So long, suckers.

Another week where the news has pretty much defeated any effort to keep up with it, make sense of it, put it in context. I woke up about an hour ago and reached for my iPad to scroll Twitter and see what happened overnight. I learned:

There is potentially another Trump in the world, Qanon lunatics got into the Oval Office for photo ops this week and Infowars is telling the world that John Kerry is connected to an Antarctica energy beam that split a hurricane apart.

We booked the ticket a while back, but it appears the train has arrived in Crazytown. Please check around your immediate area for any small items you may have brought on board before you exit.

So I’m going on vacation. We’re spending a few days in Toronto. It’ll be nice to visit a sane country for a while. I intend to see Lake Ontario, eat some good food, maybe check out the racks at the big Uniqlo store, perhaps buy some skin-care serums at The Ordinary shops there. Beyond that, no plans. I will post some photos, depending on the quality of the wifi at our rental.

Haven’t had a vacation in a year. This will be nice. If they shut down the country in our absence, we will come as far as Windsor and wave at y’all. Or maybe we’ll stay in TO. Such a nice city — it’s “New York as run by the Swiss.” You ever hear that one?

I actually think about that sometimes. How I might behave in a national emergency, that is. The Handmaid’s Tale got me considering borders and the crossing thereof in a martial law-type situation. I can’t run anymore, so I’m glad we have a boat. I’m glad we have a kayak. I’m glad I can swim. I know the narrowest point in the Detroit River. Of course it’s all the sort of paranoid fantasy one considers on a long bike ride, or while turning laps in the pool, but you know, World War II wasn’t that long ago. Europeans had to decide which side they were playing for, and how they might resist if they opted to go that way. One thing I know is, if anything like that were to happen here, it would be a lot stupider, because we’d have Twitter and Fox News.

Before I leave, a few items:

The Michigan State alumni magazine, Spartan, tried to address the Larry Nassar situation in its summer issue. It was overruled from the president’s office. The student newspaper — God bless student newspapers everywhere — got a copy of one of the scratched covers. It’s remarkable. So is this passage:

The original teal-laden version of the summer 2018 MSU alumni magazine, aiming to “build a path to a better future,” was stripped down and changed to Spartan green.

The State News obtained the original special issue of the MSU alumni magazine from someone close to the administration of Interim President John Engler. This version, solely focused on ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse and issues surrounding it, was not distributed to alumni.

Engler scrapped the three potential covers, according the Detroit Free Press, of a woman donning teal lipstick, a single teal ribbon and a wall of 60 teal ribbons all bearing the title “Finding Our Way” from a special issue of the MSU alumni magazine.

A Spartan green background, with a quote from Engler praising the university for having emerged from its “most difficult challenge in its history,” replaced these covers.

Propaganda is everywhere. Always.

A ProPublica essay to consider: Why Manafort and Cohen Thought They’d Get Away With It. Here’s some yup-yup-yup right here:

But how anomalous are Mssrs. Manafort and Cohen? Are there legions of K Street big shots working for foreign despots and parking their riches in Cypriot bank accounts to avoid the IRS? Are many political campaigns walking felonies waiting to be exposed? What about the world of luxury residential building in which Cohen plied his trade with the Trump Organization?

The answer is more disturbing than the questions: We don’t know. We don’t know because the cops aren’t on the beat. Resources have been stripped from white-collar enforcement. The FBI shifted agents to work on international terror in the wake of 9/11. White-collar cases made up about one-tenth of the Justice Department’s cases in recent years, compared with one-fifth in the early 1990s. The IRS’ criminal enforcement capabilities have been decimated by years of budget cuts and attrition. The Federal Election Commission is a toothless organization that is widely flouted.

No wonder Cohen and Manafort were so brazen. They must have felt they had impunity.

Finally, I imagine John McCain will no longer be with us by the time I post again. So farewell to a man who aspired to greatness, achieved it fleetingly, was as flawed as any of us and unleashed Sarah Palin upon us. Requiesicat in pace.

When I see you again, I’ll be using plastic money. (Not a card. Canadian cash is plastic. For reals. Another innovation that, in this country, would first be blocked by the vending-machine industry and then by paranoid lunatics.)

Posted at 7:53 am in Current events, Housekeeping |
 

124 responses to “So long, suckers.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 25, 2018 at 10:24 am

    I tell seminary students this, writers, and non-profit social services folk: you have to figure out who pays the bills. It’s the complementary inverse of “follow the money.” Because sooner or later the ones who are paying the bills will make attempts to control the outputs, and if nothing else you have to be ready for it.

    Our housing coalition has slid a bit in our core mission, which on paper hasn’t changed, but it’s because 74% of our income is HUD funding, and where HUD’s priorities go, our services will follow. The alumni magazine I occasionally write for is blessedly free of interference on some levels, micro-managed on others — because the one paying the bills has certain priorities, and you need to learn them before you decide whether you can work within them. The trickiest thing in church life is that there are two groups: the ones who really are paying the bills (commonplace knowledge is that 20% pay 80% of budget, but in many smaller churches it’s more like 10%), and the ones who want you think they are. And the latter group are much more active in trying to push the message or shift the ministry . . . which is where you have to figure out the connections and relationships between the tippers and the tithers, and whether or not a frustrated “tipper” has the ability to get the attention of the tithers to leverage them.

    The blessing is that in most churches, they don’t. They just say they do (the ugliest version of “many people are saying, pastor, that . . . ). And sometimes I intentionally go to the key donors ahead of a shift and say, without bringing up money at all, “I’m going down a certain road, and I’m not wanting to catch anyone off guard. How do you feel our members will respond?” And almost invariably, they say “Thanks for the heads up, you do what you believe God wants this church doing.” And the yelpers are quietly neutralized outside of your earshot . . . then they pop up again a year or two later, because they never go away, at least not until you bury them. But human systems being what they are, as fast as you do, someone else leaps into the role and knows their lines cold.

    If you know who pays the bills, you don’t have to be entirely subject to them.

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  2. alex said on August 25, 2018 at 10:39 am

    And what, exactly, are HUD’s priorities under the leadership of esteemed rocket scientist Ben Carson?

    I’m surprised HUD isn’t trying to liquidate foreclosed properties, one of which is decaying in my neighborhood, a reverse mortgage house where the owner vacated about seven years ago and died five years ago. HUD contracts with some company to mow the lawn a couple times a year and that’s about it. We were hoping we might rehab it and turn it into a rental, although at this point it may be too far gone for amateurs like us. But there’s nothing anyone can do until HUD puts it up for sale, and it doesn’t look like that’s happening anytime soon.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 25, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Nervously, I think most of us working with HUD right now are pleasantly surprised. He’s done nothing we can see to mess with the program, and folks I’ve talked to who have gone to events where he keynotes have said he’s on topic, well oriented, and sounds like he’s been doing this a while. The crazy is not on display.

    And the changes aren’t bad, they’re just tricky to navigate at times. We started in ’92 doing transitional housing (Rick Steves is one of the better known transitional housing advocates, along with his sideline in travel….) and the HUD emphasis was there at the time. With the rise of supportive housing and “Housing First” models, there’s much to praise, but on a local level, the turf issues and more specific needs can complicate things — when an agency that’s fitted into the landscape neatly between emergency shelters and affordable housing programs starts moving into new areas because HUD says “thou shalt” it creates some interesting challenges. And many religious/faith-based orgs that were doing good work in emergency shelter can’t qualify for HUD, and are unnerved (to be polite) about new programs dipping into their arena with funding they can’t touch.

    Our latest problem that way is in the implementation of “low barrier shelter” which is, in raw terms, no entry restriction shelter. Which sounds straightforward, but when you get folks coming in actively using, and you have families already resident, the traditional emergency shelter folk say “we can’t have that in our facility” and you can do both, but it increases security and literal architectural costs. Housing First models say “get the addict into housing, then work on the addiction,” and it works — but when you have 60 beds, you can fill them with moms with kids, and you are used to just turning away inebriated single adult males, so the new guidelines and funding criteria create some angst.

    Add in same-sex couples or transgender folk beyond age 18, and stir with a religious fork, and you have lots of controversy over the simple question of “can we shelter our homeless and help them work back to stability?”

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  4. Brandon said on August 25, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Incidentally, Hurricane Lane is now Tropical Storm Lane. And it’s actually sunny as I type this (8 A.M. Hawaii time). But we expect more heavy showers today and tomorrow.

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  5. jcburns said on August 25, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Come back, Nancy! The resistance needs you! Ah, what the heck. Sammy and I are going to head up into the Upper Peninsula, which, when the country collapses, won’t hear about the implosion for a decade or so.

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  6. David C. said on August 25, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Canada is sane at the Federal level, but with Doug Ford (brother of Rob Ford, former and thankfully dead Mayor of Toronto) as Ontario’s Premier, it’s hard to give them too much credit.

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  7. Suzanne said on August 25, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I can’t even with the John Kerry splitting the hurricane thing. How in the name of all heaven do people believe this stuff??

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  8. Sherri said on August 25, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Rick Steves is also a marijuana legalization advocate. He took an active role in the campaign here.

    Because we’re dense enough to support it, we’re able to take a more regional approach to the low barrier shelter by dividing them up. Redmond has the youth shelter, Bellevue the men’s shelter, and Kirkland the women and children’s shelter. There are other shelters, too, and tent cities, and churches that let people living in vehicles park, but that’s how the problem of the actively using single adult male gets handled.

    The big problem right now is that the low barrier men’s shelter is only a winter shelter, and and there’s a fight over where to put the permanent shelter, because, of course, NIMBY.

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  9. Deborah said on August 25, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    It seems to me that anxiety related to not having a place to live has got to be detrimental to every aspect of life. LB has a friend who is now the girlfriend of the guy upstairs and currently lives there. But previously she was living out of her car until LB took her in and let her live with her for a few months. She was constantly sick, bad colds and sore throats. She had a decent roof over her head with LB, but her anxiety over her future was tremendous. A sweet girl with a good education but she graduated at the worst time and with lots of college debt.

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  10. Deborah said on August 25, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    RIP McCain

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  11. beb said on August 25, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    What are the odds that Trump will say something rude, crude and insulting about McCain’s death? And think of all the reporters who will have to find a new “maverick” to quote endlessly.

    As my wife, who worked in a nursing home and watched a lot of patients die, would say: “At least they’re not suffering anymore.”

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  12. Brandon said on August 25, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    In honor of Madonna’s sixtieth birthday: The New York Times: “60 Times Madonna Changed Our Culture.”

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  13. Brandon said on August 26, 2018 at 3:57 am

    “PETA Wants the Aretha Franklin Estate to Donate Her Furs.”

    The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants the Queen of Soul’s estate to give up her fur coats to be reused for a better cause.

    Tracy Reiman, executive president of PETA, has sent a letter to Aretha’s niece, Sabrina Garret Owens (who was appointed as the rep for Franklin’s estate), on Friday asking that the coats go to the rights activists so they can donate them to be reused by homeless people as well as for bedding for animals in need.

    Reiman added: “By donating Aretha Franklin’s fur coats to PETA, her family could expand her legacy of social justice to animals. While we can’t bring back the animals who suffered and died for them, these coats can help others by providing some much-needed warmth to orphaned animals and humans in desperate need.”

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  14. Dexter Friend said on August 26, 2018 at 3:57 am

    When McCain ran against Barry, I dug as deep as I could into his mishaps as a pilot to diss him on blogs. As I recall, he had no business flying directly over Hanoi and that lake he crashed into that day; he was on a rogue mission. I found he was always pulling stunts like that before he was shot down. Didn’t he finish dead last in his class at Annapolis? In later years he admitted he was a careless pilot , and being rogue transed into “Maverick”. I lessened my attacks on him, after all, he did condemn waterboarding of prisoners , although all the while he insanely called for massive troop invasions into Iraq…hell, he was condemning Bush43 as some kind of dovish C.I.C. He’d go on talk shows demanding full scale incursions all over Iraq and into Afghanistan. So he was crazy. Still, he’s a hero for not taking an early release from his Vietnamese prison and acting as he should as a P.O.W. He was a Republican, so I frequently saw the other side of issues he supported, but by god he was colorful, made for good press, and was by all accounts an honorable man. So far, Trump remains silent , no word of condolence. Good. Just stay the fuck away, Trump, you whore-hopping lunatic.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on August 26, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Dexter,
    I’ve read similar accounts that Sen. McCain was a reckless pilot and supposedly responsible for the destruction of several very expensive jets, but it’s time to let those sleeping dogs lie and recognize that despite his near lockstep march alongside Republican Party politics, he could occasionally be a voice of opposition to his own party. Dog knows there are few of those kinds of GOPers around these days. I used to blame him for choosing $arah Palin as his running mate, but it became pretty clear it was a Hail Mary pass thrown by Steve Schmidt, who is now one of the most strident critics of the current *presidency and the party behind it.
    The Orange King, who has shown his crass level of classlessness toward McCain many times, managed to choke out an utterly banal tweet offering his sympathies. It must’ve killed him, the asshole

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  16. Joe Kobiela said on August 26, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    John Mcain was blamed for 1plane lost, while he was a student pilot he ditched a trainer in the gulf do to loss of situational awareness. He claimed engine failure but it was found his attention was diverted and he hit the water, he hit wires in Spain but got his plane back to the boat undamaged, he had a flame out over the ocean down in Virginia and ejected, not his fault, his plane was on deck on the carrier when a Zumi rocket from a f4 launched and hit his plane, or the one next to it, he got out and helped rescue efforts and he got shot done by a Sam missle, but only ejected after he dropped his bombs. He was also offered early release by the Viet cong but refused, saying there were other pows held longer than him that should go first.
    Just a little background to put to rest that he crashed 5 planes.
    Pilot Joe

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  17. Jeff Borden said on August 26, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you, Joe. I stand corrected.

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  18. Sherri said on August 26, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I think this is a good thread on McCain.

    https://twitter.com/MattWelch/status/1033152993649209344

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  19. Deborah said on August 26, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    David Foster Wallace wrote a book about McCain when he was vying for the Republican nomination with W. It made me think at the time, that I would actually vote for McCain should he get nominated. That would have been the first time I would have voted for a Republican. I looked more closely into McCain’s record after that and decided to stick with Dems.

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  20. Jakash said on August 26, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Yeah, Deborah, at whatever point there were the original indications that he would be the nominee in 2008, I thought “Hmmm… there’s a Republican that I would actually consider voting for.” By November, 2008, I no longer had that thought at all. Though admittedly thin on experience, Obama more than made up for that in smarts and temperament, IMO, and McCain had chosen SheWho (sorry, unforgivable) and chuckled out his “Bomb, Bomb Iran” joke. Not a close call for me by that point. I think of him as a good man who could have been great, especially if he’d met the rise of Hair Furor with more actions than tweets. Clearly, given his health situation, I can’t really blame him for that, though…

    Folks can take issue with some of it, as they do in the comments, Sherri, but that *is* a good thread @ 18.

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  21. David C. said on August 26, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    I found the 2000 model McCain quite tolerable. He wanted nothing to do with the fundies and worked closely with Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform having learned his lesson from being one of the Keating five. With the 2008 model year, he was so determined to become President that he threw all that out the window. Except for the one instance we’ve seen ad nauseum of him telling off the woman who said Obama was a Muslim his campaign tolerated and encouraged all the Fox News BS about Obama. He sucked up to the fundies and more than that he released Caribou Barbie and her clan of grifters on civilization. There was never a war or potential war he wasn’t beating the drum for. So he, Bush, and Obama obviously buried the hatchet or he wouldn’t have asked both of them to give eulogies at his funeral. I don’t have to be that forgiving. They have to be statesmen. I don’t.

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  22. LAMary said on August 26, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    I Sarah Palin definitely laid the groundwork for Trump, but I never entirely bought the idea that McCain approved of her. She was just too stupid. I did not agree with most of what McCain did politically, but I admired his decency to his colleagues. It wasn’t just when he defended Obama with the crazy lady at the town hall meeting. He was a close friend of Mo Udall who was about as different from McCain politically as you could be.

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  23. susan said on August 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    I just never thought McCain was special as a politician. Him being lionized, for instance, for smacking down the woman who yelled out, accusing Obama of being an “Arab,” well, all that did was imply there is something wrong with being an “Arab” and a muslim. Screw him. He really wasn’t a nice man.
    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/08/mccain

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  24. Deborah said on August 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    So here’s the David Foster Wallace piece I read about McCain back in 2,000. I remember it being a whole book, but it’s just a long essay in Rolling Stone, probably was included in an essay collection, but that’s not how I remembered it. https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/david-foster-wallace-on-john-mccain-the-weasel-twelve-monkeys-and-the-shrub-194272/

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  25. Dexter Friend said on August 26, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    In retrospect, since I was in Vietnam the same time McCain was locked up in Hanoi, I realize I cannot comprehend how he survived his surroundings. There were times I thought my personal curtain was coming down in a few moments while over there, and I was there for just parts of 2 years , and Mccain was over there a much longer time and in that hell-hole. I must consider him a contemporary, under opposite circumstances as it was, and I am sadder over his passing than I thought I would be. As the old pop song goes, “…can’t explain.” And, that’s that.

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  26. Suzanne said on August 26, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Another shooting, but it appears the shooter was white, so not the same reaction as over the young woman brutally murdered by the immigrant: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/26/us/jacksonville-landing-mass-shooting-madden-tournament.html
    Also, call me naive but I didn’t know there were professional video game players.

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  27. Deborah said on August 26, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    I honestly thought Neil Simon had died years ago. His ex-wife Marsha Mason was one our neighbors in Abiquiu, she owned a herb farm for many years along the Chama river, she sold it a few years back to some people who run it as a biodynamic (Rudolph Steiner etc) farm where they grow feed for horses now. Mason’s farm sold herb products, creams and lotions and such. The brand was called Resting on the River.

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  28. brian stouder said on August 26, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    My sons Matt and Grant and I motored down to St Louis early Saturday, for that evening’s Indy Car race – plus other neat stuff (vintage race cars and pace cars and so on; a very good show – both audibly and visually).

    Before the main event, they had some WWII-vintage fighters do a fly-over (possibly P-51’s, but don’t quote me on that!), plus two paratroopers with a large American flag….and it was at that moment that the news broke about Senator McCain’s passing, and the planes did another fly-over and a split-away.

    I thought “uh-oh” – and Grant did the Google news thing on his phone, and we saw the breaking news.

    The whole thing was quite striking; the odd mix of ‘yes – this was clearly coming’, and ‘wow – it has come to pass’

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 27, 2018 at 7:39 am

    McCain was 894 out of 899 in his class, so not quite last place. He did make it into Annapolis’ Century Club, those who graduate having pulled 100 demerits in a year and still managed to graduate — and I believe he garnered a century in each of his four years. A Navy friend who went to the academy says instructors were still talking about what a bad student he was, academically, but a prototypical hard worker who just battled his way through class after class.

    He met him again later in a briefing in Qatar, and said you could just feel the pain radiating off of him as he went from the vehicle to the conference room, stumping along silently — and when he sat down and got a deep breath, a switch clicked and he simply dominated the room with personality, yes, but also a startling level of knowledge and insight and sharp challenging questions for everyone in the room. My friend breathed a silent prayer of thanks that he had checked and rechecked his information before showing up, as a couple of admirals got roasted for their marginal awareness of what they were talking about. He said “McCain made it clear in five minutes that he could have done the briefing we just gave him, and he wasn’t leaving until he got more from us, or the trip wasn’t worth the taking.” And got information out of them they didn’t know they had.

    God bless late bloomers.

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  30. Heather said on August 27, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Suzanne, not only are there professional video game players, there are video game players who make many thousands of dollars a month just broadcasting their gaming on YouTube. Put that right in the category of Things I Am Getting Too Old to Understand, along with unboxing videos.

    Enjoy your vacation, Nancy! Sometimes it’s just nice to hang out in a city. I just booked a week in Rome in early October. Haven’t been there since 2010 and I look forward to hitting some old favorite spots, as well as some new ones.

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  31. Jeff Borden said on August 27, 2018 at 10:13 am

    The pettiness continues. The flags in D.C. are back to full-mast today. Protocol usually calls for them to remain at half-mast until the deceased is interned, but our baby-man in the Oval Office is having none of that. Two other notes about Sen. McCain: Fox News had to disable the comments section for its online stories about McCain because the hardcore Trumpers were slurring and sliming him. And the far, far, far right primary candidate running to replace Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona claimed the McCain family timed the announcement of the senator’s stopping medical treatment to damage her campaign.

    As Charles P. Pierce says, “These really are the mole people.”

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  32. Julie Robinson said on August 27, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Our son loves video games and has been to one of those events where he watched other people play them. Count me in with Heather on this, and with the unboxing videos. Srsly?

    Anyone else feeling a bit melancholy about all the deaths over the weekend? McCain, the video gamers, eight in a Chicago fire, including six children. And then there’s Neil Simon.

    The very first play I wan involved in was Simon’s The Odd Couple, the summer after eighth grade. My drama teacher was directing, my dad was Oscar the slob, and they needed a prompter, so I started tagging along to rehearsals. The play is a masterpiece but it has two similar scenes with poker players and a phone conversation.

    One night, during the first scene, Dad skipped ahead to the second phone conversation, and it took a lot of ad libbing to work out of it. Community theatre people like Dorothy will be able to relate. What an adrenaline ride that night was! BTW, the prompter was no help.

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  33. Jeff Borden said on August 27, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Here’s the latest poop. . .

    https://www.dailykos.com/

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  34. Bitter Scribe said on August 27, 2018 at 11:17 am

    a quote from Engler praising the university for having emerged from its “most difficult challenge in its history”

    Um, would that be the challenge of having enabled a sexual predator for years on end due to your own crass stupidity?

    I had very little use for McCain, but I find it hard to work up much steam about the Palin thing. IMO, having her on the national stage was a net positive. Sarah Palin is so abysmally ignorant that she stands as an object lesson about all that is wrong with modern conservatism.

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  35. Heather said on August 27, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Someone on Twitter posted this 2008 New Yorker article on McCain and the choices he made–very interesting to read 10 years down the road.
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/11/17/the-fall-david-grann

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  36. Bitter Scribe said on August 27, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Interesting article, Heather, but as far as I’m concerned, the last “decent Republican” was Lincoln. Whether it’s Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford, George or Mitt Romney, or anyone else, these guys sell out their so-called principles in a New York minute as soon as they think they can get one extra vote by calling their opponents traitors.

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  37. Scout said on August 27, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    McCain is certainly well regarded here in AZ, so it will be interesting how the disrespectful tantrum the toxic manbaby is throwing plays out here.

    The local coverage of the Senator is broad in scope; the more conservative outlets are lionizing him but the alt media is a bit less hagiographic. This is a piece written by a writer who had covered him for years. On Facebook, Amy Silverman wrote:
    “He was one of the most fascinating people, ever. I think we can all agree on that.
    (Fitting that my very last byline for Phoenix New Times would be this one.)
    R.I.P., John McCain.”
    https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/john-mccain-america-senator-arizona-obituary-10001670

    Despite his politics, I never doubted his loyalty to this country.

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  38. Sherri said on August 27, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Not really about John McCain, but about the John McCain phenomenon.

    https://thebaffler.com/latest/the-mccain-phenomenon-blanchfield

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  39. Deborah said on August 27, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    My husband tells me it’s sweltering in Chicago, meanwhile it’s heavenly in Northern NM. We even had a good rainy thunderstorm last night. Lows in the upper 50s, highs in the upper 70s/low 80s, and dry of course, with the smell of roasting green chilies everywhere. I’m sitting out on the hammock in the dappled shade right now. So pleasant.

    We watched the finale episode of Sharp Objects on HBO last night, so much better than the book.

    I hope Nancy is enjoying her vacation.

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  40. Dorothy said on August 27, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Julie – I heard many tales of line-jumping from other thespians when I did plays more often. I never had anything really scary happen like that but once in awhile someone would lose their place and forget a line and it would threaten to derail the show. Usually I was pretty good at prompting on stage by perhaps saying that person’s line or filling in for them on a moment’s notice if they missed something important. You really have to think fast on your feet. My favorite thing that happened on stage was when someone forgot to close the lid of a steamer trunk in a scene, and little Whitney (about 7 or 8 years old) moved to sit down on it, and fell inside the trunk with her legs up in the air! It was the hardest thing ever to keep a straight face and continue with the scene. We whisked her to her feet, and went on to the next part and acted like it was supposed to happen. But back stage once we were able to, the laughter just exploded out of every orifice of each actor who’d been on stage when it happened.

    Could Trump’s actions today (or lack thereof) possibly, finally be the beginning of the end for him? There can’t be any decent people who have beating hearts that still support him after the way he’s acted about Senator McCain. And he thinks football players who kneel are showing disrespect to veterans? I’d give anything to see someone sock him in the jaw one of these days. It would so worth being arrested to do that and watch him cry like the whiny baby he is.

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  41. Jolene said on August 28, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Among the many people and organizations who chewed Trump’s ass re his disrespect toward McCain was the American Legion, with its two million members. They issued a public statement urging him to sign a proclamation in honor of McCain, ordering that flags be lowered until his burial. Seems like the sincerity of his protestations of love for veterans might ring a bit hollow in the future.

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  42. dorothy said on August 28, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Happy birthday to our Mild Mannered Jeff!

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  43. Suzanne said on August 28, 2018 at 8:55 am

    One would think, Jolene @ 41, one would think. But the depth of avoidance of reality among Trump supporters is truly unfathomable. They will forgive him this. Some have already taken to using the same logic as an abusive spouse, blaming McCain for not showing proper deference to Trump which, sensibly, led Trump to not lowering the flag.

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  44. Peter said on August 28, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Neil Simon: I’m always amazed when I think about the writers for the Sid Caesar show – Neil Simon and his brother, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart, Woody Allen…and how many of them are still alive.

    John McCain: I can’t add anything of substance to what’s been said both here and elsewhere, but I for one am happy that the WH flag was raised to full staff. Here was an opportunity for Cheeto Benito to show that he isn’t that venal, isn’t that small minded, isn’t that petty, but NOOOOO, just couldn’t bring himself to be a decent human being for once in his life. When people say he’s unpredictable, I say the opposite is true – if there’s a chance he can screw someone over, bet the house on it.

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  45. Icarus said on August 28, 2018 at 9:39 am

    many of my right-wing nut friends use to post meme after meme or statuses criticizing Obama for not lowering flags after certain shootings or death of military (whether he did or not; whether protocol demanded it or not) but they are all consistently silent right now.

    well, some are posting recipes and other harmless stuff.

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  46. Julie Robinson said on August 28, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Birthday Blessings to you, jefftmmo!

    Anyone here from Pittsburgh? I just read that the Post-Gazette will no longer publish print papers on Tuesdays and Saturdays. All the usual noises about how it will allow them to focus on “digital storytelling”, no reporters will be lost, they can reach the kids on their iPads, etc. More coffin nails for the industry.

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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 28, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I got my birthday present at 1:00 pm. This is the result of 19 years of slow steady persistent work, and I am smiling and weeping in my car today.

    https://www.ohiohistory.org/about-us/newsroom/august-2018-(1)/octagon-earthworks

    You know how some say “you can’t fight City Hall?” The corollary is “you’ll never beat a country club.” Well, it’s not true. It’s not easy, but it ain’t true!

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  48. Bitter Scribe said on August 28, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Jeff TMMO—I hadn’t heard the term “low barrier shelter” before, but I get the concept. I volunteer (soon to be past tense—tonight is my last night, thanks to a new job) at a homeless shelter where everyone is Breathalyzed. They don’t kick people out if they blow over .08, but they don’t let them onto the main floor either. Instead, they have the option of sitting in the lobby, maybe having some dinner if they want, while they wait for their BAC to go down.

    You’re right about how letting them in “increases security and literal architectural costs.” Our shelter is just not set up for people who are inebriated, confrontational, or for whatever reason are unwilling or unable to spend a peaceable evening. Maybe it’s a tough standard, and the drunks certainly need somewhere to go, but the staff doesn’t set that standard to be mean or judgmental. It’s a question of limited resources.

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  49. Dorothy said on August 28, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Julie that news about the P-G hit the internet a few weeks ago, and it’s not a surprise. The Columbus Dispatch enacted a big change about 6 years ago (before we moved away from Mount Vernon, OH) to smaller paper to print the publication. I guess they call it ‘tabloid’ style? Anyway, I liked it a lot and it was a cost savings, I guess. My daughter who is in the business has a long-time partner who used to be a page designer at the Pilot where they met in Norfolk. He was impressed by the Dispatch’s change, which he saw when they visited us 6 or so years ago. Here in Dayton we stopped getting the Daily News quite a while ago – we only get the Sunday paper now. We read everything on line now – it seemed wasteful to buy a paper that was gathering dust unread on our coffee table every day.

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  50. Scout said on August 28, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jeff!

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  51. Deborah said on August 28, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Happy birthday, Jeff tmmo and great news about the earthworks site. Sending this comment to you on the wafting aroma of roasting green chilies.

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  52. suzanne said on August 28, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Congratulations & happy birthday, Jeff!!

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  53. Scout said on August 28, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    This piece by Rebecca Solnit is dizzying, but it’s a pretty concise recap of the whirlwind of chaos the mobster-in-chief is perpetrating.

    “I remembered this sense of barrage from early in the George W. Bush Administration, before 9/11, when they’d gone after environmental regulations and a number of other things that protect the vulnerable all at once, and it was so overwhelming that it was hard to know which to react to first or how to react at all. I’d known that we’d face it again if Trump was elected, and the one thing that remained perfectly clear to me through it all was that you couldn’t cure much of anything by treating the symptoms, and we had to go after the cause which meant uprooting the whole illegitimate amateur criminal syndicate.”

    https://lithub.com/rebecca-solnit-why-the-president-must-be-impeached/

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  54. Dexter Friend said on August 28, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    LAMary, how dare you call Sarah Palin stupid? Who else do you know who could be governor, VP candidate, mother of a wild tribe of malcontents and also have time to READ ALL AND EVERY NEWSPAPER every day? ~ Yeah, Katie ripped Palin’s cover off with that interview.
    On the lewd side, I can’t forget about the time the Michigan Wolverine basketball team played an early season tournament in Anchorage or Juneau or wherever…Palin singled out Michigan superstar basketball stud Glen Rice and arranged a banging session in a motel room…I don’t know, shit like that is so preciously lewd I can’t forget it.

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  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 28, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    (sniffs) Mmmmmmmm….

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  56. Jeff Borden said on August 28, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    I’ve been yelling for years how sick and tired I am of being governed by old white men because they have no fking idea of how our modern society operates. Latest case in point? Some fleabag rightwing website used Google to search for Donald Trump and discovered the vast majority of results came from the lamestream media and were overwhelmingly negative stories. Fox picked it up and now the Orange King and his minions are bellowing about the need to “regulate” Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. None of these dotards seem to understand the concept of algorithms.

    The next few months are going to be scary as shit. The spineless cowards in Republican Congress are going to shove as much crap into the legislative pipeline as possible ahead of the midterms, just in case their gerrymandering, voter suppression schemes, etc. don’t work to their advantage. And after the midterms, Sessions will be fired and the Mueller probe will be disbanded. You can already see Sen. Lindsey Graham lining himself up to be the next A.G.

    A blue wave won’t be enough in November. It needs to be a tsunami. We’re in a very dark and dangerous place.

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  57. Julie Robinson said on August 28, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Both our kids were volunteering as poll workers today–big primary in Florida. Our daughter has a flexible schedule but our son has to take a vacation day. Makes me proud.

    My husband was home late because he was trying to find a place for a young man who’d been sitting in their lobby all day. He used up his eligibility at the Rescue Mission and had no extenuating circumstanced to get him in anywhere else; no alcohol or drug problems, not a veteran, not part of a family unit. He was out of options.

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  58. Jakash said on August 28, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    Gonna go out on a limb and assume that comment #55 refers to the chilies referenced in comment #51 and not the “banging session” from #54. ; )

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  59. beb said on August 28, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Bitter Scribe @34– Engler was brought in to replace the fired University president, who was the one who actually overlooked Nassar’s criminal behavior. Engler’s job was to keep alumni from stopping contribution to the university endowment. Also to keep the women abused by Nassar from suing the university for its enabling Nasser. In short Engler is proclaiming relief that they got to skate through another year without taking responsibility for the crimes they enabled.

    Deborah, if there were any people of decency in the Republican party Trump would have been toast the minute Trump said “I like my heroes to not get captured” (quoting from memory). That didn’t derail Trump then. It just showed what a tone-deaf, spiteful creep he was.

    It’s hard to blame Google if the results for a search of “Donald Trump” brings up mostly negative news. Most of the news about Trump *is* negative.

    Interesting news coming out of California. The legislature has sent a trio of gun-control laws for Gov. Brown to sign. One compels a life-long ban on gun ownership for anyone convicted of domestic violence. Another bars gun-ownership to anyone who has been institutionalized twice in one year. Both seem like reason proposals. The third makes getting a conceal carry license harder. Small changes but its a start.

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  60. Sherri said on August 28, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jeff(tmmo)!

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 29, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Jakash, I appreciate the benefit of the doubt! And one of these days my wife and I will be in northern New Mexico during chile roasting season . . .

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  62. Sherri said on August 29, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Republican Senators are so gutless that they’re afraid to rename the Richard Russell building in honor of John McCain.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/some-republicans-favor-memory-of-segregationist-over-mccain.html

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  63. JodiP said on August 29, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Sometimes, the small things people do make a difference. Last week, a probation officer got in touch about a transgender client in custody who was headed off to treatment. Her clothes were soiled and couldn’t be worn, and tagged as such. When I first called property, the deputy said only clothes for court could be brought in. I talked to a co-worker who called the supervisor for that area. (When the sup heard about this, he said, “*Sigh* You can’t teach common sense.”)

    Today, the PO was able to drop off clothes and had very positive things to say about the process, that deputy and how the jail had dealt with a client in the middle of transitioning. (One of the deps had brought her a bra.) All of this is so easy for us to do, but it makes a huge difference for the client!

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  64. Jeff Borden said on August 29, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Any members of the NN.C community down in Florida? Does the progressive black man have any shot at the governorship against a red meat Trumper who used his daughter as a prop to “build the wall” with her blocks and is already tossing out racial whistles? Will the Gunshine State embrace the creep or does Gillum have a shot?

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  65. Julie Robinson said on August 29, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Basic human decency shouldn’t be such a hard thing. So glad your efforts helped it prevail, Jodi. I read an article about a high school principal who had free washers and dryers installed at the school after learning that kids were staying home because they didn’t have any clean clothes. Bravo to him.

    In the that didn’t take long category, the newly minted, Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate in Florida, Ron DeSantis, went on Fox to say “let’s not monkey this up by voting for Andrew Gillum”. Gillum is black. Gillum’s campaign is taking the high road by saying the remarks speak for themselves.

    And in the haven’t we heard this sh*t before category, a new candidate has announced himself for the local mayoral race, saying we need to apply the principles of business to government.

    The older I get the more I realize there is truly nothing new under the sun.

    Edited to add that I think Gillum does have a chance. Florida is at a tipping point with the red tide, too many shootings, and high cost of housing. People are waking up to what the R’s have brought to the state.

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  66. Sherri said on August 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Wouldn’t it be something if both Georgia and Florida elected African-American governors! A girl can dream.

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  67. Jakash said on August 29, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Hey, at least Mr. “monkey this up” graciously mentioned that the guy he’s running against is “articulate.” C’mon, clearly this is just “locker room talk” at many of the country clubs in the great state of Floriduh… I’m sure it wasn’t a dog whistle!

    https://tinyurl.com/y8wuxbec

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  68. beb said on August 29, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Besides hurting Il Douche’s feelings if they renamed the Russel bld after McCain, there’s the problem what it was suggested by a Democrat. And they would rather blow up the world that concede that a Democrat had a good idea.

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  69. beb said on August 29, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I read an article where a state (school district? I’m unclear on the size of the study) found that girls were skipping school during ther periods because they couldn’t afford sanitary supplies. So the state or school district is going to supply them with the needful items.

    Speaking of installing a washer and drying in a school so kids can wash their clothes, I would hate to be at the PTA meeting where that was discussed. Too many people would object to using “their” taxes to help “those” people.

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  70. Sherri said on August 29, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Not even just tax money, Beb.

    A bit over 10 years ago, I was part of a group of people who started up a foundation to support our local school district. One of the first things we did was what we called classroom grants, basically teachers or principals could apply for funds for something. One of my fellow board members and I created the whole process, formed a community group to read all the applications, and select the grants. Low hanging fruit, get the teachers involved, get the coo unity involved, increase awareness of the foundation, etc.

    So, one of the applications from one of our schools with a larger free and reduced lunch population was for a swimming program at the local pool. There were people bent out of shape because it “wasn’t academic.”

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  71. Sherri said on August 29, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    This is the approach that I want to see!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/08/29/a-new-way-to-slay-trumpism-shocking-florida-outcome-sets-up-a-big-test/

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  72. Brandon said on August 29, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Rand Paul Endorses Gary Johnson in New Mexico Senatorial Race.

    If Johnson prevails over the Democratic incumbent, he would be the first Libertarian Party Senator.

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  73. Deborah said on August 29, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    If you ask me Gary Johnson is a has-been in NM. I find it hard to believe that he’d have any chance of winning.

    I saw this on Jeffery Toobin’s Twitter dbeckett.https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/a-new-book-details-the-damage-done-by-the-right-wing-media-in-2016/amp?__twitter_impression=true950
    It disputes both siderism.

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  74. Mark P said on August 29, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Sherri, the Georgia gubernatorial campaign is interesting. The guy who won the republican nomination ran batshit-crazy ads in the primary with shotguns aimed loosely at a young man who might be dating his daughter. Now that he’s in the general election, his ads seem almost sane. Nevertheless, Stacey Abrams chances are quite slim. She has all those things against her right now. She’s a woman, she’s a Democrat, and she’s black. But, as you say, one can dream.

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  75. Sherri said on August 29, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    I don’t want to overstate this, but I think it is literally the worst feeling in the world, having other people tell you that you did something wrong.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/08/29/i-an-accused-abuser-of-women-have-decided-that-i-have-atoned-enough/

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  76. Suzanne said on August 29, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/us-is-denying-passports-to-americans-along-the-border-throwing-their-citizenship-into-question/2018/08/29/1d630e84-a0da-11e8-a3dd-2a1991f075d5_story.html

    “First they came for the Hispanics, but…”

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  77. Bitter Scribe said on August 29, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    The water in the Detroit public schools is unsafe to drink, so all the fountains have been turned off.

    It could not be immediately confirmed that Betsy De Vos’ reaction was “Let them drink Perrier.”

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  78. Sherri said on August 30, 2018 at 12:15 am

    Like the dieter who would rather do anything to lose weight than actually eat less, this business elite would save the world through social impact investing, entrepreneurship, sustainable capitalism, philanthro-capitalism, artificial intelligence, market-driven solutions. They would fund a million of these buzzwordy programs rather than fundamentally question the rules of the game — or even alter their own behavior to reduce the harm of the existing distorted, inefficient and unfair rules. Doing the right thing — and moving away from their win-win mentality — would involve real sacrifice; instead, it’s easier to focus on their pet projects and initiatives. As Giridharadas puts it, people wanted to do “virtuous side projects instead of doing their day jobs more honorably.”
    In order to really have an economy with the greatest opportunity for all, the kind of economy they seem to champion, the MarketWorlders would have to pay high levels of corporate and personal income tax, offer decent wages to their workers, allow unions, fund public schools (instead of pet charter projects) and support some form of single payer health care and campaign finance reform. One simply can’t arrive at a more economically equal reality when the rungs of the ladder are so far apart.

    I’d add make zoning less exclusionary to the list, but I’m looking forward to reading the reviewed book, Winners Take All, by Anand Giridharadas.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/20/books/review/winners-take-all-anand-giridharadas.html

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  79. David C. said on August 30, 2018 at 6:15 am

    No Bitter Scribe. Perrier is too good for the proles. That and she doesn’t make a goddamned dime off of Perrier. Betsy sells water in boxes for them.

    http://www.eclectablog.com/2016/12/billionaire-betsy-devos-trumps-pick-for-sec-of-education-has-even-found-a-way-to-profit-from-the-flintwatercrisis.html

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  80. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 30, 2018 at 7:15 am

    Regarding “it’s not academic!” —

    https://www.newarkadvocate.com/story/news/local/granville/2018/08/29/column-lap-around-track/37618733/

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  81. Sherri said on August 30, 2018 at 10:27 am

    It’s not just extra-curriculars that cost money here. An art class of some sort is a graduation requirement, yet most of them have some sort of cost associated with them, from instrument rental to choir uniform to art supplies. AP tests cost money. The assumptions about the amount of resources available at home for students in honors and AP courses were pretty high, I found.

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  82. Connie said on August 30, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    I remember that the first day of freshman marching band camp required $25 for shoes.

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  83. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 30, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Those shoes have gone up. And it’s a new pair every year even if they have stopped growing…

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  84. beb said on August 30, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    A year ago my name would have been on that report of Detroit Public School drinking water. In fact it was. The first round of testing was begun then. I’ve retired since but the work goes on. The criminal thing is that more school districts aren’t testing their water.

    The problem (I think) is that water fountains aren’t used often enough so that water stagnates in the lines and any lead or copper in the pipes builds up. There is no lead in the water that leaves the filtration plants. It all comes from the service lines connecting to the mains. Letting water fountains run continuously would solve that problem but then the water usage (which isn’t free) would be enormous. Probably the cheapest solution would be to install water dispensers in each classroom. (Out in the hall probably would led to too much vandalism.)

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  85. Julie Robinson said on August 31, 2018 at 9:17 am

    That’s why you’re always supposed to let the water run for a bit before you use it for drinking or cooking, right, beb? And only use cold. How is retirement treating you?

    Even worse than all the band fees are the constant fundraisers. Around here it’s popular to use adult volunteers to work concessions at local festivals and the big sports venue. Worth it though, because band kids (and choir kids, and theatre kids, and speech contest kids) are just too darn busy to get themselves in trouble.

    Okay, maybe it’s just me, but I find myself skeeved out that they are putting Aretha Fanklin’s body in a different outfit every day. Can’t they just let her be?

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  86. Connie said on August 31, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Facebook tells me it is Dorothy’s bday today. Happy Birthday Dorothy! That must mean mine is next! When Dorothy posts her wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks, that will also mean mine is next. Just a coincidence.

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  87. Connie said on August 31, 2018 at 11:01 am

    And do check out the hundred plus pink cadillacs at Aretha’s funeral. https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/music/aretha-franklin/2018/08/31/fleet-pink-cadillacs-aretha-franklin-funeral/1155417002/

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  88. Connie said on August 31, 2018 at 11:16 am

    So it’s a comment run this morning.

    My less than two years old new library is having a problem with copper sulfate crystals blocking faucet screens. Supposed to be due to the hot water heater turning minute bits of copper into green crystals due to occasional highish PH in the water. We will be putting an outgoing water filter on the hot water heater.

    And yes, we have been told to run all faucets 15 seconds of cold water to clear the lines before using the water. I am also providing bottled water for staff.

    So Beb, this is water from Detroit Water and Sewer. And as part of this process it tested out as perfectly fine except for what is normally a minor issue. Feel free to share.

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  89. Jakash said on August 31, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    The Chicago Park District realized they have a problem with lead in their drinking fountain water, as well. A reporter posted a list of all the drinking fountains in the system and their status at the end of this article.

    In May, when she posted this, they hadn’t all been checked yet. But for the ones that had been checked there were 3 options: No lead: fountain operates normally. Lead that gets sufficiently flushed out by running the water: that fountain is left running 24 hours a day. Lead that is still at too high a level even after running: fountain shut off.

    Years ago, all the fountains just ran all the time, and there were no user-operable controls, regardless. But, since that wastes tons of water, they made a big push to put buttons on all the fountains, so that you had to push the button for the water to come out. Now, with certain of the fountains, they’re just keeping these button-type fountains running constantly, as in the old days.

    The headline, though, was “Chicago Park District Shutting Off Almost Half Of Its Outdoor Drinking Fountains Due To Lead.” The Chicago Public Schools have similar problems, I believe.

    https://tinyurl.com/y7bkbzeq

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  90. Jakash said on August 31, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Now, I don’t actually support such obnoxious underhandedness, mind you, but this little anecdote is pretty clever and funny. ; )

    https://twitter.com/Stop_Trump20/status/1034931525819793408

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  91. Julie Robinson said on August 31, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Happy Birthday Dorothy, and then Connie! It seems like you’ve had a lot of problems with that new library building.

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  92. Sherri said on August 31, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Happy Birthday, Dorothy!

    Warning, health care rant ahead!

    I’m in reasonably good health, certai ,y good enough health to lift very heavy weights. But I also have a number of chronic conditions that require me to take medications: depression, migraine, high blood pressure. So, I have to regularly deal with the health care system in order to get my meds, which I need.

    Because I have HBP, my doctor wants to see me every six months, and wants blood work. Here’s where the problem hits. I come in, I see her, I get the blood work, and when the results come back, my creatinine is high. This could be due to underlying kidney issues, or it could be due to the fact that I lift weights five days a week. Either of those result in a higher than normal creatinine level. So, she wants me to get a follow up blood test, to make sure the creatinine level isn’t increasing.

    Now, we have a problem. I have to schedule an appointment at the lab, which I can only do through the call center for the entire UW medical system. You can never get through directly, so you enter the callback queue, and get called back sometime later, often an hour or more later, and if you don’t take that call, well, too bad, start over. For a five minute blood draw, when I know what the result is likely to be. So, this isn’t exactly a high priority for me.

    Yesterday, I got a letter in my electronic medical record system, saying, hey you didn’t do this test, and if you don’t call and schedule it, we’re going to send a certified letter as your final reminder.

    This just pissed me off. I know it’s an automatically generated form letter, as will be the certified letter, but really, fuck this shit. So I sent a long note to my doctor saying, look, this isn’t helpful, here’s why I don’t do it, what can we do to work together, or do I need to find a different place? My doctor is fine, but not so incredible that my tolerance for bullshit is infinite. I could just continue to ignore it all, but I figure, I’ve got a degree of power and privilege, might as well try to use it to at least draw attention to nonsense.

    My doctor did get back to me, at least understanding my frustration and offering some alternatives to stop the nagging process.

    Who does benefit from the status quo in our health care system? Not anyone who actually has to use it.

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  93. basset said on August 31, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    While we’re talking about medical stuff, here’s the Mrs. B update: not home yet, still rehabbing, weak and shaky but moving around on a walker. We’re six weeks in, no release date yet. Been hanging around the rehab hall so much that the techs bring me a dinner tray if there’s an extra. And I’m retiring two weeks from today.

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  94. Sherri said on August 31, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    How stupid were NFL owners in not signing Colin Kaepernick? Possibly very, very stupid.

    https://slate.com/culture/2018/08/colin-kaepernicks-collusion-grievance-gives-nfl-players-leverage-over-anthem-protest-policy.html

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  95. Dexter Friend said on September 1, 2018 at 12:59 am

    Sherri, Thursday, Dan Patrick covered this topic thoroughly, and ended by saying CK could have gone to Seattle to back up Russell W. but CK wants nothing to do with being signed to be a back-up to anybody. He wants to start. Now, this case is clear-cut collusion it appears to me. DP also said that now it is likely CK’s career in the NFL is over, which is really fucked, as he is a great talent and was one play from taking the Forty-Niners to the SuperBowl trophy. Nuts.

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  96. Connie said on September 1, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Seems like it doesn’t it, Julie.

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  97. Sherri said on September 1, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Kaepernick is a better quarterback than half the starters in the NFL, so collusion is pretty obvious. The question is always how much of a trail did they leave? It looks like in this case, and it may have been a big, wide trail.

    Kaepernick knew his career was over when he filed the grievance. He knew he could have backed down from his protesting and had an NFL job, and he chose not to.

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  98. Sherri said on September 1, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Men, this little video in this tweet captures something every woman has had to put up with. Our bodies are just not respected. I don’t even necessarily think the man is intentionally or deliberately trying to cop a feel. But what he’s doing does not consider the woman, does not respect her body, and is socially and culturally acceptable.

    https://twitter.com/MaggieAstor/status/1035716985764687877

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  99. Jakash said on September 1, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Since few respond to *any* comments here these days, I doubt that many will jump to reply to that on a Saturday afternoon, Sherri. But I’m foolish enough to do it! ; )

    I get where you’re coming from, but I’d have to say that I think that the men who read the comments on this blog are not a particularly good target audience for the lesson. I would be very surprised if most here, like me, don’t find that guy’s behavior creepy and unacceptable. (Perhaps I’m being too optimistic.) And, as many tweeters have pointed out, if he did that in front of a huge audience at a funeral, it makes one wonder how he behaves when nobody’s watching.

    “I don’t even necessarily think the man is intentionally or deliberately trying to cop a feel.” It’s nice for you to give him the benefit of the doubt, but there were certainly a lot of other places he could have put his hand (preferably at his side or on the podium, for instance) if he’d wanted to.

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  100. Diane said on September 1, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Sherri @98

    What he did does not respect her or her body but culturally and socially unacceptable? Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be true in our society. Hence the need for the #metoo movement to try to move it toward unacceptability.

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  101. Sherri said on September 1, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Jakash, when I say I don’t think he was trying to cop a feel, I also mean that even had he put his hand on her waist, it’s not okay. There is an assumption that women, particularly young women, are available for hugs whether they want them or not. You can see her keep distance, and him pull her in.

    I just watched this today in the gym. My coach is an attractive young woman. We’re having a conversation about what I’m going to work on, and one of the gym regulars walks by. He’s an old guy, and he always wants a big hug from her. Not from me, I’m not a pretty young thing, and I made it clear early on that hugs were not given without permission. But then, I’m old, and I don’t care if I offend someone, and my coach isn’t comfortable doing that yet, so she gives the hug and complains to me about later.

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  102. Deborah said on September 1, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    We had ferocious thunder storms in Santa Fe last night. It cut the Zozobra festivities short and it rained most of the night and into the morning. It was delightfully cool all day, felt like fall and we’re actually having a small fire in the fireplace to get the chill off inside. My last weekend in NM has been lovely so far. We grilled steaks and had mashed potatoes and a salad for dinner tonight to top it off.

    I’m going to have to put the duvet back on the bed tonight to stay warm.

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  103. Deborah said on September 1, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    We put some of our dried lavender stems on the fire. Mmmmmm.

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  104. Suzanne said on September 1, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    I just read about the Ariana Grande feel-up. You are right, Sherri. If you are a woman, you’ve probably had this happen (I certainly have) and I agree that far, far too many men don’t ever consider that it’s creepy and icky for the woman. I don’t think it ever occurs to them. And that almost makes me angrier than if they intend to do it.

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  105. Jolene said on September 1, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    No comments on the McCain funeral? Must have been a busy day for everyone.

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  106. Deborah said on September 1, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Everything I have read about the McCain funeral has made me weep today. I’m not sure why, but I’ve felt incredibly moved by all of the eulogies that I’ve read parts of online. I didn’t watch any of it on TV or computer videos.

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  107. Dexter Friend said on September 2, 2018 at 1:48 am

    Around here in NW Ohio, recovery meetings are ended with a prayer and the notion is everyone is supposed to hold hands as it is chanted in unison. Once in a large meeting near Toledo, we all rose and grabbed our neighbors’ hands and …whoa! The middle aged woman next to me told me to stop that, she didn’t want to be touched, even as she had offered her hand like all the rest of the 150 people did. I understood her completely, and it didn’t bother me. I discussed this with my sponsor and he said he always respected a woman’s right to herself, by keeping at least a three feet distance when welcoming a newcomer or talking to an oldtimer. I found out that people who go grabbing new people and shaking their hands and immediately began hugging them, just freak the hell out of the new people, scare them, and drive them away immediately. I also found out atheists will say the prayer as a ritual, but many Muslims will stand away from the circle, and some turn their backs to the circle as well. And nobody gives a damn.

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  108. Jolene said on September 2, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Both Bush and Obama were terrific, I thought–the latter more than the former, but both very good. Just the right blend of humor, praise for the departed, and portrayals of his views of our troubled polity that embodied his criticisms of The Present Occupant without mentioning his name or otherwise being so explicit that the criticisms undermined the warmth or dignity of the occasion.

    I was less taken with Meghan McCain’s eulogy, both substantively and stylistically. It didn’t seem to have the right balance of affection for and appreciation of her fatherand rebuke of The Occupant, and her tearfulness made me uncomfortable. But I’ll listen again and see whether it comes off better, not that pleasing me was among her goals.

    Lovely music throughout. Despite not being religious, I admire a good rendition of How Great Thou Art as much as anyone and appreciate a good choir. And Renee Fleming.

    Altogether, the ceremony offered a meticulously planned demonstration that McCain was not only a better man in every respect than The Occupant, but that his view of our country and our political life together was more exalted, more appealing, and, in the moment, more urgent than what is presently on offer from the White House.

    Beyond that, I found it mind-boggling to contemplate the sweep of political and historical experience embodied in the people who attended. The record of political battles fought among the people in just the first few rows would take quite a long time to describe. I’d love to have been able to eavesdrop on all the quiet conversations that must have taken place as the congregation assembled or to join some of the lunchtime gatherings that must have occurred after the service.

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  109. Dexter Friend said on September 2, 2018 at 2:39 am

    The McCain funeral was unlike anything ever before, except maybe Huck and Tom’s funeral they attended from the church balcony when the town folk couldn’t rise the bodies from the river but knew they were dead. McCain’s long-planned out funeral , orchestrated in such amazing detail, was perfect. McCain planned it himself, that is why I thought Meghan McCain nailed it, as John was speaking through her and dissing Mister Orange King. Obama, great as usual, and even Bush43 seemed perfect for this cast. It didn’t infuriate me seeing him up there at all, I mean, what the hell. Bill…well…Bill praised the newly-dead Nixon in 1994 , making Nixon out to be a fucking saint, so I found his words uninspiring, but then I didn’t see or hear all of Bill’s eulogy. The only awkwardness was when The McCain son, the USN officer, crowded over Cindy Mc to shake all the President’s hands, except Clinton, who was a few steps too far away.

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  110. David C. said on September 2, 2018 at 6:17 am

    I turned off McCain’s funeral after the second time they cut to The Turtle. The Present Occupant (I like that phrase) is the public face of all this, but The Turtle is the one carrying it out. I can’t stand to look at his ugly mug any more than I can the other guy’s.

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  111. Suzanne said on September 2, 2018 at 7:07 am

    I heard bits & pieces of the McCain funeral. His daughter was very emotional but the words were heartfelt and brought me to tears several times. She dissed the Orange King without ever mentioning him and the contrast between him and the deceased was very apparent. Bush and Obama were eloquent, especially Obama, who both made me weep for a time when every presidential speech did not make me cringe and when every speech’s point was not to tell us how great the speaker is. I watched Renee Fleming’s Danny Boy later on YouTube and was incensed to see Lindsey Graham in the background looking bored. I hope McCain haunts him.
    And I was very surprised to hear Kissinger speak.

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  112. Sherri said on September 2, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I like the phrase The Present Occupant a lot!

    Dexter, in those recovery meetings, women often made it a point to stand on either side of a woman new to sobriety in those circles, particularly if they were a young, attractive woman. Just because a man is sober doesn’t mean he isn’t a jerk, and I saw my share of vulnerable young women drawing unwanted and inappropriate attention.

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  113. Julie Robinson said on September 2, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Sherri, I think you’re giving the cop-a-feel pastor way too much credit when you say it wasn’t intentional. There’s no doubt to me it’s his modus operandi. It’s more than once; he reaches around and up and down. This man is a perve.

    The moment that got me at McCain’s funeral was listening to Renee Fleming run out of breath at the end of her phrases. That’s a sure sign of nerves or emotions. She’s had a big deal career so I’m confident she wasn’t nervous. I think the emotions were running very high in that room, and she had two hours to absorb them. She had regained control by the end and that last note, held so long, was exquisite in its pain.

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  114. Deborah said on September 2, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Many years ago when I worked at an architecture firm in St. Louis there was an architect who would whistle when he went into the men’s room which was right next to my department. He whistled fabulously, clear as a bell. Sometimes he whistled Danny Boy, which was our favorite to listen to and I can still hear that clearly in my mind. Many years later I saw him again in Chicago where we both worked for different companies. I told him about it, he was a little embarrassed but he whistled it again for me and it was magical.

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  115. Deborah said on September 2, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    For my second to last dinner in NM for a while, we’re having a green chili and tomato rustic tart with cheese and onion. I’m making the dough and LB is doing everything else. Haven’t decided yet what I want for my last dinner here on Monday evening. But I have a day to figure it out. Something I can’t get in Chicago for sure. I leave Santa Fe on the train and then bus to the Albuquerque airport early Tuesday afternoon so I actually have Tuesday morning to have a scrumptious NM breakfast too. My favorite is huevos rancheros with red chili sauce on the side.

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  116. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 2, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Huevos rancheros at the Plaza Cafe was a highlight of my last visit to Santa Fe. But . . . green chile for me!

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  117. Deborah said on September 2, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    We recently went to a place called Castro’s on Cerrillos that had excellent Tex Mex style huevos rancheros. But my favorite is the huevos rancheros at Pasquale’s off of the plaza, the best in Santa Fe but pricey so we don’t go there often. When you go there you often see celebrities like the Fonda’s (peter or Jane etc).

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  118. brian stouder said on September 2, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Congratulations to Basset on his retirement (in game terms, I’d call that a Decisive Victory!), and here’s wishing his wife well.

    We, too, watched the McCain funeral services – and I was quite affected by the senator’s daughter’s remarks.

    History, when they write it, will not be able to avoid noting the striking, undeniable, and pervasive smallness-of-nature of our current president; and he seems to be shrinking all the more, as his term moves toward halfway (on the way to the dustbin of history)

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  119. Jolene said on September 2, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Here’s what Charlie Pierce had to say about this funeral.

    https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a22893069/john-mccain-funeral-service/

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  120. Jolene said on September 2, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Here, David Leonhardt excoriates Republicans in Congress for the hypocrisy of pretending to honor McCain while caving to Trump.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/02/opinion/columnists/republicans-mccain-hypocrisy.html

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  121. Dexter Friend said on September 3, 2018 at 2:04 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4HJJ1JfRqI It’s Labor Day.

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  122. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 3, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Basset, best to you both; I find myself doing the retirement math from time to time these days — and my wife plans to beat me to whatever date that ends up being.

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  123. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 3, 2018 at 11:23 am

    How Charles Pierce saluted John McCain, with qualifications that I know indict many like myself and John Weaver included, but it’s all true and fair and well said, and none of it as well as the ending:

    “The last day I was with him in Arizona, we went to the Superstition Mountains. He was taping an A&E special on the Lost Dutchman mine. He was standing on a flat rock, looking up into the shattered peaks, his arms at that awkward angle that you get if your captors hang you up by them from the wall of your cell, and they’re never quite right again. I stood on my own flat rock and watched him, and that is how I will remember John McCain in this time of his passing. I liked the way he looked at the mountains.”

    https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a22831597/john-mccain-politics-dead-81/

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  124. Deborah said on September 3, 2018 at 11:48 am

    I said I would retire at 60 but the place I worked convinced me to stay until 62 (actually a week before my 62nd birthday) and it allowed me to finish up my major project (among others) that all told, I worked on for 5 years (for the World Food Prize in Des Moines). I love, love, love being retired.

    I’ve decided my last dinner in NM tonight is going to be BLTs with avocado (BLTA?). Not very New Mexican exactly but we’ve got an avocado and tomato to use and I never make bacon in Chicago. I dread my travel day tomorrow, but looking forward to a martini tomorrow night in our little perch by the lake.

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