Open Thread

Looks like that time again.

67 replies
  1. 1
    the Conster (f/k/a Cat Lady) says:

    Attn Cole: Don’t let this be Tunch. kthxbai.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Lojasmo says:

    Just finished the “good side” (outside) of my backyard fence. Now, +2. Going to walk the dog, do a five mile MTB ride, then fix the headliner in my crrappy van.

  4. 4
    Jade Jordan says:

    Where is John Cole? Somewhere slobbering over Lily I guess.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    gogol's wife says:

    @Jade Jordan:

    I gather from last night’s post that he’s preparing a barbecue for 30 people for his friend’s book launch. I’m sure there will be some news bulletins in the middle of the night.

  7. 7
    Steeplejack says:

    The documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters was mentioned in the “toughest game” thread a couple of days ago, and I noticed that it is being shown on ESPN Classic a few times this weekend (all times Eastern): 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. tonight and 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

    Trailer here.

  8. 8
    jeffreyw says:

    Uploading rock garden project pics to photobucket. I have some herbs to install into the container garden on the front patio. Bought some Italian oregano, orange mint, flat leaf parsley, and some rosemary. Mrs J told me to never let the mint out of the pot.

  9. 9
    Steeplejack says:


    That’s really good, almost Onion-level.

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne says:

    Still sittin’ around in my bathrobe. I need to go down to the bank and get some quarters so I can do laundry, and I was going to run out to the bike shop today to get the little doodad I need so I can put the back rack on my bike when it arrives next week. (One of the many annoying things about being a short woman who needs a short frame is that you need a special attachment for stuff like racks.)

  11. 11
    bemused senior says:

    A relative of Tunch is featured on Yahoo’s Upshot:

  12. 12
    Argive says:

    The LA County coroner’s report is in: Andrew Breitbart died of heart failure. Specifically, hardening of the arteries. He had no illicit drugs in his system and his BAC was 0.04%. The coroner’s office has deemed it a natural death. I expect that Freepers will immediately begin ranting about how they read this one Tom Clancy book once where the government had some drug that could cause heart failure and make it look natural, so therefore Obozo had Breitbart assassinated.

  13. 13
    ulee says:

    @Jade Jordan: Cole is in the kitchen mixing up the medicine.

  14. 14
    the Conster (f/k/a Cat Lady) says:

    @Cap’n Magic:

    Immediately followed by the overthrow of Evo Morales and a coalition of the willing to fight the “terrorists” in Bolivia.

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    Walked to my excellent local bakery this morning and treated myself to a chocolate croissant. Then walked home and discovered that an almost-open new restaurant is hosting a benefit tonight to support groups fighting child slave labor in the chocolate industry. Will return this evening to support that. Also discovered that my favorite cheese shop has opened a shop in my neighborhood. So excited about that. They find fantastic locally made cheeses.

    All in all, a very yummy foodie morning.

  16. 16
    ulee says:

    Tunch is on the pavement thinking bout the government.

  17. 17
    Anoniminous says:


    The lack of evidence for foul play just goes to prove how insidious* the Kenyan Islamo-Terrorist is and why Murika needs the Gun Down Negros Freely Stand Your Ground Laws.

    * Assuming they know what “insidious” means (BIG assumption)

  18. 18
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oh, GOD, I hear you! The extender worked well on my mountain bike and just barely made it on my hybrid, but I’m glad it exists.

    What saddens me is that the differing geometry of the bikes means I can fasten a good old milk crate on my mountain bike for shopping days, but my saddle hangs out so far over the rear rack on my hybrid that I can only use folding side baskets or panniers.

    How’s the new bike behaving otherwise?

  19. 19
    Professor says:

    Has anybody seen the new Romney political slogan?’Obama isn’t Working? This is not original. The slogan was used by the Conservative Party (UK) in 1979. Then, the slogan was: ‘Labour isn’t working’. The advertising agent was an outfit called Saatchi & Saatchi. Margaret Thatcher won the election that was held in 1979!

  20. 20
    MaryJane says:

    @Argive: Wondering how much and what kind of slop a 43 year old has shove in his piehole to drop dead from hardening of the arteries.

  21. 21
    Schlemizel says:


    Yes, because if Obama had that sort of power and a tool like that Dimbart would be the one guy he would use it on. Out of all the fools in the world that need to spend quality time with the great beyond, or all the “threats” to Barry’s Islamocommiefacist dreams and plans none was the equal of ol Andy Dimbulb

  22. 22
    Hal says:

    Huffpo has a story on Breitbart’s cause of death, and the comments section is a doozy.

    He was a truth teller, a real amercian hero, etc etc. What world do those people live in?

  23. 23
    Haydnseek says:

    @MaryJane: No shit. I guess when the dessert cart rolled around he couldn’t manage to BEHAAAAVE himself.

  24. 24
    bemused says:


    Genetics plays a huge role. Slop speeds up the process.

  25. 25
    Montysano says:

    Just got back from Record Store Day at our local record shop here in north Alabama. I never thought, in the year 2012, that I’d see 100 people lined up to get in a record shop.

    I had 4 records on my list; only got #4. Everything else was gone by the time I got into the store. This is a good thing, I think.

  26. 26
    Jennifer says:

    God struck him dead for being such a black-hearted liar.

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    That may have worked better in the UK because it was a play on words with “Labour” (meaning work) and “isn’t working”. Labour is also impersonal in that the word itself means work, isn’t just the name for a political party.

    That slogan is going to work much less well here because what people will see is “Obama working”. The “isn’t” vanishes when you look at it because there’s no play on words. There’s an added fail of Romney standing next to or behind a bunch of signs saying “Obama”. Way to remind everyone else of your opponent.

  28. 28
    Cap'n Magic says:

    Now it looks like the US Vs. Megapload case may never happen?!

    The US judge handling the Megaupload case noted today that it may never be tried due to a procedural error, a comment that has sparked the anger of Megaupload’s founder. Kim Dotcom is furious with the US Government for destroying his businesses and rendering hundreds of people unemployed. According to Dotcom the case is the result of “corruption on the highest political level, serving the interests of the copyright extremists in Hollywood.”

    Earlier today the news broke that a Megaupload trial may never happen because the US Government failed to serve the now defunct file-hosting company.

    While some defendants might respond with relief upon hearing such news, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is only becoming more furious at the people who destroyed his businesses.

    “The US government has terminated Megaupload, Megavideo and 10 other subsidiaries, including a company called N1 Limited that was developing a clothing line,” Dotcom told TorrentFreak.

    “They destroyed 220 jobs. Millions of legitimate Mega users have no access to their files.”

    If Judge O’Grady is to be believed all this damage could very well have been for nothing because the authorities simply can’t serve foreign companies. This could lead one to wonder whether the whole setup was to simply destroy Mega’s businesses.

    This is certainly a theory Dotcom subscribes to, and it’s not the only dirty trick Megaupload’s founder believes the US Government is playing. The US is structurally denying Megaupload the chance to put up a fair fight.

    “We are refused access to the evidence that clears us, we are refused funds to pay our lawyers, we are refused to pick the lawyers we want to represent us and have any chance for a fair trial,” Dotcom says.”

  29. 29
    Mnemosyne says:


    I can’t remember where I read this, but I think Breitbart was a diabetic (type I aka juvenile diabetes) who was very bad about monitoring his blood sugar. If that was the case, hardening of the arteries and heart failure is a very common outcome.

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    What do y’all Californians think of The Great California Exodus?

    Clearly suspect based on the source, but I am interested in specific reactions folks might have. I admit that as a NYC kid who’s spent her entire adult life in dreary NoVA, the California dream has always had a certain mystique for me.

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Other than needing the special piece to put the rack on, I LOVE my bike so far. I rode it to work three times this week, which is my goal. The upright ride is so much better for heavy city traffic, IMO. But I do sometimes hear this movie music in my head while I’m riding.

    I bought a front basket to get me through until my rack arrives (there was a mix-up with the Amazon vendor, grr) and now I remember why I ended up taking the front basket off my old bike — it really unbalances the handlebars to a distracting degree. I may invest in a basket that attaches to the stem instead of the handlebars and see if that helps any.

  32. 32
    eemom says:


    excellent, thanks for that. Shared on FB.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:


    Wow. I can’t believe a supposed expert in urban California could do an entire interview and not mention Prop 13 even once.

    And then goes on to complain about how our state income taxes are too high. Hey, genius, maybe it’s because your property tax and the property tax of every commercial property in California has been frozen since 1978 and the state needs to make up the difference elsewhere?

    ETA: Also, too, Hollywood has been filming in other locations for decades now, but you don’t see Warner Bros. or Disney moving their corporate headquarters to Utah or New Orleans, now do you?

  34. 34
    ruemara says:

    @eemom: I’d leave if there was a job, but I don’t see any figures to back up his claims. Add to that his dismissive approach to green energy, high density housing and general regressive stupid libertarian claptrap and, um, I see someone got paid to write 500 words on bs.

  35. 35

    @jeffreyw: Ha! If you can keep mint in the pot, you’re ahead of the game. I suggest putting the pot on concrete, may yards away from an actual garden (or indeed any soil). That will give you a fighting chance.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, about Breitbart, it came out after his death that he had a history of heart problems.

    Heart disease + ADHD medication = good possibility of dropping dead in your early 40s

  37. 37
    jncc says:


    “if you’re a guy working for a Silicon Valley company and you’re married and you’re thinking about having your first kid, and your family makes 250-k a year, you can’t buy a closet in the Bay Area,” Mr. Kotkin says. “But for 250-k a year, you can live pretty damn well in Salt Lake City. And you might be able to send your kids to public schools and own a three-bedroom, four-bath house.”

    This guy is moron. If you have a steady family income of 250K, you should be able to afford a $750K house and there are plenty of 3BR houses for sale on the SF peninsula, even a few apartments in SF.

    His larger point (that the shine is off the Golden State) may be right, though.

  38. 38
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mnemosyne: Two things I noticed. One, as you noted, no mention of Prop 13. It had an immediate impact on state finances and has been getting worse as time went on. Sort of like the Bush Tax Cuts. Second, we used to have lax regulation, this is true. Now we’re paying for that with environmental remediation. The EPA’s been drilling a well down the street from me this week to assess crap in our local water. I think I’d take the regulation so the crap doesn’t get into the water table in the first place.

  39. 39
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @eemom: I left in 1978 when Proposition 13 passed and destroyed local government finances. I think it also required a 2/3 majority in the State lege to raise taxes.

    California’s been going downhill since then. All this guy’s whinging about taxes is the amount they need to get the state back to where it used to be.


    ETA: PS Moved from the Right Coast to the Left to go to college. I was one of the easterners influenced heavily by the Mama’s and the Papa’s and the whole Golden State thing going on when Calif was in its ascendancy.

  40. 40
    Haydnseek says:

    @eemom: I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have always lived here. Yeah, people here pay a lot of attention to that “green stuff.” Trouble is, that green stuff used to be the air. Now it’s people who are environmentally conscious. Of course real estate is expensive on the coast! Because “coast” is another word for “beach!” Duhhhh…..
    Some people leave because it’s expensive to live here. Ya know why? Because so many fucking people want to live here! The economy sucks? Sure it does, but not enough to keep California from being the 15th largest economy in THE WORLD. I’m not connected to the Chamber of Commerce, and boosterism is foreign to my nature, but fewer people in urban areas also has its benefits. For one, I’ll have an easier time finding parking in the Arts District downtown.

  41. 41
    PeakVT says:

    @Haydnseek: Nobody lives California anymore; it’s too crowded.

    ETA: Cali GSP (GDP) would put it at number 9 globally, between Italy and Russia.

  42. 42
    pk says:

    Got a message from some republican group about Steve Welch running in the republican primary to go up against Casey. After stating that the other two of his opponents were former Democrats, so we shouldn’t vote for them, it went on to talk about how much Welch cares about, life, home schooling, guns and low taxes. Since when have guns and home schooling become more important than taxes? I know the message is not tailored towards me, but how can it appeal to any sane human?

  43. 43
    Jibeaux says:

    @Violet: Now you just need to find a post-dinner dessert spot hosting a benefit to stop child labor in the cheese industry, and you’ll have a highly symmetrical day.

  44. 44
    eemom says:

    Thanks y’all.

    On second read I noticed the bullshit political agenda more.

    Still interested in the larger question about whether the middle class IS being squeezed out, whatever the cause.

  45. 45
    RSA says:

    @PeakVT: That was very good. Thanks. This line was my favorite:

    Facts is survived by two brothers, Rumor and Innuendo, and a sister, Emphatic Assertion.

  46. 46
    eemom says:


    heh heh. Funny you should mention that.

    Some Republican strategists and officials, reluctant to be identified because they do not want to publicly antagonize the party’s base, fear that the attention these divisive social issues are receiving at the state level could harm the party’s chances in November, when its hopes of winning back the White House will most likely rest with independent voters in a handful of swing states.

    Die, fucktards.

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:


    I think there is a middle-class squeeze going on, but it’s happening all over the country, not just in California. To try and claim that it’s only happening here is, frankly, bullshit.

  48. 48
    Haydnseek says:

    @PeakVT: Thanks. I gladly stand corrected. Also, too, thanks for the link. Best thing I’ve seen in a long time….

  49. 49
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @eemom: The middle class is being squezed everywhere. Possibly a bit more in CA. One of the factors that drew people to CA in 1950-1980 was good infrastructure. Not just roads, but also good schools. We pissed that away with Prop 13. Property taxes for new entrants into the housing market may be as much as 4x as much as the neighbor in a identical home next door. Also increasing taxes takes a super majority in the leg and I think by direct vote. It’s expensive here, there’s only so much land by the coast, head inland you have more heat in the summer and the air quality sucks. There’s alot more than oppresive regulation and taxes that causes the middle class to move from the coast, sometimes moving as far inland as AZ and NV. Prop 13 really destroyed CA, fuck Howard Jarvis(he’s the guy in the cab in Airplane) with one of Asiangrrl’s rusty pitchforks.

  50. 50
    PeakVT says:

    @Haydnseek: Just trying to give Cali its due. Until recently it would have ranked 7th, but both China and Brazil have overtaken it, and India will soon – which is good news for everyone, including Californians.

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:


    The economy sucks? Sure it does, but not enough to keep California from being the 15th largest economy in THE WORLD.

    California is too big to fail. We need to split you fuckers up!


    A Concerned New Yorker Who’s Annoyed By CA Having More Electoral Votes Than Us


  52. 52
    cckids says:

    I’m trying to get everything I’ve bought planted because it is supposed to be 99 f-ing degrees here tomorrow & thru the week. I’ve got lots of herbs, a few tomatoes, some honeysuckle & cats-claw vines. Also a nice container for the midget cacti I’ve been coaxing along for the past year.

    You’d think after living in S. Nevada for 16 years I’d be used to the hammer of heat dropping every spring, but I seem to hate it more as I live here longer.

    Want to get out & head north & west, but when the spouse is self-employed, it is difficult to imagine picking up & starting over at 50.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    I have a question for the floor: when did skinny white girls become the world’s default standard for feminine beauty, and why?

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:


    Some Republican strategists and officials, reluctant to be identified because they do not want to publicly antagonize the party’s base, fear that the attention these divisive social issues are receiving at the state level could harm the party’s chances in November …

    Shorter Concerned Republican Strategists:

    See? The GOP is moderate, we just want to fix the economy. We’re not really extreme. Our base just draws us that way.


  55. 55
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Amir Khalid: Skinny white girls — not for me.

  56. 56
    RossInDetroit says:

    Screwing around with audio electronics today. Managed to get a $0.40 amplifier, a $0.98 speaker, a $5 MP3 player and a 9V battery to sound really nice and listenable. It’s all in the feedback.

    Saturdays are tough because it’s everyone’s hobby day. If I stopped to shoot the breeze with everyone who wants to call and bounce ideas off of me on the weekend I would get nothing done. I hate to cut people off but it’s my hobby day too. If you want to know if X will work with Y, I’m glad to recommend a book so you can learn it like I did.

  57. 57
    Ben Franklin says:

    THIS, imo, is why the Feds wanted SOPA, and it’s even more craven cousin CISPA.

    They just want to close the barn door before the horse gets out.

    Remember earlier this year when the New Zealand government and the US government conspired to send a SWAT team to arrest Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload, shut down the service, make 220 people unemployed, seize Dotcom’s assets, and deprive millions of users of access to their files? Well now a US judge says that the trial against Dotcom will probably never proceed, because the US government didn’t ever formally charge Dotcom. This wasn’t a mere oversight, either. They were not legally allowed to charge him. TorrentFreak reports:

    “I frankly don’t know that we are ever going to have a trial in this matter,” Judge O’Grady said as reported by the NZ Herald.

    Judge O’Grady informed the FBI that Megaupload was never served with criminal charges, which is a requirement to start the trial. The origin of this problem is not merely a matter of oversight. Megaupload’s lawyer Ira Rothken says that unlike people, companies can’t be served outside US jurisdiction.

  58. 58
    cckids says:

    @Amir Khalid: When the US-dominated media started taking over the world, and became more & more narrow & “focused”. It is the same reason most news outlets over the past few days devoted bizarre amounts of time to the Mitt Romney “Cookie Monster” story – they are all chasing the same car, barking in unison.

    Maybe the “ideal” started in the 60’s, with Twiggy, et al, and just got stuck there. God forbid anyone have an original idea.

  59. 59
    Ben Franklin says:

    I think this was discussed yesterday, but I liked this take on the story ‘The Obituary for FActs”

    To the shock of most sentient beings, Facts died Wednesday, April 18, after a long battle for relevancy with the 24-hour news cycle, blogs and the Internet. Though few expected Facts to pull out of its years-long downward spiral, the official cause of death was from injuries suffered last week when Florida Republican Rep. Allen West steadfastly declared that as many as 81 of his fellow members of theU.S. House of Representatives are communists

  60. 60
    eemom says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s funny you should ask that today, as I happen to be obsessing over my weight more than I usually do.

    I’m almost 50, 5’3″ — never been actually skinny, but I have picked up a bunch of pounds in the last couple of years, and can’t seem to get motivated to do much about it other than obsess.

    It’s that I have generally been considered an attractive woman most of my life, and I wonder — is that gone now that my size has inched up a few notches?

  61. 61
    JGabriel says:

    cckids responding to Amir Khaled:

    Maybe the “ideal” started in the 60’s …

    As far as I know, the “skinny ideal” started in the 1920s, or maybe the late 19-teens. I don’t know that color/race is a particular factor, There are plenty of beautiful black, brown, and Asian women who are slender.

    It probably began because skinny looked better in motion pictures, and because the fashions of the flapper era looked better on thin bodies (c.f., Josephine Baker or Louise Brooks). The latter might be true of some of the fashions in the 1890s too, though, so maybe it’s just a cyclical thing — ethereal, fragile bodies have been hallmarks of beauty in myths (think angels, or elves in Tolkien) going back for centuries at least, possibly millenia.


  62. 62
    RossInDetroit says:


    Or the fetishization of youth as representative of purity. And no, I have no idea why.

  63. 63
    Amir Khalid says:

    The question occurred to me because the fancier malls here have been holding fashion promos again, complete with models on runways — and the models are almost always SWGs. They look pretty enough in the face, I guess; but they’re practically swimming in all but the tightest clothes, and they’re not a good guide to how the clothes would fit a woman of more normal dimensions.

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    That’s kind of funny because, at least here in the States, the stereotype of Asian women is that they tend to be slender (or at least thinner than women of other ethnicities, including white women), so the idea of importing European women to be models would seem kind of strange.

    And I specificially said “European” because the odds are that all of those girls are from Eastern Europe, where modeling makes you a whole lot more money than any other job you can get when you’re 15 or so. Even here in the States, a lot of the top models are from Eastern Europe now.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:


    The ideal is weirder now than it was in the 1920s, though, thanks to plastic surgery. The skinny ideal meant that the model was skinny all over (to the point that larger-breasted women would bind their breasts down). Now the ideal is to have large breasts but a very thin body, and the only way to do that is with surgery.

    Always keep in mind the words of Tina Fey, fellas: If there’s no meat on the arms, they’re fake.

  66. 66
    eemom says:


    in my gym locker room experience, it’s easy to spot the ones that are fake. They look like balloons.

  67. 67
    Amir Khalid says:

    The SWGs I’ve seen modelling here in KL tend to be Eastern European teenagers too. They’re everywhere.

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