Re: As long as nobody's tugging their junk...

1

"By trumping state regulations, the plan would be relieved from paying for luxuries like... birth control,..."
Luxurious! I'd totally take the Pill if my insurance covered it but they won't because I have a penis.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:02 AM
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You'd think that insurance companies will always find a way to cover birth control pills, because it must save them so much money to cover fewer pregnancies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:04 AM
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Our liberal media:

Margaret Thatcher, the "Iron Lady" of British politics, who pulled her country back from 35 years of socialism, led it to victory in the Falklands war and helped guide the United States and the Soviet Union through the cold war's difficult last years, died Monday.

I don't expect much from the NYTimes but I'm still flabbergasted by this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:05 AM
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That article is incredibly and revoltingly laudatory. Which isn't surprising, because if I recall correctly there was essentially no Thatcher animus in the US, except I guess from a few kids listening to political British bands (and I guess the divestment movement). I mean, don't get me wrong, I hate her, but I think the US consensus from everyone except the very far left was "well she had some good points."

Which is among other reasons why sometimes the US sucks it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:13 AM
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Oh good, Matthew Yglesias has chimed in to declare that "the policies of the Thatcher and Reagan revolutions have been largely successful."


Posted by: Rpbert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:23 AM
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Do you think Satan came in person to claim her soul?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:24 AM
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5: well, as far as achieving their aims, that seems hard to argue with. The aims were horrendous, of course.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:24 AM
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Yeah but that's not what he means.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:24 AM
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I think the US consensus from everyone except the very far left was "well she had some good points."

And this, or something somewhat more laudatory, is what I'd expect from the NYT, so I share essear's flabbergastedness.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:31 AM
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Sure enough. They really got him, didn't they.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:33 AM
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10: That has the real post-partisan Broderite serious people feel to it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:38 AM
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Sure, Ms. No Such Thing As Society presided over a Conservative government that passed Section 28, but she was a fabulous dresser.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:41 AM
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More succinctly:

http://youtu.be/x-4FJcnX0i8


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:42 AM
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Why on earth would the link in 12 not come with a slideshow?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:43 AM
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Wow. Yglesias has been on a journey to find out how stupid it is possible (and perhaps necessary) to be in order to succeed as a pundit. This strikes me as a new low:

And yet while the policies of the Thatcher and Reagan revolutions have been largely successful, the political legacy seems to me to be quite mixed.

Thatcher and Reagan had very specific policy preferences that they weren't shy about describing, even if they weren't entirely successful in carrying them out. And commentators on the Left, Right and Center were exactly right that George W. Bush was the living embodiment of those policy preferences. To separate the Reagan/Thatcher policy legacies from their political legacies is ludicrous.

Reagan's political heirs and his policy heirs - who are, of course, the same people - are exactly right when they suggest that, say, the elimination of Medicare, a massive runup of the public debt, the deregulation of financial systems, or an invasion of Iran are entirely consistent with Reagan's philosophy. The fact that Reagan's failures weren't as thorough as he would have liked hardly speaks to his effectiveness as a policymaker.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:46 AM
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I didn't even realize that hating Thatcher was a thing until relatively recently. I wish I had known earlier... the most I can summon is a moderate disdain. But she was never my Prime Minister to hate, so I'm simply not able to feel it in my bones, the way I feel about Dick Cheney.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:59 AM
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Well, I guess compared to this http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/04/margaret_thatcher_was_a_real_feminist.html
Yglesias was taking the anti-Thatcher side of the argument at Slate.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 9:04 AM
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To separate the Reagan/Thatcher policy legacies from their political legacies is ludicrous.

The U.S. will have a moment of sorting through Reagan's legacy when he dies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 9:38 AM
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Perhaps I misunderstood, but I thought that when Yglesias said that the policies were successful, he meant that they had been adopted for the long-run not that the results were good. But he clearly dashed off that column too quickly while on vacation, so it's hard to tell because it's even more full of typos than usual.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 9:40 AM
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Now let's all send lots of positive energy Ariel Sharon's way so that all the machines keeping him alive short out!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 9:49 AM
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The extraordinary thing about Thatcher was that he had absolutely no redeeming features whatever, which is quite an achievement. Apart from largely destroying the country in the short term and leaving a long term legacy of a far larger and more desperate underclass than at any time since the great depression, she was systematically disloyal as a minister in the previous Tory government and more than averagely corrupt as Prime Minister in sliding contracts to companies owned by her egregious son. She was a crushing snob and completely philistine when it came to the arts and humanities.

I was trying to complete the phrase "the most divisive Prime Minister since..." and concluding you would have to go back at least to David Lloyd George in the aftermath of WWI or somebody like Robert Peel in the 1830s; or even Lord North or Lord Bute in the middle of the 18th century. She's got a shot at going down as the most divisive ever.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:00 AM
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he s/b she obvs. Not trying to make a point. She never appointed another woman to her cabinet in nearly 11 years - just saying.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:01 AM
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21.2 reminds me of this


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:03 AM
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The extraordinary thing about Thatcher was that he had absolutely no redeeming features whatever, which is quite an achievement.

It's true! There's a line in the (of course itself highly politically retrograde) C. S. Lewis novel Perelandra where Ransom is engaged in fighting Satan in the body of a demonically possessed middle-aged professor (as you do) -- oh, let me look it up -- "The joy came from finding at last what hatred is made for. As a boy with an axe rejoices on finding a tree, or a boy with a box of coloured chalks rejoices on finding a pile of perfectly white paper, so he rejoiced in the perfect congruity between his emotion and its object."

That's Thatcher, pretty much, right there.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:10 AM
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Dick Cheney has a similar quality, I think.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:11 AM
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No more junk-tugging to Annette Funnicello.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:21 AM
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Not true, Cheney shot an old man in the face!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:23 AM
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Perhaps I misunderstood, but I thought that when Yglesias said that the policies were successful, he meant that they had been adopted for the long-run not that the results were good.

Had this been what he intended, he wouldn't have been contrasting politics vs. policy. He would have talked about how successful both had been.

In the same way we must stop assuming that deep down, Obama doesn't want to cut Social Security, I think it's time to stop supposing that Yglesias's lack of clarity conceals a non-stupid point.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:24 AM
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Thatcher and Cheney being the tree, paper, etc., obviously.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:26 AM
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And another: no more tugging to Annette Funicello.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:26 AM
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17: Also impressively repugnant!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:28 AM
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Annette Funicello never did anybody any harm AFAIK. I saw Beach Party when I was about 12 for reasons which escape me, which was the only thing of hers I ever encountered in the wild. Mostly harmless.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:34 AM
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So you're saying you caught a wild bikini in the wild?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:38 AM
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And then stuffed it?


Posted by: Robert HalfordI | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:39 AM
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I went out earlier to buy a bottle of wine when I heard the news. My wife, not being British, finds me a bit daft. Also, this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbp3k3rYMs4

is getting some plays at the moment, I imagine.

The quote in 24 and its appositeness vis a vis Thatcher is great.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:42 AM
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Kevin Drum also fails to hate Thatcher properly.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/04/thatcher-vs-reagan-tories-vs-republicans


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:43 AM
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I have to admit, I thought I'd never experience the same sort of deep-to-the-bone hate for any politician after Thatcher. It's something of an achievement that the past two governments have contained at least a couple who come close.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:45 AM
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27: He shot an old man in the face, and then made him apologize for getting in the way. That and the no heartbeat thing pushed him into the realm of cartoon evil.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 10:56 AM
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I think Cheney's brand of pure evil is possibly more energetic than Thatcher's, who modelled her at on royalty, but they're both pure evil.

Signing off now to go and drink champagne.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 11:08 AM
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The quote in 3 is amazing, but apparently the NYT has changed it. The first paragraph at the link now reads:

Margaret Thatcher, the "Iron Lady" of British politics, who turned her country in a sharply conservative direction, led it to victory in the Falklands war and helped guide the United States and the Soviet Union through the cold war's difficult last years, died on Monday. She was 87.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 11:39 AM
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Tell me more about how she guided the Soviet Union.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 11:41 AM
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I always found the Elvis Costello song about her rather memorable. http://www.lyricsfreak.com/e/elvis+costello/tramp+the+dirt+down_20047487.html


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 11:55 AM
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The notion that the early 80s Reaganite/Thatcherite foreign policy was the cause of the downfall of the Soviet Union is a one of the more harmful, and widely-accepted, mainstream media fantasias. I have to assume based on 36 that even Kevin Drum buys into that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 11:55 AM
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This is rather special too. I suppose it shows a certain sincerity to say these things in 1999, but...http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/108383


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 11:58 AM
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43: I've always been amused that the people who are most certain that communism is unworkable and leads to certain economic collapse are the same people who believe that without the heroic intervention of Reagan we'd all be speaking Russian.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:01 PM
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Wow, that Kevin Drum thing made me lose respect for him. This statement:

But today's Republican Party wouldn't elect Reagan dogcatcher, let alone president. Despite the endless hagiography of Reagan from conservatives, the plain truth is that if he were reincarnated today, Ted Cruz would denounce him as a socialist and the tea party would disown him.

is completely wrong and buys into a bunch of myths about Reagan (and the Republicans, who can be plenty pragmatic when it suits them...witness Romney's nomination). Any stuff that Reagan did in the 80s that the modern party would seem to disagree with on policy grounds was done for political reasons. I don't think there's much if anything about the modern Republican party that RR couldn't work with easily, and vice versa.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:06 PM
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45 beat me to the punch. Right wingers have a peculiar tendency to see their enemies as simultaneously contemptibly weak and terrifyingly strong.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:06 PM
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I think Drum is right about Reagan. Given his background in Hollywood and unions, he would have a really tough time in national politics in the modern Republican party. You can't be acceptable to the modern tea party and be a Reagan/Schwarzenegger Hollywood California Republican anymore.

It's not possible to do a straight-up issues comparison because as the debate changes individual politicians change their points of view on issues. But I don't see any reason to think a reincarnated Reagan would be anything different from Schwarzenegger.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:15 PM
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43 is right.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:16 PM
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48: Reagen took a much harder line as governor of California (he practically invented hippie punching), understood the workings of party politics far better than Arnold did, and was eligible to be POTUS.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:18 PM
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Or Reagan. Six of one...


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:19 PM
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46, 48: I'm with PGD. Reagan is on the record many times saying that programs like Medicare and Medicaid were Communist. He was pragmatic, but so are today's Republicans that all loved Romney for those 2 weeks or so when it seemed like he could beat Obama by pretending to be a moderate.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:20 PM
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Reagan would have done fine. He was a charismatic leader with a big dick, which is mostly what conservatives care about. Specific policies are of far lesser importance.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:23 PM
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I remember Reagan being successful because he could make anxious middle managers feel like cowboys back from WWII. What did Thatcher push? What was her base of popular support?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:34 PM
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What was her base of popular support?

Andrew Sullivan.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:38 PM
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Reagan's foreign policy negotiations with the Soviet Union would be squinted at heavily (as they were at the time by the neocons, the only power base in the Republican Party that gives a rat's ass about foreign policy).


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:39 PM
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( I am absolutely not reading his blog for the next week, as I'm sure I would gag from the hagiography)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:39 PM
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55 to 12 or 12 to 55, I'm not sure which.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:39 PM
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Reagan launched his political career with a speech in support of Goldwater. Once in power, he was a pragmatist, sure, but he was no moderate. Today's tea partiers would be happy to vote for him.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:45 PM
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Yglesias was better for months, but then he's been awful the past couple of weeks. And yet, whenever I'm ready to write him off, he writes a good post about monetary policy, like his latest about saving for the future.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:50 PM
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57: He acknowledges she wasn't perfect

She made some serious mistakes - the poll tax, opposition to German unification, insisting that Nelson Mandela was a terrorist....


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 12:50 PM
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Reagan wasn't even remotely comparable, in terms of the politics of the day, to Schwarzenegger. That is to say that he was understood by all to be pushing at the far right of the existing political consensus.

In general, I am really getting sick and tired of the "yesterday's Republicans wouldn't even be Republican!" meme. Yes that's true if we're talking about actually liberal Republicans like John fucking Lindsay. But it's definitely not true of Reagan or Nixon, who were basically grade A assholes who not only laid the groundwork for today's disaster but would have been very happy to be far right warriors in today's climate, if they'd had the chance, and also, where they were able, pushed things that were to the right of even today's Republican consensus.

See also everything Rick Perlstein has written for a while, and this great post. Also, always remember that this goddamn Reagan speech was about motherfucking Medicare.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:03 PM
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If they were alive today, yesterday's Republicans would be dead.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:04 PM
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Yglesias exemplifies the struggles at the heart of a non-right-wing political party in the post-Thatcher era.

Two steps backward into the arms of perfectly logical economic doctrine. Then one step forward as he realizes that it is all based on assumptions that bear to resemblance to reality. Then two steps backward as he flees from the realization that if perfectly logical economic doctrine is untrue, the world can never be fair. Then one step forward as he finally acknowledges this, but has no hope of changing it and instead recommends charity for those who are victimized by it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:08 PM
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On Drum's argument about Reagan:

Bouie wrote on TAPPED more or less what PGD et al are saying above - Reagan (and Nixon before him) differed from modern Republicans not in ideology, but in context and what was politically possible.

I agree that an honest commentator needs to at least admit this to himself, but I have 2 objections to this pushback:

1. This is fundamentally a rhetorical device, and last I checked, those don't need to be Perfectly Objective Statements of Undeniable Fact. If saying "Obama's policies are to the right of Reagan's" helps the Dems win one more vote while also pushing the discussion leftwards, then it's worth saying, full stop.

2. Given that the GOP loves to talk in pious absolutes (Constitution this, Biblical Morality that), I think it's particularly effective to point out that they're full of shit. Nobody cares about minor peccadilloes or corruption, but if a person/party runs as a moral paragon, then those become useful cudgels.

In general I think Dems don't spend nearly enough time reviewing the recent past ("These clowns said Clinton's tax increases would crash the economy; would you like the Clinton economy back?"), and I think that this is a rhetorically effective way of flipping the dominant narrative about the history of the last 35 years.

None of which is to say that I don't think we can discuss it frankly amongst ourselves - nobody's listening to us anyway. But if political types think it's an effective tack on net, then I really don't care if it stands up from a political science perspective.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:08 PM
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PS - I dropped in because I was curious how ttaM would react. IIRC, he has plans to visit Ms. Thatcher's grave, possibly with that bottle of wine still in him.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:09 PM
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"bear to resemblance" s/b "bear no resemblance"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:10 PM
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Re 66

I'll row there on the output of the previous visitors.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:22 PM
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We're gonna need a bigger ark.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:28 PM
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Slanderous to Schwarzenegger to compare him to Reagan. Arnold wasn't real competent as governor but he wasn't mean, and on a personal level he's actually a little liberal. Arnie's health care plan was quite comparable to Obamacare, maybe even a bit to the left. I think growing up in Austria made Arnold a little less hysterically anti-statist than the American right. I mean, Austria may be Nazi but it's kind of socialist.

If saying "Obama's policies are to the right of Reagan's" helps the Dems win one more vote while also pushing the discussion leftwards, then it's worth saying, full stop.

The problem is that using Reagan as the standard for anything pushes the discussion right, not left. He was a radical right guy who wanted to undo the New Deal, Great Society, you name it. Politically the time was not ripe but that doesn't mean he didn't want to.

He did invent (or stumble in to?) the entire strategy of right wing Keynesianism (borrow to cut taxes for the rich and increase defense spending) so he deserves credit as an innovator.

Reagan's foreign policy negotiations with the Soviet Union would be squinted at heavily

There are only two things I admire about Reagan. The first is that in his late second term he realized Gorbachev was for real and was willing to open the door to some nuclear disarmament. The second is that he had the brains to back down from various opportunities for war in the Middle East, notably by leaving Lebanon rather than escalating the situation. He was perfectly willing to kill lots of people but only through proxies.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:39 PM
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I prefer to characterize fp in RR's second term as realizing that Nixon, Ford, and Carter had been right about the necessity of constructive engagement with the SU, and that confrontational rhetoric was not merely stupid, but affirmatively counterproductive. The ratcheting down on the rhetoric gave the SU space to fall in upon itself.

Comparisons of Reagan then and Republicans now aren't supposed to be compliments to Reagan. They're not about Reagan at all: it's a fine insult to current wingers. And it is a fair insult to the anti-pragmatic strains of current conservatism.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:46 PM
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Thatcher dies following a strike: if only.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:51 PM
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Reagan knew that that shit for the rubes was shit for the rubes. Three decades of purging people who won't mouth the platitudes has a real effect on what current people know.

(As I've said before, my overall theory of the National Security Intelligence Establishment is akin to this: people my age washed out in their 20s if they could see through the anti-Soviet paranoia in the 80s, leaving only those genuinely unable to understand a fucking thing or willfully deluding themselves and others for a buck. Which category a given person is in doesn't really matter.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:54 PM
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71.2: if they're statements about Reagan they are about Reagan, and if they are implicitly praising Reagan they are compliments to Reagan. That's the way I see it anyway.

I don't think contemporary conservatism is really anti-pragmatic. Policy wise they are getting most of what they want. True that they have had some issues with tea party guys mouthing off in ways that have probably cost them a Senate seat or two, but overall they have been pretty successful. It's a two party system, they'll win the presidency eventually, and in the meantime they are having great policy success with a hard anti-tax line. I think they have enough control of the House guys to avoid anything really crazy like a debt default.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:55 PM
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Actual thing from Slate article linked by Lone Conservative Friend:

"Margaret Thatcher was a real feminist. Not for what she said but for what she did. She did not pursue justice for her gender; women's rights per se was clearly a low priority for her."

Insert quote from Princess Bride, I guess.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 1:55 PM
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74.2 -- I hear you, but they had to drop the Hastert Rule on some of that stuff because they don't have enough grownups in their caucus. If they don't get the Senate back in '14, I think the nutballs will be more difficult to deal with.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:00 PM
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Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. 17 to 75.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:00 PM
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D'oh. I didn't see it was already linked.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:02 PM
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ttaM at 68:

Just put me in mind of something I haven't tought about for years. Family holiday in Scotland, when I was a child (12 maybe, early teens anyway). We are visiting a graveyard, presumably somewhere on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, since that's where we holidayed a couple of times. For no special reason, probably, but my mum always liked wandering through graveyards reading the inscriptions. We stop before a unkempt, withered patch, surrounding by spiked railings, I vaguely recall. Dad tells us that this is the grave of [can't recall]: that he was a very wicked man, and that after he was buried, nothing has ever grown on his grave. So why do you think nothing grows there, he then asks his son and little daughter. We look blank. "Because every night since he died, the locals have pissed on him," says dad cheerfully. Mum bursts out laughing, then tries to look properly cross at what's been said, not very successfully. People's equivalent intentions for Thatcher I've often heard (very often from Scots), but this is the first time this particular memory has been sparked.

Not impossible that dad made the whole story up, just tailoring it to the manky and lifeless look of the graveyard in question -- that was his kind of joke.

Big impromptu street parties tonight in Brixton and Glasgow that I know about. Presumably others.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:08 PM
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Big impromptu street parties tonight in Brixton and Glasgow that I know about.

Man, Americans just don't know how to have fun hating people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:13 PM
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74.1: I guess my prime example would be the tax increase thing. Pointing out that, while current GOPers view any tax increase as anathema, St. Ronnie raised taxes almost every year in office accomplishes twin goals: it punctures Reagan's anti-tax cred and it makes current Republicans seem fringey. If you phrase the point correctly, you can even put across a side-insult to RR: "Reagan blew up the budget, but he still had to sign off on taxes...."

I don't know how many other categories work as well, because he was a bastard in so many ways, but I'm unclear on the downside of the approach above.

I certainly agree that arguments of the form, "Nixon was an excellent president on the domestic front" are to be deprecated. But when Teabaggers are calling Obama a Socialist, it's IMO useful to point out that Nixon actually imposed wage and price controls (tried to, anyway). It blows up the talking point, and it casts no glory on Nixon. I suppose that, if you support wage and price controls, it's a bad tactic, but that's certainly not an issue for actual Democrats.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:17 PM
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80: Well there is a band in Columbus called the Dead Schembechlers, but I guess it's just not the same.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:18 PM
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Unfortunately CA's mum had left too early this morning for me to see her reaction to the news. She has the expatriate's need to defend every last thing about her home country and a pure Scottish hatred of Maggie. I fear she may have split in half and fallen over.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:18 PM
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Pointing out that, while current GOPers view any tax increase as anathema, St. Ronnie raised taxes almost every year in office accomplishes twin goals: it punctures Reagan's anti-tax cred and it makes current Republicans seem fringey.

See also: Reagan lifting the Soviet grain embargo.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:35 PM
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She has the expatriate's need to defend every last thing about her home country and a pure Scottish hatred of Maggie.

Thatcher was Scottish?!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:46 PM
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86

Reagan lifting the Soviet grain embargo.

His greatest crime against humanity!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:47 PM
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87

The Sun's headline has a slightly strange flavour to it: "Maggie dead in bed in Ritz"

(also in the side-heds: "Funeral like Diana's next week" -- it really isn't going to be like Diana's, even if it takes place at the same venue)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:48 PM
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88

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a blowtorch to the face
Never knowing who to kick down
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to not have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long after
We all wish it did


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 2:50 PM
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Story about street parties.

I'm actually a little embarrassed for myself and my country now. Like lots of people, I fucking hated Reagan, but it never occurred to me to go party publicly.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 3:01 PM
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I actually expected far more public revelry -- but it's a miserably cold April here, even if it's been a bit warmer the last couple of days. And there's plenty of time to extend and expand the party before the actual funeral.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 3:06 PM
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91

I fucking hated Reagan, but it never occurred to me to go party publicly

There's still time to make plans for Bush.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 3:43 PM
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92

I'm much more likely to dance in the streets when Cheney dies.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 4:02 PM
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I love 88. We could have a massed choir singing that at the funeral.

I walked into the opticians with my girls and it was on their tv, about ten minutes after it had been announced. Kid A immediately whipped out her phone to check isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk. Have been feeling festive all day!

From a friend's fb: "I've got Coke?? Really? Mummy, you don't even give us coke on birthdays! You must be REALLY happy about that dead woman!"


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 4:08 PM
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Before celebrating Cheney's death, we'll have to make sure we got all the horcruxes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 4:13 PM
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Reagan died while I was in the wilderness for two weeks, so I returned to a civilization that seemed abruptly, senselessly convulsed around his absence. It was a little weird, but not as weird as when Michael Jackson died the next time I was on a long trip.

OT: Can anyone recommend eating places within walking distance of W/ools/ey H/all at Y/al/e*?

* Which, of course, s/ucks.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 4:53 PM
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Sigh. Hearing some "she was unlikeable, but Britain needed to take some tough medicine" commentary from the next cubicle over (from someone who I imagine sees themselves as a good lefty).


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 4:56 PM
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Incidentally, I thought Phil Edwards' comment at CT was interesting:

... It's perhaps not its most obvious feature, but Thatcherism was always at odds with the idea that there was a certain basic dignity in simply having a job that needed doing and doing it to the best of one's abilities. Once you've recognised a dignity in work, this has certain implications: it implies that workers should have a say in how they work (and how they're paid), and that non-workers may simply not be able to find a job that's worth doing. ...


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 5:01 PM
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We Americans really need to work on our dancing-on-graves soundtracks. I've spent a good chunk of the day appreciating the various hate-songs for Thatcher.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 5:05 PM
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Oh, and along the lines of 3, sfgate's front page teaser for the article says only that Thatcher "in 11 years as prime minister transformed a rundown Great Britain, leaving it more prosperous."


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 5:05 PM
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97 -- I also liked that comment a great deal.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 5:11 PM
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Reagan Diana died while I was in the wilderness desert for two a weeks, so I totally didn't believe it had actually happened for a while.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 5:13 PM
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102

||

What computer grading algorithms actually do (and don't do).

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 5:36 PM
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103

Oh hey, my 30 was apwned. Oops.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 5:54 PM
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101: I remember when Diana died. The Ex was severely freaked out.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 6:01 PM
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Boy, did I piss off my dinner table tonight suggesting that celebrating Thatcher's death wasn't extremely poor taste.

Respect the dead! they said.

Then I mentioned that Cheney would die some day, and comity was achieved.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 6:25 PM
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105 before I saw 91 and 92. Actually, I believe the described discussion occurred before 91 and 92 were posted, although who the fuck knows with Unfogged timestamps.

The table didn't look like they'd approve post-Bush revelry.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 6:27 PM
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59: Reagan launched his political career with a speech in support of Goldwater. Once in power, he was a pragmatist, sure, but he was no moderate. Today's tea partiers would be happy to vote for him.

Maybe, but I've been inclined to thnk that Reagan wouldn't have been willing to take direction from Congress (the House, right now), to be a puppet, as is currently desired by Tea Partiers. As Grover Norquist so clearly outlined at CPAC in 2012:

We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. ... We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don't need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

I suppose it's possible that Reagan would have been in utter agreement with the Tea Party caucus at all times, but honestly? I didn't have the impression that Reagan was willing to be dictated to.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 6:27 PM
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95: Great pizza at BAR on Crown St., not that far.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 6:29 PM
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"Thatcher Fiscal Policies ARe Still a Tough Sell for Europe"

What's really insane about this angle is the sub-angle of "Margaret Thatcher's conservative prescriptions for her country's economy have never found fertile soil on the Continent, not even amid a gloom as least as dark as that of '70s Britain."

Because the current gloom would obviously be cleared if only the powers that be in Europe would embrace "market-friendly" policies, instead of the crazy Keynesian shit they've been trying.

"If only Alabama would try Mississippi's policies, maybe they'd have economic success!"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 6:32 PM
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Speaking of gloom, I should play a Smith's album. That's about my level of effort at celebrating.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 6:47 PM
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Now Moby knows how Joan of Arc felt.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 6:50 PM
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At least Joan of Arc didn't have to listen to a Smith's album.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 6:50 PM
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It's just "Smiths".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:12 PM
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Perhaps he's choosing between Jimmy and Patti.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:27 PM
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110 is then wrong, but 112 is technically correct still.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:28 PM
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Tangential: talk of Thatcher reminds me of the recent news out of Wisconsin in the wake of Scott Walker's anti-union measures.

According a Labor Department filing made last week, membership at Wisconsin's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40 -- one of AFSCME's four branches in the state -- has gone from the 31,730 it reported in 2011, to 29,777 in 2012, to just 20,488 now. That's a drop of more than 11,000 -- about a third -- in just two years.

N.B. The link up there is to a right-wing paper. Wading through the backup substantiation they provide, I get to this this report of Wisconsin's AFSCME union reporting to the Dept. of Labor since 2001, so it looks like the figures reported in the right-wing paper are correct.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:36 PM
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Like lots of people, I fucking hated Reagan, but it never occurred to me to go party publicly.

Reagan died in June 2004, when the country was still in that weird post 9-11/early Iraq War uber-patriotic phase. Anyone publicly hating on Reagan at that time would have been raked over the coals in the media.

People remembered what had happened to the Dixie Chicks, and also the beating the Left took after Paul Wellstone's funeral. So liberals in general decided that the better part of valor was to shut the fuck up about Reagan.

After all, there was also a presidential election in the offing, and "keep those hippies quiet" was a very important element of the Democratic strategy at that time. Fat load of good it did.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:39 PM
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Hey, Michigan is playing basketball on the television set. Go Blue!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:40 PM
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Where's peep?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:41 PM
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Fuck Dang, that link to the Dept. of Labor report doesn't work. I guess you have to get to the report from scratch, from here, specifying AFSCME and Wisconsin, and then on the resultant list, Council 40. That's kind of dumb, to be unable to link to the filings.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:42 PM
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118: Is this an Ohio State vs. Evil thing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:44 PM
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$80 for me if Louisville wins.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:46 PM
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117: there was also a presidential election in the offing, and "keep those hippies quiet" was a very important element of the Democratic strategy at that time.

Huh, you're right. I attended a large anti-war rally in D.C. just after Paul Wellstone's death, and boy was the hippie-bashing in full swing (er) in the country at large.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:46 PM
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102: Interesting essay. I have to think these grading algorithms can be gamed pretty badly, although I don't know if it would be easier for a student to do that.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:47 PM
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Holy crap college basketball is ugly. Not that I like pro ball either.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:50 PM
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125: What? This is a fantastic game so far.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:52 PM
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There's a lot more rolling on the floor than I've ever seen before.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:55 PM
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But as I said, I hate watching basketball in general. People at the office are pissed at me for having a shot at winning when I just followed Nate Silver's bracket. I couldn't have told you anything about the rankings before the tournament.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 7:57 PM
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I am impressed by how much more 3 point shooting success there is, but then, the arc is closer.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:00 PM
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People at the office are pissed at me for having a shot at winning when I just followed Nate Silver's bracket.

Nobody likes a gay wizard.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:16 PM
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Except Frodo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:20 PM
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We're not watching the basketball, but did get a chance to watch Mad Men, and can fill VW in.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:22 PM
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Also I'm locked into 3rd in my lab bracket, which is out of the money, so who cares anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:24 PM
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McGary looks like a Beverly Cleary character.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:25 PM
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I filled out a bracket, but didn't enter the pool because I hadn't really paid attention much this season. I didn't get a single Final Four team correct, and only 2 of the final 8. Yay for not entering!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:27 PM
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I filled out a bracket, but didn't enter the pool because I hadn't really paid attention much this season. I didn't get a single Final Four team correct, and only 2 of the final 8. Yay for not entering!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:27 PM
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Something about the flattop 50s buzz plus acne, I think.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:27 PM
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Boy, did I piss off my dinner table tonight suggesting that celebrating Thatcher's death wasn't extremely poor taste.

I am honestly torn on this one.

There's Margaret Thatcher the British PM, and she I utterly despised. And then there's the 86-year old woman who died of a stroke after suffering from senile dementia...and here, I have to admit it, it does seem a bit unseemly to me to celebrate the death of an elderly person.

But then I recall her friendship with Pinochet, and her treatment of the miners, and her utter contempt for working people; and I read the ridiculously flattering encomiums to her strength and her character, and the fawning tributes to her Iron Lady persona (a new, and more iron-clad, form of feminism, we are even told!), and I find myself getting angry at the lies and the falsehoods and the rhetorical excess.

But I have a superstitious dread of personally criticizing anyone who has recently died but who hasn't yet been buried six feet under. Respect for the dead? it is probably something more like fear...

I'm happy to bash Reagan, though. He has been safely laid to rest, but he still looms too larger than life in American political mythology.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:28 PM
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I'm interested in the epidemiology here. Being a right-wing asshole anglophone world leader in the 80s predisposes you to Alzheimer's.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:35 PM
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You think there's some environmental toxin in their assholes?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:36 PM
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When your asshole encompasses your entire body it's hard to avoid.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:43 PM
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Woo money! As the manager I did promise I'd buy them all beer with it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:45 PM
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How is Louisville winning putting you over the top? In my pool everybody but one had them winning.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:46 PM
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Bunch of Syracuse fans in the office. I was down by 6 points but the final is worth 10.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:47 PM
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142: As the manager, they can't make you do so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 8:54 PM
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As the manager, they assume a terrifying composite Voltron form.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 9:28 PM
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Somehow I hadn't encountered Leigh Phillips' blog before, though I suppose I must have seen his writing on Jacobin. What I've read so far flatters my preexisting views, so he must be wise. Plus, check out his curated tumblr: Agamben Toys: Apposite Baubles for the State of Exception.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 9:50 PM
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Oh, I guess I should have linked to his blog.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 9:52 PM
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||
"She touched his organ, and from that bright epoch even it, the old companion of his happiest hours, incapable as he had thought of elevation, began a new and deified existence."

I should think so.
|>


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 11:34 PM
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That doesn't seem to even require pause-play, given the post title. Where's it from?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 11:37 PM
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Martin Chuzzlewit. Transatlantic, death gloating, etc.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 8-13 11:42 PM
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Thinking about this over the last 24 hours or so, maybe one difference between the reaction of people who opposed Reagan to his death, and people who opposed Thatcher, is part of who they were as leaders. To an outsider, Thatcher looked like she positively reveled in adding insult to injury, while Reagan kept up a more genial front.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 9-13 10:18 AM
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Good point.

As a result, most of the Reagan hatred in music, for example, came from California bands, who recalled the days when Reagan's claim to fame was making hilarious speeches about how hippies were stupid and filthy and should be beaten up.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-13 10:36 AM
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To an outsider, Thatcher looked like she positively reveled in adding insult to injury, while Reagan kept up a more genial front.

I've been musing about this, too. While I loathe Reagan, I also generally think he was daft and senile and absentee in office. Whereas reading that Thatcher was friends with Pinochet is somehow more mind-bogglingly hateful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-13 10:38 AM
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Whereas reading that Thatcher was friends with Pinochet . . .

There's a song by a Canadian folk musician that mocks the prime minister* as being, "a close personal friend of the Reagans."

*Sadly I don't remember which one, without looking up the song.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 9-13 10:46 AM
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I'm reminded of verse I wrote about Reagan

The reason for your many admirers
It's easy to tell --
Some of them are stupid,
The rest you pay well.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 9-13 10:59 AM
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I had actually planned to go to the punk rock bar and buy everyone a round of drinks on the day that Reagan died, but I think there was a big party or something the night before, and I didn't find out about it until late the next day. So by then it seemed anti-climactic.

Yesterday I did have a celebratory Guinness at a neighborhood Irish bar that was so authentic that I don't think anyone there would have known who Thatcher even was. They were watching the baseball game. But the Guinness was good.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 9-13 11:06 AM
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62: Ed Brooke too?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 9-13 2:15 PM
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