December 31, 2012

At the New Year Café...


... say hello from 2013, if you're out there on the globe somewhere where it's next year. If you're still waiting in 2012 with the rest of us laggards, feel free to talk about anything.


Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

It is now 2013 from Rangoon on east. I suspect my cousins in Hamilton, NZ have rather long-since gone to bed.

This is probably the year the world acknowledges it is well and truly ensconced in a new century, as we are already one-eighth into it. The 1990s are already another world, aren't they.

Most sadly, I suspect that as historians look back from 2050 -- as close to our time as the election of Jimmy Carter -- this will be referred to as the "pre-war" era. "Post-war" America has died along with most of the GIs who gave that time its character and flavor.

David said...

Happy New Year to all and thanks to Ann for the blog.

Deb said...

Happy New Year to Meadehouse and all the commentariat from one a semi-lurker. Thank you for blogging and commenting every day. Eight years ago today my mother died, and it is also my mother-in-law's birthday (95 this year.) Stay safe and have a happy, healthy 2013.

ricpic said...

One tree with frizzy hair
Can make a blah scene KERAZEY!

Craig said...

Ten to two here in Asia and the fireworks are almost over.

edutcher said...

It's more fun to say, "hello", to Christmas than New Year's.

Aridog said...

Since it is a "cafe" thread....I'll keep my promise from a while back and post a photo of the Timber Wolf-German Shepherd Hybrid we rescued long ago and placed with a family with young children.

Shadow had much of the GSD pigmentation, but retained the yellowish eyes and long legs of the Wolf....he stood between 29 & 30 inches at the shoulders [26 inches is standard for GSD males]. "Shadow" kept the disposition/temperament of the German Shepherd...but was distinctly aggressive toward strange territorial intruders. He was an "alpha" who raised two young boys and a couple young other dogs from puppies to boot ...never a need to "prove" anything, he knew he was in charge.

Though we out-placed him, I never got over loving him...he went to a family setting where he needed to be....contrary to the advice I got from experts who'd never handled anything large than a Pug.

He passed away at 12 and I even now miss visiting him.

rhhardin said...

Mark Steyn reports that the President is now speaking.

I don't understand how speeches work for him. I'd expect mass revulsion.

rhhardin said...

Snow with natural color.

Jay said...

Happy New Year from Occupy Wall Street!

The daughter of a prominent New York doctor and her Occupy Wall Street-organizer boyfriend were arrested after police discovered an explosive used for making bombs and a cache of weapons in their upscale New York City apartment, it was claimed.

Morgan Gliedman, 27, and Aaron Greene, 31, were taken away from their home in Manhattan's pricey Greenwich Village on Saturday.

Just like the Tea Party!

Hey if liberals love America so much, why are they always complaining about the Constitution and trying to blow shit up?

Jake Diamond said...

nav varsh ki subhkamna

Jake Diamond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

The Mayans shut off the server eleven days ago. Those of us still reading this blog are just gates that haven't lost voltage and popped open yet.

Hagar said...

The definition of "middle class" I grew up with was that it consisted of shopkeepers, small businessmen, professionals (doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc.), and rank and file officials.

This has apparently changed, but I confused about exactly to what. Can anyone enlighten me?

Almost Ali said...

Sorry, but 2013 promises to be a rotten year for a lot of non-government people.

(although I could put on my self-delusional party hat and sing it’s just me)

McTriumph said...

$45,000 is the lower limit.

Hagar said...

$45,000 what?

EMD said...

Just read the Fiscal Cliff deal details ... so far.

$600 billion in new revenue over a decade?

Democrats trying to delay sequestration until 2015?

The White House and Congress are a joke.

Hagar said...

But not a funny one.

Quayle said...

Hat tip to your memories of your mother, Deb, and to your tender feelings today.

Unless and until we stop sending scoundrels, jackals, and weasels to Washington to do our business, we're going to be continuously filled to the gills with "statesmen and stateswomen saving us from the brink of disaster."

Until we love honesty more than we love "our side."

Pogo said...

For Deb:

Bail ó Dia is Mhuire duit.

(The blessing of God and Mary on you.)

SteveR said...

"Earth to Harry Reid"

McTriumph said...

Hagar said...
$45,000 what?

Income a year.

Fritz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fritz said...

"Snow with natural color."

Since the eye and the brain both influence the perception of color, that's not necessarily true. Snow under a blue sky often has a bluish cast as perceived by an objective camera. However, your eyes and brain color it more white by simply turning down the blue receptors.

I had a cataract operation this year, and I learned that we don't all see the same color blue. In fact, my two eyes don't agree very well on what color blue is.

Hagar said...


So it is now all about the benjamins?
And the sky is the top limit?

I think I like the old definition based on occupations better.

garage mahal said...

House is not voting on the fiscal cliff deal tonight. Over the cliff we go.


Lem said...

CSPAN2 A Deal is "emerging"... slowing the speed hurtling us to the cliff.

R. Chatt said...

Build a room with a strong electric magnet set on the left side wall so everything in the room is drawn to the left a little in time.
This will be a good balance for your mind which is going to the right a little in time. Yoko Ono, BALANCE PIECE FOR LIFE (2010)

I thought of you, Ann, when I saw this.
Happy New Year, may you find balance and much happiness.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

House is not voting on the fiscal cliff deal tonight.

Considering there is no deal, your post is pointless.

Carnifex said...

Happy New Year to each and everyone, even the ones I disagree with... guess that means just about everyone here at one time or other. (I'm feeling generous for once) :-)

Everyone keep safe, and appoint a designated driver.

Jay said...

Since sequestration was a proposal advanced and promoted by the White House, why should the House Republicans do anything?

I mean, Obama won.

R. Chatt said...


link doesn't seem to work so try:

Jake Diamond said...

why should the House Republicans do anything?

The new motto of the GOP: "Why should we do anything?"

garage mahal said...

Considering there is no deal, your post is pointless.

That is correct, at least for the moment.

But finally, a genuine deficit reduction plan! [doing nothing/going over cliff].

Shouting Thomas said...

The new motto of the GOP: "Why should we do anything?"

I approve of politicians doing nothing.

It's always better than what they do when they "do something" about something or other.

Let's see those teeth Jake/shiloh. Love that spitting and cussing routine you do.

Robert Cook said...

The Financial War Against The Economy At Large

America's Deceptive Fiscal Cliff, (aka, the war of the haves against everyone else)

Shouting Thomas said...

Oh, God, Cookie!

Not that fucking Counterpunch again!

That stuff is what is rotting your mind out.

McTriumph said...

I watched Obama's theater at 1:30, what a douche nozzle. That man wouldn't know leadership if it bitch slapped him. He wouldn't know pro-growth economic policies either, what a fool. The campaign continues, FORWARD!

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...

The Financial War Against The Economy At Large

I love it when you pretend rich people get rich by "stealing" from people who make $50,000 a year.

I kind of feel sorry for you.

Kind of.

Robert Cook said...


The rich get rich (and richer) by stealing from everybody.

McTriumph said...

It's always been about $ earnings, as far as statistical analysis is concerned.

Middle class values are a different story. Unfortunately they are disappearing, at one time in this country even the poor had them.

Shouting Thomas said...

The rich get rich (and richer) by stealing from everybody.

Jesus, Cookie.

What in the fuck happened to your brain?

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...


The rich get rich (and richer) by stealing from everybody.

Yeah, yeah.

You're a fucking idiot.

McTriumph said...

"The rich get rich (and richer) by stealing from everybody."

No, only those close to government and those too big to fail.

ricpic said...

The only solution is to kill the rich, right Cookie?

rhhardin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

The rich get richer by making the poor richer trickle down.

Bob Ellison said...

I think I left my mind in November. 2013 might be a tough slog.

Robert Cook said...

Skynet would seem to be operational, albeit with "human" managers, serving inhuman human ends

Hagar said...

This is one pathetic government we have.

EMD said...

I thought about creating Fiscal Cliff Huxtable on Twitter, but doesn't seem like it's worth it.

Deborah McLaughlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

@Quayle and Pogo: thank you for the kind thoughts. We visited my mother in law and at 91 (I thought she was older) she is still getting around pretty well with the help of her high speed walker. She didn't have a clue who I was and thought my husband was her brother but that Southern lady graciousness was still intact, and she beamed a smile at us and said "Well, hey there."

Here is our latest foster puppy, Brit.

Robert Cook said...

"The only solution is to kill the rich, right Cookie?"

Of course not.

The solution is for the people to assert their rightful prerogative and insist the law serve them and not the 1%.

There seem to be too many competing countdowns to disaster taking place simultaneously--financial collapse around the globe; more active weather systems displacing inhabitants from their homes, killing others, wreaking havoc and destruction, (causing further financial devastation); shortages of potable water relative to the human population; droughts and resulting losses of crops, leading to starvation; diminishing of easily accessed and therefore cheap fossil fuels; increasing poisoning of our environment; the continued danger of radioactive destruction (a la Fukushima) and nuclear war; etc.

Whatever the outcome may be at its end, the 21st Century bids fair to be a more wrenching, violent, and cataclysmic period for humans (and much other life on the planet) than the 20th Century, or any preceding era in human history.

Deb said...

Don't worry about the fiscal cliff. The fall will probably kill us.

AllenS said...

I want all of you veterans to watch this:


Bob Ellison said...

Deb, I'm looking forward to the fall. It'll be a teaching moment for everyone.

Mitchell the Bat said...

An hour or two ago I blew a 0.13 so I went down to the basement to do some jump shrugs. It felt good.

Then I came back up to the living room, to my reading chair under the light, to get started on the preamble to Volume VI, Number 1 of Lapham's Quarterly.

(I never stopped drinking, truth be told.)

The title of the preamble? "Alms for Oblivion."

Lewis H. Lapham.

Sweet Mother of God! How I wish I had a mind like that. The talent, dear God, the talent!

Anyway, Mrs. Mitchell the Bat is preparing some sort of dinner involving lobster tail, sashimi and salad with some sort of ginger dressing. The dessert will be Italian Rum Cake.

Life is good, it truly is, but sometimes -- way too often, really -- we can't help but feel sad, our best efforts to the contrary notwithstanding.

I hope "Palladian" ends up okay but I know he won't.

None of us will.

But hey, enough of that.


john said...

John F. Kerry, senator, gigolo, next SOS, served in Viet Nam, wealthiest person in congress.

Got rich by marrying inheritances, so he obviously didn't steal directly from we poor folk. I like the guy for that.

Steve Jobs, now there's a guy who became a billionaire stealing from everyone.

john said...

My New Years resolution is to further explore, but make no committment to, the concept of Happiness as a Moral Responsibility.

I spent the last few months thinking about the implications of forcing myself to be happy, but then I would have to give up all the things that really piss me off. It would be like Lent.

Chip Ahoy said...

I remember my first job too. Dishwasher. I'd go.

"Hey everybody look at me, I washed a cup. Hey everybody look at me I rinsed a plate Hey everybody look at me I stacked those saucers Hey everybody look at me I sprayed that whole thing down Hey everybody look at me I turned on the machine Hey everybody look at me I poured in the soap Hey everybody look at me I shook the water off the rinsed glasses Hey everybody look at me I got the dishes read to use Hey everybody look at me I swept the floor."

Everybody was so interested in each movement I made day by day doing the job I was paid for. The media picked up on my glorious abilities and spread word of my progress far and wide. Didn't you all hear about that?

Then I said gimme a trillion dollars and they go get outta here.

Gahrie said...


The rich get rich (and richer) by stealing from everybody.

All of them?

There are no legitemate ways to become rich?

OK..I guess we should all stop trying to get rich and let the government take care of us.

Nini said...

Happy new year to everyone and thanks to prof Anne and the commentors for keeping us informed and entertained.

From Nini of Melbourne

Peter Hoh said...

Happy New Year to everyone.

Here's my tree of the year.


Lem said...

Hillary's blood clot is behind her right ear.

We can 'lift up our eyes', 'thumb our noses'.

But with our ears we can 'lend' them out... to Obama?

Oh no... I rather thumb my noses.

traditionalguy said...

An odd thing is how ancient the Biblical days seem to us.

In my lifetime I knew well people born in 1890 120 years ago, which together with part of my lifetime is 5% or 1/20th of the time since the Advent of the Christ from whose birth all time is measured.


rcommal said...

Is something wrong with Palladian? What did I miss?

Peter Hoh said...

Allen, thanks for sharing that link. What a blast!

Peter Hoh said...

rcommal, drop me a line. Thanks.

stephenfromlongisland c said...

Nice picture, especially the wintery riffraff plants lining the unseen pond under the arching branches of the foreground trees. Details like that make or break jigsaw puzzles, one of which I would do per year, nearly (measuring past time) a full percentage point of the way back to the advent of Jesus, when I was loved by, and loved in turn, a lover of jigsaw puzzles. Also, whoever Palladian is, I wish him or her well in the New Year.

MayBee said...

I'm in 2013. So far, I recommend it.

MayBee said...

What happened to Palladian?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I hope everyone under 23 has a good year in 2013.

Everyone else would need to have a bad year in order for the correction to start.

I wish the correction to start; hence, per TBL's* "If you will it, it is no dream."
You're fucking twenty minutes late, man. What the fuck is that?"
"Theodor Herzl?"
"State of Israel. If you will it, Dude, it is no dream." is now in effect.

*The Big Lebowski

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"What happened to Palladian?"

I quoted him without giving him the appropriate gesture of using his name, Palladian.

So fuck me.

Not really though.

Erika said...

You know, that op-ed from Des Moines has really got me down. Reading it ruined my night. What is going on in this country? Why does that guy feel that it's OK to think, let alone say publicly, such vile things about his fellow countrymen? Why isn't he ashamed to behave like that?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

If I am not flashingly pertinent I think to myself "fuck off."

Paco Wové said...

Erika - what op-ed from Des Moines? Can you elaborate?

In other news:

Deal reached on fiscal cliff

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.

While the extension of unemployment benefits and the Medicare "doc fix" cost money, and revenue will be lost due to a fix in the Alternative Minimum Tax, the package will still increase the federal government's receipts. The total package will add $600 billion to federal coffers.

Erika said...

Paco, here you go; sorry it's not click able but making an HTML link is a little too finicky on my tablet.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Any man, wanting to fuck, should only have listened when their elders spoke of the Led Zeppelin, the band.

Quote it and fuck.

It disarms all always forever with harmonic wit and no concern for William F. Buckley Jr.

Which, in the end, means it is more truly fucked than not.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Perrier-Jouet is pretty tasty. I like the Art Nouveau bottle art, too.

Death to Modernism.

wyo sis said...

I agree. It's disgusting.
In some places Kaul's kind of indirect threat would be taken seriously enough for a mental health evaluation to be performed. You certainly wouldn't get away with saying it about a public official. Or if you were a teacher.

JAL said...

Happy New Year all.

I appreciate the conversation.

May you be blessed, healthy, and prosper.

Petunia said...

What an idiotic column by Donald Kaul. He should have stayed retired.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Rock for cancer?


I rock for the bitches and drugs.

Nuttin knew since '76.

"My Name is Kid Rock"

Rusty said...

Yesterday I rode beach bikes along the ocean in Newport Harbor. It was around 65 deg. Today I got off the plane at Ohare and it was 23 deg.

Happy fuckin' New Year, Alhouse and Meade. Bless ya both.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

It is 1998, and you still can't fuck with him.


NotquiteunBuckley said...

You got a head full of holes.

I got a head full of (Rocky Mountain) bowls.

RecChief said...

this is worth reading. I can hardly believe it.

wyo sis said...

Wow! It seems Constitutional scholars are the first to suggest tossing it. It makes you think they don't understand it in spite of their credentials, or they understand it well enough to know it keeps them from doing something they want to do. That's one of the best arguments I can think of for keeping it exactly as it's written.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Happy New Year to all from New Hampshire!

Big Mike said...

The ball has dropped in Times Square and for those of us on the East Coast it is now 2013. Happy New Year Althouse and Meade.

Ralph L said...

Last week, my brother's wonderful 90 y.o. mother-in-law again fixed us a delicious Christmas dinner of beef tenderloin. She did slack off a bit this year--no relish tray and only 3 different types of desserts, one of them an assortment of homemade cookies. I just love her nüdden (her parents were from the Friesian Island of Führ).

I supplied country ham rolls again, after being too lazy to assemble them last year. The ham was aged two years in my vented closet, which made it darker, saltier (if that's possible), drier, and tenderer. I recommend aging your ham.

My spoiled 12 y.o. niece (future supermodel), who's decided to be a vegetarian, ate hardly anything, as usual.

Oh whoopee. It's the New Year here.

Clyde said...

5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Happy New Taxes!

Clyde said...

P.S. An early welcome from 2013, the Year of the Comets. It's gonna be a great show, especially this fall, but you're not gonna believe the price of admission.

Dante said...

The rich get rich (and richer) by stealing from everybody.

Not quite. The government does the stealing. Everything else is voluntary.

wyo sis said...

Still another hour to the New Year here. Time to get the festivities underway. We have hardly any festivities, but we do have snacks and sparkling cider. We're just wild and crazy around here these days.

Aridog said...

Dante said...

Re: The rich getting richer.

Not quite. The government does the stealing. Everything else is voluntary.

Thread Winner.

Mark said...

Happy New Year from Baghdad, Iraq. Thanks for sharing your insights with all of us, and I wish you every success in the coming year and beyond!

Aridog said...

Mark said...

Happy New Year from Baghdad, Iraq ... I wish you every success in the coming year and beyond!

The same wishes for you, and I suspect you will need them more than we do here.

I live in a 90% Muslim neighborhood and many of my immediate neighbors are Iraqis, several who travel back and forth in the past couple years. So...I get first hand information from their perspective, and lately it hasn't been positive vis a vis "corruption." To the best of my knowledge all of my vocational associates and acquaintances are out of Baghdad by now.

I'd be delighted to hear a Yank/Western perspective if you are free to offer it....either here or by email, as my email address is in my profile.

دردشة ومنتديات عراقنا said...

شات عراقنا
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جات عراقنا
شلة عراقنا
شات العراق
دردشة عراقية
شات كيكه
دردشة عبدالله
منتدى دردشة عراقنا
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