The think pieces.

It appears I’m headed into another vortex of work for a few days, and maybe weeks, although it won’t be unrelenting. I’ve accepted an outside job doing proofreading on some marketing materials, the proceeds of which I’m throwing into our Iceland account. Did I mention we’re going to Iceland in June? WE ARE GOING TO ICELAND. I’ve always wanted to see the midnight sun and sit in steaming cauldrons of natural hot springs. The last time I did that was in Yellowstone, in a place deep in the backcountry, where a hot spring joined with a cold stream to make a perfect, and I do mean perfect, hot tub. You adjusted the temperature by moving around in the stream. ‘Twas wonderful. But this trip, like the last one, will require money, so I’m in selling/earning/saving mode.

A big pile of work has been promised for my blogging time tonight, so this may be a little dashed-off. Fortunately, I have some good links. Here’s Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone on Il Douche, but more important, the conditions that have allowed his remarkable run to take place:

What these tweedy Buckleyites at places like the (National) Review don’t get is that most people don’t give a damn about “conservative principles.” Yes, millions of people responded to that rhetoric for years. But that wasn’t because of the principle itself, but because it was always coupled with the more effective politics of resentment: Big-government liberals are to blame for your problems.

Elections, like criminal trials, are ultimately always about assigning blame. For a generation, conservative intellectuals have successfully pointed the finger at big-government-loving, whale-hugging liberals as the culprits behind American decline.

But the fact that lots of voters hated the Clintons, Sean Penn, the Dixie Chicks and whomever else, did not, ever, mean that they believed in the principle of Detroit carmakers being able to costlessly move American jobs overseas by the thousands.

It’s a really good piece. Long, but entertaining and absolutely worth your time.

As is this one, again by Jeb Lund, again in Rolling Stone. It’s about the other Jeb, the exclamation-point one. It’s not a slashing piece; Lund is a Floridian, and gives Jeb! credit for his competent handling of that state’s hurricanes, plural. (You’ll recall it only took one to send his brother into a tailspin.) But then he gets to the Terri Schiavo case, and, well, it’s hard for a thinking person to forgive the governor that.

Oddly enough, I’ve seen Jeb come in for abuse on that issue from the other side, some of whom honestly believed that he should have sent the Florida National Guard into her hospice, to protect her from her husband. Whom they would have loved to see arrested. There’s a noxious priest who was openly saying that Michael Schiavo abused his wife into a coma and, fearful she might wake up after 16 years and be able to point a trembling finger at him from a witness stand, just wanted to, y’know, finish the job. And in fact, Bush did ask the prosecutor to look over the original police and medical reports, for just that sort of evidence.

So let’s wrap up with something a little lighter — Hank, on the “Full House” reboot, “Fuller House.” It has a nice late-in-the-piece pivot point:

I could stop here and go home, having dutifully shot the fish in “Fuller House’s” barrel. But we haven’t done the part where you accuse me of telling the kids to get off my lawn. I feel we must.

“Full House” wasn’t my thing, so “Fuller House” certainly won’t be. But you younger folks, you enjoy.

Well, the snowstorm was a big nothing burger for my part of Michigan — all-day slush-rain, as the temperature hovered at 32.8, and yes, I checked. We still might get something overnight, but right now? I’m thinking I’m going to have to swim in the morning.

Good day, all.

Posted at 12:19 am in Current events |

81 responses to “The think pieces.”

  1. David C. said on February 25, 2016 at 6:28 am

    I just saw this.
    For the Michigan contingent, how is this playing out. It seem like abusing elderly veterans for profit could be Snyder’s Flint mk. II only one that rank and file Rs would have a hard time pinning on the negroes in the inner city or President Obama.

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  2. Suzanne said on February 25, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Without having read the Taibbi piece, but from your summation, I say he’s got it. The right has spent the last 30 years vilifying government as the root of all woe, so why are they now surprised that their constituents turn on them? They are government! Too many have lost jobs, watched their public schools gutted (& can’t afford private schools), and their infrastructure crumble and they are ticked. The right has also allowed the complete nastiness that was heaped on the current President and now seem surprised that Trump is heaping it on the establishment candidates. What goes around does, indeed, come around.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on February 25, 2016 at 9:04 am

    On the run this morning as it’s a Mom day, but I had to share my Full House memories. It was my late MIL’s favorite show, and it felt like it was on every time we went over to her house. She loved babies, had 10 of her own, and thought the Olsen twins were adorable. She didn’t pay any attention to the inane plots, just liked watching those babies. Never underestimate the power of babies.

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  4. alex said on February 25, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Taibbi has an impressive knack for economical writing and I love his way with words: “Dinkley McBirthright.” “Swiss Army cliché.” “Robo-babbling representatives of unseen donors.” These are a few that made me chuckle.

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  5. brian stouder said on February 25, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Speaking of loaded sayings, I’m still pondering Dr Carson’s “raised white” thing –

    …well, that, and Carson’s

    “ridiculous analysis” designed “to ridicule me and divide wedges.”

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  6. Deborah said on February 25, 2016 at 9:39 am

    My favorite line in the Taibbi piece: “He strokes his famous flying fuzz-mane. It looks gorgeous, like it’s been recently fed.” Really everyone, stop whatever you’re doing and read that link that Nancy posted, it couldn’t sum it up any better. Brilliant.

    Well, the Chicago “blizzard” was a dud. Sure, lots of wind, lots and lots, but not much snow, mostly slush. And by Sunday it will be in the 50s.

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  7. Dave said on February 25, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Our son-in-law told our daughter that the “Fuller House” reviews aren’t very good. She doesn’t care, she’s definitely watching.

    Our children are of the age that we used to watch that complete Friday night ABC lineup. I don’t expect a Steve Urkel resurrection, though.

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  8. Judybusy said on February 25, 2016 at 9:54 am

    How cool you are going to Iceland. I will be there for two days en route to Europe on June 7-8. If you’re flying Iceland Air, they might be able to set you up with a travel buddy. Don’t have time to do a link–easy to find with google.

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  9. Deborah said on February 25, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Yes, I agree, very cool that Nancy will take a vacation in Iceland. I’ve been wanting to go there since I saw the beautiful documentary, “Heima”, by Sigur Ros. I liked the music too My favorite segment of the film is when they play rocks as musical instruments, striking them with sticks, but I couldn’t find that clip.

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  10. Deborah said on February 25, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Also, when I was going through my Icelandic phase, I loved this tourism commercial

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  11. MichaelG said on February 25, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Every time I see something about Iceland, I think of the Anthony Bourdain program he did about Iceland and Icelandic food. I’m eagerly waiting a report. It should be a fun trip.

    That link to the story about the Vets’ home in Michigan is, unfortunately, an all too common story about privatization. Notice it’s not just the vets who get screwed but also 170 state employees who got fired.

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  12. Scout said on February 25, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    ‘It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.’
    ‘A race against Hillary Clinton in the general, if it happens, will be a pitch right in Trump’s wheelhouse – and if Bill Clinton is complaining about the “vicious” attacks by the campaign of pathological nice guy Bernie Sanders, it’s hard to imagine what will happen once they get hit by the Trumpdozer.
    -Matt Taibbi

    I’m starting to get scared.

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  13. Suzanne said on February 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    I just finished the Taibbi article. Wow. And then wow some more. Now I am even more scared.

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  14. brian stouder said on February 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    If he’s elected,I predict his Secretary of the Treasury will be killed in a duel, by his Vice President

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  15. Brandon said on February 25, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I don’t expect a Steve Urkel resurrection, though.

    Urkel became the focus of Family Matters the way the Fonz became the star of Happy Days.

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  16. Dexter said on February 25, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Why is this asshole Snyder still governor? That linked story about the vets home soured my day. Sheeeeee-itttt

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  17. brian stouder said on February 25, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Dexter, indeed.

    And, Trump’s embrace of Wounded Warriors and other money-grabbing-at-the-expense-of-wounded-veterans enterprises is plainly despicable.

    If you’re running for president, advocate for spending whatever it takes to care for our veterans and their families – as the first Republican president put it:

    With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.

    Make it a priority of the United States government, and not a profit opportunity for liars and cheats

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  18. ROGirl said on February 25, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Trump is very scary, as are the other repubs.

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  19. basset said on February 25, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    What’s the dress code for thise hot springs?

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  20. Connie said on February 25, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Headline on tpm: Ted Cruz is standing in the way of Flint water deal.

    I have not figured out how to copy urls since the latest safari/ios/ipad upgrade.

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  21. Sherri said on February 25, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Haven’t had a chance to read Taibbi yet, though he’s almost always worth a read. I just got back from spending the day in Olympia at the WA Supreme Court, watching arguments in a death penalty case. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it was fascinating. The justices were very actively engaging the attorneys (no Clarence Thomases here!), and clearly trying to draw out the threads of the arguments. Being a death penalty case, there were many different arguments being presented. The reason I was there was that the ACLU had filed an amicus brief in the case and the defendant’s lawyers had granted a portion of their time to the the ACLU lawyer to argue on behalf of that amicus brief, so the local chapter had chartered a bus and 25 staff and supporters went down to watch. The ACLU is making a constitutional argument to overturn the death penalty, but perhaps the more interesting arguments of the day centered around prosecutorial misconduct.

    The defendant was tried in Pierce County (Tacoma). The Pierce County prosecutor’s office has become notorious lately for being, shall we say, out of step with the standards of the WA Supreme Court. As I discovered today, they’ve got a bad habit of not just pushing the envelope with their closing arguments, but obliterating the envelope. (One of the cases repeatedly referred to today involved the prosecutor putting up a Powerpoint slide with a picture of the defendant with a circle and a slash over it and the words “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!” The Pierce Country prosecutor’s office evidently really likes to use Powerpoint, since it comes up in some of the other cases referenced.

    So, the fascinating thing is, the lawyer that Pierce County sent to argue against prosecutorial misconduct was the same prosecutor who was accused of prosecutorial misconduct! Not a good idea, especially since he had to admit that he had indeed made a “mistake” in his closing argument very similar to what he had done in another case which had been overturned due to his prosecutorial misconduct.

    Here’s an article from a year ago about Pierce County prosecutors and their tendency to cross the line:

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  22. Sherri said on February 25, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    My biggest takeaway from my day at the court was how wonderful it was to see 9 smart justices intellectually engaged with important issues. Since that’s pretty much the antithesis of the current campaign, it was refreshing.

    And the WA Supreme Court has 6 women on the bench!

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  23. Dexter said on February 26, 2016 at 12:39 am

    brian…good timing…Thursday I received a fancy letter in the mail. The envelope was adorned with a drawing of a soldier in full battle gear. I had no idea what it was. Wounded Warriors wanting me to give my little partial monthly VA stipend to them to help their cause. Touche!

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  24. MichaelG said on February 26, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Dexter, they wanted you to give your whole stipend or just a part of it? How much? Why try to suck off you rather than going to the source?

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  25. beb said on February 26, 2016 at 7:51 am

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  26. Jolene said on February 26, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Cruz has lifted his hold, beb. Not clear exactly what his issue was, but, whatever it was, he’s given it up.

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  27. brian stouder said on February 26, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I’m fast approaching old-manhood.

    Put the ‘debate’ on last night, began to think it was interminable, fell asleep, woke up sometime later saw that the thing was just past half-way over, and concluded it was, indeed interminable, and then turned off the TV and went to bed.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on February 26, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I found the three minute version interminable.

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  29. brian stouder said on February 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    btw – when the inevitable, uninvited political spitballing begins around the water cooler, my stopper-line with my Republican friends is –

    ‘too bad President Obama can’t run for a third term’

    Shuts ’em down every time! (I think Trump’s dissing of Romney is necessary, to explain to the true-believers how Obama got re-elected despite being such a terrible, awful, really bad, generally no-good president)

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  30. Jolene said on February 26, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    An excerpt from the Ray Charles tribute concert at the White House earlier this week. To be broadcast on PBS tonight.

    Am so going to miss our cool president.

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  31. Jolene said on February 26, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Holy shit! As I write, Chris Christie is on TV endorsing Donald Trump. Pretty amazing given that most GOP elected officials are slashing their wrists about the idea of Trump as a candidate.

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  32. MichaelG said on February 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    My post in reference to Dexter’s about the Wounded Warrior mailer was, to say the least, rather poorly worded. Sorry. I was wondering why the WW people would go to individual vets rather than approach the g’ment. It pretty much answers itself. I haven’t received anything from them and they won’t receive anything from me.

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  33. Dexter said on February 26, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I was just thinking it odd that I never have gotten any requests for Wounded Warriors before, after 44 years of reading my VFW magazine for any clues that I may be entitled to any benefits at all, and finally being approved for medical and drug coverage, my name comes up requesting I now send them money. My local county veterans officer told me I am now an officially declared disabled veteran of the United States Armed Forces.
    Well, apparently WW targets mostly older folks over 65…maybe they think geezers struggling on SS benefits will part dollars from their meager survival checks.

    The organizations smells like it is run by hucksters and charlatans.
    MichaelG…the request to me for $$$ was in the form of a regular “check here” form…$100, $500, $1,000, $10,000.

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  34. brian stouder said on February 26, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    So, my first thought was that Chris Christie endorsing Donald Trump is like when John Dillinger wrote a complimentary letter to Henry Ford –

    except Henry Ford is as different from Donald Trump as Steve Jobs is from J Edgar Hoover…but we digress

    (sorry for the ‘fruit-salad’ of incongruous similes)

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  35. Dexter said on February 26, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I have always gotten a kick out of watching Christie speak and act out…from his ballyhooed sucking up to Obama in the aftermath of tropical storm Sandy to his dogged love for Bruce Springsteen’s music, even as Bruce’s outlook on life is a 180 degree turn from Christie’s agenda. Famous photos of Christie asleep at a Springsteen concert and Christie appearing in a Baby Huey / Humpty-Dumpty softball uniform were always good for a laugh.
    Trump/Christie 2016? What a ride we may be in for. Keeee-reist!

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  36. Jolene said on February 26, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I’m thinking, “Poor Hillary.” I can barely imagine what it will be like for her to run against Trump, with Christie as attack dog, which he will surely be whether he is the VP candidate or not. (I’m thinking he is more likely to want to be Attorney General. He’s too arrogant and independent to take a back seat job, and he’d have more responsibility–and more latitude–as AG.)

    Both Trump and Christie are crude and absolutely brutal. While campaigning in NH, in referring to Clinton, Christie said he would “beat her rear end.” I’m sure there is much worse to come.

    He is also a tireless campaigner. As head of the Republican Governors Association, he is reported to have gone everywhere to support R gubernatorial candidates.

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  37. nancy said on February 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks you guys, for carrying the conversation through today. The big proofing load was delayed a night and dropped last night, and of course, the big story in Michigan continues to break today. Every journalist I know deserves two weeks in an Icelandic hot spring. So carry on — maybe I’ll get to the market tomorrow and snap a pretty picture or something.

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  38. Suzanne said on February 26, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I figure Christie’s endorsement of Trump is to stick a thumb in the eyes of Cruz & Rubio (or maybe a different finger) and maybe sway any people that might have voted for him to not back the establishment guys. I’m sure he’s hoping for a cabinet position out of it.

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  39. brian stouder said on February 26, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    When they write the book (or produce the mini-series) on this debacle, it should revolve around the governor’s conflicted (almost Shakespearean) chief legal counsel, Mike Gadola.

    Gadola said his mother remains a resident of Flint, adding a personal alarm to his message that was received by Snyder’s Chief of Staff Dennis Muchmore, Deputy Chief of Staff Beth Clement and then-Communications Director Jarrod Agen and Brader. “Nice to know she’s drinking water with elevated chlorine levels and fecal coliform,” Gadola said. “I agree with Valerie (Brader). They should try to get back on the Detroit system as a stopgap ASAP before this thing gets too far out of control.”

    He recognizes that his own mom (et al) is being poisoned, and dithers as the “thing” spirals completely “out of control”.

    Anyway – one bright spot of this increasingly dreary 2016 presidential campaign is that Flint is getting the national attention it deserves, as the candidates eye Michigan.

    If the Republican empty suits want to effectively dog on President Obama, they can (rightfully, I think) hold his feet to the fire with regard to Flint

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  40. Deborah said on February 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Holy cow, I take some time off from the internet today to run around and look for material samples for our renovation and all hell breaks loose. Of course Christie would endorse Trump, they’re both assholes and they’re gonna wrap up the asshole voters.

    The Wounded Warriors organization seem to be a bunch of assholes too, from what I’m reading. Never sent them any money and certainly don’t intend to now.

    We’re having a picnic on the floor of our new place tonight, we’ve not seem it at night yet. Yesterday afternoon we toasted our closing with martinis and then went out to eat for further celebration. As I said before we don’t actually move until the end of April.

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  41. Deborah said on February 26, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Edit: seen it (not seem it).

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  42. Sherri said on February 26, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Scalia is really dead:

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  43. Kirk said on February 26, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    This White House Ray Charles tribute is grade-A.

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  44. Dexter said on February 26, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Jolene is probably on the right track. I keep hearing Christie really seems destined to be Attorney General. I agree with many in that I believe Trump will tap Kasich’s shoulder as veep. Wouldn’t having Kasich on the ticket practically guarantee an Ohio win for a Trump/Kasich ticket?
    Nobody dares hazard a guess as to HRC will pick as a running mate. My wife the msnbc junkie says Julian Castro.

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  45. Dexter said on February 26, 2016 at 11:14 pm

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  46. Dexter said on February 26, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    is the now-famous Ashley Graham, described by some as a “plus-size” or “full-figure” model. A crude bar owner I patronized many moons ago used to say he preferred “a lot of potatoes with my meat”.
    Old Cheryl Tiegs does not, however, getting vocal over the “unhealthy waist line” of Ms. Graham.

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  47. brian stouder said on February 27, 2016 at 7:41 am

    I think Hillary needs to do what Obama did, and find the most boringly credible VP she possibly can…maybe that Ohio Senator with the gravelly voice – Brown?

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  48. basset said on February 27, 2016 at 8:36 am

    So Cheryl Tiegs has a problem with a model looking like someone you might actually encounter in real life? Well, it’s a free country, for now anyway.

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  49. Jolene said on February 27, 2016 at 9:33 am

    You mean Sherrod Brown, Brian, but he is more in Bernie’s line of thought than Hillary’s. I think she would be more likely to choose Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. He’s smart, popular in his home state, was a governor before becoming a senator, is favorably regarded as a slightly left centrist by his colleagues, and speaks fluent Spanish.

    On Dexter’s list, he’s described as charisma-challenged, but he is affable and has a kind of low-key charm. And one more thing to make him attractive to this group: He is an excellent speller.

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  50. Sue said on February 27, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Can’t Governor Snyder just get his supreme court to say everything is fine, and order everyone to destroy the evidence? That’s how we do it in WI.

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  51. alex said on February 27, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Today’s knee slapper: A map of porn searches by state. A surprisingly narrow range of tastes, it seems.

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  52. Deborah said on February 27, 2016 at 10:05 am

    My hopes for Hillary’s VP are Cory Booker or Julien Castro, because they are younger and minorities and could help attract and energize those demographics. My second choices would be Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown for their politics. Much as an all female ticket would be amazing, I don’t think that will happen, not for a long time. My husband’s choice is Julien Castro, because he has met him and says he’s really sharp.

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  53. Deborah said on February 27, 2016 at 10:42 am

    So last night we sat in the dark on the floor of our new place having a picnic and enjoying the lights of the city. The funny thing that happened that we didn’t expect was that in our current building which is across the street from the new one, maybe 100 feet away, we observed two completely nude women, in two separate apartments. The window coverings in both places were not drawn. The women both had towels wrapped around their heads as if they’d just come out of the shower and then proceeded to get dressed. One of the women even stood in front of her closet fondling her breasts as she seemed to be mulling over what to wear. Either that or she was giving herself a breast exam. They were both young and quite fit and seemed to be oblivious that someone might be able to see them clearly. Or they are exhibitionist and don’t care. It was entertaining, especially for my husband. But it was also creepy, very Rear Window. In our current place the building we look into is only 30 feet away and people there mostly keep their window coverings drawn at night. We have seen a famous, old, short, fat architect who lives a couple of floors up from us, walk around nude. That isn’t something you want to see. We call this phenomenon voyeuristic proximity.

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  54. nancy said on February 27, 2016 at 10:52 am

    I used to know a woman in NYC who spied on her neighbors all the time, and — to judge from how many of them kept telescopes on tripods near windows, with no hope of using them to see stars — they did the same. She said New York has so much built-in anonymity that no one really worries too much; someone might live “across the street,” but the chances you’ll ever meet them in any social setting are fairly slim. Once she did, though, and the guy went on and on about her redecorating, paint colors, etc. It was sort of creepy, she said. And no nudity was ever involved.

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  55. Deborah said on February 27, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Our current place has a spectacular city view from our bedroom facing west, the north view of the bedroom looks right into the window of a little, old German lady’s place, we have thankfully not seen her nude. We have seen her ironing from time to time and she irons her underpants among other things. She was an architect at a venerable design firm here in Chicago that Peter probably knows and probably worked there, as just about every architect in the city worked there at one time or another. Anyway this woman was there forever before there were many women architects so she adopted a fierce personality to survive in that testosterone environment. She can be sweet as can be but you don’t want to get in her way. But I digress. Our living room has a lake view that goes completely dark at night. Our lake view in the new place is more spectacular and looks up Lake Shore Drive a couple of miles so we get sparkly lights, which is nice. And Nancy, we keep binoculars handy for looking at interesting things from time to time, everyone does.

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  56. susan said on February 27, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Deborah @53 – That reminds me of this piece from Radiolab. Voyeurism from across the way.

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  57. St Bitch said on February 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Deborah – Are you high up with high ceilings and lots of unobstructed natural light? Is your Chicago outpost an urban enclave of architect cognoscenti?

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  58. Deborah said on February 27, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Currently we’re on the 27th floor and the place we’re moving into is on the 17th floor. But the 17th floor in that building is more like the current builfing’s 18th floor because it has a higher floor to floor dimension. Our current building has 8′ ceilings, finished in 1957, and the one we’re moving into has 8′ 6″ ceilings finished in 1951.

    There are four buildings in a row here designed by Mies Van der Rohe that are important architecturally because they were among the first of their kind.

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  59. Sherri said on February 27, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    That VP list did not contain many people I’d care to see on the ticket. I love, love, love Elizabeth Warren, but why don’t we give her a chance to do something in the Senate? She’s barely been there, and everybody wants to put her somewhere else. She’s also not that great on the campaign trail. I know we all love her, but while she was running against an incumbent, he was an empty shirt incumbent who was finishing a term, and she significantly underperformed Obama in the state.

    I don’t see any reason to put a VP who is right of Hillary on the ticket. I think the number of swing voters who would move to Hilary from Trump based on a more conservative VP nominee is near non-existent. Bob Casey? An anti-abortion candidate is a non-starter. The strongest part of Hillary’s base would be offended. Joe Manchin? An environmental disaster. Evan Bayh? Ugh.

    I would prefer to see someone under the age of sixty; the only old white man on that list I like as a VP candidate is John Hickenlooper. I like Sherrod Brown, but I hate to take anyone from the Senate because the Senate is going to be so important for the Democrats.

    Castro seems interesting, but I don’t know a lot about him. Booker is a smart guy. Is there anybody in the House that’s a possibility?

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  60. brian stouder said on February 27, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Sherri, you would instantly win my agreement to any arrangement that puts Hickenlooper on the national ticket

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  61. brian stouder said on February 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Alex – love that porn map!

    Notice that Louisiana goes for “Black”? (I’m assuming that means – “I wanna see naked black people, having sex with one another”)

    Check this out –

    At the same time that their culture wants to literally wave the pro-slavery/unAmerican/traitorous flag of the ‘Confederacy’?

    That is precisely like Indiana going for “Lesbian” (I’m assuming that means – “I wanna see naked women having sex with one another”), at the same time our suits-and-ties in the state assembly and in the governor’s mansion want to allow open discrimination against people who are gay, yes?

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  62. Charlotte said on February 27, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    If Hillary is the candidate, she’s going to need someone charismatic, young, and to the left of her to win. I don’t know *anyone* under 40 who would turn out to vote for Hillary, even if the other side ran Trump. The younger voters distrust Hillary and do not have fond memories of the Clinton administration — so if she’s the candidate, the party is going to have to stop being so snotty to activists, young people, and economic leftists in order to win. They can win, the demographics are on their side, but so far, Hillary (and I’m not a Hillary hater, I have reservations, but I know people who have worked closely with her and they have enormous affection and respect for her) has been really condescending to the younger voters she needs.

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  63. Sherri said on February 27, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau shares his experience with Hillary:

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  64. Charlotte said on February 27, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    It drives my one friend crazy (who ghosted much of Hillary’s first memoir) — that she’s so bad at showing her private self in public. I’ve heard over and over again from people who’ve worked with her that she’s great — warm and real and deeply deeply dedicated to doing the right thing. Yes, a hawk. Yes, neoliberal to her core and doesn’t understand why any of us would begrudge her getting paid at the level she believes she should be paid. But really on the side of righteousness. But then an activist, or someone she didn’t expect, gets in her face and her hackles go up and she comes off as *extremely* entitled — she’s GOT to find a way to engage younger voters and get their enthusiasm — because as we saw in the midterms, if it’s good solid Dems that no one is that excited about vs crazy GOPers who can get people to the polls, we lose. (John Kerry, cough.)

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 27, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    You can’t have Sherrod. We need him. Actually, Sherrod and Rob are a pretty good team here for us.

    What about one of the Castro brothers? I agree, keep Warren in the Senate.

    Or there’s John McAfee, who aside from being wanted for murder in Belize seems like a great third party option. I’m thinking if America wants a profane bully, we should put Al Swearengen up for POTUS; I’m told he might come back in 2016.

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  66. brian stouder said on February 27, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    If we must have a profane bully, then I nominate Paul LePage of Maine; or if it has to be a ‘Trumpian’ profane bully from the business world, how about that walking, talking piece of excrement – Martin Shkreli?

    I’d like to think that if our ‘dissatisfied Republican countrymen’ actually nominate Donnie Trump, that the Democratic nominee (Secretary Clinton, presumably) will simply dispatch that person with alacrity (like road-kill; driving down the highway and then we hear “trump-trump”, and say “awwww – poor fella”)

    And indeed, if that comes to pass, it would be very nice to see Congress pass back into the hands of responsible adults, rather than the silly pranksters (and wankers) that currently control that place.

    Really, if we (the US) actually do elect Trump to the presidency, I believe he (Trump) will get a fairly free ride, for 4 years (ala President Buchanan); and then our next president will have a huge (“YUUUge”) mess to clean up (ala President Lincoln)

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  67. Deborah said on February 27, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I don’t see how young people have bad memories of the Clinton administration since that was 16 years ago. I guess if you’re 30 now, then you were 14 when Clinton was through. I suppose they might remember oral sex being discussed on the nightly news. If they’re in their mid twenties now then they would have been 8 or 9.

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  68. Deborah said on February 27, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    We spent the afternoon and evening at Miller Beach. We have some friends who have a place there and they’ve started an animation festival in their home for friends. We watched 3 of the ones that are up for Oscars, my favorite was the Brazilian one, Boy in the World.

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  69. beb said on February 27, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Since dieting is a frequent topic, here’s a little gasoline to throw on the fire…

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  70. Dexter said on February 28, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Sherrod Brown is my favorite US Senator, and I have not really had a favorite since Vance Hartke stood up to LBJ on war escalation issues.
    He is from Mansfield. At least twice I have heard him on the radio as he was telling stories during baseball broadcasts from Cleveland, in the Reds radio radio booth during interleague games. Once he told how his dad took him to Cincinnati in the late 1950s and early 60s to watch Reds baseball at Crosley Field. He told how the I-71 freeway was still a dream and it took a very long time to wend through countless small towns. He’s been described as “down to earth” and as a republican. You can’t find a better Democrat than Sherrod Brown.

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  71. David C. said on February 28, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Brian Levin, director of CSU San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, said he was standing next to the man in the Grand Dragon shirt when a crowd of protesters carrying weapons swarmed the Klansmen.

    A brawl broke out and one of the Klansmen was knocked to the ground and kicked. Levin said he later saw the man’s arm bleeding.

    Levin said he pushed the Klan leader away as the violence continued and a protester was stabbed.

    Levin said he asked the man, “How do you feel that a Jewish guy just saved your life?”

    “Thank you,” the man replied, according to Levin.

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  72. Deborah said on February 28, 2016 at 9:33 am

    My husband’s younger daughter lives in Anaheim, I’ve been there many times. It doesn’t surprise me that would happen there. The polarized situation we have in this country seems to allow the fringes to emerge and there is bad behavior all around.

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  73. alex said on February 28, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Hillary needs to balance the ticket with a liberal rock star like Cory Booker or the young folks are gonna stay home. I fear that Julian Castro isn’t well known enough.

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  74. Dexter said on February 28, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Cory Booker certainly will get any Black voters who for whatever reason aren’t for HRC.
    He’s sort of an enigma…part ‘Obama light’ (because he’s yet to make the giant splash Obama did) and in many ways more energetic and much more of a visionary than Obama. He’s a winner, Christ…only a vile racist wouldn’t love him to pieces.

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  75. Snarkworth said on February 28, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Cory Booker is a bit cozy with Wall Street, which would not broaden Hillary’s appeal.

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  76. Sherri said on February 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    I’m mulling over a thought related to the presidential campaign: do minority groups respond to an “outsider” campaign? Sanders has garnered a few high profile endorsements from the African American community, but he still doesn’t seem to be able to attract rank and file voters away from Clinton, nor has he made much headway among Hispanics. He doesn’t seem to be able to expand much beyond his base of idealistic college students (not soley white) and educated liberal whites.

    I’m just trying to remember a campaign other than Obama’s (which was different for obvious reasons) which was able to attract minority voters without having spent years building up a relationships within those community. It can be difficult to understand how to communicate effectively with a minority community, because the ways of communicating within those communities are often different than in our majority white culture. Their experiences and the lens through which they view the issues are quite different as well.

    I had a chance to sit down and have coffee with a neighbor who immigrated here from China. The Chinese community in Redmond is passionately opposed to marijuana, and for the first time anyone can remember, has come out and actively participated in local government, showing up at planning commission meetings and city council meetings and speaking and sending emails. I wanted to understand what it was that made them so upset about marijuana, what were their experiences that made them so afraid that putting a retail marijuana store would be so destructive to our city, whereas most white people I know, even if they would prefer that we didn’t have one, thought it wouldn’t be that big a deal and really would rather get rid of all the vape stores that have popped up.

    We had a fascinating conversation, where she told me about drug education in communist China and I told her about drug education here. Drug education there, at least when she was growing up (and when most of the community here was growing up), heavily emphasized the terrible devastation of the opium wars, that opium destroyed individuals, families, and China. They were taught that China had been a strong country, going from empire to empire, until the opium wars weakened China and destroyed that system (until the Cultural Revolution). All drugs were equated with opium. This view never changed or evolved, and unlike most white people in my cohort, most of whom have tried marijuana or know people who have, she knows nobody who has used marijuana and her community has no experience with the idea that marijuana can be used with relatively little harm. They also tend to equate the violence associated with the black market cartels with anybody associated with marijuana.

    So, my sense that I had been transported back to the 70’s when I was hearing their testimony wasn’t far off. We weren’t trying to change each other’s minds, we were just talking, and we were both very happy to have done so at the end.

    I’m loving planning commission!

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  77. beb said on February 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    snarkworth @75 makes a good point. Cory Booker is too cozy with Wall Street. I’m not sure who would be a good match for Hillary. The media tends to promote all sorts of republicans as the Next Big Thing, while never mentioning any prominent Democrats. So it always looks like the GOP has a deep bench and the Dems don’t.

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  78. brian stouder said on February 28, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Sherri – good to hear you’re enjoying your new civic responsibilities.

    The case of legal marijuana seems to be an example where the balance is more toward listening, and then governing, rather than governing and then observing the effects (although I suppose that phase comes next)

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  79. Sherri said on February 28, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    How does a city that is adding population, has expensive housing, and profitable corporations still have big budget problems despite cuts? Prop 13, the disaster that keeps on devastating.

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  80. Jolene said on February 28, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Beb, the Democrats have been defeated in the 2010 and 2014 Congressional midterms, in 2012 (except for the presidency), and in state legislature and gubernatorial elections. All those defeats have, indeed, cleared out the bench.

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  81. Deborah said on February 28, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Go read Gin and Tacos mind boggling post on scale, comparing the median income in the US to the wealth of the Koch bros. He uses time (seconds) as the unit of measure. It is beyond eye opening

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