Three days in TO.

Oh, Canada. What a country you’ve got there. We spend the weekend walking around without ever once thinking about being robbed or ‘jacked or whatever, and what happens as we’re almost literally boarding the train home? A mass shooting.

By one of these guys, because of course.

But I can’t argue with our weekend, not at all. We stayed in West Queen West, the same neighborhood we were in the last time, where dogs in fancy coats and sweaters outnumber actual children by about five-to-one. It’s January, so you don’t expect it to exactly be balmy. I thought I’d packed well, but when we came across a team handing out free — free! — long underwear from Uniqlo, I was happy to snatch it up. Of course long underwear is now known as “base layers,” for good reason — they’re not the waffle-knit separates you’re used to, but close-to-skin and undeniably-warm …base layers, I guess. They go on under the skinniest jeans and are just what the weatherman ordered.

A memory was just jostled loose: A winter weekend in the Upper Peninsula, when I learned of the one-piece base layer known as the union suit — flannel on the inside, wool on the outside, in heather gray or bright red. I bought one in bright red from L.L. Bean and wore it through some fearsome winters, with a pair of Levi’s 501s and maybe a sweater. A strange ensemble for a young woman to choose in the late ’70s, yes, undeniably, but I was very warm. Eventually it collapsed under the strain of my bustline and I retired it forever, the union-suit-bursting-its-buttons look being better-suited for bawdy postcards about deer camp or maybe cocktail napkins. It sure was warm, though.

What did we do? Walked around. Shopped. Caught part of the Chinese New Year observance. Drank cocktails and coffee, discovering that sub-niche of the cosmopolitan economy, the gay coffeehouse. (There used to be one in NYC called the Big Cup.) The waiter was very nice, but the best part was sneaking looks at a trans individual who had some really striking stick-and-poke dotted facial tattoos, with a little cloud on each temple and a line running up the bridge of the nose.

I love big cities. They’re where magic happens.

On Saturday, chilled and a little burned out on walking, we debated taxiing down to the TIFF Lightbox for a midday movie. Alan, looking at the listings, said, “‘The Silence’ is playing near here.”

“You mean ‘Silence,’ the new Martin Scorsese movie. I’d see that,” I said.

“It’s like, a block away. Starts in 12 minutes,” he said. We paid our bill, bundled up and walked the block to the theater, which was tucked in the back of an art gallery specializing in photography.

Strange place for a first-run movie to be playing, but whatever. Stranger still was the admission price of $0. But when the lights went down, the screen darkened and “The Criterion Collection” appeared on the screen, I knew we’d made a critical mistake, because we weren’t watching “Silence,” Oscar contender of 2016, but “The Silence,” an Ingmar Bergman film from 1963, all that black-and-white Sven Nykvist cinematography. You watch a 54-year-old film and marvel at how ahead of its time it was, with its frank depictions of sexuality — actual semi-shadowed fucking and a scene of female masturbation, not to mention a woman bathing with her 9-year-old son — and what Annie Hall called “that Scandinavian bleakness.”

(“I thought that shot where you see her boob while she’s washing her armpit was pretty hot,” countered Alan.)

So that was Saturday afternoon.

Here’s Sunday morning: First daughter dressed as a baked potato. (HT: TBogg)

You know what was in every furniture store window? This lamp, although I imagine most were knockoffs. Wouldn’t want to bring that through customs in this dark era.

Speaking of dark eras, more paranoia about Russia appears to be called for. And a related billboard defacing in Kalamazoo.

With that, it’s time for 55 minutes of innocuous telly. See you tomorrow, all.

Posted at 8:58 pm in Same ol' same ol' |
 

78 responses to “Three days in TO.”

  1. Sherri said on January 30, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Kate Starbird is a former Stanford basketball player turned computer science researcher at UW. Because I watched her basketball career, I’ve followed her academic career, which has been studying social media during crisis events. She posted about something unusual she had encountered during her analysis of the BP oil spill in the Gulf and disinformation: https://medium.com/hci-design-at-uw/tracing-disinformation-trajectories-from-the-2010-deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-79e8116e08f4#.yf1stu2hq

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  2. Sherri said on January 30, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    There’s something about Republicans claiming that all the people protesting their actions are paid activists that I find amusing. Given their penchant for projection, makes you wonder how many of those Tea Partiers were getting paid? (We know trump paid people to show up for the announcement he was running for president, and brings staff to his speeches so he’ll have a cheering section.)

    Anyway, Brat, the Tea Partier who took down Eric Cantor, doesn’t know what to do about all these women “up in his grill.”

    http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/article_b5124648-cdcc-560c-878e-19a19a354f46.html#.WI_mtuJ_9IM.twitter

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  3. Sherri said on January 30, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I think Kara Swisher is going to lampoon Peter Thiel mercilessly for the next 4 years. I’m going to enjoy every word of it: http://www.recode.net/2017/1/30/14446972/trump-reversal-lgbt-protections-tech-leaders-championed

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 30, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    If you and Alan enjoyed “The Silence,” you should try “Silent Light,” a more recent film by Carlos Reygadas, set in a Mennonite colony in Mexico. It’s Bergman meets Magic Realism meets . . . well, maybe a little Terrence Malick.

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  5. Sherri said on January 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    BTW, don’t expect EOs on immigration to stop here; I said during the campaign that the neo-Nazis want to undo the 1965 Immigration Act (which got rid of quotas), and now they’re in charge.

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  6. alex said on January 30, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I just sat through a Schwarzenegger “Apprentice” and my takeaway? The competition is all about salesmanship. Celebrities hawking cheezy products on QVC that they neither believe in nor use, and how many chumps they can swindle. Teams are made up of vain B-listers who fight over being in front of the camera versus having to sit in the control room watching the flatlining phone call stats.

    This is what America elected, and apparently neo-Naziism is a niche market too big to ignore. I also watched Scott Pelley on CBS News earlier in the evening and about lost my mind watching the false balancing act being presented.

    How did the Governator’s sons grow up in California sounding so Chermin? (Evidently they didn’t inherit their mother’s good looks either.)

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  7. Deborah said on January 30, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    I got a free base layer shirt from Uniqlo too, on the day of the grand opening of the Chicago store, they were giving them out. It works fabulously, I bought some base layer type socks there too, called heat something (?). They keep your feet toasty.

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  8. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 12:37 am

    It’s only important to follow the Constitution when there’s a Dem in the Oval, I guess.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/yottapoint/status/826289013891821568

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  9. basset said on January 31, 2017 at 5:46 am

    Found my base layer at the Nashville flea market last weekend – Mossy Oak boxer briefs, hunter orange with a camo waistband. I can now be an undercover redneck.

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  10. alex said on January 31, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Just had one of these rare lightbulb “doh” moments doing genealogy stuff this morning. The surname Nixon represents the illiterate branches of the family known as Nickerson, who were early Cape Cod Quakers, one of whom survived the shipwreck that was the inspiration for Moby Dick.

    It’s a nice distraction from politics. Now to go get lost in my work.

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  11. Suzanne said on January 31, 2017 at 7:28 am

    I marvel at the people who seem to believe that this immigration/visa ban will actually be temporary. I keep waiting for the GOP leadership to grow some balls, too. I am waiting to wake up some morning 20 pounds thinner, too. I don’t think any of these things will happen.

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  12. brian stouder said on January 31, 2017 at 8:52 am

    It’s a nice distraction from politics. Now to go get lost in my work.

    Indeed! (I’m still processing the over-taxed union suit)

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  13. LAMary said on January 31, 2017 at 8:57 am

    I’ve seen the hat that goes with Ivanka’s dress. It was popular among late night subway riders in NYC

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  14. Peter said on January 31, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Alex, my “doh” moment last night beats yours – I heard on the radio that the acting Attorney General decided not to defend the EO and I thought “wow, that Jeff Sessions has more balls than I thought – well good for him that he’s a decent guy after all”. WTF WAS I THINKING??? I was under the impression that the cabinet secretary nominees were running the departments as an acting secretary until they received confirmation.

    Oy.

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  15. alex said on January 31, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Good thing they’re not, Peter, or the coup d’etat would be a fait accompli already.

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  16. kayak woman said on January 31, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Growing up in the Yooperland back in the day I remember my parents wearing that horrible old waffle-knit long underwear. Also being dressed up like the Pillsbury Doughboy as a kid and still being cold – frozen feet were *always* a problem. We’ve come a long way since then and nowadays, until the temperature gets down into the low single digits or below, a good pair of tights works for my base layer. I certainly wouldn’t have turned down free Uniqlo “base layers”, which sound wonderful!

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  17. Judybusy said on January 31, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Oh, Peter, what a sad moment for you! Well, Sessions will likely be confirmed as there aren’t enough spine-filled Republicans to vote against him.

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  18. Suzanne said on January 31, 2017 at 9:57 am

    David Brooks has a column today that calls the GOP leadership Fausts: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/31/opinion/the-republican-fausts.html

    Yes, they are Fausts, although most of Trumps followers wouldn’t know who Faust is or what he represents. Charlie Sykes (right wing talk radio guy), too, is all over the place wondering what happened to the GOP. Did these people think that when they spewed some of this anti-liberal, anti-Obama, anti-Hillary, anti-immigrant crap nobody was listening??
    It’s like the people that whine constantly that church is dull, the pastor is an idiot, the doctrine hollow, and the hymns boring, and then wonder why their kids quit attending when they grow up.

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  19. Heather said on January 31, 2017 at 10:49 am

    I just bought some of that Uniqlo long underwear last week, on the recommendation of a friend. It’s awesome, and inexpensive even if you have to buy it. I think a pair of basic bottoms goes for about $15.

    A lot of acquaintances on social media think I’m being alarmist. Today someone responses to one of my comments, “Let’s wait until our civil liberties are actually attacked.” Um, OK. Because that strategy has worked so well throughout history. And this was from a Jewish guy I grew up with, in a majority Jewish community, where “Never Forget” was a constant undertone.

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  20. Deborah said on January 31, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Not sure when this film was made but it sure is timely now. It’s short and scary.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jFICRFKtAc4

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  21. Jolene said on January 31, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    We have heard a lot about Steve Bannon, but I don’t think we have paid enough attention to Stephen Miller, the other dark lord in Trump’s orbit. He was heavily involved in this weekend’s travel ban debacle and spoke about it on TV yesterday afternoon. I was struck by how smooth, unapologetic, and yet, creepy he sounded, so decided to read more about him.

    This profile, published last summer in Politico, is both fascinating and scary. It describes him as speaking in “strikingly complete and adamant sentences,” which is what caught my attention. As the article makes clear, he’s been working on that style a long time.

    A bit long, but a great–and again, frightening–look at the behind-the-scenes connections in Trumpworld.

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  22. brian stouder said on January 31, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    So, Pam and I have been conducting a protracted, controlled-binge watching project, with regard to The Gilmore Girls – so Rory and Lorelai are front-of-mind, these days.

    That said, if you’ve ever watched Gilmore Girls, you cannot possibly read this article and not immediately think of them, and their town (Stars Hollow, Connecticut)

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/31/white-privilege-essay-contest-stirs-up-controversy-in-connecticut-town.html

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  23. alex said on January 31, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Mike Royko would have called this goo-goo optimism, but I can sure use some of that right now. Hope this is heartening, all:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/obamas-america-rises-again.html

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  24. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    “I wouldn’t go there,” Janet Samuels told The Associated Press, saying it was the parents’ responsibility to talk about privilege with their kids. She said that even though her children are all grown, that question “would upset me very much.”

    Yes, we must protect the children from anything that might upset them. Being told that their achievements might have been based in part on being white and affluent would no doubt devastate them and turn them all into lazy drug-using poor people, especially the delicate males. These situations must be handled with great care and subtlety, so that they still believe they earned everything they achieved, while teaching them some sympathy for those not so blessed. After all, we don’t want them to grow up to be Republicans!

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  25. Jakash said on January 31, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Sherri’s link @ 8 is amazing and that video clip seems to be getting a fair amount of play. The gob-smacking hypocrisy swirling around much of what’s going on these days is, uh, gob-smacking. But that’s pretty hard to top, IMHO. Sessions questioning Sally Yates by gallantly standing up for the Constitution vs. the perceived whims of the President. (Oh, the PREVIOUS president, needless to say.)

    Here’s an uplifting image. Photo by a Chicago Tribune photographer from the protest at O’hare:

    https://twitter.com/ChiTribNuccio/status/826258508274343940

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  26. Deborah said on January 31, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I’m at LAX, I’ve got 5 hours to kill, ugh. My husband’s flight just left. No protests here today. I don’t know why I didn’t schedule another museum trip instead of going to the airport this early, but I’m kind of oversaturated right now so maybe I can catch a nap. I usually don’t fall asleep in airports or planes though. Keep the links coming to keep me occupied, please.

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  27. Jolene said on January 31, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Here’s something for you to chew on, Deborah. The cover article of the new Atlantic, the publication of which was pushed up due to its relevance to Trump, is called How to Build an Autocracy.

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  28. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts in reporting. The headlines are that Senators Collins and Murkowski aren’t sure they’ll vote for DeVos on the floor, but if they really didn’t believe she was worthy of their vote, they have already had a chance to stop her. They could have voted not to advance her out of committee, but instead they voted to let her have a full vote. So they get to signal that they’re not sure, and may even get to vote no, as long as the Republicans keep everybody else in line.

    Collins, in particular, does this all the time. She “signals” her discomfort with the extreme positions of her party, but she seldom takes any action that would work against those positions. Reporters should stop falling for it.

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  29. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Here are some highlights of the British Parliament debate on trump’s potential state visit to the U.K.: https://twitter.com/CNN/status/826467872457289728/video/1

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  30. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I said when trump took office that control of his administration was going to come down a power struggle between Kushner and Bannon, and my money was on Bannon. Bannon is more ruthless, plus Kushner isn’t around during Shabbat.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-immigration-bannon-idUSKBN15E2TG

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/ivanka-and-jared-dont-blame-us-we-were-observing-shabbat.html

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  31. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    And of course there’s Sessions. I don’t think Dems should vote for any of Trump’s nominees, but any Dem who votes for Sessions should be primaried.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-hard-line-actions-have-an-intellectual-godfather-jeff-sessions/2017/01/30/ac393f66-e4d4-11e6-ba11-63c4b4fb5a63_story.html

    I believe that Dems should stop showing up for committee hearings, prevent quorums whenever possible, attach amendments to every bill, and do everything they can to bring Congress to a crawl unless the Muslim ban is removed. It is immoral and unAmerican.

    (And yes, I’ve always said that if the pro-life forces really believed their rhetoric that abortions constituted a Holocaust, then they should have been willing to do the same.)

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  32. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Meanwhile, overshadowed by everything else here, but definitely not overshadowed in terrorist recruiting areas: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/seal-american-girl-die-first-trump-era-u-s-military-n714346

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  33. basset said on January 31, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2017/01/31/colin-reed-ryman-exploring-hee-haw-revival.html

    Sorry about the long link. Bottom line: “Hee Haw” may be returning. My people rejoice.

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  34. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    The Washington AG has filed suit against the Muslim ban. Amazon has filed a declaration in support of the suit.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-tallies-cost-of-white-house-entry-ban/

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  35. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    The article Jolene linked to is very important, especially for any of you still harboring any hopes that Congress will impeach trump.

    Frum doesn’t mention this explicitly, but I think another important center of resistance against trump needs to be women. trump hates getting challenged by women, police using aggressive tactics against women don’t play well on tv, and we’re not a minority.

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  36. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Just found out there are 13 applicants for the council opening, so there will probably be a round of winnowing before they get to some number of finalists. I’ll get more info at the council meeting tonight.

    Less than 2 years ago, there were no unopposed candidates, including someone who wasn’t an incumbent.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 31, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Tonight’s SCOTUS announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsqJFIJ5lLs

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  38. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Can’t play by the old rules, when the Republicans will run roughshod over them: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/31/opinion/neil-gorsuch-how-democrats-should-respond.html

    Gorsuch is an illegitimate nominee.

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  39. Sherri said on January 31, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Scalzi on the first not even two weeks of trump: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/01/31/a-fortnight-of-trump/

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  40. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 31, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Fortnight is a good word.

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  41. Deborah said on January 31, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    I think we can kiss choice goodbye. Women will die getting back street abortions and there will be more poor single moms, their lives and their kids lives will be miserable. Because once their born the current powers that be, couldn’t care less.

    I’m in NM now.

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  42. Deborah said on January 31, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    That last sentence should be “they’re”

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  43. Dexter said on February 1, 2017 at 3:19 am

    http://redflannels.com/About-Us_ep_7.html

    Tiny Cedar Springs , Michigan, near Grand Rapids, is where I got my red flannel union suit over 30 years ago and I still have it. I never could get used to the trap door so I never wore it much, but warm it was and is. They don’t wear out. I thought the factory closed years ago, but I guess not…read the link. The last free thing of quality I was given was a Dr. John The Nite Tripper(Mac Rebennack) cd ,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUrfc16lmDw
    in a parking lot at a Charleston, SC Riverdogs pro baseball game…must have been 25 years ago.
    For Netflix people, I recommend the 2007 movie “Amal”. Dual-language, subtitled in part, , about an auto-rickshaw driver in New Delhi.

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  44. alex said on February 1, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Because it’s pointless to interview those goons anyway, and a disservice to the public to give them a platform, I think CNN is rather fortunate. Other legit news outlets ought to join CNN in solidarity.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/white-house-no-cnn

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  45. Diane said on February 1, 2017 at 8:33 am

    I totally agree with Sherri @31. Any Dem that votes for Sessions should be primaried and I don’t believe this is the time to spend money in primary fights but it is even less a time for appeasement.
    I called both offices of my Republican senator and got full voicemail boxes. I was so used to the full voicemail that when I called my Dem senator’s office to thank him for announcing he was going to vote no and got not just a voicemail with room to leave a message but an actual live voice I was so started I almost gave the staffer the spiel I had ready for the Repubican.

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  46. Kim said on February 1, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Thanks for the Scalzi link, Sherri, and the Frum link, Jolene. I am heartened by my kids’ generation, who appear to be moved to action.

    The latest appointment, Jerry Falwell Jr. of Liberty University, to lead a task force on higher ed reform (Trump U., anyone?) is a great example of what passes for “tremendous” in this administration. You’ll remember Falwell chose Ian McCaw, who’d lost his Baylor AD job after a report made public the department’s cover-up of sexual assaults. Falwell said of McCaw: “Ian’s success really speaks for itself. You look at what Baylor was able to do during his tenure, it fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going. This is an exciting time for us.”

    Indeed it is.

    It’s even more exciting when you consider Falwell’s remarks to the student body during a December convocation service. In response to the San Bernadino shootings, Falwell told the students if more of them would obtain and use concealed carry permits, “we could end those Muslims.”

    Liberty just received the OK from the county to build and operate a shooting range on campus. Fortunately, the students don’t all seem to be falling in line with this neo-Christian nonsense.

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  47. jcburns said on February 1, 2017 at 10:05 am

    In the immortal words of the Hee Haw theme: “Heeeee, Hawwwwwww, Hee Hee Hee Haw Haw Haw.”

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  48. Deborah said on February 1, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Imagine how embarrassed Gorsuch must be, that he was appointed by the most unpopular, corrupt president ever. From now on he will be associated with that.

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  49. susan said on February 1, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Nah, Gorsuch will be ensconced as a Supreme Court Justice for life, filling the Scalia seat. Why would he care how he got there?

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  50. alex said on February 1, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Higher education reform? Fallwell? A year ago, the very idea would have been a spoof too goofy even for the Onion.

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  51. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Gorsuch’s mother was EPA head under Reagan, and tried to get rid of regulations curtailing lead in gasoline and was held in contempt of Congress for withholding documents relating to cleanup of a Superfund site. The son quoted Henry Kissinger under his college yearbook picture (The illegal we accomplish immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer) and has written that he can find no constitutional rationale for favoring the life of a woman over that of her unborn child.

    I don’t think embarrassed is an option.

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  52. Jolene said on February 1, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Gawd, I hadn’t heard about the Falwell Higher Ed appointment. Am sure the folks at Harvard, Yale, and Stanford will step right up to support his efforts. The WaPo article re his appointment says that his task force will focus on deregulation, so look for rollbacks of Obama’s effort to keep for-profit colleges from ripping off their students and the federal government.

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  53. Jolene said on February 1, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    President Trump has released the White House schedule of events honoringBlack History Month.

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  54. Jolene said on February 1, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Here’s an interesting profile of the [Insert adjective here] Kellyanne Conway.

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  55. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    You can’t parody trump. Here is the full transcript of his remarks this morning at the White House regarding Black History month: http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/a-full-transcript-of-donald-trumps-black-history-month-1791871370

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  56. Deborah said on February 1, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I see what you mean Sherri and Susan, I hadn’t read much about Gorsuch, didn’t realize he was an asshole. But of course, who else would be chosen.

    I didn’t mention this earlier, but my rightwing sister and her husband were visiting Little Bird in Santa Fe while I was in LA. They live in Minnesota and wanted to get away from the winter weather so they headed south. It was really aggravating for LB because they were vague about when they would show up and how long they were going to stay. LB likes to host people but she needs advanced info so she can plan properly. Planning isn’t her strong suit, but if she has time she can write lists and think it through. Then when they arrived they didn’t lift a finger and LB did all the cooking and cleaning, they didn’t even pick up their plates and carry them to the sink or anything. LB avoided talking politics but she did tell my sister the story about my husband’s Iranian student that I commented about here a few days ago. My sister just shrugged and said it was only temporary and that she was glad they did it to keep out the rapists and murderers. I’ve been hearing all about how awful it was for LB while they were visiting. My sister speaks in non sequiturs, if something pops into her head she says it, even though it wasn’t the topic of conversation at the time, it can really drive you crazy. They had the TV on constantly, tuned to Fox News. Ugh.

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  57. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Boundaries, Little Bird, boundaries. You can love your aunt and uncle and still not let them treat you like a hotel. My mother in law would change her plans at the last minute all the time which was very disruptive for me until I finally told her that I really needed a firm plan from her so I could be prepared.

    And it’s not unreasonable to ask that the TV be turned off sometimes. “I’d really like a little more quiet, could we turn the TV off tonight?” or, “I’d like the chance to just visit with you, and I have a hard time with the distraction of the TV”.

    (Yes, I’ve spent many years in therapy, why do you ask?)

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  58. Little Bird said on February 1, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks Sherri, good advice! The really irritating part was that she kept saying she was here to make my life easier, what with all my surgeries and all. I had to keep thanking her for her help every time she mentioned it. I’m just glad they’re gone. And I’m not doing this alone again.

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  59. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Collins and Murkowski are both NO on DeVos, which is nice, but not meaningful unless there is another Republican. Maybe I’m too cynical, but I’m unwilling to give them credit for voting no and going against their party unless it actually matters.

    Voting no in committee would have meant something.

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  60. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    The story of that picture of the kidshttp://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-jewish-muslim-fathers-viral-photo-met-20170131-story.html
    :

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  61. Suzanne said on February 1, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Called my guy a week or so ago and had to leave a message. I said I thought DeVos was completely unqualified and should be rejected. Doubt it will do any good, though. This IS Indiana, which was just labels by some group as one of the worst places to live.
    http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2017/02/01/indiana-called-one-worst-states-well-being/97335868/

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  62. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I discovered that if you call around to some of the other local offices in state for your Senator, you can sometimes get a person. I almost always got Patty Murray’s voice mail at her Seattle office, but when the call wouldn’t even complete the other day in either her Seattle office or her DC office, I tried her Everett office with the idea that I’d just start down the list and see if I could get a person. I did get a person right away, though a friend I suggested this to called later and while she got a person, the staffer told her the Everett office was also getting slammed.

    Murkowski and Collins both said constituent calls played a significant factor, though it doesn’t mean anything until there’s a third Republican.

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  63. Jolene said on February 1, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Also, though DeVos is a terrible pick, the people I am really worried about are Pruitt and Price. They are the ones who could, I believe, really do lasting and pervasive damage.

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  64. Jolene said on February 1, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Acting on a suggestion from Chuck Todd re opening up the WH press briefings to journalists from outside the beltway, Sean Spicer is inviting a couple of people to participate via Skype. So, did he invite, say, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) or the Albuquerque Journal? Of course not. He invited partisan bloggers who, essentially, made short speeches re their issues and then said, “When will President Trump do what I want him to?”

    One was a guy who wanted to advance the cause of coal mining, burning, and exporting. The second was a proponent of selling off federal lands or perhaps it was just transferring control to local authorities. In any case, it was pretty funny to see what passed for including outside-the-beltway press.

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  65. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Pruitt and Price are awful, but Sessions is my nightmare pick. His stance on voting suppression alone is terrifying, plus the racism, the Muslim ban, the war on drugs, etc.

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  66. LindaG said on February 1, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Sherri, I’ve heard that their Collins and Murkowski are voting no to give them political cover. There are enough Republican votes to confirm DeVos without them.

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  67. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Unless a third Republican joins them, that’s what I’m assuming about Collins and Murkowski. Nonetheless, they wouldn’t need political cover had constituents not called.

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  68. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    I’m disappointed, but not surprised that Manchin and Heitkamp keep voting for trump’s nominees, but what is the deal with Mark Warner? Why did he vote for Tillerson?

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  69. Jolene said on February 1, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    ” . . . what is the deal with Mark Warner? Why did he vote for Tillerson?

    Two guesses: First, he won his last election by a whisker. He’s not up again until 2020. and, although Virginia has been a blue state in the last three presidential elections, the Dems won more narrowly so in 2016 than in ’08 and ’12. Second, he’s a high-minded guy. He likely believes that presidents should get to pick their cabinet secretaries, unless they are nuts or grossly unqualified. In this case, it’s the president who’s nuts. Given the situation, I might vote for Tillerson myself. It’s not as if the next nominee will be better.

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  70. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    There’s high-minded and there’s high-minded. Personally, I think I’d put high-minded in the sense of “putting crony capitalists with no experience in government in the State Department is really bad” over high-minded in the sense of “our political norms have been that we don’t make a fuss about such things.”

    There are values and there are values.

    As for fear of someone worse, everyone is going to worse with trump. Incompetent, corrupt, actively destructive – Tillerson seems to fit two of three already.

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  71. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    OTOH, does it matter who the SoS is if trump is going to threaten to invade Mexico?

    http://time.com/4657474/donald-trump-enrique-pena-nieto-mexico-bad-hombres/

    Is tarring and feathering appropriate?

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  72. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Eli Broad, one of the biggest charter school and corporate school reform guys around (he runs a superintendent academy to produce reform advocates to take over large school districts), has come out against DeVos: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2017/02/01/eli-broad-billionaire-philanthropist-and-charter-school-backer-urges-senators-to-oppose-devos/

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  73. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    The reason to fight even though we lose: https://mobile.twitter.com/jshieber/status/826335625813098497

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  74. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    We’re not going to have any allies left by the end of the month: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/no-gday-mate-on-call-with-australian-pm-trump-badgers-and-brags/2017/02/01/88a3bfb0-e8bf-11e6-80c2-30e57e57e05d_story.html

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  75. Sherri said on February 1, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Is deplorable appropriate now? Can we call it racism now?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-extremists-program-exclusiv-idUSKBN15G5VO

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  76. alex said on February 1, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    O, for the days when marijuana was the only enemy of America and it was fought thus.

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  77. Suzanne said on February 1, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Rioting in Berkely. Read the transcript of Trump’s Black History Month speech. It is utterly unbelievable. Utterly.

    And now he’s insulted Australia, picked another fight with Mexico, and is trying to piss off Iran. But if you look at most Conservative sites, all you’ll see is that he’s a patriotic guy because he visited relatives of the service person who got killed in Yemen.

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  78. Suzanne said on February 1, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/my-very-good-black-history-month-tribute-to-some-of-the-most-tremendous-black-people
    Trump’s Black History words.

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