Back to previous post: McCain Targets Obama

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: A dewdrop can exalt us like the music of the sun

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

May 20, 2008

At Least This One’s Hetero
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 01:40 PM * 107 comments

Tired of Family-Values Republicans being outed as closeted gays?

Now for something completely different:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A New York congressman who admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock with a woman who bailed him out of jail on a drunk driving charge this month announced Monday that he will not run for re-election.

Not running for re-election? Gee, ya think?

“This choice was an extremely difficult one, balanced between my dedication to service to our great nation and the need to concentrate on healing the wounds that I have caused to my wife and family,” Rep. Vito Fossella, a six-term Republican, said in a written statement.

Difficult? What’s to choose between not running at all, and getting handed a humiliating defeat?

Fossella, who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, is the 30th Republican to announce they would not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Thirty rats and counting as the good ship GOP goes down by the head.

Comments on At Least This One's Hetero:
#1 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:16 PM:

"Goes down by the head"?

#2 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:18 PM:

Face first into something. Or the nautical equivalent.

(Gee, I knew reading Kent and Forester would come in handy some day. Politics wasn't the place I expected it, though.)

#3 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:19 PM:

That CNN report has such a horrible opening sentence that they ought to be assembling the staff in hollow square, for a ritual disemvowelment. It wasn't written, it was deposited by the meltwater from a small and angry glacier.

#4 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:19 PM:

"Goes down by the head"

But this one was hetero, you said!

#5 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:23 PM:

It *is* nice to see some variety in Republican sex scandals; the bathroom blowjobs were getting monotonous.

#6 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:25 PM:

Have we ever seen this many politicians "retire" before?

I've tried Googling this but I must not be phrasing the search correctly...

#7 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:29 PM:

"Goes down by the head"?

Yeah. Here's a picture. It's when a ship has struck a rock and the forward compartments flood first. The bow (AKA the head) goes down, followed by the stern. (See, for example, RMS Titanic.) As opposed, say, to down by the stern, turning turtle, hard aground, or on the rocks.

Oh, and the joke was intentional.

#8 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:35 PM:

This is just so, pardon the expression, fucking funny.

#9 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:37 PM:

Meanwhile, here in Georgia, John McCain is compared to a certain ancient religious figure: http://wonkette.com/391667/state-gop-chair-claims-mccain-is-kind-of-like-jesus

#10 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:49 PM:

Hey, quit picking on Georgia! We came up with Bob "the GOP's answer to Ralph Nader" Barr!

#11 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 02:58 PM:

Goes down with somebody in the head. With a wide stance. And a nanny goat. And a bucket of buttered okra . . . you don't want to know.

#12 ::: Dave MB ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:04 PM:

Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings was the first person I heard to speculate that Rep. Fossella is retiring to spend more time with his families...

#13 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:06 PM:

Lila #10: How can I pick on the state I live in?

#14 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:15 PM:

Took me down town and dressed me in black
Put me on a train and sent me back.
Didn't have no one to go my bail
So they threw me into the county jail.

-- Little Sadie

At least his mistress likes him well enough to pay his bail. Presumably his wife said "Let him rot."

#15 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:20 PM:

Lori: Have we ever seen this many politicians "retire" before?

The recent record (going back to 1964) seems to be 65 members of Congress in 1992, although that doesn't include retirement during a term.

Congressional re-election rates and retirements

#16 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:30 PM:

Alex Cohen @15:

Thanks -- so this isn't all that unusual, looking at the data.

#17 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:31 PM:

Hey, now, Stefan @ 11! I happen to like buttered okra, and I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't give it such a negative association!

Impugn greased eggplants, or something.

#18 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:31 PM:

It's looking like family values guys cheating on their wives is my state's favorite recreation.

Spitzer went down, the present gub admits to having played, this guy -- and oh, so many others that don't even make the news coz they're not actually politicos.

This sport used to be mainly for those who inhabited the lofty realms of the wealthy fashionable and / or entertainment figures.

Love, C.

#19 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:39 PM:

Grace notes: he spent the day that ended with his arrest taking his wife's father and his (acknowledged) kids to White House receptions

It turns out his father and his uncle have been supporting his second family, who his wife didn't know about

The House Republican leadership not only knew, Hastert's staff got his friend removed from her job as House liaison because she blew Hastert off at official functions at a european meeting to hang with Vito

Both parties in the House want to have an investigation into a trip "fact-finding" he took to France, ostensibly by himself, on the taxpayer's dime.

and just in case anyone was feeling any sympathy, he won't attend family gatherings his sister is invited to, because his sister, who has one partner with whom she shares two children, is gay.

#20 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:55 PM:

Constance @ 18:
I don't think cheating on one's spouse has been an rich-people-only sport for at least most of this century. Aren't the statistics along the lines of 50% of married people admit to it? (I assume some percentage of people won't admit it even in anonymous surveys.)

#21 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 04:05 PM:

American politics is so intense. Nothing like these scandals ever happens in boring old Scandinavia. I wonder why?
[*sarcasm*]

#22 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 04:15 PM:

The part I liked best about the crappy reporting was describing him as a "moderate", since he's made a huge point of working to see that non-heterosexuals are second-class citizens.

I'd hate to see what counts as a Conservative, must less, "radical" republican.

As for Bob Barr, he's running as the Libertarian; and is trash-talking McCain; gluing Bush to his ass.

#23 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 04:35 PM:

#17: "I happen to like buttered okra"

I did not mean to slight the noble okra. It's just one of those vegetables that is funny. Carrots and cucumbers are too suggestive and obvious in this context; potatoes too peculiar.

As for spinach . . . that's just sick.

#24 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 04:38 PM:

Go Bob, go! (loathe the man, think he's not a real Libertarian, but hey, if he helps McCain loose, I'm thrilled)

#25 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 04:42 PM:

Tangentially related (because he's in a leadership position and it's 99.9999% probable that he's a Republican):

Dallas minister caught in sex sting.

Briefly: he went into an online chat room, struck up an acquaintance with someone who represented themselves as an underage female, had multiple conversations of a sexual nature, and arranged to meet "her" for sexual purposes. "She" turned out to be an undercover cop. The guy was carrying a webcam and sexual paraphernalia at the time of the arrest.

#26 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 05:03 PM:

Lee #25: What's a Baptist minister doing with condoms?

#27 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 05:10 PM:

He's leaving to spend more time with his families. And let's face it, he probably needs more time than most.

#28 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 05:16 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 23...

"Oooooh... Popeye!"

#29 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 05:21 PM:

Stefan 23: I did not mean to slight the noble okra. It's just one of those vegetables that is funny.

Anything with a 'k' in its name is automatically funny, as we here in Hoboken ("ohhhh, I'm DYING") know.

#30 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 05:21 PM:

Lori @16:

Thanks -- so this isn't all that unusual, looking at the data.

It's still pretty unusual. The number of Republicans who aren't seeking reelection this time around matches or exceeds the total for both parties combined for many recent years.

#31 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 05:37 PM:

re 3: It sounds like a word-for-word translation from the German.

#32 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 05:44 PM:

The best thing about the Barr candidacy... he doesn't expect to win, and seems to think that tossing the race to Obama is just fine, if McCain loses.

#33 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 06:06 PM:

The statistics I've seen quoted online for affairs seem to be all over the place, and a lot of the time appear to be convenience numbers for rhetorical purpose rather than well-sourced statistics.

The more reliable studies I've seen suggest that approximately 20% of married people admit to extramarital sex (that is, while being married to someone else), in settings where they are most secure about confidentiality. The rate for men is higher than that for women. There's an interesting-looking 1997 review of studies online at

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Extramarital+sex:+prevalence+and+correlates+in+a+national+survey-a019551967

Gallup polls do report that over half of Americans polled *know* someone who's had an extramarital affair, though; and another 1997 poll had 64% of respondents say they *thought* half of all married men had had affairs, a statistic that appears to be well above reality. See

http://www.gallup.com/poll/4591/Americans-Consider-Infidelity-Wrong-Acknowledge-its-Prevalence-Society.aspx

for discussion of those polls and other related "attitude" polls.

(Note: this isn't my field; I just did a bit of searching for what appeared to be well-sourced statistics from reliable-looking agencies without a known agenda. If anyone has better stats, please share them.)

#34 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 06:38 PM:

#33 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom

Also the stats get skewed, as do those for divorce, since those who have divorced once, often have more than one divorce and remarriage, just as they also appear to commit infidelity more than once.

As far as I can tell, like you, concrete, hard data in these areas are hard to really come up with.

Of course politicians have always been a solid customer base for brothels and prostitutions. But it had gotten so out of hand over the last years in Albany even they tried to 'do' something to change this -- to some degree, sexual service was a part of the lobbyists' 'gifts' to the legislators, thus the attempt to rein in the lobbyists recently, and for 'reform.'

That same reform on which Spitzer ran and presumably won the governorship.

Love, C.

#35 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 06:55 PM:

John @ #33:
Even 20% admitting (plus however many didn't admit it), takes it well out of Constance's

those who inhabited the lofty realms of the wealthy fashionable and / or entertainment figures.

I'm pretty sure the "lofty realms" don't make up 20% of the married population, and my personal experience includes plenty of non-lofty types with a track record of adultery of various kinds. Lousy ethics are not exclusively an upper-class phenomenon.

#36 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 07:14 PM:

Susan 35: Lousy ethics are not exclusively an upper-class phenomenon.

No, but it sure helps!

#37 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 08:13 PM:

who admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock with a woman who bailed him out of jail on a drunk driving charge

He really needs to learn how to just send a thank-you note.

#38 ::: karen ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 09:20 PM:

re #15 Actually, 1992 wasn't an ordinary year either. There was a big change in what they could do with excess campaign funds following some financial scandals. Retire before 1992 and keep some big chunk of cash. 1992 was also the first election following the Clarence Thomas hearings (and the Anita Hill grilling and smearing). The election was billed as the Year of the Woman - eight female Senators of both parties. (followed immediately by the backlash of 1994...).

#39 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 09:39 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 26: Filling them with hydrochloric acid and throwing them at Planned Parenthood clinics. That, or strangling cute little bunny rabbits.

#40 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 10:27 PM:

Jim, #14, his wife didn't know. The mistress and daughter are down here and he was here, driving to see them. The mistress bailed him out. It was the next day that the press figured it out and he told his wife. (The local TV has been covering this thoroughly.)

#41 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 10:32 PM:

Fragano @ #13: well, that never stopped me!

(and @ #26: he was planning to use them to make balloon animals for the amusement of the supposed 13-year-old)

#42 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 10:41 PM:

C. Wingate @31, no, word-for-word from the German would be more like this:

A New York congressman, who admitted to with a woman an out of wedlock conceived child fathering, who him this month out of jail bailed, has Monday announced, that he will not for re-election run.

Trust me on this one. This is why taking post-editing of machine translation is always, always, always a mistake, no matter how reasonable it seems when the agency asks.

#43 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 12:14 AM:

A New York congressman
who admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock
with a woman who bailed him out of jail
on a drunk driving charge
this month

I'm having flashbacks to 5th-grade sentence diagramming exercises...yikes.

"New York Congressman is bailed out on drunk driving charge by baby's mama" would be too direct, I guess. Or maybe it really means "New York congressman meets bail bondswoman, promptly impregnantes her."

#44 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 12:16 AM:

Michael Roberts @#42: your version is clearer than CNN's.

#45 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 01:36 AM:

Avram, #37: You just made me waste a perfectly good mouthful of apricot tea. :-)

#46 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 01:43 AM:

#42 ::: Michael Roberts

A New York congressman, who admitted to with a woman an out of wedlock conceived child fathering, who him this month out of jail bailed, has Monday announced, that he will not for re-election run.

Yoda?! Yoda, is that really you?

#47 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 02:09 AM:

Let's all sing a chorus of that great Blind Willie Johnson blues song, "You're gonna need somebody on your bond."

#48 ::: anatidaeling ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 02:58 AM:

Funny vegetables:

Eggplant
Kale
Kohlrabi
Okra
Rutabaga

#49 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 03:27 AM:

#2: Gee, I knew reading Kent and Forester would come in handy some day.

Kipling too..

"An' Mac'll take her in ballast -- an' she trims best by the head. . . .
Down by the head an' sinkin', her fires are drawn and cold,
And the water's splashin' hollow on the skin of the empty hold --"

#50 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 05:08 AM:

3: It wasn't written, it was deposited by the meltwater from a small and angry glacier.

Wow, I hope I never get a review from Dave Bell. Unless it's a good review, of course.

Also, the way it's written sounds like the bailing-out happened before the impregnation - quick work that man.

37: (splutter)

#51 ::: Tlonista ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 05:42 AM:
A New York congressman who admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock with a woman who bailed him out of jail on a drunk driving charge this month

This is just to say
I have fathered a child
that was out of wedlock
with the woman who bailed me out of jail
Forgive me...

#52 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 06:18 AM:

John A. Arkansawyer #39: Ugh!

#53 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 06:19 AM:

Lila #41: *snort*

#54 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 06:39 AM:

52, 53: his mind battered almost beyond endurance by having to mark 8,329,403 horribly written term papers, Fragano is trying to ease the strain on the Ledgister neocortex by experimenting with Non-Verbal Blogging, in which his chuckles, snorts etc are transcribed by a devoted amanuensis.

If this does not work, the next step will be Non-Conscious Blogging, in which he will listen to the thread being read out loud by a nurse while he lies in a restful drug-induced coma in some secluded retreat (Antigua's nice, they tell me) and his EEG trace will be posted as a .gif file.

#55 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 06:59 AM:

Actually, what's been driving me bats, ajay, has been the repeated importuning of one young man, and his father, about a slight matter of plagiarism.

#56 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 07:50 AM:

55: oh, lord, another one? Bad luck. Hope it resolves itself reasonably soon...

#57 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 08:16 AM:

ajay #56: I think it has, the semester and academic year are over and graduation is past. I had genuine crises to deal with (a grade that vanished from the computer system, a committee member who'd been ill) without having to worry about a young man whining 'I turned in the wrong essay'. Right, and I am the Queen of the May.

#58 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 08:46 AM:

Jim's picture link in #7 is blocked here at work, so I went googling on the term, looking for other pictures. This page is the #1 google result for the string. I did *not* expect that. I think I don't understand how Google works at all.

#59 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 09:01 AM:

Fragano @ 55

Maybe they'll shut up if you point out that they really should be paying royalty fees.

#60 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 09:17 AM:

R. M. Koske @ #58:

The way Google ranks search results depends not only on the page's usefulness to your specific search, but on a measure of how useful the page is generally.

Making Light has earned itself a very large "generally useful" score, which it shares with its individual pages, and which can be sufficient in some cases to outrank other pages that might be more specifically useful.

#61 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 09:58 AM:

Avram @ #37:
My keyboard thanks you for the lovely shower.

#62 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 10:40 AM:

Mary Dell @ 43

I thought it would have been easier to read if they'd learned the proper use of commas. Putting one before 'who' and another after 'month' would have improved the structure.

#63 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 11:07 AM:

Fragano: Have you asked him what class the plagiarism was for, and why he thought it was going to be acceptable there?

I know this is, of course, a pointless exercise, the sort willing to blatantly plagiarise isn't going to comprehend the problem, nor appreciate that there isn't any good way to explain it away.

#64 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 11:59 AM:

Fragano @55: Oh, Lord, his father got in on the act? That always makes a bad situation go positively rotten.

My sincerest sympathy.

#65 ::: Earl Cooley IIi ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 12:08 PM:

If Senator Kennedy decides to resign his position for medical reasons, how will that effect the balance of power in the US Senate? Are there any Republican senators who are currently teetering on the brink of scandal to compensate?

#66 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 01:14 PM:

Earl @#65--Massacusetts has a Democratic governor, and he'd probably appoint a Democrat to fill the seat until a special election could be held. So no change.

#67 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 01:26 PM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) #59: Or burst into tears. That happened a few years back when I inquired of one young lady how long she'd been teaching at the University of New South Wales (she'd gone and copied for her essay on Mussolini a piece on the web asserting that Benny was really a lefty at heart, a statement unlikely to come from a student who was struggling to maintain a C).

#68 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 01:27 PM:

I hereby promise, that should this year's balcony garden go well, the okra so produced will not be made available for the sexual shenanigans of GOP Congresscritters.

Because that would be a waste of okra.

#69 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 01:28 PM:

Terry Karney #63: It was, quite clearly, intended for my class. He was trying to lie himself out of trouble, and merely assumed that I'd never heard that particular lie before.

#70 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 01:54 PM:

Fragano (69):
So he flunks your class, and does quite poorly in his Creative Lying seminar?

#71 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 02:31 PM:

Mary Frances #64: I know. That's why I've been giving them the cold shoulder and referring them up the ladder.

#72 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 02:40 PM:

John Houghton #70: That's about the size of it. He has a brilliant career ahead of him in the Republican Party.

#73 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 02:53 PM:

Being as el Vaquero is a Southern gent, okra is a staple in our house, such a useful African staple as it is also. Lots of songs in African and AfroLatin cultures -- as well as in the South -- reference okra.

Rutabagas -- I don't understand rutabagas, though I believe one of my grandmothers did.

Love, C.

#74 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 03:00 PM:

Fragano: I was sure that was the case (let me guess, the essay was topical to the assignment). I've seen some really bad lying when teaching. They do get better as they progress through the course; something about teaching them to spot lies seems to improve the ability to tell them.

But it's what we teach, so they usually fail to pull it off.

#75 ::: Nick ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 04:20 PM:

Constance Ash, #73:

Rutabagas are excellent peeled, chopped into chunks of approximately 1/2 inch square, and simmered in beef stew together with parsnips and turnips. Also good in Cornish pasties and shepherd's pie.

Mom called them Swedes. I don't know why, but it does provide a snappy comeback to smartass questions about the latter dish:

"Is the shepherds pie made with real shepherds?"
"No, Swedes."

#76 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 04:40 PM:

Nick #75: Was your mother from the United Kingdom or Ireland?

#77 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 04:40 PM:

#75 ::: Nick

Thank you! I'll try that.

The grandmother who understood rutabagas and grew them too, was a Swede.

Love, C.

#78 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 04:47 PM:

#75 -- Thanks, Nick, now I have "A Little Priest" running through my head: "and we have some shepherd's pie peppered with actual shepherd on top..."

#79 ::: Nick ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 04:51 PM:

Fragano:

UK (England).

anatidaeling, #48:

The funniest vegetable name has got to be Mangelwurzel.

#80 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 04:52 PM:

Fragano, are you climbing a stairway to heaven?

Eggplant, okra, kale, kohlrabi, please don't insult them, I like those edibles (though there are others who don't consider more or more of them edible). Rutabagas, however.... they're Swedish turnips, and I never met a turnip root I can recall having viewed as something worth going out of my way to ingest. Turnip grees, okay, turnip root, someone else please take my share.

Besides, there was an old Yiddish simile, translated as "May you grow like a turnip with your head in the ground and your feet in the air" that seems to be a polite description of the Republicraps and they manifold hypocrises and misdeeds and malfeasances.

Meanwhile, I wonder if Teddy is going to push for medical marijuana, he's got a perfect opportunity for promoting in on Capitol Hill now, the AMA finally got some backbone and advocates it, and since he's almost certainly going to be undergoing cancer treatments which are notorious for causing loss of appetite and nausea when the patient is trying to eat and the is food getting into the patient down the esophagus....

(This might sound flippant, cruel, and insensitive on my part, but actually I'm rather serious about it. Even the rarely-have-anything-nice-to-say-about-anyone-to-the-left-of-Torquemada radio pundit types locally, have been singing paeans to Edward Kennedy the past few days speaking of his decades in Congress despite the loss of all his older brothers in service to the US Government and a back broken in a plane a plane, his cross-party efforts to craft bills on healthcare and other efforts to promote the general health and well-being of US citizens, his stature as the second-longest serving senator.... It seems rather weird to me in a number of ways.)

#81 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 04:58 PM:

The cure for that earworm is the current credit report TV commercial (the one where the lyrics feature the line "my legs are sticking to the vinyl and my posse's getting laughed at").

Then you can cure that earworm by reading Mark Twain's "A Literary Nightmare".

Then you can cure that earworm by reading Fritz Leiber's "Rump-Titty-Titty-Tum-TAH-Tee".

Ummm, after that, you're on your own. Your best bet is to infect someone else with the earworm to reduce your misery through he gift of sharing.

#82 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 05:22 PM:

Paula Lieberman #80: I doubt it. At the banquet my department threw for graduating seniors, the graduands voted me the 'hardest teacher' and gave me a certificate to prove it.

#83 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 05:38 PM:

Nick #79: I thought that would be the case. I spent my childhood in England calling them swedes.

#84 ::: Daniel Boone ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 06:41 PM:

Earl Cooley III #65: "Are there any Republican senators who are currently teetering on the brink of scandal to compensate?"

So far as I know, 83-year-old Senator Stevens (R-AK), whose karma can't be in much better shape than Kennedy's, is still waiting for the other shoe to drop since the FBI raided his house last year.

#85 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 07:39 PM:

#67: she'd gone and copied for her essay on Mussolini a piece on the web asserting that Benny was really a lefty at heart, a statement unlikely to come from a student who was struggling to maintain a C

Now I'm wondering about Jonah Goldberg's grade point average.

#86 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 10:25 PM:

Nick @ #75:

In an English animated series I liked as a lad, 'Alias the Jester', every episode ends with the jester getting fired, often for telling a really awful joke.

There is, for instance, the episode in which the castle is raided by a flying longboat full of Vikings, which ends up crashing into the village pond. At which point the jester remarks that the pond now resembles a vegetable stew, in that it is full of Swedes...

#87 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 10:38 PM:

Nick @ 79: Mangelwurzel?

Oh, man -- I am totally having a flashback to Jitterbug Perfume.

#88 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 01:56 AM:

Fragano, #82, I used to teach classes of proto-volunteers for OMNI on AOL. One class gave me a cat'o'nine tails at graduation. (Since we interacted mostly online, one of the class members presented it to me at a Balticon.)

#89 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 06:23 AM:

Fragano @ 82... What? They didn't get Lulu to sing To Sir, With Love? The ingratitude.

#90 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 06:25 AM:

Marilee @ 88... classes of proto-volunteers

"With my army of vat-grown proto-volunteers, I will be unstoppable! Bwahahahah!!!"

#92 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 08:39 AM:

Debbie @ 91... Actually, he was quite stoppable, considering that it never became a series. I've never seen the original, but, as this was a 1978 TV thing, I can painfully well imagine why.

#93 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 09:30 AM:

Serge -- you don't want to know. It was on SciFi here last night. The kindest thing I can call it is "naive". (But then, the original version of Battlestar Galactica is also from 1978.)

#94 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 09:45 AM:

What's this comment thread about?

Oh, yeah, dumb politicians getting caught.

It's getting boring.

And you guys can't even do it well. I mean, look at the 1920s. The French manage to lose 1.4 million men out of 40 million total, and we all know what that led to; adultery, mistresses, Clochemerle, Josephine Baker, even wet celery and flying helmets.

All America got out of the 20s was prohibition and organised crime. And the Hays Code.

See what I mean. Big time boring.

#95 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 09:47 AM:

Debbie @ 93... the original version of Battlestar Galactica is also from 1978

...and was soon followed by an even worse atrocity also from Glen Larson, Buck Rogers. (It'd have been improved if it had been produced by Gary Larson even though that'd have meant having John Candy as Buck Rogers.)

See, kids? Not only did we old folks have to worry about the Cold War and nuclear Armageddon, we also had to live in fear of Glen Larson.

#96 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 09:50 AM:

The kindest thing I can call it is "naive".

From the referenced blurb: "In this failed pilot for a series, a biochemist reproduces."

I mean, how likely is that?

(Sez the once-and-future chemist.)

I have very vague memories of having seen that movie, once upon a time. Something about the "original" having telepathic contact with each of the clones, who couldn't communicate directly with each other?

#97 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 10:43 AM:

Joel, you're thinking of the right one. None of it was likely, and a lot of it hurt to watch. The first clone out of the tank decided they'd need names, and decided on consecutive numbers. They called the original "Papa." I'm not at all surprised it didn't make it past the pilot.

Serge, I think I'd watch Gary Larson's version of anything. Especially stuff like Glen Larson's productions.

#98 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 10:54 AM:

The last straggling remnants of humanity, in a desperate fight for survival with the evil Cowlons... yeah, that'd be worth seeing. "By your cowmand!" And Buck Rogers would have been a lot better with Gary instead of Glen running the show.

#99 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 11:18 AM:

Marilee #88: Unfortunately, I'd be in violation of university rules if I had one on campus.

Serge #89: They're much too young....

#100 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 11:31 AM:

#60, Paul A. -

Ah! That makes perfect sense then. Thanks.

#101 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 12:04 PM:

Dave Bell #94: I wouldn't call the Hays Code boring. Well, OK, its intentions were boring, but for one thing, it's a hilarious read, and for another thing, without it film noir would've been a lot less interesting.

#102 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 04:27 PM:

Fragano #57: That excuse makes me think of the old joke (in MAD magazine, I think) about a "minor bookkeeping error"--the bookkeeper gave the IRS the wrong set of books.

"Yeah, see, I was writing a plagarized essay for a different class, but I meant to turn it in to Dr Smith, who doesn't know how to use Google. It was an innocent mistake."

#103 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 04:36 PM:

Julia #19: Well, of course he won't associate with his lesbian sister and her partner. If we start recognizing gay couples, imagine the negative impact it will have on respect for marriage!

#104 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 06:39 PM:

75, 78:
Bloodnok: Admit it, you're a German spy.
Krupp: I'm not a spy, I'm a shepherd.
Bloodnok: Aha! A shepherd-spy! Ahhh, you can't fool us, you naughty German. We British are never caught napping.
Krupp: No, you're always caught vide avake!
Bloodnok: What? That's a damned insult! (aside to audience:) But he's perfectly correct, you know. Are you married?
Krupp: Ja, two years.
Bloodnok: Any children?
Krupp: Nein.
Bloodnok: Nine in two years? You're a blackguard, sir! You, you...

No points for STR - even if I had stripped the characters' names, still no points...

#105 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 07:26 PM:

What's this comment thread about?

Oh, yeah, dumb politicians getting caught.

It's getting boring.

My favourite of recent years was the UK case of John Hemming. Not least because he subsequently considered running as leader of the Liberal Democrats. Not boring in the slightest.

The fact that the mistress in queston was an old friend of mine has very little to do with it.

#106 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 12:17 PM:

The merry brown hares came a-leaping
Over the crest of the hill
Where the clover and corn lay a-sleeping
Under the moonlight so still
Leaping so late and so early
‘Till under their bite and their tread
The swedes and the wheat and the barley
Lay cankered and trampled and dead.

-- The Bad Squire

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.