Sunday Open Thread

The ACLU says CISPA is going to be reintroduced in the House this week.

That's right, the same bill that allows companies to turn over your sensitive internet records directly to the NSA and the Department of Defense without requiring them to make even a reasonable effort to protect your privacy. The same bill that lets the government use the information it collects for cybersecurity purposes "to protect the national security of the United States"—a concept that is, of course, undefined and incredibly expansive. Here we are, ten months later, with a much-deserved veto threat from the administration, a smarter Senate alternative, and an Executive Order that will address part of the information-sharing issue—yet the House starts with the same old privacy-busting bill as before.

The Grammy's have already started giving out awards. You can watch here. CBS has Grammy Connect, letting you choose from a variety of ways to watch. I'm not going to watch until the actual show, at 8 pm ET. The nominees are here.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Look for the dreadlocked dude on Sax (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Dadler on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:31:45 PM EST
    My new brother-in-law, Scott Mayo, is playing with various artists tonight on the Grammys. Go bro, go.

    the Grammy live performances (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:00:53 PM EST
    are unusually good this year. I wonder if they did something different with the audio/tech stuff. Apparently, the answer is yes.

    great article and info (none / 0) (#14)
    by DFLer on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:14:11 AM EST

    Forgot to watch, though. Big oops in this house. Will have to get links to the live performances.


    The Pope is resigning (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:16:03 AM EST
    Pope's mission to revive faith clouded by scandal

    Christian world surprised at Pope's decision

    Precedents for papal resignations

    According to one article, the Pope stacked the deck through his selections of Cardinals to ensure that his conservative ideology would continue with the next Pope. What a shame. Bringing the church policies into this century could only be an approvement.

    Certainly curious. (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by KeysDan on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:34:08 AM EST
    The reason given, essentially, that he is too pooped to Pope and, hence, gives two-weeks notice is odd.  And, even more so, during Lent.   Resigning as Pope is not only historically rare, but also, more controversial  and conspiratorial than resignation.  However,  we do know, as a result of the "Butler Did It" scandal that there was much afoot, including rivalries and  consolidation of Opus Dei.

    It would seem, for example, that admonition of a more theologically  traditional Cardinal Archbishop by a successor Archbishop, who is Opus Dei,  symbolizes power shifts that enabled the handling of release of the devastating court documents on sexual abuse of youth.  

    These are not just internal matters of a religious organization, but indicators that the Church is likely to continue on the path of Benedict with its continuing negative impact on our own policies and politics.  


    He can't really say he wants to (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:09:50 PM EST
    spend more time w/his family.

    At least, as far as we know. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:13:08 PM EST

    Y'all are cracking me up (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:26:28 PM EST
    I just wish this did not mean another month of mornings where half the NPR news is religion related.

    You mean you don't want (none / 0) (#51)
    by shoephone on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:49:55 PM EST
    Barbara Bradley Haggerty to earn as much as Mara Liasson???

    I think Sylvia Sylvia Poggioli is going to clean (none / 0) (#58)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:56:15 PM EST
    up on this one! If it gives Steve Inskeep less airtime I am all for it.

    NPR is my alarm in the morning and some days I lay there for half an hour and every story has a religious subtext.


    Or (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:14:29 PM EST
    At least according to the pope's doctor, through the pope's brother:

    The brother of the German-born Pope said the pontiff had been advised by his doctor not to take any more transatlantic trips and had been considering stepping down for months.

    Talking from his home in Regensburg in Germany, Georg Ratzinger said his brother was having increasing difficulty walking and that his resignation was part of a "natural process".

    He added: "His age is weighing on him. At this age my brother wants more rest."

    Not sure why it's a shock, or why there are those who think it's part of a grand conspiracy - he's going to be 86 in April.  And what better time to have a new pope - right at Easter - the beginning of the liturgical calendar?

    Taking bets now that an African will be chosen as the next pope?


    It's a shock because it is such a rare (none / 0) (#42)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:10:16 PM EST
    occurrence. I can think of only two popes who resigned, and the most recent of those was in the 1400s.

    It is generally thought that the Pope has an obligation to the Church to serve until death. No, that is not Canon law, but it is the accepted belief.

    And, really, nothing that happens at the Vatican is ever simple or divorced from politics. Nothing.


    No, I get that (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:22:01 PM EST
    Of course it's a shock, since it's been 600 years since it last happened (although the media keep saying "unprecedented" - um, yes, actually there IS precedence, but what they mean to say is "unprecedented in our lifetime."  But I digress).

    But it's not a shock to think that an 86 year-old man, who is on the record from the time of John Paul II saying that he felt if a pope was unhealthy and could not give all to his papal duties, then a pope should consider stepping aside.   He even backed an initiative in 1960 to allow popes to lead only for 8 years.

    And of course politics plays a HUGE role.  The pope, besides being the head of a small state who has administrative duties, is also the spiritual leader of a billion people.  This is as huge as Queen Elizabeth deciding to chcuk it (pardon the pun) to step aside for Prince Charles.

    But I don't believe in a conspiracy here.


    Who knows if there is a conspiracy at (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:35:00 PM EST
    work here? If there is some conspiring it will be a long before we find out.

     I do know, from priest friends who served at the Vatican, that everything, and I mean everything, that happens there is fraught with political implications. Conspiracies and secret alliances abound. Honestly, the Vatican makes the U.S. Senate look like a quilting bee.


    That is sort of what that new (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:42:49 PM EST
    Documentary makes clear in ways too.  Ratzy is responsible for some things, but since becoming pope he has had his hands tied at least once by the influence of "politics" or shall we say specific politicians in robes.

    Are you talking about that HBO documentary (none / 0) (#59)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:48:43 PM EST
    "Mea Maxima Culpa"? Have you seen it?

    I don't get HBO, so its existence was news to me. Entertainment Tonight, of all places, had a story on that HBO doc. and how it might have influenced the Pope's decision to step down.


    I just watched it again (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:02:43 AM EST
    I recorded it.  The first watching was pretty emotional, I recorded to watch later for facts when I realized how emotional it was.  It's good.  If Ratzy is stepping down for any reason I would think it is this documentary that implicates him in covering up right up to his chin and then some.

    The men in it are really beautiful human beings, those that were abused and fought to prevent future children from being abused.  They are simply amazing.  Who will be the next pope though?  Can they restore the Irish Catholic Church?  Ratzy was supposed to do that. The way he addressed it though (blaming Ireland's hierarchy), the office he held before becoming pope, and his letters denying Ireland's hierarchy the authority to deal with the molesting/raping priests that have now been exposed, and now this, can't see how he didn't simply do even more damage.


    Yes, there is precedence. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by KeysDan on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:19:28 PM EST
    For example, Pope Gregory X11, who was forced out in 1415 to settle a controversy of three rival claimants to the papacy.  For a voluntary abdication, we need to go to Celestine V in 1294--but that action was not appreciated by all.  Dante was so angry about it that he put Celestine into the antechamber of his Inferno, the first book of his Divine Comedy.

    Dante was furious because this voluntary action paved the way for Boniface VIII whom he detested.  Celestine must not have appreciated it either, for he did not fare well at the hands of his successor--Boniface held him prisoner in a castle where he died.  Benedict XVI was sure to include in his abdication letter that his resignation was voluntary---plena liberate-- (in full freedom).   No drafty old castle, for Benedict, but probably in the safety and immunity of Vatican property.


    This retirement is awfully convenient given that (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:45:46 PM EST
    the recently released documents from the Los Angeles Archdiocese show that Benedict XVI, while he was Cardinal Ratzinger, was in very close communication with Cardinal Mahoney during the time Mahoney was covering up for pedophile priests.

    Ratzinger knew what was going on. He knew it was a cover-up and an evasion of the law, but he did not stop Mahoney. I would venture that Ratzinger helped with the cover-ups wherever he could.

    If Benedict is no longer the Pope, it might be easier for the Vatican to shield him or at least keep him out of the public eye.


    Agreed. (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by KeysDan on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:25:51 PM EST
    The abdication gives opportunity to change the subject with the focus on the "new" Pope and claims of a clean slate.  Especially, if the new Pope is from South America or Africa.   I put new in quotation marks, because I believe it will be-- meet the new pope, same as the old---after all, Benedict has appointed many of the eligible voters in the College of Cardinals, with the remaining from his predecessor.

    Ane the fawning has begun in earnest, (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:41:49 PM EST
    and I imagine will continue up until a new Pope is selected.

    I feel like I am watching propaganda from Vatican TV or something; it's disturbing.


    Or a President Obama (none / 0) (#75)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:32:32 AM EST
    news conference.

    I think (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:28:16 AM EST
    Since it was widely thought when he was elevated, that Benedict would not last long (since he was 78), he was going to bear the brunt of the sex scandals that started coming out under John Paul II.  

    And it is a shock, since it's the first time in over 600 years where a pope retired / resigned.


    That's okay, because ... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:11:50 PM EST
    ... Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles is one of the guys who gets to choose Benedict XVI's successor at the upcoming papal enclave.

    I mean, I feel so much better already, knowing that Roger the Dodger is on the job -- especially after having just learned that to in order to pay the court settlement to sex abuse victims, he literally looted the Archdiocese's Cemetery Fund, which otherwise was supposed to provide for perpetual upkeep of our Catholic cemeteries, and into which all of us who have relatives buried in them paid a handsome fee.

    And the hits just keep on coming.


    It seems (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:07:26 AM EST
    that all the conservatives are bent on keeping any priests from being prosecuted for sexual abuse. What is wrong with these people? But then I'm ECUSA and we let all our problems hang out there for everyone to see.

    What is wrong? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:51:05 AM EST
    They identify with those priests, obviously. This problem is centuries old, if not a millenium, and worse than we will ever know.

    And not limited to just Catholic priests (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:08:15 PM EST
    Hmmm Who could have predicted this? (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:04:23 AM EST
    Under Obamacare, employers are required to offer health insurance options for any employee working 30 hours or more per week. So McDonnell and his team have slipped language into the state's budget bill requiring that any hourly waged workers employed by the state put in no more than 29 hours a week.

    The rule applies to a range of state employees, including adjunct college professors...
    Other public universities have made the same shift to lower hours for employees to avoid providing them with basic health benefits. But the anti-labor practice is more prevalent in the private sector, where huge number of businesses in the restaurant industry -- including Applebee's, Olive Garden, and Denny's -- seeking to pass the cost of health care onto their low-wage employees by limiting their hours. Workers who don't receive employer-based coverage will be able to find insurance through the public exchanges. link

    We may soon become a land of 29 hours a week jobs where we replace the middle class with the working poor.

    BTW, I don't think the budget for Obama's insurance program will provide enough money to cover all the people that will be trying to survive on 29 hour a week jobs.

    Who could have predicted this? (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:18:55 AM EST
    All the people who are not acolytes and true believers, and instead live in the real world.

    Well yes (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:25:50 AM EST
    I think I do remember that this subject was discussed and then the idea that this might happen was dismissed as "Impossible...Not Going To Happen" by the supporters of this insurance legislation.

    Many around here (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:14:58 PM EST
    Not a recent occurrence (none / 0) (#26)
    by CoralGables on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:44:09 PM EST
    My employer wanted me to slowly cut all my employees back so they would be ineligible for vacation or sick time or insurance or the 401k program starting over 5 years ago. Unspoken...They would take care of me in exchange for me screwing thirty.

    So... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by sj on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:52:56 PM EST
    ...did they take care of you?  Something unspoken isn't a real commitment, is it?

    Yes they took care of me (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by CoralGables on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:56:33 PM EST
    but I chose to make myself unemployed, rather than play hatchet man, when it was put in motion. I didn't want to play their game.

    And to be fair (none / 0) (#36)
    by CoralGables on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:59:48 PM EST
    spoken or unspoken isn't a commitment in the business world. It's in writing by lawyers (with consequences) or it's meaningless.

    "But you said" is often the first line before you start to pack and head home.


    yes, indeedy (none / 0) (#48)
    by sj on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:28:40 PM EST
    new Walking Dead (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:08:15 PM EST
    coming up shortly.  buzz time

    great dress J lo... (none / 0) (#2)
    by fishcamp on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:21:19 PM EST
    but she's too covered up.

    they are on time delay (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:16:57 PM EST
    and just started here. Adele's dress is just awful. Actually, lots of atrocities, here. I don't care for JLo's dress.Very unflattering to her thighs.  Carrie Underwood's dress is among the better ones. Then again, the Grammy's fashion is always a bit odd.

    Yikes, she looks like someone just (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by observed on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:02:20 PM EST
    stripped their 80 year old sofa of it's covering.

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Zorba on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:57:56 PM EST
    I think she watched Gone With the Wind one too many times and thought, "Well, if Scarlet O'Hara can make a dress out of curtains, I can have a dress made out of my sofa covering."
    Problem is, this fabric would have been ugly, even as a sofa cover.

    Yikes (none / 0) (#19)
    by sj on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:14:38 AM EST
    Was that Kimbra with Gotye? I don't mind her dress but it looks like her head has been photoshopped onto her body -- badly.

    And yes, what Adele is wearing is just awful.  


    Re Adele (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:37:41 AM EST
    could she have been put in a more unflattering dress? I have to wonder.

    Gotye, was born... (none / 0) (#28)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:53:42 PM EST
    ...Wouter De Backer.

    Why would anyone change that name, it just sounds so cartoon-villian-esque.

    Plus, w/o a beard, Wally De Backer bears a striking resemblance to DJ Qualls.


    You got me curious so I looked it up (none / 0) (#32)
    by sj on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:10:46 PM EST
    According to wiki:
    The name "Gotye" is derived from "Gauthier", the French equivalent of "Walter" or "Wouter".
    Being Belgian-Australian, it looks like he had lots of options on where to go with his name.

    I Have a Bit of a Fascination... (none / 0) (#37)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:05:22 PM EST
    ...with professional name changes.  It's always curious to me why they do it, and how it will effect their offspring.  Would Kevin Spacey's kids be Spaceys or Fowlers ?

    How about (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:09:42 PM EST
    Judy Garland (Frances Gumm) whose children are Liza Minelli, Lorna Luft, and Joey Luft?

    Or the infamous Marion Morrison aka John Wayne?  :)


    (Tom Cruise) in HS.

    I've never gone back and looked it up in the newspaper, but we both wrestled, are the same age, graduated the same year, same size, and went to competing high schools in NJ.


    Cruise... (none / 0) (#40)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:41:13 PM EST
    ...is a good one, because he has offspring running around, two adopted, that bear his last name.

    I Googled the wrestling thing, pretty fascinating stuff.  I figured someone would have listed who he wrestled, but TMI to wrestle through.


    How about (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:01:16 PM EST
    Nicholas Cage (Coppola) who has two sons (from different wives) - Weston Cage and Kal-El Cage.

    (Yes, Kal-El is based on the character in Superman)


    Kids Don't Count... (none / 0) (#61)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:15:26 AM EST
    ...they are unwilling victims of idiots.

    Pilot Inspektor & Moxie Crimefighter being prime examples.


    Right (none / 0) (#62)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:16:42 AM EST
    Just saying that Weston and Kal-El have the last name of  "Cage" as opposed to their father's real last name "Coppola".

    That's an Odd One... (none / 0) (#63)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:41:19 AM EST
    ...who in Hollywood would willing change Coppola, that's like giving up Weinstein or some other powerhouse name that has an ethnic flavor.

    He gave it up (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:46:00 AM EST
    When he was starting out because he wanted to "make it on his own" and not use his famous uncle's name.

    Maybe he's legally changed it to Cage - I don't know.


    Coppola's nephew.

    The guy's done some great work, I loved him in "Birdy" and "Valley Girl," but this particular story of his seems a little disingenuous to me...


    Well (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:05:26 PM EST
    Here's a wiki entry, but I've read it and heard it elsewhere too:

    Born Nicolas Kim Coppola[2] on January 7, 1964[1][3][4][5] in Long Beach, California to parents August Floyd Coppola, a professor of literature, and Joy Vogelsang, a dancer and choreographer. He was raised in a Catholic family.[6][7] His father was of Italian descent and his mother is of German and Polish descent.[8] His paternal grandparents were composer Carmine Coppola and actress Italia Pennino, and his paternal great-grandparents were immigrants from Bernalda, Basilicata.[9] Through his father, Cage is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, and the cousin of directors Roman Coppola and Sofia Coppola, film producer Gian-Carlo Coppola, and actors Robert Carmine and Jason Schwartzman. Cage's two brothers are New York radio personality Marc "The Cope" Coppola and director Christopher Coppola. He attended Beverly Hills High School, which is known for its many alumni who became entertainers. He aspired to act from an early age and also attended UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television. His first non-cinematic acting experience was in a school production of Golden Boy.

    Acting career

    To avoid the appearance of nepotism as the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, he changed his name early in his career to Nicolas Cage, inspired in part by the Marvel Comics superhero Luke Cage. Since his minor role in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, with Sean Penn, Cage has appeared in a wide range of films, both mainstream and offbeat. He tried out for the role of Dallas Winston in his uncle's film The Outsiders, based on S.E. Hinton's novel, but lost to Matt Dillon. He was also in Coppola's films Rumble Fish and Peggy Sue Got Married.

    My point was that he was disingenous (none / 0) (#68)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:18:11 PM EST
    in that he and whoever his advisers were at the time changed his last name knowing that doing so would him more "cred" within the industry.

    iow, all of Spielberg's kids could change their names to Smith or Speckle or Spackle, but everyone in the industry will still know who they are.


    LOL My perspective (none / 0) (#67)
    by sj on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:08:53 PM EST
    is the exact opposite of yours
    The guy's done some great work ...  but this particular story of his seems a little disingenuous to me
    The story makes sense but the guy overacts something fierce.

    An actor "going all Nicholas Cage" has been used in some conversations I've had with friends about movies.


    Have you seen the two movies I referenced? (none / 0) (#69)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:18:49 PM EST
    I had a kinda long (none / 0) (#70)
    by sj on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:57:10 PM EST
    response to this that I wrote and my computer threw up.  So this time I'm just going to cut to the chase with absolutely no clarifying remarks, okay?  


    Nope, and I don't intend to either.


    Suit yourself! (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:08:29 PM EST
    Birdy (none / 0) (#72)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:15:40 PM EST
    Totally forgot that flick, it use to be one of my favorites, especially the scene near the end where Birdy jumps.  I bet I have watched that movie 20 times.

    I also liked him in Leaving Las Vegas, Matchstick Men, and Windtalkers.  And dumb as it is, Raising Arizona is just about as funny as they get.

    Seem unlikely that he changed his name as some ploy to fool people outside the industry.  Whether it worked, we will never know.


    And I forgot about Raising Arizona, (none / 0) (#73)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:36:53 PM EST
    loved that movie.

    Yes (none / 0) (#74)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 03:58:57 PM EST
    I think that Cage mainly tends to "over-act" in some of the over-the-top action films.  I think that he did a really good job in the films that you and Sarc mentioned.  Especially in Leaving Las Vegas.
    Maybe it depends upon his director, the plot, etc.  And maybe it depends on how he feels about a film.
    He wildly over-acted in Face/Off and Con Air, for instance.  But then, if I was an actor and in those films, I would have gone over-the-top, as well.     ;-)

    Correction, his name was Mapother. (none / 0) (#45)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:22:25 PM EST
    Well the Judy Garland children (none / 0) (#46)
    by sj on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:25:21 PM EST
    are understandable.  Those are the names of their fathers.

    Changing Marion Morrison to John Wayne was a good move for him considering the kind of roles he took.  He was first cousin to my great uncle by marriage.  Something Uncle George never talked about.  My Dad told me, but said that nobody talked about it for whatever reason.


    A fashion conspiracy? (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:08:26 PM EST
    Adele's way too young to ... (none / 0) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:13:17 PM EST
    ... be doing dowdy. Honestly, that dress looks like some Victorian-era wallpaper from the late 19th century. Its floral print is so garish, even a drunken tourist in Waikiki would be offended.

    She reminded me of an (none / 0) (#53)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 07:06:50 PM EST
    English teapot, like she might pop up in a version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

    Truly hideous.


    I feel really old. Taylor Swift's opening (none / 0) (#7)
    by caseyOR on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:28:22 PM EST
    number went right by me. What did that Alice in Wonderland production have to do with Swift's song? I am so unhip. :-(

    Well, don't feel too bad. (none / 0) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:44:10 PM EST
    Remember, we come from an era when Don Cornelius, platform shoes, wide collars and ties, bellbottoms and polyester pantsuits / liesure suits were all once considered "hip."

    Ultimately, time will prove that "hip" ain't never what it's first cracked up to be.


    Another controversy brewing on Obama (none / 0) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:25:22 AM EST

    Treasury secretary nominee Jack Lew will face questions at his confirmation hearing next week about an investment fund registered in a Cayman Islands building that has been called a notorious site for tax haven abuse.

    Lew invested $56,000 in the fund, which was run by his former employer Citigroup, and sold his investment in 2010 for $54,418, according to the Senate Finance Committee....
    The investment fund could become an issue during the upcoming hearing because Lew's job as Treasury secretary would give him a major role in shaping the administration's tax policy.

    The president has targeted tax haven abuse as a major problem in the country's tax system.

    Lew's relationship with Citigroup was already a flashpoint for conflict with progressives as concerns were raised about possible favoritism towards the Too Big To Fail bank and Wall Street generally. Lew had played a leading role in a Citigroup unit that profited by shorting the housing market. link

    Maybe all the presidents men (and women) (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by shoephone on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:01:39 PM EST
    are going to face uphill battles on their confirmations. Inquiring minds want to know: in which countries are Penny Pritzker's offshore accounts? And how many million$ are stockpiled in them?

    I say we cut to the chase... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:16:16 PM EST
    Merge the treasury and commerce departments, and appoint McKeeva Bush as the secretary of the treasury and commerce...dude is highly familar with the Cayman banking system as well as financial irregularities, all bases covered.

    From WaPo (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:33:59 AM EST
    A column by a conservative on this topic, which I know will be highly discounted around here, but I think he asks some fair questions:

    It's a recurring theme for the president. In a 2009 speech, Obama focused his ire on "a building in the Cayman Islands that had over 12,000 businesses claim this building as their headquarters" -- a building called Ugland House. Obama said, "And I've said before, either this is the largest building in the world or the largest tax scam. And I think the American people know which it is: The kind of tax scam that we need to end."

    Well, guess who was involved in the "largest tax scam" in the world? Jack Lew. According to the New York Times, Lew's Cayman Islands fund was based in "the notorious Ugland House, a building whose mailboxes are home to nearly 19,000 corporate entities, many of them tax shelters."


    A White House spokesman, Eric Schultz, pointed out that Lew broke no laws and "paid all of his taxes and reported all of the income, gains and losses from the investment on his tax returns." But last year Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said that while Romney had not technically broken any laws by keeping his money in offshore tax havens, "is not technically breaking the law a high-enough standard for someone who wants to be president of the United States?" Well, is not technically breaking the law a high-enough standard for someone who wants to be secretary of the Treasury?