Thursday Wednesday Evening Open Thread

Via NYMag, something to bring down the collective blood pressure.
I’ve spent the last four hours vainly trying to convince our idiot little dogs that “$1800 of furnace repairs, and no end in sight” will neither be mitigated nor expedited by their racing between the (locked) front door & the (gated) basement stairway, alarm-barking their yappy little brains out…

144 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    Via the Times, seems that is for sale by its current owners, a Democratic PAC, for the low low price of one MILLION dollars. As a capper, they’re selling it on Craigslist.

  2. 2
    burnspbesq says:

    “Idiot little dogs” is redundant.

  3. 3
    Raven says:

    They are just doing their dog jobs. That’s why the bohdi ate the chocolate bourbon balls last night, he knew they we’re bad!

  4. 4
    burnspbesq says:


    If they really want to have fun, they should keep it, and operate it as an alternative to Grinder.

  5. 5
    Valdivia says:

    Am I the only one seeing a Thursday open thread and thinking it’s still Wednesday?

  6. 6
    Raven says:

    Nope but we gotta be flexible.

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    @burnspbesq: I dunno, I think watching all of the other Republican campaigns getting into a bidding war for it would be pretty hilarious, and it’s not like Newt has the organizational ability to realize that he should buy it up himself.

  8. 8
    Citizen_X says:

    idiot little dogs

    Hauling supertankers of Cute. Resistance is futile, and you know it.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Martin says:

    Evening? I haven’t even fucking had lunch yet. Where the fuck are you – France?

    In happier news – secular holiday (I’ll credit Jesus when he starts paying the Amex bill) shopping is now done. Not one Amazon purchase made. All local, non-chain retailers. I paid about 5% more than Amazon overall, and contributed 7% to the services my state provides which Amazon never would do.

    I do need to credit Amazon for my process, though. I plug everything into Amazon’s wish list, use their iPhone app to retrieve the list, and then walk into stores, flash the screen of the iPhone, say “Do you carry this?”, and if they have it I buy it and then check it off. Very efficient. I don’t shop – I buy.

    If they have a price match policy, they volunteer that when I flash the screen up which shows Amazon’s price, so I don’t even dick around with prices or stress over it, and I saved money on a number of things over their prices without even having to ask.

    FWIW, the stores were packed. Not surprising here in the OC, but it was still nice to see.

  11. 11
    burnspbesq says:

    So Paul McCartney’s next record will be a standards album, with accompaniment provided by Diana Krall and her band.

    Color me skeptical on this one. Could be good. Could be dismal.

  12. 12
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Aren’t cats great?

    @Valdivia: It’s Thursday in my spiritual home.

    Wait, no it isn’t. Another 1.5 hours.

  13. 13
    Valdivia says:

    for a second I thought I was totally wrong about the day…

  14. 14
    Martin says:

    @dmsilev: The free market solves everything!

  15. 15
    dead existentialist says:

    @Valdivia: And it’s evening too. Hey, we must be in the future. Where’s my jet-pack?

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    @Valdivia: So, Anne is not only in France, she’s in Future France.

    Look, if we’ve got a FPer with a TARDIS, can we please deal with the troll problem around here? Hunt them down and leave them off in 12th century Spain. I hear it’s lovely that time of the millennium.

  17. 17
    burnspbesq says:


    You want cute? I got 110 pounds of cute right here.

  18. 18
    burnspbesq says:

    Thread needs kittehs.

    From the archives, Laettner and Hurley as itteh bitteh kittehs.

  19. 19
    slag says:


    Not one Amazon purchase made. All local, non-chain retailers. I paid about 5% more than Amazon overall, and contributed 7% to the services my state provides which Amazon never would do.

    Same here. Though I find it’s getting harder and harder to do. Especially with books if I’m not on top of things enough to pre-order.

  20. 20
    Valdivia says:

    @dead existentialist:

    I think maybe the guy who fixed her furnace is doing a time warp thing in her home!

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    where is that?

  21. 21
    BO_Bill says:

    There are few things more soothing than White People helping cute little puppies.

  22. 22
    burnspbesq says:


    Can you point me to a good OmniGraffle tutorial? The manual is not doing it for me.

  23. 23
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Valdivia: Fixed, thanks. I plead a combination of ringing ears & the fuel-oil smell pervading the whole house.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Martin says:

    Ok, this pisses me off.

    The citizens’ commission had pledged to create districts based on testimony from the communities themselves, not from parties or statewide political players. To get around that, Democrats surreptitiously enlisted local voters, elected officials, labor unions and community groups to testify in support of configurations that coincided with the party’s interests.
    When they appeared before the commission, those groups identified themselves as ordinary Californians and did not disclose their ties to the party. One woman who purported to represent the Asian community of the San Gabriel Valley was actually a lobbyist who grew up in rural Idaho, and lives in Sacramento.
    In one instance, party operatives invented a local group to advocate for the Democrats’ map.

    That’s just fucked up. Democrats, certainly in California, don’t need to rig the game to win – just to protect incumbents. It’s not worth the damage this kind of shit causes. I’m going to give my local people an earful over this.

  26. 26
    jibeaux says:

    Well, nobody much cared last time but my holiday cheer is coming from the fact that a local community music school, which charges poor kids $1 a lesson and loans out instruments and has a long wait list, has been saved by community donations and can at least pay their back due rent. We gave a small amount and “gave” it to the kids’ piano teacher in her honor, and she’s very much the type to appreciate that kind of thing, so that feels good.
    I also did a lot of shopping local, although there was some ordering and a couple of chains. It included a local toy shop with a science theme; the art museum; a spice shop; etsy; extensive expenditures at the local bookstore; and an educational toy store. When you aren’t looking for something in particular but something to catch your eye, and you’re doing it in early rather than late December, it’s really a lot of fun.

  27. 27
    Martin says:

    @slag: I’m going to go all e-book. Yeah, I know that makes me all hipster-douchenozzle, but we go through 2x-3x the cost of an iPad in books every year, and most of my preferred reading is in Gutenberg anyway, so it’ll probably be a wash cost-wise. I don’t really need to kill more trees, and I sure as fuck don’t need more mass x volume entering my house. Since I switched the music and video all over to electronic from CD/DVD/etc everything has been just that much easier. Time to do it with books too.

  28. 28
    jibeaux says:


    One woman who purported to represent the Asian community of the San Gabriel Valley

    I’m not Asian, but isn’t that weird? “I’ve spoken with all the Asians in the San Gabriel Valley, and our official position on this is….”

  29. 29
    Valdivia says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    No prob. And here I was spinning a whole new sci fy scenario ;)

  30. 30
    JGabriel says:


    If they really want to have fun, they should keep it, and operate it as an alternative to Grinder.

    Alternately, they could route it ( to, the self-described “leading married dating service for discreet encounters”.


  31. 31
    BO_Bill says:

    Martin, it is Wednesday at 1:53 in the afternoon at your University. You are a government worker. BE IT KNOWN to you that Balloon Juice is targeting government workers who use public infrastructure to bather on the Internet during paid working hours. Pray be it to Barry that you are currently on some form of official leave status from the State.

    Or I will tell John.

  32. 32
    Martin says:


    I’m not Asian, but isn’t that weird?

    No. Just ask any black person who when caught alone in a group of white people becomes the official Ambassador from Blackistan, through whom any and all diplomatic cables from the Redneck States will be channeled.

    But I’ve always wanted to find other unrepresented groups to bring to hearings like that. I never see representatives for the blind, the deaf, etc. Certainly they are every bit as much impacted by public policy as ethnic groups. Maybe we should send a representative Atheist to the next meeting, just for fun.

  33. 33
    Thoughtcrime says:

    The optics of the payroll tax debacle is killing the GOP:

    Congress left town without agreeing to extend a federal payroll tax holiday, meaning 160 million Americans will pay more to the government starting Jan. 1 unless there are new talks. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner blame each other for the failure to avert the hike. Who do you think is most responsible?

    Who is to blame for the payroll tax cut impasse?
    President Barack Obama – 6%
    House Speaker John Boehner – 94%
    Total Votes: 3,501

    PolitiFart would blame Obama.

  34. 34
    jibeaux says:

    “I represent those who are weak of will when there is a very, very cute pair of shoes on sale online and any time there is a box of Candy cane Jo-Joes cookies in the house, and we would like to be heard on this issue.”

  35. 35
  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    @Martin: All ebooks is soooo much nicer. I tend to read a lot of doorstop sized books, and often have two or three going at the same time. My android makes it easy to kill five minutes while standing in line without the backache of lugging 5,000 pages of books around. The biggest problem is stuff that’s only a few years old, too old to be released as an ebook, not old enough to be reissued or in public domain.

    Also too, check the Australian gutenburg site,their copyright term is shorter.

  37. 37
    Martin says:

    @BO_Bill: Go ahead. I worked until 1AM yesterday (today?) and was in the office by 7:30. Nobody paid me for my extra 6 hours of work, nobody is paying me while I comment and eat lunch either, and nobody will pay me when I work on my required vacation days.

    Be nice or I’ll install GPS in your tractor, put a flush detector on your toilet, and organize a campaign to ban armpit hair in women nationwide. I can wreck your life old man.

  38. 38
    Thoughtcrime says:


    Republican John Danforth, who served as a senator from Missouri for nearly 20 years and later as George W. Bush’s ambassador the United Nations, is not happy with the slate of Republican presidential candidates. “I’ve been watching some of these Republican debates and they’re just terrible. Terrible,” he told KTRS in St. Louis yesterday. “It’s embarrassing for me as a Republican to watch this stuff,” he added, calling out audiences for applauding the candidates’ morbid boastings.


    Over the Thanksgiving holiday, conservative blog Redstate featured not one but two stories on their front page calling out Mitt Romney as unelectable in the general election. What is most surprising is that along with the usual accusations of Romney being a fake conservative, these posts added a new line of attack into the mix: Romney is too closely associated with big money.
    __As the diarist writes:
    __The above photo features a younger Mitt Romney (in the center, naturally) when he was part of Bain Capital. Get used to seeing it. It will be on busses and billboards across the nation if Romney wins the nomination. And it will be the image people take into the voting booth on Election Day.
    __And later in the comments:
    __ Romney is caught between a rock (his political career) and a hard place (his bankster career) .. and cannot successfully argue his way out of either. He’s literally the worst positioned candidate for this.

  39. 39
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Thoughtcrime: While the results are predictable and humorous, the question itself is stupid. It is more ‘both sides’ bullshit.

  40. 40
    Martin says:

    @jibeaux: Ok, you’re really freaking me out. You’re not my wife, right? Because candy cane JoJos are arriving in my pantry at an alarming rate right now.

  41. 41
    Violet says:


    No. Just ask any black person who when caught alone in a group of white people becomes the official Ambassador from Blackista

    But I’ve always wanted to find other unrepresented groups to bring to hearings like that. I never see representatives for the blind, the deaf, etc.

    Also happens with foreigners and immigrants. Like with my family member: “You’re from England. What do the English [or Europeans, depending on the question] think of….”

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    That’s Cue, the first of our rescue Pyrs.

  43. 43
    jibeaux says:

    @Martin: No, but smart woman. They are sold out here! The cashier says people are selling them on eBay. There is a BLACK MARKET on JO-JOs created by unscrupulous dregs of humanity keeping me from getting my fix.

  44. 44
    Martin says:

    @MikeJ: I’m holding out for the high resolution iPad to go all-in, so I’m only now getting started on it. Not worth it on the low-res screen – I’d rather read on my iPhone, to be honest. But that’s looking like early next year to hit, and then the paper books will go for good.

    For recreational reading, I’m pretty content reading anything in the public domain, and there’s a thousand years of greek/latin works that I’ve barely made a dent in.

  45. 45
    gogol's wife says:


    How is Bohdi? I’ve been worrying about him all day.

    This video is cute but also worries me with the puppies chewing all that stuff that could get into their widdle intestines and cause trouble.

  46. 46
    Raven says:

    @gogol’s wife: He’s totally fine except for the 11 1/2 triple E new balance print on his ass! He never even puked with 6 syringes of peroxide, knuckle head.


  47. 47
    Martin says:

    @jibeaux: We’ll still have candy cane JoJos in the pantry in August. She stockpiles those things like Elaine stockpiles sponges. Nothing is a bigger hit at the 4th of July party than cracking open a box of xmas cookies, and no, I’m never jojo-worthy.

  48. 48
    MikeJ says:


    Like with my family member: “You’re from England. What do the English [or Europeans, depending on the question] think of….”

    I get it in reverse. In every new office I go into the will be a marketing girl “who does a really good American accent, you just have to hear it!” and a designated America hater who is just one loudmouth who wants to tell me how awful capital punishment and lack of a NHS is, and isn’t the least bit interested in learning if I share those views.

  49. 49
    BO_Bill says:

    Martin’s is, of course, that same tired line we heard from Governor Walker’s ‘workers’. Right before Balloon Juice brought them to justice.

    Threats by mortal men to banish female armpit hair are as empty as promises by the same to close the Achievement Gap in exchange for more money to teachers. The only difference between female armpit hair and the Achievement Gap is you can make female armpit hair go away for, like, a few days at a time. But, until death, and for days after even that, it will forever return.

    Mother Nature will not be mocked.

  50. 50
    trollhattan says:


    By golly, you’ve managed a twofer: a troll and a stalker all in one. It’s the magic of Christmas.

  51. 51
    schrodinger's cat says:

    We are having our neighbors over for dinner tonight. My neighbor is vegetarian and she also cannot tolerate gluten, so cooking was quite a challenge. This is what I made

    For Appetizer :
    Kothimbir Wadis (Cilantro and chickpea flour disks)
    Main Meal:
    Vegetable Biryani (Layered casserole of basmati rice, crimini mushrooms and peas, caramelized onions, cashews and golden raisins.

    Cabbage and Carrots Bhaji

    Roasted Eggplant and Yellow Bell Peppers

    Mango Lassi


    Mango Ice-cream for dessert

    I just got done cooking, taking a little break.

  52. 52
    gaz says:

    I loathe dogs. AFAIAC, they’re as needy as children, but dirtier, smellier, and infinitely less likely to take care of me when I’m old.

    That said – the puppies are still adorbs. Seriously.

  53. 53
    trollhattan says:


    Louie CK pet advice aside, a tablespoon of salt down the throat has never failed for me. Pack that in the ol’ mental kit next time fido eats something dumb (which never happens at a convenient time).

  54. 54
    Martin says:

    @BO_Bill: And BOB once again uses his weasel words to get around saying what he really wants to say which is ‘stupid niggers are stupid’ and face yet another ban from polite society. Be a man Bill, and just say it. Get it out of your system. Speak truth to power. Think of how good it will feel.

  55. 55
    gaz says:


    BE IT KNOWN to you that Balloon Juice is targeting government workers who use public infrastructure to bather on the Internet during paid working hours.

    Every government office I’m aware of has snoop filters on the staff computers.

    Generally, you have to bring your own computer and your own internet connection if you want to get away with surfing the blogs on govt time. I can say this with a degree of certitude, as it’s precisely what my wife’s coworkers do. My wife brings the clearwire hotspot for them though – and gets several free mochas a week for her trouble. heh.

  56. 56
    BO_Bill says:

    I cannot do that Martin, as I am running out of things to do during periods of banishment. I am already working two jobs and trying to lighten up on the drinking.

    Do not provoke.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Valdivia: I’d usually say Rome. But there was this one time, in a private compartment on a sleeper train from Rome to Paris … definitely a moveable feast.

  59. 59
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @burnspbesq: Kittehs are full of win and so is the goggie!

  60. 60
    PurpleGirl says:

    I have a question for FireFox users: Have you installed version 9? Are you having any problems with it? Do you like it? Thanks for responding.

    And those puppehs are cute.

  61. 61
    burnspbesq says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    The only problem is that I can’t get them to clean up my inbox and sent items. :-/

  62. 62
    Valdivia says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: I can see how that could happen.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    The youtube is so darn cute. Last year my son purchased a maltese reject for his SO..and I kept her until xmas eve. She was a terror. Xmas paper shredding, no problem, batting under the little houses, no problem. What was interesting was she played the part of the perfect angel when he would come over to visit until the time she had batting all over her face. Thanks Anne!

  64. 64
    Culture of Truth says:

    I think maybe the guy who fixed her furnace is doing a time warp thing in her home

    ooh like in Fringe

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Ooh, that menu looks tasty.

  66. 66
    Martin says:


    I cannot do that Martin, as I am running out of things to do during periods of banishment. I am already working two jobs and trying to lighten up on the drinking.

    Running out of things to do? How is that possible? At the very least there is always more work to do – or are you like most conservatives and feel that honest work is a vice – something beneath you, something for which wealth should unburden you? Are you too good to mow your lawn? Trim your trees? Repair that leak? Install a new light in the kitchen? Change the oil in your car? There’s literally no shortage of things for an honest man to do, BOB. Further, I would think there are many social groups that would welcome you into their fold. Couldn’t you join the National Alliance, or some group like that? They might even help you with your temperance efforts.

    That you are working two jobs seems on its face virtuous, but when combined with the admission of excessive drinking, leaves me thinking that you have to work two jobs because you are quite bad at both. Usually when people are good at a thing, they are asked to focus more exclusively on it in order to derive as much benefit from your skill or talent or sheer hard work. If instead they are asking you to spread your time more thinly, it sounds like want less of your talent or skill, rather than more of it.

    I would consider lightening up on the drinking more rapidly, and using your times of banishment to improve your skillset and becoming a better worker, and then perhaps you would be invited to work only one job, rather than two.

  67. 67
    burnspbesq says:

    Just for giggles, a little vintage pen pr0n.

    Three Waterman 94s, made around 1928 or so.

  68. 68
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Martin: I don’t have a tablet yet. I jump where the Loebs jump, when they jump.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    Since this is an open thread, does anyone else get their mail delivered between 6 and 8 pm..?????
    Unfortunately, since the deliverer can’t see what he/she is doing most of the time there is mail that’s not mine in the box. I live in assh.le Price’s district and he’ll probably use this as an example about how private companies charging 100% more can do a better job.

  70. 70
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Amir Khalid: Thanks! The menu planning was quite a challenge. I also made some lentils for protein. I have to eat it to know how it all turned out.

  71. 71
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Check out this LOL-worthy front-pager from, penned by a dick named Carafano from the Heritage Foundation:

    Terrorist Bird Flu Nothing To Sneeze At

    And whether we get the balance right or wrong, we must recognize the fact that we need to get ready for the next pandemic—be it naturally-occurring or terrorist-created.

    Wait, what? But . . . but that would take . . . government spending! And federal oversight! Of the sort the Heritage Foundation regularly opposes!

    Hmm, maybe he’s got something new to offer here.

    Early warning and health monitoring are key to effective disease detection. Effective public health measures must be ready to put in place to help halt the spread of disease. Medical countermeasures will be needed including vaccines (immunizations that stimulate natural immunity to diseases), prophylactics (means to prevent transmission of the disease, such as wearing a mask), and therapeutics (means to cure or mitigate the effects of disease or its contagious properties).
    In addition to medical support activities, pandemics require significant logistical support to deliver goods and services. Requirements for mortuary assistance could be dramatic as the number of dead increases. Business continuity and disaster planning will be vital to limiting economic disruption.

    HAHAHAHAHAH! Those are all things that CDC and FEMA do, with the help of state and local government!

    There’s no fucking profit in those things! Nobody’s established for-profit business models for those tasks because no one would invest in them! On top of that, these things have to be coordinated by the federal government because, guess what, communicable diseases don’t respect state borders!

    This guy is stupid as shit.

    But, this does amount to a Heritage Foundation endorsement of expansive government spending. That’s a Christmas gift right there.

    At least this moron knows his audience – they hate science, and they hate scientists:

    While the scientists and government officials continue to bicker over the rules, the rest of us need get busy and get ready.

    Yup, we needs to get cracking on this non-federal, science-free, for-profit model for disease control and disaster prep. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  72. 72
    Davis X. Machina says:

    For BO_Bill, from Pliny the Younger:

    Satius est enim otiosum esse quam nihil agere
    . (It is better to have no work to do than to work at nothing.)

  73. 73
    harlana says:

    that video just makes me want to be a xmas present so adorable puppies can walk all over me and nom my ribbons

  74. 74
    Raven says:

    @Davis X. Machina: We used to say it was better to have dope and no money than money and no dope.

  75. 75
    R-Jud says:


    I get it in reverse. In every new office I go into the will be a marketing girl “who does a really good American accent, you just have to hear it!” and a designated America hater who is just one loudmouth who wants to tell me how awful capital punishment and lack of a NHS is, and isn’t the least bit interested in learning if I share those views.

    I’m dreading the NYE house party we’re attending for this reason alone. Friends of ours from Hereford who are super right-on socia1ists get drunk and yell at me about the President not being liberal black Jesus.

    I got yelled at last time about the President supporting capital punishment. I went out for a run to escape them and promptly broke my leg. The time before that (a summer party, during the BP oil spill) they moaned about the fact that the President was “racist” for referring to BP as “British Petroleum”, when their name is just BP.

    Amusingly, though, one of the little boys said “You don’t sound American,” when he met me. “What should I sound like?” I asked.

    “You should say, ‘Howdy, pardner,’ and ‘Y’all come back now’.” He was five, so that was cute.

  76. 76
    Martin says:

    @burnspbesq: Nice pens. I’m not really a pen person, but I’ve been teaching the boy how to turn pens. He likes it – you can typically start and finish a project in a day (or with minimal time invested over the next week applying coats of finish) and it’s a good intro to woodworking without getting into things that can take off your thumbs, so it’s mom-approved.

  77. 77
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Seriously though, the Republicans will kill us all.

    That was the #1 thing about their government shutdown in the 1990s over Gingrich’s shitfit over where he sat on the plane: it shut down CDC offices all over the country.

    If we’d been hit by an epidemic during those months, the Republicans would have collapsed as a party due to thousands of American deaths, most likely children and the elderly.

  78. 78
    Mike in NC says:


    Who is to blame for the payroll tax cut impasse?

    President Barack Obama – 6%
    House Speaker John Boehner – 94%

    Yup. They dressed Eric Cantor up as the Grinch and they ended up shooting themselves in the face again. This is the main news item close to Christmas Eve: virtually all working people will now see a $20+ bite from their weekly paychecks, courtesy of the teabaggers. Can’t spin that.

  79. 79
    Mino says:

    @burnspbesq: You have pyrs?? I showed and bred them for 30 odd yrs. You don’t really seem to have the pyr temperament, I must say.

  80. 80
    JPL says:

    @Mike in NC: The explanation that the repubs tried to give doesn’t make sense..
    “Since it’s not a year, we are going to make you pay higher taxes because we can” WTF..
    Yeah..Boner looks weak..

  81. 81
    Original Lee says:

    @Thoughtcrime: Even better than just leaving town:They turned off the C-Span cameras in the middle of walking out.

  82. 82
    Amir Khalid says:

    A Malaysian man studying in Ireland recently got married. And people back home are not taking it well.

  83. 83
    Hill Dweller says:

    @JPL: Moreover, Boehner won’t let them actually vote on the bill because it will pass, and the cowards don’t want to be on record voting against it.

  84. 84
    Amir Khalid says:

    I have a comment in moderation for no apparent reason. Hilf mir!

  85. 85
    Maude says:

    I’m still on 8 and staying here. If you have problems with 9, go back to 8.

  86. 86
    Raven says:

    @Maude: Just went to 9 on Mac lion. Seems the same.

  87. 87
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The Republicans are in a really weak place right now on the payroll tax cut. Once again, it pays to watch Republican media.

    Their wealthy backers DO NOT WANT an extension of the cut: they want more tax cuts for billionaires and corporate earnings, along with tax hikes for the middle class. They know that new (or rather, restored) revenue collection is coming down the pike and they want to make sure it hits average Americans the hardest.

    Plus, the Republicans feel they can’t give Obama anything, and this tax cut long ago became “his”.

    So they’re losing their #1 populist issue, the Norquist strategy, the post-H.W.-Bush strategy: they can’t endorse tax cuts for the middle class.

    Their response, as hammered by Limbaugh and Hannity all this week on their shows, has been the Boehner line about “kicking the can down the road”, where they try to set up the narrative: “Democrats want to cut taxes for two months so they can super secretly hike ’em up later!”

    But the Congressional Republicans can’t deliver on the narrative . . . because they can’t actually offer up any passable bill that keeps those cuts for a longer period of time! Their backers won’t allow it – they believe, both out of self-interest and ideology, that what America needs is MORE TAXES on the middle class and LOWER TAXES on the wealthy.

    The backup narrative is “we’re waiting at the table to negotiate”, which is what the more measured headlines have emphasized. But as Mike in NC notes, poll after poll shows Americans blaming the Republicans for the impasse! WAHH WAHH WAHHHHHH

    They’re left arguing for a bunch of unrelated garbage that won’t pass so they can try to kill the bill, and trying lamely to convince the rest of the country that unless an oil pipeline gets built, everyone’s taxes have to go up. I don’t envy them.

    So, in sum, the Republicans are spectacularly weak right now, weaker than they’ve been in years, and that’s saying something.

  88. 88
    Linnaeus says:

    So my dad has on hand about half a fifth of CC that he doesn’t want. The next couple days visiting my family are gonna be good.

  89. 89
    Mino says:

    @Raven: Heh, peroxide is supposed to be infallible. Goes to show.

  90. 90
    Martin says:

    @Mike in NC: Got an email earlier today from HR which (translating from HR-speak) read:

    “The republican fucktards in Congress can’t get their shit together, but we’re out of time, so we’re taking 6.2% out of your paycheck for Jan, but when they finally cave and do their job and return the rate to 4.2%, we’ll all spend the however many hundreds of unnecessary extra hours to reprogram everything and refund the withholding to you in the following paycheck. Shitbag partisan self-serving assholes can DIAF.”

    I may have embellished slightly, but that’s basically what my brain interpreted the email as saying.

  91. 91
    Raven says:

    @Mino: This kind of stuff is fraught with peril. The google brings very conflicting information and I end up just doing SOMETHING and hoping it’s right. There are many sites that say NO peroxide at all.

  92. 92
    S. cerevisiae says:

    @Raven: The favorite saying of Freewheelin’ Franklin

  93. 93
    Raven says:

    @S. cerevisiae: Captain Pissgums and his Perverted Pirates rule!

  94. 94
    Hill Dweller says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Their response, as hammered by Limbaugh and Hannity all this week on their shows, has been the Boehner line about “kicking the can down the road”, where they try to set up the narrative: “Democrats want to cut taxes for two months so they can super secretly hike ‘em up later!”

    Part of their problem, aside from incompetence, is that absurd talking point falls apart after a second of thought. They passed the 2 month extension in order to prevent UI from expiring and taxes going up while they try to come to an agreement for the remainder of the year.

    Additionally, the Senate bill is bipartisan, which gives Reid and company cover.

  95. 95
    Mino says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Mango ice cream–can’t go wrong with that.

  96. 96
    burnspbesq says:


    You don’t really seem to have the pyr temperament, I must say.

    Care to elaborate on that?

  97. 97
    BO_Bill says:

    Christ, I really shouldn’t have checked back. Being the reformed, kinder, and more gentle BO_Bill, I will now turn and depart in humble dignity to my quaint work, with one last Open Thread contribution:

    The Sum of the Squares of Two Sides of a Right Triangle Equals the Square of the Hypotenuse. This is unchanging, and True.

    Until next time, have fun grading your papers Martin. Be careful about changing answers, they got busted in Atlanta for that earlier in the year. It was embarrassing.

  98. 98
  99. 99
    dmsilev says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Per TPM, Karl Rove had some advice for the GOP: Wait until Obama leaves town, bash him for going on holiday, and then pass the Senate-approved 2 month extension.

  100. 100
    Mino says:

    @Raven: Well, timing is all. If you didn’t catch it right away, it’s lots harder. Peroxide is perfectly safe for dogs. Cat, dunno on that one.

  101. 101
    Raven says:

    @Mino: We got it right away but he didn’t puke. Anyway he fine so that’s the main thing.

  102. 102
    Mino says:

    @burnspbesq: Heh. Seem more terrier to me. Run in and bite.

    A pyr would lift his head, look, and go back to sleep. A lot of their owners are rather like that,too. Even in ring competition, heh.

  103. 103
    Mino says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Folks are kinda starting to notice that their word isn’t worth shit, either.

    That’s gonna bug some of those old-fashioned libertarians.

  104. 104
    AA+ Bonds says:


    Whoa, thanks for the tip there, I’m heading over to TPM to check that out right now.

  105. 105
    Maude says:

    I’ll go up to 9 this week. I’m sorry, but I laughed when you said doggie didn’t puke.

  106. 106
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Yeah, big fuck-up on their part with that Senate vote and all those Boehner quotes. That’s the bit that makes the Republican leadership look absolutely incompetent.

  107. 107
    Hill Dweller says:

    @dmsilev: Rove is a vile human being.

    That aside, Obama staying in Washington(alone with the dog) during Christmas, waiting for the Republicans to fold, is even worse optics for them. Their best bet is to pass it in the next two days, and get the hell out of dodge.

    Who the hell decided Rove was some sort of political genius? I suspect it’s the same people that call Gingrich and Ryan intellectuals.

  108. 108
    Raven says:

    @Maude: It sucked, we’re all in a medium panic because he might die from the bourbon balls and the dick head won’t even hurl with this sure-fire method!

  109. 109
    Martin says:


    The Sum of the Squares of Two Sides of a Right Triangle Equals the Square of the Hypotenuse. This is unchanging, and True.

    Only in a cartesian plane, BOB. Otherwise the riddle wouldn’t work:

    “If I walk one mile south from my house, then one mile east and then one mile north, I wind up back where I started. Where do I live?”

    Next time you’re banished, learn about parallel transport and perhaps you can apply what you learn about curved spacetime to your work. Your employer may just reward you for your initiative. If it’s not applicable, perhaps merely learning that context matters in all things would achieve the same goals. There are very few true and unchanging things in this world.

    Until next time, have fun grading your papers Martin. Be careful about changing answers, they got busted in Atlanta for that earlier in the year. It was embarrassing.

    Why was it embarrassing? Were you the ones changing answers? Or did you tie incentives to test performance not realizing that it encourage negative outcomes? These are generally easy things to anticipate. Could be worse – Nevada tied a guarantee to state college to senior year grades and got such wholesale grade inflation out of every high school in the state that it nearly bankrupted them. Both of these policies were implemented by Republicans.

    No, if you want honest grading then reward honest grading. Not such a hard concept. As a check against grade inflation, we use a nationally normed test as a statistical validation measure. Also reinforces to the students that they got their money’s worth. See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

  110. 110
    Amir Khalid says:

    Um, does anybody have advice to offer on the care and feeding of nubuck footwear? I asked in the previous open thread, and all I got was stuff about steel toes.

  111. 111
    Mino says:

    @Hill Dweller: Absolutely. Obama has done his job. Congress needs to do theirs.

  112. 112
    Mino says:

    @Amir Khalid: Google is your friend. Cripes, I can’t type.

    And, in the old days, they soaked new suede with alcohol and let it dry while wearing the shoes. It sized them, I guess.

  113. 113
    Litlebritdifrnt says:


    Martin – I may have mentioned this before but me and DH got behind on our State taxes many moons ago and as DH is a state employee they decided to garnish his wages. No problem, we got used to it. However, we paid off our debt at least 8 months ago but they didn’t stop garnishing. So every month they would send the $ to the State revenue office and every month the State would issue us a refund. Just recently they reduced the garnishment amount. No reason, it just went down but it didn’t stop. And guess what they are now sending us a refund check every month for the reduced amount. How much money and time is that taking instead of just stopping the damn garnishment? It makes no sense.

  114. 114
    AA+ Bonds says:


    Yeah, it seems like Rove is right in line with whoever is handing down the Ailes Red Book inserts, although of course, that’s probably him too – and no one seems to be pushing that line on talk radio . . . at least not over Boehner’s “kicking the can”, a guaranteed loser.

  115. 115
    AA+ Bonds says:

    They can’t even get the gun issue back, not even with Rachel Maddow on TV talking about porcelain Glocks from movies like they’re real (I mean, come on, Maddow)

  116. 116
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Who the hell decided Rove was some sort of political genius? I suspect it’s the same people that call Gingrich and Ryan intellectuals.

    I would say that Rove is pretty goddamned good at his job, which is getting Republicans elected or otherwise appointed by bashing Democrats. He gets a lot of credit not just for 2000 and 2004 but for 2010 and I think at least some of it is deserved.

    The Rove strategy, “attack their strengths”, is brilliant, and it works against Republicans as well.

    I think Gingrich is actually just as good as Rove at what Rove does, that is, he’s very good at it. His infamous “list of words” from his Congressional days? Masterful. He’ll never be that young or sharp again, but damn. And yes, I think he actually had a hand in writing that.

    Gingrich, however, was encouraged to posture as a statesman and an intellectual, and falsely believes himself to be good at ANYTHING other than a Rove-style job. (He clearly sees himself as a ‘people person’, and Christ, man.) Rove, on the other hand, has slowly worked himself into the public eye as an ugly mug on the tube, and has been rewarded for it by a diehard Fox News fanbase that probably outnumbers W.’s by this point.

  117. 117
    Martin says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Yeah, I’m not exactly a big defender of how government often implements things – they are frequently horrifyingly bad. Much of that, however, is due to the annual budget cycle, which means that any project that takes more than 12 months to implement (which is damn near anything) becomes near-impossible, and so you wind up with these completely shitty, half-done, half-assed systems and processes.

    My only real defense is that outside of government, things are rarely better. To illustrate, let’s look at two of the largest corporations in America – Apple and AT&T. You can go into the former, on their busiest day with hundreds of customers in the store and walk out with an AT&T activated iPhone in usually about 10 minutes. I’ve done it – it’s fucking impressive how coordinated and well thought out the whole process is. You can then go into an AT&T store completely devoid of customers and buy the very same phone and it’ll take them north of half an hour to do the same thing for the same price, and the AT&T activation is the hardest part of the process – and Apple can do it better and faster than AT&T can. Both of these companies are the size of many state governments.

    It’s completely hit or miss whether you get good policies or processes or implementations, both inside and outside of government. I’ll always side with government, however, because with them I can vote. I have a say. I have no say with corporations.

    But yeah, government can be completely fucking stupid. Problem is, that’s true of pretty much every organization in America. We are completely lazy and stupid when it comes to change. We need to nut up and embrace better things, and stop fighting to keep doing everything like it was done in 1950.

  118. 118
    Apsalar says:

    Jo-Jos on Ebay. It’s not even a joke, but you better want them pretty bad for this price.

  119. 119
    S. cerevisiae says:

    @Amir Khalid: This stuff has worked well for me: Nikwax

  120. 120
    Scamp Dog says:

    @burnspbesq: That’s not just a cute dog, that’s a happy dog! I have a border collie, so I rarely get that happy, goofy look. I do get some sweet, shy interactions with people we visit, and the Fierce and Fearless Defender of the Flock thing when we run into coyotes (on the outskirts of metro Denver).

  121. 121
    waratah says:

    @MikeJ: sounds like my sister

  122. 122
    burnspbesq says:

    @Scamp Dog:

    That’s not just a cute dog, that’s a happy dog!

    What you don’t see because of the way that photo was composed is a grill full of prime ribeyes about five feet away. She thought it was all for her.

  123. 123
    Steeplejack says:


    I have been teetering on the edge of getting a Nook (Simple Touch, the newer black-and-white one), but a little voice keeps telling me that I should hold out for an iPad. The problem is that we have a whole spectrum of “reader” devices, from smart phones and tablets up to netbooks, laptops and “real” computers, and it can be hard to figure out where you need/want to be on that spectrum. I actually do a lot of Web surfing on my Droid Incredible when I am away from home, and I could see using the Nook (or Kindle) app to read books on it. The attraction of the Nook is to have a really nice reading platform that I could take anywhere and that would be nice enough to use at home instead of a real book (or a reader app on my computer). The lure of the iPad would be to have all that and a possible replacement for the laptop computer that I take with me on overnight trips. But then I think, How often do I really need that? Questions, questions.

    I guess it comes down, as you said, to the money tradeoff. There are “keeper” books that I will always want to have in physical form, but I read a tremendous number of books that I don’t need to keep. The benefit of a Kindle or Nook to me is that I can score the paperback price of a book without having to wait until the paperback comes out. I can read it now without paying the hardback price. I know I buy enough hardbacks in a year to justify the cost of a Nook. I just haven’t quite convinced myself that I buy enough to justify an iPad, or I haven’t convinced myself that the I would make up the added value of an iPad some other way. But the inner debate continues.

  124. 124

    LOL Mr. Beale and I were just saying it feels like a Thursday night!!!

  125. 125
    soonergrunt (mobile) says:

    So. I have pneumonia. They won’t just let me go home yet either. Want EKG and such after hearing about the little heart issue from a while back. I think it’s young resident paranoia. Want to go home and snuggle with my wife and dog and sleep.

    EDIT–I got released from the hospital with a couple of shots in the ass, and a bag full of drugs. I got home and was able to release my own post from moderation.

  126. 126
    Steeplejack says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Nubuck shoe care.

    More Nubuck shoe care. This is consistent with my experience.

  127. 127
    Raven says:

    @burnspbesq: I that your pup?

  128. 128
    Cacti says:

    Tonight being the winter solstice…

    Happy Yule everyone!

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:


    G has both an iPad and a 2nd generation Kindle, and he still finds himself doing most of his reading on the Kindle since there’s no screen glare and the e-Ink is so close to regular print on paper. I have a Kindle, too (3rd generation) and it really is the next best thing to a printed book. All you can really do with it is read books, but it does that really, really well.

  130. 130

    Apparently the latest Right Wing Fauxtrage concerns the White House Christmas Card which just isn’t “traditional” enough. Yes, they actually are criticizing a fucking Christmas card.

  131. 131

    […] Gacked from Anne Laurie over at Balloon Juice. […]

  132. 132

    .. meanwhile the Fox Business News Christmas Card shows two foxes roasting the NBC peacock over an open fire .. which is totally how Jesus would have wanted it.

  133. 133
    Steeplejack says:


    Yeah, after writing my previous comment I realize I am leaning more toward the Nook than the iPad. I just don’t think I would use all extra bells-and-whistles stuff of the iPad that much, and the Nook, like the Kindle, has a gorgeous E Ink display. I actually prefer the black-and-white display to the color displays of the other Nooks (and the Kindle/Nook reader apps on color devices).

    Like you, I am okay with the device being dedicated to just reading books.

  134. 134
    4jkb4ia says:

    Continuation of Food Rant

    I got my husband to drive to the other butcher shop in town, and they had a two-pound piece of brisket for 30 dollars and some-odd cents. My husband rejected this because it would take too long to cook and be too tough to cut. You could see the fat in the piece they showed us. We instead bought two brisket sandwiches and various deli food. Because it was a holiday I had a meat knish. That was perfectly fine. For Rosh Chodesh next week we will see about fancier meat dishes.

    (This Friday I am planning for chicken with dates and the couscous with confectioners’ sugar I make every year.)

  135. 135
    Martin says:

    @Steeplejack: I’m a quite patient technology buyer and typically wait for certain key features to plateau. For that tablets that’s going to be screen resolution. Once you get there, software UI design flattens out and you wind up with somewhat more future proof device.

    Currently, I think the iPad is just a so-so reader. The active color display is detrimental to reading over the eInk readers, and it offers a bunch of good features beyond reading (really good features in fact) so if you want those, then it’s a no brainer, but if reading is your main thing, I agree, it’s not a clear winner. However, I think once you get 200-300 dpi screens on the iPad, that changes. Now you do have something actively better for reading to trade off against the active display – and you have something which is arguably close to a proper computer in addition. That’s pretty good. The main downside is that the device is not as small and convenient as the 7″ Kindle. But if you have an iPhone, you do have that, so I think it depends a lot on what you have in your life.

    I think the Kindle Fire is actually the worst of all worlds. Eliminating the iPad, the cheap 7″ monocrome Kindle is probably what I would aim for if it wasn’t saddled with Amazons books. It’s small, convenient, and a quite good reader for the reasons Mnemosyne notes. And it’s damn cheap. But I don’t like Amazon eBooks. I think Apple simply using ePub will wind up in a better spot than AZW. Amazon is never going to unwrap the DRM from that format, whereas Apple will as soon as publishers allow them. The reason is that Apple doesn’t care about the book sales. They offer it so they can control the experience, but the revenue is immaterial. The revenue is critical to Amazon – so much so that they’re selling the Fire at a loss to make money on the books and other services.

    People routinely get this backward – and accuse Apple of locking you in – but you really aren’t. You can load any content on your iPod/iPhone/iPad. We’re doing iTunes Match and it’s taken every song in our library, whether we ripped it from a CD or whatever and matched it up with the music in their store (non-DRM) and have stuffed it in our cloud account for free. Apple doesn’t make money on the content, they make money on the hardware, which means they can afford (and routinely do) cut you free on the content side. You can even load Amazon ebooks on the iPad. For Amazon, it’s the reverse. They make no money on the hardware which means that what you are buying isn’t a device but a tether to their store. They will never cut you loose, because that dependency is the thing you just bought.

  136. 136
    Raven says:

    @4jkb4ia: Marbling?

  137. 137
    waratah says:

    @soonergrunt (mobile): My daughter has pneumonia for the third time in as many months. This time the doctor is trying different antibiotics and she also is taking other medicine for allergy’s. Make sure you are completely well before you stop taking medicine. Go back and get rechecked. I am really worried about her. She has been working the whole time.

  138. 138
    Raven says:

    @soonergrunt (mobile): Damn dawg. I’ve been sick for a week, head, throat and chest. I almost recovered but then had to go to my bride’s b-day gig Monday and I fell back. Things are better today but I still feel edgy.

  139. 139
    4jkb4ia says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Looks very good.

  140. 140
    4jkb4ia says:


    I think so. I don’t buy red meat very often at all.

  141. 141
    waratah says:

    @Raven: Raven take care. My daughter had the same symptoms and was diagnosed with pneumonia. She feels better and then it keeps coming back. I guess this is what they mean when they say walking pneumonia.

  142. 142
    Raven says:

    @waratah: How is it diagnosed? never mind, I looked it up.

  143. 143
    Mnemosyne says:


    There is an AppleScript out there that lets you strip the DRM from Amazon books with one click.

    Just sayin’.

  144. 144
    burnspbesq says:


    Was. Lost her about two years ago. We have another rescue Pyr, and he’s cool, but the first one always has a special place in your heart.

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