Who is this man?

For all that I complain about having to think about Donald Trump, I admit that I spend a lot of time thinking about him voluntarily. I was flipping through laps at the pool the other day when it came to me why I find him so unnerving: I can’t find the human inside.

I may be bitchy and glib, but I consider myself a fairly empathetic person, in the sense that I try to figure out what’s going on inside people that makes them act the way they do. We’re all just little boys and girls, after all, scared and lonely and fearful and silly by turns. It doesn’t excuse our bad behavior, but it does at least begin to explain it. On the surface she might be a bitch, but when you understand that inside she’s terrified that now that her looks have faded no one will ever pay attention to her again, well, at least it makes her easier to approach.

I can’t do that with Trump.

There are clues. Has anyone else noticed that his desk and credenza are almost devoid of family pictures? He has five kids, three kids-in-law, several grandchildren, and one family photo. It’s his father. Seen here:

This man is 70 years old. To say he has “daddy issues” is almost a joke. Anyway, I’d think a man with daddy issues would act more like a son. He doesn’t. He’s Big Daddy. Only the original Big Daddy had a wider vocabulary. He knew what “mendacity” meant:

(Goddamn, Liz, that dress. I’m invited to a black-and-white ball next month, and I need that dress. Size 10, please.)

Anyway, I keep searching for the one scrap of actual human feeling that I can grab hold of, attempt some sort of mind-meld with the president, and keep coming up empty. I can understand that he’s intensely narcissistic, but even a narcissist should show some occasional fellow feeling. All I’m getting — it’s like I’m standing over a brain scan here — is a yawning void, or a grim landscape littered with…coal dust and lava, maybe.

Anyway, the big presidential talkers today were the Time story, in which we learn that Trump gets two scoops of ice cream on his chocolate cream pie, while Pence prefers a fruit plate. And also this:

But few rooms have changed so much so fast as his dining room, where he often eats his lunch amid stacks of newspapers and briefing sheets. A few weeks back, the President ordered a gutting of the room. “We found gold behind the walls, which I always knew. Renovations are grand,” he says, boasting that contractors from the General Services Administration resurfaced the walls and redid the moldings in two days. “Remember how hard they worked? They wanted to make me happy.”

Trump says he used his own money to pay for the enormous crystal chandelier that now hangs from the ceiling. “I made a contribution to the White House,” he jokes. But the thing he wants to show is on the opposite wall, above the fireplace, a new 60-plus-inch flat-screen television that he has cued up with clips from the day’s Senate hearing on Russia. Since at least as far back as Richard Nixon, Presidents have kept televisions in this room, usually small ones, no larger than a bread box, tucked away on a sideboard shelf. That’s not the Trump way.

I know a lot of people put their big TVs over the fireplace, but I’ve always hated that placement. And never mind the watch-TV-while-eating thing. Sigh.

The other one was the Economist interview. You can look up the link; I prefer this excerpt from a gobsmacked Matt Yglesias at Vox:

The Economist then rightly asks him how something like eliminating the estate tax could fail to benefit the rich, and Trump appears to enter a fugue state:

I get more deductions, I mean I can tell you this, I get more deductions, they have deductions for birds flying across America, they have deductions for everything. There are more deductions … now you’re going to get an interest deduction, and a charitable deduction. But we’re not going to have all this nonsense that they have right now that complicates things and makes it … you know when we put out that one page, I said, we should really put out a, you know, a big thing, and then I looked at the one page, honestly it’s pretty well covered. Hard to believe.

Do take the 10 minutes it takes to watch this entire video, of a constituent with a powerful head of steam confronting Rep. Tom MacArthur, who should be staring blankly at the wall after this beatdown.

Finally, because we must enter the weekend on an up note, a charming profile of Dwayne Johnson, i.e. the Rock, in GQ. The writer visits his private gym, in L.A.’s warehouse district:

Johnson’s in Los Angeles now to film HBO’s Ballers, but he’s got gyms wherever he goes. He’s building one at his farm in Virginia, where he keeps his horses (and also, he says, a piano once owned by Benjamin Franklin; it came with the farm), and he has a workout facility at his primary residence in Florida, where he lives on a compound on the edge of the Everglades, in a tiny rural town popular among professional athletes who yearn for country living within an hour’s drive of Miami. As he crisscrosses the country for work, he’s constantly scouting new spots. If he has to go to New York for a night, he will find a gym there, and it will be in a dank, subterranean room, probably off an alley that only Johnson can find. If you have a basement, he might be in your house right now, doing leg presses and staying hydrated. Found an incredible little out-of-the-way spot, he might write on Instagram, under a photo of himself lifting your washing machine. #HardestWorkersInTheRoom #ByAnyMeansNecessary #LateNight #StopNever.

He seems to be a genuinely nice guy. Maybe he’ll be our next president. Sigh.

A good weekend to all.

Posted at 8:54 pm in Current events, Popculch |

78 responses to “Who is this man?”

  1. basset said on May 11, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    So, I’m not movie-literate. Someone give me some context on the Big Daddy picture.

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    • nancy said on May 11, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Tennessee Williams play, adapted by Richard Brooks, 1958

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  2. Sherri said on May 11, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    From the Economist transcript:

    The state governments are in much better position to, you know, help people. In terms of, you know, just the size, the mere size of it. But we’re putting in $8bn and you’re going to have absolute coverage. You’re going to have absolute guaranteed coverage. You’re going to have it if you’re a person going in…don’t forget, this was not supposed to be the way insurance works. Insurance is, you’re 20 years old, you just graduated from college, and you start paying $15 a month for the rest of your life and by the time you’re 70, and you really need it, you’re still paying the same amount and that’s really insurance.

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  3. Sherri said on May 11, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    And let’s not overlook that trump admitted to obstruction of justice in an interview with Lester Holt: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-president-admits-to-obstruction-on-national-tv

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  4. alex said on May 11, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    The Rock would sure beat the hell out of the Donald. At least he’s appetizing to look at and doesn’t pretend to know it all when he doesn’t.

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  5. basset said on May 11, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”… so what’s going on at that point in the movie, and how does it apply here?

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  6. LAMary said on May 11, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Didn’t The Rock support Trump in the election? I hope I’m wrong.

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  7. Linda said on May 11, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    LA Mary: according to this, he supported neither: http://www.wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2017/0510/626044/the-rock-on-possibly-running-for-president-of-the-united-states/

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  8. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Political punditry, from McSweeneys


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  9. Deborah said on May 12, 2017 at 3:11 am

    Nancy, Liz’s dress would look fantastic on you.

    I had a depressing evening, we went to the Peninsula hotel a few blocks away for a Harvard gathering. I was miserable, I sat at a table where the man to my left, was a pompous divinity school graduate who went on and on about why science was bad. Then a woman at the table couldn’t stop talking about how Obamacare had stiffed her. She complained endlessly about how many phone calls she had to make to her insurance company etc. I managed to croak out how thankful I was for Obamacare because my daughter was able to get quality coverage for the first time. Then the guy on the other side of me started in on why he thought Obama was a lousy president. I left and walked home leaving my husband to fend for himself on the other side of the table. Harvard, supposedly America’s best and brightest. I was shocked.

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  10. Linda said on May 12, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Deborah, not surprised. The biggest effect Trump has had on our society is to normalize the dumbest, most reactionary comments you hear so that every public discourse now sounds like the worst stuff you hear at a local Rotary meeting.

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  11. coozledad said on May 12, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Deborah:Wingnut welfare has seen a lot of worthless shitheads through Ivy league schools. If your daddy has enough cash, you can get a George Dickel diploma. If you’re still drunk at the end of four years, they’ll put you in a master’s program. Laura Ingraham thinks George Washington lived at Monticello. That’s shit they cover in High Scoo History For Bullet Sponges, and she muffed it. Dartmouth grad.

    The real shitheads drink their balls off at Wharton, though.

    I’ve been to some dinners that hosted a mix of administration, alums and trustees, and it’s just stifling, and sad. They’re mostly grabby, unimaginative toddlers. They’re also scared shitless all the time. the best way I can describe it is a gathering of George Wills.

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  12. coozledad said on May 12, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Another killhappy wingnut tub of grease dressed in the height of Roman splendor:

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  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 12, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Basset, in that scene, Paul Newman’s character Brick (?) is being berated by Big Daddy, who is a Burl Ives like most had never seen him before . . . but he was grim, overbearing, a force of nature, and a man intent on having his way with the past, the present moment, and long after his death, which he sees coming soon but is going to push off until he can bend events to his will. It’s always worked so far, anyhow.

    Brick is trying to be someone other than who Big Daddy wants him to be. But he finds it . . . hard, other than by evasion and subterfuge. Maggie, Brick’s wife, is both an ally and an enemy of Big Daddy’s plans, confused as to what she wants and who Brick really is. Will Brick be who he really is, now, or will he wait for Big Daddy’s death? But everyone knows that Big Daddy’s influence might just get stronger for being absent, so this last birthday party for the terminally ill father is the scene of a family showdown (verbal for the most part), and yet for all the yelling, is anyone telling the truth about who they are, and what they want? And is that what Brick and Maggie are moving to at the ending? All Maggie “the Cat” knows is that in the middle of all these mendacious men she feels like a cat on a hot tin roof . . . and Brick says “jump on down, honey, you can. Jump off.”

    The play is fairly clear, for the 50s, that Brick and his dead high school friend were lovers, and that Brick generally is homosexual. He loves Maggie, but he doesn’t want to make love to her. Which of course limits options when it comes to inheritance and children. The movie shoves that theme into the closet, but it’s still lurking in the dialogue; the ending is still ambiguous as to whether or not they are choosing life, or just accepting that they are subject to the control of others — Big Daddy, society, their fears of losing access to money and security versus pursuing their own desires.

    Trump’s father picture alone on the credenza does leave you wondering: Donny, what is it you think Fred wants at this point? And how would you know? Melania shakes her head and heads up to bed, leaving him sitting staring at Big Daddy’s picture.

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  14. Connie said on May 12, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Harking back to the last post’s comments. Those of you who are Great Lakes ship watchers, If you see the Hon. James L. Oberstar wave at the captain, my old college friend Joe. He posts amazing pictures.

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  15. brian stouder said on May 12, 2017 at 8:27 am

    I think Jeff won the Thread, and the Week!

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  16. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 12, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Brick: You said it yourself, Big Daddy. Mendacity is a system we live in.

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  17. alex said on May 12, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Thanks Cooz. An even better reason not to patronize Jimmie John’s than the unsatisfying food.

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  18. Peter said on May 12, 2017 at 9:09 am

    And I can see Don John staring at Fred’s picture, and Fred talks to him “Son, you put a darkey in charge of HUD? How could you?”

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  19. Judybusy said on May 12, 2017 at 9:32 am

    A friend of mine and I have a silly affection for Dwayne Johnson–I immediately sent the link to him.

    In return, a happy Friday gift to all of you, which I will have to get all the way through at another time. This house is on the edge of downtown Minneapolis. The same friend shared the pics with me. There are 90 PICS, could have been cut down quite a bit, I think, but fascinating.

    Nancy, you can get a bespoke version of the dress for $385 on Etsy.

    Deborah, good for you for getting up and leaving the event. I regret that’s two hours or so of your life you’ll never see again.

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  20. Icarus said on May 12, 2017 at 10:04 am

    “I know a lot of people put their big TVs over the fireplace, but I’ve always hated that placement. ”

    ha, we have a local site here called CribChatter where we discuss local realty. The consensus is that TVs over the fireplace look tacky. I use to be a strict in the No TV over the Fireplace camp. Then I noticed some homes only have that one wall to work with (other walls have large windows you don’t want to block). And in a playroom you don’t want the kids to get their dirty fingers on the screen (I know! there’s always that family that doesn’t own a TV and uses their living room for more culturally significant things, like reading Proust in the original French and then interpreting it into postmodern dance.)

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  21. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 10:05 am

    “You can tell a Harvard man, but you can’t tell him much.”

    Deborah, the “best and the brightest” have a vested interest in making sure their number stays small and like them. Otherwise, they might not be the best and the brightest!

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  22. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Liz Spayd thinks it’s a bad that the NYTimes doesn’t

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  23. brian stouder said on May 12, 2017 at 10:20 am

    So Pam emailed me a screen-shot of the president’s latest twitter storm, and – truly – it looks like a melt-down….and/or, a blustery threat(!!) – from the President of the United States, directed at the former FBI director.

    I mean – wow.

    Truly – I was hoping that he’d take his job seriously, and some way or other we’d muddle through…but he sounds increasingly unhinged.

    Tactically speaking, throwing his VP under the bus (again and again), and being genuinely abusive to his cabinet could actually lead to a Twenty-fifth Amendment solution (Section IV) – wherein the VP and a majority of the cabinet can declare the president unfit….

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  24. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 10:20 am


    Doesn’t get sued for libel more often..


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  25. basset said on May 12, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for that lengthy and well told explanation, Jeff TMMO. Doesn’t sound like a movie I’d be in any big hurry to see, though.

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  26. Peter said on May 12, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I have to give our Fearless Leader more credit. Seriously, he’s VERY BUSY doing a lot of things – he just tweeted that, along with threatening a former employee – you’d think with the three thing circus going on and his diet that he would have flat lined by now. I know his obliviousness helps him out here, but seriously I thought he’d drink the Diet Coke down the wrong hole and flop on the ground like Stalin for several hours while everybody waits in the adjoining room.

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  27. Deborah said on May 12, 2017 at 10:54 am

    “When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?” Mr. Trump asked.

    The above is from the NYT about Trump’s latest tweets. I hope they let the investigation go on and on and on. It seems to unhinge Trump. He really is mentally disturbed.

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  28. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I saw an excellent production of Cat in Seattle last year at ACT. They have a smallish, intimate theater in the round, and there’s something about productions like that, especially with claustrophobic family dramas like Cat.

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  29. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 11:07 am

    “Mike is an ordained Southern Baptist Deacon and Sunday School teacher at Arrow Heights Baptist Church,” the page states. “Mike is a cancer survivor for over 37 years. He and Connie have served as medical missionaries to Mexico and Honduras.”


    Waste, Fraud, & Abuse, ladies and gentlemen. Always the answer before paying for government.

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  30. Jeff Borden said on May 12, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I worked with a Harvard grad several years ago. You couldn’t discuss where to have lunch without him dropping the “H bomb,” as they call it. Irritating as hell but he was smart and a damned good reporter.

    I recall reading a review of a book on the actor Peter Sellers, who seemingly bragged that he was empty inside and, thus, so capable of inhabiting a character. Fearless leader seems similarly empty inside and, of course, a horrible case of arrested development. The story on his lunches in his newly refurbished WH dining room –complete with massive crystal chandelier he reportedly purchased– suggests a little boy. Only he gets extra sauce for his chicken. Only he gets two scoops of ice cream on his chocolate cream pie. I’m so sick of this asshole and his grubby little family, but I doubt enough Congressional Republicans will ever find the courage to challenge him so long as they are free to fuck over the poor and funnel more money upwards to their financial backers.

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 12, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Basset, it does drag a bit in the middle, but it sure gets lively at the end . . . and the whole Ives/Taylor/Newman scene is three good actors making the most of their gifts. It might be worth a quiet evening just to see that, and the evocation of a world not quite gone, as I’m sure Cooze can attest from down south, nor up here in the Buckeye state. Tennessee Williams helped me be more aware of untold stories driving a surface narrative more than any two pastoral care classes I’ve taken.

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  32. kayak woman said on May 12, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Connie: I have seen the Oberstar many times. I follow a couple of freighters that post pics on Facebook (Cason Callaway & Algolake). I had an interesting experience walking my beach one foggy morning. I knew that the Algolake was sitting out there in the channel (1/2 mile away) waiting for the fog to clear but I couldn’t see it. Then I checked Facebook and they had right then posted pictures of the inside of the cabin, where everyone was hanging out drinking coffee.

    On another topic, one summer years ago, we put our big old trinitron *in* the (cleaned out) fireplace.

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  33. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 11:42 am

    My phone blew up with texts from team executives saying Kaepernick betrayed his country by shunning the national anthem.


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  34. Suzanne said on May 12, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I think there was a discussion here a while back on the podcast S-town. I’m listening while gardening (oh, the aches and pains I’ll have!). It’s very interesting. I’m on part 3.

    It is enlightening on the lure of Trump for many of the people in these areas.

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  35. Bitter Scribe said on May 12, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Jeff: Thanks for the explication. I saw that movie on TV a long time ago and completely missed the bit about Brick being gay. It was too subtle for me, or else I wasn’t paying close enough attention.

    I hate to say it, but I think Trump got where he is now in large part because many Americans see him as relatable. Many of us want two scoops of ice cream on our chocolate creme pie. It’s why “kale and arugula” as a putdown got so much traction, and why there was so much backlash against Michelle Obama’s push for healthier school lunches. (Well, along with sheer racism.)

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 12, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    When I first watched the movie, I didn’t get it. Then I saw it on a stage in Williams’ own script, and went “ohhhhhhh…” Later saw the movie again, and it’s there, but deeply coded. I’m sure PhD dissertations aplenty have been done on the cultural pressures between B’way and H-wood, let alone S-towns in the South and same-sex attraction. But it was my third viewing that made me really start thinking: so, does Big Daddy suspect? Does Maggie really not know? We’ll leave Big Mama out, and the brother. More to the point, what did Williams intend to imply? That they knew, and didn’t want to admit it, or was their denial that strong? Or as I’d add as a parish pastor, did they move back and forth? Realizations are rarely final, or stable. They’re mutable, not like a closing scene in a Sherlock Holmes story.

    And then there’s Brick, Nancy’s stand-in for the Current Occupant. What does he know about himself? Who does he want to be? Was this a passing phase, an essential part of his character . . . or both? And he wants his father to accept him as he IS, which is a man who has loved a man, and now has a woman who frightens him, and an ambivalence about being the man his father wants him to be, but because of that, utterly lacking in any real sense of self?

    Which is why I think Brick’s an awfully good metaphor for Trump. Not in his orientation, although the Russians might know more about that than I do. But he’s a tailored suit inflated by a desire to make Big Daddy proud, and to not disappoint him like his brother did (another resonance which would take another 1000 words to unpack between “Cat” and the Trump dynasty). Is there a Donald beneath “The Donald”? It is, as Nancy says, worrisomely hard to tell.

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  37. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    I listened to S-town, and I still don’t know what I think about it.

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  38. Mark P said on May 12, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Icarus @20 you made me laugh.

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  39. Jolene said on May 12, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Great analysis of “Cat” and its relation to El Presidente, Jeff. I loved the movie. Has been a long time since I saw it, so may check it out again.

    Nancy, I think you must get that dress.

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  40. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 12, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Sister Jolene, I think it’s time for a love offering. Mrs. MacGillicuddy, could you give us a few verses of “Blessed Assurance” while the deacons circulate with the offering plates?

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  41. LAMary said on May 12, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Blessed Assuuuuurance…(lots of vibrato)

    Is Sarah Palin wearing pedal pushers in that photo?

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  42. Peter said on May 12, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Well, the Simpsons caught on to that – there’s a scene where Smithers plays Brick and Burns is Big Daddy….

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  43. Deborah said on May 12, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Other favorite dresses from movies: Grace Kelly’s organza skirted number in Rear Window http://clothesonfilm.com/grace-kelly-paris-dress-in-rear-window/693/ and Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s http://www.fashiongonerogue.com/audrey-hepburn-breakfast-tiffanys-costume-style/#jp-carousel-233988.

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  44. Deborah said on May 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Well, I guess it’s really chiffon and tulle not organza, what do I know?

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  45. Suzanne said on May 12, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    I’m about to start episode 4 of S-town, so I am withholding judgement overall, but what stuck with me in the first few episodes was the strange rich guy’s (John) characterization of the locals and their “what the F” attitude toward life. They don’t worry much about making good or bad decisions because they know they are at the bottom and always will be, so “what the F!” Nothing they do good or bad will really change anything.
    Which to me explains the Trump support. He’s got the same attitude as they do in some sense and is willing to tell everybody else to F off and not worry about consequences. Just like them.
    Also explains the extreme anger at politicians at town halls when they bring up healthcare. This does tick off the S-Towners of the world because this hits home in a way almost nothing else does because they all use it and the consequences of not having it are often immediate.

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  46. brian stouder said on May 12, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Mary, I think she is, indeed!

    I was thinking you were referring to her shoes, at first, but her ‘bike-racer’ tights caught my eye…and then Uncle Google set me straight on what’s what

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  47. Deborah said on May 12, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I mentioned that I binge listened to S Town in one day shortly after my surgery when I couldn’t do much else. My first thoughts about it had to do with how much place effects people. The fact that John never left even though it was a pretty dismal existence . They describe the grounds to his house as being quite beautiful yet there lurked a menace of profound dissatisfaction with environs just beyond that property. The fact that the word Town is in the title of the piece was telling to me, that it was about a place. When Coozledad writes about his environment it strikes me the same way, at once bucolic and horrendous at the same time. I won’t spoil it for those of you who have yet to get to the end except to say that it reinforced to me that it was about place and how the people inhabiting that place are effected by it. Having traveled through the south often in my youth, it was definitely something I could sense.

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  48. brian stouder said on May 12, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Jeff – isn’t this in your neck of the woods?


    The lead:

    KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The police chief of an Ohio village and two nursing home employees were killed Friday by a gunman who was later found dead inside the care facility, a sheriff said.

    this terrible story is still developing, as they say

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  49. Suzanne said on May 12, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Wow, Brian! And the usual response in a small town that “these things don’t happen here.”
    Yes, they do.

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  50. Hattie said on May 12, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    These fools are using up all our brain space.

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  51. David C. said on May 12, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    I’ve known one Hahvaad grad, and two Yalies, but nobody does douche better than Princeton grads.

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  52. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    For anyone thinking it’s better to try to work with trump to moderate or control him rather than resist everything, consider Rod Rosenstein.


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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 12, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Brian, I was distracting myself from the events unfolding as I wrote my “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” posts this am. Ten miles south of where I sit just now. Owner-operator of the nursing home, who was in the other end of the building, was a member of my church, I did both his parents funerals. He’s a member now in Cols, but his two facilities often bring stuff to our Medical Loan Closet, and Tom usually just puts them in his car. He’s no profit seeking investor, he’s hands-on; glad in an awkward way he wasn’t hurt. The small town newly hired police chief is a Scout dad, and a cop before in another department I had dealt with in a number of mediations. No word on the shooter and two employee victims, but the word around is a domestic eruption that came to work and blew up among innocents . . . complicating this, the “innocents” include a large number of elderly and immobile sex offenders whose prison time is past, but who are still monthly reports. I’ve done a few funerals for guys who had no mourners out of there. It’s still got all of us spinning: Eric got a call just as he came on shift, drove over in a bp vest, took a shot just like that. A lovely family, now shattered at least for a season, and a care facility serving people no one else would take, and the senselessness of anger holding a semi-auto handgun. More I can’t say, but we had quite a pile of us in a parking lot this morning, ultimately just sitting around waiting.

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  54. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    How often have we heard this same story? Domestic violence plus guns = multiple shooting.


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  55. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Conor Friersdorr on his rare agreement with Benjamin Wittes, re:Comey, the FBI, DOJ, and canaries in coal mines: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/two-dead-canaries-in-the-coal-mine/526230/

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  56. Dave said on May 12, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    My brother’s longtime live-in girlfriend worked at that rest home in the kitchen for a good number of years but left about 4 1/2 years ago. I don’t know if she knew the nurse and nurse’s aide. My nephew and his family live about five minutes north of there, his wife was very upset today that it happened so close to their home.

    Jeff TMMO, I didn’t know it was that kind of a facility.

    My brother will be 65 tomorrow, after two failed marriages, he never let her talk him into a third go-around.

    This man had a record going back to 1992, if I read it correctly. I always wonder what women see in such a man. Are there really that many people who think they can change another person? Sometimes, I think I live in my own naive little world.

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  57. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Dave, I think there are that many people who don’t get that they deserve better. Abuse eats away at your sense of identity and self-worth.

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  58. Heather said on May 12, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Dave asked: Are there really that many people who think they can change another person?


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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 12, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Marlina Medrano, one of the two victims in the facility, was a nurse who had worked there some time, and also grew up in our church; I remember her grandmother from when I was here before. The other aide was a newer hire, Cindy Krantz. Dave, it’s upsetting all over the county; this is geographically a big county, but the pieces of the tragedy are connected from edge to edge, Utica to K-ville and Pataskala to Newark. I’m purely guessing here, but it looks like Marlina and the shooter were together for a while years back in Utica where she probably worked at that facility, and after they split and two rounds of CPOs, she must have asked to work at the Pine Kirk Care Center, owned by the same man as I noted earlier. The shooter still lived with his parents in Utica, and drove down to the interstate, left his vehicle there, and walked into the village from the south, shotgun in hand, a mile along the road. Almost 25 miles from Utica to Kirkersville. The funeral home director a few doors down was one of the callers to 911, looking down the alley from his place to the rear of Pine Kirk, seeing this fellow walking around waving his shotgun.

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  60. Sherri said on May 12, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I’m so sorry, Jeff(tmmo)

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  61. Suzanne said on May 13, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Sadly, with all the open carry laws, a guy walking down the street carrying a shotgun doesn’t raise alarms among people like it would have in the not too distant pass.

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  62. Deborah said on May 13, 2017 at 7:41 am

    The shooter could not have a more appropriate name, Hartless, certainly heartless. What a tragedy.

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  63. Deborah said on May 13, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Jeff, what does CPO stand for?

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  64. coozledad said on May 13, 2017 at 8:47 am

    What four decades of the pro-life bullshit gets you.

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  65. coozledad said on May 13, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Via Pierce, Gary Wills.

    Nixon was always Wronged; so, since the score could never be settled entirely, he felt no qualms about getting back what slight advantage he could when no one was looking. Even at the height of his power, he feels he must steal one extra vote, tell the marginal little lie. He is like a man who had to steal as a child, in order to eat, and acquired a sacred license—even a duty—to steal thenceforth; it would punish the evil that had first deprived him. Thus he took as his intimate into the Oval Office the very man who helped him try to cheat his way into the office of governor of California. Those who say Nixon did not know what kind of thing his lieutenants were up to forget that the judge who decreed in favor of plaintiffs in the fake postcard-poll case of 1962 did so on the grounds that both Haldeman and Nixon knew about the illegal tactic. Watergate is the story of a man who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist and gets caught when he hesitates to steal an apple off a passing vendor’s cart.

    Add that pissy core of every Republican-the pissy antinomianism*, the eternal frathouse ass-grabbing


    *Just this week, you have Pence sobbing that “Christians are the most persecuted religion.” There’s a direct route between that statement and white nationalism, because Pence damn sure doesn’t mean black Christians, or liberal Christians. He means the spiteful little tribe upset by the fact they can’t shit on others at will.

    It’s an open endorsement of Christian Identity tenets.

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  66. Sherri said on May 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    While I’ll never deny the links between white evangelicalism and racism, having grown up in it, I think the persecution complex also stems from Mary Sue-ish wish fulfillment fantasy and a constant search for signs that the End Days are upon us, not in the sense that they predict a date, but in the wars and rumors of wars and the AntiChrist sense. One of my (many) problems with that world from a fairly early age was the obsession with the future rather than the here and now, whether it be the future destination (heaven or hell) or the end of days. Thus, the compulsion to “save” people, rather than helping them, which would explain things like gay conversion therapy, for example.

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  67. Sherri said on May 13, 2017 at 1:37 pm


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  68. Jakash said on May 13, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Interesting Wills piece, Cooz. Lots to chew on, including the paragraph you excerpted. I thought it was funny that (writing in 1974, of course), Wills refers to Deep Throat as “the mysterious White House cooperator,” who was among those who didn’t go along with the WH’s “code of omertà.”

    “And the editors’ enemies were not in the White House; they were other publications with better sources at the Justice Department.” Or so one might have concluded before one knew that Deep Throat was Associate Director of the FBI.

    Had to look up antinomian. (Spell-check is red-lining it even now.) “a person who maintains that Christians are freed from the moral law by virtue of grace as set forth in the gospel.” Indeed. Whatever the role of disenchanted, underemployed white men with either economic or cultural anxiety, I think that was the crucial factor in putting Dolt 45 (barely) over the top. Evangelical white men *and women* who calculated that striking at abortion was paramount, whether they had to employ an avowed libertine and pussy-grabber to assist with the striking, or not. I still wonder if Pence wasn’t the key to the margin of victory. Had the less goody-two-shoes Christie or Giuliani been the one waiting in the wings, maybe holding their noses wouldn’t have been as easily rationalized for such voters. Aw, who am I kidding, of course it would have…

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  69. David C. said on May 13, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    He can’t even do a commencement address to a friendly group of fellow nutbags without losing his shit.


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  70. Sherri said on May 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    I expect this to be a reality show very soon: http://nypost.com/2017/05/08/bridezillas-are-forcing-bridal-parties-to-lose-weight/

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  71. basset said on May 13, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    An aggregation of the reasons I’m happy not to be in tv news any more:


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  72. coozledad said on May 13, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    They’re fucking traitors who’d sell their children for whores.

    There’s no overlap between Republicans and ethics, and it’s time the majority moves to exclude them from public life.

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  73. Deborah said on May 13, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    I’m trying to stay awake to watch SNL tonight. Had a busy, busy day, will probably need toothpicks to hold my eyes open.

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  74. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 14, 2017 at 12:00 am

    CPO = court protective order.

    I’m hearing lots of “Hartless should have spent more time in prison.” Hard to argue at this point. I tried to use publicly available figures to show just how many new jail cells we’d need to house the census you’d get if we locked up all the guys who fit his profile earlier in the week, but I’m having trouble coming up with a solid figure. Let’s say there’s around 500 CPOs per year (I think that’s low as of 2016) and around 100 *reported* violations, which is to say violations whose outcomes end in a hearing . . . no one would tell you actual/technical violations are 1 in 5. More like 2 or 3 in 5, but lots of factors push those incidents away from further action . . . and there are many more DV (domestic violence) calls and filings than there are CPOs, call it 2000 per year, more half of which are repeat customers. Our county has 250 beds in the “justice center.” They’re generally full as it is.

    The bigger question is why is this such a persistent pattern, and how do we break it: men who kidnap, rape, and kill when threatened with the end of a relationship.

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  75. Deborah said on May 14, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t think I’ve heard the term antinomianism since my days at my Lutheran college, and I wasn’t paying very close attention when it came up in class. It’s interesting that it came up during Watergate and it certainly seems apt now, certain people seeing themselves above the law. I remember reading somewhere that Kelly Anne Conartist said that whenever you’re speaking on TV or being interviewed or quoted in print or social media, you’re not under oath, so basically it doesn’t matter how much you lie. I’ll try to find the exact quote of that because it’s mind boggling.

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  76. Sherri said on May 14, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t know how to break the pattern of domestic violence, but I’m pretty sure more prison time doesn’t do it, sadly, even while I’d happily see someone like Hartless rot in jail. We can also talk about whether someone like him should ever be allowed to own a gun, but the country seems more interested in restricting voting rights than gun rights.

    In the long run, we have to change a culture that sees women as not equal: not worth the same amount of money for the work, not capable of making decisions for herself, whose lives just aren’t as valuable as men’s. We need to stop making excuses for men – “don’t destroy his life because of one youthful mistake”. We need to recognize the value of diverse voices and demand them in our governments, media, companies. We need to stop pretending that people who claim to love and value and protect women while silencing and marginalizing them really do love and value them.

    But I’m not holding my breath. I’m just a wild-eyed crazy feminist, and a misogynistic sexual assaulter is in the White House.

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  77. Rana said on May 15, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Nancy, you’re not the only one who’s wondered about the emptiness of 45.




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