Morning Thread

I’m heading out of town for a couple of days so I won’t be posting after this. Here are a few links for your morning:

* Here’s a good take on the Ailes/Petraeus/Fox News ugly insiderism/hero worship. (Thanks to reader JK for sending that in.)

* Jim Newell is addicted to cliff theater.

* Joe Patrice posts a few links every morning. He calls it Breakfast in America, and it’s worth a morning visit.

One more thing: Comice pears are the best pears. Open thread.

56 replies
  1. 1
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    I wish someone would use some 11-dimensional chess to throw “fiscal cliff” under the bus.

  2. 2
    Walker says:

    Pears from my pear tree are the best pears.

  3. 3
    Cassidy says:

    Superman and Wonder Woman are a thing now. Since September. Lois Lane is out.

  4. 4
    different-church-lady says:

    I talked to a teleprompter operator who did some events for Romney. She told me all the other candidates she ever worked for always rehearsed both the victory and the concession speeches, but Romney only rehearsed the victory speech.

    This operator had the good fortune of working Warren’s event on election night instead of Romney’s, but she was told that in spite of never rehearsing it, Romney did have an actual concession speech loaded into the teleprompter.

    I’m thinking it wasn’t hubris so much as superstition — he was aware that he could lose, but he wasn’t going to jinx himself by preparing to lose.

  5. 5
    different-church-lady says:

    @Cassidy: I thought Wonder Woman was gay.

  6. 6
    Cassidy says:

    No, I don’t ever recall a lesbian relationship for her, but I haven’t read comics regularly for a while. She’s always been into dudes (and aliens) as far as I know.

  7. 7
    PeakVT says:

    NY State politics is weird.

  8. 8
    Amir Khalid says:

    I suspect it was a bit of both. Team Mitt woke up on election day seriously believing they were about to win. (Remember how hard their collective gob was smacked at the end of that night when they lost?)

  9. 9
    Suffern ACE says:

    @PeakVT: hmmm. My senator is in there. If the Republicans ever get control outright, I’m sure he will be just shocked, shocked! I tell you, that the republicans will no longer be amenable to working with him. And he’ll be shocked that the Republicans expect to be in charge.

  10. 10
    jibeaux says:

    @different-church-lady: liez, only Obummer uses a teleprompter. No one else has ever heard of them.

    In other news, Happy Repeal Day! I’ll celebrate maybe after 9 a.m.

  11. 11
    Cassidy says:

    @Amir Khalid: See, I think they woke up confident that Republican operatives would “do their part” steal the election. They knew they didn’t have the votes.

  12. 12
    Face says:

    Comice pears are the best pears

    I hear they serve them in school lunches, which probably pisses you off.

  13. 13
    The Red Pen says:

    Found this web comic this morning:
    You know who else wrote a book?

    BTW, if you weren’t already reading Toothpaste for Dinner, you’re really a worthless human being.

  14. 14
    JPL says:

    @Cassidy: That’s the only conclusion that I can come up with. The numbers were not there.

  15. 15
    anibundel says:

    My favorite pears are the red ones.

  16. 16
    Schlemizel says:


    My understanding is that Lois is suffering from radiation illness because Superman kept undressing her with his eyes

    Not sure about her orientation but I know she was pretty heavy into bondage – and thats not a joke

  17. 17
    Face says:

    For the love of god, what word in my comment above put me in moderation hell?

  18. 18
    Dork says:

    She’s always been into dudes (and aliens) as far as I know.

    She digs Latinos, eh?

  19. 19
    liberal says:

    Sounds like one or both houses of Congress are considering defense appropriation bills. If so, any relevance to the soi-disant fiscal “cliff”?

    [Fancy pants furrin lang added for additional spiteful emphasis.]

  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    The numbers for Mitt were there once you, ahem, unskewed them.

  21. 21
    Schlemizel says:

    @The Red Pen:

    I enjoy TFD, Natalie Dee (I think that she is Drew’s SO but comic partner at least) has good comics on her page linked from TFD. Married to the Sea is spotty, sometimes funny other times meh. But all three are a good day starter

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    @Cassidy: She was modeled after a woman who was in the threesome with the creator of the work.

  23. 23
    quannlace says:

    ne more thing: Comice pears are the best pears. Open thread.

    And Honey Crisp are the best apples.

    Since this is an Open Thread, anybody know if the Balloon Juice pet calendar will be available before Christmas? I was hoping to get a few as gifts.

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I believe they had that backward. They were not trying to unskew the numbers. What they really were trying to do was skew over a bunch of voters. The entire election hung on their ability to pull off a giant skew job on likely Dem voters. Instead voters said “skew you buddy”

  25. 25
    jibeaux says:

    @Face: You have no comment above. Did you mention the things that go on your feet and have laces and such?

  26. 26
    The Red Pen says:

    @Schlemizel: Based on the shifting content of TFD, I think that Drew and Natalie Dee are married and have a toddler.

  27. 27
    Face says:

    @jibeaux: Looks like my comment was deleted. Let’s try this again FYWP-proofed:

    Comice pears are the best pears

    I heard they serve them in scho0l lunchez. I bet that p!sses you off.

  28. 28
    Mark S. says:

    From the first link:

    Ailes’s craving for the respect and admiration of a military hotshot like Petraeus emerges with Memorex clarity in this recording. For instance, McFarland tells Petraeus that she has a request “directly from [Ailes] to you: First of all, is there anything Fox is doing right or wrong that you want to tell us to do differently.”

    Ah, journalamism. Is Jake Tapper still alive? Does he want to defend his sister organization here?

  29. 29
    Schlemizel says:

    @The Red Pen:

    I assumed the kid could be theirs but was not sure of their relationship.

    Did you see the cartoon “Become a webcomic”?

    I have seen some of this on his comics too so I assume they spend a lot of time together. It would be interesting to see how they live & what the economics of their industry is.

  30. 30
    flukebucket says:


    I always assumed it had been somehow tied to a “faith” thing. If you believe you will win you will win and you could not possibly believe you are going to win if you prepare to lose. Something like that. But I learned what kind of bubble I live in myself because I did not know until after the election that Romney was being told he could possibly win in a landslide. Of course the only polling I watched was Nate Silver and the Princeton Election Consortium site.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    The frothy one does his victory dance in The Daily Beast.

  32. 32
    Cassidy says:

    @Schlemizel: This is DCnU. The whole universe rebooted. The superheroes have only ben around about 5 years and significant changes were made to include the Supes-WW power coupling.

    Essentially, everything before 2011 no longer exists as canon.

  33. 33
    Ash Can says:

    @jibeaux: Thanks for the tip on Repeal Day. What a great excuse to hoist one!

  34. 34
    Mark S. says:

    They create their own reality:

    49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.

    But don’t call them traitors

    25% of Republicans say they would like their state to secede from the union compared to 56% who want to stay and 19% who aren’t sure.

    I love how you can be unsure about whether you would like to have Civil War II.

  35. 35
    The Red Pen says:


    Essentially, everything before 2011 no longer exists as canon.

    So, it’s kinda like the Republicans where nothing happened from 2000-2008?

  36. 36
    liberal says:

    @Mark S.:
    What civil war?

    I’d be quite happy if many states with Republican majorities (esp in the deep south) left the Union.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Feudalism Now! says:

    This is much more an Upstate/Downstate NY thing for the Indy Dems. Silver and Cuomo are in a power struggle and the Indy Dems are Cuomo’s ace in the hole. Watch for more DLC style legislation to go through in NY. More union busting, more Empire Zone embezzlement, and public parks closed and defunded. State Ed is in for a world of hurt.

  39. 39
    Soonergrunt says:

    @liberal: I’d be happier if we treated the treasonous bastards the way the Constitution demands, and then plowed the remains under the soil and kept the land in the Union, myself.

  40. 40
    The Red Pen says:


    Complaining just reinforces that conservatives are paper tigers

    What?! They’re filing secession petitions and passing state laws to nullify Obamacare. What more could they possibly do, Erick?!

  41. 41
    Gin & Tonic says:

    And Honey Crisp are the best apples

    Could only be written by someone who’s never had a fresh Macoun.

  42. 42
    Ben Franklin says:

    Anyone wondering the official response to Colorado and Washington’s bold move for succession from the war on drugs should take a look at this….

    Unsure how your private security firm makes money as the U.S. war in Afghanistan winds down? One option: Go into the drug trade — more specifically, the lucrative business of fighting narcotics. The State Department needs a business partner to keep its fleet of drug-hunting helicopters and planes flying worldwide. You could make up to $10 billion-with-a-B.

    Starting next month in Melbourne, Florida, the State Department will solicit some defense-industry feedback on a contract to help operate its 412 aircraft, based in at least eight nations, before it reopens the contract for bidding. Among the missions the diplomatic corps needs fulfilled: “Provide pilots and operational support for drug interdiction missions such as crop spraying, and the transport of personnel and cargo,” according to a pre-solicitation the department’s bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs released on Friday.

    Ten Billion for mercenaries… bill anyone?

  43. 43
    flukebucket says:

    @The Red Pen:

    What more could they possibly do, Erick?!

    I think you might have overlooked the “start blowing stuff up” part.

  44. 44
    Punchy says:

    @flukebucket: From your link:

    Second, conservatives should set up a super PAC dedicated to defeating Saxby Chambliss in Georgia and maybe Lindsey Graham in South Carolina. Don’t do a major super PAC to do both, but one for each.

    They want Gay Lindsey’s head, too? Holy wow. What did Graham do that was so egregious in the mind of the GOP?

  45. 45
    otmar says:

    Btw web-cartoon, check out Non Sequitur today.

  46. 46
    Schlemizel says:


  47. 47
    The Red Pen says:

    @Schlemizel: Now that I’ve been reading Natalie Dee’s comics, I am pretty sure that I am married to Natalie Dee.

    @otmar: Non Sequitur is great, but I consider it more of a used-to-be-a-comic-I-read-in-the-newspaper comic.

    SMBC also too.

  48. 48
    Felonius Monk says:

    I see Ross the DoucheCap took another crap in public and left it wrapped in the NYT again. I wonder if he has to pay for all that wasted paper and ink. Although in Ross’ case they were unsuccessful, one must give credit to Harvard University for at least trying to educate the mentally deficient.

  49. 49


    I think they woke up confident that Republican operatives would “do their part” steal the election. They knew they didn’t have the votes.


    By blind luck, I got to see Karl Rove’s election night meltdown live on FOX. You could almost hear him thinking but.. but.. voter suppression! Diebold! we stole Ohio fair and square!.

    A few others here have wondered out loud how much Karl had paid out to ensure the Ohio ‘victory’, and to whom. Given how many GOP electioneers turned out to be good old-fashioned grifters, it’d be fitting if it turned out that Karl Rove had gotten conned, himself.

  50. 50
    Joel says:

    Comice pears are great, and they are apparently the easiest to grow. I happen to like Chojuro pears, however.

  51. 51
    Chris says:


    THAT’s why he took so long to issue the concession speech! We thought he was just being a dick, but it turns out he literally hadn’t rehearsed it…

  52. 52
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Meanwhile, the show trial of George Zimmerman is flying off the rails. Seems prosecutors are playing hide and seek with key evidence.

    Wonder why that would be…

  53. 53
    smintheus says:

    There are few pear cultivars that aren’t delicious. A pear off the tree is the best pear. A pear from the supermarket is just a doorstop.

  54. 54
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    RIP Dave Brubeck, dead at age 91. I loved his albums. What a great musician.

  55. 55
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Show trial as in “He’s guilty as the day is long” or show trial as in “It’s obvious he’s an innocent victim”?

    Because, you know, if you’re not staking out one position or the other, then the idea that this is a show trial doesn’t stand to reason.

  56. 56
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Mark S.:

    I love how you can be unsure about whether you would like to have Civil War II.

    The Feds would have the nukes. (technically, the ability to use them.)

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