Sunday Morning Open Thread: Fruits of the Season

When I was growing up in NYC, the “Man o Manischewitz” jingle was so much a part of the holiday season that I never realized other people might not have the same memories. The Spousal Unit (raised in rural upper lower Michigan) just wandered in to ask why I was playing old radio ads. But he remembered his elderly *very* respectable Midwestern Ohio grandmother back in the same time period, after being ordered by her doctor to drink a glass of wine every evening for her heart, using Manischewitz for that purpose. So the advertising must’ve had some outside-the-Northeast impact.

In hindsight, I suspect Manischewitz might’ve been the secret ingredient in quite a few of the alcoholic-enough-to-make-the-kids-tipsy fruitcakes baked by the local Italian nonnas. (My Irish neighbors weren’t much for baking; we had Italian bakeries and Jewish delis to supply our culinary shortfalls, which given the state of Irish-American cooking in those days was probably for the best.)

Manischewitz wine has long enjoyed crossover appeal. Last year, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about its popularity in Asian-American communities and in the 1950s and 60s it was also a popular wine in the African-American community

He says when Jews first arrived to New York they needed wine for most religious ceremonies and holidays.

“The only grapes that were available was something called the Concord variety of grapes. They’re not sweet,” he says. “So in order to make them palatable, they would make this very sour grape into wine and then they would add sugar.”

It turns out, the very, very sweet wine is just the right flavor profile for Bethel’s go-to Christmas drink, sorrel. In Trinidad, she says, it’s not Christmas without the fragrant drink made from hibiscus blooms…

I’m sure some of you sophisticated readers will have OPINIONS about black cake:


184 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😊😊😊

  2. 2
    Shrillhouse says:

    I’m half Trinidadian, and I have no idea what “black cake” is…

  3. 3
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Assuming he goes down in flames before he causes us to; assuming that what’s left of our democracy ends him before he ends what’s left of our democracy, Trump will have been the best thing that ever happened to America, indeed, among the best for our global survival imperative – figuring out how to spot and thwart the asshole impulse in human nature.

    This is the conclusion I’ve come to as well.

  4. 4
    Raven says:

    Mad Dog is Manischewitz too, that was big among the brothers as was “what’s the word, Thunderbird, what’s the price? 40 twice,

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    Oops, Mogen David

  6. 6

    @A Ghost To Most: I get what you’re saying, but the damage the man (with the help of his party) has already done will take decades to repair, assuming we ever can. To me, this is too much in the “heighten the contradictions” mode. Those heightened contradictions are costly.

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    Thanks Anne. Did not know about any of this Manischewitz lore. Full service blog.

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Blech!. Humbug!

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: MD 20/20 is what we called Mad Dog when I was growing up.

  10. 10
    geg6 says:


    Here, too. One of drinks of choice at high school parties where no parents were in attendance.

  11. 11

    Did no one else drink Red Ripple?

  12. 12
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning 😊!
    @OzarkHillbilly: 😘
    @Dorothy A. Winsor: and the people who root for heightened contradictions to bring about utopia are never the ones suffering the effects.

  13. 13
    Elizabelle says:

    Check out Google homepage today. Rudolph and Claus be getting ready.

  14. 14
    satby says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Ripple came years later. Mogan David and Manischewitz were decades earlier. My grandparents considered that wine, but they were highball drinkers anyway.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: We weren’t ever gonna come out of this unscathed. When we come out on the other side it’s gonna be a whole ‘nother world, one in which the US is not nearly as important to the rest of the world.

  16. 16

    @satby: I get the whole “this should teach us a lesson” thing, because, dog knows, it should. But we seem to be slow learners.

  17. 17
    Barbara says:

    Here is a really fun article on the entire category of wines that were advertised in the 70s: where are they now? Does anyone remember Cold Duck?

  18. 18
    Raven says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: (It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
    Perhaps they’re better left unsung.
    I don’t know, don’t really care
    Let there be songs to fill the air.

    Ripple in still water,
    When there is no pebble tossed,
    Nor wind to blow.

  19. 19
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Does anyone remember Cold Duck?

    Yes, not sure I ever drank any.

  20. 20
    HeleninEire says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Not sure that’s a bad thing. The transition will be difficult and long but it may be worth it. One of the reasons I moved to Ireland is that we are a small island, very isolated. We leave everyone alone and they leave us alone. We mind our own business.

    Not a bad thing.

  21. 21
    Jeffro says:

    Italian bakeries and Jewish delis sounds like a pretty good neighborhood to me. =)

    My family and I will be away on vacation from Dec 27th-Jan 1st and I’m trying to decide if we need to have our New Year’s black-eyed peas before we go or when we get back. Hmm…

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Nixon Reagan Bush Bush Trump will have been the best thing that ever happened to America, indeed, among the best for our global survival imperative – figuring out how to spot and thwart the asshole impulse in human nature.

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    Yep. We will have to live with the nightmares on the Courts for two generations.😡😡

  24. 24
    MazeDancer says:


    trying to decide if we need to have our New Year’s black-eyed peas before we go or when we get back

    Either both or when you get back.

    If it’s something you do, then you gotta have some black-eyed peas in the New Year. That’s the year that the luck is for.

    Also, you could take a can and just eat some bites on New Years Day, then take your time with making the good stuff when you get back.

    I gave up the Black-Eyed Peas thing. Deciding instead of charming tradition it was yet another Southern Oppression. But not after I had passed it on to so many Yankee friends they all take a vicarious bite for me.

    OTOH, all other New Years Day traditions still seem lovely. Like pomegranate seeds. Tamales. 12 grapes. So, enjoy your black-eyed peas and celebrating the New Year.

  25. 25
    MattF says:

    Bad wine at seders is a tradition that Man, oh, Manischewitz has upheld for a very long time. And I won’t lie– it is terrible.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Schlemazel says:

    Heard the Man oh Manischewitz jingle on TV here in Minnesota in the 1950s. They had a competitor, Temple wine The started with a jingle sung to the tune of the Volga Boatman
    Temple WIne is fine
    Serve it when you dine
    for eating or greeting
    Temple wine is fine

    Mom was pretty much anti-alcohol on the only thing I ever saw her drink was that mixed with 7Up.

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Not sure that’s a bad thing.

    It might be, might not be. It all depends on how the transition is handled. And right now? With half the country believing trump is the savior who has been promised? Let’s just say I’m not getting my hopes up.

  29. 29
    Schlemazel says:

    BTW – I love Sorrel , have since I discovered it at a caribbean restaurant here a couple decades ago. I can’t imagine thaat dreadful wine in something that tasty

  30. 30
    Anne Laurie says:


    Italian bakeries and Jewish delis sounds like a pretty good neighborhood to me. =)

    Well, the local ‘Jewish deli’ was actually owned by an Italian family, but they kept it kosher — really cut down on the cold cut selection, alas. And the good Italian bakeries were all the way out on Jerome Avenue, quite a long walk or bus ride from our parish for the older ladies & the moms with multiple small kids (this was the 1950s/early 60s, if your family had a car it was for The Head of the Household to drive to work), so we mostly got there for special occasions and holidays. But that was also near the subway intersection with the Chinese bakery, where you could get giant almond cookies and black/white frosted ‘moon cookies’…

  31. 31

    @Raven: I was thinking more
    Grape wine in a mason jar,
    Home made and brought to school
    by a friend of mine,
    And after class,
    Me and him and this other fool decided that we’d drink up what’s left.

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: Got awful dusty in here all of a sudden.

  33. 33
    Bobbo says:

    Wasn’t there an ad with Sammy Davis, Jr. saying ‘Man-o-Manischevitz’?

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Immanentize says:

    That article scared me.

    I was a bartender during the last days of disco at an upscale steak restaurant — The Scoth n Sirloin – which had dining on one side, bar and dance floor on the other.

    I remember every one of those wines, sadly. Mateus and Lancers — slightly frizante red/rose wines — we’re particular favorites among the dining crowd.

  36. 36
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Happy Festivus

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just One More Canuck: Dinner is gonna be mighty cold by the time the airing of grievances is finished.

  38. 38
    Plato says:

    There’s nothing in the Christmas wrapping rulebook that says you can’t just put the present under the tree in the Amazon box it was delivered in.

    — Z🎄CK (@Mr_Kapowski) December 22, 2018

  39. 39
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: I love how it’s just too much and she has to cry a bit. I agree with Ozark. Dusty in here.

  40. 40
    germy says:

    Weird coincidence about old jingles. Yesterday I was thinking about old public service commercials I used to see on TV, teaching kids not to jay walk:

    “Don’t cross the street in the middle in the middle in the middle in the middle in the middle of the block
    Use your eyes to look out, use your ears to hear, something something
    And wait and wait ”

    Does anyone else remember it?


    I found it on youtube:

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    This obviously means the voters will soon replace him with a Republican.

    Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is heading into a heated re-election battle next year, spent his final news conference of 2018 touting successes the state saw in the past year – the state budget deficit is gone, the GDP is at a record high and the state has its lowest uninsured rate ever.

  42. 42
    Ken says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Does it help if you remember that it’s the older half of the country (by and large)? Tick tock MF covers the demographic time bomb too.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    One measure of special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutorial success in 2018 is the list of former top Donald Trump aides brought to justice: Michael Cohen pleaded guilty, a jury convicted Paul Manafort, a judge berated Michael Flynn.

    Another measure is the tally of new defendants that Mueller’s team charged (34), the number of new guilty pleas he netted (five) and the amount of money he clawed back through tax fraud cases ($48m).

    Yet another measure might judge Mueller’s pace compared with previous independent prosecutors. “I would refer to it as a lightning pace,” said Barb McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former US attorney. “In a case of this complexity which has international implications, aspects relying on the intelligence community, complicated cyber components – to indict that many people that quickly is really impressive work.”

    But there’s perhaps a more powerful way to measure Mueller’s progress in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election and links between Moscow and the Trump campaign; that’s by noticing how the targets of his investigation have changed their postures over the course of 2018, from defiance to docility – or in the case of Trump himself, from defiance to extreme, hyperventilating defiance.

    The distance Mueller has traveled over the last year can be measured in the orders of magnitude by which Trump’s criminal associates’ bombastic sense of their own impunity has been deflated, as the president’s attacks on the special counsel have grown increasingly shrill.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    germy says:

    And here’s something my local TV stations always played between shows this time of year back in 1964-67:

  47. 47
    p.a. says:

    My mother swore by plonk from Famiglia Cribari for her wine biscuits. The varietal was: red.

  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: It’s time to PARTY LIKE 1980 ALL OVER AGAIN!!!

    @Ken: It’s us “surviving” the next few years I worry about. Old fucks like me vote, young bucks like my sons not so much. (both of mine vote, I refer to their youthful compatriots who are in the “What, me worry?” stage of political awareness)

  49. 49
    Immanentize says:

    This was one on my favorites — my friends and I memorized the rap, but not the scolding:
    Why do you think they call it dope?

  50. 50
    germy says:

    @Immanentize: Great song to get high to.

  51. 51
    Aleta says:

    @Barbara: remember Cold Duck?
    After the high school play. We had no no cast party. First time I drank in a car with other teenagers. So elegant!

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    I almost forgot to wish everyone a happy Festivus. May your grievances be few, so that the airing of them be done before dinner gets cold.

  53. 53
    Schlemazel says:

    Not whining, just alerting
    some of us have deleted our FB accounts

  54. 54
    Immanentize says:

    Here is an hour and a quarter of one of favorite groups — Spacemen 3 (pre-Spiritualized):
    Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs to

    It is really beautiful stuff.

  55. 55
    germy says:

    @Schlemazel: Yes, I was going to say.

    My wife deleted her account, but I’m suspicious that if I click on any facebook link on our computer, the fuckers will reactivate it.

    I’d love to see the cartoon if there’s any other way than facebook to see it.

  56. 56
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @rikyrah: Awww. So cute. That puppy is going to be spoiled rotten.

  57. 57
    Aleta says:

    The first name out of her heart is Cuddles. 💛 💜

  58. 58
    JMG says:

    @Immanentize: Mateus! The wine you sipped while smoking dope and listening to music in off-campus apartments.

  59. 59
    Plato says:

    @Elizabelle: Jump, you worthless pos, jump.

  60. 60
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: Awww, that’s adorable. So sweet.

    Morning everyone. Cookie baking extravaganza is about to commence. I’ve learned to wear shoes with good support for the event. My legs don’t get so tired.

    News tells me there was a bad tsunami in Indonesia again. This time with no warning. They think it had something to do with an eruption from Krakatoa. Video of destruction looks awful. Maybe not as bad as the one 14 years ago but still bad.

  61. 61
    Plato says:

    More than 80,000 people have paid their respects to Japan’s Emperor Akihito as he gave his final birthday address before his abdication in April.

    The emperor, 85, said he took “deep comfort” that his reign had passed without Japan again engaging in war.

    He became emotional as he thanked the people of Japan and his wife Empress Michiko for their support.

    Akihito is the first living monarch to relinquish the Chrysanthemum throne in nearly 200 years.

  62. 62
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Baud: Sadly, it feels as if Republicans are the default vote. They get elected after Republicans mess things up and then get replaced once they’ve fixed things.

  63. 63
    Plato says:

    A man and woman arrested in connection with drone sightings that grounded flights at Gatwick Airport have been released without charge.

    The 47-year-old man and 54-year-old woman, from Crawley, West Sussex, were arrested on Friday night on suspicion of “the criminal use of drones”.

    Sussex Police said the pair were no longer suspects.

    Shitty investigation?

  64. 64
    Plato says:

    No wonder the pig was squealing.

    Of note: Every time the Fed raises rates, Trump's payments on some $340 million in variable-rate loans go up.

    The Fed's rate hikes may have added a cumulative $5.1 million a year to Trump's debt service costs, according to a Bloomberg News analysis.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 23, 2018

  65. 65

    @A Ghost To Most:

    figuring out how to spot and thwart the asshole impulse in human nature.

    I see no sign that America has done this. Most of Europe seems to be making progress on this issue, but not America. A whole bunch of non-assholes got scared and angry enough to vote, and if they keep doing so it will make a big difference, but we’d have had the same result with a slower, peaceful transition along the demographic timer process.

  66. 66
    Jerry says:

    The Spousal Unit (raised in rural upper lower Michigan)

    Hey! I grew up there as well. Mancelona, for me. A real shithole if there ever was one. What town did he grow up in?

  67. 67
    Plato says:


    heated re-election battle

    successes the state saw in the past year

    The fucking disconnect.

  68. 68
    Svensker says:

    “The only grapes that were available was something called the Concord variety of grapes. They’re not sweet,” he says. “So in order to make them palatable, they would make this very sour grape into wine and then they would add sugar.”

    What are they talking about? Concords are very sweet. They still grow all over New York and Ontario – a fall treat. And they are the grapes used to make Welch’s juice and jelly. A very strong flavor profile, and a different family of grapes than the European wine grapes. Their family was not susceptible to the grape diseases that devastated European wines in the 19th century, so even today, most European grapes grow on root stocks of North American native grapes.

  69. 69
    debbie says:


    MD 20 20, blech. A friend used it as a topping for vanilla ice cream.

  70. 70
    MagdaInBlack says:

    Let us not forget Boones Farm and Tyrolia…..
    My first ” omg I’ll never drink again” was Boones Farm Strawberry Hill.

    And doesn’t MD 20/20 have a flourescent blue option

  71. 71
    debbie says:


    MD 20 20, Ripple (assorted flavors), and Cold Duck, especially, filled my high school years with hangovers. I miss none of them.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Yarrow: Actually not Krakatoa:

    The tsunami, which struck at about 9.30pm local time on Saturday, is believed to have been caused by undersea landslides that followed a volcanic eruption on Anak Krakatoa, since there were no significant seismic tremors to indicate a tsunami was coming.

    The island volcano, one of 127 active volcanoes running the length of the Indonesian archipelago, emerged from the ocean half a century after an eruption on nearby Krakatoa in 1883. That eruption, thought to be one of the most violent volcanic events in history, killed more than 36,000 people.

    Not trying to be pedantic, I just found that little tidbit interesting.

    ETA Oooopps, forgot the link:

  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    @Schlemazel: I am proud of you for deleting your FB account. I gave some real thought to that, but it’s how I keep in touch with some political, virtual, beagle, and dachshund loving friends.

    But good on you. I will try to find the cartoon in its original form.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    What’s on the baking menu?😋😋

  76. 76
    chris says:


    Does anyone remember Cold Duck?

    Oh hell no!

  77. 77
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Plato: If they are innocent I would say that was the proper result of the investigation. We really don’t know what prompted their suspicions to begin with.

  78. 78
    debbie says:


    I believe it translates as “Son of Krakatoa.” A recent report said the tsunami waves were three feet tall.

  79. 79
    Elizabelle says:

    @Plato: I realize you don’t mean that personally. LOL.

    Startled me there for a moment.

  80. 80
    debbie says:


    Ahhh, brings the memory of Occupy Wall Street to mind.

  81. 81
    Baud says:


    Makes it seem like the Dems and GOP are partners against Trump. Don’t like.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Elizabelle says:

    OK. Cartoonist is Paul Schickler, apparently of NY State. Does a lot on labor and education. Has a website, but it’s locked down for actually seeing his work, which he shares on FB.

    SO: the cartoon is this:

    At top: Trump Threatens a Shutdown.

    Trump is hanging out the window of a tall building. Elephant and donkey watch from the street below.

    Trump, with his red tie hanging down 2 stories: “I’ll jump! I swear!”

    Donkey (on the left, of course): “Got a net?”
    Elephant: “Nope. You?”
    Little guy drawn in at the left side: “Jump!”

  84. 84
    Immanentize says:

    @Svensker: The skins are very bitter

  85. 85
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Barbara: Went to a pizza restaurant in South Buffalo some years back. Now South Buffalo is the traditional Irish enclave. The street signs are written in Irish Gaelic. Really. We asked for Chianti. Nope, don’t have it. Well what do you have? Riunite. Thanks. We’ll have Pepsi. Lesson learned. No more South Buffalo “Italian”.

  86. 86
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I believe it translates as “Son of Krakatoa.”

    A fitting name.

  87. 87
    Schlemazel says:

    I do miss it
    I also understand I am the oddball & most people still abide

  88. 88

    Current best guess on the Shutdown: The Senate had a unanimous bill Ryan would not let be voted on. Trump is hoping to hold out until Democrats take over the Houseand hand him a veto-proof bill, so that he can whine about how unfair everyone is to him rather than admit he’s beaten. To a narcissist, that makes perfect sense.

    How it plays out is another matter. He is a freakishly weak man under torturous pressure to do the thing he least wants to do in the entire world, publicly admit he’s weak.

  89. 89
    ThresherK says:

    Lambrusco is a bubbly red I remember from that era. Must not have had too much of it because there are no horror memories of it.

  90. 90
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: I took it as Repubs secret wish.

  91. 91
    Schlemazel says:

    Love it! Thanks

  92. 92
    jonas says:

    @Plato: He claimed over and over that his company had “no” or “very little” debt. Is there ANYTHING he doesn’t lie about?

  93. 93
    Amir Khalid says:

    “Child of Krakatoa”, actually. The word “anak” is not gender-specific.

  94. 94
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud: True. It’s the preferred meme. Would be good to have two elephants, a big one in a MAGA hat and a smaller and skinny one looking appalled.

    Ah well.

    As long as the fucker jumps.

  95. 95
    JR says:

    @Raven: Mad Dog is Mogen David, the other (in fact larger) Jewish wine producer.

  96. 96
    Keith P. says:

    I’ve got a fruit cake in my kitchen that I made in 2013. I used Alton Brown’s recipe (all organic, down to the butter and apple juice) and went to three separate stores to pick up organic, dehydrated fruits. It has a TON of them, and it still wrapped in VSOP-soaked cheesecloth and then double-vacuum sealed. I just never got around to opening it up, so it’s been sitting there aging. I only make them every few years because it takes so long, but the smell of it on the stove is incredible (I also use a really nice rum – Metusalem – along with spices that I toast before grinding)

  97. 97
    Elizabelle says:

    @Schlemazel: FB can be a crutch.

    And I hope you are feeling (and are) way healthier in a few months.

  98. 98
    Amir Khalid says:

    Trump believes himself to be the boss of the truth: it is whatever he tells it to be.

  99. 99

    Those articles do not dispute me. One is from too early in the process, and the other only makes comparisons to the pre-Trump era, mostly the very pre-Trump era. The overall trend was a big rightward push that started slacking off shortly after Trump took power. Possibly because he was so obviously a warning sign, more likely because of internal issues we don’t have access to. The far-Right problem certainly did not disappear, but in Europe it became less popular, while in America it stayed as popular but the people against it have become a lot more angry.

  100. 100
    Spanky says:


    … we are a small island, very isolated. We leave everyone alone and they leave us alone. We mind our own business.

    Not a bad thing.

    Ah yes. Hobbits, in other words. We know how well that worked out for them.

    There was a lesson in there that he was not subtle in making, that when the whirlwind comes no one can stand alone. He’d lived in England through two world wars, and by the time LOTR was published that lesson was ingrained pretty much across the globe.

    Now those who experienced it are all gone, and we get clowns like Holocaust deniers and whoever wrote the claptrap Baud was quoting at #22, like Trump is the very first narcissist or psycho to rule a superpower. We as a species will always be fighting the assholes among us.

  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    I did a bit of a double take when I realized that the radio DJ doing the Manischewitz commercial was Bob Crane of later “Hogan’s Heroes” fame. A strangely complex man in his private life, apparently.

    I think I only tasted Manischewitz or Mogan David wine once, and didn’t much care for it. In my late high school and early college years I sometimes drank Mateus (rose?) to feel sophisticated.

    And then one day I visited a young woman from Chicago who attended Mount Holyoke. She opened a small trunk her parents helped pack which contained a number of vintage French wines. Sweet Jesus, I got educated in all kinds of ways.

  102. 102
    Another Scott says:

    @Keith P.: Sounds wonderful. I really like fruitcake. And mincemeat pie. I have never understood all the hate for them…


  103. 103
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: No, I am the oddball, I never did abide. (no high falutin reason, just never went there)

  104. 104

    Goan Catholics in India make a version of this black cake, its called a Christmas cake. The liquor used to soak the dried fruit is either rum or brandy and it is not as sweet or as fruity as the American versions I have tasted.

  105. 105
    debbie says:


    I don’t disagree, but the priority is to get him the hell out of there.

  106. 106
    tybee says:


    ..Cold Duck?

    yes. may have been the first alcohol to cross my lips.

    ripple brought back some memories. eannie greensprings was around. there was some other sweetish wine around bu i disremember the name.
    had heard of mad dog but don’t believe i ever had any.

  107. 107
    Schlemazel says:

    @Another Scott:
    Fruitcake hate mostly comes about because of the crappy commercial fruitcakes. Filled with second rate ingredients. They are garbage.

    But, and this goes for mincemeat also, another factor is they are not the tooth-hurtingly sweet stuff Americans seem to love.

  108. 108
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Your hand waving at the increasing strength of the European Right is duly noted.

  109. 109
    Schlemazel says:

    I did it under a nym & gave them no correct info on me. I only joined to see what all the hubbub was about. I did find it connected me to several people I missed/liked but in the end they knew who I was and they are evil

  110. 110
    jeffreyw says:

    @Plato: My theory is that someone freaked “Terrorist Drones!!” and the only way to walk it back was a BS arrest. “All clear!!”

  111. 111
    Plato says:

    Fuck you, karl. “Bipartisanship” is not give whatever insane batshit crazy shit rethugs want.

    KARL: "Let me be clear. Democrats are not going to agree to any funding to build new border wall? None?"

    JEFF MERKLEY: "That's correct. None." Via ABC.

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 23, 2018

  112. 112
    Plato says:

    @Brachiator: Hogan’s heroes was one of my fav sitcoms in my college days. I-know-nuthin’ Schultz and colonel Klink will live forever.

  113. 113
    Plato says:

    @jeffreyw: Looks like it.

  114. 114
    Brachiator says:


    How it plays out is another matter. He is a freakishly weak man under torturous pressure to do the thing he least wants to do in the entire world, publicly admit he’s weak.

    This may be what’s rattling around in Trump’s head, but I think it more accurate to say that Trump has a problem with acting in any way that makes him appear weak in his own mind.

    No president would ever publicly admit to being weak. But Trump’s problem is his need to always have to declare a win, to talk compromise while seeking a victory which also humiliates a foe.

    His rat brain understands that this current House is the last time that he can ask for big money for his wall. But he is too inflexible to come up with his own plan B. And he has seemingly backed himself into a corner by allowing a government shutdown.

    And yet the GOP leadership is still backing him. Somebody thinks there’s a way out of this jam.

    There’s a technical corrections bill meant to patch some deep flaws in the new tax laws and a few other arcane but essential items Congress would like to address in December or January. This and his basic ability to lie and deny might give Trump some cover to back down without appearing to do so.

    Or he might launch a new offensive. He is a strange man. He rarely does the right or even rational thing.

  115. 115
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Barbara: OMG, the first time I ever got a bit tipsy on a holiday was when I was all of 13, and my parents allowed me to have a glass of Cold Duck! I remember standing im the kitchen after dinner, laughing rather inordinately at some jape of my father’s (who, granted, was a very funny guy) and suddenly realizing, “I must be drunk!” On one (small) glass of Cold Duck! Ah, those were the days…

  116. 116
    tobie says:

    J. K. Rowling is tired of purity ponies in the UK. She’s written a brilliant biblical parody of Corbyn and his devoted followers in the UK regarding Corbyn’s tacit support for Brexit. Here is a snippet:

    J.K. Rowling

    · Dec 22, 2018
    And lo, unto her did appear a host of Corbyn defenders, who did descend upon her mentions, and she was not sore afraid, because she was used to it. And the host did sing with one voice, ‘ungodly woman, thou foolest us not. We know the true reason thou despisest Saint Jeremy.’ 1

    J.K. Rowling

    And she did say unto them ‘share thy hot take.’ And with righteous wrath they did declare, ‘thou fearest Saint Jeremy, friend of the poor, because he shall take from thee in taxation much more even than Herod, and so thou attackest the meek and honest saviour of this land.’ 2

    In an American context, you could substitute St Jeremy for St Bernard or Mother Mary AOC and it works just about every time.

  117. 117
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    We are winning the war on Xmas!!!

    Meanwhile, the shutdown played out. Around 420,000 essential workers were expected to work unpaid. An additional 380,000 were to stay home without pay. The Senate has passed legislation ensuring that workers will receive back pay. The House is likely to follow.

    Trump had already declared Monday, Christmas Eve, a federal holiday. Rather than work around the clock, as in past shutdowns, the leaders of the House and the Senate effectively closed shop. But they did not rule out action if a deal were struck.

    In New York City, thanks to state funds, the Statue of Liberty was open. But in Washington, another highly symbolic attraction was closed. The National Christmas Tree, near the White House, was dark.

  118. 118

    @Plato: Karl is a Republican, out and proud. As is Jonathan Martin. The “liberal” media is not so liberal actually.

  119. 119
    Miss Bianca says:

    @rikyrah: oh, man…I could watch these kiddo/puppy videos all day long.

  120. 120

    Your continuing to not address my point, and only provide evidence about a different issue, is also noted. Everything you have provided says there is more Far Right influence in Europe than there was years ago. I am not and never was disputing that. Let me be as specific as possible, in case that helps. I am asserting that after the peak in early 2017, the trend in Europe has been for support of Far Right policies and parties to go down. The trend in America has been for the support to stay the same, but opposition to be more motivated. This is in response to the original assertion in @A Ghost To Most‘s comment that Trump’s presidency has helped society in ‘figuring out how to spot and thwart the asshole impulse in human nature.’ After Brexit and the French election, for example, parliamentary elections delivered much worse results for the far right than those elections suggested.

    With the possible exception of Italy, your articles either stop at early 2017 in evidence they supply, or compare current levels to levels well over a decade ago. They do not address the topic I am discussing.

  121. 121
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Plato: The Democrats take over the House in a few days. There’s no reason they need to entertain Trump’s fantasy wall.

  122. 122
    JR says:

    @Svensker: concords are not sweet compared to traditional wine grapes which are almost candy like

  123. 123
    oldgold says:


    In my opinion, recent events suggest a different conclusion.

  124. 124
    Librarian says:

    Whenever I see Blue Nun, I think of the 70s Stiller and Meara radio ads.

  125. 125
    Brachiator says:


    I am asserting that after the peak in early 2017, the trend in Europe has been for support of Far Right policies and parties to go down.

    I don’t think this is correct. The far right was a major factor in toppling Angela Merkel. Sweden has been unable to form a new government in part because the nationalists came in third place in the recent elections. Denmark has passed a number of obnoxious laws aimed at Muslims who become citizens, and are creating their own version of Gitmo, an island where they want to dump some immigrants they wish to deport. In France, the right sees new opportunities to bedevil Macron.

    And on it goes. And of course, much of this is cheered on by Trump.

  126. 126
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    skimming through the thread, has no one mention Cracklin’ Rosie?

    Oh, I love my Rosie child —
    You got the way to make me happy.
    ‘You and me, we go in style …
    Cracklin’ Rose, you’re a store bought woman
    You make me sing like a guitar hummin’ …

  127. 127
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    .figuring out how to spot and thwart the asshole impulse in human nature.

    I see no sign that America has done this. Most of Europe seems to be making progress on this issue, but not America

    This is the point I am addressing. I see little in the way of progress in Europe that differentiates in any measurable way from the progress being made in America.

    trump just got slapped down in the midterms, his response is to play to his base by shutting the gov down.

    May just got slapped down by everybody in Parliament and her response is a dog and pony tour of Europe and preparations for a no deal Brexit.

    Merkels party just lost elections because there s a hardening on the left and the right leaving her standing in the very lonely middle. So she is resigning as the head of her party and come 2021 as head of the govt, if she can survive that long.

    Macron has his own problems, again from both directions tho currently the populist left is making the most noise.

    Catalonia continues in it’s separatist desires.

    The Polish hard right has taken control.

    In other words, all is not well in Europe.

    You seem to think things in Europe are taking a turn for the better. I see a very fluid situation in which any number of turns can be taken and only a few of them for the better.

    I am willing to let our differences of opinion stand.

  128. 128
    The Lodger says:

    @chris: I remember making some “business cards” in high school with the motto “Cold Duck on Tap.”

  129. 129
    khead says:


    Can’t believe it took 70 posts to get a Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill shout out. I hated beer when I was a kid so we used to drink a lot of cheap wine. And grain alcohol in gatorade.

  130. 130
    Brachiator says:

    Eddie Harris and the band, performing “Cold Duck Time”…

  131. 131
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I recall the “Man-o-Manischewitz what a wine!” commercials in the PNW. Usually aired on NFL games.

    Now, the REAL shocker was when I visited back East (where most of my Mom’s family still lived) and this mayo called “Hellman’s” using the Best Foods jingle…

  132. 132
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Kyle Griffin @ kylegriffin1
    Trump spends ever more time in front of a TV, often retreating to his residence out of concern that he’s being watched too closely.

    While in the West Wing, Trump leaves it on during most meetings in the dining room, one ear attuned to what’s being said.

    He’s hiding from Kellyanne Conway now.

    Kellyanne Conway, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingham…. our country is now being run by three women Bill Maher made famous twenty-five years ago because they would come on his ABC show, flirt with him and say hateful provocative “politically incorrect” things.

  133. 133
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Immanentize: My mother liked Mateus. Given that she really didn’t drink alcohol except on extremely special occasions i guess it’s understandable. I recall it as the wine of the striving class. Upper working class earners hopeful of moving into the middle class as most of my parents’ friends were.

  134. 134
    FlyingToaster says:

    @germy: I’ve never had a Facebook account, and I strongly recommend the Disconnect extension to keep Facebook from tracking you. It’s the only extension I have installed on all browsers: Firefox*, Safari and Chrome.

    *Firefox is locked down for work, so it has NoScript & Ghostery and a couple of cookie controllers and Greasemonkey, i.e., the works.

  135. 135
  136. 136
    tobie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The situation is as dreary in Europe as it is here, and I fear that it will get worse when a new wave of refugees arrives in Europe once the US leaves Afghanistan and Syria. There’s a reason Putin was so happy about these announcements and possibly recommended the moves to Trump. He knows full well that chaos in Afghanistan and the Levant will lead to a flood of refugees, and Europe will lurch hard right with an able assist from the populist left which is more interested in decrying neoliberalism than in preserving the liberal democratic order.

  137. 137
    Immanentize says:

    @Gelfling 545: Wow. That is the perfect description of Mateus and Lancers drinkers. Striving class — like my parents as well.

  138. 138
    debbie says:


    All is not well anywhere. Reading your post, generally speaking, Far Right Emerged, Far Right Overreached, Far Right Got Ears Boxed by Left/Far Left, Far Right Doubling Down. So now, it’s again up to Left/Far Left to Assert Its Majority.

    I’m not sure we live in a world where majority means much of anything anymore. The social contract has been tossed away. It’s Tribe over Community. I can’t tell if you’re optimistic or not, but I know I’m not.

  139. 139
    debbie says:


    And their bottles made the coolest candles!

  140. 140
    bobbo says:

    I’m guessing they were white?

  141. 141
    B.B.A. says:

    If Manischewitz isn’t sold in your area, you can get an approximate substitute by mixing Welch’s grape juice and vodka.

  142. 142
    Bobbo says:


    Trump is hoping to hold out until Democrats take over the Houseand hand him a veto-proof bill, so that he can whine about how unfair everyone is to him rather than admit he’s beaten.

    As Dana Houle reminds us: there is no strategy, no plan. It’s all impulse

  143. 143
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: I think that accounted for at least 40% of sales.

  144. 144
    FlyingToaster says:

    @B.B.A.: Add sugar syrup. Or it won’t be as sweet as MD 20/20.

  145. 145
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I’m not sure we live in a world where majority means much of anything anymore.

    Over at Outside the Beltway, Steven Taylor has been making a series of posts about the undemocratic structures inherent in our constitution and some of the moves on the part of the GOP to ensure their continued dominance of power in the face of their ever shrinking electoral support.

    Suffice it to say he finds these things problematic.

  146. 146
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That second article is overthinking it. The reason is both Europe and America is that bigotry is the possibly insuperable obstacle to any kind of social democracy. Western Europe is fine with redistributionism as long as most people are white and of similar ethnicity. Bring in a lot of people who aren’t, and the majority will happily tear their whole society apart to keep from giving them any of the goodies. Same in the United States: the New Deal excluded black people to a large degree, and when LBJ got aggressive about bringing them in, suddenly small-government free-market conservatism had this giant revival. Bring in a lot of non-white immigrants, you get a resurgence of Nazis.

  147. 147
    TomatoQueen says:

    We left Los Angeles in early ’63 (for the wilds of New Haven) so it’s my child-brain resonating to Bob Crane’s voice and rapid patter delivery. My parents loved him on the radio so were dutiful fans of HH and shocked by his sad end. I remember the Blue Nun ads from later.
    Nobody drinks that stuff any more, right?
    WaPo says Democrats were excluded from White House luncheon, but link has vanished.

  148. 148
    Kathleen says:

    …we had Italian bakeries and Jewish delis to supply our culinary shortfalls, which given the state of Irish-American cooking in those days was probably for the best

    AL, thank you for giving me legit reason (other than laziness) for not baking/cooking!

  149. 149
    MagdaInBlack says:

    I was 16. Haven’t touched it since. That experience may be why I became a HS stoner 😎
    It was, after all, the early ’70’s.

  150. 150
    debbie says:


    In Ohio, there was talk of limiting the Governor’s authority (like they’ve done in Wisconsin), which people assumed ended with the election of a Republican. Au contraire, the talk is still talking; it turns out the Legislature doesn’t like anything any governor might try that could impinge on their own authority.

  151. 151
    Ruckus says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    Not only will the repair job take a long time – it will be difficult because too many people were overjoyed that they finally had a stone racist, non politician in “charge.” A lot of people believe that the government is all the problem. Not them, not all the racist crap used/believed by so many and not those among the very wealthy who don’t want to pay for a reasonable society. Most people have no idea how an economy is supposed to work, how nice places with a decent one can be to live in. And a lot of people are far too willing to blame everyone/anyone else for their problems. We all have problems – need healthcare/roads/clean air-water/defense/education/retirement…… Denying the needs that everyone has creates a shitty country and denying that everyone needs them is what conservatives do, all the while demanding them for themselves and wondering why they don’t have them.

    Isn’t what’s going on in Europe mostly because of the wars we started this century which created a huge migrant population/relocation? That and the Russian fucking with every other countries politics because Vlad needs to be the lord of the earth – that and prove that he’s the shit?

  152. 152
    Kathleen says:

    @Barbara: Yes. There was even a dance called “The Cold Duck”. I don’t know if there was link between dance and drink.

  153. 153
    Al Z. says:

    Why have I never tried making French Toast with almond milk before?!

  154. 154
    realbtl says:

    I’m surprised Raven didn’t mention Billy Jo Shaver.

    When the Word was Thunderbird.

  155. 155
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ruckus: I would add that a lot of what we’re seeing in Europe, especially Britain and France, is a knock-on from austerity as a response to the financial crisis

  156. 156
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Elizabelle: I too have se it to keep up with pug friends and family events. I have only eve accepted friending from about 30 people, most related to me by blood.

  157. 157
    Brachiator says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Western Europe is fine with redistributionism as long as most people are white and of similar ethnicity. Bring in a lot of people who aren’t, and the majority will happily tear their whole society apart to keep from giving them any of the goodies.

    Many in the Nordic democracies were surprised and dismayed to find that they were not as enlightened as they thought they were. Also, it’s not just a matter of giving more people goodies. There is a perception of increased strain on their economies. They may be wrong, or the strain only temporary, but still there has been an overreaction.

    Same in the United States: the New Deal excluded black people to a large degree, and when LBJ got aggressive about bringing them in, suddenly small-government free-market conservatism had this giant revival.

    Black folk have always been here, as has racism. Racists have always sought to stifle black people and to run away from them. The Democratic Party always included Southern racists, but the increasing movement towards civil rights, especially after 1948 alienated more and more of the crackers, who ultimately found white Jesus and phony conservatism in the modern GOP.

  158. 158
    Ruckus says:

    Manischewitz. I remember the ads from childhood here in socal.
    Along with all the other cheap wines that followed, Boones Farm, Mad Dog 20/20, Gallo in half and gallon bottles. What about box wine?
    Also cheap, no/bad taste beer. Butt Lite, Coors…. One of the market chains here in socal had/has Beer. Plain white can, the label says in big block blue letters, Beer.

  159. 159
    Corner Stone says:

    As expected, Asshole in Chief has ordered Mattis leave his post Jan 1 instead of Feb. According to MSNBC.

  160. 160
    Brachiator says:


    If Manischewitz isn’t sold in your area, you can get an approximate substitute by mixing Welch’s grape juice and vodka.

    Hmm. Probably best to just omit the grape juice and add more vodka.

  161. 161
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Don’t disagree, that didn’t help at all. But I think there is something more basic going on here. And that is the blame that is focused upon the refugees for destroying the economy and not why they are refugees in the first place. Remember that Europe has had a major influx of refugees in the last 10 yrs because of the wars. Ours has been ongoing because of the unsettled politics of a lot of the countries south of our borders – and our drug problem.

    So is it a human thing that when an economy goes south because of conservative policies, they want conservatives to fix it, which they are incapable of doing, and which is why we got into trouble in the first place?

  162. 162
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone:

    As expected, Asshole in Chief has ordered Mattis leave his post Jan 1 instead of Feb. According to MSNBC

    Really? Damn.

    There is no end to Trump’s pettiness. And anyone who joins his administration is likely to leave tainted.

  163. 163
    Ruckus says:

    This link has been around for a while and updated occasionally but there is a process to deleting a FB account. They do not delete your information by themselves.
    I don’t know if it still works or is current, only providing it as a public service for those in need.

  164. 164
    MagdaInBlack says:

    It seems to be a human thing to look where the finger is pointing >refugees, rather than at who is doing the pointing > conservatives.
    Scapegoating: because it works.

  165. 165
    Elizabelle says:

    Two words people: Malt Duck.

    Remember that? It was the bev of choice of “adults” and underage drinkers who had not developed a taste for beer yet. Kind of a wine-tasting hybrid. A Milwaukee craft brewer planned to bring it back. Does not appear it stayed around on the second attempt either.

    Malt Duck. Brings back memories of hanging out in a suburban Pizza Hut shopping center parking lot in high school. Where all the cool kids hung out. Until they got invited somewhere else for a party.

    From Brewbound website: Sprecher Recreates Malt Duck, with a Blend of Premium Beer and Concord Grapes

    Glendale (Milwaukee), WI – In the 1970s and 80s, Malt Duck was a very popular adult beverage. Although it disappeared from store shelves in the 1990s, it lives on in various social media platforms including facebook, blogs and chatrooms that recount fond memories and good times featuring Malt Duck. Aware not only of the nostalgia for Malt Duck but also the expressed desire for its return by an ardent fan base, Sprecher Brewing Company worked closely with its distributors to see if something could be done to revive the brand.

    After learning the mark had been abandoned, Sprecher registered the mark and began working on a contemporary version of Malt Duck that would pay homage to its past while appealing to contemporary taste preferences. Sprecher’s brewmaster, Craig Burge, decided to make a rendition with wide appeal that did not require added sugar. For Burge, “fruit seemed to be the logical starting point, and Concord grape quickly emerged as the best choice to create the balance of flavors we wanted.”

    Sprecher president Jeff Hamilton sampled several diverse focus groups and found that Burge’s blend of premium beer and Concord grapes appealed to a large majority in all age groups (21+), including those with nostalgic memories of Malt Duck and those who had never tried it. Overwhelmingly, the tasters noted that they enjoyed how the Malt Duck started sweet and finished dry, “a bit like a wine; a bit like a beer.” Some were reminded of Cold Duck. Those apprehensive that the beverage would be too sweet found just the opposite. Most deemed it “tantalizing.”

    I don’t see it still for sale, but maybe it rolls out seasonally. Or maybe they decided it was waste of “premium beer.” Sprecher Brewery website.

  166. 166
    Elizabelle says:

    in moderation. Not sure why.

  167. 167
    chopper says:


    ugh, Blue Nun. “the wine so bad it made the news.”

  168. 168
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Trumpov is pushing Mattis out effective Jan. 1.

    Baby-man unhappy about Mattis’s resignation letter. Maybe someone read it to him?

  169. 169
    chopper says:

    @Corner Stone:

    mick mulvaney, COME ON DOWN!

  170. 170
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Gelfling 545: I swear I was not drunk while typing that. I was trying to cope with a cat who wanted to sit on my lap and a dog already occupying that space.

  171. 171
    Lyrebird says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Ugh. But thanks for the warning.

    @Anne Laurie: Thank you for the music link! I had no idea Manischewitz had inspired or created anything I could stand, let alone enjoy! Tastes like cough syrup to me, and it makes charoset taste yucky, too.

    FWIW, I know you know this, but I’ll toss this in for the fun fact re: grrrrl power:

    Well, the local ‘Jewish deli’ was actually owned by an Italian family

    ..there were and are Italian families who are Jewish. Some of them have even raised little girls to become Nobel Prize winners!

  172. 172
    Ruckus says:

    The point.

  173. 173
    prostratedragon says:

    @Brachiator: Thanks, glad I checked first. Cold duck had the savoir faire that Maneschewitz lacked, though I’m not sure it cut Mateus.

  174. 174
    Ruckus says:

    Aren’t there pretty much Jewish folks in most every country? Just like most backgrounds, they have spread around the world and not all that slowly. Some countries resist the influx but humans seem to travel and mingle rather freely, which annoys a number of people who think they are “pure” in some way.

  175. 175
    Ruckus says:

    Also, deep down the comments in that link is the info that you should delete all your pictures, friends, really any info past the first raw page you saw in FB before deleting the account. However I don’t believe that FB actually deletes anything that has been posted to your account, once you post it, it is considered fair game for FB. This is one of the things that has made them evil. Anything posted becomes public info and they have a considered right to save and use it. I don’t agree with that but then I’m not in charge. (Probably for a lot of good reasons)

  176. 176
    Stephanie Luke says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Poor man’s champagne.

  177. 177
    Barbara says:

    @Gelfling 545: According to the article it is still the most popular Italian wine sold in the U.S., at least as of 2017. It might not be the most enjoyed Italian wine but it gets more people buzzed than any other.

  178. 178
    germy says:

    “Riunite on ice? That’s nice.”

  179. 179
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The authorities triangulated the control signals for the drones, obviously.

  180. 180
    Beth says:

    Eating Black Cake this holiday for the first time, after waiting 8 months for the fruits/spices/alcohol to marry. This stuff is insanely delicious–what fruitcake wished that it was! Also, just the soaked fruits themselves are amazing and would be great over cake or ice-cream to add flavor and some alcohol punch.

    Highly recommend grabbing a mason jar or two to marinate your own black cake fruit asap!

  181. 181
    Burnspbesq says:

    Bolla. Italian varietals, huge in greater NY in the late 60s. Actually tasted like wine. Bolla Valpolicella still goes OK with pizza or calzones.

  182. 182
    Svensker says:

    @Immanentize: Really? The skins are bitter? I’ve never experienced that. We look forward to their few brief weeks of ripeness in the fall. And the seedless type make outstanding pie.

  183. 183
    Svensker says:

    @JR: I did not know wine grapes are very sweet. Seems like they should be marketed for eating as well as wine making.

  184. 184
    Svensker says:

    @debbie: Ditto. Hah!

Comments are closed.