Leftovers, today.

I don’t have much time to write this morning; I used up 23 minutes of my allottment on email, venting about a particularly annoying Free Press columnist (not you-know-who) and asking Hank Stuever how I might get to see the rest of “Homeland” without subscribing to Showtime. The first episode is on iTunes, and it’s much better than I expected. I was able to get past the oh-sure-Claire-Danes-is-a-CIA-analyst thing fairly easily; it helped that the producers styled her against her beauty, at least a little. I’ve been watching “My So-Called Life” lately, and it’s interesting to see how losing the last few pounds of adolescent fleshiness seemingly made her eyes grow three sizes.

Oh, hell, why not say, “the usual actress diet starved her into a Keane kid,” but she’s good at what she does.

So let’s go for bloggage today, because I don’t have the steam for much else.

Only one day later, and I’m already tiring of the Steve Jobs tributes, even as they move on to second-day stretches like this: Jobs understood our individualistic culture, and that is applicable to politics somehow, which I’m going to show with a lot of sweeping generalizations. Watch how I do it:

At the same time, while Mr. Jobs saw a society moving inexorably toward individual choice, he also seemed to understand that such individuality breeds detachment and confusion. And so Apple sought to fill that vacuum by making itself into more than a manufacturer; it became a kind of community, too, with storefronts and stickers and a membership that enabled you to get your e-mail, or video-conference with your friends, or post a Web page of your vacation photos.

But that’s nothing compared to the Corndog, at National Review Online, where the ideologues do what ideologues do: Seek to see the whole world through their special glasses:

That old Motorola cinderblock (cell phone) would cost about $10,000 in 2011 dollars, and you couldn’t play Angry Birds on it or watch Fox News or trade a stock. Once you figure out why your cell phone gets better and cheaper every year but your public schools get more expensive and less effective, you can apply that model to answer a great many questions about public policy. Not all of them, but a great many.

OK, I’m going to try to “figure this out”: A cell phone is not like public education because? One’s a cell phone, and one’s public education! What do I win?

I don’t always visit Sweet Juniper’s occasional posts on children’s literature, but I should, because of this explication de texte of “Goodbye Rune.” Killer line: I do feel like I understand Lars von Trier a little bit better now. Me, too!

OK, gotta run. We’re pulling the boat today, a bit early, in preparation for Alan starting a demanding new job at the paper later in the month, one that may well dictate that he never see his beloved sailboat again. Kidding. But at least we have good weather for it — Indian summer with a vengeance. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you after it’s over.

Posted at 8:55 am in Media, Same ol' same ol', Television |

63 responses to “Leftovers, today.”

  1. coozledad said on October 7, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Lemme translate that Corner graph into proletarian:
    That Motorola Suitcase phone cost as much as a case of Chateau Lafite Rothschild and it reduced the mileage of your Mercedes sports coupe by about 30%, but it was a triumph of marketing. Guys who purchased one believed they had discovered the philosopher’s stone of pussy magnetism. You couldn’t talk to anyone with it much, but you could park along a busy street, lean against your convertible and pretend to have an animated conversation with your broker, and wait for that rare earth to work its magic. And wait.
    And wait.

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  2. Dexter said on October 7, 2011 at 10:00 am

    cooz…that pretend-to-have -a cell-phone technique saved my ass one time. Every so often in this town some innocent pedestrian is attacked; the last incident involved a guy walking his dog and a pair of goon-teens stabbed him and left him bleeding on the street. I had not had many problems until one night about 20 years ago when I was carrying a small transistor radio as I listened to a west coast late baseball game. I was on a dark street as a car stopped right beside me and two punks got out of the car. I turned the radio into a cell phone and I called the cops. “Hello…send a squad car to North Walnut and Johnson Streets now…EMERGENCY! NOW”…and the punks hopped into their car and screeched out of there. The Tigers won, then and also last night.

    OK…last night Chris Matthews of msnbc closed out his tribute program with a convoluted statement about The Beatles, Apple, and Steve Jobs.
    He made it sound as if the two Apples were the same thing, and Jobs was somehow tied into the Beatles’ record label!
    I know this infringement issue made the news, but it was a long time ago…does anyone remember how it played out, and can offer a brief history and summation? I guess it was not interesting to me at the time, and the internet has all kinds of long stories about it .

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  3. Deborah said on October 7, 2011 at 10:20 am

    A friend of mine has an App for his iPhone. If you have the App it sends you pretend calls that light up on your screen, such as an incoming call from Hilary Clinton. Then when you answer and listen it tells you what to say in response so that the people around you think you’re actually talking to the person. It’s hilarious.

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  4. alex said on October 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Holding a cell phone to your ear is also great for avoiding conversations on the street with people you’d rather not deal with, be they panhandlers or pests you’re glad are no longer part of your personal life. I do it all the time.

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  5. Sue said on October 7, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Dexter, I’m really fuzzy on this but just last year I thought I read that the big Apple/Apple legal fight was over and that’s why you could finally get Beatles songs on I-tunes. I was reading a book on the Beatles at the time so it stuck in my head.

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  6. caliban said on October 7, 2011 at 10:57 am

    <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/achenblog/post/steve-jobs-revolutionary/2011/10/06/gIQAqX8NQL_blog.html?wpisrc=n, sans claiming grand cultural or political insights. Sort of an antidote to some of the grotesquely febrile crap that Jobs himself would undoutedly have found repulsive.

    When I think of those old car phones, I'm always reminded of George Peppard playing Banacek. There's an old Polish proverb that says "Even a thousand szloty note can't tapdance." Jim Rockford, on the other hand, always had to find a payphone.

    The Homeland first episode is available free on the Showtime website:


    The first episode is outstanding, sort of makes up for AMC cancelling Rubicon because American TV viewers are too dumb and too ADD in droves to understand it.

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  7. Chris in Iowa said on October 7, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Deborah, I immediately downloaded that app and I can’t wait to try it out … Best of all, it was free. Love the free apps.

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  8. Maggie Jochild said on October 7, 2011 at 11:20 am

    No apps are free. You pay with datamining and surveillance.

    As a poet, I know you can make a metaphor about ANY two different items. Our brains are hard-wired to accept and be excited by metaphor, but that doesn’t mean they are truthful or benign.

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  9. velvet goldmine said on October 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I feel emotionally dead this week between the seemingly universal adoration of the Wall Street takeover and the Steve Jobs grief. I just can’t muster emotion for either, despite the fact that the first falls into the general scope of my world view. And for the second, I’m not a Mac person or remotely interested in technology, but I assume there are things I rely on that might not be here yet if not for Jobs. Yet — when I think about either one I just can’t connect.

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  10. Connie said on October 7, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Steve Jobs is still dead. That’s what we’ll say when the news keeps on and on about him. At our house we said the same for quite a while about both Reagan and the last pope. Ronald Reagan was still dead for a very long time.

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  11. Dexter said on October 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    home run, velvet goldmine. I guess the USA is THE place to go overboard on the death of a capitalist who had all the right answers and knew how to motivate people and draw customers as Jobs did. My step daughters are in their 40s and yes, they have and use iPhones and droids and of course all the music storage devices that fit in Jobs’ watch pocket…and my grandkids’ lives are actually dominated by all the digital devices, all the games, the iPods, the tablets…but for me, in my 60s, that ship has sailed. I mean the constant upgrading, the phone apps, all-everything. My phone is text-able, of course, but I cancelled the option.
    All I really need is a phone. My point is simply that I also cannot get all weepy over a capitalist’s death. It’s never good to put anyone, and I mean ANYbody, up on such a high pedestal.
    And although I follow the news in a reasonable way, it seems it was Bill Gates that commanded all the news stories.
    Well, the “Occupy (your choice of places here) ” movement mystifies me, too. Last week the unions were “out there”, laying claim to their interests in the middle class woes.
    The whole thing is orchestrated to drive Obama out, and it seems increasingly apparent that Obama has had enough, and will gladly yield the country to the tea baggers and the crazy bastards from the right. Like you, velvet goldmine, frankly, I don’t give a damn.
    Hey…there is a story floating around about Herman Cain’s avoiding Vietnam War service…anybody have the skinny on that?—OK…it was during an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell of msnbc…L.O. blasted Cain for working for the Dept. of The Navy and not ignoring a high draft lottery number and JOINING the military and going to Vietnam. Complicated stuff here…hell, I mean I was drafted way before the lottery system was initiated, but if I could have legally stayed out of the Vietnam War, no brainer! I’d have sit on my fat ass in Atlanta or wherever it was, too.
    Cain had an “IN” with the goddam Georgia local draft board is what is was…he admitted that before the lottery was initiated, the draft board told him they wanted him to keep working for the Dept. of The Navy on some highfalutin’ strategic project. Yep, just like Dan Quayle was jumped ahead over THOUSANDS of National Guard wannabes , to be put into a unit to avoid the war…same old political favoritism.
    Can you believe these same people were calling John Kerry a coward eight years ago? Hey, Caliban april?

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm


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  13. Dave said on October 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Connie, you remind me of the first season of Saturday Night Live with Chevy Chase, who would say every week, “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead”.

    I thought there would be a YouTube clip somewhere but can’t find one.

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  14. Connie said on October 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Dave, I think we took it from SNL originally, the one we remember is “Buckwheat is still dead.”

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  15. coozledad said on October 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    The banks are getting ready to ask for more taxpayer money.
    They still don’t even know which dimension the money from the credit default swaps disappeared to.
    I hear the rich taste like shit, but you eat what you got.

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  16. Jeff Borden said on October 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    What has infuriated me about the Wall Street demonstrations is how late the media arrived and how skeptical and condescending they’ve been until recently. Christ, these same outlets fell all over themselves to cover the bullshit teabagger movement –an astroturf operation funded by the likes of the Koch suckers and directed by political insiders like Dick Armey– with all the respect and courtesy they could muster. These old white folks dressed like figures from 1776 or with tea bags dangling from their hat brims or their frequently misspelled and often racist signs were taken seriously as some major political movement while the younger protesters in NYC and beyond have been mocked for their youth, their hair, their clothing, their naivete, their lack of an overall message.

    Liberal fucking media my ass.

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  17. coozledad said on October 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    What kills me is CNN hires this lacquered shag sock who’s humping some parasite from Citi. In addition to being morally retarded, she’s scarcely literate.

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  18. Sue said on October 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Jeff Borden, Jon Stewart put it this way a couple of nights ago re Tea Party/Wall Street Occupiers:
    “So, rage against duly elected government is patriotic — quintessentially American — whereas rage against multi-national shareholder-accountable corporations is anti-American. OK, gotcha.”
    He missed something. He should have said “rage against the multi-national shareholder-accountable corporations that CONTROL the duly elected government is unpatriotic”.
    This was a long-time coming and to be honest I really didn’t think we had it in us anymore. It should be interesting to see what happens but I don’t expect mostly-good behavior in the Wisconsin-last-January vein. I think this will get ugly (beyond nightsticks) sooner rather than later.

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  19. beb said on October 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Coozledad, you silver tongued devil!

    People who wonder whhy we can make a cell phone into something so tiny and yet so powerful but can’t do anything about education have the mistaken idea that education is anything like a factory assembly line. Sure it’s treated like one, when kids enter at one door and exit at another door 12 years later but education is still a one on one experience. It’s an interaction. An assembly line is fitting parts together. The line can be speeded up, the number of parts reduced, the size of the parts reduced and so much more. People need to get over the idea that education is a product. It’s an experience.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on October 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Well, geez Cooz, this alone makes her a perfect hire. No doubt she’ll eventually migrate over to Fox, where her stupidity and arrogance will fit right in. Not that CNN hasn’t debased itself plenty in its so far unsuccessful efforts to regain the top spot in cable news. It’s a terrible operation these days and I take pains to avoid it.

    Meanwhile, I see Mooselini is standing up for her redneck doppelganger Hank Williams Jr., whining about how he has been censored because ESPN dropped his stupid ass for his silly comments about Obama. I wish someone would explain to these thick-headed dumbass rightwingers what censorship is so we could put this kind of idiocy behind us. The government practices censorship when it squashes news. ESPN practiced good business when it fired a divisive asshole for his intemperate remarks, not censorship.

    Then again, Our Lady of Wasilla stood firmly behind Dr. Laura when she was tossed from the airwaves for tossing the “N” word around on her radio show. The snowbilly saw that action as censorship, too.

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  21. caliban said on October 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Jeff. If I were to start up a band now, which I’ve been thinking about, the name will be Myth of Liberal Media. What’s funny (not Ha Ha, more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU) these days is the concerted effort by Fox newshos and the GOPer presidential candidates like Cain insisting that the demonstrations are some manufactured thing funded by George Soros and the Bilderbergs, i.e. non-organic, when they insist that Teabanging wasn’t invented by Dickless Armey and his corrupt rich cronies like David Koch and his homunculus brother.

    Any bank that expects a hand from taxpayers had better be prepared first to shake every dime of every paid bonus out of every incompetent financial bureaucrat that took one.

    As for still dead:


    Before Dennis Miller became a total shitheel, and to this day, Weekend Update is generally the only thing on the show worth watching. The guy that does it currently, Seth something, is very funny. I sure wish whoever made that video had used R.E.M. instead of the fatuous ass Billy Joel.

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  22. Sue said on October 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Here’s Paul Krugman on Occupy Wall Street:

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  23. Maggie Jochild said on October 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Sue, thanks for the Krugman link, it’s a great analysis.

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  24. moe99 said on October 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    So, do folks here think that Scott Brown’s riposte to Elizabeth Warren (the “Thank God” she didn’t take of her clothes remark) will have any long term effect? I’m thinking that as long as the campaign stays on the issues, Warren has the upper hand, but this sort of sexism can hurt her in Massachusetts. For all the wrong reasons.

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  25. Linda said on October 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Cooz, this isn’t the only Wall Street Barbie at CNN to dump on OWS. Alison Kosik did the same, and gave a big hummer to the Wall Street crowd (“they’re hit hard by this recession, too). This is why CNN is nowhere–they’re always a dollar short and a day late, hiring comely capitalism cheerleaders to shore up their performance. How late ’90s.

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  26. coozledad said on October 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    If Scott Brown is unable to see what makes Elizabeth Warren sexy, it’s because he’s crosseyed from trying to masturbate and look in a mirror at the same time. Liz strikes me as one of those bluebloods who’s left a trail of weeping, broken men suffering from hip dysplasia and lower back pain, but she was too busy multitasking to let on about it.
    Linda: Bloomberg’s going with the sympathy for the devil angle, too.
    This is why I could never be president: I’d issue an executive order stating that Bloomberg’s PC hard-drives be wiped of all his giantess porn, and have the National Guard key every BMW in lower Manhattan before moving on to the Hamptons to nightsoil the lawns.

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  27. beb said on October 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Moe, Scott Brown’s comments about Elizabeth Warren was such low-level, reflexive sexism that I don’t think it will have any traction. It’s like Roger Ailes comment that he hired Sarah Palin because she was hot. That’s so obvious that it goes without saying. I don’t know why Keith Olbermann is making such a deal about it.

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  28. MarkH said on October 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Because he’s Keith Olbermann, beb. And I’m in complete agreement with you. This will go nowhere. For me, this is the race to watch. Prior to Warren’s appearance on the scene, Brown was the most popular politician in Massachusetts. This guy may have ridden a tea party wave to an election win, but he is not toeing the TP line and it’s got some republicans pissed off. He has shown that he thinks for himself. For their part, repubs are being careful in their criticism and they well ought to be. A republican senator from that state is to be protected at all costs. For Warren’s part, she has to put up with the puzzling shabby treatment female politicians get in that state. I was not aware of that until Nancy brought it up a few days ago.

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  29. coozledad said on October 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    More Elizabeth Warren:

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  30. Deborah said on October 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Sue, I agree with others here, that Krugman link was excellent. Good comments today, I just don’t have much time to read today.

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  31. MarkH said on October 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I’m an avid CNBC watcher and always thought Burnett was a lightweight. Things were OK as long as Mark Haines was there to prop her up. Good thing she left before he died because, in my view, she would have faded away at CNBC eventually, too. Why CNN so heavily invested in this ersatz Bartaromo I’ll never know. The criticism seems to be universal, too.


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  32. Jeff Borden said on October 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Why did CNN invest in Erin Burnett, Mark H? Because it’s CNN and it sucks. The network has totally lost its mojo and, I would argue, has no real identity any more. It keeps pandering to the Fox crowd but those people are never going to remove their mouths from the teat of the Republican Party’s most efficient propaganda arm. It’s a shame, I guess, because there was a time when CNN was truly a news organization with a global cachet. There’s even a line in the first Pierce Brosnan 007 film, where Judi Dench as M says something to the effect of “unlike the Americans, we prefer to get our news before CNN.”

    Erin Burnett is just the latest flailing effort at trying something. . .anything. . .that might draw a few more viewers to a cable news operation that has little reason to exist these days.

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  33. MarkH said on October 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    No identity, agreed. Everyone else is doing it better than them, certainly. CNN has lost its identifiable faces, Cooper being the possible exception. So, it MIGHT make sense that CNN hitch their horse to Burnett. Still…

    I get my TV news from multiple sources, and by that I mean the straight newscasts. So I do watch CNN along with Fox and MSNBC, sometimes network news. CNN has less of an edge to its tone, as it were, so I find I prefer it. Cooper’s OK, too and I like Zakaria’s show on Saturday. I put all the “opinion hosts” in a compeletly different category and avoid all of them more and more.

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  34. Suzanne said on October 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I just discovered this today…http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/226816/20111007/steve-jobs-1-annual-salary-thought-ceos.htm

    So Steve Jobs only took a $1 a year salary. $1. All the rest was company stocks, which meant the company had to do well, or he didn’t get much. Doesn’t this fly in the face of the current business mindset that the market demands that heads of companies make millions and millions in salary or they will be snatched up by the next company? Or am I missing something? Granted, it was Jobs’ company, but still, he didn’t get bonuses in spite of running the company into the ground; all he got was bonuses from the stock doing well. If it didn’t, well…

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  35. Sherri said on October 7, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    It’s not unusual for founder/CEOs to take low salaries with high stock components in their compensation. Jeff Bezos’ salary at Amazon is less than $100,000. Founders are invested in their company succeeding, and aren’t going to be lured away to be CEO somewhere else unless the entire company is bought.

    Besides, Jobs also had around $4 billion worth of Disney stock from their purchase of Pixar, so whether Apple did well or not, he was wealthy.

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  36. alex said on October 8, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Suzanne, executive compensation was actually quite modest until the last two decades. My dad, a retired exec himself, says a lot of it has to do with the top tier sitting on each others’ boards of directors and granting each other carte blanche to raid their respective tills, a practice that used to be illegal. This is also how bond ratings agencies and stock brokerages are now misrepresenting absolute shit as AAA and fleecing the public with impunity. Thanks to deregulation, there is no such thing as a conflict of interest anymore. This stuff hardly gets the media attention it deserves. In fact, it seems the media are treating Occupy Wall Street as a bunch of lunatics while pretending the Koch-fueled Tea Party is somehow legitimate. Go figure.

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  37. caliban said on October 8, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Taking low salary with high stock incentives is a tax avoidance strategy. Capital gains rate is lower dan de limbo pole. Same thing Dickless Cheney did with Halliburton. And then he invaded Iraq and had Blackwater and Halliburton steal untraceable cash directly from American taxpayers by the pallet-load.

    Voter fraud. A deliberate canard perpetrated by GOPers that want to exclude student IDs from legal poll documentation. Gee whiz. Why would they want to do that? Once again, truth has a liberal bias.

    Alex, high school American History: interlocking directorates were a primary target of Teddy Roosevelt’s trust- and monopoly-busting. Funny how the corporations always recover from regulation without much effort. Suckers born every minute.

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  38. coozledad said on October 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

    When we elected Reagan, we gave the stupidest, most belligerent, soulless, aberrant hominids the keys. This shit won’t even begin to be straightened out until every child knows what a casting couch hustler and corporate whore sheltered in that unfortunate agglutination of proteins. I wish they’d dig him up and put him in a glass case so people could get an eyeful of the rotten fuck, because he’s just getting around to an outward semblance of his true self.

    “Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

    – President Dwight Eisenhower (R)

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  39. coozledad said on October 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    HA! It’s the Blair Turkey Project. Great camera work.

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  40. caliban said on October 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Innovative approach to healthy eating.

    And, apologies to Ike (only GOPer I know one of my parents ever voted for), But , unfortunately, “They are stupid. Their name is legion.”

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  41. Suzanne said on October 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for explaining executive compensation! Obviously, I’ve never been an executive (which according to Herman Cain, is my own fault) so I’m not up on this. Happy weekend!

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  42. ROGirl said on October 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Terry Gross interviewed Jane Mayer about her profile of Art Pope, a close friend of the Koch brothers. He’s one more player in the conservative push to take over control of the states.


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  43. Dexter said on October 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    cooz at #17 comment:
    This was great journalism compared to the bullshit Monica Crowley spewed daily on her Fox programs. She praised every move Cheney-Bush made, especially involving the rat hole money pit called Iraq. She dismissed Abu Ghraib,
    she applauded Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi’s lies and distortions, she was and still is a creepy , in-step sycophant to everything wrong and off-the-charts evil.

    After monitoring Monica Crowley and her ilk all those years , Burnett seems tame and harmless. And who she (Erin)fucks is way beyond my interest.

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  44. coozledad said on October 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Dexter: I still think all the cheerleaders for that war should stand trial with the perps who started it. Clearly, it was mobilizing the national defense capability in the interest of multinational corporations, and therefore, treason.
    You won’t hear the Republicans bitching about this giveaway:
    We’ve got reams of evidence tying them to a capital crime, and yet none of them have swung. It’s a massive failure of our system of jurisprudence, and a foreshadowing of broader systemic failure.

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  45. brian stouder said on October 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Cooz – I believe you could not possibly be more correct.

    Have you ever noticed how the right-wing yappers love to repeat the line from Rahm Emanuel, about not letting a crisis “go to waste”? As if he was the most scheming, cynical son of a bitch ever?

    Let’s revisit that, shall we? Here’s an article from November 2008, when it was just President-elect Obama, and not yet President Obama. Note his elaboration, too


    This opportunity isn’t lost on the new president and his team. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s new chief of staff, told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives this week.

    He elaborated: “Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”

    He ticked off some areas where he thought new doors were opening: energy, health, education, tax policy, regulatory reforms. The current atmosphere, he added, even makes bipartisanship easier: “The good news, I suppose, if you want to see a silver lining, is that the problems are big enough that they lend themselves to ideas from both parties for the solution.”

    Boy, now that’s EVIL, isn’t it? Totally unlike, say, MANUFACTURING a damned “crisis”, like our fast-becoming-routine national budget crisis cycle, and the bald-faced, even laughably(!) orchestrated bit of chrome wherein Standard and Poors – who never saw a problem with Lehman Brothers credit rating (for one example) right up to the damned day that THOSE sons of bitches proved to be utterly without value and went bust – downgraded their rating of the credit worthiness of the United States of America?

    And what did the Obama administration DO with their “crisis opportunity”? I suppose one might point to the healthcare reform act; and others might argue that he should have done something else or something more with his “opportunity”, but here we are.

    And what did the Bush administration do with their crisis/”opportunity”? Starting two ground wars, including one that had absolutely zero to do with the attack on America that provided the warrant, leaps to mind.

    And, whereas the tea party sons of bitches and all their selfish bastard financiers might indeed win back the presidency and both houses of congress, I submit to you that President Obama’s legislative victories (most especially including the healthcare reform act) can be repealed and junked by the new congress, and we can go right back to what we had before, as if nothing had ever happened.

    But on the other hand, looking at what the Bush administration did, what legislative magical act will magically heal the 30,000+ US troops injured there, or bring back to life the 4000+ US troops killed there? And God or Allah only knows how many Iraqi civilians are dead and injured, thanks to Bush’s “opportunity” war.

    There really, truly should be a trial or two (hundred) for the US decision makers (and those who profited most) regarding the war we started on the ground in Iraq.

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  46. beb said on October 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    When it comes to “the most scheming, cynical son of a bitch ever” I think Mitch McConnell has to first in contention. Apparently this week he complained about the President blaming Congress for not doing anything. as if the Republicans haven’t declared every proposal to come out of the White House DOA before it even gets there.

    Though a runner-up would be the preacher at the Value Voters Forum who declared Willard (Mitt) Romney to not be a Christian because Mormons are a cult. That wasn’t a very Christian thing of him to say.

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  47. Dexter said on October 8, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I wish I lived in some large city so I could go see this movie.
    I am intrigued. Its a “G” movie that is really, really great from what I hear. It’s Martin Sheen’s first lead movie role in 30 years.

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  48. coozledad said on October 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    We must choose between homosexuality and liberty? Well certainly not between homosexuality and Liberty University. Any of you folks ever checked out the Lynchburg, VA Craigslist?
    I didn’t know those ads were accompanied by photos. The colon is a miraculously flexible organ.

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 8, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Dexter, http://www.ncregister.com/blog/matt-archbold-interviews-martin-sheen-emilio-estevez/ — enjoy. I suspect I’ll have to watch it on dvd myself.

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  50. moe99 said on October 9, 2011 at 12:20 am


    The good news: at least there are no women running.

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  51. Dexter said on October 9, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Thanks JmmO.
    And for those oldsters and not so old folks who would like to know a lot more about George Harrison, late of Liverpool, England (1943-2001), the Scorsese 2-parter is indeed on HBO OnDemand now. It’s damn good.

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  52. coozledad said on October 9, 2011 at 8:46 am

    If anyone brings Sharia law to this country, it’ll be the snuff dipping fucknozzles of the Republican party:

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  53. caliban said on October 9, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Apropos of nothing. What do y’all think about parenthetical phrases at the ends of sentences, particularly, where to place properly the sentence ending punctuation? This is probably the one bit of grammar about which I have never been entirely sure of myself. I don’t think this is adressed in either Elements of Style nor in The Careful Writer. AP stylebook? Don’t think so, but could be mistaken. MLA? No use for that thing.

    In general, it seems logical to me to punctuate outside the paren, Unless the parenthetical part is a sentence, in which case there are logically and gramatically two sentences and the question answers itself.

    The Wonkette item regarding Shawnee Co. and Sharia strikes me as ironic, since Shawnee Co., Kansas is the home of the NCAA, closest thing to Sharia America will ever see, unless the fundagelicals take over. Having intervened earlier in my lifetime in two cases of spousal abuse, I’d say that such a legal abomination would require a vigilante response.

    And if somebody wants to save law enforcement dough, the logical place to start is with the entirely sensible demand of Bob Marley’s old running mate Peter Tosh.

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  54. Julie Robinson said on October 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Dexter and Jeff, I am also eagerly waiting to see The Way and hope it makes it here. A very good friend and her husband walked the Camino two summers ago and have shared many stories and photos. It tested them beyond anything they had known despite starting in peak physical condition. If and when it comes I want to watch it with her and spend hours afterwards listening to her reactions.

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  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    This is also seems like a story that would be appreciated here as much as anywhere — Amish life is not all faceless rag dolls and clopping hooves . . .


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  56. Dexter said on October 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    JmmO: This Amish story went viral and I heard it Friday on a New York City satellite radio station. The Amish intrigue people…my wife has a room in our home decorated with paintings and little figurines and junk depicting Amish life.
    Remember when “Witness” was the talk of the nation?
    One comment: I don’t see as many buggies out on the road as I used to. I don’t suppose that means much.

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 9, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Plenty of them out here from Perryton up through Killbuck and over to Berlin, along Rt. 62; also up past Loudonville on the way to Wooster and the back door to Massillon, lots of buggies around here. They do try hard to stay off the paved roads, for us English drunk drivers, and to reduce wear on the horseshoes. Farriers don’t come cheap.

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  58. Linda said on October 9, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Lots of buggies also in Michiana, where Ohio, Michigan and Indiana meet. You just don’t see them, as JTMMO says, on paved roads. It’s not just the drunk English they are dodging–even the fairly calm Amish horses can get riled up. I saw one get spooked and rear up, and it’s a scary thing with a buggy full of people.

    One story I saw on this incident had a phrase you may never see again: Amish-on-Amish violence.

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  59. caliban said on October 9, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    So somebody is insidiously using the Amish as a conduit for introducing Sharia into American culture. That story sounds like hard core Sunni extremist pedations on the Sufi.

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  60. Dexter said on October 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

    It’s been a long time since I attended a large protest march , so I had never seen the technique employed in this video in which the speaker waits for the crowd to repeat him verbatim, line by line, before he moves ahead. Have any of you seen this before?

    Also, the Starbucks dispenser…what is that? A cardboard “thermos”?

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  61. coozledad said on October 10, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Dexter: That system developed because there’s an ordinance against bullhorns in Manhattan.
    It’s just as well, I never could figure out what the hell anyone was saying through a bullhorn at the anti-war rallies.
    This also looks like a good idea, especially if you happen to be banking with some of the assholes who caused this crisis:

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  62. MichaelG said on October 10, 2011 at 10:27 am

    There are reasons inbreeding is frowned upon.

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  63. Dorothy said on October 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Boy howdy we get the Amish on paved roads here all the time. They are regulars in Gambier, where the college is, and in Mount Vernon where all the stores are. It’s scary to see them climbing up or going down Route 229 where the speed limit fluctuates between 35 and 55 mph. Their buggies hug the shoulder of course and I’m sure the riders might be muttering prayers the entire time. One goes past our house twice a day on Saturday and when they stop around 5:30 or 6:00 in the summertime, I take popsicles to them. It’s Ella and her 2 brothers – they sell aprons, small quilts, baskets and baked goods on Saturday on Middle Path at Kenyon. She’s usually got a loaf of wheat bread or some cinnamon rolls to sell. I made the mistake of buying some of her chocolate chip cookies one day – ICK! I could teach her how to make good chocolate chip cookies.

    Dexter do you use Netflix? We began using it in January and love it. This Saturday we got to see Win Win with Paul Giamatti. We liked it very much.

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