Well, it was a perfect day for a move, if you love temperatures in the high 80s, ditto humidity and an elevator-less, A/C-free building. Michigan does the perky-helper model of kids who swarm your car and drag all your stuff up to the room, but the unpacking, the rearranging and the sweating-buckets part was up to us, limited somewhat by the fact we only had an hour before Kate had to go to a welcome activity, so we got the furniture how she wanted it, made the bed, hooked up the stereo and booked it.

I didn’t even get a final picture. All three of us looked like we’d been showered in steam, anyway.

But that’s why the good Lord gave us Zingerman’s, and its slow-roasted pork sandwiches with garlic aioli. We brought home some of that outrageously expensive jamon serrano, just to celebrate.


Neil Steinberg on Kim Davis.

Remember the Colorado program we talked about a while back? Give low-income teens and women long-acting, no-brainer birth control and watch the pregnancy and abortion rates drop? It probably won’t last long. It sends the wrong message:

When seed money from the Buffett foundation ran out this summer, Hickenlooper asked for state funding to continue the program. But Republican state lawmakers like Kathleen Conti said no. Conti complains the long-acting birth control is too expensive and sends the wrong message to teenagers who should instead be taught to refrain from sex.

“Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think the doctors encouraged the kids: ‘Now that you’ve got this, feel free to have sex with everybody.’ But I think it by default, takes away one more intimidating problem.”

Labor Day weekend suggests I should stop doing labor for a couple of days, and I think I will, except for maybe making some potato salad. You?

Posted at 12:35 am in Popculch |

66 responses to “Steamed.”

  1. basset said on September 4, 2015 at 1:06 am

    we’re getting another service dog tomorrow – prison inmates train them and they’re placed with volunteer families for socialization on weekends. Lab/golden/poodle cross, littermate of the other two who have visited us.
    Move-in day… as I remember I got dropped off at the curb in front of what I believe is now called Collins LLC in Bloomington. Preferred it that way. Basset Jr we installed in a dark and cramped dorm room at Tennessee Tech, then continued east for a few days in the mountains with only a little light weeping from Mrs B.

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  2. Sherri said on September 4, 2015 at 1:20 am

    The Onion absolutely nails the Trump phenomenon:

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  3. Dexter said on September 4, 2015 at 1:44 am

    The first two move-ins went smoothly at U of Toledo, then the youngest went to Ohio State. The move-in went alright, but I was appalled at the living conditions. There were two bunk beds and four tiny desks, and itty-bitty closet space and a little table for a TV or what-not. This room was cramped and awful.
    One of the girls was nice; she was of Indian heritage, daughter of a prominent Columbus surgeon. We could not understand, later, how she was from an upper-middle income family but still qualified for huge tuition reductions due to her heritage. Oh well, I’ll never know. Now the other girls were just horrible people. As we were helping get the living area squared away, those two already were revealing why they were there. No heady dreams of achieving success, they were after one thing: cock. The gross talk put me off, that and the chain-smoking. In that little room they smoked cigarettes incessantly. Well, they lasted one quarter or whatever unit of measure OSU used then, I can’t recall exactly. At Christmas holiday break our kid made other living arrangements with friends she knew from back home. That worked out much better. In the end, Summa Cum Laude, and several honor awards and a sheepskin on The Oval. Worth it all.

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  4. Dorothy said on September 4, 2015 at 5:47 am

    I’m going to the 30th anniversary of my 10 year high school reunion. Thirty years ago it fell on my birthday. It’s always over Labor Day weekend, and they keep having it at an increasingly seedy venue that I’m wishing would be sold or burned down so we wouldn’t have to go back there anymore. I guess the price is right, and the neighborhood is safe, so I just concentrate on my smiling school mates and try to pack a lot of catching up into four hours. Happy Labor Day to all.

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  5. coozledad said on September 4, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Conti complains the long-acting birth control is too expensive and sends the wrong message to teenagers who should instead be taught to refrain from sex.

    That always works out really well. Just ask a couple of the strippers Josh Duggar has hateboffed, or the families of Republican state Rep jizzbags.

    These people don’t believe the shit they spew. It’s a parlor trick, like automatic writing.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 4, 2015 at 8:49 am

    I’m irritated by the endless cheap-shotting on this woman in Kentucky, which is fish-in-a-barrel territory, but I’m equally stuck in frustration over her stance and my many friends and colleagues who acclaim her heroism. I am, part of most weeks, a sworn officer of the common pleas court of my county. I’m a juvenile court mediator. And let me assure you, not a month goes by where I don’t help craft, write out in longhand, and not only have them sign but personally sign mySELF the mediation agreement that includes things I most certainly do not agree with. I live in the land of “least worst,” and whether I think Depo-Provera is a good idea for a particular young woman is really not germane. People have resigned from mediation in my orbit not out of religious scruples so much as you often have to help a juvenile(s) and their “responsible” adults work out a plan that goes not only where you wouldn’t have gone, but where you really don’t think they should go. But if it’s legal, and if it’s a step forward, and if it enhances the safety of the juvenile in particular and the family in general, and you can GET THEM TO AGREE, then it’s a win, idiot, shut your mouth, turn off your overthinking-it brain, and write the dang agreement.

    With all due respect to Ms. Davis, I literally sign the agreement. In front of the kid and adults. Often, I’m not pleased. Sometimes, I’m appalled (usually at the adults, but nevermind). But I sign it, and we commit to making the plan work, or calling in to revamp the agreement if for some new reason it can’t work. And they usually do. If Ms. Davis’ stance is right, then I am wrong. I don’t think I am. I hope I’m being open and reflective in all of this, and sometimes, I wish I had the power and authority to just TELL parties “this is what you’re gonna do, okay?” But that model doesn’t work. If they create the plan and agree eyeball-to-eyeball on it, it has a fighting chance to succeed even in the most chaotic and complex family arrangement. And if that means we discuss and write up how we’re walking out of here to get a pelvic exam, “that arm thing” (Depo-Provera or equivalents), and I have to discuss why barrier methods need to be used as an adjunct to a clueless but already sexually active 14 year old and her obviously equally baffled mother (“so, that shot doesn’t stop the clap, too?”), then that’s my job. I’m the apostle of low expectations, perhaps, but least worst looks pretty good most days. I don’t know why Ms. Davis doesn’t look at same-sex couples the same way: commitment and restraint and faithfulness: ma’am, check out Philippians 4:8.

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  7. brian stouder said on September 4, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Speaking of being “steamed” – or picking up steam –

    +173,000 jobs In August.

    That’s gotta be twisting the nose of folks like Oxy-Rush (or honking the rubber noses of the R clown-bus of presidential contenders) out of joint.

    No doubt, these numbers will be labeled false; whereas if they had been negative, they’d be gospel.

    Sorta like this backlash from the rightwing noise machine over Black Lives Matter – wherein they blame this attitude for all the police officers who are getting shot lately. Except – police getting shot is down this year – by 15% – compared to previous years. Shouldn’t we therefore credit the Black Lives Matter movement?

    Of course not!!

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  8. beb said on September 4, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Google is amazing. I wanted to find the correct wording of a phrase I half-remembered. Typed in my version and instantly got a link to the correct version. Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” It applies to Republican politicians. Usually it takes the form of “Are they stupid or evil?”

    With politicians running for high office the answer tends towards the pure evil side. Jeb! was all for immigration until he was against it. Trump was all for taxing hedge fund managers until he was against it. But for the rank and file GOPer it’d stupid all the way through. Abstinence eduction works. Marijuana leads to harder drugs. Immigrants are diseased criminals. Taxes are evil, roads build themselves. And their religious freedom trumps your religious freedom. At some point it starts to look as if any member of the GOP is certifiable insane.

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  9. Jeff Borden said on September 4, 2015 at 9:31 am

    One reason Kim Davis probably didn’t want to resign is that her salary is a nice $80,000 per year. I’m willing to bet that’s a very handsome sum in Rowan County, Kentucky and there likely are many other positions open to her that are so lucrative.

    One of the candidates the other day. . .it might’ve been John Kasich. . .said something to the effect that he saw his faith as being more about the “do’s” than the “don’ts’,” extending a helping hand to ease suffering rather than telling people what they shouldn’t be doing. I’m not religious, but I like that idea. From what I read here, I suspect Jeff TMMO falls in that category.

    The idiot legislator in Colorado who wants to eliminate the highly successful program to slash teen pregnancies because it sends “the wrong message” should sit down for a nice cup of coffee with Bobby Jindal, who in his pathetic effort to rise above 1% polling in the Republican scrum cut all funding to Planned Parenthood. Now, there is a syphilis epidemic raging in Louisiana because poor people cannot get the treatment they once received from PP.

    We are a nation of morons.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on September 4, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Talk about steamy; we apparently chose the hottest/most humid week of the year to go to Orlando and our daughter’s AC isn’t keeping up. We’re celebrating her birthday and hubby’s last chance for vacation until the New Year (big project at work).

    Dorothy, I love how you worded your reunion anniversary. I had that same one last year and our small class had so much fun they decided to have another one next year. It’s scheduled on my birthday–now I don’t have to plan a 60th bd party. Hope it’s fun and that your car is still intact when you leave!

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 4, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Jeff B., my preferred tagline is: “Live your faith, share your life.”

    Modern American Christendom tends to do that the other way around. But we’re working on it!

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  12. Icarus said on September 4, 2015 at 10:10 am

    so does everyone agree that Kim Davis should be in prison right now or was that a little too harsh?

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on September 4, 2015 at 10:16 am

    coozledad: In this case, not only do they believe the shit they spew, they’re dumb enough to say it out loud. It’s more important for them to punish young women for having premarital sex than to prevent them from getting pregnant. Abortion opponents care little or nothing about the “unborn children” they’re constantly caterwauling about. It’s all about making the slut suffer the consequences.

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  14. Jim Moehrke said on September 4, 2015 at 10:34 am

    I remember move-in day for our only: lots of tears from all three of us, then we drove across the LA basin for a few days at the Santa Monica seashore, the better to not go directly home to an empty house.
    When we found something of his in the car the next day, we called to see if he wanted us to drive the 30 miles back to Fullerton. Nope, he was already off with new friends on an adventure. Gee, he could have needed us a little longer…
    Years later it turned out that that first year in the dorm was way tougher than he let on. He struggled to fit in, most of his classmates and potential friends were commuter students and so weren’t around after school and on weekends. And he did miss his folks. Now, he’s happily a Southern Californian, working at Disney, and the only thing that brings him north is Mom and Dad.

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  15. coozledad said on September 4, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Kim Davis’ fucknozzle #4 “wants his cuntry back”, and by that he just means he ain’t no racist but if we don’t get that you know what out of the White House, they’re goin’ to put all us masterin’ races in the jailhouse!

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  16. brian stouder said on September 4, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I think ‘the summer of Trump’ really proves the truth of Cooz’s conclusion.

    The fact of the existence of our black president and his beautiful black First Lady, and their lovely daughters is the very definition of “uppity”.

    Donald Trump is walking proof that some not-insignificant number of Americans (currently a 30% slice of the 40% of the American electorate that calls itself Republican) are truly ‘reactionary’

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  17. Judybusy said on September 4, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Here’s a little levity on the Kim Davis situation.

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  18. beb said on September 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Icarus @12: she defied a court order. The Courts do not tolerate that kind of behavior. Of course she’s in prison. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

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  19. Dexter said on September 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Granddaughter’s 4th birthday party was postponed until tomorrow due to her great-grandmother’s death last week. Now, instead of a joy-ride to Ludington to have a look at Lake Michigan again and a drive down to Douglas and Saugatuck to look at the rich peoples’ boats, we are spending tomorrow afternoon in a Dublin Chuck-E-Cheese.
    My oh my, how things have changed. I know it is 2015, but it was a shock to see that the “little toy she wants so badly” costs $151 (tax included for emphasis). She’s only four once…the toy is at Kohl’s waiting for us.
    Off to Columbus at dawn’s crack. Or 9:00 AM…that sounds more civil.

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  20. brian stouder said on September 4, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I went to a wedding in Luddington, years ago; a very beautiful place, indeed. I recall a very large car ferry there, and that Lake Michigan is ice-cold there, in July.

    And when we came home, we went north and hooked around south, through the Manistee national forrest.

    It was a gorgeous drive, on a well-kept two-lane highway – beautiful, thickly massed trees and foliage all the way…and at one point we were on a sweeping right-hand curve, and a pick-up truck coming the other was in my lane, coming right at me!

    While I was braking and swerving (and missing him) Pam exclaimed “There’s a naked woman!” – which the driver of the pick-up was studying intently – and I completely missed her, too!

    There was a bar literally cut into the woods, and with a good size parking lot (I recall glimpsing that much), and there was a convertible in the lot with the naked woman standing up in it.

    Anyway, we eventually stopped at some small town, and had a bite to eat, and then Pam took over the driving. (and, there were no more naked women in Pure Michigan, alas)

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  21. Sue said on September 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    This just made my day:

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  22. brian stouder said on September 4, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Sue – Pam and I went to lunch, and she immediately showed me that on her phone, and we both had a good laugh!

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  23. Brandon said on September 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm

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  24. alex said on September 4, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    In local politics in a place like rural Kentucky, one’s party affiliation is pretty meaningless. There’s no appreciable difference between the Dems and Republicans running for local office in a place like Fort Wayne either. They’re all conservative. And I’m sure Kim Davis doesn’t vote Dem in national elections if she bothers to vote at all.

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  25. Brandon said on September 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    That’s what they were saying in the article. She’s an old-style Democrat.

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  26. brian stouder said on September 4, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Indeed, Alex.

    This is like when a person attacks “socialism”*, and triumphantly points out that Hitler was a socialist!

    Political labels are a semi-useful bit of organizational short-hand, and that’s about it.

    For example – “conservative”.

    Conservative of what?

    We can name several overarching things that represent 2015 “conservatism”, but think how perishable those things are, compared to, say, 1952.

    Even 1980’s Reagan-conservatism might not pass 2015 muster, as RWR advocated for Social Security solvency, and raised taxes!

    *and indeed, how can a guy who advocates for a YUGE military, and a massive forced-relocation of 12 million people, and a MORE YUGE international physical wall be considered a limited-guhmint conservative?

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  27. Danny said on September 4, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Roy is keeping up with Trump and the appalled assistants in the laboratory (you should pronounce that with the accent on the second syllable, please) as they watch their monster lurch around breaking shit.

    Nancy, this Frankenstein allusion was brilliant. Was that yours or Roy’s?

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  28. Suzanne said on September 4, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    In my county, there was a very conservative guy (his son has “We the People” tattooed on his forearm) who ran for sheriff a few years ago as a Democrat, apparently because the Republican field had a couple of good candidates and he figured he wouldn’t get anywhere in the GOP side of the thing. Funny thing is he lost, big time, and blamed it on the party affiliation when in reality, he lost because anyone that knows him, knows he’s a doofus. Perhaps Kim isn’t really a Dem at heart, but ran as one for the same reason. Or maybe she really is as dumb as she appears.

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  29. alex said on September 4, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    In our county, the joke has always been that a Democrat is really just a Republican who couldn’t get nominated by his own party.

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  30. Deborah said on September 4, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I am dead tired. I’m connecting here to unwind from a hectic day outside in temps in the 90s. We started out there in Steamyville at about 8:30. In the sun the whole time slathering on the sunscreen and drinking gallons of water. At one point I was so hot I was about to burst out crying. I was pouring ice cold water over my head. It was miserable. All of this was for putting on the finishing touches for the playground grand opening which is tomorrow. Finally at about 3 all of us who had been working jumped into the community pool fully clothed. The pool was officially closed today, it will be open tomorrow, but the pool manager felt so sorry for us he told us to go ahead. I bought a pair of overalls at the local Walmart yesterday and I’m so glad I did. I was crawling around on the ground all day. I am going to be so sore tomorrow and so happy when this is over, I can’t tell you.

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  31. Scout said on September 4, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    “Roy is keeping up with Trump and the appalled assistants in the laboratory (you should pronounce that with the accent on the second syllable, please) as they watch their monster lurch around breaking shit.”


    “Having a duty you are ordered to perform that conflicts with the desires of the Lord God Almighty—in your own narrow, antique, fucked up notion of what religion means, that is—seems like a really good reason to turn in your resignation.
    But she doesn’t. Because she isn’t really trying to pay respect to her own notions of faith, but to mess with the lives of people she hates.”

    Exactly. And, she stands to make a shit-ton of money off this stunt. Which galls the crap out of me.

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  32. brian stouder said on September 4, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Deborah, you are indeed one hot chick!

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  33. MarkH said on September 4, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), I take you on your point at the start of post #6 (the meat of your post is poignant as well, all should read it), and it is just too easy to level Kim Davis.

    Still, Nancy went on about Ms. Davis’ choice of clothing the other day and, well, this was just too apropos:

    h/t to facebook buddy Geoff.

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  34. Judybusy said on September 4, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Oh, MarkH, that’s a little too perfect! She is a little to easy to poke fun at. I am wondering in the middle of all this, as I’m a public employee: what if, for example, one of those crazy laws were passed so that I would be required to report undocumented people? History is full of people who broke the law to further the cause of justice and right. That’s what Davis feels she’s doing. But then, I re-read Scout’s quote from the Steinberg article and know it’s a whole different rodeo.

    Deborah, that sounds awful. I love being warm but not miserable. I hope you are in a place with the AC cranked! Your story of jumping in the pool reminded me of when I would train for long distance bike riding events–after riding 60-80 miles, I’d be sure to swing by one of our lakes and go for a swim in my bike gear. It was so refreshing, and felt wonderful. Part of me is really sad I can’t do that anymore–got a bout of heat exhaustion in ’03, so have to be careful.

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  35. Sherri said on September 4, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    I feel for y’all in the steamy weather. We had an abrupt end to summer last weekend with a windstorm that brought lots of rain and knocked power out, and since then, we’ve been cool. Today just barely made the 60’s. But that’s usually the way fall comes in here. One day it’s summer, and the next day, it’s not.

    In charter school news, right as the school year is beginning, the WA Supreme Court just declared charter schools in WA unconstitutional: Nobody knows what it means yet for the handful of charters currently operating.

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  36. Sue said on September 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Best comment I’ve seen on the Kim Davis thing was along the lines of, would we see the same support for a Quaker committed by religious beliefs to non-violence, who is refusing to issue conceal-carry permits?

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 5, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Headin’ up to San Francisco
    For the Labor Day weekend show,
    I’ve got my hush-puppies on,
    I guess I never was meant for
    Glitter rock and roll.

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  38. Dexter said on September 5, 2015 at 1:45 am

    I am a jazz fan, having moved away from blues in my late twenties. Chicago’s jazz festival, Detroit’s International Jazz Festival, and the Grand Hotel’s showcase of jazz (Mackinac Island) are all this weekend, while Indianapolis, San Diego and Monterey wait a week or two yet. I’ve seen jazz shows in bars and clubs over the years but I never attended one of these festivals. Five weeks ago the big P&G (Formerly Kool) Music Festival was held in the Bengal’s stadium (PB Stadium) in Cincinnati. I knew a lot of Black folks I worked with who made it down for that party over the years.
    Brian, nice write-up of Pure Michigan adventures. I have had many adventures in Michigan; I was thinking of a couple Labor Day trips there a few years back, after I had abandoned walking the bridge anymore. One was a simple cabin stay on Mullet Lake. A very relaxing time as one night we just sat outside, near the lake water, watching the neighbors’ camp fire sizzling and flaming and reflecting back off the lake. Another trip we had decided not to make reservations and just take whatever we might stumble upon…bad choice. Near Black Lake we finally found a motel after searching a long time, and the room was hot and smelly and there were millipedes and bugs everywhere…and, of course, why, why put any AC in the rooms? It was hot as hell that night. I don’t ponder much about that trip. We had rented an SUV but it wasn’t at the lot so we got an “old peoples’ car”, a giant GM sedan which just depressed me. My wife was so disgusted at my motel plans she didn’t really talk to me the whole long way home…she did, however, snarl plenty.

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  39. basset said on September 5, 2015 at 4:24 am

    markh@33, who’s that on the left side of the “separated at birth”? i must be culturally slow or something, don’t recognize her.

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  40. MarkH said on September 5, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Bassett — It’s Kathy Bates in her Oscar winning role in ‘Misery’.

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  41. alex said on September 5, 2015 at 7:16 am

    A Quaker refusing to issue gun permits isn’t really analogous. The Quaker isn’t motivated by malice and doesn’t grant or deny permits selectively and arbitrarily.

    More analogous would be any official passing judgment on the people he or she is supposed to serve and denying them service. What if a county clerk decided not to issue a marriage license to a couple because, though they’re legally old enough to wed, they’re too young in the clerk’s opinion? Or it’s a May-December pairing, egads? Or interracial? Or both of a race that the clerk finds loathsome? Or the gal’s eight months along and the clerk thinks she deserves to be held up as a public example of an unchaste woman?

    The religious freedom arguments are disingenuous. Prejudice is prejudice regardless of the justification, and a gratuitous act of bigotry is the same no matter the motivation.

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  42. basset said on September 5, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Thanks, MarkH… I don’t follow movies and hadn’t heard of her or “Misery.” I see it’s based on a Stephen King book, that’s reason enough for me to pass on it.

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  43. coozledad said on September 5, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Domestic terrorists. Round them up, use Republican approved interrogation techniques on them, imprison, try, and execute their leaders:

    Don’t need that Jeeber Taliban shit here.

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  44. coozledad said on September 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    And what they need to see is American boys and girls going house to house from Tallahassee to Newark uhm, and basically saying which part of this sentence don’t you understand. You don’t think we care about our open society, you think this bubble fantasy we’re going to just let it go, well suck on this. Ok. That, Charlie, is what this is about.

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  45. David C. said on September 6, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Why does it take The Guardian to write this. Is it just not beltway, villager, conventional wisdom, centeristy enough for NYT and WaPo?

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  46. brian stouder said on September 6, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    David C – a great column, and a correspondingly excellent question from you.

    Walker is an idiot, but no more so than Trump

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  47. Julie Robinson said on September 6, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    What a marvelous take-down of the candidates:”Jeb Bush hasn’t run this decade; Ted Cruz only ran once; Chris Christie is dogged by corruption allegations; Rick Perry has the mental aptitude of two dogs in an overcoat; and Rand Paul was gifted his father’s movement and all his out-of-state donors but none of his charisma at talking about basing an international currency on stuff you dig out of the ground.”

    Then there’s this on cherry-picking the Bible, shared by a friend: I would vote for Bartlett in a heartbeat.

    In other news, Orlando is hot and humid, but the people are wonderful.

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  48. Deborah said on September 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    It’s over! It’s over! It’s over! The playground grand opening was yesterday and now we’re back in Chicago. No more family get togethers for a few months (or more). I like my husband’s family a lot, but after a family reunion a month ago and then this, that’s enough for awhile. The grand opening was a success, someone told me there were 700 people there, but I think it was more like 350-400. And it was boiling hot. Free food and tee shirts plus extra activities under a tent for kids was quite a draw. The people in the sleepy little community seem quite appreciative. The last couple of days have been grueling. Lots and lots of work that involved crawling around on the ground in full steamy sun has left me quite sore. I need a few days to recuperate.

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  49. Sherri said on September 6, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Here’s an article from the WaPo about the Washington State Supreme Court ruling charter schools in Washington unconstitutional, which also lists the big donors behind the initiative that created the charter schools:

    The Seattle Times has long been an advocate of the corporate reform model of school reform, so their coverage of this leans more to “the sky is falling, quick the legislature must fix this” mode. The legislature is already in contempt of the WA Supreme Court over funding the public schools, having failed to reach satisfactory progress in meeting the terms of another lawsuit. It would cost $14 million to fund the 9 charter schools open this year; my feeling is, if Gates, Walton, Hanauer, and Bezos are such big fans of charter schools, they can pony up the $14 million to keep those schools open. And while they’re at it, they could do something about the ridiculously regressive tax situation in Washington, which has no income tax and relies mainly on sales tax to fund state government (and on local property taxes to supplement state funding of schools, which has the effect you might expect.) Maybe if Gates, et al, were willing to spend as much effort in getting an income tax on high earners passed, or even a capital gains tax passed, as they are on getting charter schools (which took three initiatives before one narrowly passed), maybe all the schools could be funded.

    Note: this decision by the WA Supreme Court isn’t likely to have much impact outside of Washington. The WA constitution contains specific language requiring the state to adequately fund basic education for common schools.

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  50. brian stouder said on September 6, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Sherri – it is the one subject I become passionate about. It kills me when voucher/charter advocates dismissively refer to “government schools”, as if there is some conspiracy to brainwash the young folks.

    The question I ask, when that term comes up, is how is an UNgoverned school supposed to be better or fairer? They still want the public’s money – but without any of those nosey elected government officials asking them for an accounting of where the government (ie – public’s) money went?

    And isn’t it downright uncanny how those ungoverned schools, operating with public tax dollars and without oversight, suddenly become so segregated? Catholic schools, or Lutheran schools, or or suburban ‘academies’ and so on all end up with amazingly UNdiverse student bodies, yes?

    And the kids who cannot speak english, or who need extra help, or who are impoverished….we’ll let THOSE kids go to the “failed” public schools, right?

    This whole subject really works me up. We are creating citizens, one way or another. “College and Career Ready” is a laudible bit of boilerplate, but these young folks are our future; they’re going to vote and pay taxes and, if there’s a scrape, fight our wars.

    It isn’t too much to ask that we keep the damned charlatans and frauds and proselytizers and publicly funded anti-government chuckleheads at bay until the young folks get past high school, is it?

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  51. beb said on September 6, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    DavidC@45 – The US media is too craven to actually attack politicians for being dolts, grifters, psychotic or just plain evil. A Trump bodyguard bashes a protester in the face and the media ignores it. Trump insults women, hispanics, other politicians on a daily basis and he’s called colorful. He has not issued one policy statement. His answers to serious questions amounts to arm-waving and cries that the media is unfair. It takes an outsider, like the British Guardian, to state the obvious.

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  52. Sherri said on September 6, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Brian, my feeling is, if Bill Gates wants to try some new models for education, I’m all in favor of it. He should open his own schools, call the the Bill Gates World Academies or something, and I’m sure he’d have no trouble finding students or teachers. Either the Gates Foundation or his personal wealth would be more than sufficient to fund such an experiment, and he could hit up his fellow school reform buddies from the Walton and Broad Foundations.

    Then, when you’ve got some data, come talk to us about ways to improve the public schools. I really believe that Gates is sincere in his desire to improve education, unlike some of his fellow travelers. I just think he’s going about it in the wrong way, and he has opened the door for far too many grifters to come charging through.

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  53. brian stouder said on September 6, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Sherri, precisely.

    And the inescapable dynamic is – the grifters and the state legislatures (like Indiana’s) that they’ve bribed into blissful, apathetic ignornance have an easy enough time knocking down the institutions that previous generations labored to construct and develop….but when their prescriptions fail (either completely, or mostly), those institutions they destroyed cannot pop right back. There’s a large (and growing) teacher shortage upon us – since afterall – who wants to be an over-qualified punching bag when any TFA kiddo can (allegedly!) do your job, and for much less money, and no unions!!?

    I thought “conservatives” like to conserve things, yes?

    Maybe they want to return us to young Abe Lincoln’s days, where a kid might possibly get a little education here or there (when not otherwise tied up with farming or doing other work for his family) at a “blab school” where the teacher has no real education beyond possibly knowing how to read?

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  54. Dexter said on September 7, 2015 at 2:44 am

    brian, that last comment reminds me of what Travis Bickle said to the hiring boss in Scorsese’s and Paul Schrader’s “Taxi Driver” (1975)…
    [boss man] “Education?”
    [Travis] “…some, you know…here and there….”

    Apparently this time I got a good used van, as it ran “like a top” (as my dad said about a good car) down and back and all over Columbus. Gas is $2.30 here in Bryan…must be the highest price in the whole damn state. Gas is $1.98 all over Columbus, and my daughter got gas for $1.88 somewhere there yesterday. Here, when gas goes down, it’s always no more than a penny a day. When it rises, it goes up 45 cents instantly.
    Chuck E. Cheese was crowded and huge, and Chuckie, in costume, scared the living shit out a 3 year old boy…the kid was terrified. We had a big reserved party and it was quite chaotic, trust me. Hundreds of screaming kids and very loud beat music on a loop about did me in. I was so damn glad to exit that place.

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  55. Suzanne said on September 7, 2015 at 8:14 am

    I had to visit Chuck E. Cheese once or twice when my kids were young. I always mourned the fact that they didn’t serve alcohol, because I thought that would be the best way to get through it.

    I know a few people who teach in Parochial schools. Those that take vouchers say it is rapidly changing the tone of their schools (duh). My impression of many parochial school teachers is that they are either excellent and truly have a heart for teaching or are teachers that would be eaten up & spit out by a public school in short order. The administration is generally very naive, so I think they are very shocked by the vouchers not being the be all and end all.

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  56. Deborah said on September 7, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Interesting Suzanne, can you elaborate on how the parochial schools tone is changing? Did your friends give any indication of what exactly is changing?

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  57. Suzanne said on September 7, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Larger size classes, more kids with learning or behavioral issues, more kids who are far behind the normal school grade level, more low income kids who have home issues outside of school, things like that. Things that many parochial schools aren’t set up the deal with.

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  58. Deborah said on September 7, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Got it, thanks Suzanne. Makes perfect sense.

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  59. coozledad said on September 7, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Please sign and pass along:

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  60. Brandon said on September 7, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    @Brian Stouder, post 50:

    Not the Catholic school I went to. You can say, of course it was diverse because it’s in Hawaii, but many Catholic schools on the mainland have significant enrollment of students of color.

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  61. Deborah said on September 7, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I’m waiting at the Apple Store on MI Ave again. The thing they thought was wrong with my laptop turns out not to be the problem. Now they’re saying it needs a new logic board which of course costs a lot more and takes more time to fix/replace. Naturally. It’s probably going to have to be shipped to me in Santa Fe after it’s repaired. Now I wait even though I have an appointment which was setup on Thursday. Naturally.

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  62. Deborah said on September 7, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Steamed is a good title for this post and comment thread regarding what’s going on with weather etc. I’m back from the Apple Store which is always a bit aggravating when they start tallying up the costs and the delays. Then I get back to my building and head down to the laundry room with a bunch of dirty clothes that have piled up because of our travels and Little Bird being in Chicago with us. For those of you who don’t now or never have lived in a high rise building, FYI there is something called elevator etiquette. If you get to the elevator and have already pushed the button and then you see someone exit their unit on your floor and they are headed for the elevators it is good form to hold the elevator doors for them to go down with you. You do this going up too, when you’re in the lobby and people approach the elevator when you are already on, you hold the doors from closing so that they can get on with you. It’s just good manners and a way to be good neighbors. It just is. But there are always clueless people who are oblivious to this and I just want to smile and say something nasty to them when I meet up with them in the laundry room or wherever, but of course I never say anything. I just steam and stew instead.

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  63. coozledad said on September 7, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Founders worship is no substitute for a working knowledge of the Constitution. It’ll get you a job in Texas, though. If you’re a Baptist prole.

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  64. Brandon said on September 7, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    @coozledad, post 63: I guess that leaves out Trump, a nominal Presbyterian.

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  65. Jolene said on September 7, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    GOP candidates who argue for more local control should be made to answer questions about what’s going on in Williamson County.

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  66. Brandon said on September 7, 2015 at 10:00 pm

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