Clutch work.

My clutch is giving me problems, and the garage — more of an automotive-care emporium, really — is encouraging me to be there as early as possible this morning. As that will require me to be ambulatory, and walking will require coffee, I can blog for as long as it takes me to consume two cups. You get me between sips.

And mostly, you’re getting tasty linkage. Because sleep deprivation is cumulative, you see, and I’m getting about five hours a night, starting on Monday. By Friday, I’m incapable of coherent thought, and so grumpy I WILL CUT A BITCH who gets in my way. You know you’re old when the most exciting thing about your Friday is, you can have two glasses of wine and go to bed at 11.

But as tired and crabby as I am, I’m not incapable of amusement, and friends, let me tell you, the more I learn about Herman Cain, the more amused I am.

It’s possible to believe a national sales tax is probably inevitable and still find Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan — which, I’m sorry, sounds like a pizza special, like $5 footlongs — not just wrong, but ridiculous. Howard Kurtz:

“I can explain it in a minute,” Cain told The Daily Beast. “All taxpayers play by the exact same rules. That’s what people love about it.”

This must be part of his short-attention-span strategy, in which no bill can be longer than five pages, or was it three? Anyway, after I read that story I was perambulating around Facebook, and found this comment on my ex-congressman’s always-entertaining page:

simplified taxes is a great idea, but I am not fond of the idea of 999… flipping it upside down gives you 666… yeah it sounds silly to think that way, but honestly I think I am not the only one that thinks this…

Excuse me? Wha-? I’m so glad I don’t live in Indiana anymore, even while I know there are people who think this way living within a quarter-mile of me here. They’re just less likely to write me letters, and expect to have their lunacy treated respectfully.

Here’s a story from the Center for Michigan that is pretty much the center of all the news I’ve covered on a hyperlocal level: The Big Flush: $180 billion vanishes from Michigan. The real-estate collapse, basically. A large chunk of it was mine, too. Thanks, Wall Street.

While on one level this is the height of professional irresponsibility — i.e., spinning opinions about a medical case where you haven’t even opened the file — that’s what the internet was made for, amirite? And so a Harvard Medical School instructor offers this intriguing idea — that Steve Jobs doomed himself by attempting to treat his pancreatic cancer with “alternative medicine,” allowing it to establish a beachhead, after which, well, we all know the story. As I’m old enough to remember laetrile, this doesn’t sound farfetched to me.

Two cups, gone. I’m ready to fight my way through Oct. 14, 2011. Have a good weekend. I plan to spend a large chunk of it in a prone position, eyes closed, breathing slow and deep. Ah, middle age.

Posted at 8:30 am in Current events |

81 responses to “Clutch work.”

  1. MichaelG said on October 14, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Harking back to yesterday: Joe, I’m aware of the ADAP – the govt fund that collects money with the stated aim of funding airport improvement projects. I haven’t followed it lately but it used to be famous for being a huge pot of money that sat there buried in the back yard to help make the budget look balanced. I’m happy if the money is being spent now. And yes, the work at SMF cost a billion smackers. It would have cost more but they deleted a parking garage and a hotel because of the shabby economy.

    Oh, and the red rabbit. From some angles it looks unfortunately like a rabbit that has been kilt, skinned and hung up to await dinner.

    I don’t know any more than anybody else about Mr. Jobs’ fight with cancer. Certainly the good doctor’s speculations are plausible but it does seem to me that Steve Jobs lasted longer than most people who have pancreatic cancer. At least longer than people I’ve known. I’ve always been suspicious of oddball cures. If they’re so good why isn’t mainstream medicine using them? It always seems to me like the Fish carburetor or that perfect battery that the auto companies quashed.

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  2. Kim said on October 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Nance, I am feeling you on the living for those two glasses of wine and bed by 11 Fridays. This work thing has become life on a chain gang (with two glasses of wine on Fridays).

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  3. coozledad said on October 14, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I’m beginning to wonder if the war metaphor hasn’t hampered the idea of cancer treatment. If the body is somehow complicit in its own destruction then the whole idea of the fight takes on a nihilistic dimension. Not trying to be new-agey here, because conventional medicine has obviously yielded dramatically effective approaches, but I wonder if the best medicine doesn’t include some kind of break- the change that’s better than a rest.
    Scientists are suggesting the positive emotional effects of a dose of psylocibin might last upwards of a year, and the attitude it prompts is more conducive to a less stressful life.
    I can’t endorse those findings personally: I’ve eaten mushrooms a couple of times and I’m a howling paranoiac.

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  4. Mindy said on October 14, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Two glasses of wine and bed by 9:45 for me. And I’m younger than you are.

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  5. Deborah said on October 14, 2011 at 9:45 am

    While reading the Steve Jobs alternative medicine link I was led to another article about his choice of black turtlenecks. He was enamored with the designer Issey Miyake, one of my favorites too. I like Miyake’s use of unusual fabrics.

    Dorothy from yesterday, glad to hear you didn’t break anything. My fracture last year did me in, I aged 5 years it seemed. Rest up, hope your soreness heals fast.

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  6. Suzanne said on October 14, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Years ago, a nurse friend of mine told me that if I got cancer, I should hope it’s pancreatic because death would be swift. I’ve known several people who had it, and I don’t think any lasted more than 18 months. I’d say the fact that Jobs lasted 6 years means that maybe the alternative medicine helped.

    Herman Cain just kinda scares me. I wondered how long it would be before somebody mentioned the 999 — 666 connection.

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  7. Peter said on October 14, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Oh, that Big Flush rings close to home.

    On a related subject, yesterday I got a statement from one of my 401k accounts – thanks to the recent slump and the company’s new and improved reporting methods, I found out that since I left the company and transferred the money to this account – in 2000 – I have made a grand total of $5.00.

    I always joked that I’ve saved enough money so that when I retire I can afford a Big Mac. I guess it was closer to the truth than I realized.

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  8. Dexter said on October 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I go to those meeting you have heard about, the kind that are held mostly in church basements at noon at 8:30 at night.
    An old timer told of a lady, recently widowed, who for many years had had one drink a day when her husband returned from work. He died, and as the 5:00 hour approached each day, she then began having that one drink by herself. Sitting there, she reminisced with grief. Soon she told herself she would also have that drink her husband used to have. She then began having two drinks every day. Within days she was slipping into a grief based depression, and one day she just got a water glass after having her two drinks and filled it to the brim with wine.
    The oldtimer who told this story used it to illustrate that it’s not just the case-a-day beer guys or the hidden-bottle housewives or the folks that can’t function without a maintenance dose of alcohol that have problems.
    The widow knew what to do. She went straight to AA and told her story. Some old men said harsh things about spilling more than she ever drank, all that stuff…but she knew where she was headed. She attended meeting until she became too aged and she died sober.

    Ain’t life a bitch? Some old lady has an extra glass of wine and ends up in a recovery program…some kid gets a credit card in the mail and ruins his life with it…and the 8 billion dollar guru dies from a horrible affliction.

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  9. coozledad said on October 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Rick Perry has already been tested by a couple of burning bushes, I’m sure. That’s why his face looks so crackly, Miss ‘Nita!
    She likened Perry’s decision to run to encountering a “burning bush,” a reference to the Biblical story of Moses receiving a sign from God. And Anita Perry suggested that her husband’s current difficulties were a “test.”

    “Last week, someone came up to Rick and gave him the scripture. He said Rick, I want to tell you God is testing you,” she said.

    HT Wonkette

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  10. Julie Robinson said on October 14, 2011 at 10:43 am

    You make it until 11?

    Souder stole the 666 from Michelle Bachmann in last week’s debate. Great thinkers…

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  11. deb said on October 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Rick Perry as Job! Howling at that one.

    Kim, I hear you re the work/chain gang thing. As a coworker recently put it: “We’re just mules pulling plows.”

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  12. Catherine said on October 14, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I’m going to have this: “You know you’re old when the most exciting thing about your Friday is, you can have two glasses of wine and go to bed at 11” etched on a bunch of wine glasses and I’m gonna sell ’em on Zazzle. 50% of profits back to the KBL.

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  13. Snarkworth said on October 14, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Michael G, I believe felicitations are in order today. You can have an extra glass of wine, but you’ll have to go to bed at 9.

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  14. Scout said on October 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

    These days, I have two glasses of wine, I’m in bed at 8:30! Enjoy the weekend, all.

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  15. Suzanne said on October 14, 2011 at 11:42 am

    One glass of red wine, then bed by 10:30. If I’m feeling really energetic, I stay up to watch the 11:00 news and have an extra half a glass. Why not? I’m over 50 but under 55, so I probably won’t have any health care or retirement funds in my later years. Might as well ruin my health now and get it over with.

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  16. LAMary said on October 14, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I don’t drink. I let myself eat something on Fridays that I normally would avoid because it’s fattening. I think tonight I’ll go really crazy and have some French Gruyere and a baguette. I’ve become so effing boring.

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  17. brian stouder said on October 14, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I’ve become so effing boring

    Au contrair, mon ami!

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  18. Bitter Scribe said on October 14, 2011 at 11:59 am

    flipping it upside down gives you 666… yeah it sounds silly to think that way, but honestly I think I am not the only one that thinks this…

    You’re probably not. What’s really scary is that those people all get to vote.

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  19. coozledad said on October 14, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I usually get to sleep pretty early, too. Sometimes I wake for an hour early in the morning; anywhere from 2 to 4. This is consistent with pre industrial revolution sleep patterns. Apparently it’s a good time to get the cows in, or rob some toffs at knifepoint:

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  20. alex said on October 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I had an uncle who died of pancreatic cancer within a few months of his diagnosis. This was back in the early 1990s.

    At around the same time, a crazy lady at my place of employment was also diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I thought for sure she’d be a gonner as well, and I relished the prospect because she was one of the most toxic, diabolical personalities I’d ever dealt with in my professional life. Alas, she survived and returned to work after a two-year hiatus, and was as insufferable as ever.

    After we were both laid off at the same time in 1994, she had the audacity to call me up and cuss me out because her lawyer told her it was my fault that she couldn’t sue for age or sex discrimination. My fault, mind you, because I was male and 33 years old.

    I googled her name and saw that she lived until 2009, a good sixteen or seventeen years more, passing at the age of 85. Who says a positive mental attitude has anything to do with longevity?

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  21. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Herman Cain is one loony tune. A product of his own warped imagination. He actually thinks he was being helpful when he shitcanned all those jobs. And he doesn’t understand he was a token. Rob some toffs, Cooze?

    I just took delivery of a lap steel. Wah Hey! White pearloid. Very cool. I don’t sleep much. It’s difficult, but dreaming is the finest thing humans do. And it’s ridiculously fun.

    9-9-9 is the most Swiftian anti-poor-people bullshit ever. Somehow, taxing food people need to live at the same rate as yachts seems kinda not what Jesus would do. This guy is one flaming asshole, but he’s 100% GOPer.

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  22. LAMary said on October 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    An MD friend of mine once told me that one should always ask for cash payment up front from someone with pancreatic cancer.

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  23. coozledad said on October 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Alex: Sometimes I think it’s the absolute bastards that enjoy life to the fullest.
    There’s a Dom Perignon ad in that somewhere.
    And speaking of absolute bastards, here’s Dan Senor, Bush administration jackleg and flack, at the height of the Iraq shitstorm in an email to the head of ABC News:
    Some print reporters have made a long-term commitment to their Iraq bureaus (e.g. Rajiv Chandrasekeran of the Post & Alissa Rubin of the LA Times are each here for another year). They know they’ve got to deal with us for a while, and their reporting reflects it. The television correspondents/producers are the opposite. They come in and out on 3-week stints, and therefore find no need to invest in their relationships with Bremer & Co. They just do a bunch of hit-and-runs—2 weeks of ‘Iraq has gone to hell —US bodybags piling up, blah blah blah.’ How do we get longer commitments?

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  24. A.Riley said on October 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    The 999 tax rate is also what Sim City starts you out with. You have to change them to make your little city sustainable.

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  25. moe99 said on October 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    The article on Jobs mentioned that his tumor was not the kind of tumor normally associated with pancreatic cancer and major death rates. It was a much milder tumor that in some cases wasn’t even metastatic. My daughter had a dermatofibrosarcoma that was removed her sophomore year in high school. It was about the size of a plum in her abdomen. They just had to make sure the margins were clear and that was it, aside from regular checkbacks. No chemo or radiation. If Jobs had gone in earlier, he might have had the same result from what I read in the gawker article.

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  26. brian stouder said on October 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Sometimes I think it’s the absolute bastards that enjoy life to the fullest.

    This is something I also have suspected for some while now.

    Start with the idea that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’*.

    Then, consider the so-called “conservative” political dogma (as defined by the incessant howling of the flying monkeys of the right-wing airwaves), which flat-out REJECTS the notion that there is ANY value in ANY such “examination” of one’s life.

    Instead of pondering why you do the things you do, or what meaning your life and your decisions reflect, or whether you could be doing things in a genuinely better way –

    instead of all that complex bullshit, you can reduce every assessment of your life, and of anyone else’s, to “How much money do you have?” Not even (nor ever) “How?” – but instead (and always) “How much?”, and then you can happily be done.

    I think Herman Cain is absolutely NOT looney; in fact, I find him refreshingly honest. He forthrightly confesses that he has no idea how any semblence of his “9-9-9” plan would actually play out, in the highly unlikely event that anything like it ever actually was enacted by Congress. He plainly states that the main beauty and attraction of the plan is that it is (in itself) devilishly SIMPLE and easy to understand (whatever else happens!)

    And Cain is signalling us all – and in plainly unmistakeable fashion – that his mission is not to actually win the presidency of the United States, but instead to sell his book. Good for him!, I say. Why let Sarah Palin have all the easy book sales?

    *A FOREIGN idea! From the damned Greeks, no less – and look where they are now – BROKE! “American exceptionalism” seems to reduce to: Rules are for 99% of us, with the top 1% excepted from them”

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  27. Linda said on October 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    alex @ 20:

    Maybe she was set to die, but the earth spit her back up. I’ve known a few like that.

    LAMary @22:

    I’ve heard something like that, too. I was scared when my sis was having trouble w/something that could have involved the pancreas–luckily, it wasn’t that.

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  28. Sherri said on October 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    How can something be simple to understand if you have no idea how it would actually play out? Maybe simple to describe, but he’s admitting that he doesn’t understand it himself.

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  29. Joe Kobiela said on October 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    You call us conservitives racist if we don,t like something about the current president, yet you call Mr. Cain names? How does that NOT make you a racist??
    Pilot Joe

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  30. LAMary said on October 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    If I’m reading Snarkworth’s comment correctly, this is for you, MichaelG:!

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  31. brian stouder said on October 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Chloe (our 7 year old) heard that Happy Birthday video, and exclaimed “Hey! That’s Yo Gabba Gabba’s song!”

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  32. moe99 said on October 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Joe, here’s another look at why Herman Cain is not to be taken seriously. He’s the next Michael Steele of the Republican party.

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  33. Jolene said on October 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    In Jobs’s Stanford commencement speech, he said that his doctors first told to “get his affairs in order,” but, after an initial biopsy, they were overjoyed because they had discovered that he had a rare–and more treatable–form of pancreatic cancer than the more common “we only take cash” version. I don’t know, of course, whether earlier treatment might have helped, but he certainly got the best treatment money could buy. And he got a lot more time than most pancreatic CA patients get.

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  34. Joe Kobiela said on October 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I really don’t care if you take Mr Cain seriously, I’m just saying if any time A conservitive disagrees with the Present President, The first thing I hear on this board from some people is I don’t like him because of the color of his skin. Yet Caliban can call Cain a fool and that’s somehow different? Explain please. I also don’t take anything said on cnn seriosly, just like you don’t with fox news
    Pilot Joe

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  35. Jolene said on October 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Brian, I think you are giving Herman Cain too much credit. He does take his ridiculous plan seriously; he and his advisor have made all sorts of claims re the results it will produce–all of them, as far as I can tell, pulled out of their asses.

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  36. moe99 said on October 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Well, Joe, if you take Mr. Cain seriously, why don’t you post why his 999 tax program would be a boon to the various income classes in our society from the poorest on up? Then perhaps we could engage in a substantive discussion of the merits. Seems to me that under the 999 tax program the poor and lower middle class and the middle class are going to be spending a far higher proportion of their income on taxes than will the wealthy. But let’s hear from you on this.

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  37. LAMary said on October 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Joe, I think there is a lot of racism going in in the Republican party because from the very beginning of President Obama’s term, actually even before he was inaugurated, there were people who made it clear their main goal would be to render him powerless (that would be Senator DeMint) or make sure he never got anything on his agenda passed. He was heckled by a member of congress during the state of the union address. I don’t remember anyone doing that to any other president, GOP or Dem. So much of what is blamed on Obama, like the bank bailouts, was leftover from the Bush administration but still the Tea Party blamed Obama. In fact nearly everything the Tea Party opposes with the exception of health care reform is from the previous administration, but it was all blamed on Obama and and we all saw the racist posters and signs, the people referring to Obama as Hitler or Satan, the “watermelon patch” email. There are really disgusting racist jokes made about our president and first lady.
    I voted for Obama and I was in tears when he was inaugurated. I was so proud of my country having come this far. Now I see racism has returned uglier than it’s been in decades.

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  38. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Corporations are people, my friend.

    Mittens at the Iowa State Fair. Typical GOPer, and typical of the sort of bogus judges they appoint to the Supreme Court. 9-9-9 is actually stupider and more regressive than trickle down, which is proven dead wrong. As I pointed out, 9-9-9 taxes food the same as Lamborghinis. Ain’t that America. US unemployment is entirely a function of industry and business that choose not to be regulated in a reasonable fashion by the federal government. When they aren’t regulated, they produce Love Canal and Bhopal. So they join forces with the racist shitheel McConnell to fuck the economy royally to try to fuck over the black President. This is all painfully obvious. And Joe, I really don’t see any way that calling Cain a fool amounts to racism, by any stretch. How difficult is Islam Karimov? Wasn’t that a gotcha question he fell prey to about gotcha questions? Fucking nitwit job destroyer. And juxtaposing CNN as an allegedly liberal news source to balance Fox is hilarious as it is totally fucking bogus. The racist portion of mindless opposition to Obama is fucking clear. Anybody that denies it is pretty likely in the closet about skin color.

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  39. Joe Kobiela said on October 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Caliban you constantly harp about racism,take look in the mirror, if I called obama a fool you would tear me up one side and down the other. La Mary give me a break google bush-hitler comparison and see what pops up.
    Pilot Joe

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  40. coozledad said on October 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    LA Mary: I expected the racism. It was apparent that was going to be the touchstone of the Republican political operatives as soon as they wound Sarah Palin up and set her dogwhistling. What startled me and continues to amaze me, is the toadying. The clueless obsequiousness of the whole fucked-up mess of them.
    I don’t know where these downmarket Tories are going to run when the pendulum swings back. No one wants them.
    Gotta love this:
    “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” — Samuel Adams

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  41. moe99 said on October 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    taps foot…..

    Joe, I’m waiting…….

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  42. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I believe Herman Cain is a fool. I believe Mr. T is a fool. Doesn’t make me a racist, Joe. Mr. Cain claims to be a Christian. The spectacularly regressive 9-9-9 tax scheme is as far from anything Jesus would do as anybody could imagine. Tacking on a 9%surcharge on a box of pasta so obscenely rich people don’t have to pay fair share taxes isn’t actually foolish, it is evil. Makes Raygun seem reasonable, rather than a criminal. I understand that I occasionally make a fool of myself on here. I will not stand for being accused of racism for calling Moses Cain a fool. That’s idiotic and ridiculous. I respect Joe, and I’d never accuse him of racism, which is pretty much the foulest human aberration available. People like to claim that everybody’s racist. I disagree. There is not a racist bone in my body. My personal feeling about Cain is that he’s about as lily-white as a black guy can be. He’s a fucking tool of capitalist assholes, and the antithesis of a credit to his race. He’s a pure class warrior. With all of the interest in screwing over poor people that is fundamental to GOPer politics. Republican politics and tea-bangery is right up there as an aberration. It’s not just anti-Constitutional, it’s anti-human, surely NWJWD.

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  43. MichaelG said on October 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks, Mary. That was cute.

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  44. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Seriously Joe, Republicans are serious assholes and make the whole world a seriously bad place to live. I am not kidding about this.

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  45. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Nonsense Joe. You can’t pull that bullshit. I do not do anything of the sort. I don’t harp on racism, never have. On the other hand, somebody that tries to claim the Teabangers don’t tend toward racism is a lying piece of shit. Sorry, but the subtext is undeniable. Trying to claim I make some continuing thing about racism is that tired shit of everybody’s a racist. Not remotely close. You can pull that shit if you want, but it’s a crock. And it’s spectacularly dishonest. Whatever. Bullshit, Joe. Not remotely fair or accurate.

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  46. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I don’t want to argue. But being accused of something unconscionable is a little too much for me.

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  47. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I like Joe. I think he is a good guy. I certainly don’t mean to make things out like he’s some bad guy. If y’all think I’ve been an asshole, I will remove myself from this forum. But seriously, being aaccused of racism? That’s a little much. Seriously. Joe, you know that is bullshit. And I am not going to put up with that shit. You have to be kidding. No kidding, you idiot? Not quite close., You fucking idiot.

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  48. nancy said on October 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    TIME TO STOP NOW. OK? Seriously. Time to stop.

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  49. beb said on October 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Astonishingly Caliban hadn’t reach the level of illiterate typing that he some times reaches on these late night rants.

    Changing the subject… Detroit locals watching the Channel 7 news tonight at 5 may have seen our daughter being interviewed. Even mentioned by name. Woo Hoo!

    This was the Occupy Detroit march which my wife and daughter participated in. Good crowd, she says, very peaceful. A welcome contrast to the protests in California.

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  50. Joe Kobiela said on October 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I never said I agreed with Mr.Cains 9-9-9 plan, although a flat tax might be good.
    La Mary,I thought they tried to find examples of the tea party being racist buy couldn’t and Nancy, don’t worry about me,I have been in some of the roughest bars in the midwest playing rugby,and never had a problem, Calibans weak minded insults just roll off my back.
    Also I see where we just put more of our troops in harms way in Ugande. Didn’t Mr. Obama campaigned against that type of thing?
    Pilot Joe

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  51. Linda said on October 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Lots of people call lots of others fools. That’s normal political business. But nobody that I know of is showing pics of Cain with a bone in his nose. Or talk about his birthday party–with no hip hoppers present–as a hip hop barbeque. Or showed Cain as a chimpanzee. But I guess since conservatives have tried to pin rape and murder on the Clintons, maybe in some grotesque way, they are cutting Obama a break by being merely racist.

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  52. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I know this will call down all sorts of opprobrium, but women in my experience are hell on clutches. They ride them. My bad. Weak-minded, I seriously don’t think so. I didn’t insult anybody, and inane opposition to Obama is surely based in racism. I think I was accused of racism for calling Cain a fool. I think he is. I think his tax plan is incredibly foolish and anti-Christstian and I’d defy anybody to say it isn’t. I know I’m less popular than Joe hear, So I’ll withdraw. But taxing people on food and clothing as they are taxed on luxuries, that is fundamentally immoral, and I think decent people would realize that. Fuck Herman Cain. And Fuck Republicans that want to starve American citizens to death. That is Herman’s plan, and he believes they deserve it. A serious asshole.

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  53. alex said on October 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm


    The difference between criticizing Cain versus Obama is the same difference as criticizing you versus Albert Einstein. There are those who bring their race shame and those who do their race proud.

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  54. brian stouder said on October 14, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Let me leap up and agree with Joe that I, too, am averse to committing the US military to anymore conflicts-of-choice.

    I am very happy that President Obama has largely extricated us from Iraq – which was President Bush’s war, front to back. (the definitive ‘fool’s erand’, too, but we digress)

    I will be very happy when President Obama’s surge in Afghanistan winds up, and we roll for the exits from that war, too; and I will sincerely credit President Bush for at least fighting the right bastards, there (at the outset, at least).

    Getting out of those wars and trimming our Department of Defense expenditures to the reasonably-insane prewar levels (instead of our current Completely And Unbelievably Insane levels) would go a very, very long way toward reducing our deficits over the next ten years (easily two trillion dollars; and with some effort, four trillion dollars, saved from defense alone). Staying out of avoidable “wars of choice”, such as the one Joe points to, or the one in Libya, is an eminently sensible impulse, I say.

    This is what marks our “tea-party” “Constitutionalist” “conservative” friends as shamelessly dishonest (and/or inexcuseably ill-informed).

    How can they be FOR a world-wide American military empire, whatever the expense; and yet AGAINST watching out for Grandma’s retirement and Grandpa’s Medicare and public education for ‘those city kids’ (wink wink) and capable oversight of those who would dump filth into our air and waterways? – all of which are deemed to be a waste of money?

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  55. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Seriously, Herman Cain is not a shitheel? He believes that if you starve to death in the USA you deserve it. It’s not because society that claims to be Christian just didn’t come up with food. What a fucking buffoon, and a fucking creep.

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  56. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Sorry Joe. Guy is a piece of elitist shit, and he got rich by fucking people out of their jobs. What a fucking hero.

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  57. caliban said on October 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    He’s an asshole. No way around it. He had his job because he was black. And he was a phony job killer no question. What a despicable POS. Give me a break.

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  58. Jolene said on October 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Joe, I don’t recall Obama saying anything relevant to contingencies such as Uganda. He mainly spoke about the distinction between Iraq and Afghanistan. He certainly did not present himself as a pacifist or even a non-interventionist. In fact, he was criticized for saying that, given actionable intelligence, he would go after terrorists in Pakistan, even w/o the permission of Pakistani leaders, which, as it turned out, he did.

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  59. Jolene said on October 14, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I agree, Joe, that Bush was widely disrespected by the left and, ultimately, by many on the right, but I don’t think people questioned his legitimacy over and over as so many have done w/ Obama. That questioning, it seems to me, is at least partly based in racism. The overt racism (the bone in the nose, the watermelon on the WH lawn, the chimp w/ Obama’s face) is bad, but the persistent disrespect is worse. I sometimes look at pictures of him and Michelle and wonder how either of them can find it within themselves to smile, let alone to keep going.

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  60. moe99 said on October 15, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Why Cain is not serious about his bid:

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  61. caliban said on October 15, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Didn’t Bush and Cheney ridicule Kerry for saying that anti-terrprism was largely a matter of police work. And isn’t that how Kerry actually got Ole Dirty Bin when W lost interest? All hat, no cattle. Comparing the NATO action in Libya to the full goose looney Halliburton enrichment program in Iraq is positively stupid and extremeley moronic. No way, no how. We’re talking about pallettes of cash that just made their way into Dickless’s pockets. How is that war criminal not in fucking prison? Bush was disrespected? He was an idiot. Sorry OBs practicing their love? Guy was a guttdom idiot. Fool me once, Fool me twice? Won’t get fooled again. Freaking moron. And most of all, Most devastatingly stupid tax policy in the history of America. Dumbest fucking President ever, no argument. Dumber than Hoover, and who would have believed that was possible?

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  62. caliban said on October 15, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Weak-minded. Sorry dumbass. Smarter than you are by several miles, I believe. What a dumbass. Major league liar. I’ve about had it. Joe is supportinfg some seriously scumbaag assholes. What is wrong with this idiot?

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  63. coozledad said on October 15, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Dave Chappelles’ Herman Cain skit:

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  64. beb said on October 15, 2011 at 10:40 am

    This how we got into Viet Nam. First we sent in some military advisers, then some more advisers and before too long we had combat brigades in there. So I’m not sanguine about this humanitarian aid to the Congo.

    If you watch Futurama who know there’s a character called Dr. Zoidberg, an alien that no one likes. Supposedly a doctor he is grossly incompetent, he’s also desperately needy to be liked. One of his taglines is “There’s always Zoidberg.” Willard (Mitt) Romney increasingly reminds me of Dr. Zoidberg.His entire campaign strategy is to hang in the race until all the other so he can remind republiicans “There’s always Willard…”

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  65. Jolene said on October 15, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    It’s not humanitarian aid, beb. It’s an effort to decapitate an organization that has been terrorizing several African countries for decades and is now believed to be making common cause w/ the various Islamic terror groups operating in Africa.

    For background, google Lord’s Resistance Army.

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  66. brian stouder said on October 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Well – to be brutally honest, Jolene – and I mean this sincerely (and not snarkily) – decapitation of terrorist organizations is something I accept and support.

    If national technical sources and conduits clearly indicate this or that high-value terrorist leader or active terrorist cell is at Point X, then hitting that point is fine by me; and if we can hit it with drones, so much the better; and if we must hit it with “boots on the ground”, then I tend to trust our current national command authority, especially given their demonstrated skill at handling such things (taking for granted the undeniable involvement of elected officials such as House and Senate leaders, as well as an Executive branch consultation/review/decision)

    But alarm bells tend to ring when we openly advertise targetting such as the LRA, and openly state that boots will be on the ground; makes me think that this is a public-relations insurance policy, in case we get smashed in the face.

    It makes me think that the United States government suspects we’re risking another Somalia/Blackhawk Down sort of event, wherein we’re not talking about some quick-strike “decapitation” operation, but instead a high-risk plan wherein we may see US soldiers being dragged through some God-forsaken dusty street somewhere.

    To be clear, if this is something we NEED to risk, then we need to have (at minimum) public debate and overt public consensus.

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  67. moe99 said on October 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I think the reason Obama notified Congress is that if it is considered to be a military conflict, the President is required to do so under the War Powers Resolution.

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  68. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    We’re an empire that doesn’t want to be one, but it does no good denying it. The WPR is what Pres. Obama is wisely nodding to with this “notification,” but from there there be dragons. How to project power without ending up in charge invokes the little understood, hard to explain “Pottery Barn protocols” made famous by Colin Powell, which is to say “you break it, you own it.”

    So if you have a country or even a region controlled, “owned” if you will, by vicious, inhuman thugs with a semi-coherent ideology and a distributed power structure: by the Powell/Pottery Barn doctrine, if we destroy Saddam’s Baath thugocracy, the Taliban (seriously, go back and read up on what they were before we ever got involved in the area, even with the Muj), the Haqqani network, or the LRA in Uganda, then we “own” putting the area back into some semblance of governance, Jeffersonian or not.

    Unless you adopt Paulian isolationism (with or without the fake eyebrows), I don’t know how we avoid this problem. We broke the Taliban, justly so, but we can’t morally justify then wiping our hands on our BDUs and walking away, saying to the stunned and battered remnant of the previous regime’s survivors “Good luck with that.” Ditto post-Saddam Iraq, de-Baathified or not, and Somalia we did walk away after an “intolerable” situation in Mogadishu, and are still regretting that. Uganda can destabilize both Kenya and the Congo with metastatis from Somalia, so it’s a blocking move on the Risk board, as well as justice against a truly vile organization (the LRA).

    You can argue that mission creep is always a hazard, but is it rationale for quietism? For more info & understanding, I can’t recommend this book enough, pre-KBL’d for your ordering pleasure:

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  69. Little Bird said on October 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Had a wonderful fall day here, a little windy but hey it’s Chicago. Went to the market and got the usual stuff, including kale. One of my new favorite things is crunchy roast kale. Walked about 12 miles doing errands, it’s easy to keep track of milage with the Chicago gridded blocks, a mile here is 8 blocks that are numbered by 100s. There are a lot of half blocks so you have to count the street numbers, which I do obsessively. It drives Littlebird crazy.

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  70. Deborah said on October 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    That previous comment was me, not Littlebird. She had been using my iPad because her computer has been having issues and she forgot to change the settings back after she commented here previously.

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  71. Dexter said on October 16, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Toy stories: Wolverines lose, to hated Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, then the Detroit Tigers shit the bed and go home for the season. At least the fierce swirling winds blew almost all my leaves down the street.

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  72. coozledad said on October 16, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Herman Cain: Stalking horse for the Koch Bros. and Art Pope.

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  73. caliban said on October 16, 2011 at 9:44 am

    The truth about Mogadishu is that the situation was a briar patch left deliberately to Clinton by the incredibly spiteful HW, who couldn’t believe he lost.

    Herman Cain = ultimate astroturf phony people’s candidate. Ddo Teabangers fail to understand the extent to which they are supporting their sworn enemies in the class war being waged by people like Dick Armey and the Koch bros? Freaking lemmings.

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  74. brian stouder said on October 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

    But you have to admit, the Koch brothers have a refreshingly honest brand-name.

    What does “Americans for Prosperity” mean, afterall? Sounds like a rich person’s guild, to me; certainly it would have meetings that are more fun than “Americans for Poverty” would have, yes?

    I suppose it depends what the word “for” means, in Americans for Prosperity.

    For the Kochs (et al), it must be analogous to this:

    wherein they’re Harvey Korman, and people who are silly enough to waste their time being “for” Harvey’s prosperity get to be Mel Brooks.

    Anyway – Herman Cain ain’t the first guy to be in the pocket of plutocrats. RWR and General Electric (et al) leap to mind

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  75. Jolene said on October 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    If you didn’t catch President Obama’s speech at the MLK Monument dedication, it’s worth taking a look at the video. I thought it was one of his best. Well-delivered, of course, but also an impressive piece of writing in that it fully gives King his due, and, at the same time

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  76. Jolene said on October 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Crap.Was typing on my phone and hit “submit” too soon. As I was saying, ahem, the speech was rhetorically impressive in that he was able to draw on shared knowledge of the importance of perseverance in past struggles to argue for keeping faith through the long slog we’re presently enduring and to sound inspiring rather than self-pitying while doing so.

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  77. alex said on October 16, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Totally off topic, but I adore Christina Ricci. As for Pan Am, meh.

    They keep reusing a gold 1964 Bel Air as background in different scenes—and it’s supposed to be 1963. Worse still, the actresses aren’t channeling the infantilized kittenish simpering bimbo act that women put on back then. Sarah Palin does a more convincing job than any of them, even when she’s calling herself a mama grizzly or a pit bull with lipstick.

    Are these gals simply too young to remember how it was? The schtick was every bit as elaborate as the artillery they wore as undergarments (which is one part of the show the continuity people seem to be getting right).

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  78. Brandon said on October 17, 2011 at 1:13 am

    @Little Bird: Roasted kale is great. In texture and taste it is like nori.

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  79. Connie said on October 17, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Alex, when I was in college I had a turquoise 1964 Bel Air.

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  80. Dexter said on October 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I’m scared. I am about to go watch this show:

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  81. caliban said on October 17, 2011 at 11:35 am


    I have not purchased a product manufactured by Baron Bich’s empire since early in the 60s when I was appalled as a kid by those “Coffee, tea, or flic my Bic” stewardess adds for the lighters.

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