Showbiz kid.

As a car-show widow for the last few days, I invited a friend over Monday night for dinner and a movie – “Bright Lights,” the Carrie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds HBO documentary that was rushed into release after you-know-what.

The film was just fine, an enjoyable tour through the past and present of both women, along with Fisher’s brother Todd, who comes across here as an amiable fellow who mostly escaped the family curse, but never learned it’s not appropriate to wear a baseball cap with black tie. The clan is (was) obviously close and loving, while at the same time a bit tetched in the head, as they say, but that’s showbiz. There’s marvelous, well-preserved archival footage of Carrie and Todd as children and teens, perhaps some of it from the famous MGM publicity apparatus. The various glimpses of magazine covers and newspaper clippings give younger viewers a hint of how ferocious that was at guarding and cultivating a very particular image of the various show ponies in the stable. The studio ran your life. Lots of people were happy it did. (As for me, I want to know where I can find the black-and-white dress Debbie wore in the birthday-party clips.)

Of course, the reality was as squalid as it appears to be now. Eddie Fisher not only left Debbie for the sexiest dish in town (Liz Taylor), he was shooting methamphetamine, which he referred to as “vitamin shots.” (It was very likely supplied by a studio doctor.) A brief scene of him at what had to be the very end of his life was painful to watch. And while the kids grew up with every advantage, as we like to say, it’s hard not to see how doomed they were, especially the pretty daughter called onstage at 14 by her mother to sing — we see a weird version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” — as part of mom’s cabaret act.

Carrie Fisher was renowned as a great writer and wit, and the latter is on full display here. She’s also an interior decorator nonpareil, and I would watch another documentary where the camera just poked around her house for a while.

But people, I gotta tell you: If you wanted a clearer, more sobering case against a life of smoking, drinking and related drug abuse, you couldn’t do better than Carrie Fisher. That fresh-faced gamine who played Princess Leia was only a year older than me, but you could hardly see the plucky leader of the rebel alliance in anything but her quick wit. The smoky-lens eyeglasses seemed to be hiding something, her hair was thin (I know she took medication to stabilize her mental illness, and I know it has side effects) and her lovely face looked badly used by too much ill-advised plastic surgery. Required to exercise under the gaze of a trainer for a part in the latter-day “Star Wars,” she struggles on an elliptical like someone far further down the road. We often refer to Hollywood as the beautiful people, but there has to be a better way to grow older.

This seems a good place to drop in this wonderful moment from “Postcards From the Edge” – Shirley MacLaine in the closest thing to a Debbie Reynolds impersonation you’re likely to find on YouTube.

Just a bit of bloggage today: A useful, deeply reported profile of Jared Kushner from New York magazine. The family history alone is fascinating.

Finally, a simultaneously hilarious and infuriating piece by Neal Pollack on the trials of educating one (1) kid in modern America. At least if you aren’t wealthy:

The school gave him math homework where the first problem was “1-0,” even though he already knew long division. And his teacher sent home an information sheet that began “To many times, their are students who …”

We pulled him out after two weeks, instead enrolling him in a “progressive” charter school that was only a 15-mile drive from our house. This school, located in a former mental hospital at the edge of a toxic waste dump near the airport, was so radical that it didn’t have a principal. Parents ran everything. The cinderblock buildings didn’t get washed very often. Supplies were in short supply. They combined fourth and fifth graders into the same class, which led to bullying problems. We spent three hours a day in the car, hauling Elijah back and forth.

At the end of the first semester, in lieu of a Christmas concert, the students performed a winter solstice dance in the midst of a freezing, stick-strewn field, like something out of a Lars von Trier film. My wife and I looked at each other and said, “no more.”

The kids I tutor in the after-school program where I volunteer frequently work from typo-strewn materials, too. Charters, almost to a person.

OK, good midweek to all.

Posted at 5:03 pm in Movies |

73 responses to “Showbiz kid.”

  1. Colleen said on January 10, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    I watched the Carrie/Debbie film as well. Debbie Reynolds was the last of Old Hollywood. I think only Doris Day remains. You could see that Debbie was winding down…but in true Old Hollywood style, she was a trouper, and kept her best face forward. The film definitely showed the strong bond between the two. It kind of made me feel as though it was appropriate they passed nearly together, as it seemed neither would have made it long without the other.

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  2. beb said on January 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    For a time Carrie Fisher had a blog where she wrote about her life and anybody could comment and it seemed like she read the comments. It was interesting but not that interesting so I drifted away. Still how strange to have a Hollywood personality so available. I recall her mentioning being asked to lost 35 pounds, and thought that was unreasonable. Were they going to cut Princess Leia out of the movie if she didn’t? Her death was such a sad thing.

    The excerpt from Neal Pollack’s was depressing. I make typos all the time and have become dependent on the browser’s built-in spellcheck to save me from major embarrassment. Of course it won’t save people from the there / they’re / their mix-up. It does seem to be that schools need to spend more time teaching the fundamentals and less on how to pass multiple-choice quizes

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  3. ROGirl said on January 10, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Carrie Fisher were born in the same year and month as I was — she was a few weeks younger than me. I just turned 60 in October and someone my exact age died.

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  4. Charlotte said on January 10, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    The school article — oy! My BFF has five kids ranging from 20, 16, 12 year old twins, and an 8 year old. The school thing has been a constant nightmare — only the oldest went to school here in Livingston where we don’t have any private schools, and charters are illegal in MT. They’ve been in LA for the school year since the 2nd one started school, and it’s been exactly the Parade of Schools the author of the Guardian piece describes. She’s homeschooling now — with a lot of supplemental classes (widely available in LA) — I’m doing “English” with the 16 year old — the failures range from just shitty teachers to abusive teachers (expensive private school) to ridiculous non-curriculums. It’s been insane.

    And how do we say this delicately? There is a cohort of older movie stars and writer around here who came up during the 70s, and they *all* show the deleterious effects of drugs, smoking and too much booze. It’s not pretty.

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  5. Sandy said on January 10, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Regarding the teacher’s grammar mistakes: I don’t teach English, but I know the rules. Not to start the age-old debate about teaching, but it’s a demanding career. I must watch for cell phones, play fashion police, take a moment to hug a student who lost a parent, catch up a student who took a week off, lose sleep because my learning-disabled kids did not pass their graduation exam, and remember to smile and ask the students how their day is going. Oh yes, and I do also manage to teach over 120 kids a day. I am a good teacher. I love my job. But I have discouraged my own children from following in my footsteps.

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  6. Deborah said on January 10, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    I taught for a few years before I got into design. It was thankless. Everything I was taught about education and what to expect was out the window. I gave up.

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  7. Suzanne said on January 10, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    ROGirl, I had the same reaction when Michael Jackson passed away. He and I were born about 5 months apart the same year in the same state. It was strange.

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  8. Sherri said on January 10, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    If you’re going to get worked up about one spelling/grammar mistake on something sent home from school, you might as well start homeschooling now. I didn’t make it through the first semester of my daughter’s first year of school before I figured out that the only way I would survive was to remember that I was in charge of her education and the school was just a tool I was using. I think it was about the time that I figured out that the California dept of education had determined, in its class size formula, that 20.49 rounded off to 21. After mentioning it to one teacher at my daughter’s elementary school, and realizing that she didn’t understand what was wrong about it, I realized I didn’t want to know whether any of the other teachers could figure it out.

    And honestly, I have a little difficulty feeling sorry for Mr. Pollack’s tales of charter school facility woes. Yes, charter schools have difficulty with space, this is surprising? You want to run schools on the cheap, pay teachers crap, give them no job protections, and expect that freed of burdensome regulations, miracles will occur? I watched a bunch of rich parents unhappy that their underpopulated neighborhood school in California was being closed open a charter and sue the district to provide space, all to avoid being bused to share space with the merely upper middle class riff raff.

    Charters are extremely limited so far in Washington, thank goodness, despite Bill Gates’ best efforts, and the state Supreme Court tightened the screws even more. There’s still a huge problem with school segregation due to housing segregation, though, and no obvious ways to solve that.

    And a legislature where the Republicans have control of the Senate, won’t agree to a tax increase, and so the legislature remains in contempt of court over inadequate funding of education.

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  9. basset said on January 10, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    And our President behaved, as we all expected, as a gentleman and a class act. Last time we’ll see that for awhile, I’m afraid.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on January 10, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Not to be flip, but isn’t the obvious way to solve school segregation busing?

    Much of the next generation is unconcerned with spelling and punctuation. To my son’s way of seeing it, these things aren’t important on social media the same way they would be in a professional letter. Of course, if you aren’t used to getting them right most of the time you are out of practice when it matters. He did send me a lengthy film review to proof before he posted, and I was happy to help.

    I look forward to seeing the Debbie/Carrie film; I had a soft spot in my heart for both of them. Debbie was a few months older than my mom, and Carrie eight days older than me. Singin’ in the Rain is going to be shown in some movie theaters this Sunday and I think I may take her.

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  11. alex said on January 10, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Remember the Republicans who promised there’d be martial law and Obama would have a third term? It’s the only time I ever wanted to believe a Republican.

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  12. Sherri said on January 11, 2017 at 1:19 am

    There is no political will to do busing. Wake County, NC was doing it effectively up until a few years ago, when a new school board took over and dismantled the program. Despite the school board changing again, there has been no attempt to restore the program, and the schools are increasingly segregated racially and socioeconomically.

    As I have said, one of the biggest barriers to racial justice is the suburban mom. She may be a good liberal on many issues, but watch out when it comes to schools.

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  13. ROGirl said on January 11, 2017 at 5:45 am

    A diversion from all the death and looming political realities: Tom and Lorenzo are hitting it out of the park on the Golden Globes.

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  14. alex said on January 11, 2017 at 6:21 am

    I’m not sure what’s worse. That there are people who actually think this way? Or that a newspaper would publish it.

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  15. Peter said on January 11, 2017 at 9:13 am

    I’m bad at linking stuff, but here’s our President Elect’s new theme song:

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  16. Colleen said on January 11, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Alex, I pretty much can’t stand to read anything in the N-S in which someone expresses an opinion. It is sure to send my blood pressure soaring and my eyeballs rolling so hard they fall out of my head and roll across the floor.

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  17. Suzanne said on January 11, 2017 at 9:38 am

    My kids went to a parochial school for K-8. I really was appalled at how many notes came home with poor grammar and misspelled words. I know teachers are underpaid and overworked and all that, but if the teacher can’t write properly, how do they expect the kids to do so? Like you, Sherri, we finally had to decide that much of their education was up to us and the school was simply a tool to provide a framework. But it surprised me and still surprises me.

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  18. Pam said on January 11, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I also watched the Debbie/Carrie HBO special. There was not one moment when Carrie was without her full strength can of Coke and a cigarette. She looked far older than 60. And Todd doesn’t look too great either for being younger than Carrie. Neither of them aged well. I think he wears the ball cap because his hair is so bad. Carrie and Todd appear to have inherited only Eddie Fisher genes, and none of the good Debbie side. But they are all a little goofy and I liked Todd’s (wife? girlfriend?)’s pet chicken.

    I looked up the auction that Debbie had for her Hollywood costume collection, it was on LiveAuctioneer for on line bidding. The hammer prices were impressive – $4.2M for the Marilyn Monroe white subway grate dress, $1.1M for the original Ruby Slippers worn by Judy Garland, $910,00 for the Dorothy dress from the Wizard of Oz and $120,000 for “the Boys”. A complete set of clothing down to the socks and underwear for all the men in the Rat Pack. She said that she didn’t really want to sell the Boys but her family must have talked her into it. Todd said that the cost of ownership of her collection was breaking the bank. Not surprising. It was a very interesting little piece.

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  19. Icarus said on January 11, 2017 at 10:07 am

    “This school, located in a former mental hospital at the edge of a toxic waste dump near the airport, was so radical that it didn’t have a principal.”

    Wow, just wow.

    imagine if we spent as much money on education as we do on war, or as the NFL spends on players.

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  20. alex said on January 11, 2017 at 10:38 am

    “Compromising” video of Trump having “perverted sex” while in Russia. Can anyone imagine what it would be? Too bad Coozledad isn’t here to weigh in on it.

    I’m guessing it might have involved a Vladimir Putin blowup doll.

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  21. susan said on January 11, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Golden showers, Alex.

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  22. Jolene said on January 11, 2017 at 10:50 am

    As I understand it, we spend more per pupil on education than any other advanced nation and achieve, at best, middling results–much like healthcare, where we spend a higher percentage of our GDP than any other country. We are not the stingy country; we are the stupid country. We fail to learn lessons from other countries, refusing to organize ourselves for efficiency and effectiveness, often because doing so would cut into profits or require governmental imposition of standards and practices that Americans reject for ideological reasons.

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  23. Mark P said on January 11, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I think schools are suffering because of a common Republican attitude towards anything public that doesn’t benefit them. The wealthy don’t like Medicare, Social Security, or public schools, because they don’t need them and they resent having to pay taxes for something that benefits someone else. Neal Boortz, who was a second or third tier conservative talk show host out of Atlanta, called public schools “government schools” with a sneer you could feel over the radio. Of course, as a rich person, he didn’t rely on pubic schools. However, as a rich hunk of disgusting libertarian phlegm with his own airplane which he used to fly down to his place in Florida, he had no problem with government airports, flight control systems or weather forecasting, at least until he and the other oligarchs figure out a way to funnel those tax dollars into their own pockets.

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  24. Judybusy said on January 11, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Alex, not at all substantiated, but I read it had to do with golden showers, leading one wit to refer to Trump at PeEOTUS….

    Some intersting topics about education: I recently read The Ingenius Mr. Pyke, the biography of an eccentric British man who may or may not have spied for the USSR during WWII. In the 1920s, he began a school called Malting House based on prinicpals of psychoanalysis. The 3-5 year-olds were seen a budding researchers and teacher were co-researchers. Punishments were never given, just mild rebukes for misbehavior. The idea was to avoid traumatizing children and the ruinous subsequent repression of memories which would later need to be excavated with lengthy psychoanalysis. Cruel anarchy of course ensued and the school was closed after a four-year run. Nonetheless, some of the philosophy had a significant impact on the Bristish education system.

    Also, I learned via the Amicus broadcast this week that the Supreme court is hearing arguments on a case about special education which could have far-reaching consequences. If getting a decent education for your average kid is a challenge, educating one with a disability requeires about 100 times the vigilance and advocacy, I’d imagine.

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

    Be warned, work is slow, so I might be particularly chatty today. I noted in the link Suzanne shared that Trump had prostitutes perform a golden showers show in front of him. So it appears he got off on women humiliating each other. Shocking!

    More on education: we need radical intervention especially with education kids of color. It’s the moral thing to do, of course. In addition, as all know, whites are going to be in the minority by about mid-century. So, who is going to be the workforce of the future? Many people of color, and if they don’t receive a good education they will be a drain on society instead of contributing citizens. Rich people who don’t think they should pay for education are stupid. Who is going to work for them, and create all the collateral infrastructure they need? Provide healthcare? I fear that the gap between the rich and poor will only grow and explode at some point.

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  26. BItter Scribe said on January 11, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Alex @14: I wonder if that guy is troubled in the least at how Melania Trump’s decision to stay in New York will multiply the expenses for the First Family’s security, as well as make life miserable for the people who have to live and/or work in that vicinity. Actually, I don’t wonder at all.

    I’m reading a New Yorker article about a Florida school that has sent more players to the NFL than any other high school in America. They furnish the kids with state-of-the-art helmets at $400 apiece and use remote-controlled mobile tackling dummies at $8,000 apiece. It’s a private school and they charge a ton of money for tuition, so they’re doing this on their own dime. But yeesh, priorities.

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  27. john (not mccain) said on January 11, 2017 at 11:26 am

    “So it appears he got off on women humiliating each other. Shocking!”

    It’s actually a bit worse than that. The tape in question was supposedly made in the Presidential Suite in a Moscow hotel stayed in at least once by Pres. and Mrs. Obama, and that’s why Trump picked that location. No wonder whiny cracker losers love him.

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  28. BItter Scribe said on January 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Trump takes two or three questions at his press conference, then skedaddles off the podium so his tax lawyer can take the mic and lecture the reporters about how there’s no conflict blah blah.

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  29. ROGirl said on January 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but my thoughts are turning to impeachment. Can it be sooner than anticipated?

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  30. BItter Scribe said on January 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    ROGirl: My money is on his doing a Sarah Palin, because of how “unfairly” he’ll be treated.

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  31. susan said on January 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Ha ha ha ha! George Takei:

    “Tinkle, tinkle, little czar. Putin put you where you are.”

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  32. Sherri said on January 11, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    My daughter’s birthday was yesterday, so by her choice, we went out to eat at Dough Zone, a Chinese dumpling place in Redmond. Chinese dumpling restaurants have become quite the thing in the area.

    So, in the restaurant full of Chinese employees, with a clientele that is mixed Chinese and other ethnicities, I walk in last night to see a man seated at a table wearing this shirt.

    I’d be too afraid of what sort of human excreta might be added to my food to wear such a shirt to a restaurant.

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  33. susan said on January 11, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Sherri, this is my travel shirt.

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  34. Sherri said on January 11, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    This button is what my husband and I are wearing all the time now.

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  35. Jakash said on January 11, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Gotta say, Susan, you’re really classing up the joint today! ; )

    The BBC’s “Sherlock” has returned to PBS for another brief run. I don’t know why, but it seems to have about the biggest hit/miss ratio of any show I can recall. Some of the episodes I just love and think are wonderful. Others make me think it’s jumped the shark. To wit: Didn’t like last week’s episode very much, and felt like it was created with the expectation that people would watch it 4 times to catch up with the rapid-fire editing and dialogue. Along with a stupid ending.

    The same production techniques are hallmarks of the show, so they were evident in Sunday’s episode, too, but I loved this one. It featured Toby Jones in a brilliant performance as a serial killer, and had the usual “Sherlock being Sherlock” shtick, but for whatever reason, this one worked for me in a way that the last one didn’t.

    I was annoyed by the fact, though, that there were maybe a half-dozen “bad” words that got freaking bleeped. All in choice spots, of course. Seems to me that I’ve heard and seen other stuff on PBS that would not have made it onto network TV, and it seems odd that I’ve not noticed this in other episodes of Sherlock. Anyway, given the stuff that clears the censors on plenty of other shows, I’m amazed that this show would not be able to get away with a bit of creative license.

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  36. Sherri said on January 11, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    On our recent trip, our car rental was a Kia Sportage. Fine car, but with one annoying quirk: whenever the temperature dropped

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  37. Sherri said on January 11, 2017 at 1:23 pm


    Dropped below 40 or so, the car dinged at us and displayed a snowflake on the dash. Rather annoying, and most useless warning ever; I’ve dressed for the cold, I know how cold it is and the implications. It wasn’t actually a prediction of anything, because it was strictly temperature based. If I were the owner, I would have been looking for a way to disable the stupid noise with days.

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  38. Dorothy said on January 11, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Forgive me if anyone said this in comments above (I’m behind in reading here and at the moment don’t have time to read 37 comments!). But I watched that show too on HBO; I got curious about Carrie’s apparent dentures. Uncle Google was helpful once again. I read that when she was heavily into drugs, she’d have teeth pulled (!!!) in order to get prescriptions for pain killers. What kind of dentist does that?! I guess if you’re looking for something in Hollywood you sure as hell can find it. That’s so sad. I also read that much of the old home movies used in the doc were filmed by Debbie herself, who had a camera and had it on ALL the time.

    Back to the grind.

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  39. Jeff Borden said on January 11, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Sherri, My Fiat 500 Abarth also displays a snowflake, which is hilarious, because it is about the most worthless car in a harsh winter I’ve ever owned. It weighs only 2,500 pounds and has low profile performance tires. The turbo gives it 179 horsepower and 183 pounds of torque, so it mostly sits on the snow and spins. It’s strictly a non-snow drive.

    Regarding the first press conference since July 2016 by our new Orange King, how is it possible that even my lowest expectations for this man were not met? It is going to be an administration that is beyond tumultuous and I don’t think Congressional Republicans have the stones to stand up him. Johanna and I are headed to the Art Institute on Nov. 20. We both fear suffering an aneurism if we watch this man’s inauguration.

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  40. brian stouder said on January 11, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Say – the Washington Post just ran a “news alert” that’s almost surely the talk on the floor at the car show

    “A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Michigan handed down an indictment to the six “high-ranking” executives for their roles in a nearly 10-year conspiracy that enabled the company’s cars to cheat U.S. emissions standards, investigators said Wednesday. The announcement by the Justice Department came as the automaker agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties.”

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  41. brian stouder said on January 11, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    btw, I nominate Susan/Sulu at 31 for thread-win!

    (talk about pissin’ your money away!)

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  42. basset said on January 11, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    The title says it all:

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  43. Dave said on January 11, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    November really made a big impression, didn’t it, Jeff Borden. Yeah, I’m unhappy, too. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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  44. Sherri said on January 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Jeff Borden, one of the refrains you hear in those church basements is that my bottom was dropping faster than I could lower my standards to accommodate. If you have any standards at all for Trump, it’s not possible to lower them fast enough, because he is an abyss. Evidently, so are most of the Republicans in Congress, and far too many Americans.

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  45. Scout said on January 11, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Just gonna leave this here.

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  46. Deborah said on January 11, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Yeah, I thought that too Dave and Jeff B. I’m kinda stuck in November too. But Jeff B, my husband and I talked about going to the art institute on Saturday, the 21st after the March for women. It seems appropriate to spend some time there doesn’t it?

    I have NO intention of watching any of the inauguration at all. Today I walked 3 miles which is the farthest I’ve walked since before Thanksgiving (my foot is perfectly fine now) and I walked past Trump Tower, I kept thinking what a sad and pathetic situation we are in now that he will be the next (minority) POTUS.

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  47. Deborah said on January 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Is this woman gorgeous, or what?

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  48. brian stouder said on January 11, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Deborah – yes she is! – and, she’s an Eddie Vedder fan, so there’s that

    (the camera caught him taking in the president’s farewell address, last night, which made me smile)

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  49. Suzanne said on January 11, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Do you suppose we should have a betting pool for if and when the impeachment proceedings will start?

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  50. Peter said on January 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Sheri and Susan, you made my day.

    I was in a car driving out to a jobsite when that excuse for a press conference happened. What a POS. My favorite was when the shyster lawyer said they couldn’t find anyone qualified to run the Trump Organization so his son’s HAVE to be in charge. Yeah, managing golf courses and hotels is rocket science.

    What a repugnant douche.

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  51. Icarus said on January 11, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    how this for thread-win runner up?

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  52. susan said on January 11, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    You can’t beat Randy Rainbow for truths. Thanks, Scout!

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  53. Jakash said on January 11, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Via Gene Weingarten’s twitter, where he suggests this for folks “who are down in the dumps over January 20.” A swell ditty just posted by folksinger Christine Lavin:

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  54. David C. said on January 11, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Last night when Pissgate was first making its rounds, Twitter was the most amazing place in the world. Even if that particular thing turns out to (probably) not be true, that so many thought it was even possible is the real story.

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  55. Deborah said on January 11, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Yes! I don’t care if pissgate isn’t the least bit true. The fact that Trump has to suffer some fake news, is a perfect example of Karma. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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  56. Deborah said on January 11, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Icarus and Jakash, made my day.

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  57. Sherri said on January 11, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    I take back at least some of the nasty things I’ve said about MoDo over the years. Turns out she really does know how to do an interview without getting in her own way.

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  58. beb said on January 11, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    For the impeachment pool, I’ll take “when hell freezes over.’

    Impeachment proceeding begin in the House, and they will never vote against Trump.

    The Golden Shower story apparently is that Trump hired whores to urinate on the bed with Barack and Michelle Obama once slept. Not on him, which as a known germophobe would have seemed rather unlikely. nd the symbolic revenge seems so much like him.

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  59. basset said on January 11, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    I thought urine was sterile. Well, maybe not:

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  60. Sherri said on January 12, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Don’t kiss the ring.

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  61. Julie Robinson said on January 12, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Would you like a palate cleanser? I’ve written about discovering my family’s hidden racial history, and that my great-great-grandmother was African-Canadian. My grandmother grew up in Nebraska as part of a mixed race community, but by the time they moved to Illinois they were passing as white, and her children grew up not knowing their heritage.

    Now our family has embraced our history and is proudly proclaiming it, with some help from Nebraska public tv. If you watch the video, which is nine minutes long, the couple on the cake are my gr gr grands, Charles & Hester Meehan.

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  62. brian stouder said on January 12, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Julie – I’m very much looking forward to viewing that, later today (assuming the monsoons stop soon!)

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  63. Julie Robinson said on January 12, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Scout, I just realized that your video at #45 is the Randy Rainbow Tweets, Tweets. It’s hilarious and brilliant both. And for those who aren’t Broadway nerds, the music he uses is The Witch’s Rap from Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Which Meryl Streep performs in the movie version. What a creative way to speak truth to fascism.

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  64. Deborah said on January 12, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Very cool, Julie. I watched the video, so interesting and heartwarming.

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  65. Deborah said on January 12, 2017 at 11:15 am

    ” This is not the time to fall into familiar patterns of default respect for someone who does not himself respect the responsibility to the public that he has been given. ”

    Thanks for that link at #60, Sherri. I’ve always been irked at people who said and did disrespectful things about Obama. I felt that the least they could do was to give respect to the office he held. But after reading that link it’s obvious that Trump is showing no respect to American citizens by tweeting, lying, taking advantage (financially) and all the rest. The man is a monster and does not deserve any respect from me whatsoever.

    And Basset, that link by Lindy West was a good one too. Twitter should be held responsible for what they’ve allowed to proliferate. So I will no longer read Twitter feeds.

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  66. Deborah said on January 12, 2017 at 11:36 am

    A good one by Dahlia about Cory Booker and Sessions
    If only it would make a difference.

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  67. Sherri said on January 12, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Racists like Sessions only recognize racists from the past. If Bull Connor were live and walking among us, using dogs and fire hoses on BLM protestors, Sessions would still be talking about the BLM protestors are the real racists, and if black people would just cooperate with police, everything would be fine.

    Go back and read MLK’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail, and remember that it takes the racism of upstanding church-going citizens who don’t believe they are racists to enable LEO to kill black people with impunity, even today. It takes the racism of those well-meaning folk who have no racism in their heart to support voter ID laws that prevent black people and poor people and minorities from voting.

    I don’t care what’s in someone’s heart if it doesn’t prompt action that matches. It’s meaningless.

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  68. Deborah said on January 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Is it true that Obamacare died at 1:30 this morning? Why isn’t this all over the news if it’s true? I’m confused. What is going on?

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  69. Sherri said on January 12, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    It’s not dead yet, but the Senate took a big step towards killing it, all of it:

    Never trust the words of wavering, “moderate” Republicans. Susan Collins falls into line every time when it matters, as does Corker. I guess they threaten to regulate the payday lenders who are Corker’s base; I don’t know what they do to Collins. I don’t know what happened to Alexander; I used to respect him when he was governor.

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  70. Jakash said on January 12, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Cool video, and a nice palate cleanser, indeed, Julie R. Not just on the cake; your great-great-grandparents get a swell shout-out!

    I realize we’ve all probably had enough of this, but it isn’t a tweet, it’s 2 minutes of Stephen Colbert’s monologue as he supposedly refuses to take part in “The Worst Kind of Yellow Journalism.”

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  71. Scout said on January 12, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    “Tonight, the Republican Party voted to begin dismantling “Obamacare.” Rather than let them erase the law and its protections in one swoop, Democrats fought back by proposing amendments to save certain parts, like healthcare protections for veterans. Republicans voted against that. (But thanks for your service, vets!)
    Then Republicans voted against the rule that says insurance companies have to cover “pre-existing conditions,” (so if you have had cancer, diabetes, or heart problems in the past, good luck keeping even your private insurance now.) Then they killed CHIP, which is the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provided health care to impoverished sick kids. Again – they voted against health care for poor kids. (So Christlike.)
    The Republicans then voted against continuing federal aid to rural hospitals, which is the only thing keeping many of them open. (I guess the joke’s on all those deep-red heartland counties who voted for this one-party rule.) All you pro-life folks – they also voted against contraception coverage. With no health coverage for their pregnancies, more women will choose abortions to avoid bankruptcy. (Oops!)
    Also, that rule saying you can keep your kids on your private insurance until they’re 26? Gone. Democrats also forced a vote to protect Medicare and Medicaid from being reduced, but Republicans voted against those, too. Old people and the infirm – to hell with them, right?
    Democrats made them vote on every one of these topics – partly so voters could see exactly what was being voted against. And every time, like clockwork, the Republicans voted against the needs of human beings and in support of profits for insurance companies and tax cuts for the extremely wealthy, which paid for parts of these programs. It was sickening to see the votes unfold.
    Democrats argued into the wee hours, but this is life under one-party rule. If you voted for Trump and his Republican majority, this is what you wanted. Abject human suffering. Drink deep. Here is your victory.
    Not one Republican offered a single proposal to replace any of these services.”
    –Anthony Breznican (h/t Jeff Slate)

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  72. Deborah said on January 12, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I couldn’t be more depressed. I was reading articles in the last couple of weeks that this healthcare dismantling might be at least postponed until there was some kind of a replacement, but no. Jeff tmmo, Joe K, Danny, how do you guys feel about this? Seriously?

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  73. Sherri said on January 12, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Since the Republicans seem to think health care is like any other consumer good, is there someplace I can return my preexisting conditions? They don’t fit in the new environment. Do I need the receipt from the first doctor who gave me a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, Severe? Or the doctor who diagnosed me with Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent?

    Likewise, the first doctor who diagnosed me with migraines, or the neurologist who has been treating me to get my migraines down from 6-8 a month to 2-4 month? Who do I return those to?

    Oh, and do I return my daughter as soon as she graduates from college in May, or is there a grace period to allow time for her to get a job?

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