Crib notes.

If you send me an e-mail on the weekend and I don’t respond immediately, please to forgive. I’ve started trying to make at least 36 hours of the weekend internet-free. It’s an intention that doesn’t always work out, but when it does, I’m able to go almost a day without knowing the biggest political story of the day was that Sarah Palin wrote something on her hand.

People, please. Obviously, it’s funny. Obviously, it’s what she might call kinda ironical-like, given that it came in a speech with yet another crack about Obama and his TelePromTer. But as they say: Consider the source. This is she-who trying to recapture what turned out to be the high point of her career — her speech in St. Paul at the GOP convention. And based on what I saw and read (and cousin, you couldn’t pay me enough to watch the whole thing) it wasn’t even that good — your basic goulash of god-bless-America and thank-you-soldiers-for-our-freedom, and the obligatory backhand to the “professor of law” currently occupying the Oval Office. Your basic red meat for the knuckle-draggers, all delivered completely off the top of her head, because of course she doesn’t use a ‘prompter. Neither did George W. Bush.

If you want to get upset, read…well, you better read this first, the Cliff’s Notes version of yet another I-think-I’ve-got-Obama’s-pedigree-doped-out think piece, and then, only if you dare to swim in slime on a crisp winter morning, should you read the comments on the original piece, because cousin, nothing anyone ever said about Sarah Palin’s baby even comes close.

That’s the second time I’ve used “cousin” as an interjection today. Can you tell I saw “Inglourious Basterds” this weekend? A hoot. We ain’t in the pris’ner-takin’ bidness, we in the Nazi-killin’ bidness, and cousin? Bidness is a-boomin’. Finally, a use for Brad Pitt’s lazy tongue. But he’s not the star of that movie; Christoph Waltz is, and looking at the other Oscar nominees for Best Supporting, all I can say is, if he doesn’t take it home, we live in a cruel world where justice is an illusion.

Which means he could very easily lose, because: See above.

So, how was y’all’s weekend? I spent part of it in the dusty stacks of the Detroit Public Library, and part of it writing (with the internet turned off!), so I saw little of note. Oh, except for the Super Bowl, which I watched with one-third of my attention (I was working at the same time, but it was a slow night for non-football and non-advertising news). As I believe I stated, I was rooting for New Orleans, on the usual irrational grounds: New Orleans is more fun than Indianapolis, Peyton Manning needs that smug smile wiped off his face, it’s always fun when the underdog wins. Usually my backing is the kiss of death, so it was nice to see sometimes it isn’t. I see we’ve already had the red-state chime-in in the previous thread, about how now all Katrina-related wounds are healed and we must hear no more about it. I was unaware of this attitude; is it prevalent? If so, some news: Ain’t gonna happen, cousin.

Also, it would seem we finally, finally have a major snowstorm headed our way. If it comes, it will be only the second shovel-able snow we’ve had this season, which must amuse you east coast folks. Nevertheless, I’ll take it. Droughts are droughts no matter the season.

Bloggage? Not much, but there’s this: Nate Silver on she-who. I’m going to do some rounds and study Russian.

Almost forgot! My favorite commercial.

Posted at 9:52 am in Current events |

75 responses to “Crib notes.”

  1. crinoidgirl said on February 8, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Non sequitur time again. Yesterday, our pit bull attacked one of our cats, and broke the cat’s leg. We put both of them down. Animal lovers will know how awful my day was yesterday. Lulu the dog was a huge part of our life, as was Sam the cat. Today feels really weird.

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  2. Jeff Borden said on February 8, 2010 at 10:17 am

    While the Rich Lowrys, Bill Kristols, Rush Limbaughs and the whole crazy crew at Fox News are basking in the warm glow of She-Who’s performance at Rube Rage 2010, and while She-Who flirts like a sophomore cheerleader with the idea of running for president in 2012, I will step up again to contend that there is no way, no how She-Who will run.

    There’s clearly a streak of messianic certainty within her. Anyone who promises they will “live and die” for America has a highly exalted sense of self. And god knows She-Who loves that camera the way a Missouri speed freak loves his crystal meth.

    But lots of little details continue to bubble up about her half-term as governor. It’s not just the thousands of pages of e-mails that show First Dude Todd was clearly the co-governor. More than 200 have not been released because they are said to be “personal” correspondences covered by executive privilege. If they become public, it’s likely to be explosive. Now, it looks like the Palins have been stiffing Alaska on taxes for the cabins they are building on their land.

    She-Who is carrying more baggage than a Pullman porter. And 70-plus percent of Americans hate her like poison. Why would this woman, who hit the lottery when the doddering old Maverick chose her, want to jeopardize the cushy life of a millionaire celebrity she has built for a political run that would open her and her family up for the kind of vetting she has yet to endure?

    She won’t run, but she will wield influence. Her fan base is a critical part of the GOP.

    BTW, if I hear She-Who refer to elective office as “a title” one more time, I’m going to scream loud enough to be heard in Detroit.

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  3. Dorothy said on February 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Oh crinoidgirl my sincere sympathies! As someone who adopted her first cat just 2.5 months ago (and already has two dogs), I worry about this situation sometimes. I hope you’ll have some peace of mind soon, and will be able to open your home to another pet soon.

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  4. judybusy said on February 8, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I am so sorry to hear about your poor pets. athough we cmplain rather regularly about how the cats get underfoot and other annoying behavior, I want them to live forever. I can’t imagine losing two at once….

    I am working on reducing my dislike of winter: important to do in Minnesota, where it’s a very long season. My newly-found passion for XC skiing has helped a lot with that. This weekend, I saw deer, a coyote, a red squirrel, many robins (!)cardinals and nuthatches in a state park near my home. Very, very fun. Can’t wait to get out tonight to a nearby golf course, where I hope to spot previously-reported foxes.

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  5. Bob (not Greene) said on February 8, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Slow night for news?! Not in Chicago, where our illustrious Democratic lieutenant governor candidate had a press conference at halftime to announce he was dropping out of the race. What a week for Scott Lee Cohen and the Illinois Dems. It was a train wreck you couldn’t help but watch.

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  6. jcburns said on February 8, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Nancy: Please toss out that 1977 AP Stylebook. It’s just ‘teleprompter’, lower case, another one of those ancient terms that has drifted into generic non-trademark status. Thank god..I hated that old spelling.

    I’m still generically pissed off this morning that we live in a country where people think Sarah Palin has anything to offer the United States other than hate, slogans, secessionism, and snark. Go ahead, give me someone to go off on.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on February 8, 2010 at 10:46 am


    Carol Marin hit the nail on the head yesterday in the Sun-Times, laying the blame for Cohen directly at the feet of our sawed-off little emperor, Michael Madigan, who is the titular head of the party. He did zero, zilch, nada, nothing to head off the Cohen candidacy.

    It is hard to believe there is a sentient human being who would not understand how the admission of domestic violence, a relationship with a prostitute, rage and steroid abuse issues would, you know, kind of poison the view voters might have of you, but Cohen seemed generally hurt and surprised.

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  8. Peter said on February 8, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Crinoidgirl, I am very sorry to hear about your pets.

    In handicapping the Illinois Senate race, I think Nate Silver is on drugs – especially after the Scott Lee Cohen episode, Alexi is going to be exposed as being a lightweight who blew big chunks of cash at his dad’s bank and with the Illinois College Fund, and it ain’t going to be pretty. Even if Alexi was a fine, upstanding young man, having Gov. Vacuum Skull at the head of the ticket isn’t going to help. Illinois may be a blue state, but part of it is because the GOP would foist candidates who were dippier than Palin.

    That being said, I listened to some of Our Lady’s comments, and my head hurts. I’m grateful she wrote the notes on her palm – if she wrote them in her underwear, today we’d be hearing about her faith in Jockey and Medium Values.

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 8, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I liked the “crib notes” at the end of the Google ad, but we’ve already established I’m a rank sentimentalist.

    Happy 100th birthday of the Boy Scouts of America, y’all; off to the Ohio Statehouse to hear the governor say nice things neutrally about everyone, but especially those of us in the room, whoever we are.

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  10. MarkH said on February 8, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Jeff B., how long will it take for you to really believe that “she-who” isn’t really going anywhere, so you can stop talking about her? She’s not running for anything other than to be the right-wing Oprah. As time goes on, conservatives at large are beginnig to get it: there’s no “there” there. They are the ones figuring out that, for her to take $100,000 speaking fee from them, she’s no more than a mercenary. Only the fringiest of fringes will be left in her camp. It may take the rest of this year, but she’ll continue to unravel in the public arena. I said it before and I’ll say it again: her attachemt to Fox will be bad for both of them. But as long as the Roger Ailes’ of the world know where your goat is tied, she’s not ging away soon. Translation: I’m on your side, Jeff, but I just don’t pay attention to her anymore.

    Speaking of internet-free, did you all see this over the weekend?

    MIT students digitally multi-tasking to such a militant extent that their grades are seriously sliding? Many other distrubing observations; required viewing on where our culture is heading.

    EDIT – Crinoidgirl, my sympathies as well.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on February 8, 2010 at 11:03 am


    You speak the truth. My wife and I were big David Hoffman supporters, not only because he is a better candidate but because the Broadway Bank issue will be deadly for Alexi G. Ordinarily, I would not sweat this because the old Mark Kirk was that rarest of creatures, a moderate, suburban Republican. But Kirk has been running hard to the right and even sought the endorsement of She-Who in his quest for the GOP nod.

    So, Kirk has something of a dilemma. He can talk tough and mean and scary and fire up his base, but at the cost of the moderates and swing voters he desperately needs to win. It will be an interesting race, for sure, and I think there is at better than 50-50 chance the seat will go R.

    Meanwhile, right on, JC.

    I was struck by the dissonance of Tom Tancredo’s opening day speech, in which he declared President Obama’s election is the result of “people who could not even spell the word vote or say it in English,” yet the real disconnect comes from his side of the aisle, where sizable numbers of self-proclaimed conservatives and Republicans still by into the birther nonsense. You can’t blame a dumb electorate for Obama’s rise when you are speaking to a group of people who lionize a half-term governor for whom English appears to be a second language. And not one serious proposal emerged from all the silly blather at the mighty gathering of teabaggers.

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  12. crinoidgirl said on February 8, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Thank you, all.

    Judy – robins in MN? Seriously?

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  13. ROgirl said on February 8, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I’d love to see her run. It would be an enormous trainwreck, and fun to watch too.

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  14. moe99 said on February 8, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Crinoid girl: my sympathies as well.

    And yes, robins do winter over if there’s enough food for them. They change their diets in the winter to more seeds and berries as it helps them stay warm.

    And I heard from another Illinois resident that the R contender for lt gov. is no great shakes either and may be replaced now that Cohen is gone. Cohen made his announcement during the Super Bowl, in a tavern, that he was dropping out. Nice.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on February 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Oh, Crinoidgirl, my heart aches for you. Here’s a totally inadequate virtual hug, and hopes for heart-healing.

    And I’m in total agreement with Dorothy at the end of the last thread about ignoring She-Who. I’m so much happier since I stopped obsessing over the news. Dorothy, have you also seen the BBC Little Doritt? Wonderful! Most of the BBC productions I’ve seen have been great. The Way We Live Now is another one that could have been ripped from today’s headlines, even though it was written in 1875. Bernie Madoff didn’t do anything new.

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  16. Dorothy said on February 8, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I missed Little Doritt, Julie, but thanks to my exposure to Bleak House, I might have to buy Little Doritt! Or check around among relatives to see if anyone has it and I can borrow it.

    BTW my fave commercial was the Doritos one with the dog putting the shock collar on the guy sitting on the bench, then barking to activate the collar. We died laughing, and rewound the DVR a couple of times to see it again and again. Hands down it was the funniest one in my opinion.

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  17. judybusy said on February 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Yes, robins have been staying around the past few winters. I find it a little sad, as seeing the first one in spring was always such a huge deal.

    Dorothy, I also highly recommend Little Dorrit! We didn’t miss a minute. It led to my getting the book on CD. The language is great to listen to. I only got through 19 of 27 discs before I had to return it to the library. Nice that others wanted to listen to it as well.

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  18. del said on February 8, 2010 at 11:45 am

    She-Who flirts like a sophomore cheerleader? Rich.

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  19. brian stouder said on February 8, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Dorothy – our young folks thought that one was funniest also.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I was put off by the one (selling some sort of pda?) showing images of the attempt on Reagan’s life and race riots and so on.

    The beer commercials were smirky, and the Coke commercials were more than a little arty (but good!); and how does Go Daddy make any money at all? Those folks pay a premium price to run flat, dated messages?

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  20. beb said on February 8, 2010 at 11:54 am

    My sympathies, too, Crinoidgirl. We’ve had to put down pets who were dying, and even then the pain of losing is to terrible.

    Steve Clemmons writes to agree that Obama is drowning from bad advisors.

    I think this is bigger news than that She-Who wrote crib notes on her palm. What, 3×5 notecards are too good for her?

    I, too, am looking forward to the incoming snow storm. What’s the fun of having a snow blower with nothing to blow, eh?

    Superbowl(tm). I think any organization that trademarks “superbowl party” and prosecutes people for using the term without approval, or planed to hassle bar if they had a flat screen TV above a certain size worthy of my scorn.

    Echidne of the snakes notes that several of the Superbowl ads were exaggsiously anti-women. She discusses at:
    She has a point that the one narrative by the actor his plays “Dexter” the serial killer in the TV, is creepy.

    Personally I perfered Puppy Bowl VI, with the kitten half-time show and the hamster blimp cam.

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  21. Sue said on February 8, 2010 at 11:57 am

    My favorite Super Bowl commercial was the “you play like Betty White” one, especially with Betty’s saying “You’re girlfriend doesn’t say [think?] that”. Overall the commercials were stupid and obvious – you could see what was coming in every beer commercial. Nancy’s fave commercial irritated me; not sure if it was more insulting to men or women. The men, I guess. What a bunch of wimps!
    I completely agree with brian stouder – a Super Bowl commercial showing the Reagan assassination attempt, 9/11 and Lee Harvey Oswald’s killing? Really? To show us we were part of … what?
    And what was with the much-anticipated Tim Tebow commercial? Did Focus on the Family manage a brilliant move by getting all their publicity on this before this supposed anti-abortion spot aired? Or did I miss something?
    I thought the Who were going to die up there, literally. They were working really hard, singing about teenage wastelands.
    Let’s give Sarah a rest. She’s going to finally show her stuff on Fox, and the giant clash of the egos should be fun to watch even if it’s just a bunch of leaked stuff; O’Reilly already put her in her place, publicly, by correcting her on something during his supposed welcoming interview. She is not going to take well to being the little lady at Fox, treated maybe one step above the Various Interchangeable Blondes.

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  22. Jeff Borden said on February 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    The commercial the proprietress enjoyed the most is attracting a lot of slings and arrows from feminist bloggers, who thought the entire theme of the commercials was misogynistic and anti-woman. They are pinpointing the and Dodge Charger ads, specifically. As an unreconstructed lover of big, fat, honking powerful cars (not to be confused with SUVs), I truly enjoyed it, but I can see their point.

    Overall, I thought the Doritos advertisements were lame, but I also cackled over the dog collar bit. I’ll bet it went over huge with younger people.

    On “CBS Sunday Morning,” they did a segment with four college kids — two boys and two girls– from NYU asking for reactions to some classic Super Bowl advertisements. Shown the famous “Mean Joe” Greene Coca-Cola ad –where the fearsome Steeler accepts a big bottle of Coke from a little boy and then tosses him a game jersey– not only left them cold, but mocking. But they loved another Coke commercial that is a parody, where a current NFLer tackles a Coke marketing executive, rips off his white shirt and tosses it to a kid. They clearly love sarcasm and snark.

    And the Pam and Tim Tebow ad? This had so many of my fellow liberals quaking with rage? Sheeesh. It was low-key to a fault and utterly inoffensive to my sensibilities, at least.

    I enjoyed the game more than the commercials, which to me means it was an excellent Super Bowl. Kudos to the Saints and especially Drew Brees. He and his wife chose to buy a home in the Garden District of New Orleans and they have been plowing their own money into poorly-funded N.O. schools that suffered grievous damage from Katrina. I hugely admire Peyton Manning and hope the loss yesterday does not tarnish the reputatin of a superb athlete and one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game, but I really, really, really like Drew Brees.

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  23. nancy said on February 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    The Dodge ad was lame until the line, “I will watch your vampire television shows with you,” at which point it tipped into genius. The things we expect our husbands to do.

    The Tebow ads were utterly baffling. I guess there’s a faction of every movement that is highly susceptible to bait, but you always wish your side could chill a little. And for the record, I still have no idea what the problem was with Mrs. Tebow’s pregnancy. “We almost lost him,” she said. What does that even mean?

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  24. Sue said on February 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Nancy, this is from, referencing the website that appeared on the commercial:

    ‘Tim’s dad explains how he came up with the idea of having another child (at the point Tim was born, the couple had four healthy children):

    “I was weeping over the loss of millions of babies in America who were never given a chance. And I prayed and said, ‘God, if you want another preacher in this world, you give me a son.’ […] So the next day I went home and shared with my family my prayer that I’d begun and everybody joined in. We started praying, by name, for God to give us Timmy.”

    Pam Tebow also delves into the realities of a high risk pregnancy. She was 37 at the time she conceived Tim, and the initial diagnosis from doctors was that the child she carried looked like a block of fetal tissue, not a baby. Tebow explains she was willing to ignore the doctor’s advice and live by God’s plan – even if it resulted in her death. Pam Tebow relates how her physicians gave her medicine to help with the symptoms of the pregnancy, but felt “compelled” while reading the Book of Timothy to go and double check its side-effects. Since the medicine was known to cause birth defects in children, she threw away the rest of the medication and soldiered on through the rest of the term. When Timmy was born, both Tebows explain, there was a “great big clump of blood”, due to the excessive pregnancy complications.’
    You know what? I don’t like it when daddies decide on their child’s profession before it’s born, be it an athlete (Pete Maravich or Andre Agassi) or a preacher. And thank goodness he had a willing receptacle in a woman who thought it was ok to possibly leave her other children motherless in her quest to live up to her husband’s and/or God’s plans. Now, I’m off to read about how the Duggars can’t wait to get pregnant again; hopefully they’ll wait until #19 is out of neonatal intensive care before the morning sickness hits.

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  25. crinoidgirl said on February 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    The editor (and researcher) swoops in again. Trying to keep my mind off of recent events.

    Here’s the story about the Tebow thing:

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  26. Jeff Borden said on February 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Pam Tebow was pregnant while working as a missionary in the Phillipines and contracted amoebic dysentery. She was given doses of very powerful drugs and, at one point, was in a coma. Doctors diagnosed her with “placental abruption” and feared she would deliver a stillborn baby. She chose not to have the procedure and was lucky enough to beat the odds and give birth to a healthy child.

    I sure as hell am not going to judge the Tebows, who are committed Christians who truly put their faith into action, but they did roll the dice. It could just as easily have turned horribly bad –some 6% of maternal deaths are attributable to placental abruption– and left Mr. Tebow with four healthy children but no wife and no Tim.

    It is a great story of faith and love. The Tebows have every right to tell this tale. But the actions they took should not be seen as some sort of guide for other women in similar straits.

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  27. nancy said on February 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Or she could have ended up like Gianna Beretta Molla, continuing a risky pregnancy, dying as a direct result, and ending up a saint. The church obviously prefers dead mothers to dead fetuses.

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  28. crinoidgirl said on February 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Amen, Nance

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  29. Rana said on February 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I wish I could pretend that the likes of Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, et al weren’t out there, spreading their hateful ideas. I don’t watch them, I don’t listen to them, I don’t pay $$$ to attend their performances or buy their books.

    And yet!

    Not only do I know who they are and the kinds of things they say, I know that they have a lot of people who are fans of what they say, fans of language and ideas that are profoundly hostile to me and my loved ones. I don’t know if Beck et al believe what they say, but it doesn’t really matter, because they encourage those who would do harm to my family and friends if they could. These spokespeople are supported by the media, and they make a lot of money doing these things. That’s an awful lot to ignore. I’m not going to go out of my way to engage with them, but I’m not going to pretend that they – or the people who like their ideas – don’t exist either.

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  30. Dorothy said on February 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Twenty-seven years ago this Thursday I had a placental abruption. Thankfully it happened 17 days before my due date so my first born was delivered safely, thank goodness. But both of us could have died if they hadn’t acted so quickly. An abruption can be complete, or a percentage of the placenta could still be attached. In my case it was 25% of the way torn (which they didn’t know until I was opened up). The Slate article said it all – Mrs. Tebow was lucky to have the pregnancy result in a healthy baby.

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  31. moe99 said on February 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I too suffered a partial placental abruption when I delivered my third child. Luckily it was during labor and luckily labor was far enough along that my son was born without ill effect other than a low apgar score.

    The Tebows were in the Phillipines where abortion has been illegal since 1870. How is it that doctors there were recommending a banned procedure?

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  32. Sue said on February 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Jeff Borden, you may not be willing to judge the Tebows, who are committed Christians who put their faith into action. However, part of the action their faith requires is to work very hard to put policies into place that do not give other women the opportunity to terminate, on a doctor’s recommendation, a dangerous pregnancy.
    You may not be willing to judge, but it appears the Tebows don’t have that problem.

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  33. Jolene said on February 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Here, from Slate, is what happened w/ Mrs. Tebow’s pregnancy.

    The story, apparently, is about Tim’s birth in 1987, when his parents were missionaries in the Philippines. According to Pam’s account in the Gainesville Sun, she contracted amoebic dysentery and went in a coma shortly before the pregnancy. To facilitate her recovery, she was given heavy-duty drugs. Afterward, doctors told her the fetus was damaged. They diagnosed her with placental abruption, a premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall. They predicted a stillbirth and recommended abortion.

    It seems, though, that there’s an error in this paragraph. I think “before the pregnancy” should be “before the delivery”. Many descriptions of the condition online.

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  34. nancy said on February 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    See, this is where I have problems with these little inspirational stories. The details are always sketchy. From the Gainesville Sun story that is evidently the source of all this:

    Just before her pregnancy, Pam fell into a coma after contracting amoebic dysentery, a bacteria transmitted through contaminated drinking water. During her recovery, she received a series of strong medications. And even though she discontinued the regimen when she discovered the pregnancy, doctors told Pam the fetus had been damaged.

    So she was in recovery from amoebic dysentery, a case bad enough to put her in a coma, but she and Mr. Tebow were full-steam ahead on their baby-making plan. OK, I’ll take her word for it. She was on a mission from God, after all. Standard treatment for a.d. are two powerful antibiotics, flagyl and fasigyn, both of which are not strictly contraindicated during pregnancy, but are definitely tell-your-doctor drugs. So she goes off either these two or another one — the story says “a series of strong drugs” — and then she’s told the fetus is “damaged.” Damaged how? One account says “it looks like a clump of fetal cells” on ultrasound? This was 20 years ago, OK, ultrasound isn’t as good, but then what? Once the pregnancy continues into the second trimester, it’s pretty plain it’s not a tumor in there.

    Then there’s placental abruption, and all the time she’s being “encouraged” to terminate, in this Catholic country where abortion is illegal? I don’t know. It just stinks to me. I’m not calling her a liar, but I’m always suspicious when people are quoted on hearsay saying things doctors don’t typically say. Maybe the doctor said, “This could put you at risk. It’s one condition where abortion is indicated, and medically accepted in the Philippines.” Or whatever.

    I’ve known people who’ve had difficult pregnancies all over the country, and the stories they tell are of doctors who lay out options and leave the patient to choose. I’ve only known a single case where a doctor said you must abort, and that was a woman with malignant melanoma who was about to undergo chemotherapy. And even then it was her choice. If she didn’t want chemo, she could have been like Saint Gianna and died trying to carry her fetus to term. If anything, the doctors I’ve known have been almost too non-commital. They don’t want to be seen as favoring one choice over another, doubtless because they fear getting sued.

    I wasn’t there for Mrs. T’s pregnancy. Maybe doctors in the P’pines are pushier. I’m glad she had a happy ending. But I bet her doctor, if you could find him today, might tell a different version of this story.

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  35. Jeff Borden said on February 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm


    You have caught me on the horns of a dilemma. I give too much credit, I guess, for those who actually commit themselves to their beliefs, whether it is the Tebow family and its commitment to missionary outreach, or the wonderful family we learned about on “CBS Sunday Morning,” who sold their $2-million home in Atlanta, moved to a far smaller house, and donated $800,000 to The Hunger Project to build a corn-processing operation in Ghana.

    But my admiration should not blind me to what you have noted, that if the Tebows and those like them had their way, women would be denied control over their own bodies.

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  36. paddyo' said on February 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    What Rana and Sue said . . . to infinity.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. — “Hard cases make bad law.” Most of what I hear here I’d be willing to work with to find reasonable, good faith exceptions, but “denied control over their own bodies” is a sweeping assertion that has to be compared to 52 million abortions since 1973.

    52,000,000. And I’ve had plenty of good, decent, well-intentioned fellow religious leaders around me try to convince me that if there was more birth control and “comprehensive” sex ed we’d have fewer in the next 37 years. I’m not trying to get to zero, but 52 million?

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  38. Jolene said on February 8, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Amen, Nancy. The story is definitely suspect. When I read the Slate description, I thought there must be an error, as the idea of a drug taken pre-pregnancy affecting the fetus seemed so improbable. The only pre-pregnancy treatment affecting fetal outcomes that I’ve ever heard of is radiation. After conception, of course, things are different, but something here doesn’t add up.

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  39. Rana said on February 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    “denied con­trol over their own bod­ies” is a sweep­ing asser­tion that has to be com­pared to 52 mil­lion abor­tions since 1973.

    Why, exactly? One could cite numbers of people who have died from lack of donated organs, but we don’t see laws on the books forcing everyone to register for blood and marrow typing, and to donate a kidney if they match someone who needs one. There’s this little thing called “consent,” you know? In our society, a donor can back out right up to the time of the operation, because we value the right of people to control what they do or don’t do with their bodies, especially if there is a health risk involved. This applies even if the person on the other table would die without that donation. Heck, we’re not even allowed to use the organs from a dead person, if that person, while alive, refused to become a donor.

    And yet insisting that women, without their consent and against their stated wishes, are required, by law, to grant use of their organs to a fetus, risking their health and lives in the process, is perfectly fine?

    If you’re going to fling “52 million” at me, I’ll fling this back at you: under current law, women have fewer rights than a corpse when it comes to government control of their bodies. That’s not an exaggeration for rhetorical effect. When it comes to pregnancy, it is a simple legal fact.

    Don’t want so many abortions? Give women the means to prevent pregnancy, and ensure that the women who do decide to risk themselves for the sake of a fetus don’t suffer for it after the birth. Writing laws that force women to choose between death or injury, becoming a criminal, and surrendering their right to consent to the government sets a terrible precedent. What, you think the government would stop with women, given that power?

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  40. Jolene said on February 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Jeff (tmmo):

    Ross Douthat had an interesting column following the recent news of an effective abstinence program. The most important observation, it seemed to me, was that the most effective programs of any kind were not those that dealt only w/ abstinence or w/ the facts of procreation and contraception but those that focused on building “social capital”, i.e., working to convince the participants that they had better things to do w/ their lives and helping them develop their talents and skills. Sounds right to me.

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  41. coozledad said on February 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Jonah Goldberg shoots that many little semi-zygotes into a Kleenex every week.
    Perhaps instead of health care reform, we should be considering sperm and egg conservation efforts. If we return to post WWII tax levels we ought to be able to turn Alaska into a giant spunk refrigerator. I hear they just loves ’em some wigglers up that way.
    And speaking of that “52,000,000”, they never went without food, took it up the ass in a corporate jail, served in an infantile war of opportunity, worked at a shitty job that didn’t provide health care coverage or had their religiously incorrect bodies peeled apart so folks like Jonah Goldberg could gleefully pop off into a towel.

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  42. jcburns said on February 8, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Writing laws that force women to choose between death or injury, becoming a criminal, and surrendering their right to consent to the government sets a terrible precedent.

    I’ll chisel that into marble on any courthouse you’d like. It’s amazing that those who scream (literally) that they want to take their country back from government, want to then have that government enforce their beliefs on others with absolute force of law. Their laws.

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  43. moe99 said on February 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Gee, nothing like having two parts of the story in two of my pregnancies.

    When I was pregnant with no. 2 child, I developed giardiasis, which is a protozoan infection, found in streams around here if you go hiking and do not purify the water before drinking.

    Despite the recommendation that treatment wait until the end of pregnancy, I was successfuly treated with a low and quick dose of flagyl. My second born, my first son was a-ok. And unlike his slacker parents was a great athelete, and had a fantastic career as a swimmer in high school and college. Hmm…wonder if I should give Ms. Tebow a call?

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Jolene, [handshake]. Agreed. That’s what I like about Scouting, both BSA & Girl Scouts.

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  45. Jeff Borden said on February 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm


    Your cruel observations about Lucianne Golberg’s progeny were hilarious enough to cause me to do a spit take. Great stuff. And yet this sad little creep, whose laughable effort to link fascism with liberalism has been eviscerated by real scholars with actual knowledge, has received a $1-million advance for his next book.

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  46. Dexter said on February 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Gender benders, according to Dodge:
    1) I held the exit door for a young woman at a restaurant, and she scampered into one of those Dodge Chargers and went ripping out of the lot, as I was still climbing into my minivan.

    2) I am the one here at home who watches Sookie and Bill Compton and Jason and all the excitement in Bon Temps. My wife has no interest in vampires.
    At least Dodge could have used “…vampire movies…” . No red-blooded man would see “Twilight”.

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  47. Dorothy said on February 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Yikes moe – my son had giardiasis in the first grade. They are pretty sure it came from drinking at an outdoor fountain on a school field trip. That is NOT a fun thing to have.

    OT – Jack Murtha died this afternoon.

    Dexter – re True Blood. Same thing at our house. My husband is the big fan, and I only got dragged into watching it over Christmas when we had so much time off of work. I ignored it the first year or two, but now I want to know what happens next. But I’m still ignoring Twilight and anything associated with it.

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  48. Julie Robinson. said on February 8, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Jeff tmmo, there will always be women seeking abortions, legal or not. I would like to keep that number very low through education and contraceptive availability, but I would also like for those who need it to have a safe option. It’s unrealistic to think any other way, or you are condemning women to butchery.

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  49. Jolene said on February 8, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Can you believe that the National Weather Service is predicting another 5-10″ of snow for the DC area again tomorrow? Sheeesh! Enough already.

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  50. Jeff Borden said on February 8, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I’ll repeat my mantra: If you are serious about reducing abortions, you must be serious about reducing unwanted pregnancies. This is tough to pull off when so many who lament abortion are so strongly opposed to contraceptive devices, comprehensive sex education, etc.

    I believe it was Bill Clinton who once said abortions should be safe, legal and rare. We might get to that point if we started acting like grownups about sex and its consequences and made information and contraceptives more readily available.

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  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Jeff, your last two sentences say very much what I’d say, but . . . We could both say them, but I’m not sure how we get to communicating with them, since we mean such different things by the same statements. I’ll try to reframe later. (And I’m not going for even a smidge of sarcasm, although a cheap laugh at both our expenses over the meaning of “is” would not entirely be out of line.)

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  52. Jolene said on February 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Jeff B., you might want to check out the R. Douthat editorial I linked to above. He’s not my favorite writer, but his argument (and the evidence he points to) is that it’s not so much availability of contraceptives that makes a difference as availability of the idea that there is something for bored 15-year-olds to do w/ their lives than have unprotected sex. In our sex-saturated society, is it really possible that there are teen-agers who don’t know how pregnancy happens or how to prevent it?

    A relevant family story: My nephew, now 20, has fallen in love w/ a young woman who his parents like very much. When I saw them late in the summer, my brother expressed some concern about the idea that both my nephew and his girlfriend, who attend the same college, would now have their own apartments, which would give them even more opportunities than they’d had previously to do things they might come to regret. When I asked him if he’d had a serious talk w/ his son about the importance of avoiding such a fate, he said that they had, indeed, had that conversation and that his son had reassured him that, although they knew perfectly well what opportunities they’d have, they didn’t plan to do anything that would minimize their other choices in life. He seemed to have more faith, though, in the fact that his son’s girlfriend is a track star and that there are no events for pregnant ladies than he did in his parental cautions, the idea being that she had her own reasons to prevent pregnancy, quite apart from what my nephew or any of the four parents involved might think.

    Of course, these kids are light years beyond the scariest phases of life. They’re out of their teens and in college. But, still, I think the lesson applies. Kids who have better things to do are less likely to get in trouble–not just sexually, but in any way.

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  53. LAMary said on February 8, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Ever so slightly retouched photos of Madonna.

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  54. Jeff Borden said on February 8, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Jeff TMMO,

    I will look forward to it.

    I’ve been reading a growing number of articles about the different viewpoints toward sex and pregnancies that are held by those on right and left, north and south, upper and lower income, etc. (And I was raised in the One True, so I certainly heard plenty about the evils of the flesh, particularly the “sin of self-abuse,” or what I prefer to think of as the Full Portnoy.) I understand how the way others view sex and pregnancy will vary on religious beliefs, upbringing, social view, geography, etc.

    What seems to me like a fairly straightforward approach at reducing unwanted pregnancies is hugely complicated for others. For every person who believes straightforward, comprehensive sex education including discussions of ways to prevent pregnancy and disease are necessary, there is someone else who fervently believes even raising these issues may lead young people to experimentation.

    It seems like the Mount Everest of wishful thinking to believe that healthy young men and women, intoxicated by that devilish cocktail of raging hormones and youthful curiosity, are not going to be making the two-backed beast if the opportunity arises. Hasn’t it always been thus?

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  55. Joe Kobiela said on February 8, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Rana @29,
    Subsitute, Madow,O’Berlin,and Mathews in your rant and you know how us conservitives feel.
    I wonder how welcome Ol Al Gore is in D.C. round about now.
    Pilot Joe

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  56. jcburns said on February 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    As usual, Pilot Joe, I have to run a bit of a secret decoder ring on your comment. Why wouldn’t Nobel Peace Prize Winner Al Gore be welcome? (I think he is.)

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  57. Sue said on February 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    jcburns – I believe Joe is referring to the 1000 inches of snow that they are dealing with right now. Joe, it’s referred to as “climate change” these days, because too many people were confused by the “global warming” tag.
    I’d say a couple of feet of snow in that region qualifies as climate change.

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  58. LAMary said on February 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Years ago a friend of mine in DC said that things came to a halt with six inches of snow. I can’t imagine what all this snow is doing.

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  59. coozledad said on February 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Another one of McCain’s buddies gets a bonus instead of being hauled in front of a firing squad. Way to fail ’em upward,CIT.

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  60. jcburns said on February 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    What does Al Gore have to do with 1000 inches of snow, Pilot Joe? C’mon, you believe in weather, and, like, y’know, facts that keep planes up in the air. READ ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and ‘Earth in the Balance’ (don’t just have Glenn Beck interpret it for you.) A big, big chunk of climate change is caused by humans. Deal with that as a fact, whether it’s warmer OR colder than usual outside. Then run the weight and balance numbers and figure out how we can make less of an impact on the planet.

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  61. crinoidgirl said on February 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Jolene, they’re forecasting 6-10″ here. This is the most bare ground I’ve seen in Michigan since I moved here in 1974.

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  62. paddyo' said on February 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    When I lived in DC in the ’80s, LA Mary, just the forecast or the hint of snow — 1, 2, 6 inches, didn’t matter — was enough to throw the capital into a milk-bread-and-toilet-paper-buying frenzy. The city’s inability to handle the idea of a snowstorm, let alone the snowstorm itself, has always been a great puzzlement. I mean, numerous generations of out-of-towners and out-of-staters — and not all of them from the ain’t-never-seen-snow-before parts of our land — have trekked to and from Washington every 2-4 years, settled in, made lives, become part of the city’s fabric. So why does the capital behave like it’s Armageddon? (In fact, that’s what they’ve been calling it this winter in DC: “Snowmageddon”).
    In other words: WTF?

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  63. Jolene said on February 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    It’s true that DC types are weather wimps, but, trust me, nobody is exaggerating now.

    WaPo Photo Gallery

    Photos submitted by WaPo readers

    Among other problems, all the municipalities here have exceeded their snow removal budgets by millions of dollars. And there’s lots of snow still here and, apparently, more on its way.

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  64. alex said on February 8, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    In our sex-saturated society, is it really possible that there are teen-agers who don’t know how pregnancy happens or how to prevent it?

    As She Who might say, Youbetcha. Remember Joycelyn Elders, Bill Clinton’s Surgeon General who got shitcanned for daring to speak truth? As a health official in the state of Arkansas, she was featured on 60 Minutes even before anyone ever heard of Bill Clinton for her efforts to promote education in the state with one of the highest teen pregnancy rates. I remember the segment well. Yes, there were teen-agers who didn’t know that screwing led to pregnancy. A pregnant girl actually said, “Well, my mama told me I couldn’t get pregnant until I got married. I wasn’t married so I didn’t think it would happen.”

    Dr. Elders felt comprehensive sex education should include frank talk about masturbation as an alternative to copulation. That led to a barrage of right-wing outrage that resulted in her firing by Slick Willie, who in his youth probably never met a naive girl he didn’t bone.

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  65. Jeff Borden said on February 8, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    There’s an interesting take on the Tea Baggers Ball by Meghan McCain. Ordinarily, I pay little or no attention to her writings on The Daily Beast, but she makes an awfully interesting point about the Nashville confab. After calling out the creeps like Tom Tancredo for their barely disguised racism, she notes that revolutions are for the young, but that she saw few faces in the crowd that were not topped with white or gray hair.

    Is this always the case? Are revolutions only for the young? Anyhow, for someone who generally traffics in drivel and trivia, I thought it was a rather compelling premise by Ms. McCain.

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  66. Dexter said on February 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    The day’s over. I wore Detroit Lions gear around today just to see if anyone would say anything, like “We’re next” or “now it’s our turn”, but no, no one said anything, no one noticed, and of course they wouldn’t.
    The Boston Red Sox won, the Chicago White Sox won, the Tampa Bay Bucs won, now the Saints, but even though the Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series four years ago, and the Pistons were great twenty years ago, and not all that bad since, Detroit Lions fans are mired, and have only other bad teams like Cleveland to commiserate with.
    That’s why I went a little crazy wit joy rooting for the Saints last night. I gave them no chance, and they did it. I’ll take my “feelin’ goods” wherever I can, because the Lions and Browns just can’t do it.

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  67. brian stouder said on February 8, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Are rev­o­lu­tions only for the young? Any­how, for some­one who gen­er­ally traf­fics in dri­vel and trivia, I thought it was a rather com­pelling premise by Ms. McCain.

    Chris Matthews had a fairly dire take on the rough talk coming from Nashville, which (paraphrasing both him and Ms McCain) amounts to: Revoutions may be for young folks, but older folks prefer coup d’états.

    Think about it: these stupid sons of bitches have made it a talking point that we cannot defend our Constitutional government by Constitutional means; and we cannot trust a president who cares more about the Constitution than in exercising unchecked war powers as Commander in Chief.

    With talk about revolution and secession coming from “main stream” national political figures, one cannot help but think that the Crazy Train is beginning to get up a head of steam (if it hasn’t already left the station)

    The times we live in are becoming increasingly strange, and the dysfunctional sourness of our political discourse is slowly reducing into something else; something more acidic.

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  68. basset said on February 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    jcburns, I’m with you on the “teleprompter” spelling… that and “klieg lights” just bug the hell out of me.

    didn’t watch the Super Bowl, had our thirtysomething neighbors over for an anti-Super Bowl party and tried to watch “A Hard Day’s Night,” they did not get it at ALL though.

    we did turn the tv on to see the Who, with Ringo’s son Zak on drums… who has said that Ringo didn’t want him to be a drummer and Keith Moon gave him his first kit. seems to me, though, the best thing Daltrey and Townshend could have done after halftime was to immediately announce their retirement from live performance. “Look, we’re too old for this, we will never play in front of a larger audience or put on a more extravagant production, that’s it, we quit.”

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  69. Rana said on February 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Are rev­o­lu­tions only for the young?

    When the teabaggers first got going, I remember someone (alas, I forget who) making what I thought was a really interesting observation about how the media was reacting to the sight of these grey-haired folks ranting in townhalls. Basically, the popular image of the elderly (however you want to define that) has been shaped by the older members of previous generations, who came from a culture of not making waves unless the situation was really dire. So you see the teabaggers, see the grey hair, see the frothing, and assume that the situation must be horribly bad, to make dignified little old ladies and polite older gentlemen so wroth. The thing is, the commenter went on to say, many of the people who are today considered “older Americans” came of age in the sixties and seventies, out of a culture that encouraged that kind of high-emotion protest.

    So are they wound up because the conditions that are provoking their outrage are objectively worthy of such high dudgeon, or because they get worked up over all kinds of things, just because that’s the style they’re used to? The media likes to assume the former… but is that necessarily the case?

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  70. Linda said on February 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    The Dodge ad was lame until the line, “I will watch your vam­pire tele­vi­sion shows with you,” at which point it tipped into genius. The things we expect our hus­bands to do.

    My take was that the Dodge ad was lame, period. There is a strain of self-pity in several of the ads, not just that one, that said, “Oh my Lord, the THINGS women want us to do (big eyeroll). Aren’t we put upon? And won’t buying something make it all better?” Damn. You ain’t that put-upon and nobody wants your martyred ass in a boutique when you could be watching the big game (FloTV).

    Of course, the whole point of many commercials is to tell you that the universe is screwing you, and that buying crap will make it all better. Even if it makes you broke.

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  71. Linda said on February 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    So are they wound up because the con­di­tions that are pro­vok­ing their out­rage are objec­tively wor­thy of such high dud­geon, or because they get worked up over all kinds of things, just because that’s the style they’re used to? The media likes to assume the for­mer… but is that nec­es­sar­ily the case?

    It’s because politicians, like advertisers, like to tell Americans to feel sorry for themselves. And we like to feel sorry for ourselves.

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  72. brian stouder said on February 8, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    What the hell about the eco-totalitarian Audi ad? The one where everyone gets arrested by some government green-enforcement agency? “Incandesent bulbs – you’re under arrest!” , or “Plastic bags! Come with us” – etc etc

    Forget the Focus on the Family thing; Audi ran a flatly bizarre ad that was essentially incoherent – especially coming from a damned German car company!

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  73. alex said on February 9, 2010 at 3:06 am

    Awakened by gimpy arm tonight. Getting occupational therapy prescription so they can help me figure out a work station arrangement that won’t ruin my posture any more than it already has.

    Anyhoo, just had to weigh in on the ads. I thought the Dodge ad was sexist, sure, but weren’t most of them? At least the Dodge ad plunged a little deeper into the otherwise shallow male psyche and didn’t simply announce, “Hey, boys, here’s some weak beer and fake blondes with fake boobs. Don’t jizz all over yourselves, now.”

    Brian, regarding the Audi ad, I’ve read in marketing news that Audi owners are by far mostly Republican, but with bourgeois bohemian pretensions. So, weird as it was, I think the ad served its mission. Make yourself look hip, crunchy and cool while being the unapologetic self-serving pig that you are.

    I find advertising generally insulting, and the Super Bowl is the annual showcase of the worst, IMHO.

    EDIT: Just read the RIP for Casa D’Angelo on Fairfield. Was just there on Saturday and praising it to the staff as my favorite location. (The acoustics and atmosphere really do beat the hell out of the other locations, which are steel pole barns with fancied-up facades.) The staff were reportedly given notice that very day. What a shame. It was also one of the few places in town with al fresco dining in a courtyard under trees, not facing a strip mall parking lot.

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  74. brian stouder said on February 9, 2010 at 8:17 am

    They say the demise of the hospital down the street (10 years ago) finally caught up with them.

    But hey – there’s probably an Appleby’s near the new hospital up north!

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  75. Peter said on February 9, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Bassett, I had heard that the only reason The Who have been performing is that Daltrey (and, until the end, Entwhistle) needed the money – Townsend apparently didn’t blow all of his share and is doing quite well for himself.

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