Farewell to a few.

I have to say: When I heard Maurice Sendak was dead this morning, I didn’t think about him. I thought about baby Kate, sitting on my lap as I read her “Where the Wild Things Are.” When we got to the part about them roaring their terrible roars and showing their terrible claws, she would hold up her wee baby paws and hook her wee baby fingers into claws, and say raar.

My little wild thing. Gone for years, but still always with me.

Eighty-three years is a pretty good measure for a life. You can’t say he didn’t do a lot with it.

Same with Richard Lugar, but it’s all over now, baby blue. I’m avoiding most of the coverage, because I know sooner or later, someone will parrot the right-wing bumper sticker: Thank you for your service, but it’s time for you to go. Yeesh.

People ask me if the Democrats have a chance against Mourdock. Honestly, I don’t know. Someone here does, so let the rest of us know.

Looks like the North Carolina gay-marriage thing went down (snerk) too. This is bad news, but not the worst news. I feel, more than ever, that this issue is over, and what we’re seeing now is just the final skirmishes. But never say never.

A funny piece on a great idea by Eric Zorn, proposing a new journalism award – the Rumpelstiltskin, for spinning gold out of crap, or, to put it more clearly, doing a great job with an old, old story assignment:

Nothing awakens Chicago’s eager young reporters to the grim realities of the life they’ve chosen like their second Saint Patrick’s Day parade, when they realize there will be another parade every March until they retire and unless they get one of those glamorous overseas assignments that don’t exist any longer they will probably be out there covering it. Yet some skilled practitioners can actually make each parade sound interesting. There’s no Pulitzer for a gift like that, but there could be a Rumpy.

I’d nominate my current colleague Ron, who was given the unfortunate assignment of covering the Three Rivers Festival in Fort Wayne one year. Every day, he found a new way to cover the same old shit. My favorite was a story about the frog-jumping contest, written in the form of a letter to PETA. It was hilarious, and of course 82 percent of everyone who read it missed the point, which tells you everything you need to know about your average newspaper reader. They wrote forests full of letters condemning Ron for diming out the poor frog-jumpers, etc. But it was a rare week when it was more fun to read the stories in the paper than actually attend the stupid events, and he deserves a Rumpy.

Or maybe that’s just me.

What a story: The double agent who derailed the next attack.

I’m gonna watch some more Rachel, and set this for posting early tomorrow morning. We’ll take up the struggle tomorrow, eh?

Have a good one.

Posted at 12:32 am in Current events |

79 responses to “Farewell to a few.”

  1. Suzanne said on May 9, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Lugar gone and the victor is claiming that the GOP in Indiana needs to become more conservative, which I don’t think is possible. The good news is that maybe Mr. Mourdock will work his magic in Washington and find millions and millions of misplaced and forgotten dollars!

    I’ll be voting Dem in the fall for sure.

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  2. alex said on May 9, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Here’s someone who seems to understand Indiana and gets it just right with regard to the Dems’ prospects of beating Mourdock this fall. In his concession speech last night, Lugar praised Mourdock and wished him victory in November, but in a statement released separately (noted in the piece linked above) he fairly chastises Mourdock and the Tea Party for their reflexive, rejectionist orthodoxy. And does so like the gentleman he is. For whatever good it will do.

    Other evidence suggesting the unlikelihood of a Democratic win this fall is the story of what happened to Senator Evan Bayh’s abandoned seat in 2010. An article I read last night noted that Senator Dan Coats, who won the seat, prevailed in the primary only because two other candidates split the Tea Party vote. Their combined numbers well exceeded the votes received by Coats. The Tea Party, not wanting to make the same mistake again, united behind Mourdock—an unimpressive also-ran and crackpot who had lost at several previous congressional races.

    You can hardly blame Lugar for thinking this nitwit wasn’t any sort of a threat. At the same time, it appears Lugar would have been helpless to do anything about it anyway.

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  3. coozledad said on May 9, 2012 at 7:29 am

    The intent of amendment one was to fracture the Democratic base along the same fault lines that handed Bush the black fundie vote in 2004. They may have succeeded.
    I heard a lot of bullshit about how Christians are being persecuted at our last county convention.
    What do they mean by persecuted? Being called to account for sticking their dicks in children? Not being able to exercise their historical inclinations and roast each other on a spit over textual disagreements?
    Personally, I think they should be free to string each other up from telephone poles at the entrance to every old railway depot or mill hellhole in the south, as long as they stick with the members of their own bloody cult.
    In fact, I think we should give them all the tools they’ll need to manifest a “new era” of religious freedom. The marshmallow jeebus states should be flooded with automatic weapons and meth, and the money formerly set aside for education and child development should be given directly to the baptists methodists catholics presbyterians.
    On second thought, the states just ought to dump that money on them with the single proviso they use it for fuel to cook each other.

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  4. alex said on May 9, 2012 at 7:48 am

    More on Lugar’s “other farewell speech.”

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  5. coozledad said on May 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

    And speaking of spinning gold out of crap, it helps if you have photos that add a soupcon of prurient interest. Who coulda knowed that ice falling from the sky might give you a nasty bruise?
    I’ve got to remind myself to just step away from the weather channel.

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  6. beb said on May 9, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Maurice Sendak and Dr. Seuss were successful in no small part because they were not just story tellers but illustrators. It’s hard to think of a Dr. Seuss book without his drawings and what really sells “Where the Wild Things Are” are Sendak’s wonderfully imaginative drawings.

    Something that only started to come up in the last weeks before yesterday’s elections was that Luger was 80 years old. And while he looks to be a healthy man with no signs on confusion or dementia (cough McCain cough), I kind of think it’s time to let someone younger take over. I also agree with those who argue that incumbents should be primaried from time to time just to remind them that they are not part of some Permanent Rule Class but homeboys representing the interests of the people from their state. Maybe not Mourdock who represents the lunatic fringe, though.

    I’m not sure what to think of this new underwear bomber story. There were so many stories under Bush of plots being broken up only to find in the details that the FBI’s plant seemed more an instigator than a snitch. It’s hard to believe any tale from Homeland Security. Stopping a guy wearing an actual bomb is one thing but the rest seems like so much bull.

    Christians can’t help feeling like victims, it’s in their blood. Look at their messiah, murdered by a conspiracy of heathens. Then being feed to lions and possibles voles as well. It’s a long story of martyrdom and seeking martyrdom, and trying to take over the world for Jesus.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on May 9, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Oh shoot, that story about Kate is making me weepy. My youngest baby is turning 25 this week but it seems like yesterday we were reading book after book after book after book. Good memories.

    I’m hopeful that the prospect of Mourdock as Senator will energize those who might not bother to vote and lift the whole Democratic boat. Call me crazy, but occasionally reason prevails, as in the approval of the FWCS building plan. Brian, I know you’re rejoicing this morning.

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  8. Peter said on May 9, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Cooz, I would have totally agreed with your post, except I thought the marshmallow jeebus states are ALREADY flooded with automatic weapons and meth. How else do you explain ’em?

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  9. Dave said on May 9, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Lugar being 80, Lugar having sold the home at which address he was registered to vote some thirty years ago, really didn’t help him any. Add to that another six years and I see in my own life how a person can change in a relatively short period of time as age rushes on, another downside to Lugar. Much as I am despising Mourdock and the possibility that he may win, Lugar appears to have had that “it’s my job” mentality. It’s too bad he didn’t groom someone. I confess to knowing very little about Donnelly but he’s surely not a out-of-state funded nut.

    Meanwhile, FWCS will get some repair work now but East Allen got voted down. Voter turnout in Allen County was either 18% or 21%.

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  10. Dorothy said on May 9, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I loved this quote I read about Maurice Sendak yesterday:

    Perhaps the best tale from Sendak’s complex and storied relationship with his readers is the widely quoted gem that follows:

    “Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim: I loved your card.’ Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, ‘Jim loved your card so much he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

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  11. Julie Robinson said on May 9, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Isn’t that a wonderful Sendak story?

    A note about voter turnout: our daughter is now registered in Washington, and when I noticed her name on the voter rolls here, I mentioned it to the poll workers. They told me the only way to remove her name is for her to visit the Board of Elections in person. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to be a priority for her on her short visits home.

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  12. coozledad said on May 9, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Peter: The stupid hangs in the air down here like automotive air freshener. I sort of hope this triggers an exodus of professionals from the state so we can get back to Carolina’s natural heritage of pellagra and incest. The modern world never seemed to sit well on these unibrowed extras straight off the set of either Inherit the Wind, or Amarcord, anyway. There’s something vaguely out of true when more of them are not staggering out on the deck of the mobile home, wood alcohol blind, after they’ve ripped the “family area” apart with a scatter gun.

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  13. nancy said on May 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Julie, I was prompted to ask about that after I found myself getting robocalls about Indiana races years after leaving the state. I was still registered there, and unregistering required a number of hoops. What a pain.

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  14. Judybusy said on May 9, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Dorothy, that’s a great story. Sendak also designed a lot of opera sets. I saw one when I was too young (20) to really appreciate it, a Provokief piece at the Met in NYC.

    Just came across this at Dykes to Watch Out For: an interview with Sendak by Art Spiegelman, told via cartoons by Art.

    Reading the double agent story gave me chills. I can’t imagine the bravery, the self-control it took to do what he did. I wonder if breaking the story compromises security as much as the CIA claims it does. Any terrorist group has to already be aware that there might be double agents and espionage, right?

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  15. Connie said on May 9, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I think we got unregistered after having to respond to a jury notice from Elkhart County forwarded to us shortly after moving to Michigan. That was two notices, one for me, one for daughter. I wrote new addresses on each and mailed them back.

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  16. Lex said on May 9, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Resolved: Any news feature on a recurring event that uses the “man from Mars” approach (and why is it always a man? And why not someone from Venus or Neptune?) not only is ineligible for the award but is drummed out of the profession.

    Sad night last night here in N.C. I knew the thing was going to win, but I had it at 55-45 statewide. Not only did it do far better than that, it even carried here in Guilford County (by 68 votes out of 115K+ cast). There are nine colleges and universities, including a law school, in this town county. I can’t help thinking that if the students hadn’t already gone home, the Guilford totals, at least, would have looked different, not that it would have mattered on a state level.

    So let the lawsuits begin. Handy clip ‘n’ save reminder: When a judge reminds you that the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment is a real thing, that is not “judicial activism,” it is not “legislating from the bench” and it is not “making up new rights,” mmkay?

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  17. Bitter Scribe said on May 9, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Spinning gold out of the same old crap is practically the definition of trade journalism. We have these horrible things called “editorial calendars,” where we spell out what we’re going to cover, month by month, for the upcoming year, so that advertisers can put their ads in the appropriate issue. After you’ve done your 20th story on form-fill-seal machinery, you basically just twitch through the motions.

    I’m lucky enough to be in a new field where I just marked my one-year anniversary. It’s still all new and fresh to me, but after a few years…

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2012 at 10:34 am

    beb, we’re coming for YOU. When you least expect it . . . coozledad is too far out in the country for us to bother with, but that’s what the Pentecostalists are for. The rest of us Christianists are intent on our goal of getting each and EVERY one of you into a vaguely mall-like cavernous glory barn off a major interstate exit, where we will subject you to “Praise music.” This requires standing for long intervals, a certain amount of swaying back and forth, and occasionally raising your hands at least to waist level if not at least once up to about your ears (don’t worry about singing along, very few do, and it’s too loud for anyone to tell who’s singing near them anyhow).

    And an offering will be taken.

    The sermon will sound oddly plaintive, but with a fair measure of vigorous certainty, delivered by a fellow much younger than me, with retro glasses, a soul patch, and hipster jeans. His latest book will be for sale out in the lobby, in paperback, read by him (in an oddly plaintive tone of voice) on CD, or you can download it to your e-reader from the church’s wifi hot spot, paying through your certified giver ID number.

    Enjoy your NYT crossword puzzle on Sunday mornings while you can, because someday soon, we’re gonna get you. And give you some visitor gifts in a bag as you leave, which includes a DVD of the worship team and a bookmark with a lamb or a seaside sunrise on it. This is how we roll nowadays.

    (Seriously, I want to live long enough to watch all of these churches fight with their next generation which will come up with something else entirely, and then will fight like Hades with the previous generation over whether or not we’ll keep the drum set in the chancel, or how often we should sing the good old Michael W. Smith numbers. The prospect pleases me already, distant though it yet is.)

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  19. Jolene said on May 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Sendak designed the sets and costumes for Seattle’s Nutcracker, which I saw several years ago. Have been finding interviews and profiles of him popping up all over. This short piece in The New Yorker has links to three previous New Yorker pieces at the bottom.

    “[N]atural heritage of pellagra and incest” is definitely one of your best phrases, Cooz.

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  20. Prospero said on May 9, 2012 at 10:43 am

    cooze @12: I sort of hope this triggers an exodus of professionals from the state so we can get back to Carolina’s natural heritage of pellagra and incest.

    And what about the Southren grand dame of avocational addictions, pica? Little old Daughters of the Confederacy ladies eating kaolin. And of course pellagra affected white southerners because they refused to treat corn with lime, as the pellagra-free mesoamerican aborigines did, because that was for anti-colonial savages. Better to contract a horrible niacin-deficiency disease that leaves people looking like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

    Colbert’s Maurice Sendak interview. Ineffably affable, in a curmudgeonly way.

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  21. Sue said on May 9, 2012 at 10:44 am

    “an exodus of professionals from the state”
    Cooz, that’s what I was thinking last night when I was watching the various returns – isn’t N.C. a hub for a few important national/international businesses, and wouldn’t a ruling like this (I keep hearing that it’s not just anti-gay but would wreak havoc on non-married hetero couples as well) make anyone at that level think twice about working in or relocating to the state?
    And re Nancy’s final skirmish comment, maybe someday we’ll see something like this in the U.S. I still think there is a long way to go.

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  22. Deborah said on May 9, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Jeff (tmmo) sounds like hell to me. Especially this part “a vaguely mall-like cavernous glory barn off a major interstate exit”. Scary.

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  23. Laura Lippman said on May 9, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Unlike Jonah Goldberg, who nominated himself twice for the Pulitzer Prize, then put in his author bio that he was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, I would not be so immodest as to claim the Rumpelstilskin for myself. But I will say that I LOVED doing weather stories, considered it a wonderful challenge. And when I was a young reporter, I was given the assignment to find out what was in motel lost & founds at the end of the summer, which I spun into a decent story about the fact that there was nothing interesting and now, thirty years later, have managed to turn into a very dark short story for next year’s MWA anthology, for which I think I will garner about a tenth of a cent per word, but that’s still some powerful recycling.

    But I failed the best Rumplestilskin of all time, writing up a piece on the ground-breaking ceremonies for the new public bathrooms in a Waco park. “No big deal,” the city editor wrote helpfully in the note. “Just write up a little poop on the ceremony.”

    Oh, yes, that’s what he wrote.

    (It occurred to me that I will be paid more for the short story than I was for a week’s work in Waco, but that’s before adjusting for inflation.)

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  24. basset said on May 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I remember a reference, forget where though, to some part of the Deep South as the “pellagra and hookworm belt.”

    the Google pulls up someone named Elmer Lindstrom in relation to that. Wasn’t him.

    “Cavernous glory barn” is exactly right, we got ’em all around Nashville.

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  25. Prospero said on May 9, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Might not be so quick to complain about the St. Patrick’s day assignment. You could be on the John Travolta masseur story. Breaking “news”.

    As a believer in God, I have to believe God finds “praise music” offensive. Watered-down Creed.

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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Full disclosure, I was riffing on this video in my mind, which a friend just helpfully sent me a link to, and I’m delighted to share:


    Fuller disclosure, this is one of the places I most frequently fill-in for the pastor:


    They would suffer scourging and a crown of thorns rather than sing “Friends” in their sanctuary! (Watered-down Creed . . . that’s a good one. I do have a soft spot for Third Day, though, which probably represents that trend as well as any CCM band.)

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  27. Prospero said on May 9, 2012 at 11:30 am

    This is for Dexter:

    http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21274189 (creative way around infield fly rule)

    and this one:


    Jeff, we’re fans of Pastor Melissa Scott at our house, the Whiteboard Wizard, at our house. Lady Sings the Blues. Andie McDowell’s holy separated at birth twin. And she knows Greek and Aramaic and Sumerian and God knows what other dead languages. Plus she looks great in that cassock. With the Farrah Fawcett curls. The anti-Tammy Fae. And the hipster preacher in that video even says “With arms wide open.”

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  28. coozledad said on May 9, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Sue: There are a few hubs where people from other regions of the country are sequestered to do work that doesn’t involve driving a pickup truck back and forth all day looking for “that goddamn pipe wrench”. These people are equipped with reading skills and teeth, and vote straight Democratic ticket, and a Christian hate group decided it would work with the Republicans to water down their influence, one way or another.
    Where the priest’s cock meets the altarboy’s mouth rubber meets the road, it’s always ultimately about the distribution of power, cloaked in Leviticus.

    EDIT: If you look at the breakdown by county, the jeebus swamps went overwhelmingly with the hate vote, so they’ll be picking up the tab for the unmarried olds trying to pool their social security. Good enough. That ought to cut into the take from the offering plates.

    Durham and Orange, as usual, tried to drag us into the age of the mobile phone and printing, and failed.

    On a happier note, fake Democrat and Republican prepuce-swabber Jim Crawford had his loathesome ass handed to him by the freshly liberal “Winkie” Wilkins by roughly eighty percent.
    Goodbye Jimmy!

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  29. adrianne said on May 9, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I had forgotten all about Ron’s gem of a frog story! But I can’t forget (shudder!) The Parade of a Thousand Goombas every year at the Three Rivers Festival in Fort Wayne. Shriners on tiny bikes…

    I have to award a Rumpy to my former colleagues in Syracuse, N.Y., tasked every year with a way to spin fresh gold out of the dross of the New York State Fair. God love them, they were up to the challenge. The best was when a reporter named Fred Pierce found that one of the “attractions” along the Midway was a “giant South American rat!” depicted with slavering claws and fangs. Then he found some 4-H kid hugging a similar rat – known as a capybera – under one of the farm tents.

    The Midway carnies never forgave the Post-Standard for that piece of reporting!

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  30. Jeff Borden said on May 9, 2012 at 11:42 am

    In addition to the bad news in North Carolina and Indiana, the GOP bastards in the Senate yesterday blocked the bill that would have prevented student loan rates from doubling in July. Why? To fund the measure, Democrats sought to raise the contributions to Medicare and Social Security of very high income earners.

    Once again, the right shows its loyalties. And it’s only going to get worse.

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  31. LAMary said on May 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I think I can recite Where the Wild Things Are. I read it so many times to the two boys who are now big galoots. I liked In the Night Kitchen too, and the Nutshell Library books are gems. Chicken Soup with Rice was a favorite.

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  32. Rana said on May 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I have to admit I’m finding it difficult to work up much agita about Lugar getting booted. My experience of him was that, yeah, he was polite, but he disagreed with me on everything and was a putz about it. Write a letter to him about an issue, and he’d disagree in a vague way, and then take that as an excuse to grandstand about some other thing he was doing (with which I also disagreed). Mike Pence, as much as I loathe the asshole, would at least respond directly to the substance of my complaints, and not waffle around pretending like he might someday, maybe, when pigs fly, agree.

    (I will add, finally living in a place where my representatives not only agree with me on my issues, but are out front legislating on behalf of them, is such a blessing.)

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  33. Jakash said on May 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I’m a pretty cynical bastard, which is probably one of the reasons I appreciate much of the commentary around these parts, but even as such I was touched by that swell opening this morning about your daughter and the raaring, and the gone but always with you, NN. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was weepy, like Julie, but it was a swell change of pace from the usual doom, gloom and nonsense of the interwebs.

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  34. Sherri said on May 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    As a born and raised Southerner, Pros, I must take exception to one thing: we did eventually tip to the benefits of alkaline-treated corn, hence hominy grits. The rest of it, I will not defend, and I got out of the South as soon as I was able. Now I live in a state where the legislature passed same sex marriage, and hopefully we’ll be able to vote down the inevitable referendum challenge.

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  35. Dorothy said on May 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Women get weepy over the most mundane things, Jakash. She probably felt a little verklempt (spelling?!?!?!) over the reference to Kate’s wee baby fingers. I’m prone to get weepy over that stuff, too! Maybe just sentimental – not necessarily weepy every time. Hells bells, a good Hallmark card commercial has made me cry! And you’re right – this place is a nice change of pace from much of the stuff that billows around on the Web.

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  36. Prospero said on May 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Touche’, Sherri. But they had to go through pellagra scaliness to become enlightened to what aboriginals knew. Greatest grits bit:


    President Obama read Wild Things at the Easter eggroll this year, complete with raars, claws and monster faces. GOPers criticized him all over the interwebs, presumably for holding the book rightside up:


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  37. jcburns said on May 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    The cattle all have brucellosis. We’ll get through somehow.

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  38. coozledad said on May 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Damn. I just found out what Laura’s reference to Goldberg was about. That boy always has manufactured his own reality.
    This picture never ceases to remind me of my favorite Python quote: “Ce n’est pas Clodagh Rogers. C’est Trotsky!”


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  39. Prospero said on May 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    The Me-attitudes of GOP Je$us:

    Blessed are the rich, the reign of this world is ours. The rich rule the world, and the rest suffer and die, often in misery. Do not let this be you my brothers! Easier to use your riches to genetically engineer very small camels that can fit through the needle’s eye…

    Blessed are the violent and the invincible, the proud and the powerful, the domineering and oppressive. We can have it all! And let our status of power be the proof that we are deserving of the fruits of the labor of the middle class and poor…

    Blessed are those who show no mercy. No mercy to the poor, to women and children, the elderly and the homeless, victims, outcasts, enemies, refugees, the hungry, the undocumented, the unborn, those on death row, those who are different, those we don’t like. And of course, those who happen to be in the way of what we want…

    Blessed are the warmakers. Yea I say unto you, if we were not making war, we could not be said to be making much. That is what China is for! Lo, the Lord looked at China and said “Let it be the worlds factory floor,” and it was good.

    The irony of Lugar’s downfall Is that Lugar is quintessentially an American Conservative and the GOPer aholes that hounded him with torches and pitchforks are village idiot Teabangers with no connection whatever to core American Conservatism. These asseyes wouldn’t support Raygun or Goldwater, and they’d have nothing to do with elitists like Wm. Buckley. They have no belief in anything but greed, selfishness, and some twisted version of nattering nabob nihilist nativism, sold to them for their birthrights by rich and cynical overlords like Dick Armey and the Koch Konspiracy. They probably dislike Norman Podhoretz for being a pointy-headed intellectual. (Gag!!!)

    Jonah Goldberg inherited the dominant delusional gene from his momma.

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  40. Dexter said on May 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Barging in with a this sort-of-commercial for Five Guys which I have never had but I needs me some Five Guys NOW.

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  41. beb said on May 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Americablog is reporting that Dick Luger was the target of Wall Street bankers because he had voted for a bill that would limit how much banks could charge retailers for credit and debit charges. Odd that we didn’t hear anything about this during the primary but I can believe it.

    Babies of all species are fascinating because they have suck itty bitty hands and feet. But I think mothers are even more fascinated with their babies because they know if came from their bodies. And it’s always amazing how quickly they grow from a tiny ting small enough to come out of a womb to a surly teen-ager every bit as large as their mother. I remember reading to our daughter. Mostly Dr. Seuss, some Good-Night Moon and a little bit of Dr. Dolittle. I’m always amazed about the Dolittle books because even though they are children’s stories, the author never stopped using big words or long sentences.

    And Jeff (TMMO) any time you want to come and get me, go ahead. Detroit needs the tourism. [G}

    I did a lifetime of church going so I think I’m allowed a break.

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  42. DellaDash said on May 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Hah, LL@23, you get the Rumpy-Razzie award.

    It doesn’t really bother me that my Chinese roommate considers herself to be much more serious/high-minded than I…because she watches CNN exclusively while my tastes run the gamut, often lingering at the low-brow end of media-tainment, (currently with ‘Sons of Anarchy’ while waiting for ‘Treme to lose the very long wait on Netflix; even though it’s only the buzz from watching a full-hog press eating California road at least once an episode, Katy Segal kicking butt and going deep with her Hamlet’s mother shtick, and a growing horrified fascination with how I’m supposed to believe that hang-dog, p-whipped, fuck-up Clay, as portrayed by Ron Perlman, is the respected big Kahuna of a hardcore motorcycle gang…that keeps me on board through too many improbable plot twists and character arcs, too much shallow dialogue, and way too many times I have to slit my eyes against gory, gratuitous violence).

    In the interest of all-American fairness, I make sure that she (roommate) gets equal plasma screen-time, although I can’t help but think that her communist tiger-bred opinion of me and America as ‘one big lousy baby’ can only be reinforced by the endless jabbarwocky of idiotic filler questions posed by overly made-up Anderson Cooper, sleazy Piers Morgan, et al. However, if I’m in the room when James Carville’s ET visage shows up, I’ll remove my earphones to hear what that wiley fox of a pol has to say. In regard to the Lugar loss, he’s sayin that Dems better not stay too complacent…better get on it…now!…or we just might find ourselves getting a surprise whuppin.

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  43. Dave said on May 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Dorothy at 11 and Nancy, too. We pointed out yesterday that our son had lived in Virginia now for four years and the poll worker said, “Yes, I know, our son has lived in Texas for fifteen years and he’s still on the registry”.

    She offered no information in how to take him off, didn’t have any idea it was such an involved task.

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  44. Jolene said on May 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Our president has just told Robin Roberts of ABC that he thinks gay men and women should be able to get married, according to the people of MSNBC. Presumably, a fuller statement to follow on tonight’s news.

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  45. Dexter said on May 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Headlining Yahoo!News page now, Jolene….

    I MUST have read some of Sendak’s books to my three kids at some point, but I didn’t recognize the name at all yesterday when the news filtered out. Rarely does someone surface in the news like that and I have never heard of them. Just odd for me, I guess.

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  46. Prospero said on May 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    More solid climate change evidence for knee-jerk deniers to deny. Had the NOAA produced these data when W was pretzeldent, the report would have been suppressed and NOAA would have had its budget cut, after some political hack loyal Bushie entirely out of his element, like Heckuvajob Brownie, rewrote the report to obscure the facts. Happened frequently.

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  47. JWfromNJ said on May 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    @Dexter – As much as I wanted to like Five Guys I just don’t feel the love. My big gripes are – the burgers are all cooked on a griddle until well done, but never get a sear so it’s like grey meat. I’m a fan of the smash and sear style if I’m having fast food. I get it that they have to be cooked to temperature. But it reminds me of a thicker and more expensive Whopper.

    Second gripe – and my biggest gripe is the quirky insistence on wrapping the burgers in aluminum foil, so the bun ends up soggy and the lettuce begins to wilt. I might be OK with gripe #1 if not for gripe #2. What they do excel at is the fries, which are natural and cut in the store, with a sign that indicates what farm and where the spuds come from each day.

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  48. ROGirl said on May 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I loved the Nutshell Library more than his other books, probably because of the size. I never owned them, but bought a set for myself about 10 years ago.

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  49. Judybusy said on May 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I am truly crying right now after reading this from President Obama. To have the President state that my relationship of 13 years seen is valid, valued and deserving of protection under the law is deeply moving.

    “I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”

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  50. Deborah said on May 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Judybusy lot of people in my office are celebrating right now. I think it’s absolutely fabulous, and about time.

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  51. Sue said on May 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I’m a little bit nervous about the qualifiers Obama seemed to put in his comment, about it being his personal view and his belief that states should decide (paraphrasing, obviously), but happy nonetheless.
    And I am utterly baffled by the response of the Log Cabin Republicans.

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  52. Heather said on May 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Yay Obama for gay marriage! Now if only my boyfriend would stop making disparaging comments about marriage in general.

    In completely unrelated news, the Sun-Times is buying the Chicago Reader for the bargain-basement price of $3 million: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120509/NEWS06/120509736/sun-times-parent-to-buy-chicago-reader-for-3-million

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  53. Judybusy said on May 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    My brand-new boss is gay. As supportive as my former straight boss was (and straight co-workers), I must say it was extra cool to talk about it with him.

    Sue, what are the LCRs saying?

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  54. Bob (not Greene) said on May 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Sue, that Log Cabin republican response is straight-up hilarious. We agree with the president but he’s still wrong. That’s the GOP! They use the “timing” as a criticism. I can’t see the timing being any timlier. Here you’ve got a state voting to deny rights to citizens, and the president is using his bully pulpit — that’s what it’s there for, you dumbasses — to say the right thing at the right time. If you ask me, it’s well past time for this.

    And for them to say it’s too late because it couldn’t have helped in N.C.? I’d really like to know what the hell they did to fight against it. Like Obama is going to say this before the primary and it’s magically going to change some cracker’s view on the gays? And the Dick Cheney bullshit? Where was the great defender of gay marriage Dick Cheney in NC before the vote. I’m sure he was in a bunch of ads in support of gay marriage there.

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  55. Sue said on May 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    ” That the president has chosen today, when LGBT Americans are mourning the passage of Amendment One, to finally speak up for marriage equality is offensive and callous. Log Cabin Republicans appreciate that President Obama has finally come in line with leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney on this issue, but LGBT Americans are right to be angry that this calculated announcement comes too late to be of any use to the people of North Carolina, or any of the other states that have addressed this issue on his watch. This administration has manipulated LGBT families for political gain as much as anybody, and after his campaign’s ridiculous contortions to deny support for marriage equality this week he does not deserve praise for an announcement that comes a day late and a dollar short.”

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  56. Bitter Scribe said on May 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    So…because Obama didn’t come out for gay marriage sooner, the Log Cabin Republicans want people to vote for Romney. Romney, who treats gay marriage, and gay people in general, as radioactive.

    Those people are the most pathetic self-loathers I’ve ever seen.

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  57. alex said on May 9, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    The Log Cabin Republicans are just being Republican. Even when the Prez does right their tits are in a knot about it.

    I’m glad Obama has completed his evolution. I understand his reticence, though. There are a lot of black voters who find homosexuality objectionable in the extreme even if they’re liberals otherwise. On the other hand, this may be just the boost the left’s “base” needs in order to get energized again.

    Heather, that’s interesting news about the Reader. I think the Reader sold for $4 million when the guys who started it on their kitchen table in 1972 decided to retire, and that was quite some time ago. There was also talk back then about the Sun-Times or Trib possibly buying the Reader instead of launching their own simulacra, the RedEye and whatever that other failed rag was called. Are those pieces of shit even still around?

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  58. Heather said on May 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Alex, actually the original owners sold it (along with the Washington City Paper) to Creative Loafing for $30 mil. CL went into bankruptcy and now the hedge fund that lent the money is trying to unload it.

    The Trib’s RedEye is still around and is apparently very successful, sigh. The Reader is no longer what it was. It was really the only local outlet for a certain type of story. I suppose this means we’ll see more celebrity gossip and charticles about dating.

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  59. MichaelG said on May 9, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Way to go, Barry O!

    I’ve never heard of these five guys burgers but I can tell you that the best fast food burger is In and Out. And they also fresh cut fries daily in each store.

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  60. Deborah said on May 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    That Log Cabin response is the most twisted piece of “logic” I have ever read. As Bitter Scribe says “because Obama didn’t come out for gay marriage sooner, the Log Cabin Republicans want people to vote for Romney. Romney, who treats gay marriage, and gay people in general, as radioactive.”

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  61. alex said on May 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    $30 mil? How did I manage to mis-remember that? Pat Arden, who was managing editor, was one of my best friends at the time and I remember the whole sha-bang. True, the Reader is not the excellent read that it once was. The internet has largely supplanted papers for things like movie and arts listings and classified ads, but the reader’s focus on literary journalism seemed to change as well. I remember some of the old guard—Pat among them—trying to keep the paper true to its roots, but they all eventually got sent packing. I remember their frustration with the younger generation of employees just not “getting” what the Reader was supposed to be about. (And being shitty writers and editors too.)

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  62. beb said on May 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    For grins and giggles… hal-hearted endorsements from Rick Santorum

    Vidal Sasson has died. I thought he just sold hair care products but according to the oleaginous mouth of Brian Williams he styled hair as well. I did not know that.

    Sadly, it’s one thing to say that gay men and women should have the right to get married. It’s another to actually fight to get Congress to pay the enabling legislation.

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  63. Jolene said on May 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Wow, that LCR statement is a real piece of work. I’m fascinated by the psychology that would allow you to criticize Obama for coming late to the cause, while supporting Romney who is explicitly opposed.

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  64. Joe Kobiela said on May 9, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    In 2004 he was for gay marriage. In 2008 he was against it now he is for it again? Nothing like playing both ways. And before you flame me, I happen to be for gay marriage.
    Pilot Joe
    chilling with the mouse!

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  65. coozledad said on May 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Unlike Mitt Romney’s coreligionists, who believe marriage is between a man and five to ten younger women, whom he might ritually slaughter if the voices in his head tell him they’re spiking his Ovaltine with sperm-curdler.

    So that’s what Rush is working with, Joe? Unimaginative, at best. He’s really lost it since they made him kick the oxy.

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  66. Joe Kobiela said on May 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Ain’t got a clue what rush thinks. Been at disnyworld all day. Just read the story in the Chicago tribune.
    Pilot Joe

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  67. Judybusy said on May 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Joe, I don’t think Obama ever explicitly said he’s for marriage equality. Did I miss it? That’s what we gays were all irritated about. Also, when marriage equality becomes a reality, we are going to have big party and you are invited. We can cook whatever and the craft beer thing is exploding here in the Twin Cities! My lovely wife is the queen of desserts, too. Which reminds me, I have homemade coconut ice cream in the freezer. Oh, the lesbian lifestyle, it is so nice.

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  68. alex said on May 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Maybe Obama’s secret strategy is a battle of the bases: The Earth-Shoers versus the Flat-Earthers.

    If he’s going to be accused of being a flaming liberal anyway, then he might as well actually do something liberal.

    Just you wait, Joe. Next thing you know he’ll be coming out in favor of saving the whales.

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  69. basset said on May 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Five Guys is about as good a fast-food burger as you’re going to find, emphasis on fast-food; we have one currently under construction three miles from the house and due to open the 19th, not that Mrs. B. is keeping track or anything.

    Best burgers in Nashville are here and here, though… Joe, they’re both about equidistant from BNA and JWN, MQY is a bit further:


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  70. Prospero said on May 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    It’s very difficult for me to believe Joe Kobiela, our Pilot Joe, doesn;t believe in people’s rights to freely express themselves. We’ve got a serious problem here on this plane. One of our feral cats, long fed and supported by our neighbors, bolted into our condo and does not want to leave. A beautiful kitten and incredibly affectionate. We can’t put her out. She’s sleeping with us, and S. will not have her put out. Neither will I. I’ve had great cats before, though I way prefer dogs, but this vixen is worming her way in. I think we call her Esmerelda after the Steve Earle song. It’s been a really long time since I committed to a pet.

    It’s difficult to understand how an American can inveigh against somebody’s lifelong companion being with him or her when she is dying, That is so mean-spirited and so anti-human it’s difficult to comprehend. It sure as shit ain’t Christian.

    This cat is awesome. Why do these folks claim to be Christian?

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  71. Joe Kobiela said on May 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    All I’m saying is he was for it then against it then for it. Sounds like a typical politician. I think both Obama and Romney will say or due whatever it takes to get elected . I don’t think either one cares about Alex Cooz me Nancy or anyone else on this board. Lets face it who the hell in their right mind would want the job?
    Pilot Joe

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  72. Prospero said on May 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    The anti-Obama is so virulently racist its astounding.

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  73. Jolene said on May 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Joe is right, though his dates are off. On a candidate questionnaire completed during a race for the state Senate in 1996′ Obama supported same-sex marriage, though he later (and spinelessly) said that the form had been filled out by a staff member without his knowledge. In his campaigns for the Senate and the presidency, he said that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage.

    The question now, it seems to me, is what he’s prepared to do about it. With 30 states having added amendments to their constitutions prohibiting SS marriage, it’s going to be a heavy lift to make it legal nationally– unless the Supreme Court finds denying the right to marry a person of the same sex unconstitutional.

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  74. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” offers some interesting reflections on variations of marriage, where the core pre-supposition on Luna is what’s best for the children produced by the relationships involved. The main characters are involved in a “line marriage” which is a rolling form of polygamy that in principle outlives any one party to the marriage. Other forms are described, or alluded to. And RAH plausibly presents the core family in the line marriage as active members of a conservative evangelical church (one of the husbands is the preacher).

    When a brief sequence requires the protagonists to visit a recognizable Earth, there’s a plot twist that involves these far future (well, 2076) folks getting caught up in politically stirred up hostility towards the interracial line marriage. Anyhow, I keep thinking of the conversations between Mannie & Wyoh about marriage as I read and listen to the debate going on today.

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  75. brian stouder said on May 9, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    It is late and I must go to bed, but first,

    1. Julie – you’re exactly right. I was very happy about the lop-sided (2:1) success of the FWCS ballot initiative for capital improvements to the schools. In the run-up to the election, we noted many “YES for FWCS” banners on businesses all over town (we had a small one in our front yard, too – which managed not to get stolen this time), which was re-assuring. But it was also unsettling to see the East Allen County school initiative go down in flames by an equally decisive margin. I don’t know what they’re going to do next, but that is a major blow against public education in northern Indiana.

    2. President Obama’s statement about the basic rights of Americans who happen to be gay struck me as the invocation of precisely the sort of hope and change I was voting for in 2008. And indeed, if you read history you cannot help but hear all sorts of odd echoes in today’s somewhat wobbly presidential progress toward What’s Right. North Carolina puts civil rights onto a ballot, and – whaddaya know – the majority kicks the minority, and calls it “democracy” (contrary to what the governor of New Jersey thinks, subjecting civil rights to a popular vote ain’t a very good long-term plan, as Rachel Maddow reminded us this evening)

    Consider: When Lincoln was running for the senate against Stephen Douglas in 1858, and they had their series of debates, Lincoln said something against slavery (which was the key issue at that time) that I was reminded of today:

    I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. [Cheers and laughter.] My understanding is that I can just let her alone. I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never have had a black woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite possible for us to get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes.

    See, if you were against slavery at that time, then you would be accused of wanting to promote “amalgamation” of the races – which was a way to rile up people who had never owned slaves and never would own slaves, and make them anti-abolition and even anti-black, and (effectively) PRO-slavery. (and indeed, as Mary Chestnut – and anyone else with eyes – could tell you, the slave owners themselevs did plenty of ‘amalgamation’ activities of their own, but we digress)

    And now today, if a politician favors legally enabling two women or two men to have a marriage as legally and socially ‘real’ as a man and a woman can have, then that politician will be accused of MAKING WAR ON MARRIAGE, and being “anti-family” and basically godless!!

    Let me say that I put my Obama-Biden sticker on the back window of my car three weeks ago, and it has drawn a few reactions. This afternoon at work, a fellow bellowed across the office “Hey Stouder – whaddaya think of Obama NOW?” I played dumb (a part I was born to play!) and asked what he meant, whereupon he recounted how the president had come out for gay marriage. I asked him why I should care at all – why we couldn’t let people live their lives, and enjoy the same social and legal protections that others take for granted.

    And then, he asked me something that stopped me cold. He said “What about public displays of affection?” Huh? What? I found myself scrambling to try and figure out what he was saying – and then it hit me that he was reducing the whole question to who kisses who “in public”? I joked that married couples almost never do that…and then the (entirely stupid) conversation ended.

    3. I’m with Nancy – “watching some more Rachel” is always a good idea!

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  76. Jolene said on May 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Brian, Fox did, briefly, go w/ the ‘war on marriage” theme, but others were a bit more clever in their reactions.

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  77. brian stouder said on May 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Jolene, that is a very cool “when Obama endorsed” website!

    G’night, all

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  78. Dexter said on May 10, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Poor Vidal Sassoon, the dumbest , most ignorant man I ever saw on TV. I know…he wasn’t an American, being born in England, and he was a real-life soldier for his cause , that being antisemitism, but one day he went on an American quiz show and the poor guy didn’t know anything, even simple questions. I guess that was his agent’s fault. Sassoon spent time in an orphanage and eventually he became famous as a revolutionary hair stylist, and showing he wasn’t stupid after all, sold his name and soul for a fortune. He then spent the rest of his life changing fashion. He didn’t know who the US president was but he was a genius in his own field.

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