Christmas 2016 Trash Talk

Welp, here we are at the end of yet another year at the Emptywheel blog. As I said at Thanksgiving, we all – me, Marcy, Jim, Rayne, Ed and Roving Reporter Rosalind – thank you. It has been a tumultuous election year, and one that would appear to pale in comparison to the year ahead with a narcissistic ignorant twitting idiot as our President. Exciting times!

No Christmas Eve here goes by without a remembrance of our long time and dear friend Mary Perdue, who passed away on this day five years ago. There was many a late night that Mary and I were the only ones up at The Next Hurrah and Emptywheel at Firedoglake and hours of conversation, some on blog, some off occurred. She was really special, and I know I speak for all the contributors, we really miss her.

Here at Emptywheel, she was just Mary; and she was so much more than a simple obituary can convey. She was funny, kind, and, most of all, razor sharp in analysis of extremely complex issues surrounding torture, indefinite detention, international human rights, illegal wiretapping and executive branch overreach. Mary had a steel trap index in her mind for even obscure torture and rendition cases and facts. To the day she died, Mary was one of the very few people commenting in America that remembered, and would never miss a chance to point out, how the children and extended families of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Aafia Siddiqui were used and/or disappeared by the US as pawns in our immoral torture in the name of the so called “war on terror”. Mary’s dissection of Jack Goldsmith terrorist detention policy, complete with with a comparison to the Ox Bow Incident, was a thing of passion and beauty.

One of Mary’s favorite, and most important, hobby horses was the seminal case of Ex Parte Milligan, on which she beat the drum loudly long before the critical 2008 decision in Boumediene v. Bush and the 2009 release of the torture memos. She was, as usual, right. Here she is taking John Yoo apart at the seams over his intellectual duplicity regarding Ex Parte Milligan. And then there was Mary’s three part opus on the history and meaning of Ex Parte Milligan (Parts One, Two and Three), which is one of the best primers anywhere on the case that has finally come back into renewed significance in the critical issues of the war on terror. Mary played a part in keeping that significance alive, and in the discussion mix, until it took hold again.

Thanks Mary, you are truly missed.

Okay, on to the football. Because I am so tardy the games are about to start!

The Eagles already beat the Giants. And it was not a cheap win, Carson Went and the Eagles looked solid. In other Pennsylvania news, I miss Scribe and his Steelers love. But all is not well in Stillers land, Terry Bradshaw is bad mouthing Mike Tomlin and, the current Steelers, apparently. Guess a Super Bowl win and constant competitiveness is not enough for Bradshaw. Just for that, I will take the Stillers over the Ravens in the first of the two Sunday games (on NFL Network only, apparently). In the second Sunday game, kind of hate to say it, but I think the Chefs will do some home cooking on the Donkos, likely eliminating Denver from the playoff picture unfortunately. Wonder who will be Denver’s QB next year? Lot of people think Romo, but I would not be shocked at all to see Elway stick with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch for the future. We shall see! I’d really like to see the Lions make the playoffs, but I do not think they will advance that cause in the Big D against the Cowboys. Dallas and Detroit is the last MNF game of the year.

The rest of the games are today, Christmas Eve. A rare full Saturday slate. I dunno why, but I think the Bills will circle those wagons and beat the Fish, if for no other reason than Bills fans pregame by cooking tater tots on car engines. Panthers may do better, but can’t score enough to stop the Dirty Birds from Atlanta. Skins get their mojo back over the hapless Bears. The Brownies get their only shot to avoid a winless season today against the Bolts. I don’t think so, take the Bolts. Vikings at the Cheese? Nope, Mr. Rodgers is on a roll, Pack it in Vikes. Titans over the Jags. Jets Jets Jets go to Foxborough. Nope to that too, although it is good to see Todd Bowles will be coaching after a medical scare.

Colts at Raiders may be a lot better game than their records would suggest. That is a pickem, with a possible Colts upset. Bucs at Saints, I will take the Aints in an upset. Niners at Rams? Who cares (sorry JoeSixPack). Cardinals at Squawks is another mostly who cares game. Do the Cards have any dignity left at this point? Is this the penultimate game for Larry Fitzgerald? Not sure as to the former, I do not think so as to the latter. Lastly, Bungles at Texans. I’ll take the Texans. I really liked Tom Savage coming out of college, thought he had a hell of an arm and a LOT of upside. I think he may be the real deal. Texans roll.

It has been a wild year, thanks again for spending it with us. Next year looks to be even wilder with a Trumpalo Presidency roiling an already unstable world. But never fear, Morning Will Come. And that is the Trash music of the week, by Spirit.

15 replies
  1. John Casper says:

    “She was really special, and I know I speak for all the contributors, we really miss her.”


    Your obit for her was remarkable. I hope everyone has a chance to re-read it.

  2. jo6pac says:

    Niners at Rams? Who cares (sorry JoeSixPack).

    Well one has to lose but a tie would be about right for both teams. Go Raiders.

    Need to get some firewood into the house and open some whine before the game starts. The lamb stew is simmering on the stove. Smells Great.

    Have a safe Holiday everyone

  3. emptywheel says:

    Yeah Kitties!

    Our chances of going to the playoffs, much less winning the division, are slowly slipping away.

    But at least our unsurpassed 2008 record is intact.

  4. lefty665 says:

    Who are these ‘Skins, and where were they Monday night?  Now if the Aints beat the Bucs, and the ‘Skins take the Giants next week, they’ll be in place to loose in the first round of the playoffs (again). OTOH, this is the first pair of winning years they’ve put together in two decades, so can’t carp too much. Cleveburg finally won one, and RG3 went out with a concussion, figures.

    Thanks to all for another wonderful year here at the wheel. Y’all are great. Next year promises to be a doozy, has me thinking about ’68, ’81 and ’01. It is going to take some fortitude.  I miss Mary too, may she RIP.  We will need facts, analysis and logic like hers to navigate the oncoming rough patch.


  5. bloopie2 says:

    “Take the Bolts”?  “Take the Bolts”?  Hah!  Santa came early this year for my Brownies.  There’s a party going on in Cleveland tonight, and I’ll raise a glass to their achievement. Thanks to all for a nice year.

    • bmaz says:

      Whoo boy, when I am wrong, it is spectacular! Congratulations to the Brownies. Pretty easy to feel good for them.

  6. Peterr says:

    raising a glass

    To Mary!


    As to the Trash . . .

    I can absolutely see Elway sticking with Siemian, as I think Elway likes the notion of the media looking at Siemian and saying “Gosh, a QB from an academic powerhouse CAN make it in the NFL . . . just like John Elway. Say, wasn’t that Elway a great QB? I wonder if Siemian can match that. ‘Cause boy, that Elway was great. Yep, Elway sure was great. Great QB, and now he’s becoming a great owner. Yep, that Elway sure is great.”


  7. Rosalind says:

    Happy happy & Merry merry!

    Hail, Mary! Oh, what you would have done with our current state of affairs. You are missed, our blogger buddy supreme.

    RIP Derek Carr’s fibula. And the Raiders play-off chances. Now time for a walk to make room for my friend’s non-traditional tasty treats coming my way. (thai shrimp & scallop curry, dungeness crab mac’n’cheese).

    Cheers, all!


    • Peterr says:

      Our first year in the Bay Area, we didn’t travel back to KC for the holidays (moving had sapped the bank account), so celebrated Christmas walking along the sand on the Pacific side of SF, picking up fresh dungeness crab for something ridiculous like $2 a pound, adding a bottle of local wine . . . it was a very memorable Christmas.

      The Kid loves his KC area friends and schools and all that, but he still is very upset that seafood is not as prevalent, as cheap, or as good as back in California. Here, it’s a special occasion thing; there, it was a “what shall we have today?” kind of thing.

      He’s not alone, as Mrs Dr Peterr and I both miss it too. The rent, the traffic, and the overall cost of living we can do without, but we miss the regular diet of great seafood.

  8. bloopie2 says:

    Checking the Weather Channel report just now I saw that Arizona had lots of snow, but checking Phoenix showed 70 degrees by tomorrow.  So, that’s not you, bmaz?  Here in CT it is cold but no snow–typical of winters lately (when I was young it was eight feet deep, miles to walk uphill to school, etc.).  Two of my young-uns living in Chi-town get plenty of cold and snow regularly every year, but who else does? Have all liberals moved to non-snow areas?  Are all the effects of global warming felt only by liberals?  I’d like to see a map of electoral college vs. snow.  Anyhow, it’s cold enough here to stay in, watch (yesterday) my hometown and home court Cavaliers come back to beat the Warriors again (yea!) and see the Chefs make creamed horsemeat out of Denver, and today to pull for the Lions.  Just remember to wake me up before you go go.

    • bmaz says:

      Naw, that is me. It is nasty upstate in and around Flagstaff and surrounding areas. Was cold (relatively) for a few days here in Phoenix and pretty rainy. Beautiful today. Blue sky and high, very thin, clouds. Is only about 60º though, not 70º. I am currently sitting on a patio in Scottsdale drinking a Four Peaks Kiltlifter beer. In honor of those who wear kilts, of course.

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