This guy.

First things first: Let’s all wish Kirk a happy mumble-mumble birthday. Happy birthday, old buddy.

Then, let’s turn to this remarkable column, by Frank Bruni, about Ted Cruz. Specifically, let’s look at this passage:

Anyone but Cruz: That’s the leitmotif of his life, stretching back to college at Princeton. His freshman roommate, Craig Mazin, told Patricia Murphy of The Daily Beast: “I would rather have anybody else be the president of the United States. Anyone. I would rather pick somebody from the phone book.”

It’s not easy to come across on-the-record quotes like that, and Mazin’s words suggest a disdain that transcends ideology. They bear heeding.

I was thinking Rubio would beat out Cruz for the nomination, but man — now I’m not so sure. More:

The political strategist Matthew Dowd, who worked for Bush back then, tweeted that “if truth serum was given to the staff of the 2000 Bush campaign,” an enormous percentage of them “would vote for Trump over Cruz.”

Another Bush 2000 alumnus said to me: “Why do people take such an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? It just saves time.”

His three signature moments in the Senate have been a florid smearing of Chuck Hagel with no achievable purpose other than attention for Ted Cruz, a flamboyant rebellion against Obamacare with no achievable purpose other than attention for Ted Cruz, and a fiery protest of federal funding for Planned Parenthood with no achievable purpose other than attention for Ted Cruz. Notice any pattern?

How did this happen to the GOP? Seriously, what went wrong with these people?

We know a little more about the California shooters, but the main lesson is that folks are crazy, and every week it’s crazier, and god only knows what will happen over the weekend. They left behind a six-month-old baby. Have you ever held a six-month-old? You never want to put them down; it’s the absolute peak of babyhood. And they did so, and then went and slaughtered people, and then died themselves.

Kid’s better off. At least, I hope so.

Crashing into bed in four, three, two, one. Have a good weekend, all.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

93 responses to “This guy.”

  1. David C. said on December 4, 2015 at 6:13 am

    How did this happen to the GOP? Seriously, what went wrong with these people?

    The phrase “but the Democrats”, Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, Chuck “if I call them out on their bullshit they won’t come on my show” Todd, infotainment, etc. in other words enablers. Lots and lots of enablers.

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  2. adrianne said on December 4, 2015 at 7:12 am

    The shooting in San Bernardino is baffling on so many levels, but one of the most chilling details is the couple blithely dropping off their baby and then going out armed to the teeth to kill as many people as possible. I can’t fathom this at all.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 4, 2015 at 7:29 am

    There are still plenty of conservatives in America, of an assortment of stripes, but the Republican Party has not offered any affirmative vision, no real positive plan, for quite some time. They don’t know what they’re for, and they’ve let themselves be defined almost entirely by what they’re against. And that’s not because the Democratic Party is so smart and strategic and clever in their maneuvering — it’s a self-inflicted wound.

    In the politics of “no,” the standard-bearers become those who can say it the loudest. It’s only on the state level that the GOP has found a coherent, local, understandable sort of planning and policy package . . . and as with Kasich here, whom I am not endorsing as ideal in all things nor for president, but: he created a place to stand that worked for Ohio Republicans which is not going to get him very far in GOP primaries. The Medicaid Expansion was a logical outgrowth of other things he’s consistently said, and he and Portman are making it clear that mental health and addiction services are going to get supported, and have been. Strickland, the Dem gov running now against Portman, isn’t going to fly because everyone knows he and his team said they were for increased aid to ADAMH boards, then got in and cut them without even a rationalization: Ted could be a national GOP candidate.

    Reagan, who wasn’t everything he’s now claimed to have been, did have the ability to reframe GOP talking points into a positive vision. Americans generally are neither progressive or conservative, but they’re going to gravitate to the positive proposal. Negative rhetoric gets quick crowds and easy buzz, but it’s not going to make it up the greasy pole to the feathered cap on top.

    I’m doing two funerals, one today and one tomorrow, so see y’all. Hope everyone got to watch “The Wiz” last night, and turned to the Packers-Lions game just in time for that finish. What a night!

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  4. ROGirl said on December 4, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Could it be a conflation of personal rage/mental illness with terroristic beliefs and tactics?

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  5. Linda said on December 4, 2015 at 7:46 am

    What happened? At the beginning of the Reagan revolution, it was easy to be positive–people really assumed that when business got more money, it would trickle down to them. That’s the way it worked before, when there were healthy unions, a safety net, and pre-offshoring. Now there is nothing left but negativism and dog eat dog. The hate for poor people has devolved into hate and shame blaming everybody just slightly below you, and people now identify with Republicans the way crabs in a boiling pot try to drag each other back into the pot–if I am not them, whoever them is, I won’t be boiled too.

    And there is sort of a devil’s bargain with gun control. If you let us have as many guns as we want, we will ignore a busted safety net, crappy roads, and a shift of the tax burden away from the rich onto people like me. The GOP now has nothing to feed their base but resentment, and they have to steal everything right now, before the rest of us catch on and throw them out. That’s why you are seeing pieces of rollback of the securities reform laws and net neutrality laws attached quietly to budget bills.

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  6. beb said on December 4, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I think Jeff @3 pretty much nails it.

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  7. Deborah said on December 4, 2015 at 8:59 am

    “Negative rhetoric gets quick crowds and easy buzz, but it’s not going to make it up the greasy pole to the feathered cap on top.” Sharon Stone explained it this way, “You can fuck your way to the middle, but you can’t fuck your way to the top”.

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  8. brian stouder said on December 4, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I think Deborah has the Thread Win, right there!

    And, Happy Birthday, Kirk! Hopefully you’ll scrub off the wretched ink stains, and have a pleasant weekend

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  9. coozledad said on December 4, 2015 at 9:21 am

    The Republicans transformed this country into a laboratory for their ‘run everything like a business’ bullshit. They’ve pretty much blown up long term employment and replaced it with benefit-free Kelly-Girl jobs in every sector, even in the universities.

    Pat McCrory shoehorned one of the crooks who came up with No Child Left Behind in as president of the UNC system (They drafted her sorry ass out of the for-profit education grift), so you’ll be seeing a sharp decline in the quality of education across the state as more money goes into the pockets of administrators and athletic department boobs.

    Duke University pays Mike Krzyzewski six million dollars a year. That’s roughly a hundred and fifty grand per game. Adjunct professors make about seven grand per class. Once again, it’s contingency employment, and those professors have no idea if they’ll be retained for additional semesters. No benefits. Now those adjuncts are trying to unionize, and Duke’s shitting its pants.

    One of the university’s proposed solutions is to appoint an “administrative liaison”
    so they can keep the money on the grift side of the institution, and provide an additional layer of bullshit to pretend they are addressing fundamental inequities in pay and benefits structure. The University has a nominal president, but the school is actually run by Tallman Trask III as a self-sustaining good old boy network whose goals are incompatible with the quality education and progressive principles Duke claims to endorse.

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  10. brian stouder said on December 4, 2015 at 9:25 am

    One additional ‘current events’ comment, if you’ll allow it.

    I just took a look at the morning line at Fox News, and found this headline and subhead on their main page:


    Authorities investigate whether wife radicalized husband before California massacre

    FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS believe there is a ‘very serious’ possibility that Tashfeen Malik, one of two shooters who murdered 14 people and wounded 21 others in San Bernardino, Calif. Wednesday, radicalized her husband and co-assailant, county restaurant inspector Syed Farook, Fox News has learned.

    One can just imagine the head-nodding reaction amongst people of a certain mind-set; a sort of “sum of all fears” – the Other; the different skin color; a different religion; and THEN….the beautiful evil woman

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  11. Jeff Borden said on December 4, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I’m sorry my Republican father passed away in July 2008 because he was going to vote for Barack Obama. He and my mom were both the kind of old-fashioned Republicans we used to know. No FDR for their families. They were for Wendell Willkie. Dad served in the First Army in Europe, so he was under Ike’s command, and he genuinely liked Eisenhower and his policies. I can’t deny he also liked Dick Nixon, too, which was the cause of many a heated debate at the dinner table while my mom refereed. But he came to abhor the race-baiting and the gay-baiting. You’ll recall that the 2004 election featured a robust call for the Defense of Marriage Act, which helped propel evangelicals to the polls. I doubt my dad even knew an “out” gay man or woman, but he was always a fair-minded guy and he thought it was terrible to demonize homosexuals. A child of conservative Kentuckians, he lamented the racial divide and unlike some of my beloved uncles, the N word never passed his lips in my presence.

    He was drafted while an engineering student at the University of Arkansas and never did earn his degree in anything, but he was a voracious reader and a clear thinker. It’s people like him and my mom, who wasn’t as deep into nuance but still believed in common sense, who are absent in the GOP these days. Nuance. We could use a lot more of it in our politics, but I see no light in the tunnel. Just the onrush of more hyperbole, more polemics, more name calling.

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  12. Icarus said on December 4, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Scalzi nailed it

    “if a series of microstrokes robbed me of all sense and sensibility, because at this stage in the GOP’s evolution that’s the only reason I would vote for a Republican as President).”

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on December 4, 2015 at 10:34 am

    You spend decades telling people government is the problem and politicians are not to be trusted, and you’ll get candidates who know nothing about government and refuse to work with other politicians.

    When Hillary wins, look for eight more years of whining and victimhood.

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  14. Charlotte said on December 4, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Lindsay Graham lost his damn mind and talked actual sense to his GOP counterparts the other day:

    Today, I’m baking cookies for my IT engineers in North Carolina, who built me a not-perfect-but-SO-MUCH-BETTER tool I use every day. And starting to put together my Christmas boxes for people. I make and send food these days. We all have enough stuff, but everyone likes a little cookie, some smoked trout pate, and jam.

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  15. susan said on December 4, 2015 at 10:39 am

    We all have enough stuff, but everyone likes a little cookie, some smoked trout pate, and jam.

    Yes we do! Yummmmmmmm…. Would you like my address?

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  16. Deborah said on December 4, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Charlotte, do you make the smoked trout pate? If so, please let us know your recipe.

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  17. Dorothy said on December 4, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Happy birthday Kirk!! And to my oldest brother, Greg, who is 67 today.

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  18. Icarus said on December 4, 2015 at 10:55 am

    “We all have enough stuff, but everyone likes a little cookie, some smoked trout pate, and jam.”

    ditto. I’d even pay if the price is reasonable.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on December 4, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Jeff Borden, your folks sound so much like mine: staunchly Republican but very liberal on most social issues, especially abortion and women’s rights. Mom is still trying to figure out what happened to her party, and very confused about how to vote.

    This week has ground me up and spit me out, but I survived. Here’s to a better one next week, and happy thoughts for Kirk’s birthday.

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  20. susan said on December 4, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Here’s a great Onion piece:

    GunTV, a 24-hour sales channel, launching in the desert

    …[snip]… “The Coachella Valley will soon be home to a 24-hour firearm shopping channel, which will start filming in a Thousand Palms television studio in about two months.

    “GunTV, which also uses the name “GTV Live Shopping,” is set to launch in January with six hours of daily programming – mostly shopping, starting at 1 a.m. The channel expects to expand to a 24/7 lineup its first year….[snip]”

    And the last paragraph:

    “A GunTV media kit, available online for potential advertisers, describes the network as similar to iTunes – but for guns.”

    Actually, uh, no, no, it’s not.

    Unless that paper got punked. Which might be the case. But I bet not. Amurkkka! Ain’t it Great!

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  21. Kirk said on December 4, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Thank you for the kind birthday wishes. My wife took me out for a glorious dinner last night. I enjoyed roasted antelope, quail stuffed with veal and pistachios, and a very nice Cab Franc, among other things.

    My age is a Beatles song.

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  22. brian stouder said on December 4, 2015 at 11:25 am

    you’re 10 years ahead of me (my age was apparently part of the name of a comedy police show, with Fredd Gwynne, the year I was born)

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  23. john not mccain said on December 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    “When Hillary wins, look for eight more years of whining and victimhood.”

    That’ll be a lot more fun than having to hide a couple of Muslim families in my attic.

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  24. wendy (not the dog) said on December 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm


    There’s a hold-up in the Bronx,
    Brooklyn’s broken out in fights,
    There’s a traffic jam in Harlem that’s backed up to Jackson Heights.
    There’s a Scout troop short a child,
    Khrushchev’s due at Idlewild,
    Car 54 where are you?

    It was simpler time.

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  25. brian stouder said on December 4, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Wendy, I was taken by the line “Khrushchev’s due at Idlewild”

    I’m past half-way through Richard Reeves’ somewhat uneven book about JFK, and I’ve gotta say, I don’t envy my 1961-era news-consuming parents (et al); those were scary times, indeed.

    The Bay of Pigs fiasco only added push to our machinations in Laos and Vietnam, and then the Berlin crisis almost sent the world into an atomic-bomb abyss…and then the Cuban missile crisis!!! – all the while the (scarey-young) president frets about midterm elections as 1962 continues to hurtle by (Senator Capeheart of Indiana gets mentioned a time or two, by the frustrated president), and the Civil Rights movement gets pounded and fire-bombed in the streets of America, and at our “institutions of higher learning”…
    as my kids will attest, I’m always saying “this is nothing new”

    ….honestly – I wouldn’t trade 2015 for 1961

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  26. alex said on December 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I kind of like Republican whining and victimhood, but I’m not sure how much more I can take of freaked-out people living in Fox-based alternate reality as if they were on a permanent bad acid trip.

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  27. wendy (not the dog) said on December 4, 2015 at 12:32 pm


    I think my earliest realization that there was a world outside my own, that mattered, was the Cuban missile crisis. School had extra practices of huddling in the hallways, so we would be safe if an atom bomb was dropped.

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  28. Jakash said on December 4, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Well played @ 7, Deborah! That would tend to indicate that she never fucked anybody, then, since she never even really made it to the middle…

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  29. Sue said on December 4, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Well that was a pretty stupid thing to have a kid do. Everyone knows you hide under your desk.

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  30. MichaelG said on December 4, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Didn’t see “The Wiz”. I was watching “Top Chef”. Padma’s still a goddess at 45. And I did catch the end of the Lions/Packers game. First Hail Mary I’ve ever liked, I think. I’ve hated them ever since Billy ‘Whiteshoes’ Johnson and the Falcons stole a game from the 49ers a thousand years or so ago.

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  31. Suzanne said on December 4, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Alex @26-I am with you! Although, I noticed at Thanksgiving, the usual culprits on both sides of the family seemed fairly subdued. Maybe they’re even tiring of hearing their own blather?

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  32. Deborah said on December 4, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    The mention of Krushchev reminded me that when I was working on the World Food Prize project before I retired, I had to find an artist who would depict Krushchevs visit to Iowa. The director of the organization thought that was an important event in Agriculture in Iowa (the World Food Prize is in Des Moines and there is a room dedicated to Iowa food production). I had to sift through a bunch of photos of Krushchev holding ears of corn and observing hogs. I will never get that out of my mind whenever I hear that name.

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  33. wendy (not the dog) said on December 4, 2015 at 1:10 pm


    New York City. Our teachers were probably too sophisticated to be taken in by that under-the-desk nonsense. Good, sturdy walls for us.

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  34. Jakash said on December 4, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Well, thanks a lot, Brian and Wendy (ntd). If the last hour is any indication, I’ll be having that “Car 54” theme song rattling around in my head the rest of the day… ; (

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  35. Sue said on December 4, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Suburban Chicago Catholic. Our nuns were probably taking their cues directly from God. Good, sturdy saints were protecting us.

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  36. Sue said on December 4, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Jackash, if it helps, think of the theme song from the Beverly Hillbillies.
    Or Gilligan’s Island, maybe?
    Brady Bunch?
    You’re welcome.

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  37. alex said on December 4, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Sue, that calls to mind Our Lady of Angels in 1958.

    In my grade school we did the drills of hunkering under desks and going out into the halls, the former for atomic bombs and the latter for tornadoes.

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  38. Suzanne said on December 4, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    My husband told me the teachers in his (parochial) elementary school used the Queen of Angels fire as an example of why you should listen to your teachers in case of an emergency. He said they were always told that kids died because they didn’t do what they were instructed to do. Except that in reality, most of the kids did exactly what their teachers told them to do, which was to stay in their seats.

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  39. Dave said on December 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Happy birthday, Kirk. When I turned that age, I realized that when that song was first released as part of Sgt. Pepper, I was a mere child of 17. That other age seemed an eternity away and then, here it is.

    Brian, I sort of remember those 1961 events, being a 11 year old and a newspaper reader and sometimes watching the 15 minute long newscasts. I still remember my dad saying that Castro would be shot by someone within six months, so much for his projections.

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  40. Sue said on December 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    By the time I was in grade school they were no longer using OLA as an object lesson, thank goodness. I do know someone who’s had survivor issues, she moved to the burbs shortly before the fire and would have been at the school that day. All those years ago, and still carrying the burden…
    I didn’t know about the supposed firebug kid until a couple of years ago. Since then I’ve wondered how his life turned out.

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  41. Charlotte said on December 4, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Let’s see — the smoked trout (or salmon, or whitefish, or even sardines) pate — I think it’s a mashup of a Dorie Greenspan recipe and a David Leibowitz recipe — but a couple of quick google searches aren’t tossing up the exact one. I make it with trout because we get this lovely trout in our local market that someone over in Idaho smokes — local enough for me. It’s essentially equal parts cream cheese and butter, finely chopped shallots, salt-packed capers that have been soaked and squeezed out and chopped up, and a little parsley? Lots of lemon juice. A splash of vermouth? Mush it all up with a fork with the flaked fish until it’s a nice spread and so the cream cheese and butter no longer have separate lumps — taste for salt and pepper. So so simple. I sort of wing it on the amounts? Sorry not to be more precise, but this is one of those things I found somewhere and now just make up as I go along. I pack it in half-pint wide mouthed jars for Christmas boxes. I also do an artichoke spread people love that’s dead easy — in the Cuisinart — canned artichoke hearts (the ones in water, not in marinade), garlic, lots of parsley, scallions, olive oil, lemon juice. Zhuzh up until it’s still a tiny bit chunky. A jar of each of those, some cookies or some jam or whatever else fits into a Medium sized USPS Priority Mail box, and Christmas is done … Ho Ho Ho!

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  42. Jolene said on December 4, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Back to Nancy’s intro re the loathesomeness of Ted Cruz: Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart’s replacement, focused on him in last night’s show. Worth checking out, except for the interview with Idris Elba at the end of the show, which is noteworthy only for the gorgeousness of Idris Elba.

    The show has tape of Cruz filming campaign commercials and has made it available to viewers to edit in whatever ways they like. It’ll be fascinating to see what they come up with.

    Cruz is not only a horrible person politically and interpersonally, he’s also creepy looking. I’m hoping that he’ll be defeated and disappear forever, but, given his overweening ambition, that’s a bit much to hope for.

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  43. brian stouder said on December 4, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Is this the face that launched a thousand bullets?

    I guess I’d still lean this way –

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  44. Heather said on December 4, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Speaking of Cruz, Gawker dug this up. I lasted about 45 seconds.

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  45. Jolene said on December 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I dunno about the woman’s picture, Brian, but the man’s picture is the wrong guy. It’s the brother of the shooter, not the shooter himself.


    They are both named Syed Farook, but have different middle names. The shooter is Syed Rizwan Farook; the brother is Syed Raheel Farook. In the family, they are referred to by middle names. Anyone know if this is how Pakistani names typically work?

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  46. Charlotte said on December 4, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Trevor Noah is awful — and why? WHY IS IDRIS ELBA NOT JAMES BOND ALREADY?!?

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  47. susan said on December 4, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    The NYDaily News does it again.

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  48. Dexter said on December 4, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Happy Birthday…with each passing year we look more like this guy
    than a fresh faced rookie.

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  49. Dexter said on December 4, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    (last msg.#48 was for Kirk, of course, and the old ballplayer in the linked photo is Hall of Fame catcher Ernie Lombardi)

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  50. Sherri said on December 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    “Hey, it’s just a joke for my friends. If you don’t get it, then maybe you have something on your conscience.”

    And a Merry Christmas to you, too, Rep. Corley. May you soon have more time to spend with your lovely family.

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  51. Scout said on December 4, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Happy Birthday, Kirk! Hope you are celebrating in style.

    Today is also my Mom’s birthday, her 77th. We’re going to party it up First Friday style – galleries, dinner and drinks and then some drum circle action.

    Have a great weekend, all.

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  52. coozledad said on December 4, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Tom Scocca nails it:

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  53. coozledad said on December 4, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Gotta keep watering that tree of liberty:

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  54. MichaelG said on December 4, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Happy Birthday, Kirk!

    I commend your attention to FDChief who is a reader and sometime commentator here at nn.c. Read down through several posts. I think he has a good grasp on things.

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  55. Deborah said on December 4, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Happy birthday Kirk. 64 is a piece of cake and 65 is even better!

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  56. Suzanne said on December 4, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    For you Fort Wayners, just saw this online:
    I guess he’s leaving the News-Sentinel for friendlier shores.

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  57. MarkH said on December 5, 2015 at 3:25 am

    Happy Birthday, Kirk! Didn’t know we were just a week apart. I join the Beatles Brigade next Friday (then my wife does the following Monday).

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  58. alex said on December 5, 2015 at 8:39 am

    What a blessing indeed, Suzanne. Leininger’s trademark bigotry dressed up in sophistry has gotten pretty tiresome. He’s ready for new challenges and he has his work cut out for him. It will be quite a feat of cleverness if he manages to interject scurrilous content into the corporate communications of a seminary.

    The News-Sentinel doesn’t stand a chance of redemption, though, until it puts its other two angry old farts with bylines out to pasture. Leo Morris is losing his touch at spinning out facile libertarian diatribes and Kerry Hubartt, who has become enamored with Ted Cruz, is now earnestly pushing Biblical creationism. Just when you think that paper can’t possibly hit a new low, they never fail to surprise.

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  59. Deborah said on December 5, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I tried to watch the Wiz Live last night (not really live obviously). I couldn’t sit through it. It didn’t help that I got a phone call after the first couple of minutes of watching. When I went back to it later, I just couldn’t get into it. Honestly I found it lame. I wanted to stick with it until Queen Latifah came on but I just couldn’t.

    The phone call I got was from my husband. He has been invited to go to London with his uncle next week. His uncle is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and is trying to do all the things he enjoys in life while he is still cognizant. Plus the more he is stimulated the better he seems to be in terms of his ability to communicate. He really enjoys being around my husband, they’ve become quite close. I think it’s fantastic, both for my husband (because his father died a while ago) and his uncle.

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  60. Colleen said on December 5, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I saw the news about Kevin L, and must say I am glad…my blood pressure will go down now. (I know, why do I read his column if it upsets me so…..) I have a friend who refers to him as “gasbag columnist”. As well, another rat off the sinking ship, I presume.

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  61. Sue said on December 5, 2015 at 10:58 am

    By the way, John not McCain, I plan to steal and use your ‘muslims in the attic’ line. A lot.

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  62. beb said on December 5, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    I like this lady’s gall:

    Missouri state Rep. Stacey Newman (D) pre-filed a bill Tuesday that would restrict access to firearms in the same way her state restricts access to abortion.

    Newman’s bill includes a 72-hour waiting period for purchasing guns and watching a 30-minute video on firearms fatalities before purchasing. It also requires the firearms dealer be at least 120 miles from the purchaser’s residence.

    I particularly like the requirement that the gun seller be at least 120 miles from the buyer.

    And Ted Cruz continues to live down to that Frank Bruni editorial:
    …days after deadly shooting! I can only wish Dick Cheney would accidentally shoot him in the face. It couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

    The death of Laquan McDonald has uncovered a cancer on the Chicago Police Department but has also focused light on Chicago’s many other scandals. The New Republic has a long piece on Chicago’s public housing department. .

    Here in Detroit we have an excess of abandoned housing, including in my neighborhood. These are substantial brick building that, unless they are occupied, get broken into and scrapped. I’d like to see a public housing plan that would move people into these empty houses. The hang-up would be finding the owners and seizing the abandoned buildings. We currently have a young man living across the street from us who we suspect is squatting there. We’re happy because for the first time in years that building is closed and secured. If he a squatter I wish we had another dozen like him. We have the buildings: we need occupants.

    Deborah @32: At least Krushchev kept his shirt on, unlike Putin.

    Coolzedad @53: I think this is a terrible tragedy rather than any failure of sensible gun control. When a 2 year old kills his mother be finding her gun and pulling the supposedly too hard for a 2 year old to pull trigger — THAT’S a failure of gun control. But when a man starts losing his mind, he’s the last to know.

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  63. beb said on December 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Only in Detroit (sort of…) could a black man accussed of killing a white woman be arrested alive following a seven hour stand-off.

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  64. susan said on December 5, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    beb @62, re: Rep. Newman’s very sensible bill. She needs to add that the barrel of said firearm be inserted up their asses; and said firearm be wired to a ‘scope and monitor, so the buyer can see his own head up his ass. And to ponder that for 48 hours.

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  65. Sherri said on December 5, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I’m going to give the Lt. Governor of Texas the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s stupid rather than malicious:

    This is a man whose twitter feed is a perfect example of Obama’s characterization of conservatives clinging to “God, guns, & gays”.

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  66. Deborah said on December 5, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    I’m baking bread andf I continue to be perplexed. My bread turns out to be more like cake than bread. The consistency isn’t right and I can’t figure out how to fix it. It tastes good but it doesn’t look right. Could it be the altitude?

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  67. MichaelG said on December 5, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Altitude definitely has an effect on baking. I don’t know exactly how or how much but you should check it out, Deborah. Maybe some of our higher level nn.cers would know.

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  68. Deborah said on December 5, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    For those in the know about bread baking: I’ve tried kneading it more, then I’ve tried kneading it less. I’ve tried letting it rise longer, both times. Nothing seems to work. It doesn’t have bubbles in it, like I said the consistency is more like cake. It seems logical that the altitude would be a factor, it’s 7,200 here in Santa Fe. Does anyone know what I can do to compensate? Charlotte?

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  69. Bill said on December 5, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Deborah. Here are some suggestions:

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  70. BethB from Indiana said on December 5, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    This Betty Crocker website gives adjustments to make for high altitude baking:

    You’ll have to copy and paste the link. Sorry, but I haven’t figured out how to do live links yet, but I’ll learn.

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  71. BethB from Indiana said on December 5, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Wow. The link went “live” on its own. Live and learn.

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  72. Jolene said on December 5, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Here’s something on high-altitude baking from the New Mexico State Extension Service. If you’re not satisfied that you know what to do after reviewing the info at these links, perhaps you could give them a call on Monday.

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  73. Little Bird said on December 5, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    It was damn fine cake bread! Herbes de Provence and walnuts! We had it with wine butter, and steak and salad. And it was less cakey than previous attempts.

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  74. Dexter said on December 6, 2015 at 1:45 am

    Toody and Muldoon rode in Car 54, getting backed up in Jackson Heights and all that in that unforgettable theme song. One snippet I recall was that Muldoon (Fred Gwynne) carried a palm-size transistor radio in the car to listen to Yankee broadcasts…I wondered why he simply didn’t turn on the car radio. Mysteries.
    No one suspected than in a few short months Idlewild was to become JFK International Airport.
    When my pal Greg from Connecticut via NYC (he was born in that same Jackson Heights in 1948) flew Aeroflot to Moscow a couple summers ago for a weightlifting event (he’s a national Olympic qualifier referee) he took time for much sight-seeing, and he came upon Nikita Khrushchev’s grave…no guards, no one around, there lay the scariest man in the world to most Americans for years, but now serenely buried with a bust of his head projecting out to the world.
    It took decades, but I finally memorized the spelling of his name…I used to always leave out the first “h”. It is kHrushchev. 🙂
    And the clod-kickers beat out the corn kigs last night for the final spot in the college football 4-team tournament. Translated that means Michigan State Sparties beat Iowa Hawkeyes. The game was dull as dishwater until the end when it turned into a nail-biter. I mostly was watching the Red Wings take on Nashville, whom they beat in overtime.
    And since the Ohio Lottery game called “Rolling Cash Five” jackpot was 446Gs, I drove through and bought an auto-pick for a buck. Damn nearly won…but.., missed the first two numbers by one each, then I hit the last three so I won $10. So easy to come close, hard as hell to win a jackpot.

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  75. basset said on December 6, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Having an interesting morning. Traded my iPhone 5c in for a 6, which won’t sync with my iTunes because the version is too old, which won’t update because I’m on system 10.6. Doing a backup right now in preparation for an update to 10.8, which I am pretty nervous about. May just take the phone back.

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  76. alex said on December 6, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Basset, I bought a iPhone 6S in September and the people at the store told me not to upgrade to the new operating system yet because there are too damned many bugs in it. So I haven’t. This morning I was informed that I was out of iCloud storage space, so I deleted all of my photos which were hogging up the lion’s share of it. To no effect. I’m still out of storage. But I can upgrade from 5GB to 50GB for only 99 cents per month. However the AppleStore says my credit card on file has expired and it keeps making me log in again and again and again only to tell me that it cannot connect right now. It’s almost making me mad enough to throw the fucking thing out the window.

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  77. basset said on December 6, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Phone salesman was appalled that I never used Siri or the Cloud on my old 5c. This phone situation is actually the excuse I need to get the new iMac I’m probably due for, mine is a 2009… I just don’t want to deal with it right now, or spend the money. Then again, I have bought a camera, a guitar, and a deer rifle in the last few months, a new Mac would mean that I got nearly all my interests refreshed in 2015 and Mrs. B. is already looking at new canoes…

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  78. coozledad said on December 6, 2015 at 11:06 am

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  79. alex said on December 6, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Basset, I haven’t used Siri either. When she chimes in unexpectedly, she doesn’t do what I tell her to do anyway, including shutting the fuck up.

    I just blew a king’s ransom on a new gas range and dishwasher. This weekend we’re laying ceramic tile (already paid for but put aside for a while) in preparation for the new appliances. And we still need a new front-loading washer to finish the project, along with new butcher block countertops.

    And it doesn’t stop there. Our living room carpet that butts up to the tile floor is shot and needs to be replaced with a new covering, and I’d like to do something other than the dirt magnet that is carpeting.

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  80. beb said on December 6, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Basset: whatever happened to the “It just works” days. Now it sounds upgrading Apple computers is complicated as upgrading a DOS-era PC…

    Deborah: 7200 ft?!! I never knew Santa Fe was so high.

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  81. brian stouder said on December 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Alex, we love-love-love our hard-wood flooring. Rugs here and there (in front of the sink, and at the entrance ways) plus one in the middle of the living room fill the bill.

    I will say that one notices dust much more quickly on hard-wood, and having three young folks plus a kitty and two adults WILL produce dust and hair….and the thought quickly occurred to me that all that stuff would always have been there in any case

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  82. David C. said on December 6, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Nice video Cooz. Any doubts you could wrap some Jesus quotes in a Communist Manifesto cover and have similar fun?

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  83. coozledad said on December 6, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    My political theory teacher, William F. Troutman, used to tell us students that Marx thought Catholicism was HIS idea.

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  84. alex said on December 6, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Brian, it’s true — what you’re seeing is what would have been trapped, and that’s only a short time’s worth. I almost retch when I think about one piece of carpet we took up and the amount of filth that was under it and had even worked its way through the padding. No wonder kitties like peeing on carpet. They know it’s a sandbox underneath.

    I think we’re likely to go with a floating laminate of some kind.

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  85. basset said on December 6, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    not even trying to upgrade to the newest version, just one new enough to accept current itunes. 10.8 and I think the newest is 10.11 now.

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  86. Deborah said on December 6, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    We have ancient carpeting in Chicago except for the entryway, kitchen and bathrooms. We always meant to tear it out and replace with hardwood, but we put that off because we wanted to tear out walls too. Now we’re going to downsize to a one bedroom so it will never happen. In Santa Fe we have tile floors with some area rugs here and there. I much prefer the tile to full carpeting. Sweeping is one of my favorite pastimes. I didn’t know that until we got this place in SF. Our building project in Abiquiu will have a concrete floor on the main floor and a plywood floor on the sleeping loft. I expect I will be getting my fill of sweeping there, what with all of the blowing dust.

    I have to say I am really, really loving the Marilynne Robinson book I’m reading now, I have to stop and cry every few pages but I guess I needed that, or something.

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  87. Jolene said on December 6, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Which book is it, Deborah?

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  88. Deborah said on December 6, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Jolene, It’s “Lila”, I ordered “Gilead” from the local bookstore but they haven’t called me that it’s in yet. I’m not exactly sure what it is about this book but it just gets to me at the very pit of my being. Somehow, I just feel like I know those people, the characters. My roots are in Iowa, so maybe that’s it, she has captured the essence of what that means. I’m going to have to do some reading up about it to understand it better.

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  89. Julie Robinson said on December 6, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Hubby constantly had those sort of problems on his iphone. My Android has a 64 gb card for music and photos, automatically backed up to the google cloud. Don’t have to deal with itunes or the rest, and I’m very pleased.

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  90. Sherri said on December 6, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Itunes was a horrible kludgy piece of software in version one, and it’s only gotten worse. Apple is a hardware company; their software doesn’t always keep pace with the beauty of their hardware.

    I never use Siri. I like for my computers to shut up and do what I tell them to do. Quietly. In the dark ages, the first thing I used to do with a new PC is to open the box and disconnect the little speaker so the damn thing couldn’t beep at me. I have Siri turned off completely.

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  91. coozledad said on December 6, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    I don’t understand why Americans aren’t cheering and hugging because they have the best president they could have in the light of the incredible failures of the Republican hegemony. He’s not going to send your babies to die. Outside of West Virginia, this is seen as a positive.

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  92. Dave said on December 6, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    I’ve always updated my phone and never had a problem. I pay the stupid .99 a month to Apple, too, but recently it took a notion that my credit card had changed and kept notifying me that I needed to update my information. I was suspicious but learned by logging into my Apple account that it was a legitimate e-mail and message. What I haven’t succeeded in doing is adding my wife’s phone to the cloud storage and I don’t know why I haven’t been able to do this.

    I don’t do ITunes, except the radio, occasionally, and I’ve done Siri only a handful of times.

    My wife tells me she wants her own computer, she’s had a Ipad a few years but she thinks a computer would be better. I’m sure it’ll be a Mac-something.

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  93. brian stouder said on December 6, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Cooze, hereabouts, we all watched the speech, and it was well-received.

    The squawkers will squawk regardless, but if our terrorist threat is reduced to Uber-style internet losers who claim whatever cause, and then do their insane attacks, then we’re ahead. Uber-style free agents aren’t going to pull-off spectacularly complex and murderous assaults on us (as Sammy and AQ did); they can only manage body counts comparable to one of our school-shooters, or movie-house shooters, or Santa Clause-looking abortion-clinic shooters.

    The president went pretty directly after the crazy-talk coming from the likes of Trump or Cruz, wherein we might conduct “carpet bombing” on civilians on the other side of the world (talk about your ‘American Exceptionalism’ run amok!).

    The Trump doctrine would seem to dictate that we should have flattened Timothy McVeigh’s New York state hometown; and his Michigan co-conspirator’s hometown should have been “carpet-bombed” back into the stone-age, right?

    Afterall, if 14 dead in San Bernardino is worth “making the sand glow” in the middleast, then blowing up a United States federal building and killing 150+ citizens and government employees should have cost Michigan very dearly, right?

    By way of saying, I always, always, always will bet on the good guys; and jokers like Trump and Cruz want to live in a world where “the good guys” should always indiscriminately slaughter more innocent people than the bad guys can…to which I would say “pass”

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