A couple dozen miles down the road.

Michigan’s whack driver-education system does seem to have some good aspects. We’ve embarked on a six-month period called the “level 1 license,” which means Kate can only drive with one of us in the car with her. It’s going to take at least that long before I’m satisfied she’s ready. Although I had my first experience with her yesterday, and so far? So good. Clutches are difficult.

We started in a parking lot, then transitioned to some straight neighborhood streets in Detroit, followed Mack all the way to the Eastern Market, skated through downtown’s fringe, lapped Belle Isle and came home on Jefferson through a driving thunderstorm. Hit one curb, stalled about 50 times, but got through it intact. The next time will go better. Experience is all.

Now would be the time to trade for an automatic, but some part of me simply refuses. I’m a stick-shift girl, and I want my progeny to be, too. #pointlessvanities

Otherwise, it was a pleasant Father’s Day weekend. I bought a beautiful fish at the market, so pretty I thought it would speak to me from its bed of ice. Yellow-tail snapper, come to mama. It was more of a challenge than I would have liked — should have had the guy clean it all the way, rather than just de-gutting it — but it tasted nice, especially with a citrus beurre blanc and some rice and peas on the side. Must put more fish in the ol’ diet, and if they’re this good, it’ll be a pleasure.

And if my life is as boring as this, why am I bothering keeping this stupid blog?

Probably so we can all discuss the news of the day, like the First Lady’s links to a white family in the south, via the peculiar institution. Very interesting story, shedding light on the shared ancestors of two families of different races, in a way that suggests the real antebellum south, not the “Gone With the Wind” variety:

(The slave) Melvinia was a teenager, perhaps around 15, when she gave birth to her biracial son. Charles was about 20.

Such forbidden liaisons across the racial divide inevitably bring to mind the story of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings. Mrs. Obama’s ancestors, however, lived in a world far removed from the elegance of Jefferson’s Monticello, his 5,000-acre mountain estate with 200 slaves. They were much more typical of the ordinary people who became entangled in America’s entrenched system of servitude.

In Clayton County, Ga., where the Shields family lived, only about a third of the heads of household owned human property, and masters typically labored alongside their slaves. Charles was a man of modest means — he would ultimately become a teacher — whose parents were only a generation or so removed from illiteracy.

Melvinia was not a privileged house slave like Sally. She was illiterate and no stranger to laboring in the fields. She had more biracial children after the Civil War, giving some of the white Shieldses hope that her relationship with Charles was consensual.

What a crazy country.

Or we could talk about Obama’s immigration move last week, which I think was brilliant, but you may disagree.

Or we could talk about Rodney King, dead at 47, after what sounds like a not-very-happy life.

Or we could just acknowledge: With Monday, another week begins. Hope yours is great.

Posted at 1:17 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

84 responses to “A couple dozen miles down the road.”

  1. Dexter said on June 18, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Sunday at around five in the afternoon, my brother called me from Chicago, the Kennedy Expressway, inching out towards the exurbs not too far from the Wisconsin line, when he asks me about the giant bus he had just slowly passed. It was this thing
    and he asked me if Romney might be inside there or if he flew the big legs of his campaign jaunts.
    Well, I had just seen Romney on Face the Nation, and he is on a tour of Pennsylvania, Ohio (he was heckled in Newark, Ohio), Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, so sure, that was his bus, and I bet he was on it, too.

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  2. Deborah said on June 18, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Little Bird had a really hard time with a clutch, I eventually got her driving lessons through Sears and she got her license finally on an automatic and never drove a lick after that. Her neurological condition makes her have issues with driving so it’s just as well. This is the week she moves to Santa Fe, lots to do. I’ll be there all next week helping her get unpacked and settled in. This will be quite an adjustment for everyone.

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  3. coozledad said on June 18, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Dexter: Roms only showers in the bus. After a tough day among the sans culottes he can be found kicking back in an old Massachusetts highway patrol car, creaking with enough animal skin accessories to qualify for an International Mr. Leather competition.

    If you saw this nearby, it was probably Trooper Scissorhands.

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  4. Brandon said on June 18, 2012 at 5:12 am

    “Or we could talk about Obama’s immigration move last week, which I think was brilliant”


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  5. nancy said on June 18, 2012 at 6:04 am

    This suns it up well, particularly the update.

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  6. coozledad said on June 18, 2012 at 6:22 am

    And also because in signing that executive order, Obama forced Mitt Romney to reboot on his immigration position, his veep selection, and who the fuck Romney was even trying to even be this week. Business experience, my ass.
    Romney’s only experience is “finding a group of guys, dressing alike, and following them around & stuff”*.

    The Chinese and Russians would give their right nut for a Romney internship.


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  7. alex said on June 18, 2012 at 7:58 am

    If the last four years have taught Obama anything, being a centrist does zilch for him except make the right paint him as Josef Stalin anyway, so he might as well actually do some things that liberals can applaud. The gay folks are happy campers again. Now the Hispanics. I’m sure he’ll be bearing gifts for all of his natural constituencies before this is over.

    The predicted fallout in the black community over his support for gay marriage never materialized. I’m really not all that surprised. For one, partisans can be forgiving of their own candidates for lots of things. Bristol Palin’s love child didn’t make Sarah Palin a pariah with the right, you’ll recall; instead the right came to her defense. And though it’s true that black people are by and large very religious, I’ve always been struck by how much less judgmental they are of those who fall short of the ideal than their white evangelical counterparts, who live to crucify others.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on June 18, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Yesterday’s JG had an article about a young man whose family came here without papers when he was 9. Now 27, he cannot hold a driver’s license, get a social security card, qualify for college scholarships, or have his name on the mortgage of the house he and his girlfriend are buying. When his father moved back to Mexico and became terminally ill, he couldn’t visit because he didn’t have a Mexican ID. http://www.jg.net/article/20120617/FEAT/306179929/0/SEARCH

    When I read stories like this, I always wonder about my own family, most of whom came over from the old country only four generations back. Were they all legal? It seems unlikely. As Obama said, this is the right thing to do.

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  9. beb said on June 18, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Driving a stick. Since I’d been helping out on the farm since I was twelve using a clutch has been second nature for me. In fact. When I took driver’s ed some 45 years ago the teacher at our rural school asked if anyone had ever driven a tractor. I raised my hand and became the first kid behind the wheel.

    Our daughter has had a hard time learning to drive because of anxiety issues and the fact that she has no interest in going anywhere. She’s old enough to get her regular license, just as soon as she masters parallel parking. But you know, there’s just no place left where cars park parallel. It seems pointless to require a mastery of a technique one will never use in real life.

    Among other topics today we could talk about the Obama Presidential Library

    But then what can you say about something like that but “wow!”

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Romney wasn’t heckled in Newark, OH. There was a group of OSU students who came over that enjoyed a stretch of rhythmic chanting of things like “we are the 99 percent” and “Mitt go home” during the quieter portions of the program, like the invocation, my son leading the Pledge of Allegiance, or whenever there was a transition from one speaker to another. When Mitt began speaking, they shifted to a “Bleep you, Mitt” at which point (I learned later) the Newark police stepped in briskly and informed them they were all going to get arrested if they bellowed that word again . . . at which point, to everyone’s surprise, they all shrugged and vanished en masse (there were maybe twenty of them, tops) and left the entire Romney speech itself un-adorned. The chief of police said to me “If they’d gone back to their other chants, we would have just stood there and let them; that seemed stupid.”

    They did have four of their initial dozen in black capes and vulture masks, but they got hot and took them off pretty quickly. Plus it made it hard to chant. As I said last night at thread’s end there, Romney didn’t have much to say, and said it well.

    The immigration move was adroit by the President, and is appropriate, but I think there’s downside when NPR immediately runs three stories in a row following the announcement, talking to young adults affected who were uniformly “Yes, this is great for me, BUT…” and then went on to talk about their parents or other friends who aren’t covered by this, and how it’s not enough, and than anyone who wants to come here should be able to.

    I spent Saturday night at a largely Spanish language ordination service, and my friend Illuminado is Puerto Rican, as is much (but not all) of his congregation. They aren’t happy, and they see this as political pandering which is unfair to THEIR fellow Puerto Ricans who are working through channels to find a place and work in this country.

    Overreach is a bipartisan problem in election cycles. Obama’s plan is fine (as is the DREAM Act, contra Romney’s attempt to thread that needle), but if the left just shrugs and moves on to push for more legalization & amnesty, it’s not just Utah Mormons that are going to vote against the party seen as effectively lobbying for no restrictions.

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Oh, buses — I believe they have two. He probably wasn’t on it when your friend saw it, Dexter, but they family travels on it through the day, then flies to the next hub. Romney had a bus in New Hampshire, flew to Cleveland, met the bus there and did yesterday (three stops), and then is flying to the next stop which is where the bus he saw in Chicago is meeting him. So the answer, I guess, is that it’s a little of both. There’s a bedroom in the back, but that’s usually either Ann or one of the daughter-in-laws and some of the grandkids, then there’s a sitting area that quickly adapts into a video studio, and a clutch of permanent seats. The Sleeve Talkers don’t let you take pictures inside, but it’s a small hotel conference room with enough leather to make Coozledad happy.

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  12. brian stouder said on June 18, 2012 at 9:25 am

    my friend Illuminado is Puerto Rican, as is much (but not all) of his congregation. They aren’t happy, and they see this as political pandering which is unfair to THEIR fellow Puerto Ricans who are working through channels to find a place and work in this country.

    except that Illuminado and his fellow Puerto Ricans already have full US citizenship, so he doesn’t have a dog in this fight – except to the extent that Rush “catch/release/vote” Limbaugh does

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  13. Joe K said on June 18, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Just a quick question, what has Obama Actually done for gay people? I know he said he believes in gay marriage, and that’s fine with me, I actually agree with him, but did he or is he actually going to do anything about it? Last I saw he said it was up to the states.
    I also ate breakfast at mimmies Sat morning after running, good pancake and bacon.
    Pilot Joe

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  14. coozledad said on June 18, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Short of employing fake policemen in your security detail it’s always better to hire a fake reporter to heckle a candidate, or to circle a rally with your campaign bus, blowing the horn.
    At least one toad is up on his haunches, fighting Obama’s overreach. Take THAT, six year old girl!

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  15. Fritinancy said on June 18, 2012 at 9:40 am

    @beb: “No place left where they park parallel”? Have they paved your paradise and put in a parking lot? I, on the other hand, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where learning to parallel-park on the left side of a one-way street on a 15-degree hill is a rite of passage. Parking lots? Dream on.

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  16. brian stouder said on June 18, 2012 at 9:43 am

    what has Obama Actually done for gay people?

    You know, scrapping institutional shame and secrecy amongst people who want to serve in their nation’s military certainly qualifies as something the president has done.

    Scrapping DADT was a biggie, I’d say. (And those Republicans who sat on their asses and jeered the gay US Marine who asked a question via satellite at one of that party’s presidential debates would agree, I’m betting)

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  17. alex said on June 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Well, Joe, what Obama has done for gay people is hardly enough, but it’s more than any other president or presidential candidate has ever done and can make all the difference in whether gay people want to thank him or punish him this fall. There are many who resent their vote being taken for granted.

    The fact is that he has proven it is safe for a politician to stake out this ground without alienating his other constituents. Even conservatives are beginning to realize that gay bashing is becoming a liability rather than being helpful. So if what Obama has done helps change the national dialogue then I’m all for it.

    Glad you got a chance to Check out Mimi’s. Their lunches and dinners are excellent too (they change menus for each). Last I heard, though, they’re not so sure they want to go non-smoking because they’re developing a loyal clientele that still likes to smoke and there are fewer places to do that. In July when the new state law kicks in, a lot of other places in town with family rooms are going to be smoke-free. Even though Mimi’s allows smoking, they also have one of the biggest smoke-eater machines I’ve ever seen and the place is not your typical hazy bar.

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  18. Dave B. said on June 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

    My Natalie learned to drive with a stick shift about ten years ago. She picked it up pretty quickly. One hidden advantage is that the other kids won’t ask to drive her car.

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on June 18, 2012 at 10:13 am

    So the Republicans want to deport people who were brought to the U.S. as children, but can’t figure out how to do it without looking mean? Poor Republicans.

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  20. Jolene said on June 18, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Re Obama on gay rights: He ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in cases brought against the government, arguing that it is unconstitutional. He has also extended some federal benefits normally available only to spouses to the same-sex partners of federal workers.

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  21. Icarus said on June 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I’m still not clear why they still make manual transmissions for anything other than race cars? Do not advances in technology make automatics just as fuel efficient as their manual counterparts of old? And while Dave B’s point that no one can borrow natalie’s car, they also cannot really use it in an emergency, like rushing her to the hospital if she is unable to drive. Isn’t it time to deprecate manual transmissions?

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  22. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2012 at 10:44 am

    While I also have been a little disappointed in Obama’s relative timidity regarding gay rights, there is simply no question that any Republican would be far, far worse.

    The old white men behind the conservative movement are going long, folks. The billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the 8th richest man in America, is buying the GOP wholesale. The Koch brothers are purchasing state governments lock, stock and barrel. Big conservative money is 15 times larger than big liberal money.

    And why? Because the core of the conservative movement is going away. Not fast enough for me, sadly, but it is going away. Conservatives are pretty much on the wrong side of everything: economics, gay rights, immigration, education. The white majority in America vanishes forever in the next 20 to 30 years and the old white men are crapping their drawers with fear and anxiety. So they are buying the country right here, right now and putting in place laws and puppets who will defend their interests against the rising tide of a new kind of population they not only will not embrace but actively loathe.

    The bastards may get away with it, too.

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  23. adrianne said on June 18, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I was fascinated with the NYT story on Michelle Obama’s roots, in particular her white cousins in Georgia and elsewhere. Life is complicated, and so is just about any American’s geneaology.

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  24. Mark P said on June 18, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I heard a radio interview with Rodney King from a short while ago. It sounded like maybe he was getting his life a little more together.

    Icarus, there are still some applications for manual transmissions, although I agree that their days are and probably should be numbered. Regarding having someone drive a car in an emergency, that happened with my brother more than 45 years ago, when he drove a Triumph TR-3 with a non-synchro first gear. He got a little overheated when running a track meet, and a panicked student tried to drive his car, ruining first gear in the process. He probably could drive a manual but didn’t have a clue about those old-fashioned transmissions without full synchro. It turned out OK, though, because we ended up with a TR-4 replacement transmission, and that was fully synchronized.

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  25. Bitter Scribe said on June 18, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Whenever I go to Europe, I hardly ever see anything but manual transmissions. Then again, I haven’t been over there for a long time, so maybe that’s changed.

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  26. Deborah said on June 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Icarus, stick shifts are going to be eliminated eventually and I think automatics are still not as fuel efficient as sticks. Although I’m sure they will continue to get better and better. I will miss sticks when they finally are impossible to find. We’re buying a Jeep this fall which will stay in New Mexico, it will be a stick, they say this will be one of the last years you will still be able to get them on a new one.

    I just went through a nightmare with Comcast trying to set up installation for the place in Santa Fe. Grrrrrrr. Took me over an hour on the phone to get to the person who could tell me what I needed to know and get it all set up for TV, internet and phone. This is going to drive me crazy.

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  27. nancy said on June 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I don’t think it’s the trannies that are getting better, but all-around automotive engineering. There are high-performance engines that automatically shut down one or two cylinders at highway speeds to save fuel, for instance. It’s quite remarkable. (Of course, noted conservative souse P.J. O’Rourke complained of this a while back, implying such improvements pussified the great American automobile.)

    Here’s the thing with us: I’m not going to buy a new car until the old one gives out. With two sticks in the driveway, she either learns to operate one or puts off driving until she can buy her own auto. Given the choice, I’m sure she’ll settle for learning. What I like about them, vis-a-vis teenagers? You can’t text and drive a stick at the same time.

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  28. Hank Stuever said on June 18, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Stick-shift mastery is important. I learned to drive on a manual transmission and still can, smoothly, when called upon to do so. Every dang season on “The Amazing Race,” when the teams get to Europe, some team has a meltdown because one or both of the partners can’t drive a stick. And they act like the biggest babies about it.

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  29. mark said on June 18, 2012 at 11:45 am

    “You can’t text and drive a stick at the same time.” You truly underestimate the addiction/stupidity.


    The current rage is to text while driving a picture of you texting while driving, while passenger texts a pic of you photographing texting while driving. Oncoming traffic must appear in photo to “prove” the while driving part.

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  30. Connie said on June 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

    My new Chevy Cruze has a manual option, but no clutch. So why? I was a newlywed who learned to drive a stick in the parking lot of a budget rent-a-car.

    Meant to say no clutch. Corrected.

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  31. basset said on June 18, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Some of the automatics on the market now, coupled with improved engine controls, actually get better mileage than sticks. More gears, and the computer tells them when to shift. Who would have believed twenty years ago that Corvettes would get 30 mpg?

    That said, though, I still like a stick, particularly off-road.


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  32. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Actually, automatic transmissions have either caught up to manuals or are damned close in the fuel efficiency realm. My 1999 Acura has a four-speed automatic, for example, the but 2012 manual has six speeds.

    I’ve always preferred a manual transmission in lightly powered cars like my Honda Accords because I felt it gave me more control to keep the revs high when getting onto a freeway, etc. The Acura has a powerful V-6, so I’ve not felt that sense of helplessness as the automatic transmission labored through its paces in an underpowered vehicle.

    I long for a stick shift again even though it would be an incredible pain in the ass for most of the driving I do in and around Chicago.

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  33. Connie said on June 18, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Can’t post the edited version. Meant to say no clutch.

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  34. nancy said on June 18, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Next on the horizon: The disappearing spare tire.

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  35. Prospero said on June 18, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Such forbidden liaisons across the racial divide inevitably bring to mind the story of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings.

    Always makes me think of Ol’ Strom.

    Overreach is a bipartisan problem in election cycles. Obama’s plan is fine (as is the DREAM Act, contra Romney’s attempt to thread that needle), but if the left just shrugs and moves on to push for more legalization & amnesty, it’s not just Utah Mormons that are going to vote against the party seen as effectively lobbying for no restrictions.

    Jeff (tmmo) that is an uncharacteristically intemperate comment. There is no legaliation nor amnesty involved. There is common decency and innate human dignity, two things I generally associate with your observations. Congress refused (the GOPer side, anyway) to act on a human rights situation in the home of the free, so the President did what everybody allegedly on his side claims he doesn’t do. i.e. Lead. This is a bigtime human rights issue, and the GOPers want to go down a regressive road. Like that ahole Guckert wannabe claiming Obama is importing Hispanics to take American jobs. Has the asshole ever considered the unmitigated facts of grotesque job loss over W’s last two years of falling off his bike in Crawford? No, cause them Meskins was needed out on the range.

    I’d say automatic transmissions cause more deaths in the US every year than pot does. They surely cause more texting while driving, though that is probably more attributable to abject stupidity. But automatics mean, by definition, paying less attention to driving.

    And we woke up ineluctably refreshed at our house this morning, finally knowing who the bastard was that killed Rosie. Not a wildly satisfying perp,
    I mean guy was a little bit of a Little Hitler, but not really enough. But rampant criticism of the show was hilarious when one considers the amount of the people’s airtime squandered on Mrs. Jenner and Ice’s wife.

    A brutal public beating with police batons (and the beaters going unpunished) is a terrible way to become famous. Had he waited a decade or so, Rodney King could have lived in a house with Janice Dickinson and Gary Busey on TV. And nobody thought it was questionable that the beatdown cops were tried in Simi Valley, where that Kardashian manque Fred Goldman won his civil suit against OJ with no more actual evidence than was presented in the criminal trial.

    The bastards may get away with it, too.

    To which I say (quoting Det. Holder): Sayonara Hiawatha.

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  36. Jakash said on June 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Jeff (tmmo),
    “They aren’t happy, and they see this as political pandering…” Well, then, voting for Romney would be quite the principled choice for them. The only pandering on immigration likely to be seen from him will come in the form of deportation notices.

    “no place left where cars park parallel” By all means, come to Chicago. PLENTY of parallel parking practice. Just be sure to bring a credit card and a Club steering-wheel lock and don’t leave ANYTHING visible inside your car…

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  37. alex said on June 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I used to be able to roll doobs while driving a stick, so I’m sure anyone even half as agile can text while driving one. The plus side of driving a stick is that you’re much more connected to the vehicle and aware of your speed. People with automatics often get lulled into a sense that they’re not going as fast as they really are and that’s when such distractions are the most dangerous.

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  38. Bitter Scribe said on June 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Prospero, Fred Goldman is not a “Kardashian manque,” whatever that means. He is the father of a murder victim. A victim who was denied justice in part because of the machinations of a lawyer named Kardashian. A little respect, please.

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  39. Scout said on June 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    It’s a point of pride that both of our vehicles are stick. I too learned on it and taught both my daughters on stick. They drive automatics now, but they still know how to drive my car. I think it’s becoming a lost skill and I enjoy having it.

    Speaking as a lesbian to the what-has-Obama-done-for-gays conversation, I truly believe Obama has my back. He might not be able to enact new laws on his own, but he understands what the right thing regarding DOMA is, and he’s doing it in the way that he can, vis-a-vis the bully pulpit. And then there’s DADT which is but a bad memory now. Change is coming and to have it so well articulated by the POTUS is huge in our community.

    I live among a high population of Hispanics and the people I know feel the same way about what Obama did regarding the DREAM act. It’s about taking a principled stand for the right thing to do; he can’t really go wrong doing that because the people who will howl about it were never in a million years his constituency anyway.

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  40. Sherri said on June 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I miss not having a stick, but neither of our cars (2004 Acura MDX, 2010 Prius) were even available in manual. Our daughter has not learned to drive a stick. She wasn’t even that eager to learn to drive; I made her take driver’s ed and get her license. She does drive herself to her various activities now, but doesn’t jump at the chance to drive.

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  41. Prospero said on June 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of parallel parking.

    And, actual fact, Obama did not sign an executive order on not deporting anybody. That is typically obtuse GOPer, teabanger and Fox ignorance, that has apparently infected more rational people. An executive order would be published in the FR and subject to months of review and public comment. Instead, Napolitano issued Departmental orders to exercise prosecutorial discretion in about 800,000 cases of DREAMers that could have faced deportation. This whole thing is a simple matter of human decency, proving: the rightwing has none, in the end; Mittens is a deer in the headlights and doan know shit about how anything works, except downsizing, piling on debt, and raping pension funds; and some people will do anything to get rid of the oppressive stupid uppity darkie mastermind.

    Actual executive orders this year:


    The only pandering on immigration likely to be seen from him will come in the form of deportation notices. Well, and paying his landscapers.

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  42. coozledad said on June 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    So that’s why Republicans work so hard at making America suck. Patriotism!

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  43. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I have always objected to kids being punished for the sins of their parents and that’s what our immigration laws do by equating the illegal aliens who came into the U.S. as small children of adults with those who dash across the Rio Grande every day. Sending them back to a country they are not familiar with and have no recollection of is hardly fair or worthy of a country our right-wing friends like to claim has been “the greatest force for good in the history of the world” or whatever.

    It’s the right thing to do. I wish Obama had gone bigger, though. This addresses a small percentage of our immigrant population.

    I don’t claim any great insight into the Hispanic population, which is just as diverse and varied as any other, but given the over-the-top rhetoric of the right-wingers and the demonization of immigrants for political purposes, I fail to see how the addition of, say, Marco Rubio to the Romney ticket would induce large numbers of them to vote Republican. I’d make the same argument if Romney tapped Condoleeza Rice or that nutball Alan West. It would not make much of a dent, if any, in Obama’s standing among black voters.

    Anyone see Willard the Windsock with Bob Schieffer yesterday? Schieffer asked Romney about his views on Obama’s actions four or five times, but Mittens never really answered. God help us if this empty, soulless bag of zero wins the White House.

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  44. Julie Robinson said on June 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Wow–kids who don’t want to drive? Do you live in urban areas with good public transportation? Around here (and even more where I grew up) no license means no independence.

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  45. coozledad said on June 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    When he’s not tucking into a five gallon bucket of tiramisu, public infantilist Blake Farenthold is probably concealing undocumented laborers under his wattles. They feed ’em right good down there in Texas, don’t they?

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  46. Prospero said on June 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Peter King has a fascinating story about an ex-HS-phenom football player that spent 10 years away for a rape he didn’t commit:


    Borden: It’s about common decency, human rights and human dignity. Simple as that. Three concepts that entirely escape America’s right wing while supposedly essential to the idea of America. But non-Teabanger GOPers are too entrenched in the obsession with getting rid of Sherrif Bart, President Brown-skinned Other to consider listening to their consciences or practicing their otherwise loudly touted religions.

    Honest to God, if Mittens win, self-deportation will be extremely attractive.

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  47. beb said on June 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Jeff Borden: I’m not surprised that Romney didn’t want to give an opinion about Pres. Obama’s new policy re immigrant deportations. Because, it doesn’t matter what policy you ask about, he doesn’t want to elaborate. Ask him how his economic policy differs from Obama’s and he says stuff about removing jobs-killing regulations. Ask him to name a jobs-killing regulation and he changes the subject. He wants people to vote for him on the basis of his time at Bain Capital, but doesn’t people to look into his time at Bain. He’s like Nixon, who claimed to have a secret plan to end the Viet Nam war, and after getting elected just doubled down on the failed policies he ran against.

    When I said there was no place to practice parallel parking I was exaggerating, since there is still plenty of parallel parking in downtown Detroit. The thing is that if you go to a mall, or a restaurant, or ball game, they all have parking lots with pull-in stalls. I honestly can’t remember the last time I parallel parked. But then I have short term memory loss.

    On the manual v auto trans question – I used to drive a Geo Metro with a three cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. It was a sweet car. It accelerated really nice. Not a high top speed but getting there was quick and fun. Today I’m driving a four cylinder Aveo sedan with an auto trans. It terms of acceleration its a bit of a dog.

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  48. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm


    You could push that asshole’s face into dough and make ugly cookies. He must frighten dogs and small children.


    Amen. Mittens will be even more of a hardcore wingnut than W., who sloughed off Uncle Dick Cheney’s desire to fight with Iran. Mittens says he’ll have the authority as president to prosecute a war in Iran without any Congressional approval, which is probably correct.

    I know a nuclear Iran is nothing I want to see, but Jesus H. Christ, we faced down the Soviet Union, which had hundreds, if not thousands, of real warheads on real ICBMs pointed at us for several decades and never had to fight. We know bitter rivals like India and Pakistan have nukes as does Israel, of course, yet Mittens claims we could not “survive” a nuclear Iran?

    Would someone please tell me exactly when the United States of America, the alleged home of the brave, turned into a terrified toddler over the ambitions of one nation in the Middle East? Did Osama bin Laden really damage our psyche that much???

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  49. Jolene said on June 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    From The Atlantic, some dramatic photos of the fires in Colorado. Last I heard, nearly 200 homes had been destroyed. I wonder whether people who live in these remote, fire-prone areas have to pay a higher than average rate for homeowner’s insurance.

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  50. Prospero said on June 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Before the US gets all het up over Iran building nukes, something ought to be done about the Israeli nuke arsenal in the Negev desert. If it was fine for Pakistan to build nukes because India had them, why are so many AIPAC bought and sold pols so concerned with Iran. And Anyway, Iran’s current BFFs are the Shia running Iraq that were freed from Saddam’s tyranny by the illegal PNAC invasion. Don’t they owe the US? I’m sure that’s what Dickless Cheney thinks.

    All of the GOPer idolaters of Raygun currently beating on Obama should consider who started the amnesty business:


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  51. Sherri said on June 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Julie @44, I wish I lived in an urban area with good public transportation! We live in a suburban area with mediocre public transportation, but close enough to schools that my daughter can walk to high school faster than she could drive. Getting a license is also a much more involved process than it was when I was a teen, and all I had to do was pass a written test and drive around the block. I don’t know what it’s like in other states, but here in Washington, you have to take an approved driver’s ed program, have a learner’s permit for 6 months, then for the first 6 months of your license, you can not have any other teenage passengers in your car unless they’re members of your family. The second 6 months, you can’t have more than 3 teenage passengers. There’s a curfew for the first year of your license. (All this is unless you turn 18 first.)

    Driver’s Ed is generally not offered in the high schools around here, and the one we used cost around $600. The written test for the license is given during the program, but getting the license still involved three separate trips (with the accompanying waits) to the DOL, with one of the trips being a 30 minute drive away because that was the nearest one that had openings for scheduling the actual driving test.

    All that so we could then double the cost of the insurance on our oldest car, even with her doing the insurance company’s Safe Driver program and getting the Good Student discount (and not being a boy.)

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  52. JWfromNJ said on June 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    The only downside to her learning on a manual transmission is the inevitable attempt to clutch the brake when she transitions to or samples an automatic. That can be very unnerving if she attempts to do so from 5th to 4th. Ouch.

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  53. JWfromNJ said on June 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    The only downside to her learning on a manual transmission is the inevitable attempt to clutch the brake when she transitions to or samples an automatic. That can be very unnerving if she attempts to do so from 5th to 4th. Ouch.

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  54. Bob (not Greene) said on June 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    The Montana GOP really did it up proud over the weekend. http://bit.ly/LuQxZL

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  55. brian stouder said on June 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Bob, that is genuinely off-putting. I viewed that from Beb’s link near the top of the thread, and pondered the local party-chair’s mealy-mouthed response to it.

    On one hand, I understand his impulse not to make it a bigger deal than it was; but on the other, his off-handed dismissal of it is also an abdication of his leadership role within that party.

    He could have at least referred to the thing as grossly inappropriate, yes?

    What would the guy have said if a couple of “Occupy” folks showed up with an equally crude Romney thing, maybe with some ‘jokes’ about polygamy and whether or not Mormonism is a “real religion”?

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  56. Mark P said on June 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I like manual transmissions probably about as much as the next guy, but they are essentially obsolete today. No one bemoans the lack of a manual spark advance lever on the steering wheel, do they? Or manual chokes? I don’t think it will be that long before people look at a car with a manual transmission and wonder how those people from the dim and dusty past ever managed to drive them.

    Also, there are hybrid transmissions today. Our VW has a manual transmission with automated clutches. It is functionally the same as an automatic but it has the efficiency advantage of a constant direct connection with no slush.

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  57. Prospero said on June 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    This crap about “executive order” is all over the media, and it’s bugging the piss out of me. This is all about the GOP and the Obama-demented claiming that the President has usurped congressional power, and it’s nonsense. But it’s in NYT, WaPo all the lamestream liberal suspects. What was actually done by the administration was far cleverer. How do professional political writers not know that executive orders take months of advertising in the FR, public hearings and several months generally to take effect. They aren’t edicts, nor governing by fiat. What has happened is that Obama and that other evil elitist Janet Nappolitano agreed that she would issue a memo directing prosecutors in her Department to use their discretion and human decency when considering the case of the so-called DREAM immigrants. GOPers should be happy, less government intrusion into bidnesses that employ the undocumented. Hell, Raygun did it 20 years ago.


    And nobody should get a driver’s license without being made to sit through “Death on the Highway” or the Leon Spinks story by Richard Pryor:


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  58. LAMary said on June 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I know one thing Obama didn’t do that benefits gays. He didn’t have one resign from his staff because some religious right clown radio guy demanded it.
    I am accepting an oversimplified view of politics these days and just going with the following:
    The right wants to get rid of Obama because he’s black.
    The right is afraid of gays.
    The right thinks everything paid for by the government is bad except things that directly benefit them.

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  59. brian stouder said on June 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    The dog that didn’t bark:


    The lead:

    False alarm. The Supreme Court on Monday withheld its much-anticipated ruling on the Affordable Care Act, delaying a pivotal moment for the American health care system and the presidential election. The court is expected to announce a decision by the end of the month, and news outlets across the country were on stand-by Monday morning, believing the health care ruling might be among those handed down at 10 a.m. It was not, so the drill will repeat itself Thursday, the next day Supreme Court decisions will be be released.

    Frankly, the silence from the right about “judicial activism” is absolutely deafening

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  60. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Prospero @ #35, I was making a distinction, I think a valid one, between Obama, and “the left” which is made in two separate clauses and a comma between them. I’m not and didn’t say Obama was pushing for legalization, but pointing to NPR as one expression, and have heard them again today, by way of airing almost entirely folks saying “yes but” about the executive action (which, by the way, I didn’t complain about either; as Nancy’s already said, it neatly tied up Romney in his own tortured series of statements). Again, I think if voices from the left keep responding to all of Obama’s acts as “yes but he must do more” increments, you just feed a perception that’s going to hurt gaining the middle. And yes, Puerto Ricans are citizens, but they are Hispanic if not Latino voters (depending on who’s parsing the identity politics) who are leery of expanding legal immigration and want illegal immigration reduced more than most.

    Romney’s vulnerable, in my opinion, to some bounceback on this whole “American Dream” idea, which I’d love to have a conversation about as to our need for an American Dream 2.0. Our vision of “the good life” or “our kids having a better life than their parents” can’t be more meat on the table, more stuff in the storage locker, or MORE in general. So if it isn’t more square feet in our homes, more degrees on every wall, and more channels on our cable or dish, then what is it we want more of for our kids?

    Boringly & predictably, I’d like my son to have more peace in the world, more security in dealing with illness and aging, and more opportunity to pursue dreams whose attainment can bring joy to himself and others in equal measure. That’s the “more” I should want for him and his peers, and neither party has convinced me they think about those felicities much, if at all. There’s the classic trade-off of freedom for security that is often set up as the distinction between the right and the left, but I’d like to see someone, as Emily Dickinson suggested, try to “tell it slant” and cross-cut against the grain. Europe is in the middle of proving that national single-payer *alone* can’t bring health care security, and the idea that high-stakes testing and free college for those who make it through the hoops isn’t going to add to equality, but might just cement income inequality even more deeply into the landscape.

    When you meet your third mom in two weeks who chose boyfriends over keeping and caring for their daughters/sons, and resents being asked to participate in helping their teen deal with their “mysterious” anger and acting-out behaviors, you get really skeptical of the individual ability to choose the good for themselves. When a 35 year old woman complains about a 16 year old daughter “she doesn’t get me, she doesn’t respect my needs,” I can be talked into a Huxley-esque social system without much effort, where security of children is paramount. Then I go to a meeting of a roomful of social service and mental health professionals and listen to most of the agenda get compressed so we can discuss the unfairness of having to work until 57 before they can retire on 3/4 pension, and I’m ready to get all laissez-faire on the electorate.

    Maybe tomorrow will make more sense. It’s Tuesday, after all.

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  61. beb said on June 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Don’t you love it when petty tyranny spins out of control

    Not only are a lot of GOPers going to hear the word Vagina a lot but the author of the play is coming in to help perform it!

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  62. Joe K said on June 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I think the difference between the soviets and Iran is the Russians understood the ramifications of a nuculear exchange. The crazy’s in Iran don’t. They hates us would love to kill us,always have and always will.
    Pilot Joe

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  63. nancy said on June 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    May I just say this, though? “The Vagina Monologues” is a piss-poor excuse for thea-tuh, and I’m pretty damn tired of people acting like it isn’t. I’ve never seen it performed, but I read the text, and all I could think was, “another of those just-add-celebrities excuses for an evening out.” Seriously. You round up a few female suspects, dress ’em in red (or have them wear a red dress from their own closet), hand them a three-ring binder with their part, and light the podium from below.

    “Love Letters” was another one like this.

    You want theater, go out and find someone who can write a damn play. Even Mitch Albom did more cobbling together some leaky memories of Ernie Harwell.

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    You did NOT just compare Eve Ensler to Mitch.

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  65. nancy said on June 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    In the sense that they’re both bad playwrights, yes. Yes, I did.

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  66. coozledad said on June 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I am accepting an oversimplified view of politics these days and just going with the following:
    The right is evil and stupid, and believes we are similarly evil and stupid.
    The right lies with impunity, and when you point it out they continue to lie shamelessly. Shame is not part of their moral vocabulary, because shame is a symptom of the examined life, and the examined life produces fewer bullet sponges and wage slaves.
    History is a fairy tale, an accounting of the savage wrongs perpetrated upon the white male by ingrates whom he’s lifted from the very dust of democratically elected government to the heights of being ruled in the name of whichever authoritarian miscreant the oil industry picks out of a hat.
    Their vision of history has a remarkably similar ring to the one hammered unconscionably into southern kids to this day, and no doubt similar to the one taught to Bosnian Serb children, or Sudeten Germans. It’s all ressentiment. All.The. Time.

    It corrupts the interplay of the organic systems which taken together define conscience, and leads to a life of unmitigable error. It’s a fucking shame is what it is.

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  67. Linda said on June 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I’d like my son to have more peace in the world, more security in dealing with illness and aging, and more opportunity to pursue dreams whose attainment can bring joy to himself and others in equal measure. That’s the “more” I should want for him and his peers, and neither party has convinced me they think about those felicities much …Europe is in the middle of proving that national single-payer *alone* can’t bring health care security,

    Huh? This is a string of non-sequitors in search of “both parties do it.” Obama seriously tried to bring medical security, while *not* involving a single payer system. Europe has many different countries with more medical security than the U.S.–some with single payer plans and some (like Switzerland) without. The single payer plan did not create the financial havoc in Europe. Some of the nations that have it (like Sweden) are not having a terrible financial crisis.

    The financial crisis in Europe is caused by a bunch of things, including a bunch of countries tied together by a single currency, without being tied together by a single government that has the power to manipulate that currency. Its crisis is not an opportunity to say “I told you so” about their willingness to be humane towards their own people.

    Obama has shown a seriousness and willingness to try to create more medical security, and did the best he could with political opposition that loves power more than it loves our country. He has done it while spending a lot of political capital, too. There is no way you can say the equivalent about the Republican Party.

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  68. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm


    The assumption that the Iranians will gladly go kamikaze is central to the buildup of our war with them, but it is as flawed and dishonest as the arguments for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

    Persia is an ancient culture. You don’t get ancient by walking into a propeller blade, right? They may certainly have crazies –probably roughly the proportion of American rightwingers who just can’t wait to start the apocalypse– but this is not a society hellbent on the certain suicide any attack on Israel or the U.S. would guarantee.

    And no, they do not hate us and want to kill us…at least the populace doesn’t. While most of the Middle East celebrated the horrors of 9/11, more than 100,000 Iranians marched in a candlelight parade to honor the dead. Every foreign correspondent who travels through Iran is struck by how many Iranians speak of their affection and respect for America. And there is a sizable, well-educated middle-class.

    W. loved to say we were attacked because “they hate us for our freedoms.” Horseshit. Bin Laden wrote a manifesto that laid out the entire causus belli for the attacks and not one effing word mentioned our freedoms. Instead, it was all about “crusader nations” with troops on lands holy to Islam. . .the unquestioning and unwavering support of Israel by the west. . .the Palestinian question, etc.

    We’re going to go down the same damned road under Willard the Windsock we did under the last conservative president, but this time, brother, the stakes are a shitload higher. Iran ain’t Iraq. No doubt some of the loony Christians around here are thrilled about the possibility of another Middle Eastern war as another step toward the End Times they so want to see in their lifetimes, but any sentient being should realize we will reap the whirlwind if we start mucking around with Iran.

    This isn’t talked about enough because Mittens focuses on the economy in his speeches, but this latest right-wing chickenhawk –who spent the years he might’ve served in ‘Nam bicycling around Provence trying to convert people to Mormonism– is actually to the right of the wee man from Crawford.

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  69. coozledad said on June 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    This is a string of non-sequitors in search of “both parties do it.”
    Brilliant, and elegant.

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  70. Joe K said on June 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Sorry Jeff,
    The crazy’s are in charge in Iran. While the main populace may feel the way you do the leaders don’t. Look how they treat there own population. Not trying to be a war monger, just don’t want to be unprepared. I do think the Israel air force will take out the nukes for us,with our help and like it or not the prez will be on board with it whether he admits it or not. It’s a balance in the mid-east, and the weight of Israel weighs heavy on our intrest.
    Pilot Joe

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  71. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm


    I stated that there are lunatics over there, just as there are in our country, but I don’t think they even come close to the levels of crazy that North Korea embraces and we never seem to get very upset about them. Let’s also remember that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad answers to the mullahs. His hold on power is utterly dependent on them and they may tolerate his bullshit –the same kind of bully talk Saddam Hussein used– but they aren’t going to let him initiate a war with Israel.

    There was, of course, a powerful balance to Iran so long as Iraq was led by Saddam, but a certain fool with daddy issues made sure that balance was forever shattered. And let us also not forget that from the Iranian point of view –hell, any of the Arab nations in the Middle East– there already is a significant imbalance in power because the Israelis have the nukes and they do not.

    Every tinpot shithead despot watched what happened to Saddam and learned a lesson: You need a big stick to keep a big nation from crushing you. . .another unintended consequence of our fuckup in Iraq. Thanks George, Dick, Don, Colin, Condi and your enablers in a castrated media. Job well done!

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  72. brian stouder said on June 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I liked Nancy’s link way at the top of the comment thread, about the president’s new DREAM initiative, not least of which because it lead me to this link –


    which I had not seen before today.

    Joe, I don’t like the Iranian government, but you have to take into account that the United States installed and supported a horrible crazy with a more-horrible internal security apparatus for – what? – 30 years? 40?

    The Shah was just the secular equivalent of the ayatollahs and mullahs, and we (the US) earned lots and lots of distrust from the Iranian nation.

    If one thinks it over, it must be granted that Iran is unsurprisingly hostile toward us. Imagine how we would feel about some major power from the other side of the earth – let’s say China – conducting a major ground war against a nation right next to us; say, against Mexico.

    The very LEAST we’d do is send things over the border (armaments and so on) to whoever was resisting that power’s incursion.

    Iran watched us roll in and smash Iraq, and they played that situation to their best advantage. Not really “crazy” at all; and in fact more rational (given that they could not ignore us flattening their neighbor) then US foreign policy was, at that time.

    Just sayin’…

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  73. MarkH said on June 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Jolene @49, yes, they do pay more. Fire insurance premiums are set based on three main factors: How far away from the nearest fire department is the subject property; what level of equipment/manpower is available at the fire department; what is the environment of the subject property’s location, ie, is it near open fields, or is it within a heavily forested area. Insurance companies are now into preemptive action these days, and will visit their clients with recommendations for clearing trees, brush, tall grasses, creating wide swaths around the homes they insure. Your claims history also enters the picture in assessing risk, of course. So says my friendly insurance agent here, where we watch such things closely.

    The northern Colorado fires are a more serious threat than normal, as huge swaths of forest there and in southern Wyoming suffered white bark pine beetle kill. The deaths of huge numbers of these trees over the past 10-15 years has set these forests to be more far combustible fuel just waiting for the right conditions for a blaze to take off. The cause? Climate change. Sustained hard freezes of at least two weeks or more during more normal winters kill off great numbers of the beetle. It hasn’t happened so much lately so they are thriving until entomologists can develop a way to reign them in. I suspect this may have been an issue in the New Mexico fires as well.

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  74. Joe K said on June 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Sorry we disagree, I’m just not comfortable taking that chance. I just feel the first time we let our guard down, were going to get hurt. Also remember there are just as many left wing nuts as right.
    Pilot Joe

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  75. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Jeff Goldberg (The Atlantic’s Goldberg, not the National Review one) had a good post up recently that made the case with great clarity & efficiency that there is no scenario that involves bombing Iran, whether by us or Israel, which leads to a better outcome. None. Bombs won’t fix a thing in this situation, and they’ll barely slow the parade. So I’d like to hear (yes, from both sides) more non-bombing proposals. Every plan I’ve heard is either bomb-related, or bombing-deferred in nature.

    Making fun of my inept phrasing in a blog comment about idealism aside, my point wasn’t my cogent proposal (which I said I didn’t have), but that I’d really like to hear more from *anyone* about how we can take this national obsession with “the American Dream,” as currently defined as “my children will be better of than my generation,” and move it to a sustainable, workable vision. That’s not a veiled attempt to slam Obama, in fact it’s a sideswipe at Romney, whose speech on the stump is mainly anchored to that concept and that he can help achieve it, and the Current Occupant can’t or won’t. I don’t think either candidate can or should promise me that my son will have a bigger house, more stuff, and more steak on the table than his dad, but let’s take that image of “the American Dream” and re-work it.

    That’s not so Albom, is it?

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  76. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I forget how easy the internet makes these things, sometimes:


    Who wants to argue with a former head of Mossad? I’m thinkin’ he’d know.

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  77. Sherri said on June 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    What I hope for my daughter is that she have enough. Shelter, food, healthcare, community, education, care in her old age – enough of a safety net so that she and everybody else can get on with living, rather than solely focused on making a buck.

    Enough, not more. And yes, I’m willing to have less so that everybody else have enough. I want to pay higher taxes for that American Dream.

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  78. alex said on June 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Joe, I very much doubt Iran is going to do anything besides continue puffing up its chest. As for Israel, it has acted unilaterally before and taken care of itself without any help from the U.S. The people who are arguing for U.S. engagement are probably trying to prolong the gravy train feeding Haliburton and other profiteers.

    In other news, the teabagger who picked off Dick Lugar in the primary is talking crazy and it’s getting attention from national news outlets while being entirely ignored by the local press.

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  79. Linda said on June 18, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Your right about the vision part. Nobody is sure how to create a vision that is not about stuff. The Republican Party seems obsessed with stuff, but most particularly for their clients, and the Democratic Party is deciding if they stand for anything besides keeping themselves in office, and if so, what. Obama’s big mistake in the first part of his administration was thinking that we could reconcile these visions: Democrats to stay in office, and Republicans to gorge on all the power and cash they could get.

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  80. beb said on June 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    When it comes to crazy, I think North Korea has Iran beat seven ways from Sunday. They have or claim to have a Bomb but while they’ve done a lot of saber rattling they haven’t crossed any lines in the sand. I suspect Iran will be the same way. Bombing Israel would unleash the whirlwind of US retaliation and we have more bombs than they have significant targets. Likewise any direct attack on the US would be suicidal. There is a reason why Al Qida is a non-government terrorist group. Any government sponsoring terrorism has to consider the consequences.

    If we canleave with a nuclear N.Korea we can live with a nuclear Iran. As so non-bombing solution, it sounds like the enhanced boycott the US and Europe is condicting against Iran is having an effect. I can wait for it to have effect.

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  81. brian stouder said on June 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Alex, that was a fascinating link, not least for a video link to Mordick’s take on Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech, which he applies to “53% of the people carrying the tax load, while 47% pay nothing”! To him, that’s a “House Divided” right there!

    What a complete idiot that guy is. That 47% of wage earners pays FICA tax; and if they buy anything other than groceries, then they’re paying sales tax; and I’ll wager here and now, a larger proportion of the money that that group of wage earners – people too poor to pay income tax – earns goes to tax of one sort or another (but chiefly sales taxes), than people who earn enough money to pay income tax.

    That’s the disgusting thing about the Republican party these days; the party I was once proud to support. They look at the folks who are fortunate enough to earn a nice income and they try and incite them to despise and distrust those who are scraping by. Any Hoosier Republican who so badly mangles Lincoln’s “House Divided” concept ought to be run out of the party….or even laughed-out.

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  82. Jolene said on June 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Brian, sounds like you have the basis of a good anti-Mourdock letter to the editor. Note, though, that he does acknowledge that people who don’t pay income taxes do pay FICA taxes. Honestly, it makes me ill to think this guy is likely to end up in the Senate.

    On a more hopeful note, here is an ad from a Senate candidate, currently tied with her GOP opponent, who, while not fully supporting the ACA, nevertheless argues that it should not be repealed.

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  83. Crazycatlady said on June 18, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    The cool thing about learning to drive a stick shift is that you can drive any car and even big u-haul moving trucks yourself. Driving trucks is fun. Kind of reminds me of the stupid criminal who stole a car but didn’t know how to drive a stick. Stupid idiot!

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  84. alex said on June 18, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Say what you will about Eve Ensler, Nance, but nothing could be finer than to hear the word vagina up in Lansing…

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