Thursday Evening Open Thread: Life Along the Fringes

When even the hometown paper can’t gin up a little fake enthusiasm… NYTimes, “George Pataki Adds a Socially Liberal Voice to the Race for the G.O.P. Nomination“:

EXETER, N.H. — It had the outlines of a significant event: A three-term governor of New York, who forced Mario M. Cuomo from office and led his state through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, announced Thursday that he was running for president.

But as the former governor, George E. Pataki, prepared in recent weeks to announce his candidacy, he conceded to friends and allies that he was an extreme long shot for the Republican nomination. Once a formidable figure in the party, Mr. Pataki has entertained campaigns for the presidency numerous times over the years, seemingly waiting for the perfect moment — only to jump in now, when his profile has waned…

Perspiring under the lights in Exeter’s crowded town hall, Mr. Pataki laid out a vision that veered from the politically mundane (cutting taxes on manufacturers) to the soaring (curing cancer and Alzheimer’s in the next decade). He pledged to slash the federal work force and called for aggressive military action against the Islamic State, including the possible deployment of American troops…

Feature, not bug: Time, “The Republican Presidential Contest Has a Polling Problem“:

National primary polls have never been so important—or so meaningless. Nine months before the first votes are cast, these fickle numbers have become a make-or-break metric, determining whether a candidate will toil in obscurity or find a moment in national spotlight…

Yet pollsters warn that the current methodology is ill-equipped to accurately measure such a sprawling field of potential candidates. The difference between the 9th and 13th place finishers in polls, where several candidates get less support than the margin of error, can be arbitrary. Candidates, meanwhile, have begun to complain that national polls mainly measure name identification, and national televised media exposure, ignoring the crucial role that early primary and caucus states play in the selection of the nominee.

“I think it’s strange that they aren’t taking early state polls, since that’s where candidates are placing their resources,” said an aide to one Republican candidate who does not yet qualify for the first debate. “In terms of the [Republican National Committee], they wanted to have this process, but I think it’s funny that they didn’t want the media picking candidates anymore except they are allowing media companies to do exactly that.”…

But then, given the fine choices along the GOP “mainstream”…

We finally got the cloudburst that’s been threatening any time this week, the temps dropped 10 degrees in 15 minutes, and I feel almost human again. Dammit, weather gods, this is New England! We shouldn’t have to start running the air conditioner in May!

Apart from anthropogenic climate change, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

172 replies
  1. 1
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Carly Fiorina detailed her plan to fight ISIS today. Mostly, it involves luring them into the low-margin personal computer business.


    Oh, and don’t forget to ditch a highly-regarded line of products that built your reputation over a half-century, also too.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Perspiring under the lights in Exeter’s crowded town hall,

    Stay hydrated, Pataki. #AskRubio

  3. 3
    SatanicPanic says:

    Rubio is saying that’s a good thing, right?

  4. 4
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Is this why Fox is rage-cropping Rand out of their polls?

  5. 5
    David Koch says:

    Chris Hayes says Hastert was paying hush money for something he did as a high school wrestling coach. Something horrible enough to require $3.5 million dollars to keep it buried.

    it never fails: invariably the ones who are the most judgmental are the ones who are engaging in projection of their own sins.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Didn’t rain here.

  7. 7
    srv says:

    Even liberal Massachusetts comes to grips:

    Pay for youth employees in Brookline may soon go down, if a warrant article headed to Town Meeting next week passes.

    The article, proposed by Recreation Department Director Lisa Paradis and Human Resources Director Sandra DeBow, would exempt more entry-level workers from getting Brookline’s “living wage” of roughly $13 an hour, and would seek to only pay them the state minimum wage, currently $9 an hour.

  8. 8
    piratedan says:

    well Gee Whiz Marco, what political party is busy trying the make sure that folks of a certain sexual orientation are treated as second class citizens so that they can’t enjoy the same legal privileges as those of the majority sexual orientation?

  9. 9
    jl says:

    I’m too young to remember staged train wrecks at fairs and exhibitions, and they have gone out of fashion. So GOP primaries are the closest I will ever be able to come to those spectacles.

    And unlike the crash at Crush Texas, the worse they are, probably the fewer people that will be hurt (since a win in the general is less likely)

    Right before the crash at Crush.

    Search wikipedia for “Crush, Texas” to get more pics.

    Now I’ll go look for good video of a destruction derby.

  10. 10

    Yet pollsters warn that the current methodology is ill-equipped to accurately measure such a sprawling field of potential candidates.

    That’s OK, because the primaries do a bad job of it, too. Voting for exactly one candidate does a very poor job of measuring people’s opinion about a large field, whether it’s in a poll or an election.

  11. 11

    Started a re-watch of Battlestar (the reboot) with my dad (he’s not seen it and I miss it), so we’re going to continue on that tonight.

  12. 12

    Apart from anthropogenic climate change, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

    I’m doing some final packing before leaving for the 63rd Annual Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics (AKA ASMS 2015). I will be gone and only communicating sporadically for the next week or so.

  13. 13
    lamh36 says:

    Alright. Open thread…cool.

    I left work 2 hours early today and I’m off for the next 6 days! I left work feeling like Micheal Jackson running through a field!. Went to the store for some groceries to last me for next 6 days and I’ve been watching movies since I got home.

    I gotta say. Guardians of the Galaxy is really good on the rewatch. I’ve watched it like 3x on STARZ already.

    Got me to thinking. What my ranking would be for the new MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)?

    So top 3…1)Capn America Winter Soldier, 2)The Avengers (original) 3)Guardians of the Galaxy…in no really order, but from most likely to watch Thor, Iron Man, Avengers 2, Thor 2, Iron Man 2/3, Thor 2, Capn America.

    And now Winter Solider is on STARZ as we speak! The cable gods must love me! Guess I’ll be tweeting bout that for the next 2 hours!!!

  14. 14
    RaflW says:

    Fox is snubbing Paul to get back at Bruce Bartlett.

  15. 15
    jl says:

    My dreams for the 2016 GOP primary. A guy can dream, right?

    The most amazing demo derby heat you’ll ever see

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Finally, a proper Open Thread.

    Okay, I’ve pretty much decided to order a ticket to see/hear the Notorious RBG deliver a talk on “Law in Opera” on July 11 at the Castleton (VA) Festival. It extends my summer Boston trip by a few days, but I can deal with that.

    (Details on RBG’s event: http://castletonfestival.force.....00RigSZIAZ)

    Anyone in the DC/NoVa area up for a BJ meetup either early the week of July 13 or around the middle of the following week (say, around the 22nd)? Am somewhat flexible, but I must be in Boston for a friend’s 70th birthday on Sunday the 19th, so will work everything around that.

    I’ve met Elizabelle and would love to see her again. And of course Valdivia and Steeplejack are both on my list. I’m sure there are others I’d love to meet but am not aware that you live in that area, so if you’re interested, do let me know.

    If it’s easier to email than try to make plans on the moveable feasts that are BJ Open Threads, feel free to contact me at SiubhanDuinne (at) gmail (dot) com.

  17. 17
    Shana says:

    I’m watching the Spelling Bee. They’re down to 7 kids. Nail biting.

    Edited to add: I’m up for a NoVa area meeting.

  18. 18
    RaflW says:

    As for that Rubio quote, wasn’t the point a mere 11 years ago in the 2004 election to label same-sex marriage supporters as fag-lovers and family-destroying librul freaks?

  19. 19
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @David Koch: Puts the whole Mark Foley thing in – well, actually, the same perspective. I always wondered about Hastert.

  20. 20
    jeffreyw says:

    Comments are free or 2 for a dollar today only
    Gimme mah cookie, FYWP

  21. 21
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    MSNBC had a brutal video of Pataki blowing off people in his own crowd in the most incredibly rude way, and then going up to a camera (I think it was presented in more or less real time) and talking about how he loved New Hampshire because it was retail politics, talking to real Americans.

    I’m trying to think of who’s a bigger joke than Pataki on their side. Carson, Huckabee and Santorum have no chance, but have constituncies, as does Christie (Morning Joe, Politco, etc), Fiorina’s more than likely running for Senate (she’s got, I heard, a hundred million in the bank, she can pick a state). Kasich might well flame out, but Pataki will never even spark.

  22. 22
    Calouste says:

    led his state through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

    The youngest voters in the 2016 elections won’t have a personal memory of the 9/11 attacks because they were only 2 at the time.

    He pledged to slash the federal work force and called for aggressive military action against the Islamic State, including the possible deployment of American troops…

    One or the other, you can’t have them both.

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:



  24. 24
    David Koch says:


    In a photo taken during Passover Seder in April 2015, feisty tot Claudia Chaudhary, 2, threw a massive temper tantrum pounding the White House carpet with her tiny fists as President Barack Obama, 53, looks on completely stunned!

    Toddler Throws Major Tantrum In Front Of President Obama — See Pic


    funny she doesn’t look Republican

    Retweets 14 Favorites 163

  25. 25
    Mike in NC says:

    Going to watch “Wayward Pines” with Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard tonight, while recording “Aquarius” starring David Duchovny. Tried some episodes of “Californication” on Hulu, where he played a slovenly, boozy college professor who was a chick magnet to the ladies. Didn’t like it.

  26. 26
    raven says:

    @Mike in NC: He’s a writer not a professor.

  27. 27
    FortGeek says:

    Still working on my water heater. Finally got all the plumbing connected without leaks, got the vent flue in place, got the gas line connected to it…

    Damn pilot light won’t light.

    I’ll do the troubleshooting on that tonight or tomorrow, but if it’s what I think it is, I’m about to spend another $80 or so on a new gas control valve.

    Haven’t totaled it all up yet, but it started with $75 for a used water heater 2 weeks ago. I had to add maybe another $50-$60 in plumbing bits to hook it up to my house’s 53-year-old pipes.

    So damn close. Been two weeks without a hot shower. If the valve’s bad, it’ll be another week before I get that monthly mooch from Uncle Sugar.

  28. 28
    RaflW says:

    Oh, and tonight’s activities: just cooked a big pot of chili. I’m going out of town for the weekend and my partner is not a cook. So he’ll not starve for three nights. (Also doing laundry and cleaning, too — or should be except for this darn intertron)

    In other news, his brother-in-law was in a bad car wreck this morning. Guess he was hit on his way to work. Not life threatening, but a broken hip, messed up knee and a big gash on his forehead. Brain scan looked OK, thankfully.

    Looks like we may be road-tripping next Thursday to go help out for a few days.

  29. 29
    JCT says:

    Up most of last night – our older beagle collapsed, was clearly bleeding internally. Had to rush her to the vet around 1AM and they had to euthanize her. I’ve had dogs all of my life, this never gets easier . She was 15, a former laboratory beagle we rescued. Sweet animal, the dog we got after my then 6-yr-old (now 20) begged us for months. Husband never wanted dogs , of course she loved him best and he adored that sweet girl. It was his “chemo dog” – stuck to him like glue for his 8 months of treatment. He is devastated. Thank goodness she “waited” until we returned from Houston late Tuesday, if she would have died while he was gone he never would have forgiven himself.

    Watching our 13 yr old beagle wander around the house aimlessly looking for her sister is heartbreaking.

    Amazing how they worm their way into our very souls.

    Just had to vent , only real animal folks like all of us at BJ really understand.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @David Koch: That poor child. She is going to hear about that tantrum for a long time. I enjoyed the faces on the mom and Michele as much as the President.

  31. 31
    Linnaeus says:

    Dammit, weather gods, this is New England! We shouldn’t have to start running the air conditioner in May!

    Hit low 80s here in Seattle today. Average high this time of year is around 65.

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    @JCT: I’m so sorry. It is never easy.

  33. 33
    raven says:

    @JCT: Aw I’m so sorry.

  34. 34
    Anne Laurie says:


    Hit low 80s here in Seattle today. Average high this time of year is around 65.

    High 80s around here (low 90s in southern NH), which would be bearable if not for the 60+ humidity keeping the godsdamned pollen suspended in close proximity to my sinuses.

    That’s supposed to happen for the Fourth of July, not Memorial Day!

  35. 35
    beltane says:

    After the five-month long frozen hellfest that was the winter of 2014-2015, I am the last person who will be complaining about an early heat wave. Bring it on!

  36. 36
    Anne Laurie says:

    @JCT: I’m so sorry. May her memory soon bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes…

  37. 37
    David Koch says:

    President Barack Obama struck an emotional tone at the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington D.C. on Friday, in an effort to rally his liberal Jewish base to support his efforts to achieve a deal with Iran.

    “I think he delivered. It’s hard for me to imagine how anyone would take issue with what he said in this speech,”

    And on his way out, Obama met with a group of excited preschoolers, who were happy to be photographed with their president.

  38. 38
    debit says:

    @JCT: I’m so sorry.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: What is encouraging to me, as one who wants the GOP primary to turn into an olde tymey state fair head-on train wreck , multiplied by a monster truck demolition derby, is that it seems like they don’t have to count on their fringe clowns to drag everything into crazy right wing town. The two main contenders will be enough.

    Walker is really staking out some unfriendly territory for the general election. He apparently will try to parlay his union busting into foreign policy/national security cred, says he is going to sign a 20-week abortion ban w no exceptions for incest or rape or medical emergencies (the language for that is not really an exception at all, but but just language that will make a doc afraid to do an abortion), and it looks like he is going to out-Brownback Brownback on the complete failure of his tax cut supply side policies.

    And the other supposed front runner is Jeb!, who so far has been completely and transparently (even to low info voters) completely befuddled when trying to respond to… to anything that demands he think.

  40. 40
    Cervantes says:


    Left a comment for you re that so-called “Sister Souljah moment.”

    If you respond, I’ll see it tomorrow. For now I’m off. Have a great evening.

  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The usually rather sober-sided Lynn Sweet is pretty much abandoning the pretense of innocent until proven guilty when discussing Hastert.

  42. 42
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @David Koch: Sounds juicy. Harvey Levin needs to jump on this. Inquiring minds want to know.

  43. 43
    mdblanche says:

    “We’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.”

    Yes, Senator. Your point?

  44. 44
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    That’s heartbreaking, and I’m so sorry. No, it never gets easier. Hugs to you and your husband and everyone who loved her.

  45. 45
    jl says:

    Huh, I am in moderation over a comment about how Walker is diving so far, and so eagerly, into right wing territory, that we don’t need fringe clowns to muck up the primaries, one of the supposed front runners can do that all by himself.

    In keeping with my pugilistic political mood, I’m going to the bi-weekly boxing/mixed martial arts aerobic work out. That is fun, but exhausting. The mixed martial arts part is muay Thai, which I never heard of before, but seems to be a Thai version of ruthless Mike Fink keelboat rassling.

    No sparring (gawd no, not for me!),, just punching and kicking at pads, interspersed with the most godawful calisthenics I ever experienced.

  46. 46
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I remember the feeling!

  47. 47
    Cervantes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The usually rather sober-sided Lynn Sweet is pretty much abandoning the pretense of innocent until proven guilty when discussing Hastert.

    Take a look at the (Chicago) Tribune editorial on the subject.

  48. 48

    A Facebook friend is trying to argue that we shouldn’t care about the “women in tech” issue because men are underrepresented in education.

    I posted
    “By your logic women aren’t overrepresented in education anymore than they’re underrepresented in tech. They get the vast majority of Education degrees, and degree choice is a completely rational decision made absent any internalized stereotypes or social pressures, after all.”


  49. 49
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @efgoldman: Hope the Johnsons treat you well.

  50. 50
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @David Koch:

    I honestly don’t think President Obama looks “completely stunned,” or, really, any kind of stunned. I think he looks more, “What.Evs.”

  51. 51
    Valdivia says:


    I am in! Only day that week I am buried in work is Monday 13 the rest is manageable. I will go anywhere you guys feel like meeting up at. Yay.

    will email you so we can all figure the dates out.

  52. 52
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @JCT: Sorry for your loss.

  53. 53
    jl says:

    @mdblanche: I’m not sure what Rubio’s point is, except that he is wrong, as usual. Making sure that businesses cannot kick random folks out of stores and refuse service because of their sexual preference or choice to enter lawful civil contracts is not the same thing as policing attitudes and personal beliefs. But, whatever nonsense stirs up the terrified and the hateful and narrow religious bigots, that is just fine with the GOP field this cycle.

  54. 54
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Used to be, kids only had to deal with their parents showing pictures of them as naked babies on bearskin rugs. The embarrassment bar has been raised.

  55. 55
    jl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I agree. I think Obama has more of an amused ‘Well, hey! Toddler in the house, look out everybody!” look

  56. 56
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    COOL! At last!

  57. 57
    Valdivia says:


    so very sorry for your loss.

  58. 58
    Belafon says:

    Here in Texas, I haven’t had to run the sprinklers this year.

  59. 59
    raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: you can call me Ray

  60. 60
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    As others have pointed out, he’s so used to dealing with Boner and McTurtle over the past few years, a tantrum-y toddler isn’t going to faze him one little bit.

  61. 61
    raven says:

    @Cervantes: That wasn’t much.

  62. 62
    Valdivia says:


    yes! I am doing my happy dance :)

  63. 63
    lamh36 says:

    @David Koch: I saw that pic. Loved the expression on POTUS face like any parent…”ya see this”…lol

  64. 64
    mdblanche says:

    This was from a few days ago, but I only saw it today and I thought I’d share it for anybody else who hasn’t seen it. All I have to say is that the First Lady is awesome.

  65. 65
    CaseyL says:

    @JCT: So sorry for your loss. When the other critters are heartbroken as well…I remember, many years ago, losing a kitty and curling up on the floor with the other kitty, both of us grieving.

  66. 66
    Tenar Darell says:

    @David Koch: LOL. Still funny.

  67. 67
    Valdivia says:



    I remember SD emailed me but then lost track of when it was happening. It could be I was in Minnesota or it must have been when the hecticness overtook my life as it sometimes does. Kicking myself that I missed it, believe me.

    If you come by again I promise not to miss it.

  68. 68
    SiubhanDuinne says:



  69. 69
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Heh. Rachel laughs in the face of Republican who concern trolls (ah! she called it concern trolling!) Democrats about being ‘forced’ to choose Hillary. The Dems’ “lack of enthusiasm” for Hillary seems to be the talking point du jour.

  70. 70
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Any chance you could plan a mid-July visit to see Kate and the SIL and the grandkid? Or, more to the point, any chance you could pull yourself away from them to indulge in a BJ Meetup?

  71. 71
    Valdivia says:

    @efgoldman: @SiubhanDuinne:

    I second this. Specially since it would give me an opportunity to make up for last time.

  72. 72
    Zinsky says:

    I thought there were only seven dwarfs?!

  73. 73
    David Koch says:

    Kendall Jenner is a stunning beauty.

  74. 74

    @JCT: Aw hell. I’m so sorry. You got to spend a good amount of your lives with a wonderful animal, but it’s never enough time, is it.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Zinsky: Sure, but there are innumerable ogres.

  76. 76
    MomSense says:


    Oh damn. I’m so sorry. I’m glad that you were home with her. Hugs to all of you including your 13 year old beagle.

  77. 77
    JCT says:

    Thanks for all of the support- it helps.

    Definitely tough to watch the younger beagle, she’s never been away from the older one. Husband said she spent 20 minutes searching every corner of the yard for her sister this evening. He tried to hold her but she wasn’t interested . Poor girl still processing.

    Some solace in the good life she had though. Sure beats that damn laboratory.

    Thanks again for the kind thoughts.

  78. 78
    Valdivia says:

    Is this the second year in a row they have Spelling Bee co-champions?

  79. 79
    lamh36 says:

    So Capn America has to be the most PHYSICAL of all the MCU heroes to play. It’s primarily hand to hand stunt work. With all the “special effects” nowadays, I’m still a sucker for a great hand to hand combat stunt sequence. Probably why I like Winter Soldier so much

    I mean, That car chase with Fury…Epic…again mostly NO CGI, just cars, guns and driving. ‪

    For my money, ‪‎WinterSoldier‬ has some of THE BEST non-CGI action sequences in any comic book movie. I mean the Elevator fight scene alone was pretty cool, and half the movie wasn’t even over yet!.

  80. 80
    Capri says:

    @JCT: Very sorry to hear about your Beagle. One of my cats has an ear tumor that is bringing us to that exact same point. I don’t know what is worse, putting down one of my own pets, who happens to be a wonderful ex-barn cat who has earned every bit of his name BAMF or the confusion and discomfort I’d put him through to place him in a carrier and bring him to someone else. In some ways pet ownership sucks.

  81. 81
    NotMax says:



    He’s German? And blue?

  82. 82
    mdblanche says:

    Here’s one world leader still on FIFA’s side.

  83. 83
    Valdivia says:


    doesn’t surprise me one bit.

    Will be curious to see how the election for FIFA president goes tomorrow, who votes for Blatter and who doesn’t. I hope he goes down obviously. I know I know, but a girl can dream!

  84. 84
    Hungry Joe says:

    @JCT: Oh, man. So sorry. They’re so small, but their personalities fill the house. Ours still feels empty from the loss of our cat Zelda a few weeks ago. It gets better, but …


  85. 85

    @mdblanche: Haaahahahahahaa.

    Your money goes through US servers, you’re subject to RICO, bitches. Build your own banking empire you’ll let foreigners launder money through, Vlad.

  86. 86
    gogol's wife says:


    This is hilarious — I’ve seen you mention this a couple of times in comments, and I’ve said to myself, hmmm, she doesn’t seem like a rap fan, but different strokes . . . .

  87. 87
    Mike J says:

    When hiring an attorney, pay a few extra bucks for one that knows the difference between “vary”and “very”.

  88. 88
    gogol's wife says:


    I’m really sorry. That is so sad.

  89. 89
    Capri says:

    @NotMax: No, it’s short for Bad Ass Motherfucker,

  90. 90

    @Mike J: It’s very sad that “troll ‘n sue” has become a valid business model.

  91. 91
    Valdivia says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I think in general the ‘US is trying to meddle move’ would get some sympathy, but when it comes to soccer, everyone who loves the sport knows just how corrupt FIFA is, and how overdue these indictments are, so as a geopolitical move it’s also pretty stupid and transparently whiny. Given he bought his 2018 World Cup I can see why he wants Blatter to stay so he can guarantee it will be held there.

  92. 92
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike J: Words don’t matter all that much in legal practice.

  93. 93
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Really? As a lover of words I assumed they would.

  94. 94

    @Valdivia: The Swiss banks rolled over a few years ago. I was there last year and the national museum(? or whatever it’s called) had a lot of anti-US, pro-bank cartoons towards the end, so I guess the people were opposed but the folks who actually run the country (banks) were willing to give up some privacy in exchange for… well, we’ll have to let the last part go I guess. But the US meddling in Switzerland is an established practice now.

    Besides, legally speaking, servers are tangible objects and methods of exchange. They ain’t fish.

    (I know this is RICO and not SarbOx, but still.)

  95. 95
    Mike in NC says:

    Good to know Pataki thinks another war in the Middle East is what this country needs most.

  96. 96

    @Valdivia: “Words have meaning. And their meaning doesn’t change.”


  97. 97
    ruemara says:

    @mdblanche: What blew my mind was Katherine vandenHuevel yap on twitter that Putin should be calling out Obama for his failure to break up big banks. Like Putin turned into Elizabeth Warren in drag with a liter of borscht. WTF. I know she & her husband have some compromised ties to Russia, but really.

    Editing the 3rd series’ episode guide for my pitch collection. Nearly done with all the pitches, I just have to layout the books, get them all printed and get some gumption to hand them to professionals at SDCC. sigh.

  98. 98

    Oh, I put up the newest section of that fish thing yesterday night, if I didn’t already post it.

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: I think your snark-meter might need an adjustment.

  100. 100
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @ruemara: Her husband has been an unabashed apologist for the USSR/Russia for half a century.

  101. 101
    Valdivia says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Drops dead. when I said I was a lover of words I didn’t know I was going to get Scalia quoted back at me.
    Maybe I should say as a lover of words and the power to open a universe to us, of feelings and imagination. I think that’s different from what Scalia said. Right? :)

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    duh, of course it does. I blame the start of summer here in dc. Making my brain all soft.

  102. 102

    @Valdivia: I was kinda trolling, yeah. :)

    I do (yes, I know this is like the fifth career I’ve mentioned here, I do a lot of things) computational linguistics now and then, and you should see the prescriptivist vs. descriptivist barfights that happen sometimes. Not literally of course–we use words ;)

  103. 103
    NotMax says:


    “Your Honor, the defense requests a continuance in order for us to meet with Mr. Greenback.”

  104. 104
    ruemara says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I keep telling people, uncritical acceptance of someone because you like the rhetoric, is just as bad as any devoted Fox viewers. She’s been horrible about the Ukraine and darned near anything to do with Putin.

  105. 105
    Valdivia says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I am afraid to ask but will anyway:
    though I can sorta guess the difference, how exactly do the prescriptivists differ from the descriptivists?

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: As far as words not mattering, Let me offer this:

    Lionel Hutz: Now don’t you worry, Mrs. Simpson, I… uh-oh. We’ve drawn Judge Snyder.
    Marge: Is that bad?
    Lionel Hutz: Well, he’s had it in for me ever since I kinda ran over his dog.
    Marge: You did?
    Lionel Hutz: Well, replace the word “kinda” with the word “repeatedly,” and the word “dog” with “son.”

  107. 107
    Valdivia says:

    I read an article by her husband about a year ago and I thought for a second it was a parody it was so over the top.


    ETA: drip drip drip on Hastert

  108. 108

    @Valdivia: prescriptivism is the idea that languages are fixed, one might say artificial, systems, kind of but not really like a programming language but it’s a useful metaphor. They think languafe is “pre-scribed”. Literally, in this case.

    Descriptivism is the idea that languages should be described and interpreted by how people actually use them. This is the majority view in the AI community, but more of a recent development. It’s the notion that languages are organic rather than synthetic and should be treated as such.

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Major Major Major Major: In American jurisprudence, you are talking about the difference between the Original Intent folks and the Living Constitution folks.

  110. 110
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    big grin, that was most apt.
    Coming from a love of words in literature and poetry might be a little different than in the law, but still.

  111. 111
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Now all I have to do is choose my attire for her lecture.

  112. 112
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: But then, this it the ultimate Lionel Hutz

    Lionel Hutz: And so ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I rest my case.
    Judge Snyder: Hmm. Mr Hutz. Do you realize you’re not wearing any pants?
    Lionel Hutz: I… Ahh!
    [David Crosby shakes his head in shame]
    Lionel Hutz: I move for a ‘bad court thingy’.
    Judge Snyder: You mean a *mistrial?*
    Lionel Hutz: Yeah! That’s why you’re the ‘judge’ and I’m the ‘law talking guy?’
    Judge Snyder: The *lawyer?*
    Lionel Hutz: Right.

    I miss Phil Hartman.

  113. 113
    VFX Lurker says:


    I gotta say. Guardians of the Galaxy is really good on the rewatch. I’ve watched it like 3x on STARZ already.

    Got me to thinking. What my ranking would be for the new MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)?

    So top 3…1)Capn America Winter Soldier, 2)The Avengers (original) 3)Guardians of the Galaxy…in no really order, but from most likely to watch Thor, Iron Man, Avengers 2, Thor 2, Iron Man 2/3, Thor 2, Capn America.

    And now Winter Solider is on STARZ as we speak! The cable gods must love me! Guess I’ll be tweeting bout that for the next 2 hours!!!

    Now you’re making me want to watch these films again!

    GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is what PHANTOM MENACE should have been. It just hit all the right STAR WARS buttons for me — fun characters and great adventure.

    It’s interesting that it came out the same year as WINTER SOLDIER, too. WINTER SOLDIER offered a grey, bleak picture, then GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY came out with its world of vibrant, lush color. They paired well together.

  114. 114
    Fair Economist says:

    @Major Major Major Major: How can anybody who studies language be a prescriptivist? They change constantly! And they’re learned by children who don’t even realize a double negative is a positive – it’s not like they’re processing language acquisition with complex logical rules.

  115. 115
    Valdivia says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    thanks for explaining. It was more or less what I thought it would be :)
    Now I can imagine a word fight over it!

    I am reminded of the debate within the Real Academia Espanola (they decide what new words are officially Spanish) about a decade ago if they would include new fangled words used by people day to day but not strictly spanish in origin or if they would guard the honour of the language and exclude them.

  116. 116
    David Koch says:

    on Twitter, wingers are protesting the Hastert indictment saying….. wait for it…. “what about benghazi!”

  117. 117
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Thanks for that one, epic. Bad court thingy, I can almost hear it too.
    Hartman was amazing, I was living in Atlanta when he died and remember it very clearly.

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: I don’t think that there is a lawyer alive (who is young enough to be aware of The Simpsons) who doesn’t love Lionel Hutz.

  119. 119
    Tree With Water says:

    “..After I left government in 1967 — including a stint as White House press secretary — it took me a while to get my footing back in journalism. I can assure you: I found the job of trying to tell the truth about people whose job it is to hide the truth almost as complicated and difficult as trying to hide it in the first place”.

    Bill Moyers

  120. 120

    @Fair Economist: don’t ask me man, I didn’t do it.

  121. 121
    lamh36 says:

    @VFX Lurker: Guardians really does repeat well.

    As for Winter Soldier, as I said above it’s has some of the best if, not THE best non-CGI action sequences of any of the current MCU properties. But Capn America always has been mostly non-CGI.

    I mean the last 15 minutes of Winter Soldier is basically back to back, wall to wall hand to hand action w/some CGI aerial sequences ending with the final EPIC, Cap’n Americ vs Winter Soldier fight.

    And Samuel L Jackson shot Robert Redford!

  122. 122
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Just watched some of it online, so perfect. I can see why lawyers would love him.

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Watching Aspen Extreme. Bad melodrama, great ski sequences. I’ve also seen a few of the skiers on my Dynastar GS skis, Salomon bindings, and Salomon four buckle boots combo from the early 90s. Haven’t noticed the Leki poles though.

  124. 124
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: He is so perfectly incompetent and corrupt that we all know we are better than him. At the same time, we all know that if circumstances were different….

  125. 125
    Suzanne says:

    @JCT: Hugs. That is awful. I hope you find some comfort soon.

  126. 126
    srv says:

    Gojira has had enough:

    Japanese authorities ordered all of the estimated 137 people on a small island to evacuate after a volcano erupted Friday morning in a towering plume of thick, black smoke almost six miles high and a shower of fiercely hot rock and toxic gases.

  127. 127
    Valdivia says:

    this is the most perfect campaign slogan, after the fact.
    the holier than though brigade, always has the most to hide.

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: Oh, dear.

  129. 129
    Chris says:

    @VFX Lurker:

    GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is what PHANTOM MENACE should have been. It just hit all the right STAR WARS buttons for me — fun characters and great adventure.

    I love the fact that it’s based around a kid who was abducted from Earth in the late 1980s. In other words, exactly the kind of kid who’d have grown up on Star Wars, Star Trek (the TOS films), Battlestar Galactica (the original). He’s basically a sci-fi nerd who got to live in the world of his childhood entertainment.

    (The movie also got me into the comics, which I’d never glanced at before and are now pretty high on my reading list).

  130. 130
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I wish there was a character like that for professors, I know quite a few who could use the reminder…
    There are the David Lodge novels which are very fun, but it’s not quite the same thing.

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: Lawyers tend to be good targets for lampooning. Hutz is great for us because he seems to be done with some sympathy.

  132. 132
    Suzanne says:

    So the ex-Mr. Suzanne is being a dick. About a year ago, he split up with his wife, and she wrote Spawn the Elder a letter saying that she was severing all contact from that point on. Spawn was devastated, and she started having anxiety and trouble sleeping, partially related to having her ex-stepmother peace out like that.

    So. Ex-Mr. Suzanne starts dating someone new, it’s been about seven months. So OF COURSE he’s moving in with her, and will not be having Spawn in any summer activities while he’s working because he doesn’t have any money after blowing it on dumb shit. New girlfriend is the babysitter. I told him that I thought this was a bad idea because it is fostering a relationship between Spawn and his girlfriend (a relationship he has described as “just for fun”). He freaked out at me and called me an “arrogant bitch”.

    Serial monogamy is FUCKED UP.

  133. 133
    GregB says:

    Has Dennis Duggar-Hastert been pardoned for his youthful indiscretions by Pastor Huckabee yet?

  134. 134
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: Is the elder spawn old enough to be told that people are often fucked up even if they mean well?

  135. 135
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I think academia is also easily lampooned but not all are done with a deft touch. The test is that it feel real and that, as you point out, there be some degree of sympathy in it. There are quite a few campus novels, academic satires (Mary McCarthy’s Groves of Academe is probably one of the most famous), some are really quite good (like the Lodge ones and one by Jane Smiley). But no great movies about it. At least not one that left me feeling like they really got it.

  136. 136
    Valdivia says:

    especially if it drags children into it. So sorry your spawn has to be put in the middle of it.

  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: Have you read Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis?

  138. 138
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    yes, of course. I knew I had forgotten a famous one in that list.

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    So the bad movie with great skiing ended and they started a van Damme movie. Why?

  140. 140
    Mandalay says:


    Yes, Senator. Your point?

    Rubio’s point (not quoted in the OP) was to go on and create a giant strawman

    “So what’s the next step after that? After they’re done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech. That’s a real and present danger.”

    It’s straight out of the right wing playbook. Here’s the approach:
    1. Competely ignore the rights of gay people, and overlook attacks from the right on gays.
    2. Instead, set up a fatuous slippery slope argument: if criticizing gays results in you being called a homophobe…think what would happen when they go after the Catholic Church. (Logic and reason are not required to make Rubio’s argument – in fact they would be a liability.)

    Santorum used exactly the same approach years ago when discussing gay marriage:
    1. Completely ignore the rights of gay people.
    2. Instead, set up a fatuous slippery slope argument: “That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog…”.

  141. 141
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    a question that should be asked about every van Damme movie no?

    I would add Possession by AS Byatt to my list of academic novels, not a satire at all but really good at the academic life and the status games.

  142. 142
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Yes, and all of that was more or less included in the comment: Yes, Senator. Your point? All thinking people knew what the response would be. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

  143. 143
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    a question that should be asked about every van Damme movie no?

    Good point. I was distracted by the skiing. It distracts me.

  144. 144
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    As a tropical person who has only gone to sky only a couple of times (it wasn’t pretty) I can only imagine :)

  145. 145
    Cckids says:

    @JCT: I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. They do take over an outsized piece of our hearts.

  146. 146
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    “Now, Apu, Mrs. Simpson claims that she *forgot* that bottle of… delicious… bourbon. Brownest of the brown liquors… so tempting. What’s that? You want me to drink you? But I’m in the middle of a trial!”

  147. 147
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: Omg, it is wonderful. It isn’t actually my best sport, but it may well be the one I love best. It simply involves managing gravity. OTOH, my southernmost European ancestor that has been tracked (and Dad has taken everyone back to the 16th century at a minimum) is from Paris. I am a pale, cold weather person.

    @Bubblegum Tate: Exactly.

  148. 148
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Valdivia: If you’re talking about Smiley’s Moo, it’s one of my favorite novels! And since it came out when I was working at one of the Midwestern campuses that are actually IRL nicknamed “Moo U”, I can attest that she got every aspect of the campus — not just the profs, but the students (innocent and otherwise), the donors, the research livestock, and the vast perennial underbody of support staff that nourishes the fleeting campus careers of its more visible inhabitants like a multi-acre fungal body popping up mushrooms…

  149. 149
    Valdivia says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Yes, that was it! I laughed and enjoyed it so much. So glad to know it is close to reality, I remember it as being very vivid. I should re-read that some time.

    @Omnes Omnibus: you make it sound like something I would want to do, but my memory of it is spending all weekend on my very frozen behind :)
    Funny how my ancestors are really from up north (Poland) but one generation in the tropics has had its effects.

  150. 150
    Cckids says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: that was my impression too. “Kids. What ya gonna do?”

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: You need an instructor who will let you learn at your pace. My rule is that if you are not falling 2-3 times a day you are not pushing yourself, but if you are falling more that that you are pushing too hard.

  152. 152
    joel hanes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Omg, it is wonderful.

    AFRC Garmisch/Partenkirchen or Berchtesgaden ?

  153. 153
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:


    I am not exaggerating when I say I was on my ass all day. So obviously my instructor was pushing a little too hard. Maybe I should try it again. I do so much better on the water.

  154. 154
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @joel hanes: Kitzbuhel.

    @Valdivia: I have never managed to water ski. OTOH, I maintain that anyone can snow ski if given the right instruction. You have been a dancer, yes? Skiing, with the right instruction should be easy.

  155. 155
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I meant swimming, not water skiing! :)
    Yes I have been a dancer so maybe I will try next winter with a good instructor.

  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: As a dancer, skiing should come easy, as long as you have the right instruction and the right attitude. One actually dances with the mountain when it goes well.

  157. 157
  158. 158
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    the way you describe it is already helping with the right attitude I think. I am definitely going to give it a try.

    and now off to bed. gute nacht.

  159. 159
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: Wonderful about the skiing. And good night, tall girl.

  160. 160
    opiejeanne says:

    @Valdivia: “Moo”, by Jane Smiley? We thought she was writing about our Cal State college which used to be known for it’s Ag majors and Arabian horses.

  161. 161
    opiejeanne says:

    @opiejeanne: its. dammit.

  162. 162
    Anne Laurie says:

    @opiejeanne: When I first got to my “Moo U” (1974), there were two gynecologists at the Large Animal Veterinary Clinic… and none at the student health center.

    I was (briefly) a pre-vet major, and we had to take either Poultry 101 — which involved the poultry-plucking chicken gun — or Dairy Science 101, which involved putting one’s hand up a cow’s rectum.

    As a born-and-bred NYC kid, it was most instructive to find out that 25% of the points awarded in judging dairy heifers involved udder size & shapeliness. And 10% were for “poise”. My fellow feminists taking liberal arts majors thought I was making that up, even after I showed them the textbook!

  163. 163
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes, but she’s just very sensitive anyway. And I would just prefer that her father elects NOT TO BE AN ASSHOLE. The current Mr. Suzanne is equally horrified.

  164. 164
    Valdivia says:


    yes Moo, which I have such wonderful memories of reading.

    @Anne Laurie:
    I am not even going to ask what poise would be in this case!

  165. 165
    Anne Laurie says:


    I am not even going to ask what poise would be in this case!

    These were beauty pageants for cows; “poise” was exactly what’s required from human pageant contestants — looking confident & pulled together on the sawdust. Don’t ask me to describe how you can judge if a cow is “pulled together” but yes even us newbies could tell that some have it & some don’t.

    I suspect the rules may have been rewritten over the past 40 years, if only for “scientific” reasons…

  166. 166
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @lamh36: Agreed that Winter Soldier is the best one, but, also, the first Captain America movie really grew on me after re-watching all or part of it a couple of times. It hadn’t made so much of an impression on first watch.

    I think the Iron Man movies don’t hold up as well. The first one has its moments.

    I am suspecting that Avengers: Age of Ultron won’t withstand re-watching as well as the first one does.

  167. 167
    Chris says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I thought I was the only one who walked out of the first Iron Man a bit… underwhelmed. The first two acts are great, the third one didn’t get me as much. I think having been introduced to the superhero genre through the X-Men and Dark Knight movies, I just didn’t find it as interesting.

    The MCU’s grown on me since, though.

  168. 168
    Chris says:


    It goes all the way back to Reconstruction. “Let’s ignore all the wrongs that have been done to the disenfranchised group, and instead, focus on all the hypothetical wrongs that could be done to the dominant group if we went too far…” They did it after abolition, they did it after civil rights, they damn well intend to do it with gay rights.

  169. 169
    The Other Chuck says:


    I thought I was the only one who walked out of the first Iron Man a bit… underwhelmed

    Casting The Dude as the villain didn’t help. But not nearly as terrible a miscasting as James Spader playing Ultron. Mind you, I like both actors … in other roles.

  170. 170
    opiejeanne says:

    @Anne Laurie: the girl in the room opposite mine was an Ag major and part of the curriculum was castrating pigs. She was the only girl in the class so she got the only non-piglet, a 400 pound boar that took six guys to restrain. She said the screaming nearly undid her.

  171. 171
    opiejeanne says:

    @Anne Laurie: Heifers who stand in second position definitely have It.

  172. 172
    Chris says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    Ultron, I actually liked.

    The Dude… well… sometimes, there’s a man, and he’s the man for his time and place. The Iron Man movie just wasn’t it.

    (Still liked him better than Vanko, or Hammer, or Killian).

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