Tuesday Afternoon Open Thread

Conan O'Brien writes a letter to the public and says no dice to NBC's plan to move The Tonight Show to 12:05 a.m. to accommodate shifting Jay Leno from prime time where his ratings have been dismal to 11:30 pm. It's a problem because they can't both follow the local news and that seems to be what's at stake. Conan writes:

For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Enjoying seeing (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:18:32 PM EST
    Leno go up in flames.

    Glad I'm not the only one (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:29:15 PM EST
    Soemtimes I feel like I'm kicking a puppy - everyone says what a nice guy he is. He has just always rubbed me the wrong way. Not to mention, I think he is about as funny as a heart attack.

    Interesting move with Conan going public with his dissatisfaction. Like others, I have no idea which one of them nets more money for NBC, but I have to admire that bold approach.


    He may be a nice guy (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:40:21 PM EST
    when he's at home, as John Lennon used to say, but his jokes are mostly mean as heck.  The fact that he delivers them with a happy giggle and a shrug instead of a scowl or a sneer doesn't change the ugliness.

    Give me Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who manage to ridicule everybody without ever once descending to the kind of personal meanness that's Jay's stock in trade.  You wanna talk nice?  That's nice.


    That and he just goes (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:48:59 PM EST
    right for the obvious. He is ether lazy or just not as smart as either Stewart and Colbert (and their writers). Either way, I won't miss him.

    I have never understood his draw. (none / 0) (#9)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:22:13 PM EST
    I was always a Letterman gal.

    Give me Chelsea Lately (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by lilburro on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:25:19 PM EST
    any night of the week!

    Sam Cooke (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:30:55 PM EST
    After watching that American Masters special last night, I'd have to say that I wish SAM was around to sing the national anthem.

    What pipes 'n soul he had. 100% pure sterling silver. Like nobody else.


    Greg Ferguson (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by byteb on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:32:39 PM EST
    is my pick.

    I never 'got'  Jay Leno.


    Craig. (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:33:49 PM EST
    Oops. sorry and thanks (none / 0) (#46)
    by byteb on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:10:01 PM EST
    Yup, Craig is the best these days (none / 0) (#44)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:05:40 PM EST
    He has more steak and less sauce, and he really good at what he does.

    John Stewart (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by CST on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:33:37 PM EST
    Hands down.

    We watch Stewart and Colbert (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:52:33 PM EST
    You would think that I would know nothing about the issues only watching comedy central but oddly enough that isn't the price I pay.

    Yes. I've been watching her. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:12:22 PM EST
    Can't do the political thing at night anymore - keeps me from sleeping.

    Colbert (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:39:13 PM EST
    4 years later I am still in love. My longest relationship.

    Now, talk about mean (none / 0) (#55)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:59:00 PM EST
    I guess that neither Letterman nor Leno appealed to me. Apparently, outside of comedy, Letterman die push his appeal with a lot of "gals." <snark>

    I just will never stop loving the (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 07:10:18 PM EST
    dropping the water melons off of the firemen's practice building or "What's in your bag" which had to be stopped because the homeless guy tackeled someone who didn't want to participate in Letterman's man on the street "investigation".  But I don't stay up that late anymore so it doesn't matter what I think - although I would never have watched the NBC 10pm time slot with Leno in it.

    You meany. (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:19:31 PM EST
    Jay Leno... (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:10:35 PM EST
    is just the same old tired stuff over and over and over and over. 15 years after the fact and he's still telling OJ Simpson jokes. And the constant litany of Michael Jackson jokes was absolutely nauseating. Once he latches on to someone, he never stops. Enough already.

    I think that is a reason why (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:39:31 PM EST
    it didn't work to try him in a slot seen by a younger market.  Try teaching them and finding out, every fall, how much younger they keep getting every year!  After all, this year's college frosh were only three years old at the time of the OJ trial.  And not much older for the Bill Clinton fracas, but Leno still trots out that tired reference.  (Not that I watch much, but the spouse does in the next room, and so I sometimes hear some of the monologue -- and it might as well be reruns, because the jokes sure are.)

    kids today... (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by CST on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:45:35 PM EST
    pretty soon people born in the 90's will be able to buy booze.

    I don't know why, but that terrifies me.


    It terrifies (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by cal1942 on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:36:14 PM EST
    me too, but, only because it means I'm old.

    Drink up kids... (none / 0) (#114)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:02:42 PM EST
    you're inheriting a world of sh*t:)

    Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself...it's later than you think.


    I wish (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:55:39 PM EST
    I could give this post a 10.  This is exactly why I destest Leno - he uses the same canned lines and stereotypes from when he first started.  Bill cheats, Al is boring, Hillary is a ball buster - we get it!  It wasn't that funny in 1994 and it's certainly not funny now.

    Some times (none / 0) (#34)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:37:15 PM EST
    I think Carson's friends hired him to make Carson look better.

    Bill Hicks had a very funny riff on Leno.


    I have a BIIIG decision to make (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:16:17 PM EST
    Should I get the ('pro-sumer') Canon 50D or the ('consumer') Canon T1I?  Both have same image sensors, thus same (lens-dependent) theoretical image quality.

    The 50D package comes with better kit lenses, so that if I bought similar lenses for the T1I, the less beefy T1I is actually more expensive in the long run than the mondo 50D. The T1I is lighter and fits my small hands better although I've actually bought a 50d (at Costco with liberal return policy) and and am finding that the 50D builds strong muscles and has some nice ergonomic features.

    And the final question is will I use a giant luggable camera enough to make it worth my while to have either one? I am very much into macro photography and the point and shoots don't have the same Pzazz in that area that the DSLRs do.  I also enjoy "sports" photography, taking action pics of my dogs, so the 50D might be better, although it's soooo heavy!

    So while people are dealing with small things like Leno and Conan, I have a huge decision to make.  Any help is appreciated.

    I'm a Nikon gal (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:38:31 PM EST
    so I can't help ya with which one, but if the specs are the same and one has better kit lenses, I would prob go for that one. I switched over from a P&S a couple years ago and pretty much shoot what you do. I have very small hands, but I've adjusted to the heavier/bulkier camera and like it. Part of what made me switch from P&S was how small and light they were getting. My hands are kinda trashed from the computer, but they built up to the camera just fine. I have a few camera bags, so I do take my heavier camera over my older lighter one out and about. I have one bag that is for camera w/attached lens, one for camera and a lens or 2 or speedlight and bags up from there. I can travel light or not ;) I have no regrets and use my camera a lot.

    Consumer Reports (none / 0) (#69)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:40:05 PM EST
    Rates the 50D on almost equal footing with the previous 40D with the improvement of 15 megapixels compared to 10 (can anyone really tell a difference) but also shoots nicely at 1600 while the 40D is best no higher than 800, so if you try to shoot after the sun is setting the earlier 40D might cause you some issues but the 40 gives you better battery life.

    The only advanced SLR Canon rated higher by CR is the 7D but that price is inching towards the stratosphere. If you can find a bargain basement price for the 40D that may be the best deal you can find.

    As for a comparison between the 50D and the T1i. 13 ounces heavier and maybe $250 more but double the fps and and 50% better battery life. Not sure that balances out the added price and weight so if lighter is better then the T1i.

    Best prices I could find
    40D $784
    50D $896
    T1i $629

    If you want a Canon SLR, this looks like flip a coin territory and you can't go wrong. But if you are doing as much action as you are macro, I'd lean away from the T1i due to the better fps on the others. If most of your picture taking is in decent lighting I'd go for the previous 40D which actually gets a slightly higher overall rating from CR and you might find cheaper. If you want the newest model and better triceps, the 50D has to be the choice.


    One reason I chose the 50D (none / 0) (#112)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:03:26 PM EST
    is because I could get it packaged at Costco with 2 really good mid-range lenses (a  28-135mm USM and a 70-300mm USM) for $1500.  The best price I can find on these pretty well-regarded lenses new makes them about $950 worth of the price, so I'm getting the body for $550.  Couple that with Costco's 3 month return policy -- my experiences is that if electronics survive 3 months of intense usage, they'll probably last awhile -- and the 50D was the best bargain.

    If they packaged the T1I in the same way, I'd probably have chosen it instead.

    The luggable 50D weight is definitely a problem for me, but it certainly feels like a "real camera" whereas the T1I has a bit of a plastic-ey barbie doll feel.  In all likelihood I'll keep the 50D

    Thank you everyone for your helpful insights.


    BTW (none / 0) (#113)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:07:41 PM EST
    Interesting that Consumer Reports says the 40D doesn't perform as well in low light.  Other reviews (e.g. DPreview) consider the 40D better in low light.  Go figure.  I consider the 15 MP a bit of a liability.  I'm finding the pics don't load as fast on my computer as I want them to, meaning I'll need an upgrade soon.  If the 50D was 12MP, that would be a bonus.

    I'm a Pentax DSLR gal, since it will use all (none / 0) (#73)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:55:54 PM EST
    my old lenses. But on the question about lugging around the big camera, I think it is definitely worth it. The images I get from my DSLR are sooo much better than my little camera (then again, it is 6 years old).  Especially if you like the kinds of photography you do. How heavy is the 50D? My Pentax is pretty light. I don't notice the weight being a huge deal.

    I'm sure you will like either one as far as features, but if the 50D is so heavy it will make you use it less, than I'd say the T1I might be the way to go.


    Tsunami watch in effect too (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by byteb on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:14:11 PM EST
    for Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

    I was just considering (none / 0) (#56)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:01:31 PM EST
    moving to that region this week due to the incessant cold here, but now I'll re-think. At least I didn't get beyond looking at a map.

    Is there anyplace with warm weather and an ocean that doesn't face tsunami and earthquake threats where you can practice law without taking another bar exam? If so, I'm almost ready. I'm really hating the frigid weather.


    This is my last winter (none / 0) (#59)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:11:05 PM EST
    in the NE. NOT going to miss the frigid cold or icky hot humid. Back to earthquake country, but I'm used to that {grin} The past few weeks have really put me beyond done with the cold.

    Watch out for hurricanes!


    My friend visiting from IA sd. (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:22:26 PM EST
    it's pretty here, and nice weather, but not for her.

    Really?! (none / 0) (#65)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:32:45 PM EST
    I love the weather where you are. One of my favorite vacations was when I just hopped on a plane and headed down. Stayed by the beach and just wandered up and down the coast on foot :) As a kid, we always used to drive down from LA to go to the zoo. I'm pretty picky about where I'll live in CA. Not a fan of the heat there either. I'll be on the bay or at the cabin (gawd that sounds good!), so I'm looking forward to being able to walk the Dot in mostly comfortable weather year round :) and I can start planting right when I get there!

    Too many people Too much traffic. (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 07:01:17 PM EST
    Guess so, coming from a town of less than 2000 people.

    Where are you going? (none / 0) (#92)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:40:36 PM EST
    I have a cousin who lives in Eureka and just loves the climate and the scenery. (Course, they just had an unnerving earthquake there...)

    My ideal would be along the Russian River (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:43:22 AM EST
    But for right now I'm parking along the north bay and the cabin in the mountains. Originally it was going to be cabin only, but I think it's too far from my parents for helping, so I got a place along the N Bay. Also, it works out cheaper than if I live at the cabin and stay at a hotel w/the Dot close to my parents while helping out. Think SF weather, but a 'bit' (10 degrees or so) warmer year round :)

    The earthquake was prob a bit unsettling, but CA folks know how to deal with them. Eureka is too far north for me right now, but I see myself moving up that direction if the cabin doesn't work out to to be my future. Upper NoCal is really lovely :)

    My new place is owned by a professional gardener. There's a veggie patch waiting for me :) I can plant the day I move in. And one of my oldest friends (since first grade!) lives just across the bridge and we are going to co-ordinate our growing. Now if someone could just zap me and my pets out there, lol!~


    Part of the NE is humid (none / 0) (#91)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:38:49 PM EST
    but by no means all.  VT is blissfully dry year-round compared to the Boston area, for instance.  Even the cold is easier to deal with when the humidity is low.

    We have a couple days a summer when we get the kind of high heat and humidity combined that's standard summer weather around Boston, and the locals here run for the fainting couch.


    Yeah, I should have centered that comment (none / 0) (#99)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:46:40 AM EST
    but to me, the NE is this nasty weather we get in August, and the clippers in winter, and it's in my 'hood. ;)

    Incessant cold? LOL. (none / 0) (#70)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:40:19 PM EST
    It's been absolutely wonderful here this week--even snowshoeing up on Mt. Evans on Sunday.

    Inland North Carolina (none / 0) (#90)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:35:46 PM EST
    Gorgeous country, moderate climate.  Or Delaware.  Not so beautiful, most of it, but have you ever heard of any natural disaster affecting any part of Delaware?

    It would almost be redundant (none / 0) (#95)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:43:21 PM EST
    My dad was stationed at Dover AFB for a couple years in the early 60s.  When I told him he was lucky he didn't have to go to Vietnam, he said "Obviously you've never been to Delaware."

    heh (none / 0) (#96)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:50:02 PM EST
    Most people in Delaware live in the north (i.e., Wilmington and Philly suburbs). Hot summers and cold winters, like the rest of the northeast. The south of the state is like rural Virginia/Maryland. Good for growing corn, tomatoes, and. . .tobacco (dunno if they still do).

    That is awful. (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by coast on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:21:37 PM EST
    Sorry for your loss.

    I may be the only person in the world (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Radiowalla on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:32:45 PM EST
    who has never once seen Conan O'Brian's show.  As for Leno, I don't think I've ever seen his show either, but I know him from clips shown on the Sunday news shows.  He made a career out of telling Clenis jokes and then dined out on trashing Hillary Clinton in the '08 primaries.  NBC can have both of them.  Or not.

    Nope, I'm on the same card (none / 0) (#82)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 09:09:08 PM EST
    Pleased to meet 'ya. (none / 0) (#85)
    by Radiowalla on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 10:52:10 PM EST
    I've also never watched American Idol (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:27:57 PM EST
    or Survivor... In fact, outside of the odd "law and Order" I have watched zero network prime time stuff.... wait.... I did watch a few "24" episodes when it was new...

    Good for you! (none / 0) (#115)
    by Radiowalla on Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 06:21:23 PM EST
    And a big BOOO to the person who downrated your comment.

    Stan Frieberg, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 10:59:04 PM EST
    Mort Sahl, Oscar Levant.

    They'll (none / 0) (#100)
    by cal1942 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:57:55 AM EST
    never be replaced.  The times, the environment for that level of brilliance has passed.

    Ironic that NBC thinks that (none / 0) (#1)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:05:42 PM EST
    Leno would help in the later slot given how poorly they've done with him as the lead into the news broadcasts.  This change came because the many affiliates have fallen from 1st often to 3rd place in their local news market share and they demanded that NBC give them a better lead in from the 10pm slot.

    Makes me think, that NBC is trying to avoid having Leno's hugely expensive contract end up being a total write off.  What a mess.

    Conan get a pretty big... (none / 0) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:15:15 PM EST
    ...chunk of change from the opt-out clause in his contract.  They're screwed either way.

    Yes, but Jay is going to be a more (none / 0) (#8)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:21:25 PM EST
    expensive loss - I'm not sure though what each represents dollar for dollar in ad revenue though.  The thing is that Leno can't possibly be earning his keep on the ad side given what has been revealed about the loss of viewers.  I can't imagine he'd do better in the 11:30 slot for a half hour now, though.  Anyway, yes they are screwed either way - but just how badly is the question.

    I like to imagine (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:31:32 PM EST
    the phone calls from the managers of the affiliates to the network telling them to get that turkey of a show off the air. I bet they could make a funny show just with those phone calls.

    The communications about this (none / 0) (#30)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:16:36 PM EST
    level of stuff ends up coming from the owners of the affiliate stations who are an onery bunch.  It would be like if the air conditioning went out at the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix in the summer.  Imagine all those angry rich people who are used to getting their way at the front desk complaining and then you have a visual on what was likely going on.

    Meanwhile... (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:10:06 PM EST
    KABUL -- At least eight Afghan civilians were killed during a protest after a raid on a home by American and Afghan forces.

    Could someone nudge Obama?

    Can we assume they were just (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:17:46 PM EST

    When in doubt kill 'em... (none / 0) (#6)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:18:31 PM EST
    Let John Hagee sort 'em out (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:26:48 PM EST
    Afghanistan (none / 0) (#5)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:18:03 PM EST
    always represented more of a real and political danger to Obama.....The economy should (hopefully)heal itself this year.....

    That the underwear bomber is from Yemen underscores the fact that al Qaeda is not a country, let alone permanently residing in any country....

    The status quo of a couple of years ago in Afghanistan was really okay:  al Qaeda on the run or hiding in caves; the Taliban not all that dominant; and most important of all, Pakistan's nukes out of reach of the Taliban and other extremists....

    If only we could have kept the status quo ante in place...  


    Wouldn't (none / 0) (#101)
    by cal1942 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:59:23 AM EST
    do any good.  I doubt if he'd get it.

    I have to do an "I Called It" (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:43:18 PM EST
    Colbert-style on the Leno thing. I predicted right here that it would crash and burn in a spectacular way when they first even announced plans for the prime time show. Drawing Conan into it is the twist that really makes it work as a flame-out.

    Even if I'm awake when these shows (none / 0) (#26)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:11:35 PM EST
    start, I can't watch them. All that monologue followed by some 10 minutes for the guests. What a waste of time.

    Didn't Conan always follow Leno? Maybe he feels he's being demoted. Then, from what I've seen on the web, his ratings should get him cancelled whether Leno wants to return to the slot or not.

    Conan is one I just can't watch. I do enjoy Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel, though...Kimmel's sidekicks are funnier than he is, actually. Thought his censorship clips on Fridays were hysterical.


    Read Conan's letter at the link Jeralyn (none / 0) (#71)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:44:04 PM EST
    provided. It explains his position very well. Basically, he worked all his career to get that show at that time slot, and it is not at all the same thing at a different time.

    I never watch any of those shows - I DVR Stewart and Colbert and watch the next evening, but none of the other ones seem even worth recording.  But I find the whole thing interesting just as an observer of the entertainment industry


    It is interesting (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 07:34:45 PM EST
    But, even 5 years ago when it was announced that Conan would inherit the Tonight Show from Leno, I knew I would never, ever watch. Conan's corny humor just doesn't make me laugh.

    I'm doubting NBC would have done this to him if he could have gotten the ratings.


    I had the sneaking suspicion (none / 0) (#80)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 08:25:45 PM EST
    that Conan wasn't up to the job. And I like the guy.

    You can understand why Leno always appealed--though I outgrew him at about 13.


    Yep, me too (none / 0) (#81)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 08:46:20 PM EST
    I'm not a fan of his comedy, but he writes a good letter!

    You're not alone (none / 0) (#87)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:21:13 PM EST
    Virtually every industry observer said it would be a disaster.

    Me Too! (none / 0) (#103)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:31:39 AM EST
    I said I thought Leno would make it to January - he would do pretty well in the fall because of the novelty, but I didn't know how NBC was going to compete without 10pm dramas to compete against CSI and Grey's Anatomy, et al. Law & Order / L&O SVU and other shows like that should not really be on at 8 or 9 pm.

    I liked Leno - way back.  I never, ever found Letterman to be funny. He's kinda like Tina Fey -I can always see the punchline coming.


    I really have no interest in Leno or (none / 0) (#21)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:48:01 PM EST
    Conan or Letterman - it's just one celebrity after another plugging their latest whatever - movie, TV show, book.

    I thought NBC's decision to take the last prime-time hour every weeknight and devote it to Leno to be a terrible one and the only surprise I have is that it's lasted this long.

    If Leno couldn't get the ratings before 11:00 pm, I doubt he will get them after - I don't think this Conan thing is going to help him, either - but at least that opens up that 10 pm hour for programming that people will actually watch, and thus provide the lead-in to local news.

    But Leno has always done very well in the (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:37:13 PM EST
    11:30 block. He'll likely do better then Conan is now.

    Would Conan have done better if Leno (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:40:01 PM EST
    hadn't killed the news lead in?

    Quite possibly. NBC has managed to (none / 0) (#38)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:44:14 PM EST
    completely screw up almost everything that ever worked for them. They'll be changing The Office's format to an hour long drama next.

    Did anyone aside from NBC (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:46:42 PM EST
    think that it would work? I thought it was a terrible idea, but to put it gently, I'm no Leno fan . . . .

    I've got to admit, I thought there was a (none / 0) (#41)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:49:38 PM EST
    chance it might work, simply because the Leno show was so cheap and their other programing was always falling apart.

    Gee (none / 0) (#53)
    by cal1942 on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:47:31 PM EST
    Who'd have thought that big time execs would screw up.

    I'm trying to think of even one (none / 0) (#77)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 07:37:13 PM EST
    program on NBC that I do watch....nope, notta one.

    Really Interesting Article (none / 0) (#23)
    by CST on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:56:30 PM EST
    on how the prop 8 lawsuit came about in the New Yorker.  It's 11 pages long, but it goes into all the juicy details.

    Interesting note, some of the opposition from the pro-gay marriage side is that it is "too soon",  often siting the Loving vs. Virginia case where most states already allowed interracial marriage.  However, the difference between then and now is that public opinion is further along this time.  At the time of Loving vs. Virginia, something like 80% of people did not think interracial marriage was ok.  Only 50%-60% do not think gay marriage is ok today.

    I would love to see this battle won.  I am starting to psyche myself up that it's actually winnable.

    It's always too soon (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:03:20 PM EST
    It's too soon for UHC.  It's too soon to draw the line in the sand on abortion rights....there is still so much political bartering room left.  It's too soon for the financial industry to have to follow the regs on the books.  It's too soon for all Americans to be equal.

    "Mr. President, how long must women wait (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:14:33 PM EST
    for liberty?"

    -- The Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw to Pres. Woodrow Wilson . . . almost a century ago


    Still Waiting


    there is also another case (none / 0) (#32)
    by CST on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:22:48 PM EST
    coming from Boston that has a more limited challenge to DOMA, saying it is unconstitutional to treat legal state marriages differently on a federal level.  This would give federal benefits to those who are legally married in the states that allow it, but would not affect the other states.

    Part of the idea is that an incremental change would go down smoother, and that it's an easier legal case to make - since it is a federal law that treats a defined identity (legal marriage) differently based on sexual orientation.

    I am personally a fan of the more comprehensive lawsuit, but I have a pretty good feeling that we won't have DOMA much longer at the very least.


    Thanks, great article (none / 0) (#72)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:49:43 PM EST
    I didn't know Ted Olsen was involved on the anti-8 side. He certainly is someone good to have on our side. That sure is a switch.

    Yes, I did get a glimmer of hope from that too. Seems like the legal reasoning is sound, from this layman's perspective anyway. Reminds me a lot of the anti-Amendment 2 reasoning back in Colorado when that was struck down. Basically, you can't single out a group for denial of rights. Hope it wins - what a time saver it would be to have such a sweeping judgement.


    Sound legal reasoning (none / 0) (#88)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:23:34 PM EST
    unfortunately, is not the strong suit of Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, et al.

    Gov Paterson's son seems to have had (none / 0) (#24)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:06:59 PM EST
    a bit of a legal problem today and his mom picked him up from the police station just awhile ago. News guy gives some details, they show footage and then he says 'because he's a juvenile, if there are any charges, they won't be revealed'. My question is, since he's a juvenile, should they have released his name and shown his picture/released any details?

    Cybil Shepard's son, too (none / 0) (#28)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:13:09 PM EST
    He got arrested for stealing things out of the bags of fellow passengers while they slept.

    Chase (which took over WaMu) (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:22:59 PM EST
    is gutting and completely remodeling local branch.  Lots of contructions workers on the job.  

    Gee, that's (none / 0) (#93)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:41:01 PM EST
    exciting news...

    Isn't it. I am kind of surprised Chase (none / 0) (#109)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:27:50 AM EST
    is spending the money.  But this bank looked more like a bar than a financial institution.

    DfH, (none / 0) (#52)
    by sleepingdogs on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 05:46:16 PM EST
    I also offer my condolences.  

    Haiti earthquake (none / 0) (#57)
    by jedimom on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:03:04 PM EST
    terrible, 7.0 and a hospital collapsed, many people are trapped, State Dept is working on a plan for assistance

    can Obama send in military with aid unliaterally?

    The U.N. is there (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:15:59 PM EST
    We have a place to stage from. Clinton always allowed the military to give humanitarian aid.  Bush began to question the practice and the time when we used to assume that we were going to have to help out in any crisis went by the wayside.  I suppose it is Obama's call.  It isn't as if we don't have any place to stage from.  I'm sure whoever is already there right now is helping out 100%.  At least Fort Rucker allowed the soldiers to fly to the High School here after the tornado, and they ended up air lifting too numerous to count people out of here to Dothan hospitals.  Not sure if the Commander had total control of that situation since so many pilots had kids in that school when it came down.

    Hillary mentioned the military aid (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 10:41:17 PM EST
    just saw a snippet of her comments on Nightline and she said both full humanitarian and military aid.

    We had a lot more (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:42:06 PM EST
    military to spare in those days.  Do we have them to deploy now?

    I say this jokingly (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:18:40 AM EST
    But it isn't a joke.  The only decent jobs program that we have up and running at this time is the wars.  We are on other side of the stripping out we experienced under Bush and yes, we do have the troop strength to do this.  It was odd (maybe not) that nobody wanted to die in Iraq.  For whatever reason Afghanistan doesn't carry that stigma.  We have a lot of new recruits right now, I hope they get all the training they need before they have to fight for their lives.  Haiti would be a good place to start perfecting the skills and functions I would think.

    oh my god (none / 0) (#105)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:25:42 AM EST
    to the last part...what a horrible story.  No wonder he has PTSD.

    whoops meant to reply to #66 n/t (none / 0) (#106)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:26:09 AM EST
    I figured that was what you were (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:52:26 AM EST
    replying to.  It is a horrible story isn't it?  And he has seen some combat too but is more deeply scarred by arriving in Haiti and seeing what large scale human starvation looks like and is really about.  As quickly as we could get food in at first it disappeared into the starving and then more starving heard where they could maybe get some food.  It really was a terrible terrible situation.

    Here goes the National Guard again. (none / 0) (#97)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:04:29 AM EST
    We have National Guard available? (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:50:44 AM EST
    Isn't Clinton some special something (none / 0) (#63)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:19:57 PM EST
    to Haiti?

    I honestly don't know (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:32:56 PM EST
    What I know of Haiti consists mostly of old horrible horrible horror stories, and starving mobs tearing each other apart for the trash that the military was trying to throw away.  One of our friends was attacked by girl while he was trying to get the trash out the door and the people were mobbing to get it.  She bit him and bit him, it was terrible...he says he has PTSD over the event.  She was just hungry.  She was starving to death.

    Special UN Envoy to Haiti (none / 0) (#68)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:38:03 PM EST
    Apparently, both Clintons have a special feeling for Haiti. I think they visited there shortly after their wedding.

    Sorry to hear that (none / 0) (#60)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:12:58 PM EST
    What a terrible shame.

    So very sorry (none / 0) (#67)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 06:37:58 PM EST
    what a tragedy for their friends and family. Another reminder to hold our loved ones dear.

    I'm so very sorry to hear that. (none / 0) (#78)
    by sj on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 07:46:43 PM EST

    This just in (none / 0) (#79)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 08:12:38 PM EST
    Lane Kiffin concedes defeat in the SEC and looks to leave Tennessee after just one year for USC.

    Where will the USC football players go? (none / 0) (#84)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 10:50:31 PM EST
    I'm guessing (none / 0) (#107)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:31:42 AM EST
    it won't have much influence at USC as nearly all their recruits come from California and Kiffin once coached there. The biggest player of interest with no SoCal ties is a receiver from Illinois who has already said he would likely stay with USC. Also, USC thus far had a very small (in numbers) recruiting class.

    Tennessee on the other hand only has one of their recruits from in-state so it should be interesting to see how that plays out. I doubt anyone other than possibly the kicker might switch to Florida though as most are defensive players and Florida has already stacked up on better than what Tennessee might lose.

    Blogs are reporting this morning that Kiffin has already contacted most of his Tennessee recruits trying to get them to switch to USC so perhaps USC might actually gain in the transaction.


    Does the NCAA permit a coach to (none / 0) (#108)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:26:05 AM EST
    try and persuade players to move to his new school?

    If they haven't (none / 0) (#111)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:25:21 AM EST
    signed a letter of intent or started classes it's legal although considered highly unethical. Kiffin isn't well liked now though by fellow coaches so it shouldn't have any effect on public opinion.

    Where it might hurt is with the NCAA investigation into recruiting practices at Tennessee. Those left behind may not speak well on his behalf.