No one’s as Irish.

If nothing else, I hope my students learn from me how to write a lead (“lede” to you journos) for a story when circumstances will dictate you’re going to be among the last to file. It isn’t supposed to be like this for online news; we’re the hypercaffeinated tweeters filing via 3G and wifi so that you learn things in more or less real time.

But in this case — the school board meeting following the firings of the principal and his underling — that wasn’t going to happen. Our competition at Patch goes to meetings with a wifi stick on her laptop, and covers them via Facebook updates. Mixed results on that one, I’d say. If it’s a hot meeting, it works. Otherwise it amounts to public note-taking. But last night was a big ol’ foregone conclusion. What was the board going to do? Beg them to stay? And when the reporter is a college student and the editor leaves the meeting to go immediately to her other job, we’re not going to beat TV, and we’re not going to beat Patch, and we’re not even going to beat the papers. So write a fancy lede, play up the atmosphere, and go for the fourth-paragraph chop. (Not quite a Miller Chop, but it’s there.)

Jeez, I’m tired. Worked yesterday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., with a two-hour break to lie on my bed and stare at the ceiling and wonder why I don’t have time to write a novel. If I did, I’d call it “Porno Principal,” because that’s a great title.

Needless to say, I didn’t see Barry O’Bama’s speech in Ireland yesterday, but at the urging of our own mild-mannered Jeff, I looked it up on the White House’s website. It sings on the page, so I’m sure it danced a merry jig with the first great orator of the 21st century delivering it:

My name is Barack Obama of the Moneygall Obamas. And I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way.

Good one.

Since I have nothing much to report today, here’s some bloggage y’all can chew on:

Toe-suckin’ Dick Morris was disinvited from a GOP event at the request of the governor, and he ain’t happy about it: “Apparently free speech has its limits in Snyder’s Michigan.” Oh, shut up. If it’s that damn important, say it on a street corner, no one will stop you. Please note this is about a local issue — the Ambassador Bridge — and not necessarily about deep divisions within the party. Morris is the bridge owner’s latest paid mouthpiece, which may indicate how tone-deaf he is.

And what did Mrs. O’Bama wear on her trip to Ireland? Dunno, but T-Lo is on the case for her stop in England. I think she looks smashing, but what’s up with Camilla’s hat? That seems a bit much. Maybe she has alopecia.

And with that, I must move over to the other pile of copy on my virtual desk, and get to real work. Tuesday is the new Monday.

Posted at 10:59 am in Current events, Media, Same ol' same ol' |

50 responses to “No one’s as Irish.”

  1. Bill Eichenberger said on May 24, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Awesome lede, Nance. I could have used that one when I was teaching newswriting back in the fall. Understated. Elegant. Engaging.

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  2. nancy said on May 24, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Bill, in trying to find a citation for the Miller Chop, I found this what-not-to-do lesson:

    The story’s about a bank robbery where the dye packs exploded, but the robber still got away. Original lede:

    DEERFIELD BEACH – The man who robbed a bank here Wednesday might have thought he was about to make a clean getaway. He was half right.

    Edited lede:

    DEERFIELD BEACH – The man who robbed the Washington Mutual branch at 1100 E. Hillsboro Blvd. at midday Wednesday may have thought he was about to make a clean getaway. He was half right.

    Arghhh. Tin ears! Where do people find them?

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  3. Snarkworth said on May 24, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Not only is the name of the bank there to break any clean flow, but also the address in all it’s numeric and abbreviated clunkiness.

    Nothing like an “it’s” error to add cred to an editing critique.

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  4. Dexter said on May 24, 2011 at 11:27 am

    70. He’s 70.

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  5. prospero said on May 24, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Fox News was falling all over itself reporting that the President went to Ireland to arrange a bailout for the Irish Kitten. It doesn’t dawn on them that people like Bill Kristol and Fox financial types were major league fans of the tax breaks and incentives that drove the Irish Tiger Economy, along with the kind of Adam Smith benevolent hand stupidity behind practically total deregulation which also put the American economy in the third hole over from the one in which Ireland disappeared. Still, just making shit up about a so-called bailout is a little outrageous even for a maroon ignoranimus (cf. Bugs Bunny) like Steve Douchebag, when any normal nitwit could see they were cheerleading the economic politics that caused all of the problems for several years. And does that ahole have a perfect name or what? Prepare for another totally loony faux conservative spam assault.

    This is an observation about the direction American social policy is being dragged. And these people all claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Personal Savior. I think this analysis is as sad as it is dead-on accurate.

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  6. prospero said on May 24, 2011 at 11:31 am

    And how did the Board member with the porn Stache vote?

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  7. Scout said on May 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Completely OT here, but today is a very bad day for people who worship $P and a very good day for people who don’t. In the immortal words of Nelson… HA ha!

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  8. alex said on May 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Question: If Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney were on a sinking ship, who would be saved?

    Answer: America.

    Got a nice chuckle from the above line and quite a few others like it while perusing this.

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  9. Catherine said on May 24, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    It’s lovely that the President has Irish roots. Did you know that Michelle might, too?
    BO might be one of the few Americans with African ancestry for whom Irish ancestry is a happy topic. I wonder how Michelle sees all this?

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I almost posted that, Alex, but here it would be pandering*, and on my Facebook page it would make too many friends weep.

    Although I’m starting to think Pawlenty could at least give Obama enough of a race to keep the voters paying attention. Not that he has, or should have, a snowball’s chance of rolling down a Florida raingutter.

    *just to be clear – from ME it would be pandering.

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  11. Bob (not Greene) said on May 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Speaking of awesome GOP ideas, Eric Cantor says we shouldn’t help out Joplin, Mo. unless something else gets cut. Hey, let’s use these suffering people as bargaining chips!

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  12. beb said on May 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    alex at 8 had my laughing out loud at work.

    Besides Cantor’s belief that federal relief should be part of a deficit reduction plan isn’t there also a bill before Congress requiring First Responders to determine if the victim is a terrorist or not?

    And while Texas is burning with numerous wildfires — which the federal government is helping to fire, Gov. Rick Perry is trying to slash the budget of the wildlife department. Talk about cutting off one;’s nose to spite one’s face.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on May 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Eric Cantor is a bastard. A wimpy, whiny, wonkish bastard, but a shitheel nonetheless.

    I wish the Democratic Party was better at fighting. On a daily basis, Republican leaders are showing the nation just how little they care about anything that doesn’t benefit the wealthy or the corporados. Anyone who could say something like Cantor did after viewing the photos and videos of the devastation ought to be cock-punched repeatedly.

    BTW, Scout, anything that casts aspersions on SheWho is never off-topic.

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  14. Bitter Scribe said on May 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    I really, REALLY hope they hang this around the neck of Cantor and the rest of the Republicans. This could be their ketchup-is-a-vegetable moment (not that Reagan ever really paid for that).

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  15. MichaelG said on May 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Jeff B, for many long, sorry years the Dem’s motto has been “We have not yet begun to fight”. Regrettably and unlike J. P. Jones, it seems they have no intention of beginning.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on May 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    On the SheWho news front, this tell-all book written by a former $P aide, should be quite entertaining:

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  17. Bill Eichenberger said on May 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I weep for modern journalism, print variety. Can it be saved from its editors? My experience tells me, No, it can’t. Tin ears indeed.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on May 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Amen, Michael G. My wife and I were joking the other day about how much Will Rogers’ observation from 70 or 80 years ago rings true: “I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”

    The devastation in Joplin is terrifying and the first thing this asshole –one of the so-called bright young men of the right– thinks about is where relief money will come from. Well, we sure wouldn’t want the Koch brothers, the Coors, the Olins, Scaifes and the rest of the pack to be disappointed in their Congressional concubines, now would we?

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  19. nancy said on May 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Meanwhile, how does “President Thaddeus McCotter” grab you?

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  20. coozledad said on May 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Does he sound like Montgomery Burns as well?

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  21. Dorothy said on May 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Well we’ve heard Obama’s speech he did in Dublin yesterday, and I thought I’d share another. Jonathan Franzen gave an entertaining commencement speech on Saturday at Kenyon, in case anyone cares to listen to it. The subject was love, actually…

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  22. paddyo' said on May 24, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Speaking as one of the apostrophe’ds, I found Barry O’s speech a delight. As he spoke movingly about his triple-great grandfather’s leap of faith to America, I imagined my own grandfather John O’ of Waterford and his turn-of-the-20th-century sea voyage to the States, his landing in San Francisco, his watching the 1906 earthquake and fire from across the Bay . . .
    A nation of immigrants, indeed. Where the hell do Tom Tancredo and his amnesiac anti-immigrant brethren think America gets its periodic infusions of fresh cultural change, anyway?

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Scout, if you read that piece on Mansour’s tweets, I don’t see anything at all odd, other than the person who tried to “sell” direct messages from their Twitter account. Some of this stuff is just turning into “what can we base a provocative headline on” and designed to gather clicks (for AdSense, no doubt) but has essentially no content.

    In this “Family Intervention Services” office (at least that’s what it says up over the door), pretty much all agree that Casey Anthony went from benadryl-ing her daughter to go to sleep to sedating her while she went out, culminating in chloroforming her inadvertently to death, finding the body when she got home, and trying oh-so-clumsily to cover up after.

    The heart of the prescription drug abuse epidemic, many of us think, begins with parents finding out a double dose of benadryl gets you a full night’s sleep, and so the self-medicating, parent-prescribing cycle begins. All reinforcing the existing cultural assumption that there’s a pill for everything.

    It’s enough to make me think well of chiropractors . . . except half of them like to bash “scientific medicine” and prescriptions, then sell their own hyper-marked-up nutritional supplements and vitamins and homeopathic doses, which is the other side of the same counterfeit coin.

    Sorry, right now I feel like all parents are guilty until proven innocent, and then we hear about Casey Anthony from everyone who was out over lunch, which just confirms a jaded view of the world & family.

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  24. prospero said on May 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    All anybody needs to know about McCotter is he gets a 100% approval rating from the USChamber of Commerce, the most unAmerican and antiConstitutional of all the groups that hands out these kneejerk assesments of kneejerk voting records. And an A from the NRA, meaning that he believes requiring trigger locks in DC is anathema to the 2nd Amendment, and preventing terrorist watch list designees from buying handguns is a violation of their Constitutional rights.

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  25. Jeff Borden said on May 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Agreed, Jefftmmo, there is hardly anything fiery in those purloined tweets. In fact, if she didn’t worship the snowbilly with the fervor of a Justin Bieber fan in heat, I’d say La Mansour speaks the truth for a lot of us particularly about Newt. But. . .SheWho is one of those folks who cannot let a snide remark pass without comment, so the story to me is how she’ll react to her gatekeeper’s snide remarks about the revirginized Bristol. She is, after all, a self-proclaimed Mama Grizzly and she must defend her cubs!

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  26. MichaelG said on May 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Bill E, the Sacto Bee today announced 44 additional layoffs to raise their body count to over 400 in the last couple of years. The product looks like it. Fry’s electronic store and a couple of car dealerships are all that are propping the endeavor up now. The Bee was a decent paper a couple of years ago. Now …

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  27. prospero said on May 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    O’Bama’s shout out to Tha Garda, was pretty clever, since they’re real Irish as opposed to some imposition from the Brits. A subtle nationalist dig.

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  28. Jolene said on May 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Although Michelle gets all the attention, I couldn’t help noticing how good those two very fit men–and Prince William–look in their expensive tailored suits. It’s funny . . . I never think a suit is an interesting idea of how to dress, but, when I see men I know and don’t generally see in suits dressed in good suits, I always think they look great.

    Just listening now to the queen toast the president and, of course, everyone is looking swell.

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  29. moe99 said on May 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Additional evidence of the dumbing down of the media comes from an attorney friend in AZ:

    This guy has been making me crazy – he’s supposed to be “checking the facts” against claims made by politicians, but he’s an idiot and his “fact checking” is incompetent. This recent column supposedly testing Ryan’s claim that Obama wants to raise the top tax rate from 35% to almost 45% is just unbelievably bad, and it’s pushing me over the edge – he concludes that Ryan is telling the truth, and that Obama is fibbing by saying that he wants the rich to pay only “a little bit more” (raising the top rate from 35% to 39.6%, where it was during the Clinton years).

    He starts by saying the top rate is 35%. Obama says he wants to add 4.6% to that. So far, so good – everybody knows what’s on the table.

    But then he adds 2.3% for Medicare tax. Obama hasn’t proposed any increase in the Medicare tax, which is actually 1.45% (the employee’s portion) and has been since at least 1990. If you’re going to count an existing payroll tax, you can’t say you’re starting from a top rate today of 35%, and you can’t say that this is an increase proposed by Obama. The “fact checker” admits that it’s an existing tax, but he adds it to the existing top rate, anyway, to “verify” Ryan’s claim.

    Then he adds another 2 percentage points for the elimination of deductions, which reduce an effective rate to something below what would otherwise be the nominal top rate for that taxpayer. If you’re in the 35% bracket, a deduction reduces your tax on your last dollars in the top rate to something lower than that – phasing out or eliminating deductions will bring your effective rate up to the nominal rate on the last dollars earned, but doesn’t raise the top rate. A person in the 35% bracket who loses a $1000 deduction would see another $1000 taxed at precisely 35% – but no dollars would be taxed at a rate higher than 35%. That escapes our fact checker, who has now agreed with Ryan that Obama is trying to raise the top rate by 4.3%.

    He then counts .9% increased tax on income on high earners in the health care bill – already accomplished last year, so this is also a part of the existing tax law, but I don’t have a quarrel with counting that, as it was recently accomplished by Obama and Democrats in Congress over Republican opposition, and the Democrats are still defending it against Republican attempts to undo it. This is actually on top of the top marginal income tax rate, so I’m okay with incuding it.

    So he has agreed with Ryan that Obama is trying to add 2.3% and 2% and .9% to the top rate, for a total of 5.2% beyond what Obama admits to – 4.3% of that is bogus, and I think .9% is legitimate. The “fact checker” ultimately decides that Ryan is telling the truth when he says that Obama is trying to raise the top rate by 10%, which is flat wrong. He then gives a “Pinocchio” to Obama for saying that he only wants the rich to pay “a little more” (the 4.6% increase in the top rate that Obama refers to in his speech) because of the “hidden 7.5 percentage points.” What 7.5%? He’s actually described only 5.2%, of which 4.3% is “hidden” only because it is demonstrably false. And 4.6% plus 7.5% is 12.1%, not 10%, so the fact checker should have recognized that his numbers don’t add up. He doesn’t.

    What a freaking idiot. One of the important things the media can actually contribute to debate of public issues is fact checking, and the Washington Post has turned that job over to a complete doofus.

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  30. Jolene said on May 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    So did your friend argue w/ the fact-checker, moe? It’d be worthwhile to see if it would be possible to get a correction or clarification.

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  31. Jolene said on May 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Another great Obama photo. A serious competitor in all things, it seems.

    Edit: Andrew Sullivan has another shot from the same occasion.

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  32. Scout said on May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Sorry, Jeff(tmmo), I honestly do not follow where you were going in response to the Rebecca Mansour link. I posted it because I thought it proved the complete lack of serious organization or discipline for $P’s rumored presidential campaign. It really had nothing to do with $P’s parenting. Although, to be honest, I do call $P’s parenting style into question too, just not with that post!

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  33. A.Riley said on May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Sings on the page indeed. Shoot, I was all misty-eyed just reading cold pixels on the screen here in the office — if I’d been in that crowd in Dublin I’d have been weeping aloud. Dang, that man can turn a phrase and touch a heart.

    (Why yes, I am descended from a widowed great-great grandmother who brought her ten children over during the Famine, why do you ask?)

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  34. Jolene said on May 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I posted the video of Obama’s Dublin speech late yesterday, but, in case you missed it, here it is again. It’s worth a listen not only to hear him but also to hear how the crowd responded. Only the great intro from the Irish PM is missing.

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Scout, sorry, I was just noting in the first para that I read the link and was struck by how little it actually said once you got past the headline, then I perhaps pivoted too quickly to the Casey Anthony story that was popping up in the second para and went on from there. There was no connection intended or implied, but I see where it seemed so.

    Would Palin have a disciplined campaign? Don’t know, suspect not, but this story I’d still say says nothing about that. One person, a friend of a friend, elicited some Twitter DMs that she went to sell. This is a general trend that is going to do no one any good.

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  36. Jolene said on May 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Ten aerial photos from Joplin, MO. Just unbelievable.

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  37. Deborah said on May 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Back home from NC. Every time I’ve been there I’m struck by how lush and beautiful it is. I think I got hit with an allergic reaction deep in my throat. I never felt sick just lost my voice and have a deep honking cough. Good to be home, it’s much cooler here than there. Feels great.

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  38. moe99 said on May 24, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    C’dad, is this dick of a Congressperson from your district?

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  39. coozledad said on May 24, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    No, he’s from out west, where it doesn’t matter that he was in a gay love triangle that resulted in a murder, as long as he hates blacks enough, and votes against gay rights.
    He’s not merely a dick, he’s pretty close to educationally retarded.
    Brad Miller is my congressman. He’s an intelligent, decent guy who fought the Republicans during the heydey of “innovative financial instruments”. He kicked his idiot opponent in the nuts in 2010, even as the rest of the state buried its head up its ass.

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  40. prospero said on May 24, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Who is irish, I don’t figure you you know. I am, and I think you might be halfway irish, Nanct, I’d just figure irt is worth gibibg you the whatever. I must sa, if you are acrually Irish, welcome to Carlowe, Nancy. It’s not just joresshit. and follow me up to Carlowe.


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  41. coozledad said on May 24, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    We had a tornado warning this evening, and the NWS even mentioned our particular hamlet as a possibly affected area. We went so far as to open the floor hatchway to the root cellar, in case we had to jump in.
    I’m afraid if one ever hits here, the chimney’s going to lay over and squash anything in that location. Maybe the best strategy would be to grab a bottle of wine and look for a ditch outdoors.

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  42. Bill said on May 25, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Grabbing a bottle of wine is always a good strategy.

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  43. moe99 said on May 25, 2011 at 2:38 am

    If the Democrats do not seize Medicare as a pivotal issue, they deserve to lose:

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  44. prospero said on May 25, 2011 at 3:05 am

    You a;; didm[t get the ha5 580 59 y3 ga4dw.
    well 5h323ll 5hq5 2qw q nuege.

    fuck rhe ga4eq qne e7ck 5h3 black and tans ans fuck police imposed vy assholes that hafe ni polidenoiwerw nere, A MARION ONCE AGAIN,


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  45. prospero said on May 25, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Why are they fuckomg with people’s lives?y

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  46. Dorothy said on May 25, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I really enjoy seeing the pictures of the Prez and Shelly O on their European tour, but I wish someone would coach Mrs. O that she doesn’t need to hold her hands in front of herself in every stinking shot. She’s doing what a lot of newbie actors do – they’re nervous about what to do with their hands so they just hold onto them and keep them there for the duration. She’d look so much better if she just let her arms down at her sides at least half the time.

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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 25, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I loved roles with a pipe. Whether you were smoking it, refilling it, or just fiddling with it, you never had to worry about what to do with your hands. Maybe Michelle would like a meerschaum?

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  48. ROGirl said on May 25, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Before and after shots of Joplin. Unbelievable.

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  49. Dorothy said on May 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

    ROGirl – I am getting choked up looking at those pictures. I cannot even dream of facing what those poor souls are facing.

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  50. prospero said on May 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Coozledad. we just continue to be thankful that storms head for North Carolina. I figure there are more trailer parks there. Rednecks are magnets. Not their doublewides. It is the most redneck Nd fundy state in the nation,

    So, why aren’t they all rapchth?’d Found wanting. They tried to pull rapture but the Jesus people were scumbg Republicans that wanted to fuck over Medicaid. Jesus said screw these assholes. We take care of the least of our brethren.
    re theze holez Chriztin or re they not? They talk good gmem but tey vote . ssn’t this proof? They were xuppoed to gp zszy if

    god thought they sdfd worthy

    RPaul Ryan iz weenie ahole. Does Nybody that’s ever been gainfully employed employed believe edicire ndZocilZecurity are “entitlementz” We pid mjor legue for thiz money.

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