The Watering Hole, Thursday, January 5th: Take a Break

After the Iowa caucuses, I need to bring my blood pressure back down, and I know that we could all stand a break from politics and troubles.  So I propose that we slow down for a few minutes and enjoy some flowers.

There, now don’t you feel a little better?

This is our daily Open Thread, what’s on your mind?

134 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Thursday, January 5th: Take a Break

  1. Rachel Maddow has Michael Steele tied up in knots over her comparison of the Santorum supporters and Ron Paul supporters. If you missed it last night, go to her MSNBC site and catch up with it.

    Watched KO, and never heard any mention of this supposed rift between him and his bosses at Current. This is not the time to shake things up. If there are problems, put them aside until after the 2012 elections, guys.

    • I agree. We need to remain focused and fired up. The president put his foot down yesterday. I love when he gets angry. He sounds like a parent disciplining their child. The Repubs in this Congress do act like unruly children. They are into playing childish games with our economy and that’s not right. Obama is the adult in the room.

  2. That is a good idea, Jane. All politics, 24 hrs/day is not healthy.

    As I look outside my window this morning, there is a beautiful flicker eating from the suet containers. Bird watching is calming just like watching fish in an aquarium. Many years ago, I had an aquarium and after work, I would sit and watch the fish do their thing. All the fish names. 🙂

    • Mostly Lesser Goldfinches and Anna’s H-bird at my feeders, along with lovely nuthatches (my favorites). I haven’t seen or heard the flickers recently, but I did hear another woodpecker working away this morning. I’ve had a Downy Woodpecker at my suet in the past but not often enough.

      But, yes, my bird visitors are calming and cheering. Waking to all the finches twittering away almost makes getting up worthwhile.

  3. So in retrospect on this rough and tumble GOP race for the nomination, what have we learned?

    Cain is a womanizer, and he likes the number 9.
    Bachmann really is that crazy.
    Perry could very well be the dumbest governor in our nation’s history.
    Ron Paul is still Ron Paul (this seems to always surprise the media).
    Mitt Romney has held every position on every issue. Twice.
    Newt Gingrich is a Weeble. He wobbles, but never quite falls down.
    Rick Santorum is allowed to do things he doesn’t want us to do.
    Tim Pawlenty bored himself out of the race.

  4. Thanks for the visual bouquet Jane!
    No politics for me today, except to chortle at the President calling out the ne’er do wells in the Repubican party for their continued intransigence and malfeasance.

  5. Beautiful flowers. Thanks.

    And Keith Olbermann, you are not the second coming of Edward R. Murrow no matter how much you’d like to think you are in your delusional head. Your schtick is tired.

  6. I know I said no politics today, but I found this on C&L this AM and just had to share…
    Re: FauxSnooze whining about Fox News Blames ‘Left-Wing Blog Politico’ for Weak GOP Field

    Specifically, this whine by a ‘legal analyst’ clod named Peter Johnson Jr.
    “Johnson continued: “In terms of scrutiny, there has to be fairness. And so, if you’re a commentator and an analyst — and I’m a commentator and an analyst — say you’re a commentator and an analyst. If you’re an activist, say you’re an activist, but to pretend you’re a news person, to pretend that you’re giving a fair and balanced view of things, when in fact you have no credentials to do that and you’re only history is to engage in activism, is to engage in politics, is to engage in propaganda, then that’s an unfair portrayal of the news to the American people.”

    Got irony, idiot? And no, irony is not what you do to your shirty after laundry…

    • HA HA HA HA — the jerks at Fox think Politico is “liberal” — anytime there is a remark that they don’t favor, they label it liberal — we all know Politico was founded by conservtives for conservatives and like to label themselves independent — but in reality are conservative — look at their masthead.

      The GOP field of candidates is so abysmal, there isn’t anything much good to say about them — but Fox says that’s Politico’s fault.
      I don’t like Politico because they falsely claim independence, and I have writen to them several times about that — but when there is nothing good to say about the GOP, it’s not the fault of Politico.

  7. On a more fashionable note, do you think Frothy is going to lose the sweater vest for NH while he tries to pander to the 1% crowd? Or does he really thinks it makes him look with it.

  8. Nice touch Jane, thank you! We still have a rose bush with blooms here at camp, and the occasional dandelion among the grass.

  9. I needed flowers today, though I certainly don’t need my own coming up too early due to a warm winter. This weekend past I saw forsythia blooming, which is not supposed to happen in freaking January.
    I’m off to the hospital tomorrow morning. I hope it doesn’t totally suck.

      • “Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns,”

        You really can’t argue with a statement like that when it comes from the mouth of Gary Busey.

        He bumped his head kind of hard during his motorcycle crash and he’s been the poster child for Tourettes and random social awkawrdness since then.

  10. She’s baaaack:

    Sarah Palin has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February, an event which she has consistently snubbed over the past four years, ABC News reports.

    The decision to accept the top spot at the conference may be a sign that Palin recognizes the need to refresh her political clout ahead of the 2012 elections.

    • Thanks, Zooey. Personally, I like the purple/yellow contrast the best – although the red gladiolus is an old favorite.

      Honestly, I was a bit burnt out and needed the change. I was planning to scan some older photos and put them up, but the scanner decided for some reason to go on the blink. Wayne fixed it tonight, so I’ll try to find some other good photos to scan and share.

      • That’s my favorite as well.

        We need to pace ourselves this year — it’s going to be a stressful one. We may need lots of cesspool parties. 🙂

  11. How corrupt is Santorum? And so the vetting gets more serious. Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross remind us that Santorum was ranked, in 2006, as one of the three most corrupt Senators in Washington, mostly for doing things like this:

    “Perhaps the most jarring detail from his tenure in office is the unorthodox $500,000 mortgage that Santorum and his wife secured on the home in rural Virginia they had purchased for $643,361. According to a series of reports in the Philadelphia Daily News, the mortgage came from Philadelphia Trust Company, a fledgling private bank catering to “affluent investors and institutions” whose officers had contributed $24,000 to Santorum’s political action committees and re-election campaign.

    In advertising, the lender said it only offered its preferred rates to well-heeled borrowers who also used their investment services. But Santorum’s public disclosure forms showed he did not have the required minimum $250,000 in liquid assets and was not an investor with Philadelphia Trust. His ability to secure the five-year loan led [Melanie] Sloan to file a complaint under a Senate ethics rule that specifically prohibits members from accepting a loan on terms not available to members of the general public. At the time, a Santorum spokeswoman told the Daily News that the mortgage terms were set at “market rates,” but did not provide further comment.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/santorum-surge-brings-ethics-questions/story?id=15287424#.TwTQjCNAZNl

  12. I thought this was a Borowitz report headline when I saw it, but nope, it’s reported on TPM today
    Newt: African Americans Should Get Off Food Stamps, Demand Paychecks
    The article excerpt>>
    Campaigning in New Hampshire today, Newt promised potential voters at a town hall that he would personally pay a visit to the NAACP and explain to the organization why African Americans need to ditch food stamps.

    “I will go to the NAACP convention, and explain to the African-American community why they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps,” said Gingrich.

    Go for it, you flabby white piece of racist trash. Be sure to bring a truckload of watermelons with you to offer for dessert.

      • Those were in the days of BC — Before Clinton — the GOP went nuts with personal attack ads in the 90’s and they have grown worse with each decade. Now they say whatever pops into their ugly (and empty) heads with no regard for civility, much less polite society.
        Many of us spout off about politicos – but we’re not well-known — the liberties taken by the GOP to trash their opponents or to pander to their supporters is historic.

  13. Iran: “The Sarah Palin of nations.”

    That’s Karim Sadjapour’s assessment, as a consequence of Iranian “simultaneously [having] delusions of grandeur and profound insecurity.”

    Bingo.

    • Hey! I’d have delusions of grandeur too if my previous name was Persia!
      And as for the insecurity, ask Israel what they intend to do with their nukes…

    • Well? Both Palin and Ahmadinejad are right wing authoritarians and seem to embody the Dunning-Kruger effect. Although, I think that Ahmadinejad is a good deal smarter than that awful woman from Alaska. Idiots aren’t likely to survive Iranian politics very long.

  14. We set another record high temp, the first of the new year, and I’m assembling a little spread sheet to chart anomalous weather. If 2012 is anything like 2011 it should turn into a substantial data base. But, today’s beautiful weather also provided some fun.

    When I went out for my first walk today I noticed that a downspout had come loose and water appeared to be entering the building. So, I went over to the office and the head maintenance guy was there so he got right on it. I was very pleasantly surprised when he knocked at my door and handed me a $15.00 coupon off of next month’s rent! Then I asked him what I would get if I turned in the little old lady who sells hash brownies and, after a good shared laugh, he said he would kick me out.

  15. I posted this late yesterday after everybody was gone.
    Oh thanks’s Gummitch. My daughter got accepted to the Music Conservatory program at Roosevelt University Chicago College of the Performing Art for vocal performance and they gave her a $10K scholarship. It’s a lot more than that so I’m going to have to get loans and other aid though. And a second job I guess. She’s very happy. Oh and there are only 12 people accepted.

    • Kudos Shayne and daughter! Ganz Hall is a cool place and the conservatory was founded like 160 years ago? Will she be downtown or in Schaumburg?

      • She’ll be downtown where you look out over Buckingham Fountain and the lake. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some loans so she can stay on campus and pay the rest of the tuition.

    • Super cool! Frankly, I don’t see where there’s much room to train her lovely voice. A little polishing, perhaps, and an expanded repertoire sounds like the way to go.

    • Congratulations to you both. Any money spent will be a good investment. That young lady has a voice that makes angels weep with envy.

      • Oh thanks hooda. The good thing about staying in Chicago is she gets to work with the local opera companies and hopefully will have a leg up on work. Although she’s already talking about graduate studies. I’m going to need a lot of jobs.

        • You are welcome. The thing is if she were to go for American Idol she could easily clean house. Probably make lots of bucks and wreck a chance at a classical career. May she follow her heart and talent.

  16. TPMMuckraker

    Olbermann’s Future At Current TV Unclear

    Since Current TV hired Keith Olbermann last February, the lesser-known cable network has been building primetime programming centered around the progressive heartthrob. But according to recent reports, the relationship is starting to fray.

  17. The status update I wrote for facebook today:

    If Christians are concerned about having a good candidate to vote for in November, there already is a Christian man in the race who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. He’s trying to heal the sick, feed the hungry, care for the elderly, educate all of our children, help veterans get back on their feet with medical care and jobs, ease the tax burden on those of us who can least afford that burden, and make this country a place of which we may continue to be proud. That man is BARACK OBAMA.

    Thoughts?

  18. It was even warmer than I thought. Lots of people were out wearing shorts today. Out in southwest Minnesota we reached the highest temp, 63 degrees, ever recorded in the state in the first week of January. The local driving range was open today although I don’t think they plan on opening the entire course because so much is shaded and will hold an inch or so of snow.

    http://www.twincities.com/news/ci_19682044?source=rss

      • The funny part is that I caught a couple minutes of, arguably, the most strident local denier whining about not being able to go skating and ice fishing.

        Hey Joe! (His Name is Joe.) If we weren’t fucking up the climate you could go skating and ice fishing. You can help by driving a truck that doesn’t go 0-60 in 5 seconds flat (He likes to whine about “Obama outlawing trucks so we can’t tow our boats”.)

          • He’s (discarding several options) an idiot of the highest order. He calls his show “Garage Logic” but I can guarantee that he’s never so much as changed his own oil and never expressed a truly logical thought. He also claims to be a big hunter and fisher while still consistently denying the evidence of his own senses. He blames “the government” for our reduced duck numbers (Minnesota could do a better job of preserving duck habitat but he would just whine about “the government” screwing landowners if they actually did a better job.) without even considering that it’s because migration patterns have changed and invasive species, which thrive due to the warmer climate, have destroyed much of the habitat. But? He screams that global warming is “a hoax” every time it snows.

            In other words, he’s a Reichwhiner.

            • I truly despise the willfully ignorant.

              I wish they would just start an exclusive club, and stay there forever — and not the United States!

  19. Tuesday night’s news ratings during the caucus reporting (in millions):

    —————–5p:——–6p:———7p:———8p:———9p:——–10p:——–11p:——12a:
    FNC——–TheFive:—-Baier:—–Shep:—–Iowa:——-Iowa:——-Iowa:——-Iowa:—–Iowa:
    —————1.522—–1.978—–1.999——2.573——2.673——2.646——2.593——2.405
    MSNBC—-Matthews:—Iowa:——Iowa:—–Iowa:——-Iowa:——-Iowa:——-Iowa:——Iowa:
    —————-833———931——1.104—–1.251——1.162——1.172——1.078——913
    CNN———Blitzer:——King:——Iowa:—–Iowa:——-Iowa:——-Iowa:——-Iowa:——Iowa:
    —————-600——–531——–708—–1.129——-1.364—–1.438——-1.232—–1.105

    Sheppard on Fox rarely beats Baier, and the 2.5-2.6 range of viewers is less than O’Reilly usually draws. A good night for MSNBC, over a million for five hours, and even better for CNN, who normally loses to MSNBC, except for major breaking news, when casual watchers tune in, in larger numbers.

    It would appear the regular Fox viewers bailed to watch football.

  20. I ran out of “reply” so I’m continuing our discussion here, Zooey.

    I really prefer the term “stupid” to ” willfully ignorant”. It takes a profoundly stupid person to devote the energy “smart” people use for learning to remaining ignorant. Ignorance is easy to cure but stupidity is usually chronic and terminal.

  21. Melissa Harris-Perry To Host MSNBC Weekend Show Starting In February

    Perhaps buoyed by the success of buzz-building political rounndtable Up With Chris Hayes, MSNBC has announced that longtime contributor and fill-in host Melissa Harris-Perry will host her own weekend show, beginning Feb. 4th at 10am. Harris-Perry will follow Up, which moves to 8am-10am both days, and will lead in to Weekends with Alex Witt.

    The new lineup will look like this, eastern time:

    7-8am – Weekends with Alex Witt

    8-10am – Up With Chris Hayes

    10am-noon – Melissa Harris-Perry

    Noon-2pm – Weekends with Alex Witt

    Now, if we could get them to repeat Up after Alex Witt, the West Coast could sleep normal hours and still see it.

      • I have to try to catch up with Thom Hartmann on the weekends now. And Max Keiser on RT.

        I decided to just go and buy myself a chainsaw tomorrow, to cut up the big limb in my front yard. I got a letter from the city that I have to have it gone by Monday, and future-ex caught pneumonia, and didn’t get off a letter asking for an extension in time. Renting one wouldn’t be cheaper enough than owning one, and I’m always needing one for firewood cutting.

      • Had a four hour nap. I need another one before 5am. I only have to work until 2:30 on Fridays. I woke up and was listening to O’Donnell when he spoke about Harris-Perry’s new show. Actually, it’s looking like Cenk may have left MSNBC too soon, but really, his ratings were as good as Sharpton. Cenk just pissed off Ezra Klein, and I think that Ezra whined to the big boss at MSNBC.

        In the morning I have a part to turn in to Quality Control, then I’ll be in Programming until it gets approved. So it should be an easy day, because after that, I’ll be on cruise control with a long cycle part to run.

  22. So there’s a debate on ABC Saturday night at 9 eastern, and Meet the Press has one the next morning in their regular Sunday time slot, ahead of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. Two debates in 12 hours. Perry will really be in trouble by Sunday morning and Newt will certainly (cretinly? thanks spellcheck!) be cranky. I saw a poll that had Huntsman and Perry even at 4%, but I can’t remember if it was a state or national.

    • I might check in on the Saturday night “debate,” just to see Gingrich become a suicide bomber, but Sunday morning is out. I’m not watching Perry in his footy pajamas and Romney being a Mormon “high on life” on a Sunday morning.

      Nope, not gonna do it.

    • Neut best find the off button on “the media doesn’t treat me fairly”. The ‘cry baby’ routine is boring.

      Is Perry going to participate?

      • Santorum, Romney, Paul, Perry, Gingrich, Huntsman for both events.

        I’ll probably miss the Saturday night fiasco, but I’ll make the Sunday morning one. It would be fun to follow Mugsy’s play-by-play at C&L, but he usually is one hour delayed where he is in Texas, on Meet the Press. I’ll watch the debate live instead of This Week.

        Ugh!

        Sarah Palin to Make Keynote Speech at CPAC

        Sarah Palin will be the keynote speaker at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 11, after four years of consistently rejecting the top spot at the high-profile conservative conference in Washington, D.C.

        There’s still time to cancel, Sarah!

        • There’s still time to cancel, Sarah!

          Palin will show at this garbage-fest. She needs to “feel the love” – the fickle public has grown very weary of her antics and this may be the way to “remind” them she still exists.

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