The good table.

The Detroit News has an annual event where they recognize the Michiganians of the Year, and this year’s was last night. I went as Alan’s date – a little reluctantly but dutifully, attitudes I shed as the evening went on. The view from atop the Motor City Casino was spectacular even on a drizzly evening, the company was good, the honorees inspiring and how often do you get to go to a party with Kate Upton?

Her uncle Fred, a Republican congressman from southwest Michigan, was being honored, along with Debbie Dingell, in a special bipartisan co-award. Dingell came close to tears describing her friendship with Fred Upton, a scene that good Republicans these days would laugh at scornfully, I suspect. Uncle Fred is said to be maybe retiring, or perhaps will run for the Senate. Dingell is in her second term, and indefatigable. Dunno what Kate’s next project is; I expect she’s concentrating on planning her wedding to Justin Verlander. And no, I never really got closer to her than looking at her blonde updo from a couple tables away, but I glimpsed her from the side at one point, and she has enviably nice legs.

And that’s why I didn’t update last night.

Back at work, and I feel pretty good so far. Yesterday was a bit of a grind, but I kept my nose to the stone and only have a little blood spattered on my blouse to show for it. In between, I caught up with some podcasts, in particular the week-old “What Happened” edition of “Pod Save America,” a 45-minute interview with Hillary Clinton. This WashPost piece concentrates on her comments about Bernie, but what stuck with me was her flinty defense of the necessity of courting big-money donors in an age of Koch, Mercer, Sinclair Broadcasting, et al. These are people who either own media empires or command them as such, and in an era when people are so easily manipulated by utter fucking bullshit, well, you can’t fight fire with kumbaya. I encourage you to click that last link, last week’s NYT magazine piece on the Russian propaganda operation, another piece I’m catching up with. It’s sort of terrifying.

And I’m multitasking with the NYT podcast looking at yesterday’s UN speech by the prez. He’s very fond of unnecessary modifiers, I notice — completely unacceptable, totally destroy, etc. Beyond that, I’ve not had enough coffee to further analyze that one.

So on to the bloggage.

We all know this, but Jamelle Bouie says it again.

Do you follow Will Sommer’s coverage of right-wing media? You should.

There’s a big freeway-restoration project going on in Detroit, the rebuilding of one side of the I-75 bridge over the Rouge River, but not only the Rouge River – it also crosses a landscape of industrial works that looks like the set of a dystopian sci-fi movie. It’s a two-year project and everyone around here knows about it. Except for this guy, who broke through the barriers, did $50,000 worth of damage to the project and nearly fell through the bridge surface. I know this is hard to believe, but police say alcohol may have been involved here.

With that, let’s tackle Wednesday.

Posted at 9:01 am in Current events, Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |
 

77 responses to “The good table.”

  1. Icarus said on September 20, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Kate Upton is running for Senate?

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  2. Dorothy said on September 20, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Kate Upton’s Uncle Fred, who is/was a congressman, is considering running icarus. But maybe you already knew that and were teasing??

    I had no clue who Kate Upton was until Uncle Google helped me. I guess I’m not the right demographic for her anyway, so NBD.

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  3. susan said on September 20, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I had no idea who Kate Upton is, also, too, either. Rat’s ass and all…

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  4. nancy said on September 20, 2017 at 10:22 am

    You people are so out of touch. You need more teenage boys in your life, and then you’d know her the way they do. Although I find her look sort of …anodyne, beauty-wise, and if I passed her on the street I’d probably think, “There’s a very pretty blonde,” not OMG A CELEBRITY. Which is not a criticism.

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  5. Joe K said on September 20, 2017 at 10:38 am

    She is no size 0 model, thats for sure.
    Welcome back, hope your well rested.
    Pilot Joe

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  6. Bitter Scribe said on September 20, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I think almost all the people who object to “political correctness,” “diversity” and all the rest of it are really offended by the mere presence of blacks, Hispanics, gays or whoever it is they hate. Think of this lady, who likens an announcement by a coffee shop that it doesn’t discriminate with Bull Connor turning the hoses on civil rights demonstrators. Or the trustee of a lily-white rich Chicago suburb who was outraged that “diversity is being crammed down our throats” by a depiction of a Hispanic girl in a drawing of children on the village vehicle sticker. There’s really nothing you can do with people like that.

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  7. Icarus said on September 20, 2017 at 10:51 am

    @Dorothy, now that I re-read it, I see my error. It didn’t occur to me that Fred and Kate have the same surname. My kids turn 3 on Friday and I’m gonna blame 3 years of twin induced sleep deprivation on that one. But you can also factor in old age and CPS education as well.

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    • nancy said on September 20, 2017 at 11:03 am

      I tweaked to make sure all the antecedents are clear.

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  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 20, 2017 at 10:54 am

    She is certainly a fit and healthy young woman.

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  9. brian stouder said on September 20, 2017 at 11:25 am

    All Nancy’s linked photo of Ms Upton is missing – is a voice over from Tim Allen extolling us to say “yes” to Michigan! (except the water would be colder than that water appears to be)

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  10. Sherri said on September 20, 2017 at 11:37 am

    I knew who Kate Upton is because I subscribe to Sports Illustrated.

    I had several positive encounters this weekend with the future. I spent several hours this weekend working a food drive, and helping out were a bunch of high school kids from all over Redmond. They were to a person fabulous: engaged, cheerful, and ethnically diverse if not socioeconomically. It was a pleasure to work with them.

    I also co-hosted a campaign event for an incredible thirty-something woman running for city council, and got to bring together some of my older crowd with her younger crowd. My candidate is a PhD Civil Engineer running a nonprofit focused on green transportation solutions, and among the people I met is a young woman I’m meeting with again to discuss applying for an open position on planning commission. She’s ridiculously overqualified, with a MBA/MPA from UW and a job at Microsoft working on a smart cities project, but she’s interested in the commission, at least, I suspect, until she’s ready to run for office.

    Then I met yesterday with a young political organizer sent by the state party to try to help out our local legislative district Dem party, which has been ineffective in almost every way. Fortunately, it’s a good time to address the issue, with a lot of new people showing up since the election, and the old guard finally at least somewhat open to new ideas as a result of feeling overwhelmed. And the good news is, the guy seems to get it, that the point isn’t just winning the next election, but building political power that can be wielded in a variety of ways.

    So, I’ve come out of the last few days feeling recharged, despite all the shit going on in the world.

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  11. brian stouder said on September 20, 2017 at 11:40 am

    These are people who either own media empires or command them as such, and in an era when people are so easily manipulated by utter fucking bullshit, well, you can’t fight fire with kumbaya.

    One quibble I will voice is with the phrase ‘in an era when people are so easily manipulated’. I’d agree that people in 2017 certainly have less intellectual COVER than they might have had – even 30 years ago. I’d agree that having constant access to the internet shifts the burden of ‘what do I believe?’ fairly heavily onto the news consumer – and in many ways reduces the burden of having to be fair (and/or ‘objective’), that editors might otherwise wrestle with.

    The days of the ‘penny press’ certainly had its share of bullshit and a full-measure of partisanship – so none of that is new …but the news consumer can very easily cross-check things, nowadays – or insulate themselves with comfortable biases (as always)

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  12. LAMary said on September 20, 2017 at 11:45 am

    A big chunk of a freeway overpass collapsed here after the 1994 earthquake. A woman driving at freeway speed went around all the police cars and orange cones and drove off the end of the freeway. I don’t think she survived. You have to wonder what she thought was going on with all the emergency vehicles blocking her way.

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  13. brian stouder said on September 20, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Mary – indeed. And I betcha her family had been working on taking the keys away, and she’d have none of it!

    Meanwhile, the collapsed school in Mexico has gotten my attention –

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/20/world/enrique-rebsamen-school-mexico-earthquake-trnd/index.html

    While the scene is grim, every rescue provides hope. Walking around the dusty perimeter of what used to be the schoolhouse, a man notices something behind a hole in an outer wall. “Here are children!” he shouts. “Ayuden!”

    Help!

    From the hole, several children are pulled sobbing, but apparently not seriously injured. A volunteer at the school told Mexican news outlet Imagen Noticias that the whole area has been transformed, with every person and every detail focused on saving what — and who — they can.

    At least a person can see a hurricane coming, and try to do something…

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  14. Deborah said on September 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    The Mexico earthquake news is heartbreaking and Puerto Rico seems like it is in shambles too. Bad news everywhere. I’m sickened by Trump’s UN speech and the Republican’s trashing healthcare again. Jimmy Kimmel had quite a knockdown of Cassidy that’s burning up the internet today, if only it would do some good. It makes me furious that these creepy R’s can just lie their asses off, saying more people will be covered and it will cost less. Do people really believe that?

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  15. Deborah said on September 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    To clarify when I said “it will cost less”, I meant that the R’s have lied to say that insurance coverage will cost families and individuals less, they’re saying erroneously of course that insurance premiums will go down under their plan. They have no proof of this, obviously.

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  16. Jeff Borden said on September 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    So much good news today. . .

    The Orange King embarrassing our nation on a world stage in a speech only Stephen Miller could’ve written with an assist from Steve Bannon; the contemptible Lindsey Graham pushing yet version of DeathCare, selling it to red states by noting how it will screw the blue states; agony in Mexico as it copes with a second and more brutal earthquake; Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico facing another Cat 5 hurricane just weeks after the last one. . .

    Thank dog for baseball and books. These distractions keep me from utter despair. That and the delicious wait for Robert Mueller to finally begin the process of dismantling the ugliest and most corrupt presidency in my lifetime.

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  17. Deborah said on September 20, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Question: Does it do any good to call your senators if they’re Democrats? I know they’re not going to vote yes on the deathcare bill (thanks for that term Jeff B) but I feel helpless. What can I do? I vote in IL and both Senators are Democrats, as is my congressman. I spend time in NM and both Senators are Democrats there too, and the congressman is a Democrat too for both Abiquiu and Santa Fe (same guy).

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  18. Jolene said on September 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Deborah, I’m in the same situation–all Democratic reps. I think it does help to call, if only indirectly. It’s good for them to know that their constituents are concerned and also good to thank them for voting as you’d hope. One of my FB friends says that, when she calls, she encourages her reps to be more active and visible–to get on TV where they can take a stand that might influence other voters to get involved.

    Just listened to Barack Obama speak at the opening of Goalkeepers, and he said that, though our political reps are called leaders, they are, in most instances, really followers. They listen to their constituents and take positions based on what the constituents are saying, rather than staking out positions and trying to persuade people to follow. Of course, they are doing some of both, but his argument was that it never hurts to let your reps know where you stand.

    Also, there’s nothing to stop you from calling reps from other states. They don’t always ask where you are from, and, even if they do, you can tell them that they are making policy for the whole country, so you want them to think about everyone as they decide how to vote.

    With regard to this healthcare bill, the people to call are Senators Collins, Murkowski, Gardner, McCain, Flake, Portman, and anyone else you think might be movable. (I saw a list of half a dozen or so last night, but can’t seem to find it now.)

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  19. Jolene said on September 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Here’s a list that was published this morning on where senators stand on Graham-Cassidy. Of course, you know that most–maybe all–of these “still deciding” responses will turn into yes votes.

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  20. Jolene said on September 20, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    No electricity and lots of flooding in Puerto Rico

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  21. brian stouder said on September 20, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    The news lately has been quite oppressive. I didn’t even make it to the end of Rachel last night; it was just time to go to bed.

    But on the bright side, we (at good ol’ nn.c) have just achieved a ‘Dolly Parton’ – which got me smiling!

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  22. Suzanne said on September 20, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    I sent an email to my Sen Todd Young and asked him to vote No on the healthcare bill. Gave him the example of a relative who, pre ACA, was laid off when her company was bought out, used Cobra until that ran out and then tried to buy her own insurance. Nope. She had elevated cholesterol and thyroid trouble so she could not get insurance. Not that she couldn’t get for a reasonable price, she simply could not buy it due to pre-existing conditions. Not one insurer would take her.
    I also reminded him that I was a long time republican voter and that I have been waiting for the past 10 years or so for the GOP to give me a reason to return to the fold, but that they have not.

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  23. Deborah said on September 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    “Goodbye yellow wigged toad” https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/in-war-of-elton-john-lyrics-kim-jong-un-calls-trump-honky-cat

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  24. brian stouder said on September 20, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Deborah – that link is a thread-winner, if I ever saw one!

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  25. Deborah said on September 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    I’m sure a lot of you have stories like this too, when we recently added up all the costs for my recent spine surgery it came to $80,000. Luckily I have Medicare and we only paid a fraction of that, but what if I didn’t have Medicare yet, if I was a few years younger and if there was no such thing as the ACA, which there may not be soon? Mine was outpatient surgery, so no hospital stay, no complications, a couple of physical therapy sessions, really not much to speak of in the grand scheme of things. It boggles my mind that Republicans can do what they do, in the face of outrageous costs for medical procedures that prolong lives and make people’s quality of life better. How can they live with themselves? What must it be like to have to make a decision not to have a medical procedure because you couldn’t afford it and it would mean chronic pain and effect your mobility for the rest of your life. I can’t even.

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  26. Heather said on September 20, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Well, I’m not out of a job but they canned my boss today, and put me back under the toxic boss that I complained to HR about–and who they moved to a position without reports because so many people complained about him. (And then vendors complained about him.) I think the toxic boss also pushed out my boss–I saw it coming and even warned my boss to watch his back. This is kind of my worst nightmare. I just want to earn the master’s degree they’re paying for and get out of there, but it’s going be a rough 9-12 months on my mental and physical health. I don’t know if I can handle both Trump and this toxic boss at the same time. However, as another coworker said to me, I’m not the same person and I’m way more confident, thanks in no small part to this master’s degree. And he also knows I’ll stand up for myself.

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  27. Jeff Borden said on September 20, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Good luck, Heather. I left the best journalism job I ever had after working for a sociopathic editor for just seven months. I drank like a fish, developed stomach cramps, slept an average of five hours per night while working seven days per week because the asshole would chew up everything I did for pleasure and spite. A shitty boss can wreck you in many, many ways. I hope you survive.

    BTW, the little ogre –he was very short and a recovered alcoholic who had to be the smartest person in the room– only lasted 15 months. It was NOT the enormous staff turnover. The same week I quit so did a veteran reporter and the chief copy editor. It was not his profligate spending on freelancers he selected. He showed up the publisher in public. So, he had to go.

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  28. Jeff Borden said on September 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Watching the Republicans attempt once again to yank health coverage from many of our fellow citizens, I want to ask the NN.C community a simple but serious question. When was the last time the national GOP did something for you? I recall getting a check for $600 during the Bush Administration, though I don’t remember why, but that was the last time I got something from those goobers.

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  29. Heather said on September 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Jeff, that’s what I’m afraid of. But I was going to be out of there anyway, so he can threaten me all he wants and give me bad reviews. I don’t really care. I was never going to ask him to be a reference. I’m also going to try to approach the situation dispassionately, like a sociologist. “Hmm, what a fascinating specimen of a narcissist! I shall study him.” And to remember he is the small man behind the curtain, not the Great and Powerful Oz.

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  30. Deborah said on September 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Bad bosses are the worst, I had one for twelve years. Hard to believe I stuck it out for so long but eventually I became the boss, and it turns out that wasn’t so great either, I stuck that out for 6 more years. When I think back about my years working there, I realize I learned a lot. Mainly what not to do.

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  31. Jolene said on September 20, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Some time back, we discussed deaths due to drinking in college–especially, as I recall, among new students in the fall. (Somebody set me straight if I’ve got that wrong.)

    So far this fall, I’ve happened across three news stories describing such deaths–one a new student and two that seemed to be hometown friends visiting college students. All three under 20. So very sad.

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  32. Deborah said on September 20, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    It got up to 91 fricking degrees in Chicago! Too hot.

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  33. Julie Robinson said on September 20, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    The wretched news continues on a more personal level, my sister has died. When my daughter couldn’t reach her she went over, but she was already gone. 63, but she had congestive heart failure and diabetes among other medical issues. My poor mom, at 85 she is just devastated. We’re flying down to Orlando tomorrow, which means I need to go pack.

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  34. Heather said on September 20, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Julie, I’m so sorry.

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  35. alex said on September 20, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    The last time the Republicans did anything for me? I don’t know, but following the election of Trump I got the best raise ever from my current employer, so maybe there’s some kind of trickle-down going on other than the Laffer curve. Giddy delight spurring the spirit of generosity maybe?

    I’m happy to report that while they may be conservatives, none of my current bosses are toxic. And I’ve seen some toxic bosses. Some time when I’ve got time I’d love to trade war stories. Maybe later this evening if this is where the thread’s going.

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  36. alex said on September 20, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    So sorry Julie.

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  37. Jolene said on September 20, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Very sorry, Julie. Will be thinking about you and your family. Am sure having you there will be a comfort to your mother.

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  38. Scout said on September 20, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    So very sorry about your sad news, Julie. 63 just isn’t that old.

    Keep calling these three:
    MURKOWSKI: 202-224-6665
    COLLINS: 202-224-2523
    MCCAIN: 202-24-2235

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  39. Heather said on September 20, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    If it’s not too disrespectful given the bad news on this thread, I’d love to hear your stories, Alex. Mine are pretty boring. This guy is a run-of-the-mill narcissist who is threatened by my brain and abilities and so has sought to keep me back and undermine me at every turn. He insisted he was trying to get me a promotion some years ago but then I found out later he never even suggested it to the powers that be. (I made a stink and got it later.) He used to call me after meetings to tell me that I should have made comment A at point B in the conversation rather than point C. He uses the words “synergy” and “thought leader” unironically.

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  40. Sherri said on September 20, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I’m so sorry, Julie.

    My MIL’s doctor told her today that it was time to start thinking about whether she wanted to get a trach and go on ventilation for her ALS. They will talk about it in more detail in a few weeks, but this is the big decision point we’ve known was coming. She’s already got a feeding tube, and mostly has to rely on that for nutrition, and has pretty much reached the point where speech is impossible, though she can communicate. The added challenge is that her husband has some heart problems going on, so he’s not doing too great, either, and if she goes on a vent, she needs 24/7 care. We’re 3000 miles away, my husband is an only child, his stepfather has one daughter who lives about 8 hours away, and there’s not much other family, either.

    The kicker is, after much cajoling, we finally got them to look into hospice a few weeks ago, and hospice rejected her because she was doing too well, they said!

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  41. Deborah said on September 20, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Julie, I gasped out loud when I read your comment about your sister. So sorry to hear it. I hope the hurricane didn’t exacerbate her condition. 63 is too soon.

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  42. Suzanne said on September 20, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    My sympathy, Julie.

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  43. Dave said on September 20, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    My sympathies, Julie, we knew your sister had many health issues but didn’t expect this.

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  44. Jolene said on September 21, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Additional phone numbers for possibly persuadable senators:
    Portman 202-224-3353
    Capito 202-224-6472
    Alexander 202-224-4944

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  45. Andrea said on September 21, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Condolences, Julie, and safe travels too.

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  46. Dexter said on September 21, 2017 at 2:39 am

    Carla Lee called Portman, Brown, and Latta , telling them what she thought of the hasty-pudding healthcare deal. She actually got to speak with a Portman phone answerer. Brown, who I like very much, is way behind on staying in touch via computer or phone. He never answers emails and his phone just goes to a machine and the call is never returned.

    Not too many Page Six devotees here I see…Kate Upton is right behind Giselle in model recognition, I’d say. She has been around a long time, and made headlines last November when the American League Cy Young (best pitcher) Award was announced, and Boston’s Rick Porcello won. Justin Verlander should have won, probably, maybe anyway, so Kate tweets ” I thought I was the only one allowed to fuck Justin Verlander!” She pops up on weird cable shows, and plays the games.

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  47. ROGirl said on September 21, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Sorry for your loss, Julie.

    I’ve had more toxic co-workers of late. It seems like they started popping up more after the recession. They are still around and feel entitled to be cranky assholes, I guess. Only one truly toxic boss/superior, again after the recession. That whole experience was like being in a slow motion car crash. I was being set up in a power showdown where he was going to humiliate me and force me to succumb to his will. Instead, I quit.

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  48. Deborah said on September 21, 2017 at 8:16 am

    The bad boss I had for twelve years was a lot like Trump, a narcissist and a bully. He also had a bad combover. He was a social climber, his second wife was an heiress. He mostly hired debutants as favors to their parents he was trying to curry. He also knew he had to hire some people to actually do the work though. When we had department meetings he would sit at the head of the table and purse his lips in a weird way, we called it his poo poo face, it was hard not to laugh at him during those meetings. He had one of the rare glassed in corner offices and it was always a complete wreck, stuff strewn everywhere. He got away with all of this because he had the higher ups convinced that he was a creative genius.

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  49. alex said on September 21, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Just when you think the news in the U.S. has gotten so weird that even the Onion can’t satirize it anymore, along comes China: http://www.salon.com/2017/09/20/taqu-touch-sex-doll-sharing-service/

    On the toxic boss front, top of mind is a corporate setting in the early aughts where the ship was sinking and the top brass were scrambling and there had been layoffs galore and I got hired in as a contractor. I had a wonderful boss, one of the best ever, and she engaged me full-time to replace someone she’d fired. One of her sworn enemies, a loathsome witch with no people skills, orchestrated the firing of my wonderful boss and took her place, and then replaced me with the incompetent twit that my boss had fired because they’d been friends. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

    We were in the creative department, where things were a little different than the “suit” side of the business. We decorated our work space with funny things, sometimes irreverent. The loathsome witch wasn’t having any of it, only she didn’t have the courage to say she didn’t like it; she’d just confiscate things after hours. She was an outsider from the “suit” side who had no clue what any of us were doing, but that didn’t stop her from trying to micromanage our work and impose very arbitrary and capricious decisions that were utterly risible, all in an effort to make herself appear to be doing something useful. She had about as much business being a creative director as Ben Carson does as a HUD Secretary or a rocket scientist.

    What I remember about her in particular, though, was her negativity. Her rationale for doing anything was always some overblown fear. Working around her peccadilloes was truly a creative challenge, but not a pleasant one.

    At one time I had also worked at a large nonprofit where things got reorganized constantly in an effort to protect people who couldn’t very well justify their existence. The place was so full of dead wood it could have ignited the great Chicago fire all over again. Over a period of four years I reported to a merry-go-round of middle managers who didn’t know their asses from a hole in their face. The office politics and drama were once likened by a co-worker to the movie “Brazil” which I had never seen, but rented at the first opportunity. It was spot on.

    Well, time to get a move-on. Dental appointment and then back to my thankfully sane and civilized workplace.

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  50. Suzanne said on September 21, 2017 at 8:29 am

    I’ve had several toxic work environments, sadly. One place just seemed to routinely fire people for no apparent reason, although I think it was so that when customers complained about things that were baked into the corporate model, they could say, “Well, the person that caused that problem is no longer with the company.” Never mind that the new person would do exactly the same thing because that’s how the place was run.
    I also had one supervisor who seemed to think that training consisted only of telling you where the bathroom and copier were and then you’d figure everything else out. I’d frequently be asked why I hadn’t done some task that no one had ever told me was my responsibility. Most questions were met with multiple conflicting answers. After nearly a year of struggling to figure out what exactly my role was, and what was expected of me, I met with him and told him I was struggling in the job because of the reasons I just mentioned. His reaction was to say, “What do you want me to do about it?” I quit fairly soon after that.

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  51. Diane said on September 21, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Julie, I am sorry for your loss.

    I had a wonderful boss for 14 years, she hired bright, dedicated people and told them her goal was excellence and let them do their thing. It worked. Then she retired. My new boss is nice enough but for reasons I will never understand, she demoted all the bright people who were running things and promoted barely competent and incompetent people, some of which didn’t even have the required qualifications. (Some people think she was intimidated by the collection of real brains and talent my old boss had nurtured.) Anyway, I’m now stuck in the hell of middle management with toxic, stupid, frightened (because they know they are in over their heads) colleagues and watching a truly exceptional organization become barely mediocre. I’m still there because there really isn’t anywhere else to go without moving and because I do love the actual work.

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  52. Judybusy said on September 21, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Julie, my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your sister. I hope you have safe travels.

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  53. brian stouder said on September 21, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I wish to join the nn.c folks wishing peace and strength to Julie and her family.

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  54. Deborah said on September 21, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Another thing, I forgot to mention about my bad boss: at the end of the interns’ stint when summer was over he gave them each an 8″ x 10″ black and white glossy photo of himself. I think I lasted so long under him because he was basically a giant joke that you could sometimes ignore. He had me in tears a few times and I did try to quit a few times but others talked me out of it.

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  55. Heather said on September 21, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Thanks for the stories, everybody. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. I monitor the reviews of my company on Glassdoor and a really flaming one went up recently; looks like I’m not the only one noticing the bad decisions and that the people in charge have no idea what they’re doing and are only too happy to throw others under the bus to hide it. I have a very hard time being inauthentic, being political, and hiding my true feelings. Which is going to be a problem as my new-old boss’s voice is on a par with Trump’s for being one of the most annoying sounds I can hear.

    The good news is I already know they’re not giving promotions anymore (they moved to a bonus model) and I am never going to use my boss as a reference, so he can give me negative reviews. I don’t really care.

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  56. Heather said on September 21, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Not promotions, raises. And they’re never going to promote me. My boss would never allow me to be on his level. He’s too threatened by me.

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  57. Heather said on September 21, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Wow, Deborah. Sometimes you just have to be in awe of that kind of totally un-self-aware narcissism.

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  58. Dorothy said on September 21, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Julie I am so very sorry to hear about your sister. You have lots of sympathy coming from me.

    It’s just over two weeks since my mom died, and last night I went to a bluegrass concert on campus (my department helped to bring the lead attraction here so I was happy to go and listen to them.) The next-to-last song they played, the fiddle player played his instrument slowly, more like violin music. I had tears running down my cheeks for the whole song. Violin music does it to me every time, and this was compounded by my still fresh grief about Mum.

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  59. Connie said on September 21, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Back to Kate Upton….. we have talked about her here before. As I recall I was the only one who thought they weren’t real.

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  60. Carter Cleland said on September 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Bitter Scribe @ 6. Thanks for the shoutout to Wilmette (Our Fair City, or at least Mine) where the 1994 vehicle sticker with the four ethnically diverse kids holding hands was so controversial. Fortunately, the trustee you reference was beaten back and Wilmette vehicle sticker purchasers were allowed to scissor off the heads of the children if they chose. Nice. In the age of social media, these cretins are still around if you were to follow the kerfuffle over the proposed affordable housing development named for my family.

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  61. nancy said on September 21, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Guys! You know I love the Schvitz. Go read my story about it in Bridge and goose the traffic. It’s doing really well today and with a little push could become the biggest day of the year.

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  62. brian stouder said on September 21, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Your Schvitz is my Command! On the way to Bridge – right now

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  63. brian stouder said on September 21, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    A tremendous article!

    I had to laugh regarding the ‘no more sex-nights in the facility’ –

    After the partners closed the deal in March and got the keys, couples night was the first thing to go.

    “The phone rang for weeks,” said Jessie Nigl, the third party in the new management, who will supervise its daily operation. One day she let another employee answer, she said, lacking the heart to “disappoint another displaced swinger,” and overheard her telling the caller, “This is a de-sexualized space now.”

    juxtaposed with the fact that the place has a connection to the ‘Purple Gang’ – which just seemed…symmetrical..

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  64. Heather said on September 21, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    I feel like I need a “This is a de-sexualized space now” T-shirt.

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  65. Rana said on September 21, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Julie, I’m so sorry.

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  66. Scout said on September 21, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Good article! But now I have the song Puttin’ on the Schvitz” in my head.

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  67. Sherri said on September 21, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Speaking of bosses, my husband, a 14-year Microsoftie, points me at this article about Satya Nadella, the CEO: https://www.fastcompany.com/40457458/satya-nadella-rewrites-microsofts-code

    He tells me there’s still plenty of Old Microsoft around, but that there are signs that Satya is making progress. One thing I was struck by several weeks back was his report from a diversity training he went through. He’s a manager, he’s been through diversity training before, but he said this one was really different. They had hired actors to act out scenarios drawn from real reports at Microsoft, and after each scenario, the group would discuss what could have been done different, and then that new scenario was acted out. One advantage of having a company with 120K employees is there is a lot of rich material to draw from!

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  68. alex said on September 21, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    When I first heard about the brunch at the Schvitz, it reminded me of a Sunday buffet they used to serve at a leather bar in Chicago called the Cellblock, only they didn’t clear out the swingers on Sunday mornings because it was their turf 24/7. I only went once, dragged there by some friends who insisted I hadn’t lived if I hadn’t seen this, and I can tell you there’s nothing quite like noshing on eggs Benedicts and quiches and salmon mousse while strangers are nonchalantly having sex within your field of vision. To be honest, I wasn’t aware of the people having sex until the stench of it started wafting past me and overpowering the aroma of the food.

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  69. Colleen said on September 21, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Oh Julie, I am so sorry. 63 isn’t old at all.

    My senator is Marco Rubio. Even though it was as effective as spitting in the wind, I contacted him. I hope a couple of those “maybe” votes see the light and move over to “no”. This new deathcare plan is a Very Bad Thing.

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  70. alex said on September 21, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    I think we can all agree, even the most politically correct of us, that at least Kim Jong Un at least got the tard part right.

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  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Sorrow for Julie; joy for Nancy; and Dorothy, I stopped in Gambier on my way from Coshocton to Mount Vernon from one meeting to another, and the Kenyon bookstore is getting a major massive overhaul — so I could buy nothing but a small bag of Swedish Fish! Can’t wait to see what they end up with.

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  72. Jill said on September 21, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Julie, I am so sorry. It’s shocking even in light of your sister’s health problems.

    Carter, are you Jean’s son? I knew her (mostly by reputation, although we did meet) through her work at NSSC. Her name still comes up regularly in social service circles and there’s still tremendous admiration for her. I’m also a fan of HODC and the work they do.

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  73. Sherri said on September 21, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    The meritocracy: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/09/19/how-harvard-helps-its-richest-and-most-arrogant-students-get-ahead/

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  74. Dexter said on September 22, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Sorry about the loss of your sister, JulieR. I think I have lost my brother, age 70, but in a different way. By deduction, I surmise he has the irreversible disease of the brain, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS). I don’t believe he remembers me, won’t answer the phone nor call, no activity on computers, and his wife and children are all hush-hush about it. It’s been a couple years now, and his wife has moved him way up by Galena, Illinois, by the Mississippi River.
    The whole episode started when he began going to bed with a handle jug of whiskey, then two handle jugs, and staying there for a week. Some call this “wet brain disease”.

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  75. Deborah said on September 22, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I have come to like the term dotard, it says a lot in only 6 letters.

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  76. ROGirl said on September 22, 2017 at 6:56 am

    My father used to go to the Schvitz with his brothers to eat creamed herring with raw onions and drink seagrams crown royal. Nothing nefarious, although I had a cousin who married someone whose father was apparently a member of the purple gang.

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