He Sells Seychelles…

The Times broke a story yesterday about George Nader, a Trump pal who’s now cooperating with the Mueller investigation:

WASHINGTON — An adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to current and former aides to President Trump is cooperating with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and gave testimony last week to a grand jury, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Mueller appears to be examining the influence of foreign money on Mr. Trump’s political activities and has asked witnesses about the possibility that the adviser, George Nader, funneled money from the Emirates to the president’s political efforts. It is illegal for foreign entities to contribute to campaigns or for Americans to knowingly accept foreign money for political races.

Mr. Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who advises Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the effective ruler of the Emirates, also attended a January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles that Mr. Mueller’s investigators have examined. The meeting, convened by the crown prince, brought together a Russian investor close to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia with Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and an informal adviser to Mr. Trump’s team during the presidential transition, according to three people familiar with the meeting.

Mr. Nader’s cooperation in the special counsel’s investigation could prompt new legal risks for the Trump administration, and Mr. Nader’s presence at the Seychelles meeting appears to connect him to the primary focus of Mr. Mueller’s investigation: examining Russian interference during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Here’s the part that jumped out at me:

Mr. Nader was first served with search warrants and a grand jury subpoena on Jan. 17, shortly after landing at Washington Dulles International Airport, according to two people familiar with the episode. He had intended to travel on to Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s Florida estate, to celebrate the president’s first year in office, but the F.B.I. had other plans, questioning him for more than two hours and seizing his electronics.

It jumped out at Josh Marshall too, who has a good summary behind a paywall here. One of Marshall’s takeaways is that the investigation into Nader squashes an emerging narrative that the Mueller investigation is focused on obstruction rather than collusion/conspiracy.

TL;DR version: Like The Dude’s rug in “The Big Lebowski,” which really tied a room together, Nader’s activities seem to link disparate characters and nations, including Flynn, Erik Prince, Kushner, Putin plus the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in addition to Russia. Marshall:

Remember that Mike Flynn’s story is heavily tied to Turkey. It’s never been entirely clear how this fits into the Russia story proper or whether it does at all. The Nader chapter suggests how it might.

Third, we have further confirmation that Jared Kushner’s finances and activities are as much a part of this as Donald Trump’s and may go places even Trump did not.

This Nader development is a big, big deal.

Seems that way to me too. What say you? Open thread!

285 replies
  1. 1
    Roger Moore says:

    The thing that gets me is they basically disappeared him on his way back to Mar-a-Loco. This kind of thing has to be terrifying to Trump et. al. Every time somebody is late for a meeting, they have to wonder if they’ve been delayed by Mueller and company.

    It would also be interesting to go back to January 17 and see if Trump started acting out more than usual right around then. It might be a sign he knew or worried something was up when Nader failed to appear on schedule.

  2. 2
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Roger Moore: Hadn’t even thought of that, but yeah. This bunch will end up like Henry Hill in “Good Fellas,” peering out the car window at a helicopter overhead.

  3. 3
    AnonPhenom says:

    Sorry OT…

    Douchbag’s gotta douche

    A day after news broke that the actress Cynthia Nixon was in talks with two Democratic strategists about entering the 2018 governor’s race in New York, the two-term incumbent, Andrew M. Cuomo, wasted little time in denigrating her as a second-tier celebrity who had been egged on by his longtime Democratic rival, Mayor Bill de Blasio… Mr. Cuomo laughed aloud at his answer to a question about whether the mayor, a longtime friend of Ms. Nixon, is behind her possible candidacy. “I think it was probably either the mayor of New York or Vladimir Putin,” Mr. Cuomo said with a chuckle. “I am going to leave it to you, great investigative reporters to follow the facts and ferret out the truth.”“Normally name recognition is relevant when it has some connection to the endeavor,” Cuomo said in the call. “But if it’s just about name recognition, then I’m hoping that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Billy Joel don’t get into the race because if it’s just about name recognition, that would really be a problem.”

    Dear Gov. Douchebag,
    A person with the unlikely name (and name recognition) of Zephyr Teachout got 34 % of the vote against you in your last primary as a sitting-fucking-democratic-governor of New York State.

    I smell your flop sweat.

    a voter.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    Down, down, down! JKush going down!

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    It also means Prince lied his ass off to Congress. Wonder if that will ever mean consequences?

  6. 6
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    What say you?

    I say Kushner, at least, if not Trump as well, is going to die in prison.

  7. 7
    Anne Laurie says:

    Also, Erik Prince — and through him, Betsy deVos, and…

  8. 8
    Mandalay says:

    @Anne Laurie: Yes, BJ threads need far more embedded tweets to compensate for the severe lack of them in the OPs.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    At the rate we’re going, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mueller discovers that Trump is operating a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor.

  10. 10
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Wonder if that will ever mean consequences?

    Not while Republicans remain in control of Congress.

  11. 11
    trollhattan says:

    “Not a dime’s worth of difference!”
    Wait, wrong Nader.

    God, if they could somehow sweep Prince up in this thing dollars to donuts his sis heads to the hills pronto as a bonus.

  12. 12
    matyroshka says:

    It seems I need daily and frequent shots of reassurance that the end is near for these assclowns. But when, oh when, will it really be the end?

    Very good quote from Alexander Chee on Twitter (seen at Kendzior Twitter):

    “We’re watching some breathtaking unchecked criminal activity unfold daily while being intensively policed over minor crimes, or being made to feel like our existence is a crime. And the result is so much ambient powerlessness that turns, just like that, into free-floating rage.”

  13. 13

    Ah Erik Princeling, whose role model is the East India Company.

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    Speaking of richer than rich assholes, per the latest Forbes list the two Koch brothers we know and loathe have combined worth greater than the new solo champ, Jeff Bezos. All this kerfuffle has served them well, meaning their investments in ruining democracy are smart bidnez too.

  15. 15

    So work continues to frustrate. The digital library I’m building is going very well, except for the actual artifacts to be collected. The uberboss has some pretty conflicting demands. One, he wants to sign off on and/or edit all the materials. Two, he won’t delegate this responsibility. Three, he doesn’t actually want to allocate the time to do it.

    The group’s meeting today (sans him obvs) basically turned into a session where the non-me people schemed about how to trick him into doing it. Tricking him into doing the thing he wants to do himself and refuses to delegate. FFS. I just tried to hide my exasperated face and wrote some software tests while this was happening, since I didn’t have anything constructive to add.

  16. 16
    Mandalay says:

    FoxNews will probably have a wankfest over this photo of Bill Clinton in the water with his arm around George Nader: http://www.elportal.com.do/wp-.....a-cana.png

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @Mandalay: Probably. The mainstream media kept showing photos of Hillary and Weinstein together. The press loves that click bait stuff.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mandalay: That has to be photoshopped.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Jeffro says:

    @Baud: oh, win

    Also, possibly true

  21. 21
    eemom says:

    Never trust anyone named Nader. You heard it HERE.

  22. 22
    efgoldman says:

    @Baud:

    it wouldn’t surprise me if Mueller discovers that Trump is operating a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor.

    Nah, Ferret Head isn’t organized enough.
    Uday or Qusay, however….

  23. 23
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @AnonPhenom:

    I’d like to avoid anymore celebrities as policymakers for the indefinite future.

    When the list includes luminaries like Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, et al., I have a hard time linking acting or singing success with policy savvy or administrative talent.

  24. 24

    @Baud: McDonalds in the WH basement.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    oatler. says:

    “Got my fingers in a lotta pies!”

  27. 27
    Schlemazel says:

    Every day I remember a cartoon that was common on cube walls 30 years ago. Two vultures sitting on a branch, “patiences my ass, I’m gonna kill something!”

    I can’t take it much longer, I want indictments, a mountain of them bringing the tangerine tantrum to a swift and brutal comeuppance leading to a very long jail term. This waiting is killing me.

  28. 28
    EriktheRed says:

    Seems that way to me too. What say you?

    Honestly don’t know what to think at this point except that these pieces-of-shit look worse with each small development.

  29. 29
    lollipopguild says:

    He sells Seychelles by the Seyshore?

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    When the list includes luminaries like Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, et al., I have a hard time linking acting or singing success with policy savvy or administrative talent.

    Franken?

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Sure. I’d be a great boss. I’d delegate everything.

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brachiator:

    Franken?

    HE MUST BE TARRED, FEATHERED AND DRIVEN FROM HERE!!

    Oh, sorry. I had my Senator from NY key lock on.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud:

    I’d be a great boss. I’d delegate everything.

    Hmmmm…

  34. 34
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Neither one will ever see the inside of a prison cell. You can take that to the bank.

  35. 35

    @Gin & Tonic: maybe for a few minutes.

    Do you go into a cell while you’re being processed/awaiting bail/the judge hates you?

    @Baud: kind of better than what I have to deal with

  36. 36
    Hungry Joe says:

    This — meaning, the last 14 months — has all been so unprecedented and weird, and is accelerating so fast that I’ve given up trying to predict much of anything. (One exception: Pizzagate is going to blow up. There’s a trapdoor in that place, I know it, I just KNOW it.) For a long time, though, I’ve believed that Pardon Day will come, when Trump hands them out like 20 Percent Off coupons from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. (Trump Coupons not valid in New York State.)

  37. 37
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Baud: There are accusations that Trump’s modeling agency was little more than that.

  38. 38
    Immanentize says:

    @Mandalay:
    Did you just concern troll this thread?

  39. 39
    efgoldman says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Neither one will ever see the inside of a prison cell. You can take that to the bank.

    I think Kushkie has committed too many obvious felonies. If he’s pardoned, Schneiderman is waiting with state charges.
    I said last nite (and i believe) that Mueller is very carefully rolling up every possible doofus and charge, and when he’s done he will charge Ferret Head with multiple felonies and let the courts sort out whether the president can be indicted

  40. 40
    Elizabelle says:

    @Schlemazel:

    “patiences my ass, I’m gonna kill something!”

    I feel like that too.

  41. 41

    @Immanentize: well, Mandalay is a concern troll, so…

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Do you go into a cell while you’re being processed/awaiting bail/the judge hates you?

    That would be a jail cell, though, not a prison cell.

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone:

    HE MUST BE TARRED, FEATHERED AND DRIVEN FROM HERE!!

    Oh, sorry. I had my Senator from NY key lock on.

    I miss old Al. He was good enough, he was smart enough, and doggone it, people liked him.

  44. 44
    ruemara says:

    May the blessed Erinyes proffer up Erik Prince’s life & fortune. May they visit the Kochs in their fullness. May the Mercers & the DeVos’ witness their might. May Putin, the NRA & the GOP know the full weight of the word “devastation”. May the Murdochs’ tears be the wine of the Erinyes. May the name of Trumps’ be rendered a slur.

    Brightest of blessings for us all.

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: You’re confusing being a republican with being an actor.

    In other news, I got cast in another voiceover thingy. A oneshot, but it’s nice to add to my voice credits.

  45. 45
    Elizabelle says:

    Aha. They’ve got the transcript of Terry Gross’s interview with Jane Mayer yesterday. On the Steele Dossier. Fresh Air. NPR.

    There’s a link to audio too, if you’d rather listen than read/skim.

  46. 46
    Immanentize says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
    Clint Eastwood?

    Ok, how about Shirley Temple Black and Audrey Hepburn? Both pretty damn good on policy. Not to mention, Jello Biafra who kicked Tipper Gore’s ass in Congress

  47. 47
    Steeplejack says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yeah, I thought Prince basically said he met one guy for a beer in a bar and they shot the breeze for a while, can’t remember about what. Did he also not remember the eight fixers and spooks crowding into the booth and leaning in from adjacent tables?

  48. 48
    Immanentize says:

    @ruemara:
    Nice on the gig! Congrats! A son of a friend of mine is starting to break into the audiobook voice world. I am learning how hard it is to get any voice work. Good luck!

  49. 49
    jharp says:

    “During congressional testimony in November, Mr. Prince denied representing the Trump transition team during the meeting and dismissed his encounter with Mr. Dmitriev as nothing more than a friendly conversation over a drink.”

    This part jumped out at me.

    I would bet my entire stack that Eric Prince lied to Congress and I’ll bet we find the answer to that before too long.

  50. 50
    Yutsano says:

    @Immanentize: You shouldn’t make fun of someone’s mutant superpower.

    @ruemara: Oh snap! If you’re in the booth with this tall Mexican chap named Lucas by chance, smack him in the back of the head for me.

  51. 51
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mandalay: Remember when blogs consisted of things people wrote themselves? Those were the days…

  52. 52
    Immanentize says:

    @Steeplejack:

    fixers and spooks

    Next album name.

  53. 53
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Dana Houle didn’t mention in his tweets about Prince-DeVos-Romney-RNC, but that January party at Mar-a-Lago? Trump himself couldn’t attend because of the government shutdown, but the fellow who kindly served as host in Trump’s absence was Steve Wynn, who at the time was the RNC Treasurer (he resigned or was fired not long after in the wake of sexual assault accusations). This spiderweb grows more complex by the day. By the hour.

    @Mandalay: Fuck off, troll.

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:

    Someone mentioned the other night that Jared’s ill-fitting suits make him look like Pee-Wee Herman, and it turns out that famous rich lady Lee Radizwill noticed the same thing last year. 😂

  55. 55
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Elizabelle: Monday’s “Fresh Air” with Luis Alberto Urrea was the best I’ve ever heard. Mesmerizing, jaw-dropping stories; honestly earned, tear-jerking reflections. Terry Gross was entranced — her voice (she didn’t have to ask many questions) was shaking by the end of the show. Urrea (“The Devil’s Highway” and the new “House of Broken Angels”) is a terrific writer and an even better guy.

  56. 56
    Immanentize says:

    @Yutsano:
    True. Should of said, “Respect!”

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Elizabelle says:

    @Hungry Joe: Thanks for the head’s up. Had not heard of Urrea. Will check it out.

  59. 59
    debbie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Agreed, based on that weird color change near Clinton’s jawline.

  60. 60
    Boatboy_srq says:

    Anything that lands that slimy POS Prince in the mess seems worth pursuing. Lord Dampnut and Javanka both in comparison to Prince seem relatively easy targets; Prince and Blackwater/Xe/Whatever have been too good for too long at keeping their dirty laundry out of sight.

    That said, though, there ARE security consultants to the public sector that do good work: the GOTea, if it values that entire segment, would do well to create some distance from Prince et al or risk losing that entire portion of the public/private sphere as an unjustifiable risk to national security. Assuming Dems could make that stick, and that the Teahadis are not too brazen to just keep on keeping on.

    ETA: auto-correct turned “Javanka” into “Havana” and not “Jakarta”. Curious.

  61. 61
    germy says:

    Carina Driscoll, stepdaughter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, lost her bid for mayor of Burlington, Vermont.

    A moment of silence, please.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Don’t encourage the concern troll. 🙃

  63. 63
    debbie says:

    @Elizabelle:

    That was a great interview.

  64. 64
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @germy:
    “How could you neoliberal shills do this to me? You all will rue the day you defied Carina Driscoll! I was supposed to be a layabout do nothing like Bernie someday!”

  65. 65
    smintheus says:

    It’s not as if the US hasn’t been through this before. In Oct. 1973, as many of us were already getting impatient for the removal of Nixon from office, VP Agnew suddenly was forced to resign by a till-then undisclosed FBI investigation of his bribery and an IRS investigation of his tax evasion. That’s how it happens – in a flash, just as soon as the authorities feel ready to reveal their hand to the crooked politician. The rest of us don’t get to know the details until the crook is out of office.

  66. 66

    @Mnemosyne: says the queen of troll encouragement 🌝

  67. 67
    Roger Moore says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    This spiderweb grows more complex by the day. By the hour.

    It’s not a spiderweb. It’s a cesspool.

  68. 68
    Noah Brand says:

    I have a question that you’d think some quick Googling would fix, but so far it has not. I’m wondering whether I could spend a couple weeks this summer registering voters, not in my own deep-blue area, but somewhere it would help. The notion of taking a bus or train to someplace I’ve never been and helping get people engaged has a great appeal. I’ve heard of some organization that helps folks find temporary volunteer opportunities like that, but I haven’t been able to turn them up. Anyone familiar with such a group, or have any handy pointers?

  69. 69
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: Still got to read it. Jane Mayer is a national treasure. As is Catherine Rampell (WaPost), and Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times, and K-Thug Krugman at FTF NY Times.

    But Mayer is particularly courageous and dogged. Admire her a lot.

  70. 70
    Immanentize says:

    @smintheus:
    My older brother had an Agnew dartboard with a caricature of Agnew with the phrase:
    Et Tu Spiro? At the bottom….

  71. 71
    smintheus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Preppy conspicuous consumption – clothing nobody else has because it’s hideous.

  72. 72
    Jeffro says:

    @trollhattan:

    the two Koch brothers we know and loathe have combined worth greater than the new solo champ, Jeff Bezos. …meaning their investments in ruining democracy are smart bidnez too.

    Oh heck yeah (unfortunately). The ROI on buying Congressmen and Senators is out of this world.

  73. 73
    zhena gogolia says:

    I’ve seen too many B-movies. I keep thinking of this guy.

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @Immanentize: Make sure he leaves that to your spawn. That’s the sort of thing that shouldn’t leave the familial lineage.

    @SiubhanDuinne: I didn’t know Dr Ruth is actually still alive and kicking!

  75. 75
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I honestly thought Lee Radziwill had been dead for years.

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    @ruemara:

    In other news, I got cast in another voiceover thingy. A oneshot, but it’s nice to add to my voice credits.

    Very cool! Congratulations.

  77. 77
    Jeffro says:

    @Hungry Joe: Agreed. It is frustrating, with most of us having seen this coming for what, 20+ months at this point? But all indications are, it’s going to pay off beyond our wildest dreams.

  78. 78

    @Hungry Joe: She had John Oliver on today. She’s a good interviewer.

    (I originally had “very good” but “very” now has Trump cooties so I deleted it.)

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Not only is she not dead, she tweets! She’s in her mid-80s, FWIW.

  80. 80
    jacy says:

    @Noah Brand:

    You might contact Vote Riders — they should be able to tell you in short order if that’s a possibility and point you in a direction.

  81. 81
    Jeffro says:

    @Elizabelle: Mayer and Rampell are definite favorites here…will have to check out Hiltzik’s work.

  82. 82
    eemom says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Remember when blogs consisted of things people wrote themselves? Those were the days…

    Not saying a word. Nope. Not a word.

  83. 83
    smintheus says:

    @Immanentize: When I lived in Annapolis a few decades ago, there used to be a diner that still ostentatiously kept a booth reserved for the long-gone Spiro. Old f@rts in my department treated the Agnew lore as a major reason to dine on their greasy slop, but I avoided the place like they were dishing up the plague. What part of disgraced crook is hard to understand?

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’m the queen, I must protect my territory. 👑

    (I am trying not to do it as much, tho. Trying.)

  85. 85

    @eemom: That was the Obama years, when we had to come up with stuff on our own from time to time. When it was good and boring.

  86. 86
    Brachiator says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Monday’s “Fresh Air” with Luis Alberto Urrea was the best I’ve ever heard. Mesmerizing, jaw-dropping stories; honestly earned, tear-jerking reflections. Terry Gross was entranced

    Wow. I am going to have to cue this up for my commute.

    Thanks for mentioning it.

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s a spiderweb in a cesspool infested with stinkbugs.

  88. 88
    Roger Moore says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    I originally had “very good” but “very” now has Trump cooties so I deleted it.

    You could always substitute a stronger adjective; I would recommend superb or outstanding.

  89. 89
    ruemara says:

    @Yutsano: Well, it’ll be remote.

    @germy: a moment of silence before the hour of celebration and laughter, you mean.

  90. 90
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yeah, 85. Good for her, and long may she tweet!

  91. 91
    different-church-lady says:

    @eemom:

    Not saying a word. Nope. Not a word.

    I should give that a try some time.

  92. 92
    Yutsano says:

    @Roger Moore: Superlative. Let’s get the thesaurus a good workout.

  93. 93
    MomSense says:

    @Immanentize:

    Shirley Temple Black is a horrible person who loved to brag fortissimo (name shouting!!!) at every damn restaurant about how close she is to the Bush family and how much time she spent at the White House. Also too she tips for crap and can fuck all the way off with her BS.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    Roger Moore says:

    @smintheus:

    What part of disgraced crook is hard to understand?

    It’s different when it’s your disgraced crook.

  96. 96
    Yutsano says:

    @ruemara: Aww dang. I was kind of hopeful although a friend in San Jose does it like that too. Lucas is a gem. The smack on the back of the head is a nod to a cosplay he does.

  97. 97
    Chris T. says:

    I’m still fascinated by the fact that “spiro agnew” is an anagram of “grow a penis”…

  98. 98
    TenguPhule says:

    @MomSense:

    Shirley Temple Black is a horrible person who loved to brag fortissimo (name shouting!!!) at every damn restaurant about how close she is to the Bush family and how much time she spent at the White House. Also too she tips for crap and can fuck all the way off with her BS.

    Bet she ate an awful lot of spit in her food.

  99. 99
    MomSense says:

    Betty, A++ on the blog post title.

  100. 100
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elizabelle: Loves me some @Crampell.

  101. 101
    magurakurin says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    This bunch will end up like Henry Hill in “Good Fellas,” peering out the car window at a helicopter overhead.

    considerin Putin is involved, I would guess the “smarter” ones are more worried about ending up like the people at the end of “Casino.”

  102. 102
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @MomSense: Hasn’t she also been dead for several years now?

  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    Your computer hardware may be mocking you …

    Amazon admits Alexa is creepily laughing at people and is working on a fix

    Over the past few days, users with Alexa-enabled devices have reported hearing strange, unprompted laughter. Amazon responded to the creepiness in a statement to The Verge, saying, “We’re aware of this and working to fix it.”

    As noted in media reports and a trending Twitter moment, Alexa laughs without being prompted to wake. People on Twitter and Reddit reported that they thought it was an actual person laughing near them, which can be scary when you’re home alone. Many responded to the cackling sounds by unplugging their Alexa-enabled devices.

    It’s like a Rodney Dangerfield routine. “I asked Siri, ‘what time is it?’ She said, ‘It’s time for me to get a better owner!’ I get no respect…. no respect. “

  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yutsano:

    A few years ago I was dining with friends/colleagues at some restaurant near Rockefeller Center, and Dr Ruth was celebrating her birthday with a group at the next table. The servers brought her a cake, and she was as delighted as a little child. Quite charming!

  105. 105
    MomSense says:

    @TenguPhule:

    No doubt.

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I hope so.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MomSense:

    FWIW, was. She died in 2014.

  107. 107
    germy says:

    @Gin & Tonic: She died in 2014.

    If she (and Reagan) had gotten better roles in Hollywood, perhaps they wouldn’t have moved into politics.

    Shirley Temple in The Wizard of Oz, Ronnie in Casablanca, and history would be different…

  108. 108
    Roger Moore says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    My point is that this isn’t a single intricate conspiracy. It’s a bunch of crooks who all run in the same circles. If you keep investigating the crimes of one of them for very long, you’ll discover his friends are also a bunch of crooks with their own, completely separate criminal enterprises.

  109. 109
    condorcet runner-up says:

    Like The Dude’s rug in “The Big Lebowski,” which really tied a room together

    Timely quote as the movie just turned 20. Relatedly, here’s an interesting WaPo article in which critics who panned the movie when it came out are given a chance to right their wrongs … (spoiler alert: not all of them do!):

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2018/03/06/the-big-lebowski-is-20-we-reached-out-to-the-critics-who-panned-it-to-see-what-they-think-now/?utm_term=.1336187492a1

  110. 110
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    It’s a spoof account.

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    If I were forced to buy one of those things — and I hope to god I never am — I will name it Janet.

  112. 112
    Florida Frog says:

    @Noah Brand: Check out Spread the Vote. They are a national group focusing on getting people the right IDs so they can vote. We are looking into it down here

  113. 113
    germy says:

    @Brachiator: I wonder what happens if you ask Alexa about Siri, or Siri about Alexa? Do they talk shit about each other?

  114. 114
    John Fremont says:

    @jharp: @jharp: Maybe Erik Prince was showing the plan to sponsor hIm into Amway Quixtar. “My in laws the DeVos have been successful with this business, you should get in before this business goes sky high! You look like a smart individual, why wouldn’t you do this?”

  115. 115
    Quinerly says:

    @Mnemosyne: Profile says, “Satirical musings in honor of Lee.” Not Lee R’s Twitter acct.

  116. 116
    Immanentize says:

    @smintheus:
    He was such a lowlife worm. But his indictment allowed for Nixon’s retirement. So, Crooked Spiro did one good thing — he was a corrupt POS who was so obvious it required his removal. Hurrah!

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    So it is — I found it via Google search hoping someone had a side-by-side of Jar-Jar and Pee-Wee, and that was the one that did.

  118. 118
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yutsano:

    Superlative. Let’s get the thesaurus a good workout.

    I think I would describe Terry Gross as an exemplary interviewer. Other people who want to break into the business should listen and follow her good example. People who are already in the business should listen and realize how much room there is to up their game.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Quinerly:

    Already noted. 😄

  120. 120
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense:
    Hmmmm, did you ever work in Maine somewhere near the coast?

  121. 121
  122. 122
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chris T.:

    I’m still fascinated by the fact that “spiro agnew” is an anagram of “grow a penis”…

    Or “grow a spine” if you don’t wish to be vulgar.

  123. 123
    magurakurin says:

    @germy:

    Ronnie in Casablanca, and history would be different…

    yeah, history would be different in that nobody would have ever heard about a B-movie named Casablanca.

  124. 124
    Schlemazel says:

    @germy:
    Yeah, we would have forgotten about two shitty movies instead of remembering two good ones

  125. 125
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator: Skynet is advancing ahead of schedule, apparently.

  126. 126
    MomSense says:

    @Immanentize:

    Ayuh. I’ve got stories. Worked summers in the hotel where the WH Press Corpse stayed.

  127. 127
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy:

    Shirley Temple in The Wizard of Oz, Ronnie in Casablanca, and history would be different…

    But not necessarily any better.

  128. 128
    Jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    @AnonPhenom:
    Zephyr Teachout always seemed like a name Douglas Adams would have thought up.

  129. 129
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    I wonder what happens if you ask Alexa about Siri, or Siri about Alexa? Do they talk shit about each other?

    Apparently, you can create an infinite loopy conversation.

  130. 130
    chris says:

    @Brachiator: I read that earlier and then saw this tweet:

    Thinking of buying one of those always-on surveillance mikes which transmits everything I say in my house to a vast computer owned by the richest man in the world and which occasionally does a sinister chuckle— iucounu (@iucounu) 7 March 2018

    Scary thought.

  131. 131
    germy says:

    @magurakurin: @Schlemazel: I tend to give more credit to the director and screenwriter. With the right team, even a non-actor (or crappy actor) can shine.

    Maybe I give too much credit to the director and screenwriter.

  132. 132
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    Amazon responded to the creepiness in a statement to The Verge, saying, “We’re aware of this and working to fix it.”

    How many science fiction horror movies start with this line?

  133. 133
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Skynet is advancing ahead of schedule, apparently.

    We could escape by jumping into self driving cars…. Oh, wait…

  134. 134
    magurakurin says:

    @germy: no, they deserve a lot of credit, but if you think that Reagan could have replaced Bogart in Casablanca, maybe you need to watch a few more Ronald Reagan movies. All he does is nod, but it sets up this incredibly powerful scene. No way Ronnie’s smarmy face pulls it off. Without question, lots of pieces to a great film, but Reagan sucked as an actor.

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @germy:

    A crappy actor can shine once, or shine for that specific director. But that doesn’t usually improve the rest of their career (see Joe Pesci, if you care to).

  136. 136
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    How many science fiction horror movies start with this line?

    All of them, Katie.

  137. 137
    Schlemazel says:

    @germy:
    Ronnie was affable enough, maybe he could have pulled it off. The problem would have been to make him actually appear world-weary and cynical. The script was good enough. OTOH, there is a very good reason Ms. Temple never made movies after the cute crap faded. I don’t see any director dragging any useful performance from her.

  138. 138
    Corner Stone says:

    @germy:

    Maybe I give too much credit to the director and screenwriter.

    Nobody is turning Hayden Christensen into an actor who could believably deliver his lines, no matter who writes them.

  139. 139
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    if you don’t wish to be vulgar.

    Please, what means this?

  140. 140
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mandalay: I have seen the abbreviation OP several times lately, but never saw it before this week. I don’t recall whether the references to OP are all from you. Is OP referring to the post at the top? Opening Post?

  141. 141
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If I were forced to buy one of those things — and I hope to god I never am — I will name it Janet.

    Not Derrick?

    (presuming a “The Good Place” reference)

  142. 142
    magurakurin says:

    @Schlemazel: One thing I had always heard about Casablanca is that nobody knew how the film was going to end until they got to the last day. I don’t know if that is actually true or not. And apparently they colorized it and it just wasn’t the same causing many people to hate it. I think Turner did it or something. I love Casablanca. One of my favorites. It was my father’s all time favorite. I watched with him at least a dozen times.

  143. 143
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @ruemara:

    May the blessed Erinyes proffer up Erik Prince’s life & fortune

    These days they prefer to call themselves the ‘Eumenides’.

  144. 144
    Nicole says:

    I hate Andrew Cuomo as much as the next New Yorker, but I hope Cynthia Nixon doesn’t do this. I’m very fucking tired of celebrities using their name value to leapfrog into positions they do not have the experience for. Being Governor of NY is not like being Governor of TX. It’s an actual job.

    I also didn’t vote for Bloomberg any of the 3 times he ran for Mayor (also an actual job), but at least he’d had experience in an executive position of a large company.

    I though Al Franken was perfectly solid as a Senator, but that’s not an executive position. When celebrities have taken on being a governor without previous governing experience, the results are mediocre, at best.

    At some point we have to stop looking at previous experience in politics as a negative for candidates going for higher office. In every other field, experience is seen as a good thing.

  145. 145
    Jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    This shit is getting really weird.
    I’m not sure even Hunter Thompson could have done this justice.
    Le Carre, Clancy, Thor, etc could not have gotten this plot past an editor..
    I tend to reject conspiracy theories,
    but all this has gone from happenstance, to coincidence, to …

  146. 146
    GregB says:

    @germy:

    Here’s looking at you….Bonzo.

  147. 147
    Nicole says:

    @germy: Don’t forget to give credit to the editors, too! Back when Elizabeth Shue was up for an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, the joke going around Hollywood was that if she won, the editors were going to get up to accept the award.

  148. 148
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    A crappy actor can shine once, or shine for that specific director. But that doesn’t usually improve the rest of their career (see Joe Pesci, if you care to).

    Hmmm. Joe Pesci was great in a number of movies, and not just Scorsese joints.

    Lethal Weapon 2, My Cousin Vinny, Goodfellas, Home Alone, Casino, Lethal Weapon 2, Raging Bull

  149. 149
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    You wouldn’t get a useful answer from Derrick.

    (Yes, it’s a “Good Place” reference.)

  150. 150
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Yes, the post at the top. I always read it as “original post,” as opposed to the “comments.”

  151. 151
    Mandalay says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Fuck off yourself asswipe. Go write a poem or something.

  152. 152
    magurakurin says:

    @Brachiator: I like Joe Pesci. And being one of Martin Scorsese’s go to guys pretty much is an entire career unto itself.

  153. 153
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Mnemosyne: Watch out for unwanted cacti…

  154. 154
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Baud: @MomSense:

    The first time I read Baud’s comment, I didn’t notice it was Baud, and I took it quite seriously as an astute prediction.

    MomSense, please don’t disillusion me about Shirley Temple! I love her movies. Maybe she was in dementia?

  155. 155
    magurakurin says:

    @Nicole: very true. Director’s Cut versions of films are rarely better than the version first released. Apocalypse Now comes to mind in that light.

  156. 156
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    I spent weeks mooning over the blog posts of my favorite Russian actor until I realized that it was some kid who just put the actor’s name on his blog and pretended to be him. I felt like such an idiot.

  157. 157
    Brachiator says:

    @magurakurin:

    One thing I had always heard about Casablanca is that nobody knew how the film was going to end until they got to the last day.

    There appears to be something to this. Also, I think that they began filming without a finished script. I picked up a glossy tribute to Casablanca while standing in line in the supermarket. It turned out to be a fun, fast read, with a few interesting tidbits about the movie.

    I didn’t know that “As Time Goes By” was not written expressly for the movie. It was an older song that the guy who wrote the play “Everybody Comes to Rick’s” liked.

    And Arthur “Dooley” Wilson was a drummer. He sang, but did not actually play the piano.

    But it was cool to be reminded that a number of the supporting actors had actually been refugees, and knew what it felt like to try to escape to a safer country.

  158. 158
    zhena gogolia says:

    @magurakurin:

    RONALD REAGAN CANNOT TIE THE SHOES OF BOGART AS AN ACTOR. IT CAN’T EVEN BE CONTEMPLATED.

    And Shirley wouldn’t have been good in The Wizard of Oz either.

  159. 159
    satby says:

    @Noah Brand: you can also check into Jason Lender’s group Let America Vote.

  160. 160
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Joe Pesci? He’s a decent actor.

  161. 161
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator: She’s laughing because her master has tricked the entire world into giving him all their money.

  162. 162
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense:
    I remain, as always, faithfully yours. (If for no other reason than your combat experience)

  163. 163
    zhena gogolia says:

    Finally we get a Shirley Temple thread on BJ and it’s all about dumping on her. Waah! I hope Raven doesn’t show up . . . .

  164. 164
    magurakurin says:

    @Brachiator: interesting tidbits. cool.

  165. 165
    different-church-lady says:

    @germy:

    Ronnie in Casablanca, and history would be different…

    Reagan would be dead of cancer and the Bogart administration would never sell arms to the Contras?

  166. 166
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Brachiator:

    I recommend Noah Isenberg’s book on Casablanca for anybody who’s a fan.

  167. 167
    zhena gogolia says:

    @different-church-lady:

    OMG, Bogart as president! That would be so cool!

  168. 168
    different-church-lady says:

    @Roger Moore: If Meuller keeps following this long enough we might rid ourselves of all crime in America!

  169. 169

    @Brachiator: yeah that movie was a complete fiasco that just sort of happened to turn out really well.

  170. 170
    Immanentize says:

    @Schlemazel: @magurakurin:
    No matter what anyone says about Casablanca, I support the Czech resistance!

  171. 171
    different-church-lady says:

    @germy: Yay! Now you’ll have to wait until you’re 21 before you can shoot up a Florida school!

  172. 172

    @magurakurin:

    Director’s Cut versions of films are rarely better than the version first released.

    But my god did they fuck up the theatrical version of Blade Runner.

  173. 173
    Mnemosyne says:

    @magurakurin:

    It’s kind of true. The filmmakers didn’t decide until the last minute whether Rick and Ilsa should end up together or not. It would have been a very different (and worse) film if they had.

  174. 174
    trollhattan says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    Shirley Bassey?

    “Somewheeeeeere, over Goldfingaaaaah!”

    Could totally see it.

  175. 175
    Immanentize says:

    @Jake the antisoshul soshulist:

    but all this has gone from happenstance, to coincidence, to …

    Enemy action.

  176. 176
    Brachiator says:

    @magurakurin:

    Director’s Cut versions of films are rarely better than the version first released. Apocalypse Now comes to mind in that light.

    I thought that the director’s cut version of “Apocalypse, Now” was interesting, especially the scenes with the French colonialists, but agree that it was not better than the release version. And I recall seeing the original at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. What an experience.

    I find it sad that some SF and comic book fans are so in love with their favorite movies that they look on a bloated director’s cut or DVD “special edition” with almost every take added back as the “real” movie.

  177. 177
    Ocean dude says:

    Kushner refinanced 1.2 billion of debt a few years ago. The bill is due next February. Its expected to be 1.5 billion owed by that time. Kushner companies owes half, 750 million dollars. Isnt it safe to assume that this man is first and foremost trying to keep his company from going bankrupt? When he looks at the highest levels of intelligence he must be thinking how he can leverage this information. Kushner must have been somewhat giddy with his elevation to power, from this elevated perch he surely must be able to leverage a favorable loan from some wealthy oligarch or chinese billionaire or gulf state prince. Does he even realize that countries are trying to figure how to roll him? That he is in a desperate situation, and the world’s worst actors know it. He is the mark, completely out of his element, yet I am terrified he sees himself as a whiz kid know it all. He is the lamed prey fretting about in a dangerous forest, hiding in a tree bole, thinking he is secure, on his person information of great value. Meanwhile, various Rudyard Kipling predators are trying to figure out how to get to him first, in secret, or at least deniability, without the others knowing it.

  178. 178
    different-church-lady says:

    @TenguPhule: I can hardly wait for the Russians to hack my self-driving car.

  179. 179
    Nicole says:

    @magurakurin:

    Director’s Cut versions of films are rarely better than the version first released.

    I totally agree. The editors truly are the power behind the throne in movie making. So much of the control, so little of the credit.

  180. 180
    smintheus says:

    @magurakurin: Reagan was pretty good when playing to type as a conniving villain in The Killers.

  181. 181
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ocean dude:

    Wow, you’re a good writer.

  182. 182
    Mike in NC says:

    He had intended to travel on to Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s Florida estate, to celebrate the president’s first year in office, but the F.B.I. had other plans, questioning him for more than two hours and seizing his electronics. squeezing his testicles.

    Fixed!

  183. 183
    zhena gogolia says:

    @smintheus:

    He was okay at playing very one-dimensional characters. But to put him in the same sentence with Bogart, one of the two or three greatest screen actors of all time, is sacrilege. (The other two are James Stewart and Cary Grant.)

  184. 184

    I’m sort of starting to think Sessions will be the last man standing.

  185. 185
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    No blame. The dark side of the democratization of information on the Internet is the torrent of sheer bullshit that also has been unleashed. That is one of the reasons why I am such a dick about badgering people for links or citations on stuff that they post here, because even plausible-sounding stuff can turn out to be wrong, and it is all too easily perpetuated.

  186. 186
    trollhattan says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    How will we know? [short joke]

  187. 187
  188. 188
    germy says:

    @different-church-lady: Bogart would have been a fine liberal president.

  189. 189
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    So you’re saying Jefferson Beauregard Sessions lll is going to be President?

  190. 190
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    LOL. I was wincing and sort of hoping you would miss this one.

  191. 191
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator: I think I’m going to set up my house as a tech-free sanctuary site. People will pay me thousands of dollars to free themselves of their hacked devices. There will be former cult deprogramming specialists to work with victims in order to re-enable people to deal with the world in an analog fashion (grocery shopping, payments with cash, verbal conversations, etc.)

    About 10 years from now this will be a growth business.

  192. 192
    Immanentize says:

    Ooo oo! Me! I have a poem!

    Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
    Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;
    For the temple-bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would be
    By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
    On the road to Mandalay,
    Where the old Flotilla lay,
    With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
    O the road to Mandalay,
    Where the flyin’-fishes play,
    An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay !

    — Kipling

  193. 193
  194. 194
    different-church-lady says:

    @chris: Internets have been awarded. Good luck to everyone else for tomorrow.

  195. 195
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Schlemazel: For a while, Tina Majorino seemed to be every director’s idea of a cute kid and I couldn’t stand her. But then she showed up as a nerdy teenager in Napoleon Dynamir and she actually was adorable. And cute.

  196. 196
    Brachiator says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    I recommend Noah Isenberg’s book on Casablanca for anybody who’s a fan.

    I will have to check this one out.

    Previously, I’d heard that “Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca,” by Aljean Harmetz, was an excellent book on the movie.

  197. 197
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The filmmakers didn’t decide until the last minute whether Rick and Ilsa should end up together or not.

    How could you keep Rick and Ilsa together without violating the Hays Code?

  198. 198
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I have to admit that this is pretty close to my fantasy, at least with regard to political corruption. Clean out the Augean stables!

  199. 199
    different-church-lady says:

    WHY DO I WANT A WORLD WHERE MY APPLIANCES LAUGH AT ME AND I HAVE TO BEAT ROBOT DOGS AWAY FROM MY DOOR WITH A HOCKEY STICK?!?

  200. 200
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    The uberboss has some pretty conflicting demands. One, he wants to sign off on and/or edit all the materials. Two, he won’t delegate this responsibility. Three, he doesn’t actually want to allocate the time to do it.

    I have seen this before. It’s beyond maddening. Best if you make sure you are never behind the wheel at a time when he is walking across the parking lot.

  201. 201
    Roger Moore says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I can hardly wait for the Russians to hack my self-driving car.

    It would certainly make assassination easier.

  202. 202
    different-church-lady says:

    IN THE FUTURE, HUMAN ERROR WILL NO LONGER CREATE AUTO ACCIDENTS. ROBOT ERROR WILL DO IT FOR US.

  203. 203
    Mnemosyne says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Ahem. You mean Cary Grant and Edward G. Robinson.

  204. 204
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Brachiator:

    I haven’t read that one — Isenberg cites it a lot.

  205. 205
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Chacun à son goût!

  206. 206
    WaterGirl says:

    @ruemara: So happy for you!

  207. 207
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You could kill off Victor. But, as I said, doing that would wreck the movie.

    And the Hays Code was somewhat selective when it came to enforcement. Lubitsch and Sturges got away with stuff that astounded critics and delighted audiences.

  208. 208
    Immanentize says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Untrue. Humans will create robot cars that will cause accidents. Trust me on this, I know.

  209. 209
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    I guess I kind of suspected that making 6 movies a year when you’re six years old and having Eleanor Roosevelt and Joan Crawford and Marlene Dietrich coming around to get their picture taken with you doesn’t necessarily lead to being the salt of the earth in later life. But this is the first time I’ve heard she wasn’t a nice person. She was, undeniably, a Republican. And very rich (because of her husband).

  210. 210
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I thought so. I was trying to make a (bad) joke.

  211. 211
    different-church-lady says:

    @Immanentize: I’m thinking: why are we spending all this time trying to perfect artificial intelligence when we haven’t even come close to perfecting human intelligence?

  212. 212
    Brachiator says:

    @Nicole:

    I totally agree. The editors truly are the power behind the throne in movie making. So much of the control, so little of the credit.

    It is usually acknowledged that editing is one of the key aspects that makes movies something different from plays or novels. Film scholars even have a fancy French term for it, montage. Interestingly enough, some of the best “cutters” since the early days of movies through today have been women.

    There’s a fun Youtube clip demonstrating how editing help’s to create a film’s meaning: “Holding Long and Cutting Short: 2 Brilliant Moments in Editing”

  213. 213
    Shana says:

    @Immanentize: Didn’t one of the Midnight Oil guys run for office in Australia?

  214. 214
    different-church-lady says:

    @Immanentize: It’s like a Porky Pig cartoon: “Now I gotta get me a d’d’… d’d’d’d’…. a dog!”

  215. 215
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Hey, I’ve told you about the Russian. Knock it off!

  216. 216

    @different-church-lady: hey but there will be fewer accidents!

  217. 217
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: Wait a second. How can someone win the internets for the day when they literally quote someone else’s tweet?
    Do you even hypocrite, bro?

  218. 218
    The Lodger says:

    @Ocean dude: Kushner can’t even misrepresent his situation, which takes away an incredible amount of leverage. Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows he’s over a barrel, even if the MSM decides to be polite and not mention it every time his name comes up in a story.

  219. 219
    Shana says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Isn’t she Jackie Kennedy’s sister?

  220. 220
    Immanentize says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Because the AI is easier to make better? Odd, I know.

  221. 221
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Well, we gave up on human intelligence. We’re “going in a different direction,” as they say in Hollywood.

  222. 222
    different-church-lady says:

    @Immanentize: It’s also easier to make worse.

    And ever since we got rid of slavery, it’s a LOT easier to sell…

  223. 223
    WaterGirl says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Trump has ruined that word for me, too. On the other hand, I do find that the sentence is always more interesting once I substitute another more descriptive word for “very”.

  224. 224
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: Chris is merely accepting the award, his name isn’t on the card.

  225. 225
    Immanentize says:

    @different-church-lady: I rather love Porky Pig. Especially when he would finally get — mad? Indignant? Hurt?

    Poor Porky

  226. 226
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): What happens when AI resolves that the only viable option is IGMFY ?

  227. 227
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Roger Moore:
    My own advice would be that ifyou call upon them as little as possible, qualifiers will work that much harder for you when you really need them.

  228. 228
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: Sounds like cultural appropriation.

  229. 229

    @Corner Stone: much ink has been spilled about this, and the general consensus is that it ends poorly.

  230. 230
    Immanentize says:

    @different-church-lady:
    AI and slavery. I think we might have to face that question before this century is out. It is moving fast.

  231. 231
  232. 232
    Shana says:

    @Schlemazel: I dunno, I’m pretty fond of The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, and only partly because of Cary Grant. And Myrna Loy.

  233. 233
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    We will be slightly better off than we are under Republican rule.

  234. 234
    Brachiator says:

    @different-church-lady:

    WHY DO I WANT A WORLD WHERE MY APPLIANCES LAUGH AT ME AND I HAVE TO BEAT ROBOT DOGS AWAY FROM MY DOOR WITH A HOCKEY STICK?!?

    The best “crappy voice recognition” comedy bit remains The Scottish Elevator clip.

  235. 235
    Shana says:

    @Brachiator: Kind of like how Robert Clary in Hogan’s Heroes, who was actually a concentration camp survivor, was the only one who acted cold and shivery when they were all lined up during the show.

  236. 236
    Roger Moore says:

    @different-church-lady:

    why are we spending all this time trying to perfect artificial intelligence when we haven’t even come close to perfecting human intelligence?

    Maybe there are fools who believe it will be easier to perfect machines than humans.

  237. 237
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: AI rationally does not care if we are fed, sheltered, educated, have medical care…oh.

  238. 238
    chris says:

    @different-church-lady: I always wanted to be a minion, filthy or otherwise.

  239. 239
    different-church-lady says:

    @Immanentize: Which party is the slave in this scenario?

  240. 240
    Fester Addams says:

    @Baud:

    it wouldn’t surprise me if Mueller discovers that Trump is operating a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor.

    Very funny. You know that child sex ring was operated out of a “modeling agency.”

  241. 241
    Immanentize says:

    @Shana:
    I didn’t know that about “Lebeau.” Shit. Singing for the SS at Buchenwald? Shit. But thanks for telling me, I think.

  242. 242
    TenguPhule says:

    @different-church-lady:

    AND I HAVE TO BEAT ROBOT DOGS AWAY FROM MY DOOR WITH A HOCKEY STICK?!?

    I suppose this is a bad time to inform you that they’ve managed to teach the robot dogs to open doors.

    While being attacked by a human.

    And no, this isn’t a joke.

  243. 243
    Immanentize says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Not the programmer.

  244. 244
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, it’ll be goodbye, meat puppets, except maybe for a few on the main­tenance/​jani­torial team.

  245. 245
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    and the general consensus is that it ends poorly.

    it depends on which end of the transformer you’re on.

  246. 246
    Doug R says:

    @germy:

    Ronnie in Casablanca

    F*CK Y*U

  247. 247
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    We will be slightly better off than we are under Republican rule.

    Being ruled by cats would have the same result.

  248. 248
    TenguPhule says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Which party is the slave in this scenario?

    The one with less energy.

  249. 249
    chopper says:

    @AnonPhenom:

    I like how a guy who was able to get into politics in the first place cause his name is fucking cuomo is complaining about name recognition.

  250. 250
    different-church-lady says:

    @TenguPhule: I suppose this would be a good time to inform you that’s exactly what I was talking about.

  251. 251
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Immanentize:

    As far as I know, he enjoyed the fact that he was alive and making good money while mocking his defeated enemy. Not depressing at all, IMO.

  252. 252
    different-church-lady says:

    @TenguPhule: Considering that Millennials will no longer obtain food without the use of a smartphone, I have to reluctantly place my money on the robots.

  253. 253
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Shana:

    That’s probably her best film after childhood. That and Since You Went Away. But she’s better in Bachelor.

  254. 254
    TenguPhule says:

    @different-church-lady: Ah, you read that story too.

    I welcome our forthcoming mechanical canine overlords.

  255. 255
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @different-church-lady:
    I didn’t know what a lime looked like until today, so I agree.

  256. 256
  257. 257
    Immanentize says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    It’s not depressing, Mnem, about him. It’s depressing how much I complain considering the rather lucky life I’ve led.

  258. 258
    different-church-lady says:

    @TenguPhule: I saw the video.

    TECH BROS: “Hey, we got a robot dog that can open a door while being beaten with a hockey stick! Let’s make a video! Everyone will think it’s so cool!”

    EVERYONE: “AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!! THAT’S TERRIFYING!!!!!!! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS????”

  259. 259
    Nicole says:

    @Brachiator: There was also a fun trend, ten or so years ago, to take a well-known movie and edit a new trailer, changing the genre of the film in the process. The best one was for The Shining, but there were a bunch of good ones. The Silence of the Lambs was pretty well done, too.

  260. 260
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    I didn’t know what a lime looked like until today, so I agree.

    Obviously you need to find a better class of alcoholic beverages.

  261. 261
    different-church-lady says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Jesus, you’re not one of those 13 kids that were held prisoner in a basement, are you?

  262. 262
    TenguPhule says:

    @different-church-lady:

    EVERYONE: “AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!! THAT’S TERRIFYING!!!!!!! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS????”

    FOR SCIENCE!

    /The start of every scientific disaster ever

  263. 263
    glory b says:

    @Roger Moore: Interestingly, when she was asked to name an interviewer who most impressed her, she named Howard Stern.

  264. 264
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Immanentize:

    Meh. I’m not quite up for a long, philosophical discussion, but comparisons are odious, and looking at someone’s worse life never makes one feel better.

    Unless the other person is in the Trump family, of course. Seeing him in an orange jumpsuit will make me happy for years to come. 😄

  265. 265
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne: I agree with all of this.

  266. 266

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    I didn’t know what a lime looked like until today

    Good thing you’re not training to be a ship’s doctor in the Royal Navy.

  267. 267
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Good thing you’re not training to be a ship’s doctor in the Royal Navy.

    Actually not a problem since they have no longer have seaworthy combat ships in service.

  268. 268

    @TenguPhule: gosh it’s almost like I was referring to a different century when scurvy was still an issue

  269. 269
    Doug R says:

    @Brachiator:

    It is usually acknowledged that editing is one of the key aspects that makes movies something different from plays or novels. Film scholars even have a fancy French term for it, montage. Interestingly enough, some of the best “cutters” since the early days of movies through today have been women.

    There’s a fun Youtube clip demonstrating how editing help’s to create a film’s meaning: “Holding Long and Cutting Short: 2 Brilliant Moments in Editing”

    Heard George Miller handed the disc with all the video files to his wife, she cut it together.

  270. 270
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    That’s what happens when you lose your colonial Empire and become a client state of another larger country that used to be your subjects.

  271. 271
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Doug R:

    Heard George Miller handed the disc with all the video files to his wife, she cut it together.

    I’m pretty sure the point of the story was supposed to be that Miller is married to a film editor, not that he handed it off to someone with no actual experience.

  272. 272
    Steeplejack says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Well played. Way to up your game.

  273. 273
    Doug R says:

    @Mnemosyne: I guess I’m implying a lot of the genius of Fury Road was the editing although George Miller gave her good coverage. I also hear George Miller likes to shoot in sequence.

  274. 274
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Lol. Yeah. I was surprised at the sheer number of produce that exists.

  275. 275
    Immanentize says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I’m in no position to be philosophical, either, but “odious” is rather strong and misses the other possibility:. At times in ones life, considering the success of people like Clary — who thrive ( and enjoy their revenge?) in spite of experiencing things far worse than one can imagine — provides inspiration to carry on regardless of ones personally perceived momentary difficulties.

    And I will dance heartily when the happy day of indictments finally arrives.

  276. 276
    Steeplejack says:

    @Nicole:

    I seem to remember one making Mary Poppins a horror movie that was pretty good.

  277. 277
    Roger Moore says:

    @glory b:

    Interestingly, when she was asked to name an interviewer who most impressed her, she named Howard Stern.

    I can understand that. Stern is best known for his puerility, but he hasn’t prospered as long as he has purely by pushing the boundaries of good taste. He knows how to get his guests to open up about things they otherwise wouldn’t, which is a vital skill for any interviewer.

  278. 278
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Doug R:

    Ah, okay. The phrasing was weird, which is why I was like ❓

  279. 279
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Immanentize:

    See, I’m the kind of person who looks at someone who’s had more adversity but still does pretty well and realizes that I really, really suck and am a terrible person, which only makes me more depressed. So for me, it’s counterproductive.

  280. 280
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Steeplejack:
    I’ll be here all week.

  281. 281
    Immanentize says:

    @Mnemosyne:. I know I only know your BJ persona., But the idea that you would think you suck or that you are a terrible person is so hard for me to believe…. That I can’t help but think you are having me on. FWIW, you are to me as a blog stranger amazing, learned, caring, insightful, passionate and fearless. Sometimes a prat, to be sure, but who isn’t? Who great shouldn’t be?

  282. 282
    Joe Miller says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Although, given his height, it will be hard to tell.

  283. 283
    Ruckus says:

    @Mandalay:
    What BJ really needs is no threads with you in them. Bye, bye.

  284. 284
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Some think that the artificial intelligence might end up being intelligent and therefore actually better? I can think of a few people off hand that this might be true of now.

  285. 285
    No One You Know says:

    @Ocean dude: My money’s on Kaa. I wish I knew who was playing him…

Comments are closed.