Spilled tea.

I’m trying to analyze yesterday’s primary results, in which a moderate Republican, Rick Snyder, triumphed over four others, and by “triumphed,” I mean, “shamed them.” The two tea party candidates, Dutch and Smirky, came in second and third and split the right wing down the middle. Dutch, Pete Hoekstra, would have been the lesser of the two evils, but only incrementally, and besides, Snyder beat him like a drum. How shocking to discover that a movement based on ideological orthodoxy can’t attract a sufficiently orthodox candidate to please everyone.

Or, in the case of Nevada, a sane one.

The Democrats nominated a fiery populist, Virg Bernero. Conventional wisdom is that we’ll have a Republican governor in fall, and my guess is, Snyder will beat Bernero like a rented mule. I can live with a Gov. Snyder.

Elsewhere, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, who stayed holed up in her bunker all night, fell hard to a state senator, Hansen Clarke, so that’s showbiz. And in my state-rep primary, the harder-right tea party organizer lost to a more moderate Republican who dropped lots of green buzzwords in her platform literature. Michigan is a more moderate state than many, and I don’t want to draw grand conclusions in a time of economic emergency, but I’d say that for the time being, we’re less interested in stopping ENCROACHING MARXISM than in getting the economy’s engine running again. Just a thought.

It wasn’t a terrible day, but a frustrating one. I had the strong sense of running very hard and gaining no ground, which is never pleasant. So I went for a fast bike ride in hot-soup weather conditions, then remembered I needed milk and OJ. Stopped at Kroger, stepped into the blessed AC and promptly began sweating like someone having a heart attack. I must have looked alarming, because an old lady told me to go ahead of her at the checkout. The guy in front wasn’t giving any ground, checking out with a case of Miller High Life tall boys. He did tell me, more than once, that his children didn’t like skim milk, and called it “water milk.” I didn’t tell him that my husband didn’t like Miller High Life, no matter what size the can. On the other hand, I just put a six-pack carton of his current favorite in the recycling, and glimpsed the price tag: $9.69. FOR A SIX-PACK?!?? Jeez. Oh, well. Bell’s Oberon, if you’re wondering.

And then I salvaged what remained of the day with a tomato and corn pie, recipe left in the comments last Friday by I-forget-who, but I thanks you just the same. It was delicious. If you make it yourself, be advised you can use Pillsbury pre-made pie crusts (I did) and any old kind of cheese you want (I did) and even add ingredients (I’d suggest bacon), and you will not be sorry. Less-juicy tomato varieties would make it less soupy, but if you just squeeze the pulp out of about two-thirds of them (leaving a little for taste), everything will work out juuuust fine. It was the kind of dish that really salvaged the evening, even if Kate wouldn’t touch it. More for me.

Today, I’m trying to change my luck. “Transformers 3” is hiring paid extras, so I just submitted my deets and headshot. I think I really missed my chance by not joining the “Red Dawn” cast of thousands last year; with my figure and excellent pronunciation of Russian, I was a natural to play a stout lesbian prison-camp guard who makes lusty eyes at one of the young Wolverines — you know, the Mary Woronov type.

By the way, when is “Red Dawn 2010” going to be released? I have about half a dozen films featuring Detroit friends and acquaintances to see, and all of them are backed up like aircraft in a holding pattern. Like “The Irishman.”

Bloggage: Jolene recommended this to me, and I finally got around to reading it. It’s heartbreaking, but essential, a typically excellent Atul Gawande look at a medical topic — end-of-life care, in this case. I will spare you the snarky remarks about Sarah Palin and death panels.

Oh, and the NYT does yet another story on the thriving Detroit arts scene. These reporters must take a number at some of these installations. Oh, well: Beats ruin porn.

And that’s it for me. Where do these summer mornings go? (You’re looking at it.) It’s blistering hot and looks like a storm’s a-comin’, so I might as well get some work done.

Posted at 11:01 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

67 responses to “Spilled tea.”

  1. adrianne said on August 4, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Glad to see Irish mobsters back in the limelight, although nothing can beat “Miller’s Crossing” in my book. Also, check out the book “Paddywhacked: The Untold Story of the Irish-American Gangster” by T.J. English.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 4, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Appeal to the wisdom of the community — when I’ve been gone a stretch, and the basil plants all grow their regal (basileus, after all) crowns of knobs and flowers, I top ’em off and let the lovely leaves keep sprouting. But I’ve been starting to keep and stir in or saute the seed/flower/stub-leaves I pull off, since they smell great and have perfectly pleasant flavor. They’re just a bit chewy, but I strip out the woodier hunks of stem, and it’s fine…to me. Has anyone heard of using or have recipes that reference the seedy tops of grown-out basil plants?

    Meanwhile, I’m getting plenty of large, tasty leaves before my two weeks away and after, plenty of pesto around here (with pine nuts, with almonds, with cashews). Caprese etc. aplenty, but I’m curious if this usage of the overgrown tops has any precedent. Light Googling tells me naught.

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  3. Sue said on August 4, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Via Ezra Klein, some of that actual-journalism-stuff I’ve heard used to be common. It’s long and depressing but worth it. If you’re wondering if you’re the only one who thinks the Senate might be heading down a sad and scary road, this is not going to reassure you.

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  4. LAMary said on August 4, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Jon Stewart yet again.


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  5. MichaelG said on August 4, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Never seen any recipes for basil tops but I’ve got lots. I’ve always cut them off. I’m open to suggestions.

    Mary Woronov. “Eating Raoul” has always been one of my faves.

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  6. nancy said on August 4, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Going back through the Woronov portfolio, I’m ashamed to have compared myself to her. She was a stunner in her dewy youth. I’d forgotten.

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  7. prospero said on August 4, 2010 at 11:58 am

    OK. Politics. As Far as the thriving Detroit arts scene, buy all them MC5 and Seger System tapes. Not to mention Motown. And SRC was the best band, and the Stooges were OK.

    Anyway, Can the masters of the non-filibuster get any more obvious or any more partisan? Make Mitch actually do a Jimmy Stewart. He’s an equally bad scenery chewer and horrendously bad actor.

    Mitch McConell did exactly the same thing as Charlie Rangel did. How is this not obvious to everybody?

    The abject stupidity of the American electorate is depressing. John Ensign? Reall? Newt serving divorce papers on the terminal cancer patient?

    Look. These assholes have returned to the Laffer Curve, which is pretty much looney, just on the face of logic and math.

    Here’s what I propose. Anybody that can identify a single positive proposal from Republicans since Obama was elected, let’s hear it. Setriously. How do we move the country forward? I thought we did that with health care reform. No?

    And do Americans think it’s fine that the Supreme Court is the whackjob Cheney court that believes more in lobbyists and Enron criminals than human rights? That’s how things stand. If you take a political stand, aaren’t you willing to be identified? Scaife isn’t.

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  8. paddyo' said on August 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Speaking, as Nance did, of movies and extras, we have a nice view, from the oil spill Unified Area Command HQ here in a downtown New Orleans office building, down on one of the outdoor shooting locales for “The Green Lantern.”

    I’m told the production has been in town for some weeks/months now (the city and state apparently have advantageous financial incentives to attract Hollywoodies to make movies here). I missed the crowd-of-extras-fleeing-mayhem scenes a day or two before my start date here, but yesterday there was a schoolbus-vs-car wreck that sat in one closed-off street all day. Also, a couple of cranes raising and lowering some enormous tent-like shades the size of small parking lots, I guess to assist in lighting (it has been alternately sunny and cloudy here all week).

    Today they’re milling around like ants on a set that looks like an outdoor marketplace — fruit-and-vegetable stands, blue umbrellas, etc. I’m told Nawlins is merely a stand-in city for whatever the mythical Green Lanternville is (sorry, I’m not familiar with that comic), so I’m sure it’s carefully camouflaged by camera angles and such.

    What I most notice is what I assume all extras and others notice, which is that people seem to spend a LOT of time standing around down there, doing nothing.

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  9. Kim said on August 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    The piece about end-of-life was eye opening. I am going through this with my Mother now. Even though she has no terminal diseases, I never know what to say or do when the nursing home vacillates between wanting to put her in hospice care or sending her to the ER ever time she coughs. They make you feel like an ax murderer if you refuse the hospital.

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  10. Jean S said on August 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Agreed about the Gawande piece. It’s the kind of article I want to force upon people (“Here! Read this!”) but know that the ones who need to read it the most will be the first to shy away from it.

    That said, Kim, maybe you can offer a copy up to that nursing home…

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  11. ROgirl said on August 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    At least Virg is better than Geoffrey Feiger.

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  12. John said on August 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I loved Miller’s Crossing and Eating Raoul is hilarious. Paul Bartel’s Lust in the Dust is particularly good too with Lainie Kazan and Devine as the leading ladies.

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  13. Julie Robinson said on August 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    In the stoopid politician category we’ve got Mike Pence chowing down on shrimp and fish in New Orleans whilst whining about the deep oil drilling moratorium. ‘Cos “the oil won’t cause dramatic long-term damage to the seafood in the Gulf”.

    Our daughter went to the Transformers filming in Chicago. I think she was hoping to see one of the cute stars, but still did enjoy a drawbridge scene with a car hanging off. It won’t be enough to make me watch the movie.

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  14. Rana said on August 4, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Kim, Jean – I read that piece a few days ago, and it really does make you think. My godfather was able to die at home because of hospice, and the piece of mind it brought him and my godmother was considerable (he was, among other things, terrified of hospitals and doctors). I can’t recommend hospice care highly enough, if it’s available to you.

    On the other hand, I still feel quite angry at the way that the hospital staff damaged his vocal cords during intubation, making it nearly impossible for my godmother (who had hearing problems) to hear him during his last days.

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  15. nancy said on August 4, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Indiana. Sigh. Such an innocent place.

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  16. coozledad said on August 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    It’s good to see Hoekstra out. Wasn’t he an enabler of Porter Goss’s ideological cleansing of the intelligence services? Sucks when the Zhadonovites come down on your ass, don’t it Pete?

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  17. alex said on August 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Yikes! The spectre of Dan Turkette barebacking is gonna make me lose my lunch. Glad to see he’s getting the kind of attention he deserves, though.


    I use basil tops/flowers in cooking all the time. As far as I’m concerned they’re as good as basil leaves themselves if you’re doing a pesto or incorporating basil into a salad. I’ve never seen anyone advise against the practice. Likewise, I use garlic scapes in cooking when those are in season (usually May/June). Those have a great garlic flavor without quite so much of the bite, and I make olive oil with them to savor year ’round as a dip for bread or to use for sauteeing things.

    Forgot all about Eating Raoul. One of my all-time faves.

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  18. Jolene said on August 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    In the stoopid politician category we’ve got Mike Pence chow ing down on shrimp and fish in New Orleans whilst whin ing about the deep oil drilling mora to rium. ‘Cos “the oil won’t cause dra matic long-term dam age to the seafood in the Gulf”.

    Of all the ill-informed, self-important people that talk on TV, none gets under my skin more than Mike Pence. I absolutely cannot abide him. Unfortunately, my fervent wishes that he would just go away don’t seem to work any better than do my analogous wishes with regard to Sarah Palin.

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  19. brian stouder said on August 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    1. I clicked the Mary Woronov link earlier on, and in my opinion you have nothing to be ashamed of, at all.

    2. “It’s blis­ter­ing hot and looks like a storm’s a-comin’, so I might as well get some work done”

    Yesterday it stormed hereabouts, and afterward the humidity was way up, as was the temp. I mowed the backyard, and when I was done and resting (while sweating profusely) on the swing in the front, I noticed that my glasses kept steaming up.

    Not like they would have been if Ms Woronov or Ms Derringer went jogging past, but still…

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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Alex – grazie mille.

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  21. Deborah said on August 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Happy birthday Mister President. You can sign the card http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/barackbirthday

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  22. Rana said on August 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I have the dubious pleasure of being “represented” by Mr. Pence. Writing him emails is always a mixture of frustrating and entertaining, because he always comes up with the most whackadoo reasons for his political decisions.

    Re: Indiana and tweets… this is the land of the game un-ironically named “cornhole” after all.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on August 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Well, Pence will no doubt be re-elected, but just to your north, Rana, I think there’s a chance for better representation due to Souder’s little whoopsies. It seems Hayhurst will run a vigorous campaign, judged by the number of phone calls our house is getting. We’ve had three calls, two by Hayhurst in person, and we talked for probably 15 minutes. But I’m amused that the callers always ask for me, even when DH answers. Going for the post-50 female demographic?

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  24. moe99 said on August 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Jolene and Nancy–thanks for the article. It had me in tears by the end, but it’s extremely relevant to my situation. Sent it to my kids with ORDERS to read it.

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  25. Jolene said on August 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I was thinking about you, too, moe. I hope you and your family won’t face these choices anytime soon, but, if you do, it can only help to think and talk about them together.

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  26. Rana said on August 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    What Jolene said. It’s like pulling teeth to get my parents to talk about things like this with me, but, really, I need to know. Just getting them to let me know when they have medical issues, period, was a big step forward.

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  27. Jeff Borden said on August 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Here in Illinois, we’ll have lovely choices to make this fall between a Democratic senatorial candidate whose family bank went belly up and has been linked to loans to mob figures, or a Republican senatorial candidate who seemingly is incapable of telling the truth about his past without embellishing it with feats he never performed. Oh, and the GOPer early on sought the endorsement of SheWho.

    I’m not certain that the certified whackadoodles in Nevada and Kentucky will wind up winning, but the Democrats will lose enough seats that the already gridlocked Senate will simply freeze altogether.

    It’s one thing for a political party to object to a course of action on principle and to offer other solutions for debate. It’s quite another for a party that stood silently as its president spent money like David Vitter in a brothel to now squeal about deficit spending and to say no, no, a thousand times no, to proposals from the other party without ever offering an alternative beyond more tax cuts.

    This has become far more personal to me over the past year or so. I’m one of the “underemployed” who confronts a future that may never again offer me full-time employment, so all this rhetoric about how the only folks who are out of work are lazy pisses me off. And I would like for my wife to be able to retire, but I am on her health coverage plan, so the half-assed health care reform plan –watered down and twisted by the GOP– will do me no good if she ever quits.

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  28. Jolene said on August 4, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Prop 8 has been overturned in California.

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban Wednesday in a landmark case that could eventually land before the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if gays have a constitutional right to marry in America.

    Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker made his ruling in a lawsuit filed by two gay couples who claimed the voter-approved ban violated their civil rights. Gay couples waving rainbow and American flags outside the courthouse cheered, hugged and kissed as word of the ruling spread.

    Despite the favorable ruling for same-sex couples, gay marriage will not be allowed to resume. That’s because the judge said he wants to decide whether his order should be suspended while the proponents pursue their appeal in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The judge ordered both sides to submit written arguments by Aug. 6 on the issue.

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  29. Jeff Borden said on August 4, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Oh my. This is going to cause all sorts of agita in Salt Lake City after the Mormon Church spent tens of millions on Prop 8. Oh well, they can afford it.

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  30. prospero said on August 4, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Why would anybody vote for any asshole that spouts this 14th Amendment crap? It’s like claiming the limiting clause in the 2nd Amendment was some sort of hiccup they didn’t really mean.

    Of course, why would any reasonable human being stay in the same room with somebody as terminally greasy and disgusting as Mitch McConnell? Somebody that knew him when he was a little kid may have heard this oleaginous piece of shit approach the truth, but that sure hasn’t happened in his public life. The Democratic Party does not produce hypocrite liars extraordinaire to match this. And where’d Mitch’s wife come from and what does M. Chao think about all of this? She was born in Taipan, but she’s not turning over her birth certificate.

    This is Orly Taitz garbage that even Michelle Bachman is probably smart enough to avoid. Mr. McConnell Republican? Hell. Maybe his brain died.

    Prop 8 was bullshit perpetrated on California by a combination of bigotry and the foolish Prop system, and of course, the Church of Jesus Christ of Lattter-Day Saints, who, no matter what they say, believe that grotesque fat guys with guns should have several teenaged wives. These people brought about Prop 13 back in the day, probably the seminal moment in the extended history of PNAC and Bush types fucking up the American Dream.

    Rand Paul. If I woke up to find my parents named me after an atrocious writer who was also a bigot and an idiot, I’d probably drink myself to death. I wouldn’t become a bigot and an idiot in real life and run for Senate.

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  31. A.Riley said on August 4, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Heat intolerance, Nancy. Me too. It comes with the middle-aged territory, I think — either that or it’s a side effect of one of my meds.

    One degree warm and one degree of exertion, and poof, my face turns beet red and my head & neck start pouring water. I’m sure people think I’m going to have a stroke. It drives me nuts.

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  32. Jeff Borden said on August 4, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Prospero, it could’ve been worse for Rand Paul. He might’ve been named Track or Trig.

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  33. Rana said on August 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Actually, as I understand it, Rand Paul was named Randal Paul at birth. The nickname is his own idea.

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  34. Deborah said on August 4, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Jeff B, this is probably old news to everyone but today I found a site that has a Sarah Palin baby name generator:

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  35. prospero said on August 4, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Heat is easily defeated by a long bike ride and a cool shower.

    How nuts are Republicans? Nobody can tell me there is no difference among politicians. Homogenizing America is pretty much making everybody subservient, while suborning the basic idea of America.

    And there’s no difference between the parties? Yeah. There is. Some jackwad yellowdog like Ben Nelson isn’t spouting crap like this 14th Amendment offal. GOP is run without principle nor ideas by media bozos like Beck and Limbaugh. And people vote for these aholes? All of the clever Southren Strategy GOP geniuses like Rove have created a zombie hoard, and they’re just frozen in horror at what they let loose.

    Seriously, how does a sane person vote for Sharron Angle? Shouldn’t that stand as a de facto poll test? I’m sorry, but you should be disqualified from casting a vote. Same for Rand Paul. Elect people like this, I’ll change my mind about the 2nd Amendment and hunker down.

    Meantime, Rush says we don’t even know it’s actually the President’s birthday. Because you can’t trust a Kenyan birth certificate. From the weirdos that brought you the Panamanian Presidential candidate.

    And Rana, the whole story about Rand Paul’s name came straight from the horse’s ass’s dad’s mouth, so when they pull shit like
    this, they need to be called out. How many racist assholes run as Democrats? I’d say that’s none. The Pauls want to do away with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. How many Democrats agree? Claiming there is no difference, they’re all politicians, whatever such sludge, is just unmitigated bullshit, like holier than thou political Puritanism of the Progressive variety.

    Aside from anything else, isn’t this 14th Amendment merde puzzling from the semi-pro-life political party? I suppose those furrin babies would be granted reprieve if they were immediately snatched from their parents, placed with good Christian gun rights and capital punishment supporters and named after a horrendous excuse for a writer that was also a neoconservative saint.

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  36. ROgirl said on August 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    In the Palin baby name category I’m holding out for Stump.

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  37. prospero said on August 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I don’t care where Rand Paul got his name. He could be John Galt Paul, or . He’s a racist pisant, and he’s not a doctor of any sort that a medical professional would send a patient to.

    Here’s Rand Paul, en flagrante.

    And morons in Missouri want to be guaranteed NOT to have health care, but them Teabaggers got their butts kicked yesterday. That Palin imprimatur ain’t the shit it’s supposed to be. This is a little disappointing. Running against a full goose looney is probably easier than dealing with a semblance of normality. Of course, if elected, every one of these Republicans will go to Washington and vote NO on anything the President proposes, because, you know, he was born in Kenya and reared by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

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  38. prospero said on August 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm


    My dad was a pediatrician, and once, doing new baby rounds, came upon a child named Placenta. Mom said it just “sounded so pretty” when the nurses said it.

    How did the Torns decide to name their kid Rip? And how did Chuck Long’s parents know he’d be a QB?

    Maybe Trig will grow up to be the next Charlie Epps.

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  39. brian stouder said on August 4, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    These are depressing times.

    Doom-and-gloom aren’t usually for me, but I am beginning to hear the alarm bells ringing in the distance. Our creaking, groaning, neglected political discourse is giving way to lock-step, rote recitals of irrational “solutions” for long-nurtured grievances; the right wing people are treating the US Constitution as the infallible Word of God Almighty Himself (except where it inconveniently diverges from their prejudices); and indeed, we may erelong have a genuine Constitutional crisis on our hands; and history shows that American Constitutional crises are generally quite unpleasant for all involved.

    It seems like American history shows that whenever we come across a fearsome political demolition charge connected to a plunger, the powerful impulse to push it will eventually prevail.

    If we open up the Constitution and start formally stripping out the protections it provides, it will only be our latest folly.

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  40. prospero said on August 4, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Making no excuses for Rangel, how in the world did this differ from Mitch McConnel’s behavior. Oh, Don Blankenship, dead miners, buying a State Supreme Court judge, and systematically trashing the Appalachian and East Coast aquifer for cash. O, yeah. That shit.

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 4, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Brian, go back and read Schlesinger’s “The Age of Jackson.”

    This, too, shall pass.*

    (The only four words A. Lincoln thought worth carving in granite. Pity they didn’t work them into the Lincoln Memorial, but it was fun last week reading the Second Inaugural in two foot high letters as the swallows swooped and the evening cacaphony of languages bubbled all around me.)

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  42. MarkH said on August 4, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Prospy, Torn’s given name is Elmore. Rip is a name the Torn family gives some its men in a hand-me-down fashion. His dad was a Rip, too. A Texas thing for sure.


    If you have a chance to catch it, don’t miss one of my favorite Torn movies, “Heartland” from 1979. A realistic telling of hardscrabble frontier life in southwest Wyoming in the early 1900s. Conchata Ferrell plays a mail order bride to Torn’s rancher. It’s based on letters written by Ferrell’s real-life character about how they made the best of what was really a lot of heartbreak. The film doesn’t show up much, but TCM does have it.

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  43. Little Bird said on August 4, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Deborah, according to that name generator, I would have been saddled with the name Bow NATO Palin. I am now thoroughly disturbed.

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  44. prospero said on August 4, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Little Bird, I think you are visible from Alaska. I mean NATO, Socialiss, Putin, right?

    Mark. Rip Torn is brilliant in every role he undertakes. I think Maax in The Beastmaster was a high point. Seriously, he was both mesmerizing and repulsive as Nathan Bryce in The Man Who Fell to Earth, which aside from anything else, was a brilliant movie almost as good as Blade Runner, but nothing else is that good. Only David Bowie’s second best, though, and while I like Labyrinth a great deal, I mean Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence.

    And Rip Torn on Larry Sanders, seriously hilarious.

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  45. Jolene said on August 4, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    MarkH, how fun to find an endorsement of one of my favorite obscure films here. I really loved it, but I’ve sometimes thought the only other person who ever saw it is the friend who saw it w/ me. That belief grew because (1) no one ever seems to have heard of it and (2) we were, if not the only, almost the only people in the theater. I saw it during grad school on what was then the coldest night on record–in Chicago. And for a person born and raised in North Dakota, that’s sayin’ somethin’.

    I can’t imagine what possessed us to go out on such an evening, but I’ve always been glad we did. It’s the sort of movie that should be seen on a -72 degree night, and it gave me a whole new appreciation for the tenacity of my homesteading ancestors.

    Do you remember the scene of the woman riding her horse across the prairie when the spring finally broke. With the big sky in the background, she was singing, I believe, “In the Garden,” a simple, pretty hymn that still touches the heart of this non-believer,

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 4, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Love “Heartland,” right up there with “The Trip to Bountiful” with Geraldine Page.

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  47. prospero said on August 4, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    In my defense, I heard Rip Torn tell Johnny Carson that was his real name. I mean, isn’t that like swearing in front of a judge I guess these people lie at the drop of a hat.

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  48. prospero said on August 4, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Heartland is a superb movie. It would go well with Days of Heaven and Places in the Heart for movie night.

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  49. brian stouder said on August 4, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Pity they didn’t work them into the Lin­coln Memo­r­ial, but it was fun last week read­ing the Sec­ond Inau­gural in two foot high let­ters as the swal­lows swooped and the evening cacaphony of lan­guages bub­bled all around me.

    I envy your visit to the Lincoln Memorial very much; I’ve never been there. The plan is that when the young folks are a little bigger, we’ll do a week in DC, and visit some key things, certainly including the Lincoln Memorial, some evening.

    I really liked Meacham’s Andy Jackson book, although I’m pretty sure I would not have liked him. Another tremendously good book is The Rise of American Democracy; Jefferson to Lincoln by Sean Wilentz. It is the single best overview of the bumpy formative years of the United States that I’ve read.

    Regarding Lincoln’s marvelous Second Inaugural Address, the thing that is so magnificent, so exceptional and memorable, is the absolute lack of chest-thumping or ‘Mission Accomplished’ emptiness. It brilliantly displayed the president’s towering and perceptive intelligence; intelligence enough to realize that blame and fault for the complete breakdown of the American constitutional system resided on all sides, and that lots and lots of reconstructive work was ahead.

    And here we are, today, with states talking about “nullification” and about deciding that the Constitution doesn’t mean what it plainly says, with regard to native-born people here, if those people are brown. (Do we want a whole subgroup of stateless untouchables? is that the goal?)

    Speaking of Lincoln, I’m reminded of that private letter he wrote to his friend Speed (if memory serves) – where he says that the belief that “All men are created equal” is being practically changed to “All men are created equal” except Catholics; and that as they increase the list of exceptions, he’s thinking about moving to Russia, where one can take the desptoism pure, without the “base alloy of hypocrisy”.

    The 2010 former- “Party of Lincoln” GOP is saying – practically shouting – that they don’t believe all men are really created equal; certainly not the American sons and daughters of illegal immigrants.

    Bills of attainder are suddenly looking fashionable, apparently

    edit: our last family movie night, last weekend, featured The Amzing Mr Fox (or whatever that Clooney movie was called) – which pleased the whole crew. I’m thinking for the next one, we’ll break out Walk the Line, which really stars Reese Witherspoon, even though Joaquin Phoenix plays the central role

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  50. Denice B. said on August 4, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    It was so sweet that Carolyn Cheeky-Kilpatrick went down so spectacularly!! Her poisoned womb gave us prison-orange Kwame. But sadly, Coleman Young Jr. Won a state representative seat nomination. The illegitimate son of Coleman Young (another Mayor of Shame in Detroit) and one of his ‘girls’. He changed his name to Daddy’s (after his death) for political gain. An amazing election this week.

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  51. prospero said on August 4, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    It used to be 30:1, now it’s 300:1. That’s the GOP big tent and redistribution of wealth all wrapped up in one. And they’ve convinced hillbilly teabaggers they’re included in the heist so long as they take care of the dirty work.

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  52. jcburns said on August 4, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    I did not know: Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was born in Alabama. Hmm. Hmmmm.

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  53. Jolene said on August 4, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    And they’ve convinced hill billy teabaggers they’re included in the heist so long as they take care of the dirty work.

    Not only that they’re included, but that they don’t need none of that socialized medicine. The Post had a feature about the clinic held annually by the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps in Wise, VA and elsewhere. Check out the photos. Today, several thousand people sought care at a free clinic held at the Convention Center in DC. Good lord! This is America, people.

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  54. Jolene said on August 5, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Brian and Jeff (tmmo), have you heard about iTunes U? iTunes has sets of lectures delivered by various eminent people. Among them is the full set of lectures delivered by David Blight, a Yale historian who has been teaching about the Civil War for many years.

    I just started listening to these (they’re available as videos or audio only) on the recommendation of my latest guru, T-N Coates. They’re very good and very easy to listen to. Especially for people who already know a lot about history, I think they will prove to be a good resource for tying together lots of facts and developing both a 30,000 foot perspective on the war and a sense of what it was like day to day from various perspectives. Am less well-informed on these topics than you are, but am hoping to learn a lot as I go along.

    Oh, and, almost forgot, the lectures are free!

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  55. moe99 said on August 5, 2010 at 1:03 am

    prospero, where did your dad practice pediatrics? My brother, Mark, who was the elementary school classmate of our proprietress’ husband, had the same experience where the mother named her daughter Placenta because she heard the name during childbirth, when he was doing an anesthesia internship at George Washington in DC.

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  56. prospero said on August 5, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Moe: I think my dad was teaching at University of Arkansas Med School and doing new baby rounds when he met those people. I know it sounds like urban legend. Like Lemonjello and Orangejello. He swore it was true, and that he tried to talk the woman out of it, so, you know, he was my dad, so I believe him.

    And Jolene. These morons actually carried signs into Town Halls that said Keep Government Hands Off My Medicare.

    jcburns: So Mitch’s parents knew each other way back when they were little kids at family reunions.

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  57. coozledad said on August 5, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Jolene: That video ought to be used as evidence in Nuremburg type trials of the Republicans and Blue Dogs. Before long we’ll be the primary beneficiary of Doctors without borders, and the UN is going to have to monitor our elections.

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    • nancy said on August 5, 2010 at 8:14 am

      What drives me insane is, the abovementioned people will look at that video and say, “That woman has a cell phone! So much for [ironic finger quotes] poverty, eh?”

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  58. Sue said on August 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Having cell phone only is getting more common for younger folk, but lack of landline is becoming a similar marker to lack of dental care — as relatively well-off people dress scuzzy and have tattoos, there are fewer ways for people to “know” you’re poor, but poverty can still be picked out of a lineup those two ways.

    Jolene, the flip side of those clinics is that they are significantly driven by the growing percentage of people who are trying to get by without showing up on the official radar screen, the largest chunk of that population being families whose primary male member is in arrears on child support for previous families. When I started working in our juvenile court in ’07, as the merry apostle of SCHIP, I scurried about making sure every court staffer had a stack of packets for Ohio’s CHIP program. Two years later, maybe two of them had been deployed (the diversion office in total probably interviews 350 families a year). Over and over, the diversion officers and counselors reported that when health concerns and insurance came up, and they brought out the CHIP packet, there was a very nervous withdrawal of the hand, and not a few just said flat out “Clyde owes a few thousand to his ex, and we can’t risk getting enrolled in that.”

    Our community medical clinic person said to me last year “I had no idea how many people in this county were trying to live out of official notice.” But we’re all frustrated that most of these folks could get themselves and their kids decent medical care right now, but won’t go through registration unless it’s handled like food stamp enrollment.

    When they talk about cross-referencing food stamps with child support enforcement and outstanding warrants or traffic charges, I really worry.

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  60. Sue said on August 5, 2010 at 8:39 am

    edit: Nancy, these days you can barter a cell phone and a chicken for a hysterectomy so you don’t keep dropping those anchor babies.

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  61. beb said on August 5, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Rick Snyder first advertised himself as a nerdly nerd who liked to fix problems and not some “politician” who was out to push their ideaology. I think that appealed to a lot of Dems as well as Republicans, which would explain how a man with no expressed opinion on abortion could beat a dyed-in-the-wool conservatism of Pete Hoekstra, who held-up health reform to make sure that no American ever gets givernment money to have an abortion.

    In a later ad Snyder listed ways he would fix Michigan and tax cutswas near the top of the list. That’s when I knew he was just another (worthless) Republican. Jennifer Granholm has spent the eight years of term trying to balace the state budet in the face of an ever shrinking revenue base. The Republican control legislature would never consider increasing taxes and there weren’t state services that weren’t needed by somebody. If Snyder thinks he can chop a a hole in the revenue stream and still balance the state budget he’s got more magical thinking going on in his head than the late Walt Disney.

    The choice between Dillon and Bernero was a tough one. Bernero was accounted a crook while Dillon was a right-to-lifer. Once I learned that it wasn’t so hard to side with Bernero. At most a crook can only steal money, but a lifer could change the laws that would last a generation or three. Bernero was clearly the lesser of two evils.

    Running for State Senator in our district was a young woman named Lisa Nuszkowski. I voted for her and was disappointed that she lost to “Coleman A. Young II” a black carpetbagger. I liked Lisa because she went door-to-door meeting people and telling them she was running for office. She was the only candidate who did so. I respect that in anyone running for office.

    I’m not sure where I read this, because I don’t follow Hollywood news, but I read that “Red Dawn” may never be released because the production company went belly-up.

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  62. Sue said on August 5, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I’ve heard the child named Placenta story too; also Chlamydia. Apparently there’s a bunch of stories like that. Snopes has an entry on it:

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  63. Jolene said on August 5, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Huh. I gave you the wrong link. I’d read a story re the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Clinic over the week-end, and when I went back to search for it, I unwittingly got a link from a couple of years ago.

    This year’s story focuses almost entirely on dental care, and Michael Williamson’s photo essay contains some seriously unpleasant pictures of what can happen when people don’t or can’t pursue it.

    Thanks for the education, Jeff, re the links between access to healthcare and child support nonpayment. There’s obviously more that some of these folks could be doing to help themselves–like not chewing tobacco. But it’s tough, I guess, to put aside small, low-cost, easily attainable pleasures when the sort of long-view goals and achievements that motivate the middle class seem so wildly unattainable and even pulling together enough money to pay your bills and stay out of jail is out of reach.

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  64. brian stouder said on August 5, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Jolene, I absolutely love free lectures; the newest season of the Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne Omnibus Lecture Series should be announced soon, and I very much look forward to taking in all or most of the events. In the recent past, we caught talks by Sandra Day O’Conner, Samantha Power, Andrew Sullivan, Niel LaBute, Eugene Robinson…and Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain – to name a few.

    And there’s the annual Lincoln Colloquium, which in recent years has become something I travel to. This year’s will take place near Lincoln’s boyhood home in southwestern Indiana. I have never been there (or at least, I’ve never stopped there); and I look forward to seeing that area, and finding Nancy’s (his mom’s) grave

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Love the concept, but I don’t use them much — I’ve never gotten into books on tape/cd, and I kind of wish I could. NPR is hardwired into my brain just fine, but if I put a book on the speakers, I go too far into it or don’t hear it at all. As my wife can tell you, when I read, I’m in a zone. Never have found the intermediate setting for semi-engaged listening, but a discussion/dialogue works fine for me.

    I’m doing some work with seminaries going “all distance learning” with lectures and materials on podcast, and I keep wondering “how would I do in this myself?” Not well, I’m thinking, but it’s becoming the new normal for professional master’s programs.

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  66. Dorothy said on August 5, 2010 at 10:40 am

    MarkH – I too LOVED LOVED LOVED “Heartland”!! I want to see it again. I think I have my DVR programmed to catch it if/when it comes on. Thanks for the tip on TCM. Another gem we rented only about 5-6 years ago was called “The Boys of County Clare.” It’s an Irish movie. I might have to look for that to buy it. “Tender Mercies” is another one that I can watch over and over. Ditto on “Places in the Heart”.

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