Cleaning up.

Well, in the end everything was fine. Going into a party where you’ve promised to provide food and drink for 30 or so people, unless you’re a professional caterer, it’s always tense. There’ll be too much food, there won’t be enough food, no one will have a good time, the world will collapse upon itself and so will the tent.

But it was fine. Invite the right people, and it’s always fine. I don’t envy people who go to fabulous parties all the time, because over time your standards have to get too high and utterly wonky. Cassie VonSnoot’s bash was just so…Pinterest, don’t you think? And the white wine really wasn’t right with the fish course. Whereas if you just provide something to eat and something to drink and a break from a typical Saturday, and mash together some groups that don’t meet every so often, it’s fine.

I got a $5 bouquet of flowers from the Eastern Market and divided them between the tables. I got plastic tablecloths and paper plates in Michigan colors. Alan iced down oceans of drinks, of all kinds and strengths. And this being a congratulatory affair, there was a congratulatory cake:


It’s our family motto.

Now I’m up for air, although the pace won’t really abate until mid-September, when Kate is relocated and my work projects reach critical mass, and by then it’ll be time for apples and brussels sprouts and, inevitably, cold weather.

I’m glad we had some fun while it was warm. Back to vegetables and clean living for a while. This cake and booze and tortilla chips makes me feel a little… off.

Some good bloggage, anyway, as we start the week.

The story of the three Americans who thwarted a mass shooting on a French train has everything, doesn’t it? Three handsome men, one bumbling terrorist and a denouement with the bad guy left hog-tied while the good guys put a good thumping on him. Meanwhile, it appears jihadi training has some problems in the supply chain:

Mr. Skarlatos, the AK-47 in hand, began to patrol the carriages, looking for other gunmen. He made a series of startling discoveries: The suspect’s guns had malfunctioned, and he had not had the competence to fix them.

“He had pulled the trigger on the AK. The primer was just faulty, so the gun didn’t go off, luckily,” Mr. Skarlatos said. “And he didn’t know how to fix it, which is also very lucky.” In addition, the gunman had not been able to load his own handgun: “There was no magazine in it, so he either dropped it accidentally or didn’t load it properly, so he was only able to get what appeared to be one shot off,” Mr. Skarlatos said.

Well, thank heaven for small favors.

Neal Pollack has a nice summation of the Ashley Madison business, I think. He had a guest account with AM while writing a Maxim story and found himself in the hall of shame:

Ever since the data-dump threats began, I’ve been thinking about the people I interviewed for that Maxim story. A couple of them were admitted sex addicts, but most were just normal people living in private circumstances. I interviewed a middle-aged woman who was in a friendly marriage with someone 25 years her senior, a man who went to bed every night at seven. She didn’t want a divorce, but she was bored, seeking sexual adventure, so she went on the site and set up some discreet liaisons. I also talked to a truck driver, happily married but on the road 200-plus days a year. Rather than pay for a hooker or masturbate sadly at the Howard Johnson’s, he set up private consensual liaisons. No one got hurt, or at least hadn’t gotten hurt yet.

The conventional narrative with Ashley Madison is that 95 percent of the accounts are either bots or horny dudes who never actually hook up with anyone. A lot may have changed on the site since 2007, but from my experience, subscribers were people who, for whatever reason, wanted to have an extramarital affair and had no other avenue to find one. Not everyone can screw around like a rock star or even a traveling Big Pharma sales rep. Whatever their reasons or circumstances—and, again, they varied widely—it was no one’s business but their own.

For you football fans, a story I’m still picking my way through, but is good so far, a feature about Chris Borland, the NFL player who quit the 49ers in his first year, to save his brain, he said. As you might expect, his life since has not been uncomplicated.

And with that, let’s take on Monday, eh?

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

53 responses to “Cleaning up.”

  1. Dexter said on August 24, 2015 at 2:33 am

    A while back I wrote here of my daughter’s bestie’s son who was an Indiana high school all-state footballer, class of 2015. The boy was inundated with full-ride college scholarships, but he firmly told his folks he was done with football…now his parents are solid middle class professionals who can afford to pay tuition and all expenses, but man, what a burden I thought, to turn down a full-ride from a wide range of schools? The boy was adamant, and recently he moved in to his college of choice, a small, private, liberal arts college for men in central Indiana. My story has a gap which I cannot fill with answers; the lad is on the football team. I wonder what happened? My daughter said she didn’t want to ask the kids mom….anyway, it’s a college with just 900 students (full-time undergrads) and $34,000 tuition per year.

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  2. Dexter said on August 24, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Oh…Women’s Equality Day slideshow: theme was “go topless”. Don’t worry, these 27 photos are lame as hell.

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  3. David C. said on August 24, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Chris Borland had a top-notch brain, as far as I can see. I’m glad he’s chosen to keep it intact.

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  4. Wim said on August 24, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Isn’t it that Ashley Madison was specifically pitched for cheating? I don’t know that I can agree that it’s nobody’s business when someone’s going around behind a spousal back. The people one is deceiving sure seem to have a stake in it, to me. Also, how could AM guarantee results, short of practicing prostitution?

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  5. Wim said on August 24, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Lovely cake, I meant to say.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 24, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Thank you to Jolene for fixing my link from last thread; NR has this scrolling thing where you are into a new page when you hit the bottom of the article, and if you don’t scroll back up far enough, you end up with the url for the next thing.

    I’ll just repeat that I think most of this anxiety over Mexican immigrants is carrying years of misplaced confused discontent over income inequality and outmigration of jobs. Illegal immigrants aren’t why there aren’t paths to middle class lifestyles for high school graduates looking for manufacturing or warehouse jobs, or why it’s harder to get to stable salaried positions with benefits for college grads, but those pressures seem to be feeding the Trump cheering section.

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  7. alex said on August 24, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Wim, I read the Neal Pollack piece a few days ago and he shared the stories of a few people were deeply committed to their marriages but nonetheless sexually dissatisfied and I found myself not wanting to judge them. So I think it’s a travesty that the privacy of the site was breached, even though I generally agree that people who play with fire don’t have much room to complain when they get burned.

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  8. Suzanne said on August 24, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Love the cake! Pretty much exactly what I told my kids when they went off to the university-“Don’t be stupid & if you are, you’ll be back home going to Ivy Tech in a New York minute.” They both graduated in 4 years, so I guess it worked!

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  9. beb said on August 24, 2015 at 8:38 am

    They say one is known by the company they keep. In which case Donald Trump really ought to be worried by the quality of people who showed up for his Alabama campaign stop. When one of the attendees suggests that the solution to the Mexican immigration problem is to put a $50 bounty on each confirmed kill, you’re keeping company with some sick individuals.

    And there seems to be a growing consensus among lefty bloggers that Trump will be the GOP nominee. The 16 other midgets are all trying to run to the right of Trump but there’s not right to the right of Trump. I kind of wonder if one or more of the players won’t decide that if they can’t win going to the right of Trump maybe they’d do better as the “Adult” in the campaign. Kaisch could play that game, maybe even Christie. Jeb, however, I think is too stupid. He’s Rick Perry stupid. I don’t know how he even got elected governor of Florida. The bar must have been awfully low.

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  10. Danny said on August 24, 2015 at 9:31 am

    On days like today, I always chuckle at the requisite photo of the stock exchange floor traders pulling their hair out and covering their eyes as they watch the market indexes tank. They ought to just use a picture of someone like Jack Black after a hard night of drinking and drugging.

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  11. Dorothy said on August 24, 2015 at 9:36 am

    When my son was getting ready to start college, I used the phrase “exercise good judgment” in a sentence, and for some reason that started a ‘thing’ to tease me with. But now we all just say EGJ. Good advice in many circumstances, not just college.

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  12. Andrea said on August 24, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Wim, I agree with you in believing that adultery is not a victimless crime. In fact I know it’s not. Almost four years ago today I discovered that my husband was having an affair with a much younger, thinner, blonder (and stupider) woman from down the street. Our marriage has suffered greatly and while it has improved in some aspects, there are parts that are irretrievably lost. Forgiveness is a many layered thing, and there are some things I have yet to forgive, especially as it relates to our three kids and how they were used to conceal the affair, and how they suffered after. I will never forget cradling my then 12-year-old son as he collapsed sobbing on the front lawn, a day after I threw his dad out of the house for continued lying.

    Here’s a short list of what it took to get through the shock, devastation, and grief: individual therapists for all 5 of us, plus a marriage counselor, plus a psychiatrist, none of which were paid for by insurance. (Can I reserve a special rant later for the psychologist and psychiatrist who refuse any insurance or even credit cards, cash or check only, payable at the time of service?) kids were in therapy for only about 6 months, though the second child went back at the first anniversary. I was in individual counseling for 18 months, and we went to marriage counseling for 3 years. My husband went to 2 consecutive therapists for a total of 3.5 years, and still sees the psychiatrist for med management. He was diagnosed as bipolar father this episode.

    Other kinds of costs? Well there were tangible ones, such as supporting 2 households for months, and surgery for me to end my stress-induced 4 month long period (still not in menopause today), and intangible ones, such as the stress of seeing the bimbo at my daughter’s swim meets, or running into her at the local grocery store. (I refrained from ramming her with my cart, but I did take steps to make sure she did not attend any more swim meets.)

    How do things stand today? The good news is that my husband is on medication that helps to control the bipolar episodes, and he is a much more involved father, husband, and generally grown up man responsible for his own mental health, and his fair share of the parenting and household/life management. We are friends, and friendly, although I no longer say that he is my best friend. We have been married for 22 years, but I don’t wear my wedding ring and have requested that we no longer celebrate our wedding anniversary. (Trust me: there are no Hallmark cards for the post-adultery anniversary.) We do hang out together and go on dates, and even have sex together, but within me is a reserve that may never go away. Time will tell, I guess.

    So anyway, this is a very long answer to Neal Pollack’s shrugging “consenting adults” remark. I sure as hell did not consent to any of this. So fuck you, Neal.

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  13. Andrea said on August 24, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Edit *as bipolar AFTER this episode*

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  14. brian stouder said on August 24, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Andrea, you sound like a strong, thoughtful, well-oriented human being, and an in-tune mom.

    I believe that counts for a lot

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  15. Deborah said on August 24, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Andrea, That is quite an ordeal you and your kids had to go through, and are still going through. So sorry. I completely agree with you, when I read that Pollack piece I thought the same thing, it’s not only consenting adults who are involved. May the stupid bimbo rot in hell, Karma is a bitch.

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  16. nancy said on August 24, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I would never say adultery is a victimless crime. I would say that every marriage is different, and reflects an enormous spectrum of wants, needs and expectation on the part of the parties in it. (cf. Clinton, William and Clinton, Hillary Rodham.) I think the examples Pollack cites are ones where you don’t have to stretch your mind too far to understand why those people stray, and the fact of their straying isn’t the public’s business.

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  17. Deborah said on August 24, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Dorothy, I enjoyed your EGJ story. I’m remembering that phrase for future use.

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  18. Andrea said on August 24, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Nancy, I bet Neal did not confirm those stories with the other half of the marriage. People say all kinds of things to themselves and others to justify their choices. And if you can’t have an honest conversation with your spouse about your needs, such as the trucker on the road for 200 days/year, can you trust them to practice safe sex every time, or not blow the family’s budget on wining and dining fuck buddies, just to name two implications?

    In my case, my stupid husband eventually admitted to not practicing safe sex because he thought the bimbo was “a nice girl.” Let me tell you how utterly humiliating it was to be a complete sobbing mess in my Ob/Gyn’s office and requesting a full STD panel. And I know, every time I walk in there, that the staff remembers, and I do too. It’s not that they are unkind or anything — quite the opposite. It’s just knowing that I was forced to share one of the rawest moments of my life with a roomful of strangers.

    Balancing the checkbook in those days was super fun also — realizing that the unknown cash withdrawals at out of the way ATMs were used to pay for their dates, etc.

    I think there are probably a lot fewer Clintons involved in this mess, than selfish people who can’t be bothered to be honest because it is inconvenient for them.

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  19. Andrea said on August 24, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Meant to add, thank you, Deborah and Brian. I appreciate your thoughts… Especially now.. There is something about the time of year, the light even, and the back to school vibe, that coupled with the AM news, really drags this shit up for me.

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  20. Judybusy said on August 24, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Andrea, add my warm support for you. It sounds like a perfect hell, and particularly awful for your children.

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  21. Andrea said on August 24, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Thanks, Judybusy and anyone who subsequently comments in support. One last thing and then I will shut up. If you want to defend the AM users’ right to privacy, do so like you would defend the Westboro Baptist Church’s right to free speech. You can defend the right while still acknowledging that the WBC and AM users are despicable assholes, instead of minimizing in a patronizing mansplain “sometimes naughty people do naughty things with their naughty bits.”

    This shit is real for me. Sorry for dominating the thread.

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  22. brian stouder said on August 24, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Andrea – a superb parallel!

    If adults agree/accept what each other are doing – that’s one thing; but the essential secrecy of AM (which the hack destroyed) is of course the deal-breaker.

    Adults who act in that way deserve as much respect as we might give to an embezzler.

    Someday, over an icy cold Diet Pepsi (and/or a lemonade), I’ll over-share how much of an idiot I was in my 20’s (many years ago!), when it came to interpersonal relationships

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  23. Sherri said on August 24, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), there’s always some excuse to put a nicer face on the ugly strain of racism in this country (or in any country, for that matter). But Trump’s supporters don’t sound all that different to me from Wallace’s supporters, or for that matter, the Klan of the 20’s, which was broadly anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, and pro-Prohibition, and not just a Southern thing.

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  24. brian stouder said on August 24, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    …and by the way, that cake looked excellent! If suburban Detroit was anything like Fort Wayne this past weekend, then the weather was sublime, too.

    Pam and I stopped at the north Target* yesterday afternoon, and a genuine cloud-burst occurred while we were checking out. The sun remained out, and there was a spectacular rainbow across the sky

    *whenever we drive by a Target, Pam’s phone warbles. I find this distinctly annoying

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  25. Julie Robinson said on August 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    She probably has that Cartwheel app, doesn’t she? I don’t, but I rarely shop at Target since they leaked my cc info a couple years back. Now I’m part of the Medical Informatics breach, and that one really has me pissed since medical stuff is involved.

    But the Ashley Madison people, I don’t feel one bit sorry for. Even before I read Andrea’s wretched ordeal I was calling BS on Neal Pollack’s “no one got hurt” nonsense. Andrea, I’m terribly sorry you and your kids had to go through that. You are amazing for trying to rebuild and forgive. I wish healing for you all.

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  26. coozledad said on August 24, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    But Trump’s supporters don’t sound all that different to me from Wallace’s supporters, or for that matter, the Klan of the 20’s

    Or Jeb Bush, or Scott Walker, or Chris Christie. Racism is part of the conditioned response on that team. They shake it at the risk of losing their base. Even as you move toward the leadership of that party, racism is one of the fundamental planks of Capitalism and free-market religionism.

    It’ll be fun to see how many of the end-timer bastards lose their kitty in the precious metals nosedive today. Also, how many of them jump to treasuries and bonds.
    Government is making out like a motherfucker.

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  27. Deborah said on August 24, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    “… racism is one of the fundamental planks of Capitalism and free-market religionism.” So true.

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  28. brian stouder said on August 24, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Say – on second look, I have a quibbly question, regarding the cake.

    Why are their quotation marks on the “Congratulations” – and no quotation marks on the oft-repeated family saying?

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  29. brian stouder said on August 24, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    make that “Why are there…”

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 24, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Racism arguably precedes the insecurity. In pushing back against it, my question is which to go after first, or maybe more accurately how to make the move in both directions at once without getting in your own way. This county went 142 precincts out of 150 for Hillary eight years ago, the 8 for Obama being this college town’s precincts. And in the end, the county swung in a narrow majority for McCain. Labor conservatives have a fair amount of racist sentiment baked into the cake, but I don’t know that it’s the first point of leverage to take against that key Democratic bloc which is showing as much Trump sympathy (if not support, all that being hard to measure right now, since no one’s polling on that level around here, I’m just going on community conversations as I hear them) as any GOP level of interest . . . the official Republicans around here are mostly dutiful Jeb!sters or grudging Kasich supporters, but the overall working class opinion all around me every day is “Trump’s gonna actually get something done,” something they didn’t and don’t think about their union leaders, the Democratic ticket in Ohio (largely nominal at best, incompetent at worst, see the last gubernatorial race), or the GOP leadership nationally.

    My main attempt at a retort is “Trump may make an appeal to you, but do you notice he has not a single idea for what he’d do or how he’d do it? How’s that gonna turn out?” Which usually gets them back to a more nuts-and-bolts sense of political realities, but the momentum is towards a visceral glee in telling all the upper echelon governmental folk “you ain’t so smart, and this is a guy who actually does things.” Hillary and Jeb! are largely seen around here as interchangeable drones of the Government Hive Mind, and they’re neither despised nor taken seriously. Bernie, I’d say, is ready to sweep Granville’s 8 precincts as Obama did before, but I’m not hearing him reaching many of the hourly wage/underemployed victims of downsizing 50 year olds I spend the most time around. So I’m not thinking there will be a big move away from Hillary in a Democratic primary race here as much as the turnout will crater, due to lack of a sense that it matters, and could that lower vote total give Bernie an opening even here? I doubt it, but this is a weird race and only likely to get weirder.

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 24, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Andrea, thank you for telling your story. I appreciate it very much. And mental health care delivery is the next big lift we’ve got to take on in this country, because it’s so tragically silly to leave it on the shelf along with elective plastic surgery and chiropractic. I’m glad it came together for you, even if it took so much effort to make the pull.

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  32. Sherri said on August 24, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I’m not sure it’s possible to get between a demagogue and reactionaries. Fear of the other is a strong force, and as you point out, their glee in Trump is visceral. It’s hard to stop that. And honestly, the working class, white and otherwise, have been screwed by both parties. Bill Clinton sold them out with free trade as well as his contributions to gutting financial regulations (Glass-Steagall went away with his blessing), not to mention welfare reform, and the Dems have mostly ignored them since. The GOP will always screw the working class.

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  33. Brandon said on August 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    The United States has a political duopoly.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 24, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    As to welfare reform, I’d have to exempt Bill from too harsh a criticism there, and point out the problem is much more like that of de-institutionalization in mental health policy. Ending easy incompetency and closing most large warehousing facilities for people with mental health challenges: all were needed, and right to do. The deal was supposed to be that cost savings would go to community mental health centers and services, which never really happened, with the active collusion of both party leadership caucuses. Ditto welfare reform, which was pushed for originally by social workers and welfare office professionals, because the AFDC straitjacket was making help impossible and aid was flowing without follow-through. The deal was supposed to be that we’d get at least part of those savings back, to provide more direct and comprehensive care to the 23% of the AFDC case loads that continued to need TANF et alia, but those savings from the 77% removed from the rolls was “re-purposed.” Some pols have defensively said to me “we put it in education and Medicaid, Jeff, it’s still serving the same purpose!” but I remain unconvinced.

    It’s like an argument I had earlier today with a community acquaintance on Facebook, who simply can’t believe that the cost to the college budget for providing sabbaticals to tenured faculty is .4% of the total $100,000,000 it takes to run the place. Which came up in the course of a bold reminder from our college VP to parents at induction last night: if everyone paid full tuition, which is actually less than 15% of them, they’d still be covering less than half of the cost of running Denison, so effectively every student is on “financial aid.” There were some ugly rumbles back in my corner of the crowd, because that just can’t be — we pay our own way!

    Which I’d argue none of us does, ever. That’s a theological argument as well as a fiscal one. It’s all about grace, and thankfulness. Neither of which Donald Trump needs, he proudly tells us!

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  35. adrianne said on August 24, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Andrea, I admire your bravery in sharing your very painful story. I do think Neal is too breezy about adultery being a victimless thing. Far from it, in most cases.

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  36. brian stouder said on August 24, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    but this is a weird race and only likely to get weirder.

    indeed, Jeff. Alex had a great link last week about our train-wreck of Reconstruction after the Civil War (oddly resonant now, with T-Rump favoring the repeal of Reconstruction amendments to the United States Constitution) – which elucidated a tremendous point worth pondering (and pondering) – and which is so easy to simply brush past.

    The point was, it is a fundamental mistake to view the past as an almost mechanical thing, that turned out the way it did because it had to. The Union could have lost the war (even as one might argue that it lost the peace that followed); the twentieth century depression could have been worse, etcetera. It is a mistake to think that things that happened had to happen; we could have done very much better, or worse.

    Which is what makes the Donald (or more specifically, the wave of public sentiment he is riding) genuinely scary.

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  37. Brandon said on August 24, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    “The point was, it is a fundamental mistake to view the past as an almost mechanical thing, that turned out the way it did because it had to.”

    Imagine if McCain had won in 2008 and again in 2012.

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  38. brian stouder said on August 24, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I would probably have voted for McCain (the Navy guy who flew off my dad’s carrier) versus any other Democrat besides then-Senator Obama….

    although his selection of Governor Palin might still have put me off

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  39. Brandon said on August 24, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    My concern was that McCain might have died in office, leaving Palin to become president.

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  40. Jolene said on August 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Am, once again, struck by how often our troubles stem, at least in part, from unresolved psychological and psychiatric problems. Bipolar disorder is particularly problematic, as its sufferers may function at a high level at least part of the time, and so many of its manifestations–infidelity and overspending, for instance–look like ordinary bad behavior. Diagnosis is often delayed until people have greatly damaged their own lives and those of others, and treatment often requires multiple trials of medication plus therapy, as well as lifelong adherence to not-always-pleasant regimens. And, to make things worse, a drug regimen may be effective for years and then fail.

    In the wake of our too frequent public tragedies, we always hear about the need for better provision of mental health services, and, of course, we need that. But, even more, we need better treatments to provide.

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  41. Jolene said on August 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    A propos of nothing, a scary reading list from Stephen King.

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  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 24, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Both and, Jolene, both and. Exactly so.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 24, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I was asked by a supervisory person related to my work in the courts what percentage of my caseload/clients/referrals (no one knows what to call mediation parties in “the system”) are dealing with mental health issues. My immediate response “100%” got me some startled blinking, and then a stuttering “so, you mean, because they . . . .” and I jumped back in to add “In my non-clinical opinion, every family I work with has some meaningful degree of addiction, depression, or more severe MH issues in play, usually half-diagnosed, sporadically medicated, and largely untreated except for having fragments of earlier diagnostic conversations to bring up as reasons for why they did what they did.”

    That was two years ago, and I haven’t hit an exception yet. The weary problem in my truancy work is that the most common profile I see is a single parent with some mix of addiction/compulsion/emotional disorder, and a juvenile with a persistent low level depression ripe for pending self-medication. But the referral and the leverage is focused on school attendance and consequences, and the parental MH issues I’m barely allowed to put on the table, and can’t press if the adult insists they don’t have the problem, the kid does, “and I’m not going to jail for that punk!” So I’ve got 45 minutes or less to convince the grown-up to want to choose getting help for themselves, TOO, as part of the solution to the potential consequences.

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  44. Suzanne said on August 24, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    I know several people, me included, who probably would have voted for McCain, , but VP Palin was just too scary to consider. What was mcCain thinking??

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  45. Sherri said on August 24, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Jeff(tmmo) says:

    we pay our own way!

    Which I’d argue none of us does, ever. That’s a theological argument as well as a fiscal one. It’s all about grace, and thankfulness.

    I was asked by a supervisory person related to my work in the courts what percentage of my caseload/clients/referrals (no one knows what to call mediation parties in “the system”) are dealing with mental health issues. My immediate response “100%”

    to which I say, Amen.

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  46. Sherri said on August 24, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Speaking of screwing the working class, this is just loathesome:

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  47. coozledad said on August 24, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    From an old regular Spy Magazine feature BELIEVE IT!

    If you try to dig a hole to China, you will be burned alive before you get halfway through!

    And now, the proof:

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 24, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Sherri — yes, and Jackson Hewitt is even worse. A pox on them both. Our housing coalition is proud to do VITA services for filing every year, and I could tell you endless stories about those evil trolls. Hundreds of thousands of dollars we get back into county resident hands that otherwise would go into “preparers” pockets (call them skimmers, more like it).

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  49. basset said on August 24, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Nice cake. Sending a son off to college was hard enough, I can only imagine what all you can worry about with a daughter.

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  50. Jolene said on August 24, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    This EITC regulation is not yet law. Seems like this would be something to urge Congressional reps to oppose. In particular, might be a good idea to call Elizabeth Warren and encourage her to go to war. For her, the purpose of life is exposing and opposing this sort of financial industry falderal.

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  51. Jill said on August 24, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Andrea, you must be one strong person. Thank you for sharing your story. Putting a face on it sure makes the point well. There ARE victims.

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  52. Andrea said on August 25, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Thanks, all. I appreciate it.

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  53. Brendan said on August 25, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Maybe a lighter comment than Trump and others discussed here, but I really found the Borland retirement / NFL story compelling as someone who grew up loving to watch sports like football, and still basically so today.

    The NFL is every bit the National Pastime that MLB always claimed. This concussion issue will only get more scrutiny not only at the NFL level but college, high school and Pop Warner levels. How many saw the story of former Lion QB Erik Kramer’s suicide attempt?

    Then throw in the cozy relationship between the NFL and the media, specifically its broadcast partners like ESPN and NBC. This DeflateGate thing is incredible. The NFL makes the news and these guys report it for them.

    But what if the news isn’t as serious as their balls, but rather the heads and long-term health of their players? Different issue. This one is just really getting started. Great article on Borland (ahem, by ESPN).

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