Mitt’s mitten.

I was the 143rd voter in my precinct at noon Tuesday, but my ballot was 105, which I assume means I was the 105th to ask for the Republican version. From this, we can extrapolate that the GOP will outpoll the Democrats by a 105-38 margin, and that the next president will be a Republican. Probably Romney.

Hey, just testing my punditry skills, in case anyone wants me to go on CNN.

Primary Day in Michigan was a big fat anticlimax, unless you were at the auto show Monday, which hosted the big three GOP contenders, plus Joe Lieberman, carrying John McCain’s coat. Connecticut for Lieberman for McCain: it has a real ring to it. But in the end, of course it was Romney’s show, seeing as how he was the only one who spent more than $1.98 and actually bothered to rent a local hotel ballroom for the victory speech. There’s something about seeing the candidates concede Michigan from South Carolina that really says “your primary was a joke,” isn’t there? (Jack Lessenberry over at the Metro Times put it more starkly: “Kazakhstan has better elections.” At least for Democrats.)

There were some chuckles, but they were so far inside as to be practically non-existent. The NYT’s county-by-county map is interesting, in that “uncommitted” carried the Democrats’ day in only two outposts — the thinly populated mystery spot of Emmet County, at the very tip of the mitten, where only 1,222 Democratic ballots were cast, but 49 percent of them went for U.N. Committed, and the Communistic pinko liberal People’s Republic of Washtenaw, which should not be counting on a warm hug from President Hillary, by God.

(As for what it says that the New York Times offers the best graphic representation of what’s happening in a state 500 miles away — that’s a question I’ll leave for you folks.)

Sorry I took the day off yesterday. I was walking into walls and not getting my calls returned. Also, I needed my roots touched up. Let me make it up to you with bloggage:

Ever wonder what a commune for crunchy-con buttheads would look like? Alas, county commissioners shot down this half-baked Hoosier version of Seaside, Florida. I think it would be a great setting for a murder mystery, however. Be my guest, Lippman. Maybe the next time Tess Monaghan takes a road trip, she can check out the corpse found in the dumpster behind Little Blessings Midwifery. Via The Good City. (Just an aside: What is it with these folks and chickens? They all want a backyard henhouse, or will until they learn just how early roosters get up in the morning. You should hear my vet talk about Grosse Pointe’s wild pheasant population, and the cocks that start crowing at 3:30 a.m. in midsummer. Only they don’t say cock-a-doodle-do, which is annoying enough at that hour; “it sounds like fingernails on a blackboard.” Ah, country life.)

Where did you first read about Truck Nutz? Here, that’s where. And four years ago, no less. (Sorry, the photo’s been lost to the ages. Here’s a replacement. I highly, highly recommend Nut Galleries one and two.) Now the Virginia legislature wants to ban them. For the children, of course.

Speaking of lame-ass punditry. I think Matthew Yglesias nails Tim Russert pretty well, in Washington Monthly.

Why the English are better than us: Because even their trashy tabloids, reporting bizarro police/court news, can use the word “remonstrate” in copy without fear that their idiot readers won’t know what it means.

Now I have to clean my house. John ‘n’ Sam arriving in about five hours. Friends! Adults to talk to! I may faint.

Posted at 8:58 am in Current events, Popculch |

29 responses to “Mitt’s mitten.”

  1. del said on January 16, 2008 at 9:14 am

    The best political commentary in a Detroit daily comes from Brian Dickerson of the Detroit Free Press. In today’s column he describes Romney as a purveyor of the “rhetoric of sunshine.”

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  2. nancy said on January 16, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Del: Agreed. The fact the Freep buries Dickerson inside on Sundays in favor of Mitch Albom’s pablum is one of the many crimes against journalism its editors will have to answer for, someday.

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  3. del said on January 16, 2008 at 9:37 am

    P.S. The Yglesias piece on Russert is accurate: Tim Russert is a clown. And his face, having a perpetual expression of Earnest Intensity (furrowed brow and all) can make him look like one when he asks silly questions with apparent sincerity. Remember Alberto Gonzales’ expression while he was being grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee? Yeah, that’s the one.

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  4. brian stouder said on January 16, 2008 at 10:00 am

    I’m sorry, but Matthew Yglesias will probably always be the poster child for lame-ass punditry, to me. I recall reading one of his internet hit-pieces (from TAP, I think) answering back a long essay in The New Yorker….but the problem was, he had clearly not read that essay, and made several flatly false statements about it. This caused me to Google him, and the picture I found was of a sun-deprived geek looking up from his glowing terminal, and offering a limp smile.

    But, I read today’s linked article, and laughed at this –

    So Meet the Press thrives, delighting precisely the sort of person who doesn’t realize that a hardball is a kind of ball whereas a curveball is a kind of pitch. [what does this mean? Get some fresh air, Matt! Go outside and blow the stink off, man]

    Actually, the balls Russert favors may be hard, but the pitches he throws aren’t curveballs, which go someplace useful. They’re sillyballs, which go somewhere pointless. Russert has created a strike zone of his own where toughness meets irrelevance.

    Maybe ol’ Matt is making a veiled reference to Chris Matthews (of msnbc’s “Hardball”) here? That would make his internet fans squeal with delight, no doubt (all 74 of them!) – since Chris (who is annoying, but who has an audience about the size of one week’s foot traffic through one good sized WalMart) made many of THEM think that what happened in New Hampshire was a direct result of Matthews’ OWN inane anti-HRC punditry!! (does anyone – other than the candidates themselves, have anything like that sort of influence on the election? No.)


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  5. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2008 at 10:21 am

    “What is it with these folk and chickens?”

    Perhaps they have never been around them. My grandparents had chickens, and they are nasty creatures. They run around constantly, squawking and pecking at everyone and those beaks can do some real damage. Not to mention the smell. Nothing compares with the foul stench of chicken shit, no pun intended.

    It’s a fine fantasy that we can shut out the world and protect our children from its horrors by turning back the clock. Who hasn’t indulged in it now and then?

    What the Simpler Times Village organizers have overlooked is that we carry the sins of the world with us when we set up our perfect paradise. What utopia hasn’t collasped from within?
    It isn’t the outside world that is tainted, it is our very selves.

    And obviously they havn’t watched “The Village”, or read the much better book the idea was stolen from, “Running out of Time” by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Well intentioned, perhaps, but hopelessly naive.

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  6. nancy said on January 16, 2008 at 10:26 am

    It isn’t the outside world that is tainted, it is our very selves.

    My head-scratching over the persistence of evil in the world pretty much went away when I finally accepted this exquisitely simple truth.

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  7. JGW said on January 16, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Admit it Nance, you read the Daily Mail because it’s the best source of Amy Winehouse news and information. She is like a little cut or sore in your mouth that you just can’t keep your tongue from flicking… Wait that sounds bad.

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  8. Sue said on January 16, 2008 at 11:12 am

    1. Simpler Times Village: I know there’s a black death joke in there somewhere. Help me out, folks.
    2. Chickens: Julie, don’t you read Martha Stewart? Plant climbing roses around your chicken pens and all your problems go away!
    3. Tim Russert: I still want to like him. Glenn Greenwald tells me I can’t, and now Nancy does too. Sigh…

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  9. del said on January 16, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I’m not familiar with Yglesias, just linked to his article, and I couldn’t figure out the hardball/curveball stuff either . . .

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  10. Connie said on January 16, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Liked the map link. I see that west Michigan went for McCain, except for my home county of Ottawa and its neighbor Kent County. I am not surprised.

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  11. nancy said on January 16, 2008 at 11:26 am

    1. Simpler Times Village: I know there’s a black death joke in there somewhere. Help me out, folks.

    Bring out your dead! Please leave them in the designated containers, so as not to spoil the tranquility of our rural vistas!

    P.S. It’s not Russert who bugs me so much. I rarely if ever watch his show. It’s just the level of gasbaggery in general that TV news brings to elections. And Russert isn’t the worst offender, but Yglesias is right that so many of his questions contain that level of looka-me-I’m-a-smartypants-osity that he swiftly gets on your nerves. As a journalist, my instinct in interviews is not to call attention to myself, but Russert’s is the polar opposite.

    P.P.S. I, too, failed to get the curveball reference.

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  12. brian stouder said on January 16, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    It’s just the level of gasbaggery in general that TV news brings to elections.

    Agreed; last night the D’s put on a fine, informative, and fairly wide-ranging debate, and when it ended, the gasbag brigades (including most especially Matthews) descended upon it, and decried the too-civil nature of it!

    Anyway, it seemed to me that Yglesias’ main objection was to the arbitrary nature of Russert’s attractiveness to the Washington establishment, moreso than any journalistic sins Russert may or may not be guilty of.

    As much as internet types (like Yglesias) consider themselves a “new media”, envy of the cachet that “old media” still has seems to be their lifeblood

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  13. Danny said on January 16, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    I just caught a clip of the debate because I was otherwise engaged last night, but what I saw looked like Hillary and Barrack may be making nice in the event that they become running mates. To those of you who saw more, did you get the same impression?

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  14. MichaelG said on January 16, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    When I was living the life of a country squire in Auburn with my now estranged wife we usually had about a dozen chickens and a rooster or two. Normally two roosters are a problem, but in this situation they had neatly sorted themselves out as Principal Rooster and Associate Rooster. The youngster had grown from the egg and didn’t mind being daddy’s assistant. It worked for all of us including the girls. I never found their (or the many other neighborhood roosters’) crowing to be a problem. Or cows mooing or horses making their noises or the wild turkeys and crows and all the rest of it. It was just part of being on the earth. Some folks are simply more bothered than others by audible signs of life like trains, airplanes, people and traffic. It’s an individual thing. We had the birds confined to a large area of about an acre and a half which gave them lots of room to roam and scratch. The were not permitted around the house or garden or lawn or patio, etc. The large amount of poop in the chicken house could get fragrant on a warm day and it do get warm in Northern California. This was minimized, however, by keeping the chicken house clean. Other than inside their house, we never had anything even remotely approaching a generalized chicken smell. It took some effort, yes but the girls rewarded us with the most wonderful eggs ever. Believe me, there is a real difference between real, fresh eggs and store bought. Each bird had a name and a personality. Ours were all delightful, friendly creatures who provided us with endless entertainment. We took all visitors from little kids up for tours and never had any problems with meanness, attacks or beaks. We did once have a mean rooster but he was down range so fast that his head must still be spinning. I don’t know what the secret is but plenty of room, a large clean house to roost and sleep in, a good natured rooster or two and we were a happy bunch. The also got along well with the goaty-oaty girls and even the dogs.

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  15. Danny said on January 16, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Here is a good one from Lou Dobbs.

    As the Democratic candidates have been mired the last few days in the politics of race, it did occur to me that the chickens have come home to roost with all of the pandering that goes on in modern politics.

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  16. LAMary said on January 16, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    You don’t have those gender and race problems with the Republican candidates.

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  17. Jeff said on January 16, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Oi, it wasn’t Obama and Hillary who were startlingly nice as much as Edwards was preternaturally loose and relaxed and throwing out off-camera asides to his colleagues.

    It felt very much as if he’d come to the point where his chances of winning are gone, his interest in the veep slot (again) is nil, and he just wanted to stay in the arena and shape the dance more to his tune.

    At one point, he averred that he not only wanted there to be no new nuclear power plants, but that he was against any new coal-fired plants, too. It wasn’t that he said that, which reasonable people can discuss, but the way he said it as if he wanted to add “whaddaya think about them apples, hmmmm?” Quite frankly, he was more appealling to my electoral interests in the guise he wore last night than i’ve ever heard him — not in policy, but in general tone.

    I occasionally have to fight off a liking for Fred Thompson for the same reason: his approach of “i don’t actually want the durn job, but it needs doing and i’m afraid someone else will screw it up beyond help, so here i am.” Maybe not his policy, but the tone he’d set . . . i could go there.

    Ah, if it would just go down to the convention, the hope of every poli-geek in America.

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  18. Kim said on January 16, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    So glad to see no one’s engaged by the current Truck Nutz tussle in the Va. legislature. It gives me hope, as the only place I, who live in the old dominion, have seen said nutz is on NN.C. I ‘spose the proprietress is ahead of the, um, curve.

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  19. alex said on January 16, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    While they’re at it, the Virginia legislature really oughtta go after those bimbo mud flaps, the pissing bubbas and the Confederate flag. Those are all more offensive than balls.

    And somebody really oughtta clue in the people who make those damn Jesus fish, the ones with crucifix eyes. Dead fish in cartoons always have Xs for eyes.

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  20. Kim said on January 16, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Mark my words: Within the next couple of days the local paper will tsk, tsk anyone who hangs said nutz from his/her vehicle, ask about whatever happened to decorum and being Southern and all. On the Very Same Day your children will be able to turn from op-ed to the agate scores to see how the local teams did and be able to read the only ad on the page, a quarter-pager that informs them how to have the (all caps, at least 48 pt type) best sex in their lives.

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  21. Danny said on January 16, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    You know, Jeff, the conventions could be very interesting this year. Both conventions could determine the nominations.

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  22. michaelj said on January 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    How ‘bout that Michigan 4th Congressional District? This is the guy that replaced the legendary David Stockman, who I think is probably the last honest Republican. Stockman famously told an Atlantic Monthly interviewer:

    “I mean, Kemp-Roth [Reagan’s 1981 tax cut] was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate…. It’s kind of hard to sell ‘trickle down.’

    I don’t know anything about Siljander, other than that he’s a publicly born again Falwell acolyte and once called the Koran ‘the devil’s book‘, but I do know the group he aided and abetted is associated with another Muslim charity for which Richard Perle hosted a benefit a few years ago. Next thing you know, a GOP president will be giving Saudi Arabia smart bombs to trickle down to Wahabist maniacs while simultaneously telling Olmert he feels Israel’s need to blow up Iran. Nah, couldn’t happen.

    Unrelated: A Piggly-Wiggly (that’s a grocery y’all) flyer in our local paper is advertising Wild Caught Large Sea Scallops. You’ve got to move pretty fast to catch those suckers, I bet. I know I’m too old to be running down those marine mollusks. We do manage to catch oysters every once in a while, but scallops, way too quick.

    Tim Russert? Separated at birth from Jimmy Johnson. Putting a somewhat human face on ‘the other white meat’. Old Major and Napoleon.

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  23. michaelj said on January 16, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Oops. Sorry about the italics.

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  24. Jeff said on January 16, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    No, no, i liked the italics! And you can’t get free-range scallops anywhere around here, but i haven’t shopped in a Piggly-Wiggly this side of Council Bluffs, Ioway.

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  25. basset said on January 16, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    we used to shop at the Jitney Jungle grocery when we lived in Jackson, Mississippi back in the early 80s… dunno if they’re still around.

    Total reversal of topic:

    this is expletive-deleted brilliant… the Library of Congress just put a whole load of FSA pictures up on Flickr, no copyright, come and get ’em:

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  26. Jeff said on January 17, 2008 at 8:37 am

    My Olympus 35mm feels like a buggy whip in my hand now; go, Library of Congress! What a good use of “outsourcing” and distributed user-gen content. And a new way for me not to work . . . for pay, anyhow.

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  27. MichaelG said on January 17, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Wow, Basset. Thanks for the lead. Great stuff.

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  28. Connie said on January 17, 2008 at 9:24 am

    To clarify my comment above about the Michigan primary: My home county of Ottawa and it’s also Dutchy neighbor Kent County appear to be the only counties in west Michigan that voted for Romney rather than McCain.

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  29. garmoore said on January 17, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Connie: Ionia County (for those of you who don’t know Mich. geography, it’s the county due east of Kent Co., which is due east of Ottawa Co., which is on Lake Michigan) also went for Romney. No accounting for taste, I guess. Of course, this is the part of the state that produced the last two Republican candidates for governor, Dick Postumus and Dick DeVos. Apparently, we have an affinity over here for losers.

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