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If MrJM didn't exist, we would have to invent him.
Recent Activity
"Thank You." -- MrJM
Toggle Commented Jan 22, 2014 on Quick note at Change of Subject
Laugh all you like EZ, but by running that police artist's sketch through the very latest CSI-type computer technology, I think I've got a break in this case: -- MrJM
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2014 on The face is familiar at Change of Subject
"will the Obama Administration start throwing young Americans in their 20s who refuse to by overpriced health insurance in jail?" Or send them to the secret UN/OFA concentration camps for straight, white Christians that Obama built in Idaho?!? -- MrJM
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2014 on The Obamacare killers' dilemma at Change of Subject
BrianE, In his new book "King of Sports", Gregg Easterbrook proposes eliminating the kickoff because it produces more concussions per play than any other action in football. -- MrJM
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2014 on Speaking of sports at Change of Subject
* Triathlon of any distance. * Political field work * Drive all night * Kill anything * Finish a bad book * Run from the police * Karaoke * Spend a night in the hospital * De-horn, castrate or brand cattle * Push-start a car * Iron shirts * Write letters to the editor * Prepare someone else's taxes * Drive a car 120 miles per hour (1970 Dodge Dart Swinger, R.I.P.) * Diaper a baby * Rappel off a building * Darn a sock * Give a eulogy * Mosh -- MrJM ZORN REPLY -- MrJM, aka "The Most Interesting Man in the World Emeritus"
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2014 on What's on your 'check-it' list? at Change of Subject
EZ, The link to the Josh Levin piece in Slate... she... she's no good. -- MrJM ZORN REPLY... Thanks, I'll fix it. Did you get my email?
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2014 on Land of Linkin' at Change of Subject
'What else would you use for the plural of "Mr."?' I suspect that one would replace "Messrs Jones and Smith" with "Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith". But that substitution loses its luster when applied to gentlemen with the same last name, e.g. "Mr. Jones and Mr. Jones". -- MrJM
Toggle Commented Jan 14, 2014 on Fine lines at Change of Subject
But so many love-starved alley cats will be heart broken... -- MrJM
"After thoroughly fact-checking it, awarded Garry's joke two-and-a-half Pinocchios..." -- MrJM
People always like to mock what they don't understand and to dismiss personal experiences as mere anecdotes, but I'm certain that my osteopath cured my Beatlemania. -- MrJM
The inevitable backlash against Obamacare is in full swing: People self-identifying as liberal are at a 22 year high in Gallup's poll (23%) -- MrJM -- MrJM
"Trying to find consistency in all of the criticism is an impossible task." Chris Christie always does what's in the best interests of Chris Christie. I don't believe he has another political ideology. And I don't think that's a particularly partisan observation. I feel the same way about Rahm Emanuel. -- MrJM
@Garry, The 2008 Obama campaign's victories in the primary and general elections firmly established their competence. YMMV with regard to their niceness. If you meant 2000 & 2004, you'll get no quarrel from me. -- MrJM
--GJO'L, Thank you for making anything I might write on the topic of defense attorneys defending defendants superfluous. -- MrJM
You sure it wasn't Dan Clowes that retired, Kip? -- MrJM
While I think that l'affaire du pont (I HATE the -gate suffix) will affect Christie's chances of becoming president, my opinion is not based on anything as trivial as the thoughts and opinions of voters. The future of the Christie for President campaign rests in the hands of big-money Republican donors and the GOP's corps of professional campaign staffers. Their interpretation of the bridge scandal, its consequences, and Christie's response thereto will determine if he even gets to make his case to the voters in Iowa. At this moment, Republican donors and professional GOP campaign staffers are deciding which horse to bet on in 2016. Until now, Christie was seen as a bellicose but effective administrator who could belittle and demonize the Republicans' political enemies and frame taxing the wealthy as attacking the American dream, but still get votes from Democrats by making the trains run on time. That's why millionaires and billionaires like the Koch brothers, Home Depot's Kenneth Langone and GE's Jack Welch wanted Christie to get in the race in 2012. But now those potential campaign funders will reevaluate the governor of New Jersey. If Christie was surprised by the George Washington Bridge fiasco, then those power-players were surprised too. Christie went from a guy with no baggage to a guy who clearly has more baggage than we thought. Because he had not been caught up in a significant scandal in a scandal-plagued state, Christie was seen as someone who was either a great manager of government or a great manager of problems. Either would due. But now he's been forced to repeatedly admit on live television that he hired top advisors who are "callous" and "stupid". The Republican super-donors didn't see that coming. What else is out there that they don't know about? They don't know. What was perceived to be a known known is now an unknown unknown. Over night, Chris Christie was downgraded from "strong buy" to "hold". In addition, the professional staffers who will run and man the Republican campaigns in Iowa are making their choices about candidates. Of course the candidates hire their campaign teams, but the top campaign teams choose their candidates. For them it's better to sit a race out -- or run one or more high-profile state-wide races -- than to work for a train-wreck candidate. Or for one that is too disloyal or vengeful. One of the overlooked actions that Christie took yesterday was the firing of Bill Stepien, Christie's deputy chief of staff for intergovernmental affairs and the man who ran both of his campaigns. But Christie didn't just sack Stepien, he ruined him. On Wednesday, thanks to his closeness with Christie, Stepien had a political consulting job with the Republican Governors Association and was Christie's pick to lead the N.J. Republican Party. He was in line for a seat on the GOP national committee. He would have had a key role on any team working to get Christie in the White House. Now he's unemployed and unemployable. Do I think that the "callous indifference that was displayed in the emails" merited that harsh response. Sure. But I'm not a top Republican campaign staffer. Neither party hires nice guys to run their political campaigns. That job calls ruthlessness. It requires people who can very quickly establish relationships with others and just as quickly abandon those relationships. And it demands people who, if necessary, can do amazingly unpleasant and unkind things on behalf of their campaign and candidate. And part of that job is the willingness to take the fall for the candidate. So you'd think that any savvy campaigners would look at Christie's cashiering of Stepien and shrug it off. And that is would be true but for the battle cry of the professional campaign staffer: "Nothing personal." That simple, magic phrase washes away all campaign sins and grudges. When I worked on the first Obama campaign -- I'll pause while you recover from your shock -- the two people at the top of my campaign hierarchy faced-off several times during the primary and fought like amphetamine-fueled assassins in California. But when the dust had settled and the Democrats had a candidate, they joined hands, sang Kumbaya, and turned their guns on their common opponent. Nothing personal. And, of course, it's standard operation procedure to fire a subordinate in a political crisis. Everyone knows this. But it is also standard practice to make sure that your scape goat, eventually and off-camera, lands on his feet. You fire them with one hand but quietly help them find another, probably crappier, job with the other. Or when a staffer really screws up, you fire them and then just forget all about them. Nothing personal. By contrast, Christie took Stepien's infraction personally and made the retribution personal. Very personal. He burned Stepien's life to the ground and then salted the earth around the ruins. That will not go unnoticed by the people in that line of work. The professional consequences of a screw-up on a Christie campaign can be unimaginably devastating. As a result, the campaign pros may hesitate to work for him. And those who do work for him, will do their jobs hesitantly. They will need to second-guess themselves. The will need to deliberate more before acting. Pros know that that's no way to win a campaign, and that, in turn, will make the Christie campaign even less appealing. It's not a death spiral, but it's definitely a negative feedback loop. Nevertheless, I by no means think Christie should be written off. The donors might decide that he still gives them their best bang for their buck and staffers may still decide that they can win with Christie even with one hand tied behind their backs. Or they might not. My point is that even though it's months and months until anyone casts a ballot, the bridge debacle is damaging Christie's presidential campaign, and that those damaging effects are happening out of our sight and out of the hands of voters. -- MrJM P.S. And you might note that whether Christie knew about the bridge shut-down or not is entirely irrelevant to political fall-out above. P.P.S. Thanks for reading this far. Have a great weekend.
@Robert Pruter - +1 for the Bickersons reference. -- MrJM
EZ, If you've never seen the BBC's dark and profane political comedy "The Thick of It" (I've likely hyped it before) I HIGHLY recommend it. -- MrJM
"Ensuring the Right to Be Heard" Rule 2.6 of the American Bar Association's Code of Judicial Conduct: "A judge shall accord to every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding, or that person’s lawyer, the right to be heard according to law." I'd say the judge and prosecutor both botched it. -- MrJM
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2014 on Rape case lost in translation at Change of Subject
"To quote BugsBunny, 'what a bunch of maroons.'" Actually, the maroons are at the University of Chicago not Chicago State University. -- MrJM
Many newer televisions have a USB port and by plugging a $35 Google Chromecast dongle (it's a word!) into it, one can access Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, YouTube or any other streaming content that you can watch via an internet browser. The Chromecast connects to your home wi-fi network and instead of another remote, you control the Chromecast with your smartphone. We got one for my mother-in-law at Christmas and she loves it. -- MrJM
"FM 3–25.150: Combatives" by the US Army -- If one wanted to learn unarmed self-defense without any bells-and-whistles, this is the place to start.* "SH 21-76: Ranger Handbook" by the US Army-- First Aid? Check. Mountaineering? Check. Demolitions? Check. Hasty ambush? Check. Testing whether that tasty looking berry is poisonous? Check. All this and much, much more! The perfect gift for the leader of any guerrilla army. "Winning Your Election the Wellstone Way: A Comprehensive Guide for Candidates and Campaign Workers" by Jeff Blodgett & Bill Lofy -- I'm not guaranteeing that you will overcome all the obstacles standing between you and victory on election day; I'm just saying that following the instructions in this book will give you a fighting chance. "The Complete Book of Composting" by J.I. Rodale & Staff -- More than 385,000 words on the beautifully rotten business of turning filth into food. -- MrJM *While the newest Combatives field manual is a vast improvement over both the 1992 and 1971 editions, the original contained the following piece of timeless prose poetry: "The subclavian artery is approximately 2 1/2 inches below the surface between the collar bone and shoulder blade. Attack this spot with a thrust by gripping the knife as you would an ice pick. As you withdraw the knife, slash to make the wound as large as possible. This artery is difficult to hit, but once it is cut, the bleeding cannot be stopped and your opponent will lose consciousness within seconds. Death will follow rapidly."
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2014 on Book chat at Change of Subject
"Twitter is for twits." Offered as rebuttal: -- MrJM
But I'd heard that the liberal/progressive debacle of all time was Social Security or Medicare or the Fair Labor Standards Act or the Marshall Plan or Civil Rights Act of 1964... -- MrJM
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2014 on iDoubt this will catch on at Change of Subject