Voices from another room.

Last night I was all set to write something, but had what was, for me, a highly unusual set of physical symptoms, which boiled down to: Tummyache.

I never get nauseous. I never get heartburn. I wish, just once, I could have a “nervous stomach,” just to see if I could lose a few pounds. So I made dinner, served and ate it and went upstairs to read and avoid the presidential address. Alan watched it downstairs, at a volume high enough to only get a sense of it. I couldn’t hear the words, but that distinctive cadence, Trump-at-a-Teleprompter, was unmistakable: Blah-de-blah. De-blah. Blah-de-blah-de-blah. I could see him swinging between the three prompter screens like I was there. Sighed. Checked Twitter. Sighed a lot more.

You guys can talk about it today. I just heard a podcast on my way in (NYT’s “The Daily,” a good way to start your day), and need to allow my blood pressure to drop a little.

So just a few links, some of which were posted yesterday in comments.

Charles Pierce on why he doesn’t feel sorry for regretful Trump voters:

Holy mother of god, I’m tired of reading quotes from people who live in places where the local economy went to hell or Mexico in 1979, and who have spent the intervening years swallowing whatever Jesus Juice was offered up by theocratic bunco artists of the Christocentric Right, and gulping down great flagons of barely disguised hatemongering against the targets of the day, all the while voting against their own best interests, now claiming that empowering Donald Trump as the man who will “shake things up” on their behalf was the only choice they had left. You had plenty of choices left.

In Kansas, you could have declined to re-elect Sam Brownback, who’d already turned your state into a dismal Randian basket case. In Wisconsin, you had three chances to turn out Scott Walker, and several chances to get the state legislature out of his clammy hands. And, now that the teeth of this new administration are becoming plain to see, it’s a good time to remind all of you that you didn’t have to hand the entire federal government over to Republican vandalism, and the presidency over to an abject loon on whom Russia may well hold the paper.

Some hate criminals go to prison for lengthy stretches, after terrorizing a child’s birthday party. And cry like little bitches all the way there. A deeply satisfying read.

How Medicaid block grants will screw over rural America. See Pierce, above.

Finally, a beautifully told story of Tiger Woods, still a young man but old in athlete years, childlike in many ways, and deeply sad. But lots of new stuff here, too — did you know he at one time thought he could become a Navy SEAL? Like, recently?

Lots to read there. I need to do my day job. Enjoy.

Posted at 9:36 am in Current events |

64 responses to “Voices from another room.”

  1. coozledad said on March 1, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Get a load of the press horfing that Nazi’s crank today. They’re going to suck him until they get them another Reagan.

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  2. BItter Scribe said on March 1, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Unbelievably, some Internet commenters are taking the side of those dimwits who terrorized a child’s birthday party, at least to the extent of decrying their sentences as excessive because “being ignorant racists shouldn’t constitute [sic] a 20-year sentence.”

    They weren’t sentenced for “being racists,” you morons. They were sentenced for pointing shotguns at a birthday party for an 8-year-old.

    In the land of the free and the home of the brave, you are free to be as racist as you want. You are not free to point shotguns at people, especially people who are minding their business and doing you no harm whatsoever. Christ, I don’t understand why that distinction is so hard for some people to grasp.

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  3. Jeff Borden said on March 1, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Alcohol + hate + guns = disaster. The couple is lucky someone wasn’t killed. I suspect their time in stir will be highly unpleasant given the extraordinarily high level of incarceration among people of color. Convicts have their own code. (In Cook County Jail, recently, a gangbanger was beaten up by a guy being held on a murder charge because the gang member killed a 2-year-old girl while shooting at someone else.) The prisoners won’t be easy on a couple of bigots.

    I went to bed rather than listen to the Orange King’s address. The transcripts today seem rather mild for him, though as usual, he is promising an awful lot with no clear way to pay for it. Wonder what the GOP deficit hawks will say, huh? I’ve also gotten the sense from some write-ups that the ovation for the wife of the Navy SEAL killed in Yemen was self-serving and inappropriate. Not, of course, that the Orange King would ever do anything self-serving or inappropriate.

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  4. Deborah said on March 1, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I’m trying to steer clear of the postmortem of the speech. I have read that the father of the SEAL doesn’t want our corrupt minority president to have anything to do with his son, good for him. Obama didn’t get nearly as much attention as tRump is getting, which just feeds his narcissistic personality. Of course what am I doing now? It’s unavoidable.

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  5. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I went to my first truancy board meeting while trump was meeting the low bar for pundits to start using the pivot word again, evidently not noticing that just because he delivered the remarks in a calm manner, the policies were no less hateful.

    Anyway, I’m hopeful about the first family we met with. I think there are challenging problems but ones they can deal with, and they had already taken positive action to address them before they met with us.

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  6. brian stouder said on March 1, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I think the title of Nance’s post today is a bit of ‘found poetry’; exactly and exquisitely describing the experience of that television show last night.

    The ovation for the wife of the SEAL was standard-issue SotU stuff…until the president revved it up for a second go-round.

    That was my ‘voices from another room’ moment

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  7. Jakash said on March 1, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Hmmm… Tried to post this and it didn’t seem to work. If it shows up twice, I apologize…

    Tom Toles’ language isn’t as colorful as Coozledad’s (heck, he’s a cartoonist, after all) but his conclusions are similar.

    “Media brushed aside worries that they were focusing on the wrong thing here, noting that they had long ago gotten into the habit of mixing up style and substance and that style analysis was a particularly strong suit for them.”


    On the upside, my plan to never watch a Rump Speech got off to a good start.

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  8. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    The 1997 Esquire article referred to in the Tiger Woods piece today was written by Charles Pierce, and is also very good: http://www.gq.com/story/tiger-woods-profile

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  9. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    The EO on the travel ban had to be done in a hurry with proper vetting because the bad guys would come pouring in. (First story)
    We’re not going to fight the ban in court because we’ve got a new ban coming next week (second story, come on in, bad guys!)
    We’re announcing the new ban on Tuesday (third story, in case we need to distract from a bad speech performance)
    We’re announcing the new ban later in the week (Hey, you liked the speech! Keep coming bad guys, we’re getting good publicity right now!)

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  10. Icarus said on March 1, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    “I’ve also gotten the sense from some write-ups that the ovation for the wife of the Navy SEAL killed in Yemen was self-serving and inappropriate. Not, of course, that the Orange King would ever do anything self-serving or inappropriate.”

    it didn’t take long for my racist FIL to post a right winger peace saying that certain democrats didn’t stand or applaud. Or long for the video disproving that to come out.

    we go to visit them in a couple of weeks in Tennessee and boy won’t that be fun.

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  11. Scout said on March 1, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Kudos to the speechwriter and to the handlers and enablers who got the Xanax/Ritalin cocktail just right. Middle fingers to all the pundits who are swooning over the fact the jackass didn’t go off message and make armpit fart noises. Meh.

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  12. Suzanne said on March 1, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    And the market soars!! Even a friend of mine who is a financial planner says she doesn’t get it. Is it because Trump talks about making America great all the time? Payoffs from foreign sources? Dumb luck?
    All I can think is that the economy did really well under Hitler & Mussolini & Chavez for a few years, too.

    The Tiger Woods piece is sad & interesting.

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  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 1, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Sherri — if you find consistent solutions in your board’s work, I want to hear more! You’re right up in my wheelhouse talking about “truancy” (a word I’ve come to put at least mental scare quotes around when used).

    How many sit in on these meetings, and how many days does it take to engage your part of the process? I usually don’t get tapped until the student’s at 7-10 days of unexcused absence, but even that category is as much a term of art as it is a hard measurement.

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  14. Peter said on March 1, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Suzanne at #12 – it’s easy to see why the market is going up – a lot of financial guys are betting that Dodd Frank will be pitched and they’ll be off to the races.

    I do think Fearless Leader was presidential last night, and the tribute is standard SotU stuff.

    I just wonder what the over/under is for when he reverts to form. It can’t be more than two days.

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  15. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    We don’t get kids until they’re at the point where the district is required to file a court petition on them, which is 10 unexcused absences in a year and previous interventions have failed. Every time a child is absent or late or misses a class, a parent gets a phone call, so ditching class (like I was prone to do) is not easy to do without parents knowledge. Too many calls by the parent claiming medical excuses will result in the district requiring a doctor’s note. Escalation is a meeting with counselors and the attendance person at the school, and plans. If all those fail, and the kid still is missing school, then it’s court or us.

    There are 4-6 community members on the board, along with the attendance person. We’re briefed on the kid and family, then we meet with the kid, then the parent(s), then discuss the plan; what things we want to see the kid do, what things we want to see the parent do, and what we want the district to do to support them. Everybody signs off, and we’ll meet again in two months to assess progress.

    In this situation, the boy had been doing fine until last year, and his younger brother was not missing school. There were some family issues that had recently come to a head, and while not to minimize the pain this had caused the kid, he had also been taking advantage of the situation to avoid getting up to catch a bus at 6 in the morning. He’s smart enough and cares enough about things outside video games that I think he’ll respond, and proactive measures independent of us are already underway to address the family situation.

    Our measures focused on requiring kid to seek help in getting caught up academically, dad to use tools available to monitor attendance, grades, and homework more closely (everything’s online here), and both to get information about options available for support groups for the family situation.

    Our meeting with a family is only a little over an hour. We only had one family last night, but next week, we have two families. In April, we’ll have the follow up with this family, and I don’t know what else yet. This is still new, just recently enacted into law, so we’re all feeling our way.

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  16. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Where in TN, Icarus?

    ICE has been a cruel nightmare of a system for years, and trump wants to put it on steroids.


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  17. Jolene said on March 1, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Sherri, who governs your truancy board? Are you an agency of the state, the school district, or something else? And what happens if the people do not respond to your recommendations?

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  18. Charlotte said on March 1, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Hoo boy would I have been in trouble in 8th grade — I was bored, and in not a great school in Madison, and I bet by spring I was probably skipping at least one, if not two afternoons a week. I’d come home for lunch, watch General Hospital, and then usually decide whatever I was reading was more interesting than “Language Arts.” Weird thing is no one ever busted me, and I still got straight A’s (well, not in math. never in math). My mother would have KILLED me if she’d gotten called up before a truancy board!

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  19. Deborah said on March 1, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Me too Charlotte, only I was in high school, it was after my mother died, my sister and I both skipped school all the time, never got busted. My dad came home from work early one time when my sister skipped and she had to spend the afternoon in her closet. When my dad went outside in the back to do yard work she sneaked out and opened and closed the front door making it seem like she just got home from school. And that didn’t stop us either. He never knew, until we were way into our adult years we finally confessed. He was sort of amazed that he never knew.

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  20. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    The school district governs our board, actually boards. We have 4 comprehensive high schools in the district, and there is a board of volunteers for each attendance area flowing into those high schools (called learning communities in our district). Each LC has a BECCA coordinator (so called after the law establishing truancy requirements in Washington), and the coordinator for the LC runs that board, though two coordinators are paired up to work together, two covering the east side of the district and two covering the west side. The administrator in the district office who has responsibility for counselors, student discipline, and drug and alochol programs oversees the whole thing.

    If people do not respond to us, then the case goes to court. We’re at the stage where it’s either court or us, and if we fail, then it’s court.

    We’re just getting our feet wet right now and gaining experience. Next fall, the state law requiring CTBs goes into effect. Several school districts in Washington have been using them successfully for years, though I think the model that has been most effective has involved having volunteers from social services organizations rather than random community volunteers like us, so we’ll see how it goes. Because of scheduling issues, I’m not volunteering in my own LC, but in one that has half the level of free and reduced lunch kids (only 5%). That doesn’t mean there aren’t problems, just that there are more likely to be resources available to address the problems.

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  21. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    I’d skip out on classes regularly, too, and had a perfect GPA. Had my mother known, I would have been in huge trouble. My daughter, OTOH, took after my husband, and never liked to miss a class, even when I gave her permission to skip.

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  22. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    To be fair to my daughter, her high school work load was considerably heavier than mine!

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  23. Heather said on March 1, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Interesting. I never skipped school–it seems like my district was pretty serious about absences. I can’t remember any specific instances of people being punished but if you weren’t there, it was noticed.

    I would have been too scared, even if no one found out. Also then you had to make up the homework.

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  24. Suzanne said on March 1, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I skipped school a couple of times but didn’t have much fun. I was too scared I’d be caught!

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  25. Mark P said on March 1, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Douglasville is not that far away from us in miles or in psychology. My wife and I were pleased to see a report about the court proceedings (limited as it the report was — TV news and all, you know), so I appreciated the link to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. I have a blog that is almost the definition of quotidian, but I occasionally post something more political. I did one back on July 5, 2015, (http://www.caniconfidimus.com/2015/07/05/true-colors/) about a parade of bigotry much like the one that resulted in the criminal charges. A bunch of rednecks (they give rednecks a bad name) were driving around in their pickups (they give pickup trucks a bad name) flying the American flag (they give America a bad name) and Confederate battle flags (they give the Confederacy … well, just about right on that one, I think) hooting and hollering. No racial epithets, but then no African Americans around where we were, but it wouldn’t have surprised me, not one little b, to hear it. And I would not have been surprised one little bit to see a shotgun brandished if there had been any blacks around. They’re all a bunch of little pussy crybabies and I would love to see more of them end up in prison where they might learn a few things about exactly how hard it might be to bully people when the bullies aren’t packing.

    It is especially pleasing that this sentencing happened right now, and I am even happier that the judge stood where he did.

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  26. Jakash said on March 1, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    I never even considered skipping school surreptitiously, either, any more than I’d have been interested in smokin’ in the boys’ room. Nerd! Now, I did attempt to fake being sick or overplay a symptom occasionally when I was younger — but that was more of a sport that involved my mother’s refereeing. By the time I got to high school, no more of that.

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  27. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I’m afraid this may be all too true: http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/you-cretins-are-going-to-get-thousands-of-people-killed-1792862225

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  28. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    When Shadow President Bannon says he wants to destroy the administrative state, he means it: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/03/state-department-trump/517965/

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  29. basset said on March 1, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    I used to leave early on Fridays during basketball season – we had mandatory cheering sessions in the gym last period, I used to call it the “Two Minutes Hate” and I’d avoid it by hanging out in the library or the art room.

    Before long I was caught and taken to the gym, 4500 seats for a school of just over 600 students, where I would spend the hour reading on the other side of the
    court. That got old quickly, so one day I just got up and left. Teacher tried to stop me, some pushing was involved, and the principal met my bus the next morning. Got ugly there for awhile but my parents backed me, I was excused, others learned from my experience and from there to the end of the season there were a few more of us no-school-spirit types headed for the parking lot at the start of Friday last period.

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  30. Jeff Borden said on March 1, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Well, golly, doesn’t that really make sense? Slash the State Department, which tries to ameliorate conflicts that might flare into war, but back up another dump truck of money for Defense Department to increase its budget by 10% or $54 billion.

    I don’t give the Orange King credit for having any overarching philosophy beyond his own self-worship, but we all ought to be scared shitless about Steve Bannon, a fervent believer in the theory that history is divided into periods of peace and chaos and we are entering chaos. He’s also a believer in the apocalyptic vision of a global battle between Islam and the West. And he is deeper into the Orange King’s brain than Ivanka could ever hope to burrow.

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  31. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    I’m guessing that Seatac’s $15 minimum wage had something to do with Alaska Airlines ending the outsourcing of baggage handling at SeaTac.


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  32. Deborah said on March 1, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    I think this is the first year I can remember in my entire life that I didn’t see a single soul with ashes on their forehead. What do you think that means?

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  33. Julie Robinson said on March 1, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Skipping school never occurred to me either, so I don’t actually know what the consequences would have been. My school took attendance every period and had a closed campus with teachers stationed at the doors during passing periods, so it wouldn’t have been so easy. Besides, I was either fully engaged with a class, or letting the teacher know in what ways I wasn’t engaged and they were failing.

    I wasn’t a very nice person. I despised my history teacher, a former football star who was hired back as a coach, but didn’t seem to know anything about history or teaching. So I sat on the floor during the Pledge of Allegiance. But skip school? Nope. Besides, I was in lots of extracurriculars, so if I had skipped, I’d have had to come back after school was over.

    Did the orange one speak last night? I’m ignoring it.

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  34. alex said on March 1, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    I think this is the first year I can remember in my entire life that I didn’t see a single soul with ashes on their forehead. What do you think that means?

    Come to think of it, I didn’t see anyone either, not the entire day, and my office is full of Catholics who ordinarily do it. But this morning on the way to work I was startled to see costumed people in front of a church parking lot with big sandwich boards reading “Drive-Thru Ashes” and there was someone in a Cadillac SUV getting consecrated. Wished I’d had the presence of mind to get a photo, but I was preoccupied.

    As I left the house this morning, there was a laptop computer on the table outside my front door. I pondered what on earth it was doing there. Obviously someone had placed it there during the night. And when I returned this evening it had vanished just as mysteriously as it had appeared.

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  35. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Pay attention to the pundits who were quick to declare trump’s speech presidential last night. Those are the people not to trust, though for the most part, there were few surprises. Why were they so quick to embrace the pivot?

    -They haven’t learned a thing, and obviously at this point, are incapable of learning. They want to believe that everything is normal, that both sides, that they are the neutral arbiters, and that they don’t have to understand anything outside of their narrative.

    -They don’t want to face up to their part in the destruction of our political system.

    -They don’t want to admit that trump succeeded because of his racist, misogynistic, xenophobic rhetoric, not despite it. If they can pretend he pivots, they can ignore all that tawdry stuff, convince themselves that most people who voted for trump don’t feel that way and Dems should stop saying that and be nicer.

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  36. Julie Robinson said on March 1, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Alex, I don’t think he was in a costume, but our pastor was doing drive-through ashes before work and at lunch.

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  37. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was in contact with the Ripussians during the campaign and lied to the Senate about it. Which of trump’s cabinet members didn’t lie to the Senate?


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  38. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 1, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Fascinating, Sherri. What your board is, I am (as a juvenile court mediator). And we end up with much the same conclusions . . . I just have ten districts to cover! But yep, it’s me, or go to court. About 50 families end up in court per year, despite my best efforts.

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  39. Deborah said on March 1, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Drive through ashes, oy. Reminds me of the Easter sunrise services they led later in my childhood (high school years) that they held at a drive-in movie venue. What would Jesus think?

    Is anyone else here watching the live cam of April the giraffe at a zoo in upstate NY who is about to give birth? Little Bird is obsessed with watching.

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  40. LAMary said on March 1, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Deborah, I was just messaging in FB and Harry Spetnagel says hi. He also says you’re a good egg.

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  41. Sherri said on March 1, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Our district has about 25000 students K-12, spread out over 2.5 cities. Right now, we have about 25 volunteers for the boards, with a commitment to participate once a month. I know they were hoping to get more like 40-50 volunteers, and maybe next year we will.

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  42. Sherri said on March 2, 2017 at 1:31 am

    One last thing on the truancy boards. One of the school board members is a very good friend of mine, and we’ve talked about the boards. Her frustration is with the legislature forcing a model that has worked in certain districts under certain conditions on all districts, and of course, not funding it. She’d rather the legislature set standards and require responses, rather than assume that one solution is right for every place.

    As I mentioned earlier, the district that was very successful with truancy boards and led eventually to the legislature requiring them had most of its success not with community volunteer boards, but with social service boards: http://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/in-class-out-of-court-how-one-school-district-triumphed-over-truancy/

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  43. Deborah said on March 2, 2017 at 1:55 am

    LA Mary, small world isn’t it? I wonder if Harry still works for the same company that I did before I retired?

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  44. coozledad said on March 2, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Lying traitor shite. Maybe he should give a junior high level speech so the press can commence kissing his ass.

    The Russians are using this white trash to take the country down.

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  45. coozledad said on March 2, 2017 at 7:46 am

    The old Pareene is back. For a while there the Bernie microwaves were searing his brain.


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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 2, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Our plan here was to field test social service boards, but it got changed at the last minute to an in-school team. A mix of the state teacher’s union and superintendents’ association influence not wanting “outsiders” in their buildings telling them what to do with troubled kids. And since there’s no funding or added staffing with this, it just becomes one more mandated meeting and piece of paperwork that most buildings will try to figure out how to Kabuki theatre their way through. In truth, it’s not clear what my role will be next fall, or even if I have one. Everyone working with attendance issues in our county says not to worry, no one is going to comply with the new guidelines and it will be business as usual (like that’s supposed to make me feel better!), but I have a meeting with the chair of the state superintendents’ association tomorrow to find out what he thinks the role of mediation could or should be come August.

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  47. Suzanne said on March 2, 2017 at 9:23 am

    So, with the Jeff Sessions/Russian stuff, do the Democrats at least get to appoint someone to stand up during some speech and holler out “You lie!”? I mean, turn about fair play, right?

    Also, I hear Mr Sessions and think immediately Foghorn Leghorn. “Now, son…”

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  48. coozledad said on March 2, 2017 at 9:37 am

    What I want to know, is when we reach the moment where the military moves in and administers the Mussolini/ gas station moment to the entire Republican party. Goddamn traitor filth.

    Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, is considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington, according to current and former senior US government officials.

    Sessions met with Kislyak twice, in July on the sidelines of the Republican convention in Cleveland, The Washington Post and Bloomberg reported. The second meeting happened in September in his office when Sessions was a member of the Senate Armed Services committee. Sessions was an early Trump backer and regular surrogate for him as a candidate.

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  49. Jeff Borden said on March 2, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I knew Sessions was an abomination on most issues. I did not know he was also a Russian mole. The hypocrisy of the GOP is staggering. If this had happened when a Dem was in the Oval Office, we’d already be at Defcon 5.

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  50. Sherri said on March 2, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Elizabeth Warren was told to sit down and shut up for reading a letter critical of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. Guess the civility traditions of the Senate don’t extend to testifying truthfully under oath.

    Treason has a precise definition, and doesn’t apply, but damn, we’ve known for quite a while that there were a lot of odd strings between trump and Russia, and more just keep turning up. And apart from that, Mnuchin, Price, Pruitt, and Sessions have all been shown to have lied in their confirmation hearings. How far will Republicans go to get their tax cuts and SCOTUS seat?

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  51. coozledad said on March 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    If this was a Democratic administration, there would be roaming bands of meth addled drifters dressed in colonial garb firing AR-15s at furriners, and the news orgs would be talking about the economic anxiety of po old white, and why we need to make healthcare prohibitively expensive for the good of people’s souls.

    Intead, the meth heads and Chris Cilliza are operating directly from the White House.

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  52. Peter said on March 2, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    My sister left school early many many times her senior year – just hopped on the bus, went to Wrigley Field, picked up a beer (wearing her high school uniform!) and took a seat in the bleachers – back in the day it was free to get into the bleachers after the top of the 7th.

    One day she brought Ronnie “Woo Woo” Wickers home for dinner – she felt sorry for him. Our family Never Brings That Up again.

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  53. Charlotte said on March 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Julie @33 — I skipped a lot in 7th and 8th grade at a not-very-good public middle school in Madison. I was bright, didn’t make trouble, and was passing everything, so they never bothered me about it. But by high school I was back in Lake Forest (thanks Dad, only really good thing you ever did for me) at LFHS and in the honors track. So by then, I was monitored, engaged and working my ass off to make grades and knew I couldn’t skip out 2 or 3 afternoons a week.

    And it’s go-time here in Montana. Zinke has been confirmed to sell off the public lands at Interior (he’s going to be a disaster) and our state committees are meeting over the weekend. Looks like the GOP might run Greg Gianforte, which could be good as he’s widely loathed as a rich fuck (who got caught suing to close a public fishing access easement across his property), and just lost the Governor race. I’d be happy to see him spend more of his own money. I’m hoping for Amanda Curtis on the Dem side — teacher from Butte, union family history, a real progressive — but there’s some talk of this mustached/cowboy hat wearing “troubadour” from the High Line (claim is he’s a great guy, has a lot of name recognition, MT has trouble electing women). I don’t care who they run — get me a clipboard, some door knockers, and some voter registration forms and I’m headed out to stump.

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  54. Heather said on March 2, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Charlotte, I went to Highland Park High School. I suspect the expectations in those communities that grads would go off not just to college but Ivy League-level institutions had a lot to do with the lack of truancy. In my school, the smartest kids definitely got a lot of respect.

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  55. coozledad said on March 2, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Future Trump spokesperson, or Fox News chest shitter?

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  56. Suzanne said on March 2, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I checked out the Fox News headlines, which were, basically, that so what Sessions met with the Russian ambassador! Senators do it all the time. No big deal; lots of people do so.
    OK, then, why lie about it? Why not just say, when asked, that he did meet and this is a perfectly normal thing to do in his position as a US Senator.
    That is what doesn’t add up.

    I’ve been following John Dean (yes, that John Dean) on Twitter. Very interesting.

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  57. Sherri said on March 2, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I never skipped the AP classes or the interesting classes. As for the rest, I was making A’s, I was learning the material, and there weren’t other, more challenging classes I should have been taking instead, and my parents never would have considered the Ivy League, so? I mostly stayed out of trouble and made my grades and got what I what I needed out of high school.

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  58. Scout said on March 2, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    This is brilliant and Facebookers will especially appreciate it.

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  59. Judybusy said on March 2, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Oh, Scout, thank you! Loved that so much.

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  60. Charlotte said on March 2, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Heather — yeah, that’s how LF was too. I was pretty bright, but something like 30 kids in my class got into Ivies. High school was pretty chaotic at home (divorced parents, lived with dad and 21 year old stepmother, mom drank etc …) so I did okay, but only got into Illinois my freshman year, then transferred to Beloit. There was no ditching school once I got to LF — and it was really eye-opening for me to have been in not great schools for a little while. Our high school reunions are actually fun because people were so bright and grew up to do interesting things — especially the women.

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  61. Sherri said on March 2, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    On missing school, here’s an story from NPR that makes it sound like automatically notifying parents about absences is some new idea just invented. The notifications are done by robocall now, but notifications the day of the absence if the parent hasn’t already called in have been required in Washington since the mid-90s. Volunteers usually handled the calls in elementary school, by high school there was a staff member. By the end of my daughter’s time in high school, I’d get a for any period she missed.

    I was also able to log on and check the grades of any assignment from 7th grade on, and see if anything was missing. Now there’s even an app for all of it.

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  62. Sherri said on March 2, 2017 at 6:55 pm


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  63. Sherri said on March 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Vouchers are the best solution for letting parents get their children out of failing public schools, but you’re selfish if you expect us to give you enough money to attend a private school any better! That money belongs to bidness!


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  64. Sherri said on March 2, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    $9 billion in tax breaks approved in 3 days. No solution to education funding in 4 years.


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