Come wade in the sewer.

Calvin Stovall is a former colleague of mine, now editor-in-chief of the Binghamton Press in New York. He recently lowered the Sword of Justice upon his newspaper’s comment sections. You think your life is sad and pathetic? Getta loada this:

We had to remove racist and insensitive comments on a story about the birth of the first baby of 2010 in Broome County, born to a black woman. Just Monday, I had staffers take down comments on a story about a motorcyclist killed in an accident involving a school bus and a minivan in Kirkwood.

During the past three weeks, I banned three people for life from our site because of abuses, including attacks on one another and racist comments. They returned to the site under different usernames. We confirmed who they were and blocked them again, and we will continue to do so until they get the message that they’re not welcome on our site.

First, imagine being the sort of person who feels the need to comment on a first-baby-of-the-year story. I’d imagine being banned for those shenanigans would be the Scorsesean camera-pulls-back moment that momentarily puts you outside your life and allows you to briefly observe it from, say, a high corner in your room: Yep, that’s me all right, rockin’ the Dell laptop. Boy, the way I type really rattles the card table, doesn’t it? And that bare lightbulb — none of those socialist twisty things for me! Kiss my ass, Mr. born-in-Kenya Obama!

(On second thought, you always run the risk that, once outside himself, your readers will like what they see.)

Internet eggheads are always telling lamestream journalists that they have to jump into their comment sections. Many of them run sites where the comment sections are kind of like our own here at NN.C, rich and smart and, to continue my oft-used Cheers metaphor, a place where everybody knows your name, there’s a fire in the hearth and the bowls of peanuts are always full and warm.

There’s another kind of bar out there. It’s where alcoholics line up to get a drink at the earliest possible opening hour. It smells bad, no one talks and the toilets frequently overflow. This is what newspaper comment sections are. I really can’t blame someone like Calvin, who has enough to do just getting the paper out, from wanting to engage with the sorts of pinheads who would, once banned from the worst bar in the world, try to sneak a way back in, re-registering under new user names, so that people can hear their thoughts on the skin color of the first baby of the new year.

Partly it’s a function of size — the more people you let in, the worse it gets. Our own community got some new members after the Goeglein affair, but I think the quality stayed high, even as some of our best people left (farewell and adieu, Danny, Marcia, Gasman, many others) and were replaced by newcomers. I sometimes find myself at a loss for words when people ask what this blog is about. Is it political? Sometimes, but that’s not its purpose. Pop culture? Same answer. Personal, a diary? Kinda, but not really, no. So what is it? It’s just a place where I drink my morning coffee and work the kinks out of my fingers, but even on days when I’m not particularly present, the best reading is in the comments.

Once again, thanks to all you readers, silent and otherwise. I lift a glass to you, and the next round is on the house.

So, election day. I haven’t voted yet, but I will. There aren’t a ton of seats at play locally, but there are some — governor, state house and senate seats, and my local school board. The latter races have kept me hopping over at my other site, and just because there’s never enough to do that you can’t do a little bit more, yesterday’s police rounds were ridonkulous, a side effect of Halloween, I guess. Reading over my report, I’m kicking myself for not connecting the “29 minors” rousted from an underage drinking party to the Chilean miners, somehow — that could have generated some yuks. But in a week when the file offers you an actual scene from a Cheech & Chong movie, you take the low-hanging fruit.

So, off to the gym and the polls. No real bloggage today, but there’s this — the awful, no-good health care law that’s actually bringing health insurance to small-business employees.

Civic duty! Onward!

Posted at 10:57 am in Current events, Housekeeping, Media |

55 responses to “Come wade in the sewer.”

  1. Judybusy said on November 2, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I rarely read the Minneapolis’ Star Tribune’s comment section; most of the commenters are ranting or offering stupid insults. The rabid conservatives can find hidden meanings in the most innocuous of stories. The online paper itself is painful to read–many ads, busy layout,and even smallish stories are broken up into three pages.

    I am here every day, because I learn so much from Nancy and the commenters. Thank you, Nancy, for creating such a great place to share ideas!

    Happy voting, every one! I’ve lived in the same house for fifteen years and always see a neighbor or two, in addition to the same election judges and volunteers. I love the coming together to exercise our civic duty.

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  2. coozledad said on November 2, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I think I visited here once BG (before Goeglin). I followed you back from The Poor Man Institute. Then Blogenfreude had a post about you on Wonkette, or Cynic’s Party? And I said, “I’ve had a drink with that woman!”
    By the way, where the hell is Blogenfreude? And where’s Cornbread? He’s the greatest living Americaneocon impersonator.

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  3. Jeff Borden said on November 2, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I went through several bottles of eye drops trying to wash out all the bullshit deposited by filthy political advertising over the last few days. I’m so very glad that the Roberts court helped this happen with the Citizens United ruling. Too bad Ginni Thomas isn’t asking her husband for an apology for helping unleash this torrent of bile.

    Though it may be akin to walking into a propeller blade, we’ll be walking to the polling place after lunch and casting our votes in an effort to keep the Senate in Democratic hands. Though we are not enamored of our candidate, I’ll be damned if I’m going to throw a vote to a GOPer, whose only goal in office will be to stop Obama.

    I will avoid the talking heads tonight. There’s plenty of homework to do, books to be read, DVD’s to be watched, instead of the slow torture of watching and listening to the chattering class explain “what it all means.” I know a bloodbath is coming. I don’t need Chris Matthews or Chuck Todd to tell me what color it is.

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  4. MichaelG said on November 2, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Whatever the Repubs gain this election day, they will have well and truly earned. They’ve kept their message short and simple and constant and they’ve kept it in people’s faces. Truth? Doesn’t matter. Say it often enough and it becomes true.

    When I was a kid, our tiny, flickering, black and white TV beamed the presence of Sen. Everett Dirksen and Rep. Charlie Halleck into our house – the Ev and Charlie show. From those days in the fifties to the present with Rep. Boehner and Sen. McConnell we’ve had appearances several times a week by the Republican Senate and Congressional leaders. Remember Dole’s Dr. Doom Demeanor? Newt? Lott? And the others. A couple of times a week for fifty years the Republican Congressional leadership has been on the TV telling us over and over and over that the Democrats are wrong, wrong, wrong. Fifty years. Where have the Dems been? Nowhere. Silent. Why haven’t we seen a steady diet of Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Reid and decades of their predecessors beating their own drums? Yeah, why? And when we do see the leadership, it’s Reid haplessly responding in his reedy voice to some Republican insult.

    The last two Democratic Senate Leaders have been real winners. Reid and Daschle. A pair of strong, granite like, charismatic, inspiring, compelling orators who couldn’t even hold on to their own seats let alone lead the congress.

    Then there’s talk radio and more recently TV talking heads where again the Rs have been pushing their message for years and years. Again the message is short and simple and repeated over and over until it becomes gospel. The Ds? Who knows what they think other than what the Rs tell us they think?

    In the last fifteen years another front has opened up. Email. For the twelve or thirteen years I’ve been on line, I’ve received daily emails from the Republican hate machine. Cartoons, inspirational shit, stories, jokes, pictures, caricatures, you name it. Hate stuff against libruls, Hillary, Bill, Pelosi, Obama, Mescans, blacks, etc., etc., etc. A daily, steady drumbeat of the stuff. It’s professionally done and much of it’s very good. I don’t know where it is all sourced, but somebody is out there creating this material and being paid to do it. Where are the Dems? Not present. If anyone doubts me, send me their email address and I’ll be happy to forward my daily dose of drivel.

    Fifty years of repeating their message on the TV, the radio and now on email. It’s compelling, it wears on people and it starts to take hold, especially when you hear your neighbors and work mates parroting it. Don’t believe me? Look around.

    They even have the main stream media going. The MSM takes so much Republican BS at face value precisely because of the fifty years of uncontested weight behind it. Fifty years. When are the Ds going to wake up?

    The fact the Ds get anywhere at all is a compliment to the power of truth and common sense. If they worked half as hard as the Rs do to get their message across they’d be invincible.

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  5. Deborah said on November 2, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I voted at 7:30 this morning at the building next door. There were only about 3 people voting when I got there and about 2 more came while I was voting. The way they set up the room wasn’t great. The lobby of the building is smallish and they had the carrels (booths?) pushed up against the windows too far, you had to squeeze past people standing and there was no place to put your coat or bag. I’ve voted there many times before and didn’t notice it being cramped. Maybe they had more booths than usual? I was a bit confused about the first and second item on the ballot for who will occupy the US senate seat for six years starting in January, and also who will serve out the remainder of seat-warmer Roland Burris’ term (this was for the senate seat that Obama had that Blogo tried to sell). I voted for the Democrat of course. I voted for each Democrat for everything on the ballot. This is the first time I think I’ve ever voted a straight ticket.

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  6. Deborah said on November 2, 2010 at 11:35 am

    MichaelG, great comment and so true.

    Nancy, thanks for doing what you do every weekday. I love this place.

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  7. Jason T. said on November 2, 2010 at 11:59 am

    @MichaelG: I agree, too, but don’t forget Deep Throat’s advice: “Follow the money.”

    One of the reasons that conservatives control the debate is that ever since broadcasting was deregulated, large, publicly traded conglomerates have owned all of the major radio and TV stations, and they are no longer under any obligation to present news or opposing viewpoints.

    And who owns those big conglomerates? It’s not the working poor. I always laugh when I hear about the “liberal media” — yeah, right, you mean the “liberal media” that’s run by Wall Street investment banks and hedge funds?

    Not only have conservatives kept their message short and direct, they now can use unlimited money (thanks to Citizens United) to keep that message in front of the public on TV and radio in the form of advertising. I’m hearing estimates that conservative groups outspent liberal ones by six-to-one or better in this election.

    They began running attack ads as soon as the Democrats took office, even when there wasn’t an election, and they haven’t stopped for two years.

    Jeff Danziger, as he often does, says it best with a cartoon.

    I’m not absolving Democrats from being crappy leaders. Harry Reid is about as inspiring as Droopy Dog. I have even more scorn for those chicken-shit cowardly Democrats who run against their party’s president and their leaders in Congress. We have two in Western Pennsylvania — Jason Altmire and Mark Critz. If you can’t advocate for your party’s agenda, you have no business being in that party.

    But the older I get, the more liberal I get (to my surprise), and I am increasingly convinced the game is rigged. I think we’re living in a new Gilded Age, and I see the middle class continuing to shrink for another generation at least.

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  8. Jeff Borden said on November 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Jason T.,

    I fear you are correct. The game was already tilted toward the rich and powerful, but the Roberts court pretty much just knocked over the table completely. You also are correct about the &^%$%$ Blue Dogs. It wasn’t just the Republicans who helped kneecap Obama, but these cowardly shitheads who call themselves Democrats. Luckily, most of these Republican Lite Dems are going to get kicked out of office today, but there’s little joy in seeing the election of even more right-wing Republicans in their place.

    Off-topic: I am beginning to wonder if SheWho is prepping for a nervous breakdown. I saw a video clip of her responding to the Politico story yesterday about how establishment Republicans are looking to take her down well in advance of 2012 and she truly looked scary crazy. She’s also talking a lot rougher. . .calling out “corrupt bastards” and saying she won’t take “crap” and the like. I despise her and her politics –our nation does not need Forrest Gump in a skirt– but the recent video makes her look like she’s on the road to madness.

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  9. Bob (not Greene) said on November 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Jason, don’t insult Droopy like that! Droopy was mellow, but piss him off enough, and he’d punch you in the mouth and grab your tail and pound you into the ground. Exhibit A.
    I WISH the Dems were like that.

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  10. Rana said on November 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Oh, the game is definitely rigged. There’s only one candidate in the whole state I’m actually voting for, and the rest of the lot are defensive attempts to prevent the whackaloo from taking over. I am not hopeful. (It says something about both the state, and the dangers of the Libertarian-Tea Party here, that I’m actually voting for Republicans in the local races. No Democrats, of course, and Greens are as rare here as unicorn farts.)


    As I saw someone else commenting today, I’m going to lie back and think of Elizabeth Cady Stanton today.

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  11. Sue said on November 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    As far as idiot Dems are concerned, if you want a big tent, you need to be prepared for the occasional circus.
    As far as messaging goes, I have to say that Russ Feingold has run one of the best, most tightly organized campaigns I’ve ever seen. He went negative early on, something he’s never done, but that’s because he had so damn much material to work with. He balanced that with lots of information ads and never, never ran away from his record. Almost every paper in the state has endorsed him. And yet he hasn’t led in the polls once; he’s been down by double digits mostly. So you can have a great message, but you have to have people willing to listen to it. That seems to be the problem this cycle.
    By the way, if Russ loses, it will be to a man who has refused to answer questions because “this election isn’t about details”; who thinks the archdiocese of Green Bay should be protected against sexual assault victims because they’re a business and can’t be held responsible for their employees’ behavior, even apparently when they knew of the behavior; who thinks climate change is caused by sunspots; who theoretically agrees with drilling in the Great Lakes; who decided to run because of his opposition to health care reform even though he has employees on Badgercare; and who is against the stimulus but not so much so that he won’t go looking for it. I can’t see Ron Johnson actively engaging in any of the vicious stuff that’s being promised, but he will be a reliable Republican vote for any of the mischief that makes it that far.

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  12. Jeff Borden said on November 2, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    The loss of Russ Feingold will hurt. He has always stood tall for progressive issues and was in the forefront of efforts to tame our out-of-control campaign spending sprees, though he was never able to bring it home. Plus, he’s just a very smart man.

    The IQ of the next Congress is definitely going to be lower.

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  13. coozledad said on November 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Well, if nothing else, the spectacle of old Boehner getting in the sack with the Waffen SS at least clarifies what we’ve always known about Republicans, their Cheeto crusted hacks notwithstanding. I guess Goldberg’s “book” will have to sit in the remaindered heap along with the Davids Irving and Duke.*

    *Although the prospects for Duke’s “African Atto” agitprop are looking up with the resurgence of the Klan and its affiliated militias in Alaska, Kentucky and Ohio.

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  14. prospero said on November 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Greetings from Columbia, SC. I voted absentee a week ago to free up today to come up to the state capitol to intimidate Teabagging intimidation squads, with a group from Secretary of State Project. Remember Ken Blackwell and Cuyahoga Co.?

    Turned the cameras on the racists with the cameras, reminded them in loud and no uncertain terms they’re committing criminal offenses, listened to them whine like brats and threaten, and, for the most part, watched them slink away like scalded weasels. Laws on our side and it was gratifying spoiling their grim smug glee at obstructing the American way.

    If you see or hear about any voter intimidation or suppression at the polls, please report it immediately. Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, a national election protection hotline — or report it to them online at You can also upload video to

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  15. Bob (not Greene) said on November 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Should we take up a collection for Prospero’s bail?

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  16. ROgirl said on November 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Is $P spinning out of control, or is it all a calculated move to rile up the troops?

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  17. 4dbirds said on November 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Nancy I love this blog. You are my first read in the morning and I come back often to enjoy the comments.

    Hubby, daughter and I voted early today. Our polling place was empty. The only race on the ballot is a very safe republican incumbent. We voted against him.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on November 2, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Well, the sun is shining and our daughter finally got home last night, so I refuse to give in to doom and gloom today. Like Jeff, I will not be glued to the TV watching results. Step back from the TV and engage with the people in your life.

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  19. moe99 said on November 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    We vote by mail in Wa state for the most part. And the kids get their ballots delivered to my house because they change addresses so frequently. Threw out the one that came to Seth because he’s registered to vote in MN now. But Sarah and Matt filled out their ballots along with me and we sent them in. Then Sarah gets a letter from the King County elections bureau. Her signature on her ballot does not match the signature on file. D’oh. She’s in her 4th year of medical school and her signature has become a “doctor’s” signature. Not sure if her ballot will be counted but she has three ways to fix it retroactively. She could go in to one of their offices (which of course she hasn’t the time to do and they are all out in the boonies) or she can have two citizens attest that she is who her signature says she is or she can send in an attestation page with a copy of a picture id with a matching signature line. She chose door no. 2 but it will not get in til after the election. Which I hope is not another 24 vote cliffhanger, but with Dino Rossi involved it could be.

    Where are these idiot voters? And how can we reach them and change their minds? I don’t think I’ve seen so much stupidity on display ever in my life.

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  20. brian stouder said on November 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I agree with Deborah; this is a great place, and the proprietress is (of course) 99.9% of the reason why. She gives us all lots of rein, and goes to the whip only sparingly, and in an equal-opportunity way. Whenever the day comes that I jump the shark, and she finally declares me persona non grata, I’ll have at least the good grace to stay gone!

    Or – changing maetaphors – if this blog was a garden, Nance would of course be the owner and landscape artist/groundskeeper, and most of the folks here would be the colorful/fruitful and/or beautiful plants and flowers; and some of us (including me) would be the dandelions and/or crabgrass, upon which she needs to occasionally use the weed whip; and a very few need a shot of Round-Up (the troubled teen leaps to mind)

    Thanks again to Nance, for this great place

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  21. ROgirl said on November 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Yeah, AND?

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  22. coozledad said on November 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks, RO Girl. That’s a great link.

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  23. Dexter said on November 2, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I had to wait in line about thirty minutes, longest wait time in years. I take this as a good sign. We have a really rotten repugg gubernatorial candidate running against Governor Ted here in Ahia. I vote every election anyway, but I made sure I did today.

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  24. Scout said on November 2, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    There are very few comments sections I can bear to read without needing to wash out my eyeballs with disinfectant. Yahoo and HuffPo come immediately to mind to be avoided at all costs.

    Great comments here today. And I agree with Nancy – they are what make this place extra special… however, it is the inspiring daily “seeding” of this blog that makes it my first stop every morning. Sometimes I come here before my own email or facebook. Mucho garacias to the proprietress.

    On our way to vote this morning, Pat and I were discussing the Democratic Party’s lack of messaging capabilities. While it is glaringly obvious that the corporate media weights everything in the R direction and imbues every single issue with false equivalency, there is still an obvious disconnect regarding effective messaging coming from the left. With all the uber smarties we’ve got, why is this still happening?

    And while I am hoping and praying that Reid somehow manages to hang on to his seat, part B of that prayer is that he does not retain his position as majority leader. We needed someone with brass cojones to make full advantage of the opportunity we won in 2008. He is such an Eyore.

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  25. Mark P. said on November 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I voted last week, but in Georgia it’s pretty much an empty gesture. Georgians will elect anyone who wears a Republican dunce cap. It’s similar to the way they used to vote reflexively for Democrats (Because of the way the Republicans (!) handled Reconstruction, don’t you know?) In those days somehow they actually managed to elect a few decent people, but there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of decent people on the Republican ticket today. I used to think secession was a crime and a terrible idea, but these days I am coming around to the idea that maybe we ought to offer the tea-podsters their own little country where they can sink into third world squalor without dragging the rest of us with them.

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  26. 4dbirds said on November 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I’ve had a couple of comment flare-ups and I apologize most humbly for them. I believe my worst came shortly after my sister died and I was batshit crazy with grief. Not an excuse, only an explanation.

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  27. Rana said on November 2, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Scout, I completely agree with you about the Yahoo! comments – the disturbing underbelly of the populace is on full display there, ugh.

    Just got back from voting – the place was packed, and the poll worker I asked confirmed my impression that the turn-out was even greater than it had been two years ago. Even though my options generally sucked, it was good seeing everyone there, filled with the pride of doing one’s civic duty.

    Afterwards I went to buy groceries and cat chow, and rewarded myself for voting by cooing over the fluffy critters at the pet store.

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    MichaelG, did you happen to hear Paul Begala being interviewed on “This American Life” over the weekend? The narrator (didn’t catch his name) was following him around a bit, in “TAL” style, when he asked about whether Begala got a daily and/or weekly “on message” e-mail of the sort that came out of the RNC and Boehner’s office to Republican office holders.

    Begala’s answer was doubly amazing (or horrifying, depending on your preferences): at first, he basically said “No.” There’s no real central co-ordinating entity for Democrats, and he sang the usual cheery song about Democratic diversity and plurality and mutability. The commentator overlaid an aside of “Yeah, but not having that would seem to be more than a bit of a message-making handicap.”

    Then Begala went on to say “Yeah, there are some daily and weekly e-mails, from different places, y’know, like, um, the White House, or the House and Senate leadership, and the party office at least on Fridays . . .” and he listed a few more.

    Then he said “but I just ignore ’em. I delete most of them unread. Why would I feel bound to say what they want me to say (JTMMO paraphrase)?”

    The reporter/narrator, and this Republican, respectively said & thought — you’re kidding me, right? One of the most senior spokespeople for the American left, a leading Democratic figure, mocks the idea of message management?

    Which would explain much.

    See y’all tomorrow — tonight is final march and concert, with uniform turn-in & inventory for the school’s marching band. It’s been quite a ride with my son’s first year into this rich and vital subculture of school life, and has done wonders for his self-confidence and social comprehension. All praise to extracurriculars in general, music in particular, and vote for your school district tax levy!

    Edit: I found this, and his name is Jack Hitt, a name I see on a number of magazine pieces in my memory card file –

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  29. brian stouder said on November 2, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    …his name is Jack Hitt, a name I see on a num­ber of mag­a­zine pieces in my mem­ory card file

    Gotta be a pen-name, yes?

    The two puns that immediately present themselves here are either something along the lines of “Oh no! Another Hitt piece!” or else some variation on the “jacket” his name comes with

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  30. moe99 said on November 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    dissection of the Tea Party meme.

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  31. coozledad said on November 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Jack Hitt is Strom Thurmond’s first cousin. He’s a contributing editor at Harpers.
    My grandmother was Weinona Strom. Her first cousin was Strom Thurmond, which makes the late senator my first cousin, twice removed. It also makes his half-black daughter, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, my second cousin once removed.

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 2, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Harper’s, that’s it. I knew I’d seen the name, didn’t know the genealogy, let alone the publication.

    All of which is why these comments, not to mention the initial posts, are a daily (at minimum) stop for me. Salud!

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  33. brian stouder said on November 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    4d, I’d count you amongst one of the perennial flowers; low-maintenance, always interesting, occasionally spicey, and always hardy (frost be damned!)

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  34. Judybusy said on November 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    If the Dems could produce and distribute more stuff like this, they might have a chance:

    Jeff, TMMO, that story is so demoralizing, and confirms what I long suspected.

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  35. Jolene said on November 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Couldn’t agree more w/ the praise of Nancy’s writing and the wonderful comments and commenters here. I sometimes find myself referring to something someone here has said in real-world conversation, and, rather than explaining the whole online thing, I usually just say, “I heard from a friend that . . .”

    And, Brian, you are much too modest. You’re only a dandelion in the way I thought of dandelions as a young kid–as sunshiny, bright flowers that I picked for my mother.

    Some of the worst–indeed, heartbreaking–comments that I’ve seen appear on the White House Facebook postings. Just yesterday, numerous people were outraged because the children (the two that were pictured, that is) that Barack and Michelle were giving Halloween candy to were black because, y’know, a piece of candy from the president is such a huge social advantage. These comments appear, in fact, whenever there are pictures of either B. or M. w/ black or brown kids. And, not too long ago, there was a charming picture of a white child, who was at the WH because a member of her family was receiving a posthumous medal, curtsying to Michelle. The online yammerers thought the curtsy was evidence that MO thinks of herself as a queen and demands signs of deference to her status from four-year-olds. Possibly, I should stop looking at those comments.

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  36. Catherine said on November 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    For brevity, I’ll just say, “Ditto Jolene’s first paragraph.”

    Also, re following the money (Jason T @7): Was anyone else blown away by NPR’s story about who wrote the AZ immigration law & paid for the lobbying that helped pass it? Turns out it was private prison business interests. Wrote. the. freaking. law.

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  37. prospero said on November 2, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Link we just got from across town. Kind of confusing, but if Baggers are targeting historic black colleges, GOP will lose their 15% of the black vote 4ever. Our place is devoid of baggers now. Several escorted from premises for unkosher signs and slogans. No real bad behavior,–afraid of being memorialized on tape, or who knows what these yahoos might have gotten up to.

    Everybody here has a tablet device but me. Might have to get one of them.IPhone seems to work fine as long as I concentrate on the keyboard. Everybody’s talking about
    Spinmaster O losing his mind, again. And anybody tat still doesn’t think Wan Williams didn’t get his just deserts?

    Comics Curmudgeon, , and Nancy Nall, in order, saving the best for last. About to pack up, but staying over. Drink and watch Parallax View, ignore TV. Whatever ensues, best everything to all y’all.

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  38. Jeff Borden said on November 2, 2010 at 5:28 pm


    I read the story with great interest, but was not shocked. The energy companies helped write energy policy with Uncle Dick Cheney. The banks and credit card companies helped write the new bankrupcty laws with the help of both sides of the aisle. The Corrections Corporation of America playing a huge role in writing the vicious Arizona anti-immigrant legislation is just the latest example of how we’ve become government of, by and for the corporation.

    This was part and parcel of the way Tom DeLay (R-Repulsive) did business with the K Street crowd and you can bet it will make a huge return if the teabaggers take back the House and/or Senate. It’s funny in a sick kind of way, that the morons of the teabagging movement will help huge companies receive even more favors at their expense even as they think they are voting for smaller government. Har de har har har. Dumbasses.

    BTW, a tip of the hat to Roseanne Cash for telling Agent Orange aka John Boehner to quit using her father’s name in his lame stump speeches. She called the future Speaker of the House an “asshat,” which is a far more polite word than I’d use to describe that dessicated waste of skin.

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  39. Beth said on November 2, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I’ve been reading Nancy since her Telling Tales days at the N-S. I’m a reader, not a writer, so you’ll not find me commenting here too often. But I read this blog every day, without fail. I enjoy Nancy’s writing, but just as much I love the interesting responses and viewpoints. I love how Joe the Pilot and Mark are not afraid to share their differing opinions, and those who disagree with them do so (usually) with respectfulness. That is what is exactly what missing from discourse these days – civility. Congrats to you all for taking the high road with your commentary.

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  40. Tom M said on November 2, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Nancy, it’s Roy’s fault I came over here, but I stayed on my own. Don’t read in the AM because I’m still working (I blame my parents for not making us independently wealthy, well that’s my story, etc.)
    Health care is my number 1 example of the failings of our national press corps. I’ve seen damn few articles that look at how expensive US health care is. Using 2007 data, the OECD showed the US spending over $7200 per capita. The next most expensive country is Switzerland at $4600 with France around $3500 and the UK at $3000. Japan is only $2300.
    I detailed this over at The ClownHall and got such vituperative comments in return that I didn’t. The arguments on the right are so vapid and vacuous, I can’t see how regular people can fall for it. But they don’t get any help from the national press.
    It’s just as bad on education. The narrative around education ignores any actual test results that they claim are so important. Waiting for Superman? No, just a good reporter or two will do.

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  41. Kirk said on November 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Had missed the Twitter comment by the great Rosanne Cash. Thanks for noting, Jeff, and Hear! Hear!

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  42. Kirk said on November 2, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, goody. Rand Paul already declared a winner.

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  43. Larkspur said on November 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    “…There’s another kind of bar out there. It’s where alco­holics line up to get a drink at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble open­ing hour. It smells bad, no one talks and the toi­lets fre­quently over­flow. This is what news­pa­per com­ment sec­tions are….”

    Well put. Do not go to newspaper comments sections, not ever, especially if you know or care about anyone or anything mentioned in the story. There is nothing good there.

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  44. coozledad said on November 2, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Look for Lieberman to complete his transition to Republican towel boy tomorrow. Congrats Joe. You’re no longer just an assistant fecal engineer.*
    *Old National Lampoon joke.

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  45. name redacted said on November 2, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    i, too, am glad to have this bar to visit, especially on a day like today, when everybody i voted for is likely to be handed his hat. i haven’t even turned on the tv yet. i just…can’t. maybe i need a glass of wine first.

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  46. alex said on November 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    There’s another kind of bar out there. It’s where alcoholics line up to get a drink at the ear­liest possible opening hour. It smells bad, no one talks and the toilets frequently overflow. This is what newspaper comment sections are

    Then how would you describe a lamestream network affiliate, where the rules for posting are what you’d expect but there’s no policing? Haven’t been to many of them, to be quite honest, but I’d describe it as what you’d hear at a low-rent church social:

    Can you imagine suffering tragedy only to have a bunch of pathological a-holes talking smack about it in a public forum?

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  47. paddyo' said on November 3, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Up late in the time zone of the Proprietess rather than my home Mountain Time Zone, though I’m farther East still — in a hotel about five blocks from that domed place where Weepin’ John Boehner and his Elephant Posse will now hold the majority.

    Just want to echo the rest of the nn.c commentariat as a fan who stops here first each day (at least, when I’m home in Denver; this week, I’m out the door before Nancy’s daily delivery hits my digital front porch).

    You are so, so right about the absolute dreck that issues from most newspaper-website commenters (the NYT’s well-read readership excepted, and maybe a handful of others).
    Never have I seen as many inveterate, lame-brained, knuckle-dragging losers, finger-painting their non sequiturs and throwing stupidity seizures in naked print, as I have on the comments pages of mainstream daily newspapers.

    It’s not just ghastly and appalling — it’s embarrassing. Did I really write for people like those for 30-some years? Yeah, I think I did. Sigh.

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  48. Kirk said on November 3, 2010 at 12:05 am

    And they’re all allowed to vote.

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  49. moe99 said on November 3, 2010 at 12:34 am

    I have to say, with 8 years of Bush/Cheney under my belt, I’m more familiar with tearing down those in power than helping build them up. So perhaps there’s a silver lining in this. /sarcasm.

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  50. brian stouder said on November 3, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Well, the political aspirations of the obtuse Ms Angle have been flat-lined (at least for now) by Harry and the Nevadans – so there’s that.

    All in all, I was prepared for worse, tonight.

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  51. Jolene said on November 3, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Agree, Brian. However uncharismatic Reid is, I’m glad he won. Some other good outcomes too–in California, for instance.

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  52. Casey said on November 3, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Started reading a few years ago, but dropped out for a while (too much going on in life: grad school then student teaching then moved overseas to a place with poor Internet). Now I’m in Calgary and started to drop in at the GP site to keep tabs on my old hometown. Has gotten better with time? Or are the alternatives worse?

    BTW, NN I love you blotter reports. Good to be back.

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  53. basset said on November 3, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Casey… both.

    PaddyO… “stupidity seizures,” good one.

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  54. brian stouder said on November 3, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Jolene, California was heartening, indeed. My resolution today is to say only positive things, since I absolutely do NOT want to sound like one of those “who pissed in my Cheerios?” whiners the morning after then-Senator Obama won the 2008 election.

    Who knows – this could be a teachable moment for some of my more tea-stained colleagues.

    (and – there may be a Santa Clause! And a Tooth Fairy! And unicorns and mermaids! etcetera!)

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  55. coozledad said on November 3, 2010 at 8:41 am

    We didn’t do too badly here in NC- that old traitor from a long line of traitors, “Teller Machine” Burr, will get to offshore a few thousand more jobs, but Brad Miller stomped his Potemkin opponent. It took the educated areas where employable people live to bring him on through. Sadly, Person and Caswell counties elected a swampcrack Talibangelical who’s delinquent sixty grand in back taxes and penalties as district attorney. He sort of cornered me into shaking his hand at a candidate’s forum last year, and it was damp, elastic and tiny, like the hand of a woman in an Ingres painting. Strange for a man who comes in at around 450 lbs.
    He’s going to lead defendants to golf-course Jesus!

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