“And evolution is a thing” – an open thread.

A) Here’s an open thread.

B) Here’s Rachel Maddow’s absolutely breathtaking open from last night, in which she runs down what won’t happen now that we didn’t elect Mitt Romney, what did happen on Election Day, and what this reality thing is. Plus: Why the GOP getting a clue will be good for alllll of us. WATCH IT.

C) I posted some stuff. You might enjoy scrolling around on the front page, too! : )

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.



  1. Recappery:
    The XFactor—with the most hilarious cover of a Mary Poppins tune ever in the history of things. No really, you must see this. http://wp.me/p10bqa-3rj
    The Voice Recap—sadly, not nearly so hilarious. http://wp.me/p10bqa-3rh

  2. ElfQuest might be coming to the big screen. It’s…not cool. http://wp.me/p10bqa-3rJ
    You know what is cool though? NEW MONTY PYTHON STARRING BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. http://wp.me/p10bqa-3rT

    • Captain_Button

       /  November 8, 2012

      I loved ElfQuest back in the day, but that was a long time ago and I lost interest somewhere in all the different follow on series. Still have the RPG though.

  3. Captain_Button

     /  November 8, 2012

    I hate my lungs.

    • That does not sound promising…. Do tell.

      • Captain_Button

         /  November 8, 2012

        I got out of NY ahead of the snowstorm, but got a respiratory infection as a consolation prize. OTOH, did get a doctor appt this morning, which was quick.

        And an upcoming 3 day weekend to spend hacking p gunk.

    Gabby Giffords’s shooter Jared Loughner sentenced to 6 life sentences + 140 years

    • Captain_Button

       /  November 8, 2012

      Now I am picturing the long term prison Futurama style, with all the prisoners as heads in jars.

  5. I ❤ Rachel Maddow like everything

  6. JHarper2

     /  November 8, 2012

    Dr Maddow’s Victory Lap was a very impressive thing indeed, glad indeed to see it again.
    And a Mashup of our own Emily and an anonymous corespondent over at Andrew’s
    Obama Translator: MEEP MEEP

  7. Blog flogging! I recently wrote a review of La Favorite Vieux, a rather interesting rhum agricole with notes of berries, oak, grass, and bacon. Yes, all of those at the same time.


  8. Two interesting links:
    Dale Carpenter at Volokh Conspiracy on the coalition building needed to defeat the same-sex marriage constitutional provision in Minnesota. http://www.volokh.com/2012/11/08/winning-minnesota/ (Why can’t liberals do more of this?)
    Kevin Drum at Mother Jones being sane about the election outcome http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/11/we-should-probably-all-calm-down-bit

  9. Oh, and this:

    Warcraft-playing Maine senate candidate wins, despite opponents anti-orc smears: http://boingboing.net/2012/11/08/warcraft-playing-maine-senate.html

    I may not be a gamer, but this made me Snoopy dance a little.

    • I am a gamer, and I say FOR THE HORDE!

      (even though mostly I play Alliance).

      • (And I will gamely pretend I know what that means).

        • (WoW has two main factions: the Alliance and the Horde. They are in a state of more-or-less open war. The senator-elect was outed for playing an orc, and orcs can only belong to the Horde. One of the things orc non-player characters often say is “For the Horde!”

          I mostly play Alliance, so that line does not often come across my lips.)

  10. baiskeli

     /  November 8, 2012

    I’m feeling like I might have posted something too personal in the FB page (regarding a former friend who I de-friended some time ago). But I will leave it up since the deed is done.

  11. Karl Rove: Obama “succeeded by suppressing the vote.”
    No, seriously. He said that.

    • I… but… I don’t even… ground game… get out the vote… 9-hour lines… *explodes*

      • efgoldman

         /  November 8, 2012

        Rove does more projection than the 20-screen Ciniplex at the mall.

    • Once again, Rove’s tactic of accusing his opponent of doing things HE HIMSELF does is on fully display. There is no evidence of voter suppression by Obama. Voter suppression by Republicans in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Arizona, etc., well there’s a sh-tload of evidence for that.

      At some point, Rove needs to get charged with fraud. He certainly ripped off his billionaire buddies who paid him to drive Obama from office…

    • Tenar Darell

       /  November 8, 2012

      Head meet wall….My head hurts now.

      Heritage Foundation ran something, it’s over at The Dish here: http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/11/will-the-rights-fever-break.html
      Fair warning, your head will hurt too after watching!

      Anyway, all I could come up with was vampire or zombie metaphors. I feel really stabby, now, where’s the stake damnit! How do we kill this horrible infection that has taken over?

  12. Neocortex

     /  November 8, 2012

    I’ve been seeing a lot of people, including Emily, plugging the Red Cross since Hurricane Sandy. Having spent a few days in NYC doing medical relief work, and planning to go back this weekend, there are a couple of things I want to say.

    I saw very little Red Cross presence (one truck in two days), and a lot of people wondering where the Red Cross has been. I get that it’s easy to donate to the Red Cross, but there are other organizations that are doing really good work there and also need money and don’t have the public exposure and tremendous resources of the Red Cross:

    Occupy Sandy Relief: I worked with them. They might be the most effective multi-neighborhood relief organization in NYC right now. They have huge resource distribution centers all over the city, multiple standing health clinics, hotlines (that have been plugged in the NYT) in half a dozen different neighborhoods that people can call to request help, teams going out with shovels to dig out hard-hit areas, medics doing door-to-door help and getting medication refills for homebound people, all kinds of stuff. The website has lists of current needs in different neighborhoods, and a number that you can call to find out medical needs. If you want to send goods rather than money, the two largest distribution centers are St Jacobi Lutheran (5406 4th Ave Brooklyn, NY 11220) and the Church of St Luke and St Matthew (520 Clinton Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11238).

    CAAAV: This is an Asian-American empowerment organization that has been absolutely essential for relief in Chinatown. They’ve provided translators, managed shelters, cared for elders, and more.

    Rockaway Youth Task Force: This is a youth organization, mostly poor high schoolers of color, that was digging out their own devastated neighborhoods before most relief organizations were paying any attention. They’ve been doing and continue to do awesome work in a community that desperately needs it. Seriously, the Rockaway Peninsula is just a mess and is not getting anywhere near enough aid from mainstream sources.

    • Thanks for this and thank so much for volunteering. I really, really wish I were there to get to people directly.

      Just to explain my thing with the Red Cross:

      A) I don’t like to donate to anything for which I can’t find good, solid recommendation, because too many places are shady or fly-by or poorly managed. I don’t have any direct contact with any organization on the ground, so the Red Cross is (to my mind) the safest bet for someone in my position.

      B) The Red Cross is also working in the Caribbean on this storm’s impact, as well as other places around the world, and by donating to “Disaster Relief,” they’re able to use the money wherever they see the need (organizations which had a big “9/11” fund, for instance, and wound up with more funding than they needed have been really stuck, legally, in how they can disburse those funds, even if another clear need arises).

      • Neocortex

         /  November 8, 2012

        Yeah, it is definitely true that the Red Cross has presence in the Caribbean. I just wish they had more in NYC as well. I saw more FEMA but they seem understaffed – 90% of the FEMA people I saw there were Americorps kids – and they shut down their aid centers for the nor’easter, to the dismay of locals. The city government response seems to be patchy – the NYC Housing Authority has sucked at checking on its trapped residents, there are no warming centers on the Rockaway Peninsula, etc, but the fire department seems to be doing fine for instance. I have heard that the aid in NJ is generally better, possibly because Christie has handled this whole thing better than Bloomberg.

        Part of my purpose in commenting here (as you probably realized) is to try to give good recommendations. I have an obvious bias for Occupy’s stuff, but I really was impressed by it.

        There’s a definite need for gasoline to transport volunteers to and around neighborhoods without decent transit access. It has been hard to Occupy to operate in Staten Island because it’s so spread out that it requires a lot more gasoline to work there. I suspect that there are issues shipping gasoline, but if this is secretly easier than I think it is, that might be something to consider.

        • Part of my purpose in commenting here (as you probably realized) is to try to give good recommendations.

          Oh, absolutely! And thank you.

    • Another thing I’ve been doing (though I have no real sense as to if I’m actually helping) is RT-ing the Twitter requests for help on the ground from the organizations in the thick of it (Redhook Initiative, etc). I figure: Maybe I’ll catch the one follower who can go cook for a few hours or has a truck they can lend folks to transport goods. I try hard to make sure I’m not RTing stuff I can’t verify, but once I do, I hope it’s helpful. It’s the closest to the ground I can get….

      • Neocortex

         /  November 8, 2012

        This seems like a good thing to do. And thanks for mentioning the Red Hook Initiative; I’d forgotten about them.

    • watson42

       /  November 8, 2012

      Thanks for this. I’ve heard the same re “official” response from friends and family in NYC (esp Brooklyn and Queens).

      For those that don’t know, Occupy Sandy has an Amazon gift registry that allows you to send the things they’ve identified as the greatest needs, from wipes all the way to generators. The shipping addresses are the two churches Neocortex mentions.

      Someone told me that New York’s Sikh Cultural Society also set up a relief station in Rockaway Beach and are looking for donations of food and supplies. I’ll try and get more info.

      • Neocortex

         /  November 9, 2012

        I’ve heard the same re “official” response from friends and family in NYC (esp Brooklyn and Queens).

        The cynical take that I’ve heard is that hard-hit poor neighborhoods that are within sight of rich neighborhoods got official help more quickly, while hard-hit poor neighborhoods far away from the fashionable rich people got ignored. I would like to believe that’s not the real reason, but…

        Re: Rockaways: I was completely boggled and horrified that with all the warming centers set up for the nor’easter, none of them were on the Rockaway Peninsula. That was a major WTF. Especially angering for me because when I was working in the Far Rockaway housing projects I saved a family, including a baby, that were probably within an hour of all dying of carbon monoxide poisoning, because they had no heat and were using the stove to heat their apartment.

    • Can I throw out a mention of Doctors Without Borders as well? They’ve got people on the ground in the Caribbean and in NY/NJ doing hurricane relief.

      Press Release: Filling Gaps in Medical Aid for People Affected by Hurricane Sandy


      • Neocortex

         /  November 9, 2012

        Yeah, I did interact with DWB/MSF, being a medic myself (going back tomorrow).

        I am somewhat confused by their approach. They were doing medical canvassing in the projects like we (Occupy Sandy street medics) were. But they were only doing the first few floors of each building (maybe they are not used to working in cities full of high-rises). They are also really hard to get in touch with on the ground, and don’t seem used to working with other medical people in the field. On the plus side, they are there, they have higher certifications than most of us (along with the authority to write prescriptions, which is way useful), and they had these nice reporting forms that they gave us. Also, it is good that they are in the Caribbean.

  13. Blog flogging: http://reformamendment.blogspot.com/2012/11/its-cheap-its-easy-its-winners-and.html

    TNC is hosting a thread that’s garnered a lot of interest: What’s The Matter With Florida?. I do need to apologize once again, I got caught feeding a troll and received a stern lecture from the boss…

  14. socioprof

     /  November 8, 2012

    Hey peeps,

    Are y’all familiar with this Feminist Ryan Gosling tumblr and if so, why didn’t you let me know about it:

    Also, hostess with the mostess, I sent a text message to your fancy new phone (-:

    • O_O

      I don’t text! What do I do now?! (Also, and probably relatedly, I’m not sure where the phone even is right now. Hmm…).

      /wanders upstairs in search of the “text” of which my fancy young friend speaks.

    • Ok, this is genuinely sad. I’ve found the phone, but I literally cannot figure out where I can read texts. As soon as I’m done typing this embarrassing but true fact, I am going to turn to the husband (who works from home on Thursdays and thank God) and ask for help. Hand to God.


      • efgoldman

         /  November 8, 2012

        That’s why mrs efgoldman and I still have flip phones.

    • AH HA.

      A) I found the magical “where I see my texts” button (and in my defense, it really is buried deep in the Droid’s apps, which seems counter-intuitive, given that I’m the only person on God’s green earth who doesn’t text)

      but B) your text isn’t there — and I’m betting that’s because you sent it to my landline, because though I *said* I was sending you my cell number the other day, I actually sent you my landline.

      Wow. How did we ever get along without our technology?

      • socioprof

         /  November 8, 2012

        I am dying laughing now. I will send you an email.

        • Thank GOD.

          • DEAR HORDE:

            Let the record show that after this comedy of errors, socioprof tried to send me an email – but texted it instead. To my email address.

            THEN, she actually sent an email.

            WE’LL BE HERE ALL WEEK.

            • doginajacket

               /  November 8, 2012

              clap clap clap clap clap!

            • doginajacket

               /  November 8, 2012

              My SO was informed yesterday that she’ll be getting a smarter phone for work so she can start texting. It’ll probably go like this.

            • Bookwoman

               /  November 8, 2012

              Heh. I’m loving this. I don’t even have a smartphone, but I do know how to text. I send or receive them just a few times a year. Phones are for speaking on, dammit!

  15. In the good news/bad news department, I’ve been given an extra day and told “no rush!” on a contract project I had planned to start working on this afternoon.

    On the one hand: Yay!

    On the other hand, now here I sit on the internet, absolutely not starting the work.

  16. watson42

     /  November 8, 2012

    My ability to comment at TNC’s place via my phone is intermittent at best, so I am posting a couple of thoughts re the election here:

    I can’t believe how *relieved* I am with the results of the election. Particularly from my experiences in job hunting this last year, it’s really been in my face how much of the population thinks I’m not a legit human being (or perhaps doesn’t deserve to be). It’s reassuring that the majority of the voting public has the same vision of who we can be that I do. Or at least, that’s how I choose to read it. 🙂 Even if I know it’s more complicated than that.

    Here in my little corner of MA, I was amazed at how many candidates for local offices were running unopposed. It made me think about barriers to change, and creating sustained change/momentum. I need to find ways to get more involved on the local level so that impact grows – and grows upwards – to subsequent elections.

    • efgoldman

       /  November 8, 2012

      I was amazed at how many candidates for local offices were running unopposed.
      Back when he was halfway sane (long, long ago), Jeff Jacoby and I had some conversations around this very issue. I agree that one-party rule is bad. But if you gotta’ have it (a la MA), mo’ better its the Dems.

  17. David L

     /  November 8, 2012

    Benefits of going home at lunch:
    1. Picking up the cell phone I left when I went to work this morning, which leads to getting a call from the boy saying that he can come up tonight if I want, which leads to the obvious.
    2. Being able to see a can of tuna and a submarine roll on the counter and go: “YES! That’s what I’ve been after for lunch but couldn’t figure out what I wanted.”

    Negative effect of going home at lunch:
    1. Wanting to stay there instead of going back to work.
    2. Having some of my tuna salad (the excess after I put as much as I could on the sandwich) stolen by the cat before I could get around to eating it.

  18. taylor16

     /  November 8, 2012

    Romney camp concedes in Florida:



    Also, it’s official…Nate Silver is a wizard.

  19. taylor16

     /  November 8, 2012

    Also … for people who (like me) think Barack and Michelle Obama are the most adorable couple:


  20. efgoldman

     /  November 8, 2012

    I posted this elsewhere yesterday, but I think it deserves the very widest circulation possible. Charles Pierce at his very, very best, a level of writing about which I couldn’t ever dream:

    Part of what drives people crazy about him — and if you wanted to see crazy, you should have seen the fugue state that overcame the Fox election all-stars last night, because I’ve seen jollier police lineups — is that he so clearly understands his own genuine historical stature, and that he wears it so easily, and that he uses it so deftly. It is not obvious. He does not use it brutally or obviously. It is just… there with him, a long and deep reservoir of violence and sorrow and tragedy and triumph out of which comes almost everything he does. He came into this office a figure of history, unlike anyone who’s become president since George Washington. The simple event of him remains a great gravitational force in our politics. It changes the other parts of our politics in their customary orbits. It happens so easily and so in the manner of an immutable physical law that you hardly notice that it has happened until you realize that what you thought you knew about the country and its people had been shifted by degrees until it is in a completely different place.
    But the history that propels him is not the history that many of us learned in school. It is the underground history of the country, buried deep in the earth, over and over again, but stubbornly rising, over and over again, until it gathered all of its momentum behind him and made him the event that he was in 2008 and that he remains today. It was the history that was behind John Lewis as he walked over that bridge. It is the history that was behind him in his first campaign and then, rather late in the day, in his second campaign as well. And it is through him, maybe, that the underground history is fully integrated at last into the history of the country, that it is acknowledged at last as what it always has been — an important element to be used in the constant re-creation of our political commonwealth. He as much as said so late last night, pushing toward two in the morning.
    In terms of pure politics, he ran a great campaign. He was strongest as his voice weakened. He plays to the final whistle. He is, as Jimmy Breslin once put it about someone else, a terribly fierce fifteen-round fighter. There was something undeniably elegaic about his last round of speeches, in Florida and in Wisconsin and in Iowa, where it all started four years ago. There was a sense of the great unspooling of time and history, a sense that the beginning of the end of his moment had come upon him. But, even then, amid all the emotion, he found a very hard place from which to throw the last few punches. You know where I stand. You know what I believe. You know I say what I mean and I mean what I say. It was a combination, right-left-right, and he threw it all the way to last bell. And, in the end, it was more than enough.

    Nothing became Willard Romney’s campaign like the ending of it. His concession speech was simple, almost perfunctory. Best wishes to the president and his family. A nod to some staffers. A blessing bestowed upon Paul Ryan even though the zombie-eyed granny-starver brought almost nothing to the ticket. “The election is over,” he said, “but our principles endure.” And then he was gone, as vague and evanescent a figure as he always was, a strange and out-of-focus politician who surrounded himself with a baffling opacity that, within six months, I predict we will barely remember his campaign at all. He does not wear history as well as does the man who defeated him because history has not surrounded and powered his every public moment. That is a deficit he never could overcome.


  21. There’s something I really want to know, and while this would probably be better asked in in OT at TNC’s place, I can’t post there with the new disqus unless I’m at home and I get home too late to penetrate the open threads most of the time. So I’m throwing this out here instead:

    What would a sane American conservatism — a sane Republican Party — look like? and how would you distinguish it from the current Democratic Party?

    I’ve been trying to picture that, and my imagination is just failing me.

    • [I think you’d better ask in the next open thread at the mother ship! : )]

      • (If disqus stops repressing me, I shall)

        • (You see the violence inherent in the system?)

        • PS I clearly wasn’t thinking clearly when I said you should bring this to the very open thread on which you cannot post! (My point was really more along the lines of “Looks like the place has emptied out, & I don’t know what to tell you,” I promise!) So I just posted the question for you over there at today’s thread. (I like Darth Thulhu’s answer, though!)

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  November 9, 2012

      A sane Republican Party would look like a mashup of the Tories and the Libertarians:

      1) Social conservatism confined to the local/private level and absent from the state/national level. Effective end of the culture wars, purge the racism. (This is such a huge shift that it will be decades to see it.)

      2) Significantly divested of the military-industrial complex, with a fully-functioning isolationist and civil-liberties wing. Let the Democratic Party be the party of spendthrift do-gooder foreign intervention, and oppose their overreaches of executive power. Reestablish traditional need to get Congressional approval to galavant and deploy weapon-systems warfare around the planet. Again, this will clearly take decades.

      3) Become the Party of ruthless efficiency and financial savings. Rather than the present Party of mindless cuts, knee-jerk obstruction, and pseudo-religious refusal to ever raise revenue, the Republicans could promise to be the Party to hold bloated and inefficient agencies and departments accountable for waste and incompetence, firing layabouts and raising standards and passing the savings on to middle-class and poor taxpayers. Such a Party would have a much broader penetration of minority voter blocs … so, again, decades to see it.

      I can’t see such a Party emerging until the Democrats severely overextend themselves and prompt a justified backlash. I’m talking reckless bloat, insane deficits, ridiculously inefficient, shockingly corrupt levels of overextending themselves, because the Republicans have been and will continue to be crying wolf for so long that no one is going to buy it unless and until the Democrats go completely hog wild. So yeah … at least a decade or two in the future.

      • Captain Button

         /  November 9, 2012

        Their two weapons are localized social conservatism, neo-isolationism, ruthless efficiency, and …

        I’ll come in again