The cars have come to town.

Our outstanding webmaster J.C. has done the thing he’s done for a number of our late commenters — made a separate comment thread for Maggie Jochild’s contributions. It being January and all, it has me thinking of whether I should shut down the blog before this becomes a weekly occurrence, and all that’s left is for some 25-year-old reporter for a yet-to-be-founded website by an as-yet-unborn tech guru to do a story on this curiosity that’s been publishing regularly since 2001.

Old people! They’re so funny!

Maggie was a wonderful writer. I read a few of her poems here. I think that’s the best tribute you can pay to a writer — keep reading them. You’re never really dead until no one remembers you anymore. Reading is remembering.

Is this too much of a memento mori to kick off the week? I hope not. Don’t want to be one of those people who complains chronically about winter and gray skies and all that. Friday night I went out with a friend and he told me a wonderful story about an edible (that’s medical-marijuana lingo for weed you don’t smoke), a 300-pound security guard in a Santa hat and an assault rifle. I chuckled well into Saturday over that one; it was one of those stories that tells me I’m in the right place, gray-bowl skies and all. There’s a certain kind of hijinks that only certain cities produce.

We were in a bar, a new one for me and nearly new for him. The bartender had been a witness in a high-profile murder case a few years back, and the experience had left her shaken — or “deeply shaken,” as the newspapers inevitably put it. But she had valuable evidence to offer: How the accused, her landlord, had shown up at the apartment building the night of the crime and made a big show of sweeping the parking lot — an activity he had never done before, at least in her tenure — and introducing himself by name to everyone who walked by. That is to say, he was establishing his alibi. He might have gotten away with it if he had spent a little more on a hit man; the one he hired (for something like $1,500 and the title to a used Cadillac) walked into the police station a few days after the crime and confessed. He still might have gotten away with it if the police had been successful in sending the hit man away as a crank, which they tried to do.

It was a mess. But a juicy story.

So that was Friday. Saturday was the usual blur of chores, and here I sit for the next few days, a virtual widow as Alan deals with his Hell Week, i.e., the Detroit auto show. The gala is next Friday and I will take some snaps, I promise. Got a new dress, too. Red.

I won’t be getting one of these. But it might make useful protective coloring if you have to travel through hostile territory in the next four years.

The other thing that’s getting me down is what’s happening Jan. 20. The dread is starting to catch up, because every day I see awful things in the news and I wonder why my street isn’t filled with people screaming as a result. I recall also feeling this way during the financial crisis, which was a useful lesson: When momentous events happen, life as it’s lived on a daily basis doesn’t change abruptly, until it does. I read this piece on Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, our soon-to-be attorney general, and felt icy dread inside. If you click through, WTF with those women in those dresses, and one of them is… black? Really? They found an African-American woman to put on plantation drag complete with parasol? Maybe I’m missing something.

Not all the news is terrible today, though:

Got to sit down with my bullet journal and make a plan for what will be a pretty busy-ass week. Also, I’m gonna vacuum. Enjoy the remainder of the weekend and Monday, all.

Posted at 4:31 pm in Current events, Detroit life |

72 responses to “The cars have come to town.”

  1. Joe K said on January 8, 2017 at 5:02 pm
    These are the young ladies you see in the article,
    They are ambassadors for Mobile, I saw them honoring our vets on the Battleship Alabama during a rugby tournament, very impressive, and what do you know they were at Mr Obamas inauguration.
    Pilot Joe

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  2. Sherri said on January 8, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    We’re at the airport now waiting for the flight back to Seattle. It was a trying week, but we did get a lot of difficult stuff taken care of, including my MIL’s advance directive. Her husband going into the hospital made that easier, because then he wasn’t around to constantly interrupt her.

    My job was to be the bad guy, to inject the reality that is difficult for my husband to do, like telling her that I didn’t think she should be driving. She has a hard time holding her head up as she get tired, and she tires easily. She has a collar she can wear, but of course, she can’t turn her head when she’s wearing it.

    I was reminded by the paranoia of small town rural America when I was there. I don’t usually experience it, because I’m a native and can pass, but I got a jolt watching the Seahawks game last night. There were constant advertisements for something called the Sheepdog Seminar. It’s about training to “protect the flock” of a church from violence. I got the impression it was about people with guns in the congregation responding to attackers, or at least that was the vibe given off.

    When you believe that Satan is actively working against you, I guess it’s just as easy to see Satan in everybody as it is to see God. Easier if they aren’t like you.

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  3. David C. said on January 8, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Asshole, dresses like he buys his clothes in the boy’s department, harasses women on Twitter. How is he still on the market.

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  4. alex said on January 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Pretty sad when Trump can’t even get a Plantation Drag troupe from Alabama to appear at his inauguration.

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  5. Deborah said on January 8, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    I’ve not kept up with the inauguration plans, why would I? I am a bit curious about who they found to perform, I kept reading bits and snatches about celebs who’ve refused. Who will actually be there?

    My trip to NM is drawing to a close, tomorrow my husband flies back to Chicago and I leave for Chicago Tuesday morning, I’ve been here since Thanksgiving, my husband has been here since early Dec. I have to get the shuttle to the airport at 4:45am Tuesday because I have a morning flight. Ugh. Lots of chores to do before I leave. I’m only going to be in Chicago a couple of freezing weeks, then I go to LA for about 5 days. Then back to NM for the month of Feb. I hate Feb in Chicago.

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  6. Dorothy said on January 8, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    What do we have to do, who do we have to bribe, to get Trump kicked off Twitter?!

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  7. alex said on January 8, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    That’s just what I was thinking, Dorothy. Anyone else committing that much defamation and slander, not to mention instigating WW III, would have gotten the heave ho a long time ago.

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  8. Deborah said on January 8, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Thank you JC for what you do here.

    One of my favorite Maggie Jochild’s comments: “Ending months of lurking to announce Coozledad’s comment made me PEE myself. Not the first time.” She will be sorely missed and Coozledad is too.

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  9. Suzanne said on January 8, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Sherri, I know there are several people that fairly regularly bring a gun to my church. One is a state cop, so, ok. Should something happen, he would probably know what to do. But the others? It sure doesn’t make me feel safer.

    A friend of mine’s nephew died shortly after Christmas when he was trying to get his concealed carry weapon out of his new holster at home and the gun went off & killed him. But, he always carried because, I assume, it made him feel safe. He was 22.
    Who do these people think they are protecting themselves from?

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  10. alex said on January 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Who do these people think they are protecting themselves from?

    I dunno, but if they have a steady diet of shows like CSI and wingnut news, I can see where they might think they’re under siege somehow. I’m just amazed at the number of paranoid yokels in this backwater who think there are dangerous predators hiding under every bush on our street. And we’re in a good neighborhood where crime never happens except for domestic abuse, which doesn’t count in the minds of those people. (And neither, apparently, does embezzlement, for which two of my neighbors have been arrested.)

    I’m becoming concerned that Trumpism isn’t going away until people of conscience and good faith start standing up and refusing to indulge it as just another point of view.

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  11. basset said on January 8, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Seven degrees in a cornfield outside Hampshire, Tennessee at dawn today, greeting the last day of deer season. Saw five, but didn’t shoot. I passed up quite a few shots this year, usually ones that I was reasonably confident of making but not 100-percent sure, and on at least two of the sure ones something just said “no, not this time” and I let ’em walk. Still filled the freezer, gave meat away, and donated two deer to a statewide program which provides meat for the needy.

    I suppose I could get all mystical about the change in attitude, or get all boring about details which would be interesting only to a hunter (for example, why I switched from 30-30 to 308 this year), but I vaguely recall some of our group being unhappy in a previous year about me bringing up hunting at all and I just don’t want to deal with it.

    The auto show links are interesting – the new F150’s not quite as ugly as the current one, although that’s setting a low bar, and I don’t see anything in the galleries that I’d be real-world interested in buying except the electric VW bus and the new Camry. Would be tough to get Mrs. B away from her 05 model, though, even with nearly a quarter million miles on it she doesn’t want to give it up.

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  12. alex said on January 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    I haven’t seen the new Camry unveiled yet, but even under the veils it doesn’t look like there are going to be any earth-shaking changes on the outside. Car & Driver is calling the current look “screaming bird.” The 2005 vintage was labeled as “rhinoceros.”

    Chevy’s been advertising against the aluminum-bedded F150 showing tears in the bed when heavy, sharp objects are thrown at it while their product merely gets dents. I think Ford ought to take advantage of this spin and show how the dents in a Ford truck bed aren’t going to turn into rust holes like they will on the Chevy.

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  13. Ann said on January 8, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks to J.C. for the Maggie Jochild archive. I’m not enough of a regular here to have appreciated her at the time, but I certainly do now.

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  14. Dexter said on January 8, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    It must be old age, or because I can’t stand to listen to WJR-AM (Detroit blowtorch)any more, or because it’s been many years since I could get a News or Freep, and I don’t like reading them online all that much…but new car season has not stirred me one bit. I used to get all excited, hearing JP McCarthy and Paul W. Smith interview the CEOs and guys like Bob Lutz. The last interview I heard like that was years ago when Sergio Marchionne, head of Fiat-Chrysler, was on WJR…what an interesting, cool dude. Not being of means to actually go out to look at cars and actually buy a new one never was part of my fascination, as I have driven hoopdees and patched-up used cars mostly. The funny part to me is this: I am like the dog-chasing-car…if I caught one, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. In my case, I would need schooling on programming GPS, and figuring how to get Alexis and Siri to talk to me. I was startled at our holiday dinner when the hostess said “Alexis, play (some Christmas song),” and the house was alive with canned music instantly. My old house doesn’t have that yet. If I get a new car someday somehow, I’d want all those options, but I definitely would have to have some schoolin’.

    I have been distressed because just 8 years ago, Wall Street/Goldman Sachs were being stormed with torches and pitchforks, now the voters have elected a President who is putting them in charge of running the economy, and essentially the country. Oh, we also have crazy, wacko fringe generals in the mix…time for a re-watch of “Dr. Strangelove”. Sessions, what a disgrace! Mitch McConnell, same as always, twisting his own past statements, can’t stand that creep.
    I have been reflecting back on how genuinely depressed I was when Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush43 were inaugurated…if the republic stood them, perhaps it can bear the burden of Mister Orange. Surely, he’ll be max-4 years, right?

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  15. Julie Robinson said on January 9, 2017 at 6:39 am

    We have an 05 Camry and it may be boring but we’ve still never done anything more than maintenance stuff–tires, brakes, batteries. I’ll take that kind of boredom over the excitement of our last few domestic models, especially the one that broke down three times on a trip to DC.

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  16. alex said on January 9, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I love both Toyota and Honda products because they keep on keepin’ on, and hate to part with them because they bond with you just like trusted friends. We had an ’89 Accord that we’d wanted to restore to its former glory, but after it sat more than it got used over the last few years we decided to sell it to a young couple who are Honda enthusiasts and have the time to devote to such a project. Glad it went to a good home.

    By the next time I’m ready for a new Honda, I doubt they’ll be available with a manual transmission anymore, which sucks.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on January 9, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Alex, we also had a Corolla that we ran for 18 years, then gave it to a young couple who kept it for another five, only replacing it when they had kids and wanted modern safety devices. We bought a CRV three years ago and are never going domestic again.

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 9, 2017 at 8:35 am

    This was the Christmas season for memento mori, and I don’t mean celebrities, not that those went unnoticed. Two funerals on Saturday, and I’m just hoping for a break in the weather, and I don’t mean snow.

    Took our son back to college yesterday, and it’s a completely different sort of weird now. First year, only child, empty nest. And I’m frankly angry about too much, and trying not to project it out into where I shouldn’t, while having to mute it entirely when doing things like leading memorial services. Maybe this is my month to start drinking, but from Dexter on up, none of you are convincing me that’s a good idea. More coffee, stat.

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  19. nancy said on January 9, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Just remember what alcohol is: A depressant. If you’re depressed, not the best strategy.

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  20. Jenine said on January 9, 2017 at 9:46 am

    I’d recommend physical activity. But I suspect you are on that. Here’s to a break in the weather, figurative or not. I just reminded myself that there will be more daylight in the mornings by the end of January.

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  21. Dave said on January 9, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Friday, we sold my late mother-in-law’s 1990 Honda Accord, that she bought new in April, 1990, to a 22 year old college senior who had never owned a car before. Car had excellent care and only 78,000 miles. For the first time in our married life, we own only one car, we saw no reason to keep two cars around anymore. Julie, if you move to Orlando full time, you should know, if you already don’t, your car insurance will nearly double, it’s quite a shock.

    So now the orange one says Meryl Streep is a overrated actress and on it goes.

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  22. brian stouder said on January 9, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Dave, as we watched the show, Pam and I were joking that our soon-to-be president was surely tweeting madly away, somewhere in his Florida castle – and ol’ Thumbs Trump didn’t disappoint!

    He’s like a dog in heat, when it comes to celebreties talkin’ smack about him

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  23. Julie Robinson said on January 9, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Dave, it was a sweet moment when our son moved there and couldn’t be carried on our insurance anymore. Sweet for us, that is. We’ll probably go down to one car too.

    Jeff, we had three funerals the week before Christmas and I know what a heavy load that was for our pastor. His coping strategy is to take vacation right after Christmas and Easter and head out of town. Grace to you in your struggle.

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  24. brian stouder said on January 9, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Indeed – we ‘bore the pall’ on a beautiful sunny Saturday with a howling cold wind Saturday, and the pastor wrapped up the grave-side services with alacrity!

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  25. Judybusy said on January 9, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Touching on the “we’re under siege mentality”: I recently joined Nextdoor, a site where folks in you neighborhood can post anything from “free DVD player in alley” to “seeking recommendations for part-time nanny.” This weekend it was about a sex offender moving into the neighborhood. I was really happy with the tone of comments. People generally had the view that sex offenders live among us, the registered ones are closely monitored, and no pitchforks should be raised. Working in the public defender’s office has helped round out my view on how to deal with offenders of all types. Several of my clients have been sex offenders, and I did my master’s degree internship at an agency who worked on getting these men into society and providing treatment.

    Thank you, JC, for collating Maggie’s comments, and to Nancy for the link to her poetry. I shared it on FB so the friends of Maggie and Margot can appreciate it.

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  26. Sherri said on January 9, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Physical activity is good, but changing up your physical activity of choice can help too. When I’m at my angriest, walking is not usually as helpful for me, because I can stay in my head. I need something more challenging, either mentally of physically, either learning something new or something that requires more explosive effort. Hitting things always helps, as long as they aren’t harmful to you or other people.

    The second thing I do with anger is try to find a way to channel it into positive action, not always easy to find, but a very good solution when I find a way. The anger doesn’t go away, but it becomes productive.

    And I find good people that I can vent to, and talk through things with. I have a therapist I can call for a tune up if I need to; she’s slammed right now, but I’m flexible and she’ll get me in within a couple of weeks and since I have done a lot of work with her, we can get right done to business. I saw her last month before this trip.

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  27. Dexter said on January 9, 2017 at 11:15 am

    No, I wasn’t drinking.’s Alexa,not Alexis. Gotta be more careful here where errors live in infamy, permanently.
    Hey, double digits…23F, wind chill 11.
    Go Tigers. … somebody, have a great game and send Saban off the deep end of the Tide.

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  28. Jeff Borden said on January 9, 2017 at 11:40 am

    The television and radio will be turned off Jan. 20. I accept that a cheap fraud and reality TV host is now the leader of the free world. I accept that he has assembled a cabinet and group of advisers that would not be out of place as Bond villains. I accept that he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million and that he enters the White House with one of the lowest approval ratings in history. But I do not have to listen to his Queens braying and the obsequious media figures who will tread ever so lightly around this day lest they lose access to the Orange King. It’s a fine day to visit a museum, see a movie, spend many hours in the park with Cosmo or anything else.

    It’s likely my wife and I will be marching in Chicago on Jan. 21. A protest march won’t change much, probably not anything, but it seems important to keep demonstrating that this monstrous man-baby does not represent us or the majority of Americans. I hope to be wearing my latest fashion accessory: a red baseball cap with “Make American Great Again” in Russian, like the one worn by Alec Baldwin.

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  29. Suzanne said on January 9, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I’m tempted to watch the inaugural speech and drink every time he says “It’s gonna be great” or “I have the best people” or some iteration of these. That and to watch his wife and kid stand there stone faced.
    But I probably won’t. I won’t be able to stomach it.

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  30. Heather said on January 9, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Judybusy, that’s great news about your neighborhood. A rational response–imagine that.

    I think I might have a dry February, or a mostly dry one. I’m not drinking a ton compared to what most would consider a problem, perhaps, but propbably a bit too much for me. As Nancy mentioned, it’s a depressant and combined with world events/the cold and dark Chicago winter/less exercise because of school obligations, I’m feeling the not-so-great effects. I went to a yoga class yesterday and even that didn’t really buck me up.

    I was feeling guilty about not going to DC for the march, but looking at the syllabus for my grad school class, I’m glad I didn’t. I’m going to be stressed out enough as it is. I will be marching here in Chicago, and probably next Sunday, the 15th, for abortion rights. Maybe that’s where i fit in my exercise.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I have a Honda Fit, manual transmission (2008). It’s got over 100K miles and while a few things need to be fixed here and there, I’m planning on hanging on to it for the next couple years. I love it, and as Alex said, I’ll be sorry to have to switch to automatic when I get a new one.

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  31. susan said on January 9, 2017 at 11:54 am


    Kind of pricey, but that’s the cost of free-dummmmmm, I guess.

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  32. Deborah said on January 9, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Hey Chicagoans, where is the march on the 21st? I want to participate but can’t find the location. LB and I wanted to go to the DC protest but I’ve got too much on my plate for that, and LB doesn’t want to go by herself.

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  33. Deborah said on January 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Ok, I found it, it starts a 10am, Jan 21st, at the bandshell in Grant Park. I’ll be there.

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  34. Jeff Borden said on January 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm


    Keep looking. I found a red hat in Russian for $15 bucks on a GoFundMe page. I bought one for another pal, too.


    The marchers will gather at 10 am Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park. I do not know the exact marching route.

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  35. brian stouder said on January 9, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    pssst – I’m bettin’ Mr Borden meant Saturday January 21; but otherwise that November march is gonna be YUUUUGE!

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  36. Jason T. said on January 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I won’t speak ill of the dead, but I just read through that list of Maggie’s comments, and was distressed to see some of the things she wrote about the transgender community.

    I won’t claim to know all — or even most — of the nuances of gender politics and theory, but I do know enough to feel, personally, like she was using an awfully large brush and some awfully strong tar, in my opinion.

    (On the other hand, her opinions are not wacky outliers, and do I understand and respect where she was coming from with them.)

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  37. Julie Robinson said on January 9, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    We don’t have an active NextDoor site in our neighborhood but our daughter uses it all the time for recommendations and furniture. One time people complained about a yard being messy, and then found out both people living there were recovering from surgery. So instead of reporting them to the city, neighbors organized work crews to do the yard work. She also saw moms wishing they had a time and place to get together with their preschoolers, and offered a room at her church. It definitely can work for good.

    I too appreciate having Maggie’s posts aggregated. She was a powerful writer and I’m sad her voice has been silenced.

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  38. Jolene said on January 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Indeed – we ‘bore the pall’ on a beautiful sunny Saturday with a howling cold wind Saturday, and the pastor wrapped up the grave-side services with alacrity!

    Like your brother-in-law, Brian, my mother died in January, but we had to wait until May to bury her. People who die during the North Dakota winter have to go into cold storage for a few months.

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  39. Jolene said on January 9, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Damn, I screwed up the formatting of that post. Well, you get the idea.

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  40. Scout said on January 9, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    In reading through the list of Maggie’s comments, I marveled again at what an amazing writer/storyteller she was. Interesting her final posts were in a thread called “End of the Lyne”. I loved that she had the same opinion of Prospero and coozledad that I do. I love that she was always upbeat and appreciative of tiny beautiful things no matter how crappy her health was. I love that her kitten’s name is Scout, and I hope that baby is being taken care of now because she would want that.

    I spent Saturday night with a circle of women who are all as horrified by PEOTUS Cheddar Tits as we (with at least one possible exception) are. I came away from that gathering energized and ready to fight. I’m calling my Rep and my senators today to express my concern about Sessions (R-acist), marching in protest here in Phx on 1/20 and again in the Women’s March on 1/21. We began a monthly giving plan to the ACLU (proud to finally be a card carrying member) right after the ‘election’ and post the Ryan phuckery of last week, we are signing up for a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood.

    In some ways it is useful for Tiny Thumbs to have a Twitter account, even as I acknowledge it is horrifyingly inappropriate how he uses it. At least we can track his fragile mental condition in real time. Because we sure as hell cannot count on the press to jeopardize their access by reporting honestly on the ravings of the lunatic.

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  41. Jeff Borden said on January 9, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Sorry. Brian is correct. We’re talking Saturday, January 21.

    I’m a bit distracted. I’m counting down to the inauguration on my Facebook page by posting songs of protest and resistance on my Facebook page. Today’s selection is “American Jesus” by Bad Religion, dedicated to the 80% of evangelical Christians who voted for an immoral libertine.

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  42. Sherri said on January 9, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    This, from Maggie Jochild:

    There are no shortcuts in genuine human connection.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 9, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Amen to #42.

    And Nancy, I have come to the conclusion that sugar is functionally a depressant. Is that technically true, or just what one seems to learn when you binge on sweets in lieu of going on an alcohol fueled bender?

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 9, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Jeff B. @ #41: did you mean immoral, or amoral? I don’t understand the process of either decision, mind you. But I feel as if choosing to vote for an amoral idiot is in some ways worse. Immoral comes in many flavors, and can be washed away with time or effort; amorality is a choice if it isn’t a lack of training altogether, and few (other than children raised by wolves) can claim the latter.

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  45. Sherri said on January 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    It matters to the people trying to change them, but to the people in their path, I’m not sure the distinction between immoral and amoral is that important. They’ll screw you either way.

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  46. Sherri said on January 9, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I have to confess, I just want to smack little white boys like Conor Friedersdorf’s reader here upside the head. Not only did he not learn any history in college, he seems not to understand the privilege inherent in his assumption that an illiberal democracy wouldn’t crush him like a bug.

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  47. David C. said on January 9, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I wonder how long it will take Putin to try out his new toy. I guess it will be a matter of weeks. I wouldn’t especially want to be in either the Baltics or The Ukraine right now.

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  48. Sherri said on January 9, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    I’m not throwing away my shot! Just renewed my season tickets to Broadway at the Paramount, which includes tickets to the touring production of Hamilton, which will be here a year from now! My daughter is really happy (and so am I.)

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  49. Basset said on January 9, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    looked Maggie up on Google Images and what I saw wasn’t at all what I’d expected.

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  50. Suzanne said on January 9, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    I get to see Hamilton in Chicago this spring. I can hardly contain myself!

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  51. Sherri said on January 9, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    At least the Republicans have stopped even pretending:

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  52. David C. said on January 10, 2017 at 6:00 am

    For the “Keepin’ it 1600” fans here, it’s been rechristened “Pod Save America”. The first full episode dropped last night.

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  53. Judybusy said on January 10, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I listened to the most recent Amicus podcast this morning. Some Democrats are saying we should do the same thing the Republicans just did and not hold hearings or vote for a new Supreme Court justice. In some sense–upholding the rule of law–I don’t like this, but there is so much at stake, especially Roe. What do you all think?

    David C, thanks for the update of Keepin’ It 1600.

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  54. brian stouder said on January 10, 2017 at 9:33 am

    hold the hearings, hold the nominees to account, and cast the votes.

    I think the only way to proceed is – within the process

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  55. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    What process? Trump and the Republicans are using a new process every day. It’s the Facebook model: work fast and break things. They overwhelm the media and the people with too much noise, and throw in a little catnip spectacle when necessary, like tweeting about Meryl Streep to distract from news about Russia, Kushner being named as a WH advisor (despite the law), business deals Trump was making after the election, etc. The Republicans scheduled multiple high profile hearings at once, before the nominees had cleared ethics review, promised a Trump press conference during the hearings, and no doubt will tweet about how unfair the press conference is, just to keep the noise level up.

    So, what process are we supposed to work in? The one the Republicans blew up even before Trump? The Republicans are in a street fight; if we insist on the Marquis of Queensbury rules, we’re going to get our ass kicked. We can keep out pride and dignity as we lose, but understand that the Republicans are not playing by the same rules.

    I’m not saying tear up the Constitution. I’m saying pay attention to what’s in it, as opposed to what’s just Senate rules and procedures. Stay true to Democratic core values, stay true to the Constitution, but Congressional niceties should be out the window.

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  56. Charlotte said on January 10, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    If you like Keepin’ it 1600 — go check out The 451 (you have to spell that to find the cast) — also really good. Also on the resistance.

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  57. Deborah said on January 10, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    How can you play nice when the other side plays dirty? And They play mean, dirty, rotten.

    I just hope the press is paying attention and doesn’t get sidelined by the celebrity and the hype.

    I’m back in wet, windy. Chicago after a harrowing landing, one of the worst I’ve experienced. I was never so glad to get off of that aircraft. Also I had to catch the 4:45am shuttle from Santa Fe to ABQ. I hate the return flights.

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  58. Heather said on January 10, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Just FYI for all the Keepin’ It 1600 fans, the hosts have started a new podcast, “Pod Save America,” on their own network.

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  59. Jakash said on January 10, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Yeah, I don’t know what the answer is, but gracious acquiescence doesn’t seem to be cutting it.

    R’s stole the election in 2000, questioned Obama’s legitimacy from the get-go and made their #1 priority not the good of the country, but thwarting his agenda (“Patriotism!”, don’t ya know), culminating in the outrageous refusal to consider his S. C. nominee, then stole this election via voter ID nonsense and Russian interference. (They’re so concerned about the original intent of the Second Amendment, but tampering with folks’ fundamental right to vote doesn’t seem to cause any concern for them. Sad!)

    If they’re going to continually cheat in order to prevail, at some point the remaining powers-that-be have got to stop just falling in line. Any fair person knows that the Merrick Garland deal was just unacceptable, that ole Rumpy not releasing his taxes is unacceptable, that a litany of things he’s doing are unacceptable, but where are the “checks and balances” that are going to hold anyone to account in this win-at-all-cost, 3-headed monster of a federal government?

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  60. brian stouder said on January 10, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    My .02 (short version): This is the way it is; not particularly new, at all.

    I’d support systemic modifications; for example, addressing our ridiculous gerrymandering – but again, generally, none of this is new, at all.

    We’ve had Supreme Court (Chief Justice!) pronouncements about how some human beings have no rights that anyone is bound to respect; we’ve had congresses that decided they could define what was ‘American’ and what was ‘unAmerican’ in popular culture; and we’ve had presidents who thought that if they did a thing, it was (by definition) legal.

    Agreed – we cannot “fall into line” and expect things to change. Neither can we become as radical as our opponents, and expect things to normalize.

    If the term “conservatism” has any practical value, I’d say it’s maximized when we conserve predictable ‘process’ as we address whatever challenges loom up before us

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  61. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    BTW, have you called your Senators today? Today would be a good day to remind them how awful Jeff Sessions is. Pick your favorite area (mine was voting rights), call your Senator, and remind them that you are a constituent, and that you want them to oppose Jeff Sessions because of his record on your area. That’s it; they may ask you for address or area code, but you don’t need any more than that. Call the nearest office, rather than the D.C. office.

    It’s easy, and I’ll give you an activist badge for the day! (Virtually)

    (I have an idea for an app that would gamify doing things like calling your Reps or other means of activism, like attending a town hall, city council meeting, school board meeting, etc, but no time to write it, alas.)

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  62. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    I disagree that none of this is new, unless you want to use the pre-civil War era for a comparison. That was the last time we had a group with power determined to destroy the government to get their way, and 600,000 people died on the battlefield. I’d rather fight a different way.

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  63. brian stouder said on January 10, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Sherri – I’ll agree with that point when a state legislature actually votes to declare their independence from the United States.

    Aside from that – I’d have been aghast if I was reading the newspapers in 1965, about citizens marching toward a bridge, and getting creamed by the police; or in the ’50’s when President Eisenhower sent US troops to Little Rock to enforce the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown V Board of Education…

    I think we agree more than we don’t

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  64. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    They were willing to destroy the government well before they actually cast the vote for secession. That the desire to preserve slavery was more important than the country, the Constitution, and anything else, was quite clear, even before they fired on Ft. Sumter.

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  65. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    And now for something completely different, here’s video of an ice circle that formed on the Snoqualmie River over the weekend.

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  66. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Brian, where I think we disagree is whether this is a hair on fire moment or not. I think this is an existential crisis for liberal democracy, not just here, but in Europe as well. I get the sense that you don’t, that this will pass. I’m afraid if it does pass, it will not pass without serious repercussions. The EU was formed in response to the terrible bloodshed of WWI and WWII, and now there are forces actively working to tear it apart. Around 60 million people died in Europe during WWII, 2.3% of the world’s population at the time. That’s cataclysmic.

    I look at what the Republicans are doing, I look at what they have done in North Carolina after losing an election, I look at what the Russians are doing to disrupt things in Germany, and yes, I am afraid. Nothing has happened yet to allay my fears, convince me that things will be all right, that I’m overreacting. I keep looking and hoping, but everything keeps pointing in a bad direction.

    It’s to deal with that fear and anger, to keep from going to a dark place I know all too well, that I’m working so hard locally, in the only place I know I can make a difference.

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  67. brian stouder said on January 10, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Sherri – I respect your stand, and your activism, immensely.

    I have it in mind to possibly run for school board at some point down the road, myself. At the moment, I love the folks who are on it, and I’ve the luxury of imagining that possibly I could help to keep things going the way they have, for the past several years.(things were badly off the rails, there, about 10 years ago or so)

    On the macro stuff, I completely agree with you. My impression is, the Donald has no idea what history is (neither US nor world history) and his puffery is precisely the stuff we’ve seen in human history, just before really bad stuff happens

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  68. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    If you want to make your own activism easier, put your Reps phone numbers for their local area offices in your phone. Think it doesn’t matter, because your rep is a Dem? Consider how much more willing to grow a spine Dems would be if they were constantly receiving phone calls telling them to. If your rep is a Republican, even more important. Be noisy, let them know you won’t go away quietly, you will keep calling. Tell your friends to do the same thing. The best way we can fight is to make effective noise.

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  69. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Fuck RFKJr:

    Fuck James Comey, again:

    I feel like Arya Stark.

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  70. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    If I were named Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, things I wouldn’t do if I didn’t want people to assume I wasn’t racist:

    -I wouldn’t call the NAACP un-American.

    -I wouldn’t prosecute African American civil rights activists on a bunch of trumped up voting rights charges, a bunch of which got thrown out and the rest I lost.

    -I wouldn’t call the KKK okay, until I heard they smoked pot.

    -I wouldn’t call a black man boy and tell him to be careful what he said to a white person.

    -I wouldn’t call the Voting Rights Act intrusive.

    Of course, I’m not named Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, and I don’t do any of those things, because not only do I not want to be perceived as a racist, I don’t want to be a racist.

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  71. Charlotte said on January 10, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    I’ve been calling my Senators first thing most mornings — in the evening I make an “issue of the day” postit and stick it in my old fashioned paper agenda. I’ve been calling the DC office because they’re actually there, and we’re a low population state so I can get through.
    SInce Zinke’s office refuses to take info/log calls while he’s waiting to be confirmed, we’re essentially without any House representation at all, which is disturbing.
    And no surprise, considering Steve Daines helped build a customer service software company, but his office staff are very well trained, and I get an email stating why he’s not going to do what I asked pretty much the next day on most issues. Sigh. Poor Tester is out there carrying the flag for us all, and we’re going to have to work like hell to get him re-elected in 2 years.

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  72. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Charlotte does need my activist badge, she’s way beyond it.

    If you didn’t call your Senator today, make a note and call tomorrow. Jeff Sessions is a terrible choice for AG, even by Republican standards. Surely there’s someone out there who is a little less racist than Sessions.

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