Friday Evening Open Thread: Let A Thousand Conspiracy Theories Blossom!


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Everybody knows that the FBI and the CIA love each other like Irish brothers — they only stop fighting tooth & nail when there’s an external enemy to gang up on. Now the Daily Beast (of course!) brings us the story of “Paula Broadwell, FBI Agent?“:

… According to a retired FBI agent, the woman now at the center of the David Petraeus scandal applied to the FBI six years ago, passed a polygraph test, and was offered an appointment. Broadwell was a recruiter’s dream: a West Point graduate who had been named the fittest in her class with a master’s degree in international security from the University of Denver. She even had active-duty military experience.

“I’m sure that applicant coordinator in Denver was salivating over her,” the retired agent says.

The bureau further noted the great potential Broadwell had demonstrated during her stint in 2003 and 2004 as an Army intelligence officer attached to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Denver. The retired agent notes, “She did very well.”

And Broadwell seems to have been as enthusiastic about the FBI as the FBI was about her. She was just a solemn oath away from becoming an agent when she was offered a spot as a research associate at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard. She made the choice any ambitious person might.

“Go to Harvard,” the retired agent says.

Broadwell could only have felt the wisdom of her choice further affirmed when she went to see Gen. David Petraeus speak at the Kennedy School of Government there. He surely was only offering to help out a student with her dissertation when he gave her his card.

So instead of becoming an FBI agent, Broadwell became the biographer of a general once widely seen as one of America’s greatest living heroes. She married a doctor, had two sons, and settled into a beautiful home in Charlotte, N.C….

Why don’t you play a little game of solitaire, Paula?…

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162 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    So instead of becoming an FBI agent,

    Do we know that for sure? Inquiring minds wonder if she was working for both.

  2. 2
    some guy says:

    was there sexting ?

  3. 3
    cathyx says:

    Sleeping with Petraeus is definitely taking one for the team.

  4. 4
    Felonius Monk says:

    Oh, just what I’ve been waiting all day for — Bullshit from The Beast on the most serious spy story of the decade.

    Thanks Anne — I am so tired of this already, but I think the more interesting character in all this is Jill Kelly – I understand that she has complained to the Mayor (of Tampa ?) that she is being threatened — oh poor baby.

  5. 5
    cathyx says:

    @Felonius Monk: Well, golly gosh, she didn’t want her own sex life looked into. Just Paula’s.

  6. 6
    lamh35 says:

    Just saw James Bond Skyfall. It was great. If you are a fan if the whole series with all the Bonds, you’ll love the momentos. If u just love the modern series you’ll still love it. I think it’s the best of the Daniel Craig series

    Just one question for the dudes. Is it really possible to run in those tight ass pants they wear now-a-days. Don’t ya’ll “boys” need room to breath???

  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Felonius Monk: I can’t be the only one who looks at the Kellys and thinks of the Salahis?

  8. 8
    amk says:

    goopers lose another congressional seat in CA. Democrat Scott Peters defeats brian bilbray.

    Democrats picked up five additional seats in the California congressional delegation and now represent 38 districts compared to 15 for Republicans.

  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @lamh35: Special effects. You can’t get punched in the jaw and shrug it off, either.

  10. 10
    👽 Martin says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I can’t be the only one who looks at the Kellys and thinks of the Salahis Kardashians?

  11. 11
    burnspbesq says:

    Off the prevailing topic, but …

    This, ladies and gentlement, is what chutzpah looks like.

    http://andrewsullivan.thedaily.....tzpah.html

  12. 12
    👽 Martin says:

    @lamh35:

    Is it really possible to run in those tight ass pants they wear now-a-days. Don’t ya’ll “boys” need room to breath???

    Yeah. It’s not breathing, btw. But things can bind up, and that hurts like all hell. And, uh, you can get a certain kind of friction going on that has other consequences in that confined space. I assume that still happens at my age – haven’t worn the tight ass pants since I was 17 when pretty much anything would cause that outcome.

    But I think it was the best Bond film ever – and I didn’t think anything could beat Dr No. It was a very different kind of Bond film. I wish we knew why the bad guy didn’t just walk into her house like Bond did, though, instead of going through that unbelievably elaborate plot.

  13. 13
    👽 Martin says:

    @burnspbesq: But they’re fair and balanced! It says so right on the screen!

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    one of America’s greatest living heroes

    WTF?

  15. 15
    Yutsano says:

    @some guy: Sexting can lead to forking.

    Having Dawg time at work. I love modern technology sometimes.

  16. 16
    ericblair says:

    Since she was granted Top Secret/SCI with (probably) lifestyle polygraph, chalk another rousing success up to our clearance process. You’ll note that there doesn’t seem to be any effort by investigators to weed out reliability problems due to excessive ambition and aggressive careerism, probably because any effort to do so would wipe out a lot of senior leadership.

    So, the conspiracy theory is is that she’s an undercover FBI agent who was tasked to bring down the head of the CIA? In what kind of opiate-fueled fugue state does this make the tiniest bit of sense?

  17. 17
    Roger Moore says:

    @lamh35:

    Don’t ya’ll “boys” need room to breath???

    It’s nice to have some freedom of movement for daily wear, but if you’re doing something athletic you want some support. Bouncing around down there can be very painful. If you’re going to be a spy like Bond who may have to do crazy things at a moment’s notice, you’re probably wearing a supporting undergarment that would make the tightness of your pants a secondary consideration.

  18. 18
    Alison says:

    @amk: We may soon have to put CA Republicans on the endangered species list. I love it.

  19. 19
    Chris says:

    @lamh35:

    Skyfall = win.

    Although I agree with the voices on IMDb and elsewhere beginning to say “alright, we’ve had three movies about his origins and establishing his character, for the next one just give us a regular Bond movie with a regular mission again.”

    But yeah, great movie. (I’m one of those fortunate ones who managed to enjoy all three of Craig’s Bonds very much).

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    This, ladies and gentlement, is what chutzpah looks like.

    I thought chutzpah was skipping your briefing on Benghazi to hold a press conference about how nobody is telling you about it.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ericblair: You can get a TS/SCI with spotty things on your record – if you admit them. I got one with admitted pot and coke use when I was in college.

  22. 22
    kelrian says:

    @👽 Martin: From the general way Silva was carrying on re: M (and Bond’s comment about wanting her to see the SPOILER at MI6), he was probably trying to drag it out to torment her some more.

    Saw it with Papa Kelrian on Monday and good god, that was a fantastic movie. Those shots of the Scottish highlands were amazing. And backstory on Bond is always appreciated, especially when it’s ripped from the books like that.

  23. 23
    Poopyman says:

    @burnspbesq: It would be chutzpah if they knew you knew they were bullshitting, but did it anyway. Really, they think we’re stupid, and that pisses me off more than chutzpah would.

  24. 24
    Chris says:

    @kelrian:

    Not just drag it out and torment her – do it with the whole world watching.

  25. 25
    lamh35 says:

    @👽 Martin: because it would not be a Bond villain without an elaborate plot.

    None of the villains plots made much sense, but at the very least, I actually felt that this villains reason for trying to do what he wanted to do to her was somewhat understandable.

    Plus was it just me, or is Javier Bardam one of the best villains in the series. Jeez, the things they do with that man’s hair…lol

  26. 26
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    one of America’s greatest living heroes

    Yeah, that jumped out at me too. WTFF?

  27. 27
    Mark S. says:

    So instead of becoming an FBI agent, Broadwell became the biographer of a general once widely seen as one of America’s greatest living heroes the greatest human being. Ever.

    I know the media establishment loved Petraeus more than Jeebus, but could the average Joe Six Pack pick him out of a lineup before this scandal broke? It seems to me most people don’t equate the Surge with Hannibal crossing the Alps, and think that prolonging the Afghanistan Clusterfuck doesn’t exactly put him on par with George Washington.

  28. 28
    Poopyman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well yeah, but they only look back 7 years. OK for you (I presume), but not so much for Mrs. Broadwell.

  29. 29
    NonyNony says:

    @ericblair:

    So, the conspiracy theory is is that she’s an undercover FBI agent who was tasked to bring down the head of the CIA? In what kind of opiate-fueled fugue state does this make the tiniest bit of sense?

    The kind where it’s fun to make up stupid conspiracy scenarios? My favorites are the ones that rely on the idea that the Federales are uber-competent and staffed with people who can keep insane conspiracies a secret until Doomsday.

    It’s like imagining what it’s like to win the lottery. It can be a fun kind of “what if” fantasy. But don’t start believing them – that’s just nuts. And leads you to doing stupid shit like screaming BENGHAZI BENGHAZI BENGHAZI into a microphone and thinking you’re making some kind of point.

  30. 30
    lamh35 says:

    @Roger Moore: dude you haven’t seen this movie. if there was any undergarments under those pants, it was miniscule at best. Shit I mean NO lines at all. The things they do with undergarments for men nowadays must rival what they do for women (i.e. like spanx or something)

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jewish Steel: The dude is a reasonably competent general with great PR savvy. C’est tout.

  32. 32
    Mark S. says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I see you got there first.

  33. 33
    Rathskeller says:

    For what it’s worth, a friend of mine was teaching at the Kennedy school when Broadwell took her class. My friend identified this lady as nuts by their second meeting.

  34. 34
    Bostondreams says:

    OT: got to meet James Loewen, one of my favorite people, here at the National Council of the Social Studies Conference in Seattle, and had my pic taken and his book autographed. Pretty cool for a history geek. :)
    And I could so live in Seattle.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Poopyman: I got mine when I got commissioned a year or so out of college. The usage was less than seven years old.

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    @ericblair:

    So, the conspiracy theory is is that she’s an undercover FBI agent who was tasked to bring down the head of the CIA? In what kind of opiate-fueled fugue state does this make the tiniest bit of sense?

    You know, if J. Edgar Hoover were still running the Bureau, I would totally believe that, actually.

  37. 37
    lamh35 says:

    Oh and another thing, WTF do Scientologist feast on baby tears and children’s dreams…I saw the preview for Tom Cruise new move “Jack Reacher” and my gawd THE.MAN.DOESN’T.SEEM.TO.AGE!!!! Ugh, I honestly find him freaky and I’m not a fan, but Jeezus H. Christ…he has aged better than his ex-wives!!!!

    Jack Reacher Official Trailer

  38. 38
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Did he rescue a troop of girl scouts from a burning building on 9/11 and I didn’t hear about it?

    I mean, I know why he’s a hero. If he was going to be the GOP’s (new) Eisenhower he has to be hero. Narrative.

  39. 39
    NonyNony says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Don’t you know that David Petraeus is secretly Captain America, the Sentinel of Liberty and the greatest hero of our time? The man fought the Nazis in WWII and then was frozen in a block of ice, only to be thawed in time to aid us in our time of greatest crisis.

    This is truly a national tragedy. Who will stop the Red Skull now?

  40. 40
    Bostondreams says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Well, technically, wasn’t Eisenhower already the GOPs Eisenhower?
    Completely different version of the GOP of course…

    Edited: you fixed it :p

  41. 41
    Roger Moore says:

    @lamh35:

    None of the villains plots made much sense, but at the very least, I actually felt that this villains reason for trying to do what he wanted to do to her was somewhat understandable.

    This is one of the things I think they lampshaded pretty well in Austin Powers. The villains are usually such geniuses they can carry out elaborate plots, create futuristic technology, and build large, dedicated organizations, and then their nefarious scheme winds up being elaborate blackmail. If they have the kind of skill to put that stuff together, they could probably make more money, and safely, by going legit. At least Silva’s interest was personal and plausible, and the kind of thing that might drive somebody crazy enough that they’d engage in an elaborate plot to get their way.

  42. 42
    Jewish Steel says:

    @NonyNony: If, as Omnes says,reasonably competent is the new bar for heroism, it’s time for me to renegotiate a few contracts.

  43. 43
    Poopyman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well, no one ever said polys would catch sociopaths.

    Well OK, someone probably did say that, but we have plenty of evidence of sociopaths who slipped through. Mrs. B might yet be another.

  44. 44
    Anne Laurie says:

    @ericblair:

    In what kind of opiate-fueled fugue state does this make the tiniest bit of sense?

    Once I’ve pointed out this came from the Daily Beast, I figured y’all were smart enough to understand that ‘making sense’ was entirely (cough, Andrew Sullivan, cough) optional.

  45. 45
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I truly do not understand people like them. However, with the Salahis it might be a little more understandable because it’s Washington and they did it on a lark. But the Kelly thing is beyond me — thinks she has diplomatic immunity? Either she’s a real nut case and requires psychiatric care or she’s fooling everyone with a “hey, I’m insane” routine.

  46. 46
    Roger Moore says:

    @lamh35:

    dude you haven’t seen this movie.

    I have seen the movie- hell, with my name do you think I’d miss a Bond flick?- but I have to admit that my main attention was not on Bond’s pants. But in any case, minimal and supportive are not necessarily mutually exclusive; they do make supportive spandex undergarments for men.

  47. 47
    burnspbesq says:

    @Bostondreams:

    Well, technically, wasn’t Eisenhower already the GOPs Eisenhower?

    Not if you ask a current Republican. Ike was a fifth-columnist, a fellow-traveler, an useful iditot, and a RINO.

  48. 48
    catclub says:

    @Rathskeller: but what variety of nuts? presumably in addition to crazy ambitious.

  49. 49
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Bostondreams: Damn! You caught my stupidity! Ha!

    But like you say Eisenhower wouldn’t survive an exploratory committee. Let alone a primary.

    And yes, Seattle is just bitchin. Plus you could hang out with Yutsy, MikeJ and that nice lady who lives out in the suburbs who comments here. Can’t remember the nym.

  50. 50
    Shakespeare says:

    Setting expectations for those who haven’t yet seen Skyfall: Disappointing.

    I’m a big fan of the reboot (I think of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace as two parts of a single film). I think Craig is wonderful as Bond.

    But Skyfall suffered from a Dr. Evil cartoon villain and glaring implausibilities that yanked me right out of the movie. The women weren’t memorable, either. (cf. Eva Green in CR.)

    The cinematography was stunning, and there were a few outstanding sequences, but you may be disappointed if you keep hearing people say “Best Bond Ever.” It’s not, IMHO.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: Well, so is Petraeus since he took a job with the Kenyan’s admin.

  52. 52
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I thought chutzpah was skipping your briefing on Benghazi to hold a press conference about how nobody is telling you about it.

    No, that is a senile old fart being an attention whore!

  53. 53
    burnspbesq says:

    Well, whaddaya know. Baylor not’s invicible, after all.

    http://scores.espn.go.com/ncw/.....=323210024

  54. 54
    PurpleGirl says:

    @ericblair: It’s a Republican conspiracy theory… it doesn’t need to make sense, just sound conspiratorial.

  55. 55
    burnspbesq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Well, so is Petraeus since he took a job with the Kenyan’s admin.

    Naah, Petraeus is just a craven opportunist who couldn’t walk away from an opportunity to serve his country polish his resume.

  56. 56
    Brachiator says:

    @lamh35:

    Christ…he has aged better than his ex-wives

    This is lighting and filters. Plus, all that Scientology crap probably sucked the life out of his wives.

    Saw the trailer, and the film doesn’t look as bad as I feared, but I can’t really buy Cruise as the title character.

    BTW, agree with you and others that Skyfall is very good. I recommend that people see it sooner than later, if only because some parts of the movie really should be savored before more spoilers start popping up everywhere.

  57. 57
    burnspbesq says:

    Speaking of craven opportunists, what’s Huntsman’s next move? Teach PoliSci at BYU?

  58. 58
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Bostondreams:

    got to meet James Loewen

    You are indeed fortunate. I thoroughly enjoyed his “Lies” book. It got me interested in reading a lot more history with a somewhat more critical eye.

  59. 59
    ericblair says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You can get a TS/SCI with spotty things on your record – if you admit them. I got one with admitted pot and coke use when I was in college.

    Yeah, but there’s an established guidelines to deal with that specific situation. If you look at the adjudication process, there’s really no guideline to flag an otherwise-clean amoral careerist hypercompetitive asshole who’d sell his own mother for a step in rank. Seems these people can be rather risky. In fact, it’s even tough to nail down where exactly “being able to follow the damn rules and accepting that the damn rules apply to you too” fits in the adjudicative process either.

    My cynical take on the whole thing is that our current system can weed out the obviously unsuitable people, but beyond that it’s ass covering. Make everyone look superficially clean enough so that when shit blows up on the cover of the Washington Post everybody can just shrug and say “hey, who cooda node”.

  60. 60
    burnspbesq says:

    Don’t forget, Cruise grew up in New Jersey. Who knows, maybe that early exposure to toxic waste changed his DNA and made him ageless.

  61. 61
    Felonius Monk says:

    @burnspbesq: And polish his knob.

  62. 62
    lamh35 says:

    @Roger Moore: ha, just realized the name…lol.

    Well as a health hetero female who loves some fit men, I noticed and my GBFF noticed too…lol. It was the first thing we pointed out to each other afterwards. We’ve become connoisseurs of tight pants on Daniel Craig…lol.

  63. 63
    burnspbesq says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    And polish his knob.

    Cynic.

  64. 64
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Speaking of craven opportunists, what’s Huntsman’s next move?

    Does there have to be one? Can’t he just sit back and enjoy the gigantic pile of cash he’s inheriting from daddy? Doesn’t anyone retire to a life of ease anymore?

  65. 65
    Jewish Steel says:

    @burnspbesq: Yeah, I thought of him on election night. Whither Mormons with pretensions to national office in general? I’m sure the Romney debacle was felt as a blow to the church hierarchy.

    If I were Huntsman I would rebrand myself as a Democrat and start making friends ASAP.

    @Roger Moore:

    Doesn’t anyone retire to a life of ease anymore?

    Criminy! That’s so true!

    And here’s me, just built for a life of ease, toiling away the last of my youth…

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: Why can’t he be both, like the late Earl Warren?

  67. 67
    Kristine says:

    @Chris:

    But yeah, great movie. (I’m one of those fortunate ones who managed to enjoy all three of Craig’s Bonds very much).

    I did enjoy QoS more than most. It had its moments. The scene where Bond explains to Camille, the Bolivian agent, how it feels to shoot someone. The fact that he did not get the girl.

    I understand that the film had its problems. And Casino Royale was hard to top, period.

    Haven’t seen Skyfall yet. Probably over the holiday.

  68. 68
    lamh35 says:

    @Shakespeare: I know it will never happen, but I would love to see Idris Elba play James Bond, but I’ve already seen that there would be uproar if he was named the next Bond.

    Which is pretty funny, since if you’ve seen Skyfall, then you know that one of the most consistent Bond girl is no longer the same “type” that she’s always been played.

    Anyway, Idris Elba has universal appeal (women of all races LOVE HIM) and he’d bring a definite contemporary and urban feel to the series.

    But I’m not holding my breath.

  69. 69
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    If I were Huntsman I would rebrand myself as a Democrat and start making friends ASAP.

    That won’t work in Utah. In addition to that, he either has to move to California (and wait until 2016 to primary Boxer) or buy the entire state of Wyoming.

  70. 70
    mapaghimagsik says:

    Can’t keep up with all the threads. Does anyone feel like this whole Petraus thing feels like “Burn after Reading II” in terms of the relationships and interconnectiveness of the players?

  71. 71
    Vodkamuppet says:

    a general once widely seen as one of America’s greatest living heroes

    We seem to have a shortage of heros these days. Didnt you used to have to win a war or at least jump on a grenade to be called a hero?

  72. 72
    lamh35 says:

    @Brachiator: I am NOT a Cruise fan. Even before his scientology and couch jumping days. But I do give him his due when his movie warrants it. I thought the last Mission Impossible was the best of the bunch and I honestly wish he’d never make another (but I believe he already has one coming down the pike). This new movie is based on a book right? I’ve never heard of it though. But I don’t really go out of my way to see a Tom Cruise movie anyway.

  73. 73
    MikeJ says:

    @lamh35:

    Just one question for the dudes. Is it really possible to run in those tight ass pants they wear now-a-days. Don’t ya’ll “boys” need room to breath???

    Just like some women find that their girls need to be restrained, men want the boys held well to run. You don’t want your junk bruising your thighs. This is why jock straps were invented.

  74. 74
    Jewish Steel says:

    @burnspbesq: Then he must go forth and become the Harry Reid of AZ. That’s a state that’s bound to flip before too long.

    Maybe he can take Grandpaw Pissy Pants seat.

    @MikeJ:

    your junk bruising your thighs

    bruising you say? i’m impressed.

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Hmmm … you may be on to something there.

    Pretty amazing when you think about it with the benefit of hindsight. Ike nominating Warren and Brennan was a pretty resounding “fuck you” to the Taft wing of the party. The equivalent in today’s terms would be Obama nominating Kavanaugh (which might be worth it, just to see Dahlia Lithwick’s head explode and Greenwald turn into a pillar of salt).

  76. 76
    lamh35 says:

    @burnspbesq: or he’s made a deal with the devil that allows him to steal the youthful essence of his wives and keep it for himself as he gets older but younger looking, they get old looking.

  77. 77
    Comrade Mary says:

    @MikeJ:

    You don’t want your junk bruising your thighs.

    What a charmingly modest statement :-)

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh35: Quite frankly, that was one of the options I considered, but I went with the portrait option instead.

  79. 79
    MikeJ says:

    @Jewish Steel: My first line was about breaking your kneecaps, but I backed off a bit.

  80. 80
    Cain says:

    @👽 Martin:

    But I think it was the best Bond film ever – and I didn’t think anything could beat Dr No. It was a very different kind of Bond film. I wish we knew why the bad guy didn’t just walk into her house like Bond did, though, instead of going through that unbelievably elaborate plot.

    I still like casino royale.. But yes, the homage was pretty good. The funny thing was that there wasn’t really a bond woman. Well, actually there was, it was ‘M’. The only woman he had an emotional connection with.

  81. 81
    Amir Khalid says:

    @lamh35:
    You’re not the only one who’d be intrigued to see a black Bond. I read somewhere that Daniel Craig himself raised the possibility in an interview a few years ago. And Britishness, particularly in the eyes of the British themselves, doesn’t necessarily mean being white anymore.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:

    @MikeJ:
    Fun fact: the first prototype Jogbra was known as the Jockbra, in part because it was made by sewing together parts from two jock straps.

  83. 83
    burnspbesq says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Assumes facts not in evidence. How do you know it wasn’t his thighs causing the problem?

  84. 84
    Jewish Steel says:

    @MikeJ:

    First man at urinal: The water’s cold.

    Second man: And deep.

  85. 85
    Brachiator says:

    @lamh35:

    I know it will never happen, but I would love to see Idris Elba play James Bond, but I’ve already seen that there would be uproar if he was named the next Bond.

    Actually, there has been a lot of talk about Elba as the next Bond. There was uproar when Daniel Craig was cast. How could Bond be a blond guy? Worked out fairly well, I think.

    BTW, apparently Elba was in serious discussion to play Alex Cross. Then the studios said, nobody knows who this guy is, but everybody in America knows Tyler Perry.

    I’m catching up on Elba’s work in the BBC television series “Luther.” This is some wild stuff.

  86. 86
    The Dangerman says:

    So, Petraeus was “entrapped” by a G (String) Man?

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: If the character has a “Scots” father and Swiss mother, got kicked out of Eton, attended the University of Geneva, and has a Scottish housekeeper named May, I am okay with whatever skin tone the guy has. Elba would be interesting.

  88. 88
    Kristine says:

    Stuck in moderation? What did I do?

  89. 89
    Cain says:

    @lamh35:

    I think he might make a good Bond. He was absolutely stunning in Luthor. (You can watch it on netflix) Just a great series.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kristine:

    Stuck in moderation? What did I do?

    Deviated from the example set by David Broder?

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @lamh35:

    I’m still convinced that the queen agreed to be in the Danny Boyle Olympics film just to see Daniel Craig up close and in person. After all, she’s old, but she’s not dead.

  92. 92
    lamh35 says:

    @Cain: yeah, I loved him in Luther.

  93. 93
    NonyNony says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    If, as Omnes says,reasonably competent is the new bar for heroism, it’s time for me to renegotiate a few contracts.

    Why? Are you a reasonably competent general with the ability to spin your personal achievements for the press?

  94. 94
    lamh35 says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): agreed! For my money, he definitely has the “build” for what a younger rougher Bond character would have. I like the idea of Craig’s “brawny-ness” (if that’s a word). But other than being Black, Elba is probably the perfect age for an “older” Bond. He’s 40 I think which would still make him younger than Sean Connery was when he became Bond right?

  95. 95
    Maeve says:

    This harvard educated, proto-FBI/CIA agent apparently started this all out by “anonymously” emailing to her “rival”

    “Get away from my boyfriend!!!!”

    then the FBI guy (seriously invested in the right wing conspiracy of Obama covering it up) reported to Cantor.

    Seriously (to my surprise) Cantor is the one guy I have respect for in this situation – he inquired further but didn’t report it to FOX news. Not that I’ll support him in the future but he may not have bean All In for Romney

  96. 96
    lamh35 says:

    @Brachiator: I think I read that about Alex Cross. They def shoulda went with Elba. I’m betting they regret that now.

    I just can’t wrap my mind around Tyler Perry as that character and I like Tyler Perry.

    Still, I admit, I’m a bit obsessed with Idris Elba though, so I bascially would see him act his way out of a paper bag as long as he uses that accent and smiles the way he does…ahhhh.

    Wait, what were we discussing again??? I get distracted when talking about Idris Elba…lol

  97. 97
    Walker says:

    @Cain:

    I still associate Elba with his character from Ultraviolet. Great short-liveds series.

  98. 98
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Jewish Steel: Best urinal story EVER.

    I have never cared one whit what equipment the person pissing next to me has or doesn’t have. As long as they are not pissing ON me.
    __
    And the one time I did care? …

  99. 99
    Jewish Steel says:

    @NonyNony:

    I am a reasonably competent general guitarist or janitor with the ability to spin your personal achievements for the press.

    People are always remarking, “Dig that guy’s tone. So reasonable!”

  100. 100
    lamh35 says:

    @Walker: never heard of that one. its in on Netflix?

  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If the character has a “Scots” father and Swiss mother, got kicked out of Eton, attended the University of Geneva, and has a Scottish housekeeper named May, I am okay with whatever skin tone the guy has.

    And Ian Fleming only added the Scots father bit after being impressed by Connery’s take on Bond in Dr No.

    @lamh35:

    He’s 40 I think which would still make him younger than Sean Connery was when he became Bond right?

    I think that Connery was 32 when he was cast as Bond. Roger Moore was considerably older.

    Also, Craig has been signed up for two more films. I’m not sure that Elba would even want to wait around for the role to fall to him. But who could say. It might be exactly the right move at the right time.

  102. 102
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Comrade Mary: I’ll bet it made that dee-dee-dee-dee-dee sound his bionic eye made.

  103. 103
    lamh35 says:

    @Brachiator: Ahh. ok, I thought Craig was still signed for more films. My friend had said that she heard Craig wanted out, but after this one, I don’t know if they’ll let him out of his contract.

    At the very least, if Elba has a good agent, they are finding him a good film, possibly franchise worthy, for him to be lead actor in that allows him to use his yummy British accent and which could be “Bond-esque” in nature. If done right, I’m telling ya it’d be a blockbuster.

  104. 104
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The villains are usually such geniuses they can carry out elaborate plots, create futuristic technology, and build large, dedicated organizations, and then their nefarious scheme winds up being elaborate blackmail. If they have the kind of skill to put that stuff together, they could probably make more money, and safely, by going legit.

    They kind of go there in Quantum of Solace. The old SPECTRE would go and piss off the West by stealing its most precious and valued weapons and threatening to use them. The new SPECTRE cozies up to the West and shows them how they can both prosper by jointly screwing over powerless third world nations.

    It’s why most people thought Quantum of Solace was lame, but I thought it made it that much better. It’s exactly what I’d expect a criminal organization driven purely by the profit motive to do. A lot safer and smarter than anything Blofeld ever pulled.

  105. 105
    Walker says:

    @lamh35:

    Never seen in on Netflix, but the DVD is available.

  106. 106
    Brachiator says:

    @Walker:

    I still associate Elba with his character from Ultraviolet. Great short-liveds series.

    Was this that wild take on vampires? Great stuff.

  107. 107
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” establishes that Blofeld ultimately wanted societal acceptance. It was the wedge used against him.

  108. 108
    Steeplejack says:

    @lamh35:

    I’ma go watch that trailer with great trepidation, because I have liked the Reacher novels and I don’t see how Tom Cruise isn’t horribly miscast. Reacher is huge, like 6'7" and ruggedly muscled, whereas Tom Cruise is 5'7" and buff in a health-club way. Maybe they do it all with CGI.

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    She even had active-duty military experience.

    Well, duh. She went to West Point. That carries a mandatory 6 years of active duty.

  110. 110
    daverave says:

    @Brachiator:

    yeah,now that everyone’s spoiled the tight pants storyline, I’ve lost all interest in seeing the movie

  111. 111
    daverave says:

    @burnspbesq:

    hey, I grew up in Jersey, where’s my youthful appearance??

  112. 112
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    There was uproar when Daniel Craig was cast. How could Bond be a blond guy?

    Goldfinger: No, Mr. Blond, we expect you to dye!

  113. 113
    lamh35 says:

    @daverave: umm the tight pants are a VERY IMPORTANT part of the storyline dontcha know. Not to spoil it, but Craig fits into tight pants…nicely…lol

  114. 114
    Walker says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yes. With Jack Davenport who was later in the British Coupling. Idris was the ex-Soldier tough guy. The scene with Idris trapped in the room with the coffins with electronic timers on them set open automatically is a classic.

  115. 115
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Kristine: FYWP doesn’t care whether you’re spamming an online casino or discussing a James Bond film/novel with that word in the title.

  116. 116
    Mike G says:

    This is freakin’ hilarious — five year-old throws a tantrum because Romney lost.

    Of course, he’s acting more mature than most of the Republican Party and all the clowns on Fox:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  117. 117
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Well, it looks like it might be an okay Tom Cruise movie, but I’m not sure about the Jack Reacher part. There is a lot of zoomy car stuff in the movie trailer, but in the novels a minor point is made occasionally that Reacher is an indifferent driver. Hell, he hitchhikes wherever he goes!

  118. 118
    Violet says:

    @lamh35: I’m not a fan of Tom Cruise now, but go back and watch him in “Risky Business.” He was amazing in that movie. Just owned the whole thing. That film would never get made today–far too risque.

    I think the “Risky Business”-era Tom Cruise was pre-Scientology. He wasn’t as creepy. Had a bit of innocence about him.

  119. 119
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Mike G: I was actually pretty impressed with his mom. Not the video I expected.

  120. 120
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Violet: Mmmmm… Rebecca DeMornay. “Have you ever done it on a real train?” I still have my Wayfarers that I bought that year.

  121. 121
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Did Rebecca ever show up?

  122. 122
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Comrade Mary: No, but I did have to rake the lawn.

  123. 123
    Chris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Almost anticlimactic, but sort of realistic to me that a psycho would be motivated by something that petty.

  124. 124
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You are not the only one who bought Wayfarers after that film. And many more bought the aviator sunglasses after “Top Gun”.

  125. 125
    Jason says:

    Isn’t it funny how how often we hear someone was “just on the verge” of being recruited to some intelligence agency when they get a dynamite opportunity in the civilian world that just happens to put them close to people in power. The left’s darling Markos Moulitsas was also “on the verge” of joining the CIA when he got a dynamite offer from the Dean campaign. (And is close to convicted dot-com era stock fraudster Jerome Armstrong who in 2006 was accused of being paid substantial consultancy fees for various politicians who just happened to be subsequently endorsed by Moulitsas’s Daily Kos as a “netroots” candidate.)

    I don’t trust people like that.

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Violet: Not a fan of aviators. I did get a pair of these a couple years after the Wayfarers. Still have ’em as well.

    ETA: I like sunglasses.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    ATTENTION FRONT PAGERS:

    By request from last week, can we please get an arts & crafts open thread tomorrow? Some of us are working on holiday projects we would like to discuss. We’ll let the cooks talk about their Thanksgiving plans, but mostly we want crafts.

    KTHXBAI.

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: I DEMAND A SCOTCH THREAD TOO.

  129. 129
    Jason says:

    BTW: anyone have any ideas of who the fuck Jill Kelley is working for? The South Koreans? The Lebanese Druze militia? Mossad? The Chinese? She has to be Lebanese Christian, I doubt even the military would allow this unpaid social liason/(4)-star-(general)-fucker unescorted access to MacDill airbase if she was Muslim.

    Or just the military groupie equivalent of Nancy Spungen, fucking her way up the ladder of fame?

  130. 130
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jason: Nancy Spungen literally put her life on the line. She told Sid to stab her…. Did Jill Kelley do anything that committed?

    /Sid fan

  131. 131
  132. 132
    Maude says:

    @Steeplejack:
    If there’s no toothbrush in the pocket, it ain’t Reacher.
    There’s a new one out. Haven’t read it yet.
    For a while Reacher was just killing people. The last book didn’t continue that trend.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anya: As you should gather from my comment, I am fine with that as well. Not a fan of Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, or Pierce Brosnan. Connery, Lazenby, and Craig are fine with me. Lazenby wasn’t a great actor, but he played Bond straight and had the bestest Bond girl ever, Diana Rigg. Look, I say this as a person who believes that Eva Green may be the most stunning wonan who ever lived. But, seriously, Diana Rigg? Emma Peel? Come the fuck on.

  134. 134
    GregB says:

    @lamh35:

    Looks like he’s had some work done. Or maybe he’s shed his lizard skin.

    Also, is anyone else tired of the spy/agent who’s just so smart and sexy and can kill anyone anywhere without getting his hair mussed?

    It’s such an overtired concept.

  135. 135
    Anya says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I did a wiki check on Emma Peel and I am intrigued.

    The only other Bond movies I’ve ever watched are Dr. No & Goldfinger, and I found Dr. No, really, really awful. I love all Daniel Craig Bond movies though. So, I am happy he’ll continue to play the role.

  136. 136
    GregB says:

    If you like Stringer BellIdriss Elba, watch Sometimes in April.

    The best film about the Rwandan genocide.

    Do it on a night you can be depressed.

  137. 137
    Yutsano says:

    @GregB: No doubt in my brain Cruise has had plastic surgery. It’s not a cottage industry in LA for fun you know.

  138. 138
    Chris says:

    @GregB:

    I rather like the original Mission: Impossible (the TV show) precisely for this reason – less “superspies who can solve all problems by shooting or seducing their way through all the bad guys” and more “team of people doing their jobs.” With a good chunk of the episode showing things as mundane yet crucial as Barney digging a tunnel, Rollin observing and miming someone he would have to impersonate, etc.

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anya: Oh my dear god. Watch the Avengers – the British TV series. Mrs. Peel in a catsuit and a Lotus Elan. Damn.

  140. 140
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @lamh35:

    If Marvel Studios can ever get an acceptable Black Panther script together, Idris will have an international franchise all to himself. And there’s a possible Avengers tie-in with the character as well.

  141. 141
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @lamh35:

    If Marvel Studios can ever get a decent Black Panther script together, Idris Elba will have an international franchise all to himself. And there’s a possible Avengers tie-in with the character as well.

  142. 142
    Anya says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I will definitely watch it. I hope I can find on Netflix (although I am find it a bit limiting).
    Thanks for the recommendation. I was looking for good t.v. shows to watch.

  143. 143
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    David Brooks on the Newshour, asked about Romney’s post-election remarks about how Obama and the Democrats bought off voters with “gifts”.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you make of that?

    DAVID BROOKS: Well, this was a gift.

    Now let’s pause here. Brooks is being cute with the gift/gift reference, okay fine. But what he means, surely, is that it was a gift to the Democrats, to have a zombie Romney still out there vomiting in the punchbowl.

    Not so. He goes on:

    DAVID BROOKS: It was a gift to the Republican Party.

    Yes indeed, Romney’s comments were great news for John McCain.

    He went on to explain that it was a gift because it gave other Republicans “something to push against”.

    Yes. Because as everyone knows, what was lacking in this campaign for the Republicans was any instance of Republicans saying incredibly stupid things, it just wasn’t happening.

  144. 144

    I wouldn’t doubt it.

  145. 145
    Yutsano says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Ugh. I can haz Bobo tumbrel naow plz?

  146. 146
    Brachiator says:

    @Chris:

    I rather like the original Mission: Impossible (the TV show) precisely for this reason – less “superspies who can solve all problems by shooting or seducing their way through all the bad guys” and more “team of people doing their jobs.” With a good chunk of the episode showing things as mundane yet crucial as Barney digging a tunnel, Rollin observing and miming someone he would have to impersonate, etc.

    It’s TV vs the movies, I guess. Movies demand bigger scale, and movie audiences want to see action and stuff blowed up real good.

    I liked the tv show, and agree with you about the teamwork angle. But looking back, I think the show also gave more time to the bad guys, often played by character actors who were allowed to chew some scenery. And the plots were rarely about the bad guy just getting shot, but going nuts as his or her plans were foiled by the IMF team. Some of it was hammy, but still fun.

    The movies are more singly focused on Tom Cruise doing stunts and movie star stuff. The latest movie in the franchise left me cold. It was more about Cruise running, jumping and falling down than any kind of compelling spy drama. And the chief bad guy was so nondescript and underdeveloped that he was hardly in the movie at all.

    I liked the Bourne films, and thought that this was the Bond rival for the modern era. Unfortunately, the last film is too cynical an attempt to milk the franchise without Matt Damon.

  147. 147
    👽 Martin says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I think Bobo is sorta right in this case. If the GOP want to look reasonable, they need something to look reasonable in comparison to. The democrats aren’t giving them anything – they aren’t demanding unreasonable things. They need someone to do that which they can turn down and denounce.

    But Bobo is being pretty shitty in that there’s a host of things for the GOP to push against, from Benghazi assertions to damn near anything Rush says. They aren’t doing that – they’re only pushing against elements that their base aren’t tied to, and that they can afford to lose. That’s Mitt.

    So yeah, the GOP is doing what they need, but in the most cowardly way possible.

  148. 148
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    The movies are more singly focused on Tom Cruise doing stunts and movie star stuff.

    Yep. I still like the movies, but my three peeves with it compared to the TV show are 1) too much “movie star stuff” and not enough of the nitty gritty stuff you saw on the show, 2) too much Tom Cruise and not enough team, 3) doesn’t draw from current events like the TV show did, goes for regular generic (or as you said almost nonexistent) villains instead.

    I liked the Bourne films, and thought that this was the Bond rival for the modern era. Unfortunately, the last film is too cynical an attempt to milk the franchise without Matt Damon.

    Haven’t seen the last movie. I might when it comes out on DVD because I like the main actor.

    The other Bournes, though… I really loved the book trilogy and the movie “adaptations” were so different they pretty much left me unimpressed. (I’m the opposite with Bond, love the movies but not so much the books).

  149. 149
    patrick II says:

    @Violet:

    Cruise has been good in three movies — “Risky Business” “Rain Man” and “Collateral”. In Collateral he played a sociop&thic hit man and that creepiness worked for him.

    Jack Reacher he ain’t.

  150. 150
    Origuy says:

    @Anya: The first appearance of Emma Peel. Brings back memories of my adolescence.

  151. 151
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Who, me? You think I’m nice?

  152. 152
    Kane says:

    Wasn’t this an episode in season #3 of Get Smart?

  153. 153
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I think Bobo is sorta right in this case. If the GOP want to look reasonable, they need something to look reasonable in comparison to. The democrats aren’t giving them anything – they aren’t demanding unreasonable things. They need someone to do that which they can turn down and denounce.

    The Republicans have had Todd Aikin, Richard Mourdock, and Romney himself making incredibly damaging, stupid statements to push back against throughout this entire election. The idea that Romney continuing to dribble toxic statements even after the election is some sort of gift to them seems utterly absurd to me.

    This is an almost exact parallel with Halperin’s Great News For McCain statement, which was a comment he made about McCain not being able to remember how many houses he had. The reasoning was that the Democrats would push back against the statement, and the voters would see that as “overreach”, ergo good news for McCain that he made the goof. It all seems like nutty Republican Calvin Ball logic to me.

  154. 154
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Brachiator:
    If they want to have Jeremy Renner in a superspy action movie, they need to give him and Scarlett Johansson a Black Widow and Hawkeye series.

  155. 155
    gelfling545 says:

    @Roger Moore: That, too. There are enough examples in conservative politics lately to do a coffee table book in time for the holidays.

  156. 156
    xian says:

    @Anya: Emma Peel’s name reportedly came from “M appeal,” meaning that she was on the Avengers to appeal to men.

  157. 157
    WereBear says:

    @Roger Moore: Chutzpah is making a big deal over an incident at an embassy when your party was the one who gutted security funding.

  158. 158
    Brachiator says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    The Republicans have had Todd Aikin, Richard Mourdock, and Romney himself making incredibly damaging, stupid statements to push back against throughout this entire election. The idea that Romney continuing to dribble toxic statements even after the election is some sort of gift to them seems utterly absurd to me.

    Yep. And clearly the GOP leadership agree with you as well. They have gone out of their way to condemn Romney’s statement and to disassociate themselves from it.

    But I think that Romney will keep stubbornly putting his foot in his mouth here even if it fatally damages the GOP’s prospects in the future.

    @Jay in Oregon:

    If they want to have Jeremy Renner in a superspy action movie, they need to give him and Scarlett Johansson a Black Widow and Hawkeye series.

    Marvel seems to be attempting to bring as much of its comics universe to the movies as possible, so this might happen. And the studio behind the Bourne films wants to keep this franchise going, so you could well see Renner do both characters. Kinda like Stallone doing both Rambo and Rocky.

  159. 159
    Lojasmo says:

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nbc-news/49857421/
    Somebody popped John McCain‘s balloon.

  160. 160
    gelfling545 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I wanted to be Mrs. Peel when I grew up. Sadly but probably just as well, this did not happen.

  161. 161
    Brachiator says:

    @xian:

    Emma Peel’s name reportedly came from “M appeal,” meaning that she was on the Avengers to appeal to men.

    And it worked, well enough. The character also appealed to women, and endures because she was an equal partner to Steed, and had her own charm and strengths and quirky and intriguing character.

    She was also brought on to replace another strong character, Cathy Gale, played by Honor Blackman, when Blackman left the series to appear in Goldfinger. And yet Peel became more popular and more enduring, because of Diana Rigg’s talent and charisma. Funny how things work out, sometimes.

    Rigg was also great in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, so the Avengers tv show is responsible for two memorable Bond women.

  162. 162
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Maeve:

    Cantor is the one guy I have respect for in this situation – he inquired further but didn’t report it to FOX news. Not that I’ll support him in the future but he may not have bean All In for Romney

    We dont know what his motives were for sitting on it. Remember, all the Republicans thought Romney would win, and it could have been that even if he was hoping it would hurt Obama, he may not have been sure it what effect it would have on their future GOP candidate, Petraeus, or what use an Obama Whitehouse could make of it. So he sat on it waiting for the inevitable Romney presidency. By Tuesday when the gop bubble began to pop there was no more reason to keep quiet about it.

    Considering Cantor, I’m more likely to suspect he did what he did for partisan political advantage, not out of alturism or principle.

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