Life’s rich banquet.

On today’s to-do list:

Write a little.
Make apple crisp.
Clean at least one bathroom.
See some English film, “the first black-and-white feature shot on the Red,” at a bar in Ferndale, part of the Ferndale Film Festival.

I guess things could be worse. I work a full day (night, really) on Sunday, so I guess I can start drinking on Friday at lunchtime.

What’s “the Red,” you’re maybe wondering. It’s a camera system, and I think the actual name is RED, all caps, but meh. It’s a light, small, low-cost digital alternative to professional film cameras, very big among the indies and, increasingly, the studios. The FAQ. Because you care, right? Anyway, while this sort of thing — fussing over cameras and such — is not my part of the game, it’s a) free, b) includes pizza and c) takes place in a bar. Win, win, win.

Actually, rounding up today’s conversation starters, I see the internet is a rich and fruitful place this morning. Let’s dispense with the small talk and get to cases, shall we?

Sparky Anderson died yesterday, which means it’s time to check in with none other than Detroit’s favorite grief counselor sports columnist, li’l Mitch Albom. Jesus flippin’ Christ, guess what his lead is?

I had a dream about Sparky Anderson a few days ago. He looked old and his hair was brown, and I called to him, but he didn’t recognize me. Only after I said my name did he smile.

And then it ended.

Any armchair Freudians want to take a crack at that? I mean, no wonder the guy is a monster. Even his subconscious tells him that his name brings smiles to the world. Although Mitch doesn’t quite get it:

I’d been wondering about that dream because Sparky doesn’t usually show up in my REM cycle. And why was his hair brown? Sparky? The original White Wizard? Then, Thursday afternoon, I heard the jarring news: At age 76, Anderson, one of the most colorful, charming, perfectly suited managers baseball ever produced, had died in California.

Now he’ll start thinking his dreams are telepathic. Although can even a dream get through to Mitch? Who, once again, finds the death of an old man “jarring.” I ask you. Although, given how close Anderson’s death was to Ernie Harwell’s, he really can’t resist a different angle:

It would be fitting to ask Ernie Harwell — he and Sparky walked together every morning on road trips — but we lost Ernie this year, too, and it seems like some heavenly roll call is taking place in our town.

The Two Baseball Legends You Meet in Heaven — I smell box-office boffo! (Actually, Albom is at work as we speak on a play about Harwell. Which is probably why Sparky’s obit clocked in at under a million words.)

Moving on, has everyone heard the Cooks Source story by now? After all, it’s nearly 24 hours old, a graybeard in internet time. Here’s the gist: Writer discovers a piece of hers, published some years back on the internet, now exists in ink-on-paper form, in a magazine called Cooks Source. She e-mails the editor and asks for a) an apology, and b) a small donation to the Columbia School of Journalism. She gets, in return, the back of the editor’s hand, in one of the stupidest reactions to a reasonable request I’ve yet heard in journalism, and friends, that is saying something. Anyway, the internet got angry. You don’t want the internet angry. Edward Champion has a good one-page summation. Who edits this rag? Tim Goeglein?

Every boy should have a mother like this.

Have you heard about the president’s trip to India? Have you perhaps heard that “34 warships” are steaming there even as we speak? I have. I read it on the dumber conservative blogs. Guess what? It’s not true. I know how shocking that is to some of you, but there you go.

And with that, I’m getting dressed for a brutal workout, followed by a shower, followed by that movie in Ferndale, followed by apple crisp. Because it’s the weekend, suckas. And weekends are for apple crisp.

Posted at 10:11 am in Current events, Media |
 

107 responses to “Life’s rich banquet.”

  1. Jim said on November 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Might I suggest Joe Posnanski’s article about Sparky Anderson as an antidote to Mitch?

    http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2010/11/george-and-sparky.html

  2. coozledad said on November 5, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I dreamed I saw Sparky Anderson
    Alive as you or me
    Says I, “But dude, your hair is brown!”
    “I had it dyed” says he.

  3. 4dbirds said on November 5, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I have a 50 comment facebook wall fight over the trip to India with a very conservative friend of mine. She believes it will cost 2 billion no matter what anyone says. Sigh.

  4. Sue said on November 5, 2010 at 10:42 am

    The only thing we can take away from the Mitch Albom thing is that he killed Sparky Anderson. Death by REM.
    Obama’s trip: It is true! It’s going to cost a million bajillion dollars and Michelle is going along to shop, which will cost a couple of million more, plus she’ll offend everyone by letting her arms show. And don’t even get me started on the room service bill…

  5. Peter said on November 5, 2010 at 10:49 am

    4d, perhaps they mean 2 billion Indonesian Rupiah? At 8900 IDR to the $, the trip clocks in at $243,000.00, and that’s probably closer to the real number.

  6. Kirk said on November 5, 2010 at 10:59 am

    As someone for whom the Big Red Machine was the sports team of his life, I found the death of Sparky Anderson jarring, no matter how old he was. Other than that, screw Albom and his made-up crap.

    And Jim, thanks for the link to Posnanski, an excellent baseball writer whose book about the 1975 Reds is wonderful, especially the last chapter, about the disgusting Pete Rose.

  7. 4dbirds said on November 5, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I tried to get her to look at it objectively but she wouldn’t. She believes everything the rightwing machine spits out no matter how ridiculous. She kept calling it a vacation and how now isn’t the time for a vacation, she doesn’t go on vacations, why does the family have to go blah blah blah.

  8. prospero said on November 5, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Ferndale, eh? Say hi to the folks at my draftboard if they’re still around after all these years. Tell ’em I said thanks for both my 1969 1A and my 1970 4H, and I’ve still got my cards. Never burned them. All those Catholic boys in Ferndale and Royal Oak went to Mass at the Shrine of the Little Flower, and Fr. Coughlin convinced them it was their duty to kill Communists, so my Board had the highest rate of outright volunteers in the country. I bagged my 2S student deferment despite a 67 in the lottery and made it through to the 4H “reserve” list. Thank you Ferndale. The red-baiting priest, well, burning in hell would be just and fitting.

  9. Mark P. said on November 5, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Some people hear voices in their heads and believe them. Some people read stuff on the internet (and in letters soliciting money) and believe it. No real difference.

  10. prospero said on November 5, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Coozledad,

    Inspiration the martyred union leader or the ex-Manichaeist philosopher-saint?

    Shrub was on the most expensive vacation in Presidential history when he was informed that OBL and Qaueda were determined to attack Americans with hijacked airliners. He was apparently so vacated by falling off his bike and destroying mesquite that it went right over his pointy little head.

  11. coozledad said on November 5, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Prospero: As soon as I started reading that Mitch quote I heard Joan Baez warbling in the background.

  12. Dorothy said on November 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I made an apple crisp two weekends ago and it was extremely wonderful, I don’t mind saying.

    Kirk when I worked for a guy in Cincinnati (who had lovely Reds photos and memorabilia on the walls of his office), occasionally one of our vendors would offer me tickets to a game when he knew they were playing the Pirates. I would say to my boss “Oh! I’m going to the Pirates game tonight!” and he’d say “Don’t you mean the Reds game?” And of course just to irritate him (although I really liked him a lot) I’d say “NO! It’s the PIRATES game when I go!” He’d let a little steam come out of his ears, turn around and go back to his desk without saying a word. I don’t think he ever figured out I was kidding him.

  13. Bob (not Greene) said on November 5, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Everything’s all about Mitch. Nance, thanks for giving the pertinent details; sorry you had to read the column to find them. I’ll take a pass. As for Obama India trip, I guess it’s time to crank up the crazy machine to 11 for the next years. That a sitting Congresswoman will parrot this shit, I mean what the fuck? No lunacy is too crazy, I guess.

  14. Linda said on November 5, 2010 at 11:57 am

    My professional life is all about debunking stuff people read on the internet. It’s not any political stuff at all, but rooting it out is harder than getting rid of Canada thistle. One patron asked me point-blank: isn’t it illegal to put false things on the internet or in books? No, it’s not. And somehow, people see the presence on the internet as proof that it’s true, as if every 7 year old neonazi doesn’t have an internet presence. So I had to get my own site, and became much more credible in the eyes of patrons.

  15. moe99 said on November 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    When I lived in Lexington back in the late ’70’s, I had a boyfriend named Dave who was a rabid and vocal Pirates fan. Of course we would go to Cincinnati for the Pirates/Reds games but we’d have to move ever 2 or 3 innings because Dave was so obnoxious, it was that or get into fights. I still remember those times and Dave fondly.

  16. brian stouder said on November 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Moe – good stuff. Way back in the day – (30 years ago, more or less) once or twice a summer some buddies and I would load up and head for Cincy. We’d buy tix for a Saturday game and a Sunday doubleheader*, and have a room in Kentucky. (walking across that iron bridge over the Ohio was more than a little scary to me, but I kept that to myself) Marvelous stuff, even if the others weren’t Reds fans (seems like our group had a Dodger fan and a Cardinal fan, and of course a Cubs fan, but who knows?). We always had the cheapest “red seats” way up high; I liked looking over at the view of the Ohio (wasn’t that right field?) from then-new Riverfront stadium. ‘Course, as the game progressed, one could migrate lower, into better empty seats. The rows were pretty steeply pitched, and I remember one time a fellow in front of us was drinking his beer with too much gusto, and when the 7th inning stretch came, he stood up and promptly pitched forward – tumbling over the people in front of him and spilling his $6 beer (or whatever the cost was, back then) all over three or four people. Security promptly took him away.

    Anyway, going there was always like a pilgrimage; seeing Sparky down there, and Concepcion and Morgan and Foster and Geronimo and Bench and Rose; and indeed, often as not I would have my binoculars trained on the press box, to actually see Marty and Joe doing their work. Seeing them “for real” was nothing short of amazing, to me. Rest in Peace, Sparky

  17. beb said on November 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    A legend of baseball dies and all Mitch Albom can focus on are his dreams? Makes you think that for all his years as a sports writer Albom never made it as a friend with Sparky.

    The only part of the Cook’s Source stories of any merit is their claim that everything on the Internet is “public domain.” Personally I expect anything posted on the web to be eventually stolen but I would never argue that stuff was public domain.

    What’s really sad about their conservative lie about Obama’s trip costing $200 million A DAY, is that on the face of it, it sounds absurd.

    Joe Posnanski’s arti­cle about Sparky Ander­son was really nice. I’m glad Jim thought to share it.

  18. prospero said on November 5, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Some sanity on cost of the President’s Passage to India. Funniest aspect: Do these perfidious bastards expect anybody with a brain bigger than a conch fritter to believe that Naval armada isn’t on regularly assigned active duty in the Indian Ocean and neighboring bodies of water?

  19. prospero said on November 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    “And always, always, be mindful of who you are serving – not your ego, but your reader. I never spent much time in media hospitality suites because I saw the trap of comparing notes, trying to impress colleagues with who could write more viciously. I saw how quickly conversations degenerated into complaint sessions and where I lived, cynicism was the wrong approach. The reader of Detroit, the guys on the assembly lines, the grandfathers in Alpena, wished every day they could trade places with me. If I turned cynic, how would that serve them? So I often kept a distance. I spent more time at events than in the office, more time in my community than in press boxes or media parties, and this may have cost me over the years. People who don’t know you are often the quickest to speak about you, especially if you are blessed with some success.”

    -Mitch “Final Four” Albom, egregiously pompous ass(hole)

  20. Dorothy said on November 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    moe I’m not obnoxious at games but I do cheer enthusiastically for my preferred team. Mike and I were always struck by how polite the Reds fans were when we’d go to a Pirates/Reds game. No one said anything nasty to me – it seemed we were surrounded by cheerful fans who tolerated an intruder in their midst. Now I’ve never been to a Steelers game anywhere, and I’d venture to say that would NOT be the case if I were to go to a game in Cleveland, Cincinnati or elsewhere, and was entrenched in enemy territory.

  21. brian stouder said on November 5, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    *I forgot the asterisk question: Do they still play doubleheaders in MLB?

  22. Kirk said on November 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Brian,
    Yes, they play doubleheaders but only when they include a rescheduled rainout. Doubleheaders are not scheduled that way in advance anymore. The Reds used to play several doubleheaders starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. I remember about getting into a fight at one involving the Pirates, but it was with a Reds fan because my drunken girlfriend had gotten pissed at him and pitched his ballcap over the railing. Needless to say, this happened late in the second game.

  23. garmoore2 said on November 5, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Do they still play dou­ble­head­ers in MLB?

    No doubleheaders are scheduled. Some makeup games following rainouts get scheduled as day-night doubleheaders, with the stadium cleared out between games. But there are very few regular doubleheaders (one ticket allowing you to see two games).

  24. Connie said on November 5, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    News blast! Keith Olbermann suspended by NBC for not reporting political donations as required.

  25. Julie Robinson said on November 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    The guy I went with through most of college was from Cincinnati and loved the Reds with a passion. He would figure everyone’s stats after each game, and this was in pre-calculator days. Sparky Anderson was practically beatified in his family’s house, and once at a restaurant we saw him across the room. Thrills! Chills!! Let’s get an autograph!!!

    Every now and then it’s good to reflect on roads taken and not taken.

  26. Deborah said on November 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    While I think Olbermann is an intelligent person his rants get on my nerves. The first few I heard were good but it got old. I also think he was highly critical of Obama when it would have been better to shut up and give the pres and his policies a chance. I was glad to hear he was suspending his lame “worst person in the world” schtick after the Stewart/Colbert rally. So I for one won’t miss him.

  27. coozledad said on November 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Atrios asks a pretty good question: What about that old anti-Semite Pat Buchanan and his shilling for Republicans?

  28. adrianne said on November 5, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Nance, still laughing here about your latest takedown of Mitch “it’s all about me!” Albom. Does anyone have the cojones to stand up to this guy and refuse to publish such drivel?

  29. Sue said on November 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Connie, they’re getting rid of him to make room for the Russ Feingold show.

  30. prospero said on November 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Kick they ass, Nancy Pelosi.

    A corporation’s demanding right of approval over an employee’s legal political contributions is pretty obviously a crock of shite, but Keith, boo hoo. Guy loves staring at his navel as much as Mitch Albom thinks his belly button is the crown of creation, albeit, without the unctuous sleaze. Couple of mediocre sports reporters, for God’s sake. Cronkite’s music and Murrow’s signoff? I’m sure that started out all tongue-in-porky-cheek post-modern, but he soon turned into Colonel Blimp, or a Macy’s Parade blimp, or something else grotesquely over-inflated.

    Olbermann was s major part of the “so much resistance from behind” over the past several months. Monday night when he launched into an extended litany of Obama’s astounding record of legislative and policy accomplishments in the face of mindless detractors and obstructionists on both ends of the political spectrum, I wanted to strangle the sanctimonious MF. Like a C&E Catholic dropping by Good Friday services for a quick buff and to get off early on a Friday. Underbussed Dana Milbanks for not treating the President fairly, and proceeded to launch an intermittent progressiver-than-thou scorched earth campaign of his own. Instant Karma’s a bitch, eh?

  31. Jenine said on November 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Nance, I hope the apple crisp is all you wish. Personally I’m on the apple/plum baked goods train this fall. Here’s SmittenKitchen’s plum/apple cobbler I made that was kickass. Also regular old plums (tho’ Smitten used prune plums) are still $1 a pound at my grocery store. The cobbler was so good that I tried making just applesauce with half plums and that was delicious.

  32. Joe Kobiela said on November 5, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I’d bet you could go back and find story’s about Bush’s expenses for his trips,and Clintons trips and Reagans trips and probley every president since Washington. There are just as many bat shit crazy left sights and people as there are right. Crossed off a “bucket list” last night. Landed my 310 at JFK, It was 2 in the morning and the weather was crap, never saw a thing till I was 300ft off the runway,but it goes in the logbook. Only need to land at ATL and I’ll have the top 3 done.
    Good weekend to all, heard there was 4inches of SNOW in Benton Harbor Mich today.
    Pilot Joe

  33. Bob (not Greene) said on November 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Joe, I betcha you can’t. But since you started it, you can find ’em. Let me know when anyone on the left ever said that one of Bush’s trips cost $200 million a DAY, or anything remotely resembling it. And then find me a congressman who repeated it and then find me “news” organizations that kept on repeating it, even after it was exposed as a complete lie. Really, the right has this one nailed down. There is no counterpart on the left for this particular kind of crap.

  34. Sue said on November 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Oh, my… TLo have some comments on Cher.
    Commenting on a photo of her: “Yes, we know it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors (and tape and bubblegum and probably a few staples), but we’ve got to give it up to the old girl, she’s in fine form.”
    Commenting on Cher’s advancing years and tendency to be outspoken: “We really hope Cher lives to be 90 because the senility is going to be hilarious.”
    Fabulous and opinionated, as usual.

  35. 4dbirds said on November 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Really Joe the scale of crazy is heavily weighted to the right.

  36. Deborah said on November 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Sue, that Vanity Fair cover of Cher is actually an example of extreme photoshopping done well. It has to be photoshopped to the max.

  37. Joe Kobiela said on November 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    4birds,
    It’s only weighed to the right if your a lefty. Just like its weighed to the left if your a righty. Come on Bob(n.g.)you know you could find them. People have criticized every Pres down through the years.
    Pilot Joe

  38. moe99 said on November 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Just back from the American College of Physicians luncheon where my daughter was given the “Outstanding Medical student of the year” award.* Dr. Pauw, the presenter, said of her: “She has a heart of gold and the soul of a healer.” I came close to tears.

    *this was for the 5 state region of Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

  39. Deborah said on November 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Joe, I found one story through Google by the Daily Kos about the cost of Bush Jr’s 77 vacations to Crawford at $226,072 a pop. But those were about vacations not official state trips. I’ll admit I didn’t spend too much time looking because I’m at work but that’s all I could find on a “lefty blog”.

    I hadn’t read anything about the cost of his trips before. I had read things previously about the number of total days of vacation he took (a staggering number). But those mostly alluded to his laziness and loose work ethic, not the cost. I had also read things previously about the hours per day he worked, which wasn’t much compared to the the average worker.

  40. Sue said on November 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Moe: congratulations, proud mom.
    Joe K: I don’t remember a time when any president was seriously questioned about what amounts to a business trip, by either side. He’s not going on vacation here and he doesn’t control logistics. And the elected representative who stands a good chance of being elected to at least the co-chairmanship of a powerful position hasn’t bothered to verify her facts before making her accusations. She’s counting on the standard response and apparently she’s getting it.
    Isn’t she?

  41. coozledad said on November 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Congratulations, Moe!

  42. nancy said on November 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    I believe I’ve mentioned this Dale McFeatters turd before, which I found via the Facebook page of my ex-congressman (the family values guy who fucked a staffer — for six years). It’s about the allegedly ENORMOUS, EXPENSIVE entourage Obama took to the G20 in London, with a laundry list of a highly dubious nature, “including 12 teleprompters.”

    The server is very slow at the moment, but I assume it’ll improve eventually.

    It, like the 34-warships meme, is based on a single, unsourced news report from a London newspaper, with “facts” that were corroborated nowhere else. The McFeatters piece, however, grew legs and is still being passed around the right-wing blogosphere as “proof” of what a high-handed snob the president is. It was the perfect groundwork for the India-trip bullshit, because while, to people of normal sanity and intelligence, it’s absurd on its face, to people who believed the London story, this new one is just more material the lamestream media doesn’t want you to know!!!!!!

    Joe, Bob is right. People certainly criticized Bush and his lavish vacationing. But nowhere was there a calculated propaganda effort like this one. You really have to admire the way the machine works — these stinkbombs are thrown by the prole-wranglers, allowing the higher-ups to keep their hands clean. But meanwhile, it’s out there, the warships, the preposterous $200 million-per-diem figure, all of it. And it’ll stay out there.

    This is war. It’s time people started behaving that way.

  43. beb said on November 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Joe Scvarborough apparently can contribute to conservative politicians because he hosts “an opinion show” and not a news show. I rather thought that Keith’s was an opinion show as well.

    What I suspect is that the conservative manager of of MSNBC, the guy to continues to give Scarborough a three hour morning story, is just looking for an excuse to dump the liberal broadcasters he’s had to hire because they bring in the bucks to his cable channel. With conservatives back in control of the House it’s time for a liberal housecleaning because god only knows that Michelle Bachman and Mitch McConnell are the smartest people on the face of the earth.

  44. MichaelG said on November 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Nice Sparky Anderson thing by Ken Levine (scroll down):

    http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/

  45. ROgirl said on November 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    From the OSS report on Hitler:

    His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

  46. Craig said on November 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Facebook list of Cooks Source article sources. Join in the fun!

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=196994196748&topic=23238

  47. Dave Kobiela said on November 5, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    C’mon, Joe, can you name even ONE political commentator who has criticized a Republican President with outright LIES the way Rush, Hannity, Beck etc. have repeatedly attacked President Obama? I was in my car yesterday and listened to NPR news talking about the President’s trade mission to Asia, which includes the stop in India, I believe. Then, I decided to take a little post-election medicine and switched to WOWO, where GB was in mid-rant. He had it pegged as a $2 BILLION VACATION, expressly to see some Indian “Festival of Lights”. He also repeated the “34 warships and 3,000 staff people…” outrage, over and over.

    I sent my Libertarian leaning son a quick text, noting what I had just heard, knowing he appreciates “Batshit Crazy” as much as anyone. He replied, “At least Beck didn’t say the President was going to Asia to see the “Festivar of Rights”.

    BTW, I honestly am glad you had the chance to land at JFK, and that your aviation career is going so well. I hope you remember that without the “Liberal” right to collective bargaining that we both enjoyed in our previous employment, we’d both be going in to work tonight to run a machine for 8 or 12 hours, maybe working Saturday and Sunday, until age 65 or older, with NO pension or health insurance for our families. All at a wage which might let us pay our bills,(if we didn’t buy a new house), but certainly not pay for flight school or trips to Disney and St. Louis.

  48. mark said on November 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I seem to recall a movie (michael Moore) and radio ads (Harold Ickes) claiming that Bush rounded up the bin Laden relatives in the US, opened up closed US airports and flight paths, and spirited them away to safety in Saudi Arabia immediately after 9/11, and some of the loonier dems in Congress (raise your hand Cynthia McKinney) singing the same tune. But that wasn’t calculated propoganda.

  49. DEdelstein said on November 5, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I understand Cook’s Source has a good apple crisp recipe. Bake an extra one–Mitch Albom is sitting shiva.

  50. Jolene said on November 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Cynthia McKinney never had anything remotely like the national following that Michelle Bachmann has, and she never had an opportunity to speak on a national TV network on which the commentators repeated erroneous claims. She was also defeated at the polls, rather than winning re-election w/ broad support from across the nation.

  51. mark said on November 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    No, Jolene, she didn’t. Maybe that is why I referred to her as “one of the loonier”. But I’m not the one claiming one side always________, the other side never does _______. Or that any goofy thing said by one liberal reflects what liberals generally think.

  52. coozledad said on November 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Give me a break.I don’t recall any Democrats discharged from the armed services for torture, or using bike fucks as security, or displaying the Republican vogue for paranoid style by surrounding themselves with a cadre of skinheads, or dressing up as motherfucking Nazis, or having sleepovers with a male whore/faux reporter in the White House.
    And don’t tell me you creeps aren’t lockstep. You were out here clutching your pearls over the New Black Panther Party bullshit because Rush yanked your chain.

  53. Jolene said on November 5, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    But this malarkey wasn’t spoken by just one “loony”, Mark. It was repeated with elaborate (and false) detail by people w/ some of the biggest microphones in the country. Last night, Rachel Maddow did a piece on how, in the reality-based world, rumors can arise and be debunked, but in right-wing world, things never get debunked because no news from outside it is ever given credibility. This rumor doesn’t have even the appearance of truth, but no one seems to given a thought to checking whether it was true.

    As we’ve discussed before, presidential travel is elaborate and expensive, but not that expensive. And, as Barack Obama has repeatedly said, he finds the inability to do simple things like go out for an ice cream cone w/ his kids one of the most difficult, in personal terms, aspects of being president. I doubt he’d have invented these security requirements if left to his own devices.

  54. prospero said on November 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Do these prevaricating bastards know the US maintains a naval base in the middle of the Indian Ocean on Diego Garcia? Pitiful, but I’m sure they’re ignorant of this fact. And that the US maintains a formidable naval presence in that theater in support of W’s invasionary and occupying forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for purposes of rapid deployment against Somalian pirates. However many warships are involved, it didn’t cost a dime not already spent in the defense budget. Amassing force there is part of a well-defined military policy. I guess conservatives want to undermine American armed forces.

    PolitiFact is as non-partisan as the net gets in fact checking claims and allegations that run the gamut of American politics. Here is a compilation of their latest Pants on Fire designations. Right and left, Rep and Dem are represented. Judge for yourself which side employs deliberate, profligate mendacity as a well-defined strategy.

    Of course, Rachel Maddow is in no way non-partisan, but I’d defy anybody to disprove any attribution or allegation in this piece about Republicans “corroborating” one anothers’ fabricated bullshit.

  55. Rana said on November 5, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    It’s not so much whether “one side” (personally, I think there are far more than two) does it and the other doesn’t – it’s HOW each side does it.

    One comment from a woman who was blown off by most of her party (there’s a reason she decided to go third party in 2007) and which pretty much no one outside of a few lefty blogs even heard of is nothing to compare with a major political figure, with full support of many of her party, being heard saying such things on a major media outlet.

    True, at the base you have one female politician on one side saying a silly thing about one president, and another female politician on the other side saying a silly thing about another president, but that equivalency only works if you strip out all of the context.

    Context does matter, at least if one is being honest in making such comparisons.

  56. Deborah said on November 5, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Moe, how fabulous. Congratulations to you and your daughter. That’s huge.

  57. Jolene said on November 5, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Yes, indeed, moe. A big honor.

  58. Dexter said on November 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Sparky was a giant, a small man physically but a great man and a great manager.
    He used to get ridiculed by baseball media people because of his penchant for yanking pitchers quicker than any other manager. This changed baseball, as others saw Sparky’s success in Cincinnati, a new role was born, the set-up man, the guy who pitches the eight inning. No more games where guys like Rich Gossage and Rollie Fingers had to throw three inning saves. Sparky changed that.

    Sparky was a favorite of mine. I had seen him maybe a dozen times manage the Reds, and later I know I saw him manage the Tigers a hundred and fifty times, and many hundred times more on TV.
    The word throwback has been written a few times today and yesterday. Sparky was a throwback to the days when baseball was high steel shoe spikes and tobacco juice, thick-handled hickory and ash bats , and the men in the stands wore skimmer hats. He was tough.
    He also had a heart of gold. His charity, CATCH, in conjunction with Henry Ford Hospitals, is a great thing for children.
    I only spoke to Sparky once, in Sarasota, 1988, Payne Park, as the Tigers visited the ChiSox in Spring Training. I just said hello, but I got a great photo of him, one of my favorite baseball photos that I took.
    The Detroit Free Press ran a story about Sparky in retirement a few years ago. Christmas cards are mentioned. Once the Freep printed Sparky’s mailing address, and I sent him a card. In my best Andy Rooney voice, I say I’m glad I did that.
    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/yb/151887002

  59. 4dbirds said on November 5, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Congratulations Moe. I can see your proud mom smile.

  60. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Moe, that’s a phrase few parents get to hear about a child — congrats to you both.

    Any president who doesn’t spend serious time on our relationship with India is an idiot. Glad to have the Chief (as in Hail to) over there for Diwali. Works for me! Wonder if he watched “The Darjeeling Limited” before he went over?

  61. Dexter said on November 5, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Moe, you have a smart one there, alright.

  62. Rana said on November 5, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    moe, so good to hear that news. Congrats to her, and a pat on the shoulder for the proud mama.

  63. Dexter said on November 6, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Wow, the Olbermann story is getting crazier…the blogs are on fire with all kinds of theories and conspiracy tales, as crazy as supermarket tabloids.
    Nobody’s here now; I’ll be watching tomorrow to see how you guys sort it out.
    Key words and phrases: Phil Griffin, NBC work rules, Comcast buyout, sexual harassment charges, and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s shabby treatment. All trending now .

  64. Jolene said on November 6, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Dexter, that Am Chronicle piece re Sparky Anderson was delightful. Sounds like he was a very fine person.

  65. Dexter said on November 6, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Jolene, when the Tigers were fighting hard for the 1987 pennant, the Detroit dailies ran many stories covering all angles of the Tigers. One story focussed on Sparky’s daily routine. Part of it included his office routine, where he had a pot of coffee there at all times, with a box of Oreos and a big can of that sweet pipe tobacco he was addicted to. That last week about killed him with all that smoke and coffee and lots of Oreos to lessen the waiting -tension.
    Sparky also loved his morning walks with Harwell, the radio broadcaster. He really did walk two miles with old Ernie every day.
    Sparky played quite a bit of golf when he could.
    At the 19th hole, lots of well-wishers would offer to buy him drinks. Sparky was always in total control. He might have a beer after 18 holes, and sometimes two…but never a drop more and never any booze. He had no use for anyone who would drink more than two beverages. And sometimes, Sparky would just have his iced tea.

  66. ROgirl said on November 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

    I’m shocked, shocked to find that the fictions about the president’s trip have been given a racist spin, i.e., the president feels “entitled” to such extravagance because the country owes it to him and his family as a form of reparation. Uppity Negro indeed.

  67. brian stouder said on November 6, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I’ve nothing to offer about ol’ Keith – or at least, not yet.

    But I will say, for several years I had msnbc.com as my home-page, both at work and at home, until recently.

    I canNOT STAND how much pop-up/overlay crapola they have larded into their website in recent times. Crap on the bottom of the screen (twitter, facebook and who-knows-what-else), unstoppable video commercials at the top, pop-ups and overlays if you click a news story; and generally more than enough annoyance to make me wretch.

    I set Google as my home page, with their blessed plain-white screen. (Someday, that plain screen will go the way of the Model T, and we’ll know that Google has been bought-out)

  68. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Nov. 6, 1860. Today, 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States . . . welcome to sesquicentennial season. Civil War 150 events everywhere are gearing up for the next few years.

  69. Julie Robinson said on November 6, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Moe, congratulations to both of you–you must be bursting your buttons with pride! It’s good to know we have such outstanding young people among us.

    Completely off-topic, we watched a GREAT movie last night, Nothing But the Truth. I don’t remember it being in the theaters and I’m not even sure how it ended up on our Netflix queue, but it was a happy accident. The movie is very, very loosely based on the Valerie Plame affair, and focuses on the First Amendment and a reporter’s right/duty to maintain the secrecy of their sources.

    Alan Alda is brilliant in a small role and delivers a speech that summarizes the movie: http://youtu.be/f418TLPe55M. You really should watch the whole thing, though. Oh, and for the malefolk, Kate Beckinsdale has the lead.

  70. alex said on November 6, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Olbermann got canned for the same reasons Dan Rather got kicked to the curb by the execs at CBS: To avoid the appearance of bias. Not that such a gesture makes one bit of difference to Fox watchers, who simply take this as further evidence that the “lamestream media” are full of evildoers while their channel of choice remains a pristine fountain of truth.

    Frankly, I think the mainstream media are cowardly and bend over backward to accommodate the right. Watching Diane Sawyer interviewing John Boehner the other night, I thought her a lightweight for not challenging his laughable assertions that we have “the best health care system in the world.” Some journalist she is.

    mark, if only the left had a shit machine as audacious and powerful as yours. Invoking Michael Moore is just plain silly. When was the last time Moore had politicians cowering and licking his boots the way they do after they’ve crossed Rush Limbaugh? The meme you cite above never gained any traction that I can recall, nor for that matter anything else Moore has ever said or done. He’s a niche movie maker whose biases are well known. You know, kind of like Mel Gibson, although I’m hesitant to make the comparison only because Moore isn’t as mean-spirited and obtuse.

    And congrats, moe!

  71. coozledad said on November 6, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Post Wendell Willkie, the selection of Republican candidates appears to be be based on a set of “conservative bona fides” which are determined in isolation far from the foot soldiers. In a large abandoned warehouse out west, they’ve bolted a hundred gallon metal drum to a stage, and filled it with liquid excrement. From a catwalk, the candidate is suspended by his/her ankles and lowered into the shit head-first with a chain hoist. The one who fishes the most nickels off the bottom of the drum with their teeth is declared “the hungerer”.
    This is the only way I can explain Michele Bachmann.

  72. Rana said on November 6, 2010 at 10:54 am

    alex, I think the mainstream media suffers from a species of the terror that afflicts the Democrats. Just as the latter seems desperately determined to cast themselves as something other than pacifist, tax-and-spend, tree-hugging hippies (which, honestly, they never were), the mainstream media still seems to wince from the accusation that they were “the liberal media.”

    I have to say that I think that this is the crowning achievement of the Republican right – that they managed to so demonize the very idea of liberalism that even those who defend its principles run in fear that they might be called *gasp* “liberals.”

    Meanwhile, us poor lefties and hippies get punched by both sides, one with glee, and one with a dose of self-loathing.

  73. beb said on November 6, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Brian Stouder @67: Your comment about the MSNBC web page being larded up with too much advertising on their page rings true with me. My wife’s car has one of those radios that picks up a data stream from the station its set on, so it can display the song title and band name. This is great in an era where the DJs rarely identify the songs they’re playing. Well it was great until recently when some radio stations starting running brief text ads on that data channel instead of song information. While the money those ads bring in improve the stations bottom line it is totally annoying, just like the junk on junked-up web pages.

    By the way, Goggle avoids ads on its home page because it’s in the business of selling web traffic information to all buyers. If they were to let IBM put an ad on their home page then rival Oracle might go to Yahoo-Search and strike a deal to siphon traffic away from Google. So no appearance of partisanship.

    And in re: Olberman, remember that IOIYAAR — It’s OK If you are a Republican.

    Also, don’t forget that the media is owned by conservative corporations — GE, Murdock, Scaife, etc. Putting a liberal voice on TV goes against the grain of the ownership.

  74. brian stouder said on November 6, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Rana – I think your ‘self loathing’ remark is insightful.

    Afterall, the conservatives (in public office and on the airwaves) are just bursting with pride in their self-identified “conservatism”; that hubris is itself both off-putting (to me), and highly desireable – to a segment of voters.

    Jeff – superb note. And, not for nothing, but the contest Lincoln won has uncomfortable parallels with our current day. Douglas ran on the “Grrrreat Purrr-inciple” of Popular Sovereignty – the “rights” of states and territories over against over-reaching Federal power. (He even tried to stuff the Dred Scott decision – which clearly usurped the “states rights” of the free states – into his Pop-Sov beliefs!)

    And they fundamentally disagreed about what the Declaration really meant, and who it applied to, and what the original intent of our founders was.

    Think of the spectacle of the southerners conciously lionizing and emulating the patriots of the revolutionary war, even as they opened fire on a United States military installation in South Carolina.

    And indeed – it always strikes me anew to remember that, when our nation’s Constitutional system of government finally broke down, and we plunged into a cataclysmic and fratricidal war – THEN Stephen Douglas (for the rest of his short life) closed ranks with President Lincoln and the Union effort.

    It is worth pondering how Douglas thought and worked and calculated and exploited all the way until the country practically collapsed, and then put politics aside, and tried to do the right thing.

    Think of all the folks who bought his line of thinking and tumbled into irreconcilable rebellion against their own country, while he (Douglas) scampered back to his country as it hit the rocks and riprap that he had spent a career amassing.

    Moe – congratulations! That was a truly marvelous story. It must have made a mother’s heart practically burst

    beb- Ken Auletta – who wrote a book called “Googled; The End of the World As We Know It”, spoke here in Ft Wayne a few weeks ago, and he pointed out that, as you say, Google’s white screen is definitely part of their schtick.

    Auletta relates a story wherein, back in the early days, before Google was making much money at all, Visa came to them and offered them $5,000,000 if they could place their logo onto that white screen, and the founders (a couple of engineers with a vision) flatly refused! The venture capitalists and investors hit the roof!! They couldn’t understand why on earth those guys wouldn’t take a FREE $5,000,000!! (back in that day, there were many search engines to choose from; I remember liking AltaVista)

    But as you say – Google is marketing the perception of impartiality

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/media/google-movie-to-be-based-on-ken-auletta-book/19602444/

  75. alex said on November 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Rana, another interesting development is how the right made “feminist” a dirty word decades ago, yet when it suits their purposes they trot it out and anoint such women as Paula Jones or Sarah Palin with it, women who are the antithesis of feminism. These are Orwellian times indeed.

    I agree that liberals’ and mainstream media’s problem is that they insist on taking the high road and refuse to roll in the mud in the hopes that they’ll be seen as being better than their detractors. Instead, sticks and stones break their bones and words heap insult on top of the injury.

  76. Casey said on November 6, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Too busy yesterday to check in. When I heard about Sparky, I knew Albom would be coming up with another work of !{#¥?. Thanks for taking the plunge for all of us Nancy. And Jim, your link was more than an antidote – it’s a perfect compare/contrast companion to Albom’s stream of consciousness drivel. Certainly demonstrates as Beb(17) said that Albom didn’t really know Sparky or forgot what the focus should be in an obit.

  77. Jeff Borden said on November 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Ah, Paula Jones, whom Ann Coulter once described as the equivalent to Rosa Parks. Poor Ann. Now that the right-wing movement has taken the train to Crazytown, she doesn’t get much ink these days. She was shunted aside for new models of idiocy and lately has been embracing her role as the Judy Garland/Bette Midler/Cher icon of gay conservatives. How the mighty and nasty have fallen.

  78. brian stouder said on November 6, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Jim, let me join the others in thanking you for that Sparky Anderson link. The fellow who wrote that accomplished precisely what Albom tried for and missed.

    When Albom puts himself into the story, his own presence overwhelms the story. But look what Joe accomplishes, when he personalizes his story:

    At one point during the research, I tried to reach Anderson. I suppose this was when his health had started to fade, though I had not heard anything about that yet. I had sent him a letter, I had been in contact with some of his friends, but I had been unable to reach him. It was odd: I had spoken with Sparky Anderson many times through the years, and he had always been available and helpful and joyous, and it was strange to not be able to reach him. Finally a friend gave me a telephone number — a number that looked suspiciously like the one I had called to no answer. I called, and this time a woman answered the phone.

    “Hello,” I said. “I was hoping to reach Sparky Anderson.”

    There was a pause on the other end. I understand that pause now. Then I heard her say — sadly, I thought — “There’s no one here by that name.” And she hung up the phone.

    and his story ends right there. Albom could never, ever, stop right there

  79. Dorothy said on November 6, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    outstanding news for you and your daughter, Moe!!! How wonderful! Congratulations to each of you!

  80. brian stouder said on November 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    The Freep’s obit on Sparky is also quite good; lots of facts and quotes and laughs and reflection

    http://www.freep.com/article/20101104/SPORTS02/101104060/1319/Legendary-Tigers-manager-Sparky-Anderson-dies-at-76

    frankly, a week ago I’d have missed on a quizz that Sparky managed the Tigers so much longer than the Reds; or that anyone else has managed teams to a World Series championship in both leagues (as LaRusa also has); or how badly the newer ownership at the Tigers treated him.

    It is strange how affecting the news of his death has been, to me; this is the Princess Di (or Michael Jackson) story for lots of folks, of a particular age

  81. brian stouder said on November 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    By the way, regarding Keith Olbermann, here’s an interesting article from the Chicago Tribune
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/ct-biz-1107-phil-20101107,0,4016009.column

    I’m still expecting someone to equate Juan Williams/NPR with Keith Olbermann/MSNBC, but maybe this won’t be the narrative afterall.

    If I was KO, I’d interpret “indefinitely suspended” as “fired”, and never come back. And if I ran CNN, I’d snap KO up, for the Larry King slot

  82. prospero said on November 6, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Jeff, this is uncharitable, but Paula Jones sold her personal integrity for an accusation without a shred of evidence for cosmetic surgery. Check out Clinton’s inquisitors. Dan “Scumbag” Burton, and Newt who served divorce papers on a woman undergoing chemotherapy. And St. Henry Hyde. Whited Sepulchres.

    Kenneth Starr was guilty of the most grotesque prosecutorial misconduct in the history of jurisprudence, and Monica’s taped Pepperdine going-away party where she joked about Presidential knee pads. I don’t think the whole thing amounted to a misdemeanor, much less an impeachable offense, and the accusers were such sleazy womanizers as it turns out that they probably wished they’d kept it to themselvesI’.Youthful indiscretions? Seriously? In your forties?

    Painted Lady Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell, spectacular voter suppression and sundry cheating in Volusia and Sandusky and Cuyahoga Counties. Republicans cheated. And their ‘registration and voter fraud’ claims are pure bullshit. The W justice department spent most of it’s time ignoring teriss from ’00 to ’08 trying to track this down and they identified 95 cases, got convictions on 55. Meantime, ACORN reported reported phony registrations to election officials.

    I’ve despised the Reds for a long time. It’s not genetic, like my primordial dislike of the Giants, but it’s ingrained. I attended Dodgers spring in utero in 1951, emerging in time to absorb the Giants cheating, by osmosis. Four years old when Johnny Podres and Larry Sherry won the World Series. Nothing against Sparky. I think he was a gentleman, and a decent manager. But I’ll take Walter Alston. And Walter Alston would prefer you talked about Sparky.

    I attended Spring Training in Vero Beach in utero. My mom played catch with Jackie Robinson and Carl Furillo and Campy. I’ve got photos, and my mom was gorgeous. Since then, I grew up in
    Detroit with what might be the finest outfield ever assembled. Kaline, Stanley, Northrup. Center fielders? Willie Mays, Mickey, Duke, I’d say you’d have to consider Paul Blair. These days. Torii Hunter is very good, and when Ichiro plays center, he’s as good as anybody.

    It’s iluminating what Kirk Gibson had to say about
    Sparky. Nobody in the history of MLB ever played harder. He ran down an umpire that got in his way. Denis Eckersley was a great pitcher.
    this boyo was seriously hurt and he jacked the most amazing HR ever hit.

    In Mitch’s defense, he never was Jay Mariotti. There is no more sorry excuse for a human being than that preening abuser that thought it was funny to malign both Big Frank Thomas and the LGBT community by calling a hall of famer “the Big Skirt”. On the other hand, all of those sportswtriters that made TV shows with that misogynist shitheel, you didn’t know he was a cunt?

  83. prospero said on November 6, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    I find it opprobrios. This Lakoff shit. We’re not liberals. We are progressiver than thou. Kiss my ass, you were not there. Try Grant Park. There, done that.

  84. prospero said on November 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    There is nobody that ever played center-field like Freddy Lynne. Brtter than Willie.

  85. coozledad said on November 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Fair enough. Cut off their federal highway funds, relocate the military bases, and quit purchasing their halfassed “textbooks”. Jesus, Texas sucks.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/us/politics/07ttmedicaid.html?_r=1&hp

  86. brian stouder said on November 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    My favorite outfield was Geronimo in Center, Foster in left, and Griffey in right.

    Sorry Prospero, but we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one!

    edit: Dorothy, I love your updated photo; very, very nice! And Cooz – word

    from the article Cooz linked (with emphasis added):

    State Senator Jane Nelson, Republican of Flower Mound, who heads the Senate Public Health Committee, said dropping out of Medicaid was worth considering — but only if it made fiscal sense without jeopardizing care. Currently, the Texas program costs $40 billion for a period of two years, with the federal government paying 60 percent of the bill. As a result of federal health care changes, Ms. Nelson said, millions of additional Texans will be eligible for Medicaid. “I want to know whether our current Medicaid enrollees, and there certainly could be millions more by 2014, could be served more cost efficiently and see better outcomes in a state run program” she said.

    “better outcomes”? I wonder what that means, to her.

  87. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Brian and other Lincolniana fans —

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/a-lincoln-photograph-and-a-mystery/

    Schweet.

  88. brian stouder said on November 6, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Jeff, that was a capital column, indeed!

    Always liked Harold Holzer; I noticed Gabor Boritt in the end notes, too – and I hear his health is failing, these days

  89. prospero said on November 6, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Jeff and Brian. Nancy seems to think people mean well. No, they do not.

  90. Jolene said on November 6, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Interesting column, Jeff.

    Re withdrawing from Medicaid, Rick Perry, who was, unfortunately, just re-elected by a lot, was on Morning Joe yesterday shopping his new book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington. He was a real charmer. I got the impression that, if we were living in a different era, he’d have ended the conversation w/ a physical threat to Barack Obama.

    Interestingly, the article above points out the low standing of the Texas citizenry on many indicators of well-being. This should be pointed out over and over again, especially w/ regard to Mississippi when Haley Barbour starts running for president.

  91. brian stouder said on November 6, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    I bet the proprietress could tell us all about septicaemia, if not Lily Allen

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20440164,00.html?hpt=T2

    Governor Goodhair of Texas is a genuine piece of work, eh?

  92. prospero said on November 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    AAh Mary. Apparently y’all havenen’t y’all haven’t come across Grace Potter yet. This young woman is gorgeous snd has a bigger voice than Grace Slick. And she can play keyboards. What the hell. UGA has been raped by the NCAA. AJ Green, his own Jersey and that gets four games? Them trips to to Miami get two. You have got to be kidding. Tjis is so fi;; of shit it is amazing. How is that that agent bullshit coming around. If that character is an agent, I’m Scott Boras. Four games? Fuck you. You have got to be screwing over Georgia. We have Florida playing a home game after a week off, every year.

    Leftty those assholes play home and home. Anybody that thinks its all fair is an idiot. I couldn’t. I figure with Buffalo Springvield you either buy Neill or or Steve. I figure they’re both ridiculously brilliant. Battle lines being drawn.

  93. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 7, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Prospero, I submit the always quotable Churchill: “The American people can always be counted upon to do the right thing . . . after they have exhausted every other conceivable alternative.”

    People *do* mean well, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience them. The trick is getting people to think about self-interest beyond today, this week, their immediate circle of acquaintance & family. Folks have varying capacities to expand their awareness in that way.

    When you get people to think about “self-interest” beyond their culture, or beyond their own particular lifespan, then I think you’re really getting somewhere. But I’ll settle for growing that circle of connectedness, slowly & steadily.

    Of course, some will say that experience shows that most people are usually selfish bastards. It’s a hard proposition to argue with, but the exceptions are not as rare as you might think.

  94. beb said on November 7, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I find it interesting the observation that 50% of Blue Dog (conservative) Democrats lost their races while only 5% of progressive democrats lost theirs. One observation would be that progressives had more secure seats to begin with but it also suggests that going conservative does not make one popular with Republican and Republican leading voters.

    Our family went to see the Megamind movie yesterday. Now perhaps they can stop advertising it to heavily. It’s possible the best superhero movie since “The Incredibles”. There’s some good stuff in “The Dark Knight” but there’s a lot more story and character in Megamind. And Tina Frey, as the reporter, RR, has a really juicy and pivotal role. I often despair of the lack of good roles for woman in movies these days. So it was nice to see a movie where the girl gets good lines and makes important plot developments.

  95. Dexter said on November 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Sports. On the day The Times runs a feature story on Eric “Mangenius” Mangini, his Cleveland Browns are destroying the vaunted New England Patriots. Huh?

  96. prospero said on November 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Dexter,

    Belichik invented that bus people get thrown under. Richard Seymour? Hall-of-Famer. Walking, talking asshole. Anybody that ever played football knows the tuck rule was horseshit. Refs just fouled the Atlanta=Tampa game with a totally bogus call. Refs suck, and they frequently cheat.

  97. Linda said on November 7, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Beb:
    Jonathan Alter called it during the heat of the health care debate: there are Dems who think that if they act like fake Republicans, they will somehow get rewarded. What happens instead is that Repubs get rid of them, and vote in real Republicans.

  98. moe99 said on November 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Been having a debate on another forum about healthcare, and I learned something today. I thought 100 billion made a trillion. I was wrong. It is 1000 billion. So, if total health care costs in this country are 2.3 trillion and medical malpractice costs are 8.6 billion, that’s .3 percent of the total. Amazing.

    http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-Modules/US-Health-Care-Costs/Background-Brief.aspx

    http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-financial-and-business-news/frequency-severity-of-medical-malpractice-claims-to-rise-in-2011.html

  99. brian stouder said on November 7, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    moe, that Kaiser link is tremendous; President Obama should roll out that pie chart the next time he makes a national address; very enlightening.

    Here’s a total non-sequitur. Pam and I have been having a running conversation this weekend, regarding this particular story about her old small-town high school

    http://pharostribune.com/local/x603542253/Teen-accused-of-child-molesting

    two key sentences from the article:

    A[n 18 year old] Pioneer High School student has been charged with having sex with a 12-year-old girl at the school.

    and

    the alleged sexual act occurred in a set of restrooms used for outdoor public events in the back part of the school building and might not have taken place during regular school hours.

    The boy is under arrest, and is being charged with child molestation.Pam points out that the real problem is having this big consolidated school, where 12 year olds are in the same school as 18 year olds; and that the 18 year old is getting a very bad tag – child molester – for what sounds like a mistake.

    I say, the kid can vote; he can drive; he can go to war; and it is reasonable to expect him to act appropriately with regard to 12 year old girls. But we both agree that the school needs to call a time out, and spend some serious time communicating with all the students about situations like this, which are sure to occur again. But here’s one more sentence, the last sentence in the article – a quote from the superintendent there – which genuinely depresses me

    “We have no reason to think that it’s anything other than a very isolated incident,” he said.

    Here’s hoping their next board meeting is a full house

  100. beb said on November 7, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Brian there’s a reason the Constitution requires a presidential candidate to be at least 35 years old. Eighteen year olds are than emotionally smart. They make bad decisions and don’t see why it’s bad. I think the eighteen year old should be prosecuted for rape because to me a child molester is some in the 30 or 40 who targets females vastly younger than they are. There’s a lot wrong with an 18 year old having sex with a 12 year old but I thing the boy is too young and foolish to be called a molester. A rapist is bad enough abd seeme accurate enough.

  101. Deborah said on November 7, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Beb, so why the Dems in Illinois put up a 32 year old canidate for the senate seat is beyond me. Stupid.

  102. Deborah said on November 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I’m in a bad mood. I had to work all day at a photoshoot today. If you’ve ever been on a photoshoot you know what I mean by boring. It takes the photographers forever to set up their lights and get the shot just right. Before I ever went on a photoshoot many moons ago I thought it would be such a glamorous thing to do. Just the opposite. This one was at the office of one of our clients, a major corporation who has been in the news a lot lately, we designed this space for it. It was weird that nobody was there working on a Sunday, we always have people in our office who come in on Sunday or Saturday to finish up stuff or get ahead of the game.

  103. Jolene said on November 7, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    The Post has several pieces today marking the anniversary of Lincoln’s election. Looks like those of us who aren’t already experts are going to have the opportunity to learn a lot more about the Civil War in the next few years.

  104. Jim Neill said on November 7, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Indiana code defines child molestation by the age of the victim:

    IC 35-42-4-3
    Child molesting
    Sec. 3. (a) A person who, with a child under fourteen (14) years of age, performs or submits to sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct commits child molesting, a Class B felony. However, the offense is a Class A felony if:
    (1) it is committed by a person at least twenty-one (21) years of age;

  105. brian stouder said on November 7, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Cool stuff, Jolene. And, I got a perfect score on their Lincoln Quizz (Woo Hoo!)

    Beb, Pam would agree with you. In the conversation, though, she tends dangerously close to the edge of blaming the 12 year old. I simply won’t go there; but indeed, I would agree that the 18 year old needs a compassionate judge that gives him a chance to lose the label “child molester” at some point down the road, provided he straightens up and flies right

  106. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 8, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Brian, have you read Fred Kaplan’s “Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer”? I’m in the middle of it (my dad brought it over before they left for Texas ahead of the lake effect snows), and it’s the best Lincoln bio/book I’ve read since David Donald’s “Lincoln.”

  107. brian stouder said on November 8, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Jeff, haven’t read it, but I’ll watch for it. I very much enjoyed Douglas Wilson’s book “Lincoln’s Sword”, wherein he takes a close look at Lincoln’s writing style. He has several instances in there where you can see his revision process, which was interesting. And there’s another similar book, by Ronald White, called The Eloquent President, which focuses on his (altogether marvelous) writing development.