Open thread.

I think I’m sort of empty tonight. I’ve been up to my neck in some fairly complicated and not particularly interesting material (except that it sometimes is, for a certain kind of nerd), and nothing much interests me at all now. By “now,” I mean, “at this moment,” not the howling void of existential despair. Just hit a wall.

So, a link or two:

Donald Trump’s campaign manager is a little weasel.

Jon Carroll doesn’t want to get a dog. (His wife does.)

Robert DeNiro and the anti-vaxxers, including some of the most notorious.

A good weekend to all.

Posted at 12:10 am in Current events |

66 responses to “Open thread.”

  1. Dexter said on April 15, 2016 at 2:31 am

    I’m a little disheartened, like a kid who is being chastised on social media perhaps…blogger pals I have been friendly with, generally, since 2005 have turned on me with epithets and cyber-spears as my comments on how much I want Bernie Sanders to knock Hillary out-de-way have brought a deluge of rotten tomatoes fired my way.
    Hillary Clinton, former Walmart director, Wall Street backer, supporter of Bush43’s war fiasco…these people want her as president, some “just because she’s a woman!”. Yikes. Anyway, I am all in for Bernie Sanders, I love his message and his honesty. There are other blogs, I guess. Mean people suck. That was a kid’s bumper sticker at one time.

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  2. Sherri said on April 15, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Frankly, Dexter, I’ve got no problem with people wanting Hillary as President “just because she’s a woman.” Beats all the times I’ve been told that while hiring women in the abstract is a great idea, this particular woman is not a good fit.

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  3. MichaelG said on April 15, 2016 at 4:00 am

    So I went to dinner at Gambrinus. It’s a very old place with that wood paneled men’s club feel. My res was for 6:00. I don’t know what I was thinking, if anything, when I made the res via email. I knew that Europeans ate later than us but I really didn’t take it into account. After I got here I discovered that, in Lisbon, most restaurants don’t even open before 7:30 PM. I took a taxi and couldn’t see a damn thing because the windows were fogged up and it was raining and the driver kept swiping at the windshield with a rag and we got there in one piece.

    The waiter (no women here), a middle aged guy, was very pleasant and welcoming. I confessed that I felt kind of stupid for being so early but he wouldn’t hear of it and I was soon seated. I was presented with the liquid menu and the solid menu. I first ordered a G & T. The waiter brought the stuff out and made it at my table. I ordered clams as a starter and lobster pie as a main course with a Dao tinto. (red wine from the north)

    Although I never learned Portuguese, after thirty years of marriage to a Portuguese woman I had picked up a few things. It was all coming back.

    The clams. The clams. Little guys steamed in white wine and garlic and parsley and maybe butter and I don’t know what else but something. They were served in a soup dish with the pot liquor.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this preparation. But this was flat out the best I’ve ever eaten. I think I might have made little sounds of pleasure as I ate them. Moans and sighs. The clams were so good. It was fantastic. I dabbed up all the pot liquor with the bread. I don’t know if I will ever order steamed clams again. This dish was that good. Lord.

    Then he brought out the lobster pie. Understand, that all this took place over time. This isn’t a fast food place. By the time the lobster pie showed up, I had been there for over an hour.

    The lobster pie had to be two feet in diameter and because I was so early I got the first piece, fresh out of the oven. It was excellent, tasty and chock full of big chunks of lobster. I was barely able to finish it.

    For dessert, I had crepe suzettes. I know but T told me to order it. The waiters were looking at me funny and smirking and the guy making it was amused and all I could do was shrug and tell him my ex-wife had told me to order the damn things. He made them at table side with all the flaming and flourishes. They were good but not worth the cost. The fun is in the show and for an old single man, the show was, well . . .

    Anyway, the dinner was superb, exceeding my high expectations, even if it was rather pricey. OK, more than rather. The whole thing took about two and a half hours and was a very pleasing and relaxing experience. Coming back to the hotel, the weather was balmy with no wind and no rain. A very nice evening.

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  4. Deborah said on April 15, 2016 at 4:17 am

    Bravo MichaelG!

    I didn’t realize that DeNiro has an autistic son.

    The Jon Carroll link is hilarious and the comments there are good too.

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  5. Linda said on April 15, 2016 at 4:51 am

    Dexter, not all of us are rooting for Hillary because of her sex. Yes, she is corporate, and yes Bernie pushed her to the left, but she offers concrete ways that get stuff done. And she will expand on how Obama has gotten concrete results.

    Bernie’s pissed off about Obamacare that has expanded health care to 20 million people, but just figures that people will wake up and throw out the obstructive Republicans they have reelected for the past several years and magic and the single payer system will happen. He has done nothing to raise money for down ticket Dems that he would need for his revolution. In fact, he has a history of not playing well with others. He was not interested in being a Dem or supporting them until one day he decided he wanted to be president.

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  6. David C. said on April 15, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Bernie is an ideologue and I just don’t think they would make very good presidents. I get no sense that he would take a half a loaf and most of the progress we’ve ever had has come from stringing a series of half loafs together. So I’ll take whatever slow, pragmatic progress from Hillary over Bernie’s waiting for his political revolution so he can rub his special unicorn shit over all our problems and make them finally all go away.

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  7. alex said on April 15, 2016 at 6:58 am

    MichaelG, I’m jonesing for clams in wine sauce now. It’ll be on my mind all day. Used to be a fave dish at a long-ago shuttered tapas place in Chicago. The only way I can have them here in Hoosier Holler is make them myself, so I’m going to read up on how and then hope I can find the ingredients. Fresh parsley shouldn’t be a problem. Mine survived winter in the garden and has rebounded beautifully (along with cilantro and thyme too).

    Dex, I agree that Bernie is less tainted than Hillary in many respects, and I’m not going to knock anyone who supports him, but I’ll never forgive any Bernie supporter who stays home in protest this fall and hands the election to the GOP. I’d be equally happy to see either the first woman or the first Jew elected, but that’s a lot less important to me than keeping the third reich out of the White House this fall, Godwin be damned.

    And thanks, Jon Carroll. I was getting wistful for puppies this week after seeing one of those humane society pictures that tears at the heart strings and you made me think better of it.

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  8. MichaelG said on April 15, 2016 at 9:54 am

    It has come to my attention over the last several years that Europeans don’t like to make change. Especially from what they consider ‘larger’ bills. I bought a book the other day. Brought it up to the counter to pay. I pulled out a fifty Euro note. The kid hyper ventilated. I pulled out a twenty.

    “Don’t you…” She sniveled.

    “No.” I said.

    Mumbling to herself she made change for the twenty.

    The book cost E11.95. I don’t think a twenty was fooking unreasonable. After all, the ATM machines give out fifties. What am I supposed to do?

    At least it is nice to stick my card in any ATM slot and suck out money. Good luck to a European who sticks her card in an ATM slot in my town.

    Today it’s not just drizzling. It’s flat out raining and I’m staying in the hotel doing not much of anything. Reading mostly.

    Those clams were otherworldly, Alex. I’ve used those frozen Manila clams and they are all right but there is nothing like fresh.

    Sorry, I don’t feel the Bern. He’s too limited, he’s done nothing in 25 years in DC, he’s preaching a fantasy. That business in Wisconsin where his voters couldn’t be bothered to vote on down ticket candidates and may have cost that supreme court seat really turned me off. He’s just another Nader as far as I am concerned.

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  9. Heather said on April 15, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I love Bernie’s ideas but IMO Hillary is better qualified for the actual job of president. It’s my hope that the support for Bernie will force her further left. I don’t really think Bernie would be able to get much accomplished with Congress and he doesn’t seem to be able to be–well, diplomatic, which as President you really need to be.

    I get attacked on my own page for supporting a war-mongering corporate shill by Bernie supporters every time I say something in support of Hillary. Obviously she’s far from perfect. But she’ll get shit done.

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  10. brian stouder said on April 15, 2016 at 10:07 am

    What Heather said!

    A random note with regard to yesterday’s side-conversation about vouchers and charter schools –

    bottom line: this costs FWCS $16,000,000 per year, and that comes right out of ‘the front lines’ of the real mission of public education – which is to raise up people who speak the common language, and can think, and who will shoulder the task of carrying our society forward

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  11. Deborah said on April 15, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I’m for Hillary too, for much the same reasons that others have mentioned here. And yes, another reason is because she’s a woman and it’s about god damned time.

    And speaking of Ralph Nader, Harvard has this voting deal that any Harvard grad gets to participate in, my husband got a ballot the other day. They have a list of candidates pre-selected by trustees or some such. But this year some people protested about the pre-selection and got petitions signed to be on the ballot too. They’re all from an organization called Free Harvard Fair Harvard, so these protesting candidates are all super right wingers who are against racial quotas and tuition, at all for anyone. They beleive that Harvard has endowments that would cover all tuition and they hate that now Harvard gives a lot of tuition support to only poorer students. But one of the protesting candidates is Ralph Nader, who is in his 90s.

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  12. Jeff Borden said on April 15, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Given that President Obama has been thwarted in many of the things he sought to accomplish, I remain unconvinced that either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Sanders will be able to do one-tenth of what they promise. Shit, the GOP Senate already is threatening not to confirm a new Supreme Court justice even if a Democrat wins this fall!

    The Republican Party no longer knows how to govern. It exists only as an obstacle. There are no new ideas. There are no new proposals. There are no new directions. This is the political party as kidney stone.

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  13. MarkH said on April 15, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Deborah, in fact, Ralph Nader turned 82 on Feb. 27. But, we get your point.

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  14. Sherri said on April 15, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Can anybody figure out what the deal is with Sanders and his tax returns? Oh, sure, sure, I’ll do it (when?). I’ve done it before (no, he hasn’t.) My wife does our taxes on Turbo Tax (so?). We’ve been kind of busy (again, so? You can’t take a few of those $27 donations and pay an aide to contact the IRS to get copies of your past returns?)

    I’m guessing it’s because the Sanders’ don’t give to charity, and so they’re afraid it will make them look bad. Say what you will about Clinton, but she could have refused to disclose her tax returns, and then how much she was making giving speeches to Wall Street wouldn’t be an issue because it wouldn’t be known. She knows how to take the heat, because she’s taken plenty of it, much of it unfair.

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  15. Sherri said on April 15, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Paul Krugman, today, on why he doesn’t feel the Bern:

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  16. brian stouder said on April 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Sherri at 14 – I could not possibly agree more vigorously!!

    (although at least one of our young folks – two of whom are voting in their first presidential election – is definitely ‘feeling the Bern’)

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  17. Julie Robinson said on April 15, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Bernie spins a great line but could he get elected in November? Not a chance. If he’s driven Hillary to the left, more power to him. And we need another D. No more Naders.

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  18. john (not mccain) said on April 15, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    The Berners I’m facebook friends sound exactly like the conservatives who have been out to get Hillary since 1992. That, combined with what people have said above, plus the videos of him giving speeches to an empty Congress (gee, what a great persuader!) have finally convinced me who to vote for on Tuesday, and it ain’t the old man from Vermont.

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  19. Scout said on April 15, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    While I am supporting Bernie in the primaries, I will definitely support Hillary in November if (when) she prevails. I’m already sick to death of my true-believer Berner friends (and I’ve got tons of them – airy fairy idealists thinking that Congress will magically do an about face and help Bernie enact all of his wonderful policy proposals) who are parroting all the right wing noise about Hillary and vowing never to vote for her, ever ever ever. They have lost sight of the real danger of what a Trump or Cruz, or hell, even a Kasich presidency would mean to their beloved ideals. Their idiotic zeal is actually turning me into more of a Hillary supporter than I otherwise would be.

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  20. brian stouder said on April 15, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Scout – you and me both.

    I probably said an unkind thing here or there, regarding Hillary in 2008 – when I was head-over-heels for Senator Obama.

    But – truly – Bernie ain’t no Barack!

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  21. Scout said on April 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Brian – exactly. Obama was a once-in-a-lifetime candidate. I was PASSIONATE about him in a way I’m not about either Bernie or Hillary. But since I have an extreme aversion to another big mouth dumbass with apocalyptic wet dreams in the White House, either Bernie OR Hillary will be acceptable to me.

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  22. jcburns said on April 15, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Have youall come across this? Think your restaurant is Farm to Table? –really great long-form investigation and reporting by the Tampa Bay Times.

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    • nancy said on April 15, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      I was going to write something about that on Monday, once I had a chance to wade through the whole thing and get a deeper sense of it. Really well done on the first skim-through, and exceptionally well-designed.

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  23. Sherri said on April 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Sanders and his supporters, at least his more dogmatic supporters, resemble a left-wing tea party, and I don’t mean that to denigrate them necessarily. Like the tea partiers, they want to pull their party further away from the center. Beyond his attacks on Hillary, Sanders has also referred to Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List as “part of the Establishment”, and his supporters now think of formerly loved Paul Krugman as a shill for the Establishment because he doesn’t feel the Bern.

    I, too, want to see the Democratic Party move further from the center, though I disagree with how far it is workable or practical to move, because I recognize that many, many people don’t want to move as far away from the center as I do. So that’s why I favor a slow, incremental move, rather than a revolution. Plus, a revolution from the top only works in non-democratic countries. Even the tea partiers understand that.

    I do see that Sanders has finally decided to extend his revolution a little bit by writing fundraising letters for downticket candidates. Well, three Congressional candidates, anyway.

    I feel like there’s an attempt to get the Democratic Party to copy the worst aspects of the Republican Party, only less effectively. The Republican Party can’t compromise with the Democratic Party right now because it can’t even compromise with itself. I don’t want to see the same thing happen to the Democrats. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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  24. Dorothy said on April 15, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Someone asked me the other day my feelings about Primanti Brothers. (I read this space as often as I can but my availabilty to compose a cohesive sentence or three is frequently poor.) I am a little bit ambivalent because I’m not a fan of too much ‘stuff’ on a sandwich. I tend to like things a little on the plain side -absolutely NO condiments. Who wants to eat wet bread?! That being said, Primanti’s is an institution and one just opened this week less than 3 miles from my house. I’ve had their sandwiches twice and they were very good, but I take it as plain as they can make it – no cole slaw and fries on a sandwich for me. On the side would be great but in Pittsburgh, at the original location, they don’t do that. It’s all or nothin’. In fact I have a funny story about the last time I was at the original restaurant. Last spring my son, his wife and my husband and I went there for lunch. The place was packed and there was a long line of people waiting to get in. I think we waited about a half hour to get a seat. My beverage was diet Coke and just as my son was snapping a picture or two of Mike and I, I accidentally let lose the loudest burp I think I ever produced in my life. In the din I was hoping no one (except my table mates) heard it. Then a woman at the bar slowly turned around and looked at me. I apologized profusely. She said straight-faced “Oh don’t apologize. That was amazing!” We didn’t stop laughing for a good 6 or 7 minutes I swear. So now burping and Primanti’s are forever connected in my mind.

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  25. Dave said on April 15, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    I don’t see any way whatsoever that Sanders would get elected, he is, as someone said, the left equivalent of the tea party. Last night, in the debate, he said he is a Democrat, or he wouldn’t be running as a Democrat. Yeah, that and he knows there’s no chance of winning whatsoever if he remained an independent. I cannot understand the people who say it’s Bernie or no one, have they so little life experience and judgment, let alone not paying attention to the current events of the last many years now, to think they’re thinking realistically?

    But then, I don’t understand the evangelicals who support Trump, who is reported saying his favorite Bible verse is lesson is an eye for an eye. Revenge, that’s the only thing on his mind, right now, it’s revenge on the Republican party for not letting him play a role. Big me, I’ve got lots of money and I’ll show you.

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  26. Sherri said on April 15, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    I used to eat at the Primanti Brothers in Oakland (the neighborhood in Pittsburgh, not the city in California) fairly often when I was in grad school, and I loved their sandwiches, complete with fries and cole slaw loaded on.

    No word on whether Donald Trump ate a Primanti Brothers sandwich when he was in Pittsburgh the other day, promising to bring back Joe Paterno and the steel industry.

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  27. Dexter said on April 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    My brother traversed the entire USA selling signage to small businesses , for many years. He was in Pittsburgh so long ago I can’t recall what decade, but I remember his telling of a place he accidentally stumbled upon where a sandwich was sold with cole slaw and fries crammed inside the bread with pastrami, capicola, turkey, roast beef, whatever choice you made. I thought I might try one, but on the only trip I have made there since 1989, we drove to the hotel and just took taxis and damned if I didn’t forget all about those sandwiches.

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  28. Dexter said on April 15, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    …worst taxi ride of our lives was in Pittsburgh…my wife still brings it up, now 27 years later…from old Three Rivers Stadium to our hotel in Green Tree through the Fort Pitt Tunnel. Our driver was piloting a beat-to-hell sedan , and his appearance was scary…like a zombie in those old b&w films. Wild dreadlocks, yellow eyes, half-closed… chain-smoking through a constant low volume cough , and he was a shriveled-up young man , probably checking in at about 90 pounds. He was a terrible driver, drifting side to side, scaring the hell out of us in that tunnel as we were sure he was going to smash into a wall or barrier. He got us back safely, however, reeking of stinking tobacco smoke and just feeling dirty. We both showered immediately and at dinner my wife kept bring up “I have a perfectly good car in the garage and I have to ride in these cabs?” And I am fairly sure she has not hailed a cab since.

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  29. Jolene said on April 15, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Hillary Clinton will be on The Late Show with Steven Colbert on Monday night. In the meantime, they released this short video, which is kind of cute.

    Sherri, I cracked up when I heard Trump’s remarks in Pittsburgh. So clueless. Nobody in Pittsburgh thinks the steel industry is coming back; probably not many would want it. And though there are plenty of Penn State alumni around, nobody thinks of Paterno in connection with Pittsburgh. Not to mention that he is both dead and disgraced.

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  30. Colleen said on April 15, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Another one here not feelin’ the Bern. While neither candidate is perfect, I think Hillary is better qualified to Get Shit Done. And she’s got way more experience and knowledge in foreign policy. I agree with those who say many Bernie supporters are sounding like those on the right in their hatred of HRC. Those who say Bernie or no one may just be cutting off their noses to spite their faces….

    President Trump. Please God, no.

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  31. adrianne said on April 15, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Corey Lewandowski is a real piece of work. The New York Times story isn’t the half of it. Politico did a very good story after his assault on the Breitbart reporter. Female political reporters said if they got an after-hours call from Corey, they knew it was going to be sexual harassment. Here’s a link to the story:

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  32. beb said on April 15, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Increasingly I think of Clinton as a DINO. I want to vote for a real democrat and not a moderate republican in skirts.

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  33. Sue said on April 15, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I think Bernie’s pushed Hillary as far left as she’s going to go. So that part of his work is done, and tells me that he did not do this primarily to right (or left) the ship. So, he wants to be president, and he’d better start doing more homework. He’s not ready.
    In my opinion, HRC’s recent journey left-ward was not because of a change of heart or a rethinking by that excellent mind of hers, but because of her famous pragmatism. I’ll take it either way but I really wish she would rethink rather than retool.
    And I’m seriously worried about the potential first husband. What the hell happened to the man who was once referred to as our first black president?

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  34. Sherri said on April 15, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Beb, for calibration’s sake, can you give me an example of the last real democrat elected President?

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  35. Jolene said on April 15, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    When Toni Morrison called Bill Clinton “the first black president,” she wasn’t saying how cool he was or how down with the black community he was, which is how the phrase has come to be understood. She was saying that he had become someone whom other whites felt they could look down on.

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  36. Sherri said on April 15, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    So I have a full political weekend. Tomorrow morning (which is also my birthday!), I’m doorbelling for a school levy. Sunday afternoon, I’ll be a Hillary delegate at my legislative district Democratic caucus, where we will be choosing delegates for the Congressional district caucuses (where they will choose state level delegates, who will attend the national convention. I have no interest in being a delegate beyond precinct level.)

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  37. Julie Robinson said on April 15, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    And Sherri, you clearly know your politics well–Sanders just released his 2014 taxes. On an income of $200,000 he gave $8000 in charitable donations, a pittance. He accompanied the release with a tone-deaf quote: “unfortunately, I remain one of the poorer members of the Senate”. Tell me again how expensive it is to live in DC, and I’ll tell you that to a large swath of our country, $200,000 is a hell of a lot of money.

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  38. Deborah said on April 15, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Happy birthday Sherri!

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  39. Jill said on April 15, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you for the restaurant report, MichaelG. It sounds amazing. I think you’re smart to never again order clams; just let the memory of the Portuguese ones stay fresh.
    Happy birthday, Sherri. Good luck with the levy.

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  40. alex said on April 15, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Had to settle for Mexican tonight, though still wanna do clams in wine and garlic. The freshest I’m likely to find around here will be frozen.

    Our local Kroger has a “celebrate Spain” promotion going on with end caps all over the store full of Spanish wines and vacuum-sealed meats like Iberico ham and Spanish chorizo. Not sure what that’s all about in Auburn, Indiana, where probably nobody has ever tasted such stuff, but I’m tempted to spend this weekend trying to re-create some of my old favorite dishes from Arco de Cuchilleros and Emilios in Chicago. Just happened to see this tonight when I went out to restock on buttwipes and booze.

    Tomorrow night celebrating a friend’s 70th birthday at his favorite mediocre restaurant so my Spanish cooking adventure will have to be for Sunday dinner.

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  41. Dexter said on April 15, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I couldn’t possibly live on 200K…hell, I wouldn’t know what to do with all that cheddah.

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  42. alex said on April 15, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Well whaddaya know? They don’t have a recipe for clams in wine and garlic, but I’m sure I can find one on the internet.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 15, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Julie, Bernie gives a lot more to charity than Biden does, at least going by tax returns.

    I’m trying to figure out which internal organ of mine will fail if I vote for Hillary, and if I can spare that function if necessary. But if it’s Clinton v. Trump, I just can’t not vote for President. I can’t explain why, I just think it’s wimping out. Clinton v. Cruz will just drive me to excessive investigation of my Evan Williams bottle, no predictions, but there’s no way I could justify not voting for Hillary if The Donald actually becomes the nominee.

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  44. alex said on April 15, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Really? Every moderate Republican of my acquaintance thinks Cruz would be worse than Trump.

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  45. Sherri said on April 16, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Jeff(tmmo), your appendix and spleen both seem to be superfluous, and two kidneys are redundant.

    I find Cruz scarier than Trump. Cruz is a true believer.

    I’ll confess, we make a lot of money. Enough that we paid more in taxes than Bernie made, according to his return. We also donated over 10% of our AGI to charity, and have made a habit of that for quite some time, even when we made less than what Bernie made.

    What can I say? I may not be a Southern Baptist any more, but some things do stick. My tithe doesn’t go entirely to my church, the way my parents’ did, but I still believe in tithing.

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  46. LAMary said on April 16, 2016 at 1:17 am

    Alex, you can probably adapt a recipe for mussels in wine and garlic to clams. Last week Lidia Bastanich made that recipe on PBS and I was almost weeping with nostalgia. You can find that recipe online I’m sure. White wine, clams, garlic and bay leaves.

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  47. David C. said on April 16, 2016 at 7:07 am

    My tax returns would make me look like the world’s biggest skinflint. I show no chargeable contributions. Not because I don’t make any, just because I think it’s strange to expect to get partially reimbursed by the government for giving. It’s probably just as strange to expect to get partially reimbursed for mortgage interest, but I’m comfortable with that one. Just my own little contradiction, and I’m comfortable with that.

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 16, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Cruz may be worse than Trump as in the old junior high locker room discussions about whether it’s worse to die drowning or in a fall, by hanging or electrocution. One can discuss such things, but the proposed end result has the same downside.

    More seriously — I can understand why someone, GOP or not, would say Cruz’s positions are “worse,” but he doesn’t make me think he’d order the launch of some nukes into a country “to make a point.” Trump has spurred a thousand conversations in O-clubs on military bases around the world about what it means to “obey any lawful order.” Which I suppose is a useful exercise, but I’d hate to see the field testing.

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  49. alex said on April 16, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I see your point, Jeff. Much better to have a guy who will use the nukes to take us up into the Rapture than a guy who will use them wantonly to avenge perceived slights. (“Take that, Angela Merkel, you ugly hag. Fuck you, Justin Trudeau, you effeminate Frog.”) Fast death is preferable to a slow one, so Cruz has the edge there.

    Seriously, I don’t see how any president, no matter how crazy, would have the latitude to behave capriciously with nuclear arms. It took a couple of years of politicking for Dubya just to get his way on the Iraq debacle. No matter how divided or fucked up this country is, there is simply no way Congress would ever grant the president the authority to go nuking other countries, and there’s no way the president can commandeer the controls himself. The big red button on the nightstand is a Hollywood fantasy and those who believe in it are about as bright as those who believe in the Rapture.

    The problem with either Trump or Cruz is that both are egomaniacs with aberrant personalities who would be out of their depth and thank Heavens the vast majority of people in this country recognize it.

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  50. beb said on April 16, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Sherri @34:The last ‘real’ Democrat president (before Obama) … Jimmy Carter, preceded by LBJ, JFK and FDR. The Big Dog’s triangulation essentially ceded the goalposts to the Republicans.

    And to clarify, calling Hillary a moderate Republican as I did was a bit of weaseling because there are no moderate Republicans left in the GOP, only far-right, extremely far-right and the marginally insane. What I fear with HRC is that she will buy into the Republican notion that we can’t afford good things, that poverty is a moral failing and that trickle-down economics is the only economics.

    While Trump increasingly acts like a spoiled three-year-old with his tantrums and and incitement of violence, on substantive policies there is no difference between Trump and Cruz. Both believe in the personhood of embryos, both are opposed to abortions, opposed to any exemptions for abortion, are opposed to birth control, are anti-women, anti-union, anti-taxation of the rich. Anti-black, brown, yellow or in-between. Both are false Christians, anti-Muslim anti-American failures of humanity. Jeff, if you vote for either Trump or Cruz my heart will explode!

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  51. brian stouder said on April 16, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Well said, beb.

    I just read the Nance’s Lewandowski link. It never says how he earned a living before we heard of him – other than he became a congressional aide and then a Koch wonk. That must pay pretty well, aside from marrying a 9/11 widow.

    I’m sorry, I cannot resist seeing more than a little 1930’s-style ‘national socialism’ in these angry surfers of public discontent such as Trump and Lewandowski (with Cruz playing more the part of von Hindenberg to Trump’s second-rate painter)

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  52. Sherri said on April 16, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Want a get rich quick scheme? Write a diet book! Especially if you’re a doctor (even if you’e only a PhD).

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  53. Charlotte said on April 16, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    MIchaelG — you’re in Sacto, right? there must be a Ranch99 Asian market — if you like clams go check it out. They keep all their shellfish in tiered, tiled sink-like basins with clean water running continually through them … live, clean, gorgeous. I used to buy them when I lived in San Jose (until my poor brother, who was my roommate, developed a shellfish allergy just as we moved to the West Coast!).

    It still won’t be the marvelous Portuguese restaurant, but it’s good shellfish.

    I miss Ranch 99. They also have wonderful roast duck.

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  54. David C. said on April 17, 2016 at 7:11 am

    We humans are particularly vulnerable to diet books. As Matt Fitzgerald, author of the book Diet Cults, explained to me, our beliefs about food are highly irrational, and when we struggle with weight, we long for neat solutions. “What people want is a pill,” he said, “But if you can’t have that, you want a diet that’s a functional equivalent of a pill: simple, tidy, neat, certain.”

    From what I’ve seen, they want a handful of pills which is what keeps the supplement industry, diet books kissin’ cousin, going. Former Senator Tom Harkin should have a special place in hell for deregulating supplements so they could make nearly any claim of efficacy without any proof or without any proof of safety. When people feel poorly and the doctors have no simple answers, it’s somewhat understandable that people take the bait. But it seems reasonable to me that one of the purposes to regulating substances is to protect vulnerable people from themselves.

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  55. alex said on April 17, 2016 at 9:17 am

    LAMary: Found it! My partner’s not terribly fond of clams or mussels but that’s okay — more for me!

    Kroger has all kinds of interesting Spanish meats and cheeses and olive oils and pasta noodles in the store, but two weeks only, so thinking about preparing a menu for the week incorporating some of them.

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  56. MichaelG said on April 17, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Charlotte, there is a Ranch 99 here – along with a dozen other Asian supermarkets. I’ve bought the frozen ones on impulse. I need to plan my meals better.

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  57. Deborah said on April 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Today was the beginning of Target’s Marimekko offerings. I’m a big fan of Marimekko so I’ve been waiting for this day for months. Little Bird and I got to Target at 7:30, they open at 8. There were other women waiting in their cars already. Unfortunately the Santa Fe store didn’t have a lot of the clothing pieces and some of them aren’t available online. Marimekko is pretty expensive when you buy from their stores, and there aren’t very many stores in the US, they do have some household items at Crate & Barrel. The Target items we were able to get were very good deals. Also, most of the people waiting were women my age.

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  58. LAMary said on April 17, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I have a Marimekko umbrella that’s at least 30 years old. I bought one day in NYC when it started pouring while I was doing sales calls. I had a great orange and rose and white dress from the Marimekko store too. I don’t know what became of that. The umbrella still lives, though.

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  59. brian stouder said on April 17, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    See, women are just flat-out smarter; or at least, smarter than me.

    I couldn’t tell you what brand of anything I wear is – but Pam could; and she’d tell you what put her off this or that other brand. (and, I’ve never owned an umbrella!)

    Went to the movies with Shelby and Chloe and Pam yesterday – caught the Junglebook movie. It was at the theater where Pam buys her tix with an app on her phone, and then when you get there you show them your phone and they scan the bar-code, and you’re in; and then the seating is assigned, and the chairs are all recliners. I’m now officially and forever more an old man (and a happy one!).

    The movie has echoes of Wizard of Oz in it, I say….which is as high a compliment as I can pay!

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  60. alex said on April 17, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Worn out and not sure I want to shop for food and prepare it. We had a pontoon boat in our yard all winter and needed to go rent a trailer to put it into the water. It had a hydraulic lift so it could be lowered to pick the boat right up off the ground and then lower right into the water without having to back the trailer in very far. That’s all accomplished but now my old tired bod needs a nap.

    What a gorgeous day.

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  61. St Bitch said on April 17, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Sue @33 – Granted, any diagnosis I might attempt is likely distorted by nearly 3 years of tending my mother, but from this vantage point, Bill Clinton is showing early signs of mild dementia.

    The grumpier Sanders gets, the more irate I get about him, his schtick, and his ‘bro-bots…although I can’t help but admire his politically inexpedient stance on Palestine and jaunt to the Vatican. Yet the extent to which he thumbs his nose at the “status quo” (Obama), the “establishment” (the chief executive office), as well as the cogs and wheels of government in general, was most telling in Thursday’s debate when he declared that he would NOT support Merrick or put forth any nominee that wasn’t prepared to overturn Citizen’s United. A candidate that willing to jettison any remnant of checks and balances, while undermining the integrity of prospective SCOTUS nominees by demanding to know how they would rule on a specific case, is tipping too much toward fanaticism for my taste.

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  62. Deborah said on April 17, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Brian and for those who might not be familiar, Marimekko is a company in Finland, they started with textiles mainly, they make very bold patterned fabrics that they make into clothes and household goods. They were introduced into the US by a designer friend of ours who lives in Boston, Jane Thompson, she and her husband Ben had a store called Design Research back in the 50s and 60s. Jane wrote a book about the store which has a lot about Marimekko in it

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  63. Sherri said on April 17, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I’ve decided I’m never attending a caucus again in my life. I was a Hilary delegate from my precinct caucus to my legislative caucus, and as Will Rogers said, I don’t belong to an organized political party, I’m a Democrat. I spent over 5 hours there, but I gave up and left because there was little sign that we were going to break up into subcaucuses any time soon to accomplish the main purpose of the event: elect delegates for the Congressional district caucus. I verified that there were plenty of people running to be a delegate for Hillary in my CD, so there was no danger there wouldn’t be the right number of Hillary delegates, decided I had fulfilled my obligation to my fellow precinct caucusers, and left.

    Doorbelling on Saturday was much nicer. It was a beautiful day, the area we were covering was not very hilly, so it was not too much work, and we generally got positive response. I spent about 4 hours doing that, and was happy, because I felt like I was accomplishing something.

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  64. brian stouder said on April 17, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Sherri – Chloe and I doorbelled last year, to help get a friend of Pam’s elected to the school board; weloved it, and we figure that, at worst, we at least accomplished getting her name out there all the more…and maybe we added a few votes for her, too

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  65. Sherri said on April 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Brian, from my experience, doorbelling is by far the best way to win elections, especially local elections. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s a lot more effective than mailings and phone calls.

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