Last days of this.

One of those days, folks. Long and not terrible, but one that didn’t yield much material. Did a radio thing at 9 a.m. about the governor’s state of the state address. Fortunately, the other guest had taken very detailed notes, and can say that Flint didn’t come up until 34 minutes in. My notes read, “says ‘shoutout’ incessantly.” Which he did, enough that I looked up “shoutout” on Google Ngram. It’s hiphop slang, now over deployed by our nerd governor.

Then I came in to the office. Had soup for lunch. Had soup for dinner. Didn’t get enough done; my bullet journal will scold me tomorrow.

But I got some bloggage! It’s a bit infuriating.

Another one of those Vox things — I voted for Donald Trump, and I already regret it. Oy, these people:

Since that 60 Minutes interview when Trump went back on his promise to investigate Clinton, I haven’t been able to look at him the same way. Witnessing his open admittance that he made promises simply because they “played well” during the campaign was disturbing. He has shown himself to be guilty of all of the same things he accused Hillary of — lying to the public, refusing to do press conferences, putting himself and his business interests above the American people.

Since the election, Trump has repeatedly spat in the faces of those that cast their ballots for him. I did not cast my vote for his Cabinet members, many of them rich millionaires and billionaires, despite Trump’s lambasting of Hillary Clinton on her association with Wall Street. I did not cast my vote for his sons who sat next to him during his meeting with tech titans, potentially representing the vast business interests of the Trump company that they now run. I did not cast my vote for Ivanka, whose clothing brand was working out an ongoing deal with a Japanese clothing company when she sat in on a meeting with her father and the Japanese prime minister. I did not cast my vote to enrich the very swamp that Trump promised he would drain.

Today’s talker will be this NYT piece on Rick Perry, which made the blood drain from my face:

When President-elect Donald J. Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Mr. Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state.

In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.

Two-thirds of the agency’s annual $30 billion budget is devoted to maintaining, refurbishing and keeping safe the nation’s nuclear stockpile; thwarting nuclear proliferation; cleaning up and rebuilding an aging constellation of nuclear production facilities; and overseeing national laboratories that are considered the crown jewels of government science.

“If you asked him on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy,’” said Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist who advised Mr. Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign and worked on the Trump transition’s Energy Department team in its early days. “If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.”

It’s fashionable these days to go around muttering “we’re so fucked,” and it’s easy to see why.

Finally, this Bridge story goes live at 6:20 a.m. Thursday, and I’m eager to hear what people think of it. It’s very strange, and there’s a twist at about the three-quarter mark that I’d rather not spoil until more people have a chance to read it. But I want to hear opinions.

Onward to the week’s downside. And…Friday.

Posted at 9:37 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

39 responses to “Last days of this.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 18, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Four parent no-shows in a row, and even the nice principals just wanting to know how soon I can file charges for truancy/chronic absenteeism . . . yeah, I’m feeling pretty conflicted these days. We’re moving in a very punitive, consequences-are-the-answer direction on multiple levels.

    On the other hand, the state legislative folk are asking good questions about mental health delivery and payment. I’m hoping we can find ways in Ohio to get mental & behavioral health priorities funded into (not through) the schools so we can identify and connect K-12 youth to resources. Whether block granted or not, the front line people seem to be pretty united about making sure children’s services and mental health don’t take hits. Talk, as they say, is cheap. Stay tuned.

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  2. Sherri said on January 19, 2017 at 2:05 am

    I start on a community truancy board next month, which is a new state requirement for school districts. It’s supposed to be an alternative to court. No idea if it will work or not, but it’s worth a try.

    Let’s remember that Rick Perry wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy, even though he forgot its name. Now we know he didn’t even know what it did, but he was still sure it was a waste. I suppose because he didn’t know what it did, he assumed it was unnecessary.

    He’ll fit right in with the Trump cabinet. The EPA nominee professed to not be familiar with the scientific evidence on the harms of lead exposure to children.

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  3. St Bitch said on January 19, 2017 at 6:06 am

    As for the Vox thing…it’s almost impossible to conflate such language contortions as “Witnessing his open admittance that he made promises…” and “…has repeatedly spat…” (to be expected from the kind of Deplorable voter who wants Her locked up), with the articulate Regretful voter who is able to follow and analyze the myriad contradictions and stock-the-swamp agenda of our WASF #notmypresident transition.

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  4. David C. said on January 19, 2017 at 6:09 am
    Too true to be good.

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  5. Alan Stamm said on January 19, 2017 at 6:57 am

    B e r m a n !

    Printed for later. (9 pages is just too, too for now.)

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  6. Suzanne said on January 19, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Nice that Trump voters are beginning to realize they’ve been had, but everyday I think, “How did you not see this coming??” I just cannot grasp how people can be that dense. It doesn’t take 5 minutes of research (and by research, I mean typing Trump lies into Google) to find a long string of Trump lies, so how can people be surprised that a wealthy casino owner who thinks a POW is a loser for being caught and brags about grabbing pu**y didn’t tell the truth during the election and doesn’t give a flying fart about them?

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 19, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Sherri, I very much look forward to reports on that experience. We attempted to put something like that into place here in Ohio, and it was undermined and diluted to where I’m not even sure how it’s going to be applied in Sept. 2017, but we’re not done on that front. It sounds like you’re doing what I’m trying to convince the state supers association in this state will actually help them, not handicap them. Oh, and help kids in stressed families . . . too often in this work, the old adage about “up to your kiester in alligators” comes to mind. HELP HURTING KIDS is a phrase I have to repeat too often to my colleagues.

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  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 19, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Nancy, the Bridge piece is well-done, if painful to read; I can confirm that college administrators are simply confused as much as anxious over what Title IX compliance means in reference to “promptly and equitably respond” and it does seem at times that the feds are working from a stance of “we’ll let you know when we think you’re in violation, but we won’t give you specific guidelines, because that’s beyond our authority.” Which inevitably means collateral damage for the students trying to understand what they can and can’t say or do, even as our culture sends mixed signals as well . . . like electing Trump to the presidency.

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  9. Andrea said on January 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Getting ready to send an 18-year-old sensitive son off to college in the fall… that Bridge story was terrifying.

    And I say this as an actual person involved in pursuing litigation — does everything have to be litigated?

    I do feel sorry for the Trump voters who persuaded themselves that he was something that he very clearly wasn’t. And while the impulse toward schadenfreude-filled mocking is strong, I have to consistently, persistently remind myself that changing people’s minds does not come from ridiculing them. The WaPo story on Derek Black is useful here.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 19, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Everything has to be litigated.

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  11. Peter said on January 19, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Sherri, you said yesterday that you were more qualified to be Energy Secretary than Rick Perry.

    Don’t sell yourself short – I bet you are more qualified to be president than Orange Julius.

    My DOG is more qualified to be Energy Secretary than Rick Perry.

    This morning CNN had a graphic showing the various ethical problems that Fearless Leader’s cabinet picks have. What a bunch of scum.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Not sure I want to be part of a world where texting a nude picture of yourself is SOP.

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  13. Suzanne said on January 19, 2017 at 10:03 am

    The Bridge piece is painful.
    Melanie seems like a very disturbed & confused young person and I think overreacted to the situation, but that said, I understand her anger to some extent. After being obviously upset and spilling her guts to her boyfriend, his thought to set things on a better path was sex (which made me think “Get a clue, buddy!”). On his part, he was probably thinking that sex would make him feel better if he was that upset so assumed it would make her feel better, too. We do project our thoughts and feelings on others, don’t we? Nonetheless, he stopped as soon as she objected so I think that should have been the end of it.
    I don’t know. It’s complicated.

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  14. Claudia said on January 19, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I agree with Suzanne. Melanie needs professional help. What Nathan did was clueless, but his stopping as soon as she objected should have ended it. It sounds like she issues/regrets that she’s trying to blame on Nathan. Schools need to get out of the judge and jury business and only react after a court has handed down a decision.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on January 19, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Neil Steinberg has an interesting column today in the Sun-Times. (It was on his blog yesterday at He visited a poor, rural county 275 miles south of Chicago that voted 84% for Der Kommissar. No regrets down there. . .at least not yet. They all believe his business acumen will be instrumental in returning jobs and prosperity to their tiny hamlets.

    I understand the racial, sexual and social dog whistles used in his campaign found a ready audience of those who honestly believe the world is tilted toward women, toward people of color, toward immigrants. I understand how some people might be seduced by tough talk, even if spoken by a poor little rich boy who inherited his wealth. But I’ve never been able to understand those who threw a vote his way because they saw him as a business genius.

    I spent half my journalism career covering businesses in the Chicago area from publicly traded Fortune 50 corporations to family owned empires to mom and pop entrepreneurs. This allowed me to meet some truly brilliant executives, but most were middling talents, often surrounded by boards of directors that wrote them blank checks for terrible decisions. Der Kommissar is worse than most. Folks, it is almost impossible to fuck up a casino business, but he did it multiple times including going BK on a casino in Gary, Indiana, which was part of my coverage area. When you go broke in an industry where the house wins 92 percent of the time, you demonstrate truly terrible skills.

    We’re off to the Art Institute of Chicago tomorrow to avoid all the coverage of the inauguration. I’ll read the transcripts on Saturday. It really doesn’t matter. Der Kommissar has said he will take Saturday and Sunday off before staring work Monday. Gosh. Our new leader takes a two-day vacation before he even walks into the Oval Office? And according to Charlie Pierce, there are something like 620 critical jobs in various areas of government where our new leader has yet to even nominate a candidate, so it’s not like he doesn’t have plenty on his plate.


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  16. Suzanne said on January 19, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I keep having near arguments with my mother about Trump’s business successes. She won’t believe me that he is not a good business man and that he’s in debt, but then she still firmly believes he’s a Muslim.
    I have no clue what you can do to persuade a person who will not even consider that their vision of Trump is based on untruths and an utter denial of facts.

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  17. alex said on January 19, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Jeff, you can’t expect the illiterati to know what you know about Trump’s business acumen. All they’ve seen is the glitzy mythos advanced on the Celebrity Apprentice show.

    As for the Bridge piece, you’d think the schools would make a better effort at learning how to suss out bogus and vindictive complaints. MSU and Melanie deserve egg on their faces and I hope Nathan takes his civil case all the way to trial.

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  18. Icarus said on January 19, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Wow that Bridge story is F-d to the UPP! “perceived cues rather than explicit assent” is the bedrock of romantic entanglements, especially in a long term relationship. I was thinking this was overcorrection just as I read the line from the lawyer saying as much.

    We really need to look at how we treat sex offenders in this country too. When someone hears registered sex offender, they don’t think person who just turned 18 yr old who slept with his 17 yr old girlfriend (having done so previously) versus 30 year old who has sex with a 16 year, versus the other even icky versions.

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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 19, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Keep in mind, reading the Bridge article, that a loud voice of complain about colleges is the increase in “useless administrators” even as more policy mandates require you hire more to manage them . . . but you still fall relentlessly behind in keeping up with the filings.

    And yes (full disclosure), I am married to a useful administrator, IMHO; she’s not Title IX compliance, but the arrow to that person’s office is just outside her door. Nancy, she’s already gotten the link, and it’s flying around her building even as we speak. And to other GLCA colleges before lunch, I betcha.

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  20. Suzanne said on January 19, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I agree Icarus. A friend of mine’s son is a registered sex offender for being in the situation you describe. That is so totally different than a 60 year old perv going after a 10 year old. There has to be a way to note the difference for a young guy that does something dumb or is lied to by a 15 year about her age.

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  21. Icarus said on January 19, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks Suzanne. A lawyer friend says the judge, along with the prosecutor et al are supposed to factor those circumstances in with sentencing but I suspect that isn’t usually the case, or the system falls short.

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  22. alex said on January 19, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Funny funny:

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  23. Charlotte said on January 19, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    We’ve got a new rape bill working its way through the MT legislature — proposed by our loathesome State Senator, so we’re sort of trying to figure out what the catch is — Nels never saw a sexual assault case when he was a local judge where he didn’t side with the perp. However, the bill gets rid of our outdated requirement that to rape requires “force” — and it adds a “Romeo and Juliet” clause to cover consenting sex between teenagers between I think, 13-19. Mostly, folks are sort of shocked and pleased that the whole rewrite hinges on consent — which has been a problem in Montana. But we don’t trust Swandal. So there’s that.

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  24. Deborah said on January 19, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Is it just me? I really don’t like Michael Moore. He made a couple of OK movies but he bothers me as a spokesperson and now I see that he’s going to be a speaker at the March in DC on Saturday. I really hope the press doesn’t focus on what he might have to say.

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  25. brian stouder said on January 19, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Deborah, I could not possibly agree MORE!

    I don’t think he’s all that credible

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  26. Jenny Derringer said on January 19, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    And fucked, we are… Listening to the answers of Betsy DeVos was at least entertaining. Baffling, but entertaining. Go grizzlies.

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  27. Sherri said on January 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    For those of you who have been urging me to run for office, things may be happening on that front. One of our city council members has resigned, so I’m applying for her spot. I know there are other people applying, so who knows what will happen, but the council will appoint someone in February. The seat will be up for election this year as well, so you’d pretty much have to start planning a run immediately. Two other seats are up this year, and neither incumbent has declared yet their intentions. I wouldn’t run against either incumbent, but if the seat is open, I’ll run.

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  28. brian stouder said on January 19, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Good luck, Sherri – and break a leg (or whatever the public service equivalent is!)

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  29. Sherri said on January 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    It feels like to me that Melania’s fundamental problem is that Nathan is not reacting and feeling that way Melania wants him to. Nathan and Melania had a confusing relationship and a confusing encounter, and Melania doesn’t know how to resolve it.

    There really has to be a better way of handling sexual harassment and sexual assault than the failures of the criminal justice system and the stumbling around in the dark of colleges and universities.

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  30. Sherri said on January 19, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    The list a magazine wouldn’t publish because both-siderism:

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  31. Peter said on January 19, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Good Luck Sherri!!!

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  32. brian stouder said on January 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Sherri – I read the first couple sentences of the article you linked, and I can tell you RIGHT NOW that I LOVE LOVE LOVE that article!

    Mr Chait starts right out by commending the book To Make Men Free by Heather Cox Richardson, and I could not possibly agree more!

    I saw her on Book TV a year or two ago, talking about that book, which is a history of the Republican party – and it is a superb and enlightening book, which illuminates much (or at least, it enlightened me!).

    The whole concept of society’s “mudsills” was a revelation – gave me an “aha!” moment

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  33. Deborah said on January 19, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Great news Sherri! More power to you.

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  34. Scout said on January 19, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Go get ’em, Sherri. You got this.

    I don’t have much else to say today. It’s just so… sad.

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  35. Sherri said on January 19, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Not that this will surprise anyone here, but privatization isn’t more efficient.

    Or at least, I have yet to see an example where it is. Even something as simple as mowing highway medians costs more when contracted privately.

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  36. Sherri said on January 19, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    “Pastor Jeffress is a unifying figure representing a diverse spectrum of Americans. Any attempt to vilify this religious leader is deeply disappointing and misplaced.”

    Unifying. Diverse. Spectrum.

    We’re going to need a whole new dictionary, evidently.

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  37. Suzanne said on January 19, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    I mentioned this Jeffress guy to my husband who said, “That guy is a nut!” So, there you have it.

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  38. Sherri said on January 19, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    On the Media has a set of 5 episodes of a series called “Busted”, about the myths of poverty. I’m on the 4th one, and they’re good.

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  39. Alan Stamm said on January 20, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Down the rabbit hole at MSU, indeed.

    Sad out-of-controlness that elevates process above judgment.

    Where are the adults, the teachers, the common sense? Gone to feminist theory and presumed guilt, every one.

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