Saturday, December 16, 2017

From Your Lips…

I’m really, really busy this weekend and have only made it half way through yesterday’s comments. But I see we got Jettie back for Christmas! To steal a Jettieism, KEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Get back on your pony and may all your cowgirl dreams come true.

cowgirl problems

And for sheer delight today I direct you to Thomas Lifson’s article, Coming attractions: How the biggest political scandal in history will play out in 2018.

A lot of frustration has been expressed – on these pages and elsewhere – over the slow pace of progress in unraveling the Deep State coup against Trump.  But "the process of uncovering the worst political scandal in American history," as I called it a couple of days ago, needs to be done the right way, or else it will founder under the waves of abuse that will pour from the media and political branches of the establishment.

He then lets Sundance (CTH) explain how the Inspector General is laying out his prosecutorial case, drip by drip.

Sundance lays out what I have been thinking of as a story arc, the broad picture of where this can be expected to develop, given the facts as we know them at the moment.  I am always conscious that President Trump is a master showman with a specialty in reality TV.  He thinks in terms of story arcs…

We should be hearing from the I.G. in the early part of next year, in time for this to start to unfold in TV prior to the November midterm elections.

Or as my dear Jewish friend was fond of saying, “from his lips to God’s ears.”

lips to ears-psalm--psalms

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Friday, December 15, 2017

FLOTUS Friday: Toy’s for Tot’s Edition

I know you hate it when I do this but I really think a “compare and contrast” might be in order to help us all be appropriately grateful for everything we have this Christmas season. So here goes: FLOTUS at the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Now: 

melania toys2melania toys

Screen Capture #016


toys 5toys for totstoys6Screen Capture #017

And then:


Michelle Obama Michelle Obama Helps Toys Tots x46F4vD17Urlsideburnsmo toys for tots 

mo and giant santa I don’t think I have to say anything more.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Modern Day Sins Are More “Inclusive”

Have you noticed how the word “misconduct” has become the go-to synonym for a lot of words that used to mean distinctly different things? For example:

Sexual assault/abuse has been rebranded as “sexual misconduct” in order to be more inclusive. The ramifications for any behavior along this newly established spectrum appears to be the same: immediate assumption of guilt and swift excommunication. Among the latest victims:

PBS is “indefinitely” suspending distribution of the late-night talk show “Tavis Smiley” after multiple misconduct allegations emerged against the show's 53-year-old host, PBS announced Wednesday.

Tavis Smiley excoriated PBS late Wednesday for suspending distribution of his long-running self-titled talk show, saying in a Facebook post that the network’s "so-called investigation" into his alleged misconduct had been “biased and sloppy.”

Oh the irony!

black kettle pot  racist

And then there’s “Supersize Me” impressario, Morgan Spurlock:

US documentary film-maker Morgan Spurlock has publicly confessed to a history of sexual misconduct, referring to himself as "part of the problem".

Yes, #YouToo.


Apparently fast food also turns you into a sexual predator

But sexual “misconduct” is not the only crime previously known as something else. Here’s a partial list of the rebranding effort:

  • Journalistic misconduct

This category apparently still does not include spiking all the news you determine NOT fit to print (e.g. NYT, Harvey Weinstein) but it may or may not include what used to be known simply as the conscious exclusion of pertinent facts with the intent of misleading the reader, “lying” and “making up your sources.” 

  • Political misconduct

At one time this category was a grab bag of bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement but now has been expanded to include election rigging and buying votes.

  • Prosecutorial misconduct

This category has been expanded  from withholding exculpatory evidence to manufacturing your own in order to nail a President you really, really don’t like.

The political contours and misconduct in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russian government

  • Scientific misconduct:

However, an expert group of Sweden’s Central Ethical Review Board, which was also tasked with vetting the study, concluded in April 2017 that Lönnstedt and Eklöv “have been guilty of scientific misconduct”…

In its decision, announced on 7 December, the board finds Lönnstedt guilty of having intentionally fabricated data; it alleges that Lönnstedt did not conduct the experiments during the period — and to the extent — described in the Science paper. - Nature

I remember when such behavior was known simply as “fraud.” So the next time you run into “misconduct” just remember that it could be a stand-in for any one of the 7 deadly sins.

7 deadly sinsLinked By: BlogsLucianneLoves, and Free Republic, Thanks!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Draining the Swamp: Nobody Said It Would Be Easy. Or Quick.

So Roy Moore lost. I can deal with it. But the take away lesson is that Trump’s political instincts are better than Steve Bannon’s. Remember, Trump supported Moore’s Republican opponent Luther Strange. Yes, he may have been an “establishment” Republican but I’ll bet he a) would have won and b) voted with the Trump agenda most if not all of the time.

So thanks, Steve Bannon, for helping us get Trump elected but maybe it’s time you give him a chance to drain the swamp his way. He’s already pulled the plug, but it’s going to take awhile to get rid of all the scum.

dirty water draining

So let’s not further muddy the waters, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

It might be time to pull a few more plugs and add a little biological warfare to the mix.

scum c;e

UPDATE: I very seldom do this – change my mind or update a post – but after reading Ann Coulter’s column (I know, I know; some of you hate her but when she’s right she’s right. And she’s always funny.) I’m willing to give Steve Bannon another chance. Her whole column in a tweet: “Bannon is the least culpable! Order of blame: 1) McConnell; 2) Kushner; 3) Trump [August 15: Primary - Mo Brooks killed by those 3 ganging up on him]; August 18: Bannon leaves the White House, backs best of bad options.”

Plus, she has a recommendation for President Trump: get back to the only issue that really matters - immigration “Now that he’s tried everything else, can’t Trump try the issue that won him the election? We want to get tired of winning.” Yes, yes we do. Read the whole thing.

Linked By: Larwyn’s Linx on Doug Ross@Journal, and BlogsLucianneLoves, and Free Republic, Thanks!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Another Croc Drops

Just over a month since #MeToo snagged celebrity chef John Besh, Mario Batali finds himself in the frying pan. TMZ reports:

Mario Batali is accused of "inappropriate touching" by 4 women -- 3 of them former employees -- and the allegation is forcing the celebrity chef to step away from his restaurant empire.

One of Batali's accusers called him "creepy" and said he gave "me this provocative, icky feeling." Other claims are he groped a woman's breasts, grabbed someone from behind and compelled her to straddle him.


Batali issued a statement saying “I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact match up with ways I have acted.”


The Celebrity Chef Club was shocked. Sunday, before Mario was even named, Anthony Bourdain, for example, pre-tweeted this pre-shock warning:

And believe you me, as a charter member of the Celebrity Chef Club, roaming CNN twit, and world famous author Tony knows a thing or two about “suck.”

LesHallesCookbook1_smallIgnore the source; this is one of the best bistro cookbooks. The cassoulet recipe is The. Best. Ever.

In Kitchen Confidential, Tony penned the definitive expose of his "twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine" and reports that your meal was likely prepared by a team of "wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts, and psychopaths." Apparently he wasn’t exaggerating.


Butt* I’m getting way off topic. Expect more alligators to slither out of the swamp and more crocs to drop. It’s quite possible that even Lady M was touched by this scandal.

mo mario crocks watermark copy*Show me your paws Batali! They better not be where I think they are.

Monday, Mario stepped away from the business venture he owns with Lidia and Joe Bastianich, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, which also now owns and operates Team-MOTUS’ favorite Big Apple eatery, Felidia.


And Mario’s Cacio e Pepe was going to be my next featured, favorite recipe:

It seems that ever since Anthony Weiner’s  wagon was pulled over for reckless driving the entire infotainment world has been consumed with an all-sex all-the-time feeding frenzy with the end game being a take down of our President. I think it’s probably a bad game plan, but hey MSM, you keep on trying, it’s mostly your own sausages that are frying.

Sausage-Necklace_mario bataliYou might want to rethink this look, sausage necklaces are sooo last administration

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Funeral Potatoes, Green Jell-O and Hoodoos

It’s Monday. It’s December. I believe that calls for recipes. I saw a couple of teases in the comments over the weekend, such as 3XLady’s pictures of Potato Candy – candy? With potatoes? We need a recipe! And MichellenotTHATone was bragging about making white chocolate popcorn – White. Chocolate. Popcorn.!! Recipe please!

For my part I want to harken back to our discussion on the November 21 ham and cheese sliders recipe post. Somebody commented that they are called “funeral sandwiches” in the South and I responded that in Utah the ubiquitous cheesy potato casserole was known as “funeral potatoes.” Behold, the very next day the Wall Street Journal ran a piece on just that delicacy: Utah’s Funeral Potatoes: A Classic Cheesy Casserole to Enjoy While You’re Still Alive. Due to their paywall I’ll post the pertinent parts:

I HAD NEVER heard of funeral potatoes before a chilly evening last year, when I sat down to dinner on the patio of Hell’s Backbone Grill. This idyllic farm-restaurant sits at the threshold of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, in the tiny town of Boulder, Utah. No one had died. But as Jennifer Castle, the restaurant’s co-owner and chef, served up tender half-moons of potato napped in cream and melted cheese, tears sprang to my eyes nevertheless.

hell's backbone grillThe patio at Hell’s Backbone Grill

In the cold, clear night, under a starry sky, we talked about the ways communities come together to observe rites of passage in this part of the country. Inevitably, there is a buffet….

In Boulder they do things a little differently. Only 250 people live in this town sewn like a cross-stitch into the billowing rock formations of south-central Utah. There’s Hell’s Backbone Grill; a gas station and store called Hills & Hollows Market; a motel; a gift shop; and not much else. When someone there dies, the whole town hears about it. When someone is born or gets married or moves away or sneezes, Boulderites know. And more often than not—when the moment is deemed sufficiently momentous—someone makes a hot casserole dish of funeral potatoes…

There are so many things one can do with potatoes, but in conjunction with cheese, cream and heat, the comfort factor goes through the roof. Little wonder, then, that funeral potatoes are considered crucial consolation and hold pride of place among Utah’s most iconic dishes, rivaled only by green Jell-O salad.

As an aside, green Jell-O is such an icon in Utah that the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics issued a highly prized Green Jell-O Pin. I managed to snag one.

olympic jello pin

Meanwhile, back at Hell’s Backbone:

Boulder’s town clerk, post office keeper and purveyor of fishing and hunting licenses, 72-year-old Judi Davis, told me the roots of the dish can be traced in the pages of Mormon Relief Society Cookbooks. Some of the greatest available repositories of American folk recipes, these self-published books have appeared regularly since the early 20th century, throughout the so-called Mormon Corridor running from Utah into Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona and California. Collections of family recipes, they’re put together by members of the Relief Society, the all-female auxiliary of the Church of Latter Day Saints founded 175 years ago. Among the group’s many duties—in addition to teaching food preservation and essential crafts such as quilting—providing sustenance at funerals ranks high.

There’s more, but those are the most important parts, along with recipes for the traditional style made with frozen hash browns:

Keri Venuti’s Funeral Potatoes

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour SERVES: 6-8

  • 1 (30-ounce) package frozen shredded hash-brown potatoes
  • 9 tablespoons butter
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 3 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 (10½-ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set out hash browns until thawed slightly.

2. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. (Alternatively, melt remaining butter in a heatproof bowl in microwave). In a medium bowl, combine melted butter with cornflakes.

4. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, remaining butter and cream of chicken soup. Add salt, onions, grated cheese and hash browns, and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

5. Top casserole with corn flake mixture. Bake until crisp on top, 45-55 minutes.

—Adapted from Keri Venuti, Boulder, Utah

Along with an indigenous Southern Utah version for all you Hatch chile heads:

Hell’s Backbone Grill Green Chile Funeral Potatoes

Active Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1 ½ hours Serves: 6-8

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut into half moons ¼-inch thick
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into half moons ¼-inch thick
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup canned diced roasted green chiles
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with butter and garlic clove.

2. In a small saucepan, gently warm cream over medium heat. Remove from heat. Shingle a third of the potatoes, alternating between Yukon Gold and russet pieces, on the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ⅓ cup chiles and ⅔ cup warmed cream. Repeat with another third of the potatoes, salt, pepper, chiles and cream. Shingle remaining potatoes, remaining chiles and top with remaining cream. Top layer of potatoes should be poking through the cream so they can crisp in oven. Sprinkle remaining salt and ground black pepper over top.

3. Cover baking dish with foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes. Carefully remove foil and sprinkle cheese evenly over casserole. Continue baking until cheese is melted and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

—Adapted from “This Immeasurable Place: Food and Farming From the Edge of Wilderness” (December 2017) by Jennifer Castle and Blake Spalding, Hell’s Backbone Grill, Boulder, Utah

Unrelated to funeral potatoes of any sort: the Grand Staircase Escalante that the author refers to is one of Southern Utah’s many National Parks. It’s not the easiest to navigate but contains some of the most memorable rock formations you will find anywhere, like “the wave,”


and these toadstool hoodoos.512495588Rock on! Only 2 weeks before Christmas!

UPDATE: Raj just found this link to the NAUVOO MERCANTILE where he purchased, downloaded and pre-Christmas gifted to moi, the Mormon Relief Society Cookbook-1930. Raj used Paypal and got an instant pdf download and completed his Christmas shopping for only one buck ($1.00)!

relief society cook book mormon lds pioneer deseret lion house

The site reports it is a 72 hour sale. I don’t know when it started, but Raj scored this morning.

Linked By: Larwyn’s Linx on Doug Ross@Journal, and BlogsLucianneLoves, and Free Republic, Thanks!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Shed at Dulwich, a Parable For the Punked

Oobah Butler almost single-handedly pulled off the best punk of the year: London’s top-rated restaurant on TripAdvisor doesn’t exist. 

“One day, sitting in the shed I live in, I had a revelation: within the current climate of misinformation, and society’s willingness to believe absolute bulls–t, maybe a fake restaurant is possible? Maybe it’s exactly the kind of place that could be a hit?”

“In that moment, it became my mission. With the help of fake reviews, mystique, and nonsense, I was going to do it: turn my shed into London’s top-rated restaurant on TripAdvisor.”

And so the “The Shed at Dulwich” was born, an exclusive eatery with just a street name for an address, that was almost always fully booked when you called to make a reservation. – NYPost

Butler, a contract writer who once got paid to write favorable reviews for restaurants he may or may not have eaten at, started “setting up” his fake restaurant just last April.

171207-shed-turned-top-restaurant-12Butler setting up his new restaurant, the Shed at Dulwich

By November the fake “Shed at Dulwich” had become London’s top-rated restaurant on Trip Advisor.

Powered only by hype and mystique, The Shed continued to rise up the ranks of TripAdvisor. On November 1, something incredible happened: Butler’s bogus establishment had been crowned London’s number one restaurant one the site — without ever having had a paying customer. – NYPost

See how easy it is? A little lie, some crafty artifice,


and a whole lot of hype and pretty soon you’ve got yourself a hit. Even if the cookie jar is empty, so to speak.

russian collusionAs for The Shed at Dulwich – it’s become a victim of it’s own success. It has become so popular that nobody goes there any more (h/t Yogi). Which is just as well, since I understand you still can’t get a reservation. The moral of this most excellent hoax?

The story has by now traveled around the globe and back, after Butler wrote a piece that exposed the ruse on Vice. It has been hailed as an incredible feat. But in an era increasingly influenced by disinformation online, it also has served as another reminder of the ease with which pranksters and other dishonest actors are able to manipulate online platforms to sometimes unthinkable results. - WaPo

brian rossWhen journalists become advocates rather than reporters, we’ve all been punked.

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