Phoning it in.

Sorry for the spotty posting, guys. I’ve been busy, and will continue to be until the end of the month. Today, in fact, I’m working. But it being Sunday, I may do some of it in my underwear.

Alan’s working too – leadership change at Fiat Chrysler, so it’s all good. Fortunately, it’s raining and muggy as hell, so we’re not missing much. And I’m suffering from wicked allergy symptoms at the moment. Alan and Kate are 365-day antihistamine takers, but I’ve only been bothered in recent years, and only intermittently. Yesterday I sneezed more or less continually for about 15 minutes. Love when that happens, eh? By the end they’re what I call “snoughs,” pronounced “snoff,” because everything that can be sneezed out has been, and it’s more like a cough with a convulsive nose element.

So, today I’m back on Zyrt*c and Fl*nase, which I asterisk so as not to attract the ‘bots that have been sending me increasingly sophisticated email spam: “Hi, it’s Jenny. I see you’ve been writing about (some stupid fucking product),” accompanied by a link to this blog that may be 10 or 12 years old. “Can we partner on some branded content?” All of which is merely a nuisance; how long does it take to click the Spam button on your email? But then come the followups — “Hey, it’s Jenny again. I know we’re all crazy busy these days, but I wanted to circle back and make sure you’d seen my offer,” etc.

Go away, Jenny.

I did make a little time this weekend to go to the movies. Saw “Sorry to Bother You,” which was absolutely bonkers and entirely enjoyable, a social-satire mashup of art, culture, organized labor, wealth and then, whoa, sci-fi. It reminded me of what Spike Lee might have made if he were, you know, funnier.

But that’s been pretty much it. Work, sleep, movie, a little sushi.

I have a couple links saved, but at three days old now, they seem positively outdated. But here goes:

This should lead to some interesting speculation, if it doesn’t get lost in the garbage pile: Trump properties have been paying their property taxes late. What does it mean?

The missed deadlines puzzled real estate experts, who said that for a long-established property company such as the Trump Organization, paying property taxes should be a routine task. The bills arrive for predictable sums of money, at predictable times, with predictable penalties for paying late.

Many companies use computer programs to track upcoming bills and flag them long before they become overdue.

“If you’re a professional organization, you’re typically not late on property-tax bills,” said Matthew L. Cypher, a former real estate executive who runs a real estate center at Georgetown University’s business school. He said the Trump Organization did not seem to have saved itself any significant amount of money by delaying the payments; in fact, it did the opposite.

This is a pattern change, too. These businesses have previously paid on time.

You all know my fondness for Neil Steinberg’s blog. This past week he’s been traveling, and pre-loaded a series of posts he called Traitor Week, a daily look at some famous turncoat in history. He winds up today with guess-who. My Yes moment:

Honestly, I’m not that interested in what Trump actually did. What is more important, to me, is how indifferent his supporters are to the possibility of Trump treachery. They just don’t care. Nothing is going to make them care. This is worse than any meeting with Russians. Their my-side-versus-your-side, dodgeball mentality is a staggering revelation.

…Maybe the horror of the Trump years is not that America became some awful place under his watch, but that a certain segment looked around and realized what we are. The illusion vanishes, the beautiful skin withers, and we see the grinning skull that has been here the whole time.

I actually read a social-media post by a local lunatic saying this very thing: So what if Russia helped? Big deal.

Finally, because we have librarians and library-lovers in this community, behold the stupidest thing ever written: Amazon should replace local libraries to save taxpayers money The author made the mistake of posting a link on Twitter and is currently being ratio’d to beat the band. Pretty sure Forbes.com is one of those brands with a website that shames its print counterpart. This certainly does.

OK, I’m out. Gotta shower, grocery shop and then do an interview. Have a good Sunday and I’ll see you back here…eventually.

Posted at 11:09 am in Current events, Movies |
 

71 responses to “Phoning it in.”

  1. Icarus said on July 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    One’s morning face is their truest face. It is the face before the first wash, the shave, the tweeze, the mouthwash, the makeup. The face that we habitually ‘fix up’ before we face the world. Most people don’t identify as their morning faces (‘oh that’s just the ugly side of me’) as it only exists in the mirror for 2 seconds before we mask it, and is hidden [or so we think] for the remaining 24 hours of the day.

    Donald Trump, his ideologies, his rhetoric, his culture, his attitude — is reflective of that which we foreigners (in almost every nation) learn about America (as a nation, not necessarily a people) in our high school history classes. The way he governs his people is the way that America has done so with the rest of the world. The way that American liberals speak about him is the way most countries speak about America – allies and enemies alike. The language is almost identical actually.

    http://qr.ae/TUIAwr

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  2. beb said on July 22, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    The case of James Gunn is confusing because, to me, James Gunn is the science fiction writer and not a maker of movies. But he has been fired by Disney because some right-wing political social warrior dug up some old tweets of his that are politically incorrect. He was fired not for something he did or how he treated people but for things he tweeted years ago. I think there ought to be a statue of limitations on dumb things said on the Internet.

    There’s another Florida “Stand Your Ground” case. And why amm I not surprised that it involved a white man shooting a black man. Has there ever been a case when a black man shoots a white who was threatening him? Seriously, does anyone know of such a case? And did the sheriff promptly dismiss possible charged because of ‘Stand Your Ground?’ Apparently the white man had been snooping around the car of the black man to determine if it illegally parked in a handicapped parking spot. Inside the car was the black man’s girlfriend so in effect the white man was harassing and intimidating the woman. That’s also a crime. When the black man comes out he pushes the white man away from his car. The white man falls down, pulls out a gun and shoots the man for protecting his girlfriend. And the sheriff thinks there is nothing to see there. Cracker!

    I’m sure the other Brian got a thrill at the image of you working in your underwear but, me… TMI.

    I think one reviewer of “Sorry to bother you” said that the only way to convey the experiences of blacks in America is through surrealism.

    Later this week we will be traveling down to Indiana to celebrate my Dad’s 97th birthday. Woo! Hoo!

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  3. brian stouder said on July 22, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Icarus – excellent link, indeed.

    As a nation, we have to ‘take ownership’ of the ongoing Trump debacle.

    Moving forward, our system – aka “The American Way” – either kicks-in and counters this wave, or else we learn that we ain’t even half of what we used to think we are

    edit: Beb – Happy Birthday to your dad – and regarding the mental image provided by our Proprietress – you KNOW what I like!

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  4. Jakash said on July 22, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    “I actually read a social-media post by a local lunatic saying this very thing: So what if Russia helped? Big deal.”

    Not just local lunatics, evidently. “Trump’s base is being conditioned to accept a dangerous new syllogism: It’s good for America that Trump defeated Clinton. So whoever helped Trump win — including Putin — is good. So it’s dumb to worry about whether Trump colluded with Putin to win: even if he did, that’d be fine.”

    https://twitter.com/tribelaw/status/1020616608719548416

    Surely not much of a stretch for evangelical Christians who decided that backing a lying, libertine, extremely unChristian charlatan for president in order to overturn Roe v. Wade and install the saintly My Pants a heart-beat away was an acceptable bit of gamesmanship. Or those who (ahem) voted for Hair Furor just to piss off liberals, I might add…

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  5. David C. said on July 22, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    It’s hard not to come to the conclusion that the US needs a Czechoslovakia-style velvet divorce. I don’t know how you would draw the line – maybe overlay one country over the other like they do with area codes. Let them live by the laws they create, and let me live by the laws we create. It isn’t working and I don’t see how it can work unless we send a third of the population to re-education camps. Which third? Well, that depends.

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  6. Dexter Friend said on July 22, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    O.T. again…The Duckboat company is telling the press the storm on the lake “blew up out of nowhere”. Wrong, as Maria LaRose (The Weather Channel) told us today…as early as 11:45 AM that day watches were posted online and through all media outlets. By the time it was an hour before the boat took to the water, warnings were everywhere for severe weather coming in quickly, and we can assume watercraft warnings surely were issued. Still, a boatload of people means a big payday, so fuck you weatherman and weatherlady. And 17 are dead.

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  7. brian stouder said on July 22, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Dexter, agreed.

    We rode duck boats many summers ago, when we went to the Wisconsin Dells.

    As fate would have it, we had a cottage on the lake awaiting us, and the week before our vacation, a big-big-big storm went through, and some dams and dikes gave way, and our lake (Lake Delton) was mostly gone when we got there! You could walk out into the dry lake-bed – and the local papers were saying people were finding all manner of stuff (mostly guns) that had been dumped, over the years.

    Anyway, the Duck Boat ride was fun enough (through town, and onto the Wisconsin River), although our Duck broke down, and they called their tow-duck (named Chestey Puller – which I thought was pretty good!) and we switched to another.

    Looking back on it, it’s a little bit…disturbing(!)

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  8. Julie Robinson said on July 22, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    One of the possibilities presented to me in Boston was duck boats, and I said no way. We also rode them in the Dells and the combination of the diesel and the waves made me sick to my stomach. But I also didn’t feel very safe, especially knowing they were from WWII.

    This afternoon we got to see Matt in Godspell. May I be a proud mama for a minute? His voice is so good and so pure, and he blew us all away. If you know the show, he sang We Beseech Thee and All Good Gifts and he brought me to tears.

    Has anyone here flown Spirit Airlines? I had never heard of them before this trip, but as we looked for tickets they beat everyone else, and also had a great price for car rental. When we mentioned Spirit everyone said they were horrible, but that wasn’t our experience.

    Both our planes seemed almost new and the piloting smooth. Best of all, we got put in the exit row both times, with only two of us in a three seat row. They asked for volunteers on the first flight, then we volunteered ourselves on the second one. Leg room, yessss.

    Of course they don’t fly out of the Fort, but I can always just run down to Orlando for a visit with the kids and fly from there.

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  9. Joe Kobiela said on July 22, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Spirit is another low cost airline, maintenance is better than Allegiant but you pay extra for everything, and their on time record is pretty poor, in some cases by the time you add up all the extras you paid for you would be close to paying the same cost as going on a legacy carrrier. Glad this trip worked out for you.
    Pilot Joe

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  10. LAMary said on July 22, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    RIP Jonathan Gold. The only food writer to win a Pulitzer. His writing didn’t just change tell people about food. It changed attitudes about exploring neighborhoods in LA. When I moved her 36 years ago the restaurants that got reviewed were the prime rib and baked Alaska places. Or the old French places. It was like 1963 food wise. Jonathan Gold had people trying Afghan food and at least three kinds of Szechuan. Soup dumplings and pork belly fried rice and Tibetan barbecue.
    He was also a really nice guy.

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  11. Sherri said on July 22, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    This is yet another piece about white trump voters, those poor ignored people, but I bring it to your attention because it reminds me of what I grew up around. The church in the article could have been the church of my youth, the way the people in the article view the world. The only difference is that I grew up before people had figured out that abortion was a great organizing issue that could be used to galvanize evangelicals as a political force. Abortion was rarely mentioned in church when I was growing up; it was distateful and probably wrong most of the time, but not evil incarnate.

    As for the woman who thinks that love thy neighbor only means love thy American neighbor, well, I’m not surprised, and I’ve heard plenty of crazy things in small country Southern Baptist churches. Sometimes from the pulpit.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2018/07/21/feature/god-trump-and-the-meaning-of-morality/

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  12. Deborah said on July 22, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    We’re on the first leg of our road trip. We left from Abiquiu after the chamber music event this afternoon, first there was a lecture about Charles Ives which was very informative and then the first piece was Iv es Concord Sonata by an Italian pianist which was fantastic. Then we headed out on the road in our prepacked car. We went northwest up through Youngsville and Coyote, Gallina (La Raza headquarters back in the day), past the turnoff to Chaco Canyon, stopped in Farmington where we are staying tonight. Tomorrow we go past Shiprock into a bit of Arizona then up to Utah, where we spend tomorrow night. Tuesday night we’ll be in Livingston (hi Charlotte) then turning east to end up in northern Illinois. So far it’s been beautiful (except for Farmington). We have some beautiful scenery ahead of us.

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  13. Dexter Friend said on July 22, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Brian, JulieR: I too am a Duck Boat survivor of The Dells and also Boston. At The Dells, college students ran the entire show, but maybe an experienced older person piloted the craft but all I remember is the young summer help.

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  14. Connie said on July 23, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Best discussion of the library vs amazon thing that I have seen has been on John Scalzi’s twitter.

    Bigger issue being discussed by librarians: Tor publishers have announced they will not sell new books as ebooks to any library platforms such as Overdrive. Ebooks will be available only when they are four months old. Tor wants to figure out how much money they are losing from library ebooks.

    This year my library will spend about $30,000 on ebooks and a comparable amount on eaudio. Plus another 90,000 on hard copy. The library market in this country spends many millions.

    John Scalzi is one of Tor’s top authors. Why aren’t we talking about this on your twitter feed?

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  15. Connie said on July 23, 2018 at 6:57 am

    Scalzi’s comments on the tor ebook thing: https://whatever.scalzi.com/2018/07/22/that-tor-library-ebook-lending-thing/

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  16. alex said on July 23, 2018 at 7:03 am

    I don’t often see movies anymore, and the review I just read from Politico was a fucking spoiler, but I’m still tempted to go see “Sorry to Bother You” when it opens here in the hinterlands.

    The WaPo weighed in on minority representation in Hollywood and the Scarlett Johansson kerfuffle. While I can understand the dismay of various minority communities at not having one of their own in the narrow pantheon of superstars, I can’t get on board with the idea that only trans can play trans, only amputees can play amputees, etc. There’s a reason “acting” is called “acting,” and these are the kinds of roles where the best actors can really show their chops. I’d be more impressed with a trans actor playing a non-trans character than vice versa. Or black playing white, or disabled playing abled, ad infinitum. That’s the kind of minority representation that’s really lacking in Hollywood. If the leading men in “Brokeback Mountain” had been a couple of lesser-known tokens I probably wouldn’t have bothered seeing it.

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  17. Suzanne said on July 23, 2018 at 9:00 am

    The library/Amazon kerfuffle on Twitter was amazing over the weekend. It’s too bad there wasn’t a hashtag to bring it all together. Some great tweets about the value of libraries.

    This morning was the rich irony of Mike Pompeo stating that the leadership in Iran is the most corrupt ever on the face of the earth, men only in their positions to enrich themselves and defraud the masses. Nothing really makes my jaw drop any more.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on July 23, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Alex has a point. A lot of times movies won’t get made without a star attached, which is why you had Natalie Wood in West Side Story, not only a non-singer, but also obviously not a Latina.

    There are times when casting against type works brilliantly, though. Think all-female Shakespeare, or Hamilton. The cast bridges the gap of 250 years and shows how the issues then are so much like the issues today. What might be jarring works perfectly.

    Yesterday’s production of Godspell was the first I’ve seen with a Jesus who had brown skin and an accent. It was powerful.

    It will be interesting to see how the Tor ebook experiment goes, though I suspect librarians will tire of explaining it. Connie, do libraries buy most of the books these days?

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  19. JodiP said on July 23, 2018 at 10:40 am

    One of our local theaters did a play of a sequel to Pride and Prejudice that was multi-racial. We enjoyed it so much. They are producing a new one with the same cast this season, and we plan to go!

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  20. Andrea said on July 23, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Go Liz, GO!!

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/elizabeth-warren-fight-to-defeat-trump.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top

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  21. Peter said on July 23, 2018 at 11:58 am

    GO AHEAD AND LAUGH AT ME FOR USING ALL CAPS BUT I HAVEN’T HAD A DECENT BOWEL MOVEMENT IN OVER A WEKK AND YOU’D BE BACKED UP TOO IF YOU HAD A BAD ANNUAL REVIEW FROM YOUR BOSS AND THEN EVERYONE ON THE FAKE MEDIA MAKES FUN OF IT. NO COLLUSION!!!!

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  22. alex said on July 23, 2018 at 11:59 am

    I know Hank Stuever thinks Sacha Baron-Cohen is doing a disservice to journalism, but when I see things like this I say damn the cost. And why the fuck did I get rid of premium TV?

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  23. Scout said on July 23, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Peter @ 21 ftw. Hoping that all the fried chicken and the stress of what he’s hiding does him in. Sooner rather than later.

    Elizabeth Holtzman’s resignation letter is inspiring.
    https://twitter.com/Law_Mana/status/1019767332858572800

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  24. Colleen said on July 23, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    I love Elizabeth Warren and think she would make a great POTUS. There is a part of me though, that fears our nation is still too sexist to elect a woman President.

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  25. MarkH said on July 23, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Deborah – If your route to Yellowstone is directly from the south on US 89 through Grand Teton Park (as opposed to up the west side through the West Entrance), when you get to the end of the construction zone three miles south of Jackson look to the right, up the hill and wave. My house. Based on your arrival time in Livingston, you’ll in Jackson while I’m out in the road. Otherwise we could have met for coffee! Next time. And safe travels to you and LB.

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  26. Sherri said on July 23, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    A turncoat who has switched parties and caucuses with the other party is running to regain the state senate seat he gave up a few years back in my neighbor district, and his door-knocking material raises some questions about whether his father is among the living: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/07/fake-democratic-candidate-rodney-toms-father-overtaxed-zombie

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  27. Charlotte said on July 23, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Hey Deborah —

    Have a great trip — If you’re coming through Yellowstone give yourself several extra hours for RV and bear jams. Are you spending the night in Livingston? We could meet up for a drink if you want — (drop me a note at cmf406 at gmail). The Old Saloon in Emigrant is a nice spot for dinner on your way up from Gardiner, as is the Yellowstone River Inn which has a lovely dining area overlooking the river (although it’s spendy). Utah to Livingston through Yellowstone is going to be a long day!

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  28. Diane said on July 23, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    My little, little mountain library district alone spends over $15,000 a year on ebooks and eaudiobooks. So between Connie and me, just two random commentators on a blog, that’s how much money? Add in the rest of the country and the big systems, it’s a lot of money.

    Libraries buy lots of copies when a title is new and hot. Four months in, not so much (unless the title is still really hot-many Tor titles, probably not). I suspect they will at best break even and have really annoyed librarians and patrons in the process.

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  29. Deborah said on July 23, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Mark H, I didn’t even realize until today that we would be in your neck of the woods. LB wasn’t able to make the trip with us (it’s just me and my husband). LB is having issues with her hip, she’s been fairly immobile until recently and she’s in the midst of physical therapy, also she’s having a procedure where they give her a shot right into her joint.

    Charlotte, we’re staying at the Murray Hotel Tuesday night, would love to meet up with you for a drink, I’ll email you.

    Our trip up through Utah has been spectacular today. Lots of incredible land formations.

    We’re listening to Faulkner’s Light in August on CDs. I read it way back when I was in college. Love the way Faulkner’s words string together.

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  30. Dexter Friend said on July 24, 2018 at 3:16 am

    I still can’t stop thinking about John Waters’ “The Wall”, (2017 edition) shown on HDNET-TV last night. Talk about production value, wow. This was the penultimate rock show, superb. Interspersed were tributes to Waters’ grandfather and father, both killed in action in two consecutive World Wars.
    I gotta read up on this changeover at Fiat-Chrysler. I heard on teevee that the little Fiats like my daughter and J. Borden drive really didn’t make it big here in the USA. I see them everywhere around here.

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  31. Linda said on July 24, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Colleen @21:

    You are sadly probably right. I read a tweet where a woman said she would vote for ANYONE about Warren. I asked point blank who she would consider qualified and female. She said Tammy Duckworth, who is a veteran, experienced at all levels of government. But how many male politicians has this person probably voted for who had few or none of those qualifications? I’m afraid we can support a hypothical perfect woman, but no flawed real ones. The last presidential election was like a bad SNL skit on sexism.

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  32. basset said on July 24, 2018 at 9:52 am

    saw Roger Waters’ live show last summer… have been to a lot of performances in the past forty-some years but that was one of two that I left saying “wtF did I just see?” Amazing.
    (the other, btw, was an African band, Etran Finatawa, in a tent on the square in Bloomington during Lotus Fest.)

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  33. Deborah said on July 24, 2018 at 10:09 am

    I read the NY Mag Warren piece this morning in the hotel here in WY, waiting for my husband to get up and get going. He did all the driving yesterday and was bushed. Warren is a dynamo, I hope she runs, maybe she won’t get the nom, we shall see. Maybe a younger woman will succeed, Warren’s age is her only draw back imho.

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  34. MarkH said on July 24, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Deborah – Just curious, how far into Wyoming did you get last night?

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  35. Sherri said on July 24, 2018 at 11:51 am

    There are many gadgets on the Internet of Things that I make fun of, am skeptical of, or wouldn’t have in my house, but I will confess: I love my Sonos speakers. Now they support AirPlay, so the one deficit they had for me, an inability to use them to listen to podcasts with my favorite podcast app, is gone, and a brand new Sonos One is in my kitchen today to keep me entertained during meal prep! And so easy to set up.

    No doubt shallow and privileged of me, but I’ll take my pleasures where I can.

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  36. Scout said on July 24, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Sherri, we love our Sonos system. We have one in practically every room of the house. I really like being able to marry them all, as well as having the option to have different things playing in different rooms.

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  37. Scout said on July 24, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    I’m not sure what gobsmacks me more; that this stuff happens or that I continue to be gobsmacked. It’s like we are living a shitty, totally unbelievable movie script.
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/sessions-joins-chants-lock-her-up

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  38. Suzanne said on July 24, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Not only that, Scout, but Trump now plans to give farmers who are hurt by his tariffs a bailout. Were we not told by conservatives for years that bailouts by the Obama admin to GM and others was bad, stupid, and wrong? Welfare is bad, right? Handouts are wrong?
    And yet…
    Gobsmacked is the right word.

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  39. Deborah said on July 24, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Mark H, I waved at your general vicinity. Wow, the Tetons are spectacular. And Jackson has a cute square.

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  40. Dexter Friend said on July 24, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    $12B bailout, all because of Trump’s actions to start with, tariffs ruining farmers’ outlook…but what do you want to bet the dirt farmers see none of that money? I don’t believe anything out of Washington, of course. Trump’s ballyhooed statements about turning the VA around have only produced stretched-out time periods between doctor visits and huge slashes in travel pay benefits, and that’s just what I see personally, then there’s the low pay for VA doctors resulting in even longer and longer waits just to get appointments, let alone getting stacked up in the waiting rooms…but this all caps tweet about Iran and unleashing hell upon them the likes never seen before surely means a nuclear bomb storm, and that, my friends, is a sign that it is time for regime change at home, not in Iran.

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  41. Sherri said on July 24, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has demonstrated over and over again exactly what kind of person he is. The only thing that should be gobsmacking is if he suddenly had a Damascus Road experience and became an immigrant rights attorney or something.

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  42. Dexter Friend said on July 24, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Sherri, Beauregard’s laugh attack at the high schoolers’ “lock her up lock her up ” incessant chant drew that sort of reflected disgust from Lester Holt on his NBC Nightly News tonight. Anyone could see Lester was clearly pissed off at that clown.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 24, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    This is a brilliant piece of reporting and writing, and a tragic failure of nerve on so many levels in that church. Yet I can’t say we’re much beyond it. The characters here are all familiar to me in Ohio. Our Trump supporters ruefully tolerate me and my preaching, but there’s an edge to many interactions that didn’t used to be there.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2018/07/21/feature/god-trump-and-the-meaning-of-morality/

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  44. Deborah said on July 24, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    So tonight we’re at the legendary Murray Hotel in Livingston, MT. We had a good meal in the restaurant and tomorrow morning we’re meeting Charlotte at the hotel associated cafe for coffee and pastries. I’ve been living on peanut butter stuffed pretzels the last two nights because we were too tired to go out and there wasn’t anyplace worth while to go to in either of those places. Anthony Bourdain recommended staying in the Peckinpah suite at the Murray but that was too pricey. We did get upgraded to a nicer suite than the one we booked which is nice. Livingston is a cozy town, not too touristy, I can see why Charlotte likes it.

    Can I say without sounding blasphemous that we found Yellowstone to be a bit disappointing? We were bowled over by the Tetons before you enter Yellowstone. I wasn’t expecting Yellowstone itself to be basically roads lined with tall pines, so there weren’t many mountain vistas which we’re more fond of. We like the long view of wide open spaces better. The geysers are interesting in Yellowstone to be sure, we missed Old Faithful because of the throngs of people parking etc. it didn’t seem worth going through all of that. We saw the smaller ones which were interesting enough. We thought the drive from the north entrance out to Livingston to be much more to our liking. If we had hiked some we probably would have enjoyed it more but we have a time schedule that we hadn’t planned for that. Oh well, we saw a few animals in Yellowstone, no bears though.

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  45. Deborah said on July 25, 2018 at 12:39 am

    Jeff tmmo, that link was extremely disturbing.

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  46. ROGirl said on July 25, 2018 at 5:59 am

    News of Sergio Marchionne’s death has come through.

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  47. alex said on July 25, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Jeff, I read that piece even though I’ve pretty much sworn off of Cletus safaris at this point. My takeaway is that too many people of faith are people of bad faith. No wonder they love Trump. He’s a master at absolving himself while condemning others, and their warped interpretation of Christianity has always been essentially a license to do the same.

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  48. Sherri said on July 25, 2018 at 8:23 am

    As I mentioned back @11 when I posted that same link about that church in Alabama, I recognized the people in that article as the people in the church I grew up in.

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  49. Suzanne said on July 25, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Too many church people don’t really understand or want to learn the faith. It’s tribal. It’s a way to feel superior to others. It’s magical thinking. I go to church, pray to God, and all will be well with my life. God as Santa.
    As Karen Armstrong said “”True religion has little to do with self-righteousness, which is often simply a self-congratulatory form of egotism.”

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  50. Deborah said on July 25, 2018 at 9:59 am

    When my husband read that article that Sherri and Jeff linked to, he said “self centered egotists” but “self congratulatory egotism” is a better term.

    The sad part of that link was how batshit crazy those people sounded. You want to excuse them at first, and say they mean well, but no, they don’t mean well at all. They twist it all every which way to make them seem righteous, but it is completely immoral.

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  51. annie said on July 25, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Sometimes I think it’s not good that I live in a coastal bubble where pretty much everyone I know is liberal. But that link about the Baptist church–I’m depressed enough about the state of the world as it is. If I had to live around those people, I would go batshit crazy.

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  52. Sherri said on July 25, 2018 at 11:26 am

    It’s definitely magical thinking. I think there’s also a bit of vicarious thrill-seeking in believing that you’re battling Satan. You can feel important without really risking anything.

    Their churches are very much fear and shame based, so it’s not surprising that fear and shame is what they reflect into the world. The problem is not them, it’s that they have disproportionate power right now. They haven’t changed.

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  53. Suzanne said on July 25, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Yes, Sherri, that Satan thing is big. I see people on Facebook asking for prayers because, for example, their son got a woman pregnant, or was arrested for DUI. “Satan is attacking!” is the cry. Instead of considering that maybe your kid is an idiot and needs to take responsibility for himself.
    But if it’s Satan, it makes you the victim.

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  54. Deborah said on July 25, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Just had a delightful chat with Charlotte in Livingston, now we’re off again, going east through Montana and North Dakota. ND is the only state I had never been to before. Oh wait, I’ve also never been to Idaho.

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  55. Scout said on July 25, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Circling back to the library discussion, many of you will like this piece.
    https://meanjin.com.au/blog/for-the-love-of-libraries/

    “After pulling their trash piece on libraries, Forbes has since posted a love letter to libraries written by an astrophysicist who grew up in the US Midwest. It’s a more fitting view; libraries are better appreciated by star-gazers than the cold, dead eyes of bean counters.”

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  56. Julie Robinson said on July 25, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Being part of a church that preaches and practices grace has been a blessing to me, but sadly, I know it’s not that common. My daughter and I were talking with a guy who used to live here in Orlando and is now in LA. He’s black and said he was struggling to reconcile his legacy from Cain. No, no, NO! I suggested he focus more on the New Testament rather than the Old. Ugh. I have a feeling he’s gotten involved in a bad church.

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  57. Sherri said on July 25, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    In my relatively affluent suburban area, I see Uber being used to move teens around.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2018/07/25/a-new-study-says-services-like-uberpool-are-making-traffic-worse/

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  58. Dexter Friend said on July 25, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Sergio M.’s death was a bit of a shock as I hoping he would recover from his fateful shoulder surgery. He was a visionary and a great talker and public speaker. I heard many interviews with him on radio over the past few years. What a shame. He should have had much more to offer the world even after being replaced at Fiat-Chrysler. 🙁

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  59. David C. said on July 25, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    I hear “wait until the fundigelicals find out tRump has paid for someone’s abortion”. It won’t make any difference. It will be turned into a Road to Damascus story. That was when he was a liberal, he saw the light, Halleluiah, praise the Lord, end of story, go back to abusing brown people.

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  60. Deborah said on July 25, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    In a town 75 miles east of Bismarck, ND tonight. When we walked to a burger joint next to our Hampton Inn it was downright chilly. Felt good.

    Tomorrow night we reach our northern IL destination, at Uncle J’s. Sunday there’s a birthday celebration for his 88th birthday.

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  61. Jolene said on July 26, 2018 at 7:13 am

    Deborah, you can wave at (some of) my relatives as you go by. They live on the eastern border of North Dakota.

    The article re the Baptists in Alabama was disturbing for reasons more fundamental than politics. Anyone going through life thinking that heaven is a place where we will have lovely kitchen appliances is not really susceptible to political argument.

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  62. Julie Robinson said on July 26, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Is Uncle J’s birthday on Sunday? My mom turns 86 on Sunday, which is why I’m heading home today. She wants to celebrate with a visit to the zoo. And sweet corn.

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  63. Deborah said on July 26, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Julie, his birthday was actually a couple of days ago but the party is on Sunday. It’s kind of a soap opera now regarding his money and his wives children coming out of the wood work wanting a piece of it. He has one surviving child (an old man himself, nearly my age) but his second wife (who died) had 4 children from a previous marriage and his current (estranged) wife has 2 from a previous marriage. All of the wives children have children and some grandchildren. They’re all jockeying for positions now. My husband has the power of attorney etc so they’re all trying to get on his radar. Be clear there is nothing in this for us, it’s all in trusts and foundations as it should be. Some of the so called heirs are going to be mighty disappointed.

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  64. Sherri said on July 26, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Both of these links seem related to the church link to me.

    http://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2018/07/25/lock-her-up-jeff-sessions-steve-almond

    https://twitter.com/RadioFreeTom/status/1021938493835173888

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 26, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I can’t imagine Heaven would carry any Hotpoint appliances.

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  66. Suzanne said on July 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I read that Tom Nichols thread yesterday. Interesting because he is in no way shape or form a liberal. And he pretty much pegs the cultish behavior of true Trumpistas. You can’t discuss with them. They just spew meaningless talking points. Much like VP My Pants.

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  67. john (not mccain) said on July 26, 2018 at 11:31 am

    “The article re the Baptists in Alabama was disturbing for reasons more fundamental than politics.”

    As a former Baptist thankfully no longer in Alabama, I assure you the derp goes to 11. I was once yelled at by a preacher when he overheard me mention to someone that no, in fact, Star Wars (the first one) made more money than Smokey and the Bandit. There is not one single belief they have that has not been sanctified by the Holy Spirit and that dare not be contradicted.

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  68. basset said on July 26, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    https://psmag.com/economics/a-psychological-explanation-for-the-dysfunctional-trump-white-house

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  69. Jeff Borden said on July 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Keep a good thought for Neil Steinberg. He journeyed to Granite City, IL today to watch the Orange King prance and preen at the reopened US Steel plant. Poor bastard. Hope he comes home in one piece.

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  70. David C. said on July 26, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    I didn’t know God was a Bert Reynolds fan.

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  71. Jolene said on July 27, 2018 at 1:11 am

    This is the obituary for Warren Brown, who wrote about cars for the Post for many years. Interesting even if you weren’t a fan of his or aren’t a car person because of what it says about his take on the industry and for the story of his health struggles. He seems to have been both loved and admired by his colleagues and his readers. This is one article where reading at least a bit of the comments will be heartening rather than depressing.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/warren-brown-washington-post-auto-writer-who-chronicled-his-health-struggle-dies-at-70/2018/07/26/e2400a60-90c0-11e8-bcd5-9d911c784c38_story.html

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