Sunday Evening Open Thread: Concussive

Chris Hughes, former Obama campaign staffer, and his chief editor Franklin Foer, used the relauch of TNR to score a 45-minute interview with President Obama. There will be much serious discussion of the results in the immediate future — if the President had not chosen to announce that “[U]p at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time”, I think there’d already be more grumbling about a judicious level of Both-sides-Do-It that could be construed as hippy-punching. But for an open thread at the end of the weekend, I’ll just put this quote out there:

FF: Sticking with the culture of violence, but on a much less dramatic scale: I’m wondering if you, as a fan, take less pleasure in watching football, knowing the impact that the game takes on its players.

I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football. And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much…

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167 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    Letting your kid play football is like letting your kid ride his bike without a helmet.

  2. 2
    Valdivia says:

    sorry what? hippie punching? in that interview? I guess I just fail to recognize it because I thought he was pretty clear that the party at fault on everything is the Republicans.

  3. 3
    Cassidy says:

    and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much…

    Unless your starting QB is a serial rapist, then it’s cool.

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Downton Abbey….


    I had been spoiled and knew what was going to happen..

    still didn’t stop it from being hard.

    I was ok until the Dowager Countess….that walk away from Carson made it seem like she had aged a decade in a short walk.

  5. 5
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    [Obama] bemoaned his own difficulty accessing newspapers and magazines on his ultra-secure presidential iPad, which doesn’t allow him to enter required subscriber information

    One would think the Secret Service could figure something out to keep the president from being so isolated. Then maybe we could have someone signed in here as “Not the President.”

  6. 6
    Heliopause says:

    Why can’t Malia or Sasha play football?

  7. 7
    danielx says:

    Touched on previously, but…

    Paul Ryan sez that if Bill Clinton was president, this whole fiscal mess would be solved by now.


    It’s like all those unpleasantries during the period 1993-2000 never happened and the owner and operator of The Clenis is really, truly, the GOP’s BFF, unlike that uppity negro masquerading as president. Just like the GOP never heard of that guy who was occupying the Oval Office during the Cheney Regency of 2001-2008.

    Color me shocked.

  8. 8
    gogol's wife says:


    Same here. I’ve known for several months because of an incautious glance at Wikipedia, but I knew they’d dramatize it really well so I didn’t really care. Same for all those other spoilers I’ve endured, including from the NYTimes. I don’t care! Nyah, nyah, nyah! I still cry just as much!

  9. 9
    MomSense says:


    Ugh. Sybil. The Dowager Countess looked so frail and Mrs. Crawley is furious with the Earl! I am too!

  10. 10
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Wow we could be twins, I just said almost the identical comment as you on FB.

    Dowager just tore me up. And yeah, even though we had a nasty spoiler here a few weeks ago, it was still very sad. I’m only now mopping up my tears.

  11. 11
    dmsilev says:

    @danielx: Look on the bright side. Four years from now, when we’re inaugurating Madame President Clinton, Republicans will be moaning and groaning about how partisan she is, and that things aren’t like the good old days under Barack Obama.

  12. 12
    gbear says:

    [Obama] bemoaned his own difficulty accessing newspapers and magazines on his ultra-secure presidential iPad, which doesn’t allow him to enter required subscriber information

    There’s always the paper versions via speedee delivery.

    He could get the girls a bird and they could line the bottom of the cage with Bobo, Chunky Bobo and George Will.

  13. 13
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Even more, CORA is furious with the Earl, and rightly so.

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:


    Wife has been arguing with a couple of morans on whorfington post (she likes the site despite my opinion of it).

    They have been going on about how wonderful Hillary is & how much better off the nation would be if she were Prez. But these same nutbags hated Hillary 5 years ago & whine endlessly about the Clinton Presidency. Its quiet clear these clowns only approve of Dems not in office.

  15. 15
    Valdivia says:

    speaking of interviews–is Kroft of 60m min the biggest asshole ever or what? I loathe the media and the way they treat Obama.

  16. 16
    MomSense says:


    I think the Earl will be sleeping in the drawing room for many nights to come.

  17. 17
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @gbear: So, the first 21st century president has to go for a 19th century solution to gathering information? And what if he wants to comment? I think a flame war between Not the President and Ted & Helen would be awesome.

  18. 18
    gogol's wife says:


    I am so enured to how badly the NYTimes treats the Obama administration that this evening I shouted with joy after reading Mark Leibovich’s article on Joe Biden. There wasn’t one negative or snarky remark in it, and the word “gaffe” never appeared. I couldn’t believe it.

  19. 19
    arguingwithsignposts says:


    Republicans will be moaning and groaning about how partisan she is, and that things aren’t like the good old days under Barack Obama.

    Not. Gonna. Happen.
    The Stupid, It Burns!

  20. 20
    gogol's wife says:


    I think Julian Fellowes must have read Anna Karenina lately. Tolstoy is very hard on society doctors who claim they can keep women from dying in childbirth.

  21. 21
    PeakVT says:

    Not clicking over to The New Republican, even for The Prez.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Ohhhh yeahhhhhh.

  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Schlemizel: I don’t think the ‘wingers are even the target for this. They just want more Villagers singing from the “If only Obama would reach out…” hymnal. If they, Republicans or Villagers, talk about the actual policy differences, Republicans lose. Lucky for Paul Ryan, his target audience is some of the dumbest people on the planet.

    ETA: I read that Paulie named-checked Erskine Bowles, according to one report, just said “Erskine”. I’m sure David Gregory was all over the fact that Paulie Blue Eyes voted against Erskine-Bowles, right? Sure he was.

  24. 24
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @rikyrah: I only just started watching the show this season. I didn’t realize it was a world where such things could happen to major characters, so I was really surprised…

  25. 25
    Citizen_X says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Then maybe we could have someone signed in here as “Not the President.”

    If I see a “Barry O’Bama” commenting here I’m going to be suspicious.

  26. 26
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): or “Metrosexual White Abe Lincoln.”

  27. 27
    Mandalay says:

    British guitarist Wilko Johnson has just found out that he has inoperable pancreatic cancer, and has less than a year to live. He gave some really interesting insights on that discovery:

    “We walked out of there and I felt an elation of spirit. You’re walking along and suddenly you’re vividly alive. You’re looking at the trees and the sky and everything and it’s just ‘whoah’.

    “I am actually a miserable person. I’ve spent most of my life moping in depressions and things, but this has all lifted.”
    “This position I’m in is so strange, in that I do feel fit and yet I know death is upon me.
    “I am a feather for each wind that blows and the wind’s blowing me this way now. But yet I still retain this marvellous feeling of freedom,” he said.
    “The things that used to bring me down, or worry me, or annoy me, they don’t matter anymore – and that’s when you sit thinking ‘Wow, why didn’t I work this out before? Why didn’t I work out before that it’s just the moment you’re in that matters?’

    “Worrying about the future or regretting the past is just a foolish waste of time. Of course we can’t all be threatened with imminent death, but it probably takes that to knock a bit of sense into our heads.”
    “Right now it’s just fantastic – it makes you feel alive. Just walking down the street you really feel alive.
    “Every little thing you see, every cold breeze against your face, every brick in the road, you think ‘I’m alive, I’m alive’ – I hope I can hang onto that.

    “I’ve had a fantastic life. When I think about the things that have happened to me and the things I’ve done, I think anybody who asks for more would just be being greedy. I don’t wanna be greedy.”

    Magical words.

  28. 28
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Valdivia: Last time I watched that show was about five years ago- they did a profile on Fred Singer that basically asked “Dishonest shill for the Tobacco and Climate Change denial industries, not such a bad guy?”

  29. 29
    amk says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I believe ‘birther’ is still available.

    Unless of course our resident racist troll ‘usurps’ it as one of his numerous sock-puppets.

  30. 30
    Mike E says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: The way President Clinton is gonna smack down that pretty boy, it’ll be unorthodox and satisfying.

  31. 31
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Mike E: I will bring my biggest bag of popcorn for that. The “Not. Gonna. Happen.” part was specifically about pining for the golden years of Barack Hussein Obama. They need at least 8 years of their own fuck-up before they’ll look back on him with anything approaching respect, if then.

  32. 32
    Valdivia says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I must read that to try and get the bad taste of Kroft from my mouth!

    @SatanicPanic: I usually don’t watch but was curious to hear how the Clinton-Obama interview went and Kroft’s intro was so disgusting, and his question. Gah. Also Crowley of CNN saying on twitter that they were both lying and they hate each other. Can we target the meteor in that direction?

    also–since I didn’t watch downton I must be careful not to read any spoilers!

  33. 33
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mandalay: End-stage pancreatic cancer is awful. I don’t begrudge him his current elation, but the end really sucks.

  34. 34
    gogol's wife says:


    Don’t read any of the above Downton comments!

    After writing about the Biden article, I remembered that it did have a little snark about his hair plugs, but other than that it’s quite admiring.

  35. 35
    Yutsano says:

    @Valdivia: I’d say stop reading this thread now. The spoiler monkeys, they canna help themselves.

  36. 36
    Valdivia says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I just found it and must thank you for it. So great to read something positive for a change. And I love me some Biden, always!

  37. 37
    Culture of Truth says:

    The President’s thoughtful answers puzzle and outrage me

  38. 38
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    This is the 21st century, folks, if you can’t handle spoilers, even ones as tame as those above, don’t do Internet.

  39. 39
    Heliopause says:


    Paul Ryan sez that if Bill Clinton was president, this whole fiscal mess would be solved by now.

    I’m sure he didn’t mean it this way, but he’s correct in that the “fiscal mess” of the 1990s was solved within months of Clinton’s first term, by a hefty tax increase, opposed by 100% of Republicans. But chances are this isn’t what Ryan had in mind.

  40. 40
    danielx says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Lucky for Paul Ryan, his target audience is some of the dumbest people on the planet.

    All too true, I’m sorry to say – his target audience includes a great many of my fellow ‘ooooosiers, much as it pains me to admit it, and they just elected Mike Pence as guvnor. A serious godbotherer who adds the delightful quality of being dumber than a barrel of hair, and started out by announcing his first priority as guv is…wait for it…

    a 10% cut in the state income tax rate, which is, of course, a flat tax so guess who would benefit the most from this visionary idea. This is after eight years of tax cuts and budget cuts under that financial genius Mitch Daniels. Even some of the Republicans in the state legislature are saying this is not a great idea at the moment, and those guys usually react to the phrase “tax cuts” the way a Rottweiler reacts to beef brisket.

  41. 41
    different-church-lady says:

    Why don’t they pad the outside of the helmets?

  42. 42
    Culture of Truth says:

    @different-church-lady: for the same reason they don’t pad the outside of cars. Then you would BOUNCE

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    Other than the fact that there is no school in the United States that lets girls play tackle football? Every once in a great while you’ll see a girl on special teams (ie as a kicker) but that’s as far as they’re allowed to go.

    Also, why would a 6-foot tall girl play football instead of women’s basketball, where she can be a star and get full ride scholarships?

  44. 44
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    On the football thing, yesterday Up With Chris Hayes on MSNBC played a brief clip of an interview with Terry Bradshaw, who stated flat out that he wouldn’t let any child of his play football, knowing what he does now.

  45. 45
    Heliopause says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    I repeat my question.

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    Turns out that backing up your hard drive is a very dull process. Who knew?

    Also, a random query, but if anyone has ever used a car buying service (like through your credit union or AAA), let me know what you thought of it. I’m in the early stages of contemplating buying a new car, and I am a very bad negotiator, so I’m considering a car buying service instead.

  47. 47
    danielx says:


    That’s where that out of sight, out of mind thing comes in – the fact that a serious tax increase* was a major factor in fixing the deficit (followed by a serious economic revival) has just sort of gone away in Republican memory, along with their dire predictions of economic collapse before the tax increase was passed.

    Well, maybe not the latter part, they’re still predicting disaster from any kind of tax increase at all, particularly insofar as it affects their most important constituency *cough*1%*cough*.

    Dear me, am I advocating class warfare? Why yes, yes I am. Shame on me.

    *I must note that unlike Obama, Clinton didn’t spend his first term negotiating with himself – he understood from the start what kind of looneytunes assholes he was dealing with. Whereas Obama tended to start negotiating with his wingnut-driven opponents by offering them what he perceived as a reasonable compromise, following which they took him to the cleaners or didn’t compromise anything at all.

    No more – it took him four years to get the idea that Republicans weren’t going to concede anything, but he ‘s figured it out and is acting accordingly. (Good and about fucking time, says I.) So of course now we get to hear the likes of Bobo bemoaning the President’s abrasive and uncompromising attitude, and how the only bipartisan solution…is for Obama to act like he lost the election instead of winning it.

    Music to my shell-like ear.

  48. 48
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): the first new car I bought, I did it through a service provided by my credit union, and it was a breeze. For the particular one I got, they found it in Long Beach, and had it transferred to a dealership in the Bay Area.

  49. 49
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:



  50. 50
    Mandalay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    End-stage pancreatic cancer is awful.

    I have no knowledge but I am sure that you are right, and time will tell how he feels when his body starts hurting and death looms.

    But I thought the elation and freedom he feels now, knowing that he will be dead within a year, was interesting. I don’t think he is pretending, and I have read similar comments from others who know they are going to die. I wonder if you get “brainwashed” – some form of cognitive dissonance – by your own mind so that you can cope, or (more likely?) your entire world view is truly transformed the moment you learn that you don’t have much time left.

  51. 51
    Maude says:

    Crowley hasn’t tweeted since Dec 6, 2012.
    ETA, under her name. If she uses another account, then never mind.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Did you feel you got a good price on it? I feel like it’s an inherent conflict of interest for the entity that gives me an auto loan to also help set the price for the car, because wouldn’t they want me to pay a higher price so they make more money off me? But I may be paranoid since I haven’t bought a car since 1998.

  53. 53
    General Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    You don’t have to be good at negotiating to get a good deal for what you want. A little research on markups and the sticker price versus what the dealer has invested is all you need. Settle on what you want to pay for a particular vehicle, with some profit for the dealer built in, maybe 15 to 20 percent more than cost.

    And just walk right in and announce the car you want and what you are willing to pay. You have to be committed to that strategy and to walking away if the dealer says no. If not, car dealers can smell it a mile off that you can be bargained with. In this economy, it should be a favorable method.

  54. 54
    danielx says:

    Amazing set of pics referenced from the page with the article about Wilko Johnson –

    A soon-to-vanish world.

  55. 55
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Culture of Truth: That might make for an interesting game

  56. 56
    Princess Leia says:

    @Mandalay: I felt some of what he describes when I thought I might have ovarian cancer. Still trickles in, but now that I am “cured” I seem also cured of the elation, too. Sad, that part.

  57. 57
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Valdivia: Also Crowley of CNN saying on twitter that they were both lying and they hate each other. Can we target the meteor in that direction?@Maude:

    Nixon groupie Monica Crowley? Sorry… DR Monica Crowley?

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    Since most of us spend a lot of time wondering when and how we’re going to die, I can see how gaining that knowledge would be a relief on a strange way.

  59. 59
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I got about as good a deal as could be expected for the car I bought.

  60. 60
    Lolis says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    All the cars I want to buy sell at sticker price in Austin because there is such a high demand for them. I was looking at the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris hatchback. My dad bought a car using The dealer delivered the car to him and everything was super easy.

  61. 61
    Heliopause says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Right, so my question is, if the desire and ability was there and the relevant school/league was willing to allow it why won’t the President even consider it?

  62. 62
    Maude says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Oh, I thought it was Candy Crowley of CNN.
    One of them has to change their name.
    No one cares what Monica Crowley says.

  63. 63
    arguingwithsignposts says:


    Right, so my question is, if the desire and ability was there and the relevant school/league was willing to allow it why won’t the President even consider it?

    Because head injury.

  64. 64
    Valdivia says:


    I saw it retweted and thought it was Candy but it was Monica. My bad.

    @MonicaCrowley Watching Obama & Rodham on 60 Mins. Give them this: they are 2 incredibly adept liars.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    One of my coworkers has a six-year-old son that she is already steering towards swimming instead of football, even though he probably has the physique for football. She will also be watching the Superbowl next Sunday despite her misgivings about the game. Is she a hypocrite?

  66. 66
    Heliopause says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    I doubt both of you are truly this dense.

    The President said he would consider letting his child play football, but only if it were a son. Why won’t he consider the girls?

  67. 67
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Heliopause: I doubt you are really that dense to not understand the culture you live in, and the president lives in.

  68. 68
    General Stuck says:


    @MonicaCrowley Watching Obama & Rodham on 60 Mins. Give them this: they are 2 incredibly adept liars.

    LOL, this from a devoted Nixonite

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    Because girls don’t play football in the US. Do you not live here? It is not a sport that girls are permitted to play.

  70. 70
    Maude says:

    Thank you. I can’t stand Monica Crowley. She is mean as a snake.

  71. 71
    MikeJ says:

    @Valdivia: Alister Crowley had something to say about Obama?

  72. 72
    Valdivia says:

    @General Stuck:

    until today I had no idea who she was. Now I have to keep all these Crawley’s straight! Monica sounds like a piece of work!

  73. 73
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @danielx: Bill Clinton started by getting cut off at the knees on gays in the military, proceeded to piss off labor and liberals with NAFTA, worked gladly with Republicans to balance the budget, and topped it all off by declaring that “the era of big government is over.” Here’s the text of the 1996 State of the Union. The idea that Bill Clinton was a ruthless partisan while Obama is a squish… I don’t think that’s going to stand up to scrutiny.

  74. 74
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Heliopause: that’s a clown question, bro.

  75. 75
    Mandalay says:

    @Princess Leia:

    Still trickles in, but now that I am “cured” I seem also cured of the elation, too.

    So your “scare” with cancer did not really result in any permanent change in you?

  76. 76
    General Stuck says:


    I haven’t seen nor heard from her really since Bush was prez, and I tuned into The Maclaughlim Group every Friday night. Plus not having a teevee for years now. She is a piece of work, and imo some smarter than the usual wingnut pundit, but also pure wingnut.

  77. 77
    Heliopause says:


    Once again, the President said he’d consider letting a son play football. Why not a daughter?

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Yes, females play football in the US. Rare, but it happens. Other things that are or one time were rare: females choosing to marry someone of a different race, females choosing to marry someone of the same sex, females in the military, females in combat, females voting…

    So, are you going to answer the question?

  78. 78
    Mandalay says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Since most of us spend a lot of time wondering when and how we’re going to die…

    We do??? I would have guessed that most people avoid thinking about it at all until it becomes a distinct possibility.

  79. 79
    eric says:

    @danielx: but the very point you make at Bobo is why Obama negotiated against himself the first term…he knew that his real enemy was not the GOP, but the press as the medium to get to moderate voters. He knew that he had to be extra-fair to be perceived as only modestly fair. He knew he would not get re-elected if he was perceived as partisan by the beltway press, so he negotiated agaisnt himself often so that he did not lose the larger PR war taht would play out against the GOP nominee….He was strong in the rust belt, in part, beause the press could not play him as a “liberal.” no such problems now.

  80. 80
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Heliopause: Is it because he’s a terrible sexist?

  81. 81
    Heliopause says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Girls can’t play football? Why are you a bigot?

  82. 82
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Heliopuase’s question amounts to the same thing as “When did Obama stop beating his wife?” It’s trolling.

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: I don’t remember Heliopause doing this sort of thing before. I don’t get it.

  84. 84
    Digital Amish says:

    After flipping through the channels and catching a few plays from the ProBowl, I’d guess that that level of play would allay Obama’s and anybody else’s concerns about football injuries. They might as well have been playing flag football from the little I saw. (and I don’t blame them a bit)

  85. 85
    Heliopause says:


    I’m just asking the question. Note all the Juicers in the comments who think it’s a “clown question” to even ask why girls are forbidden to play football strictly on the basis of sex.

  86. 86
    Heliopause says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: @FlipYrWhig:

    Are any of you ever going to answer the question? Why can’t a girl even be considered for playing football?

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    If he had a son, should he insist that his son play field hockey? if not, why not? In fact, why is Malia playing on the girls’ basketball team? Why didn’t he insist that she play on the boys’ team?

    Clown question, indeed.

  88. 88
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Heliopause: ok, but where do we go from there? Who are you trying to call out, Obama? Commenters? If Obama was told that riddle about how the father and son were in a car accident and were taken to the hospital and the doctor said “I can’t operate on this child, he’s my son,” he might trip over that for a moment too. And?

  89. 89
    MikeJ says:

    @Heliopause: My guess is that he knows his children and knows that neither of them gives a shit about having their brains beaten out.

  90. 90
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Heliopause: ok, she should, but Obama didn’t say that, and probably never thought twice about it, showing a lack of imagination. He’d probably be embarrassed for a moment if you pointed it out to him. Happy?

  91. 91
    Mandalay says:

    @General Stuck:

    Monica Crowley doesn’t just plagiarize. She gets caught lying on the radio as well:

    When Monica came back from commercial, she played our parody again but this time she claimed she created it. “We put together a little spoof there of that where the woman holds up her baby…”

    Oh, bitch, no you didn’t.


  92. 92
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    I do find it interesting that you think the Obama girls are mere puppets and if their father decided he wanted them to play football, they would murmur, “Yes, daddy” and do whatever he said. Why do you think they have no personalities or interests of their own? Why do you think girls are interchangeable while boys are individuals?

    I think you need to deal with your own internalized sexism before you start criticizing others. Start with trying to realize that women and girls are actual people, just like you.

  93. 93
    Maude says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):
    Just want to say hi. I was thinking about you this afternoon. I hope you are peaceful after your loss.

  94. 94
    SatanicPanic says:

    Is obtuseness the new thing? Because I’m seeing a ton of that on Balloon Juice today.

  95. 95
    Heliopause says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    More intellectual cowardice.

    Are you ever going to answer the question?


    Who are you trying to call out, Obama? Commenters?

    The President said, “I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.” There’s a clear implication there that several of the commenters are pretending doesn’t exist. Doubtful the President is reading this but if he is maybe he could drop in a comment and answer the question. It would probably be a pretty good answer, too, given how skilled he is at answering questions. As for the commenters, as I said, they’re simply pretending that the clear implication doesn’t exist, which is par for the course, and I don’t expect an honest answer as to why they feel that females can be excluded from certain things strictly on the basis of sex and we shouldn’t question it.

  96. 96
    Gian says:

    since you don’t like the answer, instead of repeating yourself like a broken record, say what you want to say.

    or keep trolling the same question over and over and hope for a different result, it’s worked like a charm so far

  97. 97
    David Koch says:

    What?! No SAG Award thread?!

    Downton Abby’s Michelle Dockery was the bomb with her boobie dress

  98. 98
    J.D. Rhoades says:


    Carson tore me up just as bad. “I’ve known her since she was born…” And O’Brian’s “we’re going to show him [Tom Branson, former chauffeur] that we are kind people.” damn.

  99. 99
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    I know, let’s take an innocuous phrase from the President about a generally very male sport, and turn it into an opportunity to rage against the patriarchy inherent in the system.

    Sound awesome?

  100. 100
    Maude says:

    We seem to be in a phase of it.

  101. 101
    Maude says:

    And then we can talk about 2016.

  102. 102
    General Stuck says:


    Well, if you going to deduct from face value what Obama said, he could just have easily meant that his daughters could play football without his permission. Now that would be progressive in your orange fuzzy world.

  103. 103
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Heliopause: Remember when Obama said that if he had a son he’d look like Trayvon Martin? What, his daughters don’t look like Trayvon Martin? Check your privilege, President Obama.

  104. 104
    Yutsano says:

    @Heliopause: Short answer: they are, but usually in very limited roles. This mostly has to do with size differentials between adolescent males and adolescent females.

    Slightly longer answer: most high school coaches are also interested in seeing their players advance to the college level an possibly beyond. Call it sexist, but females are very very rarely considered for college football scholarships. In fact every female player on the college level was a walk-on. So girls are not actively encouraged to play based upon that criterion as well.

    Now please, for the love of Jeebus, stop acting like a clown. Yer embarrassing yourself.

  105. 105
    sb says:

    To your original question: they can if they want to. I’m assuming they haven’t asked and that’s why the President didn’t use their names. I’ll bet if they did ask before the interview, the President would have shared the discusion he had with either of them about concussions, the dangers of the game, etc. But as neither of them asked to play, the President didn’t think to use their names.

    Personally, I don’t think females should be excluded from trying out for tackle football. I wouldn’t recommend it but, sure, they can play if they want.

    EDIT: Yutsano one post above put it better than I. Not an uncommon occurrence, that.

  106. 106
    Alison says:

    @Heliopause: No, the “clear implication” is that he was answering the question within the context of the actual world we live in, not in your fantasy world where girls and women play high school, college and professional gridiron football. He said “son” because right now, in this country, in general it is only boys who play the sport. It would make zero sense for him to start talking about the girls and whether or not they should do something they basically can’t do. He made no implication as to how he feels about that because it wasn’t even part of the fucking discussion. You seem bound and determined to insist that he’s a giant sexist pig, but you’re flailing badly.

  107. 107
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Alison: All that would be well and good if Heliopause was asking a legitimate question instead of playing badger the witness with the entire commentariat over what amounts to a common turn of phrase “If I had a …”

  108. 108
    Peter says:

    Heliopause, here is what people are saying and you are not hearing: Obama wouldn’t be able to let his daughters play football because unless you count the Lingerie League, there are no teams for them to play on. You cannot play football alone.

  109. 109
    Groucho48 says:


    I suspect he knows his daughters have no interest in playing football. The older one has the height to be a decent basketball player, though.

  110. 110
    gwangung says:

    @Heliopause: God, you’re an idiot, as well as being sexist.

    You DO realize that children have agency, right? And for a parent to allow a child to play, that child will WANT to place a certain sport, right? His daughters are, like many girls, not asking to play football. It’s not up to him to determine what sports his daughters WANT to play.

    Clown questions squared and cubed.

  111. 111
    danielx says:


    Ehhh…true, all true. I guess it’s just that Obama’s first term is a lot fresher in my memory than Clinton’s, and Obama did try from the start to do the bipartisan waltz so beloved by proponents of High Broderism. Whereas his opponents made it clear from the start that they were going to oppose him on everything, whether it made them look like idiots or not. You may have noticed that Obama’s efforts to reach out, and there were many of them, didn’t change one note of the resounding chorus of “Both Sides Do It” being sung to this day by the likes of Dancin’ Dave Gregory and ever so many of his compatriots.

    Better him than me; I am far from possessing superhuman patience and Obama must be a lot more patient than I. Although I’ve heard the man is capable of amazingly fluent and imaginative profanity and obscenity in private…

  112. 112
    Yutsano says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I fully realise that Helio Boy doesn’t want a legitimate answer. He has had firebagger tendencies in the past and I’m certain just is itching for another ZOMG OBAMA IS TEH SUXXORS PUMA 4EVAH!! moment. But I gave him a perfectly reasonable answer. If he rejects it (likely) then it’s proof to me he’s just trollmastering. And pretty much everyone else.

  113. 113
    MikeJ says:


    And for a parent to allow a child to play, that child will WANT to place a certain sport, right?

    Not absolutely true, but it should be.

  114. 114
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Maude: manufactured outrage all over the place today. Sheesh, it’s sunday people, take it easy

  115. 115
    Heliopause says:


    His daughters are, like many girls, not asking to play football.

    OMG, you eat dinner with the Obamas??? What are they like? Who is Malia’s favorite singer?

    As for the rest of you, before I sign off feast your eyes on this.

  116. 116
    SatanicPanic says:

    Hillary asked Chelsea if she wanted to play in girls’ pee-wee football. I was there. But Chelsea was like, no thanks mom.

  117. 117
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @danielx: the one way it did work was that people who don’t follow politics obsessively decided that Obama was a reasonable guy doing his best, rather than someone who acts like it’s his way or the highway. And the idea that Clinton’s terms were bogged down in bickering and petty nonsense contributed mightily to Bush defeating (sort of) Gore. So one positive outcome to Obama’s willingness to talk, engage, and even compromise is that the petty nonsense is so obviously emanating from one side of the aisle that even people who barely care know that Republicans are aggravating and destructive. A more partisan Obama wouldn’t have won his reelection so handily given the general atmosphere, I would venture to say.

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Speaking of pointless trolling, I saw one of the anti-Hagel ads on TV yesterday. He once took a Congressional junket to…. ORLANDO FLORIDA. He’s practically Sprio Agnew. Do they think they can really stop his nomination? Seems like an awful waste of money to just keep the base riled up, when they already have so many people doing that.

  119. 119
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Women, in general, shouldn’t play football because almost all of them don’t have the size or muscle mass for it. Everybody happy now?

    Plus, the idea that our skinny-ass president and his fairly petite wife could have a child, male or female, sizable enough to play the game is totally fucking ludicrous. I don’t begrudge him his fantasies but that shit ain’t in the cards, jack.

  120. 120
    Yutsano says:

    @Heliopause: Oh Jeebus. Yes, ONE ESPN article proves just how wrong Wrong WRONG Obama is and ZOMG HE IS TEH SUXXORS RAWR!! Just go away.

  121. 121
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Heliopause: I truly don’t get what you’re on about. Yes, Obama’s answer reveals that he hasn’t particularly thought about girls’ place in football. It’s more extensive than he realizes, I guess. And? He probably hasn’t thought that much about whether one of his children might want to become a country singer, either.

  122. 122
    redshirt says:

    Why isn’t Tebow starting in Field Hockey?

    Sexism, that’s why.

  123. 123
    SatanicPanic says:

    @redshirt: Anti-religious bigotry

  124. 124
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Heliopause: I hope you give the guy some slack for the fact that he picks a bracket for the women’s NCAA basketball tourney every year. Has any other president acknowledged women’s sports to that degree?

  125. 125
    MikeJ says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I saw one of the anti-Hagel ads on TV yesterday.

    Did you see that the “liberal” group running anti Hagel ads is using a Republican ad buying firm for placement?

  126. 126
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    He probably hasn’t thought that much about whether one of his children might want to become a country singer, either.

    @FlipYrWhig: Why DOESN’T Obama want his children to be country singers? Hey, I’m just asking innocent questions, but aren’t most country singers white? All of them, actually? Does Obama not think his daughters are good enough to be white country singers?

    I don’t know where Obama gets this attitude that his kids wouldn’t want to be country singers. He’s never even mentioned the possibility in an interview. Not ONE SINGLE ONE.

  127. 127
    Alison says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: NOW WE’LL NEVER TURN TEXAS BLUE.

  128. 128
    MikeJ says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    but aren’t most country singers white?

    Darius Rucker.

  129. 129
  130. 130
    NotMax says:

    Tom Tancredo, touting setting a familial example, does a 180, for all intents and purposes telling his grandkids that breaking a promise made is a perfectly fine, even inconsequential, thing to do.

    Still a scumbucket to the core.

  131. 131
    Redshift says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): We’ve bought our last three cars through the USAA and Costco buying clubs, and I’d highly recommend it. I feel like we got a pretty good deal, and it was dead easy.

  132. 132
    amk says:

    @Heliopause: what are you whining on and on about things you obviously don’t know much about?

  133. 133
    Redshift says:


    Did you see that the “liberal” group running anti Hagel ads is using a Republican ad buying firm for placement?

    I saw it a few days ago (before Rachel did the story about it.) I immediately looked up the group, and found both the anonymously-sourced article that they claimed to include some Democrats who were Obama “allies,” but were staying anonymous for fear of “retribution,” and the research suggesting it was all BS.

    The tone of the entire thing was “here’s stuff you people should be upset about!” I agree with Rachel, wingnuts just aren’t very good at pretending to be liberals. They always act like their own caricatures of what we are, because they sincerely believe in them.

  134. 134
    Yutsano says:

    @amk: It’s Balloon Juice. It’s pretty much standard operating procedure around here.

  135. 135
    srv says:

    @Heliopause: I remember an early teen dribbling a soccer ball to the local pool every day in the hood while I was back in town from college mowing lawns 7 days a week.

    She went on to be the JV quarterback.

    Mia Hamm.

    Wonder how many head injuries she has…

  136. 136

    @srv: Not as many as Heliopause, I bet.

  137. 137
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @Alison: You win tonight’s internet. @The prophet Nostradumbass: beat me to it.

  138. 138
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Orlando, you say. I’m guessing 4 out of five middle class people in the country have been there at one time or another. I think they should go with Lake Buena Vista. That gives off a more “Friday the 13th” scary vibe.

  139. 139
    Mnemosyne says:


    We’re doing okay. I got the obituaries published and now I’m working on the various memorial things. I still have those moments when it all crashes in on me like it just happened yesterday, but I’m managing.

  140. 140
    Suzanne says:

    I just watched Downton Abbey and FUCK I AM SO MAD. Sybil was the best one.

    I hope they keep Branson.

  141. 141
    David Koch says:

    B R E A K I N G N E W S

    (AP)–A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles of sweeping legislation to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws. The deal, which was to be announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country.

    Obama Akbar!!

  142. 142
    Yutsano says:

    @David Koch: Yeah…but will it play in Peoria?

    (If the Ooompa-Loompa can’t sell it to his House of Krazy it’s a pointless exercise.)

  143. 143
    askew says:

    The deal, which was to be announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country.

    I hope it includes the DREAM Act provisions. I am still unsure how I feel about the guest worker provision. It seems like it could lead to people being exploited by employers.

  144. 144
    gwangung says:


    I am still unsure how I feel about the guest worker provision. It seems like it could lead to people being exploited by employers.

    You mean, unlike how it is now?

  145. 145
    NotMax says:

    Across the pond, blaming the victims.

    Tory MP, Richard Graham, has come under fire for saying that women are putting themselves at risk of rape by wearing short skirts and high heels.


    The MP for Gloucester said that although there is heavy police presence, life doesn’t give girls full protection from predators all the time; one has to look after herself.  Source

  146. 146
    NotMax says:


    Ya think?

    The ill-fated Bracero program illustrates it in stark relief.

    In 1956, labor organizer Ernesto Galarza’s book Stranger in Our Fields was published, drawing attention to the conditions experienced by braceros. The book begins with this statement from a worker: “In this camp, we have no names. we are called only by numbers.” The book concluded that workers were lied to, cheated and “shamefully neglected.” The U.S. Department of Labor officer in charge of the program, Lee G. Williams, described the program as a system of “legalized slavery.”


    The end of the Bracero program in 1964 was followed by the rise to prominence of the United Farm Workers and the subsequent transformation of American migrant labor under the leadership of César Chávez…  Source

  147. 147
    Kyle says:


    A rare exception. Charlie Pride’s record company purposely had no picture of him on his first album so the redneck country music audience wouldn’t know he was black.

  148. 148
    slightly_peeved says:


    Clinton didn’t negotiate on healthcare, and got nowhere. Obama did, and got universal coverage (with federally-defined requirements for that coverage), and a path to single-payer for the states. Clinton was a good president, but he didn’t do near as much for progressives in the US as Obama has.

  149. 149
    Yutsano says:

    @NotMax: Shorter PM: SLUTZ!!

  150. 150


    Should Americans pick crops?
    George says no;
    ‘Cause no one but a Mexican would stoop so low.
    And after all, even in Egypt, the Pharaohs
    Had to import—Hebrew Braceros.

    Tom Lehrer

  151. 151
    David Koch says:

    I’m tired of people saying Clinton didn’t get anything done.

    How can you forget he did NAFTA, GATT, WTO, PNTR, DADT, and DOMA. He deregulated derivatives trading, ended welfare as we knew it, and repealed Glass-Steagall.

    Towering achievements.

  152. 152

    @David Koch: What are you talking about? Those are all Obama’s fault.

  153. 153

    From the article:

    We know that to fix our economy, we’ve got to make sure: that we have the most competitive workforce in the world, that we have a better education system, that we are investing in research and development, that we’ve got world-class infrastructure, that we’re reducing our health care costs, and that we’re expanding our exports.

    Now if you can find one damn thing in that statement that would do spit regarding extreme income disparity I’ll take it as a real gift. Do you suppose that there are more than a couple people in DC that don’t know about it and the problems it causes an economy?

  154. 154
    amk says:

    @slightly_peeved: Also. Too. Kenyan muslin had to clean up the bill’s doma/dadt/banking fuck ups. Fucking firebaggers are plain useless in moving any agenda to success.

  155. 155
    amk says:

    @David Koch: Yup. Them too.

  156. 156
    NotMax says:



    For Mr. Graham, it would seem that rape did not exist until it sprang into noxious existence full blown the moment hemlines went up.

  157. 157

    @NotMax: Something Tories (and GOPers) have in common with Islamist nuts.

  158. 158
    Joey Maloney says:


    @MonicaCrowley Watching Obama & Rodham on 60 Mins. Give them this: they are 2 incredibly adept liars.

    The more I read that the more annoyed I got. I ended up with this reply:

    Cripes, @MonicaCrowley, do THEY come to YOUR office and knock Nixon’s corpse’s cock out of your mouth?

    So uncivil, I know.

  159. 159
    Joey Maloney says:


    Once again, the President said he’d consider letting a son play football. Why not a daughter?

    Perhaps because his son is theoretical, but his actual daughters have no interest in playing football, so the question has never arisen?

    Jeez, find a new chewtoy, willya?

  160. 160
    Snarla says:

    Huh. I thought it was just conservatives who were so inflexible they absolutely wouldn’t consider new ideas, such as girls playing football.

  161. 161
    Marshall says:

    [Obama] bemoaned his own difficulty accessing newspapers and magazines on his ultra-secure presidential iPad, which doesn’t allow him to enter required subscriber information

    He could do like Winston Churchill, and call up the newspapers himself at midnight to get the next day’s lead.

  162. 162
    nastybrutishntall says:

    Second thread in two days hijacked by obtuse literalism. Needs moar orange-cream pie filter.

    Also, Anne Laurie? Did you read that article? Big O attacked both-sides-do-it. Hippies were lightly massaged with patchouli and let go; none were harmed.

  163. 163
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:


    Have either Sasha or Malia expressed an interest? Do either of them attend a school with an athletic program that would let them play regular football?

    Pop Warner’s about the only time most boys and girls can play to the same level. By middle and high school, size and strength play enough of a role that most (not all!) teenage girls would be at a disadvantage, along with a good chunk of the boys. I was already pretty tall by my sophomore year, but I simply was not in the same league strength- or speed-wise as the guys on the team. Sure, there are a few girls that age who can hold their own against the boys, but they’re built more like Dot Jones than either of the Obama girls.

    Put another way, if either of them were remotely interested, they’d already have been doing it for a while.

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:


    The average American man is 6 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than the average American woman.

    In the NFL, the average player height is 74 inches tall and average weight is 227 pounds.

    Still confused about why football teams aren’t co-ed?

  165. 165
    handsmile says:

    Just now reading through this thread, long after it’s unspooled, but….

    Re My encounter with Monica Crowley
    One afternoon about four years ago on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 52nd Street in NYC, I found myself standing beside her while waiting for the crossing signal. As I’m not a usual spectator of beauty pageants, she was sporting one of the largest and most immobile helmets of blonde hair I’d ever seen.

    I turned towards her and in a measured voice said, “Excuse me, Ms. Crowley…I think you’re a disgrace…you belong on the Fox News farm.” Her wary but very bright smile turned to a scowl and she invited me to fuck off.

    Re Downton Abbey
    Gutted. Because of some pathetic troll here recently I was aware of what would befall this character but had not expected it to be so soon or in this manner. I found it to have an emotional and dramatic affinity with last year’s demise of the footman William.

  166. 166
    lol says:


    An incredibly white-washed remembrance of the Clinton administration.

    You can argue that Obama should’ve been able to get more out of the progressive legislation he passed but the simple fact is that Obama hasn’t passed any of the absolute turds that Clinton did that are still causing us immense grief decades later.

  167. 167
    MomSense says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    That got me too. I do love Carson. He got me last week though when he was so happy about Mrs. Hughes that he was singing.

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