Imperfect humans.

Another day, another dispiriting defeat for the Thomas More Law Center. You may not have heard of this regional oddity, a right-wing legal action team founded by Tom Monaghan, the Domino’s Pizza tycoon turned religious crusader. The Wiki passage on its founding gives you the gist:

The Center was founded in 1999 by Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, and Richard Thompson, the former Oakland County, Michigan prosecutor known for his role in the prosecution of Jack Kevorkian, and who now serves as the Law Center’s President and Chief Counsel. Among those who have sat on the Law Center’s advisory board are: Senator Rick Santorum, former Senator and retired Rear Admiral Jeremiah Denton, former Major League Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, noted Catholic academic Charles Rice, former Fortune 500 CEO Mary Cunningham Agee, and Ambassador Alan Keyes. Santorum has played a crucial role in promoting intelligent design through his Santorum Amendment; however, following the Center’s defeat in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case (see below), Santorum resigned from the Law Center’s advisory board. Originally, the Law Center’s funding came from Monaghan’s Ave Maria Foundation, but is now primarily financed by contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.

Richard Thompson prosecuted Kevorkian with such gusto, single-mindedness and, um, failure, that he was eventually turned out of office in conservative Oakland County, no small feat. Fortunately, Monaghan was able to be his sugar daddy and help him land on his feet in a job better-suited for his talents, i.e., losing more cases, but this time on behalf of God. The Thomas More Center was the prime mover in the Dover intelligent-design case (which it lost), the Terry Schiavo fiasco (lost), and various actions seeking to stop taxpayer-supported institutions from offering same-sex domestic-partner health-care benefits (lost).

They don’t always lose; it successfully defended an Ann Arbor high-school girl who wanted to condemn homosexuality in a class discussion. Yay, them. People should be free to be idiots. Otherwise, well, it’s hard to push Republi-God’s case in a pluralistic democracy. How do you keep raising money when you keep losing, I wonder? I guess when you’ve positioned yourself as the Last Best Hope of Republi-God, losing doesn’t necessarily hurt your cause; in fact, it’s proof that wallets need to open that much wider.

Interesting to see “former Fortune 500 CEO Mary Cunningham Agee” on that list. I spent a few hours digging her up last winter, when I was researching the Detroit Economic Club book; Bill Agee was on the club’s board for a while, and the whole tawdry Bill-and-Mary show unfolded right here in the Metro. I even stumbled across the Gail Sheehy series about St. Mary, and… I’m getting ahead of myself.

To those who might not remember: Right around 1980, Bill Agee, then president of Bendix, then an auto supplier of some note, hired a pretty young protege, Mary Cunningham. She was a newly minted Harvard MBA and had long blonde hair and the sort of gleam in her eye that can only come from a girl whose primary male caretaker growing up was a Catholic priest (a cousin of her divorced mother). Soon, cruel rumors began to swirl through the company, that Agee and Cunningham were doing the after-hours horizontal mambo in the executive suite, or wherever they had moved their mentor-protege relationship at cocktail hour. The rumors gained momentum when they were picked out of the crowd at the Republican National Convention by a TV camera, which showed them gazing fondly into one another’s eyes in a way that anyone with five minutes of experience in male/female relationships would recognize as distinctly unbusinesslike.

Well. Then Agee stood up at the company’s annual meeting and, without being asked, addressed the rumors. Nothing to them, he assured the stockholders. That gave every business journalist in earshot permission to start writing about them, and the cat exited the bag.

Some stories are all about timing, and this one broke at the precise moment women were starting to elbow their way into corner offices, with all the attendant gossip about just how they got there — on their backs, of course. It also happened when Gail Sheehy, the writer of giant zeitgeist tomes, was already in a pretty deep relationship with Cunningham, researching a story on this very phenomenon — successful businesswomen, that is. So, when the story about her and Agee started to roll, Sheehy quickly batted out a three-part series on Cunningham that was widely syndicated in American newspapers.

I was just starting my career at the time, so young and callow I blush to remember. I recall reading the series and seething with sympathy for poor, poor Mary. Not surprising; I could find it with some deep Googling, but I’m pressed for time this morning, and this Time summation is pretty dead-on:

Written by New Journalist Gail Sheehy (Passages), the series unblushingly depicts Cunningham as an angel, awesomely gifted, scrupulously moral and out to improve the world through humane capitalism; it is laced with enough mawkish prose and gratuitous personal detail to make Harold Robbins blush. As the scandal mounted, for instance, Sheehy reported: “Mary Cunningham sat in her hotel room at the Waldorf. She could not eat. Every so often, she stepped into the bathroom to vomit.” Also: “The mildew of envy is a living, corroding organism in the corridors of power.”

I didn’t see this at the time. I saw Cunningham the way Sheehy did, a victim of jealousy and all that blonde hair. The story finally played out with Cunningham leaving Bendix for Seagram’s, where she could improve the world through the humane selling of liquor, I guess. Agee made some bonehead moves at Bendix and ended up losing the company. And — I know you will be as shocked as I am — Bill and Mary got married. Yes, they’d been in love all along. I can’t find a cite for this, but I believe they deployed the old “no, we weren’t sleeping together, but the ordeal pushed us into one another’s arms” defense. A People story at the time gets to the point:

She says now, “Maybe the world is just a little young yet to understand the difference between a profound love for someone that you work with and for, out of sheer respect for their professional talents, and being in love.”

Yes. Yes, that’s it exactly.

And then they kind of went away. When I looked them up this past winter, the first thing I found was the picture taken at the convention; looking at it with eyes 30 years older was a revelation. Of course these people were in love; it was so plainly written on their faces that anyone sitting nearby would have moved out of respect for their privacy and fear of getting hit by a flying shoe when they started tearing one another’s clothes off. Then I found the Sheehy series, and marveled at its ridiculousness, but also at its spot-on portrayal of a type I’ve come to know well since — the Catholic saint who is not sinning, oh no. This body does its own thing, but the mind — the soul — is always looking toward heaven. They are pure, pure beings consisting mainly of light and stained glass, and if one or two of the windowpanes get a little grimy, well, we’re all human, aren’t we?

But I was most amazed by this: After Agee lost Bendix, after he married Mary (and converted to Catholicism, under the instruction of Mary’s guardian priest), he went to Morrison Knudsen, the Idaho company that built the Hoover Dam, and ran it into the ground. There was a story from one of the Idaho papers that said Agee tried to do his job from Pebble Beach, which Mary preferred over Boise, flying back and forth on the company jet a few times a week. And then both of them withdrew to a quieter level of business, him running a small charitable foundation, her something called the Nurturing Network, which supports women in problem pregnancies. Contrary to the More Center’s Wikipedia entry, I don’t think she ever reached Fortune 500 CEO status. (A where-are-they-now piece from 2005 adds another priceless detail: Homeschooling. Naturally.)

So this epic love story played out, in other words, with two embarrassing corporate train wrecks and a comfy life financed by golden parachutes? Mary is using her Ivy League MBA to essentially run a crisis pregnancy charity? That, friends, is the waste of a good college education.

Maybe she can give the Thomas More people some tips.

Bloggage? There might be some, but I’m running late. I’m meeting my students this week, so another chunk of office hours awaits. If you found something interesting you’d like to share with the class, leave it in comments. I have to get dressed and catch a rabbit.

Have a great day, all.

Posted at 9:09 am in Current events, Detroit life |
 

53 responses to “Imperfect humans.”

  1. Deborah said on September 9, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Great story. I kind of remember a lot of this, but it wasn’t a big blip on my radar screen at the time. I Googled (images) Mary Cunningham just now to jog my memory and sure enough, all that blond hair and wholesome good looks.

    I finished Franzen’s FREEDOM last night, or I should say in the wee hours this morning. I couldn’t put the book down. For me to stay up past 10 on a work night is rare. Will it be a book that future generations study in modern novel classes? I don’t think so, but boy howdy it was a good read.

  2. Peter said on September 9, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Nance, a couple of typos on your post – PP5 you refer to Bill Agee as Cunningham, and later on, the company that (not the) built the Hoover Dam.

    Hey, but my larger point is that you’re wrong about her Ivy League MBA going to waste at the crisis pregnancy center: sometimes what you learn in a really good program is that you’re not really good enough to run something important. I’m sure a lot of people wished her sugar daddy would have learned that before he fouled up two companies.

    • nancy said on September 9, 2010 at 10:11 am

      Thanks, Peter. Fixed.

  3. alex said on September 9, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Read a funny piece the other day about Santorum — I forget where — that said his name gets more google hits because of sex columnist Dan Savage than it does on account of any of Santorum’s other accomplishments or writings or articles about Santorum.

    Savage held a contest some years ago to come up with a new definition for the word “Santorum.” The winning entry was really gross and had to do with bodily wastes.

    Just google Santorum and see what comes up first.

  4. MarkH said on September 9, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Out of the park, today, Nance. I don’t know how you do this sort of thing in so short a time; I just know I couldn’t. I remember the Agee/Cunningham story very well, all the speculation, subterfuge, etc. Then Agee drops the bomb, unsolicited. How could he have possibly thought people would believe him? Well, of course they were. I sometimes wondered whatever happened to them, now we know. After leaving Bendix, and dropping off the radar, I lost track of Agee, like everyone else. Didn’t realize he tanked MK, too. Take it from me, Boise is a great town. Agee should have stayed there and done some good.

  5. MichaelG said on September 9, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I was in Boise once – to visit M-K, as a matter of fact. Seemed like a nice enough place the taxi I took from the airport was an old Cadillac. What I particularly like about Boise is the nicely understate blue turf field at Boise State. Boise is a dirty word in Virginia.

  6. Sue said on September 9, 2010 at 11:17 am

    ‘Mary is using her Ivy League MBA to essen­tially run a cri­sis preg­nancy char­ity? That, friends, is the waste of a good col­lege edu­ca­tion.’
    ‘what you learn in a really good pro­gram is that you’re not really good enough to run some­thing impor­tant.’
    Maybe you folks want to rephrase those comments? I don’t think you meant them the way they sounded, right? Not that I want incompetents with super-duper MBAs running mid-level nonprofits and charities, those folks can stay at the highest levels schmoozing together, but that doesn’t mean that crisis centers and homeless shelters wouldn’t greatly benefit if there wasn’t a perception that working there is a step down.
    My daughter is using her social work degree to work at both a womens’ shelter and a childrens’ crisis center/homeless shelter. She is very lucky that good administrators at both places have her back.

  7. nancy said on September 9, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Of course, there’s no shame in MBAs working for charities. But let’s not fool ourselves: Just as the University of Michigan Law School admits students with the idea they’re grooming the next generation of leading judges and even Supreme Court justices, so too does Harvard’s b-school look for future CEOs. And Mary, as the Sheehy story pointed out ad nauseum, always considered herself not so much a businesswoman as a messiah of goodness and truth. One of her professors predicted she’d be the first woman head of a Fortune 500 company. I’d say helping pregnant women get set up with baby clothes is a bit of a comedown.

  8. adrianne said on September 9, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Like so many of these workplace romances, the evidence of rampant schtupping is obvious to all but the two people involved, who insist that, no, it’s just an intense work relationship. Sussing out the truth is almost too easy, from smoldering conversations back by the candy machines to soulful looks exchanged during boring corporate meetings.

  9. Carolyn said on September 9, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    The funny thing is that I KNOW there is a Lou Heldman connection to the Cunningham/Agee caper (he was covering the company for a Detroit paper at the time and in on the story maybe?), but I can’t remember what it was.

  10. nancy said on September 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Carolyn, I believe he was either the business editor at the Detroit Free Press, or was the main reporter on the story.

  11. Jason T. said on September 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I made the mistake of reading the coverage of Tuesday’s fires in Detroit — and, unfortunately, the comments on those stories — and hell, I’m depressed.

    Yes, I know better, but sometimes you have to lift the lid on the sewer just to confirm that it’s still there.

    Anyway, if your house burned down, it’s your fault because you’re 1.) poor and 2.) black. You should have been born wealthy and white. Also, unions, Obama, Democrats, etc.

    Meanwhile, continuing this hour’s top story: Attention Whore Seeks Attention; Media, Politicians Oblige

    Is it beer o’clock yet? I need to start drinking.

  12. Peter said on September 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Sue, I said SOMETIMES what you learn in a really good program is that you’re not really good enough to run something important.

    Sure, I was in architecture, not in business, but I had classmates who, about 2/3rd’s of the way through, knew that they weren’t or wanted to ever be an architect, and stuck the rest of it out for the degree.

    Pardon me in advance if I misread the reference, but kind of like the Paper Chase…

    My thinking is that at one point Ms. Agee figured she wasn’t going to run GM or GE, so what the heck, might as well do something she likes, or do something to atone for all those nasty sins.

  13. Jeff Borden said on September 9, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Jason,

    You have hit the nail on the head. We are talking about a dunce with a bad mustache whose entire congregation is just 50 people. . .but this stupid, shallow, idiotic creep is making headlines around the world. Violent protests have erupted in Afghanistan and Pakistan and now even President Obama and Gen. Petraeus are weighing in on the topic.

    Now, who is to blame? Do I hurl my invective at the media for focusing its attention on this prick? Or are they doing God’s work by revealing the wide and deep stream of bigotry directed at Muslims?

    If I form a church and attract 50 people –I could probably pay 50 folks to attend if I trolled the streets of Uptown with a few five dollar bills– will I get international coverage for suggesting I want to burn the Florida pastor? What would I have to do to get the Times, the Post and all these other mainstream news organizations to cover me and my church?

  14. Sue said on September 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Point taken. You’re not going to get a fancy MBA so you can make a salary that won’t even cover your school loans, not to mention that perception I mentioned.
    Never mind, I’m too close to the situation here, I guess. Having a daughter whose job duties (besides the constant attempts to match people with resources in a social and political environment that embraces cuts above all else) include monitoring video banks and checking the locks in a building she can’t give me the location of, in order to protect women and children from their own relatives, makes me hypersensitive.

  15. Connie said on September 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    If you believe in free expression is it hypocritical to oppose “Burn a Quran Day” Great discussion at http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/09/am_i_a_hypocrite.php#more .

  16. coozledad said on September 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Jeff Borden: If you can get Pastor Grant Swank and line up a Sunday webcast, I’ll watch it. I think this charming story about his grandma would make great holiday fare:
    http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/1342.html
    For some reason, I saw this acted out by the claymation characters from Davy and Goliath.

  17. Deborah said on September 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    “that’ll teach the old coots to be more appreciative” very funny, Cooz.

  18. MarkH said on September 9, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Connie, thank you.

    FINALLY, someone asked that question. Many here would have little or no problem with Bible burning or flag burning, etc. We are all in favor of free expression as per the constitution, i.e., the “ground zero” mosque.

    So what are we afraid of?

  19. moe99 said on September 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Connie, I would say that it is not hypocritical to oppose “Burn a Koran” for the same reason that the First Amendment permits us to have opinions. But it would be a problem if we, via the government, somehow prohibited it. Same argument with building the mosque that is really a community center and two blocks from Ground Zero.

  20. coozledad said on September 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I don’t know that “we” have anything to be afraid of. It’s the folks that “we”, in a fit of delirium, sent into countries “we” and our leaders couldn’t even be bothered to learn about. They’ve got plenty to be afraid of, not least from people riding around with American flags and ribbons glued to everything. Once again, it’s “support the troops!” unless they’re black, or of Mexican heritage, or gay, or need medical care, or are suffering from PTSD or getting uncomfortably in the way of yet another righty shit-hemorrhage.
    The right’s just trying to egg on another terrorist act so they can game it politically: because if it happens on a Democrat’s watch, it’s due to incompetence.
    EDIT: And I’m old enough to remember when it was treason to second guess Petraeus.

  21. brian stouder said on September 9, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    So what are we afraid of?

    Mark, it worries me that the cult guy in Gainesville will do actual harm to US interests and to members of the US military and civil service, worldwide.

    I wonder if the flying monkeys of the right wing radio airwaves have stopped to note (even for a second) that all this “ground zero” mosque malarchy, and the band of book burning boobs in the sunshine state, really are hurting their country, and indeed, far from “Support the Troops” flag waving (which I am heartily in favor of), displays profound LACK of “support” for the troops; to the point that they seem to be in active service against the United States of America.

  22. Sue said on September 9, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    So here’s a question, all you reporters out there – what constitutes appropriate coverage of this? Assuming that the press will outnumber participants about 100 – 1 at the Koran burning, what kind of coverage can we expect? Lots and lots of film of the actual burning? What do you have to do to get the story covered without providing the jackass with even more attention?
    Oh, and Interpol has an interesting press release:
    http://www.interpol.int/Public/ICPO/PressReleases/PR2010/PR069.asp

  23. moe99 said on September 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Josh Marshall has a good take on this: For weeks the right wing has been stoking the fires of anti-Muslim rage. Now when the logical extension of that rage surfaces in FL, they try to say, “not me.” It’s a bit too late for that at this point.

  24. Jeff Borden said on September 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Sue,

    It’s a conundrum. Another looney evangelist from Florida, who wants to establish a hard-core, right-wing Christianist church at Ground Zero, had his first service in a Marriott ballroom in Lower Manhattan last Sunday. He drew 60 people including 40 media types. The saturation coverage of the Islamic community center near the site of the WTC and the lesser coverage of acts of violence and vandalism directed at Muslims is probably the reason why this idiot is getting so much attention.

    I suspect we will see more and more of this as news budgets continue to sink. It’s easier and considerably cheaper to send your reporters or camera crews out to talk with a goofball preacher than to generate a well-researched and well-reported story on, say, the state budget crisis.

  25. Deborah said on September 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Can the media just stay home and not pay attention to the loonies (that goes for $P and the teabaggers too) any more. They are giving these folks the platform they crave, obviously.

  26. nancy said on September 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Sue, the AP has their plan in place:

    http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&aid=190355

    One story, no photos of burning Korans.

  27. Joe Kobiela said on September 9, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Okay, Iam one of the non educaded knuckle draggers that didn,t go to college, and can’t spell so that right there is two strikes against me, but explain this to me. The muslims have a constitutional right to build their mosque at ground zero, no argument from me, but I do feel it is just somehow wrong,sorry just the way I feel.
    The left keeps harping that by letting them build there it shows the world that America is tolerent and will make us look better Yada yada yada. So some nutsack down in fla cracker land wants to burn the koran,and the left gets their panties in a twist over this? Seems to me it shows the world we are tolerant of ALL peoples rights,just like the Muslims.He has the right to do it, just not in my line of thinking a smart thing to do,just like the mosque is not a smart thing to do.
    Explain please.
    Back from Cadillac but heading for DTW then Charlston W.V.
    Pilot Joe

  28. Sue said on September 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Joe:
    Michelle Bachmann has spoken out against it. So has Glenn Beck, and so has Sarah Palin.
    He has a right to do it. It’s still wrong, and left and right are united in the twisted-panties department.

  29. Julie Robinson said on September 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    In our house we’ve been debating if it’s a sin to pray that God smites this man before he gets to the burning. Reluctantly, I’ve agreed it is.

  30. Sue said on September 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Remember the good old days when religious intolerance was represented by this Terry Jones?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gldlyTjXk9A

  31. paddyo' said on September 9, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    AP’s doing the right thing: Witness the event. Cover it so you don’t miss any actual news that breaks out before, during, after. Nice model.

    Sadly, Jeff B.’s probably right about the effect that shrinking news budgets/staffs/etc. have on decisions about coverage. I’m afraid we’ll have to ride this one out, and maybe not catch the roundups on our cable news channel(s) of choice.

    I think Moe @ 20 has it right about “the freedom to . . .”:
    Once government steps in and stops free expression (short of the old can’t-yell-fire-in-a-crowded-theater test), it’s a problem — just like, for instance, various attempts at “flag-burning amendments” over the years.

    There’s no crime — nor hypocrisy — in condemning a purely provocative and, pardon the pun, inflammatory action that stands some chance, in our instantaneous InterNetWebTweetYouTubeyLink’d world, of worsening an already messy situation in Afghanistan.
    But it is the Rev. Burn-a-Koran-Day types and the “Ground Zero mosque” haters who have lost their common sense (if they ever had it to begin with).
    Those of us who detest their point of view and their actions lament the possible repercussions, but we’re not denying their right to behave like bigoted idiots.

    We — or I, anyway — just wish they’d exercise the RESPONSIBILITY that comes with our right-to-this and right-to-that.

  32. paddyo' said on September 9, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    P.S.: Your amazing blog post today, Nancy — amazing in reporting, detail, texture, context — shouldn’t get lost in the understandable waves of discussion now about book-burnings and such.
    As I followed the narrative, I kept thinking of last Sunday’s brilliant “Mad Men” episode. Not for any side-by-side comparison of Our Ad Gal Peggy with Blonde MBA Mary, but rather for a tale also well-told of the absolute crap that generations of women in the workplace had to (in many cases, STILL have to) endure.

  33. Tom M said on September 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I worked for one of the banks in the Morrison-Knudsen debacle, one I believe, Nancy, you’re not real fond of. At the M-K HQ in Boise, the biggest office, with a beautiful view of the mountains, was Mary’s, Bill had the smaller inside office even though he was CEO. Of course, he was never there.
    What he did at M-K is what he did at Bendix. Briefly, he took on contracts that had very large cash requirements spread out over many years in the future but that came with large down payments. in the M-K case, it was rail car deliveries such as the 48 cars built for Metro North line (Conn. to NYC). He took the money from those contracts and instead of putting it into the contracts, he bought another business with the idea that he could use the profits from the new business to pay for the contracts.
    This is also known as the money for nothing strategy. Didn’t work at Bendix and sure as hell didn’t work at M-K. The venerable old company went under with some of it sold to Washington Construction but most of the jobs went away.

  34. mark said on September 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Belated thanks to those who added kind words concerning the death of my goddaughter, Nicole. They were very much appreciated. I spent the last several days in Virginia with her family. A difficult, sometimes surreal experience. Painful, improbable things do happen and the ability of people to handle them, at least to the point of placing one foot in front of the other to move slowly forward, is remarkable.

    Whatever the point of the Koran burning, the act itself is intended to be hateful and provocative and thus cannot be justified. It seems contradictory to me, however, to both depict Islam as a peace-loving religion populated by only a few radicals and to simultaneously predict that the bad behavior of this one nut will provoke global violence.

  35. alex said on September 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    It seems con­tra­dic­tory to me, how­ever, to both depict Islam as a peace-loving reli­gion pop­u­lated by only a few rad­i­cals and to simul­ta­ne­ously pre­dict that the bad behav­ior of this one nut will pro­voke global vio­lence.

    I don’t think anyone’s predicting global violence; just some isolated bad behavior by a few radicals. Post-9/11 even that is too much.

    Even $P came out saying this guy’s actions are antithetical to what America stands for (and used the word antithetical correctly). You can’t refudiate that.

  36. Deborah said on September 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Tom M, this is what I love bout the internet, Nancy tells a great story and you elaborate on it with an insider perspective. I’m amazed by this ability of people to be able to chime in instantly when they have something to add to the narrative.

  37. prospero said on September 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    We got fascinating mail today. Orrin Hatch wants our sealed ballot expressing our opinions about ongoing Republican strategy. Hatch isn’t a total creep, so my inclination was to write back and either suggest auto da fe, or let him know his nternet people haven’t the hang of the intertubes yet.

    It didn’t help, domestically, that this was addressed to Mr. and Mrs., because it’s been 15 years and doesn’t look like that’s imminent. Thanks for bringing that up for a couple living in sin, you obtuse, sanctimonious latter-day.

    Seriously, the Gyllands-Holland wasn’t .

    Is there a way to think about?

    Are you crazy

    What I really wonder, is why did Orrin send this ballot to me? I’ve got an FBI file that goes back participatory attendance at the Chicago Convention. My parents actually had to answer qwuestions to guys in wool overcoats and fedoras, investigating my dad’s mentor caught up in.

    So anyway, How did these nitwits send this nonsense to me? Where in the world did they come across my address? Orrin tells me “that “Semocrats have a huge majority in the Senat.” Guess that whole business about filibuster escapes Senator Hatch, and they just threaten and the members abandon the President and they’re isn’t something compelling to say for making these aholes stand up and express a comprehensive opinion. Because, you know, they are incapable of that.

    This garbage is mostly about taxes and that heinous health care reform that anybody not an idiot understands would restore the GNP. There are facts about the economy that are readily available from people that know what they’re talking about. Anybody with a brain that isn’t motivated by venal and moronic incentives knows for a fact that letting rich people skate and floating two neocon invasions and occupations just let thing’s float so contractors, like the one’s Cheney owns part of, just get away with anything they felt like.

    On another subject: Flemming Rose is Daniel Pipes’ best friend. If a cartoonist thinks about something, and it’s his opinion, and he realizes it might offend somebody.

    Pipes and Rose engineered this affront. Tell you what, they knew this would cause backlash. These two assholes did this on purpose. There is actually proof they intended religious hatred.

  38. alex said on September 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Well, the reverend got his fifteen minutes and he’s backing down. See? Disapprobation from the civilized world works wonders. Even belligerent a-holes STFU under that kind of pressure:

    http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20100909/FEAT04/100909509

  39. Rana said on September 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I don’t know that it’s disapproval that made him stop, alex. It sounds more like the community center people caved in to his tantrum, so he quit stamping his feet. That’s not a positive for me, given what sort of behavior that’s likely to encourage.

  40. alex said on September 9, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    He’s alleging that the community center people caved in. Trying to save face in front of a congregation of fifty that doesn’t read or listen to lamestream media, maybe, but to hear Diane Sawyer tell it earlier this evening, it ain’t so. Not a-tall. News to the Imam, who’s poised to take silver shovel in hand.

  41. Linda said on September 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm

  42. coozledad said on September 9, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I don’t know why these strabismic cross-burners even care about New York. There are hardly any cows to fuck in Manhattan, and while the police don’t give a damn if you sunbathe naked on the sidewalk, they’ll pop you for hosing your daughter.
    They ought to just keep busing them into DC. There’s nothing left there they can slime up any the worse.*

    *Although it was on Dupont Circle that I once saw G. Gordon Liddy, or his doppleganger, dining outdoors in leather fetish gear. Don’t see that every day.

  43. basset said on September 9, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Meanwhile, someone who calls himself a pastor out in a country town that is fast becoming a suburb of Nashville says that anyone except Christians can just get the hell out…

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100909/NEWS01/9090347

  44. Rana said on September 9, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    alex, thanks for the clarification! Yeesh, what a maroon.

  45. LAMary said on September 10, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Cooz, I bet that was GGL. A friend of mine went to a wedding and G. Gordon and he wife were there. My friend told me the Liddys were oddly dressed. The wife had on long robes that made her look like some suicidal cult member. Overall they were strange.
    Have you ever read Will, the first book Liddy wrote? He’s nuts. The book is worth reading just to get your head around how fucking crazy that guy is.

  46. prospero said on September 10, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Coozleaipesh d. The mohammed cartoons were pretty obviozly a setup that had to do with Pipes, Flemming Rose. they were trying to be as obnoxios as possible, weren’t they? Look.Anybody that thinks this has something to do with freedom if soeech is a fucking idiot, It was an anti-muslim stunt staged by a guy that is as close to Hitler as you get.
    representtivw
    Daniel Pipes is a bigot that makes Hitler seem like he might have a soft spot. My question is this. Is he essentially any different from oompzh loompha, and do they have some sort of plan? The extension of tax cuts covers small businesses.
    the idea that these rich people
    There is no fucking way that mrginl tax cuts ever prduced jobs or Nything but bigger profits fir oeople sitting on dividends. The idea that these rich people crete jobs instead of letting the cash accrue, tell you what

    The idea that the rich people tax cuts has anything to do do with smll business s Republiczn rich people lie. It just doesn’t. This is bullshit. Tell you what. You are stupid enough to believe Republicnz. They will steal your cash abd try to convince it was you’re fault.

  47. basset said on September 10, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Prospero, what do you have to say about 9/11? UFOs? Underground Nazi bases at the South Pole? Just askin’.

    House update… our contractor is in the cleaning-up stage, found a four-foot snakeskin in the crawlspace yesterday and left it in the yard. Mrs. B. saw it before I did, now she’s afraid to look under the deck or behind the bushes.

  48. coozledad said on September 10, 2010 at 7:15 am

    LA Mary:There’s a part in “Girl, Interrupted” where one of Susanna Kaysen’s friends on the psych ward talks about her father being a contract killer, and taking a launch to Cuba with Liddy to kill people for sport. This was prior to Watergate, so Liddy hadn’t really achieved any public notoriety.
    We were eating at Zorba’s (or somewhere close by) when we saw this guy. I muttered “Damn. That’s Gordon Liddy” to my wife. He had to be twenty or thirty- five yards away, and he shot me a nasty look. I’m just glad I wasn’t wearing fatigues and a cadet cap.

  49. Hattie said on September 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Oh, God, Nancy, that was great. How I envy your writing energy.

  50. basset said on September 12, 2010 at 8:16 am

    I know I’m behind on this, but I’ve been busy and Vanity Fair just now found our temporary address. From Graydon Carter’s column on our angry society:

    A quote, never mind from who:

    “It could fairly be said that during the past decade America went from being an essentially optimistic nation to being an essentially pessimistic one, and finally one that seems to be just plain angry all the time.

    We are now defined more by what we don’t like rather than what we do like. And the list of what we don’t like is long and getting longer. Conservatives define themselves more by their hatred of liberals than anything else, and, conversely, liberals by their distaste for conservatives.

    What else don’t we like? Wall Street, Google, and BP for a start. We don’t like pro-abortion nuts or anti-choice nuts. We don’t like pro-mosque-at-Ground-Zero people, or the anti-mosque faction. We don’t like New York or California, Hummer drivers or Prius drivers. We hate Obama, Bush, and Cheney. (We’ve all but given up on Congress.) We hate big media, big oil, big China.

    We even have a cable network devoted solely to anger and hatred: it’s called Fox News.”

    I just posted all of that, excepting the Fox News line, on the “political discussion” section of a deer-hunting blog… can’t help doing that kind of stuff, I keep hoping someone will have a halfway coherent reply.

  51. Rich S said on September 15, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Nancy,

    Just arrived from Eric Zorn’s link. You may be right about Agee crashing Morrison Knudsen, but I think the bankruptcy was more likely the result of their asbestos exposure problems.

    • nancy said on September 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

      Thanks for the visit. I don’t recall anything about asbestos in the profiles I read — more like a disastrous rail-car contract, among other things.