First blood.

Such an exciting morning at our house. I had just cracked an egg into the pan when I noticed Wendy wagging to go outside. I opened the door, she shot out like a rocket and before I knew it, the squirrel zigged when it should have zagged and had become Wendy’s first official kill. First blood.

I think I was squeaking as much as the squirrel was. I can’t say it was entirely clean; I didn’t see any violent head-shaking, but she got the job done. Spriggy would have shaken it vigorously for a while, then trotted around with his trophy in his jaws for another while, then settled in to rend it limb from limb and fight when we tried to take it away. Wendy’s sweet personality, and perhaps a little bafflement at actually having nailed the thing, meant she basically stood over it proudly, occasionally touching it with her nose, as if to say, “Hey, get up and play some more.”

I got Alan out of bed early to do the dirty work before she tried to dismember it, roll in it or otherwise make a mess. She was bummed to have to give up the prize, and now revisits the spot whenever she’s in the yard, just to see if it’s come back, or to sniff its blood, or something.

No, I didn’t get a picture. Should have. It was a black squirrel, too; they’re generally thought to have a few more IQ points than the gray ones. My mighty huntress.

I was interrupted by Trump thoughts all day, partly because I was working my way through this David Frum essay about him. Title: The Seven Broken Guardrails of Democracy, just in case you think essay titles can’t be too portentous. He makes a few good points, although it’s hard to take seriously a piece that approvingly quotes both Rod Dreher and Jonah Goldberg. Frum makes the point that even if Trump is flattened in November, the damage is done. A presidential candidate has boasted about his penis on a national stage (in Detroit! Hometown represent!). Can’t rebottle that genie. I came away from it thinking I need to chat up my old boss Derek, whose head is a data-analyzing computer; he’ll point to an electoral map and tell me to stop worrying and start preparing for President Hillary, and I will, for a while.

At the same time, one of the things that makes life so interesting is how you really never know what’s coming tomorrow. And the night is dark and full of terrors, to quote a little “Game of Thrones.”

And there’s this, an account of this week’s Trump presser about the veterans fundraiser:

He actually believes that it’s the job of political reporters covering a presidential candidate to write “Thank you very much, Mr. Trump.” It’s not the press’ job to discover the truth or ask questions or hold the powerful accountable; their job is to promote him and compliment him. And when he doesn’t get the glowing coverage he wants, he attacks.

I’m trying not to get tired of saying this, but just try to imagine what the reaction would be if Hillary Clinton came out to defend herself against some perfectly reasonable questions, and said “The press should be ashamed of themselves” or pointed to a reporter and said, “You’re a sleaze.” She wouldn’t be criticized or questioned, she’d be crucified. Reporters would ask if she had lost her mind and was having a nervous breakdown. There would be demands for her to pull out of the race immediately, since she had shown herself to be so unstable.

It’s going to be a real challenge for reporters covering Trump to continue to ask the questions they ask of every candidate, to demand answers and to point out falsehoods — which is already a herculean task when it comes to Trump, since he delivers so many of them. That’s not easy to do when you know your subject is going to assault you over it. And it’s not likely to change.

Ai yi yi.

Loose ends: The water test came back. No lead, no copper, no problems. No neurotoxins. Thanks, beb!

Finally, you know how zillionaires are always threatening to move to less-tax-y places unless they’re properly honored? Few of them do.

Posted at 12:01 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

46 responses to “First blood.”

  1. Brandon said on June 2, 2016 at 12:37 am

    [H]e’ll point to an electoral map and tell me to stop worrying and start preparing for President Hillary

    Either way, we have to prepare.

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  2. Sherri said on June 2, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Trump is going to have to keep saying more outlandish things for the next couple of months, because he’s out of money. He didn’t really self-fund, he loaned the money to his campaign, and he wants that money back, but he can’t start the general election money stream until the convention, so he can’t pay himself back yet, and he doesn’t want to put any more of his own money in, and he doesn’t have a fund-raising org of his own. So he needs all the free media time he can get, and the way he gets it is to keep saying outlandish things.

    Of course, those outlandish things aren’t benign at all. Spending 12 minutes spewing racist bile against the judge in your federal fraud lawsuit should be disqualifying for a candidate for the smallest office around, much less the highest office in the country.

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  3. Dexter said on June 2, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Send Wendy here. She has completed all the basic training she needs for the job at hand. Our neighborhood is overrun by squirrels of many colors. I called the city just to see if they had any live traps to lend (a foolish question indeed). I went to a Home Depot to buy a cage but I didn’t even search the store as I know I would hate trapping them and driving them off somewhere…I’ll have to get an exterminator though as they have found a way into the garage via loose soffit, the bastards. The trip was not a waste at all as I replaced my old worn-out weed whacker with a new device.
    We used to have a cat who took care of excess squirrels. We had a succession of three cats and two were hit by cars so now our lovely cat stays inside unless he sneaks out once in a great while.

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  4. David C. said on June 2, 2016 at 5:54 am

    I was concerned for a bit that maybe Trump could give the Etch-a-sketch a shake and act more Presidential, or even more like an adult, and somehow pull this out. Not anymore. The “Let Trump be Trump” faction of his campaign is winning out over the professionals. His spokesmodel is a disaster who goes on TV and says “I can’t speak for Mr. Trump” for pretty much every question. It’s still going to be a sucky next few months though.

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  5. Suzanne said on June 2, 2016 at 6:26 am

    What is amazing to me in all this is how little impact what Trump says has on his followers. They just don’t care what he says or does. He’s telling it like it is!
    The press? It is kinda fun to watch him lump Fox in with all the other evil media but I assume, at some point, they will begin to pander to him for the ratings & money. Maybe they already have.

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  6. Deborah said on June 2, 2016 at 6:30 am

    The Frum piece is quite interesting. I’ve sent it on to a few people.

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 2, 2016 at 7:48 am

    My parents (b. 1934 & 1935 respectively) were here over the weekend staying with us for my son’s high school graduation, and conversations inevitably rolled around in the subject of Trump, and at one point on guns.

    I learned, to my surprise, that my folks have a gun in the house beyond the two Civil War re-enactor muzzle-loaders I knew were there. (Hand them to an intruder, tell them to shoot you, then sit down with an iced tea and enjoy watching them struggle for a while before strolling off to call the police.) My mom said when they finally sold the home place down in mid-state Illinois, one of the things she kept was her dad’s old 12-gauge. It’s in pieces, and she’s not sure we have all of them, in fact, so it’s not a hazard to anyone.

    But she said she kept it because of memories during WWII about rationing. Of everything, of course, gas and tires and sugar and . . . meat. When the meat coupons ran out, he’d take the shotgun with him to work. Did I mention Grandpa was a high school principal at the time? Anyhow, he’d prop it in the corner of his office, and on the way home, take the long way through a walnut grove his family had farmed in years past that he had “rights” to, and would shoot a couple of squirrels. Then there’d be stew for a few days, until the new coupons.

    “I still eat stew carefully,” Mom said. “I can’t help it!” Those bits of shot are heck to bite down on.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on June 2, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Trump got used to the media fawning all over him because very few were asking him tough questions. They seemed so amused by him, and gave him lots of free media while seeming to shake their heads wryly. “Look what the Donald said today, the Donald is giving free helicopter rides, isn’t he funny?” They helped create him, and it seems they’ve finally woken up to behold their Frankenstein.

    That unpleasantness aside, it’s time to go pack because we’re headed off to visit our kids. And the beach!

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  9. beb said on June 2, 2016 at 8:17 am

    No thanks are necessary Nancy, because your sample never came to me.

    Frum is one of those establishment Republicans who are shocked SHOCKED to discover that their party is filled with hateful, racist, grievance-filled members who kind of think Mr. Hitler had some good ideas. Where have they been for the last 35 years. Reagan was a racist and a liar, creating the notion of “welfare queens”. Newt Gingrich was a master of lying who taught a generation how stoke the fire of resentment. G W Bush was a liar, a war-monger, etc. The whole party has been corrupt for decades. Trump merely turned the venom up to eleven.

    You might want to get Wendy tested for rabies.

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  10. alex said on June 2, 2016 at 8:45 am

    To his credit, Trump has managed to outsleaze the sleaziest of politicians. His followers don’t even give a damn what his positions are so long as he validates their prejudices. To vote for him, though, you’d have to be dumber than the people who max out their credit cards to pay $35K for one of his get-rich-quick classes.

    Strange times. Ordinarily you’d expect anyone so scandalous to drop out and skulk away after such revelations. You’d also expect the media to be less fawning and more searing. They’d have us believe Hillary’s e-mails were the crime of the century while Trump’s story is one of great American ingenuity and derring-do.

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  11. BigHank53 said on June 2, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Beb, testing an animal for rabies is a one-time deal, as it involves slicing up the animal’s brain. The virus only lives in nerve cells, and the brain is the only place where there’s enough tissue to test. This is the reason why vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate is the only defense against the disease. We can’t control the reservoir of the virus in the population of wild animals, since any mammal can harbor it–raccoon, skunks, foxes, all the rodents, as well as the traditional bats. (Opossums don’t carry rabies due to their extremely weird biology.) There is, to date, a single known human survivor of the disease.

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  12. BethB from Indiana said on June 2, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Jeff (tmmo), apropos to nothing, your parents are younger than my husband! Kind of shocking because he seems 70ish to my 66, and not 83. He doesn’t act his age either–from yard work to hobbies, he is kind of a dabbler. The only hindrance he has to being even more active is his weight and body shape–with his neat beard, shaved head, and large, hard belly, he resembles Santa Claus.

    About Trump, I may have said this here before, but it bears repeating: My former library aide, a wonderful worker and close friend, but very conservative, and always despairing of my very “salty” language and liberal ways, could have found Trump (or whatever Republican was running) having sex with her then teenage daughter on a library table and still voted for him because he “spoke her language” and wasn’t one of “them,” whoever “them” is.

    Trump could say (and DOES say) any lie and outrageous thing he wants, and some voters won’t care. They will never be swayed! Logic and truth be damned.

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  13. alex said on June 2, 2016 at 9:12 am

    My, my. Indiana Tech Law School announces its first graduating class. Its star pupil? The semi-literate teabagger and local political gadfly who got himself elected to one cringe-inducing term as a school board member. And what’s this? He already had an MBA? Nothing like throwing good money after bad, I guess.

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  14. susan said on June 2, 2016 at 10:01 am

    For all you War of Southern Aggression/War of Treason in Defense of Slavery/War Between the States fans, here is the museum for you!

    “We just don’t make clay people as well as cats,” Rebecca says.

    But they sure make good horses. Better than cats. But then, that would look just plain weird to have thousands of horses making battle and dying in tents.

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  15. MichaelG said on June 2, 2016 at 10:44 am

    There’s only one reason that I can think of for Trump to be campaigning here in California. That’s to fuck Hillary up in next Tuesday’s election and help Bernie Nader. Poor Hillary is fighting a two front war against a couple of assholes while not running the smartest campaign in history. She’s been screwing around in Jersey for the last week instead of campaigning here. Suddenly, her pants on fire, she’s dropping Jersey to hurry out here to get her oar in. She needs a campaign manager. Tuesday can’t come soon enough.

    If Bernie Nader were to win the nomination or run as the VP nominee, he would be inundated by a tsunami of shit the likes of which nobody has ever seen. So far the Rs have barely acknowledged that he exists and haven’t said a bad word about him.

    The California State Attorney General, a woman named Kamala Harris, is running for Barbara Boxer’s senate seat. Ms. Harris is the front runner. I just saw a TV ad which prominently features Elizabeth Warren endorsing her. Has Bernie Nader ever endorsed anybody?

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  16. adrianne said on June 2, 2016 at 10:52 am

    My fave columnist, Gail Collins of the New York Times, nails Trump better than I’ve seen anyone else do today. The killer line: “This appears to be one of the most tightfisted billionaires since Scrooge McDuck.”

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  17. Julie Robinson said on June 2, 2016 at 11:07 am

    A question for the frequent flyers in the room: our boarding passes say TSA Pre-Check, but we never signed up for that program. Do they choose people for it anyway?

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  18. Jakash said on June 2, 2016 at 11:19 am

    One might hope that Bernie would realize that, when both of the certified liberal Brown bros, Sherrod and Jerry, have seen fit to endorse Hillary, either it might not be the right time to be ranting on and on about the “revolution” to her detriment, or Bernie ain’t the one to be leading it.

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  19. Jolene said on June 2, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Sanders has endorsed a few people, MichaelG. This article is a couple of months old, so there may be more since then. But Sanders’s disrespect for the Democratic Party, all while wishing to “transform” it, is just one of the reasons he doesn’t deserve to be hanging around screwing up the California primary.

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  20. Dorothy said on June 2, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Julie that happened to us when we went to Puerto Rico in February – a pleasant surprise!

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  21. Icarus said on June 2, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Careful Nancy. Look at how much shame-rage the mom of that kid who fell in the Cincinnati Zoo is getting over the dead gorilla. You let your dog kill an innocent squirrel? Get ready.

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  22. brian stouder said on June 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Frum makes the point that even if Trump is flattened in November, the damage is done. A presidential candidate has boasted about his penis on a national stage (in Detroit! Hometown represent!).

    Awww hell – as far as I know, JFK didn’t yap about how big his Mr Happy was; he was too busy executing!

    (front of mind, as I heard on the news that Marilyn Monroe would have been 90 yesterday)

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  23. Sherri said on June 2, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Sanders has also endorsed Tim Canova, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ opponent, though I don’t know if he’s directed any money his way.

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  24. Jeff Borden said on June 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I’m with Beb. It’s beyond disingenuous for people like David Frum to be surprised by the emergence of Il Douche. The GOP began courting racists and playing to white resentment in 1968, when Nixon’s “Southern strategy” set out to corral all the people pissed off at LBJ and the Dems for passing civil rights legislation. Reagan launched his campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., where three Freedom Riders were murdered by the KKK in 1964, and as noted, helped popularize the image of the Cadillac-driving welfare queen. Anyone remember the Willie Horton adds the more “honorable”of the two Bushes ran in 1988? The party is chockablock with dog whistlers and outright race baiters and always has been. Limbaugh and Fox News and the other conservative “news” sites demonize and stereotype minorities with “oooga boooga” bullshit. I mean, with all due respect, fuck David Frum.

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  25. MichaelG said on June 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks for the info, Jolene. I did notice that the three named women endorsed him first. Certainly no quid pro quo there. Sherri, I was aware of the Canova “endorsement”. I just saw it as not so much an endorsement of Canova as a disendorsement of Schultz.

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  26. Sherri said on June 2, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Reading this Sanders interview from Rolling Stone, something that occurs to me is that both Sanders and Trump think the job of President is mostly about using the bully pulpit, though Trump puts the emphasis on bully and Sanders puts the emphasis on pulpit. They think those rallies they have mean that they’ll be able to get what they want done, because, look, all these shouty people love what they’re saying.

    And I don’t know why he thinks the white working class is going to start voting because of economics when they haven’t for decades. They didn’t leave the Democrats because the Democrats had stopped supporting the economic issues of the white working class, they left the Democrats because the Democrats had started supporting the issues of blacks and women, too.

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  27. Deborah said on June 2, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Julie, they give out TSA pre randomly, sometimes I get it sometimes I don’t. Someone here said if you’re over a certain age you tend to get it more often than not. On the 14th I go in for my interview to get my TSA pre number so I can get it all the time (mostly all the time anyway).

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  28. Suzanne said on June 2, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I’ve gotten TSA pre-checked fairly often the past few years. It’s nice! I’m sure it’s because I’m a slightly pudgy middle-aged white woman. Last time I flew, one airport didn’t have a pre-check line, so even though I was pre-checked, I had to go through the line like everybody else.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on June 2, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Oh Suzanne, you just described me! I thought you had to sign up and pay for the Pre-Check program. We only fly three times a year, and the Orlando-Sanford airport doesn’t offer it, so we’d pay the $$ only for the Fort Wayne airport. But I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes here. Nevertheless, we are going early, because we’re middle-aged and we don’t live on the edge.

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  30. adrianne said on June 2, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Jeff, you are absolutely right. The Repubs are reaping what they’ve sown so many years ago, when they decided it was just great to have racists in their party. Here’s my take on this year’s GOP presidential travesty: You break it, you bought it. Have fun with the Trumpster as your nominee!

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  31. Sue said on June 2, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    “It’s not the press’ job to discover the truth or ask questions or hold the powerful accountable”
    Watching Scott Walker head out to the national stage and think he could get away with what he gets away with in WI was one of the few pleasures I’ve had on the political front in the last several years. What kind of idiot thinks you can run for president and refuse to answer questions: (Besides Trump), the kind of idiot who has been enabled by a supportive press for years.
    I have noticed a bit of an uptick in actual reporting on Scott’s crap lately. Not a lot and not a lot of followup either, but I’ll take what I can get.

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  32. Dexter said on June 2, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Jmmo: Once at factory lunch I bought a sloppy joe from the food machine and nuked it…and bit down into buckshot and broke a tooth. My dentist thought I was joshing him when I told him how I had caused harm to the tooth. I had saved the buckshot and when the food rep came to check the machines I accosted him and demanded to know what kind of meat was in the sloppy joe recipe that would contain buckshot. He never missed a beat and said “Helifino…I suppose they just threw some road kill and something someone had shot and didn’t want in their freezer anymore.”
    I was stunned and flabbergasted, and never said a word, for that was the greatest honest response I could have ever hoped for. And I never ate another machine sandwich ever ever ever. Never. Uh-uh. No way. Jose.

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  33. brian stouder said on June 2, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    My sister-in-law has a story (corroborated by my mother-in-law and wife!) about getting food from the drive-up window – and finding a fingernail in the burger…!

    And the kicker is, she pulled it off and pitched it, and consumed the burger…!!

    Speaking of drive-up windows (which I dislike intensely, and never use except when I get bullied into it, btw), years and years ago my lovely wife (before she ever knew me) had her soda-pop spilled all over her, by the window person, who then promptly closed her window!

    A moment later, the window person opened her window and tossed a few napkins at Pam, and then immediately closed the window again..!!!

    Pam promptly parked, and went in to speak to those people. (and THAT must have been a sight to see!)

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  34. Julie Robinson said on June 2, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Loved going through Precheck.Hubby said it’s probably because our flying pattern is so consistent. So boring and predictable paid off for once.

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  35. Deborah said on June 2, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    My favorite part about TSA pre is that you don’t have to take off your shoes.

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  36. adrianne said on June 2, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Hurrah for Hillary! She delivered a shot right to the Donald’s balls. And then ground in her heel. My favorite line: “I don’t understand Donald’s bizarre fascination with dictators and strong men who have no love for America,” Mrs. Clinton said, pointing to the praise for Mr. Trump from President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and the North Korean government of Kim Jong-un. “I will leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants.”

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  37. Heather said on June 2, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Nobody’s commented on tronc yet??

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  38. Sherri said on June 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    That was the speech of a woman who’s tired of having to hold back during the primary, and is ready to take it out on Donald. “There’s no risk of people losing their lives if you blow up a golf course deal. But it doesn’t work like that in world affairs.”

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  39. Suzanne said on June 2, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    And Paul Ryan has caved, as I knew he would.

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  40. Sherri said on June 2, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    tronc sounds like an all caps twitter account.




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  41. Deborah said on June 2, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    What a horrible name, TRONC? What are they thinking? There are companies out there that help corporations come up with names, wow did they come up with a clinker. Even if you don’t know what the corporation does, the name is so off-putting, to me anyway. But what do I know?

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  42. MichaelG said on June 2, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Tribune Publishing Announces Corporate Rebranding, Changes Name to TRONC

    Rebranding with Content Curation and Visualization Focus

    I opened Heather’s link and this is as far as I got.

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  43. MichaelG said on June 2, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    I think I’ll spend Saturday curating my car.

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  44. basset said on June 2, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    “content curation and monetization”?

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  45. Heather said on June 2, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Tronc! The Musical

    got tronc?

    Gin and tronc

    Only in late-stage capitalism could you write this unironically about a former newspaper: “a content curation and monetization company.”

    Also “tronc” is an actual word in the dictionary with a definition: a way to pool and share tips. Which is how the company will pay its writers!

    OK, now you all are up to date on my recent tweets.

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  46. Jakash said on June 2, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Swell tweets, Heather! I don’t think there’s enough gin in the world to get the tronc to go down easily, though.

    You’ve contributed the latest in the ever-expanding list of things going on this year that have me quadruple-checking “This isn’t from The Onion?”

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