The call you don’t make.

What ugly times these are. My peaceful Saturday breakfast, that I mentioned here a few days ago? I sat there at the counter, scrolling Twitter, nearly vibrating with revulsion. This phone-calls-to-soldiers’-families business has about broken me. Talk about taking a presidential duty that isn’t…easy, exactly, but certainly not difficult to pull off, and then screwing it up this badly, is simply dreadful.

All it requires — all it requires — is a competent staff and a man in the Oval who is capable of saying a few standard statements, either on the phone or in a letter. Deepest condolences, a nation grieves, be comforted in your time of sorrow knowing his death had greater meaning, etc. etc. A normal person with standard-issue empathy could do this in an hour. Again, it’s not easy, but it’s expected.

And even this gang that can’t find their asses with both hands and a map couldn’t pull it off. It’s almost literally sickening.

Well, the families are getting their letters. They’re in the mail. Overnight mail, in fact.

And that was just the beginning of the weekend’s mudslide of news, followed by Bill O’Reilly paying a colleague $32 MILLION DOLLARS because he didn’t do anything wrong like sexually harass her, of course. Then I read this almost witlessly bad column by Ken Stern, a former NPR executive, about the how the “liberal media” needs to pay more attention to red America, because apparently the nine million stories doing just that since the election need to be bumped to nine million and one. Did I say witlessly bad? You tell me:

Spurred by a fear that red and blue America were drifting irrevocably apart, I decided to venture out from my overwhelmingly Democratic neighborhood and engage Republicans where they live, work and pray. For an entire year, I embedded myself with the other side, standing in pit row at a NASCAR race, hanging out at Tea Party meetings and sitting in on Steve Bannon’s radio show. I found an America far different from the one depicted in the press and imagined by presidents (“cling to guns or religion”) and presidential candidates (“basket of deplorables”) alike. …It was all inspiring, but it left me with a very different impression of a community that was previously known to me only through Jerry Falwell and the movie “Footloose.”

(Nance, you’re thinking. Could it be this gentleman has a book to sell? Why yes, yes he does! It drops tomorrow!)

Ken Stern was a money guy at NPR, so I assume he didn’t get into the newsrooms much, or else he might not have written a sentence as stupid as the one about Jerry Falwell and “Footloose.” Jesus on a damn cracker, is there any news organization that does more reporting in RealAmerica ™ than NPR? From Indian reservations in the Dakotas to cattle ranches in Texas (hey, Wade Goodwin!), literally sea to shining sea, NPR has sent its intrepid reporters. Maybe the C-suite guys think it’s all about 30-year-old Kevin Bacon movies, but not the people with boots on the ground.

But the problem is, I am plumb out of patience with anyone who can defend this shitshow anymore. I’m no longer interested in starting a dialogue, because I think it…well, it wouldn’t go well. As one of you said, you have to go with your morals, and I’ve made my choice.

Ah, well. We got over to Ann Arbor Saturday night. One of Kate’s classes had a show as part of Edgefest, an avant-garde jazz festival. Here’s the score for their piece:

Kate played her electric bass, but also a bucket, metal pie plate and a pair of rocks. That’s avant-garde jazz for you. It was cool, though.

And with Monday nearly here, the grind begins anew. Keep your nose clean.

Posted at 9:00 pm in Current events |

84 responses to “The call you don’t make.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 22, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Wade Goodwin is awesome.

    24 chars

  2. alex said on October 22, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Fallwell & Footloose…

    It may not be better than Guns & God as shorthand for RealAmerica, but it certainly captures the essence of 1980s culture schlock. Nice and alliterative too.

    193 chars

  3. Mark P said on October 23, 2017 at 1:57 am

    Ken Stern seems to have the same problem Trump has: he thinks he has come up with a completely new idea (or word or phrase) that no one else has ever heard of. It’s clearly at the intersection of ignorance and stupidity.

    222 chars

  4. Suzanne said on October 23, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Funny thing was that when Obama made his guns & God statement, I, who live in trademarked Real America, nodded my head in agreement. Yes, that is what voters here vote on, not the complexities of the global economy.

    If nothing else, this election has forced many of the Ross Douthats and David Brookses of the world to look outside their own bubble to a world them seem to have not known existed. How they didn’t know, I am not sure, but they clearly did not.

    464 chars

  5. Charlotte said on October 23, 2017 at 6:45 am

    We had a drive-by by the HuffPo “Listening Tour” bus last week. I tried. The panelists were my friends (and they were all very good) but the moderator and his questions were SO stupid, and the collective self-importance of the HuffPo gang was so thick in the air that I had to sneak out. But hey, they’re “listening” to “real people” “outside the bubble” (paying writers though? that they’re not doing so much of). It was ridiculous.

    Meanwhile, it’s 4:30 am and I’m awake worrying about Steven Miller in the WH reviving the nuclear arsenal and calling up retired military … WTF? that sounds to me like they’re planning a coup (but on the other hand, they just fucked over a grieving military family?). Or are they just going to call in Erik Prince-of-darkness and his mercenaries … it’s that kind of morning ….

    My Montana State students are all that’s keeping me from total despair …

    898 chars

  6. coozledad said on October 23, 2017 at 8:01 am

    NPR has had a boner for Republicans ever since they became a farm team for Fox News. They know good and goddamn well there’s only one thing that makes a Trumpy, and that’s racism.

    When you see a group of his supporters parading in Nazi regalia and skull masks, you don’t ask questions. You take a baseball bat and make that skull mask part of their face forever. Failing that, you photograph them, dox them and make damn sure they never get a job anywhere outside of an auto parts store or a glory hole. They’ve been itching to fire up the murder camps in this country since the end of reconstruction.

    You’ve got to ruin them first.

    635 chars

  7. coozledad said on October 23, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Here’s a group of the little shits in Southern California who’re getting a pass from cop trash.

    They’ve infiltrated both the police and the military. Now Trump has given himself the ability to place selected military retirees on active duty. NPR did Nazi that coming!

    338 chars

  8. coozledad said on October 23, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Kelly will have to attack LaDavid Johnson’s widow now. And if you think he won’t do it, you don’t know Boston white trash.

    182 chars

  9. Julie Robinson said on October 23, 2017 at 10:19 am

    That’s a score? Even the jazz I played back in high school had notes, a staff, key signature, etc. My hat is off to musicians with the chops to play from that.

    Re condolence letters. My mom wrote thank you’s to all the kind church ladies who provided us with food after Jeri’s death. She wrote the same thing on each one, just adding what food they brought. Because what really mattered was getting them out to people and acknowledging what they did.

    Same thing with condolence letters or cards, or calls. Just saying a few caring things is all you need to do. It’s that simple, unless, apparently, you are Donald Trump.

    627 chars

    • nancy said on October 23, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      The class this was part of is free jazz/improv, so they’re used to having one person set the tone, and then people join in. That said, they had a couple of run-throughs, and the music was only “musical” in the traditional sense in a few places. Mostly it was improv solos with rhythmic touches.

      294 chars

  10. Deborah said on October 23, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I would like to have heard that piece of music, seems very interesting.

    Here’s a funny way to spend some time today. There’s a website where you can purchase bots that will answer your telemarketer calls and you can listen to demos of them here I found myself cracking up over and over again. The idea is that the bot goes on and on and wastes the time of the telemarketer. Really, it’s hilarious.

    445 chars

  11. Bitter Scribe said on October 23, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Bill O’Reilly has made a career of demanding that people take responsibility for their own misfortunes, especially if those people happen to be black. Funny how that principle never seems to apply to him.

    As for Megyn Kelly, she’s capable of great outrage over social injustice, as long as it’s injustice she’s personally experienced. She was against maternal leave until she had children; she belittled victims of sexual harassment until it happened to her.

    461 chars

  12. Jeff Borden said on October 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Fuck Ken Stern.

    I live in the city that is Ground Zero for the Orange King and his moronic minions. As the adopted hometown of the man he passionately envies and hates –Barack Obama– we are in the crosshairs any time a Republican goober wants to score a cheap point. And, of course, this trickles down to the GOP base, which despises my city and all it stands for as a matter of course. Yet the Ken Tucker’s of the world want me to deeply ponder my fellow ‘Muricans in Bug Tussle, who do not approve of me and my city. I have no animus toward those who want to live among people just like them. You should be able to live anywhere you want. But I am fucking bone tired of being lectured by those whose world view barely extends beyond their county. And by the likes of Ken Tucker, who parachuted into NASCAR races and Waffle Houses and pig hunts just long enough to understand them good ole boys and girls and churn out a book. Maybe now J.D. Vance will invite him over for a Moon Pie and an RC Cola.

    1005 chars

  13. Jakash said on October 23, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I don’t suppose Mr. Stern, while embedded with and engaging the Reals, bothered to mention to them that Obama never had any interest in taking away their pig-hunting, porch-defending rifles or shotguns. That might have burst a bubble or two. I sure as hell won’t be reading his book to find out — “Hillbilly Elegy” was plenty for me.

    I’d say more, but there’s no improving upon Mr. Borden’s comment above. I just wonder how I got to be this old without finding out about Bug Tussle. I was gonna give him credit for an awesome coinage until I googled it…

    563 chars

  14. Jeff Borden said on October 23, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    I recall it from “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

    43 chars

  15. basset said on October 23, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Been there:,_Kentucky

    65 chars

  16. brian stouder said on October 23, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    I think it was from Green Acres – which was a sister-show to Beverly Hillbillies.

    81 chars

  17. Jakash said on October 23, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Sorry, Brian, but Wikipedia says it’s “the fictional hometown of the Clampett family,” so Jeff Borden recalls correctly. Surely, you’re not confusing it with Hooterville! ; ) Also:

    But, evidently, you’re not misremembering, either — further “research” indicates that it was mentioned on Green Acres and Petticoat Junction, too…

    372 chars

  18. Suzanne said on October 23, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Bitter @11. That was my question the other day when I shared an article written by a conservative who admitted that she had thought all this sexual harassment stuff was something made up by radical feminists until someone slipped a roofie in her drink and she woke up hours later in a subway vomiting. It’s real #MeToo! So, now, she’s on board with the #MeToo campaign because, amazingly, now she gets it.
    Why do conservatives seem to have such a hard time walking a mile in someone else’s shoes?

    499 chars

  19. Dave said on October 23, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    The Clampetts were from Arkansas and I didn’t know there is a real Bugtussle in Kentucky. OTOH, why would I know that?

    Those are the same people who will go to Ohio and write about the rural areas, some of which I’m familiar with and know them to be suburban sprawl, instead.

    Most calls we get these days are robocalls, so there’s no one on the other end to waste time with. I always like the “Problem with your Windows” people best.

    Suzanne, it’s because nothing has ever happened to them and because it has not happened, then those other people must be looking for something free, a big handout, if you will. I remember the supervisor I know that always badmouthed anyone who was injured on the job and thought that they were trying to get some sort of settlement or disability. He didn’t think the employer was treating the injured employee unfairly via the claims department. Then, his son got hurt working for the same company and he had his eyes opened. What a change of attitude.

    995 chars

  20. Jeff Borden said on October 23, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Empathy appears to be in short supply in these United States. I was dismayed to read a story in the NYT this weekend about hurricane victims in Texas and Florida carping about helping Puerto Rico. Man, when you cannot identify with other people living without electricity, drinking water or a roof over their head after they endured exactly the kind of storm that trashed your community, you are a fuckhead. And, of course, FEMA is overwhelmed by all these storms and the wildfires in California, so inspections necessary to file insurance claims, etc. are running slow.

    Thank dog we have such a competent and efficient administration overseeing these things.

    662 chars

  21. Linda said on October 23, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Oy. Stern now “knows” all the peeps in flyover country because he hung out with them for a month or so and nobody sprouted horns or cloven hoofs. I know a lot who would never seem racist or screw-you selfish unless you scratched beneath the surface, which takes longer than a casual relationship. He reminds me of those globetrotters who find a way to convince themselves that we all want the same things, and just need to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

    455 chars

  22. brian stouder said on October 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Jackash @ 17 – I was gonna say –

    ‘Weeeee doggies’….but then I learned that it’s “Welll doggies’ – which I did not know!

    183 chars

  23. Icarus said on October 23, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    @Suzanne, did you see this at the bottom of that story you linked to in the previous post?

    “Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically. “

    248 chars

  24. Deborah said on October 23, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    The neuroscience of empathy

    113 chars

  25. beb said on October 23, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    I’m pretty sure Real America(tm) can be defined as white sheets and burning crosses.

    Atrios wrote an interesting story about racial signaling as it applies to politicians having a cheesesteak while visiting Philadelphia.
    Seems to say a lot about red/blue America.

    That hurricane survivors in Texas seem to have no empathy for the hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico is old news. Remember how Oklahomo congressmen refused to vote for aid to survivors of Sandy even though the congressmen of New Jersey/New York votes to send aid to Tornado-stricken Oklahoma. Conservatives are strikingly lacking in empathy. I think it’s the root cause for all their policy choices.

    Finally I was wondering how Nancy feels about Carl Hiassen’s Razor Girl. I used to love everything Hiassen wrote but I started this book and couldn’t get into it. Same thing about the book before that.

    950 chars

  26. Sherri said on October 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Stunts like this are why the race in my legislative district is so important:

    Dino Rossi, who is currently appointed to represent my district and is running for Congress in 2018, hates light rail and has always done everything he can to fight it. The Republican in this race has been claiming that Manka Dhingra, the Dem, will be the vote to bring in an income tax (the state constitution prohibits one), supports safe injection sites (nobody is proposing one in our district, it doesn’t make sense, and brings “Seattle values” to the Eastside. (We could use more Seattle values, but Dhingra has lived in the district for over 20 years, while the Republican has lived in the district since March.)

    We currently don’t have a capital budget, because the Republicans decided to tie it to something completely unrelated and wouldn’t budge. This means that, for example, school districts that already passed bonds to build schools but need matching state funds can’t get them, and can’t build, until the capital budget is passed. When asked about it in a debate, the Republican candidate said she didn’t think the capital budget should be held hostage, but she “wasn’t familiar” with the issues on the unrelated matter. There’s no way anyone involved in politics is unfamiliar with that issue, unless you’ve deliberately chosen to be.

    Sorry, I’m just tired of her game, and tired of the obstructionist Republicans in the state senate.

    1572 chars

  27. Deborah said on October 23, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    The repubs hate light rail/transit and solar/wind energy, anything that takes mega $$$ away from oil/coal companies. It is soooooooo immoral in this world today where we are faced with climate change, pollution and peak oil (scraping the bottom of the barrel). How these people can sleep at night knowing what they’re doing to the planet and people’s lives is beyond me. I want to scream.

    388 chars

  28. Sherri said on October 23, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Josh Marshall gets at what’s so dangerous about this point in time, compared to other times in our history: we have a president who is leading a growing authoritarian political movement.

    296 chars

  29. David C. said on October 23, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Jeff, when Rs get something from the gubmint they say “Ahm jes getting mah own money back”. When it’s anyone else, they’re moochers.

    132 chars

  30. nancy said on October 23, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Not loving “Razor Girl,” no. This is the second Hiaasen book in a row that I’ve had a hard time finishing. I think he’s played out his string.

    142 chars

  31. Sherri said on October 23, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    In the words of Paul Simon, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

    178 chars

  32. Joe Kobiela said on October 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Do you realize when you fly a 737 to New Mexico, they burn close to 750 gallons a hour? It’s what 2.5 hr flight? so just shy of 2000gal of jet fuel each way 4000 gal per round trip 5 trips a year 20,000 gallons to get you to your 2nd home. Willing to drive? Or take the bus? Train? Oil companies need to make a profit in order to reinvest and continue to explore, I believe the return on investment for jet fuel is quite small.
    Pilot Joe

    449 chars

  33. Joe Kobiela said on October 23, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Return is 6.2% compared to 12% which I think is the norm for most companies, should we be exploring different forms of energy? Absolutely! Would love to see solar work, actually they have flown solar planes, it’s a start but we are a long way from hauling 200 people that way.Wind power is ok but I doubt you would like a wind farm outside your window over lake Michigan. I think Teddy Kennedy got one stopped out in the Hamptons some years back, didn’t want his view ruined.
    Pilot Joe

    486 chars

  34. Rana said on October 23, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    What I find suspicious about all of these attempts to understand Real Americans(tm) is that, somehow, no one ever thinks that interviewing, say, working class urban African American women might be worth doing. Or Hispanic teenagers. Or elderly Sikhs. Oh, no, they have been covered so well and so frequently we must head out to the unknown territories of small-city white people who are just withering away from journalistic neglect.

    447 chars

  35. Suzanne said on October 23, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Eric Holder is being interviewed on Rachel Maddow. So incredibly articulate compared to Jeff Sessions. It is utterly amazing. And sad.

    134 chars

  36. Deborah said on October 23, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    First of all Joe, I’m not the only one on the flight, they are conventional flights that are always packed when I fly not like people who take your flights, second I have driven to NM and back many times and have taken the train. Third, we don’t drive in Chicago, mostly walk, my husband takes the el to his classes. We do have a Jeep in NM, but bought a stripped down stick to get the best mileage possible. Fourth, our cabin in Abiquiu has no electricity and our place in Chicago is barely 850 sf in a high rise that doesn’t sit out in the open by itself but is next to other units that keep the energy contained. I would bet my carbon footprint is way less than a whole bunch of other people out there. And when we get power in Abiquiu it will be solar.

    And I love the way wind turbines look, they remind me of dancers, would love to see them out my windows over the lake or anywhere.

    888 chars

  37. jcburns said on October 23, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Glad to hear someone else say it: I like the way wind turbines grace the landscape as well. There are a small flock (?) south of the Mac Bridge in Michigan that are quite lovely.

    178 chars

  38. Carter Cleland said on October 24, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Bug Tussel is a Wireless internet provider operating near our family home in rural Wisconsin. This is their intro line – “At Bug Tussel we provide Wisconsin with High Speed Internet. Whether you work from home, your home is downtown or you man the family farm, we …”

    269 chars

  39. Dexter said on October 24, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Oddly, my brother and I were discussing the Beverly ‘billies a few days ago…Bug Tussle was mentioned frequently in the Granny-Pearl-Jethrine days, and then some lame brain changed the script towards the end and the ‘billies were from Arkansas. All 3 Drysdales (including Sonny), Jed, Elly Mae, Granny, Pearl, are all long dead, but Jethro Bodine lives, and in a few weeks turns 80. Max Baer, Jr., was on unemployment lines for three years after the show died, then wrote a movie called “Macon County Line” and made $35M.

    A man usually doesn’t settle out of court in a sexual abuse case for $32M unless something happened, and O’Reilly settled three other cases for lesser millions. His big-dollar victim, Lis Wiehl, is one of those goddam Fox News people who consistently lied about the wonderful George W. Bush, how he was doing such a great job “defending freedom” by getting the USA into two horrible wars. I can’t stand her. Or any of them at Fox News, such as Monica Crowley, who was capable of just making herself look plain-stupid in her defense of Bush.

    Mom & Dad used to play records when I was a kid and I began to appreciate Big Band sound and 50s pop from then, and when I heard jazz on the TV or radio I was wanting more. I later became a big blues fan and collected many artists’ records, then I drifted over to jazz—piano jazz, scat, straight vocals…but I began appreciating the saxophone the most. Charlie Parker was my fave alto but I became enamored of the sounds of the tenor sax. And yes, that is where my “Dexter” handle came from, Dexter Gordon. Just like I collected everything Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits ever put out on the market, I bought every Dexter Gordon album. My first album from the jazz world was Cannonball Adderly and Nancy Wilson’s fine record, and later on , I began to love avant-garde jazz when WHAM-AM Rochester played jazz on Sunday nights and I was wowed by Toshiko Akiyoshi – Lew Tabackin Big Band. Lew played the flute and was also a great tenor sax man. Akiyoshi is his wife and she handles the rest. The world I know is certainly colored by jazz.

    2131 chars

  40. coozledad said on October 24, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Despite that interview with GMA yesterday, the press has gone dead quiet on Myeshia Johnson. Here’s what’s happening: Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman are out digging through her trash cans for the biggest Trump /Kelly exoneration story they can yank out of their asses. It’ll be due out by the end of the week.
    “Widow of Fallen Soldier Has Five Magazine Subscriptions, Malcolm X hat.”

    “Widow spends $85.00 at Nearby Burger King, $40.00 on Halloween costumes, candy for offspring.”

    “Kelly: Some People Just Hear in a Black Way on the Phone. It’s Got Nothing to do With Racism”

    “Kelly’s response to Malcom X Hat Spontaneously applauded by White House Press Corps.”

    “Is Trump’s Tweet of N-word a Breath of Fresh Air?”

    760 chars

  41. Kayak Woman said on October 24, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I *love* kate’s jazz score. My dusty old college degree is music – flute performance. I didn’t play jazz but adored esoteric contemporary stuff, often without key/time signatures, etc. I haven’t taken the flute out of its case in more years than I’m strong enough to count but sometimes I dream of trying to play from scores that look a lot like that one.

    I don’t want to add to the energy discussion but from our family beach property on the Upper St. Marys River (L. Superior) we see a huge wind farm on the Canadian side, across the shipping channel. I actually enjoy them. (No words about Trump unless ugh counts.)

    632 chars

  42. Julie Robinson said on October 24, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Sometimes a written score gets in the way, but I’m still boggled by that one. I didn’t last very long in jazz band, you see, because improvisation stumped me at 17. I’d be much better at it today, with years of music-making under my belt.

    And to pivot, I’ve learned that Florida is using the same school playbook as Indiana (and Texas, I’ve been told). I was just listening to an interview that made my blood boil. School operator closes, declares personal bankruptcy, then applies to start another school with all the same officers as the first. School pays half of what it takes in for rent, to a Real Estate Investment Trust. On and on, with no concern for the actual children they are to be educating. Lord have mercy.

    Yesterday we took Jeri’s rollator and bath transfer chair back to the medical supply place we got them from. (For Jefftmmo, Stepping Stones in Orlando.) She had gotten them only a month before she died and hadn’t even used the chair yet.

    This place obtains both new and old durable medical equipment and gives them out free or for a very low cost. They were thrilled to get them back and said they’d go out again almost immediately because of the influx from Puerto Rico. If you’ve got a medical issue such that you need this kind of equipment, PR is not a good place to be right now. If the family has resources to get them out, they do, and many are landing in Orlando.

    It was a good visit; very affirming. I was so happy to stop thinking about our shite government for a few minutes, and focus instead on people who are spending their time to make life easier for those with medical and financial struggles. They aren’t making headlines, but they should.

    1687 chars

  43. Mark P said on October 24, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    It’s kind of funny that we think Roman aqueduct ruins are picturesque but we can’t see the same thing in our own constructions. I just drove through Kansas, where there are huge wind farms that stretch for miles. They really do have their own beauty, even at night when their red marker lights blink in unison over miles and miles.

    335 chars

  44. brian stouder said on October 24, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    …and not for nothing – but the young lady from Fort Wayne
    got fired by Ms Cyrus last night – and then picked up by Mr. Levine – which I’d call a net-plus!

    plus – I love seeing the wind-farms, too…and a few years ago I was gob-smacked to hear how passionately some folks hate them!

    Makes me wonder about Rural Electrification (in the ’30’s) – and when poles and wires sprouted up. I thought folks saw that as ‘progress’ – but maybe not, eh?

    526 chars

  45. coozledad said on October 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Hey! Ya’ll remember when Pilot Jimly Joe said “Y’all just afraid of Bill O’Reilly?”

    Well God better watch hisself, too’ cause Bill’s about to falafel that deity up the ass!

    299 chars

  46. Sherri said on October 24, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I brought up Republican opposition to light rail, and Joe starts talking about planes and wind farms. You missed the correct talking points, Joe, you’re supposed to counter light rail with Bus Rapid Transit. Of course, Republicans don’t want to fund that, either; it’s the classic case of “not that transit plan”. They want more cars and roads, which are not a sustainable solution in metropolitan environments, but which their base regard as the only way to go. They regard transit as inefficient, under-utilized, and overly subsidized, because they don’t use it, and are completely unaware of how much their car-based lifestyle is subsidized. Gasoline taxes do not pay for the cost of roads, much less the externalities of cars. If they did, our roads wouldn’t be in such shitty shape.

    But Republicans here want to remove the HOT lanes on our freeways “because we’ve already paid for those roads” and lower car tab fees because they’re so high and after all, why should car tab fees be used to pay for transit?

    1038 chars

  47. Sherri said on October 24, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    BTW, I like wind farms. I once looked into the practicality of putting a wind turbine on my house (not practical, yet).

    119 chars

  48. Scout said on October 24, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Poor Pilot Joe. Another gotcha moment fizzles into the same smoldering trash heap as all of the rest of his sad attempts. He needs some dumb group with whom to spar. He’s in way over his Trumploving head here.

    I’ve just returned from honeymooning (yes, we finally made it legal!) on The Big Island where I purposely ignored all politics for a solid week. Talk about heaven. That alone was worth the jet fuel it took to get us there and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

    470 chars

  49. Sherri said on October 24, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Congratulations, Scout!

    23 chars

  50. Peter said on October 24, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    A tidbit for Pilot Joe – Last week I was at a conference about advances in LED technology and they’re trying to develop a LED fixture that can be used in runway lighting and stoplights – it’s an area where traditional incandescent still has a big chunk of the market.

    The current (ba da boom!) problem with LED’s in runway lighting is that the heat from incandescents is through the front of the lamp, but the heat generated by LED’s goes through the back of the fixture. That’s fine for most applications, but when it snows the heat from the incandescents keeps the snow off of the runway lights, while LED runway lights will freeze over and dim considerably, which can be a problem.

    Sorry for being off topic – now back to our regularly scheduled program.

    766 chars

  51. coozledad said on October 24, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Congratulations, Scout. Enjoy your lives together.

    50 chars

  52. Deborah said on October 24, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Congratulations Scout, sounds like a fabulous place for a honeymoon.

    We looked into a small wind turbine for our project in Abiquiu, but solar makes more sense, now anyway. Solar is pretty ubiquitous in NM, there are lots of people who know how to set it up etc. lots of our friends and neighbors out there have it.

    This Corker/Trump fight is hilarious.

    360 chars

  53. Julie Robinson said on October 24, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Congratulations, Scout! So glad you had a wonderful honeymoon.

    I like wind farms too, and was pleasantly surprised by the acres and acres of solar panels surrounding the Indy airport. We will be doing solar here in Orlando in the future (ie, when we scrape together the $$$).

    And what do the Fort Wayne folk in the room think of the news that IU Health is entering the local market? Buying Lutheran?

    406 chars

  54. Suzanne said on October 24, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Is the IU Health thing for sure? I have been hearing many rumors lately, but nothing definite. I have wondered, too, if they do, will they buy St Joe or Lutheran.

    162 chars

  55. Heather said on October 24, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    I also like wind farms. I see them in Massachusetts a lot when I visit. My sister-in-law thinks they’re a blight on the landscape, but I’d argue they’re much better to look at than the results of drilling or fracking.

    217 chars

  56. Scout said on October 24, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Jeff Flake is not running for re-election and he GOES OFF on Trump. Not usually a fan, but day-um.

    Thanks for the congrats… after 18 years we figured we’re probably going to make it. 😉

    302 chars

  57. Suzanne said on October 24, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Corker and now Flake. Something is up.

    38 chars

  58. Judybusy said on October 24, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Scout, you have been together the same number of years we have! We always make that joke, “We think it’s working!” Congratulations! The honeymoon looked gorgeous. May you have many more years.

    192 chars

  59. Jakash said on October 24, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Just another misunderstood, well-informed Real American who could not possibly be described as racist…

    164 chars

  60. beb said on October 24, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    So flying a 737 from Chicago to Abibquiu burns 2000 gallons of fuel. But how many people are on that plane? 200 maybe. That means that per person, it’s only 10 gallons. It would take a lot more than that to drive. So it’s not as bad as what Joe says.

    250 chars

  61. Jeff Borden said on October 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    You know what’s up with the decisions by Corker and Flake? The Senate will get nuttier. . .like the House. Marsha Blackburn, a horrible woman who proudly describes herself as a “knuckle-dragging” hard-core conservative, will likely win in Tennessee. Joe Moore, a lunatic theocratic who thinks gays should be against the law and declares ‘Murica is lost because we have lost god, will likely win in Alabama. And Flake most likely will be replaced by Kelli Ward, a conspiracy theorist who believes we need to study chemtrails.

    We are so fucked.

    545 chars

  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 24, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Congrats, Scout. On the news vacation as well as the wedding!

    If Jeff Flake made a number of Americans look up Federalist #51, it was a good day.

    148 chars

  63. beb said on October 24, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Suzanne @57. What’s up is Steve Bannon. He’s trying to recruit ultra-far rightist to primary moderate Republicans. Flake and Corker are getting out while the getting is good.

    174 chars

  64. Sherri said on October 24, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    When Jeff Flake and Bob Corker start doing something to stop the depredations of the administration, then I’ll praise them. Until then, it’s noise.

    151 chars

  65. Deborah said on October 24, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I hope the dems drop a lot of money and boots on the ground in AZ, would love to see it turn blue but I guess that’s too much of a long shot??

    142 chars

  66. alex said on October 24, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Congrats Scout!

    I don’t mind wind turbines but in my part of the state there are “no wind farm” signs all over the damn place, almost as ubiquitous as Trump signs (and often both are seen together). People act as if it’s a communist plot or something.

    Well, today I finally gave in and bought myself an Instant Pot. To christen it, I’m trying this recipe:

    My diabetic and heart healthy cookbooks all say to use eye of round if I’m going to eat beef anymore, and there’s no tenderizing it except for pressure cooking, so that’s one of the reasons I’m trying this. In general it looks like a good way to prepare healthier meals and very quickly. It promises to turn dried beans into soup in less than an hour.

    Nice aroma filling the kitchen. It’s still building up steam and hasn’t gone into pressure cooker mode yet. The pressure cooking time is 12 minutes for the above recipe but it takes about 20 minutes to get pressurized.

    1001 chars

  67. Andrea said on October 24, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Alex, we have just gotten an Instant Pot too. My sister swears by hers. We made a pot roast on Sunday in about 1 hour total, from chopping vegetables to putting it on the plate. We had a bit of a bind trying to figure out how to thicken the gravy but we worked it out. Delicious.

    279 chars

  68. alex said on October 24, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Thumbs up on the above recipe but I’d use about one-third the amount of rice if I do it again. Just too much. For not having been browned first the chicken was moist and tender enough. I could see serving this all kinds of ways–with diced tomato, diced onion, diced peppers. Tonight just had it with cilantro, sour cream and shredded cheese and it was fine that way. This would make great burrito or enchilada fillings too.

    Andrea, pot roast is on my to-do list, and from what I’ve been seeing in some of these online recipes, you can use the sautée function after you remove the roast and veggies and just add some starch or flour to the drippings.

    I’ve seen some recipes for pho, and that’s also on my list.

    719 chars

  69. David C. said on October 24, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    If Cork and Flake really wanted to do something, they could become independents and caucus with the Democrats. That’s not going to happen. They’re just going to bitch, audition for a spot on MSNBC or NPR, and vote with tRump 99% of the time

    240 chars

  70. Deborah said on October 24, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    What in the world do people have against wind farms?

    52 chars

  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 24, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    David C. — Corker was 86% with Trump, Flake 90%. That’s what’s so amazing about what Trump’s doing, politically speaking. He’s locking himself into a less and less viable position . . . I think. I hope.

    265 chars

  72. Colleen said on October 24, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    As a former employee of Lutheran, I’d like to see it sold to IU Health. I read that Brian Bauer, the former CEO of Lutheran, has been working w/IU Health on the deal. It will be interesting when the announcement is made. I have friends/former co-workers still at Lutheran. Their mindset is that they’ll keep coming to work until someone tells them not to….morale is Not Good.

    377 chars

  73. Dexter said on October 25, 2017 at 1:58 am

    I don’t have to look at wind farms daily , only when I drive to Columbus and see the massive area from Paulding to Van Wert, many many wind turbines. I used to rave against them as aesthetically they ruin any peaceful landscape, but now I am used to them. I am glad I don’t have to live near them, they ruin a calm night with their electronic hum, they kill thousands of birds, and they make me feel like I am in Orson Welles’s radio play in which giant Martins invaded New Jersey. I do love solar panels, and I was blown away when I saw the massive solar plant just off I-15 out of Las Vegas towards Los Angeles.

    733 chars

  74. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 25, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Three years old, but the most solid info I could find and what I’ve heard from our college’s environmental studies folk: “Wind turbines kill between 214,000 and 368,000 birds annually — a small fraction compared with the estimated 6.8 million fatalities from collisions with cell and radio towers and the 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion deaths from cats…”

    497 chars

  75. coozledad said on October 25, 2017 at 8:30 am

    There are no “principled Republicans”. By the time you make it to even a local governing body as a professional Republican jackhole, your asshole looks like an exploded fig from all the realtor/contractor/corporate farmer dick you’ve ridden. You’ve eaten more shit than G.G. Allin.

    That’s what Republicans call discipline. The lifelong study of learning who to toady up to, exclusively by scent. Every now and then they’ll read off a script of somebody’s human being fanfic, but they are never there. It’s a want of depth in every respect because the wait for a check to come shooting out a lobbyist’s ass wears them down to nothing but an amygdala strapped to a little pink prick.

    You can’t use the words courage, dignity, restraint, or decency in combination
    with these people. They’ll lie to your face and laugh about it among themselves. And they fuckfight among themselves too. It’s a long scrap to visibility from the bottom of that greasy heap of maggots, and by the time you see one on TV, he’s a slick of fecal vomit.

    1090 chars

  76. jcburns said on October 25, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Here’s what I get from Jeff’s bird death stats: birds really have to stop flying distractedly. Get it together, birds! Those objects are not pillows! (Or maybe there’s a bird-impaired-vision thing we don’t know about yet.)

    222 chars

  77. Dorothy said on October 25, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Saw a bunch of tweets last night about Jeff Flake. Tom & Lorenzo said “Apparently you only have balls if you’re quitting. #NotImpressed” I’m glad he said what he said but I just don’t understand why more people aren’t speaking up.

    Congratulations Scout! I am so happy for you – and the bonus experience of ignoring politics for a week. That is definitely something to celebrate!

    456 chars

  78. Sherri said on October 25, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Maybe we need to develop intelligent drones to fly birds around…

    How many species of birds will be lost to climate change as their habitats are destroyed?

    159 chars

  79. Jakash said on October 25, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Just by being there, Chicago and cities like it kill way more birds than wind turbines…

    “Klem estimates that at least a billion birds—roughly five percent of the bird population after breeding season—die annually across the United States by colliding with windows, making it the second-largest manmade threat to birds after habitat loss.”

    “Two traits that make glass desirable as a building material—it’s reflective and transparent—are also what make it so lethal to birds. Enticed by the reflection of sky or nearby foliage in mirrorlike panes, or tricked by a transparent sheet that looks like a way to an atrium inside a building, for example, birds will fly into the windows, knocking themselves out—sometimes fatally.”

    830 chars

  80. Deborah said on October 25, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Birds crash into glassy high rise buildings too. I worked on a project before I retired, a building on Michigan Ave across from Grant Park with a glass facade we designed to try to reduce the number of bird collisions. It’s too complicated to describe here so here’s a link

    366 chars

  81. Deborah said on October 25, 2017 at 10:38 am

    The link doesn’t say this exactly, but putting dot patterns on glass in high rises reduces bird collisions.

    And I realize Jakash was referring to the same thing simultaneously to my comment above.

    197 chars

  82. Jenine said on October 25, 2017 at 11:02 am

    @ Scout: Mazel Tov!

    19 chars

  83. Connie said on October 25, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I am back at work after our “no water” snow day yesterday. I spent my first hour putting boil water advisory signs over all the faucets and drinking fountains. Much of far west suburban Detroit has no drinking water at this time due to a major line break.I am thankful for my well at home. And thankful for the employees who showed up with various jugs of home water in their hands. One of our pots of coffee this morning is actually made from Berkley city water. Supposed to have the line repair done today, then TWO days of assorted testing, they expect to declare the water drinkable Friday night.

    The water line at our local Costco made the news. Looked like it went around the building.

    698 chars