Talk me down.

I try not to get too upset over politics in…what, March of a presidential election year. Lots and lots and lots can change in the next few months. So we’ll stipulate all that.

But that said, Wednesday was the first day I woke up and really-really realized that at this time next year, the first-light radio could be murmuring at me about President Trump. I once felt this was merely a high-wire joke. But the odds have dropped from 500-to-1 to 100-to-1, maybe lower.

Admittedly, the Thomas Frank piece I linked to in yesterday’s comments had something to do with it. He could clinch the nomination and do what all candidates do – move to the center – but do it in a way that soft-pedals the racism and increases the populism. Hillary has the world’s hardest job: To transform her eminently qualified self into something more…likable. Which, as any woman who has to be simultaneously tough and kind and smart but not-too-smart and honest but a Clinton can tell you is, well, it’s a tall order.

Maybe I’m panicking. Someone talk me down.

A second day at the office this week. We moved from the place closer to the center of town, which was informally called “the FEMA office” for its charmlessness, which admittedly, we did little to mitigate. But we were there little enough that we decided it wasn’t worth the money, so we relocated to a co-working space a few miles up the road – New Center, for you Detroiters.

I have a feeling co-working is the next great sitcom opportunity, but it isn’t widespread enough for the population at large to get it. Everybody goes to one space? But hardly anyone works together? But they do? And there are man-buns and anxieties over noise and courtesy? And there are popups in the common kitchen? And the usual office stuff about who makes the next pot of coffee?

Yes, there are all these things. We have only begun to explore the possibilities. Yesterday I moved between four or maybe six different seats. I felt like Goldilocks, looking for the one that had just the right combination of light, back support and noise level, but I’m figuring it out. And I’m enough of an extrovert that just being around people who are working — even if they’re working quietly, murmuring into the inline microphones on their phones and tap-tap-tapping on their Mac keyboards — invigorating.

And today’s popup was sublime:


I had the tacos and the carrot salad. Clashing flavor profiles for sure, but I needed the vegetables. And both were wonderful. Of course I spilled one on my shirt, but missed my silk scarf, so #winning.

Just a little bloggage:

My friend and former Knight-Wallace Fellow Yavuz Bandar sounded enough of an alarm to wake me from my Trump preoccupation with this. Did you know what’s happening to journalism in Turkey? I didn’t. I need to keep up better.

Roy, as usual, has a great take on the conservatives’ reaction to Tuesday’s elections.

And with that, I’ll bid you a pleasant Thursday.

Posted at 12:23 am in Current events, Detroit life |

36 responses to “Talk me down.”

  1. Brandon said on March 10, 2016 at 12:29 am

    Yes, the political game is crazy. I do recommend the Dipset T-shirt as a nice counterpart to the Ramones one.

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  2. David C. said on March 10, 2016 at 6:01 am

    I hang my hat on Trump having burnt his bridges to blacks, Hispanics, Asians, women, and whoever else yet to come. Having done that, they say he would have to win 70% of white men and the Rs have never done that.

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  3. alex said on March 10, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Remember, part of Obama’s appeal in 2008 was his promise to prod companies into bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. We all know how well that went. It helped get him elected, anyway.

    Trump, if he were to be elected, wouldn’t have any more influence over trade than Obama did, and would have to cooperate with Congress when it brings him trade deals if he wants to accomplish anything else. But playing to America’s economic insecurities is Trump’s secret weapon and he has a fair part of the electorate bamboozled into believing that he’s the ultimate big-business dealmaker who would do the bidding of the people. I think Ross Perot was making a similar case for himself when his third-party run siphoned off much of the white working class GOP vote in 1992 and handed victory to Bill Clinton.

    Perot ended up being smeared in the media as a loony-toons paranoiac. I was too young and unsophisticated at the time to discern whether Perot’s arguments were substantive or convincing, but he didn’t resort to talking like Archie Bunker on race to build affinity with the white working class, and I don’t think he substituted bluster and bullshittery for being well informed.

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  4. beb said on March 10, 2016 at 8:06 am

    My wife was watching the Tuesday election returns in the other room. MSNBC cut to Trumps victory speech and stayed with it all the way as he talked about Trump Steaks, Trump Wine and so on. He was blathering about anything and everything except his victory, his campaign or the election. I could not imagine why MSNBC stayed with such an empty speech, such bald-faced huckerism. If if were Hillary or Bernie I think they would have cut away after ten minutes for more blathering from Chris Matthews.

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  5. Jolene said on March 10, 2016 at 8:11 am

    I can’t imagine why anyone thinks a president can bring jobs back. Corporations move manufacturing overseas for economic reasons, largely labor costs. Presidents cannot reverse those incentives. Presidents can work with Congress to address other costs (I.e., taxes) or incentives, but, as long as there are gross differences in labor costs and, perhaps, differences in environmental regulations, corporations will have reasons to pack up and leave.

    The best hope of high-wage nations is to keep innovating–that is, to keep generating new kinds of jobs that are hard to offshore either because the overseas workforce land is the necessary skills or because the work is intrinsically local, such as nursing. But even these domains are subject to constant pressure as global education levels rise and new ways of doing things over the Internet (e.g., Indian radiologists reading X-rays) are found.

    For various historical reasons, Americans were unaccustomed to the idea that they should have to compete with the rest of the world, but it is long past time for that reality to have taken hold.

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  6. ROGirl said on March 10, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Some jobs have come back, as a result of companies that started plants in this country during the recession. They happen to be Chinese companies, and they are employing Americans who otherwise would have been out of work or making fries at McDonald’s.

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  7. adrianne said on March 10, 2016 at 8:32 am

    I continue to have confidence that the majority of the American people will reject an odious huckster like Donald Trump, who is temperamentally, intellectually and emotionally unsuited to be president. Am I too naive?

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  8. brian stouder said on March 10, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Adrianne – until proven otherwise, I say “no!” – you’re clear-eyed and not naive, at all

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  9. brian stouder said on March 10, 2016 at 9:47 am

    …and I think I’d have gone for the coconut curry chicken w/rice

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  10. Deborah said on March 10, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I think co-working is a brilliant idea. I freelanced for a brief time and the thing I hated about it was the isolation. I like working around creative people, the vibe is invigorating.

    I continue to be optimistic that Trump won’t ever be president, but I wonder what people like my right wing sister will do if he’s the nominee. I’ve asked her in emails but she refuses to answer, that’s what she usually does when I pose an uncomfortable question.

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  11. Danny said on March 10, 2016 at 10:09 am

    In this wacky year, perhaps we could see Trump/Sanders 2016 bumper stickers. Stay tuned.

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  12. Connie said on March 10, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I just took a look at my own precinct vote breakdown. I live in Oakland County Michigan, one of the wealthiest counties in the country, which tends to vote Republican. I live in the sort of exurban part, where it is not all built up high end subdivisions like it starts to be just east of here. We have lots of public land, some farmland and 27 lakes in the township. Anyway, my precinct vote went: Trump 213, Kasich 203, Cruz 144, Rubio 39, Bernie 163, Clinton 96.

    My vet husband kind of surprised me when he told me he couldn’t vote for Clinton, and couldn’t or wouldn’t vote for anyone who voted for the Iraq War.

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  13. brian stouder said on March 10, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Connie – I can respect that.

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  14. Jakash said on March 10, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I can respect that, too, right up until it might enable the election of somebody who DIDN’T vote for the Iraq war simply because they didn’t get the chance. Because they weren’t in Congress at the time, or, hey, have never held elective office at all and think starting off as President sounds about right. Just ’cause somebody didn’t “get to” vote for THAT war doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be plenty interested in getting us into another one should they think it a good idea. This “Hillary is a hawk” meme is fine for the primaries, but seems a lot less tenable as a rationale for the general election, IMHO.

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  15. Connie said on March 10, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Well he was choosing in the Democratic primary where I am pretty sure one voted for and one didn’t.

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  16. Connie said on March 10, 2016 at 11:31 am

    In other news, Nancy, your community is looking for a Library Director. Who wouldn’t want to work for a library that has a million dollar Calder mobile?

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  17. Jeff Borden said on March 10, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    A couple of quick thoughts on a potential Trump presidency. . .

    1. He absolutely is a demagogue with no chance of enacting 90% of the horseshit he is selling, but his fans appear impervious to facts, logic and reason. They will turn out in droves for him. Assuming Clinton is the nominee, the Democrats may face an enthusiasm gap. And the wild card are all those Sanders supporters who vow they will not vote for anyone but him.

    2. Sixteen Republican controlled states have new voting rules in place since the 2012 election. Already, stories are emerging from Wisconsin and North Carolina of long-time voters –an 84-year-old Republican woman in N.C. and a 92-year-old Iwo Jima vet in Cheeseland– have been unable to register because of some ridiculous technicalities involving their middle names. The GOP plays hard and plays dirty. Do not overlook shenanigans at the local level.

    3. Two words: October surprise. China’s bubble economy is just about to pop and it’s going to be ugly. A meltdown would create a global economic crisis, which might make a purported businessman look good when compared to a lifelong politician. Or, an Islamic terrorist group could stage a major attack inside the U.S., which would push more Americans toward the tough-talking hardliner and his promises to “bomb the shit out of them.”

    4. The email scandal. It looks like much ado about nothing to me, but we know the rightwing noise boxes will continue to hammer away at it. Clinton already has issues with truthfulness and believability. If something very bad emerges, it would seriously damage her prospects.

    You are right to worry about a President Trump. And, even if Il Douche is NOT elected, he has unleashed a beast that males the tea party followers look like Girl Scouts. These people may not accept the electoral results and as they have shown at his rallies, they are more than capable of violence.

    It’s possible we may well elect an even worse president than George W. Bush, a feat that was unimaginable to me a few months ago. I was fairly certain W. would always be the worst leader in my lifetime. Now????

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  18. Danny said on March 10, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Jeff B., your comments make me nostalgic for Rod Blagojevich.

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  19. Kirk said on March 10, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Meanwhile, Urban Meyer (Ohio State’s football coach, for those of you who find sports icky) has endorsed Kasich. I have a feeling he did it because Trump, when he was in Columbus last week, thanked Meyer for allegedly saying “nice things” about him, implying an endorsement. I don’t know that Meyer ever has said anything publicly about Trump, but that Trump would imply same is certainly no surprise. The thing is, there are so many shallow Ohioans who drool over OSU football that this is one endorsement that could actually have some effect on the outcome.

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  20. jcburns said on March 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    To the Caldermobile, boy wonder!

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  21. brian stouder said on March 10, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I have a feeling that, before the R’s are done nominating someone to run for president, we’re all gonna need a good schivitz

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  22. Sherri said on March 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    It’s such a luxury to maintain the purity of Sanders and the Sanders voters, the luxury of being an independent back-bencher junior senator from a small state, without many competing demands from his constituency or the need to raise lots of money to run in his geographically tiny state.

    Maybe we will have the “Never Compromise” general election, with all the heightened contradictions one could ever hope for. I’m not sure what that will accomplish, though it might make some people feel good in the short term when they “win”, but how’s that going to work? I find it telling that among the standing candidates, only Hillary has any significant endorsements from current Senators. Sanders has none, Trump has one (Jeff Sessions, who was too racist to be confirmed by the Senate for a federal judgeship), and it looks like Cruz is about to pick up one (Mike Lee, who has placed a hold on the bill for emergency relief for Flint because Michigan ought to pay for it themselves).

    I am absolutely committed to voting for Sanders if he’s the Democratic nominee, because I think Trump or Cruz would make George W Bush look statesmanlike and dovish and fiscally responsible by comparison, but I have real concerns about his ability to win the general. How is the low information undecided voter going to react when the Republicans start bringing up his visits with Communist leaders?

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  23. Sherri said on March 10, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    But I’ll admit, I’m a little grumpy today, because I had to compromise on something I really didn’t want to compromise on last night, or we would have never resolved an issue we’ve be wrestling with since mid-January. Everybody had to compromise. There were no more arguments to make, there was no new information to bring to the table, and it would be silly for planning commission to deadlock when we aren’t even the elected officials responsible for the final decision. So, I compromised, I hope with grace. That doesn’t mean I’m not grumpy, but we made a decision, and we kept the process of government moving.

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  24. brian stouder said on March 10, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Sherri – that is the single best post that’s even possible, on Nancy’s ‘Talk me down’ thread.

    Deep breath – considered judgement – decision.

    Not what you really wanted; but what you could accomplish

    I saw where the NASCAR head endorsed the Donald, and is now taking heat for it. In a bit of splendid irony, he’s claiming ignorance of his objectionable policy positions on this and that(!) –

    and in the article, I learned that his dad (big Bill France – who built the modern national NASCAR empire) endorsed George Wallace in 1968….

    ‘Course, NASCAR was a lot more ‘regional’ (read white male Southern) then…

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  25. Deborah said on March 10, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Well our blue furniture got picked up today along with a few other things we’re sending to NM. It’s supposed to be there in 2 or 3 weeks. No real hurry, it’s weird to have the place in Chicago cleared of the stuff though. We had gotten some bad news about the electrical situation in the new place that we thought was going to put off the move date and cost a bunch of money. But it turns out not to be as predicted.

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  26. adrianne said on March 10, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Sherri, exactly! Easy to be pure when you don’t have much at stake. I like to live in the real world, and so does Hillary. She is still the only one in this race whom I can imagine in the Oval Office.

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  27. Tim said on March 10, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Not sure why it seems hard for many people to seriously consider Sanders as the Democratic nominee. There’s his appearance — he usually looks like a grumpy grandfather — and his age. But he has none of Hillary’s disadvantages — the trust gap, the email scandal, the decades of built-up anti-Clinton animosity; Trump would feast on her negatives. Sanders’ message resonates with voters; I believe that’s why he won Michigan, where he wasn’t expected to. The fact that he has won in general elections (Trump never has) shows, I think, that he knows how to compromise when necessary.

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  28. Sherri said on March 10, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    I forgot to add the kicker on my compromise post – we got yelled at after the meeting by one of the attendees who is unhappy with our decision!

    I’m told that planning commission isn’t usually this lively and controversial.

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  29. Deborah said on March 10, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Tim, there’s one word that’s going to be hard for a lot of people to wrap their heads around regard Sanders, the word is “socialist”. It doesn’t scare me, but it does frighten a lot of people. It will be really hard to get past that. I hope I’m wrong, I hope that times are a-changin faster than I think they are. I’m skeptical though.

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  30. Deborah said on March 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I’m finally trying out my iPad keyboard. I put off doing it because for some reason I thought it was going to be complicated. Not at all. This is pretty great.

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  31. nancy said on March 10, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    i”m with Sherri on Bernie. It’s easy to be a general-election winning “socialist” in a tiny, rural state like Vermont, where you have a long history in public service and people know you. If this guy gets the nomination, it’ll be George McGovern II: The Socialist Cometh.

    Someone just messaged me that Trump is at yet another debate, sounding calm and reasonable. It’s starting, I guess.

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  32. St Bitch said on March 10, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Remember when we were all a flutter at the prospect of Palin as ViceP? Hah! Those were the days.

    Looks to me like tRumpozites are folks who’ve hit the ‘fuck-it valve’…not in my/our recognizable orbit (except for Pilot Joe) but ubiquitous nonetheless…a force to be reckoned with, rather than dismissed.

    But the forces that want to shake things up and tear things down are playing a short game, while those that managed to elect Obama for two terms, against many odds, are playing long…long enough to get the most qualified candidate running this cycle into the Oval.

    I’ve noticed over the years how the violent elections for Prime Minister in Jamaica have swung like a pendulum. No matter who takes office, everyone on the island becomes not only disenchanted, but infuriated, with their choice because they find themselves in the same old same old Third World hunt for the crumbs. In a few years the opposing party and candidate gets to take a shot for a few years before it all reverts back. Memory is short…hunger is always immediate.

    We are a far cry from that level of volatility. Nor has our civilization declined to the extent that a posturing incoherent clown can be elected into a position of global power…no matter how much he can mesmerize masses. Those masses are outnumbered…so far.

    I confess I’m schizophrenic about the Dem primaries…always greedy for more and more Hillary delegates and wins…yet rooting, in spite of myself, for ole radical Bernie, a white-haired prophet in a suit…breathing fire in Brooklynese…raising his finger of righteousness to rain down curses upon corrupt Babylon.

    Dex – I guess you didn’t vote for Kerry, did you?

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  33. Joe K said on March 10, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Decided to kick back and dump politics tonight, currently watching a concert on some weird channel at the end of the tuner, but it’s Chrissy hynde and the pretenders, she’s 64, sounds good, looks GREAT, and still rocking,loved their album learning to crawl, first heard them on wxrt out of Chicago, we could listen thru our cable TV to radio stations somehow.
    New topic, take the kids or grandkids or yourself and go see Zootopia, just a well written fantastic movie.
    Pilot Joe

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  34. Dexter said on March 11, 2016 at 2:49 am

    St. Bitch…while 2000 was the ultimate crushing loss of an election, 2004 was as frustrating to us here in Ohio. You can bet I was for John Kerry. In Ohio, all the rural areas go Red and the cities and densely populated suburbs and exurbs go Blue, so any local door-to-door stuff was fruitless, so I spent my free time trying to convince my fence-sitting friends from around the country to vote for Kerry. Buckeye women did their part, as 50% came through for our man. In the end, vote-wise, the men went 52-48 for Bush.
    It was contested, close to the ending polls. The race was stolen by the Repugg Sec’y of State of Ohio, a man named Ken Blackwell. An African American, he pulled out all the stops in a well-orchestrated plan to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Black folks by tagging polling place machines as broken, and then arbitrarily just locking up the polling places early. It was disgraceful. I am only in this state accidentally, and geographically barely inside the border, and I am a native Hoosier and I follow Michigan sports and news 1000x as much as I do stuff about this Buckeye state (and when someone calls me a Buckeye I want to punch their fucking lights out), but I was doubly disgusted when Bush took Ohio. Democratic party heads desperately tried to get Kerry here for the final week to ten days to do some hard campaigning because the race was a dead heat. For reasons no one could possible figure out, Kerry distanced himself from Ohio. If he would have come here, most analysts agreed, he would edged Bush.
    Now, Kerry also voted to go into Iraq, he believed all the yellow cake tales, the WMD claims…hook, line…sinker. Still, he was my choice as third party choices offered little in appeal, and I have never even considered voting for any Republican. It was easy to vote for Kerry even though he was also a war hawk. In 2008, Hillary and Obama were having a fierce fight. Obama had made a very hawkish speech about how the USA should bomb Iran and I thought he was a wild man. When he announced for President, that anti-Iran radical speech was miraculously scrubbed from the internet…so it goes. Hillary made a lot of sense so she got my vote in the Ohio primary. I just overlooked my deep opposition to her extreme efforts to prop up Bush’s war machine by endless funding.
    Now , here in 2016, we have a real people’s candidate. Bernie Sanders. You folks know his stance on the issues by now. I agree with everything he stands for, he’s the candidate I have been waiting for. I am sick of status quo; I am ready for change: I want a Democratic Socialist at 1600 Penna Ave. HRC should have won in 2008 and Barack Obama should be the one squaring off with Bernie now anyway.

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  35. Linda said on March 11, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Not only will there be Bernie the Socialist campaign mudslinging, but every math mistake, and every flaw in this proposals, will come to light. Whatever we think of the moderate Mr. Obama, millions of people now have health insurance, and gays are treated with more legal respect than they ever were. We have made real gains, and they could be lost.
    Bernie may be great on the issues, but it’s not enough. Sometimes, he is just dumb. Castro might have mouthed great ideals, Bernie, but he was a dictator. And LOTS of white people know all about being poor. Hillary is measured, and trims a lot of her answers, but she fires a neuron before she speaks. I count these as positive things.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 11, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Sherri — never listen to anyone who tells you “it’s not always…” But this mediator says “yay for compromise!” And for the angry person at the end of the meeting who stays behind to bend your ear, well bless their heart.

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