Thursday, October 03, 2013


The GOP Congressional tantrum continues, and from National Review comes this stop-the-presses item on how the Democrats are really losing this thing:
Scenic Overlooks not Overlooked by Obamaites 
Driving down the George Washington Parkway outside Washington, D.C. today, I noticed that the two scenic overlooks that offer drivers the chance to admire the beauty of the Potomac River below are closed for the government shutdown. These overlooks are just cut-outs from the highway, providing a few parking spaces. That’s it. No little National Park Service kiosk. Nothing. It’s just a parking area that holds maybe 6 cars at a time.

To close them required someone to come and put up barricades, thus costing taxpayers money.

Is there anyone in the Obama administration with common sense? Do they not see how petty and over-reaching this makes them look?
How petty and over-reaching they look, lol. The punchline: This post is bylined "The Editors." ("Come on, Jonah, you drew the short straw!" "No way! People will think I'm stupid farrrrt.")*

Further down David French wasn't so smart as to leave his name off this, but maybe he was hoping to win a prize for the stupidest WWII Memorialgate post. If so, he's got my vote!
I’m hopeful that the manifest injustice and obvious malice of the memorial closings will be a clarifying moment for the American people. It’s not 1995 any longer, and we don’t have to depend on the mainstream media to tell the truth. At the ACLJ, we’re considering litigation, but litigation will be unnecessary if there is a sufficient — and proper — public response.
You hear that, Mr. and Mrs. America? Better turn those poll numbers around or David French will sue!

At PJ Media Zombie is incensed that government furloughs also apply to places like the Cliff House in San Francisco:
The fact that the federal government twisted the arm of a private business to intentionally and unnecessarily inconvenience its customers (and lose money while doing so) proves that the Obama administration will stop at nothing to maximize the drama of its political brinksmanship.
Fuck those deadbeat cancer patients at the NIH, we had a good thing going here!

If this keeps up, the next concession Boehner demands will be a new identity and a cabin in Idaho.

UPDATE. Mild edits for clarity. Also, commenter "calling all toasters" calls my attention to radio shouter Mark Levin's schtick: "If You Lay One Hand On WWII Vets, I'll Bring Half A Million People There." How many half-millions will he bring if we knock over his garden gnome? Jesus, these people love to make threats.

Oh, and if you're in the mood for some "Both Sides Do It" bullshit, unsurprisingly Megan McArdle has you covered:
The ability to understand that the other side is people, with regular people feelings and their very own thoughts and motivations, seems to have been almost completely erased over the last decade or two. My Facebook feed is filled with liberals saying how they just can’t understand why Republicans are so determined to take health insurance away from poor people … as if that could be the only possible motivation to oppose Obamacare.
The punchline: She never tells us what an alternative motivation would be. I see her sitting with a notepad that has "1. Because freedom" and nothing else written on it; the pad is pushed to one side and McArdle is using her pencil to make decorative borders on artisanal cupcake liners.

UPDATE 2. Sorry, had to add this from Crazy Jesus Lady Peggy Noonan:
The political problem: The president is failing to lead.
This she derives from a conversation with -- get this -- James Baker! I'm sure sub rosa his take was, "Fuck the poors, they don't vote for us." Also, much blubbering over how ol' Ronnie and Tip sorted things out back in the day. Of course, if O'Neill had demanded the top tax rate be returned to 91% or the government shuts down, the memories would be less misty and water-colored.

*UPDATE 3. National Review finally put Mona Charen's name on this post. Guess she lost a bet.


  1. This is fucking stupid.

    I wish I had something more intelligent to say, maybe analyzing the conservative obsession over this extremely minor issue versus the much more serious ones they're causing, or pointing out the rampant hypocrisy. But why bother? If you've been watching this, and your first though wasn't "Man, this is fucking stupid," then you're trying not to understand.

    The GOP has rounded a bend into Delusiontown that I never thought they'd take. It's like they're practicing some sort of non-Euclidean logic that would make sense in another dimension governed by a different set of rules, but not here. They're defying causality, they're fighting reality, they're trying to invert everything that makes sense in this nonsensical world of ours.

    And there's nothing I can say about that that's not obscene. Nothing. It's almost as though obscenity was created to help us make sense of what's going on right now. So join in, assholes.

  2. TGuerrant10:29 PM

    We inferiors exist to please them. In all ways. At all times. Just because they broke the oven, doesn't mean they don't get cake whenever they demand it.

  3. reallyaimai10:44 PM

    I think their inability to grasp that the shutdown means stuff doesn't happen/things get closed relates to the popular right wing conviction that your taxes are all wasted on the wandering air--taxes don't do anything so how can not paying for stuff be a problem. The hectoring these guys are doing of the park service, for instance that jerk haranguing the actual park worker about how she "should be ashamed" to have closed off a memorial is just a case in point. Apparently he is unaware that any of her labor is required for things to function and he thinks she just decided unilaterally to skyve off for the day.

    This goes hand in hand with their conviction, as expressed by the lady congressperson, that she "needs her paycheck." Apparently it never occured to them that other people also need their paychecks.

    Again: they don't really believe that government workers (other than themselves that is) perform any function for which they receive money. So they are shocked to discover that you have to pay people for the work they have done, and when you don't pay them the work doesn't get done. They don't think of the money the government sends out as being for work already performed. They don't see it as a commitment the government already made that people already relied on. They think the government and its buildings just are and the money? that can be held up and its no harm no foul.

  4. JennOfArk10:48 PM

    Two thoughts, other than "motherfuckers!":

    First, who'dathunk that there are some things provided by government that wingnuts actually like? (I mean, other than farm subsidies and other goodies for lining their own pockets.)

    Second, the drama queen histrionics over park and monument closings should have been expected. After all, those are things used by people who have at least enough money to travel. Much more important than poor kids with cancer or poor people without food...or 45 million people without health insurance. Government services are for the makers, dontchaknow. Us moochers are just here to prop up their profit margins and pay the taxes.

  5. J Edgar11:00 PM

    Now I have to think about Jonah driving, a thought that will last even if the shutdown ends. Also, gives a new meaning to putt-putt.

  6. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq11:14 PM

    Nitpick: It should be non-Euclidean math or, ideally non-Euclidean geometry. AFAIK there is nothing indicating that Euclid wrote about logic.

  7. They're sore because the shutting of scenic highway overpasses doesn't punish inner city black people.

  8. They're defying causality, they're fighting reality, they're trying to invert everything that makes sense in this nonsensical world of ours.

    Thanks to the Republicans I now finally understand how Soviet society became so batshit crazy. It just all seemed so bizarre to me when I read about it as a kid: newspapers giving the party line instead of true accounts no matter how crazy the fabricated tales, bogus pseudoscientific claims meant to boost the reputation of the republic,, a constant push for foreign aggression and boasting of Russian exceptionalism, and the daily denial of reality about such fundamental facts as the availability of food and fuel.

    They literally ignored the starvation and freezing deaths of their own people rather than abandon their destructive beliefs.

    But I get it now. I mean, I really get it. When a group of people decide to hitch their wagon to an ideology at all costs they eventually go insane and drag the rest of society down with them. When they refuse to accept certain crucial truths about the world, particularly about social inequalities and the fact that the lives of other people are worth as much as their own, they're eventually forced to abandon reality - and consequently their humanity - altogether.

    This is how it happens. We are watching it unfold before us.

  9. They don't think of the money the government sends out as being for
    work already performed. They don't see it as a commitment the government
    already made that people already relied on. They think the government
    and its buildings just are and the money? that can be held up and its no
    harm no foul.

    Just wait until the next debt-ceiling crisis!

  10. It just goes to show you, the right-wingers here in the States hated the Russians more out of envy than out of fear.

  11. Haystack11:32 PM

    This all had to be planned, right? The idea of forcing a shutdown and then immediately fanning out across the country and playing the victims of said shutdown and blaming the side that was bending over backward to prevent it has a warped genius to it.

    The must have been at least one congressthing in a caucus meeting who somberly observed, "You know, guys, if we do this thing we're gonna have to own it" and was then laughed out of the room by a chorus of catcalls and derision.

    They just knew Big Media would save their bacon with context and analysis free articles about poor family X or veteran Y or baby Z who are now defied government services as a result of silly political wrangling up there in Washington.

  12. AGoodQuestion11:40 PM

    If this keeps up, the next concession Boehner demands will be a new identity and a cabin in Idaho.
    Isn't New Hampshire the preferred destination when your in over your head with meth gangs?

  13. mortimer200011:45 PM

    Right-Wing Republican Logic
    1. Real Americans know that Republicans didn't cause the shutdown. Obama's refusal to compromise did.
    2. Obama is maliciously closing our most sacred patriotic memorials even though you don't need the government* to run government-run memorials. *the one that was shut down because of Obama's refusal to compromise.
    3. Obama is closing restaurants and stuff on government-run national park lands that don't need to be closed just to make people angrier at the shutdown caused by Obama's refusal to compromise.
    4. If only Obama asked them to, conservatives like David French would be lining up to clean the bathrooms of memorials that are no longer clean because of the shutdown caused by Obama's refusal to compromise.
    5. If we had brains we could take them out and play with them.

  14. AGoodQuestion11:45 PM

    Aside from a need/hate relationship with government, all this betrays a contempt of labor. I don't mean organized labor - although obviously, that too - but simply the work people do every day while keeping body and soul together. I suspect that it would also suck ass to work for most of these people in the private sector.

  15. mortimer200011:51 PM

    This seems apropos here. (Via Media Matters)
    Fox Business host Stuart Varney:
    HOWELL: Do you think that federal workers, when this ends, are deserving of their back pay or not?

    VARNEY: That is a loaded question isn't it? You want my opinion? This is President Obama's shutdown. He is responsible for shutting this thing down; he's taken an entirely political decision here. No, I don't think they should get their back pay, frankly, I really don't. I'm sick and tired of a massive, bloated federal bureaucracy living on our backs, and taking money out of us, a lot more money than most of us earn in the private sector, then getting a furlough, and then getting their money back at the end of it. Sorry, I'm not for that. I want to punish these people. Sorry to say that, but that's what I want to do.
    I'm getting screwed. Here I am, a private citizen, paying an inordinate amount of money in tax. I've got a slow economy because it's all government, all the time. And these people are living on our backs, regulating us, telling us what to do, taxing us, taking our money, and living large. This is my chance to say "hey, I'm fed up with this and I don't miss you when you're on furlough."

  16. Haystack12:00 AM

    That's a lot of Orwellian mendacity, economic stupidity and free-form hatred in just two paragraphs. He just earned his (substantially larger than a federal worker's) paycheque for this week. Hell, maybe for the rest of the year.

  17. You know who ELSE hated monuments? That's right! Hitler! You know who ELSE thought that a minority of extremists shouldn't be able to shut down the government to achieve their radical plan? That's right! Hitler! More specifically, Doug Hitler, this guy I used to work with!

    I have no idea what the "ACLJ" is, but I'm going to assume it's the American Civil Liberty Jackanapes, and express my support for ensuring our rights through grab-assing, faffing about, monkeyshines, shenanigans, tomfoolery and ballyhoo. Good on you, ACLJ, and your parliamentary rump-pinching. But if we're going to go all middle school, it's a damn shame that thinking about baseball isn't enough to get rid of an unwanted Boehner anymore.

  18. glennisw12:23 AM

    To close them required someone to come and put up barricades, thus costing taxpayers money.

    Wingnuts really don't seem to know how things work, or I guess the little people that do things like empty trash bins and patrol things are invisible to them.

  19. glennisw12:27 AM

    And while we're talking, it IS ironic that the right wing is now expressing its firm conviction that government-sponsored sculptures and government-protected natural landscapes are indispensable and important things that enhance our lives.

  20. KatWillow12:49 AM

    Maybe they're still "creating their own reality" while the rest of us watch.

  21. FlipYrWhig12:49 AM

    I think what this whole thing proves, beyond all else, is that conservatives don't know the meaning of the word "shut."

  22. DocAmazing12:51 AM

    the little people that do things like empty trash bins and patrol things are invisible to them.


  23. DocAmazing12:56 AM

    Why won't these moochers work for me for free?

  24. That was a joke. Non-Euclidean geometry makes little sense in this universe, so non-Euclidean logic must be likewise.

  25. It takes a very special kind of person to go on television and say to the world, "I think that a large group of people I've never met should suffer." I won't say that this will hurt anyone who says it out loud (who knows, really?), but it's very revealing regardless.

  26. DocAmazing1:39 AM

    Steve Martin was the role model:

    Navin R. Johnson:
    Well I'm gonna to go then! And I don't need any of this. I don't need
    this stuff, and I don't need *you*. I don't need anything. Except this.

    [picks up an ashtray]

    Navin R. Johnson:
    And that's the only thing I need is *this*. I don't need this or this.
    Just this ashtray... And this paddle game. - The ashtray and the paddle
    game and that's all I need... And this remote control. - The ashtray,
    the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need... And
    these matches. - The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control,
    and the paddle ball... And this lamp. - The ashtray, this paddle game,
    and the remote control, and the lamp, and that's all *I* need. And
    that's *all* I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one... I need
    this. - The paddle game and the chair, and the remote control, and the
    matches for sure. Well what are you looking at? What do you think I'm
    some kind of a jerk or something! - And this. That's all I need.

    [walking outside]

    Navin R. Johnson:
    The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, and this magazine, and the chair.

    Navin R. Johnson:
    [outside now]
    And I don't need one other thing, except my dog.

    [Shithead growls at him]

    Navin R. Johnson:
    I don't need my dog.

  27. i was an organizer on the colorado college campus during the recent recall elections about a month ago now; the elections themselves were spread out about 5 days (except on sunday because duh jesus), and during that time a lot of the field management people were keeping watch on twitter and the conservative blogs and scratching their heads over the video feeds and twitpics that didn't seem really conform to any rhyme or reason: for example, a live feed of the voting center downtown (just people walking in and out for the most part), or pics posted by independence institute interns of poll watchers (mostly of my friend checking his phone).

    so my friends and my bosses would scratch their heads and wonder why they weren't using these resources to do some "citizen journalism," to rake some muck about our side. it was just fuzzy pics and lame videos. and i kept telling them they missed the point - for these folks, the recalls were akin to occupys, celebrations of people's uprisings or whatever - indeed, they aped the forms that occupy used to record their camp interactions or incursions by cops. in their efforts they were writing a narrative of the recalls that placed themselves at the center of events, regardless of what was actually happening.
    by and large there isn't anything to understand here. there is the world, and then there is this story they tell themselves. like i've been telling myself about why my ex girlfriend broke up with me - the reason is that there is no reason.

  28. marindenver2:56 AM

    You just gotta love that mentality that was all "YAYYY!! SHUT DOWN NOW!!!" then when stuff actually got, like, shut down, they're like "WHAT HAPPENED HERE"!!

    Ummm, you shut gummint down you guys. Remember?

    Of course the essential fallacy here is in thinking that Rethugs actually understand causality. I think for them it's all about majikal thinking - if we want it to be so, it will be so.

  29. mommadillo6:32 AM

    The inimitable Tom Toles supplies an apt illustration of Roy's point:

  30. montag26:36 AM

    What Mr. Varney does not--and will not--acknowledge is that most of his income taxes go to so-called defense and the interest costs for deficit military/security/surveillance/intelligence spending. That happens because very well-to-do people like Mr. Varney want some assurances from the same government he despises that their wealth will not be taken from them by upstart invaders (or upstart fellow citizens). Even this bargain seems an imposition to him--other (lesser) people than he should be paying the costs to protect his fortunes, because he and his wealthy friends are so very, very special in these United States.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

  31. reallyaimai6:38 AM

    Yes! I just read that this morning a few minutes ago and I thought: Bingo! I am going to blog it later today with a link to a fascinating article on people who use tips as "punishment." I was not at all surprised to read that transcript of Varney--these people are hateful, literally full of hate.

  32. "No Fair!" They cry red-faced, taking timeout from holding their breaths. "We shit on the floor, but the Resident in Chief didn't cover it with a pretty rug, and now everyone can see it. Waaahhhhhh. He's such a meany!"

    Are they so stupid, think their constituents are so stupid, or both, that they cannot remember what they did their ownselves only three days ago? They, their idiot followers, or both, really genuinely believe that one man has the power and time to personally close every one of the thousands of 2-bit roadside attractions in this country--and that's how he chooses to use his powers?????

    Just like the rightwing media bitching about the "mainstream media," Congressional Teabaggers and their bullied kiss-ass republican punching bags have spent so long whining about the "government" they seem to have actually forgotten that Congress is, um, like a major part of that fucking government. Maybe they never knew.

    This has gone way past parody. We are now deep in Dangerous Idiot territory.

    The Stooges are funny--until you hire them to decorate your house.

  33. They are the dark nature of American Heritage personified, and they are taking advantage of a system set up to be equitable by folks who assumed honest, rational opposition by all parties.

    That is clearly not the case, and has not been for quite some time--probably since about 1860.

  34. I finally clearly see how the civilized culture of Germany was overwhelmed by the barbarism of the Nazis.

    And I am not fucking exaggerating here--Fuck Godwin's Law. If it's happening again, no point in pretending it isn't.

  35. I'm sick and tired of a massive, bloated federal bureaucracy Wall Street Investors living on our backs, and taking money out of us, a lot more money than most of us earn in the private sector regular world, then getting a furlough off scot-free after nearly destroying the economy, and then getting their money back at the end of it. Sorry, I'm not for that. I want to punish these people. Sorry to say that, but that's what I want to do.

  36. Well, see...that's what the chain-gangs were for. It's a perfect system: round up the undesirables and put 'em to work doing the shit we don't want to pay for.

  37. Derelict7:37 AM

    Other than defense contracts and crony capitalism, there are NO things provided by government that wingnuts like.
    For anyone who hasn't figured it out yet, conservatives hate the government of the United States with a white-hot passion. They will do anything to destroy our government. And with the shutdown, they have accomplished their goal. They don't care that the vast majority of Americans will hate them for it: They, themselves, have always despised the vast majority of Americans.

  38. Smut Clyde7:41 AM

    That's quite a find. The Ur-stupidity, combining two propositions:
    1. Obama is responsible for the shutdown and owns all the bad publicity.
    2. Obama is deliberately making the shutdown worse than it needs to be for the sake of the bad publicity.

    If they believed both points, you'd think they would just stand back and leave him to it.

  39. shortstop8:17 AM

    Watch the video. It's even worse when you hear the self-righteous rage in his voice. When will the drones in the public sector stop victimizing me? I'm mad as hell at park rangers, meat inspectors and State Department file clerks -- I simply will not take their oppressive tactics for one more day!

  40. montag28:36 AM

    The Stooges are funny--until you hire elect them to paintrun your hHouse.

  41. coozledad8:42 AM

    McCarthy, Bachmann and Cruz, have a canton mentality that's built around "We was on the wrong side in WWII." Get one of the living ones drunk, and they'll be happy to tell you.

    I don't know how they managed to integrate holocaust denial with that Greatest Generation posturing, but mutual exclusivity has never been that big a fucking deal to them.

  42. BigHank538:51 AM

    An inordinate amount of money in tax? Try living in Scandanavia or Denmark. Then try living someplace where you need 24/7 armed guards to keep the impoverished masses from stealing all your shit and eating your household pets. Varney lives in one of the most prosperous countries on Earth (though we do have a distribution problem or two) and he wants to fucking whine about his share of the tab. After you eliminate the minimum wage and grind the middle class down to a nub, who th' fuck do you think is going to pay for the memorials and shiny jet fighters? Get used to that tax bill, shithead.

  43. BigHank538:56 AM

    Did you notice how the same people who were (and are) slobbering over Putin are the same folks who like to squeak about Hayek's Road to Serfdom? Talk about a crowd that's been blessed with an utter lack of self-awareness...

  44. calling all toasters8:57 AM

    Oh, the NR is a bunch of wussies. REAL men anticipate some fake indignity and make it a call to arms!

    Mark Levin: "I'm going to tell you folks something. I want to say this loud and clear to the people on Capitol Hill who are listening, to this administration -- you lay one damn hand on one of those World War II vets at that memorial, I'll bring half a million people to that damn memorial! You got that?"

    I doubt he could get six people to come to his birthday party, but knock yourself out, Levin.

  45. Well, there is what Nietzsche said about the ancient concept of good things, which is that the good things are idleness and fighting. Dovetails pretty well with the right wing conception of goodness too.

  46. BigHank539:01 AM

    Lose the spray-tan, give him a nasty blonde haircut, and make him the manager of a run-down single-wide mobile home park in Georgia. You know, so he can stay in touch with his base.

  47. montag29:02 AM

    Oh, I think it'd be delightful to see Boner in a cabin in Idaho.

    He's been quite willing to be the Tea Partiers' metaphorical village idiot, so why not make him one for real?

  48. BigHank539:06 AM

    Given the way Levin et al seem to feel about the personhood of eggs, perhaps he's planning on bringing a crusty sock.

  49. montag29:13 AM

    Yep, don't injure those vets. Levin may need them again to take his place in yet another upcoming war of his choice.

  50. Mark_Bzzzz9:23 AM

    Good lord, they fucking shut down the government and cry foul that it's actually SHUT DOWN? What the fuck is wrong with these goddamned idiots?

  51. Mark_Bzzzz9:31 AM

    Actually, non-Euclidean geometry is a better for understanding gravity than is Euclidean geometry. so it makes much more sense. The math is just a little more difficult for humans.

  52. Leonard Pierce9:31 AM

    It's touching that you think Jonah wouldn't sign off on something that would make him look stupid, Roy. Especially, ICYMI, in light of the fact that his column this morning claims that "The National Park Service...has somehow become the unofficial goon squad of American liberalism".

  53. montag29:36 AM

    I'll bet that Der Pantload never said any such thing when the Park Service under Bush was promoting Creationist texts in the Grand Canyon book store....

  54. From Rebecca West's Black Lamb, Grey Falcon, a long account of a tour of the Balkans between the World Wars. Her guide is a Serbian poet friend. His wife, a German woman, invites herself along for two weeks of the travels and makes it a misery. West's husband sums her up afterwards:

    Gerda has no sense of process. That is what is the matter with Gerda. She wants the result without doing any of the work that goes to make it. She wants to enjoy the position of a wife without going to the trouble of making a real marriage, without admiring her husband for his good qualities, without practising loyal discretion regarding his bad qualities, without respecting those of his gods which are not hers. She wants to enjoy motherhood without taking care of her children, without training them in good manners or giving them a calm atmosphere. She wants to be our friend, to be so close to us in friendship that we will ask her to travel about the country with us, but she does not make the slightest effort to like us, or even to conceal that she dislikes us. She is angry when you are paid such little respect as comes your way because you are a well-known writer, she feels it ought to come to her also, though she has never written any books. She is angry because we have some money. She feels that it might just as well belong to her. That our possession of this money has something to do with my work in the City and my family's work in Burma never occurs to her. For her the money might as easily have been attached to her as to us by a movement as simple as that which pastes a label on a trunk. As she has no sense of what goes to bring people love, or friendship, or distinction, or wealth, it seems to her that the whole world is enjoying undeserved benefits, and in a universe where all is arbitraray it might just as well happen that the injustice was pushed a little further and that all of these benefits were taken from other people, leaving them nothing, and transferred to her, giving her everything. Given the premise that the universe is purely arbitrary, that there is no causality at work anywhere, there is nothing absurd in that proposal.

  55. Horace Boothroyd III10:57 AM

    Your point is well taken, but can be extended significantly. In a very real way, the government is an insurance company with an army. Almost everything it does is geared towards ensuring that the cash and investments held by Mr Varney hold their value, and generally increase over time, while the economy stays robust enough to guarantee his continued employment.

    At a salary much higher than the median government employee.

  56. BadExampleMan10:59 AM

    No doubt he's wearing two of them, so, yes.

  57. BadExampleMan10:59 AM

    Hey, don't hate on Iggy.

  58. Horace Boothroyd III11:00 AM

    Denmark is awesome. Even after paying the notorious income tax, the standard of living enjoyed by danes is higher than that enjoyed by their american counterparts. Oh, to be a plumber in Aarhus!

  59. Horace Boothroyd III11:02 AM

    That's why do don't negotiate with terrorists and you don't compromise with gangsters. It simply encourages them.

  60. You know, nothing says fun times like people explaining why a joke isn't an accurate reflection of reality.

  61. Bruce Perry11:06 AM

    Plus the congresswoman who needs her paycheck is married to a surgeon, so she needs her paycheck less than nearly everyone else.

  62. Ellis_Weiner11:07 AM

    Who wants to hear my latest epiphany?! It's this: In their ability to spin, falsify, get-wrong, and "interpret" the endlessly idiotic things they and their elected representatives do, it's not that wingnuts are adept at making lemonade out of the lemons life so relentlessly gives them.

    Rather, life (the GOP, the Koch brothers, etc.) gives them shit. They do stuff to it--and they *think* the result is lemonade. And in perfect sincerity, they think we think it is, too. "This is delicious!" they say to each other, as the rest of the world beats a hasty retreat. "Maybe a tad less sugar next time, Bill Kristol. Jonah? Yes, more peel, more pulp. As soon as we get the recipe right, the public's gonna love it."

  63. Did he then go on a five-minute rant about wanting his Cheesy Poofs, MOOOOOOOM?

    Levin = Eric Cartman, all grown up.

  64. Speaking of filing FOIA requests .... they do know that the clerks who fill those requests are on furlough, right?

  65. They're just jealous of the NPS Hats....

  66. Ellis_Weiner11:46 AM

    That presupposes that they're sincere, however misguided. I don't think so. I think, to them, politics and propaganda are amoral zones in which you can pretty much say and do whatever you want, without being accused of hypocrisy. You can be accused of lying, yes. But they know they're lying. But morally, since it's politics, it doesn't count. Talk about "show business for ugly people"--to them, they're acting in a play, and are thus not really responsible for what their characters say and do.

    It's not that they don't understand causality. They don't understand human nature. They think--or they seem to--that we agree; that the rest of the world will, or should, give them a moral pass on whatever mendacity or lunacy they cook up, since "it's politics."

  67. whetstone11:56 AM

    The ability to understand that the other side is people, with regular people feelings and their very own thoughts and motivations, seems to have been almost completely erased over the last decade or two.

    Maybe that's because of the insatiable cruelty of the GOP in the last decade or two.

    If it makes her feel any better, I do think that the GOP is driven by "regular people feelings," my readings in politics and history being enough to convince me that insatiable cruelty in the service of greed is one of the fundamental "regular people feelings."

  68. fraser11:57 AM

    Obamacare is insurance for poor people. Republicans want to cancel it. QED. We're sorry you lost again, Megan and we have absolutely no parting gifts.

  69. Mooser12:15 PM

    "as if that could be the only possible motivation to oppose Obamacare."

    And I thought I was funny!

  70. Mooser12:17 PM

    "Obamacare is insurance for poor people."

    Ah, yes, in the midst of condemning them, we accept their framing. That'll help, fraser.

  71. Mooser12:20 PM

    Yup, and then came WW2!

  72. Mooser12:22 PM

    "No doubt he's wearing two of them, so, yes."

    Is he wearing them left, or right?

  73. Mooser12:26 PM

    "mid-90s Salt Lake City when they sued the school district for "oppression of Christians." What a bunch of wankers."

    Ah, they were oppressing the Christians, which gave the Mormons an unfair advantage. Sure, I could see being het up over that.

  74. Mooser12:28 PM

    "They just knew Big Media would save their bacon...."


  75. reallyaimai12:32 PM

    I'm blogging for a friend (honest!) at No More Mr. Nice Blog so I feel obligated to blogwhore this post about how Republican attitudes towards federal workers are related to American attitudes towards the entire process of tipping. I'm cross posting at http/ and I admit its totally TL, DR but what the hell.

  76. FlipYrWhig12:51 PM

    That too. But there's no coherent way to claim surprise, much less offense, at the notion that a "shutdown" will result in... shutting things.

  77. mortimer200012:56 PM

    Wow. The whole Levin thing is awesome in its raw chickenhawkery. He'd love to incite a civil war, and the comments are something else, with much wailing and gnashing of briefs. I haven't seen this level of armchair cock 'n load since the brave posts screaming to take up arms against Iraq war protesters. Levin practically defines cowardly twerp, so this is especially clownish.

  78. Howlin Wolfe1:00 PM

    Mark_Bzzzz, I'm glad you were the party pooper here, as I thought that D Johnston's spectacles of understanding meant he knew there WAS a mongraph by Euclid regarding logic. He could have used "non-Aristotelian", but that would have meant no tepid joke!

  79. reallyaimai1:27 PM

    Oh thank you, Kia. I've never read that although I did read The Balkan Trilogy which had some of the same insights into the character of Guy Pritchard. That is: that there are people who are so shallow and poorly developed emotionally and intellectually that they don't grasp the very central condition of how to live: be with people authentically, choose to work and live authentically, enjoy what you create authentically and don't lust after the things which come to other people because of their history or their acts. You are what you do, not what you see other people doing.

  80. KatWillow1:28 PM

    The really frightening thing is how FAST all this took place. Not even 14 years have passed since Cheney & Co took power. What a legacy they've left us.

  81. reallyaimai1:28 PM

    Cock'n load is frighteningly good. I would like to avoid being anywhere near this comment. Its too sexy and dangerous.

  82. Gromet1:31 PM

    I'm sorry, Megan, when my political opponents deny scientific evidence about the planet's age and weather, refuse to let the government even collect data on gun crime, and think two dudes in love is the end of the world, then wow, yeah, my opponents are not people with regular feelings and thoughts. Go ahead and explain how they are if you like, Megan! While you're at it, tell me why textbooks should exclude huge swaths of scientific and historic fact so that these cretins don't have to hear anything that conflicts with their world view. Tell me why the tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of third-graders. And tell me how if the ACA is so awful, never once -- not once -- has the opposition to it ever made a case that did not depend on lies. Sorry, but you can't back a party that claims the ACA sets up DEATH PANELS and then cry because the pro-ACA side sees you as a demented moron with no thoughts except "I got mine" and no feelings except panic and terror.

  83. pillsy1:39 PM

    THese are the people who argue that Muslims shouldn't be allowed to build mosques in the US because Christians aren't allowed to build churches in Saudi Arabia.

  84. KatWillow1:42 PM

    The democrats cave quite often to repugs unreasonable, insane demands. It must have really shocked them when, for some unknowable reason, the dems didn't cave this time.

  85. PersonaAuGratin1:43 PM

    Also, they have no problem with Health Insurance Serfdom, wherein decent affordable health insurance is only available to employees of companies large enough to provide it, and in the really large companies the senior execs get titanium-grade lifetime healthcare funded by the proceeds of COLI life insurance on the serfs.

  86. montag21:47 PM

    Umm, I think you're focusing on the wrong Stooges.

  87. sophronia1:52 PM

    BINGO. They genuinely believe that "government" consists solely of some gigantic Paying Black People to Sit on Their Asses Fund. That's why they think a government shutdown (and the upcoming credit default which they are revving up to) will have no affect on them whatsoever. So when their vacations are inconvenienced by the closing of national parks, it's got to mean that the evil Obama is manipulating things specifically to punish them.

  88. Howlin Wolfe2:37 PM

    I wish I could rub McArgleBargle's nose in this comment.

  89. Halloween_Jack2:41 PM

    That's the thing about burning bridges: just because you can't go back doesn't mean that there's a way forward; you could be stuck on something like this where the only real way is down. That's where they are, and their sole shred of face-saving left is daring Obama to knock them off, even though they know that a smart man, like him, would just as soon leave them there.

  90. Glock H. Palin, Esq.2:52 PM

    My Facebook feed is filled with liberals saying how they just can’t
    understand why Republicans are so determined to take health insurance
    away from poor people … as if that could be the only possible motivation
    to oppose Obamacare.

    Who fucking cares what their motivation is? That is the direct result of their actions.

  91. reallyaimai3:39 PM

    Maybe you mean this?ttp://

  92. reallyaimai3:40 PM

    Oh, bugger, I don't have the skilz apparently. Imagine St. Simeon Stylites. And throw a girl a laff.

  93. reallyaimai3:45 PM

    This is in reply to both sophronia and bBBB and Katwillow (ok, all three). Yes! This is something I'd like to talk about more. Their conviction that its fairer to cut some people's stuff than others--actually: their certainity that this is the right and most moral way to govern. They absolutely and fundamentally see nothing wrong with going line by line through the budget and eliminating not "fraud and waste" (whatever that might be) but "stuff that I think people won't notice or that does good for people not me." Its the opposite of communal or judicious thinking. It prefers that which is unique and personal to that which is general. And this is why they don't think there's anything wrong with bills of attainder, either, or calling out someone by name on the house floor or attacking Sandra Fluke personally--because they see this all as a big game of rewards and punishments for good people (people like them) and bad people (people somewhere else, of a darker skin, who live in cities.)

    Its why they absolutely had no trouble turning down funding for Sandy victims while demanding double time reparations for whatever tornado affected their constituents. They can't even understand the language Obama and the dems are speaking. The words "we're all in this together" are a nonsensical non sequiteur to them.

  94. Smut Clyde4:03 PM

    Van Vogt would like a word with you.

  95. Smut Clyde4:04 PM

    You left out #0, The so-called Shutdown is really a 'Slimdown' and is what realamericans wanted all along.

  96. Smut Clyde4:09 PM

    The rolled-up newspaper is the 4-by-2 of liberal fascism!

  97. whetstone4:10 PM

    If someone had explained to them the difference between shit and shinola, maybe they wouldn't have followed Ted Cruz into this clusterfuck.

  98. Smut Clyde4:12 PM

    you lay one damn hand on one of those World War II vets at that memorial

    These are the vets who have been saying "Sod off you preening jerks, stop using us as unpaid extras for your photo-op"?

  99. Smut Clyde4:23 PM

    The president is failing to lead.

    Republican opinionater unclear on concept of 'separation of powers'; demands more dictatorial behaviour from president. Details at 11.

  100. Haystack4:30 PM

    Who said anything about coherent?

  101. montag25:09 PM

    Oh, I think, in Nooner's dictionary, "lead" is defined as "giving in."

    After all, he's both black and a Democrat, therefore, he has to be the one that's wrong in this matter, as he is in all matters.

    Ronnie came to her in a dream and told her so.

  102. Smut Clyde5:10 PM

    The National Park Service...has somehow become the unofficial goon squad of American liberalism

    So what goon squads do is put up "Closed" signs and go home on unpaid leave? I learn stuff here.

  103. montag25:12 PM

    What the fuck is wrong with these goddamned idiots?

    Nothing that a little jail time and extreme poverty wouldn't fix....

  104. Mooser5:16 PM

    "Go ahead and explain how they are if you like, Megan!"

    Oh easy! Because God! You are not saying you don't believe in God, are you?

  105. Mooser5:18 PM

    "You are what you do, not what you see other people doing."

    From your mouth to Zionist's ears!

  106. montag25:23 PM

    I doubt there's any conviction involved--this is something to be exploited, and exploitation is something they really understand. These are the same people, after all, who want to fill up the national parks with bulldozers and drilling rigs.

    Six months after this is over, they'll be wanting to lease the fracking rights for that memorial.

  107. Mike McCarthy5:54 PM

    They would have found something to bitch about if nat'l parks weren't closed. Indeed, if the parks were open without park personnel we'd probably be hearing about the Black Panthers terrorizing veterans at Gettysburg. We can't win with these people.

  108. This is a fascinating observation, trex, that ties in with the whole notion that human (i.e. "intelligent") life is only a vehicle for memes, which are the true focus of evolution--experiencing the same cycles of challenge-adaptation/extinction-new challenge that we normally ascribe solely to biology. If that is indeed the case, it only stands to reason that these memes will suffer the same sorts of non-survivable mutations that we body-bots experience from time-to-time.

    Including, apparently, a serious bout of the Crazeez when the dying meme doesn't go gently into that good night, but instead explodes in paroxysm of violence and effluence fatal to neighboring lifeforms.

  109. smut clyde6:04 PM

    Scandanavia or Denmark

    Grammar pedant says AHEM.

  110. smut clyde6:10 PM

    He sees the goon squad and he's coming to town. Beep-beep!

  111. This! However, I have found that self-declared conservatoids are invariably very, very big on what they meant to do as opposed to what they actually did.

  112. M. Krebs6:53 PM

    4-by-2? Is that a 2-by-4 in Aussie?

  113. coozledad7:25 PM

    I think iggy did say at one point he left the Stooges because they would be out of their depth in a home aquarium.

    As Roy has said, Rock is a dark place.

  114. redoubt7:44 PM

    less misty and water-colored

    I thought vodka was water-colored. Learn something new everyday.

    We worked all of FY 2013 under a continuing resolution. For the fourth time in five years. Why should they fix this? They've been gleefully breaking it, and blaming it on people like us, who want to go back to work.

  115. reallyaimai7:57 PM

    Ohh...anyone remember that woman who used to smear herself with chocolate for art's sake? That was right up there with Piss Christ as a sign of degeneracy.

  116. reallyaimai7:58 PM

    So: real clear politics means "loud?"

  117. Wrong antipodean country. Don't make him angry, you won't like him when he's angry.

  118. reallyaimai8:00 PM

    I don't think Nooner means "giving in" when she says "lead." I think she admires strong men and has a mystical faith in the efficacy of charismatic power. She'd be thrilled if Obama could magically cause the lion and the lamb to lie down together. Thats what she thinks a president is: a combination Daddy Jesus and lover jesus in a fine cordovan shoe--or was that the pope?

  119. As soon as we get the recipe right, the public's gonna love it

    I think it's more like "As soon as we get the marketing right, the public's gonna buy it."

  120. From Rebecca West's Black Lamb, Grey Falcon,

    I initially read this as "Rebecca Black's , and was shocked that she recorded a follow-up to Friday.

  121. Oh, those Mark Levin commenters are so funny when they lie:

    The last time I "marched" on DC was to hear Dr King deliver his "I have a dream" speech. Nothing since has moved me to make that trip.....until this.

  122. Gabriel Ratchet8:23 PM

    It's pretty much a textbook case of Freud's narcissism of small differences.

  123. BigHank539:46 PM

    (hangs head in shame)

    I mixed up Denmark and Belgium again, didn't I....

  124. BigHank5310:01 PM

    Karen Finley! My goodness, remember how their little feet used to stamp and the teeth used to gnash over the National Endowment for the Arts?

  125. AGoodQuestion10:02 PM

    Ick. Can't stand people who think their Nietzschean ubermenschen Friedrich himself knew better, I think.

  126. smut clyde10:09 PM

    No akvavit for you.

  127. Dan S.10:12 PM

    I think Gerda needs to hook up with that recent angry-misogynistic-bizarrely-picky-list-of-demands-for-a-prospective-girlfriend guy.

  128. reallyaimai10:19 PM

    Well, it was the 80's, wasn't it? She was probably using milk chocolate--no more than 40 percent real cocoa butter. I'd complain too.

  129. AGoodQuestion10:29 PM

    They reformed in the wave of proto-punk band reunions, like the two surviving New York Dolls playing with ringers.

  130. Halloween_Jack10:29 PM

    The URL isn't complete; Wile E. Coyote?

  131. ken carey10:33 PM

    Nothing since has moved me to make up that trip.....until this

  132. Tehanu10:35 PM

    I couldn't comment over there, it wouldn't recognize my "profile", so I'll do it here -- that was a terrific post, aimai! I think you nailed it: if us lazy moochers don't acknowledge their inherent superiority, it's persecution. I used to wonder how they could reconcile their wannabe-aristo beliefs with what they claim is love of the USA ("all men are created equal" and all that), until I realized that to them, the USA isn't the country founded on ideas of equality; it's just the country where they happen to live, and if it had Nazi ideals, they'd be just as happy with that. (And don't get me started on the Dept. of Heimat Security....)

  133. AGoodQuestion10:36 PM

    The ones at the top are entirely conscience-free about what they say and do. For a lot of the grunts I think it's a matter or either not getting causality or having a memory-span not even a goldfish would envy. Guess that's what's meant by "the big tent" nowadays.

  134. glennisw10:46 PM

    Well, their motivation is to make the President fail. Taking health insurance away from poor people is just a side benefit.

  135. whetstone10:51 PM

    But if Varney lived in one of those violent shitholes, he'd just buy his own security staff, gated mansion, and bulletproof limo rather than pay generally for the general welfare. I suspect what pisses him off is not having to pay not to have all his shit stolen, it's having to pay to have anyone else's shit not get stolen.

  136. reallyaimai10:51 PM

    Thanks for coming over, Tehanu. I've had problems with that commenting system myself and often get locked out. But I appreciate your reading it.

  137. whetstone11:07 PM

    It makes a lot of sense to me. The thing about government jobs is that the income spread and distribution are all out of wack compared to private industry. The bottom of the career ladder makes more; the top makes less; and the people who run everything (mayors, presidents, governors) don't actually make all that much, comparatively speaking--low six figures, at best. IIRC it's usually publicly-employed doctors that make the most of any public employee, at least at the civic level.

    It's a good system, in many ways--people with a lot of (expensive) education are paid well, usually enough to put them in the upper-middle class, but not so outrageously it comes at the excessive expense of less selective but still critically important jobs (raise your hand if you'd like to get by without janitors).

    But, duh, it's obviously in violation of the natural order of things, where what the market will pay you is what you make, no matter how fucked up the market is. And the market has a lot of good reasons to compensate a loyal, shameless waterboy like Varney; a normal person would be toothless in a matter of weeks from throwing up in his own mouth too often.

  138. whetstone11:10 PM

    Yeah, thanks for that post; I loved the part about punishers. That's why I couldn't do the service industry for very long, and intentionally avoided the restaurant industry*: I'm not sure if I would have been fired or ended up in jail first. Doing call-center customer service was my limit.

    *Also, my mom waitressed her way through grad school. She was just talking the other day about what a shock it was to go from being treated like a cretin (and not just by the customers) to treated like an intellectual within an hour or two.

  139. whetstone11:21 PM

    I am enjoying watching them figure out what services will get them killed by their constituents. Uh... we want to fund monuments (to wars we like)! And pretty things in rural areas! National Parks it is! [Shuffles feet.] Veterans? Kids with cancer? We can't have that! Let's fund the VA and the NIH!

    Why the NIH and not the CDC? Who knows! It's like asking a kid to pack for himself; don't be surprised if you end up with six swimsuits and no underwear.

  140. whetstone11:26 PM

    Ah. See, I think those are "regular feelings and thoughts." I'm not sure if it's a glass-half-empty thing, or whether it's because the county I grew up in and all the ones surrounding it all just got off the Voting Rights Act's official shit list* about a decade ago.

    *You'd think it would be hard to be that discriminatory, or at least why you'd be arsed to bother, in a rural county that's like 99% white. Well, reader...

  141. whetstone11:34 PM

    The one thing I'll say in sympathy, or at least in explanation, is that she's a speechwriter so of course she believes in the mystical power of words to move men.

    If she was a bomber pilot, she'd want Obama to just nuke the capitol. If all you have is a hammer and a complete lack of perspective, etc.

  142. DocAmazing11:47 PM

    I yam what I yam...

  143. calling all toasters11:51 PM

    Next up, Bashar al-Assad shares his recollections of marching to the sea with Gandhi.

  144. J Neo Marvin12:55 AM

    Callin' from the Fun House...

  145. LookWhosInTheFreezer1:48 AM

    I only read about 1/4 of you said it's long. But very much enjoyed it and will finish it when I'm less-tired/soberer. Thanks for sharing.

  146. MBouffant4:07 AM

    Seeing what you did there. Hee hee.

  147. reallyaimai8:33 AM

    That story about your mother is so interesting--I had the same shock going from being out in the world/an intellectual to being "the mommy," actually, and treated for a while by medical professionals as though I were a complete moron.

    The entire tipping thread, which I linked to in that post, is one of the most thought provoking native political ethnographies I've ever read. You find yourself saying "of course!, why didn't I see that before" over and over while you are reading it. It also ties in very closely with observations made in Albion's Seed about different cultural traditions in dealing with men, women, time, service, etc...There isn't one American way of dealing with dining out anymore than there is one American way of thinking about food, waiters, servants, or money. There are at least four, maybe more. The thing I point to, Republicans vs. Democrats, is really probably something like Southern vs Northern, former slave states vs. free territories, underneath it all.

  148. reallyaimai8:34 AM

    Our own vacuumslayer/mr. kenneth noisewater had a great post up about this at Lawyers Guns and Money describing the Republican vision as "Blackie McTaker" while in reality the government is also "Public McSpacey." I have been laughing about that ever since.

  149. reallyaimai8:38 AM

    What is interesting to me about that is that they just don't seem to have a rheostat. Its all or nothing for them. And yet, when it comes right down to it, If you could sit them down and have them list all the functions they now perceive as "essential" and the numbers of people/money necessary to perform them they would actually probably end up with a budget as high or higher than Obama and the Dems wanted. Because the truth is they could only bring themselves to cut the budget as hard as they did by ignoring reality and cutting things they now think are essential or by doing the equivalent of cutting off all disaster aid or all of foodstamps.

  150. Michtou11:21 AM


  151. whetstone11:44 AM

    Here, for starters. From there I recommend studies of Wisconsin public employee salaries; any open list of public employee salaries, like the Chicago data portal's sortable list of all of them; anything on SEC/Wall Street pay disparities. (Which is arguably a problem.)

    There are some exceptions--I think public school teachers tend to earn more than their private-sector counterparts. But having written about these sorts of things for awhile, I'm hard pressed to think of too many. It's one of the reasons pensions and really good health benefits are a big deal--the private sector tends to offer better returns to higher ed, especially advanced degrees, but not remotely the same ongoing stability.

  152. ChrisV8211:44 AM

    Shorter Conservatives: Fuck the government, unless it's the part of the government we like.

  153. whetstone11:47 AM

    Shhh, shhh. Call it "epistemic closure," not "batshit crazy." Then Very Serious People will take it Seriously.

  154. Michtou12:06 PM

    I think comparing state employees to federal employees is like comparing apples to oranges. Public school teacher salaries and benefits vary widely from district to district in California, with some being well-paid and others living at lower middle-class level. And your analysis of public school teachers is probably based on "average" salaries, which really is an average of what all the salaries are, not what an average teacher makes. When you lump in administration as "educators," it skews the "average" salary.

  155. whetstone12:37 PM


  156. DocAmazing12:52 PM

    his Zeal will become apparent.

  157. Michtou12:57 PM

    That's fair. As a public school teacher I always see the "average" salaries posted in newspaper articles, and know that they are much, much higher than those that are earned by most public school teachers. The only conclusion I can reach is that that is the way the average is arrived at. It certainly does not reflect the teachers' reality. I also know about the discrepancy between districts here because I have lived it. The district I work in pays more than the district next door, but the differences in benefits rather eats up the differences in salaries. There is a strange antagonism against teachers in this country that results in news media reporting falsely on test scores, salaries, benefits, etc. For example, the maximum retirement benefit in California is based on a maximum salary of around $130,000. That is not a teacher's salary, that is an administrator's salary. This was not reported in the news media, where the administrators were called "educators." Also it was not explained that the retirement benefit is not the same as the salary, it is a percentage based on years of experience. The maximum a person could get is 60% of that salary, and that is after having worked 30 years. This failure to report caused a lot of people to assume that teachers were getting $130,000 in retirement benefits!!!!

  158. M. Krebs2:37 PM

    Oops, sorry clyde. No offense intended. God knows I love kiwis. Both Neil and Tim.

  159. dstatton4:46 PM

    Years ago Atrios said that people think that tax money goes down a rat hole, and infrastructure magically appears out of nowhere.

  160. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq7:33 PM

    It's DR. Kenneth Noisewater. She presumably didn't fake her CV for nothing. But yeah "Blackie McTaker" is brilliant.

  161. Halloween_Jack10:52 PM

    IIRC, frosting, right out of the can. Imagine Megan McArdle's horror.

  162. Der Bruno Stroszek7:30 AM

    No, see, when Republicans do something stupid with high and noble ideals, we're supposed to spend the next decade talking about how high and principled their ideals were, and that it really looked like it might work out for a bit there, rather than the hideous consequences of those actions. Like the Iraq war.

  163. reallyaimai7:47 AM

    Should have used pink himalayan salt. But that might have dried her out.

  164. montag210:53 AM

    Of course, no mention that the guy was wearing a Klan armband at the time....

  165. montag212:04 PM

    And, in the dumber and dumberer department, Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Oort Cloud (family name apparently changed from Yahoo), says to the WaPoo in reference to shutdown, "this is just the tremor before the tsunami. I’m not going to raise the debt ceiling.”

    As if it were entirely up to him. The account suggests that he's positively gleeful about the prospect of default, as he reads off a handful of text messages of support. He's encouraging a "birther bill" introduced by fellow looney, Steve Stockman, which he feels sure will prove that Obama wasn't born in the U.S. and whose real mother is Elizabeth Ann Duke (who, confoundingly, is still a U.S. citizen and whose citizenship would have transferred to Obama, anyway, even if born outside the U.S., by the same rule that apparently legitimizes Ted Cruz as a natural-born citizen--hey, it's beyond me to make sense of this). His support for the bill stems from his belief that it will bring down the government.

    It is one of the great, authentic ironies of our time that the government is spending inordinate amounts of manpower and money to arrest and prosecute whistleblowers, OWS activists, elderly anti-nuke nuns and amateur anarchists when the real bomb-throwers are being elected to Congress....

  166. Eli Rabett12:40 PM

    As Eli recalls, at least one of those overlooks was closed for construction equipment staging anyhow.

  167. BigHank537:22 PM

    Mix it with olive oil and you'd have an exfoliating salt scrub you could sell at Whole Foods for $22 a jar. Megan'd buy that.

  168. AHEM! Will the real Dane please stand up? Yes, yes I will. And I'm a linguistic pedant. Denmark is very much in Scandinavia.

  169. And no Gammel Dansk for you, heh.

  170. While we don't have the waffles, we do have frikadeller.

  171. reallyaimai8:00 PM

    I believe the Romans sold the exfoliated skin they rubbed off with strigels at the bath as a skin softening, elixir of youth. At least thats what the tour guide told us in the Roman Baths in Bath, England.

  172. whetstone10:01 AM

    Yeah, in Illinois the salaries are extremely variable--they can be in the low six figures for very experienced teachers in districts that are both wealthy and have high property taxes, but it's extremely rare. In the impoverished downstate counties, teachers start at the low- or low-mid five figures.

    The ERIC site is down because of the damned shutdown, but this tracks with my experiences of public vs. private school pay. Not saying that public school teachers are overpaid, more that private school teachers are often poorly compensated for what they do.

  173. Michtou11:45 AM

    But many private schools do not even require a teaching credential for someone to teach there. I have relatives who have taught in private school and were not credentialed.