Sunday Garden Chat: Shock of Red

marvel winter camellia

A much-needed pop of vivid color on a soggy January morning, from faithful garden correspondent Marvel:

It’s still wet and mild in western Oregon. Now and then the skies clear and everyone peels off a layer of slick clothing and hits the streets, the yards, the lanes. We’re thankful for the temperate weather and hope all’s well with our neighbors in much of the rest of the stormy U.S.

soggy matte morning
shock of red in a gray world
Winter camellia

Hope everyone in Winter Storm Jason’s path is safe, snug, and free to enjoy the quiet. So far [knock wood] here north of Boston we’ve only gotten a couple inches of light fluffy ‘dog snow’ — our oldest papillon Zevon kept asking to be let out so he could race in circles, roll around making doggy snow angels, or just sit letting the flakes frost him like a furry cupcake before he trotted back in, grinning broadly.

What’s going on in your neighborhoods, right now?

119 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    What a spectacular bloom! Thanks, Marvel!

  2. 2
    magurakurin says:

    Lots of those flowers here as well. But we are having a snowpocalypse here in Japan as well. My town got a few centimeters of snow which is sort of normal for winter here, but the cold air went all the way down to Miyakojima, which is just a stone’s throw from Taiwan. It went down to 9.5C (49F). Amamiooishima island,which is between the main Japanese islands and Okinawa had snow for the first time in 115 years. They had an 80-year-old man on the tv from there and he said it was the first time in his life he had seen snow. Pretty cool.

    It my town we never went above freezing today, and that is the first time I remember that happening in the 17 years I have lived here. Tokushima is about the same latitude as Myrtle Beach, SC. Gonna go out for a walk in the snow now.

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Nice, very nice Marvel.

    Been going thru left over seeds and saved seeds and seed catalogs for new stuff to try. Gonna get ’em ordered today or tomorrow. This afternoon I have to pick up 4 plastic 55 gal drums I found on Craigslist for $10 apiece not too far away. Gonna cut them in half and use them for the bases of potato cages which I just learned of. Still have to pick out my potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions, then get them ordered.

    Soon I will start growing things again, very soon.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    Nice color there, Marvel. A tonic on a drab day.

    Best of luck to all those snowed in around the NE. It’s fun for a while…then it’s a drag. I’m guessing DC is going to be a while digging out, since they have pretty bad services for snow. I lived through a record Buffalo snowfall (which is saying something), and it was a good week before anything got back to near normal.

    Ironically in Bergen (Norway), it’s mid-40s and sprinkling. High of 50 tomorrow.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    This winter, not a single flake of snow has fallen here in Kuala Lumpur. I blame global warming.

  8. 8
    satby says:


    Gonna cut them in half and use them for the bases of potato cages which I just learned of.

    Tell me more about that, because I was completely underwhelmed by using grow bags for potatoes.

  9. 9
    satby says:

    @raven: I like it. And is that a bottle tree in the lower right corner?

  10. 10
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Amir Khalid: U funny! Back in grad school it was fun to see the gf see snow for the first time.

  11. 11
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    I’ve been playing with pics again, A New Album(raven might like this one): The Korean DMZ.

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    What a beautiful photo and thanks again to Marvel for sharing it with us.

    @OzarkHillbilly: It was snow appreciation day at the zoo.

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: The Potato Garden (pdf)

    Cage Method Alternative
    Grow potatoes in vertical boxes, cribs, barrels or wire cages.
    Set your cage on prepared soil. Plant strong seed pieces 6″ – 8″
    apart and cover lightly with 4″ of soil. When the plant emerges
    and grows, begin adding mellow compost, mulch or soil always
    leaving at lest 6 inches of plant exposed. Continue this process
    until the plants stop their upward progress and/or blossom.
    Then let them finish out their growing season providing them
    with plenty of water. As the plant stems lengthen, so do the
    length and number of underground stolons, which are what pro-
    duce the potato tubers. More potatoes form in less space and the
    yield is increased 2 or 3 times. This is a great way to grow a lot
    of potatoes with limited garden space

    Plenty more info in the pdf to help you.

  14. 14
    satby says:

    I get garden catalogs almost every day, and it’s the first year I won’t be ordering anything. Until I know where I’m moving I can’t plan any gardening. I put my house on the market Friday and have already told friends they’re getting the more expensive plantings that are transplantable when I move. It’s time to thin the iris anyway. I’m torn between being sad I’m never going to get walnuts off the trees I planted that should start fruiting this year and excited that I can try growing avocados.

  15. 15
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’s how I used to grow them, I built three wood boxes and did that. Then for a few years moved to tire gardens, finally grow bags. In the first two mice or voles got as much of the crop as I did, in the grow bags the potatoes did only ok though the critters never got into them.

  16. 16
    Raven says:

    @satby: not really a tree, the line the brick path between the raised beds.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: We’ll see how I do with it. I have anti-critter plans. The main reason I’m trying it is to free up space for other stuff.

  18. 18

    Lovely to see flowers in midwinter. Thanks for the picture.
    Reminds me to stop by the florist on the way out of town and pick up an arrangement. I’m going to visit my step mother in the hospital today.
    Anyway happy Sunday.

  19. 19
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think the base would keep potato chompers out but retain moisture better for potatoes. The grow bags always dried out very fast for me, so keeping the soil evenly moist was a challenge. On the other hand, they drained well, so no rot from too much rain.

  20. 20
    satby says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: hope she’s better soon.

  21. 21
    Raven says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I especially like the Hiller OH-23 Raven. That was all we had when I was there because all the Huey’s were south.

  22. 22
    Raven says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I wonder if our little mountain is on that relief map? It was called “Charlie Block” and was just south on the Munsani (Paju) railhead. While we were south of the JSA our compound faced the Imjin and looked into NK. We were in earshot of there loudspeakers!

  23. 23
    Zinsky says:

    Temperatures have moderated in Minnesota after a week of subzero frigidity. It was in the 20s yesterday and clear, so the Missus and I went to the movie “45 Years” and then out to our favorite Thai restaurant. Both were great, although strangely, I liked the movie more than my wife. Charlotte Rampling’s acting is astonishing and she is still sexy at 69 years old!

  24. 24
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Raven: Nope, the bottom of that map is where the railroad crossed the Imjin. For quite a while that was as close to the DMZ that civilian Koreans could get. Paju, as you said, is a bit south towards Seoul.

    ETA: That’s at the visitor center at the old rail head. All the shots of the military stuff was there, I should put locations on the pics.

    ETA2: The railroad now crosses the Imjin and goes to the border at Dohasan and into North Korea(when the North Koreans feel like opening the border).

  25. 25
    Elmo says:

    @satby: You’re going to have a steep well-drained hillside with high highs and low lows? Good luck! Avos are the best.

    My wife’s grandfather had a small commercial orchard in what is now a dense residential neighborhood in La Mesa, near Mt Helix. He grew avos for Calavo. She’s SUPER PICKY about them even to this day.

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: How’s your stepmom doing? She’s in my thoughts.

    Good morning all. Internet was a little hinky last night on our block of NoVA.

    18 inch accumulation; very picturesque. Car buried, but there is nowhere I have to go until Wednesday, really.

    Liked Betty’s snow pics thread. Catching up reading “Feel the Bern” now.

    RE Iowa: ultimately decided I did not want to be part of weakening Hillary, much as I like Bernie’s bringing up inequality and banksters. Electability in the general is paramount to me.

    Also, Iowa voters seem to be (suffering) plenty of campaign contacts.

    So Iowa’s off the bucket list for this year, for now. Alas.

    Would be cool to see a caucus, but I think Iowa should lose its first in the nation status, and find the caucuses to be a lot of money and resources diverted so that mediots can cover the horse race. Iowa is a tradition that has outlived its usefulness and might actually be harmful now.

  27. 27
    satby says:

    @Elmo: I don’t know what and where exactly I will find a place. It’s going to be a challenge to find a rental in the Tampa -St. Pete area that will allow pets and have a yard and that I can afford; assuming I land a part time job there. I doubt that I will be able to work full time because my mom needs someone every day. I don’t want to start out living with my mom, her condo is small; but I can forsee needing to be there overnight within a year so I need a rental for the interim.

  28. 28
    Elizabelle says:

    @satby: Good luck to you. I think it is going to be a good change for you.

    How much longer do your wonderful students stay with you?

  29. 29
    satby says:

    @Elizabelle: I agree on all points. Iowa is skewing the primary process too much. And prevailing in the general is all I care about, much less attached to who.

  30. 30
    Baud says:


    Iowa’s loss.

  31. 31
    Baud says:


    Would be cool to see a caucus, but I think Iowa should lose its first in the nation status,

    I’ve felt that way for a while now.

  32. 32
    satby says:

    @Elizabelle: Thanks! They’re here until the second week of June, Qunoot leaves about 4 days before Valentina. We’re still planning our road trip to Florida to see how mom is by way of Mammoth Cave and Lookout Mountain for the first week of April, coming back via Savannah and Atlanta. They’re very excited.

    I hope it will be a good move; doesn’t matter because my mom needs me so off I go. I’m working up enthusiasm for shedding some of my stuff and getting more lean in every sense of the word though.

    I know Watergirl asked how you were doing on your plans.. I was wondering how your life has been going too. I’m not the only one making big changes, so I hope yours are all good ones too.

  33. 33
    satby says:

    @Baud: Baud/ 2016 is setting the trend of ignoring Iowa, if only the other candidates would follow your lead!

  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Elizabelle: Meh. Some state is going to be first and no matter which it is they are going to have an “outsized unrepresentative” effect on the race. Other than the obvious drawbacks of caucusing, I don’t see any reason why Iowa shouldn’t be first that does not apply equally to any other state. As to the Bernie vs Hillary thing, I feel about like you. Arguments can be made in both directions but I think I’ll wait until the general to get involved.

  35. 35
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: I’ve always felt they should have a large state in the early few states.

  36. 36
    Baud says:


    Eggzackly! Getting zero votes in Iowa will demonstrate my leadership on this issue.

  37. 37
    Baud says:


    I don’t think the modern Democratic Party can continue to have two of the whitest states in the country serve as screen. And I felt that way recognizing that Iowa did good with Obama in 2008.

    ETA: The hard part is coming up with an alterative.

  38. 38
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Should work A-OK for the Republicans though.

  39. 39
    Baud says:


    It doesn’t really matter for them since their voters are white regardless of state.

  40. 40
    satby says:

    @Baud: Pretty sure that’s Bill’s point ;)

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @satby: Like all good political leaders, I appropriate other people’s ideas and recast them as my own.

  42. 42
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    How’s your stepmom doing? She’s in my thoughts.

    Thanks. She’s in recovery from a serious stroke. Did not look good at all the last time I saw her but it’s been 12 days (I’ve been traveling for work) and apparently she’s making good progress toward recovery. If she continues to improve they’ll send her home with in-home assistance in mid-Feb.
    I worry about my dad. He’s 80 and has been spending 12 hours of every day at the hospital. At least we know he’s getting good meals. The hospital cafeteria has won awards for the food. But he’s extremely worried for her and it’s hard on him.
    It’s a world class facility for neurological issues so she’s getting the best care. We just have to let them do their job, keep her happy and wait. But it’s hard.

  43. 43
    satby says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: best wishes for continuing recovery for your stepmom. It’s hard on one partner when the other is so seriously ill, your poor dad!

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I hope it will be a good move; doesn’t matter because my mom needs me so off I go. I’m working up enthusiasm for shedding some of my stuff and getting more lean in every sense of the word though.

    It will be life altering in ways you can not foresee. It was for me anyway. When I took my sons out of their mother’s house and moved out here I had one week to find a place and furnish it. Went from sharing a house with 2 other people and having only a futon and some milk crates to the whole nine yards of appliances, tables, chairs, dressers, etc. Went from the free and easy life of part time parenting (full time father but part time parenting) to a full time parent w/o any significant contribution from their mother (every now and again she would call). At the time I thought it would only be for 3 years and then I’d move back to STL

    Didn’t work out that way.

  45. 45
    debbie says:


    I disagree. Iowa may be overdoing it, but “unimportant” states give everyone a chance to see the candidates doing their candidate-y things before states with consequences kick in.

  46. 46
    Granite says:

    34 inches of global warming here in Northern Virginia. If global warming is real can it happen like now? I’d much rather play golf in January than shovel snow.

  47. 47
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: With SC right on their heels where the black vote is paramount. Again, I just don’t think it matters. Bill made the comment of a large state should be one of the first. Pick one: NY, CA, FL, TX,….. I can make vehement arguments against any of them. Or for any of them. By the time the convention comes around, Iowa and NH are so far in the rear view mirror nobody can see them.

  48. 48
    gogol's wife says:

    I wish I were having as much fun as Tian Tian!

  49. 49
    JMG says:

    The last non-incumbent candidate to be elected President after winning New Hampshire primary was G.H.W. Bush in 1988 and he was Vice-President. Don’t remember Iowa so well, but I think winners who went on to be President are few before Bush II and Obama.
    If Hillary wins Iowa, New Hampshire will go for Bernie. Those two states have a sweet racket with this first in the nation stuff, and part of the racket is producing “upsets” to keep the contest open.
    Parties are always seeking more money, if my email inbox is any guide. Why don’t they mimic the NFL and award the first primary the way Super Bowl cities are selected — who ponies up the most dough?

  50. 50
    Baud says:


    But the first states have a disproportionate influence in thinning the herd. So the selection of the first states is critical to how the process plays out.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    Here’s my solution. Hold the primaries in whatever order you want, but the results stay secret until all the states are done. Then have a big Oscars-type event where the results are announced. It would be ratings gold.

    ETA: Just don’t have Steve Harvey host it.

  52. 52
    debbie says:


    The endless reports on speculations would be nauseating. The answer is to shorten the primary season and to run regional primaries.

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: I’ve told this story before but don’t know if you read it.

    My sisters MIL suffered a catastrophic illness (forget what) and went into a coma. Every day for 3 months her husband George showed up at the hospital to sit at her bedside for 12-18 hours until they kicked him out. He would spend every minute of that time holding her hand and talking nonstop to Jackie, telling her how much he loved her, what the weather was like, how much he needed her, what the dog did when he him out that morn, how useless he was with out her, what the grandkids got on their report cards, please please please come back, how bad the cafeteria food was, on and on and on nonstop without end all the way to infinity and beyond…

    And then, one day, Jackie woke up.

    She turned her head.

    She looked at her husband.

    And said,

    “Shut up, George.”

  54. 54
    Botsplainer says:

    Curiously, my Facebook feed is filled by posts from Bernie supporters who are putting up articles from Bernie organizations which are yammering on emails and Whitewater and “historic” Clinton corruption.

    It feels like the Rush Limbaugh program circa 1998.

  55. 55
    Baud says:


    from Bernie organizations

    Do you mean the campaign itself?

  56. 56
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: That argument applies not at all this year and on the Dem side at least, not in ’08 either. The Republican herd needs to be thinned out and no matter who gets kicked out the remainder will be just as loathsome. Martin O’Malley has already been thinned out of the Dem herd he just doesn’t know it yet, and when it comes to Bernie and Hillary, Iowa and NH will do no thinning at all, it’s what happens after that will set that course.

    And again, that argument would apply just as much to any other state.

  57. 57
    Botsplainer says:


    I don’t know, can’t tell. Big numbers on followers, though – they have the stench of surrogacy.

  58. 58
    Baud says:


    Right. This year is moot. And the point is that whichever states serve that role should look more like the Democratic Party.

  59. 59
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Bronx Zoo is home to a lot of Madagascar hissing cockroaches. It may surprise you to learn that they don’t all have names. So, for Valentines Day, the zoo is offering to let you name one of these giant roaches as a quasi-grotesque romantic gesture, for $10 per roach.

    “Tens of thousands of roaches remain nameless and would make a great symbol of your love,” the zoo writes, under a banner with the tag line: “Elusive, resilient, and sometimes scary: Love is like a roach.”

    Romance isn’t dead, it’s just sheathed in an exoskeleton and hiding in your cupboard. With your name on it.

    For $10 I get to name one after my Ex? A steal at twice the price!

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Evangelicals would say that Iowa is a perfect reflection of what the GOP should be.

  61. 61
    MattF says:

    Here’s something notable– the blog Language Log has a new politically-oriented post about Der Trump’s rhetoric. And in the first comment to that post, bloghost Mark Liberman inserted a video of Huey Long promoting his ‘Share The Wealth’ campaign. Ol’ Huey was quite the orator.

  62. 62
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And given the last couple of years I’ve had, I’m ready for some alteration ;)

    You sound like a great dad, it’s important for kids to know a parent cares enough about them to completely rework their life for their kids. Especially when the other parent is…deficient. I was married to someone similar to your ex, and though it was hard on the kids the fact that my ex was virtually invisible probably helped them grow up ok. His influence would have been pretty toxic.

  63. 63
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    That’s hilarious. Instantaneous restoration of the power structure.
    Yvonne can speak, but not always intelligibly. She’s there, but isn’t entirely in control of her body. This is a great relief because her cognitive functions are probably intact. She’s also very frustrated and gets lonely and depressed when she’s alone. That’s why dad’s at her side the whole time. Frustration keeps her working to improve, and work will get her better. But she’s 82, so ‘better’ should be conservatively applied.

  64. 64
    Botsplainer says:


    Only America of the 50s and early 60s could assign newsworthiness to that bullshit town of 26 white people in New Hampshire that votes first. I can’t believe that they assign reporters to it – completely fucking insulting.

  65. 65

    I’m reposting that the Des Moines Register endorsed Clinton and Rubio, for what it’s worth.

    8 days until caucus

  66. 66
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Well, if you were a GOP rat-intercourser and wanted to damage Clinton you could do worse than to promote her opponent who probably can’t get elected in the general. A primary battle on the D side is what the R side wants.
    Maybe I’m being cynical, but would you put that past them?

  67. 67
    Schlemazel says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Beautiful story, thanks

    How’s your leg doing?

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    the fact that my ex was virtually invisible probably helped them grow up ok. His influence would have been pretty toxic.

    It would have helped if my ex had been virtually invisible to my sons as well. I worked on getting her to leave her husband for months, continuing to pay child support to her even tho they lived with me, etc. She finally did move out for a few months and we started sharing custody 50/50. Eventually she moved back in with him but couldn’t do the same with the boys because I had a restraining order between him and them and refused to drop it.

    That was when she started coming over when I wasn’t home and making 1 am drunk phone calls telling the boys I was keeping them from her and laying miles of guilt trips on them. And worse, much worse. It didn’t end until she went to prison.

  69. 69
    Baud says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    8 days until caucus

    And Freedom!

  70. 70
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Botsplainer: Yeah, but “First in the Nation” has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

  71. 71
    Baud says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    Regardless of how well we think Bernie can do in the general, they certainly think they have a better shot with him as the nominee.

  72. 72
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    The snow has finally stopped here in NoVa, and we’ve even got a little sun.

  73. 73
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Even if Clinton is still nominated, all the opposition she gets in the primaries softens her up for them.
    Since the GOP is in disarray (do they even know what array looks like any more?), the best thing they can do is help the enemy of their enemy.

  74. 74
    Amir Khalid says:

    Even if you did name a cockroach, would that make it a better pet? Would it know its name? Would it come when called?

  75. 75
    Schlemazel says:

    The Bloomberg strategy! You paint Bernie as a scary socialist and massage a stupid billionaire’s ego so he funds a 3rd party run as a ‘moderate’ that allows the GOPs batshit insane nominee (they have no choices other than batshit insane.

    It probably works against Hilary also but in their minds at least Bernie is the better choice.

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: It’s getting there. I am now walking around our 1st floor w/o the boot (I hate that thing)(the Doc probably wouldn’t agree)(Lord knows my wife doesn’t) tho I still wear it when using stairs and going outside. With the snow and ice I use a walking stick to be on the safe side. Supposed to hit upper 40s today and tomorrow so we should get some melting. That will make my chickens happy anyway.

  77. 77
    Schlemazel says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:
    They certainly were responsible for some of the bitterness between the Clinton forces and Obama forces in ’08. A lot of the PUMA shit was rodentia concubitus

  78. 78
    Botsplainer says:


    Second coming of George McGovern – and McGovern was a genuine war hero with a distinguished senatorial record representing a heartland state.

  79. 79
    Baud says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    Maybe. I think it’s a two edged strategy. In 2008, the contested primary helped because it kept interest level up. But the party was able to come together behind Obama. Not 100% sure if it happens again.

  80. 80
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: @satby: @Baud: I felt that way about Iowa until I was there for the caucuses for Obama in 2008.

    I am not at all certain that we would have Barack as our president without the serious look Iowa gave Barack Obama in 2008. There’s no way Barack would have made it if he had to focus on a national run before Iowa. It was Iowa coming out for Barack that made the rest of it possible. “Lily white Iowa voted for the black man? Maybe he really could get elected”.

    I just looked at my thank you letter from Barack after Iowa – the letter is still on my fridge! :-) “Our victory in Iowa led to a surge of volunteers and small donors that powered us to victory on February 5th, where we won the most states and the most delegates nationwide.”

    My two cents.

  81. 81
    Baud says:


    I really don’t know. The Democratic party is different now, and the GOP is really off the rails in a visible way with Trump and Cruz.

  82. 82
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: If I called it and it went away it would be far and away better than my ex ever was.

  83. 83
    Schlemazel says:

    I was lucky as my weeks on crutch and cane were summer & fall so I didn’t have to worry about ice & snow. I was enough of a shut in at that, can’t image having to fight the snow also.

  84. 84
    Baud says:


    I agree. But a great one-off result doesn’t alone vindicate the process IMHO.

  85. 85
    Schlemazel says:

    The Kenyan usurper is on Sunday Morning today & reminding me why I like the guy so much

  86. 86
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    La Dowd: Palin proves that a woman can look idiotic without making all women look idiotic.

    But when Palin turned out to be utterly unqualified and unintelligible, spouting her own special Yoda-like language, it did not reflect poorly on women as a whole — only on her and John McCain. What the hell were you thinking, Senator?

    I’m not sure who this is insulting to, but probably everyone.

  87. 87
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Small states allow relatives unknowns to gain traction and get some donors in time for the big states with the big consequences.

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @Baud: Dean supporters might note that Iowa gave us Kerry as the nominee in 2004.

  89. 89
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl: Right. But which small state should have the first in the nation role?

  90. 90
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jim Wright is running a fund drive for the Stonekettle Station. Drop him a few bucks if you can.

  91. 91
    Thor Heyerdahl says:


    But which small state should have the first in the nation role?

    All of them Katie?

  92. 92
    Botsplainer says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    I just like how it took Bible Spice five colleges to struggle to get a communications degree, only to find she still can’t communicate effectively – and conservatives love her for it.

  93. 93
    amk says:

    @WaterGirl: The kenyan is a once-in-a-blue-moon phenomenon with a brilliant strategy. Hard to duplicate that.

  94. 94
    gene108 says:


    For fucks sake, Bill Clinton was pretty fucking squeaky clean with what he did as President. No abuse of Executive power, from what I remember of the 1990’s.

    Whitewater was a big nothing and has zero to do with what he did as President.

    He cheated on his wife, but I believe it should be a personal matter.

    Bill and Hillary racked up a lot of money, since he stepped down as President, but there’s nothing illegal about that and if they have something people want to buy, good for them.

    I am sick of people implying the Clintons are corrupt, in the same vein as Nixon, Reagan or either Bush.

    They are not. Bill has not and I strongly believe Hillary will not abuse the power of the Executive the way Republicans have.

  95. 95
    MattF says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: It’s a fact that lots of XX columnists, lefty and righty, said what they thought about Palin. Kathleen Parker in the WaPo does it today.

  96. 96
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Even a really really great one-off result? :-)

  97. 97
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Six of one, half a dozen of the other. I’m not sure the state itself matters as much as that the state takes its vetting job seriously, and I think Iowa does.

  98. 98
    p.a. says:

    @Baud: If you’re looking to boost a prog candidate: Hawaii.

  99. 99
    WaterGirl says:

    @amk: It worked when it really mattered. Why mess with that?

  100. 100
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m sure it was a special kind of hell for you and your kids. The adults who choose to take paths that keep them away from their own children but try to make the children feel responsible for that adult’s happiness are scum.

  101. 101
    redshirt says:

    @p.a.: Only American states count. ;)

  102. 102
    amk says:

    @WaterGirl: electoral reforms?

  103. 103
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Good, stay safe with the leg. I was afraid to ask ;)

  104. 104
    satby says:

    @WaterGirl: Obama was going to win other places, especially IL since he was already popular there, even downstate. But IL is a Super Tuesday state. I think all the primaries should be held on the same day. Let the chips fall where they will.

  105. 105
    Baud says:


    Just because some people win the lottery doesn’t mean it’s a wise investment

    (I’m sure there are 50 different ways that analogy doesn’t work, but it’s a lazy Sunday morning.)

  106. 106
    p.a. says:

    @amk: What’s hard to duplicate (it is to be strongly hoped) is a preceeding 8 years of bufoonery, incompetence, and slack-jawed nastiness running the country. I like Obama and want to think the best of my nation, but without the conservative movement’s 8 year clusterfuck, I’m not sure a Black centrist Democrat could have been elected. Just look at the insanity that his victories instigated. Sadly I think it’sa one-off.

  107. 107
    satby says:

    @p.a.: I think it’s a one off because of the unique person he is. Ultimately he’s a statesman, and those come along rarely.

  108. 108
    amk says:

    @p.a.: Yes, the dumbya regime fuckery was an opportunity but he was the one to tap into it smartly. Glad he didn’t ‘wait his turn’. That took some political guts.

  109. 109
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    Someone has made the point that PBO’s uniquely understated communication, lack of fiery verbal passion and long patience are due to his being black. I think this was a black commentator that said a black male grows up knowing he can’t afford to yell. Keep it bottled up because there’s no tolerance for you being verbally expressive. Maybe true, maybe not but I can kind of see that.

  110. 110
    Baud says:


    What’s hard to duplicate (it is to be strongly hoped) is a preceeding 8 years of bufoonery, incompetence,

    We have a chance to duplicate it in November! (As Salon writers frequently remind us.)

  111. 111
    satby says:

    @gene108: I’m with you on this.
    I don’t “like” any politician personally, that’s not what I judge them on. I even met Obama while he was still organizing in Chicago because I was doing community organizing too, personally he’s a very nice guy, but that’s not why I vote for people (I did vote for him of course). I vote for competence and the closest match to what policies I want to see enacted.

    What people say they know about the Clinton “corruption” is almost always right out of the endless disinformation campaign that ran 24/7/365 for the entire time Bill was in office. In terms of actual corruption multiple investigations discovered that he cheated on his wife. I’m ok with people not liking him for that, not liking her for staying with him (which is always the sign that she’s “power mad”, never a sign that they put their marriage back together), not thinking they’re liberal enough. Whatever. He was a very competent president and things were heading in the right direction at the end of his term in spite of high levels of opposition; I can live with that happening again.

  112. 112
    satby says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Not sure, possibly, though he was raised in a predominantly white household by his mother and her parents. So not sure how much that applies.

    Edited to add: he knows how to be fiery when he needs to be. I think he’s just tempermentally even keeled.

  113. 113
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    he knows how to be fiery when he needs to be. I think he’s just tempermentally even keeled.

    That too. Also he’s a lawyer and knows how to make an argument effectively. Contrast to Trump.

  114. 114
    ThresherK says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: I think this was a black commentator that said a black male grows up knowing he can’t afford to yell.

    This should be so obvious, so “backgrounded”, that it doesn’t need to be stated. But we still live in a world where it needs to be re-stated.

    Hell, even I get it, and I’m a white suburban staight male introvert of a certain age. I’m not a person who is on a back-slapping, drinking party, chortling basis with a lot of black guys (or women) who carry as big and loud of a personality as, say, my brother.

  115. 115
  116. 116
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:


    Hold the primaries in whatever order you want, but the results stay secret until all the states are done.

    That’s a sensible idea.

    I’d suggest combing it with something like regional voting. No sense in major media markets having widely separated voting dates across state boundaries. NE, Greater NYC, Mid-Atlantic, OH Valley, SE, etc., etc.

    But, of course, it will never happen. Too many media companies depend on zillions of dollars of ad spending for them to give up the 12+ month horse races, and there would be immense pressure to get the results early.


  117. 117
    WaterGirl says:

    One big problem with low information voters is that people like to vote for the person who will win. I think that’s less of a problem with people who are more engaged – maybe everyone likes to vote for the winner, but when you are engaged in the process other things trump that.

    That’s where regional primaries could help. I also like the idea of everybody voting on the same day so there’s less gaming of the system.

    And we definitely need to make election season MUCH MUCH shorter.

  118. 118
    Elizabelle says:

    @WaterGirl: Thank you. That’s important to know.

    And good on you for getting B. Obama elected. You go, grrrrlll!

    PS: cleaning out the basement; in “search and discard” move, with momentum, so have to stay the hell off the internet today.

  119. 119
    Zinsky says:

    I hope Democrats realize the best we can hope for in the 2016-2020 timeframe is a “caretaker presidency” that keeps the vile, right-wing barbarians from the gates of power. With the House surely remaining in GOP hands and the Senate likely doing the same, we have to keep our eyes on the prize of taking back Congress in 2020 and redistricting in the House districts more fairly to break the right-biased gerrymandering that was inflicted on us in 2010!

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