To the glue factory.

A confession: Until Helen Thomas collected her belated gold watch yesterday, I wasn’t even sure who she was working for. Or, rather, “working” for. Her longtime employer, United Press International, doesn’t exist anymore as a wire service. (It’s a website. A pretty thin one, too.) Her wiki bio tells me she quit 10 years ago, after UPI was sold to the Moonies’ media arm, and at the time of her final disgrace this week was employed by Hearst Newspapers. As a columnist.

I had to look a while to find one of her columns; Google is understandably more interested in offering stories about her resignation. But I found one, in the Houston Chronicle. In it, she states that President Obama has a lousy record on press conferences. Here’s a sample:

You are considered a great communicator. So what’s the deal? You are surely well-primed on the issues and headlines of the day. Speeches and well-placed interviews won’t cut it. You should be quizzed.

Ah yes, the familiar “open letter” trope. It seems to have been a favorite:

Get real, Mr. President, cutting Social Security would be a break of trust with the American people.

Millions of Americans cannot live without their Social Security stipends. So don’t tamper with those monthly checks.

From February:

As shown by recent polls there is no question Obama has lost some popular ground because he has been making tough decisions — the difference he has found between campaigning and governing.

Some critics have contended that it was a mistake for the president to emphasize health reform instead of jobs creation in view of the nearly 10 percent unemployment rate. Obama now has made jobs the main focus of the administration.

And so on. Now you see the secret of too much Washington punditry, of almost all punditry: State the obvious, bolster with conventional wisdom, restate the obvious, knock off early. I have no idea what Hearst was paying her for this, but I’m sure it wasn’t that much. With Thomas, for both her and her employers, the point was Thomas, period. Her longevity. Her No. 1 seat in the press room. Her cranky questions. The pecking order of the White House press corps. She ended all press conferences by saying, “Thank you, Mr. President,” which was a tradition started by her UPI predecessor. (Yes, she had one.)

I was making my cop-shop rounds when I heard the news about Thomas, via two officers who were watching the story unfold on cable. I sat in the foyer, paging through the file, eavesdropping. One told the other he didn’t see why this was a story at all. “Everybody knows she’s a liberal,” he said, which goes to show what generations of paint-by-numbers Washington analysis gets you: A population that believes the Helen Thomas affair is somehow about, what? Bias? She’s a columnist. A columnist who isn’t biased isn’t worth reading. I’m still not sure why, exactly, she felt the need to retire so abruptly, except that she’s sort of embarrassing. She’s approaching her 90th birthday and apparently has nothing else to do but work. The only personal biographical detail I can find past her Detroit upbringing has her marrying at the age of 51, with widowhood following 11 years later. If you were her age, wouldn’t you like to hang out in the White House press room all day, waiting for the next round of cupcakes? I would.

And now she’s gone. I was struck by the picture of her in this story. I don’t know whether it’s sad or just an unflattering picture taken at an age when that’s the only kind most of us ever take. I think it’s the hair that bothers me, that Ronald Reagan shade of unnatural brown. I guess she’s free to let the gray grow out now. And say whatever she wants.


The race to fill Mark Souder’s congressional seat is getting a little crowded. No fewer than 16 eager Republicans are clamoring to see who can say “we the people,” “values” and “stop the march toward socialism” louder than the next guy. One is a local TV news anchor — yet another member of the liberal media — who has taken a leave of absence to run. But Nance, I can hear you asking. Won’t this taint him and leave him unable to be an unbiased reporter, in much the same manner as Helen Thomas? No, silly. First of all, this is Indiana. Second, he’s only saying things like, “I will be a solid voice for Christian and conservative values in Northeast Indiana,” nothing about Palestine and Jews. And finally, he’s not a journalist at all.

Srsly. His website refers to his work as that of “a public figure.” Ahem:

While working as a public figure, I have fought for the rights of residents. …My work as a public figure allowed me to see how things work in our nation’s capital.

And so on. Well, that’s nice to know. Most of us who work in daily journalism wouldn’t call news anchors colleagues, anyway. It’s nice to see they’re on board with it, too.

Off to the gym, then work. Have a great Tuesday.

Posted at 9:49 am in Current events |

52 responses to “To the glue factory.”

  1. Deborah said on June 8, 2010 at 10:13 am

    My right wing sister is giddy about the Helen Thomas affair. She thinks it somehow proves how biased the MSM has been. I don’t get it, she’s an elderly woman who has gone on way past her prime (if she ever had one). I haven’t paid much attention to her over the years, she just didn’t light up my radar screen. It’s great that they let her play in the playground so long. There are a few old timers in my profession (design) out there too, everyone pays homage even though they clearly don’t have what it takes anymore. That’s OK with me, they paid their dues and then some when they had it.

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  2. Jim said on June 8, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Once, long ago, I was working for The Evening Star in Auburn. I got a call from someone at channel 21 asking if we’d be interested in a news release about which of their “personalities” would be covering the ACD Parade. I told her, “Sure! Would you like a news release of which of our personalities will be covering the parade?” She didn’t get it.

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  3. Jeff Borden said on June 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Someone writing about the ill-conceived remarks made by Helen Thomas suggested that perhaps her gaffe was the result of her advanced age, the theory being that older folks lose some of that ability to filter out the more outrageous things that pop into mind. I’m not sure I buy that. . .Ms. Thomas was pretty well-known for her outspokenness regarding the Middle East, in general, and Israel, in particular. Regardless, in a time when so many political reporters are obsessed with the silliest of things, such as whether the O-man is demonstrating enough public anger over the Gulf oil spill, she did bring a certain tang of vinegar to the press briefings.

    Now that Ms. Thomas has been banished for her remarks about Israel, I do wonder when the spotlight will turn to Pat Buchanan, who has said and written things about Jews and Israel far worse than anything she said.

    Regarding Mark Souder, the former Bush speechwriter now holding court on the opinion pages of the Washington Post, Michael Gerson, wrote an infuriating column last Friday under the headline “Mark Souder and the case for grace.” It details Gerson’s long friendship with Souder, dating to the time when they both worked for Dan Coats, and laments his adultery-induced fall from grace. Then, Gerson takes aim at those of us who have laughed and jeered at Souder’s feckless hypocrisy.

    Writers Gerson: “Yet moral liberals have something to learn as well. The failure of human beings to meet their own ideals does not disprove or discredit those ideals. The fact that some are cowards does not make courage a myth. The fact that some are faithless does not make fidelity a joke. All moral standards create the possibility of hypocrisy. But I would rather live among those who recognize standards and fail to meet them than among those who mock all standards as lies. In the end, hypocrisy is preferable to decadence.”

    This paragraph really pisses me off. It suggests that those of us who are non-religious, who are tired of being hectored by phonies and hypocrites about our philosophies and life choices, who are repelled by the smug sanctimony of jerks like Souder, are “decadent” and “mock all standards as lies.”

    Fuck you, Mr. Gerson.

    I believe I live my life to a far higher standard than your cheating friend and I do it without benefit of Bible study groups or Sunday sermons. This idea that you must be religious to be moral just frosts me to no end. I don’t begrudge anyone their religious beliefs and I do believe faith enriches many lives even if it does not enrich mine. But I’m so tired of having self-appointed moral guardians looking down their nose at people like me. I repeat: Fuck you, Mr. Gerson.

    Rant over.

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  4. Dorothy said on June 8, 2010 at 10:42 am

    When I hear about elderly people still working long past the usual retirement age, be it 65 or 70, I come to the conclusion that without their work they’d keel over and die. This will probably happen with Helen Thomas, but then how would we know if it’s just old age, or the fact that she didn’t have anything to do with her time now that she’s not going to work anymore?

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  5. Connie said on June 8, 2010 at 10:54 am

    We know LAMary is the champion when it comes to celebrity sightings, but I did once ride an elevator with Helen Thomas. And with Maya Angelou too. In both cases I was on the way to a banquet for which each was the speaker.

    Doesn’t beat being held back by security while trying to get to a meeting at the Indianapolis Marriott on Shadeland. I was forced to wait until Frank Zappa exited the hotel and got in his limo and left.

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  6. brian stouder said on June 8, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Jeff, good rant.

    dat­ing to the time when they both worked for Dan Coats, and laments his adultery-induced fall from grace

    See – that’s what gets me; the implication that the guy ever was “graceful” – in any sense of the word. Mark Souder was habitually a disgraceful person, in his speaking and campaigning, and his general public persona.

    But I will always agree that his work on behalf of Fort Wayne’s VA hospital, and on behalf of the continued presence of the 122nd ANG fighter wing at Baer Field (and with that, the preservation of the airport itself) was admirable and important for this area in many ways. For that, I respect Mr Souder, morality and immorality aside.

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  7. nancy said on June 8, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I’ve read a version of that Gerson column before, by one of my colleagues in the Fort. It does indeed boil down to, “We set high standards for ourselves and sometimes we don’t live up to them, but liberals don’t set any standards at all.”

    To which I say what you said, Jeff.

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  8. LAMary said on June 8, 2010 at 11:32 am

    “This idea that you must be reli­gious to be moral just frosts me to no end. I don’t begrudge any­one their reli­gious beliefs and I do believe faith enriches many lives even if it does not enrich mine.”
    Jeff, I have thought or said this so many times. I have a fundie and a devout Catholic in my office. Both of them have pretty much said I was OK for someone without religion, but of course not as good as someone with religion. The absurdity of this idea evades them.

    On an entirely different note:

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  9. MichaelG said on June 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Well, Dorothy, I never really thought of myself as elderly, but if you say so . . . I work for the same reason the rest of you do. I need the paycheck. I found your comment offensive and patronizing.

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  10. Sue said on June 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    ‘you must be religious to be moral’
    Last weekend I saw a van with a bunch of religious/moral bumper stickers. One of them was ‘You can’t be Catholic AND “pro-choice”‘.
    Which made me think, well, you can’t be a priest AND a pedophile but the level of tolerance for that is pretty well-documented.
    Clean up your own house before you attack others. I may be going to Hell but damn the company’s got to be better than these smug jerks.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on June 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Many of our friends were amused by our son taking The History of Rock and Roll last year. In his defense he is a music major.

    Not to nitpick, Brian, but Souder didn’t become a believer in the VA hospital until he was challenged by Tom Hayhurst, who as a physician and veteran, had been advocating for the hospital for many years.

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  12. Snarkworth said on June 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    We are justified in condemning hypocrisy in public officials or others who have power over our lives. When a lawmaker criminalizes behavior that he himself practices, he is setting a double standard: When he violates the standard, he has simply fallen from grace, poor dear. If you do so, you must suffer the full weight of the consequences. That violates standards of equal protection.

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  13. nancy said on June 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I’d say leave the bumper stickers on, Sue. After hearing the story about why, precisely, the nurse who allowed the hospital she is administrator of to perform a life-of-the-mother abortion was excommunicated, I’m in favor of more people knowing exactly where these folks stand on a lot of things.

    (Why, in a nutshell: Because it’s a lesser evil to allow a woman to die for an 11-week fetus, which would of course kill the fetus, too, than to step in and abort the fetus and save the woman’s life. The fact she already had four living children is not a factor. Woman’s life=cheap. Fetus’ life=innocent.)

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  14. moe99 said on June 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    The video of Helen Thomas is particularly interesting, as it was the statements made therein that got her fired.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on June 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm


    You have just hit one of the most recent cases of why I find it nearly impossible to embrace the One True anymore. To a one, the staffers at St. Joseph Hospital in Phoenix have described Sister Margaret McBride as an example of true, living grace, but that counted for naught to the bishop of Phoenix. As you note, the hell with the woman and her existing children and husband. She must die and leave four orphans along with her unborn 11-week-old fetus to satisfy the dogma of celibate old men in Rome.

    Lucky she wasn’t a pedophile priest or the punishment would have been swift and sure. . .oh, never mind. Priests are different.

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  16. Hattie said on June 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Jeff Borden: I agree with you 1000%.

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  17. del said on June 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Snarkworth, agreed. Jeff Borden, did you catch the story of the Founder of the Legion of Christ?

    My mention of this story is not to bring scandal, but to highlight the inherent contradictions facing religious who work to reveal Truth instead of to Search for truth.

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  18. Dorothy said on June 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    MichaelG I don’t understand what you’re taking offense at; I think you misunderstood me. Perhaps I worded my comment badly. I meant that when I hear about people working past the time when most retire (at the age of 65 or 70), I assume it’s because they enjoy working so much and it fulfills them so much, that without it, they would not live long once they retire. Perhaps they never found something that engages them as much as their job does. And once that job comes to an end, say at the age of 75, 80, 92, whatever, and they are really forced to retire, then perhaps the heartbreak of not working any longer pushes them towards death faster.

    I’m still doing a bad job of this, but I hope you know I meant no offense. I admire people that still have the stamina to work past the age of 65 or 70. My mom worked until she was 72 and then finally retired. She was doing part time work for the last 6 or 7 years but she really loved going to work. She says it kept her young.

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  19. Jen said on June 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I’m so sick of the whole Republican caucus drama up here in Northeast Indiana. Quite a few of the candidates have absolutely no prayer of winning and sound like a bunch of nuts to me. (By the way, one of the candidates, Phil Troyer, just dumped his bid for the seat, so we’re back to 15 candidates. He wants a state representative seat that just came open.)

    I normally would probably just ignore the whole thing, except that now I have to proofread our three daily newspapers so I get to read every story someone writes about it. From what I’ve heard from people who are more politically in tune than me, it sounds like Marlin Stutzman has a good chance, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking because he from our coverage area.

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  20. Jakash said on June 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    None of my business, but what part of “I need the pay­check.” don’t you understand, Dorothy?

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  21. nancy said on June 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Let’s all relax.

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  22. Bob (Not Greene) said on June 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    The right-wingers can gloat all they want about Helen Thomas (who even paid any attention to her, for Christ’s sake), but at least their idol Glenn Beck is finally flying his true colors.

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  23. brian stouder said on June 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Let’s all relax.

    I’ll drink to that!

    (to be honest, even if Dorothy ripped me to pieces and then spit upon the remnants, still I wouldn’t take offense. She’s a large part of the heart and soul of this place, I think)

    EDIT – Jen – looks like Souder is, zombie-like, attempting to put his cold dead hands around the neck of Stutzman’s efforts to win the congressional seat. WooHoo!!

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  24. bobolink said on June 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    In light of the lack of adequate retirement savings and other factors like the ones mentioned by Dorothy and MichaelG, I think the new definition of retirement is having a measure of freedom over how and when you work. Short days, short weeks, no Fridays in summer and the like. Also, hopefully more creative entrepeneurs. Bye bye gold watch, rocking chair and fishing pole.

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  25. coozledad said on June 8, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Wow, Bob. Beck is even more of a dumbass than I thought.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on June 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    There’s a special place in hell for shitheels like Glenn Beck, who will tout an anti-Semitic screed written by a Nazi if it makes their enemies (in this case unions, especially the NEA) look bad.

    This guy is going supernova. It won’t be long until he self-immolates. He keeps upping the crazy ante every week. And his act is starting to wear even on the knuckle-draggers of America. His ratings are going down precipitously, though not fast enough for me. As the steam of the teabagger movement dissipates, he should sink even faster.

    He can attract only the lowest of the bottom feeding advertisers in the States. In the U.K., where Uncle Rupert distributes this crap over his satellite empire, Beck has ZERO advertisers.

    Glennzilla gave the commencement address last week at Liberty University, the faux school created by Jerry Falwell. Astonishingly, he advised the graduates to treat others with respect, a trait he has yet to learn.

    You cannot make this shit up. Glenn Beck as a commencement speaker. God forgive us.

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  27. Dexter said on June 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I know how great it is to have a good paying job with great health coverage, but it is much greater to retire with those benefits and a good pension at an age where one can enjoy life.
    That’s what I worked hard for…the chance to leave that kind of work forever, and I made it out.
    People like the late Dr. Michael DeBakey, the heart-bypass pioneer, lived only for his work, putting in eighteen hours a day and sometimes just crashing for a few hours in a doctors’ lounge sleeping room and then starting another day. He lived to be just two months shy of one hundred. He too, like Helen Thomas, was Lebanese-American. He had no hobbies, no interests at all, except medicine.
    As Nance noted, Helen Thomas is a long-time widow. She does have a social life and many friends. Craig Crawford is a great friend of hers (they are frequent dinner companions) and they were going on tour every weekend and locally around DC during the week, promoting their collaboration, “Listen Up, Mister President!”, Helen’s account of her time in the press corps, dealing with all those presidents.
    Craig disassociated himself from Helen the other day, disappointing many of his bloggers at TrailMix, the blog-arm of Congressional Quarterly, who employs Craig. Nine Speakers, run by Diane Nine, is the book agent for Craig and also for the Crawford-Thomas writing projects. Diane Nine let Helen go with a harsh press release…so did Craig. It upset us regular bloggers at Craig’s TrailMix blog, but we guessed Craig had to do it for professional reasons. I didn’t understand why.

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  28. Sue said on June 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Actually, all this ‘work til you die’ discussion is just the opening shot in the next wave of the culture wars – here’s the general blueprint:
    Those evil old people should quit the jobs they’re hanging onto long past their usefulness and open up jobs for deserving young people.
    Those evil old people should work instead of retiring when they’ve still got years left; they’re bleeding us dry with all their entitlements and voting power and taking up space and shit.
    What is the matter with those selfish old people?
    You don’t think it’s going to happen? It’s already here.

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  29. Dorothy said on June 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I didn’t think it necessary to call attention to the obvious: Those of us who work – we have bills – we need paychecks. I don’t know anyone personally who does NOT work for the paycheck. I was trying to APPLAUD those who work past the usual retirement age and I didn’t think there needed to be separate lines for those who need to work vs. those who love to work and don’t want to retire. For crying out loud some of you have awfully thin skins.

    I’m relaxed as I’m ever gonna be. And Brian have I told you lately what a sweetie pie you are? Each and every day, no matter what the temperature of the room, you are the most even keeled person I “feel” on here. And I love you for that.

    [Deep cleansing breaths now… 1, 2, 3…]

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  30. LAMary said on June 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Sue, I see that scenario here at the hospital. I can’t hire many new grad nurses because older nurses are not retiring. What was a nursing shortage has now become a glut of inexperienced nurses with no place to get experience. Right now I have about 75 new grads for every new grad opening while the average age of working nurses goes up.

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  31. Sue said on June 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Mary, I see seniors as the next working mom/at home mom hate group. They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t, easily stereotyped and patronized. It will be interesting to watch politicians simultaneously trying to court and screw them.

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  32. Julie Robinson said on June 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Hey everybody! The Glee finale is on tonight! So in the spirit of musical theatre nerds, I encourage everyone to express their feelings in song, with optional dance routine. Mine is “For Good” from Wicked, in which two enemies admit that friendship has both changed and made them better. Which is how I think of my nnc friends–I have learned much from you-all, agree or disagree.

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  33. Dorothy said on June 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Julie I forgot to mention that I bought tickets to see Wicked recently – it will be my first time. We go on August 8th. I can’t wait!! Even though my name is Dorothy, I think sometimes I have a bit of the Wicked Witch in me.

    How many songs have you bought at iTunes from Glee? I think I’ve only purchased two but my daughter has just about all of them.

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  34. Deborah said on June 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I’m going to retire from corporate design work in 2 or 3 years because I’m tired of the corporate side (and the company I work for knows that about me), but I have no intention to stop designing for pay after that. I assume I’ll have projects from time to time and I’ll control how many I take on. I will probably do that until I can no longer manage, hopefully that will be a long, long time. My husband, who has his own architectural practice as a design consultant will die at his “drafting table”. he too has no intention of ever stopping. It’s not that we feel that there is nothing else out there for us, because we have a lot of other stuff out there that we do. We both just really, really love design and love being part of that world.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on June 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Dorothy, Wicked is most excellent, and almost has to be seen more than once to pick up the nuances. Twice wasn’t enough for me but it was for the budget. I hope you love it.

    Our son is kind enough to let me piggyback on his Napster subscription, so I have downloaded the entire Glee catalog. It’s a great deal–we let him live here, and he lets me download his music.

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  36. Laurie said on June 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Mel Gibson… Michael Richards… Helen Thomas?!
    Helen always used to hang out daily at the Lebanese Taverna restaurant in my neighborhood of DC–the original, before it became a chain. Wonder if she had a belt or two at the Taverna before this happened. Older folks can lose biological tolerance for alcohol–I’ve seen it in my relatives. When my elderly father had the beginnings of dementia, with Parkinson’s, he lost his “filter.” You’d hear stories around his facility of proper gentlemen and ladies taking on at times like an Andrew Dice Clay record.
    I have also had people tell me of getting old enough so you just don’t give a @#$% what people think of what you say or how you look, but I find it hard to believe that Helen would have said these things to a media person in her “right mind.”
    A lot of us will work until we are carried out feet-first or bad-dye-job-first, thanks to the economy and shrinkage or disappearance of many retirement options (and/or because we want to)–some of us will press on, still sharp, ’til the end; others of us won’t… I don’t like the idea that this may not be under my control.

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  37. prospero said on June 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I once endured a 12-hour flight delay in the company of Julian Bond. Tensions were high after we sat on the apron doer about three hours before they brought us back to warm coke products bathed in the light of the hokiest neon excuses for creativity in the history of modern art. Maybe China Mieville could make that place up, but I’m thinking it would take a
    Screaming Blue Messiahs song by Bill Nelson to grasp the inherent absurdity. You’re stills

    So anyway, this is a flight with 125 folks, mostly about my vague middle age. And nobody recognized Julian Bond but me? Seriously? He got unceremoniossly escorted off the floor of the Democratic National Convention, and somebody finally pointed out he was to young to be the Vice President.

    I’d been part of a committee that invited to speak at Holy Cross years earlier. He told a great joke. The press always wanted advance copies of his speeches. Thy wanted to be able to say he was a textual deviate. Fox eould run with that these days, and it would have a half-life that extended Plutonium. When you tell the truth, loonies will drag you d0wn.

    The thing I remembered from this IF YOU 5Y9NK

    S0ME MO0NO4ON 28N

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  38. prospero said on June 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    ENDURED. Juian Bond. Whqdy

    seriously (‘m 230n

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  39. brian stouder said on June 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I was with you up to the license plate numbers. (What’s the frequency, Kenneth?)

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  40. nancy said on June 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    This is what makes him so special. Shhh. Don’t ever change, P.

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  41. LAMary said on June 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    My song and dance routine is “A Boy Like That” sung in the ridiculous fake Puerto Rican accent used in West Side Story, the movie.
    A boy like dat woooould keel your brudder..

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  42. Deborah said on June 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    “… they brought us back to warm coke prod­ucts bathed in the light of the hok­i­est neon excuses for cre­ativ­ity in the his­tory of mod­ern art.” Good prospero.

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  43. Deborah said on June 8, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Another fantastic Roger Ebert post you shouldn’t miss:

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  44. brian stouder said on June 8, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Jen will be copy-editing a lot of writing about this:

    Can’t decide if Mark Souder is more pathological, or pathetic. He seems to be trying to apply the kiss of death to Stutzman by giving him a dubious “endorsement”, but still he cannot keep his essential cattiness in the bag. An excerpt (with emphasis added):

    Former U.S. Rep. Mark Souder wrote in a message to two northern Indiana Republicans that state Sen. Marlin Stutzman is likely the best qualified candidate to take his place. NewsChannel 15 confirmed the message was sent via Facebook to Noble County’s GOP chairman and the county prosecutor. In the message, Souder predicts that Stutzman will win the caucus. NewsChannel 15’s phone call to Mark Souder was not returned. The former Congressman did confirm with The Journal Gazette that he sent the message and that he considers it private. He described the message as “mostly pro-Marlin Stutzman,” but would not comment further. “Though I am frustrated at Marlin (more in a minute), he’s probably best qualified and basically a very good man for all his over aggressive ambition,” Souder wrote in the message.

    and then, for some mustard on Souder’s shit-sandwich for Stutzman, there’s this:

    Stutzman agreed to an interview with NewsChannel 15. He said his response to Souder’s message is one of confusion and calls it “bizarre.”

    “[Souder] really needs to focus on his family and really needs to focus on his relationship with his wife and not worry about this stuff right now,” Stutzman said. (Stutzman has that right!)

    Also related to Stutzman’s campaign for Congress, Souder expressed concerns over Stutzman’s relationship with Brad Jackson and private plane rides provided during Stutzman’s campaign. “I warned Brad* thru Tracy** to make sure it was reported,” Souder wrote in the message. “Supposedly Marlin did, but it doesn’t look like an in-kind to me (Brad shows up as having given 500 dollars, that doesn’t cover it).”

    *husband of his mistress

    **his mistress

    It is amazing, isn’t it? This genuinely disgraceful man would have us believe he had always planned to retire after winning the primary (affair or no affair) – but that he stayed in in order to defeat the unworthy car dealer guy who “self-funded” his primary challenge.

    And now, Souder seems determined to leverage his own sex scandal into a gulf-coast style tarball with which to smear yet another candidate that he deems unworthy.

    He really is a political zombie, clumsily chasing after and snarling at his perceived prey, and to hell with anyone who witnesses the spectacle. It seems that the man’s purpose in life is essentially negative; he must defeat/destroy/devour all the unworthies that cross his path, ultimately including himself

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  45. Suburban Kamikaze said on June 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    What a great conversation you have going on over here -at least by my standards – which are, apparently, no standards at all.


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  46. nancy said on June 8, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Sounds like a slow-motion crackup, Brian.

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  47. beb said on June 8, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Jeff Borden at 26: Glenzilla is the popular nickname for Glen Greenwald. Best not use it to mock Glen Beck.

    I;m not bothered by the color of Helen Thomas’ hair, which doesn’t look all that unnatural. What bothered as her lipstick which was a gaudy brilliant red, a bad choice for her paper white skin and looked like it was applied by a trowel in the dark. She looked like a crazy old lady.

    Anyone who lived through the Ronald Reagan administration will recall the shock of the announcement after his administration ended that Reagan had Alzheimer’s. How long, people wondered, had the President been mentally impaired? It is a worry that surfaces every time one sees a politician in their 80s continuing to run for office. I’m not calling for a retirement age for politicians, exactly, but maybe if more people in the 70s retired there would be less morons in Congress.

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  48. Kim said on June 8, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I must be the only person on NN.C who watched this – it was an HBO documentary on Helen T., so lovey-dovey I thought she’d died and I’d missed it. But then I realized Rory Kennedy had done the doc. You’re right about the hair, Nancy – very Reaganesque and a total disconnect with the skin.

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  49. Cara said on June 8, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Brian, It’s interesting to note that Souder’s doghouse has internet service!

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  50. MichaelG said on June 9, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Dorothy, my comments reflect what I read in yours. If I misunderstood or misinterpreted your meaning, I’m sorry. This is a sensitive issue with me.

    I would love to retire but circumstances (a marriage that ended a couple of years ago) have foreclosed that option for the immediate future.

    I am very cognizant of the attitudes mentioned by Sue @ #28. It’s a real issue among employees of the State of California. Our pay has already been shaved by 15% and who knows what wonders the new budget will hold if and when the geniuses (that doesn’t look right, but spell check says it’s OK) under the dome get around to passing one. As a result, there is pressure for us expensive old folks to leave. Pressure but no incentive. I’m sick of people asking me when I’m going to retire.

    The results are mostly in and it looks like maybe, just maybe, some really boneheaded propositions are going to fail. Keep’em crossed.

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  51. Dorothy said on June 9, 2010 at 9:41 am

    We’re good with each other, Michael. No worries. I am still having trouble understanding what offended you but I apologize profusely if I unintentionally did so. I love hanging out here at nn.c. If I ever have an issue with someone who comments here, I hope I could keep my thoughts straight and civil and exchange ideas and words in a fair-minded manner. I’m like this in real life, too, not just on the Internet, I promise!

    I would never ask someone why they are still working or when they are going to retire. That’s none of my business!! I see people around me all the time working who appear to be what I would call elderly, and it breaks my heart to think that they need to keep working when they should be relaxing, doing some fun things, sleeping in if they want to, etc. There are a few cashiers at Kroger and Wal-mart in town who have arthritis and seem to be miserable on their feet for hours at a time and I just ache for them. The economy in the last few years has given many people no choice. It just doesn’t seem fair. I hope that won’t be the case for me when I reach 65 or so. I love where I work right now, but I’d also love to be home making quilts, knitting socks or directing plays, particularly to work with young people or little kids. By then I better have a grandchild or two to spoil as well. Otherwise I’m gonna have to adopt a few.

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 9, 2010 at 9:42 am

    This is just so good on so many levels — — and it just gets better the further along you read.

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