A constant roar.

Had lunch with my boss on Friday, and marveled that for the first time in a while, I have no deadlines approaching and can actually have a weekend entirely free of work. He said, “Good.” I said, “Good.”

And that’s the way it pretty much worked out, although I did about 20 minutes’ worth this afternoon.

The rest of the time, I watched Twitter with the sense of dawning horror and WTF-ness that was the order of the weekend. It made me think of that “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” movie, and wondered if, when this whole ghastly period comes to an end, if we can’t all visit the Lacuna Corp. offices and have everything erased. I simply can’t imagine working in the White House; I recall, during the early honeymoon of the Obama administration, some journalist commenting that it was easy for the president to be a good father, because he essentially has a home office. And then Rahm Emanuel saying, “He’s the only one,” because the White House takes every hour of your day and then some. So far, this Chaos Good administration has big-footed every news cycle since the election. No wonder Kellyanne Conway looks like a zombie. No wonder Sean Spicer is so angry all the time. No wonder Steve Bannon resembles – oh, never mind. We know what he resembles, and why.

Maybe the leakers are the people who just want a fucking weekend off.

We’d all like a weekend off, don’t we? Alas, not yet.

A good weekend, all around. Work on Saturday, schvitz on Sunday. Waiting for a good week, with rain and warmer temperatures.

In the meantime, I’m glad I don’t live in Oklahoma.

Happy week ahead, all.

Posted at 8:54 pm in Current events |

50 responses to “A constant roar.”

  1. beb said on March 5, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    It’s been said before but there is a bottomless pit of bile and hatred at the core of conservatism. Why ask someone if they beat their wife unless it is first assumed that men naturally beat their wives.

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  2. brian stouder said on March 5, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    beb, you’re right. 35 years ago, I’d have argued the point about “conservatism”, but either things have devolved to where they are now, or I was flatly wrong, back then (I suspect the latter)

    The only thing that changes over the years is the marketing of the same old concepts and prejudices

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  3. Charlotte said on March 5, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    My mother called the other day and said “I left you a message yesterday because I was so upset about something He’d done, but now I think he’s done three or four other things and I can’t remember which one I was upset about!”

    Twitter is going to be the death of me. Yesterday I too was just glued to the screen.

    Luckily we’ve now got a candidate for our one House seat. Rob Quist — cowboy hatted, mustache-wearing Montana musician who is also, apparently, a progressive Democrat. Here goes. Give me a clipboard and a pile of door hangers and I’m hitting the streets.

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  4. Deborah said on March 6, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Brian, I’m curious what changed your mind about conservatism? Was it a sudden change or gradual? I’ve always been a democrat but my right wing sister claims that she used to be a democrat and that it was the abortion issue that made her change to a republican. I don’t remember her ever being a democrat though.

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  5. Suzanne said on March 6, 2017 at 6:45 am

    I used to be a hard core conservative until I voted for Mitch Daniels and he promptly cut the funding to the organization I worked for and the tax caps were put into place. I lost my job and was unemployed for a while in mid-life and met lots of other people my age who had worked since their teen years and found themselves in mid-life pounding the pavement & hoping for any job they could get. And then I’d turn on the TV or radio and hear some conservative pundit extoll the virtues of the free market and denigrate those lazy so & so people who just wanted to collect their unemployment and suck off the government teat. I knew a woman with an MBA who had worked for a telecom company for 20 years, they were bought out, she got laid off, and could not find a job; she among many. I saw how to a conservative, these people & me were losers who just needed to buck up & get over it.
    I have no use for Conservatism any more.

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  6. Suzanne said on March 6, 2017 at 6:59 am

    And then I ran across this gem: http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/synagogue-hate-crime-suspect-was-educated-suburban-accountant/
    I know. One bad apple and all that, but still.

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  7. coozledad said on March 6, 2017 at 7:43 am

    “Conservative” is a misnomer. They’re more properly confederates with a Leninist streak. The assault on the Constitution on multiple fronts is a daily occurrence now. They’ve called for an end to the right of peaceable assembly, for purges of their political enemies from universities and government, the burning of history books, the expulsion of Asian tech workers, the breaking up of families, and now, a return to the days of slavery:

    They’re the enemy acting out Alexander Dugin’s Neo-Fascist fantasy, and the window for stopping them is closing.

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  8. adrianne said on March 6, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Every day I say that I’ll avert my eyes from the slow-motion train wreck that’s the Trump Administration, but then I get drawn back in. This weekend’s disintegration over Obama-ordered taps on Trump Tower phones? You can’t make this shit up.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on March 6, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Certainly I can’t speak for anyone else, but my change from the Republican party of my youth came about as I matured and learned about the world instead of blindly accepting what I’d been told. The scales fell from my eyes, as the Bible says of Paul.

    There was also Watergate, which was unfolding as I took government my senior year of high school.

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  10. Mark P said on March 6, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Where’s the Oklahoma ACLU? Locked up in some Okie concentration camp for liberals?

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 6, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I just closed out another six years on our local Scouting executive board (Simon Kenton Council). I served a stretch back from 1999 to 2002, and both terms were part of our process in changing what are generally referred to as our “leadership standards.” The first go-round was working through our local issues on adult leadership and sexual orientation, this last was the big push to get the national council to make official changes that we all on the local council level could work with. My role was as a long-time Scouter with camp and Philmont and chartering organization experience, and more particularly as a member of the clergy who could help speak both to our own membership and to the wider community about the faith-based organizations’ perspectives on this, and how Scouting is trying to respect both tradition and history, and engage the culture and families of today.

    If I learned anything from this long and bruising struggle, it’s that everyone uses “conservative” exactly as they please. Both as an accusatory label, and as a proud self-identification. I heard it most often in the form of “you’re no conservative” including some messages I woke up to today as I was checking incoming and reading my usual morning blogs like y’all here. Conservative clergy in this area apparently just heard about our move in the BSA to say we accept the sexual identity presented on registration, without reference to birth certificates . . . i.e., we let transgender youth join the Cub Scouts (K-5th grade level Scouting; Boy Scouts are 11-18 year olds; Venturing is co-ed 14-21).

    Scouting has generally been seen as conservative because it’s been resistant to change; like many church bodies, it doesn’t see change as an immediate and obvious good. Some change is good, and conservatives as I once understood the term simply say “not so fast” and wait to watch developments before adopting new trends and ideas about human existence and social practices. This necessarily means that conservatism, even favorably defined, will often be behind the curve of making needed, necessary changes in society.

    I don’t think liberalism gets its fair share of abuse for adopting change too quickly, and if I were to lengthen this post to suggest some, I’m sure I’d quickly hear back that they’re few, older, and less problematic than the oppressive practices conservatism has tolerated far too long. Fair enough. A progressive (many of my friends and acquaintances in particular) would say Scouting should have dropped the “gay ban” years ago, accepted all sexual orientations in leadership and youth membership, and not let ourselves get caught up in the transgender debate even for a year and a half. I think those are all sensible, accurate observations.

    What makes this complicated — for me, at least — is that it’s tied up with conservatism in religion and for faith communities. The progressive push is for seminary students and new ordinands and church plants to be less Christocentric, even less theocentric, more focused on social justice, activism, and . . . yep, change. Worship in traditional (conservative?) forms is being pushed against from the left for “non-traditional” worship (jazz communion on Thursday nights in the back room of a bar with wine and crackers) and from the right (conservatives? I’m so confused) with mega-church praise bands and projection screens. Traditional congregations with buildings and programs are being told by our progressive leadership we should sell the properties, cash out the endowments, give it to the judicatories to support their justice ministries, and disperse into house churches or community centers to have more de-centered, consensus based “worship experiences.”

    Well, I’m gonna keep doing what I’m doing. I think a conservative on some things can be progressive on others. I don’t know about the parties, which all seem like a dumpster fire right now, but as for a basic orientation, I’m not sure what to do with conservative, liberal, progressive, or any such categories right now. Trumpism is now in the lexicon, and I can’t make any sense of most of my Trumpian friends and family other than they don’t think Republicans are any more trustworthy in conserving their values and interests than Democrats. I think it was David Brooks who wrote after the Joint Session address that Trump effectively ignored or smashed all three legs of the GOP consensus, and no one in the party org or offices seemed to even notice.

    I’m a traditional Christian preacher with a strong streak of social justice woven into how I understand the Gospel I’m called to live out, as a pastor and as part of a congregation. I guess that makes me a conservative, but it doesn’t tell me much about who to work with, or what I’m working for.

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  12. coozledad said on March 6, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I don’t know about the parties, which all seem like a dumpster fire right now,

    Bullshit deflection, and the nut of the whole screed, if anyone reading that glop was looking for the point. Here’s the shorter- conservatives just want to cut school lunch programs and eliminate medicaid expansion because liberals have moved too fast to help the poor. We need us a good old fashioned workhouse to transport us back to the days before the New Deal.

    In a few moments, Stouder and Jack Ash will be out here to kiss his ass.

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  13. coozledad said on March 6, 2017 at 9:44 am

    This is your “conservatism.” They want to tear down the foundations of the postwar western consensus and “shake things up.” Fascism by a sweeter sounding name.

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  14. brian stouder said on March 6, 2017 at 10:04 am

    My dad called himself ‘conservative’, and loved reading William F Buckley’s column in Nancy’s old paper, and I picked it up. Subscribed to National Review for a few years, and The Conservative Book Club, where I (literally) bought loads of tripe.

    It quit ‘making sense’ as the world kept on turning, and life changed.

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  15. coozledad said on March 6, 2017 at 10:34 am

    We’re in Kim Jong-un territory now. The Democrats did not bring us here. The Republicans did, as a bloc. They exploited a slave era technicality to elect a syphilitic narcissist to the White House, and they embraced him enthusiastically because he gives them what they want: white nationalism, a war on the past seventy years, a return to an oil-based, low wage worker based, anti woman, anti-black, pro slavery, pro torture shitbag of an elderly white male anti-state.

    To suggest the Democrats are part of this enormity is straight up bullshit casuistry.

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  16. coozledad said on March 6, 2017 at 10:47 am


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  17. brian stouder said on March 6, 2017 at 11:38 am

    To suggest the Democrats are part of this enormity is straight up bullshit casuistry.

    I have noticed that Oxy-Rush and Shit-for-brains-Sean (et al) keep wanting to flip us the Byrd; the Democrat Klansman, etc etc.

    Historically, yes – the slave-south was firmly in the Democratic party, as it was then constituted; and the latter-day racists and segregationists remained there for half of the 20th century…and then labels changed.

    Racism and ignorance and hatred is what it always was, even as the national parties more or less traded bases; and none of this justifies our current president’s small-minded, ego-centric, ‘Sum of all Fears’ mode of governance

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  18. Scout said on March 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Cooz @ 15 said “The Democrats did not bring us here. The Republicans did, as a bloc. They exploited a slave era technicality to elect a syphilitic narcissist to the White House, and they embraced him enthusiastically because he gives them what they want: white nationalism, a war on the past seventy years, a return to an oil-based, low wage worker based, anti woman, anti-black, pro slavery, pro torture shitbag of an elderly white male anti-state.”

    And THAT is crux of the biscuit, as Frank Z would have said.

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  19. basset said on March 6, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    “Bullshit deflection”? While ol’ Cooz seems to have given up on his brief flirtation with civility, it seems his menu of services has expanded to include critiques of others’ posts as well as of the world at large. Everyone’s an idiot, we know that, and Cooz is the smartest guy in the room. Maybe if we just stipulate that as part of any exchange we won’t have to read the same post over and over.

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  20. basset said on March 6, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    (anger and invective coming in three, two, one…)

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  21. coozledad said on March 6, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Who knew being old and white could be such a bitch? Sounds like the game isn’t worth the candle.

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  22. Jakash said on March 6, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    What’s the requisite amount of time that needs to pass before “change” becomes acceptable, I wonder. 176 years to pass the Civil Rights Act in 1965 evidently wasn’t long enough, since states all over the place are seeing how far they can go in tinkering with voting rights. (And ole Rumpy asked “what have you got to lose?” Uh, the right to vote is about as basic as you’re gonna get.)

    131 years until women could vote — but the sexism is still potent enough in this country that we elected an incompetent, delusional fascist rather than a competent, experienced woman, largely because of her emails. Oh, okay!

    How many decades should we allow it to sink in for religious conservatives before they’re willing to accept the fact that gay folks and (gasp!) transgender individuals are, uh, PEOPLE?

    Has the nation had enough time to ponder the effectiveness of trickle-down economics in benefiting anyone aside from the ones doing the trickling, or do we need a few more Republican administrations to really drive home its ineffectiveness?

    One thing’s for sure — 219 years going by before the election of a black president was not NEARLY enough time for the swath of the country that thinks the Confederate flag is a charming part of their “heritage” and can’t even imagine it being a symbol of oppression.

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  23. basset said on March 6, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Calmer than I expected, but the day is still young.

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  24. coozledad said on March 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    but the day is still young.

    Yes. And stretching out into an infinitude of sameness.
    The same bleak, heavy days borne like a yoke on the neck.
    The black, yawning night dragging death’s satchel behind
    the odor of mortality rising from gut, to throat to mouth.
    And tomorrow brings another day listening to Chris Squire fumble about on his
    Rickenbacker eight string custom with flatwounds and a piano pickup in the bridge.

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  25. Sherri said on March 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I would disagree with Jeff(tmmo) and his characteristic than liberals are for change while conservatives are for not change. Liberals are not for change merely to change things. Liberals are for change to benefit people, the marginalized, the underserved, the oppressed, the discriminated, the people kept from full participation. Liberals may be more open to other types of change, like jazz communion, but I don’t see liberal activism in the church for such things in the same way there was and is for gay clergy and same sex marriage. Conservatives may experience both the same, as an assault upon their traditions, but they’re not the same to liberals.

    Some liturgical innovations, shall we say, I find speak to me for an occasional foray, others leave me cold (the “Christian Seder” my church does on Maundy Thursday being one), but my feeling is, not everything has to be about me and what speaks to me.

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  26. Hattie said on March 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Will this nightmare never end?

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 6, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Sherri, I’m hearing you say liberals are for good things and conservatives are for bad things; contra Cooze, I don’t think that’s a sufficient analysis. But my own characterization of change versus not-change isn’t ideal, I just can’t find a better one. The usual argument from the left is that, since 1964, the right has chosen white supremacy and racism as a priority over limited central government, while the Democratic coalition has built on a foundation of justice and equality a movement for more enlightened central governmental involvement. Pro Cooze, I think the last election has shown that the GOP as a movement has indeed affirmed that path, even as most of the local Republican leaders I hear insist that the real rebellion has been against the EPA declaring your west 100 acres to be a wetland, and federal control of curricula.

    So I’m still not clear where that leaves me. I’m not for a Human Life Amendment in the US Constitution or a Heartbeat Bill in Ohio, so I’m not a Buckeye conservative; I’m in favor of a fair amount of traditionalism in life and culture, which has some telling me I’m a racist apologist and passive accepter of hate. But at least I’m not in the 40+% who didn’t vote in the last election.

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  28. BItter Scribe said on March 6, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    God but that Oklahoma lawmaker is a jerk. How would he like it if someone handed him a questionnaire with questions like, “Noah was seduced by his daughters after the Flood. Do you consider that acceptable behavior?”

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  29. jcburns said on March 6, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Jeff, plenty of self-described conservatives want “change.” Sure it’s “change back to the 1950s”, but it’s a departure from the modern norm.
    In my experience, liberals seem to be looking out for their fellow (especially disadvantaged) human, and the conservative philosophy is more tough-love, minus most of the love.

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  30. jcburns said on March 6, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    I have a couple of links to toss into the fray.
    After Trump, boys at her daughter’s school Nazi-salute in the hall. Here’s how a mom responded. and
    Stop teaching your kids that sugar (or gluten) is poison.

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  31. coozledad said on March 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Poor little creatures. Dissent hurts their fee-fees.


    Authoritarians. The lot.

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  32. Sherri said on March 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), I didn’t attempt to define conservative, because I can’t in a way that both matches what I see and is respectful. I could say that conservatives respect tradition, which I think is a good thing and possible to do in the context of also not placing tradition over people, but modern conservatives in the US don’t seem to respect tradition. I could say that conservatives want to change more deliberately, which I can also see as a good counterbalance, but again, not reflective of what we see today. Modern US conservatives are reactionaries, who yes, I think are for bad things, because they are more interested in protecting themselves and their power regardless of the harm done to others.

    Show me the difference between conservatives and reactionaries. The conservative world I grew up in was unquestionably reactionary. When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression, and the South has nurtured and cultivated its sense of oppression in the face of any hint of equality for centuries.

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 6, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    JC: “tough-love, minus most of the love” . . . too, too true. That moronic “Scared Straight” meme is still all around, with everyone from parents to principals wanting charges now, “not more talking!” and ideally incarceration “just long enough to get through to them.”

    Which. Does. Not. Work.

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  34. Sherri said on March 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    My number one rule about political philosophies is that ideas are interesting, but people are more important. Just like theories about raising children can fall apart in the face of an actual unique child, if the theory or the dogma doesn’t work for helping people, the idea must be adapted.

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  35. nancy said on March 6, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    So true, Sherri. I’ve noticed lots of libertarians are socially awkward types with fewer human connections than most. They love the theory of libertarianism, but I fear the practice. And the fallout.

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  36. BItter Scribe said on March 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    CONSERVATIVE, n.: A statesman enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

    –Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

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  37. Joe K said on March 6, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Happy national Oreo cookie day everyone,
    May all your cookies be double stuffed.
    Pilot Joe

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  38. Peter said on March 6, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Oh Joe, that brings back memories.

    One of my coworkers from back in the day worked at the Oreo plant in Chicago during his college days. Many times he told us that they would pull cookies from the line and eat them, fresh out of the oven, and said that they were the best things he’s ever eaten.

    One time we had a project near the plant, and we drove by. One of the guys at the plant recognized him and gave us a bunch of cookies fresh out of the oven.

    Oh. My. God. You have no idea – warm, so soft.

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  39. Sherri said on March 6, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    First DeVos referred to HBCUs as exemplars of schools choice, now Ben Carson is calling slaves immigrants. What is wrong with these people? What warped their moral center so badly?


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  40. BItter Scribe said on March 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Sherri: Carson has also compared Obamacare and the national debt to slavery. Now slavery is like immigration. Does that mean Obamacare and the national debt are like immigration?

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  41. brian stouder said on March 6, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    But on the bright side, pam and I were married 24 years ago, today. We already did dinner out this past Friday; and she wanted a chair for a gift – so that became my gift to her, and her gift to me (Well, that – and that sh’ll let me tick around awhile longer!)

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  42. brian stouder said on March 6, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    make that Pam and I(!)

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  43. Icarus said on March 6, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    did someone say Ben Carson?


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  44. Deborah said on March 6, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Wow, clueless and tone deaf, Carson and DeVos. Who are these people? What is wrong with these people, indeed. Seriously, you get busy for awhile and then when you come back to the Internet it’s awash in idiocy from these Republicans, time and time again, the lot of them.

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  45. basset said on March 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Oreos… Mrs. B was an inspector at the Be-Mo potato chip factory in Kalamazoo fir awhile & says the chips were particularly good while still warm.

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  46. Sherri said on March 6, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    SCOTUS ducked the bathroom case, sending it back the appeals court. One thing that goes unnoticed in all the scary transgender people talk is that policing bathrooms has a larger effect than just humiliating transgender people. For example, I have an acquaintance who is a woman, but who is 6’2″ and thin and tends to prefer jeans and tshirts and sweatshirts. She’s also an athlete. She can, at a quick glance, look like a teen boy rather than a woman, and especially when she was younger, has suffered some uncomfortable situations because of it.

    Safety is one thing. But these bathroom bills are not about safety, they’re about discomfort; about people being uncomfortable with people they don’t understand and don’t want to have to think about. I don’t think it’s right to humiliate other people to keep you from having to think about those people as people.

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  47. Jeff Borden said on March 6, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    I believe our new president is busily at work proving the theory of relativity. The calendar says he has been president for six weeks. It feels like six years. What will our country look like if he serves out a full term? Or, dog forbid, eight years? He is insane.

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  48. David C. said on March 6, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    We’re at two hundred twenty-six years after the Bill of Rights was adopted and we still haven’t seen fit to add women to the constitution thanks to conservatives. Slow down and think about it may be fine, but 226 years? They’ve thought about it and decided, no. That should be all anyone needs to know.

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  49. Deborah said on March 6, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Does this man not look exactly like what you think he is? http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/white-house-statement-exxon-mobil-investment. Tillerson and Dick Cheney are two peas in a pod. Such smug and entitled looks between the two of them.

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  50. Sherri said on March 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    The House GOP “health care” replacement plan is out, and I could link to an article explaining the details, but why bother? The big picture is sufficient: don’t ask me to pay anything for your health care. If you get sick, you’re on your own. I’ve got rich people’s taxes to cut.

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