Impostor Rabbit.

I had Sunday lunch at Lance Mannion’s rooftop aerie in Fort Wayne many many years ago, back when Lance was an assistant professor teaching freshman English at Ball State. Among the guests were a couple of his colleagues, and one told a hilarious story that Lance now has zero memory of:

A third English department colleague was having lunch at a McDonald’s in Indianapolis. He had just bitten into his Big Mac when a woman approached him and said, shyly, “You’re John Updike, aren’t you?” The guy telling the story mimed the action perfectly — the sandwich held to his mouth, the glance up at the woman standing next to the table — and the English professor’s reaction, which was to put the burger down, wipe his hands on a napkin, chew a bit to clear his mouth and then reply:

“Yes. Yes I am.”

The woman, needless to say, was delighted. John Updike! Eating at a McDonald’s in Indianapolis! What are the odds? About the odds of a man misidentified as a famous writer being an actual English professor with a deep familiarity with that writer’s work, that’s what, because he carried on a conversation with the woman for several minutes. She said things like, “I know most critics say (this book) is your best, but I always liked (that book) better,” and he replied, slyly “This is just between us, but (that book) is my favorite, too.” It turned out she had a copy of one of his novels with her, and presented it for signing, which he did, along with a warm personal note. By the time she excused herself, I’m sure she felt she’d had a Celebrity Brush With Greatness for the record books, the sort of thing you hope for when you spot one of your heroes out in the wild and almost never have. Now that we’ve entered a time when everybody has a blog, I’m Googling “‘john updike’ + mcdonald’s + indianapolis” to see if maybe that woman is sharing the story, but so far the only references I get are to Lance’s blog, when I prompted him to tell the story a few years back, and my own, when I alluded to it. It’s sort of suspicious that Lance had no memory of this story; I recall it bringing the house down that day, and now I’m wondering if it’s just a figment of my imagination. No. My imagination isn’t that inventive.

Some prime bloggage today. I have something you journalists are going to love. The rest of you will love it, too:

Rotary-dial phones! Those old modems with the cups! You’ll notice one of the participating papers was the Columbus Dispatch — that’s because the service provider for all this was Compuserve, based there. I can still summon the sight of the copy editor whose job it was to handle the upload, and Kirk will remember his name, but I don’t. I sent this to someone this morning, who replied: It’s like a slasher movie; THE INTERNET’S IN THE HOUSE!!!! GET OUT!!!! IT WANTS TO KILL YOU AND YOUR PROFESSION. Man, I’ll say.

Eric Zorn at the Chicago Tribune sends me a lot of love, and I don’t send enough of it back, but it’s not guilt that prompts me to recommend his bloggage of Blago, which has been truly inspired — from an over/under estimate on use of the word “people” in a particular interview (he set the bar at 23, which turned out to be waaaaay low, as the guv dropped the p-bomb 73 times), to this analysis of yet another set of pet phrases. This particular public embarrassment was made for blogging, and you could do far worse. Go see Eric today.

In the Department of Other Shoes, I hesitate to link to this because it won’t mean anything to readers outside of Detroit, and those who know about it don’t need the prompt, but: As usual, the sex scandal is only the appetizer for the money scandal, as we are finding out in regard to city administration. This place makes Chicago look like Minnesota.

Short shrift today, but we’re in the midst of another snowstorm — it does, literally, look like Minnesota at the moment — and I have to go deal with it. New question: Will the snowblower fling the dog poo from the driveway, left there because the snow’s too deep for the little guy to find his usual grassy spots? I’ll keep you posted.

Posted at 9:57 am in Current events, Media |

44 responses to “Impostor Rabbit.”

  1. Connie said on January 28, 2009 at 10:22 am

    My hubby has spent years being mistaken for Steven Spielberg. I don’t see it, and he handles it well, and NEVER claims to be him.

    My first computer and Dialog data base search were on a computer in a brief case, key board, daisy wheel printer, and those modem cups. There was no screen, you communicated via the keyboard and printer. In those long ago days librarians who knew the ins and outs of database searches could command the (relatively) big bucks. Partly because you paid for those searches by the number of seconds they took.

    And if you left your results printout in the car on a hot day it turned completely black, thermal paper after all.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I’m gonna miss Updike. This piece sums up much that i liked about him —

    Now to chisel 3/4 inch of ice off the drive . . . even Ohio State called off this am, let alone Denison. Which doesn’t mean the LW stays home, but what a day — waiting on a snowfall follow up to the ice, to pull the wires down to where the trucks can catch them a wreak even more havoc.

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  3. harrison said on January 28, 2009 at 10:55 am

    nance, do you have any idea when the tv news segment was made and broadcast? i’m guessing late 1970s or early 1980s from the newscaster’s hairdo.

    and if any other readers know, then please post it below, and than

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  4. harrison said on January 28, 2009 at 10:56 am

    continued …

    and thanks in advance.

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  5. nancy said on January 28, 2009 at 11:01 am

    The YouTube originating page says it’s from KRON, in 1981.

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  6. whitebeard said on January 28, 2009 at 11:11 am

    In my larger-self, darker-bearded days, I was mistaken for Luciano Pavarotti in a restaurant after he gave a concert that my wife attended in Hartford and a man had to almost physically restrain his wife from barging into the men’s room to get my autograph.
    When I got back to my table, my wife hustled me and our two daughters out of the restaurant and waited until we were outside before she told me what had almost happened. It explained why the woman was looking at me with wide eyes as we walked by her table.

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  7. Sue said on January 28, 2009 at 11:20 am

    The only brush with fame I can recount was when my son ran into the Hanson Brothers at the Bradley center in Milwaukee, walking right toward him. Chances are they were the real thing, given the circumstances (Admirals game, guest appearance, etc.). They chatted with him for awhile and were very personable, and hockey fan that I am, I was jealous.
    I hear you don’t mess with Garrison Keillor, Tom Clancy or Steven King, so don’t impersonate them either, I guess.

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  8. Gasman said on January 28, 2009 at 11:35 am

    After seeing Blogo on Nightline on Monday I think that I’ve predicted what we’ll be hearing from him for the rest of his life. It goes something like this:

    “Those statements were taken out of context. I am dying to tell you my side of the story. Once you get the whole story you’ll understand that I did not do anything wrong. In the fullness of time, I will be vindicated.”

    It’s a rather pathetic and imbecilic tactic to be sure, but it appears to be the best he’s got. It’s his story and he’s sticking to it.

    As a relatively young and healthy man he’ll most likely be around for decades. I predict his story will not waiver, and yet, somehow he won’t see his way clear to reveal his version of the full truth. The fullness of time will never arrive and we will never know in what proper context his utterances make sense.

    I used to get mistaken for former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. We are both cyclists and with my helmet, sunglasses, and big nose I was often pointed and gawked at as I rode around Santa Fe. Foolishly, I did not capitalize on the confusion and exempt myself from taxes or declare a state holiday in my name. I did get to meet him, and in addition to our similar schnozes, we were about the same height and build. Politically, however, there was no resemblance at all.

    It is gratifying to contemplate the possibility of a few of the corrupt Detroit weasels being sucked down in Kilpatrick’s wake. If Conyers is one of them, I will shed no tears. Good riddance.

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  9. Kirk said on January 28, 2009 at 11:39 am

    You speaking of Jim Crowley, Nance?

    And my latest brush with greatness would have meaning only to a hockey fan (or a harness racing fan, which is harder to find). We chatted with former Montreal Canadiens great Serge Savard after his horse won the Little Brown Jug, one of the biggest races in the country, in Delaware last September.

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  10. nancy said on January 28, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Crowley was the second guy to do that job. It’s his predecessor I’m thinking of, and all I can summon is a collection of memories, among them his tale of woe over having been upbraided for giving an obscene slug to a wire story. The story was on a theft of prize bull semen, and he slugged it COWCUM. This was verboten for several reasons, the best of which is that the composing room guys would slice the slugline off the copy when it came out of the typesetter, and then stick it on the margin of the page when they laid it out. More than once, these fragments were picked up by the camera when the page was shot, and no one wanted an actual reader seeing that.

    His defense: I was just trying to be funny.

    But that’s the guy. Sort of a goof.

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  11. LA Mary said on January 28, 2009 at 11:55 am

    My old friend Gerald Kolpan had this term “blagong,” describing a look or behavior that was obnoxious. They way he described “blagong,” was it was the word Bud Abbot, of Abbot and Costello, looked like he had just finished saying.
    Anyway, Blagojevich, to me, looks like a goy who just finished saying, “blagong.” And he is blagong in every way. I’m sure Gerald would concur with this, but he’s promoting his first book and is incapable of talking about anything else, understandably.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Everyone in Ohio, tune in Gov. Strickland on PBS, and we’ll see what our future brings. It’s gonna be quite an hour . . .

    (and i just calculated that i spent the last hour relocating 4950 pints of frozen fluid from drives and sidewalks onto adjoining lawns…i’m tired enough to enjoy a political speech, esp. one that may shape my future pretty significantly)

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  13. jeff borden said on January 28, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Gee, wish we had a governor like Ted Strickland.

    Actually, I’m guessing we will have a decent governor by Friday. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn is a “goo goo” beloved by the Better Government Assn. so we will have an honest man at last in the governor’s office.

    Unfortunately, we’ll still have Roland “Trail Blazer” Burris in a Senate seat he has no right to occupy. And it’s all the fault of the Illinois Democratic Party, who preferred to roll the dice on an appointment rather than hold an open election where a Republican might win. Now, given the enormous, almost Blagojevich-sized ego of Burris, they’ll wind up slating him to run for a full term in 2010 and the GOP should have a very good chance of knocking him off. As a liberal Democrat, I’m not sure I’d vote for him if the Republicans run a good candidate.

    Of course, the last time the Illinois GOP needed a senatorial candidate, they had to recruit the looney Alan Keyes from Maryland. Keyes rented an apartment in Calumet City, where he never spent a day or night, long enough to be considered a legal resident of Illinois. And, of course, he was crushed by Obama.

    The Republican bench isn’t very deep in Illinois. But a smart, capable and clean candidate might do very, very well against a hack like Roland Burris.

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  14. beb said on January 28, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I was mistaken for Santa Claus once.

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  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Hey, don’t forget who we had running for us before Keyes — Mr. 7 of 9 who couldn’t let well enough alone, maritally speaking.

    Gov. Ted sez we’re going to 200 days in school from 180, longer days for service learning and tutoring, and increase teacher compensation along with accountability . . . and we’re all going to learn how to whistle and make money fall out of our ears, because even cutting the snot out of behavioral health (didn’t confirm, didn’t deny, so we still don’t know), they can’t pay for this on a good day — oh, and higher ed can’t raise tuition or fees for two years, and vets get free at state schools. It all sounds good, but it sounds like he’s hoping for Obama-manna to fall from the sky and pay all this until he’s out of office and the next schmuck has to raise taxes.

    The CNBC guy on Morning Joe (Dylan something?) had a brilliant idea, IMHO: if we’re suddenly cool with spending trillions for stimulus, then let’s pull back employer based health care with those dollars! It guarantees productivity of business, the money will be spent (into the health care costs which go right into the domestic economy), and builds job growth. I vote for that, but on Ted’s plan i’m still abstaining.

    It’s hard to figure when, on a snow day, we break the news to the Lad that his governor just sentenced him to 20 more days of school a year . . . ahhh, i’ll let his teachers tell him tomorrow.

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  16. Dexter said on January 28, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I used to get mistakenly identified all the time, but only once for a celebrity; for me, it was usually someone’s old friend they hadn’t seen for a while, something like that. Once I was attending a Traffic concert at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN. In the concourse a girl approached me and told me she was so glad I had talked her out of buying the shoes she had in mind, as she was convinced I was the clerk who sold her her new shoes that day. She got really mad when I told her I never worked in a shoe store.
    Once I got approached by a young woman who was sure I was this guy
    Anybody recognize him? And…I really look NOTHING like him at all! People are strange!

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  17. brian stouder said on January 28, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Charles Grodin?

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  18. moe99 said on January 28, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Neil Gaiman awarded the Newberry:


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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Like Bono, Neil is one of the nicest cussers around! That’s good news.

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  20. Sue said on January 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Yay! Neil Gaiman is co-author of one of my all-time favorite books, Good Omens. Anansi Boys wasn’t bad, either.

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  21. alex said on January 28, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    A gay man writing about nancy boys? Say what?

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  22. joodyb said on January 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Keillor’s rep is somewhat apocryphal, i think, given his historic feud with elements of the local press who dogged him 2 decades ago (going through trash, looking in windows). i think it was shortly thereafter he bolted in a huff for NYC. most know how that turned out: he came back.

    a couple times i sat not 15 feet from him at the st. paul hotel – a great bar if ever you’re marooned here – he was alone, reading, drinking red wine. not exactly the behavior of one who doesn’t want to be recognized, for what it’s worth.

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  23. joodyb said on January 28, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    oh, alex.

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    One of my favorite writers about another (can’t figure out how to work Gaiman into this one) —

    Joody, you can’t tell me Neil didn’t know the Nancy-boy jokes were inevitable when he went with that title, so i take it as part of the plan.

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  25. LA Mary said on January 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    I was once mistaken for Norris Church, Norman Mailer’s last wife.

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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    You mean he took a swing at you?

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  27. LA Mary said on January 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I think he was over the wife beating thing by the time he got to Norris. If I had seen him I would have asked, “do you still beat your wife?”

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  28. basset said on January 28, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Dexter, I was at that Traffic concert… sat in the basketball press row. Fairport Convention opened, at one point Dave Swarbrick said something to the audience, got no reaction, yelled “An’ ya don’ unnerstan’ a worrd Ah’m sayin, doo ya?” and still no response, or maybe just a little.

    I remember Traffic not being very good that night; mics going out, other equipment problems to throw them off, and the jams never quite got rolling.

    Winwood, I’m thinking, is the only one of that Traffic lineup left alive… am I right? Jim Capaldi, dead… Chris Wood, think he’s dead… Reebop Kwaku Baah, seems I remember hearing that he’s dead too.

    and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s piano player died today, there might just be one or two of that band still on this earth as well.

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  29. JGW said on January 28, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I guess I have been more fortunate than some readers in terms of encounters with famous people.
    Starting with Presidents I shoke Reagan’s hand at an event in 1984 (I was 17), met Bush 1 at an airport handshake thing also in 1984, got to staff Bill Clinton for a day (long and incredible story) on his first trip to NJ. It was 5 days after the first WTC bombing. I got to drive a van full of national radio reporters, we were in the motorcade but not in the secure package. My friend got to be in the package, he drove the death watch car, the networks plan to never have to depend on a Zapruder film again. His job was cooler, Wolf Blitzer rode shotgun. The car was a buick station wagon and a network pool camera guy rode on the roof and was strapped to the luggage rack.
    We got to shake Bill’s hand on the tarmac at Newark Airport as he boarded the Gulfstream AF1. He looked coked out and spent three hours in the MTV CHoose or Loose bus at Rutgers with Tabitha Soren and no one else…. Secret Service was already demoralized and it was just MArch 1, 1993, and the NJ STate Police were not amused as they had the NJ Turnpike closed all afternoon.
    I got to meet Shatner when I was a motel desk clerk in college and he was doing dinner theater. I was an ass and directed him to the turbolift.
    At the same job I got to take three of the Hooters to a mall on a sunday because the local ones were closed for blue laws. It was 6 months or so after “and we danced,” but it was fun.
    I have met 4 NJ governers (including McGreevey, who got in a shoving match with another reporter I worked with who wrote a column calling him Jim Shady). Whitman told someone who introduced me to her, “I know who the fuck he is,” a very high compliment.
    But my favorite celeb encounters was selling seafood to Lou Dobbs when I worked a PT job at an A&P and that when my family flew to Ft. Wayne for my wedding Bobby Brown was in front of them but still in coach for that Northwest DTW flight to Detroit. My teenage sisters were very impressed.
    Ohh, and as for Presidents I once worked for a pool service that cleaned Tricky Dick’s pool in Saddle River, NJ, but it sucked so I quit after a few weeks.
    My favorite celeb encounter didn’t involve me directly but a good friend and my best man is a Federal Air Marshal. They always ride in first (a budget item that should be trimmed) and he often meets celebs. Ollie North figured out who he was and when they got to Dulles he saluted him and thanked him for his service, basically outed him.
    But he rode next to John Edwards in early 2005, after the election, etc. He took Edwards as vain and an annoying seatmate and he told him that he lost because the American electorate is dumb and gave this case in point: my wife was stunned to hear the host of “Crossing Over,” was running for Vice-President but that he would be a good choice because he could ask Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, and Reagan for help.
    That shut Edwards up and it doesn’t say much for me.

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  30. brian stouder said on January 28, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    So, I watched the C-SPAN congressional vote tally unfold on the stimulus package this evening, and noted that exactly ZERO Republicans voted for it.

    For this to be a viable political gambit, the House Republicans MUST now actively desire the ultimate failure of this economic initiative; or, as their radio-yapping fat-assed spiritual leader Mullah Limbaugh used to darkly (and with typical dishonesty) say about the Democrats (regarding the war in Iraq) – they are now fully invested in failure! Continuing economic upheaval and pain is the dividend they seek; the worse the better!

    One could understand serious disagreements and differences of opinion; but when precisely ZERO House Republicans will vote for something, then we have something much smaller going on.

    edit: I was also quite taken by the early ’80’s video clip about the proto-internet, and wondered about the optimistic young fellow who was featured in there, David Cole, and then did what any 21st century surfer would do – I googled David Cole!…and he Simpsonized!

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  31. Dexter said on January 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    bassett…as I recall , by 1974, Traffic was mostly a trio , plus imported Jamaican bass player Rosko Gee, with Winwood-Wood-Capaldi forming the old nucleus of the sound…Wood died 26 years ago of liver failure, and Capaldi died at age 60 of cancer a few years ago. Winwood must be about 63 years old…I last saw him in Chicago at Clapton’s Crossroads gig, the one Bill Murray MC’d.
    brian stouder: yeah, Chas. Grodin…and I really don’t favor him at all, oh well!
    I damn-nearly over-did it today with the snow shovel, man, I had a lot of shovelling to do…still got a car stuck in the driveway…a new neighbor tried to help and then a man driving a truck down the street got out and pushed the car free, and both men grabbed shovels and helped me clear the whole pathway for the car…bad weather and snow brings out the best in some people….

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  32. Lance Mannion said on January 28, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    It’s my memory that’s going, Nance. A. says though that the reason I don’t remember telling the story that day is that I didn’t tell it. My office mate did. So it’s not your imagination.

    I was surprised by Sue’s report that Garrison Keillor’s a bear when out in public. I interviewed him once upon a time and he was gracious, patient, and friendly. He had to cut the interview short to go catch a plane, but he offered to call me back from his hotel in whatever city he was off to when he got in. I had a deadline and we’d already spoken for an hour (his agent had scheduled half an hour) so I thanked him and told him not to bother. But I’ve always wondered if he’d have done it if I’d said yes. My feeling at the time was that he would have.

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  33. Lance Mannion said on January 28, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Of course, there is the possibility that I wasn’t talking to the real Garrison Keillor. Maybe I dialed the wrong number and got a wiseguy like my old colleague. Maybe I got my old colleague. Maybe he’s made a career out of impromptu impersonations of American writers.

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  34. Dexter said on January 29, 2009 at 12:17 am

    By the way, when Garrison Keillor ran off, he ran further than NYC…he moved to Denmark with his old high school chum; they met at a reunion and were married in 1985—it lasted 5 years—I don’t know how long he lived in Denmark but he gave the impression he was moving for good…had a farewell, end-of-PHC show, and lo and behold!—he came back to St. Paul and resumed the show.
    The only celebrities I ever ran into or spoke to at any length were athletes and coaches, and I won’t bore you with who’s a prick and who’s a great guy, except for one: NFL analyst John Madden is very accommodating and kind to strangers; I rode an Amtrak with him in the lounge car back before he got his custom buses to cart him all over the USA.

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  35. moe99 said on January 29, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Ah, but Dexter, you forget that when Garrison Keillor ran off years later with the Danish woman who had been an exchange student in his high school, he left his significant other, Margaret Moose, who had helped produce A Prairie Home Companion, in the lurch. Many of us long timers were rather incensed by the callous way he treated Margaret, as she was a universal favorite. Garrison’s first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion was at Macalester College but a number of years after I had graduated.

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  36. Deborah said on January 29, 2009 at 7:54 am

    I spotted Garrison Keillor last year in the Albuquerque airport. I was very discreet about pointing him out to my husband. Later two women went up to him and chatted. He seemed very polite. He looked like a bum though, he was wearing untied Converse sneakers, red ones I think, and a big baggy trench coat.

    The closest I ever got to a president was seeing Clinton jogging in St. Louis, he had pink chubby legs. This was before he was elected the first time. I also saw McGovern (of course he never made it to being president). I campaigned for him while I was in college.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 29, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Brian — — there’s an assortment of reasons why even 11 Democrats could be against this peculiar “stimulus” bill. It’s not a “stimulus” (even Kramer on CNBC agrees with that, and the CBO charts i linked), it’s a “grow government over the next five years” bill, and to continue what it starts, without even starting to pay down what it incurs, would take then raising (in ’14-’15) upper tier marginal tax rates to around 60%.

    If this was billions for roads/bridges (new and old rehab), water/sewer, grid upgrades, and NPS deferred maintenance, i’d be for it; if it was a major step to remove health insurance from employment status, and at the same short term cost, i’d be for it, but this is a bill worth voting against — it kicks actual decision making about paying for government another presidential term down the road, and jacks the size of it without putting much into the national economy for the next 18 mos.

    I’m gonna go check out that SarahPAC website after all . . .

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  38. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 29, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Feeling cold? Could be colder —

    Needing some warmth? Try this for secondhand comfort —

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  39. basset said on January 29, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Dexter, you’re right… forgot about Rosko Gee. “When the Eagle Flies” was their new record at the time.

    about five feet from me right now I have a framed poster from a J. Geils show at Assembly Hall in September of ’73, top ticket price $5…

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  40. brian stouder said on January 29, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Jeff tmmo –

    but oddly enough, there are several Senate Republicans who do support the stimulus package.

    After the November electoral house cleaning, it is true enough to say that the (greatly reduced!) number of Republican members of congress really do unanimously agree with you that this plan is NOT what is ‘best’ for the country…and they may even truly believe that doing NOTHING is better than doing THIS.

    Possibly it is a coincidence that Mullah Rush was exhorting members of congress yesterday (including two who called into his show!) to make SURE that NO Republican vote for this plan.

    Possibly there is SOME plan that the majority party could propose that the minority party would vote for, rather than choosing inaction, political paralysis, and endless unproductive cycles of The Blame Game (aka No We Can’t politics)

    Possibly one could make the argument that the national Republican party is NOT “invested in defeat” now; but I honestly don’t see it

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  41. whitebeard said on January 29, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Re Jeff (the mild-mannered one) “there’s an assortment of reasons why even 11 Democrats could be against this peculiar “stimulus” bill. It’s not a “stimulus” (even Kramer on CNBC agrees with that, and the CBO charts i linked), it’s a “grow government over the next five years” bill”
    Sorry, Jeff, it took eight years of Shrub and company of crooks and robbers to get us into this economic mess, you have no nitpicking rights at all. The republicans (lower caste) don’t have any stones to throw in the Blame game so they should just shut up for a change.

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  42. jcburns said on January 29, 2009 at 11:30 am

    One extra soupçon of irony in that YouTube video: KRON was, of course, a station started in the 50s by the San Francisco CHRONicle, in an attempt to capitalize on that fancy new medium television.

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  43. brian stouder said on January 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    an interesting point, jc. Here in Fort Wayne, both newspapers were broadcast owners at one time (the NBC affiliate was owned by the Journal-Gazette, and a radio station was owned by the News-Sentinel).

    If their owners/publishers of that day got a do-over, maybe they’d have transformed their ownership stakes into public trusts, and our local print-media would remain in print, and remain local….on the other hand, if ifs and ands were pots and pans, there’d be no work for tinkers… which (come to think of it) is indeed an obsolete profession!

    Aside from that, this phrase of Nance’s made me laugh, and at first I couldn’t place what it was reminding me of:

    “Will the snowblower fling the dog poo”

    and THEN it hit me (so to speak) – the old joke-menu from the Chinese restaurant! Amongst other items was Today’s Special – Who-Flung Poo

    etc etc

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  44. joodyb said on January 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    ftr, jeff, it was the gay-man part i was groaning at.

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