Cloudy with a chance of anything.

A long day today. A very long day. Kind of a depressing day, given the news. Gileadian, if you catch my drift. I take consolation in one thing that I know: That you never know. You just don’t. Whatever it is you’re afraid of, it won’t be exactly the way you imagine it. Stuff happens. Wheels upon wheels turn, and then there’s our old friend Chaos who could yet throw a wrench into the whole works.

Who knew a 28-year-old socialist could defeat a cemented-in-place incumbent who outspent her almost 20-to-1? Nobody. Supreme Court justices get cancer and drop dead unexpectedly, just like your uncle. Presidents, too. No, I am not wishing for anyone’s death. I’m just saying, you don’t know.

The future could be better than you fear. It could be worse. So waste no time fretting over it. Do the work you need to do, do it well, and wait. All will be revealed.

(I think this is a line in the Tao Te Ching, in fact. I just looked it up. Close, but not quite. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful sentiment, so here you are:

Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

Yeah, yeah, I hear you: This is no time to be zen. I get it. All I’m saying is, you can drive yourself crazy with this stuff, and you should save your strength.

Meanwhile, this is who will likely be Hope Hicks’ replacement.

What a day! Have we hit bottom yet?

Posted at 9:39 pm in Current events |

51 responses to “Cloudy with a chance of anything.”

  1. Deborah said on June 27, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Trying to quit thinking about SCOTUS so I’ll bitch about something local: I can’t believe they’re letting fireworks be sold in NM these days. We’re sitting right now on our deck watching a big fire near Taos, maybe 60 or 70 miles away. It just keeps getting bigger. It’s very very very dry here no rain in sight for days and days and it’s windy to boot. I don’t remember it being this windy every day. They’ve closed Carson Nat’l forest that our land backs up to so that’s good. But still they have to let people shoot off bottle rockets with abandon. Why?

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  2. Dexter Friend said on June 28, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Around 1985 we had some fire-bug neighbors who had the full fireworks lineup…loud as hell M-80s and bursting-in-air shooters, everything. One rocket went crooked and landed atop my garage and was sizzling away. I called the cops and fire department from inside (no cell phone for us yet) but by the time the fire crew arrived the neighbor had grabbed my garden hose and was angling a stream up onto the roof. The firemen talked to him for a second and were gone. The cops talked to the firemen for half a second and left. IMHO, the fucker should have been arrested for arson, goddammitt anyway.

    My nephew’s wife, the political adviser to local Chicago Democratic candidates , has a lot of Facebook friends; one wrote “Ginsburg next!”. Becky wrote “Not a chance.” Yeah…but like Nance’s lead today, you never know. Ginsburg is 85 and a pancreatic cancer survivor in remission. I watch msnbc a little, and a commentator said Trump’s base, even after all the lies, all the allegations, all the just plain bullshit and buffoonery, still supports Trump 90%. Now old Turtle from Kentucky wants a Trump nominee cleared by “in the fall”. Vetted, grilled,voted on, and confirmed before the (hopeful) shit storm of losses by repuggs in November. Not a chance, Turtlehead. We remember your shameful actions to block Obama’s SCOTUS vote just a short while ago.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2018 at 6:52 am

    The one good thing about the Bill Shine news is that it’s a further indication of the basic self-destructive impulses at work in this administration. Faster, please.

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  4. Suzanne said on June 28, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Something just seems off with the Kennedy retirement. Why now? Is there something darker behind this? Or is just another clueless white man oblivious to the damage his actions are causing? Unless there is some giant change in course, I would say he just tanked his legacy. My Fox watching in laws are insisting he was forced out, but by whom, they can’t say.
    It seems strange to me, but he is old and I guess his wife has been bugging him to retire.

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  5. alex said on June 28, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Sitting in a dermatologist’s waiting room waiting to have basal cell lesions cut off my face and they’re blaring Christian rock on the intercom. I thought it was just a fluke last time I was here and the NP tried to engage me in a discussion of his nutso politics, so I requested a doctor this time. But now I suspect the doctor is probably a fanatical right- wing asshat too.

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  6. Suzanne said on June 28, 2018 at 10:02 am

    My former dentist played the Contemporary Christian radio station. He sold out to someone else so now we have light rock. The CCM stuff bothered me. I don’t want to hear some crooning/groaning song about spending time with Jesus while some hygienist scrapes crud off my teeth. These 2 things do not go together.

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  7. FDChief said on June 28, 2018 at 10:15 am

    On the Zen…maybe it IS time, only in the sense of seeking the perfect clarity to execute the attack that destroys the opponent. A sort of kenjutsu zen.

    What is utterly infuriating is where the Right is going. This isn’t some unknown land, so terra incognita…it’s the goddamn Gilded Age and we’ve been there before. We know what it’s like; plutocratic excess amid widespread poverty and immiseration, filthy air and foul water and tatty slums. Government of the wealthy, by the wealthy, for the wealthy without even the pretense of the public weal.

    We have no excuse. We know where this is leading. Anyone who isn’t a Mellon or a Carnegie and is all in on this is either a knave or a fool.

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  8. Jeff Borden said on June 28, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Raise your hands if you ever thought just a few years ago that Germany would be the leader of the free world and ‘Murica would become one of the largest threats to Western Europe.

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  9. alex said on June 28, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Well, the doctor didn’t talk politics or religion, thank god. He just drizzled rubbing alcohol into my left eye while trying to cleanse the bridge of my nose. Fucking asshat.

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  10. Icarus said on June 28, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I wasn’t pleased with the SCOTUS announcement either and hate that we didn’t do more to force the Garland issue. Personally, I believe it was as much about not letting Obama name any Supreme Court Justice let alone a moderate one.

    I’m not sure what we can do now since they have the votes. But
    I reached out to my college editor who is more political science savvy than I, and often more level headed (American of German descent). He said:

    He’ll be replaced by another conservative of some kind. It only maintains the court’s 5-4 balance. Take a deep breath.
    Kennedy is a conservative and has famously been the swing vote for the better part of 20 years. So if the court is 4.8-4.2, maybe this makes it 5-4.

    And in practice, no judge is completely ideological, and all of them have particular issues on which they deviate from what outside, non-lawyers would consider to be partisan political divides.

    Scalia was infamously conservative in the view of the mainstream media, which was very oversimplified. He was actually perhaps the strongest justice of his era on the rights of criminal defendants, moreso than the so-called liberals. Scalia was also exceedingly deferential to government bureaucracies, especially federal agencies (because he had practiced law in one), which was not a conservative point of view in the current perspective.

    There are reasons to hope that Gorsuch is more of a small-L libertarian than a conservative on a lot of issues. But we’ll see.

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  11. leslie in atlanta said on June 28, 2018 at 11:26 am

    I’m a longtime reader of this blog but have never commented. I am an admirer of Nancy’s writing and I feel like I know many of you from your comments. Today’s topic made me want to join in the conversation because I have something I want to share that has seen me through a lot:

    “Patience, dear, the world is a very strange place, and the dice are always rolling.” – Tom Robbins, “Skinny Legs and All”

    Add this to Nancy’s sage advice and stay strong.

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  12. beb said on June 28, 2018 at 11:38 am

    I’m too depressed to comment.

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on June 28, 2018 at 11:57 am

    That guy isn’t nearly as cute as Hope Hicks.

    Deborah: Is letting people shoot off fireworks a Western thing?

    Years ago, I visited a friend in Colorado who was, like me, from Illinois and had just moved there. It was over the Fourth of July weekend, his first in Colorado, and we hit a fireworks stand. I noticed the big “No Smoking” signs all over the place and remarked to the proprietor, “Do people really have to be told that?” She told me that they sure did, that just the other day, she caught a guy with a lit cigarette, which he tried to hide behind his back like a little kid.

    That should have been my first clue.

    My friend and I bought an armload of stuff without having any idea what it was. “Exploding Chinese pagoda? Sounds good!” We brought home and proceeded to get drunk off our asses as the sun went down. When it got dark enough, we set up the stuff willy-nilly in his back yard, hanging it from trees or whatever, then ran around lighting it all.

    It was the biggest conflagration of my life. Flames, flares, showers of colorful sparks, pinwheels, everything. It was the closest I’ll ever get (thank God) to being in a battle. I still don’t know how we didn’t burn his house down.

    Man, anything really does go out West.

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  14. Deborah said on June 28, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    This seems like a better path than the McConnell rule, Trump shouldn’t be allowed to choose a judge who may ultimately have to preside over a case involving him since he is currently being criminally investigated. Read this https://talkingpoint Do hearings require a quorum?

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  15. Sherri said on June 28, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Save us from the savvy and the level headed.

    I would say that yes, in a corner of civil rights law concerning the 4th amendment, but only a corner of it, Scalia was not a doctrinaire conservative. The current conservatives on the Court just showed themselves to be extremely deferential to government bureaucracies as long as said government was in the right hands: see Trump v. Hawaii. If the government is in the wrong hands, as in NIFLA v Becerra, then it was unacceptably authoritarian.

    Gorsuch so far has been pretty much in lockstep with Thomas. Alito was to Scalia’s right. Kennedy was no liberal, but does your savvy, level-headed friend honestly believe that a Kennedy replacement nominated by trump and confirmed by this Senate would have voted for Obergfell? For Casey?

    I’m not advocating despair, though I have felt it the last few days. I just don’t believe in ignoring reality, either. Yes, things really are that bad. This is a generational change on the Court that will have impact for decades.

    The ACLU is urging that you “vote like your rights depend on it.” I know all of us here vote, but remember, it’s easy to sit back and discuss all of this as thought experiments from our nice white middle-class existences, especially the men among us, because we’re so insulated (we think) from actually having to exercise our rights.

    I keep remembering what I heard Bryan Stevenson say just a couple of weeks ago about being an agent of change:

    Get proximate to suffering
    Change the narrative
    Stay hopeful
    Be willing to do uncomfortable things

    It’s comforting to think that Kennedy’s retirement doesn’t make a big difference. Even if that’s true, it merely maintains a status quo that I want to change.

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  16. Deborah said on June 28, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Bitter Scribe, I don’t know if it’s a western thing, more a country thing or rural thing. Maybe it’s because there’s less daily excitement in these places. Who knows? I have country relatives in the Midwest who love to blow things up. My ex was almost an arsonist when he was a kid, from the stories he told. I llke spectacles too, but my idea of a spectacle is opera.

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  17. Jakash said on June 28, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    “Anyone who isn’t a Mellon or a Carnegie and is all in on this is either a knave or a fool.” Or think they’re in pursuit of rewards elsewhere. This is pointless speculation, of course, but I wonder how much different things would be in an alternate universe, if you just took “Abortion is murder” out of the equation. Many people sure seem to be willing to put up with a lot in order to essentially vote on that single issue.

    And there’s no benefit to pointing fingers, since the horse is now three fields away from the barn, but it still is deeply disturbing to me that the “uninformed” “misinformed” dupes of the right at least had the sense to freaking vote, even for this crooked, inept charlatan, in pursuit of the most important prize up for consideration — the make-up of the Supreme Court. Those too-clever-by-half, insightful Jill Stein voters and folks who stayed home so they would not be sullied by voting for Hillary are also knaves and fools.

    I’ll never understand why McConnell was allowed to steal Garland’s seat, though. Seems to me that the members of the court themselves should have refused to hear a case until a justice appointed by Obama was seated. That would also have been in an alternate universe, alas.

    Thanks for your comment, Leslie. Something to try to keep in mind during depressing times, and it’s nice to hear from a new commenter.

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  18. Jakash said on June 28, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Bitter Scribe, Deborah,

    I guess the key is “letting people” do it in the West. As in legally. Open your windows for the several days around the 4th of July in Chicago — if you get far enough away from downtown — and you’ll hear from plenty of big-city folks who also “love to blow things up.” Much, probably the vast majority of it, is supposedly illegal, but it doesn’t seem like there’s much enthusiasm for cracking down on the displays, some of which look like suburban-show-level pyrotechnics.

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  19. Dorothy said on June 28, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Leslie thank you for picking such a perfect quote and a perfect time for your comment debut here. I too am feeling so listless and fearful this week, but at the same time some small voice inside me keeps whispering “Mueller has our backs.” I pray that is not just wishful thinking. I talk to my mother, too, who left this world last year on September 5. I keep asking her to pull some strings, hoping she can make some small impact on the outcome of things. That’s crazy talk, I know, but it keeps me just a little bit hopeful.

    Alex I’m sorry about your appointment this morning. Hope the sting from the rubbing alcohol wasn’t too bad in your eyes.

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  20. Sherri said on June 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    A different, even more pessimistic view about the Kennedy replacement, and the implications for the Mueller probe:

    Friends, I’ve been shouting for two years. I really don’t like being that person who keeps saying the sky is falling, but the evidence keeps piling up around me.

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  21. Heather said on June 28, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Plus, Sherri, if we do manage to stop the sky from completely falling, it will be because of the work of the people who saw it happening and understood what it meant.

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  22. JodiP said on June 28, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    I have been uncomfortable with the strategy of holding off on confirming a nominee until after the mid-terms. That was a nasty trick, and that’s now how we should handle things. I think the writer in Sherri’s last link has a much better strategy/rationale for delaying the vote: conflict of interest since the new judge could weigh in on a host of questions having quite an impact on Trump.

    And yes, things will turn, but in the meantime, many people are suffering and will suffer. I can take only small comfort in the turning wheel of time. I remain steadfast in doing what I can to make that wheel spin like an out-of-control merry-go-round!

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  23. LAMary said on June 28, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    It always sounds like WW3 here in LA on July 4. Some nearby cities have “safe and sane” legal fireworks for sale. If that’s not big and loud enough for you there are plenty of illegal fireworks for sale.

    Alex, my dentist is gay and the music in his office is either show tunes or opera. One day a week he allows the hygienist and receptionist choose the music and they usually go for 70s or 80s rock. I’m ok with all that. His knowledge of show tunes is encyclopedic. You can ask him about any song and he’ll know the show and when it opened and closed. Love my dentist.

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  24. Deborah said on June 28, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I think it’s time for some good old nonviolent civil disobedience. There are lots of creative people in the country who should be able to come up with some different and attention getting events. Yes marches can be inspiring but I’m thinking more street theatre. If you hear of anything let me know. I can’t sit back and do nothing. Giving money to causes is effective but almost too easy. Of course writing letters and calling is on the list, but at this point I’m not sure what to say because it all seems so hopeless. I’ve never seen my husband so distraught about the state of our country, I’m usually the one ranting and raving. Vote like your rights depend upon it, indeed.

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  25. JodiP said on June 28, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Deborah, there is a march for Families Belong Together near you!

    I am going on Saturday to one in Mpls.

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  26. Deborah said on June 28, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Yes Jodi, I signed up for it a couple of days ago and we’re going Saturday. LB and I are making T-shirt’s for it on Friday either with the help of a neighbor (or not). On the back of the dark olive green shirts we got we’re going to handpaint messages in white, like Melania’s jacket only the message will be “i’m voting blue R U?” We will also be making signs, haven’t figured out what they’re going to say, obviously something about reuniting the families etc.

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  27. Scout said on June 28, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Another mass shooting.

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  28. Heather said on June 28, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    That shooting is at a newspaper. Two days after Milo You Know Who said that vigilantes should start gunning journalists down.

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  29. Deborah said on June 28, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    I had the same thought, Heather. It will be interesting to find out who the shooter is and what that was all about.

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  30. David C. said on June 28, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Putin’s called tRump to Helsinki for his annual employee evaluation. I’m sure he’ll get a raise.

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  31. Scout said on June 28, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    The other night at Hair Furor’s propaganda rally in SC, he pointed to the journalists at the back of the room and yelled, “They are the enemy of the people.” More blood on his hands.

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  32. Little Bird said on June 28, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Best new phrase I’ve heard was the “far riecht”. I intend to use it often.

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  33. Scout said on June 28, 2018 at 7:31 pm

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  34. Jolene said on June 28, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    My nephew and the marginally literate woman he lives with went to the Trump rally in ND last night, where, of course, the crowd went nuts as he told one lie after another. All day, the knowledge that there is someone in my family who supports this lunacy has been making me ill.

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  35. Jolene said on June 28, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Speaking of ND, consider sending a few bucks to support the re-election campaign of ND Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, who is sometimes described as the most endangered member of the Senate.

    She is, I believe, fairly popular personally–that is, I don’t think she is personally disliked or vilified–but she won her seat in 2012 by the narrowest of margins, and, of course, Trump won the state by 35%.

    Still, if there is any hope of holding on to Democratic Senate seats, we have to support these endangered incumbents. ND is a cheap media market, so small donations go further than in most places.

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  36. Julie Robinson said on June 28, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Everything is too awful to think about, so I’m just gonna focus on LAMary’s awesome, show-tune dentist. Mine played country the last time I was there.

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  37. David C. said on June 28, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    My dentist hums tunelessly. That’s better than country.

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  38. Dexter Friend said on June 28, 2018 at 9:37 pm

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  39. LAMary said on June 28, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    I’m seeing the dentist on Tuesday, Julie so I’ll tell him he has another fan. He actually got a shout out from the guy on the Broadway satellite radio station a few years ago. He’s also a great dentist and a phenomenally nice guy.

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  40. David C. said on June 28, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Dexter, I just saw on Twitter that David Simon’s friend is confirmed dead. The RW trolls are still harassing him, even after hearing that. They’re vile little pieces of shit.

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  41. alex said on June 28, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    LA Mary, wish I had your dentist, or at least a dentist with the sensibilities of yours. Mine plays just crappy mainstream pop radio.

    Now my eye doctor, that’s another story. He plays old jazz and swing era stuff and I like it. My cardiology people play contemporary jazz (“C-jazz” or “smooth jazz”) which is the primary genre I’ve been listening to for the last 20 years. I remember when it started back in the ’80s I referred to it disdainfully as “Yuppie Muzak” but somehow in the interval became completely hooked.

    My primary doctor plays WLKI, an old-format news-n-pop music station in Angola, Indiana, and that’s kind of fun listening.

    I will say this much for the dermatologist’s office today. At least the waiting room wasn’t festooned with TV screens. There wasn’t a single one.

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  42. Jolene said on June 28, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Here’s a lovely, sad story about Rob Hiaasen, one of the journalists killed today. And yes, he was Carl Hiaasen’s brother.

    There are similar profiles for the other victims on the Baltimore Sun web site.

    I’m seeing sad postings from some of the WaPo people I follow, who knew the Annapolis reporters as friends and colleagues, in some cases reaching back to their time on college newspapers.

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  43. MarkH said on June 28, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Good Lord. NPR just reported Carl Hiassen has confirmed his brother, Robert, is among the dead in the Annapolis newsroom.

    Also, fwiw, reports are circulating that the shooter recently lost a defamation lawsuit against the paper.

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  44. Dexter Friend said on June 29, 2018 at 2:52 am

    I finished “Havana Moon”, which was on Starz. I do not understand how Mick Jagger can move like that, or how Ronnie Wood still can look so healthy ( I guess quitting booze helped) or how Keef can chain smoke and yet, like all of them, show no signs of arthritis or any of the maladies of the aged. They’re damn-near 10 years my senior and yet are thirty years younger. For fuck’s sake!
    Kennedy was forced out? From Craig Crawford’s Trail Mix blog:

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  45. Suzanne said on June 29, 2018 at 6:02 am

    Very very interesting, Dexter. Wouldn’t surprise me. Coward Kennedy.

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  46. Suzanne said on June 29, 2018 at 6:29 am

    Yeah, Kennedy just screwed his legacy.

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  47. basset said on June 29, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Wish I’d known this when I started out, would have gotten me a life of luxury and leisure:

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 29, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Capital Gazette is about the same circulation as us here in Newark; the once-upon-a-time appeal of such a paper and working there was the interaction at the counter on the far end of the newsroom with the public. You’d get the darndest people coming in to complain, ultimately to chat, sometimes to go from kvetching to sourcing. County commissioners, street people, moms and great-grandmothers.

    We lost that sort of newsroom more to cuts than increased security, but they’ve been a parallel ratchet. When you have a vast expanse occupied by three people, you have to shut off anyone coming in, partly because there’s never anyone there who didn’t come in to do something in a hurry, not to mention you couldn’t always count on having someone nearby to hear a conversation going off the rails to leave their desk and come stand near you and add a little weight to your side of “well, I think we’re done now.”

    I can’t think of even an oblique threat coming in (other than “I hope you rot in hell” but nothing about speeding your trip) for years; the internet of course brought comments that often left folks asking “do we report this to the police?” and when they were, it was someone in Florida anyhow. Now the comments are mostly shut down, and the newsroom is locked, and we just scroll our email for the odd interaction with unhappy readers. I’ve regretted all that for a while; now I’m thinking it is even farther in the rear-view mirror than it was yesterday morning.

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  49. Connie said on June 29, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Grosse Pointe Nancy? Do read Nancy’s story on

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  50. Scout said on June 29, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Is it irresponsible to speculate on this? Or is it irresponsible not to?

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  51. Bitter Scribe said on June 30, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    When Carl Hiaasen writes his next column after burying his brother, that ripping sound you will hear from Miami will probably be him tearing the NRA a new orifice.

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