Sigh.

Yesterday’s bike ride took me down Mack Avenue, past the Dodge dealership. Hey, gang! The 2009 Challengers are here. Try to contain your excitement:

My taste is famously out of step with the mainstream, so we’ll see whether it moves metal, as they say in Detroit. Fun fact: Guess how much those fancy wheels and low-profile tires add to the bottom line. Any brave souls? No? OK, I’ll tell you: $4,000. My first car didn’t cost much more than that.

In my entire stupid life, I have never been impressed by the tires and wheels of another’s car, although admittedly, I’m not in the target demographic. We caught most of “Tales of the Rat Fink” on Sundance the other evening, a fun documentary about Ed Roth, the original car customizer. I was interested in it mostly as a doc that breaks all the way free of the Ken Burns Bigfoot style — the story is moved along by several talking cars, their words indicated by flashing headlights, and no, I’m not kidding — but it left me thinking about Detroit, too.

The auto industry and Big Daddy Roth were yin and yang to one another, especially as Roth grew older and crazier in his designs. Roth imagined a world where everyone’s car would be unique in the truest sense of the word, thanks to customizing and easily moldable fiberglas. In this sense he was like a couture fashion designer, who imagines the entire world wants to express itself through clothing, when in truth most people just want their bodies appropriately shielded from eyes and weather. But the extremes feed the middle, and when it works we live in a world where a car is more than a rolling transpo-box and a jacket is a statement. My favorite part of “Tales of the Rat Fink” was the end, where the filmmakers draw literal lines between Roth’s innovations and things we take for granted today. (Did you know Roth was the first to paint designs on plain T-shirts? Now you do.)

I still think wheels like that are a waste of $4,000, however.

Quick bloggage, as I’ve got a full plate today:

Kwame Kilpatrick left office and the official mayoral residence today. Detroit is one of only a handful of cities to have a designated mayoral mansion, and today Freep.com ran a photo gallery of the Manoogian Mansion through the years. This was my favorite; how often do you see a one-lane bowling alley? Even Daniel Plainview had three or four.

You’ve all seen the Sarah Palin e-mail hack by now, no doubt. The most important takeaway lesson? If you’re running for vice-president, the whole world will know the answer to all your security questions. So tie up that loose end beforehand, ‘kthanksbai.

Sentences that do not inspire confidence: The financial crisis that began 13 months ago entered a new, far more serious phase as hopes that the damage could be contained have evaporated. Thanks, Wall Street Journal! Suggestion for comments discussion: In a collapsed world economy based on barter, what do you have to trade? I’m figuring a 10-second peek at my tits in a nice bra ought to be worth a few slices of bread to someone, but maybe not. What’ve you got?

Back later.

Posted at 9:32 am in Current events, Detroit life, iPhone |
 

66 responses to “Sigh.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Don’t cash your mutual fund, don’t sell/buy houses without 20% down, don’t name buildings or programs after politicians who aren’t dead at least a quarter-century, and put the next so-called stimulus plan into bridge maintenance, wastewater management in medium-sized cities, and new energy development incentives.

    And keep your shirt on.

    (Nancy, that last was to Congress; you do what you want, but it looks like a cold day off the lakes.)

  2. Jolene said on September 18, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Once upon a time, I thought it would be fun to have a collection of Hall China, made in Ohio in the early to mid-20th Century. It’s in my way now, so I’d be glad to trade it for food, gas, a few payments on my Netflix account, or the deductible on my health insurance policy.

  3. Dwight said on September 18, 2008 at 10:19 am

    hopes that the damage could be contained have evaporated.

    Hopes that, when articulated, sound a bit like, “Hey. Relax, everybody. Things are icky at the moment, but the fundamentals of our economy are strong. We’ll get through this. Just don’t panic.”

    As opposed to: “GAWD THINGS SUCK! IT’S THEIR FAULT! VOTE FOR ME, VOTE FOR ME, VOTE FOR MEEEEEEEE!”

  4. brian stouder said on September 18, 2008 at 10:24 am

    …and those trick wheels make ZERO sense in Detroit, or Fort Wayne, or any other northern city where winter comes, and the ground freezes, and the frostline goes down….and then the thaw comes, and the roads heave, and great chasms open, and THUNK THUNK

    your $4000 wheels are bent all to hell.

    Aside from that, and leaving aside specifically addressing what quantity of foodstuffs I’d give to the Proprietress for a private screening – I’m convinced that one absolute truth in life is: women have all the power, if they’ll only use it. (sorta the subtheme in The Wizard of Oz, if you ask me)

  5. Crabby said on September 18, 2008 at 10:25 am

    My first 5 or 6 cars added up didn’t total $4000, bunch of bugs and a $200 ’56 Ghia (bought in the early ’70s). I’d like to have the Ghia back.

  6. coozledad said on September 18, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Make sure you have a supply of insulated waterproof boots. Check the stitching. Thermal underwear, redundant sweaters from the Goodwill store. If you see any 50 gallon drums out by the highway, grab them. They’re gold.

  7. alex said on September 18, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Barter? I’ll fucking just have to perish.

  8. Danny said on September 18, 2008 at 11:06 am

    No, Alex. Me and you. We’ll start an argument clinic. People would pay. I mean, look at the gazillions that Flex Gunship has made in google-ads having us two around.

  9. LAMary said on September 18, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I can barter good meals for small bucks. Between old school cooking skills and my son’s garden, I can put together tasty nutritious meals on the cheap. Being raised mostly by a grandmother, I picked up a lot of useful info. Turning collars on dress shirts, gray water for the garden, making pillowcases from sheets that are worn in spots. I’m ready for the depression.

  10. brian stouder said on September 18, 2008 at 11:14 am

    You go, Beans!

  11. moe99 said on September 18, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Do we all remember how Gerald Ford botched his election bid when he goofed on Poland at the debates? I watched and knew at the time it was a boner. Well McCain has no idea in the world where Spain is and thinks that its President, Zapatero, is some sort of bad guy.

    Randy Gives it His Best Shot

    McCain Unsure If He’ll Meet With the Prime Minister of Spain

    McCain’s Pain in Spain

    McCain is older than Reagan when he was first elected to the WH. I think McCain is in the midst of a very obvious spiral down into senile dementia. If you watched any of his media interviews, he does not come across as on top of any topic other than to woodenly recite Republican talking points. If it were a deposition or hearing testimony, I could get it all stricken as nonresponsive.

    Folks, if you continue to argue that McCain is the greatest thing since sliced bread and a better informed candidate than the Democrat, I have a bridge in Alaska, I would like to sell you. I bet you dollars to donuts we see a suspicious bulge on McCain’s back during the debates, or else they’ve come up with something a little less obvious for him to use.

  12. Jolene said on September 18, 2008 at 11:30 am

    It is interesting to think of thriftiness as a set of skills. My mother is the last of a large Depression-era family. One of their practices was making clothes for kids out of adult clothing that was no longer presentable. Winter coats, for instance, have long fabric panels that may be in good condition in the middle, even though worn at the seams and hem.

  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2008 at 11:38 am

    The bulge in the back is actually the symbiont, which can’t be moved because the attachment to the spinal cord has to be below C-5 or the signals to the brain get crossed up with control of the musculature.

    But McCain won’t die, because the symbiont actually maintains heart function. The original Cheney parasite (i know, that sounds redundant) couldn’t make the insertions around the verterbrae to connect to the pericardial sac, so an artificial pacer/defib device had to be implanted, but later adaptive evolution (the symbionts have some ability to actually control t-RNA phases) means this problem no longer occurs.

    Palin’s symbiont got somehow attached at the top of the head, which the mothership is working on right now, but her heart function (due to all that hunting and fishing and such) doesn’t need direct assist for decades or even centuries, so it’s not a problem for now. The symbiont will have to be adjusted down after the full brain upload/download is completed, probably under some tailoring with belts in the back, that sort of thing. They did need to ensure early rapid symbiosis due to the quickness of the pick (Jindal’s symbiont just didn’t take, which happens sometimes), which can be promoted by UV radiation exposure, so the tanning bed will have to come down to One Observatory Circle after the elections.

    Doesn’t anyone still listen to Coast to Coast? C’mon people, don’t make me have to keep re-explaining this stuff.

  14. coozledad said on September 18, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Jolene: I’m just glad I managed to snag a treadle powered sewing machine that’s in good shape. I’ve already made a couple of blankets with it.

  15. Julie Robinson said on September 18, 2008 at 11:42 am

    My grandma made all the clothes for her six children, which included a set of twins, a fragile handicapped child, and a son who lost an arm in a farm accident (my dad). That’s ALL their clothes, from winter coats and hats down to their undies, made from feed sacks. In between she ran a farm house kitchen and canned everything in sight, including the beef from their cattle. It exhausts me just to think about it. What could I barter? Anyone need some mending done?

  16. LAMary said on September 18, 2008 at 11:44 am

    It is a set of skills, though. Scratch cooking and sewing, at least for middle class white folks, are boutique skills. All Project Runway and Martha Stewart.

  17. John said on September 18, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Folks, if you continue to argue that McCain is the greatest thing since sliced bread…

    So, by the principle of equivalency, if McCain is elected, then we all get a 10 second shot of the infamous Nall TaTas (albeit housed in a “nice bra”)?

  18. nancy said on September 18, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I’m thinking Charles Frazier really messed up in not including Coozledad’s house as a stop on the way home in “Cold Mountain.” It’s in the neighborhood, and it would have been a very entertaining chapter, IMO.

  19. Danny said on September 18, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Jeff. That killed. Hilarious!

    Regards, Bow Antler Palin

  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Following a routine system audit, the entity known as Jeff wants it known that his previous statements have been rendered inoperative. Please remove any recollection of those unauthorized comments from your current actions and statements until your consciousness can be updated by direct access. Your symbiont[koff] little friend will be by to visit soon. Please, welcome them with open arms, or at least a loosened collar button.

    That is all.

  21. Danny said on September 18, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Let me be the first to welcome our new symbiot overlords.

    I’ve always wanted to have one of those comfy little beds with my name on the side like pets do.

  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Yours will say “Bowl,” as the Mothership has determined. Or “Bowl Antler.” Dispute this no longer.

    On the brighter side, the symbionts like sugar, lots of it. So the making and eating of preserves is encouraged, especially the large vats of boiling water and steam which remind us so of the Homeworld. Pick your cherries and pit them and cook them down with large mounds of white, shiny, glistening sugar, and put them in those ingenious glass jars with the amusing two part lids that have a rubber ring seating them down onto the screw top.

    Under no circumstances are you to try to put us into these jars, Masonic or otherwise, and seal us up where our powers are useless against glass and rubber and galvanized tin. Do not try this. Make your preserves, and be content.

    [I burned my fingers over and over flipping those darn lids out of the hot water bath!]

  23. moe99 said on September 18, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    http://www.redroom.com/blog/tim-wise/this-your-nation-white-privilege

  24. Catherine said on September 18, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks to my grandmother, the last of the Victorians, I can sew & crochet, and clean obsessively. I also bake. Other than that, I’m an information worker… those spreadsheets, not so useful in the barter economy.

  25. Catherine said on September 18, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Moe, great link. I was with him till the last 2 paragraphs.

  26. Colleen said on September 18, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Moose Roadster here….

    Barter. Yikes. I can crochet and cook from scratch. That’s all I can offer…..

  27. LAMary said on September 18, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Homemade food on a doily. Now if we can find a market for it, we’re set.

  28. Connie said on September 18, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Barter? My husband once bartered one of his lovely chairs for a pair of (tiny) diamond earrings for his wife. His chairs: http://elmores.net/round-here/comments.php?id=548_0_1_6_C9

    As for me, sewing, crocheting, cooking, baking, canning, jam and apple butter making….I could maybe get by.

  29. alex said on September 18, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Commando Coalfire here.

    That link, Moe, reminded me of one of those forwarded e-mails making the rounds that I actually bothered to read just the other day. The one that ends with Jesus Christ being a community organizer.

    I thought it was cute, but hardly worth plagiarizing as it appears to have been by that blogger.

  30. moe99 said on September 18, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Here’s another Christian minister’s glowing endorsement of Sarah Palin.

    http://tinyurl.com/3kcp7e

    The Aesop’s fable that ‘you are known by the company you keep’ springs to mind.

  31. coozledad said on September 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Nancy: Y’all are welcome to the post -apocalyptic camporee out here, but I suspect it wont be long before everyone tires of eating yams and roasted soybeans. Also, whoever has to pull perimeter guard duty is going to be pondering existential questions more than is good for them.

  32. Jolene said on September 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Beautiful chair, Connie! You and your husband might do well in a barter economy.

  33. Studly Piles Palin said on September 18, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Oh, how I very much want that car. Pragmatism is so declasse. I’d even trade a genuine piece of a Palin’s true hockey stick, which I happen to have right here – twice blessed by Herself! I swear!

  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Connie, where is the drink holder and the leg rest?

  35. derwood said on September 18, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I can build a website if anyone needs one and I make a mean tollhouse cookie.

    Love,
    Cue Manhunt

  36. Danny said on September 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    The Aesop’s fable that ‘you are known by the company you keep’ springs to mind.

    Exxxxcelent point. Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers agree with you!

  37. moe99 said on September 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2008/09/financial_reforms.html

    This is a coda to yesterday’s discussions of all things financial. I think the reforms proposed are excellent.

  38. Jim in FL said on September 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Exxxxcelent point. Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers agree with you!

    As does, I’m sure, John Hagee.

    Cordially,

    Rink Rebate Palin

  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    With all due respect to Kevin Drum, you ought to just read Bob Kuttner’s article in full — not that long: http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=seven_deadly_sins_of_deregulation_and_three_necessary_reforms

    (David Corn really infuriates me, but Drum is a reason to pick up MJ and flip past Corn’s warmed over Marxism.)

    Gramm has never explained repeal of Glass-Steagel in a way that made sense to me, other than it was only half of what he wanted to do, and he never got the other half finished. Could be. Doesn’t make McCain’s team as skanky as some want to say just because they took advice from him (Fiorina finally nuked herself, a day too late.)

    I agree with almost all of Kuttner’s plan, i just don’t think Pres. Obama’s as likely to do it as Pres. McCain would. Neither is perfect, but one looks more potentially effective as things stand. I’d be delighted to be proven wrong, and hope to be around to say so if a) Barack wins, and b) he does all this stuff Kuttner outlines, as opposed to making his first three acts signing FOCA, a ban on GMO in American foods, and a capital gains tax bump.

  40. Danny said on September 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I saw Robert Kuttner on Hannity and Colmes a few nights ago. He just dismantled Hannity. Pretty funny.

    Sean is right sometimes, but a lot of the time he is water-carrying doofus.

    EDIT: I just saw the news about Fiorina. Man, she isn’t too bright. I probably agree with her assessment that all four candidates are not qualified to run a large business, but the old elementary school saying comes to mind: “Takes one to know one.” She had no business being an economic advisor in the first place.

  41. Dorothy said on September 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Add me to the list of crochet-ers. I’m a quilter and I sew. I love to read aloud, but I don’t think there’s much of a market for that. But you never know. Maybe I could teach McCain how to use the Interwebs.

    Your friend among the Palins,
    Mudslide

  42. Danny said on September 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Mudslide, we have Don’t Get Caught with Your Pantry Down on our bookshelf at home. We bought it back during the pre-Y2K days, but since we never read it, we would have been caught out in the crosshairs of armegeddon.

    My plan back then (and to this day) is non-existent. Maybe I’ll just run around and scream until I run into a light pole and knock myself unconcious. That and eat Cheetos and Count Chocula.

  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Can you crochet the tubes of the internets into a web? That would be useful skill after the deluge a la Kunstler.

  44. joodyb said on September 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    wow. i usually try to be asleep before george gets to those people, jeff. else i stay up all night. course, that’s usually why the radio is on in the first place. oh, and one word: tongs.

    carly is a good example of blind narcissistic GOP patronage as well as the noonan factor (doesn’t know when to keep her trap shut/had a good thing going).

    i too heart the chair, connie. a work of art.

    btw: an unscientific face-to-face survey reveals colleagues prefer my Palin-ator name to my real one.
    yours,
    Rock Crane

  45. Dexter said on September 18, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Anybody who loved the Dodge SuperCars of the 1960’s will love these videos of Mr. Norm, of Grand Spaulding Dodge of Chicago. http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=box60rO7C50

  46. ellen said on September 18, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I have approximately 30 children’s books committed to memory, thanks to bedtime reading to 3 young kids. I will make a great griot. One of the kids is a great tap dancer. We are going to become a vaudeville troupe.

  47. MichaelG said on September 18, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I can’t crochet but I’m crotchety.

  48. Dexter said on September 18, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    In the spirit of Big Daddy Roth, here’s an excerpt of KNOW YOUR MUSHROOM
    What a trip, man!

  49. Dorothy said on September 18, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Loved that, MichaelG, really loved that!

  50. Julie Robinson said on September 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I CAN crochet and I’m crotchety too. Especially off my pain meds.

  51. coozledad said on September 18, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Dexter: That guy reminds me of a friend of mine in college. He was apparently a very good tennis player, and he tripped as often as his brain enzymes would permit. He seemed to function alright, especially considering the school we were attending, but he was consistently late for everything.
    He majored in philosophy, and knew which professors used (virtually all of them, and mostly heroin). He didn’t do heroin himself- just acid, acid, acid.
    I wonder if he’s teaching somewhere.

  52. Dexter said on September 18, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    coozie: That reminds me of a basketball game I watched in the 1970’s. A player from either the Badgers or Gophers attempted a free throw. The ball was aimed and sent soaring towards the rim and netting…and fell five feet in front of the player’s shoes…not from slipping, from miscalculating how much energy to unleash to propel the basketball fifteen feet.
    It was so obviously an acid trip in the worst possible setting.
    This anecdote makes it all the more amazing that Dock Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates threw a no-hitter while tripping on LSD.

    Thanks to Michael Horowitz of Flashback Books for providing this information which was printed in Lysergic World San Francisco, April 16-19, 1993

    Los Angeles, April 8, 1984- Former Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher Dock Ellis says he was under the influence of LSD when he pitched a 1970 no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.

    Ellis, now co-ordinator of an anti drug program in Los Angeles, said he didn’t know until six hours before his June 12, 1970 no hitter that he was going to pitch.

    “I was in Los Angeles, and the team was playing in San Diego , but I didn’t know it. I had taken LSD….. I thought it was an off-day, that’s how come I had it in me. I took the LSD at noon. At 1pm, his girlfriend and trip partner looked at the paper and said, “Dock, you’re pitching today!”

    “That’s when it was $9.50 to fly to San Diego. She got me to the airport at 3:30. I got there at 4:30, and the game started at 6:05pm. It was a twi-night doubleheader.

    I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria.

    I was zeroed in on the (catcher’s) glove, but I didn’t hit the glove too much. I remember hitting a couple of batters and the bases were loaded two or three times.

    The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him. I chewed my gum until it turned to powder. They say I had about three to four fielding chances. I remember diving out of the way of a ball I thought was a line drive. I jumped, but the ball wasn’t hit hard and never reached me.”

    The Pirates won the game, 2-0, although Ellis walked eight batters. It was the highpoint in the baseball career of one of the finer pitchers of his time, and arguably,one of the greatest achievements in the history of sports.

  53. MaryC said on September 18, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    My dad could fix anything. Neighbours and relatives never threw out a toaster or an iron until he had patched it up countless times. He made some of his own farm equipment, fixed chairs (turning new chair legs on his lathe) and put a second storey on our house. My mom knitted all our sweaters, cooked everything from scratch and made soap.

    I can do none of these things. Like Catherine, I can construct a mean spreadsheet but that’s about it. Maybe I could hire myself out as a plant stand. Will Hold Plants For Food.

  54. basset said on September 18, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I remember hearing the Grand Spaulding commercials on WLS in Chicago back in the late Sixties… some years later I was working on a car show and we did a piece on one of the GSS Darts he’s talking about in that Youtube video:

    http://www.colinsclassicauto.com/drivein.php?title=dart

    Mr. Norm was selling enough cars and had enough juice with Chrysler that he got them to pull a few ’68 383 Darts off the line and stuff a 440 wedge in there… had to sawzall the fender wells out to make room for the headers, and they didn’t go around corners too well because there wasn’t space for the front wheels to turn.

    Had a chance to drive this one and declined, didn’t want to be responsible if it got away from me…

  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    And who was the newsboy who shouted car ads on Chicago TV in the 70s who finally got a pie in the face?

    Loved that ad.

  56. moe99 said on September 18, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Quote from a Yahoo article about McCain on the meltdown on Wall Street:

    ‘Palin also talked about business tax cuts that would be a priority in “a Palin and McCain administration.”’

    hmmmm…..

  57. Bill said on September 19, 2008 at 12:32 am

    The newsboy was “Timmy.”

  58. Gasman said on September 19, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Richard Cohen, a self confessed recovering McCain sycophant has done a 180° turn concerning his admiration for Mr. Straight Talk:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/15/AR2008091502406.html?referrer=emailarticle

    Cohen’s characterization is right on the mark: McCain is a liar and a parody of the maverick he claims to be. McCain simply doesn’t believe that he needs to be truthful anymore. Mr. Integrity has sold his honor for the prospect of becoming president. His hunger for the office is so all consuming that he was willing to choose that vapid twit Sarah Palin to be his VP simply to pander to the right wing Christian vote. The more I hear from Palin, the more I am convinced that Dan Quayle is her intellectual superior.

    As I write this, a McCain ad is still touting that Palin said “no” to Washington and stopped the Bridge to Nowhere. They’ve been exposed as liars and yet they continue. That’s why I won’t be voting for Republicans this year.

  59. moe99 said on September 19, 2008 at 1:38 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvUsdmqGYV8&eurl

    a model of doublespeak, Ms. Palin is.

  60. Jolene said on September 19, 2008 at 3:32 am

    WRT the Cohen op-ed, he is only one of many people who are disappointed in “the new McCain.”

    From Elizabeth Drew in Politico: How John McCain lost me

    From Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post: True Whoppers

    From Adam Nagourney in the NYT: A New McCain on the Campaign Trail

    Of course, it’s easy to dismiss all these writers as being disappointed now that McCain is not playing w/ them in a way that he once did, but what saddens them, I think, is the sense that he has not only lost them, but lost himself.

    I’m not so taken w/ the idea that “the old McCain” was someone I’d have wanted to be president, but, even if I had thought that, I’d be worried. As a general rule, when people give up their essential selves to get somewhere, they find themselves in a place they don’t want to be and/or aren’t successful.

  61. alex said on September 19, 2008 at 7:14 am

    McCain lost me when he went to Bob Jones University during the 2000 primaries. And he lost the primaries after Bush swift-boated his military record with nasty ads in the south.

    (Not that McCain really ever had me. But for a brief time I thought that if the country had to be run by a Republican, he’d be better than the rest of the field.)

  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 19, 2008 at 7:38 am

    “it’s easy to dismiss all these writers as being disappointed now that McCain is not playing w/ them,” and there are also some reporters (Drew, Marcus, Nagourney, many more) who have some bad karma they want to work out over abandoning Al Gore in 2000 because he and his staff stopped being buddy-buddy on the trail. Coverage got harsher and thinner, and Gore dropped — by the time they realized it really was having an effect, it was too late to try to help pull him back up.

    And they realized that it did have an effect, even when they didn’t intend to . . . so that would mean that . . . hmmmm.

    The whole “McCain’s sold out” meme is balloon-juice, anyhow. He’s done some political stuff as a politician . . . Obama has little track record, and keeps kicking what little he has under the carpet or under the rug, and no one even is looking at Biden’s equivalent stands to compare because they’re all busy thumbing through Palin’s expense accounts and e-mails and baby pictures.

    McCain’s a moron, they say, since we have every academic record and every paper the man ever wrote out on display — Obama won’t release any of his academic records, even lists of classes, let alone grades. Kerry only had his come out two years ago, to reveal what many of us suspected — Bush had better grades. Colleagues at Obama’s early jobs have said his writing is beautiful, but inaccurate about what he did and the circumstances under which he did it. McCain has put out *every* medical record ever done on him, and Obama has put out a one page letter saying “he’s healthy.” McCain’s entire career is an open book, and most of Obama’s organizer work is sealed, and you get loud squealing all over the map when anyone tries to get access to minutes or details or interview anyone other than Emil Jones.

  63. John said on September 19, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Obscenity isn’t the only thing that disturbs some. On Tuesday, another Saudi cleric, Sheik Mohammed Munajjid, said the cartoon character Mickey Mouse should be killed. Munajjid said in an interview with a religious Web site that under Islamic law, rats and mice are considered “repulsive” and as “soldiers of Satan.”

    Just a note to remind everyone why we love America! And, don’t forget that today is “Talk Like a Pirate Day”!

  64. basset said on September 19, 2008 at 8:18 am

    back to acid for a minute… when I was at IU in the mid 70s one of my friends drove a campus bus, claimed he did it tripping a few times. apparently that sharp left under the bridge at the east end of Tenth St. was particularly interesting.

  65. brian stouder said on September 19, 2008 at 8:21 am

    So, a defender of the McCain-Palin campaign (or the Palin-McCain campaign, if you ask the saucey cipher her-own-self!) is going after Obama for not releasing records?

    Get back to me about “open books” when the Obama campaign starts defying subpoenas, as the Palin-McCain campaign now does.

    McCain is sometimes (wrongly) called a “moron” because he gets confused and forgets that Spain ain’t in North or South America, and that they’re a friend and not a foe; or he promises to fire people that ‘serve at the pleasure of the president’ who actually cannot be summarily fired by the president; or he makes statements almost comically at odds with the surrounding reality, or with what he said just the day before.

    I say ‘wrongly’, because McCain is no moron. But when it comes to intellectual agility, his best days are behind him.

    Physically, none of us have any guarantees, no matter what the most detailed “clean bill of health” report might show; McCain might live another 30 years, and Obama might keel over before the next news cycle is completed.

    And on that basis, Obama/Biden strikes me as infinitely preferable to McCain/Palin – she of the soft-ball/soft-focus Shawn Hannity-style questions, and the subpoena squelching spouse

    edit: Arrrrrrr!

  66. Jolene said on September 19, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Jeff, I don’t really want to get into a tit-for-tat, but you are off base on a number of points. McCain’s a moron? You’re the first one I’ve ever heard say that. Obama has been secretive about his time at Columbia; I figure he must have taken a lot of classes that have titles people could interpret as leftist, but who cares? He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law. Won’t that do?

    Obama acknowledged in the preface to his first book that he had done some fictionalizing. I agree w/ you that it’s a problem, but it’s been acknowledged.

    I don’t think the “McCain’s not being McCain” meme is balloon-juice. It comes from too many places, and there are too many different parts to the story. Can you think of a reason why a man who has traveled all over the world, who has read history extensively, and whose public statements have rarely focused on the concerns of cultural conservatives would choose Sara Palin as his running mate that is anything other than deeply cynical?

    What is that line? “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”