Thirty-six hours of fun.

I think I weigh 300 pounds today. Our weekend was a mad dash to Chicago to see friends, and so it consisted of five hours in the car, one hour in hotel, two or three hours of dinner, sleep, two or three hours of breakfast, five more hours in the car. There wasn’t time for anything else, but it was good, if you like eating and driving, and I always like the first and usually like the second. If nothing else, it’s good to see a beautiful, thriving city from time to time.

We crossed the Mitten on a winter weekend because our friends from Turkey are back in the States for a while. Fatih was a Knight-Wallace Fellow and his wife, Idil, was the smartest of the spouses. She learned Russian in eight months while we were there, yes, zero to fluency in eight months. She thought she should learn because of all the Russians in Istanbul these days, and also they were planning on having a baby soon, and Russians are the go-to nannies, the way West Indies natives are in New York City. She did indeed get pregnant in Ann Arbor, had some minor complications that made her doctor forbid her from long plane trips in the third trimester, so they stayed an extra couple months and had the baby in Michigan. When they returned, Idil interviewed nannies in Russian.

Fatih told me that for something like $300 a month, you can hire a college-educated Russian woman — if you’re lucky, even one with an M.D. — to be your nanny. “Wouldn’t a woman with a medical degree feel a bit overqualified for child care, and perhaps resentful?” I wondered.

“No, you want one with an advanced degree so you know she’s not a prostitute,” he said. Oh.

So now Idil is pregnant again, and they’ve elected to give birth in the States again. To take advantage of the Greatest Health-Care System in the World? No. So that their daughters will have matching passports. Good thinking. We always knew Idil was smart. Between learning Russian and otherwise exploring Ann Arbor, she took some grad-school entrance exams, too, just for the hell of it. She got a perfect score on the math sections, and close to perfect on the writing. That really bugged her. “What is a nine-letter English word that means ‘talkative’?” she asked.

I thought for a minute. “Garrulous,” I said. She smacked her forehead as though she’d forgotten who George Washington was. Their 5-year-old speaks four languages fluently. She’s going to need dual citizenship, once she grows up to take over the world.

You’ll want to watch out for her. She’s blonde like her mother, a Tatar.

There’s nothing like spending time with ambitious international cosmopolites to make you feel dumb. We went to breakfast with the Bordens and Carpenters, and mostly talked sports and music, but it was smart sports-and-music talk. I learned about Bill Wirtz from Borden, and more from Wikipedia:

Wirtz died at Evanston Hospital on September 26, 2007, following a brief battle with cancer. …During a tribute and moment of silence for him during the Blackhawks home opener on October 8, 2007, the Chicago crowd displayed their displeasure with Wirtz’s operation of the organization by booing the proceedings.

Man, hockey fans can be tough.

And of course this weekend we watched a bit of the Olympics. I have very few strong feelings about the winter games, except that all that trick skiing is silly, but then, luge is pretty silly, too. Speed skating is my life’s great missed opportunity; it’s the one sport I’m truly fascinated by. (I followed the clap-skate discussion closely, a few years back.) Very Hans Brinker.

And, of course, the speed skaters have Stephen Colbert on their side.

In some ways I hate February in Olympic years; there’s too much on TV. This week, I’m going to have to choose between Westminster and the games. I hope nothing good in Vancouver is opposite the terrier group.

So how was your weekend? Bloggage? Not much:

The Alabama shooting case gets ever-weirder. Hello, Professor Crazypants.

With that, I’m off.

Posted at 10:14 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

45 responses to “Thirty-six hours of fun.”

  1. coozledad said on February 15, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Re the Alabama shooter:The first killing should have raised a few flags at least. The pipe bomb incident should have led to surveillance. The picture revealing her to be the love child of Fran Tarkenton and Moe Howard should have led to house arrest.

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  2. Deborah said on February 15, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Even though it was cold it was a great sunny weekend in Chicago wasn’t it? The drive back and forth from Chicago/Detroit is not that bad. In the fall we drove out to Cranbrook with my husbands students. If we ever get high speed rail between Detroit and Chicago it will only take about 2 hours. And that’s even counting a stop some place that I can’t remember and Ann Arbor.

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  3. MichaelG said on February 15, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Wait a minute, wait a minute! I know my biology is a bit sketchy, but how does that love child of Tark and Moe thing work, Cooz? And she sure does look like it.

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  4. Dorothy said on February 15, 2010 at 11:20 am

    We had a quick trip into Pittsburgh yesterday in hopes of surprising cranky old Aunt Dolores but she declined our invitation to lunch. Hmph. We drive three hours and she can’t even muster a “thanks, I’d love to!” and meet us at her front door. So instead we picked up my mom who is always up for a surprise and fun, took her to lunch and then got back home by 6 PM.

    I didn’t spend Saturday with ambitious international cosmopolites, but I did go to an OCTA meeting in C-bus with two ladies who are members of the Players, as I am, here in Mount Vernon. One of these ladies has her doctorate in opera and teaches voice here at Kenyon. I felt sort of insufficient next to her, but I held my own in the discussion about regional theater and what-not in Dublin, OH. Her hubby is an ER doctor here in town and I got a quick look at the first floor of her house as we walked through, to get into her Prius (this one is not currently under recall!)parked behind the house. If I ever get invited back to her house I’ll bring my camera. Her kitchen was amazing.

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  5. Julie Robinson. said on February 15, 2010 at 11:27 am

    We had a very busy weekend and an even busier week ahead, but I just have to comment on a bizarre experience at the Philharmonic concert Saturday. Two different sets of latecomers were seated during the second movement of the second piece. Both were EXTREMELY noisy and even abusive to the ushers, and one person may have had Tourette’s, since he used the rest of the concert to express himself loudly and often profanely. Everyone around us was stirring uncomfortably and at one point the conductor turned halfway around, put his finger in his ear, then shrugged. Every time the guy shouted his companion shushed just as loudly, which did not one lick of good.

    I hesitate to mention this, but both sets of offenders were in wheelchairs and I’m thinking that’s why they were seated contrary to stated policy of waiting for a break in the program, much less being removed for their inappropriate behavior. Since the ushers are volunteers I’m sure none of them wanted a confrontation.

    Even before this happened there were a lot of people talking their way through the concert, and at one point a baby(!) started crying and wasn’t removed until it had gone on several minutes. So, my crankypants rant of the day: does no one understand how to be an audience? These are plenty expensive tickets and we don’t get to go very often. Am I just being petty to complain?

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  6. alice said on February 15, 2010 at 11:36 am

    We gave up on West­min­ster years ago, one reason: they rarely pick the bully -type terriers to place or win, the more wire-haired the better.

    Reason two: This happened a few years ago. The camera would zero in on an elderly woman & the announcer would say “This is Mrs. So & So, she’s survived cancer, her husband just passed away, and this is her dog’s LAST appearance at West­min­ster. Who will win best in show?” This happened 4 or 5 times, and wonder of wonders, guess who’s dog won best in show? (I have no problems giving old people their due, but could you be a tad more obvious?)

    On the other hand, there will be many showings of my favorite commercial.

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  7. brian stouder said on February 15, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Julie – I think people who cannot pipe down at a concert are exactly like people with laser pointers at movie theaters; they’re ruining the very thing the audience paid to experience, and they should be ejected.

    Aside from that, here’s the thing that made me feel dumb today:

    It’s a President’s Day quizz – runs 12 questions and is multiple-guess, and I flagged it! (8 out of 12 = 67% = “See Me” back when I was in school)

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  8. John said on February 15, 2010 at 11:45 am

    You answered 92% of questions correctly. Scroll down to see answers for each question.
    I blew the FBI question…I was wavering between the two and picked the wrong one!

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  9. Joe Kobiela said on February 15, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I had a quick trip to Chicago today also, except it was via Dayton Then Akron then Midway and started with a 2:30am phone call. Back in Auburn by 9:30am not a bad day’s work. Its off to Rice Lake Wisconson then St Lou on Tuesday. Ufta this being retired is tiresome. I like the short track speed skating myself. My two Daughters are big fans of Apollo OhNo,or as they call him Apollo Oh yes.
    Pilot Joe

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  10. brian stouder said on February 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

    John – I missed that one, too; you could quickly eliminate a couple of them, since the Bureau only dates back to the ’30’s – but then I guessed wrong, also. (GHWB was CIA for awhile there – but that’s a red herring) (so to speak)

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Definitely disturbed by the Alabama story, since my Lovely Wife is a key node in our college’s tenure process, and the keeper of faculty meeting minutes & records — and now that’s she’s been doing this for six years, I can state that most contentious tenure battles have as much to do with asocial behavior as they do with academic qualities. But how to document, who bells the cat, etc.? There’s no clear path to how the departments, admin, and trustees deal with people who can’t deal with people. Sometimes they are brilliant, marginal teachers, who aren’t much fun to try to converse with, and sometimes they’re brilliant and everyone literally runs to avoid getting backed into a corner by them to hear ad infinitum about their obsessions. Edward DeVere, Ayn Rand, Barack Obama, 911 truth — and what does any of this have to do with microbiology or architecture?

    Never having been anywhere near tenure, I wouldn’t know. 30 days notice is all I’ve ever known!

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  12. Julie Robinson. said on February 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Speaking of missing things, there was a little gem in yesterday’s JG; apparently the former employer of the proprietress and my DH neglected to file an annual form for a $166,000 tax abatement. The city council bailed them out and accepted it late anyway, but not before a council member who had recused himself (wife works there) voted in favor. Sheesh. No wonder they can’t afford photographers.

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  13. A. Riley said on February 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Hey, did you see that Evan Bayh has decided not to run for reelection? Creep.

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  14. nancy said on February 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I did see that. And he was looking at a walkover, with his strongest opponent being an old man whom the tea party hates, who’s on record as saying he’d rather live in North Carolina, and a lobbyist for many icky corporate clients. Now it looks like it’ll be Dan Coats’ walkover in the end. Now there’s an asset to the Hoosier state — another right-wing moron in the Senate. Whatever else you didn’t like about Bayh, at least he wasn’t Coats.

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  15. brian stouder said on February 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    ARiley – all I can say is wow! I mean, Wow.


    The guy has a ton of money and a lead in the polls – and poof!

    So now I’m thinking “Scandal?” (the wife and her interlocking directorates?) “Health?”

    There’s gotta be another shoe, poised to fall.


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  16. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Coates? C’mon, Indiana, you can’t do that to us conservatives.

    Seriously, don’t do it. We’ll both regret it. You and me both.

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  17. Peter said on February 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    83 for me – I screwed up the FBI question as well (but on further reflection, Nixon seems the natural response…)

    Nancy, hockey fans may be rough, but Bill Wirtz was a troglodyte.
    Didn’t read the link, so this may be included, but Hawks games start later than other teams, which means you don’t get highlights during the 10:00 news. And why do Hawks games start later? Because Wirtz firmly believed that you can’t leave work, pick up the wife, have a nice meal with a drink, and get to your seat before 7:40.

    He was almost – almost – as bad as the former Maple Leafs owner who took Queen Elizabeth’s portrait down from Maple Leaf Gardens to put in more seats. When the Globe protested he retorted “How many goals has she scored?”

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  18. Sue said on February 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Julie Robinson, my answer to your audience question might be that that’s why I go to hockey games instead of concerts except…
    Yesterday we went to an Admirals game (yes, on Valentine’s Day, shut up) and had to put up with the usual large groups screaming “I’m blind, I’m deaf, I wanna be a ref” over and over again. So, I’ll add my take on this and say if you’re going to be loud and boisterous, put some variety in it!
    Oh, and for heaven’s sake, I don’t care if you’re at a sporting event or a fancy concert, cologne is no substitute for basic personal hygiene.

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  19. brian stouder said on February 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    What the hell! I say – Mike Pence should join in and fight Coats in the Republican primary; the end result will be unpleasant in any case, and in the meanwhile we can enjoy the teaparty spectacle on our own front porch

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  20. Dorothy said on February 15, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    83% on the quiz for me.

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  21. coozledad said on February 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Here’s your real Democrat. She needs 1,000 signatures before the filing deadline. Bayh’s people and the Indiana Dem party have been fighting her. Probably because she doesn’t work for Pfizer.
    Tamyra d’Ippolito’Ippolito-for-Senate–/2256

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  22. Jeff Borden said on February 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm


    It’s an entirely new world for the Blackhawks these days. After Bill died, son Rocky took the reins and he has been a tonic for the team and hockey overall. All games are now televised. Old favorites who had been on the outs with Bill including guys like Stan Mikita have been reembraced. But the absolute smartest thing Rocky did was hire John McDonough away from the Cubs, when the team’s ownership was still unknown and McDonough was unsure of his future. He had been the veep of marketing and broadcasting, then was the short-term president of the Cubs. He is legendary in sports marketing and he’s now making the Hawks the “see and be seen” team of the moment. One of my pals who is a long-time, die-hard Hawks fan used to be able to score the occasional ticket at a reasonable price on Craigslist, but this season there are no bargains. It’s really something to see, even for one who remains a neophyte hockey fan like me.

    Bill was a product of his time, not unlike the McCaskey clan who own the Bears. The Bears are a dysfunctional operation from stem to stern, but because the NFL operates as something of a socialist enterprise –all teams splits most monies equally with only skyboxes, naming rights, concessions and parking, etc. reserved for individual teams– they still rake in millions of dollars in profits regardless of the product they put on the field.

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  23. beb said on February 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    So, what’s you secret to not missing the mandatory toll booths? The last time I went to Chicago I ended up driving past four toll booths for $80 in fines. Which, by the way, is a major reason why that WAS my last trip to Chicago.

    I’d always heard that getting tenure in college was a cut-throat business. I never expected it to be literally so. (Though I think there have been a few mysteries with murder to achieve tenure was the plot.)

    Deborah, I doubt that any high speed rail the US is goign to invest in will turn Detroit to Chicago into a 2 hour run, three at best and maybe closer to four, which is still faster than a car and less hassle than flying. As for the route, I’d think it would have to include Lansing, Ann Arbor and Detroit.

    Evan Bayh is retiring? WTF? However while I don’t know anything about Coats I have been so disappointed with Bayh that I don’t think that “right-wing moron in the Sen­at” will be any different. At least the new senator from Indiana would be recognzed as an enemy of the administration instead of being taken for a friend and proving to be an enemy.
    Edit: and apparently he waited until the day before the filing deadline to make his announcement so any Dem wanting to run now has almost no time to file. What – A – Dick!

    Cory Doctorow, author, free speech advocate and founder of the site has a column on the Amazon / MacMillian dispute that I found informative and balanced. Worth reading if you’re still confused about the issues.

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  24. LAMary said on February 15, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Back when I was at University of Denver and going to hockey games regularly, I developed an appreciation of the guys who showed up with an assortment of brass instruments and played Three Blind Mice whenever they disagreed with the refs.
    We were also all drunk, so it seemed really funny at the time.

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  25. MarkH said on February 15, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    83% for me, too. Dang. I pride myself on these types of quizzes.

    EDIT — FWIW, msnbc has Pence NOT running for Bayh’s seat.

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  26. Dexter said on February 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Early returns from MSG: A bulldog is leading the competition.
    From a Digg feed:
    NEW YORK (Associated Press) -” America’s most prestigious dog show is starting with some Razzle Dazzle.

    A 3-year-old bulldog with the catchy name of Razzle Dazzle is among the early winners Monday at the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York.

    There are 2,500 dogs competing at Madison Square Garden for the coveted title of best in show. The top prize will be presented Tuesday night. A 4-year-old Scottish terrier named Sadie is considered a big favorite to win.”



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  27. ROgirl said on February 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Professor Crazypants is like a combination of the Unabomber and the shrink who shot up Fort Hood.

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  28. crinoidgirl said on February 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Sigh. Missed the “lowest level of formal education” (could have sworn it was Grant) and “did not own slaves” questions.

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  29. Sue said on February 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Well, it looks like Joe the Plumber has had it with both McCain and Palin. What I want to know is, when will little Sarah McCain Palin Ciptak’s dad weigh in?

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  30. Deborah said on February 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Beb, I worked on a design project for high speed rail between Chicago and Detroit (all I did was design the presentation to the powers that be, information graphics in other words, the team was made up of some engineering firms, one from Italy and some American firms, and an architecture firm). It claimed to be 2 hours for a cost much less than airfare and the savings in energy costs were tremendous. The project went nowhere but that doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. They were trying to make it stop in Indiana somewhere too, to help get funds but it was proposed to make 2 stops in Michigan besides Detroit, Ann Arbor was one of them and maybe Lansing although it might have been a spur to Kalamazoo. I don’t remember and I’m not that familiar with the geography of Michigan.

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  31. Lex said on February 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    As a former co-worker of mine observed today, that prof was just batsh*t insane. I’m guessing there’ll be an entry for that in the upcoming DSM-5, and her Fran/Moe picture will be next to it.

    For Nance and any other speedskating fans: Pull for Heather Richardson, the pride of High Point, N.C. (You laugh — Olympic speed skater from North Carolina? — but gold medalist Joey Cheek four years ago hailed from here in Greensboro, just up the road.) Her first event is at 4 ET Tuesday, I believe.

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  32. Jeff Borden said on February 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    BTW, Hoosiers. If the well of wingnuttery ever runs dry, you can always do what the Illinois GOP did a few years ago and ask Alan Keyes to take up residence in your state to run for the Senate. Mr. Excitement rented a cheesy apartment in Calumet City, which his landlord said was rarely if ever occupied, and drew crowds ranging into the tens and twenties wherever he appeared. Fun times, those.

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  33. alex said on February 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    As I recall, Jeff, they recruited Keyes after Ted Nugent turned them down cold. Their idea was that if Jesse Ventura could be elected governor by Minnesotans, perhaps a B-list celebrity could win a senate seat in Illinois. Actually, Ted Nugent would probably be preferable to any of the GOP candidates running for Bayh’s seat. I’m afraid we’re in for some bad times ahead here in Hoosierland.

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  34. LAMary said on February 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Was Jesse Ventura even B list? I’d give him a D-. Even as governor.

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  35. Jeff Borden said on February 15, 2010 at 6:07 pm


    Ted Nugent is one of those converted conservatives who genuinely nauseates me. He wrote proudly of his efforts to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War by literally defecting and urinating in his clothing for a couple of weeks before he was called in for his induction. Now, he’s a flag-waving, war-mongering asshat. Like so many of our leading conservative lights, Terrible Ted loves foreign wars, he just doesn’t wish to participate himself. But he’s still catnip to other conservative asshats like Rick Perry and She-Who and welcome at their rallies.

    A new Republican senator in Indiana could be seated with a new Republican senator from Illinois. Alexi the Boy Wonder is going to be crucified for all the shenanigans involving his family’s Broadway Bank and his utter mismanagement of the Bright Start college tuition program. Mark Kirk has been pandering to the teabaggers, but now that the primary is over, he can return to his “moderate” ways and probably pull this off. You know the national GOP is going to be dropping gazillions of cash to claim they have taken over Barack Obama’s seat, even though it is held by the lowly Roland Burris.

    The Democratic Party in Illinois deserves it. The majority in the GA prevented any talk of a special election so the governor could appoint a successor to Obama, but then Blagojevich made a mess of that effort by trying to auction off the seat like an item at Sotheby’s. And Blago will be helping the GOP in other ways this fall as his trial gets underway. I know Blago is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but damn, I wish he would just go to jail and shut the eff up.

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  36. beb said on February 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Deborah, I would love to see high speed rail between Detroit and Chicago. But two hours….

    Google Maps says its 300 miles between traveling via I-94. That’s a fairly straight shot. Maybe a few miles could be shaved off if the route went straight from South Bend, In to Ann Arbor instead of drifting north to Kalamazoom but not by much. However to do two hours to Chicago means a average speed of 150 Mph. Amtracks only high speed line now, the Acela rarely travels avoid 100 Mph because the track is so bad, the curves are too tight and the route is shared by freight. So an average speed of 150 is …. a challenge. Plus for an average speed that high with spots included the peak speeds would have to much higher, 200-250 mph.

    I’m not saying this can’t be done, since France, Spain and China does that much or better, but that do it with segregated track, elevated to avoid grade crossings and, well special track. All that runs into a lot of money. I’m guess that what we’re going to get as “high speed passenger service” will be something like Acela and not Japan’s much faster bullet trains.

    As for Lansing. It’s in the center of the lower peninsula so it’s a bit out of the way for a train rounding Lake Michigan and heading towards Detroit but as the State’s capital I would assume that there would be a lot of traffic from politicos and bureaucrats between Chicago and Lansing. There’s also a lot of traffic between Lansing and Detroit so I would think that any plan would need to stop at Lansing. I mentioned South Bend in Indiana because My Dad tells me that there’s already a lot of Chicago execs living around SB who commute to Chicago everyday. So there would a lot of traffic there as well. It’s all workable if someone could come up with the capital to invest in track and right-of-way.

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  37. Rana said on February 15, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Evan Bayh retiring is definitely one of those damned-if-he-does, damned-if-he-doesn’t situations.

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  38. Brian stouder said on February 15, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Well, letting Bayh-gones be bygones, let us turn our gaze toward tomorrow’s headlines, and the name Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

    It is said we got this guy in the last week – took him alive – and that he is the most important, highest ranking guy in our Taliban adversary’s command and control structure. I wanted to know something about him from before today’s sexy headlines about his capture, and found this, from last summer:

    Aside from his specific case, I was wondering about the noticeable spike in news reports over the past few weeks about guided missile-strikes by US unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) lately.

    One wondered where all this targetting information was coming from – and then there was news this past weekend that a heavily-connected al Qaeda courier got bagged a few weeks ago in the Middle East, and the guy had all sorts of contact information with him (presuemably in a Backberry, or whatever) -….and just as soon as one wondered how come such important information was now public knowledge, the thought struck that the secrecy surrounding his capture was “perishable” (certainly after one leadership group after another perished)…and now this high-high value target getting taken alive is truly fascinating.

    Dick Cheney flailing away at the president’s handling of “the war on terror” on the Sunday shows is all the more perplexing. Presumeably Cheney has friends who might have whispered to him that The Good Guys were having a really good inning, yes? If that was the case, why would Cheney strike this pose of being all the more impotent in his quibbling and kibitzing?

    Or, maybe he (Cheney) actually has no friends at all anymore, who are really “in the know”?

    Here’s hoping we get word in the next week or two that Sammy bin Laden has been cornered or killed (I suppose it is unrealistic to think that his retinue would allow him to be taken alive).

    I’d take that

    edit: from the Newsweek article about Baradar –

    On occasion he visits Karachi, where the Taliban maintains a widespread network of operatives and businesses, but he rarely travels to Peshawar, where security is less certain, let alone to Afghanistan.

    Tonight’s news is that he was bagged in Karachi

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  39. ROgirl said on February 16, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Crazy Prof. has an uncanny resemblance to Edith Ann.

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  40. Linda said on February 16, 2010 at 8:47 am

    For Bayh, I see lobbying in his future. Why keep late hours worrying about what his constituents might think of his stance on health bills when he can get more money and nicer perks while getting paid to undercut them?

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Actually, last night, I finally went back and read what Cheney said — in sum (versus in sound bite), he’s really not hardly saying anything. I don’t know why the WH is even responding to him, since most of the coverage was a junior high level “oooh, veep on veep smackdown!”

    What Cheney does keep doing, which must amuse him, is (my guess) use his contacts to find out what the administration is going to do, then get one step ahead of them in the news cycle and say “they must do this,” just to make them sputter a bit before they go ahead and do what Cheney said “they have to do.” A political version of Prince Albert in a can, and to no better end.

    I think Bayh was saying as clearly as a Dem can who still plans on running for something someday (Gov. does seem the most likely hypothesis) that the problem isn’t the Obama administration or their policy vision, but the tone-deaf, bullying, muddle-headed House & Senate leadership. Reid & Pelosi were his targets, not Axelrod or Emanuel or Gibbs. His most impassioned moment (always a tricky phrase to use on Bayh) was when he spoke of how he and Dick Lugar work together, and how he almost but didn’t say, specifically to Sen. Reid — do I have to draw you a picture?

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  42. brian stouder said on February 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

    that the prob­lem isn’t the Obama admin­is­tra­tion or their pol­icy vision, but the tone-deaf, bul­ly­ing, muddle-headed House & Sen­ate lead­er­ship. Reid & Pelosi were his tar­gets

    Jeff – I gotta say, Reid and Pelosi (who must haunt every fevered dream of the flying monkeys of the right wing airwaves) are practically oracles of unstinting wisdom and ageless philosophy, compared to Senator Bayh himself; and, not for nothing, but Bayh called out all the Repubicans who co-sponsored the jobs bill, and who then voted against it!!

    Rachel Maddow was superb on this very subject last night

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 16, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Brian, am I too cynical, but before I celebrate too much on the capture of Mullah Baradar, I find myself thinking “so, whom did he cross within the Pakistani ISI organization? is he married to someone’s cousin and was caught cheating on her? did he not make the quarterly payment to his ISI handler? why did they decide they could hand him over…I mean, let him be captured…I mean, help in his apprehension at *this* particular time?”

    Oh, and it wasn’t the jobs bill, it was the bipartisan budget commission idea that caught the 7 GOPers flipping. I’m still looking for McCain’s explanation of that clusterwhack.

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  44. brian stouder said on February 16, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Jeff – I like that brand of cynicism!

    One other possible cynical explanation – if the ISI cashed in on Baradar – was to send a signal to Sammy himself: “Behave, or your ass is next”. That’s the Easter egg I’m hoping for

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 16, 2010 at 9:28 am

    ‘Zactly. We are in agreement.

    Oh, on the bill-flop –

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