Watering Hole: Monday, January 2, 2012 – Happy New Year, Too

My New Year’s resolution is to add more humor to my life.  Laughter is healthy.

This is our Open Thread.  Do you have any resolutions that you would like to share or is there another topic you would like to discuss?  Speak Up!

187 thoughts on “Watering Hole: Monday, January 2, 2012 – Happy New Year, Too

  1. From the poetic justice department: (nasty big head man feels picked on)
    Gingrich claims to have been “Romney-boated” in Waterloo Iowa.
    Ego-bloated, not Romney boated is more what I was thinking.

    Any political event involving a location named “Waterloo” should be a big clue to stay away.

    Unless you’re ABBA

  2. A C-Span Book-TV show that might send you to the bookstore today, or download it to your Kindle. I’ve been watching it for about 30 minutes now on TV, and if I was much of a book reader, I’d go get a copy, along with Professor Steve Keen’s Debunking Economics.

    Jeff Madrick: Age Of Greed

      • I went to look at Thom Hartmann’s site and he was on in late August promoting this book. Near the end of his Book TV presentation, he stresses the need for reform of our healthcare system, but says Social Security is just fine.
        The Republicans are trying to tie SS in with changing Medicare/Medicaid, just to get rid of SS. They can’t stand to see anybody’s money out of the reach of the banksters and speculators.

  3. Happy New Year Critters:

    Last Monday, my sister stopped by with her son and proceeded to leave her phone at my place. When her son called I answered it confirming her phone was here. I also answered a second call from her daughter. When she began talking, she rambled so fast I could not understand a word she was saying. I told her that her mother had left her phone and that I would tell her mom to call her back. I didn’t answer the next 5 calls, 3 from my niece and 2 from one of my younger sisters up north. I began to suspect there was a family emergency, perhaps concerning my older sister undergoing treatment for leukemia. When my sister came back I learned that there was a death in the family, not my older sister but my 63 year old younger brother.

    I learned from his wife that earlier this year my brother was scheduled for heart surgery but the operation was canceled when they discovered his kidney cancer. (No one in the family was told of this.) The heart surgeon was afraid my brother would die on the table if he operated on the heart.

    My brother had been in a lot of pain and hadn’t been to work for over a week. On Christmas day, in too much pain to walk, he crawled from his easy chair, up the stairs to his bedroom. He locked himself in the room, laid on the bed and shot himself.

    I’m still numb. I don’t know why there wasn’t any communication to his siblings about his medical problems. I’m particularly curious whether a kidney transplant was a possibility in his case. I would have gladly donated one of mine if it was a match.

    There was no viewing or funeral. Like our father, my brother’s will called for cremation as soon as legally possible with no funeral, he wanted people to remember him alive, not dead laying in a casket.

    Once the arrangements are made my sister and I will return to Maryland for the interment of his ashes at Arlington (he did a hitch in the Air Force and served in Viet Nam in the 60’s.

    I have to change my will now. My wish was to have my brother dump my ashes in the Patapsco River, upstream from Ellicott City, Maryland, my stomping grounds growing up.

    • There’s rarely a good time for loved ones to die but it seems particularly cruel to happen over the holidays. Several of us have experienced that.

      Condolences to you, Pachy and also to you Frugal.

      Find peace.

    • So sorry to hear this, pachy. Families can be strange in the ways they relate and individuals even stranger. Find your peace and listen to your brother’s wish that you remember him as he always was.

    • My condolences to you, Pachy. It is so sad that your brother had to suffer so much pain. There are plenty of drugs available that would have alleviated his pain. Suicide by gunshot is especially brutal to the family. My best friend lost her brother that way and it was nightmare. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Suicide is a numbing experience for the family. May you find some peace.

    • I’m so sorry, pachy, for you, for your family, and for your brother. As badmoodman says, many of us know the anguish of losing a loved one at what should be a more celebratory time. The only comfort that I can offer you is that you are not alone, we feel your grief as if it were our own.

      Hugs to both you and to frugal.

    • I am so very sorry to hear of your loss pachy. My step-father did the same thing in 2007 as his throat cancer worsened. Some folks just want to go under their own terms I reckon. Perhaps your brothers desire for all of you to remember him in life also included a wish to not be remembered in the last stages of illness. I pray that all of you find peace, it’s a hard thing to deal with.

    • Thank you all.

      I’m still having computer problems so my attendance here may be sporadic as I keep crashing (and getting pissed off).

      Unlike last winter I haven’t needed any heat yet but that may change tonight as the forecast low tonight is in the 30’s, brrr. We may be delivering frozen mice tomorrow! Good news is that the customer has requested 15,000 mice per week, up from 5000. I assume the demand for reptiles has picked up and the customer is breeding more snakes and lizards to meet the demand.

    • Pachy,

      I am with you and your kin. The loss of a parent is so difficult, especially when it was not directly directed by age.

      My father fainted at midway down a marble staircase, he collided with several steps on the way down. He had sailed on his boat for a weeklong cruise just the week before.

      I am sorry I was so late in responding. I had a mini stroke today and am just getting my right hand and arm back. It seems that I will recover. I still have problems with the mouse and keyboard as well as handling liquids.

      My father fainted at midway down a marble staircase, he collided with several steps on the way down. He had sailed on his boat for a week cruse, the week before.


      • Jeebus, Walt! I’m glad you’re recovering quickly, but it’s a shock to hear all the same.

        Do take care, and let us know in the usual way if you need us to take over any of your duties. ((((hugs))))

  4. Iowa in perspective, from CBS News:

    DES MOINES — A total of 119,188 people participated in the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses. That’s about 20 percent of Iowa’s registered Republicans, 4 percent of the population of Iowa, and .04 percent of the total U.S. population; it’s also less than half as many people as fit into the seats at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    Every four years, this relatively tiny group of people — a subset of a subset of a subset – holds extraordinary power. Their whims, and those of their Democratic counterparts, are breathlessly followed by a narrative-hungry media laser-focused on the first-in-the-nation voting event, and candidates that do poorly in the caucuses often drop out of the presidential race.

    This despite the fact that they are far from a representative sample of the U.S. population or their party as a whole. Iowa caucus-goers are overwhelmingly white – the state’s population is less than ten percent black and Hispanic combined, compared to 28 percent nationwide – and on the Republican side, 60 percent identified as born again or evangelical in 2008. The Hawkeye State is more rural than much of the country, meanwhile, and its 6 percent unemployment rate is 2.6 percentage points below the rest of the country.

  5. QOTD:

    “I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law,” – president Barack Obama, in a signing statement attached the to NDAA.

    This is very encouraging … but still weak. It means that a future president could interpret this law very differently – as all the GOP hopefuls, except Paul and Huntsman, promise to do.

      • I just wish that the “librul media” would exhibit the resolve of Cantor’s aide.

        “That just isn’t true. And I don’t want to let that stand.”

        If she can defend a blatant falsehood then our press/media should damned well be able to say it in condemnation of blatant falsehoods.

      • No idea. My son says he thinks the ducks will prevail but expects a good game. Remembering back to my childhood I recall ducks and geese can be mighty fearsome. I am pulling for the badgers, just to give those feathered terrors of my childhood their comeuppance. 🙂

  6. I’m in the middle of a disagreement with some young kid who think Ron Paul is the best thing to come along since sliced bread (my words, not his.) He asked me which ideas of Paul’s I didn’t like (and, of course, he named his few more popular ones, like end the wars.) I googled “ron paul’s crazy ideas” and was able to find two links that should persuade anyone: a Progressive article on why Ron Paul is a bad choice for president, and a Conservative (Free Republic) one on the same thing.



    • “If I were to disgrace myself in public with such a maudlin display of bogus emotion, my own sainted mother would return from the Afterlife wielding her big old cast-iron frying-pan and whack me upside the head with it.” — John Derbyshire, wingnut at NRO.

      • The only thing I can figure is that Newt thinks that by insisting on a positive campaign, and then whining like a bitch when it doesn’t happen, will somehow inoculate him against people noticing his horrific personal life and numerous ethics problems.

        And still, Newt claims he’s an “intellectual.” Go figure.

        *cough* Psychopath *cough*

        • Newt also didn’t want people to report his lies as his lies…I just think Newt wants to hold other people to standards that he doesn’t want to be held to himself… sort of a “do as I say, not as I do, and don’t pay any attention to that man behind the curtain” situation.

  7. Cee Lo sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and is apparently so clueless that he’s unaware of what the lyrics mean…so he changed them.

    Instead of singing “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too,” Green instead sang, “Nothing to kill or die for, and all religion’s true.”

    Want to completely change the meaning of a song, Cee Lo? Write your own song.

    All this while wearing a full length fur coat and gaudy gold jewelry. 🙄

  8. jaysunb at DU writes:

    I just got back from the Rose Parade and the Occupy Movement was very much a presence at the end of the official floats.
    everyone seemed peaceful and their purpose seemed to be well recieved by the crowds waiting to leave.
    I’m glad, because right off the main parade route, the Sherrifs were “loaded for bear” w/ the full body armor and plastic cuffs. I watched as they shadowed the marchers mostly out of sight of those still watching the last of the floats.

    I must say I was very concerned that this would turn into something ugly and give the MSM an opportunity to bring discredit, but, so far so good.

    Now, lets occupy the ballot box.

    I don’t think it would have done the federales any good to cause trouble for the marchers. Too many witnesses.

  9. Today’s GOP vs Reagan:

    Catch 60 Minutes last night?

    Stahl: But you know, your idol, as I’ve read anyway, was Ronald Reagan. And he compromised.

    Cantor: He never compromised his principles.

    Stahl: Well, he raised taxes and it was one of his principles not to raise taxes.

    Cantor: Well, he — he also cut taxes.

    Stahl: But he did compromise —

    Cantor: Well I —

    At that point, Cantor’s press secretary, off camera, interrupted the interview, yelling that Stahl was lying when she said Reagan raised taxes. As Stahl told “60 Minutes” viewers, “There seemed to be some difficulty accepting the fact that even though Ronald Reagan cut taxes, he also pushed through several tax increases, including one in 1982 during a recession.” The truth is, “no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people” as Reagan.


    • Well, unless my Dad stopped watching 60 Minutes, he saw that!

      Yelling from off camera during an interview — did he actually think that wouldn’t get air time? Or just not the type of air time it actually got? 😀

  10. If someone already posted this and I missed it, please don’t yell at me.

    “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money,” Santorum begins. “I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families.”

    I’m sure that Iowa voters see nothing wrong with this statement and were busy nodding their heads when he uttered it. Given that most Iowans have probably never even seen a Black person in the flesh they undoubtedly “know” that the coloreds are all shiftless welfare sponges demanding that the white folk work hard all their lives just to keep them in color flatscreen televisions.

      • I’ve spent a fair amount of time exploring rural Iowa and I can tell you that there are lots, and lots, of poor white people living in trailers surrounding every little town and hamlet.

    • Santorum also says Obama shouldn’t be pro-choice because he’s black — he should be “pro-life.
      And Santorum also said that Obama has “un-American values.”
      The list of outrageous comments from RS is growing — his appeal to puritanical fundamentalists and racists is solid.

      • and those idiots seem to be gettingy of them, but ALL the press time.
        There are many tutti frutti out there; but there are more of US.

  11. I’ve had this thought running through my head today as we head into election season and the upcoming negative ads that we will soon be barraged with… What if all advertising was like that?

    What if McDonalds put out an ad about Wendy’s: “Wendy’s owner dropped dead of a coronary. Why would you want to eat there?” With graphics of

    Or against Burger King: Why eat a burger with a creepy king guy when you can eat a burger and fires with a happy clown?

    What about Lowes vs Home Depot? “Home Depot destroys rain forests to get their wood. All of Lowe’s wood is a renewable resource…”???

    • Heh. Good one. There is actually a huge sign visible from the freeway here that says (I paraphrase): “No Scandinavian chipboard here, just honest wooden furniture.”

      Hmm, I wonder what that means…

    • Which is why we have truth-in-advertising laws, which, somehow, I don’t hear anyone on the right decrying as an infringement on the free speech “rights” of corporations. So they must accept that either corporations are not regular people like you and me and can be regulated, or that there are some limits to free speech no matter who is doing it.

      • Hmmm,….. “rights” of corporations are not to be infringed upon with un-truths in advertising vs. “free speech” — is that because corporations, marketing, advertising, etc. are all geared toward the profit line — whereas truth in politics would defend the public’s welfare.

  12. Ha, ha, ha…!

    I love it when a Reichwhiner discovers that he/she can’t do as they please. Even the AG of Virginia must have been informed that the courts won’t, or at least shouldn’t, allow one to change a law retroactively to benefit, or punish for that matter, someone who didn’t realize they were running afoul of a given law. The spectacle of watching the GOP candidates pitching a fit is just a bonus.


    • I seem to be remembering this Cuccinelli guy being the mouthy piece of some a lot of extremist right wing radicalism in the past…
      (I looked him up, he’s freaky.)

    • This receives the gold:

      On Fox News Monday morning, Perry said he has hundreds of thousands of supporters in Virginia, primarily veterans and active-duty military in the Norfolk area. His supporters and other Virginia voters will be “disenfranchised” if the ballot requirements are not changed, he said.

      Ah, such a shame disenfranchisement would touch those who want it done to others…

        • The really sad fact is that this guy probably bought his guns legally despite the fact that some people knew he shouldn’t have guns. And the Reichwhiners pitch a fit if anyone suggests we even look at existing laws to make it harder for psychopaths to legally buy guns. And they pitch a fit if anyone dares to suggest that soldiers returning from a war zone might be good candidates for increased scrutiny.

          • I’m thinking along the same lines. As well, he was accepted into the military and trained to kill. To look at the guys mug shots, he may have only needed minor enhancements.

            • Looks can certainly be deceiving but, in some cases, looks tell the whole story. Despite my gentle nature, and the fact that I haven’t so much as punched anyone in over 40 years, I have been told that I look intimidating. I take that into account when I meet new people. But? Some people are exactly what they appear to be and I wouldn’t ever turn my back on that guy if I were unfortunate enough to share his company.

      • They just can’t ever seem to see unintended consequences until said consequences bite them in the butt. I can just picture all of the freaks calling the Virginia AG and saying something like “you Goobers said it would only keep poor black people from voting”.

  13. Hoo boy. Future-ex and her roommate both have pneumonia; stepson may have it; and his wife is in the hospital with bad inner ear infection and complications from a spider bite that didn’t heal right. The infection from the bite probably compromised her immune system, making the inner ear worse.
    If I have to schlep anything over there for them, I have to set it on the doorstep and leave.

    Hell. Wisconsin’s about to score again. Didn’t either team bring their defense with them?

    • Remember the good old days; when we would get an infection, take antibiotics for a week or two, and be cured of said infection? The “bugs”, not spiders, are evolving faster than we invent new antibiotics. Spider venom has always been tricky stuff but the secondary infections were once easy to treat. Not so anymore.

      My friend, Chuck, who lost his left leg to MRSA traced the initial infection of his left leg to an old shoe that caused a blister. Once the blister broke, the post-op infection from his right leg jumped over to the new site and really flourished since he hadn’t yet had a vein graft. The original infection, in his right leg, was acquired at the hospital following a vein graft. The really scary part is that, based on talking to the guys he was hospitalized with, it sounds like 33% to 50% of people who have surgical procedures in hospitals end up with a drug resistant infection.

      The maddening part is that, with a little common sense, we might be able to regain the upper hand by returning to the use of alcohol, bleach, and peroxide for general cleaning. But, even in the infection ward, I saw nurses and orderlies using antibiotic cleaners instead of the old standards.

      • “antibiotic cleaners?” Never heard of them. They are using some sort of cleaning fluid with an antibiotic in, and are somehow surprised that superbugs are running friggin’ rampant in hospitals? Amazing.

        • Yep. One of my quirks is that I can’t resist reading product labels. While visiting Chuck I had the opportunity to read a lot of labels and it seemed like most of the hand washes and assorted cleaners had antibiotics in them. The ironic part is that most were clearly labeled “for hospital use only” when the last place they should be used is a hospital.

    • Those are some serious health issues to “greet the new year”.
      hmm – does the step-son’s wife have diabetes?
      Sending healing thoughts to all!

      • I don’t think she has diabetes. She had some kind of procedure on her knee besides the spider bite. She hasn’t been able to go back to work since the knee procedure. She reported back when the doctor gave her the release and they fired her for exceeding the number of days on the Family Medical Leave Act. She is getting unemployment, which may be in jeopardy if they find out she’s hospitalized, because she isn’t ‘able and available for work’.

    • I have to admit, I never considered that Santorum was anything but a really bad joke. I guess he’s the last of the not-Romney possibilities and drawing in the bulk of the fundie extremists at the very last moment. But it’s all moot, right? Because Jesus is going to intervene and make her president.

    • The fact that Ricky is surging from behind in a Republican caucus in a state noted for its fundamentalist population should may be attributed to the power of the pulpit. If anything, it should be surprising that it took this long. Jebus must like photo finishes.

    • He’s entering dangerous territory there. If the wingnuts start to believe him about his intellectual and educational achievements they’ll turn on him in a heartbeat.

      • Technically, there’s no such thing as an “amateur scientist” in any discipline and Newt isn’t even one of them. An “amateur palaeontologist”, for instance, would be someone who collects fossils without the education to describe them for the scientific community. I am quite sure that Newt has never wandered around looking for fossils. He just goes to a museum and says “hey! I want to borrow that dinosaur thingy for my desk”.

    • Newt is a palintologist. Expert at saying whatever sells books and makes idiots sigh and say don’t they talk purdy?

  14. Peeking at the score, it appears that the Badgers have pulled into the lead. I just wish I cared about American football, because it appears to be an exciting game.

    • All through the first half, it was Wisconsin scoring to go ahead, then Oregon pulling even. Right now it’s Badgers by three. I went over to Current at halftime, and forgot to check the game since then. Thanks for reminding me. I’m having to alternate tuners to keep up with Cenk and company.

  15. INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich called upon President Obama to forgo his federal salary in 2012 because he will spend much of the year campaigning. He also questioned the president’s knowledge of the Constitution and derided his ability to work with Congress.

    Obama was a constitutional law professor. STFU, Newton.

    Don’t bother reading anymore at:

    • Sorry, I peeked anyway.

      Gingrich also signaled that he plans to fight fire with fire in the next few nominating contests, promising to air tougher contrast ads against Romney and to defend the attacks against him. The change in tone is sure to have an effect on a super PAC working on Gingrich’s behalf, too; last week, Gingrich said he would “disown” any independent group that ran negative ads, but that directive seems to have changed.

      If these rats keep gnawing at one another for the next few months, the ultimate candidate may be so badly damaged he won’t appeal to anyone but the complete Obama haters.

      • Even before anyone declared their candidacy I said that all the Obama campaign will have to do is play clips of the GOP “debates” and other appearances. The whole damned bunch belong in a locked ward, strapped to the floor, with a Thorazine drip running into their veins.

  16. The Gaffenator strikes again:

    In challenging rival Rick Santorum’s support for home-state projects funded with federal money, the Rick Perry referred to “the Bridge to Nowhere in Arizona.”

    Whadda fucking moran.

  17. From a Newsmax.com article: “The Romney campaign took a different kind of swipe at Obama, calling via a new website for $18 donations as a response to Obama playing golf while on vacation in Hawaii — a dollar a hole.”

    Really, Mitt? You’re going to be that dumb (after Bush?!) and petty?

      • I think it might be a better strategy to send the extra money to Mitt, or whoever wins the nomination, to run their own commercials. I just can’t imagine anyone being able to say anything more damaging than the crap spewing from the GOoPers. Even if the Obama campaign just takes my original advice, and simply replays footage from the “debates”, the production costs would be next to nothing and they could use the collected cash to flood the market with the insane crap from his opponent.

    • The GOP field, not to mention their supporters, are a bunch of petulant children. The whole damned party, faced with the reality of a black guy in the White House, has devolved since Dubbya was in residence.

    • The wingnuts are screeching about Obama’s vacation site: Hawaii. Real Americans have their vacations in shit holes like Bush’s Texas “ranch.”

      But the only individuals (almost said “people”) nuzzling up to this festering nipple are the ones that already hate the uppity coon. The Tea Potty congressmen all have to spend the holidays in whatever hog wallow they came from, with whatever crap weather they get in January. Wah!

  18. I missed a lot of commentary here last week, so I could be repeating what you all have said, but am I the only one who isn’t buying Newt’s “emotional moment” last week? He was talking about his interest in brain science, since apparently his mother had some sort of issue, and got all verklempt.

    Several commentators have mentioned it, as did Ed Schultz this evening, and they seem to be giving the man a pass. For heaven’s sake, Newt played that crowd like the proverbial fiddle — heavy pauses, wiping his eyes, and actually calling attention to his breaking down more than once.


        • I’m not so sure. I think that Newt has the staff blow her up, and apply a fresh coat of paint, every morning so emotion wouldn’t be part of her makeup. (pun intended)

          • And sharpened her hair..

            That being said, I gave Newt a pass on the tears for his mother, as it is the one and only sentiment/emotion that he and I have in common. Deep down – well, on the outside, too – I’m just a softie. Other than that brief moment, he’s still just a big blustery precocious child who wants attention.

    • Meanwhile…Bachmann’s new strategery is: “Vote for me because I don’t have a penis.”

      Marcus is disconsolate.

    • I’ve heard references to a kinder, gentler Newt and this little melodrama is clearly part of the strategy. “See? He treated his wives like shit and broke his vows repeatedly but he has a sad now. He’s a sweet old grandpa and no longer a vicious, lying selfish piece of snot. He wovs us all, because he’s in the lap of Jesus and his manikin (er, wife) sings in the Catholic choir. That’s how we know his conversion is honest and pure, even though he was fucking this woman for six years while still married to wife #2.”

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