No going back.

Oh, so much sad in the news today. That’s to be expected after the last couple of weeks. Anger certainly isn’t doing any good. There’s much to sort through in the weekend’s news, so let’s get to a couple of gems, which you may have already seen, but just in case you haven’t? These are can’t-miss stories.

Both, not coincidentally, are by the same writer — Eli Saslow of the WashPost.

The first is from last Friday. I posted it on my social media, with a note about how important detail is crafting a story like this, known in the trade as a tick-tock. But if you don’t care about that, the piece is still a gripping, horrifying read, from the point of view of the people in the room when Syed Farook entered with his wife, their shared grudges and a lot of weaponry.

The other is about what happens after – because one reason Saslow can write a post-mass shooting story so well is because he has experience in it. This one is longer, and even more heartbreaking, concentrating on a 16-year-old who was seriously wounded by the Oregon community-college shooter, whose name I can’t even remember now (and who, interestingly, is never named in the story). It’s a grim reminder that while the yapping morons in Washington and elsewhere yap yap yap and ride ride ride their hobbyhorses, this is what they’re not talking about — the scores of survivors of these attacks, who must live the rest of their lives with their scars and memories.

And the rest of us? Well, this passage stung:

This, she was realizing more and more, was the role of a survivor in a mass shooting: to be okay, to get better, to exemplify resilience for a country always rushing to heal and continue on. There had been a public vigil during her surgery, a news conference when she was upgraded from critical to stable and then a small celebration when she was sent home after two weeks with handmade card signed by the hospital staff. “Strong and Moving On,” it had read.

By then, the college had reopened. What remained of her Writing 115 class had been moved across campus to an airy art building with windows that looked out on Douglas firs. They were forging ahead and coming back stronger, always stronger. That’s what the college dean had said.

Except inside the rental, where every day was just like the one before: Awake again in the recliner. Asleep again in the recliner. Cheyeanne dressed in the same baggy pajamas that hung loose and away from her wounds. She was wrapped in an abdominal binder that helped hold her major organs in place. Her hair was greasy because her injuries made it painful to take a bath. Five medications sat on the coffee table, next to a bucket she reached for when those medicines made her throw up. She couldn’t go back to school, or play her guitar, or drive her truck, or hold a long conversation without losing her breath, so she mostly sat in silence and thought about the same seven minutes everyone else was so purposefully moving past. The shooter was standing over her. The hollow-point bullet was burning through her upper back.

She wanted to talk about it. She needed to tell someone who knew her — someone other than a psychologist — what she’d been thinking ever since that day: “I just lied there. I didn’t save anybody. I couldn’t even get up off the ground.” But what everyone else around her seemed to want was for the shooting to be over and for her to be better, so they came to urge her along at all hours of the day and night.

In came the assistant district attorney with a bouquet of flowers and a check for $7,200 in victim restitution. “On to better days,” he said.

In came her best friend, Savannah, with a special anti-stress coloring book. “For your nightmares,” she said.

In came Bonnie, always Bonnie, rushing between the kitchen and the living room, her eyes bloodshot from sleep deprivation and hands shaking from a heart condition. “Think positive. Think positive,” she said, because a therapist had suggested that as a mantra.

It stung because “be strong” is the sort of thing I would say, and obviously it’s so, so wrong, like telling the recently bereaved that God needed another angel in heaven, or whatever.

It was a real eye-opener. Don’t miss it.

As always, on a Monday: How was your weekend? Ours, mixed. It started Friday afternoon with a funeral, ended with a lovely Sunday spent fetching the Christmas tree. In between was Noel Night, an outdoor festival in Midtown, which was chilly but festive and featured a nice dinner. The chill made this steam vent near the orchestra hall that much steamier:


Detroit is always smokin’, one way or another.

Last in our Sad File today is this sad-but-wonderful piece by Tim Kiska, a local journalist and professor I know a little. Basset brought it to my attention Friday, and if you’re at all interested in urban history at the granular level, it’s absolutely worth your time. It’s about Detroit, but like so many similar stories, it’s really about every American city, one way or another. Kiska goes back to the block where he was raised and tells the story of how it, and the city, changed over time. You don’t have to love Detroit to enjoy the story.

So OK, then. Let’s end on an up note.

Someone posted John Scalzi’s examination of the GOP slate in comments last week, and I’ll repost it here, because it’s funny. I get out of the habit of reading Scalzi when he dedicates day after day to sci-fi fiction stuff, but I should get back into it.

Finally, it’s been years since I laughed through a SNL sketch beginning to end, and so this may constitute a miracle. It’s pretty damn funny.

And so Monday unfolds before us, herald to the week ahead.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Popculch |

59 responses to “No going back.”

  1. Jerry said on December 7, 2015 at 3:13 am

    On Saturday we went to a matinee of The Mikado at the Colisseum. We’d bought secret seats – twenty pounds and you don’t know what seats you’ll have only that they will cost at least thirty pounds. We ended up in the fifth row of the stalls. Marvellous seats and a most enjoyable show. The only downer was that the trains into London were messed up and we ended having to finish our journey by taxi. After a meal we crossed town to Clapham where one of our sons was holding his annual pre-Christmas drinks party. We stayed long enough to be noticed and talk to some of his friends and left to a perfect set of trains. The tube arrived after a minutes wait and then the mainline train arrived as we walked onto the platform. A good day.

    A great Washington Post piece about the survivor. I suspect one of the services we can offer those who are suffering is the chance to talk through their pain. But it is so much easier to be bright and positive and just encourage them to move on. On Staurday at the party I found myself talking briefly about the death of my brother last year and found it somehow comforting.

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  2. alex said on December 7, 2015 at 6:39 am

    I read the Scalzi piece last week, and in addition to it being funny I also found it comforting. It doesn’t really matter who the Republicans nominate out of that field, heralded by true believers as the best GOP bench ever. This is a country that just elected Barack Obama twice and it’s going to be even younger and browner when Hillary’s inaugurated in 2016.

    I’m with Scalzi. If I were a Republican who wanted to save face, Kasich would likely be my pick too.

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  3. alex said on December 7, 2015 at 6:39 am


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  4. ROGirl said on December 7, 2015 at 6:46 am

    I can’t imagine what it’s like to be shot, let alone be a victim of a mass shooting, but I know what it’s like to not be able to talk about painful experiences or negative thoughts. I have experienced depression for much of my adult life, and due to things that happened over the past year or so (lost a so-called good job, struggled to find another), it came back to the surface with a vengeance. Therapists help, but you have to find the right one. It’s a struggle to deal with the pain and try to move forward. It takes time. Most people are uncomfortable hearing about this stuff, so you learn to hold it in and act like nothing is wrong, and eventually it may start to get a little better. That’s what being strong means.

    The good news is that I am starting a new job today, so the needle has started moving in the right direction for me.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Nancy, you weren’t the only one who laughed through that whole skit. (Watch the video.)

    I preached a sermon Sunday that would probably impress anyone here as utterly beside the point, but it was interesting going out to lunch with a dozen or so of our folk after, and hearing the nervous conversation about even contemplating symbolically or partially not seeing our current situation as being all about needed more armaments. This is a place where much of the table conversation was also punctuated by smartphones being passed around to show each other photos of two things: grandbabies, and ten- or twelve-point bucks taken by children or older grandchildren. It’s probably the most heavily armed congregation I’ve ever pastored, but also the most actively service oriented. Makes for an interesting challenge . . . and I’d guess, though I don’t know for sure, that on any given Sunday main service, I’m preaching in front of at least three, maybe more like half-dozen (at least) concealed carry holders. If we have an active shooter in our sanctuary, I’m going to be a worried about getting hit by friendly fire as I will be the armed entrant.

    And then, during the women’s fellowship Christmas tea that I came back for at 3 pm, I get flagged down towards the end by a lady in the back of the hall — she’s called me over because a fellow, not homeless, but who drinks up his SSI check pretty quickly most months, has entered the building. He’s gotten more and more aggressive over the last few months, and it’s gotten to the point where I had to tell Archie he was banned from the building except for Sunday mornings for services. He walks into women’s restrooms, and backs women into corners while trying to cadge cash from them. He refuses rides or services, he just wants cash, and has gotten more and more aggressive and unpleasant about his approach.

    My concern is that he used to dash out the moment he saw me or any other male approach; now, we have to pick up or get out a phone and actually call 9-1-1 to get him to leave . . . and the city police say that the only way they can take steps is if we serve him papers notifying him of having been banned from the property (I don’t know his address, and we don’t want to “serve him papers”), AND we have to call the police while he’s in the building but doesn’t know we did it, so they can catch him inside and then we file a complain . . . otherwise, they can’t do a thing. I noted, for the 9-1-1 staff and the police dispatcher: okay, but can I remind you again, he’s getting more and more aggressive, and no, he hasn’t touched anyone yet, but he’s getting closer, and harder to get out without a scene?

    If it’s me alone and he comes and gets in, I can try talking to him, but we go in circles. And if I’m not clear and firm with him, he’s a threat to women working here alone or isolated in our large-ish physical plant. So I have to be “that guy.” And if he ever stumbles across a gun . . . ah well. Easy answers are out of stock, and back-ordered.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on December 7, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Wow, Jefftmmo, you really make me anxious to get to my job at a downtown, socially active church with a large-ish physical plant, where I work in an isolated basement. Thanks, brother!

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  7. beb said on December 7, 2015 at 8:27 am

    This is why “thoughts and prayers” was so roundly mocked this time. It means nothing and carries the context of “sorry, but we’re not going to do anything about it.”

    The idea of finding one Republican candidate who is less repulsive than the others is a fool’s game. Kaisch shows the occasional signs of moderation but he’s a Christianist anti-abortionist, welfare-cutting piece o’ scum the rest of the time. There is, in fact, no difference between any of the candidates – they all hate abortion, immigrants, taxes on the rich, climate change, any federal regulations on anything. And if they didn’t they would be scalped by the tea party.

    And, Jeff, In My Arrogant Opinion, ban the guy from church property. You make it clear that he’s become a threat. Christian love not withstanding, think of your community and protect them.

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  8. Connie said on December 7, 2015 at 8:32 am

    I read the story yesterday about the girl shot at the Oregon community college. My impression is that here is a family that badly needs help and support, financial and otherwise, and they aren’t getting much. I bet there are lots of prayers though.

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2015 at 8:46 am

    And if I get a legal letter drawn up, and find Archie’s home address, and send it to him certified mail, he’s gonna sign it? I can’t get parents of truant children to sign certified mail, why would he?

    Even if I did those two things successfully, I’m not sure about this whole “trick him into *staying* inside until police get there.” In other words, we’re on our own. Hence more locks, more door-watch assignments, and less access to both Julie’s and my church basements.

    I will add that one key is to take cash out of the equation. You have to teach and tell and reafffirm across your church/congregation/organization that handing people a $5 or a $20 is almost NEVER helping. We give rides we probably shouldn’t, buy groceries, pay utilities (directly), fill tanks, even have facilitated giving a car and a van in the last year: but everyone here knows I’ve been resolute — not one dollar in cash. In no small part, because once you do that, the word spreads: “hey, there’s people there’ll give ya cash.” And you get a very particular demographic. We work with you and talk to you and help you as much as we can, but we don’t give you cash.

    Unfortunately, at lots of churches, handing a person cash means you can get the person to go away, now. So they keep doing it; I think there’s no better way to not only create unhealthy relationships, but to endanger that individual who came by the church to run a quick errand and then encounters a cash-seeking Archie, than by letting folks give cash.

    Sorry, but I’m a real hard-nose on this one, out of experience.

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  10. Jolene said on December 7, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I had that thought, too, Connie. The person who evoked the most sympathy from me was not the girl who’d been shot, but the mother who was trying to hold it together in the face of her daughter’s suffering and some pretty unpleasant behavior that might, charitably, be seen to glow from those injuries.

    More generally, my heart has been breaking for all these lost people and those they left behind, whether injured or not. After the Paris shootings, there were all these pictures of attractive, sophisticated people between, say, 20 and 45 evoking a tremendous sense of lost potential.

    And the Post did, I thought, a tremendous job of telling us about the people lost in San Bernardino. They were from everywhere, making their way in a scruffy corner of America. So much struggle had already gone into some of those lives, and, now, the people on whose behalf they struggled must go on without them.

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  11. coozledad said on December 7, 2015 at 9:06 am

    I hope your new job is good to you, ROGirl.

    One thing we might do to get Republicans to shift on gun control is allow every victim upwards of twenty or so million dollars. Each victim and their family will receive a death windfall from the gun manufacturers and the state where the shooting took place. The dealer who sold the guns will be shut down and forced to relocate. An insurance pool for gun owners collected from a national annual fee of twenty thousand dollars per gun should cover the victims until the states can figure out what to rip out of their budgets to pay for these atrocities. Uninsured gun? Five years jail.

    Because the only thing that gets a Republican’s attention is money. It is his God.

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  12. coozledad said on December 7, 2015 at 9:14 am

    The whole family is scum:

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  13. Alan Stamm said on December 7, 2015 at 10:09 am

    You’re in fine company by flagging Eli Saslow’s latest journalistic tour de force.

    New York Times national correspondent Maggie Haberman (@MaggieNYT) graciously tweets a link and calls it “a remarkably reported and written piece.”

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  14. brian stouder said on December 7, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I suppose the Supremes turning away the gun-nut appeal of local laws restricting assault weapons is what passes as ‘good news’ – if not exactly progress; at least holding the line.

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  15. brian stouder said on December 7, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Cooz at 12 – hah!

    Maybe we should refer to Dog-catcher Pee as “Road Apple”, since that’s where he seems to want to be

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  16. nancy said on December 7, 2015 at 10:26 am

    I had the exact same thought about the survivor and her family, Connie — they need a LOT more help, and they’re not getting it. If there’s anything this fucked-up situation should demand, it’s that. Lavish support for an indefinite recovery period, period.

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  17. Connie said on December 7, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Jeff(tmmo), In Elkhart, we could “trespass” someone from the library by making a verbal order to the person in the presence of a police office. From that point on we can call the police if that person trespasses into the building. I assume the police office present made some kind of report so there was a record.

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2015 at 11:10 am

    They used to do that here; I should ask the prosecutor why we don’t anymore. Thanks for the idea, Connie. Of course, the question is: would getting him sent to lock-up help him? No. He won’t get counseling or treatment there, and he’s been dry for 90 days or so on his own (self-reported, but I think truthfully). Something’s getting worse, but he’s a poster child for why just allowing faster committal for MH reasons isn’t going to help much.

    And for that poor family in Oregon: with all due respect to the victim, the mom needs a regular counselor, too, maybe even more at this particular point, to help her cope. That line in the story — “I have to go,” she said, and the receptionist handed her a number for a psychologist, in case she wanted to call — but you know Bonnie won’t call. You have to be in a position to walk alongside Bonnie enough to get to where you can offer to call with her, take her to the first (and maybe second appointment), and check in with her just on whether she’s going. Two kids not-completing school, Cheyeanne leaving and GEDing, that’s not a family that handles follow-through well. If I just drop a pile of papers on a mom with a truant kid, and say “it’s on you, ma’am,” I might as well start the paperwork for charges that afternoon. You know she won’t finish them and take them back in, that’s how we got here.

    The weakest point in that network I noticed was that an ADA came with the victim support check. Five gets you twenty there’s no victim advocate office in that county; we have a municipal & common pleas court victim’s advocate each here, and we should have four (IMNSHO), but they would be the ongoing contact and point person. Drop a check and a phone number and run, and you can count on them not trying to access supportive or counseling services until probably about a week after the timeline for getting them runs out, and then everyone has someone to blame. The key is a face, a person (it’s why the CASA program is so important), and not just a checklist each ADA or prosecutor’s assistant works through.

    If we could integrate psych services with ED/medical intervention more fully, we’d have the chance to make both reinforce the other. The problem in Ohio is that funded psych services tend to be tied to crisis intervention; if it’s more a part of ongoing care, we could keep it all in a wrap-around program, but right now that’s only happening with Medicaid. In our county here, we’re trying to stretch it past where Kasich extended Medicaid, and the main local hospital is on board, but the private non-profit behavioral health firm is resisting (IMCO – in my cautious opinion). But as Medicaid goes to managed care, the NP shops are going to merge or be eaten, and I guess I’ll see if that ends up helping us get to wrap-around.

    Anyhow, that’s why Cheyeanne and Bonnie need; wrap-around services. I bet they qualify for lots they’re not getting, but the process of accessing it (see the picture in the piece with the United Way official, who may be trying to create a wrap for them) and maintaining it is beyond their energy and hopes right now. They need an advocate to walk with them to where it’s within reach.

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  19. coozledad said on December 7, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Our enemies.

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  20. Jolene said on December 7, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    An excellent analysis of President Obama,s speech last night by the always insightful James Fallows.

    And, if you are a Facebook person, you might want to check out the Humans of New York page. Brandon, the proprietor of the page, has been in the Middle East interviewing and photographing some of the Syrian refugees who have been selected for resettlement in the U.S. As you might imagine, they have some amazing stories to tell.

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  21. Icarus said on December 7, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    “Someone posted John Scalzi’s examination of the GOP slate in comments last week, ”

    do I have to change my screen name to “Someone”? Spent the weekend trying to avoid Facebook as my feed is evenly divided between like-minded and way-off-the-reservation people who contradict their own logic on most so-called conservative talking points.

    according to them Free Speech means you can say whatever you want without any repercussions so threatening POTUS is okay if you are a true patriot.

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  22. brian stouder said on December 7, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I gave Uncle Rush his 180 seconds today on the way to lunch, and it appears that he has gone “all-in” on blaming terrorism on the Islamic religion, period.

    He was very worked up over the president’s insistence on drawing distinctions between Islam, writ large, and murderous barbarians and terrorists.

    The world is so simple, you see. You can tell who a terrorist is simply by what religion they claim

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  23. Sherri said on December 7, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    If only we had a model for how to structure such “wrap-around” services that worked…but no, that’s socialized medicine, and that’s automatically bad. Yes, it’s true that socialized medicine isn’t perfect, but somehow I doubt that few people who have experienced both the NHS and our non-system would give up the NHS for our “freedom”, unless they had a lot of money.

    Jeff(tmmo), I’m with you completely on handing out money. I’ll give generously to organizations that provide services, I’ll advocate for people who need services, I’ll do what I can to help, but I won’t hand out cash to panhandlers. It perpetuates a broken system.

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  24. MarkH said on December 7, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Geez. Rough crowd.

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  25. Peter said on December 7, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    RO Girl, best of luck on the new job, and hope it brings you to a better place.

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  26. Deborah said on December 7, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    I spent the day shopping for extended family holiday gifts. We used to give everyone a silver snowflake ornament from Tiffany’s but the cost of those has gone up so much, it’s excessive now. So for the last couple of years we’ve tried to find an ornament for each person that is made locally in Northern New Mexico. I’m pretty sure I’ve found the right thing, a nice silver and turquoise ornament made by a Native American artist from a nearby Pueblo. I’m still looking tomorrow in all of the local museum gift shops to see if there’s anything better. The museums are closed on Monday. Hopefully, I’ll get this done tomorrow and get them sent out by the end of the week.

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  27. Jolene said on December 7, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    The Southwest is great for gifts with a regional twist. When I lived in Arizona, I bought everything from plastic cookie cutters shaped like cactuses to elegant jewelry, with locally made salsa, locally grown pistachios as treats for the fam back home in ND. Lots of fun.

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  28. MichaelG said on December 7, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I’m very pleased that you have a new job ROGirl and hope that you have peace and happiness for the coming new year.

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  29. Dexter said on December 8, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Getting shot is a helluva ordeal. As an army medic in California during the Vietnam war one of my jobs was bringing recovering wounded soldiers to the base from the Navy airfield in Monterey County. These guys had suffered horrible complex wounds and we all knew their lives were going to be a long series of surgeries, hospital long stays and probably bitterness. I remember most of them were very disgusted and down, and just plain mad. In Vietnam I never worked anywhere close to where the wounded were cared for. Now the previous is really a red herring because I just wanted to tell you about Joe, a friend of mine from Detroit, whom I met in an apartment in New York City where a bunch of us were being housed for a political convention in 1980. Joe and some friends had left a coffee shoppe in Detroit one fine afternoon and they were caught in a crossfire between bad guys. Joe took a slug high up in his thigh. Unlike the movies, where someone bandages up a wounded man and all is well, in real life it is complicated. Six weeks post-shooting, Joe still was on two crutches and had to travel with these big gauze pads which caught the drainage, and every six hours the pad needed changed. Joe was not bitter at all about his fate and had great expectations of being totally healed in a couple months. I remember he had to take a few pills regularly for pain and infection prevention. He told me his doc had forbade him from riding in the van to NYC, and Joe said he said “OK” but did not ask if it was OK to fly to New York, and that’s what he did. Months off work, restricted lifestyle, frequent doctor visits, pain, flirting with pain pill addiction…and Joe was indeed a lucky one; he’ll eventually be OK. I hope all that worked out for him back then. I feel fortunate that I was not hit the couple times in Vietnam when we were under small-arms fire attack, and the more than few times our base was shelled by rockets. Maybe I was the fortunate son.

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  30. Sherri said on December 8, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Hockey has the best traditions – the annual Teddy Bear Toss:

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  31. coozledad said on December 8, 2015 at 5:57 am

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  32. David C. said on December 8, 2015 at 6:39 am

    But not doing what your enemy wants you to do is for pussies.

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  33. alex said on December 8, 2015 at 7:28 am

    The word pussy just got a Fox talking head a slap on the wrist, but here’s betting it comes out of Trump’s mouth at the next debate and becomes commonplace on right-wing broadcasts forever after.

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  34. Suzanne said on December 8, 2015 at 7:51 am

    No doubt, Alex. No doubt.

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  35. coozledad said on December 8, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Ralph Peters is between gigs, so that makes him a crusty taint.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 8, 2015 at 10:45 am

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  37. brian stouder said on December 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

    If I was slated to meet the Donald on one of their debates, I’d be practicing my best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, the better to call him a “girly-man” –

    with his ridiculous chest-thumping, and thoughtless, cowardly trashing of the American Declaration of Independence (All men are created equal, except Muslims – and probably Catholics – and who really trusts those pesky Methodists, right?) and Constitution (1st Amendment, for starters).

    And if I was Katy Tur of NBC News, I think I’d sue his ass for slander, not to metion wreckless endangerment. The guy was baiting her, personally, in front of an already-worked-up crowd of chuckleheads.

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  38. Sue said on December 8, 2015 at 11:03 am

    This is such a great song, but unfortunately every time I hear it I remember John Records Landecker’s detailed on-air fake story that somehow in the end linked it to Wauconda, IL. Get it? Wauconda Wild Side. I can’t decide if it ruined or made the song for me.

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  39. Minnie said on December 8, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Men who use the term “pussy” as a slur are dicks.

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  40. Peter said on December 8, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Maybe I’m in a drug induced fog, but did I read that Dick Cheney thinks that Trump’s Keep Out Them Muslims idea is too radical and un-American?

    When Dr. Evil thinks you’re too evil you really need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 8, 2015 at 11:45 am

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  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 8, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Of course, he also thinks there was “no one here” when the Pilgrims landed. Outta my way, Squanto…

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  43. brian stouder said on December 8, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    ‘Course, he means ‘nobody’ as in – he won’t invite ‘nobodies’ to his parties; and no ‘nobodies’ on the campaign plane

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  44. beb said on December 8, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Here’s something uplifting:

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  45. Sherri said on December 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    John Scalzi once again is on point in analyzing Trump and the GOP. Trump isn’t the GOP’s problem, his followers are.

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  46. Scout said on December 8, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Sherri @ 45 – that is indeed an excellent read. I have been dropping it all over Facebook on any thread that mentions Damn Donald. The whole thing is good, and this is the crux of the biscuit, at least for me: “If you’re supporting Trump, you’re supporting a bigot and a fascist. That may or may not make you a bigot or a fascist, but it doesn’t say good things about you in any event.”

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  47. brian stouder said on December 8, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    What Scout said!

    An excellent article, indeed, Sherri

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  48. brian stouder said on December 8, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    …and Beb’s article is good stuff, too.

    I believe Senator Warren has ‘the right stuff’ – and her future is only upward

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  49. Heather said on December 8, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    As an aside, why is “pussy” still such an insult? I’m not the first one to point this out, but pussies are actually really strong and flexible enough to push out a baby, while balls are notoriously delicate.

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  50. Judybusy said on December 8, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    And Heather for the thread win, right there.

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  51. nancy said on December 8, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Gay men will often remind you that “cocksucker” should no longer be used as a synonym for “asshole,” or any other general slur. On the other hand, when we say “Don’t be a dick,” we all know what we’re saying, right?

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  52. brian stouder said on December 8, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I think ‘don’t be a dick’ is just about perfect.

    Those things have their ‘special purpose’ (thinking Steve Martin here, all of a sudden!), and their day jobs (fluid handling, if not hydraulics); but when they are in command of the whole shebang, bad things will happen.

    My go-to synonymous all-purpose term for such people is “chucklehead” (even though I used to like that candy) because it is all-purpose, kid-friendly (when in traffic, and some chucklehead cuts me off, and draws a comment), and not gender-specific

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  53. Jolene said on December 8, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Diane Rehm is retiring , but not until after the election next year.

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  54. beb said on December 8, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Heather, because calling a man a woman is still the harshest insult. Misogyny runs deep in our culture.

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  55. coozledad said on December 8, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    You also have to remember that the racist has to sexualize the body he would destroy. Peters and his coterie are saying they can run over Obama. They are born penetrators, one-eyed men. Fuck marry kill is the part of the arcana of the racist capitalism Fox News pays these people to promote:

    To understand why a slave trader would call himself a one-eyed man, one must view him in the context of a slave-frontier world where white men saw their conquests with other people as as rendering the winner manly and the loser emasculated, enslaved, feminized. The slave trader, as a one-eyed man, wasn’t just raping the women he bought and sold. he was also metaphorically raping his competitors.*

    *Edward Baptist. The Half Has Not Been Told.p.243.

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  56. David C. said on December 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Anyone who says MSNBC and CNN are the lubrul media needs a stern talking to or maybe have some sense shaken into them. Is shaken right wing nut job syndrome a thing?

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  57. Watson said on December 8, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Dan Savage suggested last week that “cocksucker” be replaced as an insult by “Koch brother.”

    “Same number of syllables, same explosive/percussive k sound at the start, same ‘-er’ ending—and our democracy (and our environment) would be a lot better off if there were more cocksuckers out there and fewer Koch brothers.”

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  58. alex said on December 8, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Yay Watson! Yay Heather!

    I liked Scalzi’s remark that Trump represents the manifestation of the GOP’s platonic ideal, and here’s a piece that goes along the same grain:

    I’ll vote for Trump in the primary and Hillary or Bernie in the fall. I’d urge everyone to consider doing so.

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  59. Dexter said on December 8, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    One of the cable entertainment networks ran a special on Trump’s Boeing 757. Wow, what an aircraft. Trump demands perfection and has a pilot who apparently has one job, and that’s making sure everything is spotless and shined, and the mechanics are tip-top shape. It was really a well-done production and I was glued to my chair for the hour.

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