Sown. Reaped. Etc.

Gotta say: I wasn’t a close observer of Andrew Breitbart. I knew who he was and what he was about, of course, but I wasn’t masochistic enough to monitor his various Big Whatevers on a regular basis. I skimmed the New Yorker profile awhile back, and came away with an impression of a fantastically angry man who brought a showbiz sensibility to a very baldly stated desire to destroy what he saw as institutions of the liberal media, blah blah blah. The fact he was able to get away with so much of this I attribute to the ability of those targets to say, Look, a truck. It’s coming this way. It’s speeding up. It’s not turning away. Isn’t that interesting?

I checked in on a few of the obituaries today, and once the shock wore off and the conspiracy theories fizzled and popped like firecrackers, a portrait like this emerged. David Frum:

The good was there. Breitbart was by all accounts generous with time and advice, a loving husband and father, and a loyal friend. One of those friends, Arianna Huffington, wrote today: “All I can think is what Andrew meant to me as a friend … his passion, his exuberance, his fearlessness.” Breitbart was unquestionably passionate and was exuberant. If by “fearless” you mean perpetually eager for confrontation, then yes he was fearless too, although in a very particular way. Nobody would ever describe Andrew Breitbart as a man of “quiet courage.” He delighted in the enraged outburst, the shouted insult, the videotaped jab of a finger into an opponent’s chest.

And I’m sorry, but this is the point where I check out. So he was a good guy in private, a jerkoff in public? I’m not interested in — no. I don’t like people like this. I understand that Don Rickles may well be a fantastic, sweet fellow after he’s offstage, but Don Rickles is an entertainer. Breitbart seemed to think of himself as one, too, but the world was his stage, and the damage was real. He told lies about people, malicious lies with very real consequences. Shirley Sherrod lost her job because of Breitbart. James O’Keefe, another trifling little liar, a nasty creep who makes Abbie Hoffman look like Willie Wonka, has a career because of him. He chose his targets and then said, By any means necessary.

Frum goes on:

Yet perhaps Breitbart’s most consequential innovation was his invention of a new kind of culture war. …Because President Obama was black, and because Breitbart believed in using every and any weapon at hand, Breitbart’s politics did inevitably become racially coded. Breitbart’s memory will always be linked to his defamation of Shirley Sherrod and his attempt to make a national scandal out of back payments to black farmers: the story he always called “Pigford” with self-conscious resonance.

Frum, whose discontent with the contemporary Republican party is no secret, goes on to add, “but he wasn’t a racist.” He was willing to use racist subtext to attack a president he didn’t like, and damn the consequences. But it was all in the game, yo.

I read some version of this — and Frum’s assessment is very good, I should add — half a dozen times today, and was left thinking that I simply have nothing but contempt for a life lived like this. I have more flaws, failings and human frailty than anyone here, but I think I’m basically honest. I try to tell the truth — and yes, my truth is not absolute and may not be yours — because if you’re in the communication business and you’re a liar, you’re a villain. It’s that simple. This is why I can’t stand phonies like Bob Greene and Mitch Albom, who do the same thing, but in a toadying, flattering way for their suburban audiences. If you write for a living, you may not always swing the sword of truth, but you cannot reject it entirely.

Oh, and may I just say? All these right-wingers clutching their pearls over all the mean things said about their boy today? Who left four young children and a wife, etc., and where is the decency? You have got to be fucking kidding me. Have you read what this man had to say about Ted Kennedy when he moved to the undiscovered country? Seriously?

A few Breitbartian links: Salon. Slate’s rerun of their 2010 profile of the man. Charlie Pierce. Mark Warren, at Charlie Pierce’s blog.

And that’s pretty much where I’m leaving it. No, one more note. Here’s what Shirley Sherrod, who had to leave her job after Breitbart colluded in a lie about her, had to say about his death:

“The news of Mr. Breitbart’s death came as a surprise to me when I was informed of it this morning,” Sherrod said in a statement sent to International Business Times by her attorney, Thomas Clare. “My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart’s family as they cope during this very difficult time. I do not intend to make any further comments.”

Speaking of the truth, here’s one I need to pass along: I got my Amazon gift card, the one that arrives every few months, my cut of the Kickback Lounge. The range of these payouts ranges from around $17 to — in a Christmas month — $45. But this one? Ninety bucks. I’m speechless. I’m not sure why it’s so high, whether we had more shopping or just one shopper with a fondness for big-ticket items, but I’m not sure it matters. I’m grateful. Really.

OK, now the weekend awaits. I hope yours is spectacular. We’re going to see the Black Keys! Carumba.

Posted at 6:21 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

113 responses to “Sown. Reaped. Etc.”

  1. coozledad said on March 2, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Forgive me, but I don’t understand the whole “Speak no ill of the dead” mindset. Apparently it’s a Roman thing, like roasted buffalo carcass stuffed with hummingbird tongues, crucifixion, and the Hitler salute.
    In fact, my own tombstone should read “A swell guy when he wasn’t a nasty little shit: Quiet, finally.” But they charge by the letter, don’t they?

  2. Linda said on March 2, 2012 at 7:24 am

    The butt-kissing by omission that we are seeing in the Breitbart articles today are not a mark of his goodness, but the degree to which he managed in insinuate himself into the power structure that he was attacking. People who get clout recognize each other, the way dogs do when they sniff behinds, and treat each other like members of the same club. He gave the media what it really wants–the political equivalent of 24/7 pro wrestling matches–and pushed himself into the “big leagues” that he pretended to hate. That he had to hurt little people like Sherrod was just One of Those Things That’s Too Bad, and other media folk who occasionally have collateral damage just nod their heads in appreciation.

    Thanks for laying out in clear English why he was a professional shitheel. *Post script* I gotta say that, having read the rest of Frum’s piece, it makes some good points.

  3. Connie said on March 2, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Wow, that Salon article. I have been working on holding back my own schadenfreude.

    My ipad will no longer display anything but white for Slate and Michigan Truth squad. I’ve been turning down free aps which made Slate difficult to begin with. So Ipad owners, do I want to download all those apps for sites I may only visit occasionally? And I don’t hate my keyboard nearly as much now that I have discovered the secret hidden apostrophe key and turned off the spell check.

  4. alex said on March 2, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Well, the Kickback Lounge has probably benefitted tremendously from the fact that I bought a new computer and have been downloading a lot of music. I only go to iTunes when Amazon doesn’t have the version of a song that I want. I notice that the quality of some of the recordings is simply awful when I sample them; some sound like they’re blowing the speakers, even at low volume. (I have my computer hooked up to my stereo system and speakers in the ceiling.)

    As for Breitbart, I’m not a religious man and have no qualms about speaking ill of the dead. What a shitheel. If his death at 43 was of natural causes, it must have been the toxicity of his very soul. Of course, looking at Limbaugh’s antics the last few days, I will be downright jubilant when the grim reaper smites his fat ass.

  5. beb said on March 2, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I confess when I heard that Breitbrat had died yesterday my first thought, knowing that he was a young man, was that someone he had slandered had gotten to him. But the thought that President Obama had anything to do with his death never occurred to me. I see where it has to a lot of people on the right. Undoubtedly the same people who fervently believe that Bill Clinton had people killed to hide his Arkansas drug smuggling…. They believe what they believe and facts don’t matter.

    Seeing David Frum trying to whitewash Breitbart’s sordid profession makes me lose respect for him. Also Arinna Huffington. How can someone stay friends with someone who lies for a living?

    But hey, did you hear about the fleas dinosaurs apparently had back in the day? They are reported to be an inch long! Now that’s a flea!

  6. Deborah said on March 2, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I thought the Frum piece was quite good, well written. Confrontation is wearing thin for me. I need a break from hearing it and reading it. There’s always that little thrill of indignation and then I feel bad. I’m giving it up as I find myself moving more and more to the middle.

  7. mark said on March 2, 2012 at 8:43 am

    What a remarkable example Ms. Sherrod chose to set, however much it may be ignored. She, as much as anyone, would be ‘justified’ in stooping to the levels that Breitbart used against her. She chose to do the right thing even when the temptation to do otherwise must have been large.

  8. Linda said on March 2, 2012 at 8:54 am

    The fact he was able to get away with so much of this I attribute to the ability of those targets to say, Look, a truck. It’s coming this way. It’s speeding up. It’s not turning away. Isn’t that interesting?

    Here’s another thing I would attribute it to: Mainstream media mostly has rules about civility and playing nice. Brietbart did not. When MM broke their own rules, Brietbart and company had no qualms about saying so, checking and guilt tripping them, while playing their own game as dirty as they wanted to and not feeling a bit guilty. It’s like something Polish dissident Adam Michnik wrote about the infiltration of Communists in government. It was along the lines of: “when you are in charge, we will demand openness, fair play, and representation, because that is your way. But when we take over, we will use force and totalitarian rule, because that is our way.”

  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 2, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Ms. Sherrod’s statement moved me. I don’t like the tone Brietbart set, but I do think my sense of the internet is that we’ve gotten to a place where any nastiness gets magnified and any positive comment will get buried under bitter criticism. Ted Kennedy was worth honoring on his death, and I did, and don’t hold with direct personal commentary for some stretch after anyone’s passing because a) they’re DEAD, okay? Which means they can’t fight back, and b) those who would on their behalf are the most likely to be having a rough patch. Give ‘em some time to get their guard back up; that’s what the “tradition” of “nil nisi bonus de mortuis dicere” is based in, from the Latin or just fireside courtesy. But I got some of my angriest mail when I wrote a column that didn’t even hold up Teddy as a role model, but as fascinating narrative of what it’s like to seek redemption while caught (whether you think he enjoyed it all or not) in the public eye all the while.

    One could just move directly to noting a despised interlocutor’s passing to commenting on Cretaceous-era giant fleas and consider your point well made . . . and then recall ruefully that no matter how many fleas you pluck off, there’s always more to come. Here comes the new pundit, same as the old pundit.

    As for the Kickback Lounge, I suspect there were a number of us who took the plunge into Kindle Fire territory this last quarter — enjoy the cut, you’ve earned it, chief.

  10. Jolene said on March 2, 2012 at 8:59 am

    beb, Frum’s piece is far from a whitewash. Did you read the whole thing? The key word is poisonous, which is how he refers to Breitbart’s contributions to public discourse.

    I’m with Nance. Everything starts with telling the truth. Being a colorful drinking buddy does not make up for publishing lies and distortions.

  11. nancy said on March 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Reading Ms. Sherrod’s comment, I’m reminded of what Maggie Jochild said here yesterday: “I know the only way badly damaged people have ever changed, in my personal experience, is through love and forgiveness.” It’s too late for Andrew. But it’s not too much to hope that perhaps his wife, or one of his children, or a member of his staff, read that and allowed a small seed to be planted.

  12. Julie Robinson said on March 2, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Deborah, confrontation is wearing thin for me, too. If we take anything from Breitbart’s death at 43, it should be to cherish each other in the brief amount of time we have together.

    No big purchases via the Kickback Lounge, but a book here, a magazine subscription there, and it’s an easy, small thing to do for a place I love.

  13. Malvolio said on March 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Linda is correct about “balanced” political reporting in real newspapers. In 2004, every report of some big lie from W’s Squatter’s White House in WaPo had to include some attempt at pointing out something vaguely untruthful from the Kerry campaign. It was nauseating. The paper still does this in its factcheck column. Politifact takes up big lies and somehow exonerates the mendacious sources by tortuously exhuming some kernel of truth from which the lie is cultivated. These news sources are inerrantly, and obsequiously, holier-than-thou about their balance in these cases. Makes me want to throw up.

    For everyone that says both sides have radically polarized American politics, I call bullshit. The far-right redshift of GOP overwhelms any leftward shift by Democrats.

    Breitbart is worthy of similar treatment to that which he reserved for Ted Kennedy, but it’s gratifying that many of his political opponents choose a higher road, and it serves no purpose to dose him with his own vile medicine. Of course, the decency for the recently-deceased meme was rampant in the rightwingnut internet world when Teddy died too, wasn’t it?

    Rather than call Breitbart a scumbag, Coca-Cola douche (he was), I’d just say that his attacks on Black Americans seemed like they flowed effortlessly from their vile origins in the Atwater Southern Strategy, the most divisive and dangerous political initiative since McCarthy, at least, and probably since the War against slavery that had almost nothing to do with state’s rights except to use that shibboleth as camouflage and code. And that’s the Ciceronian way of dealing with pieces of crap when they shuffle off. Cataline, I’m not here to point out what a Sack O’ Steaming Turds you are. But just how long do you intend to abuse our patience?

    I made a $250 book and CD purchase just last month. I’m never buying MP3s. CDs are already too compressed and lacking in nuance. Oh, and a nice Audio-Technica turntable with an excellent Shure cartridge to play my vinyl albums through my Mac. Nice sound.

    Breitbart? Maybe the afterlife needed somebody new to be Beetlejuice.

  14. Pam said on March 2, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Breitbart – bleah! “He delighted in the enraged outburst, the shouted insult, the videotaped jab of a finger into an opponent’s chest.” Just the kind of person I absolutely cannot tolerate. The fact that he was able to get away with it was because most people are respectful and polite and simply did not know a way to bum rush a guy like that. You can never win with his ilk because they will lower themselves to any bad behavior to out shout you, lie to your face, exaggerate the facts to suit themselves and laugh behind your back. Most decent people refuse to stoop to this level so they just walk away. He was merely a bully. And, he was a racist as well. Rest in the same peace you gave to others.

  15. Dorothy said on March 2, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Ditto what Julie said @ 12. We ordered about $90 worth of books last week at Amazon. I’m trying not to feel guilty about it because of my niece owning a bookstore. We did spend there at Christmas time, and our daughter got us a $50 gift certificate to Jan’s store so I’m holding it in reserve for something special. I’d love to show up in person one day to spend it – she’d be so delighted! But it’s a long drive from central Ohio to Athens GA.

    I rarely wish ill on someone, but God help me I was wishing awfully hard for something to stop Rush Limbaugh’s voice when I heard what he said yesterday about Sandra Fluke. How does that man live with that bile in his gut?!

  16. Maggie Jochild said on March 2, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Thanks, Nancy, for giving us your look. Elegantly and succinctly said, as usual, and I agree. One of the reasons I come here is because I can often find what I (from my deep South/Texan cultural upbringing) shorthand as “Midwestern values” — the idea that fair play is courageous and worth the effort.

    We cannot win by playing the games of the Right. They are, inevitably, destroying their own souls. I wonder at what they can and cannot see in this devolution. Having been up close and personal to men who literally caused the deaths of people they claimed to love, who never once stop blaming their victims for dying, I know those who do evil have an endless capacity for not seeing that evil. That lack of self-examination is perhaps the crux of why they are so dangerous.

    But I especially appreciate hearing from those of us who proudly claim liberal as we honestly try to think about our own process, who want to alter our responses so they are genuinely effective politically as well as personally. Even a handful of us can make that difference.

  17. Scout said on March 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

    The thing that struck me about Breitbart’s passing was the legacy he left with the people who thought he was some kind of folk hero, someone to be admired for his spittle-flecked-rage-aholism and unapologetic dishonesty. They were all over the comments sections of many of my regular reads yesterday provoking regular commenters, (who were saying much the same as what is being said here, btw,) and then blasting them for speaking ill of the dead. It’s like they were picking up the baton he dropped and running with it. That is precisely why behavior like his should never, ever receive public acceptance. What it spawns is more of the same and worse. Of course, big mistake to try and reason with trolls who already know what AB was about and don’t give a shit about the lives he ruined. Trolls need to be ignored, just like AB should have been all along.

    Just this week there was an incident at a restaurant in Phoenix that was extremely disheartening coming right after reading about the lesbian who was denied communion. Here is the link:
    http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/now/lesbian-couple-asked-to-leave-phoenix-restaurant-after-kiss
    What is even worse than the story itself are the comments. I just cannot wrap my mind around this kind of stupid, blind, ignorant hate.

    Don’t even get me started on Sherriff Joe’s birther crap. I want to move to a blue state.

  18. Julie Robinson said on March 2, 2012 at 10:28 am

    After Nashville lost its bookstores, the author Ann Patchett opened her own, Parnassus Books. As I read about it I decided to make an order, only to find that the book I wanted would run $18 more than on Amazon. I justified my purchase by going through the KB Lounge, even as I realized how hard it is for the independents.

    However, the box had gaps at the corners and the book arrived dirty. It was for a gift, and I hope the replacement arrives in time. Plus, I have to run to the post office to return the first one. So, minus 1 for Amazon there.

  19. Icarus said on March 2, 2012 at 10:32 am

    fixed it for me: I wasn’t a close observer of Andrew Breitbart. I actually never heard of him before this week, didn’t know who he was or what he was about. And it sounds like I wasn’t missing anything out of life for that.

  20. Deborah said on March 2, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I will say one more thing about Breitbart and then I’m done. I read something this morning about his last two hours on this earth. He was returning from some event and stopped off at a bar in his neighborhood where he struck up a conversation with a couple of bar patrons. He had a couple of glasses of wine and on his walk home he keeled over and died. Of course he would have had no idea that those were his last two hours on earth, but too bad he didn’t spend that time with his wife and four kids. I don’t blame him for it, and I don’t exactly know why but I found that sad. You just never know…

  21. MichaelG said on March 2, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Malvolio, tell me more about that turntable. What model? Can you use it to transfer tunes from vinyl to your hard drive? Are you happy with it?

    Maggie, I hope that your recovery is proceeding and that your strength is growing.

    Moe ditto, may that last procedure be the one that does the trick and may you not need any further ones.

    I last listened to Limbaugh one day right after Clinton was elected the first time. Limbaugh for some reason took off after Chelsea, blabbing on about how she was such a fat ugly girl with frizzy hair and so on and on. The kid was all of like thirteen or so at the time. Go after Bill or even Hillary, but a barely teenaged girl? Jeezuz. I turned him off that day and have never listened to him again. Except when I see cuts on TV as I did last night when the network news played him and his free contraceptive and put it on YouTube routine. Just goes to show that he wants to watch for free. What a despicable puke.

    What these assholes don’t understand is that contraceptives aren’t all about the woman involved. Contraception or its opposite involve the participating male just as much. Contraceptive usage or nonusage isn’t about women; it’s about all of us. This is why their Jihad against women is so awful. They’re prepared to cut off their noses to spite their faces.

  22. Jeff Borden said on March 2, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Andrew Brietbart was a hateful bully. He damaged a lot of lives and helped destroy institutions that were part of a critical infrastructure for American minorities such as ACORN, which fell because of deceptively edited videotape. The nation, the world, humanity itself suffers no ill for his passing.

  23. brian stouder said on March 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Apropos of nothing much, here is a story of another 43 year old who left this earth, from a small town/boom town in out west.

    http://www.chem.info/News/2012/03/Plant-Operations-Oil-Boom-a-Kidnapping-Alter-Town/?et_cid=2511170&et_rid=44004269&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.chem.info%2fNews%2f2012%2f03%2fPlant-Operations-Oil-Boom-a-Kidnapping-Alter-Town%2f

    The lead (which could be from the first page of a compelling movie script; not Elmore Leonard – but instead the Coen brothers, I think):

    SIDNEY, Mont. (AP) — Sidney isn’t the first small town in the West to get run over by a gold rush, in this case black gold — more than 16 million barrels of crude being pumped every month from the massive Bakken oil field beneath eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

    But Sidney’s new-found prosperity doesn’t dull the sting of the recent kidnapping and apparent murder of a local teacher, Sherry Arnold. Authorities allege the 43-year-old Arnold was snatched from a Sidney street by two men among the thousands from across the country descending on the small towns of the Northern Plains in search of a slice of the boom’s multi-billion-dollar payoff.

    “It’s turned this little town upside down,” said Ron Whited, Arnold’s father, who lives on a ranch 25 miles outside of town. “There’s evil in the world, and it just happened to touch down in Sidney, Montana on Jan. 7.”

    edit: and the name of the movie would be “Ambiguous Loss”

  24. Malvolio said on March 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

    MichaelG

    This is the turntable I have:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/665946-REG/Audio_Technica_AT_LP120USB_AT_LP120USB_Direct_Drive_Professional.html

    It has a USB connection to my Mac and it’s easy to record from vinyl into my iTunes library, from which I can burn CDs. I’m quite pleased with the machine. I chose it based on mid-level price range and that it is a direct-drive mechanism, which I believe is superior to belt-drive models that cost less. Set-up was only mildly annoying and not really time-consuming. I actually transferred an ancient 78rpm recording of The Nutcracker (not vinyl, weighs like concrete or pottery) with good results. This is a real treat, because playing the entire ballet used to require eight pauses to change the records. Now I can listen to the entire piece uninterrupted. I did buy a new discwasher for my albums to get the least static and noise. There are cheaper vinyl-to-digital methods, like conversion boxes (ADS (an excellent audio company, I own ADS speakers) Tech Instant Music, e.g.) but I wanted to be able to continue to play the vinyl albums and didn’t have a working turntable or preamp anymore:

    http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/09/qa-converting-vinyl-to-digital/

    The miogynist rightwing jihad is worth sacrificing politicians and elections <i<in order specifically to drive the center of polarized American political discourse ever farther to the right. This is a long war, or a long con, paid for and financed by people like the Kochs that would be happy to see the reestablishment of feudalism, in which they possess all the wealth. So ex-Sen. Man on Dog is a useful idiot to them.

  25. Malvolio said on March 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Brian: That kidnapping story caused me a strong frisson and recalled 2666 and the maquiladoras.

    Scores of industry workers joined in the massive search for Arnold that turned up only a single running shoe.
    Probably including the kidnappers.

  26. alex said on March 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    My dad just bought some turntable recently that can turn vinyl recordings into other electronic formats. Not sure he likes it, though, but he’s rather technically challenged and impatient.

    Looks like what happened to Dr. Laura might just happen to el Rushbo. It’s about fuckin’ time.

  27. Hattie said on March 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Breitbart was evil. And with four children an overpopulator. Unless they were adopted or something.

  28. Sherri said on March 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    On Frum claiming that Breitbart wasn’t a racist, I’m really tired of the concept that evidently nobody is a racist. You can say racist things, you can tell racist jokes, you can claim that really, the minorities are the real racists, but no, you’re not a racist.

    If you don’t want to be thought of as a racist, stop acting like one.

  29. nancy said on March 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I had the same thought, Sherri — it seems that using racism to advance your cause is prima facie evidence that one is, indeed, a racist.

    Oh, and Rush will not be Laura’d. He’s said worse and always come out smiling. He really is untouchable. Remember, Dr. Laura’s comet was all but extinguished when she made her fatal screwup. It was just a convenient excuse to send her packing.

  30. coozledad said on March 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Hattie: Whoever climbed that mountain of grey meat and managed to bounce around on it enough to inseminate herself four times deserves a goddamned Croix de Guerre.

  31. Malvolio said on March 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Dr. Laura has a juris doctor degree from UVA. So does one of my brothers, but he never figured that confers the right to the honorific “Dr.”. I mean, you have to be a bona fide horse’s ass to go to law school, earn a JD, and then present yourself to the world as Dr. so-and-so. Ther used to be a great reliever for the Dodgers named Mike Marshall, who had a PhD from MSU in kinesiology. He was never introduced by a stadium announcer as Dr. Mike Marshall.

    If there were an FCC that hadn’t been trampled into flan for the last 40 years by the GOP, if there were somebody like Newton Minnow around, outlets carrying Rush would be facing loss of license about now. Funny thing about Limbo’s screed is he appears to think that hormonal birth control works like Viagra, that as often as you have sex the cost rises because you need a pill every time you get laid. I’ve no doubt that medicine ball of diarrhea is that ignorant.

    Sherri: The same people that excuse racists are spouting the “Some of my best friends…” nonsense. Funny thing is, these are the same bigots that will stoop to “Everybody’s a racist…” and “And the worst racists are…”, when they get caught out in overt and inexcusable racism.

  32. ROGirl said on March 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    “As long as his message is getting through, Breitbart doesn’t care if you think he’s an asshole. Assholes get attention.” — from the Slate article

    Dead a**holes get attention, too. I still don’t care about them.

  33. Sue said on March 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Wow – Matt Taibbi weighs in:
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/andrew-breitbart-death-of-a-douche-20120301

  34. Jakash said on March 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Was that “Newton Minnow” reference a typo, Malvolio, or have you been brainwashed by the diabolical genius, Sherwood Schwartz, creator of Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch? The S. S. Minnow on GI was named for the guy who actually managed to not profane the name Newt. “A minnow is a very small bait fish, but the TV boat was actually named for Newton Minow.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Minnow

  35. alex said on March 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Taibbi wins hands down for obits. And cooz wins the thread with the Croix de Guerre.

  36. Peter said on March 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Yeah, thanks Cooz – like I’ll ever be able to get THAT image out of my brain. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

  37. adrianne said on March 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I dunno, Nance, this latest eruption from the odious Rush is getting traction…advertisers are canceling, Georgetown U. President just apologized to Sharon Fluke on Rush’s behalf, and now Obama is calling her in support:

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/obama-calls-georgetown-law-student-who-testified-at

  38. Jimmie Cracked Thornes said on March 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Andrew Breitbart did not cost Shirley Sherrod her job.

    Shirley Sherrod cost Shirley Sherrod her job. There was no “editing for context.” It was all in the first release: Sherrod’s racism, as well as her line about trying to overcome her own racism. It was all there. It was all there. It was all there. The sky is not yellow. It was all there.

    James O’Keefe is liar? Right. Okay. I mean who am I supposed to believe? You? Or my lyin’ eyes?

  39. Malvolio said on March 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Yeah, just forgot how Mr. Vast Wasteland’s surname was spelled, Jakash. One way or another, modern airwaves would be very different with that guy around. Haven’t really had any reason to think about him since JRL101. It is a very sad thing that the FCC Charter has been relegated, apparently, to the National Archives. In the W years the FCC was used solely as a partisan prybar to dislodge the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Ownership of the airwaves resides in the people, and their use by private entities is by license, to serve the public interest. Somebody should stuff that up Murdoch’s and the Clearchannel bastard’s lardbutts.

    Rash’s repeated references to Fluke as a “college kid” are typically odious, since she’s 2nd-year at one of the best Law School’s in the country, and has previously been active in public service politics. That is deliberately and erroneously demeaning. It’s also calculated, to rile his slavering hyddrophobic hordes against them snob college elites.

  40. LAMary said on March 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    We live in interesting times. Racism and misogyny are much more out in the open than they were even thirty years ago.

  41. JayZ(the original) said on March 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    The right wing conspiracy theorists are already crying foul play and linking Breitbart’s death to his planned release of revealing tapes about Obama’s activities at Harvard. Better get Sheriff Joe Arpaio on the case immediately.

  42. alex said on March 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Looks like Dwight is slipping through under a new nom de keyboard.

  43. JWfromNJ said on March 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    @Brian – one of those dirtbags was a frequent flyer here in Indian River County before heading west. The police chief was not surprised at this turn of events.

  44. Scout said on March 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    After needing an eyewash after reading comments at other blogs where people tried to engage the trolls with pesky facts, all I can urge is not to engage any here. They hate to be ignored worse than anything you can say to them.

  45. nancy said on March 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Yes, and this just in: Down is up. Repeating it often enough, and loudly enough, will make it so.

  46. coozledad said on March 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Fucking Breitbart. Reincarnated already.

  47. beb said on March 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    “Jimmie Cracked Thornes” – Nancy’s first professional Movement Conservative troll. Wow!

  48. Deborah said on March 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Coozledad, the first comment in that link is as hysterical as the video.

  49. Jolene said on March 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Just hearing about very bad tornadoes in Indiana. A small town in the southern part of the state seems to have been wiped out. Stay safe, Hoosiers.

  50. Jeff Borden said on March 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I know El Rushbo traffics in trash talk for mouth breathers as the go-to guy for stupid people. I know elected Republicans cower before him like puppies in front of a bear. I know the next honest thing he ever utters will be the first.

    Yet this latest foray into sexism is really, truly ugly. . .the kind of thing that springs from a diseased mind. He’s gone from calling a law school student a slut, a prostitute and a “round heel” –which I’m given to understand is a colloquialism for being easy– and is now suggesting that women who receive contraceptives through an insurance plan owe him and his pud-pulling followers an online video of themselves having sex.

    Weepy Boehner offered some mild rebuke. Carly Fiorina called him out on it. But otherwise, the silence is deafening.

    Meanwhile, Obama assures Limbaugh and the GOPs antipathy –is that word strong enough?– toward women will hang around for a few more news cycles by calling the young woman and praising her courage. And while one advertiser does not a boycott make, I would remind you that Glenn Beck once looked pretty untouchable, but his constant stream of batshit crazy eventually cost him pretty much every advertiser on his Fox fartfest.

    There’s no harm whatsoever in tracking down the list of Limbaugh’s advertisers and raising holy hell with them. You never know what will happen.

  51. maryinIN said on March 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I haven’t followed Andrew Breitbart, really at all, but I wonder why the AP obit in the Indy Star mentioned that his work “led to the resignations of former NY Rep. Anthony Weiner and former US Agriculture Dept. official Shirley Sherrod”, but without adding any qualifiers about the erroneous circumstances concerning Sherrod. The impression was left that he was controversial, hero to some, hated by others, because he “selectively used the truth.” Can you journalists enlighten me about why it’s OK to be so incomplete? It seems the writers are being selective as well.

  52. Jeff Borden said on March 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Okay, there is now a second advertiser deserting El Rushbo. Sleep Number Beds is canceling all advertising. There are lists of the advertisers floating all over Facebook including direct telephone numbers to call and complain.

    Make a few calls. Let’s try to make this sac of shit cry.

  53. Malvolio said on March 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Yeah, just forgot how Mr. Vast Wasteland’s surname was spelled, Jakash. One way or another, modern airwaves would be very different with that guy around. Haven’t really had any reason to think about him since JRL101. It is a very sad thing that the FCC Charter has been relegated, apparently, to the National Archives. In the W years the FCC was used solely as a partisan prybar to dislodge the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Ownership of the airwaves resides in the people, and their use by private entities is by license, to serve the public interest. Somebody should stuff that up Murdoch’s and the Clearchannel bastard’s lardbutts.

    Rash’s repeated references to Fluke as a “college kid” are typically odious, since she’s 2nd-year at one of the best Law School’s in the country, and has previously been active in public service politics. That is deliberately and erroneously demeaning. It’s also calculated, to rile his slavering hyddrophobic hordes against them snob college elites.WHO ELSE HAS LET MORONS INTO THIS SORT OF Are you kidding? Who’a to Say?

  54. Jeff Borden said on March 2, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    A third advertiser –Quicken Loans– is dropping El Rushbo. And in Cleveland, the NBA Cavaliers, who air on the same station as the loudmouth, have asked that none of their radio spots air on his program.

    Keep firing those harpoons at the creep.

  55. alex said on March 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    maryinIN—

    I can’t tell whether that’s laziness or someone’s deliberate effort to gloss things over, but I have to say that the undue magnanimity I’ve seen on display the last few days is reminiscent of the press wussing out in the early years of the Iraq debacle. Breitbart’s misdeeds (to my sensibilities, anyway) far outweigh anything laudable about him.

    It’s very possible that some editor said “Whoa, we don’t need a bunch of bomb threats, let’s just see how we might tone this down a little… “

  56. brian stouder said on March 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Alex, that has the ring of truth

  57. Little Bird said on March 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Jeff, I found one of those lists and posted among my Facebook friends. I can only hope it helps!

  58. coozledad said on March 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Suck on this, Republican talk radio lathermouths and snake flag filth:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/01/1069909/-President-of-Ireland-Must-See-Believe-Me-Please-?via=siderec

  59. Deborah said on March 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    You all need to listen to that President of Ireland link that Coozledad linked to if you haven’t already.

  60. basset said on March 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Allow me to mention here that the President of Ireland is an Indiana man, MA Sociology 1967.

    http://homepages.indiana.edu/web/page/normal/20153.html

  61. maryinIN said on March 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    You know, as a long-time resident, I sometimes marvel at the dichotomy exhibited by the State of Indiana and Indiana University.

  62. alex said on March 2, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Maybe this time…

    On this note, goin’ night-night.

  63. Malvolio said on March 3, 2012 at 7:00 am

    I’d say that Breitbart is as odious as the Swiftboaters, and Raygun, and screw them all. These people ar unAmerican, and their interest is to fuck over the American Way of Life while allegedly promoting it. These are mighty big liars. Juat my opinion.

  64. Malvolio said on March 3, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Only for baseball fans:Best pitcher ever, on best pitcher now.

    Truth about gasoline prices.

  65. basset said on March 3, 2012 at 8:14 am

    MaryinIN, as an Indiana native and IU alum I wonder… which, if any, of the fifty states DO meet your standards?

  66. alex said on March 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

    C’mon Basset. I’m a native Hoosier and IU alum and I’ll be the first to admit that IU is an oasis of civilization in a state that is otherwise an intellectual backwater. You’ve seen what sort of “representatives” the citizenry elect—the national laughingstocks who want to put creationism in the schools and paint the Girl Scouts as agents of Satan. It is indeed dichotomous.

    And I’ll also say that none of the fifty states meets my standards. They all have deep flaws. They’re inhabited and governed by humans.

  67. Minnie said on March 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Utterly frivolous, but it is the weekend, after all: Does anyone else have this reaction to the ad for Tom Perrotta’s THE LEFTOVERS on Nancy’s front page? While reading the correspondence, out of the corner of my right eye I spy the mists wafting up from the shoes and think, “That guy really needs Odor Eaters.”

  68. Malvolio said on March 3, 2012 at 10:35 am

    alex, well-said. I was born in Ohio, moved to Arkansas, then Tenesee, then Michigan. And we weren’t military. I was raised to believe in the idea of social justice. As Jesus clearly taught. How is that difficult for people to understand?

  69. nancy said on March 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

    This really deserves its own thread, but oh well. It’s Saturday. And this has the precise clarity of truth.

  70. beb said on March 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

    MaryinIN@51 and alex@55 : The media is complicit in the creation of Andrew Breitbart. He’d keep throwing out these incriminating videos and no ever said “before we run with this can we see the raw feed? Can we get a word from the accused?” — No! they ran with it because it was scandalous. Only later did someone finally look into the tapes and find that Breitbrat had altered the context to make it seem scandalous. The media can’t call him what he clearly was, an insensitive, lying propagandist without admitting that hey gave him a free ride.

    Ta-Nehisi Coates spends most of his essay suggesting that Breitbart accidentally slipped into a lie and instead of correcting himself doubled down on the lie. Looking at the entirety of his life I would object that Breitbart’s attack on Shirley Sherrod wasn’t an accident but deliberate character assassination. But I do aagree with Coates concluding words: “Breitbart may well have been an excellent father and a great friend but that is not why we are talking about him. We are noting his death because of the impact he had on our politics and our conversation. It must be said that that impact was for the worse. Any talk of his private life, is an attempt to change the subject and avoid discomfiting truths.”

  71. MichaelG said on March 3, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Well said by Coates.

    Do any of you live in or near the area where those horrible tornadoes struck last night?

    Sleep Train dropping Limbaugh is bigger than the average sponsor abandonment. Sleep Train is a Sacramento based operation and was just a small start up in the early eighties when they first sponsored a fresh local talk show host on a Sacto radio station. They have been a sponsor of Limbaugh’s ever since even as both grew and prospered. That’s a thirty year relationship Sleep Train just terminated. Reaction here in Sactown is overwhelmingly in favor of the severance.

    There’s a trial going on in Cleveland that a TV station there is covering in a unique and very amusing way. Check it out:

    http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/

  72. Jeff Borden said on March 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    The only way to punish assholes like Limbaugh is to hit them where it hurts. . .the sponsorships. Sure, the bastard has tons of personal wealth and always will, but the syndicators and stations who carry his daily vomitorium need to sell ads and if they cannot he will go away.

    Glenn Beck delivered big ratings to Fox News, but was so vile no reasonable company would advertise. Despite his popularity, he was sent packing. Fox could not translate his viewership into advertising money.

    Limbaugh may be more immune, but who’s to say? It can’t hurt to keep up the pressure.

  73. Malvolio said on March 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Nancy says: precise clarity of truth. So do Gravity’s Rainbow and Steve Erickson. Fabulists run America’s consciousness. And it’s unfortunate who the fabulists are. They believe the President is an African, anti-colonial , muslim other. Holy shit, He’s kinda black. It would be nice if the rightwing just woke up and admitted they have a problem with anybody dark=skinned.

  74. brian stouder said on March 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Beb – in my opinion, Coates wasn’t saying Breitbart accidently slipped into lying; the point (it seemed to me) was Breitbart willfully ignoring all that did not support his attack-agenda.

    The “nut paragraph”, to me, was this one:

    By embracing that deception, by neglecting to research Sherrod before putting up a clip of her talking, by electing to see her as little more than a shiv against the hated liberals, he deprived himself of knowledge, of experience, of insight, of enlightenment. That he might learn something from Sherrod, that he might access some power from her life, and pass that on to loved ones and friends, never occurred to him. Publicly, he lived to make himself right — a tradition that is fully empowered in our politics. Breitbart didn’t invent the art of making yourself right. But he embraced it, and then advanced it.

    As I become an old man, I think that willful ignorance is one of the greatest pitfalls to avoid. Complexity ain’t fun; moral ambiguity is a pain in the ass; the sometimes arbitrary nature of life is maddening – but – what are you gonna do?

    The challenge (it seems to me) is to keep the curtains open; to try our best to reach conclusions after reading and listening and thinking (rather than before); and to be willing – always – to revisit those conclusions, and continually revise them as necessary, as long as we live.

    And the irony (which Coates points to) is that simply short-cutting to our conclusions – whether or not we’re “right” – forfeits much of what is invigorating in this lifetime

  75. Minnie said on March 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Brian S., I do so agree with you about the dangers of willful ignorance.

  76. Jolene said on March 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks for posting the Coates piece, Nancy. I came to the site to do just that. It’s a fine example of what I find so impressive about Coates: his willingness to reach beyond the easy answer to get to the deeper truth, no matter what the subject is.

    And great follow-up, Brian. Very wise and, for me, touching as well.

  77. Jolene said on March 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Tyler Hicks, the photographer who was with Anthony Shadid when he died in Syria, has an article in today’s NYT re that trip. Very much worth reading. In the comments, there’s a link to an NPR piece about Shadid’s new book that includes a brief interview with his wife.

  78. Deborah said on March 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Brian, you did it again, as usual you just made a ton of sense. Can I just say how much I appreciate your comments here? I agree with Jolene I found it touching.

  79. Malvolio said on March 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Anthony Shadid and And why do they hate f-stone”hate Lebannon?
    Why did Israel blow Lebanon to smithereens six years ago?

  80. Malvolio said on March 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Because they can get away with anything and Netanyau thought it was politically expedient. And anybody that deplores their shit is anti-Semitic. Never mind that the Palestinians are as Semitic as their persecutors, their overlords.

  81. Suzanne said on March 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Well said Brian @74. The older I get, well, yes. Agree with you.

    I almost laughed when I saw Rush L. on tv the other day whining about contraception. He’s been married 3 times and has no kids. Either he’s sterile or his women used birth control. And then there is that whole illegal prescription episode. How anyone can not see him as a fraud, I can’t understand. Nonetheless, I have relatives who hold fast to his every word and truly don’t get that he’s getting stinking rich off them.

    People like Rush and the Brietbart guy (I know little about him) I think do see what they do as a great game. They are oblivious that any of it involves real people with real lives that can be destroyed. I don’t doubt that to his neighbors and people out of the limelight, Breitbart probably was a nice guy. He’s like the quiet polite kid that get positively rabid when playing a video game or is put in a soccer game and feels compelled to do whatever necessary to win the game and then returns to his normal existence.

  82. Malvolio said on March 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Andrew Breibart was a bona fide asshole. I parbly am too, but I know my kid would say I’m not. Maybe the little Breitbart assholes would give dad a pass.

  83. alex said on March 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Brian, thank you, you’re wise beyond your years (which are the same as mine, actually—we pretty much grew up in the same place at the same time).

    I was quite moved the other day when you mentioned being in a situation where someone was making a big deal out of you being the Obama supporters (as if it were announcing some sort or freak show). It takes quite some fortitude to stand your ground and not be pushed around by people who are behaving this way. Good on you.

    Money can’t buy your way out of the pit of ignorance that is this town. Even in the best of neighborhoods you can be surrounded by yutzes who talk the most damnable crap. No matter what circles you move in, you’re bound to be confronted by people who live in their own alternate universe of arcane religion and politics who have been emboldened by listening to Rush and O’Reilly and Beck and think that incendiary, confrontational behavior is alright because everyone else is wrong and Jesus and motherhood and apple pie are on their side. If I weren’t a gentleman, I’d have punched an octogenarian booze heiress who owns a bunch of Remington statues a few weeks ago for being such an insufferable outspoken ignoramus who thinks she shits Godiva chocolate and expects everyone she meets to eat it.

    Anyway, going to a community association meeting tonight. Should be interesting seeing who our friends really are.

  84. Cara said on March 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    “an octogenarian booze heiress who owns a bunch of Remington statues a few weeks ago for being such an insufferable outspoken ignoramus who thinks she shits Godiva chocolate”,…… I’m howling with laughter!

    Alex, you, Basset and Coozledad make my days, and I’ll not slight Malvolio here either. I rarely comment, but so enjoy this lively blog.

    My very best to Moe.

  85. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Oy, Alex, my prayers are with you. I’m still recovering from ours last Saturday.

  86. Deggjr said on March 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    The link coozledad posted at #58 is beyond awesome. I counted 15 attempted interruptions by the Limbaugh wanna-be, the longest one was maybe 4 seconds. No other interruption lasted longer than 1 second.

  87. brian stouder said on March 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Say – Pam and I just got back from dinner at Cork & Cleaver (favorite place – great salad bar, marvelous ribeye, and chocolate mousse cakey/fluffy desser; anniversary 19 is upon us) and thanks for all the kind words!

    In turn, thanks to Nancy for the link to that superb Coates piece, which summed up things so well, to begin with. As a fairly long-time resident up here in the cheap seats at nn.c, hopefully I have learned at least a thing or two from our (altogether marvelous) proprietress.

    Alex – I remember the day after the night we all watched Barack Obama win the presidency, and you and I traded comments right here at nn.c, about how a light frost had seemingly descended upon our respective work places. It was a strange, awkward time – before the critics found their agreed-upon response (and Uncle Rush wasted no time at all, declaring his heart-felt wishes and desire that the president-elect FAIL)

    Of course, the frost evaporated long ago. I’m now awaiting the proper moment to add an unambiguously large Obama-2012 decal to the back window of my car (probably somewhere around Halloween would be the smart play, but I’m thinking more like the 4th of July)

    edit – and I see where Limbaugh has now “apologized” – but in his apology he insists on deriding the idea that we need to hear testimony from a woman who just wants to have sex, and wants others to pay for contraception; which dishonestly ignores the fact that Ms Fluke was going to testify about a friend of hers that needed her prescription for medical reasons, and who withstood serious consequences for not having access to complete prescription coverage. Leaving aside that birth control is – in itself – a perfectly valid reason for complete prescription coverage, Limbaugh still won’t concede that lots of people need these prescriptions for reasons other than birth control, incidentally including my lovely wife.

    edit 2 – by the way, on one of the Breitbart links, I learned that his father-in-law was Orson Bean…!! Orson Bean? I remember him from – was it To Tell the Truth? (that would be just too ironic, eh). And I remember a particularly funny anecdote that Rson Bean once told on the Johnny Carson show…but we digress!

  88. Malvolio said on March 3, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I’m no fan of M. Kinsley I think he’s too often been the wimpy liberal shill for wingnut bullies. But he’s smart.

    Alex, are you sure she wasn’t an octoroon? Sorry, but the first brown-skinned President has really brought the raciss out of the woodwork, no matter what they say. The “nigrah” folk are finding the uppitiness hard to swallow. Anybody that denies this is basically one of those that objects.

    What Suzanne said about Rush and fraud? Well, he strikes me as George Corley vowing to not be “out-niggered” anymore when he lost his first election. And Brian, I don’t think you mean ambiguity. You are rarely ambiguous. Seeing both sides and coming down on one is not ambiguous. It’s honest.

  89. Jolene said on March 3, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Interesting note from a CEO re the Limbaugh flap: http://www.carbonite.com/en/blog/A-Message-from-Carbonite-CEO-David-Friend-Regarding-Ads-on-Limbaugh

  90. basset said on March 3, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Just got in from movie night at the neighbors’ – we have a group dinner and watch a classic movie, started with “From Here to Eternity” a few weeks ago and continued tonight with “The Third Man.” Had never seen it, still hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

    MaryinIN and Alex, what bothered me about the original post at 61 was that, as a rural Indiana native and IU grad, I get the stick from both sides of that comment. I can remember being told before I left for IU that it was a nest of “queers and comma-nists” just as clearly as I can recall my freshman academic advisor saying that I came from the wrong background for university and should be in trade school. Plenty of negativity to go around, no matter what the direction.

  91. JWfromNJ said on March 3, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I’m also delaying the Obama 2012 sticker because I don’t want to deal with those who will give me the bird and also the lowlifes here who will hock on my windshield.

    I also want to stay non-partisan due to work although if someone asks I am not shy. I cover this one town where the old timer on council gives the invocation, and he’s the “institutional memory,” and a pretty good one at that, but every week it gets more cringe-worthy.

    This week he asked God to “watch over this primary season and guide us to select an upright and inspired leader to lead us out of this horrible mess we’ve endured as a nation for the past four years.” Makes me feel like I’m back in Bluffton, and bothers me no one else seems aghast – even the girl from the weekly. How much trouble would it cause if I sat down through it next week? I’m gonna lose it if he plays the birther card, I swear.

  92. Linda said on March 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    I just sent for an Obama bumper sticker. Taking crud off of lowlifes is part of life. I want to help create an Obama bandwagon sort of environment, one car at a time. Yes, I have policy disagreements with his presidency, but I have nightmares about the alternatives.

  93. maryinIN said on March 4, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Basset @ 90: I didn’t mean to offend — if I didn’t find Indiana suitable, I wouldn’t have lived here so long. Not sure about retiring here, though. I’m, sorry if my comment touched a sore spot. However, it has always struck me as strange, and continues to, that a state with such a top notch university (and really, more than one such university) is so unable to rise on all those lists we always hear about that measure health, education, prosperity, safety, etc. Indiana is usually in the lower half and even near the bottom on most of them. I’m not sure that it is a rural-academic divide because my family came from a rural background, too (not Indiana), but I don’t know what it is. (BTW, I think I read that that legislator who finds the Girl Scouts so diabolical is an IU alum — what must he have majored in? — and lives in Fort Wayne, not a rural area.)

    Now that I have identified myself as “not-a-native”, am I open to the type of reaction I received from an Indiana “native” who wondered how I qualified for a community leadership post since I wasn’t “from here” — after I mentioned I had lived in Indiana since 1980?

  94. basset said on March 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Not offended at all, just wanted to know which states you thought were less backward. I left Indiana in late 1977 for Michigan, came back briefly in 1980 and have been gone since April of 81, first to Mississippi, where I felt like I was on a field trip for two years, then to Kansas and have been in Tennessee since 85.

    In my experience, you can find the same kind of behavior in all of those, although only in Mississippi have I called a total stranger to ask permission to fish in their lake and the first words out of their mouth were “Are you white?”

    And we went, too – stopped by their house to get the gate key out of the flowerpot and saw the curtains move just a little.

  95. Minnie said on March 4, 2012 at 10:14 am

    The Obama/Biden sticker applied to my car’s bumper in August of 2008 is still there. Soon a 2012 Obama sticker will join that first one. Every now and then in this depressingly Republican area another car bearing the Obama banner drives by, lifting my spirits no end.

  96. Malvolio said on March 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

    So Basset. You talked by phone to Boo Radley? The Third Man is a great movie.

    Suzanne: Or the spelunking party looking for Little Rush has never been heard from again.

  97. Dexter said on March 4, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I am a snob when it comes to people like Limbaugh and Breitbart, meaning I totally ignore what they say or said; I can live without all the hate their words stir on stirred.
    That out of the way, I did allow myself one story to read about Breitbart, who was a true scum bag, but if Clarence Page has something to say about him, I thought it best I should read it.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-oped-0304-page-20120304,0,82708.column

  98. Scout said on March 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I got my Re-Elect 2012 sticker in my Christmas stocking. It’s been on my car ever since.

  99. Malvolio said on March 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Are Americans so fracking stupid they don’t understand that the Keystone XL Pipeline is intended to move oil from the Alberta tar sands to China as fast as possible, through the tax haven of Port Arthur, TX by taking right-of-ways by eminent domain. How do GOPers get away with such brazen shinola? I mean, everything they say on this subject is an outright lie. The net effecct of building the pipeline would be less than 10% of the temporary jobs people like Boehner are claiming, and increased fuel costs for Midwestern farmers, meaning increased food costs for Americans. Who is dumb enough to buy this snakeoil?

  100. alex said on March 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Wow, Basset, that really puts things into perspective. I’m amazed that an academic advisor could be so tactless and biased. It reminds me of a story about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The dean of the Harvard law school and his wife invited her to dinner at their home when she was a first-year law student. Their purpose was to urge her to drop out because she was taking up a slot that rightfully belonged to a male breadwinner and not a selfish, vain female who should be pursuing her MRS instead of a JD. She sure showed them.

    IU is kind of unusual in that it is truly world-class in certain disciplines and is also home to some very obscure areas of academic study that attract an international following. At the same time it is also a Big Ten cattle trough that graduates plenty of mediocre students like Bob Morris. Dan Quayle also comes to mind, and his poor grades drew a lot of attention from the pundits when he first came into the national spotlight. That’s why I’m absolutely astounded to hear that an academic advisor could be such a nincompoop in your case, although there were no doubt people of that generation who felt threatened by the upward mobility of others just as there are those today who are mortified at the idea of a black president.

    If anyone had told me not so many years ago that I would be living in Indiana again, I would have laughed it off. Well, I’m back and don’t regret it in the least, even if the politics around here are disagreeable.

  101. Malvolio said on March 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Jennifer Granholm rips Rush a new one. ClearChannel, Rush’s syndicator is owned by Bain Capital. And Willlard says he wouldn’t have used those words, as if Limbo was right, but he didn’t need to be crude.

  102. Jeff Borden said on March 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Folks, the number of companies that are “suspending” advertising on El Rushbo’s program now totals seven. I understand the choice of words. . .I usually think of a suspension as something temporary. . .but nonetheless all this had the effect of making this bag of poison offer something resembling an apology. (It’s not, btw, but at least he acknowledged doing something bad even if it is as mealy-mouthed as you can imagine.)

    It’s up to us to keep the pressure on these businesses to not return to his show, but in an era when the rich and powerful usually run roughshod over us, this is a small testament to the power consumers can wield if they so choose.

    Make them pay.

  103. MaryRC said on March 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Funny thing about Limbo’s screed is he appears to think that hormonal birth control works like Viagra, that as often as you have sex the cost rises because you need a pill every time you get laid.

    Someone said on another blog that maybe he thinks that because he’s heard it from his wives.

    “Sorry, dear, we can’t have sex tonight. I’m out of pills.”

  104. JayZ(the original) said on March 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Basset and Malvolio,

    The Third Man is one of my all time favorite films. When I visited Vienna years ago, I had to go to the amusement park in Prater to ride that Ferris wheel. I assure you, Basset, you will never forget that theme music.

  105. Minnie said on March 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Jeff Borden, I was taken by that “suspension”, too. Agree we’ll need to keep up the pressure on both the advertisers and Congress.

  106. Deborah said on March 4, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Went to see the movie Hugo this evening, in 3D. Not Scorsese’s best film but very entertaining. The visuals are stunning. Came out of the theater while big fat snowflakes were falling around us, it made me feel like I was still watching the movie.

    Tomorrow is Monday, bummer. The thing that will keep me going this week is that day light savings time starts next weekend, yay!

  107. basset said on March 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    JayZ, the theme was already familiar – where else are you gonna hear a zither for an hour and a half? – but it was stuck in my head for awhile last night. Reminded me of the Monty Python routine about “those bleedin’ bouzoukis.”

    Alex, I think the adviser’s problem was that I had the entirely wrong, in his mind, attitude about IU. I wanted to learn some salable skills, he thought I should be striving toward intellectual purity or some such high-flown bullshit… anyway, I wasn’t culturally appropriate for a university environment, I distinctly remember “you should be in a trade school.”

    And you can imagine how that sounded to a barely-18-year-old, scared to death kid from a country high school… took me seven years, working multiple jobs and dropping in and out, but I stuffed it right up his ass. First one in my entire bloodline to even attempt college, let alone graduate.

  108. Malvolio said on March 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I actually bought a zither to teach myself how to play the Third Man Theme.

  109. Minnie said on March 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Malvolio, I am not at all surprised.

  110. brian stouder said on March 4, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Basset – that is a marvelous – striking – story, and indeed, interesting on a couple of levels.

    Culturally, the defeated senator from Pennsylvania who wants to be president thinks that if you aspire to any education past high school – and especially a university degree – you’re a SNOB!!

    But as your story points out, more than a few of the resident ivory tower dwellers are themselves ‘snobs’, right along with the demagog from Pennsylvania.

    Still, part of today’s discussions and considerations around public high schools, and the metrics by which we will judge whether they’re succeeding or not (at least in Indiana) is something called “college and/or career readiness”, involving dual-credit courses and industry certification on various courses.

    This is front-of-mind for me, since the last school board meeting here in Fort Wayne was all about Indiana’s waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and what comes next. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is going away (!!), as is the heavy emphasis on English 10 and Algebra 1 (passing of these used to be indispensible to graduation).

    But now, they’re moving away from a “growth model” (wherein Adequate Yearly Progress counts for so much) and toward this college/career readiness…changing the rules and moving the goal posts because (in my opinion) our urban school system has kicked ass and scored an “A”, while the surrounding suburban schools scored “C”s and worse – and we can’t have that!

    Sorry for the digression, but Nancy’s Bridge sight brings up this very subject, and I cannot compress it to 140 characters. (maybe “mark your calendars and go to your school board meeting; gotta learn the language they speak, at least in Indiana”)

  111. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Wow. Just got back from three days working with churches in the Warren/Youngstown area of Ohio, and then the near west side of Cleveland — honestly, I do not have the faintest idea what kind of economic recovery plan is going to make a serious difference for those communities. I guess anything that keeps the scattering of manufacturing plants still open working and employing is the main thing . . . but I can tell you that D or R, not a soul up there thinks that anything being promised, proposed, or offered by any of the candidates means a blessed thing.

    I can say the congregation with the brightest and best spirit and most comprehensively engaged-in-mission with their immediate environs is the one that’s our only “Open & Affirming” church in this state. Make of that what you will! They’re not growing fast, but they’re not declining rapidly, which puts them in the top ten percent on that basis alone . . . and they had a two-month on & off visitor decide to come forward and join today when I was with them, and the way the pastor wove that into the closing told me it’s not an entirely unfamiliar experience there.

    Brian, I presume that Indiana is moving to the “Common Core State Standards (CCSS)” as is Ohio in 2014? That’s where the college/career readiness frame comes from — the CCSS material is entirely built around that, and not so much around grade level progress. But waivers aside, it’s clear that AYP for the individual demographic segments is going the way of chalk & erasers.

  112. Dexter said on March 5, 2012 at 12:09 am

    JmmO: Yes, I hear you, and even though I also found no falsehoods in Obama’s rah-rah speech to the UAW recently, in which he mentioned the success GM has had making Chevrolet Cobalt automobiles in Lordstown, that is just good for the long-suffering GM gypsies who have found a modicum of security. My cousin’s daughter and her man work there and things are well, but all it takes is a drive through the poor sections of nearby Warren, Ohio to see the rampant poverty , the result of failed recovery from a long capitalist downswing.

  113. MarkH said on March 5, 2012 at 12:24 am

    A little more perspective on the Limbaugh situation.

    Far be it from me to apologize for him (I won’t), but what struck me more than the cheap shot profanity towards Ms. Fluke was his baseless argument, especially from a smart guy (say what you want, he isn’t stupid). Everyone is hanging their hat on the name-calling. But seriously, saying a woman who may accept a subsidy to get a contraceptive is automatically a prostitute? Women take contraceptives for a variety of reasons, some clearly medical, including my wife. And many would welcome any help paying for it. If it was part of our insurance plan, fine. Getting laid is hardly the common goal, and receiving money to pay for it doesn’t fit the definition of whoredom. His political blinders are permanently in place if he doesn’t acknowledge this, but no one seems to be talking about his specious basic argument.

    But further, I have been waiting for someone to write this, and here it is, from Kirsten Powers, a liberal female. I double dare all of you to read it to the end and deny its truth.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/04/rush-limbaugh-s-apology-liberal-men-need-to-follow-suit.html

    Again, I abhor Limbaugh’s conduct, and unlike some here, I won’t listen to him or others like him just so my blood pressure goes up and can vent about it here at nn.c. The sort of thing Powers writes about has been going on just as long from liberal commentators as the Limbaughs of the world with barely a peep from anyone. As I said, just a little perspective.