July 31, 2017

Overnight Open Thread (07-31-2017)
— Open Blogger

debbi does pakistan.png

Courtesy of ZombiesWithCoffee
[Hat Tip: Skip]
He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
-- Winston Churchill
A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that 'individuality' is the key to success.
-- Robert Orben
I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying 'flee at once - all is discovered.' They all left town immediately.
-- Mark Twain
If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?
-- William Shakespeare more...

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Eric Cantor: You Know, I Never Believed We Could or Would Repeal Obamacare; But You Gotta Channel That "Anger" in the Public to Advance Your Career
— Ace

Over at PJ Media's Hot Mic, there's a post about Trump selling out and surrounding himself with Democrats.

Fair enough. But Steven Green points out there's a lot of selling out to Democrats going on, right in the GOP itself.

I notice a certain kind of Republican likes to list Trump heresies while giving a lot of excuses and wiggle room to the sell-outs of the GOP Establishment.

Remember the summer of 2013, when the “Defund Obamacare Tour” drove the news cycle all through Congress’s August recess? The town halls organized by the political arm of the Heritage Foundation enlivened the base and furthered what had been the GOP’s core message since 2010—that Obamacare was bad and, if Americans helped Republicans hold both chambers, it could be repealed.

Cantor helped create that perception. Earlier that summer—after many failed attempts over the years to shred the law piecemeal—Cantor promised colleagues that the House would vote on a “full repeal.” But even after it did, the measure was dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate...

Asked if he feels partly responsible for [the now-in-power GOP Congress'] current predicament, Cantor is unequivocal. “Oh,” he says, “100 percent.”

He goes further: “To give the impression that if Republicans were in control of the House and Senate, that we could do that when Obama was still in office . . . .” His voice trails off and he shakes his head. “I never believed it.”

He says he wasn’t the only one aware of the charade: “We sort of all got what was going on, that there was this disconnect in terms of communication, because no one wanted to take the time out in the general public to even think about ‘Wait a minute—that can’t happen.’ ” But, he adds, “if you’ve got that anger working for you, you’re gonna let it be.”

It’s a stunning admission from a former member of the party leadership—that the linchpin of GOP electoral strategy for the better part of a decade was a fantasy, a flame continually fanned solely because, when it came to midterm elections, it worked.

I don't mind criticisms of Trump from the right -- I mean, criticisms about his deviations from conservative orthodoxy designed to push him more to the right.

However, people like the Weekly Standard's Jonathan V. Last have taken to claiming that the failure of the "conservative" Senate to repeal Obamacare is Trump's fault -- for not persuading them of what they claimed to ardently believed for four election cycles running.

And yet people like him will smugly insist upon his own holy devotion to "principle," while making excuses for #FakeNewsRepublicans' own massive deviations from those same "principles."

There's an awful lot of posturing among some Republican leaders, both in Congress and in messaging institutions -- many of whom are much, much more liberal than the party base -- about being #MoreConservativeThanThou, when in fact they're arguing for a much more liberal Republican party but are continuing with the dishonest game of agitating on behalf of more liberal policy while claiming to be zealously fighting for True Conservative Principles.

Don't believe me? Ask them where they stand on transgenders in the military.

They will attempt to dodge the question by talking up process issues -- "Oh, Trump shouldn't have announced it on Twitter," "Trump should have gotten his people on board," "Trump should have waited for the military's review."

Shut them down on that bullshit -- those are valid points but they're being deployed like aluminum chaff to keep the missile from hitting.

Insist they answer the substantive question of whether or not the military should begin recruiting transgenders.

I'll bet you they continue to offer up procedural diversions even after you tell them you're not interested in an answer about procedure, but are demanding an answer on the core substantive issue.

They're liberals on many, many issues, but like pretending to be TruCons.

Just like their fellow traveler Eric Cantor.

Posted by: Ace at 02:34 PM | Comments (533)
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JK Rowling Tweet About Trump Refusing to Shake Hand of Little Boy Gets 76,000 Retweets; Boy's Mother Asks Her to Correct Lie; JK Rowling Refuses
— Ace

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.' - Maya Angelou https://t.co/Op6HUrRo80
J.K. Rowling

Note that the tweet she includes is about Trump allegedly snubbing this boy, but it's no longer available -- apparently the original writer has delected it. Because it's a lie and all.

But JK Rowling keeps on keeping on.

How stunning, and how horrible, that Trump cannot bring himself to shake the hand of a small boy who only wanted to touch the President.
J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling)

Neither the boy's mother, nor journalists tweeting to JK Rowling to take down her lie, can get her to budge on it.

The Federalist has a good article on the left's bizarre elevation of this Young Adult writer (who can apparently only write one book) to leader of the Adult Babies.

Update: Now that Politifact has rated JK Rowling's tweet as pants-on-fire #FakeNews, she's finally deleted them.

Originally I included links to her tweets but now I just have up the text she included in them, as she's finally deleted them.

Posted by: Ace at 01:15 PM | Comments (353)
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Andy McCarthy: If You Think the Imran Awan Investigation Is About Bank Fraud, You're Wrong.
It's About Islamophobia.

— Ace

Just kidding. Andy McCarthy does mention "Islamophobia," but only to mock Democrat defenders of the Awan clan (why do these shabby swindlers have so many Democrat defenders?) going immediately to the "Islamophobia" card to trump genuine questions about why this very sketchy group of foreign swindlers was granted root access to Democrat secured networks, and paid such enormous amounts of money on top of that.

There's too much great stuff here to properly excerpt, but here's a few bits and bobs.

This is not about bank fraud. The Awan family swindles are plentiful, but they are just window-dressing. This appears to be a real conspiracy, aimed at undermining American national security.

At the time of his arrest, the 37-year-old Imran Awan had been working for Democrats as an information technologist for 13 years. He started out with Representative Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.) in 2004. The next year, he landed on the staff of Wasserman Schultz, who had just been elected to the House.

Congressional-staff salaries are modest, in the $40,000 range. For some reason, Awan was paid about four times as much. He also managed to get his wife, Alvi, on the House payroll . . . then his brother, Abid Awan . . . then Abid’s wife, Natalia Sova. The youngest of the clan, Awan’s brother Jamal, came on board in 2014 -- the then-20-year-old commanding an annual salary of $160,000.

A few of these arrangements appear to have been sinecures: While some Awans were rarely seen around the office, we now know they were engaged in extensive financial shenanigans away from the Capitol.

Nevertheless, the Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak, who has been all over this story, reports that, for their IT "work," the Pakistani family has reeled in $4 million from U.S. taxpayers since 2009. That’s just the "legit" dough. T

he family business evidently dabbles in procurement fraud, too. The Capitol Police and FBI are exploring widespread double-billing for computers, other communication devices, and related equipment. Why were they paid so much for doing so little?

Intriguing as it is, that’s a side issue. A more pressing question is: Why were they given access to highly sensitive government information?

I can't quote the rest, but he then starts digging into the specifics of how much access to national security information this crew was granted, the swindles they conducted on the side (with Democrats not too fussed about it, I guess), and Democrats' bizarre loyalty to them -- the wife that fled to Pakistan was only fired by Greg Meeks five days before getting out of dodge, and Imran was on Debbie Wasserman-Schultz' payroll until after the FBI arrested his ass at Dulles International airport.

Posted by: Ace at 11:37 AM | Comments (460)
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Trump Fires Scaramucci/
Press Conference Thread

— Ace


Update: The official statement said that Trump wanted to give his new Chief of Staff a "clean state," but CNN is claiming that John Kelly wanted Scaramucci out. Who knows, maybe he insisted on that as a price of taking the job.

So, the rumors I hear, which are just rumors and I have no idea if any of this is true, is that Jared and Ivanka wanted Scaramucci in. Their plan was that Scaramucci would be part of some palace jockeying to get Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon out.

They got the first half of that, but Bannon stayed. Now their pick for Comms Director is also fired.

It's a strange thing that Reince and Steve Bannon were (per this rumors) allies, but I guess maybe they were tactical allies just against the Jared/Ivanka wing.

At any rate, while I wasn't a fan of Priebus, I'm even less of a fan of the Jared/Ivanka liberal wing.

Press Conference: Livestream here. So far, McMasters and Mnuchin have each taken a turn to denounce the auto-gulpe in Venezuela and announce personal sanctions on the dictator Maduro, freezing his personal assets in the US, and threatening to impose similar sanctions on anyone assisting in the coup against democracy.

They did not (unless I missed it) announce the US would embargo all Venezuela oil.

Update: No, I didn't miss it; they did not announce any embargo of our oil to Venezuela (do we have to refine it for them?) or any of Venezuela's to the US. They did allow they would "monitor" the situation and left the Oil Card on the table, but it sounds like they don't want to do it.

Posted by: Ace at 09:59 AM | Comments (598)
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Shock: Same Media Outlets That Pushed Fusion GPS' "Research" to the Public Now Covering Up Fusion GPS' Work on Behalf of Mother Russia
— Ace

As a well-informed military intel friend says: "It's an op. It was an op from the start."

The NYT, WaPo and CNN have all appeared disinterested in digging into Fusion GPS' shady ties. The three outlets have combined for zero articles mentioning Fusion GPS since Browder’s testimony, despite the explosive allegations contained within it.

The only mention of Fusion GPS on CNN after Browder's testimony on Thursday (and in the days since) came from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who went out of his way in an interview Thursday morning to stress the seriousness of the matter, despite CNN asking zero questions about Fusion GPS.

"Fusion GPS was on the payroll, apparently, according to this guy of the Russian government. And I want to know what they did in terms of trying to compromise Donald Trump, who is now our president. So what should we learn from all of this? That the Russians were involved on both sides, they definitely tried to tip the scale against Clinton and for Trump. But the Fusion GPS organization that was trying to get the goods on Donald Trump was backed by the Russians," Graham said.

CNN reporter Manu Raju tried to steer Graham back to talking about Trump, asking a question about Donald Trump Jr., but Graham returned to the subject to emphasize just how grave he believed the Fusion GPS situation to be.

"The GPS, Fusion GPS situation, the guy's not coming. If we have to subpoena the people at Fusion GPS, we need to subpoena them. Because Mr. Browder has now accused them of -- working for the Russians," Graham said. "And at the end of the day, if that's true, the Democratic Party is working with somebody who was working with the Russians, whether they knew it or not."

CNN’s next question changed the topic to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Someone needs to remind these guys that it's called "the news business," not "the news friends."

Posted by: Ace at 09:00 AM | Comments (395)
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Accused Oregon Rapist Has Been Deported 13 Times; He Was Subject to an ICE Detainer But the County Released Him; He Attacked Two More Women Since Then
— Ace

We're all now fugitives in our own country.

Sergio Jose Martinez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, had been deported at least 13 times since 2008, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson Virginia Kice confirmed to Portland’s KATU2. Martinez, 31, was also the subject of an ICE detainer request placed Dec. 7, 2016 with the Multnomah County Jail, where he was being held on local charges.

Because Oregon law prohibits police from using agency resources to enforce immigration law, jail officials released Martinez the following day without notifying ICE.


Martinez is accused of two separate attacks against women in Portland on Monday, reports local CBS affiliate KOIN. Police say Martinez first broke into the apartment of a 65-year-old woman, bound her hands and feet with scarves, and proceeded to sexually assault her.

He also threatened to kill a woman with a knife; cops suspect he wanted to abduct her, and you can imagine his plans following that.

Posted by: Ace at 07:14 AM | Comments (444)
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The Morning Rant
— Open Blogger

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"So Ernie my feeder comes in yesterday with the usual daily shovelful of sh* I got to eat and I ask him, Ernie, what do you do if you've got an elephant with three balls? And he says, I don't know, GP, what *do* you do if you've got an elephant with three balls?. And I says, you walk him and pitch to the rhino. Ha ha, get it? Pretty funny, huh? And then I see Ernie moving his lips like he's repeating the joke to himself, and then, bam, nothing, he just stares at me with this dumb look on his face. I'm telling you, I could be writing for Conan O'Brien if I weren't surrounded by idiots."

I sleep soundly at night knowing that the New York Times hires only the best and brightest people:


Posted by: Open Blogger at 06:29 AM | Comments (281)
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Mid-Morning Open Thread
— Open Blogger

Bocklin Isle of dead.JPG

Island Of The Dead
Arnold Böcklin

So...what computer game does this remind you of?

Posted by: Open Blogger at 04:30 AM | Comments (344)
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The Morning Report 7/31/17
— Open Blogger

If You.jpg

Good morning kids. The last day of July and the beginning of another week. The tensions on the Korean Peninsula are ratcheted up tighter than the neck bolts on Nancy Pelosi. Something has got to give; the President doesn't strike me as one to keep on bloviating and proclaiming red lines. and the Chi-Com position is, from what we can see, distinctly unhelpful. Latest report is that the newest NorK missile has the range to now hit us mid-continent. Hold on to your kimchee.

Meanwhile, Venezuela is on the verge of societal collapse which is an issue that is in our hemisphere and very much something that we and the President should be concerned about. It should be noted that Maduro and the now-roasting-in-Hell Hugo Chavez cultivated close ties with Iran. That nation is no doubt using Venezuela as a stealth gateway to funnel terrorists north, foment terrorism and Islamization in Central and South America and at least until recently creating a military base from which to potentially lob missiles at the US. That is something that must not stand and needs to be addressed. If for no other reason than the liberation of a people who, unlike Iraqis and Afghanis, have had a history of western-style democracy. So nation salvation and not "nation-building" a la the Bush-era neocons.

As for last week's public humiliation courtesy of John McCain, I can't say that I'm surprised that Obamacare or at least some form of increased government intrusion is here to stay. But what he did and the completely classless way in which he did it is revolting. It's also confirmation that the GOP as a political party that is in synch with the will of a very large majority of the populace no longer exists. To not see otherwise is to be willfully blind. The President and his team along with a minority in congress are up against an entrenched political machine that wants its power back and all opposition crushed. Frankly, I don't see a way out of this by any normal procedural way.

The only thing that is even remotely comforting is that the Democrat Party is in absolutely zero position to take electoral advantage of this. Tone deaf knuckleheads like Pelosi, Sanders, Waters and others are tripling and quadrupling down on messaging and politics that gave them the election of PDT in the first place. So, keep f**king that chicken.

Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 01:55 AM | Comments (321)
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July 30, 2017

Overnight Open Thread (07-30-2017)
— Open Blogger

larson devil.png

They spell it Vinci and pronounce it Vinchy; foreigners always spell better than they pronounce.

-- Mark Twain
Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat.

-- Rudyard Kipling
A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterward. More than that no man is entitled to, and less than that no man shall have.

-- Theodore Roosevelt more...

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Mike Rowe, Drinking Stories, And Open Thread
— Open Blogger

Mike Rowe Sets College Grad Straight After He Accuses Him of Not Being in Favor of 'Higher-Education'

Mike, I have followed you since the first days of Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch, and I am amazed about your attitude toward higher education. I started my working career in the military then as an apprentice plumber and became a journeyman. At night I went to 2 years of community college and then took classes at the university until I had a degree. College allowed me to become a computer infrastructure analyst. I made more money, my body and back were spared.

Kill 'em with kindness....

First of all, congratulations on such a well-balanced resume. I sincerely admire that. Secondly, it's hard to believe you could have "followed" me from the first days of Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch, and be so completely mistaken about my stance on the importance of a college education.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 01:40 PM | Comments (732)
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Food Thread: It's Just Food...Make It Fun
— Open Blogger

I will be violating that maxim below the fold, but in the meantime, it really is just food. No need to take it so seriously all the time.

fun food.jpg

Cooking can be fun, and eating can be even more fun. Hell, food shopping can be amusing and a diversion from the grind of the day. We control a hefty portion of our cooking and eating experience, but all too often we (that means, "I") allow it to overwhelm us with crap.

If you don't feel like cooking...then don't. Scour the refrigerator and freezer for leftovers, or just pour yourself a bowl of cereal or eat a handful of radishes or whatever floats your boat.

Over the course of weeks or months most of us get what our bodies need. There is no reason to obsess every single day. In the end, it's just fuel. Sometimes $10 of regular from a generic gas station is all we need, and sometimes a full tank of ethanol-free 100 octane fuel is just what the doctor ordered.

Have I tortured this metaphor enough?

Anyway, what's the goofiest meal you have eaten? Reddi-Whip and frozen orange juice concentrate? Pickles and peanut butter? A butter-stuffed burger on a buttered brioche bun?

Posted by: Open Blogger at 11:00 AM | Comments (451)
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Here's A Take On The "Transgender" Ban From Someone Who Has Been The Tip Of The Spear
— Open Blogger

This is one man's experience, but what he says makes sense, and doesn't apply just to "transgenders." Wounded Warrior's 17-Tweet Tirade Is Getting Attention for Its Explanation of Trump's Transgender Ban. Psychological stability seems like it is a reasonable prerequisite for military service. Even some stable and mature men see combat and come home with significant psychological issues. It is simply rational to restrict entry into the military to those who are emotionally even-keeled and best able to handle the stress of combat.

I have stolen OregonMuse's idea and made the tweet storm easier to read....

  • I served in Iraq in 2006. For the first five months I was on a 12 man firebase out in the middle of nowhere in the desert.

  • Everyday was Groundhog Day. Wake up and do the same patrols, the same shifts, every single day. It was so damn hot. 150° in the gun trucks.

  • Tracer fire would go overhead occasionally at night. IED's on the road were a daily threat. We got resupplied food every 8 days.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 07:26 AM | Comments (466)
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Sunday Morning Book Thread 07-30-2017
— Open Blogger

Linderman Library Lehigh University.jpg

Linderman Library, Lehigh University

Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes. Welcome once again to the stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, where men are men, all the 'ettes are gorgeous, safe spaces are underneath your house and are used as protection against actual dangers, like natural disasters, or Literally Hitler, and special snowflakes do not last. And unlike other AoSHQ comment threads, the Sunday Morning Book Thread is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Even if it's these pants, which were called "floods" back in my day because they look like they'll survive one without getting wet.

No Go

Breitbart London editor in chief Raheem Kassam is coming out with a new book, No Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

In No Go Zones, Kassam reveals:

--How a blind eye is being turned to polygamy, female genital mutilation, sexual assault, segregation, and even honor killings
--Why Muslim ghettos in the West aren't the equivalent of Little Italy or Chinatown, but a serious cultural and political threat
--How the welfare state actually funds and supports a Muslim subculture of resentment
--How to identify extremist mosques
--A matter of numbers: how mass migration could transform Europe into a Muslim-dominated continent within our own lifetimes
--The alarming speed at which No Go Zones are coming to America

The book, which chronicles Kassam's travels through European and American no go zones is due to be released on August 14.

Oh, and I'm sure this is just a big coincidence, Kassam's Twitter account has been suspended.

And they never tell you why, do they?

It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

A PALUDICOLE is an animal that lives in a marsh.

Usage: Today on CNN, the paludicolular naked mole rat Brian Stelter once again tried to pass himself off as a journalist, but failed. more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 03:57 AM | Comments (339)
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July 29, 2017

Overnight Open Thread (29 Jul 2017)

This really should be a big story in the mainstream media. Wasserman Schultz kept paying tech expert suspected of stealing House computers. more...

Posted by: CDR M at 05:00 PM | Comments (746)
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Saturday Evening Movie Thread 07-29-2017 [Hosted By: TheJamesMadison]
— Open Blogger



A good action scene is why some of us get out of bed in the morning. We love to watch explosions, car chases, fist fights, and general mayhem on screen.

But, have you ever thought about how hard it is to make such a flurry of editing, sound, and movement intelligible to the human eye projected sixty feet high?

You might be surprised by this, but I have.

I’m no expert, but I think that action scenes need to follow two basic rules to reach a foundational level of comprehensible. Great action scenes generally do a whole lot more, but if these two aren’t met, then it gets a lot harder to figure out what’s going on.


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Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread (Featuring Dress Pr0n) 07-29-2017
— Open Blogger

Good afternoon morons and moronettes, and welcome to the Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread, the only AoSHQ thread with content specifically for all of us chess nerds who pay homage in the temple of Caïssa, goddess of the chessboard. Also, dress pr0n. Each week, I pick out a few lovely, modest, conservative dresses for the 'ettes to admire and appraise. And, for those of you who aren't nerdly enough for chess, you can use this thread to talk about checkers, or other games, or politics, or whatever you wish, only please try to keep it civil. Nobody wants to get in the middle of a pie fight on a Saturday afternoon.

Problem 1 - White To Play (106)

Hint: White can force a mate in 3

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8/7p/4Q3/7k/3K1P2/4P3/7P/5q2 w - - 0 1


Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:10 PM | Comments (243)
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Ace of Spades Pet Thread
— Open Blogger

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(The internet has some cute photos would't you agree?)

Welcome to the almost world famous Ace of Spades Pet Thread. Tell your furry friend to chill for awhile. It's that time you grab a beverage and a s-n-a-c-k, relax and see what's happening in the animal world. more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 10:00 AM | Comments (102)
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Saturday Gardening Thread: Hangin' with the Horde [KT]
— Open Blogger


Tithonia rotundifolia


Last week, I included a link to Don's flickr page, but he also has some great stuff for July on his blog, including the Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower, Red Sunflower) above. As he notes, Tithonia grows tall enough that you can look it in the eye. It is a great butterfly plant. If anybody knows why it is called "clavel de muerto" (carnation of death), let me know. In addition to orange and orange-red cultivars, there are a couple of butterscotch-colored ones, and some half-height "dwarfs". Check out Don's closeups of regular sunflowers, too. He's in Kansas, after all. more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 07:44 AM | Comments (109)
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