6a00d8341c691053ef00e54f4378988833-800wiRemember Bill Frist?  Senate Majority Leader back when the GOP was busily destroying two or three countries (including this one)? Remember when he wrongly diagnosed Terri Schiavo from a video?  Remember when he fucked over Trent Lott?  Well he’s decided not to fuck over the people of Tennessee – at least not yet:

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) announced Sunday that he will not run for governor of Tennessee in 2010.

“After significant reflection and conversation with loved ones, I have decided to remain a private citizen for the foreseeable future,” Frist said in a statement.

Do you think Frist will still be able to do some damage?  Count on it:

In his announcement, Frist, who is a heart surgeon, said he would continue to engage in politics through his work on healthcare and a new program focusing on education.

“My long-standing efforts both as a doctor and policymaker to improve access to quality, affordable health care throughout our state will carry on,” he said. “I will also launch a statewide, nonpartisan, grassroots education initiative to improve K-12 education in Tennessee late this month.”

Given his track record, this should result in a lot of sick dumb kids gettin’ home-schooled.  Moron.

First Out of 2010 Race [Politico]

He wants to spend more time with Andrew Card’s family.

I love it when these guys say things like “nonpartisan, grassroots” to mean exactly the opposite. Is the GOP from bizarro world?

Wetsuit in the closet. Breaking in 3, 2, 1 . . .

did i miss the conversation on Richardson or have we not covered that yet?

Also … a hahahahahahahahaha! Suck it, Princess!

@Jamie Sommers:

If I know our overlords, they are planning a post as we speak.

In re post title, blogenfreude: I see what you did there.

@chicago bureau: Still trying to get a rise out of poor SFL, huh?

@chicago bureau: I know, I know – wrong blog. I was originally going to title it “God’s Diagnostician”, a little phrase I cooked up back in the day.

TJ: it’s not just the crappy American cars that aren’t selling: “Ford Motor Co. posted a 32% drop in U.S. light-vehicle sales for December while Toyota Motor Co. reported a 37% fall and Honda Motor Co. had a 35% decline, closing out the auto industry’s worst year in more than 15 years.” From the WSJ.

@Jamie Sommers: Here’s the local analysis on Richardson. Guess he’ll have to stick around and deal with our $400 million budget shortfall.


Are all reporters math-challenged? None of them seem to be able to discuss statistics in a coherent way. Sales did not “plunge” 32% in December.” Sales for the month of December were down 32% from sales last December. But the incremental decrease in sales between November and December was small, nothing much to worry about. The scary thing is that the annual sales numbers, the sales for the year 2008, which will be down from 15 million for 2007 to 12 million for 2008, almost all of that 3 million decline was lost in the last 3 months of 2008. The real plunge was stunningly abrupt and took place somewhere in the last week in September and first week in October, and then things stablized. The abruptness gets lost because the losses were split between 2 months for reporting purposes.

DEVELOPING HARD: Mike Quigley’s running for Blago/Rahmbo seat in Congress. He’s a reformer (by Chicago standards, anyway).

Machine entry and three maverick-candidates-who-are-in-no-way-intended-to-dilute-opposition-to-machine-not-at-all-absolutely-not-you-can-prove-nothing to announce in coming days.

@Prommie: A story on NPR this AM said that the November sales rate, if annualized, is less than the yearly rate of scrappage.

@chicago bureau: That special election will be decided before Paterson appoints someone to fill Hillbot’s Senate seat.

@Prommie: Are all reporters math-challenged?. Yes.

Jamie Sommers / Mistress Cynica: Speaking of math-challenged reporting of elections, IT’S A FINAL: Franken wins. Until Coleman files his papers in Court saying that Franken lost. End of the beginning, etc.

@Mistress Cynica: Now I’m having disturbing flashbacks of covering the McMinnville School District budget process.

@Prommie: Yes. Plus lazy and/or ignorant. Update to all the gloating about Mercan cars:

Interesting development in Eire, that much-vaunted, supply-side pleasure-dome… it seems that Waterford Wedgewood has collapsed. Many jobs lost. Dell moving to Poland. Triumph for the free-market. I’d stop with the hyphenating but I can’t. It’s a sickness.

@chicago bureau: Don’t you mean, the beginning of the end?

@Mistress Cynica, prom: It took me about a year to learn to calibrate a piece of equipment I use for reloading. Until this weekend I had to use a scale to weigh individual powder charges. Slow going. I found out the hard way a few months ago that placing the scale on a work bench on an uneven floor affected the measurements given on the scale when I overcharged some .357s. “BAA-WHOOM!!!” The overcharged cartridges jammed up the revolver cylinder and sent me back to the workbench to figure out what happened. And I just remembered that I mixed in those overpowered cartridges with my work from this weekend. (I wondered why they were in a bag marked “redo”). Thanks for bringing up “math challenged.” (Math challenged former reporter.)

@Benedick: I’d stop with the hyphenating but I can’t. It’s a sickness.

One of the handful of Arbitrary Rules I learned in J-school grammar class (yes, they have those. really.) was that compound modifiers get hyphenated preceding the noun.


much-vaunted, supply-side pleasure dome…

Triumph for the free market.

See how easy that is? It’s not like arguments over terminal commas, which usually get resolved in the alley behind the loading dock.

@nojo: I keep a set of brass knuckles in my desk drawer especially for those who would diss the serial comma.

Hyphen-news is fun. Sports news is funner.

LATEST: Milton Bradley signed by Cubs. 3 years, $10m per.

Shoot me.

@nojo: Hey, just replace your terminal comma with an ellipsis, problem solved! That’s what I’m here for.

@chicago bureau: Take heart, they’ll probably do better at board games than baseball anyway.

@nojo: fixed.

And I have won many arguments about the comma splice error rule.

@blogenfreude: OK, I have a big fucking journalism prize hanging on my wall and I have no damn clue about what you all are talking about regarding terminal commas, comma splice, etc.

@redmanlaw: Remember every time you opened the paper the next morning and started cursing the bastards who mangled your copy? That’s what we’re talking about.

@redmanlaw: me neither, but between google and wikipedia I never let that stop me.

@drinkyclown: Thanks for doing that.

I was an articles editor on the environmental journal during law school. We prided ourselves for using Byzantine footnotes to keep the actual article clean. Sometimes it worked.

@nojo: Copy editors.

“Oh, the writer and ed’tor should be friends . . . “

@blogenfreude: Haha no prob! Byzantine footnotes reminds me of House of Leaves, where the labyrinth chapter had a little maze made out of the footnotes. That book must’ve been a pain in the ass to print.

@chicago bureau: I liked Milton when he was on the Dodgers. He is a skilled player who plays hard, but his shelf life is about 2 years before he goes bonkers.

@redmanlaw: Me neither, although I regularly won sentence diagramming contests in grammar school. Or would that be “sentence-diagramming?” Or should that last question mark go outside the quotes because the quoted material is a denotation, not a connotation?

@chicago bureau:
For $30 mil more, you could have had Manny.

Does that 2 years include the time he ends up on the DL for injuring himself after going apeshit?

Sorry, bitter Jayz fan here. Don’t mind me as I mutter “Fucking AJ. Fucking Yanks. Fucking Rogers” into my beer.

@Dodgerblue: I never liked Chicago, and my AP is buried in a box somewhere, but I think the absurd rule is to include punctuation within quotes. A rule I always happily violate, since it only leads to confusion.

And me, I’m all for the hyphen, since “sentence-diagramming” modifies “contests”. But I always err towards nineteenth-century typography.

@redmanlaw: Hey, dad, me neither. I write in speak so rules of grammar don’t apply. We don’t speak grammar, we speak speak, as it is spoken when speakers speak together.

@nojo: You ignore the Limastic angle: the Limies (may their orgasms turn to stone), among their other repellant personal-hygiene habits such as never brushing their teeth and drinking foul beer then breathing on you, hyphenate everything.

They are truly the scum of the earth.

@Benedick: And reversing the inverted commas, as the London Review of Books reminds me every other week.

@nojo: You read that swill?

Limey undergrads pretending they’re the lords of the earth when we all know it’s the Saudis. A tatterdemalion, ragtag army of spavined oicks pretending they have the moral authority to dicktate (sic) how we mun wrap our lips around the fat juicy (lack of comma intentional) column of language Miss God handed down to Shakeshite all them years ago. As if!

@Benedick: what is it about bad teeth and the Brits?

@Dodgerblue: The NHS liked to yank everyone’s champers out by the age of 30. So they could be fitted with a nice set of choppers and save the NHS the expense of exams.

I was at school with boys whose teeth were, literally, green. My own teeth are not perfect. The handsomeness of my face distracts attention.

The idea of perfect teeth is essentially faggy. Real men embrace their overbite. And the ladies keep their mouths shut. Tra la.

@Benedick: Limey undergrads plus Alan Bennett.

And yes, I read and enjoy that swill, if only to compare stereotypical UK Left opinion with stereotypical US Left opinion.

@nojo: You’re not to be rude about Alan Bennett. He rites gude plase.

@nojo: Re: stereotypical US Left opinion – I went to law school with people who actually believed passionately in the doctrine of political correctness before it became a term of derision regarding lefty thought. What a strident, intolerant, authoritarian and humorless crew.

“We never talked in law school,” one said to me not too long ago in her grinding metallic voice.

“Cuz you sucked as a person,” I thought to mice elf.

@redmanlaw: I was working at the alumni rag during that era, and somehow I was able to maintain detached amusement. Perhaps because PC demands were no less absurd than bureaucratic demands. Don’t explain, just tell me what to say.

See, this is that hope I was tsalking about. We are talking grammar and punctuation, the whole world is in waiting mode, just waiting. For the Hope.

I can write good, too, if I think about it, I can be the biggest grammar prick on earth. You haven’t even gotten to inconsistent mood, and fucked-up parallelisms, things that, from the style side, not the copy-editor side, are appalling to me.

Shakespeare made up his grammar. After Shakespeare, academics stole the grammar from a dead language from an inflected language and tried to make it fit a still wildly evolving language that is distributive, and does not use declensions, except in the pronouns, where everyone gets it wrong.

Still, I value and revere good grammar, it is a useful tool for nit-picking young hotshots and putting them in their place, and for knocking those you don’t like.

But here, among friends, fucking-A, man, shit, you know?

Where’s that fearsome Texas offense, SFL? Seems the rap on the big 12 is right, noone has a defense, Ohio State isn’t showing much ofense, but come on, Texas averages, what, 60 points a game? 3 in the first half? Ruh Roh, George.

Those Texas linemen gonna get tired, passing every down, and negative 6 yards rushing?

@Promnight: Darling, grammar is de worl. All we hab is it. Shakeshite had no clue. He made it up as he went along. But no more than did Marlowe, Who was teh hot ding-ding. There is no such thing as dead language: you spik: me spok-is grmma. Truss mi. Mi spend long-time on di hoo si. Manga big!


@Benedick: I’d like some of whatever you’re taking/drinking, please.

@Mistress Cynica: Darling: you: me: San Fransico: splainy: k?

@drinkyclown: Yeah, too bad I was out of the office today. I’m too tired to care now. ;)

@Promnight: Don’t rag on Texas. I got home an hour ago after 10 hours of meetings and driving 5 plus hours round trip in the Central Valley and Tule Fog (the worse fog EVAH – rivals London’s and just as deadly) and dealing with maniacs on I-80 who apparently don’t value their lives and a freakshow trustafarian neighbor in my condo who is about to sue all of us and destroy my only investment and my equity. So I am drowning my sorrows, watching UT lose 21-17 to a shitty midwestern school, and worried about the fact that we are out of wine unless I stumble downstairs to the basement to get a “good bottle” – you know, the $40 ones we save for special occassions. But isn’t a long fucking day of meetings, five hours of highway driving, a psychopathic neighbor, and a losing football game of your alma mater be a day for a “good bottle”? [Note quotation mark inside question mark]

Besides, we could have an earthquake tomorrow and all die. What is my motto of life? It is:
Life is too short to drink Two-Buck Chuck when you live on the San Andreas Fault.

@Mistress Cynica: @Benedick: Oh, I may now have to be out of town for work the weekend that y’all are here. Yes, I suck. But I still have a job is my mantra.

/off to stumble to basement to find another bottle.

Oh, and the Longhorns just scored. Happy Days!

/shit. Flags on the play.

Phew, just sportsmanship flags.

24-21 SUCKAHS!

I’ve known some math geniuses. Math is alive to them. They can derive pleasure from an equation, even laugh with delight or surprise at some clever joke or riddle embedded within the thought-cloud of a particular proof. Math is a complete reality. To those of us who are not so inclined, however, math is utilitarian at best, impenetrable at worst.
Some of us, on the other hand, have a certain talent whereby our perception of language, specifically the written word, is alive and exists outside the realm of utility. This talent is not amenable to the pursuits of academic analysis or lucid criticism. An academic or a critic can read Tillie Olsen’s Tell Me A Riddle, for example, and come up with all sorts of discussions about feminism, or relationships, or American social mores, or any of a dozen other topics. Those gifted with the language talent see and feel, instead, the perfection of the words in relation to each other, feel the breathing of the sentences, of the paragraphs, and of the author herself, on every page. This is not a function of analysis, it is experienced at a very core level of the psyche.
The math genius and the language adept can only acknowledge each others’ mysteries, and marvel.
But, as the saying from the 80’s New Wave says: “Fuck art, let’s dance!”

The eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day.
The eyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away.
Do not think you can escape them,
At night, or early in the morn’.
The eyes of Texas are upon you,
Till Gabriel blows his horn!

ADD: Why must football players give thanks to Baby Jeebus for their victories? Hint to dude from UT: Baby Jeebus and God really didn’t give a shit if the Longhorns won against Ohio State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

ADD 2: mmmm, Tostitos /Homer.

@SanFranLefty: My Dear,

The London fogs: I was 6 on my way home from school, I held out my hand and could not see it. They are no more. Coal was banned. End of fog.

Spurt will make you mad. It’s worthless: Think music: Xerxes; Handel: anything by Bach, Mozart. At the end of days we must keep what’s best close our hearts.

@Benedick: @SanFranLefty: I’m so looking forward to SF. Doesn’t it figure SFL would have to be gone? Ah well, at least you’re working, which is the important. I’ve told mr cyn that we need to keep the expensive wine in a breathalyzer-activated locked cupboard, to prevent consumption when we’ve run out of cheap stuff but want to get drunker.

@SanFranLefty: Have that $40 dollar wine and celebrate. OSU did enough to drag down the over-ratedness of the Big 12, now there will be no second-guessing when Florida beats Oklahoma. I am listening to Leonard Cohen sing “Hallelujia,” what is this guy, what is this, its new to me and wonderful.

@Mistress Cynica: See you there. Come for a preview. I want to be able to raise a glass with you.

@Mistress Cynica: Its easier and more fun to just make sure you have a box of swill in reserve. Or switch to highballs made with whatever is around, save those good ones for a meal such as I am offering any stinquers who can attend, the Sunday before the inauguration.

@Benedick: I would love to come to a preview. Looking forward to drinks with your fabulous self.
@Promnight: I try to keep cheap swill on hand, but someone always drinks it. I blame the cats. I wish desperately that I could come to your dinner. I want detailed food porn with pictures!

@Promnight: We always start with the swill, that’s the problem. I have to go to work tomorrow, so Mr. SFL said I can’t go get the good bottle because it’s too late. That’s what Tylenol PM is for, I guess.

@Mistress Cynica: @Benedick: Most likely I will still be here, at the end of the day or week. It depends on a multitude of factors beyond my control, but I’m hoping to be here that weekend for the premieres and drinks with Ewalda and Lux Mentis. I am working hard to stay here. Just because I’m not a breeder doesn’t mean I don’t have a life, contrary to what my series of employers seem to think.

@Promnight: One of Leonard’s best. Mrs. DB and I went to a Leonard Cohen tribute at UCLA last year, and who was in the house band but the incredible Bill Frisell!! Fortunately, they let Bill play a couple of solo pieces. The guy from the Doobies — McDonald? — did “Hallelujia”.

@SanFranLefty: If we go someplace that’s BYOB while you’re here (cue obligatory plug for Stinque the Inauguration), I’ll bring along my solitary “good bottle.” You like syrah, yes?

@Promnight: Leonard Cohen is the poet laureate of angst,and Hallelujah is probably my favorite song. Jeff Buckley’s cover of it is heartbreaking (I hope we have no Rufus apologistes here). Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” is the national anthem of cynics. Long as you’re not looking for music to cheer you up, you can’t go wrong with Cohen.

@SanFranLefty: Honey, you have got to get yourself a xanax script. At about $10 for 180 of the generic pills (which actually last me 5-6 months), its cost/benefit ratio is through the roof. Not to mention the beneficial effects on the wine bill.

@SanFranLefty: @Mistress Cynica: We preview 2/13 thru 2/17. Open 2/18. The OH and I will be around before then. Will raise a swill with you.

@Ewalda: The math genius and the language adept can only acknowledge each others’ mysteries, and marvel.

Or be named Lewis Carroll.

@Promnight: One of my philosophy profs was a cousin (something removed, I think) of Leonard Cohen. Rarely came up in conversation, however.

@Mistress Cynica: I have been cursed by my HMO with a fucking primary care physician who is 5 years younger than me and doesn’t believe in psychotropic meds and pushes organic/vitamin alternatives and yoga and “I know you’re an attorney, you should work to reduce your stress.” Thanks bee-yutch, that’s so not helpful.

I had to point out to her that when she told me to try St. John’s Wort that it was contraindicated for birth control pills. “Really???,” she asked incredulously. “I didn’t know that.”

“Yes, it is,” I replied. “And you think I’m off the charts now for depression and anxiety, you should see me with an unplanned pregnancy.”

Then she told me to take ginko bilboa. I pointed out that with some of my other health issues, it would kill me. I asked her for Xanax or Ambien and she said no, she’s not going to randomly write prescriptions for me because she thinks I need to try yoga and stress reduction. I do yoga three times a week and it doesn’t do shit other than stretch my hamstrings and give me cramps in my toes. I can’t go to another HMO plan or doctor right now, but her residency (I think) ends in May and then I will be assigned a new doctor. I have a friend who is a head doc in Texas but she won’t give me pills due to conflict of interest. She tells me to find a new doc. Sure, if I could pay for it out of pocket.

@nojo: Rarely came up in conversation — except when he was trying to sleep with one of his students.
@SanFranLefty: WTF??? I’m sorry, but if herbs worked so well, why was there any need to move beyond medieval medicine? Not mention that none of that crap is regulated or standardized so you don’t know what you’re getting. Any way to get referred to a mental health professional with prescribing abilities? Mention suicide? I’ve also had success with the “death in the family” claim. Can you by any chance cry hysterically on command? It’s very useful. Especially on a weekend visit to a doc in the box.

@Mistress Cynica: Leonard did the soundtrack to “McCabe and Mrs. Miller”, one of my fav movies.

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