This little speaker, no bigger than a salt shaker, was a party favor at a holiday gathering, and looked so cheap I considered consigning it directly to the garage-sale stash, but decided today to charge it up and listen first.


Man. It rocks the llama’s ass. Not a whole hell of a lot of bottom end, but an amazingly rich sound — enough that I didn’t miss much during an extended session with the Miles Davis Pandora station today. It runs off Bluetooth, too, but I kept it hard-wired today, as I’m already running one Bluetooth accessory with the phone. Every so often I stop to consider this age of miracles we live in, and I can only shake my head.

Oh, and speaking of garage sales, ask me when we last had one. Yeah, a long damn time. Long enough that in the next one, you can pick up two end-table-size Kenwood speakers, at least 30 years old. It’s like selling a TV with a tube in it.

Oh, I have such good linkage for you kittens today. The story everyone’s talking about today, and for good reason: A dispatch from a deep embed on the set of “The Canyons.” And what is that? Why, that’s the new film starting Lindsay Lohan and a porn star, directed by a man who should know better (Paul Schrader), costing practically nothing ($225,000). And even though you think you don’t care about shitty movies (which this certainly will be) or Hollywood in general, you should read this story. Because it’s fabulous and hilarious and appalling and you will learn something.

And in Chicago, the Sun-Times is using the 35th anniversary of its great, great series on the Mirage Tavern to revisit the whole thing on its blog. As usual, scroll to the bottom and come back up. For those of you who don’t know this chapter in journalism history, it was made out of pure Awesome: To show how corrupt the city’s regulatory agencies were, the paper bought and opened a bar. Called the Mirage. Equipped with hidden cameras. And city inspectors, state liquor agents and more came to call with their hands out. It was really audacious. Relive the fun.

Finally, the story of a single striking news photo, and what came after.

What comes after this? The weekend. Have a good one.

Posted at 12:19 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

70 responses to “Shrinkage.”

  1. Brandon said on January 11, 2013 at 1:00 am

    The story everyone’s talking about today, and for good reason: A dispatch from a deep embed on the set of “The Canyons.” And what is that? Why, that’s the new film starting Lindsay Lohan and a porn star, directed by a man who should know better (Paul Schrader), costing practically nothing ($225,000). And even though you think you don’t care about shitty movies (which this certainly will be) or Hollywood in general, you should read this story. Because it’s fabulous and hilarious and appalling and you will learn something.

    I’d rather watch The Canyons than Lincoln.

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  2. beb said on January 11, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Let’s see: “The Canyons” is a film written by a human stinkyhole who should never be called a writer, directed by a man disparaged by his employees and starring a woman who needs to be institutionalized. Yeah, wonderful stuff.

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  3. coozledad said on January 11, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Here’s something for that speaker:

    I guess as music videos go, this one’s not horrible, but I can’t figure out the Tweety and Sylvester thing at the end.

    Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin’s arrangement is lovely, too.

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  4. IrishBill said on January 11, 2013 at 8:39 am

    C’mon, Nancy….A link to Amazon for the speaker and you get a few pennies……What is the name of it, please?……B

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  5. nancy said on January 11, 2013 at 8:41 am


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  6. Deborah said on January 11, 2013 at 9:33 am

    That Mirage Tavern piece is nearly impossible to read on my iPad. I was only able to read part 1 and only a few paragraphs of part 2. Plus all I’ve read so far is what they’re going to tell you and who the reporters and photographers are. I gave up.

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  7. adrianne said on January 11, 2013 at 9:55 am

    The worst part of the Mirage tale, which I’m glad they’re republishing, is that the self-righteous Ben Bradlee huffed and puffed about it not being real journalism because it was, you know, undercover and sneaky. As a result, they took the Pulitzer for investigative reporting back.

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  8. IrishBill said on January 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Ah, unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t offer Prime shipping on this item…….five bucks shipping on a forty dollar unit—-I’m too cheap for that….

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  9. Connie said on January 11, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Your 30 year old Kenwood speakers are very likely not able to connect to any of today’s technology. As my friends discovered when there was no way to connect their classic Bose speakers to their new HD flat screen TV.

    Dorothy, remember our long ago discussion about synvisc? I’m going to do it again with a different brand. I have just been told there is no cartilage left in either of my knees.

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  10. Prospero said on January 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

    It’s not just influenza, apparently, its flu and norovirus.

    In defense of Paul Schrader, he has directed and written some superb movies. He wrote Taxi Driver and City Hall, and The Mosquito Coast. He wrote and directed Blue Collar, one of the best movies ever made by Americans. Whoever gets a writing credit on Schrader’s movies, Schrader probably has his keyboard all over it. Ms. Lohan has been a very good actress previously and I doubt that talent is something a person can just forget. GAnging up on her strikes me as absurd and mostly profit driven, particularly when her parents provide so much more reprehensible targets.

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on January 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Adrienne @#7: YES! You took the words right out of my mouth. I think Bradlee is/was one of the most overrated jerks in journalism. I mean seriously, what kind of asshole sets two reporters to work independently on the same story, just to see which one does better?

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  12. Prospero said on January 11, 2013 at 11:39 am

    My take on that Times piece on The Canyons is that I’ve never seen such a fulsome glut of detail and purportedly verbatim quotations since the last time I forced myself to read one of Bob Woodward’s bullshit White House stories. Too many people spilling too many details that would damage their own prospects and careers for much credibility. The $600 lunch tab at the sushi place is a perfect example. What person involved in this production would consider it remotely intelligent, or even self-serving, to spill that detail to a reporter. I think it’s fabricated, but even if it’s true, the manner in which it’s reported is entirely too self-serving on the reporter’s part. Look at me. I hung out with all these Hollywood types while they made a movie and they all liked and trusted me so much, I got every sordid detail word for word.

    And the hack Brett Easton Ellis speaking pejoratively about “a Schrader film” is incredibly obnoxious. Oh, you mean like not as good as Less Than Zero? All of the stars of which were as badly behaved in their time as Lindsey Lohan has ever been.

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  13. Jolene said on January 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Check out this scary article about extreme weather all over the world. Great photo gallery too.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on January 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Props to Prospero for mentioning “Blue Collar.” The film is still as searing today as it was in the 70s with mesmerizing performances by Richard Pryor and Harvey Keitel. I still choke up when Smokey (Yaphet Kotto) dies. Brilliant, angry dialogue and the always enduring bugaboos of race and class bubbling underneath.

    It’s one of the handful of American films to look at hard-working people squeezed by unscrupulous union leaders on one side and heartless corporate fuckwads on the other.

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  15. Dexter said on January 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    J-Bo, Prospero…even better was “Straight Time” by Ulu Grosbard. That movie had an impact on me; I even remember where I saw it, in St. Louis where I was attending the NCAA basketball Final Four at the old Checkedrdome.
    Dustin Hoffman as Max Dembo
    Theresa Russell
    Gary Busey
    Harry Dean Stanton
    M. Emmet Walsh

    Max Dembo is a parolee who tries so hard, but finds the cards stacked against him. It’s a helluva movie. Well worth a Netflix order.

    Carol Schue
    Kathy Bates Kathy Bates

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  16. Prospero said on January 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Straight Time is indeed a brilliant movie, but for me the dialogue Schrader wrote for Blue Collar is almost unmatched. He had a writing credit for Raging Bull, too, but that always seemed to me to be Robert DeNiro spouting random words with some form of fuck every two or three. Blue Collar trailers:

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  17. alex said on January 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    The Mirage Tavern was a little before my time in Chicago but was one of the things all of my friends in journalism talked about, and talked about it they did because using a sham business full of hidden surveillance was a technique employed by the FBI in its Operation Greylord in the ’80s and Operation Silver Shovel in the ’90s. I thought those were pretty impressive stings themselves.

    By then, Sun-Times reporter Pam Zekman had become a TV figure whose specialty was ambush journalism–busting ghost payrollers lounging on their yachts in the harbor, confronting restaurant owners with surreptitiously gathered video of rats in the kitchen and employees sabotaging food, showing up where city crews were building swimming pools and additions at private residences, and on and on. I miss it a lot, especially when I see what passes for nightly news around here.

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  18. Jakash said on January 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Ah, the Checkerdome! There’s a blast from the past. 1978? Kentucky, Duke, Arkansas, Notre Dame? I think I sat about 4 sections over from you…

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  19. MarkH said on January 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I vote early victory for beb at #2.

    Prospero, I have seen three Lohan films and I agree she is genuinely talented. It’s not that she’s forgotten it, she just chooses to ignore it, as evidenced in both her work and her shenanigans. And I don’t agree the the Lohan/Brat Pack comparo, or at least they did a better job keeing it quiet. That “Canyons” story is problematic and doesn’t paint a promising picture of the 21st century Schrader. But, as you said, if his past can come to the forefront maybe there’s some redemption there, for all three of the notables. The curiosity factor goes up in any case.

    Yeah, forgot about Straight Time, an excellent film choice. Believe it or not, 40 years later I still have not seen Blue Collar. My next rental, in spite of Borden’s spoiler about one of my favorite actors.

    “J-Bo”?? Borden, you ok with that?

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  20. MarkH said on January 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Make that 35 years on Blue Collar, 1978 release.

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  21. John (not McCain) said on January 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    “In defense of Paul Schrader, he has directed and written some superb movies.”

    Don’t forget Mishima! Excellent movie about a fascinating subject.

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  22. Brandon said on January 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I’d rather watch The Canyons than Lincoln.

    I’m not saying that just to be provocative. Lincoln may be wonderfully filmed and superbly acted, but it’s just not my bag. I might watch it sometime and reconsider, but not right now. The Canyons promises to be “fabulous and hilarious and appalling.” Words Nancy used to describe the article, but they apply just as much to the movie, which could be a piece of excellent trash.

    And the hack Brett Easton Ellis speaking pejoratively about “a Schrader film” is incredibly obnoxious. Oh, you mean like not as good as Less Than Zero? All of the stars of which were as badly behaved in their time as Lindsey Lohan has ever been.

    Bret Easton Ellis tweets a lot about movies, in a contrarian* way. He seems to have given up writing novels for screenplays. For a long time, he didn’t care for the 1987 adaptation of Less Than Zero, which he considered a bowdlerized version of his book, then gradually accepted it. I don’t know how wild Jami Gertz and Andrew McCarthy got, but Robert Downey, Jr. has really cleaned up in recent years. James Spader, who has portrayed all kinds of preppy/yuppie wastrels, was in both LTZ and Lincoln.

    *Daniel Day Lewis: his noble theatricality is no match for the wild and fearless go-for-broke craziness that Bradley Cooper brought to SLP…

    As for Paul Schrader,

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  23. Brandon said on January 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Let me add, about Paul Scrader, that he directed Light of Day (1987), bringing out a different side of Michael J. Fox for an audience used to seeing him as Alex P. Keaton. And Light Sleeper (1992), with Willem Dafoe and Susan Sarandon.

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  24. brian stouder said on January 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    For a long time, he didn’t care for the 1987 adaptation of Less
    Than Zero, which he considered a bowdlerized version of his book, then gradually accepted it.

    I thought we were headed for Les Misérables, a very big book that must – by definition – be bowdlerized to become a 2+ hour musical…and yet, the result is sublime

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  25. MaryRC said on January 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I realise that Lohan’s unprofessional behavior must be disastrous to experience, but I couldn’t help thinking as I read the article that there have been many other stars who have behaved badly without being pulled to pieces like this. I’m thinking of the stories about Schwarzenegger’s sexual exploitation of women working on set that never came out until he ran for public office; this was kept secret for years. The article in the latest issue of Vanity Fair about the making of The Blues Brothers and the behavior that was tolerated from John Belushi. Or the story that Rolling Stone once wrote about Bill Murray on the set of the Hunter S. Thompson biography Where the Buffalo Roam. Murray and the director Art Linson established a clique of insiders, the “cool kids” among the cast and crew, who were invited out for drinks and given special T-shirts to wear. Can you imagine how toxic that set must have become? There are many worse stories out there, I’m sure, but their stars weren’t subjected to this kind of scrutiny.

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  26. Prospero said on January 11, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Brandon: I think Light of Day is a very good movie and have watched it many times, and not only because I find Joan Jett mesmerizing as both a rocker and an actor. Seems to me the movie came out around the same time as Eddie and the Cruisers ( which I also found worthwhile–I mean–Tom Bergeron? I watched the Dogmen movie) and was considerably better. And Brandon@22, he was probably pissed he couldn’t get into any of the Brat Pack women’s pants.

    And Mary RC, I’d need to see proof before I’d believe that any of those people had bona fide monsters for a mom and dad like Lohan’s. Harpie and a Gargoyle for mom and dad? Most likely a tough life. Perhaps McKenzie Phillips had as bad a daddy experience. One way or another, making money from that young woman’s crackups reeks of ethical microcephaly and the humanity and empathy of any drooling Komodo. From my point of view, Lohan was a delightful child actress. I liked her version of both Freaky Friday and Parent Trap better by a mile than the originals. And Mean Girls is a terrific view from the getgo. The “reporting” on her travails has surely reached a point of savage glee and pure inhuman venal maliciousness any decent person would rather not here it.And much as I like Bill Murray in movies, Where the Buffalo Roam didn’t touch J. Depp in Fear and Loathing, a far better movie. Of course, consider the director.

    MarkH: they did a better job keeing it quiet. Fuckall they did. Their publicists did and the pirhana wer much less rife in the river and the opportunities to spew libel were minuscule compared to interweb days. At my age, I see no fruitful 12 step approach nor path to enlighrtenment about my bad behavior. It may seem stupid, but Lindsay Lohan as twins in Parent Trap was seriously good. And in Bad Girls, she channeled Tina Fey. She is very talented and there are people that would rather titillate nasty old ladies in Supermarket checkouts than worry about what happens to this young woman. I find this worse than objectionable. Will the be happy if she dies a death by misadventure? Nope. They will continue resurrecting her corpse forever. Lindsay Lohan is a young person put in an untenable and obscene fishbowl position. It’s my opinion that media pimps under a phony shield of Ist Amendment rights have made this out like a Press Freedom issue. NYT’s OK with that? And what I said about the I am a camera and a taperecorder and a fly on the wall shit that Woodward claims. Believe that and I’ve got photos of Putin from my balcony in Alaska.

    One last thing I’d say about Lindsay Lohan, she’s one American that isn’t Lord Fauntleroy. And thinking about that Bieber getting sued for roughing up his Mr. T. How the fuck do you get a job as a Mr. T? Stand back, or I’ll infest you now with Hantavirus.


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  27. Prospero said on January 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm


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  28. Prospero said on January 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm


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  29. Dexter said on January 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Jakash: I moved to an empty seat , center line, right behind the scorers’ tables, to watch Jake Givens score 41 and give Kentucky a victory over Duke and Gene Banks. Arkansas had The Triplets that year, Moncrief, Delph, and Brewer. Notre Dame had Kelly Tripucka. It was a helluva lotta fun that weekend.

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  30. Bitter Scribe said on January 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    RE the Lohan article, what surprised me most was how low Paul Schrader had fallen. That man has, or had, enormous talent.

    As for Bret Easton Ellis, good. I never could stand that little twerp. “Less Than Zero” is unreadable.

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  31. Crazycatlady said on January 11, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    There is a saying in the nursing home that the flu is the lonely old woman or man’s best friend, delivering them from this mortal coil. But not for the nurses. It’s very hard caring for 25 patients (my usual assignment) when they have flu/norovirus symptoms. Staff gets sick and everyone suffers. Even with the flu shots. The trick is making sure to close down units, limiting or closing to visitors, limiting patients coming out of their rooms and intense cleaning. And washing those hands so much they bleed. We have to wash hands before and after gloving. Hand sanitizers are good, but water and soap is better. With proper precautions flu can be avoided.

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  32. David C. said on January 12, 2013 at 7:11 am

    My favorite Paul Schrader movie is Hardcore. Not because it’s a great movie, because I don’t particularly think it is. I like it because he pulled the wool over Grand Rapids’ eyes when he made it. When he came to GR to film exteriors, he told everyone the name of the movie was The Pilgrim and that it was about a Christian businessman. He neglected to tell the part about the Christian businessman’s daughter being in porn. The leading lights fell all over themselves trying to get into the shots only to find out a year later that they’d been had.

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  33. coozledad said on January 12, 2013 at 7:53 am

    David C.;
    I think a lot of Wilmington residents were similarly surprised when they screened Blue Velvet.
    “We didn’t know they was making THAT kind of movie.”

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  34. Prospero said on January 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Hardcore was a good movie, with a very good George C. Scott performance, in my opinion. Brett Easton Ellis, I tried, got 20 pp. in and decided to read The Mysteries of Pittsburgh instead. Now why doesn’t somebody make Kavalier snd Clay into a movie. Or The Yiddish Policemen’s Union? I don’t think Elliot Gould is doing anything he couldn’t get away from. And if he’s diffiult, I’d imagine he’s fracking hilarious when he’s doing it. Hell, get Donald Southerland , too.

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  35. Jolene said on January 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    From Serious Eats: It’s Burger Week in Pasadena. This is you, right, Catherine?

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  36. Jolene said on January 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Whoops! Did something wrong in the previous post. Here’s the link:

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  37. Catherine said on January 12, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Yes! We started Cheeseburger Week early with Pie ‘N Burger at my kids’ school’s homecoming on Friday. I wish I could send the Pie ‘N Burger truck to each and every one of you. If there is a better idea that a hamburger + pie, it’s probably Cheeseburger Week.

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  38. Prospero said on January 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Wow. The tuck rule just got called opposite to Tom Brady version in the Denver playoff game. Why? Because that was Tom Brady and this is Peyton Manning.

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  39. Brandon said on January 12, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Brett Easton Ellis, I tried, got 20 pp. in

    Which one? Less Than Zero?

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  40. Deborah said on January 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Just saw Lincoln, wow, Daniel Day Lewis was amazing. I feel like I saw the president. Now I’m going to read Team of Rivals, just to get the historical backstory. Also noticed that the Chicago Symphony played the Williams score. Cool.

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  41. Prospero said on January 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Yeah, Brandon. It’s rare for me to not stick a book out. Right now, I’m trying to get into Red Sorghum, but there is no way I’m quitting on it. Less Than Zero seemed to me a lot like this more recent bullshit from Lena Dunham. Obnoxious characters you wouldn’t want to spend time with.

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  42. Kirk said on January 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    You can’t make up stuff like this.

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 23-year-old contestant from Brooklyn, N.Y., won the title of Miss America in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

    Mallory Hagan won the beauty pageant after tap dancing to James Brown’s “Get Up Off of That Thing.”

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  43. Brandon said on January 13, 2013 at 12:42 am

    You can’t make up stuff like this.

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 23-year-old contestant from Brooklyn, N.Y., won the title of Miss America in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

    Mallory Hagan won the beauty pageant after tap dancing to James Brown’s “Get Up Off of That Thing.”

    Spoiler alert! It’s 7:37 P.M. Hawaii time as I type this, and the pageant will air at eight here.

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  44. Brandon said on January 13, 2013 at 12:43 am

    @Prospero: I might check out Red Sorghum.

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  45. Dexter said on January 13, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Deborah, I was very excited to receive Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals” in a big ol’ hardback edition soon after it was published. I ripped into it and found myself bogged down in endless footnotes and citations…I put it on a bookcase shelf , promising myself I would return and slog through it…I never have, yet. I will soon. It is not an easy read…it’s a project, a history lesson in detail, it’s a reference encyclopedia, and you REALLY have to have a quest for Lincoln-knowledge to read it.

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  46. alex said on January 13, 2013 at 9:25 am

    In the Sunday WaPo, an excellent piece about how the NRA went from being an apolitical marksmanship organization to the foul chancre on America’s ass that it is today.

    It wasn’t all that long ago that the group’s leadership was fearful of overselling the government tyranny line of bullshit lest its reputation go from Boy Scout wholesome to John Birch crazy, but peddling paranoia proved so lucrative that soon there was no longer any room for moderation and common sense. The group is largely responsible for drumming up the culture wars and pushing the GOP to the far right.

    I don’t know how we’ll ever defang this monster but it’s high time this organization starts receiving the public scrutiny it deserves.

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  47. Prospero said on January 13, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Lots of funny video.

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  48. Jakash said on January 13, 2013 at 11:44 am

    My wife, who is a big fan of both Lincoln AND your comments, read and loved “Team of Rivals” when it came out. She says, forget the footnotes, just read it! It’s a great story! (Full disclosure — she did read the footnotes.) (Fuller disclosure — she has encouraged me to read it ever since she did. Have I done so? Uh…)

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  49. Jakash said on January 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    The Tina and Amy thing was swell, thanks. A fine appetizer for tonight’s Golden Globes telecast. (Although that webpage seemed to be a tad overwhelming for our ancient computer.)

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  50. MichaelG said on January 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    There were two things about Colin Kaepernick that impressed me last night in addition to his sterling play. One was the easy, unaffected way he interacted with the other 49’ers after scores. His players clearly love him. The second was that after the game he was on the Green Bay side of the field talking, shaking hands and sharing hugs with Green Bay players. He looks to have a long, successful career ahead of him.

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  51. David C. said on January 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    San Francisco is one great sports town right now. It seems to me the teams, at least the 9’ers and the Giants are set up to appeal to the residents. They end up with teams that are fundamentally sound, play in a sportsman-like manner, and just seem to have a great time playing. The fans in the stands seem like they are having a fun time too. Good on you, SF teams and fans.

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  52. Prospero said on January 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Yeah, Colin Kaepernick can play, but ya know, Skip Bayless wants to know how the guy can be a leader with those tats on his arms. In the other game, the Broncos got jobbed by the officials and compounded the problem with atrocious play by their safties. Oh, and Peyton threw the worst pass he’s ever thrown, but his “fumble” sure looked like a video of Tom Brady and the no fumble tuck rule call. And the interference call on Champ Bailey in overtime was an utter fabrication with no basis whatever in reality.

    Maya Rudolph singing Prince’s Darling Nikki, Tipper Gore’s favorite song by His Purpleness. Slightly cracked, but pretty damned good.

    And how exciting is the NFL’s announcement of the Destiny’s Child reunion for the Super Bowl? Wake me up when the 2nd Half starts, unless those girls Beyonce ditched go for payback. Princ3e’s SB performance will never be surpassed. Wonder what Tipper Tridelt thought about that one.

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  53. Prospero said on January 13, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Pretty cool NPR feature on musicians that died in 2012.

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  54. Deborah said on January 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    It’s cold and wet here in Chicago today. I took a owning walk, about 3 miles and decided that would be it for today. Then I decided I could walk up the stairs for exercise. I had 2 bags of groceries thus I thought I’d elevator up with those first. Then I went back down to the ground floor to the commissary in our building, bought a 5 LB bag of cat litter that we needed and decided to walk up with that. I made it to the 10th floor, then took the elevator from there up to our place on 27. After doing a few chores I went back down to the ground floor, sans cat litter I was able to make it up to 27. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. They have a deal here where you can hike up the steps of Sears Tower (or whatever it’s called now), to raise money for charity. You get people to sponsor you. I don’t know how many floors it is but I might just try it. I think a lot of people run up the stairs when they do it, but forget that.

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  55. Deborah said on January 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Morning walk, not owning walk

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  56. Catherine said on January 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Deborah, do you use a pedometer or Fitbit?

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  57. Little Bird said on January 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    108 floors in Willis Tower.
    96 in the Hancock.
    I think the idea IS to run them, but that’s for crazy people who also are coordinated. I could never do it. I’d likely break my neck, and take out a few other participants. But given that I’d most likely fall with in the first two flights, we wouldn’t be hurt TOO badly.

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  58. brian stouder said on January 13, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks to friend-of NN.c (and Fort Wayne City Council member) Mitch Harper for posting this on his website; I missed (former Fort Wayne Mayor Helmke’s appearance on Christ Matthews’ show (along with Eugene Robinson, who is always worth watching, too).

    One further point to that interesting discussion about reasonable restrictions on semi-automatic and/or assault weapons – especially when a person says “This wouldn’t prevent bad things from happening”, etc – is that our most recent super-mass-murderer obtained his weapons from his mother, and reportedly his mother had complied with all the extant gun laws.

    So – if there was a law that said that you were limited to a 10-shot magazine, for example – then almost certainly several of the children who were murdered would still be alive.

    In other words, despite that an atrocity would still have occurred at Newtown, that is no reason not to pass further restrictions, since any tighter gun-laws would certainly have had the direct effect of making this particular atrocity somewhat less atrocious.

    That’s all the gun-control advocates will be able to accomplish – and it is worthwhile to do so; that is, yes – we will always have criminally insane acts, and/or inhuman cruelty.

    But that’s no reason at all to simply give up and trust to chance the peace and domestic tranquility that American citizens (including busy school children and their teachers) deserve

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  59. brian stouder said on January 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    And while I was knocking around at Chris Matthews’ website (thanks to the above link from Fort Wayne Observed), I came across this, wherein another national Republican decided to jump in and double-down on “legitimate rape” and “God’s Will” with regard to women who get are violated by a rapist and become pregnant, and should therefore be violated bty their government and be compelled to have the baby:

    Gingrey, a former OB/GYN and co-chair of the House GOP Doctors caucus, told a crowd at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Atlanta, that he used to advise couples having trouble getting pregnant to “Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight, because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So [Akin] was partially right, wasn’t he?”

    Gingrey’s comments were first reported by the Marietta Daily Journal, which posted audio of the talk.

    He continued, “The fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart. Mitt Romney also didn’t help much. Todd Akin is a good man.”

    and then

    He also seemed to shrug of failed Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who sabotaged his campaign after suggesting that pregnancies, even in cases of rape are “something God intended to happen.” “Mourdock basically said ‘Look, if there is conception in the aftermath of a rape, that’s still a child, and it’s a child of God, essentially.’ Now, in Indiana, that cost him the election,” Gingrey explained

    and of course, you can see the conclusion that the thing has to head for…

    The Republican attempted to backtrack from his remarks on Friday. “At a breakfast yesterday morning, I was asked why Democrats made abortion a central theme of the presidential campaign. I do not defend, nor do I stand by the remarks made by Rep Akin and Mr. Mourdock,” Gingrey said in a statement. “In my attempt to provide context as to what I presumed they meant, my position was misconstrued.”

    I say – even when a position is “misconstrued”, intellectual honesty has a way of shutting that stuff down; and if you are a faux-intellectual schlub, and make a fracking stupid speech which then causes you much political pain; why, you cannot deny that it’s still God’s will, yes?

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  60. Prospero said on January 13, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Gov. Bob McDonnell of VA. supremo dickhead. How does he explain this?Who would have thought this guy could come up with something as dickish as transvaginal sonograms less than a year later? How does he explain this?

    Regarding Gingrey, I’d go straight to the horse’s ass’s mouth. As Shrub complained Too many OB/GYN’s aren’t able to practice their love with women all across the country.

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  61. brian stouder said on January 13, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    One last one and I’ll stop; but this fairly-directly-NN.c-related story jumped out at me, and continues the theme of Righteous Republicans who enjoy moralizing right up until the bill comes due

    The lead:

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Timothy Goeglein, Fort Wayne native and vice president of Focus on the Family, hosted a free lecture at the History Center on Sunday to discuss the book he wrote. The book features his views on faith and politics in America.

    and it concludes:

    “Faith and politics still mix in the United States, sometimes they mix uneasily, but they mix,” Goeglein said.
    Goeglein also said both Fort Wayne and Indiana are mentioned in his book frequently.

    I think his emphasis on ‘Fort Wayne mentions’ are his key selling points. Other than that, I think his career-plan was more a mixture of ‘fake it ’til you make it’ and then pray that the chickens don’t come home to roost ’til after you’ve moved out of the public sector.

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  62. Deborah said on January 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Catherine, I have a pedometer in Santa Fe but in Chicago I keep track of my walking milage by counting blocks. Here there are 8 blocks to a mile, the city is in a pretty relentless grid so it’s fairly accurate. You can’t count physical blocks you have to go by street numbers. For instance I live in the 900 north block, I used to work at the 0 block (Madison) so there are 9 full blocks in between, but there are a lot of 1/2 blocks so you really cross a lot more streets and they seem like blocks. I’m probably making this way too confusing, it’s really very simple. In Santa Fe it’s completely different. There’s no grid and the streets are all twist turny so I have to wear a pedometer to keep track. Another simple way to track is to use google maps on my iPhone. By inputting my starting point and my destination and setting it on the walking route it tells you the distance.

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  63. Deborah said on January 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Catherine, I googled Fitbit to find out what it is. It looks interesting but complicated. I can barely figure out my pedometer.

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  64. Catherine said on January 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    That Chicago grid is so incredibly rational! I am addicted to my pedometer but it’s very straightforward. My DH got a Fitbit for Christmas which he likes. It keeps track of altitude gain and stairs climbed much better than the pedometer, and he is finding it pretty motivating. As you say, though, it’s a little complicated — he’s a software developer and he hasn’t figured out all the features yet. But having a new toy (or class or activity) is always a boost to the fitness goals.

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  65. Prospero said on January 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    This is outrageous even for egregious GOPer whited sepulchers.

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  66. Brandon said on January 13, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    As that wise and sensitive man Al Bundy once said, “Stretch before you ovulate.”

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  67. Dexter said on January 13, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Colin Kaepernick won my playoff heart. Since all my teams are long dead and forgotten, I am once again on the 49ers bandwagon. I’ve been on the bandwagon many times for them.
    My only connection to them is the one time I traipsed around in Kezar Stadium when I saw a gate left open , and I saw Joe Montana play a few times when he went to Notre Dame… I remember seeing him play once at Ross Ade Stadium in West Lafayette and a couple times in South Bend.
    Kezar Stadium is where the 49ers played until the 1971 season when they moved to Candlestick Park. Kezar is in Golden Gate Park. It was demolished about 23 years ago and renovated as a venue for soccer mostly these days. It’s a far cry from the way it was when it hosted NFL football many decades ago.

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  68. Sherri said on January 13, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Russell Wilson won my heart this year, even before the rest of the country figured out that this short kid drafted in the third round was outplaying the big name rookies.

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  69. Dexter said on January 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    “No Pants Subway Ride Day” around the world…here we glimpse a bit of the festivities in San Francisco.

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  70. Dexter said on January 14, 2013 at 12:01 am

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