On (to) Wisconsin.

As we’ve discussed before, my alma mater was one of a tiny handful of newspapers to endorse Donald Trump for president. And what did they get out of it? Bupkis. But the equally inconsequential Times-Gazette of Hillsboro, Ohio, did the same, and its editor/publisher has managed to parlay it into a regular guest column from Real America. For the Washington Post, no less! From the latest:

I grew up in the 1960s loving the NBA. That devotion made me a member of a small, insignificant club in southern Ohio, where the Reds and Bengals reign supreme and basketball is embraced only at the amateur levels.

…Naturally, I was drawn to the autobiographies of my NBA heroes. The writings of African American stars such as (Oscar) Robertson and Bill Russell on the racism they endured have greatly influenced my opinions on race, which tend to be more liberal than those of other conservatives, but not so liberal as to satisfy the far left.

I love these little revelatory moments. He has opinions on race, of course. “More liberal than those of other conservatives,” etc. I wonder what they are? You can read on and learn:

Athletes, black or white, have every right to participate in politics and work for causes important to them on their own time. But when they bring their political statements onto the field of play or refuse an invitation to the White House, it destroys many fans’ connections to sports.

Yes, this explains why so many turned their backs on Muhammad Ali, who died forgotten and unloved.

And how is everyone today? Me, I’m growing weary of the rah-rah-guns crowd. Actually, I grew weary of them years ago, but whenever another of their gang pulls off another slaughter, I am reminded anew of their preposterous paranoia, fear and insecurity, and what it leads to. You know, I live near and travel often within and without, a dangerous city – by the numbers, anyway. I’ve never had a problem there, but I try to keep my street smarts with me no matter where I am.

Whenever there’s a high-profile crime there, some idiot on social media speaks of being moved to buy a gun. Frequently this is a mother with young children, “because I couldn’t forgive myself if something happened to them and I couldn’t help,” etc. I always want to ask those women a few questions: Where will you be carrying this firearm? In your purse? How will you make sure your children don’t find it? (Oh, of course it will be safeguarded, perhaps with a trigger lock.) OK, so now you’re driving down Scary Avenue, and there’s a sizable limb down across the street. Is it a trap, or should you get out of the car to investigate? And now there’s a big dude standing by your window, tapping on the glass. Now what do you do? (Fumble for my keys and tell him to hold that thought while I unlock the trigger, I guess.)

I guess the real badasses just give their kids guns from toddlerhood on, and let Eddie Eagle handle the rest. They generally live in very safe areas, far out in the country.

I’m so tired of this whole debate. So, so tired.

It’s kind of a mixed grill of depressing news, today. Look on Caitlin Flanagan’s outstanding look at a fraternity death at Penn State earlier this year, ye mighty, and despair.

We here in Michigan are facing a fiscal crisis in the state budget that is bearing down on us like a runaway train, so what is the state legislature considering? Allowing the establishment of private police forces with full arrest powers, that’s what.

Can I leave you with anything amusing? OK, this headline:

Bakery that listed “love” as ingredient is full of filth, bugs, violations

I’ll be offline for a few days — heading to Madison to visit friends. I need a break. I hope it delivers.

Posted at 9:36 am in Current events |

81 responses to “On (to) Wisconsin.”

  1. Sherri said on October 5, 2017 at 10:07 am

    I found out last night that one of our city council members has a CCW and carries everywhere, including into council meetings. Because, I guess, Redmond is such a violent place or something. At least he doesn’t have a family with small kids around.

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  2. Deborah said on October 5, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Madison is a nice town, have a great time.

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  3. Bitter Scribe said on October 5, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I wonder if that Real America guy got all indignant when Tim Thomas, the Bruins goalie, refused to visit the Obama White House. Something tells me no.

    And yes, Madison is lovely. So are a lot of college towns. There’s something about the confluence of an atmosphere of learning, dignified architecture, a guaranteed economic engine, and a lot of attractive, energetic, hopeful young people that makes for a pleasant milieu.

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  4. Icarus said on October 5, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I wonder how many of these that Real America guy hits.


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  5. Judybusy said on October 5, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Nancy, I hope you have fun in Madison! It’s my alma mater, but I haven’t been in years. I am sure your friends know all the good spots.

    Loved that, Icarus. I would add NRA sticker.

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  6. Suzanne said on October 5, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Icarus, to that list I’d add “Watches reality TV” because just about every gun lovin’, flag wavin’, real ‘Murican I know loves their reality TV shows. Duck Dynasty, Survivor, the Bachelor and some show about a vet in Michigan that I just heard about, they love ’em! I can’t explain it, but that has been my observation.
    And Big Bang Theory is at the top of their list of non-reality tv. Always, always, always.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on October 5, 2017 at 11:55 am

    The news and I are not engaging well right now. I can only pay attention to it on the periphery as I try to plow through the ever-growing to-do list.

    The ashes made it home with us. I took the box in my carry on bag, and told security it was there. I had to take it out of the bag, also the additional plastic bag I had it wrapped up in. They ran it through the scanner and then it sat there for five minutes before they brought it over for additional testing. The agent was very nice and gentle, and explained that they always have to do the additional testing, which was just a wipe he ran around the outside of the box.

    He didn’t open the box, and no one cared about the letter of transport the funeral home gave us. It just took a long time, which made my mom anxious.

    Now I’m home until next Friday when I fly back down and start going through Jeri’s possessions. Our son moved all the boxes to a storage unit, and I’m determined to empty it in two weeks.

    Our daughter and I are executors, which are called personal representatives in Florida. We’ve seen the attorney twice and have organized ourselves in a shared google folder. Now we’re just waiting for bills and statements to come in the mail.

    My brain is all filled up and has no room for anything else.

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  8. basset said on October 5, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I believe that vet is Dr. Pol… Mrs B is from roughly that same part of Michigan and was a vet tech for many years, she won’t watch the show because “he’s mean.”

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  9. basset said on October 5, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Hmmmm, text looks a lot larger as I type, back to normal size when it’s posted…this is good.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Julie, glad to hear that part of your trip went well.

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  11. Suzanne said on October 5, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Dr Pol. Yes, that is the one. Had a conversation with a “Real American” last week who was fairly incredulous that I had never heard of Dr Pol. And then I was regaled with stories from the show, whether I was interested or not. I gently reminded the guy I was talking to that it is reality tv and that most of it is semi or fully staged, to no avail. No, he was sure that what you see on tv is what you get.

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  12. Jolene said on October 5, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Root canal, colonoscopy, or this party? Which would you prefer?

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  13. Suzanne said on October 5, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Jolene, I’d go with the root canal while prepping for the colonoscopy.

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  14. Jolene said on October 5, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Ugh! Bob Corker (R-TN) is retiring from the Senate, and Marsha Blackburn, one of the most unpleasant people in politics, is running to replace him. Am counting on you, basset, to ensure her defeat.

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  15. Suzanne said on October 5, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    As to the fraternity death, I don’t think any of this will change any time soon. Most fraternity/sorority Parent weekends include a bar crawl with the young people as well as frat parties. We have several newly graduated nieces and nephews and family get togethers generally involve the young adults regaling their elders with the stories of their drunken escapades. Sorry, I don’t really want to know where you barfed and on whom.My sister-in-law jokes with her kids about her wild times in college, but we went to the same school and ran in the same circles. Party animal, she wasn’t, so why did she want her kids to think she was? Gotta be the cool mom.
    Did I drink in college? Yes. Did I want my parents to bar crawl with me or join me at a frat party? Not on your life.
    I see a change in that parents expect and want their kids to go to college, do stupid things, and then have mom & dad yukk it up with them and they do. I see so many parents who want to relive their college days through their kids, so they turn a blind eye and so do the college administrators because mom & dad write out the checks.
    It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Or a life.

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  16. Sherri said on October 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    As soon as Blackburn announced, this piece of work announced that he was running for her seat (which is my parents’ Congressional district):


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  17. Sherri said on October 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    More on Blackburn, in case you weren’t familiar with her: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/10/05/u-s-rep-marsha-blackburn-launches-senate-bid-bob-corker-seat/708717001/

    Defeating her will be a difficult task in TN, I fear.

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  18. Sherri said on October 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    I’ve avoided a colonoscopy, but I understand there is anesthesia involved, and root canals have local anesthetic, while that party has no anesthetic to someone who doesn’t drink like me. I’d have to choose a root canal while getting a colonoscopy over such a party.

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  19. ROGirl said on October 5, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Colonoscopies are painless, but the preparation is extremely unpleasant.

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  20. Charlotte said on October 5, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I was on the shuttle to the car rental a few years back with a Mom from Ohio bringing her daughter out to start at Boulder. It was the girl’s birthday, and she had a goofy tiara on, and a best friend with her, and the Mom was telling me about the sorority the kid was pledging and how her older brother was in the related fraternity. I mentioned that my mom wouldn’t let me apply to Boulder because it was such a party school. “But that’s what college is for,” the Ohio Mom said blandly. Okay then.

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  21. Colleen said on October 5, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    I refuse to be paranoid about other people. Since we have moved in, we have received numerous pitches from home security companies about protecting our home. Now, like many developments in FL, ours has a gate. It is open during the day while they finish building the rest of the condos, but it closes at 6 pm. Eventually it will always be closed. And while that hardly makes it Fort Knox, I feel pretty confident that wild bands of marauders aren’t going to be trooping through my neighborhood. But people are so paranoid. I’m just…not. I once had someone in Fort Wayne ask if I left my porch furniture out at night. (I lived in the 07….on the south side of town, but home to the most eclectic and cool people). Of course I left my porch furniture out. And once my husband’s car was broken into. Well, not really “broken”, because the doofus had left it unlocked. That wasn’t an experience that only the city folks had….I’ve heard tales of Aboite township, where teens will steal the beer out of your garage fridge if you leave the door open.

    Anyway. I too am sick of the paranoid gun people. My husband came across a statistic yesterday (it was on Twitter, so it must be true) that said 1/2 the guns in America are owned by 1% of the people. And 78% of people do NOT own guns. If this is true, or close to true, why on earth does the gun lobby have so much freakin’ power? The gun lobby acts as though any movement toward any kind of regulation is the equivalent of seizing everyone’s guns. It’s not. How about we try a little more regulation. I can probably get a gun as easily as I can get Sudafed. And I KNOW getting a gun is easier than getting an abortion…..

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  22. Icarus said on October 5, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    “How about we try a little more regulation. I can probably get a gun as easily as I can get Sudafed. And I KNOW getting a gun is easier than getting an abortion…”

    especially if that house bill passes. It’s not just self defense. The gun lobby has actually convinced people that guns will help defend against an evil government, foreign OR domestic.

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  23. Colleen said on October 5, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    AH, but the question is, who gets to determine the government is evil enough to be defended against?

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  24. Sherri said on October 5, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I’ve mentioned before that my MIL has ALS and is steadily declining, as would be expected. Unfortunately, her husband is suddenly also suffering from a cavalcade of health problems. He’s developed heart problems, is falling and bumping into things a lot (and injuring himself),and seems to be suffering some cognitive declines. He’s in total denial about all of it, including my MIL’s inevitable demise.

    We just got a phone call that he has ended up in the hospital. Evidently he fell and hit his head, and was staggering around outside when the neighbors spotted him and got him to the hospital. Where they discovered he also has pneumonia (my husband just talked to him yesterday.) For now, friends are staying with my MIL and his daughter has hopped a plane to get there, but the situation is becoming untenable and to very difficult to get him to see that. We figure it’s even odds which one of them will die first.

    I still can’t believe that hospice rejected her a few weeks ago. We’ve got her doctor trying to reverse that decision.

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  25. basset said on October 5, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Jolene, I will do all I can.

    College… neither of my parents went, one didn’t go to high school, and there was no way I was going anywhere near the greek life, couldn’t have if I’d wanted to.

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  26. Deborah said on October 5, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Sherri, the situation with your MIL and her husband sounds intense for you and your husband. I hope it gets resolved soon.

    Colleen, my thoughts exactly, why are we being held hostage by a minority of the population? Most people want gun control, but we can’t have it because of a lesser group of people who don’t want it. I don’t get it.

    We’re in Abiquiu, it’s rainy but cool and fall like. The aspen and cottonwoods are gorgeously golden.

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 5, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    It all depends on which question you ask; if you ask do you support more gun control, most do, but if you ask about major restrictions let alone gun bans, the numbers are pretty strongly against. Not sure it’s the small minority of gun owners driving this that you think.

    What *is* true is that an overwhelming majority support universal background check, including gun owners at essentially the same high level of support. That should have been passed long ago, and it’s the gun makers (and the NRA, which is more interested in the business of guns than helping gun owners be proficient, safe, and secure) who have fought off that change.


    (And I have only had black powder muzzleloaders in my home; not a gun guy.)

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  28. Suzanne said on October 5, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    My question is this:
    If guns don’t kill people, then neither do bombs, so why are we so concerned about Iran & N Korea having nuclear warheads? Those are just tools and by themselves won’t hurt anyone. It’s the people using them that are the problem, so shouldn’t we be ramping up diplomacy with both countries rather than trying to keep the weapons out of their hands? If there shouldn’t be any restrictions on gun ownership, then I would think the same should go for bombs, right?
    Or am I missing something?

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  29. Sherri said on October 5, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Once upon a time, Reagan’s California passed strict gun control, and the NRA supported it. Of course, this was when the Black Panthers were carrying.

    Why does a minority drive policy? For the usual reasons. The NRA’s policy is driven by gun manufacturers, but they’ve done a good job of making gun ownership a cultural identity marker, and feeding on the same stew of resentment and paranoia that right wing media has been peddling for decades now. The right has done a much better job of organizing; they turn their people out, and we don’t. They’ve used the culture wars to make everything about identity, and we still try to argue facts and policy, and we lose. When opposition to gun control, abortion, science, etc is part of your identity, you’re a much more committed foot soldier.

    The Election has produced a new cohort of people who are committed on the left, but the Democratic Party is clueless about what to do with them and how to empower them. Worse, big Dem donors seem unwilling to play any part in funding groups like Indivisible, which could be the Tea Party equivalent on the left. Where’s the left equivalent to Mercer or the Koch brothers? The big Dem donors seem to be afraid of moving out of the middle of the road, even if the road has shifted far to the right and is headed in the wrong direction.

    That’s why I’ve been focusing much of what I’m doing locally. At least here, I can have an impact. Maybe change can eventually trickle out of here. One step at a time.

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  30. beb said on October 5, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    What’s interesting about this article
    about how much money the NRA spends on Congress is how cheap representatives compared to Senator.

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  31. coozledad said on October 5, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Your president is a gutter racist. And you have to consider the fake nuance that makes you comfortable with a stolen supreme court and Russian interference.

    Your Republican friends ain’t your friends. You might think it’s time Jodhpurs returned to fashion, but that’s only because you’re insufferably white.

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  32. Jolene said on October 5, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    . . . how cheap representatives [are] compared to Senator.

    Makes sense. Senators have to run statewide. Imagine the cost of a senatorial race in a big state that is truly competitive. Florida and Ohio, for instance, with their multiple media markets come to mind.

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  33. Dexter said on October 6, 2017 at 2:13 am

    I bet Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s first book would have shook that fucker up. Kareem tells how he used to obtain great joy when large numbers of white people died in plane crashes and fires. Of course Kareem is a genius, and he was relating memories of past feelings; maybe Miles Davis, who was sort of a minor mentor to young Kareem had a little something to do with all this. Today Kareem is renown as possibly the number one authority on all-things-Harlem, especially the history of Jazz and the “Rens”, an old Harlem basketball team. He is fascinating to listen to, his racism was contained in his teen and early 20s years. I followed Ali from before his 1960 Rome Olympics days, as he fought on televised cards around 1959. One of my all-time greatest sports thrills was listening on radio when he knocked Sonny Liston the fuck out. On to his battle with the draft board authorities, jail, his fight to be able to fight, then world fame during and after the Joe Frazier fights, retirement, and death. And he , from being a hated draft resister, became the most beloved man in the whole goddam world.

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  34. adrianne said on October 6, 2017 at 5:55 am

    So…six degrees of separation. The story about the filthy bakery that had love as an ingredient came from my joint, law360! The health reporters have a regular feature where they look at warning letters from the FDA, and Jeff Overley unearthed that gem. Bloomberg ran with it, but we weren’t credited in all of the coverage.

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  35. Linda said on October 6, 2017 at 6:24 am

    What blows my mind is that of all the ammosexuals I know, none of them live in a place where anything remotely violent happens. Ever. Many live in gated communities where they are protected from neighbors who have colored window treatments. In the 70s, lots of people I know experienced violent crime, or knew somebody who did. Now I know people armed to the teeth in an elaborate preparation for a civil insurrection when they have not had a house tee peed in 30 years.

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  36. Jolene said on October 6, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Good point, Linda. It’s similar to what public opinion polls show about anti-immigrant sentiment: It’s strongest in areas where there are the fewest immigrants.

    Re blacks and guns: One of the TV comics (I forget which) said that the way to deal with the criticism of the “take a knee” protests would be for the players to stand for the anthem, arms raised in the black power salute and holding AR-15s. Undoubtedly, there is substantial overlap between those who resent the protests and those who favor gun rights, so it should be a popular gesture.

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  37. Suzanne said on October 6, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Jolene, I heard that too. Also that the gun people would change the I tune quickly if vast amounts of people of color started wandering the streets openly carrying. I am sure they would.
    It has been my observation as well that the people most pro-any-gun-you-can-buy-is-good are rabidly pro-life and often people that live out in rural areas or very low crime areas. I have a friend who is afraid to walk at Foster Park in Fort Wayne because it might not be safe and doesn’t even like to walk by herself on her rural road because “you just never know” but never, ever locks the doors at her rural home, even at night while they are asleep.

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  38. Sherri said on October 6, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Fuck the meritocracy.


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  39. Sherri said on October 6, 2017 at 11:39 am

    It’s election season, and we have three city council races on the ballot, all contested. For each of the three seats, there is a candidate running who, in my mind, wants to turn back the clock. They don’t like that multistory apartment buildings have been built in downtown and near Microsoft.

    But what’s most interesting is how these three white men use the language of diversity in making their case. It’s the aggrieved white male playbook now, how their opinion is not being represented, so there needs to be more diversity of opinion on Council. Currently, Council has two women, one of whom is Indian, and the other five members are white men. Two of those white men are Republicans (Council is non-partisan), and I know that one of those two recruited and supported these three. So, like so much of white resentment these days, it’s a myth and an insult that they are claiming lack of a voice.

    I’m starting the work to build a base of support to run against the guy who is stirring this up, not because he’s a Republican, but because he’s a nutcase and frequently inappropriate to people, as well as the fact that he sits there in Council meetings playing games on his phone. His seat will be up in 2 years, and I don’t know yet whether he will run again, but I suspect he will despite his age.

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  40. brian stouder said on October 6, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Sherri – I’d definitely vote for you, and go door-to-door for you. Hereabouts, I haunt the school board meetings, which are an irresistible (to me, anyway!) ongoing process for dealing with large scale, ever-changing and critically consequential challenges. I’ve generally taken for granted how well they operate, with forward-looking administrators and dedicated educators, and a genuinely “all-in” superintendent. Their challenges keep coming, as the state changes the rules of the game – often seemingly with a view to hurt our public schools, for the advancement of voucher-mills…and our district is generally a step (or two) ahead, with contingency plans and prudent fixes and adjustments.

    Last year the City of Fort Wayne was on the verge of making a taxing decision that would have negatively impacted Fort Wayne Community Schools, and I had occasion to visit one of our City Council meetings…..and I was amazed. I don’t recall the specifics of whatever the issue was; what struck me was how male (100%) and how monochromatic that body was. It only really struck me because I was so used to seeing the Fort Wayne school board, and their administrators and superintendent . I’d just taken for granted how many consequential women were there, let alone the more variety of ethnicity

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  41. brian stouder said on October 6, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    btw – buzzed through Fox News to see what their front-page headlines were, and saw this one prominently displayed:


    The lead:

    Thursday was a jam-packed news day that included explosive allegations against one of Hollywood’s most powerful men and the National Rifle Association speaking out against bump stocks on the heels of the deadliest mass shooting in American history. But MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” opened with a 20-minute segment on the stale story about the alleged Trump dossier and his alleged connections to Russia.

    yadda yadda yadda – and didja know Hannity is beating her in the ratings?…

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  42. jcburns said on October 6, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Just dropped in to say the youngsters are driving me nuts on Twitter. They’re setting fires I can’t even put out with 280 characters of foam spray.

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  43. Jolene said on October 6, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    FYI, the very rich Mike Bloomberg is matching contributions to two organizations dedicated to reducing gun violence. If you are inclined to donate to such an organization, now would be a good time to do it.

    Everytown for Gun Safety

    Moms Demand Action

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  44. Deborah said on October 6, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    JC … I don’t understand? Who are the young people on Twitter and what are they saying?

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  45. Sherri said on October 6, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Mike Francesca on Kazuo Ishiguro


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  46. jcburns said on October 7, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Oh, I’m just picking fights with mediocre tweet-or-headline writers and “journalists” who believe that the social media coordinator is the most important person in a modern newsroom and conference attendees who advocate that “articles” shouldn’t necessarily be your first choice in how you do “storytelling.”

    I likes me some articles. Especially the ones with, you know, lots of WORDS.

    Don’t get me started.

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  47. Dexter said on October 7, 2017 at 2:28 am

    I have praised the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Toledo roundly here the past three years, but today I was pissed off. I had a scheduled lab appointment, one of those show up and take a number, but no specific time, just a specific day. I arrived at 3:01, a woman emerged and slapped a sign down on the number dispenser saying “due to extreme staff shortages, the lab now closes at 3:00 PM”. It used to close at 4:30. I asked if maybe they could take me since I was actually there at 3:01 PM, but nope…”we’re CLOSED!” No communication to those like me that the hours changed…and so, I drove 120 fucking miles for nothing.
    Oh well…Trump says the storm will be here right after the calm we’re now in.

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  48. Suzanne said on October 7, 2017 at 8:12 am

    On Ishiguro. I loved Remains of the Day & Never Let Me Go. I read another of his that made so small an impression on me that I don’t even remember the title. Read his recent Buried Giant and barely made it through because I just thought it was a really dumb book. So I guess I need to read all of his works. Right now, I am 50/50. When he is good, he’s very good…

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  49. alex said on October 7, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Hell just froze over, according to our local CBS affiliate. A black kid showed respect.


    Shocking, shocking, I tell you.

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  50. Julie Robinson said on October 7, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Suzanne, I also loved those first two books, and don’t even remember if I finished Buried Giant. I sorta think I gave up.

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  51. Rana said on October 7, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Ah, yes, “many fans.” Who conveniently agree with the author’s views.

    Somehow I suspect there are also “many fans” – especially fans of color – who do not agree with him.

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  52. Suzi said on October 7, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Suzanne, yes you are missing something by creating a false analogy between guns and bombs. First, guns have alternative use and benefits (hunting, self-defense) other then destruction and harm, which are the only purposes for bombs. Second, and much more important, there is an exponential mismatch between degrees of danger. Even extreme scenarios involving a handful of rouge individuals with guns have a miniscule comparison to the potential damage of a rouge group with nuclear weapons. We are talking about the ability wipe out whole civilizations, and with the trailing environmental wreckage, for eons beyond. There is no equivalence between the importance of consumer gun control and government access to nuclear bombs.

    Also, inside view: The Greek system (fraternity and sorority) is much worse then you think, however bad that is.

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  53. Deborah said on October 7, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Yes Suzi, the order of magnitude is completely different, no argument there. I think Suzanne’s point was more about diplomacy and the statement some people say that guns don’t kill people, people do. That’s really a weak argument. It’s a person who would press the button to release nuclear bombs too. Granted as I said the consequences between one and another aren’t at all the same. We should continue to convince other countries not to develop nuclear weapons or chemical weapons but since we have a vast arsenal of those it’s a hard sell.

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  54. basset said on October 7, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Back to trivial topics for a minute. I opted out of the Greek system for two reasons – didn’t have enough money and didn’t want to be part of that kind of values and behavior. Plenty of resentment about both during and after my time at IU.

    And… I see we have eighteen new nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I can’t think of a single song, rap, whatever by six of them (Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, Judas Priest, LL Cool J, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine) and I’m not so sure about one (Bon Jovi, did they do that song about “you give love a bad name”?)

    You kids get off my lawn.

    And I have a framed poster on my work room wall about three feet from me right now advertising a September 1973 performance by another nominee (J. Geils Band) at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

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  55. basset said on October 7, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Make that 23 inches from my outstretched hand, between Beatles “Hard Day’s Night” movie poster and another promoting the Harpeth River Watershed Association’s 2008 “Harpeth River Jam.”

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  56. Dexter said on October 8, 2017 at 2:56 am

    Biloxi is taking the brunt now. This ‘cane hopefully won’t be so damn destructive as recent ones.
    The Green Wienies of East Lansing beat Michigan in a woeful game…Blue QB threw 5 interceptions, and ya can’t win like that. Today the Indians try to rub out the Yankees. Oh how sweet that would be.
    Still waiting for Trump’s promised storm after yesterday’s calm. Or whatever. What a fucking creep he is.

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  57. Suzanne said on October 8, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Yes, Deborah, that was my point. I know bombs (especially nuclear) are a million times more destructive than the guns of Las Vegas, but both are used by people to destroy things. We have the NRA saying we can’t limit gun sales because guns aren’t the problem, the people using them are. But there isn’t any denying that the guy in Las Vegas would have done much less destruction with a BB gun or a simple handgun, which of course are “arms”. Scale matters. If we can demand other world leaders not have nuclear weapons, whey can’t we demand the guy next door not have an arsenal of rapid fire guns? No one hunts deer with a weapon like the Las Vegas shooter had. It, like a bomb, is made to kill and kill in quantity and kill quickly. And perfectly legal.

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  58. alex said on October 8, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Here’s photos and video from the Saarinen house tour that I skipped yesterday:


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  59. James said on October 8, 2017 at 8:57 am

    The argument I find strangest about the gun debate – is that someone needs a gun to defend themselves.

    I’m not considered a badass in any sense of the word (I’m tall, and male, but besides that…). I have lived in “transitional” neighborhoods, and walked through far worse sections of town, at all hours, but have never thought I needed a gun for protection. What would I do with it? Whip it out and shoot someone?

    I guess I believe I live in a society that provides some protections (not living in the Wild West), and I try to be aware of my surroundings.

    Beyond that, I suppose something could happen to me, but bad things sometime happen. That’s life. But I know it’s rare and I’m not self-centered enough to think all the world’s evils are directed at me.

    What world do these people live in?

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  60. alex said on October 8, 2017 at 10:16 am

    The argument I find strangest about the gun debate – is that someone needs a gun to defend themselves.

    And defend themselves against the government, no less.

    I remember shutting up one libertarian dolt when I pointed out that I’m well known for being gay and liberal and feel absolutely no need to carry a gun for protection anywhere; furthermore that I wouldn’t have one in my house because I don’t want to be responsible for what others might do with it, or what I myself might do with it if I should ever find my judgment temporarily impaired by booze or other circumstances.

    I suspect that a lot of people are susceptible to dystopian Hollywood movies, prime-time crime drama, right-wing cable and talk radio, and now social media that also reinforce extreme paranoia. There are people who believe there’s a coming race war and they’re every bit as afraid of it as the antebellum southerners were afraid of slave rebellions.

    But defending yourself against the government? I think this talking point was invented in reaction to Waco and Ruby Ridge but gained new purchase with the Obama presidency and the NRA’s insistence that the blacks now held the upper hand and were about to avenge the past.

    Ironically, under the Trump presidency, I no longer find it inconceivable that the government might one day come after dissidents and critics, or that my own neighbors might be emboldened to turn on me as an enemy. But I still don’t think it would make any sense to have a gun for protection.

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  61. Jakash said on October 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Saturday Night Live opened with Jason Aldean giving a brief tribute to the victims in Vegas and then playing “Won’t Back Down.” It was nicely done, and a welcome, non-partisan start to the show. Gotta say though, as for the song, while it was a fine way to honor Tom Petty, I couldn’t help thinking as it played out that macho guys in cowboy hats not backing down is more of the problem in this instance than the solution.

    Weekend Update didn’t shy away from the tragedy. After they made several good points, Michael Che proposed “A buyback program — for every gun you trade in, we give you one half-inch of penis enlargement.”


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  62. Jakash said on October 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm


    I keep in mind your comment here from 2 years ago and continue to hope that you’re right…

    “The gun problem needs a grassroots movement like the one started by Candy Lightner. Lightner, you may remember, founded M.A.D.D. in the 1980s after her child was struck and killed by a repeat offender who got off with a relative slap on the wrist. Within a few short years, social acceptance of drunk driving cratered and legislators scrambled to change the laws. …

    If 80-some percent of the public favors background checks and closing the loopholes that make purchasing a gun easier than exercising the right to vote, then it’s time to corral this sentiment into a bloc that raises consciousness and threatens lawmakers.

    I was just young and foolish at the time M.A.D.D. got started and I resented any incursion on what I considered my rights as a young person to have fun. It’s the same sort of attitude being displayed by those crass fools who would pretend that mass-shootings are nothing but Obama publicity stunts. I eventually found myself outnumbered and acknowledged that my position was indefensible. Roughly during the same time frame, people began questioning why they had to put up with others’ cigarette smoke, and social consciousness on smoking did a 180-degree turn as well. Both the alcohol and tobacco industries were exposed for their mendacities, which were trifling compared to the hooey that’s being trafficked by the gun industry. I’m a firm believer that social consciousness can be changed on guns too.”

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  63. Deborah said on October 8, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    I think changing the gun mindset in society is the ticket. Of course some minds will never be changed as is still the case with drunk drivers and smokers. But there can be a difference and it can be quite substantial. There are some gun control organizations out there already but they haven’t quite caught on to the degree that MADD did or anti-smoking crusades… yet.

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  64. Sherri said on October 8, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I’ve said here before, suburban moms are the key. Convincing doctors to ask about guns in the home would also help.

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  65. Carter Cleland said on October 8, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Did you attend the Pod Save America – On Tour (or “tur”, as Jon Favreau pronounces it) event in Madison on Thursday night?

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  66. David C. said on October 8, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    So Pence and mother staged a walkout of the Colts game. Right after he flew to California for a fundraiser for Putin fave Dana Rohrabacher. What a flaming canoe of douche.

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  67. Suzanne said on October 8, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Pence also, before the game, tweeted a pic of himself & mother which was found to be the exact same pic he tweeted several years ago. He doesn’t even lie well.

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  68. coozledad said on October 8, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    What a flaming canoe of douche.
    Biggest closet case in DC next to Lindsey Graham. Something about those fundie males and all that ladyparts hatin’. We got our own version down here, Mark Walker. Always surrounded by a coterie of fashy haired boys.

    If he’s ever had sex with his “wife” it’s through a hole in a sheet.

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  69. coozledad said on October 8, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Inveterate GOP tools, our press. Hope Kaepernick sues their lying balls off.

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  70. susan said on October 8, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Invertebrate GOP tools…

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  71. coozledad said on October 8, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Susan: Yep.

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  72. Dexter said on October 9, 2017 at 3:20 am

    How much darker can “Ray Donovan” GET? Wow, last night’s show was an eye-popper.

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  73. coozledad said on October 9, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Corker is starting to make these noises only because shit is about to get real on the RNC/Russia collusion front. Republicans don’t act on anything outside of greed or cowardice. It’s not just designed into their unworkable systems, it’s in the essentially corrupt nature of their selves. If they weren’t afraid they’re going down with Trump/Pence they’d still be happy to go bobbing in a tub of Trump’s shit for a tug at his peen.

    They knew he was a Russian operative in early 2015, and they used the party’s resources to elect him. They did it willfully and shamelessly, and the result is a parliament of Russian symps, Neo-Nazis, gun freaks and whore/mercenaries. Every one of them ought to stretch a rope, down to the precinct level. Don’t give me that Toddcilliza shit and tell me there are any good ones. They got everything they wanted. We need to get them the fuck out.

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  74. Jeff Borden said on October 9, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I’m with Cooz. The Republican Party is rotten to the core and will only get worse. Today brings news that the Orange King will only protect Dreamers if every other element of immigration is made cruel and harsh, ie., denying the entrance of children fleeing narco terror wars in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Meanwhile, our favorite for-profit fascist, Erik Prince, is exploring residency requirements ahead of a bid to be the senator from Wyoming, a plot engineered by our favorite Nazi sympathizer, Steve Bannon. The garden gnome attorney general is bending over backwards to protect the fee-fees of Christianists, pulling anti discrimination protections from the LBGQT community, while allowing companies to follow their “moral compasses” by denying contraceptive coverage to female employees if it violates their “deeply held” religious views. And this is just on the culture war front. If the GOP dolts act on their so-called tax reform, another $1.5 to $2 trillion will be added to the national debt, after they howled and howled about all the overspending by the black guy. And let’s not discount the Orange King’s feud with Bob Corker might lead him to abrogate the Iran deal, just in a fit of pique, a move that will even further isolate us in the world. (As if joining China and Saudi Arabia in a U.N. vote approving of death penalties for gays isn’t awful enough.)

    The damage this party is doing to our nation and the world is horrifying and long-lasting. I honestly wonder if we will survive it.

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  75. brian stouder said on October 9, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Jeff, I honestly think that (for better or worse) we’re headed toward a more parliamentary system.

    If – as I strongly suspect – it comes to pass that President Trump gets impeached by Congress, that will mark the third impeachment in the past four decades (and indeed, RWR should have made it 4, for selling weapons to the Iranians[!!] and funneling the cash to insurgents in Central America – but I digress!)….and frankly I think that would be a healthy thing.

    It is simply too perilous to reduce the office of the Presidency of the United States to ‘adult day-care’

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  76. Sherri said on October 9, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Brian, you have far more faith in this Republican Congress than I do. I don’t think they’ll impeach him, not even if Mueller indicts him. The core of the base won’t care; they’ll think it’s fake news.

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  77. Icarus said on October 9, 2017 at 11:26 am

    good read

    “Even the N.R.A. recognizes this, which is why it tries to enhance its legitimacy by identifying as a sportsmen’s group, though few of its stances reflect the will of sportsmen. Hunters are accustomed to following nuanced gun laws (gun calibers and ammunition types are limited depending on the season and species we’re hunting, for example), so we understand that common-sense regulation doesn’t mean an end to bearing arms. And because we see the brute power of a gun every time we kill an animal, we are regularly reminded of why guns need to be regulated.

    We also have an interest in drafting sensible gun laws now, rather than waiting for an avalanche of pent-up frustration to generate a policy response so long overdue that it overreaches. If we don’t want onerous regulations to infringe on a tradition we love, then we can’t afford to stay quiet as body counts rise and politicians offer no more than thoughts and prayers.”


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  78. Jeff Borden said on October 9, 2017 at 12:03 pm


    I largely agree our government is no longer functioning as it should and have wondered for awhile if we have outraced our Constitution. Seventy percent of Americans live in 15 states, for example, giving non-populous states enormous say over the vast majority by virtue of their 70 senators to our 30. While the late Scalia would’ve argued otherwise, I can’t image the Founding Fathers ever thought that would happen. And that’s just one element.

    How would we transition to a parliamentary form of government? And how would it be sold to a fractured and polarized citizenry?

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  79. Sherri said on October 9, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Until I see action, I’m not giving much credit for words.


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  80. brian stouder said on October 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Well indeed – I’d suppose it would take a Constitutional Amendment to formally make such a switch….

    but I can’t help but think (or hope?) that Congress will be quicker (and quicker) to assert their (existing) prerogative, as they did with Bill Clinton; sort of a ‘big-boy pants’ moment, if the country insists on electing TV stars (like RWR and DT) rather than people who understand state-craft

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  81. Sherri said on October 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    The House was controlled by the opposition party when they brought articles of impeachment against Clinton, which was not exactly a high point of governance.

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