The end of a long week.

Ugh, what a week. Busy and brutal in equal measure, with a dose of boredom thrown in. A killer combination. But in the middle, there was this:

Strawberry Moon Paddle #belleisle #detroitriver #detroitoutpost #kayakmichigan

A photo posted by Detroit Outpost (@detroitoutpost) on

That’s me! A bright spot in the week, watching the sun set and the moon rise, on a two-hour tour. A two-hour tooouuuur. We saw a whole bunch of geese on a seawall:


And of course I took a selfie. It was pretty dark by this point, so hence the baseball-size grain-that-isn’t-grain, but here you go:


The Detroit River is beautiful, day and night.

I hope by this weekend I feel more or less normal again. We’ll see. In the meantime, a question for the room. How long has Scott Adams been such a twit? Of course you should always be suspicious of an opinion based on the anecdote of a commercial for dishwasher detergent, but what the hell?

I came across Adams the way everyone did, via “Dilbert,” which was hilarious and got to the essential truth of corporate employment years ahead of “The Office.” But as so often happens, you need to separate the art from the artist, because in this case the artist is spending his non-Dilberting time writing these weird blog posts about Donald Trump and men’s rights. It’s like when you discovered Miles Davis was a wife-beater.

Jesus, am I tired. Best wrap this up.

Since I started taking better care of myself, people will occasionally offer some helpful advice. Try blue-green algae, say, or take a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar every day, or whatever. I smile, I nod, and I keep doing what works: Exercise. For sure:

Although we don’t think of it this way, you can make a pretty good argument that exercise is as good as drugs for many conditions. A 2013 meta-analysis of meta-analyses (that’s how much data we have) combined and analyzed the results from 16 reviews of randomized controlled trials of drug and exercise interventions in reducing mortality. Collectively, these included 305 trials with almost 340,000 participants.

Finally, we missed much of fish fly season here in Grosse Pointe. But as you can see from this photo taken night before last, it’s still going on.

Talk soon.

Posted at 12:06 am in Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

88 responses to “The end of a long week.”

  1. Sherri said on June 24, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Scott Adams has been a twit for a long time. Back before the days of blogs, he had a newsletter, and I subscribed to it for a while, because hey, Dilbert was funny, right? Over time, I realized that Dogbert was actually Adams’ alter ego, and I stopped subscribing. Then he started blogging, and about 2011, his MRA side really took off.

    Meanwhile, the UK (or at least England) has voted to take its toys and go home, and the pound is now at its lowest point since 1985. As I read somewhere, now we’ve had a chance to feel what it’s like for the rest of the world when we vote for President.

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  2. Jakash said on June 24, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Beam me outta here, Scotty…

    “Unless I’m blinded by confirmation bias…” Uh, he nailed it, right off the bat. Coulda just stopped there. “You can criticize Donald Trump on many dimensions.” Well, that’s one way to put it. Not a very eloquent one. “That sense of humiliation might be more imagined than real” As a married man seduced by our proprietress into reading his blog, I’ve been given no v-neck sweaters, but can’t imagine being so brutally emasculated if I had a collection. Pretty, pretty, pretty sure that the “sense of humiliation” IS imagined and that the distinction is VERY important.

    But I’m afraid I have no idea how long he’s been such a twit, tool or sweater-phobe, alas. I’m more than willing to take Sherri’s word for it, though!

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  3. Jerry said on June 24, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Here in England I’m feeling totally gobsmacked that the UK has voted to leave the EU. I had thought it would be Remain by a slim margin; what a shock this morning to wake to this result.

    I feel very depressed about the future, especially for our children who I fear will suffer the results for much of their lifetimes. And now Cameron will stand down at some point and God alone knows who will replace him. Please not Boris Johnson. And the far right across Europe will be taking heart and calling for their own referenda with the prospect of the EU collapsing.

    The sun is shining for a change but it isn’t making me very cheerful this morning.

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  4. Sherri said on June 24, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Jerry, I fear the same things you do, and I can only hope that our fears are overstated. I’m still cautiously optimistic that we here in the US won’t contribute to the destabilization by electing Trump, but watching Remain go down didn’t make me feel better about that.

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  5. Dexter said on June 24, 2016 at 3:49 am

    Jerry: Well by golly that didn’t take long.
    “Breaking news: David Cameron will resign as prime minister following UK vote to leave EU.”

    Michael Wilkinson, Political Correspondent

    24 June 2016 • 8:45am

    Britain votes to leave the European Union
    David Cameron resigns as Prime Minister
    Who will be our next Prime Minister?
    What happens now Brexit is a reality
    Pound crashes to 1985 low as sterling falls below $1.35
    EU referendum full results and live maps

    David Cameron has resigned as Prime Minister after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

    With the Leave campaign securing 52 per cent of the vote, Mr Cameron addressed the nation in an emotional speech outside 10 Downing Street to announce that he would be stepping down.

    While England voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed Remain. Statements are expected to be made by Sinn Fein and the SNP later today calling for a breakaway from the Union. London backed Remain but the turnout was lower than expected because of bad weather.

    Meanwhile on the market, the FTSE 250 index has plunged a whopping 11.7pc. The index of so-called mid-cap companies had dropped an astonishing 2,017 points to 15,309 in the first few minutes of trading. TEXT—FROM LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH BREAKING NEWS

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  6. Nancy P said on June 24, 2016 at 4:09 am

    I think it happened when Scott Adams got divorced aground 2013. His writing really soured after that.

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  7. Hattie said on June 24, 2016 at 4:44 am

    I watched the live BBC feed and saw Cameron’s resignation speech. I’m worried. If I were in England I would be desperate and trying to figure a way to get the hell out of the country.

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  8. jerry said on June 24, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Hattie, believe me you aren’t the only one. Heaven knows what will happen now. I guess its going to be “keep muddling through”. Just glad I’m not in the Foreign Office. I assume they have contingency plans but even so they will be due for a major workload over the coming years.

    Trump is in Scotland involved with his golf course at Turnbury and has taken the opportunity to say that Brexit is a great thing. God help us all.

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 24, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I had offhandedly made a comment about Adams a few weeks ago, and it was Sherri’s comment in response that made me realize I’d really just dipped in and out of his blog for years — and going back, I saw he’d started sounding extremely . . . odd about 2014 or so, which supports the divorce argument. He’s gotten downright disturbing, especially with his recent regular reminders that he’s endorsed Hillary “for his personal safety.” Sheeesh. Hat tip, Sherri.

    Brexit has opened up Pandora’s Box, and I’m wondering how many devils will come flying out before we get to Hope.

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  10. adrianne said on June 24, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Scott Adams the person is a real asshole, but I can still appreciate Scott Adams the cartoonist. I try to separate the artist from the annoying personalities as much as possible.

    Interesting results from the Brexit vote, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world as we know it. As the Brits once said, Stay calm and carry on. It will resolve itself. Meanwhile, independent Scotland!

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 24, 2016 at 7:38 am

    First Roger Stone, now Corey Lewandowski — does anyone actually think they’ve left the Trump campaign? And we hit our hotel room in time for me to hear Erin Burnett struggle how to interview a now fellow employee of CNN as the hostile witness she has to know he is:

    Ethically, this “ghost campaigner” thing is getting really ugly. IMHO.

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  12. Deborah said on June 24, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I for one never heard of Scott Adams until he showed up in these comments a few weeks ago. Sure, I’d heard of Dilbert, vaguely, not a fan, just neutral. What in the world is going on with white men? Not all of course, but some. Weird.

    I wish I knew more about Brexit. I’ve been preoccupied with politics here I guess.

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  13. Julie Robinson said on June 24, 2016 at 8:17 am

    And just last night I was assuring the hubster that we wouldn’t have to hear that tired term, Brexit, again after today. I also thought Jeb Bush would be the Republican presidential candidate.

    But hey, my bad predictions didn’t cost me a job, like they did David Cameron. Why did he push for this vote in the first place? It was supremely bad judgment.

    Voters who thought they could turn back the clock by voting to leave showed equally bad judgment. The British Empire is gone; we live in a global society now. The UK needs free trade with the rest of the EU, and that’ll be the first to go.

    Will the whole EU fall apart now? I fear so, however, I’m done making predictions.

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  14. ROGirl said on June 24, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Many years ago,when I started working in the corporate world, Dilbert was amusing and even rang true. But when the recession hit and things changed drastically, Dilbert continued as before, ignoring the elephant in the room. It could have reflected how the stupidity of the characters caused people to lose their jobs and companies to go out of business, and used it for social commentary and humor, but instead it just became irrelevant.

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  15. Danny said on June 24, 2016 at 9:00 am

    We must brace ourselves for the next inevitable shoe to drop: TEXit, where Texans vote to leave the USA.

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  16. john (not mccain) said on June 24, 2016 at 9:21 am

    “What in the world is going on with white men?”

    They are finding out what it’s like to not have the world respect their obvious, natural, god-ordained authority. It’s the wailing and gnashing of teeth I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear.

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  17. Peter said on June 24, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Danny, don’t give me false hope!

    It shows how my expectations have been lowered, but I was surprised that Trumpolini didn’t take credit for Brexit, but only praised the dim wit Brits for doing it.

    I don’t think the EU will fall apart – it’ll be more of a “good riddance to white trash” kind of divorce.

    What worries me is November – you just had a more tolerant and knowledgeable voter base, deciding on an issue that three major political parties, most businessmen, and the mainstream media thought was an easy choice, and look what happened.

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  18. Heather said on June 24, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I got in an argument with some conservatives on Facebook (I KNOW, I KNOW) about the causes of Chicago gun violence (they say it’s that scourge of society, single moms). I made some points about how their views were somewhat limited by white privilege, and then they started really condescending and asking me to provide some examples of it, specifically white male privilege. Um, look around? And by the way the reason that there aren’t more women CEOs etc is because women are biologically wired for a husband, kids, and security. And then there was a comment about vaccines. At that point I backed away slowly. When will I learn–you can’t argue with crazy people.

    Nancy, I love the kayaking shots. I started kayaking last year–took a course over three Saturdays on Lake Michigan. Might go out there for a couple hours today or tomorrow. There are a bunch of rental places on the lakefront. I thought about getting my own, but just the logistics of unloading it and carrying it by myself–nope.

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on June 24, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Adams lost me for good when he went on that insane rant about how terrorists blow thinks up because they don’t get enough pussy. Which he calls “access to sex,” as though women’s bodies were some sort of natural resource, like lake water.

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  20. brian stouder said on June 24, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I’m finding the turn of events lately to be like the first gust of wind, as a summer storm approaches.

    Trump’s rise was darkly humorous, until he won the nomination…and now Europe seems to be plunging right into 1939 (and this time, Germany gets everything it wanted then [continental domination] only without a fight!)

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  21. Peter said on June 24, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Bitter, I want to be very careful of this comment, because I agree with you, but I did feel that there would be far fewer terrorists if they had access to more stable relationships.

    Then again, the last two crazies were married and grew up in the U.S., so what do I know.

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  22. Bitter Scribe said on June 24, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Peter, you’re probably right, but there would also be fewer terrorists if they had access to more stable employment. Yet Adams and his fellow MRAs don’t go around implicitly (or explicitly) blaming the business community for terrorism.

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  23. nancy said on June 24, 2016 at 11:02 am

    They sure as hell don’t. Most of them are strict Darwinists in every other respect, but for “beta” males, the implication is always that if only more women would fuck those guys, they wouldn’t feel the need to take up arms. (They, of course, are all alphas. Every one.)

    I believe in evolutionary biology, but scratch an evolutionary psychologist and you’ll find a racist asshole, every time.

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  24. Sue said on June 24, 2016 at 11:10 am

    You’re right, Scott Adams is a twit. But I hate – with a passion – ‘men are idiots’ commercials. I have been known to shout ‘bitch!’ at the TV sometimes at the condescending/contemptuous/disrespectful female in whatever scenario is being used to sell a product.
    We’ve pretty much gotten past the ‘ring around the collar’ commercials, why are commercials that depict men as deserving of their wives/girlfriends/children’s contempt still so acceptable?
    Rant over.
    Sorry about Brexit, Jerry, I wish you well.

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  25. Mark P said on June 24, 2016 at 11:17 am

    I used to like Dilbert until I started seeing more shoulder chip mixed in with the socio-corporate satire. It got old very quickly. And, as others have noted, it’s not men who are being humiliated, it’s old, white men. And they’re not being humiliated, they’re just seeing that there are a lot of not-old, not-white men (and women) around these days, and they fear the future. It’s not as if old, white men don’t still run the country; they do. They’re like the people who claim that Christians are persecuted in this country. As if the entire Republican Party weren’t composed entirely (or almost entirely) of old, white, “Christians.” And even Democrats have to at least pretend to be religious, if they happen not to be.

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  26. Sherri said on June 24, 2016 at 11:43 am

    I read something a few weeks ago that crystallized the Angry White Male thing we’re seeing so much of: Equality feels like oppression to those used to privilege.

    Scott Adams’ MRA writings showed up at least as early as 2011. He blogged about men’s rights, got a lot of negative attention, went on several other websites under a pseudonym to defend the post, then deleted the post, and wrote another post claiming it was all a joke. You can read his latter post (which mentions his comments on other sites, but not that he was doing so as a sockpuppet):

    Maybe he was having problems in his marriage by then, but it had been clear much earlier to me from his writing that he was one of those guys who thought he was the smartest guy in the room, and for me, that act wears thin fairly quickly.

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  27. Sherri said on June 24, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I do worry that the EU will fall apart. It already felt tenuous because of the problems caused by having a common currency; it wasn’t a sure thing at all that Greece wouldn’t leave earlier because of the economic pressures. The Dutch and French far right are calling for referenda now.

    While the UK always had a bit of a standoffish relationship with the EU, along with Germany and France, they were sort of the pillars of the EU, the stable powers. Now, one of those pillars has been knocked down, and I think much depends on how the exit process proceeds as to whether the EU can survive.

    It also seems inevitable that Scotland will want to try to leave the UK again, because Scotland overwhelmingly wanted to stay in the EU.

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  28. Joe K said on June 24, 2016 at 11:55 am

    When the world is going to hell, I just read pearls before swine, cracks me up every day. Rat seems to channel me and I Love Larry the crock.
    Pilot Joe

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  29. Jenine said on June 24, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    This resonated for me, via, an excerpt from a Financial Times commenter that sums up fears for the UK post-Brexit:

    A quick note on the first three tragedies. Firstly it was the working classes who voted for us to leave because they were economically disregarded and it is they who will suffer the most in the short term from the dearth of jobs and investment. They have merely swapped one distant and unreachable elite for another one. Secondly, the younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries. We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages, and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles, and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors. Thirdly and perhaps most significantly, we now live in a post-factual democracy. When the facts met the myths they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in a HG Well novel. When Michael Gove said ‘the British people are sick of experts’ he was right. But can anybody tell me the last time a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism has lead to anything other than bigotry?

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  30. Charlotte said on June 24, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I really noticed the exercise thing during the 4 months I was laid up with the ankle injury — I’m only now really able to get my morning and evening dog walks in (about 2.5 miles each). I’m hardly a hardbody — but without that morning and evening walk along the swampy creekbottom filled with birds I was a crazy person.

    As for Brexit — personally I’d like to see the EU, the IMF and most of the huge transnational trade agreements broken up — which would in turn, reduce some of the power of the huge multinational corporations. This is what you get after 40 years of anti-democratic technocrats destroying the working class, demonizing the poor and then punishing them with austerity policies, all while they rig the system to get rich off markets they’ve turned into casinos. If they hadn’t been such greedy condescending bastards, they might not have been given the finger quite so voiciferously. And the Democrats better pay attention — Hillary’s campaign keeps veering away from real policies addressing economic inequality (because like the Chinese, that sector of the Democratic party decided that to “get rich is glorious”). If she runs on business as usual, I fear we could wind up with a President Trump.

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  31. Jakash said on June 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    “London backed Remain but the turnout was lower than expected because of bad weather.”

    “Let’s see, should I pick up an umbrella to stop Armageddon? Eh, why bother, guvnor?” Bollocks!

    “What worries me is November”

    Here’s hoping that it doesn’t rain in Cleveland, Columbus or Miami on election day…

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  32. Sherri said on June 24, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    The EU is very different from agreements like NAFTA and the WTO, because the latter allow free flow of capital but not free flow of labor, putting labor at a big disadvantage. The EU allowed free flow of labor as well as capital, which balances things much better. The euro is the big problem with the EU, because a monetary union without a fiscal union to smooth out the differences is a problem. If we didn’t have the federal government here to move tax money from New York to Mississippi and the Federal Reserve and Congress setting the same policy for both, then New York would probably be imposing austerity on Mississippi before bailing them out.

    The working class may be hurt by austerity policies, but they’re the first to vote for them, because the alternative always sounds like lazy people are getting something they don’t deserve. I hate austerity, think it’s terrible and makes things worse, but the right wing wins a lot of votes by pushing racism and austerity as a package deal.

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  33. brian stouder said on June 24, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Sherri, an excellent post.

    Any society of human beings seem to spend an inordinate amount of time deciding who are the ‘mudsills’, and/or elbowing various groups to assure that – whoever the mudsills are, it ain’t ‘people like me’!

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  34. Sue said on June 24, 2016 at 2:05 pm


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  35. alex said on June 24, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Jakash at 31:

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  36. susan said on June 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    a Brexit breakfast, on the right

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  37. brian stouder said on June 24, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Sub-headline, on the main-page at Fox News:

    ‘CAUSED IT TO FAIL’: Trump touts ‘Brexit,’ pins outcome on Obama meddling

    Isn’t that classic? Trump is hitting an apex in his ignorant incoherence.

    the lead –

    Britain’s stunning vote to leave the European Union sent shockwaves across the American political landscape Friday, with Donald Trump cheering the decision to “take their country back” and linking the campaign to his own populist bid – as U.S. officials tried to offer assurances the U.S.-U.K. alliance will endure the global turmoil wrought by the vote.

    read the article twice, and it quite simply makes no sense, at all.

    And indeed – it has to be an existential joke from a Higher Power that the up-and-coming British politician, who may well be their next PM, looks like Donald Trump’s love-child

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  38. Dexter said on June 24, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    TEXit, as Danny mentions here, is being discussed by comics and others who love to predict what a secession would mean. Other than saying Ted Cruz would be president of a sovereign Texas, every other change would probably be mundane, or am I missing something?

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  39. brian stouder said on June 24, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Well, other than what happened the last time a state or states (including Texas) decided unilateral secession (and seizure of Federal property, such as Fort Sumter) was a good idea…

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  40. Scout said on June 24, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Well, if they’re for it…

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  41. susan said on June 24, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Dexter @38 – Atrios has a sample conversation between Uncle Sam and Texit people:

    When Texas Secedes

    The conversation with Uncle Sam will be something like:

    You aren’t going to close your military bases, are you? Well, yes.
    You aren’t going to close the borders and enact border checks, are you? Well, yes.
    You aren’t going to require visas for Texan patriots to visit the US, are you? Quite possibly.
    You aren’t going to end all of those transfer payments you make? Hell yes.
    What about the Social Security owed to our residents? Interesting question, isn’t it.
    There aren’t going to be tariffs between our nations, are there? Everything is negotiable.
    My child just married an American. Will he be able to live in the US? That’s complicated…


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  42. susan said on June 24, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    ackkk. Preview fail….

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  43. Julie Robinson said on June 24, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    The bad weather excuse doesn’t fly with me. They are constantly having bad weather. Go to London, and everyone is carrying an umbrella.

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  44. Judybusy said on June 24, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Whenever I hear people say Texas and other such-like states should secede (either by silly conservatives or as a joke by liberals) I think of all the very vulnerable people there who deal with poverty and various disabilities who at least have a tiny shred of protection with medical assistance, SSDI, etc. I would not want our Maggie Jochild living in a country called Texas! It’s bad enough as it is.

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  45. Peter said on June 24, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t know – if Texas secedes, would Trumpoleon move the wall to keep Texas out? Would those oil barons pay for it?

    You have to have a wall to keep them Mexicans out – it won’t do no good if they can just swim into Texas and then hoof their way to ‘Merica.

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  46. Mark P. said on June 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Some days I wouldn’t mind of the old Confederacy seceded, as long as people who didn’t want to stay could be assured of federal help moving to civilization.

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  47. Sherri said on June 24, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I’m not sure I can even guess what’s going to happen yet, but my best guess is that capital is going to start exiting the UK even before exit from the EU happens (and indeed, that’s why the pound dropped like a rock.) The City of London is one of the big financial centers of the world, but there’s nothing magical about that. It seems certain that there will be restrictions on labor moving in and out of the UK, since that’s why the UK voted leave, but capital will still move, and workers will likely be worse off than now. (Note: I am not an economist, I just read a lot on a lot of different topics. I probably have an oversimplified view of things.)

    The other thing that is likely is a brain drain. The EU is currently funding a significant fraction of research in the UK; as much as a quarter to a third in some fields. That’s a significant blow, not only to the current crop of researchers, but to any future researchers, who will likely look to go somewhere else. When you turn inward, the people who look outward go elsewhere.

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  48. Danny said on June 24, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Too funny. When I posted this morning, I had not read about anyone discussing TEXit anywhere. I should have put a TM mark after it.

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  49. MichaelG said on June 24, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Well that’s one of the things, Sherri. Free movement of labor (labour?) throughout the EU has been one of its successes. Now that’s a question. Will Brits be able to work elsewhere? There are a couple of million Europeans in the UK. Will they be kicked out?

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  50. Jakash said on June 24, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    “Scotland hates both Brexit and you, you mangled apricot hellbeast.” One of the milder tweets responding to Rumplethinskin’s celebrating the vote upon arriving there today. A selection of others:

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  51. Charlotte said on June 24, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Here’s the best thing I read all day on the leftist take on Brexit (many of the comments are also really worth reading, although there’s an unfortunate outbreak of Hillary-will-start-nuclear-war. Just skip that bit.)

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  52. Dexter said on June 24, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Welcome to Scotland, Mister Trump

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  53. Sue said on June 24, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I have been doing some serious thinking about this Brexit thing, and it’s going to be bad. England has chosen to go back to the old days, which means that treaties and agreements will be princess-based. Obviously, the only way to seal a deal with another country is to marry off a princess to someone. I’m sure England’s princesses will understand that going back to the days of hemophilia and oddly-shaped jawlines is a small price to pay for the Empire’s security, right? Soon Europe is spiderwebbed with princess treaties and genetic errors.
    Until Princess Beatrice shows up at her new country wearing one of her toilet-seat hats, the locals take it wrong, and before you can say “Hail Freedonia”, diplomats all over Europe are doing variations of the fish slap dance, the US is saying ‘nuh-uh, keep us out of it’, and we’re barreling toward WWIII.
    I’m kinda nervous about this, I have to say.

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  54. Sherri said on June 24, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve been reading Yves Smith and naked capitalism off and on ever since the sub prime collapse, and while I often find the site interesting, I don’t really agree with the take that Brexit is a message to technocratic elites to fuck off. I think a group of leftist elites always want to paint populist uprisings as economic, but I’m of the camp that tends to believe that race is a better explainer. It’s a funny thing that it’s only when white people pitch a populist fit that economics is seen as the message being sent.

    I don’t know enough about politics and tax structure and capital/labor tradeoffs in the UK to speak intelligently about how inequality effects things there, or even how big a problem inequality is. The more I read and think and study our inequality problem here, though, the more convinced I become that our problem is not so much about trade deals and Citizens United, it’s about taxes. We aren’t taxing the upper ends of the income scale nearly enough, and not only are we treating wage income differently than investment income (to no good purpose), we’re not even talking about undoing Bush’s capital gains tax cut. We give companies tax advantages for debt, which enables private equity funds to leverage up to buy companies, strip their assets, borrow money to pay back investors, then dump the companies (while the funds manager uses the carried interest loophole to only pay capital gains taxes on his fees.) That tax preference for debt also enables corporations to stash profits overseas to avoid taxes and borrow money against those profits.

    Yes, we need better protections for workers in trade deals. Yes, I have big problems with TPP (the copyright portions in there are terrible.) Yes, it needs to be easier to unionize. But instead of trying to control what people do with their money, let’s just keep the 1% from accumulating quite so much of it.

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  55. Dexter said on June 25, 2016 at 2:15 am

    Shifting gears, Sherri, I feel bad for Paul Manziel as he has again cried out to the media of his concern for his famous turned infamous son, Johnny Football (finally, no one is calling him that anymore). Yahoo News and I suppose other outlets have posted Paul calling his son a “druggie”, reiterating Paul’s fear his son will not make it to see another birthday. And some party boys and girls check out early. It sort of seems now the football career is gone and the concern is just keeping Johnny away from that last hotshot.

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  56. Sherri said on June 25, 2016 at 2:41 am

    My sympathy for Paul Manziel is somewhat tempered by the degree to which he not just enabled his son’s addictions, but tried to use his son’s fame for himself.

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  57. Deborah said on June 25, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Reading about the Manziel family, I find them repulsive in almost every way. What a bunch of assholes, and they wonder why their kid is such an A number one asshole. Typical.

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  58. Charlotte said on June 25, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Sherri — I agree with you. While I applaud anyone getting out of the Euro at this point because what the Germans have done with the management (as you noted earlier, imposing austerity on Mississippi) — this does seem to be a nakedly xenophobic vote. But what do the technocratic elites expect? Forty years of rigging the system (tax-wise in the US) and telling the working class to essentially fuck off and die — at some point people are going to strike back. I’m seeing it here in Livingston — there’s a sizeable Trump faction here (and we’re one of the Union Dem towns) — but when the folks next door to me are running a gas generator because their electricity has been turned off, in part because there are no jobs that pay more than 10 bucks an hour … when their parents, who had the same levels of non-education could make a decent living in the railroad shops (now gone) — and we’ve got a rent crisis in town because all the cheap little houses have been snapped up for AirBnB rentals … well, its all a simmering mess. And the elites, both here and in the UK (and as much as I want her to win, Hillary has a real blind spot here) have just written all these people off. So of course they’re going to vote to do the most damage they can …

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  59. Sherri said on June 25, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Charlotte, I agree with you about what the Germans have done to Greece, and I agree about the terrible mess of austerity in Europe and the UK. Where we disagree is that there is ever enough to go around for the working class to ever not react in xenophobic ways. No matter how good the economy is, no matter how strong worker protections are, the white working class has never shown anything but hostility to non whites. The postwar economy of the US of the 50s and 60s was the envy of the ages, yet unions resisted letting blacks in, FHA loans were for white people not black people, and Jim Crow was as strong as ever. The white working class drained away from the Democrats in the 70s not over economics, but over race (and to some extent culture – women’s rights, anti-war protestors).

    I disagree that Hillary has a blind spot about the working class. Most of the working class supports Hillary very strongly. It’s the white working class that doesn’t. We can’t keep talking about the working class as if they’re a monolithic entity anymore, because the white working class is different than the black and brown working class. The media still covers elections to a large degree as if white males are the default voter, and it’s just not true any more.

    I agree, the white working class is suffering, but they’ve also been a key demographic in destroying the safety net that would be helping them now because they didn’t want any of their hard-earned money going to those people. I don’t want to punish them for those choices, but at the same time, as I’m a Democrat, I’m not going to put their needs ahead of the needs of the members of the coalition I’ve got to maybe lure them back, especially since they’re still as xenophobic as ever and expect to be in charge of the coalition, not in cooperation with the coalition of women and people of color.

    So, I guess I disagree as to who has written off whom. The white working class aligned themselves with a set of extreme free-market conservative technocratic elites here in the US (the freshwater economists, in Paul Krugman’s terms), and for some reason, the far left is now trying to blame the Democrats and the saltwater economists for that.

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  60. Jakash said on June 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I can’t come close to matching your erudition and broad-based knowledge of issues, Sherri, but this is the second time I’ve noticed you saying something like: “The white working class drained away from the Democrats in the 70s not over economics, but over race (and to some extent culture – women’s rights, anti-war protestors).” and this time I feel compelled to respond. My dad was a white, blue-collar, so-called “Reagan Democrat.” I, personally, couldn’t believe he was going over to the R side in those elections, and argued about it at the time and have never really gotten over it, alas. But I can assure you that he was more concerned with the 14% inflation rate in 1980 and the economic problems of the ’70s than with the other issues you mention. There were plenty of reasons that folks voted for Reagan, and I don’t doubt that many voters were in line with your characterization, but many were not.

    I agree with you about Hillary, though. What’s she supposed to magically do for the people of Livingston — start a railroad? Outlaw AirBnBs?

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  61. Sherri said on June 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Jakash, fair enough. My view will always be colored by my experience growing up in the south, and seeing first hand the flipping of the South from Dem to Republican. But it is true enough that unions were very often hostile to blacks even during the post war economic boom, and that northern cities were often more segregated in housing than southern cities.

    As for outlawing AirBnb, no, we can’t outlawing, though there are things that can be done, especially with AirBnbs that aren’t owner-occupied. Those are effectively hotels; they should be following regulations and paying taxes more like hotels, because the impact on their neighbors is similar. Seattle is working on regulations to that effect now.

    More broadly, changing tax policy so that capital is treated like wage income and that income is taxed at a higher marginal rate would at least take money out of the pockets of the VCs and the founders and spread it around. The biggest problem I have with the Airbnb and Uber types is that they are pushing all the risks off on everybody else while gobbling up all the money. We can both regulate them so that they have to take back some of the risk and take back some of the money. To do so, we have to kick out Republicans, all the way down. We need better judges, more consumer friendly, less business friendly.

    We need to change the mindset.

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  62. Jakash said on June 25, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Okay, Sherri. Good points, as usual. “We need to change the mindset.” Can’t argue with that.

    But “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ bnbs!” ; )

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  63. Deborah said on June 25, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    In Santa Fe in the complex we live in we rent from the owner of our condo, there are 5 units in all, each owned by an individual owner. Our landlady owns a home and lives across town, the unit next door is owned by a woman who lives in Dallas but even though she is an absentee landlord she’s excellent. The three units upstairs are a different story. The unit directly above us is owned by a guy who is going blind, who’s wife left him and the house he lived in and owned burned down. He teaches at St. John’s college, an excellent school. His renters are ok, a little flakey but could be a lot worse. Another owner upstairs just renovated his space with the intent of becoming an AirBnB unit but was thwarted thankfully by the other owners, by being informed that the insurance on the condo association would change to a much higher premium if he did so and he would be liable for the new rate. His fiancée gave birth recently and they live elsewhere, he’s been distracted so the status of the unit is in limbo. The final unit is owned by a woman who hasn’t lived there the whole time we’ve been here, 4 years, and it’s been empty the whole time. She seems to think that when the market corrects itself she’s going to sell and make a killing. Dream on. I’m not exactly sure why I’m relaying this all to you except to say that the economy has a ways to go before it’s back to 2007 levels in regard to real estate if it ever will be.

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  64. Sherri said on June 25, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Oh, and even more importantly, show up and vote in the midterms! Everybody on the left complaining about what Clinton and Obama didn’t do in in their Presidencies needs to remember that midterm elections matter. Both Clinton and Obama faced opposition Houses after the first midterm. Gotta show up every time.

    The UK and the EU did pursue austerity policies that were harmful. The US did not. We did not provide as much stimulus for as long as would be preferred, but given the context, I think Obama did the best he could, and doing any stimulus was deeply unpopular among many of the people the left thinks the Dems have ignored. For example, if we use no college education as a proxy for WWC, that demo despises the ACA. I don’t think they despise it because it’s not single payer.

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  65. Charlotte said on June 25, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I’ve become that old lady yelling at the kids! to vote in the goddamn midterms!

    I like your analysis of the white working class — here in Montana, with the large exception of the reservations, it’s pretty much all white. And the folks who are struggling are not an attractive bunch, nor are they easy to sympathize with. They’ve been left behind on so many levels, but they’re still here, and still ours to deal with. And neoliberal economics has not done any of them any good.

    Part of our housing crisis here is that we don’t have a central employer like the ski areas do — Telluride built a bunch of different levels of income-linked housing 20 years ago, as did Vail and Aspen to different degrees. But our tourist economy is pretty diffuse and a lot of it doesn’t touch the cohort of struggling white working class folks — so we’re seeing a lot of meth, a lot of chronic unemployment, a lot of child abuse/neglect, and hunger. And yet, restaurants can’t find help who will reliably show up and work. It’s been discussed here before with more nuance than I can bring to it …

    But with any luck, and a lot of work on all our parts, Montana is hoping to elect Denise Juneau to replace the loathesome Ryan Zinke as our sole House rep — a Native American lesbian much loved by every teacher in the state as the former head of Education. She’s terrific.

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  66. Deborah said on June 25, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Chicago is responsible for Brexit?

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  67. Deborah said on June 25, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    And by the way that’s a Malnati pizza joint.

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  68. adrianne said on June 25, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    The New York Times has been remarkably tone deaf on Hillary, and Patrick Healey is the worst of the Hillary haters. The leading analysis on their website today suggests, bizarrely, that Hillary needs to really worry about what Brexit means for her campaign. I can’t even.

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  69. Jakash said on June 25, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Not that it matters a whit, but “a Malnati pizza joint,” Deborah? That could warrant a slander charge! ; ) The article you linked says “Brexit was likely birthed in a Pizzeria UNO in O’Hare’s Terminal 3, the hub for all American Airlines flights.”

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  70. Deborah said on June 25, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Pizzeria Uno and Duo are owned by Malnati, as is Giordanos and Gino’s East. Gino’s East is vile by the way.

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  71. Sherri said on June 25, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Elkhart, IN is exhibit A of how the WWC reacts to Democratic help:

    The WWC is not coming back to the Dems unless the Dems abandon their commitment to civil rights for POC and women. Which is the minute I’m out the door.

    And the left can stop talking about neoliberalism until it’s ready to stop painting Dems and Republicans with the same brush and recognize that they have refused to talk about a working class beyond white people.

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  72. Suzanne said on June 25, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    A friend explained Trump/Brexit this way: You have some sort of vermin or mold infestation in your attic and it’s hindering your life, so you call an exterminator/mold expert. You don’t care that he smells, smokes, cusses, wears pants that show his crack, and takes cash only. If he gets the job done it’s all good!
    I would add that you’ve talked to your homeowner association multiple times over the past few years about the problems in your home and they agreed to help you fix things but they have rules and their only seems to be making the problem worse. Now your ceiling has holes in it, ane you can hardly stand to sleep in your upstairs bedroom. “Just be patient,” the Association tells you. “Our plan takes time to work, but we have tried it in other homes and in the end, you’ll be better off!” In comes stinky, smelly, rude exterminator who says he can fix the problem in no time at all and it’ll be so much easier and cheaper than the association’s plan that it will allow you to completely renovate your now cleaned up house! So you hire him. You feel pretty darn good about your decision until he shows up to do the work with a flame thrower…

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  73. alex said on June 25, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    That article pre-dated his appearance in Elkhart, which went live on the PBS News Hour with Gwen Ifill moderating a town hall. Some yutz asked why he and Hillary want to take away everyone’s guns, and he called out the B.S. and the N.R.A. pretty effectively:

    I live in the same part of the state and listen to people bitch about the auto bailout, never mind that this entire region is pretty much dependent on the auto industry and everything could have collapsed like dominoes if GM and Chrysler had gone out of business.

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  74. Crazycatlady said on June 26, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Our daughter Sarah was up here from Indiana, and the pharmacy had swarms of fish flies at the drive-thru. Even the 7/11 was covered with them! Even some inside. She had forgotten about our yearly visit from the stinky Lake St. Clair bugs. Doesn’t miss them.

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  75. Deborah said on June 26, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I’ve been reading up on my the parliamentary system of government in the UK. At first I was confused when reading in the BBC about this and that shadow secretary resigning, then I found out “shadow” is a term for the opposition government, so in the UK that’s the Labour Party. We’re also just about to the end of the Borgen episodes, so it’s been interesting watching all of the twists and turns that are a result of a multiparty system.

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  76. David C. said on June 26, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Hallelujah, praise the Lord. Brother Donald is born again.

    When Dubya became born again, he became a dry drunk, I suppose tRump will be a dry asshole.

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  77. Deborah said on June 26, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Ewwww, dry asshole. That had me laughing out loud.

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  78. Jakash said on June 26, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Deborah @ 70,

    I don’t mean to be obnoxious, or beat a dead horse, but I’d never heard that about Malnati’s. That would be quite a pizza empire. In looking into it, I can’t find anything to indicate that it’s the case, however. The most succinct summation is from Wikipedia, alas. “After Lou Malnati died of cancer in 1978, his wife and sons Marc and Rick took over the business. Its main competitors include Pizzeria Uno, Giordano’s Pizza and Gino’s East.” Uno’s is now a large chain with corporate headquarters in Boston, evidently.

    Rudy Malnati, Jr. did create Pizano’s, though! : )

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  79. Jakash said on June 26, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    alex @ 73,

    Good clip. I can’t imagine how irritating it must be for Obama to put up with such nonsense, and to realize that he’s inadvertently become about the best gun salesman of all time. Like he’s EVER indicated that he’s out to confiscate “some yutz”‘s hunting rifle in Elkhart freaking Indiana. The disconnect between the facts and the Republican bullshit machine’s propaganda about guns is as stark as on any topic.

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  80. Deborah said on June 26, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Jakash, I’m not sure where I got that info, I think from the neighbor across the hall that told us that Mrs. Malnati lived on our floor part time. If he was wrong about that, now I’m wondering if she really does live on our floor? I’m glad to find out that they don’t own Gino’s East because I have always thought that Gino’s pizza was particularly bad. There used to be a Gino’s on Rush that was closed down by the health dept because of rats.

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  81. alex said on June 26, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I remember the Gino’s on Rush. Whatzerface the ambush journalist broke that one, and busted a whole bunch of restaurants in the same exposé. It was one of the grossest ratings sweeps shows ever.

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  82. zonecharlie said on June 26, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    The Brexit- O’hare connection made me want to believe the whole thing was the end of a long simmering revenge plot for the war of 1812. Some deeply connected Chicago politician sat at the table next to Cameron and talked loudly about how a EU referendum would never pass and would silence the far right of the Tories. This seemingly innocuous conversation leads to the downfall of the United Kingdom. Fort Dearborn is avenged!

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  83. Jakash said on June 26, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    I remember the news about the rats at that Gino’s, but don’t believe that I actually saw the exposé. The grossest TV report I recall was some years later, when they went into assorted hotel rooms with some kind of black-light, or something, and demonstrated how disgusting *those* were!

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  84. Kirk said on June 26, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Pam Zekman, Alex?

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  85. Jakash said on June 26, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Just googled “Pam Zekman” + “Gino’s”. The second thing showing? A nn.c pizza post!

    Featuring the following comment, along with 101 others:

    72. alex said on January 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    “I remember the brouhaha over Gino’s on Rush—the one with the carvings in the booths—when Pam Zekman did a week-long restaurant expose in which she planted employees in restaurants and wired them with hidden cameras. Gino’s was so infested with rats it’s a wonder there was any food left to serve the public. …”

    So, 6 1/2 years ago, you not only remembered the brouhaha, you could still name “Whatzerface the ambush journalist”, alex! ; )

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  86. alex said on June 26, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Pam Zekman, yes!

    I adored Pam Zekman. I remember when she swabbed surfaces in fast food places and found e-coli on everything she touched. I remember her running in heels after ghost payrollers on golf courses when they should have been on the job writing parking tickets or mowing grass in the parks. I remember her ambushing city construction crews building themselves swimming pools in their own backyards. Pam Zekman. What’s she doing now?

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  87. MichaelG said on June 26, 2016 at 10:56 pm


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  88. MichaelG said on June 26, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    The Argentina-Chile championship at the Copa America ended in a shootout. Lionel Messi blew his shot and Chile won for the second year in a row. Over Argentina for the second year in a row. If I were Messi I would be on a plane to Barcelona, not Buenos Aires.

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