Barking at the mailman.

Arguing with a writer over what he should have written sort of defines “pointless.” That’s one reason I hold the speech-he-should-have-given column trope in low regard. And when we’re talking about Mitch Albom? That’s like Wendy barking at the mailman. The mail will arrive tomorrow. Sorry, Wendy.

But I have to say, this column — which, as bad Mitch columns go, is far from the worst — left me a little fish-mouthed for a while. The gist: Mitch is taking some time off in the midst of the biggest local sports story of the year to tend his charity in Haiti, where he and some of his volunteers watched game two of the American League Championship Series via laptop.

I think of what a talented writer, a Jon Carroll or Pete Dexter or Steve Lopez, could do with that material. It’s rich with possibilities — the contrast between grinding poverty and the luxurious details of American baseball; the tiny-planet angle, the weirdness of the game being beamed down into this dark spot on the map, under the eternal, indifferent stars; or maybe Mitch, well-established as a hater of computers and the internet, might admit to some second thoughts about his prejudices. Hell, give me enough time and I could think of a dozen more approaches that might turn this unusual occurrence into something people once looked to columnists to provide, a simple moment that illuminates an eternal truth, or just a good story, well-told.

Or, y’know, whatever.

But no. First comes self-promotion:

Many will remember where they were for the game. I will never forget. We had taken a crew of 23 volunteers — plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc. — to aid in the reconstruction of the Have Faith Haiti Mission, run by a charity I helped start…

Next comes log-rolling:

Normally, we give up on the outside world. We have made these trips before (seven of them, thanks to Roger Penske and Pentastar Aviation, who donate the use of a plane).

Then comes more than a dozen paragraphs of the Hey, Didya See That Game school of sportswriting, where Mitch relates the key events in a contest already 48 hours old, then records his friends’ insightful responses: “Yes!” “Scherzer has this.” “It’s Detroit’s night.” Every so often, it’s like he rouses himself enough to remember yeah, right, the dateline on this sucker is Port-au-Prince and offers a detail:

I noticed a small lizard dart across the wall.

But there’s drama, oh yes there is, as when the laptop crashes at a key moment, but comes back in time to record David Ortiz’ grand slam, after which Mitch reveals the sort of sports acumen that justifies his salary — I knew it was over — and calls it a night.

Ladies and gentlemen, remember to tip your waitresses. The mailman has been driven from the door yet again.

On to the bloggage, then:

Ta-Nehisi Coates on the confederate flag-wavers in front of the White House Sunday:

It is the wisdom of the crowd that matters. The wisdom that marked Sunday’s crowd was the idea that the president “bows down to Allah” and needs to “put the Qu’ran down.” The wisdom that marked Sunday’s crowd was the notion that Obama was not the president of “the people” but the president of “his people.” The wisdom of Sunday’s crowd held that the police, doing their job, looked “like something out of Kenya.” It’s not so much that a man would fly a Confederate flag, as Jeff Goldberg notes, in front of the home of a black family. It’s that a crowd would allow him the comfort of doing it.

Three episodes in, it’s pretty clear that “Homeland” has jumped the shark. But it was fun to see Erik Dellums back in the saddle.

Rielle Hunter is sorry. So very, very sorry. And coincidentally (I’m sure), she has a new book out this week.

Wednesday dawns, the week advances, and we’re all 24 hours older.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Media |

53 responses to “Barking at the mailman.”

  1. Dexter said on October 16, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Dellums was interesting,playing the medico with no name, but OMG I have to say Martina Garcia stole the show. She was the daughter/nurse who helped Brody make it to the home of the iman.
    I was surprised to learn she is 32 years old; surprised that I have never noticed her in any TV production here in the USA. I did hear that she is a superstar in what I guess is safe to generalize as “Latin America”. I do know she was born in Bogota. A recovering drug addict I listen to on the radio said that by the end of Sunday’s episode he was ready to just chuck it all and tie off and let the happy dreams begin. I haven’t seen heroin dominate a TV series episode like that in …ever, maybe?

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  2. Brandon said on October 16, 2013 at 3:27 am

    I think of what a talented writer, a Jon Carroll or Pete Dexter or Steve Lopez, could do with that material. It’s rich with possibilities — the contrast between grinding poverty and the luxurious details of American baseball….

    Or even that Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, which has given baseball many great players.

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  3. Deborah said on October 16, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Is it just me, or do others think that Rielle Hunter’s apology would ring a bit more true if she wasn’t trying to sell a new book? If you read the Huff Post commenters it seems I’m in the minority.

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  4. ROGirl said on October 16, 2013 at 5:48 am

    If reacting to Mitch is like Wendy barking at the mailman, going after Rielle is like…taking your next breath. Do I have a pulse? She’s like a vampire surfacing from her crypt to feed on the blood of publicity.

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  5. David C. said on October 16, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Rielle Hunter’s apology is worth exactly as much as Arianna pays most of her contributors.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 16, 2013 at 7:37 am

    In the conference room, we say — out loud, in front of offenders — sure, we hear and appreciate your apology. You’re also here at the invitation of the court, which we both know has a variety of further interventions available depending on your visible repentance and regret. So here’s our challenge: what behavior in the next days, weeks, months would indicate, to those affected by your behavior that led us to this day, that you do in fact get it, and intend to amend your behavior in the future, and not just so you can avoid adjudication? (I use different words in conference.)

    That’d be my question for Rielle. I see that you have written, on lined paper not ripped from a spiral notebook, an apology that appears substantially in your own words and not written for you by mom (trust me, we can tell). Thank you, Ms. Hunter. This represents a step, a step forward, one step. Now: what do you think you can do that will communicate to the Edwards children and your community that you mean what you’ve written here, and that this change of heart will stick?

    And don’t say “organize a charity and then lead a group to Haiti to work with poor people for a short week.” We’ve seen that one before, and it doesn’t seem to result in lasting transformation.

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  7. beb said on October 16, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Anthony Boudain has made a career out of visiting places which have fallen off the maps, talking to the locals, finding interesting stories about them, savoring the local cuisine and making fun of being out of his comfort zone. He would have served up Albom’s ass on a platter with some tasty appetizers.

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  8. brian stouder said on October 16, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Raphael & the Dead-enders are like the yipping dog that catches the car. Now what?

    And the stupidest meme I’ve heard in the past few days, regarding the manufactured crisis in American governance?

    “If they aren’t going to run the government, they should stop withholding taxes from my paycheck!”

    When I hear that one, I specifically do NOT give the obligatory-chuckle. Instead, I say something along the lines of “You’re insane”

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  9. Dorothy said on October 16, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I thought the ambivalence and disappointment I’ve been feeling about Homeland this season was just me. Whew – thanks for that link. I could stop watching it and never miss it. But I’m also a Pollyanna and hold out hope that it could improve. Which explains why I can’t stop myself from keeping up with Grey’s Anatomy. WHY do I still watch that stupid show?! Well I won’t this week, anyway. The college is doing “Noises Off” and I have a ticket to see it tomorrow night. LOVE that play. This will be my third time to see it.

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  10. del said on October 16, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Rielle Hunter was the subject of Jay McInerney’s roman a clef, Story of My Life. He’d been dating her. One wonders what sort of voodoo charms she must have as the self-centeredness and thoughtlessness that she owns up to in the article ought to be readily and immediately apparent to every guy she meets. Maybe she’s an enchantress. Or as ROGirl suggested, a vampire.

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  11. Deborah said on October 16, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Anthony Bourdain came to Santa Fe recently and criticized the Frito Pie at the Five and Dime. He said the sauce tasted like it came from a can. Boy howdy did that set off a ruckus here. Apparently the same woman comes in really early every day and makes the goop from scratch. He apologized too.

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  12. brian stouder said on October 16, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Well, just for the record, whatever constitutes the character and personality of (the aptly named!) Ms Hunter, all the fellows drawn to her certainly had their own issues and flaws, or else they’d have chosen someone else to spend time with.

    Just sayin’

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  13. Jolene said on October 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Count me among those who wonder what the heck is going on in Homeland. I keep thinking that really intelligent actors like Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin wouldn’t put up with such ridiculous story lines if they weren’t going to lead somewhere eventually, but that somewhere is, so far, pretty hard to see through the hash of bizarre plot twists and bad dialogue we’ve seen so far.

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  14. Deborah said on October 16, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Here’s a link to Bourdain on New Mexico if you’re interested:

    He mentions Ghost Ranch in the written part, says it’s outside of Santa Fe, it’s way outside of Santa Fe in Abiquiu, more than 55 miles out of SF.

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  15. coozledad said on October 16, 2013 at 9:48 am

    That flag they were waving in front of the White House represents the rotten boroughs the Republicans used to gain control of the house despite losing by a million and a half votes.
    Now they’ve imposed procedures to hand control of the body to Eric Cantor, who was unanimously denied a job at his family’s law firm because he is a smarmy despicable asshole.

    It’s a good symbol for them. They can’t invoke Godwin’s law to asscrawl out from under it. It’s a useful symbol to anyone who is trying to guess how depraved the whole damn lot of them are.

    Short of clubbing them down with bats or dragging them to a gas station to pummel with shoes, the best thing to do is avoid their places of business and their company.

    What I’d like to see is all those nullification threats reversed, and the Feds stop sinking taxpayer money in every slough of despond the Republicans have hoarded against governance. Strangulate that goddamned hernia for fuck’s sake. Let it drop off the map for awhile and resubmit an application for statehood ten or fifteen years down the road, after they’ve eaten all the stray dogs and have had more than enough time to attrite by cannibalism.

    No federal contracts. No military bases, no federal highways, no immunization programs, no research institutions.

    But then you look at North Carolina, where the Republicans are already stealing federal grants to distribute among their cronies later.

    So we’re back to the gas station, and the shoes.

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on October 16, 2013 at 10:07 am

    What’s the line on when Rielle’s book hits the remainders bin? I’ll take three months.

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  17. Jolene said on October 16, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Very sad to see NC taking these backward states. So much progress with excellent universities, forward-looking businesses, beautiful scenery, thriving arts community. All being undermined by people afraid of the future.

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  18. brian stouder said on October 16, 2013 at 10:59 am

    If you’ve not clicked Nancy’s last link, the Ta-Nehisi Coates piece – do so!

    It is brief, strong, and incisive; and there is a post-script which is tremendous, too.

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  19. MarkH said on October 16, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Jay McInerney was dating Hunter?? Someone actually wanted to date her after Edwards?? Sheesh.

    Some time back, Bourdain visited and filed a program on Charlotte’s stomping grounds, and one of my favorite areas, Paradise Valley, MT. It included him having as meal with Jim Harrison at the now culinary hotspot, the Murray Hotel. Back when I last lived and worked there, ’84-’85, the Murray was best known only as the semi-dive that was Sam Peckinpah’s retreat. Here’s a link to some pics and a couple of video clips:

    Deborah, by western distance standards, and the media’s assumption that no one knows anything about New Mexico, the Ghost Ranch can indeed be listed as outside Santa Fe.

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  20. nancy said on October 16, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Jay McInerney, being a true ahr-tist, was with Hunter long before Edwards, and in fact, long before she became Rielle Hunter. Her name at the time was Lisa Druck, she was a competitive equestrian, and she was known for having had a horse at the center of an insurance-fraud scandal that brought down some of the biggest names in the business. This is lightly fictionalized in “Story of My Life,” and a more fact-based account is here.

    But she was on a different journey then. The first-name change came during some woo-woo new-age interlude, and Hunter was a husband or two ago.

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  21. Heather said on October 16, 2013 at 11:16 am

    MarkH, McInerney dated Rielle Hunter (when she had a different name, I believe) in the 80s.

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  22. Dorothy said on October 16, 2013 at 11:27 am


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  23. brian stouder said on October 16, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Her name at the time was Lisa Druck, she was a competitive equestrian, and she was known for having had a horse at the center of an insurance-fraud scandal that brought down some of the biggest names in the business.

    I’ll have to read that espn article later – but wow!

    The story of Ms Druck (etc) may well be a metaphor for 21st century American history. (if she got with an author like the woman who writes the Hunger Games books, and produced a nominally non-fiction book – I’d buy it at regular price!)

    Or, looked at another way, if a person harnessed (so to speak) Sarah Palin’s desire to be in the public arena to Ms Druck’s (apparently adept) ability to enchant powerful men – we’d have a female JFK!

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  24. Deborah said on October 16, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Nancy, thanks for the link to the killer story with Rielle Hunter connections. I have been fascinated with that woman, in a morbid way, ever since I heard about her. I think I’m going to have to read that McInerny book some day.

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  25. MarkH said on October 16, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Thanks for the clarification, Nance and Heather. I did know about her crystal/chakra-inspired name change, but not much else pre-Edwards. The gal gets around.

    Dorothy, I’m with you on Grey’s Anatomy. My wife is hooked and I can’t see how. My first rule of TV drama is you have to care about the characters even at some base level, and only a couple of them are appealing. So much unnecessary drama. Would you want to be admitted to that hospital?

    I, on the other hand have the same issue with Sons of Anarchy. It’s like watching a trainwreck. Can’t take your eyes off it. But, just when you’re ready to give up on all the carnage Jax causes in the name of “getting this club straight”, or whatever, something out of left field happens. Like last night when Walton Goggins reappears in that incredible trans-gender getup as Venus Van Damme. Or the great CCH Pounder takes her wig off. Otherwise, just end it already.

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  26. Charlotte said on October 16, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Mark H — Bourdain’s second in that episode is my ex-boyfriend, Danny. When we went together, we watched Bourdain most Wednesday nights and commented on how he could never catch a fish. Danny’s a terrific fishing guide (guided Jim Harrison for many years), and his moment of triumph was when Bourdain caught a fish (on a pond, but nonetheless). Also, Jacques, the Best Dog Ever had a beautiful cameo.
    As for the Murray — it’s a good restaurant now. Apparently, Harrison and his old pal Russ Chatham got so blue during that dinner that they couldn’t use most of the footage (and while Brian runs a good restaurant, that is not his usual menu). All in all, folks liked Bourdain just fine when he was here … and he still comes out once in a while with Batali to visit Jim Harrison.

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  27. Deborah said on October 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Whoa, Mark H and Charlotte, seeing Jim Harrison in that video was kinda creepy. The missing front tooth and the constant dragging on the cigarette was strange. But it must have been interesting to sit and listen to his stories. Did your ex Danny have any good stories about his time with Harrison?

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  28. Deborah said on October 16, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I watched a few more videos and looked at the photos, holy cow Charlotte, Livingston is amazing.

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  29. Jeff Borden said on October 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    There are some fascinating stories coming out of South Dakota in the wake of the freak blizzard/heavy snowfall that killed tens of thousands of cattle. These folks are the core constituency for the tea partiers –their elected representative voted NO on funds for post-Sandy rebuilding– but now that they need federal assistant they are howling like stuck pigs.

    Your important government function is my pork and vice versa.

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  30. coozledad said on October 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Got to give credit to Obama. Prior to the election he told Joe Scar and Mika that the Republicans would begin shooting each other in the face upon his reelection. He said it would be over the debt ceiling.

    He missed the timeline, though, it didn’t occur late in the lame duck or early in the following joint session. It’s been a slow, bloody slog with the maximum number of casualties.

    A first day of the Somme, if you will.

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  31. MarkH said on October 16, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Jeff B. @29 — True dat.

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  32. Charlotte said on October 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Deborah — I actually know Harrison a little bit. His daughters are both friends of mine, and we have some other old writing friends in common (and Danny of course). His health has really deteriorated the past few years — he’s had some serious back issues (and yeah, the walleye and the missing tooth — sigh. He’s a little spitty thanks to the missing tooth). He’s often quite fascinating to hang around, and I’m deeply fond of him despite the fact that he can also be quite difficult. Like a beloved but difficult family member. I met him the first time 20 years ago at UC Davis — he came to do a reading, mostly because Gary Snyder and he go way back (they did a lovely documentary together called Practice of the Wild, all set on Will Hearst’s land near Cambria — I highly recommend it. The two of them are at their most fascinating).

    And yes, Livingston is a unique place with a population of talented, funny, oddballs who all look out for one another. I’m deeply grateful to have been here for the past 11 years, and they all saved me when my beloved younger brother was killed in a wreck here my first year … oh, and yeah, it’s stunningly beautiful too.

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  33. Prospero said on October 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Albom is rewriting the Nicholas Kristoo “I saved every child prostitute in Thailand” oeuvre. Or the Don Imus ranch, making life worth living for sick kids. Or the revolting self-congratulation of the Tim Tebow performs circumcisions for destitute Philippino kids hoopla.

    Idiotic GOPer public claims about sequestration. Were are those rigid talking points when they’d come in handy. These SOBs don’t know what they are talking about.

    Jay McInerney and Rielle Hunter? Couple of poseurs, made for each other. I’d have probably changed my surname had I been born a Druck. Portmanteau meaning: dreadful fuck. T. McGuane was doing better with Elizabeth Ashley, who was actually dangerous Meritocracy. Bright Lights Big City pretty much pales in comparison to Ninety-two in the Shade. Best thing about BLBC is the Jimmy Reed song theat McInerney used for the title. Never a dull moment with The Talullah of the 60s and 70s, and he got a book out of it too, Panama, that is much better than anything Jejeune Jay ever wrote. I always thought Edwards got kicked in the balls by karma. It’s the VP candidate’s job to go after lying bastards like the Swiftboaters with pit bull ferocity. I don’t recall the tassel-loafered weenie ever addressing the subject.

    The SD cattle farmers have most likely had their beeves grazing on public lands for a long time anyway, so the irony is not just kicking in now. Bastards probably would have had enough warning to save most of the cattle had the weather service been operating up to speed. But what the hay, proof positive there is no climate change. And I’m sure those Patriot ranchers would never collude in bidding for those public lands grazing leases.

    I find it somewhat disturbing that Jim Harrison doesn’t smoke “rollies”, but filter-tips?

    Every time I hear GOPers talking about balanced budgets the way they do them in their households, I wonder “How does anybody get elected to a nearly $200grand job making budgetary decisions that has never heard of fund accounting?” It should be a prerequisite. But the subject is difficult, and most of these dumbasses would never get it, but that would be a good thing, wouldn’t it?”

    Just read the Stephen King review of the new Donna Tartt novel. I read The Secret History years ago and thought it was excellent, if horrifying. I’m definitely reading The Goldfinch. Before or after Infinite Jest, though? Couple of doorstops. And I have Sorokin’s Ice Trilogy (another 800 pp.) to get to also. So little to as well, so much time. Stop, Reverse. So much to read, so little time. I keep putting Infinite Jest off, because I didn’t particularly like The Broom of the System.

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  34. Prospero said on October 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Bright Lights Big City.

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  35. Diane said on October 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I haven’t read any Mitch Albom, except perhaps the occasional link from here and in fact pretty much what I knew about him I learned here until I heard him as the keynote speaker at a conference this summer. He really does seem to have a tin ear. The conference was a user group conference sponsored by an ebook vendor. So it’s all librarians and all about ebooks (and his new book was featured heavily). So in his talk he notes his preference for ‘real’ books and told a story about the mean ole librarian of his childhood who wouldn’t let him check out the book of his choice and how his mother had to fight for his right to check out what he wanted. (He didn’t think we all hadn’t heard some variation of that story many time? Isn’t there a statute of limitations on the crimes of librarians of decades past?) Anyway, I thought annoying both the sponsor and the audience in one conference keynote speech was an acheivement.

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  36. Sherri said on October 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Jay McInerney’s less talented friend, Bret Easton Ellis, also claims to have dated Rielle Hunter, and also used the same character from Story of My Life in two of his books, American Psycho and Glamorama. (No, I haven’t read either of them. I haven’t read any of his work since Less Than Zero, which was plenty of BEE for me.)

    Of course, BEE may just be making it all up; he craves attention. He called Alice Munro overrated when she won the Nobel Prize.

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  37. brian stouder said on October 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Diane (and Connie) – for the record – every librarian I can remember, both from school days and in the years since then, was an engaging, pleasant, helpful person.

    I suppose this is what they call an ‘observer created reality’.

    Imagine young Mitch, ball-cap askew, argumentative, moving books around willie-nillie and not returning them to the correct place, thumbing through magazines, and then pestering the librarian with stupid remarks (and always the same stupid remarks)…..

    and then being surprised that the librarian runs out of patience with him

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  38. Prospero said on October 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    This is paraphrased from a request to sign a Sierra Club petition. I imagine this decision by the LATimes is causing coniptions and serious invective:

    The most conservative big city paper in the country (Washington Times isn’t a real paper) has openly acknowledged that climate deniers are flat out wrong. Last week, LATimes became the country’s first major newspaper to ban climate-denial letters to the editor. I hope somebody saved Max Boot and Jonah Goldberg from suffocating on their swollen tongues, I guess.

    This could be a major tipping point for how the media covers climate change — a chance to get them to stop spreading Big Coal-talking points and start publishing facts. That’s why the SierraRise community is joining with our friends at Forecast the Facts to pressure other major newspapers — The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal — into joining the L.A. Times.

    The dangers of smoking are scientific fact, not a matter of opinion. The same is true for the reality and dangers of climate change. Monster hurricanes on the coasts. Terrible fires and drought on the plains. Melting icecaps and sinking islands — climate change is happening.

    I don’t know what I think on-line petitions actually accomplish, but if a conservorag like LAT sees the writing on the wall on climate change, I’d think NYT and WaPo would be shamed into acknowledging scientific facts.

    It’s about time our papers started to report the truth and leave out the crazy. The L.A. Times wrote, “Saying ‘there’s no sign humans have caused climate change’ is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.” Damn straight.

    The Times has been getting a lot of attention for the policy — especially from climate denial activists who have called this new policy ‘arrogant,’ ‘patronizing,’ and an attack on freedom. An attack on freedom? WTF?

    With your support, we’ll share the petition with The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal and talk directly to their editors. The L.A. Times has stood up for climate science — now it’s our turn!

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  39. Jeff Borden said on October 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Just for the record. . .I never slept with Rielle.

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  40. Sherri said on October 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I wish there had been less discussion about the WWII memorial being closed and more coverage of the CDC being shut down:

    As far as I know, Maryn McKenna at Wired is the only person really covering it. Just because a bunch of Republicans want to make a big deal about barricades at the WWII memorial does not mean that it is important. The CDC is important, and while some attention has been paid to the NIH because kids with cancer might not get treated, they’re getting ignored.

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  41. Prospero said on October 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Just for the record… I wouldn’t sleep with Rielle Hunter unless someone held a Mac10 to my head, or offered me a ton of cash. What a skanky excuse for a woman. She looks like an ex-Mean Girl and tends to wear ping sweater sets. Surpise, she went to University of Florida, where I bet she pledged Tri-Delt, never quite graduated, though. And of course, she was once married to a lawyer whose friends called him “Kip”. And, of course, she was Lisa Jo Hunter when she began and ended her acting career with a walkon in the atrocious and eminently forgettable Ricochet.

    Excellent piece on the rise of the Teabangers and the destruction of the GOP as we used to know it by Harold Myerson. He’s got some thoughts on the show trials the Teabastards will hold in primaries in the near future, when they lay the GOP to rest, once and for all. Good riddance. I think the new party should be the GOOF, Greedy Oleaaginous Old Fogies. And an incisive opinion on those Confederate flags.

    Their theory of government, to the extent that they have one, derives from John C. Calhoun’s doctrine of nullification — that states in general and white minorities in particular should have the right to overturn federal law and impede majority rule. Like their predecessors in the Jim Crow South, today’s Republicans favor restricting minority voting rights if that is necessary to ensure victory at the polls.

    The WWII Memorial demonstrations were extremely redolent of the Stalinist show trials, except $Palin didn’t actually shoot anybody, nor send them to Siberia where she could keep an eye on their socialist asses. In the end, they’ll be about as effective as a saffron robed Buddhist monk burning himself in Saigon circa ’69. Gruesome auto da fe. And another grotesque failure on the part of the alleged newspapers of record and 24/7 cable news in giving this circus extensive coverage.

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  42. Connie said on October 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Diane, did you go to Digipalooza? I am at Michigan Library Assoc this week, and brought my advance readers copy of Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch along. I am in beautiful downtown Lansing.

    I can also tell mean childhood librarian stories. In my case it was my father who argued with the librarian over who could decide what his daughter was allowed to read.

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  43. Jolene said on October 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Looks like things are improving a bit at the Obamacare web site:

    Some data on sign-ups in various parts of the country:

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  44. brian stouder said on October 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Pam thinks that Raphael Cruz looks a bit like Penguin, from Batman…..and I think she’s onto something. It’s that nose, I think…plus the ghastly formal clothing

    and one other thing. Monday I felt the need to comment at the school board meeting….I know, I know – “crazy old man” status is upon me. I only do this maybe once every 12 months or so (I think I’ve made 3 comments over the past three years) – and if you watch this report, you’ll see a guy way at the end of the video (last 10 seconds) in a red shirt (boy – I’ve apparently put on the weight!)…

    but the funny part is you can also see my mortified daughter in the back-ground; that image of her is the funniest thing I’ve seen today!

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  45. nancy said on October 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Wow, that’s a pretty thin effort. They looped the B-roll twice, GQ didn’t even wear a tie for the occasion and that headline is just flat wrong. The problem isn’t overcrowded — or “Over-Crowded” — but overcrowding. Sheesh.

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  46. Diane said on October 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Connie, yes, it was Digipalooza. It was my first time in Cleveland and although I was not at all enthusiastic at the idea of Cleveland in August, it turns out that I loved it.

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  47. Deborah said on October 16, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Brian, watched the video and saw your daughter in the background trying not to look up. Too funny.

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  48. Sherri said on October 16, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    You got your daughter to go to a school board meeting with you! Once, anyway.

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  49. brian stouder said on October 16, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Sherri – I can get the 15 year old to accompany me about half the time; the promise of icy cold Diet Pepsi on the way home usually works. The 9 year old, though, almost never makes that deal! (and of course, I didn’t tell Shelby I was going to make a comment!)

    Hard to boil down precisely why I like to go to those things, although having young folks in two different high schools and in a middle school certainyl sharpens one’s interest

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  50. Deborah said on October 16, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Is it over?

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  51. Minnie said on October 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Not really.

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  52. brian stouder said on October 16, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Nance at 45- the channel 55 news sent a camera, but their reporter practically slept through the meeting.

    The big thing I wanted to answer back was that our local small-ball doll-house tea-party board member Glenna Jehl went onto our local right-wing radio last Friday at prime drive-time, and attacked FWCS for following Indiana state law and paying a ‘common wage’ (ie – UNION!! UNION!! Arrrrrggghhh!!)

    Pat Miller made a point of repeatedly saying she was on as a “private citizen” and not as an FWCS board member, blah blah blah – and we were off to the races.

    Long story short: I wrote up four paragraphs and rolled into the Monday meeting, only to see NO Glenna! I’d made a point of not using her name when writing my comment, but still – it was sort of anticlimactic. And THEN, at the end of the meeting, GQ went after Ms Jehl’s comments on WOWO, and he detailed specifically what was inaccurate in her critique of the FWCS renovation program….and THEN, yesterday – ol’ Pat Miller had GQ on his show during drive-time, and Mark was in full racing trim, and just destroyed the critique and had Pat an his heels for a half hour.

    Bottomline – channel 55 really missed a construction-related story, I thought…but they were there. (Channel 15 or 21 only show up when the pot is really boiling over something or other)

    PS – Shelby DID say that my remarks were better than she was braced for…and as I always say, feint praise beats derision all to hell!

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  53. Sherri said on October 17, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Again with the Freemason stuff!

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