The Rich And Powerful Take What They Want (Open Thread)

John Rogers is a Friend of the Blog, co-originator of the “27%” crazification factor, and creator of (among other things) the show Leverage (2008-2012). For those who don’t know, Leverage is about a team of grifters and thieves who turn their considerable talents to defrauding corporate criminals. (It’s fun, good-hearted, and a bit silly; you should watch it!).

Leverage first aired when I was twenty-three and fresh off working for the first Obama campaign. Well, being young and jobless in that era, I had lots of free time to read about politics and watch television. I can’t remember if the plots seemed ridiculous to me at first or not. Soon enough, though, I knew that only half the show was unrealistic. White-collar crime really is as widespread and banally-accepted as the show portrays. But, of course, there’s no strike-team of good guys stealing the money back.

Anyway, I saw this and figured I would share:

Leverage is off Netflix and Hulu right now, or I’d fire it up… There is also a tabletop RPG version I’ve always wanted to try.

Open thread!

Late Night Media Notes Open Thread: Any Game of Thrones Fans Out There?

According to NYMag‘s media subblog Vulture:

When it comes to Game of Thrones spinoffs, HBO’s got multiple irons in the fire, but it looks like one of those irons is now a little hotter than the others. The network announced Friday that it ordered a pilot for a GOT prequel from George R.R. Martin and Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service), one of five GOT spinoff projects currently in development. According to Deadline, the untitled pilot will take place thousands of years before the events of the series, near the end of what is known in series lore as the Age of Heroes — a time when the Children of the Forest still lived alongside humans, when Winterfell (the home of the infamous Starks) and The Wall were built, and crucially, when the White Walkers tried to invade Westeros with an army of the dead for the first time. So basically, it’s the closest a Game of Thrones spinoff can get to being Game of Thrones, without actually being Game of Thrones

First they came for Roseanne Barr…

…and I said, “Take her racist ass, please!”

Then they came for Bill Maher, and I said, “Fuck that bigoted knob! I don’t give shit!”

Then they came for Samantha Bee, and I said, “Back the fuck off Sam Bee!”

I’m referring to the wingnut outrage du jour: Samantha Bee referred to Ivanka Trump as a “feckless cunt” on her show last night, and conservative snowflakes have moved on from demanding that Bill Maher be fired for saying Donald Trump’s mother mated with an orangutan to screaming for Bee’s head.

It may be working. The video has been pulled from Bee’s show’s YouTube channel just in the last few hours. An excerpt from a CNN story about the incident:

After Ivanka Trump posted a photo of her and her child amid resurfaced reports that undocumented children are being separated from their families when they are apprehended by immigration authorities, Bee referenced Barr’s recent tweet.

“Ivanka Trump, who works at the White House, chose to post the second most oblivious tweet we’ve seen this week,” Bee said. “You know, Ivanka, that’s a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless c***!”

“He listens to you,” she added. “Put on something tight and low-cut and tell your father to f***ing stop it. Tell him it was an Obama thing and see how it goes, OK?”

I try not to use the c-word. I’ve scolded people for using it here, and in certain contexts, i.e., a man using it as a gendered slur against a woman, it’s deeply offensive.

But a white celebrity woman calling another white celebrity woman a “cunt” isn’t in the same fucking league as Barr calling black women apes. And comparing Trump to an orangutan isn’t even in the same universe.

Also, while it’s dumb as fuck for conservative snowflakes to whine about private companies firing wingnut celebrities who are bad for business (e.g., Barr, Kevin Williamson, etc.), it’s deadly serious for government officials to demand the firing of people whose speech offends those government officials, as Donald Trump has done repeatedly regarding NFL players who take a knee and Sarah Huckabee Sanders did today in reference to Bee.

UPDATE: Bee apologized:

Kinda wish she hadn’t, but let that be an end to it. We’ve got more important shit to focus on, like the outrageous immigration policies Bee was discussing that led to FecklessCuntGate in the first place. And the fact that Trump has paid no price so far for the massive death toll in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, in which more people died than in Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 combined, thanks in part to the bungled response led by that feckless cocksplat Donald Trump.

Extended Forecast: Shit-storm

I started to write a post about Roseanne Barr’s racist as fuck tweets and Disney/ABC’s horrible decision not to fire her racist ass immediately. But then there’s other news, such as Trump’s ridiculous lies this morning about the Mueller team trying to throw the midterms to the Democrats, the Supreme Court decision that will allow wingnut states to drive more abortion providers out of practice and the new report about the death toll of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico: 4,645 killed. And it’s barely past noon.

I want another long weekend to begin right now. Open thread.

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: “The Love Always Outweighs the Hate”


Even if that’s not statistically verifiable, isn’t it a better way to live?

(Matt Davies via

Night Owls Open Thread

Okay, it’s not an owl, it’s an oriole. It was sketched by extremely talented lurker Triplet, who used one of the oriole photos I posted this weekend to draw it. Beautiful job, Triplet!

I was on a rare weeknight out with a friend this evening, eating Thai food and drinking sake. So I missed the news. Looks like Conor Lamb won narrowly, which is fantastic!

On a more somber note, physicist Stephen Hawking has died, and on Pi Day, no less. What a remarkable man he was, and what an amazing life he led. Rest in peace.

As I’ve mentioned in comments, we cut the cable cord a while back. I got Sling TV, so I have CNN but no MSNBC.

That sucks on a night like this, where I’d like to watch election coverage without being subjected to obnoxious wingnuts. I know MSNBC gives a platform to some idiots, but it really is worse on CNN.

Anyhoo, open thread!

Friday Morning Open Thread: Readership Capture

Mr. Obama does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics, according to people familiar with discussions about the programming. They said the Obamas had talked about producing shows that highlight inspirational stories.

But the Netflix deal, while not a direct answer to Fox News or, would give Mr. Obama an unfiltered method of communication with the public similar to the audiences he already reaches through social media, with 101 million Twitter followers and 55 million people who have liked his Facebook page.

“President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire,” Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to the former president, said Thursday. “Throughout their lives, they have lifted up stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better. As they consider their future personal plans, they continue to explore new ways to help others tell and share their stories.”

n one possible show idea, Mr. Obama could moderate conversations on topics that dominated his presidency — health care, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy, climate change — and that have continued to divide a polarized American electorate during President Trump’s time in office.

Another program could feature Mrs. Obama on topics, like nutrition, that she championed in the White House. The former president and first lady could also lend their brand — and their endorsement — to documentaries or fictional programming on Netflix that align with their beliefs and values…

Think that WH “cybersecurity” permits streaming content? (Oh, c’mon, the hate-watch tweets would be incandescent. Twitter could probably charge for premium content!)