Something I learned today: Michigan is the only state in the nation that explicitly forbids discrimination based on height and weight.

There’s been talk of adding sexual orientation to the state’s civil-rights law, but in the current legislature, that’s unlikely to happen. A little googling reveals that height and weight were added in 1976, and it was the foundation of a suit brought five years ago by a Hooters waitress — 5-foot-8 and 132 pounds, who was pressured to lose more weight, so as to fit into a size-XS uniform.

In the comments, some guy refers to her as “a porker.” Which put me in mind of this, semi-NSFW. We are so cruel to one another, but only in the comments sections are we cruel to young women who can’t squeeze into an XS.

The other thing worth reading today is this Frank Rich piece on Ben Carson, or “Dr. Ben Carson,” as he’s popularly known. Cutting right to the point:

Thanks to his status as the political equivalent of a unicorn, Carson qualifies for the most elite affirmative-action program in America, albeit one paradoxically administered by a party opposed to affirmative-action programs. Simply put: If an African-American raises his hand to run for president as a Republican, he (they’ve all been men) will instantly be cheered on as a serious contender by conservative grandees, few or no questions asked. He is guaranteed editorials like the one in the Journal, accolades from powerful talk-show hosts (Carson would make “a superb president,” says Mark Levin), and credulous profiles like the one Fred Barnes contributed to The Weekly Standard last month. Barnes’s piece regurgitated spin from Carson’s political circle, typified by his neophyte campaign chief Terry Giles, a criminal litigator whose clients have included Richard Pryor, Enron’s Kenneth Lay, and an estate-seeking son of Anna Nicole Smith’s elderly final husband. “If nominated, can Carson beat Hillary Clinton or another Democrat?” Barnes asked—and then answered the question himself: “Yes, he can.” How? By winning 17 percent of the black vote in swing states—a theoretical percentage offered by a co-founder of the Draft Carson movement.

There’s no reason that a small-government black conservative Republican couldn’t be elected president—a proposition that might have been tested by Colin Powell and no doubt will be by other black Republicans one day. But not today. There have been three Great Black Presidential Hopes in the GOP’s entire history, Carson included—all of them in the past two decades. None has had a chance of victory in a national election, not least because none of the three ever won any elective office. None can be classified as presidential timber without a herculean suspension of disbelief. Indeed, the two Great Hopes before Carson were a buffoon with congenital financial woes and a two-time settler of sexual-harassment suits. But they, too, were praised to the skies by their Republican cheering section up until—and sometimes past—their inevitable implosions. And not without reason. There is a political method to this madness that reaches its culmination with Carson.

If nothing else, it’s an entertaining walk down memory lane. I’d forgotten about Alan Keyes. And Herman Cain is probably best left that way.

Whoa, but I’m sort of whipped. Let’s try again later.

Posted at 9:46 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

40 responses to “Protected.”

  1. Bill said on February 24, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Looks like Emmanuel will be forced into a runoff election for mayor in April. Interesting that no mention of the police black site in Chicago has surfaced on the local media websiites. When that hits tomorrow, it may be the kiss of death for the Rahmster.

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  2. alex said on February 24, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Keyes carpetbagged it to Illinois to run against Obama for Senate and took such a humiliating drubbing that he hasn’t been heard from since. The Illinois GOP had tried to recruit Ted Nugent first — they wanted star power and thought he could be their Jesse Ventura, but couldn’t cajole him into it. So then they drafted Keyes, thinking he would be just the man to duke it out with Obama and siphon off the black vote because he was blacker, in a skin-deep sort of way. Keyes might as well have been the Nuge in blackface. People weren’t having it, black or white.

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  3. Sherri said on February 24, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    If I recall, the Illinois GOP were pretty desperate at that point; their original candidate, Jack Ryan, had utterly imploded when details from his divorce leaked about him trying to coerce his actress wife to have sex with him in front of strangers.

    (According to my husband, Jeri Ryan, the ex-wife in question who played Seven of Nine on Star Trek Voyager, was hot.)

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  4. brian stouder said on February 24, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Republicans that, back in the day, I thought could be elected president:

    Jeane Kirkpatrick (I always loved her)

    Colin Powell (the guy was larger than life! Plus – he had a book tour right there in ’99 or ’00…I thought surely he was going to run)

    Jack Kemp (personified the mythical GOP that I thought was real, back then)

    Condi Rice (not really qualified, but she looked like my last hope of remaining in the R column)

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  5. brian stouder said on February 24, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Sherri – I didn’t recognize the name Jeri Ryan, so Uncle Google sent me here –

    and I must say, your husband is RIGHT! – except where you said “the ex-wife in question who played Seven of Nine on Star Trek Voyager, was hot.” I’d replace the word “was” with the phrase “STILL IS”

    Plus, it’s her birthday today (47 – which is sounding younger and younger, to me!)

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  6. Sherri said on February 25, 2015 at 1:05 am

    Oh, he agrees with you, Brian.

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  7. Dorothy said on February 25, 2015 at 5:58 am

    Her birthday was actually on the 22nd, Brian. Which was my godmother’s birthday, and a fella named George Washington. Jeri’s in good company. And I see another celebrant on that day was one of my favorite actresses, Julie Walters. HB today to my sister Lou.

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  8. Basset said on February 25, 2015 at 7:41 am

    That size-xs link blows straight through the page I think we were meant to see and into something called “slimspot,” which then links to seemingly random itunes store sites. At least it does on my phone, your mileage may vary.

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  9. beb said on February 25, 2015 at 8:09 am

    The hooters story reminds me of the controversy Sports Illustrated had with it’s “plus-sized” model this year. Only the model was still skinnier than most average women today…

    The GOP hand-on for a black presidential candidate is so weird. So maybe they would get more of the black vote but at the same time they would lose a lot – and I suspect an awful lot – of their base, white, voters. On the whole and in my humble opinion it would be harder to elect a Black Republican than a white racist Republican.

    Between the Red Light Camera fiasco, the parking meter fiasco, the gutting of public education I’m surprised Rahm didn’t lose outright. As bloggers were saying back in 2004(?) “we need more and better democrats.”

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  10. coozledad said on February 25, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Trump’s in. All the way in. He’s not going to pull out before he breaks into a sweat.

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  11. coozledad said on February 25, 2015 at 9:17 am

    The republicans down here have been doing the “let’s siphon off the black vote by running a black schizophrenic heavy on the delusional scale.”

    Republicans do this because they have zero respect for blacks, and they’re delusional if they think they’re going to get black votes by being such obvious smarmy bastards.

    They ran an antigovernment black down here for State Senate by the name of Herman Joubert, a basket case in the mold of Alan Keyes. I actually witnessed him utter these words:

    “Where do we draw the line at not allowing contaminants in our drinking water? What percentage would we find acceptable so as not to interfere with job creation?”

    And for all his antigovernment babble, he was employed as a school bus driver. Poor goddamn kids.

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  12. coozledad said on February 25, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Those GOP candidates. Who can tell one from the other?

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  13. Suzanne said on February 25, 2015 at 10:32 am

    As I recall, after Jack Ryan imploded in IL, the GOP tried to get former Da Bears coach Ditka (I’ll let you all have a moment to revere him in hushed tones) to run, but he said no. So they got Keyes who moved into an apartment in Calumet City,IL (yes, home of the Blues Brothers) so he could be amongst “the people”. I heard a radio clip of him singing “Somewhere over the rainbow” on a Chicago radio station during his campaign time. You just can’t make this stuff up. You just can’t.

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  14. Bitter Scribe said on February 25, 2015 at 10:45 am

    During Keyes’ Senate campaign, I pulled up at a red light next to a van with Maryland plates.

    I motioned for the passenger to roll down her window, and when she did, I yelled, “I see you’re from Maryland. Could you please take Alan Keyes back home with you?”

    Everyone in the van started laughing, and the woman yelled back, “Hell no! You keep him!”

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  15. Basset said on February 25, 2015 at 10:59 am

    George Harrison’s birthday today, he woulda been 72.

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  16. brian stouder said on February 25, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I love Western Maryland; the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, especially when the autumn colors are up.

    And, while Marylanders have their share of political lunatics, I cannot say a word about them – being a Hoosier and all

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  17. brian stouder said on February 25, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Basset, do you watch The Voice?

    The young folks and Pam and I love that show (for whatever reason) and were quite entertained by it’s opening two shows of the season

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  18. Jeff Borden said on February 25, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Alan Keyes is an absolute madman and he was thoroughly beaten, but I seem to recall he received 27% of the vote. Think about that: a quarter of voters thought a raving lunatic was a great choice for Senate.

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  19. brian stouder said on February 25, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Illinois voters get a pass on the election of “pop-sov” Senator Stephen Douglas, since it was the state legislature that elected him….and of course, many modern ‘conservative’/Republican figures want to return to indirectly elected senators…

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  20. coozledad said on February 25, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Suzanne: He’s no Harry Nilsson, but he’s onto the whole “otherness” of the song. I give him a four just for the utter batshit he brings to it.

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  21. Sherri said on February 25, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Jeff, that 27% defines the crazification factor:

    Mike Ditka has said that biggest mistake of his life was not running against Obama for Senate, but I really don’t think Iron Mike has the temperament for a campaign:

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  22. beb said on February 25, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    One of the amazing things about the Obama administration has been the lack of any serious scandals. I wonder if the reason for that is because Rahm Emmanuel left to be mayor of Chicago. Rick Perlsten gives a breath-taking run-down of the sewer that is Rahm:

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  23. Dexter said on February 25, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    brian: Ever stop in at Friendsville, Maryland? That little burg, right on I-68, is HQ for my family’s ancestry tracing association. We go back a long, long way in this country.

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  24. Dexter said on February 25, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    bassett: Your town mourns the loss of a giant of Music Row:

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  25. LAMary said on February 25, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Jon Stewart showed the video of the Idaho legislator who suggested women swallow a pill to see what’s going on in the uterus. When he was gently told things don’t work that way he said, “Fascinating.”
    How can someone reach adulthood and not know that babies really don’t grow in mommy’s stomach? I wonder if his wife has a lot of headaches.

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  26. brian stouder said on February 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Mary – word!

    Dexter – if it’s on I-68, I’ve been through it!

    Spent the night in Sharpsburg, and once at Hagerstown, and another time in Mt Airy (or Frederick)…Maryland is a lovely, lovely state

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  27. Julie Robinson said on February 25, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    And if I recall, said legislator was also on the board of a crisis pregnancy center, which brings up all kinds of other interesting questions. One also wonders if he has children himself.

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  28. Sherri said on February 25, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    To be fair to the legislator in question, he said he was trying to make a point, not that he was unaware of female anatomy. I’m still a little unclear on what point he was trying to make.

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  29. Judybusy said on February 25, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    In addition to the guy who thinks babies grow in mommy’s tummy, (LAMary, that’s where my head went, too!) there is this Idaho politician fighting for the rights of crazed people who would rather let their children die and be with God instead of seeking medical attention. Because freedom, and we don’t let the government run our lives. As a local feminist writer stated, “They’ll fight for the rights of zygotes but not actual chilcdren? ZOMG!”

    On a happier note, I first heard of two authors today: David Treuer, an Ojibwe man who’s got a few books of fiction and non-fiction about Native Americans. His latest novel is called Prudence, about the community on the Leech Lake reservation in MN during WWII. There is a POW camp near the reservation in the book, and it was really there. I had no idea! The second author is Richard Price, who I am sure all of you know about because he wrote for The Wire. He’s got a new novel out, called Whites. Sounds like a good cop thriller set in NYC. Great interviews with both on Fresh Air.

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  30. Charlotte said on February 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    David Treuer is a total sweetheart! And a very good writer — I think a U of Michigan writing program alum (since I met him through Elwood Reid out here).

    So Chicago folks — is Rahm’s west side “black ops” site going to help or hurt him in the next round? ( I loathe Rahm, so I’d happily vote for Chuy if I could …

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  31. Jeff Borden said on February 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    The black site on the West Side of Chicago is horrible. What remains to be seen is when it began operating and who gave approval. Chicago already has paid out tens of millions in judgements relating to a bag of shit named John Burge, who could’ve taught the mopes at Abu Ghraib a few things about torturing people of color. I shudder to think what this will wind up costing.

    Rahm was humbled yesterday, no doubt, but he’s sitting on a huge war chest and his opponent, Chuy Garcia, really has no credible way to act on any of his proposals, most notably the hiring of more cops. One thing Garcia did do was highlight the huge flow of money to the downtown/entertainment areas at the expense of the neighborhoods but, here again, no one wants to kill the golden goose that creates jobs and draws both locals and tourists. I suspect Rahm will crush him in April. Whether or not he heard from the voters that they don’t like him very much remains to be seen.

    Chicago is, by far, the best place I’ve ever lived, but God, the politics and the financial shenanigans are just nuts.

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  32. brian stouder said on February 25, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    My #1 beef/reservation/complaint with President Obama is public education/Arne Duncan/privatization/race-to-the-top; and Rahm is even more strident on that issue – doing genuine and lasting damage to public schools and the concept of public education. Frankly, the one thing that I’m listening for, from HRC, is her approach to public education.

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  33. Jeff Borden said on February 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I’m with you, Brian, but I’m not hopeful and it’s why I hope she faces a primary opponent. She and Bill have both been aboard the “new kind of Democrat” train for years. Like Rahm, they are entirely too enamored with the monied classes, the kind of people who see charter schools as the solution to all our education woes. It’s sad to see public education, long considered part of the pathway to being a good citizen, treated like a disease to be eradicated by so many. I would love to see her go bold on the topic, but the Clintons are masters at parsing every iota of data for the “right” response. I suppose her stance will depend on what her advisers suggest.

    Man, I’m already dreading 2016. Thank God I don’t live in a swing state, but even so, the enormity of the shit tsunami bankrolled by the right can’t be ignored.

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  34. Charlotte said on February 25, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Not Abu Ghraib but Guantanamo: The Guardian as well — Bad lieutenant: American police brutality, exported from Chicago to Guantánamo —

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  35. Deborah said on February 25, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    As a Chicago resident (part time anyway) I’ll weigh in on Rahm. Chicago has always been a corrupt city, but a corrupt city that works (IMO). I don’t have a beef with Rahm. I don’t think he’s done a particularly spectacular job but I don’t see a lot that he’s screwed up either, any worse than any of the other folks before him for that matter. I’m neutral. I had high hopes for him when he first got elected but that has waned. I don’t see anyone else who seems any better. So. I voted for him again (absentee) and I’ll do it again in April.

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  36. alex said on February 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Suzanne, I’d completely forgotten about Ditka. By the time the Illinois GOP drafted Keyes they were flailing with desperation.

    Regarding Rahm, I don’t know anyone in Chicago who’s particularly unhappy with him except for members of the teacher’s union. Whenever I’ve asked about the negative national media attention he’s getting, most say it’s a bum rap and doesn’t reflect the fact that most are satisfied. Richey Daley was an unsympathetic turd and a buffoon who couldn’t pass the bar exam without multiple attempts, a churlish cretin who could mangle the English language like Archie Bunker without getting ridiculed for it by the local press, and his governing style was just as brusque and off-putting, but he owned the office for as long as he wanted it. As Deborah says, people were mostly happy with their corrupt city that works.

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  37. basset said on February 25, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Brian@17, never seen it. Did they do George’s songs or something?

    Dexter@24, some of the other “Memphis Boys” names are familiar, particularly Weldon Myrick, but I can’t say I’d heard of that Emmons. Buddy Emmons, yes.

    Alex@36, every once in awhile someone here in Tennessee mentions running Peyton Manning for something or other…

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  38. Deborah said on February 25, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    It’s so weird when names from your past surface. I lived in Dallas from 1973-1980. Little Bird was born there. Not a high point of my life (except for LB). I had a friend who was a professor at Bishop’s College there (I think that was the name of the school) and de Mohrenschildt was a friend of hers. He killed himself in 1977 some say in connection with the Kennedy assassination. de Mohrenschildt’s name has come up again in relation to a whopper told by Bill O’Reilly. So weird when you hear names like that you remember so vividly from your past.

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  39. Sherri said on February 25, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    I doubt Peyton Manning has any interest in politics, and even if he did, it wouldn’t be in Tennessee, it would be in Louisiana, which is where he’s from.

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  40. Basset said on February 26, 2015 at 4:51 am

    i know that… my point being that excellence at a stupid and violent game is considered in some circles to be pretty much the pinnacle of human achievement and qualifies one for public office. he’d get a substantial portion of the vote just from name recognition.

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