Sunday Night TV and Open Thread

Is everyone ready for the new season of Downton Abbey? Dueling dowagers: Maggie Smith vs. Shirley MacLaine.

The Biggest Loser is also back tonight, with Jillian Michaels returning. (I haven't watched since she left three years ago.) This season, 3 juveniles are being added to include the topic of juvenile obesity. But they won't be subject to elimination and the trainers won't be shouting and torturing them.

Tuesday night: Justified is back.

What are you watching tonight? This is an open thread, all topics welcome, tv-related or not.

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    OK...well I just shook hands (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by fishcamp on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:52:21 PM EST
    with John Boehner at Uncle's restaurant in Islamorada an hour ago.  They brought their catch of the day which was wahoo and yellowtail snapper; two delicious local fish.  Mr. Boehner came up to the restaurant owner and I was introduced.  I congratulated him and thanked him for helping the president.  He gave me a stern stare and we then talked about fish.  His captain is an old friend and we all yucked it up about fishing and they went to their tables.  He is rather short and his skin color in a cross between hazelnut and pumpkin.  KeysDan and CG I could have used your help on this local stuff.

    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:24:34 AM EST
    you somehow found a way to make me not jealous of your living in the Keys...

    actually, nah.  I'd put up with GOP Congressmen all day for some fresh seafood.  One of the things I most miss about the coast now that I live in Texas.

    I am very gratified to know he is in fact orange.


    And, was he orange? (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:02:56 PM EST
    Even of more interest, was he (none / 0) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:08:37 PM EST

    You know...that's it, (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by fishcamp on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:16:33 PM EST
    he was not sober,  in fact...well, never mind.

    C'mon, fishcamp, don't hold out on us. (none / 0) (#8)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:19:03 PM EST
    Spill the beans on Boehner.

    they have my car plate numbers (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by fishcamp on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:24:48 PM EST
    so they know I knew Hunter Thompson and John Denver so I can't say any more...yet.

    What trease (none / 0) (#105)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:15:35 PM EST
    you are being. Whisper your secrets to us and we won't tell anyone. ;o0

    How did that word get in the title? (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:08:47 PM EST
    Should read: What a tease

    umm... (none / 0) (#116)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:10:06 PM EST
    Probably my resident (none / 0) (#119)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:19:18 PM EST
    poltergeist. Not convinced that we need to be armed to the teeth to protect ourselves from the invading hordes but I do go a little crazy on the subject of poltergeists.

    His worst trait is hiding something and then days later he returns it to a place that I searched several times. A real annoying creature. ;o)


    My house in Colorado has one (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:28:52 PM EST
    Well, not a poltergeist exactly, but certainly a little trickster.  Usually hides stuff (I should have a room full of flashlights by now) but not always.  I remember once I hosted a small dinner and mentioned a task I was avoiding because I needed a phillips head screw driver.  A few minutes later both I and one of my guests noticed that there was now a such a screwdriver on the table between our place settings.

    I don't recall the actual task, but I'm pretty sure I took the hint.


    er ... (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:35:19 PM EST
    ... should read "small dinner party".  Can't blame my trickster now for that one, though.

    No. (none / 0) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:02:20 PM EST
    " ... his skin color in a cross between hazelnut and pumpkin."

    Think of a walking Crayola crayon.


    The stank of Boehner's mitts... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:17:22 PM EST
    must be harder to wash off than any catch of the day.

    correct kdog... (none / 0) (#120)
    by fishcamp on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:20:44 PM EST
    in fact I had to catch two Redfish today to get my hands to smell right again.  Now I hear Bill Clinton is coming down to fish...not sure yet of his target species.  More to follow.

    The words Bill Clinton (none / 0) (#121)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:24:30 PM EST
    And target species together turns into something all wrong in my head,  apply Big Dog and it is all downhill :)

    they call it fugu in Japan, I believe...

    I was thinking something completely different (none / 0) (#125)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:34:11 PM EST
    You wish he'd be poisoned, really?  

    I'm guessing he was going for ... (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:31:00 PM EST
    ... a play on the word "blowfish".

    Ooooohkay, my Internet can be slow :) (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:38:05 PM EST
    Nice to know (none / 0) (#124)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:30:02 PM EST
    redfish are becomong plentiful enough in the Keys again to catch two in a day (is the bag limit still one in the slot?). They were so much more plentiful throughout South Florida before the curse of Paul Prudhomme.

    Yes there are many more redfish (none / 0) (#127)
    by fishcamp on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:05:09 PM EST
    these last two years and the two I caught today were on the ocean side which had always been a rare event.  Unfortunately Paul Prudhomme and his blackened redfish methods have come to mean that the fish, any fish, may be a day or two too old.  I released both mine today.

    ESPN airs gay kiss (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:10:25 AM EST
    Great way to start my week! Thanks for sharing. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Angel on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:36:09 AM EST
    Ducks Nation breathes a sigh of relief. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:18:26 AM EST
    Chip Kelley is staying as head football coach of the Oregon Ducks. We have spent the last few days on pins and needles as Chip flirted with various NFL suitors. None, it seems, caught his fancy.

    After long, long interviews with the Browns and the Eagles and a perfunctory talk with the bills, local Portland news broadcasts are now saying that Kelly could not find a deal he liked in the NFL, and so he is staying in Eugene.

    The sticking point appears to be control. At Oregon Kelly has pretty complete control over the football program and a whole lot of influence in the athletic department at large. The NFL teams were reluctant to cede so much power to a new and untested NFL coach. And Chip was reluctant to go into a situation where he lacked that control.

    I don't know that Chip will ever find an NFL team willing to turn over the reins so completely to a new coach. Maybe a team would do so for a guy with a couple of Super Bowl wins, but not  a rookie.

    So, Ducks nation is awash with joy tonight.

    Good to hear (none / 0) (#113)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:56:52 PM EST
    Much better he stay out here on the west coast and continue to build the OR program and, presumably, keep it interesting to watch and playing at a very high level.  And going to Cleveland or Cincy or Buffalo -- even though in the NFL, those are backwater locales where it's tough to become successful.

    Though if he were to win one or two BCS championships, I think the offers in the NFL will really open up to the point he won't be able to refuse.


    Looming Retirement Crisis of the Middle Class (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:27:11 AM EST
    The looming problem rarely mentioned, even in the context of the Republican campaign against Social Security, is that my children's generation (Generation X, if you will) faces a retirement crisis that many of my generation will avoid, based on the end of pension plans. According to one Social Security Administration report, the percentage of private-sector workers with a traditional defined-benefit pension plan fell from 38% in 1980 to 20% in 2008. Over the same period, private-sector workers who only received defined contribution plans rose from 8% to 31%. Note that this means that 49% of private-sector workers are not covered by any pension plan at all. Moreover, while governments have more commonly provided defined-benefit plans than private employers have, they are under attack in many states.

    Let's do the math. With 49% of private workers having no pension, and another 31% having an on-average less generous defined contribution pension, how will seniors support themselves if Social Security is cut? Hint: It won't be pretty. link

    John Brennan to lead the CIA (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:19:58 AM EST
    Brennan, a 25-year CIA veteran, withdrew from consideration for the spy agency's top job in 2008 amid questions about his connection to harsh interrogation techniques used during the George W. Bush administration. link

    Guess what was considered a problem in 2008 is no longer considered to be one now.

    In case anyone is wondering how (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:18:57 AM EST
    someone who had to withdraw his name from consideration for this position in 2009 is now expected to face little opposition in 2013, here's
    Glenn Greenwald:

    The New York Times article this morning on the appointment claims that "it is uncertain whether the torture issue will now cause any problems for Mr. Brennan." Of course, there is nothing at all uncertain about that: "the torture issue" won't cause any problems for Brennan, as it did in 2008, because Obama has buried that issue with his "Look Forward, not Backward" decrees; because most people who claimed concern over such issues back in 2008 have resigned themselves to Obama's posture in this area; and because, with very rare exception, there are no more serious campaigns mounted against Obama's decisions except from the American Right.

    It is a perfect illustration of the Obama legacy that a person who was untouchable as CIA chief in 2008 because of his support for Bush's most radical policies is not only Obama's choice for the same position now, but will encounter very little resistance. Within this change one finds one of the most significant aspects of the Obama presidency: his conversion of what were once highly contentious right-wing policies into harmonious dogma of the DC bipartisan consensus. Then again, given how the CIA operates, one could fairly argue that Brennan's eagerness to deceive and his long record of supporting radical and unaccountable powers make him the perfect person to run that agency. It seems clear that this is Obama's calculus.

    Obama: normalizing the worst and most authoritarian policies, one nominee at a time.


    This IMO is the most pertinent part of (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:13:34 AM EST
    Greenwald's post.

    Within this change one finds one of the most significant aspects of the Obama presidency: his conversion of what were once highly contentious right-wing policies into harmonious dogma of the DC bipartisan consensus.

    Brennan (2.00 / 1) (#40)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:23:38 AM EST
    a 25-year CIA veteran with significant experience should not lead because.....he has as yet unproven "ties" to a torture program?

    ....in 2009....Mr. Brennan denied those accusations but withdrew from consideration, and Mr. Obama gave him the advisory position, which did not require Senate confirmation. But since that time, Mr. Brennan has won the admiration of some rights advocates, in part for his forthright argument that the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, should be closed.

    Guilty until proven innocent?  Who should be leading the CIA if not this guy?  He is probably more qualified than Petraeus was.


    Oh, brother... (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:20:21 AM EST
    Prior to President Obama's first inauguration in 2009, a controversy erupted over reports that he intended to appoint John Brennan as CIA director. That controversy, in which I participated, centered around the fact that Brennan, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush's programs of torture (other than waterboarding) and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program. As a result, Brennan withdrew his name from consideration, issuing a bitter letter blaming "strong criticism in some quarters prompted by [his] previous service with the" CIA.

    This "victory" of forcing Brennan's withdrawal proved somewhat Pyrrhic, as Obama then appointed him as his top counter-terrorism adviser, where he exerted at least as much influence as he would have had as CIA Director, if not more. In that position, Brennan last year got caught outright lying when he claimed Obama's drone program caused no civilian deaths in Pakistan over the prior year. He also spouted complete though highly influential falsehoods to the world in the immediate aftermath of the Osama bin Laden killing, including claiming that bin Laden "engaged in a firefight" with Navy SEALS and had "used his wife as a human shield". Brennan has also been in charge of many of Obama's most controversial and radical policies, including "signature strikes" in Yemen - targeting people without even knowing who they are - and generally seizing the power to determine who will be marked for execution without any due process, oversight or transparency.


    Lotta links in there, worth checking out if you have the time and are actually interested in John Brennan's "qualifications," and why there are a fair number of people who still find him objectionable and unfit for this or any position in this area.


    Oh dear god (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:52:07 AM EST
    go back through BTD's many posts from 4 years ago on this subject.  Or hell go through mine (which contains links to BTD's posts).  This isn't a court of law, this is looking at a guy who was #4 in the chain of command in the CIA during some pretty horrible crap.  It defies reason to believe he did not participate and condone.  

    From Why We Should Say No to John Brennan

    Jane Mayer tells the story in the New Yorker:

    "Among the few C.I.A. officials who knew the details of the detention and interrogation program, there was a tense debate about where to draw the line in terms of treatment. John Brennan, Tenet's former chief of staff, said, 'It all comes down to individual moral barometers.'"


    "Without more transparency, the value of the C.I.A.'s interrogation and detention program is impossible to evaluate. Setting aside the moral, ethical, and legal issues, even supporters, such as John Brennan, acknowledge that much of the information that coercion produces is unreliable. As he put it, "'All these methods produced useful information, but there was also a lot that was bogus.'"

    Your problem is that you are giving Obama the "guilty until proven innocent" treatment and he does not deserve it.  We went down this road before and already found Brennan "guilty."  Meanwhile, you are giving the "Left" the "guilty until proven innocent" treatment entirely by knee-jerk thinking our opposition is ill-conceived.

    Other links
    Notes on Brennan 2
    Notes on Brennan 3 (lobbying)
    Transcript here with ex-CIA Mel Goodman is also illuminating:

    John Brennan was deputy executive secretary to George Tenet during the worst violations during the CIA period in the run-up to the Iraq war, so he sat there at Tenet's knee when they passed judgment on torture and abuse, on extraordinary renditions, on black sites, on secret prisons. He was part of all of that decision making.

    Also I cannot imagine what "Rights advocates" are supportive of John Brennan.


    A moral barometer? (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by unitron on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:06:12 PM EST
    Instead of a moral compass?

    One changes what it says in response to pressure.

    The other always points the same way, regardless of how it gets twisted and turned.

    Can we have some people in there with properly functioning moral compasses instead, please?


    Just going with the guy (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    Who was "following orders" didn't work out so well ignoring McChrystal's past record either.  Apparently someone willing to cross all lines and break all rules requires a certain personality corruption that doesn't just go away.  And shows up in other areas down the road.

    Sort of funny on the David Petraeus scandal too, certain character flaws that many complained about bloomed fully.  He had a nickname among his peers of "King David", was much more political outside the military chain of command and worked it than all of his contemporaries were comfortable with.  When he was in charge of Mosul though he got extra money for Mosul and focused on creating jobs and community which was something completely different than what any other commanders were doing.  I was impressed with his ideas because Iraq was broken.  We broke it, it was broken and it was our fault.  But certain skirting of the rules that earned him the nickname "King David" did not just go away.  His enchantment with political aristocracy also had some girls trampling all over CentCom.  He fully grew into his nickname and made common mistakes that Kings all make :)


    Not at all (none / 0) (#69)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:18:24 PM EST
    "ill conceived"

    I respect your and Anne's (and others) objections, and don't discount them.  I merely feel differently about this prospective nominee's motivations and actions.

    I think there is a grey area in which these decisions are made that honestly, we as civilians (or reporters on the outside looking in) simply cannot appreciate.

    I did not see, in any of the documents or links, endorsement of specific tactics, e.g. waterboarding, but did see rather broad general statements about whether enhanced interrogation provided useful information.

    Further, it seems his perspective on these issues has evolved over time based on experience, which often times is the best teacher.


    I would suggest reading (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:28:37 PM EST
    Jane Mayer's article that I linked to as well as Mel Goodman's comments, particularly on John Brennan talking about how "intimately familiar" (his words) he is with extraordinary rendition and how Egypt respects human rights vis a vis the people we sent there (which is a flat out lie, those folks were tortured).

    He was #4 in the CIA during a lot of this.  Others in similar positions were denied career advancement when torture was both raw and politically unpopular (Stephen Kappes comes to mind).  Now with the passage of time I guess Brennan gets another shot at a title he's clearly lusted after.

    I agree with MT, I think Brennan's involvement with all the stuff described above says something about his character, and nothing positive.  It's really a joke.  It would be one thing if we had officially "forgiven" him through some sort of Truth Commission.  And I'm not sure I buy his new packaging as a secret sauce that helped us get bin Laden.


    Just saw this, and all I could think was (none / 0) (#25)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:33:32 AM EST

    Not surprised, mind you, just disgusted.


    The reasons Juan Cole supports (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:44:28 AM EST
    Hagel for Sec. of Defense:

    informed comment

    Well, we'll see. (none / 0) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:13:45 PM EST
    I'm not happy with the nomination, but it is what it is.

    Let's hope that if Chuck Hagel is truly the loyal soldier that everyone claims he is, he will follow his orders as directed and carry out the president's stated policy, which is to preside over the complete deconstruction of DADT within both the military's ranks and the Pentagon's layers of bureaucracy, and prepare the U.S. armed forces to comply fully with the prevailing social demands of the 21st century, i.e., gender equity, family support, LGBT civil rights and marriage equality.

    If Hagel can accomplish that, I can certainly live with him as Defense Secretary. Time will tell.


    Nobody is rolling that back (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:13:44 PM EST
    From the Sec Def seat.  Impossible.  They couldn't do it even if they wanted to.  The legal implementation of the lifting of DADT was years in the planning, making, training and now months into implementation.  Everyone has had sensitivity training, new rules for what constitutes sexual harassment has been implemented, people are out of the closet and you just can't stuff them all back in.  The lumbering giant big green machine already rolled forward on this and you just can't roll back on such moves like some think you can.  It's a done deal.

    That's what I've always admired about ... (none / 0) (#132)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:39:13 PM EST
    ... the U.S. military. Once they're ordered to commence and implement a policy change, they do so. After all, they desegregated their ranks racially at President Truman's expressed directive back in 1948, years before the Supreme Couyrt decision in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education was handed down or the the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted.



    Yes and no (none / 0) (#135)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:11:34 PM EST
    The Army top brass -- CJCS Gen Omar Bradley and Army Sec'y Ken Royal -- did make a few public objections to the order and decided to consider the order merely a "separate but equal" one.

    But Truman, to his credit, slapped them down, and they got on board and began integrating.

    But we shouldn't give the military brass too much credit merely for (eventually) following the express, clear, lawful order from their own Commander-in-Chief.


    And if he can't? (none / 0) (#89)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:38:12 PM EST
    If Hagel can accomplish that, I can certainly live with him as Defense Secretary.
    If he is the same person he has always appeared to be instead of what you "hope" he can be?  It's too late for you to voice an opinion about his suitability isn't it?

    But you might be living with him as Defense Secretary anyway.  


    Like I said, ... (none / 0) (#92)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:03:33 PM EST
    ... it is what it is. I've dealt with bigger disappointments, and somehow muddled through.

    If you review my comments from Friday's open thread, here and here and here, you'll note that I was not at all shy in rendering my opinion of Mr. Hagel's prospective nomination.

    Anyway, I'm not the president, and perhaps Obama sees something in Hagel that I don't.

    At least, I sure hope so.



    How noble of you (none / 0) (#97)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:14:57 PM EST
    that you've "muddled through".  Too bad the rest of us have to also "muddle through" even when we see the train a'coming.

    And yes, I read your previous comments which makes this one all the more odiferous.  But... at least you are consistent in your "let's wait until it's much too late to object" approach to politics.


    Jeez, what got your panties in a twist? (none / 0) (#133)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:45:27 PM EST
    Given that your own objections to Chuck Hagel have been similarly stated ex post facto, it's nice to see that you've now added soothsaying and mindreading to your many talents, and can thus ascribe heretofore unspoken motives to my expressed thoughts, while heaven knows your own actions are always cloaked in altruism and virtue.

    You know, it would be nice if we could perhaps just agree to disagree -- if we are, in fact, even disagreeing at all on this particular matter! -- without your feeling compelled to insult me personally, unprovoked.

    Suffice to say that I neither know you personally nor know anything about you, other than whatever you've chosen to share here occasionally, and you sure as schitt don't know me -- at least, certainly not well enough to render that sort of self-righteous judgment about my politics and character.

    This conversation is over. Have a nice evening. Aloha.


    ::sigh:: (none / 0) (#145)
    by sj on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:14:09 AM EST
    Okay, I think you're right.  At the end of the day we probably feel the same about the guy.  But it's just not in me to shrug it off and conclude that I can live with him as Defense Secretary.  I mean I expect I have to, but it's like sipping cod liver oil.

    It seriously frosts me, and I know that another round of phone calls are likely to get ignored.  Again.  Although they are slightly less ignored here in Maryland than they are in Colorado.

    So there's that.  

    Anyway I apologize for the snit.  I had a late lunch and I was cranky.


    Aww (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:53:43 AM EST
     "I had a late lunch and I was cranky."

    Sometimes a nice big burp helps:)


    I did not see this (none / 0) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:06:07 PM EST
    Thank you.  I don't mind Hagel either, but a Democrat would have been nice and it is time.  Other than that beef I am okay with Hagel, just don't understand the rightwing flap.

    It probably has something to do ... (none / 0) (#134)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:51:41 PM EST
    ... with Israel and its perceived role in end-time prophesies in the Book of Revelations and Armageddon and all that silly rot. Who knows anymore?

    So you've been sneaking onto (none / 0) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:46:08 PM EST
    My facebook reading what my crazy Christian cousins post as  sane support of Israel huh?  Swear my crazy Christian cousin posted something the other day that if you were reading this in English and it is still our nations language thank a soldier.  My family has no idea what soldiering entails....zero.  I married a freak in my family.  But I could not stop myself from posting that soldiers now learn to speak Arabic and Pashto and there is a Spanish only tower on Fort Rucker, but hey....just pull what you think is most important in your life right out of your a$$ and thank a multilingual soldier for it.

    How the heck did I miss this? (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:39:07 PM EST
    From Tom Harkin's statement on why he voted "No".
    The deal also makes tax benefits for high income earners permanent, while tax benefits designed to help those of modest means and the middle class are only extended for five years. In essence, this agreement locks in a tax structure that is grossly unfair to middle class Americans, one which provides permanent tax assistance to wealthy Americans, and only temporary relief to everyone else.

    A majority of Oregon's House delegation (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:30:00 PM EST
    voted against the fiscal bill. We have five House members, one Republican and four Democrats. Three Democrats,Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader voted against the bill.

    Peter is the only one who has stated his objections in such a fiery manner ( I do so love Peter), and I suspect the other two had reasons that were not the same as Peter's. Still, all I care about is that they voted "no". I don't care why.


    I would like to see these become (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:43:46 PM EST
    available and affordable in the near future.

    Toyota and Audi are racing to catch up with Google when it comes to self-driving cars.

    On Monday, both auto brands revealed they have been testing their own self-driving cars, or autonomous vehicles. The announcements were timed to coincide with the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, which officially begins Tuesday, January 8. link

    Sometime in the not too distant future I might become too old to safely drive a regular automobile. With a self-driving car, I could hopefully maintain my independence for a much longer period.

    When it comes to gun nuts (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:51:17 PM EST
    you probably don't want

    this guy

    representing you on TV. Or anywhere, for that matter.

    I saw that interview (none / 0) (#148)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:11:07 AM EST
    These tinfoil conspiracy theorists do not help their own cause, apart from stoking the flames of paranoia among their own.

    Jones is more than tin foil (none / 0) (#151)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:19:42 AM EST
    He's completely out of control. I can't imagine anyone watching that interview and coming to any other conclusion.

    You would hope (none / 0) (#152)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:38:31 AM EST
    But the fact that he has a syndicated radio show  on 140 stations makes me wonder.

    I just kept wanting to hand Piers Morgan one of those face shields they use in operating rooms to avoid the flying saliva.


    Iowa Public TV (none / 0) (#1)
    by desmoinesdem on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:28:26 PM EST
    in the Des Moines/Ames central Iowa market "is the most-watched public television station in the country, according to Nielsen Media Research and TRAC Media Services. KDIN ranked #1 in both the February and May 2012 sweeps periods."

    Don't know why that is, but thought it was interesting.

    Because there isn't all (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:43:02 PM EST
    that much happening in IA?  Or b/c viewers in IA are very discerning?

    Interesting happenings this week (none / 0) (#7)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:18:03 PM EST
    Monday - Corporations are people my friend. Man takes State of California to court, saying his Corporation papers are a person which should permit him to drive in the carpool lane.

    Wednesday - Baseball Hall of Fame announces the 2013 inductees elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Expect no one to be chosen this year for the first time since 1996.

    Friday - Zero Dark Thirty opens in the rest of the country, and despite my earlier reservations expect it to have a big weekend.

    Oh, and sometime this week there will be an announcement about the opening day of hockey season that most never missed.

    My niece and her husband (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:27:31 PM EST
    Are thrilled the Blues will return soon.

    So they've been blue? (none / 0) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:44:40 PM EST
    Another example of how guns (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:48:50 PM EST
    contribute to the health and welfare... when they are in the hands of the good people...

    LOGANVILLE, Ga. -- A Georgia mother hid her two 9-year-old twins and shot an intruder, Paul Ali Slater, several times during a home invasion on Friday, according to multiple media reports.


    According to the report, the intruder then forced his way into the home and started "rummaging" through the family's belongings.

    When the suspect went into the closet where the family was hiding ,the woman fired six bullets at the suspect, five of which hit alleged suspect Paul Ali Slater in the face and neck area.


    In poker terms, I see your one ... (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:49:49 AM EST
    Father accidentally shoots/kills 8-year-old son

    ... and raise you 31,224 firearms deaths annually - and 75,684 non-fatal gun injuries.


    OK, that's one. (none / 0) (#13)
    by leap on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:09:44 PM EST
    Got any more?

    The woman had a .38 (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by MKS on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:53:45 PM EST
    not an assault rifle....

    Preparing for the zombie apocalypse (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:38:22 AM EST
    should entail not just a lot of ammo but the antidote, no?  And the definitive treatise on zombies, true?

    Perhaps (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:54:52 PM EST
    But people have been predicting the imminent of the world since at least the time of Jesus.

    The Y2K fears were nothing in comparison to the fears approaching the year 1000 C.E.

    We could be hit by a comet, too.  

    But we do have real problems that are not speculative right now that involve military assualt rifles.  


    You mean she didn't have a (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:14:44 AM EST
    fully automatic weapon?? No, just like the AR15 she had to pull the trigger for each shot.

    Wrong again, Jim (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:27:49 AM EST
    Not "just like an AR15".  While you do have to pull the trigger each time you fire, she had a .38 revolver which (unlike an AR15) is not semi-automatic.  Moreover, a .38 revolver generally can be fired 5 or 6 times before it has to be reloaded, whereas an AR15 can have a magazine with as many as 100 rounds before being reloaded.

    Once again (none / 0) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:43:42 AM EST
    Who is going to protect me from people like you who have automatic rifles if food becomes scarce?

    Why would I attack you? (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:16:20 AM EST
    You have the assault rifle. I do believe that if the scenario you fear develops, there is a good chance I would need protection from you.

    You may run out of straw (none / 0) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:20:11 PM EST

    Just love people making sh!t up to support their "theories."

    No, as I clearly stated under my belief system I'm in danger from people like you armed with assault weapons if the situation you envision occurs.


    Not cold hard facts (none / 0) (#63)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:59:36 PM EST
    just your opinion. That is o.k. everyone has a right to their own opinion but I would prefer you not make up stuff and portray it as my opinion like you did in your previous comments.  

    Your assault weapons are not going to protect you from our government. You would be throwing down your gun without firing a single shot if they chose to use the types of non-standard weapons they have developed for just that purpose.

    BTW, I thought we discussing you needing weapons to protect yourself from hungry citizens and not the governments. Once again, if that situation occurs, I may need protection from you.



    Man it would be really nice if you (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:55:35 PM EST
    quit putting words into my mouth. It is really a very dishonest way to debate a subject and does nothing to make your POV more credible.  

    As you well know I do believe that assault weapons and high capacity weapons should be banned. While I believe you will more than likely be able to keep all the high powered weapons you desire, I believe that they are unnecessary in a civilized society and cause a great deal of harm NOW.

    If at some point in the future all of your fears are realized, IMO the weapons that you cherish will do little or nothing to protect either you or your family.  


    The term "assault weapon" ... (5.00 / 4) (#101)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:37:53 PM EST
    ... is not "inflammatory".  It's defined in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

    From my perspective, the Second Amendment doesn't protect ownership of automatic (or even semi-automatic) guns or high-capacity magazines.  I don't care whether someone feels the need to own them to protect themselves from imagined food shortages/societal breakdowns, zombies, or anything else they can dream up.


    Maybe you should figure out ... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:37:19 PM EST
    ... how to look up links like the ones you're imagining I'm looking at.  If you did, you would realize that no one said that the the guns used in the Newtown murders were assault weapons under Connecticut law.  Probably why I mentioned that "assault weapons" were defined under federal law that lapsed years ago.  Of course, AR15s were defined as "assault weapons" under the law, but manufacturers simply made minor changes and began making new variations of the AR15 (among others) to get around the law i.e. the "Bushmaster" used by Lanza.  Not to mention the fact that the manufacture and sale of high-capacity magazines (like those used in Newtown) was made illegal under the federal law.

    It's an inflammatory description that makes people who want a ban feel like they're getting what they want, but in reality, it allows the government to ban some automatic weapons but not others.

    Uhhhhmmmm ... assault weapons are not automatic weapons, they're semi-automatic.  But following that train of thought (in addition to high-capacity magazines) maybe we should look at banning all semi-automatics or treating them similarly to fully automatic guns.

    Good idea.


    Not for your benefit (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:21:56 PM EST
    It's for anyone who might have been mislead by what you were stating in your posts, although it is interesting that you keep using the term "automatic weapons" when you're referring to semi-automatic guns.  Usually a pet peeve among the pro-gun crowd.

    Sure they are (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:30:07 PM EST
    Claiming that the guns used in Sandy Hook were not illegal under Connecticut law, when the discussion was regarding the definition of assault weapons under a lapsed federal law.  Failing to mention that the high capacity magazines were illegal under the federal assault weapons ban.  Consistently conflating automatic weapons (highly regulated, registered and rare) with semi-automatic weapons.

    BTW - Am I supposed to care if you cry "BLOG CLOGGING!" every 30 seconds?

    Because that's funny.


    Yman has eight comments (5.00 / 5) (#141)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:38:24 PM EST
    on this thread as of right now, and you have thirteen.  And he's supposed to be the one who is "blog clogging"?
    Give me a break.  

    Heh, when that comet appears close, (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:52:17 PM EST
    it could be shot out of the sky with automatic weapons....

    And, the most likely scenario for world-wide devastation, global warming, can be dealt with by a burst or two from rifles.....Just shoot at the ocean and it will recide.

    But, I will save up for the ray guns....better power, etc.


    Odd, that the best NRA argument (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:54:56 PM EST
    nowadays is that we need weapons to survive in a SciFi movie setting....

    Some people watch too much television.


    You're entitled to your opinion (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:27:55 PM EST
    and maybe -- come the revolution -- your fears will all come to pass.

    That doesn't give you the right to repeatedly misstate and misrepresent the views of others.  Frankly, we all prefer to speak for ourselves.  And the "good to know we agree..." (AKA as the "good to know you think/believe..." misrepresentation) is really annoying.  Because we can all see for ourselves what a commenter thinks by the, you know, actual comments.


    protect against "hungry hoards".. (5.00 / 5) (#156)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:51:09 PM EST

    You mean, like when you and your boon companion Harrison Ford had to traverse a treacherous, dystopian, post-apocalyptic landscape on your way to the only surviving source of clean water?

    When you're concerned about having enough guns to protect your food supply from desperate, hungry people it's time to seek out help -- either "professional" or spiritual.


    Ah, yes...the Doomsday Preppers... (5.00 / 3) (#160)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:46:30 PM EST
    I've never seen the show, only the promos, but that's what this kind of "hungry hoards" talk makes me think of: people with survival shelters stocked with enough equipment and food supplies to withstand, well, Doomsday, and an arsenal to make sure no one else takes any of it.

    Perhaps it's unfair of me, but when I hear people justifying their ownership of weapons on the basis of the coming end-times, I think, "someone's been watching too much TV."

    I really don't think it's possible to reason with someone who has that mindset; there certainly hasn't been any headway made in this conversation.


    I'm guessing some who are worried about (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:30:05 PM EST
    "hungry hoards" have never been in a disaster. You tend to see more "community" than "hungry hoards" . . . at least in my experience.

    And I suspect... (none / 0) (#106)
    by unitron on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:19:55 PM EST
    ...that the Second Amendment arose as a way to avoid the risk and expense of maintaining a standing army, and it was crafted by people who failed to forsee bullet hoses.

    Oh yes,. Yes indeed. (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:13:15 AM EST
    The video shows patron Samuel Williams pulling a handgun and shooting. He continues firing while the suspects fall over each other as they run out the door.

    Gladson said in the memo Williams' use of force was lawful under Florida's statutes regarding individuals rights to use deadly force when resisting a forcible felony, like a robbery.

    The Ocala Star-Banner reports one robber pointed a gun at customers while the other swung a baseball bat.



    That's two (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:17:15 AM EST
    To call, you have to match the amount.

    Got 31,322 more?


    The Uncle Fester approach (none / 0) (#41)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:27:38 AM EST
    Argument by anecdote: the pinnacle (none / 0) (#46)
    by observed on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:59:03 AM EST
    of human reasoning----in 10,000 BC.

    Thank the Lawd (none / 0) (#17)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:17:10 AM EST
    Shirley MacLaine's character has announced she is leaving Downton Abbey--leaving I say!--to return to her supercalifragilistic life in the States. And not a moment too soon for the Crawleys and shoephone.

    I haven't been fan of MacLaine's since "The Turning Point" (a long, long time ago) but this performance was really one of her worst ever.

    Now we can get back to matters of money, matriarchy, and marital intrigue. And enjoying the subtelty of Mary telling sanctimonious Matthew how "disappointing" he's become.  

    I like Shirley Maclaine. But the DA writers (none / 0) (#19)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:25:53 AM EST
    did not use her talents well. They made her a caricature of the wealthy but oh so common American as seen through the eyes of the English nobility.

    Cora took the news of Robert's disastrous investment strategy rather well, certainly much better than either Mary or the Dowager.

    And I say, good show, Matthew, standing up for former Grantham chauffeur and current Grantham son-in-law Tom.

    Does anyone besides me think Thomas the valet is a weasel?


    Oh, my gosh - how could anyone not (none / 0) (#21)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:32:01 AM EST
    think Thomas is a weasel?  I think I may have caught his nose twitching just a bit!

    And I agree with shoephone - I thought MacLaine was awful - at times, I had to remind myself Martha was Cora's mother and Mary's grandmother.  Maybe that was the point - how out of place Martha was - but I didn't think MacLaine's acting was much to write home about.

    No love lost between Violet and Martha, though - and Violet's comments about Martha are just a tad more on target than Martha's about Violet.

    I'm hooked on this show, for sure!


    Thomas is my favorite character on DA! (none / 0) (#31)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:08:47 AM EST
    He's not just a weasel, he's the most conniving, duplicitous, insecure, and tortured individual to set foot on the Crawley estate. He makes the show worth watching.

    Well, he and the dowager countess (none / 0) (#32)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:10:20 AM EST
    I'm not sure how the show could survive without Dame Maggie's one liners.

    Well, Thomas has met his match ... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:12:10 PM EST
    ... in the Dept. of Connivance & Duplicity with Sarah O'Brien, lady's maid to the Countess of Grantham. If he doesn't watch his step, that woman will cut his throat.

    O'Brien's metamorphosis has been interesting (none / 0) (#99)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:23:14 PM EST
    to watch. I don't think it's quite completed yet though. (After all, she still seems to have it in for Mrs. Patmore.) The slippery soap incident she played on Cora started it. And maybe having stood by Thomas when he started his black market flour business, then to see him get taken for a patsy probably put into question his skills of skulduggery, in her eyes. Best Downton Abbey brawl yet: Thomas tearing apart a flour shed.

    Methinks that Julian Fellowes was ... (none / 0) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:28:16 PM EST
    ... channeling Ms. MacLaine's character Doris Mann from the 1990 Mike Nichols film Postcards from the Edge when he first wrote the part for her -- which of course means that were Downton Abbey set in the late 20th century rather than 70 years prior, Elizabeth McGovern's Countess of Grantham would be a dysfunctional recovering drug addict, and Dan Steven's Matthew Crawley would be impersonating his grandmother-in-law in a drag revue.

    She was so much better in Postcards (none / 0) (#78)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:39:54 PM EST
    but she was (actually) playing Debbie Reynolds. Well, she was playing a few mothers I've known. The part where she was putting her makeup on in her hospital bed was perfect.

    LOL! I thought of Debbie Reynolds, too, ... (none / 0) (#91)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:50:03 PM EST
    ... when watching Shirley MacLaine last night, specifically The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
    I love Shirley MacLaine in Postcards. Meryl Streep may have received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work as the recovering pill-popper daughter competing with the legendary shadows of her own show biz mother, but I think that MacLaine's flawless performance as the totally self-absorbed Doris is what makes that film actually work.

    Doris Mann (Shirley MacLaine): "How would you like to have Joan Crawford for a mother -- or Lana Turner?"

    Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep): "Oh, please, like these are the options."

    Great dialogue! (none / 0) (#96)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:14:49 PM EST
    Sanctimonious Matthew's days (none / 0) (#29)
    by Towanda on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:55:57 AM EST
    also are numbered.  Did you read, last week, that he is leaving the show?  Not that it will provide surfeit this season, when thee and me must tolerate him in every episode; he announced his departure after the season ended, across the pond.  Now, we get a year or so to wonder just how the writers are going to bump him off and make Mary a merry widow.

    I must say, though -- well, first, I must say "I must say," because watching two hours of the show turns me into a Twenties throwback Brit speaker -- that I rather enjoyed MacLaine in this, dontchaknow.

    But the best line, of course, still belonged to the Dowanger/Dame, about her son-the-Lord Grantham's horrifying descent into deshabille, a dinner jacket:  "I thought you were a waiter."

    For the Most Obvious But Not Addressed Question, though, I nominate the heritage of Martha's -- and m'Lady's? -- surname:  Levinson.  The Lord married a Jewish American?  Or her mother remarried a Jew?  And nothing is said about this in the England of that era?  Reeeeaaalllly?  Uh, not.


    Yes, a gaping hole on the Levinson heritage (none / 0) (#35)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:13:45 AM EST
    My bigger annoyance is that neither she nor her daughter, Cora, has anything resembling a Minnesota accent. In fact, I think Eliz. McGovern created her a whole new accent for the show. It's not one I recognize from...well, from anywhere in the United States.

    Sher sounds like she's from Chicago. (none / 0) (#98)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:16:05 PM EST
    But perhaps to the English, all Americans save for the ones from Brooklyn and Dixie sound pretty much the same.

    Do you think so? (none / 0) (#100)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:27:02 PM EST
    I can't place it at all. She pronounces Mary like "Meery" and really, a lot of what she says just strikes me as odd-sounding.

    I thought Martha Levinson divided her time (none / 0) (#128)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:16:53 PM EST
    between her apartment in Manhattan and her home in Newport, RI. Where does Minnesota fit in?

    As for McGovern, well she has been living in England for the better part of two decades. Perhaps Cora's accent is what happens to an American accent after constant exposure to the British upper class.


    Count me among fans (none / 0) (#43)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:29:46 AM EST
    of Downton Abbey.  Indeed, hooked.   Shirley MacLaine's Martha Levinson was cartoonish but fit in with the substratum of the series, such as Matthew's intention to skip  the Swire inheritance because he was untrue in spirit to Lavinia.  And, the next thing we knew, Lavinia succumbed to a broken heart and the Spanish flu.

    When the producers call me for my critique, I will say that they made a mistake in the writing for Martha--rather than a sparring match of barbs, for which the Dowager Countess character must always have the upper hand, Mrs. Levinson should have competed in a clueless but effectivel manner, sort of on the order of Inspector Clouseau.

    So much of the enjoyment for me is the relatively fast movement among members of the storyline--such as, meanwhile back at the jail, I think Mr.  Bates just admitted to really doing in the late Vera Bates. Then again, maybe not.  Fun for a Sunday night.


    That was my favorite line too (none / 0) (#61)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:52:38 PM EST
    and my favorite sub-plot - the horrified looks at different clothing, such as the ex-chauffer's, (sorry names are totally escaping me at the moment) and the place going to hell in a handbasket because the Earl and Matthew are in black tie instead of white tie and tails.

    I was disappointed in Shirley Maclain's character - a combination of  the writing or her acting, but it was just too much of a caricature.  With the exception of the subtlety of her refusal to give the Grantham;s any more of her husband's money. That was well done.

    Love the 'too tall' footman, and if Mrs. Levinson leaves I'm sure he will miss her saucy American maid - corrupting the locals.

    Matthew - you did not kill little what's her name. Get over yourself and take the money.

    I'm looking forward to meeting Cora's brother at some point!

    I love that I simultaneously roll my eyes at and love this show. Such and entertaining hour plus in my week.


    The former chauffeur and current (none / 0) (#76)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:38:27 PM EST
    Grantham son-in-law is Tom, not to be confused with Lord Grantham's valet Thomas.

    Tom is Irish and a staunch supporter of Irish freedom from the yoke of the British Empire. Thomas is a weasel.


    He'll always be just Branson to me (none / 0) (#80)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:40:51 PM EST
    Branson, of course! (none / 0) (#110)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:50:49 PM EST
    I kept wanting to say Braxton but I knew it was not right.

    I liked the interplay with him becoming a member of the family instead of a servant, both upstairs and downstairs. Too bad they live in Ireland and it won't be much of an ongoing story - the whole 'adjustment' was sped up because of their visit.


    First time viewing Downtown Abby (none / 0) (#109)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:50:20 PM EST
    last night -- friend was over and she insisted we watch and it would be good for me.

    I'm not sure about that, but I did manage to stay awake the full two hours of fast-paced Upstairs/Downstairs 2.0.

    Yes, Shirley's was an over-the-top performance, and I preferred the more low-key delivery of Maggie Smith.  And I too was reminded of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, minus the singing and dancing of Debbie Reynolds.

    Oh well.  I liked her in The Apartment, and that late-70s movie with Peter Sellers as Chauncey Gardner based on the novel by that Jerzy Kosinski guy (title ... ??).  

    Little known fact about Shirley:  in her New Age Guru period of 30 yrs ago, she visited the famous ufo contactee Billy Meier in Switzerland at his farm, but -- amusing to me -- Billy wouldn't really talk to her until she rolled up her sleeves and helped him with his farm chores of the day (yeah, the usual fertilizer stuff ...). Billy apparently wasn't all that impressed by her celebrity presence, and wasn't going to treat her any differently than other regular outside visitors who wanted a piece of his time.

    Oh, I also liked her 1972 appearance on Dick Cavett (avail youtube) mostly on behalf of the candidacy of George McGovern.  So largely positive feelings about her, though I think her brother had the better movie career.


    Ack! How could I forget her as Eve (none / 0) (#117)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:10:15 PM EST
    in "Being There"?? One of my all time favorite movies! Fun fact, Hal Ashby also directed brother Warren in "Shampoo." And "Being There" came out in 1979, about a year after "Turning Point." So, I was wrong -- I've liked her a couple of times since the ballet movie.

    If you're really interested in Downton, you should watch Season One, in which Maggie Smith is priceless, and every episode is very tight. Plus, it just helps to follow how events and relationships have progressed (or regressed, in the case of Thomas and O'Brien.)


    Did you see "Bernie"? (none / 0) (#136)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:21:09 PM EST
    "That poor woman stayed frozen stiff for nine whole months. In a freezer. It took two days to thaw her out. Just so they could perform a proper autopsy."
    - D.A. Danny Buck (Matthew McConaughey), "Bernie" (2012)

    That independent black comedy is, IMHO, one of the true cinematic gems from last year. And Shirley MacLaine was never in finer form as the acid-tongued battleaxe hated by all, and not missed at all.

    "Well, I know the Bible says Jesus turned water into wine, but it didn't say liquor store wine. It had to have been non-alcoholic wine, because it didn't have time to ferment."
    - Carthage, TX citizen, "Bernie"

    She was perfectly cast in that movie. (none / 0) (#139)
    by Angel on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:15:00 PM EST
    CNN said this morning (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:43:07 AM EST
    That the housing market is on track to heal this year, no it isn't.  The wages never existed to support what was built during the bubble and what is owed on that.  Now the wages and jobs CERTAINLY don't exist.  They just talk solid economic bullshit whenever it suits them.

    Difference in news coverage (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:20:24 AM EST
    Last Friday I had the TV on while working on a project and caught both local and national news.  Both broadcasts discussed the jobs report.

    The local news had a real discussion and mentioned some of the factors that should be taken into consideration when evaluating the report.  I remember they specifically discussed the holiday/temporary job uptick and that the report did not include those considered to be no longer seeking a job.  Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that it was a real discussion.

    Now the national news just had Diane Sawyer gushing that in that gushy voice of hers* that the economy was improving.  And the "dumbing down" of the populace continues.

    * Sorry, her voice really gets on my nerves, the way it's all smiley and breathless.


    Barney Frank (none / 0) (#28)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:51:50 AM EST
    now hopes Hagel is confirmed as Secretary of Defense.

    Barney Franks (none / 0) (#39)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:22:32 AM EST
    can deliver pithy and amusing observations but he is still a creature of Washington DC.  

    I have absolutely no opinion on whether or not he is given an interim Senate appointment.


    To bring my previous comment ... (none / 0) (#56)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:08:46 PM EST
    ... into any sort of coherent context I should have added that I was previously also not the lest bit interested in Mr. Frank's opinion on the Hagel "likely" nomination.

    re-reading my own previous comment, however, I've changed my mind.  I now do have an opinion on whether or not he should receive an interim appointment to the Senate:

    If he were to serve during the Senate confirmation hearings then, knowing he now hopes Hagel gets confirmed, I don't want him appointed to the Senate.

    btw:  a link to support your assertion.


    Likely (none / 0) (#59)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:40:26 PM EST
    you won't have to worry. John Kerry will probably still be the Senator from Massachusetts when Hagel comes up for a vote, and he along with about 49 other Dem Senators will certainly vote yes.

    Very likely (none / 0) (#62)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:53:42 PM EST
    How? (none / 0) (#70)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:23:52 PM EST
    Has Leon Panetta even said when he's retiring? Chuck Hagel can't be appointed until Panetta leaves, right?

    We have pretty good reason to believe that Hillary Clinton will be gone in a matter of a few weeks - as soon as she testifies on Benghazi (because Republicans won't vote for Kerry as long as Clinton hasn't testified).


    Hagel can be nominated and approved, or (none / 0) (#74)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:34:30 PM EST
    not, by the Senate without Panetta resigning. He can't be sworn-in as SoD until Panetta resigns. Same holds true for State or any other Executive branch appointive office.

    Hillary will not officially resign until her successor is approved. None of the Cabinet will. That way no Cabinet department goes leaderless while the Senate fight takes place.


    Right (none / 0) (#77)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:38:46 PM EST
    And her successor will not be approved until she testifies.  As Congress is adjourned for a couple of weeks and there are no hearings on the public schedules, she will probably testify soon after the inauguration, and then resign.  My guess is Kerry will be in by mid-February at the latest.

    Yes, Hillary will testify about (none / 0) (#82)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:50:53 PM EST
    Benghazi. Then the Senate will get about the business of approving or not John Kerry. I do not think Hillary will resign until the Senate has voted on and approved Kerry for the SoS spot.

    She will not resign right after she testifies. If it takes until mid-February to get Kerry approved, she will stay in office until mid-February.


    Leon Panetta had made it known prior ... (none / 0) (#81)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:48:32 PM EST
    ... to the election that he wanted to retire at the end of Obama's first term and return to his Monterey, CA home. He is, after all, almost 75 years old.

    Interesting to note that earlier in his life Panetta was a Republican, was appointed by President Richard Nixon in 1970 to serve as director of the U.S. Office for Civil Rights. He resigned his post and switched parties to become a Democrat in 1971, because he felt the GOP under Nixon was moving too far right of center in trying to woo disaffected white Southern Democrats.

    If Leon Panetta thought the Republicans were too far right of center then, I wonder where he thinks they are now, nearly 42 years later.


    Well, I thought... (none / 0) (#107)
    by unitron on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:33:45 PM EST
    ...back then that they were too far right of center.

    Perhaps he shares my view that they're currently performing a willing suspension of sanity, and is holding his tongue until he's a "civilian" again.


    Listening to President Obama's speech (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:07:45 PM EST
    About giving us Hagel...bleeding in the dirt and the mud.  It just doesn't sound right in this speechifying.  It doesn't sound like the President means the words he's saying, I'm not even sure he was very aware of what he was saying,.he was only focusing on his cadence.  It was just kinda creepy.

    I didn't listen to the speech (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:36:01 PM EST
    but the part you just quoted makes me think "creepy" as well as just plain stupid. Is it important that someone nominated to head up DOD has bled in the dirt and the mud? Why? And which is worse, dirt or mud, and why?

    I guess I understand better now why Michele Flournoy isn't qualified for the position. She didn't bleed in dirt or mud. She may have bled while giving birth to her three children, but not in the dirt or the mud!

    It's good to know what the standards for these qualifications are.


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:40:34 PM EST
    We will not have girls giving soldiers orders, or Democrats for that matter :)

    Well, they were prepared remarks after all. (none / 0) (#84)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:58:49 PM EST
    And unfortunately, the president made them sound exactly like that -- prepared remarks.

    Personally, I thought Obama sounded pretty jet-lagged from his three 10-hour flights between Honolulu and Washington, D.C. this past week, which might explain why those remarks sounded like they were being delivered by someone who wishes he were still someplace else.


    Well, at least it wasn't the altitude (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by nycstray on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:12:51 PM EST
    this time . . .

    Yes (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:19:27 PM EST