Wednesday Evening Open Thread: NOT Just Right

euro economic fairy tales toles
(Tom Toles via
Of course, it’s not just the European Meisters of the Universe. Per Mr. Pierce:

There’s a lot of buzz at and around the Cool Kidz table today because, glorioski, there’s actually another budget proposal out there, the one put together by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and it not only seems to make more sense to more people than, for example, Paul Ryan’s exercise in Magical Unicorn Math, or even than the principles underlying the president’s proposal, which seem to be that, before we act on it, we should carefully check the Magical Unicorn’s work before appointing the unicorn to the Council Of Economic Advisers. Moreover, that budget is certainly more consonant not only with the blog’s First Law Of Economics — Fk The Deficit. People Got No Jobs. People Got No Money — but also with the results of the latest Gallup Poll, the sub-themes of which latter is, quite clearly, “Why In Hell Are We Listening To Joe Scarborough On This Stuff Anyway?”

That’s 77 percent of the respondents who want some sort of WPA 2.0 to make sure the bridges don’t fall down while we’re driving to work. That’s 75 percent who want a federal jobs creation program. These two numbers include, respectively, 63 percent and 56 percent of Republican respondents. You could poll Paul Ryan’s immediately family and not get these numbers. Neither Mr. Simpson nor Mr. Bowles could score this well on Christmas morning with the grandkids. You could ask Americans the question, “Would you favor immediate federal action that would provide you with unlimited whiskey and the sexual favors of your favorite movie stars?” and come close. Maybe. Does the House progressive budget, which proposes programs that track these numbers, have a chance in hell of passing? Of course not. It’s barely in the conversation…

And yet, there is a conversation, however marginal. Besides choosing to follow the philosophical School of Eeyore — there is no more honey, but at least we have a useful pot to put things in — what’s on the agenda for the evening?

89 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    what’s on the agenda for the evening?

    I plan on settling in and reading through the new novel by bestselling author Dan Brown, The Unbagging Protocol

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    Best sleep I’ve had in maybe 6 weeks, even if it was at the ‘wrong’ part of the day.

    Just woke up maybe 15 minutes ago, and sipping on first mug of coffee. Mmmm.

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    Man, Ed Reed to my Texans and Urlacher out in Chi-town?
    There’s some doings going on y’all!

  4. 4
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Corner Stone: I need a good dark horse for my pool.

  5. 5
    West of the Rockies says:

    Sorry to go sporto here, but I sure hope the soulless Miami Heat lose a game real soon.

  6. 6
    Jebediah says:

    This afternoon I had an interesting conversation with my new boss, who needed a file to be under 500 MB and didn’t know why I had produced a file that was over 83,000 KB. That’s 83 THOUSAND – it says right there!
    Turns out it actually needed to be smaller than 25 MB.

  7. 7
    danielx says:

    Waiting for the temperature to drop to 15 degrees tonight…I certainly didn’t want 80 degrees in March again, but this is getting fuckin’ ridiculous. And the weatherheads are making noises about possible serious snow next week…wish I was going to Florida with Mrs. X and the daughter unit.

  8. 8
    WereBear says:

    The Google Reader thread seems to have gone dormant, but the thoughts it engendered were peripheral anyway; the indignant protests that Google should not offend their customers were really kind of… quaint.

    Companies don’t care if we are unhappy. They just don’t.

    Mr WereBear is nearing the end of a long treatment, with some improvement. Enough that he is no longer letting me take over all that 800 number dialing and supervisor wrestling that is the modern customer service experience. He’s been trying to do it himself.

    And he’s a kind of Rip Van Winkle, because he cannot BELIEVE how badly he is treated, how uninterested the entire system is in his problem getting fixed, and how outright rude one has to be in order to get someone who knows how to fix it into play.

    I guess I just got used to it.

  9. 9
    TooManyJens says:

    @danielx: I’ve had it with this fucking 7-week-long February.

  10. 10
    Mandalay says:

    Shit – we have another Steubenville:

    Two 18-year-olds have been charged with assaulting a 13-year-old girl, and the alleged victim has been menaced on social media as a ‘snitch,’ according to a report.

    Some of the tweets supporting the accused are mind boggling:
    – Everybody makes mistakes its just a way of life.
    – One mistake doesn’t define him he has such a big heart.
    – Even if it was all his fault, what was a 13 year old girl doing hanging around with 18 year old guys…
    – I wanna know why there’s no punishment for young h—s.
    – I hope you got what you wanted

    So it’s no biggie, but even if it is, it’s the fault of the 13 year old girl.

  11. 11
    dance around in your bones says:

    I’m watching Galaxy Quest for the 80th time. I just find it so hysterical, especially if you were a Star Trek fan, which I was.

    Alan Rickman (I’ma calling YOU, asiangrrlMN!) and Tony Shaloub…not to mention Sam Rockwell, Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver. Just get a kick out of it every time.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    I just really like Michael Eric Dyson as an MSNBC host more than I thought I would. He doesn’t draw a “niche” viewer but, IMO, seems like he can just use his research staff to bolster what he wants to say. Where could they fit him in?

  13. 13
    Keith says:

    Finished rotisserie-grilling a leg of lamb and am about to sit down for a couple of hours of SimCity. As bad as the launch was, it’s a really fun game. The cities themselves are pretty small, but the reality is you’re building a network of cities that are interconnected and complement one another (or you include your friends in the network)
    Still need to figure out how to get population growth high enough to make real money…that’s the big downside of the small cities.

  14. 14
    Punchy says:

    OFFS….they’re predictin 12 more inches of white stuff on Saturday. Exactly what part of the Earth is warming?

  15. 15
    Roger Moore says:


    So it’s no biggie, but even if it is, it’s the fault of the 13 year old girl.

    Simplified. In these people’s minds, men are never responsible for their actions when it comes to sex; it’s always the woman’s fault.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    Exactly what part of the Earth is warming?

    All of it, Katie.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    On the MSNBC repeat right now there are four quadrants on my TV, 3 black women and 1 black man.
    My brain just asploded.

  18. 18
    Punchy says:

    @West of the Rockies: they were down TWENTY SEVEN in the 2nd half and won. Thats absurd.

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Ed Reed to my Texans and Urlacher out in Chi-town?

    Hut-Sut Rawlson on the rillerah and a brawla, brawla sooit.

  20. 20
    Marmot says:

    Goddamn! How many commas are in that first paragraph, 37? And two periods. I hate that bullshit literary style.

    Grumblegrumble zzzzzz

  21. 21
    Comrade Mary says:


    Companies don’t care if we are unhappy. They just don’t.

    Often true, but I was shocked TWICE today:

    1) I called up an American web site I bought from in early January and asked for a refund of a product that didn’t suit me. I was told that I was 2 weeks outside the usual 60 day window that would allow a refund, but that this was a technical issue — related to them still having access to my credit card — rather than an arbitrary policy. The customer rep checked my account anyway immediately, found that she could still access my card, and processed the refund immediately and pleasantly. I got an email confirmation a few minutes later.

    2) Around 7 PM tonight I got a call back from a service rep for a Canadian financial company — who was going into the office after hours to catch up on work — who clearly and patiently sorted out an investment and tax related issue for me.

    God knows what will happen the next time I deal with customer service, but it was really nice to see that some people still believe in being helpful.

  22. 22
    Nicole says:

    Sitting down to work, now that the toddler is finally asleep. God help us when he starts school; the kid is a night owl, like his dad.

    OH! And my husband had a small part on The Americans episode that aired tonight, so that was cool.

  23. 23
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Well this terrible, awful week is almost over. Having to lay people off and explain to them it was your idea is just not something I was ever prepared for. And I definitely don’t get paid enough for this, nor is it in my current job description. But there is something about having everyone trust you enough to want to hear it from you and know you’ll give them the honest answers. Here’s to better times ahead.

  24. 24
    MikeJ says:

    Watching Forbidden Planet on TCM. The Male Monster From the Id is like some impossible tree sloth.

  25. 25
    RaflW says:

    Blowing my nose into Kleenex w/ Lotion, and the schnoz is still red and tender. Such fun. But at least the cold hit on the plane home from vacation yesterday…

  26. 26
    Yutsano says:

    @dance around in your bones: I alerted wifey that you paged her. :)

  27. 27
    Eric U. says:

    speaking of customer service, I actually had a fairly pleasant experience with Delta Airlines. I like the fact that when you call them they offer to call you back when it’s your turn to talk to someone and then they do actually call you back. Of course, I’m flying next week so they will probably reserve the torture session until then

  28. 28
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @dance around in your bones: I watched it only because Alan Rickman was in it, but to my surprise, I liked it a lot. It’s really funny, and I’m not even a Trekkie.

    Alan Rickman as a disgruntled Shakespearean actor is a HOOT!

    @Yutsano: Thanks for the Alan-signal, hon!

  29. 29
    RaflW says:

    @Eric U.: There are certainly things Delta doesn’t do all that well, but I’ve been surprisingly happy with them lately. First time ever, I made Silver at the end of 2012, and everyone says “pshaw, you never get anything with Silver, what’s the point?” I’ve gotten upgraded to First on 4 of 6 flights in three months.

    The F.A.s in coach to D.C. last week were friendly and were cracking wise with the customers. They still have cookies and peanuts in coach. Try getting a no-charge morsel from American or United. I still prefer SWA on a coach-to-coach comparison – altho the new SWA ‘evolve’ seating sux, and I got tired of changing planes every time I needed to fly to Houston (dad is old and his health is failing, so I’m traveling a lot more)

    Yes, the DL crews that are ex-NWA can be crabby, but I’m not as down on Delta as I was. Anyway, good luck on your travels, Eric.

    PS. I’ve noticed that Minneapolis-St Paul seems to have the most cheerful and pleasant TSA agents. Denver, OY they’re a grumpy, frowning lot. Other cities somewhere in between, but MSP seems to turn Minnesota Nice into tolerable-to-friendly TSA.

  30. 30
    dmbeaster says:

    Love Galaxy Quest. Movie is funny all the way through.

  31. 31
    JCJ says:

    @Eric U.:

    I am a gold frequent flyer with Delta as my wife and I have been traveling to Thailand at least twice a year to visit her family (her father passed away last year) plus whatever other travel we may do is usually Delta. I have always found their service on flights to Asia to be quite good. We have even gotten upgrades on trans-Pacific flights – those are awesome.

  32. 32
    dance around in your bones says:


    Thanks, Yutsy!


    I just loved the way he could barely get out his signature line. “By Grabthor’s hammer” etc. The other actors had to physically restrain him from running away from some convention thingy.

    And the plastic doo-dad he wore on his head that got increasingly displaced? Sofa king funny.

  33. 33
    Yutsano says:

    @dance around in your bones: :: tips hat ::

  34. 34
    cckids says:

    @Comrade Mary: Isn’t that nice? I had dealings with Amazon this week that left me amazed; in January, I bought some gifts for my niece on Amazon & had them shipped to Nebraska. The order was marked as “delivered”; turns out (I found out last week), that she never got the package. I called Amazon, found out that I’d entered the wrong apartment number for shipping & figured I’d just re-buy the stuff. The nice lady at Amazon instead re-shipped it at no cost, with overnight shipping. On MY mistake. It was really quite cool, and a seriously nice surprise.

  35. 35


    Now you’re just asking for a smack.

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: Yes please? :)

    Hi dear. I recommend not coming too close as I have a something that has been dragging on me all week.

  37. 37
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    I didn’t know Yutsano was into smack. Hmm.


  38. 38
    Darkrose says:

    @West of the Rockies: I actually like the Heat. Maybe it’s watching too much ESPN, but they not only seem like they’re having fun, but they can laugh at themselves. Michael Jordan is probably the best ever, but his athletic ability is matched by his doucheiness. LeBron…I could totally hang out with him. He really does seem like a nice guy.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    YellowJournalism says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Is it already time for another meeting of the Alan Rickman is HAWT Club?

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Yutsano says:

    @dance around in your bones: Gimme a smack and I’ll smack ya back! :P

    @YellowJournalism: For wifey that is any day that ends in Y.

  43. 43
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Steeplejack: OMG. ::::fans herself::::

  44. 44
    dance around in your bones says:

    Even without genitals Alan Rickman is sexy.

  45. 45
    jl says:

    You damn kids goofing around again. The front post is about some very very serious, and you damn kids… just don’t seem to care.

    Here is Dean Baker taking apart Brooks’ recent sad and transparent hatchet job on the CPC budget.

    David Brooks Tackles Progressive Caucus Budget: Remedial Logic to the Rescue

    Quiz tomorrow morning.

    These damn kids today are just no damn good. Party party all the time. Just spoiled rotten, you ask me.

    That’s some spinach left on your plate, ain’t there?

  46. 46
    dance around in your bones says:


    That’s some spinach left on your plate, ain’t there?

    Nope – okra. And you ain’t ever going to make me eat that slimy shit.

  47. 47
    Alison says:

    I thought a good long iTunes shuffle would finally get this stupid song out of my head that’s been there, inexplicably, for days now. And it did. And then the moment I thought it did, BOOM, it came back.


  48. 48
    Yutsano says:

    @dance around in your bones: You just made me die a little. I LOVE okra!

    @Alison: “It’s a Small World”. Will kill any earworm.

    @piratedan: I had to call my car loan company on Sunday to work out some details. The lady who helped me was very efficient and helpful so I asked to speak to her supervisor and told her why. It helps they do have a recognition program in place that I was happy to get her the kudos for. It does make a difference.

  49. 49
    piratedan says:

    @Comrade Mary: I have to empathize with your pain but also understand that many of us are our own worst enemy on the phone in these situations….

    not trying to get the person on the other end of the phone off the hook, but I find that my experience goes a damn sight better if I have all of my info in front of me. You know, dates, times, model numbers etc…. After being a software support guy for many many years there are plenty of horror stories to share from both sides of the phone. Sometimes you need to know more than that there is a spy at the airport (TY George Carlin). I get angry at companies that force you to put in all that data via your phone keypad and then proceed to ask for the same damn info when the person gets on the line. That’s always a red flag for me regarding impending crappy service.

    Also, when you get good service, tell the company that you have received it. It helps to keep the good ones around.

  50. 50
    dance around in your bones says:


    My mom used to try to force me to eat fried okra. I would gag.

    NOBODY should suggest It’s A Small World on anyone. My kid played it to death after we took her to Disneyland. Over and over and over….it was a relief when she finally came home with an AC/DC record. I’d prefer “Balls To The Wall” any old day.

    :::smiley face::::

  51. 51
    Narcissus says:

    By Grabthar’s hammer…what a savings.

  52. 52
    Mike G says:


    I had to call my car loan company on Sunday to work out some details. The lady who helped me was very efficient and helpful so I asked to speak to her supervisor and told her why.

    That is great — as a former call center drone, I can tell you there is not a lot of positive feedback in that environment. I’m sure the service rep appreciated it.

  53. 53
    John Revolta says:

    I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    lojasmo says:


    I’m in. Also, too, Gary Oldman.

    But what do I know, I’m a staight dude.

  56. 56
    lojasmo says:


    @Alison: “It’s a Small World”. Will kill any earworm.

    Goddamn it, Yutz!

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    i know that some companies, especially smaller, non-monopoly companies, do well with customer service.

    But those were not the kinds of companies we’ve been dealing with.

    The worst is AT&T. They are polite people, but somehow they have been trained to not give you anything unless you know the bizarre AT&T name for it.

    And, this week, Mr WereBear was dealing with Time Warner.

  58. 58
    WereBear says:

    @lojasmo: Small World IS an earworm!

    James Brown is my earworm killer.

  59. 59
    chopper says:


    take a look at the arctic sometime.

    no seriously, the entire ice sheet is cracking to pieces this year and it’s only march. the whole section of perennial ice that’s usually stuck fast to the top of greenland has just cracked off.

  60. 60
    danielx says:

    Current earworm killer is Sugarfoot…..

  61. 61
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Punchy: The oceans are getting about 94% of the rise in temps. They’ll send it on to us directly.

  62. 62
    NotMax says:


    It’s A Small World is cruel and unusual punishment.

    However, the exhibit/ride did raise a ton of money for UNICEF in its original incarnation at the ’64 NY World’s Fair (imagineered by Disney, but not a Disney attraction until after the fair had closed).

  63. 63
    WereBear says:

    @NotMax: I took a HUGE ’64 NY World’s Fair fan to Disney World… and he recognized so much as Fair leftovers.

  64. 64

    You know, the CPC has put out a budget EVERY DAMN YEAR. So fucking glad it’s finally getting a little bit of attention for a change.

    Jesus Christ on a saltine but why is it Progressives never get any fucking attention? What the fuck do we have to do?

  65. 65


    Republican leaders are poised to pass Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget on Thursday, having convinced centrists and conservatives to back the blueprint that Democrats believe is their road map back to the House majority.

    As of late Wednesday, only three Republicans had publicly said they intend to vote against the Ryan plan, while 33 House GOP lawmakers were undecided or declined to comment, according to a whip count conducted by The Hill. Among the undecided lawmakers, several noted they would probably support the measure.

    With all Democrats expected to vote “no,” House Republicans can only afford about 15 defections. Last year, 10 Republicans rejected Ryan’s budget; the House GOP majority is smaller in 2013.

    Yes, Republicans. DO vote for that crackpot, Unicorn Math budget. We will have so much fun with it in 2014!

  66. 66
    Jamey says:

    @Comrade Mary: Contrast this with Samsung. No matter what goes wrong with their products–and the litany of complaints online is vast–it always boils down to “user error.”

    Worst customer service from a major corporation since, oh, I don’t really know when.

  67. 67
    the lost puppy says:

    republican obstruction and ass-holery has become so predictable, it’s boring. That’s why, for the most part, I don’t watch anymore. I know exactly what they are going to do and say.


    Demonize and disrespect the President



    More whining. More whining. More whining. Poop didies, defile the walls and demand the President clean it up.

    Rinse, repeat

    I’m just so done. Yeh, 10 years is a long time to maintain justifiable outrage. Don’t ever mention the deficit to me, I mean, it could be lethal.

  68. 68
    the lost puppy says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Jesus Christ on a saltine but why is it Progressives never get any fucking attention? What the fuck do we have to do?

    Commit mass suicide by setting ourselves on fire with gasoline and we might be on the news for a week!

  69. 69
    raven says:

    Oh god, Abbass just called Obama “His Excellency” at least twice!

  70. 70
    Schlemizel says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Put on funny hats and wear guns to rallies.

  71. 71
    JPL says:

    @raven: That will make Limbaugh’s day.

  72. 72
    Poopyman says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Jesus Christ on a saltine but why is it Progressives never get any fucking attention? What the fuck do we have to do?

    Control the media. All of it.

  73. 73
    Baud says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Besides the obvious answer of media bias, the sad fact is that progressives are in general not very good at marketing. Maybe our side thinks it’s too manipulative, but marketing is effective.

  74. 74
    NotMax says:

    So my mother of all people (late eighties) told me a cute pope joke.

    What do we call the retired pope?


    (say it out loud)

  75. 75
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Big, fat, fluffy snow flakes in Philly right now. Just started a little bit ago and has already covered everything.

    I’m in a grumpy mood this morning. The world is asking more from me than I want to give. But the snow is very nice.

  76. 76
    Linda Featheringill says:


    “Ex-Benedict.” LOL. That is cute!

  77. 77
    Schlemizel says:


    I first read that as “cute poop joke” & almost stopped reading!

    There is a cute kids book titled “C D B?” with cover art of a kid pointing out a bee. It has many silly examples of that sort of word play. One of them is, C D X? for ‘see the eggs’. The next page was a stumper for me for a while “L, M R O X!”

  78. 78
    maurinsky says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    One of my favorite movies, too. Very re-watchable.

  79. 79
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: Someone else must be sleeping now too!

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    F U N E X?
    S, V F X.
    F U N E M?
    S, V F M.
    O K, M N X.

  81. 81
    Schlemizel says:



  82. 82
    Schlemizel says:


    Not just someone – EVERYONE!

    How can we go over 10 hours without a new thread?

  83. 83
    jibeaux says:

    Goddam it, pan-fried garden-grown okra in the summer with a little garlic and kosher salt is OBJECTIVELY good. Leave the big tough ones, slice them longwise, fry ’em up and eat like popcorn. STOP MAKING ME THINK ABOUT SUMMER FOOD.

  84. 84
    bemused says:

    Gov. Dayton is on a MN tour talking about his budget proposals and the Q&Q in Duluth yesterday was packed according to news reports. A recycling business owner objected to raising taxes on the top tier saying, “the wealthy are doing all the work”. The audience reacted with groans and boos which was great to hear. I was not surprised to read that this business owner is a tea party activist.

    I got a good laugh reading a letter to Mpls Star Tribune yesterday. A man felt compelled to respond to a previous letter writer who said, “You can bet your bottom dollar that the people who oppose increasing taxes on the rich will be the same ones against raising the minimum wage”. The offended responder droned on with the usual Republican garbage but I cracked up when he wrote this, “If you tax someone an additional $5,000 a year–and as a result they let their landscaper go….” Oh my, the overtaxed wealthy are going to do their own landscaping? Hilarious.

  85. 85
    Elizabelle says:

    New thread ahoy.

    Kay’s come to your rescue upstairs.

  86. 86
    gelfling545 says:

    @WereBear: I have been dealing with AT&T as a new customer since January. The people have been invariably charming but sweet heaven, what a mess. I believe they have finally realized that we have 3 phones, not 6, on our plan and that yes, my phone IS on the data sharing because without me there is no plan. They have been cheerful & polite through it all but a lot of trouble could have been saved by inter-department communication so that their order desk might not have been telling me that they had no more of the phones we requested so we could cancel the order on the same day their shipping department was sending the phones out. On the other hand, they were the only company that would let us have a less than maximum data package with an iPhone so the price is right and the coverage is good.

  87. 87
    rikyrah says:

    Pierce is so on the money

  88. 88
    gene108 says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Jesus Christ on a saltine but why is it Progressives never get any fucking attention? What the fuck do we have to do?

    Have a dozen or more partisan newspapers/magazines that funnel news to the MSM and also own an MSM cable news network to pump out our side of things.

    Sadly, no “liberal” billionaires are willing to fund loss making news out lets like Mellon-Scaife or the late Rev. Moon to advance their political and economic agendas.

  89. 89
    Citizen_X says:


    OH! And my husband had a small part on The Americans episode that aired tonight, so that was cool.

    Ooh, who was he? I’m gonna assume the pudgy ruthless German assassin, ‘kay?

    But seriously, that is cool.

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