A whirl of a week, so far.

Sorry for the no-show yesterday. Remember the story I was aiming to finish by 4 p.m. Friday? It wrapped at 9:30 p.m. Monday. Complications. Still ahead of deadline, so: #winning. In the meantime, Glenn Frey died, the Michigan State of the State address happened, and about a million other things, including $arah Palin coming out for “the Donald,” as I’m 99 percent sure she calls him. The week started at a gallop for sure.

Here’s a Glenn Frey story you won’t read in Rolling Stone, from a friend of mine:

One of my dad’s friends, John, ended up at a driving range near here next to an elderly woman and broke the head off his three-iron. The woman offered to lend him one of hers and he said “No, I don’t want to break one of your clubs, too.”

She said, “Don’t worry, my son sends me new golf clubs all the time. He’s in a rock band.”

John: “What band?”

Elderly woman: “Have you heard of the Eagles?”

John: “Who’s your son?!”

Woman: “Glenn Frey, dear.”

John: “OK, I’ll take a club.”

Frey was from Royal Oak, a Detroit suburb. Good one.

I didn’t see any of the Palin endorsement. Did she use the phrase “shake things up?” I don’t think I’ve heard a single phrase used so often in connection with one candidate; it’s like there was a memo I missed, or something. Actually, I kind of miss $P. With the fading of her star, I haven’t seen her strangely angled face – which looks weirder by the year, and I can’t tell if it’s weight loss bringing out new bones, plastic surgery or something CLAWING TO GET OUT – and her daffy word-salad statements. Seeing her reminds me of all the Republican men I knew who were so, so taken with her at first, and how they soured on her the way you do a one-night stand who immediately starts texting nude photos.

Oh, wait, here’s a recap: “Post-apocalyptic poetry,” Slate says:

When we’re talking about the power that comes from strength, power through strength, well then we’re talking about our very existence. No, we’re not going to chill. It’s time to drill, baby, drill down and hold these folks accountable and we need to stop the self-sabotage and elect a candidate that represents that and America first, finally. Pro-Constitution. Common-sense solutions he brings to the table. Yes, the status quo has got to go. With their failed agenda, it can’t be salvaged, it must be savaged and Donald Trump is the one to do that. Are you ready for new and are you ready for the leader who will let you make America great again? It’s going to take a whole team.

That it is.

So. I have not yet seen “Making a Murderer” beyond part one. Truth be told, I just didn’t have the heart for another true-crime procedural, and 10 hours? I’ll read 10,000 words, but 5,000 would be better, and a 10-hour commitment just seemed a bit much for the cruel depths of winter. But Laura Lippman watched, and has some rather incisive things to say about it here. The New Yorker, ditto, here.

Why the Eagles were great, a list with which you may not entirely agree.

Finally, a note on the Flint water situation. I can’t let a great deal hang out because of my job, but those of you who live far away and have questions, feel free to ask. There are already a lot of misconceptions out there, and even the facts are murky; part of what’s driving the story is the multiple finger-pointing parties at the heart of it. But if I can answer you out-of-staters, I’ll try. We also have at least one employee of the Detroit water department in our commentariat, and he knows the chemistry part. So ask away.

And have a good Wednesday.

Posted at 12:14 am in Current events |

63 responses to “A whirl of a week, so far.”

  1. Sherri said on January 20, 2016 at 1:31 am

    This, from the New Yorker article, sums up my issue with a lot of true crime media:

    The petition points to another weakness of “Making a Murderer”: it is far more concerned with vindicating wronged individuals than with fixing the system that wronged them.

    I understand the idea that one way of fixing a broken system is by drawing attention to a wronged individual, but it’s not clear it’s the best way or even really all that effective, or the Innocence Project would be out of business by now. Might I suggest that instead of spending ten hours on Making a Murderer, instead spend that time reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, who has been working long and hard at changing the system.

    I’ll confess, I haven’t been following the Flint water situation very closely; too depressing. But how could this have gone on for so long? Isn’t the water department required to test regularly? I know I get an annual report from my water department; is that not the norm? I see that the Flint River water was more corrosive; is the problem that the water was acceptable at the source but not by the time it reached the tap?

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  2. Dexter said on January 20, 2016 at 2:29 am

    I just now (five minuets ago)finished episode 8, where Avery’s fate was revealed. I had managed to not have had it spoiled, so I was not at all sure how it would go. The show is not gripping TV at all, it’s for people who are true crime aficionados, and truthfully I kept falling asleep and backing up to catch the bits I missed. My Sharp Aquos, fed by Time Warner Cable, delivers poor quality images unless the programming is in HD. I don’t recommend watching the show unless, like me, you are retired or just not that busy.

    NBC showed a good-sized protest outside the Michigan SOTS address. Snyder must go, that was the message. We all know how lead in small childrens’ blood really messes them up, but I forget if there’s some treatment to remove it , or if the effects and toxicity lessen over time, or if those kids’ lives are just ruined.

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  3. MarkH said on January 20, 2016 at 4:00 am

    No, Dexter, there is no treatment, no cure for the lead poisoning in children once it builds and takes hold. NBC had a short but shocking summary this evening on this. The Michigan DEQ looks particularly bad here in their treatment of the families who complained about the sickness. One mother was told by them when documenting her children’s condition, “Oh, don’t worry, it’ll just a drop of a couple of IQ points. How bad is that?” WTF.

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  4. Deborah said on January 20, 2016 at 4:43 am

    Here’s a lead poisoning question: is it harmful to bathe or shower with the tainted water or is it only a problem if you ingest it?

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  5. Linda said on January 20, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Once again, the New York Daily News tells the undisputed truth: http://www.mediaite.com/online/tomorrows-ny-daily-news-cover-doesnt-hold-back-on-birdbrains-trump-palin/

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  6. David C. said on January 20, 2016 at 6:34 am

    In a moment of weakness, I watched $P’s endorsement. That was… …interesting. I think TBogg had the best take on Twitter. “On a scale of “Peggy Noonan” to “trying to take your pants off over your head,” how drunk was Sarah Palin today?” She did seem like she was a box half empty gal today. Should she have been back in Alaska teaching her spawn responsible gun ownin’ and abstinencin’ instead?

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  7. basset said on January 20, 2016 at 6:36 am

    the Eagles peaked with “Desperado,” if you ask me.

    Frye boots, Buck knife, and faded 501s, that was almost a uniform there for awhile.

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  8. ROGirl said on January 20, 2016 at 7:10 am

    The CDC says it is safe to bathe or shower because lead isn’t absorbed through the skin, but I wouldn’t want to risk it. Little kids could swallow it.

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 20, 2016 at 7:14 am

    This actually depressed me more . . . http://blog.dilbert.com/post/137647328886/the-palin-endorsement-master-persuader-series

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  10. alex said on January 20, 2016 at 7:17 am

    If promising Palin a cabinet-level job isn’t the kiss of death on Trump’s campaign, then truly there will be no sinking it. If he were caught in bed with a dead girl and a live boy it would only give him a bounce in the polls, to be sure.

    I suppose this move is a sly hedge against Ted Cruz, who has been busy burnishing his hellfire-and-brimstone bona fides while trying to draw attention to the Donald’s flimsy come-lately pretenses of faith. Palin embodies just the sort of cheap absolution craved by adherents of the cheapest brands of Christianity: It’s okay to be a sanctimonious ass even when your own life’s a complete mess. And no one’s going to accuse her of being an organ grinder using Bristol and Track as her monkeys.

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  11. Alan Stamm said on January 20, 2016 at 7:17 am

    $P said yesterday that we should stay out of “Mideast squirmishes.” Really.

    One of the late-night show wags said that’s when squirrels fight.

    The New York Post cover head today: “Lady and the Trump.”

    My work here is done.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on January 20, 2016 at 7:40 am

    There’s no doubt Trump’s religious credentials need burnishing; the other day he quoted “2 Corinthians”.

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  13. Sue said on January 20, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Major mis-step on Trump’s part. A bit of research would have indicated the success of Palin’s past kingmaking efforts. I’m wondering what she was promised, because I think she let the cat out of the bag re vice presidential choices when she mentioned Rand Paul, so it couldn’t be that.

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  14. Sue said on January 20, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I don’t have a Flint water question, but can someone tell me what the use of those Jewish horn things have to do with calling Christians to a modern American anti-government standoff?
    Is this whole thing just an extremely elaborate piece of performance art?

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  15. Suzanne said on January 20, 2016 at 8:16 am

    I wouldn’t think the Palin endorsement would help, but then, I can’t understand Trump’s popularity (or Cruz) so what do I know? I do know that several people have told me that they were ready to vote for McCain until he selected her as his running mate. Why won’t she just go away????

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  16. brian stouder said on January 20, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Breaking news: Keith Richards was found alive in a hotel room!

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  17. nancy said on January 20, 2016 at 9:07 am

    What ROGirl said about bathing in the water. One note, though, no, two: People have been complaining for a while about their eyes stinging in the shower, as well as skin rashes and hair loss. Whether that’s caused by drinking or bathing is still undetermined, although, in general bathing is not how lead enters the body.

    Second thing: It’s a measure of how weird this story has been that this poster was published in the first place, and was almost immediately withdrawn.

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  18. Peter said on January 20, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Lorne Michaels should get on his knees and thank God for all that material – other than paying guest fees to Tina Fey, he’s got half the show written without braking a sweat.

    Alan: Shouldn’t it have been The Tramp and the Trump?

    My mom was convinced that all of the awful acting on Dragnet was done intentionally, as sort of an in-joke – making fun of cops and LA by acting bad and pretending it’s reality. Who knows – maybe $P is a hidden genius who talks like that as an in joke to the hipsters.


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  19. Jolene said on January 20, 2016 at 10:21 am

    I groaned when I saw that Palin wanted to be Secretary of Energy. A minor source of intellectual pride and pleasure has been listening to the current Secretary, Ernest Moniz, talk about the anti-nuclear deal with Iran at Congressional hearings and on TV.

    When he talks, he is immediately convincing because he is so in command of the facts that he doesn’t even have to try hard to sound persuasive. His steady, non-defensive way of speaking lets you know at the outset that this is a person who must be paid attention to. Rather unlike Palin, with whom following a sentence from beginning to end is like riding in a car with a drunk driver.

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  20. BigHank53 said on January 20, 2016 at 10:28 am

    The lead in the water isn’t causing the reported skin rashes, hair loss, etc. The combination of the river water and the purification chemicals used (a combination of chlorine and ammonia, about which more later) make the water corrosive. Anything that’s aggressive enough to dissolve lead probably isn’t something you want to bathe in, either.

    We got away with using lead in water systems for decades because the surface of the lead exposed to the water quickly oxidizes, forming a stable metallic salt that isn’t water-soluble. Chloramination unfortunately produces some compounds that like to dissolve those salts. In their dissolved state they’re much easier for the body to absorb, too. This was the big water-quality scandal that hit Baltimore about fifteen years ago. Discovering and publicizing it won Dr. Marc Edwards a MacArthur Grant. This stuff is common knowledge in the field: there is no way a person can work in a water-treatment facility and not know it. But the emergency manager decided they’d rather save the thousands of dollars it would have cost to neutralize the chloramine by-products before pumping the water into the mains.

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  21. mouse said on January 20, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Love the List.”Don’t diss the Eagles”.

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  22. brian stouder said on January 20, 2016 at 10:58 am

    One of the most impressive things I’ve seen in the past few years was a tour of Fort Wayne’s water filtration plant. Aside from all the impressively enormous structures and so on was the realization just how completely I’ve always taken what they do, every single day, for granted. They have more than a few round-the-clock chemists who are constantly testing samples of the water, and adjusting things as necessary.

    My question for Beb would be – what’s his theory on how these disastrously, catastrophically bad decisions and actions could occur without the people who knew better raisning holy hell?

    Michael Moore to the contrary notwithstanding, the fate of Governor Snyder and his city mis-Managers (et al) would not be my goal.

    I’d want to see a timeline and the trail of decisions that lead (so to speak) up to the debacle

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  23. brian stouder said on January 20, 2016 at 10:59 am

    ..or BigHank!

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  24. brian stouder said on January 20, 2016 at 11:27 am

    How long before the Donald/flail’n Palin express an impassioned opinion about the new 9th planet (beyond Pluto)?

    Aside from that, today is the 35th anniversary of….RWR’s inauguration.

    As was true then, and remains true now (at least hereabouts) – if any questions arise, Ask Nancy!

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  25. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Sue, @ #14 — I say this as a sincere believer and a serving minister in a Christian congregation: it’s all performance art! That’s the point.

    Okay, but more specifically, the shofar thing is an affectation, IMHO. The whole Hebrew Christian/Messianic Christianity has never made a bit of sense to me, and I come from a Restorationist branch of Christianity. The why and the who of the movement, or the outliers (hard-core Calvinist Dominionists who enjoy playing with prayer shawls and fringes and phylacteries and shofars), just doesn’t pass any theological muster with me . . . unless you’re doing so with a mild sense of irony, noting that in your opinion this is allowed, and works for your spiritual nurture, so just let me alone. I’d say fine to that; if you say it’s an essential that the rest of us *ought* to be doing, you’re like the Seventh-Day Baptists down the road getting cranky about Saturday worship or the Holy Name Protestants who insist on the rightness of your mash-up of the KJV 1611 and only saying Yeshua and Jehovah for Jesus and the Lord.

    But I’m a parson in a communion every Sunday tradition, and the performance art of the Table of Welcome each week feeds me, and I think it speaks well and truly to those gathered, far beyond my attempts to say it in sermons. Huzzah for performance art!

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  26. Jakash said on January 20, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    “drill, baby, drill down and hold these folks accountable”

    Half-term Governor She-Who, the day after her son was arrested, mind you, endorsing the thrice married, fact-check averse, 4-time bankruptcy-boy Mr. Rump on the basis of a quest for accountability is almost as preposterous as the idea of an outspoken advocate of abstinence-only education having a SECOND out-of-wedlock child. C’mon, who would fall for it? Oh, wait…

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  27. Brandon said on January 20, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Seventh-Day Baptists down the road getting cranky about Saturday worship or the Holy Name Protestants who insist on the rightness of your mash-up of the KJV 1611 and only saying Yeshua and Jehovah for Jesus and the Lord.

    Or Yahshua and Yahweh.

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  28. alex said on January 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Or Nashua and Rahway.

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  29. Brandon said on January 20, 2016 at 1:57 pm


    @Jeff: Wikipedia: Sacred Name Movement.

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  30. jcburns said on January 20, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Or the Louisville and Nashville Railway.

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  31. Deborah said on January 20, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I still think Trump doesn’t have a rat’s ass chance in hell of being nominated. The one who worries me is Cruz. He is about as personable as Nixon was and look where he got. Sure he was the VP first and that probably helped him to some degree. He was an asshole politician that muscled his way in by hook and by crook. Sound familiar?

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  32. Colleen said on January 20, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Does anyone else find it a bit offensive when politicians want to make America great “again”?

    $P is now putting the blame on Obama for her son’s domestic violence arrest. Because as Commander in Chief he “doesn’t care” about the returning soldiers who come back with PTSD.

    She makes me feel despair for this country.

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  33. beb said on January 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Brian Stouder asks My question for Beb would be – what’s his theory on how these disastrously, catastrophically bad decisions and actions could occur without the people who knew better raisning holy hell?

    Without knowing any of the situation I have to said it was a top-down decision that never asked anyone in the field their opinion.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 20, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Brandon — I sit corrected! It’s a group I see on the fringes of my field of view, and haven’t looked at closely. The link was very helpful.

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  35. alex said on January 20, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Sarah Palin Madlibs:


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  36. basset said on January 20, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    JCBurns, now this:


    Sitting within hearing of the old L&N Nashville-Memphis main line right now…

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  37. Jolene said on January 20, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    On BBC World News tonight re S. Palin’s speech yesterday: It wasn’t so much a speech as a series of small explosions.

    On the sweater she was wearing as she spoke: It was vaguely gaudy, with a hint of kitsch. And for a political affair it was inappropriate — which in the politically disruptive universe of Palin, made it perfect.

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  38. Sue said on January 20, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    If she’s concerned about the treatment of veterans, then Sarah should throw her support behind Bernie:
    “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, then don’t go to war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about. We have a moral obligation to support them.”
    “If you are not prepared to take care of the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend this country, who came back wounded in body, wounded in spirit, if you’re not prepared to help those people then don’t send them to war in the first place”
    Those two quotes were in response to Republicans’ refusal to expand veterans’ benefits, way back in 2014.

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  39. Sherri said on January 21, 2016 at 2:40 am

    You know, I think John Scalzi has said about all that needs to be said about the election: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/01/20/clinton-and-sanders-and-me/

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  40. Dexter said on January 21, 2016 at 4:07 am

    Deborah, I saw a seg on NBC last night that showed a small boy in Flint helping his mommy do dishes in bottled water…hi-def TV clearly showed a horrible rash on the boy’s cheek, from bathing in tap water. The woman said until Monday, it had been weeks since she had had bottled water delivered. Just think of the poor of all ages who have no cars or perhaps not the strength to carry heavy cases of water around, or up several flights of stairs.

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  41. Dexter said on January 21, 2016 at 4:22 am

    Well now I feel a bit relieved, as my eye exam showed no indications of anything but minimal starting of cataracts and retinal bleeding. I was there for a re-check from last year and I was preparing myself for any news indicating a trip to Ann Arbor for some eye procedures. Nope. The doctor wanted to check my vision with the glasses she had prescribed for me but I had forgotten them. I only wear them after dark and had simply forgotten them. I am now apparently in control of all my ailments and conditions. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. And thank God I live in a town with a motto “The Fountain City, named for its artesian wells.” Bryan ‘s water comes from seven wells spaced in three areas of town. We do get trace contaminants from ground seepage, but the shit is under control, and we get mailed water quality reports regularly.

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  42. Connie said on January 21, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Sherri, I am looking forward to seeing John Scalzi this weekend at ConFusion, to which I am going even though the event and its venue are not very handicapped friendly.

    I had hoped for mobility carts but no such luck. I will be attending in my nasty orthotic footwear and bringging my own wheel chair. They did offer to let my wheel chair pusher in for half price. I can push myself.

    Doc says I will be walking on my own two feet by about April. Being handicapped for a year has been an interesting learning experience. Interesting, not pleasant. And I have planning on this event and darn it, I’m going.

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  43. beb said on January 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Dexter: hurrah on the good bill of health. I have the start of cataracts and I do not think I bear the thought of eye surgery.

    Getting back to water … the lead is not in the water, it’s in the pipes. Water is naturally corrosive. If it flows through lead pipes or copper pipes with lead-based solder it will dissolve some of that lead out. So roughly 20 years ago the EPA instituted its Lead-Copper Rule (LCR) which seeks to minimize the amount of lead leached out of lead pipes. The rule requires a corrosion-inhibitor (Phosphoric acid) and the addition of an alkaline (typically sodium hydroxide) to bring the pH of the water back to neutral (a pH of 7).

    Water production facilities must test their for lead and copper every three years. Not at the plant at from samples collected from customer’s homes. It doesn’t sound like Flint did that. (It costs money after all). The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has a whole division, The Water Quality Division, that deals with assorted regulatory issues, including customer complaints. The kind of dirty water shown being drawn from household faucets would have had the Water Quality people there as soon as a complaint was made. But such a customer complaint department costs money. And everything about Flint’s Emergency Manager was about cutting costs.

    The procedure for testing your house for copper and lead is not particularly hard and not terrible expensive. Ask your state’s EPA about it.

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  44. brian stouder said on January 21, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Beb – thanks very much.

    Jolene – an interesting article, which got me chuckling…although I gotta say – then I began to wince. In the end, it comes across a little bit sexist.

    The male candidates mostly always wear a suit and tie, and that’s it.

    HRC/Carly/Sara get the endless clothing-review treatment, like the entrance to the Oscars

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  45. Deborah said on January 21, 2016 at 10:01 am

    The fact that the lead is in the pipes not the water makes it scarier, to me. That means that mos/manyt cities have pipes soldered with lead and water has been flowing through them for decades. A certain amount of lead must be entering the flow no matter how non-corrosive the water is? Hmmmm, could be the start of a new conspiracy theory, chem-trails, fluoride and now lead filled water. Oh my!

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  46. Julie Robinson said on January 21, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Connie, what a saga you’ve had, and I’m glad that you are persevering. We’ve learned how many places are unfriendly when taking my sister around. So many venues have stairs or tiny bathrooms or no mobility carts, and it’s exhausting for everyone. And, as you point out, expensive, because they almost never offer those services free.

    Did I mention she had another heart attack, just a couple days after moving to Orlando? Two new stents, many new meds, and my kids have been real troopers helping her. I don’t know what she would have done without them. We’re always waiting for the next crisis.

    There was a story in the paper about water in the Fort, and it said they add a chemical to prevent pipes from leaching. Still, I always cook with cold water and flush the faucet before using the water.

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  47. MichaelG said on January 21, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Dexter, beb, do not fear cataract surgery. It is totally painless and only a very little inconveniencing. You won’t see horrible medical things approaching your eye as you will be in La-La Land. There is no recuperation. As soon as the drugs wear off you’re done. The patch will come off the next day and you’ll be amazed at the brightness, clarity and color of your vision. They’ll make you wait a month for the second eye as they don’t like to do both eyes at the same time. The sooner you get it the better. Your vision goes away smoothly and slowly and it begins to snowball and you don’t notice it. I let it go too long and was damn near blind in one eye before I finally got the surgery. It’s a miracle. Take advantage of it.

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  48. Jolene said on January 21, 2016 at 11:07 am

    An ordeal, indeed. And it still makes me mad that the conference won’t admit your helper. Do they think he or she is going to drink extra cups of coffee or steal whatever intellectual property is at hand. What if you needed a service dog? Would the dog also be excluded? Even if excluding your assistant isn’t illegal, how hard is it to be a bit humane?

    And speaking of horrors, a much greater one: The first cases of pregnant women affected by the Zika virus have turned up in the U.S. Afflictions such as this are what made me an atheist.

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  49. Connie said on January 21, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I will agree and emphasize what MichaelG says about cataract surgery. I was NOT in La-La Land, and it was like staring into a bright light for several minutes. Within two days all is back to normal. After being 20/200 for most of my life I am now 20/25 and wearing reading glasses.

    Jolene, the other part of the helper at the conference is the number of “marriage points” it would cost me to get my husband to go to the science fiction convention.

    Did I ever tell you about the time I hit the apple table at Trader Joe’s with the mobility cart? The table turned out to be on wheels, it turned into quite the exciting show. Especially once it hit the dairy case and the apples started to go.

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  50. brian stouder said on January 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Connie, in terms of marriage points – even after years of careful investment, I am a net-debtor, and Pam has the Federal Reserve power to tighten or loosen the supply of them

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  51. Deborah said on January 21, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Connie, your upsetting the apple cart story had me laughing out loud.

    LB got her state ID re-upped recently (she doesn’t drive because of her Neuro condition). There were a bunch of moms with little kids waiting at the DMV, or the MVD as they call it in NM. Every darn kid was either coughing or had runny noses and naturally LB now has a cold or worse. One kid near us continuously coughed without covering her mouth of course. I finally seruptiously got up and moved to a seat further away. I don’t want to get sick but now it’s probably inevitable.

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  52. beb said on January 21, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    MichaelG: thanks for the encouraging word. If cataract surgery was like the colonoscopy procedure, where you go into one waiting room, get an injection and wake up in another waiting room… I could live with that.

    Deborah: I have bad sinuses and sometimes end up with a coughing jag. I had one such coughing fit at my HMO. One of the clerks came around and handed me a mask to wear. It was a bit embarrassing but I fully understood their concern. If only DMV’s were so concerned. Or you could always tuck a dust mask in your pocket to bring out when there’s a lot of coughing going on.

    On the lead pipes… Some of those water pipes are made from sheets of lead. The corrosion inhibitor they use is really effective. The triennial Lead and copper testing has shown a steady decline in the amount of lead in even lead service-line houses. The latest run showed lead levels at or below the detection level of 2 parts per billion.

    Still removing tyhose lead pipes is the sort of “shovel-ready” programs that Pres. Obama was always looking for. All you have to do is dig up the old pipe, replace and cover. Of course you’re digging up through roads, sidewalks, lawns and hedges. Returning all that to its original condition does get expensive. … But think of all the people it would put to work!

    But lead is ubiquitous. An article on problems with Detroit derelict building demolition program noted that most of these building are filled with lead-based paints. The act of knocking them down spreads lead-borne dust for a one hundred yards or better. The best-practices solution is to hose the building down while demolishing it with not one, but four fire hoses, for dust suppression. Needless to say that jacks up the cost of each demolition.

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  53. MichaelG said on January 21, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    I’m not sure what your definition of La-La Land is, Connie, but believe me, you were being fed some serious drugs. No, I didn’t mean that one is totally anesthetized. The patient is given enough drugs to ward off pain and anxiety. I think we mean the same thing. I certainly wasn’t drug free and chose to describe my state as La-La Land. If your cataract operation was conducted without any drugs, and without the presence of an anesthesiologist I sure would like a more detailed description of the experience. It must have been something.

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  54. Connie said on January 21, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    It was a year and a half ago and the details have slipped away, but it was all eye drop prep. No IV.

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  55. Scout said on January 21, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Alex @ 10, right on, brother.

    I’m home recuperating from having all four wisdom teeth extracted yesterday. It’s nice having paid sick leave.

    Both my parents recently had cataract surgery in each eye. They said it was no sweat, painless and the difference afterward is amazing.

    Back to The Trump and The Tramp, This Colbert segment is pure gold. Enjoy.

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  56. Brandon said on January 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm


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  57. Deborah said on January 21, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I’ll be facing the cataract surgery sooner or later, my eye Dr says it could be a year away or 10 years away, he says it’s hard to tell the rate of escalation for each person. Just in the few months since I had my last eye exam in October my husband claims he can see clouding over my right eye by just looking at it, but I can’t really tell that much difference in my vision since then.

    I went to buy some decongestant for LB at CVS today and I think I could have bought a gun easier than that. LB likes Aleve Cold and Sinus which you have to sign for behind the counter. I whipped out my driver’s license (Chicago) and the scan code on the back of it is slightly worn away, so when they used their scanners on it they couldn’t get a reading. Then they told me they couldn’t sell me the product. I pretty much threw a fit and asked them if there was something else they could do. So they made phone calls and punched numbers into their registers/computers for probably 15 minutes and finally either they gave up and let me buy it or they were able to get what they needed. I mean do I look like I run a meth lab or what?

    I hope your recuperation is swift, Scout. I had that done about 35 years ago and had no problems after the surgery, but I later found out that my oral surgeon had killed a few people when he administered the anesthetic and a few more after my surgery. He lost his license to practice eventually.

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  58. susan said on January 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    nn.com is becoming an organ recital!

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  59. brian stouder said on January 21, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Susan – for thread win!!

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  60. Suzanne said on January 21, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    A very, very right leaning former co-worker of mine posted this today on Facebook:http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430072/flint-lead-water-scandal
    To sum it up, it’s all the Democrats fault.

    I’d love to respond but really don’t know enough about the situation. Anyone want to respond? Anyone? Anyone? Nancy? Anyone?

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  61. susan said on January 21, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Suzanne @60 – The Rude Pundit did some of the research for you. If you are unfamiliar with the Rude One, be forewarned, he uses often “salty” (as in salted dicks) language to convey very cogent thoughts and superb writing.

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  62. Sherri said on January 21, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Here’s one conservative Republican who isn’t trying to shift all the blame onto the Democrats.

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  63. Sherri said on January 22, 2016 at 12:00 am

    A spectacular LTE of the Oregonian concerning their coverage of the idiots occupying the Malheur refuge, by Ursula K. LeGuin: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/01/headline_on_malheur_is_inaccur.html

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