Open thread

Creep to the mic like a phantom.

151 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    I was reading through a set of research preprints yesterday, and found what might just be the most awesome title for a scientific paper ever:

    “Clarification as to why alcoholic beverages have the ability to induce superconductivity in Fe1+dTe1-xSx”


    They tested red and white wine, beer, sake, single-malt whiskey, and a couple of other things. Also pure water and pure ethanol as controls.

  2. 2
    David Koch says:

    Open Mic:

    What do you call the Palin family dinner?

    A dope ring!

    How do you get Sarah Palin’s eyes to light up?

    You shine a flash light in her ear!

    Why can’t Palin make ice cubes?

    She can’t find the recipe on google!

    How long does it take Sarah Palin to read a book?

    Nobody knows, it’s never been done!

  3. 3
    maryQ says:

    “Early morning, April 4. Shot rings out in the Memphis sky..”

  4. 4
    Schlemizel says:

    Just got a note from employer saying they will no longer allow us to have more than 160 hours of paid time off (sick+vacation). Of course when we are out they hate that because they are losing the billing so its tough to get off some times. Gawd how I love working in this modern third world.

    The only “saving grace” is that I only get 80 hours a year (sick+vacation) anyway so its not impossible to burn some of that up

  5. 5
    mquirk says:

    If you’re in Ann Arbor tonight, go to the Golden Apple Lecture at the Rackham Auditorium – the speaker is Bruce Conforth.

  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    Hello, can everybody hear me? Is this thing on? (Thumps microphone; PA system emits earsplitting howl of feedback.) Sorry. I just wanted to say, um, I’m not sure what the topic is.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Baseball starts tonight.

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    Posted this in the last thread, but since this is an Open Thread, it’s a better fit here.

    Arizona is going to make it illegal to act as a troll on the internet:

    Arizona House Bill 2549 passed both legislative houses last Thursday and is now awaiting approval from Arizona’s governor Brewer. The statute states that:


    “It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.”


    Emphasis added. If the electronic devices and means are employed to stalk a victim, the penalty bumps up to a Class 3 felony.


    For those not intimately familiar with Arizona penal law, a Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to six months in jail (it’s the most aggressive misdemeanor charge the state can bring). A Class 3 felony, meanwhile, carries a minimum sentence of 2.5 years for non-dangerous offenders with no prior record. And a max of 25 years in jail.

    Edit: When did the double underscore trick quit working to separate paragraphs in a blockquote? FYWP!

  10. 10
    Schlemizel says:

    @maryQ: crap – I had forgotten this – thanks for depressing me further

  11. 11
    Amir Khalid says:

    Do we have any Arizona-based trolls here?

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    No idea. And does a person have to be an Arizona resident for it to be enforced? What if the server’s in Arizona? but the people doing the trolling aren’t?

  13. 13
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:


    I just can’t take Bono. I know he’s a good guy, but his music annoys me. He’s the Irish Lenny Kravitz (though I defy you to find a U2 song as catchy as “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over”).

  14. 14
    Martin says:

    @Violet: What if the packets are routed through Arizona? What if the comment is visible in Arizona?

    Fucking interstate commerce, how does it work?

  15. 15
    MattR says:

    Just got an email from our new CEO discussing some of the changes he’s made in his two months in power. I was happy to see that our helath insurance has been changed to include domestic partners because “We want each of our assocaites and their families to have full and complete health coverage. That is the duty of an employee responsive company”

  16. 16
    Tom Q says:

    Glorya Borger on CNN a while ago: The lesson of this fight over healthcare is, significant new programs shouldn’t be passed by slender partisna majorities. Interesting: 60 votes in the Senate is a slender majority. Plus, doesn’t this basically say, as long as Republicans say no, Dems should never do anything.

    There was a time I thought she was a decent reporter.

  17. 17
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: Word. I too find him quite insufferable. Right now, my favoritest band in the world is Queen.

    P.S. Are you BoB, you left the question unanswered in the last post.

  18. 18
    Warren Terra says:


    I just can’t take Bono. I know he’s a good guy, but his music annoys me.

    I’m not sure I’d go that far. He is vocally and visibly concerned for the world’s disadvantaged, but he’s also one of the biggest Tax Scum ever, and I don’t think he’s ever plowed a significant part of the moolah he saved by not paying taxes into helping all the folks he’s so visibly concerned about.

  19. 19
    PeakVT says:

    @kindness: There’s a policy thread for that.

  20. 20
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Tom Q: MSM’s message to Democrats, when the Repubs assault you, lie back and think of England, it is your duty to let them have their way with you.

  21. 21
    slag says:

    Wolf Blitzer–on the waiting room teevee–was just drooling over the author of some article about how this Supreme Court situation is more evidence that proves that passing legislation along party lines is a really bad idea, regardless of the legislation. I lasted no more than a minute before I had to book it to a nearby coffee shop.

    People bitch about the bubble you can exist in when you aren’t forced to listen to alternative viewpoints, and I’m sometimes one of those people. But I can’t rectify my desire to live in a moral world with the teevee’s apparent desire for me to live in a bipartisan world. In daily life, I can’t possibly make decisions based entirely on what may or may not hurt somebody else’s feefees. Who can? And why would we want those people in charge of anything? Let alone our laws?

    /pointless rant

  22. 22
    nellcote says:

    @David Koch:

    LaPalin recommends Alan West for VP.

    Oh wait, that really happened.

  23. 23
    slag says:

    @Tom Q: I see we were exposed to the same Dementors. I think Blitzer’s blathering was actually worse than that of the idiot he was talking to. It’s one thing to be an idiot. It’s another to be an idiot enthusiast.

  24. 24
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @nellcote: He fits the bill. He is black and he is an official member of the 27% what else could one want. As I said yesterday, the VP candidate is going to be a crazy person, a representative of the 27% and a person fluent in wingnut, since it is only a second language for the Mittster.

  25. 25
    kindness says:

    @PeakVT: Sorry, I’m at work and haven’t combed everything.

  26. 26
    Low Umberage Threshold says:

    (thump thump thump) Hello? Test. Test — with an obscure film reference* : Testing — Hot damn, Viet-nam; hot damn, Viet-nam.

    I’m not going to have to sing anything from “Phantom” if I actually come up here and speak into this thing, am I?

    And by the way — what’s all this thread on the floor? Where does it *lead*? Anybody know?

    (* That would be “The Magic Christian” [1970])

  27. 27
    Anya says:

    So, I am in the process of being laid off due to state funding cuts (thank you Andrew Cuomo). I need to figure out what to do with myself, go back to school or bum out for a year.

  28. 28
    patroclus says:

    If Tyrian doesn’t arrange for the chopping of Joffrey’s head off soon, there is no justice in the world!

  29. 29
    Violet says:

    Only go back to school if you know what you are getting out of that investment.

  30. 30
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I am not BoB.

  31. 31
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:


    That sucks. I hate Andrew Cuomo.

  32. 32
    Anya says:

    @nellcote: She just wants someone nuttier than her, so that everyone would be nostalgic for the sane Palin days.

  33. 33
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Tom Q: If the Senate had 73 Democrats, it still wouldn’t be allowed to pass legislation if none of the Republicans vote for it.

    Once again proving that the bipartisanship that Americans Elect is pushing is not the problem, it’s the MSMs refusal to go after the Republicans.

  34. 34
    David Koch says:


    is more evidence that proves that passing legislation along party lines is a really bad idea, regardless of the legislation.

    Wolf and the “press” didn’t have any problems when the bush tax cuts and prescription drugs were passed by slim partisan majorities.


  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @slag: Didn’t Thomas and Alito get confirmed to the Supreme Court by narrow partisan votes?

  36. 36

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: But you were definitely Atanarjuat.

    Country first.

  37. 37
    Punchy says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: THATS yer favorite LK song? Yikes. Its droll and insipid. Gimmie “Mr. Cab Driver” and its funky bass lines.

    Isnt fighting over greatest LK songs like debating the sluttiest Hef “girlfriend”?

  38. 38
    Anya says:

    @Violet: I might do community psychology. For the past two years, I was exposed to a lot brilliant scientist who are challenging a lot of current ways mental illness is treated and diagnosed. I want to explore that further.

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: Thanks! He’s really doing a lot of damage and no one is paying attention because the wingnut governors are taking all the attention.

  39. 39
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: Good to know. BoB must be some kind of performance art, his comments are offensive and over the top ridiculous, a tough balancing act, if there was one.

  40. 40
    PeakVT says:

    @kindness: NP, just pointing you to the fun people already had at Cole’s expense.

  41. 41
    schrodinger's cat says:

    MSM is a problem, they are not afraid of the Democrats as they are of the Republicans. Why are the Democrats so wishy washy. Were they always like that?

  42. 42
    slag says:

    @David Koch: @FlipYrWhig: I don’t know. I really try very hard to not pay attention to these people. I’d get more out of my time if I spent it contemplating what kind of tree I would be.

    But, if I had to guess, when Republicans do it, that’s just their way of telling the rest of us to Suck On This, so we should take it as a compliment–in an “it’s an honor just being invaded” kind of way.

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    Forgot to say, I’m sorry you’re losing your job. Cuomo sucks.

    As for community psychology, it’s great if you know what you want to do or what direction you’d like to go. There are a lot of psychologists who don’t get paid much. Studying some of the more cutting edge stuff might put you in a different category.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:


    I need to figure out what to do with myself, go back to school or bum out for a year.

    Is “bum out for a year” an actual option?

  45. 45

    Anyone know what to do with fennel? I bought some on a whim today, never cooked it before though. Not sure I’ve ever eaten it, either.

  46. 46
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Anya: {{{Anya}}}, here is hoping that you find something even better. Andrew Cuomo sucks, also, too.

  47. 47
    KG says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Thomas was confirmed 52-48 (41 Republicans, 11 Democrats in the majority; 2 Republicans opposed). Alito was 58-42 (4 Democrats in the majority, one Republican opposed).

    ETA: those are the two closest confirmation votes of the current 9.

  48. 48
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Southern Beale: Fennel seeds or the bulb itself?

  49. 49
    Low Umberage Threshold says:

    @Anya: Community psychology is badly needed, given what we’re living through. People are being psychologically damaged.

    No one I’m aware of has ever looked at the psychological cost of the Great Depression. Every person I ever met who lived through that seemed to have some form of PTSD — never so sure of the world they lived afterwards.

  50. 50
    MattR says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: @Anya: Cuomo can’t be worse than Pataki, can he? I don’t pay as close attention to NY politics now that I am in Jersey, but it seems that Cuomo is making some tough cuts out of necessity while Pataki did it out of ideology.

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    Creep to the mic like a phantom.

    Ok, now we’re doing this:

    To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal

    You’re welcome.

  52. 52
    Culture of Truth says:

    So these reporters believe that if the law passed the Senate 100-0 our Scotus would magically interpret the Constitution differenty? Would Nicholas Cage come along and discover hidden text saying the mandate is constitutional after all?

    Judicial review, how does it work??

  53. 53
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Use it in place of celery. Has an anise (licorice) quality.

  54. 54
    Culture of Truth says:

    To be fair Leslie may be correct but I would like to hear him admit he thinks the court is a bunch of political hacks.

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:


    The only “saving grace” is that I only get 80 hours a year (sick+vacation) anyway so its not impossible to burn some of that up

    That’s really, ummm, …not a lot.

  56. 56
    slag says:

    @Low Umberage Threshold: @Anya: Agreed that there is a huge need, and you’d probably be engaged in a truly noble pursuit. Whether or not there’s a market for such nobility is another question.

    Sorry you’re losing your job. That’s a bummer! The silver lining–now you get to shake things up a bit, if you have that luxury.

  57. 57
    David Koch says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: But Nate Silver says he’s LBJ reincarnated.

  58. 58
    PeakVT says:

    @Low Umberage Threshold: People are being psychologically damaged.

    That they are, here and elsewhere.

  59. 59
    the fake fake al says:

    Fascinated with Obama Derangement Syndrome, but I think derangement is not the correct word? Maybe this:

    Psychosis: A severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

    Because current ODS seems so detached from reality, the classic example being that Obama “getting” bin Laden doesn’t really mean anything, or didn’t happen, or was “easy.”

    But deeper, the mechanism of ODS is a person’s internal dialogue, the resentment/hate-scripts they run in their heads, which build up to the point of clouding even basic facts.

    And still deeper, these scripts must be a coping mechanism used to reduce stress. Its relieving to think this way, to repeat some internal dialogue over and over.

    Its fascinating. When ODS is detected, might as well walk away because the person (or organization) is in an alternate reality that provides them comfort at the expense of facts.

    Its like epistemic closure of a person’s own internal dialogue.

  60. 60
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    MSM is a problem, they are not afraid of the Democrats as they are of the Republicans. Why are the Democrats so wishy washy. Were they always like that?

    A period of sustained dominance by one party will swing the media. The liberal media of the 60s came about because Dems controlled the WH from 1933 thru 1952, followed by a RINO for 8 years, followed by another 8 years of Dems in the WH. When that sort of thing goes on for long enough, reporters learn how to trim their sails to cultivate sources in high places or they can’t get their jobs done. Nobody cares about the opinions of some guy who was Sec. of Agriculture back in 1923 when it is now 1948.
    In terms of media bias, we are paying a price now for the dominance of the GOP from 1981 thru 2008. The MSM is like the Supreme Court, they preserve the political climate of 10-20 years ago and they change one obit. at a time.

  61. 61
  62. 62

    @Ben Franklin:

    Okie dokie.

    I’ve found some recipes for grilled fennel, baked with cream and paremsan, etc. So I was confused. Maybe I’ll grill it with some salt, pepper and olive oil.

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    So these reporters believe that if the law passed the Senate 100-0 our Scotus would magically interpret the Constitution differenty?

    Of course the SCOTUS would. If something was so godawful it was passed with majority numbers of both parties then there would be little to no political pressure or stigma associated with it.
    The SCOTUS is a political animal. I’m not sure why anyone ever pretended otherwise.

  64. 64
    DZ says:

    @Southern Beale:

    If you’re roasting a chicken, put onions, fennel and lemon in the cavity and add fennel slice to the bottom of the rosating pan to flavor the gravy. Trust me, you’ll like it.

    Also, try this, one of my favorites:

  65. 65
    DZ says:

    @Southern Beale:

    If you’re roasting a chicken, put onions, fennel and lemon in the cavity and add fennel slice to the bottom of the rosating pan to flavor the gravy. Trust me, you’ll like it.

    Also, try this, one of my favorites:

  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Southern Beale: Cut off the celery-like bits at the top and the root at the bottom, then slice it into lateral slices like you would an onion. Sauté it in butter and olive oil until it’s brown. Use it as a bed for something like a tuna steak or a chicken breast. That’s what we do with it.

  67. 67
    Violet says:

    That is so sad. Speaking of Greeece, I heard on the radio that Greece has cancelled all domestic sporting events as a cost saving measure and they might pull out of the London Olympics.

  68. 68
    DZ says:

    @Southern Beale:

    If you’re roasting a chicken, put onions, fennel and lemon in the cavity and add fennel slices to the bottom of the roasting pan to flavor the gravy. Trust me, you’ll like it.

    Also, try this, one of my favorites:

  69. 69
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I like to braise it in chicken stock and white wine. That’s one of my favorite veggie dishes. It’s also terrific grated in a salad.

  70. 70
    Culture of Truth says:

    Why are the Democrats so wishy washy. Were they always like that?

    Mondale’s most devastating zinger in 1984 was “I like President Reagan.”

    Not to go all cultish but Obama is muhammad ali compared to some past Dems.

  71. 71
    Roger Moore says:


    Just got a note from employer saying they will no longer allow us to have more than 160 hours of paid time off (sick+vacation).

    That’s crazy. My employer recently doubled our allowable accrual to 480 hours of vacation. We also get 80 hours of sick time and 72 hours of “holiday”, which is somehow different from vacation. If we have a long-term illness, we can get up to 480 hours of extended sick time. That’s almost 7 months worth of time off.

  72. 72
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Corner Stone: Yes, yes, of course, but I want to hear Leslie and Gloria say that.

  73. 73
    Anya says:

    @Low Umberage Threshold: Unfortunatly, as a society we don’t think about how community issues can impact the health and wellness of individuals. We spend so much money of prisons but no money at all on community programs that can address those issues.

    @Violet: I really like this field and I’ve been thinking about it for a while. This layoff might be a blessing in disguise for me, but it’s devastating for the dedicated and caring community workers who transform lives on a daily basis with little pay.

    @schrodinger’s cat – thank you. Hopefully, this is a shot in the right direction for me.

    @Corner Stone – husbands have their uses.

  74. 74
    slag says:

    Fuck–CNN’s still on. Who’s the square guy from the WH talking with Blitzer now? Is that Dan Pfeiffer? That haircut does not work for him. He looks like a Lego man.

  75. 75
    Tom Q says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I think you’re mostly correct — the press will always cling to the ancien regime — but I think in this case we’ve seen the press RESIST any evidence to the contrary. Democrats have dominated presidential voting since 1992: their only genuine loss was by a ridiculously small margin, and their wins have often been substantial. Yet the press still acts as if Clinton & Obama getting elected were typos, but Bush’s 2000 victory was the Will of the People. And the 2010 off-year results were viewed as ten times more important than ’06 and ’08 combined.

    Marginally OT: I was going to the bank a few minutes ago, here on the Upper West Side, and Jeffrey Toobin came walking by me. I think I was still wound up from that Glorya Borger thing on CNN, because I couldn’t stop myself from shouting out “Hey, Toobin!” He stopped, and I asked him how he could put up with Blitzer (who, just prior to the Borger story, had been conversing with Toobin on that idiotic “Obama must explain his reasoning” judicial ftom yesterday, citing “a Wall Street Jornal editorial” as back-up). Toobin hemmed and hawed about “He’s playing devil’s advocate”, but I said “You do that enough, after a while it tilts the field and lies take over”. He didn’t exactly argue with me.

    I never do stuff like this, and he may think I’m a neighborhood crazy-man. But at some point it gets too much to take.

  76. 76
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Southern Beale: Grill the fennel, grill some shrimp, toss together with some olive oil and lots of lemon or lime juice.

  77. 77
    kay says:

    @Tom Q:

    I think that’s a real comfortable groove to ride along in for them.
    Bitching about Congress, Presidential leadership, etc.
    For a couple of days they were actually looking at what may turn out to be the reality of the court, and I think that’s just too scary to contemplate.
    I felt I knew they’d circle around the justices and form a sort of barricade. They’re simply not going to go there.
    Bipartisanship, blah, blah, blah. Safer ground.

  78. 78
    DZ says:

    @ Southern Beale:

    One more:

    More complex, but one of my wife’s favorites.


  79. 79
    Anya says:

    @MattR: Cuomo is a corporate democrat, or “a new democrat” as he refers to himself. His cuts are at the expense of the poor, children and elderly. Why is he cuting education public assistance, homeless services, child welfare and healthcare? I don’t know anything about Pataki but I assume he was worse, but that does not give Cuomo a pass. Why aren’t the rich paying their share of the budget shortfall? I think it’s because Cuomo wants to run for president and he does not want to alienate Wall Street.

  80. 80
    apulrang says:

    @Warren Terra: Bono bugs me, too, but I think it’s actually hard to be a celebrity / progressive / activist without eventually becoming insufferable. There’s an sense of presumption that people think is just a by-product of your main stardom. And then there’s the fact that probably a good many celebrity activists have more enthusiasm than knowledge. At least Bono seems to care about actually learning is topic. But he still bugs me.

  81. 81
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore: Good God. Do you work in The Netherlands?

  82. 82
    pragmatism says:

    The chonic Is a really good album.

    I’m super hungover but his made me laugh:
    There are two rules for success:
    1. Never tell everything you know.

  83. 83
    Svensker says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Fennel? Yum! It’s delicious sliced raw to eat like celery with dip, or cut finer to go in a salad. Especially good with lemon juice instead of vinegar in the dressing.

    Cooked fennel is really good. You can do a simple braise — cut it up and saute for a bit in the fat of your choice, add some liquid (chicken broth, beef broth, wine, water, whatever), cover and cook over low heat until done. Then take the lid off and boil down the liquid til it’s syrupy, pour it over the cooked fennel and serve.

    I was talking to some friends this morning about fennel and they mentioned this Ottolenghi recipe for caramelized fennel which they said was fantastic! You don’t have to have the fennel seeds to do it (although it’s a nice touch) and neither one served it with the goat cheese.

  84. 84
    Culture of Truth says:

    Wall Street is New York state so he doesn’t need to aim at the White House to be solicitous of that crowd.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:


    husbands have their uses.

    I’d like to hear three.

  86. 86
    slag says:

    Now Mike Allen’s on talking about urinals. There oughtta be a law!

  87. 87
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Tom Q:

    but I think in this case we’ve seen the press RESIST any evidence to the contrary. Democrats have dominated presidential voting since 1992

    I think of the Clinton admin as being very similar to the Eisenhower admin 1953-1960 in that this is an example of the mostly out-of-power party confirming the dominant ideological tenor of the era by electing a moderate candidate and then working with a Congress controlled by the other party to pass a lot of legislation that fits the ideology of the dominant party. Think of welfare reform, NAFTA, DADT, DOMA, repeal of Glass-Steagall, etc. Clinton was in many ways the best Republican president of my lifetime.
    I don’t know if the press is this analytical about it; I somewhat doubt that, but they may be looking at Obama and thinking that it is too soon to tell if the winds have shifted or if the 2008 election was an aberration. The 2010 midterms didn’t help. I think we need to win several more elections in a row, including the 2014 midterms, before the press will sit up and take notice that times have changed. And in any case I don’t think individuals in the press change that much regardless of the evidence. One obit at a time…

  88. 88
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’d like to hear three.

    Opening jars
    Dealing with spiders
    “Do you know what your kid did today?!”

  89. 89
    Martin says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    So these reporters believe that if the law passed the Senate 100-0 our Scotus would magically interpret the Constitution differenty?

    Somewhat. And they would, somewhat.

    SCOTUS has demonstrated repeatedly that they are not indifferent to political realities, and further they have at times demonstrated an honest effort to help the political landscape. Brown vs Board of Ed might be the most striking example of the court working vastly harder than they needed to hand down a decision in order to hand one down that would minimize political backlash. More recently that was acknowledged in the dissent to Bush v Gore.

    I think if the law passed that overwhelmingly, the court would feel compelled to strike it down with similar strength or barring that to simply not hear it. The ramifications of striking down a unanimous law with a bare or partisan majority on the court would be extraordinary – and they know it. If they didn’t think they could do that, I think they’d simply refuse to hear the case rather than cause the political damage.

    That’s one of the reasons why I’m optimistic about their hearing of PPACA. The court chose to hear the case now, before the election. The mandate doesn’t kick in until next year. They could have ducked the issue, given a potential new President and a new Congress an opportunity to address the mandate, still had time to hear the case next year and hand down a ruling some 6 months before it would have gone into effect. They deliberately avoided that option. They went out of their way to rule on it now, knowing full well that the decision would have political ramifications. But the ramifications of passing the law have already been felt – that was the 2010 election. So upholding it really carries no consequence to the 2012 election calculus – it’s already baked in. Overturning it, however, has huge consequence, and given the courts decision, there’s no way that the public can avoid viewing it as an effort by the court to influence the election.

    I don’t think the court wishes to find itself in that spot, no matter the ideology of the parties involved. I don’t think Roberts would have agreed to hear the case this year if he wasn’t fairly certain of the outcome.

    Or, he could just be pissed at Obama for calling him out in the SOTU and now he gets his revenge.

  90. 90
    MikeJ says:

    @Southern Beale: I lurve fennel. One thing I use it for a lot is cooking fish en papillote.

    Chop up a bunch of veggies, and aromatic ones like fennel are great for this, wrap ’em up in parchment with a nice piece of fish, some halibut perhaps, maybe arctic char, drizzle it all with olive earl, throw in any other herbs you like, salt n’ pepa, maybe some lemon pepper. Oh yeah, throw a slice of lemon in on top of the fish too. Wrap up the parchment over it all, chuck it in the oven at 400 for 15 minutes.

    You get a nice entree and side all done at the same time, everyone gets their own little pouch full of food, so if you’ve got different tastes you can throw different veg, seasoning, or meat for each person without it being a huge production.

  91. 91
    Maude says:

    Cuomo is like Clinton.

    @Culture of Truth:
    The press thinks that if a bill doesn’t pass the Senate, 101 to 0 that it’s not constitutional. What made you think they knew how many Senators there were?
    More than twenty, they have to take off their Pradas.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Martin says:


    Opening jars
    Dealing with spiders
    “Do you know what your kid did today?!”

    That’s a pretty good list. Mine would be pretty close:

    Can you get something out of the attic?
    We caught a mouse, can you deal with it please?
    Go talk to the boy. He’ll know why you’re there and fill you in.

    My 3 backup items are:

    The internet is out, can you fix it?
    Would you build me a deck? Maybe with electricity for my laptop so I can surf the web in the summer? Oh, is the internet fixed yet?
    My car won’t start.

    My trump card is:

    I’d like another kid.

  94. 94
    Ben Franklin says:


    Or, he could just be pissed at Obama for calling him out in the SOTU and now he gets his revenge.

    And why did Obama call them out? Is he confident that the Court is reticent to further alienate the Country? Are they still stung from Bush V Gore; and seeking some redemptive avenue of reclaiming their bona fides?

    Is Obama confident Article III fails to elucidate Judicial Review? Obama wears suspenders, and belts, but this seemed to be his pinata’ moment.

  95. 95
    Mark S. says:


    Nobody thinks Romney’s going to win. Let’s just be honest. Can we just say this for everybody at home? Let me just say this for everybody at home. The Republican establishment–I’ve yet to meet a single person in the Republican establishment that thinks Mitt Romney is going to win the general election this year. They won’t say it on TV because they’ve got to go on TV and they don’t want people writing them nasty emails. I obviously don’t care. But I have yet to meet anybody in the Republican establishment that worked for George W. Bush, that works in the Republican congress, that worked for Ronald Reagan that thinks Mitt Romney is going to win the general election.

    Shit, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of these GOP bigwigs don’t want to win, because then they’d have no choice but to pass the teabagger platform. Then they’d really have to start a war with Iran to distract everyone from VoucherCare.

  96. 96
    Anya says:

    @Corner Stone: If I listen them, I will only sound mushy and ruin my street cred.

  97. 97
    Martin says:


    I think we need to win several more elections in a row, including the 2014 midterms, before the press will sit up and take notice that times have changed.

    Yeah, we need term limits for the villagers. Their retinas calcified back in the Carter administration. It’s one aspect of cloning I might be on board with. If we need to suffer with Bobo, it’d be nice if we could crack open a new one every 2-4 years to a least keep the bipartisan bullshit whining fresh. I’m tired of having to keep fighting my parents’ wars.

  98. 98
    Anya says:

    @Maude: At least Clinton raised taxes.

    Cooking question: can I cook brown rice and lentils together or do I need to cook them separately?

  99. 99
    MikeJ says:

    @Anya: I would cook separately. As the rice absorbs water, the lentils will lose their cooking medium.

  100. 100
    Ben Franklin says:


    Short-grain brown rice will cook slower than lentils. Long-grain? Maybe just a little less simmer time, but still slower than Lentils.

  101. 101
    Culture of Truth says:

    brown rice is scary and threatening

  102. 102

    OH NOES!! There be posters about the labor movement in American, at, double OH NOES!! TEH LABOR DEPARTMENT

    FOR shame

    Signs posted in at least 20 DOL elevators depict Secretary Hilda Solis carrying a bullhorn and rallying alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Free Beacon has learned. Next to the pictures is a quote from Solis that reads in part: “We all march in our own way.”

    Obvious that Solis is a commie agitator, and could even be a soshulist stooge.

    It concludes with a call to action.
    “I believe in the power of collective action. We all play a role. We all march.”

    “It is propaganda. This is what being in a Chinese factory during the Cultural Revolution is like,” the source said. “It’s offensive. It’s saying that we’re all on the side of Trayvon Martin, or whatever Sharpton is doing, and the people of Labor should be for it.”

    THE CollectiveTHE CollectiveTHE CollectiveTHE CollectiveTHE Collective

    And no epic race/Jew baiting right wing screed would be complete without a speculation of how much the taxpayers are out for this brazen support for organized labor, AT THE FUCKING LABOR DEPARTMENT. THE ONE WITH LABOR LAWS, COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND ALL THAT KIND OF LIBERAL SHIT.

    It is unclear how much money the posters have cost the government to produce, but the DOL source speculated that across three years—when the signs first began to appear—the signage could total close to $1 million dollars.

    Of course, it had to be ONE MILLION, or we aren’t talking about real money.

    The DOL source explained that new pro-Obama posters appear in the elevators nearly every week. The source, who has worked at the department for more than a decade, said that the signs started appearing shortly after Obama entered office.

    Pictures of the Kenyan Usurper scattered about like red newsletters for the proletariat to be branewashed. And somebody has not been in a federal building lately, ANY federal building where they all have mugshots of the current presnits and have like forever.

    Other posters have touted “gay rights, quotes from Obama, and pictures of Obama with quotes from the chairman,” the source added.

    Wonderful dismount wingnuttery, closely with the obligatory gay baiting for the nutter nutters.

    I don’t think the Onion is behind this story, but they should have been

  103. 103
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I have three more to add
    1. Doing the dishes
    2. Taking out the trash
    3. Discussing politics and quantum mechanics

  104. 104
    Anya says:

    @MikeJ: @Ben Franklin: There goes my time saving technique. Thanks!

  105. 105
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Culture of Truth: No it is not. It just takes slightly longer to cook. Remember to wash the rice before cooking.

  106. 106
  107. 107
    maryQ says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity: Not taking, DougJ. Music preference is deeply personal. So I give you an automatic win on this.

  108. 108
    Nethead Jay says:

    @dmsilev: That sounds like something headed for an Ig Nobel prize.

  109. 109
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:


    Yeah, we need term limits for the villagers.

    Oh Dear God YES. Listening to MSM political coverage is like being stuck at the world’s worst high-school reunion listening to everyone rehash the same old grudges and crushes from 1979, with bad music, cold insipid food, everyone else is fat, bald and stupid, and the doors are locked. For all of eternity.

  110. 110
    Jesse Ewiak says:

    As a side note, ole’ Scarbrough was butthurt about Obama’s speech yesterday on Afternoon when I watch clips of it Joe.

  111. 111
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Anya: speaking of scary brown rice, the white family is in decline.

    The Washington Post:

    Trayvon Martin’s Death Raises the Question: Where Is the American Black Family?

    Rep. Bobbie Rush and others shouldn’t be spending time wearing hoodies on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, reinforcing negative stereotypes of the thug life (drug dealers with pit bulls, jailhouse fashion, women described derogatorily and illegitimate babies in tow).

    “There is no fashion, no thug attitude that should be an invitation to murder. But these are the real murderous forces surrounding the Martin death — and yet they never stir protests”

    Instead of wearing hoodies and participating in what I call hollow racial protests, the NAACP, black congressmen and concerned citizens need to be showing outrage at the cancer called the breakdown of the American black family. Since the 1960s, the crumbling black family has led to more black men in prison, greater number of high school dropouts, suspensions, etc. Finally, the biggest problem is 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers.

  112. 112
    Martin says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    brown rice is scary and threatening

    Stand your ground!

  113. 113
    Chat Noir says:

    @Martin: You are one of my favorite commenters on Balloon Juice. I like your insight on the various threads and I like your sense of humor.

  114. 114
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Martin: Their view is much earlier than Carter on many things. It’s all hippies vs. hardhats circa 1968.

  115. 115
    Martin says:

    @General Stuck (on self glorifiication): Don’t tell them, but almost every federal office in the country has a photo of Obama in it – just like Kim Jong-Il.

  116. 116
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Culture of Truth: Didn’t Daniel Patrick Moynihan write most of that bilge in the ’70s?

  117. 117
    Martin says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Finally, the biggest problem is 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers.

    Maybe if we’d stop tossing all of the dads in prison, or shooting them on the way back from the Piggly Wiggly, that statistic might improve.

  118. 118
    Anya says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Trayvon Martin’s Death Raises the Question: Where Is the American Black Family?

    Really? How so? By all accounts Trayvon Martin was a regular 17-year old. So, this case is not about vigilante justice or crazy gun laws but about the decline of black family? I fucking hate these racist assholes and the gasbags who enable them because of their internalized issues and/or careerism.

  119. 119
    Culture of Truth says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I believe he did. I am not sure what his thoughts were on lentils, but he was pro-fennel.

  120. 120
    Culture of Truth says:

    in Italy, ‘fennel’ is slang for gay

  121. 121
    Martin says:

    @Chat Noir: Why thank you. I appreciate the affirmation that I might not be as big an asshole as I suspect I am.

  122. 122
    Arm The Homeless says:

    Just got my brand spankin’ new copy of Assaracus where my wonderfully sardonic, rant-filled sister pours her heart out for you, and then proceeds to metaphorically unwind your lower intestine.

    I will let you guess who she is, but I think the informed commentariat can make a guess as to why her name is a bit familiar to those who read the post tags.

  123. 123
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Anya: because arble-garble. Do not let facts get in the way of good meme

  124. 124
    Culture of Truth says:

    Nicole Brown Simpson’s death raises the question: Why do white people do so much insider trading?

  125. 125
    Corner Stone says:

    Listen, I don’t care what any of you have to say on the matter.
    The NFL channel on cable is the absolutely best thing the small sized moving pictures and talkies industry ever did. EVER.

  126. 126
    WaterGirl says:

    Every day, for the past week or 10 days, I have heard myself involuntarily exclaiming “what the fuck is wrong with these people?”

    Apparently, I like to vary it a bit, though, because sometimes it’s “what the fuck is wrong with this country?”.

    It’s like we are living in a world where suddenly all the crazies got into power, and they are all screwing with everything, on a million fronts, all at the same time. I hope to god that we are at the outmost edge of the pendulum swing, because I’m not sure how much more we can take and still have our little experiment with democracy survive.

  127. 127
    AA+ Bonds says:

    So the Cali shooting perfectly fits Mark Ames’s profile of a workplace/campus spree kill:

    shooter showed up to workplace/campus looking for a particular person with specific power with whom shooter had a specific grudge, and when shooter couldn’t find that person, shooter began killing and injuring indiscriminately

    As good a time as any to read Going Postal – y’all have a book club, right?

    It is germane to the topics discussed here, as it reviews the recent history in light of post-Reagan work conditions in the United States

  128. 128
    David Koch says:

    @Culture of Truth: you would never see a paper, let alone WaPo, writing why aren’t whites protesting dangerous hazing rituals at fraternities or why aren’t latinos protesting illegal immigration or why aren’t jews protesting bernie madoff.

    Such articles would be ridiculous as well as offensive.

    Yet major media outlets never have a problem applying such fallacies to blacks.

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:


    Don’t tell them, but almost every federal office in the country has a photo of Obama in it – just like Kim Jong-Il.

    Kim Jong-Il had photos of Obama in all his offices?

  130. 130
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    brown rice is scary and threatening

    No, it just tastes like crap.

  131. 131
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Corner Stone:

    No, Kim Jong-Il regularly ate photos of Obama to gain power over his foe

    This is why he is known as “Brave Sparrow of Plenty” in the songs of the people

  132. 132


    I ended up doing pretty much what you suggested. Roasted it in a 400 degree oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. Added some chopped fresh rosemary from the garden at the end. It is SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I’m a fennel convert!!!

  133. 133
    Martin says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Kim Jong-Il had photos of Obama in all his offices?

    Makes it even worse, doesn’t it? But prove that I’m wrong.

  134. 134
    Mark S. says:

    Former “Sheriff of the Year” Pleads Guilty in Meth-for-Sex Case

    The sheriff looks a little old to be in the meth-for-sex business.

  135. 135
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    No, it just tastes like crap.

    You’re confused. It craps like a good shit.

  136. 136
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    As a tonic, do some reading about other periods. We aren’t alone. Decent Americans have been battling the zombie hordes since basically forever. I’m currently re-reading Perlstein’s Before the Storm about the Goldwater-era conservative movement leading up to the 1964 election. On almost every other page there is some tidbit from that era that makes me start to think “WTF is wrong with these people!? How could they be so stupid back then…” and then I realise, oh yeah, Teaparty, etc.; nevermind. Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose. If nothing else, it gives you a sense that somehow we will survive all this, so our grandchildren can laugh and point fingers at us.

  137. 137
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Apparently the American black family is wondering: where is our son

  138. 138
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Trayvon Martin’s Death Raises the Question: Where Is the American Black Family?

    A good response to this would be to silently hold up a placard that says ‘Genesis 4:9’

  139. 139
    AA+ Bonds says:

    From Facebook photos taken days before George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, we know where Trayvon’s family would rather be: taking him fishing, or horseback riding

    But they can’t do that anymore, because George Zimmerman shot their son and killed him

  140. 140
    Corner Stone says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I think the replies have encapsulated why I don’t plan to be a husband again.
    None of the check marks mentioned sexual entendres.

  141. 141
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Washington Post: Enemies Of The People

  142. 142
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mark S.: Never too old to get it on.

  143. 143
    Corner Stone says:

    And specifically as it relates to the Trayvon Martin case, I read where his mother cried in bed for days while the father had to take care of all the details.
    Not me. My heart would explode so hard it would kill the three people within six feet of me at the time.

  144. 144
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Those are our maximum allowable accrual, not our annual amount. The maximum vacation and holiday accruals represent 3 years worth, and filling the extended disability bank would require 6 years without a sick day. And our managers can still say no if we want to use all that vacation time in a single shot, though they’re required to approve some amount of time off for people who have maxed out their accrual.

  145. 145
    Steeplejack says:

    When exactly did mike become mic? I’m old and I can’t remember. I keep seeing “mick.”

    Gonna move my Hoveround closer to the TV.

  146. 146
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Let me requote something I said in a previous topic:

    And on a separate but partially related note: I’m swearing off any more Trayvon Martin coverage from hereonin. It seems like the die has been cast to where one side has gone from ‘Calm down, wait ‘til all the facts are out!’ to ‘SEE! SEE!! RED ON HIS HEAD, THAT PROVES THAT TRAYVON WAS A VIOLENT SUPER THUGGY THUG LIKE ALL YOU GODDAMN BLACKS’ I mean, FUCK, people are actually using ‘Trayvon’ as shorthand for ‘Black, Scary, and Obviously Criminal’ now, and that’s fucking depressing on so many fucking levels.

    The depressing thing that keeps finding its way to the forefront of my mind is that the only lasting legacy of this tragedy may really be the overt demonization of hoodies.

  147. 147
    nellcote says:

    But, but isn’t Cuomo the Great Progressive Hope because he signed on to gay marriage?

  148. 148
    Sad_Dem says:

    Lately I’ve been reading about the death of Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain’s most famous poet. He was killed by a Falangist (BTW there is an American Falangist party) death squad in the opening days of Spain’s civil war. Even though Lorca was a famous and much-loved poet at the time, he was also leftist and gay. By coincidence he was killed with a couple of anarchists who had resisted (with rifles) the violent takeover (with mortars and soldiers) of the local government and a one-legged primary school teacher who was an atheist.

    In that war, the liberals were “red” and Republican, and the conservatives were “blue” and were the rebels.

  149. 149
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Corner Stone: __
    I bummed out for a year when I was 25. Quit my job, spent all my savings and the retirement money I got when I quit. Railpassed through Europe for 3 months, did 2 laps of the US, via road trip and Greyhound. Best decision of my life.
    One could argue it set me back career-wise, but I didn’t find my current career until I was almost 40, anyway.

  150. 150
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I’ve had the same moments reading “Battle Cry of Freedom” about the 1850s. Kept lifting my head up and saying to my wife “Jeez, listen to this, South Carolina hasn’t changed a bit!”

  151. 151
    Spybubble says:


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