Gray Sunday.

Guys, how do you do it? Deal with the news, that is? Because I gotta tell you, I’m approaching an intervention-type crisis. I now have two novels open, and am making my way through them at…well, snails generally move faster. Why? Because I have to read this Jill Abramson review of the Woodward book, and even though it tells me nothing that I don’t already know, besides the fact that there’s one more person out there who feels like the walls are closing in and we are in real goddamn danger, I still have to read it and let it wash over me and make me angry, yet again.

Just these two grafs make my eyes cross:

As a profile of Trump, the book is devastating. Even the most jaded readers will be struck by numerous examples of his childishness and cruelty. He denounces his generals in such harsh language that his secretary of state cringes. He derides the suit McMaster dons for an interview as something a beer salesman would wear. He greets his national security adviser, whose briefings he finds tedious, by saying, “You again?” He imitates Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s Southern accent and calls him “mentally retarded.” He tells his 79-year-old commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, that he has “lost it” and not to do any more negotiating.

Cohn, who comes as close as anyone in the book to being a principled character, is alarmed that Trump doesn’t understand the rudiments of the economy. The president thinks it’s inspired to call his tax cut measure, the only substantial legislation passed in his first year in office, the “Cut, Cut, Cut Bill.” In childish scrawl on his edit of a speech, and reprinted in his hand in the book, the president writes, “Trade is bad.” As Woodward explains it, “The president clung to an outdated view of America — locomotives, factories with huge smokestacks, workers busy on assembly lines.” When Cohn presses Trump on why he clings to such beliefs, the president simply responds: “I just do. I’ve had those views for 30 years.”

And I generally never read books like this, because to me, books are a retreat, a refuge. Periodicals are for information. (Obviously, I make exceptions.) I especially don’t read Bob Woodward books, because a) the important parts are all excerpted; and b) he’s a terrible writer. (Look up his description of the cheeseburger-cheeseburger SNL sketch in “Wired” if you doubt me.)

I need better coping strategies. Rules I can make and then actually follow.

So hello, all. It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this. Sixty-one degrees, going down to the 50s overnight. By the end of the week, it should be back in the 80s. Can’t lie; it was nice to have a few days of break from the heat, to be able to actually wear a long sleeve and shoes that aren’t composed of straps and a sole, but it feels weird, too. I think my feet expand over summer; they never go back into a proper shoe without a little complaining. Summer isn’t over-over, but it’s over.

I was going to post a bunch of links that made me insane this morning, but maybe some self-care is in order. OK, one. This:

Voters across the country are now realizing that they, too, have crossed into the twilight zone: citizens of America without full citizenship rights. The right to vote is central to American democracy. “It’s preservative of all rights,” as the Supreme Court said in its 1886 ruling in Yick Wo v. Hopkins. But chipping away at access to that right has been a central electoral strategy for Republicans.

Anthony Settles, a Texas retiree, had been repeatedly blocked from the ballot box because his mother changed his last name when he was a teenager, and that 50-year-old paperwork was lost in what he described as a “bureaucratic nightmare.” After spending months looking for the wayward document, and then trying to get certified by the name he has used for more than half a century, he knew, beyond all doubt, that he had been targeted.

People, register and VOTE. While you still can.

Posted at 7:24 pm in Current events |

60 responses to “Gray Sunday.”

  1. Deborah said on September 9, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    This is the thing that is keeping me sane lately

    Every day now I ask myself, what can I do? Sometimes all I can do is rant or cry but obviously, ultimately that doesn’t help. Sure it lets off steam and gives me a bit of relief, for only a brief amount of time. Talking, calling, donating, showing up, those things might be more productive.

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  2. David C. said on September 9, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    When Mary and I moved to Wisconsin it was a real pain in the ass getting Mary her driver license. It was fairly easy for me because I had my work ID, a passport, and we put all the bills in my name. Our bank statement would have worked except her name wasn’t on the header. It was down below as the co-holder so they would accept it and the Credit Union wouldn’t add her name to the top. Her name was on our apartment lease but that wasn’t enough. I don’t remember why it wasn’t enough, but it wasn’t. She finally got hold of someone nice at our gas and electric provider who added her name to our bill. How patently absurd is a system where whether you are able to talk someone into adding your name to a bill makes a difference in getting an ID. For the longest time, my mom didn’t have a birth certificate. She finally got one by two of her aunts affirming they knew her since birth. They were her last two surviving aunts. If one of them had died, she may not have been able to get one. Her older brothers and sisters didn’t count. It’s so absurd. It seems like before you raised your hand, they read the rules and you affirmed under penalty that you were eligible. I know it isn’t intended to make sense, but do they need to make it Kafkaesque?

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 9, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Re-reading Colin Fletcher’s “River” if that helps. Preached on Psalm 125 this am. Coping with a mix of displacement and context.

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  4. Sherri said on September 10, 2018 at 1:49 am

    I don’t try to keep up with all the news. I read my local paper, and I subscribe to email feeds of headlines from the NYTimes and WaPo, making it easier to take breaks. I use Twitter to find out what’s happening, and I take breaks from Twitter.

    I make a point of staying in closer contact with friends. I work on local issues, though many of those are also national as well. Lots and lots of regular exercise, mostly involving lifting weights. Careful diet, and I stay on my medications. Reading has been difficult, so I play mindless video games.

    The biggest has been powerlifting. It’s given me a focus that keeps me from being so reactive.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on September 10, 2018 at 4:20 am

    Earlier than planned, I vacuumed out the heat-ducts , installed a fresh filter, and turned on the heat for a couple hours as I was shivering while donning a wool cap and sweatshirt. I blasted it up to 78 to blow the dust out, then turned it back down. I am calling the heating and plumbing business in a few days to tune the furnace controls like they do. It’s like $100 but I hate something breaking down in the middle of winter, so I take care of my furnace.
    I didn’t watch much news other than the evening NBC , to see that 6 more women came after Les Moonves, who is on his way out, and he will ride out on a nearly $200M cloud. Hellish punishment, eh? Shameless, the crazy Showtime series, has just gone off the deep end…again. Moronic scripts, goofy situational plot-lines…man, I wish they’d call it quits. I did enjoy the pilot of “Rel”, a sitcom with a goofy laugh-track, about a west-side Chicago divorced man and his friends. The Bears-Packers game was a classic, so no complaints about TV other than suffering through Shameless. I need to learn how to ditch series I have lost interest in.

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  6. Deborah said on September 10, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Regarding the discussion in the previous thread about the Dallas police officer who shot the man in his own home thinking it was hers. If you live in a multistory building with identical units on each floor it is not unusual for this to happen, not the shooting of course. I have done this twice. I was distracted for some reason, got off the elevator on the wrong floor, walked to the corner unit and tried my key in the door before I realized what I was doing (not in my current building because of the artwork in the corridor). And it’s not unusual for people to leave their doors unlocked in some buildings that normally have good security. Now why a person would automatically shoot someone like that is crazy, the police officer was obviously trigger happy.

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  7. Minnie said on September 10, 2018 at 7:49 am

    I’m not coping. Fortunately for this coastal dweller, hurricane Florence’s path and strength are distracting from our approaching Constitutional crisis.

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  8. suzanne said on September 10, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Re: the Dallas wrong apt shooting.
    I used to have a grey van and would often walk up to the wrong grey van in a parking lot, but once I got close, I would notice a book on the seat, or a cup in the holder, or something that would clue me that this was not my van. I have no problem believing that the woman walked into the wrong apartment, but how did she not notice that none of her furniture and general stuff was there? The apartment surely looked different than hers on the inside.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on September 10, 2018 at 8:17 am

    My coping method is to periodically disengage. When I feel guilty about it I remind myself of the oxygen rule on planes, and all the people who depend on me.

    David C, we had mega problems getting my mom a new ID when she moved here. They rejected her birth certificate and we had to get an official one from Iowa. Nevermind that hers was an official one, it was too old. This involved downloading and printing out an application, filling it out and getting it notarized, and mailing it off with a check. Since she doesn’t have a printer and doesn’t drive, it was a lot of trips back and forth for me.

    Next they rejected her marriage certificate. Looking back I don’t know why we didn’t anticipate this, but they didn’t tell us. It was a repeat of the birth certificate, with added tones of outrage that they wouldn’t recognize the document given to her by the state of Iowa ans her pastor back in 1952.

    She was ready to give up. Give up her right to vote, which she had done in every single election. Give up her right to get on a plane to see her family. It still angers me, three years later.

    Anyway, tomorrow I have a appointment to renew my license for the first time since the new regulations went into place. I believe I have all the documents gathered but I’m more than a little nervous about it.

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  10. Bitter Scribe said on September 10, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Cohn, who comes as close as anyone in the book to being a principled character…

    Which tells me that he was one of Woodward’s principal sources.

    Woodward is indeed a terrible writer. “All the President’s Men” mentions a joke in the Post newsroom that English wasn’t his first language.

    Investigative reporters often are terrible writers. Ever tried to read Seymour Hersh? It’s like stirring concrete with your eyelashes. Their biggest problem is that they went to such trouble to unearth details that they don’t want to leave a single one out.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on September 10, 2018 at 9:49 am

    None of these efforts to make voting difficult are surprising. This has been the policy of the Republican Party for many years since they have taken control of so many state governments, giving them the right to set the rules for voting. The North Carolina General Assembly just had its FOURTH set of voting rules declared unconstitutional, but there was so little time between the federal court decision and the midterm election, those twisted boundaries will remain in effect.

    Some political observers far smarter than me have discerned a long game in play by the likes of the Koch brothers, the DeVos clan, etc. to take power in enough states to call for a Constitutional convention. This would set the stage for a return to the time when U.S. senators are chosen by their local legislatures and all sorts of other mischief the plutocrats lust for. The Democratic Party took its eye off the ball regarding local and state elections to our detriment.

    We should make Election Day a national holiday. We should make it easy for everyone to register and vote. This, of course, will never happen.

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  12. Connie said on September 10, 2018 at 10:03 am

    David C, we had similar problems getting my husband a Michigan drivers license when we moved back to Michigan some years ago. All our utilities etc are in my name. So on our FIFTH visit to the license office we were able to get him a license showing our now almost 40 yr old marriage license, since his legal wife had met the proof of address requirements.

    As to the weather I have been shivering in my sleep for several nights now.

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  13. JodiP said on September 10, 2018 at 10:36 am

    I cope in a way similar to Sherri’s. I volunteer with the NAACP, as well as for a local campaign for county commissioner. I am having some of the amazing young organizers of the former over for dinner Wednesday. I’m hosting a brunch fundraiser for the commissioner candidate in a few weeks. I read brain candy books. I cook. I garden. I recently decided to take a hiaitus from the master gardener program to focus on my political stuff. Thank goodness for friends, dinner parties, silly movies and the upcoming trip to Provence in 4 weeks!

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  14. Deborah said on September 10, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Not looking forward to getting the next level of ID that will be required so I can fly, that will go into effect sometime in the near future. I’ve told the story here before about how hard it was to get LB a state ID in NM.

    For a walk today I got out my only pair of NIke’s that we bought last year, my husband has the same pair, they were designed by one of his former architecture students who now works for Nike, designing shoes instead of buildings. The Nike wearing is in solidarity with the players taking the knee etc, obviously.

    And that reminds me to mention that my husband isn’t teaching this semester. There weren’t enough students to warrant having another studio, thanks to Trump and his travel ban among other things. They had been getting a lot of middle eastern students previously. They tried to get my husband to teach an undergraduate studio instead of the graduate studio he usually taught but he didn’t want to do that and he was honestly getting tired of the commitment to be there so many hours a week and days of the year. He is able to travel more often now not being dictated by school schedules. The only crummy part was that they didn’t tell him until the last minute and he could have stayed in NM longer this summer. That’s what you get when you’re an adjunct. It’s OK though, everything must come to an end.

    I should say that another reason enrollment is down is because a lot of students were going to graduate school because they couldn’t find jobs after the Great Recession. They had expanded the programs during that time and now they have to retract.

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  15. The Garden Fairy said on September 10, 2018 at 11:37 am

    I took an intentional break with strict boundaries after working fingers to the bone in 2016. Reentering the fray now — encouraging all friends to vote early, then consider helping others understand/ accomplish early voting. Giving time to _highly_ contested but doable races here in Hamilton County — Aftab Pureval vs. Steve Chabot and Jill Schiller vs. Brad Wenstrup + judicial races. Danny O’Connor in central OH could use help.

    As for the ever-needed brain break — falling asleep listening to audio versions of most anything written by Alexander McCall Smith (tho the Bertie series predominates) or any of the Molly Harper romps — that woman totally nails KY culture from L’ville to Paducah. Readers for both writers deliver excellent performances.

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  16. basset said on September 10, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Always thought that on the first Monday morning of my retirement I would wake up next to Mrs. B on a nice sunny day and we would happily embark on whatever adventures we had arranged.


    Started the day alone, cleaned the bathroom in advance of the tub safety rail installers showing up, still need to go buy some non-skid stick-ons for the tub floor and she’ll be home on Thursday.

    Work waited till 8:57 to email me a question, though, so there’s that.

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  17. Jakash said on September 10, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    I inadvertently, distractedly put my key into my neighbor’s door once. When it didn’t work, it took 2 seconds to figure out – “Oh, wrong apt. — stupid!” Unless the guy had been standing there waiting for me, there’s no way he could have opened the door to see what was going on in the time that it took. Of course, I was neither bearing nor baring arms at the time…

    We live on an upper floor, facing west. Reading about some nn.c correspondents getting cold already amazes me. If the sun is shining in the afternoon, it can be 30 degrees hotter inside than out, when it’s in the 40’s, say. Last night’s low temperature outside was 58. The lowest it got *inside* was 78. Which is handy in the winter, of course, but very annoying in spring and fall…

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  18. FDChief said on September 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    When you think of it, trying to restrict the vote to white people in rural areas is about the only hope the GOP has.

    Serious question; if you’re pulling down less than a couple of hundred thou as year and you’re not an ammosexual, or a Christopathic theocrat, or a stone racist, or utterly xenophobic, totally misogynistic, or a complete moron…what has the GOP got to offer you?

    Seriously…I’m asking here. What has the GOP policy platform got for you? Tax cuts? Your piddly little federal tax cut is gonna get buried under your state and local tax increases needed to offset the loss of fedbucks, and the loss of things like federal programs to help you with college, or unemployment, or…well, eating (hello, food stamps!). “Deregulation”? Your little dry cleaning business can now happily poison the ground, which will help you not a lick when MegaCorp poisons your drinking water and air and your cancer takes you at 56.

    I mean, I “get” that for idiots who think that THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE EVAH!!!!! is making sure they can purchase their 18th AR-15 knockoff, or that some slut has to bear her snowflake baby, or that the dirty heathens and negroes and dusky Meskins are knuckled the GOP is the Home of the Free.

    But are there REALLY that many idiots in this country? Are there REALLY that many people who look at a bunch of suits who are promising to lead them by the nose back to the time when you worked for John D. “The Public Be Damned” Rockefeller and think “Gee…I want MORE of THAT!!!”?

    Who hanker for the Good Old Days when financial “panics” wiped out your savings – what little you could save – every ten years or so? When your food was toxic, your water foul, your air diseased?

    I know that the whole point of “average intelligence” means that 50% of the voting public is below average, but…really?

    Christ, we’re doomed.

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  19. Deborah said on September 10, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Our place is on the NW corner of the building. It has been quite cool at night. The afternoon sun comes in as usual this time of year (and all year of course, duh) but it hasn’t stayed warm very long, I guess because those exposures are all glass and the cooler by the lake syndrome. The north view is mostly the lake as a result of the way the shoreline curves east at our location. The wind was from the NE the last few days too.

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  20. Sherri said on September 10, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    FDChief, I think there are a significant number of people in this country who live in a perpetual state of resentment. They think that they aren’t getting something they deserve, whether it’s power, money, or respect, and they’re convinced it’s because someone else is getting it instead, or will get it.This crosses socioeconomic boundaries; I know people with plenty of money who are still very resentful.

    The GOP says that your resentment is right and justified. That’s a powerful drug.

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  21. beb said on September 10, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    How does one cope in the time of Trump? You have to dis-engage. I don’t plan to read the Woodward book. I have no need to read any reviews of it either. All the good bits were excerpted already and in any case, even a dis-engaged person could see by now that Trump *IS* the crazy uncle people keep locked in their attic except for Thanksgiving when everyone has to pretend that he’s not insane.

    When our daughter moved back in with us we had the same problem getting her driver’s license changed (and thus registering to vote). She needed two pieces of paper showing that she lives at the place she claims. Fortunately by moving her AAA member to Detroit and likewise her bank account we got those pieces of paper. But at some point the question becomes — how can you really prove that you are who you are. There has to be a leap of faith at some point that you are who you say you are.

    I know a man who, in his fifties, decided to start living as a woman. I can imagine the nightmare of moving to another state and trying to get a driver’s license there. I imagine just changing one’s license in the state one has always lived in would be difficult / stressful.

    As I mentioned in the last thread, I don’t understand how that Dallas policewoman could have gotten into the apartment of the man she killed. One suggestion was that he heard her fumbling with her key at his door and opened it to find out what was going on. But wouldn’t he have said something like “can I help you?” which ought to have clued in the cop that she was at the wrong apartment. And if she was going to shoot him wouldn’t she have shot him at the door. But the vague reports say imply she went into the room before shooting him. So the unlocked door seems more likely, except when you leave for work you don’t leave your door unlocked so finding what she thought was her door unlocked would have triggered the thought that her apartment was being burgled. And being in uniform wouldn’t she have used to Command Voice to take control of the situation instead of just shooting the first moving thing she saw? Something was going on here that hasn’t been reported. Was she drunk or on drugs at the time of the shooting making her judgement impaired. Was there a personal relationship with the victim that had gone wrong? It’s just a very weird case and I’m glad it’s being investigated as a crime and not just another cop killing.

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  22. FDChief said on September 10, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Have any of the reports suggested that the policewoman was drunk? I mean, I can definitely see how some who’s tanked could blunder into the wrong apartment and then see “a stranger” and panic.

    In a way I hope the woman was completely high-schooled. Because otherwise the thought of someone this quick to panic fear running around in public legally authorized to shoot people is a very, very bad thought.

    Sherri: I get the “resentment” thing. But the GOP ALSO says “We’ll take this negro’s money…AND we’ll take YOUR money, and give it to this plutocrat and this tax-fattened defense contractor hyena.”

    Even if you resent your tax dollars going to the black person, how is it better for you if your tax dollars go to the fatcat? THAT’s “the stupid”. Resentful would seem to mean resenting BOTH the negro AND the fatcat – that’s Huey Long-style populism. ISTM that by making the grift as damn obvious as it is the GOP is depending on a lot of stupid. It’s working, so there’s that, but it’s depressing to suspect that there’s just that much stupid out there.

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  23. Jakash said on September 10, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    “The wind was from the NE the last few days too.” Bingo, Deborah! If we had any cross-ventilation, things would have cooled down pronto. We don’t. In our previous apartment, I used to love when the weather would change abruptly from a hot southwest wind to cool air from the east and opening the windows would be like turning on an air conditioner. These days it just pisses me off that it will cool off so much outside, but not inside. ; )

    Seems to me that part of the not-well-off Republican voter’s mindset is an off-shoot of the reality-tvization of America. The idea that *anybody* can be a nobody one day and an American Idol the next is now ingrained. Plus, there’s also the feeling that they’re just a lucky break away from winning the Lotto. They don’t want those evil taxes cutting into their riches if they ever actually get them, so they somehow manage to identify with millionaires instead of their own neighbors.

    But it seems like abortion is the real thumb on the national voting scale. Seems to me that lots of folks who would otherwise be appalled by many of the other policies of the GOP put up with them because the number one thing that motivates them, politically, is Roe v. Wade being overturned.

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  24. Sherri said on September 10, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    If Cooz were still hanging around, he could explain it much more colorfully than I can, but I’ll fall back on LBJ.

    If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.

    Sure, if people could look past resentment and notice that the plutocrats are winning because they stoke that resentment, things might change, but especially in the South, resentment is deeply engrained. And like I said, it’s a hell of a drug. That’s why I don’t agree that people “vote against their own interests” when they vote to have their pocket picked. They don’t want to give up that sweet, sweet resentment.

    Huey Long was assassinated.

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  25. Scout said on September 10, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    I get it that many people have a strong anti-abortion mindset, but every poll shows the majority support Roe v Wade.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on September 10, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    If only all those people went to the polls, Scout.

    FDChief, I kind of wish I hadn’t read your post. It’s gray, 65 outside and down to 68 inside, and that was depressing as hell. I’ll comfort myself by thinking about Ken Starr, newly “freed” (as he spins it) from covering up rapes at Baylor. He’s schilling for his new book at a time when all the oxygen has already been sucked from the room. Go home, Kenny. No one cares.

    basset, congratulations on retirement. May it soon be all you’d hoped.

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  27. Suzanne said on September 10, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    Jakash @23. Yes. Absolutely. Abortion is a big thing among GOP voters in flyover country. Why? Because since it been legal, they are scared their daughters will go get one. My now deceased grandmother once told me that she thought abortion was a good thing because it cut down on the number of minority babies. I think a lot of conservatives 40 years ago thought that way until they discovered there were whites taking advantage of the now legal procedure.
    I read news about Kavanaugh (remember him?) saying that most contraception causes abortion and that this was an extreme view. But no, it isn’t. Not here in rural America among church goers. Not extreme at all. The pill, IUD, morning after pill, all are considered abortifacients by a great many of my acquaintances.

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  28. Sherri said on September 10, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Speaking of plutocrats who stoke resentment to distract from their grift:

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  29. Peter said on September 10, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    A friend sent me a screenshot that describes me in 25 words or less: My mind is like my internet browser: 19 tabs open, 3 of them frozen, and I have no idea where the music is coming from.

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  30. Heather said on September 10, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    A lot of people don’t support abortion until they need/want one, their child wants one (anyone remember Dan Quayle saying his daughter would be the one to choose her own course of action if she got pregnant, until his wife set him straight?), or their mistress is pregnant. The cognitive dissonance is such that they will still be against abortion, just that theirs was a special case, really unavoidable.

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  31. Deborah said on September 10, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Amen Heather, case in point Eliot Broidy (however you spell it).

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  32. Deborah said on September 10, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    It’s getting to the point that if someone doesn’t remind me that September 11th is upon us I don’t remember. Maybe it’s because I’m a retiree I hardly know what day of the week or month it is. It’s significance is slipping from my mind, slowly but surely. I usually remember the dates of the Kennedy assignation because it’s so connected with my mother’s illness and death. I was only just reminded today that tomorrow is 9/11 coincidentally. That seems odd to me.

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  33. LAMary said on September 10, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    I heard Ken Starr interviewed on the radio and he has the most icky condescending tone I’ve ever heard. I had forgotten how awful he is.

    Oh, and the first reports about the policewoman shooting the guy in the wrong apartment did mention she was drunk.

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  34. The Garden Fairy said on September 10, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    My parents were quite active w/ PP down here in the years before & after the late-1985 clinic bombing. Many Saturdays my dad (a P&G exec) escorted young women through the gauntlet of anti-choice harassers & picketers.

    It was clear to anyone that worked at the clinic that they often served clients whose families worked in active opposition to abortion access. (Remember, Cincinnati is where national Right to Life got it’s start…)

    As for folks voting against their own interests, all too many don’t. Vote.

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  35. basset said on September 10, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Deborah, there were a LOT of Kennedy “assignations”…

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  36. Deborah said on September 10, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Basset, I had quite a few typos in #32, could it be that my ritual Chicago evening martini made me a bit tipsy?

    We’re watching John LeCarre’s Tinker Tailor series with Alec Guiness on DVD, we watched the more recent one with Gary Oldman a couple of nights ago. We’re listening to the John LeCarre book, A Legacy of Spies on CD. All of this Russia intrigue seems appropriate these days, catching up on the backstory with the DVDs since memories lapse at our age.

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  37. Mark P. said on September 10, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Have you ever thought about how you would feel if you fell from a very high building as you pass floor after floor, wondering what it was going to feel like when you hit the ground? That’s the way I feel about politics today.

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  38. alex said on September 10, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    My mom tells me that my dad’s having one helluva time renewing his driver’s license. And not because he’s 90 but because he’s a naturalized citizen who doesn’t know where his paperwork is or if it even exists anymore. You’d think that after living in this country for 70-some odd years, having been a registered voter for most of that time, having a passport, having a social security number… why the fuck does the BMV need to see naturalization papers?

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  39. basset said on September 10, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Just different angles of the same story, Deborah.

    I remember the Kennedy funeral procession on tv, and running out the back door with the screen banging behind me. I was eight, didn’t know what an assignation was.

    Speaking of the DMV… got the documentation for our handicap tag, need to go get it tomorrow. Mrs B is done driving.

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  40. beb said on September 11, 2018 at 2:29 am

    FDChief writes: “In a way I hope the woman was completely high-schooled. Because otherwise the thought of someone this quick to panic fear running around in public legally authorized to shoot people is a very, very bad thought.”

    I’m afraid that in the years since Ferguson we have seen one cop after another explaining they had to shot some unarmed black man because they feared for their life. There seems to be way too many police officers way too jumpy to be in their business.

    If the woman was drunk that makes things even worse since she was in uniform at the time, even if off duty. Personally I think this was a personal relationship that went sour.

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  41. Suzanne said on September 11, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Alex, that’s awful but not surprising. I am nervous about getting the new driver’s license. Some I have spoken to who have done so said it was simple, others have told me horror stories about having to present more than just a marriage certificate to prove a name change. I am not sure what else I can show but documentation that I got married 30+ years ago and my name changed. At this point, if the daughter ever marries, I will encourage her to keep her birth name.
    My mother can’t even find their birth certificates and I have warned her that it could cause problems since Trump came on board (they both voted for him). They are in their 80s but she still drives.

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  42. Deggjr said on September 11, 2018 at 8:47 am

    The Dallas shooting victim graduated from Harding University, a ‘private Christian institution’ (from their website), sang in church groups, and worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

    At least we don’t have to listen to ‘he was no angel’.

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  43. Julie Robinson said on September 11, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Alex, there must be a process to get copies of naturalization papers. Maybe someone at your law firm would know about it.

    Suzanne, your folks would probably have to get replacement birth certificates anyway, since they have to have an embossed seal and very few states were issuing those in the past. Iowa wasn’t in 1956, so I had to pay for a new one.

    When I took the application to a credit union branch a manager I’d never met before notarized it. What did I use for ID? Why, my current license, issued without any of the documentation that is needed for the new one. Anyone else see a loophole you could drive the proverbial Mack truck through?

    I go in today so will let you know how it goes. I’m also a little nervous about passing the eye exam.

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  44. Suzanne said on September 11, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Anyone want to place bets that Trump will embarrass himself and all of us at the Pennsyvania 9/11 memorial ceremony today? Nah. No chance he won’t say stupid stuff.

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  45. Peter said on September 11, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Mark P at 37: When I worked on the 69th floor of the Amoco Building, we used to joke that if you jumped out the window, the first 68 floors aren’t so bad – it’s those last couple of feet that are the problem.

    And a big shoutout to Emily Sioma who said this while being introduced: “From the state with 84 percent of the US fresh water but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan…”

    OH NO YOU DIDN’T!!!!

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  46. Icarus said on September 11, 2018 at 10:05 am

    This is a little rough and off the cuff so cut me a little slack if it’s not completely well thought out.

    When something like The Dallas shooting victim occurs, I try to take a wait-and-see approach. Too many times as more information becomes available, the initial outlook turns out to be far off.

    That said, this actual story didn’t really pass the sniff test from the onset. Based on what we know so far, she should definitely be charged and found guilty of manslaughter. (I know, I contradicted what I said above).

    I do suspect that a lot of people, myself included, are experiencing a “seen this movie before” feeling and believe the cop will get off with the lightest sentence possible.

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  47. Sherri said on September 11, 2018 at 11:28 am


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  48. Suzanne said on September 11, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Didn’t even wait until the ceremony started to embarrass himself and us, did he?

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  49. Sherri said on September 11, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Should take bets on the over/under on how many minutes before the embarrassment.

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  50. Scout said on September 11, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I expected nothing better from the orange slobster. He doesn’t have it in him to be anything other than narcissistically inappropriate.

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  51. Julie Robinson said on September 11, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Well that didn’t take long, did it?

    I am now the relieved possessor of a Real ID license, or I will be when they mail it to me. They rejected my marriage license because the seal was from the church, but accepted my passport as proof of name change instead. That confused me, because I thought it was okay. If you don’t have a passport and your marriage license doesn’t have a state or county seal, you have to get one they consider official. What a pain.

    And I passed the eye exam, though my optometrist said if I didn’t he would write me a waiver letter. Not sure how I feel about that.

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    I was just telling our student minister that we had another interesting question of pastoral ethics, as a lady in her 70s, who is the only driver in a fragile household (to say the least, discreetly) told us that after her last medical misadventures she was blind in one eye. “But I’m not gonna stop driving! I can see better than most of these kids looking at their phones as they go down the road.”

    Uh, right. Okay. [sighs]

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  53. Sherri said on September 11, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), we had that situation with my inlaws once my MIL’s ALS progressed to the point that she couldn’t drive. Her husband was blind in one eye. There weren’t any good alternatives, though eventually his health deteriorated to the point that hiding the car keys became a requirement.

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  54. Julie Robinson said on September 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    It scares me to think that it’s allowed, yet I would be royally screwed without a license, since I’m the only transportation for my mom. But he can’t correct me to 20/20 anymore. Most of my problems are at night, so hubby has to drive then.

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  55. Brandon said on September 11, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    We need to boost mass transit at all levels in this country.

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  56. Deborah said on September 11, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    When us boomers are seriously into our dotage there will be major issues with transportation/mobility, obviously. I’m not sure that self driving cars are going to be the answer at all, at least not in my lifetime. And mass transit will help but only in metropolitan areas.

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  57. Brandon said on September 11, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Interesting article about mass transit in rural areas:

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  58. Sherri said on September 11, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Mass transit could be a better solution even in less dense areas if we recognized the need to subsidize mass transit at least as much as we do automobiles, but since most of the subsidies for cars are hidden, that’s a tough sell. It’s also hard to convince the single family home owner with the two car garage that no, not everybody wants to own a car and drive everywhere, and don’t even get me started about parking!

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  59. David C. said on September 11, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    I think the attitude now on mass transit is fuck it, there’s Uber and Lyft. I’m afraid big cities are going to fall for Elon Musk’s stupid hyperloop idea and piss away a ton of money that could be used to fund conventional transit on that pipe dream.

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  60. Sherri said on September 11, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    The Koch Brothers are actively working against mass transit. Whenever you hear light rail referred to as “outdated” or “last century” technology, know that their oily money is driving the message.

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