Tuesday Night Open Thread

If you missed last night's finale of Damages, it was very bloody but tied up all the loose ends. I hate cliff-hangers used as a lure for the next season, and this didn't have any. Also, no ambiguities like the Sopranos. On the other hand, it may be the last season, unless a deal comes along to save it. "24" was really good, and now only 6 hours left.

Tonight will probably see Kate Gosselin (finally) go home on DWTS. And the 7 remaining contestants sing on American Idol.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Obama heckled by the "good guys" (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 08:32:50 PM EST
    From Gawker, video titled "Now Here Is Some Obama Heckling We Can Get Behind":
    Today at a fundraiser for California Senate candidate Barbara Boxer, Obama was heckled... by the good guys!...We are anti-heckling, in general...But in this case, when Obama promised way back in 2008 that he would repeal DADT if elected, the heckling is a good thing. It reminds him of how he renewed that promise last October; and it would remind him how many people would be disappointed if Congress' overloaded summer schedule ended up with DADT slipping through the cracks yet again.


    Too many broken promises (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by scribe on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 08:51:30 PM EST
    to not give him hell at every opportunity.

    He didn't listen when his base told him nicely.


    Here's an opposing opinion (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 09:09:54 PM EST
    on the heckling video, from HuffPo: Protesting [Obama] at Senator Barbara Boxer's Event Was a Step Backwards for [LGBTQ] Equality.

    Needless to say, I disagree. If you want to be seen, and heard, far and wide, you pick the biggest possible venue and let it rip.


    I disagree too (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 04:55:57 AM EST
    I fear he is of the illusion that (none / 0) (#5)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 08:59:56 PM EST
    everyone is as impressed as he is with his Insurance bill....oh, wait....that's our Insurance Bill :)

    I'm wishing he would learn how to react to these things without the demeaning looks and sighs of frustration. Of course, he could start doing the same thing Bush did and bring his own crowds, then photoshop more in for print news.


    I still don't think he really cares (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 05:10:03 AM EST
    He only cares about gay rights and women's rights when he can say certain things during speeches that bring people to their feet cheering and adoring him.  When it is time to deliver though and fight the fight that all that energy is really for that is being pushed at him, he folds like a paper crane.  As far as he's concerned, it's still all about him.

    That look on his face (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 10:09:24 AM EST
    did not match his opening remarks about how glad he was to be there, among good friends who were there for him in the beginning, working the phones, going door-to-door.  But, he is supportive so stop hollering and recognize that he is just a bystander--save your hollering, he says, for those who are not supportive.  But, but Senator Udall and others want to act this year, and are getting the cold shoulder from the WH.  Barney Frank is not getting a response to his letters to the WH. It seems as if the ire of the president is directed toward those who will no longer let him keep the issue at bay with just nice words.  While the actions of the hecklers were impolite, the inaction of the president is disrespectful.

    Dear President Obama (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 10:22:41 AM EST
    I am writing this letter to advise you of my support for you and the Democratic party. I do not plan to contribute funds, volunteer, vote for you or the members of your party or any other proactive activity on your behalf. Now that you have been told of my support, I am sure that you and your party will cease soliciting me for funds, time or my vote.

    A voter who is supportive of you. :-)


    Finally lefty voters acting like (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 05:00:05 AM EST
    they expect their party to represent them.  This will break some ice that needed to be broken damn it!  Snap out of it Obama, you are not THE ONE as in The Matrix.  You are THE ONE as in the one where the buck stops on all those bogus campaign promises :)

    This doesn't look good though (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 05:05:14 AM EST
    when compared to the press being booted far away from the soldiers who chained themselves to the fence though.  How forked tongue, they got him in a place where he had to deal with them face to face and cameras were rolling and he acted like he cared.  But the press were not allowed anywhere near the protest at the White House fence.

    That video is going viral... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 09:01:38 PM EST
    When I first looked at it on YouTube, it had 11 thousand views - fifteen minutes later, it had 15 thousand views.

    One question (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 10:16:28 PM EST
    I didn't understand why Patty called off the deal with Lenny, the one Tom and Ellen went through with anyway. Even if she was feeling less vindictive, didn't she want the money back for all of her clients? That was the only note that bothered me. Well, besides the bloody beatings.

    I liked the way they tied up that Ted Danson-Tim Olyphant scene. nice touch.

    I hate that this is probably the last season, but am glad they went out with a good one.

    And really glad I have 'Justified' now. hope it is getting good ratings.

    Also I heard a good interview (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 10:22:55 PM EST
    with Lily Tomlin, where she talked about how she got into the show. I guess when she and Mary Kay Place were working together on a show that got cancelled they were both hooked on watching 'Damages', and cornered Glenn Close the next time they saw her at an event. She also said that both she and Martin Short approach all roles the same, rather comedic or dramatic. That sure showed this season. I was sorry Tomlin's role was a little smaller than it could have been. Wish the first couple episodes had been less Danielle Marchetti and more her.

    What I've read is that there may (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 10:31:46 PM EST
    be a deal with DirecTV - much like the one they worked for Friday Night Lights - in which DirecTV would have first broadcast rights and then it would go over to FX.

    I really enjoyed this season, though I found myself watching each show twice - back-to-back - to pick up on all the details I missed the first time.

    That would be good, even if it meant I (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 08:10:46 AM EST
    get the shows slower.

    I usually watch them twice too, or at least skim them. I bet I watched that car crash about 100 times and still never figured it out.

    One thing I have to watch again - did Ellen react at all to seeing that little statue of liberty ornament in the car. I thought it was a flashback to the murder weapon that killed David, but I didn't notice her reacting.


    My question? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 09:31:41 AM EST
    Why didn't Tom call 911 and get himself to a hospital?

    Didn't fit the storyline, I guess.

    Wasn't Tom the one who asked whether the dash ornament came off?  I don't think Ellen reacted at all, but I might have to watch that part again, too!

    Little trivia/6 degrees of separation thing: Tate Donovan's sister and her husband used to own the property that backed up to ours - my girls used to babysit for their daughter.  They've since moved away, but the girls were over the moon that they knew the sister of someone who was - briefly - "Rachel's" love interest on "Friends" and who went to her wedding to Brad Pitt.


    Oh yeah, why didn't he? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 10:59:23 AM EST
    Well I guess we could ask that about just about every action on that show, and then, as you say, we would not have a story.

    I forgot about Tate Donovan on 'Friends'. He does tend to show up periodically. He's good - does that good-guy with a secret role well. Maybe he will have flashback scenes if Damages does get picked up.

    Campbell Scott - really chilling.


    Chomsky expresses respect for Joseph Stack (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 10:55:32 PM EST
    Last night, on the Timothy McVeigh thread, I ventured an observation about the comparatively scant coverage of Joseph Stack, who died when he deliberately crashed his plane into an IRS building in Austin earlier this year. In my opinion, no media dared dwell on the story because Stack had left behind a compelling statement articulating how the current sorry state of socio-economic affairs has ensued from a totalizing merger of the corporate and political class.

    Today, TruthOut posted a lengthy story by Noam Chomsky, Remembering Fascism: Learning From the Past. If I'm not mistaken, he is viewing the present time in the U.S. in relation to the pre-Nazi Weimar Republic and warning us that if the left doesn't address popular grievances the right will lead us all into fascism.

    Chomsky writes that Joseph Stack was chronicler and a victim of our current predicament:

    One of the clearest and most moving articulations of the public mood that I have seen was written by Joseph Andrew Stack, who crashed his small plane into an office building in Austin, Texas, committing suicide. He left a manifesto explaining his actions. It was mostly ridiculed, but it deserves much better, I think. Stack's manifesto traces the life history that led him to this final desperate act...

    Chomsky doesn't make the mistake of identifying Stack as a member of the Tea Party movement - but of the latter, he has this to say:

    Ridiculing Tea Party shenanigans is a serious error, I think. It would be far more appropriate to understand what lies behind them and to ask ourselves why justly angry people are being mobilized by the extreme right and not by forces like those that did so in my childhood, in the days of formation of the CIO and other constructive activism. [snip]

    ...critical intellectuals, whatever their station in life... can become directly engaged in popular struggles, helping to organize the countless Joe Stacks who are destroying themselves and maybe the world and to join them in leading the way the way to a better future.

    Noam knows the way.

    I think you are not mistaken (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Spamlet on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 01:45:57 PM EST
    If I'm not mistaken, he is viewing the present time in the U.S. in relation to the pre-Nazi Weimar Republic and warning us that if the left doesn't address popular grievances the right will lead us all into fascism.

    Thanks for that link.

    The only point of discussion might be whether Chomsky is pushing exclusively or even primarily for "the left" (as we generally understand that term today) to address popular grievances. The piece is about the responsibility of "critical intellectuals, whatever their station in life," to "sweep away the mists of carefully contrived illusion and reveal the stark reality" and "become directly engaged in popular struggles."

    Indeed, Chomsky goes to some lengths at the beginning of the piece to point out that the intellectuals of his childhood were working (or unemployed) people of little formal education but penetrating thought. In other words, no one would have confused them with the people today who call themselves the "creative class" and who fancy themselves leftists (or "progressives"), and he cites the "coalition that was taking shape [around the Nazis in 1933] as the center collapsed" (emphasis added).

    Which is not to say, of course, that the degeneracy of our co-opted "left" in any way absolves that "left" of its responsibility. But when Chomsky cites a circa-1928 German public beginning to be "led by [a] charismatic figure . . . orat[ing] to the mesmerized masses," he implicitly pegs the self-styled American "left" of Obama cultists--a "left" of highly educated people who should and, at some level, actually do know better--as a gelded, even reactionary bloc whose destructive passivity must be countered by intellectually responsible action, and by intellectually responsible actors, "whatever their station in life."


    Organized labor (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 05:36:20 PM EST
    and the political consciousness nurtured by it's struggles WAS the vital connecting link between the liberal professional class of Chomsky's youth and the working class and poor. And the language of power structure analysis and conflicting class interest, correlated with an emphasis on the history was part of the atmosphere that the left breathed. This was before open war was declared on Labor by the right and "left": starting with Taft Hartley under Truman and culminating today in the mentality of the new barbarians of "free trade"; ex-Walmart board members foisted as spokespersons for "working people"; creative class yuppies etc

    What we see occurring now isnt some sudden aberration that just erupted in 2008, caused by "creative class" yuppies, it's just a sharply-in-focus (because current) manifestation of a process that's been going on for decades.


    That's right (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Spamlet on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 09:42:16 PM EST
    What we see occurring now isnt some sudden aberration that just erupted in 2008, caused by "creative class" yuppies, it's just a sharply-in-focus (because current) manifestation of a process that's been going on for decades.

    As I could have told you from the vantage point of my 61 years and my participation in organized labor.

    But it seems to me (and perhaps to FoxholeAtheist as well) that Chomsky has chosen this moment to address the growing menace partly because people who represent themselves as leftists and progressives are in thrall to a charismatic figure who is actively working against leftist/progressive policies, with little or no blowback from the left. The chants of "Yes, we can!" that broke out at the Barbara Boxer rally the other day, when Obama was confronted by gay activists, were quite telling, IMO.


    An excellent observation (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 09:14:34 AM EST
    except it is flawed to a certain degree.

    I know quite a few people who go to the meetings and I believe that the TP people won't be led into anything.

    If the Democratic leadership continues to ram very unpopular issues, at the behest of Obama, you will see more and more demonstrations ending with a huge number of incumbents, both Demos and Repubs, tossed out come November.

    And the civil libertarians on the Left and Right need to worry more about a President who said we need a national civilian security force as strong as the military and less about a bunch of grandmaws and grandpaws yelling about taxes.


    Oh, Martin Short is very talented (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 03:34:26 AM EST
    and it is a marvel to see that he is equally adept at drama and comedy. He once said "every vagina has a monologue". I trust it's not too un-PC to find that funny.

    It's funny cuz it's true ;-) (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 08:07:38 AM EST
    Is that you talking? (none / 0) (#39)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 06:51:31 PM EST
    Dragon, shoot me! (none / 0) (#31)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 12:34:11 PM EST
    Justified, on FX Tuesday nights at 10 (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by tigercourse on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 08:42:36 AM EST
    is also turning out to be a really good show. You could watch it for the dialogue alone, which really crackles.

    thanks! I was getting repetitive (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 08:45:33 AM EST
    with my raving about Justified. IMO better than anything on TV at the moment, including the HBO and Showtime shows.

    Martin Short (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 09:28:02 AM EST
    And really, who knew before this season that Martin Short - who's always been one of my favorite comedians, from his SCTV days -  could play despicable so very well?

    He once played a rapist-murderer of children in an episode of Law & Order: SVU and he was quite chillingly despicable in that. Did a marvelous job.

    Idol (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 08:04:39 PM EST
    I have come to adore Crystal Bowersox.

    Me too. (none / 0) (#40)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 07:01:02 PM EST
    It's all hockey, all the time, every night. (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Tue Apr 20, 2010 at 08:54:57 PM EST
    As I write this, my Pens are a half-minute away from taking a 3-1 lead in their series with Ottawa.  

    For the last several years, the Pens have met and beaten the Senators in the first or second round of the playoffs and these two teams Do Not Like Each Other.  This shows in the quality and number of hits, legal and otherwise, in their games.

    While I'm writing this, the game went final.  Pens win 7-4.

    I watched the Burma documentary (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 05:15:18 AM EST
    tonight about the renegade press that was sneaking the film footage out.  Such brave nonviolent people, and so sad.  And they beat the Monks back, beat them down, killed them, stiffled them.  The Monks had such a history of being a powerful political force when they had deemed that they need to take a stand, I wanted to cry.  At least the last words from one Monk to one of the reporters was that he needed to leave for and hide in the countryside and that he needed to live to fight another day.

    MT, what is the name of this (none / 0) (#33)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 04:12:55 PM EST
    Burma documentary?

    Here's a link (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 12:00:40 AM EST
    Sorry was gone all day, dog stuff.



    Thanks, MT. n/t (none / 0) (#37)
    by caseyOR on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 12:55:32 AM EST
    Allergies (none / 0) (#38)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 03:15:59 PM EST
    Very interesting information on fighting spring allergies:


    If you miss seeing this....I'll watch for another opportunity to share. Looks like good info.


    back to books (none / 0) (#23)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 08:57:02 AM EST
    "Southern Cross: a Novel," by Brigid Knight, published in 1949, Donald.

    Thanks, Jeff! (none / 0) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 09:46:23 AM EST
    I will definitely look that up.