This story starts with two people:

Charles Pugh, Detroit city council president;
Laura Berman, Detroit News columnist;

There are more players, but let’s introduce them as the story plays out. Pugh is a former television “journalist,” in the sense that he was most recently part of the local Fox affiliate’s fun ‘n’ smiley weekend morning news team. As I’ve mentioned here before, he once worked at WKJG in Fort Wayne.

So the city has been going through a protracted financial crisis, a serious, national news-making one, with lawsuits and deadlines and in the middle of this, Pugh takes the opportunity to release a 48-minute video on YouTube called “Charles Pugh’s 60-Pound Weight Loss Secrets.” Because he did lose 60 pounds over the course of the last year, and boy is he proud of it.

Berman wrote a column for the News that, while taking care to congratulate Pugh on his accomplishment, because that’s sort of the modern equivalent of freeing a nation from an oppressive dictator, gently chided him for maybe not keeping his eye on the ball:

Green tea and spinach for lunch are terrific. And so is Pugh’s single-minded passion for improvement. If only he would channel that same missionary spirit to saving the city he’s been elected to help lead.

You ask me, it was a very gentle chiding. Maybe super-gentle. It attracted an admirer in the person of Josh Sidorowicz, who happens to be an intern — an intern! — at Automotive News this summer. He tweeted that admiration, adding, “Too bad @Charles_Pugh has been such a disappointment for the city of Detroit so far.”


Evidently Pugh’s weight loss has left less padding over his sensitivity nerve, because he immediately started a tweet-fight with Sidorowicz (an intern!) defending his priorities and calling Sidorowicz “offensive and inaccurate.”

The kid didn’t back down, so Pugh became a tweetin’ machine, a string hilariously captured in this Jalopnik post, until, perhaps emboldened by getting a Free Press reporter fired earlier this year, he took it to a higher authority:

@joshsidorowicz Josh, do you think the folks at Automotive News would be interested in your inaccurate, offensive commentary? Just curious?

What a cheap little bully. So this is what it’s come to: City still falling apart, but if you want to get the city council president hot under the collar, remark that maybe his abs aren’t all that important. See what happens.

Pugh has already said he’s one-and-done and won’t be re-upping with the city council, so I’m thinking he’s laying groundwork to host his own weight-loss infomercial show.

So, bloggage:

Owe $4 million from your doomed-from-the-start presidential campaign? Sounds like you need a little bit of Tuscany!

After Monday’s SCOTUS news, I’m giving the individual mandate odds of zilch. Please, prove me wrong, universe.

And if you missed this in the comments yesterday, don’t miss it now: Sorkinisms, with an echo in the room. Good one.

Posted at 1:12 am in Current events, Detroit life |

45 responses to “Fathead.”

  1. alex said on June 26, 2012 at 7:01 am

    So even after Sheldon Adelson pumped in what—$10 million?—Gingrich managed to hemorrhage that and $4 million more? For that kind of money, Adelson could have launched his own damn warheads at Iran.

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  2. alex said on June 26, 2012 at 7:48 am

    And speaking of money down the sewer, this pricy little bit of right-wing social engineering that accomplished exactly nil (aside from debunking the big lie that ultraconservatives are the best stewards of our tax dollars) probably could have afforded enough birth control pills to prevent tens of thousands of little souls from going from in utero to in limbo.

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  3. Jeff Borden said on June 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

    One of the big raps on Newticles and his queen consort was their aversion to traveling like average folks. They required private charter jets and limousines wherever they went, which is obviously far more expensive than flying commercial.

    Sheldon Adelson is a very dangerous man. He’s actually to the right of Bibi Netanyahu on the Palestine issue and thinks we should’ve nuked Iran yesterday. He has said he will spend an unlimited amount of money to defeat President Obama and other Democrats this fall. It’s not just his Zionism. One of Obama’s proposals would target income generated outside the United States that is currently taxed at a ludicrously low rate. Adelson’s company generates the majority of its income in Macau and Singapore, so this would cost our favorite little shit weasel billions in additional taxes.

    Fuck the Roberts Court for Citizens United. The Democrats this fall will be outspent by at least 3 to 1 by most estimates and we’ll never really know where all that sweet, sweet cash came from, will we?

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  4. beb said on June 26, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Rachel Maddow has been on a tear about Michigan’s Emergency Manager law and how it allows the governor to sweep away all democratically elected officials, contracts and unions. The EM seems like a horrible, horrible law until you look at the City Council lead by the likes of Charles Pugh. What an ass. The governor would almost be doing the city a favor by throwing the lot out on their ear. Except than any EM would likely be a hard-right-wing fanatic more interested in destroying the Democratic Party then in fixing Detroit’s problems.

    The “Little Bit of Tuscany” had me confused since only the day before I was reading how the parent company of The Olive Garden was disappointed that their “Taste of Tuscany” ad campaign to shore of sales at OG had been a flop. I was wonder how Newt and Olive Garden were linked. Aside from a perchance for losing a lot of money, they aren’t.

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  5. coozledad said on June 26, 2012 at 8:17 am

    From Catullus: The Tuscan Poems and Fragments.

    Callista sudo, per puteulanus leatherette suus vulvae
    She eram constructum ut lac lactis Vespasian
    premo a sicco alicubi sauna….
    eram a (chubby Caucasian?)
    vita dat vos caseus , interdum it’s iustus urinae
    servo inter Gingriches’ genua In togae
    suus lacquered galea chafed procul suus gunt varicosa
    ut diluculo procul Inflatus , fervens , quod gummy. lardass sententia … scratchae?.
    Iam vinum quod caseus Tornacense.
    Quattuor million sesterces pro consoles ipsa minimus non solus nostrum dentae
    Crusta Adelsonâes urinae.


    Callista swears , by the blue leatherette of her snizz
    She was built to milk the balls of Vespasian
    And squeeze a dynasty out somewhere near the sauna, by the indoor pool
    With flowers and oranges
    All she got was a chubby Caucasian.

    Sometimes life gives you cheese, sometimes it’s just whizz
    So she served between Gingriches’ knees
    In the cloakroom, her lacquered helmet chafed at his {gunt?},
    Varicose as dawn at Pompeii, hot, and gummy.
    The lardass thought he had fleas.

    So now she gets the wine and cheese tour.
    Four million sesterces for this.
    She consoles herself thinking
    “At least we’re not the only ones
    Brushing our teeth
    With Sheldon Adelson’s piss.”

    translation- R.M. Ogilvie.

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  6. nancy said on June 26, 2012 at 8:22 am

    When I become queen of the world, Cooze will sit at my right hand.

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  7. brian stouder said on June 26, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I got to guffawing at:

    lardass sententia … scratchae?.

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  8. Mark P said on June 26, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Is that a picture of Pugh in the link? That picture looks like a three-quarters-scale body with a full-sized head.

    As to Gingrich – well, what can you say? He’s not insane, just evil? High praise for a Republican these days.

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  9. brian stouder said on June 26, 2012 at 9:38 am

    After Monday’s SCOTUS news, I’m giving the individual mandate odds of zilch. Please, prove me wrong, universe.

    One thing that Larry O’Donnell predicted last night which is almost absolutely certain to come true, about news coverage Thursday evening, is that there will be comprehensive confusion on mass media, with opaque analysis and mutally exclusive claims of “victory” and “defeat”, from all quarters.

    I have heard hard-right commentary crying over “Obama’s victory”, and exultant agreement from Larry O’Donnell, et al, at MSNBC); and then SCOTUSblog goes on and on about an “Obama defeat” regarding the SB1070 ruling.

    Look at this, from scotusblog, about Arizona:


    So my promise is, short of a Scalia meltdown (which is always possible, given his “boggled” mind), I shall make no comment Thursday about whatever the hell they do, until after reading at least a few thousand words from at least four or five different sources.

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  10. del said on June 26, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Thanks Cooze, especially, for giving us the line,

    “Somtimes life gives you cheese, sometimes it’s just whiz”

    and rhyming it with

    “the blue leatherette of her snizz.”

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  11. MarkH said on June 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Yes, “snizz”; now in my daily vocabulary….

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  12. KLG said on June 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

    A world ruled by NN and Cooze would be a damn good world. I don’t often snort coffee through my nose but, as someone who has been following Teh Lardass since his first run for Congress in the late 1970s, that poem damn near caused it to happen.

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  13. Kim said on June 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

    When the world is a just place, Cooze will have a Nobel for literature.

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  14. del said on June 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I just looked up snizz on urbandictionary.com. It means what I thought it meant but it defines it differently than I would have, namely, “A receptacle for jizz.”

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  15. Dorothy said on June 26, 2012 at 11:25 am

    …and all the more admirable for being delivered at 8:17 AM!

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  16. LAMary said on June 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I’m in a room full of people who would neither understand nor approve of what Cooz wrote and I’m trying to not laugh too hard. That was wonderful.

    On another note, referencing the fruit pie theme of the other day, a recipe I want to try:


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  17. MichaelG said on June 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    My hat is off. And just my hat.

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  18. Heather said on June 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Love it, even though I was eating breakfast as I read it and the thought of Newtie’s “gunt” nearly brought it back up.

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  19. brian stouder said on June 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I “get” when an essay is being purposely provocative, in order to illuminate a finer point. Still, this article bothers me


    an excerpt:

    Much in the same way, Project Wide Receiver and Project Road Runner — the earlier versions of Fast and Furious under President Bush — were executed with the hope that they will do more good than harm. Hardly anyone in the public knows the finer points of these programs. Were they legal? Hell no. Were they effective? Who knows? Were they done as a way to keep America safe? Yes. North was a fall guy. Not for President Reagan but for all of us. Just as Holder has become a villain to many who are pointing fingers at him. But to go much beyond the criticism of these men runs the risk of learning that this great nation of ours is heavily involved in doing some things that are not so great.

    I understand that hands get dirty; but that doesn’t excuse coming to the supper table with a cloud of dust surrounding you.

    I think Issa is an asshole (there’s probably a good drinkin’ song in there, somewhere), but that doesn’t mean we should avert our eyes or that our press should roll over in the dirt.

    LC Granderson’s conclusion?

    And maybe it’s better for us not to be so nosy, not to know everything because, to paraphrase the famous line from the movie “A Few Good Men,” many of us won’t be able to handle the truth.

    Fat ass Rush Limbaugh’s job is easy enough as it is, without simply gifting him crap like this

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  20. Prospero said on June 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Nobody involved in Fast and Furious or it’s Shrub predecessors provided guns to narcomurderers. That is a GOPer invention. ATF knew where the guns were fgoing and kept track of them. The idea that SW American gun dealers are arming the narcoterrorists isn’t new, and exposing the illegal trade is not some Obama-pretext for coming for your guns. This is conspiracy theory loonier than Israel was behind 9/11. Way beyond.

    And that Granderson guy needs to understand that the weapons to Iran were to hold onto the hostages to embarrass Carter. That was a Rummy and Dickless production. The cash from the transaction then was funneled by Colonel North to Salvador to murder Archbishop Medeiros and prop up the Freedom Fighters.

    Issa’s claim is that somehow a DEA or ATF agent ended up dead because of “gun-walking”. This is patent bullshit. The agent was mudered because and the narcos were armed because, American laws about gun sales are warped as shit by the absurd hegemony the NRA has over American gun laws and over legislators. Eric Holder didn’t get that agent killed, Wayne LaPierre did. He got Trayvon Martin killed too.

    Issa is a well-known chop-shop operator and his brother is in prison for taking a rap for arson for defraudment of an insurance company to keep Darrell’s ass out of prison. When he took over the committee chairmanship, he said he would pull this shit and now he has. Guy is a crook.

    Here’s a graphic representation of what Issa is whining about:


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  21. Jeff Borden said on June 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Amen on Issa. He’s the sleazebag’s sleazebag.

    On a completely unrelated but delightful note, the revirginized and cosmetically enhanced Bristol Grifter is bombing big-time as a reality TV star. More than 1 million people switched off as her Lifetime series began last week. The lead-in program, Dance Moms, averaged 1.7 million viewers. Junior Miss Grifter attracted only a little more than 700,000.

    Would that her mother suffered this kind of erosion of popularity.

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  22. Prospero said on June 26, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    The NRA wants to protect murderers to maintain bullshit 2nd Amendment rights: http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/26/opinion/etzioni-guns/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

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  23. Sue said on June 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    brian stouder, re SCOTUS and the decision Thursday, this is the most interesting bit of speculation I’ve read so far:

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  24. brian stouder said on June 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Sue – that’s a fascinating theory. I had heard some commentary about Scalia’s “mind boggling” rant, but not this theory.

    The amazing thing is that that institution is so sealed off, and no one has any inside information.

    Considering how many interns and assistants and printers and all the rest must be involved, and the cash value that an authoritative leak might have, the institutional ‘omerta’ over there is somewhat astonishing

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  25. Sherri said on June 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Sue, we can only hope. Evidence suggests that Scalia is quite capable of going thermonuclear on almost anything, though, especially as he gets older. He seemed almost ready to pick up a gun and join a militia group in Arizona in this opinion. I half expected him to break into sovereign citizen rhetoric.

    My one slim hope is that Roberts and Alito are more corporation hacks than Tea Party friends, and I still maintain that insurance companies want the individual mandate if the rest of the ACA remains intact. The unpopularity of the mandate seems to be mostly “You can’t make me!” and while Republicans have been happy to take advantage of that sentiment, their base is still rich people. If the Court throws out the individual mandate but keeps the rest, that helps poor people while hurting rich people.

    Of course, maybe they’ll just make up something out of whole cloth and toss the whole thing, which will hurt poor people and not hurt rich people.

    And maybe they’re waiting until the last day to announce so they can have a plane waiting to whisk them out of the country as soon as the decision comes down.

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  26. James said on June 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    A world ruled by NN and Cooze would be a damn good world.

    No it wouldn’t, for she is a pottymouth.

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  27. Bitter Scribe said on June 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I tried to watch Bristol Palin’s show on the Lifetime website but had to ditch it after about 10 minutes, as I felt my brain turning to yogurt. Why would anyone be interested in these people?

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  28. Scout said on June 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    You know it’s crap if even people who watch trash like Dance Moms wouldn’t subject themselves to Teh Bristol.

    coozledad, you made my day. Hell, I think you made everyone’s day.

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  29. paddyo' said on June 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Wow . . . I mean, wow.

    Per omnia saeCoozla saeCoozlorum, AMEN . . .

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  30. Suzanne said on June 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    That’s jus great, LAMary @16! Another food site for me to visit! How can I get a darn thing done in a day when there is all this fabulous food out there to cook?? I have not been the same since that delictable French Pork Stew with prunes (prunes!!) was posted here.

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  31. Sue said on June 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Watch the husband’s behavior just after the plunge:

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  32. beb said on June 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    What makes “omerta’ work was the surety and severity of punishment. There aren’t that many clerks, printers, etc. involved and if any of them were to leak they would be quickly found out and banished by the old boys network.

    I see where Bob Bashara, the Grosse Pointer accused of hiring a hit on his wife has now been arrested because he alleged tried to hire a hit on the previous hit man. Apparently he unclear on the concept of guilt.

    Sue, I’d like to believe the suggestion that Alito’s rant stems from losing the argument over health care but I think it’s just clutching at straws.

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Brothers and sisters, I would like to witness to you in (one of) your preferred language(s).


    Check out your favorite verse in this culturally relevant translation!

    Such as: In teh beginz is teh meow, and teh meow sez “Oh hai Ceiling Cat” and teh meow iz teh Ceiling Cat. Teh meow an teh Ceiling Cat iz teh bests frenz in teh begins.

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  34. MarkH said on June 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Sue @23 — I won’t speculate on what any rant by Scalia may mean (any stance by Obama on immigration would be enough to set him off), but I have felt for some time that the individual mandate is DOA, but a surprising amount of ACA remains intact.

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  35. Judybusy said on June 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Jeff, that LOL translation is so fun. I shared it on FB–Maggie Jochild trawls the best of LOLcats and posts on Tuesdays. She will LOVE this, as will our network of FB friends who a regular devotees of her posts.

    I have the same feelings as beb about the Scalia rant, and that the mandate will be tossed. What tossers (in the British sense)!

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  36. Prospero said on June 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Pugh is nasty. Scalito is the future if people are ever dumb enough to vote RMoney. He lies for the Lord. And he wears magic U-trou. MarkH, the individual mandate has been copacecetic with the Constitution for 25+ years with the GOP, since they invented it. How is it non-Kosher now? GOP? Meet Petard. This is that personal responsibility y’all loove so much.

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  37. LAMary said on June 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Suzanne, the thought of peaches, mascarpone and crushed amaretti all baked together is getting me through a semi sucky day. I wanted to share.

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  38. LAMary said on June 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I watched about five minutes of Bristol Palin and it was really lousy. As someone who watches crappy reality shows like the housewives franchises, I will tell you that the Palin family is the worst at dialogue. I think it’s not just scripted, and a lot of these shows are, the Palins are horrible at reading scripted lines. Five minutes and out. And this is coming from someone who can sit through Dance Moms. I have to be distracted, like playing spider solataire on my laptop or something, but I can make it through.

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  39. MarkH said on June 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Not sure she had many fans here, but Nora Ephron dead at 71.


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  40. alex said on June 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    No fan of Norepinephrine. Elevated my BP something ridiculous without doing a damned thing for the burning eyes or the sniffles.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on June 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Love it, Jefftmmo, and just shared on facebook. I don’t find it one bit sacrilegious.

    Nora Ephron’s work was uneven; some very funny, some just self-indulgent. It wasn’t written for men.

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  42. Jolene said on June 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Sad news about Nora Ephron. Am getting to the point where 71 seems, not young, but too young to die.

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  43. Sherri said on June 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Nora Ephron may have been self-indulgent at times, but she also was wickedly funny, particularly in her earlier stuff. “Crazy Salad” and “Wallflower at the Orgy” both have some good essays in them from her magazine days. And when you can turn Carl Bernstein cheating on you into a novel and a movie, you’ve got something.

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  44. MarkH said on June 26, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Well said, Jolene.

    “It wasn’t written for men.” Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but, yeah.

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  45. Dexter said on June 27, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I figured that Nora Ephron would get ripped in death here. I really have no opinion on her work, but my friend Jim Friedland of New York City does. Jim is battling leukemia valiantly, has long stints in the hospital. Jim worked many years as a Broadway writer and he assisted in production on many Broadway plays. He and his daughter are Facebook friends of mine, and here’s a few of his words:

    “She was the last of a pair of truly good New York Public Icons. To be around her when she was (particularly) at Citarella’s or even at Zabar’s was just plain utter goodness. I’m not going to mention who the surviving one is. Yeah, they could have been friends, they certainly could have known each other and that other’s work. But I ain’t puttin’ a kinehora on anyone left here. I will add that, yes, if you want to know what MDS is… well, she had it. And it took her. Stem cell is IT when a person has MDS. And I am beyond lucky to be with whom I am chez Weill Cornell. That said… I loved her books, her essays and her food shopping. And her films got people to listen to Harry Nilsson which is one of the few truly great things you can maneuver Hollywood into doing.”

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