Happy New Years Eve Open Thread

A very Happy New Year to all. I wish you all a year filled with joy, good health, inner peace and success at whatever personal journeys you embark on.

And may we all survive another year of the Carnival Barker-in-Chief who is standing by the entrance of the roller coaster ride, hawking half-price tickets while promising us the ride of our lives. We have all been forced to enter and take a seat. As the rocky and erratic ride begins, we know all too well there will be no getting off for at least another year. [More...]

I am ignoring the carnival barker and determined to focus on welcoming the new year. Tonight I'm making a big pot of split pea soup with smoked ham hocks and re-watching last night's episode of "Señor de los Cielos", which is at the tail end of its seventh and final season.

If, like me, you are staying in and cooking, or watching TV, I hope you share your menu and what you are watching.

I'd also like to thank all of you for continuing to visit and read TalkLeft, despite my sporadic blogging the past few months -- especially those of you who comment and share your thoughts. Your continued support is very much appeciated. And despite my blogging break the last ten days or so, rest assured I'm not going anywhere in 2020, and either is TalkLeft.

Happy New Year to all, and may all your New Year's wishes come true

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    happy new year to you, J, and all (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by leap on Tue Dec 31, 2019 at 09:57:56 PM EST
    ...I'm not going anywhere, and either is TalkLeft. And we are thankful for that!

    Not cooking tonight, but tomorrow I'm making my health-waffles, which consist of the following ingrediments:
    whole wheat flour, half-a-dozen eggs, at least a half-gallon of milk, baking powder, vanilla, fresh roasted and chopped hazelnuts (from my trees), dehydrated raspberries (from my thicket), couple packages fo Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, olive oil, lemon zest. They're the best! And good for you! And boy howdy, does the house smell wonderful. I make a huge batch and freeze most of them. Pop them in the toaster-oven whenever, and they're as good as fresh.

    Omgish, thiose sound amazing (none / 0) (#32)
    by Towanda on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 04:28:46 PM EST
    with so many of my favorite things.

    I am trying to imagine hazelnuts from a tree, not in a brandy alexander.k


    Happy New Year, Jeralyn. Hope (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 31, 2019 at 11:54:53 PM EST
    you've recovered

    You're Not Going Nowhere (none / 0) (#16)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 05:48:07 PM EST
    A terrific song, in a fine performance. "Oh, whee, are we gonna fly, down in the easy chair." Dylan's parody of his own song, which appears ironically on a "Greatest Hits" album (or the Basement Tapes), with banjo and mouth harp, is also very funny. "Genghis Kahn, and his brother Don, could not keep on keepin' on ..."

    Happy New Year.. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 12:48:46 AM EST
    "Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
    Whispering 'it will be happier'..."

    ― Alfred Lord Tennyson

    Happy New Year, everyone, ... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 03:35:27 AM EST
    ... from the last time zone on planet Earth to mark the change. We sitting on the shores of Hilo Bay awaiting the midnight fireworks show at the Hilton Grand Naniloa Hotel.

    Things got pretty weird on New Years Eve (none / 0) (#19)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 08:03:33 PM EST
    around where my wife grew up. Tumbleweed highway emergency! This is not a problem we have in suburban Philadelphia, in case you were wondering.

    yikes! (none / 0) (#20)
    by leap on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 10:18:07 PM EST
    That actually would be quite frightening, being buried under 30 feet of Russian thistle. That's some nasty weed. Maybe Hanford should start trying to eradicate it. It's also a terrible fire hazard. When I was working on an archaeological survey on the Yakima Firing Range (not too far from Hanford), we were always wary and nervous when crossing some of the deep dry stream channels that cut down through the hills. They were filled with Russian thistle tumbles, `way over my head, maybe 10-12 feet deep. For a claustrophobe (such as I), wading down into those arroyos was terrifying. Also, rattle snakes you couldn't see. Rocks and other tripping hazards you couldn't see. Ooooph. My heart is pounding just remembering that.

    I saw video (none / 0) (#33)
    by Towanda on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 04:30:22 PM EST
    of cars vuried in tumbleweed, all interlocked and not easy to  disentangle.

    Happy new year (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 07:39:06 AM EST
    Black eyed peas

    And pot roast

    And thank you J (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 10:16:23 AM EST
    For providing and maintaining TalkLeft

    Extra happy (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 07:53:08 AM EST
    False alarm, sadly (none / 0) (#17)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 07:34:00 PM EST
    Just the usual down-to-the wire hardball negotiations.

    Great tv today (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 10:22:50 AM EST
    But it's the SiFi Twilight Zone marathon.  On delay .  No commercials

    My wife's Kentucky family (none / 0) (#9)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 11:26:16 AM EST
    also does black-eyed peas for New Year's morning. We enjoyed dinner last night at a friend's house with a group of about 12. Vegetarian lasagna, tossed salad, two fresh breads (an Italian semolina and a challah).  Higher-end rye and bourbon, wine, champagne. Apple cobbler with choices of four ice creams for dessert. Done by 10 pm.  Then home for jazz on NPR until after midnight, along with 1969 performances of Monty Python on TV. Slept until 10 am this morning. Now Philadelphia's traditional (and not-so-traditional) Mummers Parade on TV. Brunch at another couple of friends' house - mostly local progressive Dem activists - coming up soon.

    Peter (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 12:34:57 PM EST
    you seem to have such a wonderful circle of friends. And your meals always sound so joyful.

    Easy to forget (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 11:52:18 AM EST
    Apart from the iconic band and the New Years thing

    black eyed peas are really really good


    We went for a South Carolina version (none / 0) (#18)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 07:47:08 PM EST
    of Hoppin' John tonight. It was quite good. Unfortunately, none of our four local grocery stores carries ham hocks anymore, so we had to substitute cutting up a ham slice. The least pretentious of the stores used to carry them, but it seems management is sacrificing their African-American oriented specialty items for more Asian and Central American items, in light of current immigration trends. Capitalism: Know your customer!

    Happy New Year to All. (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 04:13:18 PM EST
    Thank you Jeralyn for hosting this great blog.  I am honored to be associated with it and the all those who people it.  

    Happy New Year (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Steve13209 on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 07:41:53 AM EST
    Thanks, Jeralyn and commenters, for your wonderful blog. Here's hoping 2020 is a game-changing year!

    The New York Times stepped in it again. (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 01:59:16 PM EST
    "If Stephens and his editors want to insist he was merely misunderstood, they do so at their own peril. As writer Paul Fussell observed long ago, when a writer is as widely 'misunderstood' as Stephens claims he was, it's almost always the writer's fault."
    - Jack Shafer, "Bret Stephens and the Perils of the Tapped-Out Column," Politico (December 30, 2019)

    If it wasn't bad enough that columnist Bret Stephens wrote a problematic op-ed touting the superior intellectual prowess of Ashkenazi Jews, he compounded his error by citing as a credible source for his musings the late white-wing crackpot eugenicist Henry Harpending, who once opined publicly that the reason people of African descent are inferior to Europeans and Asians is because they are incapable of having and enjoying hobbies.

    Not surprisingly, Stephens' column blew up the internet, and left his bosses at the New York Times once again scrambling in damage control mode. It's funny how in all the years he's helmed that paper, executive editor Dean Baquet has never learned that it's always better to first review and edit your employees' work BEFORE its approval for publication, rather than have to subsequently amend it while simultaneously offering a disclaimer.

    Then Baquet made a bigger mess by appearing on NBC's Meet the Press this past Sunday with the Washington Post's Marty Baron, and telling the host and the audience that "Trump voters are owed our respect."

    Excuse me, but are racists and xenophobes owed our respect? Are misogynists? How about those who openly traffic in ignorance and roundly reject science, history and facts? Those who embrace our enemies? Those who attack and undermine the rule of law?

    The answers to those questions are, of course, "No!"; "Hell, no!"; "F*ck, no!"; "You're kidding, right?" and "You can't be f*cking serious!" Responsible and diligent journalists in particular owe their allegiance and respect solely to the truth. Period. To do anything otherwise is to pander.

    More to the point, what sort of respect does NBC's Chuck Todd and NYT's Dean Baquet show the rest of us -- you know, the 54% of Americans who DIDN'T vote for Donald Trump -- when in the name of "Balance," they repeatedly provide an uncritical forum to those Republicans who constantly ridicule our values and persistently denounce us as un-American, and then nod like bobblehead dolls at their falsehoods?

    As any Journalism 101 professor will teach his or her students, if one person tells you it's raining outside while the other is insisting that it's a beautiful and sunny day, your job is to not quote them both without question. Rather, you instead look out the window, determine the truth for yourself, and then you report accordingly.

    Okay, that's my rant for the day. It's time to get back to work. Aloha.

    THis made me laugh (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 02:45:56 PM EST

     Noah Rothman is the Bret Stephens of Chris Cillizzas. Please don't put him on @Morning_Joe.#MorningJoe

    6:47 AM - Jan 2, 2020

    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 03:18:21 PM EST
    Bret Stephens is an ignoramus's vision of an intellectual.

    And given his penchant for trafficking in unsubstantiated political gossip, Chris Cillizza is the Rona Barrett of the Beltway press corps.

    So, if Noah Rothman is the Bret Stephens of Chris Cillizzas, doesn't that also make him the Rona Barrett of intellectuals?

    (Sigh!) You know, sometimes these things get really complicated.


    Well, it is probably (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 03:30:08 PM EST
    unfair to expect a professional writer to know what he has written.  But, Bret does know what David Karpf means when he.writes.

    This past summer, Karpf, an obscure George Washington University professor, made an unkind joke on Twitter about Bret comparing him to a metaphorical "bedbug".  Bret took such umbrage that he emailed a complaint to the professor, copying the University provost, apparently, hoping to get the professor fired or otherwise in trouble.

    Of course, as it happens, Stephens is a free speech champion.  While still writing for the arch-conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page, prior to being scooped up by the NYT,  Bret wrote, "the right to offend is the most precious right.  Without it, free speech is meaningless".  

    The professor says bedbug, I say snowflake.


    Please pray for wonderful Australia (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Towanda on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 04:44:30 PM EST
    where some of our family there had to evacuate on vacation on the coast, We still await word that they got through the long gas lines and stocked up with the long grocery store lines to get on the road, with several small children. The seven-hour drive there may, with traffic slowed by smoke, take two days.

    At least they could drive away. Thousands had to flee to the beaches, with the largest coastal since Dunkirk still underway.

    And they head home to the small town near Melbourne where they and our daughter-in-law's parents had to evacuate last year, with the worst wildfire less than a mile away. The photos from their backyard were terrifying.

    This year, sooner than usual -- owing to climate change affecting winds, and after years of drought -- Australia already has lost dozens of dead or missing people, millions of koalas and other wildlife that we so loved there, with millions of acres burned, destroying a lot of eucalyptus that koalas need.

    And the worst weather still is ahead, this weekend, hotter than ever in a year of record heat already. And it's still early in the season.

    Now we can only hope that our daughter-in-law's parents can keep to their plan to head here in six weeks to greet their -- and our -- newest grandchild . . . which will be a dual citizen!

    Three toddlers, four parents are safe (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by Towanda on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 04:58:40 PM EST
    after a grueling and worrisome trek home that usually tkes seven hours but took two days.  Their homes, though, as well as our daugheter-in-law's parents and lively childhood home are east of Melbourne and closer by the hour to wildfires.

    And the hour is nit even noon yet there on this day that is expected to be the hottest and driest and windiest and worst yet. Wildfires now are so massive, the size of West Virginia, that they are creating their own weather microsystems, with carbon dioxide trapping heat, and lightning leaping miles ahead. For the first time, there is no cooling at night, with no rest for residents and firefighters and billions of animals. Half a billion have been lost, and the army is helping to bury animals.

    At least our family there is together again. Families on the coast are separated, sending children away on navy ships while parents stay to fight fires.  Pray for Australia,


    So bad (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 05:02:40 PM EST
    I was reading about the effects on wildlife.  Some species may be made extinct.

    look at these side-by-side maps: (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by leap on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 06:34:46 PM EST
    one a map where the fires are burning in Australia; the other with the outline of Australia superimposed on a map of most of Europe. Gives one an idea of the scale of what an enormous disaster those fires are. But hey, as the twitterer noted, Notre Dame burned!

    Cannot find link now but saw (none / 0) (#94)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 05, 2020 at 09:55:54 AM EST
    a satellite view of Australia as of yesterday that us stunning, as it shows the enormity of the fires, a continent on fire, in raging red against the serenity of blue ocean and white smoke miles into space. The extent of the fires, of the loss, is beyond our ken.

    Funny how this assasination.. (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by desertswine on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 01:06:51 PM EST
    is ordered just after the release by JustSecurity.org of unredacted emails on the Ukraine scandal showing that Trump personally (and illegally) withheld congressionally mandated military aid to an ally.

    If Chris Cillizza was a board game (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 01:17:15 PM EST
    Lev (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 07:40:24 PM EST
    Update: "SPLAT!!" (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 06:55:44 PM EST
    "No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up."
    - Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" (1985)

    Thanks to Lev's document dump, we now know that, among other things, Rudy Giuliani wrote a letter on May 10, 2019 to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky:

    "In my capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent, I request a meeting with you on this coming Monday, May 13th or Tuesday, May 14th. I will need no more than a half hour of your time and I will be accompanied by my colleague Victoria Toensing, a distinguished American attorney who is very familiar with this matter."

    Trump has previously claimed that Giuliani was acting on his own. Rudy clearly insists here to Zelensky that he's representing Trump the private citizen and not Trump the president. As for Victoria, why is she still appearing on Fox News as a legal analyst?

    America is in the clutches of Fredo Corleone, Sal Tessio and Moe Green.


    It gets better. (none / 0) (#161)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 07:49:24 PM EST
    Rachel Maddow has snagged an exclusive interview with Lev Parnas, in which he's now implicated both Bill Barr and Devin Nunes.

    It was quite an interview (none / 0) (#164)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 16, 2020 at 06:51:43 AM EST
    More will be shown tonight.  She said they were furiously digging through the dumped documents, another last night maybe more today, to ask the right questions

    Lev will also be on Anderson Cooper tonight.

    Devin Nunes was spinning wildly last night on FOX trying to revise and extend his previous comments about not knowing Lev.

    Turns out Lev is more articulate than he looks.

    Hopefully this will finally get the whiners to STFU and admit Nancy holding onto the articles was brilliant.


    If you have not seen it (none / 0) (#165)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 16, 2020 at 06:55:18 AM EST
    He named names.  Barr, Pompeo, Pence, Nunes, McCarthy and on and on.

    This was essentially the whole Republican Party leadership.

    And he has receipts


    Yes, a great (none / 0) (#166)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jan 16, 2020 at 08:28:19 AM EST
    Interview.  Some of the TV lawyers are reminding that Lev and his receipts need to be corroborated.  However, in greatest measure, Lev is corroborating existing testimony and evidence, including that of Trump.  In Trump's perfect July 25 call summary, he tells Zelensky to contact Rudy and AG Barr.  

     Lev's story on Rob Hyde just being an old drunk and just joking about doing- in the American Ambassador was too self-serving, although his data dump and media interviews seem to be his "life insurance  policy" and jail house suicide avoidance program.


    The Government Accountability Office (none / 0) (#167)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 16, 2020 at 08:44:05 AM EST
    Just now released a statement saying it was in fact illegal to withhold the Ukraine aid.

    That seems important.


    TPM (none / 0) (#168)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 16, 2020 at 08:51:07 AM EST
    Once (none / 0) (#169)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jan 16, 2020 at 09:18:29 AM EST
    again showing that the "lazy" House Democrats didn't do their jobs so it must be dismissed. So sayeth Susan Collins any minute now.

    I'm troubled (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jan 16, 2020 at 10:52:27 AM EST
    by Susan's idiocy.

    No sayeth Susan Collins. (none / 0) (#171)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2020 at 01:22:17 PM EST
    "They were in such a hurry that they didn't get all this information? What the heck, OK? So let's focus on the record. They obviously felt they had enough information to impeach the president with what they had. Let's take a look at what they had."

    Verily, that task hath fallen upon the fair Maid Joni Ernst of the White Duchy of Iowa.



    You think it's bad now? (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by desertswine on Sat Jan 04, 2020 at 11:19:24 AM EST
    Then you need to relive the Top Ten Obama Scandals --  horrifying!  How did we ever live through that?  Shocking.

    Rant alert (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jan 04, 2020 at 11:24:59 AM EST
    Enough with these sites that list themselves as "recipes" and when you click the link you end up scrolling for ten minutes past there life history, how they decided to "blog", who their major influences were and that their freakin husband won't eat string beans.


    I have a new policy.  If I don't see an actual recipe with one upward swipe, I'm gone.

    Appreciate any sites that have actual recipes without the BS.  I like Allrecipes

    End rant.

    Ot the ones (none / 0) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jan 04, 2020 at 05:19:58 PM EST
    that have to show you every step along with some story. The Pioneer Woman is one of the worst for that kind of thing. All Recipes is good and I also have gotten good recipes off of Cooks.com

    We are having some (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 10, 2020 at 10:25:59 PM EST
    Freakyass weather.  Right now and a quarter to 11pm on Jan 10th it's almost 70 degrees.  We are in the middle of a summer storm.   A pretty serious one.  Nothing like a little farther south but bad enough both dogs are IN bed.  They don't usually get to do that.

    With hail on a metal roof I kind of like them here.

    It rained (none / 0) (#112)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jan 11, 2020 at 10:02:42 AM EST
    Like really rained for about 10 hours last night.

    there is one of these on each side of our town center

    I didn't cross

    and our "decorative" town center waterfall is looking kind of aggressive

    This is not unusual.  For spring. Our local river has not reached peak flood yet.  More rain and/or snow is coming later today.
    Maybe more later.  I'm on a big hill.  No worries.

     It's supposed to snow later.  Whatthehell
    Let it snow I got what I need.


    The weather outside is frightful.. (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by desertswine on Sat Jan 11, 2020 at 04:06:24 PM EST
    But the fire is so delightful.

    Just saw 1917 (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jan 12, 2020 at 03:19:15 PM EST
    It really is something.  The guy should get a oscar just for being able to pull it off without ever for a second seeming like a gimmick.

    Great fun for me because most of the best work I did on movies was exactly the kind of stuff is showcased in 1917.

    That is the invisible kind.  The kind where if you do your job no one should ever know you did a thing.  It can be a little thankless with civilians but industry people always get it.

    Great movie.  You should totally see it even if it was not done in one continuous shot.

    I still think it's probably (none / 0) (#119)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jan 12, 2020 at 03:20:36 PM EST
    OUATIHW for the best picture gold.  

    If ya care about (none / 0) (#123)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 09:47:07 AM EST
    MOVIES you should see it on a big screen.  Definitely this one.  

    Roger Deakins did the cinematography. (none / 0) (#128)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 01:48:29 PM EST
    CaptHowdy: "The guy should get a oscar just for being able to pull it off without ever for a second seeming like a gimmick."

    Deakins, of course, is considered by his peers to be one of the very best in the business. He received a well-deserved Oscar nomination for the 2012 James Bond thriller "Skyfall," which many critics consider to be the best of the 007 sub-genre, and finally snagged the Oscar for his exceptional work in "Clade Runner 2049."

    Deakins also served as cinematographer for the 007 film "Spectre," which opened with that spectacular tracking shot of the "Day of the Dead" festival in Mexico City and the accompanying 007-releated chaos which ensues. Coincidentally, "Skyfall" and "Spectre" were also directed by Sam Mendes. And this morning, both Deakins and Mendes received Oscar nominations for their respective work in "1917."



    Ooops. "Blade Runner 2049." (none / 0) (#129)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 01:50:13 PM EST
    That film was beautifully shot, even if it was also excruciatingly long.

    I've been watching The Mandalorian (none / 0) (#12)
    by McBain on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 12:35:01 PM EST
    Even though it's a TV show, it's the best Star Wars since Return of the Jedi.  You have to get Disney Plus to see it, which is OK because I've also been watching some of the old classic Disney films like Bambi and Snow White.  Haven't seen those in several decades.  

    On Netflix, I'm finishing up the third season of The Crown and trying to get into The Witcher.  

    Happy New Year

    I did not (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 12:39:02 PM EST
    cook anything special for New Year's Eve but New Year's Day we always have cornbread, collards and black eyed peas. This year I bought the ham hock at Sprouts and apparently they don't do the salty ones that are everywhere else. So black eyed peas needed a little livening up.

    Thank you so much Jeralyn for providing a wonderful blog that has created a community. I hope you are healing well or are completely healed by now.

    Go Ducks... (none / 0) (#14)
    by fishcamp on Wed Jan 01, 2020 at 03:17:50 PM EST
    I see Wisconsin is favored by 2.5 points, but that just won't happen!!!

    And it didn't. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 12:37:45 PM EST
    I thought the Badgers actually did a pretty good job containing the Ducks' high-octane offense after the game's opening drive. But as is more often than not in football, four Wisconsin turnovers led to 21 Oregon points and decided the outcome. The Badgers' carelessness proved their undoing.

    And in a shameless plug for my old hometown, there are few settings in the country more picturesque for a big football game than Pasadena's Rose Bowl stadium, and yesterday's gorgeous weather certainly didn't disappoint.

    The Tournament of Roses Parade earlier that morning wasn't too shabby, either. With this year's theme celebrating America's diversity, it turned into a shameless lovefest for its Grand Marshal, legendary entertainer Rita Moreno. For 5.5 miles along Orange Grove Ave., Colorado Blvd. and Sierra Madre Blvd., everyone rose to give her a standing ovation as her car passed by. She looked like she was having a great time.



    Ugh, too many turnivers (none / 0) (#34)
    by Towanda on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 04:31:50 PM EST
    sent me away from teevee even before the debacle ended.

    Once in a lifetime... (none / 0) (#23)
    by desertswine on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 01:28:04 PM EST
    if the gods look favorably upon you, you can catch lightning in a bottle.

    Don Larsen passes away at 90.

    Once Upon a Time.. (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 02:57:04 PM EST
    In Hollywood.

    I finally saw this.  Not the biggest Tarantino fan but a movie about a movie about Sharon Tate in Aug 1969 that leaves you smiling is pretty special.

    I hope he does the Star Trek movie.

    We saw Greta Gerwig's 'Little Women.' (none / 0) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 03:34:35 PM EST
    I'll admit that I really wasn't all that keen to see it, considering the umpteen times that Louisa May Alcott's 19th century American classic has been adapted and re-adapted for the big and small screens. But my mother and wife insisted otherwise, and so I tagged along and I'm glad I did. An updated and more contemporary script, and a first-class cast led by Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep, all combine to make director Gerwig's take a most refreshing one and dare I say, an Oscar contender?

    Anyway, I highly recommend it.


    Little Women was great (none / 0) (#98)
    by CST on Mon Jan 06, 2020 at 09:21:16 PM EST
    I wasn't really sure what to expect and probably wouldn't have seen it in the theater without the rave reviews, but it was very well done and managed to be funny and moving and somehow new.

    Plus it was all shot in Mass which they made look very pretty.


    ... this morning when they announced the Academy Award nominations. Unfortunately, the Academy once again overlooked its female director, Greta Gerwig. Lest she feel left out, voters also ignored Lulu Wang, who directed the critically acclaimed "The Farewell."

    But then, overlooking female directors seems to be a recurrent theme with Academy members, not unlike their penchant for generally ignoring performances by actors of color. The only one of this year's 20 acting nominees who's also a person of color is Cynthia Erivo, who snagged a Best Actress nod for the title role in "Harriet."

    Clearly snubbed by the Academy were Oscar-worthy performances by Awkwafina for "The Farewell" (even as she snagged a Best Actress award at the Golden Globes), Jennifer Lopez for "Hustlers," Lupita Nyong'o for "Us," Jamie Foxx for "Just Mercy" and Eddie Murphy for "Dolemite Is My Name."

    To understand my point, contrast each one of those amazing and gritty performances with the decision by Academy voters to reward Kathy Bates with a Supporting Actress nod for being the best thing about Clint Eastwood's retrograde and pedestrian film "Richard Jewell," in which she played the title character's feisty mother. Now, I'm not implying that Ms. Bates didn't do good work here, because she most certainly did.

    But honestly, if you're a Hollywood director and you're looking to cast the part of the feisty lady, then Kathy Bates is your go-to gal because if you've followed her career on the big and small screens over the past 30 years, then you obviously know that she's played variations of this role so often that she could probably do it in her sleep. It was a very competent performance by a veteran character actor, but otherwise really nothing special.



    Thanks for (none / 0) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 03:44:45 PM EST
    the review,  on my list.  Watched "The Irishman". A masterpiece of storytelling and of film-making.  I recall comments suggesting that the movie was about 30 minutes too long and would have benefited from better editing.  But, I felt that all the time was necessary to rounding out and winding down the story.

    Electoral College Map: A Template for 2020 (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 03:15:59 PM EST
    Larry Sabato

    -- In 2016, Hillary Clinton would have needed to flip 38 additional Electoral College votes to reach 270[1], thereby winning a majority in the Electoral College.

    -- Using 2016 presidential election results, we can map out the different paths that Clinton had to winning 270 electoral votes. These routes -- and how far Clinton was from winning them -- give us a template for how presidential candidates might plan their strategies for this November's election.

    -- Flipping Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin is likely Democrats' best chance at winning back the presidency. But last election's results reveal other paths to 270 for Democrats (like Florida and Arizona) that were competitive in 2016 and could be decisive this November


    I hate (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 05:52:52 PM EST
    this stinking primary more every day? Are we going to be reduced to having to choose between two octogenarians? We sound like the GOP with the two elderly white guys leading the race. I hope I don't have to vote for Biden. Please don't make me vote for him. Please let me have another candidate to choose against Bernie.

    I hear you, sister (none / 0) (#39)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 07:51:46 PM EST
    What might help at least a bit would be one national primary voting day.
    Although, what would help even more would be publicly funded elections.

    What about Amy Klobouchar? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Peter G on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 07:57:44 PM EST
    She seems to be hanging in there, smart, personable, unflappable and unafraid. Not the progressive I would prefer, but seemingly no Biden.

    Yes, I would (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 06:28:27 AM EST
    be happy to vote for Klobuchar if she's still in the race on Super Tuesday. My fear is that by the time it gets to GA that it is only going to be Biden and Bernie.

    I would take Klobouchar (none / 0) (#88)
    by Chuck0 on Sat Jan 04, 2020 at 07:50:15 PM EST
    over Bernie or Joe.

    But here's my question. We know orange jesus has no low. Whomever is the Democratic nominee, he will insult them, he will demean them, he will insult their families, he will call them some kind of demeaning nickname. He will attempt to accuse family members of some kind of scandalous behavior. How will her "aww shucks", midwestern mom schtick stand up to that? How will she respond?


    She is a former prosecutor (none / 0) (#89)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jan 04, 2020 at 09:26:44 PM EST
    Who has a rep for being a bit of a b!tch. Certainly a plus in dealing with Cheeto.   I think she might do better than you think.

    Meant this as a compliment (none / 0) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jan 05, 2020 at 06:54:10 AM EST

    Though others have not been happy with the (almost certainly IMO) planted rumors about her.


    Her rep (none / 0) (#97)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jan 05, 2020 at 05:29:15 PM EST
    as being tough made me like her more. We certainly don't need anymore kumbaya with the GOP and the fact that she has a background as a prosecutor is a big plus with me since she will basically be going up against a criminal enterprise.

    War with Iran. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 09:35:54 PM EST
    Is now realistically on the horizon. US airstrike in Baghdad has killed Quds force commander Qassem Soleimani is a big deal in Iran. Iran will not roll over on this. There will be repercussions. I would cancel any international travel.

    Whether or not this escalates, and how, ... (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 12:49:17 AM EST
    ... is entirely up to Iran. A refusal by Teheran to be drawn into a series of mutual retaliatory military actions, coupled with a diplomatic charm offensive in Europe, and we could easily and quickly find ourselves isolated by world opinion.

    Given the Trump administration's unrelenting hostility toward Iran, its stated policy of regime change, and its unilateral abrogation of the 6-party nuclear accord that country had negotiated with us in good faith, it would not be all that difficult for Teheran to make a good case that the United States is the aggressor.

    Gen. Qassem Soleimani was not some stateless bad actor like Osama bin Laden. He was a revered Iranian military leader of significant influence, and by many estimates and accounts he was the second most powerful man in that country after the Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei.

    What Trump did today by ordering the U.S. military to assassinate Gen. Soleimani was extraordinarily foolish and shortsighted, by any reasonable standard of assessment. His administration has given no indication that it's done any contingency planning regarding the potential consequences. The decision appears to have been both spontaneous and peremptory.

    Then again, nobody's ever accused Trump of being reasonable or thoughtful.


    Foolish definitely (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 06:24:45 AM EST


    Donald J. Trump

     I always said @BarackObama will attack Iran, in some form, prior to the election.

    2:24 PM - Aug 16, 2012

    Donald J. Trump

     Polls are starting to look really bad for Obama. Looks like he'll have to start a war or major conflict to win. Don't put it past him!

    8:30 AM - Oct 17, 2012

    Donald J. Trump

     Don't let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected--be careful Republicans!

    10:43 AM - Oct 22, 2012

    This is such a can of worms.  One thing they are saying is likely, since a frontal attack is not that likely, is a cyber attack.

    Maybe Iran will find some of those documents Trump is hiding.

    Soleimani was a bad guy.  Trumps base will love this.  For now.


    I (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by FlJoe on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 10:32:32 AM EST
    am not really comfortable with the "but he was a bad guy" framing as justification. Maybe for stateless actors such as Bin laden or Baghdadi, but for a government official you are opening a can of worms.

    There are plenty of American officials and generals, past,present and future who have "blood on their hands" and could be considered bad guys by
    many people.


    And, the assassination (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 11:11:12 AM EST
    of  a top leader of an adversarial nation in a country of an ally as an invited guest is neither respectful of the ally's sovereignty nor a signal of willingness to work differences out with the adversary.  

    While Soleimani is a bad guy, by all accounts, he is not irreplaceable.  Surely, there are more like him ready to take his place.  So, where does that leave us?   Has anything been resolved?  Are we safer?  Are we in better stead will Iraq?  Has it distracted from Trump's impeachment woes?  After all, can we impeach or not re-elect a "war president".  


    I am hearing quite a lot (none / 0) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 11:13:06 AM EST
    About how he will not be easily replaceable

    He was a rather unique character.  


    But Gen. Soleimani will be replaced. (none / 0) (#55)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 12:14:19 PM EST
    That he was an adversary and bad actor, as apologists on the right are insisting, is really not the issue here. A lot of people in our country are conveniently forgetting that because of the 6-power nuclear accord Iran negotiated with us in good faith, Soleimani became a key player in the fight against ISIS and al Qa'eda in Iraq, and was a major factor in their ultimately defeat.

    Yesterday's assassination creates a power vacuum in both Iran and Iraq. And frankly, we may well rue the day if the guy who fills it turns out to be infinitely worse, that is, someone with Soleimani's cunning but none of his finesse. In that regard, the intemperate and ill-informed rhetoric I'm hearing out of GOP circles in Washington is rather frightening.



    Rep Slotkin (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 12:26:21 PM EST
    "What always kept both Democratic and Republican presidents from targeting Suleimani himself was the simple question: Was the strike worth the likely retaliation, and the potential to pull us into protracted conflict?" she wrote. "The two administrations I worked for both determined that the ultimate ends didn't justify the means. The Trump Administration has made a different calculation."

    Different calculation possibly not a different conclusion.

    I think it's quite possible a "protracted conflict" is the goal.


    Is it really too much to ask ... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 01:11:14 PM EST
    ... that our Democrats in Washington stop qualifying their public statements by noting their personal satisfaction with Gen. Soleimani's death?

    Thus far today, I've heard at least 15 of them do that on CNN and MSNBC. It's really not helpful in such a dire situation because again, the fact that Gen. Soleimani was an adversarial presence to us in the Middle East is really not the issue here.

    I mean, our president just order the assassination of a high-ranking Iranian government official and further, we killed him in Baghdad without Iraqi consent while he was an invited guest in that country. This is a Rubicon in international diplomatic protocols we just crossed, and Americans are kidding ourselves if they think there won't be serious strategic consequences for this.

    One of those consequences may well be our country's diplomatic marginalization in the Middle East and estrangement from many of our own allies in that region as well as in Europe and Asia, who would not be faulted for concluding, in the wake of Trump's perpetually reckless disregard for international norms, that their national interests and our own have just diverged irrevocably.



    Yes, the (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 02:07:02 PM EST
    "bad guy, but" line started before the assassination was even confirmed.  At first, I thought the Democrats were briefed by John Bolton who is surely beside himself---so much so that I would caution him that if his mustachio remains bristly for more than four hours he should call a doctor.

    Soleimani is a top military and political leader of Iran.  He was moving the ball for his team.  The team's asymmetric warfare is the issue, which is not likely to be defeated by assassination.  More likely, is escalation and instability in the entire region.  Moreover, we have the incalculable risk that is Trump.  Putin no doubt gave the green light---there is always military hardware to sell to Iran.  I fear our best hope is for the Ayatollahs to tell Trump they have dirt on Biden.  That would change everything.


    We've been engaged in protracted conflict ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 04:26:13 PM EST
    CaptHowdy: "I think it's quite possible a "protracted conflict" is the goal."

    ... in the Middle East since we first entered Afghanistan in strength in late October 2001. So, yeah, what's another decade or so? You know, I have this silver ring of that's a series of peace signs, which I first put on after 9/11 and vowed to not remove until we achieved true peace. I'm now resigned to passing away with that ring still on my finger.

    Oh, my God, I'm watching Rep. Eliot Engel right now on MSNBC. Why can't he and his Democratic colleagues qualifying their public statements with this "I won't shed any tears for Soleimani's death, he was a terrible guy" shtick? Every time they do that, they no only provide cover to Trump and his minions for their recklessness, they look weak and feckless in the process. Just stop, already!



    No one was talking about (none / 0) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 07:22:47 PM EST
    Afghanistan anymore.    But we are talking about this.  And we will be till further notice.  We being the media "we".

    Trump wants a hot war because he thinks it will help him win the election.

    Seems kind of obvious to me.


    Britain and France aren't having any of it. (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 04, 2020 at 01:56:55 AM EST
    Business Insider | January 3, 2020
    The United States' main allies are abandoning Trump over his 'dangerous escalation' with Iran - "US allies on Friday warned against any further escalation of the conflict with Iran following President Donald Trump's decision to authorize the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani late Thursday. The airstrike, which was reportedly launched without consulting US allies, led to warnings from several European nations, with only Israel speaking out strongly in favor of Trump's decision. The global reaction to the attack has revealed the US as increasingly isolated on the world stage."

    Gee, who could've seen that coming, eh? If we go, we go alone.


    True, probably (none / 0) (#57)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 12:27:38 PM EST
    not easily replaced and readily made a martyr.  But, the graveyards are filled with the not easily replaced.  And, Iran will find a Soleimani-suitable replacement leaving us at immense risk, not only from the Iranians, but also, from Trump.

    We're already seeing the answer in Baghdad. (none / 0) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 12:38:00 PM EST
    Iraq's interim Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has condemned the assassination, accused Trump of breaching the accord that permits the United States to maintain a military presence in his country and accordingly, has called the Iraqi parliament into special session.

    Further, Shia cleric and political leader Moqtada al-Sadr -- remember him? -- released a statement today that mourned Gen. Soleimani's death and more ominously, announced the reactivation of his Mehdi Army paramilitary group:

    "As the patron of the patriotic Iraqi resistance I give the order for all mujahideen, especially the Mehdi Army, Promised Day Brigade, and all patriotic and disciplined groups to be ready to protect Iraq."

    This is no idle threat. Mullah Sadr and his family are revered by an overwhelming majority of Iraqi Shia Muslims, and he's just issued a clerical call for pitchforks and torches. The Mehdi Army is a militia that's enrolled tens of thousands of young Iraqi Shia males, and they proved to be a very formidable adversary when our U.S. military fought them in the fierce battles of 2004-05.

    It would not be at all surprising if Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi orders us to leave his country.

    This is not good.


    IMO (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 12:43:57 PM EST
    It's 180 from "good"

    And like I said.  It's  only Jan 3rd.


    Also (none / 0) (#60)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 01:06:25 PM EST
    I understood they pretty much expect to be ordered to leave the country.  I don't think Trumpland will be troubled by this.

    but what about our (none / 0) (#71)
    by leap on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 03:58:40 PM EST
    big beautiful embassy that cost billions to build and fortify back in the day?

    I (none / 0) (#76)
    by FlJoe on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 06:37:25 PM EST
    have little doubt that he was "bad", but uniquely so in the middle east? I don't think so.  

    IMO all of the players in that region are bad actors, including us. Most of the commentary  I've seen so far totally whitewashes that fact.


    There Seems to be Quite a Difference (none / 0) (#49)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 10:38:42 AM EST
    between Trump's attitude towards Iran and that towards North Korea.  What's the explanation?  My guess is that Israel figures strongly  in the explanation.

    I would not be too impatient (none / 0) (#54)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 11:36:41 AM EST
    For him to get to Kim.  Welcome to election year.  It's january 3rd.

    Call it what it is (none / 0) (#50)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 10:46:12 AM EST
    an assassination. In front of the entire world.

    The f*cking orange ape and his enablers are going to have to answer for the blowback from this and there's going to a lot.

    One can't help but be put in mind of Drumpf's statement a couple of months ago to the effect of "We're waiting for our directives from the Saudis."


    No justification (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 11:11:41 AM EST
    Just a fact.  He is responsible for many deaths us military and others.

    It will be easy to make him a bad guy.  

    Which is want I meant by the "shortsighted" bit.

    This was a response to a response to an action by us.  In the shortest simplest most recent sense.

    Pompeo said this morning this guy was not a threat to the US mainland.  

    He was just a convenient bad guy.

    I have not heard Ukraine or Russia mentioned for some time now.

    Dan May be right about helping Biden in some way.  But I think he has more faith in the judgement of the US voting public than I do.


    Which is not to suggest (none / 0) (#45)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 06:39:09 AM EST
    Any possibility of contingency planning.

    Only it's been living in his head as a "Trump card" (boy that phrase has new meaning) for a long time.


    I believe (none / 0) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 09:50:57 AM EST
    this escalation will soon help the candidacy of Joe Biden.  We know from the experience of the past three years, that anything Trump does goes bad.  Even though the killing of Soleimani and al-Muhandis will cause no tears to be shed,

    Trump managing the aftermath is unlikely to instill confidence,  Indeed, he is likely to pour gasoline on the fire.  Tonight, he is scheduled for a deplorable rally in Miami.  The first non-tweet opportunity to bask in the glow of his firestorm---and show that he is better than Obama who only had the courage to take out bin Laden---a non-state actor on the run.

    Biden, as former Vice President and former chair of the senate foreign relations committee, brings background the other Democratic primary contenders do not offer (despite Biden's support of the Republicans' Iraq war) and may be seen by the electorate as a steading hand in the general.


    Dexter Filkins (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 06:51:22 AM EST
    who wrote this New Yorker piece about Soulimani in 2013

    Just said keep two things in mind.  The two things Iranians do best, truck bombs and hostage taking.

    So yeah, stay home.


    OK (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 01:40:33 PM EST
    So far today I have seen Soleimani, Solimani, Sulaimani.

    And (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 01:41:37 PM EST

    Appears (none / 0) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 01:54:07 PM EST
    It's difficult (none / 0) (#68)
    by Zorba on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 02:41:31 PM EST
    To transcribe Arabic names into English letters, because it's a completely different alphabet.  Same with Chinese- Chinese characters don't transfer well into English spelling.
    Heck, even Greek.  I've seen Greek words spelled various ways in English, and Greek has at least some letters that are similar to English ones.

    I remember reading (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 02:53:10 PM EST
    Someone decided it was Osama because Usama began with USA which could not be allowed.



    Good time to resign from the orange jesus (none / 0) (#70)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 03:08:44 PM EST
    administration. I predict Iran will target high level US government officials in retaliation. And this will happen in any corner of the world. No one in this administration is safe in any part of the world. Just my prediction.

    This is (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 04:17:29 PM EST
    just like trade wars, easy to win.  Best prediction ever: With Archduke Ferdinand out of the way, there should be clear sailing ahead.

    Yeah, piece of cake! (none / 0) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 04:44:00 PM EST
    "Who cares about those silly Serbs, anyway? As for the French, we'll be in Paris before the Russians can mobilize, and then we can crush the Czar and have our troops home before Thanksgiving. The British? Hell, they're nothing but a bunch of shopkeepers. I'm not worried about 'em."
    - Kaiser Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany, during a weekend bender in Heringsdorf (August 1914)

    This might also be a good weekend to dust off Barbara Tuchman's classic "The Guns of August" and reacquaint ourselves with those four fateful weeks in the late summer of 1914, when arrogant, feckless and incompetent leadership plunged Europe into the First World War.



    Ironically (none / 0) (#78)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 07:07:45 PM EST
    your quote sounds so familiar just like George W. Bush who said Iraq would only last a couple of weeks and they would welcome us with roses.

    Kenneth Adelman of the Defense Policy Board wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post entitled "Cakewalk in Iraq."

    Vice President Dick Cheney insisted to NBC's Tim Russert on Meet The Press that Iraqis would see the Americans as liberators.

    But Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz won the Rosie C. Nario Memorial Trophy, testifying to Congress in February 2003 that post-war Iraq would be easier than the invasion, because Iraqis would embrace America:

    "I am reasonably certain that [Iraqis] will greet us as liberators, and that will help us to keep [post-war] requirements down. We can say with reasonable confidence that the notion of hundreds of thousands of American troops [being necessary for post-invasion Iraq] is way off the mark."

    Wolfowitz, of course, was duly punished by the Bush administration for that grievous miscalculation by being nominated as president of the World Bank.



    I think it (none / 0) (#77)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 07:04:44 PM EST
    was John Bolton of all people who said the closest comparison to current events is the Iranian hostage situation in 1979. So we may be in for a repeat of that event.

    John Bolton also said this today on Twitter. (none / 0) (#84)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 04, 2020 at 02:28:58 AM EST
    "Congratulations to all involved in eliminating Qassem Soleimani.  Long in the making, this was a decisive blow against Iran's malign Quds Force activities worldwide.  Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran."



    Mr Mercedes (none / 0) (#81)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 03, 2020 at 08:03:32 PM EST
    I have been streaming this OnDemand.  It's very good.  There's 3 seasons.

    Mr. Mercedes Review: David E. Kelley Takes A Disturbingly Fun Ride With Stephen King

    I had read about it and being a King freak I sought it out.  It's on Audience.  I didn't actually know I had Audience but turns out I do.
    It's not typical King.  It's a pretty standard Detective story.  With plenty of Kings funny and creepy touches.

    Woo hoo! (none / 0) (#90)
    by Chuck0 on Sat Jan 04, 2020 at 10:30:13 PM EST
    New England Patriots eliminated from the playoffs on wild card weekend.

    Lamarvelous Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens will be playing in Miami in February against ?. )I'm rooting for the Saints.)

    Don't get too far ahead of yourself. (none / 0) (#91)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jan 05, 2020 at 02:14:22 AM EST
    I seem to remember a much-vaunted Green Bay Packer team in 2011-12 that went 15-1 in the 2011 NFL regular season and was similarly considered a lock for the Super Bowl -- that is, until they got their a$$es handed to them in the divisional round at Lambeau Field, 37-20, by the vastly underrated 9-7 New York Giants, whom nobody up to that point even took seriously.

    Further, that game really wasn't even close. Giants QB Eli Manning feasted on the Packer secondary all afternoon and then asked what was for dessert. Those Giants, of course, would subsequently go on to the Super Bowl themselves, where they beat the New England Patriots, 21-17.

    So, while I would agree with you that the Ravens look practically invincible right now, nobody actually IS invincible. And in the playoffs where it's single elimination, all it takes is one sub-par or bad game to send you packing and negate an otherwise great season.



    Thhhppppptttttt! (none / 0) (#93)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Jan 05, 2020 at 09:31:55 AM EST
    I rest my case. (none / 0) (#96)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jan 05, 2020 at 05:15:10 PM EST
    FINAL, NFC Playoffs: Minnesota 26, New Orleans 20 (OT). The favored Saints have a message for Chuck0 - "Take nothing for granted. See you next September."

    I rest my case, Part II. (none / 0) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 11, 2020 at 10:47:41 PM EST
    FINAL, AFC Playoffs: Tennessee 28, Baltimore 12. Sorry about that, chief. But it could've been worse for you, though. Remind me to tell you about the time I actually bought tickets to the Rose Bowl too early, because all my then-No. 10-ranked UW Huskies (9-1) had to do to win the Pac-10 title and punch their ticket to Pasadena was beat a bad Washington State team (1-9) for the Apple Cup -- at Husky Stadium in Seattle, no less. Piece of cake, we all thought.

    Well, we wound up choking on the frosting. The Cougars' 17-6 victory knocked us into 2nd place, and UCLA won the conference championship to go to the Rose Bowl instead of us.



    Globes (none / 0) (#95)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jan 05, 2020 at 03:16:04 PM EST
    Been streaming Mr Mercedes (none / 0) (#99)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 07, 2020 at 10:16:23 AM EST
    Definitely recommended.  But the final season has gone a different direction.  As I understand it, I have not read it - even a fan-atic can't keep up with King, the third season does not follow the books having skipped the 2nd book and adapted 1 and 3.  
    The final season revolves (mostly) around a murder trial.  I believe all episodes were written by David E Kelly himself who is known for police drama.

    Interesting because of the defense.  The woman shot the bad guy in the head in the courtroom with a printed plastic gun.  The defense is he was a mass murderer and he deserved it.

    It's kind of shocking.  You can't help root for the killer because she is a great central character much developed before she pops a cap into the bad guy but it's still a sort of horrifying defense.

    No idea how it will go. Just started season 3.  But it's a very interesting way to approach the subject.  Very curious how it's resolved.

    PS (none / 0) (#100)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 07, 2020 at 11:39:36 AM EST
    Like I said, have not read the 3 books but

    If the third book really ended with a beloved character killing the bad guy in a courtroom, which is a King ending if evertherewas one, an extension of the story that tells her story is a pretty great idea.  In general.


    The third season is great (none / 0) (#103)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 09, 2020 at 12:03:55 PM EST
    Really great.  Not so much my thing.  Very talkie.  

    Mergers and acquisitions (none / 0) (#104)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 09, 2020 at 04:56:13 PM EST
    CNN settles lawsuit with Nick Sandmann (none / 0) (#101)
    by McBain on Tue Jan 07, 2020 at 03:40:50 PM EST
    CNN agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann.

    The amount of the settlement was not made public during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Covington, Kentucky.

    Sandmann's lawsuit sought $800 million from CNN, the Washington Post and NBC Universal.

    I have no idea on the amount but I give credit to Ragebot who predicted some success for Sandmann. Hopefully, Nick will get his reputation back.

    Sounds like there will be other lawsuits...

    A lawsuit is expected to be filed against Phillips, Wood said. He indicated that lawsuit would seek $5 million, but the judge said that Phillips does not have as much money as the other defendants.

    They also plan to sue Gannett, owners of The Enquirer, according to Wood.

    "Get his reputation back" (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 07, 2020 at 07:48:27 PM EST
    Heh - that was funny.

    Settling a lawsuit for an undisclosed amount and no admission of any wrongdoing is not "some success."


    It was the parents who filed the lawsuit. (none / 0) (#109)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 10, 2020 at 07:13:16 PM EST
    And thus, Nick Sandmann's fifteen minutes of white-wing victimhood are just about up.

    There are other lawsuits in the works (none / 0) (#113)
    by McBain on Sat Jan 11, 2020 at 02:18:57 PM EST
    Including one on behalf of the Covington students but not Sandmann himself...
    Just one day after CNN settled with pro-life teen Nick Sandmann for smearing his name, the Covington students are getting attention about their own lawsuit against other abortion advocates and liberal media types who lied about him and his friends.

    Something about that rubbed Sandmann's team the wrong way, so now there's the possibility of lawyers suing lawyers.  

    It will be interesting if Nathan Philips gets sued. Whatever the case, I don't think this story is going away anytime soon.  The real question is will any of this have a positive effect on media behavior?


    No, it won't be interesting. (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 04:34:09 PM EST
    Frankly, if I wanted to hear opinions from Fox News, I'd tune in myself. I really don't need an interpreter.

    Further, I'm tired of listening to self-promoting advocates of white-wing victimhood who somehow believe they're being subject to discrimination just because they can no longer express themselves in the racist / sexist terms and mannerisms used by their forebears, without being publicly ridiculed and socially ostracized by decent people everywhere.

    If anyone's behavior needs to be modified, it's their own.


    Now What False Thing (none / 0) (#114)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jan 11, 2020 at 03:58:03 PM EST
    did the WaPo say about Sandman that ruined his reputation?

    Here's the WaPo lawsuit document (none / 0) (#116)
    by McBain on Sat Jan 11, 2020 at 07:07:50 PM EST
    I believe this statement by Nathan Phillips is one example...
    He just blocked my way and wouldn't allow me to retreat. (from page 17)

    The WAPO quoting Philips (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Yman on Sun Jan 12, 2020 at 04:50:58 PM EST
    That's hilarious.

    Hopefully, the WAPO and others refuse to even give them a nuisance amount and don't change their behavior in the least.  I wonder if that would have a positive effect on these privileged, fake "victims".


    The Outsider (none / 0) (#105)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 09, 2020 at 06:45:59 PM EST
    Another week another series adapted from a King book.  I really like Cynthia Erivo.

    `The Outsider' Review: HBO's New Stephen King Adaptation is Incredibly Scary


    Erivo (none / 0) (#106)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 09, 2020 at 06:52:19 PM EST
    PLays a character named Holly Gibney.  Who incidentally was/is a central character of Mr Mercedes but she was not the actor in Mr M.

    This afternoon I watched Joker (none / 0) (#107)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 09, 2020 at 07:12:37 PM EST
    On PPV with a friend who had not seen it and was not really familiar with the whole DC universe thing.  We got very much in the movie mood.

    He watched the whole thing with hardly a word.  When it was over he said "that wasn't funny at all"

    It's a disturbing film. (none / 0) (#108)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 10, 2020 at 07:08:44 PM EST
    Joaquin Phoenix is scary good, although after seeing his Golden Globe acceptance speech, I can't help but wonder if he wasn't channeling his own inner demons for the role. I felt a similar sort of depression come over me with "Joker" that I did back in high school after seeing "Looking for Mr. Goodbar." While I won't likely be seeing "Joker" again (it's just too creepy for me), I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone else from doing so. Phoenix's performance is tour de force-caliber, likely his best ever.

    Scary good (none / 0) (#110)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 10, 2020 at 10:21:34 PM EST
    Yes.  His performance is one for the ages.  Can't believe the oscar is not his.  It's so good you sort of miss how good the rest of it is.  At least the first time I did.

    Especially the soundtrack.  I was a little surprised when she won the Globe.  I just didn't remember it being so good because it is so perfect you kind of forget you are hearing a soundtrack.  


    I think a lot of people ... (none / 0) (#132)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 04:12:44 PM EST
    ... have been tempted to compare Joaquin Phoenix's take on the Joker with the late Heath Ledger's characterization thereof in "The Dark Knight." But while Ledger's Joker is a fully realized sociopath, Phoenix shows us how the hapless Arthur Fleck eventually got there.

    In that respect, even DC Comics really didn't do the character justice. On the big screen anyway, the Joker is easily the most formidable and terrifying of Batman's many adversaries.

    But to be fair, DC Comics was compelled in the mid-1950s to mute the Joker's psychotic mindset and render him instead as a villainous prankster and goofball, in response to complaints by the Comics Code Authority.

    And yes, the CCA was a real entity that was created in the mid-1950s by the Comics Magazine Association of America to self-regulate product content, rather than submit the industry to federal regulation.

    The bird behind that federal threat appears to have been Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN), a moralizing crusader rabbit in the 1950s who was influenced by pop psychiatrist Frederic Wertham, M.D.

    Dr. Wertham, in turn, had authored an alarmingly overwrought bestseller "Seduction of the Innocent" (1954), which claimed among other things that comic books were a serious cause of juvenile delinquency, in part because -- I schitt you not -- Batman and Robin were actually homosexual lovers, while Wonder Woman had an emasculating S&M subtext. Oh, the humanity.

    In retrospect, Americans in the McCarthyist 1950s appear to have been just as credulous and gullible as many of their Trump-drunk progeny today. What a silly people we can be, if we put our mind to it.



    Seems to be a character (none / 0) (#134)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 04:55:18 PM EST
    Actors like to sink their teeth into.  The Jared Leto, Suicide Squad version is not to shabby.

    There was stories about Leto pitching a fit a trying to get the movie killed.  I think he was right.  His version has definitely been eclipsed


    And (none / 0) (#135)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 05:00:58 PM EST
    Jack Nicholson

    I really liked Tim Burton's surreal vision of "Batman." Prior to that, a lot of us had been left with only the memories of Adam West's campy caricature of the caped crusader, which certainly had its own very real charms but was also clearly a parody of Bob Kane's original Dark Knight. I still think Michael Keaton was the best Batman.

    Your Batman mileage may vary (none / 0) (#147)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 14, 2020 at 10:16:38 AM EST
    I was having a hard time imagining Robert Pattinson (of Twilight fame) as the new Batman.  Which he is.

    But after seeing Lighthouse (yesterday, see blather) I get it.

    I can totally see this guy as The Batman


    You really could tell (none / 0) (#148)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 14, 2020 at 10:38:13 AM EST
    An interesting story about how the Batman character has been seen and portrayed by the ever changing society and what it means.

    To begin with.  H0moerotic.  Ok.  Batman and Robin.  I literally thought "ward" meant boy toy until about the time I went away to college.

    It can never be overt.  Googke Joel Schumacher and the disastrous Bat Nipples.

    We need a Robin I think.  I have hope. We will see.


    You could say that in The Lighthouse (none / 0) (#149)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 14, 2020 at 10:58:47 AM EST
    Willem Dafoe auditioned for the role of Robin.



    I also liked Keaton in that role (none / 0) (#150)
    by McBain on Tue Jan 14, 2020 at 12:29:22 PM EST
    As for Burton, I thought his first Batman was mostly good but the sequel was awful.  As for his other work, I remember Beetlejuice (also with Keaton) being fun.  Maybe I should watch it again and see how it holds up.

    As for the new Batman (Robert Pattinson) he was good in The High Life, a strange sci fi film worth seeing if you like a slow, moody, less-is-more style.  


    And that's really was too bad, because it certainly had a good director (Tim Burton), a great cast (Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken) and a compelling storyline with tremendous promise. Alas, Burton chose to channel his own dark side and "Batman Returns" instead evolved into a visual tour of Gotham City's aging infrastructure, particularly its decaying sewer system. It was an ugly film.

    So Bernie (none / 0) (#121)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 06:54:06 AM EST
    has his campaign slandering everybody. Nobody should be surprised. It's what he does. However Warren apparently signed a non-aggression pact with Bernie? Did she think she was special and wouldn't get trashed by him? Girl stand up for yourself and quit acting like Bernie's abused wife. This is just so sad.  

    If Bernie comes out of the first 4 (none / 0) (#122)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 09:44:21 AM EST
    As a front runner that would be Bloomberg's dream.

    He is simi surging


    Or Steyer (none / 0) (#124)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 09:51:35 AM EST
    who is polling 2nd in SC above both Warren and Sanders.

    I finally have started to see Bloomberg's ads. They are very well done.


    Next to beating Trump (none / 0) (#125)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 10:07:53 AM EST
    and his supporters there are not many thing I would love more than beating Bernie.

    And his supporters.

    Does that make me a bad person?


    If so it makes (none / 0) (#126)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 10:26:41 AM EST
    me a bad person and a whole lot of people bad people especially a lot of women.

    I don't know (none / 0) (#130)
    by CST on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 02:08:05 PM EST
    By all accounts I should be a Bernie supporter.

    And yet I agree with you.


    The Steyer and Bloomberg (none / 0) (#139)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 06:57:54 PM EST
    commercials have been running in my part of PA for weeks. And PA doesn't even vote until May.

    Florida (none / 0) (#141)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 07:04:09 PM EST
    also. I think they are national ads on Cable news and sports. Varied and well done IMO.

    Shift change (none / 0) (#127)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 11:26:23 AM EST
    first shift

    second shift

    It takes a minute

    Major League Baseball has a new scandal. (none / 0) (#136)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 05:43:01 PM EST
    And it's a big one. Any doubts that the Houston Astros illegally used technology to steal the opposing team's pitching signs during the 2017 season, which culminated with them beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in that year's World Series, were put to rest today when Commissioner Rob Manfred publicly affirmed those findings in a detailed report about the allegations.

    Manfred's investigation began when pitcher Mike Fiers, who played for the Astros in 2017, told the Athletic magazine that the team had stolen signs using a center-field camera that fed pictures to a television monitor behind the dugout, which constitutes a clear and blatant violation of MLB rules prohibiting that use of technology during games.

    So, it's no longer a question if the Astros cheated but rather, to what extent did their cheating help them defeat the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, during which L.A. pitching aces Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw were clearly rocked early by Astros batters who, in obvious retrospect, likely knew exactly what pitches were coming their way.

    (Although to be fair, Clayton Kershaw has also been rocked in every postseason he's been involved in while playing for the Dodgers. In a sport where the nickname "Mr. October" is considered the ultimate compliment, Kershaw has been "Mr. May, June and July.")

    Manfred also fined the Astros organization $5 million (the maximum allowed under MLB rules), stripped the team of its first and second round draft picks for the next two years, and announced that Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were suspended for the 2020 season.

    Shortly after that announcement, Astros owner Jim Crane fired both Luhnow and Hinch. "Neither one of them started this, but neither one of them did anything about it," he said. "We need to move forward with a clean slate."

    It's obvious that of everyone in Houston, at least Crane took Luhnow's and Hinch's enabling behavior very seriously because even though spring training begins in a few weeks, he didn't hesitate to decapitate the team's on-field and front office leadership and start anew.

    It'll likely next be the Boston Red Sox's turn in the barrel. The common denominator here is Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who served as the Astros bench coach during the 2017 season and presently stands accused of creating the team's sign-stealing technology system with players.

    It's been further alleged that Cora brought that very same system with him to Boston for the 2018 season, and employed it to likewise help the Red Sox win the championship. Ironically, the team Boston beat in that year's World Series was also the L.A. Dodgers.


    I guess the assumption was former players (none / 0) (#142)
    by McBain on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 07:14:13 PM EST
    were going to keep quiet.  The problem with that is what happens when former players face the Astros?  My general belief about cheating in professional sports is some people are only going to be as honest as the have to be.  

    As for Kershaw,  I looked up his playoff stats....
    Career 4.43 ERA, which wouldn't be so bad if his regular season ERA wasn't a ridiculous 2.44.    Compare that to one of my all time favorite players, Dave Stewart....
    Career regular season ERA 3.95
    Career post season ERA  2.77 with the 1989 World Series MVP


    "Sports do not build character. They reveal it."
    - Heywood Hale Broun, author and sportswriter (1918-2001)

    ... the act of cheating is the most self-conscious of all sins. If you cheat as a player or coach, then you know exactly what you're doing. If you have to cheat in order to win a game, then you're a f*cking loser at heart, regardless of whatever it might say on a championship trophy. And if you can live with that, then I pity you.



    LINK. The odds are better than even that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will bring the hammer down on Cora, and subject him to a lengthy suspension that significantly surpasses the respective one-year bans given Houston's Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch.

    I knew the Mets wuz robbed! (none / 0) (#163)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 10:44:49 PM EST
    The scandal's now touched the Mets. (none / 0) (#172)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2020 at 01:26:19 PM EST
    Carlos Beltran has been fired as the team's manager before he even managed a game for them.

    Weird (none / 0) (#137)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 06:48:49 PM EST
    ceremony at the NCAA Championship as tRump and Melania literally march onto the field for the national anthem.

    With (none / 0) (#138)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 06:54:02 PM EST
    the network immediately cutting to Gimme Shelter.

    Because (none / 0) (#145)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 09:28:08 PM EST
    probably no one wants to risk an incident of booing or some other disaster. Since it's Trump involved better safe than sorry.

    How does Nancy Pelosi (none / 0) (#140)
    by fishcamp on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 07:01:56 PM EST
    actually hand over the articles of impeachment to the Senate?  I would hazard to guess that all the senators receive copies too.  

    Speaker Pelosi will send a formal notice ... (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 13, 2020 at 07:42:12 PM EST
    ... to the Senate that she has appointed the House managers for the impeachment trial. The articles of impeachment will then be formally conveyed to the Senate in person by those managers, who will then "read the resolution authorizing their appointment and the resolution containing the articles of impeachment on the Senate floor and then leave until the Senate invites them back for the trial." (From "The Impeachment Process in the House of Representatives - Updated November 14, 2019," Congressional Research Service.)  

    It can't get more weird (none / 0) (#151)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 08:34:04 AM EST
    Checkers (none / 0) (#152)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 10:44:36 AM EST
    I swear Trump is going to start talking about a dog, or in his case possibly a servant, named Checkers.

    Folks (none / 0) (#153)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 11:03:16 AM EST
    This is history

    I may seriously need (none / 0) (#154)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 12:23:32 PM EST
    To call 911

    Fortunately my fainting couch is close


    what is history? (none / 0) (#156)
    by leap on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 12:38:21 PM EST
    Not sure to what you are referring.

    Trump (none / 0) (#157)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 12:40:35 PM EST
    Was just impeached



    HEY (none / 0) (#155)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 12:28:23 PM EST
    The whole Russian government just freakin resigned

    "It is about the journey and regardless of what happens, um, I have had an enormous life. I have had a lot of opportunities that a lot of people could only dream. I've done a lot of things over my 48 years a lot of people would never have an opportunity to do."

    And now, he risks spending the next 20 years of that enormous life and journey behind bars because a few of those things are allegedly stuff he shouldn't have done.