March marching.

I wasn’t able to watch the march Saturday — cut the cable cord and only regret it two or three times a year — but I saw a few snippets on the gym TVs, and stayed on the treadmill a few extra minutes to take them in. It was a remarkable spectacle, I’m sure we’d all agree. Even more remarkable is the response to it from the other side, who are seemingly having a competition to see who can say the stupidest thing, from stocking classrooms with buckets of rocks to chiding students for not taking CPR classes to the too-numerous-to-count “sit down kids and listen to your elders” stuff.

That’s how you know you’re winning. That, and when Rod Dreher clutches his pearls and calls you Robespierre.

Kids, rock on. This is their fear talking.

I did some thinking on the treadmill (but just a few extra minutes of it). I once used to say things like, “America has made its bloody bed, and now it has to lie in it.” But I’ve come around to the more hopeful idea that something is better than nothing, and to do nothing because no one thing will solve the problem is a lazy and cynical position. In my lifetime — hell, just in the middle-aged portion of my lifetime — we’ve seen sea changes on smoking and homosexuality. Why not guns? So I’m choosing optimism. This just feels different.

Also, the graphics are pretty great:

Dahlia Lithwick on the march, too. Not-a-spoiler alert: This was not the work of George Soros.

Still cold here, insultingly so. I was going to take a walk to the bakery this morning, until I checked the temperature: 22 degrees. Newp. And that’s why we had stale bread at breakfast.

I have believed this for a long time, but it’s good to see I’m not alone:

You wouldn’t want to be operated on by a physician with only a few surgeries under his or her belt, and the assurance that this doctor brought a fresh perspective to anesthesia and incisions wouldn’t thrill you.

You would choose a pilot who had flown 999 flights over one with nine, and you would want your child’s teacher to be practiced with pupils, not merely a vessel of great enthusiasm.

So why the romance with candidates who have never done a stitch of government work before?

That’s Frank Bruni about the gubernatorial candidacy of Cynthia Nixon, but it could be me watching campaign ad after campaign ad by people promising to “run government like a business” and yelling at the screen, “But government isn’t a business, you twit.”

I lived 20 years in Indiana, which has a part-time legislature, and further limits its time in Indianapolis to alternating “short” and “long” sessions. Republicans are always emoting over how this makes the Hoosier state a true “citizen legislature,” and weeping over the founding fathers’ dreams that all legislatures would be made up of citizens, as though politicians aren’t actually citizens. The idea behind term limits, which we have in Michigan, is roughly the same: Make these bastards go home after a few years, because they suck. New blood! New ideas! No more career politicians!

One hazard of treating the U.S. Constitution as the revealed word of God, and the founding fathers (and mothers) as oracles of heaven is, we’re no longer an 18th-century collection of former colonies with a big idea and a wilderness close enough to see from the front porch. So maybe lawmaking for a nation of more than 300 million souls equipped with guns, smartphones and cars should be a little more than a regular meeting over the cracker barrel. Just a thought.

On to a cheerier topic: Your worst fears realized on a theme-park ride.

In a quest to be the record holder for the world’s tallest waterslide, investigators say, Schlitterbahn Waterpark of Kansas City rushed to build a dangerous and structurally complicated ride, ignored glaring safety red flags and replaced mathematical calculations with “crude trial-and-error methods.”

The string of negligence, according to a recently unsealed indictment, resulted in the 2016 death of a 10-year-old boy and more than a dozen injuries. Caleb Schwab, son of Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab, was decapitated while riding the nearly 170-foot-tall Verrückt, a German word that means “crazy” or “insane.” On Friday, a year and a half after the boy’s death, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office announced criminal charges against the company and one of its former employees.

Schlitterbahn and Tyler Austin Miles, former director of operations, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and several counts of aggravated battery, aggravated endangering a child and interference with law enforcement. Investigators say the company knew the waterslide was unsafe and could result in injuries and deaths, but still rushed to open it to the public. Perhaps more disturbing is the allegation that several injuries, from neck pain to concussion, had already occurred before Caleb’s death. Still, investigators allege, Schlitterbahn and Miles kept the ride open to the public — and even hid reports of those injuries and other alarming safety problems from law-enforcement officers who were investigating the boy’s death.

A reader comment:

I live about 30 minutes from this waterpark, and from the moment I saw them breaking ground on this ride, I determined that my daughters would never go near it. I live in Missouri, but I know Kansas well enough to know that the state does not require government inspections of such rides—part of what has made Kansas the GOP utopia that also included ruinous tax cuts that have nearly destroyed the state’s schools and social services.

Kate has aged out of her going-to-Cedar-Point phase, at least going with me, but whenever we were there I would dream of a book project: Embedding with a design team for a new roller coaster, and tell the story from blueprint to ribbon-cutting. If you still think of roller coasters as the wooden ones of your youth, you have no idea. Just the engineering has to be fascinating.

With that, I’m out of here. Good week ahead, all.

Posted at 3:48 pm in Current events |
 

86 responses to “March marching.”

  1. Deborah said on March 25, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I gasped out loud when I read the sentence about the kid being decapitated on the water park ride. How gruesome. Yikes.

    I don’t know about you but I will be glued to my TV at 6 cdt tonight, channel 2 is CBS on our TV here in my building in Chicago.

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  2. Dave said on March 25, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    From the last thread, but a story about the dentist vs. the bakery: http://www.wpta21.com/story/37793090/mixed-message-between-fort-wayne-bakery-and-dentist-office

    The CBSN app is available on Apple TV, Roku and Firefox, if you want to watch news all the time. I imagine they had the march on.

    Also, a story about optimism and reality for new voters. Are things different than 1972, when Hunter Thompson thought young voters were going to save us from Nixon? http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/03/23/a-democratic-wave-from-younger-voters-and-puerto-ricans-dont-bank-on-it/

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  3. Sherri said on March 25, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    I didn’t march on Saturday. I picked up heavy things and put them back down: https://www.facebook.com/sherbo.slohcin.9/posts/172908880097146

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  4. Suzanne said on March 25, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I remember when that water ride accident happened and there were rumors the child was decapitated. How utterly horrible. I think with the push to deregulate everything, we will see a lot more of this kind of thing in the future.

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  5. Joe Kobiela said on March 25, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Well done Sherri!!
    Pilot Joe

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  6. David C. said on March 25, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    At the bottom of a 170′ fall you could potentially be going 71 miles per hour. Anyone going down the water slide would surely be in a very aerodynamic position and there would be very little friction because of sliding on water I imagine those going down the slide would be travelling somewhere in the mid 60 miles per hour range and would be completely unprotected. Any idiot (CEO of the company, most likely) who even suggested such a thing should have been laughed out of the room by the engineers and if he insisted they should have quit. This is a high school physics problem and they failed.

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  7. Bitter Scribe said on March 25, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    It is beyond appalling that it took a decapitation of a child, much less the child of a state official, to get the authorities to pay attention to this situation. I’m not even going to try to score cheap political points about “deregulation.” This is just horrible.

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  8. nancy said on March 25, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    It is indeed appalling. And the son of a state legislator, no less. I looked him up. He’s a conservative Republican, now serving as Secretary of State.

    It sounds like they totally jury-rigged this thing, with netting held by hoops or something. Problem was, lightweight people became airborne at the bounce at the bottom of the hill, and the kid hit one of the hoops. I can’t even imagine.

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  9. Deborah said on March 25, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Damn the basketball game is getting in the way of Trump’s embarrassment.

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  10. Deborah said on March 25, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Ok I gotta admit it’s pretty exciting.

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  11. Deborah said on March 25, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Here we go…

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  12. Suzanne said on March 25, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    So what did you all think of Stormy D? She was very articulate and smarter sounding than I expected. The whole thing is so sleazy, though, I almost want to take a shower. She was, what, 29, and he was in his 60s? Ick.

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  13. Deborah said on March 25, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    My interest in Stormy isn’t whether I believe her or not, or whether others believe her, but to what extent this damages Trump. I’m unsure about that, not because I don’t personally believe her, because come on, he did it, we all know that. How this implicates him in more serious matters like physical threats against her and vulnerabilities to blackmail etc are the questions to be answered. We shall see how this plays out.

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  14. Joe Kobiela said on March 25, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Come on he did it we all know that? If I would have said that about any of Hillarys scandals, come she did it we all know that,you would have come completely undone.
    Pilot Joe

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  15. brian stouder said on March 25, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Joe – at the end of the last thread, I said the following – which we might agree upon:

    Well, I think the much-ballyhooed Stormy Daniels interview was pretty much a bust (so to speak); interesting enough, but over-hyped.

    That said – it’s pretty clear that the Donald and his team could F-up a two-car funeral (as my dad used to say)…and that ain’t news (really)

    Regarding whether or not “he did it” is not a vexing question at all; the guy tells us flat-out, on the “Access Hollywood” video, what his attitude toward women he finds attractive is. (rather the way people judge whether or not to buy this or that mellon, or artichoke; squeeze and then select)

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  16. Julie Robinson said on March 25, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Also regardless of whether or not they did the dirty, Michael Cohen is on record as paying her $130,000 hush money just days before the election. It’s an illegal campaign contribution. Boom.

    Congratulations, Sherri! That was mighty impressive. How long did it take you to train to that point?

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  17. alex said on March 25, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Hillary’s scandals? No, Joe, none of us would have come undone because Hillary’s scandals are all a fiction, number one, and any moron ought to know that. But astoundingly there are some morons who don’t.

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  18. BigHank53 said on March 25, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Well, I certainly have no idea what Stormy Daniels did for (or to, or in front of, or whatever preposition you like) Donald J. Trump, but I do know that somehow $130,000 wound up in her pocket, and she was supposed to stay quiet. I don’t think she built him a house, or performed open-heart surgery on him, or ran him through Stormy University, where you’d learn all about…okay, maybe that one’s plausible.

    Not many people get paid that kind of money for a day’s work. Especially if it’s honest work.

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  19. beb said on March 26, 2018 at 12:36 am

    In the early 1980s the Detroit Water and Sewerage system was sued by the Department of Natural Resources (since become the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. One item of the settlement was that DWSD would hire scads of chemists to monitor influents, exfluents, and all along the process. I got hired in during a second wave of hires in 1984 and worked there till three months ago. One of the things that worries the higher ups is that a lot of people will have 30 years of service or turn 65 or both. There’s a lot of retirements and with each departing person there is a lot of situational knowlegde that’s being lost. Things like where the pipes are in the building or underground. Sure there are maps but maps aren’t always correct. You spend 300 years fixing the pipes you learn where they really are. That kind of stuff. Term limits are like that. What kind of maintanance Foreman are you going to have if every eight years they have to be replaced. It’s no way to run a sewage system and it’s no way to run a government.

    I was disappointed looking at Yahoo News this morning (Sunday) to see so many features by right-wing idiots who were dismissing the march. As if 900,000 people gathering in DC on a March morning were deluded, fools or snowflakes. There isn’t two sides to this issue. People are tired of gun violence. They’re tired of other people saying there’s nothing we can do because– 2nd amendment. It’s time to start called the NRA the “fascist NRA” and calling their useful idiots in Congress “babykillers” because their actions have results in so many children dying.

    The child killed at the water park is what happens when government regulations are killed because regulations are bad. Regulations exist for a reason. The people who want to throw out regulations have mostly forgotten why they were enacted in the first place.

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  20. Sherri said on March 26, 2018 at 1:35 am

    Julie, that’s a difficult question to answer! I’ve been lifting weights regularly for about 7 years or so, but didn’t start trying to deadlift at all until a couple of years ago. A year ago is when everything changed, though, and I started really training as opposed to just working out. I changed my diet and increased my time in the gym. So, there was a base in place, but the real work began a year ago, I guess.

    I still feel like I’m far from maxing out. I’m only 17.5 kg shy of a qualifying total to compete at nationals, and I think that’s totally achievable relatively soon. My plan is to enter another meet sometime this year, either summer or fall, and now my goal will be to put up a national qualifying total!

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  21. Joe Kobiela said on March 26, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Sherri,
    Keep it up, a strong fit woman is way more appealing than the skelator woman society pushes on us.
    Pilot Joe

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  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 26, 2018 at 7:25 am

    I say this with some sorrow, but the sex is nothing in this story. It’s all about the $130,000. And that concrete, indisputable basic fact is going to keep the issue alive: who paid it, why, and how it was authorized. She could be making up the narrative out of whole cloth from a passing wink and nudge at that golf event, and it wouldn’t matter. No blue dress or hammered Blackberry needed. It’s all about the $130,000.

    And, potentially, if all this is enough to make Melania pack up Barron’s clothes and walk out the door to Bedminster and request a CPO and then a divorce filing.

    Nancy, I see Stephanie Clifford is an equestrienne. And she’s long been interested in politics, so I guess Stormy is here to stay; I’m curious to see what she wants to do next. My guess is that after her last dancing “tour” she has the implants removed, and runs for something again, probably in Louisiana. Louisiana has a . . . tolerant streak for outre candidates.

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  23. Suzanne said on March 26, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Absolutely, it’s s the $130,000. Trump’s lawyer is still claiming he paid it and was not reimbursed. Sure. Right. I want a lawyer like that who will pay for stuff for me.
    The sex part is creepy because of their age difference and the fact that Stormy, and that other woman who claims an affair with Trump both mentioned he said they reminded him of his daughter.

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  24. Deborah said on March 26, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Joe, what is it that you think Hillary did?

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  25. Julie Robinson said on March 26, 2018 at 8:38 am

    According to former FEC head Trevor Potter it’s actually worse if Trump didn’t pay Cohen back, because the amount is over the limit for an individual contribution. It’s Watergate all over again; the attempt at covering up is worse than the original infraction. Does no one study history anymore? (Asked facetiously.)

    Sherri, I am bowing down.

    Edited to add: Stormy Daniels is listed as appearing soon at the gentlemen’s club across from our large regional mall. Let the jokes begin now.

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  26. Heather said on March 26, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Joe, you’ve heard that expression “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”? These allegations didn’t exactly happen in a vacuum.

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  27. Mark P said on March 26, 2018 at 9:19 am

    We watched the Stormy Daniels interview. Two things struck us. The first was when she described how he acted and what he said when they first went into his room, and when he was telling her about how he would get her onto his TV show. My wife and I looked at each other and said, “That’s Donald Trump!” Daniels is either telling the truth or is very, very, very smart to include that kind of detail. The second was when she said Trump told her she reminded him of her daughter. Creepy, as Suzanne said. I have a fairly strong suspicion that there has been, let’s say inappropriate behavior between Trump and his daughter, and the Stormy Daniels interview was the not first thing that made me think so.

    Joe, it’s much easier to give some credit to charges about Trump that are entirely consistent with his demonstrated and uncontested behavior in the past than it is to believe that the Clintons are serial killers.

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  28. alex said on March 26, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Melania’s not going anywhere. She married him for his money and expects hired hands to take care of the knob polishing duties.

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  29. Sherri said on March 26, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Pilot Joe, I don’t do this to be appealing to anybody; I do this for me, because I love being strong.

    There were 60 lifters on Saturday, from all walks of life. It was about 40% women, the youngest of whom was 15 and the oldest 66. All sizes, shapes, everybody cheering like crazy for everybody else. So cool.

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  30. Deborah said on March 26, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I read somewhere on the internet this morning that if Trump is involved in an affair it negates his pre-nup so Melania can take him to the cleaners and his finances would be investigated to figure out how much he would be obligated to pay her. I don’t know if this is true but it makes more sense as to why he is willing to pay to keep his affairs quiet.

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  31. nancy said on March 26, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I will say this: Her story of the threat sounded like dialogue from a B movie. Which doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, because I’m sure Trump-employed goons take lessons from that sort of thing.

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  32. 4dbirds said on March 26, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Hillary’s crime(s) was to simply exist.

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  33. Icarus said on March 26, 2018 at 10:51 am

    my right-wing aunt put the following meme on her page over the weekend:

    what President Trump did in his PRIVATE life as a PRIVATE citizen and NOT a PAID politician is NOBODY”S business

    The capitalize words really help you trace the goalposts as they are moved.

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  34. Jeff Borden said on March 26, 2018 at 11:06 am

    It was an interesting weekend, eh?

    Hundreds of thousands of young Americans and their supporters thronged the streets in more than 800 cities to demand change. The students were passionate, articulate and pointed in their remarks. It was thrilling to see.

    And then there was the spectacle of a porn actress/director being more articulate and truthful than the orange tub of goo in the Oval Office. Unprotected sex with an adult video performer? And just weeks after supermodel wife No. 3 gave birth to your son? Of course. It’s all so Trumpian.

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  35. Joe Kobiela said on March 26, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Deborah,
    Private e mail server
    State department e mail
    Benghazi
    Clinton foundation
    Cattle futures, just saying if I would come out and say we know she did it, like you did on the Trump accusations, you would have flipped out.
    Sherri,
    Sorry if you misunderstood my compliment, I am glad your doing it for yourself as you should be, maybe you can help me, how do you compliment someone like yourself with out seeming sexsist,how do you tell a fit woman she looks good, in a complimentary way?
    Pilot Joe

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  36. Heather said on March 26, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Joe are you SERIOUSLY going to talk about the email server when Trump & Co. have been utterly dismissive of security protocols, including using private emails for sensitive information? Wish I could say the hypocrisy was stunning, but I’m not surprised at all.

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  37. Deggjr said on March 26, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Deborah #30, dang, now I’m hooked on the Stormy Daniels story. It’s hard to believe Trump would sign such a pre-nup but ‘hard to believe’ is no longer relevant.

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  38. Jolene said on March 26, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    And, potentially, if all this is enough to make Melania pack up Barron’s clothes and walk out the door to Bedminster and request a CPO and then a divorce filing.

    There is, at least, gossip that she is partway there. Last night, Howard Fineman, longtime NBC reporter said on Twitter that Melania is spending most of the time that she’s ostensibly at the White House with Barron and her parents in Potomac, MD, a wealthy suburb north of the city and near his school.

    This week, she and Barron are in Florida for spring break.

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  39. Connie said on March 26, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Newsweek covers the Spranger story, the Macomb County Clerk crazy lady that Nancy told us about a few weeks ago. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/macomb/2018/03/26/newsweek-karen-spranger-macomb-county-clerk/458553002/

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  40. basset said on March 26, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Spring break… that was always a chance to pick up more hours at my campus part-time job.
    “Where are you going for spring break?”
    “Ahh… nowhere.”

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  41. Sherri said on March 26, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Pilot Joe, I didn’t misunderstand; I knew what you meant. But what you said was just a variant of “what society pushes on us.” If you want to compliment me, you compliment me, rather than make a pronouncement about what society should prefer in women. Say “I think all that work in the gym makes you look great!” But don’t say it unprompted to some woman you don’t know, because that’s annoying. It’s possible to enjoy the view without sharing the thought.

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  42. Deborah said on March 26, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Well Joe, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.

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  43. Scout said on March 26, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Oh Joe. Regarding your little list – no surprises there, considering the source. To directly quote your president: ‘Sad!’

    I marched on Saturday along with at least 15,000 others in Phoenix. I believe most of the rallies were organized by teenagers. Ours was, and it was super impressive. The NRA and its apologists are absolutely quaking and doing their damnedest to undermine this movement, but I think it’s got legs. I had a disturbing conversation with my 19 y/o granddaughter yesterday who was dismissive of Emma Gonzalez because she heard that she is just an actor. It broke my heart to hear my own flesh and blood say this, but we had a good discussion about. I know she is confused, there are people in my s-i-l’s family who are tRumpers. I’m still upset today. These courageous young survivors are being slandered by sickening lies. This really got to me: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2018/03/25/a-fake-photo-of-emma-gonzalez-went-viral-on-the-far-right-where-parkland-teens-are-villains/?utm_term=.f66809b52cba&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

    I read somewhere this morning that Stormy’s lawyer purposely directed her to downplay the sex stuff, only reiterating that which was already public, in order to focus on the real story – the goonish threats and the illegal payoff.

    Meanwhile, while this all happened, guess who was golfing all weekend? Worst. President. Ever.

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  44. Peter said on March 26, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Well, the big problem I had with the Clinton/Lewinsky affair is that if Bill was a high school principal he’d be escorted to the parking lot in no time flat – but rank has its privileges. But looking back, compared to now, doesn’t it all look so quaint?

    My takeaway from Stormy and her lawyer is that Trump is in really big trouble. That whole $130 K payout is a perfect invite for Mueller to investigate Trumpco finances, and it ain’t going to be pretty.

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  45. Julie Robinson said on March 26, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Steve King, the horrible Representative from Iowa, is also attacking Emma Gonzalez as a communist because she has Cuban heritage and wore a flag on her jacket. By that logic, if I wore a German flag I could be held responsible for the Holocaust, since about a century ago a couple of my ancestors came from there.

    Of course this is all a bid to distract from the real issue. How can these people live with themselves?

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  46. Scout said on March 26, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    My friends and I made USA Today: We are photo #12. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/03/24/march-our-lives-could-become-biggest-single-day-protest-d-c-nations-history/455675002/

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  47. Peter said on March 26, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Julie, I got Louie Gohmert over Steve King in the crazy batshit representative contest, but they both made my Final Four.

    And I forgot – while every week brings a new low to this smooth running, well oiled, organization, Fearless Leader’s tweets Sunday were just a joy – lawyers are just lining up to defend him, because they never turn down FAME and FORTUNE (that comes with working with Trump) at the same time that the crazy new lawyers have been rejected due to conflicts of interest. It’s a parlor game, but if you compare Don John on the Ronald Reagan Alzheimer’s Scale I’d say he’s closer to late 1988 than 1982….

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  48. Jeff Borden said on March 26, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    The Orange King and his clan had better be grabbing with both hands. Aside from that cult of followers who will never desert him –but, alas and alack, generally lack the financial resources to enjoy his properties– the name tRump is going to be synonymous with shitty. . .if it isn’t already.

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  49. Jakash said on March 26, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Pilot Joe,

    Re: Hillary. If you “would come out and say we know she did it,” you’d be stating an opinion that was controverted by many facts. As Jeff (tmmo) noted, the $130,000 payment is what this particular Trump scandal is about, and it’s an indisputable fact. As to your list, such as it is:

    Emails: “On July 5, 2016, Comey announced that the FBI’s investigation had concluded that Clinton was ‘extremely careless’ in handling her email system but recommended that no charges be filed against her.” Unlike that extremely careful chess master, Mr. Trump.

    Benghazi: “The U.S. Senate Select Committee… on January 15, 2014: In general, the majority concluded ‘that the interagency coordination process on the talking points followed normal, but rushed coordination procedures and that there were no efforts by the White House or any other Executive Branch entities to ‘cover-up’ facts or make alterations for political purposes.'”
    “On August 1, 2014 the House Intelligence Committee has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and that news briefings given by the administration reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis.”

    Clinton Foundation: “Charity Watch, a nonprofit charity watchdog organization, has given the Clinton Foundation an ‘A rating’ overall, higher than the American Red Cross, and the ‘highest rated’ grade for ‘Transparency and Governance.’ The charity watchdog group Charity Navigator gave the Clinton Foundation its highest possible rating, four out of four stars, after reviewing its financial records and tax statements.”

    If only it had the sterling record of the Trump Foundation.

    Cattle futures: That’s a chestnut from 1978 and 1979, and is inconclusive at best, but when it involves Hillary, there’s never a statute of limitations on the mud-slinging, is there? “There never was any official governmental investigation into, or findings about, or charges brought regarding Hillary Rodham’s cattle futures trading.” She made about $100,000. Meanwhile, the guy you support paid $25 million to settle two lawsuits for Trump University fraud ten days after the election less than a year-and-a-half ago, and that’s not even close to the top of the list of things that concern people about him.

    (The quotes above are all from Wikipedia.) Republicans have been trying to take Hillary down for a quarter century. We know why. It’s just never been clear why if she’s so bad, they’ve never been able to make anything stick — other than the hatred of low-information voters, Fox News viewers and Bernie Bros.

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  50. Julie Robinson said on March 26, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Peter, so many contenders.

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  51. Mark P said on March 26, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Jakash, you act like facts matter. Whassamattawichu? We’re talking about the Clintons here. The CLINTONS!

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  52. Deborah said on March 26, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Yeah, regarding the cow futures, if there had been any there, there. Ken Starr would’ve found it when he scrupulously went through every minute of the Clintons’ lives way back when.

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  53. Scout said on March 26, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    The very mention of ‘cattle futures’ in regard to Hillary’s so-called crimes is proof of extreme kool-aid overdose. Sadly, there is apparently no antidote. Repeated exposure to facts and reason certainly hasn’t helped a bit.

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  54. Deborah said on March 26, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Scout, my condolences to you regarding your granddaughter. My husband has a 10 year old granddaughter who no doubt has been fed all kinds of crap by his own daughter and it breaks his heart. At this point our hands are tied, we can say nothing. All we can do is hope that as she gets older she will have eyes to see facts and reality.

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  55. Heather said on March 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Maybe Deborah and Scout could casually talk about media literacy with the youngsters as a sort of passive-aggressive approach. Like, “with all this crazy stuff on the Internet, it’s definitely important to do a little research into news sources. Like who owns them, do they have an obvious bias, do they present both sides of the story?” Etc.

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  56. Scout said on March 26, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Heather, that is exactly the conversation we had. It went well. She was receptive to what I had to say and she promised to research things she reads better. It was just shocking af to have to have that discussion.

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  57. Sherri said on March 26, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Noah Smith has an interesting thread on arguing with gish gallopers: https://twitter.com/Noahpinion/status/978079244805750785

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  58. Heather said on March 26, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    That’s great, Scout. Well–you’re doing what you can do! The rest is out of your control.

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  59. Deborah said on March 26, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    My husband’s granddaughter isn’t old enough to argue with yet. And her mother is always around so we just smile and change the subject or say something neutral, it’s awkward, and my husband isn’t going to be able to hold out much longer. It’s probably going to cause a rift where his daughter won’t let him see his granddaughter. She has already done that to the other grandparents if they don’t tow the line to her bidding. She weaponizes the kid. It’s sad. I get wanting to raise your child in the way you see fit, but when that means ignoring reality, that’s another whole ball of wax.

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  60. Jakash said on March 26, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    “Whassamattawichu?” Heck, Mark P, you clearly thought my 2700 character post was way too long and plainly pointless. Can’t argue with that! But if I was going to explore the topic of what’s the matter with me, that would take up the rest of the thread!

    BTW, I love your avatar. But I wonder — is it a dog, a wolf or a fox, perhaps? And what is it intended to convey, if anything, if I may ask? : )

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  61. annie said on March 26, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Stormy Daniels, adultery, lying — my Trump supporter acquaintance Just Doesn’t Care. She agrees he’s a moral degenerate but he’s addressing issues that need to be addressed, he’s making America strong again…And what about Wagner — beautiful music, anti-Semite–blah, blah blah.

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  62. alex said on March 26, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    I’ve listened to my partner’s nieces and nephews go all apeshit about Michelle Obama school lunches and all they’ve ever been served in their shit-ass school is fish sticks and potato chips. i haven’t figured out a constructive way to call them out on it except that they’ll look like their 500-pound dad by the time they’re 30 and that’s just too fucking cruel to say.

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  63. Deborah said on March 27, 2018 at 9:47 am

    This is cool, more high school students getting involved https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/03/26/high-school-students-are-marching-50-miles-to-paul-ryans-hometown-to-call-him-out-on-guns/?utm_term=.c454f0d7092f&__twitter_impression=true

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  64. Mark P said on March 27, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Jakash, the avatar came from a birthday card my wife gave me. I can’t remember whether it was supposed to imply that I was a fox (I’m not now, for sure, and probably never have been), but I liked it. It reminded me of “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” so I decided to use it. I used to have red hair, but even that resemblance to the avatar is way past gone now. But I might start wearing a bowtie.

    By the way, I had considered looking up all the information to refute Joe’s “points.” I’m glad you saved me the trouble. It’s so frustrating to cite actual facts and then have them **completely** ignored.

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  65. Jakash said on March 27, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Mark P.,

    Thanks for the reply about the avatar. Good story. If my wife were to give me such a card, it would probably feature a … er … donkey. Preferably with a bow tie. ; )

    Yeah, I knew bothering with that reply to Joe would be a colossal waste of time, but I get rather tired of the triumph of endlessly repeated, uninformed, corporate-funded “opinion” (spelled l-i-e-s) over even an attempt to consider the facts, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Cattle futures! In 1978! Still a “point” he considers worth making in the midst of the shitstorm we’re currently weathering in 2018. It boggles one’s mind.

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  66. Judybusy said on March 27, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Since we’re talking avatars, can someone please remind me how I can customize mine?

    Deborah, those young people in WI are amazing!

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  67. susan said on March 27, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Markp & jakash…he’s a troll. You must know that by now! Don’t waste your time and energy. It’s for nothing. Unless you just want to keep a written record for yourself of Crap-RWNJs-Obsess-Over.

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  68. Icarus said on March 27, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Judybusy at 66: you have to log into your Gravatar account and change it there. It is the same email address you use here and whatever password you used.

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  69. Jolene said on March 27, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I appreciated the lengthy reply too, Jakash. Facts may not always carry the day, but we have to keep putting them out there nonetheless.

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  70. Mark P said on March 27, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Susan I’m not sure whether RWNJ is a common use, but I’m sorry to say I decoded it instantly.

    I mean to say, it’s a sad commentary that I knew immediately what it meant.

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  71. Dexter said on March 27, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Yes, JmmO, it is the $130,000. Did you see Daniels’ lawyer saying how no lawyer pays off hush money out of his own checking account? What do these assholes think we are, idiots? When we finally find out the 130K came from an election fund, now that’s big news.

    My wife and I were arguing. I said the Vietnam war protests, especially the giant nationwide protests in 1967 (protests began in 1962 in NYC) , the worldwide (especially in European centers) protests which coincided, and the continuing protests did not stop the war, period. She countered that they actually did stop the war, changing the mindset of a nation and that is what stopped the war. However, as late as 1972 the bombing sporadically escalated and the Christmas bombings of 1972 were horrible, blowing up a children’s hospital, by target, even though Nixon’s brass denied it. No stopping at all. What ended that was was the fact that Congress finally got tired of lying and just slashed the money cord. And it was over, or we’d still be there.

    The kids’ protests are calling attention to the slaughter. Nobody wants kids to die in schools anymore. This David Hogg kid knows the score. Politicians who are supportive of banning sales of assault rifles in general, and banning all sales of weapons to children, will stand a better chance of being elected from now on. One drawback is that most, by far, of college kids won’t vote unless…well…they are marched at gunpoint to the polling places. And as Ray Davies and The Kinks sang, “…Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls
    It’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world…”

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  72. Deborah said on March 27, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Dexter, I hope you are wrong about College kids not voting. I realize that has been the case previously, but I hope they see the light and vote the MF out. We need them.

    The rwnj are scared to death of the backlash that’s occurring regarding gun control etc. they are saying some nasty, nasty things that may work for the base but is energizing the Dempcrats. So keep it up.

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  73. Dexter said on March 28, 2018 at 12:49 am

    Yeah, Deborah, I like the way you think. I just remember that before the great, wonderful Grant Park rally and all the “Yes We Can” singing and chanting of the mantra, the Obama supporting students had forgotten all about it on election day, 2008 and again in 2012. Since my nephew’s wife ran Illinois Women for Obama and my nephew worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, I could have gotten VIP access and mingled with the pols and press people that victory celebration night. My brother did, and got to have short talks with Jesse Jackson and Jonathan Alter, plus get very close to Obama’s podium.

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  74. Suzanne said on March 28, 2018 at 7:45 am

    So I just listened to a brief interview with Terry Branstad, our ambassador to China. Even more worried than before about China’s relationship with the US and their being able to lure Kim Jong Un out of N Korea. Branstand, former gov of Iowa, didn’t sound like the brightest bulb and did not seem to grasp the complexities of the situation at all.

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  75. Connie said on March 28, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Macomb county clerk Spranger was removed from office by a judge yesterday, due to non residency at the address used when filing to run. Latest chapter in a crazy story.

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  76. Linda said on March 28, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Annie @ 61 – This so-called rebuttal (almost) made my head explode. I am a Jewish woman who last month attended the final three performances in this year’s run of PARSIFAL at the Metropolitan Opera. Richard Wagner was a reprehensible human being whose artistry is sublime. If he hadn’t lived, my life would have been immeasurably poorer. As far as Trump is concerned, I know MY life would be immeasurably better if he never existed.

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  77. Deborah said on March 28, 2018 at 10:51 am

    OMG, I just got an email from my rwnj sister about her new granite countertop. She managed to say two really dumb bigoted things in one email. FIrst she said that her granite was from Italy and Italian stone is cheaper because they don’t have unions for the quarry workers there. Then she said she told her installers about her daughter’s kitchen in California which has the hot and cold reversed, she said that it was probably because most of the installers in California are Mexican and they probably thought the C stood for caliente. She said her installers laughed and laughed about that when she told them. Can you believe that? She doesn’t have a clue how bigoted she is.

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  78. susan said on March 28, 2018 at 11:21 am

    deborah @77 – That reversed plumbing—cold handle on the left, hot on the right—was called German plumbing in Cincinnati. Well, it was when I was a kid many centuries ago. Think I need to duckduckgo that bit of classification…

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  79. Suzanne said on March 28, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Deborah, most people don’t have any idea how bigoted they sound, I think. I had a conversation twice over Christmas with family members in which they stated that they weren’t prejudiced but that what the Indiana U basketball team really needed to improve was a better mix of white and black guys on the team (in other words, there are not enough white guys on the team).
    Anytime you start a statement with the words “I’m not prejudiced…” you are entering troubled water.

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  80. Sherri said on March 28, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    I just had a different experience, one that I’m sure happens on a regular basis to younger women but hasn’t happened to me. I was just creeped on by a guy on Instagram. Someone started following me, and while I don’t always follow people back, I did this time. Within minutes, I got a message from him. When I asked who he was, he only gave his first name, said he knew someone who knew me, and couldn’t we just move on into the friends zone.

    Really. I’m an almost 56 year old married woman, and strange men still feel free to hit on me. No, I don’t take it as a compliment, I find it annoying, because I don’t think it means I’m attractive, I think it means I’m not a person to them.

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  81. Suzanne said on March 28, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Sherri, I had that happen as well. Some guy on Facebook. I said OK because we had a mutual friend but then he sent me a couple of messages that weren’t creepy but just too friendly for someone I didn’t know. So, I quickly unfriended him. It was strange.

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  82. Deborah said on March 28, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    That happened to me and LB, it was the same guy, it was super creepy, LB and I are not FB friends because we’re connected at the hip everywhere else, we need some distance as mother and daughter. I’ve had a few complete strangers ask to be my friend on Facebook, if don’t know you from some other connection (like nn.c) I ignore it. And my FB page is completely private or at least I hope it is.

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  83. Gretchen said on March 28, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    I don’t have a link for this, but I think I remember that Caleb’s father was one of the state legislators who voted against regulation for amusement parks. I’d never want karma to do this.

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  84. Gretchen said on March 28, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    I live in Kansas, and I was really amazed that there are no requirements for engineering assessments. These guys, who had no particular expertise, sent sandbags down their slides, and went « Looks good », and opened it for people. And there was no legal opposition to this.

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  85. Gretchen said on March 29, 2018 at 12:05 am

    I’m glad to see someone besides me noticing Rod Dreher clutching his pearls. He says he agrees with the teens, but doesn’t approve of their foul language. Sorry, dude, if my best friend was torn apart by a machine gun, my language wouldn’t be safe for work either. He’s so upset when people don’t bow to authority.

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  86. Gretchen said on March 29, 2018 at 1:02 am

    Can I just say how much I appreciate having Rod Dreher being called out? I don’t know why he is such a thorn in my side, but he is. And he’s being totally disingenuous about criticizing the Parkland kid – they put themselves out there, so they’re fair targets. So he can go after 17 year olds and lie about what they are asking for.

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