Wednesday Evening Open Thread: Smile


Commentor Piratedan linked to this earlier, and it made me smile. Of course, we sophisticated individuals who are aware of all congressional traditions already know this, but it’s a friendly short response for your cranky relatives and MyFace acquaintances who keep asking why Tha Preznint just won’t pay his bills.

For further mild enjoyment, Fox News has shitcanned Dick Morris. Per Adam Martin at NYMag:

The day before last year’s presidential election, Fox News contributor Dick Morris predicted Mitt Romney would win by a “landslide” 325 to 213 electoral votes. He got the margin of victory close, but in reverse: Barack Obama won 332 to 206. Morris hasn’t been on Fox very much since then, and the word after the election was that he and Karl Rove had been benched. On Tuesday it emerged that the benching would be permanent, as Fox decided not to renew Morris’s contract

But Morris is hardly slinking from the limelight. He’s going to appear on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN Wednesday night, where according to his website he’ll “spell out what the Republican Party must do to win national elections again and will discuss how House Speaker Boehner has become Obama’s captive.”…

Of course, no matter how high the window through which they are defenestrated, weasels always land on their feet (insert your own toe-sucking joke here). One just hopes, piously, that Morris will be every bit as valuable to future Republican electoral efforts as he ever was to the Democrats…

Apart from that, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

130 replies
  1. 1
    JWL says:

    Can anyone explain to me why Bill Clinton brought Morris into the White House to serve as a presidential counselor?

  2. 2
    RSR says:

    I just received this email from the Alton Brown-recommended “The Spice House” in the Chicago area.

    I’ve ordered from them, and been very satisfied. But I don’t have one of these yet:

    Valentine’s Day Sale! Save 20% On All Himalayan Pink Salt Blocks – a very special and unique gift for the person who loves to add excitement to their culinary repertoire.

    Too bad it’s in store only. Maybe I’ll send my aunt & uncle down to the Evanston store to grab me one.

  3. 3
    SatanicPanic says:

    Defenestration is one of the best words ever.

  4. 4
    Baud says:


    The big black mark on the Clintons for me is the people they associate with — Morris, Mark Penn, even Carville now.

    That said, I think he brought in Morris because the GOP had just won in Congress, and he thought Morris would help with that whole dynamic.

  5. 5
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    God, I’m glad the DLC isn’t in charge of the Democratic Party anymore.

  6. 6

    My wife is doing a training for about 30 promotional models at our house (she usually does these elsewhere). I have to babysit our daughter and the dogs and not be creepy. I can do the former but not sure about the latter.

  7. 7
    Alison says:

    On a different current political topic, can anyone point me to good explanation of how conservative judges can square stuff like DOMA with the the 14th amendment? When my parents and I talk about it, my mom keeps saying how she doesn’t see what viable argument there can be to deny marriage rights within the context of “equal protection under the law” and such. I know Scalia has said shit like he doesn’t think the 14th even applies to gender, so it’s no surprise he would also include same-sex couples. But I’m just wondering what people like him have specifically argued, how they claim it’s constitutional to treat certain groups differently. Any ideas?

  8. 8
    22over7 says:

    The house is mine tonight, so a light supper followed by a glass or two of fine wine and a couple episodes of Justified is my plan.

    What I want is a jeffreyw-style supper, a lot of fine wine, and Timothy Olyphant. But moderation in everything is my motto.

  9. 9
    Zifnab25 says:

    @JWL: I bet he gives good blowjobs.

  10. 10
    Baud says:


    They rely on their reading of history. Since the people who enacted the 14th amendment weren’t specifically thinking of gays, gays shouldn’t be covered. Not an endorsement, just an explanation.

    ETA: I see you wanted a reference to a good explanation, rather than my half-assed explanation. Sorry. Don’t have one.

  11. 11
    Zifnab25 says:


    I know Scalia has said shit like he doesn’t think the 14th even applies to gender

    If Scalia had his way, the 14th amendment would apply exclusively to elderly rich white men. :-p There’s nothing to really explain. He’s an a la carte Constitutionalist.

  12. 12
    Mike in NC says:

    Dick Morris will just find another gig collecting wingnut welfare. Right wing media is a very large septic tank with plenty of room for turds.

  13. 13
    Roger Moore says:

    You could always get one of these from Williams-Sonoma instead. I challenge anyone to find a better per pound price on the stuff.

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    I think the best “explanation” I’ve heard is that gays have exactly the same right to be married to somebody of the opposite sex as anyone else. See, no discrimination!

  15. 15
    Alison says:

    @Baud: LOL, no problem. That’s a good summary at least :)

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: @Baud: Bubba was gettin’ DLC nostalgic at the Koch memorial

    I see Boehner was out whining about Obama’s lack of leadership, and expect all the VSPs to shortly be echoing him, but it made me want to ask those of you with longer/better knowledge than mine: When was the last time we had a House Speaker as weak as Boehner? I don’t count Hastert since he was a willing puppet for Delay. I thought of Bob Michael, but he never made Speaker, did he? He got knifed by Newton Leroy while still Minority Leader. Newton Leroy was strong right up till they caught with his pants around his ankles. Jim Wright I know got caught some petty old school corruption, but IIRC he was never afraid of his own party.

  17. 17
    Alison says:

    @Zifnab25: Well right, but does he or anyone else like him offer an actual explanation of why that’s okay? I don’t mean snarky “YAY WHITE DUDES” stuff, but actual reasons?

  18. 18
    scav says:

    @RSR: One goes to The Spice House to breathe , that and and nibble on their cacao nibs and crystallized ginger. Leaving with spices is an additional treat.

    And cheers for defenstrations out of a rapidly moving overton window! May what lies underneath be once again a pile of shit!

  19. 19
    minutemaid says:

    Don’t let the door hit ya DICK!

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    A few years ago, I heard him speak (on TV) at a DLC dinner. He’s proud of his involvement with them.

  21. 21
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @ranchandsyrup: when you take care of your own child It isn’t babysitting.

  22. 22
    Roger Moore says:


    Well right, but does he or anyone else like him offer an actual explanation of why that’s okay?

    No; he doesn’t think he needs to. My impression is that Scalia thinks that the law is what it is, and his job is exclusively to interpret and explain the law, not to change it to be something other than what it already is. Of course he doesn’t actually limit himself that way- he’s more than happy to twist the law like pretzel to get his preferred outcome- but that’s the way he justify himself by pretending (even to himself, I suspect) that he’s only interpreting what’s already there.

  23. 23
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Yutsano –

    I don’t know if you are around or still at work, but I was just catching up on old threads and that The Muppets: Pöpcørn video you pasted just about slayed me. I laughed so hard it brought my grandkids running in….they laughed, too, but not as hard as me.

    “Shrimpee! Shrimpee!”

    They actually were thrilled when I introduced them to the Diarrhea Song from Parenthood – much to their parents dismay they sing it ALL the time now.

    I don’t know why I had to share that tidbit. I guess just to let y’all know that you make me laugh, a lot, every day. Thanks, BJ’ers!

  24. 24
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: I guess it wasn’t all bad, I just so despised Ed Koch.

    And I heard some of the usual “Obama needs to be more like Clinton” crap today, which drives me batshit crazy, and that on EvenTheLiberalMSNBC. Is the idea that if Obama were schmoozier he could get Glass-Stegal passed again? DOMA? Impeached but not convicted?

  25. 25
    Alison says:

    @Roger Moore: Ugh, yeah. And shit…if the idea is “the framers didn’t mean for this to cover gay people” well fuck, bring back slavery, I guess, right? Shit, we’ve changed a lot of stuff because the world fucking changes.

  26. 26

    @Bobby Thomson: good point. Parenting it is. My specific duty is to keep her out of the way of the training. Gonna do some reading, take the dogs for a walk, etc.

  27. 27
    shortstop says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Dude, when it’s your own child, it’s not “babysitting.” It’s parenting.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I hate that too. Let Obama be Obama.

  29. 29

    Oh yeah, this banned skittles commercial has been cracking me up.

  30. 30
    Alison says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: “More like Clinton”.

    So…Obama should have an affair? :P

    (I love old Bill, but, y’know…still.)

  31. 31

    @shortstop: Agreed. bad habit of mine. It’ll sink in some day.

  32. 32
    dance around in your bones says:


    Good Gawd. funny as hell, but…ah…..oh well.

    Money shot!

  33. 33

    @efgoldman: Booze. A product that really doesn’t need this sort of help.

  34. 34
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    anybody wanna make bets on whether or not this actually happens?

    * Rubio: “Senator Marco Rubio will give the Republicans’ response to the State of the Union address, party leaders announced on Wednesday. Mr. Rubio, a first-term senator from Florida, will deliver his speech in both English and Spanish.”

  35. 35
    Raven says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Oh sure it does. People need to know that booze makes them funnier, smarter, sexier and just all around better human beings.

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:

    With slavery, we actually changed the Constitution so it said slavery was not OK. Unfortunately, the difficulty of amending the Constitution has meant that we’ve basically muddled through by ignoring inconvenient parts of the Constitution (with tacit approval by the courts) rather than actually removing them. That gives reactionaries like Scalia an excuse to undo progressive changes.

  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Raven: It doesn’t?

  38. 38
    Raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You tell me.

  39. 39
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @efgoldman: I missed 78. I’ve lived through plenty of apocalyptic comparisons to it since, though.

  40. 40
    dmsilev says:

    @efgoldman: I vaguely remember ’78; I was a wee lad at the time so don’t really remember much. My parents have plenty of stories though.

  41. 41
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Alison: I’m pretty sure it boils down to “shut up that’s why”, and that all the legal education given to the Scalias of the world is then employed in fabricating legal-sounding justifications for their prejudice, spite, and hatred. I mean, does anyone really think Thomas consults the law books first?

  42. 42
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Alison: I think Scalia’s justification is simple. Marriage is a form of legal contract between two persons of opposite gender. Nobody’s being discriminated against here, because everyone is free to marry whichever opposite-gendered person they like. Simple. Now he may actually be thinking “stick it to the homos”, but he’s smart enough not to say it.

  43. 43

    @Raven: LOL, those things are true. The whole deal is interesting. The power of free stuff is amazing. People will lose their shit for a free tshirt, keychain or beads. The brands try to roll out new flavors through the program. There is some product genius that keeps making up new flavors of Kahlua and Malibu. Such a waste of time. I think both of those brands have their own tequilas out right now. Just insane.

  44. 44
    Raven says:

    @efgoldman: Had to google that being all unlettered and shit.

  45. 45
    shortstop says:

    @efgoldman: I really do not think I’m going to be driving from Boston to New London on Friday.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Alison says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Gah, that argument is so…childish. Not that that means dopes like Scalia won’t make it, but it just annoys the crap out of me.

  48. 48
    shortstop says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: it will include two Spanish sentences, one at the beginning and one at the end. Both will be banal.

  49. 49
    Baud says:


    Google it. A remarkable week.

    What a minute. Google didn’t exist in 1978. :-D

  50. 50
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @shortstop: I think that’s a good plan.

  51. 51
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @efgoldman: I’ve seen a zillion TV segments on it. I lived in NYC then; we had a lot of snow, but not that much. And the subways kept running, so no problems, really.

  52. 52
    SatanicPanic says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Booze and models at your house? I think we’ve found the site for the Southern California Balloon Juice meetup!

  53. 53
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @shortstop: good guess “My fellow Americans” and “God Bless America”

  54. 54
    shortstop says:

    @efgoldman: Right here in my purse, soldier. I was a Girl Scout and I’m always thinkin’ ahead.

  55. 55
  56. 56

    @SatanicPanic: Hey-O. I’m up for that. If it’s not at my house, we should at least leverage my wife’s contacts for some free hooch and help with siting. Let’s do it in PB and invite TBogg.

  57. 57
    dance around in your bones says:


    Really, this is my sanity break from the world. I can’t handle the news except as filtered through BJ.

    Plus, my grandboys have just discovered that “f-words” get a big reaction from grownups so they say them at every possible opportunity. Even the fucking 2 yr old.

    The 4 yr old is currently completely addicted to the Xbox game Minecraft, about which I know waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than I ever wanted to. I sit here with my laptop reading BJ and pretending to care about Minecraft. Hence my disconnected and silly comments.

  58. 58
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    You could. You got an old Army 2-1/2 ton 4×6?

    [[[Deuce n’ a Half!]]]

  59. 59
    shortstop says:

    @dance around in your bones: Pass the fucking ham, please. Scout Finch supersized.

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Hola. Mi nombre es Marco Rubio. Estoy hablando en español a usted con la sincera esperanza de que mis compañeros latinos olvidaré que mi partido está lleno de galletas racistas.

    /Google Translate

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    You need to start using the f-word around your grandkids all the time, like every other word. That way they’ll think it’s uncool and stop using it.

  62. 62
    SatanicPanic says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Oh yeah, that would be awesome.

  63. 63
    gnomedad says:

    I get it that boobs sell t-shirts, but I can’t even read the t-shirt I’m seeing.

  64. 64
    dance around in your bones says:


    Only if I can be Boo Radley and only come out when I am needed.

    Come to think of it, that’s practically what I do anyway.

    Oh well.

  65. 65
    scav says:

    @dance around in your bones: The squids are fun though. Have they dragged you off to see innumerable chicken bombs or is that a local discovery?

  66. 66
    dance around in your bones says:


    Basically my response is to say that I have that word a bazillion times and it doesn’t impress me. Or that they will get a ‘bad report’ when their parents get home.

    It’s kind of harder when you are not the primary parent? custodian? but the fill-in.

  67. 67
    Schlemizel says:

    So that genius of Sheboygan is thinking about eliminating income tax in Wisconsin and putting a 13% sales tax in place. As a Minnesotan I sure hope he does this! I bet stores along the boarder will rake it in like nobodies business!

  68. 68
    dance around in your bones says:

    @scav: Oh gawd, have I seen the squids!

    In fact I am seeing one right now. Plus those huge tarantulas with the wicked red eyes. I don’t think he has figured out the cows, pigs and sheep except to kill them instead of harvest food.

    He just asked me if he could say “Holy crap”? I said ‘Sure, buddy’. It’s Holy Crap all the way down, as we all know.

  69. 69
    Baud says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    He just asked me if he could say “Holy crap”?

    That’s cute.

  70. 70
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    But Morris is hardly slinking from the limelight. He’s going to appear on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN Wednesday night

    The hacker and the hack.

  71. 71

    @Schlemizel: Sheboygan people are a bit off, even for people from Sconnie. I ran around in college with some dudes from (as they liked to call it) SheVegas.

  72. 72
    mainmati says:

    @Baud: I have looked at a number of conservative opinions that have attempted to do a “Scalia”, i.e. mind-read the Founders or subsequent Amendment writers to justify their usually spittle-flecked rants. Not worth linking to that kind of incoherency. OTOH, I did find a conservative who finally really did take a conservative position on the issue: College Conservative. Her take was that she ay not agree with gay marriage but since marriage is fundamentally a private and religious intitution then the government should stay out of that whole business. By implication, she probably thinks the same way about contraception, abortion and other “culture war” issues but I’m not sure.

  73. 73
    Mandalay says:


    The big black mark on the Clintons for me is the people they associate with — Morris, Mark Penn, even Carville now.

    And if they aren’t odious enough, let’s add Lanny Davis and Terry McAuliffe to your list.

    A bunch of self-serving assholes.

  74. 74
    Dangerfield says:

    Rethuglicans vote against school lunch programs. Stay classy my friends.

  75. 75
    trollhattan says:


    Pics Video Live webcam or it di’int happen!

  76. 76
    IowaOldLady says:

    @gnomedad: Are you talking about that ad that sometimes appears in the right column? The one for T-shirts in which the woman is bending over so you can’t see if she’s actually wearing a T-shirt? I pointed that one out to Mr IowaOldLady and he laughed.

  77. 77
    askew says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    anybody wanna make bets on whether or not this actually happens?

    Rubio might do a couple of sentences in Spanish which will cause the rightwing bigots to flip their lid and the progressive left on MSNBC will drool over Rubio.

  78. 78

    @trollhattan: lol. I don’t want to jeopardize the current situation.

  79. 79
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Schlemizel: ok. This brings up a question. In those states that don’t have income taxes, do people who itemize have to save up their receipts for the entire year and add them up the tax?

  80. 80
    Yutsano says:

    @dance around in your bones: Did you watch with the captions on? It’s just pure genius no matter which way you slice it.

    @Raven: Heh. Dawgs get the coolest toys. :)

  81. 81
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    Sometimes, I wonder why I keep up with politics.

    Seems like more and more I try to spread issues, the more I find that I’m sort of weird goddamned alien whose position totally goes against everything good and proper.

    Gun issues, even amongst mostly liberal folks, I get thrown back with ‘Why the Dems wanna take out freedoms?!’ or the usual platitudes about criminalizing good people and leaving the outlaws to kill everyone.

    On the Postal service stuff, it’s been an overwhelming chorus of “FUCK the obsolete hacks!”, because apparently everything worth doing is now done online or by FedEx. Because everyone in the country has affordable access to both and everyone can do direct deposit…

    ANd try as I might to try and persuade, it’s pointless, because I’m a total fucking Anti-American insane alien.

  82. 82
    amk says:

    @JWL: Chalk it up to the unending list of unsavory things bill did.

  83. 83
    Raven says:

    @Yutsano: They were fun, the governor probably saved my life.

  84. 84
    scav says:

    @dance around in your bones: cows? oh dear, I have been picking up thing half consciously. You need them for books. Thats one thing I liked about squids, they seem so gloriously useless. Any chance of deflecting the kids into foreign language swearing? Times I tried that they’d usually get sidetracked by the silly sounds and start just making up sillier and sillier sounding words. At least that was a short term win in terms of downplaying the impact of swearing, although they may get some surprises if they ever closely examine a German menu in future.

  85. 85
    Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo) says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    My son had a plantar wart, and we had to freeze it off. He was…eleven?

    As I was freezing it, he said..”dad, can i swear” I told him he could.

  86. 86
    dance around in your bones says:


    I watched it both ways – it’s funny, I could figure out what Swedish chef was saying even though I don’t have a lick of Swedish ( a bit of Dutch, though).

    The captions were hilarious, too.

    Ok, youngest grandboy has woken up, discovered his mommy is gone, and is flipping the fuck out.

    @scav: Middle kid and I just googled chicken bombs on Minecraft and he is now busily trying to create one. Thanks? I guess?

  87. 87
    Baud says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    ANd try as I might to try and persuade, it’s pointless,

    I actually think that liberals expend too much effort trying to “persuade” people to their point of view that it sometimes turns their audience off. People are more interested in learning about you and why you believe in the things you do, rather than why they should believe in something new.

    In religious proselytizing, it’s a technique known as bearing witness. In most situations, it’s more effective than preaching.

  88. 88
    scav says:

    @dance around in your bones: well, it’s a cheap thrill and you may have picked up some cool points for use later.

  89. 89
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo): My son’s day care teachers all ignored swearing on principle, so of course the kids swore like sailors. I once heard my son call someone a “dummy f**ker a**hole face.” I tried to rejoice in the creativity.

  90. 90
    Yutsano says:

    @dance around in your bones: First time I watched it it was without the captions and I thought it was amusing. Then I saw a note that told me to turn on the captions. Then I just about died from the laughter.

  91. 91
    Valdivia says:


    racist cookies? loved that. you made my day!

  92. 92
    dance around in your bones says:

    @scav: Oh believe me, I was all chingadera and chinga su madre when I first got here, then my daughter told me the kids understood (sort of?) those words.

    I actually remember when I was in first grade in Albuquerque, and some friend told me how how to say ‘come la vierga, ese’ and I was wqalking down the hall of the school parroting that phrase when the janitor (Latino) pulled me aside and said “Little girls do not SAY those words!” (It means eat my dick, dude).

    It’s like when some guys at a (junior high) party asked me if I played the skin flute. I had no fucking idea what that meant, but by the way they were laughing I knew it was not nice.

  93. 93
    Baud says:


    It was supposed to be crackers. Google Translate still has some bugs in it.

  94. 94
    Valdivia says:


    I loved it though. :)

  95. 95
    Brian says:

    There is no country called “The Republic of Ireland.” It’s called “Ireland” or “Éire.” Get with it.

  96. 96
    Rosie Outlook says:

    “Grandma, can I say ‘holy crap’?”

    “fvck, no.”

  97. 97
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Heh – no, ha ha ha!

  98. 98
    Hungry Joe says:

    @ranchandsyrup: PB? As in, Pacific Beach?

  99. 99
    scav says:

    @dance around in your bones: Well, I was teaching my lot swear words (minor) in foreign languages and scheisse morphed into bratkartoffeln and beyond. (aiming for a) the idea of tactical and context-dependent swearing and b) weaning them off the hard stuff. can’t do much if they want to shock the parents but tempt them with the idea they’re pulling a fast one over their parents?) But my lot are slightly older, enjoy language, and I’m more firmly in the role of subversive elder relative that occasionally uses the grownup voice and expects one to snap to.

  100. 100
    dance around in your bones says:

    @IowaOldLady: What’s funny is when they try to replace fucking with fricking.

    I have been called ‘stupid fucking Nonny’ about a million times. usually when I am trying to prevent them from climbing up on the counters and eating snacks instead of actual food, or trying to get them to put on the fucking shoes or something. It’s rather disconcerting.

    They love it when I play butt bongo with them, however (h/t to Howard Stern). And call them poopy head.

    ETA: Middle kid is now singing “What can you do with a drunken sailor?” and I KNOW where he got that from. (Me.)

  101. 101

    i found the eddie izzard video i was looking for.

  102. 102
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I see Boehner was out whining about Obama’s lack of leadership, and expect all the VSPs to shortly be echoing him, but it made me want to ask those of you with longer/better knowledge than mine: When was the last time we had a House Speaker as weak as Boehner?

    Benen had a good rundown of Boehner’s stupidity during that press conference. He was actually touting legislation Republicans passed in the last congress, as if it had bearing on this congress. He also said government spending didn’t create jobs.

    Worst Speaker I’ve ever seen.

  103. 103

    @Hungry Joe: yes sir. Where bad decisions are born.

  104. 104
    Gravenstone says:

    @Schlemizel: Hey now! Don’t blame Wanker on us. He’s Milwaukee’s if anyone has to take blame for him.

    /lived 15 years in Shebaghdad, works just outside it still

  105. 105
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @efgoldman: probably something like Fückenflyen sie Röllnberliner!

  106. 106
    Hungry Joe says:

    @ranchandsyrup: I lived in PB for about 12 years, up toward Bird Rock. Finally crossed the Great I-5 Divide and landed in Kensington. If there’s an open meet-up, please lemme know via my website.

  107. 107

    Will do hungry joe. Used to live in little talmadge right across fair mount canyon from Kensington miss it.

  108. 108
    Anne Laurie says:


    Our local TV guy (Providence) actually uttered a comparison to ’78 – a foot to two feet – for Friday into Saturday.
    Were you here in ’78? Fun times.

    Naw, until Dec. 1988 I was in mid-Michigan, where we had plenty of foot-plus snowstorms, but they didn’t cause nearly as much trouble because of our wide, flat throughways & sidewalks. The snowplows (every third house had a snap-on for their pickup) had no trouble keeping two lanes & a walkway clear, although sometimes the mountains rose to the second story & the driveway berms didn’t melt until April. Also, it was easier for the government workers to shovel tons of snow into dumptrucks & dump it in the vast tundras at the edge of campus, or into the river (in Detroit, the lake). (Note to our Southern neighbors, municipalities are no longer allowed to do this, because urban snow is so contaminated that it’s an EPA regulated toxic substance.) And for emergencies at the height of the storm — snowmobiles, or four-wheel-drive SUVs that were actually capable of off-road travel!

    But now you have given me a Sad, because I’m not sure the Girl Scouts will show up at my local mall this weekend. Presumably they’ll reschedule for next weekend if needed but otherwise… I may just have to come down & burgle your garage after all. :)

  109. 109
    Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo) says:

    In a couple of minutes, My governor, Mark Dayton is going to call for gay marriage legislation!

    Just happened!

  110. 110
    patroclus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Carl Albert was a very weak Speaker. He was an energetic young whip when he first started in the leadership and Sam Rayburn thought very highly of him, but by the time he got to be Speaker, he was old and almost ossified. This was the time right prior to and during the major House reform efforts of the 70’s – in the first part of Albert’s brief tenure, the committe chairs ran the show, and then they instituted caucus votes for the chair position (against Albert’s inclination) and then the younger Members ran the show. The media notoriously didn’t even bother to check with Albert on anything because he was mostly out of the loop.

    Albert devotees (and there aren’t many) spin it that a lot did get done (impeachment; War powers; 18 year old vote; EPA, terminating funding for the Vietnam war) and he guided that, but really he didn’t and the young Democrats did. He gracefully retired and Tip O’Neill came in. John McCormack wasn’t all that strong either and Will Bankhead certainly wasn’t as well. Before the reforms, the Speakership was designed to be weak – Rayburn and Longworth sort of broke the mold though. Now, it’s a lot stronger.

    Among Republicans, Joe Martin was weak and ultimately lost the leadership to Charlie Halleck. While Speaker, Martin relied on Rayburn and the Dems to get menaingful action done.

  111. 111
    Jay C says:

    @efgoldman: @Gin & Tonic:

    So this weekend’s snowstorm is supposed to be a repeat of the Big Blizzard of ’78? Fun. I remember the original: I had moved to NYC from LA the previous year, and I had never seen (or even imagined) snow that bad: in my memories the City basically closed down – I had off work, and walked downtown to have lunch with a friend: I recall most buildings as being coated with ice, like Siberian Atlantis, and not much traffic in the streets other than the busses with their rattling chains. Good times.

    At least we have several days warning this time….

  112. 112
    gnomedad says:


    The one for T-shirts in which the woman is bending over

    Well, that one, too.

  113. 113
    yopd1 says:

    I shit you not, an Idaho bill requires all High School students to read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and pass a test on it to graduate from high school.

  114. 114
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo): You’re making the National Organization for Marriage cry!

  115. 115
    scav says:

    @Patricia Kayden: And they’re already a bit weepy over yesterday with England+? (? not sure how far the Commons movement on same applies to all parts of that venn diagram) and the extention of benefits in the U.S. military.

  116. 116
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @efgoldman: if they didn’t call every dusting the snowmageddon, I might believe them.

    1-2 feet is not ’78. It’s just a lot of snow.

  117. 117
    Calouste says:


    You tell that the Brits. “Ireland” = the island, “Republic of Ireland” = the state that occupies most of the island, sometimes simply shortened to “The Republic”. It has of course something to do with sensitivities surrounding the (now abandoned) claim in the constitution of the Republic to the whole of the island. And with complications as for example sports teams that represent the whole island (as in rugby and cricket), or just the Republic (as in soccer and the Olympics).

  118. 118
    Yutsano says:

    @Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo): Did you hear that whoop from the north? That was wifey getting all giggly and stuff.

  119. 119
    Calouste says:


    Everything that applies to England in British law also applies to Wales. Technically Wales has its own assembly, but it doesn’t have much power.

    Scotland has its own laws in this regard, but they decided to wait on Westminster (British parliament) to get gay marriage in England and Wales sorted out first, because it would have been a bit of a legal and logistic mess otherwise.

    The status of gay marriage in Northern Ireland I don’t know. They got registered partnership law in 2005 because the Assembly was suspended and N.I. was ruled directly from London, but the Assembly has since been restored and the combination of conservative Unionists and Catholic Nationalists doesn’t sound to good for the prospects of gay marriage.

  120. 120
    shortstop says:

    On a cold night, what is better than having a pooch molded to your leg, her hound lips loosely flapping in time with her gentle snores? Nothin’,
    that’s what.

  121. 121
    Yutsano says:

    @Calouste: I don’t know if it’s all that hopeless though. The Irish people have been slowly figuring out they have been getting royally fucked by Rome for quite some time now, so the power of the Church to influence policy has been weakning. It accelerated when that poor Irish woman died because she couldn’t get an abortion. Ireland might not be the backwater Catholic bastion it used to be. NI might just go along with the rest of the islands.

  122. 122
    Yutsano says:

    @shortstop: ZUPPA!! Preferably chicken but anything warming and comfort filled.

  123. 123
    shortstop says:

    @Yutsano: conveniently, I have already had my ho-made (haw) turnip-leek soup and am in no danger of spilling it on the hound.

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    muddy says:

    @shortstop: I had a doggie freakout this evening. I was out for a few hours, and upon coming home was greeted by 2 dogs at the door. This was very sweet, but one dog had been in the welded wire crate when I left. I thought somehow she must have figured out to slide the 2 latches, but found the door shut.

    She had pulled the bars away at the bottom, and bent them up inside the crate, and skinny wriggled through a hole about 4″x6″. I was not aware this was something that could happen with a steel crate. There was no further destruction or accidents, so clearly the puppy does not needa crate, but damn! They were so happy and proud to be together when I came home. Wonderful.

    “Muscled up to them bars, and bent them apart with his beak..”

  125. 125
  126. 126
    shortstop says:

    @muddy: Houdini dog! Scary, though…she might’ve gotten caught between the bars.

  127. 127
    danielx says:

    One just hopes, piously, that Morris will be every bit as valuable to future Republican electoral efforts as he ever was to the Democrats…

    One does hope, yes.

    But Morris is hardly slinking from the limelight. He’s going to appear on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN Wednesday night, where according to his website he’ll “spell out what the Republican Party must do to win national elections again and will discuss how House Speaker Boehner has become Obama’s captive.”…

    We can only hope the Republican Party – insofar as it is still a single entity, which is exceedingly debatable – religiously follows ol’ TastyToes’ advice, which should prove to be every bit as valuable as that of Bloody Bill Kristol.

  128. 128
    danielx says:

    @Jay C:

    Eh…I was in DC area during the blizzard there in 1996, and it was probably as bad, with two feet in Fairfax County and more in some areas. Got snowed in the Hyatt in Reston with Mrs. X – of course, there are worse places to be snowed in, especially if you’re eating and drinking on the company’s dime. But then we had to go out in our rented Jeep Cherokee to find a house to buy, which totally sucked – although we did find one. Driving down I-66 was like driving through a canyon with walls made of snow.

  129. 129
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Comrade Mary: OMG that is hysterical.

    But the reaction of her sister is almost MORE hysterical.

  130. 130
    Jager says:

    @efgoldman: Cross Country Skiing in the Back Bay was a hell of a lot fun. If I recall Daisy Buchanan’s was one of the few bars open during the whole storm. It was a pissah! I worked on the 9th floor of the old New England Power building on Stuart St. A bus was stuck right below my office window, by the 2nd day it was covered by the snow.

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