No sleep until 46.

I swear, when this presidency is over, I’m going to turn off Twitter, turn off Facebook, turn off this damn blog (for a while, anyway). And I’m going to go to a cabin in the woods with a nice wood stove or fireplace. I’m going to bring a stack of novels and Vogue magazines. And you won’t see me until I’m damn good and ready.

This shit is exhausting. Even on a “good” weekend, it’s almost impossible to keep up with everything. The analyses. (Very good one there.) The outrages. (Very outrageous one, yes.) The WTF-we-are-doomed / thanks-deplorables reports from the field.

This was a wonderful read — a dispatch from Trump country that somehow wasn’t about politics — but of course you couldn’t help thinking about whether this event, a free-for-all amateur boxing…thing, would even exist if the whole county wasn’t poor as dirt and has nothing better to to:

One weekend every March, almost every resident in this town crowds the tan-and-gray bleachers of the local armory to watch their friends and neighbors beat each other bloody. The boxing-brawling event — known as “The Rough N Rowdy” — draws more than 2,000 spectators a night in a 3,000-person city nestled so deep in the mountains that your cellphone won’t ring. The winners leave with a trophy, a jacket and a check for $1,000 — the same take-home as a few weeks of soot-covered work in the local mines.

“People love violence. You’ve got a bunch of people down here who just want to show they’re a badass,” said Breyer Morgan, 21, who has been coming to the fights since he was a little boy and has worked the bell at the event for the past three years. “They see that $1,000, and you’ve got people coming out of the woodwork. There is nothing else to do out here … and that $1,000, that’s a whole lot of beer, man.”

And the above is only a fraction of the reading I did this weekend, very little of it recreational.

Gray and overcast, and I’m starting to get peevish about it. But the financial well refilled with Friday’s payday, Kate blew through for a quick visit/practice sesh with her band, we had Chinese takeout with friends in their brand-new house and so there was very little to complain about, all things considered. A few pounds found their way back into the house over the long winter, and I’m setting about shooing them back out. I’m finding the question, “What am I really hungry for?” is useful. Sometimes I just need a glass of water and 15 minutes of quiet time.

Any other bloggage? Well, let’s see here…

You could read Mitch Albom’s modest, self-effacing column marking the 20th anniversary of “Tuesdays With Morrie,” if you like. I don’t recommend it, but maybe, like me, you enjoy a good hate-read.

Tanned, rested and ready, the Obamas enter their next chapter. Not a minute too soon:

…While other recent ex-presidents have devoted their retirement years to apolitical, do-gooder causes, Obama is gearing up to throw himself into the wonky and highly partisan issue of redistricting, with the goal of reversing the electoral declines Democrats experienced under his watch.

Both the continued interest in Obama and his desire to remain engaged in civic life place him in an unusual position for a former president. George W. Bush left office with low approval rates, retreating to Dallas to write a memoir and take up painting. Bill Clinton decamped for New York on a somewhat higher note politically but downshifted to a mission of building his family’s foundation and supporting his wife’s political career.

Can the Obamas put their heads down and build their ambitious presidential center while living only blocks from the White House? Or is it inevitable that the former president will get pulled back into the political swamp?

Time to make dinner, make a to-do list, maybe watch some Jack Russell videos.

Posted at 5:42 pm in Current events |

46 responses to “No sleep until 46.”

  1. Joe K said on March 26, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Good thing your a lib.
    Couldn’t imagine how much people here would lose their minds if I said that.

    Pilot Joe

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  2. coozledad said on March 26, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    It’s refreshing to see the white trash bloody each other, instead of what the carnies used to have them do. I remember a traveling event where the yahoos got to face off against an elderly chimpanzee. My brother thought about entering, but decided ringside he didn’t have the stomach for it.

    I hope whoever it was who dragged that wretched animal around to have people beat on it is swimming a river of liquid shit in hell, or that, at a minimum, the chimp ripped the fucker’s head off to cap off his career.

    “Rough and Rowdy” comes through Person County, but they usually stage their events down near Timberlake. Those old inbred murder villages surrounding that area haven’t completely died out. It’s the nexus of a four-county shithole.

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  3. alex said on March 26, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Did anyone else notice?

    I just watched Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes reporting on Fake News and he prefaced damn near everything he said with “Both sides do it.” But when it came down to showing an example of fake news from the left, it was a piece headlined “Trump Colonoscopy Reveals Brain Tumor.”

    I’m not sure whether what I just watched was craven or brazen.

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  4. coozledad said on March 26, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Alex: watch how they cover the Russian protests. That’s how you’ll know they’ve been co-opted. As far as Maggie Haberman and the NYT are concerned, Putin’s an ally. Otherwise the NYT would be complicit in treason.

    The protests there will draw the interest of the cops here. They’ll be jerking off over the headcracking, teargassing and shooting, wondering why they don’t get to play that way here with white people, too.

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  5. Sherri said on March 26, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    I think that no matter the economic conditions, there will always be a desire for some (mostly) young men to want to beat the crap out of each other. Is this any different than mixed martial arts? Plenty of people pay money to train in mixed martial arts, with no expectation that they will ever get anything other than the satisfaction of fighting.

    I was listening to a podcast recently, can’t remember which one, where a police chief said that one of the problems with police violence is that people coming in these days had never been in a fight and didn’t know how to control their emotions and adrenaline in a threatening situation. Now, that sounds like a kids these days excuse, but there’s probably a kernel of truth there.

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  6. alex said on March 26, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Good thing your a lib.
    Couldn’t imagine how much people here would lose their minds if I said that.

    Couldn’t imagine you ever having an occasion to say it, Joe, except maybe back in the day when you and Rush Limbaugh thought the Obamas were vacationing too much on your dime.

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  7. Suzanne said on March 26, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    I’m still not convinced that the whole rousing crash of Ryan’s health law wasn’t Trump’s plan all along. He holds grudges and his spite for Ryan stems from Ryan being a latecomer to the GOP Trump love fest. Trump doesn’t give a rat’s rear about anybody but Trump. So, he pushed for the vote on this health plan knowing darn well it was crap and wouldn’t pass but would make Ryan look like the worst thing in the world–a loser–and quite likely ruin his political career. A win for Trump!!
    Or, Trump really is the incompetent boob he appears to be. Ryan, there is no question about that.

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  8. Deborah said on March 26, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I have an African American friend who used to sit out in the sun and tan herself so it’s not weird Joe. Before you make a statement like that, know what you’re talking about. My friend doesn’t do it anymore just like I rarely do it nowadays because it ages you.

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  9. Sherri said on March 26, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    I’ll say this for Kushner; he’s got the best PR people in the WH. He’s always getting positive profiles and anonymous quotes about what a moderating influence he is.

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  10. devtob said on March 26, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Matt Taibbi takes note of the real danger of Trump fatigue at the end of his Rolling Stone cover story “Trump the Destroyer.” (

    “While we keep looking for his hidden agenda, it’s our growing addiction to the spectacle of his car-wreck presidency that is the real threat. He is already making idiots and accomplices of us all, bringing out the worst in each of us, making us dumber just by watching. Even if Trump never learns to govern, after four years of this we will forget what civilization ever looked like – and it will be programming, not policy, that will have changed the world.”

    Long, but worth a read, not least for Taibbi’s trademark snark, like this re: Betsy DeVos’ cluelessness at her confirmation hearing — “DeVos stammers a brief response, then freezes. She looks like a duck trying to read a parking meter.”

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  11. David C. said on March 27, 2017 at 6:15 am

    tRump probably thought he was being subtle by not printing his invoice to Angela Merkle like a Publisher’s Clearing House check.

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  12. alex said on March 27, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Funny, but today’s WaPo hails Scott Pelley as some sort of new Edward R. Murrow/Walter Cronkite for his occasional moments of clarity.

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  13. coozledad said on March 27, 2017 at 8:30 am

    If you ever wondered who’d be the authoritarian creep in you neighborhood, the one who’d drive the gassing van, or cheer as the tanks rolled over your kids, Molotov-Ribbentrop II should be making it plain to you:

    Same shit the Republicans have been saying about protests here. One thing is for sure. If these numbers of people organize and go for the jugular of the new Axis, it won’t last more than a couple of weeks.

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  14. Deborah said on March 27, 2017 at 11:00 am

    So in a two for one scam Trimp has deemed his son-in-law to head a new agency in the federal government which is to bring “innovation” to the running of things. The two for one is nepotism and “innovation”. How many meetings have you attended in your work place where “innovation” was the key word? Before I retired four years ago it was an old saw. Everyone was wringing their hands about it, setting up committees etc etc. It was all a big waste of time, another layer of bureaucracy. Not that things couldn’t be more efficient, but most of it was running around in circles setting up more meetings and talking about it until you wanted to scream. Again, it’s probably being mentioned now to change the subject from last week’s Trimpcare failure.

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  15. Dorothy said on March 27, 2017 at 11:12 am

    No, Joe, we just lose our minds over the idiocy of you thinking that black people don’t tan.

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  16. Sherri said on March 27, 2017 at 11:21 am

    That Kushner piece was such a total puff piece. Every administration comes in and is going to put someone in charge of innovating the federal government, at least back to the Clinton administration when Al Gore was going to reinvent government. The only difference here is that like in so many other ares of the trump administration, the person heading the initiative has no experience in the area he’s going to innovate.

    So far, Kushner has managed to be conspicuously absent during the failures, or to get quotes dropped in articles about how it’s not his fault, and get glowing articles about his wide-ranging, ever-growing portfolio. He’s going to solve peace in the Middle East! He’s going to reimagine government! He’s going to solve the opioid crisis! So far, he hasn’t done anything except manage his image better in the MSM better than the rest of the clowns.

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  17. Peter said on March 27, 2017 at 11:36 am

    My friend just texted me the best response to Friday’s fiasco: “This must be how the GOP felt when Chicago lost the 2016 Olympics bid in the first round”.

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  18. coozledad said on March 27, 2017 at 11:39 am

    For someone of Polish extraction, Joe’s pretty ignorant of how white he isn’t. Hailing from the priest-ridden cheap labor pool of Western Europe, he ought to get a clue about how little distance he’s made from the bottom of the crab bucket. That would involve reading, though.

    Poles are still the cheapest labor in the European market, and since that hasn’t changed since the eighteenth century, we can say their distance from “whiteness” has only been amplified by their inability to overcome the stereotypes applied to them. There were proposals put forward in the 19th century to ‘wall the Polish away,” And of course, Hitler planned the complete liquidation of non-Germanized Poles as soon as they finished helping him kill the Jews.

    And more recently:

    Research has indicated that, because of the Polish labour culture of passivity, willingness to be under-skilled and underpaid, and to take on most demeaning tasks–which Poles carry with them into the UK employment market, and which is exacerbated by lack of employment opportunities in Poland—Poles also tend to be initially tolerant of their poor treatment, which then makes it more difficult for them to complain about discrimination. Often working in industries and positions where trade union density is low, they have few resources to turn to. Also due to often constituting the vast majority of a workforce, Poles find it difficult to prove incidents of direct discrimination if no non-Polish comparators exist.

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  19. Jason T. said on March 27, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    “Tanned, rested and ready” is, of course, a reference to Nixon’s comeback in the 1960s. Remember that one of the reasons Nixon supposedly lost the televised debates with Kennedy was that JFK was “tanned and rested” while Nixon, campaigning despite being sick, looked pale and worn out:

    There is not a single racial overtone to it, and it was a cheap shot by Pilot Joe to imply that there was. You libs!

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  20. Scout said on March 27, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Good thing your a lib.”

    The linked Politico analysis of the failed AHCA is the best I’ve read yet. The whole thing is worth a read – but this is spot on: “To the extent Republicans did have an animating passion, it was to puncture President Obama’s legacy—and to avoid looking foolish by failing to honor their “repeal and replace” rhetoric.”

    Re: “the outrages”, just saw this:

    Speaking of outrages, Faux Nuisance reported that POTUS was working all weekend. Which was immediately debunked by pictures of fatass at his National Golf Club. And which led to a whole lot of comments to effect of, and this is news because…? His fans conveniently forget being POTUS is not a 9-5 gig.

    Finally, I know common sense isn’t actually common, but seriously, why is there not a fixed budget for Presidential (and extended family hangers-on) travel and security? It makes no sense that taxpayers should be hammered for the exorbitant expenses of Natasha living in Trump Tower or the weekly golf vacations that simultaneously line the pockets of the Trump family. There should be a flat fee and when it is reached the expenses of the overage must come out of their pockets.

    There needs to be a shitload of new regulations regarding future POTUS candidates once (if?) this nightmare ends. Starting with, you don’t release your taxes you can’t run.

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  21. nancy said on March 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Those of you wondering about Jared-and-Ivanka’s suspiciously good press are advised to add 2 + 2 and then ask yourself who’s leaking from the White House.

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  22. Sherri said on March 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I have no doubt they’re leaking. Dangerous game they’re playing, though. Daddy doesn’t like to look bad, and there’s no sign he lets family ties stand in the way of revenge. J&I have no independent political base that I’m aware of, either, unless maybe it’s Sheldon Adelson because of Israel, but he’s notoriously cranky and fickle, too. The Mercers are Bannon supporters, and suspicious of J&I. J&I may be wealthy, but they aren’t in the league of the money class of conservative king makers.

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  23. Icarus said on March 27, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    “There needs to be a shitload of new regulations regarding future POTUS candidates once (if?) this nightmare ends. Starting with, you don’t release your taxes you can’t run.”

    Agreed but it’s just like term limits or making them use the same benefits the average citizen gets…the people who would make that happen are not going to vote it into action because they enjoy the benefits they are getting.

    ask yourself: would you really vote yourself a pay decrease, less vacation and no free coffee at the office?

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Wait, did someone say free coffee?

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  25. Bitter Scribe said on March 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    And which led to a whole lot of comments to effect of, and this is news because…?

    Maybe because, oh I don’t know, those same commenters bitched and screamed about “the expense to taxpayers” every goddamned time the Obamas poked their noses out of the White House.

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  26. Sherri said on March 27, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    At least when Obama played golf or went on vacation, taxpayer dollars to pay for it didn’t go right into his pocket.

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  27. brian stouder said on March 27, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Our office has free coffee….and in 30+ years, I’ve never consumed any of it.

    I’m an icy-cold Diet Pepsi guy, and I can have all of that I want – but it ain’t free

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  28. Sherri said on March 27, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Free drinks of various kinds, including sodas (non-alcoholic until the Friday evening beer bash) were commonplace in tech companies until the last few years, when a more healthful awareness took hold. Now there are still free drinks, but the sugary sodas are gone.

    Speaking of health awareness, this overview of the Republican health care debacle and the lessons to remember from it from the other side is good:

    I especially like the final line:

    The goal is to address the needs of real people fighting on the ground with useful solutions, not parlor games with other ideologues. That’s good advice for us all.

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  29. brian stouder said on March 27, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    So, further to Cooz’s references to the increasingly unshackled authoritarian bent of our right-wing folks, there’s this –

    Looks like ICE – with the cool name and the swoop-in-and-devastate mode of operation, is the America’s own SS

    Honestly, truly – a powerful figure with no more introspection than our new president has; and who is surfing such a fowl wave of hatred/mistrust/insecurity as….is nothing new at all. We’ve seen this before

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  30. Deborah said on March 27, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Back in the day we used to get all kinds of free eats from vendors who came to our office to push their wares. It used to be all sugar all the time, cookies, brownies, donuts, you name it. Then towards the end of my working days it was less sugary, like those hideous edible arrangements and crap like that. No one ate it. We used to have free sodas too. On Friday afternoons we had “beer time”, you had to donate to the fund for that though.

    Can someone explain to me how Ivanka and Jared could be the leakers? What in the world could they be getting from that endeavor? Does someone have daddy issues? And whatever happened to Tiffany, she seems to have disappeared?

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  31. Peter said on March 27, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    1. Nancy, that’s why I’d make a lousy journalist – I would have never guessed that those two scamps would be the leakers. Me, I think it’s Priebus and Bannon underlings who want to make the others look bad.

    2. Back in the day, the First Lady was in charge of the food budget and the POTUS had to kick in his own funds if it was over – I remember reading that Bess Truman had a hard time keeping it in the black, while Eleanor didn’t give a crap. Is that still the case? If it is, Trump Steaks (TM) for everyone!

    3. Sorry for being a stick in the mud, but if a “trusted” news source says POTUS is working this weekend, and then you see pictures of him dragging his carcass around a golf course, then he isn’t at the White House working, is he? Holy Crap on a cracker WTF is going on around here.

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  32. Julie Robinson said on March 27, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    When I want a hot drink at my office, I trot out my trusty hot pot and the tea bags I’ve schlepped in. Hubby’s office has one of those fancy machines that produce massive quantities of trash, and they even buy the soon-to-be-trash pods. To continue making trash they also stock the frig with bottled water.

    Politics are whirling around but my sis is in the hospital again with diabetes complications, so I’m having trouble paying attention.

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  33. Suzanne said on March 27, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Random question. It seems that old WLYV DJ Phil Gardner is now on the air in Ft Wayne on WBCL (religious) as Phil Reaser. Anybody know the story behind that? I remember Phil Gardner as THE hot item on the radio when I was in high school.

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  34. Jakash said on March 27, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Saw this, thought I’d throw it in here. A minute-and-a-half video for Mies van der Rohe’s birthday today:

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  35. Charlotte said on March 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Ugh — the Cisco break rooms — the smell of burned communal coffee pots, lots of bottled water and sodas, and the infernal smell of (free!) microwave popcorn that covered the cubes at 3pm every afternoon. I haven’t been to San Jose in years, but the Seattle office went to the weird pod things and a filtered water dispenser years ago. But almost no one seems to use the pod thingy — it’s Seattle, they all leave the building to go get coffee from a shop.

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  36. Deborah said on March 27, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Cool Jakash, I didn’t know today was his birthday. The model in the opening of the video is the building where my husband teaches, Crown Hall at IIT. As I’ve said here many times I live in a Mies building, 880 LSD, it’s where I’m sitting right now. Used to live in a different one, 900 LSD (across the side street). And at one time I used to work in a Mies building, what used to be called the IBM building on Wabash by the river (now it’s across the street from tRUmp tower).

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  37. David C. said on March 27, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I have no doubt J + I leak like a sieve, but with an organization as dysfunctional as this with so many factions and cliques all fighting each other, they probably spend more time on the phone with reporters than doing any real work. We’re probably all better off for that.

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  38. basset said on March 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    That West Virginia business sounds a lot like the Toughman contests back in the 70s, they were no headgear and I believe bare knuckle as well. I remember Ben Hamper writing about them, anyone know what he’s doing now? Public radio up north somewhere the last I heard.

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  39. Dave said on March 27, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Nothing to do with the topic but has anyone else noticed Dexter hasn’t been posting lately? Hope he’s doing well, he was always ready with a comment.

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  40. Deborah said on March 27, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Yes Dave, we discussed it yesterday. Apparently he hasn’t been posting on Facebook lately either. Nancy?

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  41. Jolene said on March 27, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    2. Back in the day, the First Lady was in charge of the food budget and the POTUS had to kick in his own funds if it was over . . .

    The First Family pays for its own groceries. Also dry cleaning. We pay for state dinners and other ceremonial occasions.

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  42. Sherri said on March 27, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I despise flying United, and fortunately, in Seattle, it’s seldom the best option. United really went out of its way to look bad this weekend, though. It’s hard to imagine a dress code for pass travelers that allows shorts for men but disallows leggings for girls.

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  43. Rana said on March 27, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Icarus, Scout, I believe that a number of states are contemplating laws that say a presidential candidate can’t get ballot approval in their state without releasing their taxes.

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  44. Rana said on March 27, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Sherri – it’s been amazing to me the number of people who try to excuse the whole thing with “but they have a dress code”! Um, yes, they do, and that’s the problem.

    Girls in leggings are dressed normally and appropriately. Heck, looking around my three-year-old’s music class this morning, there wasn’t one little girl who wasn’t wearing leggings. And, yes, ten-year-olds are still children, last time I looked.

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  45. Sherri said on March 27, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    My daughter wore nothing but leggings until high school, when she finally branched out a little bit. i don’t know what I would have done with her as a 10 year old had a gate agent done that to us.

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  46. basset said on March 28, 2017 at 2:48 am

    Sherri, Hunter Thompson said once that flying United was “like crossing the Andes on a prison bus.”

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