Usually I arrive at this point of the day with at least one link-worth-clicking stashed here in a draft, but today? Pfft. That’s a Wednesday for you — the craziest of the week, but the one that feels like a curve being rounded, and dare I say it? Hump Day. After seven years of freelancing, back on a Monday-through-Friday schedule feels like…well, it feels like something different. And something celebratory.

But it also feels like a catch-up day. I finally got a spare minute to read the amazing Gawker screed about Andrew Breitbart. An angry, angry piece that has the advantage of being? Mostly true. It’s an angry piece that finds its villain not in Breitbart, but in the…how do they put it? The people whose job it was to call him out, and didn’t:

To borrow a gross analogy lustily employed on Breitbart’s own websites, if today’s mainstream media was penning obits on May 1, 1945, they would have summed up with, “Despite initiating the Second World War, the German leader was fond of public architecture and is survived by his beloved dachshunds.” …Breitbart trained the media like dogs, and he was still doing so, on Thursday morning, from beyond the grave. People joked that they didn’t know if his death was a hoax, and it’s a certainty that some asked because they were afraid of telling the truth about someone by then literally incapable of hurting them. If you beat a dog long enough, it learns to cower before you reach for a switch.

It kind of builds and builds, and reaches a masterful crescendo, and… isn’t there something already over about Breitbart? He really is a sort of wicked witch of the media, isn’t he? Now that he’s gone, he’s melted into a puddle and left behind, what? That years ago, Barack Obama went to a play? Now there’s a legacy.

Actually, the high point of yesterday was when one of my students filed a story about a city council meeting that featured “activists” complaining about “smart meters,” i.e. electric meters that can be read remotely, via cellular signals. Of course, this being the United States, this has caused no end of paranoia. The meters are either emitting signals that cause brain cancer, or stealing our data. Actual quote: “It is an infringement upon our constitutional rights.”

My advice to the student: Get the utility’s comment, and then run with that sucker. Some activists are more interesting than others.

How was your Wednesday?

It looks as though HBO’s “Game Change” is worth watching, and if you can’t bear it, by all means read Hank’s review. He’s so smart about these things:

Like its star character, the movie can be interpreted a number of ways, depending on your vantage point. If you are eternally baffled by Palin’s rise, then please enjoy the horror flick. If you harbor sympathy for someone who was plucked from near-obscurity and thrust into an impossible 11-week frenzy far beyond her skills or education, then it’s a psychological thriller. If you’re just a politics wonk, then it’s basically porn.

Amanda Marcotte on the Fluke thing:

Americans are still uptight about poor women having sex, teenage girls having sex, queer women having sex, and women who openly reject the path to marriage and motherhood having sex, but they’re just fine with the Sandra Flukes of the world having sex. Cohabitation before marriage is the national norm, and not just for my generation. I’m from Texas, for god’s sake, and I can probably count the married couples I know under 60 who didn’t live together before marriage on one hand, and in all my life, I’ve never known anyone to have a fight with their family about that.

And now, whaddaya know, it’s already Thursday. Let’s hope something happens of note around here.

Posted at 7:31 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

88 responses to “Hump-tastic.”

  1. alex said on March 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

    The same people who fear Big Brother looking at their utility meters probably think nothing of swiping a card at the supermarket that tells data miners what you eat, drink, smoke, put on your thingie or up your nonnie and what you wipe your behind with. If only it worked the same way with utility meters. Imagine marketers and advertisers seeking you out in order to sell you alternative energy options.

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  2. coozledad said on March 8, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I wonder how much of this country looks like Rome, Georgia, where a wife-beating cartoonist can get this dreck published in the paper.
    Michael Eugene Lester, 54, of 301 E. Fifth Ave., was arrested at his home after reports stated he pushed a woman into a wall and broke the glass to his front door, causing a cut to her left elbow. Reports stated Lester then took a cell phone from her when she said she was going to call the police.

    Lester was arrested at 11:15 p.m. Thursday and was released on bail Friday.”

    Our greatest national tragedy is that Sherman didn’t have access to a thermonuclear device.

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  3. basset said on March 8, 2012 at 8:02 am

    >>Imagine marketers and advertisers seeking you out in order to sell you alternative energy options.

    Which would, of course, really be driven by the United Nations and the secret one world government… just search “planning” and “agenda 21” for a truly impressive level of wingnuttery. That’s not sprawl out on the edge of town, it’s “natural growth”… the liberals and their UN masters are trying to force us out of our cars and into densely packed cities where we can be more efficiently controlled… it never stops.

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  4. Icarus said on March 8, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Nancy et al, did any of you see this? thoughts?

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  5. JWfromNJ said on March 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I’ve been covering the smart meters for about six months now as FPL installs them across the towns in my beat. I have heard plenty of the big brother stuff, from people who generally are less concerned with what they do online and the information that willingly gives internet giants and our government.
    I’ve also heard of fires, not huge statistically speaking but a concern. Seems like the majority of homes with fires after smart meter installs have pre-existing wiring faults, but this could be due to a surge, or just from the techs moving things around at the connection.

    “The Contact 5 Investigators waited two full months after Margie’s fire for a subcontractor with Florida Power and Light to show up to replace her damaged meter. We showed up as well to get answers.

    The subcontractor said in Margie’s case the “block,” or the part the meter connects to, had broken off.

    “Do you think a block chipping off of that could cause a fire?” asked Contact 5 Investigator Dan Krauth. “Yes it could,” said Oral Bryan of Kilowatt Electric who replaced Margie’s meter.

    Bryan said he has responded to four similar fires over the past six months.

    “I can tell you some of these parts are old and by taking a meter out it breaks the block in the can, some of the jaws are bad and that kind of stuff, it’s age,” he said.

    Out of the 2.4 million smart meters installed so far in Florida, a spokesperson for Florida Power and Light said it has responded to thirty complaints of electrical fires in the area of the meter can.

    “This isn’t related to a traditional meter or a smart meter, this is a wiring issue in a customer’s home,” said spokesperson Jackie Anderson.

    Florida Power and Light said workers repair anything that’s visibly wrong with your electrical parts and wiring when installing the meters, even though they’re not required to do so.

    “In this case, I don’t think anything was visible,” said Anderson.”

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  6. velvet goldmine said on March 8, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Lucky Marcotte for never having witnessed or experienced family tension over premarital cohabitation.

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  7. brian stouder said on March 8, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Moe – that excellent New Yorker article you linked (near the end of yesterday’s thread) was very informative, and also more than a little disturbing. It certainly makes me all the more fearful of a chucklehead-move by Israel against Iran (forget “game-changer”; such a major contingency would be akin to 52-card pickup)

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  8. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Cooz, Rome is basically in a part of Georgia most Georgians consider Alabama. Over by Columbus and Phenix City.

    Any mention of parking meters takes me immediately to one of the greatest movies ever made: Cool Hand Luke.

    And I sorta think Brad Pitt is parbly closest guy to Paul Newman there is. VG actor, handsome as the devil. My moment of Brad Pitt awareness was the schitzo loony in Twelve Monkeys. Awe-inducing great acting.

    I have three brothers and all of us cohabited without benefit of marriage. And I think three of us lived with somebody using Ortho-Novum or something like that. No recriminations from my died-in-the-wool RC parents. I’m sure they disapproved, but they were welcoming and things worked out mostly well. I have friends that had babies without being married, who have reared wonderful kids nonetheless. How is any of this anybody’s bidness but the people intimately involved?

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  9. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Opposition to the President has nothing to do with racial animus. I give money to the SPLC because I believe racial hatred is an organized movement in the USA that has no place in my country.

    Best joke ever. That doesn’t include shoota, shoota shoota or an aircraft carrier.

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  10. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Tim Curry before he descended into movies. Fairly astounding. In all of the linguistic discussion here, I don’t recall anybody bringing up “nauseous”. This word does not describe the state of being nauseated. It means inducing that state. I wish people would get this right. You are nauseated by a nauseous vision.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on March 8, 2012 at 10:33 am

    So, off-topic, but after yesterday’s announcement of the new iPad, I’m wondering if anyone here is excited enough by the new features to get one. It didn’t look like a game-changer to me, but it’ll be interesting to see if they can hold the $399 price point on the iPad2. I’m hoping to pick one up on the cheap at some point. The locals on Craigslist are still asking $500. Even with that as an initial bargaining price, they’re living in delusionville.

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  12. Sue said on March 8, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Icarus, that’s just the latest from this fine gentleman. And thanks to the redistricting, he is now my senator. Or maybe not, if the courts decide that the redistricting exceeded even the worst of the nonsense that usually goes on with these things.
    No, they could not get enough signatures to recall him last summer. He is quite popular.
    My, my, it’s interesting living in WI right now, in the ‘may you live in interesting times’ kind of way.

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  13. Dexter said on March 8, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Good for the President for making that asshole Ed Henry of Fox look like the moron he is.

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  14. Dexter said on March 8, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Well, if there are any ghouls here who need a sick-fix, this is for you:

    And one more…did she need the money or the thrills more?

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  15. Dexter said on March 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

    On a roll, I can’t stop…,0,7879203.story

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  16. Connie said on March 8, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I have been failing to figure out the point of Breitbart’s last videos. First, Obama went to a play about Saul Alinsky and spoke on a panel afterward, and the woman who controls the archive tape “refuses to release it.” (She says she doesn’t even know where it is.) Second, law student Obama spoke in favor of Professor Bell at a demonstration and actually hugged him. Okay. According to the people left at Breitbart’s left behind web pages seem to think this proves some kind of radicalism. But without Breitbart’s spin it appears no one cares. I never cared.

    I voted Republican in my first Presidential election, for Gerald Ford, formerly my home town congressman. I have voted Democratic ever since. My best friend is turning into a libertarian and has been posting unhinged stuff on faceback. I am trying to blame it on the Chantix.

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  17. beb said on March 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Andrew Breitbart is like … so 29 seconds ago… Amanda Marcotte is basically right, most families, even in Texas, don’t get bent out of shape with couples living together outside of wedlock. The single best advantage of a smart meter is that after it’s installed you can be sure that the strange man wandering around in your back yard IS NOT the meter reader.

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Velvet, that was my first reaction, too. I’ve done maybe 150 weddings, and I’d say 2 weren’t living together before the big day. So it’s common, but families deal with it in a wide variety of ways: and lots use it as a stick to pound out some kind of message. I guess I’d say it’s usually much more about whether the family approves of the match in the first place more than it’s about the sex, so the upside is that they all get to verbally fence and interpersonally express their stated or indirect judgment of the new member of the family during the cohabitation phase . . . when this used to be part of the first year married, when the introduction didn’t go well, the family didn’t approve, and the couple dashed off to Oakland MD or Maysville KY etc. and came back home as Mr. & Mrs.

    I am just still conservative enough to note that cohabitation seems to have no protective factor in reducing later divorce with or without children, and depending on how you pick and read your studies, it may be higher (especially after kids come along). So I think there’s a case to be made for not moving in with someone too quickly . . . of course, my grief is that even before our local economy went flushwise you saw lots of 18 year old couples move in together for cost purposes as much as any real relationship, and I think you see around here large numbers of young women moving in with a guy on high school graduation (or 18th birthday in their 11th or 12th grade year), and they begin a pattern of having to find a guy when the relationship “ends” because they really can’t afford being on their own, but cement in a self-understanding of themselves as exchanging sex for residence. Which doesn’t move us much past 1930s gender roles, if you ask me.

    If the guy loses a job and or a relationship, they’re much more willing to move back home with parents and do, but women don’t, unless it’s after they have kids and that’s the last option left.

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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Didn’t see Beb’s note ’til posting — Texas may be more liberal on that subject than Ohio (?!?), or it may be regional, but as my longer comment is trying to say: the parents/grandparents are really, IMO, not actually upset about sex as much as not liking the man/woman their daughter/son has taken up with, and that really isn’t a new thing. Watch any number of movies from the 40’s (“Going My Way” being a great example), and the lived reality I hear about from older couples: “Yes, my family never liked Elmer, after we came back married from what was supposed to just be a trip to visit him at Fort Benning, and they snubbed him something fierce until he got promoted to management at the plant. But they came to love him in the end . . .”

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  20. Laura Lippman said on March 8, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Coates over at the Atlantic blog had a good piece on Breitbart, too. (Too lazy to look up the link.)

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  21. Dave said on March 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    The link:

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  22. nancy said on March 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I think LL is referring to the Ta-Nehisi Coates piece that we discussed last week. This one.

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  23. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Speaking of LL, how’s your novel coming Nancy? Mine languishes.

    Informed common sense about Iran, instead of GOP drivel.

    On the other hand: Disney songs from the Sherman Bros.

    I’m still trying to figure out how an Israeli attack on Iran affects the US presidential election. If Israelis continue to elect criminals, and maintain the worst-kept secret in the world nuclear arsenal, and do shit like blowing Lebanon to smithereens, they should learn to live with the idea of their neighbors finding nuclear deterrents attractive.

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  24. beb said on March 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Hey, Jeff, the reference to Texas came from Marcotte’s original article as quoted by Nancy. Marcotte appears to consider Texas the seat of conservative thinking but ever there, she was saying, they’re not too concerned about cohabitation. And my reaction to Velvet Goldmine’s comment @6 was like yours, that the family didn’t like the guy.

    Cooledad, I came across that “dreck” link via another blog but saw it none the less. Wow. It’s hard to express the degree of astonishment that as offense a cartoon as that could get published. Why if Lester has been a federal judge he would so be looking at a Congressional Investigation and potential censure, if not a recall.

    In lighter crime news… Mario Batali, the pantless Food Network star (he wears shorts. He doesn’t have the legs for them…) was sued by workers in his restaurants for confiscating 4-5% of their tips as the owner’s cut. He will have to repay $5.25 million to around a 1000 employees. This sort of undermines the whole idea of tipping waiters for two reasons. One is that Batali runs a high-end restaurant. The prices for his meals surely ought to be enough to cover all his expenses so he hadn’t needs to reach into the waiter’s “tip pool.” The other reason is the whole “tip pool” thing. If a tip is supposed to reward good service or punish poor service by how much you leave as a tip, how does this work when all tips are pooled and everybody gets the same amount? It seems like it’s high time that the exemption of waiters to the minimum wage rules be removed so this people can earn a decent living with or without tips.

    Caliban @23: It’s because Obama doesn’t want another unwinnable war in Asia while all the Republican candidates do. Israel starting a war will favor the Republicans. Personally, I think President Obama ought to warn Israel that if they bomb Iran he’ll promise to bomb Jerusalem.

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  25. Jolene said on March 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Jeff, your dispatches from the land of the working poor are fascinating. I’ve been fortunate enough to live most of my life in the upper reaches of academia, where sleeping with one’s boy/girlfriend is no big deal, but the idea of cohabitation among 18-year-olds as a way of reducing the rent is totally new to me. That strikes me as terribly sad, both because it’s way too young and because, as you say, it might set into motion a pattern of serial relationships driven by economic need rather than any real desire to be together. What happened to the idea of getting a roommate? Is that out of fashion among the non-college-going set?

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  26. DellaDash said on March 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve been skimming over the Brietbart stuff because he thankfully hasn’t been on my over-taxed radar until now. The Ta-Nahisi Coates piece really, really got to me, though. Thanks LL and NN for introducing both an excellent journalist and a previously unsung heroine into my ‘conversation’.

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  27. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Where in the world did the “over at” neologism come from? And how did “methinks” get resurrected as web-speak? And who are the morons that type “me thinks”?

    On the Disney musicales, I’m much more a fan of Bedknobs than Mary Poppins.

    Beb, I’d say let Israel loose altogether. But what would those AIPAC fools do with their cash, and what would people like Newt and Santorum do without it? If there is a loose cannon in the middle east other than Assad, it is certainly Netanyahu. Colonizing the land of the people you displaced is radically stupid and establishing apartheid for the displaced is unbelievably stupid. On the other hand, Irani’s aren’t Arabs, they are Persians. And the world can thank W for invading Iraq and letting that genie out of the bottle.

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  28. nancy said on March 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    FYI, Della, Ta-Nehisi Coates is a man. His thumbnail is so tiny, though, that you can be forgiven the mistake.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Guys, at least around my half of Ohio, don’t like and joke about not being roommates. Mix of homophobia, hyper-privacy expectations, and the reinforcing fact of both that they’ve not shared rooms(or TVs) before, even in pretty poor families these days. When I hear, as I did at our Lenten program last night, about two or three or four guys “getting a place together,” it’s only college going males (or in that case, just graduated, and males still working their way up in life). Lower income young adults are looking for their own space, women sometimes in shared lodgings, or most frequently “with someone.” [insert inflection; who says English isn’t a tonal language?]

    If more kids moving out at 18 were getting together with friends and sharing lodgings, I think it would tend to be a good thing, but a) friends is a very odd category, and the show “Friends” is a museum piece, with very few kids I see having many (co-workers, partners, family/cousins aplenty, but not friends), and b) I don’t see or hear much of the college life concept “hooking up.” The relationships are intense and real, no matter how brief the acquaintance or flimsy the introductions seem to be to middle-class me. They may break up relatively quickly, leading to exactly the “serial economic relationships” you note, but they aren’t casual in the way media pieces imply. Up at Dension, there’s more of that, but it’s also assumed that you have to keep it cool because few relationships are going from first-year to graduation, and on a campus of 2,100, you’ll see that person in lab and seminar again and again, so that’s the other side of “hooking up,” such as it is. Is there more sex on campus today than in the 80s? I truly doubt it.

    But given how we’ve managed to sexualise blue jeans, beer, office supplies, sports, and cars, it’s no real surprise that friendship is sexualised, to the point where simple friendship is hard to find and maintain. So on a working-class basis, living arrangements pretty much always have that component, with marriage seen as an upper-class perk thanks to the wedding-industrial complex. The better off kids at Denison have fewer, lower-key sexual relationships, with a wedding and marriage assumed, but assumed as happening after the four years, somewhere else. The former campus chaplain is still a fixture around campus and the village (just wrote a very good book, “The Church in the Time of Empire” – Malvolio, you’d like it; it’s on Kindle, too), and he’s not wistful, but a bit puzzled. In the early 60’s, commencement week was a scheduling nightmare for Swasey Chapel, between baccalaureate, and a dozen or more weddings graduation weekend between seniors or seniors and juniors or just graduated the year before spouses. He hasn’t seen a commencement weekend wedding in over a decade. “I guess that’s really a good thing,” he says, but he’s not sure. “What do you think, Jeff?” I’m not sure either.

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Oh, the fellow I mentioned there at the end is David O. Woodyard, got written up in the Washington Post last year by a former student; he’s not chaplain, but he’s not emeritus, either, 80-something and still teaching a full load. “The Church in the Time of Empire” is his latest. I think he began as campus chaplain in 1959! And he’s a real mensch; been a good mentor to me, although he’s not to be held responsible for that which I’ve not listened to from him.

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  31. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    It’s them damn gay marriage proponents Jeff. Destroying the institution. Commitment just shreds commitment every time. That’s why Congress spends time on really important shit like DOMA.

    I’ve lived with three different women, one of whom I married, and all of whom I love to this day. Marriage didn’t work out after 17 years, and one spectacular child, but I can’t see doing it again. Nothing against the institution. I enjoy weddings.

    Jeff, that book title is intriguing. Reminds me of the theology of hope masterpiece Time Invades the Cathedral. Teillhard and Paul Tillich, and maybe everything hasn’t turned to shit.

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  32. DellaDash said on March 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Talk about poor sentence composition! Shirley Herrod is the heroine who’s name I just failed to sing. Tiny thumbnail and all, Coates is definitely a hero…a go-to for a little salve for the soul. Thanks for pointing out the blunder, Nancy.

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  33. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    for that which I’ve not listened to from him.

    Greatest effort at not ending a sentence with a preposition with. Yoda.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I enjoy weddings, too, Mal; it’s the rehearsals that wear me out. And aunts of the bride. And inebriant groomsmen puking in the church basement. And maids-of-honor who want me to move the communion table and “that cross thing.”

    But I love weddings!

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  35. Judybusy said on March 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Somewhat off-topic, but much more important than the Limbaugh nastiness: Texas is seeking to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and there is a bigger effort to eliminate Title X funding, both of which will lead to many more births, higher Medicaid costs, and poor health outcomes for poor women. Here is the NYT article. Naturally, a spokesperson for Ron Paul says that the women should just buy their own birth control.

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  36. Jimmie Cracked Thornes said on March 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Andrew Breitbart was merely a mirror. He posted videos made by you (usually), featuring you doing the things you do.

    If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, don’t blame Breitbart.

    As a guy who worked on building the actual “smart” thermostats for a utility company supplier, I know they were designed to give the utility companies the ability to override your thermostat settings during peak usage times. Yes. The power company can change your thermostat settings at will. Yes they can. If tje student said the public’s objections were about tin foil hat brain waves concerns, then I can only attribute that to the reporter being Nancy’s student.

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  37. nancy said on March 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    You’re an asshole, Dwight. Friends? A ruling from the room: Do we ban JCT? I mean, he can’t even READ.

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  38. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Andrew Breitbart was more likely the picture of Dorian Gray, Jimmie. If you believe that horseshit, O’Keefe as pimple-faced pimp, was a mirror image, you are delusional enough to belong institutionalized. And the discussion was about meters, not thermostats. And why do people say “posted” like it actually means something? I just posted this so it must be true.

    And all the Monkees/Davy stuff reminded me of John Sebastian and a truly great band:


    Save the autoharp.

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  39. moe99 said on March 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I vote YES

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  40. coozledad said on March 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Don’t just ban him, let’s harness the hive mind to fuck with his thermostat.

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  41. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    What in the world is a motive to invade a group of salutational people that generally get along and share opinions to invade their environs. Mom’s basement was smelling kinda moldy? Andrew Half-Breitbart’s rabid soul shuffled off this mortal coil? Favorite pornsite was down? Beaten down by Smiths fans and branded with black lipstick?

    I say, y’all allow my fulminations, let the boyo rant. Unless it’s a bandwidth prob;em, then cut his raisins off.

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  42. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Cooze, If its the hivemind, I call closest to Seven of Nine.

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  43. Suzanne said on March 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Texans are simply a different breed, I think. We have a friend who did an internship there as part of his seminary training a number of years ago. His wife was amazed at the number of double and triple marriages among good church-going people. “Well, bless his heart! He’s on his third wife!” was a common utterance, she said. Nobody seemed to mind, either, so I guess that explains Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich’s appeal among the evangelicals?

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  44. Dorothy said on March 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Okay I’ll bite, Jeff. What’s with the aunts of the brides? I’d like to hear a juicy story or two!

    Just read Nancy a few comments up – a resounding YES to the banishment!

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  45. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Suzanne: “Well, bless his heart” means what a fracking moron in Tri-Delt-Speak.

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  46. Judybusy said on March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    A strong yes vote from me, too. I truly appreciate the civility found here. While I find Malvolio a bit ranty, it’s not directed at us or the proprietess, so I make a distinction.

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  47. Connie said on March 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Well, beb said my Breitbart comment was so 29 seconds ago, but from what I can figure out his proof of Obama’s radicalness during college was that he hugged Professor Bell. So says Hannity. Or so I hear, not being one who has ever listened to him. I myself wonder whether Breitbart truly could have swung that one.

    In other exciting news, at least for me, short sale on house in Indiana has been approved. Whew. How long have I lived in Michigan this time? 18 months.

    I vote yes.

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  48. Connie said on March 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    And in other news Pat Robertson thinks marijuana should be legalized.

    I still vote yes.

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  49. brian stouder said on March 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    The cheap-seats delegation rise to enthusiastically join w/Dorothy’s and Connie’s (and Judybusy’s, etc) vote: Banishment!

    And further, we move to make the motion unanimous!

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Mothers of the bride I’ve usually gotten to speak with, even meet before rehearsal night. But her sisters, the aunts, they come to the rehearsal, and suddenly, they’re on their feet saying “wait, stop; girls, you need to stand like *this*” (shoving the line of bridesmaids about). “OK, sorry preacher.” And you go on, but notice, out of the corner of your eye, that she’s starting to move furniture out in the narthex. Do you stop things to check? Do you just keep going until . . . . CRASH. “We’re alright, it’s fine, I’ll clean that up.” She was trying to move a breakfront kind of cabinet, because it will block the receiving line, at least as she envisioned the receiving line, which is not how you and the couple had planned the receiving line over your last two meetings in the previous month, but never mind. You all get everything back up on the shelves, assure her it can’t be moved, go back in the sanctuary, pick up where you had them, turn to tell the soloist that . . . “oh, honey, you’re not going to have them sing THAT song, are you?” She continues, explaining how her ex liked that song, and that it was played at her wedding, and . . . you see the bride’s eyes are filled with tears, and you muster your Old Testament voice to say, something, and the bride whispers “it’s OK, she’s always like that, just go ahead.”

    At the rehearsal dinner, she buttonholes you in the lobby of the restaurant: “so, did you do any couples counseling with these two? Because I really don’t know…” As she continues, you smile, and mutter softly to her “hasenpfeffer incorporated, klaatu barada nikto, so I think they’ll be fine.” She glances at you, and says slowly “well, if you say so, preacher.” They seat her next to you, which is why I usually have an excuse for the rehearsal dinner and don’t attend, or just say grace and slip quietly out.

    There’s more where that came from. I’ve had maybe three mother-of-the-bridezillas, only one bridezilla ever, four or five maid-of-zillas, but the Auntzillas are legion. And you don’t get to size them up for weak spots and leverage until, usually, five minutes after the rehearsal is supposed to start. Drunk Uncle Charley is easy to handle; the Dad who left years ago and/or Mom divorced who shows up late, and intoxicated, isn’t fun, isn’t always easy to handle, but that one I’ve got all the practice I need for. The key is not getting louder, but getting softer as you speak to him. Auntzillas just have to be put down with trank darts, which I keep up behind the pulpit with the spare candlelighter.

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  51. beb said on March 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    yes on banning.

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  52. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Suzanne: “Well, bless his heart” means what a fracking moron in Tri-Delt-Speak.

    Jeff MMO: You’ve caused me to think of Delta Burke. Please, don’t do that again.

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm


    Yep, Delta Burke, but usually in a sweatshirt that says something about the Buckeyes and a hairdo that got done a couple more days ago than is really helpful on this occasion. And maybe an extra twenty pounds (of make-up).

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  54. LAMary said on March 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    buh-bye, JCT.

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  55. DellaDash said on March 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Malvolio by any other name is a piece of work…but there’s some heartrending beauty to be found if you’re willing to dig through the shit he loves to sling.

    I just don’t get Jimmie-Crack-Troll…got banned from my consciousness when he first showed up. So YES. He’s already getting more attention than he deserves.

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  56. Dorothy said on March 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm


    You might need to slip me in the door (I’ll come dressed appropriately) to an upcoming wedding so I can witness one of those first hand. They sound like an awful lot of fun. I have five sisters, so in about 14 months they’ll be Aunts of the Groom, but I know 4 of the 5 will be exquisitely behaved. Louise is always the problem child, but since she and I exchanged zingers via email two weeks ago, I think she’s been appropriately chastened and won’t raise a ruckus with me again. If she knows what’s good for her.

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  57. DellaDash said on March 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Hilarious AuntZilla riff, Jeff(tmmo)!

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  58. Sue said on March 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Since when have you asked us for permission to banish Dwight? I’ve been wondering why you were letting him hang around.
    Auf him!

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  59. Sherri said on March 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Death to trolls!

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  60. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I was forced into a double-wedding by a wannabe Mafia dad. It included a “sentimental journey” through a graveyard. What is fracking wrong with people? That guy? I’m probaly more offensive. But I’m not.

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  61. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm


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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I’ll know Dorothy by her vivid purple Kenyon sweatshirt . . .

    Banning is entirely the purview of She Whose (Virtual) Real Estate this is. I just can’t get excited about banning, because next, anyone who’s ever voted intentionally for a Bush will get banned, and with me and Brian gone, who will float obscure Civil War trivia for you all? Of course, I know Coozledad digs up pieces of Civil War history on his farm so it might be OK, but . . . I tend to favor a “don’t feed the trolls” strategy. Ignore rather than terminate with extreme prejudice.

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  63. Scout said on March 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Never feed the trolls – it just goes to their already fat heads. Banishment works too. Off the bastid.

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  64. crinoidgirl said on March 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Although I hardly write anymore, I read multiple times a day. As Sherri said, death to trolls! (Or at least until he logs in under a different name.)

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  65. Bob (not Greene) said on March 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Jeff, people call you Preacher? Really? It seems positively, well, anachronistic.

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  66. Jolene said on March 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Something cheery for International Women’s Day: Just saw an R. Ebert posting about showings of Saving Face, the Oscar-winning documentary re Pakistani women whose faces have been damaged in acid attacks. According to Ebert, you can see it on HBO as follows:

    THURSDAY, MARCH 8 (8:30-9:15 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
    ~Other HBO playdates: March 8 (5:30 a.m.), 11 (8:45 a.m.), 14 (5:15 p.m.), 17 (1:45 p.m. ET only, 2:15 p.m. PT only, 5:40 a.m.), 20 (6:15 a.m.,11:50 p.m.) and 23 (1:45 p.m.) ~HBO2 playdates: March 24 (8:15 a.m.) and 28 (8:00 p.m., 2:40 a.m.). One of his commenters says it’s also available through OnDemand.

    Ebert’s review is at:

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  67. Jolene said on March 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Any Davidson has a short piece in The New Yorker re presidents and their dogs. Really worth taking a look at as it contains a clip from the speech in which he talk about the attacks of Republicans on his little dog, Fala. Extremely funny. What an entertainer he was.

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  68. moe99 said on March 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Actually I think disemvowellment would be more fun. Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden originated it at their Making Light site.

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  69. Rana said on March 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Add me to the chorus of yesses.

    It’s your salon, Nancy, and there’s no reason to keep around someone whose sole reason for showing up is to annoy the other guests.

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  70. Deborah said on March 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Ban him. But the disemvowelment is hilarious.

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  71. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    CRNIOIDGIRL, You have the most attractive screen name of all time, and I’d vote myself off this island, although I wouldn’t say I’ve ever resorted to screed. Sea cucumbers, That might be screed. I say, let trolls live, and I don’t count myself among them. Who would? I’d say I turned y’all toward politics, to some extent. But people need to be. Some things are more important than others. Scrwing over the USA in the way that the activist judge Scalia meant by appointing W Bush, that is outrageous.

    And I’m favorable of Irish Setters, and Willard’s treatment of Seamus is fracking disgraceful. Strap his bony ass to the roof.

    Jeff, does Kenyon play football?

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  72. alex said on March 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Jeff tmmo @ 62,

    Your fears of Dwight’s banishment becoming a slippery slope for others here are completely unfounded and I’m surprised you would even entertain such an idea. Even when peoples’ opinions and beliefs aren’t universally shared here, the regulars of nn.c are always civil and respectful of each other. It speaks to the quality of the clientele.

    I think the proprietress and most of us can tell the difference between someone who votes his conscience and someone who shows up here for the purpose of harassment.

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  73. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Santorum supporters:

    What Nancy wants, Nancy gets: Along the same lines as Sassy Sarah Vaughan: whatever she says:

    I wouldn’t ban anybody, because I might be next, amd I don’t see how I’m objectionable.

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  74. Sherri said on March 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Tending a comments section is like tending a garden: you need to pull up the weeds, and occasionally prune. Malvolio, you’re not a weed, though sometimes you do ramble a bit!

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  75. Malvolio said on March 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    What y’all say about banishment, but I will change my name back to Prospero. But leave the guy alone. He’s looking for a world where he isn’t persecuted.

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  76. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Alex, I fear not, but snark much.

    Bob (nG), welcome to Ohio! I get called “Preacher” all the time, and no, I do nothing to cultivate that title. I did get called “Padre” by a Navy veteran of the Pacific, one of those pharmacist’s mates you read about who ended up intubating with pens and removing appendixes on ships in heavy seas, and he said he hated preachers as a kid, but the Navy chaplains were always willing to hold a retractor in a pinch, no matter how messy the procedure. And I noticed at various community events there in WV, if he liked you, you were Padre (I wasn’t the only one he liked!), but if he didn’t, you were just plain “Preacher.”

    But in Ohio, I get called “Preacher” by Protestants, or “Fath . . . I mean, Jeff” by Catholics. Even by the judge of our court, although when he addresses me in front of the kids and parents I’m “Mr. Gill.” But that’s the only place I ever hear that!

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  77. Prospero said on March 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Whatever, Sherri. I don’t ramble, I don’t think. It’s more along the lines of truth.

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  78. ac jones said on March 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    I don’t comment often for fear of being troll designated. I think the blog and its followers are entitled to swim in the soup of their liking. I read it faithfully and appreciate alternative views the most. If y’all prefer comments with more solidarity, then by all means, censor the others. Insults to the proprietress are certainly out of order. Otherwise, diversity makes comments more interesting.

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  79. JWfromNJ said on March 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I’d vote no on banning – likely cause i’m potentially on the chopping block, and also guilty of rambling and ranting. But it’s NN’s house.

    I like the exchange of REAL ideas, and while I don’t agree with Pilot Joe on much beyone aviation, he’s clearly part of this crew. JCT, or whomever he is is just trolling. Don’t feed the trolls and they either seek out a new bridge to live under or craft constructive if not popular input.

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  80. MichaelG said on March 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Catching up here as I’ve been out of town for a couple of days. West Covina is beautiful this time of year.

    I know Dwight is a jerk but I’m also kind of leery of banishing, although if you feel personally insulted, Nance, go ahead with my support.

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  81. Prospero said on March 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I don’t think I’m a troll. I think I occasionally contribute in a positive way. I vote thumbs up.

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  82. Deborah said on March 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    The difference between Dwight/whatever his name is and some others here who have different points of view is, to me, how insulting one is to the person who is the reason we can come here and participate, of course I mean Nancy. By insulting I mean being unfair or being completely willfully blind to facts and truths that are being explained in a very effective and competent way, and don’t even read the original post to any degree of understanding, and do this time after time. Folks who voted for Bush or fly airplanes or have various names related to Shakespeare are not in this category at all and should not feel threatened in the least by expulsion, IMHO.

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  83. Sherri said on March 8, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    This is one of the most pleasant places to hang out, not because everybody agrees, but because everybody (save one*) is civil. Even when unintended incivility occurs, apologies are quick. I am of the opinion that banning trolls is the best way to keep a comment section a pleasant place, though obviously, this isn’t my comment section.

    *Just to be clear, the one is not Malvolio/Prospero/Insert Shakespeare Character here, whom I did not mean to offend earlier when I said he sometimes rambled. My apologies.

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  84. JayZ(the original) said on March 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I lean toward ignoring rather than banishing, but if the eventual decision is “thumbs down” I won’t miss him.

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  85. DellaDash said on March 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Thing is, we lurkers and squawkers can choose to ignore whomever we want, but I don’t think NN can. And it seems like she’s got herself stretched pretty thin these days. So if this one-fanged troll with his mealy-assed venom is workin her last nerve, he needs to go.

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  86. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Nicely put, Della.

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  87. Dexter said on March 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I was wondering if the solar flare storm that hit the USA at about 5:00 AM affected any of us. I hear we have a few more months of the effects to deal with.
    While we were warned of a “5 storm” all we got was a “1 storm” and my cable TV and internet connections and my cell phone were not disturbed. I was listening to my regular satellite radio show from NYC and their communications system went down in the entire McGraw-Hill Building for several hours, and only a few cell phones worked. I could not get through to my granddaughter who was vacationing in Manhattan either. All these problems were blamed on the solar storm.

    Also, a thumbs up to the NBC show, “Awake”. 10:00 PM Thursdays…it’s a good one.

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  88. Prospero said on March 9, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Jeff MMO great MASH allusion.

    edit: Radar.

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