Strange Ranger

Doro’s email account got hacked and now a few of George W Bush’s self-portraits paintings have hit the Internet. One shows him in the bathtub, the other in the shower. This is a nothingburger, but I do have to say that it fits with my general impression that GWB is one weird dude.






203 replies
  1. 1
    Punchy says:

    Nothing like a self-portrait of an old man in the shower….whooooo-weeee does that get me searching for the brain bleach

  2. 2
    RyanS says:

    Well, damn…
    WHY!?! why did I click… I knew
    can’t unsee it
    That must be a hoax surely

  3. 3
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    I thought the half way not awful quality of Barney’s portrait was a fluke. Not a good artist with bad choices in subject matter.

  4. 4
    Joel says:

    It’s too bad this guy was the president of our country for 8 years.

  5. 5
    Alexandra says:

    I quite like them for their slightly off-beat drab domesticity. Not that I’d put any of them on a wall, but better than a bunch of inept and boring watercolor landscapes… or worse, attempts to paint some grandiose vision of his finer moment.

    Painting: often it’s in the doing, than the results.

  6. 6
    Comrade Jake says:

    Yikes.

  7. 7
    Aimai says:

    Actually I think it’s a pretty good pictur. The bathtub one. He is working on color, light, and a sharp angle of perspective and he has cleverly eliminated things that are hard o paint like hands and faces.

  8. 8
    Chet says:

    You know who else dabbled in painting?

  9. 9
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Aimai:

    The bathtub painting:

    Me, too. Good color. I like the composition, the perspective. I’d be willing to hang that picture.

  10. 10
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Chet:

    You know who else dabbled in painting?

    Winston Churchill? Dwight Eisenhower?

  11. 11
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Aimai:

    The color palette is oddly appealing. Reminds me of David Hockney at about age 12.

  12. 12
    Amir Khalid says:

    Maybe George Walker Bush could set himself up as a flea-market portrait guy, like our friend Ted&Hellen.

  13. 13
    Cassidy says:

    Site is still hosed. I know the rebuild is in Feb, but maybe a band aid or two before hten would be cool.

  14. 14
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet):

    Linking is hell on the mobile version. Ditto comment editing. And page refreshing is messed up. FYWP.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Ash Can says:

    I’m no fan of W, but I don’t even think this is all that strange. If he were simply working on his painting skills — composition, anatomy (don’t panic, those of you who haven’t clicked — the anatomy components are entirely benign), perspective, light and dark — there’s nothing wrong with this subject matter. And that’s especially true if he didn’t mean for these paintings to be made public.

    There are many reasons to rag on the guy, but this ain’t one. Nothingburger indeed.

  17. 17
    Cassidy says:

    I think it’s interesting that post-POTUS, af all the things he could do, he has decided to try his hand at painting/ art. I don’t know what that says about a person, but I think it’s neat when people try to discover a new talent or passion later in life.

  18. 18
    Mark S. says:

    @Cassidy:

    Yeah, it’s hosed. I have to hit ctrl-f5 just about every time to get it to reload right.

    You guys are joking about liking these paintings, right?

  19. 19
    Ash Can says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): I’ve given up trying to access the site on my smartphone. The site updates for me on the smartphone if I stick a “test” comment in somewhere, but I have enough hoops to jump through on this lovely and talented borked version of the site without having to resort to that.

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    Does anyone else feel a tad guilty about reading information that was suppose to be private. Of course, let me take the opportunity to say that Clinton was the one elected twice and it wasn’t Bush Sr. that restored his reputation.

  21. 21
    Emma says:

    Sue me, but I like them. They’re amateurish but you can see he’s working at it. And I won’t read the email stuff. Honestly, unless they discover she’s the head of an international conspiracy to take over Andorra or something, I have no desire to violate her privacy.

  22. 22
    gnomedad says:

    The shower one especially shows a whimsey I would not have expected of him. Also, this requires patience and persistence. If anything, this makes me think (slightly) better of him, perhaps a shallow and not-altogether-horrible person whose ego couldn’t let him see that he was being used.

  23. 23
    Dan says:

    Yeah, I feel bad shitting on the artistic impulse. It’s one of the paths to redemption, isn’t it?

  24. 24
    Cecilia says:

    Well, these are actually interesting paintings he has done here. Sure, skill level could improve and it will because that is how it goes. But the fact that he has chosen such interesting, narrative compositions is so much better than the retired painting hobbyist who thinks he has done something “artistic” when he paints a mundane landscape or vase of flowers. These show (and who’da thunk) signs of a v. creative person.

  25. 25
    dmsilev says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Maybe George Walker Bush could set himself up as a flea-market portrait guy, like our friend Ted&Hellen.

    Maybe T&H *is* GWB…

  26. 26
    Hoodie says:

    I do have to say that it fits with my general impression that GWB is one weird dude

    It’s really a weird family and a weird aspect of human nature that allows such political family dynasties to exist. This part of GWB could be likeable, he’s just an old fart dabbling in painting, and he at least picks subjects that aren’t completely banal (my mother in law is much better technically, but her subjects are always kitschy). The weirdness about GWB is that the guy had no business whatsoever being president and got the job mostly by virtue of being a Bush. That’s what is truly weird, that just being a Bush somehow qualified you for the leadership of the free world, even if you’re charisma-challenged (Jeb!) or a dangerous airhead when it comes to policy (GWB). GHWB at least paid the dues, so to speak.

  27. 27
    Redshirt says:

    Came for the Simpsons joke, was not disappointed.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Testing to see if I can unbork this site.

  29. 29
    imonlylurking says:

    @Cassidy: After the Neil Gaiman post the other day, I was thinking about his Sandman series. In particular, I was thinking about Dream’s brother Destruction, who got tired of destroying, and vanished. Halfway through the series Dream’s little sister Delirium (formerly Delight) goes looking for him and finds him learning how to paint.

  30. 30
    NonyNony says:

    @Hoodie:

    That’s what is truly weird, that just being a Bush somehow qualified you for the leadership of the free world, even if you’re charisma-challenged (Jeb!) or a dangerous airhead when it comes to policy (GWB).

    Except that in the grand history of the world, it’s not all that strange. It’s only in the last few hundred years that we’ve started to view it as odd that certain families shouldn’t just have the job and that it’s our duty to put up with lesser scions when we have to until another family (or another branch of the same family) comes along to take care of it for us.

  31. 31
    Redshirt says:

    @imonlylurking: Destruction was my favorite character. He’s always trying to create something, but never doing that great a job at it.

    He’s denying his true self, you see…

  32. 32
    Culture of Truth says:

    Bush always had a sense of whimsy – he was a terrible businessman, but was good at public relations for a baseball team. Sometimes his funny side was charming, but usually not, during times of terror, war, hurricanes and recession.

  33. 33
    Obliterati says:

    Eh, I like them. They seem to be both stark and whimsical at the same time.

    I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that he’d even be interested in painting, and even if I did I would have just figured he’d paint pictures of bald eagles and B-52 bombers.

  34. 34
    WereBear says:

    @gnomedad: If anything, this makes me think (slightly) better of him, perhaps a shallow and not-altogether-horrible person whose ego couldn’t let him see that he was being used.

    Well, there’s that whole Karla Faye Tucker thing… but I’m willing to go with stupid/childish/narcissist.

    Because Cheney is far more Dark Lord.

  35. 35
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @NonyNony:

    It’s only in the last few hundred years that we’ve started to view it as odd that certain families shouldn’t just have the job…

    True. I would add that this new notion is tempered somewhat by the importance these days of name recognition. Jeb Bush still gets and occasional mention for the presidency. Tagg Romney’s posting of pics of his kid getting a haircut was interpreted by some as the opening of a senatorial campaign. Also, too, the execrable Rand Paul.

    Between name recognition and already-established networks of contacts and donors dynastic politics has changed, but it ain’t dead yet.

  36. 36
    Mark S. says:

    Close but no cigar for “Bring on the meteor” fans.

  37. 37
    imonlylurking says:

    @Redshirt: I always had the feeling that Destruction was trying to force a change in his true self by channeling the creative impulse so strongly. I don’t know what he thought he would morph into, but he may have thought that any change would be better.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    Any chance the hacker might be convinced to fix this site’s code?

  39. 39
    gene108 says:

    @Chet:

    Sigh…another failed artist with dreams of military conquest…those that do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat…

    Solution: Lower art school admission standards, the math global safety demands it!

  40. 40
    gene108 says:

    @Mark S.:

    Yeomans said the asteroid, dubbed 2012 DA14, would come anywhere between within 17,100 miles and 17,200 miles of Earth’s surface, well far away enough to avoid any potential collision with our homeworld.

    Yikes! That’s too close for comfort, well within the Moon’s orbit.

  41. 41
    Poopyman says:

    @Joel: Amongst all of the bombast on the internets, sir, your understatement stands out.

  42. 42
    geg6 says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I’d be willing to hang that picture.

    Jeebus, woman! You would seriously put a nekkid picture of C+ Augustus on your own wall? To look at every day of your life?

    There is no artistic merit worth that for me. I love me some Monet and Rembrandt, but I wouldn’t even have a portrait of W painted by the ghosts of Monet and Rembrandt on my walls.

    ETA: The site is still a bit borky. I keep randomly getting the regular site instead of the mobile site on my iPhone and now my name and email disappeared and had to be re-entered while using my desktop. Weird.

  43. 43
    Redshirt says:

    @imonlylurking: Was that not a trend with all the Immortals? They were all trying to be something they were not?

  44. 44
    geg6 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Heh. That one’s gonna hurt.

  45. 45

    @gene108:

    That’s within the orbit of geosynchronous satellites…

  46. 46
    dmsilev says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: One of the stories said that the asteroid was going to come within about 500 miles of at least one satellite. That’s a pretty damn close near miss.

  47. 47
    Redshirt says:

    And here we are with no Asteroids Fighters standing on Hot reserve. We’re sitting ducks!

    Seriously – asteroid strikes are inevitable and have reset the game of life several times already on Earth. It will happen again, and we could prevent it if we got our act together.

    Will we get our act together?

  48. 48
    Poopyman says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: That’s how far the earth moves in its orbit in 31 minutes, on average.

  49. 49
    Poopyman says:

    @Redshirt:

    Will we get our act together?

    Stopping asteroid impacts is on the list right after stopping global climate change.

  50. 50
    Poopyman says:

    @Poopyman: I suppose I should point out that a sufficiently large (not very, btw) asteroid will accomplish global climate change, so it’s a two-fer!

  51. 51
    Redshirt says:

    @Poopyman: We ain’t stopping global climate change now. Too late.

    Let’s focus on what we can prevent – 10 years of darkness due to a massive solar flare hitting our planet and wiping out our electronics.

    This is another highly likely scenario in the next 50 years. Another inevitability. It would be catastrophic if we don’t take preventative steps.

  52. 52
    chopper says:

    AAAH MY EYES! THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING!!

  53. 53
    Mike E says:

    OT and prolly already mentioned but my mobile access finally updated from yesterday afternoon when I hit the”off” button, and yet the mobile theme persists, still. Also.

    Bork!

  54. 54
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    If the site is borked on your mobile, try Chrome… Working great!

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The comments on the linked article are filled with ODS sufferers bawling about drone strikes.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Poopyman:

    Next on the list is prosecuting war criminals from the aughts.

  57. 57
    MikeJ says:

    After reading all the right wingers insisting art has to be conservative to be good it’s nice to see that he didn’t paint eagles shitting on croissants.

  58. 58
    quannlace says:

    Hmmm, has a rather Pierre Bonnard style about it.

  59. 59
    ruemara says:

    I think the palette is not bad, the self-portraits show an almost humbling vision. Not sure if I’d hang them, but I find them interesting.

    Also, too. Mr. Cole, FIX THIS SITE! I can’t get anything to work without deleting history.

  60. 60
    The Moar You Know says:

    Let’s focus on what we can prevent – 10 years of darkness due to a massive solar flare hitting our planet and wiping out our electronics.

    This is another highly likely scenario in the next 50 years. Another inevitability.

    @Redshirt: I don’t think people have any idea what this actually means.

    No electricity. No cars, no tractors, no aircraft, no medical equipment, no water treatment, no sewage, no agriculture, no internet – and no equipment to repair these things. A few old Model T/Model A/old style cars might survive, ironically enough, but…no electricity to power fuel pumps. From the modern age to the Stone Age in one second. And we are not prepared to even address it.

    And it is inevitable. Not even in the sense that global warming is inevitable, but inevitable in the sense that it WILL happen within fifty to one hundred years.

  61. 61
    Cassidy says:

    @The Moar You Know: But isn’t that the part where all conservative men can pretend they’re starring in their own version of Revolution? They think this is a good thing.

  62. 62
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Redshirt:

    Let’s focus on what we can prevent – 10 years of darkness due to a massive solar flare hitting our planet and wiping out our electronics.

    Aha! A great opportunity for swords into plowshares; we can stop fighting the war and put the defense contractors to work tempesting every last solid state device. The iStuff alone will take years.

  63. 63
    Raven says:

    @The Moar You Know: My 66 chevy truck will run!

  64. 64
    The Moar You Know says:

    As to the art, not going to look. He wanted that to remain private, and it’s bullshit that somebody broke in, took his shit, and published it. Yeah, he’s the second most evil bastard alive. Still doesn’t make it right.

  65. 65
    Raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Hey this dude in LA seems to have Brown Water Navy experience.

  66. 66
    handsmile says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    “Tagg Romney’s posting of pics of his kid getting a haircut was interpreted by some as the opening of a senatorial campaign”

    Just to underline the point, this “interpretation” was first reported last Monday by Hilary Chabot, a paid adult employee of the Boston Herald newspaper. That single story and that solitary example is all it took to launch dozens of stories written by many other paid adult employees of the Village media on the prospects of that Romney spawn entering a special election for the US Senate. The fact that said spawn had held no previous political office, was only sporadically employeed in the financial services industry, and, oh yes, had remarked in October that he had wanted to ‘take a swing” at President Obama, did nothing to dampen feverish speculation as to his interest.

    Yes, it’s a small thing, just another lyric to Brad DeLong’s favorite tune, “Why oh why can’t we have a better press corps?”. But for me it was the best recent example of not merely how incompetent and corrupt the Village media is, but how truly toxic it is for the American people. Evidently not all that many follow political news regularly, but those who do must wade through garbage like this all the time.

    It’s begun to make me rethink my moral opposition to targeted drone strikes.

  67. 67
    gogol's wife says:

    @Ash Can:

    They’re much better than I expected. They have a sense of humor. I guess that is one of his virtues, even if it’s often put to horrible use.

  68. 68
    patroclus says:

    GHW Bush wasn’t a very good President but he was completely qualified for the position – Congressman, Senatorial candidate, national party chair, CIA, China, V-P. GW Bush was totally unqualified and was a terrible POTUS; possibly the worst ever. Other than his name, there was utterly nothing in his background (the Texas governorship is a very weak position with almost no real responsibilities or power) which indicated preparation, familiarity with issues, core principles, ability to make tough decisions or strategic geopolitical worldview. Moreover, he didn’t even win the first election – the USSC effectively installed him against the will of the people in a thoroughly disreputable opinion. He should have taken his cues from that and not done much, but he brought with him the entire Republican apparatchikdom and a LOT of bad things were done under him.

    His painting is not as good as Churchill or Ike, but that’s really not saying much.

  69. 69
    Cassidy says:

    Maybe in the next open thread we should make the first 100 comments about how the site isn’t working right. It probably won’t accomplish anything, but it’s Friday and we’re ripe for a drunken rage rant. We haven’t been told to “fuck off” or “eat a bag of salted dicks” in a while.

  70. 70
    SatanicPanic says:

    This is about the most endearing thing the guy’s ever done. The bathtub painting isn’t bad, either. The shower one OTOH- I don’t think he meant it to be that surreal.

  71. 71
    Redshirt says:

    @The Moar You Know: Indeed. It would be the end of modern society for some time, perhaps for a long time.

    I was just reading an article last night about this science dude who seems to have discovered that the decay rates of radioactive materials not only show seasonal variances, but they also show variances ahead of solar flares. This is pretty radical stuff as it upsets some fundamental Physics laws, but if true, this could serve as a monitoring system for deadly flares, giving us a few days warning.

    With that warning, we could certainly temper the affects of a solar flare to some degree.

    It’s certainly worth investing in/further research, since the downside is, what – the total collapse of modern civilization!

  72. 72
    The Moar You Know says:

    My 66 chevy truck will run!

    @Raven: Actually, it probably won’t, unless you’re using points and a coil for your ignition. And probably not even then.

  73. 73
    liberal says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    Quit being a crybaby. Teh awesome Hayekian supercomputer known as “TEH MARKET” will figure this out and work out protections in advance. /snark

  74. 74
    The Moar You Know says:

    I was just reading an article last night about this science dude who seems to have discovered that the decay rates of radioactive materials not only show seasonal variances, but they also show variances ahead of solar flares.

    Excuse me?

  75. 75
    chopper says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    a flare would induce some large currents in long power lines and cause large-scale blackouts but it wouldn’t ruin electronics the way you’re thinking. a nuclear EMP causes that sort of effect.

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Redshirt:

    With that warning, we could certainly temper the affects of a solar flare to some degree.

    It sounds like you’re saying my Tinfoil Hat factory needs to put on a third shift!

  77. 77
    brettvk says:

    The bathtub painting may be a quote or homage of/to Frida Kahlo. If it is, it’s quite the nicest thing I’ve ever thought of Shrub. Even Molly would be impressed.

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @Raven:

    My 66 chevy truck will run!

    You’ll need to put a couple replacement parts in an ammo box, line that with some foil, and then hide it on a shelf in your basement.

  79. 79
    Cassidy says:

    OT, but I really want to spread this around.

    The first women’s UFC bout takes place on feb 23 and includes the first openly gay fighter (that I/ we the fans) are aware of anyway. Liz Carmouche is also a vet. She’s been brought in ot be the sacrifical lamb so that Rhonda Rousey can be the UFC Bantamweight Champ, but Liz has some pretty heavy hands, so we’ll see. Rousey’s story is fairly interesting as well, but she’s kind of an unpleasant person so it’s hard to root for her. He skillset, though, is frikkin’ phenomenal. So far she’s a one trick pony, but it’s a damn good trick.

  80. 80
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Raven:

    The water was brown when we arrived on scene. It was more brown after they opened fire.

  81. 81
    Redshift says:

    @Poopyman:

    Stopping asteroid impacts is on the list right after stopping global climate change.

    Oh, no, it’s a lot higher on the list, because there’s money to be made on it and it doesn’t ask anyone to make any lifestyle changes. There’s quite a bit of effort going into better asteroid tracking, which is a prerequisite to doing anything else. For one thing, the way to deflect hazardous asteroids is to nudge them a little bit when they’re a long way off (blowing them up won’t help much outside of action movies.) But more important, a lot of near-miss asteroids have never been sighted before the time when they pass close to Earth. And objects that are moving straight toward us are very difficult to spot, astronomically, because they don’t move against the background stars.

  82. 82
    Corner Stone says:

    Site Rebuild II: The Borkening

  83. 83
    dmsilev says:

    @Redshirt:

    I was just reading an article last night about this science dude who seems to have discovered that the decay rates of radioactive materials not only show seasonal variances, but they also show variances ahead of solar flares. This is pretty radical stuff as it upsets some fundamental Physics laws, but if true, this could serve as a monitoring system for deadly flares, giving us a few days warning.

    Do you have a link? I’m curious because variations of that sort would indeed require some really heavy-duty tinkering of various fundamental physical constants, the sorts of things that physicists have a fair amount of evidence for not changing even over most of the lifespan of the universe.

  84. 84
    Redshirt says:

    @The Moar You Know: That’s why I said it was pretty radical. The theory is that its neutrinos somehow affecting the decay rate. No one knows how, or even if this is the case. But the guy’s got data and is working on it further.

    This was all in an article from the latest issue of Discover Magazine. It is crackpotty but there’s data!

  85. 85
    The Moar You Know says:

    a flare would induce some large currents in long power lines and cause large-scale blackouts but it wouldn’t ruin electronics the way you’re thinking.

    @chopper: A “Carrington event” caliber flare, aimed at the Earth, would.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    @Redshirt:

    And here we are with no Asteroids Fighters standing on Hot reserve. We’re sitting ducks!

    And people laughed at us the other day when we discussed which was the greater skillset, planetary salvation through superior video gameage or boobs.
    Who’s laughing now, frontally proficient distractor emplacement gender? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Redshift says:

    @Redshirt:

    We ain’t stopping global climate change now. Too late.

    Yep, the house is on fire, so there’s no point in trying to put it out, right? Nothing to do but let it burn.

    Yes, the climate is already changing, and will change a lot more from the greenhouse gases we’ve already put into the atmosphere. That doesn’t mean it’s “too late” to keep it from getting even worse.

  89. 89
    Redshirt says:

    @The Moar You Know: The Carrington Event was covered in the article. Awesome times – telegraph machines spitting sparks and starting fires across the world.

    What’s “cool” about a Solar Flare apocalypse is that, 150 years ago, and then throughout the history of Earth, solar flares would have barely been noticed, if noticed at all. A blip on no one’s radar – cuz no one had radar!

    Today, it would be catastrophic.

  90. 90
    The Moar You Know says:

    You’ll need to put a couple replacement parts in an ammo box, line that with some foil, and then hide it on a shelf in your basement.

    @Corner Stone: No need for the foil, but it does have to be wired to your home’s ground. Gallon paint cans would also work well.

  91. 91
    Cassidy says:

    @Redshift: I don’t think you got the intent. Try reading it as “it’s too late and we’re hosed”.

  92. 92
    Redshirt says:

    @Redshift: I don’t know. I’ve been reading some real doom and gloom scenarios, and given our current political “climate”, I see no chance for the kind of efforts required to try and reverse these changes.

    We’ve probably already reached the point where we’ll be forced to instead deal with the consequences – rising oceans and super storms, for example.

  93. 93
    chopper says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    no, it wouldn’t. unless your cell phone was plugged in to the wall and a big surge came through.

    a carrington event would not otherwise fry your car or your cell phone or whatever else. the reason it caused such trouble with telegraph operators was because the lines were so long that decent currents were induced.

  94. 94
    Corner Stone says:

    @Redshift: Wait a second…there’s a Redshirt and a Redshift arguing about climate change?
    Y’all just blew my tiny little mind.

  95. 95
    yam says:

    @Obliterati: And making all the PTEWW-PTEWW, RRRRRRRrrrrrr, BBBBBUUUUCCCCCHHHHHSSSHHH sounds as well

  96. 96
    Redshirt says:

    @chopper: Your cell phone may not fry, but the tower will, or the electricity to the tower will. Either way, your cell phone becomes inoperable.

  97. 97
    Redshirt says:

    @Corner Stone: Redshift’s always lagging behind, I find. ;)

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    but it does have to be wired to your home’s ground.

    For some reason I thought I had been instructed during my Insane Prepper’s 101 class that it needed to be on a wooden shelf that didn’t connect to any part of the home.

  99. 99
    22over7 says:

    Yesterday I noted that the site was working fine on IE (which seemed odd, as IE sucks balls).

    Well, about five minutes after I wrote that, IE-accessed Balloon Juice borked for me. It’s still frozen from yesterday.

    Chrome is working better. Somebody get Tunch a tuna, or whatever ransom he demands.

  100. 100
    Poopyman says:

    @Raven: Diesel, eh? Better park it at the top of a hill so you can get a good roll before kicking in the clutch.

  101. 101
    chopper says:

    @Redshirt:

    Yes. But this paranoid idea that all your electronics will fry is wrong. Your car will be okay, tho gas pumps may not work until power is fixed or someone plugs a gennie in.

    A flare is not like a nuclear EMP. Now that would fuck a bunch of shit up.

  102. 102
    geg6 says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Okay, we don’t always agree on much, but you have won the internets today. Where can I send them?

    ETA: And as I clicked on “submit,” my name and email disappeared again. And then I noticed that this very post on the front page tells me there is only one comment. WTF, Cole?

  103. 103
    geg6 says:

    And as I posted at 102, my name and email disappeared again. Oh, and the front page tells me that there is only one comment on this very post.

  104. 104
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Corner Stone:
    The situation we have here is that the rebuild ain’t happened yet, and the site is borked already. Ain’t s’posed to work that way.

  105. 105
    burnspbesq says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Shipment of your Internets will be delayed due to the blizzard currently hitting the eastern US.

  106. 106
    Jay C says:

    @Redshirt:

    I recall reading recently on – I think – the BBC News science page that scientists on Earth working with astronomers have identified the source star for a gamma-ray “event” so strong, it left radiation signatures in (I think) Greenland ice, or tree rings, or something still identifiable after 1200+ years. They figured this happened some time close to 780 CE: Earth was still a pre-technological place at that time, and no one noticed, but they reckoned that a similar “event” nowadays would probably replicate the effects of a global nuclear EMP. Which would be noticed. Majorly….

  107. 107
    Tonal Crow says:

    Not gonna click, ain’t ‘a gonna do it, wouldn’t be prudent, fool me once, shame on you, fool me again…uh…won’t get fooled again!

  108. 108
    eemom says:

    Yep, site fucked here again too.

    The funny thing is, it semi-unfucked for a while last night when Cole was around…..almost like a situation where a disobedient child falls into line when Daddy gets home. Discuss.

  109. 109
    chopper says:

    @Jay C:

    possibly. of course, that’s a gamma ray burst, not a solar flare.

  110. 110
    Baud says:

    So reading this thread, I take it the consensus is that a directed solar flare has impacted Balloon Juice servers, causing much borkage.

  111. 111
    Cassidy says:

    @Baud: Depends on who you ask.

    Anyone notice the borkage didn’t start until Cole went and started undoing his FPer’s better decisions? So not only do we still have to deal with flea market boy, but the whole blog got screwed? Go Team!

  112. 112
    Hugely says:

    @Ash Can: agreed – painting is hard I am glad he is trying it. Would rather have him as an artist than a president – he sucks more at presidenting than painting

  113. 113
    Violet says:

    Balloon Juice is fucked. Is there another post after this one? I can’t see it if there is one.

    The shower painting makes Bush look like a lost, lonely man. I kind of like it because in that way it seems accurate.

  114. 114
    gogol's wife says:

    @Cassidy:

    LOL.

    ETA I had to fill in my name and address for the second time this morning.

  115. 115
    Woodrowfan says:

    I’ll just tie my cellphone to a stick and use it as a club.

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    Short educational video:
    Shopping in Texas

  117. 117
    Violet says:

    @geg6: Front page tells me there are 37 comments on this post.

  118. 118
    JPL says:

    Is art class mandatory for those of retirement age? Discuss!

  119. 119
    Baud says:

    @Violet:

    Is there another post after this one? I can’t see it if there is one.

    Ain’t that the truth. Commenting here now is like an out-of-blog experience.

  120. 120
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    I’ll just tie my cellphone to a stick and use it as a club.

    According to the NRA, that would be just as effective as an AR-15 if you’re a bad guy, but totally ineffective if you’re a good guy. Because shut up, they helpfully explain.

  121. 121
    Mike E says:

    @Poopyman: heh, just showed Miss E how to jump start her Vibe..2nd gear, y’all!

  122. 122
    Cassidy says:

    @Woodrowfan: Ever see the commercial for the cell phone with an anti-theft device?

  123. 123
    Cassidy says:

    @Mike E: Wow. Wrong forum dude.

  124. 124
    Violet says:

    @Baud: I honestly don’t know if there is one. Last night, even though I Ctrl-F5’d the front page, I couldn’t see a new post. When I had the top post open in another tab, I could see the “Next Post” link at the top, so I clicked through and there were three additional posts on top of the one I could see. So I’m hoping the “Next Post” will continue to show up. But just in case it doesn’t, I hope people will post in the comments if a new post is up.

  125. 125
    Tonal Crow says:

    Offline testing of site changes, how does it work?

  126. 126
    Jack the Second says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: To be fair, nepotism isn’t that bad of a first-pass heuristic. I am my father’s son; if someone knew my father, they might hire me on that basis and they’d know roughly what they’re in for: honest and hard-working, but frequently late. Sometimes nepotism fails, either because the parent wasn’t particularly good at parenting or just because kids aren’t clones, but that’s just the difference between statistics and certainty.

    Honestly the problem with most of these schmucks isn’t that they don’t live up to their fathers’ legacies but that they do. People wanted Rand Paul because his father was Ron Paul, and by golly, they got what they wanted. GW Bush didn’t fail spectacularly because he failed to live up to the Reagan/GHW Bush legacy, but because he was a continuation of that line.

    Nepotism might be unfair, because it excludes qualified candidates, but nine times out of ten it does what it says on the tin and gives you another guy like the last.

  127. 127
    SatanicPanic says:

    @chopper: If it’s bad enough I’ll just add it to my mental list of things I don’t care to survive and then forget it.

  128. 128
    Baud says:

    @Violet:

    I agree. Commenters need to post any new developments they see. We’ll get through this if we just come together as a community.

    ETA: True to my word, there is apparently a new post up.

  129. 129
    MomSense says:

    @Cassidy:

    Facebook broke the internet!

  130. 130
    suzanne says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): I immediately thought of Hockney, as well. The shirtless men in the water helped.

  131. 131
    Cassidy says:

    @Baud: I’m still rooting for spittle-flecked whiskey rage rant.

    FWIW, I’ve been navigating by new comments and that seems somewhat successful. Sometimes I have to refresh a page. A couple of pages go apeshit when I try to scroll, though, requiring a refresh.

  132. 132
    Mike E says:

    @Cassidy: Eat a bag of sal…never mind.

  133. 133
    Violet says:

    @Baud: I refreshed the front page and the new post showed up! Wonders never cease.

  134. 134
    The Other Chuck says:

    Makes me wonder about the subject matter. Washing all the blood off, maybe?

  135. 135
    Baud says:

    @Cassidy:

    I got some of that from Cole last night. I’d provide a link, but I think it might take you into another space-time dimension given how the blog has been acting up.

  136. 136
    Elizabelle says:

    W has more talent than that homo ecce restorer.

    Like the bathtub painting.

    Just glad we weren’t subjected to nudes of Laura at this stage of 43’s artistic development.

    Also too, Balloon Juicers — very impressed at the generous comments here. Not the expected snark and too cool for school derision.

  137. 137
    shortstop says:

    Y’all have to admit he perfectly captured the raised eyebrow of total bewilderment in the mirror.

  138. 138
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    To me, the funny/revealing part is Jebbie’s Bubba anxiety, and the comical delusion that it was palling around with Poppy that “rebuilt” Clinton’s reputation. I am one of the more Bubba-skeptical of loyal Democrats, but the idea that he needed the Bushes or benefited from their relationship (publicly, the Clinton need to be loved is another question) is laughable.

    OT, I saw something about Jebbie putting in a bid to buy the Marlins or the Rays? The Shrub/Rangers example notwithstanding, that doesn’t strike me as something a future presidential candidate does. Just seems like he’s more interested in making money.

  139. 139
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Redshirt: Actually, you just have to have an account. You can create one without subscribing, though I expect you get more as a subscriber. I love reading stuff there.

  140. 140
    Cassidy says:

    @Elizabelle: It’s been mentioned, but it really does humanize him. Being the kind of person who gives the benefit of a doubt, it puts me in mind of someone who is fully aware of his flaws and searching to excel at something. There’s some dignity in the paintings.

    I don’t appreciate art for anything. When I see art I see a drawing, something someone painted, etc. It’s not a criticism, but I just don’t see all the other stuff art people do.

  141. 141
    shortstop says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    the comical delusion that it was palling around with Poppy that “rebuilt” Clinton’s reputation.

    That was my favorite part, too. Twenty-one years after Bubba bested Poppy, the defeat obviously still smarts within the Bush family. However, they manage to keep their sniping/delusions to private email rather than taking — no, constantly creating — public opportunities to be big honking sore losers, like a certain former POW (betcha didn’t know that about him) I could name.

  142. 142
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    I found the paintings full of whimsy and showing that he’s thinking about color and light. They significantly improve my view of the man (admittedly…).

    I had to chuckle at “I’m assuming you want me to give the eulogy rather than Bubba” during the discussion of how to handle the time when Our Father Who Art in Houston passes. Clearly that whole electoral defeat left some wounds there.

  143. 143
    Roy G says:

    Yes, very impressive paintings. You can’t even see the numbers

  144. 144
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Redshift:

    Yes, the climate is already changing, and will change a lot more from the greenhouse gases we’ve already put into the atmosphere. That doesn’t mean it’s “too late” to keep it from getting even worse.

    Exqueeze me, but this would have a negative impact on the wealth growth of the C. Montgomery Burnses who run the entire petroleum industry, along with their allies in the oil extraction infrastructure industry, to include the many small-dicked cronies of Big Dick Cheney.

    Can’t have that, even though it means extinction!

  145. 145
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    On another note, I wish the site would remember my name and email address again.

  146. 146
    Cassidy says:

    @Mike E: I’m just impressed by your reaction. Most men would be like “Jump start your vibe? I’m right here!”, but you’re completely cool with it.

  147. 147
    Redshirt says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Good to know – and I’m a subscriber!

    It’s a good general interest science magazine that skews towards the Pop culture side, if anyone’s looking for new reading material.

  148. 148
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Redshift:

    Yes, the climate is already changing, and will change a lot more from the greenhouse gases we’ve already put into the atmosphere. That doesn’t mean it’s “too late” to keep it from getting even worse.

    Exactly. Each degree of warming means more and worse effects. Given the inaction so far, we’re almost certainly stuck with 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial. But that’s a lot better than 3 degrees or more, which would represent a climate that humans have never seen.

    Just for reference, the difference between glaciers in Ohio (“ice age”) and large glaciers only at the poles (“interglacial”, as circa 1850) is very likely <= 6 degrees, and maybe as little as 4.5 degrees. Really.

  149. 149
    catclub says:

    @ruemara: “I can’t get anything to work without deleting history. ”

    Just what the guys in charge in the book 1984 said!

  150. 150
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: THIS. It’s pretty annoying.

  151. 151
    CaptainHaddock says:

    I like them. There is a charming innocence to them.

  152. 152
    Redshirt says:

    @Tonal Crow: Another, more depressing way of looking at it is, we’ve probably already gone past a few tipping points, and there’s no easy way back once that’s done. Specifically, ice, in both the Arctic, Antarctic, and Greenland. It’s disappearing at alarming rates, which in turn will cause many major changes in global weather.

  153. 153
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Redshirt:

    @Tonal Crow: Another, more depressing way of looking at it is, we’ve probably already gone past a few tipping points, and there’s no easy way back once that’s done. Specifically, ice, in both the Arctic, Antarctic, and Greenland. It’s disappearing at alarming rates, which in turn will cause many major changes in global weather.

    It’s not so clear where the tipping points are. Current thinking is that 2 degrees C is the inflection point at which feedbacks from, e.g., ice melt, polar soils methane release, etc., may take control away from us. We’re currently at ~0.8 degrees, and are very likely to get 1.5 degrees. We still have some chance to avoid 2 degrees if we act forcefully, and act now.

    ETA: I hope that Sandy-like events concentrate our minds on the consequences of business-as-usual.

  154. 154
    dance around in your bones says:

    Well, at least it’s not Paint by Numbers – you gotta give that to the dude. Subject matter is…unusual, which is mildly interesting.

    (P.S. – how did he look at himself in the mirror to paint himself underwater? Photo? if so, who the hell took it?)

    (P.S.S. – ok , looked at it again and he’s wiener up, so – I guess it’s possible).

  155. 155
    Redshirt says:

    @Tonal Crow: That was my point – the stuff I’ve been reading recently surmises we’ve already crossed the line when it comes to sea ice. For example, we’ve lost 70% of the Summer ice in the Arctic over the last few years. This is dramatic, and is already causing global weather changes. It’s also a self-powering dynamic that will get worse.

    The kinds of actions we’d need to take to stop this, now, are beyond imagining, both conceptually and especially given today’s Republican mindset.

    If we’re gonna do something dramatic, better to spend efforts shoring up coastal defenses in preparation for more Sandy type storms.

  156. 156
    handsmile says:

    @Elizabelle:

    You’ve provoked me. :)

    I make (most) of my living as an art historian. For the past decade or so, one of my principal areas of interest has been what is called “Outsider’ or “Self-Taught” Art (creative expression by those with no knowledge or training in the arts; those with mental illness; those isolated from mainstream culture by geography, poverty, race, or other obstacle).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outsider_art

    Dubya’s daubs are the work of a modestly talented amateur. I have no idea whether he’s had any art training, but his education and class affiliations would certainly have familiarized him with general Western art history. Nevertheless, I would be astonished if he knew of the work of Frida Kahlo and as someone who has spoken with David Hockney, I expect he would be horrified that anyone would see a resemblance between his work and that of Shrub.

    What is most interesting to me is the subject matter he’s chosen, especially given his limited skill. In both examples, this late middle-aged man has painted a naked self-portrait, though without the naughty bits. There’s also the curious inclusion of the mirror in the shower, with the subject looking out at the viewer. To my trained eye, all this shouts of narcissistic self-regard. He’s mostly interested in himself and your act of viewing what he chooses to expose of himself.

    There is, in fact, another genre of Outsider Art: that which is done by prison inmates. If these works had been painted by this war criminal in those circumstances, I might be able to be more charitable.

    ETA: The “Ecce Homo” “restoration” was a hilarious and notorious incident, to be sure. A gallery retrospective for the artist is probably now underway, given the cravenness of the contemporary art world.

  157. 157
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Redshirt:

    Tonal Crow: That was my point – the stuff I’ve been reading recently surmises we’ve already crossed the line when it comes to sea ice. For example, we’ve lost 70% of the Summer ice in the Arctic over the last few years. This is dramatic, and is already causing global weather changes. It’s also a self-powering dynamic that will get worse.

    The implication of your last sentence (that the sea-ice feedback will initiate other feedbacks) is not currently scientifically supported. Once again, it is not certain where the tipping points are. What is certain is that the more carbon we emit, the more likely we are to pass those points.

    The kinds of actions we’d need to take to stop this, now, are beyond imagining, both conceptually and especially given today’s Republican mindset.

    Then we need to imagine harder. It’s much too important to let go. Climate change should not be a suicide pact.

    If we’re gonna do something dramatic, better to spend efforts shoring up coastal defenses in preparation for more Sandy type storms.

    No, just no. We have to pull back from the brink. BTW, more intense storms and sea-level rise are not the worst potential consequences of global warming. Widespread drought (= widespread famine) is much scarier; starvation won’t be for just east Africans anymore.

  158. 158
  159. 159
    chopper says:

    @Redshirt:

    remember, there’s a pretty huge amount of latent heat energy that is extracted from the northern hemisphere’s atmosphere every year to melt polar ice. once that ice sheet is reliably gone during summer, all that extra heat energy stays in the atmosphere instead.

    we’re about 1C above what we were at 100 years ago. with what we’ve already added to the atmosphere until today (there is a good lag), and polar ice melt as well as additional methane released just from polar waters (which was heretofore held in by ice) we’re already talking about another 2 degrees baked in the cake.

    add in the melting permafrost and it’s likely another degree, especially since that’s mostly methane.

    so we’re already looking at 3C above pre-industrial times, and that doesn’t get into the effects of large-scale drought turning soils and forest and peatlands into carbon emitters, or (god forbid) clathrates.

  160. 160
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @handsmile: Dubya’s daubs are the work of a modestly talented amateur. I have no idea whether he’s had any art training, but his education and class affiliations would certainly have familiarized him with general Western art history.

    Been twenty years since I looked at any of Churchill’s actual painting, but I’m guessing this hobby is a direct outgrowth of that HBO movie from a couple of years ago. I was gonna say the Manchester books, but they’re thick, like fifty Shakespeares thick.

  161. 161
    Tonal Crow says:

    @chopper:

    we’re about 1C above what we were at 100 years ago. with what we’ve already added to the atmosphere until today (there is a good lag), and polar ice melt as well as additional methane released just from polar waters (which was heretofore held in by ice) we’re already talking about another 2 degrees baked in the cake.

    I am unaware of papers indicating that global average temperature is 1 degree above 1913 (it’s actually ~0.8 degrees above pre-industrial), nor of papers indicating that we’re committed to >= 3 degrees. Got some cites for that? As far as I know, we’re committed to ~1.5 degrees now, and 2 degrees unless we get to work immediately (see, e.g., “The Closing Door of Climate Targets”, https://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6117/280 .

  162. 162
    GregB says:

    The idea self-portraiture with bathing or showering as an emphasis seems to scream an ‘out damn spot’ cry for a cleansing.

    Maybe he does have a deeply troubled conscience in hind-sight.

    Looking forward to President Obama’s shower and tub paintings.

  163. 163
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The comments on the linked article are filled with ODS sufferers bawling about drone strikes.

    That just means it’s on the Internet.

  164. 164
    Trollhattan says:

    @Poopyman:
    Speaking of which, this was a really disturbing read.

    Alarmingly, we have been slow to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the climate is changing faster than ever. Because of this, some people – myself included – have been interested in alternative ways to cool things down, mainly by engineering the planet. There are several approaches to climate engineering (also known as geoengineering). The most popular approach involves putting little particles into the atmosphere to reflect incoming sunlight back out to space. The more particles we put up there, the less sunlight reaches the surface, and the cooler temperatures will be. If it works, it could help us avoid the worst harms of climate change.

    But there’s a big catch. The particles don’t just stay in the atmosphere where we put them. They gradually drift towards the North and South Poles and fall to the surface. That takes about 5 years. And so if we stop putting particles into the atmosphere, we get a very rapid temperature increase, until temperatures finally stabilize at where they would have been without the particles. This rapid temperature increase is many times faster than that of climate change alone and would be very damaging.

    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....tastrophe/

  165. 165
    Trollhattan says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Should we have WWIII, it will be fought over water and food.

  166. 166
    chopper says:

    we’re .8 above preindustrial, but look at the temp in the early 1900’s. the rate temperature is rising currently is pretty frightening.

    I understand you’re trying to be optimistic here, but I’m not. look at methane maps over the last few years. it isn’t good.

    do you honestly think that the additional GHGes we’ve added until today that are lagging, as well as the additional ones we will certainly add in the next 50 years even with solid agreements toward reduction, plus knock-on effects like desertification, forest loss, sea ice loss, thawing permafrost, etc. are only committing us to another .7C?

  167. 167
    Elie says:

    I actually like these paintings. They are somewhat stiff and stylized, but they seem to convey a message — whether about the process of getting clean – or the self examination involved. In one he looks at his feet and the other, his face in a mirror off to the side.. both are rather fragmented, stylized views that do grab your attention to ponder the content and message. For all his shallowness while president — it appears that there was an awareness somewhere underneath after all. He should keep painting. I see no reason to make fun of him or his paintings at all.

  168. 168
    handsmile says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    My own knowledge of Churchill’s painting is admittedly limited, but I recall that his subject matter was primarily landscape, with a particular interest in sky and atmospheric effects. I seem to recall some portraiture as well, but of other sitters. Landscape and still-life are the genres most often practiced by amateur painters seeking to develop their skills.

    Perhaps with today’s unveiling, the world will soon be treated with more examples of the artistry of George W. Bush and we can then see how he has addressed other subject matter. What has presented thus far, however, seems to be of a piece with the man we know to our deep regret.

  169. 169
    Tonal Crow says:

    @chopper:

    we’re .8 above preindustrial…. do you honestly think that the additional GHGes we’ve added until today that are lagging, as well as the additional ones we will certainly add in the next 50 years even with solid agreements toward reduction, plus knock-on effects like desertification, forest loss, sea ice loss, thawing permafrost, etc. are only committing us to another .7C?

    Check out the cited perspective in Science. Things could certainly be worse. If the climate system is more sensitive than ~3 degrees per CO2 doubling (current thinking, based on paleoclimate, modelling, instrumental measurements of response to volcanic aerosols, etc.), then we’re committed to more than 1.5 degrees C. That’s not a reason (as some argue) to say, “The hell will it, we’ll just build higher dikes”. It’s a reason to push even harder to cut carbon emissions sooner and faster.

  170. 170
    Redshirt says:

    I hear ya Tonal Crow. I’d very much like to see a worldwide, drastic effort spent on reversing climate change. But we’d have to go pretty radical to make an impact very quickly – geoengineering, in other words. Which comes with a whole new slate of questions and issues.

    Regardless, the political will is zero. We’re nowhere near a consensus in the US Government to do a damn thing. If anything, given recent shale gas discoveries in North America, it’s far more likely we’ll accelerate domestic drilling and consumption of oil instead. And it’s not just the US. China won’t slow down for anyone, and if coal is the best power for the job, then coal it is.

    We’re fracked. That’s why we should start addressing remediationary steps immediately.

  171. 171
    chopper says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I can’t. It’s pay walled.

    but seriously, given all the stuff I just mentioned, you really think we’re committed to only .7C more than what we’re at today? anthropogenic CO2 is not the only batter in the bullpen here.

  172. 172
    chopper says:

    @Redshirt:

    of course. even with a good agreement, we’re still making it to 500ppm, sea ice is boned, forests are boned, and permafrost is going to thaw all over the place.

    the arctic is really the canary here. look at methane levels in the upper northern hemisphere over the last 10 years if you really want to blow your mind.

  173. 173
    Mike E says:

    @Cassidy: Yep, it’s how I roll.

    I wonder if W’s work can be called Naïve Art

  174. 174
    Elie says:

    @Mike E:

    Yes, I would consider the style “naive”. I dsagree with handsmile upstring that they are disappointing or whatever. I think that they are interesting. That he is so obviously trying to say something or release some pent up need through painting is to be respected. To me, it says something positive about him — not negative. I hope that he keeps painting — even if only for himself.

    Unless you have tried to make an artistic effort, whether writing, painting, music – whatever, and know how difficult and unsure a process it can be, you should probably refrain from criticizing.

  175. 175
    dance around in your bones says:

    @handsmile:

    What is most interesting to me is the subject matter he’s chosen, especially given his limited skill. In both examples, this late middle-aged man has painted a naked self-portrait, though without the naughty bits. There’s also the curious inclusion of the mirror in the shower, with the subject looking out at the viewer. To my trained eye, all this shouts of narcissistic self-regard. He’s mostly interested in himself and your act of viewing what he chooses to expose of himself.

    There is, in fact, another genre of Outsider Art: that which is done by prison inmates. If these works had been painted by this war criminal in those circumstances, I might be able to be more charitable.

    Gads, I hate to say ditto, but well-said, handsmile.

    (P.S. Why the fuck do I have to re-enter my nym and email address every FUCKING TIME I COMMENT?! I want my money back!….oh, wait.)

    ETA: Also Ellie, I agree with your intuition that he may be trying to ‘get clean’ in some fashion. Shows a bit of self-awareness, anyway.

  176. 176
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Sorry W. Doesn’t matter how many times you paint it, the stain won’t wash off.

  177. 177
    shortstop says:

    @handsmile:

    What is most interesting to me is the subject matter he’s chosen, especially given his limited skill … To my trained eye, all this shouts of narcissistic self-regard. He’s mostly interested in himself and your act of viewing what he chooses to expose of himself.

    What we’ve seen is what the hacker chose to show us, so that needs to be taken into account when making judgments about Bush’s choice of subject matter. I wonder what other subjects he’s selected — other than the dog and the church, I don’t think we know, do we?

  178. 178
    gypsy howell says:

    It’ll take more than a few showers and baths to wash the blood off his hands.

    Still, I suppose it’s a positive development that he thinks he needs to try.

  179. 179
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Quaker in a Basement:

    I also understand that these two opinions of mine are somewhat contrary.

    Heck, at least I can hold two opposing opinions in my mind at the same time. Also, it is raining here in SoCal, which tends to make us all go insane. Ack! Ack!

    ETA: Didn’t mean to reply to Quaker in a Basement – I do not understand what is going on and I wish to continue. Ha. Riddled! (See previous open thread – incredibly funny Kiwi blog).

  180. 180
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Redshirt:

    I hear ya Tonal Crow. I’d very much like to see a worldwide, drastic effort spent on reversing climate change. But we’d have to go pretty radical to make an impact very quickly – geoengineering, in other words. Which comes with a whole new slate of questions and issues.

    It’s important to understand what the science really says. Please read the Science article I mentioned above. There is some chance we can avoid > 2 degrees C by cutting carbon emissions. We must grab it, not throw up our hands, nor pretend that geoengineering will save us.

    We’re fracked. That’s why we should start addressing remediationary steps immediately.

    So, how do you “remediate” widespread drought and consequent famine? We’ve got to avoid it.

  181. 181
    handsmile says:

    @Elie:

    Happy to disagree respectfully (and I do) on these paintings, but I did want to say that my first career in the visual arts was as a sculptor and I’ve been writing for decades. So I’ve got some fair understanding of the difficulties of the creative process.

    We surely do agree that Dubya was “obviously trying to say something or release some pent up need.” All creative expression is that effort, at the very least. We just differ on what that might be in this case given the visual evidence presented.

    @shortstop:

    That’s an entirely fair point, and one I tried to address (sardonically) in my reply to Jim, Foolish Literalist above (#168). My evaluation is only upon the works I’ve seen displayed thus far.

  182. 182
    Tonal Crow says:

    @chopper: My (not climate-science-trained) intuition is that we’re committed to > 2 degrees. But the current scientific thinking — which is what we should use to determine policy — is that we have some chance of stopping short of 2 degrees if we get our asses in gear now.

    Intuition is not a good guide to complex problems. That’s why we have science.

    ETA: Here is some (somewhat dated) discussion of climate commitments: http://www.realclimate.org/ind.....itment-ii/ . The graph assumes a climate sensitivity of 2.8 degrees C per CO2 doubling, which is somewhat less than today’s consensus of ~ 3 degrees.

  183. 183
    JGabriel says:

    No new posts since 7:25 am? Where is everyone?

  184. 184
    dance around in your bones says:

    @JGabriel: Borked, just like the site is.

  185. 185
    MaryRC says:

    @JPL: Me for one. Not a fan of the Bush clan but hacking email is not a good thing to do. I felt the same way about the former helf-term Governor’s email and I am really not a fan of her’s.

  186. 186
    Redleg says:

    I kinda liked the bathtub pic. I like W more as a failed painter than as a failed president. At least he has a chance of improving his art.

  187. 187
    burnspbesq says:

    @handsmile:

    It’s begun to make me rethink my moral opposition to targeted drone strikes

    The law-of-war principles in play with respect to drones are pretty well understood. Just don’t blow up a wedding receiption while you’re trying to get Krauthammer, and you’re good to go.

  188. 188
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Site Rebuild II: The Borkening

    A bork is a bork,
    of course of course,
    and no one can post with this site borked,
    of course,
    that is of course,
    unless the bork,
    is fixed by the famous Mister Cole

  189. 189
    Ash Can says:

    test

  190. 190

    Nothingburger? I don’t know, man. Sureley there’s enough of a smoking gun here to impeach President Obama. At the least, Darryl Issa needs to hold hearings about this and get to the bottom of it. What did the president know and when did he know it? How is this linked to Fast and Furious? Is there any connection to his having gone to Pakistan when there was a ban on Americans going (even if there was no ban; it’s the belief that there was that’s the controlling factor here)? Does this have anything to do with his forged birth certificates? How does Tony Rezko fot into all of this? What does the Benghazi massacre have to do with this? What about Hillary Clinton’s “blood clot”?

    These are questions that the president needs to answer, and until he answers them to my satisfaction, I’ll have no choice but to conclude that impeachment is the only reasonable course to take.

  191. 191
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.): You forgot “Solyndra!”, “New Black Panthers!!”, “FEMA camps for conservatives!!!”, “Voter Fraud!!!!”, and, of course, “Librals are takin’ my GUNS!!!!!”, but otherwise well said.

  192. 192
    kindness says:

    Won’t someone throw the caged squirrels a couple peanuts around here? At first I just figured all the FPers took the day off but now I see what everyone else saw earlier. No updating of anything. When I use my bookmark to get here it still shows this thread only has 37 entries. Oh, the FPers AND the peanut gallery are off for an early weekend? No. Not at all. Just bad webfu.

  193. 193
    what says:

    It actually broke my heart to see that bush-43 sleeps like a baby every night….

  194. 194
    chopper says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    remember, a lot of analyses don’t take into account a number of feedback mechanisms.

    every computer model i’ve ever worked on (not in climate, but still you understand) has been limited in some way. that’s not to disparage models, but there’s a reason most of the model predictions over the last few decades have been conservative vs actual observations.

    look at the models regarding arctic sea ice vs the actual observed loss in ice area and volume. the models clearly underplayed the loss. models have been conservative because they don’t incorporate a number of feedbacks.

    please don’t assume i don’t understand science. likewise, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that anthropogenic CO2 is the only batter in the bullpen, as i mentioned above.

    again, i’ll ask a third time: do you honestly think that, given all the CO2 we’ve added up til now (which will include a multiple-decade effect on temperatures even if we stop adding any more tomorrow due to lag), as well as the feedback mechanisms i mentioned, that we’re only ‘committed’ to .7C above present?

  195. 195
    sm*t cl*de says:

    The bathtub painting may be a quote or homage of/to Frida Kahlo.

    He’s obviously a fan of Kahlo and Colquhoun!

  196. 196

    Meanwhile, Condi Rice hit a spectator in the face with a golf ball. WTF is it with these people and hitting folks in the face?

  197. 197
    Tonal Crow says:

    @chopper: Your point about some analyses (particularly computer models) not incorporating some feedbacks is valid. This is where paleoclimatology can inform the issue; we can look at past climate changes in response to past forcings and make analogies. Obviously that’s not a foolproof way to estimate what our forcings are going to do, because, e.g., our knowledge of the forcings is incomplete, the forcings (e.g., Milankovich) aren’t the same as CO2, etc. But with those qualifications, the paleo research I know about indicates that climate sensitivity is ~3 degrees per CO2 doubling, which is similar to the range determined by other methods.

    Of course, “climate sensitivity” is itself a little nebulous. Usually it refers to something more technically called “Charney sensitivity”, which is sensitivity excluding feedbacks that are assumed (potential problem, yeah) to take much longer to act than the usual water-vapor, radiative, sea-ice, and aerosol feedbacks. Ice sheet-albedo feedbacks (that is, ice-albedo feedbacks other than sea-ice feedbacks) are conventionally excluded from Charney sensitivity, but are included in something called “Earth System Sensitivity”, estimates of which are substantially higher than for Charney sensitivity.

    The thing is that the ESS-specific feedbacks are assumed (!) to take place over much longer time periods (e.g., ~100 years) than the Charney feedbacks. If that’s not so (and there is some indication that it’s not) we will experience more near-term warming than expected.

    As I wrote earlier, my intuition is that we’re committed to at least 2 degrees C., but that’s not the current consensus.

    More broadly, whatever we’re committed to, further emissions will only make it worse. We have to slam on the brakes, hard and fast.

    ETA: There’s a new post at realclimate on comparing models to observations. Check it out.

  198. 198
    JustRuss says:

    @Cecilia:

    These show (and who’da thunk) signs of a v. creative person.

    My first reaction was “narcissist”, but those are hardly mutally exclusive. But it’s nice read a different perspective, i’ll give the man a bit of cred for trying something new.

  199. 199
    chopper says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    the problem with paleoclimatology is that it’s only so informing. if we look at the pliocene, that’s one thing. even so, when you go back to the period before the isthmus of panama was created, you have to understand that the entire ocean conveyor system was different.

    even earlier and you have a different arctic, or a different tibetan plateau, or even different continents.

    as to long- and short-term feedbacks, i will note that ice-albedo was originally seen as being a much longer term one than it currently is.

  200. 200
    Tonal Crow says:

    @chopper: Those are good points about paleo. On ice-albedo, observations of sea ice show much more melt than most of the models (see, again, http://www.realclimate.org/ind.....more-14579 ). I don’t think that’s been so of the ice-sheet models, and hope not. Do you know?

  201. 201
    chopper says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    well, i do know that recent papers have shown that greenland melt is accelerating faster than expected and is several times faster than it was even a few decades ago. i think the same applies to WAIS, tho climate scientists have always worried about that one.

    i do think that volume loss in GL is more than expected. one of the changes caused by CC is a movement of the polar high, and we’ve been seeing high pressure over GL more often; 2012 saw an unprecedented melt in the entire surface zone of the GIS.

    personally i expect the models to be adjusted in the next year or two in order to become backwards compatible with sheet and sea ice melt rates, and i expect new output to be scary.

  202. 202
    Joey Giraud says:

    Has no one seen Dubya lead the band?. His clowning around is almost endearing.

    I’ve never thought W was either shallow or stupid. He’s pretty clearly a spoiled and snotty rich brat with some serious anger over a cold and distant upbringing that manifested in heavy drinking and mean jokes. He might even be angry about the cynical and dirty side of the family history, not that he would ever have rejected it.

    I’ve known a few less-rich but equally nasty while simultaneously charming rich brats.

    There is no such thing as “evil” people, and “bad” people are still people.

  203. 203
    Ian says:

    Hey anyone remember Assrocket over at Powerline?

    It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.

    Must have been a private unveiling, huh? Still, like many others, I’m thoroughly relieved that Bush has finally found something he’s good at.

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