New Years Eve: Pre-Drop Open Thread

Hey, y’all!

Tonight we watch the ball descend, the peach fall, the possum drop…oh wait, that celebration had the kibosh put on it, however…there very well may be a roadkill drop. 

Anyway, tonight we watch all sorts of things dropping, signifying the end of year 2012, and the beginning of 2013.

Where to ring in 2013 – CBS News

Personally, I think the most significant thing that should be dropping is the American Public’s drawers…as in pants, because to ring in this new year we all need to get ready for the screw job that is coming.

So, as we wait for 2013 to make its grand entrance, I bring you some links to pass the time. Of course, most of these links are list…go figure.

Gregory Linton: The Best of Los Angeles Street Art 2012 (PHOTOS)

Street artist Chod paints over a dollar bill. Notice the little features, such as how the middle monkey’s nostrils double as George Washington’s masked eyes. This modified dollar bill was found glued to a red street curb in Hollywood.

More cool ass street art here: 10 Photos of Incredible Street Art –

Here are a couple of my favorites.

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The webs are crocheted in a colorful spiderweb pattern around what would usually be a very ordinary tree. The purpose of yarn bombing is to brighten up the world by crocheting patterns onto things like statues, pipes and even tanks. It certainly fulfilled its purpose here.

Lovely? Well take a look at this one:

“No brushes or stencils, just spray”

Street-Art-By-David-Walker-In-London-England
This amazing picture is by David Walker, and as the title suggests, he did not use any brushes or stencils. This is very unusual for a street artist to do, mostly because it is so difficult. The girl is made up of vibrant colors, while still remaining amazingly realistic – making the overall effect quite incredible.

More artwork from David Walker can by found here: artofdavidwalker

For Boston Boomer and Beata…and any other “Hoosiers” out there: Photos: Hoops Hysteria, Indiana Style

Earlier this year, photographer Elijah Hurwitz set out to capture Indiana basketball in places “where it offers a way out of boredom or a way out of town. Where it offers a way to build bonds and rivalries. And often, where it’s simply a way to pass the time when there’s nothing else to do.” In his rich, intimate shots of driveway pickup, prison ball, and the state’s intensely loyal fanbase, Hurwitz illustrates the state’s hoops passion, which he first experienced as an undergraduate at Indiana University. As it happens, this year’s Hoosiers have returned to their place among the nation’s top programs, reaching No. 1 for the first time in 20 years—and giving a new generation of Indianans a team to emulate and obsess over for years to come.

On to more list associated with the year 2012:

In 2012, 11 billion-dollar weather disasters in US | Earth | EarthSky

Two most expensive 2012 U.S. weather disasters have been ongoing drought ($40 billion in damages so far) and Superstorm Sandy ($62 billion so far).

These next two links are opposites of each other:

The 24 Best Moments For Women In 2012: including epic accomplishments in politics, sports, business and culture and advances in marriage equality.

2012′s War on Women :This year featured attacks on everything from contraception to the definition of rape.

For the book readers: Sean Carman: Yet Another Year-End List

David Gutowski, the writer and editor of Largehearted Boy, annually compiles a list of all of the lists of the best books of the year. As of this writing, Gutowski’s list of lists includes 60 lists starting with the letter “A.” Assuming the same number of lists start with each of the other letters, excluding V, W, X, Y, and Z, there are 1200 lists on Gutowski’s list of best book lists.

The mother of all best books lists begs this question: Do we really need one more?

Hell, best book list are fun…at least for me, but here are more list for you to enjoy.

For those with a literary bent, how about a list of Dear John letters from famous authors: h/t the Dish…  ‘This Was Like Dating a Priest’: For literary geniuses, there’s no such thing as a simple “It’s not you, it’s me.” Famous Authors’ Breakup Letters – Emily Temple – The Atlantic

And let us not forget a list for lexicographers: Goodbye ‘chillaxing,’ hello ‘omnishambles’: the phrases that fell in and out of fashion this year | The Raw Story

For those who are more numbers oriented: By the Numbers: Comparing Spending by Gun Rights and Gun Control Interest Groups – ProPublica

Let’s see, we’ve taken care of list for artist, writers, readers, Hoosier’s, and numbers freaks…now just a few links that aren’t list of things, they are simply easy-going fun articles and drawings to share.

(Okay, actually this first one is not “fun” but I thought it was damn good. Perhaps it should be placed under the War on Women list?)

Since all this talk of going off the fiscal cliff, lots of folks are using imagery of a very important film for me, and I am guessing for lots of women who are survivors of rape. Leave Thelma & Louise Alone – Garance Franke-Ruta – The Atlantic

All you people trying to yoke the 1991 feminist movie to the fiscal cliff negotiations seem to have forgotten that it’s a vigilante fantasy about rape culture which ends badly.

thelma-louise-gun_custom-fbfcfb3d7995a891e0ea910419a6dea559ccfc3d-s4.jpg

How’s this for cultural amnesia: Politico‘s Jonathan Allen wrote this morning of fiscal cliff negotiations: “If they go over the cliff, they’ll do it together. But it won’t be some happy Thelma-and-Louise-style climax.”

Happy?

Has anyone actually watched Thelma & Louise lately?

No, I am guessing they haven’t.

Fun with art: EATEN BY DUCKS

Just go look at that one…trust me!

Alright, check this out…very cool indeed h/t Susie at C&L:

Chemistry of snowflakes, to neuroscience legacies:

Levi-Montalcini, A Giant of Neuroscience Leaves a Living Legacy | Talking back, Scientific American Blog Network

What may have been Rita Levi-Montalcini’s last paper was published almost a year ago in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. By no means a retrospective of a career that produced a Nobel Prize, the paper (“Nerve growth factor regulates axial rotation during early stages of chick embryo development”) added still one more bit of knowledge about the protein involved with  the growth and survival of nerve cells, a molecule that was Levi-Montalcini’s passion for 60 years.

Until her death on Sunday in Rome  at 103, Levi-Montalcini had been the oldest living Nobelist and a woman who had never let anything stop her from pursuing a destiny as a scientist.  The barriers were sometimes formidable. First there was her father, who discouraged her from becoming a physician but later provided support. Later the Nazis threatened—she set up a makeshift lab in her wartime hideout—and then finally came the confrontation with the inexorability of aging. The New York Times obit included this 2009 quotation: “At 100, I have a mind that is superior — thanks to experience — than when I was 20.”

Isn’t it wonderful that she was sharp up to the end?

Alright, I wanted to have a little something for everyone in this post, and I think I’ve succeeded.

Have a wonderful and safe New Years Eve!

This is an open thread.

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54 Comments on “New Years Eve: Pre-Drop Open Thread”

  1. With the press conference/warning we got earlier today, I am guessing we are also waiting for the other shoe to drop. Anyway…see y’all later tonight!

  2. janicen says:

    A year ago we all made predictions on this blog. The only one I remember was who would be the next dictator to fall. I think everyone picked Assad so just to be different I picked Hugo Chavez. So far it looks like they both made it through 2012.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    “I think the most significant thing that should be dropping is the American Public’s drawers…as in pants, because to ring in this new year we all need to get ready for the screw job that is coming.”

    ROTFL….You got it Sister!!!!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I’m saying atta girl to you JJ and adding my own special double down fuck you to Congress.

      As for Hillary, just heard breaking news report released from Hillary’s doc that the clot is between skull and brain. And another fuck you to all those who thought she was sandbaggin.

  4. dakinikat says:

    Just heard a great speech on the floor of the senate by Senator Harkin saying he didn’t like the way this was going for the reasons pretty much outlined by AFL-CIO

    • dakinikat says:

      Chuck Todd ‏@chucktodd

      The deal is “basically” done. Now, Senate Dems have to bless it. Senate GOP has already done so. Vote cd happen by 3am

      • Fannie says:

        Sounds like it’s done – stick a fork in it. I can’t help but think about Obama first debate with Romney, and we wondered wtf happened…………………I get that same feeling. Promise you he’ll come back with the words “comprise”………………until next time. I hope I am wrong.

      • dakinikat says:

        looks like the deal is done and biden accepted the chain link thing along with the increased level for taxes just to get some temporary fixs from the rethugs … biden must’ve started drinking this morning.

      • dakinikat says:

        Harken spoke out against it so I have no idea if they can whip all the dems plus there’s still the house…

        http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/31/harkin-blasts-fellow-democrats-no-deal-is-better-than-this-very-bad-deal/

        Harkin said he was “disturbed” to read a report in the Washington Post that Democrats were debating giving in on giving in on tax cuts up to $400,000 instead of the previously proposed $250,000 and that they were considering keeping estates of $5 million or more at the tax rate of 35 percent.

        “Well, I can tell you Mr. President, this is one Democrat who doesn’t agree with that,” Harkin said, saying that the deal meant that the tax cuts would remain permanent, but “all of the other things that the middle class in America really depends [sic] on is extended for one year, maybe two years.”

        “Well I just think that’s grossly unfair. Grossly unfair,” Harkin continued. He pointed out that those who make $250,000 or more a year are the top 2 percent of income earners in America. By moving the tax cuts to $400,000, Harkin said, it sends a message that earners who make that much are “middle class.”

        “Have we forgotten that average income earners in America are making $25, $30, $40, $50, or $60,000 a year? That’s the real middle class in America,” Harkin pointed out. “And they’re the ones that are getting hammered right now. They’re getting hammered with housing costs, rental, heating bills, kids going to school. They have no retirement. Now we’re talking about raising the retirement age on people who work hard every day?”

        “As I see this thing developing, quite frankly, as I’ve said before, no deal is better than a bad deal, and this looks like a very bad deal the way this is shaping up,” Harkin said.

        He said that when the deadline is reached tax rates will go back to what they were during Clinton’s presidency. “What’s so bad about that?”

        “What’s happened is in the last ten years a lot of people have gotten very rich in this country. Very rich. And now they want to protect their wealth. And that’s what they want to do,” Harkin said. “I think it’s time they started paying their fair share.”

        Harkin isn’t the only left-of-center critic on this reported deal. The New Republic‘s Timothy Noah’s asked House and Senate Democrats in an open letter to kill the proposed deal, saying, “Your president has sold you out.”

      • bostonboomer says:

        Are you saying the chained cpi is part of the deal? WTF?!! I’ve been listening to MSNBC and that has never been mentioned. Cutting Social Security should be the headline if they’re really doing it. I can’t believe Senate Dems would actually vote for that!

        • dakinikat says:

          somebody said it was but this is what CBS says so far:

          Here are the known details of the deal:

          Tax rates: current tax rates will be extended for all wage earners making below $400,000 and couples making below $450,000.

          This was a key concession for both Republicans and Democrats. Democrats wanted the threshold for tax increases to rest at $250,000 and Republicans didn’t want marginal tax rates to increase for anyone.

          The automatic spending cuts under the sequester will be delayed for two months. The cost of continuing current federal spending levels will be offset by revenue increases and some spending cuts. The spending cuts will come half from defense and half non-defense accounts.

          The two-month window is to allow Congress and the White House to come up with a larger deal on spending cuts, leading to another (though smaller) “fiscal cliff.” Democrats see this deal as a victory because Republicans had objected to using any new tax revenue to offset the loss of sequester spending cuts, reports Garrett.

          The estate tax: it was set to increase from rom 35 percent to 55 percent in 2013. Instead, the compromise sets the new rate at 40 percent with the first $5 million worth of property exempt from being taxed.

          Capital gains tax: Capital gains and dividend tax rates will increase from 15 to 20 percent.

          Alternative Minimum Tax: a permanent fix to the tax that would hit middle class families

          “Doc Fix”: doctors will be shielded from a massive reimbursement gap for treating Medicare patients.

          Unemployment benefits: unemployed workers will receive their benefits which expired over the weekend.

          Renewable energy tax credit: the tax credit for renewable energy companies will be extended for another year.

          http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57561465/its-official-deal-reached-on-fiscal-cliff/

      • bostonboomer says:

        Harkin said all that first thing this morning, not after an agreement was reached.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Long summary of the supposed “deal” at CBS News doesn’t mention social security cuts.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57561465/its-official-deal-reached-on-fiscal-cliff/

    • I’m afraid to look…sounds shitty from the few comments I’ve seen.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Republicans got everything they wanted and much much more–things they never dreamed of getting as recently as a week ago. And now in just 60 days or less, they can demand more cuts or else–and the dems will have no leverage, having already giving in on taxes. I’m so disgusted.

  6. Silent Kate says:

    I think when you polish a turd it is still a turd!

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Jonathan Chait:

    If Obama makes it through both these events without either accepting draconian social policy or triggering an economic meltdown, then today’s compromise will be seen as a clever first step. That’s not what I expect. I expect instead that his willingness to bargain away his strongest leverage, and the central theme of his reelection, will make the next rounds harder, and embolden Republicans further. I suspect he will wish he had ripped off the Band-Aid all at once, holding firm on tax cuts and daring House Republicans to defy public opinion.

    • RalphB says:

      What Obama did was the stupidest thing possible. He essentially gave Republicans all the permission they need to take the economy hostage and told them he was too weak not to back down. This could literally cause a full on depression due to cowardice now.

      • jawbone says:

        Obama is doing what he’s been wanting to do since before he declared for the Dem presidential nomination. He has a bee in his bonnet big time about cutting the great social safety nets. And that is what he’s going to do, dammit.

        He also is a closet Republican and, I fear, wants to destroy the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party to have the so-called Dem Party take over the center right politically, with the Repubs reduced to right wing total whack jobs and prog/liberal Dems a small minority unable to exercise influence in the Congress.

        I am so infuriated hearing what this president has done.

        What to do, what to do….

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    And the “circus” continues into another year where the only thing Obama hasn’t “bargained” away are the keys to Air Force One.

    For those of us who believed (even half heartedly) that he for once “got it” and would begin to show some balls, this is nothing more than a validation of the weakness so apparent in this man.

    He has given the miserable Right another opportunity to wipe the floor with him once again and it’s sickening to say the least.

    Upping the tax rate for those making 400 annually puts the burden on the backs of those who have little.

    Way to go, Obama! He has let us down again and he still has 4 more years to do even better in that arena. What a sorry excuse for “leadership”.

  9. Pat Johnson says:

    I’m hoping that enough real Senate Dems walk away from this deal. And if not, there are enough Tea Party idiots who will vote against should it find its way to the House.

    We’ve got Biden and Obama to thank for selling us out.

    I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what it means to be a Democrat these days. This ain’t it.

    • dakinikat says:

      Well, social security and medicare aren’t in the deal but they’ll certainly be held hostage during the debt ceiling negotiations. This kicks a big problem down the road for two months from now.

      The rates on the rich really don’t go up as much as they should. Especially on the dividends plus the levels on the inheritance taxes are pathetic.

      At least the unemployment benefits, the student loans, and the middle class tax cuts are in there.

      This could be worse. Actually, what I’m really worried about is what happens when the debt ceiling negotiations happen.

      • dakinikat says:

        If this was standalone, it would be okay … but what’s coming up next is what really worries me.

        • dakinikat says:

          Your fiscal cliff deal cheat sheet

          Posted by Suzy Khimm

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/31/your-fiscal-cliff-deal-cheat-sheet/

          — Tax rates will permanently rise to Clinton-era levels for families with income above $450,000 and individuals above $400,000. All income below the threshold will permanently be taxed at Bush-era rates.

          — The tax on capital gains and dividends will be permanently set at 20 percent for those with income above the $450,000/$400,000 threshold. It will remain at 15 percent for everyone else.

          — The estate tax will be set at 40 percent for those at the $450,000/$400,000 threshold, with a $5 million exemption. That threshold will be indexed to inflation, as a concession to Republicans and some Democrats in rural areas like Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mt.).

          — The sequester will be delayed for two months. Half of the delay will be offset by discretionary cuts, split between defense and non-defense. The other half will be offset by revenue raised by the voluntary transfer of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, which would tax retirement savings when they’re moved over.

          — The pay freeze on members of Congress and all other federal civilian employees, which Obama had lifted this week, will be re-imposed, .

          — The 2009 expansion of tax breaks for low-income Americans: the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

          — The Alternative Minimum Tax will be permanently patched to avoid raising taxes on the middle-class.

          — The deal will not address the debt-ceiling, and the payroll tax holiday will be allowed to expire.

          — Two limits on tax exemptions and deductions for higher-income Americans will be reimposed: Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) will be set at $250,000 and the itemized deduction limitation (Pease) kicks in at $300,000.

          —The full package of temporary business tax breaks — benefiting everything from R&D and wind energy to race-car track owners — will be extended for another year.

          — Scheduled cuts to doctors under Medicare would be avoided for a year through spending cuts that haven’t been specified.

          — Federal unemployment insurance will be extended for another year, benefiting those unemployed for longer than 26 weeks. This $30 billion provision won’t be offset.

          — A nine-month farm bill fix will be attached to the deal, Sen. Debbie Stabenow told reporters, averting the newly dubbed milk cliff.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Actually we have no idea what is even in this bill or what promises to push it through this time were made since Obama has all the negotiating skils of a treestump.

        He could have stood firm on the promises he made and the rhetoric he used to keep us Dems in line during the election.

        He sounds like so many mothers I hear in grocery stores promising dire consequences to misbehaving kids by screaming multiple times “if do you that one more time you are going to be sorry”. Neither they or he ever carry out those threats which the kids – and the Right – have every reason to ignore.

        I’m with whoever said that no deal was better than this one.

      • RalphB says:

        The debt ceiling is my main worry now. The cliff was just a mini-rehearsal for that puppy where real and lasting damage can be done.

    • Silent Kate says:

      Just saw Biden acting really full of himself. I don’t get it. What was the big gain here? What was the urgency all about? I agree with Dak. It’s going to be a shit storm when they deal with the debt ceiling.

      • RalphB says:

        Biden should be in hiding, not strutting around.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Don’t forget, he may run in 2016. This is probably serving as a “warm up”.

        In the meantime I will try to sort out the difference between Mittens, Bronco, Joe, and Paul Ryan.

        Hint: Not much.

  10. Happy New Year…kiss…kiss!

  11. RalphB says:

    Charles Pierce from earlier today caught the deal right.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_Afternoon_At_The_Cliff

    Tom Harkin may be the last Democrat in Washington who declines to be a sucker.

  12. RalphB says:

    Hayley Reardon’s sixteen. Maybe there’s hope for the future, after all. Happy New Year Sky Dancers!

  13. Fannie says:

    Happy New Year’s……………..tick tock…..another 50 minutes.

  14. I don’t know what to make of this, Docs wary of Hillary Clinton’s health | Boston Herald

    Clinton’s doctors said in a statement yesterday that an MRI scan “revealed that a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis had formed. This is a clot in the vein that is situated in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. It did not result in a stroke, or neurological damage. To help dissolve this clot, her medical team began treating the secretary with blood thinners. She will be released once the medication dose has been established. In all other aspects of her recovery, the secretary is making excellent progress, and we are confident she will make a full recovery.”

    Jaff, who is not involved in Clinton’s care, said that when he first heard about the clot he assumed it was a relatively run of the mill “subdural hematoma” resulting from her recent fall, which caused a concussion.

    But his anxiety rose when her doctors described the clot, discovered on an MRI on Sunday, lodged near her brain.

    “That’s far more concerning in my mind,” Jaff said. “I don’t think they expected it.

    It gets worse:

    “This is a very unusual vein to form a clot,” Jaff said. “It’s unusual to occur from head trauma, especially minor head trauma of the kind you’d suffer with a concussion.” With football players who suffer serious head injuries, he said, few develop a clot like this.

    Dr. James Holsapple, chief of neurosurgery at Boston Medical Center, said the rare condition suggests “she may be ill with something unknown or unannounced — and we’re seeing bits and pieces of the story.”

    • Fannie says:

      JJ, that information from Dr. Jaff is scary, because it makes me think of a bleed out, but the good news is that she is in hospital and they would be ready for surgery right then and there. The only thing that bothers me is possible cancer……….but surely that ought to be on MRI, and blood work, don’t you think? What catches my attention too, is the word “rare”.

    • janicen says:

      I know everyone’s eyes roll when I start to talk about my daughter’s experience, but it’s my only point of reference on this topic. JJ, a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis is exactly what my daughter had, times three or four, the doctors were never sure. I’m guessing this is a point of discussion in Hillary’s case because of the fact that they initially guessed that the clot was a result of her head injury and therefore formed in her head. With my daughter’s clots, the doctors said that they formed in her legs, traveled through her heart, through her lungs, and ended up in the brain. She could have died at any one of those points and many people do, but she just was lucky or healthy enough or who the hell knows. So in Hillary’s case, I’m thinking that the clots may have formed in her legs as a result of inactivity from the head injury or all that flying she does. It’s a horrible thing to have happen, but if you survive it’s a blessing because now you know that you are susceptible and you can take precautions when flying or are otherwise sedentary in future. It sounds like Hillary is very lucky that the clot was discovered and that she will be fine. I’m thinking however that this brush with mortality will cause her to rethink a Presidential run.

      • bostonboomer says:

        My eyes aren’t rolling. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience. I see some pundits are already suggesting this will mean Hillary shouldn’t run for president.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oh, yes, The Boston Herald. They’re the first to claim Hillary is no longer eligible for the presidency. Any experts they get will be slanted their way, trust me. The Herald is a scummy right-wing rag–not worth reading except for parts of the sports page.

      • Okay, guess I’m overly worried about her condition, worried that is it life threatening and not just an end to her political career.

      • janicen says:

        You know, I was just typing that I think the pundits might be right and that this will cause Hillary to rethink her run but then I thought about my daughter. My husband and I were devastated and told her that she could take the rest of her junior year in high school off and take it easy and plan to graduate a year later so that she would have time to fully recover but she would have none of it. She said she didn’t want to be defined by the blood clots and she toughed out the rest of her junior year refusing to take pain pills for the constant headache and struggling through the drowsiness of the coumadin. She took a lot of her inspiration from Hillary, actually. Therefore I amend my initial thoughts that this might cause Hillary to rethink running. This might actually inspire her to do it. Hillary doesn’t take getting knocked down very well. I seem to remember her saying something about getting right back up…