Bow down. Then sleep.

I didn’t sleep well last night, due to a too-light dinner and a heavy workload. Nothing like waking up at 4 a.m. with hunger pangs and the usual dead-of-night conviction that ALL THE WORK YOU DO IS SHIT, AND SOONER OR LATER THE WORLD WILL DISCOVER THIS.

I read the iPad for a while, dozed off, got up for good at 5:30. It’s amazing how many people are updating their Facebook and Twitter at that hour. There are really only a couple of hours in the very dead of night when my stream is dead. I know this because one of my Twitter follows is @big_ben_clock, which does nothing but chime on the hour. When two or three of those stack up, I know the United States is sound asleep, coast to coast.

I should follow some Europeans. At that hour, the day is already moving at full speed over there. (And yes, I could simply try to go back to sleep like a normal person, but how can you do that when the world is thrumming with news and information?)

But as usually happens, my wee-hours fears were for naught, the day went well, and I just finished a salad-and-pasta meal with two glasses of wine. I would very much like to watch “Bachelorette” on demand, but fear I’ll be taken down before it’s over. Carbs + alcohol = an early bedtime for me.

In the meantime, I’ll tell you about the fall movies I’m planning to see. Roger Ebert reported a bit from Toronto this week, and says he’s willing to bet “Argo” will be the year’s Best Picture Oscar winner. On the list? Why, yes. Also, “The Master” and certainly “Cloud Atlas,” because I lurved the novel so, so much. Roger says: Stirring and grand, and maybe great, but maybe not. Honestly, as usually happens with books I love, I’m less taken with the plot — although the plot(s) in “Cloud Atlas” are mind-boggling — than I am with the author’s prose style, which movies generally don’t deal with.

And yeah, I think “The Sessions,” but that will probably be a wait-for-DVD. And likely “Lincoln,” although if I can’t go as Brian Stouder’s and Jeff the MM’s date, what’s the damn point?

Did any news happen today? We had a little office chat about Nate Silver, who is so bullish on Obama’s reelection that he’s either going to make his career on Election Night or be struck with the urge to take a long vacation. He was scarily right last time, but who knows what that means?

I was perhaps too flip yesterday in dismissing Jonathan Kozol’s own too-flip observation about homelessness. At the time he made it, I recall a changing world in which great wealth was flooding into the nation’s large cities, closing the SRO hotels that had housed the addicted fringe. They were driven into the street with the freed mentally ill, and walking among this cohort in places like New York, Chicago and even Columbus, it was easy to get frustrated with anyone who suggested a simple solution. As many of you have pointed out, housing is the solution to homelessness, but it has to be the right sort of housing, and it has to be bolstered with appropriate support. If I oversimplified, I apologize.

Tom & Lorenzo have been at Fashion Week and critiquing actresses at the various Toronto film festival premieres, and I’m enjoying both very much. Adding to bucket list: Once, just once, inspiring a smart fashion eye to say, “Bow down, bitches.”

September 11, 2012 — an odd-year anniversary, but discuss if you like.

Posted at 12:36 am in Current events, Movies, Popculch |

83 responses to “Bow down. Then sleep.”

  1. Dexter said on September 11, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Last year I shared my thoughts on September 11, and this year, the 11th anniversary , it’s time for just a short review. The three benchmarks I recall most vividly are the first reports of a “small plane hitting one of the towers”, Peter Jennings’ superb , cool handed reporting, and the twin horrors of seeing the second plane hitting on live television and later the towers collapsing. Locally I remember how 1970s-style gasoline lines formed in the early evening, and then later the weird story of how I bought a used VW Jetta car from my neighbor who had flown to Baltimore to visit his dying brother-in-law for the last time and had to get back to Ohio, was caught in the all-flights-grounded situation, and he bought a Baltimore Sun and found the car for $100, assessed the problems, taxi’d to a parts store, and repaired the car and drove it back to Ohio and made it to work on time. I paid him $500 and drove it for a couple years, and the Baltimore newspaper was in the trunk, as was some horse track tickets and a few other Baltimore items. The story was legit.

    I made a new Facebook connection yesterday, a student at Hue University, College of Foreign Languages. She is a cousin of my friend’s Vietnamese wife. She knows little of American culture and posted how she would like to know what foods are popular in the USA. I also sent her a message about my being a veteran of the war against her country. She wrote back that much pain still exists for the people of her country, but her youthful hatred of the Chinese, Americans, and French peoples has rescinded. Christ, those people have been through the goddam wringer over the centuries….

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  2. coozledad said on September 11, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Start off with the hook.

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  3. David C. said on September 11, 2012 at 7:41 am

    I think Prof. Cole’s take on 9-11 is about right. I still can’t figure out why so many peoples first response to it was to go wait in a line to top off the gas tank. I felt sorry for anyone who really needed gas that day. We were given the rest of the day off at work and I went home and cut the lawn. It didn’t help anything, but at least the lawn was cut.

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  4. nancy said on September 11, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I stayed awake for “Bachelorette,” if anyone cares. It’s about what David Edelstein led me to expect — good-but-not-great, some fine performances, a few smart things to say about women, sharp observations here and there.

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  5. brian stouder said on September 11, 2012 at 8:12 am

    You know we care! Shelby (the 14 year old) and Pam probably would know just what you’re talking about, regarding “Bachelorette”; but I’m clueless.

    But speaking of pop-culch, I think Spielberg’s Lincoln* and Lincoln the Vampire Slayer actually would be a pretty good double-feature at the drive-in….but I can’t decide whether the Vampire Slayer should run first, or be the nightcap.

    We should make an nn.c come-as-you-are out of it!

    *That classification system makes more and more sense to me; “Sandberg’s Lincoln” or “Vidal’s Lincoln”, and so on. I’m almost through re-reading Douglas Wilson’s and Rodney Davis’s absolutely superb compilation of all of Billy Herndon’s collected correspondance from family and friends and associates of Abe Lincoln, and it is a matter of continuing fascination how differently he impressed different people, especially those who knew him when he was a kiddo/young man, and those who knew him as he rose to prominence in Illinois.

    One common thread was his knack for staking out a position (political or otherwise) that was seemingly a big mistake, and then having events (seemingly) come to him. The guy was consistently and conciously better at that than most other figures; and he made good use of that ability…but we digress!

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  6. beb said on September 11, 2012 at 8:15 am

    There’s nothing like waking up at 4 o’clock in the morning thinking what a fraud you’ve been for the ast 60 years….

    According to Americablog Republicans are dumping on that restaurant owner who gave Pres. Obama a bear-hug, wishing his business to fail. So much for being the party of small businesses.

    Short of massive election fraud I think Obama has this one wrapped up. As I heard a couple times over the past year, from different people, the more people get to know Mitt Romney they less they like him. And he absolute refusal to be specific about anything is becoming an issue among his base. So I think Nate Silver has called this election accurately.

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  7. alex said on September 11, 2012 at 8:42 am

    We haven’t even gotten to the debates yet, but Romney’s so wooden and slow on his feet that I imagine Obama’s lead will only grow once we see them square off. I’d bet Mitt’s dreading the drubbing he knows he’s in for. His only practice has been against Santorum, La Bachmann and Gingrich. Facts may have mattered less there than charisma, but he’s sorely lacking in both and it’s gonna show. Big time.

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  8. Prospero said on September 11, 2012 at 9:13 am

    The wingnet is actually claiming President Obama sowed the seeds of the 2008 economic debacle straight outta Com…law school. I suppose that preventing mortgage lenders from discriminating on basis of race forced WaMu and Countrywide to make bad loans to bundle into worse derivatives, and I suppose believing this and claiming it’s news on the internet isn’t racist.

    And I get what beb means about Willard Windsock and specifictiy, but he was pretty damn specific about reprising the golden days of Shrubenomics. Who’s up for repeating those hideous errors? It takes a booboisee village.

    It would take an AK to get me to sit for Bachelorette, but the same could be said for any movie with Vince Vaughan, who causes me sociopathic feelings. A while back, I tried watching The Breakup, in the interest of domestic comity. Bad idea. Horrible movie that just ached for MST style commentary. What I took from reading about Bachelorette was “Look, smart talented women can be as crass and vulgar as men.” Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ll sure never find out first hand. I find the American movie business when it goes into everybody trying to make the next Hangover mode.

    It’s hard to imagine somebody making a movie with both Maggie Gyllenhall and Holly Hunter that I wouldn’t want to see, but put those two outstanding actors in a diatrible against public school teachers, and NFW:

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  9. Mark said on September 11, 2012 at 9:15 am

    If it makes you feel any better, all the work done by 99.999 pecent of the people on Earth is essentially … well, maybe not shit, but surely meaningless. “Meaningless” in the sense that in a few years, it will have made no difference that it happened. Some work is excluded. Teachers. Nurses. Some doctors. A few others.

    If you are worried that the quality of your work is lacking, I think you can forget that, based on your blog.

    If you are world weary, then welcome to the club. The only cure is realizing that the meaning of life is just to live. And, again, based on your blog, I think you’ve got that covered as well.

    If it’s just that 4-AM-not-enough-sleep feeling, then all I can suggest is to turn the mind off and sleep. Maybe kick the cat around a little. They’re the cause of most of the world’s troubles anyway.

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  10. del said on September 11, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I woke up at 4:00 a.m. too with similar thoughts … and, well, what Mark said.

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  11. brian stouder said on September 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

    For the record – I think Mr Silver would argue that he hasn’t “called” anything; but he is unabashedly stating that the polling looks positive for President Obama right now (that +5 in Ohio looks really, really sweet, to me!).

    Further, the pace of polling will step up now, so the data available for analysis will increase, and the picture will come into sharper focus.

    edit – by the way – it was very very good to see that Jeff The Mild Mannered One de-lurked and (essentially) said ‘howdy, y’all’, yesterday.

    Mr Gill, you know we love you – and we’ll keep your seat (up here in the cheap seats) open!

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  12. coozledad said on September 11, 2012 at 9:34 am

    The anatomy of criminal negligence:

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  13. Deborah said on September 11, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I’m a member of the awake at 4am club. Wish I wasn’t.

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  14. Prospero said on September 11, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Well, I suppose it was inevitable. Larry Flynt has offered a $1million reward for RMoney’s tax returns.

    Someone, who also must have been awake many 4ams, has actually catalogued Willard’s campaign whoppers:

    And somebody else has done pretty much the same thing for Ayn Ryan’s rank hypocrisy:

    Is it me, or will it be strange to see Bill the Butcher playing Abe Lincoln. I have seen a picture of Lewis in character, and damn, he’s a convincing Lincoln. Speaking of the cutthrat Bill and the Five Points, we watched the first two episodes of Coppers. Too violent for S. but I liked it a lot. Reviews weren’t encouraging, but the acting is quite good, the writing is sharp, and the production values in settings and costuming are way past TV normal. And it’s like getting a Gangs of New York sequel, and I love that movie, historical inaccuracies and all. Can’t let fact-checkers dictate.

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  15. Randy said on September 11, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Nancy, I read too quickly and thought you were queueing up “THE Bachelorette”. For a moment I worried that you’d want to pay money for an episode of a terrible reality show. But then I read the comments and realized my mistake. Phew.

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  16. Prospero said on September 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

    This is coming in the first week of October:–20120907

    I’m a sucker for the Brontes, and this trailer is enticing. Obviously, casting a black actor as Heathcliff will get a lot of critical attention, but from Emily Bronte’s descriptions of the character, it makes some daring sense. I will definitely be seeing this if it ever comes near.

    Obama’s got the +5 in Ohio despite hilariously large numbers of Ohioans believing Mitt RMoney did in OBL:

    Holy shit. With his private army?

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  17. Connie said on September 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I’m a month short of my one year quit smoking anniversary and the last two nights I have woken in the wee hours due to smoking dreams. Dreams in which I am sneaking around smoking. Dreams in which I know I am not supposed to be smoking. In one of them I was trying to hide my smoking from my mother who has been gone for 20 years. Too weird. Usually my problem is at the beginning of the night, just falling asleep, and once I do I’m good for the night.

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  18. Dorothy said on September 11, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I didn’t realize/see that Jeff commented yesterday, and by coincidence this morning I wrote on his Facebook wall that I’ve been missing him over here. Count me among those glad that he is slowly returning to commenting!

    I’m going to be a lifetime member of the 4 AM club very soon, if I haven’t become one already. We found out about a month ago that our son is getting deployed next year. The happy news is he and his fiance have changed their wedding date from June 2013 to December 2012. Sleep is going to be very elusive for me for the next 18-20 months.

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  19. Danny said on September 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Well if anyone here wakes up hungry, just remember, we may be only one year away from global food riots.

    Eventually someone may get a prediction correct. I remember reading headlines about a few experts who predicted the 2008 financial meltdown and thinking how is one to know who to believe in such extraordinary circumstances. There is a financial report by economist Marc Faber which sometimes makes for interesting reading (gloomboomdoom dot com).

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  20. Sue said on September 11, 2012 at 10:46 am

    First, so happy to see MMJeff back.
    Second, as a depressive, I would like to say this to the people who wake up at 4 a.m., unable to sleep because of a buncha sads: amateurs.
    And Mark, I hope you don’t have a cat or were kidding. Cats actually aren’t the source of the worlds problems until around 5:30 a.m., a half hour before the alarm rings, but kicking is never the answer, a squirt bottle is.

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  21. LAMary said on September 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

    We should all get together at 4am, but 4am for me is 7am for a lot of you guys so the deep greyness of that hour would be lost. My 4am these days has moments of self doubt and moments of panic. The ex has a lawyer who knows how to inflict the sort of terror that you can keep just under the surface for most of the day, but inevitably it erupts, usually around 4am, in the form of pounding heart, sweats, tears.

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  22. Maggie Jochild said on September 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

    After 11 years with Dinah, a feral kitten rescue who is extremely attached to me but cannot abide contact, I have finally taken on a second cat — another kitten rescue, found by a local woman writer when Scout (as she named her) was less than a month old. Scout is extremely affectionate and unusually bright. So I am sliding toward Crazy Cat Woman, short on sleep but deeply happy at this change in my daily circumstances.

    With regard to the election, my old leftie paranoia says the continued pretense on Mittens having ANY play in this race is cover for the fact that all apparatus is now in place for the election to be outright stolen. Via Diebold fraud. Polls are being doctored now to provide plausible cover for a Republican theft. The stuff they scream the loudest about are the illegalities and evils they do the most (or exclusively), and their insistence on fighting nonexistent “voter fraud” could be merely their bedrock white supremacy or could have a double intent. Does anyone else feel this way?

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  23. Deborah said on September 11, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Well Danny, I don’t know about riots, but I know, through my work on the World Food Prize project that on this planet we’ve been moving towards a crisis for some time now.

    And Maggie, I used to think about vote theft via Diebold but haven’t thought about that in years. I worry about ignorant voters now.

    And our remaining cat has taken advantage of our tolerance for her night botherings since she lost her sister. It’s getting old though, I’m thinking a squirt bottle may be in her future, Sue thanks for that comment.

    edit: LA Mary, are you still thinking of moving from LA?

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  24. brian stouder said on September 11, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Does anyone else feel this way?

    Maggie – yes.

    If the election ends up with a tight finish, then the scurrying cockroaches on the edges might make us all sick

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  25. Prospero said on September 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

    No worries, Danny:

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  26. Chris from Iowa said on September 11, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I’ve been out of work now since Feb. 27, when the company for which I had worked 21 years decided it no longer needed an editor at the small daily newspaper I had edited since 2007. The job is now done by the publisher/editor.

    Since I’ve not yet found a decent full-time job, I’ve done the best I could at a temporary job that will end this month and two part-time jobs.

    I try not to complain too much about all of this because it wouldn’t do any good anyway. But the pounding heart, sweats and tears at 4 a.m. are becoming all too familiar as my savings dwindle and I worry about everything.

    Count me in for any upcoming middle-of-the-night meetings.

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  27. Danny said on September 11, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Whiskey and gunpowder, Props!

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  28. alex said on September 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    One of the lesser-known benefits of Obamacare. Suck it, Republicans.

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  29. Sue said on September 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Middle of the night meetings:
    I’ve done those, though not in the way described. It was kind of an ‘oh, you too?’ thing, then an understanding that we could call each other if we had to, because, hey, the others would probably be awake anyway.
    Maybe some of you could set up some kind of private chat room or whatever they’re called these days? Drop in from 1 – 6? Sounds like it might help. Lots of things would be said, so you might want to establish a total-support/no-trollish-behavior rule.

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  30. Charlotte said on September 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    After my weekend with the 1% (literally, my host for the Chicago Hunter derby was a Goldman Sachs partner) woke up at 2am, gave up at 4am and was at the Milwaukee airport 3 hours early for my flight because … well, I wanted to go home. To Go Home. Nice people all, but a world I fled for good reasons when I was 21 … fell asleep on the couch at 9pm while my beloved watched a movie. Grateful grateful grateful to be home …. now, to can tomatoes and put up beans for the winter.
    Speaking of food riots, we’ve had someone stealing from the community garden at the end of my alley — they think it’s transients, because its all stuff that doesn’t need to be cooked.
    Also, Pine Creek fire still burning. Up high, but plumes of flame Sunday night …

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  31. Kaye said on September 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Happy to hear Obama is polling up in Ohio; such good news.

    Yesterday I hesitated to click on the Biden/biker link for fear it would be in Ohio. Yep, it was; no, I didn’t know any of the bikers. Today, we have the news that some Ohioians are willing to say they think Mittens was responsible for killing OBL. Sadly, I know (at least)one of those people.

    Maggie, I share some of your concerns re: election fraud. Well, again, I live in Ohio 🙂

    My favorite 9/11 association is well-represented in The Day the World Came to Town; the story of some of the people on the 38 planes which landed at Gander, Newfoundland when US airspace was closed that morning. The book is great for general background but my favorite story is the passengers of Delta flight 15 established a scholarship fund for students from Lewisporte, the small town whose residents cared for them for four days. To date the fund has grown to $1.5 million and provided 134 scholarships to help local students to attend college.

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  32. LAMary said on September 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Deborah, what’s going on is, my ex’s lawyer is saying they want the house, 100% of it, and a lot of money. The basis of this is charging me rent for his half of the house for the last 12 years, what he considers overpayment of child support, and some other bullshit. I want to buy him out of the house and never have to deal with him in any way ever again. His lawyer is very aggressive, very threatening, saying that if we go to court they’ll drag it out forever and rack up huge bills for me. So what do I do? Give up the house and liquidate everything of any value I own or take a chance at court and go into huge debt even if I win?
    Best case scenario, a judge who tells them they’re full of shit and I get to buy out his share of the house at market rate. My court date is 10/12. I’d like to settle before then, but I can’t do what his lawyer is asking without making myself homeless, without even enough money to put a deposit on an apartment rental. If I go to court and lose, same thing.

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  33. brian stouder said on September 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Alex – thanks for the link. The very first comment after the uplifting news paragraph was:


    Romney lies

    I think we need to work on that.

    Maybe – Obamacare beats Romney Don’t-care

    or I prefer homegrown Obamacare to outsourced RomneyCaymons


    We prefer ObamaCare to Mitt’s SuperCarLair

    …or somethin’!

    edit: Mary, that absolutely would kill me. I wish you all the strength and grace in the world. It sounds like the ex is simply conducting a spiteful slash and burn campaign against you.

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  34. Connie said on September 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Kaye mentioned this book: The Day the World Came to Town. I loved that book and I appreciated that Hugo Boss set up a computer center for the local school. And I loved the part where Hugo Boss had to buy underwear at Walmart.

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  35. Sue said on September 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    LAMary, aren’t your kids living with you? Your ex would set up a situation that will result in your kids losing their home too, or having nowhere to go?

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  36. Prospero said on September 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Don’t fact-check me bro. It’s not uncommon that Willard Windsocks more ridiculous whoppers actually expose his profound ignorance about issues. Krugman explains how claiming that you’d protect the provision for coverage for people with existing conditions while dumping the individual mandate is a grim fairy tale.

    Biden was just planning a Sons season premiere viewing party for tonight. Yeehaw, we can’t wait.

    If Mittens wants to know what’s popular about Obamacare, he should consider that if the Administration had managed to hang onto the public auctio, ACA would probably hit better than 75% approval about now. In fact, something like that woul be the case had public option never entered the discussion in the first place, and it was pretty much an afterthought.

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  37. LAMary said on September 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Yep, Sue. It would. My older son spends a lot of his time at his girlfriend’s place so he would be ok, but Pete and me, I don’t know.

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  38. Peter said on September 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Dexter, one of my teachers in HS was a Vietnam Vet, and one day he decided to show us a slide show of Vietnam.

    It was just picture after picture of beautiful countrysides, lovely little villages, beautiful people.

    He didn’t talk much during the slide presentation, except to say at the end that all of these photos were taken after a mission, not before, and that Vietnam is a really beautiful place, even after we bombed the shit out of it.

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  39. Danny said on September 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Alex, many companies’ group rates continue to increase while what is covered diminishes. I do not think that “Think Progress” is giving an accurate picture of the whole story

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  40. Deborah said on September 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    LA Mary, easy for me to say, but I can’t imagine a judge kicking out a Mom and kid from their home. Your ex may be trying to scare you into it, don’t let him if you can stand it. You don’t even need a bad ass lawyer, although that would help. My ex tried all kinds of intimidation at first, then backed down on everything when push came to shove.

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  41. Dexter said on September 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Peter, it’s like that. Ever see the Anthony Bourdain series of shows that were filmed in Vietnam?

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  42. Jolene said on September 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Just read a short piece about Joe Biden and the speech he delivered at Shanksville, PA today. Very touching.

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  43. LAMary said on September 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Deborah, I probably will go to court rather than give in. I’m starting to find it all so absurd and over the top I occasionally get cocky. For example, I have a necklace with a diamond in it that was originally in the ex’s great grandmother’s engagement ring. My late mother in law gave it to me. He wants it back and says it will be taken into consideration against the vast sums of money he’s demanding. He has an old insurance appraisal we got from a jeweler in 1989 and it says the necklace is worth 10k. I told him that I wanted to get it appraised again before we talked about me giving it to him.
    So I took it to an appraiser last Saturday. He said it was worth 3500 bucks, at best. He asked if the first appraisal was for insurance purposes since some appraisers will hugely overrate something for insurance.
    I wrote my lawyer the following yesterday:

    I had the necklace appraised on Saturday. It appraised for a lot LESS than J’s appraisal. I will get the complete report in the mail this week, but this appraiser said that whomever appraised it originally greatly inflated the value since it was an insurance appraisal, rather than a fair market value appraisal. I don’t know what we can do with this info, but it seems to be a metaphor for J’s estimation of himself and what he brought to the marriage. Shiny and hugely inflated in value.

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  44. Deborah said on September 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Walking back and forth home for lunch I saw a bunch of news vans and cameras set up on the sidewalk near the corner of Michigan and Madison. I think it has to do with the teacher’s strike. I’m pro union and usually for teachers on these issues, but I really, really, really wish they weren’t doing this now. Why now? It seems like they are trying to embarrass Emmanuel and also make it hard on Obama. Why would they do that now? Couldn’t they just take what they’ve gotten and table the rest for 6 months from now or something? I think the sticking point is that the teachers don’t want to be evaluated by the test scores of the students. They feel that’s too punative, since so many of the students come from poor areas where family life isn’t so great, so the kids are disadvantaged and don’t do as well on tests. I get that, but why now, when so much else is at stake. It seems selfish. I realize that makes me sound heartless, but that’s how I feel.

    edit: LA Mary, Try not to let it get you down. I feel your pain.

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  45. brian stouder said on September 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Shiny and hugely inflated in value.

    And rocks for brains – and not beautiful apart from you

    edit: Deborah – agreed. Striking teachers is wrenching enough; and derailing a major American city’s kids is doubly upsetting; and making it Chicago of all places is just plain maddening.

    It plays into every racist, stone-hearted, rock-headed preconception anyone wants to have, about urban areas (as opposed to “the real America”) and Rahm Emanuel and President Obama.

    Uncle Rush was busily prepping his angry white national constituency to reject ANYthing that happens now; quick end or protracted strike – it’s all part of Obama’s secret Kenyan Master Plan, doncha know

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  46. Danny said on September 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Not sure how this all plays out in Illinois, but in California, the teacher’s assocaition is one of the biggest special interests. And of course, their spending skews something like 99% Democratic.

    From the article:
    Spending in California Politics

    The CTA is widely known as the most powerful special interest in statewide politics. According to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the CTA is number one on the “Billion Dollar Club”, a list of the top spenders in California politics

    The CTA alone has spent more money in California politics than Chevron, AT&T, Philip Morris and Western States Petroleum Association combined.

    For their record breaking spending in politics and other reasons, the urban-policy magazine City Journal has deemed the CTA “the worst union in America.”

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  47. basset said on September 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Didn’t see the Bourdain shows from Vietnam but the Top Gear from there was one of their best…

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  48. Catherine said on September 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Mary, can you find a reason to get your court date postponed? Not that this is in general a good thing, but the LA family courts (maybe the rest of CA too) are so short-staffed that postponement can equal a MUCH later court date. It sounds like the X 1)is in the hole financially; and 2)has an expensive lawyer. These can both be good incentives for him to settle more fairly; or pay for a mediator. When you can’t get speedy justice, you might as well work the system, especially since he obviously thinks he can.

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  49. LAMary said on September 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks for that tip, Catherine. I’ll give that a shot.

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  50. Connie said on September 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    My husband sent me this link to an article about Vietnam because the beautiful photos were of the area he was in.

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  51. beb said on September 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Joe Biden vs. Mitt Romney. Well, not specifically, but compare this visit to the Shanksville Fire Department to any visit Romney has made to anywhere. Biden touched people, he connected with them, he could joke with them. He seemes like the archtypal guy you’re want tp have a drink with. Come 2016 I think Biden is going to be a formidable candidate for president

    If Rahm Emmanual wanted to avoid being embarrassed by a teacher’s strike he might ought to have considered some of their requests. Even the pay increase is little more than keep them ahead of inflation.

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  52. alex said on September 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I thought I recalled one of the earlier commenters in this thread remarking upon how the Sunday political talk shows featured mostly Republican guests after the GOP convention and mostly Republican guests after the Dem convention as well. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.

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  53. Bitter Scribe said on September 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Emanuel is turning out to be a disaster as mayor. He’s ramming through a massively unpopular program for speeding-ticket cameras that turns out to have ties to a campaign contributor. And this strike came about largely because of his arrogant certainty that he knew better than anyone else how long the school day needs to be and what needs to be studied during it. He really needs to start listening to other people and I mean today.

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  54. Kaye said on September 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Take a few minutes to listen to Romney & Bain (Fire & Rain parody)
    I don’t know Jimmy Fallon (I am a Letterman girl) but based on this I think we could be friends.

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  55. Deborah said on September 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Beb, they did give in to the teachers, everything but the evaluation part. They are getting a 16% raise over 4 years. That’s huge. My last raise was maybe 2%if that and it’s been a few years since then. Not that they don’t deserve a raise, I don’t know if they all do or not. Some of those teachers go through hell everyday in some of those schools and should get combat pay probably. I just wish they weren’t doing this now. They’re all coming across as really mad, just plain mad and it’s not looking good for them.

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  56. Deborah said on September 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    B. Scribe, I actually think Emmanual is a good mayor.

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  57. Mark said on September 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Sue, my comment about kicking the cat was intended to be funny. But there have been mornings when I have felt like kicking the cat would be an appropriate response. He has a particular “meow” that triggers rage in the unconscious mind, at least at that early hour.

    If you doubt me, I invite you for a stay. Even better, you can take the cat home. But, fair warning, he has bitten my wife twice. One time it resulted in a serious infection, and the second time in a stay in the hospital for an even more serious infection. I have reminded the cat of baseball, batters and the number of strikes one is allowed.

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  58. Danny said on September 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Mark, in the last few years, I’ve know a couple of people who went septic from cat scratches. One of them died. Up until then, I thought it was just a Ted Nugent song.

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  59. Danny said on September 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Someone (Maggie?) commented on their concern over vote counting. Has anyone heard if the following story is real or not?

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  60. Sue said on September 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Mark, thanks for the kind offer, but I have more than my share of annoying morning cats.
    I have been bitten by both a dog and a cat. Both had that faraway look in their eyes that indicated they were not on this earthly plane and there would be no reasoning with them. I found the cat far more frightening because it seems that dogs bite and hang on while cats bite, then attach by claws and begin to bite and climb. Holy moly was that scary; while it was happening I had visions of some kind of claw-and-tooth-covered feline starfish eventually attaching itself to my face.

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  61. Sue said on September 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm


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  62. brian stouder said on September 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Alex – great article from Salon.

    Sue – well done!

    Danny – thanks for the heads-up. You’ve vaccinated me, for when I hear this repeated as an “I read on CNN…” etc

    That “not vetted by CNN” disclaimer if almost worse horse shit than the fictional “news” article that follows it

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  63. Mark said on September 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Danny, my wife’s infections were the result of bites rather than scratches. Our vet said that any time a cat bites him, he immediately gives himself an antibiotic. My advice for a minor bite that barely breaks the skin is to scrub thoroughly with soap and hot water, and then watch carefully for redness. Especially redness that travels in streaks up from the bite. If the bite is a puncture, even a not-too-deep puncture, scrub and go to the local doc-in-a-box for prophylactic treatment. Our human immune system apparently is not well prepared to deal with whatever cats have living in their mouths..

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  64. Scout said on September 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    LAMary, so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. No wonder you have the 4am dreads. I went through an ugly divorce back in the 90’s and I know that feeling of waking up with a ball of fear in the gut. I’m inclined to agree with other posters here that a judge won’t put you and your son out in the street without trying to mediate a compromise. Your ex’s shark lawyer is just trying to get into your head.

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  65. nancy said on September 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    And that — that CNN iReport p.o.s. — is why citizen journalism will always be a minefield. How many people look no further than the CNN logo? The most trusted name in news, my ass.

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  66. Judybusy said on September 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Mary, I’ll add my well wishes on your situation. I am sorry it’s dragged on for so long! I wish you the best of luck, and do keep us updated.

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  67. Danny said on September 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Maybe Dan Rather and Mary Mapes could get jobs there…

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  68. Blue Tongued Warbler said on September 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Nate Silver “dead on last time?”


    Because the Times was ranked almost dead last in poll accuracy for 2008.

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  69. Sue said on September 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    BTW, Silver didn’t join the Times until after the 2008 election; his star was still rising. If I remember correctly, the buzz was that he had called dozens of elections that year from all over the country.

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  70. Chris from Iowa said on September 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    And, Blue Tongue, that may be why Nate Silver joined the New York Times in 2010.

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  71. LAMary said on September 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you for all the good wishes. I will keep you updated.

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  72. Danny said on September 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Mary, I send you good wishes too. Sounds like a very stressful situation and I am sorry you are having to deal with it.

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  73. Suzanne said on September 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Chris from Iowa @ 26. Been there. Still kind of there. Part-time job/no benefits, but at least I’m keeping the dreaded term of unemployed off my record. The job I have is very insecure, so I continually look. I can’t remember what it was like to not be constantly looking for a job and thinking about it at 4am and 4pm. It’s been almost 5 years since I had a decent job. So when I say Hang in there, I know what it’s like.

    Which is why I am having trouble connecting with the Chicago teachers. I think unions are what keeps us from serfdom, but seriously. Job security is one of the sticking points? Who even has that any more? Most of us would like to have a job to feel insecure about that pays what they make. Maybe their strike will bring that idea of job security back to the fore, but most likely, it’ll just make more people complain about the overpaid, pampered teachers.

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  74. Maggie Jochild said on September 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    The fact that the Right is circulating a fake “Obama is stealing the election” email means (if the past holds true) they, the Republicans, are in fact going to attempt just that. The best predictor of what is going on behind their doors is whatever they keep screeching the Dems are doing.

    I have no respect for Rahm Emmanuel. Having him anywhere his administration was a signal failure on Obama’s part.

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  75. MichaelG said on September 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Mary, I feel terribly about your situation. It makes me ashamed of my gender. My thoughts and hopes are with you.

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  76. LAMary said on September 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    You know one thing that gets to me about this? Beyond my own situation and my kid’s situation? I might have to get rid of my dogs. They’re all sort of old and not very appealing adoption-wise. If I have to put down my Lab I’ll just lose it.

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  77. JWfromNJ said on September 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Kaye – I was also fascinated by the reponse in Gander and Nova Scotia.

    I lost two friends that day so I try to reflect on both of them. Christopher Sean Caton was a good friend in high school, our class clown, a huge Springsteen fan and followed his father’s career to Cantor Fitzgerald. He survived the first WTC bombing and led his coworkers down the stairs to a watering hole.

    They never recovered any of his remains – we know he didn’t jump and I like to think he was hugging his coworkers and wishing that day would end with a nice ale.

    I was also friends with Jeremy Glick and his wife Lyz although I hadn’t seen him in about ten years. I sometimes question the veracity of the Flight 93 legend but I have no doubt that Jeremy would have been up for the fight. A mutual friend who knew Jeremy was a one time roomate of Mark bingham and I wonder if they got down to talking and the day went different if they would realize they both knew Andy.

    I did send my wife for gas – although just 50 miles from NYC there was no price gouging or lines, and I also had her get two bottles of vodka, and we were among the first parents to yank the kids from school. I wasn’t sure that there wasn’t more mayhem to follow – like the real stroke was coming next.

    I took it all personally – that was MY city they f’ed with. I don’t fullly buy the official story – especially the Pentagon part, but I do know I lost friends, people lost family, and our innocense was shattered. I also know that Bush Two climbed onto the rubble, grabbed a bullhorn, promised justice would be served, and it took the courage of Obama putting his presidency on the line – when it could have gone like Desert One – to deliver on Bush’s promise.

    I’m sure Osama was quaking in his sandals thinking GWB was on the hunt.

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  78. Prospero said on September 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Hears to Danny just wanking his ass ass off. Look, if you jist meean to act like a shit, admit it. That horseshit was absurd, and you could admit my Edroso takedown of that nonsense. Nothing Biden said was remotely racist. And y’all are racist pat excellence. Give it a racist break.

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  79. Deborah said on September 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I asked some of my coworkers how old they were when 9/11 happened. The youngest was 14. That right there makes me realize it’s time to retire. 18 more working days!!!

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  80. baldheadeddork said on September 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I’m not a parishioner at the Church of Nate. He does really good work, but his best stuff was analyzing the work of pollsters and that has mostly gone by the wayside since his move to the Times. As reading and aggregating the polls, he’s still good but so is Pollster, TPM and others.

    But he’s right to be very bullish about Obama’s chances. Even when you take away the subjective analysis of how crap-sandwich awful Romney’s campaign has been and just look at the polling numbers – it’s not just that they’re bad for Romney now and time is running out. They’ve never been good.

    I think I mentioned earlier that I keep a weekly table of the state polling averages collected by TPM, Pollster, Real Clear Politics and There are some pretty amazing trends in the data.

    First, Obama has held the lead in states totaling over 330 votes every week since before the Republican primaries ended. And, with the exception of one state (Virginia) for a single one-week period on one aggregating site, Obama has led in every state he holds today for all of 2012. Even in Virginia and Florida, where the lead has hardly every exceeded two points, Romney has (save that single example) never been able to take the lead. There is tremendous resiliency in Obama’s numbers, even in states where he only holds a thin lead.

    Second, Romney is only winning states where the demographics allow him to run up the score. I break down the states into Safe (>6 point lead), Likely (4-6), Leans (2-4) and anything less than two is a tossup. For the entire summer, Romney has not had one state for one week that has been ranked Likely or Leans. There are 23 states with 191 electoral votes that Romney leads by six points or greater (when there is polling, remember that) and nothing else until you get to North Carolina, which is a <2 point tossup and has gone back and forth between Romney and Obama since the end of July.

    If the state is even remotely competitive, Romney can't win it. He either has to lead by ten or not lead at all. It's strange because there has been movement between the categories on the Obama side. There are four states where Obama has a Leans lead this week that have been tossups at one time or another. Pennsylvania moved from Likely to Safe, and Wisconsin and Iowa have moved from Likely to Leans. It's what you'd expect to see and it's not happening for Romney.

    Third, Romney is presumed to have a safe lead in 23 states but there isn't a lot of data to support it. Only three Romney states (Arizona, Georgia and Missouri) have been polled frequently enough to be included in the TPM, Pollster, RCP and Electoral-Vote maps. Everything else is presumed to be a lock for Romney because, y'know, Kansas and Utah. Yes, the chances of Obama winning Mississippi without Georgia and Missouri falling away first are exceedingly thin. But without regular polling in these states there is no real way to evaluate how strong Romney's support actually is. It may not flip any of the states that haven't been polled, but if there is erosion in his support it could have massive effects on the expected outcome of the national vote.

    Obama-friendly states, by contrast, are practically under a microscope. There is regular polling in eleven of the eighteen safe states for Obama, and all of the Leans and Likely states for Obama have been polled throughout the summer. Even if Romney's screw ups and poor personal approval numbers don't cause an erosion in states that are thought to be safe, you can predict with a pretty high degree of confidence that Obama's support in his states is strong enough to get him to 270.

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  81. brian stouder said on September 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    That right there makes me realize it’s time to retire. 18 more working days!!!

    Deborah – that sounds simply marvelous! If the day comes for me, all the days that follow will be pleasantly full.

    I might have to get rid of my dogs.

    Mary, that sounds completely awful. This is the one time I wish we lived in California, because if your dogs would put up with it, they’d be welcome to join our family. Our kittys may not like it at first, but they’ve got only a Pennsylvanian Democrat’s chance of voting on the matter – so it would be in the bag!

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  82. Mark said on September 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    LAMary if it comes to it, look for someone connected to rescues. We are on a mailing list and many dogs, even old or less desirable dogs are adopted or taken into foster homes. If our little podunk town has one I know there must be plenty there.

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  83. Rana said on September 12, 2012 at 12:59 am

    baldheadeddork, that’s fascinating. Thanks for the analysis!

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