Midweek melange.

Last weekend I went down some internet rabbit holes that should have been marked with warning signs. I learned that not only does Hillary’s health make Dick Cheney’s look like that of an Olympic athlete, but Michelle Obama? IS A MAN. Go ahead and laugh, and then read the first three paragraphs of this story. A lie is a powerful thing:

STOCKHOLM — With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.

The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.

They were all false, but the disinformation had begun spilling into the traditional news media, and as the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories.

The older I get, the more I enjoy the pure, simple pleasure of yummy, yummy facts. Which you evidently need actual human beings to recognize.

So. Sorry I took a night off — had a last-minute chance to go on an evening paddle, and as the summer dwindles, you just don’t blow those things off. Was it worth it? Yeah, I’d say so:


Let’s explore the mysteries of the iPhone autoexposure, too, shall we? Maybe 30 seconds later, this was the point-and-shoot from the front-facing camera:


You’d think it was an hour earlier. Believe me, that fading sky wasn’t enough to light our faces that much. It’s MAGIC.

And after today, I think I have most of my ducks in a row for California. Still have to pack, but today my optometrist signed off on a supply of daily-wear contact lenses, not my usual contact-lens jam, to wear in the water. I’m wearing them now. Not multifocal, so I’m in my strongest readers, but they’ll do for spotting other surfers, sharks’ dorsal fins and, of course, the glory of nature all around. Until one washes out, but I’ll have backups.

A few mixed notes on this and that, as we ease into the bloggage:

I really can’t recommend “Keepin’ it 1600,” the Jon Favreau/Dan Pfeiffer podcast, highly enough. Funny, entertaining and, for those of you who live with or near Trumpazoids, living proof that you are not alone, these people are fucking crazy. I listened to the latest edition on my way to Ann Arbor today, and didn’t miss NPR one little bit. What’s more, they turned me on to “Radio Free GOP” with Mike Murphy, and that’s good, too.

The other day didn’t Jeff say he was looking for inspirational reading that fell somewhere between f-bomb-laced realness and the sappy-sweet Albom big rock-candy mountain. May I recommend this honest, fine piece by Tracy Grant, a Washington Post editor who nursed her husband through the last months of his life. Fine writing, fine insight.

You know how every so often you read about how historians can capture many details of daily life in days gone by, but not things like the smoke in a city’s air from a million fires, or the smell of the dank sewers as foul things bubbled within? You really get a sense of the latter here, in this piece about Roman sewers. Sounds gross, and it is, but it’s also not, mainly because you probably have a flush toilet where you live, and your house doesn’t smell bad. I think I’d have been a country girl, given the choice.

And the great Monica Hesse, also at the WashPost, gives us this: 11 ways to think about the Anthony Weiner-Huma Abedin split. No. 7:

Stolen from a friend on Twitter: “Anthony Weiner is proof that the Clintons don’t actually have people murdered.”

OK, off to climb through Wednesday.

Posted at 12:02 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

69 responses to “Midweek melange.”

  1. Hattie said on August 31, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Have a good time in California. I eagerly await your impressions!

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  2. Suzanne said on August 31, 2016 at 6:11 am

    I’m familiar with the Michelle Obama is a man thing and could likely name a handful of people I know who believe it. Half of whom I am related to. Sad that the world has come to this…

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  3. Deborah said on August 31, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I hadn’t heard the Michelle is a man thing before. Wow, just wow. I’m so glad I live in a liberal bubble and don’t actually know people who think and say things like that. One of the friends I got together with last night in St. Louis is African American and she was telling me stories about some of the things that have been said about her, to her face, I almost cried. She has an MBa and she’s gorgeous.

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  4. Deborah said on August 31, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Happy birthday Dorothy. Saw it on FB.

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  5. brian stouder said on August 31, 2016 at 9:24 am

    marvelous photos, indeed!

    I think you should re-run them (and those others from a few weeks back) when we’re in the depths of January/February; like when a squirrel retrieves the goodies she buried last summer

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  6. St Bitch said on August 31, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Trump in “Mextico” (as my Jamaican guy calls it)…probably a schizo agenda: demonstrate his powers of diplomatic charm, and/or instigate enough outraged protest to reinforce the hardline on immigration he’s expected to spew this evening in AZ.

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  7. adrianne said on August 31, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Even though I live in the bluest of blue states (New York, y’all), I live in a town full of racist goobers. Case in point: Our obnoxious neighbor on the corner, who we only hear screaming at his children or his wife, decided now would be a dandy time to hang a Confederate flag from his front porch. David nearly blew his stack, decided the best counterpart would be to hang an American flag from our front porch. Both flags still out. The standoff continues.

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  8. brian stouder said on August 31, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I think your response is exactly the right one. Maybe another neighbor or two will fly the Stars and Stripes, too.

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  9. BigHank53 said on August 31, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Creep across the street at two AM and replace it with the swastika he’d really like to be flying. Use a lot of superglue on the socket to make sure the pole doesn’t fall out accidentally.

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  10. adrianne said on August 31, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Tempted as I am to vandalize the neighbor, he has a right to be an asshole and fly his racist flag. This is America!

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  11. Deborah said on August 31, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    We are stopped at a Steak and Shake in Springfield, MO to wait out a heavy pocket of rain, the first one we encountered this morning. If my weather app radar is correct once we get past Joplin and head into Oklahoma we should be in better shape than yesterday, hopefully. Really having bad luck with rain this trip. Remind me not to do another road trip in late August.

    Also Steak and Shake is always interesting, one of Roger Ebert’s favorite places.

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  12. basset said on August 31, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    About the camera… on the first pic, it exposed for the bright sky near the center of the frame and gave you that nice dark foreground. On the second, not so much contrast so it read the pic as pretty dark and cranked up its sensitivity to compensate. Half an hour later the sensitivity probably would have been maxed out, sharpness reduced, and it’d look like a native sand painting, it’d be so grainy.

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  13. Mary Ann said on August 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Re false information: Listening to C-Span radio a while ago, I heard a woman call in to castigate the media for hiding the fact that Hilary is a Muslim. She became irate when the host and reporter said it wasn’t true.

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  14. Sue said on August 31, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Well of course Michelle’s a man. She has those arms, and she’s never posed in a thong like Melania. And now she gets to use any bathroom she wants – thanks Obama!

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  15. Sherri said on August 31, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    It’s all that economic anxiety, adrianne, that compels him to display his heritage. I bet he also wants to tar and feather Colin Kaepernick for not standing during the anthem during the preseason NFL game.

    But he’s not a racist, just ask him. In fact, you’re a racist for calling him one!

    I really do get that the white working class is struggling, but I’m a little tired of hearing how much I’m supposed to pay attention to their needs. The white working class is always struggling, it seems, whenever civil rights are an issue. I am in favor of policies that help the white working class, but not in favor of policies that help the white working class to the exclusion of the whole working class. I’m tired of reading articles that treat the working class as if it’s only white, like the recent article in the NYTimes about Youngstown that made it seem as if the steel industry had just gone away yesterday and that Youngstown wasn’t half African-American.

    The thing is, I know that there is nothing I can do that will make the white working class like me, which is what all the think pieces seem to be telling me I’m supposed to do. I’m a liberal, educated, Democratic woman who got the hell out of hillbilly world. I’m almost everything they hate, except that I’m white. Coal miners in West Virginia are never going to like Hillary Clinton, even if she were to magically find jobs for them all that didn’t destroy the environment and their health and paid well. They’d still prefer a bully like Trump.

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  16. adrianne said on August 31, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Sherri, exactly! I quickly wearied of the argument that I have to feel sorry for Trump voters. Um, no, I don’t. I don’t like racist bullies.

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  17. brian stouder said on August 31, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Lemme just say – that whole National Anthem kerfluffle strikes me as flatly ridiculous. Our country is flawed; it has been from the get-go.

    We fought a horrendous Civil War over our biggest flaw, and somehow survived that – and the scars (and the reverberations, and the impulses) of the original flaw remain.

    It wouldn’t break my heart if we changed the National Anthem to America the Beautiful, rather than The Star Spangled Banner.

    That said, if I owned an NFL team, and one of the people I employ brought such negative attention – while he’s in uniform and on the field (ie – ‘on the clock’), I’d fire him and move on with life.

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  18. brian stouder said on August 31, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    btw – agreed w/Deborah about Steaky-Shakey…we like that place, too

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  19. Sherri said on August 31, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    NFL owners have employed players who have done far worse and never batted an eye. The Niners in particular kept in their employ players with DUIs, sexual assaults, domestic violence, etc. For a talented starter, it took the third arrest before the team finally cut ties.

    Colin Kaepernick may well have cost himself his career with this stance, but ill never concede the high road to a bunch of people who extort tax money from cities to build stadiums that line their pockets, treat their players like shit, take money from the military to promote the military, and are generally a bunch of gutless cowards. Supporting Kaepernick’s right to express his opinion during a meaningless display before a game costs them nothing. Nobody’s going to cancel their season tickets over it; they can’t, because they’re locked into a seat license that cost them thousands of dollars on top of the season ticket.

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  20. Sherri said on August 31, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Tut, tut, it looks like rain.


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  21. St Bitch said on August 31, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    My other theory about tRump in Mexico is that he’s gonna practice the art of the deal by offering Prez Pena Nieto the (supposed) mutually beneficial appearance of “softening” some of his immigration policy because of their closed-door negotiations, thereby bolstering their respective low approval ratings.

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  22. Sherri said on August 31, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    That Supreme Court seat, you know, the one that Mitch McConnell is holding open for Trump, really matters. SCOTUS declined to grant a stay to North Carolina on the voting rights case with a 4-4 vote.

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 31, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I am maliciously already enjoying the prospect of the scramble to confirm Merrick Garland once it’s clear Clinton has won Nov. 8th. It will be will nigh unseemly.

    Oh my, the press conference from Mexico City is starting. To quote Dorothy Parker, “what fresh hell is this?”

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  24. Deggjr said on August 31, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Adrienne, you could always get your own confederate flag to burn on Sept 12. Apparently that’s burn a confederate flag day. Your neighbor can’t match that.

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  25. adrianne said on August 31, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    True dat! In other business, dispatches from creepy clown country (from the New York Times):

    At the edge of dark, dark woods in South Carolina, children have been telling adults that a group of clowns have been trying to lure them into the cluster of trees. They say the clowns live deep in the woods, near a house by a pond.

    This tale sounds like a mishmash of newspaper clippings and pages ripped from Stephen King novels, but these are actually details taken from a report filed by the sheriff’s office in Greenville County, S.C., last week, after several residents at an apartment complex there said that people in clown makeup had been terrorizing both children and adults.

    Several children said that clowns were offering them money to follow them into the woods, close to the house by the pond. (The police say they have found no evidence of clown paraphernalia at the house.)

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  26. Scout said on August 31, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Trump: “Who pays for the wall? We didn’t discuss.”

    At every Trump rally:
    T: “Who’s going to pay for the wall?”
    Crowd: “MEXICO!”
    T: “Mexico.”

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  27. susan said on August 31, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I am so sick of looking at and listening to that ugly man. Trump truly is an ugly man through and through.

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  28. Icarus said on August 31, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    i was trying to comment earlier about Colin Kaepernick but after hitting submit it just kept hanging. i thought maybe my comment just wasn’t worthy.

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  29. Jakash said on August 31, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Well, this is pretty funny. Old buddies turning on each other. Sad!

    “Joe Scarborough just took his trolling of Donald Trump and cranked it up to 11.

    The Morning Joe host recently tore into Trump over his apparent softening on immigration policy, which gave birth to the viral hashtag #AmnestyDon earlier this week. That clearly was not enough though, because now, Scarborough posted a music video of the same name on his Facebook page, and it completely rips the Republican 2016 candidate apart.”


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  30. susan said on August 31, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Penn Jilette’s Trump card trick.

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  31. beb said on August 31, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    When people talked about getting away from the city for fresh country air they were talking of the days when people cooked with sulfurous coal, a thousand horses filled the streets with manure, and sewerage was dumped in the gutters to by washed away if and when it rained. So yeah, the city stank compared to the country

    This disinformation campaign going on in Sweden may well but astroturfing from Putin. I hear he does a lot of that.

    I finally reading David Cay Johnson’s The Making of Trump. It’s a short book (200 pages) divided into 24 chapters. Plus there’s 50 pages of notes and an index. It was hard to read at time because Trump is just so despicable. He’s a germophobe and is awkward in personal conversations. He lies ALL THE TIME! And has a great memory except when it’s convenient to not know that mobbed guy he was boasting about knowing just days before. He lives for money and revenge. Most people running for high office have a trouble amount of egomania. Trumps’ egomania is off the charts. Run government like a business? He’s proof that businesses shouldn’t be run as businesses. Trump obviously does not want to debate Hillary since she will talk facts, facts he doesn’t know. The real danger is whether he will be able to filibuster the debates with his standard combination of bluster, self-promotion and school-yard bullying. After all, how can you debate someone is lies all the time?

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  32. Jolene said on August 31, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Of the many irritating qualities of DJT, near the top of the list is his habit of talking about any problem or issue as if he’s the first to have noticed it or tried to solve it. In particular, he seems to be moving toward a set of proposals on immigration that is pretty much the same as the Senate-passed bill that everyone, including many of its Republicans sponsors, subsequently ran away from.

    Gawd, it is just so embarrassing that he is a presidential candidate.

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  33. alex said on August 31, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    ABC’s coverage of the presidential race tonight is so low-brow and ridiculous that I might as well be watching Fox. Putrid stuff.

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  34. Deborah said on August 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    I’m waiting to hear about Trump’s Mexican trip. Is there any news out there about it? I just got off the road finally in Oklahoma City. The last 50 miles were in a horrendous storm. About to turn on the tee-vee in the motel to find some actual reporting on the trip, not just speculation.

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  35. Deborah said on August 31, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Oh my God, I just realized that Trump is speaking tonight in a building my husband designed, the Phoenix Convention Center. Ha ha ha.

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  36. Sherri said on August 31, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Those right-wingers do like their secret little groups. But pay no attention to this, did you see that Hillary met with a donor!?! Shadows! Clouds!


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  37. Sue said on August 31, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Dibs on Sammer Jammer:

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  38. Sue said on August 31, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Also, this dad is such a dad. He even walks like a dad. Love this video.

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  39. Icarus said on August 31, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    anyone else following the Colin Kaepernick story? The narrative seems to have switched from “one does not sit during the national anthem” to “rich people of color should not protest about why this country isn’t great.”

    it reminds me of when people were saying only military service people and first-responders are brave re: Caitlyn Jenner.

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  40. Danny said on September 1, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Icarus, I really liked how Jim Rome put it. He said he respects the sentiment or cause behind CK’s reasoning, but would not chose that particular way to protest or express his concern.

    But like so many things that enter the news cycle and national dialogue these days, everybody on all sides of an issue tend to “catastrophize” every little thing and blow everything in to a big hairy deal. Who cares if a young man who is becoming socially aware does something a little stupid to raise awareness. I mean, Rodney Harrison even weighed in with the (stupid) opinion that Colin Kaepernick is not really black enough to understand the issue.

    Geesh, everyone needs to chill right on out.

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  41. Danny said on September 1, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Oh and someone made the great point that NFL executives who are being anonymously quoted as having a problem with Colin Kaepernick’s actions look kind of stupid because they haven’t been real vocal about things that really matter like domestic violence by players or the concussion issue.

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  42. brian stouder said on September 1, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Scratch one Space-X rocket.

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  43. Diane said on September 1, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Jakash@29 – thank you for the link, best click of my day. And oh how I do hope the cowboys have smelled the dirty con!

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  44. john (not mccain) said on September 1, 2016 at 11:47 am

    “He said he respects the sentiment or cause behind CK’s reasoning, but would not chose that particular way to protest or express his concern.”

    So neither violent nor peaceful protests are to be allowed. What a shock.

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  45. Danny said on September 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    So neither violent nor peaceful protests are to be allowed. What a shock.

    That wasn’t his point. And you might not know, but Jim Rome is a sports talk guy and though he doesn’t get into politics often, he leans left.

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  46. Danny said on September 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Here is a write-up he did:


    Monday saw no end to the Colin Kaepernick takes. Everyone weighed in, and while some, like Ndamukong Suh and Denver Bronco Brandon Marshall had his back, most took issue with his protest.

    Drew Brees said yesterday that the issue had been “bothering me all day long” and that he “wholeheartedly” disagreed with Kaepernick’s decision to remain seated during the national anthem. While Brees said he supports Kaepernick’s right to protest, he said “there’s plenty of other ways that you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn’t involve being disrespectful to the American flag.”

    Richard Sherman said he believed Kaepernick was coming “from a good place” and addressed a number of issues that Kaepernick had raised, but also pointed out that “any time you don’t stand during the national anthem, people are going to criticize it. And that’s the unfortunate part of it. You can’t ever stand against the flag and things like that. A lot of people sacrificed and things like that for it.”

    So plenty of people hate the guy for doing it. And even those who support him and believe it’s his right to do it, are saying that’s not the time or place; that he should have used a different platform for it. Fine. But– how? With a tweet? Or a blog post? Or a column in The Players Tribune? Or a sit down interview?

    People feel very strongly about the flag and the national anthem, as they should. So when you protest it, you’re going to get a strong response. And so far, most of the response has been around how Kaepernick protested, not actually what he’s protesting.

    Since Friday, there hasn’t been much of a public discussion in the NFL about the issues that Kaepernick wanted to highlight, like police violence. So if you want to argue that he shouldn’t have chosen the national anthem as a time to protest because the method would overshadow the purpose, I’ll listen to that.

    But I guarantee a blog post on Friday, isn’t still a topic on Tuesday. It might make people feel more comfortable, but there’s no way it would get the attention that sitting during the national anthem has generated. The point of a protest isn’t to make people feel comfortable. It’s the opposite. The point is to make people feel uncomfortable, it’s to draw attention, and generate discussion. Muhammad Ali didn’t make people feel comfortable when he refused to go to Vietnam. Tommie Smith and John Carlos didn’t make people feel comfortable at the ’68 Olympics. That was the point. That and actually getting their point across. And Kaepernick did that too.

    Again, I’m not sitting for the national anthem. But just because he did, doesn’t mean he’s disrespecting the military and that he hates America.

    What he hates is what he sees, namely police brutality. You can say that wasn’t the platform to use, but he wasn’t violent in his protest and didn’t prevent anyone else from respecting the flag. What you can’t say is that it didn’t work; because it did. Because we’re all still talking about it today.

    As far as him disrespecting the military, this is complicated. Many are assuming the anthem is tied directly to the military; that it was written to honor the military. It may not be that simple. The anthem can mean many things to many people. And he says in no way was he looking to disrespect the military.

    Look, I never served and there’s no way I’m going to tell anyone who has, how they should feel about this. But I tend to believe him when he says this has nothing to do with the military and that he appreciates those who have served this country.

    This much I do know: It sure as hell isn’t helping this guy’s job prospects. He had a terrible offseason, he can’t even beat out Blaine Gabbert, and if there’s anything coaches hate more than a distraction, it’s a distraction from a backup QB. So he may be committing career suicide.

    But standing up for what he believes in obviously is more important than keeping his mouth shut in order to save his job. Because pretty soon, he probably won’t have one.

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  47. brian stouder said on September 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Danny – making allowances for Rome’s style (I used to listen to that guy, and liked him) –

    I agree with every word

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  48. Sherri said on September 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Rome is right, everything about this has been about whether Kaepernick had the right to protest, or chose the right venue to protest, or disrespected the troops, or about the anthem, or what this means for his job prospects. In other words, the story has all been told pretty much through a white lens.

    There’s been very little discussion about what he said when he explained why he protested. Kaepernick has not been known for being very talkative with the media; his required press conferences as a starting QB were infamous for their lack of responsiveness. But he was clear and direct about his reasons for protest, speaking for over 15 minutes about it. We should be talking about his statement that you have to have more training to get a cosmetology license than to be a police officer. I think,he would admit that reality is more nuanced, but he’s trying to provoke a conversation.

    Instead, he’s a traitor for disrespecting a song that wasn’t our official anthem until 1932, that has nothing to do with sporting events but started being played before baseball games during WWI, and for which NFL teams didn’t even regularly appear on the field for until the NFL starts requiring it in 2009.

    And you know what? The anthem doesn’t equal the troops, and neither does the flag, and disrespecting either is not treason, and neither is being unpatriotic.

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  49. Sherri said on September 1, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    If you were up late last night, or were on the west coast, and were following news reports,of Trump’s speech, you saw some sausage being made at the NYTimes, as the first story up described a seemingly different speech than every other news outlet, and than the story up a little later. Substantial changes were made, without a mention of them.


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  50. Sherri said on September 1, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Making college affordable is not just about tuition: http://www.chronicle.com/article/What-Colleges-Can-Do-Right-Now/237589

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  51. Sherri said on September 1, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    A review of American Maelstrom, which I’m almost finished with: http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/septemberoctober-2016/1968-versus-2016/

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  52. Sherri said on September 1, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    A non-compete to volunteer? Hilarious. http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/08/31/volunteer-dial-trump-first-sign–non-disclosure-form/89673064/

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  53. brian stouder said on September 1, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Sherri – your American Maelstrom book looks good; I’ll have to add it to my list!

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  54. Sherri said on September 1, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Brian, it is good; I’ve learned a number of things about the 68 election I didn’t know. Next up is Pivotal Tuesdays, by Margaret O’Mara, which looks at the elections of 1912, 1932, 1968, and 1992. I heard her speak a couple of months ago at a luncheon and found her talk interesting.

    Two other election books I’ve read and liked are A Magnificent Catastrophe, by Edward Larson, about the 1800 election, and Fraud of the Century, by Roy Morris, and the 1876 election.

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  55. basset said on September 1, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Started last night on “Kalamazoo Gals,” story of the women who kept Gibson guitar production going during WW2.

    Avoiding election content for awhile.

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  56. Jolene said on September 1, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Another election book that gets lots of positive reviews is What It Takes: The Way to the White House.

    And near the top of my stack is Believer: My Forty Years in Politics by David Axelrod, Obama’s campaign guru. Also many good reviews.

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  57. Jolene said on September 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    For the approaching long weekend, a list of “small movies” that the NYT thinks we should see–some still in theaters, some available for streaming.

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  58. Jakash said on September 1, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    The only one of those 7 movies we’ve seen is “Cafe Society.” Which I recommend. Not going to rock your world, but I certainly enjoyed spending an hour-and-a-half taking in the gorgeous 30’s California that’s conjured up. Perhaps through ignorance, since I don’t follow tabloid nonsense and am not a vampire-movie-goer, I LIKE Kristen Stewart. She seems beautiful, but wistful in a real rather than Hollywoodish way, to me. She was swell in another small movie, “Adventureland”, also with Jesse Eisenberg. And evidently in “Clouds of Sils Maria” which we have yet to track down, but which Deborah raved about, IIRC. Anyway, it’s at 71% on the Tomatometer and a modest hit as noted in Jolene’s link. Which you can tell by the fact that it actually has been around in Chicago theaters for more than 2 weeks…

    Friend of nn.c., David Edelstein seems to have liked it well enough:


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  59. brian stouder said on September 1, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Pam dragged me off to see Ben Hur last week, to which I said – “meh!” (but dinner was good – got a steak at Halls)

    Last movie I saw that I really, really liked?

    Leonardo Dicaprio in The Great Gatsby.

    After having visited the massive, old-style, palatial Biltmore this past summer, the Gatsby mansion pulled me right in

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  60. brian stouder said on September 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    …plus, the Gatsby movie’s music was ethereal and affecting.

    Pam had recorded it on the dvr months ago – and I finally watched it; and then I raved about it until Pam watched it, too – so I watched it a second time, and it pulled me in again. (musta’ just hit me at the right moment)

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  61. Suzanne said on September 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I saw Great Gatsby and was pleasantly surprised! I didn’t think DiCaprio would fit the part but he did, I thought the modern music would be off putting but it fit, and I didn’t expect to be so moved as I was. It made me go back and reread to book, too, and it was better than I remembered. If you have not seen it and can find it on Netflix or cable or somewhere, take the time to watch it.

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  62. adrianne said on September 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I really enjoyed the Great Gatsby remake. Leo was swell in the lead role.

    For summer (now nearly fall) reading, I recommend American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin on Patty Hearst. As someone who once went out for Halloween as Tania, it brought back memories of the mid-1970s.

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  63. alex said on September 1, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I don’t get terribly excited about movies anymore, but I’m always glad when there’s a new Christopher Guest movie. There’s one coming out soon. Here’s the trailer!

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  64. Sherri said on September 1, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Remember that $25000 that Trump gave to Florida AG Pam Bondi’s PAC when she was investigating Trump U? The money came from the Trump Foundation.


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  65. Sherri said on September 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Trump’s brave visit to a black church? Not so much. He’s sitting down to an interview with a black bishop, who has provided questions in advance. The campaign had scripted answers for him. There will be no press at the interview, nor members of the public, the interview will be taped, and the campaign will have a hand in editing it before it is aired a week later.

    In other words, it’s not an interview, it’s a campaign commercial that the bishop is using to promote his cable channel.


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  66. Deborah said on September 1, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Yes, Jakash, The Clouds of Sils Maria is a fantastic movie. We saw it 3 times at the theater and just last week watched it again on DVD, it’s one of those movies that gets better and better each time you watch it, because you pick up subtle things you missed before.

    Little Bird and I are back in Santa Fe. There was so much rain on this road trip that I’m pretty bummed about ever going on one again. I have a bad headache which I think is a combo of stress and altitude.

    I saw this on my FB feed, by Garrison Keillor about Trump, he nails it http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-donald-trump-losing-garrison-keillor-20160831-story.html

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  67. Sue said on September 1, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Ohboyohboyohboy, plus it’s got Chris O’Dowd:

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  68. alex said on September 1, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Quite a star turn since his days at the Chicago Reader:


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  69. Sherri said on September 1, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Teammate Eric Reid joined Kaepernick in not standing for the anthem tonight in San Diego, and Seahawks Jeremy Lane sat during the anthem in Oakland before the preseason game.

    Roger Goodell is not going to be happy about this if it spreads and continues into the regular season. He can strong arm the broadcast partners into not showing it, but that won’t hide it.

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