Stars in his eyes.

I think I’ve mentioned Thaddeus McCotter, current dead-duck congressman for a few of the western ‘burbs, from time to time. Local politics here is frequently weird and worth talking about just for the entertainment value, but McCotter was mainly just baffling to me. When he announced he was running for president last year, I guffawed — I’d barely heard of him, and I live here.

Anyway, things went about as you’d expect on that front. He did win a lovely consolation prize from the state legislature, which gerrymandered him a fine district that is even more rock-solid GOP than it was before, enabling him to stay in Congress without working very hard and, y’know, build the brand for 2016, or whenever.

Our own Connie lives there. Maybe she’s seen him around.

Anyway, this year he was faced with the task of submitting signatures for re-election, a rote duty that could have been accomplished in an afternoon by two half-bright staffers in the right location. Instead, his office turned in a batch of petitions loaded with photocopied and duplicated signatures, so clumsily rendered the fraud was evident at a glance. The early estimates were that something like 80 percent would be thrown out, and while there was talk of an investigation and a brave write-in campaign, after just a couple of weeks McCotter announced he was withdrawing from the race, leaving the only legit candidate a Tea Party rookie who raises reindeer for Christmas festival displays and advocates that all U.S. military bases on foreign soil be closed.

Through it all, I kept asking people, basically, what the hell? And no one could really say why.

Today the DetNews dropped a hilarious story about what might have been distracting McCotter from his job. What else? Hollywood:

As U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter’s short-lived presidential run fizzled last year, the Livonia Republican turned to another aspiration: writing a TV show.

“Bumper Sticker: Made On Motown” starred McCotter hosting a crude variety show cast with characters bearing the nicknames of his congressional staffers and his brother. They take pot shots about McCotter’s ill-fated bid for the White House while spewing banter about drinking, sex, race, flatulence, puking and women’s anatomy. It features a cartoon intro and closing snippet with an Oldsmobile careening through Detroit and knocking over the city’s landmarks. The double-finned car has a Michigan license plate reading: “Made on MoTown.”

I urge you to click through and behold the story of a man having the world’s worst midlife crisis, not to mention a serious crush on S.E. Cupp, who, when contacted, said she didn’t want to talk about him.

Personally, I think he should try to get a meeting with Charlie Sheen. Between the two of them, they might get something going.

I read this story on the iPad when a 5 a.m. thunderstorm blew through the neighborhood, and feared I would wake Alan with my giggling.

How was your Fourth? Ours was hot and hotter and hotter still. Went sailing, grilled out, saw “Moonrise Kingdom.” If you saw fireworks, I hope they went better than San Diego’s.

Back to work.

Posted at 9:02 am in Current events, Detroit life |

72 responses to “Stars in his eyes.”

  1. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Has anyone ever spotted Thad McCotter and the faux Joe Walsh in the same room at the same time? Peas in a pod, not to give a bad name to a vegable I truly love.

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  2. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 9:33 am

    The fireworks? Westworld, where nothing can go wrong…go wrong…go wrong…

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  3. Connie said on July 5, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Nope, haven’t spotted him in the rural west end of his district, he seems to hang out in the more urban areas east of here. I do believe however I have met every single one of the many candidates running in the primary to be my rep at the state house.

    Power is out at home on this might be 100 degree day. Roof is leaking at work, but not in my air conditioned office.

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  4. alex said on July 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Had a fab Fourth, swimming in one of the cleanest lakes in the state and noshing on filet mignon.

    Today taking the day off and power washing a house. An elderly neighbor passed away recently and her son who lives out of town is paying me to do the job. There’s a giant dumpster in the driveway and I must confess that curiosity got the better of us and one night we went diving. I am still absolutely appalled at what we found.

    This poor woman’s family doesn’t give a rat’s ass about any of her personal belongings and can’t even be bothered to give anything to charity. Brand-new clothing and bedding and housewares still in the packages, as well as plenty of stuff that’s first-rate and only slightly used. Perfectly good outdoor furniture. Reams of photos of family gatherings, trips to Europe, etc. Her late husband was a Lionel train enthusiast and there are enough vintage train magazines, books and catalogues to constitute a library in its own right. I’m half tempted to load up my truck and take as much as I can to the Goodwill store. I can’t believe this nice woman had such an indifferent if not unsympathetic son. When he was here last he said he’d be needing at least another dumpster if not two, so I can only imagine what else he plans to throw away.

    I began power washing the patio yesterday morning and accomplished very little as the concrete is black and moss-covered in many places. And it’s huge. I have my work cut out for me.

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  5. Peter said on July 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Well, as Billie Sol Hurok and Big Jim McBob would say, “that blowed up real good”.

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  6. Joe K said on July 5, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Lake Gage or Clear Lake??
    Pilot Joe

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  7. Linda said on July 5, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Didn’t go to a big fireworks show yesterday, just the next door neighbor’s, which had a mishap, too, albeit a smaller one. A rocket went in the wrong directions, which scared the bejesus out of the neighbor’s great grandkids, who were watching from a blanket on the lawn, and burned her son’s chest and burned a couple of hairs off his legs, but he “walked it off.” Driving through Toledo in the night to go home, the smoke of homemade fireworks shows was like driving through London fog, with a whiff of gunpowder.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on July 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Alex, forgive me if I sound like a worried mama, but it’s just so hot out there today, please be careful. 30 minutes of yard work cooked me. The nice stuff from her house would be snapped up and appreciated by the freecycle people.

    Our power finally came on Tuesday night but I still know several people waiting. I was content to stay inside and finally unpack and run laundry while my hubby had to work. It was a party just being cool.

    There were a couple of scary moments, though, when our new neighbors came over to tell us they would have their own fireworks, despite the ban due to the drought. They just wanted to “get the okay” from us but their aggressive body language suggested they didn’t give a damn. I debated calling the police anonymously but after setting off a few they went back inside. These are the same folks who cleaned up their yard junk and deposited it all behind their shed, right in our view. Delightful.

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  9. Deborah said on July 5, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Stories of fireworks in suburban neighborhoods make me so glad I live in a highrise in the city. I slept soundly right through the Navy Pier fireworks show not far away. With our windows closed and air on I didn’t hear a thing. I’ve seen the show so many time it doesn’t thrill me, so now I skip it.

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  10. brian stouder said on July 5, 2012 at 10:53 am

    The name S E Cupp turned my head, and when I read the article and saw the MSNBC connection, I Googled the name and recognized her.

    If I was going to have a crush on an MSNBC person, Crystal Ball would outrank Cupp; but both of them look a bit….high-maintenance. But Melissa Harris-Perry would be fun to spend time with; say, yapping on a long road trip; and indeed, Rachel Maddow would similarly be great fun (although I bet I’d never be able to beat her at Scrabble).

    As far as that goes, Karen Finney looks like lots of fun, too. (If I ever stray from msnbc, then Erin Burnett at CNN is sure to make me stop and watch)

    But, S E Cupp? Meh.

    On the heat-wave, we were some of the lucky Fort Wayne people. The storm knocked out our power for about 14 hours, but then, as we were just beginning to clear our freezer of ice cream and so on – boom!- the power came back. (I thank Channel 15, as I think we’re on their circuit)

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  11. Pam said on July 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Alex at #4 – tell the lazy son that he can contact an auctioneer. They will do the entire clean out, throw away the trash, donate some things and auction off the “good stuff” and he will make some money. Many of these auctioneers are also Realtors who can sell the house too. Doesn’t have to lift a finger. Also, there are folks who will purchase entire estates, do the same thing, but keep the stuff to resell. What a putz! Perfectly good items and flushing money down the drain. It’s sad about the family photos.

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  12. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Our Fourth included cops, or junior cops. Annual NE clambake in a fire pit on our beach. Some shitheel called the sherrif. I had to give Deppity Dawg two lobsters and the bastard still wrote me tickets for the beach fire and open container. What a prick, but he let the clams come to their juicy fruition. Clams and shrimp were native and harvested by me. Corn was from the Farmer’s Market, and linguica (why would anybody eat brats instead) was fresh from the carniciera. Spuds from God knows where, but all redskins all the time, with locavore butter and parsley. Then I went for a bike ride and things got strange.

    Woke up in ER and my bike was toast. That I just bought. This was not RWI. Run down and left for dead. Don’t remember much, no fireworks. Just a bad headache and perhaps a new resolve regarding a helmet. Brought home by my same Deppity, who said his girlfriend loved them lobsters. What are the odds?

    Great way to start the day:

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  13. Dorothy said on July 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Lionel train stuff that he’s throwing away?! What a maroon. Pam made excellent suggestions and I hope he’ll consider that for the rest of the items instead of pitching them all. Someone could benefit from so much of that stuff. We’re facing the same issue, or will soon, with the Aunt who went into nursing care a month or so ago. We have to get her condo emptied out so the plaster and paint guy can get in there. She keeps asking for piddling little stuff and we’re so tired of going on searches for it when we have such limited time when we go into Pittsburgh that I’ve decided we have to tell her everything is boxed up and unavailable. She has everything she needs to survive and having one more grippy tool (when we’ve already given her 4 or 5 from her apartment) is not going to make things better for her. She’s miserable and complains non-stop and she’s refusing to bathe. No wonder she’s taken down for her meals so late. No one wants to sit near her. Mike’s having a serious talk with her tomorrow, although I doubt it will have any effect. I’m staying put in the hotel room waiting for my kids and siblings to arrive. We’re celebrating my mother’s 90th birthday on Saturday. That trumps a visit with Miserable Aunt D any day.

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  14. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 11:16 am

    SE Cupp is more anorexic-appearing than Horse-face Coulter, but she doesn’t have a prominent Adam’s apple, as Coulter most assuredly does. What these people think is attractive, I just don’t get. Cupp does look like Palin, though, especially with those Scottie Pippen fake glasses.

    If you can get hold of the NYT magazine from last Sunday, read the article about Hillary as the person holding a fracked-up world together. This woman is astonishing.

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  15. Sue said on July 5, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Our fireworks were cancelled, not because of the drought that has forced the cancellation of many of the fireworks shows around here, but because no one stepped forward with donations to keep it going this year. It looks like a committee might be formed to fundraise for next year; people were surprised when the one person who was trying to keep the fireworks going finally had enough and dropped out.
    I just emailed a friend in South Carolina asking him how Southerners stood a whole summer’s worth of heat like this. I can’t believe how much it takes out of me, just walking out the door. I’m a little crabby at the idea of having to deal with both Wisconsin winters and southern summers if this climate change thing takes off – trapped in the house all winter (yes it will be a milder winter but not by that much) and then unable to go out in summer without fading like one of those delicate Southern belles. Now where did I leave my parasol?

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  16. LAMary said on July 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

    We did the annual trip to the Vietnamese sandwich store/free fireworks in a mainly Asian neighborhood park extravaganza. This started as a last minute decision to see fireworks eight years ago and it worked out so well we do it every year. There is something a little uncomfortable sitting in a crowd that’s probably at least 50% Vietnamese listening to Toby Keith singing Courtesy of the Red White and Blue blasted over the loudspeakers.

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  17. brian stouder said on July 5, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Prospero, it is good to hear that your brains are still in their original bucket! And indeed, you’ll have to upwardly revise your opinion of that cop from ‘bastard’ and ‘prick’; maybe ‘dedicated public servant and lover of good food’.

    But the ‘shitheel’ neighbor might well be downgraded to ‘crabby bastard’…or worse. That person may be the homicidal deathrace-2012 maniac who ran you down! (An unkind commentator might well voice support for that sort of reaction to you, speaking metaphorically, of course)

    In all seriousness – here’s wishing you strength, Michael; and, have fun shopping for another bike.

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  18. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Thirty seven years ago, Arthur Ashe defeated that piece of Charlie Hustle shit Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon. And will dumbasses quit putting a “t” where the “d” is in that placename. It’s infuriating.

    And for people that have a problem with John Mac, I say, he put that redneck idiot Connors in his place.

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  19. Judybusy said on July 5, 2012 at 11:32 am

    We spent our 4th mostly at home, with the window AC on at noon. I had to make forays into the non-AC’d kitchen to make stuff for a party and a volunteer dinner thing I’m doing tonight. Minimal burner time involved, and I did as much as I could in the AC’d dining room, but still had to take breaks.

    We went to the party at 9:00 and watched fireworks from the rooftop of a 12-story building. We got to see all sorts of fireworks and a gorgeous near-full moon that was orange in the sky. Lots of good company, food, and our sangria was a hit!

    Pros, glad to hear your ole noggin’s in good shape.

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  20. alex said on July 5, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Pros, glad to hear you’re among the living. How awful.

    Pilot Joe, I swam at Pleasant Lake where the traffic is minimal.

    And Julie, fear not. I couldn’t get the damn machine started, even with starter fluid. I’m going to lunch and will try again later.

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  21. brian stouder said on July 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

    And speaking of anniversaries, Prospero, the 4th of July was also the 149th anniversary of arguably the most consequential day of the American civil war.

    General Meade and the Army of the Potomac prevailed at Gettysburg, after three horrendous days of battle; while at the same time, General Grant’s tactically brilliant 7 month campaign and then siege of the citadel at Vicksburg ended in the surrender of the besieged confederate army there.

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  22. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Brian, the guy took a bribe to let me continue cooking and then wrote me tickets, for which I have to show up in court. The insides of my elbows are so bruised I can barely use my arms. And I once kicked in a windshield of a jerk that tried to run me off the road. Obnoxious and damned proud of it. I can’t figure out why anybody would choose not to be. But then I see cool rationality from Jeff(tmmo) and think why can’t I be more like that? Not as much fun.

    And Mary, FYTK is always worth repeating.

    Judybusy: To paraphras Archie Leach, Ole noggin fine, how you? The day reminded me of my favorite movie that isn’t Blade Runner. That would be Shoot Loud, Louder. S is pissed off at me for disappearing, like I had something to do with it. Good shape? Weeeellll, I suppose.

    Stouder: But they do slop around. I’m thinking of Steve Martin. The ER care was bizarre. Several different physicians, more nurses. This is your brain on COBRA, although my BC/BS card was right in my wallet, and I pay a fortune for it. I did come out of the entire experience minus a buck something in change.

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  23. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Alex, in the long run, it’s just another incident that I’ll look back on with hilarity, like meeting and spending the evening with Fenway Dick and his Alsatian, Palladin. The bike, on the other hand, that sucks.

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  24. Jolene said on July 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Re the neighbor’s stuff, in addition to an auctioneer, there’s also the possibility of an eBay reseller. They’ll do all the work of taking photos, listing items, and sipping things to buyers for a cut of the sale price. Size of the cut depends on the price of the item. Would probably even take the family photos, as people might buy them for art supplies or whatever.

    As others have said, glad you are OK, prosperous. Ride carefully.

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  25. Sherri said on July 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    San Diego’s luck with fireworks was better than Bainbridge Island’s, which lost all of their fireworks nine days early when the owner of the junkyard where they were stored decided to try out his new rifle.

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  26. Connie said on July 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    We are one of 100,000 homes in the county without power, and 300,000 in the region. No estimates yet for when power does return. So what does one do at home with no power on a 90 degree day? Sit in the shade outside and read by flashlight? Can’t download new ebooks to my ipad with the wifi down. Hmmm.

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  27. Dorothy said on July 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I was typing as you were posting, Pros so I missed your #12 until now. Sure glad you are okay! Can you get insurance on bikes?

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  28. Julie Robinson said on July 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Yikes, Prospero. Please get a helmet, for the sake of that daughter you’re so proud of. Watching how our nephew still mourns his dad some 15 years after a bike accident is painful. He’d have survived with a helmet.

    Dorothy, you and Mike have my sympathy for fighting the good fight. Glad you’re not going to let her ruin the festivities for your mom.

    Alex, it’s going to be over 100 today, and didn’t you have some heart issues last year? I hope trying later means after things cool down, not this afternoon.

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  29. Peter said on July 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Oh Prospero, I’m sorry to hear of your accident, but I’m glad you still have your original skull and brains.

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  30. Joe K said on July 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Good call on P-lake, I take my Golden Retriever up there from time to time, did you use the beach or do you have friends there, was the beach crowded?
    Pilot Joe

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  31. beb said on July 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    We’ve had a surprising amount of rain the last three days in Detroit, though as with any thunderstorm your cover will vary. I’m worried that the gutters, which I cleaned last fall, aren’t doing a good enough job.

    Didn’t go to see any fireworks. I hate loud noises. But our neighbors seemed to have made up for it with an all night show that only stopped when it started to rain again.

    Saw this on Boingboing and thought that was cool

    Wow, a library that isn’t cramped for space.

    You knnow what my wife calls people who ride bikes without helmets? Organ donors.

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  32. alex said on July 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm


    Beach was as busy as it ever gets. We have a friend who lets us use his place and his boat whenever we want to go for a swim since my partner did some big remodeling work on his cottage and didn’t charge him much. We also have friends on the Barbee Chain and spend some weekends there in the summer but I have to say I prefer P-lake because it’s so clean and calm.

    I almost bought a house there but fortunately for me it was tied up in some sort of foreclosure limbo and then my current house came on the market and it was really a much better deal all around. Whoever ended up with that house did an enormous addition on it probably twice the size of the original house. Nice big lot there too although it didn’t have many trees. I’m half tempted to go back for another swim today because I still can’t get my damn power washer started.

    I hear it’s going to be 106 again tomorrow so I’ll probably put off the power washing for a while. That machine is making me lose my cool worse than the weather.

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  33. Joe K said on July 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Interesting read|25219|7946991837|138422374|7793877934||24458078614|tc||d|||&cct_ver=3&cct_bk=obama%20re%20election&gclid=CL_z24yBg7ECFWaFQAodaHjcFw

    Pilot Joe

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  34. Jakash said on July 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I realize that there’s been a blizzard of commentary about the Supreme Court ruling on Health Care, but I thought I’d throw in Eric Zorn’s column from yesterday’s Tribune, which I thought was very good. His main point:

    “Polling has consistently shown that most major elements of Obamacare are popular and that about a quarter of the population thinks the law doesn’t go far enough to fix the system. It also shows that the public has a weak grasp on the details of the law.
    Under these circumstances, the overall unpopularity of Obamacare … is evidence of sustained political malpractice by Team Obama.
    They seemed to think their job was done in March 2010, when they eked the law through Congress. …
    Thursday’s ruling … gives him a second chance to fight the battle he lost last time.”

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  35. Scout said on July 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    From the sound of things, I think I spent a cooler 4th here in AZ than most of you in the midwest. We did an overnight in Sedona where it was in the high 80’s and low 90s both Tuesday and Wednesday. We did a gorgeous hike on the 4th in the red rocks under gray skies. That is something like heaven for desert rats like us. Better than fireworks, which we chose to skip this year.

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  36. MichaelG said on July 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I watched the Tour de France yesterday. It’s been a great race this year and the TV is wonderful with the good race coverage, the spectacular scenery and the soothing but compelling voice of Phil Liggett. Liggett and Sherwin are one of the best announcing teams in sports anywhere, if not the best. They make the Tour come alive. Yesterday, sprinter Mark Cavendish crashed. His helmet was badly broken. Had he not been wearing it . . .

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  37. Sue said on July 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I’m wondering if this might be the thing of the future, since sometimes throwing money at a race isn’t enough.
    Apparently, in the only recall race that was successful, the incumbent asked for a recount and then all hell broke loose, with lots and lots of talk about fraud and funny business. Not so unusual except the new wrinkle is that they are going after the poll workers. Expensive lawyers ‘interviewing’ poll workers and now a bunch of open records requests to get names.
    Honestly, poll workers? Those nice people who help you vote and work so hard on election day? Hardly anonymous boogeymen, those poll workers – now the Republicans are openly targeting your neighbors.
    Like I said, I wonder if this is a new tactic.

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  38. Jakash said on July 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I gotta agree, Prospero, Deppity Dawg accepting 2 lobsters and then still making you go to court is not cool. Sounds like a fine feast, though, up until the awful ER part. Glad you’ve come out of it intact. Helmets suck, but the alternative isn’t very appealing, given the type of folks you seem to run into on your rides…

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  39. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    So, Scout, Monkey-wrencher? You have read Wallace Stegner’s greatest pupil? And you do side canyons at the Canyon.

    Jakash: I think that is a prime example of Obama being blamed for the frightening idiocy of the electorate. I’m with Rick Scott on disenfranchisement if people like the bald-headed dork Medicare criminal are first off the lists. And this business of counting the single-payer, all-Medicare folks and the Deanie Babies as ACA opponents, is fracking ridiculous. Like any of them is casting a vote for RMoney, the grinch who stole the economy before Wall Street thought of the evil deed. And, sorry, but “eked the law through Congress” is an offense to English in the 21st century.

    For some reason, Sherri @25 reminded me of the Mardi Gras warehouse in The Big Easy. Spectacular movie, astounding sexual frisson. And whatever happened to that twisted smile?.

    So I got the Cornelius Chronicles in today’s mail from a used book seller, courtesy of Amazon and the Kickback Lounge. It came with plastic cover protectors. The mail included a copy of Mel Bay’s Baritone Ukulele Chords, although they are just guitar chords, so it was sort of a waste of cash.

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  40. Jakash said on July 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Oh, and Deborah, you don’t have to be in the suburbs to experience the amateur fireworks extravaganzas. One street away from us in Lakeview, there was a show that wouldn’t have been that out of place at the Pier. Not that we were witnessing it up close — but, being in a low-rise, our windows didn’t offer that good of a sound barrier. There were significant explosions going off in various directions for hours. Many neighborhoods in the city itself feature all manner of pyrotechnics and the quality is remarkable at some of these do-it-yourself affairs.

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  41. Sue said on July 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Went outside for ten minutes, bank time/temp read 105 at 1:30. But… humidity must be going down a little, I didn’t feel too bad until I had gone about a block and a half and I made it to my destination without a problem.

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  42. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Joe, do you honestly think borrowing to the hilt to pump up moribund businesses and then siphoning off the borrowed cash and raping the employee pension funds is a qualifier to be President? That is a reasonable characterization of what RMoney did to get so obscenely wealthy.

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  43. Jakash said on July 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Believe me, I’m with you on the “frightening idiocy of the electorate”, Prospero, if not disenfranchisement as the solution. [My attempt at a solution would be a total ban on political TV and radio advertising. I’m sure the Supremes would go for that! : )] But the very nature of the electorate is what calls for spoon-feeding them, over and over, what the benefits of the Health Care law are for people like them, rather than assuming that the message is already out there. That being said, given that close to half of the nation doesn’t “believe” in evolution and that so many think Obama is a Muslim, I’m not sure how many will pay attention to WHATEVER it is that Obama has to say.

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  44. Ellen said on July 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Going to watch the TDF in person next week — Pyrenees stages and finale in Paris. Hope it’s as good as it looks on TV. Anyone been? Any advice? Sorry about your bike, Prospero.

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  45. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    You think advertising works, in general, Jakash? I think I can honestly say I never bought anything because of an ad. Not even a mood ring with genuine simulated stones. I have spent years not buying any BIC product because of the Flic My Bic ads back in my childhood.

    I didn’t really cotton to that bike anyway. Horrible granny handlebars that I was about to have replaced. But, Mongoose is a great name for anything:

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  46. MichaelG said on July 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I’ve seen the Amgen several times but I don’t think there’s any comparison to the TDF. One thing to be prepared for is the astounding speed of the riders. It blew me away the first time I witnessed it. You will want a spot with a clear view because they only go past once and it takes just seconds and that’s it. Over. Other than that it would seem that a knowledge of local geography would be important. Study Google Earth maybe. Maybe someone local will have a hint. It’s that snapshot aspect that would make me reluctant to make too big of an effort to see. The finish area might be good. The finish is fun if you can see it and then there are all the presentations and celebs and team buses and riders hanging around. There is usually a big festival thing going on at the finish area with refreshments and booths and stuff for sale and all. It can be fun.

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  47. MichaelG said on July 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    So advertising does work, Prospero, even if negatively. It’s kept you away from Bic. Who knows? Maybe there is a product that you were influenced to purchase by advertising without realizing it.

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  48. Jakash said on July 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Whether advertising works with you or me, Prospero, isn’t really the point, IMHO. (And I’m pretty much with you on most advertising bouncing right off of me, too.) We’re talking about the people for whom advertising MAY be influential. If, in-between watching the Kardashians and American Idol, they’re told over and over how terrible Obamacare is, I think that helps convince many that it must be so. If the Republicans haven’t successfully SOLD the message that there’s something wrong with the law, why else do most of the individual aspects of it poll well, but the totality is viewed as unpopular?

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  49. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Well, Jakash, the part of Obamacare that doesn’t sell well is those first five letters. Uppity anti-colonialist. Everything else, they like, and keep them gubmint hands off Medicare. There are people too stupid to be allowed to vote. In FLA, if you voted for the baaldhead crook, you should be on voter probation, and his staunchest backers are anti-ACA Medicare clients. WTF? If someone else gets a trapezoidal blue pill I might not get as many.

    Michael G. I would also have to have a big gun to my head to convince me to buy an Energizer battery, but that’s all 1984 (Shit what is wrong with people?). Leni Riefenstahl makes me loathe Nazis more. And I also thought the Baron despicable and hoped his sailboats would sink.

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  50. Jeff Borden said on July 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    We had our 4th of July party on the afternoon/evening of July 3, reasoning it would allow people to sleep in the next day. It was 98 degrees at 4 p.m. when we began, so we kept the house a/c going hard and encouraged people to step inside every once in awhile. When the sun finally went down, it got a littl better, but by the time I shooed out the last guest at 2 a.m., it was down to only 88. Johanna made several salads and her famous baked beans, but we went with Popeye’s mild fried chicken for the main course, baking it at 300 degrees for a couple of hours. It comes out crispier and less greasy and always gets compliments.

    Today, it is 102. I had the dog at Lake Michigan at 8:30 a.m. this morning and it was already stifling, but about 10 or 15 degrees cooler while standing in the lake. Cosmo frolicked with his pal, Autumn, and is likely napping even now.

    We almost saw “Moonrise Kingdom” yesterday, but figured it would outlast the Jack Black film “Berie,” so we saw the latter. I like Jack Black, but always thought of him as a pretty out-of-control actor. “Bernie” is revelatory. It is a perfect performance and makes him a sure Oscar nominee. He is transformed and, God, he even walks differently. It’s a true story based on a Texas Monthly story and it utilizes many of the townspeople who knew and liked the title character, an assistant funeral home director who befriends a hated but very wealthy widow played by Shirley MacLaine. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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  51. Julie Robinson said on July 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I hope Bernie makes it here, but I also have to say I was totally charmed by Moonrise Kingdom. We decided to see a movie the other night when our power was out, and I thought it was going to be a violent action picture. I figured I could always block my ears and snooze, as long as it was cool. What a pleasant surprise! It was also great to hear so much music by Benjamin Britten in the score.

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  52. Deborah said on July 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    So Nancy, did you like Moonrise Kingdom? It’s next on my list.

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  53. Scout said on July 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I loved Moonrise Kingdom too. I love quirky, slightly off-kilter films like that. Thanks for the recommendation for Bernie, Jeff, it will go on the list. We’re planning to see The Intouchables at the local indy house tomorrow night.

    Nancy, you did not give us your review of Moonrise. Did you like it?
    on edit – Deborah beat me to it!

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  54. LAMary said on July 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    It’s not hot here and it hasn’t been really hot at all this summer. So far. It was actually a little too cool last night when we were outside watching the fireworks. Admittedly, 30 years in LA has made me something of a weather wimp, but I was in summer type clothes and the temp got down to 65 or so with a breeze. My arms were cold. I know. Cry me a river.

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  55. Sherri said on July 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I was told when I moved up here that summer began on July 5th, and that’s pretty much true. We did have a nice 4th this year, with sunshine and temps around 70, but today the temp is 75 and we’re headed to the 80’s this weekend. After a June of gray and rain and 60’s, the sunshine is glorious. I’ve lived up here 9 years now, and I still get shocked by Mt. Rainier reappearing after having been hidden by clouds for weeks.

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  56. brian stouder said on July 5, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    In Cass County, Indiana, it was 103 today (last I knew), and the swimming pool water temp has gone north of 90. A job that needed done was whacking weeds* off of the fence-row, the better to be able to put a zapper wire (or however they refer to an electrified wire) on the fence row, so as to keep the cattle in their field.

    I did this for about 40 minutes, and then I was completely and totally finished (although the job wasn’t quite). It was hot hot hot, and no shade.

    *Using a long straight cutting tool – not a motorized thingy. The novelty of using that wore off very (very) quickly!

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  57. kayak woman said on July 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I am fortunate enough to be spending the week at our cabin on Lake Superior. It is hot here too but being next to the biggest air conditioner in North America and being able to dunk yourself in it helps. Except for the time I spent back in the garage this afternoon sorting and cataloging many of my mom’s worldly possessions and trying to make decisions about how to allocate them.

    I have been lucky. First, mom spent the last five years of her life sorting and getting rid of stuff so that I would not have to do it for her (I am the only living child). Also, my 20-something daughter moved back here to the loverly old rust belt after six years in San Francisco and she adopted a *lot* of mom’s stuff, including her houseplants, which would have died if I had adopted them.

    That said, there is still a lot to do and my heart goes out to anyone who is emptying out an elderly parent’s house. So many of my friends are doing that this year. It is hard, exhausting work and it is sad when valuable items are thrown out. I agree that there are many other and better ways of handling it than a dumpster but I think I can understand why this kind of thing happens after watching the only living child of my elderly next door neighbors fly in from LA when he could manage to get here to clean out his parents’ house. There was a dumpster (actually four of them over time, since his mom was a hoarder). I think he cared but I also think he was overwhelmed and I don’t know why he didn’t hire someone to help but some of us don’t want that for whatever reason. I am finding stuff that I would not *want* to leave the family (Cree artifacts from northern Saskatchewan in the 1880s for one). @Alex, good for you for caring enough about your neighbor to try to salvage some of that stuff.

    @Dorothy, when I moved my mom to assisted living a year ago, I went through the same thing as you did with your aunt. She was always always always asking me to get her this and that. Although Mom had some cognitive processing issues, she was *not* demented at all (not sure what your aunt’s mental status is). Mom’s facility and apartment were beautiful but it wasn’t home and she couldn’t just drive to a store to buy whatever it was she needed and she was desperately trying to adjust things so that she was more comfortable, like she had been in her house. That said, it absolutely drove me CRAZY to get constant requests for this or that. From five hours away.

    Sheesh, sorry Nancy for hawgin’ yer blawg! Stay cool everyone. I’m heading back to the Inferno Ann Arbor on Sunday.

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  58. Joe K said on July 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    As long as were plugging movie’s took the wife to see Ted, she went begrudgingly, and ended up laughing thru out the show, will it win a academy award, not a chance, is it crude, rude, and politically incorrect, you bet, but its just what we needed on a hot summer day.
    Pilot Joe

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  59. Julie Robinson said on July 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Well, it’s raining (good), hailing (not good), and blowing around up to 50 mph (decidedly not good!), and our power has gone off twice, though is now on. Maybe it’s a good thing I hadn’t restocked the frig yet.

    One tiny quibble with Moonrise Kingdom: for 1965, all the men and boys should have had very short hair, if not buzz cuts. It was the one thing that really bugged me.

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  60. MichaelG said on July 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I was pulling your finger, Prospero. I have seen plenty of ads that convinced me to avoid whatever produce or service they were pimping.

    It’s eighties here in the big tomato, sunny, very low humidity and nice breeze. A/C is in sleep mode.

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  61. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm


    As long as nobody high-fived. That drives me nuts in period movies. My brothers and I just kind of left the attic intact when my dad died and we decided the house was a tear-down.

    Michael G: Ppfffffrrrtttt. What in the world is “the big tomato”?

    The problem with Ted is the talking Teddy Bear. I saw Marky on TV and he said it was driving him crazy that his kids were demanding to see the movie because they were not allowed to see Three Kings (an astounding movie, I think).

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  62. Deborah said on July 5, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    We saw the French movie, Good Bye First Love, Tuesday night with some friends, it was very good, much better than the Woody Allen movie, To Rome With Love, that we saw the next day. We never see two movies in a row like that, but in this heat, what else is there to do? It has rained a bit here in Chicago this afternoon, still hot, just muggier. Another day of this, then a bit of a break, by Sunday it will be cooler.

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  63. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    The ACA repealers are mean-spirited bastards that blame people for bad luck:

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  64. Danny said on July 5, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I knew you would catch this, Nance.

    It was the best 15 seconds of fireworks we have ever seen… And for a the first few minutes, we thought we were in store for the most awesome-est fireworks show eVAR. As time wore on and the radio simulcast music played on, we realized something was amiss. But we found out that hot tea and cannoli can get one through such dire moments and it was really kinda funny.

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  65. Prospero said on July 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    GOPer agenda:

    How the RMoneys do things.

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  66. nancy said on July 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Danny! Welcome back. We’ve been talking about you lately. Everybody — [making shushing gestures] — Danny’s here!

    I liked “Moonrise Kingdom” very much. Typical Wes Anderson, in that it was a little self-consciously quirky, but very enjoyable. Saved by its performances, and its commitment to the quirk.

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  67. Danny said on July 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Nancy, thanks for your gracious welcome (and for keeping my name-spot active!). I should have emailed you many moons ago instead of just disappearing. I’ll try to catch you up on happenings at some point soon, even at risk of boring you to death.

    And talking about moi… eewww… that cannot be good.

    What a coinki-dink. We saw Moonrise Kingdom on Tuesday night and liked it too. Unfortunately, I fell asleep probably about halfway through due to the longish work week (uh, Monday and Tuesday.. all day, both days!). Gonna have to wait for the rental to finish it.

    Ah Prospero, I see you. A rose by any other name, is it still not yet a rose, MJ/C-ban? heheh

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  68. Danny said on July 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Oh that’s funny. I just did a search. I had no idea I was mentioned yesterday. I just have a few welcome days off of work and thought I would see if you all were talking about San Diego’s now world-famous fireworks show. And voila, here I am.

    Um, and I see that Moe passed. That is sad news. I am sure she was a fighter to the end.

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  69. MarkH said on July 5, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Yes, Danny, good to hear from you. I mentioned you the other day before in a line about whether another nn.c Houdini, Gasman, was really Prospero (as it turns out, not). Don’t go far; adding ballast to the port-list here will be refreshing.

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  70. MarkH said on July 5, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Oh, yes, Propsero @65, lots of proof of that.

    But, lest you be of irretrievably little faith, here’s a look at Wyoming’s honest earning of the Equality State moniker. As soon as women were granted sufferage in 1919, they went to work in this state to exert influence and secure power. To be fair, most of the time is was because the men couldn’t be bothered taking the responsibilities. This was especially true here in Jackson (see photo). I mean, would you mess with these women? The only one missing in the photo is town marshal Pearl Williams. These names are still carried on streets and monuments around our town because these gals got things DONE. And this with a lot of Mormon influence around here, some of which still exists.

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  71. Prospero said on July 6, 2012 at 12:00 am

    That SD fireworks display reminded me of the Epcot version we saw back in ’75, over the big lake. There was so much smoke the other side, the country pavilions, was obliterated and the noise was astounding. Michell Malkin attacking Chris Rock is brave, sort of. She is completely unarmed in a battle of wits. “These Hollywood people…” Jeez Michelle, you serve an entertainment purpose. Nobody takes you seriously.

    That picture of the no-nonsense Wyoming women is scary, Mark. Say hey, Danny.

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  72. Suzy Andersen said on August 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    The 2006 petitions were apparently the source for cut-and-paste jobs in 2008 and 2010. Some of the 2006 petitions, however, also were duplicates.

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