Open Thread — Football & Otherwise

So, today’s playoff games:

I’m pulling for the Texans because I have a vestigial loathing for the Raiders, who are the favorite team of an erstwhile romantic rival. (I won — 20-year wedding anniversary this year. But I carry grudges. Why yes, I am of Irish descent — why do you ask?)

Pulling for the Seahawks in the late game, mostly because I like Russell Wilson. Do you have a rooting interest?

For some reason (unrelated to football), I keep thinking of the sticker on Woody Guthrie’s guitar:

I’d like to make one for my ukulele that says, “This Machine ANNOYS Fascists.” If I’m honest, I’ll admit my playing irritates everyone. Because I suck. Anyhoo, open thread!






158 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    I find it ironic that all the old hippies are now basically everything they used to claim to despise.

    Also: GO SEAHENS!!!

  2. 2
    raven says:

    @Yutsano: say wat

  3. 3
    Mnemosyne says:

    Until this moment, I didn’t realize how much Bruce Springsteen looks like Woody Guthrie. Weird.

  4. 4
    Yarrow says:

    Houston is hosting the Superbowl for the first time since they hosted it the year of the Janet Jackson’s nipplegate stupidity. So it would be kind of fun for the host city if their team got a little closer to the big game. The Texans never get there because they suck, but I’m for them. Also, too, I went to an NFL game one time. The Raiders were one of the teams playing and their fans were dicks. Made me an un-fan. Data point of one, but it has stuck. So again, go Texans.

  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yutsano:

    Turns out that if you tell people for long enough that they should never trust the government, they won’t trust the government even when the government is trying to do better, like by trying to get universal healthcare off the ground.

  6. 6
    Steve says:

    My beloved Lions have won one playoff game in my lifetime. Every year means a new chance at history!

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yarrow:

    I am not a sportsball fan and almost never watch the Super Bowl, but by a strange coincidence I saw Nipplegate happen live, in real time, because my (now sadly late) father-in-law was in town and he wanted to watch the game.

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: Okay so we get the government small enough to drown it in a bathtub. What then? Why has no one asked the next question there?

  9. 9
    Ryan says:

    But Jebbus the Texans. By God, W comes from that state.

  10. 10
    Elmo says:

    Lifelong passionate Charger fan – once upon a time. As soon as Spanos decided he wanted to move the team to the hated Los Angeles, they were dead to me. Rooting for them after that would be like rooting for an actual LA team! Sacrilege!

    So I find myself doing without football this year. But I can still hate the Raiders.

  11. 11
    Mike J says:

    @Mnemosyne: Nipplegate is why we have youtube. One of the founders was upset that there was no way to see it on the internet.

    Try posting a clip from an NFL half-time show on youtube now.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Yutsano: freedom!!!! Or something.

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yutsano:

    Then the Koch brothers will be feudal lords living it up while the serfs grovel to them.

    They haven’t thought past that.

  15. 15
    RSA says:

    @Yutsano:

    Okay so we get the government small enough to drown it in a bathtub. What then? Why has no one asked the next question there?

    Me, I want to know why more people don’t think Grover Norquist is a psychopath. Who deliberately drowns anything (or anyone) in a bathtub?

  16. 16
    XTPD says:

    Drew Magary’s “Why Your Team Sucks 2016” is going to be epic.

    Also, completely OT: Does anyone else think that Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus sucks shit-smeared Satan sandwiches? ‘Cause I read it in 11th grade and immediately thought the fact that Faustus spent 24 fucking years sitting on his balls pranking random asshats turns him from a tragic figure into a unlikable wankfaced tool – and then I caught a clause I interpreted as saying he only kept the powers for a week, which would make him a fucking idiot on top of that.

    (Naturally Goethe’s Faust, Part II has Faust going to heaven because he used his pact with Mephistopheles to do shit other than pettily dicking around, which I interpret as a bit of shade thrown at Marlow’s grave. And Goethe’s version beats Marlowe’s like a rented mule).

  17. 17

    Pulling for the Lions because I grew up rooting for them when I lived near Toledo and we had season tickets for a few years. Also, it’s been 60 years since they won a championship and what the hell, why not again?

  18. 18
    Fred Wertham, Jr. says:

    The uke is really hard to play well. You have to be really good to be non-irritating. Concentrate on using just enough fret pressure to get a good tone without pulling the string sharp.

  19. 19
    Bruuuuce says:

    On football: looking forward to the Giants game tomorrow and to Pittsburgh moving on. Aside from that, meh on the wildcards this weekend.

    On politics: Is anyone surprised to hear that Trump’s choice for senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council plagiarized huge swaths of her 2012 book? The article has side-by-side highlighted comparisons of the book and the original material she stole. LOTS of side-by-side.

    Plus the inevitable doubling down by the Lying Liars:

    “Monica’s exceptional insight and thoughtful work on how to turn this country around is exactly why she will be serving in the Administration,” a statement from a transition spokesperson said. “HarperCollins—one of the largest and most respected publishers in the world—published her book which has become a national best-seller. Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country.”

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    Ok. I’m taking it.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mike J:

    Did you see the mini documentary that the NFL put up about Prince’s epic Super Bowl performance after he died? It’s pretty amazing.

    “Can you make it rain harder?”

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    The over/under is 37.5. I am still saying take the Under.

  23. 23
    Feathers says:

    I missed the bad tippers thread last night, but this seems as good a place as any to drop my favorite shitgibbon insult:

    Does Donald Trump even know what food that hasn’t been spit on tastes like?

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bruuuuce:

    I love how “politically motivated attacks” on politicians are, like, so totally unnnfaaaaiiiiirrrr, you guys!

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    That is one big human being.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @efgoldman: He’s been injured. He was voted to the Pro Bowl this year, if that helps, boss.

  27. 27
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m always torn between Woody’s guitar and Pete Seeger’s banjo, which said “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.”

  28. 28
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Mnemosyne: But only if they’re GOP shrills — I mean, shills. We Dems and other dirty hippies are fair game, any time. Especially if there’s some profit in it for the grifters.

  29. 29
    Keith P. says:

    The Texans defense next year should be unreal. Clowney is finally hitting his stride, and JJ Watt should be healthy again. And then they’ve got Whitney Mercilus.

  30. 30
    Redshift says:

    Our local Dems canvassing trip tomorrow to BF Virginia for the special election has been cancelled on account of weather. Now I have to decide whether to do phone banking (which I really hate) or just throw some money at them.

    I’m bummed; I really wanted to be doing something useful, and I actually like canvassing, which a lot of people don’t.

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Redshift:

    I know you hate it, but since everyone else is housebound, too, phone banking might actually reach a few more people than usual.

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith P.: The Texans D is going to have maybe one more year. JJ Watt is never going to be JJ again, we’re just waiting to see what percentage of JJ we get.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    Fucking garbage time tackling.

    Somebody may consider tackling at some point, number 1 ranked D.

    Or not. Whatever you feel like doing is fine.

  34. 34
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Feathers:

    Does Donald Trump even know what food that hasn’t been spit on tastes like?

    More importantly, will the White House now have to hire a “Food Spitter” at tax payer expense? This gelantinous fartbubble is an insult to the human race.

  35. 35
    ruemara says:

    Finished off a mini-episode for my character on my friend’s podcast and am churning through my next short. I wasn’t able to write it after the election, but I’m housebound and insane until monday. Preggers lady escapes from her work detail to chase a kid she thinks is hers. Hot on her heels is the matron guard who has to make sure she returns safely. Because the child is a repayment to society for her having had an abortion. I just need a rather fit preggers actress… (no, not really). Plus I’ve made my movie accessible to all who want to view it.

  36. 36
    Feathers says:

    So…. In the middle of this storm there is a small fleet of gas company trucks outside my house trying to fix a leak that turned out to be outside. I smelled it when I dropped something and had my head down by the floor. Apparently the fire department could smell it walking up the driveway. What’s worse is that the house is on a hill, with the basement on street level, and the pipes run under trees and bushes and a shoulder height retaining wall. I feel bad about everyone having to be out in the storm, but they are being nice about it all.

  37. 37
    Corner Stone says:

    I don’t even know what the fuck to say about any of this GD nonsense anymore.

  38. 38
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    I also have a vestigial loathing for the Raiders. My mother loved Joe Namath back in his heyday, and the Raiders always played particularly dirty against him and his creaky knees.

    Also, AL Davis.

    Slightly rooting for the Lions, because they have been hapless for decades, and I tend to be an underdog kind of guy.

  39. 39

    @XTPD: to be fair Goethe’s version of pretty much anything would be amazing. One of my ideas for my next tattoo is “am Anfang war die Tat”.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Feathers:

    I’m pretty sure that the fire department and gas company would all prefer to be out in the rain trying to stop the leak than to be out in the rain trying to extinguish the massive fire after a gas explosion. Stay safe!

  41. 41
    XTPD says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yes, although my point was that Marlowe’s Faustus is a terrible tragedy on its own merits.

  42. 42
    J R in WV says:

    I’m kind of an Oakland fan, because of the old timers, like Fred, and George Blanda, punted, QB, whatever. Back in the day.

    They’re starting to look like they have a chance, anyway. not going to be a shutout either way. And I like Seattle, had relatives there, I like Wilson a lot. Seems like a good person as well as a real talent with the ball.

    Really getting cold here, 9 right now at sunset. Not so much snow, but enough to be white outside. The cats are pissed, it’s so cold they don’t really want to be out in it, and they’re outdoor cats at sundown.

    ETA to make sense.

  43. 43

    @XTPD: I agree I just wanted to pimp Goethe.

  44. 44
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @RSA:

    Why did no one ever ask whether Grover Norquist could be drowned in a bathtub?

  45. 45
    Patricia Kayden says:

    I hope you guys contacted the DNC about their idiot choice to allow Ron Fournier to host one of their forums in Detroit per the thread below. I sure did. The man has been nothing but nasty and disrespectful to President Obama for the last 8 years. What the living hell is wrong with the DNC?!!

  46. 46
    James Powell says:

    @Yutsano:

    Okay so we get the government small enough to drown it in a bathtub. What then?

    Freedom!!! For people like us!!!

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J R in WV:

    Are they pacing around and giving you that glare that lets you know they think it’s your fault that it’s too cold outside, and you need to fix the problem pronto?

  48. 48
    gene108 says:

    @Yutsano:

    Okay so we get the government small enough to drown it in a bathtub. What then? Why has no one asked the next question there?

    Free-market nirvana! Duh….

  49. 49
    RealityBites says:

    @XTPD: Speaking of football, Barcelona plays tomorrow. Oh – the OTHER football. Oops.

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    They think they need to reach out to the conservative white working class voters who would totally be with them on economic issues if they just downplayed that whole civil rights thing a tad. That’s what the Sanders crowd has been telling them, and they believe it, so they’re going to have Fournier there to speak for those voters.

    Or Fournier was conveniently in someone’s Rolodex and available on the necessary dates.

  51. 51
    Mike in NC says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): Norquist probably has seldom used a bathtub.

  52. 52
    RealityBites says:

    And who elected fu*king Grover Norquist to be in charge of anything? But he makes the Rethugs wet their pants in fear.😱

  53. 53
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Redshift:

    “BF” Virginia?

  54. 54
    gene108 says:

    I am looking up weather reports to find out how much snow has fallen, so far today. It is hard to find the totals. The online forecasts just point out it is snowing, which I figured out on my own…somehow…

    Maybe they’ll have the totals up tomorrow

  55. 55

    SFist has a good little bio of Norton the First, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico on the 137th anniversary of his death.

    http://sfist.com/2017/01/06/th.....on_the.php

  56. 56
    RealityBites says:

    @XTPD: don’t know how my football comment got directed to you. But you’re right about Marlowe.

  57. 57
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @ruemara:

    Plus I’ve made my movie accessible to all who want to view it.

    Link?

  58. 58
    Another Scott says:

    @Major Major Major Major: You may like Kundera’s Immortality if you haven’t read it yet.

    I enjoyed it a lot.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  59. 59

    @Mnemosyne: either way it means the DNC is evil and mistermix should go form his own party.

  60. 60
    Jeffro says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): vestigial loathing of the Raiders, check!

    Also: DUKES WIN FCS CHAMPIONSHIP!!! Woot!

  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:

    Texans are not going to the SB this year anyway. If it meant we could get B O’B fired I would be somewhat soothed by an embarrassing loss here. The ridiculous play calling is ridiculous.

  62. 62
    zhena gogolia says:

    Betty, I forgot you played ukulele. Check this guy out — I keep trying to get other people addicted to his videos!

  63. 63
    Jeffro says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): ooo ooo I know what Redshift means!!! It’s a synonym for “middle of nowhere” =)

  64. 64
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Jeffro:

    I figured “Bumfuck,” but I didn’t know if it had risen to the level of (semi-)obvious abbreviation.

  65. 65
  66. 66

    @Yutsano:

    Okay so we get the government small enough to drown it in a bathtub. What then?

    Then it’s too small to stop the oligarchs from doing as they please, and we finally get the feudal libertarian paradise we’ve been promised.

  67. 67
    Redshift says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet):

    “BF” Virginia?

    Slang for small town/rural areas of a state, short for “bumfuck,” I believe. I don’t know the origin; I picked it up from a friend whose parents were from small-town North Carolina.

  68. 68
    Baud says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Who knew?


    This chick

    Hillary Clinton on Thursday said Mexico won’t pay for Donald Trump’s wall on the southern border.

    “Oh, and by the way, Mexico’s not paying for his wall either,” the Democratic presidential contender told the crowd at a rally in Reno, Nev.

    “If it ever gets built, you can be sure that American taxpayers will be stuck with the bill.”

  69. 69
    Redshift says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): It was already abbreviated by the time I learned it. It actually was a while before I heard the actual meaning. I had a more polite upbringing than a lot of my friends.

  70. 70

    @Steeplejack (tablet):

    Why did no one ever ask whether Grover Norquist could be drowned in a bathtub?

    I’ve always said that poetic justice demands that as his punishment after The Revolution.

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @Redshift: Also referenced as BFE, to wit, Bums Fucking Everywhere or Bum Fucking Egypt.

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Redshift:

    I learned it as “Bumblefuck, Egypt,” way back in the 1980s, but I had 4 older brothers, so pretty much the opposite of a polite upbringing regardless of how hard our parents tried. 😄

    ETA: The above is why you will sometimes see it abbreviated as “BFE.”

  73. 73
    Emma says:

    @Mnemosyne: And in a do-rag, no less. Now that was uber-cool.

  74. 74
    Steeplejack says:

    @gene108:

    I am looking up weather reports to find out how much snow has fallen, so far today. It is hard to find the totals.

    Bit of a hot button with me. Part of my transition into geezerhood has been a new and slightly OCD interest in the weather. All the sites are big on forecasts and lacking in (recent) history. I am dissatisfied with all of them, but I keep cycling through them in search of a keeper. For a brief moment a year or so ago the Weather Channel “local” page (for your ZIP code) had a link to a really good, succinct page of what the actual weather results were the previous day (high and low temps, precipitation, etc.). But it went away in their constant redesign process to make their ads and click bait more prominent.

    And I have looked at the amateur weather stations near me on Weather Underground, but they are pretty inconsistent.

    Since I’m talking about the weather, I got an unexpected inch or two of snow here in NoVA today. We were supposed to get some Thursday night into early Friday morning—nothing. We were supposed to get some last night—nothing. Well, almost. This morning there was the lightest dusting, just enough to turn the grass white.

    I went down for a nap around noon and got up a couple of hours later to find 1-2" suddenly on the ground. WTF? Totally at odds with what the TV weather weasels were predicting.

    Anyhoo, I don’t need to be anywhere, so no big deal. It is a nippy 20° outside now, going down to 13° overnight. Tomorrow afternoon I need to take the doughty Kia to get its new tires put on, but that’s less than half a mile away, so it shouldn’t be a problem to brave the elements.

  75. 75
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Or Fournier was conveniently in someone’s Rolodex and available on the necessary dates.

    Or the DNC doesn’t give a darn about many of us who love and respect President Obama so they choose someone to host one of their forums who fricking hates our current President.

  76. 76
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Baud: Yep. She knew as did anyone who had common sense. America, even under a Bully Bigoted President, cannot force a sovereign country to pay for a billion dollar wall. If Congress actually decides to fund this foolishness, it just may bankrupt this country.

  77. 77
    janeform says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I did! Wrote to them today and will call on Monday.

    edited

  78. 78
    cosima says:

    @Another Scott: That is the book that got my husband and I together. :)

    We were working offshore together (both married to other awful people at the time), he ran out of books and asked what I had to read, I loaned him that, and it was the start of a friendship that survived divorces, dating other people, and now married almost 20 years. Still have the copy that I loaned him on the bookshelf.

  79. 79

    @Steeplejack:

    And I have looked at the amateur weather stations near me on Weather Underground, but they are pretty inconsistent.

    Have you considered getting your own weather station and connecting it to WU? They aren’t terribly expensive, and many models now advertise that they have WU compatible software.

  80. 80
    Another Scott says:

    @Steeplejack: Howdy neighbor. ;-)

    What tires did you end up deciding on? The ones you mentioned earlier (a Chinese brand, IIRC?)? I hope they treat you well.

    I did a little bit of shoveling just before sundown. It was nice to be able to just sweep the snow off the cars since it’s so powdery, but I was surprised how icy the street was. Lots of black ice, and I saw at least one car sliding when they tested their brakes. It looks like our subdivision’s roads haven’t been treated yet, or if they were it’s not helping a lot.

    Be careful tomorrow!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  81. 81
    Another Scott says:

    @cosima: That’s a great story! :-)

    It stuck with me after I read it, and I used a short passage in it for some comments I gave at my FIL’s memorial service. The minister there (who didn’t know him) seemed to like it – one could almost see him taking notes in his head. ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  82. 82
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @gene108: Maybe something like this?

  83. 83
    NotMax says:

    @Redshift

    Slightly more emphatic expression than the old standby Podunk, which dates back many decades.

    Not being an employer nor enjoyer of the F word in general, have been using a substitute since the 60s. Usually say Burnt Armpit, Idaho – that seems to more than adequately get the point across.

    In other news, this from a former member of Mexico’s legislature caught the eye (emphasis added).

    How are ordinary Mexicans displaying their anger at Trump?

    Of course there are Trump pinatas and the typical “buy Mexican” campaigns have begun, but soon you’ll see calls for our own trade sanctions, for expelling the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, Homeland Security and other agencies that report to Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general.

    The scope is huge: Mexico City is the only place outside of Washington where every U.S. government agency is represented.

    Mexicans should plan for a world in which the U.S. is no longer Mexico’s ally, because that is where Donald Trump’s aggressions are leading. This is potentially very dangerous for both countries. Source

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    But that’s exactly what the Sanders fans have been advising them: nobody likes Obama, there isn’t enough focus on economic issues, there’s too much focus on social justice issues.

    Please note that what I’m saying is that it’s even MORE important that we all call/email to dispute what they’re being told, because I think they’re getting bad advice.

  85. 85
    Steeplejack says:

    @cosima:

    I had an acquaintance who would regularly mention that The Unbearable Incredible Lightness of Being was one of his favorite books. Urge to kill.

  86. 86
    Redshift says:

    @Steeplejack: The Post’s Capital Weather Gang has some totals, but I don’t know if that’s a regular thing.

  87. 87
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mnemosyne: President Obama has an approval rating nearing 60% and his close out speech in Chicago is selling out quickly. I have a feeling that his approval ratings will only go up as Trump begins to destroy this country.

  88. 88
    raven says:

    @Steeplejack: I liked The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.

  89. 89
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @janeform: Good! I hope enough of us write or call to send a message to the DNC to stop messing with their voters/supporters. We’re not in the mood.

  90. 90
    raven says:

    Jeff Masters, Ph.D. Director of Meteorology at the Weather Underground was at a conference we ran last year, he was hilarious.

    Jeff lives in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area with his wife and daughter. He and his wife are active in managing a 32-acre natural area owned by their neighborhood association. They spend a lot of time killing invasive plants such as garlic mustard, glossy buckthorn, and Asian bittersweet, and planting native species to take their places. Jeff enjoys hiking, cross country skiing, vegetarian cooking, and meditation. His favorite places are Havasu Canyon in the Grand Canyon and the Boiling River in Yellowstone National Park. His favorite book is Autobiography of a Yogi, and his favorite movie is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He enjoys listening to Tangerine Dream, Loreena McKennitt, Anugama, and Beethoven. He occasionally picks up his trombone, but hasn’t played much since freshman year in college, when he played with the University of Michigan Marching Band.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    There’s a reason I called it “bad advice.” Let’s contact them with better advice.

  92. 92
    J R in WV says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Of course they are. Stomping around, giving the dogs a hard time too. Angry cats are a fearsome force in the household world !

    And of course, their dinnertime is later, but I’m making soup out of the pot roast we had the other day, so everyone wants some of that glorious smelling roast.

    Too bad, so sad!!

  93. 93
    Steeplejack says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I almost threw in a paragraph about that but figured I already had people backing away and avoiding eye contact.

    I would love to have a weather station, but I live in an apartment and wouldn’t trust the security if I set one up on the “grounds” behind the building. It’s a safe, low-density neighborhood, but curious kids, maintenance crews, etc.

    By the way, you were one of the helpful commenters who offered advice on my tire question last week. Just wanted to thank you—and everyone else! I ended up getting a set of Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires, which had to be ordered and will be installed tomorrow. I got them at BJ’s (similar to Costco), and even after the $50 membership I saved money compared with the other places I called. And nobody had them in stock except the very overpriced nearby Ford dealership.

    Plus I can actually see myself going back to BJ’s to get other stuff. It’s not all 30-roll bales of toilet paper.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J R in WV:

    I remember reading an anecdote once that Robert Heinlein came up with the book title for The Door Into Summer because they had a kitten who didn’t understand why it had been warm and sunny a few days before, and then had turned cold, so she kept demanding that they open every door in the house until they found the “right” one that would open to the place that was warm and sunny.

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    Jeff Sessions Confirmation Is ‘Rigged,’ Say Civil Rights Leaders
    January 6, 2017

    The confirmation process for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is “rigged” and should be delayed in order to thoroughly vet Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee, a group of civil rights leaders said Friday.

    The confirmation process for Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is “rigged” and should be delayed in order to thoroughly vet Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee, a group of civil rights leaders said in a conference call with reporters Friday.

    Citing reports that Democrats will be allowed to call only four witnesses to testify at next week’s confirmation hearings, and noting that Sessions left hundreds of questions blank on a required questionnaire, the Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP president Cornell William Brooks and five other civil rights leaders representing black, Hispanic and Asian-American groups called for a more “thorough vetting” of Sessions’ controversial career, which included a failed nomination to the federal bench in 1986 due to accusations of racial bias.

    “Rushing through this hearing…demonstrates a contempt for the need to probe Sen. Sessions’ record,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense And Education Fund. “The Senate Judiciary Committee cannot push this forward based on their friendship with Sen. Sessions.”

  97. 97
    Steeplejack says:

    @Another Scott:

    Details here. And thanks for your input, too.

    The Chinese (Korean?) tires were what the Kia dealer had in stock—probably standard for the Kia—but once I got over my initial panic—must fix this now!—and realized that tires are a four- or five-year purchase, I got comfortable with having to order what I really wanted. Did a lot of research, aided by the Juicetariat, and settled on the Michelins.

    The Energy Savers get good reviews and check all the low-energy-coefficient boxes. I’m sure they’ll be great for my light driving pattern, especially after the beat-up tires that are on the car now.

  98. 98
    Brachiator says:

    @Yutsano:

    Okay so we get the government small enough to drown it in a bathtub. What then? Why has no one asked the next question there?

    Small government vs big government is a false dichotomy, but Libertarians and some conservatives would say that political Nirvana would follow that small government baby drowning.

    There’s an offshoot of idealist libertarians in tech evangelists. These people believe that government does not understand tech innovation, that innovation moves too fast to be constrained by government regulations, and that politicians and judges cannot be educated sufficiently on tech issues, so lobbying and democratic efforts are a waste of time.

    So, for example, these people applaud Uber’s efforts to defy California regulators as the company works towards self driving cars.

  99. 99
  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    Monie
    ‏@MonieTalks_1

    The “new guard” Dems will leave people of color out just like a Bernie Sanders primary commercial. Their excuse: identity politics. Exit.

    Monie
    ‏@MonieTalks_1

    Attn the “old guard” Democrats who constitute a majority of Blacks, Latinos, Asians, LGBT, the “new guard” does not want you. Time to exit.

  101. 101
    Calouste says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Well, the Pacific Fleet is based in San Diego. They might as well be used to bombard Tijuana instead of lazing about if Mexico doesn’t pay up.

    Remember, this is the guy who during the campaign was wondering why the US don’t use their nuclear weapons.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    Yeah, I know I’m not the only one creeped out by the insistent calls for Donna Brazile to resign from a temporary post so a Real Man can do the job.

    I see what they’re doing, and I’m not going to sit down and shut up about it.

  103. 103
    rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid Verified account
    ‏@JoyAnnReid

    Ethics offics calls failure of Trump nominees to provide documents, complete ethics checks, unprecedented.

  104. 104
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    Dems better stand strong on this one and not let a single unvetted nominee through.

  105. 105
    Steeplejack says:

    @Redshift:

    Thanks for the link. Even that is kind of haphazard—“Here are some snowfall totals we’re seeing from readers and the Weather Service.”

    And “Today’s snowfall updates can be found below the forecast”? Below the forecast: “Washington, D.C., Current Snow Total: 0".” Grr.

  106. 106
    StringOnAStick says:

    @zhena gogolia: Nice! Along with Ms. Cracker, I’ve also been known to abuse an ukulele but mostly I play mandolin (jazz more than anything else). I find the uke works better for vocals, plus one cheap enough to bring on a river trip is usually quite playable, and cheap mandolins will destroy your left hand in short order.

    If you’ve got a small child interested in guitar, start then on a uke. Cheaper, easier on their hands, and you can bump them up to a guitar once they get bigger and can mentally deal with more strings. This was the approach iin western Canadian schools a few decades ago, and it seems like we run into a lot more people who play guitar there than we do here. I find it sad that music classes are pretty much gone in most public schools; music training adds so much to life.

  107. 107
    Steeplejack says:

    @raven:

    I could get along with that guy. Okay, maybe not the vegetarian cooking over the long haul.

  108. 108

    @debbie: we can’t filibuster though.

  109. 109
    hovercraft says:

    @Bruuuuce:

    I can’t believe that anyone would inject politics into a discussion about this serious policy expert, who would never stoop to being political herself.

    In June 2008, while guest-hosting Laura Ingraham’s radio show, Crowley cited a bizarre online “genealogy” (which she acknowledged she couldn’t “verify”) purporting to demonstrate that Obama is “not black African, he is Arab African.” She added: “And yet, this guy is campaigning as black and painting anybody who dares to criticize him as a racist. I mean that is—it is the biggest con I think I’ve ever seen.”

    Crowley has also questioned whether Obama is really a “natural-born citizen,” and has said the “birth certificate issue” had “traction” because Obama’s policies are “un-American,” which “feeds into this idea that somehow, fair or not, Obama is not one of us.”

    Why are people so mean to all these nice retiring people the shitgibbon keeps appointing?

  110. 110
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @debbie: Yep. Democrats better grow a spine and block as many of Trump’s nominees or slow them down as much as possible. That’s their only job.

  111. 111
    debbie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    No, but they can certainly delay and annoy. Before the hearings even start, someone should speak before the Senate and condemn the lack of vetting and documentation.

  112. 112
    Another Scott says:

    @Steeplejack: I’m a huge fan of the NWS weather pages. There’s a mountain of information there, but sometimes you have to dig for it.

    I think this snowfall page will work for you too – just zoom in. It’s just isolated reports, but there are a few (preliminary) numbers.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  113. 113
    rikyrah says:

    Inside the Obamas’ final star-studded party: White House bash goes on until 4am with Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and SJP on the dance floor and chicken and waffles for breakfast

    Kelly Rowland, Wale and Nick Jonas, Paul McCartney among stars to arrive to White House party on Friday
    Jill Scott, Terrence J, La La Anthony and Jordin Sparks also posted photos and selfies as they arrived
    Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Tyler Perry were in attendance
    Beyonce and Jay Z, Bruce Springsteen, and Oprah Winfrey were invited to attend President Obama’s party
    Chance the Rapper confirmed his attendance, writing: ‘Bout to fly 21 hours to DC to bid farewell to the greatest president in US history. God bless you @POTUS’
    Earlier Friday the First Lady gave final White House speech and Obama will give his farewell address Tuesday

  114. 114
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Bruuuuce: Is anyone surprised that a Fox News personality plagiarized most of her book? Let’s see if Trump still appoints her to his administration after this revelation.

  115. 115
    Suzanne says:

    @Steeplejack: We don’t have BJ’s, but I love Costco, even when I lived in apartments. It’s still probably my favorite place to shop.

  116. 116
    debbie says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    My understanding is that the tickets are free, but you have to pick them up ahead of time.

  117. 117
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    One good thing is that the WWC will be paying along with everyone else. Promise #1 = Broken.

  118. 118
    Steeplejack says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    I was the John Coltrane of the Tonette in fourth grade.

  119. 119
    trollhattan says:

    Seahawks si, Raiders no.

    Gracias

  120. 120
    Steeplejack says:

    @Another Scott:

    I know the information is out there, and I have occasionally thought about doing a little project to write an applet for my own dream weather page. But I keep thinking that what I want is not that unreasonable, so why can’t I find it somewhere?! Wah!

  121. 121

    @Steeplejack: one must be the D3 applet one wants to see in the world.

  122. 122
    Steeplejack says:

    @Suzanne:

    I like Costco—especially their labor policies—but the closest one to me is not very close and has horrible parking. I mean Trader Joe’s level of bad parking. BJ’s is much closer, less than half a mile from home, and it’s on my normal hunter-gatherer routes. I live alone and don’t need a lot of stuff, but now that I’ve got the membership I’m sure there’s enough stuff there to justify dropping in.

    Actually, when I got the membership and paid for the tires, I browsed through the store for a bit and ended up breaking in the membership card on a 48-pack of upscale wet food for the housecat. So she’s set for a while, at least.

  123. 123
    Steeplejack says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    True. Words to live by.

  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Is anyone surprised that a Fox News personality plagiarized most of her book? Let’s see if Trump still appoints her to his administration after this revelation.

    I am surprised that a Fox News personality could write a coherent sentence, let alone an entire book. Even allowing for the bits stolen from others.

    So far, Team Trump says they don’t care.

  125. 125
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @rikyrah: I know it’s meaningless, but it’s cracking me up that Trump is bragging about some teenaged reality contest winner, and Obama’s party makes the Oscars look B-list. I love it that cranky old Dave Letterman came out of retirement to go. I miss Letterman.

  126. 126
    debbie says:

    @Bruuuuce:

    I hope this destroys her chances. She was always horribly condescending on the McLaughlin Report.

  127. 127
    Brachiator says:

    @hovercraft:

    I can’t believe that anyone would inject politics into a discussion about this serious policy expert, who would never stoop to being political herself.

    Crowley’s idiotic and racist comments certainly gives me a better idea as to why she was a top Trump choice.

  128. 128
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Did you ever see Letterman’s interviews of Trump? He eviscerated him every time.

  129. 129
    zhena gogolia says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    I have no children, and I play the piano. But the uke is very attractive!

  130. 130
    Emma says:

    @rikyrah: Now that is a PARTY!

  131. 131
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Steeplejack:

    We had Flutophones.

  132. 132
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @debbie: You’re right. Tickets are free. I meant that people are snapping them up.

  133. 133
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: the ties made in China…. a classic

    I think it was the first time O’Reilly was on the show, Letterman told him he was full of crap

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @Patricia Kayden: If it ends after 4am, it’s not a party. It’s a par-tay!

    Cool photos. So cool that the Obamas would know how to do it up with style.

  135. 135
    debbie says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Yeah, people stood in line for hours in freezing weather. That really says something, doesn’t it? I hope the applause is thundering and endless.

    I doubt networks will broadcast it, so I’ll be watching here.

  136. 136
    Bruuuuce says:

    @debbie:

    She was always horribly condescending on the McLaughlin Report.

    Par for the course for the #TrumpleThinSkin team.

  137. 137
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Yes, he did. Can you see Fallon having the balls to do something like that? Colbert can, but not with the cutting bite of Letterman.

  138. 138
    Steeplejack says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Probably depended on who greased the school board for the contract. I was in midstate Illinois.

  139. 139
    hovercraft says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Patricia Kayden:

    These people have never come to terms with the fact that BS’s criticisms of the President was a huge factor in his losing the primary. Many of us love him, (we know he’s not perfect, but since we are adults, we love him anyway). Trashing him and his policies was not smart.

    When the reality of the new president reign sets in, Obama will probably garner the highest post presidential approval ratings of any modern president. When that happens, look out, the twitters may implode.

  140. 140
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @hovercraft: then waving away questions about it by saying “that was a long time ago”. Sanders has a patents for half-truths and ignoring inconvenient facts that grates on me. Among other things.

  141. 141

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: but then they’ll turn round and tell you that it’s his hacktastic, unique ability to make shit up that separates him from the rest of those pissant fact-based corporate whores. It gives the voters something to believe in!

    (Instead of reality!)

  142. 142
    Bonnie says:

    Go Seahawks! We love Russell Wilson here, too. I am a native Seattle/Tacoma Washingtonian.

  143. 143
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @efgoldman:

    There’s such a thing as too cranky. Probably never occurred to you, though.

  144. 144
    raven says:

    Come on Stafford!

  145. 145
    hovercraft says:

    @efgoldman:

    No gap in your front teeth?

  146. 146
    Adrift says:

    Just putting this out there from the Guardian:

    An Israeli embassy official has been caught on camera in an undercover sting plotting to “take down” MPs regarded as hostile, including foreign office minister Sir Alan Duncan, an outspoken supporter of a Palestinian state.

    now, who is our ally in the ME?

  147. 147
    opiejeanne says:

    @Bonnie: They’re so beat up right now, but they keep going.

  148. 148
    opiejeanne says:

    @raven: You’re rooting against Seattle????

    Harrumph, I say.

  149. 149
    opiejeanne says:

    @Steeplejack: Do you have a north-facing balcony? I’m assuming you’re not on the ground floor.

  150. 150
    Steeplejack says:

    @opiejeanne:

    I’m on the second floor. Don’t have a balcony at all. My windows face east (in front) and west (in back).

  151. 151
    StringOnAStick says:

    @zhena gogolia: You should give it a shot, a tenor uke with decent action can be had for $100. They don’t have high string tension so they are easy on the fret hand. If you play piano you’ve already got timing and rhythm down, its fun to give a different instrument a go!

  152. 152
    opiejeanne says:

    @Steeplejack: Well, drat. I got one for mr opiejeanne for Christmas and he seems to like it, now that he’s read ALL of the instructions and understands what all of the buttons do. He can find out exactly how cold it is without going outside to read a thermometer, and he can find out if it’s raining without looking out the window. j/k, it tells him a bit more than that.
    The little outdoor thingie is mounted on the north side of the house, about 4′ off the ground. The eaves provide some shelter, and we really don’t get winds driving the rain from the north.

  153. 153
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @opiejeanne:

    I appreciate the information. I’ve done some research and would really like to have one, but it’s just not on right now. I did get a little vicarious gratification by sending an outdoor thermometer with indoor display to a friend in Anchorage, Alaska. I found one that would go low enough to track her occasional –30° degree temps.

  154. 154
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @opiejeanne:

    [. . .] and he can find out if it’s raining without looking out the window.

    LOL. But he wants to know how much it’s raining, damn it. I can relate.

  155. 155
    John Weiss says:

    Look at you Betty C.! You got both of your football wishes and so did I.

    jw

  156. 156
    cosima says:

    @Steeplejack: I don’t know if you’ll see this, as I am sleeping while most of the posting seems to be done here (given we’re in the UK). But over xmas my oldest started this book exchange thing on her facebook and I grumpily said I’d take part. Everyone was to send their favourite book to the person they were matched up with. I was matched up with two of her young women friends (as a favour I said I’d do two). I chose that book to send to them. While I realise that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I re-read it recently while culling my bookshelves (donating the excess books to our local library), and A) I liked it as much as I have liked it in previous reads, but more importantly B) there were different things about it that resonated with me in this reading, at least a decade after the last reading. I love reading books that have that effect on me. Angle of Repose is another that I love in that way.

  157. 157
    Steeplejack says:

    @cosima:

    I like the book, just hated that the person always got the title wrong, even if subtly corrected. “Why, yes, The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a great book!”

    I know what you mean about rereading books. I was in a book club for a very long time—ten, maybe fifteen years—and there were several times when we deliberately went back and reread a book that we had done before. It was interesting to see how sometimes people’s views had changed radically in the interim.

  158. 158
    cosima says:

    @Steeplejack: Yes, I did catch that & appreciated it. :) I don’t have the luxury of talking to many people about books, unfortunately, because I’m a shut-in who keeps their social circle small in the interests of limiting social functions (introversion to the nth power). And I rarely seem to read substantive books that get me thinking these days. However, my quest to kon-mari my bookshelves led to some enjoyable re-reads.

    There’s a pair of books — ‘The Bitch in the House’ and ‘The Bastard on the Couch’ — they are essays about relationships/marriage/etc., and the difference in my perception of/reaction to the various essays over the 15-ish years that I’ve owned and read those books has been somewhat revelatory to me, gave me some things to think about in my own world.

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