Rockets’ red glare.

I opened a credit-card statement today, something I don’t normally do. Why bother? I pay almost all my bills online, and no, Discover, I will not “go paperless” until you make it worth my while somehow, and the warm feeling of “saving a tree” isn’t doing it. Make me an offer, and then we’ll talk.

But while I was glancing through my statement, I saw that I have a credit score of 842.

850 is perfect. Anything above 750 is considered excellent. I shouldn’t be soothed by this, and yet? I am. I’m not at put-it-on-my-tombstone level, but I’ve always been a person who likes to bring home a good report card. (If you’d seen my last performance evaluation before I was laid off, you’d have been as astounded as I was.) I guess this is the adult equivalent.

How was your Fourth? Mine was…mostly spent indoors. Another 90-plus day. I took an early bike ride, when the temperatures were still bearable, then retreated to the a/c. These are not the fun days of summer, in my opinion. However, by the weekend it should be substantially better. I have stuff to work on, chores done or in progress and the weekend to look forward to. I’m babysitting Saturday night, in fact, for the 9-month-old grandson of my oldest friend. The family will be in town for a wedding. I’m hoping it’ll go smoothly, but fearing something more like this.

If nothing else, we’ll be at the nicest hotel downtown, and we can visit the bar, me and young Ezra. A martini for me, and the same for my young friend! I recall nine months as the height of babyhood. We’ll be the toast of the lobby.

Some bloggage? Sure.

If you haven’t discovered #secondcivilwarletters already, you should, even if you’re not on Twitter. The WashPost has an explainer, with the greatest hits. This one may be the best:

The party of family values has given that shit up, but some of us knew this a while ago. From the Atlantic:

The migrant crisis signals an official end to one chapter of conservatism and the beginning of a terrifying new one. After all, a party cannot applaud the wailing screams of innocents as a matter of course and hope to ever reclaim the moral high ground. Trump seemed to know that, perhaps, sitting in the Cabinet Room this week, surrounded by a table of white officials. The compassion that he spoke of wasn’t really for the children torn from their parents—it was for his own party and its struggle to contain them.

A nicely written dispatch, again from the WaPo, on how this moment feels. Weird but, also, rooted in daily life somehow:

Over the past month — particularly since ProPublica released the audio of children at the border — America has confronted itself in off-hours spaces, in places reserved for politeness and deference.

Inside restaurants at dinnertime.

Outside private homes on quiet streets.

In office hallways as people are trying to work.

Warning signs have become alarm bells, and some people are trying to be academic about it, by debating social graces in careful tones.

I’m going to go try to calm my dog, who doesn’t enjoy the rockets’ red glare, happening now. If you have to work the rest of the week, you have my sympathies, but I’ll be right there with you.

Posted at 9:38 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

61 responses to “Rockets’ red glare.”

  1. jcburns said on July 4, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    Did you get an 842 on the verbal or math portion?

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  2. Deborah said on July 4, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    We spent the 4th of July,making another patio in our condo complex. I got some pavers at Lowes for a buck each. We got 72 for our project, we installed them in a diamond checkerboard pattern that turned out better than I ever expected. We had some help from a couple of LBs friends which was appreciated. We’re really happy with the results. Now there are 4 distinct patios for the condo residents. They’re outdoor rooms that have been getting good use.

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  3. Deborah said on July 4, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    I’m really glad on nights like this that we no longer have pets. Remembering how terrified our cats were when the fireworks started.

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  4. David C. said on July 5, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Last night was remarkably quiet. I was hoping for rain that never came, but heat and mosquitoes seem to have done the trick.

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  5. alex said on July 5, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Last night was like the bombing of Dresden around here despite the mosquitoes and the heat. The mosquitoes are the worst I’ve ever seen since living here, all over the windows and menacing me while I take my morning coffee. Our cat isn’t in in her usual place; not sure if she’s somewhere taking refuge from the bugs or if she ran off because of the noise.

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  6. basset said on July 5, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Nice enough day, cookout at the river and only one person started in on me about how he was gonna have to get a lawyer so he could exercise his property rights as a citizen and didn’t understand why those damn city planners were getting in his way. If I remember right the case has something to do with a tree he can’t cut down.
    Our river group has been gathering on major warm weather holidays for upwards of thirty years: we were remembering yesterday how there used to be packs of children around while the grownups misbehaved in various ways; now we drink mostly water and watch the kids play with their own offspring. Gettin’ old.

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  7. Deggjr said on July 5, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Our bank started displaying a credit score on the website, and same reaction, how can I score higher?

    Other than paying the credit card bill earlier than one day before it’s due and providing the bank with my income. I think those are the behaviors the bank wants to incent by displaying the credit score.

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  8. Icarus said on July 5, 2018 at 9:16 am

    not too long ago it use to be such a hassle to get your credit score and looking it up supposedly risked lowering it. Now something has changed and various credit cards and other free services offer it. I’d like to think common sense prevailed but I’m guessing someone sued.

    Curious why you won’t go paperless? what’s the point of having your Discover Statement in the snail mail stream ripe for identity theft?

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  9. Julie Robinson said on July 5, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Little Miss OCD here twitched at the idea of not opening a cc statement and going through it line by line to compare with your saved receipts. Doesn’t everyone do this? 😉 Sure, I pay it online, but over the years I’ve found errant charges to the tune of a few hundred dollars.

    Next I’ll hear you don’t balance your checkbook to the penny once a week. Stop. You’re hurting me.

    It was so darn hot here we went to a movie. We’d been to the concert and fireworks at the baseball field the night before and got plenty heated up there. No skeeters, I’m happy to say.

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  10. Sherri said on July 5, 2018 at 10:41 am

    We went to a movie, Incredibles 2, for a family outing before my daughter leaves for Japan today for two weeks. The way life has been lately, we needed something light and funny.

    For the first fifteen years of our marriage, I handled all the bills. When I fell apart, my husband took it over, and has done it until recently, when I took it back. I immediately switched everything I could to automatic bill pay and paperless statements. I’ve gotten over the need to compulsively balance the checkbook to the penny every month and pore over every statement. This way, I don’t have to decide whether it’s okay to throw away that 10 year old electric bill!

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  11. Icarus said on July 5, 2018 at 10:44 am

    I haven’t balanced my checkbook since 1997! I do look at it online and do a mental check to see if everything looks in order. Same with any credit cards.

    I’m guessing that the difference is I’m usually in front of a computer where i can easily long into these accounts (the tablet apps aren’t quite as robust but getting there ).

    Whereas for others it’s perhaps more of an effort to do so.

    How Apropos that Scalzi wrote this post:

    https://whatever.scalzi.com/2018/07/01/more-things-i-dont-miss/

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  12. Suzanne said on July 5, 2018 at 10:46 am

    I used to go over the checkbook with a fine toothed comb. Now, I look online every week or so, run down the list of checks and debit purchases, and see if anything looks off. I look at the credit card statements the same way. I never have saved all the receipts and matched them up with the statement.Never ever.

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  13. David C. said on July 5, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Getting my debit card number nabbed is an almost yearly occurrence, so I balance the checkbook every two weeks just so I can catch incorrect charges. But I don’t go through and add or subtract every line. I check everything off and find the one or two items that haven’t cleared, subtract them from the total on the statement and write it down.

    I lied up above about it being quiet last night. According to Mary, it was like WW3. I just slept through it. The management regrets this error.

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  14. JodiP said on July 5, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I balance the checkbook every week and twice a month compare it to our budget. It helps keep spending in check for sure, which the main reason I do it. I look at the cc statements online but have never found an errant charge.

    I feel fortunate that neither pet freaks out about the noise. We were surprised our cat that we adopted last year isn’t freaked out, because he was super skittish when we got him. He is 13, so there was a lot of adjusting for him to do!

    Deborah, the patio sounds so great.

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  15. Dave said on July 5, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Wow, I’m impressed, I thought we had good credit but we’ve never gotten up to 842 on our Discover statement. I don’t know what gains one a higher score, we’re never late and always pay off the balance, with very little exception. Perhaps that’s it.

    Balance every week? No, once a month is enough and when there’s a mistake, it’s always ours, we’ve never found a mistake that we could blame on the bank. My wife is more prone to checking every receipt but I don’t. We don’t sit down with the statement from the credit card company and match everything up. I think it would leap right out if it were a charge that we didn’t make because we know where either of us has used a credit card.

    Plenty of fireworks here last night, mostly from the neighborhoods near ours, there aren’t any senior citizens in our neighborhood out shooting off fireworks in the backyard. There was a man hit by a bullet while inside Busch Gardens in Tampa, believed to have been shot off from outside the park. Idiots isn’t strong enough for what those people who do that are.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on July 5, 2018 at 11:29 am

    We don’t budget anymore, but at one point I kept ledger books showing every single expense and earning. Even I was amazed at the level of anality when we came across them while sorting documents to shred.

    In contrast, after my sister died we found almost no financial papers. Since the painful reconstruction process fell on me, it only reinforced my own practices. Ten minutes on the computer every Friday, and half an hour once a month with the receipts keeps the twitchiness at bay.

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  17. Suzanne said on July 5, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Sorry about the length of this, but it’s a nearly perfect explanation of the current situation from the comment section of the WaPo:

    “If you wanted to destroy the USA, Trump is following a perfect roadmap to do it. All these trade wars are going to be shocks to the economy that will throw people out of work, cause inflation, and lead to recession and then depression.

    Taking trillions out of the government with tax cuts for the rich has pulled the rug out from under us and there won’t be any cushion for the collapse. It will come hard and fast.

    Putin has been plotting this for years. We have always been his enemy and he rightfully blames the USA for decades of depression and hard times in Russia since their economy collapsed after Afghanistan. What he doesn’t get is that it was a consequence of bad behavior.

    After the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a chance for Russia to rejoin the world but their hardliners wanted the empire back. Putin ascended and took control and Russia went back to all the old ways – killing opposition (literally), attacks against dissent on foreign soil, controlling the press, and expanding control.

    I have to hand it to Putin. He saw the weakest link in the USA — greed — and exploited it. Through careful placement of operatives, coordinated use of media, and a brilliant campaign of divide and conquer, they got their guy in the White House and now he’s making hay. It’s so beyond the pale that people don’t trust their own eyes and continue to allow it. Republicans even go to Russia and grovel about being friends as the noose tightens around us.

    The USA is in for hard times and it’s going to get really bad here. There won’t be any bottom until republicans accept they have been used as useful idiots by the Russians, the saboteur is removed from office, and the bleeding is stopped. Even then, this country is staring into the abyss and it can be a long way down especially since the cultivated divisions are all still in place and so many are armed to the teeth.

    We are at war and don’t even realize it. That’s how you lose, bigly.”

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  18. Jakash said on July 5, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    If you can’t boast on your own blog, where can you? ; ) Our credit score is pretty good, but not 8-points-from-perfect good. That’s impressive!

    I used to save all the receipts and match them with the bills, but unlike Little Miss OCD @9, Old Mr. Kinda OCD here never found any mistakes. Once I read that receipts had the dreaded BPA in them, the OCD about that outweighed the nit-picking OCD and I started just throwing them away. Of course, I’m not the *only* one who’s paranoid about whatever I’m told to be paranoid about, so lately I’ve noticed tiny print on grocery receipts saying “no BPA in this paper,” or something to that effect.

    We’ve gotten to the point lately that, if it’s just an everyday purchase and they ask if we *want* a receipt, we say no.

    Deggjr refers to “paying the credit card bill earlier than one day before it’s due.” Does anybody know about that? As long as you pay on time, paying earlier doesn’t make any difference, does it?

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  19. Icarus said on July 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Deggjr refers to “paying the credit card bill earlier than one day before it’s due.” Does anybody know about that? As long as you pay on time, paying earlier doesn’t make any difference, does it?

    it probably doesn’t hurt but I doubt it is game changing. I usually round up my payments because there will be another one next month (utilities too) and it kept my bank book easier to balance when I did that.

    I’m sure the algorithm is overly complex but breaks down to how much debt you have relative to income and of course the #OldWhiteGuy coefficient.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on July 5, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Little Miss OCD is also married to Mr Dreams in a Fog, who goes through life generating creativity but struggles with its pesky day to day details. Every couple of months I find a work purchase on the personal card, or a personal purchase on the work card. If I didn’t find these, the finance lady at work would, and it wouldn’t be pleasant. She is way more OCD than me.

    In my defense, I’ve worked in finance and also volunteered as treasurer in several organizations. Right now I’m one of the people who count the offering at church. In these situations you have to get it right, and it does need to be to the penny.

    At the concert we attended they read part of JFK’s inaugural address and the audience broke into spontaneous applause, right in the middle of the music. So I looked it up, and beside being surprised at its brevity, also appreciated its hopefulness. https://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/Ready-Reference/JFK-Quotations/Inaugural-Address.aspx

    Here’s the wording that captured me, right after the ask not what your country can do for you paragraphs: “Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

    The contrast with 45 is sickening. But you knew that.

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  21. basset said on July 5, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Ours is better than most, credit union says it’d go up if we used more credit. Well, no.

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  22. Colleen said on July 5, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    No balancing here. Steve usually runs through the bank account online a time or two a week to make sure everything is kosher, and it always is. We do all the bill paying online. I think the last check we wrote was a few months ago when we paid a guy to screen in the lanai…which is now a cat lounging space.
    Sounded like a battlefield here last night. The cats had big eyes and did not appreciate the noise.

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  23. basset said on July 5, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-44728507

    Lions have apparently eaten some rhino poachers in Africa.

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  24. Deborah said on July 5, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    My husband who does all our finances (for very good reasons) doesn’t do any banking online. The one time he did he immediately got hacked and hasn’t trusted it since, that was about 15 years ago. I have my own debit account that I use for grocery shopping and whatnot. I’m on a budget that my husband keeps track of for me because if it has anything to do with finances I’m pathetic, I go into panic mode, I think it’s because when I was a kid my parents talked about not having enough money all of the time and so did my ex.

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  25. basset said on July 5, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    I’m pretty much a number-phobe myself but have had to learn to handle the family books. After getting a debit card hacked, we suspect by a sniffer at a gas pump in rural TN, we now maintain a separate card just for buying gas on trips.

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  26. David C. said on July 5, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Pruitt’s gone. His replacement is sure to be just as terrible.

    http://www.wsfa.com/story/37678808/scott-pruitt-resigns-as-epa-administrator-trump-tweets

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  27. jcburns said on July 5, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    You can download PDFs of your statements (and I do), and they store much more compactly than the paper versions and they can be pored over line by line—they’re precisely what you get printed out in the mail, down to the ads.

    I have them for all our credit cards back to 2003 or so.

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  28. Jolene said on July 5, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Scott Pruitt’s replacement, Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal lobbyist. He will likely be more effective than Pruitt: Same lousy values, same industry ties, less petty corruption.

    https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/04/scott-pruitt-out-from-the-epa-this-coal-lobbyist-will-take-his-place/

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  29. Deborah said on July 5, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    We knew that would happen Jolene, but we need to keep picking them off, one person at a time. The bad press Pruitt got was not good for the GOP, as even his fellow GOPers have said (the 2 senators from Iowa said he was a swampy as they come, even though they liked what he was doing policy wise).

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  30. Sherri said on July 5, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    We’ve had our credit card hacked a couple of times, once almost certainly by a sniffer on a gas station in rural Oregon, even though we couldn’t pump our own gas!

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  31. Dave said on July 5, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Never use a debit card at a gas pump. You might get away with it if you go pay inside before you pump the gas. You have to tell them an amount and then it will take the actual amount of gas you pumped and deduct that from your account, not the amount you told them. We often buy gift cards and use them at gas stations, Publix, the big supermarket chain based in Florida, runs specials that if you spend $50 on groceries, you can get a $50 gas card, generally Shell, for $40. We always try to take advantage of that special.

    We’re still writing three or four checks a month, depending. Our utility bill charges extra if you pay with a credit card and you can’t pay with a direct deduction from a checking account. Likewise the garbage/recycling service. I’d rather spend money on a stamp. We don’t buy near the stamps that we once did and I suspect that’s the same with the rest of you folks, too.

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  32. Deborah said on July 5, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Yay, it’s been raining in Santa Fe. Hope it’s raining in Abiquiu too. Don’t know if he’s commented about this but Jeff tmmo is in NM now, either on his way to the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu or already there now.

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  33. alex said on July 5, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Our cat has been gone all day, highly unusual. I’m guessing the fireworks scared her into running far away and now she’s unsure of her way home. People are still setting stuff off tonight. Fucking idjits.

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  34. Dexter Friend said on July 5, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Subtle changes in mailed bank statements made a difference for me, as I guess I am indeed a compulsive balance checker and always have been. The easier they make it, the lesser the chance of a fuck-up.
    If I am off a dime or even a penny, by gawd I will find it. I’ll do it over and over until I do. The dumb-ass-ist thing I ever did was draw out $400 cash and forget to deduct it from the checkbook balance register. Online bill paying is fine, and I pay some that way, but when they draw off your payment and there is not enough there to cover it, it is a shit-storm-pain’de’ass.
    I had a real elation boost when NBC broke into my Facebook session with breaking news about Pruitt, that asshole, that bastard rip-off artist. OK..that had to come, yeah…and you know what else we knew was coming but couldn’t stand even bringing up the topic? He was replaced by a COAL COMPANY LOBBYIST! Take that, America…fuck you!…say the Republicans. Fuck you right square in the ass.

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  35. Heather said on July 5, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Hope you find your kitty soon, Alex. I’ve read suggestions to put a used litter box outside so they can catch the scent, and that the best times to try to find them are dawn and dusk.

    Some idiots were setting off those fireworks that don’t do anything but make noise in the alley right next to our building–I swear at one point the walls shook. I made a little cave for my cat in a corner and she hung out there. She wasn’t trembling or anything, but she was definitely not happy.

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  36. alex said on July 6, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Kitty’s home.

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  37. Suzanne said on July 6, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Hooray for kitty!!

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  38. JodiP said on July 6, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Alex, so glad the kitty’s home.

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  39. Deggjr said on July 6, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Deggjr refers to “paying the credit card bill earlier than one day before it’s due.” Does anybody know about that? As long as you pay on time, paying earlier doesn’t make any difference, does it?

    My credit rating is calculated a few days before the payment is due so on that day both the prior period credit card balance and current period credit card balance are included in the calculation. I think the credit algorithms are proprietary so I’m just guessing.

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  40. FDChief said on July 6, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Some thoughts on the 242nd anniversary of “U!S!A!”…

    “I feel this day much as many another generation of Americans must have felt in the 1850s, watching as a cabal of greedy, foolish, venal, ignorant, and, yes, evil neighbors drove their nation into bloody war.

    And I wonder. Can this nation endure, half-FOX and half free? Or are we, this day headed where they were, where, in the words of the man who was perhaps most strongly charged with steering the nation through the ruinous result:

    “All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.”

    All I can say is; I do not know.”

    http://firedirectioncenter.blogspot.com/2018/07/can-you-see.html

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  41. brian stouder said on July 6, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    FDChief – excellent post; indeed, ol’ POTUS-16 has been front-of-mind for me lately, too.

    I think POTUS-45’s ‘speech’ (or disjointed series of rants) last night was the most troubling thing I’ve seen in……well, days, anyway(!!)

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  42. Bob (not Greene) said on July 6, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    As long as people are sharing, this was my contribution, low though my particular platform might be.

    http://www.rblandmark.com/News/Articles/7-3-2018/The-Fourth-and-the-future/#Comment-8553a645e0f5b7f0866e9ffd81448b2b

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  43. Jolene said on July 6, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    A Silicon Valley type with a Russian name has composed a thread on Twitter re things that are the same there as they were in the former Soviet Union.

    Start here: https://twitter.com/atroyn/status/1014974099930714115?s=21

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  44. Sherri said on July 6, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    A deep dive into a current Russian bot-amplified disinformation campaign, with lessons about what this portends for the midterms: https://arcdigital.media/pro-trump-russian-linked-twitter-accounts-are-posing-as-ex-democrats-in-new-astroturfed-movement-20359c1906d3

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  45. Dexter Friend said on July 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I delayed coming here to nall dot com because I did not want to read any negative news about Cat-Alex. So I was elated to read that Cat-Alex is home. But…yin and yang , the pendulum goes left as well as right…so we read that last night a volunteer, carrying air canisters to those kids, ran out of air himself and died. If any of those kids die in that cave, that damn soccer coach should be tried and convicted for manslaughter. They have no weather forecasting in fucking Thailand? He should have known…

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  46. Charlotte said on July 6, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    I found myself screaming at Greg Gianforte during our parade. Leaning out over the heads of little white kids waiting on candy and shrieking “WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN?” He wouldn’t even look at me.
    The only consolation was that the GOP got near-silence as they passed in the parade while the Dems got huge cheers. We’re an ex-labor town, and trend Dem, but still, Trump won MT by +20 and even won Park County.

    (And I’m with you on the credit score thing Nance — a weird sense of comfort. As is having my house paid off as we scream toward the cliff …)

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  47. Bitter Scribe said on July 6, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    I don’t need or want a paper credit card bill, but I do insist on paper statements from the bank. I want proof, in meatspace or whatever kids call the real world these days, that my money exists.

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  48. Diane said on July 6, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    So glad your cat is home Alex.

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  49. Deborah said on July 7, 2018 at 4:23 am

    https://www-m.cnn.com/2018/06/27/health/child-well-being-state-rankings-study/index.html New Mexico, dead last in child well being. Depressing.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 7, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Just missed Deborah, but drove down some roads near the cabin; Chama Valley is dry dry dry, no hiking in Carson NF allowed. But I’m smelling the juniper off the mesas as I drink sunrise coffee facing Pedernal (see O’Keefe, Georgia, passim).

    If you want some encouragement today, a social worker/court/church friend whom I trust entirely and is far more progressive than me just posted this:

    Yesterday, at a gas station in southern Ohio, I saw an interesting sight. There was an SUV with its hood propped up and three very frustrated individuals crowded around it trying to figure out what was wrong. A beat up red pick up truck arrived in the parking lot. A man in his 60s got out. He walked over to the SUV and started talking to them. When we pulled away from the gas station, he was trying to help them with their car. It was a friendly interaction by someone who genuinely wanted to help.

    The pickup truck had a Trump-Pence bumper sticker and a Confederate flag on it. The man also wore an open carry sidearm on his belt. He was white.

    The three occupants of the SUV were African-American.

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  51. Suzanne said on July 7, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Good for the white guy helping the black guys! However, if he voted for & continues to support the racist crap spewing from Trump’s mouth, it doesn’t help much in the long term. Kind of like a kindly slave owner. He might have been nice to his slaves, but they were still slaves and he still supported the system.

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  52. Sherri said on July 7, 2018 at 11:25 am

    And the white guy goes on, secure in his conviction that there’s not a racist bone in his body.

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  53. Jakash said on July 7, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    I guess it kinda shows where we’re at these days that the early returns show that we’re not inclined to be encouraged by that nice anecdote. After the set-up sentence, I was imagining that the story would be about one of Hair Furor’s voters who realized that a trade war, the dissing of the western alliance while sucking up to Putin, and the caging of children were not what he thought he was voting for, and who has vowed never to be taken in by the carnival barker’s bullshit again. And that — perish the thought — it’s time to stop watching Fox News. *That* might be encouraging.

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  54. Sherri said on July 7, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    There’s nothing new about that nice anecdote. If you’ve lived among white and black folks, particularly in the country, it’s not that remarkable that a white man might help a group of African American men with a problem. That didn’t mean he wanted them at his dinner table, in his swimming pool, their kids going to school with his, or going to church with them.

    Racists aren’t monsters looking to beat up every brown person they meet, yet that seems to be the frame around the discussion too often. It’s very difficult to make any progress with that frame.

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  55. Diane said on July 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    ditto @51 through 54.

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  56. susan said on July 7, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    OK. I needed a quilt-top quilted. My mom made it while our dad was away for 20 months during WW2, but she had never quilted it. I found it when we were cleaning out the house after she moved to an assisted-living place. Someone at a local sewing shop recommended a local quilter, so I arranged to take the top to her. I pulled up behind her car as she had instructed. It was exactly like mine, even the same color. Except the car was not exactly like mine. She had a Trump/Pence sticker on the back bumper. I literally froze in place, gripping the steering wheel. I sat there for a minute, engine still running, while I decided if I should just back out of the driveway and go on home. Gosh, she sounded so nice on the phone!

    I threw caution to the wind and went into the daylight basement shop in her house. She greeted me, as friendly as could be, and showed me around. At the quilting machine was a young African American woman, who was renting time on the machine to make quilts she auctions at her church to help get funds to feed children in need. As explained to me, the machine was an expensive purchase, and renting out time helps pay the bills. The young woman is the pastor at the Methodist church in a nearby town.

    This was all very confusing. But, see comments 51-54.

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  57. Deborah said on July 7, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    It’s the systematic racism that’s so harmful that a lot of white folks don’t get. The stuff that banks, real estate developers and corporations etc do. It’s baked in and sometimes hard to see. Sure white people can be nice and helpful to people of color on a one to one basis but when they fail to see the systematic stuff going on that’s not being addressed by the Trump admin that causes much destruction to people’s well being and livelihoods. Disparity in healthcare causes misery and untimely death. It’s a big problem.

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  58. Sherri said on July 7, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    This is long, but I think it’s the most cogent analysis of the last ten years that I’ve read.

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n13/john-lanchester/after-the-fall

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  59. David C. said on July 7, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Not all tRump voters are racists, but all racists are tRump voters, so BFD. Even if the dude isn’t a racist, he voted for a guy who is fucking over health insurance for millions and is fucking over the economy Obama left him because he’s too fucking stupid to understand how trade works. He gets no points for one good deed.

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  60. Deborah said on July 7, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    David C. I read somewhere on Twitter something in the same vein “not all conservatives are monstrously self centered people, but most monstrously self centered people are conservative”. That seems to ring true IMO.

    Sherri, good article, thanks for that link.

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  61. Dexter Friend said on July 8, 2018 at 1:24 am

    My ex father-in-law was like Sherri wrote in that he had a good friend at work who he had worked with for many years. When the African American co-worker invited his friend, my ex FIL, over for Sunday dinner, bring the wife and kids…no dice. I remember him saying he immediately fumbled around for excuses. So I asked if he would have the man over to his house there in the Waynedale area ‘burbs…”hell no I won’t have any n’s in here”.
    I was invited to that church just east of Hanna and north of Wallace in Fort Wayne, twenty years ago but I declined, not because I am a racist but it was like 50 miles away and by then I had stopped attending all church services. I worked in the factory with the pastor of that church, and he frequently does funeral services for old co-workers of mine, good guy. One day he came up to me and said “Dexter, I have been called.” I knew what he meant…now he’s a leader of the Fort Wayne pastors’ organizations. And, in 2018, nothing is sacred…in May a kid was shot during a funeral service in that church. It’s just another day.

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