The last supper.

In the wayback internet years of the ’90s, there used to be a list floating around, a database of last-meal requests on Texas’ death row. I think it was maintained by the Department of Corrections itself, and made for an interesting time-waster. It could be hard to read, however, as it revealed the condemned as human beings rather than monsters.

They asked for chicken-fried steak and country biscuits, barbecue and collard greens, carnitas with rice and beans. One took nothing but holy communion; another opted for a blueberry pie. There were a depressing number of cheeseburger-and-fries combos, a few genuine puzzlers. But it would seem that in this one thing, Texas honored the traditions of execution in human history, i.e., on the last day of your life, you are allowed this human comfort. (Within reason. I believe requests for alcohol are denied, and my guess is, no one gets to smoke anymore.)

I can’t find the list now, because it’s been bigfooted by the latest news out of the People’s Republic of Whack ’em and Stack ’em: No more last meals.

Lawrence Russell Brewer, one of the men convicted of the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in 1998, went whole-hog on his last-meal request, ordering:

…two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions; a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger; a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeños; a bowl of fried okra with ketchup; one pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread; three fajitas; a meat-lover’s pizza; one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream; a slab of peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts; and three root beers.

And what happened? See if you can guess:

The meal outraged State Senator John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat and chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. In a phone call and letter to the executive director of the state prison agency, Mr. Whitmire asked that the agency end the practice of last meals or he would get the State Legislature to pass a bill doing so.

The prison agency’s executive director, Brad Livingston, responded hours later, telling Mr. Whitmire that the practice had been terminated, effective immediately, and that death row inmates scheduled for execution would receive the same meal served to other inmates in the unit.

What a spectacularly dickish move. On everyone’s part. Brewer certainly abused the prison’s hospitality, so to speak. Where did he put all that food? It turned out he didn’t put it anywhere; he ordered it and didn’t eat it. It “made a mockery” of the process, Whitmire said, and added:

Mr. Whitmire said his opposition to last meals had little to do with the cost of the meals, when the state budget is stretched thin. He said it was a matter of principle. “He never gave his victim an opportunity for a last meal,” Mr. Whitmire said of Mr. Brewer. “Why in the world are you going to treat him like a celebrity two hours before you execute him? It’s wrong to treat a vicious murderer in this fashion. Let him eat the same meal on the chow line as the others.”

Maybe in another generation, Texas will have passed the Get as Good as You Gave Act, which specifies that the execution be performed using the same method as the crime, perhaps preceded by a few hours of torture (for the deterrent factor).

We give a condemned man a choice of last meal, Sen. Whitmire, because we’re better than the condemned. On the last day of his life, we’re extending the little niceties of civilization as a way of showing the man about to die what he rejected. We let him meet with a clerical representative of his choice to show we live by the values we kept and he rejected.

Not any more. Enjoy your macaroni and cheese.

Oldest execution joke in the book: Condemned man faces firing squad. Commander offers a final cigarette. Punchline: “No thanks, I’m trying to quit.”

Sweet, sweet Friday, how I’ve missed you. But before I have my first cocktail, I must do some work. So, for today, only one bit of bloggage, an open question:

Who ARE these people?

Have a great weekend, all. Tour De Troit tomorrow! Fingers crossed for good weather.

Posted at 9:09 am in Current events |

56 responses to “The last supper.”

  1. Peter said on September 23, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Even older than the Stooges jokes? “You are sentenced to die! Choose your means of execution!” Larry: “That’s easy – old age!”

    Or: “You are sentenced to die – do you want to burn at the stake or have your head chopped off?” Curly: “I’ll burn at the stake”. Moe: “Why’d you pick that?” Curly: “Because a hot steak is better than a cold chop!”

    Thank you everybody – don’t forget to tip your waitress!

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  2. coozledad said on September 23, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I always figured if the state was going to off me I’d drop my dietary restrictions and go for beans, franks, cabbage, boiled eggs and black coffee. No need to make it easy on anyone.

    The Republicans never were a particularly graceful bunch, but now they’re just flashing their id. I always knew that “Support the troops” sticker really meant “I’d blow Cheney”.

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  3. Bob (not Greene) said on September 23, 2011 at 9:46 am

    It’s interesting to see what a mob mentality will bring out in people. Who are those people? They are the same kind of people that went around swallowing all the propaganda in the 1920s and 1930s that some “other” was behind all their problems. They have a penchant for uniforms, armbands and shiny boots. And in the comfort of a Fox News debate and surrounded by like-minded troglodytes, they get careless and let the beast show. Boo a soldier who is different. Let a fellow citizen die because he’s too poor to afford healthcare. Cheer state-supported executions, apparently even of the innocent.

    Be careful not to underestimate the power of the mob and their ability to take advantage of people who think that, in the end, people will behave like rational adults. How many examples from recent history do we need before we believe it can happen here?

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  4. alice said on September 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Marry me Coozledad!

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  5. coozledad said on September 23, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I don’t know, Alice. My wife says I’m farty without the cabbage.

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  6. Deborah said on September 23, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I’ve been thinking about Cloy’s comment yesterday and now the booing at a gay soldier. It makes my blood boil.

    To Cloy: I’d put money on it that you’re white and male. I call the behavior you lay out as someone being a taker, an exploiter. Some may call that smart but many other people I know, including me call a lot of that behavior and thinking evil. Having a good idea or the moxie to start a business is laudable, taking advantage of every situation to make it go your way is not laudable. I can imagine what your employees say about you.

    Who are these people, indeed.

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  7. Scout said on September 23, 2011 at 10:34 am

    And WTF kind of name is “Cloy” anyway? I knew where his post was headed just by the name at the top of it, I swear. Who ARE these people, indeed.

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  8. coozledad said on September 23, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Bob(Not Greene): Your comment reminded me of something I read a couple of days ago: it’s from Achmed Errachidi’s memoir A Handful of Walnuts. He was held in extrajudicial detention in Guantanamo for five years. The staff at Gitmo sounds like a Republican wet dream- the spawn of Busby Berkely and the Totenkopfverbände.
    We were in the Oskar punishments block when Farooq’s turn came. The interrogators strapped him to a chair in the cold room for thirty-six hours, and kept him awake. Then they returned him to his cell. Then he was moved back to the interrogation room to remain there for another thirty-six hours. We saw our friend in torment, and decided to put an end to his suffering. As was the custom whenever the prisoners wanted to fend off injustice, we resorted to a protest to put pressure on the camp administration. We decided, therefore, to refrain from returning the paper plates and plastic spoons after dinner. We told the soldiers that we would not return them until Farooq was returned to us, and was allowed to sleep.

    Inevitably, a confrontation ensued. Two divisions of the emergency reaction force entered the ward wearing black protective gear. They walked with a dance rhythm to cast fear into us- all of them raised their feet at once and then struck the metal floor of the ward hard with their military boots. This terrifying dance shook every prisoner, telling him now there was no escape.

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  9. brian stouder said on September 23, 2011 at 10:56 am

    That debate was interesting, and Bob (not Greene) nailed it.

    Booing the soldier and cheering for plunging deeply back into Iraq was flatly ridiculous. And indeed, it is obviously easier (for anyone) to default into ridiculousness than to think things through (and then act accordingly)

    For example, yesterday afternoon after work, my assignment was to go to the bus stop and await our daughter (from the activity bus; she had volleyball practice).

    So, Rock-104 was deeply into commercials, and I changed it to our local AM talk-radio station for the bottom-of-the-hour news. Our local de rigueur middle-aged-angry-fat-white-guy lip flapper was absent, and in his place was some other guy, who, just before the 5:30 news, offered the opinion that Michelle Obama expressing admiration for her husband’s greying hair – she called him “hot”, I gather – was “undignified”, and “unPresidential”.

    I was just beginning to chuckle when he added that it was (and I quote) “ghetto” of her to call him “hot”.

    I mean, wow. For a second there, I considered calling the guy, but of course that’s what he wants, so I passed on that and changed the station back to Rock 104 and their condom commercials – which was a suddenly welcome respite.

    But, the tarry ignorance and matter-of-fact bigotry within that statement stuck with me. Afterall, imagine if Beyonce, or some other suitably hot woman, clad in practically nothing, sang “Happy birthday, Mr President” to President Obama last month.

    Would that be “ghetto” behavior, or would that be “uptown”?

    Apparently, it depends whether the president has dark skin or not

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  10. Sue said on September 23, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Not ‘who’ are these people… how are they chosen? Do they just open the doors and let anyone in? Or are they vetted somehow? I can see this nonsense occurring every time if they just let in the first 200 people who show up (or however many), in the same way that Oprah’s and Martha’s audiences are Oprah- and Martha-philes. Your supporters are going to be the first ones in line.
    But if it’s happened at three different debates, in three locations, with people chosen from particular groups, then it would seem to demonstrate a willingness to showcase spectators who are maybe more comfortable with the reptilian-brained aspects of their personality.
    This might explain their discomfort with the concept of evolution, now that I think of it.
    Does anyone know how they get the audiences for these spectacles?

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  11. Colleen said on September 23, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Brian, you also heard me on the air at that break….trying my best to disagree….

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  12. Laura Lippman said on September 23, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I wrote a piece about that list, Nancy. I remember a couple of things: Cheeseburgers were the most popular, eclipsing even steak. Chewing gum, tobacco and alcohol were all prohibited, by rules of the TDC. One man ordered a Mexican dinner of such proportions that I wondered if he hoped to have some horrible gastric accident in order to shame the spectators. And one man, I think, asked for water and compassion, or something like that.

    Two more memories, things that were slightly outside the list itself. When I asked the TDC why they maintained it, they said it was because the media was morbid and insisted on knowing such things. And when I pitched the story to my editor at the time, she asked why I wanted to write about it. I said I thought it was interesting. She said that wasn’t a good reason to write about something. I said — but I’m forever writing about things that the editors find interesting! Aren’t I a citizen of Baltimore? Isn’t the fact that I find something interesting a reasonable indicator that others will find it interesting? And, darn it, it was interesting and sad to crunch the stats on those death row meals.

    I don’t know about your experience, Nancy, but in mine, editors led such cloistered lives that I think they often had the worst ideas. I can’t remember how many story ideas were generated by things they saw through their car windows en route to work. Back in the day, the Evening Sun’s (excellent) television writer, Michael Hill, said the Leno-Letterman story was big because newspaper editors watched Letterman after arriving home at the end of long days. I had another editor — rumored to be a self-loathing Jew, although I don’t think he had enough introspection to be self-loathing — who assigned a story on a synagogue being built down the street from his house. That was the sum and total of the story: I see that a synagogue is being built in North Baltimore. No one cared, there was no conflict. Except, perhaps in his very dark soul.

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  13. april glaspie said on September 23, 2011 at 11:13 am

    because we’re better than the condemned Not really. It’s so society can esteem itself as better than the condemned before it takes her life. Shrub proved it’s a sanctimonious and hollow pretext when he did his Karla Fay Tucker impression for Tucker Carlson.

    Last words of Harry “Breaker” Morant (executed in Australia, 1906, to end a military and government cover-up):

    Shoot straight you bastards, and don’t make a mess of it.

    Supposedly, Benito Mussolini asked the firing squad to avoid shooting him in the face.

    Ned Kelly said “Such is life.” Gary Gilmour said “Let’s do it.”

    “Take a step forward, lads. It will be easier that way.”
    ~~ Erskine Childers, Irish patriot, d. November 24, 1922 (Executed by Brit firing squad.)

    And WTF kind of name is “Cloy” anyway? Cracker with a laptop, sitting on the brokeback sofa on the swayback porch next to the broke-down ringer washin’ machine.

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  14. john G. Wallace said on September 23, 2011 at 11:28 am

    For those of you living outside the south – the Blue Bell ice cream makes all other ice creams seem like the horrible cheap Walmart $2 artificial stuff.
    It’s rich wonderful stuff. I noticed some versions of the story left out the brand. Have to wonder how the PR guy weights an endorsement from death row.

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  15. Maggie Jochild said on September 23, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I can’t hear the words Blue Bell ice cream without also hearing in my head the falsetto of little boys or singing cows declaring “Best ice cream in the country…” Great commercials that for once ring true.

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  16. april glaspie said on September 23, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Senator Whitmire is just doing what a Democrat needs to do to get elected in Tejas.

    Have to wonder how the PR guy weights an endorsement from death row. From a racist monster. But John’s right, BlueBell is superb ice cream, and decidedly less expensive than brands like Haagen Dazs or Breyers.

    edit: Maggie, I will only buy Bumblebee tunafish when I want my mercury infusion, because of the Bum bum bumbelbee, Bumblebee tuna song from the old ad campaign.

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  17. Linda said on September 23, 2011 at 11:53 am

    My favorite last words: “I have something to say, but not at this time.”–Grover Cleveland Redding. Some more from the book, Last Words of the Executed.

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  18. brian stouder said on September 23, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Colleen – I missed you!; but it sure would have been refreshing to hear you call that maroon out

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  19. nancy said on September 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Laura is absolutely right about editors and their story ideas. The most infamous story I’ve yet heard is from the Gannett-era Detroit News, gathered by a friend and former employee:

    An editor who drives to work from the west is bothered by the morning sun in his eyes. It’s so bright, I feel like I’m half blind! Etc. So he orders a story on what drivers like him should do. It included one of those infamous Gannett tips boxes, with these helpful tips:

    1) Use your sun visor.
    2) Wear sunglasses.
    3) Alter your route, or change the time of your commute.

    I wish I were kidding.

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  20. Connie said on September 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Cloy was so clearly a troll, don’t waste your time responding to unknowns like that.

    I have 28 years of experience as a library director, much of it serving populations of 90,000 or more, with multi million dollar budgets. These are not units of city government they are free standing municipal units responsible for their own finances, like schools in most states.

    This week I attended the State Library of Michigan’s mandatory Library Director school. Two days. Because I’ve never been a director in Michigan, my library would lose its tiny piece of state aid if I had not attended.

    Am I wrong to be crabby and irritated about this?

    On the other hand during my two days in Lansing I did get to spend an evening exploring the Michigan State campus. Sure looks different all these years later. My old dorm didn’t have any windows in it, so I am guessing there is renovation going on in the B wing of Rather Hall.

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  21. Candlepick said on September 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    re: no more last meals. The ultimate “this is why we can’t have nice things.”

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  22. mlberry said on September 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    This is the best statement I read yesterday regarding the Troy Davis execution. From novelist Lucius Shepard:

    The death penalty has become the medieval mystery play of our time, a ritual enacted so as to give the ignorant the sense that there is justice, there is order, there is a reason for everything. But Troy Davis really died because the first order of business for any government is to make sure we, its citizens, know that it can kill us with impunity.

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  23. Jolene said on September 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    On Twitter this AM, a hashtag for “peoplelikelytobebooedatnextGOPdebate”. Some candidates: Baby Jessica, Pat Tillman, Jesus for that whole “heal the sick, feed the hungry” thing.

    Apparently, there wasn’t a lot of support in the crowd for booing the gay soldier, but the real disgrace was the candidates. Santorum said the utterly ridiculous “Sex has no place in the military” and was otherwise incoherent. None of them spoke up for the soldier.

    The “we’re better than the condemned” theme was at the heart of a very good essay by Andrew Cohen just before the Troy Davis execution.

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  24. Sue said on September 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Oh yay! Kate Beaton gets some attention!

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  25. dan_g said on September 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    As of September 17, 2011 this link mentioned the Texas last meal database:

    It had a link on the page to bring you to a listing from the wayback machine, but the page said it was down for maintenance.

    As I recall, the database was up until 2004.

    It had a listing of all Texas executions back to about 1900 and I remember figuring out that Gov. George W. Bush had executed more inmates than all the other governors combined.

    Also Karla Faye Tucker had peaches and cottage cheese for her last meal.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on September 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I may be the king of the editor-directed story including a dumb piece I had to write about a dilapidated wreck of an old motel that offended the delicate sensibilities of the executive editor when he drove from his handsome home in Dublin to Columbus. (I also was put in the position once of renewing his dog licenses and fixing a ticket, but that was a long, long, long time ago.) In Charlotte, I developed the theory that among the most powerful people in town were those who lived next door to the editor. They would whine or complain about something or another, which would lead him to assign a story about said cause of their distress. He needed to show his neighbors that he was the boss man, right?

    Regarding the recent behavior at the GOP debates, I cannot say I’m surprised. The party has been throwing rotten red meat at the basest of its base for so long now that nothing shocks me. And as noted earlier, the responses by the candidates certainly show utter gutlessness. They love to strut and act tough and defiant, but they turn into cowards before such a crowd. John McCain is a dick, but when late in his 2008 campaign people were calling Barack Obama a Muslim and a terrorist, McCain stood up for Obama and took on the hecklers. This, of course, is why so many ultra-conservatives still loathe McCain.

    My last thought: I wonder how many of those who booed ever served in the military? I’ll wager there were as many paper patriots in audience as there were on the podium.

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  27. april glaspie said on September 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    How about the “We’d like to convince ourselves that we’re better than the condemned, despite being willing to resort to barbaric methods of revenge and punishment, because, after all, we’re exceptional ‘Murcans that use drugs and electricity instead of stones” theme? Why not go fundie and just crucify people. Why does none of the Davis case commentary deal with the obvious reality that when a cop is killed, cops are immediately willing to identify a culprit without evidence and mold a case to fit prejudgement, as the Savannah cops, according to the trial witnesses that recanted, browbeat witnesses and scripted the court testimony.

    Al Franken on the death penalty.

    Wow. Two days in a row to contemplate the incredibly destructive and stupid GOPer obsession with privatizing Social Security. One mutual fund in which I hold 4080 shares lost $0.95 yesterday and the day before.

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  28. Peter said on September 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Slate has an update on the booing at the debate – an audience member (the press weren’t in the audience) said that is was just one person who booed – but he did a good job of it. She also mentioned that several people around the heckler were upset about it; shushed him, said it was disrespectful, etc.

    The item goes on – and I would agree – that the shameful part was Santorum’s response, basically saying that DADT should be reinstated…

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  29. Laura Lippman said on September 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I once advanced the proposal that all editors should be driven to work while wearing blindfolds in cars with exceptionally good shocks so they couldn’t feel the potholes. Because you know what happened every time an editor hit a pothole . . .

    In addition to editor’s neighbors, people who got naked with them in locker rooms enjoyed special access. And at my paper, that involved an X and a Y chromosome more often than not. Oh, and one editor once ordered a profile of the guy who repaired his shoes.

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  30. brian stouder said on September 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    and one editor once ordered a profile of the guy who repaired his shoes.

    So, this troubled ‘sole’ (or maybe he was a heel?) surely set ‘tongues’ to wagging, no? (I bet a little shoe leather expenditure there would have yielded an interesting – even if unprintable – story!)

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  31. Sue said on September 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    “This is why we can’t have nice things”
    Good one, Candlepick. I doubt that this is going to come up in any non-NN.c conversations but I’m using that line if it does.

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  32. LAMary said on September 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I find it very sad that Karla Faye Tucker ordered the diet plate as her last meal.

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  33. brian stouder said on September 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I find it very sad that Karla Faye Tucker ordered the diet plate as her last meal.

    I seem to recall that in one of those terrible night-time naval battles in the Pacific (maybe the battle of Savo Island, but not sure), a captain of an American destroyer was just certain that it was all a mistake and that it was “friendly fire” that was raining down upon his ship.

    So, he ordered his ship to be fully lit-up, and especially the stars and stripes, fluttering atop the mast.

    Of course, the Imperial Japanese Navy made short work of finishing that ship off.

    In the post-war years, accounts of the demise of that particular ship and crew were discovered in several different Japanese diaries and logs; and all of them commented on the gallantry and bravery of the American captain who sneered into the face of certain death, and went down with his colors fully illuminated.

    Maybe Karla Faye did the same

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  34. Deborah said on September 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Connie, you’re right about not reacting to Trolls, sometimes my blood gets to boiling and I can’t stop myself. This has been a week of steam blowing out of my ears.

    I’ve been eating a lot of cottage cheese and peaches lately. I finally lost the 10 lbs I gained when I fractured my foot. Little Bird and I have been on the 17 day diet. No alcohol and very healthy eating. Little Bird lost 20 lbs so far. The 17 day diet is essentially 3 phases that last 17 days each. I just finished the first phase. I’m cheating tomorrow because it’s my wedding anniversary (today actually) and we’re going out to dinner and I’m going to have some wine, no cottage cheese either.

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  35. brian stouder said on September 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Deborah!

    And, watch out for plunging satellites…

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  36. MarkH said on September 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Strictly OT to end your week on an up note. Staged? You be the judge…

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  37. Dexter said on September 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm


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  38. april glaspie said on September 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I’d tae back the April name because none of you understand the importance. Original W sent April Glaspie, a lifetime diplomat, with a perfect record, to tell Saddam the US didn’t give a shit about. Kuwait was slant drilling under Iraq, and Iraq had a valid claim that Kuwait was actually part of Iraq.Iraq.Iraq. Kuwait was clearly slant drilling and stealing from Iraq. JH. W. clearly sent April Glaspie to communicate that the US didn’t give a shit. shit about Iraq invading. Are people that dumb? Who caused this shit? PNAC wannabe W. Who is zooming who?

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  39. alex said on September 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    When food is so good I that I cannot find an appropriate superlative or praise it highly enough, I always tell the hosts (or server, as the case may be) that someday if I’m on death row it’ll be one of my last requests.

    I’ve watched a few people whose faces betrayed utter horror, but for the most part it’s always received in the jocular spirit in which it was intended.

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  40. Mary o said on September 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Based on his response to the soldier last night, Santorum clearly deserves his Dan Savage attack.

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  41. John G. Wallace said on September 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm


    I always got the reference because Ross Perot always made a big issue of April Glaspie’s message in the 1992 campaign. Perot – and you- were right. Glaspie essentially told Saddam that if Iraq were to invade just a certain portion of Kuwait it would be considered “an internal Iraqi matter.” But we likely figured Saddam would take more than his alloted serving and created a pretext for war.

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  42. LAMary said on September 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I would have tortellini with parmesan and panna, peas, and thinly sliced prosciutto on top. For dessert a chunk of Callebaut bittersweet chocolate and a snifter of Courvoisier. I’d nibble of a little bit of the chocolate and let it melt with the cognac. I haven’t eaten or drunk like that in a long time.

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  43. MarkH said on September 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    April, John — This is still very murky, but the onus appears to be on Saddam, as April Glaspie was very straightforward in her questioning of Saddam’s motives in the buildup at the Kuwait border. The massive buildup was far more than necessary for an invasion of “just a certain portion” of Kuwait. Ms Glaspie made the HW Bush administration’s concerns clear; Saddam clearly misinterpereted. Kuwait may have been slant drilling, but that was not the issue.

    I think Juan Cole agrees:

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  44. april glaspie said on September 23, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Mark H what’s murky? trash the market and fuck over the brown guy and everybody that supports him. Which part of of this is difficult to understand? There is no question these aholes want to prevent regulations on these shitheels, They seem to think they should go back to bundling shady mortgages. Right? What is wrong with these fucking crooks? They believe that license to run con games is somehow in the constitution? These assholes should all go to jail.

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  45. april glaspie said on September 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    MarkH, is Cheney not a traitor? Well, yeah, he is on the face of things. How do you say he isn’t? He outed an undercover CIA agent. I think Joe Wilson was probably in the line of fire, and so was his wife. These are typical W administration chickenhawks that never risked their lives.

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  46. april glaspie said on September 23, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    No shit. Let’s hear it for that lying piece of shit Buck McKeon, Biggest defense grifter that ever lived. What a monumental asshole.

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  47. Kim said on September 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Oh, man, those stories of what the editor saw on the way to work = what you will be writing about for the Sunday A1 reader take me back. One time the editor wanted me to write a story about luggage, stuffed with matching body parts, that was being fished out of the Bay. Since we had already run those news stories about the finds I asked, well, whaddya think this story is about? “It’s about who would do this! Who would chop somebody up?” Um, somebody angry and totally fucked up?

    BobNG, not sure if you were around yet but when the boss’ son reached elementary school we all said, oh shit. Now whatever happens at (name redacted) elementary is going to be front and center. And sure enough, it was. The way math was taught, the way the kids couldn’t have a Christmas celebration in the public school, the way the PTA had factions, the quality of school lunches, how much time kids spend on the bus and so on.

    Brian @ 33, great observation. LAMary, I think I will have that dinner tomorrow, thanks.

    What strikes me about the TX response to one-last-time gluttony is that the supposedly lawful don’t remember they’re the ones getting the last laugh here. Gaming the system with $20 of uneaten food is nothing compared to what will happen next. Can’t say I can stand up for either.

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  48. april glaspie said on September 24, 2011 at 3:12 am×7510120″>Ronaldus Maximus, you assholes. I never had an editor, except for JSchool. Dr. Charlie Kopp, for copywriting, and damn, he was brilliant. And that little ole newspaperman Elliot Brack, who pioneered the biweekly. And Brack taught newswriting classes the hard way. He’s rip nascent stories out of our manual typewriters when the bell rang to end our newswriting classes that started when it was still dark outside. The guy was an original. He gave me his keys once to get his car. Beer cans rolling around the floorboards. Dr. Kopp was fastidious. I don’t have a bad editor story, because I was always the editor, in a corporate setting. I chose to write the obnoxious shit instead of foisting it onto somebody that was probably a better writer.

    I grew up wanting to be Jack Anderson. I made money being a happy shill. When you have a kid, the game changes. I couldn’t express how much I admire Nancy for sticking this out, and I do always try to remember to order Amazon through her link, I hope it’s worth a buck or two. This blog, and I despise the term to this day, is replete with intelligent people. And that is a seriously unusual thing these days.

    I’d like to change my name again, April Glaspie was a long time diplomat that the first Bush sonvinced to tell Saddam the US didn’t give a shit what Saddam did about Kuwait slant drilling. She was ordered to tell Saddam this country didn’t give a shit. That’s the Bushes, Right down to Poppy bailing from that p;ane. The idea that people bought that Jerome Corsi horseshit and didn’t understand that W was the ultimate coke-huffing draft dodger is totally insane. Mission Accomplished, and American voters almost elected the biggest turd ever. But they needed help from Kenneth Blackwell and Diebold.

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  49. EllenT said on September 24, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Could we have a contest to rename prospero/april glaspie? Or at least a suggestion box? Winner gets a chicken on cooz’s farm named after him/her?

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  50. caliban said on September 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Well Ellen, that’s clever and I’d entertain any suggestions. My real name is Michael Johnson. But I think Im going to stick with Shakespeare and use Caliban.

       Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
        Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
        Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
        Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
        That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
        Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
        The clouds methought would open and show riches
        Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
        I cried to dream again.

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  51. brian stouder said on September 24, 2011 at 10:56 am


    How’s about Roy Hinkley!*

    Aside from that, here is one of those stories that somehow defy understanding, on one hand, and which you instantly “get”, on the other, about a 75 year old man in the rural Logansport area, who shot and killed his 76 year old neighbor, last week.

    What Nance might call the “nut” of the article:

    Neither the sheriff nor Cass County Prosecutor Kevin Enyeart would discuss whether they found a motive for the crime. Victor Willy Jr. knew both Schroder and Fry, who were his neighbors. He said the pair had an ongoing dispute over a ditch that ran through their adjoining properties. Cass County Surveyor Jenny Clark confirmed there had been a drainage dispute between the two men. She declined to comment further on it, saying she would have to consult with the county attorney. Willy said someone dug up some of the tile in the ditch, and both Fry and Schroder had several acres of land that flooded as a result. “As for who dug the tile up, who knows?” Willy said. “Each one blamed the other.” Willy said he talked to Schroder about the issue the day before the man was killed. Schroder had received a letter that day from an attorney over the issue, Willy said. He wasn’t sure what the letter said, though. Willy said he hoped the issue wasn’t the motive behind the crime. “There’s no reason for him to die over something like that,” he said. He said Schroder was a nice man, and the two worked together often. “He just wanted to get his land drained, so he could farm,” he said. Willy said he talked to police officers after Tuesday’s shooting. He asked them if they had checked Fry’s home. He and other neighbors had their suspicions about Fry in the wake of the killing, he said. “I was hoping I was wrong,” Willy said. Willy had few interactions with Fry. He called the man “very private.” Willy said he had worked with him once, and the man joked with him.

    “But he got mad easily,” Willy said. “He didn’t want people bothering him.”

    *think Russell Johnson, aka “the Professor” who, according to Google, was a bombardier in the Pacific during World War II. I did not know that

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  52. caliban said on September 24, 2011 at 10:59 am

    The Tejas racist asshole is as close as you can get to somebody worthy of the death penalty. But shouldn’t he be dragged off the back of a pickup truck?

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  53. caliban said on September 24, 2011 at 11:27 am

    *think Russell Johnson, aka “the Professor” who, according to Google, was a bombardier in the Pacific during World War II. I did not know that.

    Lucky Poppy wasn’t flying the plane.

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  54. MarkH said on September 24, 2011 at 11:53 am

    April/Prospy/Caliban/Whatever —

    Did you read the Juan Cole column? Is he a liar?

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  55. caliban said on September 25, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Nope, He’s a hopeless wuss that conservatives love to flaunt. Good lord what a wussie. He makes Sean Colmes appear to have a spine.

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  56. caliban said on September 25, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Or Riddley Walker, since we are about post-Appacolypse.

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