I’ve been watching the #MeToo campaign off and on today. This is how much of it surprises me: Zero. I mean, if you’ve been walking around with XX chromosomes for half a minute, stuff happens to you, whether it’s harassment, assault, catcalling, whatever the hell else the world has up its sleeve. I don’t dwell; what would be the point?

But yeah, me too: Walking to my guitar lesson when I was 14, with some shithead yapping at me from a car. Riding my bike to my sailing lessons about the same age, and some other shithead actually leaned out of the car to smack me on the ass. Making a phone call in a New York City phone booth, late one night, and a guy passing by reaches out to pinch my breast, as casually as you’d flick a cigarette away. The list goes on, and on, and on. None of these guys were Hollywood producers. This isn’t a Hollywood problem, despite what half, no, three-quarters of the conservative commentariat seems to think. It’s a people problem.

Be a nice guy, guys. It starts with you.

So, the job hunt continues. I tweaked my resume for the third time, and we’ll see what comes of that. I used to write resumes with the idea that some person would read them, and I tried to make them lively. Now you have to write them with the knowledge that a computer is scanning it for keywords, and doesn’t know shit about lively.

Of course, in my gut I think what it’s really looking for is dates, and knowing I graduated from college in 1978 is not working in my favor.

But let’s move on. Growing up in Columbus, we were always known as a hick town. The city is home to the largest public university in the country, a state capital and a robust white-collar workforce, but we still played third banana to Cleveland, with its spicy ethnic stew, and Cincinnati, objectively much prettier. Over the years, Cleveland suffered Detroit’s economic fate (but snagged the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame) and Cincinnati remained Cincinnati, a German burg whose power structure always operated as though they’d had giant logs shoved up their butts when they reached maturity, Mayor Jerry Springer being the notable exception.

When the national media came to Columbus, photographers always managed to find their way to North Star Road, not far from where I grew up, to take a photo of a cow grazing in a field with the city’s skyline in the background. The cows were owned by Ohio State’s ag school, but never you mind — Cowtown we were and Cowtown we would always be, until one day we weren’t, and now the city is something else entirely. It has hipsters, who call it C-bus and man, just typing that makes me cringe, but whatever.

Here’s something they always said about Columbus: That we were the country’s No. 1 test market for new products. I believe we got Fiddle Faddle before the rest of the country, and there was something called Gorilla Milk, a competitor to Carnation Instant Breakfast. I’m sure there was more.

When I had my job interview in Fort Wayne, the managing editor preferred to do a walk-and-talk, and we strolled through the West Central neighborhood nearby the paper. He told me one thing I should know about Fort Wayne was that it was the country’s No. 1 test market. I did not scoff, but knew I’d tasted Fiddle Faddle before he ever did.

So today, the NYT confirmed that C-bus is, in fact, a new shopping frontier:

For shoppers, this city of 860,000 smack in the middle of a swing state, can feel like an alternate reality, a place where up is down and down is up. Frumpy department stores feature personal shopping services and boutique wellness amenities. Workaday grocery stores like Kroger offer exotic fruits and freshly baked artisan breads.

Even the fast-food business is living in the future. McDonald’s is offering table service from friendly waiters. Robots are taking orders at Wendy’s. Chipotle started a chain that serves hamburgers.

Interesting. In my young adulthood, it was a fast-food bonanza there. So many people came out of the Wendy’s management program with another idea, and they all seemed to locate in my neighborhood. RIP Big Bite, a beta version of the pita wrap. But today the oxygen-rich air is all in retail, with experiments like the EB Ice Box, a 13-degree room at Eddie Bauer stores, where buyers can test their jackets in punishing temperatures. And there’s a tribute to Easton, i.e., the mall that looks like Bedford Falls if Mr. Potter had better taste and more vision.

Glad to hear the old town is delivering on its legacy of being a good place to test out new hamburger-peddling strategies. I don’t miss Columbus very often, though. Detroit is more interesting, in its own way.

OK, then. Wrapping it up and then back to the hunt.

Posted at 9:51 pm in Current events |

54 responses to “#Everybody.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 16, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Easton’s not half bad. Polaris leaves me cold, but Easton has grown on me.

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  2. alex said on October 16, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Shit. You mean to tell me I’ve been snookered by the News-Sentinel all these years into believing that we were the first to taste Fiddle Faddle? That we were the first and only to be subjected to germ warfare bombs exploded in the heavens above? That Richard Nixon has a love child here amongst us? And now you tell us it was Columbus?

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  3. jcburns said on October 16, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Pringles. We got those in Columbus before everyone else. I showed them to a visitor from New Jersey, and I think she concluded we Ohioans were a different lifeform entirely.

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  4. alex said on October 16, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Well, no way Columbus can claim Carole Lombard died there from drinking Clark Gable’s periodontitis spit. So there’s that.

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  5. Sherri said on October 17, 2017 at 12:01 am

    How harassment is baked into Twitter’s design: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/10/twitters-harassment-problem-is-baked-into-its-design/542952/

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  6. Jakash said on October 17, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Anybody else here learn how to be a successful little pedestrian/tricyclist in a setting called “Safety Town?” I never went to Kindergarten; instead I was sent to Safety Town. The first example that popped up when I just searched for it: https://www.epd.org/facilities/safety-town

    Anyway, it was this kid-sized “town” with cross-walks and traffic lights and tiny buildings that you’d propel a (in my day) giant-sized tricycle around in order to learn the rules of the road.

    Wait — I have what’ll have to serve as a point! Easton may have been one of the first, but the shopping centers like it that are designed to sorta simulate miniature towns are all over the place these days. And we kinda like them. But whenever we visit one, whatever the actual name is, we call it Safety Town…

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  7. Dexter said on October 17, 2017 at 4:03 am

    In city and metro population stats, Columbus and Las Vegas, Nevada are quite close, with metro totals about two million souls each. I am in the Columbus metro area every couple months or more, and it feels like a couple million people are there, but my one trip to Las Vegas left me scratching my head as to where all the two million folks lived…coming in , following the Colorado River by air, seeing the walled-in housing developments and The Strip, near McCarran, the place seemed more barren desert than a 2-mil mecca. Then when we drove out near the racetrack, the Indian Rez, and came back and saw all the valley lit up, it seemed even smaller. Columbus metro is way-spread out, it takes forever to drive from Hilliard to Gahana, for example.

    For any Netflixers out there, a shocking loss: John Dunsworth has died at age 71…he was so spry, nimble for that age, he seemed so damn healthy…gone. John played Trailer Park Superintendent Jim Lahey on “Trailer Park Boys”. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/89/9b/3b/899b3bcc566fa31603ee4d95e3a26a71.jpg

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  8. David C. said on October 17, 2017 at 6:09 am

    When I lived in Grand Rapids they claimed to be the country’s #1 test market. I guess when a mid-sized city feels like they have nothing else to brag about, that’ll have to do.

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  9. alex said on October 17, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Fort Wayne has a Safety Village. And a Survive Alive House, which simulates a house fire. But its local reputation as the #1 test market is probably overblown.

    My late uncle was a biochemist who had worked for Searle and Kraft Foods, so as a child I got to see and sample a few products before their official launch. At the height of the space program, I remember there was some kind of slop in a plastic tube that was supposed to mimic astronaut food. We also tried the artificial sweetener Equal, only it was named “Equa” on the packaging. We had a couple of boxes of that shit and it sat in a cupboard unused for years because it was so awful. Probably would be worth a few bucks on E-bay if it were still around.

    One Fort Wayne-Columbus story with a commercial twist: Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas got his start in Fort Wayne. He was instrumental in persuading Harland Sanders, operator of a renowned roadside fried chicken stand in Kentucky, to franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken. Thomas’ restaurant, the Hobby House, became the first KFC franchise. (The Hobby House was also the scene of lunch counter sit-ins during the ’60s because it wouldn’t serve people of color.)

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 17, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Space Food Sticks. I made my mother buy so much of those tubular mysteries, along with Tang. Astronaut obsessed, I was, but hey — to be a child in the 60s, getting up before the rest of the house on the day of a launch, turning to one of the four channels on our black and white Admiral and listening to Walter or Frank or Hugh talking about the planned mission, waiting for Chris Kraft to begin the final countdown, watching the blast-off and imagining from LIFE’s color pictures what the blossoming plumes of fire looked like in person . . . and eating a Space Food Stick while piloting the sofa into the depths of outer space.

    Thank you, Alex; it all came back for a moment!

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  11. Pam said on October 17, 2017 at 8:02 am

    I just bought some Tang at Krogers last week. It tastes just as wonderful as I remember. Very orangey and sugary.

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  12. Suzanne said on October 17, 2017 at 8:18 am

    My kids did the Safety Village thing in Kindegarten. I grew up in the era in which people had kids, let them loose on the earth with a couple of smacks and ear boxings, a few speeches about not being stupid, and if they lived to adulthood, well, then life was a success. Safety? Wasn’t really talked about much.

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  13. 4dbirds said on October 17, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I agree. Just be nice guys. That’s all it takes. In the IT world, we keep our resumes down to the last ten years. It was hard to throw all that good experience out but over ten years and they think you’re old. I wouldn’t put a date on your degree, just that you have one.

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  14. Peter said on October 17, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Space food sticks!! Tang!!!! Carnation Instant Breakfast!!!! How I got to this age I have no idea.

    I remember a columnist saying once that if Hitler had won St. Louis would be the new capital and Cincinnati would be renamed New Vienna.

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  15. Suzanne said on October 17, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I had a roommate in college who would drink copious amounts of Tang when she was sick. I thought sick & Tang didn’t mix well, but astronauts!
    Carnation Instant Breakfast! Oh, my. It didn’t taste too bad, as I recall, but I was hungry again about 10 minutes later.

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  16. Dorothy said on October 17, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Columbus was the Big City we went to when we needed to get out of Mount Vernon during the six years we lived there. Our son met his wife there so we are quite fond of the city! Easton has awful parking – it’s the main reason I don’t go there anymore. Polaris has lots of parking and so many other good stores in the vicinity. Has anyone ever had breakfast closer to downtown at a place called Katalina’s? I was only there once but it was the best damned breakfast I ever had. The only negative was they didn’t have milk as a beverage choice. I’m not a coffee drinker. If I’m having eggs/bacon/toast I need milk. Next time I might bring my own in a chilled water bottle. We like to browse at the Grandview Mercantile on High Street. Lots of wonderful used furniture. In fact we sold some of Mike’s Aunt’s pieces there when she had to move out of her condo in Pittsburgh. Short North is just a cool place to shop and eat. Near campus we still love to go to Tai’s Asian Bistro. The spicy won tons are terrific, and I ALWAYS get the Pad Thai with both shrimp and chicken. The serving is HUGE and gives me enough to eat some there, and the leftovers give me two more meals – dinner one night and lunch at work another day. And we have seen my nephew play sled hockey at an arena downtown every January for the past 5 years, too. All in all we really like Columbus.

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  17. Icarus said on October 17, 2017 at 9:45 am

    One of the many things about resumes and job hunting that bothers me….if you have a single error on your resume, be it a change of tense or one misspelling, the standard is to pitch it because you are obviously a loser and not to be trusted to water plants let alone do any of the meaningless things we do in corporate America but….this gets a free pass (let me set it up)

    My current and last gig were at the top5 accounting firms. Recruiter calls me trying to build relationship (they do that so i can make her job easier to find candidates) and she talks to me as if I’m still working at previous job, which I hadn’t been at for over a year! Plus we had had a conversation about that a few months earlier. She was too lazy to look at Linkedin and was using her internal db!

    But if the shoe were on the other foot, I’d be deemed too flaky for my IT position where none of that matters (rant over).

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  18. Deggjr said on October 17, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Test market? “Will it play in Peoria?”

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  19. Deborah said on October 17, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Tang was a staple at our house which I never could figure out because I grew up in FL. When I got older and discovered fresh orange juice I was in heaven. I used to drink that instant breakfast stuff all day long and with meals because I was embarrassingly thin and trying to gain weight in high school. In Miami we had one of the first McDonalds, we used to go there for fries as teens cruising around on Friday nights. Good times.

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  20. Deborah said on October 17, 2017 at 10:40 am

    In design, it used to be important to have a dearth of experience. Architecture was an old white man’s game. It used to be important to put how many years you worked at various design firms on your resume. And as a graphic design director I got way too many resumes that were overly designed. People thought the more fonts and flourishes they used it would show how talented they were. Nope, keep it simple and show that you know how to organize information graphically. And when you get an interview as a designer, only show 6 to 10 examples of your absolute best work using the most clear and precise display techniques.

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  21. Heather said on October 17, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Definitely take your college grad date off your resume. I have.

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  22. Sherri said on October 17, 2017 at 11:31 am

    A friend of mine has been looking for a job and not getting any nibbles. It’s the classic suburban story; she’s a highly educated, successful woman who married and then stayed home at some point to raise their three kids, and now, she’s divorced. She did incredible volunteer work during that time, but that doesn’t matter. She talked to some friends of friends about what they would be concerned about in her resume, and they said they’d be concerned about “whether she could keep up with the fast pace of business today.”

    I’ve worked with this woman on projects, and they should be concerned about whether they can keep up with her.

    Remove all the dates you can.

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  23. Sherri said on October 17, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Although I didn’t get to talk to her because I was on the other side of the table, I did sit at the same table as Jill Biden yesterday, and heard her give a great speech to a sold out crowd at the annual Hopelink luncheon. Hopelink is a nonprofit social services agency serving the Eastside, one that I’ve been involved with for years.

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  24. Suzanne said on October 17, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Sherri, I had an interview a few years ago during which the interviewer kept telling me that the job was fast paced and did I think I could keep up? I still regret that I did not look her in the eye and ask if she thought I was flat out too old.

    A good source is this one http://www.askamanager.org. It’s written by a hiring manager and gives good insight into their thought processes. It is frustrating at times to read it gives an idea of how the employer views you and that they really do feel no obligation to tell the truth to prospective employees or keep them informed of the process.

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  25. LAMary said on October 17, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I have a job offer and I’m supposed to start tomorrow. It’s a ninety day contract job for a decent company, and the two women who interviewed me seemed pretty great. No benefits, though. So I need to sign up for Medicare. Good lord. Another job I interviewed for has great benefits and I liked the people there too, but the hiring manager is on vacation so no offer yet. The ageism in some interviews is barely hidden, btw. Being 64 and looking for a job sucks bad.

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  26. Deborah said on October 17, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    God Lord, a person can be president at the age of 70+, so 59 or 60ish shouldn’t be a problem. It’s true though that the older I got before retirement, it took a lot out of me if I had to work late, late nights. I drew the line at midnight, when I was younger I used to pull all nighters on a regular basis, it’s just the way it was in my profession.

    LA Mary, if you are eligible for Medicare, by all means take it, it’s way better than any HC insurance I ever had at any company I worked for.

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  27. Icarus said on October 17, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Suzanne @ 24

    thanks for that resource. I just spent an hour down that rabbit hole…very good insight. Oh how I wish resources like this one were available to me when i began my Corporate America career.

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  28. basset said on October 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Test markets… Mrs B’s dad worked for Upjohn and we used to get pre-release Motrin in a plain white bottle.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on October 17, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    An ex whose Dad worked for P&G in Cincy was part of the team developing Rely tampons. The whole family was very excited about this and gave me some to try; of course they wanted a full report later. This made me very uncomfortable but was apparently SOP for them. Of course later they were found to be a cause of toxic shock syndrome and withdrawn from the market. It couldn’t have been good for his career.

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  30. brian stouder said on October 17, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I confess, Julie’s post made me laugh more than it should have!

    Nance has some funny little anecdotes about when the love of her life worked at a (snack?) food factory.

    (Bottomline was – never eat [whatever the item was])

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  31. alex said on October 17, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    “Remember they named it Rely…”

    Can’t believe I still remember the jingle.

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  32. Sherri said on October 17, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Is SCOTUS innumerate or ideological, or is there a difference?


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  33. Charlotte said on October 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I just picked up what looks like a decent long-term freelance gig doing some tech writing. Took about 6 months of talking to the recruiter off and on, but they finally got me on one of these projects. This, plus my MSU adjunct salary should keep body and soul together for now (esp. as MSU gives us very good health insurance for free. Pay’s shit, but insurance is good, thanks both to the union, and to the fact that it’s the self-funded insurance for all state employees).
    My fellow instructors teaching tech writing are teaching resumes, and seem unphased when I tell them that I had several firms tell me they don’t take Word or PDF attachments at all anymore, and only use LinkedIn or other web interfaces. Progress comes slow in the world of teaching composition …

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  34. ROGirl said on October 17, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    This correction appeared in a New York Times article about John Waters.

    Correction: October 16, 2017
    An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misspelled the given name of a drag queen. She is Pissi Miles, not Pissy.

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  35. David C. said on October 17, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    The astronauts hated Tang.


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  36. Rana said on October 17, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    OMG. Space Food Sticks. I haven’t thought about those weird things in years. And now the strange texture-flavor thing they had going on is coming right back.

    I was also mildly addicted to Tang as a kid – we knew it as camping food, rather than space food – and the Carnation drink was pretty tasty too.

    I’m younger than most of you, I think – I’m in my 40s – which makes me wonder how long this stuff lingered, since I’m not really of the space-race generation.

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  37. basset said on October 17, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Brian@30, I may have mentioned here that Mrs B worked a summer or two as an inspector at the Be-Mo potato chip factory in Kalamazoo, picking out overcooked ones as they came out of the fryer… and eating most of em.

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  38. Dexter said on October 18, 2017 at 2:59 am

    Gordon Hayward, who nearly won the men’s NCAA basketball tourney in Indianapolis over Duke U. years ago, now plays for the Celtics, and just six minute in, he suffers a broken compound fracture above the ankle…the type injury that takes a minimum of a year to heal.

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  39. David C. said on October 18, 2017 at 6:14 am

    “He knew what he signed up for” sez tRump to widow. What a shit-hook. WTF did his parents do to him to make him such an asshole.

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  40. coozledad said on October 18, 2017 at 8:47 am

    He ought to burn in hell, along with every warm can of puke who voted for him.

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  41. brian stouder said on October 18, 2017 at 9:05 am

    An excellent, terrible link

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  42. Sherri said on October 18, 2017 at 9:42 am

    When I read articles quoting his supporters saying they wish he’d stop tweeting and get to work, I shake my head. They still don’t understand that this is all there is to him. There is no “get to work”. There is only one trump. That’s what they said they liked about him, and now they’re seeing what that means. If he stopped tweeting, he’d just hold more campaign rallies or something.

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  43. Sherri said on October 18, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Much in this article about Twitter could be said of Facebook as well.


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  44. Suzanne said on October 18, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Sherri @ 42, I agree. But living here among “real Americans” who supported him, I don’t think most of them still get it. They can’t fathom inheriting the money he did, so they figure that to be as rich as he is, he must be really smart. And they won’t be convinced otherwise.

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  45. Bitter Scribe said on October 18, 2017 at 10:58 am

    When a friend of mine was about 19, she was walking to work when a couple of drunks (at 8:30 in the morning) pulled up beside her, apparently on the assumption that she was, ahem, already at work. She ignored them, but they kept rolling along next to her, so intent on trying to make a transaction that they failed to look where they were going. They smacked into the rear of a car stopped for a light.

    Four very large and displeased-looking men piled out of that car and started toward the one with the drunks. My friend went to church that day on her lunch break, convinced that there is a God.

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  46. Sherri said on October 18, 2017 at 11:45 am

    This is a very powerful #metoo:


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  47. Jakash said on October 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    “He knew what he signed up for.” Ole Rumpy knew what he’d have been signing up for, too, back in the day. Which is why the Commander-in-Grief obtained 5 deferments. What a tone-deaf, cold-blooded tool.

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  48. coozledad said on October 18, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Nasty little Russian tool gets his dumb Bama ass handed to him. Grassley tried to step in and muddy the waters (for which service NPR will suck his dick within a day or two) but Republicans are too stupid to get their stories straight on Sessions’ perjury.

    When your AG is on old Alabama racist antinomian, your administration done already fucked itself up the ass.

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  49. Sherri said on October 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Sessions forgot to follow the trump playbook.

    1. I didn’t meet with the Russians.
    2. You met with the Russians!
    3. Of course I met with the Russians, that was a good thing!

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  50. brian stouder said on October 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Sherri – and as the President of the United States will say (if they ever drag him before Mueller, et al) –

    4. The American PEEple elected me; they KNEW what they were signing up for, right?

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  51. Deborah said on October 18, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    He’s poison http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/hes-poison-part-ii

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  52. adrianne said on October 18, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    This ferocious backpedaling by Trump on the fallen soldier is true to form. Remember Khizr Khan at the Democratic Convention? He would not let that one go. Feuding with the parents of a dead soldier is par for the course for Trumpy.

    And Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo is right on the money, again, about what motivates Trump.

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  53. Deborah said on October 18, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    I’ve had a very busy day my last in NM until Thanksgiving. We drove up into the mountains to see the last of the aspens, mostly past their prime but there were enough spectacular jewels up there that made the trip worthwhile. I took the Jeep in for routine service and $450 later everything is ok. A lovely day all around, an evening with young Santa Fe friends ahead and then the long slog of a travel day tomorrow.

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  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 18, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Up to Valles Caldera?

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