A nation turns its eyes…

…to Indiana. That has to be an unfamiliar ring to it, and believe me, I know. I spent 20 years there and frequently felt like the rest of the country would have a problem finding it on the map. Needless to say, I never felt it as keenly as during presidential election years, when the state was consistently ignored. The Republicans took it for granted, the Democrats chalked it up as impossible, and with a May primary, always chiming in well after the nominations were decided.

Once I wrote a column about never being in the crowd when Prince and the Rolling Stones decided to stop by the little nightclub an hour after the arena show was over and, you know, jam for a few hours. I now understand this is my destiny. It’s not the screwups of party leaders who led to the Michigan primary fiasco; it was me, moving to the state in 2005. I’m sorry.

If you didn’t see Brian Stouder’s comment in the last thread, see it now:

So last night, I’m at Red Cross with a needle jammed into each arm for about 2 hours, watching the election returns…and the nurse, noting that the pundits’ incessant yammering has mesmerized me, matter-of-factly says “I just can’t believe that Barack Obama refused to be sworn into the Senate with his hand on a bible!”….which broke the trance I was in, and made me look up. I said something like – it’s a good thing you can’t believe that, because it’s NOT TRUE!…which drew a puzzled look – and then the retort “well – he’s a Muslim, you know”……..and then, remembering that I was immobile and still a long way from the completion of the donation, I paused and took a breath. After conversationally mentioning that I had read that same e-mail (which elicited a big nod from the nurse), I said that the thing is just completely untrue – at which point I drifted back to the glow of the tv, and the nurse wandered away.

I had a similar experience a few weeks ago, with an aging-queen hairdresser, and he was similarly stubborn. He knew these things were true because he’d read them in an e-mail. I told him that not only were they not true, I reeled off a few websites where he could easily check the facts. Sensing an uncomfortable moment with a paying customer, he crashed into territory we could all agree on — how fabulous Mrs. Obama looks. Sigh.

Well, that’s the downmarket Obama smear. Moving up, we find the He’s Friends With People Who Hate America meme, coming on very strong in Minneapolis these days — both Lileks and his pals at Powerline are banging the drum about Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, describing them as “friends,” which is interesting. Friendship, in this case, seems to boil down to “served on a board with,” or “attended a fundraiser for.” What world do these people live in, I wonder?

Here’s a more novel twist, from — who else? — a former speechwriter for Dan Quayle, who brings a certain girls-bathroom vibe to the discussion. Having recently learned that Julie Nixon Eisenhower is supporting Obama, she wonders:

Perhaps we humans are psychologically limited in our options, to following in the footsteps of, or rejecting and rebelling against our various patrimonies. Or, given the linked picture, perhaps the fact that she looks like a carbon copy of her mother — a bit mad, but with a little more iron about the jaw — suggests that she is not her father’s daughter after all. The picture is more shocking than the deed. Trisha Nixon Cox, (the blond, putatively less ambitious, “pretty one”) still looks like the girl America knew, and, recognizably, has given her campaign donations to John McCain.

Wha-? Via Roy, who adds, “Many NRO scribes betray a stunted view of life and human nature, but Schiffren’s actually seems heavily informed by fairy tales about princesses and wicked stepsisters.”

God, I thought we’d be shut of this business by now. When we lived in Indiana, we were, dammit. The world’s just going straight downhill.

Anyone watch Obama’s speech last night? What’s with the Abercrombie & Fitch product placement behind him? And for any of you wondering who the gorgeous blonde was who greeted him immediately afterward, it was Mrs. John Mellencamp, “model and spokeswoman.” Probably the best-looking woman in Indiana. Not locally grown.

Back after more coffee and some exercise. It’s a sleepy morning ’round these parts.

Posted at 11:24 am in Current events |

66 responses to “A nation turns its eyes…”

  1. John said on April 23, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Julie Nixon Eisenhower will be 60 this summer. God forbid she ever develops a mind of her own and if she does, it can only be in rebellion of her parents.

    How can anyone write that dreck? And who are the delusional readers?

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  2. John c said on April 23, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    We recently had the Obama is a Muslim experience up north with friends. It prompted me to track down every aspect of that e-mail and rebut it for my friends. If anyone wants a copy of my work, to hang on to and send out when the need arises, let me know. What got both Mary (the wife) and I was that the folks who believed this crap were VERY smart – University of Michigan, MIT, etc. Sheesh. I get frustrated just thinking about it.
    As for Mrs. Cougar, I have a story: My brother-in-law is a mild-mannered, vaguely hippieish musician living in Bloomington, Indiana. He’s a big tall guy with red hair and about as friendly as they come, which is all by way of saying he’s not the sort to leer or ogle or wolf whistle. Years back he told me he was gassing up the pick-up outside Belmont, which happens to be where Johnny Cougar resides. John, my brother-in-law, was almost startled by a stunning gal as she emerged from the gas station. He watched her for a moment then looked away, his eyes drifting across the lot to the glaring, what-the-#@*-are-you-looking at eyes of Cougs himself.

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  3. Lex said on April 23, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    We here in N.C. are reveling in our new-found electoral relevance, as well. And it carries benefits: Arcade Fire and Superchunk are playing a benefit show nearby. Benefiting whom? Who cares? Arcade Fire. Superchunk.

    Now if only I could go….

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  4. Danny said on April 23, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    John, in your research, did you come to any conclusions as to the source of the rumor?

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  5. Peter said on April 23, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I’m not an Obama backer, but the Dohrn/Ayers thing is REALLY beyond the pale. It’s not like they’re BFF’s.

    My wife and I sat next to the Ayer’s once – my wife’s boss had a big birthday bash, he’s buddies with Ayer’s parents, (Michigan grads, by the way), and the whole bunch of them sat at our table. It took me a good three hours to figure out where I had heard of those guys before, and sure, I’m dense, but not that dense.

    I guess that’s apropos of nothing, but it’s just that you can really have anyone be guilty by association – just look what Slate did with degrees of separation between the candidates and Hitler. I really think there’s better things to gripe about, but what do I know.

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  6. Kirk said on April 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    One of the little ad links at the bottom of Nancy’s post promises “The Real Barack Obama — the truth behind the candidate — Barack Obama exposed.” It’s a come-on from Human Events, long a favored organ of the John Birch Society and related nitwits. That could be one source of the fabrications. I’m sure there are plenty.

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  7. colleen said on April 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I’ve heard the Obama is a Muslim thing several times, and yes, sometimes from people one would expect to be smart enough to know better. And HOW can anyone still think that after the whole to-do with his CHRISTIAN pastor??

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  8. nancy said on April 23, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    It’s not only beyond the pale, it’s a denial of what every adult should know by the age of 30 or so — our daily business will bring us in contact with a lot of people we might despise, but we must get along with. The three Powerline guys are attorneys; I guaran-damn-tee you they’ve served on boards and committees with people they might not want to go on vacation with, but so what?

    This is especially true in politics. What cynical assholes.

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  9. sue said on April 23, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Well, all I can say is I’m thankful that the only friends I have are either imaginary or on the internet… can’t get into trouble there…

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  10. Danny said on April 23, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    OK, while we are on rumors and political hatchet jobs, is there any truth to the story that Obama launched his state senatorial campaign (and hence his political career) at a fundraiser hosted at Bill Ayers house? I’ve been hearing this, but I am wondering now.

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  11. Danny said on April 23, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    This is especially true in politics. What cynical assholes.

    Ah, that could be applied to HRC too. She talked about the Ayers thing in the debate the other night, but BO pointed out that her husband had pardoned two of the Weather Underground folks.

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  12. nancy said on April 23, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Danny: Obama went to Ayers’ house once, and accepted a $200 campaign contribution.


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  13. Howie said on April 23, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    John C, that’s one of the better “brushes with celebrity” stories I’ve heard here at nn.c. He didn’t just see a celeb, he got glared at by one! But LA Mary always tells stories of first person encounters. I think you should have just claimed it as your own. 🙂

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  14. Jolene said on April 23, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Obama also served on the board of a charitable organization with Ayers. Here’s more. It doesn’t say so in this article, but I read elsewhere that the board met for half a day four times a year, so, obviously, that would have provided a good opportunity for them to become soulmates.

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  15. Laura said on April 23, 2008 at 1:21 pm


    I once lent my pen to Elvis Costello. He didn’t return it. Bastard!

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  16. Michael said on April 23, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Ooh, ooh! I have a first person encounter — with Paul Schaeffer! There I was, walking along the street in downtown Indy for some reason, and here comes Paul Schaeffer walking opposite. I smiled at him, and just as he was smirking back, some girls yelled out from a passing car, “Woo! Paul Schaeffer!!” I laughed, and said, “What is that like, having people recognize you in public?” He said, “How freaky that you’re actually asking me that.” I looked at him expectantly, and he said, “What, do you really want to know?” I said, “Yeah.” He said something like, “Well, I guess if you really want to be in show business, that’s kind of part of it.” We then made the usual goodbye noises, and went our merry ways. It was somewhat surreal.

    But I now have a fond memory of Paul Schaeffer, so when I watch _Hercules_ I smile a little.

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  17. alex said on April 23, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Danny, in the last thread you mentioned trying to disabuse two medical professionals of the Obama Muslim thing. My poor parents are saddled with some old friends from their younger years who are irredeemably stupid despite the best education money could buy. She’s a Bryn Mawr grad with a law degree from the University of Michigan and he has a U of M law degree as well. They’re both fat cats who’ve done quite well for themselves. And they talk this kind of shit incessantly. In trying to psychoanalyze them, I think he’s very likely a repressed homosexual in that he protests too much and has the facial tics of someone who’s really been stuffing it all his life. And she’s just one badly fucked bitch.

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  18. ellen said on April 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve sold kitchenware to Rick Astley (pre-rickroll) and had to explain to him why the stainless steel flatware sets are labelled “dishwasher safe, except knives.” He was very nice in person. Also sold sofas to Pete Townsend (mostly dealt w/assistant), candles to AbFab’s Jennifer Saunders, and Christmas mugs to Robert Duvall. Have come up with theory that legendary stars are typically very nice to sales clerks, etc. The newly famous and B-D listers can tend toward “do-you-know-who-I-am?” jerk side of the scale (except Astley, of course).

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  19. Danny said on April 23, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Oooohhhhh, Ellen, wait till Mary reads this. Girl Fight!!!!!!

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  20. Danny said on April 23, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Alex, I get the sense that the two I mentioned in the last thread aren’t so much stupid as they are extremely busy and without the time nor inclination to look into the matter further.

    That said, I do know what you mean about meeting people who seem to be reasonably intelligent .. and then they surprise you.

    I’ve probably had people think that of me, but no one needs to take that as a cue to say, “Why, yes. I was just about to point that out, Danny.” {snort, Nancy}

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  21. coozledad said on April 23, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Yeah. I saw John Hartford once on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Before I could stop myself I said something that could either have been “Hi John”, or “John! How’s it hangin’ bro?” It may have been the latter, because he got that slightly panicked look I got when I encountered unmedicated schizophrenics on the same street.
    There’s a great deal of racism arrayed against Obama, and even painfully stupid people are now informed enough to know that giving into your inner racist makes you a contemptible, soulless creep, scarcely worthy to breathe. So they have to front with something else. Back when I was a Hillary supporter, I simply thought Obama was a little green. Then I watched the debates. She’s the parvenu. Always will be.

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  22. John c said on April 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Danny: I never came to a conclusion as to where Obama-is-a-Muslim started. I’d say even money between Rove-type Republicans and Hillary. She has certainly exploited it in a despicable way. I think a larger story is how the internet has deteriorated the idea of reliable information.

    More brushes with celebrity … I was waiting tables one summer in college (early 80s) in Westport, Connecticut, which is home to many New York show biz types. The familiar looking guy ordered scrambled eggs for lunch. I told him we didn’t have scrambled eggs for lunch. He looked at me intently, put his hand to his forehead as if I was giving him a headache, and said – politely but intensely – “Do me a favor just ASK.” It was Frank “The Riddler” Gorshin (Gorshim?)

    Then there was the day just after I started at the Chicago Sun-Times. Faded celebs were often stopping by to see Kup, (Irv Kupcinet, our legendary columnist). I was walking to the men’s room and was struck by a guy with jet-black, obviously-a-wig hair, a cigarette in one of those Hollywood cigarette holders, and – I kid you not – a cape. Maybe it was just an overcoat. But it was draped over his shoulders like a cape. As he walked down the hall dramatically, the security guy looked at me, nodded, and said: “Yup. Robert Goulet.”

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  23. Jolene said on April 23, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    coozledad, you might want to take a look at Andrew Sullivan’s blog. Scroll down to “Freak Show Update” and then read back up for more on what the NC Republican Party has in store for Obama. Very noble.

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  24. Dorothy said on April 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Seriously, ellen? Robert Duvall?! I’m so jealous! Love him to pieces.

    Okay since we’re name dropping today I can’t resist my turn. Guess who I’m having lunch with next Friday? Jamie Lee Curtis!!! (me and about 200 other women on campus here…)

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  25. del said on April 23, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Coozledad wrote:

    There’s a great deal of racism arrayed against Obama, and even painfully stupid people are now informed enough to know that giving into your inner racist makes you a contemptible, soulless creep, scarcely worthy to breathe. So they have to front with something else. Back when I was a Hillary supporter, I simply thought Obama was a little green. Then I watched the debates. She’s the parvenu. Always will be.

    Interesting comments. Please explain further.

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  26. baldheadeddork said on April 23, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    The bad news, Nancy, is that you left Indiana two years before its once-in-a-century brush with relevancy.

    The good news is, you don’t have to write about it for the N-S. 😉

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  27. Dexter said on April 23, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    It’s a real treat to see Indiana getting the spotlight. I really never thought I’d see the day.
    The Neanderthals who believe Obama is a Muslim are not going to change. They also thought Nixon was innocent and Bush is a great president. Bush is STILL very popular in Florida. I can’t wait until HBO airs the new special on how Florida stole the 00 election for Bush.

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  28. Danny said on April 23, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I can’t wait until HBO airs the new special on how Florida stole the 00 election for Bush.

    Is that going to be a two-part series that starts off with how Daley “delivered” Chicago and Illinois for Kennedy?

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  29. ellen said on April 23, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Sue: I didn’t even realize it was Robert Duvall until I was running his Visa card through the machine. All I knew was I had spent about 30 min helping an older man and a somewhat younger (mid-late 40s) woman select the kind of Christmas gifts the boss hands out to office staff and we were chatting away about nothing in particular. I looked at the card, then looked up and whispered: “THE Robert Duvall?” He nodded and smiled. I can tell you that he was the absolute gentleman that you would expect him to be. This was maybe 13 years ago.

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  30. Jolene said on April 23, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    The other thing that kills me about what’s been going on lately–besides the general negativity and the particular negativity (i.e., the racism)–is the characterization of Obama as an effete, maybe even effeminate, snob.

    It reveals this bizarre contradiction in our national character in which, on the one hand, we want our children to go to good schools, to excel, to get great jobs, marry happily, give us grandchildren, and succeed professionally, and, on the other hand, we hate it when people do too well.

    I mean, sheeesh, Obama came from smart people. He didn’t come from rich people. He got into great schools, was an outstanding student, turned away from positions that would have allowed him to become rich w/o really breaking a sweat about anyone else’s welfare, and seems to have made himself a happy life.

    I don’t think he’s Jesus, and I know he’s fairly proud of himself, but, really, I think we should be proud of him too. I don’t suppose that translates into voting for him, because a person could believe he’s wrong, but the innuendo, the disrespect, and, really, the hate. I just don’t get it.

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  31. sue said on April 23, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Danny, the difference between then and now is that after 40+ years, after the civil rights movement, Watergate, etc., we’re supposed to know better. And I didn’t realize that da Mare delivered the whole state, since historically Chicago and the rest of the state hate each other, politically.

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  32. Connie said on April 23, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    That was Mellencamp’s third wife. All three blonde.

    And Dorothy if we get to count being in the lunch crowd I could go on forever, from Barbara Bush to Mr. Rogers to Julie andrews to Tom Wolfe to ………..

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  33. Scout said on April 23, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    I really like what you said, Jolene. It really is true – some people, like Obama, are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    On to some perspective, the race is in approximately the same place it was before yesterday’s primary. The maths are seriously against Hillary and even Chris The Tool Matthews admits the punditry are the ones keeping her afloat by pretending she can possibly pull this out of her hat.

    This makes me realize something; the media is for the status quo and McSame is exactly that. Which explains their inexplicable man-love support of him as well as their unwillingness to press him for details when shady stuff does come up. Can you imagine the press just shrugging and walking away if Obama or Hillary had something like that telecom lobbyist come up? Even if they denied it, every debate would begin with a question about it. Not with McSame, oh no siree. He says piss off and they do.

    So the dragging on and on with the bobble heads all breathlessly acting like yesterday really meant something tide turning seems supiciously like allowing Hillary to continue the Limbaugh strategy of “bloodying up” Obama so they don’t have to. They were hoping against hope to have her as the nominee because they believed she was beatable, once they realized she wasn’t going to be the nom they became more than happy to allow her to be their tool-y surrogate.

    Even with the media against him, I like Obama’s chances. Alot. Now let’s get this done and over with in Indiana and NC.

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  34. alex said on April 23, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Daley delivered Chicago for Kennedy; downstate Illinois is the Land of Phyllis Schlafly and Lyndon Larouche and the kind of people who think Timothy McVeigh is an American hero. Polar opposites in every respect. The Illinois GOP’s so dumb, in fact, they actually tried to run Allen Keyes against Obama thinking it would fool the black folk into dividing their votes. The loss was their most embarrassing ever.

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  35. coozledad said on April 23, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    del: I just think her policy approaches, while well intentioned, and sometimes pretty well researched, have the stink of that centrist think-tank baggage attached. And her public persona is pretty far removed from the hardass I’ve heard described in policy meetings. She’s not a natural, and I know that’s no sin, except when she’s attempting to ruin the chances of someone who is.
    I also believe Kevin Phillips is right about the Clintons adopting Republican economic indexing that wildly overstated the prosperity of the nineties, while downplaying inflation and unemployment.
    Of course, it looks a hell of a lot better from here.

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  36. LA Mary said on April 23, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Okay. When I worked for at DDL Foodshow (owned by Dino DeLaurentiis) I sold cheese and/or pate to the following people: Carl Reiner, Donna Summer, Steve Martin, Dick Martin (of Rowan and) Michael Keaton. At another gourmet shop employer, I forged “Happy Holidays, Sly” on many bottles for cheap wine for Sylvester Stallone, and took phone orders from Lois Garner, wife of James, and the customer no one wanted to wait on.
    Did I ever mention I saw Sid Vicious on the street in Soho a few days before he died? He looked bad.

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  37. nancy said on April 23, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding!

    Sorry, Ellen, I think we have a winner. As usual, it’s the details that sell it:

    At another gourmet shop employer, I forged “Happy Holidays, Sly” on many bottles for cheap wine for Sylvester Stallone…

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  38. coozledad said on April 23, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Jolene: I can tell you from where I attend Democratic functions in former Klan country here in rural NC, Obama is kicking ass. Elderly women will be voting for Hillary as a rule in the primaries, but as far as the political insiders here are concerned, Obama is a son of the South. There were just too many dead kids offered up to the Republicans in exchange for those tax cuts.
    George Bush has finally brought whites and blacks together down here. It’s a new fucking day.
    I’m afraid I’ve been drinking this evening, as is often the case after I’ve been practicing meatball veterinary medicine on my unfortunate cattle. I’ve got a cow who developed mastitis because of a stillbirth last year. This year’s calf is fine, but the dam’s left udder is just plugged up with fibrous bloody masses that I can’t manage to squeeze out the teat. On the recommendation of our vet, we’re treating her with antibiotics for staph mastitis, which means daily intramuscular injections of Naxcel, and ampicillin directly into the nipple. I’m a queasy man. But like many doctors through history, I can do it if there’s even the remotest prospect of drink as a reward.

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  39. del said on April 23, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Good work Coozledad.

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  40. brian stouder said on April 23, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Brush with greatness: well – about 20 years ago, I traded postcards with a very entertaining newspaper columnist, and she invited me to a New Years party – so that I got to meet the Proprietress and her Significant Other (true fact: when I told people at work that I was going to see Nancy Nall on New Year’s Eve, they asked me where she was appearing! – and when I repeated that story at Nance’s place, it got a big laugh from Alan!)

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  41. Deborah said on April 23, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    LA Mary I can’t compete with you but I have to say that as many times as I have been in LA and New York, most of my celebrity encounters have been in New Mexico, near Santa Fe. We have land in Abiquiu 45 miles Northwest of Santa Fe and go there at least 4 times a year for vacation. Shirley MacLaine owns 9,000 acres just over the mountain from us. She’s a regular in the area. Most of the time you walk right past her, she doesn’t wear make up and looks like a local. Marcia Mason runs an herb farm, which she is selling, less than a mile away. Tom Ford the fashion designer has mega acres nearby. I’ve seen Ali McGraw, Val Kilmer, and as I said here before recently, Helen Mirren. I’ve seen Gene Hackman at an art store in Santa Fe. I missed these folks but my husband saw Yoko Ono and William Dafoe (not together, at different times) on the streets of Santa Fe when I was shopping on another street. I saw Julia Roberts at the local hippie spa we go to in Ojo Caliente about an hour away. She has a ranch in Taos. Our friends who live in Taos see her all the time in the local organic market. There have been many more that I can’t off the top of my head remember.

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  42. whitebeard said on April 23, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    I saw Pete Rose in Montreal and he talked with me for 20 minutes and I did not know who he was, but the best time was when one man had to stop his wife from chasing me into the men’s room at a restaurant because she thought I was Luciano Pavarotti who had just given a sell-out concert in Connecticut

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  43. alex said on April 23, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    I have friends in Santa Fe and remember a visit there some years ago when La MacLaine was threatening to build herself a giant compound replete with crop circles and all kinds of architecturally offensive shit and the local officials in charge of development told her to go pound sand from some other desert. I’m surprised to hear she’s still hanging around.

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  44. ellen said on April 23, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    I surrender to LA Mary, because the rest of my salesclerk/neighbor to the stars anecdotes are about Brit soap actors, more 80s one-hit wonders, or morning chat show presenters. If anyone wants to know about the shopping habits of actors from Eastenders, I’m your girl. I lived (in the cheap section) and worked in the same neighborhood as Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, Richard E Grant, and that guy who played the duke/earl/count in Chariots of Fire who ran the hurdles without knocking over the champagne glasses.

    And then there was the time I came thisclose to backing my car into VP-elect Al Gore, who lived on my street in DC…

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  45. Jolene said on April 23, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Good to hear, coozledad. I keep watch on the polls at Real Clear Politics, and they have Obama up by 15 points in NC. Bill was there today inciting class warfare, according to the people at First Read.

    I heard on some news show today that the Clintons were not going to contest it, but that they would spend enough time there so that it wouldn’t be obvious that they were writing it off. also heard Hillary tell an Indiana audience today that she was going to spending the next two weeks there, so some of you will have a chance to get well-acquainted. Also made her issue a plea for contributions.

    Not that ethics has much to do w/ the whole enterprise, but I wonder about asking for contributions to support a hopeless cause. I suppose that if two or three more things go wrong for Obama, things could get less hopeless in a hurry, but still . . .

    For all the millions the two of them spent in PA, the outcome was a net increase of five delegates for Clinton.

    Clearly, I am spending too much time on all this.

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  46. Danny said on April 23, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    ….Did I ever mention I saw Sid Vicious on the street in Soho a few days before he died? He looked bad.

    Dang, Mary, way to whip it out and slam it down on the table for the astonishment of all! You da (Wo)man! (she never disappoints)

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  47. Jolene said on April 23, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Why did my comment ended up in the same box w/ Danny’s, and where is the other half of it. Not that it matters greatly, just curious.

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  48. Danny said on April 23, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Weird….Hmmm. Does this mean we are going steady?

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  49. nancy said on April 23, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Dunno why that happened.

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  50. Jolene said on April 23, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    It’s against my policy to date married men, Danny, but sharing a comment box is within my ethical boundaries.

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  51. ellen said on April 23, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    mitch albom on colbert now. colbert teasing him about sentimentality/obsession w/death

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  52. Carol said on April 24, 2008 at 12:00 am

    As a longtime reader, but a first-time poster, I just have to weigh in on this one about celebrity sightings. I know this will disappoint, but I saw it myself. A friend who was raised north — that’s right, north –of the Arctic Circle had just won a Whiting Award as one of the nation’s best emerging writers. He was in my hometown to give a reading at the same time Garrison Keillor was there for a recording of Prairie Home Companion. Early one morning both were checking out books on tables at a book festival. After quite a while of hesitation, my friend said, “Mr. Keillor, I just wanted to tell you that growing up north of the Arctic Circle I looked forward every week to listening to your program. It was the highlight of my family’s week.” And Keillor, never looking up, said, “If you think I’m listening, I’m not.” I’ve never been able to listen to his show since.

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  53. Dexter said on April 24, 2008 at 2:30 am

    As a sports nut I have seen many players and coaches; here’s a sampling:
    John Madden (Ace hardware guy to any sports-haters) was riding train 49 from Chicago , as was I. He is a really friendly man, we exchanged pleasantries in the bar car. He was pissed off when he wanted a Miller Lite and none had been stocked. Madden was being paid a fortune as a Lite spokesman and didn’t touch any other beer, so he bought 4 little bottles of booze instead. Now he rides in a bus, of course,as he does not fly.
    A very strange occurrence was at Tiger Stadium , when I walked right past owner Tom Monaghan. He was waiting for his elevator to his box. I talked with him for about two minutes, very nice man. Now he’s famous for taking a bath on the Drummond Isle deal and also for his Ave Maria college.
    I could write about many more, but I’ll just mention a near-miss and two that my friends saw.
    My friend Joe saw Harry S Truman address a crowd at Garrett Indiana on a whistle stop tour in 1948; Joe was a toddler then.
    My friend Maurice sold Janis Joplin jewelry from a store in Sausalito. I met Maurice while I was a soldier, as was he. He told how Janis came in with her entourage , and paid cash, thousands at a time.
    And a near miss. I was in San Francisco in Spring, 1970. I heard people talking … a sort of hub-ub…I asked what was going on, it was kind of like when something stunning happens, like a guy about to jump off a ledge …I had just missed seeing John and Oko walking along the street. They went into a gallery . I just kept walking, I never saw them.
    Oh…that same day I saw President Georges Pompidou .
    I just happened to be near the St. Francis Hotel and his motorcade pulled up. His limo windows were only slightly tinted and he was waving to we proletarians.

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  54. Terry WAlter said on April 24, 2008 at 7:08 am

    It’s amazing how lefties manage to drag Karl Rove’s name into every political maneuver they don’t like. Like he’s the original political operative. Seems I recall LBJ’s campaign assured us that Goldwater would soon have a mushroom cloud descending over us. But I’m sure we can all forgive him for that with the fabulous success of his Great Society programs; like the Cabrini-Green projects in Chicago. And Ronald Reagan was a trigger happy cowboy who would soon bring about the nuclear apocalypse. Guess it was a bad concrete mix that caused the Berlin Wall to spontaneously crumble, huh?

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  55. Cosmo Panzini said on April 24, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Let’s see, on the one hand there’s this dinosaur who represents perpetual war, gracious handouts to the rich and well-connected, and the screwing of the middle class; on the other, there’s this friend of Ayers-Dohrn, this damn…Muslim, who refuses to repudiate his venom-spewing Christian pastor(??), who won’t wear a flag lapel pin, or hold his hand over his heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Goddamn it, I’m confused.

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  56. coozledad said on April 24, 2008 at 9:32 am

    The Berlin wall fell because the Soviet oligarchy sank every penny it was stealing from its citizens on whores, dachas, and their military industrial complex, just like the white trash Republicans are doing now. All serious students of foreign policy saw this coming before Reagan started twitching visibly and shitting himself (i.e. demonstrating he was Republican presidential material).
    You Republicans are the Brezhnevs of our time, cozying up to that Stalinist in Russia. Cheney even looks like one of the fat fucks you’d see standing on a balcony watching tanks roll past for the May day parade. Authoritarian cultists are the same the whole world round. I wish we could find the antigen for this pox.

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  57. Danny said on April 24, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Here, here, Terry WAlter. Please take a seat next to me in the penalty box. Good to have you aboard.

    Carol, thanks for delurking and posting that interesting comment about Garrison Keiller .. and crushing my innocent and pure love for him as a national treasure. What should we do next, club baby seals? Just kidding, of course.

    Wonder if Garrison ever uses that line, “If you think I’m listening, I’m not,” on his wife? I think I’ll try that one out. Tell you all how it worked after I get out of the hospital.

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  58. Dorothy said on April 24, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Moving away from the stimulating topic of politics and back to the brushes with greatness…

    My dad saw Babe Ruth play in his last baseball game at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. And he also got to see Winston Churchill (oops, politics) in England during WWII. He was within an arm’s length of him but he resisted the urge to reach out and touch.

    I got a letter from Liza Minnelli once, when I wrote her a sympathy note after she suffered a miscarriage.

    I know, I know… these pale in comparison with La LA Mary’s anecdotes. But I sort of like my pathetic little BWGs!

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  59. Danny said on April 24, 2008 at 9:38 am

    coozle, if you think we’re listening, we’re not.

    Man, is this thing on? Hello?

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  60. Danny said on April 24, 2008 at 9:41 am

    I got a letter from Liza Minnelli once, when I wrote her a sympathy note after she suffered a miscarriage.

    Wow. That is pretty interesting. I bet Mary wrote the letter for her in between signing Sly’s cheap bottles of wine.


    Seriously, though, that is pretty cool, Dorothy.

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  61. jcburns said on April 24, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Jolene left a quote mark off of her link to First Read…that caused her link (as far as web browsers were concerned) to go on and on and on until the next commenter used a quote mark.

    This HTML thing is amazingly fragile…it’s why a lot of sites strip all HTML from comments.

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  62. Danny said on April 24, 2008 at 10:06 am

    This HTML thing is amazingly fragile…it’s why a lot of sites strip all HTML from comments.

    Please. We’ll be good. I swear!

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  63. Dorothy said on April 24, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Well sometimes I’M amazingly fragile, but it never got me into a box with Danny! I’m jealous!

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  64. MichaelG said on April 24, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I saw Padma Lakshmi (truly a goddess) on television.

    I never could stand Garrison Keiller or his horrid show.

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  65. Dorothy said on April 24, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Was she sitting on top of your television, MichaelG, or was she inside the little box?

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  66. MichaelG said on April 24, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Inside the little box, alas.

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