Hoosier reppin’.

I kept waiting for Tom & Lorenzo to do the dirty work on this, but OK, it falls to me: What do we think of Mrs. Trump’s debate-night dress?

(Yes, we seem to be on a fashion theme this week.)

That it is lovely and expensive (Roland Mouret, $2,645 retail) goes without saying. I’m just wondering if bare shoulders are exactly appropriate for a presidential debate, but we’ll give her a pass because she’s European, this isn’t her scene and being a model, she looks pretty great in it. (Michelle Obama would be crucified over it; she was huffed over for wearing sleeveless dresses, after all. But let’s not dwell.)

Sitting next to Ivanka, they both exhibit the long stems that seem to be the birthright of eastern Europeans. You know who I feel for? Poor Karen Pence, with only her husband as a buffer between her and the two beauties. She looks completely appropriate for a similar event in Indianapolis, or even Washington; it’s not her fault she has to share a row with the Trump ladies. (It’s her husband’s.) All I have to add is that the Daily Caller’s “entertainment editor” should know that a knee-length dress is not a “gown.”

But as you pointed out here yesterday, the copy editors have all left the building.

I don’t know what more can be said about Monday night’s main event. I’ll add this: I’m a feminist, but I’m not a certain kind of feminist, in that I try not to get too touchy about stuff. But honestly, the events of the past few days, and weeks, and months, have me nodding along with this:

I get the point, not that I didn’t get it before. If I speak up, I’m a shrill nag. If my weight fluctuates at all, I’m a gross, inconvenient fatty. If my husband cheats, it’s on me. If I try to defend or salvage my marriage, I’m a stupid dupe. Men like Trump and Giuliani have advanced ideas like these so the women in their lives will be cowed, thin and compliant, while if they err, they’re swashbuckling and strategic. The idea that we should trust men who hate us in private to protect us in the public sphere is the ultimate insult to our intelligence.

And the comments are hideous, as you’d expect.

Ugh, what a week, and it’s not even half over. So I’ll be taking my leave early.

Posted at 12:03 am in Current events |

100 responses to “Hoosier reppin’.”

  1. Dexter said on September 28, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Everybody’s talking about the dress? My wife has msnbc on most of the day and it’s the first time I have read of any concern, as the news reporters kept dissecting the microphone claim , the “sniffles”, which I call snorting, and all the interrupting The Donald was doing. Maybe if Janna Ryan would have been the potential veep’s wife to showcase, she would have been seated alongside the Trump ladies. Old Joe sorta looks like he likes her http://images.politico.com/global/2012/10/121011_biden_janna_ap_605_605.jpg

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 28, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Sherri, she’s definitely Episcopalian now; with Barbara Brown Taylor and Gail Godwin, it’s a good thing the Presbyterians got Anne Lamott and the Lutherans Nadia Bolz-Weber or you guys would cop an attitude. We can claim Sharon Watkins and Rita Nakashima in our tradition, anyhow.

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  3. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Episcopaleans are too earnest to cop an attitude, Jeff! There are no shortage of recovering Southern Baptists in our midst, though.

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  4. basset said on September 28, 2016 at 6:37 am


    and I did shorten the link a little…

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  5. alex said on September 28, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Melania has no doubt sold her soul in exchange for her expense account and probably gets called a “fat pig” and worse in order to keep her in line. And Pence, he never had a soul to sell in the first place.

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  6. Heather said on September 28, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Roland Mouret is the most amazing dress designer. About a decade or so ago he designed this piece called the Galaxy dress and it became iconic in fashion circles. I periodically check the sales sites for his stuff but there’s never anything I want.

    I suppose I’m the touchy kind of feminist, although I’ve mellowed somewhat. However, this election is bringing it all out, combined with reading about critical theory for my graduate program, so I’m seeing the subtle hand of corporate and sexist ideology everywhere. It’s kind of making me want to sell everything and head to a cabin in the woods.

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  7. Deborah said on September 28, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Can you just imagine what Melania has to put up with? She has definitely made her bed and now she’s got to wallow in it. Ugh. The dress is lovely but inappropriate for the venue, IMO. Michelle would certainly have been creamed for it.

    I will be surprised if there are any more debates. Trump is really getting negative press over it. I can’t wait to see the polls in a week or so.

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  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 28, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I did notice that the initial post-debate ORC poll on CC asked “Who did the debate make you more likely to vote for?” and the results were Hillary Clinton, 34% – Donald Trump, 18% – Neither, 47%.

    Gary Johnson really ought to be on the stage next time.

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  9. Mark P said on September 28, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Gary Johnson has some ignorance of foreign policy to parade as well. He might fit well next to Trump. And, of course, spoilers are always welcome. Look up Lester Maddox, the racist who was elected governor of Georgia because some liberals couldn’t stomach voting for the lesser of two evils.

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  10. alex said on September 28, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Ah, so that’s why rednecks are naming their kids Maddox these days.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on September 28, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Bare shoulders at a debate are inappropriate, but what else would we expect from the trashy family?

    But I’m really glad we’re going shallow, because I’ve been dying to talk about HRC’s makeup. I halfway wondered if she’d used some of that tape that supposedly gives you an instant facelift. Especially around her eyes. She didn’t look as goof in video from yesterday on the campaign trail. She needs that makeup artist everyday.

    Okay, back to the real issues now. Except I think it is an issue for too many; see the nag/hag quote above.

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  12. Jenine said on September 28, 2016 at 9:42 am

    @JTMMO Yay for your son marching! I hope he’s excited.

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  13. Peter said on September 28, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I don’t have the stamina to keep up with this debate. I just don’t. What does Sean Hannity think of the dress? Why doesn’t anyone call Sean Hannity? Sean Hannity. Sean Hannity! SEAN HANNITY!!!! BENGHAZI!!!!!!

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  14. Suzanne said on September 28, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Anyone watch Frontline last night on the two candidates? It was excellent as always. Both candidates have big time daddy issues, for sure. The thing with Trump is that he cannot lose, simply cannot, and will do anything to construct a win, even if it’s only in his mind. He will step on or over anyone and anything to win. I don’t think he has any moral compass except winning. Thus, his appeal among losers, who just can’t grasp that he will use them only for his own win and then toss them aside as losers.
    Hillary seems to genuinely love Bill, sometimes to her own detriment. The show left me feeling that she would have gone a lot farther (further? never can get that straight) had she gone out on her own. But the heart has its own path…

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  15. alex said on September 28, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Here’s a little day brightener I just came across:


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  16. Dorothy said on September 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I saw barely 30 minutes of Frontline before I fell asleep, Suzanne, but I did hit the record button and watched another 20 minutes or so this morning. I’ll watch the rest tonight. I’m working on not gritting my teeth during the Trump sections. It sure is illustrative, isn’t it?! His old military school classmates say that today he’s exactly the way he was all those years ago. Quelle surprise that The Donald was sent to military school because of how incorrigible he was in his first school.

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  17. Bitter Scribe said on September 28, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani both cheated on their spouses repeatedly, and they’re breaking Hillary Clinton’s chops over infidelity?

    That’s it. The rules went flying out the window years ago.

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  18. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 10:52 am

    If Gary Johnson can manage to poll above 15%, which I doubt, he’ll be on the stage next time. Just because there’s a bunch of people still claiming to be undecided doesn’t mean there’s an bunch of people interested in Johnson, though, or any other third party, because third parties usually just elect the worse of two evils in our system (compared to what the disaffected claim to want.)

    The Alicia Machado piece in the debate was planned, not only as an example of Trump’s misogyny, but as bait that they bet he couldn’t help but take. Expecting that he’d continue to make it a story after the date, the Clinton campaign had interviews ready to go in Cosmo, the Guardian, and the NYTimes. Sure enough, Trump brought it up unprompted.

    But he’s going to make the best deals.

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  19. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Oh, the link: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/9/27/13079878/alicia-machado-trap

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  20. Jolene said on September 28, 2016 at 10:55 am

    “She needs that makeup artist everyday.”

    I talked with one of my sisters recently about how variable HRC’s appearance is. I thought she looked great at the debate, at the DNC, and on many other occasions. But she’s apparently incapable of doing her own hair, so, between hair appointments, she looks just OK. And fatigue show in her face, possibly more on camera than in person, though, of course, I don’t know.

    I hate to comment on her appearance at all, but, really, I just want her to get whatever advantage there is to be gained from looking good.

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  21. LAMary said on September 28, 2016 at 11:14 am

    I think Hillary’s lighting was very good at the debate.That can make a yuuuuge difference.

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  22. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 11:17 am

    I’d be incapable of doing my hair to the standards required of the campaign trail, and while she should probably just have a hair stylist with her, she probably remembers the uproar over Bill’s haircut, which was factually incorrect at the time and still gets misreported today. (http://www.snopes.com/bill-clinton-hairgate/).

    My hair is fine and very straight, so doing anything with it is challenging.

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  23. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 11:21 am

    It slowly dawned on the listener that this was all of a piece with the rest of Trump’s racial attitudes: he believes that, as a rich white man, he had a right to stop and frisk the President of the United States and demand that the uppity black man show him his papers.


    This man is not a normal candidate for President.

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  24. Heather said on September 28, 2016 at 11:29 am

    This just amazes me: “Even as Mr. Trump’s advisers publicly backed him on Tuesday and praised his debate performance, they were privately awash in second-guessing about why he stopped attacking Mrs. Clinton on trade and character issues and instead grew erratic, impatient and subdued as the night went on.” Have they ever met their candidate?

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  25. nancy said on September 28, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Lighting is, indeed, yuuuuuge. When J.C. was a young camera operator at WOUB, the Ohio U. station in Athens, Mike Wallace came to town for a lecture or something, and did an on-air interview. He came in, sat down, looked at the lights and said, ‘Move that one down, that one up, that one over there,” etc. J.C. was watching all this through the viewfinder, and he said it was like magic — this wizened old man changed before his eyes into Mike Wallace ™.

    As someone who watched “Sex and the City” to its bitter end, the biggest thing I noticed was how the lighting got lower and lower, until it seemed the quartet was walking through an eternally foot-lit New York City.

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  26. Jolene said on September 28, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    I’ve experienced that lighting effect myself. As a graduate student at Northwestern, I had my hair cut at Vidal Sassoon in the Water Tower, and I was always amazed by how much better I looked there than anywhere else.

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  27. Deborah said on September 28, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    That’s funny Jolene, when we first moved to Chicago I got my hair cut at that same place, but it’s gone now, closed a long time ago and I had to find another place to get my hair cut. I always think I look like a drowned chicken when I have to look at myself in the mirror at hair salons with my hair wet. I always try to look away but it’s hard with mirrors all around.

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  28. Jolene said on September 28, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Just finished watching the Frontline piece re Trump and HRC. It confirmed my view of what a nasty prick Trump is, and made me think that Hillary is amazing just to be alive after the battering she’s taken. That she can keep going with any degree of optimism is incredible.

    As well done as the program was, it was disappointing in the same way that this election is disappointing–that is, there’s so much attention to personalities, scandals, and such that there’s little room for policy. I really hope these next two debates will work to reveal how little Trump knows about pretty much everything.

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  29. nancy said on September 28, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    If you’ve ever shopped at White House|Black Market, you see that lighting in action — their fitting-room mirrors are surrounded by carefully softened and calibrated light, and it’s pink-filtered. You look good and rosy and young in pretty much everything. It’s witchcraft.

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  30. Heather said on September 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    At my hair salon in the Gold Coast, not too far from Water Tower, the lighting is terrible! I’ve mentioned it several times to my stylist and she says other people have said stuff too. I’m always depressed at how old I look.

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  31. Jolene said on September 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Just saw Michelle giving a speech for Hillary at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Wish they could send her to every campus in every swing state.

    One more thing re the Frontline piece: To state the obvious, Bill Clinton has a lot to answer for. If you’re planning to watch, keep your eye on Robert Reich as he talks about Hillary’s decision to leave what could have been a stellar career in DC to move to Arkansas. There’s a moment of bewilderment on his face that is unmistakable. Message: WHY is she doing this???

    That she put Bill’s interests ahead of her own over and over, only to be treated so poorly . . . Sheesh. Some things are very hard to understand.

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  32. Sue said on September 28, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Mrs. Trump looked great. I don’t have a problem with the dress. Mrs. Pence was there to represent the cloth-coaters, and did a fine job.
    Ms. Clinton’s lighting was, no doubt, part of the great Mic conspiracy.

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  33. Sue said on September 28, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    My sister-in-law would never vote Dem in any case, and she can’t bring herself to vote for Trump, so it’s Gary Johnson for her. She kind of likes what he represents.
    Next sentence was all about how there had better be some grants and loans available for her kid trying to get into graduate school.
    Little disconnect, there.

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  34. Dexter said on September 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    For the past few years, at least 5 years, the Cincinnati Reds’ post-game studio show is done right in the middle of the lower-deck concourse in an open studio corralled off by a double-L bar-like set-up, where fans young and old wave and yell and give the #1 finger salute after a game; I suppose with DVRs cranking away at home to see themselves later on. Leaving the stadium on my only visit there, I walked past this studio, and the one thing I noticed was the strange lighting. I don’t know any technical terms but this was an extremely bright filtered light. No wonder Bono has to wear dark glasses when around light, and why at times old Don Imus used to frequently wear shades while hosting his TV show. I didn’t hang around long enough to see if the lights are cut during the 4-minute commercials, I’d hope so. I have also seen many times when a light would become defective and I would notice how very dingy the picture became. Do the new 4X hi-def TVs require programming be taped and filmed in even more exotic lighting? I had a friend who was a cameraman at the Channel 33 WKJG, Fort Wayne station for years…I suppose everything’s changed since then, 40 years age.

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  35. Suzanne said on September 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Jolene @31, I noticed that, too. I never realized how huge a culture shock moving to AK had to have been for her. The program make me dislike Trump more than I already did and see Hillary with a sense of sadness. She must really love Bill, or thinks she does.
    Both Donald and Hillary grew up with dictatorial fathers and that seems to have had some impact on the way they view things and act.

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  36. Suzanne said on September 28, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Or should that have been AR? I think AK is Alaska.

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  37. Jolene said on September 28, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I was interested, too, in the material re Hillary’s father. I had heard her mother’s very difficult story, but hadn’t heard much about her father’s abusiveness. Haven’t read either of her books or a bio of her. Wonder if her sticking with Bill is, in a way, following in her mother’s path. She has a couple of (at least somewhat) ne’er-do-well brothers, too, that she doesn’t talk about much. Someday, there’ll be a biopic.

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  38. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Sue, it would be interesting to hear what your sister-in-law thinks Gary Johnson represents. I think most people tend to treat third party candidates as a blank slate that they can project their own wishes and desires onto.

    I’ll give him this,though; Johnson may be kooky and not ready for prime time, but he at least appears to be a decent man. I think if Weld were the top of the ticket instead of Johnson, the Libetarians would be drawing more Republican votes. But Weld at the top,would have been unlikely to win the Libertarian nomination.

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  39. Jolene said on September 28, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Seen on Twitter:

    Trump, Bannon, Giuliani, Gingrich, and Ailes want to talk about affairs.

    That’s it. That’s the joke.

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  40. brian stouder said on September 28, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Twitterin’ Jolene for Thread Win!!

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  41. Deborah said on September 28, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I finally got to the end of the Frontline piece. Excellent, but it took me awhile to get through it with errands to run etc. Really, watch it if you can find the time. How anyone could consider voting for Trump after seeing that is beyond me, but alas many who will vote for Trump won’t see it out of willfulness or ignorance. Sad. The difference in the two candidates is like night and day.

    I came home from running errands and couldn’t get my key to work in the door of our unit in our building. It had begun to stick about a week ago and I mentioned it to my husband, we realized we need to get a new door knob set. So today I bent my key trying to get the door open and to compound that I had to pee badly. So I went down to the building office and got the key to use the exercise restroom and asked them to send someone to help me get the door open. Of course when I got back up to the unit, even using my bent key the door opened just fine. We are still getting a new door knob though.

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  42. Deborah said on September 28, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Ha ha this is good, about Kelly Ann Con-artist https://www.facebook.com/RandyRainbowOfficial/videos/869532656482012/

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I don’t want Gary Johnson to win, or Trump, but it just adds to people’s frustrations about the system that he’s kept out of the debate. 50 state ballot access and the other two neither having 50% seems reason enough.

    Just because I keep getting asked this “off-line”: I am unambiguously planning to vote for Hillary Clinton, and so is my spouse (who’s way more conservative than I am). As a pastor with a newspaper column I’m just still trying to figure out how and where I can say it, but I intend to make it a more public position soon. Weirdly, the first half of this week got eaten up by Michael Moore attacking my town. Put that under “sentences I never expected to write.”

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  44. Jolene said on September 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    If you haven’t had your daily dose of presidential eloquence, check out President Obama’s statement on the death of Shimon Peres. Captures the importance of Peres as a military and political leader driven by a moral mission.

    Both Obama and President Clinton are going to the funeral. The WH announcement says that the president will be leading the delegation, so others may go too. Perhaps Susan Rice, John Kerry, Samantha Power.

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  45. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I think that people are always frustrated about the system, and that despite the narrative about this time being unusual,mints not. I think that having a third candidate who has no chance of even winning a single state on the stage just distracts from the point: one of these two people is going to be President. Let’s figure out which one.

    We don’t have a parliamentary system, we have a system that all but forces coalitions within two parties to elect a President. Instead of appeasing dissatisfied voters with a meaningless gesture, maybe instead take some time to explain how and why our system works. It was pretty obvious from the primaries and caucuses that most people didn’t have a clue how nominees are chosen (hint: the DNC doesn’t run primaries).

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  46. Deborah said on September 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    I’m glad to hear that Jeff tmmo, you won’t be sorry.

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  47. Charlotte said on September 28, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    SInce we’re talking about fashion — a very sweet piece by Michael Chabon about taking his fashion-obsessed son to Paris for the shows. (It was his Bar Mitzvah present.) Really touching, especially the very end: https://www.gq.com/story/my-son-the-prince-of-fashion

    Jolene @37 — one of my dear friends ghosted Hillary’s first book, and says while she wanted to kill him, and it was really hard, they stayed together because they actually really love one another. I think you can see it in the way he kvells every time he talks about her at this point …

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  48. susan said on September 28, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Deborah @42 – ha ha ha ha, indeed! His next video down the page (Debate #1 Braggadocious) is also hilarious.

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  49. Deborah said on September 28, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Trump was in the suburban Chicago area today saying that he thought Hillary Clinton was grossly incompetent, honestly is that not a case study in psychological projection? Seriously.

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  50. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Charlie Pierce, please take good care of yourself, stay healthy, because if Curt Schilling really does go through with his promise to launch a political career, I want you to be around to write about it. It wouldn’t be half as much fun without you.


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  51. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    It’s that darn liberal media’s fault! http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/09/republicans-in-denial-that-debate-exposed-trump-as-unfit.html

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 28, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    I don’t entirely disagree with you, Sherri, but there’s also a chicken-egg problem here: when your campaign is in the zygote stage, they need the nutrients of some of the media attention the other two “matured” parties get. With the current debate commission rules, it gets very hard to see how a third party arises to where it can challenge and even supplant one of the current top two.

    And I like the general outline of a two-party system across the governmental process, but there’s nothing about the DNC or RNC in the Constitution. If one party has reached the sell-by date, how do we get them into the bin and a newer, fresher take up on the shelf?

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  53. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    You don’t start a new party at the top. You start a new party at the bottom. It’s only the peculiarities of the presidential system that make third party presidential candidates useless.

    But practically, you don’t throw away the Dems or the Republicans, you take them over from within by creating a new coalition. This has happened to both parties more than once in our lifetimes. But change happens bottom-up, not top down.

    Libertarians are going nowhere, regardless of whether Gary Johnson gets on a debate stage, unless and until they find a way to expand at the grass roots and appeal to more people. There are some Libertarians on the ballot for the legislature here that actually made it through to the general, but are long shots to win.

    There really are no shortcuts. You have to convince/identify enough other people to effect change.

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  54. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Just a lighthearted joke, right? Imagine Clinton making an equivalent joke.


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  55. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    BTW, Johnson and Weld got to do a Libertarian Town Hall with Chris Matthews on MSNBC tonight. He’s really not getting any better at this stuff. Couldn’t name a foreign leader he respects and said the way to deal with college costs was to boycott college for a year.

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  56. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Fallows’ latest Time Capsule: http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/09/trump-time-capsule-119-that-makes-me-smart-vs-they-dont-pay/501998/

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  57. beb said on September 28, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    If one party has reached the sell-by date, how do we get them into the bin and a newer, fresher take up on the shelf?

    You take over one of the twp parties and change it’s character to makke it your own … which is what the John Birch Society did with the Republicans.

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  58. Sherri said on September 28, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    That economic anxiety: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/consumers-are-feeling-better-about-the-economy-than-polls-suggest/

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  59. Deborah said on September 29, 2016 at 12:03 am

    I watched Frontline again tonight with my husband and he came away with a completely different take than I did. He thought it made Trump seem better than he really is and Clinton worse. He didn’t think they were fair in the way they treated Hillary. I thought they did a good job of laying out the facts and letting the viewer decide. I thought Trump came off looking like a hideous con man and Hillary came off looking like a saint by comparison. Did any of you think Hillary was treated unfairly on the program in the way she was portrayed personally and politically?

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  60. Dexter said on September 29, 2016 at 2:10 am

    Sherri…I saw Johnson for a few minutes and he convinced me he is , well…maybe not a moron but an ignoramus first class. As we used to say about a new teacher we didn’t like, he don’t know shit.

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  61. alex said on September 29, 2016 at 6:56 am

    If one party has reached the sell-by date, how do we get them into the bin and a newer, fresher take up on the shelf?

    Beats the hell outta me. Red meat doesn’t have a long shelf life and turns rancid quickly. Maybe the GOP will tire of feasting on the corpses of its last three presidential postmortems and come up with a palate-pleasing new stir fry a la Saint Ronnie.

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  62. Connie said on September 29, 2016 at 7:07 am

    The Detroit News has endorsed Gary Johnson? Really?

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  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 29, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Deborah, the Frontline thing is like Lester Holt’s moderation — if you’re looking for the third party to make your case, they failed. If you think their job is to help make clear who they are on their own merits, they’re doing it. Trump needs to be given more chances to do what he did during Clinton’s description of the Machado case: “where did you get that? where did you get that? fine, fine, okay . . .”

    Anyone who’s dealt with a bully knows that sort of reaction. Adding “Mr. Trump, you’re being a bully” is accurate, but it can be used to deflect by adherents saying “that’s just the moderator’s/filmmaker’s opinion!”

    The most frequent attempt I’m making that at least seems to give Trumpsters pause is to say “I understand you want a change agent, I understand you think Hillary is just more of the same, only more so. But he’s not a change agent, he’s a monkey with a machine gun. You can’t honestly tell me you know who he’s going to shoot next.”

    Monkey with a machine gun. My hardest conversations are with long-time committed pro-lifers, whom Sherri would call anti-woman, and I’d say are more committed to a different vision of women’s roles than a purely egalitarian understanding, but either way, I’m stuck with one line, but one I can sell with complete sincerity: “You can’t honestly tell me you’re certain Trump’s going to be pro-life in any meaningful way.” They say “but Hillary will aggressively move to give massively more funding to Planned Parenthood and promote abortion,” and I know y’all have different arguments you’d like to make, but I just say “monkey with a machine gun.” And argue that in six months if it occurs to him, or the last person in the room says “we could ask Planned Parenthood to help with that initiative” it will happen without a second thought. Have I changed any minds? Can’t tell yet.

    But he’s a monkey with a machine gun, whatever your motive political philosophy. That’s why he can’t get elected. And I’d like him to lose big, but you can’t always get what you want. [cue boys’ choir]

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  64. LindaG said on September 29, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I am reminded of a response that Lynn Fontanne once gave to a question regarding her marriage to Alfred Lunt (for you young’uns they were one of the two premiere acting couples of the 20th century, the other being Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn). When asked if she ever considered divorce Miss Fontanne replied, “Divorce, never. Murder, yes!”

    According to what I have read above, Hillary’s response would be identical.

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  65. Suzanne said on September 29, 2016 at 9:12 am

    “Monkey with a machine gun”. Best line of the week.

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  66. Joe Kobiela said on September 29, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Well if she decided to take out Little Billy, she would probably say what does it matter now? Or maybe her intent wasn’t to cause him harm, with the way people that cross the clintons tend to wind up worm food, I’m surprised he’s still alive now.
    Pilot Joe

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  67. Deborah said on September 29, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Joe, I hope you mean that as a joke, you don’t really believe that do you?

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  68. Sherri said on September 29, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I wouldn’t necessarily call every committed pro-lifer anti-woman. It would depend on the context of their commitment to pro-life. Are they as committed to policies that support families after there’s an actual child? Support for high quality child care, preschool, support for poor families, paid family leave, health care, etc? Does their pro-life stand extend to opposition to capital punishment? What about support for wars? What is their position on contraception?

    If the context of their commitment to a pro-life stance is more about control of women than about what happens to people after they’re born, then yes, I’m likely to call them anti-woman. The loudest voices in the pro-life movement tend to be anti-woman, but I don’t necessarily believe that everybody is.

    If you mean that I think complementarians are anti-woman, then yes, I do. Any belief system that requires a woman to deny who she is to fit in is anti-woman.

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  69. basset said on September 29, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Joe, as someone mentioned here awhile back, Anthony Weiner is living proof that the Clintons don’t have people whacked.

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  70. brian stouder said on September 29, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Forget monkey’s with machine guns; clowns with red hair (and long teeth) are terrorizing bus stops?!


    an excerpt:

    The students were near the intersection of Oxford and Winter waiting to be taken to South Wayne Elementary School when person wearing the clown outfit walked up. The costume featured red hair, a red nose and long, sharp teeth.


    Fort Wayne police say they’ll monitor bus stops in the area on Friday. An officer told a NewsChannel 15 videographer that if the person had been caught, he or she would have been told simply to “knock it off.”

    …to say the least!

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  71. Deborah said on September 29, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Back to Frontline… in showing early spots of the candidates, it was interesting to hear how different their speech patterns are now, compared to when they were much younger. In other videos I’ve seen of Trump speaking when he was younger, he didn’t have nearly the propensity to repeat the same phrases over and over, to some degree, yes, he did that then too, but in a different way. The older he gets it seems he does it more. Also the ridiculous faces he makes, he didn’t seem to do that earlier either. Clinton’s voice has gotten huskier as she has aged which is normal but her speech pattern changed too. It’s hard to describe how her’s changed from when she was a student at Wellesley, maybe she had absorbed a speech pattern that was prevalent there, which again is not uncommon to do. When she was in Arkansas she adopted a bit of a drawl, which they even mentioned in the Frontline piece. It made me wonder if I were to hear a recording of myself from when I was in college, would I notice that I have a different speech pattern now too? When I watch old Katherine Hepburn movies I always find it amusing how differently people spoke back then.

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  72. LAMary said on September 29, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Deborah, back in the thirties and forties movie actors had speech coaches training them to sound mid-Atlantic. Sort of American English with a hint of English English thrown in. That’s why they sounded that way.

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  73. Deborah said on September 29, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    LAMary, I did know that about actors being trained to speak that way, but it’s interesting that they don’t train them to do that anymore. Times change what people expect.

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  74. nancy said on September 29, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Madonna went through a period in her career — around the time of her relocation to the U.K. — where she took on this sort of generic Grand Lady accent and diction. People kept saying it was an English accent, but it wasn’t. It was more that she enlarged all her vowels to the point of ridiculousness. Her “and” was particularly so; it no longer rhymed with sand and hand, but had this big AH sound. I’m like, girl, you from Rochester Hills and Bay City. Talk like it.

    Oh, and sorry no blog today. Bridge birthday party last night, followed by a drive home in a driving rainstorm. Ugh.

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  75. alex said on September 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Hollywood diction was still fairly common even among 1960s TV actors. Think Elizabeth Montgomery in “Bewitched.” Speaking of which, I was taken aback when channel flipping just recently and came upon that show. Durwood was having a hissy and Samantha was flinching as if he was going to hit her. Her body language was absolutely jarring to my sensibilities. How did I never notice this before?

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  76. Sherri said on September 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Here’s an article about evangelicals feeling lost in this election: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/30/us/donald-trump-christians-gay-marriage.html

    Suddenly, we were in the minority. That was kind of a scary feeling. It makes you wonder where the Christians went.

    I don’t rejoice in their discomfort, but I do lament their lack of self-awareness.

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  77. john (not mccain) said on September 29, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Considering evangelicals are the people most responsible for the first 30 years of my life being hell I hope their suffering never ends.

    Not only was that Chabon article wonderful in itself, but the tasty bit on the end about him having a new book out in November made my day. I’ve never ready anybody else as nimble with words, but it never seems like he’s just showing off.

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  78. Scout said on September 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I expect better from people here (even you, Joe) than references to the conspiracy theories about all the people the Clintons have supposedly had whacked.

    “Monkey with a machine gun” is a keeper.

    In a FB post about the latest school shooting in SC, Betty Bowers said, “Every morning, I wake up and wonder, “Goodness, where will America’s Well-Regulated Militia show up TODAY? A mall? A movie theater? A grade school?”” Betty Bowers is a satire site, but sometimes comedy can so perfectly distill the truth.

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  79. Jakash said on September 29, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Jolene @ 31 yesterday said: “That she put Bill’s interests ahead of her own over and over, only to be treated so poorly . . . Sheesh. Some things are very hard to understand.”

    I’m a guy and not a very popular one, at that, so I’ve got no business commenting about this, but — hey, what’s the internet for? ; ) And a huge caveat that I haven’t watched the Frontline program mentioned.

    It’s just that I don’t find it ALL that hard to understand. Despite his many personal flaws, Mr. Clinton is acknowledged even by those who oppose him to be immensely charismatic and a genuinely compassionate person. Is it so hard to imagine that she fell in love with him way back when and had great dreams for their future together — which, politically, have been and continue to be fulfilled beyond any realistic expectation, BTW — and can still, despite the terrible way he’s often behaved, see what she loved about him in the first place? Perhaps she’d be better off had she dumped him the first time he cheated. She’s certainly capable of having created a fine alternative universe for herself. But there’s no guarantee that she’d ever have found a person that was his equal in whatever ways she finds him appealing, and I don’t quite understand why a religious woman who chose to work to better her flawed marriage is so consistently trashed for not cutting and running instead.

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  80. LAMary said on September 29, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    “She’s certainly capable of having created a fine alternative universe for herself. But there’s no guarantee that she’d ever have found a person that was his equal in whatever ways she finds him appealing, and I don’t quite understand why a religious woman who chose to work to better her flawed marriage is so consistently trashed for not cutting and running instead.”

    I haven’t seen the Frontline program either, but I agree with what you said up there, Jakash. I think Hillary and Bill love each other. Bill’s an ass for cheating on her, but I think in his own way he respects her and I too am baffled by people critical of the Clintons keeping their marriage together. That couldn’t and still can’t be easy.

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  81. Deborah said on September 29, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Jakash, I don’t think we’re surprised that she stuck with Bill, at least I’m not. I’m just bewildered about why she has been so vilified, partly because she did stand up for him. She did give up a lot, true, but society probably wasn’t ready for her to get where she wanted to go alone either. It has been long, slow progress for women and there still is a long way to go. People aren’t generally aware of how sexist they really are. And I mean “people”, not just men.

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  82. Dexter said on September 29, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I am re-thinking my statement that I had made up my mind to vote for Clinton. I can’t shake this data regarding this: even the most simple-minded voter knows HRC is a war hawk, and not just the rabid dog supporter of George Bush’s Shock and Awe or the aftermath, when she continually was a cheerleader for Bush and Cheney regarding Iraq and Afghanistan.
    She also was adamant, as Sec’y of State, that the USA bomb the living fuck out of Libya , five and a half years ago. Muammar Gadaffi , who had links to terrorism, was also looked at as a ally, for his country was being held together when he ruled, going back to 1969 . Clinton convinced the administration to bomb Libya, which ultimately led to the humiliation of a dragged-in-the-streets murder of Gadaffi and a totally failed nation…why? Why is Hillary Clinton so damn eager to destroy other countries without having a notion as to the long range effects? Do we want a mad bomber in the White House? Has she learned anything since Iraq and Libya US failures? She seems defiantly proud of her time and actions as Secretary.

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  83. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 29, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Democrats in office tend to think they need to bomb something to prove that they’re as tough as Republicans. I hope to live long enough to see that change, but it’s the story of my entire adult life.

    A man named Alan . . . drat, memory fails, active in the nuclear freeze movement and a mainline religious thinker and author, wrote a compelling study I got to hear him deliver in person, not long after I left the Marines, so c. 1981 or so, showing how from 1945 forward the key variable in the arms race was not Russian technical development, as the narrative usually assumed, but party control of the House and Senate. He could graph and timeline it out nicely: each party would roll out a new ICBM or weapon system in time to consolidate gains in Congress, or to attempt a takeover.

    And it worked, too, which political inertia continues to show as an influence on politics today. I’m not so conspiracy minded as to buy the Byzantine arguments that the GOP or the Dems created either the Muj or ISIS, but I think it’s all too clear that parties use those sorts of threats, and their assertion of how they will respond, to assert their vigor and strength in elections. That’s Hillary’s dilemma now, and while I take your point, Dexter, I think Trump’s argument that we can be strong but less interventionist around the world is what bought him early breathing space in the primary campaign — from people that include myself — but he turns out to have been entirely opportunistic, and has no ideas beyond a crowd pleasing “let’s not” (which I don’t think would last as long as the first foreign eruption after a Trump inauguration). But given that he’s pushing a “Strength and Attitude” position for America without any foreign interventions, I think Hillary will have to play on her somewhat hawkish past as a counterweight. But I don’t think you should hold it against her . . . Kennedy might have gotten us back out of Vietnam had he lived, but Johnson feared looking weak. Hillary might just be able to use her experience to flip that story around.

    But on the other hand — monkey with a machine gun. You just can’t hand the monkey the M-16 with a broken safety to get a cute picture, and take it right back. He’s got it, and he’s gonna fire it, and you don’t know where or when.

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  84. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 29, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Alan Geyer. Can’t find the paper online, but I finally figured out the name.

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  85. susan said on September 29, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Dexter – Seems like some women who get to the highest levels in government turn out to be war-mongers or conservative. E.g.: Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, M. Thatcher. Do they think they have to keep up with the macho to get any respect? I’ve never understood HRC’s hawkishness, and is one of the reasons I dislike her. Although I have to vote for her, dammit.

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  86. Sherri said on September 29, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    I think the idea that JFK would have gotten us out of Vietnam is wishful thinking based on nostalgia for what might have been. Yes, Bobby eventually turned against the war, but even that’s not a guarantee we would have actually gotten out. LBJ kept JFK’s advisors, after all. There still would have been tremendous pressure against just pulling out.

    We tend to remember the protestors and Cronkite, but I also remember Al Gore, Sr losing his Senate seat in part over opposition to the war. It’s easy to think of opposition as universal, but it wasn’t.

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  87. Judybusy said on September 29, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Here’s a delightful palate cleanser.

    Considering that Trump wants us to lessen our engagement with NATO, withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, and is threatening to appoint Supreme Court justices who would repeal marriage equality, I still think Clinton will wreak less havoc, and if congress works with her, actually do some good. For example, she wants to establish paid FMLA. And yes, I know if the Republicans retain control of congress, we’ll have the last eight years rewound, with nothing getting done.

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  88. Jolene said on September 29, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Jakash, I agree with much of what you said. I’m among those who has often found Bill Clinton to be not only engaging, but incredibly impressive in his broad, deep understanding of the world and his ability to communicate clearly and effectively to many kinds of people.

    But the Frontline show made me feel more negative toward him than I had, as it highlighted the sacrifices Hillary had made to be with him, the extent to which she invested in and was responsible for his success, and his repeated carelessness with both their relationship and his career. Pretty hard to admire that.

    In an interview that I heard on NPR in 2007 (I remember the date because of contemporaneous events in my own life.), someone who knew them well said that he admired her, and she loved him. That’s the sense that I got from the Frontline show too.

    So, I probably shouldn’t have said I found their remaining together hard to understand. In fact, as I think about it more, I find it hard to say exactly what I think or feel. It’s not a simple situation. I guess I admire them for making their life together work in whatever way they have, and I admire Hillary for keeping on keeping on without greatly hardening her heart.

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  89. Deborah said on September 29, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Good for you Dexter. Hillary needs you.

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  90. Deborah said on September 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Judy Busy, watching those guys dance was delightful. Thanks for that link.

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  91. Sherri said on September 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I think that, people generally being complicated and often contradictory, it’s possible to hold both positive and negative views about someone at the same time. I can deplore what Bill did to Hillary, yet still admire his good qualities. I can think LBJ was horribly wrong on Vietnam, yet be grateful for The Great Society. I can think that Nixon was a paranoid megalomaniac, yet give him credit for the EPA.

    I can despise Obama’s approach to whistlebowers, think that Edward Snowden was right to expose the overreach of the NSA in domestic surveillance, yet still not think Snowden deserves a pardon. I can recognize racism, yet know that racists aren’t monsters (though the ones who actively promote racism are deplorable, because,of their actions.)

    Jeff(tmmo) recently mentioned asking people for their heroes on his Facebook page, and I realized that I’m not sure how I’d answer that. There are people I respect and admire for what they do, but I’m always reluctant to put anyone on a pedestal, because I know we’re all so contradictory.

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  92. LAMary said on September 29, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I agree with you Sherri. However. I can’t think of anything at all good about Donald Trump.

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  93. Jolene said on September 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Here’s another palate cleanser, a sweet story about a recently arrived Syrian refugee helping to solve a problem at a critical moment.

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  94. Jakash said on September 29, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    In keeping with Sherri’s theme of holding 2 views at once, I can readily admit that Hillary has been more of a hawk than I would like and has made the mistakes that Dexter refers to, yet still have NO doubt that voting for her is essential. To be of a liberal bent and still vote for anyone else is to help to enable the election of the most incompetent, thin-skinned, dangerous candidate of our lifetimes, at least. And, whatever lies he’s spouting at any given moment, I sincerely doubt that Rumpelthinskin would be less inclined to use force when challenged than Hillary, regardless.

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  95. Sherri said on September 29, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Our Presidential campaigns have become all about the candidate, but governing is about the coalition. Hillary is running on the most progressive policies, based on the most progressive coalition, we’ve seen in a long time. Yes, I don’t like her hawkish tendencies. But with Hillary in the White House, I believe that Elizabeth Warren has more influence, because she’s done the work on the campaign trail for Hillary and she’s done the work to build the coalition. So, she’s earned a voice in naming appointees, and I see nothing in Hillary’s background to indicate that she’ll ignore her coalition.

    With Trump in the White House, who the hell knows what Trump will do, but I know what Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will do.

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  96. Dexter said on September 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    If we lived in some weird country where only one candidate appeared on the ballot, and to write in another name was a punishable offense, and that name was Trump, but you were allowed a protest vote by leaving the whole ballot blank, wouldn’t you just leave it blank? I bring this up because some talking head on msnbc, a young man I had never seen before, was on a panel and his point was that a blank presidential ballot was indeed a legitimate form of protest. Everyone I discussed this with said the whole concept was insane, childish, down-right stupid. Here on nn.c we have gung-ho Hillary fans and supporters and contributors, others who are going to hold their nose and vote Democratic, and maybe one who will vote for Trump. After I posted regarding my trepidation for voting for the war-hawk Clinton, the mail came, and I received a large card from the labor union I worked with, United Auto Workers, International. Of course they are all in for Hillary. Well, in saner times we had great third party candidates, not like today. Barry Commoner in 1980 was a great one. Guys like Ralph Nader and Ross Perot made it interesting. Even the communists (Gus Hall) had something to say , and other fringe parties like Workers World Party had their two-cents worth available to read and hear. But 2016 and Gary Johnson seem like aliens from another galaxy they are so damn stupid. Worthy opposition my ass!

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  97. Colleen said on September 29, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Jakash, I think you make good points. And as The Proprietress has said more than once, no one knows what goes on in a marriage except the people in it. So they decided to stay together. Good on them. They know why.

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  98. Sherri said on September 29, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Dexter, that weird country you described is called a dictatorship, and they exist.

    What do you want to see happen in the world, Dexter? What’s important to you? What changes do you want to see, both for you and for you greater community? You don’t have to answer those questions here, but with our current system of government, the most interesting third party candidate in the world does nothing to advance any of those goals, because they aren’t part of the governing coalition. Both Perot and Nader took votes away from the coalition that most aligned with their goals, which seems like a pretty pointless way of accomplishing anything. And casting a vote is the least useful way of protesting. Nobody knows you’re protesting, what you’re protesting, why you’re protesting, or what you want done about it. Tweeting is more effective than voting for a third party candidate, because at least then, someone can see what you’re protesting.

    It’s not about the race, it’s about what happens after that matters.

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  99. Sherri said on September 29, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    LAMary, I’ve been trying to think of something good to say about Trump, but I’m struggling. I will say that I think he must live a very lonely sad life, because he does not seem to have any friends. I hope he gets help for his mental health issues, and if he were to drop out,of the campaign to address them as soon as possible, I would support him all the way. I believe in de-stigmatizing mental health problems.

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  100. Sherri said on September 29, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Trump interrupted and talked over Clinton constantly in the debate, but the campaign is still complaining that he didn’t get enough credit for calling her Secretary Clinton. It wasn’t at all condescending the way he did it, either!

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