Dropping the top.

Wow, what a day. So warm I drove home from Lansing with the sun roof open, IGNORING THE NEWS. I had to switch to the iPod about halfway there this morning, and it held through the afternoon commute, too. It was this story that did it; the sound of the Deep South voices saying this…

John Gentile of Crossville, Tenn., still doesn’t believe Obama is allowed to be president because his father was born in Kenya.

“I just don’t like the directions that he’s headed in, and personally I don’t think he qualifies to be president under the ‘natural born citizen.’ In the Constitution it states that you have to have two parents that were born in the United States, so that there’s no alternative allegiance by any member of the family,” Gentile said.

The Constitution actually doesn’t say that.

…just sent me around the bend. So much more calming to listen to Rod Stewart in his glory days. It made me want to learn how to play “Every Picture Tells a Story” on some random stringed instrument.

Has any one ever read anything I’ve written and said, “I wish I could turn a phrase like that girl?” I mean, other than Tim Goeglein? Because we all have gifts, but mine isn’t the guitar. (Or mandolin, in this case.)

A good day all around, today. I brought my iPad in, so Ron could watch “Game Change” on his lunch hour, and could hear him giggling from his office. His fave line: “Thanks for cutting your mullet, Levi.” I can’t believe I objected to the rate increase that made HBO Go and online streaming possible — old “Sopranos” and “The Wire” episodes have been the reason a number of boring household chores even got done in this house. Now, if only they’d add “John From Cincinnati,” a series that’s been so thoroughly scrubbed from HBO memory I’m convinced it might be my own private hallucination. Kem Nunn + David Milch = incoherence.

And now, I’m watching the returns come in from Dixie. Santorum just took Alabam’. I think I’ll celebrate with another glass of Cote du Rhone, like the urban elitist I am.

Meanwhile, some bloggage?

Charter schools by moi, mainbar and sidebar. Click and keep me employed.

A lead I think we can all agree we never want written about our death:

Charges were announced Tuesday for a gas station clerk in Detroit accused in a fatal shooting over the price of condoms in a late-night dispute over the weekend.

The kid was shot in the back. I understand the life of a Detroit gas-station clerk is perilous, but that is wrong.

I cannot get enough of Animals Talking in All Caps. Sorry, but it’s a joke that never gets old. (So far.)

Wednesday, almost! Huzzah.

Posted at 1:05 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

95 responses to “Dropping the top.”

  1. Sherri said on March 14, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Warm. Sigh. We had snow off and on today. An article in the paper described the seasons in Seattle as summer (July and August), fall (September and October), winter (December and January), and disappointment.

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  2. shirk said on March 14, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Has any one ever read anything I’ve written and said, “I wish I could turn a phrase like that girl?”

    Oh my yes. I’ve been lurking since your splendid Lileks screed almost five years ago. It’s rare that a week goes by without an especially well-observed sentence somewhere that makes me envy how easy and comfortable you make it look.

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  3. Dexter said on March 14, 2012 at 2:08 am

    John from Cincinnati was one of my favorite HBO shows, so of course it was killed early.
    Austin Nichols (what a name) was last heard of around here dealing with a Michigan DUI the summer after the show was cancelled. He got popped up by Devil’s Lake. He played John.
    Loved that song by Joe Strummer, too.

    Good for Santorum! I cheer him on every time he wins another one…I can’t wait to see him debate Obama.

    Afghani justice for the 38 year old mass murderer from Fort Lewis/McChord joint military base, stationed in Afghanistan,or a walk like Calley took after a Nixon pardon?
    What’s fair? These military people being deployed 7, 8 times into combat…what kind of life is that?
    On the surface it appears the sergeant just simply must be put to death, right? No? Well, don’t worry…he’ll get off easy.

    A salute to the western sky as of late: http://youtu.be/FSuDSc9jPa4

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 14, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Y’all should bounce back to yesterday and read the wrap-up of the thread into Brian’s Diane Ravitch summary.

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  5. beb said on March 14, 2012 at 8:00 am

    The more appropriate drink to celebrate Santortum’s victories, I think, would be Maddog 20/20. That or embalming fluid.

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  6. James said on March 14, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Arizona keeps battling South Carolina for “craziest state” title.

    Law Will Allow Employers to Fire Women for Using Whore Pills

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  7. JWfromNJ said on March 14, 2012 at 8:31 am

    There seems to be a lot of stuff going wrong with troops from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.



    “Joint Base Lewis-McChord had 16 soldiers commit suicide last year, the most of any Army post, Army statistics show. Since 2003, 68 soldiers from the base have killed themselves, among the higher totals for the Army in that period, but still below Fort Hood, Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg.” From the NY Times article.

    I appreciate the difficult situation this puts us in with Afghanistan, but I really wish Hamed Karzei would cease and desist his griping about the US forces and incidents like this or the Quran burning. We let him indulge this fantasy that he is their leader, and I’d be willing to bet his life expectancy is less than a week if and when we withdraw. The Taliban tried to off his brothers earlier this week, again:


    They already got one last year:


    No, not the shady restaurant owner brother from Baltimore:


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  8. coozledad said on March 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Well, of course Santorum took the cornhole prize. They heard the sound of banjos when he walked into the room.

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  9. JWfromNJ said on March 14, 2012 at 9:13 am

    coozledad – Don’t even mention cornhole.
    I have to cover the cornhole tournament at our county fair this weekend. That’s a long friday night I’ll never get back.

    I just know it’s my editor’s revenge for me begging off the Cracker Day Rodeo and Hoedown last weekend. I did my preliminary interview with the event organizer and he asked me if I had ever been to a cornhole event or played cornhole. I got the “what are you, from another planet,” glare when I said no, but the thought was mutual.

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  10. Dorothy said on March 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Every damn day I wish I could turn a phrase like you!

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  11. coozledad said on March 14, 2012 at 9:55 am

    JW from NJ: I’m tired of waiting for some of my fellow southerners to try and have a shred of dignity. Too many of them love that Foxworthy crap.
    ATHF has documented this:

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  12. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

    JwfromNJ: I’ll take drosophila in the Karzai “after the occupation” pool. And how did Karzai get to be W’s go to guy in Afghani-ghani-stan-stan? This guy and his family almost make Chalabi look like a straight shooter. That’s almost.

    So Harvey Weinstein claims the President of the United States sent him a book and suggested it would make a good movie. The frothing snouts and howling from the rightwing is as full-moon-worthy, full goose loony, and predictable as a normal human being would expect. Of course, this is likely typical Weinstein self-aggrandizement, but to the Obamaphobes, it’s more evidence of incompetence and character flaws. I don’t ever want, nor would I trust, a President that doesn’t make some time for pleasure-reading, and we have recent empirical evidence to support my position. Look what eight years of W produced. Remember his vapid to the point of insipid claims about his reading contests with Kommissar Karl? Nutjobs on the right are bringing that up in embarrassingly gullible fashion to denigrate Obama.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/29/george-w-bush-karl-rove-s_n_153985.html (Some clever comments, but the 3rd one is gold>)

    Remember when Bush claimed to have read and understood Alexis de Tocqueville (his justification and explanation of so-called faith-based initiatives), and said that Albert Camus was a favorite? And his idolators believed that shit? Lapped it up, in fact. Only way this could have been less believable was claiming he read them en Francais. He referred to Tocqueville as “de Tocqueville”, which is an elitist academic faux pas equivalent to referring to Teillhard as “de Chardin”, but whatever, who believed that President All-Hat ever read either of those Fronch writers?


    From Nancy’s charter school piece: Rereading, I was struck by the note on the disparity between Guv studies and private (self-)studies of charter school efficacy. I think I trust the DOE more than I trust the profiteers to assess the profiteers.

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  13. brian stouder said on March 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

    And his idolators believed that shit? Lapped it up, in fact.

    Well, if the idolators can lap it up, then it must be Santorum all over the floor, yes?

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  14. Judybusy said on March 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Nancy, I so hear you on election coverage. Part of it is the ignorance as noted, but this morning it was the extensive story on NPR, where they announce the results, then have a few voters talk about why they voted for whom. I could write their script for them. It’s not news, and I feel the same way when they cover Democratic primaries. “I voted for Hillary because of her greater experience, and I think it’s time a woman was in the White House.” The reporter then goes on at length about how tough a fight this is for Romney, even though he has twice the number of delegates now. Please just announce the outcome and move on to something actually newsworthy. *Click* went the button.

    This from Huffpo: “On the eve of a pair of crucial Southern primaries, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum turned his attention to the environment.
    The former Pennsylvania senator focused on energy development in Mississippi, prodding voters to trust his judgment.”The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is,” he said.Santorum has used the environment as a talking point in criticisms of both his GOP rivals and President Barack Obama’s administration. Back in early February, he targeted Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich for allegedly buying into the “bogus” science of man-made climate change. At the same time, Santorum placed himself as a candidate who never believed in the “hoax of global warming.” A few weeks later, Santorum shifted to Obama’s energy plans, telling a group of Ohio voters that global warming is not climate science but “political science.”Entering Tuesday’s Alabama and Mississippi primaries, Romney holds a 454-217 delegate edge over Santorum. In total, 1,144 are needed to secure the GOP presidential nomination.

    I’m impressed he knew that plants use CO2 and not oxygen.

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  15. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 10:20 am


    You can’t fix stupid.

    SC gives us Nikki Haley’s new right-hand man. At least he doesn’t have the blow-dry cut to cause any new Haley Appalachian Trail rumors. Not her type. And those reenactor muttonchops are a deal-breaker. Here in SC, Haley supporters insist that anybody that finds her a useless to incompetent Teabanger is an anti-Indian racist. Yep the race card from people that carry Obama/witch doctor signs at their public gatherings.

    Watching primary coverage on MSNBC, I was delighted by a stat Chuck Todd produced. Seems that even in Missibama, R-money beat Sanitarium and the Amphibian among voters with incomes higher than $100grand. Now that’s voting your pocketbook, and a nod to Newtria having more fiscal common sense on tax policy than either of his fellow Klowns. It also struck me that between the two National inbred birth states, fewer than 700thou primary votes were cast. The combined population is 8,8mill, and well over half those rednecks are GOPers, so it seems to me that Ennui is leading the GOP primaries.

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  16. alex said on March 14, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Maybe we shouldn’t get too excited about the prospect of a debate between Obama and Santorum. Obama’s tethered down by integrity and facts. It just wouldn’t be a fair fight.

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  17. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Alex: That’s a battle of wits with one combatant unarmed.

    Are Congressional GOPers still keen on representing the I doubt it. Back to being a demonic sect and the Whore of Babylon, boys, you served our dishonest purpose.

    Even when GOPers try to act like responsible citizen representatives, they are screwed by the insane base of the GOP:

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  18. Little Bird said on March 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

    There’s a drink out there called a Santorum. It’s served in a martini glass and yep, it’s brown. The only ingredient I remember that’s in it (was reading about it late last night) is orange bitters. It could be the best tasting drink on earth, and I’d never be able to bring myself to try it.

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  19. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Donald Trump’s sons may be bigger assholes than dad.

    SXSW playlist. And miracle dicta, NPR actually identifies the tracks. And there is a Garland Jeffreys song on it. That is an authentic blast from the past.

    I just read a FB post by a friend in which he refers to Willard as Romney Dangerfield. I just started liking R-money, but Romney Dangerfield is pretty funny, I think.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on March 14, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Cos he don’t get no respect, right? Nor does he deserve it.

    Our friend Jim @Sweet Juniper had a short piece in Details Magazine: http://www.details.com/culture-trends/critical-eye/201204/rust-belt-revival

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  21. Mindy said on March 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

    What Dorothy said!

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  22. Scout said on March 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

    James… the insanity is viral in Arizona. Even more nuts is that the crazy talk bill against women’s health was written by one. I googled Debbie Lasko and no surprise there; she is of the Russell Pearce (R – Recalled Lunatic) school of hatred of brown people. From the Gawker link you provided:

    “Yesterday, a Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed Republican Debbie Lesko’s HB2625 by a vote of 6-2, which would allow an employer to request proof that a woman using insurance to buy birth control was being prescribed the birth control for reasons other than not wanting to get pregnant. It’s all about freedom, she said, echoing everyone who thinks there’s nothing ironic about claiming that a country that’s “free” allows people’s bosses to dictate what medical care is available to them through insurance.”

    Subject change… blood pressure cannot take AZ assininity so early in the AM. I hope that in my next life I can either play the piano or turn a phrase like Nancy. Or be funny enough to come up with a tumblr site as clever as ANIMALS TALKING IN ALL CAPS. Hysterical! Where ever do you find these things?

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  23. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 11:38 am

    House GOPers are investigating alleged “rampant fraud” in federal food stamp program, while calling Obama the food stamp president. Actual impact of food stamps in economic recession? Responsibility for the commonweal and their alleged “Christianity” has no place in GOPer thinking.

    Are people counterfeiting food stamps or jumping through bureaucratic hoops to convince a government employee of their poverty to get freebie food they don’t deserve. One sound as unlikely and absurd as the other.

    Kathlleen Parker, my fellow South Carolingian, on the redneck in the street exit poll interviews.

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  24. Sue said on March 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Best part of last night’s Daily Show, from Senior Women’s Correspondent Kristen Schaal, doing Republican standup comedy:
    “What’s the difference between a fertilized egg; a corporation; and a woman? (Beat.) One of them isn’t considered a person in Oklahoma! BOOM!!!”

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  25. Jeff Borden said on March 14, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I actually worry about someone like Frothy Santorum getting the nomination, folks. Politics is simply too volatile and, let’s face facts, a whole helluva lot of our fellow citizens are dumber than a bag of hammers. Stir in skyrocketing gasoline prices and the potential for some major foreign policy eruption (paging Bibi, paging Bibi) and there is no certainty that President Obama will be reelected.

    And mother of god, what would a Santorum presidency do to our country? Can you imagine his Supreme Court nominees? His faith-based foreign policy decisions? His opportunity to introduce Opus Dei into public discourse?

    We all assume he’d be a comical douchenozzle and easily beaten, but Democrats thought that about Saint Ronald. And our country reelected the stupidest motherfucker to ever sit in the Oval Office in 2004. When I look at the recent polling out of the Deep South –60% don’t believe in evolution????– and the continuing interest in a batshit crazy loon like Santorum who plays to these goobers, I don’t see how we can assume Obama would wipe the floor with him.

    I hope I’m wrong, but c’mon, there are millions and millions of stupid people who vote.

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  26. LAMary said on March 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I have three cats. Albert, the beautiful tabby male is my favorite. I’ve been saying for years that Albert keeps gorillas out of the yard. I follow up by asking if anyone has seen any gorillas out there. The answer is no and my point has been proved.
    I keep hearing Romney and Gingrich and sometimes Santorum using the same sort of logic when attacking Obama.

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  27. Deborah said on March 14, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Nancy if I could turn a phrase like you I’d die a happy woman.

    On another note, I’ve got a sick cat, second time in about a month, she’s constipated, very lethargic. She got over it before, but this time it’s lingering, she’s going to the vet tomorrow morning. Anyone out there have a cat with this problem that might have some advice?

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  28. JWfromNJ said on March 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I still like the nuances of the theory someone posted here a while back – if Mitt gets the nomination and gets trounced in the general the tea party – klown kar krew will convince themselves he lost because he was too liberal, thus driving the party off the cliff for another election cycle or three.

    Had a very refreshing talk last week with a neighbor’s houseguest who is a M. Sgt. and medic in the Army and served three tours in Afghanistan – going back in a few weeks. SHE supports Obama and said the troops have started to come around – said the younger guys need some convincing but the old timers like her (early 30’s) think it’s as simple as choosing the best man for a job, and don’t like the other options. I was so afraid to wade into that subject with her and so happy I did.

    On the war – are things getting better? That depends on where you are sitting and has a lot more to do with Sunni and Shiite mindsets according to her, and where people are positioned for if (and when) the Taliban come back in power.

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  29. LAMary said on March 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    It could be a furball, Deborah. You can get stuff in a tube at the pet store. You smear it on one of the cat’s front paws so she has to lick it off, and it should get things moving.

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  30. Sue said on March 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Deborah, last November I had the same problem with two cats within a week of each other. One was just constipated, to the vet for a flush and he was fine. The other was constipated and turned out to have (probably) pancreatitis. A flush, fluids and pain meds at the vet, additional fluids and pain meds at home and he was ok within several days. I was told time is an issue if a cat is not eating and/or pooping for more than a couple of days.
    And it was obvious to us by observation that pain meds were very important to keep our cat comfortable and therefore calm and therefore continuing to heal. Some vets don’t think pain management is important, so keep that in mind if you suspect any inflammation issues.
    Oh, and $$$$$$$$$.

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  31. Deborah said on March 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks to the cat people for the advice. I don’t want to hijack the comments on this issue. So back to our regularly scheduled program.

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  32. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Jeff, take a Xanax. Women vote in higher numbers than men. Santorum starts out with a bad beat guaranteed in his home state, all of New England, New York and California all mission impossible. No prayer in Ohio. No ethnic vote. No political outcome should be taken for granted, but it seems to me, too, that Gingrich GOPers would vote in large numbers for Obama over Santorum, except for the hardcore bigots.

    My kinda bookstore.

    Scumbag Dick Armey gangbags generally worse than useless Orrin Hatch for attempting to behave responsibly.

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  33. beb said on March 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Jeff @25. I may have mentioned that idea here but its a common thought among the leftblogastan. The other fear about Santorum is that Republicans have a habit of making the runner up of the last election the frontrunner of the next. So if Romney gets the nom and loses Santorum will be the presumptive frontrunner in 2016. And that’s a scary thought.

    I always admired Molly Ivins’ ability to turn a phrase.

    I’m afraid to ask (or google) what the hell is a “cornhole competition”. And I grew up in Indiana farm land.

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  34. Julie Robinson said on March 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    beb, cornhole in what we used to call beanbag tossing. New meanings in the new term.

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  35. alex said on March 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I remember my Republican parents back in 1980 laughing at the idea that a lightweight nincompoop like Ronald Reagan could be elected, so I understand your fears, Jeff B, but even so it’s inconceivable that Santorum could be elected and here’s why: Ronald Reagan managed to bring together a broad coalition of voters and not just stupid ones. Santorum, on the other hand, has an extremely narrow appeal and that isn’t likely to change between now and November.

    Reagan had a gift for dog whistling but in those days the dogs merely expected a few bones and not the rich diet of red meat to which they’ve become accustomed.

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  36. Deborah said on March 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I’m having one of those days where my computer goes into the revolving beach ball of death icon while it saves the document I’m working on so I have time to check out nn.c while it’s doing that.

    I always wonder during election time if the media hypes it up way more than necessary so we keep checking back with them to see what’s happening next. My gut tells me Obama will win by a landslide, that would make it boring for the media though. Then again maybe I think that because of the bubble I’m in because I live in Chicago.

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  37. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    For those that enjoyed Hanna, a strange fashion spread.

    Veddy Brit.

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  38. DellaDash said on March 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Go ahead and ‘borrow trouble’ as my Mother likes to say (but is no longer able to avoid, the more elderly and fretful she gets). If you can abide Santorum on his bully pulpit and the Sarah-sloppy-second congregation that finds him worth a trip to the voting booth…go ahead and stew. But when the confetti settles, it’s gonna be Mitt HeadRom stuttering against On-His-Game-Obama.

    Ha ha, Sue @24. Good one to pass along.

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  39. Jeff Borden said on March 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I sincerely hope you all are correct. While President Obama has disappointed me in a number of ways, he still seems to me far, far superior to any of the creeps the GOP are considering. My hope is he would blossom in a second term if –please, dear God, please– he were to win convincingly. Even then, however, there is a very good chance the conservatives will retake the Senate they would’ve won in 2010 if not for the teabagging candidates. The GOP only has to defend about a third of the seats the Democrats must defend.

    Then again, if Frothy were to emerge as the candidate, it might crash a lot of the down ticket Republican candidates, which would be a very good thing.

    Right now, however, I still think it will be Willard the Windsock, it will be a fairly close vote tally and the GOP will hold the House and take the Senate, which sets us up for some more glorious gridlock.

    Now, as suggested above, I’m going to go out and find some Xanax.

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  40. DellaDash said on March 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Not so sure about a landslide…and not so concerned about a second-term gridlock.

    As long as my Man has the veto position, I never did think he has all the answers (NOBODY does); nor do I believe that his proposed policies should pass without going through the wringer of rigorous opposition. At the federal level, the democratic process SHOULD grind exceedingly you-know-what.

    Yet, in spite of the mid-term tea-party surge, he’s managed to step up his sparring skills enough to get bail-outs, stimulus packages, and healthcare reform past some formidable naysayers.

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  41. Linda said on March 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Here’s another reason Santorum won’t be the new Reagan: Reagan brought a positive attitude, and only bashed a few groups of socially marginal people, notably, the poor and a few unions. He convinced everyone that if those few groups got whacked, it could be rainbows and unicorns for everybody else, and his dog whistles were very subdued.

    But in those days, the groups conservatives hadn’t whacked yet did not believe they would ever have a target on their backs (such as unionized cops and fire fighters). Not us! We’re the good people! And we were so close to the heyday of feminism and civil rights that nobody dreamed of the moves to take away easy access to birth control, or cut back on voting rights that are now a natural, if noxious, part of our political atmosphere. When the left sounded the alarms on this 30 years ago, they were laughed out. But I guess they were right.

    Now, the wealthy have gotten greedier, and the only way to cut taxes for them even more is to demonize more groups as leeches. It makes it a lot harder for conservative candidates to run as sunny disciples of Reagan.

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  42. Rana said on March 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Jeff B, I share your concern. Someone like Santorum shouldn’t even have succeeded in getting covered in the local sheriff’s race, let alone winning primary elections for the nation’s highest office. Even if Obama wipes the floor with him, his candidacy means that his ideas and his rhetoric have had months to sink into the national psyche, rendering them familiar (if still distasteful to most). This means that the people who think like him are emboldened (look, even presidential candidates agree with us!) and the rest of us get used to hearing this whack-shit treated with, if not respect, at least seriousness. (Meanwhile someone like Kucinich or Bernie Sanders is still described as “wacky” and “a kook” and good luck to them if they ever tried running for president from the left.)

    I also don’t entirely trust Obama to call out Santorum (let alone Romney) on his idiocy; given the man’s track record, he’s far more likely to either ignore it, make a joke and move on, or adopt a weakened version of it (because if those voters are so passionate about their beliefs, maybe pandering to them will finally win them over, or something).

    The end result? Even if Obama wins, the normalizing of the right’s crazier rhetoric advances one more tick, to the detriment of us all.

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  43. moe99 said on March 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    There’s been many a time that I have envied Nancy a well turned phrase or three.

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  44. Bitter Scribe said on March 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Nancy, fine job on those charter schools pieces. Very informative and balanced.

    As for animals talking in all caps, let’s just say I DON’T GET IT.

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  45. Suzanne said on March 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Jeff B and Rana,
    I too share your concern. I live in a very “Christian” right leaning area and these people are serious. They believe what they believe the Bible tells them and they believe that it tells them that someone like Santorum is a Godly man, and therefore, the man that God wants to be president. Never underestimate someone who, like the Blues Brothers, is on a mission from God.

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  46. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Linda, agreed on Sanitarium’s demeanor and affect. Does not accentuate the positive. He always looks, without fail, like he’s just been made to swallow castor oil and somebody in the room cut a really awful broccoli fart.

    If he was a TV character, he personifies Frank Burns, and his ferret face is always saying what he’s thinking:

    Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
    think I’ll go eat worms…

    Hang-dog or dog in the manger, Frothy’s got it covered. Sourpuss. His mom warned him it would freeze that way and little Ricky wouldn’t listen. And he’s surly without fail.

    If he somehow got elected, I’m gone to Cabo Someplace for cheap mezcal, free medical care and freedom from religious nutjobs trying to initiate armageddon by restoring the entire world population of Jews to the Holy Land so 900 ft. Jesus will erect the third temple and the fundygelicals can all get Rapcha’ed, and good riddance. They hate our freedom.

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  47. Scout said on March 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Deborah, we sprinkle powdered psyllium on the food that all four of our cats eat. About 5 and 6 years ago we lost our two oldest kitties to kidney failure and in both of those cases we first discovered the problem because of constipation issues. So when one of our current four started getting so constipated he twice needed to get reamed out at the vet’s office, we started using the psyllium for him. He has not had an incident since and it has been three years.

    We also buy the best dry food we can afford, of which the first ingredient must be real meat (not meal or by-products). Our four cats range in age from 4 years to 17 years old and we practice an all-you-can-eat cat food system, so food is always out and it always has psyllium. We haven’t seen a vet for three years for any of them and they are all doing super.

    We buy the psyllium from Swanson Vitamins. It is intended for humans. Of course, you can get it vet prescribed and all that is is the exact same powder in little capsules at about 100 times the price.

    The food we buy is either Wellness or Blue Buffalo – both are available at PetSmart. Castor and Pollux is good too.

    Hope this helps!

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  48. Joe K said on March 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Gosh I hate gridlock too, nothing can get done party’s fighting over every little thing. It sure is a shame Mr Obama didn’t have a majority his first 2 years in office, boy he could really have done a lot, all he would have had to do was to get his party to vote with him and they could have got anything passed they wanted, yep dang shame.
    Pilot Joe

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  49. Dorothy said on March 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Okay more thread hijacking and it has to do with vet costs/animals. May I ask, Scout, when you say you haven’t seen a vet for three years for any of the cats – does this mean you don’t take them in for yearly check ups? We have 2 dogs and 1 cat. We’re a little over two years into owning our first cat. We take them for yearly check ups. They each get monthly worm/whatever medications (Lucy the cat gets a tiny vial of liquid squirted between her shoulders; the two boys get Trifexis, a flea killer and heartworm preventative.

    We don’t mind spending $$ on their care and feeding. If we did we would not own any pets. However we have noticed lately that the vet seems to be suggesting more medications. Our Augie has a “bad” left front leg – he was shot when he was a puppy (before we owned him) and he has few nerve endings in that paw. Last week the vet sent me home with samples of arthritis/glucosomine medication and I think he’s going to call me to see if we want to give it to him regularly. I have read reports that now they think glucosomine is not particularly helpful to people with arthritis, so why would he want me to give it to my dog? And he wanted him to come back in 6 months instead of in a year. I don’t see the necessity of it but I can’t figure out how to politely tell the doc to stop trying to guilt me into these treatments.

    I cannot read my dog’s mind – I cannot ask him if the arthritis treats make him feel better. I’d rather not be spending $$ on this kind stuff. This makes me feel a little bit guilty. Does anyone else feel like that?! I won’t deny my animals good care, but sometimes I think you can go overboard. At our age we spend $$ on ourselves for medications – thyroid, cholesterol, blood pressure. But we’re going to live a lot longer than the dogs! I’ll appreciate hearing anyone else’s thoughts on this subject.

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  50. Connie said on March 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Nancy you turn my phrase.

    The sin is shining and spring flowers are blooming here in downtown Philadelphia. Today I had the stirring experience of visiting the Liberty Bell and walking around outside Independence Hall. Unfortunately not inside as free ticket timing didn’t work out. A lovely day so far though.

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  51. Jolene said on March 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Joe, the Senate super-majority lasted only a few months, during which the healthcare reform act was passed–a big deal. As long as the Senate operates under the assumption that everything will be filibustered, having a majority doesn’t count for much.


    Just this week, Harry Reid tried to force a vote on a set of judicial nominations that had been approved unanimously in committee. After a lot of wrangling, the Republicans finally agreed to vote on 14 of 17 nominees by May 7.

    Why couldn’t they vote on all of them this afternoon? Because the GOP doesn’t want, to do anything that Obama wants them to do.

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  52. Sue said on March 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Joe, I can’t help noticing that lately you’ve been doing less actual discussion with us and more throw-a-snarky-comment-and-step-back kind of trollbombing.
    I thought we wuz all friends, what gives? Dang shame is right, if this is all we can expect from you.

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  53. Julie Robinson said on March 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Prospero, I disagree with you on Santorum’s visage. To me he appears to be a perfectly reasonable looking man–until he opens his mouth. Then the radical froth comes spewing forth.

    No pets in our household, as we both have severe allergies. Both our kids adopted them when they moved out though, and are denying any allergic problems. I tried the glucosamine/chondritin routine for my own arthritis to no effect. Many people still swear by it, and if they think it helps them, I guess it does.

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  54. Sue said on March 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Dorothy, I think vets, like everyone else, are looking for revenue streams. You can’t hire trained CVTs and excellent support staff with a fast food wage mentality – a vet office is a medical clinic, after all. That reasoning has always worked for me.
    Or it did until I was informed at the last appointment that the teeth-cleaning procedure my cat needs carries an automatic requirement of full-range dental x-rays, bringing up the projected cost to between $600 – $800.
    For a dental.

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  55. Dorothy said on March 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Yeah we had Augie’s teeth cleaned last year (maybe 2 years ago?) because they put it on sale for half off. It was still close to $300 I think. I understand it’s a medical clinic. I just wish I could find a way (and dammit, I know I will eventually) tell the kind doctor very politely that we’re not going to elaborate spending patterns in order to enhance our animals’ lives. We think we already do a fine job of taking care of them. They really don’t want for anything – but I bet Husky would beg to differ. He’s just itching to be let loose in the backyard so he could go hunt groundhogs again. He killed two last year in a three-day span, and that was while he was on the leash!

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  56. Mark P said on March 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    About Southern stupidity – those of you not from down here don’t know the half of it. Around here, even some well-educated engineers don’t believe in evolution. I find the whole thing incomprehensible, and I was born here and have lived here most of my life. My wife and I don’t bother contributing to campaigns in our home state because it’s just throwing money away. We contribute to candidates a thousand miles away because they will do a better job of representing our interests than our own senators and congressmen. Sometimes I wish the Confederacy had won (except for that slavery thing… you know, the one the Civil War was not about). An independent South would give the nutjobs a place to live and hopefully leave an uncontaminated place for the sane people to live.

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Heading back to the post title – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip_pjb5_fgA

    I’ve had this song in my head all day . . . and I blame Nancy now for humming it as I drove 52 in a 35 right past a trainee with a veteran cop sitting behind Kingdom Hall. Which means I’m out $145 on a minor misdemeanor, and even more so, the glum realization that it has now happened. The 20-something cop-candidate writing his first ticket was actually more nervous than I was sitting there with the flashers in my rear-view. When the cops are not only younger than you, but also more nervous than you are as the perp, you’ve turned some kind of corner.

    I accepted the ticket, gently cut off his explanation of how I could contest it in mayor’s court with a cheery “you got me clean, officer, no argument at all,” and thanked him for inviting me to slow down and listen to the spring bird song. He looked very confused as he walked back to the cruiser, and Officer Dave* smiled and waved at me from the passenger seat when he saw the signature and heard what the odd man in the car had said. So I cruised on slowly to my next appointment, still resolving to watch the dang video. And here it is for you all.

    *Dave makes a cameo appearance in James Frey’s hallucination cum memoir, as the village police officer who hurls him to the sidewalk and cuffs him before sending him off for two and a half months in jail. Which, in fact, was Officer Dave talking him off the hood of the cruiser, drunk and belligerent, and leading him by the elbow to the station where he spent two (not even two-and-a-half) hours, not months, waiting for the campus health services folks to come get him. He still gets teased about having thrown a two-time Oprah guest to the sidewalk, to which his very calm response is “now, of course, I wish I had.”

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  58. nancy said on March 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Nice Detroit luv in that video, but man — ’80s hair. Shudder.

    There’s one very brief shot of a car bumping over some extremely bumpy pavement. I think that’s the Ford proving ground/test track, where I had the privilege of being chauffeured around by a woman I was writing about. It has a whole section that mimics various aspects of bad road — frost heaves, potholes, etc. I can’t remember what that stretch was. Probably “Michigan.”

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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm


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  60. Dorothy said on March 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I’m going home to throw open the windows and put on some Clarence Clemons music!

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  61. Julie Robinson said on March 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Ouch, jefftmmo. Amazingly I have never gotten a speeding ticket, or even been pulled over. When it eventually happens I’ll probably pee my pants.

    Mark P, my uncle does not believe in evolution. He holds a doctorate in chemical engineering, a gazillion patents, and the authorship of several textbooks. He lives in Iowa. (And is a Missouri-Synod Lutheran.) So, don’t think y’all have it cornered there in the South.

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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I don’t believe in people never getting speeding tickets. 😉

    According to Wikipedia, for you Detroit detail folks as to the video: “was filmed at Detroit’s Club Taboo on Woodbridge which Aretha co-owned. “Freeway of Love” was filmed at “Doug’s Body Shop” at 22061 Woodward in Ferndale.”

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  63. Julie Robinson said on March 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    It isn’t because I haven’t deserved a few.

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  64. DellaDash said on March 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I was goin ‘who’s that on the sax? sounds like Clarence Clemons’. So it is, huh?

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  65. Little Bird said on March 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    My father believes man and dinosaur walked the earth together. He, too, is Missuori Synod Lutheran. The members of my family (excluding Deborah) scare me on a regular basis.

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  66. Julie Robinson said on March 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    My uncle raves about the Creation Museum. That’s the Misery Synod, as those of us in the ELCA might say.

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  67. brian stouder said on March 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    So here’s today’s headline roundup of AP stories, from my favorite little industry publication – ChemInfo (note: starring those “jobkillers” at government regulatory agencies):

    Company Bought Tainted, Landfill-Destined Milk for Ricotta; A New Jersey cheesemaker made its ricotta cheese from tainted milk that was on its way to a landfill, federal authorities charged … continue

    Developer Vows to Build Horse Plant; Opposition from some residents will not stop a Wyoming company from building a plant in Missouri to slaughter horses and process the meat for human consumption … continue

    NY Assembly Calls for Fracking Health Impact Study; Environmental and health groups are praising the state assembly for including an independent health impact study of fracking for natural gas in its budget proposal … continue

    Dow Chemical Plans for Dioxin Cleanup; Dow Chemical has submitted a plan for removing soils contaminated with dioxin from residential areas in Midland, MI … continue;

    That last one? Is about Midland Michigan, and is fascinating. In fact, it looks Bridge-worthy, to me, as it involves an alphabet soup of various Federal and State environmental protection agencies and laws and so on.

    Here’s an excerpt, which struck me as fascinating (and terrible)

    Dow Chemical Co. has submitted a plan for removing soils contaminated with dioxin from residential areas in Midland, Mich., the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said Monday.Dow and the DEQ announced an agreement on the outlines of a cleanup strategy last month. The company has now provided details of how it proposes to do the work, regulators said.
    If the agency approves, the plan will let Dow sample soil at up to 1,400 residential properties in Midland, home of its corporate headquarters. The city was polluted by airborne dioxin emissions from a chemical plant for much of the last century. Properties with dioxin levels higher than 250 parts per trillion would be eligible for soil replacement and other cleanup work. Sampling would begin in June and would be done only with the property owner’s consent, as would cleanup.


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  68. Dexter said on March 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    While Aretha was backed up by musicians who sometimes later joined one of many renditions of The Funk Brothers, this is indeed Clarence guest-playing on the tune in the video.

    Before “The Fist”, the one symbol that screamed “DETROIT!” was way out on I-94.


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  69. Charlotte said on March 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I want HBO.go but don’t have a cable subscription — it’s driving me crazy that I can’t just buy an online subscription. Grrr ….

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  70. alex said on March 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    My brother is a hydrologist who now works in the private sector but for a time was employed as a researcher at Ole Miss, where his boss, a geological scientist with a Ph.D., believed in creationism and also would try to strong-arm subordinates into coming to his house for bible study. Ick.

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  71. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Mile in the untreated pool and 15 miles on my bike. I guess the Joe Kobiala rules let me write off wear and tear on my kevlar tires and my bike. Right, no offense Joe but when the weather dictates and it’s gorgeous outside. We figure with one of us 60 and the catcher 50, we don’t really need to worry about pregnancy. Were we to conceive, it would be fairly astounding, Did God invent sex slitorises and penises to just be ignored at some point. I mean, are we supposed to stop enjoying sex gbecause a baby is unlikely? We find it makes us closer and we like the idea of making each other happy. Same thing with cooking, Is any of this anybody’s business but our own?

    We’d probably go ahead, even though S’s schizophrenia is not really promising for her daughter. But life’s a crapshoot, right. You could be born a frothy substance. And we’d be exemplary parents until the government had to take ovr when we turned into gibberibg fools. GOPers have made it painfullly obvious that pre-born children are more important than actual kids. What is wwrong with the Baron Frankenstein prty? This is no stretch. Tey vote against WIC and SCHIP while whining about the unborn. Isn’t this a fact? Are they fracking kidding? This pisses me off beyond belief.

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  72. Scout said on March 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Dorothy, I am rather agnostic on vets these days. I’m so old and have had pets for so long I remember when a vet was someone who’d pretty much seen it all, could diagnose most things with a simple blood test and send you on your way. Now they have all this fancy schmancy equipment and will justify any excuse to use it… probably because they’re still paying for it.

    A good example of why I became disgusted concerns the FOS cat I spoke of up-thread, Boo. Boo couldn’t poop and was vomiting. I told the Doc I thought he had a blockage because you could feel a hardness by the base of his tail. Without telling me, they did several types of blood panels, ultrasounds and I forget what else before resorting to a simple x-ray. The first 5 or so procedures cost me $350, the x-ray about $50. The excavation (enema) another $50. $500 to remove a poo ball. I should have had it bronzed. The second time I went in there and told them exactly what they were going to do and what procedures I would pay for. Period. And then I started giving Boo and all the rest psyllium and ended the problem once and for all.

    On the issue of yearly or twice yearly visits, if my cats went outside, I’d probably be more concerned about shots and worming and flea/tick issues, but they are all indoors only. Back in the day when I allowed my cats to be indoor/outdoor, their life expectancy was several years shorter, even with the shots. Which led me to wonder what shortened their little lives – the shots, the exposure to godknowswhat outside or a combination of both?

    If one of my fur-kids is sick or in obvious pain, of course I will call the vet, but I have stopped subscribing to annual check ups and chemical injections and they are definitely no worse for the decision. In fact they are all amazingly robust. My main man, Scout, (yes, he is the inspiration for my nom de comments) just turned 17. He doesn’t look a day over 10!

    I don’t currently have a dog, for the first time I can remember. Our dog, Maggie, passed about a year and half ago at age 14. She was a large dog, so we felt fortunate to have her that long. She had arthritis and we used to give her baby aspirin for it, which really seemed to help her mobility most days. The expensive pills the vet prescribed didn’t work any better, that’s for sure.

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  73. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Alex, And so fracking is God’s will to boost the USA? Right What is wrong with the human race? Alex, Ole Miss, Nice town. Faulkner? Like that guy could wade through personal turgidity to write to save his life? As I Lay Dying? Anybody should be exposed to that horrific shit? Faulkner was drunker than I am. And I don’t have delusions of being Thomas Wolfe, that faulkner wishes he were.

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  74. Scout said on March 14, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Prospero, you’re making me thirsty. And damn, I have a Zumba class to get through before I can pour myself a glass of cabernet.

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  75. DellaDash said on March 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Prospero, you’ve reached your slinging hour today. Even so…I usually gave up on trying to wade through Faulkner unless I really, really had to. Not a fan.

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  76. JWfromNJ said on March 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    You have to factor DST into the Prospero daily timeline. I’m still wondering if slitoris is a typo or a newly coined Calibanism?

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  77. moe99 said on March 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Happy PI day.

    And Joe, here’s list of 244 accomplishments made by Obama:


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  78. Joe K said on March 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Here is a few he forgot.
    Hope your feeling good,prayers your way
    Pilot Joe

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  79. Scout said on March 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    When you take into account all that Pres Obama accomplished in the face of stubborn opposition, and then compare the list to other administrations, it is even more impressive, IMHO.

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  80. moe99 said on March 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Joe, take a look at how the promises were ‘broken.’ Most by failure of the legislative arm to do anything about it.

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  81. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Who does anybody think was a great Southren writer? I’d say this is a trick question. It’s Walker Percy. And I know Nancy is a gifted writer, That’s why I read her. I live for moments when I can impress her, Like comparing Nancy Grace to medusa and snakes for hair. I assume she puts up with me for things like like that occasionally. A great Southren writer was Carson McCullers. A semi-great southren writer was the ne that wrote the novel where Scout was saved from bigots by Boo Radley. Excuse me Cooz, but for every gothic southren, there is a heroic southren. I’ve lived in the south to know them all.


    Cooz, if you’re really the son of the south embarrassed as you claim, how about what anybody with a brain thinks? And football is perfectly sensible. And obviously sensible. N’esct pas? Whatever. All anybody really needs to know is Herschel planted his cleats on Bill Bates:


    Those marks are still there. There he trashed that jackass. Ran over his ass and walked on him.

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  82. Prospero said on March 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    No shit. When Nancy says she plans to use something in the future? That is something to continue on. She’s a good writer. I’m a decent writer. There are a a buncha good writers that spout here regularly. It’s why I engage regularly. Smart people that express themselves well.

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  83. DellaDash said on March 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Flannery O’Conner

    Crisp Truman Capote as diametrically opposed to swampy Faulkner

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  84. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Oh, the joy. Someone brought the North Dakota Olive Garden food critic to NYC:



    “I’m Lutheran, so that wouldn’t apply to me.”

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  85. Jolene said on March 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Mrs. Hagerty has been making the media rounds, Jeff. But, even better, as the article you linked to indicates, she is in line for some very classy meals. Can’t wait to read her reviews.

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  86. Jolene said on March 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    More on Marilyn: http://gothamist.com/2012/03/14/grand_forkss_food_critic_takes_culi.php#photo-1

    Check out the link to her blog at the bottom of this piece for fabulous photos of her meal at Dovetail.

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  87. moe99 said on March 14, 2012 at 11:50 pm


    Bank of America. Why have there been no perp walks?

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  88. Deborah said on March 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I finally got to leave the office at 9 tonight. I’m sitting here with a glass of wine trying to unwind while holding my sickly kitty. I know I’m going to have fun getting her into the carrying case tomorrow morning for her vet visit. Dorothy, we too have stopped taking our totally apartment bound cats in for yearly check ups and shots. About 3 years ago they both had their teeth cleaned and we decided that seemed like enough of that. The one that’s sick now had a benign tumor removed from her hindquarters a few years back and I was told by the vet that some cats get those in the place where they get their shots. So no more shots. We have a limit on how much we’re willing to spend on their healthcare. They’ve been very healthy until very recently. We love them a lot but my husband has over time developed some pretty severe allergies to them. We can’t possibly imagine trying to find a new home for them at their age. It would kill all of us to have to do that. So if this thing tomorrow turns out to be too much for any of us to handle, we might have to do the unthinkable. Littlebird is going to the vet with me tomorrow to give me moral support (she also has some pretty bad allergies that have gotten worse too). This sick kitty is the one that she has the closest bond with. Hoping this doesn’t end up being a sad, sad day tomorrow.

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  89. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 2:29 am


    You are a poster child for why Americans are producing more for less money. I know you do that because you are a perfectionist and want things right. That’s the way designers are. Spec writers always have to tell Architects what is more likely and less than what they might like, and we get paid more so we’re snotty and call designers decorators and Mechanical engineers plumbers and electricians, and landscape architects landscrapers, but that’s unfair.

    Lions fans, Matt to Calvin is serious bidness for years. Now shore up that line. Cordy Glenn and Leonard Pope. Harold Carmichael but huge. Staff on that guy’s back shoulder is automatic TD.

    In my opinion, Faulkner sucked to the point of being unreadable. James Lee Burke is a better writer. As I Lay Dying is horrible enough to cause people not to read at all. The ladies, Carson McCullers, who was mighty good, and Eudora Welty, who was great as her name. Flannery O’Connor, the doyenne and I believe, Rod Serling’s muse. Man that woman was spooky. But for me, the Southren writer is Walker Percy. If you haven’t read him, do so, immediately. As Adrian Monk says, you’ll thank me later. Wrote at least three of the Great American Novel. The Second Coming got Sanitarium perfectly, years ago.

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  90. Linda said on March 15, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Deborah, I’m so sorry to hear about you and your sick kitty. I’ve been there, and it sucks. It seems young vets have a “charge up San Juan Hill” mentality about diagnosing and curing everything, even when a cat’s really old, or the quality of their life would suck. When one of my 16 year olds had a liver tumor, one of the youngsters started up about biopsies, chemo, etc. The “old” doc (about my age), started with “…he’s had a good run.” I entirely agreed, and had Bandit euthanized. He did have a good run, and did not deserve to have an old age of being dragged through a painful keyhole for a few more months of life. My sis recently had to face that with her 17 year old dog, and she misses him every day.

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  91. moe99 said on March 15, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Deborah, I am so sorry. Our pets become part of our family.

    This cartoon expresses it all for me:


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  92. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 15, 2012 at 6:12 am

    I think it was Aquinas who said, when asked about this question, that if heaven is by definition the place where there is everything necessary for our happiness, then necessarily beloved pets will be there.

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  93. beb said on March 15, 2012 at 8:34 am

    moe @87 asks a good question, why have there been no perp walks for any of the financial scandals? When the melt-down started in 2008 Olbermann would end his segments on Wall St with “…and that’s why Daddy went to prison.” Eventually he stopped doing that either because someone told him to lay off on the ‘going to jail’ stuff or because it became apparently that no one was going to pay for destroying the economy. Even now the hideous mess about robo-signings of foreclosures is being plastered over with a ‘settlement’ that doesn’t require the admission of wrong-doing, doesn’t fine the companies anywhere near to the damages they’ve caused and doesn’t stop fraudulent foreclosures. If ever there was evidence that businesses can’t self-regulate it has to be the finance industry.

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  94. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Jeff, that is lovely. And beb, who ever was delusional enough to think bidnesses could be trusted to operate responsibly without regulation?

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  95. Rana said on March 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Deborah, I’m also sorry to hear about your kitty. Here’s hoping that there’s a straightforward solution to whatever her problem is.

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