Day two of dullness.

In the case of resigning fit fun classy guy Rep. Chris Lee, I think I have nothing to say. Except maybe, this: Are we all 15 years old inside? Does our emotional development in adolescence stay with us forever? It’s like a grain of sand in an oyster, only instead of giving you a pearl, you get those Blackberry/mirror self-portraits: Here I am flexing the guns. It’s appalling.

And may I just say this? I have never, at any stage of my life, found politicians attractive at all. Show me a girl who sleeps with elected officials, I’ll show you a real sicko. Rock stars I understand. John Boehner? No.

Day two of Too Early to Blog week is today. Fortunately, I have collected much linkiness.

Thanks to Hank for finding this fine appreciation of “Broadcast News,” pegged to the Criterion Collection DVD release. It rolls around from time to time on cable, and I usually stop to watch at least a few minutes. It’s amazing how much worse the journalism it predicted turned out to be, but as a romantic comedy, it’s hard to beat.

An acquaintance of mine bought this book for her son, and said so far she’s found four typos in it. So far.

Dunno why I’m including this, except that I like to see animals doing what they’re best at, and in slo-mo high-def video? It’s kind of mesmerizing.

If today’s office hours are anything like yesterday’s, look for me in comments.

Posted at 9:08 am in Current events, Movies |
 

93 responses to “Day two of dullness.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I just posted this on Facebook, because the link was sent to me, I forgot about it, watched it out of duty, and now I know I’m going to be thinking about it all day. Thought some of you might want to be stuck on it, too — http://www.tvkim.com/watch/741/kims-picks-what-do-people-live-for

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  2. 4dbirds said on February 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Yes, I still feel as if I’m seventeen. Everytime I hear my name, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach and think I’m in trouble.

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  3. Mark P. said on February 10, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Does our emotional development in adolescence stay with us forever? Yes. It’s always there, maybe down deep, but it’s there. Most of us learn to suppress it in public. Me, personally, I would be embarrassed to flex in front of my mirror with no one else there. Send a picture to a stranger? Not in this life.

    Your comment about sleeping with politicians reminds me of Strom Thurmond’s wife, who was 22 when she married the 66-year-old senator. Ugh.

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  4. Dorothy said on February 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Speaking of How to Spell Like a Champ, my own spelling bee champ (daughter) took the Jeopardy test to be a contestant the other day. She had to get permission to do it while at work two nights ago and she said it was MUCH tougher than the questions on the t.v. show. She thinks she might have gotten 20 of the 50 questions correct. She was given 15 seconds to answer each question. Of course it was done online. They don’t tell you how you did on the test, but at some point in the next year she might get a call or email to audition in another city or take a written test. If she hears nothing within a year, she could take the online test again at some point. Have any of you fellow Nancy Fans taken the test? I’m just curious to see if anyone here ever did, and how far they advanced.

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  5. Peter said on February 10, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Dorothy, thanks for the tie-in. Last week I had to leave work early before I infected the whole place, and I caught Jeopardy – and there was a question about Ashley! I THINK the clue went: “He played an angry New Orleans college professor in the HBO series Treme”. (Who is John Goodman?)

    And to tie-in with another subject, Jeopardy can do a category on disgraced Congressman – several times over. Or maybe they can have a Disgraced Congressman week – that would be better than having them show up on Oprah, wouldn’t it?

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  6. coozledad said on February 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

    That cat’s got good form. Reminds me of our cat Gojira.
    For some reason the naked congressman reminds me of something my wife read aloud to me from Joe.My.God. about a leather bar that had formerly been a Red Lobster restaurant. I was trying to come up with ways they could use the old sign to save money. All I get is “Rod beLters”.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on February 10, 2011 at 9:39 am

    There was a PBS show last night about building the computer that will go against Ken Jennings on Jeopardy. We just caught the first few minutes and decided to record it and go to bed, because we’re ancient.

    The morning paper provided lots of entertainment today. The Harry Baals name proposal has gone international, just as I feared. Apparently family members today pronounce it “bales”. And here’s a little gem: Harry’s first wife was named Minnie.

    And our favorite philandering ex-congressman had landed a job teaching leadership at tiny Trine University. Parents, lock up your daughters!
    http://www.jg.net/article/20110210/NEWS07/302109950/1006/NEWS

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  8. ROgirl said on February 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

    There has to be more to the story of the Craigslist Congressman. He’s been doing this for a long time and just got caught for the first time. I tend to think that men who post body shots of themselves are gay, so who knows what he’s been up to? Others with worse transgressions have withstood the embarrassment and hypocrisy to stay in office.

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  9. Kim said on February 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I think it’s funny that we just need the Craigslist Congressman story to be about more than a married Congressman trolling Craigslist while claiming to be a divorced lobbyist and sending cheez-ball half-dressed pix of himself (taken with his PHONE, no less, like a stupid teen girl on Fbook)to potential dates. I mean, who does that? Who wouldn’t step aside to spare his family the embarrassment? I know, I know: a married Congressman trolling Craigslist ….

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  10. Connie said on February 10, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I see millions of typos all the time. Although the wierdest one, recently I read one where the author kept referring to girls wearing berets. And I thought he meant, well, berets. Realized half way through he meant barrettes. Which in southern Indiana are brets.

    I have access to a lot of ARCs, advance reading copies, and they have big notices in them that this is not a final proofread copy and only the final copy should be used for quotes.

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  11. BigHank53 said on February 10, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Hell, I think the guy should serve out his term. Everybody now KNOWS he’s a cheating worm, and can treat him accordingly. No need for any false respect, and he certainly won’t be able to demand any. Shut the hell up, sit your ass down, and get to work.

    Instead he’s scurrying off home because he can’t stand to be laughed at.

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  12. nancy said on February 10, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I like how that kitten always stays in balance, even when she’s committed. The landings in particular are great — the legs come under, the butt goes back. Very Wild Kingdom.

    This is why those old English portraits of horses jumping never did it for me. They never put their feet that way.

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  13. Kath said on February 10, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Coozledad –
    Your Red Lobster turned leather bar should just take the word “Red” and put it over the window on the right side of the building.

    Leather bar names are always short and to the point: the Bolt, The Eagle, etc.

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  14. alex said on February 10, 2011 at 10:23 am

    In Chicago there was one called the Manhole. A pizza joint opened up nearby and called itself the Piehole.

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  15. Bob (not Greene) said on February 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Congressman Beefcake is just too pathetic. Have some self control, man. I agree that the guy’s quick resignation may have been a noble gesture to spare his family a prolonged humiliation. I also think the guy has probably been doing this for awhile and, in addition to the humiliation factor, he didn’t want the floodgates to open. Although, who knows, they still might.

    By the way, the Harry Baals saga made to to the local morning news here in Chicago. As a guy with a stupid last name, I feel for the family. They’ve just become everybody’s one-liner.

    And I see typos all the time, too. In my newspaper, in stories I have written! Not having a real copy editor is a bitch. When newsrooms are broke, that’s the first thing out the door. Although at this company it was never in the door to begin with.

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  16. prospero said on February 10, 2011 at 10:40 am

    It’s hilarious that Rep. Lee represented himself as a “lobbyist” instead of providing his actual profession, i.e., Republican Congressman. Apparently he thought the former less reprehensible than the latter.

    And what does it have in its handses? Deoderant? British Sterling Economy Size? The blinding speed with which this guys mea culpa was produced would seem to indicate there’s more to the sordid story. But who really wants to know?

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  17. coozledad said on February 10, 2011 at 10:40 am

    This bar’s called “the stud”

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  18. Linda said on February 10, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Maybe he didn’t think it was less reprehensible, as much as covering his tracks? But then, the same sense of entitlement is there. Thinking he could cover his tracks is one of those things politicians think they can pull off because everybody in the world is stupid but them.

    As for women wanting to bag politicians, didn’t Henry Kissinger say that “power was the best aphrodisiac?” He was not on the surface (or deep down) an attractive stud muffin, but power has its own pull on many women.

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  19. Suzanne said on February 10, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I took the Jeopardy test the other night, too. I attempted it a couple of years ago and I think I did better this time. 15 seconds is not a lot of time to read the question, type in something and hit submit. Last time, I could not for the life of me remember the Dickens character who sat for years in her moldy wedding dress; this time, I could not bring to the forefront of my brain the author of the #1 Ladies Detective agency books, although I knew both answers quite well any other time. Amazing how one’s brain gets stuck with that ticking clock mocking you. I have a friend who actually was on it a few years ago. She did not win, but, as she said, did not embarass herself, said it was great fun, and that she had a lot more respect for Ken Jennings afterwards.

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  20. Kirk said on February 10, 2011 at 10:58 am

    “Are we all 15 years old inside?”

    Well, some of us are even slightly younger. I’m fond of telling people that when the last bit of eighth-grader drains from my soul, go ahead and shoot me. Fortunately (or not), there’s still plenty in my tank.

    But that doesn’t make me an ex-Rep. Chris Lee. Like between 99 and 100 percent of politicians, he’s your garden-variety egomaniac. They’re all about “Look at me,” though most of them don’t take it to such ridiculous extremes.

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  21. nancy said on February 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Has anyone ever seen the infamous MySpace/Facebook self-portrait some girl shot in her own bathroom, but forgot to flush the toilet first? Equal parts appalling and hilarious, for the eighth-grader in you.

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  22. LAMary said on February 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I took the Jeopardy test when it was on paper and you had to go to the studio to do it, and yes, it’s a lot harder than the show. There were probably 40 people taking the test, most of whom wandered in from the studio tour. Two of us passed.

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  23. Mark P. said on February 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I saw slow-motion video of a spider jumping on a fly. It looked like a lion tackling an antelope. As I recall, it took Edward Muybridge’s stop-motion horse photography before people realized that a galloping horse had all four feet off the ground.

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  24. Connie said on February 10, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Great story in the Freep today about the making of that Chrysler ad: http://www.freep.com/article/20110208/BUSINESS01/102080380/Chrysler-Super-Bowl-ad-How-all-came-together

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  25. Julie Robinson said on February 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Based on my brief time on our school’s academic contest team, I know that under time pressure my brain comes to a screeching halt. I would look like a dunce on Jeopardy, or more probably, would never even qualify to get on the show. It’ll be fun to watch the computer vs. humans. It starts on the 14th.

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  26. Bob (not Greene) said on February 10, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Also in a near west Chicago suburb there was a gay bar called The Nutbush. Now demolished to make way for a car repair place.

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  27. Jolene said on February 10, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Speaking of things on NOVA, have you all been watching the “Making Stuff” shows hosted by David Pogue? They’ve been really great. There are four shows, all titled Making Stuff:, w/ different terms after the colon–stronger, smaller, cleaner, smarter. It’s all about materials science and what scientists and engineers have done and are doing to create new materials. One example: After observing, that nothing grows on sharks-not bacteria, not barnacles–scientists created a plastic film w/ a surface like that of sharkskin to put on the objects in hospitals (door handles, bed frames, whatever) to prevent hospital-acquired infections. It’s all very gee whiz, and, of course, David Pogue is an entertaining host who makes it all intelligible to the non-nerds among us. All four episodes are online and will likely reappear on NOVA before too long. I think, in fact, that the “smarter” episode, which was the last one, will be on Friday evening. As they say, check your local listings.

    The news stations, by the way, are saying that Mubarak is going to step down. Nancy may be feeling dull, but this will certainly make life interesting in many parts of the world.

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  28. Jeff Borden said on February 10, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I still have a healthy streak of adolescence within me, but it’s generally focused on music, books, movies and cars. I still enjoy finding new bands and burning CD mixes as the mood allows, checking out weird fiction and non-fiction, unusual films and documentaries. I love cars as much as ever, but my circumstances and income prevail against me ever owning anything remotely cool. The 1999 Acura we bought new is going to have to last for another four years or so and likely will be replaced by a hybrid econobox instead of a Shelby Mustang.

    Rep. Lee should have bought a red convertible instead of acting like a creepy, overaged frat boy with that shirtless photograph. I don’t know much about the guy, but would be willing to guess he’s a “family values” candidate, right?

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  29. Kirk said on February 10, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Eighth-grader alert: I had to start over on Jolene’s post because I had no idea that NOVA would be showing a series about stuff made in the colon.

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  30. alice said on February 10, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Mild mannered Jeff: thanks for the link & the sniffle.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on February 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

    We caught most of the Smarter episode last night, Jolene, and it was mind-boggling stuff. It’s worth searching out and watching.

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  32. Jolene said on February 10, 2011 at 11:38 am

    The Post, too, is really suffering for having fired its copyeditors. And it isn’t just typos; there’ve been all sorts of grammatical errors, poor sentence construction, and factual errors that an editor would have caught. It breaks my heart, as I love the Post. A reporter that I spoke to about it acknowledged the problem, but said that, in their straitened circumstances, they had to devote their resources to reporting. Many readers have complained, and the ombudsman has written about it. I don’t track it closely enough to know whether there’s been any improvement, but I guess they’re trying.

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  33. baldheadeddork said on February 10, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Anyone else watch the cat video and think of Tbogg’s bassets in super slow-mo?

    (I know, step away from the internets…)

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  34. coozledad said on February 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

    We used to live not too far from Nutbush Creek. Now we live not too far from Bushy Fork and Virgilina. We had neighbors from Fuquay-Varina. We’re about a mile and a half from Snatchburg road. There’s probably a Perineum, NC.

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  35. Jolene said on February 10, 2011 at 11:48 am

    More news: John Kyl, a nasty prick if there ever was one, is retiring. Gabrielle Giffords, a popular centrist Democrat, would have been a great Dem candidate for this post. If she is well enough to run, she’d certainly win, and there’s some time, but it’s a long way from asking for toast, as she is reported to have done, and running for the Senate–not that we don’t already have some legislators who seem to have significant cognitive impairments.

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  36. Dorothy said on February 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I’ve watched the kitty video twice and Jeff, loved the one you linked to as well. Lots of time to waste here as the boss and heads of our departments are at a retreat.

    My copy editor daughter had her review last night and she told me it was glowing. And her boss told her HIS boss frequently sends emails out praising her. Said something recently like ‘she’s not afraid to stick her nose where no other copy editors will go!’ My daughter said she turned beet red and asked if that was a bad thing. ‘No, it means you aren’t afraid to ask the tough questions’ he replied. She’s hoping for an above-average raise since she was rated so highly. I think it’s been two years since they had any. She turns 28 tomorrow – the review was a nice early birthday present.

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  37. Colleen said on February 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Took the Jeopardy test the other night. It was HAAAARD.

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  38. Bob (not Greene) said on February 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Dorothy, I wish we had a copy editor like your daughter. Having never had one, I don’t even think we know how many headaches we could have avoided over the years at this place. It’s amazing how many stupid mistakes get made when everyone is pressing on a deadline, especially when a good number of the people doing the reporting and “editing” of other reporters’ stories are pretty green to begin with.

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  39. beb said on February 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Coolzedad. I guess after the places you’ve lived close to Detroit’s Big Beaver Rd is minor stuff. One of the best on-air gaffs occurred many years ago when Toy Story 1 was just plain Toy Story. A bunch of toys from the movie had been, I’m guessing for Christmas and newsreader Carmin Harlin had done a stand-up about it. When she ended her piece one of her co-readers asked “Did you get a Woodie?”

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  40. coozledad said on February 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Beb: If she didn’t say “Nope. I didn’t even get a hoodie.” She missed the opportunity of a lifetime.

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  41. LAMary said on February 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    How to Spell Like a Champ does not specify what sort of champ they mean. It could be a champion hot dog eater.

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  42. Scout said on February 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Kyl is retiring? HALLELUJAH! God, he is insufferable. In a state that is chock full of insufferable, that isn’t remarkable, but he is definitely one of the most powerful of the AZ crazy crop.

    I loved the slow-mo cat video enough to share it on facebook. With finder attribution to the proprietress, naturally.

    I looked at Lee’s beefcake attempt and wondered who could possibly consider that pasty, sad sack sexy.

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  43. Bob (not Greene) said on February 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    And don’t forget, Arizona has a congressman whose last name is Flake. Probably apt.

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  44. paddyo' said on February 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    A college friend’s ex-husband also had one of those unfortunate “hairy” names: Harry Butz.
    Worse, he was Harry Butz Jr. Now that’s just mean.

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  45. LAMary said on February 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I’ve seen Jeff Flake interviewed and he didn’t seem like a bad guy. I didn’t agree with everything he said but there was no raving going on. He seemed pretty thoughtful about his responses.
    This was one interview. Who knows if it was typical.

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  46. Jolene said on February 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I think you’re right about Jeff Flake, Mary. He is very conservative, but he is not nuts.

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  47. Dorothy said on February 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Nancy I just now had a chance to read that Broadcast News tribute. Thank you so much for sharing that. I have been crazy about movie from the first time I saw it, and I was glad the writer singled out my favorite line. I was surprised by the ending but it was exactly the right ending for the movie. Holly Hunter is a terrific actress. Her voice is so full of character! In “The Firm” when she meets oh-so-sexy David Strathairn for the first time, he stares at her and says “I looove your crooked little smile!” Her lips curl up in a perfectly crooked fashion, and she says “It’s not my best feature!” She made it sound like she made the line up right there on the spot.

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  48. basset said on February 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Another video, not as good as the cat but interesting nonetheless… an old wax factory gets turned into the headquarters of the company that makes those little white Mac and iPod accessories:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upb8uLks8VY

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  49. Joe Kobiela said on February 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Greetings from sunny Greenville S.C. What a nice downtown, had lunch at Sticky Fingers ribs and took a walk around down to the falls and back thru the General Store. Very cool. Even got a 6 miler in out at Furman U. It was -11f when I took off this morning and a + 34 when I landed, felt like a heat wave.
    Cheers
    Pilot Joe

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  50. Bitter Scribe said on February 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Nancy, you may not find politicians attractive, but according to Rita Jenrette (remember her? Wife of John, brought down by Abscam in the 1980s?), sitting members of Congress, no matter what they look like or how long they’ve been married, have to fight women off with a stick. Which (if true) makes it all the weirder that this guy resorted to Craigslist.

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  51. Dorothy said on February 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    SO glad you like Greenville, Joe! Mike and I might be going back in May to attend Artisphere. http://www.artisphere.us/

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  52. Deborah said on February 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    basset, cool video. I think video is a great way to show architecture. The architecture firm I work for is just beginning to use it to show their work, still in the experimental stage. It’s so much more effective than still photos. One of our early experiments is on You Tube. A guy who does a lot of still photography for us did it of our own office just to get the feel of how to do it. It’s kind of cool, only the music is insipid. You can see the top of my head in it at one point, but you won’t know that. The graphics in the office are my design, that’s what I do for a living, graphic design for the built environment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhTgRH4mXYI

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  53. Jeff Borden said on February 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    New political scandal involving Agent Orange?

    TalkingPointsMemo is noting a story in the current National Enquirer saying Speaker of the House Weepy John Boehner may be involved with not one but two women not his wife. Oddly, the story refers to Boehner as “ruggedly handsome,” which is hardly the way I’d describe him.

    The story says his wife of 37 years prefers life in rural Southern Ohio, so he is usually alone when Congress is in session.

    Maybe it would be simpler to just ask for the congresscritters who are NOT having a fling. The list would be shorter.

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  54. Connie said on February 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I remember seeing Broadcast News in an East Lansing theater with my boyfriend, now husband. At some point he stood up and said very loudly “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to watch this movie any more. I’ll wait for you in the lobby.” I have no idea why.

    The only other movie I remember walking out on is Barry Lyndon in the same theater. We thought it had ended and we heaved a huge sigh of relief. As we stood up to leave up flashed the words “End of Part One.” We didn’t stay for part two.

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  55. Deborah said on February 10, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Jeff B, I scoured TPM and could not find that story about Boehner, can you link to it?

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  56. Connie said on February 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    For Brian, from boing-boing: If you are not already reading Disunion—the New York Times’ amazing blog about the American Civil War and everything that led up to it—then I pity you. Both because you’ve been missing out on a fascinating look at American history and cultural analysis that goes far beyond anything you learned in school, and because you’re about to waste your entire Thursday reading through the archives.
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/category/disunion/

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  57. Jeff Borden said on February 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Deborah,

    Sorry. My error. The link is at americablog.com. I recognized the names of one of the women –a lobbyist named Lisabeth Lyons who has been linked to the Orange Man in some gossip circles– but not the other.

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  58. Kirk said on February 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Connie,
    I had heard about Disunion but had not gotten around to checking it out. It’s bookmarked now. What a daily treat that will be. Thanks for the heads-up.

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  59. Connie said on February 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I found a link to the Enquirer’s Boehner story on Americablog: http://www.nationalenquirer.com/john_boehner_house_speaker_sex_scandal_two_women/celebrity/70110

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  60. jcburns said on February 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Having Nixon flashbacks after having listened to Mubarak’s speech on Aljazeera English. Wow.

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  61. Bob (not Greene) said on February 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Yeah, JC, I don’t think that was supposed to be how the script went. Mr. McBurke better have a phalanx of security and a jet waiting for him or he’ll end up like Nicolae Ceauşescu.

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  62. Kirk said on February 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Did he talk about “completing the job I was elected to do”? That was always one of my favorite Nixon lines.

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  63. Dexter said on February 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Since this morning it’s all about Mubarak stepping down.
    As my contribution to Back History Month, I challenge you to listen to “House Negro and Field Negro ” and see if Malcom X had something there, and relate it to the modern Egyptians. It’s amazingly right on.
    http://www.archive.org/details/Malcolm_X

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  64. Judybusy said on February 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Jeff TMMO, thnks for the link–got all teary this a.m. and couldn’t make time to comment till now. This, after laughing so hard about Chris Lee. Pathetic.

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  65. Jeff Borden said on February 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Dexter,

    I juxtapose Malcolm X’s “Bullets or Ballots” speech with the “I Have a Dream Speech” by MLK when we’re studying contextual analysis. Malcolm was a damned clever writer. Noting the difference between black Americans and white
    Americans, he says, “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock. The rock landed on us.” That’s a simple turn of a phrase that still packs a wallop.

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  66. Little Bird said on February 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Just thought I’d share this. I’m sure everyone here already knows about it, I just think it’s kind of funny how information moves about the interwebs.
    http://thedailywh.at/post/3221974865/follow-up-of-the-day-fort-waynes-harry

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  67. Dexter said on February 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I’m glad you’re doing that juxtaposition , J-Bo. That’s real educating.

    I saw Trump on with Piers Morgan…
    http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/02/10/donald-trump-president/
    Trump said he knows a lot of Congresspeople and we’d be surprised at how many of them are routinely having sexual affairs.
    Trump also said, in a summation, this country is in the toilet, and if he was Prez he would tax the beejeezuss out of Chinese imports and he would get tough with China.
    Our current leader was in Marquette, Michigan today, praising the university there for its innovative 30 square miles of WiFi which they developed. An impressive feat, indeed…done with 4 inter-connecting towers.

    That kitten reminds me so much of Friendo, my neutered male, less than two years of age, our rescued feral.
    Like the featured video kitten, Friendo is not de-clawed, as I believe that practice is barbaric.

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  68. Deborah said on February 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Brian, I forgot to mention that this past weekend while we were in NY, we went to the Morgan Library and among the exhibits there were notes in Lincoln’s own hand, I was super impressed to see that.

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  69. Deborah said on February 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I’m still home from work sick, that’s why I’m commenting so much today. I watched the pilot for Chicago Code on my computer on hulu because there’s something wrong with our TV reception and I couldn’t watch it when it premiered. Geez what a stinker. An awful show that I won’t watch again. There were a few scenes that were filmed at my office, that lasted about 2 seconds each. Totally not worth it. Bad acting, bad story, blah.

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  70. Bitter Scribe said on February 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Deborah–I totally agree. Besides, Jennifer Beals is a fine actress, but I’m supposed to buy her as a Chicago police superintendent? Sorry, I can suspend disbelief only so far.

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  71. nancy said on February 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I remember when J. Beals was the next big thing, c. whenever-“Flashdance”-came-out. I recall she was insufferable. And I saw part of the movie on Retro or one of those cable channels a few months back. It was even worse than I remembered. How did anyone ever buy her as the dancer? The cutaways couldn’t have been more obvious.

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  72. brian stouder said on February 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Connie – thanks for the tip; I have dipped into the NY Times Civil War thing a time or two, and the Washington Post has been pretty glittering, too.

    President Lincoln is the ageless, indispensible American; he’s always pertinent (it seems to me), and it is genuinely wonderful to see the stories and contingencies brought back to life and presented to a broad swath of our current day “fellow-countrymen” (both satisfied and dissatisfied).

    It puts the roiled political atmosphere of 2011 into perspective, certainly. Forget 2011 Arizona; 1861 Baltimore was like the Sunni Triangle, with bands of “pug ugly” insurgents and other violent nasties, and the president-elect took his life into his hands going through that city (today’s NY Times essay notes all the plots against the president-elect’s life, as he came east to Washington. It is worth noting that Alan Pinkerton was a railroad detective, and he was aware of the plots in Baltimore specifically because of the threats against the railroad tracks and trestles along the route)

    Today, Shelby (our 12 year old) and I were talking about Egypt, and she expressed her worry that lots of people will get hurt or killed, if he doesn’t depart, and she was wodering why it was that way. My finger being sufficiently pulled(!) – I ventured that America’s greatest stroke of good fortune was to have had a leader like Lincoln at our worst moment; a figure who won an election, weathered an unbelievably horrible national disaster, and who stood for re-election amidst that very cataclysm.

    Our national pattern has been well-set. We hold elections, and we stand by their results…. not because we’re “exceptionally” good, but because we’ve been exceptionally fortunate.

    Deborah, that does sound very cool, indeed. The most impressive bit of Lincolnia that I’ve seen with my own eyes was one of his stove-pipe hats, under glass in the Springfield Lincoln Museum. The hat had a worn-out spot on the brim, where his thump contacted it (countless times!) as he tipped his hat to one and all in the course of daily business about town.

    They had one of the five handwritten Gettysburg Addresses nearby, but the hat was (somehow) much more affecting, to me.

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  73. Connie said on February 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I will say the same thing Deborah said: “I’m still home from work sick, that’s why I’m commenting so much today.” But I bet you didn’t get a shot like mine today. The not in the arm kind.

    Weird headlines of the day, both from MSNBC: Viagra demand surges before Valentine’s Day and Trump will decide by June on presidential bid.

    Trump? Trump? Are you kidding?

    Brian, my daughter talks about going to visit Oxford with her genetics professor and he had tears in his eyes seeing Darwin’s journals up close. For each one, something.

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  74. Connie said on February 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    What happened to this morning’s expectations re Egypt? Now there will be an explosion of anger. I’ve always hated TVs in the doctor’s waiting room, but not today.

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  75. coozledad said on February 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I’ve always wondered why Trump wears that thing on his head, and now I think I know.The reflections from it sync up with the alpha rhythms in people’s brains and renders them unaware that he’s about to explode in a cloud of his own feces.
    “The United States has become a whipping post for the rest of the world.”
    What does that even mean?
    It’s like a WWA poetry slam.

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  76. LAMary said on February 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Trump is such an ass. He could become our own Berlusconi, I guess. Similar ethics, similar style.
    My personal Mubarak, my uberboss, just had his job eliminated. He’s gone. I wish similar things for the people of Egypt.

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  77. alex said on February 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Trump in a crowded field of crazies jockeying for the nomination. So the GOP will probably end up nominating a flaky double-talker like Romney or someone with a comb-over as glaring as The Trump’s atop a slightly smaller brain case, Indiana’s own Mitch Daniels. Should be an interesting election cycle.

    The Disunion series in the NYT is excellent reading, by the way. Hope to find the time to take in all of it one of these days. Like Brian, it’s been kind of hit and miss owing to the rigors of the treadmill of life.

    Shit, I don’t even have the luxury at the moment of tuning in to Jennifer Beals, so thanks for the warning in case I find a few spare moments to kill.

    On edit: The Baals Watch running tabulation has closed down for the night with something above 18,000 votes in favor. Was hoping they’d leave it up to see what kind of surge would be generated by the evening news.

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  78. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    I just hope that Mr. McBurke doesn’t decide this is a good evening to go cleaning his sidearm. It strikes me as one of the more plausible implausible scenarios that an Army general will report tomorrow, with great sorrow, that His Excellency was found slumped over his desk, victim of a terrible accident.

    They strike me as very old school in Egypt’s military, and the senior guys were all trained in Moscow back in the day. The Red Army learned the Wehrmacht approach of offering a shamed and soon to be cashiered brigadier a pistol laid on a table, then the offering parties stepping discreetly back through a door they close, and wait outside.

    One wouldn’t want to hope for that, exactly, but if the alternative is blood in the streets from hundreds of slaughtered civilians . . . it’s all awful, but the best case scenario seems to have just gone out the window with the original first draft of Mubarak’s speech.

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  79. Deborah said on February 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    No shots for me Connie. I’m actually starting to feel a tiny bit better. I have so much to do at work now it’s hard not to worry about it.

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  80. Linda said on February 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Coozledad, I always thought the Trump hair thing was a way of showing off how rich he was, in a way–“see, I’m so rich, I can get hot chicks and have people kiss my ass, even with a dead animal on my head.”

    He’s just one of a long line of rich people who think they are smarter than they are because they are rich. Remember how he would have executed the Central Park “wilding” defendants, who turned out to have not even been guilty? The first rich guy with intellectual pretensions may have been Henry Ford, who believed himself a social planner. The book, Fordlandia, documents how THAT turned out when he tried to remake the society of the Amazon basin in the 1920s.

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  81. nancy said on February 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    He doesn’t know the difference between a whipping post and a whipping boy, that’s for sure.

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  82. del said on February 10, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Are we all 15 years old inside? Yes.

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  83. prospero said on February 10, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    COOZ. THE hair is hilarious. Mine sits there where God made it. That do is beyond comprehension. Does he think nobody’s on his ass? Does any human being care? He looks like an idiot. Did he help the Mets owners job all sorts off people ourt of their money

    / It used to be that Sports ownership meaant the o’Mallwey’s. They meant racism was bullshit. You can all kiss my ass. If you want to try to claim the O’Malleys didn’t change the way Americans thought about race, you’re a moron. And if you don’t think they did this on purpose, you are a moron. This was a family that knew this horseshit was just wrong. They made things obvious. Magic and Larry. Best friends, No joke.

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  84. Joe Kobiela said on February 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Whipping post, one damn good Allman Brothers song.
    Pilot Joe

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  85. Crazycatlady said on February 10, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Nice cat video. Reminds us there is a little wild cat in every kitten!

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  86. Dexter said on February 11, 2011 at 1:40 am

    LA M: The sweetest days at work were not the days we got our Christmas bonuses, not vacation payday…no, they were when confirmation came , and a horrible boss had gotten canned. I remember quite a few of those joyous days. Morale boosting days that made working worth it.
    I remember two guys who made the fatal mistake of taking the job of foremen, with a year-long window to come back to the union if they didn’t like management.
    Yep…just after a year, the company fired them.
    Firings got much more cruel in the 1990s. “Miss X, come with us”, said company security goons. Marching to the main office, her purse locked in her desk and coat hanging nearby, she never saw her desk again. They will not let a fired employee anywhere near a company computer. She had a friend bring her things to her at home later that day.
    If you have a good, fulfilling job, if you work with good people, you are the luckiest person around.

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  87. MichaelG said on February 11, 2011 at 2:44 am

    My office is in a building on the west bank of the river, just opposite Sacramento, called the Ziggurat. It’s a stepped pyramid, a ziggurat, actually, ten stories high.

    http://west-sacramento.blogspot.com/2007/11/ziggurat-est-1998.html

    It was built in the nineties to house a second tier mortgage lender called the ‘Money Store’.

    My daughter worked there and she managed a data base. That the place was failing was obvious and Stephanie prudently removed all of her personal stuff. She was planning to quit soon to get married anyway. The Money Store kept having layoffs and one day they got to her. They canned a ton of people that day. As Dexter noted, security people escorted folks out the door on the spot. Didn’t bother Stephanie as she could carry everything in one hand.

    They gave her three month’s severance and continued her medical coverage for three months. The catch was that, if required, the laid off employee would come in and work. Stephanie was asked and dutifully presented herself for two or three days.

    She was amazed. “Dad, they just fired me and now they want me to come back and update their data base.” She was laughing her ass off. “I could kill the whole thing with a single key stroke while the boss was standing there. You know. ‘Whoops. Oh gosh. I’m sorry.'” She couldn’t get over how stupid they were but didn’t sabotage anything.

    It worked out perfectly. The three month’s pay carried her to the time when she got married and moved to Tennessee.

    The place was vacant for a year or two until we moved in.

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  88. prospero said on February 11, 2011 at 4:21 am

    15 7rs. old inside. No way. I’ll stay eleven. But I brought a copy of Candy to nun schoool when I was nine. God knows wher I got it. Probably stole it from some old prevert (my sp.) on my Freepress route. At the time, My brother Chris and I used to play whiffle ball games all summer and keep box scores. He had a gigantic poster of Bobby Kennedy over his bed.I think we all remain several ages we enjoyed freatly when we inhabited them. The more of those were teenage years, probably the better. My teen years were sports, scholastics, the run of downtown Detroit, mostly on the bus, but occasionally on Woodward Ave. in a brand new Z-car, not mine. Seger System, MC5 and SRC. Brilliant, jaded and worldly Jebbies + my own wonderful parents for education in lit, science, humanity, and life in general. Championship swimming, football and track. Latin and Greek, featuring Caesar, Daedalus interrea Creten longumque, and the New Testament. Frozen pretty solid in time 6/6/69 when Rosey Grier broke Sirhan Sirhan’s gunhand moments too late.

    Linda, I think Clarence Birdseye and W. K. Kellog, Michigan’s own, may have been more influential than Henry Ford, whose most astounding innovation was to design parts packing crates so that they made floorboards for Model Ts. Depriving workers of assembly jobs. Any of y’all ever worked on the line, like at Ann Arbor? I couldn’t take it. Got the job because my dad took care of Walter Reuther’s grandkids at Metropolitan Hospital. Greatest paying summer job all time. Ostracized: non-union, summer hire.

    ELP? Bombast? How about years later and Gloria by U2? Far more annoying and less imaginative music than ELP? In ELO’s meager defense: Lucky Man, and But we find bombast where we find it. I always thought Gary Brooker and Keith Reid , and Robin Trower were better at bombast. And what exactly is wrong with bombast in music? High dudgeon and holier than thou, particularly self-directed scorn, are perfectly suitable topics. C’est la vie isn’t bombast Soozeyourdad

    I always thought Gary Brooker and Keith Reid , and Robin Trowerwere better at bombast than ELP, and backed it up better with stinging lyrics. And what exactly is wrong with bombast in music? High dudgeon and holier than thou, particularly self-directed scorn, are perfectly suitable topics.

    There is nothing in rock music more bombastic than the first four chords on the piano in The Devil Came From Kansas. But it serves a purpose. Laser-surgery=guitar by Robin Trower, brilliant drumming, and a wicked political message. And less: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p51713GPkQQ. I think Joni’s a genius, but when i pick out something to play, it’s more likely Procol. Unless it’s Hissing of Summer Lawns

    So this age thing? Well, I’m 59, on the verge of declaring for getting my pension money back. How is Social Security an entitlement program? The only people for whom it’s an entitlement are the assholes that stopped paying into it at some obscene level of wealth, clip their cou[ons, and watch this cash show up in their bank accounts. Save SS? Jack that cap to about&175,000. Is that socialism? Capatalists either think God meant them to be rich or they recognize the people that made them rich. Are we joking?
    300% for the morons that screw companies into the ground. Flat wages for the people that work for them. What’s wrong with this picture?
    These assholes are sitting on jobs because they think it makes business sense. You fucking morons, provide jobs, people can buy you]re ridiculous shit.

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  89. del said on February 11, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Played a groove into U2’s Gloria — first track on side 1. Here’s the live version that was part of Under a Blood Red Sky.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVyGErU2H3I&feature=fvst

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  90. coozledad said on February 11, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Prospero: I was an ELP fan, but I think once they got an inkling of their irrelevance they just cranked up the blocky symphonic stuff. They did the best they could do with Greg Lake, and well, Keith Emerson.
    I never was much into punk, but in retrospect, it didn’t arrive a minute too soon. It seems to have improved songwriting ultimately.
    The terrible thing is, when I’ve had three or four too many, the part of my brain that’s functioning wants to hear is stuff like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ebDYCOwrTY&feature=related
    So, yes, that adolescent is kicking back somewhere with his Les Paul copy and a bong.

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  91. prospero said on February 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    U2 just sucks, and no matter how you define bombast, just winging it like Vox Bono named himself and does, that’s bombastic. He’s the Jaemarcus Russell vamping with no actual melody and serious tuning by “guitar techs” so he only has to bar. So Bono and that sad exccuse for a guitar player might catch fire. But U2 is way overdone and not really remotely interesting, Who’s the musician?.

    del. Try any song on any album by REM. Way better. That’s why they call these bunches of whack-jobs bands. That’s why songs have what we call melodies. That’s why Bono just wings it and it doan mean dick. There has never been a moment of U2 tht didn’t ooze one guy’s ego. And I was always annoyed how the other guys just let him get away with being the blimp. Bono, now claiming your name is Vox Bono, that’s serious bombast. I could provide a list of popular singers more deserving. Hordes more. Who does this little Dublin shit think he is? Bono? He’s not Van. VoxBono. Please, Quite a pompuos ahole. Not Ray Davies. Jusst an ahole that thinks he’s a bigger dick. No joke? Bono? Suckas large lemona. One puRE-D JXKass.

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  92. prospero said on February 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    ELP? Not cloae. That’s ridiculou.. This is all mssh-up and bdfinger bd-hiesiwurg rguaiculous, Nancy. Jon Beon Jovi and mutidutinous hair bands bought and owned bombast. Sorry but now it’s how Cam Newton diddn’t know his dad was shopping his ass, and how Florida moossed onthis obvious recruit. Mine didn;t used to be why are they now? Why ia rthia the nezt ungrmmaatical MORON spEAk?

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