Lance the imperfect.

OK, so: St. Lance.

Let’s get my prejudices on the table right up front. I have always thought Lance Armstrong was dirty, at least since I learned how dirty cycling is, which was sometime after his first Tour de France win, and before his last one. I can’t say there was any crushing moment when this dawned on me — I don’t idolize sports figures as a rule — but more of a cynical oh well there goes that one moment.

It always boiled down to this, for me: The sport is dirty, top to bottom, and has been for years. One by one, the titans of the sport have gone from deny-deny-deny to a mumbling OK-yeah-I-did-it-too. And we’re supposed to believe this one guy, this cancer survivor who won seven years in a row, wasn’t? I’ll grant you: None of this is based on hard evidence. I’ll grant you: He never had a positive test. I’ll grant you all of that. I only offer in return: So much smoke, and this guy isn’t on fire?

So I spent much of the weekend reading this and that. Liked this. Liked that. Liked this other thing. Came away thinking mostly the same thing: He was dirty, but the whole sport was dirty. He did what it took to win, and that’s what it took.

He always seemed like something of a jerk. Left his wife and kids, had a couple of kids with a girlfriend, the latest girlfriend. But who cares? Is he running for pope? No. He seems to believe fiercely in the idea that a cancer diagnosis isn’t a death sentence. This is good. He seems to be one of those guys who thinks that exercise will stave off the Grim Reaper more or less forever. He’s half-right, but he’ll learn the other half soon enough. In the meantime, I guess what I’m wondering is, why did we decide people could only be one thing? Good, or bad? He was the best dirty rider in a dirty sport for a very long time, and now this means no one can admire him? Who decided that?

But I don’t admire him. At the same time, I know that if he’s being railroaded, it’s entirely plausible this is the way to do it.

Which hardly counts as any sort of revelation, but we’re talking about a cyclist here. So let’s give it what it’s worth.

So, bloggage?

Ohio State fans? Some of you people — I just don’t know what to say.

I’ve been trying to watch the convention, but I just can’t. Someone bring me up to date, eh?

And happy Wednesday.

Posted at 12:19 am in Current events |

105 responses to “Lance the imperfect.”

  1. Dexter said on August 29, 2012 at 1:56 am

    With the Tigers fighting for their life to make the playoffs and the Reds looking like a sure bet to make the playoffs and advance a long way this year, I have no time to watch the Republicans. Even as I clicked between the two games rapidly, I only checked The Weather Channel between innings and I saw none of the convention.
    It’s like my second childhood, when in 1956 I was so mad that my cartoons were being bumped off the air by the blowhards at the conventions. In those days the business was done in daylight, and the networks stayed with it all day long. I still remember how I whined at missing George Reeves as Superman, Mighty Mouse saving the day, and my faves, Foghorn Leghorn and Yosemite Sam and their adventures. And I know if we still only had two channels (Fort Wayne’s ABC station wasn’t born yet…”The station began broadcasting on September 28, 1957 and aired an analog signal on UHF channel 21.”[Wikipedia]) …so if we only had two channels, I’d be whining because I was missing whatever was the regular shows.

    I am sure the networks that carry the college games are going to be pressing security to restrict vulgarly-clad tee shirt wearing people from entering the stadii this year. People are Sandusky’d out; he’s locked away forever , Paterno is dead and gone as is his statue, and I think fans want to watch some football.

    Chris Welsh , the Reds’ TV and sometimes radio color man, and baseball expert nonpareil, was asked last night if he was ready for college football, and he said not until baseball’s over, and lately I feel the same way.
    Since I don’t go to football games anymore, even more so. Baseball has won out for me.

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  2. Hattie said on August 29, 2012 at 2:24 am

    I can’t look at the convention either, and I feel sorry for media people who have to endure being there.

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  3. Sherri said on August 29, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Yes, Lance was doping, and yes, he was also being railroaded. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Same with Barry Bonds and with Roger Clemens.

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  4. David C. said on August 29, 2012 at 6:26 am

    I used to watch college football quite a lot – pros not so much. But I just can’t anymore. Part, I think, is being perverse about not liking what everyone else likes. But mostly, you can’t see all the concussions and all the suicides of fairly young men who have had their brains scrambled by all the hits they’ve taken. The human body just wasn’t intended to take collisions with anyone that big, running that fast, so often.

    Keep it Klassy Rs.

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  5. coozledad said on August 29, 2012 at 7:16 am

    The emergence of RNC talking points:

    “The sicker the patient, the less important is bedside manner. If you’ve just been diagnosed with a brain tumor, you honestly don’t care if your neurosurgeon is a jerk. You don’t care if he has a great personality. You want to know if you’re going to cut my head open, can you get the job done?”

    — Mike Huckabee.

    “Hell, if I get on a train, I don’t care if the engineer is a axe murderer and he’s feeding mangled bodies into the coal chute. Long as they got him locked up there in that engine and they got plenty bodies to keep her fired up. Just get me to Biloxi for a sweet, sweet chicken fried steak.”

    –Haley Barbour

    “I don’t care if the next leader of the free world wears jackboots and his last employment description was “paper hanging son of a bitch”. My only question is, will he keep his nose out of my ass while I shovel some more money into this beautiful casino/mall. Now, if you fucks will excuse me, I’m going to strip naked and sit in a repurposed hot tub full of prime rib andgravy.”

    –Chris Christie

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  6. Pam said on August 29, 2012 at 7:20 am

    First off, I didn’t actually see any fans at Ohio State wearing that t shirt. So should we be slapping OSU around or that someone of unknown origin? Second, if Lance is stripped of all his wins, who is actually the new winner of those Tour de France races? That’s who I think is the real shit disturber. Personally, I suspect the French. If the entire sport is dirty, how can anyone be declared a winner? Way to go cycling! Watching the R’s convention was never on my agenda, so that’s a relief.

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  7. Suzanne said on August 29, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I didn’t watch the convention. Watched Master Chef instead, but nobody made bad risotto, so none of the chef’s went ballistic.

    I’m tired of Ann Romney. She’s probably a nice person, but I’m already tired of the “I worked really hard because I stayed home with 5 boys and that wasn’t easy” whine. I didn’t have 5 kids because we couldn’t afford to. I stayed home with the ones I have until they got into school because we couldn’t freaking afford daycare. I’m sorry she has MS. However, add that to trying to bring enough money to put food on the table and wondering if your insurance will hold out long term, or wondering if the aid you get because you have no insurance will be pulled out from under you, well, Mrs. R., that is a hard life.

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  8. alex said on August 29, 2012 at 7:35 am

    The weather’s too beautiful right now to spend my evenings in front of the boob tube being insulted by empty suits who think we’re all stupid. Every day I endure more than my fair share of Republican politics via the village idiots around here. No point in listening to the very puppeteers who animate them.

    Martin Amis shares his take on this election. And leaves me feeling optimistic.

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  9. Jolene said on August 29, 2012 at 7:45 am

    What does it mean for a hurricane to “make landfall”? Does it mean that the eye of the hurricane is over land? Anyone know?

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  10. Deborah said on August 29, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Jolene, from my experience with hurricanes while growing up in Miami, FL, hitting landfall is when the leading edge of the storm hits. A lot of damage is done before the eye hits, the whole front half.

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  11. Laura W-B said on August 29, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I watched the convention. It was okay. I got the sense that the audience wasn’t feeling it, neither were the speakers. They were decent speeches, but none were memorable. Chris Christie went into this whole thing about how it is more important to be respected than to be loved. So, c’mon America! Vote for the guy you don’t love!

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  12. Dorothy said on August 29, 2012 at 8:27 am

    The idea of watching the RNC convention would never even enter my brain. I spent the evening at CMH picking up one of the girls we are host parents to. She’s such a delight to spend time with! She left last December and went home to Ukraine for three months, then went to Germany for her semester abroad. Now she’s fluent in 6 languages. And in the car on the way back to Gambier she tells me she is taking Chinese this year, her senior year. I really hope everyone will know this girl’s name some day. She is brilliant, a talented artist and so much fun to be with. I brag about her as though I gave birth to her!

    When I got home from that fun excursion I settled into bed for an hour of reading my first Laura Lippman novel, which I am enjoying very much. Can’t wait to start another one when this is done.

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  13. Ann said on August 29, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I think the shirt fits into the category of “troll bait.” I refuse to bite.

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  14. brian stouder said on August 29, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Ann – agreed

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  15. Peter said on August 29, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I watched portions of the convention last night, and I have to admit that I’m as prejudiced or more so than the next person: All I could think of when I saw the keynote speech was Holy Cow is Chris Christie morbidly obese.

    I’m sorry but I think cycling is a couple of notches below hockey, and one notch above roller derby and professional boxing. I would put it below professional bowling, but perhaps I’m too sentimental of Chris Schenkel and Earl Anthony.

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  16. brian stouder said on August 29, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Now there’s a name I hadn’t thought of in ages.

    I’d read a full-length feature article on Earl Anthony – or even go see the movie, if they made one.

    I asked Uncle Google about him, and found this, from August of 2001 –

    the lead sentence –

    Earl Anthony, professional bowling’s No. 1 title-winner and its first $1 million man, was found dead Tuesday at a friend’s home in New Berlin, Wis., having fallen down a flight of stairs. He was 63

    Call me morbid – but isn’t that the perfect ending for a professional bowler?

    step – step – step – step – sliiiiiide – crash!!

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  17. DellaDash said on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Any mention of Lance Armstrong is like the ping of a Pavlovian bell, causing me to salivate for another escape into “The Triplets of Belleville”.

    Any fleeting glimpse of the convention, if I’m brave enough to channel surf, is enough to bring on a bout of Sartre-Nausea.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on August 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

    This article suggests that Lance and other athletes are simply science experiments as they push their bodies beyond current limits. I don’t buy it, but YMMV:

    I also couldn’t bring myself to watch the convention, but in fairness I probably won’t watch the Dems either. But I have a delightful childhood memory of my parents watching nearly every second, Mom with a big sewing project laid out in front of her. I still have a beautiful wool kilt that she made during the 1972 conventions. It doesn’t fit now, but I’m keeping it anyway.

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  19. Connie said on August 29, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Hey Peter, roller derby isn’t what it used to be. I went to a meet last month and it was a fun family event. My IU grad student daughter has joined the roller derby in Bloomington, and skated for the Traverse City Toxic Cherries while she was there this summer for her summer job. It’s all flat track now and no fakery. I think it’s a girrrrrl power thing.

    I didn’t watch the convention but in my channel cruising I saw a bit. Chris Christie looked seriously large and I hated Ann Romney’s dress.

    My convention reporting has come from,, and, so you already know the viewpoint I am reading.

    And the throwing peanuts at a black Cnn employees just exemplifies what is wrong with the Republican party to me.

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  20. Deborah said on August 29, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Is there any hype out there about the upcoming Democratic Convention like there was for the Republican Convention a few weeks back? I haven’t seen anything. Why is that?

    I won’t be watching either of them. Our TV isn’t hooked up to the cable outlet anymore, since we moved it. And I haven’t missed it at all, except I’ll miss MadMen when it starts up again.

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  21. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

    brian: Like Lawrence on his motorcycle. With a classic flattop and Buddy Holly glasses. Paramus, NJ, make that spare.

    Ain’t that a bowler?

    “trying to watch the convention” is something like “trying to wear my hairshirt a few hours a day”. Being a GOPer these days is a lot like being an Opus Dei member. Abase yourself and convince yourself of a load of shit no normal human being would believe in. Were I to watch those lying dicks last night trying to push the “I did it my way, by myself” GOP line of shit when their dependence upon massive injections of federal cash through loans, grants, and preferential contracting is well known and widely reported, I’d parbly be in jail for some sort of mayhem this am. And Rubio’s parents as some sort of anti-Castro freedom fighters? Gutdom, who buys this shit. Rubio’s family was a bunch of effete Batista partisans that were atypical only in seeing the revolutionary writing on the wall a year or two early, and beating it to Miami a year before the rest. The Cuban poverty that FLA Cubanos and US rightwingers delight in blaming Castro for, actually resulted from the rich supporters of the foul dictator Fulgencio Batista absconding to America with all of the country’s wealth.

    As for Ayn Ryan and his “built it myself” bona fides, yeah, right, John Galt:

    The enormity of the zeal with which the phony legal agency USADA pursued its witch hunt against Lance Armstrong didn’t approach psycopathy, it gave the term new meaning. The doping agencies all make huge bucks from ownership of the testing labs, then refuse to take their own words for it when they can’t catch somebody they are as hot after as Javert on Jean Valjean. They have one ambiguous test for Armstrong, performed on a sample that went home for a long weekend in the fridg of a French testing tech. I’m generally with the athletes on this (surprise)mainly because the centerpiece of the whole doping hooha is American baseball, and the idea that steroids would improve performance in a game reliant on acute hand-eye coordination is patently ridiculous. In fact, the alleged recuperative effects of steroid use would obviously favor pitchers over hitters. Anyway, USADA displays all of the credibility and legitimacy of the NCAA, without the latter’s obvious concern for due process.

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  22. Jolene said on August 29, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Thanks for the info, Deborah.

    I watched the convention. I believe it’s important to keep an eye on the enemy. The piece I found the most entertaining was my governor, the governor of Virginia, bragging about our state’s relatively favorable economy as a demonstration of the value of Republican free market principles.

    As I told my Facebook friends, if it weren’t for federal spending, Virginia would be Mississippi.

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  23. MichaelG said on August 29, 2012 at 10:44 am

    That’s the thing about stripping Armstrong of his titles. To whom do you award them? You gonna tell me that the second or third or whomever riders are any cleaner? It seems like this Anti-doping group (who are they and who made them God anyway?) had some kind of thing for Armstrong. Why, I don’t know. There are lots of dopers out there. How and why do they pick their victims?

    The conventions used to be fun to watch when they meant something. When you didn’t know for sure who the nominee was going to be and the roll call meant something. When the veep candidate was chosen around Wednesday midnight.

    Now it’s nothing but a party, photo op and campaign rally. I don’t watch them.

    I did see a clip of Ann Romney on the news this AM. Did I really hear her say “And he’s an American”? They just can’t help themselves. Had to throw a bone to the birthers.

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  24. Scout said on August 29, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I read somewhere that the only people watching the convention are the ultra partisans and the live bloggers*. Ann Romney is reported to have made a nice speech. Good for her, I guess. And the partisans keep swooning over how awesome Christie is, but every time I see a picture of him I am reminded of Jabba the Hut, and should he ever try for the White House I’m guessing the low info voters would disqualify him on looks alone. The racist peanut thrower exemplifies the whole party platform even though they made a big show of tossing the jerk outta the place. I’m expecting some winger to speculate that the asshole was a Dem plant to make the Goops look bad

    Meanwhile, as we wait for the Dem convention, there’s this:
    I was visiting family and off the intertubes for a while, so I apologize if this has already been shared here.

    * on edit – and Jolene!

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  25. Dorothy said on August 29, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Chris Christie as a presidential candidate would be wise to pick his V.P. very carefully, as he’s a perfect specimen of a ticking time bomb. He’s shaped exactly like a guy (Dan, around 48 years old) who used to work at my office when I worked in Cincinnati. Dan and a much younger guy were at a client’s warehouse one day and as they walked to the car, Dan handed Jason the keys and said “Go on and get the car started. I’ll catch up.” Jason got about 15 feet away and then heard a very loud thud. Dan keeled over on the spot, face first. He broke his nose and also died instantly of a massive heart attack. The other ladies and I in the office used to speculate when he was going to have an attack because he was always so out of breath and so very, very heavy. We were all terrified. Poor Jason – only about 25 years old and had to handle this emergency situation about 75 miles from the office.

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  26. Sue said on August 29, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I haven’t watched the convention and I definitely couldn’t watch Indictable Boy’s speech. I think WI is going to go for Romney in November, with our without Van Hollen’s maneuvering to reinstate the voter ID law. It might help if Obama would show his face in the state, but who knows, maybe he’s already written us off.

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  27. Jolene said on August 29, 2012 at 10:57 am

    There was one small piece of good political news yesterday: Ben Quayle, son of Dan, lost his primary in Arizona, so he won’t be returning to Congress. The Republican who beat him is likely just as bad and will probably win in November, but, still, he seemed like a particularly nasty piece of work. I’m glad we’re shut of him, at least for now.

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  28. nancy said on August 29, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Hadn’t heard this until now: Ben Quayle lost his primary yesterday.

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  29. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 11:01 am

    And the throwing peanuts at a black Cnn employees just exemplifies what is wrong with the Republican party to me.

    Well, yeah, but their loony conviction that CNN is somehow biased against them is an obvious symptom of paranoia and mental deficiency.

    Ann RMoney was as full of shit as the rest of them in her reprise of the Anna Gunn Role as Skyler White. Struggling newlyweds my fracking ass.

    Hearing the Hermanator’s accusations of being railroaded by the GOP reminded me of just how funny the GOPer primary season was. What did he think the Party of Milhous would do to a black candidate that was a serial sexual predator? It’s not funny at all that Americans are stupid enough to vote for one of those Klowns.

    And Christie looks separated at birth from Jabba, but he really reminds me of the corrupt police captain played by Orson Wells in A Touch of Evil, or a particularly stupid Sopranos extra character. Or a really gross guy in a blackmail picture with a dead girl or a live boy in his bed.

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  30. Judybusy said on August 29, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I just finished a book about the most recent Congress, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do,” by Robert Draper. It’s a quick read, and was very helpful for me to re-learn many of the players as we go into this election season. It was also pretty discouraging, as it highlights the exreme views of the so-called tea party congress people. It’s a bit hard to make sense of 2010 to early 2012 from recall–at least for me, and the book does a great job of summing up all the shenanigans.

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  31. Charlotte said on August 29, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Not only did they throw peanuts at the CNN employee, but they booed the Puerto Rican delegation during the roll call, then chanted USA! at them ( — although the update claims, to be fair, that it could have just been more angry Rand Paul protesters. On FB, I keep seeing defensive Repubs using what boils down to the “I know I am but what so are you” defense — claiming that these are just a few wacky outliers, and that the Democrats are “just as bad.” — “Just as bad,” is the meme of choice among my lifelong Repub friends who just can’t admit their party has become a cesspool of racist thugs.
    So not looking forward to going to Lake Forest next week ….

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  32. MaryRC said on August 29, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Suzanne, I know what you mean about being tired of Ann Romney trying to play poor. It’s like Mitt and his NASCAR comment, she can’t quite get it to come out right. They had to live in a basement and eat pasta and tuna, oh no! This would have been around the time that they were so broke that they had to sell stock from their investment portfolio just to survive, I gather. Apparently no-one explained to her that if she wanted to sound convincing, she should say “Ramen noodles” instead of pasta. Or at least “tuna-noodle casserole”, just to make it sound as though that really happened.

    I ate my share of Ramen in my time — 25 cents a package. Kraft mac & cheese was less than a dollar and it could feed two of us. I don’t think we ever thought of it as “pasta”.

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  33. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Ben Quayle(e)? GOPers are purging pornsters to clear the deck for their all-out war on porn to deflect from their Lost jobs, lost jobs, lost jobs policies if they take the Senate.

    Ron Jeremy wants to know, “What about free enterprise capitalism guys?”

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  34. LAMary said on August 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I watched Ann Romney and Chris Christie. I have no problem with Chris’s weight. He’s representing his constituency. And while I disagree with nearly everything he said in his speech I have a soft spot for him because he yelled at idiots in who were accusing a nominee for a judge position of being a Muslim terrorist because he had a middle eastern sounding name.
    The poor newlywed thing was hard to swallow and while MS and breast cancer are terrible things to go through, going through them with no financial worries makes it easier. I suspect she knew she wasn’t going to lose her house trying to cover medical expenses.
    After Christie’s speech I switched to Dance Moms and we all realized that Abby Lee looks like Chris Christie in drag.

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  35. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    This is just flat-out ignorant. Ayn Ryan believes that increasing US coal production will create jobs. Maybe for respiratory therapists The entire history of the coal industry in the US has been characterized by increasing automation and laying off miners that Massey Energy didn’t kill by flouting OSHA and MSHA regulations. And of course, his asinine argument begs the question of what will happen when the entire eastern seaboard has its aquifers fouled by mountopping spoil being dumped into Appalachian waterways and wetlands. Guess that’ll lower unemployment pretty effectively. But shit, why would anyone expect clearer thinking from an asshat that couldn’t figure out Ayn Rand was an atheist.

    Ryan also described rape as an alternative “method of conception”:

    Gawd, what an ahole.

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  36. Peter said on August 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Oh no, Connie, placing cycling one notch above roller derby wasn’t meant as a slam on roller derby – it has come a long way since the LA Thunderbirds. Even so, I don’t see ESPN jumping all over it, and I think that’s about the same amount of coverage they should devote to cycling.

    Prospero: Opus Dei? Oy. They have a dorm/house about a block from my house, and something tells me that they ‘re not so strict on their vow of poverty. What a scary bunch. They have to be one of just a few groups that makes current Republicans look sane.

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  37. Charlotte said on August 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Have you all seen Charles Pierce this morning?

    “It was an entire evening based on a demonstrable lie because it was an entire evening based on rejecting — publicly and dishonestly, and without caring that the facts of your own biographies give the lie to the words you’re saying — the idea of a general political commonwealth as expressed through the national government, which has been the great engine behind the expansion of the country’s size, the country’s wealth, and, yes, the country’s freedom. It was a purchase in that political commonwealth, and not in a loose confederation of states, that King sought, and that Lyndon sought to give the country’s poorest citizens, including the vote, which the government of John Kasich in Ohio is presently working assiduously to roll back.”

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  38. alice said on August 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I’m way behind on my reading so I’ll fly off the topic: Anyone else watching “Copper”?

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  39. paddyo' said on August 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    As I told my Facebook friends, if it weren’t for federal spending, Virginia would be Mississippi.
    Jolene brings it!

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  40. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Mike Ehrmantraut (Johnathan Banks) interview:–20120828

    After Kasich lured the State of Ohio into tanking its public employee pension funds with Lehman Bros., he’s got some nads showing his face in public. What a deceitful POS. But for vote suppression, he’s a piker compared to Rick Scott, the career criminal that defraude Medicare to the tune of fracking $billions and got away with it Scott free.

    And if it weren’t for Oxford and Biloxi, Mississippi would be Ala-fracking-bama.

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  41. Connie said on August 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    The New York Times reports on August 29, 2012 on the life and death of DeAndre McCullough in Baltimore on August 1, 2012 at age 35 of an apparent heroin overdose.

    DeAndre’s youth had been chronicled in the non-fiction book and HBO mini-series, The Corner, A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood (New York, Broadway Books, 1997), by David Simon and Edward Burns. DeAndre’s parents, both Baltimore residents addicted to drugs are central figures in the book and miniseries. The book and mini-series were sort of a scholarly prelude by Simon and Burns to the HBO smash hit series, The Wire, about contemporary urban life, policing,urban politics, drug trafficking, drug use in Baltimore.

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  42. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    These idiots keep admitting to judges they are full of crap on voter ID fraud, and the idiot judges keep finding for them anyway.

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  43. churchlady said on August 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    DavidC’s link took me to a post which included a picture of Chris Christie speaking at the convention. I’d seen pictures of Gov. Christie before but this time I was reminded of Mr. Creosote from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (part 1) [I’m still waiting for part 2]. Even in a world full of obese people Christie looks elephantine, morbid, repulsively fat. One rumors that he might run for president next election, but seriously, how many people are going to look at him, shudder, and say ‘no way!’ Not to mention his New Jersey ‘thug’ attitude and dismal economic record in NJ.

    But getting back to DavidC’s link, it is just amazing that people would actually do something like this,knowing that there are thousands (tens of thousands?) or reporters wandering around looking for something to report, and to a camerawoman, who only has to swing her camera their way to document what they were doing. Apparently the concept of being on their good behavior because ‘the whole world is watching’ has completely escaped them. And while they were ejected quickly rapidly enough the fact remains that they did this.

    Of course the oddity here is that it was first reported on a tweet from David Schuster (Current TV), picked up by TalkingPointsMemo and reluctantly confirmed by the woman’s employer, CNN. It’s hard to imagine a news organization willfully passing on a news item but then I guess they didn’t want to be the ones to report that the GOP are profoundly racist.

    If it weren’t for Lance Armstrong I’d never have heard of the Tour de France. So, for as much as the French seem to hate Armstrong the fact is that he “made” the Tour. I’m disappointed that he was doping, just as I have been disappointed by all the baseball players who’ve doped, juiced their bats or doctored the ball. Is there a sport that doesn’t attract cheating? I never was much for sports to begin with so it’s easy for me to look at all these stories about all the cheating in so many sports and feel as little vindicated in my disdain.

    Deborah asked a good question, has there been any hype for the Democrat’s convention the way there was for the Republican’s? The conventional answer is ‘no’ because there are no surprises about who the candidates are going to be (the sitting president) or the party platform (whatever Obama wants). Except that that is no different from the Republicans. Romney had the nomination wrapped up, he had already made his VP announcement and the platform merely puts into cold print the ugliness of the Tea Party. There’s really no longer a need to have a convention at all, except each party deserves a chance to roll out their man. Only the Republicans have had a whole summer to roll out Romney, his platform and stuff, all but unchallenged by fact-finding or the President. Thus the shorter answer is: Television is a notoriously right-leaning cartel.

    On a lighter note, and god knows we need a lighter note, my wife was telling me about this game on Facebook where you combine the color of the underwear your wearing with the last thing you eat and that’s the name of your spaceship. Something like ‘Black Asparagus.’ I suggested ‘Scooby Doo Hot Dog’ though Scooby Doo is a print not a color of underwear.

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  44. brian stouder said on August 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Green PB&J

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  45. Sue said on August 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    On another lighter note, the thing that amazes me about this video is the way the twins look at each other. What a connection.

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  46. alex said on August 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Navy quinoa & couscous chicken soup.

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  47. brian stouder said on August 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Now that sounds like a starship!

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  48. Deborah said on August 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Grey granola, sounds awful

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  49. brian stouder said on August 29, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Oh, I don’t think so, Deborah; it strikes me as an evocative name.

    I immediately pictured a pleasant personal-sized space craft with a peace sign on it, and maybe an Obama-2012 sticker.

    Although I suppose it might also be the name of an interplanetary grain barge…

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  50. 4dbirds said on August 29, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Can’t watch the convention for two reasons. One is my daughter, ill for a couple of weeks is now hospitalized with something called Septicemia. So on a very personal level I don’t give a flying fuck about the Republican hatepolooza. Two, I would never bother my beautiful mind with their shit anyway.

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  51. Bitter Scribe said on August 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    4dbirds: Ouch! Hope she didn’t pick up a bug in the hospital. Those can be nasty. Best wishes for her safety.

    I try not to notice Christie’s obesity because it’s got nothing to do with the price of rice. But why does he always look so obnoxious? In almost every single picture I’ve ever seen of him, he always seems to have his mouth wide open, braying at somebody or something. Being so fat doesn’t help in that regard, I guess.

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  52. LAMary said on August 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Bitter, have you ever been to NJ? I bet JWfromNJ would confirm my assertion that Gov Christie is a real NJ type. Not that the majority of my fellow Jerseyans are like that. There’s just a lot folks who have that manner. I’m related to a few.

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  53. Maggie Jochild said on August 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Depends Quesadilla.

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  54. brian stouder said on August 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Maggie J – thread win!

    Sounds like a Southwestern-themed interplanetary cruise ship

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  55. Linda said on August 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    “Only the Republicans have had a whole summer to roll out Romney, his platform and stuff, all but unchallenged by fact-finding or the President. Thus the shorter answer is: Television is a notoriously right-leaning lazy and cowardly cartel.”

    Fixed it for you. The president has been challenging them, but the media has only begun to. And it may not matter, because the American public is too lazy to investigate or read, and gets all its political information through commercials. The media is like some Poindexter kid who has been rolled for lunch money so often that they will give it up after a dirty look.

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  56. Little Bird said on August 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Striped Toast, sounds pretty boring.

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  57. Jolene said on August 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    The poor newlywed thing was hard to swallow and while MS and breast cancer are terrible things to go through, going through them with no financial worries makes it easier. I suspect she knew she wasn’t going to lose her house trying to cover medical expenses.

    Indeed. I’ve read several stories about acts of genuine kindness and generosity in Mitt Romney’s past, but the connection to policy is never made. It’s wonderful that Mitt was willing to help somebody finance a house in the face of a medical crisis or pay somebody’s college tuition after a parent died, but what about all the people who don’t happen to know Mitt Romney–or anybody else w/ a kind heart and a fat wallet?

    What’s worst about Romney, though, is how little he seems to care about anything in particular and how tied he is to people who care only about themselves and their money. He pushed through Romneycare in the right way and for the right reason, but he’s been pushed into a commitment to repeal Obamacare, the almost identical federal version of his own program, simply because the Republicans feel compelled to oppose whatever Obama has done or tried to do. His opposition to Obamacare is wholly without any logical justification and thus demonstrates his cravenness and his desire to gain power for God knows what reason.

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  58. brian stouder said on August 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    sounds like a 24-hour diner…

    “Welcome aboard the SS Striped Toast – now offering home-style hash-brown potatoes”

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  59. Brandon said on August 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    @4dbirds: I hope your daughter recovers soon.

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  60. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Apparently, the band Third Eye Blind was asked to play a GOP convention party, but turned it down. Here’s the articulate explanation from the band’s lead singer, who has the GOP sussed perfectly:

    And one thing to remember about all the USADA and Lance rancor is that one person that won the Tour once and was caught doping red-handed, and has always exuded lunatic jealousy of Armstrong, was the original source of the entire shitstorm, Floyd Landis:

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  61. Judybusy said on August 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Pink BLT.

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  62. Jolene said on August 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Re whether there’s been hype for the Dem convention next week, I’ve gotten lots of emails inviting me to make a contribution for a chance to win a trip to Charlotte. The winner would get to meet Barack and sit with Micelle during Barack’s speech. So they’ve definitely been pushing it. Here’s a web site that will give you a sense of some of the plans.

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  63. Connie said on August 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Green flowered grilled cheese and tomato sandwich. Just doesn’t do it for me.

    I much prefer my Captain Underpants name of Zippy Stinkerchunks.

    There’s another version out there that has me being buttercup burger head. Way better than porn names.

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  64. MaryRC said on August 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    White white toast — even more boring!

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  65. Dorothy said on August 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Beige lobster bisque. Kind of revolting.

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  66. churchlady said on August 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    First, best wishes for 4dbirds’ daughter. I hope she get well.

    Secondly, an interesting take on the nut throwing incident
    It isn’t about the implicit racism of the incident but the Rights whole attitude towards the media, regardless of race.

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  67. Dorothy said on August 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    wait, wait…. forgot that I had a little tube of Sixlets for dessert. Let’s pretend the undies are a different color:

    Paisley Sixlets – now that’s okay!!

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  68. John (not McCain) said on August 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Teal Cheddar. Does not sound tasty.

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  69. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Jolene@57: The big thing from internet GOPers these days is the story of how Willard gave all his inheritance to”charity”. By his own description, he gave it to LDS. If you believe LDS is a charity, lot’s of Cali referendum voters would probably disagree vehemently. In fact, after that foray into nekkid partisan politics, it’s difficult to imagine why LDS has not had its tax-exempt status rescinded by the IRS. The reaction to that would have been hilariously hysterical. More abuse from the dummy mastermind that needs a teleprompter. And the photos of the RNC teleprompter have made me laugh.

    Overt GOPer racism and minority vote suppression efforts started me thinking about the great Bradbury story from Martian Chronicles, Way Up in the Middle of the Air, in which black people build their own Mars vehicles. Y’all reminded me of this with this underwear/food starship bidness, and it turns out that somebody else was thiinking about the story recently, in an excellent post on the CounterPunch blog:

    Chris Christie is an asshole and was undoubtedly a bully as a child. It’s easy to spot in adults. He also frequently has no idea what sort of crap is spewing from his mouth:

    As far as the guy’s political future and his obesity, does anybody think having a President that’s clearly a glutton is a good idea? That ain’t “glandulah”, he got that way the old fashioned way. Then again, the GOP might be less inclined to nominate a complete dickwad for VP if Christie were at the top of the ticket.

    They can’t do that, can they? That would leave redneck Teabangers at the bottom of the heap.

    I’ve got a toaster that puts the LA Dodgers logo on our toast. With the weather we’ve had this summer and last, I’ve invested in performance wicking fabrics, and all the underpants are blue or gray, but damn, they are a comfort when things get sweaty between the fundament and the bike seat. Anyway, I’m left with Sharkskin Gray Panini with Kalamata Tapinade, according to REI and the lunch I made us.

    Maggie: Those are on the menu at Taco Bell, I believe. Beige lobster bisque is what happens when you put too much Harvey’s Bristol Cream in the soup. Zippy Stinkerchunks sounds like some offensive behavior on Dogshaming.

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  70. LAMary said on August 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I can dislike Chris Christie for a lot of reasons, but not for his weight. Not that I love obesity, but I think it’s wrong to discriminate against fat people.

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  71. Heather said on August 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    “Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers”:

    This, I think, is the scariest thing I’ve read in a while.

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  72. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I missed Della Dash’s reference to The Triplets of Belleville earlier. Astounding movie.

    le jazz hot.

    I’m not discriminating against Christie because he’s a fat pig, I just think a no-self-control glutton is a poor choice for high political office.

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  73. Jolene said on August 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Prospero@69, I’m not talking about giving money to the Mormon church. I’m talking about specific kinds of help he gave to individuals and families. There’ve been several stories about him doing things for others that he wouldn’t have had to do, most recently described in a couple of WaPo stories by Jason Horowitz.

    I don’t think we have to make him into a monster to oppose him.

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  74. brian stouder said on August 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Heather, if you click the Bridge link on Nancy’s main page/sidebar, at the end of a lengthy recitation (or fact-check) of statements around the construction of a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor

    you come to this (marvelous!) concluding statement:

    Foul or no foul:

    Foul. “Get The Facts” continues the trend of previous ads from Moroun circles. Facts are missing; distortions are used.

    Maybe it’s the memory of some knuckle-wrapping teacher or other, but for whatever reason, I loved that!

    And completely aside from that, here’s another headline that made me tilt my head:

    Ex-Butterball Worker Pleads Guilty to Turkey Abuse

    The lead sentence:

    RAEFORD, N.C. (AP) — A former employee of a Butterball plant in North Carolina has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after he was seen on videotape abusing turkeys.

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  75. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Heather@71: The work to welfare canard being pushed by Willard’s campaign is particularly odious in its mendacity because the waivers were a GOP idea that President Obama chose to go along with. Still for all the racist freight that lie carries, it can’t touch the Medicare lie. Old people will vote for RMoney and Ayn Ryan based on bigotry, sadly mistaken self-interest and a monstrously cycnical lie, and will wake up a month after the election with no health care coverage at all unless they’re ridiculously rich and can apply their counter-productive new tax cuts to their medical bills.

    New RMoney/Ryan campaign slogan:

    Groupon for Health Care.

    Jolene, I was talking about the ubiquitous “He gave away his entire inheritance to charity” shit that’s all over the internet. Fetid bullshit. About as likely as the stories about all those jobs Bain created. Or the undocumented landscapers that lost their jobs at his house in Belmont because “I can’t have this. I’m running for president, for Pete’s sake.”

    Now he’s reduced to claiming women should vote for him because he passed Romneycare, while insisting he’ll dump Obamacare on “Day One” (his own words). That qualifies as monstrous in my opinion. But the “giving away his inheritance” thing is just obnoxious as hell.

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  76. Little Bird said on August 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I saw this somewhere else, maybe here, but I offer this in the biking theme.

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  77. MichaelG said on August 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Blue Kung Pao Shrimp

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  78. brian stouder said on August 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Michael – I think the nn.c fleet of spaceships has got to be the best-named fleet in all the world(s)!

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  79. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    GOPers vs. intelligent women with Hispanic given names:

    That’ll win more hearts and minds than letting the bridge fall down, Pawlenty. It’s hard out there for a RMoney surrogate. And it really hurts when they suck out half your brain matter with a big basting syringe.

    And Kasich (R, Lehman Bros.) is pwned by former Gov. Granholm. But of course, as Willard says, it was his idea that got the automobile industry moving again. Another spectacular fracking lie.

    And I think the FLI in the name of that pedal-less bike must stand for Flintstone.

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  80. Scout said on August 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Commando Dark Chocolate.

    Like LA Mary points out, there are better reasons to abhor Christie other than his obesity. However, I maintain Americans are too shallow to elect a guy who looks like him POTUS. Which is fine, since many are too deluded to oppose him for the right reasons.

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  81. Julie Robinson said on August 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    4dbirds, I hope your daughter’s medical helpers can quickly find the right antibiotics to take out the septicemia. I had it myself, from my first ever bladder infection, and landed in the hospital for a few days. When she gets out she’ll be weak and languid for awhile, six weeks in my case. But I’ll be hoping and praying her recovery is just around the corner, and that things will be looking up for you soon.

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  82. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Commando Dark Chocolate is surely a blaxploitation movie starring Pam Grier.

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  83. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Sam freaking Brownback, seriously reactionary climate change denier and hardcore anti-women’s-healthcare Repub whacko, says Willard is lying about the work to welfare waivers.

    And anybody that says Willard isn’t injecting race into his dishonesty when he says:

    Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and you wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check. And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare …

    is either delusional or a bigger liar than Mittens, especially when the ad features hard-working white people and non-working black people.

    11 on a sleaze rating of 1-10.

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  84. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Romney’s constituents and race, why he’s lying his ass off about welfare to work:

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  85. LAMary said on August 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    One good thing about the GOP convention. They cancelled Donald Trump. Thank you, GOP.

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  86. ROGirl said on August 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Prospero, you could take every reference to Romney from that article and substitute it with Reagan, changing 2012 to 1980, and it would still be Macomb County white lower middle class voters expressing resentment against blacks on welfare and feeling vulnerable and uncertain about their futures. Nothing has really changed, even though we have an African-American president.

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  87. Jolene said on August 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Prospero, thanks for the link to the Fournier article. He’s been pushing hard on the welfare ad issue, which is great.

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  88. Jolene said on August 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Just listening to storm coverage on NBC. Man, what a lot of water. Too bad some of it couldn’t be distributed to the bone-dry places further north and west.

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  89. basset said on August 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Blue Pudding. I think they opened for Pink Floyd at the Roundhouse in 1967.

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  90. Rana said on August 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Whenever I see Ann Romney, I am reminded of a certain type of woman who was very common in Southern California when I was in grad school there: tanned, manicured, and “lifted,” with hair carefully streaked just so, wearing expensive “exercise” wear, and spending the day doing nothing but hanging out with similar women and spending their husbands’ money. They always had a frighteningly steely look in their eyes and an expression of utter contempt for anyone with less money than themselves.

    What gets me, in addition, is that Ann Romney is supposed to be the warm, fuzzy, relate-able side of the partnership. Yikes.

    Also – I read an analysis of her speech, which noted that while the speech did a decent job attempting to humanize her and their marriage with little details like the tuna, there was nothing like that regarding the candidate himself. No cute little stories of him being clueless but well-meaning around the house, no kittens rescued from trees, nothing. Like her husband with his tax forms, she expects us to just trust that he’s an awesome human being merely because she asserts he is.

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  91. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Of course, when you point out the appeal to bigotry in the bogus welfare to work claim, GOPer victimhood mode kicks in and they accuse the messenger of “playing the race card”, the all-purpose get out of jail free defense for every racist thing they do.

    And anybody that points out that more white people benefit from government programs like welfare and foodstamps will be called a liar by the liars. Actually, governors that wanted to take advantage of the waiver, whicch were the idea of GOP governors in the first place, had to certify they would improve their states’ welfare to work performance by 20%. So what the hell is Mittens talking about. As for “gutting” welfare reform, only six states have requested and been granted the waivers. Here’s an explanation from the administration that a reasonably intelligent middle schooler would understand:

    I find it depressing as hell that so many Americans are dumb enough to buy this crap, and even more are bigoted enough to assume it’s true without bothering to examine it. No way to run a representative democracy.

    Here’s a blog about the storm from Wunderground, the best weather website:

    One more thing. Put the GOPers back in the driver’s seat, nobody will be eating tuna without succumbing to mercury poisoning. These same fools believe coal mining concerns should operat without regulation, to create jobs. Gutdom that is ignorant as hell. R&R making the marketplace toyland for Massey Energy, because it’s a trustworthy corporate person, my friend.

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  92. Charlotte said on August 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    For those of you who know the area — fires in the Paradise Valley — Pine Creek lodge and cabins just burned down, fires headed north toward Deep Creek. Very scary. Town is full of smoke …

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  93. Deborah said on August 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Rana, when I lived in St. Louis there was an enclave of wealth, a suburb called Ladue that was crawling with Ann Romneys. I called them Ladue matrons, with hair just like hers and all seemed to have her same fashion sense. They were corporate wives through and through. Their kids went to the tony private schools, the same ones they’d gone to, and they shopped at this particular mall, I’ve forgotten the name of, but it has a Nieman Marcus. None of them worked that I know of.

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  94. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Good source of accurate information re ACA:

    No matter what the Pisant Pawlenty might try to claim when he’s insulting Soledad O’Brien.

    This guy says Mrs. RMoney’s speech was classic GOP gender propaganda, channeling their inner June Cleavers:

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  95. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Frank Luntz. More sleazy and disgusting than Chris Christie:

    Another intelligent commentary on GOP race-baiting while claiming they are the victims of race-baiting:

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  96. Rana said on August 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Deborah @93 I called them Ladue matrons

    I had to laugh at this, because I called their So Cal equivalents the “La Jolla madams.” Clearly, women such as these are indeed A Thing, wherever they may be located.

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  97. Linda said on August 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Prospero, another good source of info on the law is, which has lots of golden info on the law and health insurance in general.

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  98. Deborah said on August 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Charlotte, I hope you and yours are not in danger too?

    edit: Rana “madams” is so much better than “matrons”, wish I’d thought of that.

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  99. Jolene said on August 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Michelle Obama is going to be on Letterman this evening. Tapes will be online if you want to check it out tomorrow.

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  100. Jolene said on August 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Juan Williams called Ann Romney a “corporate wife,” and he got hammered by the campaign for it. Here’s what E. J. Dionne had to say in defending both him and Chris Matthews.

    Meanwhile, Eric Cantor is on TV saying that low ratings of Congress are Barack Obama’s fault.

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  101. Minnie said on August 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    MaryRC @ 32: “Pasta”. Snork, sniggle, snort. That Ann!

    Thank god, I had red beans and rice to get through college and after. For a change there was black beans and rice or black-eyed peas and cornbread. Sure beat ramen, which was unheard of in that place and time.

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  102. Sue said on August 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I remember Mickey Rooney talking about his poor childhood, which I thought was odd because I always thought he was a millionaire by 14 or something. Anyway, he said “You know, we were poor but clean”, which sounds laughable until you think about the depression-era context. And he said it in exactly the way I’ve heard people who went through the depression say that kind of thing – intense and earnest, very much wanting you to understand that they might not have had a thing, but they had their pride and they were hanging onto that with a vise-grip.
    Ann Romney with her tuna and pasta doesn’t understand poor. She doesn’t understand young and struggling or old and emotionally damaged by poverty that happened decades before. She should haul herself to a senior center and listen to stories about how filling popcorn was and the shame in accepting a government box of food. She and those with whom she stands want to bring back the days when need was shameful and also useful in setting people against each other. That’s the good old days these folks are harkening back to.

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  103. alex said on August 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    “The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare. And we’re gonna stop it.”

    Ryan’s delivering a rousing speech and getting lots of applause, but it’s all a lot of manufactured outrage built on patent lies. That bitch is slick. Here’s hoping people see him for the snake oil salesman that he is.

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  104. Minnie said on August 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Sue, my mother said the same thing.

    4dbirds, hope your daughter recovers soon. Please let us know.

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  105. Prospero said on August 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Willard has a cocktail party for his Citizens United sleazeball secret fatcat donors on a Cayman Islands flagged yacht called “Cracker Bay”?

    Nope, that is not the Onion:

    Holy shit, what assholes.

    Sorry Alex, but that is not slick. It’s such a brazen and completely debunke load of BS, anybody that believes it is an idiot by birth, or has had their frontal lobes destroyed with an icepick and a small metal mallet. Maybe Nurse Ratched told them what to believe after they went to the Electroshock room to get buzzed and fuzzed. One way or another, anybody that believes the shit coming out of Ayn Ryan’s mouth is non compos mentis.

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