Two links and a snap for the weekend.

I promised myself no more two-post weeks, so here goes, because I’m a woman who only breaks promises to herself three, maybe four times a day, and today I’m going for only two. Overslept my alarm and arrived late to the pool, but I got in a solid 50 minutes, so that promise? Kept! Let’s see how this one goes.

Let’s start with a couple of good reads from Politico today.

You might have heard that Michael Cohen’s legal alma mater, Cooley, is routinely branded the worst law school in America by the legal profession itself. It’s a well-known Michigan business, so I’m pretty familiar with this rep. I wasn’t, however, familiar with some of these key details, laid out in a not-too-long, very readable Politico piece:

Recent, publicly available tax records show that the school’s president, Don P. DeLuc was paid $432,000 in 2016. His daughter Laura is one of the school’s associate deans. (The school would not provide the current salary figures for either President DeLuc or his daughter, nor make either of them available for interviews.) The recent tax records show that school’s 88-year-old founder, Thomas Brennan, a former Michigan state Supreme Court justice who stepped down as Cooley’s president in 2002, has continued to be paid more than $329,000 a year as an emeritus professor even though he works only five hours a week. An audit released last year revealed that under his contract, Brennan is entitled to receive a salary “based on two times the salary of a Michigan Supreme Court Justice, plus certain other benefits, until his death.”

The school said Brennan was also unavailable for an interview. He has continued to speak out publicly, however, through his “Old Judge Says” blog, in which he offers commentary that might easily be perceived as anti-Islamic, homophobic and radically insensitive. In a 2016 post, he remembered with affection the blackface minstrel shows of his youth. He recalled how he and his brother performed in local minstrel shows in the Detroit area, “our faces blacked to the teeth.”

“In these days of political correctness, the whole idea of minstrelsy seems preposterous,” he wrote. “But the truth is that minstrelsy was fun.”

Holy shitballs. How did I not know this?

Also in Politico today is a profile of James O’Keefe, the Project Veritas guy. He’s feeling whiny:

Aboard a cramped commuter train heading north, O’Keefe bemoans what he believes is a double standard. Critics consider him a villain for “allegedly” making misleading edits to videos, he says, but why hasn’t Katie Couric been branded with a scarlet letter for the deceptive editing in her 2016 documentary about guns? People still read Rolling Stone, O’Keefe complains, even though it published a 9,000-word account of a campus rape that never occurred. People trust the Post, he notes, but it was forced to print a correction after its ACORN coverage initially stated that O’Keefe had targeted the group because it helped African-Americans and Latinos. “Yet because I selectively edit,” O’Keefe says, using air quotes, “I am the most despicable person on the planet.”

This argument would elicit more sympathy if the critics were wrong about O’Keefe’s editing—it has, at times, been misleading—and if O’Keefe weren’t nurturing a double standard of his own. As our stop nears, he shakes his head and shows me a CNN story on his iPhone. Reporters have contacted advertisers for Alex Jones, the demagogic and conspiracy-minded radio host who is best known for claiming that the children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 were faking their deaths as part of a government hoax. “Speaking of accuracy,” I say, glancing up. “Haven’t you been on his show?” O’Keefe stiffens. “Yes,” he replies. “And I’m not going to say a negative word about Alex Jones.”

Yummy yummy yummy. I’d also add that when Rolling Stone knew its rape story was false, they asked none other than Columbia Journalism School to investigate its processes, then published its report. Has O’Keefe ever done anything like that? Is that crickets I hear? OK, then.

(You know what has always bugged me about the Rolling Stone story? Even after it was determined that its fake victim, “Jackie,” was lying, almost all media sources continue to refer to her by her first name only, as rape victims are traditionally ID’d by media in these cases. Only the Breitbartian right has called her by her full name, Jackie Coakley. She’s not a mental patient or otherwise worthy of protection, is she? I don’t get it.)

I don’t have much more to report, but this and that:

Heard from Kate, who appears to be having herself a great time in Havana. She texted us a picture. I think my dad use to drive that Ford Chevy in the background. Maybe the same one:

“It’s so colorful,” she otherwise reports. After the five-month slog of a Michigan winter, I bet it is.

And with that, I’m outta here. Have a great weekend, all.

Late edit: Also read this NYT story on the courting of the Obama voter who flipped for Trump, if only because its through line is in Medina County, childhood home of Jeff Borden.

Posted at 10:47 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

79 responses to “Two links and a snap for the weekend.”

  1. ninja3000 said on May 4, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Hey, I thought you were a car girl! That’s a ’59 Chevy Impala in the background. The green antique is a ’56 Plymouth.

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  2. nancy said on May 4, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Are you sure about that? I had the green one pegged as a Chevy. It reminds me of the 56-57s you see in classics shows. But I defer to expertise…

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  3. Dave said on May 4, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Definitely a Chevy, same year and model as the one that hit a favorite cat so long ago.

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  4. David C. said on May 4, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    I recognized the Impala right away. My parents had one when I was young. I had the green one pegged as a Chevy, too. It looks like both Chevy and Plymouth had tail fins in ’56 but those on the Plymouth are thinner and taller.

    http://cdn.barrett-jackson.com/staging/carlist/items/Fullsize/Cars/60641/60641_Rear_3-4_Web.jpg

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/Chevrolet_Bel_Air_1956_4door_Sedan_rear.jpg

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  5. Suzanne said on May 4, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    That NYTimes article made me think, once again, that people really are that stupid.

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  6. beb said on May 4, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    It’s hard to know what’s more surprising about the article about Cooley (High School, College, University?) Is it the grifting that goes all the way down or that some old fart who was a state supreme court justice still hasn’t internalized that blackface minstrel shows are horribly racist.

    Why, I ask rhetorically, is James O’Keefe not in prison.

    Shall we set yup a pool on how much longer Rudy Guiliani will remain Trump’s lawyer? Seems the White House is extensively walking back everything The G said the other day.

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  7. Jakash said on May 4, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Yeah, the bloviating heroes of the right-wing bullshit-industrial complex blatantly distort or misrepresent facts and flat-out *make shit up*, but it’s the legitimate media that are the real proponents of “fake news.” Or how about “they’re all the same?” Sure. Does nobody even notice that when newspapers realize that they’ve made a mistake, they point it out themselves and offer a correction?

    The reference to Rolling Stone evaluating itself after that false story leads me to add this much smaller example. A Chicago Tribune columnist posted this tweet-thread, or whatever, explaining how the process works, since he just went through it. “This idea of ‘fake news’ is repugnant to journalists like me who are held to high standards of accuracy. It’s propaganda aimed at discrediting the media as a whole. But the truth – the facts behind how news organizations like mine handle errors – reveals the lie.”

    https://twitter.com/RexHuppke/status/991823372026658817

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  8. Peter said on May 4, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I think the Giuliani pool should be based on the number of scaramucci’s he lasts.

    I’ll take 3. Don’t forget, despite what Trump said about his being on the job for only a day, he’s been at work for 14 days, or almost 1.5 scaramucci’s.

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  9. Dorothy said on May 4, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I am too busy at work to be farting around at the NYTimes website but I found this fascinating article about lottery ticket scams and knew I had to share it here:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/03/magazine/money-issue-iowa-lottery-fraud-mystery.html?action=click&contentCollection=Real%20Estate&module=Trending&version=Full&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

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  10. Suzanne said on May 4, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Good Lord, I spent a few minutes watching Hannity. Witch hunt, witch hunt, guest GorkA, witch hunt, judge got dramatic in court hearing today but the MSM won’t report it, WITCH HUNT. Uh, I heard about the judge drama hours ago on Twitter & on NPR.

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  11. Sherri said on May 5, 2018 at 1:41 am

    So no, they don’t really need to be understood.

    What they need to be, is defeated.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article210497509.html

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  12. Linda said on May 5, 2018 at 8:34 am

    The woman in the NYT article who recognizes that Trump is a racist, but is ok with her because she has $400 more in her pocket a month? I hope it buys her a nice air condioner in hell.

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  13. Deborah said on May 5, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Incredibly beautiful day in Santa Fe, high in the low 70s, sunny of course with those pretty little Georgia Okeeffe clouds http://www.artnet.com/artists/georgia-okeeffe/red-hills-with-pedernal-white-clouds-UMEQIMUj0jwj0o6Fe8Vp-A2

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  14. David C. said on May 6, 2018 at 8:10 am

    #4 is relevant here.

    https://twitter.com/tbogg/status/992930475546107904

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  15. Jakash said on May 6, 2018 at 11:56 am

    David C. @ 14,

    That’s a pretty impressive spot for Albom, but leaving Stalin off the list seems an omission. Personally, I’d find room for another Mitch — McConnell — before I’d throw in a double Krzyzewski. Gotta say, having no team owners among the group makes me question his methodology! ; )

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  16. Sherri said on May 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    It’s a quiet Sunday, so I’ll throw this out here. This article from Dissent Magazine essentially asks where do we go from here, correctly recognizing that trump is not a fluke but a culmination of factors.

    That has provoked discussion, and I’ll post some twitter threads. First, this one, arguing Dems should consider going all in.

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  17. Sherri said on May 6, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    In response, this thread calls that dangerous Flight 93 style thinking.

    And this thread says look to the women.

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  18. Sherri said on May 6, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    What do I think? Hmmm.

    I don’t know whether I come across this way or not, but I am a believer in institutions and norms. I recognize that they don’t always serve everyone well, and have disparate impact, but I believe that they mitigate harm the best.

    However, they are the means, not the ends. I think norms and institutions should be maintained only as long as they serve our values and priorities. We change, our values and priorities change, therefore our norms and institutions must change.

    The post-war understanding of liberal democracy, flawed though it might have been, seems to be falling apart around us, not just in the US. There are forces actively tearing it down, but those forces have always existed. The difference is that they are winning now.

    We will not get it back by propping up old norms. There is a real conflict of values going on right now. There is no bipartisanship because the two sides fundamentally disagree on what America is, and that can’t be papered over anymore.

    I fear there is a cataclysmic event approaching. I see too much inequality. It’s not just the undereducated struggling, it’s the young highly educated, too. We tinker around the edges of climate change, but earth doesn’t care whether we believe in it or not, changes are happening. The pendulum has swung too far in favor of corporations and stockholders and unfettered capitalism, and who will be smashed when it swings back?

    Our system in the US has so many veto points that allow a rural minority to hold disproportionate power; how does that continue to work given the tremendous clash of values that is happening? How long will the more populous urban areas tolerate having their values shunted aside?

    It’s no secret what my values are, and maybe it is dangerous Flight 93 rhetoric, but while I’m not a burn it all down person, I think the house is already on fire. I’m not going to argue about the procedure for calling the fire department and whether the fire department should be a government service or a private one, I’m going to do what I can to put the fire out. If that means nuking the filibuster and refusing to confirm any GOP SCOTUS nominee not named Merrick Garland, I’m good with that.

    There, long winded, more than you wanted to hear, and oh so cheery! Dental surgery kept me out of the gym too much this week, obviously.

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  19. Deborah said on May 6, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    Sherri, I’ve been watching the Handmaid’s Tail on DVD with LB, I read the book finally maybe a year ago and it’s creeping me out. After what Iowa did recently about choice and all of the authoritarian crap that’s going on with the Trump admin, it’s all too familiar. While I realize there’s a difference between reality and fiction it’s depressing. I haven’t read all of your link about the culmination of factors yet but your mention of a possible cataclysmic event is terrifying.

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  20. jcburns said on May 6, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    That Cubano Chevy would look right at home on your Upper Arlington street in the early 60s…and in many of the old Perry Mason reruns I’ve been watching, although Perry and Paul Drake are more Ford guys.

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  21. Sherri said on May 7, 2018 at 1:04 am

    This has far too likely a chance of working in my mind: http://pressthink.org/2018/05/presidents-lawyer-pictures-grifter/

    I made it back in the gym by Friday, but not to lift serious weight. I need to pick up some serious shit, or I’m going to go nuts and drive all of you nuts!

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  22. Dexter said on May 7, 2018 at 3:08 am

    Without researching I’d guess the Chevy is a ’59 Impala and the other car a 1956 DeSoto Firedome.

    I also now believe the alt-right troublemaking bastard in “Homeland” was given the name “O’Keefe” for a reason. “Homeland” has been on-air for like six seasons and it gets better every year. How many shows can say that?

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  23. Dexter said on May 7, 2018 at 3:19 am

    I have never been to Cuba but I was introduced to a lady who was part of Venceremos Brigade, part of the SDS movement. She went with a large group to help with the sugar cane harvest; I think around 1977…V.B. was started in 1969. In the paper her organization put out, she was pictured shaking hands with Fidel. Viva la Revolucion! Perhaps some of you saw her on TV , interviewed by Tucker Carlson months ago. Her name is Deirdre Griswold of New York City. She’s in her 80s now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1R7CYnhg4I

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  24. Ivor The Engine Driver said on May 7, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Boy, this blog is in dire need of a motorhead. Can I apply? I know what this (http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/00/1636300.jpg) is, so a `56 Plymouth is a snap.

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  25. Icarus said on May 7, 2018 at 10:40 am

    FWIW, 49 trips around the sun today!

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  26. Sherri said on May 7, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Happy birthday, Icarus!

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  27. Julie Robinson said on May 7, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Happy Birthday, Icarus! Here’s to many more.

    That Plymouth is the same age as me, and I know Cubans have special car maintenance skills, but it’s still a miracle it’s on the road. We had a Plymouth of similar vintage when I was little, and it was a complete piece of junk. I learned swear words watching Dad do bodywork on it.

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  28. jcburns said on May 7, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Yeah, but Ivor, can you tell a 66 VW Beetle from a 69? And, uh, a 2010 Prius from a 2007?

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  29. Heather said on May 7, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Went to Charlotte, NC, for my graduation this past weekend and we also went to Asheville for a night. Did not have a bad or even mediocre meal–it was all so good. If you ever find yourself in Asheville, do yourself a favor and have dinner at Nightbell. With all the eating we did, I can’t believe I didn’t gain any weight (I have been counting calories)–maybe it was all the walking. I also used one of the bike-share apps in Charlotte and took a spin around a few of the neighborhoods.

    In Asheville we also went to the Biltmore, the big Vanderbilt estate. I was more interested in the gardens but the house is pretty impressive, a real monument to 19th century American capitalism. Interestingly it has been open to the public since 1930 or so–guess even the Vanderbilts found it hard to afford such a home.

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  30. beb said on May 7, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Icarus @25: …and boy are your arms tired! Happy birthday.

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  31. Heather said on May 7, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Happy birthday Icarus!

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  32. Judybusy said on May 7, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Happiest of birthdays, Icarus!

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  33. Ivor The Engine Driver said on May 7, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    It was asked:

    “Yeah, but Ivor, can you tell a 66 VW Beetle from a 69? And, uh, a 2010 Prius from a 2007?”

    Well, if I remember correctly, both the 66 and 69 Bugs were colder than heck in a Minnesota winter. Nope, I can’t tell the model years apart, unless the 69 was a Super Bug, which had a curved windshield that didn’t defrost any better than the older flat windshield. I’m woefully ignorant of the Priusi, too. So I have those holes in my motorhead resume.

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  34. Suzanne said on May 7, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Oliver North is going to be president of the NRA.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/05/07/retired-lt-col-oliver-north-slated-to-become-president-of-the-nra

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  35. Bitter Scribe said on May 7, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    At first, right-wing bloviators merely demanded the authority and prestige of real journalists without wanting to do any of the work or be held accountable. Now they’re seeking to delegitimize real journalists. Fuck them.

    And fuck the “yes, he’s boorish and incompetent, but he’s…different” idiots.

    As the son of a Marine who nearly died from dengue fever fighting in the Pacific, may I say that Oliver North is a disgrace to that uniform.

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  36. jcburns said on May 7, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    VW identification hint: It’s in the backup lights and the size of the rear window.

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  37. Suzanne said on May 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Conservatives love Ollie North. That’s the big problem with him in charge of the NRA.
    And he does have experience selling weapons to hostile foreign powers, so there is that…

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  38. brian stouder said on May 7, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Happy birthday, Ic!

    And indeed, Heather – we were quite impressed with the Biltmore, too.

    We ate at a nice place in town – can’t tell you the name of it – and I had superbly excellently wonderfully prepared barbecue sandwich

    (there was a sort of street fair going on, with many different musical acts proceeding, as dusk fell)

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  39. Bitter Scribe said on May 7, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    She had hoped Mr. Trump would raise wages and force companies to give all their employees benefits. But that hasn’t happened. All she hears now is harsh talk by Republicans on TV about poor people: How people who get food stamps are lazy. How they should be given boxes of food instead of money.

    Ms. Baker knows there is another election this year, but like most people interviewed for this article, she said she had not looked up the candidates yet. She was not sure if she would vote.

    Here’s a pro tip, honey: Maybe next time, you should listen to what politicians are saying before you vote for them.

    Dumbass.

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  40. Dexter said on May 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Heather, it’s been a few years, but Asheville was a stop on our baseball circuit 50 years ago. Their team was called the Asheville Tourists and their ballpark was settled into an area surrounded by tall pines, and the grandstands were built with a high bank behind them, with a row of more tall pines rimming the ballpark, which had a tall wall and a left field line which ended into the wall at just 316 feet away. It was a blast tattooing baseballs against that high wall and clobbering a few over it as well, which infuriated our cheap team owner. Baseballs were high, he’d say. When I think of Asheville, I remember that old ballpark as the most beautiful ballpark I have ever seen. I think they built a new stadium complex many years ago. Over the decades I have driven to and through Asheville a number of times. It’s a gem of a place and frequently gets listed as the most desirable city in the U.S.A.

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  41. Bob (not Greene) said on May 7, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Dexter, The Tourists are still in their pine-encircled home (renovated, as you said) with a right field wall that’s just 297 feet from the plate. Still looks like a great place to see a game.

    http://ballparkreviews.com/template2.php?in_name=McCormick%20Field&in_city=Asheville&in_state=North%20Carolina

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  42. susan said on May 7, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    …except for the fact it’s in North Carolina.

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  43. jcburns said on May 7, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Asheville and environs is pretty wonderful for North Carolina.

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  44. Deborah said on May 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Heather, did you go to good places to eat in Charlotte too or just Asheville? We go to Charlotte fairly often because my 99 year old MIL lives there, also a SIL. When we go we never seem to find good places to eat, we’re usually with lots of family, small kids included so it’s mostly kid friendly and large group friendly joints. What’s good there?

    I’ve also been to the Biltmore estate, didn’t go in the house, only picnicked on the grounds.

    Happy birthday Icarus, at 49 you’re one of the younguns hereabouts.

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  45. Dorothu said on May 7, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I remember having a wonderful shrimp ‘n grits lunch at Tupelo Honey about a dozen years ago. It’s a wonderful town. The bookstore is (I think) called Malaprops. Someday I’d like to see the Baltimore estate at Christmas time.

    Happy birthday Icarus!

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  46. Dorothy said on May 7, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I’m doing something wrong on my iPad. Each time I open this page, if I want to comment, I need to re-enter my name and email address. And it tells me my comment is awaiting moderation. Any suggestions about my settings that I need to fix?

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  47. Icarus said on May 7, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks everyone.

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  48. nancy said on May 7, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Dorothy, I approved your comments. Generally speaking, they go to moderation if you a) use a different screen name; b) use a different email address; or c) use a different computer.

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  49. Dorothy said on May 7, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Yes I understand that. I made a type-o for my name at #45. It’s the fact that I have to re type my name in the ‘Leave a reply, join the conversation’ part every time I comment from my iPad that is befuddling me.

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  50. basset said on May 7, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    The Biltmore is definitely worth a visit. I didn’t care about the tapestries and expensive furniture and all that, what was most interesting to me were the kitchen and the laundry and all the behind the scenes stuff that kept the house going. Probably because my ancestors were no doubt working down there.

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  51. basset said on May 7, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Dexter, didn’t we talk about the “right field dump” in Nashville here a few months ago? Before your time but legendary… 262 feet down the right field line, the bottom of the right field foul pole was 22 feet above home plate with a 16-foot fence next to it and a wire screen on top of that:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulphur_Dell#/media/File:Sulphur_Dell_in_color.jpg

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  52. LAMary said on May 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    JC, tail lights and the vents in the engine hood. Also the back bumper varies on Beetles. I never cared enough a about the looks of Priuses to note the differences.

    I knew that car wasn’t a De Soto or a Chevy because my eighth grade teacher, Miss Bogert, had that exact car in that shade. We also had a substitute teacher who had a Ford Fairlane with a back window you could open. She had venetian blinds on it. Miss Lombardo, the sixth grade teacher, had a Metropolitan.

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  53. Deborah said on May 7, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    Tell me this isn’t photoshopped https://mobile.twitter.com/MedPierre/status/993619448882921472/photo/1 please.

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  54. susan said on May 8, 2018 at 12:17 am

    Deborah, nope, it’s not Photoshopped™©®. I think that was taken at the wedding of Uday, or is it Qusai…I think it’s Qusai’s wedding, the younger son of Saddam Trump. They are as unattractive as their sire. That family is as ugly as a hatful of the assholes they are. Gah, I’m so sick of them all.

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  55. Jeff Borden said on May 8, 2018 at 4:46 am

    We’ve been in something of a tRump free zone since April 30, vacationing in Portugal. But when I finally check non-baseball news, I see the Orange King is ready to torpedo the Iran deal as early as today. Forget about the sleaze and corruption. This decision by one incredibly stupid man man will throw an already volatile region into absolute chaos. I’m on the verge of weeping. Just 70,000 to 80,000 votes spread across three states put this abomination in office. And now he holds a match to the tinderbox Aside from Bibi Netanyahu and the Saudis –and, of course, our homegrown fascist nationalists–no one wants this to happen. The Orange King is throwing open Pandora’s box. This is, by far, the most monumental decision he’ll make short of declaring war. And does anyone think that prospect doesn’t increase geometrically?

    The young lady in Medina County can go fuck herself. She helped cause this.

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  56. Jolene said on May 8, 2018 at 6:24 am

    I’m with you, Jeff. Of all the awful things DJT has done, withdrawing from the Iran deal is the worst—or nearly so. An insult to the allies who helped to negotiate the deal, an indication that the word of U.S. leaders is meaningless, an invitation to Iran to restart its nuclear weapons program, an undermining of Iranian moderates, a trigger to an arms race in the Middle East, a poor prelude to the Korea negotiations, and probably more. Just colossally stupid. Every day, he finds new ways to make the world worse.

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  57. Suzanne said on May 8, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Surrounded as I am by Trumpists, I am saddened every day by the knowledge that appointing Ollie North president of the NRA and backing out of the Iran deal is exactly what people out here in rural ‘Murica want leaders to do. They will cheer this news.

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 8, 2018 at 7:25 am

    More friends losing jobs: https://newrepublic.com/article/148158/inside-spectacular-implosion-religion-news-service

    And a depressing night in my work; the elders, who supervise me as pastor, put me on notice for not bringing enough young families into the church (read: their adult children & grandchildren). In six years I’ve buried 67 but increased total membership by 50, and kept Sunday attendance even while most churches like ours are pancaking . . . but there are three big box new starts with bands and hip youth leaders and lots of kids, so . . . I’ve either got to figure out how to become someone else (unlikely at 56) or learn how to solder copper piping. Which is starting to sound quite appealing. (I know, it’s all about PVC now; I’m consistently behind the curve!)

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  59. Suzanne said on May 8, 2018 at 7:46 am

    I am sorry Jeff! The big box churches are doing to smaller churches what Walmart has done to mom & pop stores. I see it in my area. The franchise church gets the buzz and has the cool stuff while the other churches that have plugged away for years, like the hard working, steady but bland father, are tossed aside for the Sunday morning entertainment hour. Parents bemoan that their children reject church but it’s never their fault. If you live in a rural area, it’s not like hoards of people are moving in.
    And there is this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/no-wonder-theres-an-exodus-from-religion/2018/05/06/4ad8c33a-4feb-11e8-84a0-458a1aa9ac0a_story.html

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  60. jcburns said on May 8, 2018 at 7:58 am

    I can’t offer church-filling advice, Jeff, but as far as your alternative: just stay away from the galvanized…and learn about pex pipe!

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 8, 2018 at 8:06 am

    What would Cosmo say?

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  62. Julie Robinson said on May 8, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Oh Jeff, what a pity. Our daughter buried three in one weekend, continues to bring in new members, and then has to fight her Council about letting groups use the building. The most recent, a woman who wants to give free yoga classes, was rejected because one member believes it will introduce an eastern religion to members.

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  63. Heather said on May 8, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Deborah, yes, had some good food in Charlotte–Napa on Providence and 5Church were both really good, both fine dining places. Napa is, well, California-Mediterranean, while 5Church is a steakhouse. As a Chicagoan spoiled by our vast dining scene I have developed pretty high standards and these both met them. Had lunch at a casual place called LittleSpoon, kind of Southern-influenced (I had chicken and biscuits) but they also had many healthy and Asian-inspired options. Ate lunch twice at the 7th Street Market, a small covered market with food stalls–another good choice. Didn’t make it to Tupelo Honey but if I had been there longer, I would have–it sounded yummy and had great reviews.

    Basset, I also liked the servants’ area at the Biltmore–the kitchen, the pantry, and the bedrooms, so spare compared to the luxury upstairs. But as our audio guide pointed out, the servants probably never had had their own room, so the rooms were probably pretty nice by their standards. I kept thinking of the scene in the movie Gosford Park when all the guests arrive, and it’s all hustle and bustle downstairs.

    The Biltmore even had a swimming pool! Obviously they had no chemicals though, so, yuck, I would have had to be one of the first people in. Apparently it leaks now though. It looks very cool–kind of a barrel-shaped tiled cavern.

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  64. Julie Robinson said on May 8, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Once again Randy Rainbow speaks truth, and makes me spit out my tea: https://youtu.be/rLtEaZtz1E4

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  65. Peter said on May 8, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Jeff (TMMO) – Isn’t it just great when you get a nice show of support for your tireless efforts in your job? Seriously, learning to weld copper is a good start – process piping professionals are in really high demand, and if there’s a factory, there’s a need for someone on call to keep the piping in good shape. Just saying.

    AND, I was going to wait till the new update, but why bother: Here’s my problem (among others) with America’s Mayor – so he says he doesn;t know all the facts yet because he’s only been on the job for two weeks. TWO WEEKS – how much time do you need to figure this out? This isn’t Operation Overlord or running a nuclear plant – it’s just (thousands) of payments of laundered money. How senile are you buddy? How about writing down some notes – a flow chart maybe?

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  66. Dave said on May 8, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Jeff (TMMO), I’m dismayed at your board’s lack of support. What have they done to bring in new members? Have any of them told you what their children or grandchildren are looking for in a church? Are their children or grandchildren current churchgoers? Also, they do realize they’re in Newark and it’s not exactly booming with new population, I’m guessing.

    I would suspect that if you brought in the kind of loud entertainment that passes for church in the handful of mega-churches (2, less than a handful) that I’ve been in for a service, they would get up and leave in droves. If they’re like us at all, older, sensitive ears, they won’t like the noise that passes for modern Christian rock. But that’s only a personal observation. We left our daughter and son-in-law sitting, it was TOO loud.

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  67. LAMary said on May 8, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Jeff TMMO, you can change a lot about yourself at 56. I had to and I’m doing it again at 65.

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  68. Scout said on May 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Because I know all of you here are fans of exceptional writing, here is a link to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece about Kanye West. I thought it profound and heartbreaking.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/05/im-not-black-im-kanye/559763

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  69. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Good God forbid, Julie, we let too many outside groups use our church buildings. Some of them might get so comfortable inside as to return on a Sunday morning . . . my prayers with your daughter! 9 deaths since January, and 4 weddings up here. And to be fair to the majority of this congregation: many ministries of compassion and healing and help done face to face, not just checks in the plate. But we’ll still debate at length whether the Girl Scouts should use the building and make noise on Mondays because the elders meet one Monday a month except when they don’t.

    LAMary, hat tip to you; if I had met as many celebrities as you have, I might consider a radical transformation, but I’m not that creative! But I might just go out and start my own new church when all is said and done. The juvenile court would love to put me on full time. I don’t need to establish a new career, just figure out which of the four I’m in now I can make enough in to make my son’s tuition payments a few more years.

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  70. Jolene said on May 8, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    The Washington Post is offering online subscriptions at a dollar a week. Hard to beat that offer.

    https://subscribe.washingtonpost.com/acqlite/digital/e_di_ma0818_A_do

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  71. Jolene said on May 8, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Trump is going to pull us out of the Iran deal. Sickening.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-will-announce-plans-to-pull-out-of-iran-nuclear-deal-despite-pleas-from-european-leaders/2018/05/08/4c148252-52ca-11e8-9c91-7dab596e8252_story.html

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  72. Minnie said on May 8, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Scout, my first thought, too, after reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece was “heartbreaking”. Until then, I’m afraid I’d dismissed Kanye West’s embrace of Trump as just another episode of the shit show.

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  73. Connie said on May 8, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    I came over just now to post the link to the Ta-Nehisi Coates pieces. Too late.

    In other news I passed my hand control driving test.

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  74. Jeff Borden said on May 8, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    The stupidest man ever elected president–who probably could not find Iran on a map– just fucked over our closest allies and the world at large. Because he could. God, but I loathe that prick.

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  75. Dexter said on May 8, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    JeffBorden: This is the most dangerous and outright stupid action this creepy whore-piss drinking bastard has ever done. Ten years of promise of no Iranian bomb development slapped into the trash-bin, now guess what? This is clearly an act of aggression and a giant leap towards war. As bad and stupid as Bush43 was, he and Obama toiled and negotiated for 10 years to get this now-defunct agreement. Trump is a hazard for all humanity. I feel like this should be the last straw; Trump must go. But…well, nobody’s acting on removing his sorry bloated ass the fuck out of 1600 Penna Ave.

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  76. brian stouder said on May 8, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Connie – excellent news, indeed!

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  77. Peter said on May 8, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Nancy, I think you should send out an e-mail to Coozledad and see if he’s OK – and I’m saying this sincerely.

    I just think that the last few days would raise anybody’s blood pressure to dangerous levels….

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  78. Sherri said on May 8, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    This is my problem with the Sanders supporters in the Democratic Party. It can’t just be about health care for all and free college.

    If the reasoning for white voters who rolled the dice on a Trump presidency in 2016 was social desperation—that they looked ahead to a future in which their children might fare significantly worse than them—what does that reasoning say then for black voters and the politicians seeking to represent them? The data suggest that in order to win the necessary black votes, Democrats will have to tie themselves to the mast of a truly anti-racist campaign. Otherwise, it is Democrats who will have a lot to lose.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/05/what-black-voters-want/559775/

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  79. Dexter said on May 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Basset, that ballpark in Nashville sounds interesting. I don’t remember playing there, but I do recall playing in a rundown chicken-wire Class A (lowest rung then) place in Johnson City, Tennessee. What a backwards place that was. Another place in your state that had all the guys talking about its history was a place we played called Oak Ridge, Tennessee. History buffs know all about this place. http://www.historynet.com/oak-ridge-the-town-the-atomic-bomb-built.htm

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