I watched a little of the Kennedy wake, and a little of the Kennedy funeral mass. Both seemed like pretty standard affairs as these things go, if a bit funnier — those Irish like a wake to be celebratory, and Teddy’s certainly was. Lance Mannion found a nice clip, here, lengthy but worth the time. I surfed around and checked out the opposition. The reaction ranged from silence to the usual Mary Jo Kopechne Mary Jo Kopechne blah blah blah. (The ones with college degrees said Bork Bork Bork blah blah blah.) I’m amazed at how so many people who claim a fierce belief in God also cling to the idea that God sent Kennedy’s soul straight to hell for “murdering” Kopechne, as though they missed that part about forgiveness for all sinners, even Kennedys. I’m also amazed at how many people expressed the belief that in a just world, Kennedy would have “died in prison” for his crime in 1969, which shows a rather tenuous grasp of sentencing guidelines, too.

At the heart of it all was something else, I think — an ugly resentment of the talented and fortunate. We all suffer to some extent — who hasn’t felt envy? — but at the end of Kennedy’s life even those who disagreed with him would have to admit he spent at least some of it living by the words he spoke so memorably at his brother’s funeral, 41 years ago:

My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

You can argue with how he went about it. But not with the effort.

At the other end of the spectrum, I also caught up with “Project Runway.” The challenge was to create a maternity dress for one of those actress-models whose face I only see in supermarket checkout lines. Rebecca Romijn? Yeah. The last name is pronounced Romaine, like the lettuce, which, in pregnancy, she looks like she’s finally adding a little grilled chicken to. Brave, brave actress-model. Anyway, it’s early in the competition, which means the worst competitors are still there, many of whom treated Romijn’s condition the way Scarlett O’Hara’s contemporaries did — as something to avert your eyes from and get all ooh-ick over. They had great fun playing with the preggo pillows they were issued to tie to their dress forms; a few couldn’t figure out where they should go. Another said of Romijn, “she’s in her second semester, or whatever.” How hilarious. You’d think none of them had mothers themselves, and based on one of their designs, which was used as inspirations chickens and eggs, maybe not.

He’s the guy who got booted. “What woman wants to look like a chicken?” asked Heidi Klum, mother of four. The winner was a woman. Ha ha ha.

And then it was “Sunshine Cleaning,” which shows you what great actors can do with a slight little script, but I liked it just the same. How can you not like Amy Adams, adorableness incarnate? My neighbor in Fort Wayne cleaned houses, and in just a few years’ worth of chats, gave me enough material for five novels. She was always discreet, but just the broad outlines were amazing. One client told her how they’d bought their house cheap, because it was nearly a teardown, so trashed had it been by previous owners. Oh? Yes, those same owners had deserted it, first by mom and then by dad, both of whom moved out of state and left their two inconvenient teenage children to take care of themselves for their final year or two of high school, sending money every so often. The kids took their abandonment issues out on the house. The authorities never knew. Now there’s a movie.

What am I writing about today? Hell if I know. Best skip to the bloggage:

A friend posted this on Facebook over the weekend: Afterbirthers Demand to See Obama’s Placenta. Yes, the Onion. Yes, funny.

I’ll say it again: I remember when Spike Lee criticized Michael Jackson for altering his “negroid nose.” How things change.

And now it’s Monday. Sigh. Last week of summer vacation for someone I know.

Posted at 2:06 am in Current events |

44 responses to “Green.”

  1. beb said on August 31, 2009 at 8:03 am

    I hear one of the Bush daughters has been hired by the NYT. I guess the pool of Republican offspring must been getting thin.

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  2. Jolene said on August 31, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Not the NYT, beb. She’s going to be on the Today Show. The WaPo says she’s going to be on once a month or so, mainly doing stories about education.

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  3. MichaelG said on August 31, 2009 at 10:04 am

    The fire in Auburn is pretty much over. The area burned estimate remains the same but they have revised the estimate of houses lost back up to 60 or so. It happened fast and people barely had time to get out. Fortunately, there appear to be no injuries or fatalities. I don’t know about the toll on pets which can be rough in these kinds of things.

    Sorry to be so boring on this but Auburn is a part of me.

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  4. coozledad said on August 31, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I’m looking forward to Jenna’s segment on how to balance study time and 1.1 blood alcohol level time, and how hard books are lowering GPA’s.

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  5. whitebeard said on August 31, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Totaally off topic but I just had to share this story my daughter told me on a visit from Canada this weekend.
    When my two daughters’ 16-year-old siamese cat died, my ex-wife asked if they really missed their cat and she said she could have it mounted.
    They thought she was joking, but sure enough, she went to a taxidermist and for years thereafter the stuffed cat sat on a coffee table in the living room, next to the urn with her second husband’s ashes (although she probably secretly wished it was my ashes).
    I mean I knew she was crazy, but that is the looniest tale of all.

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  6. moe99 said on August 31, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Glenn Greenwald sorta put it best about our nepotistic society:

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  7. LAMary said on August 31, 2009 at 11:33 am

    An interesting site.

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  8. Sue said on August 31, 2009 at 11:39 am

    1. I love Glenn Greenwald and I’m comfortable reading his Horrible Liberal Rants, because he’s so equal-opportunity. He’s been yelling at Obama pretty much since the day after the election. With reason, it appears.
    2. I have not been following the story of that poor abducted kid too much, because I can’t stomach it. I have noticed though that there seems to be a wife involved. Why is there always a woman helping the perv? That seems more sick and less explainable than the man’s behavior.
    3. It’s freezing here in SE Wisconsin; frost warnings up north last night. It won’t get above 70 this week. What summer?

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  9. Jolene said on August 31, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I dunno. Greenwald’s piece is good, I suppose, but I find it hard to get exercised about JBH appearing on the Today Show. It’s a commercial enterprise in a competitive market, and she is a bright (enough), attractive young woman.

    The plan is, apparently, for her to develop and present stories having to do, primarily, with education. She’s a college grad and a certified teacher, with several (well, a few) years of experience as a teacher in DC and Baltimore, as well as some experience in working w/ UNICEF.

    The NBC people say they asked her to join the show because they liked how she came across when she appeared on the show to promote her two books, one of which she wrote w/ her mother.

    Of course, her name gives her advantages that thousands of other young teachers don’t have, but if she didn’t have that background and/or hadn’t done well in her earlier appearances, she wouldn’t have been invited to do more.

    That she used a fake ID to buy drinks in college eight or so years ago also doesn’t strike me as terribly important.

    Can’t believe I’m defending a Bush, but she didn’t pick her parents.

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  10. beb said on August 31, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    To Jolene I give a sigh of relief. Better Jenna Bush work for the Today Show which I never considered to be a news program, than the New York Times.

    To Sue: Glennzilla as some bloggers have nicknamed him, has been very coy about his actual political leanings. He is a strong defender of the Bill of Rights but you don’t have to be a liberal to do that, do you?

    Your second point I also agree with. I can’t imagine how a woman could let another woman be held as a sex slave for all those years. I feel she’s worse than her husband.

    Apparently the City Unions haven’t gone out on strike so this ia a good Day for Detroit. I’m still trying to understand how wringing $10 Million of concessions from the Unions will do anything to fit the City’s $400 Million deficit but what do I know, I only work here.

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  11. Sue said on August 31, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    beb, I see your point re Glenn but I can’t see Fox calling him anytime soon. The subjects he chooses and the way he writes about them put him in the liberal camp. No conservative would have agreed with him on the FISA vote last year, for instance, and he hammered everyone on that, including Obama.
    He may be coy about his political leanings, but his words are as transparent as water.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 31, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Recursively back to peaches for a moment — from Mark Bittman’s Minimalist NYT column a month ago, in a list of simple salads:

    Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Astonishing.

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  13. moe99 said on August 31, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I like Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s take on the Glennzilla piece. PNH is an editor at TOR and his blog, Making Light, cowritten with his wife Teresa, is a good read.

    Our children and grandchildren will remember these strutting second- and third-generation media peacocks they way we look back at the White Russian officer corps—as examples of astonishing decadence. They will wonder how these people, out of all those who could be discussing the day’s events, were the ones chosen to be on television, day after day, as the world careened toward ruin.

    And I have been fascinated with the Jaycee kidnapping case as one is mesmerized by bad traffic accidents. I view the wife as a cringing Gollum type character. It’s impossible to feel anthing but rage for either the husband or the wife. I hope but I think there is small chance that Jaycee will be able to successfully reintegrate her life or the lives of her daughters with her family or society at large.

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  14. Dorothy said on August 31, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I can’t get to the people at Walmart website, Mary – I’m sure it’s overwhelmed with traffic lately. How’s Pete doing today? And just to clarify – you meant he’d be on liquids for 6 weeks, not 6 months, right?

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  15. Danny said on August 31, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Our group at work moved offices to another building this weekend and today is my first day at the new location. While unpacking one of my new neighbors stopped by to chat and he inform me that the parking situation was pretty good, except for him. He apparently isn’t allowed to park on the premises because he has Truck Balls.

    He doesn’t understand it. He’s just trying to express himself.


    Mary and Michael and anyone else in CA. Fire updates in your areas?

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  16. Catherine said on August 31, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    You folks in the midwest have snow days, we’re having a fire day. Smoke galore and school/work/road closures. Mt. Wilson hasn’t burned yet.

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  17. jeff borden said on August 31, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Nepotism takes many backdoor forms, too. If you scan the executive offices at many a firm, you’ll find someone with a name that matches the name of someone on the board of directors. You see, it’s not enough that junior and sissy enter the business world with the best education their parents can buy with their very substanial earnings. It’s their due that they not only graduate with their Ivy League degrees and walk right into a great career with a Fortune 50 company. Hell, it’s the American way.

    It’s human nature that we want to look out for our family members. Many of us, perhaps most, have benefitted from some kind of connection or other. What’s galling is the posturing of some of these second- and third-generation media types like Bill Kristol pontificating about the evils of affirmative action when his ticket to the cushy lifestyle was punched at birth.

    The most irritating of these legacy hires must be Jonah Goldberg, whose entry to the media good life was carpeted by mommy Lucianne and her cultivation of the poor, pathetic Linda Tripp. (Now, there’s a ‘where are they now’ story I’d read.) The prose this clown turns out is nearly unreadable, which pairs nicely with his nearly incomprehensible view of the world around him. But once a week his smug headshot peers out from the op-ed page of the Chicago Tribune. I’m sure Mr. Goldberg would tell us all that he worked long and hard to earn his place in the media world. Maybe he even believes it. . .but absent Monica Lewinksy and her blue Gap dress and this dork is flipping burgers somewhere.

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  18. Jean S said on August 31, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Nancy, with regard to the trashed house–friend of mine was abandoned by her divorced mom when a new boyfriend appeared. She was 16 at the time. Dad was off somewhere. She moved in with her big sister.

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  19. Sue said on August 31, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Over at Balloon Juice they’ve taken a reference to Trollope and turned it into a minor discussion on collective nouns to describe prostitutes. Isn’t that what I come here for? Step up, people!

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  20. Jolene said on August 31, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Where She Is Now: Linda Tripp is operating a tchochke shop called The Christmas Sleigh, which sells fancy Christmas ornaments all year round, in Middleburg, Virginia. She has had some fairly impressive plastic surgery (in some photos, not so much in others) and has also gotten married.

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  21. Jeff Borden said on August 31, 2009 at 5:51 pm


    Thanks! Despite her starring role in one of the more absurd episodes of American politics, I always felt a shred of sympathy for her. What she did to her alleged friend, Monica, was ghastly, but the way she was used and then discarded by Lucianne Goldberg and her flying monkeys of Clinton haters was far worse. Maybe she’s earned some peace and happiness. At least, she hasn’t had to box Tanya Harding for a reality TV series, which was the fate of poor Paula Jones.

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  22. Jolene said on August 31, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Really?! I missed hearing about the Harding vs. Jones match. That’s hysterical. What a culture! What a world!

    I guess, though, that we should feel a little sorry for Jones too. I don’t think it was Richard Scaife’s concern for her dignity that prompted him to pay her lawyers.

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  23. Jeff Borden said on August 31, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Yeah, Mr. Scaife’s largess only goes so far. When she outlived her usefulness, it was off to the scrap heap. We’ll probably see her with Heidi and Spencer Montag someday soon.

    While poor Paula was savaged by late night comedians about her looks, especially Jay Leno, let us not forget the most amazing thing ever said about the poor former state employee from Arkansas.

    Ann Coulter once said that Paula Jones was “her” Rosa Parks. The stunning condescension of that comment still floors me, but happily, La Coulter is not much heard or seen these days. With Glenn Beck on the rampage –he recently told his radio audience that America has been victimized by a “coup,” which I guess is what loons call elections they lose– the she demon looks reasonably normal.

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  24. brian stouder said on August 31, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    With Glenn Beck on the ram­page –he recently told his radio audi­ence that Amer­ica has been vic­tim­ized by a “coup,” which I guess is what loons call elec­tions they lose– the she demon looks rea­son­ably normal.

    Well – speaking of loons, and at the risk of yet another suspension from nn.c (for being repetitive), you should click this link to see how “flying monkee school” works:


    and THEN, click “workshops”….and you’ll see an array of workshops to choose from, including reasonable topics such as

    -How conservatives can win in 2010; -How to bring youth into the conservative movement; -How the media can help us take back America; -How to lobby federal legislation & policy; -How to use New Media technology; -How to lobby legislators; -How to use the Internet effectively: Internet 101

    and then dodgey topics, some of which sound harmlessly wacky, like:

    -How to deal with vote fraud, the Census, and ACORN; -How to defend America vs. missile attack; -How to understand Islam; -How to defeat Con Con, National Popular Vote, and ERA*; -How to stop government attacks on parents’ rights

    and then we come to the acid barrels of their public policies:

    -How to defend traditional marriage and DOMA; -How to stop feminist and gay attacks on the military; -How to counter the homosexual movement; -How to recognize living under Communists and Nazis**;
    -How to deal with supremacist judges***;
    -How to stop socialism in health care;
    -How to defeat UN attacks on sovereignty

    *I confess I have no idea what “con con” is

    **One suspects the answer is – if she or he kicks your candidates ass, and is not white

    *** one assumes this means Justice Sotomayor

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  25. nancy said on August 31, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    “Con con” might mean “constitutional convention.” You know, the one we’re planning to make it legal to throw conservatives into FEMA concentration camps.

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  26. moe99 said on August 31, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    We’re number one! In percentage of GDP paid for medical services. Hooray!!

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  27. coozledad said on August 31, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    From the Boycott Whole Foods Facebook page. A comment:
    “Whole Foods don’t want your money (anyway): It’s covered with the blood of innocent BABIES!!!”
    I knew there was some reason I needed a new wallet.

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  28. caliban said on August 31, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    People that feel they have some born-again right to consign somebody else to damnation are truly reprehensible. If one of your brothers got elected President and assassinated, you might get a pass from reasonable people on some bad behavior. If you’re other brother was a white guy that electrified Watts and was assasinated?

    Who else wouldn’t have crawled up into a ball? But he always kept the ideal of protecting every American. What’s the objection to the Public Option? it might mean the bastards that sell you insurance can’t actually compete? Isn’t that the problem. Tjey’re cheating they’re asses off and enriching Bill Frist, and they’re telling you it’s socialism.

    If Frist is your mentor, that idiot made a diagnosis on Terry Schiabo when her hrain was mush, and he did it by some bizarre video. In the grand scheme pf things regarding health care, Has anything the opponents ever said been even close to true? If the point of the opposition is just lying their asses of, supposed to think voters aren’t morons.

    This a fact. Nothing whatsoever opponents of universal jealth care is remotely true. You believe this horseshit?It’s a unique strategy. Lie about everything. They haven’t said a single thing remotely true.To this day everybody in the US believes in reform, and more specifically, they believe insutance companies ought to be kept honest.

    If insurance companies can’t compete, aren’t they fucking you over?

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  29. coozledad said on August 31, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Here’s the publisher of the local paper we recently unsubscribed from, engaging in his usual passive aggressive horseshit. I used to believe these people were at least at the threshold of sentience; that some childhood injury to the psyche delayed their entry into the adult world, and that all was required was a little patience, tact, and revisiting the benchmarks of a modern education. Now I know it’s hopeless. This fucker owns a paper. He has dependents.

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  30. nancy said on August 31, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    “wrought with waste”?

    I do not think that means what you think it means, Mr. Publisher.

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 31, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Must mean “is fraught with waste”? I’m guessing we dictate our column into a dictaphone and have Joan or someone type it into one of those newfangled ‘puter things.

    He has Depends, you say?

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  32. Jolene said on August 31, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Just heard that Rachel Maddow will be on Jimmy Fallon tonight. I know she has some fans here. This is what DVRs are for.

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  33. Connie said on September 1, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I live just on the Donnelly 02 side of the line between his congressional district and Souder’s 03. Souder held his last town hall last night just down the road in Middlebury. First news reports, loud but civilized. In this report the pro health care attendees clearly feel completely unheard.

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  34. coozledad said on September 1, 2009 at 8:35 am

    The triumph of XEM (Xerox Enlargement Microscopy)

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  35. ROgirl said on September 1, 2009 at 8:59 am

    LA Mary, I finally saw the People of Walmart site. Hilarious. There’s a Walmart nearby, in an upper middle class suburb where you normally see people who fit the surroundings. The first time I went into the store I wondered where the people who shop there came from. Many of them are not from the immediate neighborhood.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 1, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Apparently, “Low Income People Look Funny” or “Developmentally Disabled Diversions” were taken as web domains. Not sure i’m getting the hilarity.

    Y’all do know that the Roger Sterling serenade was icky, right?

    Less crankily, i’m loving the developing hypothesis that “Connie” in the country club bar scene with Don is Conrad Hilton. As if you could have added anything more to that scene, but now i want to watch it again with that possibility in mind. And hope someone tells gr-granddaughter Paris to watch the scene with that in mind.

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  37. Connie said on September 1, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Jeff, I have no idea what you are talking about, but am quite sure you didn’t mean me in the post above.

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  38. Dorothy said on September 1, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Connie I believe he’s referring to Sunday night’s episode of “Mad Men.”

    And Jeff… yes I too found his serenade “icky” – more than icky, actually. And I found it hilarious that Peggy appears to have the same demeanor both before AND after indulging in her first taste of weed.

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  39. Dorothy said on September 1, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Jeff please read this article about the birth of the website called People of Walmart. They are trying to be careful about the pictures they post, and they will NOT show people with disabilities, or employees of Walmart just doing their jobs. As someone who has not even seen the website yet I can’t say that I’m defending them, but I did want to learn more about the site before I look at it.,8599,1919401,00.html

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  40. brian stouder said on September 1, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Personally, when it comes to one-joke websites (or one-trick ponies), I’m waiting for the People of Trader Joes snarky website – except I think all we see are upturned noses

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  41. LA Mary said on September 1, 2009 at 10:39 am

    JeffTMMO, I don’t think all those folks in the WalMart photos are low income. I know lots of people in my economic group who shop there all the time. Do you think only poor or developmentally disabled people shop there? Why?
    Yes, I meant six weeks, Dorothy. I corrected myself on the previous post, but I know we’ve moved on blogwise. The child is being a cranky patient, occupying the couch and its surroundings and covering all horizontal surfaces with dirty glasses and cups. We visited the ENT and audiologist yesterday and there is no damage to his hearing. He has lacerations in the ear canals, hence the bleeding from the ears. His jaw was jammed back into the ear area which fractured some of the small bones in the ear, but according to the doc, nothing serious or permanent.
    My week has pretty much filled up with doctor appointments which is as good as anything else I could be doing with current conditions here. The fires keep going, the air is horrible, and at night the sky to the north of me is orange. Today’s predicted high: 104.

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  42. LA Mary said on September 1, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Brian, hey, Trader Joes is considerably cheaper than Safeway. Cereal is HALF the price. Eggs, milk, butter, olive oil. All cheaper. Maybe where you are it’s snobbish but is sure isn’t here. If you’re buying fancy stuff, sure, it’s expensive, but the fancy stuff is more expensive at Safeway than at Trader Joes. People go to Trader Joes for Two Buck Chuck. Does that strike you as snobbish?

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  43. Dorothy said on September 1, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I’m with Mary on the Trader Joe’s support platform. When I’m in Columbus I stop at the one in Easton – if I can find a friggin’ parking space. I’d much rather spend my hard-earned money at Joe’s than Whole Foods.

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  44. LA Mary said on September 1, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Bay Blend coffee has my undying allegiance.

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