Geronimo EKIA.

I wrote most of what follows over the weekend. So much of it seems dated already; that’s what big news does. However, I will not consider the events of Sunday the way Wolf Blitzer says I should — that I will “always remember” where I was when I heard the news. Great googly moogly, how does anyone stand CNN anymore? There should be room on the dial, shouldn’t there, for one cable network that plays things more or less down the middle, that spares us Lawrence O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly, where producers understand there’s nothing wrong with pictures that don’t have people yakking over them, that when you have nothing to say, sometimes it’s best to say nothing? (Don’t tell me to watch C-SPAN. Please.)

I understand 45 minutes is a long time to vamp in TV time, but there’s a way to do it without making viewers want to kill you, and there’s something about the way Wolf Blitzer does it that makes me insane. It’s some combination of the droning monotone and the expressionless face and the way he doesn’t move more than a millimeter in any direction. He’s the worst of Larry King combined with the sort of faux-seriousness that threatens every anchor, and when you’re paid like these folks, that’s a constant threat. Who would shower that many millions on someone who wasn’t serious?

Yes, yes, the channel-changer. I switched over to David Gregory on NBC. And used the mute function until the big moment.

Let’s gather a little bit of related bloggage, then:

Many excellent tick-tocks out there on the raid. I read this one this morning, but it’s NYT, and you might have used up your monthly access. The WashPost has its own lavish package, and they’re all over the place out there. I think the most important details are these:

1) Some cave, buddy. When it came time to settle in for the long haul, a dialysis patient can’t stay just anywhere.
2) None of this dead-or-alive stuff:

The code name for Bin Laden was “Geronimo.” The president and his advisers watched Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, on a video screen, narrating from his agency’s headquarters across the Potomac River what was happening in faraway Pakistan.

“They’ve reached the target,” he said.

Minutes passed.

“We have a visual on Geronimo,” he said.

A few minutes later: “Geronimo EKIA.”

Enemy Killed In Action. There was silence in the Situation Room.

Finally, the president spoke up.

“We got him.”

And finally,

3) Where did you get that blazer, Hillary? I’m not much of a tweed girl, but that one’s working for you.

They celebrated bin Laden’s death in Dearborn yesterday.

The Free Press has gone mad. For the last hour, this Mitch Albom column has been the top story on their web package on you-know-what. Yes, a man has died, and Mitch has written about it — I know, crazy! This is what the column says: Nothing. It has many short sentences. It reports what Mitch felt when he heard the news. Amount of reporting it contains: Zero. Eat your baby food, readers.

And now, the weekend’s bloggage:

Predictably, the president killed at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. You can find the video everywhere; I put this clip on while I got dressed yesterday, followed by this one. There were so many great lines, but this one was my favorite, aimed at Donald Trump:

But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team cooking did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil’ Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled.

There will be some who will point out that Obama undoubtedly had professionals write this for him. True. So does Jon Stewart, so does David Letterman, and yet these are obviously funny people. You could hand the same script to Mitch Daniels, and I doubt he could sell it. But Obama has such a natural ease about him, he makes it work. There was a moment last year when he singled out Michael Steele in the crowd:

I saw Michael Steele backstage when we were taking pictures — AKA Notorious GOP. Michael, who knows what truly plagues America today — taxation without representin’. My brother. I did a similar routine last year, but it always works.

I’d bet a C-note the “my brother” was pure ad lib. And that got the biggest laugh.

So how was your weekend? Mine was pretty fine. Friday night I did the Critical Mass ride. I’d like to tell you all about it, but as it was winding up it occurred to me I should try to pitch it as a story somewhere, and the very next day I read something in the Wall Street Journal, the Bible of the wealthy and successful, that said trying to cut costs was a losing, depressing game, that if you want more money, you should earn more money. OK, sold.

The ride was fun, though, and moved quite a bit faster than I anticipated. Once I got comfortable with the pace and my place in the crowd, I tried to look around a bit. Most of the neighborhoods were familiar, but individual streets were new. We rolled through southwest Detroit and Mexicantown, and passed a tiny tool-and-die shop, about the size of my house, the smallest I’ve ever seen. One garage door in front, a people door next to it, and not much more. Probably employed fewer than a dozen people, tucked into a streetscape like any other neighbor. Maybe some of the employees walked to work. Gone for what looks like decades now, its facade bleached with time. And there are hundreds like it all over town. People forget it wasn’t just the Big 3 that employed people around here, it was these little widget factories, gone, gone, gone.

And you thought only the American media were this silly:

From the moment Pippa arrived at Westminster Abbey, clad in an audaciously simple cowl-necked ivory sheath that skimmed like a glove over her slender yet shapely figure, the nation swooned; you could almost hear the collective male gasp every time she bent to straighten Kate’s dress.

By the time Friday’s royal wedding service was halfway through, Pippa’s crepe-covered derrière was “trending” wildly on social media site Twitter, and by the day’s end there were three separate Facebook pages dedicated to praise of her posterior – with the “Pippa Middleton *** Appreciation Society” leading the panting field. Many other admirers, however, had eyes only for the tantalising glimpses of cleavage afforded by her dress’s teasing neckline.

Donald Trump is no cause for anyone to gloat:

What Trump actually stands for is an exaggerated sense of victimhood. This is the theme that unites his personal style with the political views he has thus far expressed. Are you tired of being pushed around? Are you tired of our country being pushed around? Trump’s political acuity lies in his ability to take these grievances and turn them into politics. His foreign policy views in essence consist of a pledge to bully other nations. China is “decimating our country.” OPEC is imperiling the economy. And ungrateful Libyans and Iraqis are trying to build a society from oil that is rightfully ours. (“We won the war. We take over the oil fields. We use the oil.”) When Bill O’Reilly, in an interview with Trump, seemed taken aback by the idea that we could simply force OPEC or China to do our bidding, Trump appeared surprised that anyone could view international relations as anything more than a contest of machismo. “The messenger is the key,” Trump told O’Reilly. “If you have the right messenger and they know how to deliver the message … you’re going to scare them, absolutely.”

(Via Zorn. I need to be more scrupulous about my HTs.)

For you Hoosiers, a less butt-kissy look at Mitch Daniels as a probable presidential candidate.

Finally, the president wasn’t the only one who looked impressive last Saturday night. Has there ever been a first lady this lovely? Don’t think so.

Posted at 9:37 am in Current events |

62 responses to “Geronimo EKIA.”

  1. velvet goldmine said on May 3, 2011 at 10:10 am

    The Nance giveth and the Nance taketh away. First you praise Hillary’s saucy blazer, and then you have to point out she’ll never win any First Lady beauty contests. Oh, well.

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  2. nancy said on May 3, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I said no such thing. I only said the current occupant of that office pegs the needle. I guess you could look at that as a backhanded slap at Hillary, but that’s not the way it was meant. Hillary doesn’t care about clothes the way Michelle does. Nothing wrong with that.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on May 3, 2011 at 10:18 am

    What makes Obama’s speech even more impressive in retrospect is that Geronimo was supposed to be going down right then but had been delayed a day. It speaks well of his cool under pressure that he was able to appear so relaxed and be, IMHO, funnier than Seth Myers. Well handled, Mr. President. Well handled.

    BTW, those of you on facebook can get additional NYT access by liking them. They send several articles every day in their feed.

    We had a lovely three day weekend in Chicago and even the bad weather lifted. We visited with friends and saw Water for Elephants, which I quite liked. I had been wary of seeing it since I loved the book so much. The hubs even liked it despite its lack of car chases or explosions, which is high praise indeed.

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  4. Dorothy said on May 3, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I hadn’t even noticed Hillary’s jacket when I saw that picture the first two or three times. All I could focus on was the intensity in the President’s face.

    I’m so glad I remembered to record The Daily Show last night. I could not sleep at 3 AM so I put it on then, and had to slap my hand over my mouth to muffle my laughs so I wouldn’t wake Mike in the next room. The best part was when he talked about the name of the city where bin Laden had been living for 5 years, and what New Yorkers would have said about that.

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  5. prospero said on May 3, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Killing Ol’ Dirty Bin from the SEALS point of view.

    Well there was JackieK, pretty attractive, very stylish. And Hillary? I always thought she looked pretty good following up Quaker Oats the President’s Mom, and leading into Stumpy Library Lady. Her hair looks fine these days.

    The nonsense from GOPers about Obama didn’t do anything, any President would have pulled the trigger. Well bullshit, you maroons. Can you say Tora Bora, and scatterbrained panic faced with a similar situation, but with Mullah Omar standing right next to OBL.

    Perhaps Mitch can run into Osama in the afterlife and let the living know how things are going. That’s a Mitch Albom column I’d get a kick out of.

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  6. Judybusy said on May 3, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Oh, Michelle’s eyebrows make me swoon! Also, love what you have on the nightstand. I enjoy reading fiction that opens up a new world to me–this one the occupation of Guernsey during WWII.

    In the months-old department,I finally got to the top of the library list for The Warmth of Other Suns, about the south->north migration of African-Americans between 1915 and about 1970. I’m about a third of the way in and am finding I knew very little about the realities of Jim Crow. The writing is so engaging and lively, too.

    And let the lies begin.

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  7. velvet goldmine said on May 3, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I was kidding, kidding! I come in peace.

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  8. Jen said on May 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I agree, Nancy, CNN (and all the cable news networks, in fact) can be a complete pain to watch. I like watching BBC’s GMT in the morning on BBC America. Too bad our PBS station doesn’t run BBC World News America in the evening. Their stories are quite a bit more in depth and their coverage is not completely obnoxious. Even during the royal wedding (which I am not ashamed to say I did, in fact, watch), their commenters didn’t get terribly crazed.

    Apparently there is a 24-hour BBC international news channel, but our satellite provider doesn’t get it. I would have probably watched that Sunday night – in fact, I flipped over to BBC America to see if they broke into programming, but they didn’t. I ended up watching NBC.

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  9. Tim Zorn said on May 3, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Obama nailed Trump’s triviality and pretentiousness, while showing no hint that he had made one of the riskiest and potentially most dangerous decisions of his presidency the day before. Very cool, or maybe cold-blooded.

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  10. LAMary said on May 3, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I like tweed and love Hillary’s jacket. She’s been looking very comfortable with herself in the last year or so.
    Michelle Obama looks great in those photos. Too bad she’s so grossly fat, according to Rush Limbaugh. I’m still waiting to see her punch his lights out with those seriously toned arms.

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  11. Jakash said on May 3, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Just brilliant the way Albom managed to work 2 references to Hitler into that gem of a column. Seems to me that Bin Laden bore about as much similarity to Hitler as Timothy McVeigh did to Stalin.

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  12. Linda said on May 3, 2011 at 11:22 am

    How true. Obama reminds me of Shakespeare’s Octavius in Antony and Cleopatra: as cool as a cucumber, methodically counting on his enemies to lose their cool. Same with the budget dustup: he held his fire until the Republicans just couldn’t wait to spill the beans about their own plan to actively move wealth upward, cutting taxes on the high end and benefits to the middle class. Now they can’t lay back and snipe: they have laid out their own plan for opponents to attack. He has ice in his blood, and is lucky in his enemies.

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  13. prospero said on May 3, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Excellent Q&A withHarris Zafar, the national spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on OBL repercussions and Arab/Muslim attitudes.

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  14. LAMary said on May 3, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I started to read Albom and couldn’t go on. What an asswipe.
    Re: Abbottabad, I immediately thought it was named after Bud Abbott, famous straight man and owner of a horrible pencil mustache, wearer of bad suits, and tormentor of my fellow Patersonian, Lou Costello. Turns out it was named after Major Abbott, an English guy with no small ego. I learned this on NPR, but they didn’t say it was Major Abbott. They said it was an English major named Abbott, and just for a moment I thought it was a town named in honor of a college major that gets little respect.

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  15. Dorothy said on May 3, 2011 at 11:46 am

    The incomparable Jon Stewart:

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  16. Jolene said on May 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Andy Borowitz having fun w/ the news. The last paragraph is best.

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  17. beb said on May 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Dorothy @4: I watched The Daily Show at 11. This morning my daughter complained that my laughing kept her up. While I’m sorry about that, it was ROTFLMAF.

    There was an interesting revisionist essay that Atrios linked to:
    which suggests that the only reason we got OBL was because his patrons, the Saudis had decided he had become a liability. It kind of makes sense. How else could have lived for as many years as he did, in so populous an area without someone catching on, except that the Pakis were protecting him.

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  18. Myra McFarland said on May 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Nancy — per deft instructions on Facebook, I appeared at your blog. And was entertained and involved. The words sharp edged, but not mean spirited. Good job.

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  19. Jolene said on May 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    How else could have lived for as many years as he did, in so populous an area without someone catching on, except that the Pakis were protecting him.

    I just saw, on al Jazeera, an interview w/ the guy who unwittingly tweeted the operation in Abbottabad, and he said that he didn’t think it was at all hard to understand. Said that, in addition to being a place where many military retirees live, it’s a place where there are many tourists, as well as some Afghan refugees. In other words, people are used to the idea of seeing people they don’t know, such as the couriers, and don’t assume that they’ll know their neighbors. Another reporter said that, since there’s a lot of insecurity in Pakistan, it’s not unusual for people who can afford it to live in closed compounds.

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  20. Suzanne said on May 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I feel a chuckle come on every time I hear Osama’s compound referred to as a “mansion”. Looks more like a rural meth-lab ugly double-wide on steroids. The only thing missing is a washing machine on the porch and a jacked up rusty vehicle on the lawn sans tires.

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  21. paddyo' said on May 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Don’t forget the “million-dollar” part of that “mansion” description, Suzanne. All the more amazing.
    It was nice of them, though, to design in enough room to land a couple of helicopters.
    Priceless, even . . .

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  22. Kim said on May 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Mitch is such a lazy-ass writer. The proof: In that insipid column he starts 10 sentences with the words “And” or “But.” Then he starts 10 more with the words “We” or “Perhaps.” Lazy writers think that shit is conversational, but reading it aloud lifts the old veil on that one. He’s so icky.

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  23. coozledad said on May 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    You’d think they’d have picked a couple of reliable helicopters for a mission this sensitive. Maybe reliable is a relative term.
    We have a lot of military copter overflights here. The next time I hear them coming, I’m going to throw myself into the first ditch I find, or try and get next to a large tree.

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  24. Dorothy said on May 3, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I’m not positive but I think what we are seeing when they show that “million-dollar compound” is the walls surrounding the actual home. I thought I saw one picture yesterday of the actual dwelling and it was a little different than the pictures we’ve seen around the outside of it. And I’d bet that a lot of the money that went into the home was for the interior rather than the exterior. Still, I couldn’t agree more, Suzanne. Looks like the slums to me instead of an area that’s been said to be the closest thing to Britain inside Pakistan. (Read that somewhere today, not sure where.)

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  25. Connie said on May 3, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Jack Lessenbury, Michigan Radio’s political commentator, was just talking about Americans aren’t getting important news from Canada. He noted that yesterday’s Canadian elections greatly changed the political landscape and what the impact might be on Michigan. He noted that the Detroit Free Press’ front page did not address the Canadian news, but did feature “a sports columnists blog about what he thinks about Obama bin Laden.” You go, Jack.

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  26. Sue said on May 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Off topic:
    All you Little House fans, there’s a new book out called The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure. I’m only on page 19 and have already laughed out loud at least half a dozen times. Can’t wait to go on this journey.

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  27. MaryRC said on May 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Well, other than Jackie, that is … But yes, Michelle was a knockout at the WHCD. Definitely the only FLOTUS who could carry off that jewelry.

    Following that link you posted to the Telegraph article about Pippa Middleton’s derriere, I found this about the Byzantine protocol that determines who curtsies to whom in the British court. Apparently the new Duchess of Cambridge, not being a princess, has to curtsy to everyone else in the family including the York princesses. Can you imagine trying to curtsy to Princess Beatrice with a straight face?

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  28. Jolene said on May 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Potentially interesting new Frontline show on PBS this evening, just in case you haven’t heard enough about terrorism lately. The blurb:

    Program: FRONTLINE
    Episode: Fighting for bin Laden

    Is Al Qaeda once again becoming a significant presence in Afghanistan? In “Fighting for bin Laden,” coming May 3, Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi (“Behind Taliban Lines”) journeys deep into enemy territory to meet a band of insurgents who say they are loyal to Osama Bin Laden and are readying a new offensive against coalition forces.

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  29. Deborah said on May 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Sue, Wendy McClure is a Chicagoan. I’ve seen her at various readings of her work. Very funny. I knew she was writing a Little House book, but didn’t know it was out yet. She has a hilarious website called Candyboots which went viral about 6 or 7 years ago. She’s the one who came up with those hysterical comments about weight watcher recipe cards from the 1970s. She used to have a blog called Poundy. Now it’s

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  30. Catherine said on May 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Sue, thanks for the intel! I’ve got the book requested at my library, but I’m 15th in the queue. How’d they all get there ahead of me?

    All the fashion linked worked for me — tweed, 10# of jewelry, bring it — but the picture from the WH struck me oddly. There’s the president, there’s Hillary, some general-type, a woman way in the back of the room — and, like, a DOZEN virtually interchangeable older white guys. Just when you think the times, they are a-changin.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on May 3, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    The Wilder Life is a hoot, and though I’m not even finished reading it, I want to go find everything else Wendy McClure has written. From her Chicago references it seems she lives in the same general area as our daughter was, so that makes it extra fun. Our family has been to several Laura sites since Sarah and I both went through a Little House kick 20 years ago. Research for a class project showed that a branch of the Robinsons is related to a branch of the Wilders. You can guess that for sixth grader that was a big thrill.

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  32. prospero said on May 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Interesting meta previously unreported, far as I know OBL raid information. “There goes the neighborhood.” Pretty funny SOB.

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  33. Jolene said on May 3, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Just listened to a Fresh Air interview who’s written a book about Barack Obama’s mother. Am not sure I would read the book, but the interview is worth a listen.

    It didn’t sound like the prez is terribly impressed w/ her project, as he didn’t give her much of his time. He may not be enthusiastic about broader exposure of his mother’s somewhat chaotic life.

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  34. harrison said on May 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    LAMary: I don’t remember Bud Abbott having a pencil mustache all the time. He might’ve grown one for a movie, but in most of the pictures that I’ve seen of him, his upper lip was clean shaven.

    Also: I bet it’s on YouTube, but please please please check out the routine Who’s On First? A true classic in American comedy.

    And the more times that Mitch Daniels does things like this, the more I despise him. He’s a short man with a bad combover and a Napoleon complex.

    I didn’t vote for him, but when he first took office, I had some hopes. He wasn’t as hidebound as former Indiana governors. But most of his governmental experience was administrative, with underlings who were told my way or the highway. As an elected official, you must sell the constituents on your ideas.

    When some of his ideas were turned down, he’d go into this huffy how-dare-they attitude. Jackass.

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  35. LAMary said on May 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Sometimes Bud had a mustache, sometimes no.

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  36. prospero said on May 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Who’s on first script, and as performed on radio (scroll down). The video version is worth checking, because Costello does some pretty funny physical humor and double-takes:

    Who’s on first script, and as performed on radio (scroll down).

    edit: More like a Rollie Fingers moustache here.

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  37. LAMary said on May 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I have to own up to being part of a rough crowd in art school who were somewhat fixated on Abbott and Costello.

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  38. alex said on May 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Harrison, I hope Mitch Daniels throws his hat into the ring because he’s running on a bunch of overhyped successes that are really just untried gimmicks, the success (or much more likely failure) of which won’t be known until long after he’s long gone. Let the debate begin at the national level whether it’s prudent to defund public education by his back door means, or to privatize public assets for the purpose of cooking the books in the short run, or to allow people to pack heat anywhere they damn well please, or limit abortions to a timeframe where women won’t yet know whether they need one based on medical necessity. His record deserves scrutiny; it’s as draconian as Paul Ryan’s and sure to be as much of a lightning rod in front of a national audience. (Hoosiers, alas, are used to taking it up the ass and rather more like it than cheeseheads, who don’t give up the ghost without a fight.)

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  39. Holly said on May 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Just thinking about this today. Was Geraldo Rivera the guy who did a special on Al Capones vault. I remember watching it on TV. I watched the whole thing and at the end decided I was an idiot for sitting through it. If it was him then his career has not advanced much.

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  40. Catherine said on May 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Since Holly brought it up, I think Geraldo and John Stossel are becoming the same person — the love child of Freddie Mercury.

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  41. moe99 said on May 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    The reason Bin Laden was alive all these years, is that the Republicans wanted him alive. With a boogey man to pull out at need to boost their ratings, and keep US citizens in fear, why give him up?

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  42. coozledad said on May 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Catherine: From beyond the grave, Freddie pointedly disowns those love children.

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  43. LAMary said on May 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Holly, that was indeed Geraldo Rivera, AKA Gerry Rivers at one point in his life. He was a loca reporter on the NYC ABC affiliate in the early seventies and made a name by exposing conditions at a facility for developmentally disabled kids. I think it was called Willowbrook but I can’t swear to it. That inspired John Lennon to organize a concert to raise awareness of developmentally disabled issues. Geraldo also reported on the Young Lords,a Puerto Rican group in NYC. He had lefty credentials like crazy then. Now he’s on Fox.
    He used to be married to Kurt Vonnegut’s daughter. I saw him, Kurt and Edith the daughter, trying to get a boat into the water on Shelter Island, NY once. This was early in my “brushes with greatness” experiences.

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  44. Dexter said on May 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    The USA gave eighteen billion dollars to Pakistan last year, right?
    They are our allies, right?
    Their military “West Point” type academy was less than a mile from bin Laden, too.
    The upscale neighborhood was filled with “friendly” military retirees, also, I understand.
    The only enemies were the small contingent of Osama bin Laden’s guard force…no more.
    A Blackhawk helicopter’s base price was $6.41 million dollars twelve years ago…surely they cost more now.
    It was reported that the reason the doomed Blackhawk went down was simply a lack of air underneath the wing; later a mock-up showed it being hit with small arms fire…either way, why the fuck would a disabled helicopter have to be abandoned? They had already shot up the place, killed OBL, I assume they easily could have secured the grounds and repaired the helicopter or else brought in a Chinook or whatever they use these years as a “flying towtruck” and got that helicopter out of there. Why blow up nearly seven million dollars’ worth of fixed wing military might?
    What am I missing?
    Oh, and who gets the $25 million reward? The waterboarded finks down in Gitmo? Yeah…sure.

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  45. Dexter said on May 3, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    That hotel was called “The Lexington” in Capone’s day, “The New Michigan” at its end.
    Our baseball team actually stayed there in 1968 for a few days.
    It was located at Michigan and Cermak (22nd St) on the east side of Michigan Avenue, Chicago.
    Capone’s suite was numbered Room 530.
    Our business manager knew this and he stayed in this suite of rooms.
    All the expensive brass faucets and stuff were long gone, and patched up with cheap hardware…the curtains frayed and crumbling ala Miss Haversham’s darkened house (Great Expectations).
    I blogged about this here a couple years ago, so I’ll shorten this up…an old gent showed us where bullet holes still peppered a staircase housing, long abandoned down a hallway…history right there for the viewing.
    I believe the grounds are just an empty lot now.

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  46. Joe Kobiela said on May 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm


    Give me a freaking break. That puts you in the company of birthers and the nut cases that think Osama is’nt dead, I KNOW your better than that.
    Pilot Joe

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  47. alex said on May 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    And the empty vessel wins versus the hagged out teabagger.

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  48. nancy said on May 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Looks like a blowout, Alex. So much for polling.

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  49. Holly said on May 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Why does greatness go by the wayside?

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  50. coozledad said on May 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Moe: The Bush administration’s complete ignorance of policy priorities stood directly in the way of them cleaning house, even when their CIA assets turned sour.
    The single objective of the Bush administration, pursued doggedly, was the mopping up of the stray dollars from a briefly regenerative American economy. Every goddamn thing else was cheapass theater: broadcast media, Republicans, and racist Democrats sucked it up like a bunch of catfish eating corn.

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  51. Bryan said on May 3, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    You know, the first thing I thought when I heard bin Laden was how does Mitch Albom feel about this.

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  52. Dexter said on May 3, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    I respect W’s declining the Ground Zero invitation for Thursday’s celebration. Two sauciers spoil the bechamel.

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  53. John G. Wallace said on May 3, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I’m not really that old but I can remember another Democratic President trying to roll the hard six, and stuff going south fast due to the helicopters just not being able to handle the environmental challenges. In Carter’s case there was too much of a desire to make it a mission that utilized assets from every branch of the service – “8 helicopters (Navy RH-53D’s with USMC crews), 12 USAF planes ( 4 special ops MC-130E Combat Talon, 3 command post EC-130E Commando Solo, 3 gunships AC-130 Spectre, and 2 cargo C-141 Starlifter ), and numerous operators infiltrated into Teheran ahead of the actual assault.”
    Anything that could go wrong on that mission did – CIA recon teams in small aircraft experienced very different ground conditions and traffic conditions – “was flown in a Twin Otter to the Desert One site by two CIA officers for a clandestine survey of an airstrip. Despite their casual approach to the mission, he successfully surveyed the airstrip, installed remotely-operated infrared lights and a strobe to outline a landing pattern for pilots, and took soil samples to determine the load-bearing properties of the desert surface. At that time, the floor was hard-packed sand, but in the intervening three weeks, an ankle-deep layer of powdery sand was deposited by sandstorms.” (Tip of the Spear. United States Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office. pp. 26–31.)
    The huge RH-53D’s didnt have proper sand filters, the planned stop to refuel added huge risks, once they touched down at Desert One there was road traffic – they engaged in a firefight with a truck, a bus full of Iranians was stopped and held – I seem to recall debate at the end whether to just take them as counter-hostages, even if they were able to continue what do you do with the people on the bus. The whole debacle led to the creation of Delta Force.
    I have to guess that they used Blackhawks for this mission because they are pretty common, but there is no mistaking the sound of a heavy rotorcraft – Pilot Joe? any input – I would also speculate that they destroyed the damaged one because of the avionics and special technology on board, easier to blow them up then rip the stuff out. I have less problem with losing a chopper than firing off cruise missiles like bottle rockets on 4th of July in Bluffton (the worst, trust me).
    I also wonder about the gear – were these guys operating with uniforms and gear that would offer plausible deniability – I doubt they used M-16’s, go with something Israeli or Belgium made. We may never know. Soviet Spetnaz guys used to have their teeth extracted – not so much for identification but rather, the type of dental work used in the USSR vs. other countries.
    Another little known fact about Desert One and Operation Eagle Claw was Carter was willing to try again, and a much more ambitious plan – so much for KISS (keep it simple stupid). The other plan was to infiltrate into Tehran, knock down one end of the soccer stadium with demolition, land a C-130 in the stadium, using rockets for braking and again for departure. (Operation Credible Sport). The takeoff part worked fine, they set several short takeoff records, but the landing and braking part failed, the braking rockets reduced foward airspeed to zero, and tore the wings off. The crew escaped without injury.
    I’m sure Obama had to consider another Desert One image and our guys being captured and spirited into the hands of the Taliban. We’ll prolly never know all the details.

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  54. moe99 said on May 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Joe, the only reason I can figure out why neither Bush nor McCain considered OBL worthy of notice is……

    They wanted to keep him around.

    Why would that be? You tell me.

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  55. brian stouder said on May 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Objection!! Objection, Madam Telling Tales!

    There should be room on the dial, shouldn’t there, for one cable network that plays things more or less down the middle, that spares us Lawrence O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly,…

    Comparing Lawrence O’Donnell to Megyn Kelly is just…just…too much contempt, I say! Megyn Kelly??

    I know, I know – “Overruled”.

    Larry does get a bit wound up –

    Given that some want Bush to get all the credit for developing the strategy to capture Bin Laden, and others like O’Donnell seem to want Bush to get none of the credit, it makes you wonder why with such good news, there can’t be more good cheer and less blame assigning from all sides?

    Yeah yeah yeah, right.

    But in the Hoosier Heartland* hall of mirrors where I exist, plenty of otherwise good folks are all too eager to bob their bobbly heads in agreement to EVERY damned ridiculous anti-Obama libel that comes down the pike, and EVERY damned ridiculous apologia for the 8 years of “conservative” Republican misrule that preceded him.

    On the Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity scale of hyperbole, O’Donnell’s show is more akin to a scholarly thesis, complete with footnotes, attributions, and a bibliography, rather than the sexed-up empty-headed political vamping that characterizes Fox News and Megyn Kelly.

    Not for nothing, but O’Donnell has been in the arena, with regard to national politics as a staffer in the United States Senate, and in popular culture as a writer for a successful network tv show. What have Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity actually ever done – other than run their mouths; what have the radio blowhards strived to learn about, other than which talking points will best support the dogmas they already had?

    *If Mitch Daniels wanted to be a national figure, he should have run for the Senate seat that the worn out Coats snatched up. I think people will actually laugh at him, if he runs for president.

    Think of it. The guy who was President Bush’s budget director; the guy who directed a budget from the Clinton surplus of 2 billion dollars, into a Bush deficit of $600 billion…

    is like the helmsman of the RMS Titanic asking for a promotion to head up the White Star line, based on his experience

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  56. Dexter said on May 4, 2011 at 2:03 am

    “you’re shitting me!”

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  57. Brendan said on May 4, 2011 at 6:52 am

    “Eat your baby food, people.” Funny…

    Is it not a little sad and perhaps ironic that OBL was given “Geronimo” as a code name? I get that both were fugitives of the US government, but don’t we, in hindsight, have a tad more sympathy for Geronimo’s cause?

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  58. ROgirl said on May 4, 2011 at 7:13 am

    If Ronald Reagan had been the guy responsible for eliminating OBL instead of Barack Hussein Obama, Republicans would be having multiple orgasms over it and proposing a national holiday to commemorate it. Beatification wouldn’t be far behind.

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  59. Dorothy said on May 4, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Okay I have to retract what I said @24 about OBL’s house and the interior probably reflecting the cost of the million dollars to build it. I just saw video of the interior and, to quote Jennifer Coolidge, it was a shit box.

    Thanks for the tip about The Wilder Life. That’ll be among my next purchases!

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  60. Kim said on May 4, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Dorothy, my first thought when I saw OBL’s compound interior was, “Osama had a water bed?”

    John G. Wallace @ 53: Sweetie, hate to break it to you but with that sort of discourse on a military action of long ago you are that old.

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  61. coozledad said on May 4, 2011 at 9:36 am

    What the fuck does cooch even mean with this tweet?
    Fuck it. I’ll tell you what it means. Virginia has a male model with an IQ of roughly 75 as state attorney general. Way to go Republitards.

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  62. Hattie said on May 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Be kind to Wolfie. He’s still getting over the shock of discovering that there are so many black people in America.

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