Daddy’s sleeping.

If it’s Tuesday morning, it must be time for trash-picking. Starting in the wee hours, a person who — to use a hypothetical — absorbs her morning coffee and warms up for her day by writing on her stupid new-media weblog while looking out the front window, could expect to see a series of trash-pickers examining the neighborhood’s garbage for items of value. They arrive in beat-up vans and Sanford & Son pickups, occasionally on a bicycle, and they seem to be in the market for just about anything. Old baby toys, furniture that hasn’t been rained on too much, metal — this is the currency of the new economy.

Every few days someone discovers that Onion video on how the death of print journalism will affect old loons who hoard newspapers, but I think I have the answer: Old loons will hoard broken Little Tikes plastic toys. They will gather them from my street.

In general, I’m not one of those people who frets over the steadily filling landfills and the sustainability of our plastics obsession, but two things make me nuts — bottled water and Little Tikes toddler-size picnic tables at the curb. Get a Brita pitcher and put the kiddie goods in your garage sale. They have the half-life of plutonium, and trash-pickers can’t get them all, people.

And if you’re looking for a fresh Onion video to send around, I suggest this one: Stouffer’s to include suicide prevention tips on single-serve microwavable meals.

Last night’s big story on the drug-news beat was this AP piece about Michael Jackson’s doctor, and his curious behavior during and after the singer’s death last year. He allegedly stopped CPR on the cooling corpse so he could start collecting all the drug vials lying around the room, a spectacular, cinematic image, in my opinion. If I were staging it, I’d set up one of those arm-sweeps-across-the-table-into-a-trash-bag shots. He is also said to have done this under the eyes of two of Jackson’s children, who cried until a nanny was summoned to hustle them away. (That’s the fate of wealthy children everywhere, isn’t it? Someone is always shooing them out of the room, another stock shot from the movie playbook.) I wonder what they thought all those times when they wandered in to see their father laid out like a corpse, catching up on his beauty sleep with the help of IV anesthetic. Poor little Paris at the funeral, sobbing, “Ever since I was born, my daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine and I just want to say I love him so much.” Here’s the thing, though: All daddies are the best daddy you could ever imagine to their 11-year-olds. It’s when the kids grow up a little more and realize there are daddies who don’t need medicine to get a little shuteye that the problems start. In that sense, MJ had excellent timing.

But that was nothing, the story continues:

The documents also detail an odd encounter with Murray after Jackson was declared dead at a nearby hospital. Murray insisted he needed to return to the mansion to get cream that Jackson had “so the world wouldn’t find out about it,” according to the statements, which provide no elaboration.

The cream? Hmm. The story goes on to describe the death drug, propofol, as “a milky white liquid,” and — did I just write “death drug?” What is it about some stories that just bring out the tabloid reporter in us all, completely unbidden? — but provides no further explanation of what the shameful cream might be. Fortunately, Gawker is on the case with uninformed speculation, i.e., the best kind.

(Another trash-picker just blew through. Sanford & Son pickup this time, miscellaneous metal in the back. Someday the entirety of Detroit will consist of recycled metal elsewhere.)

I took the time this morning to read this local reaction to the health-care bill this morning. First quote of the piece:

“We all have been passive for a very long time and haven’t taken part in government and now it’s time. I don’t like the health care bill. I don’t like government intrusion. And I don’t like my loss of freedom.”

Follow-up question: Do you drive a car? Does the government requirement that you carry auto insurance restrict your freedom? No? Thanks very much. Next!

The Thomas More Law Center — a national public interest law firm in Ann Arbor — also plans to file a federal lawsuit challenging the bill, said Richard Thompson, the firm’s president.

Note the liberal-media bias in describing that outfit, which describes itself as “Christianity’s answer to the ACLU.” As they’re known more for their high-profile losses — the Dover, Pa., intelligent-design case, Terry Schiavo — than their wins, I wish them their customary luck.

OK, then. The clock in the steeple draws close to 10, and soon the trash men — the real ones — will be here. Time to put ours out.

Posted at 9:49 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

40 responses to “Daddy’s sleeping.”

  1. alex said on March 23, 2010 at 10:19 am

    The waste disposal firm in my area cheaps out on labor and does everything automated. That is, a big claw picks up garbage containers and turns them upside down in mid-air over the bed of the truck. If it’s windy, you’re likely to find disposable diapers, coffee filters and potato chip bags all over your yard. At least the Little Tikes toys have enough heft in them to succumb to gravity.

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  2. coozledad said on March 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

    The Thomas More Law Center, if it’s truly the Christian Right’s answer to the ACLU, is going to have its plate full defending its pedophiles.

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  3. Jeff Borden said on March 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

    We call those guys “gleaners” in Chicago. Mostly, they seek old metal from discarded appliances, construction waste, etc. Critics say they also will occasionally lift something from an open garage, but I’ve come to recognize the guys who work our neighborhood and have never seen them doing anything but sort the trash. There’s a wizened, bent-over guy who pushes an old grocery cart to collect aluminum cans, so many neighbors put theirs in a small plastic bag and hang it near the garbage can, so the poor old dude doesn’t have to pore through the recycling cans.

    The reaction to passage of HCR is completely predictable. I guess what rankles me is the right-wing meme that this is being rammed down the throats of Americans, who last time I looked had elected a president running on a platform of change. The rhetoric among some of the right-wing blogs is downright scary. All these pseudo-macho guys who want to play with their guns. . .They’re morons, but they are well-armed, which means you have to take their spittle-flecked tirades more seriously.

    If you think the health care debate was toxic, wait until we start talking about immigration reform. The wingnuts will be swinging from the trees with their assault rifles at the very thought of allowing any path way to citizenship that doesn’t start with deportation. It will make the HCR debate look like high tea.

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  4. Julie Robinson. said on March 23, 2010 at 10:39 am

    After my mom’s basement flooded we were prepared to spend $150 getting her old appliances hauled away, but the gleaners took everything except the refrigerator so it only cost $25. Win-win, as far as I was concerned. We did wonder about how much it took to gas up their old pickups, but presumably they had done the math and came out ahead. To me, they were showing a lot of initiative.

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  5. ROgirl said on March 23, 2010 at 10:40 am

    The Thomas More Law Center — Tom Monaghan’s legacy, along with shitty pizza.

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  6. Sue said on March 23, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I thought my in-laws might be able to look even slightly favorably on the health care bill because of the $250 rebate on the donut hole provision. Or the fact that their granddaughter might be able to be covered by her parents’ insurance, or their daughter and son-in-law might be able to get some non-pre-existing-condition-discrimination coverage if his employer drops the company insurance. Nope. Oh, those things are good, of course, but Fox News says it’s a bad bill and will destroy the country. And so it must go.
    These are the people who complain about having to buy supplemental coverage because Medicare doesn’t cover everything.

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  7. John said on March 23, 2010 at 11:00 am

    On the heels of health care, a new Harris poll reveals Republican attitudes about Obama: Two-thirds think he’s a socialist, 57 percent a Muslim—and 24 percent say “he may be the Antichrist.”

    A Whopping 24%! That has to be way more than those who think VP Cheney is Senator Palpatine!

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  8. Crabby said on March 23, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Most states don’t require the purchase of auto insurance; they require proof of financial responsibility – a requirement most often met by the purchase of auto insurance.

    In Ohio proof of financial responsibility can be an auto liability insurance policy, a surety bond of $30,000, a certificate issued by the BMV showing a bond secured by real estate having equity of at least $60,000, or a certificate of self-insurance issued by the BMV, available to those with more than 25 vehicles registered in their name or a company’s name. Most other states have similar provisions.

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  9. Linda said on March 23, 2010 at 11:53 am

    What are called “gleaners” elsewhere I have heard referred to as “sheenies” (really) in Toledo and Detroit, by people who have no inkling that this is a nasty ethnic slur. Indeed, have no idea that it is tied to an ethnic group at all. The one in our old neighborhood in Detroit was Black. Go figure.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 23, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Oh, c’mon, that one’s proven — Everyone knows that Cheney is Palpatine.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on March 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I’m amused at all the vows the wingiest of the right-wingers are taking to repeal HCR. I’m anxious to see how they frame the effort to deny health insurance because of pre-existing conditions, to slash tax credits to small businesses to help them offer coverage to employees, to allow insurance companies to hike their rates whenever and without any reasonable explanation and ultimately,to consign 45,000 Americans every year to an early death by lack of decent health care.

    It will be a big winner at the polls.

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  12. Sue said on March 23, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Well, Jeff Borden, here is how my congressman, Jim Sensenbrenner, phrased it in an op-ed published just prior to his vote. This is how he phrased his decision to vote against the bill:
    “If there is already concern that emergency rooms are overflowing, and it takes too long to get an appointment to see a doctor, how is adding 30-million more people to the health care system going to fix those concerns? Do President Obama and Speaker Pelosi think these people will not take advantage of the system? Not clog the system even more?”
    That’s right. My representative refers to uninsured Americans as “these people” and warns his (insured) constituents of their tendency to “take advantage” and “clog the system”. Apparently everyone in Sensenbrenner’s district is insured because it’s hard to believe he’s so open in his contempt for a portion of the people he represents. Of course, he offered no alternatives to the reform bill, even though he’s been in office since the beginning of time.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on March 23, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Oh Lord, Jim Sensenbrenner is one gigantic doofus. I’m sorry you must deal with him. My rep is Mike Quigley, who was wavering on the HCR vote because it was not liberal enough but did come through. The lone Illinois ‘no’ was cast by Dan Lipsinski, another legacy politician who succeeded his retiring daddy in the scummiest of ways while avoiding a primary vote. His desire to show his anti-abortion stance led him to vote against the interests of his constituents, as did Sensenbrenner.

    Joe Conasan has an interesting take on HCR and how toxic it will be for the GOP as voters begin to discern how much individual elements of the reform will help people immediatedly. His theory is that the Republicans always counted on killing the bill, making it easier to press their bullshit Obama is a fascistmuslimnazisocialist looking to take the land of the free and the home of the brave into Euro-style socialism. But as people begin to see the very real positives –removing pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny coverage, for example– they will realize how badly they were misled by the right-wingers.

    I’m not convinced. A good 25% to 30% of our fair nation hates President Obama with the heat of a million suns. They’re not all raving racists like the cream of the Tea Party protesters this weekend, but they’ve swallowed the toxic soup made by Faux News and the radio loudmouths for so long they are addicted. They wouldn’t support him if he proposed free ice cream sundaes for everyone.

    A side note on the appalling stupidity of Glenn Beck. He was apoplectic about the march of the Democratic leadership to the Capitol Building, where they were linking arms. Glenn blew a gasket, saying, “How dare they” compare themselves to the civil rights marchers? What the raging id of Faux did not realize, apparently, was the presence of John Lewis, the lion of the civil rights movement, who was savagely beaten many times in the dark days before the Civil Rights Act. And Lewis was one of the black legislators called “nigger” by the tea partiers.

    And to think there are millions who watch and listen to this terribly damaged creature every day. Somewhere, Father Coughlin is smiling.

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  14. Deborah said on March 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I really think these ranting right wingers are going to end up crying in their cups come election time. They of course think just the opposite. My former in-laws think President Obama has shot himself in the foot with the passing of this bill. It always amazes me how people can look at the exact same situation and read it so differently. My daughter has a pre-existing condition, you’d think her father’s family would be ecstatic that she will be able to get health insurance, but no, they’d rather carp about how they shouldn’t have to pay for health care for others (of course many in that family are on Medicare, and Lord help you if you tried to change that). And they consider themselves hoity toity Christians to boot. WWJD?

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  15. Sue said on March 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Deborah, see my comment @6. Fortunately my husband was the one who spoke to my in-laws, because I was so incensed when I heard about the conversation that I used some bad words. My outburst surprised me very much, and made me realize I would probably not be able to trust myself to behave when we see them at Easter, and probably shouldn’t go. So, after years of telling my kids they have to be nice to their grandparents because they’re not going to be around forever, I’m the one who has to take a preemptive timeout.

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  16. Dexter said on March 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    You never really pay your dues, do you? If John Lewis is called “nigger” by these goddam tea baggers, how can any reasonable person condone tea party activities and beliefs? No tea bagger apologized, not enough mention of this incident was made.
    This is what a free country is, eh? And do these tea party nuts want to bomb Hanoi, too? They still throw rocks at Jane Fonda, fer crissakes.
    If I were a history or social studies teacher (excuse my 45 year old terms…I have no idea what these courses are labelled these days) today I would order my students to write a paper on the life of John Lewis of Georgia, and order them to answers the question: “Was it right to call this man nigger then or now?”
    It’s more than outrage with me…I hate those fuckers that did this to Rep. Lewis.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on March 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Well said, Dexter.

    The teabaggers are aided and supported by the GOP, of course, which has done everything possible to incite them. Did you see the photos of Republican Congressman on the balcony of the Capitol, waving anti-HCR signs? Or the GOPers in the chambers who cheered as two loudmouthed loons screaming against the bill were corraled by security?

    And to think the Republican Party was once considered the party of grownups. What a joke. They’re toddlers who missed multiple naps and run out of peanut butter.

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  18. coozledad said on March 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    There just aren’t any words for this level of stupidity, arrogance and depravity:

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  19. Linda said on March 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    coozledad, in the story you link to, there’s a money quote:

    Troxel,(the teabagger blogger who gave the wrong address) a 2005 graduate of Liberty University, added “I was a journalism major in college, so I have every reason to believe my research is accurate.”

    The jokes do write themselves.

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  20. Bob (not Greene) said on March 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Jeff B.,

    Amen, brother. Dan Lipinski is my congressman and I’m happy to say we lit him up pretty good on our edit page when he was forced down everyone’s throat and haven’t endorsed him since. The guy’s bought and paid for by NARAL ($32,000 in 2008 alone), Family-PAC and medical groups opposed to health care reform. Thousands in need of health insurance in his district can, apparently, kiss his ass. He’s going to the mat over abortion funding, and if those who are actually living outside the womb have to die or be bankrupted for it, so be it.

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  21. Sue said on March 23, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Perhaps all this unpleasantness will die down once Justice Roberts strikes down the bill. What’s taking him so long?

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  22. Mark P. said on March 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    My biggest problem with the Thomas More Law Center is that they sucker old people into giving them money that they can’t afford to give. They are definitely on my list of People Who Should Be Glad There Is No Hell.

    Are Tea Baggers racist? Well, you know the old saying – if you lie down with dogs, you get up smelling like a dog.

    Regarding auto insurance: there may be an out for self insurance, but how many people self insure? The state laws are for all intents and purposes a requirement to buy insurance.

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  23. James said on March 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    John Lewis is an authentic hero.

    F*** those tea-baggin’ racist bastards.

    Uh… In my humble opinion…

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  24. Sue said on March 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    And Cooz, here’s one where children are specifically threatened (and, as usual, a sign is misspelled):

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  25. Dexter said on March 23, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Those R-Congresspeople on the Capitol balcony with the signs that egged-on the teabaggers , why, I thought it was a joke, like a theme from South Park or something.

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  26. deb said on March 23, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    the thing that’s amused me most about the right-wing reaction to the health-care legislation is hearing them screech about how obama and congress are “hijacking democracy.” (paul ryan, R-Wis., uttered a version of this as well.) um, hello? folks, this is what democracy is; people that we elected are making decisions that we empowered them to make. how that’s hijacking the democratic process, i dunno. although i’m sure rush and his ilk could explain it to me.

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  27. LAMary said on March 23, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Water bottles drive me crazy too. The last time I bought a refrigerator I got one with a water dispenser in the door. It goes through a reverse osmosis filter. We fill our water bottles from there, use it to make coffee and whatever. The fridge was a little expensive but clearly a lot less than all the water bottles we might have bought in the last two years. I even fill the dogs’ water dishes with that water. The new filters cost about thirty dollars every 9 months or so. I’m on my third one.

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  28. alex said on March 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I love watching the Republicans bloviating about how unpopular this bill is, how it circumvents the will of the people, citing polls, etc. A poll of misinformed people doesn’t signify anything. It took fully six years for the general public to realize that Iraq didn’t attack the U.S. on 9/11. It may take at least that long until the majority realize a firing squad won’t be coming for gramma.

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  29. prospero said on March 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Alex, more than two thirds of people that said they opposed health care reform said they did so because it didn’t include public option or single payer. Those people are going to vote for Republicans? Sure they are, Senator Whinehouse, the Oompa-Loompa.
    How do you live in a state that elected this fool and not move away immediately?. Boehner’s got better dope than we can get our hands on.

    The orange guy is funny because he’s a stupendous ahole with an even funnier name, no matter how he claims it’s pronounced. He has lied his ass off from Day 1 about health care, and, damn, he’s got to be tired. Convincing people the filibuster is in the Constitution. Actuall, that isn’t even difficult, and his day job pays extremely well, and he takes the benefits and the paychecks. If I were a Teabagger, I’d light this sumbitch up. Just saying.

    I mean, what a crew of numbnuts. The very people that whip them into a frenzy are the bastards keeping them down. And they’ve no clue. American willful ignorance is the single most powerful force on earth. Or is it nuns? We pray humbly it’s the nuns, who of course are a bunch of socialists that believe in social justice, and we all know that.s Socialism and anti-American.

    Nuns have an absolute imprimatur when it comes to certainty about social justice. And believe me, as a Catholic School boy of the 60s, it pains me to say this. Nuns were the prime targets of Ronald Reagan’s thugs trained at the School of the Americas to keep American business interests safe. If the US isn’t about social justice, it must be about cutthroat Hobbesian competition.

    I vote for we try to take care of each other.

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  30. moe99 said on March 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I got a sturdy little water bottle on a Delta flight from Ft. Lauderdale back in 1999. I still have it and wash it in the dishwasher to keep it going.

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  31. coozledad said on March 23, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    prospero: Imagine the shitstorm if the Nuns formed their own church. With a Mama instead of a Papa.

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  32. Joe Kobiela said on March 23, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Missed a lot due to flying the past two days.Arkansas twice plus a trip to Philly,but I did catch Bill O on fox last night and after checking tapes and such, they could find no instances of calling the Congessman a name. Did I miss something to prove this acusation or is it still he said she said type thing?
    Pilot Joe

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  33. prospero said on March 23, 2010 at 10:51 pm


    The idea that God is male or female is kinda beyond my Pierre de beliefs. I saw Arlo once, at Tufts, I think, and a skywriter made a perfect O. Arlo looked up and said “God’s a chick”. That would all be fine with me. We’re all in the process of becoming God together.

    As far as the nuns are concerned, it’s bizarre I suppose, but I saw the recent Nun’s revolt as a sign. like the Jews returning in The Second Coming. Will Barrett didn’t duck under the car to save his life. There was a lot more that needed to be said.

    And if you’ve never read the Great American Novel, Walker Percy is waiting, and it’s so damn good you won’t believe it. As far as American writers are concerned, there are all those Toms. Pynchon, Robbins, McGuane. it’s an arguable proposition that Women? There is Margaret Atwater, the undeniably greatest female writer in my opinion.

    We’re meant to have opinions, and to stand by them fiercely. Go Dawgs. Maybe it’s God’s sense of humor. Some things aren’t included. Human beings are supposed to take care of each other. Social justice is something real. If you don’t believe that, you are clearly somewhat less than human. Human rights human dignity, aren’t things to make a joke aboutm or to base a political strategy upon.

    Newt recently made it crystal clear. LBJ was a political asshole for insisting black people are people under the law. What does that make his party?

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  34. moe99 said on March 23, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    There you go, Joe. They say it happened to them. Unless you want to call those Congressmen liars.

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  35. Dexter said on March 24, 2010 at 12:29 am

    FOX even admits it

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  36. Denice B said on March 24, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Oh so familiar with trash pickers. One time I put out an old propane grill that was so damaged that it was dangerous. I put a big sign on it that said ‘Dangerous-Do Not Use’ and made a bet that it would be gone in a couple hours. By the time I got back into the house, within minutes, it was gone. They didn’t mind the Danger. Just the metal was so tempting. One time I put a box out on the curb with a bunch of other junk, and watched as the gleaner dug through the boxes. One of them I had filled with used kitty litter. Surprise!!! I giggled a little. I’m a Bad girl!

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  37. Joe Kobiela said on March 24, 2010 at 7:33 am

    I don’t condone usuing that language. It’s wrong and shouldn’t be used. So now how about an apologee for all the vile things said against Pres Bussh, and v.p. Cheney?
    Pilot Joe

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  38. James said on March 24, 2010 at 7:47 am


    Bush and Cheney have been called liars, and war criminals (both of which are actually arguable points…), but I haven’t heard crowds calling them “crackers” or the like. There’s no history of people from Bush and Cheney’s backgrounds being treated as chattel, or second-class citizens. You have to understand the context of a mob of white people calling black people names like that.

    Joe, you’re a bright man… you fly planes. I expect better logic and arguments from you than this.

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  39. Jim said on March 24, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I find it interesting that the Republicans, who castigated Clinton for “governing by opinion polls” are now suggesting, nay demanding, that Congress base its decisions on recent opinion polls.

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  40. Nancy said on March 28, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Do you have to drive a car? No.
    Do you have to have health care? Yes.
    Do you have to tithe to insurance companies who will not provide you with health care but will provide you with a useless insurance policy? Yes, now you do.

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