A whirl, not a dervish.

Sorry for no post yesterday, but man, I’ve been so productive recently I’ve done the work of 1.5 Nances. Wrote two stories — you can find them at Bridge anytime after 6 a.m. Eastern, but this one will likely be the one non-residents will be most interested in. Mandrake!


One reason I’ve been busting my butt is, we’re bugging out for a couple days. Alan’s on vacation this week, we got the boat out of the water, and it seems a good time to grab a long weekend in Toronto, aka New York Lite (and cheaper — exchange rate is 32 percent now). Photo posts for a couple days. If that. I’ll try.

But as we prepare to pack, we’re watching the GOP debate. Alan in particular is digging the tweet crawl:

Me, I’ve been cleaning the kitchen and listening from the family room. If I were tweeting, I would say this:

Why is Ted Cruz wearing his dad’s suit?

Off to pack. If you feel like talking about this thing, feel free. If not, see you Monday-ish.

Posted at 12:19 am in Current events |

56 responses to “A whirl, not a dervish.”

  1. Dexter said on October 29, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Patton Oswalt is a funny dude and a pretty darn good actor. I’ll start following his tweets, although I am about 95% Facebook and 5% Twitter.
    My wife watched the repuggs and I watched the World Series. Then we worked as a team as we dosed our dog with flea protection and heartworm medicine. The black labbie takes a pill so damn big, but this time she just would not take it down…I made a four-sided chicken sandwich, she spit out the pill, I then coated the pill with peanut butter and she spit it out. Tomorrow I’ll try something else…maybe I’ll quarter the damn pill and wrap each piece in deli smoked turkey. She loves that.
    Have fun in Toronto, I know you guys have been there and know your away around Yonge Street and all that. I have only been once, years ago, on the same trip a buddy and I took to Montreal, NYC, Maine, and up through New Brunswick to Nova Scotia and to Cape Breton, which is an amazingly beautiful place. That trip was an extended bachelor party for me, the last days of being a single man. The point I wanted to make is that Toronto was a much more fun place than Montreal. Back then, no one would even speak English to me…a friend who lives there says I would be OK with that now, but then, the English language was really frowned upon.

    1288 chars

  2. David C. said on October 29, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Just be glad you don’t have to pill a cat, Dexter. It’s a job I wouldn’t wish on anybody.

    My wife is an anti-fluoridation nut. We filter our water to remove it (I doubt it filters out vary much) and I keep a bottle of fluoride rinse at work. No amount of evidence will sway her, god knows, I’ve tried. As helpful as the internet is, I would be happy to go back to a time when there were gate keepers who were able to filter out a lot of this non-sense. I know it got around, but mimeographed sheets don’t have the same impact.

    530 chars

  3. Suzanne said on October 29, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Watched the debate & went to bed depressed. So much of the same old, same old. If we just cut taxes and cut the government then the market will soar and we will live in utopia! Raise the retirement age because people live longer and there you go! Medicare & Social Security problems solved! (OK. But try finding a job if you’re over 50.)

    Haven’t we heard all this before? I am trying to think of one small government country that’s doing really well. I’m open to suggestions.

    486 chars

  4. Julie Robinson said on October 29, 2015 at 7:00 am

    We watched Hillary Clinton on Monday night’s Colbert instead of the debate, which was much more uplifting. I just wish she’d stop the cackling. It plays into the hands of her opponents.

    185 chars

  5. alex said on October 29, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Don’t have CNBC so couldn’t find access to the debate, which is just as well. Elsewhere the media seem to be suggesting that the Cuban Boobsie Twins are the ones to watch now that Trump and Carson have made them look relatively substantive by comparison. Cruz is supposedly poised to pick up the nutters when Trump and Carson inevitably flame out while Rubio is destined to be bankrolled by the people who thought they could buy the Oval Office for Bush. Together they might make an establishment dream team after the nightmare that has been the campaign so far — if they don’t destroy each other in the fight over top billing.

    628 chars

  6. Connie said on October 29, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Brian asked yesterday about keynote speakers at a library conference, and I suspect we have some of the same kinds of motivational people you see elsewhere.

    At that moment I was listening tothe two guys who do a library comic, see it at unshelved.com.

    At lunch we heard from childrens book illustrator and Caldecott winner David Small, whose memoir “Stitches” about his childhood in Detroit I highly recommend.

    I am waiting now for a program about starting a digital media lab, and later a lunch with speakers from the Under the Radar Michigan, a tv/video series abour Michigan travel.

    Tomorrow’s closing speaker looks to be generic motivational.

    659 chars

  7. ROGirl said on October 29, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Back before the non-politicians joined the Republican campaign, someone involved in Democratic politics told me that Rubio was a candidate to take seriously.

    157 chars

  8. Wim said on October 29, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Nancy pre-won the thread with her imaginary tweet.

    50 chars

  9. brian stouder said on October 29, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for the summary, Connie. As one who likes Book TV, I’d guess about any author would be interesting, let alone an illustrator!

    In fact, last week they had a fairly irreverent cartoonist, who went from a nobody to a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker (couldn’t tell you his name), and he was altogether low-key and funny!

    331 chars

  10. beb said on October 29, 2015 at 9:05 am

    For the past three days my employer has been blocking this site because it was considered a time wasteing “chat” site. Yahoo wasn’t blocking although it, too, is a time-wasting infotainment site. Unexpectedly the site is open today. Woo-hoo!

    Just in time for Nancy to go away for a few days…

    I have no idea when CNBC was considered an responsible party to host a debate. Judging from the faux pas listed in the news this morning, the questioners never reviewed previous debates to see and avoid what went wrong. Asking “what’s your greatest weakness” is a bullshit question whether in a presidential debate or a job interview. My greatest weakness is the inability to put up with BS…

    Then a woman reporter asked Trump about a statement he’d made without having the source immediately at hand. She should have known that Trump was deny making the statement and challenge her to prove it. Because that’s how Trump responds to call challenges. But mostly its time for these debates chop the field from ten to six or even four. What I’d love to see is a series of debates organized by the League of Women Voters with interviewers selected from different fields of expertise – Krugman on their economic policy, Juan Cole on the Middle East, someone from the Sierra Club on domestic land use, and so on. Everyone knows the presidency is a hard job so prospective candidates should be asked tough questions.

    Suzanne @3: Raising the retirement age is a bad idea because for most people in physically demanding jobs life expectancy has not gone up. It has for the 1% but not for the rest of us, and for some cohorts of women it’s actually gone down. Kevin Drum talked about this a while back. And I agree with you that finding a job in your 50s which it why I think the retirement age should lowered from 62 to 60 years.

    1828 chars

  11. Heather said on October 29, 2015 at 9:21 am

    “Reverse-osmosis bottled water”? Can you pick that up at Costco?

    64 chars

  12. Julie Robinson said on October 29, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Trump stated that his use of legal* bankruptcy (four times, in case anyone forgot) shows “boy, am I good at solving debt problems”. By running away from it? This surely deserves a golden-plated WTF award. Well, maybe I’d cover it with a darker material more suited to his rhetoric.

    *Is there such a thing as illegal bankruptcy? Honestly!

    341 chars

  13. basset said on October 29, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I wonder if Dr. E.H. Bronner, the chemist of “standing” whose letter about fluoridation is reproduced under the Communist plot link, was connected with Dr. Bronner’s soap, the bottled stuff you see in health food stores with a label full of various advice and exhortations in little tiny type?

    293 chars

  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 29, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Patton Oswalt has a uniquely wonderful little role in the underappreciated “Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Ben Stiller did a nice job in making that film, which is miles from Thurber but close to home.

    200 chars

  15. Judybusy said on October 29, 2015 at 10:04 am

    I am writing completely off topic, but for a worthy reason. Our much-esteemed colleague, Maggie Jochild, continued to have major problems with her home health care agency. She is switching agencies, which has implications for her care. Her amazing primary caregiver, Tammi, would be paid a lower, non-sustainable rate with the new agency. Actually, the pay wasn’t that great at the old one, and a group of us have been making monthly donations to ensure Tammi can continue to provide care. I have Maggie’s permission to reach out to the NNC community and ask for your help. If so moved, here is the link: http://tamminatorfund.blogspot.co.uk/ I know she reads here every day, but doesn’t always have the time/energy to comment. The smart folks here mean a lot to her!

    Looks like I’d better read the piece by Rubio on his vision for U.S. foreign policy in my September/October issue of Foreign Policy. I had skipped it because he started out by bashing Obama. I’ll let you know if he says anything remarkable.

    1011 chars

  16. brian stouder said on October 29, 2015 at 10:04 am

    re the debate: Pam and I watched a bit of the pre-game banter amongst the CNBC crew, and we were both amazed.

    If it had been a Saturday Night Live skit, it would have been no different. Two or three faux-intelligent men trying to talk over one another, and two intelligent women who they kept condescending to.

    One of the guys began playing with his pen while one of the women was completing whatever point she was making. He continued this (a combination of click-click-click-click, and then two or three twirls, and then click-click-click, etc) as the women finished and then a boorish older guy disagreed with whatever point the woman was making….and you could see the train-wreck coming, even before the show began!

    734 chars

  17. Bitter Scribe said on October 29, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I took part in the Wonkette liveblog. It made the debate a lot more fun.

    Heather @11: Yes, reverse osmosis is a thing. It’s just a description of the filter they run the water through.

    187 chars

  18. Kirk said on October 29, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Life is too short to watch the so-called “debates,” but I clicked over between innings of the World Series to hear a ridiculous question about wether the feds should be regulating fantasy-football gambling. After Jeb babbled for a while, Christie interrupted to enumerate many of the country’s legitimate problems and bray a “Are you kidding me?” That was enough.

    Meanwhile, Rafael Cruz’s illegitimate daddy?


    644 chars

  19. Suzanne said on October 29, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Ernest! Could make the lame walk, but could never grow hair on his own head.

    76 chars

  20. brian stouder said on October 29, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Pam sent along this funny little ditty, regarding Indiana’s ridiculous Mitch (Daniels) – who I’d stack up against Michigan’s ridiculous Mitch (the Albom one) any day!


    As I said to Pam, I liked “Too fast at the stop sign?”…!!

    If you roll past it, I suppose it IS ‘too fast’!

    380 chars

  21. Jeff Borden said on October 29, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I watched the baseball game last night, but the clips I’m hearing this morning on the Stephanie Miller Show are just hideous. The rise of Marco Rubio scares the ever-loving shit out of me. He will make a good counterpart to Hillary Clinton if he gets the nomination and he peddles his vicious brand of hate and resentment in a much more gentle manner than, say, Ted Cruz. He would be a very formidable candidate against a woman with a lot of baggage and an army of haters arrayed against her.

    Apparently, CNBC screwed the pooch, too. Good. Any cable channel employing dickheads like Jim Cramer and Rick Santelli is not worth hearing.

    636 chars

  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 29, 2015 at 11:03 am

    When you’ve tried everything else, why not despair?


    112 chars

  23. Dave said on October 29, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Rubio did polished ducking of questions asked. Why should we think someone who makes a mess of their own financial affairs would do better with the country’s? I wasn’t born with a inheritance, either, but didn’t do the things he did, he appeared to be keeping up with the Jones family.

    287 chars

  24. Charlotte said on October 29, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    The idiots blathering on about raising the retirement age make me crazy — my Himself is only in his early 50s, and construction work is becoming increasingly difficult — and my neighbor down the street, who works at the local ice cream factory was just telling me he feels like it’s a balancing act whether his back is going to give out before he gets to social security …

    377 chars

  25. brian stouder said on October 29, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    By the by, this excerpt from Nance’s Bridge piece (“Mandrake!”) illustrates an aspect of her writing style I’ve always really liked –

    There were public meetings that attracted both pro- and anti-fluoridation voices, including “outside agitators from Traverse City” who spoke against it, he said, and public-health officials in favor. But the 3-2 vote to remove fluoride, Veryser said, was a fait accompli.

    The included local reference to “outside agitators from Traverse City” is just good stuff, indeed…a sort of homey, Andy Griffith style wholesome bit of flavor

    584 chars

  26. beb said on October 29, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Charlotte, my wife, a nurse, is in the same boat.

    Jeff… The facebook page would not load for me. Does it use the classic campaign line: “Cthulhu, why vote for the lesser of two evils…:

    I wonder how Senator Rubio can go after all but saying he’s too bored to deal with the Senate. Will he become too bored to do the presidency as well?

    344 chars

  27. Jeff Borden said on October 29, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Jeff TMMO,

    I’ve had my Cthulhu for America 2016 for more than a month. Most people don’t get it.

    99 chars

  28. Bitter Scribe said on October 29, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I love how they and their acolytes are bitching about those mean CNBC moderators. These are the tough guys who are going to protect us all from ISIS, Iran, Putin, etc. How? By whining them into submission?

    205 chars

  29. Bitter Scribe said on October 29, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Charlotte @24: If raising the retirement age is such a great idea, how come these clowns never suggest that we do it tomorrow?

    133 chars

  30. Sherri said on October 29, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    So, if Rubio forces Jeb? from the race, will the Bushites, infamous for their vindictiveness when it comes to perceived disloyalty, unleash Chang on him?

    153 chars

  31. brian stouder said on October 29, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Sherri, I’m rootin’ for the Chang card!

    I still think Kasich is the sleeper, but Rubio might be their male equivalent of Governor Palin; good lookin’, and empty as a smashed Diet Pepsi aluminum can.

    If we’re going to do these political Cuisinart debates, why not arrange to have one stage that has Sec Clinton, Sen Rubio, Gov Bush, Sen Sanders, and one or two others – and let them hash things over?

    It would be entertaining…and it would also show where folks in different parties agree with one another, and who the out-liers really are…

    551 chars

  32. basset said on October 29, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    heard Kasich on NPR yesterday morning and he sounded sane and reasonable, which just may be what costs him the nomination.

    Meanwhile, this: twelve years in a coma with Barney loud and unavoidable:

    285 chars

  33. Dexter said on October 29, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I know nothing, but I might lay a kroner on Kasich for President. The dualling clowns , Doctor Ben and Donald T. Rump, will fizzle and dissolve. Kasich is a serious candidate and by gawd, you just wait and see.
    I’d love to a Kasich-Bernie face-off.

    252 chars

  34. Sherri said on October 29, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Kasich seems sane and reasonable, unless you’re a woman who believes that she should have the right to make decisions about her own body.

    137 chars

  35. alex said on October 29, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Sane and reasonable is a relative term. Next to the rest of those clowns, Charles Manson would look sane and reasonable. Kasich is still beholden to voodoo economics and the entirety of the social conservative agenda and sounds like a Republican from ten years before his party went off the rails, but that’s still pretty backward. He miscalculated that there would be a niche for someone like him in the current milieu. Whoever becomes the nominee will face the increasingly impossible task of uniting the crazies and the fuddies and that’s just not a winning coalition anymore as we saw a la Romney.

    601 chars

  36. basset said on October 29, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Damn, people, I just said he didn’t foam at the mouth or insult anyone, I didn’t vet his entire platform.

    105 chars

  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 29, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Duck and cover, basset. You spoke other than profanely of a Republican.

    For what it’s worth, while I’m with both FDR & John Kasich on public employee strikes, there are plenty of GOPers in Ohio who view his candidacy uneasily, because he’s just a very curt, abrupt, often unpleasant man. And having said that, he’s done more for mental & behavioral health and human services than that last four governors put together, so there are plenty of very liberal Ohioans who find it difficult to just dismiss him as a crank. And he’s less pro-life than the hardcore folk in the state want (as am I), and has spoken in fairly harsh terms to allies who needed an attitude adjustment, not just been brutal to those he’s trampling over politically. In fact there’s a kind of Clintonesque air in Columbus saying that it’s better to be John’s opponent than his friend, because he’s always got an eye for the surprising accommodation.

    But there’s no one who can say “I know Kasich will give me what I want, because he’s beholden to me.” He just doesn’t play that game, and it’s kept enough respect for him along with the uneasiness to keep anyone from outright opposing him. I think he’s running to be the GOP Biden, but my predictive track record is horrid, so who knows. I don’t know anyone who would say they know him well.

    1325 chars

  38. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 29, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I should add that, with my marginally interesting angles inside the party, mostly through keyholes or listening at vent covers two rooms away from where the real conversations are happening, within the GOP it’s only been in the last two weeks that, while everyone had been wondering “what exactly does Trump want to get out of this quixotic campaign,” it’s become generally clear that what The Donald wants is to be president.

    What he wants by way of that office is much less clear, but the immigration thing is (for him and his team) a means to an end, not the motive force. Trump really thinks he’d be a better POTUS than anyone else, but if he has an agenda other than making “America great” no one knows what it is. The fact that he really can’t be stopped, given party rules, and that recent rules probably help him knock out establishmentarian candidates faster, and that he’s probably the least likely GOP prospect to beat Hillary, should only amuse most participants here, probably justly.

    Carson I literally know nothing about. Nor does really anyone else, up or down the party corridors.

    1103 chars

  39. Sue said on October 29, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Not fair, MMJeff. Seems to me I asked about Kasich here a few weeks back, looking for feedback. Even then he seemed to be the only adult in the room, at the same time that I’d read comments in other places from people in his state who referred to him as a ‘neanderthal’. I asked because you can’t make an informed choice without information, and this is a good place to get a variety of informed viewpoints.
    That’s not the behavior of someone who’s automatically dismissive of the other side. And let’s not forget, I’m from a state with a truly frightening governor who tried to fool the country into thinking he was ‘Midwestern nice’. I have almost as much right as someone from Kansas to be very nervous about a Republican governor. Kasich seems reasonable but I live in a state with a media that is less than thorough in providing balanced information about candidates.
    You want profanity about a Republican? Scott Walker is a fucking train wreck who’s pulling the state down with him. There you go.

    1012 chars

  40. basset said on October 29, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Doesn’t matter. He tells it like it is. He’ll get rid of them immigrants and shut down them liberal professors. Makin’ ‘Murca great, hup, hup.

    145 chars

  41. alex said on October 29, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    That’s the other thing I’ve heard about Kasich. His ill temper. I pity the GOP if he’s the only adult in the room.

    114 chars

  42. David C. said on October 29, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    There’s no Republican reasonable enough to be allowed to replace Justices Breyer and/or Ginsburg. Not one in the whole damned country. That’s the bottom line for me. Politically, I’m probably closer in line with Sanders, but I’m not sure he can win. Therefore, I’m backing Hillary. Save some unforeseen disaster, which seem to happen with increasing frequency, I think she has the best chance.

    393 chars

  43. Sue said on October 29, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    David C., please don’t say RBG is going to be replaced. She’s going to be here forever, right?

    181 chars

  44. David C. said on October 29, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    I surely hope so, Sue.

    22 chars

  45. Jill said on October 29, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Connie, I love Under the Radar Michigan. I hope the presentation was as entertaining as some of their segments.

    112 chars

  46. Deborah said on October 29, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    That RBG link made me cry.

    26 chars

  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 29, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Sue, I think you ended up making my point. Anyhow, sorry not to have said more about Kasich sooner, but it’s been a busy two weeks. The county attendance officer had spinal surgery this week, so I’m pretending to be three people through November, because no one else is allowed to access student data across districts. But it keeps me out of either of my offices sitting staring at a phone waiting for call backs . . . and it’s a lovely time of year to tool around this lovely county, let alone in and out of Columbus.

    The GOP establishment supporting Bush is just a sign of . . . well, they just don’t get Millennials. At all. Which is ultimately going to be self-correcting, in a Darwinian sense.

    701 chars

  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 29, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Oh, and Sue, thanks for that link; just meandered thru the Kickback Lounge to get that book to my Kindle. Notorious RBG is now in the queue!

    140 chars

  49. Jolene said on October 29, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Saw the two people who put the Notorious RBG book together on TV this week. Very impressive, and, yes, the story re Marty Ginsberg is very touching.

    148 chars

  50. Sue said on October 30, 2015 at 7:23 am

    In that case I apologize MMJeff. I simply found your comment too ‘us vs. them’ and was surprised and annoyed by it. Count on it, I will not object to anything you say again.

    175 chars

  51. Wim said on October 30, 2015 at 7:30 am

    It’s not so much an issue of fairness, Sue, as it is a tactic of hand-waving, not unlike Ted Cruz seeking to immunize himself against any adverse question by declaring them all a product of liberal media. In this way any criticism of Republicans is declared a mere reflex of profanity, so as to both elide the substance of criticism and to belittle those expressing it.

    370 chars

  52. Julie Robinson said on October 30, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Good grief, what’s going on down there at Citizens Square? http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/Davis-resigns-as-deputy-city-clerk-9618638. I’m completely at a loss about how to vote on Tuesday. Also, Steve Shine: shut up.

    226 chars

  53. Connie said on October 30, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Jill, the Under the Radar crew was very entertaining. They did a drawing to give away four library appearances,, I was sorry not to win one.

    140 chars

  54. Suzanne said on October 30, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Yes, Wim @ 51. The thing is, how many people watch/listen to the so-called main stream media anymore. Is CNBC mainstream? Is CNN? Is FOX? We just got satellite TV a couple of years ago, so for us, none of the cable channels were ever mainstream. Seriously, if any of these people want to be leader of the free world, they can’t be whining that Putin isn’t being fair, or that ISIS is nasty and not playing by the rules. Buck up, quit complaining, and get to work, like you tell the poor to do.

    When someone I know says, or posts on Facebook, that the media is ignoring such and such a story, which proves their bias, or that the only place you’re gonna hear about this or that story is FOX, nothing gives me more pleasure than to mention that I pretty much get my news from NPR and they covered the story yesterday, or the day before.

    837 chars

  55. Sherri said on October 30, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Basset, everytime I disagree with you it is not an attack, and you don’t have to be defensive.

    The thing is, all across the political spectrum, it is not unusual for a (typically male) politician to be described as sane and reasonable, while at the same time holding positions that are not friendly at the least to women. Before Rand Paul went all in on deciding he wanted to win the Republican nomination, he was a favorite among even some liberal leaning people, ignoring that even then he absolutely toed the Republican line on reproductive rights and was completely opposed to things like equal pay and civil rights law. So, I get a little tired of hearing how some candidate is “sane and reasonable” when he’s signed legislation that has led to the shutdown of half the clinics that perform abortions in his state, and that require ultrasounds at clinics that receive state funding, and prevent rape crisis counselors from providing women information about abortion services. Where is he not pro-life enough for you, Jeff(tmmo)?

    People often look at me in surprise when I say I don’t watch the debates. I tell them, I don’t care what the candidates say, I look at what they’ve done. I don’t care how sane and reasonable John Kasich seems on the debate stage; I care about what he’s done when he’s had power, and it’s not sane and reasonable to me.

    1359 chars

  56. basset said on October 30, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    i heard him on the radio having what sounded like a calm and civil conversation, that’s all. next time i’ll do my research before i post.

    138 chars