More technical difficulties.

First things first: As most of you have figured out by now, our connectivity problems continue. It is out of our hands, in large part, but J.C. is sitting in the NN.C control room, which is encased in lead and concrete and located deep beneath the earth in an undisclosed location, working on it. To the extent that he can. Long story short, we hope it will improve soon. If not, we’ll find a new hosting company.

In the meantime, don’t try to resubmit comments! J.C., yesterday: We’re doing a cache thing to help our poor hobbled server and the downside of that is that you may not see your comment show up immediately.

Thanks for hanging in there with us. This site is nothing without you guys.

Because I don’t have much to offer, many days, do I? But here’s this: A movie recommendation, now that it’s out on streaming/DVD — “The Bling Ring,” which we watched over the weekend. (Alan’s a big Sofia Coppola fan.) A light fictionalization of a real story, about how a gang of Los Angeles teens robbed a series of Hollywood stars’ homes, aided and abetted by the internet and the stars’ own carelessness (for the most part, they entered through unlocked doors and windows). They took clothes, jewelry and cash, but mainly seemed interested in stealing as much stardust as possible.

“Is this Herve Leger? I LOVE it!” one says, pawing through Paris Hilton’s closet. “This. Is a Birkin,” says another, helping herself. In a world where luxury brands are shoved in the faces of these vapid teenagers — or all of us — it’s almost a case of can-you-blame-them? Paris Hilton kept the key to her front door under the mat, and had to be informed of the thefts; she had so much stuff, she didn’t notice anything missing. And so this aimless and empty little band drifted from one house to the next — getting tips on their owners’ absences from TMZ and other gossip sites — collecting luxury items and cash and crap. An emptier existence could hardly be imagined, but uncommon? No way. Didn’t we spend some time yesterday batting around those Emmy runway photos? “Who are you wearing?” is a common question. We all know who Herve Leger is.

It’s not a great movie. It’s sort of depressing, especially when you consider how many stories I’ve read about what a clotheshorse Sofia Coppola is, how much she swims in this world she holds in such contempt. But I liked it anyway.

We have some good bloggage today.

Newspapers have stripped away so much of their content in recent years I almost forget how much I enjoy reading a smart critic from time to time. Especially Hank Stuever, writing about a forgettable sitcom that wants to be a nostalgia trip:

You could set your atomic clock by the predictable rhythms of retromania: When I was a boy in the ’70s, we briefly wanted nothing more than to be Fonzie in the ’50s (inasmuch as “Happy Days” struggled to depict the ’50s; in reruns it just looks like the ’70s). Out came the Dippity-Do and switchblade combs.

If only our forebears had possessed the wisdom to outlaw public displays of nostalgia! When I got to college in the mid-’80s, every other dorm room had a Jim Morrison or John Lennon poster on the wall, yet our preoccupation with the ’60s while living in the ’80s is something you never see in today’s films and TV shows that are set in the ’80s. The anachronisms — then and now — require too much nuance and an understanding that the passage of time and accumulation of popular culture is a fluid experience: It’s less like a free-flowing river and more like a dammed-up lake.

Meanwhile, someone explain to me how this bizarre story about a horse biting a man’s penis works: It’s written in English, but the quotes are in (presumably) Tagalog.

Criticizing AIG bonuses is just like being a Nazi. The AIG executives say so. Talk about confirmation bias.

Hump day. Thank ya lord.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Housekeeping, Movies |

37 responses to “More technical difficulties.”

  1. Sherri said on September 25, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Perhaps the AIG executives have been reading Harry Binswager in Forbes, who argues that it’s time for the 99% to give back to the 1% by abolishing all income taxes on people who earn a million dollars or more. Really.

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  2. alex said on September 25, 2013 at 7:45 am

    No one waxes nostalgic for the ’80s because mullets and right-wing politics never went away, they just became entrenched among the lowest and most noxious class of people. It may be a few decades yet before the stigma wears off enough for young people to find any hipness in that particular zeitgeist.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 25, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Godwin’s Law, AIG; you’ve already lost.

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  4. beb said on September 25, 2013 at 8:01 am

    The ‘horse bites penis’ story has be confused, too, country boy that I am I can see a horse biting a man in the crotch, which is getting dangerously close to that delicate flower but actually and specifically biting the penis…? The horse’s head is so big and the penis is so small. What was the man doing, flaunting it in front of the horse? I suppose if I read the article I’d know but, honestly, that falls into TMI.

    Didn’t the CEO of AIG also say that complaining about their enomorous bonuses was like a lynching down south? That’s actually more insulting than calling critics Nazis. And if there had been a few lynching we would hear from these incredible stupid people how insanely smart they are.

    In sad Internet news, Popular Science is closing down the comments section of their website because of too much spam and trolls. My god, trolls on a science website? The horror, the horror!

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    • nancy said on September 25, 2013 at 8:15 am

      I’m sure the horse bit him through his pants. If you’ve ever worked around horses, they’ll sometimes nip you by arching their neck and getting you as you stand to the side. The delicate flower is smack in that target zone.

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  5. Dorothy said on September 25, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I think all of us would agree that the minor aggravations we’ve experienced in the last couple of weeks here, Nancy, are worth it. The comments are stimulating and informative and it just feels like home, dammit! I wish JC well in his endeavors.

    I felt almost giddy yesterday afternoon when I wrangled some information kinda sorta out of my son about his return to the USA. He might be home in January instead of February. MIGHT. He can’t discuss it, but the hints he gave me were enough to make me a very happy mom. Heck, three months from today is Christmas and then January comes after that! Now if we are able to sell our house in a very short period of time, I’ll be hyperventilating, I’ll be so happy.

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  6. coozledad said on September 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

    The hit count on my blog usually runs in the low twenties, pretty much daily. I posted one picture of my mule Fred’s schlong and it went international, in a life independent from the rest of the blog. Over a period of a couple of years the searches that netted me the most traffic were in the nature of horse penis boy ?! smegma giants or cock beads sweat.

    English was definitely not the primary language. Looking at a map of the traffic it looked to mostly come from the Philippines through the magic of German animal porn aggregators.

    I took the post down because it was starting to make the site itch.

    I don’t want to demean this guy without more information, but I think he fed that horse his dick with predictable results. The Philippines is the South Carolina of the Pacific.

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  7. Scout said on September 25, 2013 at 10:44 am

    So Ted Cruz read “Green Eggs and Ham” on the Senate floor as part of his pretend filibuster on Obamacare. Talk about missing the point. I though he was supposed to be so smart (in an evil genius kind of way.) Guess not.

    Then I saw this:

    Bring on Obamacare already so all this silly posturing can go away.

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  8. brian stouder said on September 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

    SO, I had a meandering post all racked up, and then –poof- it was gone. Then, I treated this site as if it was radioactive, so as not to have it suddenly appear in triplicate, and thereby incurring the snarling wrath of JC.

    Anyway – the condensed/reconstituted version: Here’s rooting for Dorothy’s hyperventilating happiness on all fronts; Cooze for the win with his Philippines-as-the-South Carolina -of-the-South Pacific quip; Ted Cruz is the king crazy rat in the Republigoon shithouse; and coming into NN.c via Google taught me that blogger Nancy Nally has had a very rough couple years (short version: she’s an impassioned knitter with a recently imprisoned husband)

    Ahhhhh – instant gratification is mine!

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  9. Julie Robinson said on September 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

    On my phone this morning, the comments for today’s entry were from Monday…how strange is that?

    Our daughter looked at the Florida rates for Obamacare and asked me what the down side was. She sensibly thinks that obtaining health insurance for a reasonable amount is a win. BTW, a nephew who lives in Florida posted that state legislators pay $8/month for their own insurance. I’d be thrilled to pay that per day as it would still be substantially less than my premiums now. Yes, bring it on.

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  10. coozledad said on September 25, 2013 at 11:50 am


    So what did a Harvard law degree
    get your Mr. Cruz?
    just a subway flasher’s overcoat
    And sticky shower shoes

    The cocktail circuit of DC
    spread them for the latest right wing flash
    Now he’s flubbed a quiz on Dr. Seuss
    like some trailer trash

    ‘Cause the high school equivalence that gave Bush a pass
    is in inverse distribution to the stick clamped up Teddy’s ass

    To flash your penis is a crime
    But when the GOP does
    it’s always prime time

    There’s a diaper wearing senator
    Looking for a fresher one
    trying to hide his dingleberries
    from the public’s delectation

    But for his private life he’d be up there
    Reading children’s humor
    in an evangelical Christian tone
    in a pair of lumpy bloomers.

    He’s got a mind like a steel trap and the arse of a toddler
    Refuses to be shamed by photos of his own fudgy cobblers


    The whole insurance industry
    has got them by the dick
    And the cocktail party regulars
    Are swimming in a pool of sick
    if Somebody’s creeping in the kitchen
    Another three are creeping in the John
    Whose face will always face the nation
    Who watches when McCain is on?

    Because it always used to be McCain or Lindsey Graham
    Now for a changeup it’s la Cruza reading Green eggs and Ham

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  11. LAMary said on September 25, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Interestingly, your technical difficulties meant I got the posting titled “Stupid Machines” whenever I logged in for the past few days.

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  12. brian stouder said on September 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Cooz, I bet Lawrence O’Donnell could get someone – maybe Bono at Bubba’s confab – to sing that!

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  13. Heather said on September 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    October 1 is circled on my calendar: I’m going to look up insurance rates in Illinois for my honey. He’s a self-employed woodworker/carpenter and has never been insured. I am also hoping that this will mean I can go back to freelancing someday. Crazy expensive individual health insurance was one of the major reasons I decided to go back to full-time work.

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  14. dr. wu said on September 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    A really nice Breaking Bad appreciation by the actor that played poor doomed Jane, who might have saved Jesse from Walt, if Walt hadn’t gone over completely to the dark side and let her suffocate on her own vomits, and in doing zoo also killed all the people on that airliner. I quit watching for a while when Mr. White did that, but went back. That was the moment when Walt went irrevocably evil and Jesse’s fate was sealed. So far as Jesse’s committing murder, Gale was a suicide waiting to happen anyway. More than anything, in the last episode, I want Jesse to kill psycho Todd. It still seems wildly improbable that Walter would have left that copy of Leaves of Grass on the toilet tank, much less that Hank would open it.

    ACA preventive medicine provisions will drive everybody’s health care costs down, but that’s the Nanny state, as if all these chickenhawk GOPer milquetoast granny-starvers (and child-starvers, and veteran and active duty military starvers) didn’t all have wetnurses when those shriveled GOPer BEVO teats couldn’t produce milk. One of the things that drives GOPers nuts about ACA is the idea about MDs asking about gun owning behavior. Nucking futcakes with a severe problem with a ridiculous obsession that beggars reality. Like Hank on Breaking Bad. Or his literary predecessor, Ahab. But taking the world down with its own perfect storm of paranoia. Maybe it’s Cagney on top of the bonfire in White Heatt. It’s loony no matter how you look at it, and anybody that denies the racist component is a Pollyanna or an idiot.

    What those fools are worried about with the MD inquisition has to do with questions about guns in households. This has driven the NRA to new levels of nutjobbery? The idea that a doctor might ask his patients whether or not they have gun safes and trigger locks causes these bastards to howl at the moon, even though the vast majority of NRA rank and file believe in these safeguards, as they believe in limiting magazine capacity to 15, and limiting access to assault weapons, AND background checks. Somebody needs to make LaPierre come clean about who exactly he represents. It sure as hell isn’t NRA members that pay his salary.

    The site will no longer remember my screen name, so I’m trying another. And another, until one sticks.

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    • jcburns said on September 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      The site doesn’t remember your screen names, your browser does. So that “trying another until one sticks”? Uh, no, please, don’t.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on September 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Mary, that’s the one I got this morning too. Bizarre.

    And how could I forget to wish Dorothy happy hyperventilating? Giddy is how I feel too, thinking about our daughter’s new position. Since June she’s been surviving on pulpit supply (preaching and leading worship for pastors on vacation) while couch surfing. Also, Orlando is much easier to get to since there’s now a direct flight from the Fort.

    We’re doggy sitting and so far it’s going pretty well. Sarah told us that her dog usually gets depressed and refuses to eat when away from her. That hasn’t happened, but she has to be implored to pee when we take her outside. All shreds of dignity are lost after the tenth “Chica, go potty”.

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  16. dr. wu said on September 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    WaPo is acting as if no information on premiums under Obamacare has been available befor today. Did those jerkwads quit reading newspapers. Or are they just trying to be neutral in th interest of “everybody does it” faux journalism. The hell everybody does it. Are Dems out to destroy all SNAP programs while fully funding farm subsidies? I think not.

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  17. Judybusy said on September 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Julie, new depths of groveling are also reached with, “Go poop, Cora!” in our household.

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Heather, observations like yours are why I’m for public option/single payer. Employment based health insurance is the biggest drag on the economy we’ve got, because so many people are grudgingly willing to stand pat in jobs they hate or avoid taking a risk they’d generally be willing to hazard in order to try out a new concept, a business opportunity, but to possibly lose access to health insurance AND not be able to get back into coverage is simply too great a risk for anyone to take, with or even without children.

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  19. alex said on September 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Heather, I gave up free-lancing for much the same reasons and I’m glad I did. My heart attack two years ago would have cost me a whole lot more out of pocket than it did and my non-group insurance policy premium would have gone up two thousand percent the following year instead of just the usual one to two hundred percent despite my never having made a claim. And my partner, who’s in construction, is also looking forward to the Obamacare launch. Whenever his employees talk smack about Obamacare he tells them to shut their ignorant pieholes because they’re about to get health benefits.

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  20. Scout said on September 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I tried posting this earlier so if it ever does come up later, I apologize for the redundancy.

    I would like to congratulate cooz @ 10 for yet another thread win, but also thank alex @ 2 for the early morning guffaw over coffee.

    I’m looking forward to October 1st more than usual this year, I love it that OCare rolls out on my birthday!

    Mary and Julie, I got the Stupid Machines post too – we probably all did, I’m guessing.

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    • jcburns said on September 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      I just made that a placeholder when the site loses its connection to the database.

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  21. Bitter Scribe said on September 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Highly recommend “The Bling Ring.” One amusing aspect to the true story it’s based on: One of the ring actually had her own reality show, based on the fact that she and her sisters looked great and partied hard, except that the cops showed up and arrested her on the first day of taping. Needless to say, this changed the show’s focus.

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  22. Mark P said on September 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Julie, at least you didn’t have to do what I did with our adopted stray when he first started staying inside. When I took him out for his last evening walk, all he wanted to do was meander around the yard, like a disinterested visitor at an art museum. I had to pee to show him what he was supposed to do. He actually got the message. Good thing we don’t have any neighbors who could see that absurd show.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on September 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Mark, I guarantee that is NOT happening! And Judy, I am supposed to tell her to peepee or poopy, but that’s not happening either.

    The dog’s mom just called to see how her baby is doing. Frolicking around the back yard, I told her. I almost expected her to ask to put Chica on the phone.

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  24. brian stouder said on September 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Julie – I’ve seen that done, repeatedly.

    Struck me as bizarre – but whatever, eh?

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  25. Claudia said on September 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Does anyone else remember when Cartman tried to teach a pony to bite off the penis of an enemy? (Ok. I’ll slink back to my little quiet hole now that I’ve admitted to watching SouthPark.)(Just sayin’)

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  26. brian stouder said on September 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Claudia – can’t say as I’ver ever seen South Park, but when it comes to penis humor, one thing that stuck with me (so to speak) is Robin Williams’ riff about anatomy. He asks what God was thinking, co-locating a hazardous waste area and an amusement park –

    and he refers to his penis with the instant-classic name – “Mr Happy”

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  27. dr. wu said on September 25, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Jeff@18: The pre-existing conditions protection in PPACA helps immensely with that. Until now, insurance carriers would pounce on an hour spent uncovered.

    Along those lines, in Bleeding Edge, after the towers go down Pynchon has landlords using it as a pretext to move people out of rent-controlled apartments in order to go co-op. I’d never heard this before and thought it might be too scurrilous even for scumbags like NYC landlords. So I talked to some friends that live in the City, and apparently this sub-human trick was pretty common, and the rental courts upheld the landlords’ position (Rudy’s municipal counsel filed a friend of the court brief in favor of the landlords.). I now know three friends of mine were victimized in that exact way. The whole solidarity in the face of the terriss attack rings as hollow with them as Pretzledent Pet Goat climbing on the rubble with a bullhorn. Just when you think you’ve seen the lower limits of foul human behavior, the bastards think of something worse.

    Claudia@25: That sounds downright biblical, as in: “Yea and the night before battle David prayed “Lord let my horses bite of the penises of thine enemies.” The guy was lucky. Everybody knows that horses’ mouths are cleaner of pernicious bacteria than are humans’. Hell it could have been a komodo and the guy would be a goner. But it sure sounds like that horse was looking for some sort of revenge, a mare scorned, or something like that.

    Any of y’all ever used an ergonomic (kneeling) chair. I woke up with my back killing me today, found a chair online and on sal, with free shipping and ordered it. I’m having lower back problems that are making my toes numb. A bike jaunt would help, but we’re having Dixie Storms.

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  28. Judybusy said on September 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Julie, there is at least one pet sitting service here that takes video of your pet(s) so you can see them while you’re gone. I think some people even look at it while they’re at work. There are also boarding places that have the doggie cam. I miss my dog terribly when we’re gone, but not enough to get online. When I’m on vacation, I really like to be on vacation. Usually no posting about my fabulous vacation while I’m there.

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  29. brian stouder said on September 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    So in November, we will arrive at the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and a fellow who was analyzing Gettysburg photographs and crowd shots and so on…and then he made a discovery

    Oakley wanted his animated 3-D re-creation of Gettysburg to feature a Sgt. Pepper-esque collage of the dignitaries who were seated with Lincoln on the platform. While trying to distinguish them in the right half of Gardner’s first stereo plate, he zoomed in and spotted, in a gray blur, the distinctive hawk-like profile of William H. Steward, Lincoln’s secretary of state. Oakley superimposed a well-known portrait of Seward over the face and toggled it up and down for comparison. “Everything lined up beautifully,” he recalls. “I knew from the one irrefutable photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg that Seward sat near him on the platform.” He figured the president must be in the vicinity.

    Oakley downloaded the right side of a follow-up shot Gardner snapped from the same elevated spot, but the image was partly obscured by varnish flaking off the back of the 4- by 10-inch glass-plate negative. “Still, Seward hadn’t budged,” he says. “Though his head was turned slightly away from camera, he was in perfect profile.” To Seward’s left was the vague outline of a bearded figure in a stovepipe hat. Oakley leaned into the flat-screen monitor and murmured, “No way!” Zooming in tight, real tight, he stared, compared and sprang abruptly from his chair. After quickstepping around his studio in disbelief, he exulted, “That’s him!”

    And THEN – the arguments begin!

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  30. brian stouder said on September 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    The interactive photograph is very cool –

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  31. coozledad said on September 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Obamacare subsidy calculator from the Kaiser Foundation, if anyone’s interested:

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  32. brian stouder said on September 25, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Cooz – thanks; I have bookmarked it

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  33. Jolene said on September 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    It’s really sad that the ACA could not have created a national market. There’s going to be a lot of state-based variation in prices, and that seems a shame. As I understand it, that variation stems from differences in how tightly the states regulate insurance rates. Will be interesting to see how extensive the variation is and which states have the highest/lowest rates once all that info becomes public.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    That was the final barrier to a public option, as I understood the political/practical calculation at that point regarding state insurance law variability: to override state insurance law wholesale would have been a federalist mess, and piecemeal it was too complex to take on in a bill twice as long as what the ACA finally required.

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