Cans to the curb.

Well, that was a much-needed break. Saw some movies, read a novel, celebrated my birthday, had a Thanksgiving dinner of tofu and vegetable stir-fry. And it was a productive one. The end is in sight for the Great Basement Clean-out; we should be mightily slimmed down by Christmas, our most precious basement stuff high off the floor and much old junk taken to the curb on trash day. The precipitating event for this project was a flood in nearby neighborhoods, caused by a heavy autumn thunderstorm. The city claimed it was simply too much rain for the sewers and pumps to handle, so it ended up in people’s basements. While there is a counterargument to be made, it’s undeniable that climate change is giving us more such rain events, so I feel good about being prepared. It’s only a matter of time before our number comes up; this is a low-lying area.

Among the things I unearthed was a pile of 20-year-old News-Sentinels, most with columns of mine somewhere in them — journalists used to save clips like relics. Into the trash they went. One edition puzzled me, until I noticed a story at the bottom of the features front, written by an intern. It was a puff piece on some woman who’d written a book for younger women married to older men. She’d grown up in the Fort and was in town for her high-school reunion and had worked a book signing in there. I suppose I was taken by two passages:


First, that someone born Margaret can become Beliza, and second, the blithe way her marriage is described in the story. I recall a colleague dropping this on my desk with a witty note: “In other words, she broke up a family and now we’re writing about her self-congratulatory book.” Oh, well. They’d been married 25 years at the time the story was written, so it wasn’t an entirely Trumpian match. I wonder more about how Margaret became Beliza. I’m suspicious of first-name changers, like the woman who broke up John Edwards’ marriage, born Lisa Druck and morphed into Reille (pronounced “Reilly”) Hunter. Beliza sounds like it might have been the product of rather determined self-reinvention, but what do I know? Maybe she fell in love in Belize.

Or it’s a mashup, like Elian Gonzalez. I don’t speak Spanish and don’t know the culture of Latin America all that well, and when I first heard the name just figured it was one I didn’t know, but then I read it was one of those late-20th-century one-offs that his mother came up with…why? Why? Yes, to be “unique,” because if there’s one thing every inhabitant of planet earth has a right to, it’s a name like no other. There are only 365 possible birthdays (366 in leap years), but you needn’t share your name, not anymore.

Which brings us to the big story of the weekend, the death of Elian’s patron, Fidel Castro. I made up my mind to read just one major piece about him this weekend and decided on the NYT obit, on the strength of Anthony DePalma’s byline. He spoke to the Knight-Wallace Fellows way back when I was one, and I was impressed at the depth of his understanding of Cuba, and his encyclopedic and unsparing knowledge of Fidel. It’s a very long obit, so I’ll break my three-paragraphs rule for just this marvelous passage:

He dominated his country with strength and symbolism from the day he triumphantly entered Havana on Jan. 8, 1959, and completed his overthrow of Fulgencio Batista by delivering his first major speech in the capital before tens of thousands of admirers at the vanquished dictator’s military headquarters.

A spotlight shone on him as he swaggered and spoke with passion until dawn. Finally, white doves were released to signal Cuba’s new peace. When one landed on Mr. Castro, perching on a shoulder, the crowd erupted, chanting: “Fidel! Fidel!” To the war-weary Cubans gathered there and those watching on television, it was an electrifying sign that their young, bearded guerrilla leader was destined to be their savior.

Most people in the crowd had no idea what Mr. Castro planned for Cuba. A master of image and myth, Mr. Castro believed himself to be the messiah of his fatherland, an indispensable force with authority from on high to control Cuba and its people.

He wielded power like a tyrant, controlling every aspect of the island’s existence. He was Cuba’s “Máximo Lider.” From atop a Cuban Army tank, he directed his country’s defense at the Bay of Pigs. Countless details fell to him, from selecting the color of uniforms that Cuban soldiers wore in Angola to overseeing a program to produce a superbreed of milk cows. He personally set the goals for sugar harvests. He personally sent countless men to prison.

But it was more than repression and fear that kept him and his totalitarian government in power for so long. He had both admirers and detractors in Cuba and around the world. Some saw him as a ruthless despot who trampled rights and freedoms; many others hailed him as the crowds did that first night, as a revolutionary hero for the ages.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a dove land on me before, but maybe that day is coming.

A little googling on Elian turned up this great Gene Weingarten piece from when it was going on, 16 years ago. I bet Weingarten likes his old clips better than I like mine.

Also this weekend I tried to stay…not away, but maybe an arm’s length from the news, just for a while. It helped, although I couldn’t avoid this piece, about magical thinking among some Trump voters:

Dalia Carmeli, who drives a trolley in downtown Miami, voted for Donald J. Trump on Election Day. A week later, she stopped in to see the enrollment counselor who will help her sign up for another year of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

“I hope it still stays the same,” said Ms. Carmeli, 64, who has Crohn’s disease and relies on her insurance to cover frequent doctor’s appointments and an array of medications.

Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t it? More:

More vulnerable are people like Gerardo Murillo Lovo, 44, a construction worker who never had health insurance before signing up for a marketplace plan in 2014. He pays $15 a month and gets a subsidy of $590 for a plan that covers his wife, as well. When he renewed his coverage last week at the Epilepsy Foundation, he learned that the price would not increase next year.

“I’ve heard that what he wanted to do first is get rid of Obamacare,” Mr. Murillo, a Nicaraguan immigrant who is a citizen but did not vote, said of Mr. Trump. “But my personal opinion is that he will discuss it with other people who will convince him that we can’t get rid of this. I think it’s going to be maintained one way or another, and I’m going to keep it as long as I can.”

Thanks, low-information voters.

OK, then. The week ahead will be the week ahead, and it’s time to take it on. Break’s over, back on your heads.

Posted at 6:06 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

91 responses to “Cans to the curb.”

  1. Icarus said on November 27, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    this is the only place I can really share my thoughts without my relatives being able to find them….we got through the holidays better than expected but there was definitely egg-shell walking. And maybe that is the problem. Everyone on the right isn’t worried about hurting anyone’s feelings, why should we?

    Anyway, I was about to order a new grill for my in-laws’ vehicle as a nice gesture for all the cooking she did. But a Saturday night discussion that danced with politics showed that she still thinks Obama is not a citizen. Oh and the economy has only marginally improved in the 8 years he’s been in office (I suppose that counts as a concession).

    I’m really terrified that I am related to these people.

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  2. brian stouder said on November 27, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Opinions are like noses – everyone has one.

    Our national DT came up a time or two over the holidays – but folks were cognizant of others’ views, and we left it go. Somebody had to win, and it was supremely ironic that the guy who whined and whined about a “rigged system” won the presidency by that same rigging!

    I mean, Ms DeVos to the contrary notwithstanding – when I went to school, 64,223,986 was referred to as GREATER THAN 62,206,395…or as Jim Rome used to say – “Scoreboard, baby!”.

    But, gosh, do I hear Hillary Rodham Clinton whining about how she was ‘robbed’ or ‘cheated’, or that everything is ‘rigged’?


    And, not for nothing, but folks like Cooze who would burn down all civility (for example, attacking Jeff TMMO) ticks me off just as fast as any lunkhead going on about how great it will be when the Donald attacks people on the fringes, and people who go to the “wrong” church, and people who don’t love the “right” people, etc

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  3. Deborah said on November 27, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I’ve been reading “Snow” by Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish author who won the Nobel recently, this holiday weekend, I started it a bit before I left Chicago and then on the travel day to NM, and then more in Abiquiu during my time there. I am struck by the similarities of the the fundamentalist Muslims described in the book and Trump supporters. In obvious different ways but still similar. I’m not yet halfway through so maybe things will change but it is interesting

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  4. Jolene said on November 27, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Just got off the phone after talking with one of my sisters re that NYT piece on Obamacare and Florida voters, which made me want to strangle that woman with Crohn’s disease, as well as several others. Not mentioned in Nancy’s excerpt is an additional statement by the same woman, noting that, since she is 64 and will soon be Medicare eligible, she is not too worried about the demise of O’care. Sheesh! Does she think there are no 58-year-old people with Crohn’s disease? No 24-year-olds with diabetes? No eight-year-olds with cystic fibrosis?

    Honestly, I liked it better when I knew less about my fellow citizens.

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  5. Sherri said on November 27, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I’m done being angry with Trump voters who need their Obamacare. The election is over. I feel sorry for them, I want them and everybody else to have access to healthcare, but they are not my allies in resisting Trump and the Republicans. They aren’t the enemies, either; they’re just pawns.

    As far as I’m concerned, there is only one job now: resistance. Figure out what matters to you, and fight from there. There will be no shortage of outrages to fight. Hold the media and elected officials accountable for collaborating, identity allies and organizations that will fight, and decide where you stand.

    Trump has been clear all along who he is. He has no respect for other people, our country, or our constitution, and Republicans like Paul Ryan made their choice to stand with him.

    It’s not time to give Trump a chance. It’s time to pick a side.

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  6. Suzanne said on November 27, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Speaking of low information voters:
    “Coler says his writers have tried to write fake news for liberals — but they just never take the bait.”

    Deborah, I read Snow a few years ago. Interesting book! Pamuk isn’t easy, light reading but worth it. That book helped me understand the difficulty Turkey has in incorporating both the east and west mindsets and religions.

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  7. LAMary said on November 27, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Welcome back and happy birthday.

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  8. Sherri said on November 27, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I still think it was unlikely that the election was hacked, simply because of the logistics of doing so, but the increasing proliferation of attacks on infrastructure systems like this aren’t comforting:

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  9. MichaelG said on November 27, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Happy Birthday, Nance!

    Like noses, Brian? That’s not the way I heard it.

    Anybody read Mr. Trump’s classy comment on the death of Fidel Castro? Looks like I’m gonna be embarrassed for a long time.

    I know, Jolene. You have to wonder what’s up those people’s brains.

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  10. alex said on November 27, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    I just spent the evening in an Italian eatery sitting near an ugly drunk, mid-fifties with dyed-blonde hair and sunglasses and dropping enough N-bombs to be named his own hate group by the SPLC. And no, no one showed him the door. An apparent fabulist who claims to live in San Diego but does business here installing high-tech equipment in hospitals and big box stores. He was accompanied by his twenty-something son, who sported long blonde tresses with dark roots and looked similarly self-absorbed.

    He was from here originally and was name-dropping a bunch of doctors and business owners. Went to my high school by the dates he was giving. But I didn’t want to check him out too closely because I didn’t want him to try and engage me the way he was doing with everyone else in the room.

    A hispanic man sat down at the bar next to him and the drunk began going on about tamales and how he loves making them. The hispanic man responded that yes it’s quite a process. “Betcha need a bunch of compadres helpin’,” said the ugly drunk. “Commadres,” replied the hispanic man.

    After the drunk and his son finally left, I blurted “I’m glad our ‘compadres’ are finally gone,” which got me a small round of applause.

    I don’t know if he was emboldened by Trump or always behaves this way, but what a fucking jerk. This is not normal and I hope it’s not the new normal. It was just fucking icky.


    As regards Castro, 60 Minutes just ran a short piece where Edward R. Murrow filmed an interview with him in 1959 and he couldn’t be bothered to get dressed for it. It called to mind a book by one of my dad’s childhood friends, Andy Laszlo, who happened to be a CBS cameraman in Cuba at the time of the revolution and it’s such a harrowing story I recommend it to anyone who wants to feel that moment in history. The book’s called Every Frame a Rembrandt: The Art and Practice of Cinematography, and it’s a film school book but his account is riveting.

    Among other things, they didn’t have proper electric outlet adapters and their equipment was melting down and they had to pull all kinds of tricks with whatever kinds of wiring they could find. Not only did they interview Castro, but also some Hollywood celebrities who’d been evicted from their fancy digs and were trying desperately to get out of the country. Everything was in upheaval and it was a really scary place to be. A great read, if only for that chapter.

    It’s in the public domain. I guess Andy’s heirs are being charitable or something. Or maybe there’s just no market anymore for books.

    Here’s a brief bio on the author:

    He also wrote his own autobiography and my dad is mentioned in the foreword. When he published it his wife was shocked that he’d held all of this in for so many years and divulged so little to her. That’s a story for another day but it’s sort of making sense in light of the Susan Faludi book, which I’ll be giving a report on one day soon.

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  11. Dave said on November 27, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    So, I wonder how their marriage worked out, is he dead today, are they still married? She was 41 in 1989, according to this story, which would have made him 56.

    I also found this telling: She met her older-husband-to-be when she applied for a job as his dental assistant. ”It was friendship at first sight,” she said. At the time, she was dating a Brazilian orthodontist 17 years her senior. ”Then Sam proposed to me at a dental meeting and I accepted. Maybe I have a thing for teeth.”

    Alas, he died at the age of 67 in the year 2000. Even though you can’t really read it because they want you to join, you can scroll and see the pertinent information:

    You might think me morbid and I may have related this story before but when my father was under home hospice care, one of his visiting nurses told me about the couple she was visiting at the same time as my father, very much a May-December marriage. He was 80-something and she was barely 60. When I made the comment that you surely expect that when you enter into a marriage like that, she told me that he wasn’t the patient and things certainly weren’t turning out as they had planned.

    As for Mr. DT, my son and daughter-in-law have some good friends, a couple from LIthuania. They are both naturalized citizens and big DT fans. My son and DIL couldn’t believe it and neither can I. Today’s outburst about millions of illegal voters and those who would believe it, how many ways can one say makes me shake my head in despair, disgust, or something I wish were less trite.

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  12. Colleen said on November 27, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    I’m in a “May-December” marriage myself. It’s interesting to be on the cusp of 50 with a husband who is soon eligible for Medicare. We never really notice the age difference. No other relationships were harmed in the making of our marriage….

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  13. Julie Robinson said on November 27, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I’m in a March-October marriage myself. He was born in March 1956, and I was born in October 1956.

    Thank you, I’ll be here all night.

    Not really, I’m going to bed.

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  14. Dexter said on November 28, 2016 at 2:24 am

    From having no phobias that affected my ability to sit and fly in a jetliner to becoming a nervous flyer after the mysterious fate of TWA 800 in July of 1996, and then after 9-11-2001 refusing to fly at all for another 15 years, if some fucking loud-mouth jackass started waving his arms around on an aircraft screaming anything political and calling passengers bitches or anything else, I would gladly join any couple or group of “Let’s Roll” passengers and hog tie that motherfucker and stick a rag in his trap and petition the crew to request an emergency landing and have this bastard arrested immediately. Maybe an MMA fighter would be on the manifest and just throttle this redneck, hopefully disabling him.

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  15. Jolene said on November 28, 2016 at 4:18 am

    A high school classmate of Richard Spencer, the guy spouting white supremacy in the video that’s been everywhere online, is raising money in Spencer’s name for the International Rescue Committee, an organization that helps to resettle refugees in the U.S. and around the world.

    Chip in!* It’s not every day you have the chance to make a neo-Nazi cry.

    *When you donate, you will be asked to identify a team member. Click on “St. Mark’s Class of 1997.”

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  16. Joe K said on November 28, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Agreed, I’m surprised the captain didn’t put him off.
    I would have.
    Pilot Joe

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  17. alex said on November 28, 2016 at 9:02 am

    In my previous post, I had a “senior moment” and named the wrong book. The one with the Cuban revolution story was titled It’s a Wrap:

    This one, alas, doesn’t appear to be available for free.

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  18. alice said on November 28, 2016 at 9:46 am

    How long will it take for tourism to destroy this?

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  19. Danny said on November 28, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Also Alex, you typed “blonde” twice. Shouldn’t it be “blond” when referring to guys?

    The only reason it caught my eye was that with my recent efforts to relearn French, that language has pretty strict noun-modifier agreement in gender. English, not so much, but sometimes.

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  20. alex said on November 28, 2016 at 10:06 am

    When referring to guys who color their hair, it’s blonde.

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  21. nancy said on November 28, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Wasn’t there an AP style note on the blond/blonde issue? No-e was the noun, yes-e was the adjective? I can’t remember.

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  22. Jim G said on November 28, 2016 at 10:29 am

    The AP Style Guide copyrighted in 2000 (the only version I have handy) says “blond” as an adjective and as a noun for males, “blonde” for females. Maybe that’s changed in 16 years?

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  23. alex said on November 28, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I defer to the dictionaries, which generally put an e on the end of “bottle blonde.”

    The men in question put it on even thicker than their machismo.

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  24. LAMary said on November 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

    So, is our incoming president at blonde or a blond? Or is his hair some unnamed color? Is it even hair?

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  25. brian stouder said on November 28, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I’d say he’s a hare-brained heir, who will make dubya look like Rushmore material.

    (and here’s hoping all turns out to be well at OSU)

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  26. alex said on November 28, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Just heard there’s an active shooting going on at Ohio State.

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  27. Hattie said on November 28, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I think the NYT obit is the best thing written about Castro.

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  28. Jeff Borden said on November 28, 2016 at 11:50 am

    In the same vein as Jolene, it’s a particularly good time to donate to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign and other organizations that will be vital to fending off the worst of the hell Der Trumpenfuhrer will unleash. I sent a fat check to PP in the name of that odious little bigot, Mike Pence, which will send him a card noting the donation made in his name. (I did the same thing when Carly Fiorina dropped out of the GOP contest.)

    The number of incidents like the one Alex referenced is growing exponentially as the lizards come out from under the rocks into the dank world of Trumptopia. Yet I’m heartened by those who are standing up to the racist bullies. An entitled white woman –who else??– at a Michael’s craft store in the suburbs of Chicago went into full meltdown against an African-American clerk who asked her to pay for a bag to carry away her purchases. Other customers came to the aid of the clerk and the loud-mouthed Trump lady was led away by security guards. The customers stuck around to make statements to the police, too.

    BTW, if you’re interested in the view from one of our major allies, Israel, please check out this link. The guy basically argues we have cut off our nose to spite our face.

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  29. susan said on November 28, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    If you donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center by tomorrow night, your donation amount will triple, matched twice by an SPLC supporter.

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  30. Jean Shaw said on November 28, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Susan, thanks for the heads up. They’ve been on my donation list, and this will get me to take care of it today, in my father’s honor.

    Other organizations are doubling donation amounts–one I know of is the Nature Conservancy, if you donate by the 30th, I believe.

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  31. basset said on November 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Saw my first 2016 bumper sticker for the next campaign yesterday, on a big F350 dual-wheel pickup: “Carson 16,”

    And a certain really strange building in Newark, Ohio has some new recognition:

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  32. Joe K said on November 28, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Blonde on blonde? All I can come up with is Dylan.
    I’m actually in Columbus right now, I’ll keep you updated if I can.
    Pilot Joe

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  33. Michael Einheuser said on November 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    As a “Michael” I possess the 4th most common male name in the U.S. (behind James, John and Robert). There were 81 in my High School graduation class with 14 Michaels – it was an all boys school. I was always know as Mike. But a dozen years ago I became involved in a film project that already had a Mike so I became Michael to differentiate the two of us.

    I think I’d enjoy a unique first name.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Re: the office building down the road from me . . . also, the younger Longaberger daughter, Rachel is suing for a piece of the pie she helped throw down the basement stairs. Some Tom Robbins should write “The Fall of the Basket of Longaberger (with apologies to E.A. Poe)” about this twenty year trainwreck.

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    I have a friend on the Columbus campus who says it was a car assault with a subsequent knifing, which campus police quickly arrived at and ended with three shots. Nine total injured, no other suspects being looked for now after the usual muddled early reports.

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  36. Jakash said on November 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Some things haven’t changed, despite the passage of 16 years. Evidently the current, online AP stylebook still has it as:

    “blond, blonde Use blond as a noun for males and as an adjective for all applications: She has blond hair.
    Use blonde as a noun for females.”

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  37. Jolene said on November 28, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    The obnoxious guy on the Delta flight has been banned from the airline for life. The other were offered refunds for the cost of their flights. Big response to the criticism for not having put the guy off at the time.

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  38. basset said on November 28, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Maybe one of the Longaberger children will write a book along the lines of Frances Stroh’s.

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  39. brian stouder said on November 28, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    …and they can call it “Basket Case!”

    (‘Basket of Deplorables’ never really took off; more of a crash-on-takeoff)

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  40. Suzanne said on November 28, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Ugh. The guy that ran over people at OSU was a Somali student.

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  41. brian stouder said on November 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Ugh, indeed

    Remember those foreign-looking chuckleheads from the distant land of….Michigan, with their buzz haircuts and their Ryder full of explosives (aka – dry fertilizer), who took down a whole Federal building in OKC?

    Or that whole secret terrorist base at…Waco, Texas, with the white folks who all had death-wishes, and who killed Federal agents?

    Or the white-as-hell guy who kept sending bombs here and there and everywhere until the Feds busted into his log cabin, after his brother turned him in?

    Or that white guy who blew his mom away, and then conducted a slaughter at an elementary school?

    Why are we so quick to say that those guys are CRAZY!! – but the lunatics who aren’t white guys are part of a giant, evil cabal of nihilistic terrorists?

    I say – lunatics are lunatics are lunatics….and – always bet on the Good Guys and Good Gals

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  42. BItter Scribe said on November 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    When Trump and the Republicans destroy Obamacare, I’m sure the low information voters will find a way to blame Obama. After all, it has his name on it.

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  43. Sherri said on November 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I made it to DC, with little in the way of difficulty. The biggest problem was at home this morning, where we had a power outage. Fortunately, since we were getting up earlier than normal, I had set an alarm on my phone, and I’ve got battery powered lanterns strategically placed throughout the house, so no big deal.

    Since today is our 29th wedding anniversary, and we’dnever done it before, we splurged and flew first class, which was way easier on creaky knees and backs. We’re not likely to make a habit of it, but on a 5 hour flight, it makes a difference.

    We flew into BWI and then took the train onto Union Station; our hotel is a block away from Union Station and easy walking distance to SCOTUS. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

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  44. brian stouder said on November 28, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Sherri – first congratulations to your husband (a very lucky guy) and you;

    and second – I envy you very, very, very much! One of these days, I’ll do DC…and even then, I betcha I’ll never see the Supremes!

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  45. Deborah said on November 28, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Sherri, Happy anniversary.

    Little Bird and I are making plans to go to DC for the big protest the day after the inauguration. LB has a friend who lives in Philadelphia, she has offered to let us stay there and then a bunch of buses are being lined up to go to DC. Jolene, maybe we could meet up? We are in the very early stages of figuring out the logistics so things will undoubtedly change.

    Today was a work day in Santa Fe, we’re trying to finish the kitchen renovation in the next couple of days. My boot got covered with sawdust, but that was the worst of it so I’m good.

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  46. alex said on November 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Dick-faced Nixon:

    This could give me some inspiration to get out my old art supplies and come up with some surrealist renderings of Old Sphnincter Mouth.

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  47. Connie said on November 28, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Sherri, we stayed near Union Station a few years ago. Georges Bistro.

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  48. Connie said on November 28, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Bistro at the Hotel George.

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  49. Sherri said on November 28, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Connie, we’re staying at the Hotel George, so we will definitely be checking out the Bistro. This evening, we took advantage of the lack of rain to walk a few blocks to Art and Soul, a Southern-inspired restaurant. Tasty collard greens!

    Deborah, I’m wearing my Love trumps hate button, which draws aa lot of positive attention. I met a woman at BWI from Florida who said she was planning on coming up for the march.

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  50. alex said on November 28, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Hey, Delta guy…

    Meet your alpha girlfriend.

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  51. Sherri said on November 28, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    You cannot make this shit up.

    The former Baylor Athletic Director, fired amid an ugly scandal involving multiple rapes committed by Baylor athletes then covered up or ignored and not reported by the athletics department, has a new job. Ian McCaw has been named the AD at Liberty University.

    Jerry Falwell, Jr, the president of Liberty, said of the hiring, “You look at what Baylor was able to do during his tenure, it fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going.”

    I guess women are just supposed to be good complementarians to winning football teams at Baptist universities.

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  52. Kim said on November 28, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    The Liberty athletics facilities are amazing, for sure. The state high school indoor T&F championships are held there and the high school all-star games just ended a three-year stint. But my experience with the soccer players is what the skeptics among us might expect: Dirty play, followed by the prayer afterward. Still, have to say it was stunning to see the first time.

    I am sure the new AD will be perfect, given his shameful recent history. Ugh.

    How is it so hard not to let hypocrisy rule?

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  53. MichaelG said on November 28, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Happy anniversary, Sherri! Hope you get to meet Nina Totenberg and Dahlia Lithwick while you’re there. They’re the best.

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  54. Jolene said on November 29, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Another terrible Trump appointment, Tom Price for HHS. The people at Vox describe him as the person you’d pick if you were dead serious about dismantling the ACA.

    Tragic, but there is a long way to go. They cannot do this without some support from Dems, and whatever they do will take a while . . . I hope.

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  55. Dexter said on November 29, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Here’s raising a glass to nance’s birthday and another to Mr. & Mrs. Sherri on their 29th.
    Several times , many years ago, when I was in the army coming out of SFO on redeyes bound for ORD, the planes would be nearly empty. The way they figured it then, they would get the planes back east and cram them for daytime flights. The captain would walk the cabin and invite soldiers and sailors to come up to first class “to balance the weight of the aircraft.” And suh-weet it was. The flight attendants were always pretty women called stewardesses, and they’d pamper us like we were babies, as after all the comped champagne and bourbon and food we could handle, they’d come with pillows and blankets and I swear to God above tuck us in, making the two seats a little bed and dimming the lights…next thing we weary soldiers knew, the morning sun was streaming in the windows. Welcome to Chicago and reality.

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  56. Deborah said on November 29, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Here you go Alex friend of mine in NYC is an artist’s representative, Jason Seiler is one of the illustrators he reps.

    I love Guston, we went to an exhibition of his at the Contemporary Art Museum in Fort Worth a few years ago. There were lots and lots of his Nixon paintings in it.

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  57. Deborah said on November 29, 2016 at 6:11 am

    George Lakeoff has updated his thoughts after the election. This guy seems to have it right, why haven’t we been listening to him?

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  58. alex said on November 29, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Deborah, I don’t think I can top that rendering, but I’ll take it as a challenge to come up with something new and different. Giuliani also presents a freaky visage ripe for caricature.

    As a college student, and also as a young person in the work force, doodling was my way of channeling frustrations with obstinate and difficult people. In one office I did my work on index cards and they got passed around a lot as an inside joke on the management.

    The Lakoff piece is a good read and certainly underscores how differently we are wired. I definitely come from a nurturing background versus the patriarchal model. And as for framing of issues, I remember my mother telling me in the ’70s or early ’80s when the anti-abortionists adopted the title “pro-life” that this was an Orwellian tactic and a very effective one; it implied that anyone who didn’t agree with them was pro-death and that this would go a long way toward undercutting rational discussion of the subject, which it certainly has.

    Lakoff is long but definitely worth the time.

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  59. Kirk said on November 29, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Alex, your mom, sadly, was right. It pisses me off every time I hear it, especially from people who believe in abortion rights, many of them in this forum.

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  60. Deborah said on November 29, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Yes “pro-life” was a brilliant term. Then we came up with “pro-choice” which is kind of pathetic. Much as it pains me to admit that.

    I read another Lakoff piece this morning about the name Trump later in it he suggests that if Trump’s name was Twimp it would have had a different effect. I will try to remember to call him President Twimp.

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 29, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Lakoff’s “Metaphors We Live By” is getting old, but no less relevant, and a very easy read but with lots of meat to chew on . . . relevant to anything, let alone politics. His “Don’t Think of an Elephant!” is good, too, as he cites himself in the earlier link:

    “The Clinton campaign consistently violated the lesson of “Don’t Think of an Elephant!” They used negative campaigning, assuming they could turn Trump’s most outrageous words against him. They kept running ads showing Trump forcefully expressing views that liberals found outrageous. Trump supporters liked him for forcefully saying things that liberals found outrageous. They were ads paid for by the Clinton campaign that raised Trump’s profile with his potential supporters!”

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  62. Jolene said on November 29, 2016 at 10:12 am

    “Death tax” is another bit of Republican coinage designed to appeal to people who have no chance of ever being hit by the estate tax, which is designed to reduce inequality by taxing large estates. Currently, you are allowed to pass on an estate worth up to $5.45 million, which means that the tax applies to only a fraction of 1% of Americans. But that doesn’t stop every Tea Party politician from railing against the death tax as a way of showing their allegiance to hardworking small businessmen and women.

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  63. Jolene said on November 29, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Just saw on the Google web site, by the way, that today is the birthday of Louisa May Alcott. Everybody who loved Little Women, bow down.

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  64. Judybusy said on November 29, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Happy anniversary, Sherri!

    I think no matter who ran as the Republican candidate and they won, we’d be seeing a similar caliber of picks for the administration.

    I think Trump’s tweeting is a way to keep everyone distracted.

    Today on NPR there was a piece on how the Trump administration will possibly change policy on Cuba. Either Kellyanne or someone from the Heritage Foundation claimed that while we gave many concessions to Cuba, “we got absolutely nothing in return.” I am sure this isn’t true, but it was not challenged in the least. It’s this sort of lazy reporting that is so concerning.

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  65. nancy said on November 29, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Judy, this is a talking point with the right — we didn’t “get anything.” What do we want from Cuba? I suppose they’d answer “more freedom for the Cuban people,” but they don’t acknowledge that after nearly 60 years of a cold war, we have nothing left to threaten them with. Seriously, what more could we do to them short of invasion? All that’s left is for us to take a boot off their neck and see what happens.

    I shudder to think what Herr Trump has in mind.

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  66. Suzanne said on November 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    A guy fired under the cloud of a sex scandal as the new AD at Christian morality loving Liberty U. David “have a look at my classifieds” Petraeus as a possible cabinet pick. A woman who has never stepped foot in a classroom as Secretary of Education.
    Stop. My head is exploding. There is not nearly enough wine in the world for me to get through the next few years.

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  67. susan said on November 29, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Ha! I hope GSA has the guts to do what should not take guts to do.

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  68. brian stouder said on November 29, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    The Donald has arguably broken the very same economic embargo sanctions against Cuba that he now grumps about re-imposing!

    And in any case, jaw-jaw beats war-war, right?

    Considering how close we came to nuclear war, over missiles in Cuba (when I was learning how to walk), and considering how much business we do with, say, China* – it will not break my heart to see Cuban widgets on the shelves at WalMart, and American hoteliers pitching their ‘dream vacations’ to Havana on late-night tv

    *or as the trumpster always says – “CHInuh”! That place where he can magically buy cheap steel, while complaining to the heavens that CHInuh is CHEATing us, worldwide!

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  69. alex said on November 29, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    From crazy lady to viral sensation. She looks and sounds just like someone I once knew, but I don’t think it’s her.

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  70. MichaelG said on November 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Wonderful T-shirt, Deborah. Just bought two.

    I had that experience as well back when I was in the Army, Dexter. One time was on a Delta red eye from SFO to ATL. I ended up in first class drinking free booze and playing cards with a stewardess all the way across the country. Another time I was on a flight from someplace in North Carolina (Ashville?) to ATL. I was the only passenger on the plane. Yep, I had the whole thing to myself.

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  71. Jeff Borden said on November 29, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    There’s a lovely follow up to that video of the unhinged white woman Trump fan ranting at the black employees of a Michael’s crafts store. The woman who videotaped much of this on her phone felt so sorry for the young woman who was abused that she established a GoFundMe site, hoping to raise $400 as a nice peace offering to the woman. Last I heard, the fund has attracted more than $17K and she plans to use it to pay for her graduate studies. So, the whiny honky actually did a good turn, albeit unknowingly.

    BTW, video of the same nasty white woman berating minority employees at a Peet’s Coffee shop has also emerged. The poor thing ought to move to Idaho or some state where they don’t have so many icky minorities. Chicago is clearly not for her.

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  72. alex said on November 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    My link at 79 is the Peet’s video.

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  73. alex said on November 29, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Er, rather, 69. Wish we had that danged edit button.

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  74. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 29, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Jolene, I love telling people she wrote a sequel, “Little Men” which is delightful in its own right. It’s usually the first people have heard that the story goes on . . . and there’s a third, a little tougher sledding, titled “Jo’s Boys.”

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  75. LAMary said on November 29, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    And there’s Eight Cousins. I read all of them. My name is actually Marybeth and the Beth part was my mother’s way of sneaking in her fondness for Little Women.

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  76. basset said on November 29, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Groege Harrison died 15 years ago today.

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  77. basset said on November 29, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    George… where IS that edit button?

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  78. Dorothy said on November 29, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Deborah @ 60 – I have vowed never to put the two words President and Trump together during his entire time in office. I think if I must say SOMETHING it will be Pretender Trump. That about sums up how I feel about him.

    Is anyone else reading Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography? I finished it this morning and I’ll tell you, his candor in sharing his battles with depression, and his father’s problems, is really something to behold. My husband has had trouble with it, too, as did his dad. I’m seeing many similarities. It’s a very good book.

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  79. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 29, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    I’m working with a seminary intern this school year at our congregation, and while she’s certainly not a Trump voter in any way, shape, or form, I am struck by some of the gaps in her otherwise well-educated knowledge base.

    The biggest thing she keeps telling me she’s learning in her field placement with us is that the economic world of the congregation is more complicated than she knew. Not beyond comprehension, but not as simple as the three categories she brought initially to the work: a) the working, b) the not-working, and c) retired with a pension.

    I’ve dismantled and reassembled, in all their rickety glory, all three categories for her, with working examples always close to hand. And truly, she never realized. She’s not fresh out of college, very smart, with some practical life experience and two great kids and a husband who has worked pretty much at the same place the last fifteen years since just after their marriage. And she just. doesn’t. know. Or didn’t, until we started talking, and I began explaining things that (this is what’s great for me in this process) I’ve not had much opportunity to discuss with someone from scratch. I’m used to my peers out in the social service/non-profit sector, who speak complexity like a second language, and the general resistance to obvious reality from political folk, but this dialogue is helpful for both of us.

    It brought home to me again why I kept giving new board members for the housing coalition copies of “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich. They meant well, but didn’t get it, and needed a boost over the learning curve.

    P.S. for the church folk: I got her to read “Pastrix” by Nadia Bolz-Weber for her field placement first semester book, and she got an A on her report. At first, she thought I was crazy, then she thought Nadia was crazy, and now I believe she’s getting it. Great reading, tough tales, worth the time.

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  80. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 29, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Just saw your comment, Deborah; halfway through Bruce’s book, and it’s certainly an indication he can write more than lyrics.

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  81. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Dorothy, I mean. But JC knows why we don’t get an edit button, and we’ll just have to live without it!

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  82. Dorothy said on November 29, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Agreed Jeff! I think he writes beautifully.

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  83. Sherri said on November 29, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    I’ll have a post up on my blog about the SCOTUS argument I heard later, but I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman at the National Gallery this afternoon. He was a security guard at the museum, African American, maybe 5-10 years older than me. He saw my button, and told me that there was one person he just couldn’t love. So we started talking. Let me tell you, if everyone was as informed as this gentleman, our country would be in much better shape. He was not a college graduate, but had served in the Army and worked and did what he could to get his kids through college. He talked about the people Trump was surrounding himself with, the latest thing Trump was tweeting about (revoking citizenship for flag-burners), and what Trump wanted to do to the employees of the Federal government (like him). It probably helped that he belonged to a union; that’s probably providing a reliable source of information.

    We had a good old talk, especially when he found out I was visiting from Washington state, because he had been stationed in Fort Lewis when he was in the Army and really liked living out there.

    I’m an introvert who almost never talks to strangers, so it’s been quite an experience wearing this button and carrying on conversations with so many people!

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  84. David C. said on November 29, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Today, I heard a couple of old coots, with one saying to the other that it would be good to have a good Christian man in the White House again. I laughed and said loud enough for them to hear that the only time Trump ever says “Jesus Christ” is when he misses a putt. They laughed, so I paid for their coffee.

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  85. Sherri said on November 29, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    SCOTUS report is up:

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  86. Deborah said on November 29, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Little Bird has been wearing a safety pin and she has found that it makes people speak up. She’s an extrovert so she talks easily to strangers, I almost never do that. So far all of the comments have been positive. Sherri, where did you get your button? I need to get one of those.

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  87. Deborah said on November 29, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Why are we not hearing more about this? It’s like the press is so distracted by Trump and his cabinet picks. What is going on?

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  88. Sherri said on November 29, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Deborah, I had a couple of buttons that I bought during the campaign, but it looks like you can buy them here:–Button–2-14-round-_p_1347.html

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  89. Sherri said on November 29, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Deborah, to be fair, the Cabinet picks really are pretty bad, too. It’s a disaster all around, and so far, there’s no limit on the scale of the disaster. The press needs to come to grips with the notion that the disaster isn’t just about Trump, though; Congressional Republicans stood by Trump because they wanted to push through deeply unpopular programs, like getting rid of Medicare. People still seem to be under the illusion that the Republicans will be constrained by voter displeasure; they don’t believe that the Republicans would really leave millions of people without health care. They will, and now they can.

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  90. Deborah said on November 29, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    I’ve been reading accounts in the press that Baron Trump might be autistic. I don’t know what to think of this because LB will be the first person to admit that she has all of the characteristics of neurological high functioning autism and she sees it in him. When I see videos that show him it seems pretty obvious to me but of course who am I to know. I don’t hold anything against the poor kid. More power to him if he can rise above it in our current sociological situation.

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  91. Suzanne said on November 29, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    The Medicare thing scares the bejeesus out of me. I’m just young enough to be cut out (I think anyone born after 1955 is out) so I truly believe I will die uninsured. They say they’ll keep the old plan in place for older people but how will that work? Once younger healthier people aren’t in the pool any longer, but only older, much sicker people, how will Medicare work? Or is there enough funding to last until the geezers all die off?

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