Open Thread

I listened to all of you and my shipment of Penzy’s salad seasonings showed up today, and they were spectacular. So, thanks!

Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Dignity

WaPo horserace tout Chris Cillizza is mad jellous:

… Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” appearance comes on the heels of a sitdown with former NBA great Charles Barkley, an interview that ran during the All-Star game weekend last month. He’s also done a podcast with Grantland’s Bill Simmons. And a sitdown with Steve Harvey. He’s done “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart six times — including twice as president. (Hat tip to the amazing White House chronicler Mark Knoller for that info.)

Now, compare those appearances to the number of times Obama has sat down with more “traditional” media outlets. The last time the Washington Post had an interview with Obama was in December 2009. The last time the New York Times had one was July 2013…

Nah, I kid. Cillizza, of course, is genuinely admiring in his conviction that the President is so deftly working the Kewl Kidz. Nobody knows better than Chris that trying for the funny can be farkin brutal!

To quote Jon Chait, at NYMag:

Why is it the role of the press to worry that the president is coming across too much like an equal citizen and not enough like a monarch? Washington’s dignity fetish is one of those manifestations of the cult of the presidency that expresses some really weird ideas about how democracy is supposed to work.

Apart from ruffling the Media Village idiots, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Afternoon Open Thread

Contemplative boxer is contemplative:

contemplative boxer

What are you contemplating this afternoon? My thoughts go something like this: BLAAARRGHHH! Probably similar to what the dog is thinking.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Still Trying

715 planets minus one toles
(Tom Toles via

Sometimes all you can do is bear witness. Will this get any coverage on the morning talk shows, I wonder?:

In the summer of 2010, it was Harry Reid, the Senate’s Democratic leader, who squelched his party’s efforts to pass a climate change bill, declaring it could never attract enough votes to pass. In the years since, he has rarely spoken publicly about the issue.

But on Monday night, an impassioned Mr. Reid took to the Senate floor to kick off a nearly 15-hour climate-change talkathon by about 30 Senate Democrats, part of a campaign by a new Senate “climate caucus” to make it a politically urgent issue…

The all-night session was the latest effort by the group, which is working with a parallel House caucus, to elevate the issue of global warming. The members know that serious climate change legislation stands no chance of passage in this divided Congress, where many lawmakers in the Republican-majority House deny the science of human-caused global warming.

Climate caucus members say their objective is to raise the urgency of global warming and build toward a time when the political landscape may have shifted enough that a bill could pass. They argue that there are signs that the political winds may already be changing.

“It’s aimed toward the day when something more concrete can be legislated,” said Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, a veteran of climate and clean-energy policy battles.

In addition to Monday’s overnight session, members of the group give regular speeches on the floor of the House and the Senate about the urgency of fighting climate change. They hold weekly meetings with environmentalists, lobbyists and some corporate leaders who support their policies. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat and a leading member of the caucus, is planning a trip to Iowa centered on events related to climate change, in the hope of elevating the issue before the 2016 presidential caucuses…

Good for my Senator (and former Rep) Markey. (Yep, Senator Warren was scheduled to be there as well.) I will point out, in Senator Reid’s defense, that in 2010 he was being leaned on by all the good “centrist”, pro-business Democrats to lay off the climate-change talk for fear of losing the midterms to the Repubs. You all know how well that didn’t work out for our side, so good on Harry for ditching the apologists and joining the coalition of the sane.

Ari Philips at ThinkProgress has a list of the 28 senators from the Climate Action Task Force planning to participate, along with a selection of the local problems that will impact each of them.

Apart from fighting the good fight, what’s on the agenda today?

Late-ish Night Open Thread

suwannee march 2014 005

Pictured above is a short run to the Suwannee River early Saturday morning, when the air was cooler than the water. It warmed up nicely, reaching the low 70s. We had wonderful weather for my mom’s memorial, which was held outdoors and was more raucous party and jam session than funeral, which is what she would have wanted.

So now we’re in the “life goes on” phase, I guess. As I mentioned the other day, after I get my portion of Mom’s ashes in the Bustelo coffee can, I plan to scatter them in at least three places. One will be a particularly beautiful and remote spot on the Suwannee where we took a canoe trip, and that will allow her ashes to flow past the sites of her siblings’ homes on the Suwannee, which would please her, I think.

I also plan to go camping in North Carolina and release some of the ashes in Hominy Valley. Mom and I broke down there in an RV once (you can read about our zany, madcap adventure here), and while we waited for a mechanic to come fleece us, we marveled at the beauty of the spot.

The last ash scattering will be at a lovely fresh water spring that is near my childhood home town. It’s got incredibly clear, cold water that has an almost turquoise blue hue. It is frequented by manatees in the winter. Before the developers got ahold of the surrounding land, it was a wooded Eden that my parents and their goofball friends would take us kids to for a day of swimming (for the kids) and debauchery (for the adults).

I’ve let my family know I want at least some of my ashes scattered there, if enough of the state remains above water to locate that spring by the time I croak. So I’ve got that going for me.

What are y’all up to tonight?