The people speak.

Early in the Iowa caucusing, and I’m watching the live coverage. Why?

1) Because it’s too early for “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones” or the Westminster Dog Show.
2) Because I’m so giddy at having a fairly typical American weeknight — drive home, dinner, a second glass of wine — that it just seems the thing to do.

Although jeez, it’s excruciating. Is American broadcast media ever worse than when it’s devoting all its attention to something of very little real consequence that won’t actually throw off any news for a few hours yet? It’s like watching someone toast an ant on a sidewalk with a magnifying glass. All agree that if Romney loses tonight, it’s a terrible setback for his campaign. Feh. They said Newton was done when he went on that Greek cruise and all of his top staff quit. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Eh, time for a Sopranos episode on demand. That’s why we have premium cable.

Oh, and “Southland” isn’t back yet, either. But soon. It’s not the best cop show ever, but it’s better than most, and I find myself oddly drawn in by Regina King and Michael Cudlitz. The latter plays a hard-working, first-class police officer with a painkiller addiction. Addict antiheroes are all the rage these days — hello, Nurse Jackie — and I’m not sure why, as drug addicts can be some truly despicable people, or rather, they’re people who do some truly despicable things. Both Cudlitz’ John Cooper and Edie Falco’s Nurse Jackie play competent, highly decent people who just happen to suck down Vicodin and Oxycontin like it’s going out of style. While I have to admire the writers’ impulse to dramatize a growing social problem, please — Cooper or Jackie need to be stealing a little more from their own family members, and a little less rough-around-the-edges.

Back to the caucuses.

Ron Paul is leading.

Have a nice year, GOP.


Dan Savage is running out of patience with some of these people. You know it.

Keith Olbermann, cratering again? Oh, probably.

Is Stephen Glass forgivable? Hey, if Tim Goeglein is, I don’t see why not.

Posted at 9:30 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

43 responses to “The people speak.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Redemption is cool. Sorry, did I miss the repentance step? That’s kinda helpful if it comes first. IMHO.

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  2. beb said on January 3, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Two posts in one day? How confusing, or is the rhythm of your new job such that posting will come in the evening, not the morning of the day?

    I do wonder what is going on with Olbermann and Current TV. It seems like Keith has had a lot of guest hosts over the months. And now this. On the other hand I don’t think Keith has ever been fond of election night reporting.

    It’s not like Iowa’s caucus actually means anything. Romney will never win. If Ron Paul, Rick Santorium or Newt Gingrich wins, their wins will be discounted. It’s all kabuki.

    Speaking of TV shows whose hero are drug abusers, how could you forget “House?”

    Have a good night. I should be going to bed as well but Colbert is on….

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  3. Dexter said on January 4, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Too much all at once…last week I finished S1 Homeland and now I am on S1E1 Shameless. What is Southland, I wonder…too bad…I have a season of Shameless to watch before Sunday’s S2 starts.
    I should have ordered Showtime years ago. William H. Macy was on the radio today, Fallon had him on playing charades, and Ferguson’s commercials were ads for Shameless, both at the same time.
    I also have S6 Dexter to watch, but the first 5 seasons will have to be ordered, but I won’t do it.

    My e-buddy Craig Crawford was on tonight, Current TV, analyzing Iowa, but I had to watch the Wolverines win the Sugar Bowl. Craig will probably link some of his appearance on his blog today.

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  4. Hattie said on January 4, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Yes, gays are so appreciative of people that will be friends with them. Geez.

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  5. Deborah said on January 4, 2012 at 7:14 am

    According to TPM Romney won by 8 votes. The up and down of so many of the candidates seems odd to me. Has it always been that way?

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  6. coozledad said on January 4, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Santorum nearly eked it out. The Republicans sure love them some pussy police.
    Why are we spending billions in Pakistan to bomb the remnant of a penis cult when we’ve got phallocentric central right here at home?

    It almost makes you want to wave a dead fetus around for shits and giggles.

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  7. adrianne said on January 4, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Oh, hell, let Steven Glass be a lawyer. I find it hard to believe his moral standing is below that of most would-be lawyers.

    And…I’m pulling an LA Mary here, but Steven Glass was once my intern! In Syracuse, N.Y.! After some intensive fact-checking after his disgrace, we don’t think he made up any stories for us.

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  8. Bitter Scribe said on January 4, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Looks like it’s Mittens. Hooray.

    I hope the Democrats dig up some people who were laid off by Bain and get them to talk about Mitt’s “job creation skills.”

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  9. caliban said on January 4, 2012 at 9:59 am

    If it’s just one Sopranos episode to choose, The Pine Barrens is my pick, every time. It’s hilarious, and evokes the age-old question. Is Valery, the Butcher of Chechnya alive and waiting to go mental on Paulie Walnuts’ ass? Did he become the Jersey Devil? The one episode where Bobby Bacala made Tony’s crew look like incompetent snivelling wussies.

    Santorum’s Iowa success has moved the Dan Savage santorum definition to fifth place on Google. This is unfortunate, and people should get busy to put it back on top. Isn’t it more than mildly amusing to know that none of these GOPer Klown Kar Kandidates would vote for any of her adversaries.

    Putative Republican Platform:

    Lower taxes on rich people.

    Cut corporate taxes.

    End Medicare.

    Butcher Social Security.

    Expand tax breaks for Big Oil and Big Ag.

    Extend tax breaks for corporations that send jobs overseas.

    Repeal Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform. Appoint Scalia and Roberts clones to the SC.

    edit: Um, Stephen Glass is a lawyer.

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  10. Dorothy said on January 4, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Dexter I’ll be glad to lend you seasons 2, 3 and 4 of Dexter (is there an echo in here?) if you want to borrow them. And promise to return them to me within 6 months or so. Nancy can hook us up via email if you want to borrow them. I got them at Half Price Bookstores and had to see season 1 via Netflix. I’ve yet to start #4 – I’ll get around to it soon. Let me know, buddy. I recorded about half of Season 5 on my DVR, and all of Season 6. So I’ll be Netflix-ing what I’m missing from Season 5. (My favorite Christmas gift this year was a Dexter tea mug that is dark blue with the word DEXTER in white letters. You add hot water or hot coffee to it and suddenly from the bottom up, the cup turns white and then red blood spatter appears behind the logo. Extremely cool!)

    Southland is indeed a very good cop show. Almost as good as Boomtown was, which sadly ended after only one season (I own that on DVD).

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  11. Sue said on January 4, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I assume the Santorums have black friends too who totally support them:,0,1851532.story

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  12. Heather said on January 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I actually went to high school with Stephen Glass. He was a couple of years younger, so I don’t really remember him. But the whole thing did make me wonder if there was some ethics component missing from my secondary education.

    Oh, and I think Southland is great too! I remember when I started watching it I was startled to find out that Dewey was played by C. Thomas Howell–I didn’t recognize him at all. He’s come a long way from The Outsiders. I also like the way they imply that Michael Cudlitz’s character is gay or bisexual, but it’s not played as a major plot point. Kind of like when they showed that one member of the police brass at the gay bar in The Wire and then never alluded to it again.

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  13. LAMary said on January 4, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Can we get religion out of politics? Please? I’m really tired of being told that this country is founded on strong families and religion. It isn’t. Please get your evangelical BS out of my face. I’m as patriotic, moral and hardworking as anyone and I’m an atheist with a sleazy ex husband. Just stop marginalizing me, GOP. I’m not what’s making things suck and there are lots of people just like me.

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  14. Connie said on January 4, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Me too, LAMary. Except for the sleazy ex-husband.

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  15. coozledad said on January 4, 2012 at 11:34 am

    The establishment clause was supposed to take care of that, but hucksters read the constitution the same way they read their bibles.
    More shellfish, Mr. Santorum?

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  16. alex said on January 4, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Too bad we won’t have Michele Bachmann to kick around anymore.

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  17. Jolene said on January 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I’m w/ you LAmMary (again, except for the ex-husband). Really tired of GOP God talk. Am waiting for people to get a load of Santorum’s position on contraception..

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  18. beb said on January 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    All the conservative talk about the importance of religion in life has to be seen as advocating for Christian Reconstruction, a movement that wants to take over the government and run it as a christian theocracy. To them the Constitution is, in the words of “W” ‘just a God-damn piece of paper.’

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  19. Julie Robinson said on January 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I’m also with you, Mary, and I’m an active churchgoer. The brand of faith they push is morally repugnant to me, and I believe they have utterly failed to understand the Bible’s message of love, tolerance, and protection of the poor.

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  20. MarkH said on January 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    beb, W said lots of dumb things, but it is all but certain that he never said those words popularly attributed to him.

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  21. Kirk said on January 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    These are the people who think that going to church a lot makes you religious and a good Christian (or whatever). That gets them off the hook for telling racist jokes and hating immigrants and gay people.

    They’re the same folks who think that having a flagpole in your yard makes you patriotic. That gets them off the hook for cheating on their taxes.

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  22. 4dbirds said on January 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    What Mary said!! I am of the camp that if someone is addicted to drugs and they have easy access to them when they need them, why would they lie, cheat or steal? Now I don’t want someone dependant on drugs flying my plane or taking my gallbladder out but certainly the majority of people can function quite fine. The minority that will abuse them will abuse them no matter how legal, plentiful, illegal or hard to get they are.

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  23. moe99 said on January 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm


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  24. alex said on January 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Santorum salad — a frothy mix of unspeakably vile material served on a bed of rended chicken. Try some with your Freedom Fries.

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  25. caliban said on January 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    That chicken salad is how people get protozoal hepatitis.

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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    What, we religious folk’s influence isn’t dwindling fast enough for you? Trust me, we’re self-immolating as fast as we can. Just go to some denominational meetings, for grins and giggles as Coozledad puts it. Evangelical & mainline, we’re splintering into preening morality police on one side of the dance hall, posturing idealists without a clue on the other, with both ignoring the band entirely “because they’re not playing the kind of music we like.” The callers are trying to get us to dosie-do, when in reality we need anger management & alternative dispute resolution specialists down on the floor to keep fights from breaking out . . . but there’s a fire in the men’s room, started when someone guiltily tossed their blunt into the trashbin after someone walked in. Somebody better put that out — except all the adults ran out into the lobby to stop a fistfight there.

    I assure you, you’ve nothing to worry about from American Christianity for at least another generation. Liberals are using “The Family” as a boogieman, and Conservatives are claiming the readiness of fellow believers to suddenly get up and march as one at their call, but the Potemkin church steeples are made of papier-mache, and will crumble in the next hard rain.

    Yes, I had a long church council meeting last night. My best work for Baby Jesus gets done despite denominational & congregational structures, not through or because of them. Lots of good, decent, hope-of-the-gospel-burning-in-them-as-a-beacon-of-hope people are in the churches, but ever since we kicked Walter Rauschenbusch to the curb in 1917 so’s we could hate the Hun all the better, at least the Protestant wing of Christianity hasn’t had the moral coherence of a bing cherry jello mold. The gospel* has both a personal dimension, and a social dimension, end of story. Anyone who tried to work with it from only one angle is like Mr. A. Square of Flatland wanting to take a walk in Central Park.

    *The good news of God’s love made known to all creation, through the tale of Jesus of Nazareth; born, died, and risen so we’d get the point that death is not the main plot device, let alone the point. You could look it up!

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  27. Bitter Scribe said on January 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I can’t imagine any scenario in which anyone but Mittens gets the nomination. He’ll surely take NH and has enough money to crush any remaining opposition in SC, which, as someone said, is where kooky presidential campaigns go to die. (Lookin’ at you, Dr. Paul.) If he just keeps trash-mouthing Obama, he’ll make the people who were/are queasy about him forget their misgivings and line up behind him.

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  28. Sue said on January 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    MMJeff and others discussing religion/politics, you’re overlooking a small but important point:
    Religion is huge in politics right now because for a long time – mostly for the Republican party, but not completely – that was where the fundraising, votes and boots on the ground were. You could fundraise off the promise to repeal roe v wade from now until Christ comes back and the true believers could be counted on to work until they dropped to make it so. You didn’t even have to actually make any progress, as long as the funding appeals talked about how you were ‘so close!’. It was an easily-manipulated bunch of patsies ripe for picking by the politicians. For a while.
    Then, in a way that could be used as an ironic example of evolution, the extreme religious right changed and grew and figured things out and now!!! Even with all that Citizens United money flowing in, the inmates have taken over the asylum and will not be controlled by the folks with the real money. Not only are they working with some success at making roe v wade unimportant (no need to repeal it if state laws put through by more locally-based evangelical true believers achieve the same goal), but they are also having success in other areas of reproductive rights, so you’d better be ready to enter the black market for birth control pills and by God you’d better be able to prove your miscarriage was just God calling a tiny angel home, missy. Because you can’t be trusted to the privacy of your own decisions or the reproductive options that give you a decision in the first place.

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  29. Suzanne said on January 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Beautiful! I have found myself the past few years seeking a church for “normal people” who just want to gather,sing some hymns, share humanity, and try to hear God’s quiet voice. I’m not sure it exists anymore. I’m so so so tired of hearing that God wants Rick Perry, or Michelle “Crazy Eyes” Bachman, or whoever is the candidate du jour, to lead this country back to a goodness and Godliness that never really existed in the first place. God doesn’t love the USA any more than Libya or Russia or Canada or anybody else. God doesn’t give Newt a pass on his past indiscretions, a pass that wouldn’t be allowed to Joe Sixpack, because Newt would lead us back to that shining city on a hill status. It makes me want to steer away from church people..

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    But religion isn’t huge in politics right now. Except as an all-purpose boogie-person for both sides.

    Romney is a Mormon. He’s not just Mormon, he’s leadership-level Mormon, second-generation, named for a Marriott for pity’s sake. If evangelical Christianity was really so all-fired important in right-wing politics, Romney never would have even made it to the ballot. Fundamentalists are united in their anxiety about the LDS church, and it makes no difference, and hasn’t shifted in four years, either. Romney’s just a stiff, whatever his church.

    And Santorum has done more on poverty & hunger than he has abortion or birth control, but his obviously strident and harsh comments on that subject, and on same-sex marriage recognition, work nicely as a bloody shirt to mobilize the left — but what has he, Rick Santorum, actually accomplished on those subject? Diddly-squat. In fact, he lost his Senate seat. But he doesn’t lose his audience because a plurality of Americans are anxious about abortion in general, and out-of-wedlock births in particular, never mind that a solution to one may not relate nicely to problem solving for the other. So anyone who even pretends to have ideas on that subject gets a hearing, not because of some imaginary right-wing Christianist Dominionist lock-step goose-stepping phalanx.

    Progressive Christians are almost as pathetic on the organizational level, since I see them, in Ohio and locally, doing bupkis other than mouthing leftward platitudes, while the homeless shelters and baby pantries and afterschool programs are, yes, RUN (oh the horror) by conservative Christians: because they show up. The only general exception I ever see to this? GOD BLESS liberal Catholics, who are the only people with religious faith in social services with whom I can count on, and have reasonable conversations with. Liberal pro-abortion, for-gay-marriage Catholics, of which there are MANY, are also working out with people, face-to-face. My own denomination and theological kin are largely AWOL, but anguish over whether or not they can send the same amount this year that they did last for the general church “mission development” budget, then cut it by 15% anyhow.

    Faith and religious practice are NOT, IMNSHO, significant in any way, shape, or form in politics right now, except as smokescreen and red-meat and red-capes for the nearsighted bulls in public life. Give me Ferdinand any day, his belief system makes more sense.

    EDIT: Suzanne, just saw your words, and while they vary theologically quite a bit by location, you might see if there is a Friends’ Meeting nearby. The Society of Friends, aka Quakers, are alive and well; I think very well of my friend Phillip Gulley in Plainfield, Indiana.

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  31. LAMary said on January 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    “The only general exception I ever see to this? GOD BLESS liberal Catholics, who are the only people with religious faith in social services with whom I can count on, and have reasonable conversations with.”

    Me too. I have no problem at all with the Catholics I work with and I enjoy the lively conversations we have. Evangelicals? No comparison in terms of expressing their faith through compassion.

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  32. Sue said on January 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Oh, I don’t know, MMJeff…
    I noted in my comment that the States are where it’s at as far as rights-restricting legislation tailored to a religious constituency. Our Lt. Governor got elected by stating loud and clear that she was “100% pro-life”, and mentioning that she planned on using her Christian principles and interpretation of the Bible when making her decisions at work. The State’s domestic partner registry? Biblically wrong, gotta take that away. She equated gays marrying to someone marrying a table in the ‘where do we stop’ vein, because, you know, her Bible forbids both apparently. So I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that faith is not huge in politics right now. It’s the equivalent of electing someone you’d like to have a beer with; a LOT of people are electing folks they would like to sit next to at church.
    Her boss wasted no time repealing the Contraceptive Equity law, although I may be in agreement with you that the Higher Power he follows isn’t the same as Rebecca’s.

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  33. Julie Robinson said on January 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    May I just put in a word for the liberal Lutherans? My individual church has stayed downtown and is very active in ministering to our neighborhood. Unlike the local mission or even the church across the street, we do not make those we serve sit through a service or be evangelized in any other way. We are simply here for them in their time of need,as Matthew 25 directs.

    Indeed, if anything, I am often annoyed that we make no effort at higher visibility on a national level, if only as a counterweight to all the fundies.

    I will say, though, that God’s mercy is available to Newt if he has sincerely repented. That’s the crazy thing about grace; we don’t receive it according to what we deserve, we receive it according to the vastness of God’s love, which is large enough for the sins of all, including the sins of Newt.

    MMJeff, you know Phillip Gulley? I’ve read his books. Way cool!

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  34. Chris in Iowa said on January 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Kirk @21, methinks some of the folks in the Obama White House have shown that cheating on taxes may be one of the few truly nonpartisan activities that takes place in Washington.

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  35. Jakash said on January 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    “GOD BLESS liberal Catholics, who are the only people with religious faith in social services with whom I can count on, and have reasonable conversations with. Liberal pro-abortion, for-gay-marriage Catholics, of which there are MANY, are also working out with people, face-to-face.”

    The unfortunate reality being that, if the current Pope and most of the bishops had their way, there would BE no such Catholics. Since the leadership sees the Church as very much a “my way or the highway” organization. I hesitate to disagree with Jeff TMMO, as he is better versed than me on this topic, as well as most others. I am surprised, though, to read him saying that that religion “isn’t huge in politics right now”. Especially when certain bishops state flatly that a pro-abortion Catholic politician will not receive Communion from them and when Cardinal George of Chicago, while referring to a meeting with Catholic Illinois Governor Quinn, was recently quoted as saying “A personal conscience that is not consistent with authentic Catholic teaching is not a Catholic conscience. The Catholic faith cannot be used to justify positions contrary to the faith itself.” Neil Steinberg of the Sun-Times had a fine column on this not long ago:

    Regarding Mitt Romney — no, he hasn’t been kept off the ballot, but his Mormonism is certainly a significant factor in forcing the evangelical right to pinball their way through every other possibility in the lame Republican field desperately grasping at an alternative.

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  36. caliban said on January 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Jakash, I’m one of those Catholics. The current pope is not somebody I look to for moral or theological or philosophical leadership. Active American Catholics are much more likely to believe in Liberation Theology and empowerment (I cringe at using that word) for every one of God’creations. My Catholicism has more to do with Locke and Rousseau than it does with the guy who’s the Pope these days. And J2P2 wanted to go to Baghdad to provide a human shield before Shock and Awe wiped out 50,000 Iraqis, he’s not my hero as a Catholic. That would be Cardinal Roncalli, John XXIII, and Archbishop Romero. Shot on orders from Raygunites at the communion rail, by a School of the Americas thug. I’d say that liberation theology has kept disgraceful neocons at bay.

    Regarding Mitt Romney — no, he hasn’t been kept off the ballot, but his Mormonism is certainly a significant factor in forcing the evangelical right to pinball their way through every other possibility in the lame Republican field desperately grasping at an alternative.

    Mitt was born in Mehico. lolol roflmao. What he did to the Irish Setter.? Setters are skittish, and it would take a monumetal moron and a cold-hearted pos to do that to a setter. Mittens is degenerating into Norma Desmond. And some people in the USA actually think his first name is mittens.

    Nobody is pro-abortion. Everybody would rather the kids lived.

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  37. caliban said on January 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I’ve got a lot to consider about mittens. What a joke. Tell you what. How is it CatholicS are somehow evil

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  38. alex said on January 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Sue, I’m aghast at La Skillman’s contortions as described above.

    Impudent woman. (To steal a line from Evelyn Waugh, who was commenting upon Aimee Semple McPherson.)

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    By the way, I don’t think any of us have commended Nancy enough for an adroit & delightfully unnecessary quote from “Animal House” – kudos, ma’am!

    Having preached & presided for an ELCA congregation on Sunday, I’m happy to celebrate liberal Lutheranism with Julie. They have their moments, and like liberal Catholics (or conservative ones) they don’t have any more issues with beer than did their illustrious reformer, Martin Hissownself. Plus they do some good social gospel stuff on occasion, at least around here.

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  40. brian stouder said on January 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    But religion isn’t huge in politics right now. Except as an all-purpose boogie-person for both sides.

    Well, I think Jtmmo’s statement is both completely right and completely wrong.

    I suspect when Jeff refers to religion, it is akin to when Henry Ford refers to cars, or Jane Addams refers to community organizing; that is to say, he’s referring to the real thing. And in that sense, religion is flatly absent from American politics right now. Our current political milieu enshrines selfishness, idolatry, vindictiveness, condemnation, and death for its own sake. (Candidates are competing to cast the first stone, or the biggest stone, or to knock the brains out of the most defenseless of their brothers and sisters)

    On the other hand, clearly people who call themselves religious are driving candidates to out-bid one another to see how many people they can judge and condemn and disenfranchise and demonize.

    But to hell with all that! We’ve got months more to hash over the political schlomozzles of 2012*.

    On another subject entirely, let me just say that the book Once Upon a Car is a superb read – it’s really a page-turner. It’s sort of a Too Big to Fail, with the difference that the main characters (Wagoner, Bill Ford, Mulally, Zetsche**, Nardelli, Gettlefinger, and interesting villains in the persons of Kirk Kerkorian and his right-hand man Jerry York) get absolutely pounded on by everyone, as opposed to the damned bankers in Too Big to Fail, who get semi-sympathetic treatment; and instead of a backdrop of corporate jets and glittering New York, it’s corporate jets and forlorn Detroit.

    A recurring thing in the book that a person cannot help but find impressive are several examples, throughout the narrative, of particularly talented people, facing truly horrendous challenges – which they COULD turn away from – but which they instead embrace and immerse themselves into. There is something very life-affirming in that.

    *I believe that I heard that Mitt’s 2012 Iowa vote total was within 25 or 30 votes of his 2008 Iowa total, enroute to his 7 vote victory. There are no recounts in Iowa – and the next damned time any son of a bitch casually tosses out the “Chicago Politics” meme with regard to President Obama, THIS is what I will point out in return. Iowa is the biggest damned fraud and fake this side of PT Barnum

    **I came to detest Dieter Zetsche; presumably the author didn’t like him. While reading this remarkably talky book, I noticed that often key figures are quoted (with quotation marks) making general comments – presumably directly to the author, from after-the-fact interviews. But the book has no footnotes, and so – it may well be more than a little manipulative. Still, I’ve enjoyed the book immensely, and found it to be very enlightening and – ultimately – uplifting (if more cautionary than optimistic, going forward)

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  41. Jolene said on January 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Amazon has released a list of 100 Kindle books under $3.99. Among them is Dreaming in Chinese by Deborah Fallows. She is married to James Fallows, who, as we all know, writes with intelligence, grace, and wit for The Atlantic. That, of course, has nothing to do with his wife’s book, but I’m relying on his always excellent taste and judgment as evidence that the book is worthwhile. She is a linguist, and the book is about language issues they encountered in their several year stay in China. Sounds like a good read for people interested in travel, China, communication, and translation.

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  42. moe99 said on January 4, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Here’s what each vote in Iowa cost. It is going to be a grim year for tv. I suggest folks start weaning themselves off of it.

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  43. caliban said on January 5, 2012 at 2:47 am

    The best cop show ever was clearly Homicide: Life on the Street. The Wire was clearly stolen whole cloth from that show, and Frank and Tim questioning the Araber in the box is the best cop show of all time. In the history of TV cops, there is nothing like Pembleton and Bayliss, and sweating the Araber in the box. Best cops ever, no joke, How can cops be that fucking stupid on Dexter? Morons? Jordan, or Bones, would catch the bastard in no time. Frank ruled. Right up until he nearly croaked. And had a baby. And Boomtown was a terrific cop show, but Terriers was so good it was ridiculous. Neal Dougherty is a fantastically menacing actor. And them Boyz from Dahchestah are a couple of good actors. Marky is superb. a la Three Kings, my new Christmas movie. Damn, he’s good. That is one great Christmas movie. And Donnie and Mykelti in Boomtown, that is awesomely good. Neal Donahugh Amazing blue eyes.

    Maybe Brian is right. When I think about my own commitment to religion, I think about Teillhard. I think about my parents’ commitment to civil rights in the USA. The Social Gospel is far more important than the proscriptive Gospel. What did Jesus say was the most important Commandment? That’s the one I’m sticking with. Noogenesisis. Alpha and Omega. God creating God. And redshift.
    As the universe expands outwards, doesn’t
    God become

    Wasn’t that the point in the first place?

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