Among other things.

My goal this morning is to get the blog updated and a story written about the budget meeting at my local city council in the next 75 minutes. Hang on, folks — we’re going to see just how fast mommy can screw things up this morning.

Fortunately, I have supplemented last night’s 5.5 hours of sleep with three cups of coffee.

And I already edited and posted one story from my intern. Because that’s how hyperlocal online news runs these days — all the meetings happen early in the week. That makes for a miserable Monday and Tuesday, but by Thursday, the air smells like Weekend.

My intern’s story was on the first budget meeting of the year for the school board, which is facing the possibility of seeing $5.8 million in cuts if the governor’s budget goes through as proposed, a pretty hard swallow for a 8,500-pupil district. That means larger class sizes at a bare minimum and the usual no-more-this, can’t-have-that elsewhere in the district. I used to marvel sometimes that pretty much the last decade of my newspaper career — and, really, many years before that — were spent in a fiscal environment where all you knew for certain was that next year would suck more than this year. Now, the whole country lives like this. (Well, except for Goldman Sachs. And General Electric. Et cetera.) I always knew I’d find my true calling as a canary in a coal mine.

Speaking of sucking and newspapers, my alma mater — which I have taken to describing as the paper I might have worked at, had I not been in that tragic, 20-year coma from 1984-2004 — is in a minor ethical kerfuffle, thanks to its sports editor’s tweeting. I hope you all understand how hard it is for a person of a certain age to think of tweeting as serious communication worthy of sustained attention, but that’s what you get in a world where Sarah Palin is looked up to. Anyway, evidently the sports editor advised a recent Indiana University basketball recruit to play for Butler instead, his alma mater. In a tweet. Which ended with the phrase, “Go ‘Dawgs!”

I guess this is a problem. I guess some people consider this recruiting, and it’s a blow to the hard work of many who have tried to give sports departments more respect. I see their point, although every sports department I’ve ever worked near has fanboys galore. Still, journalism is journalism, and you’re supposed to keep this stuff to yourself.

But not if you work for Fox! Ahem:

Bill Sammon, who’s responsible for the network’s Washington coverage, linked Obama to socialism many times during the 2008 campaign, but didn’t believe the allegation, he acknowledged. In the final stretch of the 2008 campaign, a Fox News executive repeatedly questioned on the air whether Barack Obama believed in socialism.

Now it turns out he didn’t really believe what he was saying.

Bill Sammon, now the network’s vice president and Washington managing editor, acknowledged the following year that he was just engaging in “mischievous speculation” in raising the charge. In fact, Sammon said he “privately” believed that the socialism allegation was “rather far-fetched.”

OK. Now, to me, this is a scandal at the very, very least on a par with the recent NPR affair. This guy isn’t a fundraiser on contract, but a bureau chief in the nation’s capital, i.e., the very person in charge of directing and shaping the network’s coverage of Washington, D.C. And he was being “mischievous” with repeatedly making a charge that the Democratic candidate was a socialist, something a vast segment of his readership viewership takes as an article of faith.

I can’t fucking stand it. I just can’t.

The audio of that speech is nauseating — the amount of back-scratching, log-rolling and ass-kissing in the first two minutes alone is just vile. “My good friend James Carville,” “his lovely wife Mary Matalin,” “my old friends from Hillsdale.” Urgh.

But then, what is GOP politics at this point but a giant vaudeville act. Donald Trump, born-again birther, wants the governor of Hawaii “investigated,” he tells Fox ‘n’ Friends. What is this, a performance art piece? No other explanation makes any sense. Also:

“Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate?” Trump asked. “I wish he would, because I think it’s a terrible pale that’s hanging over him.”

What is “a terrible pale?” Can someone explain?

OK, well. I have a budget story to write in the next…42 minutes. So I best go. Let the above be your bloggage, although I close on yet another journalism-related nugget. Alan and I saw “Kill the Irishman” last weekend, a film about a Cleveland gangster named Danny Greene, whose compelling story and Belfastian death would make a pretty good movie someday. Alas, “Kill the Irishman” isn’t it. But a guy I know had a small part in it, and Ray Stevenson, aka Titus Pullo in “Rome” a few years back, played the lead, so it seemed worth the time.

There are two shots in the movie where we look over a character’s shoulder at the front page of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland’s muscular, dominant newspaper and at the time the film covers, the best daily in Ohio. I always look at the other stories on prop pages like this, because I know that’s where the art department’s inside jokes go. I was able to read two. One was:

High school
gets new

and the other was:


Somewhere, an editor is weeping.

Gotta run!

Posted at 9:49 am in Current events, Movies, Same ol' same ol' |

38 responses to “Among other things.”

  1. coozledad said on March 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Anyone boasting about being in Carville and Matalin’s social circle should go ahead and check themselves into a home for the terminally unself-aware.
    I suggest a pilot for a sitcom based on those two, called “Bumpin’ Uglies”. It’ll have to be a cable show, because of the orgy scenes with the John Stossel and Juan Williams characters.

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  2. MichaelG said on March 29, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Last night after the ND – Tenn game I saw a brief interview with Pat Summitt, the Tenn coach. With that horrible expression on her face, the one that could curdle milk a block away, what she had to say about her team was that they couldn’t overcome being tired, that they lacked intensity, that they didn’t come to play, etc. and etc. All bad, mean spirited stuff about her own players. What the hell was that? OK, so it was a tough loss. Too bad. The coach should put on a public face and praise her troops for trying hard, for having a good season for something nice for God’s sake. Any respect I might have had for this woman went right out the window. Or is it just me?

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  3. Sue said on March 29, 2011 at 10:50 am

    MichaelG, I have nightmares about Pat Summitt that started when I read a Sports Illustrated profile of her a few years back. That is one scary lady, who if I read news reports correctly could be accused of mistreating her players, emotionally at least.
    Yet somehow she gets the job done. Students clamor to play for her, as far as I know she doesn’t have trouble recruiting although these kids must know that they’re not exactly going into a nurturing environment.
    I keep thinking that she’s going to be one of those coaches whose career will end with opinion pieces from various sports journalists talking about how her era has ended, she didn’t see the new winds blowing, etc. Bobby Knight country.
    It never ceases to amaze me how different coaches with totally different personalities and leadership styles can build brilliant teams and get so much out of players. Certainly not one size fits all.

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  4. Rana said on March 29, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Mostly I’ve been following the Cronon story and avoiding thinking about teaching. There’s a great round-up of pieces covering the topic (Cronon’s, that is) on his blog:

    It’s pretty clear that the Wisconsin GOP – who never struck me as terribly bright, just vicious – had no idea of what they were getting into. Whatever playbook they’re following (ALEC?), it clearly doesn’t warn its users to research their targets carefully before going on the attack.

    Their usual approach – which I’ve seen deployed before – is to intimidate the small fry into silence, and to gin up controversies around those more powerful and to hide their own lack of morality in the ensuing uproar. The problem in this case is that Cronon is well-liked, highly respected, very smart, and not at all likely (by personality or professional inclination) to be writing anything easily soundbited as “evidence” of his “radicalism” in either his professional or personal email. He’s no Ward Churchill, in other words.

    Meanwhile, people are flocking in droves to read Cronon’s careful inquiry into the operations of politics and money with regard to the GOP, a piece that most people would never have known of otherwise, let alone read all the way through (it’s gracefully written and quite thorough – but that makes it tl;dr by usual internet standards, alas).

    All in all, the level of stupidity on display on their part is remarkably high.

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  5. Connie said on March 29, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Turns out the so-called birth certificate Trump showed wasn’t one. It was the commemorative certificate the hospital issues to the family.

    Love this snarky bit from Ben Smith at Politico: “Trump’s mother, it should be noted, was born in Scotland, which is not part of the United States. His plane is registered in the Bahamas, also a foreign country. This fact pattern — along with the wave of new questions surrounding what he claims is a birth certificate — raises serious doubts about his eligibility to serve as President of the United States.”

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  6. Sue said on March 29, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Rana, TPM is reporting that a conservative think tank is using Freedom of Information requests to go after universities with departments that study labor relations, asking them for any emails discussing the Wisconsin issues or Rachel Maddow. The funny thing about this is that the think tanks are going after universities in MICHIGAN.
    So apparently no one can discuss this, even if they actually specialize in the study of labor, even if they’re not in Wisconsin, without looking over their shoulder. If I were an educator I’d be avoiding emails after this.

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  7. brian stouder said on March 29, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Here is a fun fact to know and tell, which I learned at our school board meeting last night*. In the United States, there are approximately 17,000 school districts. Amongst all those school districts, only 52 have to satisfy 37 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) cells (the maximum possible number), and Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of them (many districts have fewer than half that many AYP cells to satisfy; and you cannot miss a single one). And – of the 52 districts in the nation that have the maximum number of AYP cells to satisfy, only one district has actually succeeded in fulfilling them all – good ol’ FWCS – last year. If we do it again this year (and I believe we will), then suddenly 35 of our schools will be classified as “exemplary” (the somewhat arbitrary rule – which I think is an Indiana rule – is that a distruct has to meet AYP two years in a row before any school within that district can be classified as “exemplary”).

    Meanwhile, our school board of trustees is now looking at system-wide capital improvements and renovations – i.e., another run at a bond issue. I can hear the Flying Monkeys screeching in anticipation of swooping out of their evil castle, already

    *thanks to friend-of-nn.c Mark the Shark

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  8. Jeff Borden said on March 29, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Scratch a rightwing conservative and you’ll often find a fascist with the morals of a sewer rat underneath.

    I’ve been puzzled by how stupid and ham-handed the Republicans have been, but maybe they sense the tidal wave of change demographics is going to wreak on a party devoted to older, cranky white folks who long for the 1950s. Perhaps this is an effort to build a bulwark against the change they hate and fear the most. . .a large and fast-growing population of brown folks. . .by making it harder for them to organize and vote.

    The GOP has traditionally been brilliant at getting people to vote against their own best interests, but the actions by these Midwestern governors have been so arrogant, so ugly and so mean-spirited that the proles are waking up to the reality of conservative government.

    I’m the son of a manager and have never belonged to a union, but damn, I’m rooting for labor every step of the way as one of the few institutions left in this country capable of standing up to the plutocrats and their towel boys in the GOP.

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  9. prospero said on March 29, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Nancy. What the Butler Tweeter did is a violation of NCAA rules. NCAA recruiting rules are arcane, or Byzantine, whichever might be mare abstruse and unreasonable. The NCAA Cthulu mythos would hold the tweeter is a representative of Butler. It’s what’s called a secondary violation. I can’t explain further, except that if people want to see fascism in live action, they can watch the NCAA.

    Here’s another instance of mindless NCAA picayunity. I know that’s not a word, but it would be a useful one. Little Hitlers. And this guy is no representative of the real Dawgs. He may have done this on purpose.

    I think it’s more an attack on free speech and academic freedom than McCarthyism, But I really think Professor Cronon should either claim he has no idea where the emails have gone in the ether, or that he’ll turn them over when the GOP produces several million from Kommissar Karl.

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  10. Bitter Scribe said on March 29, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Trump had to mean “a terrible pall.” In any case, insisting on correct word use is just arrogant intellectual elitism.

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  11. ROgirl said on March 29, 2011 at 11:55 am

    The fact that everyone is talking about Trump is the whole point of Trump’s every utterance, action and thought. It’s performance art churned through a PR machine.

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  12. MarkH said on March 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    ROgirl, you said it. Why is he even a subject of legitimate discussion here at NN.C?

    And, Nancy (and Ohio journos, for that matter), if the Plain Dealer is not now the best daily in Ohio, as you suggest, what is? We’re not going to Columbus or Cincinnati for the answer, are we? Legitimate question; I’ve been gone from Ohio for 30 years now.

    Cooz, “Bumpin’ Uglies”? You don’t know the half of it. Those two came out here one Christmas for a visit and I saw them in the local gorcery store – without makeup. James looks even more like a crawdad from a nuke infested bayou. And let’s just day that Matalin’s makeup artist is an absolute saint (in relative terms, of course).

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  13. moe99 said on March 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Looks like the governor of Michigan is taking tips from Scott Walker:

    Only this time, it’s unemployment benefits.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on March 29, 2011 at 12:25 pm


    When it was still owned by Knight-Ridder, I would have argued for the Akron Beacon Journal as the best paper in the state, followed perhaps by the Dayton Daily News, which I think is still owned by Cox.

    The B-J was decimated when McClatchy cut it loose after buying K-R because the big brains at McClatchy didn’t want to trouble themselves with tough markets. They kept the Sun Belt papers and tossed everything else.

    I’ve been out of Ohio for 26 years now and really have no idea of who’s doing what any more. I still have many friends and family in the Buckeye State, but I’m lucky to make it back twice per year. I feel sorry for the voters who thought they were getting a centrist in John Kasich but instead unleashed the madness of rightwing nuttery. We have more than our share of problems in Chicago and Illinois, but we don’t suffer the scourge of conservative ideologues.

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  15. beb said on March 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I always knew I’d find my true calling as a canary in a coal mine. — Nancy I like this line!

    Bill Samon called Jim Carvelle “My god friend” says all you need to know about Carvelle. He didn’t just Kiss a Republican — he became one!

    “What is “a terrible pale?” Maybe he meant ‘pail’ as there’s a terrific pail of Nickelodeon Slime hanging over his head… He probably means ‘pall’ but doesn’t have the vocabulary for it. Maybe we should insist that all presidential candidates appear on “Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?” and if they can’t beat the 4th grader than they can’t run.

    But back to Sammon, it is incredibly disgusting that Fox senior management opening admit to tampering with the election. Poetic justice would be for the Elections commission to declare Fox’s entire 2010 budget a gift in kind to the Republican party and assess a fine based on that.

    Rana@4: Just saw this on Talkingpointsmemo — Three state universities in Michigan have been FOIAed by a conservative think tank demanding professors’ emails that contain any reference to the Wisconsin labor battle, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) or MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, TPM has learned.

    This is turning into a full-bore war between the Republicans ande everyone else.

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  16. Rana said on March 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Yes, and it’s telling that they’re going after people instead of challenging the ideas on their own merits. Intellectually bankrupt they are (but we knew this).

    It also reinforces what Cronon was talking about – that although most of this is playing out on the state and local level, it’s actually coordinated at the national level through private organizations like ALEC.

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  17. nancy said on March 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    As Borden recalls, once the Buckeye State had several great papers — both the Dayton dailies, Cincinnati, Akron, et al. The one that most old news hounds really mourn was the Cleveland Press, a Scripps-Howard daily that served for years as the Sun-Times to the PD’s Tribune — edgier, less serious, more fun to read. It folded sometime in the ’70s, and as for the rest of them, they’re all a shadow of their former self.

    I don’t see most of them these days, but a case can be made for the Columbus Dispatch, which improved while the others faded, and for a while had a decent statehouse team, i-team and metro staff (long after Borden and I left). They never really had much of a features staff, however, not the sort a big daily should have.

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  18. Peter said on March 29, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Sue, your comment this morning really sent me into orbit.

    I seem to remember that every fascist’s favorite attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, used the same tactic to get e-mails from Virginia professors regarding global warming, and didn’t he use that to strip funding for a UV program?

    I know the public’s right to know, etc., but to me this is the same as tapping phone lines – and for what?

    Bunch of sick little monkeys – I hope they all eat shit and die. And I hope they all die while sitting on poorly designed low flow toilets that doesn’t do a half ass job of cleaning and thereby infects the rest of their families.

    Not that I’m pissed or anything.

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  19. Deborah said on March 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    At my new Tuesday/Thursday morning coffee place (Intelligensia, on Randolph, really GOOD coffee, made individually, dripped cup by cup, takes forever but so worth it) someone left a USA Today on the table, and on the front page above the fold was a photo of Gov. Walker in profile, the headline was about how bold he was and that made him controversial. In other words they were portraying him as a hero (well, consider the source, I’ve never thought very highly of USA Today). I really hope the guy disappears by a recall next year, but they’ve got plenty of time to spin it six ways from Sunday before that, which the GOP are brilliant at doing.
    My Mon/Weds/Fri morning coffee place is plain old Starbucks, much faster in and out, and a little cheaper, but less good coffee. And speaking of Starbucks, in 2008 before the elections I saw Carville sans Matalin, at our neighborhood place. He looks skinnier in person than he does on air.

    edit: Wow, Peter, you are pissed.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on March 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I felt a horrible pang when the Press died. All along, it seemed the guy who purchased the paper was primarily interested in its wonderful building on 9th near Lake Erie, not in continuing the Press.

    That’s a good analogy to Chicago, too. I could never count on the Sun-Times as my only newspaper because it gives short shrift to national and international news, but by Lord, it is so much more of a fun read than the Tribune. The best sports section, the best columnists and two of the toughest and hardest working political reporters going in Fran Spielman (City Hall) and Lynn Sweet (a one woman DC bureau).

    I’d quit the Trib after its egregious redesign and found that the New York Times was a great complement to the Sun-Times and I didn’t really miss the Trib. We’re subscribing again because one of the neighbor kids signed us up as some kind of fund-raiser, but it’s not a paper I look forward to opening.

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  21. 4dbirds said on March 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Birthers interest me. I know two, both have college degrees so you would think they’d know better. I wanted some facts for my discussions with them so I went swimming in some stinky internet waters to find out what their arguement was about. Birthers come in different flavors.

    The basic birther thinks Obama was born in Kenya and therefore isn’t a “natural” born citizen as they think you must be born on American soil to be “natural” born. Other Out of Africa (OOA) birthers say that his father being a British citizen makes Obama a dual citizen and a President can’t have dual citizenship (My note: a minor doesn’t lose his American citizenship because another country my deem him/her eligible for citizenship. Since he didn’t accept another citizenship as an adult, he didn’t lose his American citizenship). Other OOA birthers say his mother was too young to pass on her citizenship to Obama as she by law at the time she had not lived 5 continuous years past the age of 16 in the U.S. (My note: subequent law changed that and Obama would have been considered a natural born citizen well before his Presidental run). What these OOA birthers can’t wrap their head around is IF Obama was born in Kenya, he would still be a natural born citizen because he was eligible for citizenship at birth by virtue of his mother’s American citizenship.

    There is also a small Out of Indonesia (OOI) group but all the same arguments and counter-arguments apply here.

    Now here is where I found the real dirty and nasty stuff, The LONG FORM birthers. The people keeping this non-issue alive know that Obama was born in Hawaii. There are no passport records on his mother to show she ever left the country before she went to live in Indonesia. They want to see the long form because they want to show that Stanley Dunham wasn’t married when Obama was born, that Obama Sr., was not his actual father and that she is a whore. They go over the whole timeline of what was happening in Seattle, where the Dunhams lived before Obama’s birth, the move to Hawaii and Stanley’s admission to U of Washington just a few weeks after his birth, and how there was very little interaction with Obama Sr. before and after his birth.

    I have my long form birth certificate and it has a lot of information. My parents home states, current address, their race, occupations, how many pregnancies/live births/abortions/miscarriages my mother had, if I was a singleton, twin, triplet and who the doctor was who delivered me. These people want to this type of information. Why if any of the above was true would taint Obama, I have no idea.

    There is also another ‘movement’ that want his college records open. Some to prove he ‘accepted’ Indonesian citizenship and also to see if he accepted college aide that was intended for foreign students.

    The longer I stayed on those websites, the dirtier I felt. There are some sick, hateful people out there.

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  22. prospero said on March 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    USA Today = MacPaper.

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  23. Suzanne said on March 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I have been, and still am, appalled at the number of educated successful people I have met over the past several years who truly do believe that Obama is not an American citizen. I have close relatives who were born in Germany when their father was stationed there, and there has never been any question about their citizensip (which I always point out to these birther people, and they are always amazed). I swear I do not know where these birthers are coming from, but I am frightened that they are not all uneducated rednecks whose only concern is the future of their meth labs or their dog fighting operations, but pastors and healthcare workers and business people.

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  24. Rana said on March 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    He’s black. Of course he can’t be a Real American™ – so his birth certificate must be false.

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  25. Catherine said on March 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I think there’s going to be an attempt to repeal the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment. Between the doofuses that Suzanne and 4db refer to, and the recent teapot-tempest over Asian “maternity tourists”* in an nearby city (San Gabriel), I feel the wind starting to blow ominously.

    *The maternity tourists are wealthier women from Asia who come to the US to have their babies, who then have a US birth certificate and can later claim citizenship. OK, maybe not the most desirable way to get new citizens, but really a drop in the bucket compared to other illegal immigration.

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  26. prospero said on March 29, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Carville? Didn’t any of y’all ever see the Cryptkeeper. Separated at birth, or death, whatever.

    Speaking of which, what the hell is a life coach?These two are repulsive, even for “life coaches”. Botox twins on dazzle and Percodan, with coat-hanger grins.

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  27. del said on March 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Please ignore the birthers’ invitation to debate. Deserves no attention. Pointless stuff. Really. Their ploy is to control the discussion by shifting democrats to defense and undermine real change.

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  28. Jolene said on March 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I’m sure I don’t see more than a tiny percentage of the horrible things that are said about Barack and Michelle Obama, but what I do see makes me wonder how they can even manage to be nice in public–let alone continue to work on really hard problems on our behalf.

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  29. nancy said on March 29, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks, 4db, for that lengthy primer. Although now I feel kinda dirty.

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  30. paddyo' said on March 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Now, now, McPaper lovers, just to set the record straight (and not just because I used to work there):

    The story that Deborah saw on page 1A today was about ALL the new governors, not just Walker. Of course, Walker’s going to get some ink and a front-page photo before the story-jump because, well, he’s the guy who made himself a terrific target in Wisconsin this winter, right? But after the first two paragraphs, he doesn’t reappear until the bottom half of the story, for about six short paragraphs.

    The headline was:
    “The new governors face big battles”
    The subhed was:
    “Confronting budget shortfalls, freshly elected state leaders are making bold proposals and headlines”

    Plural one and all. No heroes here.
    Again, just to set the record straight.

    The story was pretty well-written, too — by my ex-colleague and fellow bureau chief, Judy Keen (of Chicago).

    I’m not meaning to call anybody out here. But I think we all try to hold ourselves to a high standard here — so, much as I’d prefer not to have to stand up for my former employer (“The Nation’s Nicepaper,” “Titan of Tidbits,” I know and have used them all, McPaper included), I wanted to put today’s story in context, thanks.

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  31. prospero said on March 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    In at least one of the cases of a budget shortfall,it was the brave austerity governor who created the proximal crisis, on purpose, to gain a fulcrum with which to roll out the unions. Walkers ploy, and the money behind it, were so transparent that any reporting on this story that doesn’t account for those facts is dogass and deliberately obfuscatory.

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  32. alex said on March 29, 2011 at 7:12 pm


    There’s nothing worse than having to suffer fools in social or work situations where keeping the peace is paramount. I really suck it in for various friends of my parents who have some lofty educations and fat pocketbooks and yet talk the Glenn Beck game better than Glenn Beck. I don’t know what possesses them. The best I can do is to tell them I’m not discussing whatever it is they’ve brought up, and I’m firm about it. I remind myself how much self-respect I’d lose if I were to pretend to nod in assent. It works. They back off.

    Was surprised to take a call at my parents’ house the other day from one such right-wing couple, who congratulated me on the special person in my life. Evidently my parents are courageous enough to tell these folks what’s up and it hasn’t cost them a friendship. In fact, this couple lost a son to AIDS although their official story at the time was that it was some other disease. So there’s hope, my friend. Stand firm.

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  33. Deborah said on March 29, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Oh geez, sorry Paddyo’, I feel bad. In all honesty, I didn’t read the article in USA Today this morning, I only fleetingly saw the photo and the headline (which obviously didn’t even register properly) as I pushed it aside to make a place for myself at the table. It’s the initial impression though that stays with me. Which many people never get beyond, unfortunately. There was something about Walkers photo in profile that raised it to heroic status, like some Roman profiles from antiquity that I’ve seen. I probably read way too much into it than was meant. I should know better than to criticize Journalistic process or performance on this site of all places. Forgive me, I have nothing but respect for you guys here.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 29, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    This is for Dorothy –

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  35. Dexter said on March 29, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Pail. Pall. Pale.
    So, what brand of cigarettes did FDR smoke? It was Pall Mall. How do you say it? Most say PAUL MAUL. They are wrong. Go back in time with YouTube and watch the old 1950s commercials, and listen to me; my dad smoked Pall Mall cigarettes and the correct way to say it is PELL MELL. There really can’t be any argument…and still…so I will even give old Trump a pass, too. For some reason words and phrases like this confuse the hell out of people.
    Then again, I have never heard those smokes called PALE MAUL.

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  36. Jolene said on March 29, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    I was touched by your story about your phone call w/ your parents’ friends, Alex. It’s a very sweet example of how openness can beget openness and connection. Congratulations to both you and your parents for choosing integrity rather than fear.

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  37. Crazycatlady said on March 30, 2011 at 12:03 am

    I was just thinking Thank Goodness my daughter Sarah just has 2 more months in High School until she graduates. So High School cuts won’t hurt her. But now I am starting to worry about college. Will she (and us) be in debt forever trying to get her through? She can’t even find a decent summer job- adults have them all. I see a future where only rich kids from private schools get to go to college, because public school students keep getting budget cuts and will be ill prepared for it. Not promising.

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  38. Jim Sweeney said on March 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I went to to college with Bill Sammon and worked with him at a suburban daily and then the Plain Dealer. While always conservative, he was a good, tough reporter. Then he went to Washington and sold his soul. Too bad.

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