"It’s absolutely true that the most most notorious prison camp on the planet is in Cuba — but it’s run by the U.S. Government. "
"Apparently we are supposed to regard the cancellation of a dumb movie as The Worst Thing Ever, since it involves surrender to an ugly regime and its evil ways. The great and the good are now exhorting President Obama to do something about this outrage and teach North Korea to behave. The hideousness of Pyongyang is no more ‘news’ than learning that Hollywood is full of idiots. What exactly the moral outrage contingent wants Washington, DC. to do about Sony’s prostration before the prophets of juche is far from clear."
"Sony’s executives now say they knew that basing a film on the assassination of a living national leader — even a ruthless dictator — had inherent risks."
Based on Sony’s trailer for the movie, The Interview, (maybe it’s still around, maybe it got yanked along with the film itself), we just might owe North Korea a debt of gratitude here. And I don’t mean just for the juicy executive quotes. Either that or possibly I’m just out of touch with what’s funny these days. (OK, you can put your hands down now.)
"He threatened to use his new position as a subcommittee chairman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to block the nomination of an ambassador to Cuba and the building of an embassy there, and he said the better policy would be to increase the Soviet-era sanctions."
Of course, for $48 million maybe they could finally beat Ohio State, so maybe it’s worth it after all.
"The new U.S.-Cuba deal ends a long-standing ban on importing Cuban tobacco and eases traditionally tense travel bans — but bringing back cigars in bulk and tourism are still off limits.
"The policy change, annouced Wednesday, allows American travelers to bring back $400 worth of goods from Cuba, but it puts a $100 cap on tobacco and alcohol.…
"Plus, $100 doesn't go very far: In Cuba, a box of Cohibas runs between $130 and $150, Welsch estimated."
"Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them."
Never thought I’d be nostalgic for Goldwater. (A lot more at the link, above.)
"It's no surprise that Bush pounced to attack the shift in policy. A few weeks ago, Bush said that the current prohibitions on travel and trade are too loose and that the US government should clamp down harder on the Castro regime."
"US and Cuba are to start talks to normalise diplomatic ties in a historic shift in relations between the two countries, media reports say.…
"US President Barack Obama is making a statement later. "
"Mr. Bush could still win even if Tea Party supporters opposed him by a wide margin."
If Bush declares he will win the Republican primary and very possibly win the 2016 general election, especially if his opponent then is Clinton. There. Let’s not have any more discussion of this: That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.
ADD: This this was posted before I learned about today’s announcements involving relations with Cuba. I’m doubling down.
"This methane, which was detected by the Curiosity rover, can only really come from two places: Geological activity… or life."
As long as it doesn’t come through here. We’re opposed to pipelines here. Also, we’re opposed to any source of energy except, currently, the sun. So we’re hoping it stops raining soon.
If we could do fracking on Mars, we might be OK with that.
"John Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer who authored a series of notorious memos cited by the Bush administration to justify the torture of terrorism detainees, acknowledged on Sunday that the CIA may have broken the law."
"Lane Kelly, Greenfield’s finance director, said the town will designate about half of the spaces in four of the town’s downtown parking lots as ‘premium’ spaces in an effort to open up space and make it easier for people who shop, dine, volunteer or go to the movies to find a place to park. They also aim to make it easier to find parking for people who plan to take the train when Amtrak returns to Greenfield."
"Last Friday, after the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s history of torture and deceit post-9/11, Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who was tortured as a prisoner in North Vietnam, appeared on the Charlie Rose show.
"Watching was like taking an anti-Cheney pill."
"The SS United States was launched in 1952 as the world's fastest ocean liner, and it still holds the record for speediest trans-Atlantic voyage. The ship was partially funded by the Navy with the idea that it could be converted one day into an extremely efficient troop transporter."
"'Any white person with a criminal record, however, will be deported in the next 90 days back to their ancestral homeland. Rush Limbaugh will be going to Germany. Justin Bieber will depart for Canada. And the entire cast of Jersey Shore will be returning to Italy.'"
"Cho, who was head of cabin service at Korean Air, ordered a senior flight attendant off a Dec. 5 flight after she was served macadamia nuts in a bag, instead of on a plate, in what she thought was a breach of service protocol in first class."
…will finally be here December 22, we’re told, although it won’t actually be from Vermont, it’ll be from right here. The Vermont part has been indefinitely postponed and maybe, just maybe, changed to Montreal. But just three days before Christmas, the high speed train will be here. Santa Claus won’t be aboard. The Governor will.
Down at the John W. Olver International Bus Station work is furiously underway to build a platform beside the track. The track runs right by the bus station which, when it was built a few years ago with stimulus money, was intended to be a train station too, but nobody though to build the platform because it was thought back then, we suppose, the train would never actually arrive. But now we know it will. December 22.
There’s no time (and perhaps no money) to build a permanent platform by the track so construction of a temporary platform is hurriedly underway. From the looks of it, it’s intended to be temporary for a long, long time.
But no matter. The high speed train will leave from here on December 22 around 1:30 PM and arrive in New York City about 6:30, in plenty of time for a fashionably late East Coast supper and perhaps a show. There is no return train until the next morning, so take your jammies if you go.
Yes. The high speed train will take you from here to New York City in five hours flat. Or, if you prefer, you can drive it (according to Google) in a little over three.
"1911: Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell describes cheerleading as 'the worst means of expressing emotion ever invented.' In response, The Nation defends the activity: 'The reputation of having been a valiant 'cheer-leader' is one of the most valuable things a boy can take away from college. As a title to promotion in professional or public life, it ranks hardly second to that of being a quarterback.'"
"(Reuters) - A Wisconsin man told a sheriff's deputy he had not been drinking, but rather eating beer-battered fish when he was pulled over for what could be his 10th drunken driving offense, according to an incident report released on Wednesday."
"The studio 'does not consent to your possession, review, copying, dissemination, publication, uploading, downloading or making any use' of the information, Boies wrote in the letter, according to the New York Times report."
"It's a matchup between two of the league's most disappointing teams."
"As best I can tell, Lena Dunham is the Miley Cyrus of condescending, phony intellectuals."
"After many requests, Netflix secured the rights to the newest British cult hit Happy Valley."
“British cult hit” is just plain terrifying.
"We’re not talking about whistleblowing or related matters of political import where important discussions need to be had. This is nothing more than privacy evisceration courtesy of media opportunism."
When we’re talking about my stuff it’s privacy.
When we’re talking about your stuff it’s transparency.
See how that works?
"Down here in the tabloid trenches, we also must deal daily with people who somehow keep getting their names in the news, but who hold, frankly, no fascination whatsoever."
"As special agent in charge of the criminal investigation task force with investigators and intelligence personnel at Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, and Iraq, I was privy to the information provided by Khalid Sheik Mohammed. I was aware of no valuable information that came from waterboarding.…Cheney’s claim that the frequent waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ‘produced phenomenal results for us' is simply false."
This whole “torture works” crowd is just plain embarrassing.
"'Do you take this horse to be your unnatural wedded spouse to have and to hold,' one of his signs read."
Will this nonsense ever end? It doesn’t seem likely. While washing dishes a while ago I cranked up a (pretty nifty) app called TuneIn Radio on my iPhone and started listing to something called Redstate Talk Radio, a conservative site dedicated, seemingly, to 40-year old boys giggling. I never got the joke. Maybe I just didn’t have enough dirty dishes. But I’m sure it was at least as funny as a horse in a wedding gown.
Not very, in other words.
"‘I can’t mount a film of this budget [$130 million, plus about $70 million in tax rebates], and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such,’ [the film’s director] told Variety. "
"Her mother, Jennifer Sawyer Genna of Abingdon, Md., told the paper that the youngster ‘passed out so Santa decided to take a ‘little snooze’ for her first picture!’"
"I lived in New York for fifteen years. No one had been to Brooklyn since the Dodgers left in 1957."
"On Tuesday, in what the retiring congresswoman from Minnesota figured would be her last White House holiday party, Bachmann used the grip-and-grin moment when she got her picture taken with President Obama to raise a reliably grin-killing topic. ‘The U.S. needs to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities today,’ she informed him."
So sad to see her go.
"The House Appropriations Committee, which wrote the bill, partied late into the night in its third-floor Capitol office suite."
Eh. Probably not.
"The top-seeded Wildcats scored twice in a span of 2 minutes, 19 seconds early in the fourth quarter to finally pull away in a 35-30 win over Chattanooga on Friday night in an FCS quarterfinal."
[Noted by Some Guy in Seattle.]
"In short, the ‘torture debate’ is over. The report teaches us that the costs of the program far outweighed any supposed benefits. We can no longer pretend that torture is somehow a necessary means to achieve some greater good. Nor, if the world continues to be populated by terrorist threats, is there is any way we can torture our way to security. And when torture is practiced regularly and systematically, it is no longer a means; it becomes the end in itself. As George Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four: ‘The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture…. Now you begin to understand me.’"
(Or really, really scared, according to rightish critics of the recently-released Senate torture report.)
"In the aftermath of 9/11, there was nothing irrational about believing a second attack was a serious possibility…"
(Krauthammer also cites "a deadly anthrax attack of unknown origin” as something we were scared of, although not so scared we bothered to figure out who did it.)
And then the ever-dependable Trickshot Dick chimes in.
"'The report's full of crap,’ he added, before later admitting that he hadn’t even read it .…
""What are we supposed to do, kiss him on both cheeks and say, 'Please, please, tell us what you know?' Of course not," Cheney said."
Oh that Dick. Always good for a laugh.