Unconquered, as it turns out.

Remember that cold I thought I had vanquished? Yeah, turns out that was an alternate-facts deal. Woke up Monday with a head full of snot and the usual miseries. Nothing all that bad, but enough I was happy to work from home yesterday. And today.

I threw a bunch of links into an empty post yesterday, so let’s get to them, as the rest of my update would consist only of “used enough tissue to reverse-engineer a tree” and “discovered why you shouldn’t take Sudafed at bedtime.”

The Washington Post does a travel piece on the ol’ hometown:

I have a terrible confession: I never saw Ohio’s capitol. A weekend in Columbus and not even a glimpse of the rotunda. But I have a very good excuse. I was lost in a 32-room bookstore. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was also preoccupied with selecting a writing utensil from a lifestyle store founded by a guy with a beard and an office-supply obsession. And drinking hand-poured coffee from a cafe named after a Belle and Sebastian song. And sizing up turquoise bulldog bookends from a shop in an emerging neighborhood. And watching a diner stuff a skyscraper-tall burger into his mouth. And drinking more coffee, this time made of Fair Trade-certified beans from Guatemala. And I’m not even a coffee person; I drink tea, except when I am in Columbus.

That doesn’t exactly make it sound like Paris, but it’s fair. The thing about Columbus, the thing that never bugged me until I left, is its utter lack of natural features. Its two rivers are muddy brown trenches, there are few if any hills, no lakes to speak of (besides Buckeye, which is manmade and so shallow that if your boat breaks down in the middle you can push it home, like in “The African Queen”). So I guess it’s all about that burger, then, described and pictured later in the piece — “two 12-ounce burger patties — among other delights,” which appear to include both bacon and ham. As Jim Harrison once said, only in the Midwest is overeating seen as something heroic.

We read a lot about Betsy DeVos and school choice recently, but here is how it’s lived out in Detroit, where charter schools open and close like doors in a French farce. Parents whose children are in failing schools slated for possible closure are sent helpful letters detailing which districts will let the kids transfer in – some of them an hour’s drive away. Market efficiency!

This story has already been partially overtaken by events with the firing of Michael Flynn, but I’m posting this passage about Reince Priebus because it may be one case where an exclamation point is actually called for in a new story:

Trump has already consulted friends about his next chief of staff. I’m told that to avoid admitting error, Trump plans a smooth transition from Priebus, perhaps by making him a Cabinet secretary!


Nothing this administration does should surprise me anymore, but this at least made me chuckle, coming as it did on the heels of the giant typo in the official inauguration poster.

I’ve got a few more, but I think I’ll save them for tomorrow, just in case I feel even worse then. Enjoy Tuesday.

Posted at 9:16 am in Current events |

119 responses to “Unconquered, as it turns out.”

  1. Danny said on February 14, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Bringing this forward from last thread regarding Melanie and Ivanka being high maintenance and sleepy-head Nance deciding to finally post.

    I dunno about hours and hours. I’d chalk up their looks to genetics, discipline and fashion sense to the level of haute couture. And Ivanka has youth on her side too. And a lot of the exercise is unnecessary with proper diet and rest.

    I would put Huma Abedin in the same league and that woman had to be busy and she has great fashion sense. She is very elegant as are the Trump women.

    It’s a cultivated look to be sure, but some folks just have a leg up on the rest of us.

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    • nancy said on February 14, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Eh, take a look at the Trump women under bright lights — that’s a LOT of makeup, even on the young women. (To be sure, that’s simply what bright lights require, because otherwise you look like a corpse.) Ivanka is seriously contouring her cheekbones, narrowing her nose, etc. She’s also had some obvious work done, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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  2. coozledad said on February 14, 2017 at 9:49 am

    The CIA can’t share information with the Trump administration, and his principle national Security adviser is a fucking traitor, about to be replaced by another self-regarding patsy.

    Two questions:When does the intelligence community begin offing these fucks, and can Trump’s personal army of border patrol agents be repurposed to deport Republican traitor trash?

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  3. coozledad said on February 14, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Members of Roxboro chapter of NAACP, after converging on Raleigh. Estimates put the HK on J March at a minimum of 25,000. We could take the White House apart brick by fucking brick before they could kill us all

    Let’s see the tea traitors match that shit.

    Unhinged asshole on left holding ‘handmade’ sign paid for by Soros.

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  4. brian stouder said on February 14, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

    …and – watch out for President Muffley’s precious bodily fluids.

    I think the next National Security Advisor oughta be whatever out-of-touch executive they can get from Norfolk Southern or Union Pacific – because that person will be able to deal with the massive train-wreck we’re now at the front-end of

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  5. brian stouder said on February 14, 2017 at 10:54 am

    So – yes, I’m a gawker. If there’s an accident, or a particularly striking outfit on a person, or an odd collection of this or that, chances are it will capture my attention.

    Each day, I click on the Fox News website, and behold what fresh hell is there, and today’s bon bon is this:


    an excerpt:

    Fox News first reported Monday night that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., wants the FBI to conduct an assessment of recent media leaks.

    The president, after accepting Flynn’s resignation overnight, tweeted Tuesday morning that, “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?”

    Do you suppose the new president will hire some ‘plumbers’, to deal with those ‘illegal leaks’?

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  6. Deborah said on February 14, 2017 at 10:59 am

    No Danny, it’s not natural. The makeup and hair is professional. Hard to believe they’re not slaves to working out too, especially Melania at her age. Their genetic tallness helps for sure.

    Little Bird was in a wedding not long ago where she had her hair and makeup done professionally. It was amazing how they contoured her face by airbrushing it. They sprayed on different shades to highlight and shadow. And it took a long time to do it all. Little Bird doesn’t usually wear much make up so it was an ordeal.

    As I age I’ve reduced my makeup routine to mascara and blush, and a natural shade of lipstick. I cut out eyeliner a few months ago because it was accentuating the progressive sagging of my eyes. I’ve been using a transparent bronzer on my face too, about every third or fourth day during the winter.

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  7. Suzanne said on February 14, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Excellent idea, Brian!!!

    I cannot believe (well, actually I can) that the name I am hearing over and over to replace Flynn is Petraeus who knowingly and willingly handed classified information to his lover. Lock him up! Right? Because Hillary. Emails. Classified.

    I keep having strange,strange dreams but I am having more and more trouble figuring out if the dreams are real and the real is dreams. How do you tell anymore?

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  8. beb said on February 14, 2017 at 11:00 am

    The site’s not displaying properly. Have to zoom out till the text is microscopic to get the posts to fully display.

    I’m still kind of reeling about the Flynn resignation. He must have been really dirty to have been asked to leave since Trump surrounds himself with a whole basket of deplorables. At the same time Riece Pribus (sp?) is getting the skids greased under him. The mystery for me is whether people want him because he’s bad at his job or is he just in Pres.Bannon’s way.

    My wife and have been visiting my Dad in Indiana but we have to head back. I haven’t retired yet so I’m expected to show up for work once in a while (lol). It looks to be a bright sunny day for the drive.

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  9. Charlotte said on February 14, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Don’t usually post these over here — but there was a call to action on Facebook this morning to call the majority line for the House Intelligence Committee and ask for an investigation into Flynn, the Russians etc. The number is: 202-225-4121 I called this morning and got a somewhat harried sounding young woman who took my comment.

    I mean really, at the very least this is a violation of the Logan Act, and at the worst it’s treason. And how much farther does it go?

    And don’t even get me started on that Mar-a-Lago security violation this weekend. This whole administration is a clown car.

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  10. BItter Scribe said on February 14, 2017 at 11:21 am

    That typo in the Trump poster is one you see in internet comments all the time. Since this is an administration of, by and for internet commenters, it seems appropriate.

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 14, 2017 at 11:25 am

    #10 – #Winning

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  12. Peter said on February 14, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Cool, that poster is zooming up to number 1 on my list with a bullet – and I thought that the women’s march had some doozies.

    How many more days does Trumpolini have to last to beat Harrison? I’m starting to think he’s got a shot of making shortest reign ever.

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  13. Peter said on February 14, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I’ve seen it before, but I still think the best comment on the whole mess is the guy on Slate who said “maybe I’m crazy, but I’m starting to think Trump’s not up to the task here”.

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  14. Heather said on February 14, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Danny, I’m pulling out my woman card here. Trust me–while Melania and Ivanka are definitely genetically blessed, you do not look THAT smooth and perfect without some serious effort. It’s a whole other level you only see among the super-rich, because they’re the only ones with the time and money to do it. As an example, I remember some fashion magazine estimating how much Blake Lively’s perfect blond tresses cost to maintain. I think it ended up being about $1000 a month with regular blowouts, styling, and touchups. And that was just her hair.

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  15. susan said on February 14, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Are “blow-outs” high colonics?

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  16. Heather said on February 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Susan, they probably get those too.

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  17. susan said on February 14, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    How Kellyanne Con-ruse does it.

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  18. MichaelG said on February 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I’m guessing that ‘blow outs’ have something to do with hair?

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  19. Icarus said on February 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    check out #FlynnResignation on Twitter. A random sampling is mostly in line with the opinions here, but there are a few who support Flynn, feel he was set up, and some how it’s Obama’s fault.

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  20. Heather said on February 14, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Yes, a blowout is basically the stylist literally “blowing out” your hair to make it smooth and frizz-free. There are spots in big cities (esp NYC) that only do this.

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  21. Heather said on February 14, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    OK, not literally blowing out your hair–typically they use a hair dryer.

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  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 14, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Peter, if he makes it past Friday, Old Tippecanoe holds onto the palm.

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  23. Sherri said on February 14, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Evidently, the House “It’s Only Freedom if Poor People Suffer and Die” Caucus is unwilling to pass a bill on repeal of the ACA unless it rolls back the Medicaid expansion, because that’s what they passed in 2015 and it would be hypocritical to pass anything less now. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul in the Senate apparently agree with this thinking.

    Funny time to suddenly discover hypocrisy, but maybe it will give Republicans cover to not repeal the ACA.

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  24. Sherri said on February 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    The latest Big Pharma outrage is over a drug for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy that’s been available in other countries for around $1000/year, but now has FDA approval and the company who received the approval will charge $89K/year.

    I’m not so quick to jump on the outrage bandwagon here. No, the company didn’t develop the drug, but it did have to do the clinical trials to get FDA approvals, and its to treat an orphan disease: there are only about 15000 people in the US that have DMD. This is a particularly obvious place where the free market can’t work, and government has to step in. Either government has to cover the cost of the trials, or government needs to make Medicare coverage automatic for orphan diseases, just like they do for ALS regardless of age or at least some types of renal diseases requiring dialysis.

    But in the age of let em die as long as I’ve got mine, it will require a Republican lawmaker’s family affected by DMD for anything to happen.

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  25. Jakash said on February 14, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    “hand-poured coffee” My goodness, that intrepid reporter has found the real-life Mayberry, evidently. THERE’S a job robots haven’t taken from the hipsters!

    “lack of natural features” is what I often gripe about with regard to Chicago, too. Yeah, there’s the lake, which is very nice, but we don’t all live in a landmark high-rise with a sunrise view, ahem. ; ) And they’ve done a lot with the river lately, so I guess it’s mainly the flatness I’m referring to. Though that’s fine for driving in the snow or riding a bike. It’s swell for riding a bike! That magic-hour photo of the Columbus skyline overlooking the Scioto looks pretty nice, anyway.

    Other than take a picture of it, what’re you supposed to do with that burger with a pound and a half of meat in it? If this ridiculous nationwide burger craze isn’t well past the point of self-parody, with that particular monstrosity as yet another exhibit for the prosecution, I must REALLY be out of it.

    Somebody posted another swell Lincoln quote on Twitter: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” I think he said it on Valentine’s Day, too…

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  26. brian stouder said on February 14, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Don’t forget Lincoln’s Second Pearl Jam Address

    “Hand out faces that he sees come again ain’t that familiar; Oh dark grin he can’t help when he’s happy he looks insane”


    “Thoughts arrive like butterflies; Oh, he don’t know –
    So he chases them away. Someday yet he’ll begin his life again; Life again”

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  27. Peter said on February 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Re: Jeff TMMO at #22 – DAMN IT!!!!

    Of course, Trump could have a stroke by Friday, so I’ve got a new reason to live.

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  28. Sherri said on February 14, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    I can’t complain about the lack of natural features here.

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  29. Deborah said on February 14, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    I happen to think Chicago is a lovely city, sure the lake helps but there’s Lincoln Park and lots of other parks. In fact Chicago has a lot more public greenspace than a lot of other cities (per capita). Also, it’s so interesting to walk around in the various neighborhoods and commercial areas. Always something to see. It’s a much more walkable city than Santa Fe. SF has the small plaza area which is fantastic but outside of that it’s not great for wandering around. Most people drive up to the mountains to hike for exercise. Not really complaining, just my opinion.

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  30. Sherri said on February 14, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    When the story that there was a transcript broke, the first question I asked here was whether he lied to the FBI.


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  31. LAMary said on February 14, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    When you first said you thought you had beaten the cold I was going to suggest otherwise but I thought I’d wait it out. I had the cold sore and sleep all day thing and thought I was done. The the snotty cough and the aches and sore throat arrived. I slept another day and a half. Three people in my office had it too. It’s a sneaky cold.

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  32. Scout said on February 14, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    This just floors me. And in the midst of it, Mr Reality TV is just sits there with a clueless look on his dumbshit face, while the 1%ers and waitstaff record it all on cell phone cameras.

    “President Trump, sitting calmly, not involved in any of the uproar, smiling and leaning on his hand, not a care in the entire goddamned world, preening and showing off for people who pay to be in his club, even as an American ally was facing what it considered to be an existential threat. Imagine that. Imagine so not giving a fuck that you couldn’t even be bothered to pretend like this was a serious enough situation to not pose like a serene but stupid frog, let alone just take the fuckin’ meeting to a private room.”

    And if that wasn’t bad enough, this: https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/831416982473998336

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  33. Sherri said on February 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    In addition to HSAs and high risk pools, Republicans wanting to replace the ACA like to talk about allowing insurance to be sold across state boundaries. not only is this a bad idea, it isn’t even likely to work from a market point of view.


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  34. David C. said on February 14, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I’m not at all surprised they’re talking about Petraeus to replace Flynn. He did it for nookie and that’s something tRump respects and admires.

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  35. LAMary said on February 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    A friend who used to be a roadie describes Kellyanne as looking like a late seventies San Fernando Valley coke whore. That’s pretty specific, but I’m good with it. I acknowledge his expertise.

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  36. Sherri said on February 14, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Rand Paul thinks it’s not useful to investigate the goings-on in trumplandia, because it would take time away from the really important stuff, like taking away health insurance from people. (Rand Paul is among the members of Congress who thinks the ACA should be tossed completely, lest the Republicans look like hypocrites.)

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  37. St Bitch said on February 14, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Meanwhile…I briefly posted about 3 weeks ago that “they” started asking for IDs from anyone who looks dubious while strolling along the boardwalk in Miami Beach…insidious shades of apartheid . No one here paid much attention as we were in the initial furor of the travel ban. Now, rampant but quiet deportations are going on. This is word on the street…not alt-fact non-news coverage.

    On a personal note, many of you remember that as DellaDash, I moved back to my hometown in Iowa (from Nashville) to take care of my mother who was in the beginning stages of dementia (subsequently diagnosed as Lewy Body). On January 31st, six days after she turned 91; exactly 3 years and 9 months after I moved in with her, Mom passed away gently, at home, with me in attendance. Sometime in the future, I’ve got some praises to sing about Medicare Hospice Care. Right now, Jamaican patois best expresses how I’m feeling: “Me miss her, me miss her, me miss her, cyan done!”

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  38. Jakash said on February 14, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Oh, I’m not really knocking Chicago, Deborah. It’s just that the blandness of the grid can get to me, occasionally. Now, the EFFICIENCY of the grid for figuring out where you’re going is a fine feature. To nitpick a bit — part of the reason Chicago does well regarding “green space per capita” is because of the huge amount of lakefront parkland, isn’t it? Away from the lake and in certain swaths of random neighborhoods, it’s not really very green, at all. Though there are large parks in many neighborhoods, too, of course.

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  39. Deborah said on February 14, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    St. Bitch, sorry to hear that your mother passed, but it sounds like it was peaceful and totally not unexpected. You were a good daughter, strength and peace to you.

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  40. Sherri said on February 14, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss, St. Bitch.

    My MIL is starting to receive hospice services. The only downside is that she had to change doctors, even her palliative care doctor, which is why she had resisted until now.

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  41. Sherri said on February 14, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    A reminder that Shadow President Bannon thinks there are too many Asian CEOs in Silicon Valley: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/drop-foreign-applicants-worries-us-engineering-schools

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  42. Suzanne said on February 14, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I wonder if Our Man Mitch is on the phone with his pal VP My Pants pleading with him to stop this immigration nonsense. Purdue has a sizable foreign student population who pay top dollar to get a degree from there so an immigration crackdown, if it’s bad enough, would impact Our Man Mitch personally. He’s already sent out a statement against it, but I don’t see Trump stopping the policy any time soon. It’s too good of red meat to throw his dogs to get them riled up.

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  43. Sherri said on February 14, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    James Comey knew about this when he put trump in office.


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  44. Deborah said on February 14, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    So here’s a first for me, I was watching MSNBC earlier, either the Chris Hayes show or the Rachel Maddow show and there was an ad to approve Trump’s Supreme Court nominee? An ad that showed a young woman who supposedly worked previously for the Obama admin pleading for the approval of Gorsuch. I don’t remember ever seeing anything like that before. Am I right?

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  45. Dave said on February 14, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Deborah, I was in both Fort Wayne and Columbus last week and I saw that ad several times. I don’t remember ever seeing anything like that before, either. I haven’t seen it in Florida yet.

    It was cold, too, our first exposure to winter in four years. We wouldn’t normally choose to go there in the winter but had a funeral and my mother’s 90th birthday, although she doesn’t know us and doesn’t believe she’s 90. There’s nothing fair or right about that.

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  46. Sherri said on February 14, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Reminder: Not only did Comey know, but McConnell & Ryan were briefed on this intelligence as well during the campaign. Tax cuts and taking away health care was more important to them than whether their nominee was colluding with Russian intelligence.

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  47. MichaelG said on February 15, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Hate to be so self-absorbed, but I can’t help it. I had a CT scan and blood work yesterday. The cancer is advancing, which I knew. You can feel that shit inside you. Then I had a visit with my oncologist today. The wonderful Mother Lisa. The chemo I have been taking has stopped working and is killing platelets. So no more chemo at this point for the obvious reasons. Plus I have to build up my platelet count. Mother Lisa is looking for an alternative ‘cocktail’ but I am starting to get pain and things are beginning to look like I’m basically fucked.

    The only thing is to live as good (sybaritic) a life as I can for as long as I can. So we, the lovely T and I had a great lunch at Mulvaney’s again today and I capped it off with two shots of $25 a hit grappa. Smooth as silk. Jacopo Poli Amorosa di Settembre from the area around Venice.

    I’m still following everything but it’s hard to focus on the long term when there pretty much isn’t a long term here.

    Sorry to throw negativity into the mix, but I’ve been around nn.c for a long time and I feel that I should be truthful about things

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  48. LAMary said on February 15, 2017 at 12:51 am

    MichaelG, you can say any damn thing you want to say. You’re ok here and you’re entitled to share the bad stuff or the scary stuff just as you’ve always shared the good stuff, whether it was great trips to Spain or admiration for a DMV office manager. We all care and look out for each other here.

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  49. Sherri said on February 15, 2017 at 1:40 am

    MichaelG, I’m sorry you’re in pain. I’m with LAMary, say whatever you want or need to say. I worry about you if we haven’t heard from you in a while.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 15, 2017 at 7:37 am

    What Mary and Sherri said. Say what you need to say, and a lot of hearts are hearing you. I hope that’s some comfort to know, because it’s true; and my prayers are with you for whatever healing is still possible. Loved hearing your grace note about where that grappa was from.

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  51. Suzanne said on February 15, 2017 at 7:43 am

    MichaelG, go ahead and rant & rage if you want to. I can’t imagine what you are going through and I admire your spirit! Drink that grappa!

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  52. Kim said on February 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Ah, damnit, MichaelG. Your circumstances make me think of this piece, written by Ted Kooser (a former poet laureate).

    In the baby’s fist is the first thing he owns, a little ball of air, but soon he tires of this and grabs another, then another after that. So early in life we learn about more, and having more. In more it seems we have eternity, and for years we grasp and grasp, until one day we find that we have less. And then life goes and goes, it floats away, and at the end we find our hand is empty, but for one small ball of air.

    My husband thinks it’s depressing as hell but what it says to me is the part in the middle matters. Our experiences, our friendships, our people – those are the things you can take with you. Know you are accompanied by the motley NN.C crew – if only we could participate in the grappa sessions. I think I need to find a bar that serves it and raise a glass to you as I (and everyone here, I’m sure) hold you close in thoughts.

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  53. Jolene said on February 15, 2017 at 7:56 am

    A lovely note, Kim. I second it. My thoughts are with you, MichaelG. I’m glad you have the resources for a sybaritic life and a companion to share it with. He

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  54. Andrea said on February 15, 2017 at 8:30 am

    MichaelG, good wishes for you crowd out our growing Constitutional crisis. Do what you need to do, include venting here. We are all walking on this road, although for most of us the road ahead is less clear. I like that you are going about your life on your own terms, including savoring the grappa and time with friends.

    Grace and peace to you.

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  55. nancy said on February 15, 2017 at 8:45 am

    MichaelG, same here. In the midst of my rhinovirus misery, I got a call from a ghost in my past, my wonderful/impossible boyfriend Jeff, who informs me he has terminal liver cancer and is in hospice care. He was as bad an alky as you see outside a sleeping bag on the street when we knew each other, but has been sober for decades — an AA sponsor, even — and living a good life in Colorado.

    This winter. Man. It just sucks.

    I have a lot of writing to do today, and need to get to it. No update today, but feel free to speculate on when President My Pants will be taking the oath of office.

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  56. Deborah said on February 15, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Michael G, thinking of you, sorry to hear about the pain, that sucks. Sounds like you are living your life wonderfully, grappa and all. And like others have said here, feel free to chime in about anything you damn well please. We care about you.

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  57. Suzanne said on February 15, 2017 at 9:29 am

    So I listened to an interview this morning on the radio with some GOP Congressman. He’s not concerned about the content of the leaks that led to Flynn’s exit. He’s concerned about the leaks themselves. Add this to Rand Paul’s statements, I think we now know the GOP’s plan to fight back. That the President might just be Putin’s bitch is clearly irrelevant to them.
    Makin’ America Great Again, Russian style.

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  58. Icarus said on February 15, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Chicago — I love living in the city but the costs are high and it’s not getting any less expensive in Illinois. Nightingale and I talk about moving but we aren’t sure where to go. FYI my neighborhood has a pretty big size park of it’s own which is named for the hood.

    yesterday they were checking IDs on the Addison Stop on the Redline. The thing is, that particular station is not exactly an immigrant or minority stop. You get mostly white kid transplants who are living it up in Wrigleyville for a few years before breeding and moving to the burbs.

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  59. 4dbirds said on February 15, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Sending you love and peace MichaelG.

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  60. Judybusy said on February 15, 2017 at 10:06 am

    MichaelG, please do let us know how you are doing. As others have said, I am so glad you’ve had the means and health to travel, and you’ve got good company now. I think about you when I’m not here, wondering how things are going. I hope the doc can get some decent pain relief figured out.

    President My Pants scares the hell out fo me. Won’t he be able to act more presidential and therefore less clownish?

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  61. Joe K said on February 15, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I’m putting a challenge out to the group, how about we put our political feelings aside for 24 hr and post nothing but positive comments, and see if we can send good healing karma Michael’s way. Who’s In?
    Pilot Joe

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  62. Suzanne said on February 15, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Best new name for the POTUS from the comments of the NYTimes: Trump Von Clownstick!

    So now, we have VP My Pants and Pres Trump Von Clownstick. How much better can this get?

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  63. St Bitch said on February 15, 2017 at 10:28 am

    MichaelG – along with the rest of the NN.C community, my heart goes out to you.

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  64. Judybusy said on February 15, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Joe, I feel there is just too much to follow. I value people’s contibutions here. Also, taking a 24-hour break from politics on this website will have no discernable impact on Michael’s health. If it did, I’d be all in. You could stop checking in for 24 hours.

    I am slightly heartened that house Republicans are investigating Conway and are likely to deepen the probe into Russia. Eejits could have done a lot more good if they hadn’t stoop up for Trump in the first place.

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  65. Jolene said on February 15, 2017 at 10:43 am

    “. Nightingale and I talk about moving but we aren’t sure where to go.”

    Lots of lists of “most affordable nice places” online to jog your thinking. I vote for Pittsburgh. Affordable housing, universities that both attract and provide cultural activities, a decent collection of restaurants. Nice parks, and opportunities for hiking in many areas outside the city. A city on the upswing in 21st century industries–healthcare, high-tech.

    Ford has just announced a $1 billion investment in a local company that is working to develop autonomous vehicles.

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  66. Icarus said on February 15, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Re: Jolene at #65

    Had not considered Pittsburgh. Went there for a wedding a few years ago and did like what we saw. It’s an older city so it has the potential to feed my love of Old houses. It would also bring me into EST which puts me in the same time zone as the rest of my work team.

    Our short list is Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi or St Louis as there are relatives that could help with moose and squirrel. and we’d help change the color of the last three from Red to Purple. But besides family and lower cost of living, nothing screams please move here.

    @Pilot Joe, that’s a nice sentiment but it amounts to Thoughts & Prayers and MichaelG would be better if everyone donated even a marginal $$ to a GoFundMe or equivalent.

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  67. brian stouder said on February 15, 2017 at 11:04 am

    MichaelG is an NNCer from way back, and I join everyone else hoping for the best for his family and him.

    My question for Pilot Joe is – waddaya think of Harrison Ford’s flying?

    Honestly – maybe these sorts of mistakes are more common than we’d like to think, no?

    Or, does the public safety require that they take his keys away, and make him a certified ground-pounder?

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  68. coozledad said on February 15, 2017 at 11:07 am

    The stupid. It burns.

    Traitor trash is traitoriffic!

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  69. coozledad said on February 15, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Floodgates open:

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  70. Sherri said on February 15, 2017 at 11:39 am

    You’d have to think there are some serious calculations going on in tiny little Republican Congressional heads. Surely none of them want to go too far defending an administration so linked with a foreign power. But what can they sneak through before everything falls apart? And can they keep the damage contained and avoid a wave election in 2018?

    Once they throw trump under the bus, Dems should howl about the fact the Ryan and McConnel knew about the stuff coming out now back in October and fought against anybody saying anything. McConnell stole a Supreme Court seat; I see less and less reason every day to let him fill it, whether trump is there or My Pants.

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  71. Sherri said on February 15, 2017 at 11:47 am

    One question: has anything Hillary told us about trump not turned about to be true, in spades?

    She tried to warn us, and people said she shouldn’t have focused so much on how terrible trump was. Maybe she was trying to save us.

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  72. susan said on February 15, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Suzanne @62 – I kinda like SCROTUS. (One can parse that out as appropriately as one wants. So-Called Ruler of The US. Skeevy Confidence Rogue of the US…)

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  73. Deborah said on February 15, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Joe, maybe I’m wrong but I think Michael G enjoys our political talk. And Joe, nice of you to make Michael G’s situation all about you.

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  74. St Bitch said on February 15, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Oh Deborah @73, you nailed it!

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  75. MichaelG said on February 15, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you all for your good wishes. Please don’t take a break from politics on my account. The current happenings in D.C. are amazing.

    I think Coozledad is correct in calling a lot of these people traitors. I don’t know if they meet the legal definition of what constitutes traitorous behavior – that’s for legal types but they certainly seem to be acting or to have acted in consort with a foreign power against U.S. interests. Republican hypocrisy is breath taking.

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  76. MichaelG said on February 15, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Deborah @73 is correct. I very much enjoy the political talk here.

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  77. nancy said on February 15, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I’m so old — how old are you? — I’m so old I remember Republicans raging that Bill Clinton forced them to explain oral sex to middle-schoolers. Maybe by the end of this, today’s middle-schoolers will be showing their parents how to download the golden-shower video from the dark web.

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  78. susan said on February 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I do so love this illustration of Putin’s bitch. Or ass.

    (Art by Buddy McCue)

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  79. Sherri said on February 15, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Anybody who thinks that the Dems should cooperate with Republicans to confirm nominees, not use the filibuster, not do what they can to disrupt and delay everything, should remember that McConnell and Ryan knew what trump was and knew about his campaign contacts with Russian intelligence and wouldn’t go along with a bipartisan statement about it.

    If the Republicans were so intent on their agenda they were willing to install a tool of Russia in the presidency, then they should be opposed as enemies of the state, not as an opposition party. Ryan and McConnell may not be directly involved in trump’s malfeasance, but they are complicit.

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  80. Scout said on February 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Michael G you have been an inspiration to me and a reminder to all of us to live in the moment and enjoy each good day to the fullest. Thanks for keeping us in the loop; we really do want to know.

    Here’s a great opinion piece *almost* everyone here will appreciate.

    “Just who the hell do you think you are?

    Meaning you and all the other trolls you have brought clambering up from under their bridges. Maybe you didn’t notice, but this is the United States of America. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Nation of laws, not of individuals? First Amendment? Freedom of the press? Any of that ringing a bell?”

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  81. basset said on February 15, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    MichaelG, I’d like to add my support to everyone else’s. Just do whatever you damn well please and enjoy it.

    Never had grappa, I’ll see if I can find it in Tennessee.

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  82. beb said on February 15, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Sherri @71: Everything Hillary was saying during her campaign was already known, and widely disseminated. I think she (or any politician) ought to spend more time talking about why people should vote for them then on why voting for the other guy is a bad idea.

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  83. MichaelG said on February 15, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Grappa is a clear grape distillate. There are lots of clear fruit distillates out there that are covered by generic names like aguardiente or eau de vie. They range from pear liqueur to slivovitz to cachaca and others. Grappa is an Italian one made from the very last bottom of the barrel stuff that’s left over when the crop has been squeezed dry of all the wine and brandy it contains. It is historically a cheapo peasant drink made for local consumption. Like so many other things now, it has been raised to a new level by enthusiasts. There are a number of producers. These guys make several grappas of different quality at their facility near Venice:


    I bought some from this place: https://www.missionliquor.com/

    What I bought is called Amorosa di Settembre on Poli’s web site and Poli Vespaiolo Grappaioli on Mission’s web site. It ain’t cheap, but, as I think I pointed out, I don’t have any reason to save money.

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  84. Peter said on February 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    A few items:

    1. St. Bitch, I am very sorry to hear about your Mom. Mine passed away – gosh – going on two years, from dementia, and it must have been very hard on you. Hoping for better days ahead for you.

    2. Michael G – ditto. I’m glad you shared with the class, and I will keep you in my thoughts. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

    3. Joe: I thought that was a noble request from you, and came from very good intentions. I’m sorry that I can’t do it, but it was still a nice idea, which leads me to:

    4. Cheeto Benito – Oh my God did you see the texts that came out this morning? Shouldn’t Dr. Whozits be adjusting our Great Leader’s dosage? Any more of those texts and I’m thinking it’ll be a desperate cry for help.

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  85. Joe K said on February 15, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Harrison Ford is a good pilot, landing on a taxiway isn’t something that happens everyday but happens more than you would think. A highly trained professional Delta crew landed on a taxiway in Atlanta a few years back, it can happen to anyone, if it wasn’t for Harrison being a celebrity you would have never have heard about it, he will probably only have to take a re-check with the FFA, unfortunately I would guess the media will want to make it out to be something more than it was.
    You know Deb, I guess you meant to hurt me by saying I made it about me, but as usual you were wrong, just really, really disappointed you would try to be that cruel. Guess I had higher expectations.
    Pilot Joe

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  86. Suzanne said on February 15, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Didn’t think you were being mean, JoeK, for what it’s worth. Good karma can’t hurt anyone!

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  87. coozledad said on February 15, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    It takes the worst kind of fraud to crouch behind a sick man. I really didn’t need this kind of confirmation of a creep’s utter worthlessness: it was always there, in the insult-and-run cowardly approach, the authoritarian sympathies, the racism, the flagrant misogyny, the oddly refractive homophobia- but that’s a pretty filthy hairball you just spat up there, Joe. Repulsive even for a Gilt-fetish piss-freak minion.

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  88. coozledad said on February 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    And there’s this:

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  89. Sherri said on February 15, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    You know the saying, Lord grant me the confidence of a mediocre white man…

    My trainer was telling me today she’s started working with a man who is generally fit, but never done bench press before. He’s up to 135, which is the bar with a couple of the big plates each side. His comment to her after lifting it was, wow, that’s really heavy, I bet not many people can lift that. Well, if you’ve ever spent time in a gym, you’d know that most men lifting free weights can bench that.

    She told him, well, actually, I’ve got a female client blowing you out of the water right now…

    He’s a guy, so no doubt he’ll pass me eventually, but still.

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  90. Sherri said on February 15, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    What do Betsy DeVos’s friends want her to do? They’ve published a manifesto: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/influential-conservative-group-trump-devos-should-dismantle-education-department-and-bring-god-into-classrooms/2017/02/15/196bf872-f2df-11e6-8d72-263470bf0401_story.html

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  91. Peter said on February 15, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    This just in – Andy Puzder can’t handle the truth – the nomination has been withdrawn.

    Get ready for some good tweets.

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  92. Sherri said on February 15, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Time to go to work on Pruitt.

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  93. Jolene said on February 15, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    “Time to go to work on Pruitt.”

    Exactly. He is truly heinous.

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  94. brian stouder said on February 15, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I’d have traded Pudzwaker for DeVos, but I suppose “President trump” already has enough wife-beaters in his inner circle, leaving room for divorced-from-reality one-trick ponies like DeVos

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  95. elaine said on February 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Michael G – I don’t post much here, but have read the blog for years. Just wanted to send my thoughts of light and peace to you.

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  96. Sherri said on February 15, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    As bad as DeVos is, Puzder had more potential for damage, because the federal government has more scope in labor issues than in education issues, where many things are still determined at a state and local level.

    Pruitt has enormous room for lasting damage.

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  97. Dexter said on February 15, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Mlive dot com is on now with a video about a fast-approaching Michigan heat wave.
    The video keeps freezing so I had to abort, and I had heard nothing about this phenomenon. I assume it’s truly a bizarre occurrence, record setting.

    MichaelG, glad to see you are posting…”get well soon” seems out of order so I’ll just say you’re a solid contributor here and I have enjoyed your travelogues and comments. Keep it up.
    I am jaded as hell but I saw some shit on TV last night that dropped my jaw and had me shaking my head. There are Vietnam veterans around the country who have assembled huge hoards of M-16’s, Ak-47s, and even have restored gun trucks for their private collections; they wear old and new jungle fatigues, some have built deep shelters of reinforced concrete equipped with many weapons, beds, canned food, water, and mostly TONS of ammunition.
    For this show, they finished off a restoration of a gun truck and staged an ambush like the NVA and resistance fighters (loosely lumped into “the Viet Cong”). Gun trucks were duece & a half trucks which GIs armored with anything they could recover and use to protect from AK-47 fire …hand held rocket launchers would still kill anybody who got hit through the armor there. It seems these guys really never came home at all…their whole lives seem to center around recreating Vietnam war battles. I don’t know…sheesh…most guys who saw the worst shit would not talk about it or certainly not re-create the fights… one friend never told me about his worst night and day until I had known him for 25 years, and he knew I was a Viet-vet also, and my best friend at work NEVER told me about how he survived 12 months (all in the field as an infantryman) , except to tell me he learned to drink huge cups of coffee to stay alert pretty much 24-7, and how he and his unit hated rubber plantation zones because there were always enemy engagements there.
    Here are a couple things I forgot when I was in Vietnam: 1) what air-conditioning felt like, 2) what US currency looked and felt like, what coins felt like, and 3) real genuine hope (at times it really seemed like it was over)

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  98. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 15, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Anything produced “near Venice” would have to be interesting on some level! Thanks for the backgrounder.

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  99. Deni Menken said on February 15, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Michael G, I have always enjoyed your travelogues and the way you give us such wonderful vicarious dining experiences. Such a pleasant diversion. Just wanted to say thank you very much. Funny how we all care about you. Good, too.

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  100. David C. said on February 15, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Joe, don’t even the smallest aircraft have TCAS systems now? I haven’t worked in avionics in 12 years, but I know they were working on more affordable systems. Even so, I can’t imagine Harrison Ford couldn’t afford the best and latest. Maybe he likes to fly by the seat of his pants.

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  101. Jerry said on February 15, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    MichaelG, just to offer best wishes for whatever comes. Your attitude and approach to the cancer has been, and is, very impressive. If unloading helps you then this is a good place for you to be doing it. I’m sure we all welcome your updates, even when the news they bring isn’t great.

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  102. Deborah said on February 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    No Joe, I don’t think you were trying to be mean, just clueless, as usual.

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  103. Scout said on February 15, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    And so the distraction/deflection/shiny object phase begins. Damn it.

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  104. Sherri said on February 15, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    But we were told over and over again that Hillary was the hawk, not trump!

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  105. Sherri said on February 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    The rally that Trump is holding in Florida this weekend? The White House is saying it’s a campaign rally.

    Not even a month.

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  106. ROGirl said on February 15, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    I read this at my mother’s funeral in November:

    The Laughing Heart Charles Bukowski

    your life is your life
    don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
    be on the watch.
    there are ways out.
    there is a light somewhere.
    it may not be much light but
    it beats the darkness.
    be on the watch.
    the gods will offer you chances.
    know them.
    take them.
    you can’t beat death but
    you can beat death in life, sometimes.
    and the more often you learn to do it,
    the more light there will be.
    your life is your life.
    know it while you have it.
    you are marvelous
    the gods wait to delight
    in you.

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  107. Deborah said on February 15, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Lovely ROGirl, amazing to say lovely to something Written by Bukowski, I love his stuff but “Lovely” isn’t something I would have thought to use to describe his work.

    These times are just amazing to me. There isn’t enough popcorn in this world to meet the demand for it. The “carnage” that is going to occur now tragically is American soldiers who will die in combat in Syria so that this corrupt administration can distract and prop up their regime. Sad.

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  108. Joe K said on February 15, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Not all have Tcas, 4 of mine do, It works but it really wouldn’t have help in this situation, he was on a visual approach and was suppose to land on a parallel runway, and for whatever reason distraction, wind, he landed on the taxiway, the jet from what I understand was waiting for the parallel and would have been sitting 90 degree to it, Harrison went over the top of it by around 100 ft no one was in any danger, the airliner may have never even saw him.
    Pilot Joe

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  109. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 15, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    By the way, before this thread changes — if you come to Columbus, you really should see the Statehouse. Happy to meet someone coming through and give them a nickel tour. It’s got some odd dignity to it, a Greek Revival stone building where most US examples of that style are wooden structures with the evocation of stone on the facade. The drum instead of a dome is also something I disliked at first, and have come to enjoy; the rotunda and art within, plus the atrium now covered where Lincoln spoke on his way to DC after the election (he learned of the final electoral college totals while in the Statehouse, and went out to speak to a crowd on the east side of the building as the word spread that his election had been confirmed), are all freely open to the public, with the usual metal detector screening to get in, but it’s quick and easy unless there’s a major event on, which honestly isn’t that often. My boss at the court, who still moonlights at Thurman’s as waitstaff on weekends, loved the article and sent it to her mother who keeps telling her Columbus is such a dead-end town (she lives in Miami, I believe).

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  110. BethB from Indiana said on February 15, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    I also don’t post here very often, but I read nn.com several times each day; it is the one bright, intelligent spot in a bleak world right now.

    MichaelG, many others have written such beautiful things, but I really like what Jerry, at #101, had to say. So I am just going to quote him:

    “…Your attitude and approach to the cancer has been, and is, very impressive. If unloading helps you then this is a good place for you to be doing it. I’m sure we all welcome your updates, even when the news they bring isn’t great.”

    I also want to say, Michael, that your grace inspires me, and my thoughts are with you on your journey.

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  111. alex said on February 15, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    MichaelG, I can’t say it any better than has already been said here but I want you to know I treasure the moments you share with us.

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  112. jcburns said on February 15, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    But Jeff, where’d they misplace the dome? (Ok, yeah, I know the answer to that.)
    And MichaelG, sending good thoughts from the deep south.

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  113. MichaelG said on February 16, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Thank you all so much. I didn’t mean to hijack the thread. I don’t know what my next trip will be or if there will even be a next trip. I feel selfish thinking so much about myself when there are such important things happening in our wonderful country.

    We have allowed ourselves to be hijacked by a bunch of racist, money grubbing greed heads. The Republicans could care less what Trump does as long as they are free to pillage the treasury and the populace and the countryside for their own interests. Trump could suck Putin’s dick on the Today Show and hand over the nuclear suitcase after swallowing and the Republicans could give a shit as long as they were free to pursue their twisted America hating agenda.

    I’m sipping a nice shot of JP grappa. This is not to say that I’m becoming a drunk. I’m not. But that certainly is an option.

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  114. Sherri said on February 16, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Hey, JC, are you by any chance in GA-06. There’s a Dem down there name of Jon Ossoff running in the special election for Tom Price’s seat, Know anything about him?

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  115. David C. said on February 16, 2017 at 6:06 am

    That would seem to put the lid on not being political for MichaelG’s sake.

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  116. kathy t said on February 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Michael G, what everybody else said. Trying to chug down contrast media for scans at the moment. Most of my sybaritic fantasies have to do with food, but I don’t have much of a useful GI tract left. Until the last couple days have totally lost my taste for wine and crave coffee.
    Requesting prayers and incantatations from this marvellous crowd.

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  117. brian stouder said on February 16, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Kathy t – request granted!

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  118. jcburns said on February 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

    We’re in the Georgia 5th. Our congressman: John Lewis. We have been, however, encouraging our brethern and sistern up in the gerrymandered-therefore-quite-white 6th to get out and get a democrat elected there. Ossoff is the name I hear as “the best chance.” Don’t know much (any) about him. I also hear Tom Price’s wife is running, and she’s at least as insane as he is.

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