Catching up.

Another lazy Monday night for yours truly, as I caught up with what Alan refers to as “my programs,” i.e. the premium-cable Sunday-night stuff. We canceled Showtime after the last “Ray Donovan” season was such a disappointment, so we’re talking HBO here. Good news: “The Leftovers” is swinging for the mu’fuh’in’ fences, and it is awesome. Bad news: My bedtime is 10 p.m. Hence: The Monday catch-up, for “Veep” and “Silicon Valley.”

I love “Veep,” too, although I don’t recommend it if you’re sensitive about profanity; it really is a cuss-fest, but the cussin’ is glorious. Those of you who saw Armando Iannucci’s criminally under appreciated “In the Loop” know what I’m talking about. If, like me, you believe the best English-speaking accent for swearing is Scottish, then you probably watch this often.

A little bit of bloggage, then, and best wishes for Deborah as she briefly goes under the knife today. They’re a little old, but only Sherri and a few others will notice:

How Donald Trump’s ascent led to Bill O’Reilly’s downfall.

David Remnick on Trump’s first 100 days. A fine, towering j’accuse.

Back tomorrow.

Posted at 8:25 am in Current events, Television |

33 responses to “Catching up.”

  1. 4dbirds said on April 25, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Watching the Leftovers also. The actress who plays Nora is also the police chief in this season’s Fargo.

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  2. 4dbirds said on April 25, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Best wishes going your way Deborah.

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  3. Peter said on April 25, 2017 at 9:19 am

    “For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy.”

    That hit the nail on the head. I’ll cut to the chase – you’d think that by now, there would be more than one (I’m thinking McMaster) person who would be the adult in the room and bring some order to the shitshow. But no, it’s the freaking Krusty Klown Kollege in real life.

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  4. Peter said on April 25, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Oh, and good luck today Deborah!

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  5. Little Bird said on April 25, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Deborah is doing well they tell me, they started maybe an hour ago. She’s got about another hour to go and then I can go back and sit with her in recovery. The nurses seemed to have a minor power struggle, which was kind of amusing to watch. There’s just not much to report at this time.

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  6. Suzanne said on April 25, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Thanks for the update, LB. Hope it continues to go well.

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  7. basset said on April 25, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Same here, hope everything goes perfectly if not better.

    Off topic: a massive guitar/mandolin collection now on display in Nashville, and the recently deceased donor has an interesting story:

    I mean, the guy had six Lloyd Loar mandolins and forty f***ing three herringbone D28s, as well as, obviously, way too much money…

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  8. Jeff Borden said on April 25, 2017 at 11:12 am

    We just returned from two weeks in Spain, where the economy is a shadow of ours and unemployment rates remain very high, but the differences in infrastructure were striking. There are no potholes or crumbling concrete on the streets and highways in and around Madrid, Seville and Barcelona. High-speed electric trains took us from one city to the other at speeds near 300 kph. We passed numerous wind and solar farms during our train rides. The airport in Madrid was huge, but extremely efficient and easy to navigate and graced with stunning architecture. And here we sit. The richest nation in the world but a place where it’s easy to break an axle in a pothole, a place where aside from the Northeast Corridor, rail travel is largely absent and when available is sadly inefficient and still powered by diesel-powered locomotives, a place where we still turn to coal and shale oil as the rest of the advanced nations run away from them, a place where even the very basics of science and knowledge are ignored.

    Most of the Spaniards we met were sympathetic about the Orange King who rules us. They were, after all, in thrall to a dictator until the mid-1970s and are near enough to Italy to have seen the insanity wrought by Silvio Berlusconi. But while sipping beer and munching snacks in the Plaza del Mayor, a New Zealander seated at the next table discerned from our travel guides that we were ‘Muricans, and he wasn’t so polite. Electing tRump, he said, illustrated that ‘Murica was “pretty fucking stupid.”

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  9. Little Bird said on April 25, 2017 at 11:21 am

    She’s out of surgery, the doc came and spoke to me and said she did well! She’s not yet in the recovery room so I haven’t seen her yet. We go home in a couple more hours.

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  10. Bitter Scribe said on April 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    The most ironic line in that New Yorker article:

    When [Trump] restrains himself from trolling Kim Jong-un about the failure of a North Korean missile test, he is credited with the strategic self-possession of a Dean Acheson.

    It’s perhaps worth noting that Acheson, a dedicated, intelligent and thoroughly decent public servant, was relentlessly trashed and slandered by some of the most ignorant, scabrous louts in politics at the time, let by the biggest lout of them all, Joe McCarthy—the historical figure whom Trump most closely resembles IMO.

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on April 25, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I meant “led by,” of course.

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  12. Dorothy said on April 25, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I want to hear more about the nurses’ power struggle! It’s a reality show in the making, I’d wager. Not that I’d watch it – I despise most reality t.v. Glad to hear she’s out of recovery. Tell her I said howdy and hope she’s able to post something herself soon, LB.

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  13. Dorothy said on April 25, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Jeff Borden, did you explain to him that you did not vote for the current resident of the White House? I sure would have. But the New Zealender was right – America showed it is pretty fuckin’ stupid because of the election outcome. I am not exactly in denial that he is the President, but I haven’t, and probably never will, shake the feeling that we are all in big trouble with him in charge of the country. I fervently hope I’m wrong, but the man has not one redeeming quality IMHO.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on April 25, 2017 at 1:08 pm


    Most of those with whom we talked politics were sympathetic. America has no monopoly on asshole politicians and the rise of Marine Le Pen in France and the past reign of terror of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy are prominent examples. Still, they are worried and nervous about what tRump might do. It’s kind of instructive to be a nation like Spain and realize they have absolutely no say in what happens here, but would be directly affected by our horrible decisions. Nuclear fallout, economic disruption, etc. not respecting national boundaries.

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  15. LAMary said on April 25, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Nursing power struggles? Nah,never.

    I’m lying.

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  16. Little Bird said on April 25, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Well she’s in Post-op now and I can stay with her from here on. Everything went great and she’s still coming out of the drugged fog. Things are great!

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  17. Sherri said on April 25, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Hopes for continued good recovery to Deborah, Little Bird!

    Not that I believe that the probability is that high, or that North Korea is really capable yet, as someone living near the closest major city to NK, I’m not pleased that trump has increased the probability that a nuclear state might consider a first strike.

    Will Natasha actually move to the White House when Barron’s school term ends?

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  18. brian stouder said on April 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    One thing that SHOULD (but probably won’t) come from the Reign of the Ill Trump & Son In-law (I was trying for the American parallel to Kim Il-sung) – is the utter demise and disposal of the concept of “American Exceptionalism”.

    How are we exceptional? We’ve acted on the same base set of fears and ignorance and hate as human nations all around the world

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  19. Scout said on April 25, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for the Deborah updates, LB! That’s splendid that all went so well.

    The New Yorker piece should be required reading. It’s well written, and surprisingly succinct given the dearth of material. Hard to believe it’s only been 100 days of tRump’s assholery, because it feels more like 100 weeks.

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  20. Connie said on April 25, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    It’s all your fault. I just found myself in an office with three managers all singing the Green Acres theme song together.

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  21. Jolene said on April 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    . . . I haven’t, and probably never will, shake the feeling that we are all in big trouble with him in charge of the country.

    No reason to try to shake that feeling. We are in big trouble with him in charge of the country.

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  22. Connie said on April 25, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Big big trouble. I haven’t believed that nuclear war was so possible since the Reagan years. I have avoided television news since the election, and just the internet is hard enough.

    We are in big trouble with him in charge of the country.

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  23. Jolene said on April 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    We’ve acted on the same base set of fears and ignorance and hate as human nations all around the world

    And not for the first time. A couple weeks ago, I posted a notice about the three-part American Experience show re WWI. Finally got around to watching it. Very well done, with lots of detail regarding the historical context in which the war took place–not just the war itself, though lots about that too.

    But what struck me most was the “same old, same old” feeling I got from hearing about the demonization of Germans in the U.S., the struggles of black soldiers for equal treatment in the military followed by post-war racial violence, and the political failures that set the stage for the conflagration that came twenty years later.

    Altogether, a fascinating, but sickening, portrait of our failure to act reasonably as individuals and as nations.

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  24. Jenine said on April 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    So glad to hear surgery went well and Deborah’s in recovery. Thanks for the updates, LB. I hope she’s sweet and not grumpy coming out of the anesthesia fog.

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  25. Peter said on April 25, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Bitter Scribe: I agree with your Acheson comments, but I did read that LBJ would regularly get his colleagues to laugh by doing a killer imitation of Acheson walking into a Senate hearing room.

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  26. Heather said on April 25, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Also glad to hear Deborah’s surgery went well!

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  27. brian stouder said on April 25, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    What Heather (et al) said!!

    Deborah strikes me as a genuine tower of strength, given all the various challenges wherein she has prevailed, professionally and on her home-fronts (a thousand miles apart!)

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  28. Deborah said on April 25, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    I’m home! Long day, all I want to do is sleep. Thanks for your well wishes.

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  29. coozledad said on April 25, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Who coulda knowed. The only thing about Gorka that isn’t faked up is his Nazism. His PHD, on the other hand, is a mirage:

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  30. alex said on April 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    In my mailbox today was a letter on which someone had written “Not ours” in red ink surrounded by yellow highlighter. A stamp on it said “Return for carrier endorsement.” It was postmarked April 13, which was more than a week ago. The envelope had been torn open and taped shut. It was a medical bill with all sorts of personal information in it. And I’m fucking livid. Probably one of my neighbors who’s too fucking lazy (or perhaps bigoted) to walk it down the street, and also inconsiderate enough to tear it open and read it before giving it back to the post office.

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  31. Sherri said on April 25, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Another federal judge tells the trump administration no, this time on withholding funds to sanctuary cities. Only a preliminary injunction, but good nonetheless.

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  32. Sherri said on April 25, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    I always heard (and still hear) terrible stories about the pressures of working as a software developer at gaming companies. EA used to be notorious. Startups can be insane, of course.

    Uber seems to find a whole new level of vileness in every possible measure.

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  33. Julie Robinson said on April 25, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Wow, Alex, that’s brazen. I would feel violated. Maybe time to get a PO box.

    Deborah, so glad to hear you came through your surgery well, and hope it’s all smooth sailing from here.

    We looked at kitties today, and put in Mother’s application. We heard the one she really liked had been applied for yesterday, but she would be happy with almost any cat at this point. We’ll maybe hear tomorrow.

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