On the wane.

At the beginning of June I said it was going to be a bucket-list summer, and in large part it has been – Iceland, a full-moon kayak trip, less work on the weekends, another trip coming up Labor Day weekend – but unless you have staff, or help, it can’t be sustained. So this weekend was, eh, low-key. Cleaned a closet, got ahead on some work stuff, read an actual book, did some back-to-school shopping with Kate. At, goddess help us, a mall. But it was fine, because we scored what we needed and I got a deal on some end-of-summer white Levi’s (yeah-yeah-yeah):


The yeah-yeah-yeah is an echo of my youth, when a radio ad on WCOL, for a local clothing store, featured four Beach Boys-y voices singing, “White Levi’s, yeah yeah yeah!” Back when there was work for studio singers doing local advertising. That’s an economy that probably only still exists in Nashville and Los Angeles, right?

Funny how jeans brand loyalty goes. I’ve been a Levi’s girl since I first put them on, a million years ago. I’ve worn boot cut, flares, 501s, 501CTs, skinny, straight, Bold Curve, everything. The very idea of spending $200 for a pair of blue jeans just blows my mind, and from time to time, I’ve visited higher-end stores and tried on Seven for All Mankind, Joe’s, the various premium denim brands. I’ve always buttoned them up, looked in the mirror and thought, Man, these are some ugly-ass pants, right here.

Maybe I’m not wearing them right. Or maybe I just have a Levi’s body. My sister-in-law is a Lee’s gal, and has been for years. When I visited Montana many moons ago, all the cowboys wore Wrangler. From time to time, I’ve bought Gap and Lee’s and maybe one or two others, but I always come back to Levi’s.

Besides my white capris, I got a pair of 501s and a slim-leg pair in inkiest black. All in a smaller size than I wore a year ago. Life is good.

The other thing that made the trip to the mall not-so-bad was the Dream Cruise, an annual event that entrances half of Detroit and drives the other half crazy. This is the grassroots cruise of classic cars up and down Woodward Avenue for (officially) a weekend and (unofficially) a week. People who live or do business along the route either love it or hate it. The younger, hipper contingent is represented by the Magic Bag, a music venue that closes for a few days and puts a snarky message on their marquee, chosen in a contest of loyal customers. This year’s winner:


That’s pretty good, but my favorite was a couple years back: “Giving Downriver parents an excuse to visit their gay children since,” etc. A little local humor.

But for people who stuck to the freeways, well, there was magic to be seen every few miles, as some amazing classic would pull onto an entrance ramp and merge in with all the other contemporary lozenge-shaped rides. Nothing like seeing a Chevy as old as you are to put a smile on your face. And I am decidedly not a car gal.

Also – and this may just be me – it seemed like a fairly non-Trump weekend. How about for you?

So not much bloggage today, just a dog-days weekend of paying some, but not intense, attention to the news. Just this: A look at cat stories over the years in the New York Times, including a perfectly fabulous photo that even non-cat people should enjoy.

Oh, and Flint’s Claressa Shields, the toughest girl in a pretty damn tough town, wins her second Olympic gold, in women’s boxing. Congrats to T-Rex.

Bring on this week, OK?

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

48 responses to “On the wane.”

  1. alex said on August 22, 2016 at 7:35 am

    This site is looking hinky on Safari this morning. The sidebar overlaps the text and the Woodward Dream Cruise photo appears twice and also messes with the flow of the text. Haven’t checked it out on other browsers yet.

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  2. alex said on August 22, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Same thing on Firefox.

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  3. beb said on August 22, 2016 at 7:54 am

    We were going to take out daughter to Vincetta’s, an high-scale burger joint on Woodward until we realized that this was Dream Cruise weekend. I’m not a fan of the cruise.

    I bought my wife a pair of jeans a while back and choked on the $60 price tag. But what are you going to do, finding pants in her size is not easy. I shop at the hardware store for Carhart pants and shirts. They’re the one place that stock clothes for over-sized men.

    I continue reading through The Making of Donald J. Trump by David Jay Johnson but it has been slow going. Every chapter reveals something utterly repulsive about the man, but more other the system where a mobbed up, debt-ridden Trump gets to skate on virtually everything.

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  4. ROGirl said on August 22, 2016 at 8:05 am

    I live less than 3 miles east of Woodward and 13 Mile, dream cruise ground zero, and I stay away from it as much as possible weeks in advance. I can hear the roar of the traffic from my house.

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  5. Suzanne said on August 22, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I buy almost all my jeans at resale shops. Last pair I got are brand which I had never heard of, but they fit great and cost $14. Win! I also have a pair of Khakhi (correct spelling? Idk) that fit great & I bought at Goodwill for $6. Years ago, I bought a pair (Christopher & Banks, I think) off a clearance rack at a resale shop for $1.00. Wore those out completely!

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  6. nancy said on August 22, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Thanks, Alex. Fixed. I think I was too eager to get to “The Night Of” last night, and didn’t do my pre-publication spot check.

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  7. Joe K said on August 22, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Had a restful weekend with the wife in the U.P. Went out to the falls, Paradise blueberry festival, White fish point, saw 3-1000ft freighters lock thru, never turned on a tv, pure Michigan bliss.
    Would anyone have any experience with inflatable kayaks?
    Would like to start paddling but don’t want the hassle of a roof rack, not looking to banzai white water, just paddle around the local lakes and streams.
    Pilot Joke Joe

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  8. Julie Robinson said on August 22, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I’m with Suzanne, a thrifter through and through. I can buy much nicer stuff than I can afford at retail, plus it’s environmentally friendly since no new resources are being used. But pants are hard to fit, no? 95% look like I’m wearing johdpurs, with the big baggy hips. I’m no longer a stick, I’m more of an apple now, but I will never be a pear.

    Lots of work this weekend but a brief pause for a family gathering since our niece was in town, along with a few others. She’s finishing her MSW and her internship is with an agency for the HIV positive. She’s sporting some new tattoos and no longer shaves under her arms, which was shocking for a few at the table. But she has the world’s largest heart, and I couldn’t be prouder of her. She’s never going to earn much but she’s doing important work and she’s happy and healthy.

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  9. LAMary said on August 22, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Gloria Vanderbilt jeans from Costco online. 14.99 and they come in short, average and tall.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on August 22, 2016 at 10:46 am

    How I wish Gloria made jeans that fit me!

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  11. brian stouder said on August 22, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I was slow on the up-take, with regard to the Vanderbilts.

    I’ve heard of Gloria, and I known Anderson Cooper is in that family – but I hadn’t connected them with the late-19th-early 20th century robber-barron Vanderbilts, and the (still family-owned, and fairly astounding) Biltmore estate in Asheville.

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  12. basset said on August 22, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Joe, unless you’re going to paddle entirely on non-rocky ponds where you’ll never scrape bottom I’d recommend staying clear of the inflatables… roof racks aren’t that much trouble and you don’t have to worry about punching holes in the boat. Get a fishing kayak, they’re a little wider and usually have cupholders… the usual big box stores have cheap versions.
    I’m with ya on the casual recreational paddling, found myself un-re-elected to the board of a statewide river group after referring to it as “the whitewater club” one too many times.

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  13. Charlotte said on August 22, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Joe — my Himself has a little Sea Eagle inflatable that he loves — packs down small, inflates easily, comfy to paddle around on — he’s had it in mountain lakes around Montana and down the Yellowstone. Handles well too. HIs buddy did a month-long expedition on the Yukon a couple of years back in a bigger Sea Eagle boat, and that went well too … so although I’m a traditional kayak girl, can testify to the inflatables as well …

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  14. brian stouder said on August 22, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    So – it looks like Speedo is tired of Mr Lochte going off half-cocked, and has severed their relationship with him.

    Aside from that bit of puffery, the most interesting thing I heard over the weekend was the theory that the Donald’s ‘real’ goal is his own news/media network, after HRC is done making him the first rightwing Lost Cause of the 21st century.

    Then, his hiring of that racist Breitbart guy begins to make more sense…and the fall of Ailes seems to indicate an opening for bombastic rich white-guys, who feel like martyrs

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  15. beb said on August 22, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    My guess as to why Trump is running for President is a plan to divert $60 to $80 million in campaign donation to his private income.

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  16. SisanG said on August 22, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Count me in as a Lee’s girl.

    A few few years ago, I decided I don’t like/ never did like demin. Scratchy, stiff and boring. How did a subpar fabric become so popular? Oh right, our parents HATED it.

    Looks like the millennials are with me. They’re branching out and ditching the jeans, along with cars and big houses. But lo, I’ve noticed lately that demin is creeping into the yoga/exercise pant arena. Is there is demin mafia somewhere?

    In the meantime, although I’ believe that demin is Satan’s cloth, I’m lustung over Uniqlo “selvidge” high rises.

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  17. Scout said on August 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I’m a thrift store junkie too. Here in AZ we have Savers, and the proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs. Last week my Mom and I went on National Thrift Store Day (who knew?) and I scored two giant bags of new (to me) clothes for under $50. T-shirts and tank tops were $1 each and a certain color tag were all $2. At those prices I wear some of the stuff once or twice then donate it back and get more. I’ve found several pairs of my all time favorite jeans there. They are already softened and comfortable with no break in period. I don’t buy shoes there, though, it’s too hard to get the stank of someone else’s feet out of them, and of course undergarments have to be new.

    Things are definitely quieter on the tRump front as his new team of bumbling idiots try to work out the kinks of the reboot effort. No matter what they do, I’m certain The Donald will revert back to his original programming as soon as they give him access to Twitter again.

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  18. Scout said on August 22, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Oh, I spoke too soon. The Twitter Twat is at it again:


    So much for the pivot.

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  19. Jolene said on August 22, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    John Oliver’s Sunday night show on HBO has become a comedic muckraking operation. Last night, he took on charter schools. You’ll appreciate this, Brian, as he goes right at the question of how often charters turn out to be just a way to rob the public purse. And, Ohio residents, he used some of the schools in your state as examples.

    And, ICYMI, here is last week’s very good episode on what is lost when newspapers go out of business.

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  20. Jolene said on August 22, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Should have mentioned Oliver’s show is premium cable, so has the requisite number of f-bombs and scatological references. Probably best to watch at home or with the office door closed.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on August 22, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    That pivot didn’t last long, did it? Though this phrase from Morning Joe made me twitchy: “Morning Joe is enjoying it’s best ratings ever.”

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  22. brian stouder said on August 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Jolene – I’ll definitely click that tonight…after I get back from the school board meeting!

    The charter deal is, firstly, a money-grab. And secondly, it is re-segregation of our schools, using public money, and without any public oversight or governance.

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  23. Sherri said on August 22, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    At the risk of tempting the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing, I want to look past Trump for a minute. Trump himself is an bad candidate running a campaign that might have been innovative in the 80s, but he does have a base and that base is now the Republican Party, whether the establishment likes it or not. I’m currently reading “American Maelstrom” by Michael Cohen about the 1968 election, and I’m struck by how Nixon used the 64 election to set himself up for 68. He didn’t run away from Goldwater even though he knew Goldwater would lose; he campaigned vigorously for Goldwater. Then he knew that in the midterms, there would be inevitable Republican gains, and he identified likely Republican winners, and campaigned for them. He was then in position to build a coalition between the conservative Goldwater wing and the more liberal Rockefeller wing of the party.

    So, is there anyone out there who can run a professional campaign and join together the white resentment wing and the Koch brothers wing? Who has the charisma to convince the rubes that he’s going to stick it to the man while reassuring the Kochs that he is the man?

    I can’t believe the Trump campaign is wasting time going after Clinton’s health when the Beltway pearl-clutchers are begging them to attack the Foundation.

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  24. Sherri said on August 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    The Army can’t keep its books straight: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-audit-army-idUSKCN10U1IG

    But let’s talk some about entitlement fraud.

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  25. brian stouder said on August 22, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Sherri – I’d say that THAT is the ground upon which Mike Pence has staked his claim….and much as I’d like to heap invective upon our Bobby Knight look-alike governor, he doesn’t look as ridiculous and unlikely as Dick Nixon did, in 1964. I think ol’ Pence has placed a very, very good bet for 4 years from now

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  26. Jolene said on August 22, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    In addition to his diatribe on charter schools, John Oliver has an idea as to how Trump can avoid the humiliation of losing. He claims that, by dropping out in the right way, Trump can still be a national hero.

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  27. Sherri said on August 22, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    On a different note, sometime this fall, the first off-shore wind farm in the US should begin operating, near Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island. I’ve been following this for a while, not just because I think it’s cool, but because the former mayor of Redmond has been a fierce opponent of the wind farm. She and her husband have a vacation home on the island, and spend a couple of months there every summer (they did when she was mayor, too, despite Redmond having a strong mayor system and therefore mayor being a full time job.)

    She’s been fighting it since it was first proposed some 10 years ago, despite the fact that the island currently gets all its electricity from diesel generators, and took the fight all the way to the RI Supreme Court. If only it had consumed more of her time, to keep her from being a pain in the ass in Redmond as well!


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  28. brian stouder said on August 22, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    BTW – love the red toenails!

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  29. Sherri said on August 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    On the Clinton Foundation, as with so many things with the Clintons, it’s complicated. The CF is not a private foundation in the usual sense, like the Bloomberg Foundation for example. Most of the time, a private foundation is funded with one person/family’s money, and the foundation gives out money to organizations that actually do the work. That’s not the way the CF works. The CF raises money, and while it gives out a few grants, it mostly does the work itself. It’s more like a public charity than a private foundation. That’s why the calls to just shut it down are simplistic.

    It’s complicated because the Clintons try to do things in the real world, rather than just appear to do things. Here’s an example of one of the things the CF did where no one else would go: https://storify.com/DemFromCT/laura-seay-about-what-the-clinton-foundation-actua

    That said, the Clintons have been working on the issue of what to do about the CF if she gets elected: https://www.buzzfeed.com/rubycramer/clinton-foundation-prepares-to-hand-off-programs-scale-back?utm_term=.ti9jDDYn0#.typMzzOwE

    But it’s not as simple as “just shut it down” as I heard Cokie call for this morning.

    Are the press just assuming that the man who won’t show us his tax returns will happily put all his business affairs into a blind trust if he’s elected, or Is the latest outrage of the day obscuring basic questions like that?

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  30. Julie Robinson said on August 22, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Was anyone else slightly troubled that most of the Clinton’s charitable giving last year was to the Clinton Foundation. It seems disingenuous.

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  31. Scout said on August 22, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    @ Julie Robinson: I think it is only disingenuous if the funds benefited Clinton personally.

    For all the pearl clutching on the right about the CF, Trumplethinskin STILL hasn’t released his tax returns. Just imagine if Hillary had refused to disclose hers.

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  32. brian stouder said on August 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Julie, I hear you.

    It sounds – at best – gamey.

    Like a combination tax-shelter/public good….and indeed, as we are all human – we know this is also an entrée to have access to the former president, and the sec-state, and the soon-to-be president.

    Honestly, should this bug me?

    And honestly – yes, it does.

    Disclosure goes a long way to dispelling the ‘bugs me’ part….and if I go further, I’ll just sound like an apologist for HRC….so we’ll stop there

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  33. Julie Robinson said on August 22, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Of course it benefits the Clintons. Every contribution benefits them, directly or indirectly. And I say that as someone who has been on Team Hillary from Day One.

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  34. Sherri said on August 22, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    That’s not unusual, Julie. As I pointed out, the CF is actually a direct service provider, so it’s even more effective than giving to a typical family foundation. one of the points of setting up a foundation is to direct your charitable giving through it. Giving away a lot of money in a thoughtful way is a lot of work. With a foundation, you hire people to do the work for you. If you’re on a smaller scale, you can do something like a donor-advised fund or a community foundation.

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  35. Sherri said on August 22, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    More from the War on Taxes: http://www.governing.com/gov-institute/voices/col-financing-infrastructure-capital-p3s-china.html?utm_content=buffer9b425&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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  36. Sherri said on August 22, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    On the murder of Gawker: http://gawker.com/gawker-was-murdered-by-gaslight-1785456581

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  37. Julie Robinson said on August 22, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Not to belabor this, but Chelsea draws a salary from the CF. I can see it becoming more fodder for He Who Will Not Release His Tax Returns.

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  38. Jolene said on August 22, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    beb, if, after you finish the David Cay Johnston book about Trump, you have an appetite for further reading on the topic, you might want to check out Trump Revealed. It’s the work of a large number of WaPo reporters and researchers, written by Marc Fisher and David Kranish. Fisher is one of my favorite Posties–very smart and an excellent writer. Kranish is one of the Post’s leading investigative reporters.

    They’ve been doing media appearances in support of the book, which will be published tomorrow. Here’s a link to an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered.

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  39. Sherri said on August 22, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Chelsea doesn’t draw a salary from the CF: https://www.clintonfoundation.org/about/frequently-asked-questions

    If she did, that would be a problem. There are regulations about foundations that don’t allow that, as I understand it from reading about foundations. You can’t use a foundation to personally benefit.

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  40. Suzanne said on August 22, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    I have mixed feelings about foundations in general. I’ve had some contact with the Lutheran Foundation in Fort Wayne which started from the proceeds of the sale of Lutheran Hospital ( you FW locals will know what I mean). They fund a lot of wonderful things and have given out tons of money, but they are sitting on roughly $200 million. Same with the Lilly Endowment which at one time was the largest endowment in the country or maybe the world. They had, I believe, upwards of a billion. They do good things, too, but think what that money would do to pay for low income people’s health insurance costs, or their kids education (yes, Lutheran Fndation gives some scholarships to health care students, but it’s not a ton per student). It makes me wonder how much of the world’s income is tied up in “charitable” foundations & endowments that share it only with those they deem worthy while the bulk of the money just sits there.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on August 22, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Sherri, I stand corrected. I read or heard that she did, and I swear I only ingest liberal media like NPR!

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  42. Jolene said on August 22, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Whoops! Interview isn’t live yet, but will be up later today.

    In the meantime, another one of my favorite writers, James Fallows of The Atlantic, has been compiling a time capsule of observations about what Trump has been doing and saying throughout the campaign. You can sort it to read either forward or backward in time. The idea is to create a record for potential future analyses.

    He also has a sort of mini-blog called Trump Nation, in which he posts brief items mostly containing exchanges with readers who have emailed him with comments about Trump.

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  43. Sherri said on August 22, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    When it comes to the Clintons, I don’t think you can trust any part of the media to get the story straight.

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  44. David C. said on August 22, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    The 7th circuit refused to stay the ruling blocking the worst parts of the Wisconsin voter ID requirement. The ruling was unanimous by two Reagan appointees and one W appointee. Suck on that Walker and Co.


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  45. Sherri said on August 22, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Sharing this just for Josh Marshall’s great neologism re the wall: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/did-trumpers-just-hit-an-immigration-wall

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  46. Deborah said on August 22, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    We’re cooling our heels in Tulsa, OK, a long day of driving. I was going to stop in Oklahoma City, but Tulsa was only 90 miles more and I felt fine so on we went. I’m dog tired now, glad to be stopped for the night in a brand new motel so it doesn’t smell bad and everything works.

    Regarding family foundations, my husband is on the board of the foundation his uncle runs (the playground donor) it’s not nearly the caliber of the Clinton Foundation of course. I can vouch that no family member at all can draw a salary from the foundation, that would be completely wrong and forbidden.

    On the jeans front, I buy Old Navy, Skinny jeans, they used to be called Diva but they changed to something more generic which I can’t remember. I like the really deep dark blue ones or the black ones, although the black ones run smaller for some reason and I have to get a size larger in those. If I can manage to get them on sale they’re about $20, otherwise they’re more like $30. I love the way they fit and will be sad when they quit making them, which is inevitable.

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  47. Jolene said on August 22, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Y’know that book re Trump by the WaPo writers that I mentioned above? Here’s what @realDonaldTrump had to say about it on Twitter.

    “The @WashingtonPost quickly put together a hit job book on me- comprised of copies of some of their inaccurate stories. Don’t buy, boring!”

    The man is fast! It won’t be published until tomorrow.

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 22, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I’m reading the latest Huma Abedin and Doug Band emails and just plain feeling queasy. Yes, and Trump’s Manafort is clearly carrying water for Ukrainian interests. It’s just a bog swamp of corruption in both directions. As an Ohio, I still think I don’t have the right to claim the Gary Johnson option with a clear conscience, but Hillary . . . you just keep making this hard when it could be so easy.

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