Thursday Open Thread

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Want to see GOP heads explode? (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:15:45 PM EST
    Sandra Fluke is considering running for Waxman's seat.

    Works for me. (none / 0) (#103)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:01:50 PM EST
    Amanda Knox re-convicted.... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by magster on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:22:23 PM EST
    Italian legal system is a joke.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 263 (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Dadler on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:36:20 PM EST
    She'll swat that Hallmark card sh*t into the tenth row. Don't even try her. (link)

    v. 262
    v. 261

    Get your groove on, peeps. Life is too short not to. Peace.

    Why do people despise Washington, DC? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:47:01 PM EST
    The Washington Monthly's Tim Murphy offers us a really great example why:

    Washington Monthly | January-February 2014
    Smokey and the Bandit - "There are sports franchise owners who, through civic-mindedness and steely pursuit of victory, win the admiration of their fans. Then there is Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington [team whose racist nickname I've vowed to never again mention, even when quoting someone else directly]. [...] Two recent events further highlight Snyder's imperiousness. The first is a renewed chorus of demands by everyone from Native American activists to the D.C. city council that the team change its inherently offensive name -- to which Snyder last year responded, 'NEVER--you can use caps.' The second is the settling last fall by the National Park Service (NPS) of a whistleblower complaint over a secret sweetheart deal Snyder extracted nine years ago to give his Maryland home an unobstructed view of the Potomac River."

    Fascinating read about the corrosive results to be had from Beltway's zero-sum / quid pro quo culture, which in this case sideswiped and left for dead an honest man who was just doing his job, costing him his heretofore distinguished career as a national park ranger, and leading to his criminal indictment for theft on manufactured charges that could have easily landed him in federal prison.


    Aww ... Poor Mr. Christie (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:47:53 PM EST
    It seems that the Christie ship is in the process of being abandoned.  Wouldn't ya know:  (1) Today, erstwhile foremost supporter Rudy Giuliani observed that the chances that Gov. Christie did not know about the shakedown were about "50-50" -- quite a retreat & far from a ringing endorsement.  (2)  Today, the ole' Rove favorite Ron Fournier retracted his full-throated support for how "smart" Christie was, by quickly saying that he "takes that back."

    Now......for us Democrats, some very good news out there this afternoon.  While a few people (ahem, Fournier's National Journal) opined that Nancy Pelosi may retire, Cong. Pelosi just stated that she is definitely running for re-election, because her work is not finished.  Good for the Dems; another "awww" for the Repubs.

    It always seemed to me (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 04:45:17 PM EST
    that Governor Christie's ship was merely a row boat gussied up by the Republican eastern establishment  and pundits so as to look like the Queen Mary.  And, the imagery was swallowed hook, line and sinker by many independents and Democrats.

     It appears that the latter were entertained by his style  and bowled over by his alleged moderate politics.  He worked with President Obama after Sandy and, hence, deserved their vote.  Besides, he was far ahead in the polls, having so little criticism and an under-financed and over-looked Democratic opponent.

    The reality is that Christie's style is one of bullying, intimidation, berating, and vindictiveness.  His moderate politics is belied by party-line, conservative Republicanism, save for an occasional foray toward the center.  The governor, for examples, stood with the gun lobby on background checks, was antagonistic to government employees and unions, defunded Planned Parenthood, opposes abortion rights, vetoed same sex marriage, vetoed a plan for early voting, and halted the new train tunnel, declining stimulus funding--as a part of acquiring his austerity bona fides.

    And, shortly before Sandy, Christie only expressed contempt for President Obama's leadership, claiming in his fund-raising speeches to approving Republican audiences, that the president could not find the leadership switch in a dark room.  Now, the trappings of the luxury liner have fallen off for all (who care to) see the leaky row boat underneath.


    I think (none / 0) (#95)
    by christinep on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:28:09 PM EST
    that Christie "outsmarted" himself.  And, in the Machiavellian atmosphere of NJ, he forgot that if one--what's the word--screws his lifelong friend (the NY Port Authority official that Christie appointed & who made the decision on closure), he will feel the same thing in return.  As of dinnertime Friday, Christie's old buddy Wildstein may be the key takedown.

    As you say, Christie was no sweetie, and he definitely was not the almost-Democrat that some wanted to see.  Christie was the classic blow-hard & bully type ... whose vision seemed to reflect little else than Chris Christie.  (For a reminder of cajoling people prior to a national election, recall the 2000 election and GWB's portrayal of himself as the "compassionate conservative."  Just a reminder.)


    You may be right, christine. (none / 0) (#99)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:53:16 PM EST
    From today:

    Los Angeles Times | January 31, 2014
    Former Chris Christie aide says governor knew of bridge lane closures - "A former close aide to Gov. Chris Christie said the governor knew about the George Washington Bridge road closures while they were happening, disputing the governor's assertions that he only learned about the mess later. A lawyer for David Wildstein, who engineered the lane closures while working at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said in a letter that the closures came at the 'at the Christie adminstration's order' and that 'evidence exists' to show the governor learned of it during the closures and the ensuing four-day traffic jam in Fort Lee, the town leading to the bridge. The Friday letter to the Port Authority from lawyer Alan Zegas, first reported by the New York Times, does not spell out what that evidence is, or say exactly what Christie knew and when. But it is the first sign that a member of Christie's inner circle has broken ranks on the bridge scandal."



    The only thing that matters is (none / 0) (#104)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:13:42 PM EST
    what "sells" to the American public. Remember Reagan, and Bush (the lesser?) The mumbo jumbo that Ronnie spewed, or the swagger from GWB? It didn't matter at all what they actually were saying, as long as "they said what they meant, and meant what they said." Sounds great, means nothing; just a bumper sticker.

    The American public likes their leaders "tough." And, that's what Christie projected.


    What Christie awoke to this morning: (none / 0) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:47:24 AM EST
    Maybe (none / 0) (#119)
    by Yman on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:59:50 AM EST
    Although, when you look at the parsing language used in the lawyer's letter, his actual statements are being hyped by the media.  Got out of work yesterday afternoon and it's all they talked about on the local radio station here in NJ for my hour-long commute home.  I think Wildstein's lawyer is trying to make the carrot look as juicy as possible to try to get an immunity deal.  But I guess we'll see eventually.

    Either way ... gotta love those headlines.


    I've no doubt that he is. (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 05:18:30 PM EST
    But were I in Bridget Kelly's shoes, and I had something to say here, I'd certainly be motivated by this latest development to offer to sing for my supper?

    Because If either of those two say that Christie knew, he'll be a dead man walking, politically speaking, and at that point I would be very surprised if the New Jersey Assembly doesn't move to impeach him.

    Personally, I'd never take the fall for anyone.


    It sort of depends upon (none / 0) (#129)
    by Zorba on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 05:33:25 PM EST
    how much Kelly has been offered to keep silent.
    Or how much she has been threatened, perhaps.
    And I agree with you- I would never take a fall for anyone, either.

    After Detroit ex-Mayor Kilpatrick's fall (none / 0) (#124)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 11:39:34 AM EST
    engendered, in his first trial, by the trail of evidence left by cellphone texts he exchanged with his paramour, you'd think these pols would have a clue.

    Ms. Pelosi may not be retiring, but ... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:56:01 PM EST
    ... her SoCal compatriot Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) announced today that he was hanging it up.

    Let's hope that Mr. Christie will be ... (none / 0) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:01:36 PM EST
    ... soon be known as Mr. Crispy, as in "toast."

    Oh Donald.... (none / 0) (#55)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:07:41 AM EST
    ...how does it go, "Be careful for what you wish for."

    Christie was easily the sanest of the bunch, knocking him out only increases the chance of craZy occupying the White House.

    Not a fan, but if I had to choose a republican President, he would have been my choice, given that the other options include Huckabee, Cruz, Paul, and another Bush.


    Here's the problem: (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:30:09 AM EST
    Paul Ryan doesn't come across as crazy, Jeb Bush wouldn't come across as crazy (even though I really don't think Bush will run).

    So, there's at least half a chance that someone who doesn't sound or act crazy, who can frame and present policy in a way that has people saying, "gee, that makes sense," who can at least stay away from subjects like magic ladyparts and sex drive, will end up at the top of the ticket.  Which doesn't make their policy positions, agenda and vision for the future good ones, but it does mean that, as per usual, some segment of the population - probably something between 40 and 48% - will be on board that train.

    What I'd like to see is a real effort by Democrats to set themselves apart from Republicans and spend the next year or so working their asses off to institute the kinds of policies that will improve people's lives.  I don't know how much they can do, whether anything much gets done, but the LAST thing we need is for Dems to spend the time remaining trying to placate, please, accommodate, concede and curry favor with Republicans whose policies are just bad.

    And we, as progressives or liberals or whatever we are, need to keep pushing the party to the left - or at least form some kind of barrier to it moving any more to the right.


    I'll File that in the... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:25:43 AM EST
    ...'not gonna happen' folder.

    While I agree, sans the Paul Ryan, the D's decided long ago to play tit-for-tat and go down to the crazy rather than take the high road.

    I would fall over if the D's decided to get back to the reasons why I always like the party, but if Obama has done anything, he's made the party realize they don't need to pursue traditional Democratic Party policies.

    Who cares if they actually accomplish anything, just knowing that they are doing what I would consider to be the work of the voting class, would be enough.  Eventually it will result in actual change, not the the poster board change we have been privy too this past 5+ years.

    For the record, I actually meant Rand Paul, Paul Ryan is crazy, or rather his budget and ego, are crazy, but he's not anywhere near electable, a big  maybe, VP.  I'll give you Bush, he's at the Christie level of sanity, which for the R's that means too sane too elect IMO.  But he would be my next choice for R President, i guess.


    This is what we need (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:59:54 AM EST
    What I'd like to see is a real effort by Democrats to set themselves apart from Republicans and spend the next year or so working their asses off to institute the kinds of policies that will improve people's lives.

    Someone with an actual vision and policy ideas. Yes, candidates say a whole lot of things during a campaign to get elected, but I'd like someone up there who actually seems to have thought about the issues and has some ideas.  This was the major problem I had with Obama - he was short on details (until he was forced to have some, after the rest of the class had already given their ideas) - but he banked on the fact (rightfully, so, it turned out) that people just would be willing to vote for him because of "hopenchange" and honestly, some people wanted to vote for the first black president, so they gave him a pass on the lack of concrete positions.

    Jake Tapper pinned this down on his interview with Obama:

    AKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Your critics say this is diminished expectations. And I've been covering you for a long, long time, as you remember, 2005, 2006 in the Senate. I remember during the campaign when you talked about, uh, your presidency being a moment when the rise of the oceans would slow and the nation and the world would heel.

    Um, and now you're talking about pen and phone and executive orders and executive actions.
    Do you think you were naive back then or have you recalibrated your expectations and your ambitions?

    I thought Obama was very naive on so many things, due to his lack of experience, and, while I was pooh-poohed, it turns out I was right. (GITMO, anyone?)

    This time we need someone, whether it's Hillary Clinton, or someone else, who really understands the issues and has some realistic ideas about how to achieve those goals.


    Bluntly stated, Chris Christie is corrupt. (none / 0) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 02:36:46 PM EST
    As we're only now learning, he and his friends have been treating the public domain as their personal fiefdom, and he's been running New Jersey as a latter-day reincarnation of William M. "Boss" Tweed.

    Why should I or anyone else ever have to settle for that?

    Fortunately, thanks to some completely unnecessary and asinine political overreach on his part, which now totally belies his former reputation as someone who's both forthright and competent, Christie's being exposed for the arrogant and dirty bird that he is.

    And despite his many protestations and denial, most people don't believe him, and his newly emboldened adversaries are looking to tighten the political noose around the neck of his entire administration. They have my best wishes.



    When yo'r choice is often... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 02:58:58 PM EST
    between corrupt or corrupt and f8ckin' crazy, you take your chances with corrupt.

    Agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 11:27:10 AM EST
    When the choice is between corrupt or corrupt and crazy, you take your chance with corrupt.   However, my concern with Christie is not that he is corrupt, although there is that, it is he belongs in the second category of corrupt and crazy.

    Not crazy like some Republican contenders that come to mind, but crazy all the same, being the type of dangerous politician who should never be allowed near the levers of power, where power and misuse of power become seamless tools of operation.  Moreover, his temperament and personality seem entirely too amenable to systematic disrespect for dissent, or even, differences of opinions.

     While his platform may not dwell on the need for nation-wide vaginal probes, bombing immigrants or the offing of gay Americans, his brand of crazy is worrisome, and, in my view, a disqualification for public office.


    Not with this guy, you don't. (none / 0) (#96)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:41:55 PM EST
    I don't worry about the crazy wingbats, simply because the type of crazy you're worried about appeals only to a decided minority of the American electorate. Outright crackpottery will never sell with a decisive majority of U.S. voters in a national election.

    When Abraham Lincoln made his observations about those who can fool all of the people some of the time, he had political lampreys like Boss Tweed and Chris Christie firmly in mind, and not stark raving ideological lunatics like Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum.

    So if the Republicans want to nominate either one of Messrs. Cruz and Santorum as their presidential candidate, then please, they should go right on ahead and be my guest. I'll be making nachos and margaritas, so that we can really enjoy watching what happens to them.

    But ruthless corruption disguised as competence and empathy, well now, that's a whole 'nother matter altogether. In my estimation, cynical and self-serving pols like Chris Christie will wilt the grass they walk upon, and can do a great deal of harm to the body politic.

    Settling on Christie is not merely take a chance, kdog. Rather, I'd call that the wholesale assumption of an uncalculated risk. And while I've been known to take my chances every now and again, I won't ever knowingly do the same with uncalculated risks. Never have, and never will.

    Anyway, I suppose that's neither here nor there at this point, because Chris Christie's political career is probably finished. The other shoe began dropping today with the disclosure that the lawyer representing former Port Authority appointee David Wildstein wrote a letter to the Port Authority, asserting on behalf of his client that the governor knew all about last September's planned lane closures prior to the event.

    The Big Boy's going down, dude. And if I had to guess, this is going to be a really hard fall with a very large splash zone -- pun intended.



    Exactly, Donald, exactly. (none / 0) (#102)
    by christinep on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:00:22 PM EST
    IMO, the scary ones have always been the Chris Christies ... for the very reason that they are the snake-oil salespeople who re-package the crap of the worst contingent and sell it like a populist.  With the fringe right, you know what you are getting; with the Christie-types, the primary difference is the soothing packaging.

    Very well stated.  Thanks, Donald.


    If out and out lunatics never won elections... (none / 0) (#108)
    by kdog on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 07:03:02 AM EST
    I'd agree with you guys...but recent history tells us they can and do, just look at Congress and remember 8 years of G-Dub for christ's sake.

    Goes without saying none of us want a Christie...just saying I wouldn't rest easy thinking the lunatic fringe can't win the presidency when almost half the country is voting Brand R blind, and a Brand D hangover is possible amongst the small yet often election-deciding "swing voter" block.  Less risk for all if they just nominate a corrupt mother*cker, hold the crazy.

    Agree it won't be Christie, he looks like toast...but that means the odds went up on gettin' within another pubic hair of a President NuckinFuts...who needs that stress!  We've always survived corruption, lunacy got hundreds of thousands of people killed last go round.


    Name one out and out lunatic who's ... (none / 0) (#114)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:30:06 AM EST
    ... ever won the presidency. Remember, many people prior to 2000 saw George W. Bush as a conservative but reasonable center-right candidate, not unlike Chris Christie prior to his political implosion, and not at all of the cuckoo for cocoa puffs variety that characterizes the GOP's far right today.

    If Cruz or Santorum gained the nomination, they might win a few states down South, but that's about it. Such an election would otherwise be a landslide of memorable proportions elsewhere, the likes of which Dems haven't enjoyed since 1964, when LBJ mopped the floor with Barry Goldwater.

    I would think that Christie's meltdown probably increases the possibility that Jeb Bush might throw his hat into the ring. But I'm not going to worry about the wackadoodle candidates. Their appeal is to a very select demographic, which tends to fall on deaf ears with most everyone else.



    Yet ... (none / 0) (#115)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:31:57 AM EST
    While I do not disagree with your last sentence, remember what got us there was more than the obvious charade.  W posed as the "compassionate conservative" and the media, along with a lot of others, said that "well, maybe he isn't so bad."  That was in 2000 ... and when you get in the first term, you always have an advantage running in the second.  Like Bush.  (And, like any poseur ... Christie, Walker, and soon-to-be-unveiled re-invented Paul Ryan even.) And thinking back quite a bit, remember Mr. Sunshine and Morning-in-America Ronald Reagan ... before he won and ushered in the big conservative tide of "trickle down" for the next generation.

    Way, way, way back ... we have the infamous Trojan horse with the enemy "bearing gifts."
    These are the guys that get admission.  For that reason:  Jeb Bush could prove to be a big vote-getter.

    Anyway, I hope that you are keeping your tan.  The weather in NY looks pretty good for the weekend and the Superbowl.  GO BRONCOS!


    After writing the above, I just read (none / 0) (#116)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:35:46 AM EST
    your new comment, Donald.  Synchronicity.  (You only need to put some more punch in it with some powerful pro-Broncos thoughts, Donald.)

    And in other news, ... (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 05:30:29 PM EST
    ... the Christie scandals have been attributed as the primary the cause of nearly catastrophic subsequent reductions in the nation's strategic popcorn reserve.



    Correction: (none / 0) (#113)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:05:34 AM EST
    I misspoke above by stating that Wildstein's attorney claimed in his letter to the Port Authority that Christie knew about last September's lane closures prior to the event.

    Rather, the specific claim is that Christie knew of the lane closure while they were underway, and not earlier. That's also really bad if true, to be sure, but it's also not the same thing, and I apologize for the misstatement.



    Why "awww" for the Repubs? (none / 0) (#47)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:26:40 AM EST
    Her district would stay Dem anyway.

    She isn't going to be the Speaker again, so why is this a problem for the Republicans?


    Neanderthals 'R Us (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by desertswine on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:16:46 PM EST
    I wondered why I felt like howling at the moon tonight.

    People of European and Asian descent today retain Neanderthal DNA that may affect their hair, skin, fertility, predisposition to certain diseases and possibly other characteristics, a new study in the journal Nature suggests.

    The study additionally found that genetic variants passed down from Neanderthals also affect an individual's disposition toward type 2 diabetes, Crohn's disease, lupus, a liver condition known as biliary cirrhosis and even whether a person is likely to smoke.

    How Neanderthal DNA Changed Humans

    Very cool (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:34:54 AM EST
    Thanks for sharing!

    Brain surgeon walks 6 miles ... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:44:03 AM EST
    ... through a snowstorm to save a patient - 62 years old.  Says it's no big deal.


    Funny How... (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:50:24 AM EST
    ...we give praise to a person who takes an oath to help people, when they actually do it.

    Not commenting on this guys actions, which were pretty cool, but more on the other surgeons who stayed home like the rest of us who don't take the oath.

    My current doctor probably wouldn't walk out to a chilly parking lot if he had a paying customer inside.


    For kdog (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:43:33 AM EST
    What a coinky-dink... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:28:31 AM EST
    I had just stumbled across the piece and was gonna link it...very interesting take on pointless security theater from the inside.

    No Surprises There... (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 02:30:53 PM EST
    ... but this is hilarious quote:

    "Working for the TSA," I wrote, "has the feel of riding atop the back of a large, dopey dog fanatically chasing its tail clockwise for a while, then counterclockwise, and back again, ad infinitum."

    I had a run with the TSA last fall, they dropped something very valuable and fragile, then proceeded to leave it on the floor for about a minute.  When I said something, the guy helping the woman who had ransacked my bag said something about them being black and I let it go.

    After I thought about it, I realized that was their canned response to being complete jackasses and had I not been going on vacation, I would have filed some sort of complaint, but I was like, screw it, I am getting drunk with my pals.

    It's a miracle it didn't actually break.


    Urrgghhh (none / 0) (#86)
    by Zorba on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 02:54:46 PM EST
    Why am I not surprised?
    Security theater, that's all it is.

    Apologies if someone has already posted this, (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Zorba on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 12:10:33 PM EST
    But Yahoo is advising everyone with a Yahoo account to change their email passwords.
    Hackers got in and stole a whole slew of passwords.

    Why am I not surprised? (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Angel on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 03:31:03 PM EST
    Becasue No One Is (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 03:56:52 PM EST
    A lot of people hoping it's not true, but no one would have put money on it.

    I'll save you the trouble, what are the odds that his Administration didn't use hurricane funds inappropriately ?  1:20


    I'll disagree with Donald from Hawaii (none / 0) (#92)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:19:07 PM EST
    and say Christie's role as Governor isn't over, but apprently the Newark Star-Ledger Editorial Board believes Donald may be right on target.

    Forget about the White House in 2016. The question now is whether Gov. Chris Christie can survive as governor.

    Knowing about them... (none / 0) (#93)
    by unitron on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:59:16 PM EST
    ...is one thing.  Thousands of drivers knew about them.

    The question that it seems some people are trying to wiggle or smokescreen around is whether Christie knew that his people deliberately caused the closures for no defensible reasons and if so, when did he know it?


    Puppies from Budweiser (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by CoralGables on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 11:10:22 AM EST
    at the Super Bowl this year will take a backseat to

    this one from Axe

    That ad is just screaming (none / 0) (#123)
    by nycstray on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 11:32:42 AM EST
    for a puppy ;)

    Nice ad.


    RIP, Maxmillian Schell (1931-2014). (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:23:11 AM EST
    A child refugee from Hitler's Germany, Schell won the 1961 Academy Award as Best Actor for his compelling turn as Hans Rolfe, the fiercely independent defense counsel who zealously defends both his clients and his own countrymen's honor at a Nazi war crimes tribunal, in director Stanley Kramer's acclaimed courtroom epic Judgment at Nuremberg. He died yesterday in Austria at age 83.

    Schell's searing cross examinations of both Judy Garland and (a nearly unrecognizable) Montgomery Clift are the stuff of which the Oscars are really all about, excellence in one's craft. Both Garland and Clift also received nominations in their respective supporting actress / actor categories for their work in Nuremberg.


    He was one of the under-appreciated (none / 0) (#137)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:13:58 AM EST
    greats. He also wasn't one to embrace the "take the money and run" mentality by appearing in any crap movie role that came his way..Though the last thing I remember seeing him in was in a cameo in the fun romp The Freshman with Brando and Matthew Broderick.

    On another note, Donald, if you havn't had the pleasure already, you Have to see Christopher Plummer as John Barrymore. It'll knock your socks off, I promise.


    Saw it. (none / 0) (#142)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 08:09:24 PM EST
    Christopher Plummer was indeed marvelous. As an older actor, he actually reminds me of the late Don Ameche, whose long screen career enjoyed a similar resurgence later in life and who, like Plummer did at age 82 for Beginners, won an Academy Award for best supporting actor at age 81 for Cocoon.

    "what was the last thing you were in (none / 0) (#143)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:00:06 AM EST
    Mr Barrymore?"

    "I think it was Joan Crawford..Oh! you mean you mean what was the last movie I was in.."


    "Ruh-Roh!" -- Scoobie Doo (1969- ). (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 02:50:30 PM EST
    Michael Scotto, the earnest young reporter for NY1 in New York City who was threatened with bodily harm by Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY) at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday night while the camera was still providing a feed to the studio, is the nephew of Anthony Scotto, noted former labor boss and racketeer who was identified by the late mafia informant Joseph Valachi in U.S. Senate hearings as a member of the Gambino crime family.

    Or Astro (Jetsons 1962- ) (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 02:56:33 PM EST

    Right. I forgot about Astro. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:52:31 PM EST
    I was a baby when "The Jetsons" first debuted in '62, but I remember the reruns. I always had a sneaking suspicion that he was Scoobie's father.

    lol. His real name was Tralfaz, (none / 0) (#98)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:45:37 PM EST
    reclaimed in one episode by his wealthy owners/family, but in what should come as a surprise to no fans of sixties television, Astro/Tralfaz quickly learned that money couldn't bring happiness, so he returned (somehow) to living with the Jetsons.

    Why ruh-roh? (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:30:15 PM EST
    You don't honestly think the Grimm Reaper need fear retaliation from the Gambinos, do you?

    I fail to see what the reporter's uncle did for a living has anything to do with anything.


    That's because it does indeed .... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:37:48 PM EST
    ... have absolutely nothing to do with anything. I just found it an interesting tidbit, that's all. For that matter, I'd similarly note that Anthony Scotto is also the father of Rosanna Scotto, former longtime WABC News reporter and current co-anchor of WNYW-TV's early morning program, "Good Day New York."

    Another interesting tidbit is that Anthony Scotto was also on President Jimmy Carter's short list in 1977 to become U.S. Secretary of Labor. Despite being initially fingered by Joe Valachi in 1964 for his ties to the Mob, he remained a respected and powerful figure in both New York politics and organized labor, and was known throughout the 1960s and '70s as the "King of the Brooklyn Waterfront."

    Scotto apparently once again became the target of federal investigators, thanks to a wiretap run on Gambino boss Paul Castellano, who was caught bragging to Thomas Gambino that the labor leader was in his hip pocket. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 1979 on 33 counts of bribery and racketeering, subsequently tried and convicted of all charges in November of that year, and sentenced to five years in prison, where he eventually served 39 months before his release in 1984.

    Scotto was reportedly later replaced as head of the Gambinos' labor rackets by new boss John Gotti in 1986, after Castellano was bumped off.



    Fairly meaningless guilty verdict (none / 0) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:22:50 PM EST
    Amanda Knox found guilty in retrial.

    Was Amanda Knox paying for America's (none / 0) (#118)
    by jondee on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:58:33 AM EST

    In Italy, in some quarters, they seemed to have drilled into the ground the theme of the entitled American who can go anywhere and do anything..

    There's still a tremendous amount of festering resentment in Italy over the Cold War machinations of the CIA in covertly meddling in Italian politics, and also over the overreaching foreign policy unilateralism of the Bush era. And why would anyone be surprised by that?

    This kind of thing is why Americans sometimes feel compelled to tell Europeans they're from Canada.


    Yes, in that region of Italy, a region I know (none / 0) (#130)
    by Towanda on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 07:09:28 PM EST
    there actually are a lot of pro-Communist officials, with that reason for anti-Americanism, too.  And the anti-Americanism can become palpable in resentment of the many students that flood the region, where locals take the money but turn in a minute.  I was there with a group of students, I saw the locals close rank.  The program, once annual, was cancelled as too risky to again take students to Umbria.

    I had no idea of the extent of U.S (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:55:22 AM EST
    covert meddling in Italy until I read a biography of former company director Richard Helms. The blowback from that history in the present is  that we all become, to some extent, Ugly Americans -- and as another side-effect, the Italian communists are perceived as righteous victims.

    Yep, and that region (none / 0) (#139)
    by Towanda on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 02:32:28 PM EST
    remains very communist today.  The village where we stayed is quite Communist and remembers what you read about.  Of course, memories are long there, where they still have issues with Rome, owing not only to WWII but also to things from thousands of years ago.  These all are standard discourse in the cafes (where the villagers live, many hours of the day).

    Cheerios brings back Gracie (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:45:52 PM EST
    for another Super Bowl commercial

    And it has already caused another stir.

    It still amazes me that in this day (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:57:25 PM EST
    and age this is considered controversial.
    "Gracie" is quite the cutie. Loved the facial expressions!

    Nothing against the kid... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by unitron on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:36:00 PM EST
    ...but for a moment I hoped that meant Gracie Allen.

    Never heard of her. (none / 0) (#14)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:51:52 PM EST
    Googled the name. She died a few years before I was born.

    Say goodnight Gracie! (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:13:46 PM EST
    Hope you look up some old Burns and Allen routines when you get a chance.

    Hey, on the Florida BBQ topic from the other day (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:56:21 PM EST
    If there is a Bubbaloos near Tampa, try it instead of Sonny's. I like both,nbut Bubbaloos is better.

    I was quite surprised to find Florida to be such a BBQ place. Better than Colorado in my experience. I used to think it was the best I had ...then I went to Austin, and OMG!


    She was married to George Burns, who ... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:33:59 PM EST
    ... served as her straight man in their routines. She was a very funny lady whose stage and television alter ego was a ditzy dame. But per her husband, in real life she was whip-smart with a tremendous memory capacity, and not only always knew her own lines and stage directions but also everyone else's, too.

    OMG! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:59:37 PM EST
    You are so young, my dear.
    Or maybe it's because I'm so old.     ;-)

    Ha! I wish! (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:35:42 PM EST
    You are so young, my dear.

    Middle-age has crept up on me, which makes absolutely no sense because I could have sworn I graduated from college just the other day... ;-)!

    Of course, when I am around my nieces I feel absolutely ancient. Texting, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, I don't partake in any of it. They are convinced AuntV is a dinosaur!


    Ok, I give up! (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:15:12 PM EST
    What is the stir? She seems perfectly cute to me.

    Her parents don't match . . . (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:29:16 PM EST
    You've got to be kidding me (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:43:08 PM EST
    Sad but true (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:58:07 PM EST
    this is the second commercial with the 'family'. The first one really raised a ruckus. Bunch of effed up people in this country.

    Heh, just a quick World News story about it on now. Apparently Cheerios sales rose after the first one :)

    The new commercial is cute, but I'm all about the Budweiser commercial again this year . .  :)


    Yes, can't beat horses and dogs in my book either (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:03:15 PM EST
    Re Cheerios, next year just for a laugh and to poke the idiots in the eye,not he dad should mix in some whole wheat and honey nut Cheerios in with the plain ones on the table.

    I'm surprised/happy I missed the whole  stir the first time around but I am convinced making fun of the bigots remains the best weapon.


    World News called it doubling down :) (none / 0) (#26)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:17:31 PM EST
    on Cheerios part.

    That Bud commercial was released yesterday and has over 19 mil views on youtube!


    I've contributed to a few of those views (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:27:35 PM EST
    since yesterday!

    Ha! So have I! (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:36:07 PM EST
    I think this AM they were at 5mil. And the nice part is, the puppies are from a rescue :)

    Budweiser Warm Springs Ranch (none / 0) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:00:08 PM EST
    is located near Boonville, MO about 2 1/2 hrs. from St. Louis.

    If you or anyone else plan to be in this area some time in the future, it is well worth a visit. $10 per person for tour. You have to plan ahead and make reservations which can be done on-line. Warm Springs Ranch


    Thanks for the tip, (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:33:21 AM EST
    and a cold beer at Warm Springs Ranch sounds even more enticing.  Happy new year, your thoughtful comments have been missed-- welcome back.

    There was a lot of controversy (none / 0) (#25)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:09:37 PM EST
    last year with the first Gracie commercial because {gasp!} the family was biracial.  There were so many disgustingly racist comments on the original commercial's YouTube that the company disabled the comments.
    Apparently, there are still way too many people living in the Nineteenth Century.

    I am very grateful for the fact that so far (none / 0) (#27)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:25:17 PM EST
    my nieces have not been subjected to those kinds of comments, specially since they live in the south.
    The only obnoxious thing so far has been strangers assuming they are adopted when they are out with their white blond haired mom.

    Maybe next year's Cheerios commercial will (none / 0) (#54)
    by Angel on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:06:41 AM EST
    include the new baby boy and a puppy.  :)

    Or a Gay Couple with... (none / 0) (#56)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:15:12 AM EST
    ...some transgender friends with some tattooed and thoroughly pierced neighbors popping in to get them some cereal..

    I like that Cheerios is saying FU to the idiot brigade, I would love for them to try and boycott the SB.  That would be hilarious.

    All commercials, even for conservative type products, should be more reflective of the actual people buying their products, not just the pretty 'traditional' types that populate my TV currently.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:22:34 AM EST
    MSNBC Lost Me... (none / 0) (#61)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:44:06 AM EST
    ...around the time Keith left, not because of it, but that to me seemed like when they changed and lost their progressive way.

    Now, Brian Williams is where I turn for my nightly news fix.


    MSNBC lost me (none / 0) (#62)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:49:34 AM EST
    When they started acting like 7th graders who actually thought they were the cool kids in class.

    I usually watch CNN in the morning for about a half hour while I get ready for work - just to get a skimming of the day's headlines and what to expect.  Then I read things online - WaPo, NYT, etc. as I can while at work.


    I rarely watch (none / 0) (#81)
    by Zorba on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 01:15:48 PM EST
    TV news.  Or any TV, for that matter.  
    For news, I listen to NPR radio and read them online.  Also the BBC.  Plus a few others.

    Me too (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 01:47:07 PM EST
    I rarely turn on the nightly news at all. Just can't stand the pomposity of it when they are giving next to nothing in terms of real information.

    Jbindc (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 03:50:11 PM EST
    asked me this question in another thread:
    Part of the reason she's tied is because she has the whole of the Democratic Party behind her, while the Republicans are still battling out before a primary - splitting their votes?

    Actually there are not 41% of the state that is self described democrats. I believe it's more like 30 -35%. What Nunn is picking up is moderate voters. Jack Kingston who was purported to be a strong statewide candidate has become a Broun clone in the primaries. As a matter of fact they all are becoming Broun clones if they weren't already. So the GOP senatorial primary is driving people away from the GOP. It has nothing to do with the GOP fighting or anything. There has been a split in the GOP forever in GA with the Atlanta Business community vs. the rest of GA. This time the Johnny Isakson wing apparently does not know what they are going to do and I'm telling you that some of them are going to go running over and donate to Michelle Nunn. Just watch.

    WTH is Obama thinking? (none / 0) (#31)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:03:18 PM EST
    Obama agrees to another interview with Bill O'Reilly on Superbowl Sunday.

    No idea why he would expect this time to be any more "fair and balanced" than 2011.


    Bill Isn't the Typical Fox... (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:39:57 AM EST
    ...interviewer, and IMO he will do a good job, because when all is said and done, Bill is a career man, not a Fox lifer.

    This could help him make the jump from Faux News to a respectable gig.  Plus, I am so tired of the softball throwing media that Obama normally sits down with, it will be interesting to see him question from a non-cheerleader.

    I have seen him off Fox, and while he is a conservative, he's not a fire breathing idiot.  He's no Kool-Aid drinking Sean inSannity.


    Couldn't disagree more (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 05:42:24 PM EST
    ... about O'Reilly.  Plus, if you look at my link, you can see how O'Reilly "interviewed" him last time in 2011.

    Someone obviously coached O'Reilly (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by jondee on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 03:30:38 PM EST
    at some point to exhibit primate territorial display behavior ie, sitting up ramrod straight, puffing himself up, shouting, and aggressively jabbing his finger, as a way to suggest to the knuckle-walking viewing audience that he was triumphing in whatever debate he was engaged in.

    If he represents the pinnacle of Fox Journalistic professionalism, that's just sad.


    Didn't O'Reilly start his career (none / 0) (#126)
    by jondee on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 03:37:27 PM EST
    doing reports on Bobby Brown having hot grease thrown on him by Whitney Houston and babies that were eaten by pet ferrets?

    Yeah, he does everything but throw his feces (none / 0) (#132)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:57:03 PM EST
    Maybe he'll bring his entire family ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:46:30 PM EST
    ... on the show, and they'll all dance to "F*** It!" by RevoLucian, followed by some techno-Barbra.



    I think I'd much prefer ... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:34:52 AM EST
    ... to watch that ...

    Things are not so great here in Illinois. (none / 0) (#38)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:52:24 PM EST
    My sister was admitted to the ICU on Saturday with respiratory problems and was put on a ventilator Tuesday. And there she remains. She has been spiking fevers for the past six weeks, her high last week was 106. And she now has pneumonia in both lungs.

    The hope is that with the ventilator doing the work of breathing she can rest, build up some strength, and her white blood cells, which were wiped out by her most recent round of chemo, will kick into high gear and reproduce and attack the infections.

    I am still hopeful, but a little less so every day. We knew there would be tough times. I mean, the chemo regimen for her cancer, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, is an eight month long process that includes one week each month of in-patient chemo. We just did not expect it to happen so soon. She just finished round 4 of 8 rounds.We thought the big problems might start after round 5 or 6. We were wrong.

    So, I spend my days watching my sister and peering at the monitors that register the important numbers and talking to her because the nurses say she can hear me even if she cannot respond.

    Waiting and watching.

    So sorry to hear your sister is in the ICU (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 12:19:45 AM EST
    and that she is encountering additional complications.

    Cancer is a crazy thing that can turn around on a dime so don't give up hope yet. Those white cells could kick in and do their job when you least expect them.

    Your sister is lucky that she has you there with her during these difficult times. I will continue to send positive thoughts your way. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sister.


    Oh no (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by sj on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 02:34:23 AM EST
    That is so scary. Sending prayers and blessings your way.

    Your sister is in my thoughts tonight. (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 02:51:19 AM EST
    You, too. You're such a good sister, and I pray that you'll continue to be strong for her and the rest of your family during this trying time. Take care, casey. Me ke aloha pumehana. (With all the warmth of our love.)

    Oh, casey, I am so sorry. (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:24:44 AM EST
    Reading this at 7:00 am, I am thinking of that lonely feeling of being at the bedside of someone you love so much, feeling so helpless, trying to summon the perfect level of will that turns things around, and my heart is breaking for you.

    Is there anyone else out there with you, someone who, when you think you just can't cope for one more second, can fold you into their arms and make you feel, for another hour or another day, that things will be okay?  Because it's so hard to do it all by yourself for extended periods of time.

    I don't know if our collective will, our thoughts and prayers, will make a difference, but for sure I'm adding mine and hoping for the best; I wish it could be more, that we could do more.

    Please keep us posted, and try to remember to take care of yourself, too.


    Sorry to hear that (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:36:18 AM EST
    So good you can be with her, though.

    I am so sorry (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:01:25 AM EST
    Casey. Prayers for you and your family.

    So sorry (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:27:07 AM EST
    Lots of hugs and thoughts coming your way.

    Our hearts go out to you Cap'n... (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:16:42 AM EST
    the strength of you and your sister as she fights to live is an inspiration to us all.

    Don't give up hope...we're all hoping right there with you.  

    Love ya kid, hang in there rolling with the punches.


    Thinking of your sister and the entire family. (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Angel on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:04:45 AM EST
    So sorry to hear this Casey. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by vml68 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:27:32 AM EST
    Your sister and you are in my thoughts.

    Casey, (none / 0) (#74)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:37:04 AM EST
    Remain hopeful, it is a rough course.  All good thoughts to you.

    Ouch. Thoughts and prayers, Casey. (none / 0) (#76)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:55:10 AM EST
    So very, very sorry, casey (none / 0) (#79)
    by Zorba on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:53:32 AM EST
    Sending healing thoughts and prayers to your sister, and to you and the whole family, as well.
    You're a wonderful sister, but I know how hard this must be for you.   {{Hugs}}

    So very sorry (none / 0) (#83)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 01:48:21 PM EST
    Wishing to best to you and your family.

    Let us hope... (none / 0) (#94)
    by unitron on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 07:39:55 PM EST
    ...that the fever is a sign of her body putting up a strong fight.

    These are tough times indeed. (none / 0) (#105)
    by desertswine on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:18:57 PM EST
    Think of all the good times and blessings to you.

    Thank you all for your kind words, (none / 0) (#135)
    by caseyOR on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:40:06 AM EST
    your thoughts and your prayers.

    It is not looking good for my sister. She was taken off all the sedating drugs yesterday, but, as of this morning, is still unconscious.  Not a good sign, but the doctors and nurses tell me that people in as bad a shape do recover. So, she still has a fighting chance.

    This is by far the hardest, most painful thing I have ever experienced. Divorce was not this bad. And to hear the sorrow in the voice of my 85 year old mother as she contemplates the possibility that, at her advanced age, she still might outlive one of her children is, well, it is sad, just so sad.

    Once again, thank you, all of you, for holding me and my sister so close.


    Still thinking of you (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by sj on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 05:26:01 PM EST
    and your sister and wanted you to know that.

    Still thinking of you and your family (none / 0) (#141)
    by vml68 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 07:57:29 PM EST
    and hoping you soon have better news to share.

    New York resident Alex Sverdlov ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:21:17 AM EST
    ... can consider himself one very lucky dude, thanks to the persistence of some rangers at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

    Sverdlov had decided on Sunday to hike by himself to the summit of Mauna Loa (elev. 13,677 ft.), but had failed to note that there had been a winter advisory issued this past weekend for the island's mountains by the National Weather Service, effective for the week. He got caught in a whiteout on his descent Tuesday, and was soon unable to advance due to the very heavy snowfall, which proved too deep to traverse.

    Stranded in place, he hunkered down as best he could. Fortunately he had registered for a permit and had signed in at the trailhead before starting up the slope, so the park rangers knew he was up there somewhere, and began searching for him. They finally found and rescued him this morning, after he'd been stuck for two days. He was lucky he didn't freeze to death.

    Here's what a snow-capped Mauna Loa looks like from Kohala, some 50 miles to the north. By volume and bulk, it is the single biggest mountain on earth, and by surface area, it's nearly three times the size of Oahu. Its 13,677 ft. elevation is from sea level. If measured from its actual base on the ocean floor, Mauna Loa is over 30,000 feet tall.


    Funny, you don't think snow, (none / 0) (#106)
    by desertswine on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:21:37 PM EST
    when you think Hawaii.

    No, most people do not. (none / 0) (#131)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:06:21 PM EST
    Then again, the Big Island is one of the few places on earth where you can stand at sea level in Hilo, look toward Mauna Kea on a clear day, and literally see all of the planet's climate zones at once, from tropical rain forest to alpine.

    And I think it's safe to say that Mr. Sverdlov will likely be associating the two for some time to come.



    An edited AXE LENGTH AWAY comic (none / 0) (#51)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:39:30 AM EST
    Volume 262 sucked beyond measure. So I have rewritten it. And here we go...

    When a political party pickles its own brain. (link)

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 264 (none / 0) (#52)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:04:06 AM EST
    Next thing you know, Saks Fifth Avenue will be calling themselves a soup kitchen. (link)

    v. 263

    Have a great Friday, my fellow humans. Time to get sonny boy out the door for his zero-period jazz band rehearsal. Always a fun task. Oy.

    Remeber the Boy Scout leaders who toppled (none / 0) (#58)
    by Angel on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:28:59 AM EST
    I Wonder What the Charges Will Be (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:09:21 AM EST
    Beyond that, what are the requirements to be a BS leader beyond being straight ?  I mean seriously, they didn't know what they did was wrong, that is like saying they didn't know the Grand Canyon wasn't a cool place to toss trash.

    They should just own up to being idiots, bite the bullet and stop making the Boy Scouts look like the Dukes of Hazard.


    What's more awkward (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:21:05 AM EST
    Is that at the time of the rock pushing, one of the Scout masters had filed a personal injury lawsuit over a 2009 car carsh where he claimed he was 'debilitated' with "great pain and suffering, disability, impairment, loss of joy of life."



    Well He Could Certainly Argue... (none / 0) (#70)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:29:13 AM EST
    ...he isn't enjoying life these days, but then he would have to sue himself...



    There is a primal urge, I think, (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:45:52 AM EST
    in most of us, that knocking stuff down puts a grin on our faces.

    We took down a patio cover a couple years ago, and my wife had the time of her life knocking the supports down with a sledgehammer.

    When we go hiking with the kids, if they see a stone on a slope, they instinctively want to roll it down.

    However, these two. Wadda buncha maroons.


    Idiocy as a lifestyle choice. (none / 0) (#100)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:55:05 PM EST
    Especially (none / 0) (#109)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 07:29:51 AM EST
    as these were Boy Scout leaders - the Boy Scouts having as their original mission to survive and appreciate nature.

    What a couple a maroons.


    Not to mention ... (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Yman on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 08:01:37 AM EST
    ... that the basic principle drilled into scouts (although not always followed) is to "leave no trace".  Basically, leave everything as it is when/where you found it.

    Lyric of the Decade (none / 0) (#68)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:26:39 AM EST
    another great lyric from the same song (none / 0) (#71)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:31:30 AM EST
    I guess you all wonder why I called this meeting
    Paycheck cut can't stop the bleeding
    Sharks are feeding, we ain't eating
    No more pleading, time for stampeding

    Help! (none / 0) (#97)
    by prittfumes on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:44:04 PM EST
    Hello, All. Long time no see.

    Anybody know a good ad/popup blocker? The last few days, I've had an avalanche of c*ap popping up, overlaying, etc..... ....on sites I've never had problems on before. I've looked at some stuff but am concerned that the "solution" might turn out to be a new problem.

    I have Norton One and no matter how many scans, "cleanings", "restore to an earlier version" I do, the problem persists.


    Install a Google toolbar on your browser. (none / 0) (#101)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:57:42 PM EST
    That has an effective pop-up blocker. It's certainly done a good job for me.

    Good luck.


    Thanks a Gazillion. (none / 0) (#107)
    by prittfumes on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 10:48:38 PM EST
    I'll try it.

    Buy an Apple computer (none / 0) (#112)
    by fishcamp on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 08:49:21 AM EST
    and all the popups go away.

    That's true. (none / 0) (#133)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:23:51 AM EST
    But then, he'd be stuck with an Apple computer.



    Trust me, there are way worse (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by nycstray on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:48:31 PM EST
    things in life . . . like a PC ;)

    Canada's spying on you (none / 0) (#110)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 07:35:22 AM EST
    Dudley Do-Right is now a wiretapper.

    Canada's electronic spy agency snooped on travelers who used free airport Wi-Fi--and tracked them long after they left, according to newly released files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    And while our northern neighbors squabble over the legality of Communications Security Establishment Canada's data-collection program, it could have bigger ramifications in the U.S. The Snowden document shows the tracking was launched with the help of the National Security Agency, part of a trial run for a new software program. CBC reports the technology has become fully operational since the 2012 test.

    Experts say the spying is illegal under Canadian law, which prohibits spy agencies from targeting Canadian citizens--or anyone in Canada--without a warrant. CSEC denied it collected content from people's phones, but defended its tracing of metadata--which can be used to track location and see all incoming and outgoing calls.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 265 (none / 0) (#120)
    by Dadler on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 10:32:11 AM EST
    No pain, no stink. (link)

    v. 264
    v. 263

    Have a great Saturday, my good peeps. I shall be writing my ace off, as I will be for the next week or so as I finish a big project.

    Good vibes to Lady K. Peace out.