Since D.C. missed the worst of the actual snowstorm, there will be plenty of energy for today’s BS-blizzard. Here’s Loretta Lynch’s bio, from a wide-ranging Washington Post report:
… The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin two days of confirmation hearings Wednesday on the first African American woman nominated to be attorney general.
If confirmed, Lynch, 55, will be the first U.S. attorney to become attorney general in modern history. (The last one was William Wirt, who was attorney general under President James Monroe in 1817.) From her office in Brooklyn, where she supervises 170 lawyers, she would be moving to Washington to oversee 116,000 full-time employees, a $27 billion budget and a department that is often a lightning rod on Capitol Hill…
Lynch is poised to take the job at a moment of high tension between law enforcement and minority communities across the country, with the Justice Department assuming a prominent role in investigating allegations of civil rights violations and excessive use of force by some police departments.
“She will face an exceptional amount of her time responding to Congress,” said Robert Raben, a consultant and the former assistant attorney general for legislative affairs in the Clinton administration. “And a big chunk of the time is partisan and political shenanigans. With the complete control of Congress by another party, there’s maximum possibility that there’s going to be an onslaught of oversight to tie up the leadership of the department and humiliate the president.”…
Dave Weigel, at Bloomberg Politics, describes the drum majors that will lead today’s ‘onslaught of oversight’:
If you don’t count the Republican members of Congress, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder has no more determined critic than Sheryl Attkisson. The investigative reporter, who left CBS News last year and now contributes to the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, spent years investigating the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal…
… Attkisson will lead the expert testimony on Holder’s likely replacement. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley took control of after the Republicans’ 2014 wins, has called Attkisson to speak on a panel of witnesses after nominee Loretta Lynch is introduced….
Putting ‘expert testimony’ and ‘Senator Chuck Grassley’ in the same paragraph is what gaming observers call a tell. Also on that panel: the president of True the Vote; a Milwaukee County sheriff re-elected with the backing of the NRA; and Jonathan Turley, the law professor who called Holder President Obama’s “sin eater”.
Clues to the less risible lines of attack, I’m guessing:
Raw Story: “Obama AG nominee Loretta Lynch quietly dropped $450,000 civil forfeiture case a week before hearings”
International Business Times: “Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch Omitted HSBC Interview From Senate Questionnaire” (Questions about Lynch’s attitude towards Holder’s “too big to jail” legal theory have been raised since her nomination last November.)
Apart from watching the judicial circus and/or cleaning up after the snow, what’s on the agenda for the day?
Attkisson is an anti-vaxxer too, IIRC.
it’s wed nest day so the agenda is meetings. and then we’ll have a meeting to discuss the meetings. then we’ll have a meeting to discuss why productivity is so low on wed nest day.
55 and sunshine, so I guess I’ll enjoy the weather to start with. As long as I am going to do that I might as well prune the fruit trees, work some more on the chicken coop, maybe clean up this years potato bed.
“We will continue to have these day-long productivity meetings until someone can explain to me why no work s getting done”
The crew is hooking up our waste line today. There is no way to do it other than to put the 4 inch pipe so that it is under the slab that will be poured for the addition so that’s what we’ll go with. After that our rental will be hooked up and then they have to repave the street. We’re gettin there!
If you’re in meetings all day, who’s putting together the PowerPoint presentation on the decline in productivity?
Just Some Fuckhead
I had to read that 12 times to understand it. It’s too early for this shit.
Be sure to live blog the first celebratory dump!
Here’s what it looks like between the houses.
@raven: Nothing like heavy equipment in tight places! I get nervous just looking at that.
@Baud: My toilet is stopped up again, time to call the landlord again. A few years ago, I said I’d never wear a watch again. I got a new Android Wear watch, I love it.
This is the crack of dawn for me. Woke up at 6! Adding caffeine before lots mohr shoveling and trying to flag down a plow guy. (My regular guy blew his transmission, he says).
Perusing the Villager Daily…what to my wondering eyes should appear but a column by Kathleen Parker titled “Sacrificing Sarah Palin” with the subhead “The GOP used her, then tossed her aside”. In said column, La Palin is painted as a victim – of the GOP war on women. Evidently the pain of watching Our Sarah generating word salad at a record rate in Iowa this past weekend was just…too much for Kathleen to bear. Sarah Palin as a victim of anything other than her own delusions, I ask you. How Parker gets to victimhood after six years of total grifterhood is beyond my grasp, but it must make sense in Villager terms.
So the Lindsey Grahams of Europe have their collective panties in a bunch after the Charlie Hebdo attacks and want a “European counter-terror plan involves blanket collection of passengers’ data”. Correct me if I am wrong, but weren’t they already aware of those 3 jack a$$es? How is spending butt loads of money and hundreds of thousands of hours tracking people who have nothing at all to do with terrorism going to help European security track the ones they already know of who do have connections to terrorists?
Don’t just do something, sit there.
@tybee: When we had a consulting firm to guide the district on our new ERP software development, we had a meeting to plan to have a meeting that would establish our meeting procedure. I had to develop an agenda, distribute it, and then after the meeting, write up a meeting report. The meeting itself lasted fifteen minutes.
Two weeks later we fired the consulting firm, then we had a meeting to decide what to do next.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@OzarkHillbilly: I wish I had pics of a friend’s driveway with a cement mixer carefully positioned between the brick retaining wall and the brick fence.
They had a whole four inches of clearance*!
URGENT NEED. Smiling Dog Farms in Texas is looking for two drivers in the AZ, NM area to get two dogs to new homes. If anyone can help, I can get them pertinent information. Email to pekoepetatyahoodotcom.
@OzarkHillbilly: /Jealous Sigh in my way out to attack the drift in front of my car.
Where’s all the snow?
Going back out to shovel now.
@tybee: I once worked at a place where I joked we used to have a meeting to talk about a meeting to hold a meeting. And what is scary is it is true. I couldn’t believe I was met with resistance when I asked for an agenda beforehand. That we could review and give input. Then we’d follow it in the meeting. Get in get out.
Meetings are a plague, but they do occasionally have redeeming moments. I once showed up at a meeting a couple of minutes early; said meeting had been called by my boss, who was nowhere in evidence. Attendees were (supposed to be) the CEO of the company, a couple of executive vice presidents, my boss, and me. I had a number of issues with my guy, one of which was his attitude that his time was more important than anyone else’s. Kind of guy who would show up at your desk at quarter til five on Thursday and say “I just need these few little changes by nine tomorrow morning”, which invariably meant a complete rewrite so it was written the way he would write it…no matter how many pains had been taken to avoid that exact scenario. Wouldn’t partake of the soup until he’d pissed in it, no matter what.
Anyway, the CEO inquires as to the boss’s whereabouts after five minutes or so of conversation. I had no idea and said so, since he’d been on the phone with his stockbroker or something when I left our area to come to the meeting. Twenty minutes or so go by and things were starting to get uncomfortable – after all, the tardy party is my boss and given their salaries it’s costing about fifty dollars a minute to have these other three guys sitting there. My boss finally breezes into the meeting and greets everyone and starts right into the agenda…and the CEO says stop – before you get started, I need to tell you don’t do this again, don’t schedule a meeting and keep us all sitting, you just wasted a lot of valuable senior management time. At which point I was ready to crawl under the table in embarrassment for the guy, even though I wasn’t particularly fond of him and he deserved every word of it. I’d never before or since seen someone at that level publicly (more or less) reprimanded in front of his peers, much less one of his own subordinates. I’d always thought that one of the ‘rules’ was that if you are going to ‘counsel’ a subordinate, you do it in private.
Naturally, after the whole catastrophe was over it made my day. Actually it made my month.
I was curious about those new smart watches. I’ll probably hold out a little longer before getting one.
@danielx: Wow, and I’ll bet your guy’s mid-year evaluation was, as the kids say, AWKward.
@Mustang Bobby: And of course they billed you those hours. I worked at basically consulting firms and it was always the case there were endless meetings where to be frank seemed to me like we were just padding our billable hours. And of course this was on purpose because our salary, titles, and bonuses were directly tied to how many hours we were able to bill.
Iowa Old Lady
I go to an old lady aerobics class at the Y on MWF mornings. After that, the day looks better. I’ll revise a new book. I like revising much more than drafting.
I think it depends on how far up the totem pole the subordinate is. Sometimes the flogging needs to be public so that the minions know all are accountable.
Just Some Fuckhead
Meetings are the glorious battles of business where one distinguishes oneself on the field of glory with grave head nods, furious note taking, brief stares of thoughtful reflectivity and sagacious but brief input. Careers are made or broken in business meetings. Learn how to do meetings and you will control your little part of the universe.
@BillinGlendaleCA: I still haven’t upgraded my RAZR M yet but I saw that the Wear syncs with the moto x and droid turbo, so howzit making your life easier?
My day looks terrrible. I have to (1) Debate (insert argue) with a client that seems to have spent 15 minutes on Google and thinks she is a web design expert. I am all open to not knowing everything about my professional, because I don’t, but the person to talk down to me and clearly have NO clue what she is talking about is not something I enjoy. But I hate to turn down a client that is referred to me from another client. (2) Explain to another client that I provide very detailed estimates for a reason. To protect us both. Manage expectations. What you are asking for is clearly so outside the estimate you approved and you are not willing to pay me the additional fees for the work you now want done. Yelling at me via email about this and not returning my phone calls is not productive.
I hate to bitch because rarely do these two things happen, but my gosh I hate dealing with it even in rare occurrences.
True. Makes me glad my time in the corporate world is over, though, even if I’m a lot poorer.
It’s like blogs in real life.
@raven: Sounds good. One piece at a time and it gets done.
@Tommy: The district fired the consulting firm thanks to an out clause in the contract. We hired our own, we brought the project on time and under budget. We still tell horror stories about the consultant’s management team; I used to see one at Starbucks on the way to work and was very comforted to see that she wasn’t swallowing rodents whole.
HerrDoktor is clearing the driveway cap as we speak (clearly it’s lighter than the one from Nemo 2 years ago). I’ll be out later to finish clearling the front steps and path to the neighbor’s driveway (for the Postman, FedEx, UPS, etc.). Then we’re headed up the hill to sled. As I write, WarriorGirl is stationed in my bed watching a “How It’s Made” marathon and looking out my window at her dad shoveling.
We’ve got 1-3 inches due Friday and another foot on Monday. And no melt in between.
Our storm sewer grate is plow-covered (I probably won’t get to that until tomorrow, alas), and so is the hydrant across the street.
And the French Toast Alert is down to High (from Severe). I need breakfast…
@Tommy: How did it go with the client you told “it’s best that you move on” when she said she couldn’t be bothered with hearing about your suggestions for her project you were working on?
I’m going to start a new political party called the snow is too damn high! I am going to win all the elections-today anyway. What the heck do plow drivers put in the snow to make it so difficult to shovel? It’s like they mix the snow with some sort of instant concrete mix.
I once sat through a meeting held to discuss when to hold a meeting. It was like Kafka all over again.
@danielx: Yeah, unfortunately, not many bosses agree with me. Why my stints in the corporate world were blessedly brief.
Isn’t that what the overnighter is for?
@Mike E: It is the same lady. She is basically stiff-arming me that if I won’t do the work for her, for the price she wants, she’ll go screaming to the individual that referred her to me and say he shouldn’t be working with somebody like me. I am about 99% sure my four year relationship is far strong than her couple of weeks relationship with the guy, but honestly I take great pride in making clients happy.
It gets more complex, but I basically developed a templated WordPress site with pricing for his clients. A fraction of what I’d normally charge, but the content would all be the same. I’d do the hosting. A couple custom pages. Their logo. Their contact info. Really basic stuff.
My client told her I’d do it for the price we agreed upon, but totally misrepresented some of the clear restrictions he has in writing, email, and given over the phone.
It is all just a cluster f.
Sometimes meetings can be fun. I was in a senior exec meeting with the company President the other day, and he was snarking at me that I wasn’t staying on topic: “all over the place, it’s like talking to my wife.”
I said, “I’m making intuitive leaps. Try to keep up.” To the President of the company in front of my colleagues and subordinates.
Wheeee, that second or two while I wait to see if I’m hilarious or fired is a big rush, let me tell you!
@danielx: In defense of Parker, she does question Sarah’s judgment
Sarah wasn’t interested in the hard work required to fill in the gaps of her knowledge. Some girls just wanna have fun.
@Elmo: And they can in fact be productive. I almost never meet my clients face-to-face. I often ask for 10 minute phone meeting because I do find that email communication can be lacking. Just like here often there might be agreement but people read something else into a comment. Or on the phone if they don’t understand they can ask for more info.
I find time and time again a few minute conversation can serve better than rapid fire emails back and forth. But I try to do this as rarely as possible and hour long meetings, I avoid then at all costs, but sometimes clients seem to “enjoy” them and it becomes a cost of doing business.
@JPL: I often find myself playing the “what if” game:
What if McCain had won in ’08? Let’s say Rove manipulated some diebolds, or some ratf**krs cooked up a swiftboat scheme that scared enough undecideds away. Okay. McCain wins. Sarah is VP.
One year into his term, he has a heart attack. Sarah Palin is now POTUS.
What exactly would it have been like? I try to wrap my head around it. Would a shadow government run things for her, while she gave inspirational speeches? Would GOP operatives disguised as journalists (Jon Karl, etc) cover for her and hide the gaffes?
@Buddy H: I am going to be positive. Yes the POTUS is important. Who they appoint even more important. But I think the work of government is done by civil service people who we won’t ever know their names. As much as somebody like Palin might try to drive the government into a ditch I have faith others won’t let it happen!
@Buddy H: During a time when our troops are overseas, you can’t mock the gaffes. That’s how it played out during the Bush administration. Sarah’s ego is so big, that she might not allow a shadow government. Scary stuff. McCain knew early on that she was a mess but chose to keep her. Of course, if he forced her off the ticket, he’d lose.
@Tommy: You don’t work with the gov’t much, do you? ;-)
@OzarkHillbilly: Of course not. Dad did. When I lived in DC many of my friends did.* I just think the day to day working of most agencies are not conducted by the people you see on TV. I also think many people don’t realize they have made it their living, career, some would say lives work to be employed at the EPA or State Department. Or any other agency.
*Yes I am therefore biased ….
@JPL: Yeah, and ol’ gramps wanted to push the pause button during the’08 campaign, thinking that’s how his remote control worked. Heh.
It doesn’t seem like she is concerned about knowledge gaps and that is the problem. Incurious is not a good quality in a potential head of state.
@MomSense: It is sad. I was raised in a family where you were not allowed to be “stupid.” Parents would pay for all your education. If you wanted to learn about something here is a book. Read it. I can not wrap my mind around not knowing stuff. I just can’t.
@Tommy: Sarcasm is wasted on some people ;-)
@OzarkHillbilly: Wasted on me. Sorry.
@Tommy: Forgetting how many positions used to be filled by GS-whatever slots that are now being filled by contract companies (cough Edward Snowden cough).
HerrDoktor and I came to the conclusion 20 years ago that a security clearance was not something either of us could afford. I did (and will do again) contract work that involves no clearances, but otherwise, we’ll all be happier if I’m working for someone else.
I feel your pain with your client; it’s probably time to talk to the referring client to see if there’s a backstory on this character. You’re almost certainly coming close to the “this costs more than I can make off the project, time to shut down” point. Been there, done that, burned some bridges in consequence.
@Tommy: No apologies necessary.
Let’s not bring reality into the meeting. It spoils the buzz.
Since it’s an open thread, I’m going to put this out there because we’re all fans of pet rescue
It’s a marketing test for the spay neuter group I volunteer for. We only need 3 more shirts bought to run the design.
@danielx: Me too, and I’m REALLY a lot poorer. But I just keep plugging away at other stuff, because I’m not starving yet and I can’t bear the thought of going back.
@Baud: That is almost every corporate IT client I ever interacted with. They ran their business into the ground, it got outsourced, and then they still want to not follow the advice of the experts they hire to run it successfully.
Yep, happy to be out of that, I’m gonna live years longer.
Once had a meeting scheduled by the CEO, with my boss and myself. CEO and I show up, boss doesn’t. CEO asks me where is boss? My answer, “He doesn’t work for me, and he doesn’t tell me his whereabouts. I have no idea.” Didn’t add that he probably was at the local watering hole at 10am getting fortified for the rest of the day, to be spent doing the same thing. In retrospect, that’s exactly what I should have said.
@MomSense: I just got back inside 10 minutes ago. You still working off and on? I was out there for about 2 & 3/4 hours I think. Thank goodness one of my neighbors’ ex had a plow or I’d still be out there. I may have to do some more clean up later. The end of the driveway is all snow ruts.
/tiny violin… It will be interesting to see how much damage I did to my back later today.
I’m sure congress will throw all kinds of petty nuisances in her way, like they have Eric Holder. I’m sure she will give them the middle finger and continue to do her job, like Eric Holder. It’s not like they have actual power over the Attorney General, and Obama has to be factoring this into his selection process.
As for today’s plans, I’d like to get started on the third book. A lot will depend on how much emotional support my best friend needs. She put her cat to sleep yesterday, and she REALLY loved that cat.
They did use her and toss her aside. She is a victim of the GOP War on Women, where they picked a vacuous dimbulb bitch because that’s what ‘strong woman’ means to them. It’s rather like Eastwood’s empty chair. At the same time, she walked into this with open arms, grabbing every dollar she could because they handed her the biggest grift in America without her having to work for it. It was her dream come true.
I’ll take ‘shadow government.’ Figure A: Reagan’s government when his Alzhheimers bit.
My husband spent two hours digging out the plow-cap on the driveway; he said more than half of the cap was compacted enough to make igloo blocks.
I made the french toast for the masses (being myself, HerrDoktor, and WarriorGirl), and as soon as I finish my coffee, I’m going to finish shoveling the steps and sidewalk in the front of the house.
Jeebus, it’s cold and sunny here. I’m going to grab my sunglasses so I don’t go snowblind.
We started last night around midnight and had to work off an on until about 10 am. I’m on the southwest corner of our little cul de sac–so all the snow was mine! The driveway is like a snow sculpture hotel for cars.
Whoah, that’s a lot guys. Enjoy the French toast and brunch etc. I have a cinnamon babka, maybe I’ll make french toast from a slice later. (I usually just toast it and add cream cheese, because everything tastes better with cream cheese, amirite?)
I was out there during the storm yesterday around noon for about 2 hours. I wore aviator sunglasses with less tint on the bottom or I would have been blind too. With some help from upstairs neighbor, cleared the worst of the drifts from the porch, thus making a path through the stairs to the driveway. I dug out part of the drift that ate the back of my car all the way to the pavement so the exhaust was clear. This AM that meant I could get my car dug out fast enough to move it once the plow guy broke through from the street. It’s over doing more melting in the public parking right now.
The snow on one side of the driveway is now over my head; on the other side it’s against the house next door and just slumps down if I try to pile it up more. I can’t even clear the stairs completely because there is nowhere else to move the snow nearby and my arms and back can’t take anymore carrying it back up the stairs to toss it into the yard right now. I wouldn’t want to live outside of this area, but this kind of snow makes me dream of covered parking in an apartment complex. /NE blues
Mnemosyne (iPad Mini)
Ed Catmull of Pixar Animation Studios tells a story about when Steve Jobs was getting ready to buy the Pixar unit from Lucasfilm (who owned them at the time). The Lucasfilm exec told Catmull that he was going to be late to the meeting on purpose, because that’s how you control the meeting. But when the start time arrived, Jobs said, “Okay, let’s get started” and the Lucasfilm guy walked in on a meeting in progress that Jobs was totally in control of.
Mike in NC
@JPL: Kathleen Parker, the Conservative Mean Girl!
JR in WV
@raven: At least the Escavator Operator looks like he really knows what he’s doing!
Around here Escavator Operators pronounce excavator as escavator, and look at you funny if you pronounce it correctly. So I just slur it some and try to hit the middle… mostly they still look at me funny. Which is really funny ’cause I do operate them myself somewhat.
Do they pronounce it like that on your job, Raven?
@Tenar Darell: My sympathies.
I got diverted to clearing off the cars (or one sedan and one minivan) and digging out the fence side of the sedan.
The uphill side of our driveway is piled to about 6 1/2 feet (I will NOT be adding to that); the downhill is to about 4, so that’s where I put the stuff from underneath the wheel tracks. The rest goes over the fence and into the garden, where it will nourish the plants.
I shoveled about 20″ yesterday off of the front steps; there’s about an inch of additional accumulation plus a 12 foot path to the neighbor’s driveway. We’re both the last house on the block and the postal route turnaround, so I probably won’t get the sidewalk cleared all the way around to our driveway before tomorrow.
@JR in WV: Huh. Maybe WV contractors think the machines are named after this guy.
@FlyingToaster: Holy God, you people’s stories are reminding me of life in Nebraska. The weekend we moved (17 years ago) it snowed 18″, windchill around 20 below.
Now, life here in S. NV isn’t perfect, but I spent yesterday planting herbs & transplanting cacti on my patio. It was very relaxing.