December 31, 2012 archive

New Year’s Eve TV Evening

If you have any sense at all you are already safely ensconced wherever you plan to celebrate and are preparing for riotous self-indulgence to celebrate the schadenfreude passing of a year memorable mostly for the milestones of decline into another dark age.

What is more threatening?  Global Thermonuclear War or Warming?

But warming sounds so fuzzy and cute.

Tell it to the Polar Bears, God-less killing machines that they are.  At least you used to be able to duck and cover and kiss your ass goodbye while praying to be fortunate among the blast radius so you’d avoid the dystopian barbarism descending as the Anthropocene Epoch comes to a close.

Shall I set you up again?

Anyway, traveling early and leaving late (tomorrow) allows the best chance of avoiding your own personal Mayan Apocalypse on Amateur Night and that’s one reason I’m disappointed in the entertainment offered.  Where are my Circuses Caesar?

After the Ball drops your best bets are Zombie Apocalypse (AMC), Mayan Apocalyse (National Geographic), Dr. Who so depressing I didn’t even bother to record it (BBCA), Futurama Rapture (Comedy), Julia Roberts whoring for Mitt Romney (Lifetime), and the Twilight Zone (SciFi).

Oh, and Kathy Griffin (Bravo).

You might want to stay snuggled up until tomorrow when we will be liveblogging The Rose Parade at 11 am.

Happy New Year!

This edition covers the 12 hours from 6 pm to 6 am.  Immediate gratification is here.  The previous edition is here.

Live at 1330 EST: Obama Press Conference

A Question

If the austerity bomb goes off at midnight as seems likely at the moment, what excuse do Democrats use for continuing negotiations with this Congress?

The incoming Congress will be sworn in January 3rd, 3 days from now.  Democrats have gained 9 seats, though not a majority, in the House, and added 2 in the Senate.

The legislation set to expire January 1st will have expired.

Just what do they hope to accomplish in 3 days that they could not address at their leisure?

Someone less charitable than I would suggest that there are 2 other clocks running, one is on the fiction that Democrats are at a tremendous disadvantage and must accept any deal they can get from those dastardly (and make no mistake, they are dastardly) Republicans.

The other is on the fiction that the debt and defict really are increasing and require drastic cuts to our earned benefits and social insurance programs to solve.  Each day that passes reduces it even now and the trend will only accelerate with the expiration of the Bush/Obama tax cuts.

Yes, this is austerity and the economy as a whole will take a hit and many people will be negatively effected by cuts in government expenditures for domestic and military programs.

However it should make it painfully obvious that the problem is not deficts or debt at all but instead growth, employment, and income inequality.

In any event it is not the time to let up on the message that no deal is better than a bad one.

To The Phones

White House


Your senators

Your House member.

No cuts to Social Security.

Gaius Publius @ Americablog offers this helpful digest-

What are we protecting?

We’re protecting three social insurance programs. These are:

    ¦ Social Security

    ¦ Medicare

    ¦ Medicaid

What are we protecting them from? Anything that:

    ¦ Reduces benefits

    ¦ Turns the program from insurance to welfare (which only the “deserving” have access to)

How are these programs being threatened?

As near as I can tell, these are the threats. Note to foxes – this is the hands-off list. Each of these seven items is a benefit cut:

Social Security

    1. Raising the retirement age

    2. Chained CPI instead of current COLA

    3. Means-testing benefits


    4. Raising the eligibility age

    5. Increasing Part B premiums

    6. Increasing “cost-sharing”


    7. Shifting costs to the states by any means, such as “federal blended rate,” etc.

New Year’s Eve Sports

You can’t quite go all day watching the games, but here’s a list to get you started-

  • noon ESPN– College Throwball (Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: North Carolina State v. Vanderbilt)
  • noon ESPN2– College Hoopies (Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh)
  • 2 pm CBS– College Throwball (Hyundai Sun Bowl: Georgia Tech v. USC)
  • 2 pm ESPN2– College Hoopies (Michigan State @ Minnesota)
  • 3 pm ESPN– College Throwball (AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Iowa State v. Tulsa)
  • 4 pm ESPN2– College Hoopies (Indiana @ Iowa)
  • 6 pm ESPN2– College Hoopies (Gonzaga @ Oklahoma State)
  • 7:30 pm ESPN– College Throwball (Chick-fil-A Bowl: Clemson v. LSU)
  • 8 pm ESPN2– College Hoopies (Harvard @ St. Mary’s)
  • 2 am ESPN2– College Throwball (Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: North Carolina State v. Vanderbilt)
  • 3:30 am ESPN– College Throwball (Chick-fil-A Bowl: Clemson v. LSU)
  • 4 am ESPN2– College Throwball (AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Iowa State v. Tulsa)


On This Day In History December 31

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

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.

December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. The last day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, it is widely known as New Year’s Eve.

On this day in 1759, Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness.

Guiness is a popular Irish dry stout. Guinness is directly descended from the porter style that originated in London in the early 18th century and is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide.

A distinctive feature is the burnt flavour which is derived from the use of roasted unmalted barley (though this is a relatively modern development since it did not become a part of the grist until well into the 20th century). For many years a portion of aged brew was blended with freshly brewed product to give a sharp lactic flavour (which was a characteristic of the original Porter).

Although the palate of Guinness still features a characteristic “tang”, the company has refused to confirm whether this type of blending still occurs. The thick creamy head is the result of the beer being mixed with nitrogen when being poured. It is popular with Irish people both in Ireland and abroad and, in spite of a decline in consumption since 2001[1], is still the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland where Guinness & Co. makes almost €2 billion annually.

The company had its headquarters in London from 1932 onwards. It merged with Grand Metropolitan plc in 1997 and then figured in the development of the multi-national alcohol conglomerate Diageo.

Arthur Guinness started brewing ales from 1759 at the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. On 31 December he signed (up to) a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery. Ten years later on 19 May 1769 Guinness exported his ale for the first time, when six and a half barrels were shipped to England.

Guinness is sometimes believed to have invented stout,[citation needed] however the first known use of the word stout in relation to beer appears in a letter in the Egerton Manuscript dated 1677, almost 50 years before Arthur Guinness was born.

Arthur Guinness started selling the dark beer porter in 1778. The first Guinness beers to use the term were Single Stout and Double Stout in the 1840s.

The breweries pioneered several quality control efforts. The brewery hired the statistician William Sealy Gosset in 1899, who achieved lasting fame under the pseudonym “Student” for techniques developed for Guinness, particularly Student’s t-distribution and the even more commonly known Student’s t-test.

Guinness brewed their last porter in 1974.

Guinness has also been referred to as “the black stuff” and as a “Pint of Plain” – referred to in the famous refrain of Flann O’Brien’s poem “The Workman’s Friend”: “A pint of plain is your only man.”

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Ornament 7

New Year’s Eve TV Day

The Hypnotoad.

"Television is a vast wasteland"

You should know the drill by now.  Marathons are 4 half hours or 3 hours.  I attempt to capture specials and ignore the really painful drek, but if you simply must look my source is Zap2it.

Links bring you to show and movie Wikipedia entries.  Look back at the previous entry for ultra long marathons that may have started more than 6 hours ago.  I might attempt consolidated sports listings, it’s hard to say.  One thing I’ve noticed is it’s not the holidays as it used to be.  There was a time when you would have to pick and choose between 17 different sporting events and New Year’s Eve Specials because everybody did one.  Now networks seem to try and keep as close to their normal schedule as possible.  I call it lazy programming.

Some of the countdowns and retrospectives have moved to the network cable news channels so you should check those out.

This edition covers the 12 hours from 6 am to 6 pm.

Same Old Lang Syne

Same Old Lang Syne

After Fogelberg’s death from prostate cancer in 2007, the woman who he wrote the song about came forward with her story. Her name is Jill Greulich, and she and Fogelberg dated in high school when she was Jill Anderson. As she explained to the Peoria Journal Star in a December 22, 2007 article, they were part of the Woodruff High School class of 1969, but went to different colleges. After college, Jill got married and moved to Chicago, and Dan went to Colorado to pursue music. On Christmas Eve, they were each back in Peoria with their families when Jill went out for egg nog and Dan was dispatched to find whipping cream for Irish coffee. The only place open was a convenience store at the top of Abington Hill, at Frye Avenue and Prospect Road, and that’s where they had their encounter. They bought a six pack of beer and drank it in her car for 2 hours while they talked.

The Colbert Report: A Year In Review Part 1







Catfood for the Mind

My conspiracy website world appears to be performing on par with the mainstream world of the Dancing with the Stars set.  The world did not “end” or rather did it but nobody was paying attention.  Even CT news has it’s biases that strain my credibility test.  It is far simpler to attempt survival atop a spirited horse in newfallen snow.