Stupid..and Smart

Here’s a yin and yang post for your afternoon delectation.  I’m still trying to get some time to do a big honker post for y’all, but day job and a true 1st world problem — the start of a massive kitchen remodel on Monday — mean that I haven’t two thoughts to rub together.

So, given that we all need good stuff to foam at the mouth at, I thought I’d just clip a couple of pieces to give us all a really good look at why its so much better not being a Republican.  Just imagine trying to defend this, say, to the vicious, vitriolic jackals who hang out here:

In an intensely awkward congressional hearing Thursday, freshman Rep. Curt Clawson misidentified two senior U.S government officials as representatives of the Indian government.

The two officials, Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar, are Americans who hold senior positions at the State Department and Commerce Department, respectively. Although both Biswal and Kumar were introduced as U.S. officials by the chairman of the Asia and Pacific subcommittee, Clawson repeatedly asked them questions about “your country” and “your government,” in reference to the state of India.


“I’m familiar with your country; I love your country,” the Florida Republican said. “Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, I’m willing and enthusiastic about doing so.”

Apparently confused by their Indian surnames and skin color, Clawson also asked if “their” government could loosen restrictions on U.S. capital investments in India.

Face, meet palm.

Head, meet desk.

America, meet your legislators.

Oh, and Florida? Thanks.  Thanks a lot. (Sorry Betty.)

On the other hand, sometimes you just get to kvell* when you read something at once smart and beautifully rich on snark.  Here’s Kareem Abdul Jabbar opining at on unionizing college athletes (an obviously good and just idea, IMHO):

new survey finds that 60% of incoming college football players support unions for college athletes. The horror! Were such unions allowed, our glorious cities would crumble to nothing more than shoddy tents stitched together from tattered remnants of Old Glory; our government officials would be loin-cloth-clad elders gathered in the rubble of an old McDonald’s passing a Talking Stick; our naked children would roam the urban wilderness like howling wolves, their minds as blank as their lost Internet connection. We would be without hope, dreams, or a future….

…Most Americans agree that the athletes are being short-changed. A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll concluded that 51% of Americans believed that universities should be required to cover medical expenses for former players if those expenses were the result of playing for the school. A whopping 73% believed athletic scholarships should not be withdrawn from students who are injured and are no longer able to play.

But when it comes to these same student-athletes forming a union, an HBO Real Sports and The Marist College Center for Sports Communication poll showed 75% of Americans opposed to the formation of a college athlete union, with only 22% for it.

Why such a difference between wanting equity and supporting the best means to achieve it? Despite 14.5 million Americans belonging to labor unions, we’ve always had a love-hate relationship with them.

The Love: Unions can be like a protective parent arguing with an arrogant teacher over their child’s unfair grade. The Hate: Unions can be like a bossy spouse who complains about all the work they do for you while shoveling corn chips into their maw from the La-Z-Boy.

Our relationship with college athletes is much clearer. We adore and revere them. They represent the fantasy of our children achieving success and being popular. Watching them play with such enthusiasm and energy for nothing more than school pride is the distillation of pure Hope for the Future.

But strip away the rose-colored glasses and we’re left with a subtle but insidious form of child abuse.

Go read the whole thing.  It’s righteous, vicious, and above all, smart.


*I’m guessing WordPress doesn’t do the Sabbath on Saturday.  It wanted to change “kvell” to “knell” — which is really not the meaning shift you want.

Image:  Arthur William Devis, Emily and George Mason, 1794 or 1795.

125 replies
  1. 1
    Cervantes says:

    freshman Rep. Curt Clawson

    What do you think his margin of victory will be come re-election this November?

  2. 2
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Cervantes: Large.

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    Clawson is about as good a politician as he was a college basketball player. At my undergrad alma mater.

    The shame.

    Do any of these GOP politicians know anything about culture? Anything?

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    our government officials would be loin-cloth-clad elders gathered in the rubble of an old McDonald’s passing a Talking Stick

    Couldn’t be worse than the current crop of Republicans.

  5. 5
    Trollhattan says:

    Rep. Clawson sounds like a real pip–thanks Florida!

    Not to be outdone, Clark County, Nevada is taking a long look at this lady. I think they likie!

    Cindy Lake, a Republican candidate for Clark County commissioner, said she became active in politics because [Ron] Paul – the former Texas congressman and failed presidential candidate – mentioned during a debate that he supported the right to drink raw milk.

    “I think you have a right to put whatever you would like to put into your body, if you’re a grown adult,” Lake said during a candidates forum in April, which was posted online Thursday. “I don’t think the government should tell any of us what we should eat, drink, or how to raise our children.”

    Lake previously served as chair of the Republican Party in Clark County, where scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy attracted armed militia members to back his dispute against the federal government.

    She explained to voters that she would not approve any new legislation but would work instead to roll back any existing laws she didn’t like. “Our rights are being stolen from us under the guise of ‘budgeting’ and ‘commissioning,’ and laws are passed – too many laws are passed – and regulations and fees and licenses – I’m also a Realtor, and I have pay those same business license fees,” Lake said.

    She complained that licensing fees and taxes punished productive workers, and she vowed to defund government agencies she claimed were “abusing” Americans. “I want all federal money with strings attached to stop, so I would like to see an end to all alphabet agencies,” Lake said. “That’s my dream, and that’s my goal, and that’s what I would do as commissioner is to end the strings attached from the federal government.”

    Then the moderator asked her about fluoride in public drinking water.

    “That is another one of my passions,” Lake said. “I’m completely anti-fluoride.”

    She said toothpaste tubes warn against swallowing, and she said that was reason enough to remove fluoride from the water supply.

    “It costs us just under a million dollars a year to add what is a toxic industrial waste chemical to our water, and we’re paying for that, when if you want it, you can certainly buy your own toothpaste that’s fluoridated,” Lake said. “I don’t want to give that to my family, and I don’t want it in my water.”

    An audience member took the microphone and, gesturing toward the sky, warned that the greatest public health hazard came from chemtrails.

    “Who’s polluting the county? How do we stop it? I don’t know,” the man said. “But they’re doing it all over the world, this geo-engineering. For who? What are they trying to do to the human species?”

    The moderator tugged his leather jacket, and the video was edited at that point and then resumed as the man walked away from the microphone and took a seat.

    “I do think an investigation has to be undertaken by the county commission and find out exactly what our role is there,” Lake said, without specifying how the investigation would be conducted or funded. “I don’t know who’s doing it; it’s a secret operation. As far as chemtrails go, I don’t want to be poisoned as much as anybody else, so I would vote no.”

    Completely anti-fluoride, would vote “no” on chemtrails. Cindy Lake–right for Nevada, right for the USA!

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    KAJ has a vicious way with words. I like.

  7. 7
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Funny, we were talking about how smart/dumb Labradors are this morn and I thought this was going to be a continuation. Couldn’t have been more wrong, Labs are loveable.

    As a long time union carpenter, I can testify to the love hate relationship all union members have with their union. And your right, it IS just like your spouse.

  8. 8
    Redshift says:


    Do any of these GOP politicians know anything about culture? Anything?

    Sure. They know that culture is white people.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    My husband and I once made a similarly cringe-worthy assumption. Well, not exactly like that, but my god, was it embarrassing! An old friend stopped by to say hello and introduced us to his Asian-American girlfriend.

    Fast forward to a few years later, and our old friend, whom we hadn’t seen in the interim, stopped by with his girlfriend. My husband wasn’t home at the time, and my friend introduced me to the girlfriend, and I say, “Oh, we’ve met before!” We hadn’t. It was a different Asian-American girlfriend.

    To make matters 20 times worse, my husband came home right about then, and when the two turned to greet him and our friend went to make the introduction, I was frantically signaling to hubby “No! It’s not the same woman!” but he didn’t get it and said, “We met last time you stopped by!”

    Awk. Ward. In our defense, the two really did look a lot alike and had almost identical names, and if it had been two blonde, blue-eyed women who looked that much alike, we’d have made the same damn mistake. But we felt like such racist scum! I still cringe to recall it.

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    @Redshift: You mean the kind of culture that turns milk into yogurt?

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @BGinCHI: Awesome typo.

  12. 12
    Cervantes says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    n. – government by the worst citizens

    We do not fight; we filibuster, delaying
    debate and deadening discussion until
    any bill we passed would be
    pointless. Perhaps we were pressured into voting
    for our vows, influenced by lobbyists of

    love, friends and parents who convinced us with
    campaign contributions: a down
    payment on housing and
    development, a fact-finding tour to
    Tahiti, and investment in job
    creation. My stump speech was designed

    to woo your swing vote, with promises of
    plenty and a relationship that would not tax
    either of us. You ignored
    the issues, casting your vote for
    charisma, failing to peruse my party
    platform. So, now, four years later, I renew my

    rhetoric and pledge to reform
    the Congress of our coupledom, while you survey
    the political landscape, looking for
    liberty and freedom and, perhaps,
    justice for all.

    “Kakistocracy,” Kevin Brown,
    Atlanta Review, Fall 2010, p. 83

  13. 13
    BGinCHI says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I didn’t have the courage to keep it.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    The Tea Party-backed lawmaker won a special election last month to fill the seat of Trey Radel, who resigned after being convicted for cocaine possession. Clawson pitched himself as an outsider with private sector experience and touted his role as chief executive of an aluminum wheel company.

    Um, yeah, ok.

  15. 15
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @BGinCHI: Too bad. It was almost poetic.

  16. 16
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    My husband and I once made a similarly cringe-worthy assumption.

    Here’s something related: an acquaintance of mine in Alabama (well, she lived in Georgia and worked at Auburn) once observed that (and I quote) “many Southerners get along just fine with black people.”

  17. 17
    Mister Harvest says:

    Per a friend of mine with experience, 30%-40% of gross is about right for an outside fundraiser. Since college athletes are, basically, fundraising staff for the college, that sounds about right.

  18. 18
    Dog On Porch says:

    To his credit it should be noted that Clawson neither addressed the officials in pidgin english or enunciated haltingly, in a loud tone of voice, to better make himself better understood.

    “It was obvious that the gentlemen were educated English speakers”, Clawson said, “although just how and where they learned the language remains a riddle to me”.

  19. 19
    Cervantes says:

    @Dog On Porch:

    to better make himself better understood.

    He could not have been better understood.

  20. 20
    Trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Only way that story could be any better is if you’d each spoken in loud, halting fashion, “Hello, it…is…nice…to…meet…you! How…are…you…enjoying…your…visit?

  21. 21
    smintheus says:

    You need to include the video of the self-satisfied and clueless Clawson. It’s priceless.

  22. 22
    Yatsuno says:

    The sad part is not that Clawson made the gaffe. This is who they are and to see a non-white in any role like this makes their wee brains malfunction. The sad part is he will be re-elected. Handily.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Dog On Porch

    : “although just how and where they learned the language remains a riddle to me”.

    Well, that’s certainly shocking in and of itself. One might say the same about him.

  24. 24
    Suffern ACE says:

    I suppose it might make people pay more attention to the insiders who end up running the government, but I’m not certain that crowdsourcing the cabinet would solve many of the problems that come with finding relatively non-corrupt and competent administrators who are sufficiently well connected to influence policy.

  25. 25
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: When one is looking at some one of a different race that one does not interact with regularly, your mind doesn’t focus on what makes them different from each other, your mind focuses on what makes them different from you. That isn’t racist Betty, that is human.

  26. 26
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Dog On Porch: I guess I would give him extra credit if he bobbed his head from side to side when listening to them, to let them know he understood and agreed.

  27. 27
    Eric U. says:

    I wish I could join a union. Here at Pedobear university (show us on the stuffed lion doll where the bad football coach touched you), non-union workers have gotten a raise once out of the last 5 years. Union workers have gotten raises every year. huh

  28. 28
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Dog On Porch:
    To Clawson’s discredit, he had apparently not read his copy of the witness list, which noted that these two people were Federal government officials; nor was he paying attention when the chairman of the Asia and Pacific subcommittee introduced them as such.

    On the other hand, I’m impressed that he mentioned his “deep knowledge of the Indian subcontinent and his favorite Bollywood movies.” People from abroad are always impressed when you’re familiar with their culture.

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Unless of course, all humans are naturally racist. Which makes sense after a fashion.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    I sometimes find it hard to tell when white people are from America or Dumbfuckistan. It happens.

  31. 31
    Tinare says:

    Way back in the 80s when I was in college, my roommate’s parents were visiting the same time two friends of mine were in town. My one friend was of Korean descent, and my roommate’s Mom asked her at breakfast where she was from. She answered, “Brooklyn,” and then my roommate’s Mom doubled-down and asked, “No, where were you born?” To which my friend answered, “Brooklyn. My grandparents immigrated from Korea, if that’s what you’re asking…”

  32. 32
    raven says:

    @BGinCHI: ” Clawson played basketball for Purdue University, he was a 2x All-Academic Big Ten selection (1982-83 & 1983-84). He was a team captain for the 1983-84 Big Ten Champions, was a member of 2x NCAA teams (1982-83 & 1983-84) and an NIT Finalist team (1981-82).”

  33. 33
    muddy says:

    @Betty Cracker: Maybe my anecdote will make you feel better. I was dating a guy who brought me to a work-related function. Several people greeted me as though they knew me before, and some people were trying to gesticulate “don’t say it”. It was a big party and it kept on happening, it was pretty funny, and this guy was just dying.

    Turned out he really had a type I guess, and people thought I was the same freckled ginger girl. Or that other freckled ginger girl, or… etc.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    In all fairness, “your country” is oafish but doesn’t necessarily signal confusion about who these people were. “Your government” is ridiculous.

  35. 35
    StringOnAStick says:

    When I was 17-18, I worked in an industrial laboratory associated with the company my dad worked at as an engineer. My supervisor was a non-Spanish speaking, middle class Hispanic guy (and friend) just a few years older than me, and my dad would come to the lab and try to speak Spanish with the guy, and always attach an “o” to the end of his name. It was mortifying.

  36. 36
    Amir Khalid says:

    It’s my understanding, from all the time I spend here, that there are Americans who feel that way about the US Federal government. And maybe even about the USA itself.

  37. 37
    KG says:

    Ms. Biswal was much more diplomatic than I would have been in her position. My response probably would have started with “you stupid honky ass cracker, you can’t be that fucking stupidly racist, can you? I mean, fucking seriously?”

    And had I been on the committee (or his staff) I’m not sure if have been able to avoid smacking him upside the back of his head in the middle of his “question”

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:


    Nowadays, I usually try to word that kind of question as, “Where is your family from originally? My grandfather came over on the boat from Italy in 1902.” Hopefully, doing it that way makes it more obvious that I’m trying to trade family stories rather than demanding that they show me their papers.

  39. 39
    KG says:

    @Amir Khalid: it occurred to me, after hitting submit on my last comment, that maybe this guy thinks Dixie has risen again afterall

  40. 40
    Ruckus says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    When I reported to my first ship in the navy, people kept calling me another name. Which is strange as everyone has their name stenciled on their shirt. Turns out I looked exactly like the person I replaced, who had gotten out of the service and everyone thought he had reenlisted. Took about 3 months for everyone to catch on that I wasn’t him. Some of them wouldn’t believe me when I told them I wasn’t him.

  41. 41
    BGinCHI says:

    @raven: In 83-84 he was the 6th leading scorer on the team and had terrible stats (very low rebounding for a forward). He was the kind of guy who looked like a basketball star and acted like a basketball star and wasn’t.

    Hence a career in milking it for the rest of his life.

    You can close your eyes and picture what his basement looks like.

  42. 42
    SatanicPanic says:

    If Republicans weren’t constantly making asses of themselves on race, I’d just be like, whatever, could happen to anyone. They’re really stuck in a vicious cycle. If they’d stop getting all huffy about being called out and showed some humility, in the long run they’d have less to apologize for.

  43. 43
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    Good thing you posted the link or I would have.

    This is the douchebaggery unleashed by our shitty as fuck Democratic self-serving Party club of Florida. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz chair emeritus.

    That district was winnable. The Dems had a credible candidate. Then Alex Sink jumped in, bigfooted the special election, and the local candidate pulled out. Labor sunk money they didn’t have on Alex Sink, but the people needed to GOTV, the progressive boots on the ground, stayed home because Sink is a banker and they didn’t like her and were pissed about the backroom shit, and the voters quite frankly were all, “who what meh” when she showed up. It was sorry.

    And now this embarrassing pustule is unleashed upon the world. BTW no shortage of South Asians in that part of Florida.

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    Florida Republican congressman is a dumb asshole. Film at 11.

  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    I had a semi public job once where I had to interact with a lot of people. The impulse to respond to stupid stuff in the manner you wanted to is hard to resist. It takes turning off the switch in your brain that allows you to say, WTF out loud. Which is actually helpful as that same switch positively affects your ability to have stupid shit fall out of your mouth.

  46. 46
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Ruckus: Also useful at family gatherings

  47. 47
    Linnaeus says:

    @Eric U.:

    non-union workers have gotten a raise once out of the last 5 years. Union workers have gotten raises every year. huh

    Unfortunately, many other Americans would say the obvious answer is to get rid of the union. I mean, how dare they get raises when you don’t?

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    In my family it was considered a curse.

  49. 49
    muddy says:

    @SatanicPanic: My problem is I apparently have a very expressive face, my eyebrows get out ahead of my remarks or something.

  50. 50
    Mandalay says:


    …your mind focuses on what makes them different from you. That isn’t racist Betty, that is human.

    This x1000.

    Ms. M. is Chinese to look at, although she doesn’t speak a word of Chinese. She is frequently asked HOW-DO-YOU-LIKE-IT-HERE from clueless but well meaning folks, with nothing but good intentions and kind hearts. I can’t speak for Clawson either way, but racism comes in many forms, and this is one of the more benign variations.

  51. 51
    KXB says:


    The comic Henry Cho, born & raised in Knoxville accent & all , had a great routine where he introduced his dad to his future mother in-law (white).

    Mother in-law – “Hello, Mr. Cho. How…Are…You?!”

    Cho’s dad turns to Henry, “Son, what they hell is she doing?”

    Henry, “I don’t know Dad, but I think she thinks she’s speaking Korean.”

  52. 52
    Baud says:


    Yeah, that’s me too. Whatever the opposite of a poke face is, that’s what I have.

  53. 53
    Yatsuno says:

    @BGinCHI: …

    You’re a Boilermaker?

  54. 54
    big ole hound says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Which is exactly why so many of us think we might be racist. This is the genetic known as “protect the herd” from outsiders. In my own case I moved to the East Bay from rural New England 20 years ago with the inability to remember many black faces. I don’t know when in that span that disappeared but familiarity is completely developed now and an honest appraisal of a person took over.

  55. 55
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Baud: I tend to smirk and/or giggle

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    Yeah, that’s me too. Whatever the opposite of a poker face is, that’s what I have.

  57. 57
    Linnaeus says:

    the start of a massive kitchen remodel on Monday

    Which will feature granite counter tops, no doubt.

  58. 58
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Imma come back soon and read Tom’s post and the entire comment thread from the top, and maybe have some comments of my own, and I apologize for going O/T, but did anybody see this jaw-droppingly ghoulish news story? Hand to FSM, I thought at first it was from The Onion. But nooooooo.

  59. 59
    KG says:

    @Ruckus: oh, I’m sure it is. But it is likely a skill I don’t have. I’m lucky when my smartass/snark/jerk filter works. Which is why I’ve kinda come to the conclusion that as much as I wanted to be in politics growing up, I’d never be successful at it. Because at some point is be in a debate and cuss in response to the other person’s word salad nonanswer

  60. 60
    muddy says:

    @Baud: I don’t play cards, this is one reason. One of many.
    @SatanicPanic: That’s preferable in society, I usually just get annoyed.

  61. 61
    Dog On Porch says:

    @Amir Khalid: @Amir Khalid: “To Clawson’s discredit, he had apparently not read his copy of the witness list..”.

    Yeah, no shit.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:


    My doppelgänger not only lives here in Los Angeles, we used to go to the same bank. It freaked the hell out of the teller when we both went in there the same day about an hour apart.

  63. 63
    Trollhattan says:


    Entirely crafted from Pink Himalayan Salt.

  64. 64
    BGinCHI says:

    @Yatsuno: Did my BA there.

  65. 65
    pat says:


    If you look at the comments, they seem to indicate that the Empire News website is totally fake. Which makes a lot of sense. A decomposing body, the room in continual use, the housekeepers told it was not necessary to clean under the beds….. Huh???

  66. 66
    gogol's wife says:


    That smirk! He looks like Bill Murray in Caddyshack.

  67. 67
    Trollhattan says:


    Second-gen kids live in an odd reality–one foot in the new world, the other in the old. Would go to Chinese friends’ homes when I was a kid and it was common for mom to speak to the kids in Chinese and the kids would answer in English–they understand the language but in many cases had not mastered speaking it (they swore they weren’t doing this for my benefit and considering some of the conversations, I didn’t doubt them). I never quite figured out how well this worked from mom’s side, some of the kids’ nuance was probably lost.

  68. 68
    Mandalay says:

    “I made a mistake in speaking before being fully briefed and I apologize,” Clawson told The News-Press. ” I’m a quick study but in this case I shot an air ball.”

    Clawson didn’t fail. He was failed, by his inept staffers who hadn’t fully briefed him. It’s always the fault of someone else.

  69. 69
    gogol's wife says:


    I was in a committee meeting sitting next to a Dean, listening, in perfect silence and perfectly motionless, to a colleague who’s an incredible windbag and blowhard. In a conversation with the Dean the next day, she/he said, “I could tell you thought, and I don’t disagree with you, that X was an incredible windbag and blowhard.” I have no idea how s/he read that coming from me.

  70. 70

    @SiubhanDuinne: well, you’re right, it’s not from the Onion.

  71. 71
    Amir Khalid says:

    I think Empire News is more like an Onion wannabe.

  72. 72
    muddy says:

    @gogol’s wife: My son calls it The Face.

  73. 73
    ppcli says:

    It wanted to change “kvell” to “knell” — which is really not the meaning shift you want.

    “Curfew tolls the kvell of parting day…”

    Doesn’t really work well in the other direction either.

  74. 74

    As far as awful things Republican Congressmen say, I think this is fingerling potatoes. More, funny/irritating than being asked where your from is the assumption that you are into all kinds of new agey claptrap.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    Fifty Shades of Grey’ trailer reaches almost 7 million views in first 24 hours

    July 25, 2014, 1:31 PM EST

    By Travis Reilly

    The “Fifty Shades of Grey” first official YouTube trailer, which dropped on Thursday, registered nearly 7 million views in just 24 hours.

    The erotic film, which stars Dakota Johnson as the doe-eyed Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as a powerful executive and her eventual sexual mentor, Christian Grey, is adapted from an E.L. James book series that sold over 100 million copies worldwide.

  76. 76

    As far as awful things Republican Congressmen say, I think this is fingerling potatoes. More, funny/irritating than being asked where your from is the assumption that you are into all kinds of new agey claptrap because you have an Indian last name.

  77. 77
    gogol's wife says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Blame the Beatles for that.

  78. 78
    Amir Khalid says:

    I saw the trailer — I haven’t read the books, and I doubt the movie will make it past the censors — and my only thought was, “Dakota takes after her dad.”

  79. 79

    @gogol’s wife: There was a Yoga teacher I knew who was guilty of that and she used to keep inviting me to bhajans etc., I had to politely refuse. Her Sanskrit accent was pretty funny too. It was hard to stifle the giggles when she used to earnestly chant some mantra and completely mangle the enunciation. Needless to say, I did not last long in that class.

  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: My most embarrassing racial story?

    I was over at my parents house in very white middle class suburban STL when the doorbell rang. When I got to the door I could see thru the curtains that there were 2 young black men in suits outside the door. “Here we go,” I thought, “Jehovah’s Witnesses…” By the time I opened the door I had my, “No, I don’t want to hear about your special friend Jesus,” face. I said, “Can I help you?” as I caught a flash of anger on the younger one’s face.

    “Tom?” replied the older, “Our father died last night. We wanted to tell your mom and dad.” and it dawned on me that these were the 2 Hicks boys who grew up just down the street from me, moving in when I was in the 4th grade, Freddy and Sterling. When they moved in, in the late 60s it created quite a mess with the usual FOR SALE signs etc. My parents were the first to welcome them into the neighborhood and the one person who had been a friend and put their house up were never spoken to again.

    ANYWAY… Sterling, the little brother, had had some rather in his face racist stuff happen when he was younger and he had always had a chip on his shoulder about that. I immediately knew what he had thought when he saw my face and felt bad but said nothing. Figured it would only sound even worse trying to explain it.

  81. 81
    D58826 says:

    Speaking of Fla. The Atlanta circuit by a 2-1 vote has held that Florida’s ‘docs vs glocks’ law, which forbids a doctor from discussing guns in the house when talking to a patient, does not violate the first amendment freedom of speech. Is there any law or article in the Constitution that the 2nd amendment and the NRA doesn’t trump? (rhetorical question). Funny how the right was so concerned about Obamacare coming between a doctor and a patient but when its guns the political hacks at the state capital know better than the doctors.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:


    What do you think his margin of victory will be come re-election this November?


  83. 83
    shelley says:

    Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar

    Was there any indication on these two gentlemen’s reaction?

    Hmmm. ‘Kumar’. Did Clawson go on to ask him how he liked starring in that movie about going to White Castle?

  84. 84
    gocart mozart says:

    Just imagine trying to defend this, say, to the vicious, vitriolic jackals who hang out here:


    How’s that? (actual comment on this topic found somewhere else on the internet)

  85. 85
    Trollhattan says:

    Wait, this is a thing?

  86. 86
    Amir Khalid says:

    Per the photo at the link, Nisha Biswal is a woman.

  87. 87
    MomSense says:


    Unless of course, all humans are naturally racist. Which makes sense after a fashion.

    Growing up, my grandma lived with my family and pretty much raised us while our parents were working. We lived in a 100% white town. When my grandmother and I would run errands like going to the store, people would often ask my grandmother if she was the nanny. When she said that no, she was with her granddaughter she would 9 times out of 10 get the “why are you so dark” question. She was so clever and would sort of wink and say “just lucky, I guess”. And the reactions were so interesting. The first facial response made it really clear that they did not think it lucky to have brown skin and then people would try and cover but it was too late at that point and we would just move on.

  88. 88
    Ruckus says:

    I said it is a good skill to have. Didn’t say I am always successful at it. I’ve thought about politics, I’m pretty sure I’d be better than about 2/3 of the current ones. Yes, low bar and all that. Right up until coming face to face with a wingnut. Then it would be laugh till tears are running down my face or ask the same kind of question as you. Something like, “Were you raised in a cave without the benefit of any learning, social skills, or understanding of basic reality, because you are fucking nuts.”

  89. 89
    Dog On Porch says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: No, no… I made that quote up, out of thin air. I was just going for a laugh, one I obviously didn’t get.

    What’s really funny is that you reasonably enough attributed it as something that birdbrain might have actually said.

  90. 90
    WaterGirl says:


    Who really looks under the bed, anyway? No reason to waste anyone’s time,” said Charles Dyson, a representative of the motel chain.

    “It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen,” said police chief Joe Goldsmith. “I’ve seen a lot of strange things in my time on the force, but to think about all the people who’ve stayed in this room, with a dead body beneath them, and they didn’t know about it? It gives me the heebie-jeebies.”

    Police have seized room and occupant records for the last several years, and are trying to trace the person or persons who may have stayed in the room around the time of death.

    “Funny thing is, the records also show literally almost 1,000 complaints from people who stayed in the room over the years. Everything from a bad smell to an ‘eerie feeling.’ Several people even asked to switch rooms in the middle of the night,” said Goldsmith. “The motel really should have checked out that room a little more closely.”

    This is so creepy, it gives me the willies to even think about it. But I keep laughing out loud at the awfulness and absurdity of it all. In 5 years, they never checked under the bed? Even after 1,000 complaints and room switches, no one ever checked the room? Mind-boggling.

  91. 91
    Cervantes says:

    @Dog On Porch:

    I was just going for a laugh, one I obviously didn’t get.

    No, that’s not true — I liked it!

    (I should have said so earlier, sorry, but it’s Friday and I’m not really here.)

    What’s really funny is that you reasonably enough attributed it as something that birdbrain might have actually said.

    Right — so you got two laughs, not only one.

  92. 92
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    If it’s any comfort, I made a similar mistake with two of one of my brother’s wives (two of the wives of one of my brothers).

    One was named Brendy Sue. The other was named Wendy Sue. They physically resembled each other. Because of a lack of geographic proximity, I had not met either of them them until I did. Whichever one came second (I swear to this day I can’t remember the sequence of the two “Endy Sues”), I kept calling her by her predecessor’s name.

    Okay, it’s not quite the same. But it was still embarrassing.

  93. 93
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Huh. I actually checked Snopes before I posted, and it seems there have been several true cases where a body actually has been found in a hotel/motel room. Because this story had today’s date, I just figured Snopes hadn’t been able to get to it yet, but the others panned out so this one would too, right?

    I’ve spent years knocking down stupid internet memes by referring to Snopes and other reliable sources. I hope the fact that I’ve now fallen for two hoaxes in quick succession doesn’t signify the onset of senile dementia.


  94. 94
    Violet says:

    @Betty Cracker: At least you didn’t do what an old boyfriend did upon seeing an acquaintance co-worker (used to work together but now on different floors) at a restaurant–exclaim to her, “I see you’re pregnant!” No, she wasn’t. Excruciating.

  95. 95
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Yeah, I eventually figured that out. See my #92.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Violet: I friend of mine in law school did that to our legal writing professor. Not a good move.

  97. 97
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Are you saying not all Sotuh Asians are Deepak Chopra wannabes?

  98. 98
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Yikes, that’s awful. In this case the woman he said it to was a tiny wisp of a thing–a very small Asian woman. She was wearing a larger sweater over something like leggings or tight jeans or something. She in no way looked pregnant or even overweight. She was little bitty and very thin. And she was with her boyfriend. And English was not her first language so there was a bit of confusion there. It was just excruciating all around.

    We were at a table with about six people so he couldn’t brush it off. The poor woman didn’t really understand him initially so he had to repeat it or elaborate. It was just awful. I wanted to crawl under the table.

  99. 99

    @SiubhanDuinne: FWIW, Deepak Chopra has always struck me as a charlatan.

  100. 100
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I know. I posted this way too soon.*

    *(By “way too soon,” I mean “ever.”)

  101. 101
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Don’t beat yourself up – they had the creepy doll story on the front page and that’s been in the news.

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Violet: This was someone who put on a few pounds over Christmas break. He subsequent decided that he would never assume a woman was pregnant unless she herself told him or he saw an actual baby coming out of her. I believe this is a wise policy.

  103. 103
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Rhetorical, but heartfelt question:

    Why does autocorrect insist every time on changing “it’s not” to “it snot” — even though that makes no fucking sense (and many similar and equally stupid autocorrections) — and yet, when I type an obviously wrong, nonexistent word like “Sotuh” when I obviously mean “South,” autocorrect lets it stand, uncorrected?


  104. 104
    Baud says:

    Chris Hayes is about to cover Indiagate.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Autocorrect is the Loki of the FYWP pantheon.

  106. 106
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): That’s my policy. I wait for the woman or someone else who’s in the know–like the father of the child–to tell me she’s pregnant. Otherwise, she’s not pregnant as far as I know.

    Recently two neighbors have been pregnant. It’s been pretty obvious but I’ve bit my tongue and not said anything. Because heaven forbid they’d just put on a few pounds. Yikes.

  107. 107
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    In fact, subliminally, that’s one of the things that made me think the motel story was legit.

  108. 108
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: It was painful watching the video – you could see the guys was gonna be an arrogant ass before he even opened his mouth. And he still didn’t get it when the woman ever so politely let him know they were representing the US.

  109. 109
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: And I watched it again just now on Chris Hayes. What an idiot.

    edit: I hope this smarmy idiot feels appropriately humiliated, but instead it will probably be the fault of his aides who fed him the stupid line “I know your country blah blah blah”.

  110. 110
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Explains some of the shape-shifting.

  111. 111
    Baud says:


    The video is worse than the story. What is it with dumb ass Republicans and smirking?

  112. 112
    Baud says:

    Ha! Rachel is leading with this story.

  113. 113
    Steeplejack says:


    My beef with autocorrect (on my Android phone and Android tablet) is that whenever I put in I and an apostrophe it suggests the most ridiculous things that aren’t even words and never suggests I’ll, It’s, etc. Maddening. It’s like I typed in I followed by some random emoticon.

  114. 114
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I think they must teach smirking in the “newcomers in congress” training.

    Happily, my tv was still tuned to MSNBC from when I watched the 5 minutes of Chris Hayes so with Tivo I was able to jump to the start of Rachel. Thanks for the heads up.

    edit: Not a skit. (okay, that was fun. tv off again)

  115. 115
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: Best thing about autocorrect is that I almost never have to type apostrophes.

  116. 116
    Steeplejack says:


    How does that happen? I can’t get an apostrophe to show up spontaneously for nuthin’.

  117. 117
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Dog On Porch: Poe’s Law strikes….again!

  118. 118
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: That’s just how it works on my iPhone and my iPad.

  119. 119
    Steeplejack says:


    No, I’m serious. How does it know when you want an apostrophe? That Ill doesn’t mean just Ill and not I’ll? Or that its should be it’s?

  120. 120
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: Okay, just did a little test with my iPhone.

    I typed the letters “ill call you soon” and it theft it as “I’ll call you soon”

    I typed “she feels ill” and it turned into “she feels ill”

    So I think it’s smart enough to know by the context of the word. I will now try the various forms of “its”.

  121. 121
    WaterGirl says:


    I typed “Its a beautiful day” (loved that album!)
    It turned into “It’s a beautiful day”

    I typed “the cat hurt its paw” and it left it as “the cat hurt its paw”

    So it’s clearly figures in the placement of the word in a sentence.

    Anything else you want me to try?

  122. 122
    WaterGirl says:

    @WaterGirl: Sorry – I typed that wrong: Correct version:

    I typed the letters “ill call you soon” and it changed to “I’ll call you soon”

    I typed “she feels ill” and it left it as “she feels ill”

    So I think it’s smart enough to know by the context of the word. I will now try the various forms of “its”.

  123. 123
    Steeplejack says:


    No, thanks. Obviously Siri is a grammarian.

  124. 124
    Steeplejack says:


    Huh. I just had an epiphany. Apparently my Android autocorrect works better than I thought. I typed in “ill call you tomorrow,” as you did, and somewhere in there it changed it to “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

    Apparently my problem is that I have been micromanaging the autocorrect and not giving it enough leeway to change things. From previous phones with really bad autocorrect, I developed the habit of watching what words it’s suggesting while I type and then picking the right one if I see it—using it word by word, in effect. I wasn’t typing multiple words and giving it room to backtrack.

    Learn something new every day.

  125. 125
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: Interesting. Autocorrect apparently does not like to be micromanaged! As much as I sometimes curse autocorrect, it’s nice to know we have something so basic in common.

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