Wednesday Night Open Thread

Slim pickings tonight on TV: Survivor and American Idol are the best bets.

Health care is still dominating the news. And Sarah Palin apparently is still not ready for prime time, her "reality" show on Alaska has been picked up by... the Discovery Channel. What reality show costs $1.2 million an episode?

Charlie Sheen may be retaining new counsel...Denver's Hal Haddon whose firm represented Kobe Bryant in his Eagle County sexual assault case. While the DA isn't seeking jail time, he's also not offering a deferred judgment to the felony.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    I think Andgarden posted (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 09:15:30 PM EST
    about TomFriedman today. Thought he might enjoy this from Atrios:

    The Moustache Of Understanding

    Continuing to out-parody himself he actually writes this sentence today:

    I want a Tea Party of the radical center.

    Basically, he wants a large political movement of people who are of course out there and who completely embrace his mostly incoherent political beliefs.

    I love the 'Mustache of Understanding' nickname. I had forgotten that one. Somehow it manages to capture all of the pomposity that is Tom Friedman.

    Yeah, the whole thing was a bag of stupid (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 09:23:07 PM EST
    Pay me what he gets paid, and I'll at least make an effort to turn out something fresh or compelling.

    I've read this particular column in any number of 2nd rate newspapers.


    He's lost it (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 12:01:51 AM EST
    He used to have some pretty nifty insights into the way cultural history and economic history and logic and emotion combined to produce various things (I thought "From Beirut to Jerusalem" was revelatory at the time anyway), but the more he got praised for it and the more money he made and the more he was fawend over by the Charlie Roses of the world, the more he just lost that ability to see through stuff.

    Now he's just a dumb hack, IMHO.  Sadly.


    I also remember thinking (none / 0) (#29)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 06:04:36 AM EST
    that book was good.

    Lovely sunny day @ the (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 09:16:52 PM EST
    Getty. Wisteria in bloom. Light traffic. Da Vinci, Donatello, illuminated manuscripts. Next: Schubert.

    Sigh (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 09:19:44 PM EST
    You are rapidly making me want to choose LA as my next vacation destination. I have not been to the 'new' Getty yet, and it is not even that new anymore.

    I love the "new" Getty! (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:36:40 PM EST
    I always go there the day after Thanksgiving. The weather is usually great, the exhibits are great, and the walk through the garden below is so peaceful. Then there's the sunset over the mountains at the end of the day. The best.

    Very beautiful there today. Hard to go inside (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 02:34:04 AM EST
    and look at the exhibits but I'm glad I did.  

    Yes - that is the same problem I used to (none / 0) (#30)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 09:16:44 AM EST
    have when I went to the Malibu location. Always just wanted to sit outside in the garden and look at that view.

    I left California 20 years ago and the museums all mentioned above are very sorely missed. The Denver Art Museum is good, but the settings and
    beauty of the California museums are extraordinary.

    Don't get me started on Orlando....though there is a  museum with lots of wonderful Tiffany glass exhibits in Winter Park.


    I remember reading about Tiffany/Winter (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 11:39:36 AM EST
    Park.  Didn't a professor save much of the glass from a famous estate--maybe Tiffany's?  

    Laurelton Hall: (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 11:45:00 AM EST
    Yes, that is the one (none / 0) (#35)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 02:08:22 PM EST
    It really is a good exhibit. They also have a chapel he did either for that house or a church...now I can't recall. And of course many lamps and other pieces. Worth a stop in any visit to the Orlando area.

    Chapel was for the (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 02:10:35 PM EST
    Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. I should have remembered that.

    I saw that chapel somewhere at a Tiffany (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 02:21:19 PM EST
    exhibit w/i recent memory.  Maybe San Francisco at the old De Young.

    Getty Villa is now presenting classic (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 11:54:19 AM EST
    Greek drama in new outside amphitheater.  Oh, and Culture Clash's riff on Euripides.

    Been there, done that, and will repeat. (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 03:11:51 AM EST
    Also, the Bowers in Orange County. (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 03:12:30 AM EST
    Question about Iranian names. (none / 0) (#2)
    by observed on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 08:29:07 PM EST
    I've had several Iranian friends in the past, although I'm not in touch with any now to check this question.
    I thought I had heard that the "pur" or "pour" suffix indicated someone might be Jewish or have Jewish ancestry.  For instance, the contemporary composer Danielpour is from a Jewish family.
    I thought Ammanpour might be a Jewish name, but there's no indication of that in any bios I've seen of her.
    Anyone know?

    She is not Jewish (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 09:08:11 PM EST
    But her husband, Jamie Rubin, is. Here's their wedding announcement from the NY Times. They were married first by a Catholic priest and then a rabbi.

    The Rev. Ambrose O'Farrell, a Roman Catholic priest, performed the ceremony at the Church of Santo Stefano in Bracciano, Italy. Later in the day, Rabbi Guy D. Hall performed a Jewish ceremony at Castello Orsini-Odescalchi.

    Thanks. (none / 0) (#5)
    by observed on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 09:08:48 PM EST
    And she went to Catholic all-girls schools (none / 0) (#6)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 09:10:51 PM EST
    while growing up in London.

    Well then, she will obviously slant (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 09:18:00 PM EST
    This Week with her anti-Israel leanings. /snark

    That rumor, interpretation (none / 0) (#18)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:54:07 PM EST
    has circulated for a while about the name Amanpour, and I believe I read somewhere that it had been shot down. I think it's like my family name, which is often but by no means exclusively Jewish.

    Fresh cashew sighting! (none / 0) (#3)
    by observed on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 09:04:42 PM EST
    I saw a couple of fresh cashews just a while ago.
    They're very weird---the green nut is attached to a pyramidal white and reddish fruit about 2 inches in length. The nut is on the outside, at the tip of the fruit. It looks like modern art.

    Too much information! (none / 0) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:54:39 PM EST
    The Senate is now voting to table (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 10:49:45 PM EST
    a "Diaper" Dave Vitter amendment to repeal the whole healthcare bill. I think they should have allowed an upperdown vote on the underlying amendment.

    Heck, do the same thing in the House. I can't wait to see who votes for repeal.

    DADT Rules to be Relaxed (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:35:45 PM EST
    The Pentagon is scheduled to announce Thursday that it will relax enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" rules that prevent gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military, a decision that officials described as a temporary measure until Congress can take permanent action.....

    .....Gates had asked Pentagon lawyers to review whether the Defense Department has the legal discretion to enforce the "don't ask, don't tell" law more loosely after President Obama urged its repeal in his Jan. 27 State of the Union address....

    ...Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee on Feb. 2 that they agree with Obama and would take steps to prepare the military for the eventual repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."....

    ....The Pentagon is moving ahead on the assumption that Congress will overturn the ban on gays serving openly, but whether that will happen remains uncertain....


    Heard on the Street (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:38:44 PM EST
    The good thing about the Health Care bill is that the Republicans are mad. The bad thing about the Health Care bill is that the Democrats are happy.

    Has anyone read the April issue of Harper's yet? (none / 0) (#16)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:40:20 PM EST
    I'm about to start the cover story, "The Vanishing Liberal: How the Left Learned to Be Helpless," by Kevin Baker.

    Let us know if he has (none / 0) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 12:03:08 AM EST
    any new insights.  Me, I'm too depressed to read about it...

    I figure I'll be depressed (none / 0) (#22)
    by shoephone on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 12:04:42 AM EST
    by the time I'm finished. It's hard to have all your worst fears confirmed.

    Doing anything in Alaska (none / 0) (#17)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 11:51:47 PM EST
    is a lot more expensive than doing it anywhere else at least in the U.S., but $1.5 mill is pretty over the top anyway.  But she'll get the eyeballs.  She's pretty charming and fun to watch when she's not rousing the rabble, and the idea is a superb one.  I'll probably even watch if it's any good!

    I don't think (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 05:17:23 AM EST
    it cost $1.2 million per episode (almost all of the reality shows cost that much - Survivor: Kenya cost that much in 2001).  I think Palin is asking for that much per episode in a salary. And that is ridiculous in comparison, but then you have to realize that most everybody else in a reality show is an unknown who is looking to break into TV.

    Possible cure for ptsd (none / 0) (#31)
    by CST on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 10:43:35 AM EST
    is Tetris?

    Seems weird, but I have definitely had tetris "flashbacks" (falling pieces running through my head) after playing too much of the game, so I guess it kind of makes sense that it could disrupt other types of flashbacks.

    As for the other question, that of humanity (do we really want to lose our bad memories?) - on a personal level, no, I appreciate what I've learned from those moments - but I had never had to witness war on a personal level.