Going to the mat.

I was in a grumpy mood pretty much all day yesterday. Would have happily gone 15 rounds with anybody over anything, but I confined it to one nasty email. It started when the lawn service showed up at one next-door neighbor’s house, followed by the carpet cleaner on the other. We finally get a couple of perfect summer days, the sorts of days when you glory in the breeze blowing through the open windows, and then you have to close them all BECAUSE YOU CAN’T HEAR YOURSELF FUCKING THINK.

The worst of the noise was over in an hour. Still. And guess who just showed up five minutes ago? The lawn treatment service, which squirts their potions from a truck-loaded tank, powered by a generator. Just slammed the windows shut again. Get outta my way.

But because I was grumpy, I can totally see why the comment thread on this TPM story about the end of the Minnesota government shutdown immediately fixated on a typo/usage error in the first graf:

Lawmakers on Thursday evening announced they had reached an budget agreement to end the shutdown.

For my money, that’s a typo. Someone wrote “an agreement on the budget” and an editor changed it to “an budget agreement” but forgot to make the a/an change. Someone carped. Someone else responded, and lo, we got ourselves a convoy:

…agreement is between the indefinite article and the NOUN – not the ADJECTIVE. I know is sounds odd, but it is definitely correct. 😀 (remove the word ‘budget’ to see my point). I know we were all taught that one went by the initial vowel sound of the adjective (whether an actual vowel or a soft ‘h’ sound, as in ‘historian’) – but this usage has come to be accepted as well.

The hell you say. After a few people piled on saying the same thing, the original offender doubled down:

Modern usage references ALL agree on the usage rule that I gave you. It may not ‘sound’ good to you – or to me – but it is accepted and used throughout the professional publishing world. And being a published author myself, as well as a historian who reads upwards of 12 professional journals a month, I can assure you that the ‘vowel sound of the adjective’ rule has been dead for a good 20 years now.

Oh, bullshit, and don’t pull that “published author” crapola on me. If it appears in “professional journals,” it’s because those things are, first, written by professionals in every field except writing, and lightly edited, if at all, by grad students working for peanuts, who concentrate on headlines and cutlines and don’t give a shit about a/an agreement. I’m so glad these arguments take place on the internet, because if I’d read it yesterday in the frame of mind I was in, I’d have smashed a beer bottle on a table and started waving the broken neck around.

I’ll bet $50 this guy is an engineer. They know everything. True story: Guy I know was trying to teach another guy I know how to pilot his — the second guy’s — brand-new boat. First guy said: “It would be unwise to drive the boat there, because even though the water looks just like the water in the middle of the lake? Frequently at the end of a natural point of land, there will be shallow water stretching for some distance beyond it. It’s called a shoal, and–”

“I’m an engineer, I know what I’m doing.”

(muffled thump belowdecks)

Well, I’m a writer, Mr. Published Author, and I say it’s either “a budget agreement” or “an agreement on the budget,” and I say the hell with it. Two dozen comments later, they finally got around to discussing it — the budget agreement — on the thread.

The lawn-treatment guys are gone now. I feel much better.

I’ve been thinking about this topic a bit lately — the true weight of comments left on the internet. The old rule of thumb in newsrooms is that every phone call equals 10 readers, and every letter, 100 — or something like that. If you get a few phone calls about something you’ve published, it’s probably no biggie. If you get a pile of letters, it is. I’m starting to wonder, however, if comments left on Facebook and other websites actually go in the opposite direction, if they might equal a fraction of a person who cares. Let’s call this unit a “shit,” as in the phrase “give a shit.” One phone call = 10 shits given, one letter = 100 shits given, one web comment = .3 of a shit given. Some people seem to have little else to do.

Which seems as good a time as any to go bloggage-ing.

You remember Saul Steinberg’s famous map of the U.S. for the cover of the New Yorker? An updated version of the same idea. My favorite is the driving distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

It’s not opening until August, but “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is already on heavy TV-commercial rotation, and I totally want to see it. The trailer makes me laff ‘n’ laff. Go, monkeys!

And thanks to Coozledad for finding this.

Finally, remember Velvet Goldmine’s daughter Phoebe, and how y’all chipped in to send her to summer leadership camp at Yale? Guess where she is:

You all are good people. And Phoebe’s dad looks exactly like his brother, whom some of you may know as Mr. Lance Mannion.

OK, a long-awaited weekend is nearly here. So I’m off to join it.

Posted at 10:18 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' |

58 responses to “Going to the mat.”

  1. Chris in Iowa said on July 15, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Your thought on units of shit is brilliant, but you may have overstated the value of web comments.

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  2. velvet goldmine said on July 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Thanks, Nancy! I sent an email to (I hope) all the donors, so if the relevant you’s don’t get it, please look in your spam folders or send me an email to the account attached here.

    Mrs. Mannion, before she achieved that honored title, once spotted Mr. Goldmine across a crowded Boston street and said, “There’s your brother.” I believe it was their first date, and Mr. M didn’t even know his brother was in the state, much less the city, but there you go.

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  3. alex said on July 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

    .3 would be more of a flying fuck. I’d assign a value of .005 for shits.

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  4. LAMary said on July 15, 2011 at 11:06 am

    That video of the Gov’s daughter was exactly what I needed this morning. I bet her mom is so pleased.

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  5. beb said on July 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

    The value of comments is directly proportional to the amount of work needed to make the comment. Writing as letter is a lot of work. Telephoning someone … not so much. Comments on web articles….almost valueless.

    Except for the great people posting here, of course.

    I’m expecting Eric Cantor to start whining about Obama’s use of commas in his debt-ceiling proposal.

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  6. Dexter said on July 15, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Goddam fucking dumbasses in old rusty cars with enough money to buy the most obnoxious bass-radios ever.

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  7. coozledad said on July 15, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Nancy, LA Mary: Something about that video reminded me of this

    H/T Blue Gal.

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  8. Dorothy said on July 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Oh wow – Ms. Fallin might even be related to Kevin Bacon, too!

    Alex @ 3 – loved that!

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  9. JayZ(the original) said on July 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Regarding the value of letters vs internet communication, I have been an active member of Amnesty International for decades. We regularly write individual, personalized letters to government officials requesting action/intervention involving people who are the victims of human rights violations. We also mail petitions with signatures we have gathered at various venues. There is an AI website, and I am sure many people use it to add their names to on-line petitions.
    We regularly receive thank you notes from former prisoners and/or their families who have either been released or are receiving better treatment — family visits, medical care, access to attorneys of their choosing, etc. Often they will specifically say that their release was the result of the “thousands” of letters received by the authorities from people around the world. I suspect that it is much more difficult for said authorities to ignore sacks/tubs of letters than it is to delete a long e-mail. Even if those receiving the letters never open and read a single one, they at least have to face the fact that somewhere out there many concerned people are aware of their abusive actions. There is a good chance those on line petitions have gone directly to the spam file. The power of the pen still exists.

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  10. LAMary said on July 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Love that guy at DFW airport too. Where do you shop to get an outfit like that? Camo? I know some stores in Hollywood that cater to draq queens, but camo? I wonder if he’s a Republican.

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  11. Peter said on July 15, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Hey Velvet, I hope your pride and joy does just fine at Yale, and that she can track down and beat the snot out of that published author and historian who reads 12 professional journals a month.

    Is that asking too much?

    By the way, someone should let our historian know that TV Guide, Us Weekly, Juggs, and The Springfield Shopper aren’t generally considered professional journals.

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  12. moe99 said on July 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    That guy reminds me of “high heel Neil” who was indeed a Republican. Great article about him in the New Yorker by John Berendt, the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.


    Then there is this. Does Eric Cantor = Eddie Haskell?


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  13. Jolene said on July 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    The Sarah Palin movie doesn’t seem to be a big draw. Shocking, I know.

    Have been following the debt ceiling drama all week and just listened to this morning’s Obama presser. Am so fed up w/ Republicans I could spit. Not that that’s anything new.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on July 15, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    And speaking of right-wing creeps, the Washington Post has an illuminating story out today about how much the “family vacation”staged by SheWho cost and where she got the money. No surprise that the rubes and buffoons who contribute to SarahPAC financed the trip and it was not inexpensive. Turns out the plastic “One Nation” wrap put around the tour bus alone cost $14,000.

    This woman is in a class by herself when it comes to conning and grifting. Poor Newt Gingrich, another grifter straight out of “Elmer Gantry,” is already looking at a presidential campaign that is something like $2-million in debt and no one wants to contribute to his campaign, since it goes for private jets and executive limos. But all the snowbilly has to do is crack a smile and a legion of seriously stupid marks will shower her with moolah.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on July 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    The map is fabulous. Like all the hoopla over Carmageddon in LA this weekend, it reminds me, as a midwesterner, of my true unimportance.

    Here’s something that made me go all Grumpy Pants this morning, a hyperlocal blog headline from my hometown: “UP IN THE SKY, ITS A BIRD ITS A PLANE ITS AN EAR OF CORN, ITS… UGLY”. The response to my correction blamed the permalinks for not being able to retain apostrophes, and closed with a smiley face. This from someone who loudly proclaims himself a citizen-journalist AND a web developer.

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  16. Peter said on July 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Oh Jolene, to be young again with a beautiful girl and a guaranteed empty movie theater. Sigh.

    You see, there’s good to be found in every person.

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  17. Jolene said on July 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    You see, there’s good to be found in every person.

    Even Eric Cantor?

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  18. Dorothy said on July 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Julie I thought by now everyone (particularly those in the news business) had heard the word Carmageddon and knew how to correctly pronounce it. Imagine my surprise when the Channel 4 news anchor this morning said it like this: car MEG-e-don. Yeesh.

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  19. adrianne said on July 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for posting the wonderful pic of Velvet Goldmine Jr. (and Mr. Velvet Goldmine and Goldmine Jr.’s younger brother lurking in the background). And thanks again to all the Nancy Nall donors who enabled her to go to the leadership seminar.

    As Velvet and I have often dicussed, there’s some kind of raging dominant gene among the Mannions that manifests itself in siblings, cousins, distant aunts and uncles. The story of my instant recognition of Mr. Mannion’s brother is all true (in Harvard Square, not Boston).

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on July 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    “An budget agreement” as correct usage? Maybe in the English dialect they speak on Mars.

    Sarah Palin’s teasing time is running out. Soon she’ll have to make up her mind, after which she will be either just another opinionated jerk, or just another Republican candidate (and not even the craziest one).

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  21. coozledad said on July 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    They should have gone with “The Unattended”.

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  22. Rana said on July 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I have to say, one of the things that charms me about the commenting community here is how many familial relations are represented. In my other internet circles, either everyone’s a bunch of singletons, or their spouses/children are uninterested in the conversation.

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  23. Deborah said on July 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Loved the map, I live in the state of Chicago, City of NY jr.

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  24. prospero said on July 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    New Nick Lowe song. Excellent.

    American Nazi Brewing Co. and the real tragedy of the Minnesota government shutdown.

    James Inhofe, world-class maroon: NRDC is a commoniss front.

    Jeff , linking Newt to Elmer Gantry is outstanding.

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  25. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Online comments are like letters to editors or elected officials, only more so — they aren’t all created equal. Staffers in government get good quickly at sorting letters into boilerplate, loons, and professionally concerned citizens, then they look closely at the fourth category (the rest of us).

    After doing lots of comment skimming, you develop an ear* for the same sort of thing. Some comments are evidently unhinged, some echo recurring/well-chewed themes, and others are well polished axe-grinders. The fourth category in letters or comments are the nuggets where the good stuff is found.

    *see what I did there?

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  26. moe99 said on July 16, 2011 at 2:42 am

    C’dad, that fellow flying in women’s underwear sure does get around alot:


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  27. coozledad said on July 16, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Moe: What do you give the footballer’s chances of a huge lawsuit? How many airline pilots are active racists? I know arrogance is often part of the whole flyboy thing, but the airline ought to understand that this one is judgment impaired.

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  28. brian stouder said on July 16, 2011 at 10:30 am

    If I were the captain, I’d want the footballer with the saggy-pants on my plane, rather than the cross-dressing exhibitionist, since if any actual air-piracy occurs, Mr Saggy Pants will be a much greater asset (so to speak) for the good guys than Mr Bikini-Panties & Pumps, in the fight over the fate of the flight

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  29. Kim said on July 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks for pointing out that WaPo story on She Who; the reporter is a former colleague whose work is generally right on and terrific.

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  30. Deborah said on July 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    88 degrees and climbing in Chicago. Today at 11:30 am was the beginning of the Mac Sailboat race which takes off from Navy Pier. Lots of activity on the lake, but a brownish haze off in the distance. We’re going to another concert at Millinium Park this evening, bringing a picnic and a bottle of wine as usual, Little Bird is bringing beer. She’s making a corn salad with green beans, trapeo onions and tomato, and pesto with bread all purchased this morning at the farmers market in Lincoln Park. God I love this city.

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  31. prospero said on July 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I’m thinking about TV. FNL is so good, it landed a wonderful final consideration. Got this wrong? Not in a moment.Are you kidding? That could not be better.

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  32. prospero said on July 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    What I’d whatever, I meant whatever, I never meant whatever aand whatever, Holy shit, I cared about you so whatever we say you could be some whTEVER WHAT I THINK IS SOMEBODY I LOVED.
    WHAT I LOVED ABOUT YOU YOU. STUPID AS SHIT BUT I LOVED YOU FOERECER. Whatever we say. Whatever a moron I think.
    . We care about everything yIVE IT A QUESTION? WHATEVER YOU THINK, AND YOU HAVE MADE THIS WHATEVER ou cared about. Could you imagine what you thought. What say you ? What I thought you mY Hve thoufght. QhT I THOUGHT. IT ISN’T WHAT YOU WOULD SAY. JAVE NOT SCREWED ME ND MY NONSENSE BULLSHIT CRAP.

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  33. MichaelG said on July 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I’ve been hearing horror stories about heat and drought all over the country. I hope all of you who are in the hot zone are safe and comfortable. We’ve somehow caught a break here in Northern California. With record rain and snow levels last winter we have plenty of water. Temps this year have been low. We had five days of triple digit temps ten days or so ago but it’s been a cool mid 70’s to 80 since then. Today’s avg is 94, the temp was 79. Given the very low humidity here, things are quite comfortable. I haven’t run the A/C in almost two weeks. It’s going to be in the mid 90’s late next week but that’s simply average. Nights are in the 50’s and low 60’s. We are so lucky here.

    I’m appalled and depressed by the Republicans and their willful stupidity. Krugman comes right out and calls them “crazy”. McConnell is a maggot. What the Rs are doing is unprecedented. They are gleefully pursuing nothing less than the destruction of this country.

    I hear people on TV calling Murdoch’s operation “News Core” I know that the word “corps” as used in a military context (Corps of Engineers) is pronounced “core” but as far as I know “News Corp” is a contraction of ‘News Corporation” and it seems to me it should be pronounced “News Corp”. Can anybody enlighten me?

    Also in the second sentence above I wrote “I know that the word “corps”. Should it have been “I know the word etc”?

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  34. coozledad said on July 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    MichaelG: You’re right. The p is not silent in the abbreviation of corporation. I think what has happened is most of the newsreaders are simpletons, and they don’t have producers with the sense to correct them.
    This state of affairs is directly attributable to Murdoch.
    I’m sick of hearing about him being a maverick. He’s a rancid bigot who knows the price of most humans, and he’s got enough money to purchase them.

    EDIT: I wish the son of a bitch had been in the generation Churchill sent to get their asses shot off at Gallipoli. If you judged from the pictures of him, you’d think he just missed the boat.

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  35. Deborah said on July 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Littlebird just informed me that it’s mak with a k. Is that correct? I’m going to Google this. We’re at the concert at the park right now.

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  36. Deborah said on July 16, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    It is called the Mac and it’s the 103rd year of the race. It’s the oldest freshwater race of its kind in the world. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

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  37. Dexter said on July 16, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    The old days were the best days; at least the nostalgia is great when this tune is in the air. Pink Floyd ‘Echoes Part One’

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  38. A. Riley said on July 17, 2011 at 1:28 am

    And the point to which the sailboats race is Mackinac Island, which is pronounced “MACK-in-aw.”

    Not too long ago there was a news story that tangentially touched on a foundation or something that had something to do with the Koch brothers (or something) and this foundation (or something) was named Mackinac. And every damn newsreader pronounced it “MACK-i-NACK” and thought they were pretty cool, to be able to pronounce this weird Midwestern French & Indian Wars derived names. Honestly.

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  39. prospero said on July 17, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Can anybody explain how credit card fraud got to be the fault of the card holder. These assholes are supposed to protect your credit, but it’s your fault? How is this remotely fair? Because they are the corporation and you aren’t? Fuck these bastards.They are supposed to check your signature. Right?It’s like these bastards want you to get jacked. Anybody that claims a link to Michigan and doesn’t know it’s Mackinaw is a fucking maroon. Including the Koch Bros. Who actualy are American Nazis and Ku Klux along with the Coors bastards and the Duke Bros. They sure as shit like a blappeople president as well as they like Billy Ray Valentine. Lord knows why it’s pronounced that way, but why is Lahser Lasher? East of Nine Mile? Or Ten, I can’t remember. It’s been a long time. If the p in corperation were silent, note the subjunctive, that would be cor-oration, which makes no sense whatsoever. ‘d say nothing about Northern Michigan makes sense unless you read The Sporting Club first. Best book ever written about Michigan. Seriously, why aren’t creditors, with all of their resources, responsible for straightening out identity fraud.? Seriously? They see it then they nurture until they can try to stick honest people with a huge bunch of costs they never ran up. Seems to me those are co-conspirators. Credit card companies are crooks. I’m so surprised.

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  40. coozledad said on July 17, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Max Read at Gawker is right on this. Rebecca Brooks has arranged this arrest so she can use the “can’t comment on an ongoing investigation” dodge. I wonder if she’ll even appear before Parliament at this point.
    The police are busting their asses to shield Murdoch, because he owns them.

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  41. brian stouder said on July 17, 2011 at 11:34 am

    You know, I watched a little bit of Larry King’s “Harry Potter” palooza last night, and it was the first time I specifically noticed the term “ginger hair” in place of red-head, or carrot-top, or whatever.

    And then I read Cooz’s linked article, and there it was again; and in the comments, the newspaper executive’s “ginger” hair was the first thing under discussion.

    Anyway, as for the tactics of her arrest, who knows? In America, one would think that an arrest would potentially strengthen the government’s hand, in that the target would then seek to strike a deal (and at a disadvantage), and divulge information and evidence that could lead to a bigger fish – and maybe even to the Australian Great White Shark Himself.

    But in the UK, presumably the rules of the game are different, and different ends are being served. The big complication is that this scandal may bring down the British government; and who knows what sort of odd bounces that THAT spin on the ball will produce?

    All in all, I think it’s time to watch House of Cards again!

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  42. moe99 said on July 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Murdoch owns Scotland Yard:


    Rebekah Brooks arranged her arrest to stop her testimony before Parliament:


    The rot continues in the US with the ‘Foxification’ of the Wall Street Journal:


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  43. coozledad said on July 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I doubt Brooks will talk much. Rupert gave her eight and a half million dollars as a parting gift. The only way things will get back to Murdoch is if he’s a rigid adherent to the demands of paranoid style, and he’s been wiretapping his lieutenants.
    One thing you can’t do is bugger tapes anymore. If there’s information out there, it will have to be concealed by the government and law enforcement at enormous expense and difficulty.
    There again, keep in mind Rupert is a co-creation and genial servant of the Saudis, much in the same way Bush and Cheney were. That’s a lot of money to close loopholes with, and they’re holding a lot of the debt we’re about to default on.

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  44. ROGirl said on July 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Brian, ginger to describe hair color (for cats, too) is a Britishism.

    Prospero, I live near a street named Marais, which is French for swamp (the Marais district in Paris used to be one). Some of the street signs say Marias instead of Marais. I’ve always been curious as to whether anyone responsible for signage in the city was actually aware of the error and decided it wasn’t worth the cost to change out all the signs, or if anyone even noticed it. I haven’t tried calling city hall to find out. It could turn out to be embarrassing.

    People who aren’t from Michigan don’t believe it when you tell them that Mackinac is pronounced “Mackinaw.”

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  45. prospero said on July 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    ROGirl. I lived in and around Boston for years. Back Bay or parts of it are called “the Fens”, which pretty much means swamp, for Yankees. Fenway Park is built on filled swampland, and there is inner city running and open water nearby, wild, that is, not in concrete channels like in LA. Now, the way to name a street for swampland would be to call it polk salad.

    Cooz. You are taking this NOTW business pretty seriously, and I’m with you. Hacking the dead girl’s phone is miles beyond despicable, and I’d like to be appointed to deliver the beating. Do you think the reprehensible POS Murdoch could be taken down in the USA over this? I mean, shit, he’s a vile reprobate and FCC rules would seem to require lifting his licenses for overt criminal behavior, but shit, every single Republican asshole that signed one of those pledges for Grover Norquist is guilty of treason according to the Constitution, Article 3, Section 3. Don’t know what the originalist and his little attached Long Dong would say, but I’m thinkin’, firing squad. AAAHHrG. Murdoch. what a heinous piece of shit. Seems to me if the Brits, those incompetent twits, can convict him of something, he really can’t own any sort of broadcast license in the USA. And wouldn’t that be a peachy development.

    And folks, somebody needs to invite One L to Mackinac so she can make an ass of herself. She’s officially left Sarah behind on the Odiousmeter.

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  46. brian stouder said on July 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Moe – that was a great NYT article about the Wall Street Journal becoming a Murdoch madrassa.

    Citizen Rupe?

    And instead of “rose bud”, what would his odd phrase be? “Give ’em the stick”?

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  47. prospero said on July 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Brian, I think it would be AAARGH! Guy is one obvious dickhead. He claims he doesn’t support Fox politics. Then what sort of reprehensible shithead is he? How in the name of Gog or Magog does Fox News meet the standards for the Public Good required by the FCC Charter? Fox campaigns undeniably and uncoscionably against a sitting President, apparently because he has brown skin. How do these aholes have a license?

    I seriously despise soccer. Sports are not meant for 0-0 or 1-1 ties. But when a team gets fucking jobbed the way the US womens’ team got jobbed vs. Brazil, I’m rooting for that team. And the USA , USA shit is way tired. Bag that, this team played shorthand when the refs tried to hand the gig to Brazil, that was all she wrote for me.

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  48. prospero said on July 17, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Oh, and the diving in soccer? Holy Crap. Paul Pierce would be embarrassed. And the business about favoring Japan because morons fucked up siting the nukes and storing the fuel rods. Geez. What an immense crock. 9/11 you aholes. We didn’t do that to ourselves. Of course, all of that is bollocks.

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  49. coozledad said on July 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Dayum: Bloody Sunday.

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  50. ROGirl said on July 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    When the movie comes out, who will play Rupe? Geoffrey Rush is good in everything he does. Sam Neill? Anthony Hopkins? Nicole Kidman has to play Rebekah.

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  51. prospero said on July 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Jeff Bridges in mucho makeup, Or John Cleese. And the Japanese team is incapable of a foul. The foul on the tying goal was so obvious, there is no way to figure the officials weren’t just cheating. Of course, the Japanese team crashed the US striker with three or four players so many times illegally, it’s pretty much like they couldn’t get called for anything, no matter what they did. They simply knocked Wambach down on every single corner kick. Bad officiating sucks in every sport.

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  52. coozledad said on July 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I’ll have to go with Morgan Freeman as Murdoch, Pauly Shore as Tony Blair, Cate Blanchett as Rebekah Brooks, and a blobfish as Roger Ailes.

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  53. Jolene said on July 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    James Fallows has a great piece on how Fox is covering the News Corp scandal. The mental gymnastics are amazing.

    Also, see his follow-up piece.

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  54. Dexter said on July 17, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Congratulations are due the Japanese Women’s soccer team, who showed us that even as it seemed certain the USA would win, scored a late goal to tie and then dominated the P.K. game from the first kick.
    Pro hockey utilizes penalty shots during the regular season but in the NHL playoff season, they play until the game is decided by live full action on the ice.
    To have a World Cup decided by cheap penalty kicks is , well, a joke. At least for the deciding game, let them play.
    Can you imagine a basketball game being decided by a free throw contest, or the World Series awarded via a home run derby, or the Super Bowl of football decided with a punt, pass, and kick match? And yes, it is the same thing. All the phony endings to sporting events cheapen the trophy.
    Let them play the final game out, even if it takes all night. What else are they going to do until Olympic qualifiers anyway?
    Actually, the best team won, because a team that can’t finish its chances has little hope anyway. USA had so many chances and …nothing, time after time. The color person in the TV booth, the lady, said she felt it in the air, Japan was not done, even as the clocked raced towards final stoppage time, and she was right. What that probably was, her brain was assimilating the data and the result was that the USA just wasn’t a “closing team”. They were lacking. Too bad? I just think the better team won today.

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  55. brian stouder said on July 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Jolene, thanks for those links.

    One can only imagine how many times the FOX NEWS ALERT bell would bong (I’m guessing 4 times per hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) if this exact hacking scandal was spewing tar all over, say, the New York Times.

    It would become part of the Republican presidential talking points, where each candidate would try and one-up the other, regarding how severe the proper response should be. Governor Good-Hair from Texas would probably advocate praying that God Almighty His-Own-Self would hurl the presses from the New York Times into the river; and failing at that, that a mob should do it for good ol’ God.

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  56. Dexter said on July 18, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Pilot Joe: The 84 year old man killed across from Auburn Airport was my cousins’ uncle, who I knew from many Saturday breakfasts the past few years. He was a retired preacher and farmer and factory worker who was a jovial guy and a true joy to be around. It was senseless to have to die that way, being head-on-ed by a pickup truck , and even being in the rear seat and being belted in did him no good.

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 18, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Of course, to keep everyone confused, the lower peninsula mainland city where most of us low rent types stay and ferry over to Mackinac (pronounced -AW) Island is Mackinaw City.

    Heading home today from having spent some time up in both, but we only looked at the Grand Hotel from a discreet, unwashed distance. Hoping that the return route does not again, as it did last Monday, intersect with gusty storms at Greenfield Village. I need to explain Luther Burbank & Charles Steinmetz to my son.

    Actually, I think the Mackinac Institute was having some kind of a meeting at the Grand Hotel while we were on the island; perhaps some of them have time-slipped into 2011 from 1912, politically rather than romantically.

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