The road to Crazytown.

So, I forgot to mention that on my way to Lansing Tuesday I was, as usual, listening to NPR, and I heard this story by Wade Goodwyn, reporting form Texas on the reaction to the inauguration.

It being Texas, of course it wasn’t a happy-type story. This part didn’t surprise me:

GOODWYN: Burke said he wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but he was not expecting a vigorous defense of liberal ideals.

BURKE: I thought he would go ahead and have a little more of, let’s go ahead and work together as a team, and get America back on the right track. However, he doesn’t appear to have that kind of agenda. It appears to be, let’s go ahead and see if we can go ahead and whip everything our way, and make it a socialist state.

Yes, because sober bipartisanship worked very well the last time.

But this part chapped my ass:

GOODWYN: Down the street, Republican precinct chair Ann Teague is still not sure Obama is constitutionally qualified to take the oath of office.

ANN TEAGUE: We never saw a birth certificate. We never met any of the professors who went to school with our president.

And because I didn’t hear Goodwyn say, “Lady, you’re crazy, and I’m sorry to have bothered you, but I’m getting out of this nuthatch,” followed by a click and a few seconds of dead air, I have to ask:

How much longer are these people going to get a respectful ear?

I remind you, Ann Teague isn’t some lunatic raving on the street, but a precinct chairman. Which isn’t exactly the equivalent of chief justice, but for cryin’ out loud. If the Republicans want to know why so many people think they’re doomed to a future on the margins, if they wonder why they’re so often called racists, well, say hello to Ann Teague.

Or say hi to Bill Clayton, alderman of Rapid City, South Dakota, who, when a reporter asked him how he planned to vote on an upcoming property-tax increase question, replied by asking her how she planned to vote in the presidential election.

And then he said, “Should we deport you back to Kenya with Obama?”

He finally apologized, and by “finally,” I mean, this incident happened last August. He says he’s not a birther anymore, and that he didn’t realize he was speaking to an African American. Hallelujah, he saw the light.

When the GOP comes down on him with hobnail boots, him and the scores of others out there who are embarrassing the sane factions of the party, then maybe we can talk. I’ll not hold my breath.

So, I know we have a few librarians in the crowd. Did y’all see this sweet little story in the NYT, about the American Girl doll available for lending at a branch of the New York Public Library? Gotta love this lead:

After one visit, she returned with her hair in dreadlocks. Another time, her long blond locks were primly fashioned into a traditional bun. One day, she came back wearing a uniform of the exclusive all-girls Brearley School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

These have been the many phases of Kirsten Larson, an American Girl doll who sat on a shelf in the Ottendorfer branch of the New York Public Library, in the East Village, until a resourceful children’s librarian began lending her to girls, many of whose parents, because of financial or feminist reasons, resist buying the dolls.

I’d love to have seen photos of the dreads, but oh well. I found the librarian whose idea this was on Facebook and messaged her, offering her at least two American Girls from our basement-bin collection, but haven’t heard back. I’m sure she’s been inundated with donations by now, but honestly, I can’t see the Grosse Pointe Public Library doing such a cool thing, if for no other reason that far fewer families have “financial or feminist” objections to the pricey playthings. But I would love for our AGs to see a second life as New York City girls. If any of you librarians are willing to take Marisol Luna (who, as a Latina, garners diversity points) and the other one, the blonde, let me know.

Some good bloggage today:

How the pro-life movement bears at least some blame for rising rates of single parenthood, aka the Bristol Palin effect.

My husband’s office is moving. Eventually.

I literally marked my calendar: “Mad Men” is back April 7.

A good Thursday to all.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Detroit life |

65 responses to “The road to Crazytown.”

  1. Dexter said on January 24, 2013 at 1:08 am

    The story of the 950 pound dress-up doll who is named Oreo and just happens to be a pig.

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  2. susan said on January 24, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Why would you not include a photograph of Oreo with that article? Weird.

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  3. susan said on January 24, 2013 at 1:24 am

    To be clear, I didn’t mean “you” you, Dexter, I meant Lancaster Farming!

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  4. Dexter said on January 24, 2013 at 1:51 am

    susan…The story originated in The Toledo Blade, which has a blocking paywall now 🙁 In that story, only a picture of shelves were pictured, laden with Oreo’s clothes and get-ups.
    I drive past Oreo about twenty times a year or more. I always stop and take a look at what he’s wearing.

    Here’s the photo-bomb from Monday in case you missed it:

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  5. Sherri said on January 24, 2013 at 2:35 am

    As the inestimable Mr. Pierce says of Virginia State Senator Bill Carrico and his plan to disenfranchise urban areas:

    By the way, before someone asks, to hell with what’s in his heart. By his works I shall know him and, by his works, “Bill” Carrico’s plan is racist. He should be shunned by decent people. He should be rejected by his party. If the decent people don’t shun him, they are complicit in his racism. If his party, local and national, does not reject him, they are complicit in his racism. He should be placed in a time capsule and fired through a wormhole to 1852 where he belongs. Tell me again how the Republicans — and the conservative movement that drives them — are changing. Tell me again, I dare you.

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  6. Linda said on January 24, 2013 at 6:43 am

    I laugh and laugh when I see Republicans puff up about Obama’s inaugeration speech, or puffing up with fauxrage about any number of things. The bizzaro version of the 80s continues. Back then, it was lefties and Dems who squawked about every little thing, with their hurt fee fees, while the country simply went in another direction. What Republicans/conservatives are really pissed about is that they no longer are terribly revelant in terms of setting a public agenda, and outside the media, nobody gives a rat’s ass. Media figures still treat them with a respect they haven’t earned because the media is so used to kissing the right’s ass for the last 30 years that they are bent into a pose of continual prostration. Everybody else is going for the exits.

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  7. alex said on January 24, 2013 at 7:01 am

    For a long time now I’ve believed that the rise in single motherhood has everything to do with the stigmatization and increasing unavailability of abortion. The pro-life movement should be ecstatic over its considerable accomplishments—that is, if fetal lives are what they really care about. But no, slut shaming continues to be the movement’s primary objective and they’ll still be whining about the world going to hell in a handbasket even if they somehow manage to pull off putting their ayatollahs in charge of everything.

    I’m too young to remember whether the media gave a respectful ear back when it was the extreme liberals who were considered crazy, circa 1972, but my impression is that they did not. Anyone have a different take? Of course, I don’t remember liberals being that crazy.

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  8. coozledad said on January 24, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Hell, they’re pure cargo cult now, appropriating postures and language irrelevant to their core message of “black man git mah stuff!”. It’s galling to see them cranking up the “MLK was one of US” horseshit, considering he had the distinction of being on their hit list, and the misfortune of being taken out by one of their creeps.

    It’s like the Dartmouth Review trying to put together an after school special on racism, and brainstorming by booting Jaegermesiter on the wallpaper.

    I hear Russia’s taking tax refugees. Wouldn’t it be the perfect new home for a bunch of natural slaves?

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  9. Suzanne said on January 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I’m in agreement that the pro-life contingent has actually increased out of wedlock births. What choice does an adamant pro-lifer have when Sally comes home pregnant but to embrace the baby? I’ve seen it many, many times in our area. The teen mom’s baby becomes the family baby and, oh, isn’t it so wonderful! What can the clergy or any other keeper of morality say? At least, the mom didn’t abort so there really can’t be any down side.

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  10. coozledad said on January 24, 2013 at 8:43 am

    How much longer are these people going to get a respectful ear? As long as there is a Fred Hiatt.

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  11. beb said on January 24, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I know this sounds crazy but I wonder if a Detroit branch library would be interested in a lending doll? Lord knows there are lots of little girls here whose parents can’t afford a doll for them.

    I once heard the theory that the rise in unwed mothers stems from the unconscious calculus that since conditions for poor woman were going to get any better there was no benefit to waiting till later to have children. The idea that opposition to abortion is what causes young girls to keep their pregnancy is an interesting idea, though I think feminism’s empowerment of women has a lot to do with it, too. Women no longer think they need a man in the house to do things so why bother with a man at all.

    One wonders where the News/FreePress are going to find a building more suited for the Internet age, at least in Downtown Detroit. They’re all old buildings and would have to be extensively remodeled. Why not just remodel the building they already have.

    It’s amazing that even after four years of Pres. Obama’s administration people are still going on about how he’s not a legitimate president or that he never showed his birth certificate. It’s one thing to be in the opposition party, it’s another to be delusional.

    And then there’s Ted Nugent who apparently wants to start another Revolutionary War. And apparently literally, not metaphorically. I know he’s called “the Motor City Madman,” but I didn’t realize that they meant clinically. I wish someone would put him on the Terrorist Watch/No-Fly list.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on January 24, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Our own wonderful Allen County library used to lend both toys and artwork, and we took advantage of both. One wall had a regular rotation of paintings (reproductions, obviously), and we usually had a toy checked out as well. It was a long check-out period, maybe three months, and most kids get tired of a toy by that point anyway.

    Remember W strutting around in 2004, bragging that he had political capital and he intended to spend it? No voices of caution were heard on the right then. If Obama erred in his first term it was by trying to make nice, which was interpreted as weakness. He needs to take advantage of every bit of political capital in his second term, and forget about bipartisanship. Take no prisoners, Barry!

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  13. jcburns said on January 24, 2013 at 10:02 am

    The Atlanta Journal Constitution moved to small, dirt-cheap generic office park land just OUTSIDE of I-285 a few years ago. Read yesterday about several papers in Alabama that were selling their not-palatial buildings and looking to consolidate. I’d like to see a map of papers nationwide who have consolidated, downsized, or are just operating out of some guy’s basement now.

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  14. Bitter Scribe said on January 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Bristol Palin is a single mom and had a reality show (for awhile). So there. What further validation do you need?

    Republicans: We can’t win the game so let’s change the rules.

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  15. brian stouder said on January 24, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Regarding President Obama’s second term, I think Julie is exactly right; go for it. The spooky scary express train to CrazyTown will run regardless, and the conductors and ticket agents for the thing (Fort Wayne’s afternoon am-radio lipflapper was in a frenzy yesterday, in the aftermath of SecState Clinton’s testimony, for example) will continue hawking and cajoling folks into boarding.

    I suppose the absurd treatment that the SecState received yesterday was more about 2016 than the events in Libya in 2012; and I suspect that they’ll look just as crazy in hindsight as they do right now. But the Republicans are betting differently – the Klown Kar ain’t big enough anymore, and now they’re loading the freight train.

    Our job is to pay attention to these idiots say and do in the present day, and remember.

    Because at some point, folks will begin jumping off the crazy train, and then denials and justifications will begin. And our job will be to remember, and remind.

    edit: Bitter – and indeed, some of these folks want to repeal the 17th Amendment, so as to allow state legislatures to elect our senators again (read: gerrymandered senate elections!); and forget that the 14th amendment says that “the validity of the public debt…shall not be questioned”! The Second Amendment comes from God His-Own-Self, but the rest of these CAN “be questioned”!!

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  16. Deborah said on January 24, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Linda at #6, I think you hit the nail on the head about the media being so used to kow-towing to the right, they’re still doing it when it’s irrelevant.

    How is a building not suited for the digital age? With everything being wireless these days and all? I mean back in the day when you needed raised floors etc I could see the need to have some major renovations done. In Chicago many of the new dot com companies are moving into old warehouse type buildings and stripping them bare then adding some funky furniture. They’re places where people can ride their bikes around inside. And the people who work there couldn’t be more digitally minded.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on January 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I’ve been worrying for a few years now about how the Republican Party will try to avert its eventual inclusion in the La Brea tar pits and it is clear from the actions of the Virginia GOP that they will do anything –anything– to retain power including disenfranchising those who don’t vote with them. The party of my mom and dad –supporters of Willkie, Taft, Ike, Nixon, Reagan– is unrecognizable to me. You bet the GOP has a wide streak of virulent racism running down its back and, sadly, it has access to the kind of money from the Koch suckers, the De Vos, etc. that it can spend freely to perpetrate and protect these kinds of anti-American actions.

    The hypocrisy is breathtaking. The party that decries government wants government to intervene in how people vote and how those votes are counted. Where are all these staunch Constitutionalists when our most basic right –to participate in our governing– is in the sights of these teahadists? Motherfuckers whine about the potential of a few gun regulations, but they’re more than happy to screw over those who aren’t white. The Constitution, it appears, is bendable to these shitheads.

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  18. nancy said on January 24, 2013 at 10:35 am

    I have to say, in the spirit of correct broken clocks, this may be one time I’m in agreement with a newspaper manager. I would much, MUCH rather see the old Daily Planet buildings traded in for cheaper space, if it means preserving reporting jobs. They’ve said they’re dedicated to staying in the central part of the city, and those old buildings are really from another time. The press has been in the ‘burbs for the better part of a decade, and with shrinking staffs, etc., there’s no need to be heating, cooling and repairing a building built for a much larger physical plant.

    Of course, the downside is the loss of the great old Daily Planets — the Tribune tower, etc., but time does march on.

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  19. Kirk said on January 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

    The Dispatch still has a garish, neon-like sign on its roof, and the air conditioner still runs even though it’s 20 degrees outside.

    I don’t know whether it’s still there or not, but the Seattle Post-Intelligencer used to have a very cool Daily Planet-type globe on its roof.

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  20. adrianne said on January 24, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Had to cross this line out of a racist letter-writer’s lastest screed to our newspaper: “Most Democrats aren’t Patriot’s, their socialists.” (cq).


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  21. Dorothy said on January 24, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Frequently it’s much too expensive to bring old buildings up to code in order to get use from them. Nancy hit it pretty much square on the head – the cost of heating and cooling old buildings is high on the list. We have an old building here on campus that is on the historic register so it can’t be demolished. But it has no A/C. They’re trying to figure out a good use for it.

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  22. brian stouder said on January 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    At the risk of breaking the oldest internet posting rule, let me just say that Grant’s US history class is attending a lecture series (once a week for five weeks) on the Holocaust – or Shoah – at a synagogue on Old Mill Road (a large, grand structure which I wasn’t aware of)….and one indispensable element in the debasement of a ‘civilized’ society (like Germany) is: bystanders.

    We cannot afford lots of bystanders, while the lunatics try and shift the terms of debate. That whole “47%” thing that Mitt hung around his own damned neck was a net-negative only because he chose to tar TOO LARGE a number of “others”; he was too honest about his prejudice!

    If he’d have vilified some smaller number, more chuckleheads might have thought “HELL YEAH!” – and a larger number of reasonable people would have let the (still ridiculous) sentiment pass-by; more of us would have been by-standers.

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  23. velvet goldmine said on January 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    When I’m curled into a fetal position, totally overcome by the gun nut memes and the birther quotes and the deportation petitions, I self-soothe by telling myself that these are death rattles. Death rattles sound horrible and flesh-crawling, but they are a sign of something passing.

    There are still bigots around, God knows, but few of them waste their time standing on the school steps trying to stop non-white kids from entering the building.

    If I were Mitch Albom, I’d conclude this powerful analogy with a real clincher. Let me think…..

    For now, we have to be strong.

    For now, we are ALL Ruby Bridges.

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  24. susan said on January 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Bitter @14– Perhaps Virginia’s GOP racist electoral rejiggering will help push for eliminating the Electoral College altogether, and counting the votes one on one. You know, for example, whichever preznidential candidate wins the most votes wins the election. That kind of thing. I think it’s called the “popular vote.” O: 65,889,660; R: 60,932,152. Kinda radical. I’d prefer starting off with proportional representation, but that ain’t evergonna happen.

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  25. Charlotte said on January 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I usually love Wade Goodwin’s stories (in part because he has such a fabulous voice) — but I had to turn the radio off on that one. I mean really! We’re *still* giving these people airtime? NPR did it again last week with a climate change story, where they played false equivalencies and gave some climate denier “scientist” airtime as well. Can we please please please stop …. I hardly listen to them anymore because I just get so annoyed.

    Our only real political news out here is that this group of loonies seems poised to disappear without a trace. Their tactics backfired in Livingston — even people who might ordinarily have voted with them didn’t because they Did Not Like being bullied by out-of-state money:

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  26. Jolene said on January 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Along with toy and art libraries, some cities have tool libraries, which seems to me to be a great idea. There are so many things that are just what you need when you need them, but spend most of their lives taking up space. Of course, borrowing a tool requires a bit more planning than going to the basement or the garage, but most tasks aren’t emergencies.

    I am really worried about these efforts to change electoral college voting to a by-district system. With state legislatures in the hands of Republicans, there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop them.

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  27. Jason T. said on January 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I have to say, in the spirit of correct broken clocks, this may be one time I’m in agreement with a newspaper manager. I would much, MUCH rather see the old Daily Planet buildings traded in for cheaper space, if it means preserving reporting jobs. They’ve said they’re dedicated to staying in the central part of the city, and those old buildings are really from another time. The press has been in the ‘burbs for the better part of a decade, and with shrinking staffs, etc., there’s no need to be heating, cooling and repairing a building built for a much larger physical plant.

    Of course, the downside is the loss of the great old Daily Planets — the Tribune tower, etc., but time does march on.

    Yeah, I can understand the need for more modern digs. But something tells me the Detroit newspapers will end up in a sterile, vanilla, speculative office building, along with insurance agencies and dental offices. There’s something about the loss of those old buildings that speaks of the diminished, corporate nature of journalism today.

    It’s kind of like how banks used to build Greek revival temples, and now operate out of shopping centers. You used to walk into an old-time bank and say, “Hey, this is where the money is.” Now you walk in and say, “Wait, did I walk into Subway by mistake?”

    Similarly, newspaper buildings used to say, “Something important happens here.”

    Please stop me before I turn into James Lileks.

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    • nancy said on January 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      Well, my fantasy is that they end up in one of these cool restored buildings, like this one, currently being rehabbed for an ad/marketing firm. Truth be told, if they can be trusted when they say they want to stay in central-city Detroit, there aren’t a lot of sterile office buildings to choose from. (Although I’m sure a truly dedicated committee could find one.) I know I’m hoping for too much, but a girl can dream.

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  28. Jolene said on January 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Fellow Virginians, you can call Gov. McDonnell at 804-786-2211 to tell him that you are opposed to the redistricting plan. It’s clear that they are getting lots of calls, as the person who answered the phone barely let me finish my sentence. Get yourself counted among the nays!

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I think Velvet Goldmine’s true identity just got revealed, MITCH.

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  30. jcburns said on January 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Yeah, I’m struck with how many American downtowns are a collection of used-to-bes. Post office, bank, newspaper office—often huge, dominating structures. Now vacant, or improbably housing a coffee shop or beauty parlor in one tiny corner of their space.

    just doesn’t seem right.

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  31. Dorothy said on January 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Well speaking of re-purposing buildings, there’s this:

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Kirk, what’s garish about the sign? 😉

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  33. jcburns said on January 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    FOR COMPLETE COVERAGE…uh, stop looking at this building and hold your phone up close to your eyes.

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  34. Dorothy said on January 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    jc we crossed posted but I was thinking the same thing recently. I parked my car in the vicinity of this very old post office building somewhere (why can’t I remember where?! I’m so old!!!) and all I could think about was all the problems the postal service is having, and there are those old dinosaurs all over the United States, taking up valuable real estate and must cost a bundle to heat and cool.

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  35. Jeff Borden said on January 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    It wouldn’t work everywhere, but I’ve been thrilled to see how older buildings are being utilized in new ways in downtown Chicago. Many of the so-called “Class C” commercial office buildings have been converted to apartments and condos. The gorgeous Carson Pirie Scott department store building –designed by Louis Sullivan himself– is now home to a Target and other smaller retailers.

    We’ve lost a ton of great stuff. A book called “Lost Chicago” will bring tears to your eyes as the huge number of glorious buildings leveled in the name of progress and development becomes apparent. Hopefully, we’ve learned our lesson and will find innovative ways to make well-constructed, lovely old buildings find a new purpose.

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  36. Sherri said on January 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    The Seattle PI globe is still around, even though the newspaper sadly isn’t, and has been designated a Seattle landmark and donated to the Museum of History and Industry. MOHAI has vague plans to move and refurbish it.

    Story, with pictures, here:

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  37. Jeff Borden said on January 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Has anyone else read about the latest example of breathtaking hubris by the Catholic Church? A Catholic hospital in Colorado is facing a wrongful death lawsuit after a woman who was 7-months-pregnant with twins died shortly after her arrival at a hospital when a gynecologist did not answer a page. Lawyers for the One True are arguing that while the husband is due recompense for the loss of his wife, he should get nothing for the unborn kids because fetuses are not covered as people under Colorado law.

    So, if I understand this correctly, I am murdering an innocent child if I choose to get an abortion. But if a Catholic hospital fucks up and unborn twins die, they are simply a collection of bones and tissue with no standing and should not be considered human?

    And the cardinals and bishops wonder why American Catholics are fleeing in droves?

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  38. Bitter Scribe said on January 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Jeff Borden: Yeah, it’s interesting how quickly that “it’s a child, not a choice” bullshit evaporates once money is at stake.

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  39. Jeff Borden said on January 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Amen, Scribe.

    The next time the “Clan of the Read Beanie” as Charles P. Pierce dubs them starts squawking about contraception and abortion, this case should be thrown into their smug faces. I’m no longer down with the One True, but I did used to kind of admire its consistency. Unlike American right-wingers who are pro-life, the church was also opposed to capital punishment and war. Now, even that small thread of respectability has been torn.

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  40. brian stouder said on January 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Jeff B – wow. The story you point to is somewhat breath-taking

    CHI’s (Catholic Health Initiatives, the owner/operator of the hospital) lawyer, Jason Langley, successfully convinced both the Fremont County District Court and the Colorado Court of Appeals to throw out Jeremy’s lawsuit on the basis that CHI can not be sued for the wrongful death of a fetus, because it is not a person.

    “[The court] should not overturn the long-standing rule in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive. Colorado state courts define ‘person’ under the Act to include only those born alive. Therefore Plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.”


    but don’t tell these guys they can’t dictate which prescriptions females who work for them can or cannot have!

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  41. nancy said on January 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Of course, if the Detroit newspapers can’t sell their building, they can always take in boarders.

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  42. Deborah said on January 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Jeff B, the architecture firm I used to work for was on the 3rd floor of the former Carson Pirie Scott building, I loved working in that space. The column capitals are glorious. The Target store on the ground floor did a good job of keeping their brand intact but having the fabulous original Louis Sullivan designed windows and columns too.

    Here’s a video of my former office

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  43. Dorothy said on January 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Very cool building, Deborah. The natural light – so wonderful…! The yellow chairs were one of my favorite things – that and the art/long stemmy flowers were a fave too. It must have been really great to move into that building when it was done. (That’s a word I just made up – “stemmy”. In case anyone was wondering.)

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  44. Minnie said on January 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Jolene @28: When I called Gov. Vaginal Wand’s office a woman hung up on me before I could ask that the Governor veto the redistricting grab. Considering the number of phone calls they’re getting the disconnection might have been inadvertent. When I redialed, I got a recorded message asking that I leave a message, so I did.

    It’s odd that among the many requests for action and donations I’ve received from political groups this week, not one has mentioned this issue and presented a petition or call-in effort.

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  45. Jolene said on January 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    It’s odd that among the many requests for action and donations I’ve received from political groups this week, not one has mentioned this issue and presented a petition or call-in effort.

    That is odd. I think the email I got the phone number from came from the Democratic Party of Virginia. They also sent one that asked me to sign a petition.

    I’ve gotten a ton of emails this week that ask me to sign petitions and then, if I sign, ask for contributions. The purported causes involve telling President Obama my top priorities, thanking Secretary Clinton for her service, supporting various gun safety measures, and probably a few other things too. But they are all fund-raising requests, mainly for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

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  46. Deborah said on January 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Dorothy, that art piece was just there temporarily, the artist was from Israel, I can’t remember his name. The stems were bronze rods and the “flowers” were porcelain disks.

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  47. Catherine said on January 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Brian @22, it sounds like maybe your son’s class is doing the curriculum from Facing History and Ourselves: It can be a transforming experience, truly. Gives me hope for this generation.

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  48. brian stouder said on January 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Catherine – me, too!

    His teacher threw it open to parents, too – and I’ve found it enlightening; and the young folks are taking it all in, and asking good questions, and (except for one or two) leaving their phones aside for 90 minutes each Tuesday night.

    I will say, though, it gets COLD by 9 pm on a winter weeknight!

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  49. Prospero said on January 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Linda@6: What seriosly gets GOPers’ goats is that Komissar Karl Turdblossom all talked into the idea of the permanent GOP majority, which they believe is mandated somewhere among the Constitution, Federalist Papers, and, as the stage manager would add, the mind of God.

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  50. dull_old_man said on January 24, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Why call this a photobomb? Do I need to recalibrate my irony meter? Not to put too fine a point on it: It is a picture of Bill Clinton ogling Kelly Clarkson’s butt. She is bleached blond, Southern, non-thin, and younger than his daughter–we know she is his type and we know what he is thinking. Are caption writers too respectful of an ex-president to say that Bubba’s got that look?

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  51. alex said on January 24, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Deborah, that was the best modern furniture porn I’ve seen in quite some time. The yellow S chairs are too faboo. Looks like they did a nice job with the building. I remember when I used to shop at Carson’s and thought the building was looking kind of ratty.

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  52. susan said on January 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    This is rich:

    A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial.

    House Bill 206, introduced by state Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R), would charge a rape victim who ended her pregnancy with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence.”

    “Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime,” the bill says.

    Third-degree felonies in New Mexico carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.

    Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive nonprofit opposing the bill, called it “blatantly unconstitutional” on Thursday.

    “The bill turns victims of rape and incest into felons and forces them to become incubators of evidence for the state,” he said. “According to Republican philosophy, victims who are ‘legitimately raped’ will now have to carry the fetus to term in order to prove their case.“

    The bill is unlikely to pass, as Democrats have a majority in both chambers of New Mexico’s state legislature.

    Where do the GOP come up with such imaginative ways of thinking??

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  53. Deborah said on January 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    I agree Alex those yellow chairs are fabulous. They are Brno chairs designed originally by Mies Van der Rohe (the architect who designed the building I live in). My boss, the Cuban born director of design for the office selected the chairs for that space and picked the yellow fabric for them to be upholstered in. The Carson Pirie Scott building was indeed looking ratty for awhile there, no more.

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  54. Scout said on January 24, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    On Monday I listened to NPR on and off all day as they devoted the entire broadcast to the inauguration. They had many reporters out in the field interviewing we-the-people who were thrilled to take part in the historical day. In interview after interview, the people they spoke with were intelligent, engaged, passionate and compassionate. It’s almost as if they highlighted the yahoos they did on the following day on purpose to draw the stark contrast that exists. Perhaps NPR is not giving idiots like that a platform as much as they are allowing them to show themselves for the foolish, out of touch morons they are. At least, that’s what it felt like to me.

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  55. Prospero said on January 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Most recent puzzling Manti development. Who the hell paid those phone bills? This has been a focus of more than a few NCAA investigation. Te’o and his family don’t have the scratch to have covered the hundreds of hours worth of long distance calls the doof racked up to “Lennay”.

    Where do the GOP come up with such imaginative ways of thinking?? From up Uranus way.

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  56. Prospero said on January 24, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    What is the difference between being monumentally clueless and possessing unmitigated gall? Does Oompa Loompa remember the perpetual GOPer majority, or the prime directive of limiting President Obama to a single term? Does he actually here the inane shit he says? I mean, this is the most egregiously obnoxious thing out of a stupid arrogant GOPer pinhole since that dickhead Tagg said Mittens din’t want to win. These frackers could give Richard Marx lessons in brazen shamelessness.

    Really Manti? 100s of hours on the phone with coma girl? I have run up bills like that in my day, and it takes a while to get out from under. Especially when your college job is playing MLB for the Irish. There is undoubtedly some NCAA violation there of reasonable seriousness. Somebody paid Verizon and I doubt it was the football player.

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  57. MichaelG said on January 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I remember shopping at Carson’s. That’s a lovely workplace, Deborah.

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  58. Prospero said on January 24, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    We just realized Portlandia is free streaming on Netflix. Carrie Brownstein is funnier than Lena Dunham, and having been in Sleater-Kinney has considerably more credibility.

    And Steve Buscemi guesting.

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  59. velvet goldmine said on January 24, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    @29 Jeff — You are obviously not one of the seven people I will meet in heaven.

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  60. Prospero said on January 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Best band going, and sure as shit best girl drummer:

    And Georgia is a damned good singer to:

    This is what my daughter chose as a career. Finding people back from little eyes. Little eyes are open but they don’t see very far. Wake up little eyes.

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  61. Sherri said on January 24, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    The Chicago Sun-Times is doing a partnership deal with ChicagoSide, a sports site run by a former WSJ reporter. The interesting part of this deal is that Jay Mariotti does an occasional column for ChicagoSide. Read Romanesko on the deal, and be sure to read the comments:

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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm


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  63. Dexter said on January 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    dull-old-man: a photobomb is someone stealing the thunder of a photo not meant to highlight them. The photographer was focussing on Kelly and Bill stuck his mug into the picture, probably just accidentally.

    Sometimes viral photos puzzle me. A photo taken in a nursing home of a stroke-victim lady being coached on re-learning the alphabet by her 82-year-old boyfriend went viral. I would suppose this kind of activity goes on in most all nursing homes all over the world, and these people were just plain folks…why did this photo capture the attention of the world?

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  64. Dexter said on January 25, 2013 at 12:18 am

    midnight interlude … as the administration takes on a new look and the world continues to shake rattle and roll, David Bowie reminds us that we can’t trace time.

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