Sunday Night Open Thread

Is anyone watching the season finale of Survivor? Or staying up late tomorrow night to catch a glimpse of the total lunar eclipse?

Or following the news of the treaty with Russia, events in N. or S. Korea, the violence on the Ivory Coast, the war in Afghanistan, the terror war in Yemen, the war on drugs, the war on the Constitution or the war on immigrants? There seems to be a war for everything these days. Except Christmas shopping.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    No to all of the above (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:12:21 PM EST
    But what a spectacular last day in New York. (1) Merchant of Venice and (2) Simon Rattle conducting Ensemble ACJW @ Zankel Hall in the depths of Carnegie Hall. Celebrating culture post concert w/ a glass of retsina. Kdog, where are you?????

    Doing my Sunday thing... (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 08:44:01 AM EST
    had fun playing ball even though we lost 2, a couple ice cold Pabst and holiday cheer with the fellas...then I was called to duty to help save Christmas at my sister's house.  They bought this 15' monster of a tree, and it fell over.  Lights and ornaments smashed, glass everywhere...and 3 nieces near tears.  Total buzzkill.

    So bro-in-law and I bought a heavier duty stand and a couple 1"x2"'s for support...I hope we got 'er sorted.


    That will be the Christmas story they (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:38:38 AM EST
    will remember though. Our collie knocked over the tree when I was 4 and I remember that better than all of the drama-free Christmases!

    Sounds like a great family day. I really miss having my family close enough to do stuff like that together.


    Yep... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:52:49 AM EST
    this brought up the story of when I was guilty of hamster-slaughter as a young boy. I knocked our family tree over, right on top of my sister's pet hamster...we lifted the tree and the hamster was as stiff as board...a flatliner.

    Yesterday I finally redeemed myself!  And we told the girls we will be laughing about it next year...so true ruffian.


    lol...well not so funny for the hamster I suppose (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 01:33:58 PM EST
    He thought he had a nice cushy life away from the ravages of wilderness...only to have a tree fall on top of him. I wonder if hamsters have a sense of irony?

    LOL...Good Question (none / 0) (#59)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 02:38:31 PM EST
    I know my sister did not appreciate the irony at the time...I don't think she so much as spoke to me until January, not to mention a big sisterly beat down:)

    But at least now she can't even jokingly bust my chops about it anymore, not after how I saved the Christmas tree for her brood...free at last, free at last!


    You are a hero in my book (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:24:34 AM EST
    I bought such a tree when my husband was in Iraq.  I think I was trying to make myself and the kids feel better.  We have an old piece of marble that I saved from on old end table that we put the stand to encourage stability and sometimes I'm not so sure that thing is trustworthy.

    Anything for the kids... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:30:56 AM EST
    Christmas is for them, after all...well worth a little sap behind the ears lifting the thing back up on my back.

    My house?  I bought a lil table-top tree:)


    We went to a Christmas party (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 12:25:36 PM EST
    last week and the hostess loves Christmas.  She doesn't even celebrate Thanksgiving because that is when she starts decorating for the Christmas party.  She throws a great party, but we started counting all the decorated trees in the house...various sizes but all fully decorated and we came up with 10.  Another attendee was talking about how many trees they had decorated in their house, that were theme trees.  The tree in the kitchen only has ornaments depicting wine and cheese and the tree next to their indoor water feature is only decorated in fish and water creature ornaments.  This is the lifestyle of the military retired now turned contractor and I sat there thinking about all the kids in this country this year that won't even have one crappy friggin tree with a $5.00 bucket of balls thrown on it for good measure.  And we have worked hard to be here, but the disparity is shameful....the screwing over that the little people are taking is so shameful.

    Yeah... (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 12:41:47 PM EST
    it's gonna be a major bummer Christmas for too many this year, while others revel in decadence.

    Caught a news report about the Letters to Santa pouring into the post office, real tearjerkers all...kids just wanting a winter coat and a pair of shoes for god's sake.  Some even from parents praying for a Christmas Miracle.  The USPS is running a charity program, Operation Santa, where you can pick up such a letter and play Santa for a family in need...pretty cool.  Here is a list of participating post offices.


    We already (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 02:03:39 PM EST
    did this for a needy family (through our local social services agency).  Very sad, what was asked for- things like bed sheets and  blankets and warm coats for the kids, etc.  Stuff that was needed, not stuff that was "fun."  Of course, we included toys and treats.  Too many people in this country don't even realize that there are children going to bed cold, going to bed hungry, right here in the "richest country in the world."  (Or, they blame the parents.)  I really don't even recognize our country any more, in so very many ways.  

    That's because it's.... (none / 0) (#58)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 02:19:54 PM EST
    21st Century Edition America...we put such quaint notions of charity and goodwill toward man to bed 3/4's of the way through the 20th century.

    Nowadays, as long as the grifter set is able to light their fireplace with 100 dollar bills, all is merry and bright.

    At least you have memories of a different place...and you carry the flame, as futile as it seems, so maybe one day we can once again have a nation to be somewhat proud of, instead of feeling only shame and helplessness.


    Kdog, I'm not sure (none / 0) (#60)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 02:58:33 PM EST
    that the "different place" ever really existed in this country.  The right-wing, for instance, always harks back to the 50's.  Sure, the economy was doing pretty well after WW II, and many returning veterans (like my father) were able to get educations, get decent jobs (manufacturing still existed in this country then, and paid well), buy houses, raise their families, and send their kids to college.  But it wasn't so good for blacks in this country back then, was it, with segregation and lynchings, etc?  Women also were still widely expected to stay home and raise their families, as opposed to getting an education and becoming a force in the workplace.  There was also the "Cold War," and all the fear that caused (I remember "nuclear attack" drills in elementary school- as if anything could have really protected us from that).  Then we had the 60's.  Assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy.  The escalation of the War in Vietnam, the protests and arrests, Nixon and Watergate.  No, my son, this nation has much to answer for.  But we still must strive to hold it to a higher standard and improve it, or else we must totally give up and admit that we have lost.  I will continue to struggle for what this country should be.    

    True... (none / 0) (#64)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 03:21:13 PM EST
    it wasn't as rosy as it looks in the rearview, particularly for minorities, women, homosexuals, and other undesirables.

    But you could raise a family on one blue collar job during the ever brief golden age of the working man in this country...say post WWII- Vietnam era.  Granted, you probably needed to be white with a y chromosome to get that quality blue collar job, and a fair loan to buy a house...but at least it was possible for somebody.

    I don't know, maybe thats why it was ever possible for the blue collar white guy...by excluding the "others".  Instead of opening the dream to everybody, we closed the doors to all but the grifters.  Instead of treating everybody like a working white man, we kicked the working white man to the curb with the "others".


    Yes, I think that (none / 0) (#66)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 04:08:02 PM EST
    you're on to something, Dog.  The "working white man" has been kicked to the curb along with the "others."  Only he doesn't entirely realize that yet, or why.  The corporate "powers that be," the politicians, the mainstream media, have all convinced him that he is doing worse because of the "others," not because of those in power.  They are experts at playing the class warfare game, the race warfare game, the "illegal immigrant" game.  It's all the fault of the "others."  Not the fault of the big guys.

    That's awesome (none / 0) (#61)
    by sj on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 03:11:20 PM EST
    Denver used to be on this list.  I once worked at a place where my department did this for Christmas every year.  During that time I volunteered to sacrifice my work time to get a large cup of coffee, go to the Post Office, sit on the floor and read the letters that kids write to Santa.  

    Not all of them are tear jerkers.  Many of them are hysterical.  And in some?  Well you can see the budding me-firsters.

    But it isn't easy to pick one.  Totally apart from the fact that I could only pick one, it had to

    a)  Be answerable.  Requests to help my mommy stop crying were heart-wrenching, but beyond our capabilities, and

    b)  Have a full name, and

    c)  Have a locatable return address and responsible party so that arrangements could be made with the parents/caretakers.

    Naturally, those reasons and travel time were the reasons it took almost all day to find the right recipient.  Had nothing to do with how fun it was to read some of those letters.


    I admit it (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:17:21 PM EST
    Watching Survivor. Interesting final 3 for a change. I can see it going any direction.

    Good for Fabio (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 11:30:26 PM EST
    Sash, Holly and Chase were all undeserving, in my opinion. Sash was such a phony and his strategy was a failure; Chase had no personality and Holly was a goody-goody whiner. I would have liked to see Jane vs. Fabio in the end. I'm glad Jane at least won the $100k.

    In a different season, with better contestants, Fabio wouldn't have won. He was likable, but he cried too much during the season when he missed his mommy. It came across as really wimpy.  (They were only out there 39 days and he doesn't even live with her.) But, of those left in the final four, he was the only one who deserved to win.


    I agree - he was the only one (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:30:08 AM EST
    I liked at all. Chase's country boy stuff just irritated me. He was like JT from a couple of years back except without the personality and partnership with a strategist.

    I usually think anyone who comes on strong and wins immunities like that should be the winner, but in some cases it hasn't worked for people. I was afraid Fabio would blow it with the jury like Amanda did.

    I thought his facial reactions all throughout the season were priceless - for that alone I wanted him to win.


    California stormin' (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by waldenpond on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:22:40 PM EST
    Drenching rains, a bit of hail.  We had a sucker hole tonight and the moon was beautiful, can only hope we get lucky tomorrow but the weather is not on our side.  

    I'm baking.  We made sugar cookie dough, gingerbread dough and dough for cranberry orange pinwheels.  Double batches all.  Once those are done, we'll make fudge and cinnamon candies.

    Our sucker hole came during (none / 0) (#10)
    by nycstray on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 10:45:33 PM EST
    the day. I was sitting here working and suddenly late in the afternoon, we had sun coming in the window. Went seriously down hill after that. I'm guessing the rest of my pineapple guava are off the tree now . . . I'll be cooking them up into jam and a sauce for the xmas ham tomorrow. After that, my cran/apple upside down cake. Then I need to figure out a desert for xmas . . . I should do up some bread and cinnamon rolls just on general purposes also :)

    Is the weather bad enough in (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:47:17 PM EST
    CA I will be forced to stay longer in New York?!!!!

    I keep flashing back to (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 10:09:48 PM EST
    Dr. Strangeglove: "Gentlemen, stop fighting! This is the War Room!"

    I'm worried about the all war all the time world we live in. What's next? a war on war?

    Safe to assume... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 10:58:05 AM EST
    there will never be a war declared on war, greed, or authoritarianism...everyone/everything else best watch their back.

    A church I could join (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by waldenpond on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 12:11:49 AM EST
    Festivus a legit religion.  Really.  Inmate Derek Johnson wins his case.

    Nice! (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 10:59:26 AM EST
    Merry (Happy?) Festivus Inmate Johnson...enjoy the kosher!

    I'm always ready for the airing of grievances. (none / 0) (#14)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 12:18:22 AM EST
    I'm going to have to watch that episode (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:50:39 AM EST
    on Christmas Day.  It's so funny.  The airing of the grievances in our house though, wow

    And the feats of strength! lol (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by republicratitarian on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 10:33:04 AM EST
    Oh yeah (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:17:23 AM EST
    When my daughter was between 15 and 17 and we hated each other, you just couldn't get more ugly than that under one roof :)

    Too bad (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 12:07:37 PM EST
    He's mocking a fake religion, with tenets that aren't part of it, just because he's a body builder and doesn't want to eat salami.

    I have a different perspective (none / 0) (#62)
    by sj on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 03:11:34 PM EST
    If he can find a way to get around the gawd awful diet that we routinely feed to 1 in every 31 adults, then my hat's off to him.

    I can think of another way (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 03:15:33 PM EST
    He can get around eating that diet.

    Completely the wrong perspective (none / 0) (#65)
    by sj on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 03:32:20 PM EST
    in my mind.

    The fact that we provide swill is the problem;  Not the fact that some people get out of eating it.

    Come on, what is this?  The middle ages?


    I guess I like swill (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 10:40:48 AM EST
    Give me a salami sandwich anyday.

    But prevention is always the best medicine.  This tool should try it sometime.


    It ain't Boars Head Genoa kid... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 11:01:48 AM EST
    or even America's Choice no-frills...it's quasi-salami most Americans wouldn't deem fit for a dog.

    What can one say (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:44:32 AM EST
    about this kind of news?

    The tax deal negotiated by President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is just the first part of a multistage drama that is likely to further divide and weaken Democrats.

    The second part, now being teed up by the White House and key Senate Democrats, is a scheme for the president to embrace much of the Bowles-Simpson plan -- including cuts in Social Security. This is to be unveiled, according to well-placed sources, in the president's State of the Union address.

    The idea is to pre-empt an even more draconian set of budget cuts likely to be proposed by the incoming House Budget Committee chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), as a condition of extending the debt ceiling. This is expected to hit in April.

    White House strategists believe this can also give Obama "credit" for getting serious about deficit reduction -- now more urgent with the nearly $900 billion increase in the deficit via the tax cut deal.

    It's Politico, but it's also Robert Kuttner, which lends it some credibility.

    And here's more, from the CSM:

    A bipartisan group of more than 20 senators has been meeting since July to try to push for fiscal discipline. The senators' effort to require the Senate to address comprehensively the deficit, spending cuts, and tax reform in 2011 failed to make it into the two-year tax-cut legislation signed Friday, but they will keep pushing for action [...]

    Ms. MacGuineas points to the bipartisan Senate group, led by Sens. Mark Warner (D) of Virginia and Saxby Chambliss (R) of Georgia, as a welcome sign that the efforts of the president's fiscal commission won't go to waste. MacGuineas has advised the senators.

    "It seems the remarkably good work of the fiscal commission could have died a slow and quiet death if not for this bipartisan group of champions," she says. "I don't know that anyone was expecting this, but there appears to be a very serious effort under way in the Senate to keep the momentum of this work alive."

    What a genius strategy: "the Repubicans wanted to cut off your arm and your leg, but I, Barack the Amazing, have negotiated them down to the arm below the elbow and the leg below the knee: I'm calling it the SOS Plan - Save Our Stumps!  Please send me money with your good arm to thank me."

    What a marvel of compassion!

    I don't know, folks, this has all the hallmarks of a runaway train, with us tied to the tracks, and realizing that "Snidely Whiplash" is, in fact, Barack Obama...

    It's worse than that. (none / 0) (#36)
    by sj on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 10:44:29 AM EST
    Obama is the one proposing to starve Social Security (and make up the shortfall out of general funds, rii-i-ight).  

    So what he's actually saying is that instead of amputating your arm and leg right away like they want, we're gonna start with your fingers and toes and work our way up gradually.  Send money while you still have hands to write with.

    This guy used to annoy me, now he frankly scares the crap out of me.


    too cloudy in central Iowa (none / 0) (#1)
    by desmoinesdem on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:09:14 PM EST
    to stay up for the lunar eclipse, which is too bad.

    The Senate brought the food safety bill back from the dead, which was a big surprise. My only concern is what did they promise Tom Coburn to get him not to object to unanimous consent? He was the main opponent of the food safety bill all year.

    It would be so much more (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:21:37 PM EST
    Sensible to stay home and watch TV!

    Not at all (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:27:53 PM EST
    I wish I'd get out more like you do.

    Me too (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:40:11 PM EST
    Life is short, as soon as I get Joshua through high school I wanna hit the road a little.

    Thanks for the eclipse info! (none / 0) (#11)
    by nycstray on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 11:10:50 PM EST
    I'll prob be up working on some serous deadlines, so perhaps I'll get some glimpses through our rain clouds :)

    U of Hawaii (none / 0) (#21)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 08:59:39 AM EST
    marching stick man

    Big Points (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:41:28 AM EST
    for originality, but still stickman art when compared to the geometric performances of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#24)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:26:29 AM EST
    You have some major clean-ups to do.  Spam is all over the threads today.

    Room at the inn for bloggers in need (none / 0) (#33)
    by lambert on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:59:35 AM EST

    New York Football See-Saw (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 10:09:51 AM EST
    Jets back on the upswing after the big win, G-Men crushed after the Miracle at the Meadowlands II.  I thought Tom Coughlin's head was gonna explode in HD.

    Mike Vick and Co. pulled off a victory for the ages...wow.

    And (none / 0) (#40)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:22:48 AM EST
    Coughlin puts the blame for giving up 28 points in less than 8 minutes on...a punter.

    Mighty classy of you there Tom.


    Too true... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:35:17 AM EST
    what happened to win as a team, lose as a team?

    Coughlin took a page from the Obama "under the bus" playbook...not cool.  Never really cared for Coughlin and his authoritarian schtick..and he diverts blame just like our authoritarian societal systems.


    Responsibility is so 20th Century. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 11:51:56 AM EST
    congrats on the stillerz (none / 0) (#47)
    by CST on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 12:50:37 PM EST
    win.  That was a big one.  Not surprised to see the Jets bounce back.  They were always better than the last two games suggested.  Sometimes you just gotta get over the mental hump.  Good timing to get their groove back.

    Glad we got away with a squeeker at home there.  It wasn't pretty, but sometimes you gotta be lucky as well as good.  And as always, they came up with the big plays they needed.

    I've never seen a lineman move that fast :)


    I was ashamed of myself... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 01:00:17 PM EST
    for rooting for the big man to find paydirt!  

    Dude showed a little burst, a stiff-arm, and a cutback in his bag of tricks...even a Pats-hater had to admire it.


    heh, i enjoyed a bit (none / 0) (#50)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 01:30:46 PM EST
    of cheering and a good chuckle also :)

    I also found myself rooting for Jackson and the Eagles at the end. Of course, I can blame that on my need for a Jackson score on my FF teams {grin}


    How could one not root... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 02:01:53 PM EST
    for the furious comeback to come to fruition...unless you're a Giant Fan, Eagle hater, or Vick hater of course.

    Jackson has been a fantasy beast for you stray...lots of big plays and long TD's.


    it was great! (none / 0) (#52)
    by CST on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 01:45:23 PM EST
    my sister who doesn't watch football came in during that play and said "he seems way too fat to be a runner, isn't he a pusher?"

    Yes, yes he is.

    I still can't decide if the pats defense is good or not.  They keep things interesting that's for sure...  But they also keep winning games.

    There's something very solid about the top teams in the AFC.  Every year this decade it's pretty much the same group in the mix.  Welcome to the club - Jets.  I have a sinking feeling you'll be here for a while.  Although for now, probably still in the non-sb-going tier with the Ravens and Chargers.


    I'm hoping... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 01:59:53 PM EST
    the Colts struggles are a sign of decline from  perennial AFC elite...I can't consider the Chargers elite until they finally can that bum Norv Turner, he's held them back for years, imo.

    Though as much as it pains me to say...there is the Pats at the tippy-top, and Jets/Ravens/Steelers a notch below....a large notch below.

    Can't figure out how for real Atlanta is in the lesser conference...or if the Saints will turn it on in the playoffs.  And I wouldn't sleep on Vick and the Eagles...we know they got mad spunk!


    If the pats don't make it (none / 0) (#57)
    by CST on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 02:12:56 PM EST
    to the superbowl I will be rooting for the Eagles all the way.

    If the pats make it, I will be praying for the Eagles to choke somewhere in the NFC conference games.

    They sure are an exciting team.  But one I'd rather not have my team face in the big game.  Way too unpredictable.

    I wouldn't write off the colts just yet...

    The way I see the AFC is the Pats/Colts/Steelers (aka superbowl winners, and really the only teams that make it there consistently) followed by the Ravens/Chargers/Jets and usually the Broncos as the playoff also-rans.  Chargers may "underperform" in the playoffs, but it's not like those other teams have won anything either, or even gone to the big game since the Ravens in 01.

    It's been a pretty predictable AFC decade.  With the exception of '03.  Looking at this chart that year just makes you scratch your head - Bucs vs Raiders?  Really??


    It (none / 0) (#49)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 01:02:30 PM EST
    was the two hands on the ball starting off, the changing of gears when he hit the hole, switching the ball to the outside hand, and the stiff arm along the sideline that told me he was once a bowling ball sized running back in middle school.

    Criminal Sentencing Reform in Indiana (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 12:14:35 PM EST
    Well, Mitch (none / 0) (#56)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 02:09:20 PM EST
    just blew his chances for the Republican nomination, but it's certainly a needed reform, if it happens.  (Even if it happens because of the cost, as opposed to the fact that the sentences, in many cases, are way too draconian.)