What weekend?

Your blogmistress had a ridiculous weekend. See here and here.

This wasn’t an investigation like my tougher colleagues love to do, where they dig dirt for weeks or months and then deliver a giant dirt sculpture in the shape of a pointing finger — j’accuse! — on a few hundred thousand doorsteps on Sunday morning, about a crooked mayor or an asleep-at-the-switch commission. Here, a guy got caught doing something bad and got fired, a story that was going to break sooner or later, but broke sooner. But it was a story with much dirt involved, and it went off like a grenade. Wreckage is still falling. I will be distracted for a while.

In between, I went for a bike ride and then to the movies. This was a beautiful, sunny, warm weekend, and the yard sales were as plentiful as dandelions. One in particular featured a whole table of NWT items — new with tags, for those of you who don’t eBay enough to know the lingo. Three wallets, still with Marshall’s price tags on them. Candleholders, ditto. And so on. Some people can never resist a bargain, who figure you never know when a gift will be required — a last-minute birthday invitation, an extra guest on Christmas morning with nothing to open. Some people are compulsive shoppers. Some people are bad at returning things they discovered they didn’t need. I considered two hurricane-style candle holders in cobalt blue, then, in the spirit of the day, decided I didn’t need them. And so I rode home, showered and headed to Royal Oak to meet a couple friends and see “Everything Must Go.”

Coincidentally, it’s about a yard sale. It’s, y’know, a metaphor, but it works. Will Ferrell plays a guy forcibly evicted from his house by his wife, who has changed the locks and temporarily left the premises. So he sets up housekeeping on the front lawn, with all the stuff she threw out. Based on a Raymond Carver story, so it involves alcohol, and it takes place in a world you and I would recognize, where people do stupid and self-destructive things for no good reason, and where when people change, they change from A to B rather than A to Z. Your average low-budget indie drama.

Or dramedy, I should say — it’s actually very funny in a don’t-laugh-out-loud sort of way, a wry comedy of human failing, and to me, the revelation was Ferrell, because I am not a fan. Not even a little bit of one. But that was a very fine performance. There’s a moment where Ferrell sells a fishing rig he bought but never used. NWoT, if you will, and it reminded me of how much crap we buy and never use, or hardly use, and how it weighs us down. Also, that I need to have a garage sale.

So, some bloggage:

The exit of Mitch Daniels, and the entrance of Mr. Excitement, Tim Pawlenty, from and to the GOP presidential race is bringing new attention to $P, who went on a Fox show called “Justice With Judge Jeannine” and ran her mouth for a while. She called Barack Obama our “temporary president,” whatever that means. I clicked the YouTube link hoping for a 30-second highlight reel, noticed it was the whole 14-minute segment, and immediately clicked away, but not before I heard the introduction, and saw She-Who reply to the welcome blather with, “As always, thank you, Judge.” Two things: One, when you’re making news for your appearance on shows with names like “Justice With Judge Jeannine Pirro,” it’s only a matter of time before you’re putting on an apron and making eggs with some Regis Philbin equivalent; and two, my very first direct observation of class difference in America, as a child, was by watching courtroom re-enactment shows on Channel 10 in Columbus, and noting that the better-spoken parties referred to the judge as “your honor” while the rednecks called him “judge.” I stand by my 8-year-old self’s observation.

You won’t have Mitch Daniels to kick around in 2012. And, are Republicans losing their grip on reality? Finally, Roger Ailes and the monster he created. (Fox News, Not $P.) Discuss.

And finally, I close with movie bloggage:

It’s been 20 years since the release of “Thelma & Louise.” My, my. I have to say, I liked that movie pretty well, and young Brad Pitt — yummy.

Posted at 8:31 am in Current events, Movies |

51 responses to “What weekend?”

  1. coozledad said on May 23, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Poor old Diver. If he were in DC, he could just camp out at C Street while they figured out how to spin this as a story of sin and redemption.
    What is it about guys with that gel-spiked white hair? He looks a little bit like John Ensign.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 23, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Plus, as with Goeglein, you get to be blamed for ruining a man’s career. When he clearly needed no help with that whatsoever.

    A close friend’s workplace is going through a huge ripple of angst & attitude, leavened with misogyny, over the question of whether “just forwarding” an obscene/lewd/inappropriate e-mail should be disciplined the same way that generating it would be.

    The nastiest part: the worst misogyny (at least out loud) is coming from women. “Hey, it’s just a picture of a penis. Don’t be such a fainting fairy.” In other words, reporting getting this e-mail is the problem, not sending/forwarding it.

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  3. LAMary said on May 23, 2011 at 10:02 am

    The gelled hair should have been a giveaway.

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  4. moe99 said on May 23, 2011 at 10:07 am

    This is depressing news:


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  5. del said on May 23, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Don’t know the details of principal Diver’s offenses but my initial reaction tends towards sympathy. Maybe dismissal’s appropriate, maybe it’s a bit too harsh.

    As to “judge” vs. “your honor,” I’m reminded of young attorneys who reflexively thank judges for their rulings. Eventually they get a bad ruling and recognize their absurd politesse as a variation on the Animal House scene in which the pledge responds to getting his ass whacked by saying, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

    Then there’s the style of an older attorney I know. He would respond to a particularly harsh ruling by very slowly bowing and saying, “Thank you, excellency.”

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  6. del said on May 23, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Wow Moe. That is a troubled family.

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  7. MichaelG said on May 23, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Diver was using a work computer to access and exchange pornography? Right or wrong aside, this is terminal stupidity. He was a school principal? Using a work computer for this purpose in a work environment that includes youngsters and where he was an authority figure for the kids somehow seems to compound the offence for me. His accessing porn doesn’t especially bother me, it’s how and where – and what kind. I don’t have any problem with his being fired. And being asked to resign has long been accepted to be the same as being fired.

    The comments seemed few and fairly genteel. You should see the rabid ravings on the SacBee web site. If that story were posted about a local Sacto principal on the Bee’s site there would be hundreds of comments by now. Most of them unprintable and a very few of them even readable.

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  8. ROGirl said on May 23, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Rupert Murdoch is 80, Ailes is 71. What’s going to happen to Fox when Murdoch is no longer running the show and Ailes is out of the picture? Things will get really interesting.

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  9. Lex said on May 23, 2011 at 11:11 am

    @ROGirl: Fox’s viewership demographic is aging, too: Average age is 65. All network/cable news skew somewhat old, but Fox’s audience is the oldest of the bunch.

    Re $P: All presidencies are temporary, but her extraordinary stupidity both permeates all dimensions of space/time and transcends all its boundaries. Dumber than a box of rocks, everywhere, everywhen.

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  10. Dorothy said on May 23, 2011 at 11:33 am

    A little snarky TLO to break the Fox News funk developing in the above comments: http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2011/05/2011-young-hollywood-awards.html

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  11. LAMary said on May 23, 2011 at 11:34 am

    And here’s a link to Glenn Beck’s new venture. A Groupon knockoff.


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  12. Dexter said on May 23, 2011 at 11:46 am

    A Thing That Has Bugged Me For 34 Years: Six drinkin’ buddies planned a deep-into-Canada fishin’ trip in 1976, for the summer of 1977. We wrote, we found a lodge only accessible via canoe, we scheduled vacations, we told our companions a year in advance, we were stoked. I bought all kinds of crap, including a mighty fine fishing rod & reel and a deluxe new tackle box.
    The plan, devised under the influence of tables of empty and full long neck beer bottles and whiskey shot glasses, slowly dissolved. Little League baseball, unrelenting wives, new jobs, yes, but mostly once everyone sobered up a little they realized they didn’t want to go on this trip at all.
    We lost a deposit. Only two of us retained interest, but we just said fukkitt.
    My tackle box stayed full and intact for about twenty five years, but the rod and reel keep getting banged around. It disappeared and I didn’t care. I found it this Spring, behind a cupboard in my garage, all broken and dusty, and sad…worthless. I couldn’t bear to trash it. It’s still out there, still waiting its first fish. Years ago, I gave all the stuff in the tackle box away, to a friend for his garage sale. It was never used by me . The tackle box, now broken too, contains bicycle parts, old stuff, odds and ends.

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  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 23, 2011 at 11:59 am

    There’s a Carver story right there, Dex. Go ahead and flesh it out.

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  14. Dorothy said on May 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Oh Dexter that is sad. We love to fish in my house. On Memorial Day my hubby and I are finally going to take the fly fishing lesson I bought him for Christmas 2009. The instructor had to have knee surgery last year – twice – so to apologize for the delay and thank us for being so understanding, he threw in my lesson for free. Can’t wait – my husband has been looking forward to learning how to fly fish for about 10 years now, ever since a former co-worker built him his very own fly reel. I just hope I don’t have to run home and use the bathroom too often, which might spoil the magic – we’re doing this about 3 miles from our house!

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  15. Jeff Borden said on May 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I find $P’s words amusing in a rueful way. Here is a woman who quit halfway through her first term as governor, and she calls Obama a “temporary leader?” I guess it takes one to know one. And she’s raving about Herman Cain, another right-wing loon who knows almost as little about the world as she does. He embarrassed himself by not knowing about the so-called “right of return” in Palestine and said he would determine an Afghanistan policy AFTER being elected president. But $P says his business experience and the fact he makes a good pizza –seriously, she said this shit– makes him a fine contender for the White House.

    There are any number of right-wing assholes who piss me off, but it’s the sheer pig ignorance coupled with breathtaking self-regard that sends the Oracle of Wasilla off the charts.

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on May 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    In the office where I just started, another editor got fired for using his (company-supplied) computer for child porn. How dumb do you have to be to do that?

    Last week, I read about a guy who got busted after he left his flash drive loaded with kiddie porn behind at the college computer lab. If you ask me, he should get prison just for sheer stupidity.

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  17. MarkH said on May 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Nancy, on the judge vs. your honor issue, it depends on the venue. When court is in session, “your honor” is all but required when addressing the bench, especially if you want to stay in good graces. Outside of court proceedings, it is always respectful to address them as “judge”, as they have attained that status, much like senator, congressman, ambassador, etc. At least, this what the local district court clerk, who happens to be my wife, tells me.

    (Not defending $P, of course, just sayin’)

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  18. basset said on May 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Dorothy, just be careful not to take fly fishing too seriously – some of those people are worse than wine snobs.

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  19. Dorothy said on May 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I take very, very few things seriously basset, but thanks for the sage reminder.

    Don’t forget, y’all, to vote for Hines and Kym on Dancing With the Stars tonight! I have never watched this show before, and probably won’t again. But since my man Hines Ward has been on I could not resist. I am not positive he’s the most talented dancer this year but he sure puts on a great show – that smile! those hips! the attitude!

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  20. Bill said on May 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Just heard $P purchased a $1.7 million, 8,000 sq. ft. home with pool and 5 car garage in Scottsdale, AZ. There’s speculation she may run for U. S. Senator. More speculation: reasons for the move are to be close to Bristol, to have a warmer winter climate, to escape a ton of negative public opinion in AK and to be more centrally located for national campaigning if she decides to run for Prez.

    Interesting stuff.

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  21. Jolene said on May 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Also on the tube tonight, Too Big to Fail on HBO. Hank Stuever’s insightful and witty review is not very enthusiastic, but I will probably watch t anyway.

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  22. nancy said on May 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I got on the reserve list for “Inside Job” at the library. Time for me to see that sucker.

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  23. Scout said on May 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    And every sane or even semi-sane person is AZ is wailing a collective “nooooooooooo.” However, given the current political climate of crazy, crazier, craziest, it makes perfect sense that $P would be drawn like moth to flame to this dysfunctional hell hole.

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  24. hexdecimal said on May 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    As the sole Scottsdale resident to visit here, all I have say is “Damn, there goes the neighborhood.”

    Well, not really. My neighborhood is 25 miles and 1.5 million dollars south of hers.

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  25. John G. Wallace said on May 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Not sure if I should file this under, “but nobody asked,” or “Republicans eat their young but still have some sense,” but our esteemed Governor Rick Scott, as someone here noted, “a real life Montgomery Burns,” has informed the media that he is not planning to run for President:


    Whew. I have to give the rich bastard credit, his hurricane preparedness includes a spare roof for Casa Scott.


    Which given his financial means makes some sense as the tile is no longer made. The nasty side of me hopes that if Naples gets hit it takes his current roof and the warehouse holding his spare roof.

    As many of you know I’m originally a Jersey boy and remain one at heart. The next in line for possible Republican Presidential contenders with some credibility is Chris Christie. There’s a lot to discover behind his girth, and since I’m in no position to criticize, let the Democrat’s oposition research team enjoy the table sagging offerings.

    He’s no political lightweight and is more favorable than our former Gov. Jim McGreevey, who I recall not as much for his gay debacle debut, his foreign alleged lover as homeland security director, but for his engaging a coworker of mine in a shoving match that almost led to fisticuffs after my friend wrote a column on, “Will the real Jim Shady please stand up,” borrowing from Eminem.

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  26. Kirk said on May 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Nancy, how dare you besmirch the good name of this pornography-mongering dumbass who deals with children every day of his life?

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  27. Julie Robinson said on May 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    We couldn’t make it through Inside Job; we knew we needed to watch it but found it too darn depressing, especially because it could easily happen again. OTOH, I’m very jealous that you can reserve DVDs at your library.

    Our Tuscon friends will not be happy at $P moving into the state. But since they deliver water to the desert near the border, it isn’t likely they’d be voting for a R anyway.

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  28. Jeff Borden said on May 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Bill makes an interesting point. By now, all but the most Kool Aid addicted Alaskans despise $P, and with all the bad blood still boiling over her effort to elevate the creepy Joe Miller to a Senate seat, she would have a helluva time if she launched a senatorial campaign.

    Ah, but Arizona, now there she might do pretty well given the hateful politics.

    The real question is twofold: First, would a Senate seat satisfy someone of such breathtaking arrogance and self-worship? Second, would she ever really ditch the big cash money and the rock star lifestyle for the life of a senator?

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  29. joodyb said on May 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Bill, I’m wondering if McCain was consulted/is sanctioning this Palin migration. I wish TMZ would get on this.

    John G., this was the gawker hed of the day:

    Fat Jackass Roger Ailes Thinks Fat Jackass Chris Christie Should Be President

    For anyone needing a laugh, i recommend pawlenty’s youtube video announcing his announcement. they JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER! Tim, seriously, truth without cupcakes? But without a pulse of your own, why would you be able to find one on America?

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  30. Bitter Scribe said on May 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    If $P does run for senator from Ariz., I’d loooove to be a fly on the wall during her first meeting with John McCain.

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  31. Kirk said on May 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Kyl’s seat comes up for election next year, and he’s retiring.

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  32. brian stouder said on May 23, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Sarah Palin, it should be noted, would fit right in with the US Senate. She could delegate all of the thinking to her staff, and/or simply follow her party leader on every issue; and as a bonus she could arbitrarily gum things up whenever she feels like it, with points of personal privilege and no-fuss filibusters

    Honestly, though, I think that they won’t elect her to the Senate. The primary voters rejected the teabagger buffoon that ran against McCain, afterall. I would think that any Arizonan with some credibility – such as Jan Brewer, who indeed may also be a bit of a nut – would immediately tag Palin as an opportunistic carpetbagger, as opposed to an idealistic true-believing teabagger, and that would be that.

    It struck me as interesting, the first time I read it, that the US Senate used to be THE office that national-minded people sought; Abe Lincoln’s fondest desire was to join the US Senate; that was where the big issues were dealt with, and big ideas were publically debated, and big memorable speeches were given. Winning the presidency was not at the top of his list.

    Nowadays, the presidency is THE place to make the big speeches, and address the big issues, if you don’t have a coast-to-coast radio talk show.

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  33. Jolene said on May 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Speaking of making the big speeches, did anyone hear Obama speak in Dublin today? It was definitely a high point. He got a great intro from Ireland’s prime minister, bantered charmingly about his Irish heritage, and went on to give an inspiring speech that touched on the struggles and contributions of Irish Americans, the sorrows of Iris history and triumphs over them, the current economic struggles in both Ireland and the US, and, in what I heard as a pitch to listeners in the Middle East, the importance, wisdom, and value of taking risks for peace. He got a huge reception from the 30,000 member crowd–laughter at all the right points and many outbreaks of applause.

    It would be easy to be cynical about such a speech. There’s the “Obama as celebrity” argument, and he doesn’t, after all, have to convince anyone in Ireland to vote for his proposals in Congress. But he made a powerful case for himself. If I were a Republican candidate, I would definitely be thinking “uphill battle”, and, as an American, it was heartening to be reminded that we have a president who is popular in much of the world.

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  34. Jolene said on May 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Many collections of photos from the Missouri tornado online. Some of the shots in The Atlantic’s collection capture striking views of Midwestern storm skies.

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  35. Bill said on May 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    jodyb, Since she’s keeping a low profile on the purchase of the home, I’m guessing that $P hasn’t requested anyone’s approval or sanction to move to Arizona. And, if she does move she doesn’t have to make an immediate decision about whether to run for any office. She can play it by ear and see which way the wind’s blowing. (How’s that for run-on cliches?)

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  36. Jolene said on May 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Something I had never given a moment’s thought to before Dominique Strauss-Kahn decided to help himself to the help is the risk associated w/ being a chambermaid. Since that incident, though, there’ve been several articles that talk about the possibility of, at the low end, unwelcome propositions and, at the high end, sexual assault or rape as a hazard of the trade. Apparently, this risk is well understood in the hotel industry, and there are all sorts of procedures (e.g., propping doors open w/ cleaning carts, having male staff members respond to requests for extra towels and such) that are undertaken to reduce the likelihood of something unfortunate or worse occurring.

    I’m well past the age at which anything that humans do can surprise me, but WTF? It’s tough enough to have to make a living changing other people’s sheets. Reminding the guests to keep their robes closed and their hands to themselves shouldn’t have to be part of the deal.

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  37. Rana said on May 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I think that if Palin were bent on moving south in order to pursue her political career further, she’d be better off moving to one particular state instead of Arizona: Florida. She’d fit right in. In Arizona, she’ll be just another snowbird with a mansion in the desert – nothing really to excite the locals.

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  38. Larkspur said on May 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Thanks for the link to the Thelma and Louise retrospective. Very insightful. I loved that movie. Over the years I’ve had vague feelings that maybe I ought not to have loved it, but then I’d always tell myself to shut up, ’cause I know what I like. I named my bosoms Thelma and Louise. I used to have shoulder pads (remember them?) and I named them Thelma and Louise, too. I have had candy bars in my house that I’d eat bite by bite, stashing it in the freezer between each bite. And I’ve imagined shooting up a tanker and watching it burn burn burn. Woo and hoo.

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  39. Jolene said on May 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    And here’s another thing that’s driving me nuts: If I hear one more storm survivor say that he or she survived by the grace of God/because God answered their prayers/because the Good Lord was looking out for them or any such formulation, I may reach into my television and strangle the blessed one. How can people say such things when their neighbors have been crushed by falling trees and the fragments of their homes are in adjoining states?

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  40. brian stouder said on May 23, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Jolene, I watched the president’s speech over lunch today (left over homemade mac&cheese from last night, and a ham sandwich), and thought it was magnificent.

    I’m just going to say it; the GOP is screwed. Between the recovering economy (even if too slowly), and the elimimation of Sammy bin Laden, and all the cryin’ Boehner and the Ryan no-brainer budget (kill medicare? Bzzzzt!!) stuff, the Republican’s will be lucky to only do as badly as Bob Dole/Jack Kemp did in 1996. Instead, I suspect they’re going to lose on an epic scale, as Mondale did to RWR in 1984, as another poster hereabouts intimated the other day.

    That Dole/Kemp ticket won states in the deep south and some western states; what collection of states will any of these current-day Republicans win?

    Even if Uncle Rush gets his wish, and the governor of Texas runs for the presidency, what collection of states can he possibly win in 2012, that would defeat President Obama?

    I think it will soon be time to switch parlor games around, and give a passing thought or two to who will be the next national Democratic figure. For instance, I like Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; and indeed, SecState Clinton might still have a crack at the presidency in 2016.

    For the immediate future, the GOP has to moderate, or else splinter

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  41. Catherine said on May 24, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Jolene @36, I’m surprised that you’re surprised. Powerful men like Ahnuld and Strauss-Kahn have been helping themselves to the help since time began.

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  42. Cara said on May 24, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Cannot help but wonder how $P’s collection of stuffed animals, the life sized ones she shot while riding her broomstick, will look among the new desert colors and furnishings. I’m betting House Beautiful won’t be featuring it!

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  43. Jolene said on May 24, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I’m not surprised by the general idea, Catherine, just by the idea such attentions are a particular hazard in the chambermaid biz.

    Cara, $P can start on a whole new collection of trophies. Before long, she’ll have a stuffed javelina, a mounted rattlesnake, and scorpions under glass.

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  44. Dexter said on May 24, 2011 at 2:18 am

    Jolene, Brian…I was so happy that “O’Bama” hit it out of the park on Monday. His speech in Ireland was the high point of his re-election season, maybe his entire time in office,
    He was magnificent. It was magical, the intro had the gathered people really on fire, and Obama, as Jolene detailed it, just was at his best; it really is worth watching.

    I was disheartened over the entire meet-up with Netanyahu and all the aftermath, and this speech today made my spirits rise…I was all giddy, clapping and cheering the little TV I have bedside . I was pulling my socks on and I just stopped and watched like I was seeing JFK , whatever, I was so glad Obama was being cheered I even had a little tear of joy in the corner of my eye.

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  45. Jolene said on May 24, 2011 at 3:06 am

    Here’s a better quality (and complete) version of Obama’s Dublin speech. The full text is online at the White House web site.

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  46. coozledad said on May 24, 2011 at 8:20 am

    The top on this bottle reminds me of something. Maybe a Georgia O’Keefe painting.

    Shouldn’t they have edited the parts where Justin is pleading for direction, or staring uncomfortably into the girls’ armpits?

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  47. del said on May 24, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Gotta love the first comment to that ad: “Smells like ‘tween spirit.”

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  48. Julie Robinson said on May 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Will we have a third party candidate in 2012? If the Tea Party doesn’t get the candidate it wants, I can see that happening. Conversely, if the moderate wing of the R’s (they are still out there) can’t hold their nose and vote for the party candidate, perhaps they will attempt a separate run. Either way, it’s good for Obama. The real fight will be for Congress.

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  49. Mark P. said on May 24, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I am not certain (not a lawyer and not a judge) but in my limited experience as a potential and actual juror, I have heard several lawyers refer to the judge as “judge.” Could it be a regional thing?

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  50. Rana said on May 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Good gad, cooz. It’s Twilight merged with “Friday.” Bleargh!

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  51. joodyb said on May 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Rana, I would agree, except Huckstabee just put down roots there, and while I doubt he’ll be heard from again in terms of national political noise, i’m not sure the state is big enough for the both of them. you would think it would be her kind of place though – no individual income tax, a growing have/have-not divide, plenty of folks who think they are upper-middle-class but are not by strict socioeconomic definition.

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