Open Thread by Tim F| March 19, 20109:39 pm| 61 CommentsThis post is in: Open ThreadsFacebookTweetEmailMSNBC embedding works fine for me. Weird.
Maddow just put up a graphic that said “Bullitico”.
Hah! That’s good, but nothing can beat the dance mix.
@open thread: I finally have my bikes back from the shop. Please oh please of please be kind to me, weather gods, and let it be nice tomorrow.
I used to love that song. What was the singers name?
I’m going to attempt to watch Bill Maher tonight. Not sure how far into it I will get before I have to tap out.
Over / Under is 10 minutes.
Woo-hoo! Union 3, St. Lawrence 1. In the conference championship game for the first time evah! Beat Cornell tomorrow night, and we are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time evah!
For those of you following along at home, this is about college hockey.
And speaking of bikes:
In what amounts to a sea change for the Department of Transportation, the automobile will no longer be the prime consideration in federal transportation planning. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the needs of pedestrians and cyclists will be considered along with those of motorists, and he makes it clear that walking and riding are “an important component for livable communities.”
“Legislation and regulations exist that require inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian policies and projects into transportation plans and project development. Accordingly, transportation agencies should plan, fund, and implement improvements to their walking and bicycling networks, including linkages to transit.”
Fresh Air did a twenty minute segment with some old interviews of Alex Chilton tonight. Here’s the link.
That’s awesome. God, I am so glad it’s no longer 2001-2008.
Re: New subhead:
The Cake was Peak Wingnut?
It explains so much, now that I think about it…
Thanks for the link! That’s really encouraging.
You know what’s sad – since I have no kids and no faux husand here (they’re camping) I’m left with looking up hot actors on the YouTube and just killing time until healthcare gets passed. I’d love to indulge in some hippie punching, but I think I’m too inebriated and might end up punching myself.
this is as off-topic as can be, even in an open thread, for this i apologize.
not to sympathize with miley cyrus, but i think its mika brzezinski’s career that is inappropriate and unfortunate.
seriously what sort of faustian bargain did we as a universe strike when we decided we owed this woman a career. she is merely the miley cyrus of the “smart-set”.
Hockey, hockey, hockey — oh, goodness, how I love the hockey. If everyone paid more attention to hockey, the world would be a much better place.
And really, can Miley Cyrus just stand up straight? And can Mika Brzezinski just STFU?
+12, but they’re only those little fake beers, so they don’t really count.
This site is so random, the banner changes every day now, and stay long enough, you might be a front-pager by Monday. (You think I’m kidding, I think they gave the keys to some soccer fan who posted once and we haven’t heard from him since.)
Don’t worry about the OT-ness of off topic posts.
BTW, I can’t remember if it was JK, JGabriel, J. Michael Neal, or one of the other regulars who recommended FX’s Rescue Me, but it’s on Netflix Instant, and it’s pretty damned good so far. Whoever you are, kudos
We are the quintessential bubble team – number 15 in both polls and number 19 RPI – so we really need to win tomorrow. Not to mention that my kid brother is a Cornell grad.
the health care thing has turned into the ending of bill and ted’s excellent adventure(trying to weave healthcare and jacy’s hot actor search together) where they are giving their final presentation for their grade in the auditorium, and they realize that if they use the time machine after the presentation to fix all the stuff they didn’t do with it, up until the presentation, they can still do the presentation, as long as they remember to do it later.
which of course makes you wonder why you just watched the whole flipping movie you just did….
and this is, even now that the memo on politico is a fraud….the underhanded brilliance of it is, its rooted in a sort of truth. many people just want the bill passed to get it done, and then hope it becomes workable reform later.
Well, I think I’m going to make it all the way thru Real Time.
However, that’s due to Melinda Henneberger (smart) and Emile Hersch (hot/funny/smart).
Peace be with you. :)
Brick Oven Bill
fucan tarmal; I will now demonstrate true off-topic on an open thread. Behold:
Cart Geometry, Academic Arrogance, the Innate Skill of the Practitioner, and the Optimization.
We have previously debated the optimum Geometry for maneuvering carts between aisles.
In this debate, I called myself foolish for practicing a parabola-type geometry. This is what I had been practicing:
This is as the academic me had determined that the limiting factor would be acceleration, to keep the stuff from flying off the cart as I zoomed around corners, and thus the optimum geometry would not be a parabola, with its continually changing radii, but instead two reversing quarter circles, thus holding acceleration and lateral force on the stuff constant:
I am ashamed by the academic me as my belittlement of my practice sounded like arrogance that may have just come out of Harvard. The academic me had grasped just one part of the puzzle, and belittled me the practitioner.
That innate talent, seared into my consciousness by countless trials passed by my ancestors, was on the right track, as it recognized the simple fact that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Now, by reflection and the application of Geometry to instinct, we are able to reveal the true optimum:
I got no dog in this fight — go Cornell!
Lolz. That is a Friedman-esque metaphor. His column title would be “Don’t forget to wind your watch!”
Sweet shit B. O. B. is approaching Timecube level incoherence.
Ya know while everyone kinds of piles on Rick Astley, I actually like him, and I give you “cry for help” which is really a great song.
Not moi. I’ve only seen a couple episodes and wasn’t impressed quite enough to keep following. I’m looking forward to seeing how Justified plays out though, after a strong looking pilot the other night.
@Max: As someone here said, they hate him but love what comes out of his mouth. He has some right winger economist on there who is going to get creamed.
@ Siubhan Duinne, demo woman and my other GA compatriots, two of our esteemed locals got a mention today. Maher brought up the always enchanting Paul Broun of Athens, who nattered on about the war of YANKEE AGGRESSION.
And Rachel gave your favorite and mine, Ralph Reed, and mention. Apparently he’s behind the FaxGram or whatever it is, for 24.95 he’ll send a fax to your representatives about defeating HCR.
This is gonna be a fun weekend. Pass the popcorn, please.
This is for kay…
After three separate rejections by three separate health insurers here in California, I finally succeeded in getting guaranteed-issue group health insurance. I did this by forming a general partnership with my husband. It took a notarized agreement, an EIN from the IRS, a DBA, and a business checking account.
I sent in most of my application Monday morning, got the remaining documents to the insurance broker on Tuesday, and answered only one question on Wednesday (“Have you ever previously been a member or received care from Kaiser?”). The application did not ask one question about my medical past. Kaiser Permanente accepted my application Thursday, and my group insurance starts on the first day of the second quarter.
No joke — it starts on April Fool’s Day.
Although the insurance broker has helped hundreds of married couples obtain health insurance this way, this is not an ideal solution. If I lost my spouse, my “business” would no longer qualify for group coverage. You need at least two people in a single business to qualify for group coverage.
This solution is not an easy option for single people. Again — it requires two people minimum for group coverage.
Third, I don’t think couples with preexisting conditions should jump through insane hoops like this just to get health insurance.
So, I’m still trying to call Representative Schiff’s office to send him good vibes for voting “yes.” I keep getting a busy signal, so I’m going to try to send him an Internet fax tomorrow.
Please, please, please let reform pass the House this Sunday.
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s menu:
@fucen tarmal: I loathe Mika. Even more (or at least as much) as ol’ Joe. How did she get where she is? Family name and looks. Simple as that.
Brick Oven Bill:
I am overwhelmed by the possibilities here…
Hmm. Makes you wonder how much he charges for a term paper.
ok, i admit you kicked my ass with that.
of course, in the true spirit of evolutionary development, i use the vestigial physical strength of my ancestors to simply lift and carry the end of the cart i push.thus maintaining gait or maneuverability is seldom an issue. this makes up for improper geometrical planning, and frees me to focus on cookie selection.
I kind of like it, though, when Mika’s father comes on and treats Joe like the idiot son-in-law who was a terrible disappointment to the family when their precious daughter chose him.
you know what really pisses me off about this whole health care bullshit? Its that – sure – its gonna cost a trillion dollars that we’ll owe to china until forever – but we’ve spent at least that in Iraq and those mother fuckers have free health care.
honestly – its sickening.
lurker, that is sticking it to the man!
I know few, if any, here care about this stuff as much as I do, but I find media news absolutely fascinating. I like reading all about the different ways in which television, news, and the mediums used to convey information and entertainment are changing. And if you have been paying attention, you know there’s a budding newspaper war between The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Since Murdoch won’t be able to buy The Times any time soon, he decided to try to compete with it, even at the expense of The Journal’s status as a business and finance publication. A big part of this has been the plans to launch a New York Metro section, which will first appear in April. Lots of the staff of this new section is from the now-dead New York Sun, which also tried to compete with The Times from the right, and today, The Times decided to steal an arts writer named Kate Taylor who was still doing her job trying to get ready for the launch yesterday. As this NYO article said, “”People here are fucking furious,” the source continued. “She knows all the plans.”
This is definitely bound to get interesting.
Um, I don’t know if that’s true. If the bill reduces the deficit, then we will be borrowing less.
But Iraq? Well, that wasn’t free, but in the end, I don’t think it will matter that much (fiscally speaking) if we end up successfully reducing health care costs. Eventually, we’ll stop spending so much money in Iraq, and while we can’t go back in time and recoup the money, we can try to make the economy grow enough so that the debt becomes less and less as a percentage of GDP.
@JGabriel: yes, I enjoyed that too – Pere Brzezinski telling Joe he was “stunningly superficial”. Smart man.
Whether or not you live in their districts, call the following Congresspeople (who are either undecided or are progressives who are considering opposing the legislation) and ask them to vote in favor of health care reform so that we can finally begin fixing our broken health care system.
Zack Space – Ohio (Zanesville, Dover, Chillicothe) – (202) 225-6265
Marcy Kaptur – Ohio (Toledo) – (202) 225-4146
Bill Foster – Illinois (Batavia, Dixon, Geneseo) – (202) 225-2976
Kathy Dahlkemper – Pennsylvania (Erie) – (202) 225-5406
Chris Carney – Pennsylvania (Clarks Summit, Shamokin, Williamsport) – (202) 225-3731
Melissa Bean – Illinois (Schaumburg) – (202) 225-3711
Steve Driehaus – Ohio (Cincinnati) – (202) 225-2216
Jim Matheson – Utah (South Salt Lake, St. George, Price) – (202) 225-3011
Stephen Lynch – Massachusetts (Brockton, Boston) – 202-225-8273
Peter DeFazio – Oregon (Eugene, Roseburg, Coos Bay) – 202.225.6416
Michael Arcuri – New York (Utica, Auburn, Cortland) – (202)225-3665
Rick Boucher – Virginia (Abingdon, Pulaski, Big Stone Gap) – 202-225-3861
Henry Cuellar – Texas (San Antonia, Laredo, Rio Grande City) – 202-225-1640
John Tanner – Tennessee (Union City, Jackson, Millington) – 202-225-4714
Glenn Nye – Virginia (Virginia Beach, Accomac) – (202) 225-4215
Brian Baird – Washington (Vancouver, Olympia) – (202) 225-3536
Dan Lipinski – Illinois (LaGrange, Oak Lawn, Chicago’s southwest side) – (202) 225 – 5701
Joe Donnelly – Indiana (South Bend, LaPorte, Michigan City, Kokomo) – (202) 225-3915
Marion Barry – Arkansas (Jonesboro, Cabot, Mountain Home) – (202) 225-4076
Harry Teague – New Mexico (Hobbs, Las Cruces, Socorro, Los Lunas, Roswell) – (202) 225-2365
Jerry Costello – Illinois (Carbondale, Belleville, E. St. Louis, Granite City, Chester) – (202) 225-5661
John Barrow – Georgia (Savannah, Augusta, Vidalia, Milledgeville, Sandersville) – (202) 225-2823
Nick Rahall – West Virginia (Beckley, Bluefield, Huntington, Logan) – (202) 225-3452
Solomon Ortiz – Texas (Corpus Christi, Brownsville) – (202) 225-7742
Hey, my hot actor’s search led me to William Fitchner in “Grace Under Fire” with a surprise cameo by Taylor Negron — hello ’80s, we are not nerds.
And I’ve realized why I have a faux husband — walking two dogs down the street is perfectly normal, while walking three dogs down the street is akin to Hannibal crossing the Alps, especially when the small dog is doing an elaborate bee dance all the way.
And my fake husband has apparently hidden the corkscrew, meaning I’m going to have to break this wine bottle over somebody’s head to actually drink it……
@brian j all in theory. i think any way we go about it its gonna cost a goat load and china is gonna own us. maybe i’m just cynical.
But i still think its worth it. pass the damn bill already.
I like this version of O’Reilly’s break down better.
Bwahahaha. (At Murdoch, not you.)
WSJ is quickly losing credibility as a reliable business paper, which means it’s going to lose share to the Financial Times for that market, and it’ll utterly fail to capture any sort of general market in return.
Murdoch’s traditional audience of tabloid readers and right-wing reactionaries (granted, there’s a lot of overlap) is already well-served by the Post, and their reaction to a re-purposed WSJ will be “Too long; don’t read,” while the NYC liberals and intellectuals who read the Times everyday will never deign to expose themselves to the lies and willful inaccuracies of a Murdoch rag no matter how fancy it gussies itself up in pseudo-intellectual cut-rate gowns.
There’s an audience for what Murdoch wants to do with WSJ, but it wasn’t large enough to keep The Sun going, and it won’t be anywhere near big enough to support the Journal. I’m betting he trashes it, then sells it at a loss within a decade.
I wish someone a little more mentally balanced than Debbie Schlussel was leading the investigation on Hannity. Here’s her update:
Um, Debbie, we’re still at war and there are still soldiers dying, so the children of dead soldiers could have been born last week, twenty years ago, or not even born yet. I would guess, though I don’t know, that since soldiers tend to be younger most of these kids aren’t college age yet. Also, it is generally not the point of a trust fund to spend it all at once.
I’m not saying she’s completely wrong in everything she says, but when she makes stupid statements like this it makes me question how accurate her analysis is on everything else.
Hey, I may have missed it when flagged last year, but have you seen this reference to this site as the cradle of the term peak wingnut ?
Please, please, please let health care reform pass this week. I did call Stark to say thank you, but since most of my day was spent waiting while my other half received a thallium treadmill so little phone access. Right now, I live in dread that the very small company for which I work will have to shut down, and we will then be without health care insurance. I could get it, maybe. But, the spouse? Not likely, with past cancer and current heart disease.
I will make calls tomorrow. Thanking some, asking others to vote yes.
I was just reading comments on the Washingtontimes article asking for impeachment of Obama.
Several posters are saying to vote out all the incumbents and career politicians.
Others are saying Obama should be impeached because no one knows him and he has no experience.
Sooo… if they vote out all incumbents and career politicians and don’t like their politicians unknown and experienced, who are they going to get instead?
@ME: Teabaggers. Duh.
He reminds me of Archimedes Plutonium.
Every time I read that Fox News has throttled its cable news competition, I remind myself that Murdoch bought MySpace for a bunch of money shortly before it became firmly ensconced in the shitter, and I return to my happy place.
The WSJ may be taking a little longer to flush, but it is circling the bowl to be sure; and I like to think that losing Kate Taylor at this moment makes Rupert feel like he just dropped his trophy wife’s wedding ring into the bowl and is powerless to retrieve it.
My god, the Washington Times has the worst web page I’ve seen in years. Did they use Geocities or Angelfire?
Is Balloon Juice getting “too big to fail”?
I got home from work late tonight, fired up the computer, launched Opera with my saved pages and did a search on the Balloon Juice main page for “Comment of the Day II,” the last entry I had tagged before I left for work this afternoon. Browser no find. Turned out there had been so many subsequent posts that “Comment of the Day II” was no longer on the front page. ¡Caramba! I can’t remember that ever happening to me before. And I am a pretty religious reader/refresher of Balloon Juice.
I don’t have kids or (currently) an S.O., so I have a lot of time to devote to keeping up with Balloon Juice, but does this mean that I will have to quit my (underpaid) job as well? Or is this just an artifact of the times, i.e., increased traffic (and related hoopla) about HCR?
Rick Astley. Someone mentioned it up-thread, but not in response to your comment.
Agree on Justified. Plot wasn’t necessarily that great, but the characters look interesting, and at least some of the actors had plausible Southern accents. (There is not one Southern accent, there are several different ones, but it helps to stay with the same one in a single acting gig.) I thought Joelle Carter as Ava was particularly good. And, damn, Timothy Olyphant got da charisma.
No idea whether this will show up — site has been wonky since yesterday afternoon, and it’s now five in the morning on Saturday — but I refuse to believe that an Open Thread posted at 9:39 pm, on a Friday night, with this crowd, on the eve of a nailbiting HCR vote, has received only seven responses, the last of them posted some seven hours ago. Is it a Word Press (FYWP!) problem, or a server problem, or has my BlackBerry gone selectively wonky, or is it the approaching Equinox, or have hundreds of BJ regulars taken the night off at once, or am I hallucinating, or is this the Twilight Zone?
Well, I’m about to click on the Submit button. You may never see this plaint. If you do, I may never see your replies. Whatever’s going on, I hope things are back to normal (or what passes for normal around here) before long. I can’t imagine trying to get through tomorrow’s vote in the House without live-blogging over here.
It must be something with your servers. There have been several posts since this one, and I saw your earlier comment right after it was posted. Is there a way to clear your cache on a blackberry?
Okay, my earlier post didn’t get through. Trying again.
Testing testing testing
I have a couple of frames of mind about this.
The first is that, why didn’t he just buy The Sun, which he supposedly considered, and simply distribute it freely with The Journal, at least in the New York area at first? Based on his experience with The Post, he has no problem throwing tens of millions of dollars down the drain on a pet project. And since The Sun seemed to aspire to a higher brow audience, perhaps after a while, it could have become profitable if it used the efficiencies of his other properties. He wouldn’t have necessarily sacrificed what made The Journal unique in the process.
The second is that there’s not that bizarre about what he’d doing. If there’s a continued attempt to make The Journal sensationalist, it will, as you indicate, lose credibility, but right now, it’s still powerful enough to command a lot of attention. It’s the only paper that’s growing, although purely in online subscriptions (the print continues to drop, like all papers), and it now has the most subscribers out of any paper in the country. He wants to control the agenda in a way that The Times still does now, so he has to expand the paper’s reach. But as you indicate, he’s sacrificing what made it special. In theory, he wouldn’t have to change that much. After all, like The Times, The Journal has offices all over the country, so if he wants to do separate metro editions, it’s not that much of a stretch to simply add reporters. But in reality, resources are finite, even for NewsCorp. Is it really that much of a stretch to think that the recently closed WSJ Boston office was sacrficied to make way for the $15 million New York metro team? I don’t think so. And while the Boston hedge fund industry will be covered by the Market Watch team, it’s not the same. One thing has to come at the expense of another, we agree, so how much of the paper’s business news team will be pushed aside for general news? I guess we are about to find out.
As for his specific moves, I get them. He’s going after The Times’ audience as well as its business model. Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales, two advertisers that never bothered with The Journal, will now have different options. That’s going to hurt The Times’ bottom line. And even if just a small number of subscriptions lapse because of the expanded effort by The Journal, it will hurt The Times.
But at the same time, maybe it would have made sense to try to do this where The Times isn’t set. Why did Murdoch try this in the various Texas cities, like Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, or Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Seattle, and Philadelphia? It already has a San Fran edition, but why not beat The Times to the punch in other big cities, so that when it eventually gets there, more readers are already locked up? Perhaps it wouldn’t have made sense right now.
Anyway, there’s more that I want to say, but the post is already long enough, so…
I agree. People say buying The Journal was the worst deal he ever made, but there’s still, I think, plenty of legitimate uses for that paper. Does anyone really care about MySpace any longer? The amount of money he paid for that comes to the forefront of my brain any time I hear numbers thrown around for a property like Twitter. Granted, that probably has more staying power, but still, who would pay, say, $1 billion for something like that?
Also, I don’t know how you feel about The Washington Post, but they just lost reporter Binyamin Appelbaum, who seems to be widely regarded as great, to The New York Times. He’ll be doing business and investigative reporting there.