and I told them so.

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