Wednesday Night Open Thread

It's Hollywood Night on American Idol. I'll be curious to see how it does in ratings, given the strong competition from The Voice. The Voice is more fun to watch. AI seems dated and its contestants amateurish by comparison. Steven Tyler is the main reason I still watch.

Did anyone see Jon Bon Jovi on Person to Person?

Russian arms transporter Viktor Bout lost his bid for a new trial today. But the judge questioned his conditions of confinement, which his lawyers say include solitary confinement,no fresh air or sunlight, one weekly family visit and one phone call a month.

"It seems harsh. It seems brutal. It seems unnecessary. It seems like something should be done about it."

A hearing on the conditions will be held Friday.

What else is going on in the world? This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    As mentioned in an earlier thread (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 09:34:51 PM EST
    To protest the protest, I feel a need to stock the freezer with overpriced Thin Mints.

    Anyone looking to protest the silliness of the Family Research Council, and to do so by purchasing Girl Scout Cookies, can find the nearest Troop Cookie Sale Booth by typing in your zip code


    Or, if you don't really need the extra (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 09:41:23 PM EST
    calories or the temptation, you can just do what I do - make a monetary contribution and ask for nothing in exchange; that way, it's all profit, so I feel like it goes farther.

    First they came for the Samoas... (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by EL seattle on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:09:44 PM EST
    ...and I didn't speak out because I don't like coconut.

    Then they came for the Tagalongs,
    and I didn't speak out because I have a peanut allergy.

    Then they came for the Do-Si-Dos...


    If they come for my Thin Mints (none / 0) (#30)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:04:08 AM EST
    and Shortbreads (yeh, I know, always last in the polls of favorite Scout sweets, but I'm part Scots), well . . . bring it on, bozos.  There's a mission on you that I'd sure like to accomplish.

    Maybe it's my imagination, (none / 0) (#44)
    by Zorba on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:53:38 AM EST
    But it seems to me that the current Girl Scout Cookies aren't as good as they were over 25 years ago, when my daughter was a Brownie Scout and used to sell them.  They must use a different bakery contractor now.

    You and I agree (none / 0) (#58)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 03:42:30 PM EST
    on that.  And I base my opinion on insider knowledge as a former Girl Scout Council board member, involved in the contracts every year, following my favorite annual duty:  taste-testing the samples provided by many of our area bakeries.

    It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.

    (Btw, this is a tipoff that differences also may arise from moving around the country, as there is no one bakery making all of the cookies for the entire country.  All are to follow the same recipe for the mainstay cookies, of course, but things happen. . . .  And there also are the local and regional favorites.  It's a huge enterprise, as you can imagine, and much of it in the hands of volunteers, so quality control can be difficult.  But if you have complaints, let your local council know, before they review the contracts from your local bakeries for next year.)


    Guilty pleasure: (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by DFLer on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 04:44:05 PM EST
    Loved "Troop Beverly Hills" with Shelley Long about intense cookie selling competition for the "Wilderness Girls"

    Are you old enough to have seen (none / 0) (#62)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:31:09 PM EST
    Long in "Bernicee Gets a Bob"?  I think it is a short story by O'Henry.  Really funny dramatization on public television.  

    "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," by F. Scott (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:33:34 PM EST



    old enough ?? (none / 0) (#66)
    by DFLer on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:04:00 PM EST
    Was it rated X or Parental guidance? ;0)

    don't recall that title.

    Is it based on that O Henry story where the husband sells his watch for a set of brushes, and the wife sells her hair for a watch chain?


    Ha. Short aired in 1976. (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:16:05 PM EST
    F. Scptt Fitzgerald.    

    I'm in the same location (none / 0) (#64)
    by Zorba on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 07:03:27 PM EST
    as when my daughter was selling the cookies.  The local supplier must have changed since then, or fallen down on the job.  I especially think that the Thin Mints are not nearly as good- the chocolate seems very waxy now- although the other cookies aren't as good, either.  I'll talk to the local Girl Scout leader and find out how to contact the local council.  I guess they should know, before they start to lose sales.  

    I kinda thought the cookies are (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:00:14 PM EST
    currently "Made in China."  Keep us posted, bitte.  

    Why the Family Research Council are after (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by DFLer on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 07:56:42 AM EST
     the Girl Scouts:

    Today on his daily radio show, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins told listeners to boycott Girl Scout cookies. Perkins says the cookies fund a political agenda which includes Planned Parenthood and "promoting sexual diversity."

    He attacked the Girl Scouts for their alleged ties to Planned Parenthood and accepting transgender members. Perkins claims that some of the money from Girl Scout Cookie sales goes to Planned parenthood and/or promotes Planned Parenthood.  

    However, the Girl Scouts Organization has said in a statement: None of the money earned from any Girl Scout council-sponsored cookie sale is given to any other group" and the group says it "does not take a position on family planning."

    Family Research Council senior fellow Cathy Cleaver Ruse said the group has "been pro-choice for years" and also knocked the Girl Scouts for employing "cross-dressers" and for not discriminating against transgender scouts.


    More info from Right Wing Watch here  and  here


    Thanks, I had no idea (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 09:44:43 PM EST
    about this protest. How ridiculous to protest the Girl Scouts.

    I just clicked on your link and they will be selling the cookies at my neighborhood grocery store Friday and Saturday. I love Thin Mints.


    Frozen Thin Mints (none / 0) (#4)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 09:51:14 PM EST
    even surpass Oreos as my therapy of choice.

    David Atkins (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by lilburro on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:01:13 AM EST
    has a great piece on Frum's piece on our dearest friend, Charles Murray of Bell Curve fame.  Check out all of it, but this quote Atkins selected is definitely a standout:

    It's amazing how a tax rate increase is supposed to destroy the incentives of the wealthy to invest, innovate, and build, while decreasing compensation for labor is supposed to have no effect whatsoever on the work ethic of an individual worker.

    This is a fantastic rebuttal to the GOP taxation argument.  I'd love to hear this from Dems in 2012 but we'll see if they step up and connect those dots.  Fair compensation is so scary to our politicians.

    I was gone all day yesterday (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:07:48 AM EST
    Watching Santorum this morning stand in churches while people lay hands on him and pray, watching him say that a separation of church and state will lead us to the guillotine.  I hope he is the nominee.  It is time to square off face to face with these crazy evangelicals.  I'm ready.  It is time on the sociology timeline for our last religious revival to go up in flames.  Bring it!

    If Sanitorium wins the nomination (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:31:57 AM EST
    wouldn't it be a perfect opportunity for bipartisanism and extending the hand of inclusiveness across the aisle?



    Well, I'm also seeing that (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:20:56 AM EST
    this White House is signaling that they might cave on this contraception issue.  Ummmm, I don't even know what to say to that other than does this President have any idea what a woman getting her birth control pills filled and having problems looks like?

    Let's break this down further away from the moment I realize I'm going to have bigger problems getting my birth control pills outside of all the copays and pap smears.

    If I'm not getting my pills because I can't afford to pay for them full boat at this moment during this horribly struggling economy.....sex is over with my husband as he knows it and me too.  Once off my pills for even a short time, when I start them again sex is over for my husband for the next 30 days as he knows it and me too.

    We have two children.  We both only ever wanted two children.  It was nice when we were dating because my husband was clear, he wanted the one I had and he wanted one more.  That was all I ever wanted too so what a relief.  But we had both taken a cold look at this world and estimated that we could honestly probably only give two kids what they needed to hopefully make it too.  This is a mean cold world.  In light of all that....and there is no way that my marriage and commitments are all that special in this area, has our President lost his phucking mind?


    Here's a link to an article that doesn't end in a (none / 0) (#17)
    by Farmboy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:30:13 AM EST
    question mark.


    "It is our clear understanding from the administration that the president believes as we do, and the vast majority of the American women should have access to birth control," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said pointing out that 15 percent of women use birth control for medical issues. "It's medicine, and women deserve their medicine."

    The news is reporting (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:48:05 AM EST
    that the White House has announced they are considering caving.  I don't even know what to say.  I had a horrible miscarriage at 4 months once, the people in the emergency room were the most considerate people I have ever known.  I had a huge cyst on my ovary once too, they feared it would damage my ovary and gratefully it didn't.  But I took B.C. pills after that to "control" that.  

    I just don't know what to say.  People in any hospital are exposed daily to all the health issues we may face a handful of times in our lives and this President is actually thinking about caving on their contraceptive coverage if they work at a church affiliated hospital?  He's phucking nuts!  His cheese slipped off his cracker.


    I hope the news you're reading is incorrect (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Farmboy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:04:29 AM EST
    and I certainly could be wrong in how I'm trying to interpret the media's reporting. It wouldn't be the first time. :-)

    My rule of thumb for watching this White House is to look at soft statements versus hard statements. When the president says something like, "I'm in favor of doing X" or "I want to thank the committee for their report on Y" it doesn't mean X or Y will be acted on at any point in the future. X could be enacted tomorrow, forgotten until next year's SoTU, or disappear into the ether.

    The Jan. 20th rule wasn't a soft statement, so I'll be surprised if he does more than give the hospitals some sugar to help them swallow their medicine.


    I hope you are right (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:07:19 AM EST
    I've got my fingers crossed.  I've said special soft words to the FSM. I'm burning incense.

    The backtracking is what I saw (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:01:57 AM EST
    yesterday, when I posted what appeared to be incorrect at the time, so I apologized to other commenters who corrected me -- to my relief upon their assurances that Obama would do the correct thing on this.

    I hope that I do not now have to backtrack on my apology.  Better that he not backtrack on his promise . . . but his past record is not a promising prologue.


    Yes, I'm hearing on CNN that they (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:09:59 AM EST
    have signaled a possible cave.  CNN said that based on how this White House has done things in the past, this is an indicator they will be caving.  It's just the heads up I guess. So CNN is handling all this based on the administrations past history too.

    When it comes to women's rights and the attack on our reproductive rights, I have no reason to trust this administration.

    The only thing I have a reason to do is to post on some site that many people read what my life was like having access to birth control.  It is difficult even then.  Watching all this going down is like the return of the stone age.


    Headline for the CNN article I found on their site (none / 0) (#41)
    by Farmboy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:39:56 AM EST
    White House offers an olive branch to Catholic voters?

    NIce question mark, CNN. Quote from within the article:

    The White House still insists that women employed by these religiously affiliated employers must have access to insurance coverage that pays for contraceptives.

    And from the bishops:

    "Implementing the policy as is and allying the concerns are mutually exclusive. If they want to allay concerns they need to change the policy.  Nothing less will do," Anthony Picarello, general counsel of the U.S. Conference of Bishops told CNN.

    So in other words, no compromise has been made but let's write a headline that head fakes to the right. Again, I could be reading CNN's attempts at fair and balanced reporting incorrectly, but it's hard to tell when there is so much more heat than light.


    There has to be heat on this (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:30:07 PM EST
    This President has proven himself not trustworthy on women's reproductive rights.

    Lawrence O'Donnell says that the (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:15:05 AM EST
    birth control pill was invented so that men could escape rubberized birth control :)

    Some are now calling it (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:18:38 AM EST
    A mild compromise Towanda

    Tracy, does a "mild compromise" (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:37:56 AM EST
    only result in "mild pregnancies"?  

    Wouldn't it be fun if 'twas the likes of thee and me on these panels of pundits?  The guys would cross their legs so fast, feeling quite a different sort of tingle.


    Anyone see an (none / 0) (#74)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 01:36:51 PM EST
    online petition against?

    I did not notice that (none / 0) (#47)
    by the capstan on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:16:16 PM EST
    the edict to provide birth control included a mandate that women must use birth control.  Apparently the bishops are convinced that catholic women will desert the teachings if they can just get their hands on the pills. etc.  The fact that an organization offers such a product does not ipso facto mean that members must avail themselves of it.  Obviously, the bishops believe that the pills are irresistible to weak-willed women.  No one said that Catholics must push those pills on unwilling women--just that women must have the opportunity to purchase them.

    Note to bishops....more than 90% of (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:20:20 PM EST
    Catholic women already use birth control. You just want them to use their own money to do it, thus taking money away from other needs, or maybe from donations to your church. Way to go idiots.

    No question mark, but (none / 0) (#18)
    by dk on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:34:35 AM EST
    the use of the word "should".

    The verb "should" is used in the article (none / 0) (#21)
    by Farmboy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:50:02 AM EST
    as a declarative of obligation and intent, such as "women should have access to health care." and not as a preface to an interrogative such as "should women have access to health care?"

    The interweb is full of news and opinion articles with headlines like "Is Obama doing X?" followed by content that is anonymously sourced or answers the question with a negative.

    Articles about the contraception coverage issue are no exception. TPM for example has been running question-mark titles for a couple days now about the topic, each one concluding with sources saying that no, Obama is not reversing course or changing his stated position. It's deliberately misleading.


    He had better be holding this line (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:56:17 AM EST
    His bubble administration needs to take a damned BIG LOOK at this whole picture.  And I don't mean to dig on men too much, but we women....we go through things in this area. Every single month stands on its own. We don't talk about it much either when we have "problems", it has all been stigmatized, but if you knew what most of us have been through by the time we get through years of this reproduction business you probably wouldn't believe it.

    And we older women who (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:41:22 AM EST
    vote more than others also well remember the 1950s -- when The Pill was available only to married women in many of our states.  Y'know, because us single wimmen then had no husbands or ministers to mind us.

    And although some of us are too old ever to have to worry again about this for ourselves, we want our daughters and daughters' daughters -- and sons and sons' sons -- to have better lives, deciding when and how many lives they will add to the world.


    cx typo: the 1960s, when The Pill (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:42:11 AM EST
    was available only to married women in many states.

    Towanda, you can't be blamed for (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:54:31 AM EST
    responding/reacting to what gets floated in the media, nor can any of us be blamed for the sense of déjà vu we get when we begin to hear familiar nuancing from either the administration or its surrogates.

    Sarah Posner at Salon does a pretty good job of describing why this is almost always the case with this president:

    After decisively issuing the contraception coverage rule last week, the administration took only a few news cycles, dominated by liberal Catholics like E.J. Dionne fretting about how Obama "botched" the issue, to dispatch surrogates to assuage the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    "There are conversations right now to arrange a meeting to talk with folks about how this policy can be nuanced," pastor Joel Hunter, a conservative evangelical who is close to the president, told the Washington Post on Tuesday. "This is so fixable, and we just want to get into the conversation." The bishops promptly signaled that they would reject the floated compromise out of hand.


    The Obama administration -- not unlike its predecessors of both parties -- looks out with blinders at the religion landscape. The blinders extend no further than the religious groups with lobbyists (like the bishops) in Washington, who claim to represent their entire religion, even when, for example, 98 percent of Catholic women don't seem to care that the bishops insist contraception is a sin. As a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed, the money to lobby can buy you access to ensure your religious views -- even if they contradict medicine, science or public health -- shape policy. As Catholics for Choice has pointed out, though, Archbishop Timothy Dolan doesn't represent all American Catholics, but rather the 271 American bishops.

    I am, quite frankly, achingly tired of male religious leaders, male politicians and male leaders of religious/conservative interest groups sucking all the oxygen out of the room whenever it is women's reproductive health and decision-making on the table, and refusing to hear the loud and definite voices of the millions of women - including Catholic women - who feel they have a right to have a say in their health care.  There is no "compromise" in the Catholic Bishops, which inevitably means that Obama is going to "reach out" and serve religious freedom by allowing the imposition, in some way, of religious doctrine on many women who don't share that doctrine - and we know what that means in the end: women suffer.

    If you're a Catholic school or hospital, and you employ non-Catholics, and you serve non-Catholics in the community, and especailly if you take one dime of federal money, your employees need to have the same right to coverage for contraception as they would with any other employer.  Being handed a pamphlet or given a number to call, to find out how to obtain a rider, or obtain coverage is humiliating to the employee, and, in my opinion, a violation of privacy.  If men had to go get a pamphlet or get a phone number for where they could get coverage for or obtain drugs for ED, well, what am I thinking: THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.

    As Posner says,

    Obama would do better to govern and to run for reelection as a frankly secular candidate: the president who will ensure that policy is made based on reason and science, not religion. And he should make clear that he comes to this position precisely because he cherishes the free exercise of religion (or not) of all Americans. While this might cause indignation among some of those with a seat at the Washington table and set off fainting spells on cable news, it would not cause Obama to lose critical swing constituencies such as white Catholics or moderate evangelicals.

    Given how handy we women are as political footballs, I don't imagine we're going to get to know Obama-the-Secular-Candidate/President anytime soon.

    Sorry for the rant - and to those who are just dying to tell me, I already know that Obama hasn't officially caved, but as much as I would like to be confident that he won't, I'm not - I have no reason to be.


    I second the rant and add (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:14:52 PM EST
    that this is indicative of how every issue is handled, in that the insider lobbyists are always able to at least get a hearing, and no one else has a chance.

    The lead "insider lobbyist" on this (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 03:37:35 PM EST
    retreat is, I read, Joe Biden.

    Why are those of us who remember his treatment of Prof. Anita Hill in the Thomas hearings not surprised?


    "This policy can be nuanced"?! (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 03:36:21 PM EST
    I am offended on so many levels, including the lamentable linguistic tendency to turn nouns into verbs.

    They want it as a verb?  Fine, but I also prefer the active voice, as in:  

    The White House can nuance THIS.  

    (Rather than post a potentially problematic pic on this site, you can add your own image of Kathy Bates as Towanda! Righter of Wrongs and Queen Beyond Compare a la Fannie Flagg's great Fried Green Tomatoes.)


    Please take back your apology for this rant (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    okay...apology withdrawn (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:10:21 PM EST
    The rant had been coming on for a couple days, and well, it needed to be released; not everyone appreciates a good rant like you do!

    Typical Admin I think (none / 0) (#75)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 01:43:17 PM EST
    putting out 'soft' info on potential caving to see how much push back they'll get, so the Admin can decide which way to go.

    Perhaps the Admin is taking the higher poll numbers as a sign it can keep caving on important traditional Dem principles.

    There are other religions that do not believe in birth control, but they police their own members.  Why, given the historical separation of church and state, does the Federal government have to help a church enforce its rules?

    Wouldn't it be great if Andrew Cuomo did what he dad did as Gov of NY in publicly and emphatically stating that, as a Catholic, he is against abortion, etc., but as someone who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the separation of church and state, he does not expect the secular government to control his conscience?

    Ah, per chance to dream....


    Guess what (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:22:26 AM EST
    The 25 billion dollar foreclosure fraud "settlement" with the banks just went through.  Holder is on the tube announcing it.

    Yves Smith has a great post on this, (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:09:52 AM EST
    titled, The Top Twelve Reasons Why You Should Hate the Mortgage Settlement.

    A must-read if you've been following this issue.

    Here's a sample:

    1. We've now set a price for forgeries and fabricating documents. It's $2000 per loan. This is a rounding error compared to the chain of title problem these systematic practices were designed to circumvent. The cost is also trivial in comparison to the average loan, which is roughly $180k, so the settlement represents about 1% of loan balances. It is less than the price of the title insurance that banks failed to get when they transferred the loans to the trust. It is a fraction of the cost of the legal expenses when foreclosures are challenged. It's a great deal for the banks because no one is at any of the servicers going to jail for forgery and the banks have set the upper bound of the cost of riding roughshod over 300 years of real estate law.


    7. The cave-in Nevada and Arizona on the Countrywide settlement suit is a special gift for Bank of America, who is by far the worst offender in the chain of title disaster (since, according to sworn testimony of its own employee in Kemp v. Countrywide, Countrywide failed to comply with trust delivery requirements). This move proves that failing to comply with a consent degree has no consequences but will merely be rolled into a new consent degree which will also fail to be enforced. These cases also alleged HAMP violations as consumer fraud violations and could have gotten costly and emboldened other states to file similar suits not just against Countrywide but other servicers, so it was useful to the other banks as well.


    10. A deal on robosignging serves to cover up the much deeper chain of title problem. And don't get too excited about the New York, Massachusetts, and Delaware MERS suits. They put pressure on banks to clean up this monstrous mess only if the AGs go through to trial and get tough penalties. The banks will want to settle their way out of that too. And even if these cases do go to trial and produce significant victories for the AGs, they still do not address the problem of failures to transfer notes correctly.


    12. We'll now have to listen to banks and their sycophant defenders declaring victory despite being wrong on the law and the facts. They will proceed to marginalize and write off criticisms of the servicing practices that hurt homeowners and investors and are devastating communities. But the problems will fester and the housing market will continue to suffer. Investors in mortgage-backed securities, who know that services have been screwing them for years, will be hung out to dry and will likely never return to a private MBS market, since the problems won't ever be fixed. This settlement has not only revealed the residential mortgage market to be too big to fail, but puts it on long term, perhaps permanent, government life support.

    I struggle not to think about this too much, because I just find all of it appalling - and the reality that this administration has been pushing this so hard makes it even worse.  


    #'s 4 & 5... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Edger on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:37:31 AM EST
    4. That $20 billion actually makes bank second liens sounder, so this deal is a stealth bailout that strengthens bank balance sheets at the expense of the broader public.

    5. The enforcement is a joke. The first layer of supervision is the banks reporting on themselves. The framework is similar to that of the OCC consent decrees implemented last year, which Adam Levitin and yours truly, among others, decried as regulatory theater.

    yep - just appalling on all levels (none / 0) (#31)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:06:49 AM EST
    Apparently it finally got friendly enough to the banks for the Florida AG to agree to it.

    I got a photo for you too (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:24:02 AM EST
    from yesterday when I get it uploaded properly.  Pensacola OWS on a Wednesday afternoon :)

    It ain't much (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:49:32 AM EST
    But it's oceanfront.

    Guy trying to gauge what sort of stalker I am


    I was taking photos with a peanut gallery.  Josh said, "OWS, in their natural habitat".  My husband said, "Hey, how come every time I see these guys they are usually just sitting around but they get to be called activists?"


    I almsot took pictures of the Austin OWS (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:09:33 AM EST
    group a couple of weeks ago, but they did not look like they would appreciate being used as tourist attractions. They have been forced onto the courthouse stairs. Not real comfortable.

    These guys weren't real happy either (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:11:33 AM EST
    They don't trust anyone.

    I hope they take my posting (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:12:18 AM EST
    of their activism as passive support from Enterprise AL.

    Thursday Funny... (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:53:45 PM EST
    if you're suffering from Tim Tebow withdrawals, everyone's favorite fictional washed-up redneck relief pitcher chimes in...An open letter to Timmy from Kenny F*ckin' Powers.

    I just watched Meredith Viera... (none / 0) (#6)
    by desertswine on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:10:31 PM EST
    interview one of JFK's old mistresses. Why? Why did I do that?

    It might have been interesting..... 40 years ago.

    you should have watched (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:29:05 PM EST
    George Clooney and Bon Jovi giving tours of their homes to Charlie Rose and Lara Logan. I'm biased of course, but Bon Jovi was the most interesting.

    God..... anything. (none / 0) (#8)
    by desertswine on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:53:38 PM EST
    Oh wait, I'm falling into a coma.

    I can remember my parents watching the original Person to Person with what's his face..  Edward R Murrow. Bizarrely, the only person I remember being interviewed on that show is Basil Rathbone!!!!


    I thought him (none / 0) (#10)
    by Madeline on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:41:44 AM EST
    interesting and fun.  He seemed really glad to be there, on the show.  

    Lin-sanity... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:35:00 AM EST
    Knickerbockers showing signs of life, thanks to the most pleasant surpise point guard play of NYC's latest sports sensation, Jeremy Lin.  

    Dude went off with a double double last night, outplaying former # 1 overall pick John Wall.  Knicks 3-0 since he took over the point.

    The Harvard Hero is taking the city by storm.  The Knicks just picked up his contract for the year, so the Linsation can now find a pad and get off his brother's couch.


    La playa de la policia... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:00:23 AM EST
    LA County gone nanny-state crazy...thousand dollar fines for tossing the disc or the pigskin on the beach?  For digging a hole over 18" deep?

    Talk about La La Land...

    effing hell that is the most ridiculous thing (none / 0) (#38)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:21:52 AM EST
    I have ever seen.

    Till the next.... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:30:28 AM EST
    LA County Board of Supervisors meeting anyway;)

    Thanks to Jeralyn, my waking moments (none / 0) (#48)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:17:32 PM EST
    at home for the next couple of weeks will be spent watching all of the seasons of 'Breaking Bad'. Just finished Season 1 last night - was up way too late.

    I humbly admit she is right - terrific show. I have no idea why I resisted.

    I watched them all, and also blame Jeralyn :) (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:51:10 PM EST
    I also watched Weeds, and a pretty good BBC show 'Luther'.

    More suggestions?


    My favorite hidden treasure (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:11:54 PM EST
    if you like theater behind the scenes shows like the new 'Smash'...

    A Canadian comedy series called 'Slings and Arrows'. It is about an annual Shakespeare festival in a small Canadian town. Really really great. Available on Netflix. I think there are 3 seasons.

    Another good BBC show is 'Hustle', about a gang of con artists.


    Thanks for the tips (none / 0) (#60)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 03:47:03 PM EST
    and I'm going to track down the Canadian tv show, for sure.  Some of my favorite shows have come from the land, and the weird minds, of my Canucks.

    Borgias is back soon! (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 03:45:41 PM EST
    And I'm now hooked on Downton Abbey -- and remain hooked on Shameless.  But those two are on the same night at the same time, so we Tivo the latter while watching the former.  

    Then, after Downton Abbey, we watch Shameless.  It's quite a shocker of a contrast . . . and I come away each time with the impression that I am watching, in the latter show, the Chicago descendants of the Irish chauffeur in the former show.


    My favorite (none / 0) (#70)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 12:35:10 AM EST
    aside from Breaking Bad, is the Canadian series Intelligence. A good description is here  

    To say that Chris Haddock's Canadian TV series Intelligence is (or, as is now the case, was) as good as any American crime show is unfair to Haddock. It's better, smarter, more sophisticated than its American counterparts, more clever in its tangle of narratives and less showy in a visual style.

    A lot of people compare it to The Wire, but it's much more -- it crosses the intelligence world with the drug world, pits the U.S. agencies against the Canadian agencies, and the drug agents against the intelligence agents, while the chief of intelligence is working with the big drug dealer, who is fighting off the gangs, from bikers to Asian. It is set in Vancouver, and the drug is marijuana.

    You can get both seasons streaming on Netflix. I watched both seasons in 3 days, staying up till 4 a.m.


    As an added bonus (none / 0) (#71)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 12:38:55 AM EST
    the Chief of Intelligence is female and really good. The male agents keep trying to take her down.

    I second that vote for Intelligence. (none / 0) (#72)
    by caseyOR on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 01:42:40 AM EST
    It really is as good as Jeralyn says. Smart, fast-paced, well acted. Kind of puts American crime shows to shame (at leads the ones on broadcast TV).

    I wish they had gone beyond two seasons.


    Oooh, thanks, that sounds good. (none / 0) (#73)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 06:20:30 AM EST
    I tried the first season of The Wire, but couldn't get into it. But loved Breaking Bad, and lost a lot of sleep watching it.

    Have you seen Luther? Really good.


    Where do you (none / 0) (#76)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 01:46:12 PM EST
    find Breaking Bad episodes?

    The charm of American Idol (none / 0) (#68)
    by diogenes on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:39:44 PM EST
    Wasn't the point and charm of American Idol that it sifted through the amateur contestants looking for jewels?  If you want polished professionals then just put Jennifer Lopez on the stage for an hour a week.

    it's not a question of professional (none / 0) (#69)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 12:15:13 AM EST
    it's a question of talent. AI should be showing us talented singers. The Voice does that. AI makes us watch a few hundred people, most of whom have little talent, to get to the final 10 that are somewhat talented. Usually, only the top four or five of AI are anything exceptional.  On the Voice, they are all great, even at auditions.

    Evne on the X Factor, except for a few inserted for entertainment value, most of the contestants have talent.