Top model.

I want you guys to know that I tried. I have tried, really tried, to feel empathy for Natasha. It’s what we owe one another as human beings, after all. How did Atticus Finch put it? “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

And so I did. I imagined myself a Slovenian girl, not poor but hey — Slovenian. She’s won a genetic lottery, blessed with height and proportions and a classic Slavic face, all cheekbones and that poreless skin that you only really find among true Caucasians, or at least Caucasians over the age of 10 or so. And she wants out, because who wouldn’t? You use what you got to get what you need. And she got a lot. For a girl like her, there’s only one way out. She becomes a model.

Her quest took her to Paris and Milan, where, in 1995, she had the good luck of meeting Paolo Zampolli – a co-owner of Metropolitan Models, a pal of Donald’s, and a gregarious playboy – who was on a scouting trip in Europe. “I told Melania, ‘If you would like to come to try the United States, we’d like to represent you,’” recalls the fast-talking Zampolli in his Gramercy Park town house. “I say very simple, ‘Please come.’” Melania was in.

Zampolli says he secured Melania’s visa. In 1996 she moved to New York City, settling into Zeckendorf Towers, on Union Square, where Zampolli set her up with a roommate, a photographer named Matthew Atanian.

That’s from the new Vanity Fair profile of the first lady, written without her cooperation, of course, nor that of her circle, whatever that is, so keep all that in mind while judging it. I’ll try to stick to the on-the-record interviews and public-domain quotes and anecdotes. But let’s just stop here and consider modeling for a moment.

Many books have been written about the sleaziness of the modeling business, which takes in girls in their teens and runs them through a sausage grinder; imagine a long tunnel where the grinding wheels consist of hypodermic needles, crack pipes and erect penises. The success-to-failure ratio is greater than for acting or music, and the few people in the business who treat models with any kind of decency can probably be counted on one hand. Most go running back to Iowa or Texas, a few hang on in hopes of, if not success as a model, maybe marriage to an actor or athlete or industrialist with two ex-wives and four houses to redecorate.

But it’s not all grim. They’re models! In New York City! Rent’s high, sure, but a model doesn’t eat, and if she wants something to drink all she has to do is show up at a club in a short skirt and it’s straight to the VIP rooms to party with guys like Paolo and his friends.

That wasn’t Natasha’s M.O. though, the next paragraph tells us:

Unlike many twentysomethings, who come to New York City with an unquenchable lust for experience, Melania, according to Atanian, had little interest in nightlife or making friends. When she went out, it seemed to be with older men, only for dinner, and she always came home before her roommate had gone out, he says. ([Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie] Grisham says that Melania did not do much dating, due to her “extensive travel schedule” as a model.) Demonstrating admirable Slavic discipline, “she wore ankle weights around the apartment and the common areas,” recalls Atanian. “She would strictly eat five to seven vegetables and fruits every day. She drank a lot of water… She was looking to make money (as a model).”

Keep in mind, by 1995 Natasha was 25, which is…49 in model years, maybe 63. For all the talk of Lauren Hutton doing an underwear ad in her 70s, remember, she’s Lauren Hutton. In fact, the story goes on to say, by 26, “time was running out” for her to make it as a model; she was pretty much doing “second and third-tier work” in front of the camera. There’s a photo of her in lingerie with another woman, from around this time, and your eye still looks at the other girl.

So here she is, dating older men, which I have to imagine drew sneers from the other girls at the agency, the ones who won two genetic lotteries, beauty and the great good fortune to be born in the U.S. What did they know of life in post-Soviet eastern Europe? Had they ever tried to make a life in Slovenia? There’s a lot you can put up with when the alternative is a ticket back to Ljubljana.

I’m not surprised Natasha married Donald Trump after six years of dating him. But even the on-the-record humiliations she’s endured for it are jaw-dropping:

Propping up Donald’s sexual prowess called for some public self-degradation, but Melania, as his girlfriend, was willing to do it. In 1999, shortly after they began dating, she participated in an on-air phone call with Trump and Howard Stern, as they discussed her chest, and whether she stole money from Donald’s wallet. When Stern asked to talk to “that broad in your bed,” Trump put her on the line, and she spoke about how they had sex more than daily, and revealed that she was nearly nude. Stern replied, “I have my pants off already.”

As Donald’s celebrity ballooned with The Apprentice, Melania was asked to tolerate even more. His public interchanges with Howard Stern, which provided a kind of Greek chorus to their relationship, went from lewdly objectifying to grotesque. He agreed with Stern that his daughter Ivanka was “a piece of ass.” He joked that if Melania were in a horrible, mangling car crash he’d still love her as long as the breasts remained intact. When asked by Stern whether he’d be up for “banging 24-year-olds,” Trump eagerly assented. Subsequent accusations suggest similar improprieties.

It goes on. You know the stories. So I guess the question we have to ask ourselves is, if a woman has shown no evidence of having a red line, so to speak, what do we owe her in our attention? Is it any wonder that she’s snickered at and whispered about? I could forgive a woman like this almost anything, if she’d just demonstrate, somehow, that she has one standard beyond the preservation of her lavish lifestyle, if she cares about anything other than her son and the quality of her wardrobe and jewelry box.

I’ve heard some say she’s a prisoner, that she risks losing her child if she wants out. That’s ridiculous. If she filed tomorrow, more than half the country would have her back, and a large percentage of Trump supporters would, too. Even a half-bright lawyer could win a substantial settlement and sole custody, if that’s what she wants. Ivanka could move from half-time to full-time FLOTUS, and the president could start dating again. I’m sure Howard Stern knows some girls who’d jump at the chance to see the Lincoln bedroom.

So I have to assume she’s chosen to stay. I have to put on my empathy hat again and imagine why. Religion? I doubt it. Does she love him? Her body language and behavior suggest otherwise. So why? Money? Fear? Fear actually makes more sense than anything else. The Pepes who’d descend on her — or rather, ascend on her, crawling up from the sub-sub-sub-basement of the sewers where they live — would mark a new level of rancid cruelty, but money makes for pretty good insulation.

So what, then, do we owe her? Respect? Mmmm, that’s a hard swallow. Pity feels more like it.

I imagine what will happen in the future, when the Trump era is over and all that’s left behind of them in the White House are two oil portraits, hung in some hallway where visitors can gaze upon them and take selfies for their Instagram, they way Sarah ‘n’ Ted ‘n’ Kid did with Hillary’s portrait last week. She’ll be there until the end of the republic, until the house burns down. The flames will lick their way up with canvas, destroying her greatest gig in her chosen profession, better than any Vogue cover. Not bad for a girl from Slovenia.

Posted at 11:57 am in Current events |

57 responses to “Top model.”

  1. Deborah said on April 23, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I read that article yesterday and had many of the same thoughts. I pity her. Having been in a bad marriage myself for 15 years, getting out can be a hard, hard decision to make for all kinds of reasons that seem ridiculous to others. Of course, my prior circumstance and Melania’s couldn’t be more different, nevertheless sometimes you feel you have no recourse but to stay miserable.

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  2. Jakash said on April 23, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Don’t know about the VF article, as I’m certainly not going to read that, but you certainly came up with several choice lines, there, Nancy. Sausage grinder, indeed. And that completes my analysis of what I assume will be the longest piece I’ll ever read about this matter. I can happily say that it was more than halfway through the primaries before I ever had any idea who she was, since I’ve long avoided knowing anything about ole Rumpy, and paid no attention to his “campaign” until it became clear he might actually become the R. candidate. It’s about # 1,000 on the list of things that I hate about the current situation, but the fact that his relationship with his wife is an actual legitimate topic, because he’s President, is yet another thing that pisses me off! ; )

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  3. BigHank53 said on April 23, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    D’you remember the article you linked to a while back about Melania’s cancelled Caviar cosmetics? In it she comes across as pretty ambitious in her own right, not satisfied with merely being a rich man’s accessory. I’m sure she could detach herself from His Orangeness successfully, but it would be a lot of time and effort to get a lot less than she’ll get if she just waits for him to croak, which can’t be that many years off.

    It’s not that hard to have enough money that you never have to go back to Slovenia. It’s a lot harder to have enough money to forget Slovenia, and the things you had to do to get out.

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  4. beb said on April 23, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I’m sure Howard Stern knows some girls who’d jump at the chance to see the Lincoln bedroom.

    Let me fix that for you… “I’m sure Howard Stern knows some girls who’d jump at the chance to see the Lincoln bedroom‘s ceiling.

    I don’t know that we “owe” the wife of the President anything except to be left alone. FLOTUS is not an office one aspires to. It’s something one ends up in because on their megalomaniac husband. Some deal well with it and others quietly drink. As for divorcing The Donald I suspect that is not as easy as it sounds. Trump has surrounded himself with predatory lawyers all his life. I imagine Melania is wrapped up in so many pre-nups that there’s no chance for her to get free, have any money afterwards or hope to retain custody of her child.

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  5. coozledad said on April 23, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Too many of the old Russian satellites have a boner for fascism. Antisemitism was the foundation of both Eastern orthodoxy and Soviet Communism, and once you get to the point where you’re looking for that sliver of difference between Hitler and Stalin, you might as well fall back on a good old neighborhood pogrom.

    It was never much of a step for ex-KGB to fully embrace fascism. Russia’s role in helping the Germans re-arm after Versailles shows a deeply shared military culture between the far right and the far left. We see it again in the ascendant in this country with the antifeminist and fundamentally racist Berniebro culture shading indistinguishably into alt-nazis.

    Marine le Pen’s largest activist base is Trump supporters in the US. It was always obvious the Republicans would embrace Nazism, but it’s something of a surprise to see the analog of the old ANSWER crowd sucking directly up to whichever Hitler is showing their ass on a given week.

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  6. ROGirl said on April 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    He’s already jettisoned 2 previous wives, I’m sure it could be done again. She could have taken her life in many directions, but if she chose to attach herself to a rich, older husband as a means to an end, and his journey has dragged her into something that she hadn’t anticipated, oh well. She dated him for 6 years? She knew what she was getting into when she married him.

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  7. MichaelG said on April 23, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    I know I’m a little late, but good luck with your surgery, Deborah. I hope it comes out perfectly.

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  8. Deborah said on April 23, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Off topic, a FB friend of mine linked to this about Georgia O’Keeffe and Abiquiu

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  9. Little Bird said on April 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    I’m sitting at the airport, waiting for my flight, having a drink, and wondering what it’s like to travel when you’ve got the money Natasha has. It’s got to be better than what we experience.

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  10. Jill said on April 23, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Alex, I’m responding to your comment on the previous thread. I’m likely to know your friends since they’re from the same part of town as I am. Matthew and Michael by any chance?

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  11. Sherri said on April 23, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    If you’re not one of the elect, this is what Republicans like Ky Gov Matt Blevins think your health care should look like.

    Proposed changes include monthly premiums, co-payments for services, mandatory work or volunteer activity to maintain Medicaid coverage and “lock-outs” of coverage for up to six months for some who fail to pay premiums. The state proposal also includes a “My Rewards” account where people can accumulate points for activities such as passing a GED exam, completing job training or completing wellness activities such as stop-smoking classes, points that go toward the purchase of services such as dental or vision care.

    But Medicaid members also would have points deducted from their rewards account for infractions such as failing to pay premiums or “inappropriate” use of emergency rooms up to a negative balance of $150.

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  12. Sherri said on April 23, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    On the good news side, I just got back from a campaign launch event for Manka Dhingra, who is running in a special election for the state senate in my district. It was easily the best crowd for a political event I’ve been to, a very diverse mixture of ages and races. Manka is a prosecutor with King County who has been instrumental in getting the mental health court set up, and has been involved with NAMI and co-founded an organization to address domestic violence in the South Asian community. She’s the friend of a friend, and I had the chance to meet with her before she made the decision to run, and I think she’ll make a spectacular state senator. That this seat also flips the senate is an important side effect.

    The Republicans have moved in a carpetbagger to oppose her, and lots of money will be spent, but I’m hopeful.

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  13. Heather said on April 23, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Sherri–healthcare as a sandwich punch card. “Buy six, get one free!” What a world.

    I agree with Nancy’s sentiment about having trouble empathizing with Melania because there’s no there there. Even in that article, a couple of her friends admit that they really don’t know what she does or thinks all day, besides read magazines and get facials.

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  14. Rana said on April 23, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I mostly just think about the repeated moments where she’s left straggling behind while her husband goes charging off without her. Seems like a regular theme in her life.

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  15. alex said on April 23, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Jill, they no longer live there, but it was Michael Haut and Patrick Arden. Mike’s in Bellingham, Washington, these days and Pat’s in NYC. And I should mention we were regulars at Hackney’s on Harms back in the day and I still make a point of going there whenever I get to Chicago.

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  16. Deborah said on April 23, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Thanks folks, surgery day after tomorrow, I’m nervous and looking forward to it being over with. Michael G how are you feeling?

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  17. Jill said on April 24, 2017 at 6:54 am

    I don’t know either of them, Alex. But let me know next time you’re going to Hackney’s and I’ll buy you a drink.

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  18. alex said on April 24, 2017 at 6:59 am

    May be coming up that way the weekend of May 5.

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  19. coozledad said on April 24, 2017 at 7:03 am

    We spent trillions of dollars on our post world conflagration military, and killed well into the millions of people to be able to say The United States will never be ruled by a preening sociopath. We won’t have a Bonaparte, or a Stalin, or Hitler, or Pol Pot.

    Well all that money and all those lives were just pissed away because old white was angry, and he was bitter that the world that made sense to everybody but him.

    Welcome to the Axis, white trash. See if that hate will get you through the Presidency of this bubbling, sharting sack of intestines. It’s just fucked up you had to drag everyone else into the kind of hell you alone deserve.

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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 24, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Deborah, thanks for the O’Keefe article. Grace and peace your way for your medical adventure; I’m assuming you’re in the Chicago end of your life for that (I’m not keeping up these days online as well as I ought). My best to MichaelG as well . . . I’ve got two friends here in Ohio who just got massive cancer diagnoses the week or so before Easter, and it does seem like we’ve got more concerns than joys on our congregational prayer list these days. But I got to have lunch with a 104 year old lady in town who “wanted to meet that columnist fellow” and she had cataract surgery on Friday last, so she can see things better on her planned Alaskan cruise . . . next year!

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  21. brian stouder said on April 24, 2017 at 8:25 am

    That story is a great way to kick-off the Monday morning!

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  22. Connie said on April 24, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I have paid so little attention to her that I don’t know to pronounce her name. Me LAN ia? Me lan EYE a? Me lan eeeya?

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  23. Peter said on April 24, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Deborah, best wishes for your upcoming surgery.

    You know, I don’t want to sound as thin-skinned as Fearless Leader, and some of my relatives are from the country next door, but Slovenia isn’t exactly a third world hell hole. Sure, it’s capital is unpronounceable, but you got great scenery, great skiing, nice architecture, and a decent economy. And a more sane chief of state.

    You could do worse.

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  24. Heather said on April 24, 2017 at 9:31 am

    I thought that too, Peter–today it’s often billed as a more affordable, less crowded alternative to Italy, which is right next door. But undoubtedly in the late 80s and early 90s it wasn’t as nice as it is now.

    Callback to the cat/kitten/vet discussion: off to the vet this morning for the third time in a month, this time for a weird sore on my cat’s face that appeared this weekend–and she’s not an outdoor cat. Hoping I don’t become a frequent flyer there.

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  25. Deborah said on April 24, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Little Bird is in Chicago, she arrived late last night. She’s staying in my husband’s uncle’s condo with the million dollar view because we don’t have a guest room in our place, since we tore down the walls around the bedroom it’s just one bigger room. We have a day to play around in the city before I go under the knife. Doesn’t that sound dramatic though? An overblown way to say it for sure since the incision will barely be an inch long. We’re going to Eataly for lunch, and hit some of the shops on Michigan since LB needs a few things from H&M and Uniqlo where prices are very reasonable.

    Speaking of my husband’s uncle, there’s a soap opera for you, he’s in middle stage Alzheimer’s now, still understands everything, has fantastic insight but a very hard time expressing himself. His third wife’s children are beside themselves worried about his money that they’re expecting to get. If it weren’t so sad it’d be fun to watch them plot and plan.

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  26. coozledad said on April 24, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Party before country every time. Never assume a Republican is not a scumbag. They all are.

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  27. Deborah said on April 24, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I should add that the third wife’s children are from a previous marriage, not from my husband’s uncle.

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  28. Icarus said on April 24, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Best comment:
    Husband: I’m the most successful real estate mogul in the world
    Wife: I do as I’m told
    Husband: I want a big white house
    wife: I prefer an apartment

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  29. LAMary said on April 24, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Heather, does your cat eat from a plastic dish? I had an indoor cat who developed an allergy to plastic and got two odd sores on her face. I looked it up online and it looked like plastic was the problem and the vet confirmed that. I got rid of the plastic and gave her a ceramic dish and no more sores.

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  30. brian stouder said on April 24, 2017 at 11:38 am

    The Saturday Night Live sketch they should be working on is some sort of Green Acres-in-the-White-House parody.

    We have the older guy and the younger, beautiful, displaced NYC wife (with the alluring eastern European accent).

    ‘Course, the White House is a step-up from Hooterville; but on the other hand, we have no end of Mr Haneys showing up, trying to sell all manner of (mostly military) garbage to our city-slicker rube; and (in this case) ‘Oleevah’ can fire the inept Mr Kimble (was it?) – of the USDA…and Steve Bannon can be the pet pig (although the pig – whose name I forget, was much more handsome than the Alt-Right pig)

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  31. Heather said on April 24, 2017 at 11:53 am

    LA Mary, she does eat from a plastic dish…but I also bought her a new plastic water fountain (because she will only drink from running water–really she prefers the bathtub faucet). However she doesn’t seem to use it that much. The vet said it might be food allergies, said they typically present at her age. We also noticed other hair loss on her ears, so this could be it. The vet gave her an antibiotic shot and some cream to put on them–if they come back we’ll try an elimination diet, and meanwhile will switch out her food dish just in case.

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  32. brian stouder said on April 24, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Uncle Google says – Green Acres has been done!

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  33. MichaelG said on April 24, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for asking, Deborah. I’m still here and doing both chemo and radiation. The problem with chemo is that the bad stuff grows a resistance quite rapidly and the chemo drug loses its efficacy quickly. So there’s a search for something that might work among a dwindling number of available drugs. And it wasn’t a large number to start with.

    Anyway, I’m not getting around the way I used to so there aren’t any trips to Europe on the books although I’m hoping to go to Todos Santos for a week with T in the latter part of May. I just don’t have much energy. The drugs will do that to you.

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  34. Bitter Scribe said on April 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    From the Vanity Fair article:

    A fashion fixture who’s known the Trump clan for decades shared with me his fantasy: “My dream is that Michelle Obama will convince her to leave him, and she’ll become this great feminist icon.”

    Pretty to think so, but not likely.

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  35. Jakash said on April 24, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I like the “Green Acres” idea, Brian. The brief video you linked to was all right, but a fuller exploration would be swell. Of course, he’s only a guest star in this version, but if one could find a better clueless ringer for Eb than Ted Nugent, I’d be surprised. (A key difference being that Eb was at least a nice guy.) Points for remembering the delightful Hank Kimball, but gonna have to deduct a couple for forgetting Arnold Ziffel! ; )

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  36. Suzanne said on April 24, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    The Green Acres Hillbillies, Brian. That solves the upscale house problem.

    “Let me tell you the story of a man named Don
    A lousy real estate mogul who really was a con
    Then one day he went shooting for some rubes
    And up from the voter’s booth come a bunch of goobs
    Deplorables that is, angry whites, groper types.”

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  37. brian stouder said on April 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I think Suzanne just won the thread! – and Jackash is right; how could I have forgotten Mr Ziffel and his pet, Arnold!

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  38. Scout said on April 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    From the VF article: “Trump had come with a date, Norwegian cosmetics heiress Celina Midelfart,…” Yes, I’m 12.

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  39. LAMary said on April 24, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    You’d think that Trump would not settle for a Midelfart. He would want Celina Yuuuuugefart.

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  40. Peter said on April 24, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Fart jokes? And I didn’t think of them first? Oh, I’m getting old.

    BTW – isn’t there a website for Arnold Eiffel for president?

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  41. Jakash said on April 24, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Perhaps Arnold Eiffel may have been a porcine engineer in the French knock-off of the show. ; ) But yeah, Arnold from Green Acres does seem to have run for president, losing to some other pig. Sad!

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  42. Sherri said on April 24, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve got moss growing everywhere.

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  43. Sherri said on April 24, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Cash bail needs to be ended.

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  44. Jolene said on April 24, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Trump actually once sang a version of Green Acres as part of a joke contest at the Emmys. Don’t miss this view of him in overalls.

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  45. Jolene said on April 24, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    As you probably heard, Obama appeared at the University of Chicago today as part of a panel discussion aimed at encouraging civic engagement among young people. The contrast between him as a communicator and our present leader could not be greater.

    Worth listening to if you have the time. There’s a funny “I am old” moment when one of the student panelists mentioned a project that he did in relation to Obama’s first presidential campaign–as an eighth-grader.

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  46. Jolene said on April 24, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    And here’s the follow-up to Obama’s appearance from Andy Borowitz.

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  47. Deborah said on April 24, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    So for after my surgery tomorrow I had to get something called an abdominal binder. It’s this gizmo that wraps around your abdomin relatively tightly with stays in it. Like an old timey girdle. Its purpose is to discourage you from bending at the waist or twisting but oohh la la does it ever improve your figure. It gives you an hour glass shape way better than spanx. A minor plus to the procedure, besides fixing my foot of course. And they moved the time up from having to be there at 12:15pm to 6:00am. Hopefully that means I get it over with sooner but after LB had to wait hours and hours at the hospital before her last surgery I’m skeptical.

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  48. Deborah said on April 24, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    The death of Erin Mran in Indiana, the actress who played Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days reminded me of another actress on that show, Linda Goodfriend who played Richie’s girlfriend for a while. Linda and her sister Gaye used to walk to Jr high school with us in Miami. No one ever suspected that Linda would end up being semi famous. It was bizarre when she turned up on the show many years later. Linda and Gaye couldn’t have been more different physically we assumed they had different fathers or something. Funny.

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  49. Deborah said on April 24, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Moran not Mran.

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  50. Deborah said on April 24, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    I see that’s it’s Lynda not Linda, I don’t remember that, may have been changed when she became an actress on the show.

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  51. Deborah said on April 24, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Oh ha ha. Here’s an example of celebrities stretching the truth, Lynda Goodfriend’s Wikipedia entry lists her age as 63 and that she was born in 1953, Yet she was clearly in my high school class and I was born in 1950 and am 66. Her sister Gaye was in my sister’s class a year above mine. Funny how that works. But who cares no one knows who she is except those of us who went to school with her. She doesn’t seem to have accomplished anything since happy days. This has no significance to anything so I don’t even know why I bring it up except that it’s sort of tangentialy appropriate to people like Melania.

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  52. coozledad said on April 24, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    I’ve just been reading about another sexless marriage like Melania and Donald’s.

    Gala and Salvador Dali likely didn’t fuck more than once, that being the time she said “Kill me, you fool!” and he thought she meant she wanted boning, so he went upstairs and dissected a donkey for her.

    I think Luis Bunuel said it best: “I cannot make a film about Donald Trump. Donald is the hand, the lube, and the cock. There would be no cinematic tension, save the cameraman trying to find the cock.”

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  53. coozledad said on April 24, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    I’m a southerner. I come from the poor white trash who fought for slavery for the likes of Richard Burr, Trent Lott, and Jesse Helms.

    I can tell you one thing about these fucking cheapass “historical monuments.” They were erected in a second wave of southern sedition that has yet to be ended by the appropriate means. If the federal government wont take them down, C4 will.

    We should applaud New Orleans for quietly removing these incitements to Fascism.

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  54. jcburns said on April 25, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Later, Lt. Gerard caught up with Mr. Kimble, but it turns out he really didn’t shoot his wife. (I get allergic smelling hay.)

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  55. Dexter said on April 25, 2017 at 2:52 am

    I doubt if when our current national nightmare is over we’ll see two pairs of snuggly bare feet on vacation like the Obamas showed. Obama was on TV today and I said to Carla Lee, “Oh, it’s so good to hear that voice again” .

    Best wishes Deborah as you count down to surgery. Carla Lee’s new knee will be installed at Cleveland Clinic on Thursday..she is excited. And my Facebook pal Barb-in-Montreal had a hip replacement three weeks ago and is off all pain meds and is riding city buses, climbing stairs, and going to concerts already…elated at the surgery’s near-instant impact.

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  56. Deborah said on April 25, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Dexter, I have a friend who had both hips replaced, not at the same time. She had the same experience, instant improvement in her life. She was in bad shape with arthritis before the surgeries. To see her now you would have no idea.

    I have a little over an hour before I leave to go to the hospital, I went to bed insanely early last night.

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  57. alex said on April 25, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Coffee out my nose and on the screen, Cooz at 53.

    Good luck with the surgery, Deborah.

    Here’s an interesting take on the election: The death of newspapers = fewer journalists in the heartland = how the media got it so wrong.

    I think it’s only part of the story, though. The right has always accused journalists of liberal bias, failing to recognize that journalists are by definition intellectually curious people and that’s why they are drawn to the occupation, while conservatives tend to be incurious and unwilling to expose themselves to knowledge and ideas that threaten the house of cards that is their world view. So conservatives have created their own bubble, impenetrable by knowledge and facts. And not to lavish any praise on it, but it’s doing an impressive job when you consider that almost none of Trump’s voters see anything wrong with his performance thus far (although the alt right is a bit miffed at the moment because he spoke to the World Jewish Congress).

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