The joker’s smile.

Not exactly a desultory morning, this — I have plenty of work to do. But I’m having a hard time getting started. Reading about Julian Assange, wondering why someone thought this lame-ass blog about Aretha Franklin needed to be Facebooked, thinking about making scrambled eggs, waiting for the coffee to brew. Unfocused. Sapped of energy. And then…


Whoa, that’ll wake you up. I think I actually yeeped a little when I saw it. The third Mrs. G is a strict Catholic, who screwed another woman’s husband for six years — her prime childbearing years, during which I’m sure she used only natural family planning for birth control, along with her paramour’s favorite sex act — before the jig was finally up and he made an honest woman of her. (Don’t worry; I’m sure she’s gone to Confession.) She urged him to convert, and he surfaced from the baptismal waters with the zeal typical of the breed, criticizing Notre Dame for giving an honorary degree to Barack Obama. Among many other things.

She’s only 44. Sometimes a person’s soul shows right in their face, ain’a?


Oh, who am I to judge? We all got to this moment in time via a different road, and my soul-face has many dings and dents. I guess I’ll always reserve a special contempt for women who Do That, although I’ve known a few who Did That, and they’re not bad at all. (Confession: I was always on Team Camilla.) Maybe it’s because Elizabeth Edwards, poor Elizabeth, is in her homestretch right now, and all I can think about is her children, 11 and 13, about to lose their mother. I can only assume that she has taken pains, in recent years, to erect every possible wall between them and their putative stepmother. Or perhaps she’s reached the place where it no longer matters, when you know for sure that life goes on without you, and you can only extend your influence on it for a short time after your death, if at all.

But I sure hope she built those walls. Because as vile as Mrs. G the Third is, Rielle Hunter is worse, worse by far. I wouldn’t want her anywhere near my kids.

Change of subject. The coffee has kicked in.

Alan set up our bird feeders over the weekend, moved the birdbath closer to the house and installed a heater. Did you know birds have a harder time finding water in winter than food? True. Anyway, our deck is now Bird Central, and I’ve been enjoying watching them navigate the main feeder, the Hylarious. I can’t find a website for it, so maybe I’m hallucinating that name, but I distinctly remember it, and that spelling, from when we bought it years ago. It has a spring-loaded landing platform in front of the food, which will support birds and allow them to eat, but not a squirrel — the platform dips and a door closes over the food. (If I were president of the company, I’d add a WAH-wah sound effect.) That doesn’t stop them from trying, and at least once an hour I look out to find some fat bastard trying desperately to get into the thing. And every so often one too many birds will land, and the door will close on one’d head. The trapped bird flings its wings out in alarm, everyone flies away, the platform rises, and the bird is freed. It is truly hylarious to watch, if you have nothing else to amuse you at the moment, like a photo of Mrs. Gingrich.

Bloggage: If you’re watching “Detroit 1-8-7” tonight, wave hello to local-guy Scott Norman, who plays a bit part in tonight’s episode:

He plays the cop who leads the detectives to the bomb shelter. Yay, Scott. He starred in our last short, trailer seen here:

Dig that CGI! Zeppelins! Poison gas! Tanks!

Our governor-elect has made no secret of his dislike for the filmmaking tax incentives, so I expect this golden period in our cultural history will be coming to an end soon, and we can go back to cop shows set in New York and Los Angeles. Maybe Mrs. Governor-elect has a soft spot for some movie star, who can be prevailed upon to pay a call and kiss her hand. Release the Clooney!

An odd bit of bloggage I haven’t gotten through yet: New York magazine asks five novelists, one of them Glenn Beck (!!), to imagine the last decade if Bush v. Gore had gone the other way. Part one, by Kurt Andersen, starts here, which the link to each new chapter at the bottom. So far: Semi-amusing, mostly baffling.

As for me, it’s time to get to work. Release me, why doncha?

Posted at 10:07 am in Movies |

83 responses to “The joker’s smile.”

  1. alex said on December 7, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Still can’t get that picture out of my head. Wonder what kind of psych meds she’s on.

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  2. ROgirl said on December 7, 2010 at 10:31 am

    As Count Floyd howled, “Oooooohhhh, that’s scary!”

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  3. Snarkworth said on December 7, 2010 at 10:34 am

    How does poor Mrs. G sleep? I ask not because of any concern about her conscience, but because of the absence of eyelids.

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  4. coozledad said on December 7, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I like the Jules Verne/Siegfried Sassoon/Ian Fleming vibe from the trailer. It’s a shame you couldn’t have nabbed Gingrich’s spring loaded breech banger for a cameo as a mutant squatting atop a pulsing egg mass.

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  5. Sue said on December 7, 2010 at 10:40 am

    “Jesus Christ, Newt! Get your hand out of there!”

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  6. Sue said on December 7, 2010 at 10:51 am

    So, hunters out there, is Sarah a real or fake hunter?

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  7. moe99 said on December 7, 2010 at 11:08 am

    The Wikileaks story is starting to resemble the plot in the SF book, Neuromancer. William Gibson got it very right many years ago….

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  8. Julie Robinson said on December 7, 2010 at 11:09 am

    LAMary can speak with authority on this, but I believe very few women can carry off the makeup and hair choices of Mrs. G. The blond, almost white hair, black eyeliner and bright red lips remind me of Cruella de Vil. She just needs the dalmatian coat to complete the image.

    All snark aside, my heart breaks for the Edwards children, who have known loss all their lives and are now about to lose their mother. I wouldn’t trade their life for any amount of money.

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  9. LAMary said on December 7, 2010 at 11:19 am

    They didn’t show you what happened after SP shot that caribou.

    Caribou stick together. You don’t want to fuck with them if they’ve got family.

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  10. Rana said on December 7, 2010 at 11:32 am

    I’m amazed that that woman is only 4 years older than myself. Yikes.

    Is this the kind of squirrel-proof feeder you mean?

    I think of all of the no-squirrel feeders, the most amusing is the “Yankee Flipper” which is battery-powered; when a squirrel’s weight turns it on, it spins the perch with sufficient force to fling the squirrel off. Needless to say, there are many YouTubes of this.

    My approach is to give the squirrels their own corn, which can produce its own amusements. One year I hung the corn by a string above the porch rail, which the squirrels could only reach by jumping or standing on tip-toe. Watching squirrels hanging by one clawed foot while trying to snag a kernel was endlessly entertaining.

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  11. LAMary said on December 7, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Callista Gingrich was on the guvmint payroll all those years she was essentially Newt’s ho and that’s all ok since he has repented.
    Her hair and makeup are scary. It’s true, wearing dark red lipstick with pale skin is best reserved for the young or the Dita Von Teeses of the world unless you are a total knockout. Susan Sarandon could do it. Cher could. A woman I used to work with named Victoria something could. Um..can’t think of anyone else right now. You have to work with a little less contrast when get a bit older. That’s why on most women it’s not a great idea to cover grey hair with really dark or strong colors. Or if you’re doing the Callista look, don’t do black eye makeup and red lipstick if your hair and skin are nearly the same color, off-white.

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  12. Chris in Iowa said on December 7, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I’m with Rana at No. 10. According to Wikipedia, Callista is eight months older than I am. Now I’m not going to say I’m aging well either. But that does not look like a 44-year-old woman to me.

    But the question to ask is: Who wouldn’t look like this after awhile if Newt was the first thing you saw after waking up every morning?

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  13. Sue said on December 7, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Chris in Iowa,
    This is true, but you know she went into this with eyes wide open.

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  14. coozledad said on December 7, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Good one, Sue.

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  15. Linda said on December 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I wonder WHY she and Newt decided to go with the whole kabuki of becoming Good Catholics. I’m sorry, but I’m thinking palms were greased. If the church were serious about defending marriage, they would not only NOT sanction those two, but pitch them bodily out of church.

    And who are they impressing? God? Like, O.K., the office approved this, so it’s fine with the Big Guy? They aren’t fooling anybody. Christopher Hitchens couldn’t make organized religion look that bad on his best day in May.

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  16. paddyo' said on December 7, 2010 at 11:57 am

    “. . . pulsing egg mass” — hmm, Cooz, ain’t that a rock band?

    Good luck with the “squirrel-proof” feeder, Nance. I’ve had a number over the years, and the furballs have defeated every one. Some have even broken and gnawed off parts of the devices in their successful quest for birdseed. And on more than one occasion, they’ve managed to pry open the lid to the galvanized trash can where I store the food.

    One day last winter a prairie falcon dropped by my central Denver backyard feeder, roosting in a nearby crabapple. Hmm, this should be good, I thought — raptor v. rodent.
    Huh. The damned fox squirrel was too big and fat for the falcon, and seemed bent out of shape that the large bird was roosting there, creeping within 3-4 feet of it on the branch. The falcon was drawn in by the sparrows and finches. A delicate palate, evidently.

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Do not call Glenn Beck a novelist. Please, I beg of you . . .

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  18. LAMary said on December 7, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I’ve seen what rats can do to a plastic dog food bin and Detroit squirrels are possibly tougher and meaner than rats. I’d watch out if I was one of those birds on the feeder. The squirrels might have guns.

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  19. prospero said on December 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    LA Mary, squirrels are rats, just with bushy tails.

    Leon Russell and Elton John Live.( 2:34)

    And, with the exception of Bitch is Back, none of Sir’s really crappy songs, and two of his best, Burn Down the Mission and Take Me to the Pilot.

    I guess all those “progressives” whining about how the President caved are all employed, and don’t qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. (Although they’re fighting for those people.) I guess their jobs don’t require math skills. They can’t figure out the whole Senate rules 60/40 bullshit. Or that in a strange economy, with rich people and corporations sitting on dragon’s lair hoards of gelt, 13 months of extended unemployment benefits, expansion of EITC and a variety of MC tax breaks, and extending middle class cutswill be a large and necessary shot in the US economic arm. That money gets spent, immediately.

    As a bonus, from here on out, it ought to be easy to pin the tail on the actual budget buster party, while the extension is limited to two years. If nothing had been done, this would have moved along to the nest Congress and this crap may have been cast in stone forever.

    Did Mme. Gingrich run out of Botox mad money when she got to the bottom half of her face? Was she going for Hyperthyroidism or Runaway Bride around the eyes?

    Ray Davies on how life goes on, no matter what people run into.

    Edit: Of course I meant next Congress, but it will be a figurative nest of adders.

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  20. coozledad said on December 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    I used to think this guy was just a hapless, misguided dumbass, teaching other dumbasses at one of those surfin’ schools. Now I’m pretty certain he’s a fucking ghoul.

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  21. Rana said on December 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Sue, I snorted aloud when I read that. Nice one!

    The only squirrel-proof feeder I ever owned was due to its location – hanging from the underside of a porch roof that had a flashing-clad beam running around the outside. There was nothing for the squirrels to cling to (though heaven knows they tried), and nothing they could jump from to reach the feeder. (Hence the success of the hanging corn.) Here, though, there’s nothing stopping the local squirrels from attacking the suet feeder should they wish – they just seem to prefer corn. (And acorns. Given the number of acorns this fall, I’m betting on a bumper crop of little idiot baby squirrels in the spring.)

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  22. beb said on December 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    We have more of a problem with pigeons eating the food we put out for the neighborhood stray cats. I’ve yet to see one of the cats help themselves to a pigeon, which is a shame. But the pigeons come in in a flock of 12-15 and fight around the food bowl like carp swarming in a pool, climbing on top one another to get at the food. We’re resorted to feeding the cats at dusk or dawn instead of during daylight hours, and only when we see any of the cats hovering around.

    The pigeons, by the way, line up on the roof of our neighbors’ house. It reminds me of the birds in “The Birds.”

    Squirrels have eaten the top off one bird feeder but it’s a raccoon that tries to pull the lid off the trash can we keep the food in.

    As for Mrs. Gingrich…Some women just don’t age well. And botox doesn’t always help. I’m still waiting for Newt to move on to wife number four(?).

    It’s a pity that Democracts can recall the President. I don’t think the country can survive another two years of Obama’s bipartisanship.

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  23. LAMary said on December 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Prospero, did you see Elton John on the show Elvis Costello has on Sundance? He did Burn Down the Mission and talked about how he was inspired by Laura Nyro. You can really hear it.
    Cooz, that asshat who went after Elizabeth Edwards mentioned an interventionist God, which made me think of one of my favorite songs:

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  24. prospero said on December 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm


    Pigeons are rats too, but with wings. And I’m sure Newt has in fact moved on to No. Four, even if the pertinent parties aren’t fully aware of it yet.

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  25. nancy said on December 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Cooz, you should see Ann Althouse, brave contrarian, expressing disappointment that Edwards didn’t use her final statement to apologize to the country for pretending to have a good marriage during the 2008 primary.

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  26. Deborah said on December 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I mentioned this before, I saw Newt in person walk across the lobby of the hotel I stayed in a couple of weeks ago in Des Moines, IA when I was there on business. I can tell you he looks even worse in person. He and wifey #3 are royal hypocrites. Even my super right wing sister says that.

    Regarding Elizabeth Edwards, my mom died when I was 14. I’ve probably also mentioned this here before. It’s something that identifies me. I’ve gone my whole life since being someone who’s mom died when she was 14. It was hard and I feel for those kids. I just hope Reille doesn’t end up being their stepmom. That would be worse.

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  27. Jeff Borden said on December 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I curse the proprietress for that photo of Mrs. Gingrich IV. It is truly terrifying. She looks like her jaws could unhinge and swallow a large guinea pig.

    Two of my students collaborated on their civic issues speech Monday, which explored the issue of women and their body images. They devoted a chunk of the speech to the insidious use of plastic surgery, including photos and videos of folks like Heidi Montag (who had 10 procedures in a single day) and that loony woman who has endured more than 100 plastic surgeries to look more like a walking, talking Barbie doll. Trust me, that woman had nothing on Calista G. And the poor thing says she began the plastic surgery regimen because her husband made fun of her large nose.

    The Barbie doll pops up every once in awhile in a student speech, usually on something relating to this topic, but these students noted something I’d not heard before: If a woman existed at Barbie’s proportions, she would not be able to swallow because her neck would be too long to support her head, and her feet would be the same size as a six-year-old girl.

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  28. nancy said on December 7, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Also, re: the church: They believe in forgiveness. But yeah, just once I want them to say, “You’re forgiven, but you can’t have an annulment.” Fat chance of that.

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  29. basset said on December 7, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    She Who definitely does not handle the rifles like an experienced hunter. And of course some television person threw the scope off, blame it on The Media.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if the guide actually shot that animal.

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  30. coozledad said on December 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Nancy, LA Mary: That’s why I used to open my radio set with this:
    (My show aired at 5:30 AM. It was called “Cold Wave Breakfast”.)

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  31. moe99 said on December 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Well, Sully thinks that Obama is ahead of the curve.

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  32. Sue said on December 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Regarding the Obama/Republican ‘deal’: doesn’t it have to be approved by the House and Senate first? Doesn’t it have to get past all the Republicans and – more importantly – several Democrats? The Republican leadership will strong-arm their folks and Nancy P. will probably twist the arms that she needs, but what is the actual likelihood that this will fly? Anyone know?

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  33. Jeff Borden said on December 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm


    I find that a rather sunny interpretation, but I hope it turns out to be true. Like most liberals, I guess, the performance of the president has been disappointing to me, particularly regarding the economy. We need some big, bold projects to get people working and improve our country and, while I was not expecting the reincarnation of FDR, I thought the O-man could’ve done better with the stimulus package. I was naive, of course, about both the intransigence of that moldy corpse called the GOP and the selfishness of the Blue Dog Democrats.

    I honestly believe the Republican Party will do everything in its power to make our country and its citizens suffer if they think it means a return to power in 2012. The national party has the morals of a shithouse rat, but is not as useful. I hope I am wrong, but when I look at John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and the other zombies, I fear for the future. They are bad people.

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  34. Mark P. said on December 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    If his wife-to-be were a practicing Catholic, the newt would have had to become a Catholic or they would have had to receive a dispensation in order to have a Catholic marriage. The newt would also have had to receive or purchase (perhaps with a discount?) a dispensation for his previous marriages, or he would have had to have them annulled, which usually requires the participation or at least acquiescence of the former spouse (or spouse-like object). Both parties are almost certainly required to be human, so there was probably yet another dispensation. I presume that all the formalities were observed, or that sufficient recompense was arranged.

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  35. Hattie said on December 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    She performs the almost impossible feat of making Newt look good by contrast.

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  36. prospero said on December 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    This is ineffably clever, it’s pretty, and it might put you in touch with aliens, or at least Richard Dreyfuss.

    It’s kinda like Lithium.

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  37. prospero said on December 7, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    For fans of Jonathan Franzen.

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  38. Christy S. said on December 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Not to pile on, but I’m not buying that Mrs. G3 is 44. I know that’s what she says but after looking at some stocks in Google Images — the saggy skin, etc — I think someone is hiding a few years under her lunch lady arms. Of course, being married to/involved with that sack of shit for so long would age you quickly so who knows.

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  39. Dorothy said on December 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Franzen is our Commencement speaker next May, Prospero. His nephew is a student here at Kenyon.

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  40. Dexter said on December 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Uncanny…if I put that photo of C.G. in an “aging program” and set it for thirty years down the road, it would look exactly like my step grandmother, who was evil and cruel to everyone except me; she adored little Dexter Boy.
    My aunt is 96 years old and she still tells stories of that old stepmother’s cruelty. My late mom forgave the old woman, who died in 1975.
    Mom was 82 when she passed on, but her mother died when Mom was just four years old. My grandmother’s parents came to the USA from Bern, Switzerland. My grandmother looks like royalty in old photos.

    Women who Do That? ah….all I should say is maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to marry a nineteen year old girl in the Wild Seventies. And, it’s one thing to suspect, and quite another to find out. It was totally over ten days after that.

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Not a Catholic canon lawyer, but Newt’s previous marriages were not in “the Church,” i.e. Roman Catholicism. Those don’t take much paperwork, in my overheard experience, to get annulled, especially since the first marriage was between him and his high school math teacher (tho’ they didn’t get married until he was of age, barely). The second marriage you’d have thought would be the harder case to prove, but with no children, and Marianne being consistently oddly supportive of Newt, the long-term infidelity actually might have made part of the case for him — and if wife #2 said she thought he should receive an annulment, then they’re likely to grant that one readily, too.

    He would have gone through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), joined the Catholic Church, and done whatever premarital procedures his/their diocese and parish require. You’d hope both of them got a few thousand “Our Fathers” just as a warm-up.

    One presumes that they went to confession [koff]; I meant, participated in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where they confessed their sins preceding the marriage, received absolution and penance, and fulfilled that before participating in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

    It feels like a marriage waiting to hit major troubles to me, too, but there’s no reason for money to have played a role in it. That’s a common slur on Catholic procedures, but other than getting your kid into Notre Dame or a local Catholic high school, it’s just not what you find. The problem is the relative lack of understanding of what the RC church means by “valid marriage” which has to do with the nature of a sacrament. It’s odd, but consistent for them to offer this out, unless they just went with the “any divorce is an automatic lifetime ban from communion” stance. Which it used to be.

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  42. nancy said on December 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Jeff’s right about the money thing. All annulments cost something — and I believe they will waive fees in cases of financial need — but they’re complicated procedures, with investigators and all the rest of it. In the experience of my circle, a fee of around $300-$400 is pretty standard.

    It would be easier to do away with the charade and just call it Catholic Divorce, but that would never fly.

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  43. Mark P. said on December 7, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    My comments about dispensations were apparently too-subtle references to the older practices of the Catholic church, when those in power could do pretty much as they pleased as long as they paid the church for a dispensation. Of course I don’t believe there is a common practice today of buying dispensations.

    My wife was contacted by a Catholic official of some sort when her first husband was trying to marry a woman in a Catholic ceremony. She was asked for her cooperation in determining that her marriage could be annulled. She threw the letter away. I suspect the annulment went ahead without her cooperation.

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  44. Dexter said on December 7, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    $300, eh? That’s exactly how much I wrote a check to my lawyer for in 1974.
    Here’s something people never believe: the quirky judge had a stipulation put into my divorce papers, in essence, I was prohibited by the court from re-marrying for two years. I never contested it because I was in my early twenties and had no desire to get married for a long time, which turned out to be two and a HALF years. And they lived happily ever after.
    And, it’s easy to dig out all kinds of marriage stats, but this one caught my eye,
    “The likelihood of a divorce is lowest for men and women age 60, for whom 36 % of men and 32 percent of women may divorce from their first marriage by
    the end of their lives.” Geezers my age divorcing? Never would have guessed so many. —

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  45. Sue said on December 7, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Dexter, divorce? That’s unacceptable!:
    ‘So now I’m praying for the end of time
    To hurry up and arrive
    Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
    I don’t think that I can really survive
    I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow
    But God only knows what I can do right now
    I’m praying for the end of time
    It’s all that I can do
    Praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you!!!’

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  46. Bitter Scribe said on December 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    “Putative stepmother”? You mean John is going to marry the bimbo?

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  47. moe99 said on December 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    the dark side of cancer fundraising.

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  48. Jolene said on December 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    It is, indeed, hard to think about the situation of the Edwards kids. Last night, I saw a clip in which Elizabeth talked about having come to an understanding that, despite everything, allowed the kids to have a good relationship w/ John and the two of them to communicate in way that made that relationship possible. That’s something, I guess, but kids shouldn’t have to have the kind of knowledge of their father that those kids have–not to mention then being left w/ him as their only parent. I can only imagine how Kate, the older daughter, must feel about him and about the prospect of becoming a second mother to her young brother and sister.

    Rielle does, indeed, seem to be both feather-brained and conscience-free. The idea that she would object to how she appeared in a national magazine after having posed for the pictures makes it clear, as if everything else, didn’t that she is a person not inclined to think beforehand about the consequences of actions.

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  49. Christy S. said on December 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I went through the annulment process about 10 years ago. It was indeed $300 but that included hours of counseling with a compassionate and surprisingly insightful priest. While I certainly have my issues with the Catholic Church, I have to admit the annulment process — for me — was healthy and beneficial.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Rest in peace, Elizabeth —

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  51. brian stouder said on December 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Jeff – I am glad that I saw that news here, from you.

    It is always kind of amazing how the completely expected thing can still cause such an odd sense of profound, jarring surprise

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  52. Jolene said on December 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Indeed, that’s a nice honest, but respectful obituary, Jeff. Thanks for linking to it.

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  53. Bitter Scribe said on December 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    One of the comments on that obit, from someone who goes by “DontLikeTheSocialistObama”:

    It’s hard to feel sorry for her when she used her illness to attempt to gain political advantage for her husband.

    Is there anything these people won’t politicize?

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  54. Deborah said on December 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Oh jeez. I’m sitting at my desk with tears in my eyes. So sad. Poor kids.

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  55. LAMary said on December 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    “Is there anything these people won’t politicize?”

    No. She wasn’t Christian enough and she didn’t just disappear and shut up. She supported her husband up until it was just impossible.

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  56. Mark P. said on December 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Anyone who calls Obama a socialist has plenty of cognitive issues. It’s probably hard for someone like that to feel sorry for anyone but himself.

    And no, there is nothing they won’t politicize and no one they won’t hurt.

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  57. Jolene said on December 7, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    WaPo also has a nicely done obituary. I was less taken w/ what the NYT had to say, but they did have a very nice picture at the top of the article.

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  58. Dexter said on December 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    OK, I just found out. I admired Elizabeth Edwards. She was just 67 days older than me, and that’s sort of meaningless , but I seem to really take note when a contemporary dies. Everybody said it should have been her and not her husband who took a run at The White House. She would have had my vote. This is really a sad occasion.

    Sue…I posted that Meatloaf song to my facebook page last night. What a coincidence.

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  59. prospero said on December 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    How is Canon Law anybody’s business that isn’t Catholic? There are 66mil Catholics in the US. Self-proclaimed Christians in the US are likely to promote the Falwell, Oral Roberts idea that Catholics are not actually Christians, and we’ve been designated a demonic sect or whatever. In our hemisphere, the vanguard and the martyrs for human rights and the dignity of human beings, have been Catholics. How many Maryknolls and Jesuits were raped and murdered by Rayguns anti-commoniss troops trained at the School of the Americas in Central America?

    There’s the self-proclaimed conservative whack Catholics like what’s his name O’Donnell or whatever that looney tune goes by.

    American Catholics are split on abortion, not split at all on birth control. And all of this is grangiappe.

    American Catholics have opposed war-mongering and treating people like chattel since the 60s.

    Clergy and others that understand the idea of commonweal have too. All the Americans slaughtered in Iran Contra were people that believed in profound religious beliefs. Maybe not. Is it some religious belief that would make somebody say “for the least of my brothers” and get raped, murdered and buried in an unmarked grave. I think it’s commonweal.
    Every thing Catholic in me makes me find the Republicans politically repulsive.

    Well, anyway. Are people so fucking dumb they don’t see Obama has created a new stimulus? This cash will be spent.

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  60. prospero said on December 7, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Kru8gman is guite sensible. That first one Wasn’t big enough. You morons. Do you care how things turn out?

    Who nos.

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  61. prospero said on December 7, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    But this anti-Catholic shit? You align yourself with insane shit that believe Catholics are part of some demonic cult. I’m not about to putmup with with this shit. Holy shit Nancy, you know for a facct that
    grande, I brought that up and was so far first. You’d have to guess about SRC and MC5.

    Here’s the shit. Look up those Maryknolls. Raygun and his croneys murdered them. Somebody wants to say that not’s so?

    fuck the us government.

    Assholes. Somebody want to clam these assholes weren’t assassins? They were. If you say they were’nt, you are are lying.

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  62. 4dbirds said on December 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    The payroll tax cut is for one year and while it won’t come out of the SS trust fund what will happen one year from now? Any attempt to reinstate the rates will be pounced on by republicans as a tax hike and do we really think the democrats will let the rates go up? Then republicans are going to insist they be paid for out of the trust fund and welcome to the gutting of social security.

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  63. brian stouder said on December 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    4dbirds, admittedly, this would fall under the rubric of “Be careful what you wish for” – but I really, really HOPE you’re right about that.

    In my lifetime, the Republicans have always wanted to scuttle Social Security. In past years, they had to deny that this was a goal; they always used to accuse the Democrats of demagoguing the issue, and purposely scaring senior citizens.

    But if, in 2012, these people are brazen enough to come out openly against Social Security, they will well and truly cook their own goose, I think (pride coming before the fall, and all that).

    In any case, I think we are due to have a big political fight over Social Security. Line up, make your stand, and let the voters sort it out.

    President Bush-43 had a semi-attractive sounding idea a decade ago about some “individual control” of Social Security witholdings…the idea had some glitter and allure (for me, anyway) back in the day, after the go-go ’90’s – but congress shot that dog, and then our late economic crash and the re-emergence of bare-fanged “I got mine” predator capitalism seems (to me) to have marked the end of any credibile faith in the capital market’s superiority over non-commission paying, non multi-million dollar bonus paying, non-golden parachute providing, old fashioned Social Security.

    Or, to praraphrase Bush-43, “Bring it on”.

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  64. Rana said on December 7, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    I’m not sanguine that we’ll have a big political fight over Social Security. I think it’s far more likely that they’ll do something like they’ve done with abortion rights and welfare; they’ll nibble and pick away at it until it’s just a threadbare shadow of its current state. Then, they’ll either tout more spending cuts as the only way to “restore” it, scold those who use it as “lazy people who are living off the government teat,” hold it up as a “failed” program that should be allowed to die, or all of the above.

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  65. Deborah said on December 7, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    James Fallows on Elizabeth Edwards

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  66. prospero said on December 7, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    The payroll cut is money into the economy. Everything including the EITC is money that will be spent immediately. It’s stimulus.

    Rich people will not contribute. They will sit on their cash. Paul Krugman knows what he’s talking about, but he’s one of those folks that consider shit like this from a distance. Obama had to consider people with no cash and felt it was better they had some cash for the next 13 months. Which guy is living in the real world? Which guy is contributing to the economy?

    The pretty much a grand back on everyboyd’s payroll tax? That’s part of Democrat caving. Obama finesses these thee assholes. It;s up to all of these Progressives to do something with th two years he just bought you. Meantime, he bought coverage for the unemployed folks,and if you don’t get that, well. you might as well be Boehner.

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  67. Catherine said on December 8, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Elizabeth Edwards wrote a lovely obituary of Tony Snow, Bush’s press secretary who died of colon cancer in his 50s: Worth the time.

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  68. Jolene said on December 8, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Death is always, no matter how expected, so shocking. Even though dying, like eating and sleeping, is something we all can and must do, it always seems somehow incredible that humans can simply come to an end–that intelligence, appetite, sense of humor and all the other attributes that make us ourselves can simply be withdrawn from the world. I never quite get used to the idea.

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  69. 4dbirds said on December 8, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Well Pros, you can cheerlead and yes he is better than all the assholes, i am still deeply disappointed in Obama. Will I vote for him in two years? Of course, but I don’t think I’ll be quite as willing to hand over any campaign funds, I don’t think I’ll volunteer any time for campaigning and I know my disappointed children will not bother to vote. That’s the consequences of not acknowledging your base or even trying to fight for them. The scolding he gave yesterday was most unwelcome. Will I feel differenty in two years? Perhaps, I’m always changing my mind, but right now, I’m just not that into him.

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  70. Mark P. said on December 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I think the reason some of the more progressive are disappointed with Obama is that it turns out he isn’t Jesus. He’s not perfect and he can’t work miracles. I don’t agree completely with his approach, but I do think he has our interests at heart, which is very, very different from the alternative. I would like for him to fight harder, but how can I ask that if it’s at the expense of the unemployed?

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  71. DellaDash said on December 8, 2010 at 9:17 am

    What a luxury to be part of the base that’s disappointed in MyManObama.

    That means you haven’t had to be grateful to be accepted for a nickel-and-dime job for which you are vastly over-qualified, but that gets you off of a year of unemployment, while you rationalize that you’ll take the opportunity to widen your skillset with some Open Source tools and learn a new industry.

    It means you haven’t found out that you were actually financially better off with the extra 25$-per-week from the stimulus package, than you are with your current take-home pay, once gas and sundry expenses are factored in; that you find you can’t even afford co-payment for the health care package that kicks in after 90 days; that you’re so drained from performing tedious, repetitive, offensively-inefficient tasks during 10-hour shifts, there’s not much juice left over for studying the latest technology when you’re an old baby boomer dog learning new tricks.

    It means that you’re not faced with the dilemma of needing to get rid of the latest flat-mate you’ve taken on to help make ends-that-are-still-not-quite-meeting meet, who has turned out to be on an unending ‘Lost Weekend’ and is seriously fouling a not very large nest, as well as a rookie alcoholic with a nasty mean streak to boot.

    It means that you’re not like one of the candidates interviewing for a room to rent while he starts a new engineering job that involves uprooting the family he’s temporarily left behind, because relocating is the only way he can find work.

    It means that, in spite of day-to-day scrambling, or as your third-world husband used to say ‘hunt for the crumbs’, you’re not feeling incredibly fortunate to have the safety net of both a large family and a compassionate administration, because you have an intimate knowledge of what it’s like trying to survive in another poverty-stricken part of the world.

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  72. 4dbirds said on December 8, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Here’s where I think you’re wrong Mark at least as far as I’m concerned. I never expected him to be Jesus. I know from my own experiences in the working world and as an officer in the army that all politics is compromising. I don’t think he studied his opponent or he has a lot more in common with his opponent then we progressives care to admit. He gave up too much too soon and didn’t know how to lead his majorities in congress. He is seen as weak and I don’t know if he can recover. He’s one and done and that’s sad because I don’t like the alternative.

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  73. 4dbirds said on December 8, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Della, I assume you’re talking to me but you have no idea as to my life experiences. I’ve been unemployed, underemployed, overqualified and working for stupid asshats. I’ve also been without income. I’ve been unemployed while having a toddler with cancer. I also have two young adult children who do not have health insurance. I’m allowed to be disappointed in Obama because that’s how I feel. Do you think this is over now? Come January, the goalposts will be moved and another margin of the social safety net will be encroached on and Obama will race to the right to compromise something else away because the republicans won’t budge. Then he’ll lecture us for not being appreciative enough. I am truly sorry for your situation because I can feel the stress coming out of your post. I have been there, I have. I am working now and so is my husband. I work on a contract for the Navy. We never know when it could be cut so I don’t take it for granted.

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  74. DellaDash said on December 8, 2010 at 10:01 am

    4d – you’ve got a strong posse here of ‘Bama detractors, so I’m not so much talking at you alone…rather sticking up for myMan. Yes, I’m stressed, but doing okay…getting pro-active about my ‘shituation’. Did your child pull through ok? Honestly, in my long life and share of tragedies, I’ve never had it that bad.

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  75. Mark P. said on December 8, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I still think people had unrealistic expectations for what Obama could do. I think he should be more confrontational and use the bully pulpit to bash the Republicans. I think he could be a more powerful leader and maybe (just maybe) put a little spine in the Democrats in Congress. And I think it’s perfectly acceptable to complain about what he does or doesn’t do. But if the complainers get him defeated in 2012, they will have to shoulder their share of the responsibility for the election of the greater of two evils. Look at the Republican Party and tell me who you think could get the nomination and be a better choice than Obama.

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  76. 4dbirds said on December 8, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Yes she did Della, with some caveats. Full body radiation is very damaging and she has what are called ‘long term effects’. She takes a boatload of medications to replace almost all her hormones, she’s tiny, learning disabled (although currently taking a college level Spanish class, go figure), sterile and impulsive. Although 20 she’s more like a young teen. The years of treatment were really really crappy, but she’s alive! I hope this works, a photo I took yesterday.

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  77. 4dbirds said on December 8, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Well it didn’t work. 🙁

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  78. brian stouder said on December 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I dipped into msnbc last night, after having fallen away from the daily political grind in recent weeks, and Keith Olbermann’s Specious Comment set my teeth on edge.

    Rachel was much more level-headed in her criticisms, but the net-effect was still the same as a pegged pressure guage.

    The poker was in my hand, and I was ready to click the tv off, when I saw the teaser for Lawrence O’Donnell’s show, wherein he was going to have a menagerie of holy-leftist blogger purists (think Firedoglake, for one); and Lawrence calmly disassembled their criticisms, one by one.

    The thing is, one has to govern.

    President Obama had every opportunity to send this whole process over a cliff, and he didn’t.

    Maybe this really is the definitive difference between the liberals and conservatives in 2010 America; which impulses one succumbs to.

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  79. DellaDash said on December 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    4d – I can hardly imagine almost 20 years of heartbreak, hope, aggravation and joy spent nurturing your scrappy, Spanish-speaking survivor. Do post a pic when you figure it out.

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  80. DellaDash said on December 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    What was ‘Keith Olbermann’s Specious Comment’, Brian?

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  81. brian stouder said on December 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Oh, you can guess, Della. He was all high-dudgeon/moral outrage, yadda yadda yadda, with a gratuitous “God damn”* shoe-horned in there – because Obama didn’t fight fight fight and crack some Republican heads.

    Back in the day, and despite that I had developed a strong dislike for Bush-43, I still never liked Olbermann’s “mad as hell, and not gonna take it anymore” schtick. The problem is, once you pitch civility out the window, then that’s it. I respect Rachel Maddow, but KO and I are nearly at an end.

    And Lawrence O’Donnell? That guy has it goin’ on! He’s “been in the room” when real live governing is taking place.

    Keith Olbermann (et al) literally makes a living off of specious comments. Dearly held and passionately expressed beliefs are fine, but at the end of the day the stark choice that awaits you is action or inaction. President Obama chose action, and that was what I voted for him to do

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  82. nancy said on December 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Larry O’D got on my bad side during the Non-Coronation of Princess Caroline Kennedy of New York, when he made some incredibly sneering and shitty comment about Kirsten Gillibrand, called her a “cow,” or said she “knew more about cows than governing,” or something like that. It was as dead-bang elitist as it gets, and given that Princess Caroline had never so much as run for school board in her wealthy, privileged life, really uncalled for. I never watch his show. I gots my standards, people.

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  83. brian stouder said on December 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    You know, I cannot disagree with that assessment of LO (especially after following the Cow link in the other thread). When LO was just a guest host over there, the “I know more than you’ll ever know” vibe was somewhat cloaked, but still there.

    But now, with his own show, he is free to openly display his ‘breed-cred’ (or whatever); and his very cool arrogance contrasts nicely with KO’s madly boiling ego.

    What I really, really (really, reeeeally) enjoyed, though, was seeing LO line up the Firedoglake lady, and two others from similarly leftist/anti-Obama sites, plus that smart young guy from the Washington Post (I cannot remember his name, and don’t feel like Googling, but you know the guy); and asked an open-ended question and then quietly disassembled their answers, especially when they uttered things which simply weren’t true (such as regarding the estate tax).

    I’m sure that LO is the TV equivalent of a Wall Street Masetr of the Universe; he has west coast cred (thanks the The West Wing) and east coast cred, and so he doesn’t have to raise his voice. And, you know that he thinks he’s absolutely right, all the time…and that he probably actually IS right the vast majority of the time.

    Oh, and I forgot about the “*” in the last post. I was just wondering if KO’s contract allows for X-number of “God damn”s per month or per year, before he gets into trouble

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