11/23/2014 archive

Rant if the Week: Jon Stewart – Guardian of the Amnesty

Jon Stewart – Guardian of the Amnesty

On This Day In History November 23

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 23 is the 327th day of the year (328th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 38 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1936, the first issue of the pictorial magazine Life is published.

Life actually had its start earlier in the 20th century as a different kind of magazine: a weekly humor publication, not unlike today’s The New Yorker in its use of tart cartoons, humorous pieces and cultural reporting. When the original Life folded during the Great Depression, the influential American publisher Henry Luce bought the name and re-launched the magazine as a picture-based periodical on this day in 1936. By this time, Luce had already enjoyed great success as the publisher of Time, a weekly news magazine.

In 1936 publisher Henry Luceaid $92,000 to the owners of Life magazine because he sought the name for Time Inc. Wanting only the old Life’s name in the sale, Time Inc. sold Life’s subscription list, features, and goodwill to Judge. Convinced that pictures could tell a story instead of just illustrating text, Luce launched Life on November 23, 1936. The third magazine published by Luce, after Time in 1923 and Fortune in 1930, Life gave birth to the photo magazine in the U.S., giving as much space and importance to pictures as to words. The first issue of Life, which sold for ten cents (approximately USD $1.48 in 2007, see Cost of Living Calculator) featured five pages of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s pictures.

When the first issue of Life magazine appeared on the newsstands, the U.S. was in the midst of the Great Depression and the world was headed toward war. Adolf Hitler was firmly in power in Germany. In Spain, General Francisco Franco’s rebel army was at the gates of Madrid; German Luftwaffe pilots and bomber crews, calling themselves the Condor Legion, were honing their skills as Franco’s air arm. Italy under Benito Mussolini annexed Ethiopia. Luce ignored tense world affairs when the new Life was unveiled: the first issue depicted the Fort Peck Dam in Montana photographed by Margaret Bourke-White.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The only guest on Sunday’s “This Week”  is President Barack Obama.

The roundtable guests are: Dr. Ben Carson; Democratic strategist James Carville‘ ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd; and editor and publisher of The Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL): Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); Rep. Luis Guiterrez (D-IL); Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID); and NAACP President Cornell William Brooks.

His panel guests are: Susan Page, USA Today; David Ignatius and Michael Gerson of the Washington Post; Mark Leibovich, The New York Times Magazine; and Clarence Page, the Chicago Tribune.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: The guests on “MTP” are: Michael Brown’s family attorney Anthony Gray; Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ); Sen. Robert Menendez (D-MJ); former GOP New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former Shell Oil CEO John Hofmeister; and author Daniel Yergin.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Rep. Adam Schiff; and former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

Her panel guests are Princeton University Professor and activist Cornel West; NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill; Sojourners President Jim Wallis; and LZ Granderson.

Formula One 2014: Yas Marina

Softs and Super Softs ok?

First of all you have to recognize that very little of what matters in Formula One right now is happening on the track.  While I’d be gratified by a Hamilton win if only because I think he’s the best passer in the sport currently and Rosberg is basically a cut throat asshole who has no respect for his team or his team mates, I don’t really care if he finishes 2nd (clinching a win for his 2nd Drivers’ Championship) or not.

Nope, as always the big story is the money.

CVC, the private equity group (think Bain Capital) that along with Bernie Ecclestone (who’d be the biggest sleazebag in sports except the competition is so fierce) who organized them, own a controlling interest in Formula One and have been looking to cash out by either floating an IPO or finding a bigger sucker for at least 2 years now.  What’s been holding them back is the barely disguised corruption that permeates it, from the sweetheart deals with some tracks and the extortion of others, to the flagrant bribery of the Big 5 (Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, and Williams) 3 of whom (Ferrari, Red Bull, and McLaren) get the majority with Mercedes and Williams coasting on their “historic contributions” despite Ferrari, McLaren, and Williams having fielded inferior cars for nearly a decade, also conveniently packing the “Strategy Group” that is supposed to represent all the teams, to the ‘no bid’ contracts for well known companies like Pirelli (tires) and lesser known ones like McLaren (who provide all the engine control electronics), to the sponsorships bribes and kickbacks Drivers are routinely expected to provide their teams, to the fact that Ecclestone bribed a Banker to undervalue the shares held by a media company so that CVC could pick them up at a discount when the Banker’s Bank conveniently called the note they were collateral for.

Formula One is a House of Cards floating in a cesspit and the smart money is looking to get out while the getting is good.

So what’s really interesting is seeing which way they fall.

Take engines for instance- there are only 3 suppliers at the moment.  Mercedes rule, Renault drools, and Ferrari is an underpowered joke and has been for years.  The only reason for the Williams resurgence is that they inked a deal to use the tri-star.  McLaren will be debuting the new Honda which may or may not be a gamble, they hired away Alonso who made even the Scuderia’s bricks seem racy as insurance and they’d be fools to dump Button (who’s not quite as good at what Alonso does as Alonso is, but is better than most) in favor of Magnussen who has shown their hardware as the crap it inherently is.  Even Renault doesn’t think that new rules (which Bernie likes because… underpants) will be beneficial.  Ferrari of course longs to dust off a few of their old, good designs but the bottom line is that engines have gone from £5m to £25m and  changing the rules will simply result in another round of development costs that the Littles (Lotus, Force India, Sauber) can’t afford.

Here’s what they spend now- Ferrari and Red Bull around £250m (Red Bull also kicks in about £120m for Toro Rossa); Mercedes and McLaren around £200m; Lotus, Williams, Sauber, and Force India between £100m-£140m.  Marussia struggled along on £70m while Caterham (which will race this weekend because of a crowd-sourcing campaign Bernie likened to begging) has just fired everybody after 7 weeks with no pay so they can at least collect unemployment.

If the Littles leave, which they’re likely to do if all they can afford is “Customer Cars” built by the Big 5, Bernie is left with a field of a dozen.  Red Bull and Ferrari have indicated they’re willing to add a car which would make it 14.  Add Haas Racing (likely in a purchased chassis) and you have 16, but not until ’16 and while the threshold at Yas Marina is exactly that before contract default most tracks have a 14 car minimum so Bernie is just scraping by.

Hardly conductive to that big cash buyout he and CVC are anticipating.

So Bernie has back-tracked on the rhetoric a bit and in negotiations that have been happening this week the Littles have seen at least some encouraging signs.

Me?  I think he’s stringing them along.

Michael Schumacher is paralysed with memory and speech problems, Jules Bianchi is off a respirator and breathing on his own.  Romain Grosjean has signed again with Lotus, Perez will be staying with Force India.

Red Bull is starting from the back of the grid once again because of a non-compliant front wing.  Grosjean has a 20 grid penalty for engine replacement but will start 18 with a stop & go to serve.

If you’re totally into the horse race the groupings are these-

  • 1 & 2, Hamilton and Rosberg
  • 4 – 6 Vettel, Alonso, and Bottas
  • 7 – 9 Button, Massa, and Hulkenberg with an outside shot.

In Constructors 3 & 4 potentially Williams and Ferrari could change.

We start racing again March 15th, just in time to totally deprive me of sleep during the NCAA Basketball Tournament, in Australia.  Mercedes will have 4 engines, Renault 3 (if Caterham survives), Ferrari 2, and Honda 1.

Pretty tables below.

What’s Cooking: Turkey Technology

I can’t believe it’s that time already.

Revised from November 20, 2010 for obvious timely reasons.

I never went to cooking school or took home economics in high school, I was too busy blowing up the attic with my chemistry set. I did like to eat and eat stuff that tasted good and looked pretty, plus my mother couldn’t cook to save her life let alone mine and Pop’s, that was her mother’s venue. So I watched learned and innovated. I also read cook books and found that cooking and baking were like chemistry and physics. I know, that was Translator’s territory, but I do have a degree in biochemistry.

For you really geekie cooks here is a great article about the “Turkey Physics” involved in getting it all done to a juicy turn.

Cooking a turkey is not as easy as the directions on the Butterball wrapping looks. My daughter, who is the other cook in the house (makes the greatest breads, soups and stews) is in charge of the Turkey for the big day. Since we are again having a house full of family and friends, one the two 13 to 15 pound gobblers will get cooked outside on the gas grill that doubles as an oven on these occasions. Her guru is Alton Brown, he of Good Eats on the Food Network. This is the method she has used with rave reviews. Alton’s Roast Turkey recipe follows below the fold. You don’t have to brine, the daughter doesn’t and you can vary the herbs, the results are the same, perfection. My daughter rubs very soft butter under the skin and places whole sage leaves under the skin in a decorative pattern, wraps the other herbs in cheese cloth and tucks it in the cavity. If you prefer, or are kosher, canola oil works, too.

Bon Appetite and Happy Thanksgiving

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Iran nuclear talks: Doubts over deal as deadline looms

23 November 2014 Last updated at 05:00


Doubts are growing that Monday’s deadline for a deal on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme will be met at talks in Vienna in Austria.

Both the US and Germany said the sides were working to close “big gaps”, with some suggestions that the deadline could be extended.

Six world powers want Iran to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of United Nations sanctions.

Iran rejects claims that it is seeking to build nuclear weapons.

It says its programme is purely peaceful for energy purposes.

Representatives of the so-called P5+1 group – Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany – are taking part in the negotiations with Iran in the Austrian capital.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

Protesters clash with police in France over young activist killed by grenade

Iran nuclear talks near ‘moment of truth’

China upholds life sentence for Uighur academic

Saudi Arabia ‘intensifies Twitter crackdown’

The Breakfast Club (ScrOOGLElicious)

I barely understand this stuff, but it appears that Google has gotten rid of the You Tube “use old embed code” share option again. So if your web site doesn’t use iframes you’re just going to be SOL. Ebay users are going to be pissed. Guess I’ll have to study up. I only know how to post You Tubes the old way. Anyhow I found this workaround that appears to work for now. My understanding is that Google doesn’t want anyone to use the old embed codes anymore because … mobile devices. Yay! ScrOOGLElicious.

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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Today in History

Breakfast Tune: ‘Viola Lee Blues’ GUS CANNON (1928) Banjo Blues Legend

Breakfast News & Blogs Below