Real Housewives Trash Talk


Here I was thinking I had better put this belated Trash thread up for the Las Vegas bowl pitting Utah against BYU — but by the time I started I saw Utah was 35-0 still in the first quarter. Oops.

Before launching into pro gridiron, two women deserve special notice today: Edith Piaf, who would have been 100 today. Scribe requested this video personally, though he said something about “Cheatin’ Bill” that made no sense to me.

Also, this week, the great Abby Wambach retired from old-school football. The American team worked so hard, unsuccessfully, to get her a score in her final game that we lost a friendly to China. A new generation of great American players have clearly taken over from her, but she’s been a key leader along the way. Wambach wants you to forget her, but I’m hoping she sticks around and gets Jürgen Klinsmann fired, as she tried to do this week.

Now to the housewives of my title, the affectionate name I’ve coined for the NFC East on a part of its dysfunction and the entertaining cattiness of its fans.

Someone has to win this division, and the Gents, Lobbyists, and Iggles are all tied up at 6-7. This week should give the Lobbyists a boost, as they face the Bills, who have much improved personnel this year, but are saddled by Rex Ryan’s bad coaching. The Gents and Iggles, by contrast, host the two most formidable teams in the NFC, Cam’s Panthers and Spidey Fitz and the Cardinals. I think the Gents have a good shot at ruining Cam’s perfect season, but the Cardinals should win comfortably in Philly (unless they decide to melt down in the special teams game, as some teams have been known to do when playing Philly).

Scribe’s Stillers should beat the Donkos at home. While the Broncos’ O is far better playing with Osweiler, their D has lost the edge it had earlier this season, and Big Ben has been lighting it up. Plus, the Stillers have a shot at catching the Dalton-less Bungles.

I have a feeling the Raiders, fresh off beating the Broncos in Denver for the first time in forever, will beat the Packers. Even with Brady and Hasselback’s success this season, Charles Woodson has been the most amazing old man to watch this year. He has brought the perfect balance of still-sharp play and great leadership for the younger players.

The Pats have to weather the Titans at home one more week as the injured players continue to get healthy, though Brady himself was sick yesterday. That’s good, because the Jets’ O is jelling well enough to beat Dallas, setting up a big showdown in New Jersey next week.

Which will you be watching tonight: the Jets or the newly rancorous Democratic debate?


Oops: Look like scribe and I were reaching for the same gift at the same time. This is scribe’s trash

It’s that time of the week again and the press of the holidays is getting in the way of taking out the trash. Ms. Wheel says she’s packing for a road trip. BMAz is off trying to hang Christmas lights on a cactus and wondering why things keep hanging up on those damned thorns. I snuck in and took over; I expect they’ll be happy b/c I’m taking out the trash.

The games: well, I was listening to the radio while in the car today and the sports-talk guys were going on and on about how the Bowl Season is finally here. First up, the New Mexico Bowl with some cow college from Arizona and New Mexico going at it for a big mess of huevos served, as they say in Albuquerque, “Christmas”. For those not in the know, that’s with both green and red peppers/salsa/chiles. Frankly, the college season between now and New Year’s is a parade of made-up Bowl games designed, IMHO, more to generate tourism dollars for some town and make a profit for the boosters all of the unpaid backs of the players. You can watch, but seeing teams with a losing record going to a bowl on the strength of their history and the drawing power of the school’s name – Nebraska, I’m looking at you – just doesn’t do it for me. There’ll be games all over the TV for the next 10 days but for Christmas Day. And when you watch, try not to look at all the empty seats.

Christmas day, you get an NBA super-duper tripleheader or something, which likewise does nothing for me. You mileage may vary.

Now for the real football. King Roger the Clown is probably in hog heaven right now, what with games on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from here to the end of the season.

There have been 13 games played and but for two teams, everything is still fluid. Cheatin’ Bill and his Cheating Cheaters of Cheatertown, otherwise known as the Patriots, are playing the Titans at home this week. Despite already having clinched the AFC East, the Patsies still have something to play for: they want a bye and they want home field. The Titans – likely victims. I’m told the big news this week in New England remains the Trump hat in Tom Brady’s locker and his steadfast refusal to say anything about it or, especially, against his friend Trump’s odious policy positions. But, as a friend within the range of WEEI passed along, the opinion of New England is something like this: “If Tom Brady clubbed a baby seal, Patriot Nation would blame the seal.”

As I see it, one of the biggest games of the weekend, at least for people who care about the AFC, is tonight. The J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS go to JerryWorld to meet the Owboys. Early in the season, this looked to be a critical matchup between two good teams and got King Roger’s nod to be on the NFL Network all by their lonesome. Now that we’re here, the Owboys are playing for jobs, pride and draft position and the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS are in a three-way dogfight for the 2 AFC wild card slots. This one could go either way. I’m going contrary to my usual rooting position of “Who’s playing Dallas” because my Steelers are the third team in that 3-way fight for the Wild Card, on the outside looking in, and the Jets and Chiefs hold the tiebreakers against them.

That brings me to the next-biggest game of the weekend: The Broncos at my Steelers tomorrow in the late-afternoon game. This will be the second week in a row the Steelers, widely considered the most dangerous team in the AFC (The Squawks are in the NFC), will meet a 10-win team. Tough call – the Broncos’ D is damn good and the Stillers’ O cranks out points like nobody’s business. (I almost went with “like a rolling mill turning out beams”, but that was both trite and brought up the ugly memory of Steely McBeam, that walking invitation to a punch in the jaw about whom the less said, the better.) Tossup on this one.

Of course, that’s what a lot of people said last week before the Steelers-Bungles game, too.

The NFC East continues to be a mess of mediocrity where no one can seem to get out of their own way, the standout in the bunch being Dallas. And not in a good way.

The AFC South, pretty much the same.

I will be interested to see how the Chiefs do, seeing as they are team #2 in that 3-way.
Most of the rest of the games, I’m kinda paying attention to but not that much. I suspect you fans of other teams will show up and sling on their behalf or against their opponents. I will be watching to see whether Carolina can continue its run and whether Seattle will show they’ve finally got their act together.

In the meantime, people are packing, wrapping presents to ship, baking and so on. Please feel free to share plans, recipes and whatever. I just got done (OK, halfway) baking kipferl, an Austrian sort of puff pastry wrapped around prune butter. They smell good, taste better and melt in your mouth. I’ll be going back for the second half later. This is labor-intensive but worth it.

I suggested to Ms. Wheel that, in honor of her 100th birthday today, something from Edith Piaf would be a great selection. I further suggested “I regret nothing” with an image of Cheatin’ Bill as the video accompaniment.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

34 replies
  1. scribe says:

    Thank you, EW. It’s not often I get past editing…..
    .
    Happy trails to all who travel. I should put up my tree but I have baking to do, packages to wrap, and mail to send.
    .
    And that present is m-I-n-e.

    • scribe says:

      I keep expecting one year to turn on the tube and see at this time of year the “Toilet Bowl sponsored by American Standard, Koehler, and Trenton Potteries”.
      .
      That last one is a shout-out to the antitrust specialists in the audience.
      .
      It could happen.

      • bloopie2 says:

        Yes, times have changed, bowl-wise. It didn’t used to be that you would, in the middle of dinner, get thrown a TV commercial touting a brand of toilet paper because it has ridges that clean better. Yikes.
        .
        As to your Trenton Potteries case, its syllabus says this: “Under the Sherman Act, the offensive agreement or conspiracy is criminal whether or not followed by efforts to carry it into effect.” That is a part of The Law that I have never fathomed; how can simply sitting down together and agreeing to do something bad, be a crime, if you don’t actually do the thing? (E.g., my Cleveland Browns when they get together each week and say, “Yes, we will play the next game.”)

  2. orionATL says:

    what?

    not-the-real-deal trash talk?

    bmaz done lost his digital media rights by going to the really-big-town and, while in transit (that’s a latin legal phrase),

    fulminating endlessly about debate-gate – or am i getting mixed up on that name.

    anyhow, this proves that even the irrepressible bmaz can (very) occasionally be silenced –

    and the nfl will never miss a hut-hut-HUT.

    • P J Evans says:

      I think you could start a petition online and get a couple of hundred thousand signatures the first day.

  3. Peterr says:

    as a friend within the range of WEEI passed along, the opinion of New England is something like this: “If Tom Brady clubbed a baby seal, Patriot Nation would blame the seal.”

    *applause*
    .

    I just got done (OK, halfway) baking kipferl, an Austrian sort of puff pastry wrapped around prune butter. They smell good, taste better and melt in your mouth.

    The words “prune butter” brought me up cold, but your second sentence brought me around. Recipe, please.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      I travel and listen to ‘EEI most of the time, except for those fucking commercials.
      —-
      Scribe’s friends’ analogy/simile/metaphor is perfect

      —-
      Wait til Monday, when listeners can rant about the Globe’s front page Patriots/Brady expose on his health consultant

      http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/12/19/patriots-pay-business-owned-tom-brady-and-partner-with-dubious-past/C4zMzcPDgU62WMMg10qeBL/story.html?s_campaign=email_BG_TodaysHeadline&s_campaign=

    • scribe says:

      You asked.

      In terms of skill, this isn’t too hard. In terms of attention to detail, a lot is required.

      2 sticks sweet butter (1/2 lb), room temp, softened
      2 x 3 oz packages cream cheese, room temp, softened
      2 egg yolks (reserve whites for later)
      2 cups flour
      pinch salt
      .
      Filling:
      prune butter (a/k/a plum butter or lekvar) or apricot lekvar
      walnuts (see below)
      .
      Beat the butter and cream cheese until well mixed and creamy. Add the yolks, one at a time, beating in until well-mixed. Add dry ingredients gradually and beat well. This will make a soft, sticky dough. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, then refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
      .
      Take about 1/4 of the dough (put the rest back in the fridge). Flour your work surface (mine is a maple cutting board arrangement about 22 x 30; avoid something that warms up lest the butter melt and the dough get too sticky) and rolling pin well. Work the dough out until it is about 1/4 inch thick, then cut in half. Reserve one half and go back to work on the other, flouring the board, dough and pin well. Roll out until it’s pretty thin but not thin enough to see through. With a knife, trim the edges (they’ll be thicker) and reserve with the half you already set aside.
      .
      Preheat oven to 375.
      .
      With a knife, cut the dough into pieces roughly 2-3 inches square. If the pieces are stuck to the board, free them gently. Transfer the pieces of dough to ungreased cookie sheets, aligning them as diamonds.
      .
      With a teaspoon, take between 1/3 and 1/2 teaspoon of filling and gently lay it on the pieces of dough. You will get some on the index finger of your non-spoon hand, which is good. Smear a bit of the filling on one corner of the dough (this will be “glue” to hold things together), then roll the corner opposite the corner where you smeared over the filling and onto the little smear of filling, press gently to seal, and turn so the joint is on top. This will wind up looking a little bit like a cannoli. If you don’t glue, the top corners will spread apart, something unaesthetic.
      .
      Do not use too much filling as it will run out and make a mess on the cookie sheet.
      .
      Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. They’re ready when the edges start browning. You’ll smell it.
      .
      Set aside and allow to cool before sliding off the cookie sheet with a spatula.
      .
      Walnut filling.
      Grind finely about 1/3- 1/2 pound walnuts.
      Make meringue with the yolks and about 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar.
      Fold the walnuts into the meringue, mixing well.
      Work quickly making and filling b/c the oil in the walnuts will collapse the meringue.)
      When filling with this, use a little more generously than the lekvar b/c the meringue will set rather than run.

      • orionATL says:

        sounds like a wonderful christmas treat.

        a family recipe perhaps?

        “Do not use too much filling as it will run out and make a mess on the cookie sheet.”

        a piece of parchment paper can help here.

        • scribe says:

          No, one does not want parchment paper for this recipe. Lekvar (or prune butter, if you prefer) is made from ripe plums, sugar and maybe a bit of cinnamon and/or nutmeg. It is then slowcooked for a day or so to a consistency a bit thinner than roofing tar. When baked, it softens and runs. All using parchment paper will do, as opposed to a bare metal cookie sheet, is make sure the sticky mess adheres to and ruins the parchment paper and probably the kipferl. On the cookie sheet, the runout can be separated from the pastry with the spatula, the pastry saved and the runout scraped off and eaten or discarded.
          .
          Voice of Experience on this one.

          • orionATL says:

            :)

            uh, oh. double thanks. now i’m even more curious to try this.

            i will, of course, have to use pecans.

      • Peterr says:

        Sounds delicious.

        In terms of skill, this isn’t too hard. In terms of attention to detail, a lot is required.

        Sounds like most baking. Lots of steps, and any misstep along the way results in problems at the very least, if not complete destruction of whatever you were trying to do.
        .
        Thanks.

  4. Peterr says:

    Which will you be watching tonight: the Jets or the newly rancorous Democratic debate?

    Chopped. See my earlier comment to scribe.

  5. JohnT says:

    .
    I was watching the debate for awhile, but I’m so over that now. First, on foreign policy, and then “standing up to Wall Street”. I can’t watch / listen to the same tired old lies, and hypocrisy of the front runner
    .
    Football
    .
    Even though the original cheatin cheater team is leading the Jets, I expect NY to win
    .
    As far as the games tomorrow, I haven’t really thought about them yet. But here are my first reactions to a few of them
    .
    I’ve been riding the Panthers all season, but good / bad Eli scares me (which one will show up?). And I’ve been saying for a couple years that I liked what the Raiduhs have been doing to their roster, especially since Al Davis the Cryptkeeper, has gone to the big Elvis Convention in the Sky, but they have a good chance to upset the cheeseheads. I wanna take the Vikes, but they’ve been getting absolutely destroyed by injuries on the defense, and I wanna give them the advantage by playing at home, but for some reason they play better on the road; I expect they win in the end though
    .
    And a lot of the other games are just big hot messes. The teams are either bi-polar and streaky, or just plain dumpster fires (how did the Chargers get so bad?)

  6. Bay State Librul says:

    Toss-up – No

    Scribe’s Steelers will knock off Denver and have the best chance against the Pats


    Here are some stats

    STEELERS-PATRIOTS SERIES HISTORY
    Series History: Series began in 1972
    Overall Regular Season: Steelers lead, 14-10
    At Pittsburgh: Steelers lead, 10-6
    At New England: Tied, 4-4
    Neutral Sites: n/a
    Streak: Patriots won previous 2 meetings
    Regular-Season Meeting: Sep. 10, 2015 at New England
    New England 28, Pittsburgh 21
    Postseason Series: Patriots lead, 3-1
    Last Postseason Meeting: Jan. 23, 2005 in Pittsburgh
    New England 41, Pittsburgh 27

    • scribe says:

      Pats-Stillers long-term history is irrelevant. A lot of those years, the Steelers were The dominant team in the AFC and the Pats, in a word, sucked. Tom Brady was not the Pats’ quarterback in 1979. To the extent history is relevant, it should be history over the last 10 to 15 years. And there, the games are a lot more evenly balanced.

  7. Les says:

    Juniper Networks finds “rogue” backdoor code in its firewalls

    Juniper has a page explaining “that the VPN devices in question here ‘do utilize Dual_EC_DRBG, but do not use the pre-defined points cited by NIST’. In short,” ImperialViolet noted, Juniper “used a backdoored RNG but changed the locks. Then this attack might be explained by saying that someone broke in and changed the locks again.”

    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3016802/security/fbi-dhs-investigating-juniper-hack-secret-backdoor-dates-back-3-years.html

    It could also be that someone at Juniper exercised poor source code control and the fix was overwritten by an update.

    • orionATL says:

      [… A former White House adviser on Russian affairs told me that before 9/11 Putin ‘used to say to us: “We have the same nightmares about different places.” He was referring to his problems with the caliphate in Chechnya and our early issues with al-Qaida. These days, after the Metrojet bombing over Sinai and the massacres in Paris and elsewhere, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that we actually have the same nightmares about the same places.’…]

      having read thls hirsch article, go read the “harper’s” article posted below by les at the end of ew’s san b. article and you will have a short history of 40 years of presidential incompetence based on using, exploiting, and trusting the cia, a donkey of a agency incompetent to carry the burdens american presidents repeatedly put on it.

  8. Bay State Librul says:

    Yes, Scribe, why do you forsake your team? No balls?

    Be true to your team. (Like the Beach Boys)

    Great comeback

    • scribe says:

      I was busy: taking care of the dog, getting my own dinner, eating and, yes, watching the game.
      .
      When I posted that they weren’t getting it done, it was late in the 2nd period and as a matter of fact they were not getting it done. They looked like crap and played like it, too.
      .
      And then they came out from halftime and turned Denver into smoking rubble.
      .
      A very satisfying result.
      .
      And, if you believe the Teevee, my Stillers are now the #6 seed in the playoffs. I like.

      • emptywheel says:

        We were fighting to keep the game on on the radio thru Philly (across 80). We gave up and started streaming which worked Oh Kay, tho it had to buffer a bunch. Got to mom’s right when the Stillers got the pick to set up the go-ahead TD. So missed most of the rest, but it was worth “watching.”

        • Bay State Librul says:

          Off topic
          ——

          Who is messing with investigative sleuth Matt Apuzzo?
          —-
          Has he been outfoxed by the charmer? He or she?

          “The charmer: She’s talking to you because she thinks she’s smart enough to manipulate your reporting. She’s often got juicy tips. She’s using you to off her rivals, advance her career, or keep you from looking too closely at her own issues.” (from Apuzzo’s definition)

  9. orionATL says:

    signing off with:

    whatever the reason or motive for including her here,

    edith piaff is a great songstress,

    and “je ne regrette rien” is a great song –

    but if you’re 100 today,

    perhaps “je ne me souviens PAS rien” is more appropriate.

  10. lefty665 says:

    How ’bout them ‘Skins? They’ve won as many games as in the last two years combined and no longer have a losing record. Cousins has turned into a quarterback and they’ve revived Air Coryell, aka the Gibbs offense. Next Saturday it’s ‘Skins vs the Iggles for the NFC East. Ought to be an interesting game between middlin’ teams.

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