Wednesday Night Open Thread

I think we forgot to put one of these up today. Your turn, all topics welcome.

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    TOP CHEF!!! (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:24:02 PM EST
    The big finale - am on the edge of my seat...

    Go Carla! (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:27:05 PM EST
    Stefan and (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by NJDem on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:28:36 PM EST
    Marcel deserve each other.  I was rooting for Fabio, but now I'd love to see Carla win!

    Oh well. . . (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:51:37 PM EST
    I know... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by NJDem on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:56:24 PM EST
    Hosea never really won anything and Stefan's ego could use some deflating (but he was sweet with Carla just now).

    One thing I hate about TC is that now I'm officially really hungry!!!


    I kinda thought they'd give it to Stefan (none / 0) (#19)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:59:26 PM EST

    Stefan cooked with his ego and (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:03:21 PM EST
    not his heart, Carla let what's-her-name take over her menu, and Hosea was true to himself.

    I knew how this was going to turn out because of how they were packaging the clips of each chef...but I was still a little on the edge of my seat.  As soon as they said their decision was based on who cooked the most complete meal, though, I knew who was going to win.


    Me too (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by NJDem on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:03:31 PM EST
    I don't know, I really don't see Hosea as a "Top Chef" -- and I guess I think Stefan is, but I think Tom really dislikes him.  

    Whatever, I'm upset Carla didn't just cook her food--she's a little to persuadable...  


    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:06:20 PM EST
    I'll tell you what though, if I were going to hire a caterer, I'd pick carla over all of the rest of them. Any day.

    She lost, but she's going to be doing business on this for the rest of her days.


    And With Love..... (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by BarnBabe on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:26:15 PM EST
    Wish she did not listen to Casey though. Two dishes ruined.

    Sure (none / 0) (#36)
    by Spamlet on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:52:34 PM EST
    but Ariane sure can handle a "protein." And she's closer to your area, iirc.

    If Carla had cooked a better meal, (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:09:29 PM EST
    I think she would have won, and I would have been happy for that result.

    Stefan was almost a caricature of the egotistical chef, which made him pretty much impossible to like; what really turned me off about him is that he didn't ever dial back that ego - he was as offensive out of the kitchen as he was in it.

    His presence was probably good for the ratings, but the last three weeks, his food has suffered as his ego has grown; you would think that the criticisms of these last weeks might have humbled him just a little, but he went in the exact opposite direction.

    Have I mentioned that I didn't like Stefamn, lol?


    And Tom finally shot that Toby down. Yea! (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by BarnBabe on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:31:48 PM EST
    Toby kept up with that full meal from start to finish. I don't like that Toby guy at all. Hope he is not on the next season. Top Chef is the only cooking competition that I watch. The others are just copy cats.

    Toby is the main reason (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Spamlet on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:47:38 PM EST
    why Ariane was sent home instead of Leah. Ariane was on a roll but got thrown under the bus by Hosea and Leah, and Toby insisted that the judging had to be based on that one meal. So then Toby and the others ignored that supposedly sacrosanct dictum by retaining Stefan last week even though Stefan's meal sucked. I hope never to see Toby on this show again. He's an obnoxious poseur.

    Well, you've just spoiled it for me (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Spamlet on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:44:47 PM EST
    but I guess I didn't have to look.

    That said, I'm disappointed. Very. Stefan is a d^ck, and Hosea is a p^tz. And season 5 has been disappointing in many ways overall. I don't think the caliber of the contestants was as high as in previous seasons, so this anticlimactic ending is par for the course.

    And while I'm no fan of Jamie's, I can't believe that she went home before whiny, manipulative, semicompetent Leah, who deserved to pack her knives and be banished after she and the feckless Hosea threw Carla under the bus.



    Meant to say (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Spamlet on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:48:14 PM EST
    that Hosea and Leah threw the wonderful Ariane under the bus.

    An Ariane-Carla-Jeff finale (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:57:16 PM EST
    would have been awesome.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#40)
    by NJDem on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:07:19 PM EST
    about the caliber this season-and even the challenges weren't as good.  

    The judging is so arbitrary it's ridiculous.  Sometimes I think it's all about the ratings--that's the only reason Stefan survived last week.  Remember last season when whats-her-name went home b/c they didn't like that she served everything on one plate?  And I seriously doubt that Toby will be back.

    I just realized that I should really checkout Ariana's restaurant.  She totally got the shaft...  


    They absolutely went for (none / 0) (#42)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:09:11 PM EST
    personality over skill this season. Where was all of the bizarre specialized technique this year?

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Spamlet on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:20:05 PM EST
    Another reason why lazy Leah didn't get sent home much, much earlier, and way before Ariane and Jamie.

    It's kinda (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by NJDem on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:27:29 PM EST
    unfair that the old chefs can really make a difference.  

    Witness the sick, sick... (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:27:08 PM EST
    ...minds that make up the Colorado GOP:

    Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, on Wednesday voted againt Senate Bill 179, which requires pregnant women to undergo HIV testing to ensure steps can be taken to reduce transferring the disease to the baby if the mother is infected...

    ..."What I'm hoping is that yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that.

    The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior."  [Emphasis added]


    No surprise there (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Jjc2008 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:54:35 PM EST
    Met the guy.  Real a**hole.  But even worse is Lamebrain...or Lamborn.  Working for the dems opposing them here in the Springs. Many of us walked and knocked and walked and knocked.  Too many brain dead robots here that worship at NEW LIFE and consider Focus on the Family and it's leader the guru of all things.

    When CO last drew up districts 30 years ago, our area was sold off to get the dems Boulder.  
    At least it's not as bad as the Crazies from the 80s and finally Doug Bruce (our own local version of Grover Nordquist) seems to have lost some power.


    Lamborn, Penry, Wad Dickhams... (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:14:21 PM EST
    they seem to have a pretty deep bench of a-holes.  

    You're to be commended on your efforts to turn the tide down there!  That's quite the task.  

    Speaking of little Dougie and drowning the government in a bathtub, is the budget crisis down there as bad as I've been reading?


    Wad Dickhams? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:22:22 PM EST
    That was beautiful!  Highly recommended!

    Credit for that... (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:57:42 PM EST
    ...must be given to my friends over at ColoradoPols.  

    It is rather fitting though...


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Jjc2008 on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:57:03 AM EST
    I have pretty much given up reading about our local yokels in city government. My plans are to move as soon as I can.

    Housing is in a slump but I live in the downtown area and it is not as bad here as on the overbuilt eastern side of town.  The school district from which I retired is closing 8 schools. So jobs will be lost.  

    Of course a new group of "let's privatize everything" is already in gear and pushing to take over the bus system, roads and anything else they can get their greedy little paws on.  They already tried it on the school district and with funds from an organization whose goal is to privatize public ed managed to get control over our school board (we did recall them two years ago); they did some real damage.

    It's a beautiful city in which to live but the politics has me looking to relocate when financially possible.


    Well, at least he's open (5.00 / 5) (#45)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:52:01 PM EST
    about it.  I've said pretty much forever that the hard right position on abortion, sex ed, AIDS prevention measures, condoms, etc., is aimed at punishing people, women particularly, for having sex, not their mealy-mouthed protestations about "family values," "innocent life" and the like.

    This guy opened his mouth and told the truth.  It's incredibly vile when it's spelled out.  I wish more of them would do it.


    Reminds me (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Fabian on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 05:51:41 AM EST
    of an alternative health column reply to a question about a baby born with a hole in its heart.  (It's a serious defect, but usually a surgical repair works well.)

    The reply talked about how the mother didn't love the baby enough when it was in the womb. (heart = love) It was right back to the bad old days when people didn't understand genetic defects or developmental defects and the mother was blamed for any problems her child had because of something she did or didn't do when she pregnant.  

    The mother was burdened with both the care of disabled or sickly child AND with the guilt of having caused the problem.  I hate people who want to take us back to the dark ages.


    The hypocrisy is overwhelming (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by 1040su on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 12:03:16 PM EST
    I just can't wrap my mind around these "pro-life" people who are willing to jeopardize the health & well being of the baby to teach the mother a lesson.  It boggles my mind...

    Correction Needed (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:32:45 PM EST
    We invented solar technology, but we've fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it.


    I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.  

    oops, WH fact checker is asleep. Both claims by Obama in yesterdays speech are wrong.

    Not really (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:48:31 PM EST
    We like to think we invented everything and we are damn proud of it, the facts be damned. It worked quite well in the speech and would work again tomorrow.

    We saw a brand new shrine (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:51:53 PM EST
    complex in New Delhi, honoring a deceased Hindu saint whose name I don't remember.  Anyhow, there was a boat ride, similar to Its a Small World Afterall.  From the boat we viewed animatronics depicting pretty much the history of India and Hinduism with many surprising claims of discovery and invention.

    No segue:  NYT article about NFL combine had no mention at all of Percy?  Why was that?    


    I'm pretty sure... (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:58:17 PM EST
    ...that our species has had a decent understanding of the sun and it uses long before there was an America or a Europe--or even the advent of countries and continents.  We may have advanced the technology, but we sure didn't invent it.  

    But that's the America way of thinking.  "We invented it--and even if we didn't ours is better because its American."


    Krugman (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by jtaylorr on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:42:30 PM EST
    likes what he's seen so far of Obama's health care plan.

    that makes me happy. I'm anxious to see (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Teresa on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:19:29 PM EST
    some details.

    Non-coyote related... (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:51:08 PM EST
    ...but I'm certainly hoping for a happy ending for this:

    Call it the power of love.

    A female wolf has wandered more than 1,000 miles through five states in search of a mate and is now in Colorado's Eagle County, wildlife officials in Colorado and Montana said Wednesday.

    Bring back the wolves and the Grizzly too!

    That is very sad. Ski season in (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:53:09 PM EST
    Eagle Co.  What self-respecting wolf would hang about there?

    At least she had... (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:07:59 PM EST
    ...the good sense to stay away from Pitkin County.  Someone in Aspen would be wearing her pelt by now!  

    Lots and lots of very remote areas in Eagle County and lots of food too, despite the evil humans and their tools of death (like automobiles).

    I hope she finds her one true love and they live happy ever after.  I'm sure John Denver would have found a song in there somewhere.


    Wow, is that poignant (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 12:02:37 AM EST
    I'm with you on this Milehigh.  Everything's out of whack for lack of a top predator.

    In rural Vermont, where I live, we've got (or did have) a lot of coyotes, which live in the woods, hunt in the farm fields at night, and don't bother anybody much, though they take the occasional unwary cat and a few chickens.

    But we have a small and very unpopular but determined group of goons who go out on coyote shooting parties every fall and massacre as many as they can find with the excuse that they're taking too many of "their" deer, despite the fact that the deer population is doing quite well for the habitat they have.

    Last year, they darn near wiped them all out around where I live, and the result was a fantastic upsurge in rabbit numbers last summer, as well as racoons and the dread woodchucks, which used to be scarce here because of the coyotes.

    I'm sure this goes in cycles, and the numbers will build up again.  This fall, they could hardly find any to shoot, try as they might.


    The worst herbivore damage (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Fabian on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:00:45 AM EST
    I ever saw was in suburbia.  Rabbits and possibly deer had eaten ornamental plants that I didn't know they would eat.

    The sight of the dormant crowns of perennials chewed down to the roots cemented my decision to get a critter killing dog.  If there are no predators to control herbivore population, their population will increase until disease or starvation kills them.  And when a critter is starving, it will eat whatever it can, not just what it likes.

    Your coyote killing yahoos are fools.  The coyotes will be back, but while they are away, anyone with a garden better invest in fences or guns.


    reminds me of one of the themes of (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by DFLer on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 11:23:58 AM EST
    Barbara Kingsolver's "Prodigal Summer" and the effect of the loss of alpha predators down the chain...flora and fauna alike.

    Deer, most likely (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 01:45:47 PM EST
    depending on where it was.  What you describe is quite typical of deer browsing, especially in late winter, early spring when food is scarce and they're approaching starvation.

    Rabbits are at least small enough to be prey for a fair number of small and medium-sized predators (otherwise we'd be knee deep in them, coyotes or no coyotes!), from hawks to weasels, foxes, fishers, even house cats.

    But the only things that can keep deer numbers down are human beings, wolves, and to a lesser extent coyotes, which prey primarily on the young.

    I heard on TV a few years ago the guy in charge of Yellowstone Park talking in almost wondering terms about the changes to the whole ecosystem there since the wolves were reintroduced.  He said they didn't realize how far out of whack it had gotten until the wolves came back and things snapped back into balance-- including the plant life and the insect and bird life it supports.  Really fascinating the ripple effects on down the line when the wolves are there to keep the deer -- and also the coyotes -- in check.


    I love this headline from the NY Times (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Spamlet on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 01:15:04 AM EST
    Obama to Seek Higher Tax on Affluent to Pay for Health Care

    Just love it. After the past eight years, it seems ilke it could have come from The Onion. But it didn't. More like this one, please.

    The new M. Ward record is out (none / 0) (#8)
    by lobary on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:43:40 PM EST
    Hold Time. I love it.

    Ken Tucker reviewed it on NPR's Fresh Air yesterday.

    If you're not familiar with M. Ward, have a looksee at this youtube video.

    Voice is waaaay too good. He'll (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:47:47 PM EST
    never make it.  Added bonus:  female drummer.

    Heh (none / 0) (#11)
    by lobary on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:50:24 PM EST
    With the difficulties I've had scoring a ticket to his past shows, I'd say he's already made it.

    He and his band are fantastic live.


    According to LA Times, (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:02:22 PM EST
    CIA is briefing the President daily about the global economic situation.  I did not make this up.

    And Your Point? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:03:55 PM EST
    Is that a bad thing?

    Why is that odd? (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Spamlet on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:51:05 PM EST
    Are we not all vulnerable to wide-scale cybercrime and other criminal innovations? I can see why the CIA would have a role here.

    Here's the article: (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:57:16 PM EST

    Guess I don't have much confidence in the CIA after we went to war in Iraq.  


    That's certainly understandable. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:08:08 PM EST
    Intellegence work is a lot like computer programming--garbage in, garbage out.  We can only hope that they are provinding good intel this time around.  

    Even though the CIA did provide cover for a war, you'd think that they would be able to provide some useful information on the political-socio impact of the global economic crisis.  


    Very, very different (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 12:05:16 AM EST
    kind of data sources from stuff like WMD in Iraq, which depended on rumor and supposition and fuzzy satellite pix and lying defectors like Curveball.

    Worth remembering, too, that a fair number of CIA people thought the WMD in Iraq stuff was not reliable and they were overruled.  I blame the CIA much less for that than I do Doug Feith's outfit and Dick Cheney.


    Is the CIA... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 08:38:45 AM EST
    aggressively interrogating brokers, bankers, and CEO's?  

    Or are they dosing the masters of the universe with LSD without their knowledge?


    Dennis Ross On Board (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:27:03 PM EST
    His title is special advisor on the Gulf and Southwest Asia. Many are scratching their heads as to what his job will be.

    Indeed, the three-paragraph State Department press release on Ross's job was so vague on specifics that State Department spokesman Robert Wood soon found himself besieged by questions about what tasks and indeed what countries exactly were included in Ross's portfolio.


    On Wednesday, Wood provided more clarity on the list of countries that fall into Ross's portfolio -- Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen, apparently -- but it was hard to escape the impression that State is diplomatically flummoxed about how to describe Ross's job.

    Laura Rozen

    Must be this, imo:

    Other sources suggested the U.S. government was sensitive to Iran's perception that Ross, a former senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, is a pro-Israel hawk whose writings on U.S. policy toward Iran have suggested a high degree of continuity with the Bush administration's approach of carrots and sticks. ...

    More Ideas (none / 0) (#48)
    by broker0318 on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 12:32:15 AM EST
    Go to http://blogobamatoday.com for more insight onto what Obama is doing now.

    Just to sparkle everyone's day.... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 09:32:47 AM EST
    "The largest Asian central banks have gone on record that they are curbing their purchases of US debt. And they are also diversifying their huge reserves, steadily moving away from the dollar. The risks have simply become too many and too serious." --W. Joseph StroupeEditor, Global Events

    Don't chew on this too much, it causes fear, depression and anxiety.

    Maybe it is just what we need.... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 11:02:15 AM EST
    a little tough love from our creditors in Asia so we can finally get our act together....we'll have no choice but to get our act together...the era of "on the arm" may finally be over.

    Puppy-gate (none / 0) (#56)
    by CST on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 11:03:18 AM EST
    Seems like they have decided on a breed.  The Potuguese water-dog.  Still working on the name though.

    Apparently Michelle was not enamored with "Frank" or "Moose".  Can't say I disagree...

    Dick Durbin - not so innocent? (none / 0) (#59)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 12:09:15 PM EST

    Roland Burris, having lied his way into the U.S. Senate, now won't resign. In theory, a perjury investigation could alter his plans--as could some action by the Senate Ethics Committee. So, we suppose, could something mundane, such as Burris' burdensome legal bills. Or, less likely, an attack of Sudden Onset Humility.

    But until something dislodges him--did we forget to include the possibility of a special election?--we Illinoisans enjoy a dubious distinction: We're represented by the most isolated member of the Senate. We can't know whether senators offended by his deceits will demand his expulsion. We do, however, know that Burris will have no clout, no allies, no influence beyond his raw vote, in serving the crucial needs of Illinoisans.

    Burris does, though, serve a valuable purpose: His tainted tenure, for however long it lasts, will remind all of us of how badly Democratic leaders in Washington and Springfield botched the filling of President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

    Sen. Dick Durbin has not-so-subtly tried to distance himself from this expanding fiasco. Durbin laments, with innocent exasperation, that the citizens of his state are "bone-weary" of "the Blagojevich burlesque."

    Not so fast, Senator. This burlesque has more than one high-stepping dancer.