Sic ’em again.

Take your seats, class. Pop quiz:

Here is a transcription of a Facebook posting made by Cliff McCance, a Midland, Arkansas school board member, as presented by CBS News.

For reference, here is a screen capture of the very same posting, as presented in the Advocate. I advise taking at least a peek at this, so you can see the picture of the guy posing with a largemouth bass. In Arkansas, I don’t think any other single image would so indelibly establish his good ol’ boy credentials.

What you’re looking at is a question news editors wrestle with often. The posting is riddled with errors. How many do you fix?

In this case, the mistakes are mostly missing punctuation, which is forgivable. At least, it’s something we have to tolerate, at a time when so many people “write” on tiny smartphone keyboards. My own smartphone is pretty smart, and automatically changes “Ill” to “I’ll,” which I’m grateful for 99 percent of the time. The other 1 percent I’m irritated, as I meant to write “Ill I am at the thought of eating pasta for the third night in a row.” But in general, it’s pretty damn smart. If only it had a caps lock key, so I could YELL MORE in my text messages to Kate. But I digress.

The biggest booboo was this: McCance wrote, “We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”

What do you do with something like that? Run it by itself, run it with the fancypants (sic), or fix it? I think you run it, but I’m unsure on the siccing, so to speak. McCance is, after all, on a school board. He sets policy governing education in his community. And he says “thereselves.” Among many other sins.

As I think I’ve noted here before, once upon a time Ohio had a good ol’ boy for governor, big Jim Rhodes, and the papers routinely polished his mangled Appalachian-inflected English. Before TV was most voters’ primary window onto a candidate, they could get away with it. Every time he said the name of our state — Ahia — my nerves would jangle, but you all know what an elitist I am.

Do you even notice McCance’s usage? Does anyone other than our little smartypants tribe care? I’m with Gin and Tacos. I think it’s ghastly.

It goes without saying that what McCance actually said was far worse, but he’s already resigned on that score, under the terrible withering gaze of Anderson Cooper. A.C. wields the gay Sword of Justice.

No jokes, please.

If it’s Wednesday, Thursday or Friday morning, I’m late for something. We’re pulling the boat today, I have a meeting, and I need to get dressed. So let’s go bloggage:

Coozledad had the last word in the last thread’s comments on this matter, and I think he said it succinctly and well: Pubic hair a deal-breaker? It’s a wonder fratboys get fucked anywhere outside the hazing room. Yes, exactly!

Have a great weekend and fun Halloween. And stay out of the Reese’s Cups!

Posted at 9:21 am in Current events |
 

66 responses to “Sic ’em again.”

  1. LAMary said on October 29, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I thought the same thing about that stupid piece about Christine O’Donnell. Was the author expecting no hair? A landing strip? Vagazzling? He sounds like a jerk.

    Remember a few years ago P.Diddy threw a party and included on the invitation that ladies had to be waxed, mani-ed and pedi-ed?

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/puffys-greatest-party-all-time

  2. Dorothy said on October 29, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I have to admit I’m starting to not be so shocked anymore by the revealing look into the minds of these ugly people who have the nerve to call themselves Christians. So I won’t go on and on about what an asshole McCance is. We all know that already. But I will say my husband was on the school board briefly when we lived in PA, and that was my first lesson in how one or two people who could hardly string together a coherent sentence could actually be elected to a position where they could be determining the educational future of my children.

    What I can’t stop smiling about, though, is the idea that you might have actually composed a sentence once upon a time that says “Ill I am at the thought of eating pasta for the third night in a row.” That one made my day! I might just have to work that sentence into a conversation sometime soon.

  3. Kim said on October 29, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I’ve always thought it a little weird that a publication would run some dumb thing a public official writes/posts with quotation marks AND the sic. Quotation marks are what they are, right – a fence around somebody else’s stuff. I ‘spose the presumption is nobody believes the publication would ever get it right, so you have to make sure the reader knows this one isn’t your error. That’s a different sad topic, those basement-level expectations.

  4. Bob (not Greene) said on October 29, 2010 at 10:14 am

    The O’Donnell story was sad on a number of levels. First, that guy — I mean, what a twerp. And secondly, O’Donnell just comes off as a sad, kind of pathetic character. I mean, this is her life at age 38? She’s got issues.

    As for Mr. McCance (R-Hillbilly), I love that he was publicly and relentlessly pummeled. Those postings are what you’d typically find at the end of some news story online. And anonymous bigot, spouting off in all caps, glorying in his unfiltered hate for anyone different than his hillbilly brethren. “Thereselves”? Really? Let me guess, he wanted to let creationism taught in the school, too. “Let their bee lite!”

  5. brian stouder said on October 29, 2010 at 10:18 am

    This makes one ponder the grammar of hate. Hate can be dressed up, and made (marginally) more presentable, but then it risks missing the target audience – the folks you want to “energize”. Or, it can be presented straight (so to speak), unalloyed and without dog whistles, thus losing people who want their prejudices and hatreds sugar coated and palatable. (makes one wonder how far we’ve really progressed). And, this story brings to the fore another thing that always surprises me – which is how mindless people can be, when it comes to posting things on Facebook in particular, and/or the internet in general.

    If I ever run for a seat on our schoolboard, people might say “he likes hot women”, and I can stand up and say: “Yes I do! Just look at my wife!” But not racist “jokes” or deviant behavior (as the Republican nominee for the governership of the state of New York fancies), or homophobic rants (like this guy)

    The Gawker piece regarding O’Donnell is so crossed up I almost suspect that this weekend news-cycle bon-bon originated from her campaign. It humanizes and empowers her, emphasizes her hotness, and makes her sympathetic, all the while reinforcing what she stands for (so to speak), when it comes to her beliefs.

    A semi-non-sequitur – I really like Bristol Palin on Dancing With the Stars. (My lovely wife pulled me into that show, and now I like it). She risks national laughter, and she transcends all of that and presents not just a sympathetic image, but indeed an admirable (if not heroic) “can-do” image of great grace and courage. It is not too much to say that her mom could learn a thing or two from her, when it comes to preparation before mounting a national stage.

  6. Jeff Borden said on October 29, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Christine O’Donnell is certainly worthy of scorn, but not because of the kinds of actions depicted in the story you are referencing. The story was extremely lame and the author deserves a nice punch in the nose for his shenanigans, but I doubt that will happen.

    O’Donnell’s going to get buried on Election Day but her senatorial run was probably a good career move. I can see her moving into the same media celebrity slipstream as SheWho, though the chances TLC will create a series called “Christine O’Donnell’s Delaware” are nil. Still, I will wager she winds up on Fox in some capacity.

    I saw a preview of SheWho’s series “S—- P—-‘s Alaska” on YouTube, but I had to turn down the volume. That voice. . .God, it hurts my ears. No one with a voice like that should ever be given a microphone.

    And now Karl Rove has upped the anti-Palin ante by declaring that this series will undermine her “gravitas” if she should pursue the White House in 2012. He also notes her statement that she’d rather be out there canoeing or snowshoeing or skiing (always with every hair in place, apparently) rather than be in a “stuffy political office.” I cannot imagine using $P and gravitas in the same sentence, but luckily, I’m not a soulless, scum-sucking douchebag like Rove.

  7. MarkH said on October 29, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Bob, she’s 41. Which makes a little worse.

  8. Bob (not Greene) said on October 29, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Mark H: Yeah, but it supposedly happened three years ago. Either way, yeesh.

  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

    “God created idiots. That was for practice. Then He created school boards.”

    – Mark Twain, circa 1890

  10. MarkH said on October 29, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Exactly, Bob. She’s still a “virgin”, if I’m not mistaken. The “issues” will prevail. I don’t get the people of Delaware. The republicans had a reasonable alternative in the primary, indeed centrist, in my view. I could do a little research, but I refuse to waste time learning any more about O’Donnell.

  11. Sue said on October 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I saw the radio station footage of Christine O’Donnell last night – if you had any sympathy for her it would dry up on seeing her using hand signals to move her trained goon into threat position. What a bizarre lady, so nice and sweet and scary.

  12. nancy said on October 29, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Here’s one for your weekend consideration: As we all know, the end of October is when the membrane between this world and the next is stretched very, very thin…

    [Cue theremin.]

    Very thin indeed.

  13. brian stouder said on October 29, 2010 at 11:42 am

    “We’re dumbfounded and rapt.”

    and, that damned story made my eyes water

    If it’s a gag, it’s a good one!

  14. Catherine said on October 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

    The former school board guy at least had the cojones to apologize at some length, and actually said, “I’m reaping what I’ve sown.” More self-reflection than one might expect.

  15. Bob (not Greene) said on October 29, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Sue, that’s a good one. What did she want the guy to do? Wrestle her questioner to the ground? I like how she had the guy stand over him, and when that didn’t stop the interviewer, she actually nudged her goon toward the interviewer, like she wanted him to physically intervene. I feel like I’m on Mars.

  16. Sue said on October 29, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Nancy, here’s some end-of-October stuff in a lighter vein (hee hee):
    http://beatonna.livejournal.com/140802.html

  17. Sue said on October 29, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Bob nG, that’s exactly what I thought. And it would have been fun if the interviewer had brought the whole thing into the discussion for the benefit of listeners-only: “What’s that guy doing here? Why is he looking at me in that threatening way? Why are you signaling him to move closer to me?”

  18. Peter said on October 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Nancy, my son says that my inability to type all caps is the i-phone’s version of a mute button. And when I do type something to him all lower case he’ll text back “can’t hear you – type louder”.

  19. Deborah said on October 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I’m going to St. Louis this weekend, weird how I hadn’t been back there in years and now it will be the second time in two months. We’re mainly going to see my husband’s uncle, a very elderly man who was an ace pilot during WWII. He’s not doing well and my husband wants to spend some time listening to his great stories one more time, before it’s too late. We are going to be staying in the Central West End again. They have a big event every year for Halloween, a street festival deal with costume contests etc. It used to be a lot of fun. We’ll be meeting up with good friends, some we just saw in New Mexico at my surprise party. Hope everyone has a good Halloween especially you folks with kids.

  20. Jolene said on October 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Much as I love the Internet, I sometimes regret the way it brings the hatefulness and ignorance of my fellow citizens to light. Check out this TV talker trying to stir up trouble.

  21. Peter said on October 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    You know Jolene, one of those callers had a good point: she said that the Bible says that God created man, and created woman, and told them to multiply. But did we stop there? No, now we do division, calculus, quadratic equations – it’s those pointy headed mathematicians that will be the downfall of this country, I’ll tell you.

  22. name redacted said on October 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Here in Wisconsin, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor said legalizing gay marriage could lead to other horrors…like allowing people to marry inanimate objects. Or dogs. I wish I were kidding:

    http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/106135868.html

    The really sad part? She has a gay uncle. His partner of two decades considers Rebecca a family member. He refers to her as “our niece.” The holidays will be interesting for this clan. Oh, and her uncle? He responded to this affront by donating some dough to the Democrats’ candidate.

  23. Sue said on October 29, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    “Not tonight dear, the kids have been driving me nuts all day and I am JUST NOT up to 20 minutes of algebra.”

  24. Sue said on October 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    name redacted, let’s not forget that Rebecca is campaigning against “government takeover of health care” while being insured through a plan mostly paid for by taxpayers. Her husband’s a state representative. I’m not sure how she squares the difference between her situation and that of someone in a civil union (or on Badgercare), but apparently she is more deserving somehow of taxpayer-supported healthcare in a time when “we can’t at this point afford to just be handing out money to anyone”. Plus she’s a super-duper Christian (she made the comments on a Christian radio station) and she’s very pretty.

  25. Dexter said on October 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    nance #12: What happened to Kenny Johnson has always intrigued me. In a moment of maximum danger, we can sort of channel every instinct and be guided by a force that I believe to be our subconscious’ vast vault of survival knowledge.
    I guess some people have this characteristic, and some don’t.
    I had a long career working around huge punch presses, and I was “right there” when men had just had fingers chopped off. Instead of passing out like a fainting goat, I just took over, ordering people to get me stuff I needed to administer crude first aid, stuff like packs of paper towels, and anything else that came to mind. I was just extremely energized and in control until medics could get there and take over. Those were the only times when people would respond to my commands to call the hospital, go see if the nurse is in her office (never was on my night shift); other days I was just a workingman with no authority over anybody, ever.
    I never pursued my army medic training after my discharge, but I had done a lot of first-response bandaging and iv-inserting in Vietnam, and the knowing that this shit cannot wait just stuck wit me.
    Once a man had his hand pinched halfway through inside a chuck, with a bushing.
    He was in awful pain and I never had run the machine so I couldn’t reverse it or help that way. Luckily there were lots of repairmen around and it took them 45 damn minutes to free this guy. I didn’t even realize it, but I had jumped off my forklift and had stood right beside him, rhythmically patting him on his shoulder to calm him down. When it was over , he had to have multiple surgeries and eventually did return to work. Ten years later I am in the dentist’s chair and about to have some serious dental procedure, and the assistant begins tapping my shoulder like I had done for that guy years before…stress reliever, of course…but I had never been trained to do that, and never realized I HAD done it, until a friend told me I had. So wassup wit’ dat?
    Humans have a way of focussing, shutting out everything like conversation or radio music or words, their own limitations, and “going primal” when we have to. And I guess this is just the opposite of otherworldly. Happy Halloween. Remember Houdini.

  26. Deborah said on October 29, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Dexter, that’s fascinating. My husband had similar experiences in Vietnam only he wasn’t a medic, he was the company clerk (like Radar O’Reilly on MASH). He got a bronze star for being the kind of guy that just went into a state of super competence when bad things happened, like incoming. He rounded everyone up and got them to safety etc etc. He said he had no idea why or how he did it, it was just auto-pilot for him. He’s that way when he works on projects too (he’s an architect). When things get crazy, he gets it all calmed down and figured out. I wish I had that skill.

  27. LAMary said on October 29, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I’m good in a crisis but I attribute it to growing up with someone who had grand mal epilepsy. My brother had seizures every day and sometimes one of us had to jump in and keep him from getting hurt or take care of injuries he already had.

    One time the ex and I were sitting on the beach at the end of the day and we both saw a woman quite far out in the water being pulled out by a current. She was struggling and the current was winning the fight, and the ex and I both got and ran into the water, dove in fully clothed and got her to the beach. There was no thinking involved, we just did it and luckily we were both there because it could have been tricky for one person. We got her to shore, walked back to where we had been sitting and couldn’t talk for a little while. We were both shaking.

  28. Deborah said on October 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Does anyone know where those packages of explosives were addressed to in Chicago? I only heard they were going to two places of Jewish worship. Anyone hear of which ones?

  29. Rana said on October 29, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    I freak out and dither in less-serious circumstances, but I’ve seen enough of myself in action in more serious situations (dealing with someone affected by hypothermia in the backcountry, helping with someone who’d OD’d in a similarly remote area, coping with the after-effects of a car accident) to know that there’s a part of me that goes all fierce and calm in a crisis. Whatever it is, I’ve been grateful for it, and hope never to lose it.

  30. beb said on October 29, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Call me Cynic, but Al Quida decides to attack the US four days before the election and our heroic Democratic President thwarts them. Have we just witnessed an “October Surprise?”

  31. Jolene said on October 29, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    OK, I’ll call you a cynic. I can’t quite believe that Obama would involve several foreign governments, disrupt air traffic in several American cities, and take the risk that a false plot would be discovered–even to hold onto the House. Whatever you may think of Obama’s policies, I don’t think there’s much evidence that he lacks integrity.

  32. Deborah said on October 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Rana, I like your description of “fierce and calm in a crisis” that’s it in a nutshell. I’m the opposite unfortunately. I’m so glad there are people like you (and LAMary and Dexter) out there in case I’m in one of those situations.

  33. Dexter said on October 30, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I remember when I was a kid in high school and had a term paper to turn in with maybe six weeks’ notice, I would wait, intentionally, until the night before and stay up all night pounding on that old Remington typewriter , page after page, getting all the footnotes and endnotes in order , and turning the finished paper in on time. I just couldn’t plod along with it a half hour a night, I had to go flat out.
    Sometimes we sell ourselves short. In 1974 I was in LA visiting an army buddy. We drove to his friend’s place in what he called “the Barrio”, but I can’t remember where we were exactly. These guys were motorcycle nuts, and the friend was having clutch trouble. Well, I had two years experience in a clutch factory, but not motorcycle clutches. No matter. All I remember is I had picked up enough general information about clutches I could tell him exactly what his problem was . That was cool, because I really am an ignorant mechanic when I have to tackle a problem. But, sometimes we know stuff we had no idea we knew.

  34. beb said on October 30, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Jolene, I couldn’t believe that Bush2 would cynically manipulate the Terror Alert System for political advantage until it became obvious that he had and often. Obama is facing a horrifying crisis this Tuesday. If the Republicans gain control of either house of Congress they were apt to bring the whole government crashing down either by not increasing the government’s debt ceiling or not passing a budget, or endlessly investigating every thing Obama does. Can you imagine a “birther” with subpoena power?

    Sure it sounds insane that a Democrat would do the sort of illegal and immoral things that Bush did, but Obama has followed a lot of Bush initiatives, like warrentless detention, eavesdropping and so on doesn’t speak well of Obama.

    Finally, coming five days before an election is suspicious and that Obama was out front in getting this story out is so unlike the Christmas day “underwear” bomber. Last years’ “no drama” Obama is taking a different tune this year.

    I would like to think that Obama isn’t taking advantage of this but I’m just cynical enough to suspect otherwise.

  35. brian stouder said on October 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I couldn’t believe that Bush2 would cyn­i­cally manip­u­late the Ter­ror Alert Sys­tem for polit­i­cal advan­tage until it became obvi­ous that he had and often.

    beb, I didn’t believe that either, and still don’t – really. Keith Olbermann to the contrary notwithstanding, and even despite memos from Ashcroft (et al) – if you have a group of people (the government) who will assuredly get BLAMED for anything the terrorist chuckleheads do (or attempt), and when the chuckleheads always present a threat (and with specific timing in their control), that “terror alert” system never made any sense.

    Either nothing happens, and the government looks cynical, or something happens, and they look inept. But any bureaucracy wants to be able to say “we did our job – we’re on the job – look what we accomplished”, and the terror alert thing always looked (to me) like a bureaucratic effort at ass-covering, and not a politically manipulative tool.

    Obama is fac­ing a hor­ri­fy­ing cri­sis this Tues­day.

    Well, even despite what my peeps over at MSNBC might say, I don’t agree with that assessment. I never, ever view election results as “horrifying” – we get the government we want.

    In purely cynical political terms, the Republicans (and their collection of Obama haters, etc) are about to give President Obama an early Christmas present – because “No No No No” won’t be a sufficient platform to run on in 2012.

    Far from a political “crisis”, in many ways this strikes me as a political boon for the administration (if not for the Democratic party), since at the next State of the Union address, the president can lay out what he wishes to accomplish, and make his (now traditional) pledge to work with the other party and any good ideas that they have to present – and then….the orange Speaker of the House will have an “oh, shit” moment.

    He will have to decide if he wants to push a confrontational agenda (as the “no-compromises” flying monkey brigades on the airwaves advocate), or a governing agenda.

    Not for nothing, but in 2012, the GOP cannot say “anybody but Obama”; they have to actually nominate a specific person to run for the presidency.

    I don’t see one person who they can produce, who can defeat President Obama – but we’ll see.

    Finally, com­ing five days before an elec­tion is sus­pi­cious and that Obama was out front in get­ting this story out is so unlike the Christ­mas day “under­wear” bomber. Last years’ “no drama” Obama is tak­ing a dif­fer­ent tune this year.

    This is simply a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” criticism. I think the adminstration handled this as well as it could be handled (and note – it’s not over yet).

    For the record, I don’t think President Bush or any part of his administration actually launched terror attacks against the United States, and I don’t think President Obama did, either. The timing issue – Christmas time for the Detroit guy, and election time for this latest go-round, seems to me to be in the favor of the terrorists (and not the administration)

  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Second that emotion.

  37. Jolene said on October 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Agree. Good job, Brian.

  38. Dexter said on October 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Anybody have a report about the Stewart rally in D.C.? I forgot all about it.

  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Twitter @brianstelter or moi, @Knapsack, and links from there. NYT had a live blog which gives a good summary. Their video feed worked, while Comedy Central’s video feed was #maxfail.

  40. brian stouder said on October 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    My main reaction to the following is – what impulse is it, within filthy rich egotists in portraiture who won’t wear socks? What’s the message?

    “Guess what else I’m not wearing”?

    “I also bathe in these shoes”?

    “Get this photo overwith so I can strip down again”?

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/29/what-rush-wants-now-and-in-2012.html

    anyway – this Newsweek puff piece on the jumbo Mr Stapuff currently dominating the Republican party addresses some of what we were yapping about upthread

  41. Jolene said on October 30, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I saw somewhere that C-SPAN is going to replay it at 8 PM EDT tonight. See also http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/10/30/HP/R/40153/Rally+to+Restore+Sanity+andor+Fear+Today+in+Washington.aspx

  42. Jolene said on October 30, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    So did anyone see the rally yet? There were some painful moments (Tim Meadows, for instance), but some of it, including Stewart’s closing speech was good. I was impressed w/ the array of people he brought together and the cleverness of some of the ideas (e.g., Peace Train vs. Crazy Train vs. Love Train). Also was funny to see Kareem Abdul (7’2″) next to Jon Stewart (5’7″).

  43. Connie said on October 30, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Well, we all learned that Jon Stewart can’t sing.

  44. Jolene said on October 30, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Indeed, Connie. Have just been looking through pics on the WaPo web site. What a handsome guy Yusuf Islam is!

    Quite apart from content, I’m fascinated, as I suggested above, by the orchestration. Lots of people coming from lots of different places, lots of equipment needed, lots of issues concerning transportation and security. Of course, it’s not like these things have never been done before, but I always find it impressive that things like this work as well as they do.

    Stewart and Colbert and lots of other people must be very tired tonight. Lots of partying going on in DC, though. The Post has stories about bars and restaurants hosting after-parties, some w/ proceeds donated to DonorsChoose, a charity that Colbert reports. Don’t know if saw, but Stewart was also soliciting donations to the Trust for the National Mall.

    Early versions of the stimulus bill included funding to restore the mall, which, obviously, gets pretty hard use. The Trust has existed for some time, but private fundraising has been slow. The National Park Service, which is responsible for the mall, doesn’t seem to have the budget. Despite obvious need and the absence of other funding, the idea of restoring it was seen as frivolous, and funds for that purpose were taken out of the bill, something I didn’t understand at the time and still don’t. It’s an important public space. Not sure why improving its condition wouldn’t be seen as a public works project that would provide jobs for at least a few people under substantial federal contracts to landscape firms.

  45. alex said on October 31, 2010 at 12:06 am

    You can sell rubes just about anything these days except the Brooklyn Bridge. They’ll demand that it be brought to Indiana because their tax dollars already paid for it goddammit and they’ll be damned if them colored New Yorkers who vote Democrat are getting the use of it and we ain’t.

  46. coozledad said on October 31, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Via Attaturk, one of the many reasons we can’t have nice things, and why they won’t stop until the army bleeds to death, aimlessly, in the ancient near east. Field Marshall Broder:

    With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

    “Showdown With the Mullahs, the Reality Series” ought to be cast entirely with senile bastards tottering at the edge of the grave. If there was ever any doubt Broder’s brain is apoptotic, this erases it.

  47. beb said on October 31, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Brian Stouder wrote: For the record, I don’t think Pres­i­dent Bush or any part of his admin­is­tra­tion actu­ally launched ter­ror attacks against the United States, and I don’t think Pres­i­dent Obama did, either.

    I never said either president attacked the country, I said they were manipulating the color-coded terror awareness system (or whatever it was called) to panic the country into supporting the administration. What’s suspicious is the timing. It was the timing that made people suspicious of Bush and it’s the timing that made me suspicious of this incident as well.

    Saying a Republican take-over of Congress will be good for Obama’s election in 2012 missing the point that if the government collapses between 2010 and 2012 because Republican insist on massive tax cuts for the super wealthy and refusing to increase the debt ceiling causing the default on treasury bond — well, Obama will be blamed for that, too. Besides as a responsible American the president can’t let the country run off the cliff in order to improve his election chances a couple years later. So, yes, there is a great temptation to overplay this attempt to mail weapons material into the US in order to preserve adult control of Congress.

  48. beb said on October 31, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    On a different subject… There has been the usual overwhelming amount of political advertising, but I’ve noticed that almost none of the ads list which party the candidate belongs to, and almost none of them come from either the candidate or the candidates’ party. Most of the candidates are in races I can’t vote in anyway but never have I felt the need to vote a straight ticket because I have no idea who the actual candidates are.

  49. Julie Robinson said on October 31, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Our daughter was at the rally, but when we talked to her afterwards her phone was dying so we just heard that it was crazy, but fun, and had the best signs she’d seen anywhere. She’s supposed to be home tomorrow afternoon barring any more travel emergencies, so I guess we’ll have to wait to hear more. I think that for her it was just important to be there as a sign that rational, non-rightist thinkers also have passion about their politics.

  50. Jeff Borden said on October 31, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I am braced for two years of political buffoonery even worse than the past two. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner already have declared there will be no compromises with the White House –as if there’d been any over the past two years– so the stage will be set for complete gridlock.

    It’s fashionable in some circles to applaud gridlock. When nothing gets done in Congress, the thinking goes, the country is better off. This, I think, is a foolish statement. Our nation faces a multitude of woes and I see no purpose in pretending we don’t while our elected officials throw mud at each other. And we know a Republican House will launch a few dozen investigations –Issa of California wants to investigate climate scientists, for example– so an administration that already faces enormous problems will be hamstrung by having to defend itself against titmouses.

    I suspect the creepy Sharron Angle and Rand Paul will be elected, but at least the most visible candidates supported by SheWho look to be going down in flames: Joe Miller in Alaska and the Anti-Masturbation Lady in Delaware. Anything that damages $P’s political credibility is all right by me.

  51. Jolene said on October 31, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    The idea that, in a country of more than 300 million people, we would end up w/ someone like Angle in one of the most prestigious positions in American government is really horrifying. Rand Paul has problematic ideas, but I don’t think he is crazy, a theocrat, or ignorant, and I think Angle may be all of those.

  52. brian stouder said on October 31, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Well, an HEI* update will be forthcoming. I can tell you that our 12 year old daughter will be a pink crayon (Pam made the costume) and our 6 year old will be Tinkerbell (store bought).

    This whole election cycle increases my sympathy and respect for the common voters in (for example) Iran, who – as often as not – get stuck with this or that blinkered moron at the hands of their own fellow citizens. It’s an old story, and it never goes out of style.

    *Jeff tmmo’s Halloween Economic Indicator. By the way, I read an article this morning that specifically singled out Granville, Ohio, and Denison University – because of all the turkey vultures that reside there. (and I’m reisiting making a joke about turkey vultures flocking into the next congress…)

  53. prospero said on October 31, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Rand Paul just believes in repealing large chunks of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and figures the nation owes an apology to Ol’ Lester. He is sure as hell channeling the racist restauranteur. Apparently Rand thinks the backward bicycle-riding buffoon was exercising some ancillary interpretation of the Second Amendment when he armed his redneck patrons against a mud people invasion with axe handles.

    Aside from that, he lives a relatively opulent lifestyle while reporting annual income from his medical practice of around $45grand. He hangs around with and takes scads of money from white supremacists like Stormfront and conspiracy whackos obsessed with the WTC, the illuminati, Bilderbergers. That’s teetering on the edge of crazy, or it’s cynical exploitation of the feeble-minded

    This account makes it pretty difficult to buy any skepticism or conspiracy theorizing about the printer bombs and proximity to the election. Of course, unlike W, Ashcroft, Ridge, Dickless etc., Obama’s got no history of pulling this type of Bushwa whenever it might be remotely politically advantageous. And crap, practically every single adherent to the October Surprise theory hyperventilated over the tighty-whitey bomber (handled in pretty much ideal fashion).

    With this level of detail, especially identification of the bomb-maker and his exploits, and descriptions of the devices, it’s a major stretch to chalk this all up to paranoia induction. The administration’s been cutting shit like this off at the pass, without flouting it, unlike their predecessors who acted like they’d saved civilization when a sleazebag informant duped those mental midgets that wanted the paramilitary unis and boots in Miami. Or foiled the four guys that were going to attack Ft. Dix (active duty population , 1000-1500) with automatic weapons by feigning a pizza delivery.

    Or how ’bout the “lone gunman” from Chicago that got twenty years for “plotting to take down the Brooklyn Bridge with an acetylene torch?

    (Those cables:

    Suspension Cables – four 15 3/4″ diameter wire ropes.
    Number of Strands in each cable – 19 (JSG)
    Total Length of Wire in cables – approximately 3600 miles (JSG)
    Miles of wrapping wire on each cable – 243 miles 943 feet (JSG))

    I think the guy was going to use either a Cloak of Invisibility or something like an ice fishing shanty.

    I’m sure there were actual threats, but why was Shrub so keen on talking about nonsense like losers, landsharks an lunatics?

  54. coozledad said on October 31, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I recall reading several complaints from British intelligence officers that the Bush administration’s constant grandstanding and appropriation of the successes of UK anti-terror efforts compromised an ongoing MI5 investigation that led to the disappearance of one of the future perps of the London Bus bombings.
    When they weren’t actively fucking things up, they were getting in the way of people who were actually in a position to unfuck them.
    I think you can attribute this to Bush and Cheney’s desperation to appear to be were running the show after the revelations of their dismissal of the “Bin Laden determined to strike in US” memo. It continued to spiral downhill after that signal failure.
    Both of them, Cheney and Bush, had thoroughly eclipsed their competence level when they were no longer stubbing cigarettes out on some pledge’s ass.

  55. brian stouder said on October 31, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I think you can attribute this to Bush and Cheney’s des­per­a­tion to appear to be were run­ning the show after the rev­e­la­tions of their dis­missal of the “Bin Laden deter­mined to strike in US” memo. It con­tin­ued to spi­ral down­hill after that sig­nal fail­ure.

    You know, I’ve never bought into the thinking that Bush deserves any blame, at all, for the 9/11 atrocities.

    Let’s say you’re a brand new president, and you get this hair-on-fire memo. Let’s say you respond vigorously, and lay on all kinds of security checks, and disrupt all of the teams of terrorists, so that nothing happens.

    We, the people, will behold this new president, who is acting aggressively and disrupting commercial air traffic all to hell, and spouting some crazy story about how the boogey men wanted to wreak who-knows-what sort of mayhem; and we’ll think we have a power-mad lunatic in office, who needs to be kept on a short leash, if not impeached outright.

    Remember – a whole series of warnings, beginning in 1998, streamed in, and President Clinton – whether he “dismissed” them or not, certainly wasn’t able to derail anything.

    President Bush got a very similar warning 30-odd weeks into his new administration, and then it unfolded just a few weeks after that.

    By way of saying – when these nihilistic chuckleheads do this or that or the other thing, THEY should get 100% of the damnation, and 100% of the blame.

    But, I DO agree that the criticism about the Bush admin spoiling the UK’s counter-terror efforts seem more valid to me, even accounting for the suspicion that this sounds like another “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. (If Bush, as a new president, had been hair-on-fire about the “Bin Laden determined to strike” memo, and, say, two of the terror teams still got through, people might well say that the inexperienced president BLEW it, and cost us the WTC, with his inexpert and overblown response)

    Aside from that, I can say that on our 2 hour walk around the neighborhood, we saw many zombies/monsters, many leggy witches, more than a few super-heroes, and the usual mix of fairies/princesses/cartoon characters. Also – lots of store-bought plastic adzes, pikes, scythes, bloody butcher knives, and ninja swords, usually carried by the teenagers in the crowds. Also, the usual number of motored-in kiddos.

    I think the same number of houses were lit up and open for business (more or less); our end of the block gets a little less business, owing to our location on the other side of a clearing, and therefore our candy bowl was only 2/3s used up, as always.

    So, I think our HEI points to economic rebound

  56. coozledad said on October 31, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Bush and Cheney ran on the “Balls of Steel” platform, and perhaps no one was more surprised than their 700 Club followers when the Chinese handed them their balls in the form of one of our surveillance planes: disassembled, crated and labeled. But this wasn’t enough to convince the Broders of this sorry hole of a world we’d bought ourselves a couple of frauds. I recall the rightwing response to Bill Clinton’s airstrike against a suspected Al Qaeda chemical weapons factory was that Clinton had killed innocents at an aspirin factory, and Bin Laden was “a phantom”, and just another example of Clinton “Wagging the Dog”. That’s one Republicans worked desperately to make folks forget. Richard Clarke said repeatedly that Bush had no idea, and had no intention of cultivating an idea, of how to deal with asymmetrical threats, and he treated emissaries of such information with the contempt he’d previously reserved for his girlfriends who might need an abortion.

  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 31, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Brian: this one, right? Enjoy, scavenger fans . . .
    http://www.newarkadvocate.com/article/20101031/NEWS01/10310309/Vultures-rule-the-roost-at-Denison-University

  58. Dexter said on November 1, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Both 41 and 43 were at the World Series in Arlington, Texas last night. Good timing for 43 Bush, as he has this new book, as you know. So somebody at our little Halloween party in Toledo said “I wonder if 41 knows who killed JFK.” I said I guess he did,since he was head of the CIA for a while.
    Then , of course, someone asked if 43, George W. Bush knew for sure who killed Kennedy in Dallas. I missed what she said, but the lady who answered said something about an ass and a hole in the ground.
    Well, after we had our fun, I started wondering how many people still alive today really know who killed Kennedy. A thousand? Three? Fifteen? Maybe I should ask J.B. Smoove, he’s good with numbers:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUaYiVDrZV8

  59. Dexter said on November 1, 2010 at 1:19 am

    BrianStouder: I took my turn on the porch of the Toledo inner city house where our Halloween party was .
    We had three large pots of candy, some good stuff and some crap like SweetTarts and LaffyTaffy (which ain’t really crap at all, I found out).
    During my watch as candy passer-outer, I had about 22 kids come up on the porch.
    Others who took a turn had 10 or 20 also, and we only gave out about 40% of the candy we had on hand.
    Best, cutest kid’s costume: a little African American lad of about five years with the look of a pasty white-faced Dracula. I made sure he got a couple Snickers and Hershey bars in his poke.

  60. moe99 said on November 1, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Why trickle down economics is a fraud:

    http://vagabondscholar.blogspot.com/2010/10/tax-cuts-to-rich-dont-raise-revenues.html

  61. Linda said on November 1, 2010 at 7:31 am

    I gave out candy in west Toledo last night, and got over 100 kids. The cutest were twin boys, maybe 3 years old, in cammo. But there were kids old enough to vote, too.

  62. brian stouder said on November 1, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Check it out Jeff; the article we got in our paper starts out the same, and then differs….

    http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20101031/LOCAL/310319900

  63. beb said on November 1, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Brian Stouder wrote: You know, I’ve never bought into the think­ing that Bush deserves any blame, at all, for the 9/11 atroc­i­ties.

    There’s a weird meme going around that says Bush kept us safe from terrorist attacks. It’s strange because there were two terrorist attacks that Bush clearly did not protect us from. But according to this meme they didn’t appear. I’m talking about the 9/11 attack and the anthrax attack that started a few weeks later. You can say Bush prevented any further further attacks but you can’t say he prevented all terrorist attacks during his administration.

    Brian continues(I always find this confusing to say because the ‘b’ in beb stands for Brian) Let’s say you’re a brand new pres­i­dent, and you get this hair-on-fire memo.

    First of all, at eight months in, Bush is no longer a brand-new president. In fact he’s been president for so long that he’s taking a vacation.

    Secondly, the memo he got at his ranch was hardly the first time the National Security office has tried to inform him that terrorists were determined to strike in the US. Richard Clarke, who was Clinton’s NSI guy repeated tried to impress on Sec. of State Rice that bin Ladin was a threat but she wasn’t interested. Her later defense that “no one could have imagined” was undercut by the number of people who had in fact thought about the idea of running airplanes into skyscrapers.

    Thirdly there are a lot of things a president can do to increase security without going all hysterical on television. He could issue warnings to the airlines about a possible terrorist attack. He could have ordered the FBI and the CIA to confer about possible terrorists. The FBI had a lot of alerts of suspicious activity that if placed within the context of a threat alert could have had a better outcome.

    The fact is that Bush blew it and he’s never owned up to the fact that he did.

  64. brian stouder said on November 1, 2010 at 8:50 am

    beb – a marvelous book on the whole subject is The Looming Tower. What I took away from that book was (as Creedence Clearwater Revival says) –

    there was a bad moon rising, and trouble was on the way (period) – from the mid-90’s onward. I really do think that the issue of how we view (and therefore deal with ) this sort of threat is still unresolved. It was a live political issue in the 2004 presidential race (law enforcement versus military problem), and it still is

    Is it a criminal problem, for the FBI and Interpol? Is it a military problem, for the CIA/DIA/military to deal with?

    There are no easy answers. I’ve become a bit more fatalistic about this stuff, really.

  65. coozledad said on November 1, 2010 at 8:55 am

    More on those Republican “ideas” from HP Lovecraft, via Digby:
    “As for the Republicans—how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.”

  66. LAMary said on November 1, 2010 at 11:25 am

    cooz, I want to embroider that on a tasteful throw pillow and tuck it in the corner of my office. It describes the woman sitting fifteen feet away from me perfectly. If we could throw in some fundie shit it would bring tears to my eyes.