Monday Night Open Thread

It's Monday night, and as many of you could have predicted, I'm putting the finishing touches on my post about tonight's three hour finale of The Bachelor, which will include another interview with last year's winner Jesse Csinscak.

BTD is still busy preparing for his hearing which, due to the snowstorm on the East Coast, got postponed until tomorrow.

I'll be tivo-ing "24" while watching the Bachelor finale and then Jimmy Kimmel (who has Jason on live tonight) so here's an open thread, the place is all yours tonight.

All topics welcome, and if you think I'm crazy for following the Bachelor so closely, or want to talk about other tv shows, please put those comments here, not in the Bachelor thread. I'll check in during commercials.

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    Criminal Investigation (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by cal1942 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 07:34:06 PM EST
    or independent panel to look into abuse of power by the Bush Administration recieves 62% support in a new USA Today/Gallup poll. See today's Times' Room for Debate

    So real people don't want to move on. Apparently it's not as infeasible as the Village thinks.

    Great post over at RCP on AIG bailout (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:23:24 PM EST
    Story compares AIGs trading in credit default swaps as legal gambling otherwise comparable to Enron's illegal transactions.  Post refers to Joe Nocera's piece in Saturday's NYTimes at


    It's an infuriating... story of how a company transformed itself - ... pretty damned fast - from one of the most well-respected, well-run insurance firms in the world into what amounts to a global financial crack dealer, trading on its reputation to peddle exotic credit-default swaps for high fees while assuming insane amounts of risk.

    The irony of it all... is that what AIG was doing was ... well known within the global financial community.  There's barely any difference between AIG and Enron, except that Enron cooked their books in secret while AIG did it in public.

    RCP article entitled: The Calamity that is AIG

    I flipped on o'reilly to torture (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kenosharick on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:18:07 PM EST
    myself tonight and he is ranting that Obama's support among Americans is "rapidly declining" and that the new president is a "failure" because he has not magically fixed all the damage bush and the repubs caused over 8 years in 6 weeks.

    Glen Greenwald re the (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:15:50 AM EST
    Bush admin. policy memos the Obama admin. recently release.  As interesting as TV may be, this is so vital and aggravating:  


    great summary (none / 0) (#53)
    by CST on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:40:36 AM EST
    Reading those memos made me want to puke.  The bill of rights were written explicitly to protect the citizens DURING A TIME OF WAR (3rd amendment anyone?? anyone????).

    To then say that because we have a war, the bill of rights no longer applies, is a slap in the face to the original intent of the document.


    oops! (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 06:41:34 PM EST
    sorry, i saw the "bachelor" thread first.

    ok, i flogged myself, several times, with a wet tv guide, as penance.

    thank you (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 06:46:39 PM EST
    I deleted the comment from the other thread but you are free to repost it here. I don't expect TL readers to care about the show and some to even question my sanity for writing about it. Just do it on this thread instead of that one!

    Jeralyn, Andgarden is watching Chris Matthews (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:45:23 PM EST
    and you think I'm going to question your sanity?

    Not hardly!


    HEY! (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:00:57 PM EST
    Sorry, it was a big fat softball over the plate (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:08:39 PM EST
    and it is spring training here in FL!

    But really, how could you?


    If only you knew. . . (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:13:48 PM EST
    Ha! That's OK... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:19:41 PM EST
    sometimes I miss the old windbag myself.

    Know (none / 0) (#45)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:10:22 AM EST
    thine enemy

    Not questioning your sanity (none / 0) (#7)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 07:54:58 PM EST
    for we all need breaks from the mundane and routine, not to mention the scary and worrisome.  

    What we (I) wonder about, if not question, is your...um...gosh, it sounds so rude when you put it down like this but here goes nothing...your taste.  I admit, I'm curious.  Just what is the attraction to this show?


    A more sophisticated version (none / 0) (#42)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 06:12:23 AM EST
    of Jerry Springer featuring real people and their stories.

    Just as Jerry Springer shows do feature real people and the tales they tell, you only get to see certain facets of the people and only get to hear parts of their stories.  The shows' producers decide which parts of the stories you get to see, the parts that best fit into the narrative that they want to use.  The audience is a willing participant in these deceptions, unwilling to draw back the curtain and to see how everything is manipulated and carefully edited.

    I prefer fiction myself, because it's not easy to create a world that is consistent, believable and interesting and create script after script that keeps the audience's interest and allows the characters to change and grow without resorting to gimmicks and tricks and flimsy plot devices.  Which character should we kill off, have a close family member die or be killed this season?  Relationships form almost instantly just so the happy couple can have a dramatic break up later on.  Good writing is hard, cheap melodrama is easy.

    Any professional writer has been tempted by cheap plot tricks and probably knows them all by heart AND probably recognizes them in various reality shows.  Survivor uses one over and over - who will get "offed" next?  (Sounds like a slasher movie, doesn't it?)  The trick of the reality show is to make you care who will or won't be chosen.  If we saw all of the footage, I doubt we'd feel the same way that the carefully chosen footage makes us feel.

    We want to be manipulated, they want to manipulate us.  We want to believe what we see is "real", they want us to believe it too.  They just give us what we want!


    I'm sure you're right. (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by oldpro on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 12:46:46 PM EST
    I can't watch Jerry Springer, Survivor or "Choose Me And Let's Get Married!" shows.  The manipulation is so obvious as to make the plotline not believable.

    Two reality shows I've occasionally tuned into are "Nanny" and one whose name I can't remember involving trading wives/families.  These ordinary people are exposed in familiar settings and familiar situations...sometimes entertaining and often instructive or helpful to them and their families.

    Can't take much of it tho...too much like real life!  Give me ficton nine times out of ten!


    It's romance pron. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:27:58 PM EST
    Here you have attractive people throwing themselves at each other on national television and you have to wonder - what kind of person would want to televise their successful or failed romances?  Sure the money is an incentive, but there has to be some egomania there, some exhibitionist tendency.  So they do it with their clothes on....or mostly on, from what I've read on the internet.

    No matter what people think, they are literally performing for the camera.  That's what they were picked to do.  Maybe it's real, maybe it isn't.  We can believe what we like.


    Or, they hope to get (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 03:18:24 PM EST
    "discovered" for future TV work. At least one reality personality is now on a daily program. That 15 minutes of fame is a huge draw for some no matter what they have to do for it.

    No, nope... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Fabian on Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 07:47:47 AM EST
    No comparison to a Jerry Springer show at all! :D

    Someone once posted what it was like to be on a Springer show.  The audience is prepped to be as loud and reactive as possible.  The participants (looking for their 15 minutes of fame) are also coached to be as confrontational/hostile as possible.  It's what I think of when I think of reality television shows - shows that feature real people who have been selected, coached, prepped and edited into caricatures of themselves.


    thanks. (none / 0) (#37)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:56:06 AM EST
    i'd have done so myself, except we can't.

    Watching Hardball for the first time (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 06:45:09 PM EST
    in ages. Matthews seems to have a new spunk.

    He does indeed (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:09:34 PM EST
    Trying to figure out Matthews's psyche is a fool's errand, but he's been pretty ferocious on failed Republicanism for a while now.  He's still an *ss, but he's had a much more interesting focus of late, not quite so much pure tactics to the exclusion of policy questions.

    I thought he was right on the money about Rahm et al deliberately elevating Limbaugh's profile in order to define the Republicans by him.  I thought it was a mistake for Gibbs or whoever to call him out the first time, but now I think it's a great idea.  There's a vacuum of leadership in the GOP, so by all means seize the opportunity to paint them with Limbaugh's screeching, arm-waving, red-faced crapola.  It's incredibly ugly.

    Speaking of ugly, I see it only took Michael Steele one day to cave and apologize to Limbaugh for daring to criticize him on Hughley the other night.  Amazing.


    I think identifying Republicans with Rush (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:15:21 PM EST
    is indeed very smart. Transparent, but smart.

    Steele's quick apology just seems to confirm Rahm's accusation.

    The interesting thing about Matthews is that he understands the theater of politics. What Frank Rich attempts (and often fails) to do is what Matthews actually does. He lives for process theatrics.


    He does (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:53:29 PM EST
    and that's what fascinates and excites him the most  and what his liberal critics simply fail to get  That's why he went nuts over Georgie Bush on the aircraft carrier-- even though he was vehemently opposed to the Iraq war.  That's also what the "tingle up the leg" was about with Obama.  I actually think it's also what a fair amount of his sexism and anti-Hillaryism of the past (we hope) has been about.

    Problem is, he loves the theatrics but he's not all that good a critic in that he frequently fails miserably when he tries to channel the voters' reaction to the theatrics in question-- like Fred Thompson looking like he smells deliciously of cigars and aftershave and all that garbagola.


    True (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:55:19 PM EST
    which is why he's a lot like a standard political consultant.

    i can't think of anything interesting (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:00:56 AM EST
    about matthews.

    The interesting thing about Matthews

    he's a lazy twit. gets paid millions of dollars a year, and is too intellectually vapid to bother doing even the most minimal of fact checking, on any subject, before his show airs.

    why does he fail to do this? simply put, he knows the rubes won't know any better, so why strain himself unnecessarily?

    he, along with limbaugh, hannity, et al, are a stain on modern broadcasting.


    Attention grabber (none / 0) (#48)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:13:10 AM EST
    is what I see in Matthews.  If he wanted to be a real analyst and was capable of focus and impulse control, he might be able to pull it off.  But he'll flip flop on his stance for ratings, attention, whatever, and can't seem to keep quiet while a guest is trying t make a point, especially when the guest doesn't say what Matthews wants to hear or uses a complex compound sentence to describe a sophisticated concept.  

    So did BTD conjure up the weather (none / 0) (#5)
    by magster on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 07:39:36 PM EST
    because he was unprepared for his hearing today?

    heh (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 07:45:08 PM EST
    I wish I could have pulled that off at some point in the past.

    I used the snow day to (none / 0) (#8)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:00:19 PM EST
    get one more day of recovery in from this nasty bug I started with last week.  It started as congestion in my throat - and I thought that was as far as it was going to go - was feeling lucky that it wasn't worse.  

    Big mistake. Saturday evening I reached Stage Two - full-blown upper-respiratory mess, with more coughing and sneezing and endless nose-blowing and sinuses that felt like they were going to explode.  Sunday, I spent with the Kleenex box, lots of tea, and the sinus mask, and lucked into Rear Window and Vertigo on TCM.

    More vegging today, and I'm almost afraid to say that I think - I think - I might be feeling better.  Haven't had a bug like that in years, and it was as awful as I remembered.

    Stage Three better be Recovery or I may have to shoot myself.

    Don't do that. (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by Radiowalla on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:20:03 PM EST
    Chicken soup to the rescue!

    Failing that, old tapes of "Big Love."


    Sympathies (none / 0) (#10)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:11:48 PM EST
    It seems that the older I get, my fairly rare colds are either shaken off before they really get started by my veteran immune system, or they're a bug it's never encountered the likes of before and I get totally flattened.

    Sorry to hear about your bug (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:19:18 PM EST
    Kleenex and tea are great, but I always add real Sudafed and Advil.

    I caught Vertigo last night too. I'd forgotten how wonderful it is.


    Oh, there was plenty of Advil, lol, (none / 0) (#17)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:26:21 PM EST
    and I took some Tylenol Sinus, too, until I realized that all it was doing was making it impossible for me to work up a spit but doing nothing to ease the pressure...

    I tried a Celestial Seasonings tea that I hadn't had before - Tangerine Orange Zinger - really, really delicious.


    Tea sounds good (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:52:26 PM EST
    but FYI in case you didn't know: be careful mixing pain relievers. It can be really dangerous.

    DO NOT (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:55:30 PM EST
    take any NSAID and Tylenol or aspirin at the same time!  Very, very, very bad for the kidneys.

    I know that in large doses and over (none / 0) (#23)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:11:31 PM EST
    extended periods of time, combining ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be harmful to kidney function, but over the short term and in lesser dosages - like the over-the-counter recommendations - the combination should not be a problem.

    There have been studies that show that the combination works better than each medication on its own.

    That being said, thanks to both you and andgarden for the warnings; it's great how the people here look out for each other!


    Not a risk I would take (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:57:04 PM EST
    Until something goes wrong, there's no way to know whether your kidneys are vulnerable.  I know a couple folks with kidney problems of one kind or another-- flat-out awful.

    I'm a big aspirin and sudafed (original formula, the one you have to sign a register at the pharmacy counter to get these days) fan myself, but not everybody can tolerate that decongestant.


    Beware Sudafed with hypertension (none / 0) (#47)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:12:28 AM EST
    as I found out the hard way, when my doc couldn't figure out my soaring blood pressure, until we reviewed my over-the-counter meds.  Ditto re Motrin.  I miss those meds sometimes, but not so much as to have that happen again.  There are alternatives. . . .

    You're right (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:02:53 AM EST
    I'd forgotten that, but my mother, who had a chronically drippy nose, had to give up her beloved sudafed when she started having blood pressure problems.

    Thanks for the reminder.


    I had it last weekend (none / 0) (#30)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:16:44 PM EST
    Stages all the same as yours it seems.

    Can't quite shake that last bit of runny nose yet, and sneezing. But the pressure and chest congestion went away after a couple of days.  You should be almost past the worst of it!  Hope your nose dries up faster though.

    I tried Zicam for the first time, but I can't tell if it did anything. Still needed the Nyquil to be able to breath enough to sleep.


    Calling Oculus and other opera fans (none / 0) (#11)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:14:11 PM EST
    Jessye Norman is going to be on Charlie Rose tonight on PBS, according to their daiy email. I don't even know whether she's still singing or not.  I'm not personally a fan, but if you are, you'll certainly want to watch.

    For politics fans, the other guest is Jack Tapper.  (I assume they will not be in the same segment, but who knows with Jessye!)

    Jessye Norman and Jake Tapper? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Radiowalla on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:22:52 PM EST
    On what planet could these two be reasonably found?

    On Planet Charlie, it seems.

    Thanks for the hat tip for Jessye.  Used to be a fan of Jake Tapper until he became an insufferable Kool Kid.


    i used to be a fan of (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:04:11 AM EST
    charlie rose, until he became one of the "villagers".

    Used to be a fan of Jake Tapper until he became an insufferable Kool Kid.

    yup yup yup (none / 0) (#46)
    by sj on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:10:41 AM EST
    He's always had that tendency to ask a question and then kind of answer it himself.  But during the run up to the Iraq war was when I noticed that "kind of" part go away.  If the guest wasn't responding the way he intended when he asked a question, Charley Rose was insufferably rude.  Talking over his guest or changing the subject in some way.  Oh, he did it quietly -- no shouting  -- but persistantly.

    Now he does it for all sorts of guests, not just the political ones.  As if their presence at the table is just a prop or something.


    Thank you (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:43:51 PM EST
    Bernie Madoff (none / 0) (#32)
    by Amiss on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:27:02 PM EST
    is asking to keep his penthouse and tens of millions of dollars claiming they belong to his wife? Whatever happened to community property?

    New York (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:57:28 PM EST
    is not a community property state.  In fact most states are not.

    It is rather common in the financial industry for brokers to ensure their house and such are titled in their wife's name (note that this sentence traffics in a generally accurate gender stereotype) as a liability avoidance device.  If you're actually involved in outright criminal activity like Madoff this strategy becomes all the more imperative!


    Here, women are put on trial (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:00:31 AM EST
    just for living on the money their husbands or boyfriends make by selling drugs. His crimes had real victims, unwilling victims and she had to know he was fraud.

    Shouldn't he be spending the rest of his (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:04:37 AM EST
    life in prison?

    He isn't going to be able to produce enough money from those items to recover many pennies on the dollars he lost, but something is better than nothing and he deserves nothing less than the worst case scenario of his victims.

    His greatest punishment appears to be in making certain he winds up homeless and in debt.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#33)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:41:18 PM EST
    They may belong to his wife, but so do his debts.....

    Saw that as well...what a crock. (none / 0) (#34)
    by coast on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:45:32 PM EST
    this deputy is not suited for the job (none / 0) (#43)
    by DFLer on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:03:38 AM EST
    This is not the first time the deputy's actions on duty have been questioned.

    Schene fatally shot a mentally ill man in 2006 after a traffic stop struggle on Interstate 5. It was the second shooting of his career, although both were ruled as justified.

    While on paid leave after the 2006 shooting, Schene was stopped for drunken driving. He registered a .04 percent blood alcohol level during a test, but had been drinking and taking prescription medications. He was suspended for two days and a received a deferred sentence, public records say.

    That's an understatement... (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:17:07 AM EST
    he isn't suited for the human race....no brute who beats on women or children is.

    Conrad Black (none / 0) (#44)
    by CST on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 09:43:27 AM EST
    I thought this was interesting.

    I had no idea prisons had pianos...

    Good for him if he is tutoring other prisoners.  I hope they can learn something from each other.  Certainly a rosier image than you would expect, and I wouldn't be surprised if things were a bit easier for him.  I am not surprised this is true:

    "I have also met many interesting people from a variety of backgrounds that were somewhat unfamiliar to me, but are no less interesting for that, and have been quite informative in some ways."

    Ha. Federal "country club" (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:33:51 AM EST
    correctional facility.

    I once asked a CA state inmate if he could choose amongst various foods offered.  He looked at the correctional officers present at the deposition (high classification inmate), everyone smiled, then he replied:  No, Ma'am.  Food is already on plate when kitchen worker inmate shoves plate through opening from kitchen to where inmates go through food line.


    To be honest (none / 0) (#54)
    by CST on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:44:23 AM EST
    Reading that article made me think of the description of "jail time" in the Sopranos.

    Everyone has to do their time eventually, and they know they will be "taken care of" on the inside as well as the outside.

    Power is power, no matter where you are.  And money is almost always the hand of power.

    Still, it was nice to hear he was helping out his fellow inmates.  If they can learn some history from him, all the better.