The Committee at work.

Even a peaceful suburb grows interesting after midnight. I went to bed at 1:15 a.m. and laid lay for a while listening to the night sounds. A few blocks away, I could hear an animal in distress, and tried to figure out what it was. Definitely not a cat, not quite a dog. Coyote? Possible, but again — not quite canine. I finally pegged it as a mortally wounded rabbit, which scream like little girls under those circumstances. Maybe an owl or hawk dropped it en route back to the tree. And then…

Two shots fired from a large-caliber handgun, the throaty kind. Pop pop. Instant silence.

Oh. OK. Remind me not to play the stereo too loud. A few minutes passed, and just as I was drifting off, the wounded-bunny sound started again.

I let sleep take me down, and hoped whoever was policing the neighborhood had good aim.

The birds started at 6 a.m., by the way. By 9 a.m., they’ve all vacated the arbor virea under my window and are off doing their bird activities, and you can’t hear a peep. But by then the lawn equipment has started. As I speak, someone has one of those goddamn power washers idling nearby, and all I can say is, I’m glad I don’t have a large-caliber handgun.

I’ll sleep when I’m dead, as Warren used to sing. I didn’t know he meant it literally.

Little Miss Grumpypants on a beautiful summer day. More coffee, stat.

So I’ve been reading about Senator Ensign, and wondering how things can get worse for him. The people who would have forgiven him for the affair surely have to be rocked back on their heels by the payoff to the paramour by…his parents? Mommy and daddy? Cleaning up after a 51-year-old man? And they say young people today are over-reliant on the ‘rents. They learned from the best. My mother bought a rug for me when I was starting out, a 9-by-12 raw-edged remnant, and I felt covered in shame. I told her I’d pay her back, and I never did, but still. The idea of her paying hush money to someone I’d shtupped would be unbearable.

This lesson keeps presenting itself over and over, and no one seems capable of learning it: Those who live by the “values” sword will die by it, and so let’s have mutual disarmament. I don’t know much about Ensign beyond that he’s a Republican with the usual Republican opportunism when it comes to lecturing others about family and marriage and so forth. Clearly these guys do it because they think it works, but when are they going to understand that when you do that, you are putting up big glass windows in your house, and when you act in conflict to your stated “values,” you are passing out a big basket of rocks.

So why not let it drop? Affairs happen. People are imperfect. We are all sinners. We live in a fallen world. Take your pick of platitudes, but mainly, cock your ear toward President Obama and recall his response to questions about Bristol Palin’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy last summer: “My mother had me when she was 18.” Don’t just listen to the words, but also the subtext: Life is a messy business sometimes. Knowing that none of us get out of it alive and far fewer unscathed, why not stop making “family values” a cornerstone of your platform? Democrats get away with this not because of their enabling media stooges, but because they never claimed to be paragons in the first place.

And I don’t care how rich your parents are, any man who would let mom and dad pay off his mistress should just go ahead and put his balls in escrow.

Bloggage for the weekend:

Don’t read this Eric Zorn story if you’re in a place where crying is frowned upon. Yes, it’s a dog story. Meanwhile, Jim at Sweet Juniper found a dog clubhouse. Love the comment about how they all play poker and smoke cigars.

From the I Love Detroit file: 167 people are running for City Council, and in such a crowded field, have to find their own ways to stand out. Like John Cromer:

He’s basing his campaign on appealing to felons by promising to remove questions about criminal records from the city of Detroit’s job applications.

In Detroit, that may well be enough of a constituency to put him over the top.

Elitism watch! Mary Katherine Ham at The Weekly Standard gets a big yuk out of Anderson Cooper not understanding what Cool Whip is, and embeds the YouTube clip to prove it. Only it’s not Cool Whip, it’s Redi-Whip, dumbass, and even if he doesn’t know what it is at first, he catches on quick. Once Kate said, “I wish Spriggy could talk.” And I replied, “But what if he said stuff we didn’t want to hear?”

“Like what?” she said.

“Oh, like…’I don’t like it when you pet me that way, and I’ve never liked it.'”

She caught on fast. “Yeah. Or, ‘Kate was eating the Redi-Whip right out of the can with the refrigerator door open,'” she said, and then stopped, abruptly. Sometimes it’s best not to even let the dog in on your secrets.

Have a good weekend, all.

UPDATE: Google suspended my AdSense account. No, I don’t know why. Yes, I appealed. No, they didn’t accept my appeal. Have you ever tried arguing with Google? It’s like scratching your nails down the side of the Sears Tower, hoping to draw blood. In the meantime, I’m looking for a new ad network, because the loss of that TWO HUNDRED THIRTY SIX WHOLE CRAPPY DOLLARS is really going to put a dent in my income this year. Suggestions? I’m all ears.

Posted at 10:59 am in Current events, Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

74 responses to “The Committee at work.”

  1. alex said on July 10, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I’ve been very fortunate not to have heard any screaming rabbits lately. It really does curdle the blood. But nothing prepared me for what I came home to yesterday — the severed head of a ‘possum.

    I can only imagine some raptor finished off the rest of it up in the trees above. Otherwise there’s no explanation for it.

    Glad my pooch don’t talk. I’d never hear the end of it for not sharing when I get into the Redi-Whip.

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  2. brian stouder said on July 10, 2009 at 11:27 am

    We’ve been noting the genuine abundance of bunnies for the past month or two. In Cass County, they’re all over the place – and here in Allen, or at least in our neighborhood, it’s a rare day if you don’t see two or three, hopping between houses or sitting still and pondering the greeness of the grass on the other side of the fence.

    By way of saying, it must be fat times for bunnie predators

    (maybe it was the wet spring?)

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  3. moe99 said on July 10, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for the story about Chief, Nancy. I shed a few tears.

    I tried to adopt a puppy from a shelter this summer. Sent applications to 3 different places, but did not receive a reply from one. I guess the fact that I am a single woman living alone who works full time was a shot against me. But I have a fenced backyard and two other happy, healthy dogs who would have loved to have a third (I did have a 3d–Heidi–a rescue dachshund who died of old age 3 years ago) again. So I adopted via the want ads and picked up a 7 week old dachshund/beagle mix, Truffle, who at the present time is sleeping with Max and Scooter after running all over the house with them.

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  4. Jim said on July 10, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Several weeks ago, here in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., I was awakened at about 5 a.m. by something in our front yard that sounded like a cross between a large bird and a small dog. Hard to describe — not quite a bark, not quite a “caw,” either. Looked out the window and saw what I believe was a fox sitting in the yard making that awful noise. It heard me and slinked away down the street. The tail was the giveaway.

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  5. nancy said on July 10, 2009 at 11:53 am

    That’s not a bad description of the sound I heard last night, and foxes are rampant along the waterfront in Detroit. It’s not a stretch to imagine they’ve found a home around here — the coyotes surely have. If it was a fox, that’s pretty funny that it shut up at the gunfire and then started up again. They are some crafty little devils.

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  6. coozledad said on July 10, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Nevada is like South Carolina, a kleptocratic black hole from which nothing politically intelligent can emerge. And to prove it Jim Demint tries to make a historical analogy and falls face forward on his drooling cracker ass*, talking about the Weimar Republic using Jonah Goldberg as source material.
    Then John Derbyshire goes and undermines Jonah’s critically acclaimed historical masterwork by giving a shoutout to Republican icon Francisco Franco, er sorry, Augusto Pinochet.
    I still wonder why even the National Review would hire an unreconstructed Mosleyite to write for them, especially one with an avowed taste for underage trim. At least it seems reasonable they’d edit out the parts where he starts showing manly love for a mass murderer in Goering drag.

    *A feat he learned from Trent Lott.

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  7. Old-time Editor said on July 10, 2009 at 11:55 am

    “I went to bed at 1:15 a.m. and laid for a while listening to the night sounds.”

    Nancy, Nancy. It’s lay, not laid.

    NANCE HERE: Fixed. Mea maxima culpa.

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  8. coozledad said on July 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Alex: We scooped a-half rotten fawn out of our pond the other day, and failed to secure it from the dogs. One of the beagles was sucking the pink bits out of the vertabrae before I could get it away from him. Do beagles get Kreuzfeld-Jacob disease?

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  9. Joe Kobiela said on July 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Tell Kate not to worry about the redi-whip out of the can. I play Mad Dog with my Golden Retriever “Baxter”, I shoot the redi-whip into his mouth till it looks like foam then yell mad dog. The wife never seems to get the joke.
    Pilot Joe

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  10. Sue said on July 10, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    We’re a dog neighborhood, and two in particular like to take the 5 – 6:15 a.m. barking shift. I can’t call the police because I’m afraid of what the owners will do if I complain – not to me, to the dog.
    Now that my old cat doesn’t like to go outside, our back yard is teeming with wildlife. Cutest, dumbest bunnies ever around here. I lecture them sternly from three feet away about which plants they can eat and which they cannot, and they just look at me before casually hopping away to sit under the parked car.
    The old cat who used to be sheriff of our back yard was an oddly precise killer. He would leave animals in almost exact thirds, almost decimal-point accurate (not that I examined them THAT closely, but it was striking). Or headless; apparently that combination of soft and crunchy was too much to resist.
    What would my pets say to me if they could talk? The dearly departed dogs: Loveyouloveyouloveyouloveyouloveyou… The past-and-present cats: SUCKER!

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  11. ROgirl said on July 10, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    The little brown bunnies that hop around under the radar of most people are perfect prey for my kitty, who brings them up to the back of the house by the deck and chomps on their innards. She’s pretty handy with field mice, and in the spring she has fun with the toads that appear all over the lawn in the backyard. She steers clear of the raccoons and possums.

    There used to be deer in the park/woods at the back of my house, but I haven’t seen them this year. They came into the yard a few times, kind of surreal the first time it happened.

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  12. MarkH said on July 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    “Nevada is…a kleptocratic black hole from which nothing politically intelligent can emerge”.

    He’s conspicuous by his absence in that post, but I’m assuming you include Harry Reid in that category…right, Cooz?

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  13. coozledad said on July 10, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Mark H. I absolutely do. What the fuck is he? I can’t think of a Dem from outside the secessionist states that worked half as hard to shield the Bush administration from routine inquiry: He’s a patsy, a nonentity, a doormat.

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  14. Sue said on July 10, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Second that, Cooz.

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  15. paddyo' said on July 10, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Great end-of-the-week post, Nance — delicious …
    But hey, Cooz, ease up a bit on Nevada. Vegas DOES fit your description (and that’s where Reid and Ensign, and their political power base, are from), but there are surprising pockets of progressiveness and decency elsewhere in the state. Try using a trim brush next time, not a roller …

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  16. coozledad said on July 10, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Sorry paddy’o. My knowledge of Nevada is pretty much limited to Vegas and the Ponderosa. Oh. I nearly forgot the governor, the Vegas Strangler.
    It’s really a rhetorical device. Until the ghost of Jesse Helms ceases to walk the earth I really can’t say shit about any other state.

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  17. MichaelG said on July 10, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Years ago we had a schnoodle named “Jack”, a golden retriever named “Blondie”, a couple of cats and a large bunny named “Rafael”. They all got along fabulously together. One day I went rabbit hunting with my brother in law and another fellow in the quarries down near Tracy. We took with us the mighty golden retriever hunting dog. Blondie had never been hunting before and while she enjoyed the outing tremendously, she was totally useless as a hare hunter. Since she lived with a bunny she wasn’t familiar with the concept of chasing and killing them. She walked around a large bush and surprised one that froze with terror. The mighty hunter amiably flopped down next to the hare that, scarcely believing its luck, recovered quickly and bounded away. We didn’t kill any hares that day but we did shoot a lot of beer cans. I was just as happy. Jack, now seventeen and blind still lives with my Ex.

    Harry Reid is a weenie.

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  18. beb said on July 10, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Had a bit of a thrill just now at work. I work at the water plant down on the Detroit River. They’re having the boat races there this weekend. It opened with an air show. The first we knew about it was the sound like a freight train passing over head. I and some co-workers went outside and watched as an F-18 put on quite the show. There were speed passes. upside-down flying, flying effectively on its tail, barrel loops and so much more. A couple times the pilot passed almost directly over head. One such pass was so low, a hundred yards altitude maybe two, and done as part of a tight, high speed turn that the roar from the engines was just unbearable. I had to cover my ears it was so painful. But what a spectacle. And free!

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  19. Jim said on July 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Sue: When I was still living at home, we had a cat that apparently loved chipmunk heads. While mowing the lawn, it was not uncommon to find the headless corpse of a chipmunk lying in the yard.

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  20. mcegg said on July 10, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I love what you have to say about Republican opportunism. Also, the word “shtupped” makes me giggle. Thanks for the great end-o-the-week post.

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  21. Jean S said on July 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    oh lord, you’re reminding me of the day I found what remained of the next-door neighbor’s cat after the coyote had finished. Yes, much fun to clean that up–which I had to do, because the new puppy kept nosing around that site. Wish said puppy (now 3 years old) could talk. We named him Satchmo, after all, and he does have a lot to say. It’s just in doggish, which doesn’t completely translate.

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  22. Jen said on July 10, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Our kitty is an indoor kitty, but she loves to catch bugs. One day, I saw her bat a fly down and hold it under her paw. Then, she lifted her paw and it started to fly away, and she caught it in her mouth and ate it. I told her she was a very good kitty. She also enjoys carrying her squeaky mouse toy around her in mouth and dropping it on our bed in the middle of the night. If we ever have a mouse or other critter in the house and she kills it, though, I’m going to hate waking up to a carcass in my bed.

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  23. alex said on July 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Jen, I remember house-sitting one time, and as I lay in bed the cat cozied up to me and delivered a writhing mouse with its eyeballs gouged out.

    Slightly OT but pertaining to this week’s earlier threads, here’s what Ronald Reagan has to say about Caribou Barbie:

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  24. Dorothy said on July 10, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    You guys are making me feel quite sick with all this talk of fawn vertebrae, gouged out mouse eyes, etc!

    I heard that screaming caterwaul about a month ago. Mike thought then that it was probably a couple of coyotes, but just this week he saw a bobcat while walking the dogs at the back of our acreage. We always leash-walk them. On the news last night we saw a story about a woman whose dogs were attacked by coyotes – they’d jumped her fence and killed one of them. She managed to chase them off before they killed the second one. He had a nasty scar on his leg, though. And this is in suburban Columbus for Pete’s sake. (Lancaster to be exact)

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  25. Christy S. said on July 10, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    We have wild parrots in the trees here in San Diego — striking and exotic but their incessant squawking is really annoying. It’s a relief when they eventually fly away to another set of palms.

    Hard to believe something so pretty could be so obnoxious. Then again, there is Sarah Palin. Guess she’s taking wing too, but unfortunately we will still be subject to her squawks for a while, I’m afraid.

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  26. deb said on July 10, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    jen, just hope it’s a carcass. one of our cats sauntered in one night with a live baby bunny held gently in his mouth. i spotted it just as he crossed the threshold, too late to boot the both of them back outside. he dropped it right in the entryway, extremely pleased with himself. my spouse and i looked like lucy and ethel for the next hour, running around slamming doors and setting up barricades to keep him from getting into a spot from which we’d never get him out — like under the refrigerator or behind the piano — while our kids wailed from behind their doors, “but we want to come out and see the bunny!” we eventually cornered him, tipped him into a shoebox and took him back outside. he was trembling and terrified, his little whiskers quivering. the cat left not a mark on him. he was probably more traumatized by the crazy humans slinging furniture around and yelling at each other.

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  27. Dorothy said on July 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    That’s too funny, deb!

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  28. MarkH said on July 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks, Cooz. I can agree with you for a number of other reasons than W-shielding, but another time for that.

    Meantime, Cooz, here’s a legitimate question for you: you are justifiably proud of your work at the election polls. This has received scant attention in the press:

    This is greatly disturbing on several levels. 1.) It happened. 2.) No one did anything about it that day. 3.) No one is doing anything about it now, the Holder Justice Dept. having washed their hands of the matter, thereby galvanizing the Civil Rights Commission to action as they have never been before.

    Cooz, three individuals pull this stunt at your polling place; what do you do, then, and going forward?

    Please lay aside the fact that this editorial is out of the Washington Times. The facts of the incident are known, acknowledged and laid out very well. If you haven’t see the video, it’s on YouTube and is scary.

    NN.C Journos: what is your take on the raucous silence in the media on this story?

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  29. Julie Robinson said on July 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    You did warn us about the Eric Zorn story, but I’m a sobbing fool right now. I also had the privilege of teaching an abused cat about gentleness and love, and that’s partly why I’m bawling. Timmy never got over his fear of strangers, and once I went away to college, I became one to him.

    Brian, our bunnies must have gone to your side of town. I’ve never begrudged them the odd petunia or green bean but haven’t seen a single one this year.

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  30. James said on July 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm


    It’s not a story… it’s an editorial.

    Do you have a link to an actual story… with some… facts? That way I might be able to comment intelligently about it. Otherwise, I’d just be blathering about a right-wing editorial, and that would be wrong.

    It says that video exists. Can we see that, or is that just a rumor?

    It’s hard to tell what happened without any hard facts.

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  31. moe99 said on July 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    alex, are your equating Peggy Noonan with Reagan for a reason?

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  32. alex said on July 10, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Why, moe, she was that empty suit’s voice. It was she who liberated Buchenwald. It was she who made Republicanism palatable to moderates and independents. Fitting that she should lead the GOP back to the path of righteousness by kicking Sarah Palin to the curb. Don’t you think?

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  33. moe99 said on July 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Ah, now I get it. Thanks.

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  34. Sue said on July 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    MarkH: I am not a journo, but I share your concern re DOJ behavior, although from a totally different viewpoint. The DOJ/White House combination is getting scary in that change was expected and sameoldsameold is what we’re getting. Outrage in the media? Not really, pretty quiet actually, unless you count Glenn Greenwald in Salon, who is screaming his head off, and Dan Froomkin, who ended up getting fired for being too liberal.
    Feel free to correct me on this, folks. I haven’t kept up with it as much as I should.

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  35. brian stouder said on July 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Julie – I’m seeing the brown bunnies all over – and in multiples! I like them better than the raccoons, though, who I suspect reside in the sewers.

    And speakin’ of sewer-dwellin’ good fellas- didja read about these rats, who were “long-time FBI informants” (which has gotten the FBI embroiled in a wrongful death lawsuit)?

    BOSTON – New England mobster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi on Friday described watching a cohort strangle his girlfriend as a “very traumatic moment” — but then admitted he pulled out her teeth afterward so her body would be difficult to identify.

    Flemmi, 75, showed no emotion as he described the 1981 killing of Debra Davis, 26, a woman he began dating when she was 17.

    Flemmi testified Thursday that James “Whitey” Bulger wanted to kill Davis after he learned Flemmi had told her that they were both working as FBI informants. He also said Bulger resented the amount of time Flemmi was spending with her.

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  36. coozledad said on July 10, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Mark: Bartle Bull sounded familiar, but not as a participant in the civil rights movement so much as a writer with a decidedly right wing slant. However, It’s possible the story has a basis in ugly fact. The Obama people were very careful about voter registration-they were extremely stringent about making sure everybody who filled out a registration form, Republican or Democrat, was counseled on how to properly fill out the form, and that all forms were submitted to the field offices same day. In the days following Sarah Palin’s convention speech, we were registering Republicans by a substantially heavier margin than Democrats in our neck of the woods. But the campaign said not to let up.
    Early voting started fairly orderly, and there were more instances of good natured ribbing than bickering. Election day the bickering got uglier. There was a little perceptible desperation from the McCain camp.
    Having monitored a several elections, I’ve seen a precinct voting location in a predominantly black neighborhood shifted at the last minute, I’ve seen school board candidates just about come to blows over who was marked on a sample ballot, and I’ve just about got in a fight with some asshole twenty years my junior who was all hopped up to kick some Obamatard ass because of Joe the motherfucking not-plumber. I was stupid enough to argue with him even though I enjoy having front teeth.
    I know this is dissembling, but I can’t resist. It reminded me of being in high school when you you could still go to the bar run by the Hell’s Angels and get a beer when you were 18. One night the bouncers (all the hairy greasy perverted giant bastards seated at the bar) were called to the parking lot to assist in restraining a kid my age who’d been smoking PCP or PCP laced pot. I arrived in the parking lot to play pinball and drink beer with a friend just in time to see the first bodies being pitched into the air and skidding along the pavement. Bones were apparently snapped. Lovingly embroidered leather vests with only the the faintest odor of urine – absolutely ruined. Bikers wedgied.
    I conceived a great distaste for fighting right there.

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  37. MarkH said on July 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Uhh…James, I know that. If you re-read my post I cautioned that the facts were there, and one needn’t be put off by the fact that the latest piece I found was an editorial, let alone a Wash. Times editorial. This should not be an idealogical matter and the facts are within the piece.

    But to address your doubts, here’s the link to the video of the incident:

    And you are proving my point that it is not on any major media radar screens if this is the first time you were made aware of it.

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  38. Sue said on July 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    This is actually interesting, MarkH. A quick internet search seemed to turn up only a bunch of Michelle Malkin & Freeper-type sites and comments, no larger coverage and no liberal blog coverage, that I could see. The only thing that jumped out at me was the comments decrying the “politicization” of the DOJ, laughable to me since this was one of the main reasons I wanted Bush out so badly (“So what is it about George Bush that makes you want to work for him?”). So, why is this so far under the radar that none of us seem to know anything about it?

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  39. coozledad said on July 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I’m having a little bit of trouble with that video. It’s begging a few questions.
    Although I think with a little work the guy with the nightstick might work as a credible stand-in for Jimmy Cliff in a remake of Harder They Come (The Movie). I hate to be dismissive, but I was expecting voters. A line of them. A voter of pale complexion being disenfranchised. Maybe even grandma having her handbag searched. What I saw was a college freshman’s first sojourn with a new camera to videotape Rastas selling raffle tickets at a flea market.

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  40. moe99 said on July 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Sue–you are right on the mark about my concerns w/ the DoJ and also with DoD General Counsel, Jeh Johnson. As I served as Special Assistant to the DoD General Counsel in the waning years of the Carter administration, I confess to being absolutely poleaxed that Mr. Johnson seems to be drinking the right wing koolaid on indefinite detention of those at Gitmo. I think he’s trying to gain macho cred with the military or somesuch as his resume has absolutely no service on it and the military are swift to condemn those without it.

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  41. brian stouder said on July 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Mark, I watched the video you linked, and then followed a link from there to this Fox News one –

    and my question, honestly, is – so what?

    You say:

    This is greatly disturbing on several levels. 1.) It happened.

    If anyone was actually intimidated by those fellows, especially to the extent that they went home and failed to vote, then that would indeed be greatly disturbing, as you say.

    If I went to vote, and folks were standing at the entrance, I’d walk past them. If they actually stopped me, I’d turn away and pull out my cell phone and call the police. But, if they’re neighborhood guys, they’d know I live in their neighborhood – which is the reason to go to the touble to HAVE multiple smaller precincts, rather than one Mega Voting Place….although centralized voting is becoming more “the go”, apparently.

    And indeed – if I was actually disenfranchised, I’d tell everyone who would listen to me about it.

    Where are the people who lost their votes? Surely Malkin or Coulter or that fraud who commissioned the poll that “proves” that Obama voters were stupider than Jupiter – surely THEY could find at least one sad-sack or two who were actually threatened/disenfranchised/turned away by those black devils, yes?

    2.) No one did anything about it that day.

    That’s flatly untrue. Apparently, from the Fox video, the police DID come and shoo those people from the door. Maybe someone called the police, or maybe they crusied by and saw them, and didn’t like what they saw. But, on the other hand, I recall equally specious arguments about Republican “vote supression” tactics, including leaving a police car parked in plain sight near the polling place, so as to intimidate some Democrats from voting….by way of saying, the police generally want to stay away from polling places unless an acute need for them to be there exists. (lest they, themselves, get accused of attempting to supress the vote)

    3.) No one is doing anything about it now, the Holder Justice Dept. having washed their hands of the matter, thereby galvanizing the Civil Rights Commission to action as they have never been before.

    What would you have Holder do? Are you asserting that there was a Vast Leftwing Conspiracy? Apparently now including Holder?

    Bottom line – my mom is 80 years old, and she would have put her McCain/Palin button on, and marched right up to those guys, and they’d have had to use their sticks on her or else see her pass them by.

    I suspect every voter in that precinct who wanted to vote did the same thing.

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  42. James said on July 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Yeah. I think the reason that there’s no story here is because there’s no story. Who was intimidated? What… so there was some jerk with a nightstick. He was a goof, and had no right to be there, and the police apparently dealt with him.

    Here’s my question. Why call these folks “black panthers?” Because they were black with berets? I’m old enough to have seen real Black Panthers, and these folks weren’t the real deal.

    There are enough real voting problems to deal with, like bad voting machines with suspicious software backdoors, corrupt partisan state election officials, bogus voter id campaigns… Once those are properly dealt with, then we can deal with the overenthusiastic thug with a stick.

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  43. LAMary said on July 10, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    The white people standing around looking completely unfazed sort of negate any sense of threat there might be going in that video. I’m glad others don’t find it all that scary, because I don’t. I think the guy with the camera taking pictures of who is going into the polling place is worse. He just walks up and makes assumptions about what’s going on.

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  44. Lyn - PA said on July 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Philadelphia voter here. This story was covered locally on Election Day. The polling place is in a poor, primarily African-American neighborhood; it’s the voting location for a local housing project. Republican poll watchers, who were NOT locals, thought some of the men outside the polling place looked intimidating. The poll watchers called the cops, who told the guy with the nightstick that he couldn’t stand outside a polling place with a weapon. He left, and that was the end of it. The “intimidators” most likely had their own paranoia that white outsiders were trying somehow to steal the election from Obama. I guarantee you there were no Republicans trying to vote for John McCain there.

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  45. Deggjr said on July 10, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    MarkH: “Please lay aside the fact that this editorial is out of the Washington Times.”

    Nice update on “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

    I haven’t been intimidated often (very sheltered life), but when I was the other people were moving towards me not away from me. A cell phone camera is a threat?. I’m 50+ and if I couldn’t walk by the undernourished itty bitty guy in the foreground, I wouldn’t deserve to vote.

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  46. Dave said on July 11, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Certainly not the topic but Lancaster is NOW suburban Columbus? Wow. I grew up in Pickerington before it became a part of suburban Columbus but I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of Lancaster being nothing but suburban Columbus. Although it’s probably coming.

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  47. alex said on July 11, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Back to rabbits, yes they are abundant this year. The bases of flower stems appear to be their chief dietary staple, and I’m getting pissed. If I want cut flowers, I want to choose what goes into the arrangement.

    Some other critter has been taking big bites out of my pumpkin vines and the chipmunks are still destroying ripe tomatoes. Never had this much trouble before. Some people say pour blood meal around everything. Some people say spray with cayenne or ammonia.

    Any suggestions out there for a gentleman farmer?

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  48. MaryRC said on July 11, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I’m still flabbergasted that Ensign’s mistress and her husband allowed their children to be included in the payoff from his parents. I know everyone is saying that it was because the payoff was split into separate payments that would be below the taxable level for gifts. But paying any amount of taxes is better than having it look as though your kids were being paid hush money over mommy’s affair. Of course they never thought these details would be revealed …

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  49. coozledad said on July 11, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Alex: The only thing I can think of would be woven wire fencing. We have a six foot tall fence supported by T-posts around the garden to keep the sheep out, and it seems to work for deer and rabbits as well.
    We were just out stringing barbed wire along the top of the orchard fence today because the largest mule has gotten in the habit of pushing the fence down with her neck to get at the greener grass on the other side. You should have seen the look she gave me after we got it in place.

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  50. prospero said on July 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Senator Ensign and his buds believe Creflo Dollar is a piker. 35% percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans. 40% of that 35% back the Queen of living, breathing salmon. In the meantime, 70% of Americans believe you porvide universal health care no matter what the minimal cost to rich people that are covered by Medicare and Congressional health care provisions.

    There’s an obvious connection with WWJD If Jesus presented himself today, He’d demand whatever you do for the least of my brethren. He’d be adamant on the subject of social justice. Republicans want to point out JFK and LJ as meddlers in Central and South America, but if it’s CStreet, screw them, they aren’t elite.

    For a long time, Republicans have duped people. They’ve convinced people their policies that have disenfranchised everyone that wasn’t living in the lap of luxury they’re part of the class that’s trickling down.

    No you aren’t If you can’t admit you ought to pay for universal health care, you really aren’t Christian, you really don’t believe in the Constitution,. Here’s the deal. If you believe in some form of Jesus, and you believe in the Constitution, you have to believe that this coundtry will take care of every soul that finds its way here.

    It’s really sorry that Republicans that excoriated Clinton have all turned out to be whited sepulchres. Dan Burton memorial award. The attack on Ashcroft on the basis of John Yoo’s legal opinion is so much like Newt delivering the divorce papers.

    Nobody could slog through the slime. There doesn’t seem a whole lot of doubt that W was pulling a Nixon and trying for blackmail. Buxh.1 went looking for blackmail against reporters and civil servants to advance the imperial presisency. They already stole the presidency and got away with it. Gore won, Kerry won. This was a coup, and maybe things have been set right.

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  51. prospero said on July 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Defending the garden. We piss on it, in the Doc Hollywood way. A seriously good movie. Here’s the deal. If you claim to be a Christian, or if you just claim to be an American, how do you sleeo if you deny human rights and medical care to anybody because you claim you were here first. You weren’t.

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  52. prospero said on July 11, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Way back time back. My ex and I bought a farmhouse in Brockton Mass. We had an apple tree and a pear tree. And if you don’t know about Riddley Walker, you don’t know about the little shining man that interferes with college football on TV. We were invaded by caterpillars, you could hear rgw su=yagustibg little bastards munching on leaves. I decided on the obliteration of the caterpillar, because, these were my fruit trees. I attacked them with a hammer abd with the burning end of cigars. Nut then I saw it made more sense to use Bt, a biological agent. And it worked.

    Things are looking up, even though what amounts to Republican leadership hopes it isn.t.

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  53. Deborah said on July 11, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Is prospero the same person as Caliban?

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  54. brian stouder said on July 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Is the Pope Catholic?

    Does the Earth orbit the sun?

    If a tree falls in the forrest, does it make any sound?

    (by way of saying, in answer to Deborah’s question: I think so)

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  55. caliban said on July 11, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Sure. Just read Shakespeare, Deborah.

    Be not afeard: the isle is full of noises,
    Sounds and sweet airs that give delight, and hurt not.
    Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
    Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices,
    That, if I then had wak’d after long sleep,
    Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
    The clouds methought would open and show riches
    Ready to drop upon me, that, when I wak’d,
    I cried to dream again.

    Sarah Palin went to six different schools. She must have heard this along the way. But you drag your kids out for personal agrandizement, what the hell do you think will happen. She’s not really a bad mom, she’s just conflicted.

    O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
    Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
    Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
    His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
    How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
    Seem to me all the uses of this world!
    Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
    That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature

    How good looking is she supposed to be? Better looking than Ann Coulter, Ann Coulter looks exactly like Odo, the shape shifter, but with anorexic pins. How does a major syndicate continue to publish Rich Lowry when he’s put his masturbatory fantsies onlinee?

    But anyway, we won’t do away with ourselves when Republicans are that went out of their way to trap Clinton, they actually formed a definitioun of sex that excluded blow jobs and the intern is on video talking about bringing her kneepads, So who’s a scumbag Dan Burton?

    The entire scenario concerning Ashcroft? Damn, but that’s a whole lot like Newt delivering the divorce papers. But you know what, you teabaggers are slurping up the tax benefits. Because, those bastards weren’t screwing you over. The stupidity is stunning.

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  56. caliban said on July 11, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Well, she is a bad mom. But she probably has no clue. Munchaussen by proxy, and more or less an idiot.

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  57. caliban said on July 11, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Stooges were pretty good, but they weren’t MC5. Fred and Brother Wayne played everything the Ashford brothers couldn’t play. Human Being Lawnmower. Black to Comm, Looking at You. Rob Tyner was a better singer than Iggy. Just better musicians.

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  58. Deborah said on July 11, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I went to a recent production of The Tempest at Steppenwolf in Chicago, an excellent production I must say, one of the best productions of Shakespeare that I have ever seen. I also paid closer attention to the character of Caliban because of the poster herewith. But I don’t get the Prospero connection to Caliban. Please elaborate.

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  59. basset said on July 11, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Here at the Basset family compound we switch over from public radio to RFD-TV at nine on Saturday nights so we can watch the polka show. Right now, the Cletus Gobliersch Band from Sleepy Eye, Minnesota is rocking the “Cuckoo Polka.”

    Once that’s over, it’s back to public radio for the late-night space-music program. Gotta keep your options open.

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  60. moe99 said on July 11, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    via Wikipedia:
    The Tempest
    Prospero was the rightful Duke of Milan, who (with his daughter, Miranda) was sent off to sea on a carcass to die by his usurping brother Antonio twelve years before the play begins. Prospero and Miranda survived the trip and found exile on a small island. He had learned sorcery and uses it while on the island (through the help of an adviser, Gonzalo, who sent some of Prospero’s magic books with him) to control the other characters. On the island, he became the master of the monster Caliban, the son of a malevolent witch, and Ariel, a fairy who has become enslaved by Prospero after he is freed from his prison inside of a tree.

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  61. prospero said on July 12, 2009 at 1:52 am

    Caliban is Prospero unbound to do all sorts of magic. The trick is to have a magical daughter, and she’s Emily, not Miranda, and she’s perfect and brilliant, and she’s magical. You pass along values and you feel like you’ve pulled a fast one when she makes you proud. She takes the right turn whenever

    I’ve steered wrong, frequently. Someone that’s me, sort of, who thinks I know right and wrong, who makes things right where I’ve acted like a jackass (no Midsummers Night reference intended). We skirt disaster, and somehow get to be old unscathed. It’s a miracle I’m not dead, though I’m damned if I can figure out what purpose my continued esistence serves.How do you justify being the train wreck from which you always emerge with barely a scratch?

    But we rage against the dying of the light and feel pretty good that there’s one thing we didn’t bungle. Pride doesn’t quite get it. The force that through the green fuse drives the flower. And you do the best you can. And you see how well it turns out and you can’t believe your undeserved good fortune. Because you were a beast to begin with.

    Listen to this:

    I cried to sleep again.

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  62. Deborah said on July 12, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Thanks Caliban/Prospero, I knew about the characters in the play, that Prospero was the master of Caliban until he set him free in the end. But regarding your pseudonyms I couldn’t figure out how they could be one and the same. You explained it succinctly “Caliban is Prospero unbound to do all sorts of magic”. Well said. It makes the play that much more interesting to me now.

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  63. basset said on July 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Deborah… don’t encourage him.

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  64. Julie Robinson said on July 12, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    You are always encouraged to introduce us to such beautiful music, C/P. We also have a perfect, brilliant, and magical daughter so I share your pride. I’ll confess to not always reading your posts but this one had great clarity.

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  65. brian stouder said on July 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    What Julie said!

    And, here’s something our friend C/P could sink his teeth into. Back during the campaign, I started getting Human Events e-mail updates (always good to know what the other folks are thinking, I thought) and I still get their spam. This excerpt from their ad for a rightwing revision of history got me laughing:

    One of the first things Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and other totalitarians did was rewrite the histories of their nations, remaking the past to bolster their control of the present. The American Left has done the same thing in our country: Most American history books — both for students and adults — are riddled with PC nonsense that makes the Founding Fathers over into racist slaveholders, the settlers of the West into genocidal land-stealers, and the welfare state into America’s ultimate triumph. But conservatives and patriotic Americans have an antidote: [name of book being hawked here] is a handy one-volume guide to our nation’s glorious past that has one key advantage over today’s dozens of dreary PC history books. This one tells you what really happened — not what liberals wish had happened. From the Puritans through the drafting of the Constitution, the Civil War, the World Wars, the failure of the “Great Society” to the fiasco of the Clinton Administration,


    HahHahHahHahHahHah!!! – They’re killin’ me!!

    Just how the hell these folks square their “PC nonsense that makes the Founding Fathers over into racist slaveholders” with “what really happened” with regard to the Civil War would almost make picking the book up off the remant table and thumbing back to the index, to see how they square the circle worthwhile.

    Short of being a neo-Confederate rebel apologist, how can anyone place an abstraction like “states rights” above the demands of simple humanity (for example – NOT claiming ownership of other human beings, and breaking up and literally selling members of families down the river)

    Presumeably Human Events is deeply submerged in the fever swamps. Maybe they always were – but good God, they’re so PROUD of it, nowadays!

    I mean – forget about Andy Jackson’s “Indian Removal” policy, or the Taney Supreme Court’s Dred Scott (‘no rights that a white man is bound to recognize’) decision, or even Nixon’s train wreck of a presidency…that Bill Clinton was a FIASCO, I’m tellin’ ya!!

    And speaking of fever swamps, didja see that soon-to-be private citizen Ms S Palin now says “I will go around the country on behalf of candidates who believe in the right things, regardless of their party label or affiliation”?

    Serious question: Who would want her endorsement?

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  66. Deborah said on July 12, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    See Basset, I don’t agree with you about Caliban/Prospero. I think people like him can inspire us, can make us look beyond ourselves, can make us grow in unexpected ways. I think that’s why Nancy lets it flow. We can learn important lessons from the edges. These are lessons that have potential, they are not mainstream, they make us stretch and think. We should not throw them away.

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  67. Jolene said on July 12, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Serious question: Who would want her endorsement?

    Good question, Brian. Both Virginia and New Jersey have close gubernatorial races going on, but neither of the Republican candidates seem particularly enthusiastic about having her come.

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  68. Linda said on July 12, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Re: your adsense troubles. I had to laugh. Since I have a blog that features “no free money” prominently, I could make some coin, but I won’t touch it, since it would attract my readers (all 3 or 4 of them) to fraudulent scumbags who should not only not have their businesses promoted, but should be drawn and quartered. Then hung.

    I have read fat acceptance bloggers with the same dilemma–diet and weight loss ads presented for them that are the opposite of their philosophical beliefs. I don’t know what your troubles are, but good luck.

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  69. Kirk said on July 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Human Events has been filled with lunacy at least since the 1960s, when I grew up in a small town riddled with frothing John Birchers. They also liked to read another neo-Nazi rag called, I think, American Opinion.

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  70. Scout said on July 12, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Call me crazy, but I kinda like Caliban/Prospero.

    Hope y’all had a fine weekend!

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  71. Catherine said on July 12, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Are we talking about the Harry Potter premiere here yet? Because that’s all I am hearing at home. Here’s a story that might delight all the Daniel Radcliffe fans, or just fans of young gentlemen:

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  72. brian stouder said on July 12, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Catherine – no Pottery from me (yet) – but speaking of premier pictures – I just noticed a sublime addition to the Proprietress’s Flickr display on the main page.

    Reflective sun glasses out on the water; and the smile – and the hair….Good Stuff!

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  73. Dexter said on July 13, 2009 at 1:33 am

    My beloved 14 year old Labrador Retriever passed last night at around 8 P.M.
    Her name was P-Dogg Princess. She went quietly as I stroked her head.

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  74. Linda said on July 13, 2009 at 7:04 am

    My condolences, Dexter. It’s hard losing a good friend. At least she had the comfort of your presence and touch as she passed away.

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