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Gender: Female
Hometown: New Jersey
Home country: USA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 38,228

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DING DING DING! Warren DeMontague, you're our grand prize winner!

But moral panic

and anti-sex prudishness

ARE issues in our society.

To me, pearl-clutching should have nothing do with gender, sexual orientation, or even wearing pearls -- it should be about outrage that is either fabricated (like Newt's) or misplaced (like Hyacinth's), then blown out of proportion.

Just last night, Gingrich clutched his pearls over Obama's apology for U.S.-led troops "accidentally" burning Korans in a prison. But was he REALLY outraged, or just grabbing an opportunity to bash Obama and advance his ambitions? Put another way, can you imagine Gingrich praising Obama for NOT apologizing? No, he'd probably point to it as proof that he has no control as commander-in-chief. Glenn Beck and and Sarah are fabricating pearl clutchers, too.

As for Hyacinth Bucket, she once told her husband that all she wants is to ensure that his life "flows in a placid stream." As long as she's controlling that stream, of course -- so much so that HER pearl clutching was turbo-charged. A cracked teacup, a newsboy scratching his ear, someone brushing against her walls or talking loudly in the street, her sister's mini-skirts, her brother-in-law's right to bare arms: the tiniest deviation of her world order had her grasping at her throat, then blindly counterattacking. We laughed at Hyacinth hardest when she found herself stranded in the debris of her laid-to-waste planning.

That's why I'm comfortable with the term "pearl clutching": it's not just for prudes anymore.


DING DING DING! Public Policy Polling's Tom Jensen, you're our grand prize winner!

“Republican voters aren’t ready to run through a wall for any of these candidates, in contrast to the way Democrats felt about Clinton and Obama in 2008...”

Yes, I remember it well -- here at DU, the "Obamatrons" and the "Hillbots" went at each other like rams during the rutting season.

It was painful -- so painful that I feared DU would see its first unsuccessful donation drives. But I would gladly re-live every second of it, because I realize now that we had candidates who were WORTH fighting over. And since no one was pre-selected and force-fed upon us, the landslide majority of the Hillbots were able to get behind Obama when the smoke cleared.

As for the tsunami of anti-Obama sentiment that the GOP is reduced to counting on, it might happen, but I don't think it will be big enough. Even if the GOP voters get their wish and end up with a Chris Christie or a Tim Pawlenty, the GOP primary season has soured too many moderates and independents for them to get within even a cheatproof margin.


I was going to watch the launch at home and get to work a little late

But once I learned it was 32 degrees in Florida, I left at my usual time because I didn't think for one second that they'd attempt to launch in such weather when they'd never done it before.

I arrived at work to find people gathered around the TV in a conference room. Though the temperature had skyrocketed to a scorching 36 degrees, my exact words were "They're STILL going through with it? They're CRAZY!" Nonetheless, I was still so confident that the launch would be called off that I went to my cubicle, turned on the radio and proceeded with my work day. It was the radio that told me what had happened, and I rushed back to the conference room where I saw the "replay."

I recall that the launch had already been delayed at least once. News reports suggested that NASA was under political pressure to produce results, and no doubt Morton Thiokol wanted to protect their reputation (not to mention collect their fees). Now it turns out that frozen O-rings had been a potential danger since they got off the drawing board; that the engineers had been overruled by corporate management; that another engineer was branded a whistleblower for telling the truth; that Boisjoly couldn't bring himself to watch the launch; and that NASA juggled safety and political expediency routinely.

So it turns out that I had been right: they WERE crazy.

Roger Boisjoly's career was hijacked because he did the right thing. Postponing the launch until the weather improved would have been the right thing. Doing the right thing isn't always fun or comfortable or easy or convenient -- but it IS always right.

There's no need to hope that Roger Boisjoly will rest in peace -- he's already taken care of that. So I'll call just him a great American hero and patriot, and thank him for his service.

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