Here we go again.

OK, OK, I know: Too much bitching about winter this year. But now that we’ve finally had a few days of thaw, when all of the season’s accumulated trash and dog crap and uncollected leaves are daring to emerge — let’s call it The Season of Muddy Paws — guess what’s in store for tonight?


At this point, I’m too numb to complain. And I’m not entirely convinced this will even arrive; seven inches just feels like garden-variety sky-is-falling weather terrorism at this point, but who knows? I’ve been getting up early to exercise the last couple of weeks, and I’m setting the alarm. Swim today, spin tomorrow. It’s good to start your day knowing you already got the physical jerks out of the way. (EDIT: I turned off the alarm and slept another hour. Not sorry I did, either.)

Yes, it’s another of my occasional flirtations with the pool. It’ll be the best thing ever until it isn’t anymore, but I’m paid up at Kate’s old middle school to swim twice a week for half an hour through the middle of June. Gotta get my money’s worth.

So. The internet exploded yesterday when the video of the president meeting with Zach Galifianakis dropped. You can watch it here if you weren’t one of the 7 million who watched it yesterday. I will cop to laughing, mainly because I’m a longtime fan of public-access television, and “Between Two Ferns” is a better parody than “Wayne’s World” by a long shot. I thought the only thing that could have made it funnier was a piece of freestanding lattice with a light aimed at it, casting shadows on the seamless paper behind them, because Depth. My earliest instruction in television, at WARL, my high school’s closed-circuit station, included lessons in how to add depth to the set, and if ferns weren’t involved, ficus trees were, and yes, there was a lattice. So already I’m giggling, and then the pixelated graphics came up, and without the president opening his mouth, I’m pretty much in his pocket.

Of course, not everyone was. According to Wonkette, Jim Avila of ABC News asked this question at the daily White House press briefing:

“How much discussion was there in the White House about the dignity of the office and whether or not, in order to reach these people who don’t watch us at 6:30, or who don’t watch this briefing … how much the dignity of the office might be lost? This is an interview like no other probably ever done by a president.”

When all else fails, invoke the Dignity of the Office, yes. Because Bill Clinton never played sax with Arsenio Hall, and George Bush didn’t walk an aircraft carrier flight deck in a jumpsuit– or should I say junksuit? And never mind the nominees — Bob Dole in a Viagra commercial and all the rest of it. Yes, by all means, sitting down with a comedian is leagues different from sitting down with Jay Leno, because he’s practically like David Frost, right?

I liked the plaintive little line about “these people who don’t watch us at 6:30,” too. I haven’t watched network TV news in probably decades. It’s not just the kids, Jim.

That Wonkette post includes a great visual punchline, which I encourage you to check out.

OK, so what else? I see a few of you picked up on Neil Steinberg’s excellent blog yesterday, but if you don’t read the comments, you missed it, so click. It’s a second-day column on the reader reactions to his first-day column about guns. Word:

This is, at bottom, a religious issue, if not religious, then certainly a matter of faith. Their faith is not in law, not in God, not in society, but in guns. There is certainly a religious fanaticism to all this. It’s a passion, almost sexual in nature. No wonder they don’t want anyone drawing attention to it. They are like onanists caught in the act, blustering through their embarrassment, hurt and humiliation, shouting at the intruder. Go away. So faith and a kind of twisted psycho-sexual fixation. Guns give comfort and security to people who obviously sorely lack both. You can’t argue that. Guns are owned by people who feel they need guns. I know gun owners on my block. Lots of guns. Yet we live in the same peaceful place. We’ve talked about it. Nobody is going to yank that blankie from them. One reader wrote to me that Obama was to blame for the sale of 100 million guns, and I wrote back asking why, given that he has done absolutely nothing to restrict gun sales and no rational person believes he ever will.

And the reader said, not realizing how right he is: yes, but they were afraid he might.

My favorite silly blog, Animals Talking in All Caps, took a months-long break a while back, while its proprietor moved to Scotland and began a new life there, but it appears to be back, oh it’s back and it’s so, so wonderful.

One for you cat lovers.

Also, don’t miss Ta-Nehisi Coates on the singular gall of Condi Rice and especially — especially — Emily Bazelon, who read the briefs in support the Hobby Lobby birth-control case so the rest of us don’t have to. These people are out there, folks:

The Beverly LaHaye Institute, the research arm of Concerned Women for America, drives home this point, arguing that the government should have considered:

the documented negative effects the widespread availability of contraceptives has on women’s ability to enter into and maintain desired marital relationships. This in turn leads to decreased emotional wellbeing and economic stability (out-of-wedlock childbearing being a chief predictor of female poverty), as well as deleterious physical health consequences arising from, inter alia, sexually transmitted infections and domestic violence.

And so, as the AFLC argues, contraceptives of all kinds aren’t medical or related to health care at all. They are “procedures involving gravely immoral practices.” Protected sex demeans women by making men disrespect them. (Just as Pope Paul VI did decades ago, the AFLC presents this as true inside marriage as well as out.) By separating sex from childbearing, birth control is to blame for the erosion of marriage, for the economic difficulties of single motherhood, and even for the rotten behavior of men who beat their girlfriends and wives. Birth control is the original sin of modernity. Its widespread availability changed everything, for the worse.

Whew. I’ve known some anti-birth control activists in my life. An amazing number had fertility problems in their own marriages. Not too Psych 101 there at all.

The week is at its midpoint! The snow? We shall see..

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

43 responses to “Here we go again.”

  1. Dexter said on March 12, 2014 at 1:18 am

    A friend posted that one weather model is calling for 16.1 inches of snow at Chicago Midway today. That’s about twice what my area is going to get. Toledo weather called for a general forecast of 6 to 8 inches but said small pockets will be getting up to 12 inches. Just heard it an hour ago.

    JFK started the disrespect for societal norms when he eschewed wearing any sort of cap or hat. LBJ stepped out of bounds by showing surgical scars and holding Beagle pups up by their ears.
    Nixon went against Quaker beliefs by over-indulging in booze; Quakers are tolerant only of moderate boozing. Ford just threw away a stellar political career by becoming a footnote when he pardoned Nixon. Jimmy Carter never made an ass out of himself at all. Reagan was so conservative he felt no need to go outside the lines and make any outlandish social goofs that people remember. He surely drew a lot of hatred. One example was his opposition to funding AIDS education and treatment research. Clamming up during Iran-Contra questioning was just his way of lying, too. Bush41 jumped from airplanes and ralphed all over a Japanese official, that’s about it. Bill Clinton got caught, and boy did that ever stir the pot. Bush43 said to hell with Washington and spent way too much time fucking around in Texas on his scrub ranch. He didn’t seem to really know what was going on half the time. Cheney’s influence was too much.
    Obama didn’t go off the rails here to any degree at all.

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  2. David C. said on March 12, 2014 at 6:22 am

    It always seems like those speaking out on the evils of contraception are always speaking to a congregation with the normal 2.1 children per family and they all nod in agreement that those other people can’t be trusted to handle the awesome responsibility.

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  3. Linda said on March 12, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Re: the anti-birth control push by such “sympathetic” martyr wanna be’s like Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor. Do we really want to live in a world where your boss decides what prescriptions are moral enough to be covered by insurance? When I explained that to my teabagging brother, he kind of saw the point.

    But the whole push starts out to “protect babies” from abortion, then to stop sluts from sucking up taxpayers money through birth control, then defunding one source of prescription coverage after another, then empowering employers to cut off their employee’s birth control coverage. Let’s get to the point: it was never about protecting The Children. It was always about making women scared of having sex that conservatives don’t approve of.

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  4. brian stouder said on March 12, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Well, and don’t forget – A Lincoln was always a-tellin’ his infernal ‘stories’; he was “the original gorilla” (said his General-in-Chief, and eventual 1864 electoral opponent) and wholly unfitted for the office – a genuine bumpkin (if not a “black Republican”).

    Let the critics croak all they want, I say.

    And this snow? I’m filing a complaint

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  5. Connie said on March 12, 2014 at 8:37 am

    As i drove to Indianapolis yesterday I was pleased to see the snow disappearing somewhere around Fort Wayne. And now, if I had been home I would have had a snow day!

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  6. coozledad said on March 12, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Bill O’ Reilly says Lincoln wouldn’t do comedy. As Brian mentions, Lincoln not only did comedy, he worked blue.

    One thing Lincoln didn’t do was squash a vibrator up his old man ass and booty call folks in a forlorn attempt to put middle eastern savories in a subordinate’s cooter.

    He didn’t climb in a bathtub drunk and charge twenty dollars a pop for “young” Republicans to shake his willie, either, like Steve Stockman.

    I saw the Between Two Ferns thing as Obama using the power of his office to sell his signature program while simultaneously telegraphing how he talks to a piece of authoritarian garbage like Putin, or a crazy-eyed teabag ho.

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  7. Suzanne said on March 12, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Guns and fear. Absolutely.
    I have a close relative who has guns, although I’m not sure how many. The fear is there. We’ve discussed gun control, and what he always comes back to is that the 2nd Amendment was written so that the people would have a way to fight against the government if and when they get out of control. I always point out that the government has more and bigger guns and if they come to get you, they aren’t going to send one guy who has made an appointment for a 5:00 pm pick up. Then the conversation usually veers to the Nazi theme as in Nazis were able to gain control of Germany by banning guns.

    It’s also interesting to note that so many people believe more birth control available equals more sex but that more guns available does not equal more shootings.

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  8. nancy said on March 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I wish people would learn more about the Nazis, if they’re going to invoke them as cautionary tales so often. Especially when they’re averting their eyes at yet another lunatic calling the president a mongrel.

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2014 at 9:22 am

    A bracing piece on NPR yesterday including Christopher Clark, author of “The Sleepwalkers”, on what if Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s driver had turned right instead of left, and not been shot — the gathered counterfactual historians make the case fairly strongly that there was no inevitability to World War I, that an entente could have been reached with alliance between Great Britain and Germany, that Lenin would have ended up in New York working for the ILGWU and Hitler would have been a salesman with a case full of herbal teas and natural remedies, still painting landscapes and still lifes at home.

    The Nazis? A quirk of German culture that never would have risen beyond quackery without the stupidity of the first World War, or as Margaret MacMillan says in her title “The War That Ended Peace.”

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  10. coozledad said on March 12, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Nazis were able to gain control of Germany by banning guns.

    This is the part where you have to gently take a dumbass aside and say, No, Nazis took over Germany because the government did virtually nothing to prohibit the rise of right wing militias, including taking away their precious fucking guns, because the chamber of commerce was more worried about the reds than a giant pogrom. They took over Germany because the army was infested with resentful right-wing scumbags, and Weimar had no adequate police force with which to disarm, jail, and hang their shitty cosplay militias.

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  11. Jolene said on March 12, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Next time you speak to your relative, Suzanne, tell him that Hitler came to power through democratic elections. His rise, so far as I know, had nothing to do with who did or didn’t have rifles and handguns.

    The idea that the Jews and other victims of the Holocaust could have fended off the German army with small arms is as ridiculous as the idea that your relative could fend off our government with the weapons in his house.

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  12. brian stouder said on March 12, 2014 at 9:41 am

    And indeed, if these folks read the WHOLE Second Amendment – all 27 words of it(!) – they’ll notice that the first dozen words – the LEAD – invokes the image of “a well regulated militia” – for the SECURITY of a “free state”…and THEN it refers to “the people” keeping and bearing arms.

    And Hitler tapped into and exploited the very same human frustrations and hostilities that angry, spit-flecked charlatans of many modern fringe-political movements appeal to.

    Hitler wasn’t a space alien, and human beings everywhere would do well to resist the urge to say he was an anomaly.

    When you read about the Holocaust, one thing that quickly becomes apparent is that “the one evil guy” paradigm is simply a convenient coping mechanism for humanity.

    Such industrial-scale evil, though, requires lots and lots of ‘willing executioners’

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  13. Dorothy said on March 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I loved the silly Animals Talking link. The first thing I saw on Facebook this morning was my daughter’s picture of her Cocker spaniel, Gracie. Apparently around 2 AM Gracie was whining and carrying on. Daughter got out of bed to find out what was the matter. Gracie had taken all the junk mail out of the trash can in the office, but could not quite get to the dirty used band-aid in the bottom of the trash can. She was whining for assistance. As my cousin Kate said, “Good thing Gracie’s so cute.”

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  14. coozledad said on March 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

    The Nazi movement was a combination of nineteenth century race science (see Charles Murray) ultramontane Austro-Catholic medievalism (see Bill Donohue, Antonin Scalia) and the little worm that lives in the heart of every frightened little shiteburgher.

    WWI happened because when militaries are the centerpiece of the world’s largest national economies, they will be used. It was going to happen whether Gavrilo Princip shot Ferdinand or just beat off on a railway platform.

    “One constant among the elements of 1914—as of any era—was the disposition of everyone on all sides not to prepare for the harder alternative, not to act upon what they suspected to be true.”
    -Barbara Tuchman.

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  15. annie said on March 12, 2014 at 10:14 am

    If I get up early to do some computer stuff before leaving for work I MUST NOT procrastinate by reading NancyNall and I MUST NOT look at the Animals Talking in Caps link!

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  16. alex said on March 12, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Not only would John Q. Citizen be powerless to fend off the government should it come after him, but he’s psychologically warped in the extreme to think the government would ever give a rat’s patoot about his ass in the first place. I about said as much recently to someone who was reciting another completely bogus Fox News talking point — about how under Obamacare the government is compiling a database of all of our medical records so that it can invade our privacy and how nervous we should all be about it. She wanted to know how I could be so uninformed about it and why I wasn’t hopping mad. I had to bite my tongue not to respond to this old matron “You really think anyone wants to read about your hemorrhoids and happy pills, honey? Get a fucking grip.”

    As regards needing guns to defend oneself against the government, I’ve heard it aplenty and I suspect that most who repeat this one haven’t given it any critical thought, just like those who say that gay marriage will destroy straight marriage. Because Fox.

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  17. Judybusy said on March 12, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Cooz beat me to referencing Barbara Tuchman. I think she makes the case that Germany was determined to have a war, and the assasination of Duke Ferdinand was a convenient excuse. I’m half way through the Guns of August; hope to have lots of reading time this weekend for it.

    Our Maggie Jochild gleans the best talking in caps on FB–funny stuff. OK. I must follow annie’s lead and get back to work!

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  18. Scout said on March 12, 2014 at 10:38 am

    “Though owning lots of guns doesn’t seem to make them feel secure either — they’re still afraid, afraid now that someone will take their guns. Afraid of my analyzing this, of asking questions. Pointing out that, rather than making anyone safer in any way other than the psychological, guns imperil their owners, their families and everybody else. It seems unfair that I can understand and accept their reasoning but they can neither grasp nor accept mine. ”

    He says it so much better than I did or ever could. And even with this perfectly reasonable follow up to the original piece, the fetishists are back to taunt and strut in the comment section. Almost always with bad grammar, misspellings and no punctuation. Their arguments and bravado completely making the point against them being allowed so much as a water pistol. Assholes.

    As Suzanne so eloquently stated: “It’s also interesting to note that so many people believe more birth control available equals more sex but that more guns available does not equal more shootings.” To which I add, it’s also interesting how the same people who quote God as being as homophobic as they are also wear leather and cotton together and eat shellfish.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on March 12, 2014 at 11:22 am

    A NYC building has collapsed after an explosion, possibly due to a gas leak:

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  20. Sherri said on March 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I don’t think the death of Franz Ferdinand caused WWI; it was just the match that lit the tinderbox. Germany was becoming an industrial power, and began to want political power commensurate with that. The options for picking up colonies (one way of demonstrating political power) were pretty limited at that point, unless you took them away from somebody else. Great Britain was threatened by the growth of the German Navy, since it was policy in Britain to rule the seas, both as defense for their island nation and for their colonial economy. France was still smarting over the Franco-Prussian war and looked to Russia for aid and protection. Germany felt ‘encircled’ by these moves and held back from their perceived place in the pecking order. It’s possible, but doesn’t seem that likely to me that all these conflicting desires would be settled peacefully, especially in an world where the perception of war had not caught up yet to the new industrialization of war.

    Plus Kaiser Billy always felt slighted by Uncle Bertie and Cousin George.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Y’all should read “The Sleepwalkers.” It just wasn’t that inevitable.

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  22. Sue said on March 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I need a ‘like’ button for Sherri at 20, except now I can’t get “The Little Marine Went Over the Top” out of my head.
    Where did that little marine kick the Kaiser, I always wondered. My dad would never say. Somewhere in Germany, I assume.

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  23. Sue said on March 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Not only do I wish I knew this gentleman, I wish I could know his family.

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  24. Dexter said on March 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    We are forecast for nine inches of new snow(since 1:00 AM to 5:00 PM) I have more than that in my yard already. Illegal to drive today, very difficult to shovel, also to trudge through this mess. It’s just not ever gonna stop, I think we have been cast into hell. 🙁

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    • nancy said on March 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Well, that settles the fire-or-ice question, if nothing else. Ease up, Dex, it’s slacking off here. Off to fire up the blower in about half an hour.

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  25. brian stouder said on March 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    And if the blower starts – fire wins!

    And if it doesn’t – ‘ice – ice baby!’ (as Vanilla Ice would say)

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  26. Sherri said on March 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    The Sleepwalkers is on my list, but right now I’m still working through The War That Ended Peace.

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Well, that’s really as good (the MacMillan book). Either is a gripping, heartbreaking read.

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  28. Dexter said on March 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    To paraphrase Bruce, well mister the day my number comes in,. ain’t never gonna winter in Ohio ag’in.
    I am still in that depressed state one finds himself in when a friend dies, and also, as a caveat, a friend exactly the same age as me. He never even wanted to try to quit the cigarettes, and likely they killed him. Lung cancer, yes. To make it worse, the online edition of the local paper I subscribe to changed their obituary page format and missed his death in the switch. So I saw his wife at a gas station yesterday and I asked how the old man was doing and she stared at me and said “we buried him two weeks ago.” And of course I blurted out “Are you KIDDING me?!” Not the right response. Nope.

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  29. brian stouder said on March 12, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    I remember liking Dreadnought (by Massie?), some years ago, and Paris 1919, and a book about the German high command (Hindenburg and Ludendorff) by Asprey, and a Wharton book about the end of the innocent age (as if!) – but the Great War remains murky and mysterious to me

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  30. coozledad said on March 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Awww. Poor piece of white filth. Goatee takes at least a pound and a half off him.

    We were just discussing Tea Trash with some of our county commissioners last night. One of them used to hew to that Dixiecrat anti-labor line pretty closely.

    Having experienced the full throated stupid of these numbnuts since 2010, he’s starting to sound like George Meany.

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  31. Jeff Borden said on March 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I think maybe now I’ve heard it all.

    While electronically conversing with the Illinois lobbyist for the NRA, Todd Vanderhyde, on Neil Steinberg’s page, he told me he is proud to work for “the oldest civil rights organization in the country.”

    Am I seriously out of touch or has the NRA used this description before?

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  32. brian stouder said on March 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Uncle Google lead me here:

    and so I learned a thing or two.

    But I’d say – seriously – the Associated Press (from 1846 forward) has a better claim on the “oldest civil rights organization”

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Well, NRA started in 1871, but a civil rights organization? If they qualify, then AP would preempt them nicely, but if anyone simply practicing an amendment in the Bill of Rights is therefore a civil rights organization, then I’d think either the Catholic Church or the UCCs would preempt them both.

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  34. Jerri said on March 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Jolene, Hitler wasn’t democratically elected. The Nazis received 33% of the nationwide vote in 1932, down a couple of million votes from the previous election. After months of negotiations and after forming a coalition with conservative groups, Hitler was invited to become chancellor in January 1933 by Hindenburg. When Hindenburg died in 1934, Hitler made himself both President and Chancellor.

    Can you tell that I’m in the middle of rereading William L. Shirer’s superb Berlin Diary? On August 3, 1934, Shirer writes from Paris, “Any doubts about the loyalty of the army were done away with before the old field-marshall’s body was hardly cold. Hitler had the army swear an oath of unconditional obedience to him personally. The man is resourceful.” Shirer accepted a job in Berlin less than a week later.

    I’m going back to lurkdom now but I agree with Sherri @20.

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  35. Jolene said on March 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Jerri, thanks for the detail re Hitler’s ascension to power. I was drawing on the following Wikipedia passage:

    Hitler’s Nazi Party became the largest democratically elected party in the German Reichstag, leading to his appointment as chancellor in 1933. Following fresh elections won by his coalition, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, which began the process of transforming the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of national socialism.

    I didn’t mean to imply that he was elected directly, as with our presidents, but that he came to power, initially, as the head of his party in parliamentary elections.

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  36. Jolene said on March 12, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Speaking of reading, especially all the great books that you all have cited today that I haven’t read, have you seen this very good article by David Carr of the NYT? In it, he talks about all the good things on TV these days, including the many streaming video services, and how they are crowding out reading books and magazines.

    I’m having the same experience. Have always been a big reader, but, lately, it’s the multiple screens in my life that are drawing my attention. I don’t exactly like it, but I don’t exactly want to change it either. But I do feel bad that I’m not reading more, both because being a person who reads has always been part of my identity and because, of course, I’m missing out on a lot by not reading more.

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  37. alex said on March 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    The NRA was an apolitical sportsmen’s club until the 1970s. It was because of declining firearms sales that the gun industry took it over and made it into an agitprop machine to gin up fear and move product. Mr. Vanderhyde and his organization peddle revisionist history at every turn, so no surprise there. The Klan was also founded around 1871 and considers itself a white civil rights organization, so maybe he’s confusing the two.

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  38. ROGirl said on March 12, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Drove to work this morning in the beginning of the blizzard. It snowed about half the day, but the wind was blowing like crazy. Lots of drifting snow piles, only 2-3 inches in some spots, 6 inches and higher in others.

    Owning a gun wouldn’t make me feel safe. It would scare the shit out of me because it could kill somebody, anybody, me included.

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  39. Jeff Borden said on March 12, 2014 at 6:46 pm


    I need to read that Shirer book. I’m plowing through his incredibly readable “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” now and it’s fascinating. I’ve just passed the “Battle of Britain,” which is Hitler’s first real defeat and now it appears he’s getting ready to attack Russia. I’ve been reading this enormous thing since last fall, but it’s worth it.

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  40. Bitter Scribe said on March 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Jeff–It’s a great book, but you might want to take the description of Stalingrad with a grain of salt.

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  41. Jerri said on March 12, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Jeff, read Berlin Diary, and then go back to Rise and Fall. It was my shingles reading, when I couldn’t concentrate on anything else, so I have faith that you’ll zip through it. I have Rise and Fall but just can’t bring myself to open it.

    Jolene and everyone in the DC/MD/VA howling winds zone–stay safe.

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  42. Basset said on March 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    At the other end of the Reich, I started John Toland’s “The Last 100 Days” on the deer stand back in November and have been too distracted to finish it; really interesting and well-researched account of the end of WW2 in Europe but I have just not been in the mood for it.
    Found a trove of Beatles books I didn’t have in a used bookstore a few weeks ago so I’m currently working on “Northern Songs,” an account of how Lennon and McCartney got hit over the head on their publishing deal back in ’62 and the subsequent troubles and entanglements.
    Zach Galifikianis, whoever he is. How clever and ironic, makes me feel hipper and smarter just watching the first twenty seconds, which was all I could stand and about ten more than it took for that piece to make its point.

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