I don’t mind Christmas so much as these last two-days-prior. All my own fault, of course. I still have some gifts to get; there’s a bunch of stuff to shove off my desk and I’m inefficiently workaholic enough that the enforced leisure of a Christmas afternoon (aka the long dark pre-hangover of the soul) makes me mental and all that.
And so, because I am a generous man, I am more than happy to share the Christmas song that most captures the gestalt (though happily, not the actual details) of my pre-holiday feh:
“I could have been someone”
“Well, so could anyone…”
(Cue Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why so can I and so can any man./But will they come when you do call for them? (Henry IV Part I, Act 3, Sc. 1)
Yeah, I know. Grump, grump, grump. If I can’t say anything nice…
Just to show that I’m not wholly hostile to y’all and everyone else this time of year, here’s a fun little gift. Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris
t* Thile and Stuart Duncan doing some modern bluegrass inflected stuff — fast fingers all. These are the things that remind me that for all the shite we may daily encounter, we do live in bizarrely wonderful times:
Top of the season, y’all. May your friends be kind to you and fail to offer you any a cocktail that floats red liquor on top of green.
Oh — you may well consider this an open thread.
Thile is the Christ?
Paul in KY
Hoping all the Juicers have a great Holiday week or two!
Good grief. Isn’t there anyone around here who is happy about the holidays? I’m going to have to lay off this joint until after the New Year.
I have long suspected that people in the northern half of Europe who engaged in midwinter feasting and bonding rituals had better survival rates. Knowing that they were loved and valued did improve their resistance to the cold winds. And those were the folks that lived to successfully reproduce, etc.
So maybe the whole thing is [or at least was] necessary.
Thank you for the good wishes.
A Christ. Not The Christ. A god among mandolinists, evidently.
Omnes Omnibus has been posting some pretty cheerful sentiments about the season. So, that’s two of yuz.
Or maybe you could pass around the joint so all in this joint could be mellow, er, merry.
I got woozy at the gym and came home where I was in the shower when I decided I was about to throw up. I have no idea what that’s all about. I feel better than I did. This is not what I asked Santa for.
Edgar Meyer is just nuts. The b song he does with Bela Fleck is flat out awesome.
Anyone who watches that and doesn’t get a hitch in their giddy up needs to seek some street medication.
@Ash Can: I’m happy about it now that the days off are in sight, DYI projects complete, presents bought, decorations up and food stash acquired. Earlier bah humbugs were the stress talking!
@Corner Stone: Gainesville was always the very merriest place for that sort of holiday cheer. Back in the day.
You want happy Christmas music? Here’s my fave, lovingly sampled by Run-DMC for Christmas in Hollis.
Tom Lehrer’s take:
@Ash Can: while I am upbeat, I understand the seasonal downer. The season is usually bittersweet in many ways after losing my father around this time of year so many years ago and my mother two years ago right around Thanksgiving. My spouse lost her mother around Christmas a few years back and the kids are almost grown and out of the house, so while there is a sense of family, there’s also a sense of loss. Plus, the thing that brings us here is our passion for politics and as usual the Right is busy engaged in their usual sense of outrage over damn near everything and as such, their increasingly uncharitable stream of vitriol is a downer.
grab some hot chocolate and watch some kitchy old christmas stuff (Rankin Bass stuff usually does it for me, although I am planning a mini-mst3k marathon with the family this year) and put on some Mannheim Steamroller and stay away for a few days if you need to…
or something more contemporary, Weird Al:
Old Dan and Little Ann
A favorite tune of the wife and I. We’re good like that.
You’re a bum
You’re a punk
You’re an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it’s our last
Rankin Bass makes me homicidal, That dreadful Charlie Brown thing makes me suicidal so there is no relief there either.
@Old Dan and Little Ann:
Sounds like we should get together for Christmas :)
Happy holidays to all the Juicers.
It is very early Christmas Eve here. My daughter who lives 1500kms away has been home for a wedding. We had an early celebration last night. Now she is off to Tassie with her boyfriend to spend Christmas with his family. I cried when I hugged her. Damn I miss her.
I’m actually a bit surprised how hard the last month has been Thanksgiving, December, Christmas. Never thought the holidays were that big of a thing for me and Kate, but obviously that’s not true. It’s the worst.
Anyhow, off to see my niece tonight (along with my mom, brother, and sister-out-law) which will be great fun. Wednesday it’s off to see the extended family. Much less fun. The are “real” Americans who think I’m broken, stockpile guns and ammo, and bitch that Mexicans are taking jobs from their “barely managed to get a diploma” asses. There are baby mommas and baby daddies galore, pregnancies that start outside of marriage, alcoholism and violence…”real” America at it’s most awesome I guess. I’m going to keep it very short.
Anyhow, less grinchy is this photo album of my dummies being all cute and stuff.
Now that I think about it, maybe I’ll tag along with a happy family on Wednesday instead of go visit Duck Dynasty without the charm, intelligence, or work ethic.
Old Dan and Little Ann
Tangentially on-topic, while NPR richly deserves the derision regularly accorded it here, its “TIny Desk Concerts” (the venue of TL’s second clip above) brings joy to my world most weeks of the year.
Holiday cheer, courtesy of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band:
@Old Dan and Little Ann: Ok, so…ummm, not going to eat any of the casserole Old Dan or Little Ann brings to the BJ Potluck.
@piratedan: I believe you expressed interest in Space Dandy some weeks back? It premiers on Cartoon Network on 1/4 at 2330 Eastern.
@Ash Can: I am!
Our baby lives 800 miles away so we son’t see her this season. Her older brother will work (the upside for him is that he gets 2.5x pay for the day). Our oldest is avoiding in-law issues by going to neither place.
Seems like everyone else we have over for the holidays is otherwise occupied so it will be very quiet. I wouldn’t mind that except I really do love to cook for a crowd.
@Schlemizel: well you can always go with the classic like It’s a Wonderful Life or Mirable on 34th Street or one of the various incarnations of a Christmas Carol… just saying that your holiday spirit tappage source may vary….. if Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is your access point to the holiday spirit, so be it.
@Schlemizel: Aw, c’mon, “Frodo of the Long Pen!s”* is a classic.
* title as interpreted by a drunken gamer, circa 1980
Bill E Pilgrim
That’s my favorite Christmas song, the first one. I posted it here a week or so ago.
I don’t think it’s anti-Christmas, just a view of the holiday from a viewpoint different from the usual. It’s also one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard.
Alongside it I posted this, as one of my other favorites.
I don’t think the holiday or religious observance has to have anything to do with liking incredible things people create inspired by it. I definitely would have disagreed with JS Bach for instance about anything to do with God, on the other hand because of his music I think he practically is one.
Mike or Joel?
Also too, because I’ve not yet linked to the Guardian here today, “The story behind the Pogues’ classic Christmas anthem” (TL’s first clip):
Certified Mutant Enemy
Why not both?
@Gex: Sounds like we might be cousins. Hope your Christmas is better than expected. This is my favorite Christmas song because it rings true.
Higgs Boson's Mate
This year I have something to look forward to on Christmas Day. Wife and son are coming down for a visit. They, the dog, and I will walk along the beach trail together and have a picnic by the ocean.
@Certified Mutant Enemy: No reason. I’m just curious about which he prefers.
If you can handle the Pogues you can handle The Dropkick Murphys “The Season’s Upon Us” Slainte! to all of ya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTx-sdR6Yzk
I imagine Kay will have more to say about this, but the appointment of Pam Karlan from Stanford Law to head the Voting Rights Section at DOJ is the best Christmas present the White House could have given to Americans whose right to vote is under threat.
Pound down that capital I in your nym! It’s a Festivus grievance for me. I thought you had it fixed last night; maybe you’re commenting from different computers.
@Betty Cracker: well not sure, so many great eps to choose from, not sure if I HAVE to include Santa Claus conquers the Martians or if I just need to go with maximum pain with Mighty Jack or Master Ninja I… will let whimsy dictate most likely…. one of those folks that preferred Joel, but also sincerely appreciated what Mike brought to the show too.
The biggest problem with successfully selling a big year-end project to a client is that you have to deliver it by year-end.
See y’all in January.
@Higgs Boson’s Mate: That sounds wonderful.
Festivus yes, bagels no!
@Betty Cracker: Thanks for sharing that song!
Old Dan and Little Ann
@Corner Stone: What? You don’t have a food taster?
Well you’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
@Gex: Lovely babies- sending good thoughts your way!
Another Holocene Human
@Gex: But you can subvert nieces/nephews and that’s what counts.
Another Holocene Human
@burnspbesq: Did something cause burnsie to take of his Grinch hat? Obama did something right for once?
Oh. Right. He did say “White House” rather than utter the name of the Great Deceiver.
Hey, connected people: I thought I wanted a new laptop for Xmas, until I browsed around a retail outlet and found that all of computerdom has decided that what users need, circa 2013, is a laptop keyboard adapted from the IBM PC Jr.
My current “rescue device” (about to be handed down to a grateful spouse) is a 10-y.o. Dell Inspiron. Things do not get much more ordinary than that. But its keyboard kicks the butt of anything out there in what I consider “ordinary” mass market laptops.
Any advice from those who’ve been kicking tires out there? I will consider refurbs, simply to get a decent keyboard.
Going to be hosting various family and friends for the next 2 1/2 weeks or so. Going to be stressful and chaotic. On the other hand it’s gonna be wonderful to see everyone, have them spend time with the kids and enjoy the lovely weather we have. Gonna try to find the balance and if that doesn’t work, there’s always booze.
ETA: Also looking forward to lasagna on Xmas eve–has a nice mornay sauce interspersed between ricotta and bolognese layers, AND deep frying a turkey for Xmas. Then fondue party for new years.
Villago Delenda Est
Totally OT, but today’s submission for a Darwin award:
Police did not report if the vehicle was festooned with Tea Party bumper stickers.
That’s my number 2 Xmas song. But the one that really captures the reality of my world is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P37xPiRz1sg
Merry Christmas From the Family, indeed.
If you’re not depressed enough and unfamiliar with it, read up on how Kirsty MacColl died.
@Old Dan and Little Ann: With this dreadful economy my portfolio is only up 57% YTD. So I’ve had to pare down somewhat.
@Ash Can: I love Christmas. It was always a tense time when I was a kid with the inevitable parental screaming match. But, doing stuff for the kids is nice. This year “Santa” and their elf are taking their presents to the station since I have to work. We had some friends do up some letters and I’m leaving early so that they wake up and find their presents missing and only the letters. Then I’ll start texting asking if my wife knows why all the presents are in my station.
Certified Mutant Enemy
It initially read this post’s title as “Because Gingrich, That’s Why”…
@Villago Delenda Est: “Sir, did you steal this gasoline?”
“No I Did Not! And if I’m lying may my pants catch on fire!…I mean, again!”
@Bill E Pilgrim:
Practically? Surely only a deity could have composed works such as these, specifically for the Christmas season
In the past several years, however, it’s been Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” that has become my most cherished music for this holiday. (to my great fortune and delight, heard it live yesterday and will again tomorrow evening performed by two of NYC’s most acclaimed choirs.)
@skwerlhugger: In Mexico they don’t bother with the “affluenza” psychobabble used in Texas. Rich people just get away with anything, no explanation needed.
I do sometimes get a little sad around the holidays when I think of absent friends.
Recent Comments! Why did you have to leave me!? You were so young, and with so much left to give!! Now what am I supposed to do?! RSS Meta Feeds could never take your place!
Damn. Almost 2M people have been deported since President Obama has been in office. According to Buzzfeed/MSNBC.
Terrific music. Watch the delight on Yo Yo Ma’s face!
Terrific music. Watch the delight on Yo Yo Ma’s face!
IOL, I figure you know this, but some reassurance from a physician should it help;
Sounds like an unusual event for you. A single such episode can mean anything – including nothing.
Again, suspecting you know this too, just keep an eye on how you feel through the day. If it’s not ‘nothing,’ some sort of thing will show (and depending on what that is, you can take steps).
Don’t know how ‘Old’ IOL means but if it means roughly > 60 yo, be mindful of changing position from ‘down’ (laying, sitting) to ‘up’ so ortho static hypotension doesn’t cause lightheadedness and plummeting back down.
Hope it means nothing and you feel great soon.
Thinking of you yesterday, with Tottenham’s swashbuckling victory away from home against Southampton. Up to seventh in the EPL standings, and two matches at White Hart Lane to end this calendar year. So now that you’re off that ledge, good luck with finding other balance amidst the upcoming holiday festivities.
And btw, this is offered, in the spirit of season, by an Arsenal fan (albeit a deeply disaffected one).
Is something going on with the server? The stylesheets aren’t loading for me.
Because this is a season for cuteness, Elmo and Michael Bublé.
Paul in KY
@IowaOldLady: The shower is a convenient place to barf. Kudos on being there.
@handsmile: I must say that a Gooner saying such nice things to a Yid really represents the magick of the holiday season. Well done handsmile and I wish for the best for you and yr family.
I refused to watch the game (my daughter was asking why we weren’t watching). Maybe I should not watch them any more? I liked that they played Adebayor and Soldado together up front. More of that, please, until Ade becomes disinterested again.
Should be an interesting Jan. transfer window for both of our squads and I’m feeling better about the 2nd half of the season.
Paul in KY
@Schlemizel: Back in Summer met a lady at Bonnaroo who was only there to see Weird Al (didn’t really know who else was playing & didn’t particularily care). Had already seen him perform 31 times (in 2013).
I thought she was pretty strange. I bet Al’s security knows all about her.
@Princess Leia: Thanks! Right back atcha!
@Another Holocene Human: I wish. The backwardness is too much in the family. I once had a window where I thought I could salvage a cousin. In grade school she showed a lot of intellectual curiosity which I tried to nurture. But I don’t see them enough to really have much influence. She’s yet another who had a kid right out of high school. It’s all about minimizing my suffering at this point.
@Villago Delenda Est: I bet he kept screaming “Don’t tread on me!” as they tried to stamp out the flames.
Paul in KY
@Debbie(aussie): Best wishes & g’day to you Debbie!
Dogs and cats living together! It’s the end of the world!
My mom refused to come out here for Christmas because she doesn’t want to spend a whole day cooped up with my brother when she’s still pissed off at him, so she’s spending the holiday by herself with my dad’s ashes. We’re trying to make the best of it and get her to come out here for a visit after the holidays.
On the bright side, G bought the RiffTrax for the Star Wars Holiday Special, so there will be cocktails and mockery.
Also, three, don’t forget my advice for dealing with wingnut relatives: feign ignorance. If they bring up Duck Dynasty or Pajama Boy or any of the other stupid wingnut obsessions, pretend you never heard about the “controversy” and make them explain who these people are, what their show is about, how they’re related to each other, etc. Trust me, they will start talking, realize how stupid it all sounds when they try to explain it, and voluntarily change the subject.
Another Holocene Human
@ThresherK: I am also interested in the answer to this question.
Paul in KY
@Villago Delenda Est: Odds 3 – 5 that it was.
Happy Holidays, VDE!!! Tumbrels for all that need em!
I love the holidays!
Because I refuse to stress over them.
This year we bought a wreath and didn’t even hang it up because we can’t find the hanger and haven’t been to the store to get another. Didn’t put out the tree yet and it’s one of those you open like an umbrella and plug in. (We’ve had a kitten at Christmas the last six years.)
We’re taking friends out tonight for their present and we’ve given each other one kinda big thing and a few small things… as they come through the door. I’m off work now, why not enjoy them now?
And for Christmas dinner we’re having a ham and Waldorf salad.
It’s been a stressful year already. The last thing either of us need is more gotta-do-that. If it’s not fun, we just not doing it.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Ash Can: Not me. Though I do offer good solstice celebration season wishes to all Balloon Juice folks.
For Sondheim fans, he’s working on a revised version of “Company” where the main character, Bobby, is gay. Apparently people have been commenting for years that Bobby’s “commitment problem” is clearly because he’s gay and closeted, but Sondheim has always resisted that interpretation. Now he has a chance to work with John Tiffany (who did the Broadway version of “Once”), so they’re experimenting with the change.
They had Alan Cumming in the role originally played by Elaine Stritch, which meant he would get the classic “Ladies Who Lunch” number.
Paul in KY
@WereBear: Need to get that tree up, holds more lights than a kitten. Also not as much screeching when you plug it in ;-)
@Mnemosyne: Oh, that’s great advice (feigning ignorance)! It fits right in with my goal of pretending to fit in with them for the duration of the gathering.
@Paul in KY: LOL!
@Mnemosyne: Damn, that #3 strategy is brilliant. I wish I’d thought of it 20 years ago. It will definitely be my go-to in the future.
Thank you kind sir, and all good tidings to you and your kin (and figgy pudding for all!).
Here’s an article of certain interest to you re rumors of Louis van Gaal taking charge of Spurs next season, Tim Sherwood’s immediate future, and what do you do with a problem like Emmanuel:
ETA: Read as well Michael Cox’s shrewd assessment (as per usual) of Sherwood’s offensive tactics against Southampton (link within the article).
Another Holocene Human
So, anybody else have to download SDK onto their desktop computer to get their frigging Android phone to allow the SD card as a storage device for apps? I’m hoping this will work and I won’t have to root the phone.
I only bought the phone b/c SD backup was possible. That’s how stupid this is.
Also, wondering if 8G (eight GIGS) is too little. Jeeeeeeezus u goddamn developers haven’t you ever heard of a small footprint? No? Okay, then. I didn’t get more b/c I didn’t want to step foot into a Best Buy, and that’s all the CAMERA STORE (remember, the world is analog) had.
MC Simon Milligan
@Certified Mutant Enemy: It must be both. “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” with Joel and that weird Mexican “Santa Claus” with Mike. Along with “The Tick Loves Santa”, “iChristmas” and “The Feast of Alvis” those are our Christmas eve standards around here. Might have to add the Adventure Time ep “Holly Jolly Secrets” to the repertoire this year.
@handsmile: thx for the linky! Ade’s gotta go, eventually. You want him back?
This tends to be a good song to get into the holiday spirit; I suspect it’ll work well for most of this crowd. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4NlR5KQLQ8
@Another Holocene Human: If I find anything worthwhile, I’ll try to remember to let you know.
Certified Mutant Enemy
@MC Simon Milligan:
Go to Hulu and checkout the RiffTrax Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza and The Magic Christmas Tree Both RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic have revisited Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (The Cinematic Titanic version can be found on Hulu).
MC Simon Milligan
@handsmile: Jeebus. Potato and Cabbage Man have already turned the Spurs gig down? I’m hoping for Mick McCarthy… just because I miss hearing him at post match interviews… and he’s not nicknamed after a foodstuff.
“Flippin’ ‘eck, I’m not a poppadom.”
It worked like a charm at Thanksgiving when my wingnut brother snickered and asked if we were going to talk about Obamacare. I had forgotten that it was even a controversy, so I was like, “Uh, I wasn’t planning on it, but I guess we can if you want to.” Which forced him to try and explain that there was a fake controversy, realize how stupid the “controversy” sounded when you said it out loud, and ask me to pass the salt.
Note, however, that this may not work if the topic is Benghazi or Fast & Furious or anything gun-related because they get all worked up and emotional about that stuff and will just explain it louder and with extra paranoia.
Unlike their welcome of Mathieu Flamini, the Gunner faithful wouldn’t have him. But there must be some marginally reliable/competent substitute striker when Giroud inevitably succumbs to injury. And it sure as hell ain’t Bendtner! Such an acquisition must be Wenger’s one and only mission during the transfer period. So, in all likelihood, he’ll pick up another offensive midfielder.
@handsmile: Heh, prolly right that it’s not Bendtner. Who is the best French attacking midfielder out there? Arsene’s already all over him.
Davis X. Machina
@ThresherK: Keyboards matter? Lenovo. At least mid-range on up.
Heard about this on an NPR piece on “Grim Christmas.”
Here’s a sweet piece from the NYTimes (a break from their ACA-whingeing):
Life, Interrupted: By a Dog
In this entry, meet Oscar. Small package, outsize effect on Suleika’s life.
You must be a grinch not to smile at the picture.
@MC Simon Milligan: The Christmas episode of Invader Zim is one of my favorites for the season.
Before the power of Santa, or,
His jolly boots of doom!
@Bill E Pilgrim:
I agree. In addition to much glorious music, I would also cite any number of cathedrals, stained-glass windows, and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Umm, Podolski is due back today.
name three famous dogs:
rin tin tin
the ibm pc jr
Britten’s choral music is a joy to hear, and even more wonderful to sing. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in multiple performances of the “Ceremony,” as well as “Rejoice in the Lamb,” the Te Deum, and the “Hymn to St Cecilia.” Not recently, alas, but I still sing along to CDs and the radio.
Freakin’ CNN plugging the poll about ACA. What women are saying that they are worse off?
They’ve been beating the drum all morning. Bite me, CNN.
@wenchacha: I’m sure the hundreds of people watching will be concerned.
@Ash Can: I am! I’ve always enjoyed the holidays. I hate holiday music and half the stuff that seems to be made (divinity? really?) but I love spoiling my friends and helping charities.
I probably missed the update, but does anyone know when the new calendar will be ready?
Good Poor, Bad Poor
By TIMOTHY EGAN
Published: December 19, 2013 325 Comments
On Sundays, this time of year, my parents would pack a gaggle of us kids into the station wagon for a tour of two Christmas worlds. First, we’d go to the wealthy neighborhoods on a hill — grand Tudor houses glowing with the seasonal incandescence of good fortune. Faces pressed against the car windows, we wondered why their Santa was a better toy-maker than ours.
Then, down to the valley, where sketchy-looking people lived in vans by the river, in plywood shacks with rusted appliances on the front lawn, their laundry frozen stiff on wire lines. The rich, my mother explained, were lucky. The poor were unfortunate.
Dissenting voices rose from the back seat. But didn’t the poor deserve their fate? Didn’t they make bad decisions? Weren’t some of them just moochers? And lazy? Well, yes, in many cases, my mother said, lighting one of her L&M cigarettes, which she bought by the carton at the Indian reservation. But neither rich nor poor had the moral high ground.
As the year ends, this argument is playing out in two of the most meanspirited actions left on the table by the least-productive Congress in modern history. The House, refuge of the shrunken-heart caucus, has passed a measure to eliminate food aid for four million Americans, starting next year. Many who would remain on the old food stamp program may have to pass a drug test to get their groceries. At the same time, Congress has let unemployment benefits expire for 1.3 million people, beginning just a few days after Christmas.
These actions have nothing to do with bringing federal spending into line, and everything to do with a view that poor people are morally inferior. Here’s a sample of this line of thought:
“The explosion of food stamps in this country is not just a fiscal issue for me,” said Representative Steve Southerland, Republican from Florida, chief crusader for cutting assistance to the poor. “This is a defining moral issue of our time.”
It would be a “disservice” to further extend unemployment assistance to those who’ve been out of work for some time, said Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky. It encourages them to sit at home and do nothing.
“People who are perfectly capable of working are buying things like beer,” said Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, on those getting food assistance in his state.
No doubt, poor people drink beer, watch too much television and have bad morals. But so do rich people. If you drug-tested members of Congress as a condition of their getting federal paychecks, you would have most likely caught Representative Trey Radel, Republican of Florida, who recently pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine. Would it be Grinch-like of me to point out that this same congressman voted for the bill that would force many hungry people to pee in a cup and pass a drug test before getting food? Should I also mention that the median net worth for new members of the current Congress is exactly $1 million more than that of the typical American household — and that that may influence their view?
For the record, the baseline benefit for those getting help under the old food stamp program works out to $1.40 a meal. And the average check for those on emergency unemployment is $300 a week. If you cut them off cold, the argument goes, these desperate folks would soon find a job and put real food on the table. They are poor because they are weak.
I met a wheat farmer not long ago in Montana whose family operation was getting nearly $300,000 a year in federal subsidies. With his crop in, this wealthy farmer was looking forward to spending a month in Hawaii. No one suggested that he pass a drug test to continue receiving his sizable handout, or that he be cut off cold, and encouraged to grow something that taxpayers wouldn’t have to subsidize.
Obviously, Egan doesn’t Get It. The poor have to be held to a higher standard of behavior than everyone else because otherwise how do we know they really deserve help?
I’m assuming you saw the “welfare queen” article in Slate. Still kind of amazed that she’s held up as the avatar of Why Black People Don’t Deserve Help when she was white, but I guess logic doesn’t matter to these folks.
‘Personal relationships’ can only go so far
12/23/13 09:15 AM—Updated 12/23/13 01:37 PM
By Steve Benen
It’s a fact of contemporary domestic politics that many in Washington resist, but there’s a limit to the power of presidential schmoozing.
I wish this were true, because it would suggest the underlying problem would be fairly easy to solve. If Manchin were right, and President Obama’s “personal relationships” with lawmakers could lead to more responsible governing, a concerted effort could be made to turn the White House into The Friendliest Place on Earth.
Regrettably, though, Manchin’s remedy is deeply flawed.
Let’s put aside, at least for now, the fact that Obama has gone further than any modern president in bringing members of the opposing party into his cabinet and incorporating ideas from the opposing party’s agenda into his own policy plans – only to find that Republicans oppose the very ideas they used to support once they learn the president agrees with them.
Let’s instead focus on this notion of “building personal relationships.” I’m reminded of an anecdote from a year ago, when Obama invited several GOP lawmakers to the White House for a private screening with the stars of the movie “Lincoln.” The president extended the invitation in secret, so congressional Republicans wouldn’t face any lobbying to turn Obama down.
How many of the invited Republicans accepted the invitation? None.
Appeals court allows Utah marriages to continue
12/23/13 08:00 AM—Updated 12/23/13 10:39 AM
By Steve Benen
Late Friday, a federal district court ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. Judge Robert Shelby found that the statewide law, approved by Utah voters in 2004, violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment, and “demeans the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason.”
Shelby did not issue a stay with his decision, which meant that on Friday afternoon, marriage equality was the law of the land in Utah – a reality that many same-sex couples were eager to quickly take advantage of.
Over the weekend, state officials sought emergency relief from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. That didn’t go well.
@rikyrah: Thanks for putting up the Tim Egan link. Had not seen.
Probably blinded by all the Obamcare-whingeing.
Paul in KY
@Mnemosyne: I think the assholes who ate up that story just assumed she was blah.
@handsmile: Are you going to St. Thomas Church for their 4 PM service (Carols and Readings)? I’ve often gone to St. Thomas Church for the Christmas Day service. I love the pomp and ceremony and, of course, their choir.
OMG, that’s some nasty stuff! One of my grandmothers got it into her head about 30 years ago that I just love it and makes it for me all the time. I don’t have the heart to tell her I’d rather swallow lumps of charcoal. Luckily I have a neighbor who actually does like it, so I pawn it off on him.
Zim was renewed too late to continue the series.
I second Davis X. Machina’s Lenovo recommendation.
@Paul in KY:
If you read the Slate story, for at least one of her cons she pretended to be black, so we can’t blame Reagan for the whole thing.
It’s a pretty amazing story. She was a con woman, baby-seller, and (alleged) murderer, but the only thing they ever managed to make stick was the welfare fraud case. Saying that her actions prove that we should cut welfare is like saying Al Capone’s actions prove we should get rid of the IRS since he was sent up the river for tax evasion, not his multiple other crimes.
So now that we know that cancelling a TV show violates the First Amendment, when is Vasquez going to sue Nick?
[Checking back here after watching a gritty, grubby draw in the pelting rain, Arsenal v. Chelsea 0-0]
While Podolski can and has played as a center forward, for the past several seasons, for both club and country, his most effective position has been as an attacking left winger. Also, it’s as part of a two-man offensive front, rather than as a sole striker (such as Giroud), that best demonstrates Podolski’s current skills.
All who follow Arsenal closely recognize the dire need for a second striker, given the tolls and toils of a long season.
With mrs. handsmile and my visiting b-i-l, I attended St. Thomas Church’s “Lessons and Carols” service on Saturday afternoon. The music – for that’s what draws me as an unbeliever – was indeed glorious! A more extended L&C service will be held at 4:00pm on Christmas Eve.
Regrettably, St. Thomas has begun to charge admission, at quite dear cost too, for its Boys Choir performance of Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols.” I’ve never attended a Christmas Day service there, so I don’t know (but wouldn’t expect) that that work is performed then.
The choir and orchestra of Trinity Church (Wall Street) will be performing Britten’s “Ceremony…” and other seasonal music at 5:30pm tomorrow afternoon, preceding a church service there.
All I know is Invader’s blood marches through my veins like giant radioactive rubber pants! The pants command me! Do not ignore my veins!
Fairytale of NY is my very favorite Christmas song. I’ve been informed that there’s something wrong with me because of this.
I haz a holiday sad because our local Episcopal church did not do a Holy Petting Zoo this year (more properly known as their “Living Creche”) because some stupid TV crew was filming there the day they would normally have it.
(I think it was “Criminal Minds,” which only gives me one more reason to hate that freakin’ show.)