God bless her, Jackie Mitchard was always something of a drama queen. Much of the dear lady's life, in her own telling, is more fanciful than her novels. From Dean Robbins' account of the auteur's last Madison book reading:
"We have less than nothing," she said, blaming it on a crooked finance man who "took all our money." ...
"I'm trying to be cheerful about moving to Massachusetts," Mitchard said, hinting that she's really not. She ruefully described a garage sale she was preparing for the next day, since her clothes won't fit into the new home's small closet: "just an impression of a closet," as she described it.
I suppose the house in the Bay State could use more closet space -- whose couldn't, eh what? But, she implies, just the one closet, at best a locker, perhaps only a clever artist's trompe d'oiel?
It's not the first time Jackie has claimed to own "less than nothing." Yes, the lady may have lost much of her fortune to a swindler, but our Blanche need not be be reliant on the kindness of strangers. Her 1,764-square-foot house on beautiful Cape Cod has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a working fireplace, wood deck and detached garage on one-half acre. It's not on the water but is surrounded by wooded land.
The house -- Cape Cod style, naturally -- was built in 1971. Most certainly, it has closets, only maybe not of the walk-in variety.
She and her Mister purchased the property in 2007 for $425,000 and paid off the mortgage two years later, so they're not "upside down." The place is now assessed at $340,700, the Cape having been hard hit by the housing recession. I could find no liens on the property; they seem to own it free and clear.
The median property value in her Massachusetts town is $323,000, as I reckon it from the tax rolls. Inevitably, housing values will recover. Then, there is the little matter of gainful employment, future writings, and royalties from past efforts -- the gift that keeps on giving.
Our soap opera heroine may have hit hard times, but hard usually doesn't come with three bedrooms and a fireplace on Cape Cod. The Mitchards will not be living in a van down by the river, however much it may seem that way to the novelist.
The place is pictured here -- after all, she HAS made her life the story line. But let us safeguard an old colleague's privacy by not publishing her street address or identify her new community here. I wish Jackie and her family only happiness -- and all sympathy that is rightly earned.
Bork or be borked
Verb, transitive. The Left fought Reagan's 1987 nomination of Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court with remarkable viciousness that echoes to this day. Joe Nocera writes in the New York Times:
The Bork fight, in some ways, was the beginning of the end of civil discourse in politics. For years afterward, conservatives seethed at the "systematic demonization" of Bork.
... rarely has a failed nominee had the pedigree - and intellectual firepower - of Bork. He had been a law professor at Yale, the solicitor general of the United States and, at the time Ronald Reagan tapped him for the court, a federal appeals court judge. ... Whatever you think of these views, they cannot be fairly characterized as extreme ...
... instead, the Democrats sought to portray Bork as "a right-wing loony." ... The character assassination began the day Bork was nominated.
As you sow, so shall ye ...
Break the teachers union
Steve Jobs met with Barack Obama a year ago, according to the new Walter Isaacson book, to warn him:
"You're headed for a one-term presidency," he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. ...
Jobs also criticized America's education system, saying it was "crippled by union work rules," noted Isaacson. "Until the teachers' unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform." Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.
This, according to the Huffington Post. Steve Jobs was such an Obama supporter that he offered to do his advertising campaign. (Thanks to Ann of Althouse for the tip.)
Restrict your own damned speech
Marquette University law prof Rick Esenberg examines the Left's mania for restricting political speech with which they disagree, as professed by Mike McCabe, Fighting Ed, Comrade John, the many Jeremies, and other would-be rewriters of the Constitution:
McCabe began by repeating the mistaken mantra that the Supreme Court decided that "money is speech." It did not. What it recognizes is that the right to speak becomes meaningless if one (or those with whom one is associated with) don't have the right to combine resources or use what resources they do have in order to be heard. To say that I have the right to go down to the corner of Wisconsin and Water and holler, but I can't do anything to publish my views to others would be a rather empty guarantee.
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What hath Gov. Scott Walker's reforms wrought? He's put up a website called Reforms and Results.
Speaking of local authors, Stephanie Golightly Lowden has a release party Sunday, October 30, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Great Dane, Hilldale, for her new book: Jingo Fever. It is an historical novel set in northern Wisconsin during WWI that treats the issues of bullying and discrimination. It's aimed at ages 8-12.
Honesty is the best virtue. Someone asked the critic and essayist Dwight MacDonald why he drank so much. According to Sunday's New York Times, the late writer answered, "Because I'm an alcoholic, goddammit!"