Sunday Evening Open Thread: Lighter Than Fluff

Gail Collins, my favorite current newspaper columnist who is not Paul Krugman, takes a victory lap:

It appears that Mitt Romney was a terrible presidential candidate.

O.K., some people have known that ever since the story broke about strapping his dog on the car roof. But now we seem to be reaching a consensus.

First, there was that matter of losing the election. Then this week Romney told some of his donors that while he was pursuing the “big issues,” President Obama had purchased the support of blacks, Hispanics and young people with goodies like college loans and health care reform. College-age women, Romney claimed, traded their votes for “free contraceptives.”…

Romney said all this in a private conference call, so he couldn’t have suspected that it would wind up in the media. There is no precedent whatsoever for reporters getting hold of remarks presidential candidates make to private groups about the inherent greediness of American voters…


What else is on the agenda for the end of the weekend / start of the Official Holiday Season Opener?

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45 replies
  1. 1
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Four day weekend, probably spent resting, eating, cleaning, and putting up the Christmas tree.

    Obama’s being in the White House four more years has given me a bit of

    Christmas spirit.

  2. 2
    JoyfulA says:

    Tomorrow, I hope to be allowed out of this full-leg brace I’ve been wearing 24/7 since I snapped a tendon in August.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    Etiquette question for the modern era: A colleague of mine in a long-term lesbian relationship recently announced that she and her partner were expecting a child. Is it appropriate to inquire as to which of them is actually carrying said child, and if so how to politely phrase the question?

    (was at a baby shower for a different colleague yesterday, and this came up in conversation)

  4. 4
    Schlemizel says:

    I would not be surprised to hear more of this & worse from Willard. Freed from the constraint of having to pretend to care about the country he can let his nasty little freak flag fly.

    I hope he goes full metal wingtard. He can’t hurts any more and it would be fun watching goopers run from him like they run from their child support payments

  5. 5
    Anne Laurie says:


    Is it appropriate to inquire as to which of them is actually carrying said child, and if so how to politely phrase the question?

    If you’re close enough to the couple that this question might be of import, you’ll know how to phrase it. For the rest of us, that’s why the English pronoun “you” can be both singular or plural; “Congratulations! When are you due?” is probably as much of an inquistion as Miss Manners would consider seemly. Although in these surrogate-happy days, probably “When is the baby due?” might even be safer!

  6. 6
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    What else is on the agenda for the end of the weekend / start of the Official Holiday Season Opener?

    Listening to records, cleaning house, thanking FSM that I don’t work in retail any more.

  7. 7
    aimai says:

    I can’t imagine why that wouldn’ tbe a fair question–as long as you aren’t saying that one is the “real” mother and the other not a real mother. The pregnancy is a fact, like any other, whether it is occuring within a heterosexual marriage or an equal marriage where they are turn taking only one person is actually pregnant at a time.

    As for me I am attempting a novel method of chestnut roasting for the stuffing. I bought two huge bags and I cut the black exteriors off entirely and then I am going to slow cook them in a cooker to try to preserve their shape and then remove the fuzzy interior. For all of you who have burnt your fingers trying to remove the black shells fast enough to get to the interior fuzz while it is still warm enough tto slip off this may be of interest. I will report back, probably on Steve M’s blog No More Mr. Nice Blog during the holiday break. If this works I may have found my tiny niche in history.


  8. 8
    BonnyAnne says:


    Interesting question! Frankly, I’m not sure it would be 100% polite to ask… in the same way I suspect it would seem a bit nosy to ask a gay male couple if they got their children through adoption or surrogacy. However they managed it, the point is that they are having kids and hooray for them!

    This is just one straight girl’s opinion, but to me it’s always seemed like asking about sexual preferences. You would probably never dream of asking which of them preferred to bottom (if that’s how they did things), and the chosen method of having children seems vaguely related.

    of course you could also just wait a few months, at which point it will start to become obvious. :)

  9. 9
    normal liberal says:

    @dmsilev: Seconding Anne Laurie, with the observation that if you defer the specific question, the answer will eventually become apparent.

    And on a holiday note, may I qvetch about the ” let’s open on Thanksgiving” retailers? I have a sibling whose birthday is Thursday, and who is due at his retail job at 11:30 that night. We are of the “eat Thanksgiving dinner in the evening” persuasion, and now we have to try and shoehorn the whole shebang in at noon. I’m contemplating a birthday brunch on Thursday (it’s a major milestone birthday), and declaring Friday as official Thanksgiving, when he’ll have the rest of the day off, and I won’t be baking pie at 3 a.m.

    Thanks for letting me vent, and please join me in a “Pbbbtht!” aimed at the retail overlords.

  10. 10
    Triassic Sands says:


    Celebrate carefully. But Joyfully.

  11. 11
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @BonnyAnne: just wait a few months, at which point it will start to become obvious

    I endorse this option.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @BonnyAnne: The actual answer to the question is indeed moot due to the passage of time and observational evidence… I was more curious about the abstract etiquette issue.

    Certainly the details of the methods used would be way way too nosy for politeness (“So, did you go to a sperm bank or did you arrange for a donor?”), but the original question didn’t seem too far out of bounds. In any event, both colleague and partner are very excited about their upcoming extended sleep deprivation.

  13. 13
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Currently making a test pumpkin pie – trying a new recipe and want to make sure it’s a good one before feeding it to people on Thanksgiving proper.

    Thanks for the vid – I like that kind of stuff, though the one girl’s shirt that makes it look like Mickey Mouse is feeling her up is in kinda questionable taste.

  14. 14
    gogol's wife says:

    Isn’t it nice that at this time of the evening no troll shows up to gloat about Romney’s upcoming victory?

  15. 15
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @gogol’s wife: Isn’t it nice that at this time of the evening no troll shows up to gloat about Romney’s upcoming victory?

    Yes. Yes, it is.

    I’m a little surprised we’re not still hearing wingnuts say “ANY MINUTE NOW a new Republican nominee will pop up out of nowhere and save us all!”

  16. 16
    dmsilev says:

    @gogol’s wife: (clears throat)



  17. 17
    Anoniminous says:

    Does anybody know the name of this song? (It should come on when the site loads.)

  18. 18
    BonnyAnne says:


    I suppose then that if the expectant couple seems happy to chat, it would not be out of bounds to ask. Some people are really happy to discuss how they decided, why, who wants to be pregnant and who wants to keep drinking, etc etc. I personally have only known one couple who have gone this route (one gave the egg to the other, who carried it to term) and the vibe they gave off was more of the we do not want to talk about it, thanks sort.

    Excited about the sleep deprivation? Bless their hearts.

  19. 19
    lamh35 says:

    Wow! The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is on TBS right now. Ain’t it freakin’ too early for it? I’m watching it anyway…lol

  20. 20
    Maude says:

    I just woke up from a lie down.
    Tuesday I go to the supermarket. I was there on Friday and people were buying tons of food.
    They have a free turkey promotion if you spend enough by this week. I will donate the turkey to the Food Pantry. I will not cook a turkey in the apartment ever again. The last time I did, the place smelled for three weeks.

  21. 21
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    I was very proud of myself, 12 years after my last course in Korean I was able to read the Hangul(Korean alphabet in the parens). The first syllable was a bit of a challenge though.

  22. 22
    ThresherK says:

    @dmsilev: No advice from me on that social convention.

    But as a tangent, we need to get Dave Barry to rewrite his 30-year-old axiom: Never say “Congratulations” to a woman you think is pregnant until you see the baby’s head in the birth canal.

    @lamh35: Better the Grinch be on TV the Sunday before Thanksgiving than made into a live 2+ hour stage spectacular, for my money. The Live Grinch Musical is stopping at my local big theater. I dread it.

  23. 23
    different-church-lady says:

    Because nothing turns you into a terrible candidate faster than losing the election.

  24. 24
    different-church-lady says:

    @dmsilev: If it were me I’d just stall until eventually they revealed it through their own speech.

  25. 25
    IowaOldLady says:

    Yeah, he was terrible. And he was the best they had.

  26. 26
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I wonder when Gail Collins will mention Seamus for the last time. I like it. It reminds everyone as simply as possible that Mitt is completely bereft of empathy.

  27. 27
    Flying Squirrel Girl says:

    Apropos of nothing, living moss graffiti.

  28. 28
    lamh35 says:

    @ThresherK: wait, there’s a live stage play of the Grinch??? Who da f… would wanna see that? It must be based on the Jim Carey movie right?

  29. 29
    peorgietirebiter says:

    The wife and I are spending the holiday in Las Vegas. I’m in our room napping/watching the Bolts and Denver game. I don’t gamble and rarely drink so I’m considering ordering room service and spending the first night in a diabetic coma. I like desserts, just and otherwise.

  30. 30
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @ThresherK: Miss Manner’s Corollary to Dave Barry:

    Never inquire as to the contents of another person’s womb.

  31. 31
    ThresherK says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: I don’t know if you’re making that up, but I’ll accept it as gospel.

    Of course, if one is in the position Barry recommends (to see the baby’s head, etc), no inquiry is needed.

    @lamh35: 1) Yes, there is a live stage version. 2) I don’t know if it’s based on the lamentable movie. All I can say is that it’s not Chuck Jones’ nearly-perfect nearly-pantomime cartoon.

    And while nobody is asking my advice, steer clear of any live stage version of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. (Skip any version of the dull, Technicolor 50’s “White Christmas” and wait for “Holiday Inn” on TV again, simply for Der Bingle, Fred, and what seems like the last decently funny script of an A-list movie musical until “Singin in the Rain”.)

    The axiom of “a successful production is not made more successful by adding songs” is at play here.

    PS If one wishes to see a Yuletide movie made into a decently successful stage play, I recommend “A Wonderful Life”. But that’s just me.

  32. 32
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Looking at the linked video, one thing is pretty evident. America does to a large extent remain a big exporter of culture. It was hard to miss the big Ralph Lauren Polo store in the background and the any-campus-in-America fashion. I’m not saying whether it’s a good or bad thing, just offering an observation.

    I’ll probably be watching some Dr. Who on Netflix and listening to Music from the Hearts of Space later on. Oh, what an exciting life I lead!

  33. 33
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Oh, and apropos of nothing really, does anyone wish Garrison Keillor would stop singing? I am so tired of the sound of his voice now. Even his poetry reading on A Writer’s Almanac is getting tiresome.

  34. 34
    Nemo_N says:

    I thought the warmongering, unstable, poisonous-rhetoric-spouting country in the middle east was Iran.

    What happened?

  35. 35
    Ken says:

    @IowaOldLady: I think the evolving story is that the A-list candidates – Ryan, Palin, Rubio, Christie, Walker, Jindal, McCain – didn’t run for, um, some reason, so Romney was just the best of the second tier, which was why he lost. Also, ACORN.

  36. 36
    TOP123 says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): Yes. Yes, I do.

    And I would wager the Wonder Girls video was shot in Southern California.

  37. 37
    J R in WVa says:

    And then there is the fact that Romney was going to give MONEY – Big Money – to rich voters to bribe them to vote for him.

    Problem with that – there aren’t a majority of rich voters in this country. Thanks to Republican financial policies, they’re allowing fewer people to become wealthy than ever before. Just look up the financial data – everyone does better with a Democratic administration in power! Rich people and working class people AND poor people all gain more income faster with a Democratic administration’s policy.

    And then you don’t need to bribe rich folks with money to vote for you, do you?

    Romney, blaming President Obama for doing what he tried to do, only President Obama did it better.

    You go, President! You go, dude!

  38. 38
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): Absolutely. Not.

    Love the man. Love his voice.

    There are other stations. Listen to one.

  39. 39
    Splitting Image says:

    Etiquette question for the modern era: A colleague of mine in a long-term lesbian relationship recently announced that she and her partner were expecting a child. Is it appropriate to inquire as to which of them is actually carrying said child, and if so how to politely phrase the question?

    If you’re close enough to them socially for them to announce the pregnancy to you, you are most likely close enough that they won’t be horribly offended by you asking which one is carrying the baby.

    It is a perfectly relevant question to ask if it is someone you know through work: if your colleague is the one who is pregnant she will presumably be taking maternity leave at some point.

    If you’re not sure, the best way is probably to just ask when the baby is due as Anne Laurie says and wait for the mother to start showing. But generally people will forgive a clumsily-phrased question if they know there was no malice behind it.

  40. 40
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @JustAnotherBob: I listen to a lot of NPR; I worked for an NPR affiliate in grad school. Been listening to NPR (and APM’s Prairie Home Companion) since that time. I just think the man’s singing voice is not so hot. In a world of great singers, I don’t know why he insists on hogging half the set. I still enjoy some of his Guy Noir bits, his monologues (usually), and some of his poetry readings on Writer’s Almanac. But I think Harry Shearer imitates him for a reason: Keillor’s got a lot of, shall we say, distinctive vocal habits. After 25+ years of listening, I guess I’m wearing out.

    I know he’s an icon, but aren’t there any voices that you’re a bit tired of hearing?

  41. 41
    different-church-lady says:


    And while nobody is asking my advice… (etc)

    As an old junk pusher told me, “Watch who’s* money you pick up.”


  42. 42
    MaxxLange says:

    Speaking of NPR, it’s almost time for them to trot our the smug shibboleth of Susan Stambergh’s hideous “cranberry relish” recipe, which has become, for me, a symbol of their accelerating decline into self-regarding preening.

  43. 43
    Paul in KY says:

    @dmsilev: Give it a few months & you’ll have your answer.

    (now see I’m not the only wag with that answer)

  44. 44
    Pat says:

    As to the etiquette question….why do you (or anyone) really need to know who is carrying the baby before it becomes obvious? A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t think of a non-awkward way of asking, it’s probably best to keep quiet.

    As to Gail Collins…read Bob Somerby’s critiques of her work (and political journalism generally). I don’t always agree with him, but it does make you read her differently. Krugman actually explains stuff, Collins is mostly just snide.

  45. 45
    Tommy says:

    Nocera is doing a creditable job. I find his columns more substantial than Collins’.

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