There is no intrinsic meaning to Tuesday’s election. The better campaign won: from what we can tell at a distance, one candidate was hungry, the other expected to be served dessert.

There’s certainly no meaning to the tally itself: of some two million votes cast, a hundred thousand divided winner from loser. The country has been narrowly split for a long time; if there’s any trend to identify, that’s it.

Teddy’s seat won a by Republican? Senator-elect Happy Trail was introduced by former Governor Mittens. Republicans are no stranger to statewide office in Massachusetts.

A referendum on healthcare? We’re not the first to notice that Massachusetts already has a plan, imperfect as it may be. A sixty-vote Senate isn’t a pressing issue for the commonwealth.

Obama parachuting in for a pep talk? Too little, too late — the race was lost weeks ago, when nobody was paying attention.

But meaning abhors a vacuum, and my, you can hear the hot air rushing in. Most of it you can ignore — but pay close attention to Congressional Demrats. Right or wrong, their take on the election is the one that matters, since they have the power to act on their judgment. Or, in the case of Barney Frank, not act:

I am hopeful that some Republican senators will be willing to discuss a revised version of health care reform… Our respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a health care bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened.

It won’t be Massachusetts that proves Jim DeMint right. But if Democrats use Massachusetts as an excuse to run away from healthcare reform, Waterloo is as good a term as any.


I’m of mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, we desperately need health care reform. On the other hand, what’s on the table now is pretty awful, isn’t it? Maybe it’s best to just let HCR die on the vine, and then, once it sinks in that the insurance companies can still deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, drop you at will, that your premiums will skyrocket over the next 10 years, that millions more will be unable to afford coverage, when all this sinks in, Democrats can run their next campaign on the promise of real HCR.

This is what I’d advise the Democrats next time around: screw complicated plans with thousands of pages of rules and regulations. Screw bringing the AMA, Health Insurance companies and big Pharma in on the deal.

There is one very simple solution to robust and effective HCR that, if sold the right way, could be pushed though with not much fuss and bother, while coopting some of the loudest current opponents of HCR.

I’m speaking of a plan consisting almost entirely of a universal Medicare buy-in, with a subsidy for low income families.

The way you sell it to the seniors is to point out that far from threatening Medicare, this plan strengthens is, since it means adding millions of new subscribers from a far healthier pool of people than the over-65 crowd. Healthier dues payers is a prescription for strengthening, not weakening a medical insurance program.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter.

According to the GOPers and their suckup toadies, the MSM, isn’t every election a Waterloo?

Oh, yeah, the Beckbaugh beast will be howling it is the end of the Democrats and the complete removal of any impedance to the establishment of a fascist theocracy.

In this age of terminal decline, the election of this idiot, who should be called Caligutard’s Horse, is analogous to the appointment of one demented Roman emperor’s horse to the senate.

I am so pissed off this morning I cannot even see straight.

After the president spent a SOLID YEAR pissing off his base, you would have to be a complete fucking NITWIT to not see that much more effort would be needed for this campaign.

My take? The party leadership wants Obama to fail.

I would love to stop paying attention to politics, but it’s like trying to move by a train wreck without looking.

I told you she would lose.
(from the Harrold Ford school of commenting)

starting to think it should die. at least as is in the senate.
let people suffer and be denied coverage and dropped after paying premiums for a few years and then see how they feel.
I agree that expanded Medicare is the simple elegant solution.

I am so pi$$ed. I am close to beyond caring. I worked my entire life for all three branches of govt, a dem president and a mandate. and they did NOTHING. nothing. how much worse could a republican congress be?

@Serolf Divad: Wait another ten years? Fifteen? How many die? how many become bankrupt? I still ask the question of you all here: do you have any idea what long-term care costs? And do you have any idea what long-term insurance costs? Consumer Reports warns that of the 25 or so companies they tested they were only confident that perhaps four would still be in business when the time came you might need them.

Do you pay for your own insurance? I do. I know what mine costs. As soon as the company sees which way the wind has blown I expect a big hike in the premiums. Meanwhile, the Cigna CEO is retiring with a $73M handshake.

Medical bankruptcy is the single most useful means to transfer wealth out of the hands of the middle-class into the hands of Wall Street.

For your plan to work I think the US would first have to default on its international loans and then find itself in the position of not being able to pay the police, troops, Medicare and Soc Security while the IMF takes over the budget. Who was the Ruskkie who predicted the collapse of the US in 2010? I forget his name.


Nope, 2006 and 2008 *totally* didn’t count. They’ll claim that *this* election is all about what a bad job Barry’s doing, but 2006 and 2008 were those sneaky ACORN people tricking voters, or something.

As for the voters in MA, I just don’t know what to say. If they’re voting Republican ’cause they’re pissed about jobs, then they clearly have no memory of the last decade or so. Maybe they deserve another reminder of what a “Republican jobs program” is.

I agree with everything you say but I also agree with the comment you respond to.
the senate bill is a gift to the very insurance companies you mention. with a tax on middle class health plans to pay for it. I am quickly deciding that if the dems are to gutless to do what is needed, what they were elected to do, then fuck them. if they are to stupid to understand what a large majority of the country wants if they a unable to do SOMETHING to show average people the give a shit about something besides big corps and banks why are they better than the republicans.
this disaster is an opportunity. but I have no reason to hope the dems have the sense or the backbone to take it.

also, I dont think it will take ten years. a couple more years of rising costs dropped and denied coverage and people will be ready to listen to REAL reform ideas.

@al2o3cr: i was reading union shop-stewards (what is it you funny people call them?) railing against the Democrats and bragging about voting for Brown. Union officials!!!!!!!!

I had a long night trying to work out if I could afford to move back to Blighty.

It is, however, a beautiful morning here and I’m going out to play with the dogs and look at where/if the veggies might go.

TJ/ I know I’ve been AWOL, so this may have been covered (apologies if it has), but did you know Yoo is teaching at some secret location at Boalt? I thought he was still in hiding at Chapman. Anyhoo, Jesus’ General has penned another lovely letter, and the NYT article is here. Of course, Dickipedia has the best analysis ever.

@karen marie:
I dont think this was about party leadership. it is almost entirely about the Coakley campaign. or lack thereof.
they did not even have a pollster until a week ago. they did no oppo research on Brown. in short they did squat.
the party left it to her, she thought she would breeze to a win and went on vacation while he defined her and himself.

its not rocket science. if she had run a campaign let alone a good campaign she would have won by 10 points.

@Serolf Divad: @Capt Howdy: @Capt Howdy: once it sinks in that the insurance companies can still deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, drop you at will, that your premiums will skyrocket over the next 10 years, that millions more will be unable to afford coverage, when all this sinks in, Democrats can run their next campaign on the promise of real HCR.
Didn’t we spend the years since Clinton’s attempt to pass HCR doing exactly this? I have no faith that the ignorants hordes in this country will suddenly realize they’re being screwed and start voting in their own self-interest. Not as long as they can be distracted with god, guns, and gays. And not until employer-provided insurance basically ceases to exist. In the meantime, I and the rest of the uninsured will get no preventative care and won’t go to the doctor until conditions are far worse than they would have been. And people will die and go bankrupt. It’s the American way.

@Mistress Cynica:
I am not saying dump the senate bill. but there is no denying it is a giveaway to insurance companies with no attempt at cost control. there is a good argument to be made it could make things worse. on top of that there is a lawsuit being filed today I think that says the mandate is unconstitutional. will it fly? who the fuck knows.
you have my complete sympathy. I only recently got insurance and I had to take a full time job in the middle of fucking no where to get it.
I am just not convinced that making the house pass the senate bill is either good for you or good for the dems.
now, on the other hand if they show some spine and do what republicans would have done months ago and pass what they want that is completely different. they could still go to reconciliation and pass a good bill that would impact people now and save their sorry asses in november.
do I think they will do that. um, no.

@Mistress Cynica: I’m thinking of starting GayTeabaggers. Wonder if it could gain any traction? Slogan could be Whip it Out!

Bingo. Nothing’s happening until GE and Raytheon just dump insurance as a benefit altogether or confront the insurers. In a oligarchic dystopia like the US the only conflicts that matter are between elites.

@Mistress Cynica: And not until employer-provided insurance basically ceases to exist.


employer-provided insurance is on its death bed. it is withering as we speak and and if costs are not contained that will accelerate.
it may happen sooner than you think.

No doubt some of our Brothers in Velvet voted for Senatard Pron Star ’cause they wanna take a ride on his disco stick.

And who could blame them? I’d hit that so hard, he’d honk like a goose.


Who is Dmitry Orlov, Alex?

Who was the Ruskkie who predicted the collapse of the US

any boston stinkers or anyone else really:
check out these links about my friends show at the national heritage museum:




@Benedick: Gay Teabaggers? Isn’t that redundant?

ron jeremy (the inventor I believe) would be offended.
or maybe not.

and a damn good one. I wish there was more images. they really are amazingly beautiful. she also does old diners.

@Capt Howdy: Can’t wait. GE, Raytheon, Ford and Nestle announce they’re dropping the insurance benefit and are setting up ‘Medical Savings Plans’. President Talibunny announces a day of ‘Prayer for Health’ to replace ‘God-less underwriting’. Neonazi militias overtake Raleigh and use the news to make the announcement that NM policy is to eat the sick and lame which VP Brown praises as a ‘conservative innovation that could only happen under the flawless, God-fearing leadership of the Republican Party.’ Vermont, reeling in the aftermath of tactical nuclear strikes on Montepelier and Burlington following a formal secession attempt, blows up bridges and roads leading to all US states and sends ambassadors and trade legates to Ottawa.

@Capt Howdy: What format? She run 35mm or medium format or be still my heart view cameras? Could these be contact prints? Hummunnahummunna. . .

dont know squat about cameras but she has a big ole Hasselblad.
big heavy fucking thing. I have helped her carry it around and shoot stuff.
its a pretty large format.


I have one of her diner photos and people often think its some kind of hyper realistic painting.

Leaving aside for the moment whether or not the Senate HCR bill should be passed, let me offer a reminder and a ray of sunshine for my despondent friends. There is not a single Republican in Congress, nor all of them in total, that can stop this bill from becoming law.

The very HCR bill that Black Eagle says he wants, is the bill that already passed the Senate. All that is needed to put that bill on President Obama’s desk for signature, is a simple majority – 50% +1 vote – 218 votes in total – in the House of Representatives. If the Democrats had the political will, they could pass that bill today, and it would be signed into law tomorrow.

The only obstruction to President Obama getting the very HCR bill he wants on his desk, are Nancy Pelosi and the 279 Democrats in the House of Representatives. If 218 of them vote for that bill, there are no conferences, no filibusters, no reconciliation, no more votes in the Senate. It is done, it is law, they can move on, and the President can brag about it in the SOTU next week.

If HCR fails now, it will be due to Democratic Party obstructionism. Nothing else.

@Capt Howdy: Yeah, 4 by 5. Nice big piece of film to enlarge from. She have Cibachromes printed by a production house or does she scan the slides/negatives and print her own? She’s running what looks like A4 stock so she could just print in her own studio. She doesn’t live far from diner paradise. Among other manufacturing industries that have come and gone in Worcester, most iconic in the American folk imagination is diner fabrication. The first line-manufactured American cornets were made there as well, using a French design and marque.

@libertarian tool:
then it will be a illegal to not buy insurance coverage at whatever inflated price they decide they want.

there is a reason Insurance Company Joe voted for this bill.

but you are correct. Black Eagle can and will brag about it.

this is what a little obstructionism might get us:

Put the excise tax fix and public option (or Medicare expansion) in a reconciliation bill. Pass it first in the House. Send it to the Senate. If the Senate passes it, then the House can pass the original Senate bill.

That’s the sidecar reconciliation everyone is talking about now.

If Bayh, Webb, etc won’t do even that, if the Dems can’t even get 50 votes in the Senate for that, AT LEAST TRY TO DO IT.

At least then we’ll know if there really is any point at all in wanting to run the government.

lifted from talkleft

I believe she prints at home and also sends some stuff out.

@Capt Howdy: Yes. After about A4 you bump up against – hmmm, do I really need a 150 lb piece of iron here that I only use for 2 or 3 prints a year – maybe.

sounds like you know wayyyy more about it than I do.
I am digital. to the core.

I ran into my carpenters union buddy at the grocery store this am stocking up for the coming snow storms (coffee, TP, brown rice, reloading magazine) after dropping Son of RML off at school.

The big New Mexico Demrat legislative dinner was last night. Fat cats, pols, candidates, wanna bees, hacks and hangers on at a nice hotel ballroom (I emceed it once when I used to be somebody). I asked him how the mood in the room was after the Massachusetts results came in. He said they didn’t even mention it at all. He didn’t even hear about until he got home. Heads.in.the.fucking.sand.

“Well, I guess that’s it for health care,” union guy said. “No man, they gotta act like they got a majority,” I said.

Fuck it. The party establishment here is set up to get small time grants, jobs and projects for them, their friends and their hometowns. Up in the bigs, there seems to be a total lack of vision and sense of what people need. This shit can’t go on forever. At some point even US Americans will find out they’re getting the shaft and try to do something about it. In order to hit that point, though, things will have to get a lot worse, bad to the point where Fox, the MSM, party leaderships, and Congress won’t be able to paper over it and lies won’t work anymore.

@Capt Howdy: I am the tentative kitty in this domain, still scanning transparencies for hard prints but I did go out and buy an digital SLR finally after producing some defensible images with a high-end compact and finding satisfaction in the make’s color trueness. I still do alot of image capture with the brass and glass and can’t see that going away as long as Fuji is shipping Provia.

But hey, Senator Happy Trail’s daughters are available for dating purposes!

@SanFranLefty: That was strange. What was that comment all about from Caligutard’s Horse?

@libertarian tool: An excellent summation of How the Democrats Will Blow It This Time. Their lack of political will and unwillingness to play hardball is more to blame for all this than Republican obstructionism, IMHO.
@mellbell: This is what happens when you have no gay boyfriends. Or mirrors.

@mellbell, FCS, Mistress Cynica : According to a single male friend of mine who was watching teevee coverage and is now in lust with one of the daughters, last night she pulled a sharpie out of her cleavage to sign an autograph for somebody. Unclear whether it was daddy’s Cosmo spread.

@Mistress Cynica: Croak-ley needed to step on his throat, shoot the prisoners, sow salt in their fields, and kick them when they are down. They cut you off in traffic? Drop the fucking Bomb on them. “What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you… and to hear the lamentation of their women.”

Politics is ugly, which is why it’s not for everybody.

@SanFranLefty: Probably Ayala, she was on American Idol and thinks she can sing.

@redmanlaw: What is bestest, however, is to hear their giggles of anticipation as you make neckties of their mens’ entrails.

I would have been happy if she had just hired a fucking pollster.
or not gone on vacation for months and allowed pinup boy to define her the democratic agenda and himself.

I read yesterday that canvassers said that people told them they were the first people from the Coakley they had ever seen.
that is just stupid.

@Capt Howdy: For what she spent on the stupid website she could have hired 2 or 3 private investigators to find enough to dismember Brown and anyone who ever worked with him.

I got those links from stephanie this morning as a result of a borderline hysterical phone call I got from her at about 11:30 last night.


it was sad and hilarious.

@Prommie: Oh Jesus Christ, this country truly is going to shit. Even the Bush twins wouldn’t have done something like that.

even a stopped clock is right twice a day

I get the reference. He is praising Brown’s ‘conservative’ credentials since incest and necrophilia are favored sports of the GOP.


links to the photo show we were talking about

@Capt Howdy: No, really, you can’t in terms of substantiating a narrative with an irrefutable record with an auditable provenance. The lack of the latter is what hung fucktard Nad Rather whose producers should have known this and should have realized they were being set up to make the accusation of AWOL go away by demonizing the messenger as a fabulist.

Hey, just for fun, ya’ll should go to the Asbury Park Press and check out the photos of Jabba the Hut, no, no, I mean Chris Christie singing Springsteen songs at his inaugural party, while his wife does the eyes-closed hands in the air christian rock creepy jesus communion dance, go to APP.com and look for the photo show called “Inaugural Party,” I believe, and look for Christie with his jacket off, its heinous.

Numbers 2 and 3 are the best, but 12 is kinda special, too. In number 3, it appears that his youngest son is recoiling in disgust from an enormous fart. Looks it to me, anyway.

President Hopechange strikes again. this is unbelievable.

Here’s one thing I know and I just want to make sure that this is off the table. The Senate certainly shouldn’t try to jam anything through until Scott Brown is seated[.] People in Massachusetts spoke. He’s got to be part of that process.

fuck me
somebody wake me up. I am tired of this nightmare.

@Capt Howdy: No, no, this is smart, its soooooo obvious the GOP has a plan to make a huge issue of this, to use it to enrage the teabaggers, who are easily aroused, McCain already has started shouting to “seat him now,” and I am sure Ailes passed the memo to hate radio and has the stories written for FoxNews. Sometimes you do have to pre-empt this kind of shit.


I think he should really wait until after the next election just to, you know, make REALLY sure the republicans are heard.

Im sorry. fuck the teabaggers. fuck McCain. fuck Ailes and fuck them all. I am so goddamed tired of the coddling. are they insane. these people are going to say and do the same thing no matter what they do and no matter how much they coddle them.
so for gods sake do something worth doing.

@Prommie: Yeah, it’s a little dark but the kid clearly heard dad plotch himself. Christie a Rethuglican?

@FlyingChainSaw: Oh yes, a Rove US Attorney Rethuglican, famous for leaking allegations against Menendez of a bogus investigation into supposed corruption just 10 days before Menendez’ election, and for a massive campaign of politically motivated prosecutions, you may have heard the time he gave a $20 million “federal monitor” contract to Ashcroft’s firm? Anywhoo, he’s a fat fuck republican, and our inbreds here have elected him fucking fat governor.

My candidate for governor in New Mexico apparently reacts to Masshats:

“(Lt. Gov. Diane) Denish’s first instinct in the wake of the East Coast Democratic debacle seemed to be to veer right to curry favor with those jumpy independents. She issued this statement to mark the opening day of the 30 day legislative session:

‘…The primary focus this legislative session must be to create an economic environment that fosters new jobs, new opportunities and sound fiscal policies. That means balancing the budget–not on the backs of regular families–but by making government smaller and more efficient.

‘Instead of debating which tax increase to embrace, legislators must focus their attention on which reform measures to implement…Major reform proposals must be debated and passed long before the legislature gives any consideration to raising taxes on regular families.’

“But progressive Dems are arguing if Denish caters too much to the right it will make her appear more vulnerable, not strong, and dampen enthusiasm for her among the liberal base. Fortunately for Di, she faces no primary opponent.But for now the promise of a mundane Governor’s race is gone. R’s are justifiably energized.”


@Capt Howdy:

Exactly – that’s what I’m really hoping for out of the State of the Union speech. If they’re going to tag Barry with a “big spender” label, let’s get some serious spending going that will actually DO something.

they’re mean. they poked me. no, they did. they took our mandate a shoved it up our ass. waaa. now we cant find it. waaa.

god help us.

@redmanlaw: Are they kidding? The automatons will introduce legislation to essentially license fraud at every level and encourage double-digit premium hikes for their sponsors in industry and Wall Street and push through authorizations to bomb every muslim nation into dust. Reid and Co. are crazy. This is like asking the creature from alien to be responsible for the other passengers on the ship.

Point of personal privilege:

Lo, these many months ago that I was seeking a way out of the fucktardia of my previous employ, I inquired of a “friend” whether he would be willing to hire me when he assumed his new appointed position. “Definitely,” he said. “I think you’d be great in that office!” So I waited patiently for the appointment to come through. It did and he was sworn in in September. Soon after, he took my resume and when interviews started last month, I got the call and went in to see the interview panel. I was told I’d hear from them about a second interview in January. I lined up my references and even got a few other people to make calls on my behalf. Well, kittens, I received a letter today from some chick over there telling me that they’re not interested. I’m so angry right now that I’m very nearly paralyzed. And there’s nothing I can do about this. There’s no revenge I can enact because he’s not only a powerful person but he has a flawless reputation in the legal and political community as a ‘good guy’ that makes me want to vomit – not just on a professional level, but a personal level. Yeah, did I mention he broke my heart several years ago? So you see, this is my fault for trusting him and thinking it’d be different because this is business and because I’m a fucking awesome attorney. Fuck you, you gap-toothed, middle-aged, apron-stringing mother fucker.


JS – you’ll never get over this if you suppress your true feelings. Let it out. Unleash the demons of truth and contempt.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:
vodka. and possibly a fat joint.
that all I got that might help.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I second Capt Howdy’s suggestion. And then, word of advice, I think after a martini or two, you lock away the phone and computer so you don’t send any drunken messages to him. Instead, make a list of all of the cutting and witty zingers you’ll hurl his way next time you run into him randomly about town so that you’re prepared. And figure out what is the cutest and most awesome outfit you could wear if you have to go to something where you know he’s going to be there.


@FlyingChainSaw: @Capt Howdy: @SanFranLefty: Thanks. I feel a little bit better now that I’ve burned my copy of the Az bar magazine. (He’s on the cover this month.) It was kinda cool to see his face turn black and disappear and his crotch shrivel up. Good call on the zinger preparation. Usually in those situations, I’m so filled with rage, I have to be quiet so as not to turn into a raging bat-wielding bitch.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Friend of mine, a political professional, fell in love with her candidate. She had his kid and was kicked to the curb after he lost the race but got picked up by a state agency for a high level position. Respected in his community and in his field, he’s a fucking rat. She moved on, moved out of state and did much better. Married a good guy, got out of full time politics, and focused more on community matters.

I remember you talking about that gig here. The disappointment I feel over your treatment adds to the sense that things are just really fucked up today.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:
to paraphrase Dolores Claiborne;

‘sometimes being a raging bat-wielding bitch is all a woman has to hold on to’

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: @redmanlaw: I think even in the best of times, FT politics attracts some extreme and troubled types. The higher you go in that echelon, the more it is all about the game and less about honest craftsmanship of governance. Not shocked your colleague found satisfaction in her work at a local level.

@FlyingChainSaw: You have to give up a lot to play it with the level of commitment it demands.

@redmanlaw: Yes, true. Or not have it in the first place.

@redmanlaw: Speaking of things being really fucked up today, I just got a robocall from Happy Trail McGee shilling for McCain. That’s so bizarre because I’m not on any GOP lists (that I know of).

@Capt Howdy: I like that. Guess I’ll have to read the book now. I got time….

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:

you might consider seeing the film. its excellent. one of the best King films ever made. the book is a little hard to read because it is one of his “experiments”. it is entirely written in first person. it is written as a person giving a statement to the police.
I am not saying dont read it but just so you know.
the film with Kathy Bates as Dolores ( she should have won something but she had won the oscar for Misery the year before so she was ignored) is amazing. directed by Taylor Hackford. no monsters. except the ones we bring with us.
its about a woman who kills her abusive husband.

@redmanlaw: Also breaking…

Nojo, last night:

We don’t really have a take on tonight’s special election in Massachusetts, except that either it will provide Demrats an excuse for not doing what they should have done months ago, or it will provide Demrats an excuse to keep dragging their feet until another excuse turns up.

Anonymous Senate staffer, today:

The worst is that I can’t help but feel like the main emotion people in the caucus are feeling is relief at this turn of events. Now they have a ready excuse for not getting anything done.

See? Political commentary is easy!

I’m H-A-P-P-Y
I’m H-A-P-P-Y
I know I am
I’m sure I am
I’m H-A-P-P-Y.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:
Sorry to hear that.

Got screwed over in corprat world that way a decade (!) ago. A tech boom high flyer flew me to Vancouver for an interview (a good friend of mine landed me the interview.) Killed in the interview, technical exam and face to face. The HR guy, the director and the manager wanted to hire me. Everyone but the team leader, who I learned later was a rat and hated anyone who could “threaten” his climb to the top. Despite the fact that I was told to my face that I “had” the job, I was sent what we call a Fuck Off And Die (FOAD) letter. I was pissed and upset about it.

However, the best thing that happened to me was not getting the job.

Despite it’s high flying stock, the company turned out to be a meatgrinder who wanted to hire “young” talent and burn them out after five years. The team leader got his a couple of years later when he was fired for incompetence.

What I’m saying is that sometimes when things go to shit, sometimes it takes a while to realize that the universe did you a favor.

@Benedick: Waiter, I’ll have two of whatever he’s drinking.

@jamie, ManchuCandidate: I sometimes tell people that all the right doors closed for me. Stay strong, chica.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I feel a little bit better now that I’ve burned my copy of the Az bar magazine.

Back when I was at the alumni rag, we did a feature on prominent graduates — including world-class Hollywood sleazebag (and Top Gun producer) Don Simpson.

A year or two later, I stumbled across a suck-up letter from the editor to Simpson, all but asking for a job. Editor’s Wife has appeared on Letterman plugging a book, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch.

@redmanlaw: Who was president when Gaddis published Junior? Or when Innes made his magical optics? Or when the Ibo men fled their persecutors off St Simon’s? Or when Jefferson fashioned Monticello to honor his boyfriend?

This is what’s real. the rest is phantasmagoria.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:

Cockpunch. Ballentine Valentine. Hot Lunch.

Then you will feel better.

Booze and pot will work too.

Y’all keep recommending pot but, to tell you the truth, I have no earthly idea where or how to procure such things. Rest assured, though, that I’ve been boozing for hours now.


It is becoming increasingly evident to me that it is becoming the ruling class versus the ruled. I am not amused by recent events, to the point of stunned silence (until now).

We have GOT to fix this system. We are no longer a functioning democracy- just a corrupt, immoral plutocracy. The difference between the slavishly corporate policies of the Democrats and those of the Republicans is simply that the Republicans are too stupid to keep them hidden. Reid has got to go. Pelosi is on my short list, and the Unicorn…well, he’d just better decide who he is, and who he is in office for. Because, fuck it, let it all burn down, and the Republicans will get us to ashes faster. Without some pretty decisive action pretty fucking soon, I’ll vote for a straight Republican ticket across the vote until the Teabaggers storm the White House out of pure hunger, and use the constitution to start a fire in the ruins to cook canned beans.

And that, darlings, is how I feel about Massachusetts.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:

Sweetheart, you must visit me when you are in town. I know some lovely boutiques.

Watch out, JS, this guy is always texting us from stripjoints, shitfaced out of his tree.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: @TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:

We are not a democracy, we are a republic.


Who, me?


You’ve been watching Sean Hannity, haven’t you?

@FlyingChainSaw: I daresay I would enjoy any strip joint patronized by Tommmcatt.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Oh, we’ll have to dig out that thread for you. Tommy was in a booby strip joint surrounded by str8 men, not a strip joint filled with cute ghey Asian men.

As for procurement in PHX, I would suggest going to any resort/spa/hotel in Scottsdale and making friends with the valet parkers or the concierge. Otherwise, get your ass out to the Left Coast – we’re all waiting for you.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: @Benedick:

We’re a Republic with no accountability.

The argument against proportional representation — which I pretty much agree with — is that it leads to a situation where nobody’s in charge, since all factions have to coalesce into temporary coalitions, easily unwound, and easily swayed by that one extremist vote you need to take power.

Winner-take-all (or “first past the post,” as the Brits lovingly call it), promises that if the crooks are in charge, at least we know that the crooks are in charge, and responsible for their actions.

We don’t have a Parliament that runs the whole show — checks & balances protect against too much power residing in one place. (Never mind the reality of the unitary executive — humor me, folks.) But the filibuster requires a standard of approval that even the Founders didn’t see necessary — they figured there were enough gimmicks (such as no direct election of Senators, as well as the Electoral College) to keep the unwashed masses at a safe distance.

So we have a situation where one party nominally controls the legislature and executive, yet can’t do anything because they don’t have overwhelming control of the Senate — a circumstance so rare you have to go back generations for comparison.

This doesn’t require a Constitutional amendment to resolve. But good luck finding the even-more-overwhelming number of Senate votes to change it.

Meanwhile, might as well enjoy the show, because dark entertainment is all we’re gonna get out of it.

@SanFranLefty: Well, shit, I got nothing better to do. Let’s make a date.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Grrrrrrrrrr…


Try this. Audio NSFW!!

@Benedick: In name only. In reality, a plutocratic dystopia barreling headlong to bankrupted theocratic cannibal anarchy.

I also must confess my love for Scottsdale. Even though the hotel I was at was right near the freight train. Actually, that whole town seems to be right near the frieght train…

JNOVJr takes the SAT this Saturday. If he rocks it out and is off to school in September, will you left coasties send out an extraction team for my sorry ass? I need saving.

@nojo: I hate it when you burst my bubble. I dream of voting for the psycho-Socialist-I’m-here-for-ur-munnies candidate, and have her get seated. I’m all for coalition building when my loonie tunes candidates get some seats. Yeah. I know.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: Silly.

ADD: The blond guy with the ponytail is my guitar god and future husband, Derek Trucks. Those other dudes aren’t bad, either.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I’m around except Feb 25 to March 8 if you want to come out to the Peoples’ Republic of Mayor McDreamy and Wine Country Paradise; but if you want to do something in warmer climes I could probably sneak out for a day or two to go to El Ay or Sandy Eggo and meet up with the SoCal Stinquers. And perhaps meet the infamous Mr. ‘Catt and Mrs. Dodger and Creative Silent Partner. Alternatively, rumor has it there will be a Stinque-up in the PDX in June to celebrate Cynica & Mr. Cynica’s 6 month anniversary.

@JNOV: Go JNOV Jr.!! I’m so proud of him! Are you quizzing him on vocabulary? The fucking analogies? And yes, it goes without saying that Operation Bring JNOV Back to Pacific Time will occur as soon as Jr. is off to college. What schools is he looking at?

@SanFranLefty: @TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I’m in LA Feb 11-15. And there is indeed a party here June 26. Y’all come.

@SanFranLefty: @Mistress Cynica: Mid-Feb sounds good. Can you sneak down to LA around then SFL?

@SanFranLefty: Yay! Right now he’s looking at that tiny state school I went to in Sout Joisey with an eye to transferring after a year or two. He’s been studying — I mean, I’ve never seen him study like this before. Luckily he kept the books from the prep course I paid an arm and a leg for like, three years ago (that he attended maybe three times?), but this was after they changed the test, so he should be good.

He really wants to go to the Farm, but he has missed the deadlines for applying to the fancypants schools. Plus he’d have to take the SAT II, which tiny Sout Joisey state school doesn’t require. So…it’s (hopefully) off to tiny Sout Joisey state school so he can get acclimated to student life again, and from there, who knows? If not the farm, maybe Princeton or Brown or Penn — he’s having his score sent to all four. We’ll tackle the SAT II if he needs it to transfer, if he wants to transfer.

@JNOV: As you know, I am Familiar with that Tiny State School, and you are being too humble. You know well the fame of the Tiny State School, on account of the crabs.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I’ll look into it and review my finances or figure out if I can turn it into a work trip somehow.

@Prommie: Wait. What? There was a crabs outbreak at Tiny State School? I did catch crabs in bootcamp, though — some nasty gnarlies can be transmitted via toilet seat.

Hey — how’s the back? Are you going the ibuprofen sans martinis route? If your liver is in good condition, you need to take at least 600 mg of ibuprofen for it to have any anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxant effects. 800 mg is the usual dose. BUT if your liver is fackata, you must be very careful with ibuprofen. Rarely does it cause liver issues, but it can.

Did you say you were on Robaxin or Flexeril? Robaxin worked great for me; Flexeril, not so much.

Try this stretching exercise when you’re home: lie on the floor with your ass almost touching the couch or a chair that will allow you to position your thighs in a 90-degree angle to your hips, and bend your knees in a 90-degree angle to your thighs, so your calves are resting on the couch/chair/whatever. Your couch/chair/etc might be too low for you to have your calves at a 90-degree angle to your thighs, so throw a pillow under your calves so your lower legs are parallel to the floor, and your thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Then slowly raise your arms over your head and relax with them on the floor above your head.

This exercise will stretch out your lower back and reduce almost all the pressure on it. Also, sitting is harder on your back than standing, so at work or at home, avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. When you’re driving to work, pull over at a rest stop and get out of the car for a little while to give your back a break.

Are they placing you in traction in PT?

@JNOV: The daughter of one of my partners, Cool Important Indian Woman Lawyer, is at this Farm of which you speak. Is your state skool the one that produced Calista Flockhart? I got to follow in the steps of Edward Abbey at my state school newspaper.

@redmanlaw: Is she liking it? There’s an impressive cultural center there — they always did cool stuff on the holidays for those of us who couldn’t afford to go home.

And, no, Rutgers is the Big State School of NJ. The one I went to is the teeniest, I think, although it’s growing, much to the chagrin of the hippies who started it back in the late 60s. Here’ another hint: Evergreen State College is our sister school. When Tiny State School started, they gave out written assessments instead of grades, no publish or perish. We called our professors by their first names. Teach, man. Teach. That’s what it was all about.

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