The Watering Hole: February 10 — The view from the International Space Station

This video was put together from a series of photos taken by the space station crew between August and October, 2011.

The auroras and lightning storms are cool, but the most amazing thing to me was the amount of light coming from the populated areas.

This is our daily open thread — TGIF y’all


136 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: February 10 — The view from the International Space Station

  1. Rep. Bachus faces insider trading probe: report

    The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Spencer Bachus, which oversees the U.S. banking and financial services industries, is under investigation for possible violation of insider trading laws, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

    The Office of Congressional Ethics began investigating Bachus, an Alabama Republican, late last year after focusing on a number of suspicious trades on his annual financial disclosure form, the Post reported, citing sources familiar with the case.

    • “Can I help it if I’m a good trader?… yuk, yuk” – said Boss Hogg on NPR, or words to that effect this AM.

    • I was delighted to hear this news, but then I remembered that the reason they were passing the STOCK Act (over Eric Cantor’s suspicious objections) was that Members of Congress are exempt from insider-trading laws, or, to be more precise, exempt from laws banning trading on information not otherwise available to the public if they got that information through their work as a Member of Congress. If, on the other hand, Bachus traded on information in the same illegal manner any of us might, such as learning about a company doing something that would affect stock price through a friend or relative who isn’t supposed to reveal that information, then he should be subject to prosecution. he’s not exempt from obeying insider trading laws altogether, just from trading on information he learned through his job.

      Either way, I wouldn’t mind seeing his pathetic ass thrown in prison.

  2. A “You Decide” push poll from Fox about whether or not we should intervene in Syria.

    Is it time for the US to intervene in the Syrian crisis?

    -Not sure. Can we afford another military action while the Afghan War is being waged? 1.25% (247 votes)
    -Yes. Time for some kind of military intervention. 5.86% (1,162 votes)
    -Yes, but the US should only provide humanitarian aid. 1.9% (376 votes)
    -Yes, if the US is part of a larger coalition that includes the Arab League. 14.73% (2,919 votes)
    -Yes, just because it’s the right thing to do and the US needs to do it. 4.62% (916 votes)
    -No, this is a crisis the Arab League and the UN needs to solve. 35.74% (7,083 votes)
    -No, just because I’m tired of everyone always looking to the US as the solution. 34.4% (6,818 votes)
    -Other (post a comment) 1.5% (298 votes)

    Total Votes: 19,819

    So the UN, which righties wish to defund, gets the plurality of votes here. And what about America’s Divine Supremeacy? Isn’t it God’s will for us to stick our noses in everywhere? And let’s not forget, Saddam moved his WMD’s to Syria. Remember that?

    What do you suppose the answers would have been like, if the question was more like this:

    Do you think Obama has failed by not intervening in Syria?

    -Yes: He’s a worthless traitor who deserves to be deported to Syria or Kenya for not intervening
    -Yes: God hates Obama and this is just another way in which he has failed the country.
    -Yes: Obama hates America and loves Syria. That’s why he won’t invade.-
    -Yes: It is God’s will that America show it’s influence in the world. This means Obama is defying God’s will and is going to Hell.-
    -Yes: Syria has WMD’s from Iraq. Duh. Obama wants Syria to wipe out the world with those WMD’s because Obama hates Republicans.
    -Yes: Because Rush Limbaugh told me so.
    -Yes: Because Obama is a commie.
    -Yes: Because Obama wasn’t born in the US.
    -Yes: Because Sarah Palin is hot.
    -Yes: But he won’t do it because he’s black.

    (There would be no “No” answer. It’s a Fox poll, remember.)

      • Nixon did a lot of damage to our nation. He started the monoculture farming and he was the master mind behind the HMOs which have destroyed our health care system. Now days, many doctors, dentists, and other health care providers are owned by corporations. This means that when we visit these “corporations”, we don’t know what kind of care we will receive. All treatments are based upon ICD9 insurance codes which didn’t exist before the HMOs. If possible find a doctor or dentist or massage therapist that is NOT part of the machine.

    • Thanks for the link. Don’t eat Idaho potatoes either. They are highly sprayed with a toxin. The farmers that grow those french fry perfect Idahos have a separate plot for themselves because they won’t eat the commercially raised potatoes.

  3. News you won’t hear about in the mainstream.
    Obama waives “No Child Left Behind” act for 10 states.

    • Fox calls it an Obama power grab. This tailor-made anti-Obama opinion piece by the Heritage Foundation.

      No Child Left Behind waivers let Team Obama seize control of your child’s education

      Imagine the horror around the Fox family dinner table; worried that the Obama Black Ops (emphasis on black) teams will bust down your door, and take your children away from you and place them in reeducation camps where they can learn how to implement death panels. Of course this is just Obama trampling on the constitution and taking us further into his Kenyan, Commie, Fascist world view.

      • Well there ya’ go. I knew an Obama power grab would be seen as even more sinister than the Bush power grab.

        • Yep. Here’s a opinion piece from last fall when they first announced the waiver program.

          “Obama wants federal control of education way beyond what we’ve seen in our lifetimes.”

          “Offering waivers to schools, instead of allowing Congress to debate and pass bills, which is customary, has shed light on Obama’s true agenda.”

          Yes he wants to trample on the constitution and all that.

          No one is preventing Congress from debating new bills for fixing NCLB? What’s stopping them?

          • No one is preventing Congress from debating new bills for fixing NCLB? What’s stopping them?

            Women’s vaginas… that is what is stopping them. Right now, it is more important to control women and to keep a watch on what goes on inside a women’s vagina. Education will have to wait until women are completely put in their place.

      • Er, doesn’t allowing the states to apply and decide for themselves …. isn’t that states’ rights?

        Or is the only right that’s important is to decide who sits at ‘the front of the bus’ when it comes to states’ rights?

    • I would have waived it for fourty nine states and left out Texas.
      Emphasizing that one man-child in particular was left way behind.

      • And let’s not forget how well home schooling is working out “Soveriegn Citizens” groups…

        That would include Texas.

  4. ‘SS’ gets a proud display by a few Marine snipers

    First we’ve got Marines pissing on dead bodies. And now this. The photo below was taken in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in September 2010. Pictured are 10 Marines of Charlie Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. Emblazoned on the blue flag hanging below the U.S. flag is the logo of the notorious β€œSS,” personally loyal to Adolf Hitler, known for brutal war crimes and deeply involved in the extermination of Jews during World War II. The connection in the photo is apparently to β€œscout sniper,” an exclusive Marine Corps category.

    • They would use the runes. Idiots. I am sure I pissed off loads of Amurkans on the Jennifer Rubin blog at WaPo today. I lost it a bit and my pacifism showed. This picture shows I was right.

    • It’s amazing how many members of the Republic Party are focused on sex. You don’t hear Democrats talking about sex all the time. On the hand, the Republics just can’t stop talking about sex. Everything involves sex with them.

    • That was the blog entry, not Jennifer Rubin.

      Here’s what I said

      9:16 AM GMT+0100
      Tharpie, you’re cute. Now please hop back into your time machine. Honor my foot. The bloke who shot Pat Tillman in the back wouldn’t bother about a woman tortured, hell they rape and shoot women, too. War and combat is a nasty business and there is no place there for honor and virtue, only blood and pain. Everything else is a myth.

      I have to add: Tharpie was harping about how male soldiers might get all chivalrous in a combat situation and try and protect their female co soldiers and thus weaken the platoon. It is not about sex, you know, real men are about honor and stuff. I totally lost it there. I had no intention at all to offend your military personnel in general.

      • Okay, I’ve not gone over there yet to see the reactions, but I’m guessing the following will be said about you.

        “You hate the troops.”
        “Maybe someone should shoot you in the back.”
        “You’ve never served so you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
        “You’re a traitor.”

        Just preparing you EV. The right is ugly. I’ve been reading comments about the NCLB waivers, and the right is a real hate-filled community. Rational though eludes them.

        • The worst I read was someone calling Obama’s mother a prostitute desperate for some black d*ck. I made sure the comment was removed. They can be nasty indeed.

          • The weekly Hate Mail at Daily Kos is interesting in that so much of it is as homosexual in nature as it is vapid and disgustingly ludicrous. The weirdos who write the stuff sound very experienced in all the details … maybe since there are no chicks in wingnut militias … well, you know. As the old Marine Corp ditty goes,

            This is my rifle
            This is my gun
            This one’s for killing
            This one’s for fun.

            Pretty profound, I know, but that’s the military for you. We should all feel … ummm … safe? πŸ˜‰

            • frugal, I am reading redstate comments a lot lately, not really so much hate in there, but loads of desperation and delusion.

    • Pursuant to the noted facts that
      1. Sanitarium does not practice birth control and does not wnat you to practice it either
      2. His wife is probably still of child bearing age
      3. He is *obsessed* with sex


      Turtle connects the dots …. Frothy ain’t getting none….

  5. And, in other news, Obama announces yet another compromise on contraception. Under this new compromise, no health insurer may provide benefits for either contraception nor abortion. Any sperm not seeking an egg will be charged with deriliction of duty, and he who emitted said sperm will be cited for wrongful ejaculation.

    It is rumored that Catholic Bishops will stongly oppose the compromise.


    • If nocturnal emissions (“wet dreams”) become designated as a criminal offense (as in the destruction of several million half- humans, willful or not still criminal), no young man will live beyond the age of fifteen max.

      Could be beneficial though. Might help reduce global warming, eventually.

      • Ah, 14 or 15 years, the age at which my sons all learn to do their own laundry. πŸ™‚

        • outstanding, mine are that age right now. They are doing their own laundry now, too. I knock on their bedroom doors for a while now as well, even during the day. You never know.

        • Heh, the age at which mothers, who will spot a smudge on a forehead at 50 yards, simply pretend not to notice certain things going on and around our boys.

          And they learn to do their own laundry.

          I have to confess that I am a horrible mother. When my youngest was about 14 years old, we were having a blazing row (we tend to do that), in which he declared his intention to run away and I’d never see him again; and he’d probably get murderer by some pervert, and I’d never even know for the rest of my life. I just looked him square in the face and said, “I’ll just have to cops scrape DNA off your sheets, so they can identify your rotting corpse.”

          He ran into his room, slammed the door, and I heard what I thought was crying. I felt terrible, but it did shut him up.

          A couple years ago, he finally told me that when he’d run into his room after I said that terrible snark, he was actually laughing his ass off, but he didn’t want me to know. The little shit!

      • The secret to eliminating nocturnal emissions is to whack off so many times during the day that the tank is near empty and no pressure has built up.

        Tweet from TP:
        Right now, Santorum arguing that its not appropriate for any insurance plan to cover contraception

        • If *I* were president, *I* would disallow insurance companies to cover pregnancy — but MANDATE they cover contraception. Oh, and they can charge the same rates which would mean they could increase profits enough to pay their respective CEO’s another fifty or sixty million per year! I would expect full and enthusiastic wingnut support to be automatic, iow.

          /snark. Sort of.

  6. BnF’s scenario is probably not too far from what the Pres will say. He’s to speak around 9a (PST).

    I do believe we have become a theocracy — depending on how much “compromise”/capitulation the admin. has done as the Catholic church has been spewing and yelling in DC

    • I wonder how he’ll spin his comments about an earlier governor who shold take responsibility for the criminal beahviour of his staff….. IOKIYAAR?

  7. Lots of good discussion today. I can’t contribute because I keep thinking about sex (gay of course) and the fact that I pay taxes for educating kids even though I don’t have any. /snark

    Ok only half a snark – still think of sex but just with my wife. I have no problem contributing to education through taxation.

    My sister and brother-in-law are in town so I will be out for most of the day.
    Have a great day everyone.

  8. We Are A Theocracy..even though the Pres said “We followed the medical advise..”
    Religious groups don’t have to worry about assisting/providing for women’s reproductive health (spit and double spit).

    • Time to buy stock in burqua makers – there’s 150 million US women to frock when Frothy ascends to the throne.

  9. The American Taliban’s security forces are well-trained.

    Private security guards outside of the Conservative Political Action Conference threatened to arrest attendees who had gone outside the hotel to observe a union-organized protest of CPAC.

    Be good conservatives and go inside,” one guard shouted at attendees watching as D.C. police pushed back protestors who tried to approach the hotel after rallying on the street. The guard said they were clearing the outside of the hotel of all people whether they were union protestors or CPAC attendees.

  10. Here’s my new BBQ rib recipe, as promised. Actually, it’s more of a procedure than a recipe. I use a glass bread pan for 1 1/2 pounds of boneless “country style” pork ribs.

    Mix 6 oz. of beer (I use a German lager but anything that’s not too dark will work)
    I tbsp of your favorite BBQ sauce.
    1/2 tsp rosemary.
    1/2 tsp cumin.
    Marinate ribs over night. Turn once or add more beer to cover them.

    Drain; saving about half of the beer.
    Dust with salt and black pepper.
    Cover ribs with sliced onion (About half a medium onion will do.)

    Bake, at 350 degrees, for 1 1/2 hours.
    Turn your ribs. (NOTE: If the liquid has boiled off you want to add about another 2 oz.)
    Bake another hour, checking to make sure the bottom isn’t burning.
    Douse with BBQ sauce.
    Bake 15 minutes.
    Turn and douse with sauce again.
    Pop them under the broiler until the sauce forms a glaze (about 5 minutes).

    Total cooking time is just shy of three hours.

    • BatShit Crazy this is how you show compassion and positive guidance to children:

      (very proud of the SFPD)

      • SFPD It Gets Better” video project as part of the nationwide campaign to end bullying of LGBT youth. The video provides a message of transformation, hope and encouragement to LGBT yo…uth that it does get better. The SFPD is the first and only Police Department in the country to produce a video for the campaign.

      • Indeed. However, it would be funnier and more accurate if she were allowed to say the “batscat signal”. Hmmm. Can they say “batscat” on cable “news”? Rachel is probably too classy but someone should look into that.

      • Ricky best remember how the neutered-one was “the chosen one” for about half an hour and now look at him flailing for attention that isn’t there!

        • Nate Silver seems to think Sanitorum has a good shot at the nomination as of now. He certainly has a good shot at attracting the Radical Right and offers (to Repubs) an improved NotRmoney. Everybody likes Rick. One might think that even conservative women would be reluctant to give up contraception entirely, though.

        • That’s the funny part. Any child can see that, once the “front-runner” spotlight shines on one of them, everyone realizes just how crazy they are. If they were sane? They would dial it down a bit but, since they’re nuts, they dial it up because they figure that the crazy stuff is what gave them the boost in the first place.

    • “This is having someone pay for it, pay for something that shouldn’t even be in an insurance plan anyway because it is not, really an insurable item. This is something that is affordable, available. You don’t need insurance for these types of relatively small expenditures. This is simply someone trying to impose their values on somebody else, with the arm of the government doing so. ”

      Because Sanitorum isn’t trying to impose his values on anyone, or using the government to do so. Riiiight.

      If birth control is readily available and affordable, how much of that is due to Planned Parenthood?

  11. And again, the obvious question to Catholics….

    … why do you let a bunch of supposedly-celibate, boy-fondling, bigoted, mysogynist old gits have the gall to tell you that you can’t decide for yourself when to have children?

    … really?

    • We don’t let hem decide it, Terry. We do whatever we think best and then get a reset at confessions πŸ˜†

  12. Today, I just learned from a very good friend that she and he husband have left the Catholic Church because of the churches position on gay marriage and women priests. She still considers herself a Catholic, just won’t send any more money to the Catholic church. This shocked me because I knew and respected her commitment to her religion. I was raised Catholic and the faith can be very strong. What made me question the Vatican was when they changed the rules about eating meat. Once it was a sin to eat meat on a Friday. Then, the pope not scripture, changed the rule that it was no longer a sin to eat meat on a Friday. That didn’t make sense to me. Needless to say, I’m neither a believer nor a non-believer. I just don’t know and I don’t spend much time wondering what is the truth. All that I know is my own personal values and what they mean to me.

  13. Did Romney really say he had a severe case of conservatism and needs some rest, or did I get that wrong?


          Seriously, where is the right (Palin, et al) to attack him for using teleprompters?


        • I think it’s because he’s making stuff up as he goes.

          I could have voted for the Mittens who was governor of Mass. He seemed like a pretty bright, reasonable guy. And, if he was running on the same platform, he would still seem bright and reasonable. Alas, he has to pander to the stupidest 25% of the American electorate so he sounds like an idiot; just like all the rest of the GOoPers.

          Isn’t there an old saying that goes something like: “Telling the truth is easy but lying is hard work”? I attribute most of the dumb stuff that comes out of Mittens to his eagerness to tell any lie he thinks might give him a boost from whatever group he’s addressing. Of course, that alone is all I need to know about his complete lack of integrity and/or consistency.

          • The same thing happened to Grampy McSame. He wanted to be president SO much, that he forgot who he was and what he stood for.

            That hasn’t gotten any better, but maybe his brain has just gone mushy.

  14. Well, that’s another gorgeous tote bag.

    Tore my hair out over this one, but I’ll tweak the next one and it will be even better.

    Ima goin out for a bottle of wine. πŸ™‚

    • I’m ahead of you. Got my 46 hours in and I already have the Double Bock in the fridge.

  15. Thom Hartmann just raised an interesting point. He contends that the outrage over contraception is being ginned up by the Reichwhiners to keep the improving economy out of the news. It’s a bit simplistic but makes sense.

    • It’s always about controlling the news cycle. Fox is really pushing this one hard.

      Of course, you’d think what Obama did was require that churches hand out contraceptives to every employee as they entered the building. And that the “compromise” was that now the insurance companies must hand out to every employee they cover at a religious organization as they walk into the building.

      Again, righties miss the point. All they’re saying is if the employees want it, then it must be provided.

      Perhaps the right should examine the question of why would church employees want it in the first place?

      • It wouldn’t bother me as much if it was just FAUX”News”. But every station break, every front page, every newscast is talking about this stupid issue while there’s hardly a peep about unemployment going down, the strong market, the real economic growth, and the lowest monthly federal deficit in years.

    • He’s never heard of ‘fly by wire controls’? Small planes require more physical effort than the big ones. Everything on big planes is done by electronics, hydraulics, and servo-controlled motors.

      • I would love to see the look on his face if one told him about the female Soviet combat pilots, including many all female squadrons, in WW2. There were many fighter aces and Heroes of the Soviet Union among them. Here’s one of the neatest stories.

        While the Pe-2 generally featured favorable flying characteristics when airborne, it took a good amount of force to pull the elevators up to get the plane rotated off the runway during takeoff. Russian night bombing missions often flew with female pilots and some of the women were not strong enough to get the airplane airborne by themselves. When such a situation occurred, the procedure was to have one of the crew get behind the pilot’s seat and wrap her arms around the control wheel and help the pilot pull the wheel back. Once the aircraft was airborne, the crew member returned to her duties and the pilot continued to fly the plane without assistance.

        Needless to say, there were also many non-combat female pilots, in the air forces of all the combatants, who flew planes that were far more physically demanding than any modern combat aircraft.

          • Yep. And much of their flying was every bit as hazardous as some combat assignments. Some of their duties included test flights of newly manufactured airplanes that might have had faults and flying aircraft between the main production sites and modification centers where the latest upgrades were applied. There was also a British woman who ferried Hawker Typhoons and Tempests, which were notorious for engine failures, who set an unofficial record for most emergency landings during the war.

        • I’m afraid that there isn’t enough thrust in all creation to propel their egos and self-entitlement into space but we could probably jury rig a rocket that would launch them into the face(s) of Mount Rushmore at a couple-hundred mph.

          All that we would have to do is run an ad saying; “Want your face on Mount Rushmore?” And they would line up for the great honor as long as we don’t mention that their faces would be splattered on said mountain.

    • Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
      And the slow parade of fears without crying
      Now I want to understand
      I have done all that I could
      To see the evil and the good without hiding
      You must help me if you can?

      Doctor, my eyes, tell me what is wrong
      Was I unwise to leave them open for so long

  16. Dr. Corey Robin was Thom Hartmann’s guest on Conversations With Great Minds tonight. Thought some of y’all might find the discussion about conservatives interesting, or even buy his book on your Kindles.

  17. Ha! Armen in Bradenton, Florida (a Thom Hartmann regular) said CPAC stands for Criminal Politician and Corporation Convention

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