Open Thread

We need one.

118 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    Still too drained from yesterday to care about much.

  3. 3
    Violet says:

    Since whatever Balloon-Juice update happened, the tab for the Balloon-Juice home page on Firefox now shows the title of the first post; it doesn’t say “Balloon-Juice” as it used to do. Any reason for the change? I preferred the previous style where the Balloon-Juice home page said “Balloon-Juice” on the tab.

  4. 4
    Mudge says:

    The Hartford Courant has a list of the dead from the Newtown,CT murders. All of the children were first graders. The medical examiner said they were all shot 3 to 11 times with a rifle.

    The sadness from this is beyond words.

  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    (yelling from downstairs)

    Fuck Mike Huckabee!

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    Robbie Parker, the father of one of the victims, is a much better human being than I can ever aspire to be

  7. 7
    Hal says:

    One thing I haven’t yet heard talked about much is the effect of the shooting on the first responders to the scene. I just can’t fathom how horrific that classroom must have been for the police and emergency personnel who had to go in there. I hope there is counseling providing for them by default.

    Also, watched that clip of PBO’s press conference and the point where he’s tearing up you here this little cacophony of clicking from photographers. It was like they were shocked the President was reacting emotionally in the way he did.

  8. 8
    J. Michael Neal says:

    You know, I’d actually like to have one thread here that includes absolutely nothing about the shootings yesterday. Zero. There is an uncountable number of threads already that are specifically about that. I’d like to have somewhere to go here where I can set those events aside.

  9. 9
    Raven says:

    This probably won’t go over well but I think the idea of “Open Thread, We Need One” may suggest that there may be a place to discuss something else.

  10. 10
    Just Some Fuckhead says:


    Since whatever Balloon-Juice update happened, the tab for the Balloon-Juice home page on Firefox now shows the title of the first post; it doesn’t say “Balloon-Juice” as it used to do. Any reason for the change? I preferred the previous style where the Balloon-Juice home page said “Balloon-Juice” on the tab.

    No one knows why these things happen and nothing can be done. Suck it up and move on.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    PaulW says:


    Fuck Mike Huckabee!

    Fuck Mike Huckabee not-so-gently with a rusty chainsaw, sideways!

    Actually, first ask Mike Huckabee about the shooting at the Amish school back in 2006, ask him if God was in school then, and THEN Fuck Mike Huckabee not-so-gently with a rusty chainsaw, sideways…

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’ve been working on a purple version of this hat for my niece and trying not to think about anything else.

  14. 14
    PaulW says:


    This probably won’t go over well but I think the idea of “Open Thread, We Need One” may suggest that there may be a place to discuss something else.

    Okay. Here’s a try…

    How soon can we jail NRA leaders for depraved indifference to human life?

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    @beltane: Jesus, what a beautiful child. This shit is killing me.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @jeffreyw: thread needs some hugs.

  17. 17
    The Dangerman says:

    So, we now know the Shooter tried to purchase a gun Tuesday; a couple thoughts:

    (1) Was this after the Clackamas shooting? I would guess not since OR was kinda late in the day (and thus later in CT).

    (2) Why go shopping when you have an arsenal at home?

  18. 18
    Raven says:

    @PaulW: OK, do what you want.

  19. 19
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @PaulW: I guess 43 other threads aren’t a good place for that?

  20. 20
    Frapalinger says:

    How much do you want to bet lapierre is on meet the press tomorrow morning?

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    @Raven: I spent the afternoon watching movies on bounce. (antenna) The first one I saw was Brian’s Song (the original) and now I’m watching The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
    good times…

  22. 22
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Was there a remake of Brian’s Song? I ran into Cicely Tyson on a plane years ago and just said “your work is amazing”.

  23. 23
    JPL says:

    @Frapalinger: nope.. Bloomberg but David Brooks will be on the panel. Maybe he’ll speak about his knowledge of salad bars.

  24. 24
    ruemara says:

    Just realized my new contract reduces my pay $60. On the funny side, it means I earn $1066 for a month’s work and it makes me think of the Battle of Hastings. On the minus side, I’m an educated professional in a key position and I now earn less after a pay increase (with an attendant increase in paying for my portion of benefits).

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Ann Rynd says:

    Can’t get a gun because you have a history of mental illness? Simple, kill someone who has guns and take theirs.
    Even if she’s your mom? Come on. When you need a gun, you gotta get a gun.
    Gun control moms? Liberal!

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    @Raven: Cicely Tyson is amazing. I remembered that Brian’s Song was made for TV but forgot that Jane Pittman was a tv movie. She was in an earlier movie called Sounder and her acting was extraordinary. You were lucky to see her.

  28. 28
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Taj Mahal!

  29. 29
    srv says:

    In minimizing my dependency on Windows, I unfortunately have to run a Win 7 VM. Corporate processes being what they are, I had to download a VPN to be able to download an internally supported VPN, all while running in a VM which is hosted on another OS with its own VPN.

    This is progress.

  30. 30
    huckster says:

    @JPL: Wow, I watched “Brian’s Song” too. I cut the cable off a couple of weeks ago, all things considered I don’t miss it very much. Broadcast is different, to say the least, but it’s a lot cheaper.

  31. 31
    gogol's wife says:


    I’ve been spitting mad, but I haven’t cried yet. I’m crying now.

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    @Raven: You know we are old.

  33. 33
    Raven says:

    @huckster: You doin over the air HD? You must be since they switched.

  34. 34
    huckster says:

    @Raven: I am. I can pick up about 30 channels in all. Lot of classic TV stuff, which I like, and i can still catch falcons games, and some college ball. Might have to go back on the grid when Baseball season starts though, but it’s a nice break right now.

  35. 35
    JPL says:

    @huckster: The picture quality is great and I get two PBS stations, one out of Atlanta and the other Athens. Do you get France 24 for news? Their coverage of the shooting spoke to our lack of gun laws.

  36. 36
    J. Michael Neal says:

    This Sam Houston State/Eastern Washington game was 35-0 at the half. It’s now 35-28 with 13 minutes to play in the 4th.

  37. 37
    JPL says:

    @huckster: If you get ROKU, you can buy a MBA package. I didn’t do that but it’s cheaper than cable bills.

  38. 38
    Anya says:

    @beltane: That made me cry. I can’t stop crying. This is so tragic. That beautiful little girl was taken away from her family, and the world was deprived of her potential. I am so angry.

  39. 39
    Raven says:

    @JPL: That’s funny, the reception here is awful. I used to live in Oconee County and had the old, big ass antenna that had directional control. You could get CBS, PBS and NBC and that was it. I finally got a huge ass dish.

  40. 40
    Raven says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Did you see the end of the AZ-Nevada game?

  41. 41
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Now it’s 42-28. You can see some wild offensive schemes in the lower levels of college football.

    Also, what is the deal with people on the high plains and their need to dye their football fields?

  42. 42
    huckster says:

    @JPL: I don’t get france 24, but i also only have the little indoor antenna right now. Waiting to see if this is going to be a permanent thing, if it is I’ll spring for better reception. Didn’t know that about the ROKU, thanks!

  43. 43
    PurpleGirl says:

    @jeffreyw: LOL. Very Good.

    I found this story at Making Light… a 50-foot rubber duckie being sailed up the Thames

  44. 44
    huckster says:

    @Raven: My dad has the directional control deal, and he bought a signal booster and gets about 60 channels in all. He lives in Murray county so he gets channels from the ATL and Chattanooga.

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    @Raven: My antenna is in the attic but as the crow flies, I’m not that far from Atlanta. I get about fifty or sixty stations most of which are useless unless you want to watch soccer games in Spanish or a bad takeoff on foodtv. The religion channels haven’t converted me yet either.

  46. 46
    PurpleGirl says:

    @J. Michael Neal and Raven: I agree. I think that’s why John made an Open Thread. And just in time because I wanted to post the rubber duckie story (@ 43) and none of the other threads was appropriate for it.

  47. 47
    Allen says:

    The EDL (the UK’s version of the KKK and much beloved by Pam Geller) posted a twitter calling the shooting in Newtown a good thing if the victims were the children of “leftists”.

  48. 48
    Keith G says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I agree Mike…Let’s talk about “that” news story on those other threads…..pretty please!

  49. 49
    huckster says:

    @JPL: Yes a lot of the stations leave something to be desired, but the reception is great.

  50. 50
    RobertDSC-PowerMac 466 says:

    I received the new Tom Clancy novel, Threat Vector, yesterday for my birthday. I finished it this morning. It was good, but not as good as his previous offerings. I’m still a fan of his work, but it’s dropped off quite a bit after Executive Orders. Everything else has been just a bit off for me.

  51. 51
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Raven: Nope.

    42-35 now. It’s turned into a defensive struggle. As in both defenses are really struggling.

  52. 52
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: I like the griffins. Purple griffins… I approve.

  53. 53
    huckster says:

    @Raven: For some reason my comment is in moderation. anyway, my dad has a signal booster for his directional antenna, and he picks up about 60 stations crystal clear.

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:


    Not griffins — dragons! My niece is completely obsessed with dragons right now and spent much of Thanksgiving Day showing me all of the different dragon-related games she has on her iPod Touch.

    I also bought the pattern for the matching handwarmers and will turn those into gloves for her.

  55. 55
    Keith G says:

    Ten days til Christmas…is it cold anywhere in the lower 48? Any non mountain top snow on the ground?

  56. 56
    Raven says:

    @huckster: You also need a specific HD antenna. I was wondering if that was why you said it was “different”?

  57. 57
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: I like the rubber duckie nativity figures.

  58. 58


    I hate adverts, and I mean really, really, hate adverts so I am willing to pay for my on demand tv shows that I can fast forward the adverts. I have MSNBC on in the evenings as background noise when I am messing around on the internet but at the weekends I catch all of my favorite tv shows advert free.

  59. 59
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Keith G: We had 14″ of snow last weekend. Not that unusual for Minnesota in mid-December. The wacky thing is that it may all be gone by Christmas. *That’s* not supposed to happen around here. Right now it’s raining.

  60. 60
    Raven says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    t if you’re watching this on replay, you’ll just need to catch the final two minutes of the game to watch the Wildcats snatch victory from the jaws of a 13-point deficit. Nevada kicked a field goal just under the two-minute mark to go up 48-35, but Arizona responded with speed and alacrity: Two Scott passes to Terrence Miller of 17 and 12 yards plus a 15-yard penalty from Nevada moved the Wildcats past midfield and deep into Pack territory. Hill caught his second touchdown pass with 42 seconds on the clock. Arizona’s Marquis Flowers recovered the onside kick. Hill and Garic Wharton caught back-to-back passes of 20+ yards from Scott; Miller scored on Scott’s third touchdown pass of the game and John Bonano’s extra point gave the Cats a one-point edge. And wouldn’t you know it: Flowers saved the game for Arizona twice in that final minute. On Nevada’s first and only play of its final drive, he intercepted Fajardo to secure the win. Wonder of wonders, that a game like this should be wrapped up with defense, but if Arizona’s 116th-ranked unit was ever going to show up today, they certainly chose their spots with care.

  61. 61
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Slaveholder Sam Houston State settles for a field goal with 5 1/2 to play. Is that Eastern Washington’s opening? Only down ten.

  62. 62
    quannlace says:

    Listening to Garrison Keillor. Need something a little light-hearted.

  63. 63
    Schlemizel says:


    How about Oikos University shootings?
    St. Pius X High School?

    Its easy to be glib when you are an ignorant fuck like Reverend Huckelberry

  64. 64
    Steeplejack says:

    @Keith G:

    I’m hoping for snow here in NoVa, but I don’t think we will get it. My brother’s partner has family up from Brazil for the holidays, including two kids (ages three and seven, I think), and they would freak out if they got to see snow for the first time in their lives.

    That said, it’s 46° right now, and the lowest high predicted for the next ten days is 40° on December 23.

  65. 65
    huckster says:

    @Raven: Yes I left out the part about the antenna, he got the booster because the signal was not very good (he lives about 75 miles north of Atlanta, and 50 miles south of Chattanooga)even with the directional. The booster fixed the problem.

  66. 66
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ah, I thought they could be dragons, then I said ‘griffins’. Anyway, I like them and I think she’ll like them too.

  67. 67
    J. Michael Neal says:

    On another screen, I’m learning that Alex Morgan is really fast.

  68. 68
    Raven says:

    @huckster: Sounds like carpet country to me.

  69. 69
    Schlemizel says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    “as in both defenses are struggling”

    Great line J.M. I am so stealing that!

  70. 70
    huckster says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Oh you and me both, but at some point the $115.00 a month to watch Rachel Maddow and TCM, was hard to justify. i have netflix, so I can stream all sorts of shows advert free.

    But I do miss Rachel..

  71. 71
    J. Michael Neal says:

    45-42 with 3:04 to go and Sam Houston even had a possession in those 2 1/2 minutes.

  72. 72
    huckster says:

    @Raven: Some would call it God’s country

  73. 73
    Schlemizel says:

    @Keith G:

    FWIW Winter Park Co has been getting hammered with snow for a couple weeks now. Obviously those be the mountains but most of the rest of the famous CO resort areas are brownish.

  74. 74
    Keith G says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Ah…I see on a map that northern MN and Seattle area are two spots with a bit of cold in the air. Here in Houston, we got edged out by Miami for the warmest city today. Most days have been unseasonably warm. In lieu of Jack Frost, we have mosquitoes nipping at our noses.

  75. 75
    Raven says:

    @huckster: When I moved here 27+ years ago it was nothing but country.

  76. 76
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Abby Wambach puts the US up 1-0 on a really nice assist from Morgan.

  77. 77
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Schlemizel: I’m not getting much written this afternoon. Sorry.

  78. 78
    Schlemizel says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Where abouts you seeing that?

    @J. Michael Neal:
    Thats right! TURN OFF THE DAMN TV & GET TO WORK!

  79. 79

    @RobertDSC-PowerMac 466:

    Haven’t Clancy’s more recent novels been ghostwritten?

  80. 80
    realbtl says:

    @Keith G:
    NW Montana here, 24 degrees and spitting snow, 4″ on the ground. Got up to the high 20s today. It is winter some places.

    That said it has been 2 years since we got some serious (below -20) cold up here.

  81. 81
    huckster says:

    @Raven: Well, Nickelsville hasn’t changed a whole lot in 30 years, more people maybe. You can still see the stars at night.

  82. 82
    J. Michael Neal says:

    45-42 is the final.

  83. 83
    mai naem says:

    I was watching Fox this AM. They had their WH or DC so called journo on. The first part of his report on Obama was how Obama corrected his mispronunciation of Newtown when he did the Saturday address. I shit you not.

    Also too, I know this may come across as inappropriate but I did find it interesting. I did an image search on the google for Ryan/Adam Lanza and one of the first images that comes up is a Romney/Ryan/Lanza combo sign(I hate to say this but my first reaction was that somebody had photoshopped the sign to connect the GOP to the incident.) Well, apparently there was a GOPr running for some state seat whose name was Lanza and his campaign had created the sign.

  84. 84
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Schlemizel: I’m seeing it at Buffalo Wild Wings. Women’s soccer on NBC Sports Network (which is what I think Vs. turned into) or Univision.

  85. 85
    Raven says:

    @huckster: Buncha Ellijay pickers in these parts.

  86. 86
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @mai naem: Wrong thread.

  87. 87
    Anya says:

    There are anonymous reports saying that Kerry is President Obama’s pick for SoS. I think this is a good choice for a number of reasons, chief among them, Kerry is immensely qualified for the job. On top of that, Kerry was one of President Obama’s first supporters during the primary. He handed over to the Obama team the list of donors and supports which helped a great deal. And let’s not forget where Obama started his national debut. I really believe that Kerry was his first choice this time and it’s not a cave as some would like to make it seem. What do you guys think?

    I must say, I am really tired of hand-wringing over this possible appointment. Some are treating Scott Brown as a demigod who cannot be defeated. If we cannot find a viable candidate from one of the most liberal states in the union then we’re screwed.

  88. 88
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Today’s soccer lesson: If you’re the goalie and come out to midfield to play the ball, don’t kick it straight to an opponent. She may well just kick it over your head and into the net.

    2-0 US. China just looks hopelessly outclassed, as they did earlier in the week in losing 4-0.

  89. 89
    huckster says:

    @Raven: well, they do get out. Reminds me of going to old converted chicken houses to listen to bluegrass on Saturday nights. Big fun.

  90. 90
    J. Michael Neal says:

    I didn’t realize bodychecking was legal in soccer.

  91. 91
    Schlemizel says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    found it! thanks but it looks over already

  92. 92
    JPL says:

    @huckster: hmm.. get a html (i think that’s what it is called) cord and plug it into your tv and voila …

  93. 93
    Allen says:

    @Keith G: No snow to speak of here in Western Oregon. Thank the FSM. I’ve lived here over 50 years and been snowed in four times, all on the Wes side of state,three with over four feet of snow and the last time with two and half feet. Tired of that stuff.

  94. 94
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Schlemizel: I think it was over on Wednesday.

  95. 95
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Woah! Maybe not. 2-1.

  96. 96
    huckster says:

    @Anya: He lost to a non-native by 7 points and looked like an incomparable ass in the process. Oh, and to a woman who is the poster-child of progressives everywhere. He won in 2010 because the Dem candidate was terrible, and it was a wave election year. Some say he could be governor, and he might could be, but my guess is his 15 minutes of fame are over.

  97. 97
    CW in LA says:

    @J. Michael Neal: What the heck happened to the Chinese Women’s team in the last ten years?

    Anyway, I’m waiting for the Rolling Stones pay-per-view concert, having agreed to redistribute my wealth, such as it is, to Sir Mick.

  98. 98
    Schlemizel says:

    I know its really sick and twisted but I laughed out loud & my coal black heart glowed a bit brighter when I read this story about a dog abuser that could have been a Twilight Zone episode titled “Just Deserts”

  99. 99
    Anya says:

    @huckster: I know. That’s why I am shocked at all the bedwetting. What is up with that? Even Kos is joining the rank of bedwetters.

  100. 100
    huckster says:

    @JPL: Thanks!

  101. 101
  102. 102
    Allen says:

    @realbtl: A passel of my college friends moved to Montana. The west side, Flathead area, major league dummies in my opinion.

  103. 103
    huckster says:

    @Anya: I dunno, maybe because it happened before. I always felt like Brown was the accidental senator in that there was no way should have won, but there was a lot momentum for the GOP in 2010 that I frankly don’t see at this point. He stands for nothing, has no issue to advance, and ran a really crass campaign against Warren, which probably dents his best asset, likeability. Clearly he shouldn’t be taken lightly, but that’s no reason to think him a slam dunk to win, much less run.

  104. 104
    Schlemizel says:

    OK So the man eaten by his starved dogs didn’t get the reaction I wanted. How about this:

    How can you tell if a zombie is a real gentleman?



    he likes women for their brains

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:


    More like “Tales from the Crypt.” Yicch.

  106. 106
    David Koch says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    On another screen, I’m learning that Alex Morgan is really fast sexy.

  107. 107
    MikeJ says:

    @huckster: I’d feel better about it if a local could name a few non-horrible candidates. I don’t even know who;s turn it is to run, and that’s often more important than who’s good. And Mass has some *horrible* dems.

  108. 108
    suzanne says:

    I have been taking an online class since 8am and my ass is totally flat.

  109. 109
    huckster says:

    @MikeJ: I understand, hell, I’m from Georgia and I doubt we could field a candidate to challenge wingnut empress Karen Handel if she knocked off Saxby Chambliss, much less win.

  110. 110
    Raven says:

    @suzanne: I just made a standup work station, I like it.

  111. 111
    Anya says:

    @MikeJ: Here’s a list from a GOS diarist from Massachusetts.

  112. 112
    J. Michael Neal says:

    3-1 US. Wambach bounces a feed from Rapinoe off the post and in. It must be some sort of milestone goal, because they’re going nuts, even for soccer players.

  113. 113
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @David Koch: I knew that already.

  114. 114
    J. Michael Neal says:

    4-1. The brief spasm by China at the end of the first half was an aberration.

  115. 115
    JWL says:

    “The Bible is unforgiving. There is not a scintilla of mercy or humor in the Holy Bible. None”.

    Hunter Thompson.. who also once wrote that he hated all preachers.

  116. 116


    If the Massachusetts Democrats can be united and energetic enough to keep Scott Brown, or any other Republican, out of the senate, than I am fine with Kerry at State. It would also be good to get some new Democratic talent into the senate.

    Related question – For a person like John Kerry, what is the appeal of a cabinet post? I consider US senator to be the third best job in government. Why give it up for any cabinet post?

  117. 117
    Anya says:

    @James E. Powell: It has so much appeal to Kerry that he wanted it so bad since the first term. It was unfortunate for him that there was all that Clinton drama. But I agree with you, as a senator he has so much power why give it up? Also, all that non stop travel cannot be good for someone his age.

  118. 118
    justinb says:

    Any update on the availability of the mobile site?

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