The old conservative.

James J. Kilpatrick died Sunday, I see. Younger people will recall him as a cartoon, the basis of Dan Aykroyd’s “Shana, “Jane, you ignorant slut” sendup of “Point/Counterpoint,” the back-and-forth exchange at the end of “60 Minutes.” Older ones, based on the obituaries I’m reading, would be forgiven for thinking “no big loss,” given how vile his stances were in the heat of the argument:

Mr. Kilpatrick popularized the doctrine called interposition, according to which individual states had the constitutional duty to interpose their separate sovereignties against federal court rulings that went beyond their rightful powers and, if necessary, to nullify them, an argument traced to the writings of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John C. Calhoun.

…At times, Mr. Kilpatrick went beyond constitutional arguments. In 1963, he drafted an article for The Saturday Evening Post with the proposed title “The Hell He Is Equal,” in which he wrote that “the Negro race, as a race, is in fact an inferior race.”

But 89 years of life is long enough to grow, it seems:

Mr. Kilpatrick ultimately acknowledged that segregation was a lost cause and re-examined his earlier defense of it.

“I was brought up a white boy in Oklahoma City in the 1920s and 1930,” he told Time magazine in 1970. “I accepted segregation as a way of life. Very few of us, I suspect, would like to have our passions and profundities at age 28 thrust in our faces at 50.”

Yep. I’m kind of a softy on James J., because I once wrote him a letter disagreeing with one of his columns, and he wrote me back, on his personal letterhead, no secretary’s initials at the bottom, acknowledging my points and respectfully differing. I wish I still had that letter. Respectful disagreement — what a relic of a different time.

I don’t want to excuse Kilpatrick’s earlier support for segregation and the like, although one thing this book project taught me — and I think I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it again — is that history is both the up-close, day-to-day details and the long view, and as long as progress is being made, we’ll probably be OK. Segregation embarrasses conservatives today, because it reminds them of how many of their number were on the wrong side, so I guess there’s some pleasure in rubbing their noses in it from time to time, but ultimately, what’s the point? If Jack Kilpatrick can change, anyone can.

I used to read his columns when they came in; he wrote two or three times a week for probably a few hundred newspapers. I know syndicated columnists still exist, but I don’t read any of them anymore, at least not outside their home papers. He wrote about politics and language — an Ask Mr. Language Person without the humor — and, from time to time, country life. Those columns were datelined “Scrabble, Va.” and were about the nest of wrens under the eaves or whatnot. It takes a little bit of talent to make life’s mundane details into something others want to read, and read again the next time. (She said modestly, surveying her audience of dozens…) In the grand scheme of things, he was a successful journalist at a time when that was both easier and harder than it is today.

Here’s something that struck me from the obit: His first wife died in 1997. He remarried in 1998. Ha. Another man lost without a woman. I have a friend who tells his wife, “Honey, I love you and all, but if anything ever happened to you I’d be standing on the sidewalk in front of the funeral home, proposing marriage to random women walking past.” The most powerful men I’ve known know enough to be humble around their wives, because their wives make their lives possible. They run the house, get the dry-cleaning done, balance the family checkbook, pay their husbands an allowance. I saw one at a charity event, drooling over a silent-auction item. He turned to his spouse and asked, “Can I afford this?” Ask if they’d like to come over for dinner, and he says, “Ask the boss. I show up where she tells me to go.”

I’d hope that Kilpatrick would be offended by a dumbass like Jonah Goldberg, but you never know. For now, it doesn’t matter.

Bloggage, while we’re on the subject:

The Newtster, crazier than ever after all these years. As my friend Lance Mannion points out, why is this allegedly “brilliant” scholar still getting respectful coverage from the D.C. press corps?

Everybody’s seen this by now, but just in case you haven’t: A few other things in the “hallowed ground” penumbra of ground zero. I think Olga’s Salon & Spa should change its name to the Hallowed Ground Grooming Institution. Classy!

As someone who’s driven four-cylinder cars forever, I’ve never understood why they’re so often ignored by Detroit car buyers. (Even my fellow Passat drivers around here are all sporting V6 badges on the trunk.) Some respect, please.

Time to take Kate to the orthodontist and, oh yeah, write a syllabus. Later, all.

Posted at 10:16 am in Current events, Media |
 

71 responses to “The old conservative.”

  1. MichaelG said on August 17, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I once read a thing of Kil­patrick’s about toilet seats falling down while he tried to piss. He named this kind of evil seat a “Bijuna or Bijoona”. Don’t remember the spelling. It was pretty funny.

  2. Jeff Borden said on August 17, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds the “writing” of Jonah Goldberg insultingly stupid, dull and pointless. He has no business appearing in any legitimate newspaper. His entire career was launched because his mommy was a key player in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and he played some role in it. I wouldn’t trust the guy to cover a one-car fatality but he stares out at me weekly from the op-ed page of the Chicago Tribune.

    Perhaps that says more about the Trib than Goldberg, who I regularly see dismissed on progressive sites as “doughy pantload.” The days of columnists actually learning about the subjects on which they opine by covering them for a few decades are over.

    On Mr. Kilpatrick, it is fair to say he covered some considerable distance from outright bigot to one who regretted his earlier stances, much as Robert Byrd spent decades trying to make up for his early years as a member in good standing of the KKK. Contrast them with the miserable, pinched bastard Jesse Helms, who went to his grave a proud racist cracker.

  3. Sue said on August 17, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Respectfully: Jane is the slut, Shana is the Point/Counterpoint liberal.

  4. Peter said on August 17, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Nance, if I may respectfully disagree, wasn’t the Dan Ackroyd character based more on Nicholas von Hoffman? He did the point counterpoint thing with Shayna as well, and he was much less courtly than Kilpatrick.

    As for the men need a spouse syndrome: My dad always said that if Mom died, he’d get a dog: they’re cheaper and easier to take care of, they don’t care what you watch or read, and they won’t argue with you.

  5. 4dbirds said on August 17, 2010 at 11:09 am

    This isn’t a political comment, I only mention it because it was in the news, but Ted Olson was dating four months after Barbara died on 9/11. There’s also a local DJ here in DC who was dating five months after his wife of 25 years died in a car crash. I’m sure women do it too, but I can’t think of anyone ‘famous’ right now. I know one of the commenters will come up with someone.

  6. coozledad said on August 17, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Jeff: I always thought it was funny that Lucianne cut her political teeth gnawing on the bones of various members of the Johnson administration, perhaps even the gnarled member of Lyndon himself. The whole family’s a pack of gonorrheal camp followers.
    Newt changes his beards more often than Artemis Gordon. I think he’s overcompensating.

  7. prospero said on August 17, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Doesn’t David Johansen have pretty credible grounds for a lawsuit over that “gentlemen’s” club.

    One of the strangest, most irritating aspects of the whole manufactured ground zero vituperation is the ignorance, real or feigned, of Islam and it’s various forms required to spout rightwing bullshit, like Newt and the triumphalism crap he made up out of thin air. (And what’s he consider the American embassy complex in Baghdad, by the way?)

    The leaders of Cordoba Initiative are Sufi Muslims, i.e. the mystic hippy, peace and love branch of Islam. Sufi’s have been tormented and persecuted by Salafists like the fierce puritans represented by Osama and Al Quaeda for centuries. If Sufis were Catholics, they’d be Teillhardian cosmologist theologians.

    The poet Rumi is a revered saint of Sufism. Sound like a terriss? Sounds like Jess Colin Young to me.

  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 17, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Make of it what you will — http://www.archive.org/details/DetroitC1965

  9. Sue said on August 17, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I know someone who married a good friend of his wife’s after his wife died of cancer. I am suspicious that the wives arranged it between them. They are of the generation that was trained to “manage” their husbands and it really wouldn’t surprise me if that was what happened.
    That would be an interesting subset of the quick-marrying group, wouldn’t it?

  10. coozledad said on August 17, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Prospero: Never underestimate the Sufis. The subways won’t even smell like piss anymore. It’ll be patchouli every damned where. You won’t be able to get a gyro, either. It’ll be called a dervish. Ouspenskyites in turtlenecks, Gurdjieff in all the hotel rooms…

  11. LAMary said on August 17, 2010 at 11:29 am

    cooz, I will spend the rest of my day trying not to think about Lucianne Goldberg gnawing on LBJ’s member.
    Newt, Rush and two guys I know very well have so much in common. Chubby,fear motivated, right wing, probably going out of their way to look straight creepiness. It’s definitely a syndrome. The chubby part might be optional.

  12. Jeff Borden said on August 17, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I’d heard those stories about Lucianne and LBJ too, Cooz. What a horrible woman. She rode Linda Tripp to fame and fortune, but I don’t think things turned out so well for Ms. Tripp as they did for La Familia Goldberg. And Jonah, Lord, what a tool. He’s not only a lousy writer but a lazy one.

    I hope this does not irritate Mark too much, but just look at the spectacle of the national Republican Party at the moment. The economy is still struggling. We remain engaged in two wars that are going badly. We face a mountain of debt. Voters care about only three things: JOBS, JOBS and JOBS. And what are they trotting out? The mosque controversy. The party leaders are declaring that this is a major campaign issue in the mid-terms. Assholes. This is what the GOP is today: the party of fear-mongering about “the other,” whether it’s gays or Muslims or immigrants. Oooooga booooga. Scary people!

    The fucking so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” isn’t even accurate. It’s a community center that will include a mosque. All this horseshit about “sacred grounds” pales when you see what else is an equal distance from Ground Zero: strip clubs, OTB betting parlors, fast-food franchises.

    Regarding Newt: I wish someone would hit him in the face with a pie made of Preparation H. I’ll bet that bastard would disappear like the Wicked Witch of the West.

  13. prospero said on August 17, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Cooz, like Hares with intact intellects and imagination.

  14. ROgirl said on August 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    It never fails to strike me how the absolutism and narrow-mindedness of the wing nuts, tea partiers, ranting Fox shills et al is so much like that of their fanatical counterparts in Muslim countries.

  15. Julie Robinson said on August 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    And I may respectfully disagree that young people would remember the Aykroyd skit. Not today’s young people, for whom it is ancient history.

    Both my grandfathers were lost after their wives died, and one followed only four months later. The other lived for 12 more years, always longing to be with his Besse. So, so sad.

    My DH might need to marry again quickly, if only to get his bills paid. He is lovely, creative, and disorganized. Practical, no. I could get upset about it or rejoice that my skills balance his. We make it work.

  16. Sue said on August 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I have a friend who, going through a breakup, once told me “Women fall [in love] faster, but men fall harder”. I think he’s right.

  17. beb said on August 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Candy Crowley tried to get one of the mosque objected to tell her far away from Ground Zero was far enough: Four blocks, five? He didn’t take the bait. No one wants to say Muslims don’t have a right to build a mosque* but when they say two blocks is too close and won’t says how far away is far enough, then, we,, it sounds like they don’t want them to build a mosque period.

    * – of course there are people who do not want another mosque built in America ever again. But most mosque-haters don’t have the courage of their convictions.

    During the time my wife was away in Indiana caring for my parents, I have to admit that I found myself slowly unraveling. I was glad to see her back.

    Four cylinder cars…. I was quite happy with my three cylinder Geo Metro. With a 5-speed manual gearbox it never seemed lacking in the horsepower (except above 75 mph, and really, at that speed no one needs to pass anyone.) I marvel that the engineers would able to balance operation of three cylinders. And with the engine the Metro could do 35 city and 50 highway. When GM switched to a 4 cylinder engine mileage dropped to 35 highway and I don’t know what local. It’s kind of depressing thay car ads today still boast about models that get 30 mpg, as if that were some miracle accomplishment. We’ve done better in the past and we’ve got to start doing better again, soon!

    LAMary: a lot of conservatives tend to be chubby so I think that it’s part of the syndrome and not something optional. Since the argument has been made that conservatives are afraid of …”stuff,” maybe they’re chubby because they over-eat out of fear that someone will take their food away?

    Mentioned on another blog was a moment of insane foodie-ism. Kevin Drum quotes Tyler Cowen as saying that the only sour cream worthy to annoint some corn tameles was “El Salvadoran” or maybe Guatemalan in a pinch. Ri-i-i-ght. I’ll just pop on down to the local Miejers and pick up some of that stuff.

    The really sad thing about the not-a-mosque issue or Michelle’s Spanish trip is how readily the Professional News operations buy into the craziest right-wing complaints. I’m tired of comedians being the only ones who can say “that’s the stupidest crap I ever heard of.”

  18. Jakash said on August 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    That’s a fine Artemis Gordon reference, coozledad.

  19. Jeff Borden said on August 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Beb,

    You have hit on an issue that rankles me to death. I read a story online recently about the timeline of the mosque controversy in NYC. It was ginned up largely by a batshit insane woman named Pamela Geller, who blogs at a website called Atlas Shrugged, so you get the gist of where she’s coming from. She wears her allegiance to Israel on her sleeve, of course, and refers to Democrats as “dhimmicrats” because they are not as willing as she to go to war with 1.5 billion Muslims. This certifiable kook started the ball rolling, ably abetted by the scuttling cockroaches at Fox News and the gasbags of right-wing radio. So, naturally, the rest of the media must demonstrate that they are really, really fair so they also pick up the story. One blogger I read regularly refers to this as the right-wing’s “mighty Wurlitzer.” Sadly, it works every time. This ridiculous, local issue of no real importance to anyone who does not live or work in Lower Manhattan has dominated the news cycle and will be used as a cudgel by the conservatives this fall.

    A word about Fox: There’s a story out today that News Corp. has donated $1-million to Haley Barbour’s Republican Governors Assn. This ought to kill the ongoing lie that this propaganda channel is “fair and balanced” and a legitimate news-gathering operation. It’s a wing of the Republican Party. Period.

  20. mark said on August 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    jeff b-

    Shots at Republicans won’t draw much offense from me as I don’t consider myself a member. I’m pulling for them in November as the much lesser of two evils and, notwithstanding all the obituaries written here 18 or 20 months ago, their prospects seem pretty damn good from what I can see.

    Lots of political opportunism going on over the GZ mosque. It is absolutely amazing to me that the President would open a door (or rip out a wall) so large that the whole gang can rush through at once. What in the world was he thinking? No heads up to his party either, if Harry Reid’s sprint to safer ground is any indication. Obama made this a national issue and did so gratuitously with a 7th grade civics lecture on the Free Expression clause. And by the way, if the proposed construction isn’t fundamentally a place of worship, but is really a Muslim YMCA (YMMA?)/Boys Club with a small quiet place where you might enjoy a moment of silent reflection, why was Obama calling it a mosque and talking about religious freedom?

    It appears to me that a good two-thirds of the country think that building a Mosque at GZ is a protected but boorish thing to do. Obama demonstrated, again, a real tin ear for how his words will be received. 9/11 was a traumatic event? Sure, and it was also a really big fire and a hell of a bad traffic day. All accurate and woefully inadequate. There would be similar reaction if a conservative with unclear/undisclosed backing wanted to build a $100 million “Patriot Freedom Center” by the OKC memorial, and scheduled the grand opening for the anniversary of McVeigh’s crimes.

    It could have stayed largely a local issue, except among those who get paid to chatter. Obama chose to offer his support for a principle never in doubt and made it a national issue instead. And if the screaming left persists in attributing bad faith or stupidity to all who think the Mosque is a bad idea, the contempt will certainly help drive the independents and moderates into Republican hands for this next election cycle.

  21. coozledad said on August 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    This is why Slobodon Milosevic was a Republican icon in the nineties and is now seen in their ranks as a kind of prophet. The bad thing about Republicans and their overseas icons, is if they ever get back into power, they’ll adopt similar measures.

  22. moe99 said on August 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    By remaining silent, Obama would have given the impression of consent (see “A Man for All Seasons”). I’m glad he spoke out but I am not surprised to see the media twisting his words and the conservatives coming unglued about it.

  23. Jolene said on August 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    The CBS Sunday Morning show had a charming interview w/ Rob Reiner this past week in which he spoke about how men need women. An excerpt:

    “I basically tell the same love story over and over,” Reiner laughs. “The girl in the story is always much more emotionally mature… the boy is always running around like an idiot trying to catch up, trying to figure out what’s going on.”

    A familiar story that some would argue is a simple reflection of real life.”

    “It is. I mean, that’s my story,” says Reiner. “Basically, my wife gave me, made me, a person. I mean you’re like half formed when you’re a guy… You meet the right woman and she basically helps you grow up.”

    One could say that this is a rather lame stance for an adult to take, but, like Julie, I think it’s better to be grateful for the relationships that work and, especially, for men like Reiner who understand why.

    Reiner has really had a remarkable career. From writing for The Smothers Brothers to his role as Meathead on All in the Family to directing several much-loved movies–When Harry Met Sally, As Good As It Gets, A Few Good Men, and others. Seems like he’s had a very rich life in all possible ways and has likely made lots of other people rich along the way.

    Do check out the interview. The warmth and humanity are a good antidote to Newt and Co.

  24. Jeff Borden said on August 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Mark,

    I am disappointed in Obama for not echoing Michael Bloomberg’s clarion call. Now THAT was a speech. Too often, Obama straddles an issue, trying to be all things to all people and serving no one as a result. I’m not writing him off –even if they are flawed and timid it is no small thing that we have at last broached health care and economic reform and while we remain in a nasty recession it has not tilted to a depression– but I would like to see a bolder presidency. He will never get a break from conservatives so he ought to stop pandering and get on with it. The Bush team never gave a shit what the other party thought. I wish Obama would start taking that tack once in awhile.

    I’ll be voting Democratic because I feel they are the much lesser evil, but like you, I don’t have a great deal of enthusiasm. We live in a time of political and moral pygmies.

  25. coozledad said on August 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Moe:I want to know when the bastards have ever been “glued”.Pam Geller is on the damn TV with a couple of rods knocking and fingernail sized shavings in her oil pan.
    Imagine president John McCain demonstrating Obama’s brand of courage. Don’t worry if you can’t, because McCain is a fraud.
    And Mark, Murdoch ginned this “controversy” up. “Moderates” is a strange term for guys who bang their sisters and preach eliminationism.

  26. Dexter said on August 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    From npr-
    “On Nov. 26, 1960, Kilpatrick appeared with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to debate the question “Are Sit-In Strikes Justifiable?”

    Never once did I side with this character, James J. Kilpatrick. Guys like him and Gov. George Wallace who changed stripes late in life attained forgiveness, but without guys like that in the first place, reform would have come earlier, and equality would not have had to have been achieved at such a great cost of blood and lives.

  27. Dexter said on August 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    for coozledad and followers of coozledad’s farm:

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/susanorlean/2010/08/peace-in-our-time.html

  28. Jeff Borden said on August 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    You know, it’s awfully nice of weak-willed American politicians to help Osama bin Laden with his master plan. He sought to frame a new war that would pit the West, notably the U.S.A., versus Islam and damned if we aren’t following along exactly as he scripted it. Every headline-seeking shit who comes out against the Lower Manhattan mosque –including you, Harry Fucking Reid– helps feed the narrative that America hates Islam and Muslims.

  29. Dorothy said on August 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    It’s almost 4:00 and don’t we all need a laugh about now?

    http://tomandlorenzo2.blogspot.com/2010/08/miss-universe-2010-national-costumes.html

  30. LAMary said on August 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    beb, If I had a way to ship the correct sort of cream to you I would. Come to LA and I’ll take you to a place in the Central Market that has about 10 variations on crema. I’m very lucky I have a lot of variety in the ethnic neighborhoods around me. Even the supermarket on the corner near my house has a lot of things you won’t see outside of seriously Latino neighborhoods. They don’t have Sara Lee pound cake, but they’ve got goat heads.

  31. Jeff Borden said on August 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    You may well be correct, Dorothy. As one of the major purveyors of gloom around her, allow me to share a very fun video.

    http://www.tvkim.com/watch/31/kims-picks-funny-old-rock-star-songs

    I laughed out loud a few times.

  32. Sue said on August 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Thank you, Dorothy. I love Tom and Lorenzo so much I usually only check them out on Friday afternoons, as a ‘here comes the weekend’ treat, but this was most welcome today.
    I would love to listen in while they brainstorm these blog entries. I would be overwhelmed by the fabulousness, I just know it.
    If only they would stop with the “kittens”…

  33. Dorothy said on August 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Yesterday cooz asked if anyone had heard from Scout lately. Is it possible for Nancy to email her (since we all leave messages here and use our email address to identify us) and see if she’s okay?

  34. judybusy said on August 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Dorothy, that was so funny, and they actually had great comments. I’ll have to add them to my list of blogs to check. This is a short list, so kudos to them.

  35. mark said on August 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I asked “What was Obama thinking?” While scanning the headlines, one rather ominous possible answer occurred to me. If Israel does strike the Iranian nuclear reactor in the next two or three days (60-40, I think), then Obama may have been trying to further strengthen his credibility in the Arab/Muslim world for very difficult days ahead. While his remarks might make only the very smallest of difference in how any contemporaneous or post-strike US support of Israel is perceived, if this was his thinking I will be the first to praise him for a very brave and intelligent act with short term negative consequences to his domestic popularity.

  36. Sue said on August 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    mark, if that strike happens better praise him quick, because we might not get past the short term.

  37. mark said on August 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Much less likely, but I suppose it is within the realm of possibility that a strike will be from the US, which would also place the GZ remarks in a different light.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/08/obama-bombing-iran-dont-be-surprised/61578/

  38. mark said on August 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    sue-

    It is a rather horrible thing to contemplate. Not particularly pleasant thinking about a nuclear-armed Iran, either.

  39. 4dbirds said on August 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I’m so getting that gourd bra.

  40. MichaelG said on August 17, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Yeah, I kinda liked the gourd bra to, 4dbirds, but what were those other accessories?

  41. nancy said on August 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    To those who asked, I just e-mailed Scout. We’ll see what’s what.

  42. Jeff Borden said on August 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Newspapers and radio sites are reporting the jury has reached a verdict in the Rod Blagojevich trial. An announcement is imminent.

  43. Sue said on August 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Not so, Jeff Borden. Here’s the true story according to Wonkette:
    ‘The Blagojevich Jury has requested several million dollars, because they’re not going to come to a decision for “fucking nothing.”’

  44. Jeff Borden said on August 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Hah! I love that.

    He’s such a nothing. Carol Marin had a great take on the differences between Rosty and Blago the other day in the Sun-Times and I agreed with every word. Rosty knew how to get things done, albeit with a little on the side for his pals. Blago made a mess of everything he touched. His decision to give seniors free rides on the CTA and Pace –even when there was no request for it– continues to be a multi-million-dollar drain on entities already running in the red.

    I wonder if Bill Brady will be any better.

  45. Jeff Borden said on August 17, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    One fucking count. The jury found him guilty of lying to the FBI. They are deadlocked on the other 23 counts and all four against his brother, Robert Blagojevich.

  46. nancy said on August 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    And Scout is not gone:

    I am touched, (totally!) that you and the gang are checking up on me. I am still around. I read every couple of days (including comments) but haven’t been contributing. I am going through a whole slew of changes right now. I got laid off but am still working sometimes as a consultant for the same company. My partner and I are downsizing and moving back into our old house that has been a rental property and have been remodeling to make the old homestead more palatable… there’s more, but those are the main reasons for my distraction.

    I should be back and contributing as usual in a couple of weeks. Thanks again to you and the whole gang… please convey my regards to them… it really is such a wonderful “community” that you’ve built.

    Cross that worry off your lists.

  47. LAMary said on August 17, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    The gourd bra looks uncomfortable. I’d wear Miss Nigeria’s outfit. Guam’s… not so much.

  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Huzzah for Scout, and I think Sue “wins” the thread today.

  49. beb said on August 17, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    LAMary, good to hear that you can pick up El Salvadorian sour cream locally. Detroit does have a heavily latino section called unimaginatively “Mexicantown” so maybe I could find some of it there. But my real question is whether there is at all noticeable difference because El Salvadorian sour cream and the stuff sold locally. Is it worth driving across town for? I’m something for a food-philistine so I find it hard to believe that one can tell the difference between brands of cream.

    I’m glad to hear that Scout is alive, if not doing well.

    Finally found the Gourd Bra on the page of “native” costumes. Exactly how is this different from a coconut bra? It could be a little bit less coarse and irritating. Referring to as a drag queen exposition seems so on target. Of course the reason this costumes seem so much more out there than figure skating costumes is that in the end when you have to do a Triple Axle wearing a five foot wide head piece is not a good idea.

  50. Dorothy said on August 17, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks for the check up with Scout, Nancy. *waving at Scout – glad you’re doing okay for the most part!!!*

  51. Dexter said on August 17, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Customer service, Sprint style. All the phones in this neck of the woods are down, at least the Verizon and Sprint customers are out.
    So much for my grand plan to eliminate the land line…we’re dead here.

    I finally was able to reach Sprint customer service and was told there were no outages in my area, and I was to power down my phone and take out the battery and put it back in. This was going to fix my phone, she said.
    Of course it did no good, and I could no longer contact Sprint, even.

    Next I drove to the cop shop . Sure enough, the dispatcher told me a cable had been cut or a tower destroyed by a truck in Grand Rapids, Ohio. Even the cop-communications system was being affected.
    But Sprint was telling their service operators to tell people to play around with their phone batteries? Is this acceptable?

  52. brian stouder said on August 17, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    You know, truly and honestly – other than Christmas Morning or meal-time on Thanksgiving – my favorite moment of the year anymore is when I first see the new schedule of speakers for the Indiana University-Purdue University Omnibus Lecture Series; and (for me) that moment just occurred. WooHoo!!

    http://www.omnibuslectures.org/

    September 14 – Sean Astin (I know nothing about him)

    October 7 – Ken Auletta (media guy; I’ve read him from time to time)

    November 10 – Andrew Ross Sorkin (another media guy; understands macro-finance/economics)

    February 16 – Rick Steves (travel guy)

    March 16 – Patrick Henry Hughes (never heard of him)

    April 27 – Tom Rush and Country Joe McDonald (musicians/’60’s/Woodstock, too, right?)

    These are all free and open to the public – a sort of educational and cultural ‘free-sample’ deal, from the university to the community.

    With luck, I won’t miss a single one of these

  53. Carolyn said on August 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Brian – That’s not a bad lineup! A little guy-centric, but, eh. Do. Not. Miss. Tom Rush.

  54. Tom M said on August 17, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Thanks for the shout out to 4 cylinder owners. I’ve had 2 volvos and 2 saabs since 1973. The first, a volvo 240e with electronic overdrive got over 30mpg. I figure the 6 or 8 cylinder drivers owe me big time.
    Of course my brother had a sticker back then that said “drive 90- freeze a yankee” so maybe as a family we’re only just about average.
    The mosque story has ross douthat telling muslims to just realize that discrimination is actually good for them. What else can anyone else add to that stupidity. Of course, newt and sarah will take all the shots they can to top him.

  55. prospero said on August 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    doubting Obama is a fool’s game. on the mosque, he knows exactly what he’s talking about. Everybody else is sound and fury. He never is. But morons sure make it like that.

    Jeff, does sosmebody try to win? I admit to trying to be occasionally entertaining or annoying. Or whatever causes an interesting discussion. Brian, you know who Sean Astin is. He’s Samwise Gamgee.

    Now if Nancy’s in bad situation, that’s just untenable. Just casually, without even trying, she’s an excellent writer. We don’t come across excellent writers every day. JJ Kilpatrick? Idealogue and only medium at the English language. Nancy Nall? Smooth, a fine stylist, somebody whose prose is instantly recognizable and sharp. In my opinion, that isn’t worth jack, really clever, piquant (it’s a favorite word, I think it means everybody else is sort of boring and you aren’t).

    You know, Gary Larson was second best. How could he help it? There was already Charles Addams. The maternity nurse asking should I wrap it or will you take it here. So, I think Nancy’s overeacting. I know that’s dumbass crap. We’re talking about a spectacularly smart woman wirh skilla, I think she ought to write a book. Real book. Plot and that shit.

    Nancy, not a thriller, I don’t think, it’s just a feeling, but the book, undoubtedley. Mighty good.

    In my opinion, Nancy Nall’s pretty much a national monument. We don’t have Nancy, we are being deprived of the net. Here’s the deal. Slag these lyinf bastard shitheels. Wanna be TV or real? This isn’t bullshit, these people will own your souls.

  56. jcburns said on August 18, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Since Nancy’s a monument, I’m glad Sammy and I signed up for the yearlong US National Parks pass so we could get in to see her for free whenever we want.

  57. Dexter said on August 18, 2010 at 1:20 am

    I find it very odd that I cannot find a damn thing online about this massive problem we are having here , no phones, landline or mobile, no ATMs are working, no phone cards can be activated, due to some accident near Grand Rapids, Ohio.
    I spoke to a truck driver who said the system his company uses to buy fuel is down, and he had to leave a motorcycle he was hauling as freight as security for a load of diesel. I know…that sounds slightly like bullshit. He said this was in Lansing , Michigan, so this is one big damn problem. Still, it’s a secret. Shhhh!

  58. prospero said on August 18, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Look jcburns, this is no joke. Nancy’s absurdly entertaining. I mean intelligence and a sense of humor. So, you know, shut the fuck up since you have neither.

    If that’s what you’ve got for satire, go back and reload, because it’s so fucking lame it wilts on demand. It takes some doing to be a major league dumbass. Or, you can just be a natural.

  59. moe99 said on August 18, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Brian,
    I’ve heard Rick Steves speak and he is great. Don’t miss him. Sean Astin was Frodo’s friend, Sam, in the movie, LOTR. He was great there, but I don’t think he’s made the transition forward very well.

  60. Jolene said on August 18, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Andrew Ross Sorkin writes about finance for the NYT. He has a big, fat book about the financial crisis called Too Big to Fail, which is being made into a movie for HBO. He’s a real wunderkind. but comes across as pleasant and not too full of himself.

    It’s great that you take in these events. Fun and interesting for you and a great example for your kids. Especially on winter evenings, the couch is such a powerful temptation that it’s impressive to see anyone resist.

  61. prospero said on August 18, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Newt Gingrich thinks we should all be as religiously intolerant as the Saudis. Yeah, like Saudis attacked the WTC instead of Iraqis, right, Newt? Yeah, you fucking moron. Does anybody understand how full of shit this guy is? Thing is, he’s supposed to be the right’s intellectual, so does he know and just doesn’t care, or is he a total fraud? Comsidering the way he treated ex-wives, I’d go with total fraud. Why does anybody that believes in the sanctity of Christian marriage, one man one wife, listen to this asshole?

    There’s a major league Republican putsch about lame duck and how that shouldn’t affect Senatorial politics. Last time, the aholes impeached Bill Clinton. How in the world do Americans not call these assholes on their blatant hypocrisy? I know. There’s an excuse. They’re fucking stupid, and they believe Senate rules instead of sane governnce make sense. The President has a magic wand he is just not waving, And when McConnell says outright he wishes he could have obstructed more, he’s just joshing.

    And nothing’s been accomplished. Against all odds and totally bullshit Senate rules, a lot has been accomplished, No instant gratification, Seriously, Deanie Baby Progressives, do something about Mitch McConell and arcane Senate rules first and then expect a Presidential magic wand. How dumb are y’all?

    No shit, assholes, change the rules in the Senate and then you can complain about the President. How it works, you idiots.

  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 18, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Prospero, no one wins except when they do! (And I thought Sue did.)

    Let me second Moe on Rick Steves — along with a unique and wonderful perspective on travel as humanism, if done humanely (i.e., stay out of tourist mills and mass experience whenever possible), he has done some marvelous work with transitional housing in his hometown, personally and through the Lutheran Church (ELCA). One dimensional he ain’t. Brian, if you go, you’ll have fifty people lined up at the microphones to ask the best time of year to visit Macedonia, and where a cold Pepsi can be had there: if you can manage it, get into the line and then ask him to say a little bit about transitional housing, and he will light up and tell some wonderful stories in that direction.

    Then the next person behind you will ask if that vineyard he wrote about in Provence in his 1996 book is still taking overnight guests, and do they sell that lavendar soap, but that’s what he’s best known for. (He will know, and off the top of his head. That, or he makes it all up, and no one ever makes it home to complain because they’re still lost in Zagreb.)

  63. mark said on August 18, 2010 at 9:02 am

    And the insanity runs full circle. http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2010/aug/17/audio-rep-pelosi-calls-investigation-wtc-mosque-op/

    Do we begin the investigation with Harry Reid, or create a standing house committe to investigate everyone with an opinion that differs with that of the dear Speaker?

  64. brian stouder said on August 18, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Jeff, I shall note those questions down, and use ’em, if the opportunity arises.

    Jolene – the young folks actually look forward to these excursions almost as much as I do. Of course, I bribe them shamelessly (gotta stop for refreshment on the way home again, right?)….and Shelby always presses to ask a question. So – regarding Jeff’s interesting questions, I begin to see my way clear…!

  65. coozledad said on August 18, 2010 at 9:18 am

    She’s right. We’d do well well begin with an investigation of the links between dear Rupert’s News Corp and the Saudis.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Waleed_bin_Talal
    Or we could ask Prince Dampjammies for his opinion again, so he can give us his patented thousand yard stare into the beyond.
    Rand Paul says the rec hall builders should donate the money to WTC victims. Why don’t we just get Fox news to pony up instead?

  66. mark said on August 18, 2010 at 9:38 am

    And when somebody like Bush is back in power, and starts blowing up another country, that government can use this power to investigate anybody with the temerity to disagree or protest.

    You may be happy to give the government all the power it needs to fuck with the people you disagree with. The way thing are headed, in a couple of years you will again be the loyal opposition, and those powers may not appear so attractive.

  67. Randy said on August 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I have been a 4-cylinder convert for many years. In fact, my first car had three cylinders – a ’91 Pontiac Firefly, not sure if it had the same badge in the US. I didn’t get anywhere in a hurry, but that is still my favorite car.

  68. coozledad said on August 18, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Not if The New Black Panther Party have their way. You’ll never be able to cast a Republican vote in predominantly a black district again, eh Mark?
    And as I recall, blowing up other countries seems to be much on the mind of Republicans already, as in getting a chubby over the possibility of a strike on Iran, discussed with the insufferable fake gravitas we’ve come to expect from people who entertain the notion that Joe Lieberman is anything but a naked boy for the arms industry.
    You’d best be careful what you wish for. That strike would divert the flow of your precious petrodollars, at the very least.

  69. mark said on August 18, 2010 at 10:10 am

    You never disappoint, cooz. A complete inability to discuss the message and a vulgar attack on the messenger. Yes, my claimed interest in freedom is a scam so that I can keep rolling in petrodollars and cheerlead wars against minorities.

    It’s my fault. You are here to express your anger, which you do very well. No need for me to interfere with that.

  70. Jolene said on August 18, 2010 at 10:55 am

    If the quote in the article you linked to is all Pelosi said, mark, I think TWT was stretching more than a bit to say that she called for an investigation. Sounded to me as if she was annoyed that people were asking questions about an irrelevant matter in a situation that was supposed ti be focused on something else. Trust me, the last thing any moderately sane Democratic politician wants is to spend time in public addressing this issue. Even some Republicans, who, as Jeff pointed out, can usually get mileage out of beating on people who are somehow different, have begun to say that bleating about mosques as Ground Zero amounts to playing with political fire.

  71. beb said on August 18, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Mark @66, I’m old enough to remember the Clinton Administration. Ahhh, glory days. But what I remember most about it is how the Republicans in Congress investigated every little thing he did. The power to investigate people, and certainly a vast conglomerate like Murdock’s, has alwys been in Congress’ power. And as I recall Bush used his like power against his enemies as well.