Wag that finger.

Oh, well, isn’t this special? The SPJ, that would be the Society of Professional Journalists to you civilians, thought it necessary to say something about the Buffalo Beast’s exquisite prank, played on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, earlier this week. You probably read about it yesterday: A reporter — with whom I’m unfamiliar, but described elsewhere as “gonzo” — called Walker’s office posing as David Koch, known Tea Party moneybags, and proceeded to lead the guv around by the nose for 20 minutes or so.

Walker didn’t say anything all that terrible. He agreed that some Fox News MSNBC babe was “a nice piece of ass” and said sure, he’d love to be flown out to California after all this blows over and be shown a good time, but that’s about it. The greater crime, as Ezra Klein points out at the link above, is how easy it is for some rich guy to get the guv on the phone in the midst of a crisis, when members of the Wisconsin legislature can’t.

But you can read all about that elsewhere. I’m amused by the SPJ, which saw the need to scold an alternative weekly, one that has always been open and transparent about its politics, for some sort of ethical lapse. I don’t recall SPJ scolding Fox News for the ass-kissing coverage it gave James O’Keefe and his Costume Party Players during their ACORN and Planned Parenthood stings, and honestly, I don’t see much difference here. The Buffalo Beast site has been down since the story broke; I imagine their servers weren’t manned by J.C. Burns, and hence couldn’t handle the load. Whatever. The content has been duplicated around the web, and the call itself is on YouTube, so there you are.

Another day, another lonely vigil in Room 575, waiting for my students to come by for some guidance. I picked Room 575 today over the journalism library; less comfortable chairs, better view. I’m five floors above the Lodge freeway, the noise from which penetrates even the concrete block construction way up here. To the south, the Motor City Casino and Ambassador Bridge; to the east, the smokestacks of the Rouge Complex; below, a whole lotta snow. We got another inch overnight, and I guess we’re expecting another 1 to 3 tomorrow. February is beating on us fo’ sho’, but I can handle it as long as it stays above 20 degrees. My misery escalates sharply sub-20. Yours would, too.

Did Rick Santorum actually defend the Crusades this week? What the–? Are you kidding me? Note the first comment below that story:

You know, I listen to right-wing catholic radio (Relevant Radio), and I hear this sort of thing all the time.

I don’t doubt it. Detroit must have a right-wing Catholic radio station somewhere; I should listen more often. The last time I was stuck on a long car trip with the AM set on scan, I picked up a crazy Catholic station where the discussion was of Marie Antoinette. She was no let-them-eat-cake fashion plate, noooo, but a devout, holy, Catholic woman who has suffered the worst rap in history. Google “was marie antoinette a good catholic” and one of the first hits is this review of the Sofia Coppola film. Roger Ebert may be the master of the form, but there’s something to be said for film criticism that contains passages like this:

I didn’t plan to watch this movie. I was invited by two ladies more to chauffeur them through a difficult traffic section than anything else. One of the ladies planned to write the solicited review. But since the movie was obsessively sex-centered with embarrassing allegations against King Louis XVI, she didn’t feel comfortable writing it. So I assumed the task.

I recommend that site, if you have about nine hours to kill. You probably didn’t know there was a Catholic way to sneeze, did you? Or that a devout person might need instruction on how to eat alone. Also, fast food is Protestant.

OK, the students are starting to arrive, so time to Publish and run. Publish! Run!

Posted at 11:23 am in Current events |

66 responses to “Wag that finger.”

  1. brian stouder said on February 24, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Pssst; the weather forecast here in Fort Wayne is for double digit snowfall tonight.* (I’m hearing 10″-12″)

    I’m hoping that the “blind-hog” theory will come into play**, and we’ll have light flurries.

    *and lately, we get to preview Detroit’s weather a few hours before the Detroit premier

    **if even a blind pig will find an acorn now and then, and since our forecasters hit the acorn pretty squarely on the blizzard – odds are they should be entirely wrong, now.

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  2. alex said on February 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Ms. Sebellius is correct; the sleeve is the appropriate place to sneeze. Hankies are notorious for being smeared with santorum and C difficile and things you don’t want in your face. In fact, when a lady drops one on the ground these days you can be damn sure she doesn’t want it back.

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  3. Mark P. said on February 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I’m not so sure Walker didn’t say anything all that terrible, but maybe he was lying when he said he had thought about planting troublemakers among the protesters. His apparent agreeableness about taking a trip at Koch’s expense (as he thought) is also not a good thing, since taking a trip at the expense of a lobbyist or lobbyist’s employer violates state ethics rules. But then maybe he was just being polite to keep the guy on the line while he had the call traced by state police.

    The SPJ must have very delicate sensibilities, at least when they bash people they aren’t afraid of.

    Down south we’re already getting the first hints of tornado season, and that means Spring is getting ready to kick Winter’s ass further north.

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  4. LAMary said on February 24, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I always suspected fast food was Protestant. I knew it wasn’t Jewish. I wonder if it’s one specific Protestant denomination? I’m thinking Methodist.

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  5. Mark P. said on February 24, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    LAMary, I think there are different fast-food denominations. Chick-fil-A, for example, is definitely a fairly conservative type of Baptist, although perhaps not quite of the foot-washing variety. Some of the hamburger joints are probably Methodist or Presbyterian. But I’m thinking Taco Bell might lapsed Catholic.

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  6. Dorothy said on February 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Well hell’s bells, I’m sure Long John Silvers is Catholic – at least it is during Lent!

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  7. Suzanne said on February 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    According to the Fast Food is Protestant link above–In fact, the fast-food mentality of eating quickly and alone would be better suited to the “Lutheran mentality of an individual relationship between man and God.”
    Which I find very funny as I have strong Lutheran roots, and know far too many Lutherans who probably would rather eat quickly to keep a meal from being pleasurable (we eat to live, not live to eat!) and alone to steer clear of that messy business of interacting with those who do not share your world view.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on February 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Chick-fil-A isn’t even open on Sundays. That’s pretty extreme.

    Our daughter may be driving through that storm tomorrow–she’s supposed to pick up her cousin from U of M for her spring break. I’m not feeling great about that right now.

    The Indiana Democrats are still holed up in Illinois, while Mitch Daniels found the time to speechify in Cincinnati and call public unions “privileged elite”.

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  9. Deborah said on February 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Hilarious fast food denominations.

    I have a good friend who has these great antiquated phrases she uses and I have adopted a lot of them. “Little known facts for Catholics” is one of them. My friend got it from some Catholic newsletter she received as a kid. She used the term whenever she learned some kookie info that usually had nothing to do with anything important. It became part of our family lexicon whenever we discussed something irrelevant. Another one of her phrases is, “Life in a putty knife factory”, which I use now whenever something crazy happens.

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  10. alex said on February 24, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Speaking of privileged elite, Julie, I read today that while at Princeton Mitch got a slap on the wrist for having two shoe boxes full of marijuana in his room, as well as LSD. So now he’s trying to burnish some bubba bona fides at the expense of unions, eh?

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  11. Peter said on February 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Life in a putty knife factory? That one needs some explaining for me.

    You know, this whole fast food is Protestant thing is really interesting to me. I knew I wasn’t a grade A Catholic, but I didn’t realize until I checked out that site how far off the path I am. Might as well just go to the Unitarian Church and be done with it.

    On the other hand, one of my cousins in France is a pre-school teacher, and the little darlings don’t get promoted to grade school until they have proper table manners, which includes passing the food properly, sitting until the meal’s done, and eating something of everything that’s served. Heck, I don’t do that now…

    I’m just glad they have the time and energy to educate me on my manners and the Catholic way of sneezin’ and eatin’, what with all the abuse cases in the hopper. Oh well, just a matter of getting my priorities right, I guess.

    BTW, maybe it’s because the nearest Chick-Fil-A is 30 miles away, but I crave that place more than bacon on Fridays. If not for the pot roast sandwiches, I’d put them higher than Culvers.

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  12. nancy said on February 24, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I love these super-traditionalist sites because it reminds me of the sort of Catholic my parents never were — a sort of almost separatist mentality not unlike orthodox… anything, I guess. You dress a certain way, you eat a certain way, you socialize only with other Catholics, etc., until you’ve created a community that reinforces all the same values, and you’re in one big echo chamber.

    Amy Welborn, who doesn’t blog much anymore, has been a font of wonderful glimpses into this world (which she can see from her perch, but isn’t a part of). My favorite was the discussion of Christian head coverings for women, in and out of church. She told me some woman reported that her husband requested she “look like the Virgin Mary” as much as possible. What sort of sex lives do these people have? Mercy.

    One of the things I like about Catholicism, as opposed to many other faiths, is that it sort of pushes you out into the world, like Jesus. I wonder if his table manners would have pleased these folks.

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  13. prospero said on February 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Mark, Walker issued what could be easily characterized as a terroristic threat, talking about baseball bats. He’s obviously too much of a weenie to consider wielding one himself, but he’d obviously like to. If the emperor wanted him to. What a maroon. The guy is stupid. And self-aggrandizing, and arrogant and a zombie Republican. Out eating brains.

    You have to be a mighty liar to claim United States citizens favor busting unions, particularly the union of those evil teachers that buy their own classroom supplies from their dogass salaries. Let’s compare to private sector. Well that’s impossible because the kids are way obnoxious, not overfed zombie consumers. Then, when these comparisons are made, all those “fries with your burgers” jobs are included, to make it look like teachers are somehow overpaid. Where’s the private sector analog? And what’s more important?

    The Republican Party attack on public education sounds, grossly, like “keep your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed”. It pays for people to be bone stupid. Fux News consumers are mighty liars. To themselves. They make this shit up. Mainly because a black guy is president instead of that worthless white schlub Scalia appointed and the PNAC jacked around because Saddam tried to kill his daddy. The PNAC never asked W to sign on. They thought he was a lightweight idiot at the time, not an idiot interlocutor for Cheney.

    I’ve been a teacher. way-longterm sub. It is a spectacularly long-term time-consuming job. Teachers do the most difficult job there is. Attacking the NEA is Jphn Birch republicanism at it’s most despicable. It is absolute crap. Is it possible Americans are a bunch of dickhead idiots?

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  14. beb said on February 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    The difference between the Buffalo Beast and Breidbart is that one is a dirty Effing hippie (DFH) while the other merely lies left, right, and down the middle. The Village always smacks down on the DFHs.

    So ol’ Mitch was busted in 1970 with two large – they specify size 12 — of pot plus LSD and other prescription drugs and was also to talk it down to a $359 fine. Two shoe boxes, that has to be 30-40 nickel bags of the stuff. As has been suggested by others, one area we could cut the budget where no one would complain (or at least notice) would be to defund the War on Drugs. Think of all the people NOT sent to prison; ll the cops that could be reassigned to dealong with home invasions. And when ten tons of the shit hits the street prices will be so low there won’t be any money in running drug gangs.

    Whether the governor in Wisconsin actually anything controversial, your mileage will vary. The chief of police in Madison wasn’t happy to hear that his boss was thinking of sending in agitators. And what does it say when the governor admits to a place to double-cross the Dems should they return to the Assembly. Admittedly no one really trusts politicians to not lie, cheat and double-cross, but he’s going to have a hard time running for a second turn when the Dems can simply ask, “do you trust this man?”

    And not well reported is that the Budget Repair bill he’s hawking contains a section allowing the sale of state owned power plants to anyone without competitive biding or approval by the legislature. The Koch bros., I’m told are big in power plants. Maybe they’re less interested in crushing unions then in buying up Wisconsin’s electrical generasting capacity at rock-bottom prices.

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  15. nancy said on February 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Meanwhile, Dos & Don’ts in Photos????? I’m telling you: Nine hours isn’t ENUF to explore this site.

    They really love kings and queens. It’s a trip back to the 18th century.

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  16. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    The, um, hiney comment was about Mika Brzezinski (I know I’m close on that, being from Da Region and all), who would be horrified to be called a “Fox News babe.” Morning Joe co-host on MSNBC for those who don’t watch that.

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  17. nancy said on February 24, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Sorry, Jeff. You can tell I don’t watch much cable news these days. Fixed.

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  18. paddyo' said on February 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Well, Nance, if you’re talking Christian head coverings, I can’t begin to recount the number of times that my mom or my sister, caught without a “chapel veil” or other official female Catholic headgear, bobby-pinned a Kleenex atop her head before entering church.

    Glad I missed the session in parochial school where our Benedictine nuns taught us the proper way to sneeze . . .

    Man, I COULD waste nine hours at that Website. Having grown up Catholic, I have just enough grounding in the stuff it talks about to see where the crazy train of thought jumped the ecclesiastical tracks. Impressive whackjob stuff everywhere. Breathtaking that one of the books in the book review section blames Vatican II, the breath-of-fresh-air church council convened in the early 1960s by Pope John Paul XXIII (obviously a Commie), for homosexuality and pedophilia. Really.

    Favorite book title: “The ‘Rapture’ Virus: Infectious, But Not To Informed Catholics” . . . beam me up, Lord.

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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    And you are no doubt a happier woman for it. Hope my Polish spelling is still up to snuff.

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  20. Mark P. said on February 24, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    prospero, I almost forgot – these ultra-conservatives hate public education as well as unions, so the teachers’ unions get a double whammy. I always think of radio blabber Neal Boortz, who calls them “government schools” with a verbal sneer so thick it drools out of the radio.

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  21. Deborah said on February 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Peter, “Life in a putty knife factory” means nothing. I use it when something ridiculous happens, like when your boss asks you to do something that doesn’t further the project, that comes in from left field and makes no sense based on what your experience is with the client you’re working with. But it doesn’t have to be connected to work, I use it when weird things happen anywhere/anytime that have unexpected consequences.

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  22. coozledad said on February 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Paddyo’: Vatican II was so powerful it reached all the way back to the renaissance popes and the childhumping cardinals for whom Carravagio painted those lascivious boys. Boccaccio even talks about it in the Decameron: “Not a single friar ever thought of cornholing the children of the local peasantry until we heard a necromancer say some Pope was due to issue a bull in favor of it in about five hundred years. That, combined with the plague, eliminated the condition of virginity from Christendom.”

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  23. Sue said on February 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    beb, Koch Industries set up a lobbying office in Madison two days after the inauguration, and registered seven lobbyists.

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  24. Julie Robinson said on February 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Mitch is lucky that arrest didn’t occur here in Indiana, where that quantity of marijuana would have netted him a felony conviction as well as some time behind bars.

    Do I remember that there are Kathryn Stockett fans here? She is being sued over her book “The Help” by her brother’s nanny, who shares a similar name and other details with the main character in the book. http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/02/24/134022783/the-help-spawns-a-lawsuit-and-a-question-how-much-borrowing-is-fair

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  25. paddyo' said on February 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Yes, Cooz, the neo-ultra-uber traditionalist RCs do seem to have a convenient way of embracing all the less messy aspects of the institution’s quite remarkable history while amnesiatically not seeing, hearing or speaking of the putrefied evil that prowled — prowlS still — its abbeys, sacristies, confessionals and other dark, unseen papist precincts.

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  26. Jolene said on February 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Actually, “life in a putty knife factory” does mean something or, at least, it has an origin. It was the title of a book published in 1943 by H. Allen Smith, an American humorist. I vaguely recalled the phrase, and when I looked it up, I remembered having read it in high school. (I think it had been on our library shelf since publication.) Can’t say I remember a thing about it, except that I enjoyed it. On Amazon, one of reviewers says that he was the Dave Barry of his time, which may be pushing it a bit, but the “putty knife factory” phrase does have a Barry-esque flavor.

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  27. Deborah said on February 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Wow, Jolene, I love finding stuff like that out. So “life in a putty knife factory” was a book written by a humorist in 1943. Wait until I tell my friend, but she may already know that. I think she learned her antiquated phrases from her mother so the time period would be about right.

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Y’all should go see “The Rite.” That would be an interesting comment thread the next day.

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  29. Rana said on February 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I particularly enjoyed the admonition to not be barefoot in public. It’s a slippery slope back to barbarism, y’all!


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  30. harrison said on February 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Right-wing Catholics? Detroit? Nancy, Google Charles Coughlin. The info you’ll find on him ought to open your eyes.

    And to me, right-wing Catholics still blame Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus. I always thought that idea was ridiculous. I always thought Jesus HAD to die to redeem mankind of its collective sins. Jews don’t make Jesus suffer. People make Jesus suffer. It’s like the saying, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”

    Also — Protestants are going to Hell.

    I went to that ultra-traditionalist site and I felt creeped out. I’ve been around Catholics like that and they…well, they seem anti-life, anti-joy, anti-pleasure…more or less anti-happiness. Life is just a vail of suffering etc. Fine. Think that. Be gloomy. Meanwhile, I’ll try to enjoy life.

    Those type of people make snake-handlers seem all right.

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  31. Dorothy said on February 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    We got our first NetFlix movie two days ago and watched it last night: RED. We loved it! I can’t remember if anyone else here talked about having seen it. Bruce Willis was his usual ass-kicking, smirking self but I wouldn’t want him any other way. John Malkovich cracked us up repeatedly. A nice distraction and a movie that moved along, even if the story was a bit uneven.

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  32. paddyo' said on February 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Not JUST barbarism, Rana — “NUDITY and barbarism”!! Who stole my loincloth?
    Funny, nudity is allll over the Roman Catholic Church-approved artworks of the Middle Ages (see Cooz’s reference to Carravagio . . . eminently Google-able). So many contradictions, so little time . . .

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  33. nancy said on February 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Today, in the name of comfort, the shoes are removed – what will be taken off tomorrow? Nudity and barbarism rear their ugly heads at the end of this tunnel.


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  34. LAMary said on February 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I love that movie review. I wish I was in the car with that guy and the two ladies he was protecting from the difficult traffic section.

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  35. Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Regarding the taped conversation of Gov. Scott Wanker, I think it is fairly significant that the highest elected official in the land would cop to even thinking about planting provocateurs into an amazingly peaceful, large crowd.

    More tellingly is the enormous ego of this college dropout shithead. His little tale of pulling Reagan’s photo out during a meeting, of referencing Big Ron’s fatwa against the air traffic controllers (he would never have dreamed of doing that to the Teamsters, my friend, lest one of his Santa Barbara horses wound up beheaded) and how this was “their moment in history” speaks of someone with a greatly exalted sense of self.

    Meanwhile, think Gov. Wanker’s actions are worrying incresingly large number of Wisconsinites.

    I sent an e-mail yesterday to the Wisconsin tourism office, telling them I would never spend a dime in America’s Dairyland if the governor prevailed and that I would work diligently to convince my friends to avoid the place, too. I received a reply in just a few hours, reminding me that the tourism industry employs more than 250,000 people, “many of them small business owners.” The speed of the response and the invoking of the “small business owners” seems to me to suggest that the rumbles of anger are starting to be heard and felt among the proles.

    BTW, to those who have not read deeply into the shenanigans in Wisconsin, you should know that Gov. Wanker has proposed a bill that would allow the state to sell state-owned energy utilities without taking bids. (The Republicans have tried to peddle these plants before, but those efforts were vetoed by a Democratic governor.) The Koch Brothers, of course, are in the energy business. So, Gov. Wanker is pretty blatant in his efforts to repay his corporate masters. . .another mark of his stupidity.

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  36. brian stouder said on February 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    another mark of his stupidity.

    Well, and – if you ask me – the most attractive woman on MSNBC is Contessa Brewer, or else Rachel Maddow, so he’s wrong there, too

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  37. Jolene said on February 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    That “privileged elite” phrase just cropped on the news. Seriously, who are they kidding? Social workers, snowplow drivers, police officers, government inspectors, clerks in the DMV? This is the privileged elite? Yes, there are many college-educated, white-collar workers among state employees too, but, even so, their jobs are not what I think of as glamorous. Who ever got rich being, say, a county-level public health official?

    All this resentment of public employees is making me crazy.

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  38. Dexter said on February 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    brian…the TV cams don’t even do justice to Contessa. My blog-guru Craig Crawford gets around Washington, of course, and sometimes he has good days like THIS
    The other attractive lady is Amy Robach, of course.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on February 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Jolene, my sister would be quite amused by the concept of privilege in her government job. She has a master’s degree but in her WIC job, she handles babies and toddlers so you can guess how many days her wardrobe is embellished with bodily fluids. Plus, in the state of Florida, no raise for five years.

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  40. brian stouder said on February 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Dexter, that is a marvelous, marvelous photo!

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  41. Jakash said on February 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Dorothy, we saw RED and also enjoyed it a lot. It was ridiculous, of course, but very fun ridiculous. Willis, Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker were excellent.

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  42. Kirk said on February 24, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Meanwhile, re: the Catholic church, there’s this, from a Religion News Service story reporting that, upon becoming pope, Benedict XVI’s organ-donor card was canceled, just in case he becomes a saint and they want to keep parts of him around:

    The most-perverse tribute
    to the importance of papal
    remains came in the ninth
    century, when a successor of
    Pope Formosus (891-896)
    exhumed his nine-months-
    dead body and put it on trial
    for perjury and other crimes.
    As Notre Dame scholar
    Richard P. McBrien recounts
    in “Lives of the Popes,” Formosus’ cadaver was “propped
    up on a throne in full pontifical vestments” for the trial
    and, after his conviction,
    “Three fingers of his right
    hand (by which he swore
    oaths and gave blessings)
    were cut off.”

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  43. Tom M said on February 24, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I recommend that site, if you have about nine hours to kill.

    No, thanks. Been there, lived that. My sister the Sister and cousin Father, the prison priest (Eastern State Penitentiary- I wouldn’t want to visit).

    Fascinating as train wrecks often are, I’ll leave that one to the other good folks here.

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  44. Catherine said on February 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Can someone help me decode a bumper sticker I just saw? “Worship the Creator, Not Creation.” I dimly remember a Bible verse in that vein, but why make it a bumper sticker? It was on an older Toyota Sienna with no other bumper stickers, if that’s any help.

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  45. brian stouder said on February 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Say – here’s a palate cleanser for all ya’all. The Fort Wayne Community Schools board – which oversees the largest school district in Indiana (or is at least within a few students of that mark) will vote on (and presumeably pass) a resolution supporting teachers’ unions and collective bargaining.


    “We thought it was important for teachers to understand our position and understand it publicly. It tells what side we’re on,” GiaQuinta said. “It doesn’t mean we’ll be patsies or pushovers when it comes to negotiating things we believe in. We won’t be and we never have been, but we’re not afraid of collective bargaining. We’re not afraid of teachers having the right to go to their jobs in the morning knowing that their position can’t be taken away from them on somebody’s whim.”


    While the resolution is largely a symbolic sign of support for teachers, GiaQuinta hopes it also sends a message to lawmakers. “For the largest district in the state, or one that’s a couple hundred students away, to say we don’t need this legislation is important and it will be heard in Indianapolis. It may have some impact, who knows. They’ll certainly know we passed this resolution and maybe it will take some of the urgency out of it,” he said.

    Bravo!! Huzzah!! Huzzah!!

    We Hoosiers occasionally get things right, eh?

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  46. Suzanne said on February 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Worship the Creator, not the Creation basically means don’t be a tree hugger.

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  47. paddyo' said on February 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Hey, Kirk @ 42 — my ex-Denver Post colleague Bill Briggs gets into some of that same, ghastly stuff about saintly relics and body parts and such in his new book about saint-making, The Third Miracle. Some of you Hoosiers might already know this, but the book concerns the path to canonization for your very own home-state saint, Mother Théodore Guérin of St. Mary-of-the-Woods and the Sisters of Providence outside Terre Haute.

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  48. Deborah said on February 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Catherine, I just Googled that phrase “worship the creator, not the creation” and got a Facebook page of an organization with that name. It was all anti-global-warming etc. I don’t know if there’s a connection with that bumper sticker but I wouldn’t be surprised. In other words they’re saying don’t pay attention to the earth, who cares if it’s being destroyed by greenhouse gases, pollution or the like, because the earth is just a brief stop on the way to eternal life. Or that’s what it sounds like to me. Ridiculous.

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  49. Jolene said on February 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Great resolution, Brian. Your school board president sounds like a great guy. Teaching is a hard job. It must be so frustrating to be so disrespected by people who wouldn’t spend 10 minutes in a room full of 14-year-olds.

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  50. Jolene said on February 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    There’s a Motown concert going on at the WH right now. Will be on PBS on 3/1, but if you want to stream it at, it’s at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

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  51. brian stouder said on February 24, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Well, and not for nothing, Jolene, but our school board president is a friend (and former radio co-host!) of our Proprietress, from way back

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  52. Catherine said on February 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks for the guidance, Deborah & Suzanne. It seemed like there were a lot of ways to go with the interpretation. Sounds like it should have been on a Hummer?

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  53. A. Riley said on February 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    So I became Catholic as an adult, of what some winger uber-Catholic has called “the chortling Chicago Irish” variety, and that very same year, I was able to go with my church choir to Italy. One of our stops was Padua, home of St. Anthony of Padua, and we visited his shrine. Well, I’ll tell you what. I am still astonished. The focal point of his shrine is his *tongue,* pickled in a jar — er, I mean, displayed in a high-Renaissance reliquary for the edification of the faithful.

    There’s some weird shit in the One True, no doubt about it.

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  54. Kirk said on February 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Reminds me of an episode of “Father Ted.”

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  55. Joe Kobiela said on February 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Flew a Charter down to melborne fla last night.They flew us about 5 miles west of the cape and I could see the shuttle lighted up on the pad at 2am. I decied to spend the day down here. It was 80, and got within 11 miles of the launch. This was my second day launch and I also have seen a night launch, unbelievable. Just a damn shame the usa dosn’t have a replacement for the shuttle fleet.
    Pilot Joe

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  56. Dexter said on February 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Jeff Daniels weighs in on Michigan’s film industry, as it packs up and leaves…

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  57. Catherine said on February 25, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Anybody else watching the Charlie Sheen trainwreck unspooling? I know I should be appalled but I can’t stop. Nuthin’ quite like the poetry of meth. My new tag line is going to be, “especially if they wind up in my octagon!”

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  58. Dexter said on February 25, 2011 at 12:22 am


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  59. prospero said on February 25, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Yoy might be dumber than the Governor. Then again, you might be stupid enough to siill be able to remember to breathe. But who butters you’re bread and who bought and paid for your political ass, you should recognise the voice on the phone, This should be phone accompli, right? Even Lou Sarah would have figured this shit out. Walker is the total idiot. Dumber than grunt, or Lou Sarah. Or Ron Mexico. Dumbasses.

    And Fr. Coughlin died a way long time ago. Catholics, in Detroit, these days, and at least in any institutional consideration, would be Tom Gumbelton, that would be the Jesuits that run the HS and the college. They tend toward activism and social justice, and most American Catholics do too. There are about 3mil Catholics that consort with the radical right aholes like Bill Donahue. He misrepresents about 60mil other American Catholics. This gets ridiculously old with most of us, that marched in Birmingham MI for open housing. Unitarians back then were wallflowers, except for Wm. Sloane Coffin. Jews and Catholics pushed social consciousness beyond a decent idea in the United States.

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  60. coozledad said on February 25, 2011 at 7:25 am

    A.Riley: I’ve always wondered how they kept the odor in check at the Capucin catacombs in Palermo. Is it some sort of natural climate control, or do they use incense? You wonder how many tourists they get, too, and if the number is big enough to justify putting a “Mr. Cinnamon Bun & Stuff” in one of the drier sections.

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 25, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Bono — “Let’s not get too hard on the Holy Roman Church here. The Church has its problems, but the older I get, the more comfort I find there. The physical experience of being in a crowd of largely humble people, heads bowed, murmuring prayers, stories told in stained-glass windows…”


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  62. Scout said on February 25, 2011 at 9:46 am



    “…after 61 hours of debate, the Republican state Assembly Speaker unexpectedly called a vote and then left the voting open for only seconds until a bare majority present had cast yes votes and then closed the voting, too quickly for most of the Democrats in the chamber to even get a chance to vote. Democrats erupted into cries of “Shame, Shame, Shame” as Republicans filed out of the hall.”

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  63. coozledad said on February 25, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Sue: It’s the way they roll. Utter contempt for the democratic process. It’ll take something on the order of a broad general strike to knock some semblance of perspective into them. Under republican rule you’re pretty much guaranteed to witness, as Matt Taibbi says, the stripping of the last chunks of flesh off the skeleton of the middle class.

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  64. Bitter Scribe said on February 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I don’t know but what they were right about Marie Antoinette getting a bad rap. It’s been pretty well established that the “let them eat cake” thing was a slander, and even if it were true, it betrays more cluelessness than callousness.

    And that was far from the worst slander against her. Her 9-year-old son was coached by Jean-Rene Hebert (a real scumbag–think Rush Limbaugh meets Howard Stern, only on the left) to say she sexually abused him.

    Yes, the French monarchy was cruel. But the French went through all that turmoil, the Terror, the war, only to end up with Napoleon and more war. Not much of an improvement.

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  65. beb said on February 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Pilot Joe wrote: Just a damn shame the usa dosn’t have a replacement for the shuttle fleet.

    It would have taken about $3 billion a year for five years to build a replacement — while the shuttle was still running, at a cost of $3 billion a year. Someone, by the name of W decided we didn’t have the money to do that.

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  66. prospero said on February 27, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Nancy, do you honestly think Winter’s Bone is a better movie than Frozen River? Not close? In my opinion. What the hey. The asst. mgr at my local Bi-Lo is a dead ringer for Melissa Leo. She’s been the best actress since the best show in the history of TV, that would be Homicide, I mean, what is she supposed to have to do? And you know, this dysfunctioanl family movie stuff, try the one with Sean Penn, Bullseye. I still say Frozen Tiver is better. Melissa Leo is so good it’s absurd.

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