Again with the open thread.

It’s yours…. (And if you want to read me gushing over Bill Clinton last night, click here!)

Standard FYI clause: I generally wait about 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would typically open a thread (roughly noon, EST, back when such a thing was typical…!), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

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  1. Again with the recaps: SYTYCD!!

    Also The Voice are being dickwads, The Doctor meets Nefertiti and really cool Westerosi logo sigils. all at my blog.

    Fashion week starts TODAY. Fashion recap posts will start TOMORROW.

  2. I did a journalism.

    Short version: game company sues employee, in August 2012, alleging that her actions before quitting in August, 2010 tanked a very bad game that they released in August, 2010. Only, back in December, 2010, she filed a sexual harassment suit against the company CEO…

    • efgoldman

       /  September 6, 2012

      The guy (the boss) gives a$$holes a bad name.

      • baiskeli

         /  September 6, 2012


        I’m getting the urge to grab a chainsaw and go medieval on part of the CEO’s anatomy (and change his permanent nick-name to Stumpy)

    • Ooooh…!


    • A journalism!? A Whole Journalism?
      You, my friend, get a cookie!

      • omg I need a cookie.

      • Byrk

         /  September 6, 2012

        I took a dive into the comments, and I was pleasantly surprised. Take a look at this comment from a reader

        “I stopped regularly reading Kotaku about two years ago, and I think this is the first article I’ve seen written by Kate Cox… and damn, what a well-written post! One of the best I’ve seen on Kotaku, truly. The lack of overt personal speculation/judgment is really refreshing (historically, I’ve found many articles on Kotaku to show too much bias for my personal tastes). I’ll definitely be coming back for more. Nice job 🙂

        (He writes, probably not knowing that Kate has been writing for Kotaku for like 10 years and is just a totally oblivious reader who really needs to get a clue ^_^)”

    • That is quite a story. And the owner of the joint is not in the least bit shady. Uh-uh. Not at all.

      • Meanwhile, he’s been active on his blog and a forum, accusing her of taking it to the media and generally digging a hole big enough to make me feel bad for his lawyers.

        (She didn’t take it to the media. His case against her made me, the media, start digging and unearthing the earlier crud.)

        • taylor16

           /  September 6, 2012

          You are doing a good thing here. This is probably going to make the legal case a lot easier for Ms. Miseta to dispose of. (Although, sigh, the nonlegal stuff she’ll probably have to wade through will probably get ugly).

          Still, a good thing.

        • I want to send you an umbrella for when the shit inevitably begins to blow your way. Be strong, my friend. You are doing very important work here.

        • taylor16

           /  September 6, 2012

          Oh my god, his posts in that forum! What a raging goddamned idiot!!

        • koolaide

           /  September 6, 2012

          Imma believe the lawyer(s) for the employee are good enough at what they do to have screenshots saved. cause. dudettes, that’s incredibly stupid ish he’s doing on top of his (allegedly) incredibly icky ish.

    • koolaide

       /  September 6, 2012

      dang. that’s quite a story. well done.

    • chingona

       /  September 6, 2012

      That was a very good journalism. Well done. Also, love how he wouldn’t respond to you, but then he posts elsewhere “since I’m being directly accused of something.”

      He doesn’t want to talk to you because you’ll do something pesky like ask follow-up questions.

  3. “Putin will have to don white overalls and a special beak to be recognised by the cranes”

  4. CitizenE

     /  September 6, 2012

    Cautionary tale and kvetch: type 2 diabetes sucks and in between periods of quiescence it really*fucks*with*you.

  5. Today I posted some ramblings about how some distillers are shifting their whiskies to ‘no age statement’ labels and how customers might respond to the changes.

    • JHarper2

       /  September 6, 2012

      No Age Stated is IMO bottom shelf whisky, like Bell’s or Grant’s or Johnny Red. Not something to spend money on unless you are looking for a whisky to pour coke into.

      • The times, they are a changin’. I have Part II coming up, which is going to be about how NAS whiskies (especially in the scotch world, but to a lesser degree bourbon) have often become high quality, high price spirits. Ardbeg in particular has been taking that tack, with only their entry-level malt carrying an age statement.

  6. David L

     /  September 6, 2012

    Last night convinced me of two things: 1. Bill Clinton is one of the greatest political orators of our era, and 2. “Don’t Stop” is one of the best campaign theme songs ever.

    I was amused by MSNBC’s commentators throughout the night. I wish they would have done a little less talking (cutting away from Cecile Richards mid-speech? Really?), but there was something kind of funny about watching a bunch of people who are equal parts cheerleaders, debate society, and snarky kid at the back of the room.

    • Bill Fucking Clinton would have been President for Life if it hadn’t been for term limits. Not that I think Obama should be worried he’s been overshadowed or anything (our current CiC is no slouch in the speech department despite Fox and Friends forgetting that he ever spoke before), but just Hot Damn it was good to be talked to like an adult again.

      By the way, it’s not raining in NC today, but they can’t move the damn thing back. R says the amount of last minute confetti cannons they installed overnight (after being hand inspected by the secret service like this was TSA) will hopefully make up for their inability to move the balloon drops.

      • The president shouldn’t feel worried, but let’s not fool ourselves…he can’t do what Clinton did last night. There are things this president can do that Bill Clinton could never do (and I tend to prefer this one to that one), but I tend to think Clinton’s skills are more valuable.

        I like this president a lot, but I have actually begun to grow tired of his speeches. Fundamentally, I think they’re written better than they’re performed. With Clinton, it’s the other way around. He has the knack for the engaging, seamless ad lib that the president doesn’t even begin to approach. They both understand the room. But Clinton works the room. He is crazy good.

    • JHarper2

       /  September 6, 2012

      Commentators drove me to remember that here in the GWN, Great White North, CPAC, the Canadian Parliament Access Channel picked up the uncommented feed from I think C-SPAN.
      MSNBC > CNN > did not look at Fox as have a weak stomach due to cold/flu.

  7. baiskeli

     /  September 6, 2012

    Google Nexus 7 came, I am very impressed. It is slightly larger than a Kindle (the 79$) one. It cost me $249 (I think about $265 after shipping) for the 16 Gig one, and it comes with a $25 credit to the Play Store (App store). It’s a bit heavier than I expected (but it has a very solid feel to it and a nicely textured back)

    Overall, I’m very happy with it. I got the Kindle App and have been reading my books on it, preferring it over the Kindle. The graphics are amazing, I bought Dead Space, a really processor intensive first person shooter and playing it was pretty amazing. I also installed an app for file management and can now seamlessly transfer files from it to my machines (Ubuntu, have not tried Windows but I hear that works fine). Most of my favorite IOS apps are available for Android, and I’ve subscribed to a couple of magazines (The Atlantic, Bicycling) and read them on the tablet.

    I found a perfect use for the tablet. I watched the DNC Convention speeches as I cooked in the kitchen yesterday.

    The screen is a bit shiny and prone to smudges, but I ordered a matte/anti-glare protective screen that should solve that.

    Speaking of Kindle, I just finished Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day and consumed it. It is really well written, and the ending almost had me in tears. All I can say is that the World owes Juan Pujol a huge debt of gratitude. D-Day may very well not have succeeded without his amazing talents.

    Next book up (well, after my current crop of technical reading)

    The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs – Tyler Hamilton, Daniel Coyle Coyle wrote Lance Armstrongs War, on of my favorite cycling books, so I’m looking forward to this one. From the related Outside article, it’s the final nail in the coffin for Armstrongs credibility

    The drugs are everywhere, and as Hamilton explains, Armstrong was not just another cyclist caught in the middle of an established drug culture—he was a pioneer pushing into uncharted territory. In this sense, the book destroys another myth: that everyone was doing it, so Armstrong was, in a weird way, just competing on a level playing field. There was no level playing field. With his connections to Michele Ferrari, the best dishonest doctor in the business, Armstrong was always “two years ahead of what everybody else was doing,” Hamilton writes. Even on the Postal squad there was a pecking order. Armstrong got the superior treatments.

    What ultimately makes the book so damning, however, is that it doesn’t require readers to put their full faith in Hamilton’s word. In the book’s preface, which details its genesis, Coyle not so subtly addresses Armstrong’s supporters by pointing out that, while the story is told through Hamilton, nine former Postal teammates agreed to cooperate with him on The Secret Race, verifying and corroborating Hamilton’s account. Nine teammates. That fact is the first punch thrown at Armstrong’s supporters—and it might be the most damaging one.

    • In other bicycling news, the BBC had a piece about cycling in Rwanda recently.

      • baiskeli

         /  September 6, 2012

        I was on Strava and decided to see any bike rides logged in Kenya, Nairobi specifically. There were quite a few, and one in particular caught my eye. 92 miles, Nairobi to Limuru, solo, 22MPH avg. Now, first, you couldn’t pay me enough to ride that road, it’s a death wish. Two, that route is not exactly flat. So I checked the cyclists name, David Kinjah, who is a pro Kenyan cyclist, a legend, and got Chris Froome (yes, that one) into cycling and trained him. Also, Kinjah’s results at the Tour of Rwanda went something like 1st, stages 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 (I kid you not).

        Watching the Tour of Rwanda live is one of the goals on my bucket list, and riding around Rwanda is another. Rwanda is notoriously hilly so the Tour of Rwanda is pretty tough.

        Jock Boyer (Rwanda National Team Coach) was also the first American to participate in the TDF (1981).

        • I’ve done a 100 miles with a 20.3 MPH average, but that was only because I was drafting people who were much, much stronger than me. I can barely imagine what it would take to pull off 22 MPH.

          • baiskeli

             /  September 6, 2012

            Yeah, drafting makes a huge difference. Pulling 22 mph solo on somewhat hill terrain is pretty hard.

    • any chance to shill ebooks at ya?

  8. Electronic_Neko

     /  September 6, 2012

    I overheard a conversation on an escalator today that made me laugh.

    Person A: “You shouldn’t drink diet soda.”
    Person B: “Why not?
    Person A: “Because it’s chemical. Sugar grows on trees. It’s natural!”

    Close, but not quite.

  9. JHarper2

     /  September 6, 2012

    About Mr C’s speech.
    From the comments section at Charlie Pierce’s in answer to a commenter who slammed Bill C as a Conservative for the Leisure Class and a DINO.

    Funny that; that DINO Bill is so far to the left of the most ‘left-wing’ GOP-er that they can’t see him with the Hubbell. He didn’t do the country any good with NAFTA and he loves him that asinine Simpson-Bowles crap, but Holy Toledo; are you complaining about what the country was like when he was President? I’d be ecstatic if Obama was a Democrat in the old sense of the term, but at this point, I’ll take Ike. The Perfect is usually the enemy of the Good, in this case too, and especially when the choices are between “Not-so-bad” and “Holy-Shit-Is-He-Serious?!” When the sharks start circling, even a small raft is better than treading water. If you can put off disaster a little longer, maybe you’ll be able to find a way out of the mess, or get lucky.
    I don’t know about Charlie, but if I was a Democrat instead of a relatively sane ex-Republican, I’d be damn proud of Bill. There are DINOs and DINOs, after all. Most Democrats, it turns out, are DINOs. While we’re waiting for Godot, Guffman and the Robert E Lee, I’ll settle for whoever’s the best match with what I want in this country.

    I think that last sentence is important.. I’ll settle for whoever’s the best match with what I want in this country. Ie, I’ll hope for the best, I’ll work for the best, I’ll vote for the best on offer.

    • aaron singer

       /  September 6, 2012

      “I’ll settle for whoever’s the best match with what I want in this country. Ie, I’ll hope for the best, I’ll work for the best, I’ll vote for the best on offer.”
      If that was the case, I’d be likely voting for Jill Stein in November. That said, I’ll probably vote for Obama.

      • David L

         /  September 6, 2012

        I’m not in a swing state, so I’m leaning towards using that as a get out of jail free card for supporting Obama but voting for either Gary Johnson or Jill Stein in the hope that they get a high enough percentage of the vote to actually become a part of the national conversation (not that I give that very good odds of happening; the media seem perfectly willing to collaborate with the two major parties on their efforts to keep other parties from horning in.)

        • aaron singer

           /  September 6, 2012

          I agree, and it goes much beyond just the media. I don’t know how to go about changing our electoral system, however.

        • goldnick

           /  September 6, 2012

          Yeah, I would be voting for Jill Stein if I didn’t live in Iowa.

    • JHarper2

       /  September 6, 2012

      For the truly geeky, the speech as written, edited with the speech as delivered. You can visually see how BC took a dry speech and on the fly made it conversational. The speech as written became the bullet points for the speech as delivered.

      • JHarper2

         /  September 6, 2012
      • taylor16

         /  September 6, 2012

        I told my husband last night that I think Bill Clinton is a wizard. He has Magical Public Speaking Powers. I’ve never seen anything like that before. Politics aside, that is a serious natural talent he has. You can’t teach someone to be able to ad-lib and explain like that, especially without notes.

        • efgoldman

           /  September 6, 2012

          I am (obviously) a low Class A speaker, while Bill Clinton is a major-league Hall of Famer.
          When I was on the radio, some of my colleagues had to make careful notes prior to every break. I never did, not in 15 years. When host a concert, I always bring notes (for the factual stuff) but hardly ever use them. I just a natural bullshitter, I guess,

          • taylor16

             /  September 6, 2012

            Yeah, I mean, when I taught college I’d have notes with me but would rarely ever need to use them. I seem to have *some* degree of public speaking ability.

            But I’m not one-tenth as engaging as Clinton, and I sure as hell couldn’t go on like that, killing with every sentence, for FORTY NINE FREAKING MINUTES. Unreal.

  10. chingona

     /  September 6, 2012

    My son was very tired and cranky this morning. We didn’t get him to bed before Clinton’s speech started, and well, some things you don’t walk away from. At first he was happy to play past his bedtime. But at a certain point, he started coming in every two minutes to say why wouldn’t anybody read to him. We invited him to watch the speech. He complained that for the last two weeks, all we’ve been doing is “watching speeches and ignoring me.” I told him tonight is the last speech and it’s going to be a very important one that he might want to remember when he’s older. Would he like to go to bed early or stay up to watch it?

    • SWNC

       /  September 6, 2012

      We all watched this morning at breakfast. (I’m on the east coast, so it came on past my bedtime, too.)

  11. …so many things to c and do…

  12. caoil

     /  September 6, 2012

    So Wikimedia is running an interesting contest about taking photos of historic places and uploading them to the site, and while toodling around in the details I got linked to the following ( and I may just drown inside that website.

  13. Happy 40th birthday to the most-excellent Idris Elba!

    • Lizzou

       /  September 6, 2012

      God, he’s amazing in ‘Luther.’

      • It appears he’s sharing the cover of this month’s Esquire, too, so apparently he’s not just our little secret anymore. We have to share him. Nuts.

  14. Captain_Button

     /  September 6, 2012

    Regarding the “Why Emily doesn’t like graphic novels” thread the other day, would manga (Japanese comics books) that aren’t superhero/sci-fi/fantasy stuff be of interest?

    I’m a fan of various translated mundane topic manga. But mostly sappy romances that are a bit behind the times on gender roles*. And there seems to be a law that there must be at least a token bit of creepiness/ick in there somewhere.

    But you do have tolearn to read them right to left.

    * As is Japan in general, I am told.

  15. Chris Hayes just tweeted the Open Zion post IMMEDIATELY ABOVE MINE re: the Israel/Palestine/Jerusalem kerfluffle at the DNC.

    I was this close!

    Sigh. I’m never going to get to be a Real Pundit, am I?

    • Yes you are. I’LL SEE YOU ON MADDOW YET!

      • You were so sweet with your BuzzFeedBen related tweet the other day. Thank you! I really do think I have to vault above the “top 50 Jews on Twitter of 2011.” (Or was it 2010? I think it was 2010).

        • Just because I completely suck at self promotion doesn’t mean everyone has to!

          Though yesterday R asked why I wasn’t writing a book. It was perhaps the sweetest thing he’s ever said to me in 7 years.

    • This was awesome. Thank you! In the meantime, I’ve tweeted it, and he and I have tweeted back and forth. I can’t get over that “1% of readers…” stat. So, if we presume (for the sake of argument) that probably 50% of commenters either have something to add to the conversation or are at least benign (“First!” and the like), that means that .5% of the reading public is setting the tone for internet discourse.

      That’s so many kinds of wrong.

      • True, this. However, is it also wrong that the only reason I found the article was because I wanted to read about the family that was murdered in the Alps? (I don’t oft check foreign papers unless I know there’s a story there that interests me.)

      • Well, we have pageview metrics right on our posts, in public… 300 comments on a really, REALLY busy thread that has 40,000 pageviews… so yeah, about 1%.

        • Captain_Button

           /  September 6, 2012

          As I understand it, this was true even back in the days of USENET, back when the Internet was steam powered. Reader outnumbered posters by hundreds to one.

  16. stephen matlock

     /  September 6, 2012

    So the paper is running an article about my book next week (they interviewed me over the weekend).

    I shall let you know if it’s available online so you can all be properly agog.

  17. Tumblr QOTD:

    “Fuck you guys, there is only one true Sherlock and Watson!”

    (You’re welcome.)

  18. CitizenE

     /  September 6, 2012

    Hat tip to the ever sane Digby for turning me on to this link, but has anyone else noticed:

  19. CitizenE

     /  September 6, 2012

    another link; this time to a grantland article on Serena Williams, who I think is better than all the super hero movies piled up end to end myself:

  20. Did not get a ticket for a chance to see Obama at post-convention stop this Saturday. 😦

    This combined with my tearful realization that the Yankees are back atop the AL East is leaving me in a very depressed mood.