Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Cal Tjader Trio

Dr. A and I saw Tim Burton’s Big Eyes yesterday. It’s a very good film, I’d give it a B+ and Amy Adams an A. The movie started off in San Francisco in 1958 and one of the settings was the Hungry I jazz and comedy club. One of the house bands at Enrico Banducci’s joint was the Cal Tjader Trio who were depicted in the movie. Tjader played the vibes and his pianist for many years was Vince Guraldi who went on to do the Peanuts music for stage and small screen. They played cool Latin jazz, daddy-o. Here’s a … Continue reading Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Cal Tjader Trio

There Is No Race Problem in Policing

Milwaukee edition:  At this point, I was honestly surprised and told the officers I wasn’t aware that I could be handcuffed for asking questions. As this was happening, Officer Stoj transferred me, still cuffed to his partner, Officer Joseph Anderer, and began searching my vehicle, to which I said they were conducting an unlawful search. Within about 45 seconds of me being pulled from the car, at least four other police vehicles were present on the block (two marked squad cars – one blocking Auer at 28th and one on the corner of 27th and Auer – the unmarked car … Continue reading There Is No Race Problem in Policing

Lamar Strikes Again

Just when I take a wee blogcation, they drag me back in again. (If you get the reference, I’ll buy you an adult beverage some time. Make that a beer. I’m a cheap motherfugu.) I’d been largely off the grid, and then I learned that my old blogger friend (I almost called him my little buddy but I don’t want to be the skipper to his Gilligan) Lamar White Jr. had broken a story about past malaka of the week Steve Scalise giving a speech to David Duke’s group EURO. The story has, of course, gone viral as the kids would say. Jeez, … Continue reading Lamar Strikes Again

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Sleaze On Earth edition

Hi, all – I had way too many Christmastime activities this week to assemble one of my three-hour-to-compose Obsessions, but here’s a quickie for you – Dolchstosslegende redux ‏! GOP lawmakers preparing changes to immigration system (the smell of betrayal is in the air) Fox News ^ | December 27, 2014 Posted on ‎12‎/‎27‎/‎2014‎ ‎7‎:‎59‎:‎52‎ ‎PM by E. Pluribus Unum Interest in reforming the immigration law remains high as Republican lawmakers prepare bills that would make changes to the current system. President Obama received harsh criticism after proposing an executive action steering clear from congressional approval to halt deportation for … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Sleaze On Earth edition

Turning Our Backs

USA Today. Josh Marshall on police unions and their rhetoric about the mayor:   The idea that police demand reflexive support from the city’s Mayor against large segments of or even the majority of the people they’re sworn to serve and protect simply makes no sense. The people of New York and the NYPD are two groups which by definition must coexist. They can do so well or poorly. But they cannot be rid of each other – even though segments of both groups seem to wish they could. The conflicts over policing are ones that need to be worked out at the … Continue reading Turning Our Backs

Sunday Morning Video: Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?

When PBS aired this installment of History Detectives I was dubious. But guess what? They’ve developed a plausible explanation of who was behind the hit and who pulled the trigger. They also spared us all the where’s Hoffa buried stuff, which became tiresome quite some time ago.   Continue reading Sunday Morning Video: Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?

$72 million liars and Whacko Wayne

I was once an owner of two professional sports teams, I often tell my students. It’s true, as I owned stock in the Cleveland Indians (when Dick Jacobs took the team public for a few years in the late 1990s and early 2000s) and the Green Bay Packers. It’s one of those outlandish claims that I used to prove a point: Just because it sounds too good to be true, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Conversely, something being accurate isn’t the same as something being truthful. In either case, don’t take a source’s statements at face value. Look the shit … Continue reading $72 million liars and Whacko Wayne

Redeeming Grace

It gets dark so early this time of year. I took a second job, recently, that has me making a commute twice a week, and the end of the day finds me leaving in the dark and fighting traffic. It’s a hard way home, and I haven’t found the shortcuts yet, the best ways through the hairiest intersections. I sit at a lot of stoplights waiting for them to turn.  By the time I get home, it feels like the middle of the night. Kick’s forgotten how to sleep. Or nap. She knew pretty early, at 3 months, how to … Continue reading Redeeming Grace

Early Guest Catblogging: Christmas Tree Edition

I know a lot of people named Mary. I guess it’s the whole living in a Catholic city thing. One of my favorite Marys is Chef Mary Sonnier, culinary rock star and Twitter legend. She’s also a gifted  amateur photographer as you can see from this picture of her cat Sprout underneath ye olde Christmas tree. We haven’t had a real indoor tree for years. Our cats either eat or attack a tree, which is why Dr. A places our big fake tree on the front porch. It’s okay since we usually go to our Gret Stet family to do the … Continue reading Early Guest Catblogging: Christmas Tree Edition

The Fog Of History: The Case Of The Foggy Historian

I’m used to people misusing history to make a point but it’s usually politicians or pundits who do so. This time it was a BC professor with an uber WASPY name, Heather Cox Richardson, in an interview with Elias Isquith of Salon: Well, yes, the South and West were moving toward the Republicans in the ’40s, but it was not clear which direction the Republican Party was going to [on race issues]. It’s really worth remembering that Brown v. Board of education is [decided] by Earl Warren, who is a Republican politician; it’s a Republican [Supreme] Court; and Warren is … Continue reading The Fog Of History: The Case Of The Foggy Historian

Odds & Sods: All About Christmas Eve Edition

I was originally going to try and solve the world’s problems in this post but decided I don’t feel like it. That’s selfish of me, but what can I say? I’m more of a Scrooge Potter Grinch type than some sort of freaking elf. I’m not big on elves, they can be Hobbit forming… That leaves me with a helluva post title and a few longer articles that I’d like to steer you toward. We’ll start with the serious one first: Jeb Bush and the Terry Schiavo Case: Charlie Pierce thought it was an excellent time to post an excerpt from … Continue reading Odds & Sods: All About Christmas Eve Edition

Album Art Cover Wednesday: Bad Christmas Covers

There are a lot of very bad Christmas album covers out there. This is my scattershot look at them. I’m not going to rate them and I’m too lazy and insufficiently masochistic to do any research. Here they are without further adieu:


That horn has got a lot of Ed Balls. I wonder if they William Hung any of them on the tree? I’ll let you know after the break.

Continue reading “Album Art Cover Wednesday: Bad Christmas Covers”

Christmas Snow Could Kill Us All, Or Not: True Journalism Chronicles

Shouty weather stories are among the reasons I don’t watch the local news at home anymore. Kick makes enough noise for the neighbors as it is, no need for me to yell SHUT UP YOU DICKSMACKS through the walls as well. But still, shut up, you dicksmacks:  The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement Tuesday that periods of heavy, wet snow are possible on Christmas Eve, which could have a big impact on holiday travel. At O’Hare Airport Tuesday, lines are long, but moving quickly. Arrival and departure boards show few delays or cancellations. A snowstorm could have a … Continue reading Christmas Snow Could Kill Us All, Or Not: True Journalism Chronicles

It’s Not About the Patient

Judge declares North Carolina ultrasound law unconstitutional:  Informed consent frequently consists of a fully-clothed conversation between the patient and physician, often in the physician’s office. It is driven by the “patient’s particular needs and circumstances” …  so that the patient receives the information he or she wants in a setting that promotes an informed and thoughtful choice. This provision, however, finds the patient half-naked or disrobed on her back on an examination table, with an ultrasound probe either on her belly or inserted into her vagina. … Informed consent has not generally been thought to require a patient to view … Continue reading It’s Not About the Patient

AHS Freak Show Thread: Orphans


It’s time for the much hyped and ballyhooed (not Bali H’aied) Freak Show post. Yeah, I know, I’m the only one who hyped it but narcissism is a vital component of blogging. I never thought I’d describe an episode of American Horror Story as poignant but Orphans was very poignant and touching and other emotions I pretend not to have. It’s bad for the curmudgeon business, y’all. I may even use the P word again after the break so beware, take care.

Continue reading “AHS Freak Show Thread: Orphans”

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Cuban Peat edition

Good morning, gentle people! Well, hardly had the dust died down from the frantic self-back-patting the Freeperati had been doing since the midterms when something very interesting happened.

Fox News ^ | 2014-12-17 | Associated Press (AP)

Posted on ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎00‎:‎18‎ ‎AM by WhiskeyX

[Headline only]

1 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎00‎:‎18‎ ‎AM by WhiskeyX

Now I read John Cole most days, and I have to disagree with him 0n his analysis:

In the defense of Republicans, there used to be a train of thought that the way to liberate the world was through trade and travel, but that notion on the right is as dead as Dick Cheney’s dark heart after 70 years of eating cheesy Freedom Fries

Actually, that’s as wrong as it can be.

Don’t believe me? Check out the replies on this thread. There’s currently a uncivil war going on at Free Republic, with the “trade and travel” contingent (in alliance with the glibertarian contingent) fighting the Cold Warriors in a no-holds-barred death cage match.

First – the old guard:

To: WhiskeyX

Another example of him cozying with his commie pals.

GOP equals AWOL again.

2 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎02‎:‎05‎ ‎AM by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)

To: WhiskeyX

Well, ever since the Election, OTrauma has gone full-on Communist.

6 posted on  12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎0 6‎:‎47‎ ‎AM by Lazamataz (“Two parties, governing AGAINST the will of the people, not with the consent of the governed.” –MrB)

To: jalisco555
At this point, if Obama is for it, I am against it.



He’s been consistently anti-American.

9 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎07‎:‎44‎ ‎AM by Lazamataz (“Two parties, governing AGAINST the will of the people, not with the consent of the governed.” –MrB)

But then….

To: WhiskeyX

It’s about time. I am certainly no fan of Obama but there are two things I expected him to do and am amazed he hasn’t done. The first was to end the pointless and self-destructive War on Drugs. The second was to end the cruel and pointless embargo on Cuba. This isn’t the 1960’s anymore and the Castros are dying. If we can have normal relations with China, Burma and Vietnam we can certainly have them with Cuba.

4 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎06‎:‎11‎ ‎AM by jalisco555 (“My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy” – Ronald Reagan)

To: dfwgator
Castro needs the embargo, and he will make the conditions so unreasonable that the US will never agree to them.
We may see another outrage like happened the past few times this idea was floated. But I suspect not this time. And I have always wanted to visit Cuba. Why should the US government make me jump through absurd hoops to do it? Who are they to tell me where I can and cannot go?
12 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎09‎:‎56‎ ‎AM by jalisco555 (“My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy” – Ronald Reagan)
To: jalisco555

I totally agree. Once people in communist countries are exposed to the “rest of the world” it doesn’t take long for the regime to fail or at the very least make major reforms.

20 posted on ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎17‎:‎53‎ ‎AM by Minsc

To: WhiskeyX

It’s mostly a cuban-American issue and while I can understand their hatred of Castro it’s way, way past time that the embargo was ended.

24 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎19‎:‎41‎ ‎AM by bkepley

To: dfwgator
There’s a little matter of all of that US-owned property Castro stole.
Not to mention the property stolen from Cuban exiles. So this will be messy, no doubt. But it’s time to end the isolation.
26 posted on ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎21‎:‎43‎ ‎AM by jalisco555 (“My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy” – Ronald Reagan)

One of them even gets all snarky with it:

To: WhiskeyX

The Embargo against Cuba has worked for more than 50 years and with a little more effort and a little more time, the Embargo will certainly inspire the Cuban people to depose Castro.

29 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎24‎:‎35‎ ‎AM by Oliviaforever

To: jalisco555

The embargo against Cuba hasn’t done anything but depress the Cuban economy and make Cuban cigars unobtainable. It hasn’t worked for fifty years, and it is time to try something new. Obama finally got one right.

Cynically, despite my agreement with Obama on this matter, I suspect that it takes Florida out-of-play for the Demoncrats in 2016.

33 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎30‎:‎39‎ ‎AM by bagman

The Old Guard isn’t going to take this commie-coddling lying down, of course:
To: Batman11

Ted Cruz’s father, Rafeal(sic), should immediately take the opportunity to educate POTUS publicly on Fox or elsewhere.

38 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎38‎:‎10‎ ‎AM by gwgn02

God doesn’t love me that much.
At this point, Cruz is probably spiking the old fart’s Metamucil with roofies, and/or having his goons make sure Dad doesn’t get within 50 miles of a reporter. After the public shutdown/nomination-enabling and consequent slut-shaming by his peers, Old Ted’s probably going to want to run this one through a couple of focus groups before he opens his yap again.
To: WhiskeyX

What? Obama foreign policies make no sense.

47 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎59‎:‎17‎ ‎AM by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light….. Isaiah 5:20)

To: manc


57 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎10‎:‎05‎:‎40‎ ‎AM by molson209 (Blank)

Well, it seems to have driven Freeperville to distraction.  400 comments as of Saturday morning and still climbing.
Before the jump, the comment of the thread!
To: jalisco555

My wife is from there, you’re not missing much.

13 posted on 12‎/‎17‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎10‎:‎53‎ ‎AM by dfwgator

Oh no you didnt
“dfwgator” sleeps on the couch tonight, and much more after the jump.

When Killings Happen

So it’s time for politics now.  It’s time for finger-pointing, now. It’s time to talk about violent rhetoric and the impact of words and it’s time to talk about how we talk about what we talk about. Now. Not when Gabrielle Giffords was shot, or the children in Newtown died. Not when Timothy McVeigh blew up a building. Not when George Tiller was gunned down. Those times, those were not the times for politics. For finger-pointing. For reflection or re-examination or change or care. Now. Now it’s the time. Now it’s the time for disclaimers: Of COURSE nobody should shoot … Continue reading When Killings Happen

Weekend Question Thread

What’s the most complicated thing you’ve ever cooked? This Christmas Eve, Mr. A’s parents are coming down and I’m making a braised pork belly for the first time. Have never braised anything ever. It’s going to be an experiment. Every year at Christmas the Bon Appetit holiday issue comes and I cook my way through it as a challenge. One year I made a nine-layer peppermint-meringue-chocolate-buttercream cake that took six hours and looked like ass, but it tasted excellent. This year it’s all about the meat. A. Continue reading Weekend Question Thread

Odd & Sods: Joe Friday Edition

the-who odds--sods

Twas the Friday before Christmas and there was a wee brawl between Oscar and Della Street that woke me up way too early. I think he dissed Perry Mason or something. No spiked eggnog for them. I may make them eat fruitcake. That was an idle threat because we don’t have one, and I would never purchase one except to use as a doorstop or paper weight. Okay, on with the post where, unlike Joe Friday, I offer opinions, m’am, just opinions. If there *are* any facts, they can be found after the break.

Continue reading “Odd & Sods: Joe Friday Edition”

Malaka Of The Week: Blake Farenthold

The voters have elected bros to Congress before and they will do so again in the future. We’ve even had a bro for President. I think you know who I’m talking about. The voters of the 27th district of Texas have topped everyone by electing the bro-est bro to ever walk the halls of Congress: Blake Farenthold. One might even call him a dudebro, and that is why he is malaka of the week.

It’s been a tough week for Malaka Dudebro. We learned that in his days as a tech bro, he owned a rather colorful domain name: Did I say during his time as a tech bro? He’s owned it continuously since 1996 according to a piece by Andrew Kaczynski of Buzzfeed. A spokesbro for Malaka Dudebro had this to say about that:

“Prior to serving in Congress, Mr. Farenthold operated a computer consulting company that routinely bought domain names including the one in question. The domain name has never been used and Mr. Farenthold has no intention to renew it.”

That’s very responsible. Of course, Congressman Dudebro was first elected in 2010. He’s obviously  too busy to deal with ephemera such as Blow-Me.Org as you can see from the picture below:


Farenthold is the bro on the right in the duck jammies. The mere sight of him makes me want to duck and cover. The pajama party pictures were published in October, 2010, which means that he was elected in a broslide. Actually, it was very close but I suspect that the bros of his district saw that picture and decided to elect one of their own even if he has an eerie resemblance to dorky cherub Thurman Merman of Bad Santa fame:


Congressman Dudebro may *look* like the advent calendar loving, sandwich obsessed Thurman Merman, but he’s pure Willie T. Stokes underneath that bro-fro:

Bad Santa Lick

Now that I’ve riffed on duck pajamas,, and Bad Santa, it’s time to discuss Malaka Dudebro’s *real* problem. He’s being sued by a former staffer for sexual harrassment and general swinish and sexist conduct. Since this is a family blog (cue spit take) I’ll post an epic quote from a story by TPM’s Daniel Strauss after the break.

Continue reading “Malaka Of The Week: Blake Farenthold”

Which One Is The Horse’s Ass?

That’s obviously a rhetorical question. It’s the two legged one on the right: A Mississippi pastor decided to stomp around outside a federal courthouse on Friday with a horse dressed in a wedding gown, to protest legalization of gay marriage in his state. “I just wanna send a message saying, you know, how far are we gonna take this thing?” Reverend Edward James told local station WJTV. The reverend’s game of dress-up came after a federal judge overturned Mississippi’s gay marriage ban in late November. He told the local station that he hopes he and his horse, Charlotte, make an impression … Continue reading Which One Is The Horse’s Ass?

Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Bing Crosby Christmas Variations

Bing Crosby had a long and storied career as a recording artist. He was one of the first singers to understand that the microphone gave you the freedom to modulate your voice. Before Crosby, most singers sang as loudly as their vocal chords could stand it. As with most show biz pioneers, Crosby eventually joined the establishment and became known for his family Christmas specials. He was the man in the sweater, smoking a pipe, crooning carols with his kids, and, on one memorable occasion, with David Bowie.

I knew that there had been a lot of Crosby Christmas album re-releases over the years but was still surprised at how many images popped up when I asked Mr. Google. I probably should have gone to Bing but old habits are hard to break.  I guess Steve Basket Ballmer won’t let me play for the Clippers now.  Shouldn’t he own a Balmer sports franchise? Anyway, here are a few of the more amusing Crosby covers. The first cover is from a 1949 Decca release and it looks as if Der Bingle was impaled on Old Tannenbaum:


Continue reading “Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Bing Crosby Christmas Variations”

Gutless Newspaper Caves to Police, Apologizes for Doing Its Job

Faced with an advertiser boycott over a pretty mild cartoon, a newspaper decides not to upset anybody by being at all relevant anymore: The editorial staff and management team of the Bucks County Courier Times respect the work of law enforcement and appreciate the risks they take and sacrifices they make each day. The editorial cartoon that was published in our newspaper on Sunday, Dec. 7, was a commentary about the broad and complex relationship between black youth and police in America. It’s a relationship that has room for improvement, as has been acknowledged by members of both communities. Though … Continue reading Gutless Newspaper Caves to Police, Apologizes for Doing Its Job