Alan came home from work one day last week and reported his employer was about to drop a break-the-internet story, and a few hours later, it did, with the publication of this piece about Matt Patricia, the new head coach for the Detroit Lions. It turns out that 22 years ago, while a college student on spring break on South Padre Island, he and another young man were charged with raping a woman. He was arrested, charged and indicted by a grand jury, but the case never went to trial because the alleged victim decided she didn’t think she could handle the stress of a trial and declined to testify. Charges were dropped.

This is the nut of the story, to my mind:

Although both men have gone on to successful careers, the relevance of even old and untried charges raises questions for the Lions at the height of the “Me Too” movement, which has brought new scrutiny to sexual misconduct allegations.

The indictment remained an untold part of Patricia’s past during his rise in the coaching ranks, and the Lions said it eluded them during a background check that only searched for criminal convictions.

When approached by The Detroit News, team president Rod Wood initially said “I don’t know anything about this” — but hours later said his review of the situation only reinforced the team’s decision to hire Patricia.

The NFL prides itself on its towering moral superiority — witness how lovingly they look after the reputations of its cheerleading teams, for instance — but somehow no one knew this. Patricia’s record was literally part of his Nexis profile, available to anyone with an account and the dexterity to punch his name into a search field. You can argue whether a dismissed 22-year-old case should matter today, and whether it should be brought up in the news media, and I will listen respectfully. But virtually no one in the Lions fan base is doing that, preferring to leave steaming turds in the comment section of, well, this follow-up piece from the weekend, detailing that, contrary to Patricia’s lawyer’s description of the case, this was not a he-said/she-said scenario, but one with medical evidence. Here’s one:

Ok, let me point something out for Snell. Let’s take each witness on their own merit.
1) Detective = took statement
2) Roommate = heard roomate talk about sex with two football players including DP.
3) Nurse = found semen in slut
4) Doctor = confirmed semen in slut
5) Slut = slut. Enough said

And this:

Without dna evidence tying these two guys to the sex, you have a bunch of witnesses who can testified that the accuser had sex, maybe aggressive sex. Now think about all the possibilities on south padre island during spring break.

And this:

Us older Americans think if the “#” system as the pound sign. So guess what we we’re thinking when we saw #MeToo.

I know, I know: Never read the comments, especially on a sports story. But I did, because I’m stupid.

Happy mothers’ day, if you read this while it’s still going on. I’m spending it with my feet up, at least for a while, until I have to make dinner. The only person who qualifies me as a mother — besides Wendy, of course — is not in a place where wifi is easy to get to, so she’s forgiven.

In other news at this hour, the grifting goes on. But enough current events.

After having my heart dug out of my chest by last week’s Saturday-night couch movie, “Call Me By Your Name,” we opted for simpler fare this week, “Dr. No,” the first Sean Connery Bond movie, produced in 1962. A different time, you’d say. Two characters who are supposed to be Asian, or half-Asian, are played by white actors, including Dr. No himself. I know makeup artists back then used to try to Asia-fy white eyes with tape, and it looked like something similar was going on with Joseph Wiseman and Zena Marshall, who played The Girl, or A Girl, or more accurately, A Girl Bond Screws Before the Real Girl shows up, and that was, of course, Ursula Andress in her white bikini and knife belt. I thought she played the Bond girl who shot a guy with a pair of guns hidden in her pasties; as I recall, she was doing a sexy striptease or something, and gave him the old one-two with a couple of shoulder shrugs. Cherchez la femme, Bond actors! Which one was that? You guys can dig up any information, but all the googling I’ve done so far is fruitless.

And if there’s a bra available with shoulder-activated firearms built in, I’d like to know where I can buy one, because you never know when you’re going to overhear someone bitching about the Matt Patricia story, right?

Kate just called. Said she’s having a blast, working very hard, and they will soon be learning Santeria dances of the various orishas. Good. I may need her to summon Chango when she gets home, just in case we have to deal with some pissed-off Lions fans.

Great week ahead, all. I’m going to read something fun and non-Twitter-adjacent.

Posted at 4:46 pm in Media, Movies, Same ol' same ol' |

57 responses to “Deplorables.”

  1. LAMary said on May 13, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    I think this is the movie you’re thinking of:,_The

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    • nancy said on May 13, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      I think you’re right. There couldn’t possibly have been two. Movies, that is.

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  2. beb said on May 13, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Speaking of John McCain (in reference to my post of 30 minutes ago, now in the previous thread…. The “He’s dying” snark may have been unacceptable but that’s not forget that’s St, McCain is no saint:

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  3. beb said on May 13, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Since I dislike professional athletics I never read sports news. So I had no idea who this guy is, where he worked, what he does, or what he did 22 years. I do believe there should be no statute of limitations for rape. All I’ve read is how turd of a governor John Engler is being a turn of a college president and trying to bury any corporate liability for turning a blind eye to decades of abuse.

    A “girl who shot a guy with guns hidden in her pasties?” Are you sure you’re not thinking of Austin Powers, or was Austin Powers mocking something in the Bond movies. (I confess I never watched them.)

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  4. LAMary said on May 13, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    The Time Magazine review of that movie must have made an impression on me. I remember the photo of Ursula Andress in that that bikini.

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  5. Deborah said on May 13, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Nancy, I’d be interested in finding out what you mean by having your “heart dug out” by Call Me By Your Name? I liked the movie a lot, my husband, not so much. My favorite part was the way the guys casually pulled on shorts and a shirt and went out into the beautiful warm environment. It reminded me of my childhood in the summer when I could hop out of bed, throw on a shirt and some shorts, grab a piece of fruit and play, play, play until we were called in as the sun was setting. Those halcyon days are long, long gone when I had not a care in the world. Not long after that my mother got sick and then died. My life changed inexorably after that, never to go back to the way it was. That’s what the movie reminded me of. I’ve not really got the story of why my husband found the movie boring.

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    • nancy said on May 13, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      I just found it very moving, and heartbreaking, in its way. A perfect portrait of first love, summer and the fleeting nature of youth.

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  6. Deborah said on May 13, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    We got back from our Mother’s Day outing. We went to a place here in Santa Fe called Radish and Rye, I recommend it for any one who visits. Delish food and an over the top dramatic waiter that we’ve had both times we’ve been there. Mostly I detest waiters like that, but this guy is as professional as they come. Totally worth it and just a few blocks from our place in Santa Fe. Tomorrow we go back to Abiquiu where we’ll be off and on most of the summer.

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  7. Dexter said on May 13, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    My #1 couch movie tonight was “Tampopo”, a film my pal from Connecticut insisted I record a few days ago. It’s 33 years old now and I had never seen it. Japanese, captioned to the English, and a delight, indeed. The intro called it a “noodle western”. A widow striving to open a ramen shop enlists many helpers, and falls for one of them. I assumed it was set in Tokyo. An aside: I flew over Tokyo twice and the pure size of it amazed me…even in the air it was sort of never ending. Also, I happen to love ramen, pork ramen, soft noodles, garlicky.

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  8. Dexter said on May 13, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks for the details about Coach Patricia. Will public scrutiny force him out already?

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  9. basset said on May 13, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    About that bra… can’t help with that, but maybe one of these hidden in each armpit would work:

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  10. Deborah said on May 13, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    Dexter, I remember reading about Tampopo, always meant to check it out, but for some reason haven’t yet. I’ve only been to the Tokyo airport (Narita) on my way to Bangkok, but I was super impressed with it. Particularly the restrooms, hard to explain but everything about it was designed for the user. When you went into the restroom stall there was a raised wire rack for your bag so you didn’t have to plop it down on a dirty floor, and the little gizmo latch that you use to close the stall door was so intuitive and simple, not the over designed stuff they have in most places that get destroyed because there are too many moves in how they work.

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  11. MarkH said on May 13, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    Never saw the 10th Victim (Mastroianni as a blond? hmph), but, like beb, my first thought was Elizabeth Hurley’s machine gun breasts in Austin Powers. Myers was clearly spoofing all things British ’60s, but there is a good case to be made he took major cues from ‘Dimension 5’, starring Jeffrey Hunter as agent Justin Power. Dig Harold “Oddjob” Sakata as ‘Big Buddha’.

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  12. Connie said on May 14, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Back to the Indy 500. Some 30 years ago I spent a big chunk of my pregnancy in the brand new Methodist hospital. My room window looked west over I-65, and I saw everything that flew over th speedway, including the Goodyear blimp.

    Years ago I was frightened by the Goodyear Blimp. I was walking down a sidewalk in East Lansing, when I heard a strange sound. I looked up and screamed. In my memoty that blimp was just a few foot above my head, though I am
    Probably wrong.

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  13. alex said on May 14, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Wonderful Mother’s Day hereabouts. I prepared the NYT Sam Sifton recipe for chicken provencal that Nancy posted here years ago. It was superb.

    Because of my dietary restrictions, I had attempted the dish before with boneless, skinless meat and the result was totally meh. The crispy skin is what makes the dish so outstanding, and the bones make for a much more awesome sauce. Everyone loved it and we had a marvelous time eating outside.

    Speaking of machine gun tits, I found a fun birthday gif that I posted on facebook a couple of times. It’s a girl shooting whipped cream out of her boobies. Looks kind of retro like a Bond girl maybe.

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 14, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Beb, stipulated, McCain’s no saint. But Loomis’ complaint is “The issue is how the media has fawned over him for the last 25 years. Milbank’s grotsequery [sic] is just the beginning. And very little of this will come from the conservative media that largely didn’t trust McCain. It’s going to come from liberals, centrists, and Beltway hacks. And it is going to be very, very gross.”

    He’s right, conservative media won’t praise McCain too highly — because he really was a maverick. You can argue, as I think Loomis loosely was doing leading up to that paragraph, that he’s not really a maverick because he was not pro-choice, not anti-war, less humanist than mercantilist, and he picked Palin. But I would support praise of McCain for having actually done what the essay tries to gloss over: challenging his own party orthodoxy, regularly and without apology. The rigid discipline the partisan factions try to impose is what I think has led to the lack of political compromise, the inability of the governmental system to govern. So I would argue that even those who defy their own leadership, even if not often enough or on the right things even as I would measure those things, deserve a common measure of thanks and encouragement.

    Loomis condemns McCain essentially for not being a progressive. I praise him for having been regularly seen by Republican leadership as a pain in the ass. May his tribe increase!

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  15. basset said on May 14, 2018 at 7:45 am

    Back to the blimp and Indianapolis for a minute… or I should say a blimp, apparently they have three:

    anyway, in 1974 or so there was a ZZ Top concert at the old Bush Stadium just a short way down 16th street from the speedway. Blimp cruised over from the track, dropped down pretty low, hovered or parked or whatever they call it, and those on board opened the windows and enjoyed the show for awhile.

    I was just getting started shooting concerts then, camera was a Zenit-E… Russian copy of a Leicaflex and all I could afford at the time. That was back when ZZ Top still wore cowboy hats and hadn’t gotten so far into production, they just walked out there and rocked. If I remember right the rest of the bill was Climax Blues Band, Roy Buchanan, Billy Cobham and Muddy Waters. I think my negatives are still in our storage locker somewhere.

    Now I want to go back to the blimp site and see how I can get a ride on one.

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  16. Mark P said on May 14, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Way back in my previous life, I got a ride on the Goodyear blimp as it passed through Augusta Ga. In fact I actually got to sit in the pilot’s seat and spin the huge wheel beside the seat that controls vertical movement. A few weeks later it was moored at the airport when a thunder storm that tore it free. A zipper opened the helium bladder and it collapsed into a tiny little pile on the ground as it was intended to. Have I told that story before?

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  17. Peter said on May 14, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Deadspin did a follow up on the Patricia story where it took them 30 – count ’em, 30 – seconds to pull up the arrest report on Nexus, and wondered why the Lions didn’t do that in the first place.

    Someone commented that the Lions haven’t done anything in first place for about 60 years.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on May 14, 2018 at 11:06 am

    My wife and I just returned from Portugal, a most beautiful country filled with wonderful people, but we also brought back an unwanted souvenir. Johanna fell and broke two bones in her right wrist a few days before we were set to return. So. . .let me tell you all about the horrors of socialized medicine.

    We hoped it was a bad sprain, but a doctor who made an actual house call –right to our hotel room– said she could not be sure and that we absolutely needed to have an X-ray. We embarked to a Catholic hospital via taxi and dove into nationalized health care. The emergency room looked like most in America, though without any gunshot wounds. and we were ready for a little slice of hell.

    Instead, she was seen within 30 minutes. Two doctors examined her wrist and wrote the paper work for her first X-ray. Meanwhile, she was given a pain reliever and a muscle relaxant. When the X-ray showed broken bones, a third doctor and nurse joined the team and they pulled poor Johanna’s wrist into place, then applied a cast. Then, it was time for her second X-ray, to assure they had lined up the bones properly. Finally, one of the physicians wrote a letter in English to her primary caregiver back home, listing what they had done. The bill for all this was 119 euros, or at the time, $141. Yeah, $141.

    I know all the terrible stories about socialized medicine. In fact, we were told 85 percent of the doctors in Portugal were on strike because of heavy case loads, but the emergency rooms were still fully staffed. Nonetheless, how can this be? Surely, our bill would have run well into the thousands of dollars for the same treatment in Chicago. How can Johanna have received such excellent and compassionate care for maybe a tenth or a twentieth of what it would cost here?

    BTW, it was heaven to be in a tRump free zone for two weeks. And now we’re back in hell again.

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  19. brian stouder said on May 14, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Jeff, what a terrible, wonderful story! Here’s wishing you and yours all the best, as your wife recovers from all of that, plus the travel

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  20. Deborah said on May 14, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Great story Jeff B, only sorry about your wife’s pain and the inconvenience of a cast for a while.

    Mark P, also a good story, and no, at least I hadn’t heard (read) it before.

    Our first apartment when I was newly married to my ex was a couple of blocks away from where a blimp parked, this was north of Houston, in a suburban area and I think it was a Goodrich blimp not a Goodyear blimp, they were copycats. It used to hover low over our apt on the second floor, creepy.

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  21. Heather said on May 14, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Jeff B., sorry to hear about your wife’s wrist, but how did you like Portugal other than that? I really loved it there. My aunt and cousin went there a few weeks ago and she said she didn’t like it as much as Spain. She says the Portuguese are too melancholy–or saudade, as they might say. Maybe that’s why I like it there, having a tendency toward melancholy myself.

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  22. Suzanne said on May 14, 2018 at 11:31 am

    THanks Jeff for showing us the horrors of universal care.

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  23. Jeff Borden said on May 14, 2018 at 11:47 am


    We loved Portugal from top to bottom. All the travel books make reference to saudade and how Fado music is really about sadness and loss and never quite making it, but we had a blast. Our visit to Porto coincided with its football club winning a championship, so there was no melancholy in those streets, just a boatload of people in their jerseys and scarves. Both Porto and Lisbon had plenty of hipster style new restaurants, though we tended toward the more traditional places. Seafood was excellent and plentiful and I had the best octopus I’ve ever eaten in Lisbon. And Eurovision was being hosted in Lisbon, which was really a blast. We watched the quarter finals in a bar with Finns, Spaniards, Puerto Ricans and Dutch fans. Way too much fun and alcohol.

    That said, the food in Spain was more to our liking. (I made sure I had a traditional Porto meal of tripe on our last night, which was surprisingly great. Not sure what I was swallowing.) And because my wife is a light eater, the tapas style was preferential to the large Portugese portions.

    One of our taxi drivers said Portgual was “a small country with a big heart.” I think that sums it up. I’d return in a heart beat.

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  24. ROGirl said on May 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Was it Mad Magazine that called Ursula Andress “Arsula Undress?”

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  25. Icarus said on May 14, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    The bill for all this was 119 euros, or at the time, $141. Yeah, $141.

    Jeff B, same thing happens here. except a few months later you get the bill for the rest of it.

    Sorry about your wife’s wrist but glad you enjoyed Portugal

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  26. beb said on May 14, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Alex, the whip cream bra was part of s Katy Perry video, I think. It’s very erotic Freudian.

    Jeff (TMMO) Loomis condemns McCain for being a bog-standard republican who did not challenge his party. He just played Hamlet for the reporters.

    I think eveyone called Ursula Andress “Undress” ’cause she did that a lot.

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  27. Andrea said on May 14, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Jeff, my husband had a similar experience with “socialized medicine” in London a couple of years ago. Long story short: he had an unexplained swollen lump in his leg, and due to a family history of stroke, was very concerned about getting on an overseas flight with a potential clot of some kind in his leg. He was seen in the ER of some London hospital within a few minutes of arrival — they did some kind of scan, I don’t recall now what it was — and confirmed no clot. Sent him on his way with no bill at all. The staff at the hospital was offended when he tried to pay. He was in and out of the hospital in less than 2 hours total.

    The most frustrating part was when I went to tell my far right wing parents about his positive experience, they did not believe me. I had to be mistaken.

    Dahlia Lithwick has a long essay about how to survive in the Trump presidency without losing your mind.

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  28. MarkH said on May 14, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    So, Margot Kidder passed away yesterday in Livingston, MT at 69. She reportedly had a number of health issues including bipolar. No cause of death released. Always enjoyed her; RIP.

    Charlotte, do you know anything?

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 14, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Good news, bad news — lost half my roof, shingles only, not sheathing but still, to a storm. But my neighbor had two guys just come off her roof and shelter in her house as the rain and wind swept by with a local roofing contractor. The owner/operator was one of them, and he told me when I got home in response to my neighbor’s text after the storm swept through, and I told him to go ahead and tack away: “I’ve done this kind of work for years repairing wind damage, seen videos of it happening, but I’ve never actually watched a roof peel up and flip, one row at a time, with my own eyes! Kind of cool . . . I mean, sorry . . . ”

    Hey, I had to agree. It sounds cool. And he’s got me secure for the next few days until the adjuster comes out and we redo the whole shebang. So it’s all good.

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  30. LAMary said on May 14, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    My house is equidistant from the Rose Bowl and Dodger Stadium so there used to be a lot of blimp traffic. Not so much anymore. My old great Dane, Charlie really hated the blimps and bark and growl and run around yard trying to scare them off. He successfully protected me from blimps for over ten years.

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  31. Deborah said on May 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    I’m back in Abiquiu so I never know if this comment will actually send.

    I was only in Porto for about 4 or 5 days for a business trip. I loved it, brought back a lot of very good port, in bags that I bought there and checked on my flight home. Lost not a drop along the way. It lasted a long time because we cherished it. I judge all port I have ever had since on that stuff and nothing has come close.

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  32. Dorothy said on May 14, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Oooh Jeff I’m sorry to hear that. Hope it won’t be too expensive to fix. I knew about the storms in your town today because a friend who used to work at Kenyon (but now works at Denison) mentioned it on Facebook. She’s a grant writer – might you know her? I’d rather not mention her name here without her permission.

    Also now that the storms have moved east, Pittsburgh (south of Pittsburgh actually) is getting hammered. I saw a tweet about lime-sized hail!

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  33. Deborah said on May 14, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    So I read that Melania had fairly serious surgery on her kidney today and of course her husband stayed at the WH instead of being by her side before she went under the knife. I’m just going to throw this out there, pure speculation and probably a little mean to say this: I did graphic design for a ballet company in St. Louis and got to know the director of the company well. She told me that the dancers lived on Diet Coke and cigarettes and often took diuretics to keep their weight down from water retention. She said they often ended up with kidney problems when they got older. So there, I’ve said it.

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  34. Scout said on May 14, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Andrea, thank you for posting the Dahlia Lithwick piece. Funny how it’s that kind of thing that helps me to shake off the shroud of gloom and stay determined to resist, no matter what.

    Mother’s Day for me and my spouse was quite lovely, a big get together with my mother, my kids and the grands in the afternoon and then my wife’s son arriving from LA in the evening to spend a a few days with us.

    I have a love/hate relationship with McCain. He talks big maverick talk but nearly always votes with the gops, with last year’s ACA vote being one big exception. Then there was the horror of unleashing Palin on the unsuspecting world, something he now claims to regret. But he is a human being who has been through hell as a POW and who is now terminally ill. That the evil WhiteHouse assclowns refuse to own that shitty comment by Kelly Whatshername just a week or so after all the pearl clutching about eye shadow jokes makes me want to give old John a big bear hug.

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  35. Deborah said on May 14, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Scout, I too have a love/hate attitude about McCain. A few years back I read a book by David Foster Wallace about McCain, when he was trying to run for President when Bush won the primary. Foster Wallace had the same love/hate attitude only a little more on the love side at that point in time.

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  36. Dexter said on May 14, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    JeffBorden: …reminds me of when Michael Moore searched for the cashier’s office at an English hospital, by the exit door. “Oh, here you are, here’s where we pay.” “What ? Here’s where we imburse you taxi and bus fares to get home.” Were you in Lisbon long or was this a whirlwind tour of many sites and places?

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  37. Dexter said on May 14, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Isn’t it strange when you click onto the obits and see a name from the past, in this case a man I had not seen for 38 years, has died from old age even at just 18 months your senior? Paul was the bartender where my pals and I drank morning beers after working all night long. He was a friendly cuss and all, and never drank except on weekends. I saw his name and it was like a swift kick in the guts. I guess it’s just a reality check; ya just hate to see the good people leave before getting really old, I guess. Of course all the laughs and good times in his bar came flooding back in a cascade of memories, then the feeling passed. Man, life is sweet, and truly ever so brief. Maybe I’ll not check out too soon; my van was just delivered, and the braking system has been replaced. Last van I had, the brakes failed and I careened through a rural stop sign. When these current brakes started acting up I had the whole fucking system replaced.

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  38. Charlotte said on May 14, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Mark — yes, we lost Margie yesterday. She’d been having health issues for some time and died while a couple of friends were there helping her out. It’s very sad, and we’re all going to miss her enormous personality, her wicked sense of humor, and her political passion. She was quite something, and I’m really lucky to have known her.

    When my younger brother died, I thought I could do the readings at the Mass, but realized I wasn’t going to make it through without ugly-crying. So I called Margie to see if she’d do it. “Do I need a hat?!” she said when she called me back. “No Margie,” I said. “You haven’t needed a hat in a Catholic church in decades.” “For Pierre’s funeral I needed a hat!” she said, and laughed that big laugh. “Margie! Pierre was the Prime Minister of Canada!” She was great — joked with the priest, climbed up to the lectern, waved at the ceiling and said “Hi Patrick. You’re one of the few people who could get me inside a church.” And then did a killer job with the reading — 1 Corinthians 13 — and made us all cry again.

    I’ll miss her.

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  39. David C. said on May 14, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    I find McCain maddening most of the time. It seems, to me, that most of his maverick cred came from the time he was running against W. and afterwards when he was angry at the really shabby way he was treated by Turd Blossom. I never found a whole lot of consistency in his positions other than he’s against whoever he’s mad at for the moment. That said, he’s better than at least 90% of the rest of the Rs.

    Portugal is on our short list of places where we might retire (mostly fantasy, we’ll probably move back to Michigan where our family is, but what’s wrong with a little dream).

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  40. alex said on May 14, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Off topic, but we’re having a vole invasion. My partner was working in the garden today and busted two of the critters devouring the stems of our tomato plants. He put out a bunch of snap traps with peanut butter on them but I wonder whether this will be an effective strategy if we’re dealing with a large population.

    Anyone have any experience with voles?

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  41. Andrea said on May 14, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Deborah, thanks for that background/speculation. All day I have been scratching my head wondering what kind of “benign” condition would have someone hospitalized for a week afterward. My mom only spent one night in the hospital after a total mastectomy 24 years ago. Nothing “benign” about it, but even a quarter century ago, they were pushing people out the door as fast as they could. My guess was she was recuperating from some kind of cosmetic surgery and wanted to be away from the photogs. Not that she needs it. But your guess is probably closer to reality.

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  42. David C. said on May 14, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    We never had any luck with snap traps for voles, Alex. We’d get a few, but never made enough of a dent in the population to do any good. The only thing that ever worked for us was barriers around the plants made from hardware cloth.

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  43. alex said on May 14, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks David C. So far no traps tripped. We’ll also try capsaicin, ammonia, human piss and cat shit per some stuff my partner found on the internet, although it’s supposed to be rainy this week.

    Voles seem to be taking over now that our outdoor cat has decimated the chipmunk population. The chipmunks would sink their teeth into our tomatoes but at least they could be kept out with an electrified fence.

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  44. Deborah said on May 14, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Here’s another dancer/ kidney problems story that I had totally forgotten. When LB was very young she took ballet classes briefly from a former Russian ballerina. The teacher had to call off the classes because she had kidney problems which she attributed to her many years taking diuretics to avoid water retention so she’d look good in her costumes on stage. I can’t believe I had forgotten that additional story.

    My husband also speculated about a plastic surgery procedure but I think if that were the case she wouldn’t have drawn attention to herself with her stupid “Be Best” initiative so recently. Whatever it is it certainly makes you wonder if it’s political. I also wondered why she would need to stay in the hospital so long. When I had my spine surgery last year I was in the hospital barely half a day.

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  45. Suzanne said on May 14, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    We are having terrible vole issues too. Never had a problem before this spring. I am reluctant to put ou mouse type traps For fear of catching some critter I don’t want to hurt. If anyone comes up with a solution, let me know.

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  46. LAMary said on May 14, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    I’ve had two cats who were champs in the rodent pest killing department. Nearly every day I had some dead thing presented to me. Farmers say calicos are the best. I would second that but add male tabbies to the list.

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  47. Deborah said on May 14, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    I had never heard of voles before reading this thread. When I googled it I realize we have them in NM. Interesting.

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  48. Joe Kobiela said on May 15, 2018 at 12:33 am

    Voles? You having trouble with people from the University of Tennessee?
    In jest,
    Pilot Joe

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  49. Dexter said on May 15, 2018 at 2:03 am

    From Zorn’s FB page:

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  50. BigHank53 said on May 15, 2018 at 3:39 am

    Oh, John McCain and his fabled “maverick” act. Way, way back when he was running against George Bush I decided to do some research on him, and I was going to use this newfangled world wide web thingy. I wasn’t having much luck with finding anything written about what he’d done versus all the things he’d said to various journalists, so I asked myself, “Who is going to obsessively analyze every single public official’s voting record?” and then found my way over to the web sites run by the Christian Coalition and Focus on the Family.

    Both gave John McCain a 100% approval rating.

    That’s when I learned I could ignore anything that came out of Senator McCain’s pie-hole. I’m sure he was a hoot to have on your TV show or to interview–a quick thinker, well spoken, always ready with a good sound bite to pull for a headline quote or a promotional teaser. He was the foremost self-promoter among the 635 members of Congress for decades. His legislative record is thin, to put it kindly, and aside from his personal lack of racism there’s no difference in his voting record from any other hard-right GOP tool.

    Don’t take my word for it. Look up how many of his bills passed. Check out what he did for Charles Keating. McCain the Maverick is absolutely, positively a creation of the broadcast and print media’s elevation of story over fact–something that goes a long way towards explaining their handling of Trump.

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  51. alex said on May 15, 2018 at 7:10 am

    I seem to recall a Frontline documentary about McCain that demystified his military career and revealed him as a sophomoric jerk who could misbehave with impunity because his daddy was a big shot.

    I was never all that impressed with McCain’s Maverick act either. Or his “Straight Talk Express” tour back in the days when political double talk could be spun as political candor if the delivery came with an attitude. Trump’s even greater mastery of this schtick proves that you don’t even have to know what the fuck you’re talking about if you get the attitude part right.

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  52. Sherri said on May 15, 2018 at 10:17 am

    The maverick thing with McCain was always way oversold, and more a creation of the fact that he cultivated a relationship with the press corps than any actions on his part. He was a pretty standard politician. He didn’t have some overarching principles he hewed to, he had an issue or two that were really important to him and he might buck the establishment over. Otherwise, he’d fall in line. Which makes him different from the rest in no way.

    People have noticed how trump always walks ahead of Melania, paying her no attention; I noticed the same thing with McCain and his wife back in 2008. Given that McCain seems to have selected Palin in a fit of pique, I’d say there are quite a few similarities between trump and McCain.

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  53. Bitter Scribe said on May 15, 2018 at 10:28 am

    I have no use for McCain because of the Keating thing.

    There also was something during the 2008 campaign that’s been forgotten, because it’s really kind of trivial, but it stuck in my craw:

    Some “deficit hawk” (meaning foe of social services) in Congress wanted to cut educational benefits for veterans. McCain came out in favor of this because it would force people to stay in the service, increasing the pool of potential noncoms.

    McCain dressed up this specious reasoning by insisting he had the good of the armed forces in mind, and huffily declaring that Obama couldn’t address the issue because he wasn’t a veteran.

    So not only was he going to take a crap on veterans, but wrap himself in the flag while doing so. Just like every other Republican politician who tries to get votes by talking up veterans while doing everything he can to screw them over.

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  54. Heather said on May 15, 2018 at 11:03 am

    There is a well-sourced story from some years ago that McCain called his wife the c-word:

    The personal is political. Always has been.

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  55. Little Bird said on May 15, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Someone here in New Mexico told me that long necked beer bottles, buried up to the shoulder- open end up, in one of the tunnels will cause a sound that drives off voles and gophers. I’m not really sure if it works though.

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