On The End of the Froomkin Era at WaPo

(Apologies to the divine Ms. A for tromping on her turf) I’m not sure how many times I can say this, but… Dear Fred Hiatt:You blew it. Again. I had hoped that maybe given the outrage over the announcement that you were dropping Dan Froomkin’s White House Watch blog from the Washington Post.com editorial pages, you might change your mind. (I know, I know, fool me once…etc.) But no, Froomkin’s officially gone from the WaPo as of last Friday, and you have managed to retain your title as the dumbest editorial page editor in the history of journalism (narrowly edging … Continue reading On The End of the Froomkin Era at WaPo

Make It Stop

The willful denial of reality burns us, precious: Expanding copyright law to bar online access to copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, or to bar linking to or paraphrasing copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, might be necessary to keep free riding on content financed by online newspapers from so impairing the incentive to create costly news-gathering operations that news services like Reuters and the Associated Press would become the only professional, nongovernmental sources of news and opinion. The Romenesko commenters have at him: And one way to reduce CO2 emissions… Posted by Thomas Lilleston 6/29/2009 12:17:14 PM … Continue reading Make It Stop

Unless You Cheat, You’re a Pussy

Seriously, Ross Douthat: So which is the real America? Is it Tsing Loh’s dystopia, where everyone “works” grimly on their relationships, and post-feminist husbands happily cook saffron-infused porcini risotto but rarely practice seduction on their wives? Or is it tabloid country: The land of Jon minus Kate, and governors who vanish to “hike the Appalachian Trail” — not to mention gossip-column fixtures like Britney Spears (rumored last week to be contemplating her third marriage in six years) and the mistress-parading Mel Gibson? First of all, there is no one I want giving me romantic advice LESS than this man. Leave … Continue reading Unless You Cheat, You’re a Pussy

The substantial equivalent


This is Katie. Katie plays football on her school team in Washington. Her mom, Janice Langbehn, is very proud of her, and like every parent, remembers like it was yesterday when this big, tough, independent kid was so new and so tiny:

many of you all know we got the call to
come get katie when she was 26days old and Lisa picked her up from the
seattle office when she was 27 days old. I can still close my eyes and
picture her in the little strawberry onies outfit I had picked out. I
still can smell the baby lotion (at least the amount she didn’t eat)
that made her smell gorgeous. she’s so much bigger today. I received
an email from one of her football coaches and though I didn’t ask if I
could use his words – i’m going to b/c it just shows you the potential
anyone has – if they put their heart in the right place.

From Katie’s Coach – Hey, Katie could not have asked for a better
situation. My son, really enjoyed this season as well. This is his
3rd year playing tackle football. My son would rather be on an 0-7
team and play a lot versus being on a 7-0 team and play a little. My
son came home happy after every game (even when he hurt his shoulder).
He said this was his best year ever and he loved having Katie on his
team. She really held her own and we are so proud of her. The biggest
compliment paid to Katie was in our last game and it came from a
referee. He requested that I tell the “young man” on the right side of
the defensive line he is lining up off side. I immediately corrected
him and informed him of the fact she is a “young lady.” He stated he
was impressed. At this level of football it is more important to play
as many downs as possible. Katie really took advantage of this
situation. Had she been on a winning team with more players, Katie and
my son would have seen less playing time. I bet they would not be as

So there you go our little tiny girl, can hold her own, even missing
her one mom terribly. She’s made huge strides this year in school,
getting work done, paying attention and fostering her friendships. She
is like the rudder of the family – helps us stay the course. Sometimes
– many times it gets rocky or windy or scary – the our 3 amazing souls
that Lisa has left me to raise we find our way. I am beyond blessed to
having them in my life. The only thing that could make it complete
would be to have Lisa here witnessing it too.

Lisa was Katie’s other mom. Lisa died a little over a year ago. It was horribly sudden, a stroke. She was 39 and healthy, no one expected it to happen, especially not on a family vacation. The trip, a family cruise to the Bahamas, one of those “Rosie” cruises for GLBT families, was an anniversary celebration of sorts. Lisa Pond and Janice Langbehn had been together for 17 years. In addition to Katie, they had adopted two other kids, Danielle and David.

On February 18, 2007, they boarded ship in Miami and almost immediately after that, Lisa collapsed. She was taken toJackson Memorial Hospital. Imagine this: your healthy spouse collapsing on a family vacation, across the country from family and friends, your three kids and you watching helplessly as she’s put in an ambulance to go to a hospital you’ve never heard of. As bad as that is, it gets worse. 

At the hospital, Janice wasn’t allowed any information about what was going on with Lisa. She and her children sat in a waiting room with no word for three hours. Finally, someone called the social worker for them.

Dr. Garnet Fredrick, a
social worker, was very blunt in telling me that I was in “an anti-gay
city and state” and that I would need a health care proxy before I was
allowed to see my partner of nearly 18 years or know of her condition.
After getting his fax number I immediately called Kathy Bowen our
closet friend in Olympia who went to our house, found our legal
documents including our Power of Attorney, Living Will and Advance
Directive allowing me to speak for Lisa in the event she couldn’t.
Kathy went to our house within minutes of my frantic call, faxed our
legal documents to the hospital in Miami.

Three more hours with no information, no contact, no access to the trauma ward, then a neurosurgeon appeared and asked Janice for consent to place a pressure monitor on Lisa, and informed her that surgery might be needed. Six hours after arrival, this was the first contact Janice had with anyone on Lisa’s medical team, the first details of what had happened to her. The hospital had received the family legal work, had to ask Janice for consent, but Janice and her kids were still not allowed to see Lisa.

 Another hour passed before two more neurosurgeons appeared to talk
with me and Lisa’s parents who were listening in via my cell phone. It
was during this meeting that they initially said that one of Lisa’s
pupils was fixed and not responding but there may be a chance. Seconds
later, the surgeons got a page, stepped out of the family room and then
re-entered to say that both of Lisa’s pupils now were blown and she was
essentially brain dead and they would do the flow study in the morning
to confirm. It was only after this meeting that I learned that our Lisa
was essentially gone, that no surgery could save her brain from the
massive aneurysm. After the doctors left the room, I brought our
children in to tell them that their “other” mom had died and that she
was in Heaven now. I explained that we would keep her on a breathing
machine so that she could donate her organs so that others could live
just as Lisa wanted it.
More than one tragedy occurred that February day in Miami: I lost my
partner, my love, my life, our kids lost their “other” mom and what
makes all these tragedies more horrible is how I was treated by the
Social Worker and receptionist at that hospital in Miami by telling me
I couldn’t see Lisa nor make important decisions about her care. In
those 3 hours, desperate for information about Lisa, I paced and
watched other families being brought back into the trauma center, yet
my family waited, with no word about Lisa’s condition. Our children
Danielle, David, Katie and I all lost the ability to be with Lisa in
her last moments of consciousness, to hold her hand and to say goodbye
and that is something that can never be given back to our family. When
I finally was allowed to see Lisa it was with a Priest to perform her
Last Rites.

Continue reading “The substantial equivalent”

Scary Shit

Jeebus! [B]y all reports, President Bush is more convinced than ever of his righteousness. Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated “I am the president!” He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of “our country’s destiny.” Hat-tip to Sinphonyman. Continue reading Scary Shit

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession With The Freeperati – Odds and Ends edition

Good morning, everyone!Every so often I get a bit behind on the FR threads, sometimes skipping over ones I saved previously, for ones more relevant/entertaining/thematic.This leaves a few behind which deserve your attention, so periodically I’m going to whip them up into a flatulent fondue and serve them up. If the threads appear dated, that’s why. First up is a rank remnant of theEt Tu threads from last week’s Obsession:Freepers luvs them some Olive Garden !!‏ Olive Garden pulls Letterman ads Politico ^ | 06/18/09 | ANDY BARR Posted onThursday, June 18, 2009 12:23:58 PM byBCrago66 Following a week of … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession With The Freeperati – Odds and Ends edition


On Tuesday: BAGHDAD –Iraqi security forces bolstered checkpoints and banned motorcycles from the streets of Baghdad as they prepared Sunday for more violence before this week’s withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from the capital and other cities and towns. Despite the increased checks, a roadside bomb targeting a U.S. convoy in easternBaghdad wounded six bystanders. It was unclear if anyone in the convoy was injured, police said. A car bomb also exploded in the parking lot of a police academy in western Baghdad, killing onepolice officer and wounding six others, police said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were … Continue reading Leaving

All Apologies

(I have failed you, the American (and Canadian) readers…) Good morning and thank you for reading this post, I am writing to you from the Milwaukee airport as I am on my way to Tampa to a “conference,” which, despite other recent events involving other high-profile individuals, should not be construed to mean I’m meeting with a hooker from Guam. Please stop bothering my wife, daughter, mother, rabbit and trash collector. They will all tell you the same thing, as I have bought them off with the promise of jewelry, a trip to the zoo, my presence at Thanksgiving dinner, … Continue reading All Apologies

They’re Finally Throwing Flowers and Candy

AP Photo. It won’t be over, not for a very long time: So far, more than 200,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have been treated at VA medical facilities — three times what the VA projected, according to a Government Accountability Office analysis. More than one-third of them have been diagnosed with mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, acute depression and substance abuse. Thousands more have crippling disabilities such as brain or spinal injuries. In each of the last two years, the VA has underestimated the number of veterans who would seek help and the cost of treating them … Continue reading They’re Finally Throwing Flowers and Candy

Today in ‘What Total Assholes Who Should Be in Chains Are Up To’

We have the man who gutted and skullfucked the Tribune Company, not missing a meal: They always land on their feet, don’t they? Dennis FitzSimons, the former CEO of theTribune Company who walked out the door with $41 million after engineering the disastrous sale of the company toSam Zell, has just joined the board of directors ofMedia General. The board seat was created just for him. “‘Dennis FitzSimons is a proven and innovative business leader who led a premier media company through times of outstanding growth and tough challenges,’ said Marshall N. Morton, Media General’s president and chief executive officer, … Continue reading Today in ‘What Total Assholes Who Should Be in Chains Are Up To’

Quitting Time Booster Shot

Welcome to the travel version of the Booster where we’ll ponder the mysteries of almost missed flights and how it is possible to freeze to death and boil to death a single flight: – Almost found out the hard way that there is a difference between a 9 a.m. flight where you should be at the airport 90 minutes before take off and a 7:30 a.m. flight. It helps to check the itinerary before you fly. Just saying… – I know the airlines don’t need any ideas on how to squeeze me for another 10 bucks, but here’s a marketing … Continue reading Quitting Time Booster Shot

God’s Laws

Something Sanford said at his press conference that’s been bugging me since: But I — I guess where I’m trying to go with this is thatthere are moral absolutes, and that God’s law indeed is there to protect you from yourself. Because … I’m sorry, it isn’t God’s law that keeps me from cheating on my husband. It’s the promise I made in public to basically not be an asshole to him for the rest of our lives, and that I like him quite a lot and don’t want to upset him. God is not my traffic cop, and I … Continue reading God’s Laws

Another First Draft Reader-Supported Project Gets Off the Ground

Our resident Freepaholic, Tommy, asked you some time back to join in supporting a journalism project to help make tomorrow’s media. In just a day you had that one handled the way you’d handled the two I asked about the week prior, andhere are the results: The teacher involved writes: Dear Tommy, Once again, I would like to thank you all very much for supporting both my Journalism and my Grammar&Composition classes! I had originally anticipated that the LCD projector would be most beneficial to my senior Journalism students because we do a lot of PowerPoint lessons, surfing the net, … Continue reading Another First Draft Reader-Supported Project Gets Off the Ground

Message Managed

Okay, look. Here’s how it happened, according to my understanding: The White House called up Nico Pitney at HuffPo, who has been covering (aggregating, blogging, collecting info from all over and processing it, whatever you want to call it, he’s doing a job at least as hard as that of any nightly news producer or rewrite desk, so just calm down, son) the sitch in Iran apparently very admirably and well. The White House calls and says, “Hey, come to the news conference, you might get called on, ask a question from an Iranian.” It’s all over the Internet for … Continue reading Message Managed

How It Began

Michael Jackson, who died today at 50: The guy’s been a comedic punching bag for decades, but quite simply, he was the greatest pop star of all time. The media is sure to be saturated with tributes, gossip, virtual vigils and gallows humor. I’m going to remember MJ as I’ve always tried to in the face of his bizarre tabloid life—as a stunning, unparalleled soul prodigy. Listen to “Big Boy” above. Jackson recorded that, his first single, at age 9. I just reached out to Gordon Keith, owner of Steeltown Records, who produced that first MJ recording in 1968. Keith … Continue reading How It Began


From2Millionth Web Log For his own sake I hope the governor dances better than hewrites…and while the dalliance itself was apparently plain vanilla enough, the six day sojourn and crudely bungled attempt to cover up provide enough intrigue to generate their own sufficient undertow. Still, watching the GOP reap what they’ve sowed on the morality front over the last generation speaks volumes. Circumstances make it less so with Sanford, but the exposures of himself, Ensign, Vitter, et al, elicited howls of indignant protest from the same political faction that for years smugly insisted “character counts.” Now, they are quick to … Continue reading PoonTango

All the Married Ladies

Is it wrong of me to be mildly bored that the whole Sanford story wound up being that he had sex with a consenting adult lady not his wife, presumably while neither of them was wearing any of the following: wet suit, duck costume, diapers, skin of recently killed grizzly bear, etc? I mean it, Republicans have set the bar pretty high lately and I’m kind of … yawn … disappointed he didn’t reach for the stars. The rest of the story is pure gold, of course, right down to the crazy way his wife and staff acted, telling the … Continue reading All the Married Ladies

The irrelevant in the room

As noted here previously, the POTUS is not on my list of favorite people right now. I will say this, though: in yesterday’s press briefing kerfuffle, I’m coming down on the side of Team Obama. So go ahead and call me obtuse and disrespectful of protocol, willing to look the other way and ignore an obvious conspiracy to collude. Oh, and also? Give me a fuckin’ break, Politico. And please, Dana Milbank? Upstanding bipartisan bastion of freedom of the press now, are we? Outraged a Democratic president would “pack” the press room with a “planted” questioner? Have some smelling salts, … Continue reading The irrelevant in the room

Hunger is a Lesson

So old post is old, but: Cynthia Davis, ladies and gentlemen.Those of you who like that sort of thing can take special note of the crucifix around her neck. I wonder if she wears it in tribute to the Roman system of capital punishment. Efficient, crucifixion was. Talk about a deterrent. One might even call it a motivator: Who’s buying dinner? Who is getting paid to serve the meal? Churches and other non-profits can do this at no cost to the taxpayerif it is warranted. […]Bigger governmental programs take away our connectedness to the human family, our brotherhood and our … Continue reading Hunger is a Lesson

Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark…

I’ve been following the drama that is Mark Sanford sincethe story of his disappearance broke. And like a David Lynch film, no matter how I look at it, it comes out weird. Imagine, if you will, somebody you know leaving his job, going off without telling his wife where he were going, turning off his cell phone, and remaining out of touch for four days. Wouldn’t that raise some eyebrows? You’d have people worried, your employer would be at least annoyed, you might even have people contacting the police. But a fracking GOVERNOR doing that? Colorado Matters, a local show … Continue reading Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark…