Archive for our wonderful readers

Rape survivor to TPC: "Say something and be barraged with accusations"


rape victim it could be you Awhile back, our own David Garber posted this: Rape: Unspeakable Crime, But Not Speaking Is Also Not Responsible. Under that post is a comment by one of our regular readers/commenters, flan59 . She has graciously given her permission to post that comment here. She was raped by a "bad guy with a gun." Her words are electrifying, terrifying, brave, and deserving of a post of their own. Verbatim:

It's fear. At least in my case it was. Paralyzing fear. Of everything. It was over and I wanted to forget it happened.

I have always felt guilty and have worried that my attacker went on to rape others. It is the shame I live with every day... not the attempted I fought off my rapist successfully....who had a gun, by the way...

... and still, my boss yelled at me for sleeping with my window open as if the attack was my fault. even me...asleep in my own bed...gets the lecture...I should have known better...sleeping with my own window open...what was I thinking? So you can imagine how a woman who was date raped feels...

Say something and be barraged with accusations...that is what women who are raped deal with.

And it seems the guy threatened them. That is why incest victims don't speak out either.

Flan followed up with an email:

By the way - all of the gun rhetoric and blaming the victim talk that is all over the news and social media has caused flashbacks and I am now in treatment for PTSD. My PTSD is caused by other traumas too - entire childhood with a verbally abusive alcoholic father - losing my twin brother Paul at 16 to schizophrenia - and then at 48 to lung cancer. I have lost several jobs recently because of it and am in serious debt, further sending me into my black hole.

I have found a great therapist and psychiatrist and have been in treatment for the last month or so. It was a good thing I started when I did because I lost my nephew in Jan and my sister-in-law two weeks ago, both under very tragic circumstances.

It seems the bad shit will never end. Then I hear the horror stories from my friends who have "Pauls" of their own who are getting incarcerated, victimized, becoming homeless, and dying from suicide or by cops - and it is all too much. I am so glad I got into therapy because I didn't know how much more of this I could take.

This needs no further commentary. Thank you, Flan, for allowing TPC to share your story, your feelings, your pain, and above all, your courage.

Note: Headline edited.


Blog headline o' the day: "Boehner drops bombshell as Scar Jo rocks epic sideboob."


read first blog headline

I don't know how Garry Trudeau does it, but he always does what he does well, including his latest Doonesbury strip. In this Sunday's snark fest, Trudeau concentrates on how to word a blog headline, something with which we here at The Political Carnival are all too familiar.

In fact, I wrote an entire post about that: "This could be a totally misleading headline. Please read the entire post." Here are some excerpts:

I can't count the times I've posted links to TPC on Twitter and Facebook and gotten responses from readers who only read the blog headline and then commented on what they assumed the post was about. I then spend time I don't have explaining, correcting, soothing, or redirecting right back to the post.

Blog titles and headlines are often misleading, sometimes intentionally. [And sometimes unintentionally]... I mistakenly presume that people will link over to see what we've taken the time, effort, and even thought (I know, right?) to write, including further explanation of a premise, pertinent information, commentary, snark, quotes from original articles, visuals, videos, and links to other sites that go into more detail.

Instead, people often base their opinions on one sentence, one that may not even represent what's in the body of the post. At all. Or maybe a little bit. Or maybe a lot, but there's still much more information than one measly line will telegraph.

So, to repeat myself, and to state the obvious, it's always a good idea to follow links and not take headlines at face value.

Trudeau takes that premise and runs with it:

doonesbury blog headline


Note to Readers


bad day how's your day going

Dear Wonderful Readers,

Presenting our big bummer Note O' the Day:

Poor Paddy is huddled with her space heaters, trying to survive in minus-kajillion degree Indiana weather (See? She's cold! And it's winter! So she should be cold! So clearly, there's no such thing as global warming, duh!).

David is very flu-ish, feels like crap, so he can't do anything but lie in bed and feel completely miserable. Ugh.

That leaves yours truly whose day is crazy, but will try to make every effort to hold down the fort.

Hence, apologies for the spotty entries, wishing both my TPC pals a speedy thaw/recovery, and asking for your kind patience.

Thanks for understanding. Hopefully we'll be back in full swing tomorrow.

As for all of you, please stay warm and well,



Note to Readers


note to readers smaller

Just a quick note to our wonderful readers:

For personal reasons, I'm cutting back on the number of posts I write every day. As you know, TPC pumps out product every day, all day, including holidays.

Paddy and David will still be churning out news, commentary, and information on a regular basis, but since my dad died, things just haven't quite been the same. Priorities are changing, and I feel a need to alleviate stress where I can. I've pushed myself to maintain a self-imposed fast-paced schedule since 2007, but something's gotta give, as the saying goes.

It's you, our amazing, supportive, loyal readers that keep all three of us going (and Lucian, our tech wizard and all around cool guy). We appreciate you beyond words.

This won't be a huge change, just fewer TPC posts. I'll likely still be all over the Twitter Machine, still be on the radio with Nicole Sandler every Tuesday morning, and still be fighting like hell for progressive causes.

Thanks, that is all. Not a biggie. Now, back to writing.


Laffy M.I.A.


note to readers smaller

Dear Everyone,

I thought I better pop up a quick note explaining my absence over the past few days.

I just had a physical, and it went pretty well, with one test needing a redo in a couple of months, so for now at least, all is well.

But the day after my physical, my shoulder and right hand became inexplicably painful, some kind of muscle strain, since it only occurs in certain positions. I can't attribute it to anything I did specifically, nor has it been responding to treatment.

I assume that it's from a combination of extreme stress building over the past couple of years due to my dad's illness and recent passing, along with pushing myself too hard. So I've forced myself to pop some muscle relaxers and stay off Mr. Computer until I can see some improvement.

I'm a total wimp, so the meds put me right to sleep during the day, but I am seeing minimal improvement, so I want to keep this up for a few more days.

There could be a million reasons for this, so to all you caring, sweet, pals of mine who love armchair diagnosing on Twitter, please don't feel you have to in this case (although I truly appreciate it). I have the finest doctors for that, and I do, despite my goofy pseudonym, have a lot of common sense and experience with this kind of pain, plus I've worked in doctors' offices and lived with Dr. Dad and his doctor friends for my entire life. I should get an honorary M.D. by osmosis.

For now, I'll be M.I.A. until I see a real change or until my doctors tell me to STFU and get back to work.

Until then, thank you for all your positive, kind words here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Please note: On Twitter, my LaffyBot will continue to automatically tweet "Miss This?" links to our TPC blog posts. Our Facebook page also has them up.

I'll check in from time to time when I am not comatose.

And please be good to Paddy and David whose posts are wonderful, thoughtful, hilarious, goofy, informative, and appropriately defiant when called for.

Your readership matters, so keep it up!

And I hope you all had a happy, safe Fourth! See you asap!



i love you so much


I don't know how to thank you


i love you so much

For two full days my Twitter stream and TPC Comments under Final Dad Report: To the so, so many of you kind enough to ask and care have been been filled with your compassion and kindness, your often intimate stories, and your wishes, love, and tear-inducing words of comfort.

I am overwhelmed. I cannot thank all of you enough for caring and sharing your own personal experiences, sorrow, wisdom, optimism, advice, and empathy. I've read every single message, and even though there is simply no way I can respond individually to all of you, I can offer you this, a heartfelt post brimming over with profound gratitude.

Consider this a huge hug for every single one of you who took the time and emotional energy to send condolences and soothing notes, emails, tweets, IMs, and phone calls.

It feels like I have hundreds of close friends and family right here with me at all hours of the day and night, whenever I need you... whenever we need each other. I don't know how to express my appreciation strongly enough, but just know you, every one of you, has made a difference.

I'm truly humbled and honored to be surrounded by such kindhearted friends, even though most of us have never met face to face. Please know it's mutual, that you can count on me the way you've let me lean on you.

I wish I could do a better job of communicating how much you've helped. All I can do is repeat the same two words:

Thank you.


TPC holiday note to readers


happy holidays animated gifchristmas holiday dessert snowman

First things first: Paddy and I wish each and every one of you a safe, warm, happy holiday filled with love and yummies.

As for this week: Both of us are under the weather, so posting has been a little slower than usual the past few days.

As for me, I am going on yet another Big Road Trip (scroll... and yes, let's hope it's not a repeat of the one I had two years ago... and yes, our house is in good hands) to San Francisco with my family, so we all better get over our miserable colds quickly (all of us caught this sucker). Especially because I'm meeting up with some wonderful new, and long time, Twitter friends in SF, which makes me so happy!

I'll try to post when I can, but I doubt it will be more than once or twice, because it's not easy when I'm out and about. (My little notebook is a pain, plus I'm never sitting in one place long enough to write anything.)

Hence, I've invited a few people to sub for me, including David Garber, Andy Marquis, and Chris Lamb. Hopefully, they'll be able to contribute while I'm gone.

So we will likely continue our lighter posting this week, given the time of year and both Paddy and me trying to recupe from our various sickitude.

Again, have a safe, warm, happy holiday week. Be good to Paddy and we'll be back to our regular posting schedule after the first of the year.

fireplace holidays animated gif

christmas desserts holiday