Wednesday Night Open Thread

Can Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez save American Idol? The new season begins tonight. (Update: The answer is yes, they are terrific and an improvement over past seasons. I thought I'd miss Simon but I don't. I'd much rather watch Steven, and JLo is way more "real" than I expected. Their personalities just shine.)

Jared Loughner has been indicted on three counts. The feds are calling it a "preliminary indictment." You can read it here.

The counts allege the attempted murder of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her staff members who were federal employees, Ronald Barber and Pamela Simon. The feds did not charge Loughner with the murder of Judge John Roll. Will they add it later, or did they decide to let Arizona charge Loughner with Judge Roll's murder in state court, as a capital crime?

The House has voted to repeal the Health Care Act.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    I was watching (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 08:23:06 PM EST
    watching the TV show, "V".

    It featured the good guys, the earthlings (American), extracting information from a bad guy (an alien woman) by torturing her.

    They cut off one of her fingers.

    Then they proceeded to skin her alive.

    That's the DIsney network.

    It seems that after 8 years of Bush and whatever Obama is up to, torture is mainstream and as American as the proverbial apple pie.

    Wow. Flaying is how St. (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 08:29:20 PM EST
    Bartholomew was martyred.  See Michelangelo's "The Last Judgment."

    they did it last year too (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 08:33:15 PM EST
    Supposedly it's what the "V"'s fear the most. I

    I think it's supposed to tie into the V's not having emotions. If one of them is directed to skin someone and they balk or can't do it , it means they have developed emotions like humans and have become a traitor. I don't usually watch the show, but I think I remember that from last year.


    My (none / 0) (#14)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 04:02:51 AM EST
    point in referring to this episode was that it appeared to me that the intent of the violence was to get us, the American people, to root for the American good guys to use torture as a means of extracting information from their captive.

    That is the most insidious part.

    And no one is noticing.

    Bush  and Cheney and  Woo have won.


    That has been done on other shows as well (none / 0) (#16)
    by nyjets on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 07:09:58 AM EST
    For example, in 24, torture was part of the show as well. It is not that unusal.

    And the producers of 24 were Bush cronies (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 07:37:35 AM EST
    if I remember correctly. It's all of a piece.

    As I said, (none / 0) (#23)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 10:01:34 AM EST
    Americans are now comfortable with being torturers.

    Bush, Cheney and Woo have won.


    Don't forget (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 09:44:26 AM EST
    Violent video games.  

    Excellent observation, lentinel (none / 0) (#25)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 11:40:28 AM EST
    Both about "Bush and Cheney and Woo have won" re: Our attitudes toward the depiction of torture and--perhaps--in the broader "violence" sense. I've wondered the past several years what the attraction is in glorifying (or, at least, portraying in a somewhat positive way) serial killers, mobsters, stone-faced & destructive automatons on TV? Is this something that allows for guilty pleasures or something more? (When I'm in a down state, I even wonder whether those who would normally be aghast at murderous activities in "real life" do not seem to mind and even openly enjoy the activities set to "reel life?") Fascinating lines we may draw.

    I think there are multiple reasons (none / 0) (#28)
    by nyjets on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 12:00:04 PM EST
    It is one part guilty pleasure. Seeing a bad person tortured in V or 24 is a guilty pleasure (though I would argue that the circumstances in V, a show I admit I love, are more fantastic than in 24, a show is disliked).
    I also think some people have an unfortuate romantic view of some groups of criminals . For example, some people have a romantic view of mobsters, hence the Godfather and Sopranos. People do not see all of the innocent people that are hurt and terrorized by mobsters.

    Personally, I generally am aghast to murderous activity, even by the good guys. I generally try to avoid shows that glorify violence for violence sake. I am not 100 percent sucessful at it, but I try :)


    It's (none / 0) (#29)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 02:31:48 PM EST
    not so much the depiction of torture that is disturbing to me.
    It's the fact that we, the American audience, are meant to identify with the torturers.

    It used to be that the guilty pleasure, if that what it is, was in watching the evil ones torturing an innocent. But we would be cringing and hoping that the captive would escape somehow and that the torturer would be caught and killed.

    Now, we are the torturers and that is the end of it.

    We are meant to yell at the screen. "Go ahead. Peel her skin off. Bush was right. Drown 'em. Cut off their fingers".


    that was the most violent (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 08:29:37 PM EST
    episode I have seen on TV in years. I had to fast foward through parts of it. Just disgusting, and so unnecessary, even to the plot. Really a horrid show.

    On the Disney channel? (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 08:38:30 PM EST
    Wasn't Disney the company that wouldn't release R rated movies under its own banner (hence Buena Vista)?

    By (none / 0) (#13)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 03:55:47 AM EST
    saying the Disney channel, I had meant to refer to ABC -
    AKA "The Disney/ABC Television Group".

    American Idol has gotten (none / 0) (#6)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 08:46:33 PM EST
    ...very high ratings, even as recently as last year.  The new "judges" aren't about "saving" the show, but about making sure the stellar ratings continue.

    I think they will...

    I don't watch until they get through the fiasco that is the "auditions" and onto the final 20 or so....then it's somewhat entertaining.

    AI's compelling story night (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 08:47:02 PM EST
    some of the auditioners have compelling stories of personal hardship, and then voices that are equally compelling 16 year old Robbie Rosen from Merrick, NY is one. His "Yesterday" was really good. Best voice in the 45 minutes so far. Glad he got through. (I hope I got his name right.)

    Re: As promised (none / 0) (#8)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 09:14:33 PM EST

    A bribe? No. But with oil prices heading above $100 and the economy ready to tumble one of the few cards the President can play is using his influence to get OPEC to increase production.

    By accepting these gifts the President is signaling to the SA king that what the king is doing is okay.

    What Obama should have done, and it is not too late, is to return them while explaining that since the price of oil is too high and so destructive to the average American that he cannot accept them.

    Don't hold your breath.

    Click or Bore Me

    Crude Oil Prices (none / 0) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 10:33:39 AM EST
    are down about 2.7% this morning.

    Seen on one of those video billboards (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 09:26:37 PM EST
    while driving "home*" tonight, between the images of folks wanted for bank robbery and ads for whatever's on TV, an in memoriam to Sargent Shriver, with the quote:
    "He who knows all and believes nothing, is damned."

    All I could think of was "Barry, Barry, Barry."

    I'm not sure (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 10:13:40 PM EST
    who "Barry" is but if you are referring to the President, please remember those tired nicknames from the primaries, used in an insulting manner, are unwelcome here -- as to anyone.

    LAT on Jet Propulsion Lab (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 10:42:02 PM EST
    "informational privacy" SCOTUS decision.  link

    And unanimously at that (none / 0) (#21)
    by republicratitarian on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 09:49:19 AM EST
    I'd like a little more info on the criminal cases it mentions at the end. Reversing two cases from the 9th Circuit Court unanimously also.

    I haven't watched Idol in a long, long time but (none / 0) (#12)
    by byteb on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 10:54:09 PM EST
    I had to tune in and see how The 2/3 New Trio was working out and I have to say that they're great. Jennifer Lopez seemed genuinely warm and Steven Tyler was a perfect fit  I think they'll breathe new life into the show.

    Is it just me (none / 0) (#15)
    by vicndabx on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 06:29:44 AM EST
    or was Steven Tyler a little creepy w/all the comments to the young girls wearing skirts?

    Yeah that was creepy (none / 0) (#18)
    by lilburro on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 08:30:01 AM EST
    but Steven Tyler IS creepy.  So I found it more humorous than anything else...

    holy crap (none / 0) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 08:55:19 AM EST
    Scientists fight bugs with poo

    It's a distasteful cure for a problem that's increasingly widespread: the Clostridium difficile bug, typically caught by patients in hospitals and nursing homes, can be hard to treat with antibiotics. But Borody is one of a group of scientists who believe the answer is a faecal transplant.

    There's little doubt this treatment has an image problem. Feces, including important bowel flora, is transferred from a volunteer donor -- screened to limit possible other infections -- into the colon of the infected patient. The treatment can be administered by a colonoscope or an enema, or by the mouth or the nose.

    "What we try to do is preserve it as close as possible to how it was in the donor. There's no in-between culture or enrichment. We want to transfer as much as we can intact."

    The donor feces is filtered to remove some larger particles and then "simply goes through a blender," says Khoruts, with a saline solution to liquefy it before it is administered.

    He favors methods which avoid going in through the mouth or the nose, which he says may make patients gag.

    One the dr shows had an episode about this (none / 0) (#26)
    by sj on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 11:43:12 AM EST
    Grey's Anatomy maybe?

    And here we thought (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 09:57:21 AM EST
    Making fun of John Boehner's crying was weak.  More voters in his home state (who actually get to vote for him) are finding it a strength:

    More Ohio voters find Speaker John Boehner's tendency to cry in public a strength rather than a weakness, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

    According to the survey, conducted Jan. 12-17, 36 percent of those polled see Boehner's crying as a strength, while 27 percent believe it is a weakness. Another 37 percent did not know enough to answer.

    Did he always used to cry so easily? (none / 0) (#27)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 11:48:07 AM EST
    Yep, jbindc: When my Ohio cousin & I were talking about the crying motif recently, she didn't seem to recall the near-ubiquitous tears earlier. Don't get me wrong...I like a man who can cry (it shows strength, etc.) Kinda' suspect that Speaker Boehner and other politicians know that as well; and, some are becoming good practitioners. In a way, that is ok with me as I think of future women in similar positions; OTOH, it will get stale fast if overdone. Ah, the mystery of seeking the "women's vote."

    I agree (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 03:22:18 PM EST
    And while I agree a man should be able to get teary-eyed - like when he took over as Speaker, or when talking about Congresswoman Giffords - I get that. But crying over dumb stuff?  That indicates to me that someone could be a bit "off"? (And I say this as a person who cries at sappy Christmas commercials on TV!)

    I really don't care if Boehner cries. (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 12:57:18 AM EST
    But, it seems to me, Hillary Clinton should be able to do so also w/o criticism.

    Ding! (none / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:44:19 AM EST